Friday, July 3, 2015

Comedians rejoice at one word.

Don Shula learned an early lesson about business with Donald Trump
Many are distancing themselves from real estate mogul/combover cautionary tale/presidential candidate Donald Trump these days.
But former Dolphins coach Don Shula found out first hand how hard it was to do business with him in the early 1980s...

"Who's doing the raping?" - Donald Trump's 2016 campaign slogan

The World Is A Safer Place Without Saddam

More Americans will die today from guns than have been killed by ISIS. GOP will do anything to fight the latter, nothing about the former.- LOLGOP

Subject: PA Supreme Court Shoots Down NRA-backed Act 192

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck a blow for gun safety and for transparent government with its June 25th decision in Leach et al. v. Commonwealth et al. I’ll explain what that is and why it matters in a minute.  First, some background.

James Carville once described Pennsylvania as, “Philadelphia in the east, Pittsburgh in the west, and Alabama in the middle.”

The people in the vast middle swath of “Pennsyl-bama,” including my native Lancaster County, love their guns, mostly for utilitarian reasons: target shooting (and competitions), hunting, and protection of property and livestock against creatures like bears, coyotes, and the occasional wolf.  By and large, these people are truly responsible gun owners.  Gun safety is paramount.  And they often eat what they hunt.

That’s not the case in the urban areas, though.  In the cities, handguns vastly outnumber long guns and people carry them mainly either to commit crimes or to protect themselves from other people with guns.  Shooting skill and gun safety instruction are not emphasized and there are many accidental, as well as a good number of intentional, shootings.

Recognizing that the urban environment requires tighter restrictions on firearms, over a hundred municipalities, mostly in the densely-populated southeast, started passing local gun control ordinances that were more restrictive than the state’s gun laws.

How much more restrictive? Not much. Typically they beefed-up lost-and-stolen gun reporting requirements, banned carrying firearms in parks, and prohibited shooting within city limits – common sense restrictions.

Predictably, the NRA and the right wing went ballistic (an especially fitting word in this context) and their Republican handmaidens in the Legislature got busy trying to undermine or nullify those ordinances.  One of their leaders was House Speaker Mike Turzai, who infamously said, “Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”  (Somebody needs to tell him that the real name is “Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”)

The Republican plan was to allow anybody who objected to the ordinances (yes, even the NRA, as long as it had a single member who lived in the state) to sue the cities and towns that passed them – and to do so at the municipalities’ expense.

Think about that: this law basically redefined the concept of “standing” in court for this law.  Under the law the Republicans crafted, you didn’t have to be adversely affected by a law; just being offended by it was enough to bring a lawsuit.

Cities and towns realized that if they passed gun control ordinances, the NRA would sue them and they would have to bear their own and the NRA’s legal expenses.

Many municipalities declined to pass gun control ordinances, or rescinded ordinances they had already passed, because they were intimidated – which was the Republicans’ plan.  Cities and towns realized that if they passed gun control ordinances, the NRA would sue them and they would have to bear their own and the NRA’s legal expenses.

That’s not all: several cities did pass gun control ordinances, got sued, and then held fundraisers to help with the legal costs.  The NRA demanded to know the names and addresses of people who contributed to such funds, presumably to harass and intimidate them personally.

Funny thing, how it’s okay to have anonymous donors when you’re a SuperPAC but not when you’re raising money to support gun control.

Republicans also knew that if their proposal were ever debated in public, urban and suburban voters would never support it.  So they came up with a way to attach their provisions to an unrelated and uncontroversial law, and it passed.  It became known as Act 192.

Soon after Act 192 passed, lawsuits began to fly.  The cities of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Lancaster, joined by several state legislators, decided to push back and sued the Commonwealth.

Last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled 6-1 that the law was unconstitutional – because the Pennsylvania Constitution says that legislators cannot insert provisions into any bill that have nothing to do with the original subject matter of the bill.  The subject matter of the original bill was copper theft.

So the Court did not really rule on the merits of the provision, just on the way it got passed.

Even so, Republicans handled the bill the way they did because they knew that a clean, transparent bill would never pass on its own merits.  Now they are trying to figure out what to do next. That may be difficult for them: like rats, roaches, and vampires, these Republicans will do everything they can to avoid sunshine.

The defendant legislators have 30 days to file an appeal so this matter is not yet settled.  Let’s stay tuned.

Best wishes,

Thank you so much, Rick. Scary, legislation without representation AND you have to foot the bill.

Cuba Opens Internet Access, @ $2 An Hour Just Like AOL Did In The 90s!
Cuba has opened 35 Wi-Fi access points nationwide, offering unprecedented online access in a country that until now has restricted use of the Internet to an elite few.

Macy's has severed ties with Donald Trump and no longer will carry his men's wear collection. From now on, men who want to look like Donald Trump will have to hunt and kill their own hair piece.- Conan O'Brien

Republican Shenanigans

223,000 more Americans found work last month, although GOP still refuses to repair the roads and unsafe bridges they must use to get to work. - The Daily Edge

Right Wing Militia Mocks Combat Vets. Why, Of Course, It's The 4th Of July!
A Facebook group operated by right-wing military veterans mocked combat veterans who asked neighbors to be courteous when celebrating the Fourth of July holiday with fireworks.

Republicans Unlearning Facts Learned in Third Grade to Compete in Primary.- Andy Borowitz

Last night for the first time in 24 years Jupiter and Venus appeared almost on top of each other. So the gay marriage ruling is having more of an impact than we thought.- Conan O'Brien

Man Threatens To Shoot President Obama
A Wisconsin man threatened to kill President Barack Obama while the president was traveling in the state, according to a warrant obtained by CNN.
A criminal complaint and arrest warrant were issued Thursday suggesting that the man, 55-year-old Brian D. Dutcher from Tomah, Wisconsin, told a security guard a La Crosse library that if he had the chance he would "take him out," referring to Obama, and "take the shot."

More Charleston Arrests?
Authorities are exploring pressing charges against associates of suspected Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof, a report by The State suggests.
Unnamed sources tell The State that the investigation has been widened to include Roof's possible associates, who may have known the alleged shooter was planning the June 17 attack...

Almost no one knows Jim Webb is running for president. Almost everyone has heard that another rich Republican is bashing immigrants.- LOLGOP

Rock The Voter News

Navy Triples Maternity Leave
The U.S. Navy is tripling paid maternity leave for women who serve in the Navy and Marine Corps from six to 18 weeks in the first year after birth.

Remember when the media was amazed that it found a white person who wants to be black? - LOLGOP

 Click here

So many people have jumped the White House fence recently that the Secret Service is putting metal spikes on it. This is the latest in security technology — from 1325. It's impenetrable, unless you use a ladder. We're now protecting the president's life the same way we keep pigeons from sitting on ATMs.- Jimmy Kimmel

Business/Tech News

Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to be Republicans.- Kona Lowell

Unemployment rate:
Bush takes office: 4.2%
Bush leaves office: 7.8%
Obama takes office: 7.8%
Now: 5.3%
Questions? - The Daily Edge

Obama To Update GM Crop Inspection 
The Obama administration said on Thursday that it would update the way the government regulated genetically modified crops and some other biotechnology products, saying that the nearly 30-year-old system had become outdated and confusing and did not foster public confidence.

Nation’s Dogs Vow To Keep Their Sh*t Together During 4th Of July Fireworks. - The Onion



Odd News

Time To Deflate Photo

To high five a whale is not on my bucket list, but I love the photo!

Peace and safe fireworks for all.

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