Tagged: OK

Republican claims he lost primary to dead incumbent, replaced with a body double

03.02-Tim-Murray

An Oklahoma congressional candidate has announced he plans to contest Tuesday’s primary election of long time Rep. Frank Lucas.

In a bizarre letter obtained by NewsChannel 4, Tim Murray says he doesn’t feel Rep. Lucas is qualified for office…Murray brings it up in his letter announcing his plan to contest Lucas’s election writing, “…it is widely known Rep. Frank D. Lucas is no longer alive and has been displayed by a look alike…”

…His campaign website goes into detail about his theory that Lucas was hanged “…executed by the world court on or about jan. 11, 2011…” in Ukraine…“I’ve never been to Ukraine,” said Rep. Lucas.

For the past 20 years, Lucas has been working in Congress, and he’s faced Murray in past elections.

“He was the Democratic nominee for Congress two years ago. This time, he chose to run as a Republican,” said Rep. Lucas.

On Tuesday, 5.2 percent of Oklahomans voted for Murray. Lucas won more than 82 percent of the vote. Since Murray doesn’t believe Lucas is living, he wants those votes.

“Many things have been said about me, said to me during course of my campaigns. This is the first time I’ve ever been accused of being a body double or a robot,” said Rep. Lucas.

RTFA for copies of two letters describing the World Court trial and execution Murray says he saw on television.

Draw your own conclusions. My dog says she could beat him in an election debate.

Thanks, Mike

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Oklahoma Republican politics means you don’t have to obey the president – but, you do have to obey the governor!

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill into law Monday that passes a statewide ban on raising the minimum wage and prohibits cities from legislating to establish mandatory employee benefits like vacations or sick leave…Opponents view the law as retaliation against grass roots organizers gathering signatures in the capital to raise the city’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10.

After Fallin signed the bill, her office released a statement claiming that “most minimum-wage workers are young, single people working part-time or entry-level jobs.”

Fallen said, “Mandating an increase in the minimum wage would require businesses to fire many of those part-time workers. It would create a hardship for small business owners, stifle job creation and increase costs for consumers.”

You decide if she’s ignorant or a liar. The average minimum wage earner is a single mom in her 30’s.

A major paper published last year covered by the Washington Post found that economists agree that raising the minimum wage actually reduces poverty.

Reducing poverty is one of those goals that you never hear addressed by Republicans except as some kind of supposed inevitability from their favorite dribble-down economics. Which hasn’t worked anywhere on Earth, yet.

They will get righteous about protecting profits, though.

In Oklahoma’s tornado alley, some better prepared than others

shelters save lives

The mayor of Moore, Oklahoma, a municipality twice devastated by tornados in the past 15 years, is fixated on garage doors, knowing they are a key to protecting the city from even more damage during this year’s tornado season.

Moore, in the heart of “Tornado Alley,” where twisters frequently hit, will be operating this year under new building codes, arguably some of the most stringent in the nation, to protect people and structures from deadly winds…

“Garage doors are the first to come off during a tornado. Once the garage door comes off, the roof comes off,” Mayor Glenn Lewis said in an interview last week…

In May 2013, twenty-four people were killed and 240 injured when a top-rated tornado devastated Moore, a city of about 55,000 south of Oklahoma City. Some 2,400 buildings were damaged or destroyed, including Plaza Towers Elementary School, where seven children were killed.

It was even worse in 1999 when one of the strongest tornadoes ever recorded, with wind speeds of 300 mph, struck Moore, killing 44 and leaving a path of destruction in its wake.

“The new building codes are great, but I wish they were approved sooner,” said Lewis, who was mayor when both tornadoes hit.

Moore, Oklahoma City and other cities began operating this year under building codes offering more protection, but inadequate structures and a dearth of shelters persist in large parts of the state.

One hold-up appears to be in the state legislature, where lawmakers have been bickering over funding tornado protection.

One Democratic lawmaker proposed using funds from the state’s franchise tax, a levy suspended in 2011, to pay for tornado and storm shelters for the majority of schools in the state without them. Republican lawmakers, who dominate the legislature, have balked at the proposal, saying they want to eliminate the tax altogether.

There’s the point of it all. Republicans, Tea Party Brown Shirts and Blue Dog Democrats care more about tax cuts and money in their wallets than the lives of school children.

I have nothing but contempt for corrupt human beings who value greed over need. They do not advance society. They care little or nothing for those who stand beside them on this planet. Self-centered, egregious, nothing counts more in their mean little lives than money and personal power.

Fred Phelps’ death celebrated by Oklahoma liquor store

moore-liquor

A liquor store in Moore, Okla., advertised a sale on champagne to coincide with the death of Fred Phelps, the founder of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church.

The owner of Moore Liquor, Bryan Kerr, posted a sign outside his store Tuesday reading “Fred Phelps 1929-2014, Champagne 10 percent off! Not a coincidence…”

Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church are known for their virulent anti-gay sentiment and protesting soldiers’ funerals. Phelps died Thursday after having been excommunicated from the church.

[He was excommunicated in a power struggle – won by a dude who campaigned that Phelps wasn’t loud enough supporting an inferior role for women in marriage and society]

Kerr said he’s gotten positive feedback about his sign, which suggests celebrating Phelps’ death.

“People have really responded positively to it,” he said.

“Champagne is a celebratory drink and so that’s why we gave 10 percent off,” Kerr added. “If they choose to celebrate the passing of a little hate from this world, they can do so and we’re happy to oblige here at Moore Liquor.”

“That kind of hatred and that kind of twisting of biblical principles needs to be exposed and talked about people need to know that’s not how real Christians act,” he said.

As my old acquaintance Willard Uphaus said during his years as a defrocked Methodist preacher – “Ain’t nothing wrong with old-time religion if it’s old-time enough!” He forgave his church’s cowardice, blindness. Eventually they reacquired sufficient courage to reinstate him after decades as a peace activist.

The idjits any progressive activist encounters, fools who think they are the only True Christians in the world are an embarrassment to normal folks who trust their religion to lead them to a life of peace and understanding. Trouble is, gang, it’s time for you to speak up and differentiate yourself from fundamentalist bigots.

Champagne optional.

Oklahoma considers stupid law regulating stupid policies


Feel threatened?

An Oklahoma politician apparently felt that hype about the dangers of guns in schools had gone too far and decided to do something about it.

Under the Common Sense Zero Tolerance Act introduced by Rep. Sally Kern, schoolchildren in the state would no longer face punishment if they chew their frosted or fruit-filled breakfast pastries into the shape of guns…

According to the bill, “Brandishing a pastry or other food which is partially consumed in such a way that the remnant resembles a weapon,” would be protected…

In addition to the pastry provision, Kern’s bill would also make it safe for students to possess small toy weapons or use pencils, pens, fingers or their hands to simulate a weapon.

Students also couldn’t be punished for wearing clothes that “support or advance Second Amendment rights or organizations.”

In Oklahoma you have to include that last sentence otherwise the NRA will tell everyone the bill is part of some commie, pinko plot to send the Marines to your home and take away your guns.

Then, there’s the fun of deciding which kind of stupid you need to support, which kind you need to stop. Do you pass zero tolerance regulations that lead to silliness like suspending students who chew their pastries into dangerous weapon-shapes? Do you spend time regulating how much common sense is allowed to modify zero tolerance silliness? And on and on. An endless loop keeping politicians looking busy – if not productive.

Peeping Tom sentenced – peeping from inside septic tank under Tulsa city park outhouse

A man who spied on a woman and her daughter from inside the catchment tank of a park outhouse was sentenced Thursday to one year in the Tulsa Jail.

Kenneth Webster Enlow, 52, of Tulsa pleaded guilty that same day to a misdemeanor peeping Tom charge. He had no plea deal with prosecutors.

Tulsa County Special Judge Bill Hiddle sentenced him to the maximum, one year in jail and a $5,000 fine. By statute, Enlow is not required to register as a sex offender.

An arrest report says he watched a woman and her 7-year-old daughter as he sat beneath a permanent outhouse at White Water Park near the Keystone Dam west of Sand Springs on July 7.

According to the arrest report, the woman said she saw Enlow looking up at her after she first noticed the water under the toilet move.

Keystone firefighters got Enlow out of the holding tank and cleaned him with a fire hose.

Eeoough!

The dude remained in the Tulsa Jail after sentencing. I don’t think he’s going to try for an appeal. BTW, they couldn’t charge him with a felony because he didn’t take photographs.

Monster tornado devastates Moore, Oklahoma


A woman carries her child through a field near the collapsed Plaza Towers Elementary School
Click to enlargeAP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

A huge tornado with winds of up to 200 miles per hour tore through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore on Monday, ripping up at least two schools and leaving a wake of tangled wreckage as a dangerous storm system threatened as many as 10 U.S. states.

Television video showed tracts of homes destroyed, cars tossed about and piled atop one another, and at least one building on fire. Rescue workers were pulling third-graders from a severely damaged elementary school in Moore, a KFOR television reporter said from the scene, and aerial video showed first responders sifting through the rubble left behind…

The National Weather Service assigned the twister a preliminary ranking of EF4 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, meaning the second most powerful category of tornado with winds up to 200 mph.

The massive twister struck at the height of tornado season, and more were forecast. On Sunday, tornadoes killed two people and injured 39 in Oklahoma.

The number of deaths continues to climb. I had to stop watching the TV reporting. Firemen at the elementary school say their work is now “search and recovery” – no longer search and rescue.

Witnesses said Monday’s tornado appeared more fierce than the giant twister that was among the dozens that tore up the region on May 3, 1999, killing more than 40 people and destroying thousands of homes. That tornado ranked as an EF5, meaning it had winds over 200 mph…

The 1999 event ranks as the third-costliest tornado in U.S. history, having caused more than $1 billion in damage at the time, or more than $1.3 billion in today’s dollars. Only the devastating Joplin and Tuscaloosa tornadoes in 2011 were more costly…

Estimates at the scene from those who experienced that 1999 tornado say the affected area was 2 or 3 times larger today. Probably 30 square miles of nothing left in one piece.

I’d like to offer a special note aside from the immediacy of this disaster. Americans who retain a traditional open heart to people in trouble always offer a helping hand. The modern exception being the cruel, heartless fools, the rightwingers in the various Tea Party cells around the country – and in Congress. You know who I mean. The kind of lowlifes who fought against providing aid to victims of Hurricane Sandy unless it was “balanced” by cutting Social Security and Medicare.

That despicable attempt was thwarted in Congress – eventually – by joint resistance from Democrats and a few traditional Republicans who haven’t forgotten how to be Americans. I’d like to note that Tom Cole is the Congressional Republican who represents the people of Moore, Oklahoma – and he was one of the few who joined with Democrats to send federal aid to survivors of that terrible superstorm.

They ain’t all sonsabitches in Washington, DC.

Grocery chain cleared to give horse meat lasagna to homeless

Swedish grocery chain Axfood says it will donate several tons of lasagna containing horsemeat to the homeless in Stockholm.

The food retailer was one of several in Sweden, and of many across Europe and the United Kingdom, forced to pull meat products from shelves after a discovery that products believed to be beef actually were horse meat…

While the tainted food could not be sold to consumers, Sweden’s National Food Agency says the food can be donated.

Axfood will donate about 11,000 pounds of frozen lasagna to the St. Clara church, which will distribute the food to the city’s homeless.

Axfood will be required to remove the products from their packaging and provide an accurate list of ingredients.

I’m certain there will be some semantics whizbang who will say using the word “tainted” isn’t close to correct – and of course it isn’t. Because the meat isn’t tainted. Even adulterated isn’t appropriate. It’s mislabeled, it wrongly identifies the content but, horsemeat in and of itself does nothing negative to human beings – regardless of religious beliefs or the Bambi effect.

Does it suck that homeless folks get discards? You betcha. But, that ain’t the operative ethic here. The chain is taking the same write-off either road. At least they’re providing calories for folks who can use ‘em.

Then you get to face the reality of a wealthy nation that still has homeless people living on the streets – and ask “why”?

Russia set to halt imports of U.S. beef, pork

U.S. pork and beef exports to Russia could come to a halt on Saturday following Moscow’s requirement that the meat be tested and certified free of the feed additive ractopamine…

The move could jeopardize the more than $500 million a year in exports of U.S. beef and pork to Russia…

The United States asked Russia, the sixth-largest market for U.S. beef and pork, to suspend the requirement even as it warned domestic meat companies that Moscow might reject their pork shipments that contained ractopamine and stop buying pork from processing plants that produced pork with the drug.

Ractopamine is used as a feed additive to make meat leaner, but countries such as China have banned its use despite scientific evidence that it is safe…

The U.S. Meat Export Federation told its members by email that since the U.S. Department of Agriculture had no testing and certification program in place for ractopamine, the Russian requirement could effectively halt U.S. pork and beef exports to the country by Saturday…

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, in a note posted on its website on Friday afternoon, said: “Exporters are cautioned that Russia may reject U.S. pork shipments and delist producing establishments if ractopamine residues are detected in exported product.”

FSIS also said at the moment it was not requiring meat companies for documentation attesting their pork was free of ractopamine before issuing its export certification.

Are there requirements for measuring ractopamine sold for consumption to Americans, eh?

Analysts said the Russian move was linked to the Senate’s passage of the trade bill and blah, blah, blah

Tyson Foods…a leading U.S. meat company, and agriculture powerhouse Cargill…declined to comment on how a halt in exports would impact them, but both noted the U.S. and Russian governments were in discussions.

Yes, there are 100 countries including the European Union rejecting pork with ractopamine residues. Mother Jones wrote a delightful article in February when Taiwan rejected US shipments – entitled “US Pushes the World to Import Our Dodgy Meat” – and if you’d like some delightful midnight snack reading matter, try this report from the USDA describing the symptoms of some pigs tested with the stuff.

Folks in Oklahoma sue Halliburton for groundwater pollution — since 1965

Halliburton Co faces lawsuits over groundwater pollution near a now-closed facility in Oklahoma that cleaned missile casings for the U.S. Defense Department during the Cold War.

Halliburton, which now specializes in oilfield services, said one of its units cleaned solid fuel from missile casings between 1965 and 1991 at a semi-rural facility on the north side of Duncan, Oklahoma. It was closed in the mid-1990s.

A component of the fuel was ammonium perchlorate, a salt that is highly soluble in water. Halliburton said it had been discovered in the soil and groundwater on its site and in certain residential water wells near the property.

The company said it was determining the extent of that contamination and that it had arranged to supply residents with bottled water and, if needed, a temporary water supply system…

The lawsuits, filed in Oklahoma state and federal courts starting late last month, claim the plaintiffs have suffered health problems such as hypothyroidism, which is associated with exposure to perchlorate over time…

According to Halliburton, the lawsuits claim it knew about the releases into groundwater of ammonium perchlorate and, in a federal lawsuit, nuclear or radioactive waste as well, and that Halliburton did not take corrective actions.

But after conducting soil and groundwater sampling along with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, Halliburton said it only found nuclear or radioactive material in soil in a discrete area on the Duncan site, and that it was not present in groundwater.

“The radiological impacts from this discrete area are not believed to present any health risk for off-site exposure,” Halliburton said in the filing.

Rest easy. Folks in Duncan, Oklahoma, don’t really glow in the dark. They’re just poisoned.