Tag Archives: ACORN

‘IRSgate’ is just yet another pathetic right-wing pseudo-scandal

“Benghazigate” is on life support, so, thankfully for the Repugnican Tea Party traitors who can’t win presidential elections anymore, there’s a new “scandal.” Reports the Associated Press today:

Washington — Republicans said [today] that the Internal Revenue Service’s heightened scrutiny of conservative political groups was “chilling” and further eroded public trust in government.

Lawmakers said President Barack Obama personally should apologize for targeting tea party organizations and they challenged the tax agency’s blaming of low-level workers. [Emphasis mine. Note that long before any actual fair investigation has been done, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors already have convicted President Barack Obama of wrongdoing.]

“I just don’t buy that this was a couple of rogue IRS employees,” said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. “After all, groups with ‘progressive’ in their names were not targeted similarly.”

If it were just a small number of employees, she said, “then you would think that the high-level IRS supervisors would have rushed to make this public, fired the employees involved, apologized to the American people and informed Congress. None of that happened in a timely way.”

The IRS said Friday that it was sorry for what it called the “inappropriate” targeting of the conservative groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status. The agency blamed low-level employees, saying no high-level officials were aware.

But according to a draft of a watchdog’s report obtained [yesterday] by The Associated Press that seemingly contradicts public statements by the IRS commissioner, senior IRS officials knew agents were targeting tea party groups as early as 2011. …

Now, before I go on, let me inconveniently-for-the-right-wing remind you that the anti-Obama wingnuts in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2009 specially singled out the left-leaning, progressive group ACORN for defunding (and the spineless “Democrats” in D.C., not wanting to be deemed “guilty” by association with ACORN, let them).

ACORN in turn sued the U.S. government, correctly, in my book, calling the act of Congress a bill of attainder — “an act of a legislature declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime and punishing them without privilege of a judicial trial,” per Wikipedia — but ultimately, per Wikipedia, in 2010 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in a ruling on the matter “cited a study finding that only 10 percent of ACORN’s funding came from federal sources and stated, ‘We doubt that the direct consequences of the appropriations laws temporarily precluding ACORN from federal funds were so disproportionately severe or so inappropriate as to constitute punishment.'”

Wow. I didn’t know that whether or not something is a bill of attainder has to do with the percentage of government funding that’s involved in the matter, but, in any event, that relatively small percentage of federal funding shows you what “ACORNgate” actually was all about: attacking the organization that, according to the right-wing conspiracy theorists, had stolen the 2008 election for Barack Obama, who, like the employees of ACORN were, once had been a community organizer.

(While voter registration fraud apparently was committed by some ACORN workers who were paid per voter registration — a reason why voter registration never should be linked to payment, in my opinion — only the casting of fraudulent votes, not fraudulent voter registration, ever could affect the outcome of an election. Duh.)

In terms of whether or not the Congress punished ACORN appropriately when it stripped ACORN of its federal funds, here is what Wikipedia reports of the actual criminal investigations of ACORN (the wingnuts in Congress, of course, were not interested in a fair investigation, but in scoring a political “victory” over Obama and his supporters):

On December 7, 2009, the former Massachusetts attorney general, after an independent internal investigation of ACORN, found the [“undercover”] videos [made by a right-wing punk and convicted criminal] that had been released appeared to have been edited, “in some cases substantially.” He found no evidence of criminal conduct by ACORN employees, but concluded that ACORN had poor management practices that contributed to unprofessional actions by a number of its low-level employees.

On March 1, 2010, the District Attorney’s office for Brooklyn determined that the videos were “heavily edited” and concluded that there was no criminal wrongdoing by the ACORN staff in the videos from the Brooklyn ACORN office.

On April 1, 2010, an investigation by the California Attorney General found the videos from Los Angeles, San Diego and San Bernardino to be “heavily edited,” and the investigation did not find evidence of criminal conduct on the part of ACORN employees.

On June 14, 2010, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its findings which showed that ACORN evidenced no sign that it, or any of its related organizations, mishandled any federal money they had received.

But by then, of course, it was too late. The right wing already had destroyed ACORN, which apparently disbanded primarily because it so successfully had been smeared, not because it needed the federal funding so much. The right wing had had no interest in whether or not ACORN actually was guilty as charged. The right wing had interest only in destroying an organization that stood in effigy of Barack Obama.

(And Obama, being the political reptile that he is, just like he didn’t defend the Rev. Jeremiah Wright or Shirley Sherrod or Van Jones from race-based, right-wing attacks, didn’t defend ACORN, because he never has wanted to be associated with the “bad,” “radical” black Americans who frighten! white Americans.)

The case of ACORN is a perfect example of representatives of the U.S. government singling out an organization for destruction out of purely political motives. Apparently this is perfectly A-OK if it’s a left-leaning/progressive organization that is unfairly targeted for destruction, but it’s an abomifuckingnation (or should I say Obamifuckingnation?) if a right-leaning organization ever is so targeted.

So back to “IRSgate.”

The Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ charge, apparently, is that Barack Obama, or at the very least someone very close to him (with his full knowledge and approval, of course), had the Internal Revenue Service unfairly single out “tea party” groups for heightened scrutiny in an attempt to at least harm, if not destroy, those groups.

I don’t see the need to stretch this out like I usually stretch shit out. This seems pretty simple to me:

The “tea party” groups have made their feelings about having to pay any taxes to the federal government quite well known. The “tea” in “tea party,” recall, is supposed to mean “taxed enough already,” ha ha ha.

So — as opposed to other political and supposedly non-political and actually non-political groups, you have some groups that quite publicly have stated that their opposition to the federal government’s collection of federal taxes is one of their chief reasons for even existing.

So — would it really be a shock that the IRS would take more interest in these anti-federal-tax groups than it would take in other groups?

Really?

Would it be a shock that the young man wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with a large marijuana leaf might attract more attention from the narcotics cop than would others in the crowd?

I’m shocked that I have yet to see any “coverage” of “IRSgate” that points out that duh, of course an anti-tax group might get heightened scrutiny from the nation’s tax collectors.

Slate.com’s David Weigel points out what should be two other fairly obvious reasons why the “tea party” groups might get heightened scrutiny from the IRS:

One: Tea Party groups flowered quickly [indeed, they fairly exploded overnight], and in situations like that you want to see where the money went. Two: As Ezra Klein explains, the rules governing non-profits are increasingly ill-suited to the reality of non-profits. The secrecy accorded to 501(c)4s has made them incredibly attractive for people who want to stack money away without having to disclose their donors.

All of this pesky logic and reason and facts and reality aside, what needs to happen in “IRSgate” (or whatever “-gate” we’re calling this one) is exactly that which did not happen in “ACORNgate”: The facts need to be examined very carefully and methodically, and it needs to be determined, very carefully, whether or not anyone within the IRS violated any actual laws or rules or regulations regarding the work that the IRS does.

If IF — any laws or rules or regulations were violated, the violators need to be dealt with in a fair manner. (No, they probably don’t need to be shot or hanged, as the “tea party” dipshits might recommend as the appropriate punishment.) And the IRS would need to make the necessary changes to prevent any future such violations.

And the right wing won’t shut up, of course, until and unless it is determined how far up the chain of command any decision to single out “tea party” groups for any actually illegal heightened scrutiny by the IRS went. (I don’t use the term “improper heightened security” because “improper,” of course, is an opinion, and, of course, most “tea party” dipshits probably would view any scrutiny of “tea party” groups by the IRS to be “improper.”)

But, of course, the right wing won’t ever actually shut the fuck up about “IRSgate.”

Just as no facts or actual investigation was going to change their minds about ACORN, they’ve already written their “IRSgate” narrative with their troglodytic chisels in stone: Barack Obama had the IRS crack down on “tea party” groups in a blatant attempt to crush his political opponents.

The only question now, it seems to me, is whether or not the rest of us are just going to allow the Repugnican Tea Party traitors to get away with this one, just like they got away with their ACORN bullshit.

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E-mails worse than anything James O’Keefe has ‘uncovered’

Wingnutty “crusader” James O’Keefe — you know, the brave pimp and the (would-be) slayer of ACORN and NPRhas to misrepresent himself, or have his hos misrepresent themselves, in order to “expose” the “dirty truths” about the left/“left.” (And creative video editing, a la Andrew Breitbart, helps an awful lot, too.)

But e-mails, unlike the likes of Breitbart and O’Keefe, don’t lie.

And we have plenty of e-mails that expose the blatant dishonesty — and the incredible stupidity — of the operatives on the right.

Reports The Associated Press this week:

Everything from taking away computers to denying a year of service in the state retirement system was considered to punish the 14 Wisconsin [state Senate] Democrats who fled to Illinois for three weeks to block passage of a bill taking away union bargaining rights, newly released e-mails show.

Members of Republican [Wisconsin state] Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald’s staff bounced ideas off one another and the Legislature’s attorneys for days about how to penalize the [state] Senate Democrats for [having left the state] and pressure them to return, according to records released Wednesday by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

The watchdog group obtained the e-mails from Fitzgerald’s office under Wisconsin’s open records law.

The e-mails show Fitzgerald’s staff members were as worried about the public relations campaign as they were actually figuring out a way to get the Democrats to come back.

“I would just be somewhat cautious in whatever we do so that it doesn’t end up creating sympathy for the Dems,” Tad Ottman, a Fitzgerald aide, wrote to his chief of staff John Hogan on Feb. 20. “The more directly we can tie whatever action we take to what they are doing the better it will be.” …

The e-mails show there was a lot of discussion with legislative attorneys about how to legally impose fines on the missing senators and other steps that could be taken against them and their staff.

“I say we not only make it hurt for them, we have to make it hurt for their staff as well,” [Fitzgerald legislative aide Rob] Richard wrote on Feb. 20.

One idea Ottman suggested in a Feb. 20 email was cutting the size of each Democratic senator’s staff by one person “since one person from each of their office is failing to show up for work (the Senator).”

That idea and several others, like reducing or taking away per diem payments and denying a year’s service in the retirement system, were not pursued. Richard pointed out in the same Feb. 20 email that taking away a year of retirement service likely would engender a court fight. …

Indeed, the rhetoric that came from the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Wisconsin was centered on the allegation that the absconded 14 Democratic state senators weren’t doing their jobs (except that they were — they were protecting their constituents’ best interests instead of Big Business’ best interests), when, in fact, as usual, the Repugnican Tea Party’s traitors’ motivation was petty, vindictive partisanship.

And clearly the Repugnican Tea Party traitors aren’t bothered by what is unethical or illegal — as long as they get away with it. Fitzgerald himself indicated that having attempted to have the 14 Democratic state senators arrested “would have been a public-relations nightmare” — he did not express his concern, from what I can see, that such an action would have been an illegal abuse of power.

And in the infamous recorded telephone conversation between billionaire pimp “David Koch” and Koch whore Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker last month, Repugnican Tea Party traitor Walker stated that he and his henchmen had considered planting fake protesters among the legitimate protesters who had thronged the state’s Capitol.

Apparently, what dissuades Walker & Co. from committing dishonest (and even illegal) shit like this is not the inherent immorality (or even illegality) of it, but is the political blowback that might occur if the plot is exposed.

And the Repugnican Tea Party is supposed to be all about moral values.

Speaking of which, the contents of this e-mail, written to “Dead Man” Walker, trumps all of the others:

“If you could employ an associate who pretends to be sympathetic to the unions’ cause to physically attack you (or even use a firearm against you), you could discredit the public unions. … Employing a false flag operation would assist in undercutting any support that the media may be creating in favor of the unions.”

That juicy e-mail was signed off thusly: “God bless, Carlos F. Lam.”

Carlos F. Lam is — or, rather, was — a deputy prosecutor for Johnson County in Indiana. Lam resigned after his unethical (if not illegal) e-mail to Walker was revealed, apparently by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

Think about this: a prosecutor, one who prosecutes others for their (alleged) wrongdoings, himself suggested that a governor stage a fake attack (maybe even take a bullet???) for political gain. (It was right-wing geniuses, after all, who came up with the Reichstag fire…)

And the prosecutor ends his e-mail with “God bless,” as though the God he claims to believe in actually would endorse such a plan.

This is what we’re up against:

While a fundraiser for NPR just states obvious (if politically incorrect) truths about the right-wing nutjobs, which gains the scalp of the head of NPR for the wingnuts, a fucking Repugnican Tea Party governor and prosecutor are on the record as having at least considered planting fake protesters in Wisconsin in order to harm their political opposition — perhaps even employing a firearm.

The prosecutor no longer has his job. The governor should no longer have his.

The gubernatorial recall process in Wisconsin should take care of this, but in the meantime, those of us who are true patriots — who believe in the best interests of the majority of the people over the interests of the rich and the super-rich few, and who believe in acting ethically, morally and legally — have to remain vigilant.

We have to remain vigilant because the desperate members of the right wing, who are losing political power in a rapidly changing nation (and world) whose demographic shifts don’t favor them, have demonstrated amply that they will do just about anything to hold on to the political power that they historically are so accustomed to having.*

*The blatantly stolen presidential election of 2000 and the probably-stolen presidential election of 2004 probably are the largest, most glaring examples of this fact. 

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MUCH worse than ACORN

Remember the whipped-up ACORN “scandal”?

Wingnuts accused ACORN — the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now — of election fraud when some paid ACORN organizers apparently submitted falsified voter registration cards in order to give the appearance that they’d registered more voters than they actually had.*

Of course, these non-existent voters never actually were going to cast a ballot and skew any election results — as they were non-existent, and non-existent people cannot vote.

But in backasswards Arizona, the South Africa of the Southwest, Steve May, a Log Cabin Repugnican who is a candidate for Arizona’s Legislature, has recruited homeless people to run for elected office on the Green Party ticket in order to siphon votes away from Democratic candidates and thus to help Repugnican candidates.

That is election fraud.

A Green Party spokesman in Phoenix, Erik Anderson, said of May’s ballot recruits: “We are actively opposing them. We’re encouraging all Green Party voters not to vote for them. We don’t know them.”

May, whom I used to kind of admire for having come out of the closet, even though he’s a fucking Repugnican and a (former?) Mormon in Arizona, has revealed himself to be nothing but a common Repugnican piece of slime.

Maybe Steve May and former BushCheneyCorp “re”-election campaign manager and former Repugnican Party head Ken Mehlman, who finally came out recently, can fucking marry each other in one of the few states that have same-sex marriage despite Mehlman’s and May’s support of the party of haters that always has shit and pissed upon gay men and lesbians and other non-gender-conforming people.

As a member of the Repugnican Party and a Repugnican Party candidate for office, May has no legitimate reason to recruit anyone to run for office under the Green Party ticket or any other party’s ticket with the glaringly obvious intent of helping his own party at the polls.

Why would a Repugnican recruit others to run on another party’s ticket unless malfeasance were involved?

Arizona’s Green Party has petitioned a federal judge to have the fraudulent candidates removed from the state’s ballots. I hope that the state’s Green Party succeeds. (And I will note that federal intervention is critical in red states like Arizona, which are all about violating civil rights and allowing election fraud that benefits the Repugnican Tea Party. That’s why the red states scream about “states’ rights”: so that they can get away with murder, sometimes literally.)

And I sincerely hope that Steve May, who has acted in bad faith with the intent of aiding his own political party at the polls through blatant misrepresentation and through the cynical bastardization of the democratic process, has broken the law and that he is prosecuted for it to the fullest extent of the law. And I hope that he fucking loses his campaign, too.

Steve May not only makes gay men look bad and not only has attacked the party that I belong to (the Green Party), but he belongs behind bars along with Arizona’s corrupt Repugnican governor, Jan “What’s My Name?” Brewer, the white supremacist Wicked Witch of the Southwest.

*ACORN’s biggest crime, of course, is that it helped so many poor black people. We know from Hurricane Katrina where the Repugnican Tea Party stands on that.

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Assorted shit

I don’t fucking trust that British Fucking Petroleum has fucking plugged the fucking hole in the fucking Gulf of Mexico

Really, need I say more about today’s “good news”?

Minority advocacy groups aren’t inherently “racist”

Now that the wingnutty white supremacists don’t have ACORN to kick around anymore, they’re targeting other groups that advocate for black Americans, such as the NAACP.

These black-advocacy groups are “racist,” the “tea-partying” dipshits allege.

The “tea party” is almost all white, yet its members claim that they’re not racist.

No!

They are all about “freedom” and “liberty” and “democracy” and “small government” and puppies and kittens and butterflies and cotton candy and…

(I was having this discussion with a conservative co-worker of mine today and at least twice I very apparently Freudianly referred to the “tea party” as the “white party.”)

You can’t compare such groups as the NAACP or the National Council of La Raza and the “tea party.” Such groups as the NAACP and La Raza, first of all, are comprised of historically oppressed minorities. Each word there is important:

Historically.

Oppressed.

Minorities.

The “tea party,” in contrast, is comprised of the historically oppressive majority. Again:

Historically.

Oppressive.

Majority.

Apples.

Oranges.

Even if there are plenty of blacks and other racial minorities who hate whitey (and whitey has given them plenty of cause), the sociopolitical fact is that, although the white demographic is shrinking (thank Goddess), the white race still has the most sociopolitical power in the United States of America.

But that’s not enough for the white supremacists and the members of the white party — er, the “tea party.”

They want all of the power.

They’d love nothing more to put all of the minority-advocacy organizations out of business. They’d do that by any means they could, such as by repeating their bullshit, slanderous allegation that for a historically oppressed minority group to stand up for its own interests constitutes “reverse racism” or some other form of hatred.

An individual Anglo can be victimized, of course, as can any individual. But Anglos, as a group, hardly are victims.

It isn’t about race in and of itself that racial minority advocacy groups exist. They exist to counteract an historical gross power imbalance, and to gain more sociopolitical power by acting together, instead of being divided and conquered, which is what the “tea-party” dipshits and their ilk want to happen to all of the historically oppressed minority groups.  

In a similar vein, I’ve supported the Human Rights Campaign, the largest advocacy group for non-heterosexuals in the U.S., not because I hate heterosexuals, but because we non-heterosexuals have to work hard at balancing the scales of sociopolitical power and because I want to make conditions for those non-heterosexuals who come after me to be better than they were for me.

As far as the “tea-party” dipshits are concerned, those of us Americans who abhor gross injustice and unfairness have the patriotic duty to stand up against them when we see them — just as we did during the Civil War era.

The Devil told me to finally write about Sharron Angle

Sharron Angle

Associated Press photo

“Tea-party”/Repugnican U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle (shown above in Las Vegas last month) compares her time as a Nevada state legislator to Moses’ and Jesus Christ’s “preparatory time.” You know: Moses, Jesus — Sharron Angle. The lineage that God intended!

Sharron Angle, the Repugnican/“tea-party” candidate for the U.S. Senate in Nevada, says, in effect, that God is her campaign manager. Well, at least God has wanted her to run for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Democratic Sen. Harry Reid, she says.

That’s a fascinating claim. If God wants one candidate to win, then clearly He wants the other one to lose, right? So if you want to win an election, you just be the first candidate to claim God’s endorsement, right?

And how can anyone argue that God doesn’t support you over your obviously satanic opponent? Where’s his or her proof?

It’s a beautiful strategy — uh, one that might win.

Never misunderestimate the power of the dumbfuck vote. (Three names: Jesse Ventura. George W. Bush. Arnold Schwarzenegger.)

A writer for Salon.com makes an interesting argument that Angle’s victory or loss against Reid in November might be a factor in whether or not her fellow “tea-party” pea in a pod Sarah Palin-Quayle will emerge as the Repugnican Party’s presidential nominatee in 2012. It’s worth reading.

The Associated Press notes that “Angle, a Southern Baptist, has called herself a faith-based politician who prays daily. Among her positions, she opposes abortion in all circumstances, including rape and incest.”

For all of Angle’s supposed good Christian and family (and “pro-life”) values, chillingly, she has spoken repeatedly of the deployment of “Second-Amendment remedies” should she and her ilk not succeed at the ballot box in transforming the United States of America into what the “tea party” wants it to be — a “Christian” version of the Taliban.

Rachel Maddow covered this Angle angle a while ago, but it’s worth watching if you aren’t already aware of what a dangerous lunatic Sharron “Second Amendment” Angle is.

Sharron Angle makes Harry Reid look damned good — and that’s pretty bad.

Please cry for me, Argentina

Argentina has legalized same-sex marriage.

Argentina.

Here in the United States of America, the so-called “land of the free,” we have legalized same-sex marriage in only a handful of states because of the death grip that the theocratic “Christo”fascists have on our democracy.

In my home state of California, we had legalized same-sex marriage briefly after the Repugnican-dominated California Supreme Court ruled that to prohibit same-sex marriage violates the rights guaranteed to Californians by the California Constitution.

Then, the Mormon cult and the Catholick church poured millions of dollars into a last-minute campaign of lies and smears to get the anti-same-sex-marriage Proposition 8 passed in November 2008, 52 percent to 48 percent. (Prop Hate altered the state’s Constitution itself, thus overriding the state’s Supreme Court’s decision.)

For all of the wingnuts’ blather about freedom, if I wanted to marry my boyfriend of nearly three years, I’d have to marry him in another state or in another fucking country. Like Argentina.

It’s long been my belief that Latin America, which is rapidly democratizing now that the United States has been too busy meddling in the Middle East instead of in Latin America for the past several years, is our best hope here in the U.S. for true democracy, freedom and opportunity for all.*

I hope that that democratic socialist spirit spreads here — sooner rather than later.

*Admittedly, we need to keep an eye on Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, who, while I still love him, and who I hope maintains democratic socialist control of Venezuela, which is better for the people than is exploitation by greedy capitalist swine, seems to have been going a bit overboard as of late

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Scary: Our highest elected officials don’t know the U.S. Constitution and/or just don’t give a flying fuck

When the U.S. Congress wrote into legislation to strip ACORN of its funding, and President Barack Obama signed the legislation* — because the self-serving, disloyal, uber-slippery Obama has a history of throwing his former supporters under the bus whenever they come under fire from the wingnuts — I knew that something wasn’t right. You don’t just single out a single entity like that for political expediency.

I’m no lawyer, but apparently I was right.

The Associated Press reported yesterday:

New York – The U.S. government’s move this fall to cut off funding to ACORN was unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled Friday, handing the embattled group a legal victory.

U.S. District Judge Nina Gershon issued the preliminary injunction against the government, saying it’s in the public’s interest for the organization to continue receiving federal funding.

ACORN claimed in its lawsuit that Congress’ decision to cut off its funding was unconstitutional because it punitively targeted an individual organization.

Gershon said in her ruling that ACORN had raised a “fundamental issue of separation of powers. They have been singled out by Congress for punishment that directly and immediately affects their ability to continue to obtain federal funding, in the absence of any judicial, or even administrative, process adjudicating guilt.”

Bill Quigley, the legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which brought the lawsuit on behalf of ACORN and two affiliates, said the decision sends a sharp message to Congress that it can’t single out an individual or organization without due process.

“It’s a resounding victory for ACORN,” he said. “I’d be surprised if the government decides to appeal.”

ACORN, or the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, describes itself as an advocate for low-income and minority homebuyers and residents in communities served by its offices around the country….

The law that halted ACORN’s federal funding took effect Oct. 1 and was extended Oct. 31. It was set to either expire or be extended again on Dec. 18.

ACORN’s lawsuit was filed in federal court in Brooklyn and sought reinstatement of the funds. Quigley said millions of dollars in funds should begin to flow again to ACORN next week. The judge said the “public will not suffer harm by allowing the plaintiffs to continue work on contracts duly awarded by federal agencies.” …

I have had concerns with ACORN myself, as I have written. But that a person or entity is entitled to due fucking process before being punished and that there shall be no bill of attainder — these are basic fucking U.S. constitutional principles.

I’m no fan of Ron Paul, who is a homophobic wingnut posing as a centrist or moderate, but according to a website supporting him, more than a third of the members of the U.S. House of Representatives are lawyers, and more than half of the members of the U.S. Senate are lawyers. According to Wikipedia, Barack Obama “taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004.”

How can so many supposedly educated lawyers get it so fucking wrong on such basic fucking constitutional principles? Are they that fucking incompetent or do they just not give a flying fuck? Or both? Yes, I include our illustrious Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning new “war” president in that non-rhetorical question.

It’s funny, because there is the supposition that the highest elected officials of our land know what the fuck they’re doing.

But they don’t. And/or they just don’t fucking care.

And that’s fucking scary for our national security. It threatens our freedom and our well-being that the political scandal or political flavor du jour can override what are supposed to be the bedrock principles of the U.S. Constitution.

And it makes you wonder what else our “leaders” in Washington get wrong, in what other ways they routinely rape the U.S. Constitution**, which apparently is just an ancient document on display in D.C.

*Notes Wikipedia:

In 2009, in light of various scandals, a number of Democrats who once advertised their connections to ACORN began to distance themselves, as Republicans began to use ACORN to portray Democrats as corrupt. In light of the controversies, the United States House and Senate, by wide margins, attached amendments to pending spending legislation that would temporarily prohibit the federal government from funding ACORN, or any agency that had been involved in similar scandals — including money authorized by previous legislation. President Obama signed the bill into law on October 1.

ACORN sued the United States Government in the United States District Court in Brooklyn over the measure, known as the “Defund ACORN Act,” claiming it was a bill of attainder, and therefore unconstitutional….

**Such as by denying non-heterosexuals equal human and civil rights, and even allowing such equal human and civil rights for a specific historically oppressed minority group to be put up for a vote.

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My brush with ACORN, circa 2001

ACORN — the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now — is the community-organizing organization that the wingnuts love to hate. After all, President Barack Obama used to be a community organizer, and therefore community organizers must be demonized.

(Indeed, the McCainosaurus-Palin-Quayle ticket surreally demonized community organizers, because we all know that it’s the corporations that wuv us and it’s the community organizers who are the evil devils.)

I sought to work for the Sacramento branch of ACORN in 2001, I believe it was, maybe in 2000. Attracted by ACORN’s pro-labor, pro-poor mission, I thought that it would be great to be one of their community organizers.

However, when I looked into becoming one of ACORN’s community organizers, I was shocked to discover that ACORN, or at least the Sacramento branch of ACORN, required its community organizers to work six days a week, Monday through Saturday. And ACORN paid its community organizers a low annual salary that, when you did the math, didn’t amount to even minimum wage.

When I expressed to the Sacramento ACORN supervisor that I was shocked that the supposedly pro-labor ACORN would require its employees to work six days a week — it was the labor movement, after all, that got us the two-day weekend — and would pay them what amounted to less than minimum wage (minimum wage also was an achievement of the labor movement, I do believe), he told me that well, it was a “movement job.”

Um, yeah — a bowel movement job, as in a shit job.

So no wonder ACORN has been shrouded in scandal, with its community organizers accused of such things as falsifying voter registration cards. My guess is that they felt pressured to do so, since ACORN was giving them sub-subsistence pay.

The Associated Press reports that today the U.S. House of Representatives voted 345-75 to strip the scandal-ridden ACORN of all federal funds, and that the U.S. Senate on Monday voted 83-7 to deny ACORN funding.

However, the AP reports, “Speaker [of the House] Nancy Pelosi, in a conference call with reporters … pointed out that ACORN has many honest employees and was conducting an internal investigation, and that it was up to House-Senate negotiators to determine whether the provision to cut [ACORN’s] funding would be in the final version of the bill.”

Still, I glad that I refused to take that shit job with ACORN. All these years later, I seem to have been vindicated.

And it’s incredibly tragic — and criminal — that ACORN has tarnished the reputation of community organizing.

P.S. Reuters notes that since 1994, ACORN has received only about $53 million in federal funding, which, Salon.com’s War Room points out, is a teeny-tiny fraction of federal spending, even though the wingnuts won’t shut up about ACORN.

(Similarly, the “pork-barrel spending” that Repugnican John McCainosaurus wouldn’t shut up about also represents just a tiny fraction of overall federal spending, and certainly pales in comparison to the hundreds of billions of taxpayers’ dollars that have been squandered in Vietraq.)

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