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jmowreader

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 28,140

Journal Archives

You thinkin' maybe the Founding Fathers weren't as smart as we'd like to think?

The Constitution provides a way for a President who's gone off the rails to be removed by another of the branches of government. Similarly, a judge that's departed from expected standards of conduct and decency can be removed by another branch of government. (In both cases it's Congress who does the firing.) But as the Constitution is written, neither the executive nor the judicial branch can remove a Congressman unless the Congressman commits a crime, nor can the other house of Congress.

And right now, the need to remove about forty members of the House of Representatives (who we shall henceforth refer to as "Al Qaeda America") before they manage to destroy the world has never been greater.

The Hunting Trip

Ted Cruz and Louie Gohmert were hunting deer one fine day. Gohmert got one. They gutted it and started dragging it back to camp.

About an hour into the trek, Cruz said to Gohmert, "This deer isn't all that big but it's really hard to drag."

Gohmert looked down and said, "yeah, we're dragging it by the back legs so we're working against the hair. If we drag it by the front legs it'll be easier." They changed ends and kept going.

Another hour into the trek, Cruz said to Gohmert, "you're right, it is easier to drag by the front legs."

"Yeah," Gohmert said, "but camp keeps getting farther and farther away."

The GOP has GOT to be looking for a new heir-apparent

They stick Cruz in there, and the first question at the first debate will be, "aren't you the asshole who shut down the government for no reason?"

Missouri's love of capital punishment endangers all Americans

If you follow either surgery news or Michael Jackson news, you know about propofol. It is a "sedative and amnesiac" agent produced nearly exclusively by the German pharmaceutical firm Fresenius Kabi. It's hard to make, so almost all of it - about 85 percent of America's propofol supply - comes from one plant in Europe. It has four big advantages over other anesthetics: it works extremely quickly, allows the patient to wake up from the procedure quicker than other drugs, has few side effects and lets anesthetists do their work less expensively than with other drugs. Put 'em together and you've got a drug that gets used in four out of five operations performed today.

Propofol is also famous, thanks to Mr. Jackson's favorite quack, for its ability to kill you. It has what doctors call a "very narrow therapeutic index" - the dose that kills is only slightly more than the dose that works. When the Missouri State Prison's infirmary was accidentally shipped a case of 20 vials of propofol last year, the warden knew just what to do with it...he got the state to alter its execution protocol to use this drug rather than one of the other European-made anesthetics you can't get anymore. And now, they intend to inject Allen Nicklasson with ten vials of propofol on October 23, followed by Joseph Franklin on November 10.

The problem is very simple, regardless of your opinion of capital punishment. The European Union forbids the export of any item to a country that might reasonably use it in an execution. The manufacturer has reduced the number of its US distributors to the bare minimum and requires them to never sell the product to a prison. (I have no idea what they do if a prisoner needs surgery...probably take the inmate to a civilian hospital.) Should Missouri go through with its plan, any shipment of propofol will have to be separately licensed and it will have to go to only one hospital...and, considering that the EU Office of Export Control is going to be pissed about having to do this, that's going to take a while. Anesthetics are a low-profit business, so there's no motivation to set up a propofol line in a US pharm plant...and it's hard enough to make this that the Chinese won't start.

I don't think there's anything we can do to stop this...everyone from the major Missouri newspapers to the Missouri anesthesiologists' association has pleaded with Gov. Nixon to return the propofol, and the prison still has it.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/opinion/columns/the-platform/editorial-missouri-gets-death-drug-by-mistake-capital-punishment-for/article_5dbc26f1-cef6-5882-8539-db17ae5862eb.html

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57440903/propofol-drug-that-michael-jackson-odd-on-to-be-used-in-missouri-executions/

Isn't there a law against coup attempts?

And is there really any other word for what the Republican Party is doing right now?

Would giving voters the power to vote for multiple representatives solve gerrymandering?

All of us here are in agreement that gerrymandering is a bad thing and has to be fixed. I think giving the voters the power to vote for more than one of them would solve the problem. The Constitution details how representatives are apportioned but is mute on how to vote for them, so from a constitutional standpoint this works.

How this plan works:

I shall first state that no voter should be asked to vote for more than ten of these assholes. If Texas, New York or California were to ask their electorate to vote for every congressman the state has to offer, you'd get to about number 25 and say, "screw it." Ten is a reasonable number.

We retain congressional districts, and retain the idea that someone who represents a district should come from it. But thanks to gerrymandering, there are some weird-ass districts out there - take North Carolina's 8th, which is 180 miles long by about 20 miles wide.

If your state has ten, or fewer, congressional districts the voter will find all of them on the ballot.

If your state has more than ten districts, you vote for the ten congressmen whose districts are closest to you.

How we know PBO is not a dictator or a socialist

Even the most halfass excuse for a dictator or a socialist would have put the Congressional Teabag Caucus before a firing squad LONG before now.

Does anyone remember back to 2006?

Romney signed the Mass healthcare bill in that year, and as I remember the far right was overjoyed: now those deadbeat hippies who would rather spend their money on cable TV and marijuana (or insert two luxury items the far right thinks poor people shouldn't have) won't be able to dump their medical bills on the rest of us.

The BIGGEST problem Obamacare has, in their eyes, is the guy whose signature is at the bottom of it is not a Republican.

Putting together the pieces: Ted Cruz has an Obamacare conflict of interest

As we learned in the last couple of days, Ted Cruz really, really hates Obamacare, so much he stood in the Senate chambers and read "Green Eggs and Ham" into the Congressional Record.

He says he "rose...in an opportunity to speak for 26 million Texans and 350 million Americans." Bullshit. He rose to speak for himself and the families of the other Goldman, Sachs executives, and the Bain Capital executives, and the rest of the 1 Percent who are, starting in 2018, going to be pounded with a 40-percent excise tax on the value of their Cadillac Plans - health insurance benefits worth more than $27,500 for a family or $10,200 for an individual, adjustable for age and occupation (Obamacare exempts really-senior citizens and people working in hazardous occupations from this tax because, after all, if you are a hundred years old with diabetes and stage-four cancer, you fix antennas on the roofs of skyscrapers or you're George Zimmerman's marriage counselor, $40,000 a year is what health insurance costs.)

http://www.uhc.com/united_for_reform_resource_center/health_reform_provisions/excise_tax_on_high_cost_coverage.htm

About this Obamacare delay thing the GOP wants, I'm pretty easy...

I will exchange a one-year delay in the implementation of Obamacare for the immediate and permanent resignation of the entire House and Senate GOP caucuses. That means they go back to the states that elected them right now, they get the contents of their desks mailed to them (after the FBI goes through their stuff to find any prosecutable offenses), they can never run for any office higher than county commissioner or sheriff, and they can never seek employment as lobbyists. If even one Republican refuses to go home, the deal is off and Obamacare gets implemented on its original schedule.

I will exchange a two-year delay in its implementation for not only the immediate and permanent resignation of all GOP members of Congress, but a pledge that no Republicans will run for either house of Congress in 2014, and no Republican will run for either Congress or the presidency until 2024 - which will give the next Democratic president a Congress free of Republicans for her or his two terms.

Obamacare is "not ready for prime time," as Rep. Useless (he's listed on the House roster as "Raul Labrador") said yesterday while keynoting the North Idaho Legislative Update in Coeur d'Alene instead of being in DC trying to mitigate the damage his party has created, because of his party's shenanigans. People have had Three Fucking Years to get ready for Obamacare. Three years would have been enough for anyone...but the GOP told the business community, "don't worry your pretty little heads about Obamacare, we're going to defeat it in Congress." And when they didn't defeat it in Congress, they told the business community, "don't worry your pretty little heads about Obamacare, the president won't actually sign such a bill." And when he actually signed the bill his presidential campaign revolved around, they told the business community, "don't worry your pretty little heads about Obamacare, the Supreme Court will declare it unconstitutional." When the Supreme Court declared it constitutional, they told the business community, "don't worry your pretty little heads about Obamacare, we'll just repeal it." And after FORTY attempts to repeal it failed, they told the business community, "don't worry your pretty little heads about Obamacare, we'll shut down the government unless the president does what we want." Why shouldn't the business community have believed the GOP? They've got a pretty solid track record of delivering for big business, so the business community went with their hearts and didn't worry their pretty little heads about actually trying to get Obamacare to work for them - in reality, Obamacare is no worse than ERISA, Dodd-Frank or Sarbanes-Oxley, and the business community has managed to comply with those. Were it not for the GOP, lots of small businesses set up to handle all your Obamacare Compliance needs would exist. Business schools would offer one-semester Obamacare Compliance Specialist courses. There would be a board that certified these people, and an accountant or lawyer would be able to put "COE" (Certified Obamacare Expert) in his or her list of titles and certifications...something like "John Doe Esq., CPA, COE." You'd be able to go to Monster.com and hire Obamacare Compliance Specialists just like you can hire Sarbanes-Oxley compliance specialists or Dodd-Frank specialists. Why can't you? Thank the Republican Party. And now they've got to do three years' worth of work in a week.

Three years. Three years is enough for ANYONE - and no, the law isn't "too complicated to understand." I've read it. It's no worse than anything else health insurance-related. (Which isn't saying much for health insurance...) For God's sake, people, it only took FOUR years for Eisenhower to clean the Nazis out of Europe, and this is going to be much easier.

Even the sleaziest used-car salesman is held to higher standards than we hold our Republicans in Congress to. If you were a Sleazy Used Car Salesman and you made unfulfillable promise after promise, you'd be either fired or jailed. When the House Republican Caucus does it, it's perfectly fine. Well...no, it's not perfectly fine.

So those are the options I will accept: either get rid of every Republican, right now, or implement the timetable in the law as it was written.
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