Saturday, November 11, 2023

Louisiana: The State That Hates Women and is Holding the City of New Orleans Hostage

Not only is Louisiana the poorest state in the union it's also home to women-haters who dominate the states politics.

The Louisiana legislature has imposed the strictest anti-abortion laws in the country and recently doubled down on their attacks against women by electing Jeff Landry Attorney General and Louisiana governor-elect in October.

The mayor of New Orleans LaToya Cantrell, Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams, and Orleans Parish Sheriff Susan Hutson have all vowed to not seek arrest nor prosecution for women seeking reproductive care.

Because of the city of New Orleans refusal to arrest and prosecute women for getting abortions Landry personally solicited the Louisiana State Bond Commission to withhold millions in funding to tackle the necessary repairs to the city's four water intakes.

Landry is firmly opposed to any access to substantive abortion care in the state. Recently efforts to make exceptions for incest and rape were crushed despite the highest maternal mortality rate in the United States, and where homicide is the leading cause of death for pregnant women- women being forced to carry fetuses without skulls to term.

Now Landry is busy defunding any and all state-funded projects in New Orleans until they agree to enforce the complete abortion ban.

It's going to be an uphill climb as Landry holds the city's infrastructure hostage until they comply with his demands in the majority female state.

The fact is the state's crumbling infrastructure has been a major problem for decades. The New Orleans Sewage and Water Board recently made headlines in March when oil spewing from its 24/7 turbines and drainage pumps (built in the 1960s) caused major damage to residents' property in March 2023.

A replacement is not expected until the end of next year, and maybe beyond if Landry has his way. Though the recent saltwater intrusion in New Orleans has passed, access to clean, freshwater remains a critical and focal issue of daily life in New Orleans.

Why is the city being held hostage?

When Landry was elected, he swore retribution for New Orleans stance of protecting women and he vowed to reverse the impact of his Democratic predecessor.

With a Republican supermajority in both of the state houses, citizens of New Orleans can expect to lose more freedoms as the crooked lawmakers force them to accept their will.

As it stands, Louisiana is just one of the states that continues to attack pregnant women's rights by imposing draconian laws.

Friday, November 10, 2023

MAGA: Why Trump Attorneys Get Attorneys or the Price of Being a Puppet

If you happened to follow the fates of Trump attorneys that were thrown under the bus by the orange mobster, you probably have a clear picture in your head on what happens to the stereotypical MAGA attorneys.

They end up defending themselves in court because they're political puppets and because they get intimately involved in Trump's corrupt attempts at damaging democracy.

Rather than sharing a list of Trump attorneys who have been charged with crimes related to their assistance to overthrow the 2020 election and Trump's financial fraud trial in New York, I'm going to ask three questions that might be on a lot of people's minds.

1. Why would any attorney risk getting thrown in jail and losing their law license by representing a world-renowned liar?

2. Why would any attorney (with a modicum of gray matter) trust Trump, who may or may not pay them? 

3. Why would any attorney concerned about their reputation want to take on such a toxic client?

Here's some reasons why I think these college-educated attorneys want to represent Trump.

1. Fame. They want to be celebrities. 

2. The money. They can profit by grifting off of Trump's fame/infamy. 

3. Total lack of morals. 

4. They're Trump cult devotees.

5. They have masochistic tendencies.

Trump attorneys are expected to:

1. Sound like Trump by adopting his intonations and bluster.

2. Be compliant puppets.

3. Be loyal at all times or else.

4. Be prepared to take the rap and go to prison where they can wait until he's re-elected and can pardon them.

5. Be prepared to go on right-wing media outlets and spread Trump's lies daily.

As it stands, "Lawyers spend a great deal of their time shoveling smoke." - Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Step Aside Crocodile Dundee: This Bad Ass Aussie Bit a 10-Foot Crocodile's Eyelid and Lived to Talk About It

For those of you have not seen the movie Crocodile Dundee the movie is about a bad ass Aussie who carries a giant bowie knife around to pick his teeth with.

The movie character had no problem wrestling with crocodiles that ranged from 10 to 20 feet long. 

Step aside Crocodile Dundee and meet Australian cattle farmer Colin Deveraux who survived a crocodile attack after biting the huge predator on the eyelid.

Needless to say, this is better than a man bites dog story, so I just had to share it.

Setting the Scene

One day Colin was working his way along the Finniss River in the Northern Territory when he stopped to check a billabong, an Australian term for a pond left when a river recedes.

Seeing some fish in there he decided to catch some, before realizing that there was something else in the water and he turned to leave.

Well 65-year-old Colin got a rude surprise which he described to ABC News; 

"I took two steps and the dirty bastard latched onto my right foot. It was a big grab...he shook me like a rag doll, and he took off back into the water about 10-feet pulling me along," he explained. 

The tough old Aussie recounted how he kicked the crocodile and then fell over with his head near the crocodile's head before trying to bite it.

Somehow Colin managed to get a hold on the crocodile's eyelid, which he later described as "pretty thick, like holding onto leather."

Out of sheer desperation Colin jerked back on the eyelid and the beast let go of him allowing the plucky Aussie to roll over and run away.

Now that my friend is bad ass.

After stopping the bleeding with some rope, he walked (!) to the hospital where he was told he had damage to his tendons and "two big slashes just about the full length of the foot."

Footnote on Australian Crocodiles

Known locally as salties, they can grow up to 20-feet long and weigh up to 2,200 pounds.

After spending a month in the hospital Colin declared himself a changed man, and now believes he shouldn't have gone that far into the billabong.

"I'm a changed man," he told reporters, "I'm going to change what I do!"

As it stands, I love that tough as nails persona that Australians have and their wry sense of humor.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Since When Does the Play 'Oklahoma' Contain Mature Adult Themes, Profane language, and Sexual Content?

Let's get this party started by pointing out that the play Oklahoma has been produced in high schools across the land for over 50 years.

Suddenly the longtime family-friendly musical written by the duo Rodgers and Hammerstein is pornographic according to a school district in Texas (where else?).

What led to this misrepresentation?

A high school in Sherman, Texas abruptly stopped the production of the musical Oklahoma and forced a transgender theatre male student out of the lead role.

The Sherman Independent School District didn't stop there. 

They also went on to say the student produced play contained mature adult themes, profane language, and sexual content and needed to be entirely reviewed by the board and was postponed from Dec.8-10 to sometime after January 15, 2024.

Excuse me. The musical that has been delighting families since the early 1960s is now suddenly a porn show! I don't think so. 

What I do think happened is that when the high school cast a transgender student for the lead, it set off alarm bells in the MAGA minds of district employees. What other explanation is there?

Anyone that knows anything about the history of the theatre is aware that men have been portraying women, and vice versa since ancient Greece. That fact didn't faze the haters in the district who declared that the sex of the role as identified in the script will be used when casting.

By the way, who brought those pornographic allegations about the musical to the attention of the school board? It wouldn't surprise me if it was the extremist group Moms for Liberty who are known for banning school and library books and disenfranchising LGBTQ students by taking their rights away.

Perhaps the most troubling aspect to this story is how a school district is putting out lies to justify their bigoted decision to halt the production and take it out of student hands.

As it stands, this is just another case of conservative extremists attempting to alter reality by using whatever powers they have as officials.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

The Senate Has Finally Had Enough of Tuberville's Antics

After viewing a video of Sen. Tommy Tuberville exiting a plane on his butt as he slid down the stairs, it struck me that this fool was endangering our national security by holding up promotions for all the branches of our military.

His five-month blockade of promotions has already caused his home state of Alabama an opportunity to be the new headquarters of America's Space Command. Colorado was awarded the contract instead.

Basically, Tuberville so alienated American military personnel that they were unwilling to go to bat for his state and stuck with the original plan of Colorado. 

That should be no surprise because Alabama's senior senator was being a jerk to the very people, he needed to side with him. According to the Associated Press it was General James Dickinson, the Head of Space Command, who persuaded the president that Colorado was the best choice.

Apparently, senators have finally had enough of the man who never went into the military but was blocking military promotions. Last week the Senate agreed to move forward on a measure to marginalize the Republican senator.

The Senate Rules Committee is crafting a solution that Republicans can support. It would establish "a standing order for the remainer of the 118th Congress to provide for the en bloc consideration of military nominations with the exceptions of nominees to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and commanders of a combatant command - favorably reported by the Armed Services Committee."

What gets me is the Senate rules have long been broken by allowing a single person to stage a filibuster protest. This attempt to bypass Tuberville should have happened five months ago when he first threw a tantrum and threatened our national security.

The good news is that, for once, senators are admitting that something was broken and are going to do something about it. The vote will happen on November 14th.

As it stands, let's hope that they succeed by getting enough votes to stop Tuberville's obstruction of our military force's readiness.

Monday, November 6, 2023

You Want Crazy? How About Florida Taxpayers Funding Trump's Legal Defense Against Criminal Indictments

Regular readers may be saying today, "Hey Dave, you just wrote about taxpayers being ripped off to pay congressional felon's pensions. What's up with the tax stories?"

For starters, I'm not having a senior moment if that's what some people think. The misuse of taxpayer's money has been in the news a lot recently. I'm a taxpayer and these stories piss me off.

If you thought my post about rewarding congressional convicted criminals was shocking, I've got another tax tale that will curl your toes.

It's common knowledge that Florida is controlled by corrupt Republican lawmakers. Gov. DeSantis and his cronies have been carrying on a crusade against abortions, wokism, and the LGBTQ community.

Now we have Florida's chief financial officer, Jimmy Patronis, advocating for taxpayers to pay Trump's legal fees!

Speaking at the Florida Republican Party's Freedom Summit on Saturday, Patronis suggested setting up a legal defense fund to help any Florida presidential candidate "targeted by politically motivated prosecutors."

In other words, Trump.

Patronis claimed it would fix what he called the "double standard of justice" that Trump is facing. Both Trump and DeSantis attended the summit.

The responses on X, formerly Twitter, made it clear that Floridians think the idea is crazy.

"The CFO of Florida just proposed using state money (taxpayer funds) to help pay Donald Trump's legal bills," one person wrote on the platform. "A man who collected millions of dollars from donors and claims to be a billionaire. Instead of paying teachers, fixing infrastructure, etc. our CFO says Trump deserves the tax dollars!"

Another annoyed commentor wrote, "Perhaps Florida CFO should concern himself with his job responsibilities, since our insurance premiums are the highest in the country, and it's driving folks out of their homes." 

What we have here is a new twist in Trump's grifting technique - now he's getting lawmakers and government officials to pay his legal fees by using taxpayer money. 

I don't believe for a moment that Patronis woke up one day and was personally inspired to bring up this crazy idea. One can only guess what Trump offered him.

As it stands, I hate seeing the average American taxpayer constantly getting ripped off by crooked lawmakers. Exhibit one; the rich don't pay taxes and if they do it's less than me and you.

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Taxpayers Are Funding Criminal Lawmakers Pensions

Believe it or not, you are paying former federal lawmakers pensions even though they were convicted of crimes while in office.

Pensions for congressional felons have cost taxpayers about $3.7 million between 2007 and 2022, according to research from the nonpartisan taxpayer research organization, the National Taxpayers Union Foundation.

The reason why is a series of loopholes that have been protecting congressman despite being convicted of committing wire fraud, tax evasion, money laundering, sexual abuse, and child pornography.

Not a single former federal lawmaker who has applied for retirement benefits has ever lost their taxpayer-funded congressional pension, according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

* Since 1980, more than two dozen members of Congress have been indicted for such crimes, some spending years in prison, but they all got their pensions.

*The first legislation to restrict some government officials from collecting their pensions was the Hiss Act in 1954.

It was designed to take away pensions from government officials convicted of national security crimes such as treason, espionage and sabotage, or who pleaded the Fifth Amendment to avoid testifying in such cases.

The legislation was named after State Department official Alger Hiss after he was convicted of perjury for denying he conducted espionage for the Soviet Union.

The bottom line is his revoked pension was reinstated in 1972 as it was declared unconstitutional for the law to be applied retroactively.

Since then, lawyers have continued to take advantage of the loopholes still infused into the system to get their criminally indicted clients their pensions.

The latest example is Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) who has served 17 years in the Senate. He faces up to 50 years in federal prison across four charges related to acting as a foreign agent of Egypt and taking bribes while serving as a public official.

Because of the aforementioned legal loopholes, he could still get his pension of about $70,000 per year if convicted of any or all the charges.

Pardons equal Pensions

When Trump was president he pardoned several congressional felons, including former Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ) who was found guilty of 17 counts of wire fraud, conspiracy, extortion, racketeering and money laundering.

Other Lawmakers pardoned by Trump:

* Former Rep. Mark D. Siljander (R-MI) who pled guilty to obstruction of justice and money laundering.

* Former Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) who pled guilty of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and making false statements to law enforcement officials.

* Rep. Duncan D. Hunter (R-CA) who pled guilty to a count of conspiracy to steal campaign funds.

The good news is there has been steps taken to right this terrible wrong. The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act and Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act are the latest legislation to outline the circumstances that would strip congressional felons of their pensions.

It's worth noting that only certain crimes strictly related to their congressional duties would lead to pension disqualifications.

And that's a problem!

In essence they have a list of crimes they'll go after but are letting the rest of the possible crimes slide.

As it stands, this is just another example of why Americans have lost faith in Congress.

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...