Ain’t enough water here to make tea — much less put out a fire
Efforts to address the upcoming wildfire season are already under way in Congress and the U.S. Department of the Interior.
On Jan. 8, Reps. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, and Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., reintroduced H.R. 167, the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act. The bill aims to fund activities to suppress large fires so that the Forest Service and BLM do not have to draw money from fire-prevention programs. A spokesman for the office of Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, said Crapo and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., plan to reintroduce their identical bill in the Senate early next month.
Last year, the bills were co-sponsored by nearly 150 members of Congress and supported by a broad coalition of more than 300 organizations, but did not make it out of committee to be voted on by the full House or Senate…
The bill would budget for catastrophic wildfires in the same way that responses to other natural disasters such as floods and hurricanes are funded. Routine wildland firefighting costs, which make up about 70 percent of the cost of wildfire suppression, would be funded through the normal budgeting and appropriations process. Very large fires, which represent about 1 percent of wildland fires but make up 30 percent of costs, would be funded under existing disaster programs.
The question that remains for Congressional Republicans is will they join Democrats to protect the lives and homes of Americans in regions threatened by wildfire? Comparing the threat to hurricanes and earthquakes means nothing to the idjit votes in Congress. Tea Party and other rightwing nutballs have already demonstrated their willingness to screw over Americans who suffer from natural disasters.
They have refused to support funds either for preparedness or post-disaster remedies. The usual proposal from the Congressional conservative clown show is that funds be taken away from food stamps, unemployment insurance, programs to implement healthcare, education and the general welfare of anyone below the rank of corporate official in our national hierarchy of importance – in order to fund aid to ordinary citizens whose lives have been uprooted by disaster.
Think this will change with Republicans in charge of legislation?
I understand. You thought the NYPD worked for the people of New York.
One of the few times John McCain displays integrity is about torture. With good reason, of course. Wish he could find the same experience somewhere in his gold-plated heart to find solidarity with people who work for a living.
As for his criminal peers in the CIA, retired pricks like Bush and Cheney – these are the kind of evil thugs who would have willinglky sold out the American Revolution for a guaranteed spot in the Colonial government.
Especially if the Brits had discovered oil that early.
CIA director John Brennan gave a press conference on Wednesday afternoon defending the agency from the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA’s use of torture during the Bush administration. During the speech, Sen. Dianne Feinstein — the leading force behind the report — fact-checked Brennan’s assertions. And it was devastating.
For example, when Brennan said it was “unknowable” whether torture was necessary to produce useful intelligence, Feinstein pointed out that the CIA’s own records show that the best intel was obtained without torture:
When Brennan said the CIA didn’t mislead Congress, Feinstein cited CIA sources saying otherwise:
When Brennan said torture provided “useful intelligence,” Feinstein pointed out that — even if that was true — this wasn’t nearly enough to justify its use in legal terms:
Brennan said that tortured detainees provided “useful intelligence” in the hunt for bin Laden. Feinstein points out, correctly, that torture played no role in finding the al-Qaeda chief:
Feinstein also went off on the CIA’s use of torture more generally, dismantling the agency’s legal and practical case for the program as well as its attacks on the report’s credibility:
The whole feed is pretty devastating.
Considering that Feinstein in general terms is an apologist for our network of spies, foreign and domestic – her action in bringing the report forward before Republicans could stonewall it next month is admirable.
On November 4, several states radically altered their approaches to a drug once known for Reefer Madness. In Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, DC, voters approved marijuana legalization measures. But in Florida, a medical marijuana amendment fell short of the 60 percent approval it needed to pass under state law. Here’s a breakdown of each state’s initiative, the latest results, and how the opposing campaigns pushed their messages to voters…
Yes, I live in a major stoner state
Chickenshit politicians were afraid to advocate legalization; so, grassroots campaigns got referendums on the ballot in Bernalillo County and Santa Fe County. They cover the majority of the state’s population – and the city of Santa Fe has already decriminalized weed. But the county commissions wanted a vote to cover their buns before passing new regulations.
Bernalillo County voted 60/40 and Santa Fe County voted 73/27 to decriminalize pot possession. Hopefully, this will inject a bit of spinal stiffness into our elected officials and appropriate regulations will be passed. The next step involves the state legislature and, yes, I expect nothing to be accomplished. But – there may be a legalization measure on the ballot in 2016 similar to those in modern states.
You can RTFA if you think you might see something new from the moral opposition.
Sweden has officially recognised the state of Palestine, Stockholm’s foreign minister has said, less than a month after the government announced its intention to make the unprecedented move.
The Palestinians cheered Thursday’s move, while Israel recalled its ambassador to Sweden for consultations…
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said in a statement that the recognition was “an important step that confirms the Palestinians’ right to self-determination”.
“We hope that this will show the way for others,” she said in remarks published in the Dagens Nyheter daily.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas hailed the “brave and historic” move to officially recognise the state of Palestine, his spokesman told the AFP news agency.
Sweden is the first EU member state in Western Europe to recognise the Palestinian state.
Seven EU members in eastern European and the Mediterranean have already recognised a Palestinian state – Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Poland, and Romania.
Non-EU member Iceland is the only other western European nation to have done so…
The United States expressed dismay – from their usual position next Israel in bed. Nothing new. They only know one position.
Our government’s willingness to ignore historic professions of support for national liberation, anti-colonialism, opposition to oil-based imperialism reaches new depths of hypocrisy.
(The Borowitz Report) — An Ohio man has become infected with misinformation about the Ebola virus through casual contact with cable news, the Centers for Disease Control has confirmed.
Tracy Klugian, thirty-one, briefly came into contact with alarmist Ebola hearsay during a visit to the Akron-Canton airport, where a CNN report about Ebola was showing on one of the televisions in the airport bar. “Mr. Klugian is believed to have been exposed to cable news for no more than ten minutes, but long enough to become infected,” a spokesman for the C.D.C. said. “Within an hour, he was showing signs of believing that an Ebola outbreak in the United States was inevitable and unstoppable.”
Once Klugian’s condition was apparent, the Ohio man was rushed to a public library and given a seventh-grade biology textbook, at which point he “started to stabilize,” the spokesman said.
But others exposed to the widening epidemic of Ebola misinformation may not be so lucky. “A man in Oklahoma was exposed to Elisabeth Hasselbeck on Fox for over three minutes,” the C.D.C. spokesman said gravely. “We hope we’re not too late.”
We’re only about three weeks from the mid-term election. Be prepared for the next wave of infection from Republican Candidates – for any office, local, state or national – demanding our borders be closed to prevent Africans entering the United States via Canada or Mexico while pretending to suffer from hayfever.
Marriage freedom selfies, a new day in Idaho, Nevada — JIM URQUHART/REUTERS
Legal momentum for extending U.S. marriage rights to same-sex couples accelerated on Tuesday as a federal appeals court struck down bans on gay matrimony in Idaho and Nevada a day after the U.S. Supreme Court let stand similar rulings for five other states.
A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled the bans in Idaho and Nevada violated the constitution and cannot be enforced, adding to a growing list of states where same-sex unions are now legal.
The 9th Circuit move puts the United States on track for legal gay marriage in 35 states, as rulings by the court are binding on all states in its region including three others that do not permit gay marriage, Arizona, Montana and Alaska…
Nevada’s Republican governor, Brian Sandoval, whose state withdrew its opposition to gay marriage earlier this year, said he respected the ruling, and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada welcomed it warmly…
By contrast, Idaho Republican Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter said blah, blah, blah…
County clerks’ offices in big cities in Idaho and Nevada said they were reviewing the ruling and waiting for formal direction before issuing licenses.
Diana Alba, clerk of Nevada’s Clark County, said her office had been preparing for weeks, including changing the forms for marriage licenses so they use gender-neutral pronouns, employing “party one” and “party two” instead of “bride” and “groom.”
“When we get the green light, we’re ready,” Alba said…
Click the link above to read the complete article. It finishes with a state-by-state update on further challenges to the last few states dragging their feet. Still afraid to enter the 21st Century.
Republican commitment to Christian sharia law illustrates what a dead end that party has become. They haven’t a conservative viewpoint to offer. They only whine “NO”, beat their holier-than-thou bosoms and hope there are enough old white folks left to keep them in office – picking plums off the tree of corporate lobbyists.
In this occasional land of the free, there are plenty of old white folks like me who were willing to stand up for our Black brothers and sisters in the 1950’s. We’re still here and perfectly able to smack Democrats on the butt to get them to join up with progressive women, minorities, young people. Speak out, march to the polls and shove foot-dragging bigots out of the way.
It may not be quick enough to satisfy this short time each of us has to tread on this Earth – but, the need for freedom shall prevail.
UPDATE: Idaho governor apparently whined loud and hard enough to nudge Justice Kennedy into ordering a temporary stay of the order allowing same-sex marriages. Shouldn’t be long before the appellate court can review the plea. Sanity will return.