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Name: Christo
Gender: Male
Hometown: Santa Cruz, CA, USA
Home country: USA
Current location: Santa Cruz, CA
Member since: Thu Aug 31, 2006, 03:14 AM
Number of posts: 2,957

About Me

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Journal Archives

Why is Mike Pence so disliked in Indiana?

There's a difference between being a representative and being a governor.

As a representative, you push for your special interests.

As a governor, you do what's best for your state.

Pence got the endorsement from the much-liked former Republican governor Mitch Daniels (now president of Purdue) basically with the promise that he wouldn't pursue a social agenda. Mitch Daniels was liked because he focused almost exclusively on the economy and government efficiency. He gave no fucks about social issues, and it was implied that Pence, as the successor of Daniels, would set aside the social dogmas that he was known for and govern a state that was on a very good path, economically, after Mitch Daniels' two terms.

He didn't do that.

From day one, Pence didn't govern--he played national GOP politics. Whatever the big firey debate of the day was among the national GOP, he grabbed ahold of it and pretended to be its conservative crusader, even if it had absolutely zero relevance to the state of Indiana. He spent time, money, and resources on championing issues that Hoosiers didn't care about or didn't support, because he wanted to pander to the National GOP's ultra conservative base for his future career. Essentially, he was using Indiana as a stepping stone. He never cared about being governor. He always had higher aspirations, and the governorship was a stepping stone to a higher federal office. Most Hoosiers, left or right on the political spectrum, espouse this opinion about him.

As I said before, Mitch Daniels literally gave no fucks about social issues. Indiana is generally a conservative state, but it's never been a state particularly hung up on social issues, and it's never been a state that follows the national GOP's social platform. Indiana has, for as long as I've been alive, been a business Republican state--politicians like the Bushes, Mitt Romney, etc. We voted Obama into office, and prior to Mitch Daniels in 2005, we had 16 straight years of Democratic governorship. Indianapolis, the capital and largest city in the state, routinely switched between Republican and Democrat mayors, and it has managed to have long-term plans and continue its momentum regardless of which party is in office.

So Pence, with his national conservative GOP politics, has been an aberration that has directly harmed Indiana's image and its pocket book.

In the three years since Pence took office, he:

Pushed through legislation making harsher penalties for drug crimes against the protests of numerous major legal organizations including the Indiana Bar Association, as well as most Hoosiers

Inherited a phenomenal state balance sheet from Mitch Daniels and used it as an excuse to push tax cuts so extreme (would have caused a tremendous deficit) that the Republican-controlled Congress shut him down

Tried and failed to amend the Indiana constitution to ban gay marriage, despite widespread polling that showed that Hoosiers didn't support it, and despite the vociferous condemnation of virtually every major business in the state

Since his gay marriage amendment failed, he literally, as payback (not exaggerating, the signing ceremony was invite only, no media was allowed or invited, but someone leaked a picture that showed Pence surrounded by well-known anti-LGBT extremists), came back with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act which was a genuine political circus. It humiliated Indiana on the national stage, directly harmed Indianapolis, and was met with, perhaps, the fiercest backlash by the people of any state in the Union. The extraordinary protests of Hoosiers and businesses allowed the state GOP leaders to basically coerce--to his visible chagrin--Pence to amend the law and "fix it" (this was actually the front page

of the biggest newspaper in Indiana).

The RFRA was such a debacle that Pence ended up hiring an expensive out-of-state public relations firm to heal Indiana's national image. He couldn't answer why he chose an out-of-state firm. He couldn't answer why he chose such an expensive firm, when there are many firms in Indiana that could have done the job. It was eventually canceled, and was yet another waste of taxpayer money. To date, the RFRA has cost Indianapolis (a city that fought against it, changed the official tourism website to rainbow colors, and hung a huge rainbow banner at the airport) $60 million, and the total cost--to the economy and reputation--to the rest of the state is unknown.

During the gay marriage supreme court fight, he literally sent the Indiana attorney general to other states to advise them on how to craft their laws and fight gay marriage nationally. He did this on the taxpayer dollar. He continued to spend taxpayer money fighting gay marriage in the courts and with lawsuits despite, at the time, everyone knowing what the Supreme Court decision was going to be. It was basically a political stand by Pence; an expensive political stand that Hoosiers didn't support.
He fought to pass a law preventing cities from passing their own minimum wage statutes. Is this "small government"?

He has acted like a strongman (think Turkey's Erdoğan), doing everything in his power to make Glenda Ritz, the state superintendent and an elected official, quit her job, and barring that, stripping her of the power given to her by the Indiana constitute and the Hoosiers that elected her through backroom deals, conspiracy, and highly technical legal challenges. Just Google "Mike Pence Glenda Ritz." You could write a thesis on it.

Everyone, literally everyone, was on board for receiving a huge federal grant for preschool funding. The Indiana Department of Education was literally in the final stages of the application process--and the federal government was happy with Indiana and going to give us an especially large chunk of money--when Pence came in and shut it down for no reason because accepting money from the feds became politically untenable among the national GOP tea partier crowd. And, of course, you can't be elected president--Pence's eyes were always on the future--without support from the GOP's far right base. After shutting down the process, he has recently been opining that it would be a good idea to get federal money to fund preschools... A year after he shit all over the Dept of Education's proposal to do just that.

The HIV epidemic in southern Indiana is out of control and among the worst in the country. Of course, we could provide free needles for heroin addicts like has been done in many states to curb HIV problems, but that is politically repugnant to Mike Pence. He also managed to get the Planned Parenthoods in that part of the state shut down, eliminating the opportunity for poor people to get tested. The HIV epidemic, which never had to be an epidemic, continues, and Pence gets to push the problem on our future governor as he goes to join Trump on the national stage.

Speaking of Planned Parenthood, Pence is highly proud of his accomplishment at passing the single most restrictive abortion law since Roe vs Wade. The law, HEA 1337 is far stricter than anything even in the Deep South and is almost certainly unconstitutional. He knows that it's probably unconstitutional. Nevertheless, Indiana taxpayers will spend millions of dollars for our attorney general to fight the law all the way to the Supreme Court, just so Pence could make his political statement.

He literally tried to make a state-run news agency that he would then give exclusive interviews and access to. I don't even know if that's legal, but he tried to do it and was promptly crucified by the media and even his own party.

He asserted authority to ban Syrian refugees from being settled in Indiana. He has no authority. No governor has. He knew that, but he was planning to be a GOP presidential candidate, and he needed to show that he was strong and anti-Muslim refugee to appease the national GOP base. He took leadership role in this discriminatory crusade, appearing on national TV to preach his ignorance. This particular event managed to throw multiple refugee settlement organizations into disarray--which, by the way, actually include the Catholic Church of Indiana (the arch bishop of Indianapolis publicly criticized the governor)--and several Syrian refugees which were well into the process of moving to Indiana had to be relocated to another state. Pence didn't back down until the courts affirmed that his order was unconstitutional.

He shut down a highly successful energy efficiency program--one of the first in the nation, making Indiana a trailblazer--initiated by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission with the support of previous governor Mitch Daniels. He did this for no good reason, other than to signal to his far-right constituents that he was fighting against Obama's evil despotic EPA.

This is all just in his three years in office. He is reviled across the state, and especially so in Indianapolis. There is (was--now that he's the VP nominee, he can no longer be governor) a bipartisan Pence Must Go campaign to get rid of him, and there are literally billboards

and yard signs

plastered all over the city. Pence is, by virtually all objective measures, one of the worst governors in recent Indiana history, at least in terms of working for the benefit of the state. He has basically focused on far-right Christian social conservative interests to the clear detriment of all else, most importantly the current and future well-being of the state's reputation and economy.

Reposted w/accreditation from /u/massamunecyrus on reddit
Posted by StrictlyRockers | Sat Jul 23, 2016, 01:45 PM (31 replies)

Chris Cuomo and Paul Manafort on CNN 7.20.16 “Because you keep lying about it, so I can't move on"

CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Wednesday subjected Donald Trump’s campaign manager to an extended grilling for steadfastly denying that part of Melania Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention was plagiarized.

“Some of those words came from Michelle Obama's speech in 2008,” Cuomo told Paul Manafort, who said on Tuesday that Trump's wife simply used "common words" in her speech. “You have every kind of expert and anybody with eyes who sees that, you keep ignoring it. I don't understand why. I don't understand why you keep making this an issue.”

“Because it is a speech that she gave, talking about her feelings. She is not a candidate for office,” Manafort replied, pivoting to discuss how Donald Trump won the Republican presidential nomination despite “all the conventional wisdom.

“That's the story,” he insisted.

Cuomo wasn’t having it.

“You're distracting from the story line by refusing to acknowledge something that's true, and it plays into two issues,” he said. Cuomo argued that the campaign's refusal to admit that part of the speech was plagiarized undercut their message that Hillary Clinton was too untrustworthy to serve as president, and spoke to the campaign’s pattern of denial when faced with any conflict.

“When faced with something that you did wrong, you just deny it, no matter whether it is true or not,” Cuomo said. “Whether it is the man who has a developmental disability who works for The New York Times, and Donald Trump mocks him and says, ‘No, I didn't.’ Whether it is a star that represents the star of David, and you say, ‘No, it is a sheriff's star.’ There is a pattern, whether it is Baron, John Miller, really Donald Trump. There is a pattern of denying the obvious. What happens when you're running the government of the United States and you don't want to deal with what happens then? That's the concern.”

Cuomo was referring to Trump saying he was unaware a Times reporter had a disability before mocking his physical appearance; insisting an image he retweeted of Hillary Clinton next to a six-pointed star on top of a pile of cash was not the Star of David; and denying pretending to be his own spokesperson under the aliases John Barron and John Miller even though he once admitted to doing so in court.

Manafort countered that the perception of these incidents was “all in the eye of the beholder,” blaming the media for devoting insufficient coverage to the successes of the Trump campaign.

“You've been pointing out things that aren't true, this will be a problem for the Trump campaign, you've been wrong,” he said. “Consistently. The American people disagree with your perceptions of all the things you just said.”

Their contentious back-and-forth continued for some seven minutes, with Cuomo saying he just wanted the campaign to acknowledge “the truth” and a smiling Manafort telling him to “move on.”

“I can't move on,” Cuomo said. “Because you keep lying about it, so I can't move on from it.”

“Chris, I'm not lying about anything,” Manafort said.

“What is true: Did the language, did a portion of the language of that speech come from Michelle Obama’s speech, yes or no?”

“As far as we're concerned, there are similar words that were used,” Manafort said. “We've said that. But the feelings of those words, and the commonality of those words do not create a situation which we feel we have to agree with you. You want to have that opinion, fine.”

“It is not an opinion. That's the problem,” Cuomo replied.


Hmm, Plagiarism-gate? That's an awkward mouthful. The problem is the BS is so obvious. You're not going to sweep this under the rug, Paul. Now it's the denials that are becoming the scandal. "The plagiarism doesn't exist" is such obvious BS. It's not an opinion, Paul. When do you stop digging this hole for yourself?
Posted by StrictlyRockers | Wed Jul 20, 2016, 08:22 PM (5 replies)

Melania Trump Speech Appears To Be An Illegal Campaign Contribution - HuffPo

CLEVELAND ― The revelation that Donald Trump’s business staff writer Meredith McIver wrote the partly plagiarized speech given by Melania Trump on Monday night raises questions about whether his campaign is illegally commingling corporate and campaign resources.

McIver does not appear to have any official role in the presidential campaign. Her letter acknowledging her role in the speech debacle appeared on corporate letterhead from the Trump Organization. And she is not listed as being paid by the Trump campaign on any available reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Corporations are banned from donating directly or through in-kind services to political campaigns. McIver could have volunteered her services, but her offer to resign from the Trump Organization suggests that she was acting within her job responsibilities. (Donald Trump rejected that offer.)

“Given the identification of McIver as an ‘in-house staff writer’ at the Trump Organization in both the statement and letter, and her resignation from the Trump Organization ― printed on Trump Organization stationary ― and not the campaign, it appears that corporate resources may have been used to prepare the speech,” said Jordan Libowitz, communications director for the campaign finance watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “That would make the speech an illegal in-kind corporate contribution from the Trump Organization to the campaign.” <...>


OMG, this is getting juicier! What kind of sanctions can the FEC impose? Does that agency really still have any teeth?
Posted by StrictlyRockers | Wed Jul 20, 2016, 04:38 PM (7 replies)

The Atlantic: Ten Reasons Why Melania Trump’s Speech Will Have a Lasting Impact - David Frum


3) Since Sunday, every journalist at this convention has been collecting examples of the Trump campaign’s failures and incompetence: the quarrel with Ohio Governor John Kasich, the absent senators and governors, the no-show donors, the convention’s financial embarrassments, the floor fight over rules, the lack of a proper schedule, and the defective apps and other technology. Suddenly, there is one easy-to-understand incident that encapsulates in one grim joke all this convention’s cavalcade of derp.

5) Trump has just vividly demonstrated that his campaign—never mind the campaign, he himself—have zero skill at crisis management. Confronted with this comically absurd failure, their instinct is not only to lie, shift blame, and refuse responsibility, but to do so in laughably unbelievable ways. It’s all a big joke when the crisis in question is a plagiarized speech by a would-be first lady. It won’t be so funny when a President Trump tries to manage a truly life-and-death crisis in the same blundering, dopey, and cowardly way.

6) The incident throws a harpoon into the heart of the Trump campaign’s racial politics. Trump’s message: Non-white people are ripping off hard-working white Americans who play by the rules. “They” cheat; “we" lose. Could there be a sharper reversal of that racialized complaint than Melania Trump in her designer dress stealing Michelle Obama’s heartfelt words?
Posted by StrictlyRockers | Tue Jul 19, 2016, 07:26 PM (23 replies)

Best version of Melania Trump's RNC speech side by side with Michelle Obama's 2008 DNC speech

The plagiarism is undeniable.

Dooo dee doo, I gotta write a speech for the convention. La la la, what to write...

*Stares at screen for five weeks*

Week 6 --- "Ah, screw it!" Ctrl C ~ Ctrl V

Posted by StrictlyRockers | Tue Jul 19, 2016, 01:30 AM (13 replies)

911 call about ISIS causes intense police response, patron's collapse at Avon hotel

American Terrorists

This is what I consider terrorism. A couple of days ago the Avon PD in Avon, OH., scared this poor, visiting heart patient half to death and gave him a stroke. What was his crime? Wearing traditional Arab garb and talking on a cell phone. Is this really America? Land of the free? This poor guy. I mean really, WTF? Really? Because some young girl called your "Police Department" and complained about someone "pledging allegiance to ISIS" you do this? This scares me. When you overreact like this you make us all less safe, not more safe. I hope this PD gets in sooo much trouble for this. I hope the Council on American Islamic Relations takes them to the cleaners! I hope the Justice Department investigates them. This is so over the top! Come on now! Where is this headed? Where does this end?



Posted by StrictlyRockers | Fri Jul 1, 2016, 09:14 PM (8 replies)

Hello. Remember me? (Political cartoon)

All too well...
Posted by StrictlyRockers | Fri Jul 1, 2016, 05:06 PM (5 replies)

Bernie Sanders on Donald Trump in 1990

Here's Bernie in 1990, 26 years ago, talking about the disparity between the coverage in the mainstream media of Donald Trump vs starvation in the third world.

Posted by StrictlyRockers | Wed Jun 29, 2016, 10:42 PM (33 replies)

Bernie shaking hands with people after the rally in Santa Cruz on Tuesday, May 31, 2016.

Posted by StrictlyRockers | Fri Jun 3, 2016, 04:23 AM (4 replies)

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (Heads) (1990)

"It must be indicative of something..."
Posted by StrictlyRockers | Tue Feb 2, 2016, 09:02 PM (3 replies)
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