The water is finally safe to drink, says the mayor of Toledo, Ohio, although some skepticism still remains. “Residents of Toledo, its suburbs and small areas of southeastern Michigan began lining up for water Saturday after news of the contamination surfaced,”reported USA Today. Most media outlets have failed to mention what caused the exuberant toxic, algal blooms. They are reporting the effect, not the cause.
This is not merely a result of Mother Nature randomly throwing a fit and creating a mess of Cyanobacterial blooms. The amount of phosphorus going into the lake has risen every year since the mid-1990s, and toxic algal blooms will increase as more toxic runoff from fertilizer changes the ecosystem. Unless the runoff from big farming is curtailed, this problem will continue to grow. Imagine if an area as large as Chicago or NYC suffers from contamination like this Lake Erie mess. The NOAA Great Lakes Center For Excellence says,
The increased presence of nutrients such as phosphorous is largely due to poor farming practices such as high use of fertilizers and presence of livestock near water supplies, as well as effluent and run-off from towns and cities near waterways…Pesticides and other chemicals may affect the natural grazers which would otherwise control algal growth and their presence increases the risk of blooms.
Naturally, Republicans will ignore the harsh reality that the lack of regulations on disposal of waste from industrialized farming caused the crisis. They will deny that climate change could also be bringing more intense spring rains, which would wash more agricultural runoff into Lake Erie. Remember the West Virginia crisis? Somehow, Speaker Boehner blamed President Obama for not enforcing those pesky EPA regulations. In 2012, the St. Louis Beacon touched on the reality of the EPA vs. the GOP:
The GOP-controlled U.S. House – in particular, the Energy and Commerce Committee – has taken aim at EPA regulations. In the first year after Republicans gained a House majority in 2010, about 160 votes were held against various environmental protections, including more than 80 votes on amendments or bills targeting the EPA.
True, environmental groups and water researchers have urged community leaders to cut down on the amount of fertilizer runoff into the shallowest of the Great Lakes. But legislators in these Republican-controlled states have stopped short of mandating the restrictions leveled upon farmers. As per usual, they know they are turning a blind eye to man-made pollution but will happily tell you it’s Mother Nature just acting crazy. These folks push the fallacy that it’s impossible for man to destroy our planet. What do you expect from idiotic evolution deniers?
I jokingly predicted earlier this week in a tweet: Next on Sunday’s Meet The Press: Lindsey Graham and John McCain discuss how Obama arranged the downing of MH Flight 17. Once again, Mr. Deference to Republicans with a side of hardline questions to Democrats, David Gregory, has engineered another episode of Meet The Press that could double as a commercial for the RNC. After an interview with Secretary of State Kerry, where facts were given regarding Gaza, MH 17 and the Border Crisis, a smirking Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) appeared on the screen. I recorded it and the transcript below is directly from the interview. With regards to the Kerry comments, he said,
“That was the most delusional summary that I can imagine. It scares me that he (Secretary Kerry) believes that the world is in such good shape. America is the glue that holds the free world together. Leading from behind is not working, the world is adrift, and President Obama has become the King of Indecision. His policies are failing across the globe and it will come here soon.”
Gregory asked what Kerry left out, saying “what is the administration not yet prepared to do that you think must be done?” (Since Graham deserves the final say on the matter,as his foreign policy ideas have been the model of peace and prosperity for the U.S.)
“What he didn’t call Putin the THUG that he is. He didn’t call for the arming of the Ukraine so they can defend themselves against local separatists supported by Russia. All the enemies of our nation are being well supplied, Russia and Iran are helping Syria, a 160,000 have been slaughtered, John Kerry, by Russian-supplied weapons to Assad. Syria has become a safe-haven for terrorists to attack our nation.” (from Syria?) He then commented on how the Europeans weren’t going to lead on the issue of laying heavy sanctions on Putin and we can’t keep “leading from behind. There’s a battle of wills between the KGB colonel and the “Community Organizer” (aka black guy) and the colonel is winning. “
Next Graham went into harsh criticism mode on the “deliberative” nature of the president. He said, “it comes off as indecisive, he’s trying to be thoughtful, it comes off as weakness.” He then supported aggressive US-European sanctions on Russia, especially in the banking sector and he finished up his rant on how we should rebuild the missile defense systems “that Obama took down.”
The final comment was regarding the border crisis. Gregory asked if his party was prepared to move with the President on this. He predictably said, “there will be NO MONEY….we have to streamline and quicken deportations, there will be no immigration reform because of the crisis on the border, I blame OBAMA for this moment.” He then stated the 2015 “Republican Congress” with the House leading (of course) will need to solve this immigration crisis or they won’t win the White House in 2016. However, they are not prepared in any way to cooperate with anyone to change anything.
The South Carolinian best bud of Senator McCain, in a very short time, blamed Obama for the border crisis, the crisis in Palestine and the Ukrainian mess. Naturally, David Gregory had absolutely no challenges to any of those assertions and, in fact, followed up the interview with a largely Republican panel who parrotted Graham’s delusional ravings.
Attorney General Eric Holder stated that part of the problem with this administration is racial animus, and the defensive right wing says he is absolutely unjustified. The claim “we must take our country back” promoted by Right Wing Tea Party extremists insinuates that we are living in an America they are unable to recognize. The improving economy, falling jobless rate and the ACA, which is lowering the number uninsured Americans are all successes any Republican would highly tout and exploit for all they’re worth. For those suffering from Obama Derangement Syndrome , these positives actually represent the end of freedom, liberty and the American way. In the area of Foreign policy, Obama has been infinitely more successful than his predecessor Bush, yet is subject to merciless scrutiny. On this Sunday’s appearance of GPS with Fareed Zakaria on CNN, WSJ deputy editorial page editor Bret Stephens actually said (regarding NSA controversy),
“Sloppiness seems to be the order of the day with the administration,”….”You don’t have a sense of adult responsibility coming out of the White House. “
Apparently the entire NSA and the Patriot Act are the fault of President Obama. When asked about the subject of racial discrimination, Obama’s Attorney General had this to say:
There’s a certain level of vehemence, it seems to me, that’s directed at me, directed at the president. You know, people talk about taking their country back. I can’t look into people’s hearts, look into people’s minds, but it seems to me that this president has been treated differently than others. There’s a certain racial component to this for some people. I don’t think this thing is a main driver, but for some there’s a racial animus. It’s interesting to me that for whatever reason, Republicans decided early on that this was a president they were simply not gonna cooperate with.
But there most definitely was an agreement and an actual meeting that occurred as President Obama was being inaugurated.
Rush Limbaugh, who harbors deep hatred for the president and the Attorney General, denies race is ever a part of his problem. Limbaugh says, in his most patronizing voice,
The Republicans were bending over backwards to support this guy. They were bending over backwards to not be seen as racists, and yet here’s Holder saying, “Republicans decided early on they were not gonna cooperate.” But this technique of smearing straw men and playing the role of victim. The president of the United States, attorney general of the United States, oh, poor guys, poor victims of a mean, racist America.
Consider a recent Gallup poll that asked whether the justice system was biased against blacks. While 69% of whites answered no, 68% of blacks answered yes. The Tea Party and the NRA, both groups are over 95% white and go out of their way to claim there is no racism, yet the prison population is disproportionately black and the rate of poverty for black Americans is disproportionately higher. The rise of hate groups (aka Patriot groups by the right) is pretty stark. No, Mr. Holder, you are definitely not imagining racial animus. You are right in the midst of the hate, and you’re doing a great job despite their efforts to thwart the administration in every way.
When a group is met with
disdain or anger when they act against the established norm (e.g. when they don’t know or refuse to learn the language).
it goes directly against the message inscribed on the Statue of Liberty. When people are willing to risk never seeing their children again just to help them escape squalor, violence and instability, these people deserve a helping hand. The obvious hatred, especially from citizens of areas who largely vote Republican, for Central American refugees comes through loud and clear. By waving American flags and signs like “return to sender,” these terrified people are greeted with the worst America has to offer: racist, ignorant bigots.
Happy Independence Day used to mean celebrating our freedom by fighting oppression and giving folks a fair chance for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Hard-working, destitute folks who simply want a chance to live free and raise their families are, like the early 1900’s, met with hateful protest. Of course, in the late 19th/early 20th centuries, the animosity was directed at Jews and Italians.
The most dramatic case of lynching occurred in 1891 New Orleans, when 11 Italians were lynched by a mob.
Italians, especially more olive-skinned Sicilians, were treated with distrust and hatred. Sicilian-Americans like Justice Antonin Scalia would never be where he is today if America continued to treat immigrants like filthy refuse.
In Murietta California, the Mayor, Alan Long, urged residents to protest the federal government’s decision to move the recent influx of undocumented, largely Central American women and children, into the Riverside County City. The mayor gave this statement:
“Murrieta expects our government to enforce our laws, including the deportation of illegal immigrants caught crossing our borders, not disperse them into our local communities…”
It is antithetical to the American spirit of inclusiveness and acceptance to publicize these angry xenophobes, especially on this Independence Day. Thankfully, there’s a counter movement which will hopefully make this trying time for these poor, undocumented people a little more bearable. Their signs say things like “Americans ARE Immigrants,” which gives us hope our nation isn’t going the way of the Koch Brothers’ hate group, the Tea Party.
We are all bombarded with calls during an election year from myriad representatives of candidates. For the most part, there is some disclosure of whom the caller is representing. A push poller is someone who interactively markets by calling voters during political campaigning. Push Polling isn’t illegal, except in New Hampshire, which requires a disclosure of which candidate they represent. Mainly it is used to plant negative ideas in voters’ heads. Bush 43 used it to discredit McCain in the 2000 primaries. True, Democrats use this as well, once causing NH Senator Ayotte to file a suit against Mountain West in 2010, where they paid a $20,000 fine for non-disclosure.
The individual or organization attempts to influence or alter the view of voters under the guise of conducting a poll as a non-partisan polling company. ‘Push polls’ require first fooling the listener into believing the poll is legitimate and once the listener is hooked, the pollster asks loaded questions designed to spread rumors and falsehoods about the opponent.’ I was actually on the receiving end of one of their polling calls from the Mountain West Research Polling group, and it was definitely a new experience.
Innocuously it began with rate your level of support questions for Patricia Farley (R) (always named first) or Marilyn Dondero Loop (D). The pollster, who did identify himself as a Mountain West Research Independent, (after I had to ask several times), soldiered on as I allowed this twenty-three minute call to continue. I was not interested in the District 8 state senate race until the caller phrased a few questions like:
You know that Obamacare is bankrupting Nevada. How important is repealing the ACA to you? (10 for most, 1 for least).
The “Margin Tax” (a tax designed to fund education by business netting over $1,000,000 annually) will force companies to pay job-killing taxes that will cause lay offs. Do you oppose this tax that will fund education on the backs of Nevada’s job-creators?
I said, ‘you sure are asking questions in a manner I find both misleading and offensive. I don’t recall the specific wording, but this next one knocked me over. ‘Do you fear your Second Amendment Rights are threatened?’ (10-very important down to 1-not at all important), and I replied, ‘whoa, this is nuts. Guns have no rights. People do. Please don’t insult my intelligence.’ The call was finally over after a few standard pleasantries.
The only statistic I needed to know about this newly intriguing race was each candidate’s NRA rating. Marilyn Dondero Loop has a 21 rating by the NRA while GOP candidate Farley is rated at 86. That’s all I needed to make my decision to support, wholeheartedly, my Democratic Candidate, DonderoLoopNV. I predict many more persistent NV-GOP push pollers ringing my house incessantly until November.