NO citizenship question on the 2020 census


Wilbur Ross gets to be the front man for this lieElizabeth Brockway

❝ The Trump administration, in a dramatic about-face, abandoned its quest on Tuesday to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, a week after being blocked by the Supreme Court…Faced with mounting deadlines and a protracted legal fight, officials ordered the Census Bureau to start printing forms for next year’s head count without the question.

The decision was a victory for critics who said the question was part of an administration effort to skew the census results in favor of Republicans. It was also a remarkable retreat for an administration that typically digs into such fights.

RTFA for all the nice guy analysis and chronology. Two things you should know:

1. There is no need for any NEW inquiry from the census bureau about citizenship. That question is covered in a number of questionnaires and bureau research. As a matter of course, they’ve been asking that question for decades. For the reasons decided in court after court – it simply has no part in the decadal census.

2. Chief Justice John Roberts in all the politesse required of public servants made it clear that Trump and his lackeys can tell all the lies they wish to the American public, including voters, as a Constitutional right. They do not have the right to lie to a Federal Court. And they were caught lying about their reasons for including this question. Scumbags do not get a do-over on their testimony.

UPDATE: The Liar-in-Chief is now contradicting his flunkies in the cabinet. He’s tweeting out silly-storms demonstrating once again his inability to stick to a decision. What a neurotic dork he is!

Right Wing cabal defeated in their try to distort Hugo awards

GRRM
Click to enlarge

George RR Martin has said that the group of rightwing science fiction writers who tried to swing the results of this weekend’s Hugo awards to their own agenda were “routed” by the majority of fans who “did not like having their choices imposed on us”.

Two campaign groups, the so-called “Sad Puppies” and their more politically extreme counterparts the “Rabid Puppies”, had mobilised earlier this year to vote a bloc of writers onto the shortlists for the Hugo awards…

But on Saturday, members of the World Science Fiction Society rejected the finalists for the Hugos in an unprecedented five categories, voting for “No Award” rather than any of the nominees backed by the Puppies, which had included work by John C Wright, an author known for his homophobic views. Nominees picked by the Puppies won in only one category: Guardians of the Galaxy took best dramatic presentation.

“The Puppies lost and lost big; not just defeated, but routed, finishing behind No Award in almost all cases,” blogged Martin on Tuesday night. The bestselling author of the A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series has been a high-profile voice in what he has called “the controversy that has plunged all fandom into war”, urging fans to vote and criticising the Puppies for their actions.

On Tuesday, he said that “the Puppies are howling in outrage and anger…But fandom, according to Martin, is “mostly relieved”…

Martin was “pleased … greatly”, he said, to see Chinese author Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem win the best Hugo novel – an award won in the past by some of science fiction’s major names. “It’s a strong book, an AMBITIOUS book, a worthy winner … and the first Hugo to go to China, which is cool. Let us put more ‘world’ in worldcon, by all means.”…

I bought my first sci-fi magazine in 1946. THRILLING WONDER STORIES. That monthly – along with John Campbell’s AMAZING STORIES – became the heart and soul of newsprint periodicals for the rest of my life. Guiding my thoughts on philosophy, science and politics, flowing directly from the pens of giants.

An equal to some of the best, is George RR Martin. Though we’ve never met, we share mutual friends and the clean air of Northern New Mexico. And a love of science fiction.

Truly electric.

Manchester United 1 – 6 Manchester City…WTF?

The worst defeat for Manchester United since the founding of the English Premier League in 1992. Listless, mediocre defending, few shots taken at goal much less into the goal – while Manchester City played a professional, workmanlike match throughout.

There will be plenty of professional coverage of the match by those writers paid to do so. I recommend the GUARDIAN UNLIMITED for that task. The result was just so stunning I had to make mention, had to record this at my personal blog.

Sir Alex’ strategy can’t sufficiently motivate a team that doesn’t reach its own standard. Roberto Mancini can take credit for bringing together an international aggregation into a real team.


Mario Balotelli [center] celebrates with teammates after scoring the first goal of the match
Daylife/Reuters Picture used by permission

Lose your bid for re-election? Canada may provide severance pay!


Don’t worry – I’ll be OK!
Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation today released its calculations of estimated pension and severance payments paid to the 113 MPs who were either defeated or did not seek re-election in the May 2, 2011 general election. Defeated and retiring MPs will collect $4.9 million in pension payments in their first year, reaching a cumulative total of $111.5 million by age 80. In addition, another $4.3 million in severance cheques will be issued to former MPs…

While many MPs went down to defeat last night, most are still big winners,” said CTF National Research Director Derek Fildebrandt. “Even though losing an election can be hard, MPs should find a nice soft landing with their ‘golden parachute…’”

Defeated or retiring MPs are eligible to collect a fully-indexed pension at age 55 if they have served at least 6 years in the House of Commons. MPs who have not served the minimum years and receive no pension collect a severance equal to 50 per cent of their total salary. Former MPs who are eligible for a pension but have not reached the age of 55 are entitled to both a severance and pension. If a member turns 55 years old within six months of being eligible for a pension, a reduced severance cheque is paid to them. Lump sum severance payments range from a low of $78,866 to a high of $116,624 – a figure paid out to defeated Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff and several ministers.

Defeated Labrador MP Todd Russell was less than once month short of qualifying for his pension, being elected in a May 24, 2005 by-election. Fildebrandt noted, “By keeping Mr. Todd out of Parliament, the voters of Labrador saved Canadian taxpayers almost $600,000 in pension payouts.”

Why must so many nations consider loving lifetime care for politicians a national priority? Here in the GOUSA, we provide Congress with a healthcare plan the rest of us can only dream of.

The payback from Beltway politicians? “Screw you” – I’ve got mine. Find an insurance company to take your money.

Uprising crushed – Gaddafi ‘finishing the job’ in 48 hours


“Whatever the decision, it will be too late”

The Gaddafi regime is taunting the West over its failure to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and said it would “finish the job” of defeating the insurrection against its rule by Friday.

As Col Muammar Gaddafi’s troops advanced towards the rebel capital, Benghazi, Saif al-Islam, his son, told “traitors and mercenaries” to flee the country or face the consequences…

Asked about continuing British and French attempts to persuade the United Nations Security Council to impose a no-fly zone, he answered: “Military operations are over. Within 48 hours everything will be finished. Our forces are almost in Benghazi. Whatever the decision, it will be too late.”

The failure on Tuesday by the G8 group of nations to agree military intervention in Libya is said to have “perplexed” Downing Street. An immediate decision was opposed by China and Russia but even the United States failed to come out in support of the idea.

The White House is said to be exploring “other options”, such as using sequestered Libyan assets to fund the opposition. Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, said she was hopeful the UN Security Council would take a vote on a Libya resolution no later than Thursday.

But Bernard Jenkin, a senior Tory MP, said: “Where are the Americans? We are now in a new, entirely new situation. We have premised our defence and foreign policy for the last 60 years on the principle that if there is an international crisis involving our national interest the Americans would see that as involving their national interests.

“That is not the case under President Obama. He has been dithering and vacillating, his administration is divided and there is considerable concern on the other side of the Atlantic about what the United States should be doing.”

The Gaddafi family meanwhile repeated claims that they had funded the electoral campaign of President Nicolas Sarkozy of France. “We funded it and we have all the details and are ready to reveal everything,” Saif al-Islam Gaddafi said in his interview, with Euronews.

“The first thing we want this clown to do is to give the money back to the Libyan people. He was given assistance so that he could help them…”

A well-placed government source in Tripoli told The Daily Telegraph it was “common knowledge” that the Gaddafi family had funded Mr Sarkozy “for years”…

The Gaddafi claims were all strenuously denied by President Sarkozy’s office.

I won’t roll through all the contradictions of American politics, the demands of corporate concerns and a public that, frankly, is fed up in general with war as an instrument of foreign policy. Would I have cried crocodile tears over swift, instant air strikes taking out Gaddafi’s air force and tanks right from Day One of the uprising. Hell, no.

Issues were immediate and clear-cut – regardless of whining Republicans and super-patriots in Congress who gasped in disbelief at James Clapper who told them the truth about military capability – and the likelihood of Gaddafi staying in power.

Exactly the opposite of the crap invasions of George W. Bush – still dragging on mercilessly under the aegis of Barack Obama years later.

Germany’s Chancellor Merkel acknowledges “bitter defeat”


Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has admitted her coalition suffered a “bitter defeat” in regional elections in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). The chancellor acknowledged her new government, in power since October, had “many avoidable disagreements” that had hurt its chances of re-election in NRW…

The NRW result means Mrs Merkel’s coalition no longer has a majority in the upper house of parliament. This will make it more difficult for her government to get legislation passed…

“There’s no talking around it – we suffered a bitter defeat,” she said.

“As regards the work of the federal government, I will only say this: In the first months, we did not provide any momentum to the government in NRW. On the contrary, we were a factor holding them back, and there were many avoidable disagreements.”

She warned that big tax cuts – favoured by the FDP and promised by the new coalition – would not now be possible.

“The… coalition in Berlin must now set its priorities clearly,” she said. “That means, from my point of view, firstly that tax cuts cannot be implemented for the foreseeable future – discussions about the euro, about [loan] guarantees and a lot of other things show us that…”

It is not immediately clear what type of alliance or coalition will emerge in NRW.

Conservatives throughout the western world seem stuck into an ideology that requires tax-cut payoffs to their corporate masters before any other priority in society. And then they wonder why voters reject them and their policies.

The American electorate still hasn’t gotten back their share of the Treasury Bush gave away to his Enron-class buddies. State-by-state, conservative hacks, Democrat or Republican, try to use the first flush of any electoral victory to reward country club compatriots. And screw taxpayers in general.