When Florida lawmakers recently voted to ban all Internet cafes, they worded the bill so poorly that they effectively outlawed every computer in the state, according to a recent lawsuit. In April Florida Governor Rick Scott approved a ban on slot machines and Internet cafes after a charity tied to Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll was shut down on suspicion of being an Internet gambling front — forcing Carroll, who had consulted with the charity, to resign.
Florida’s 1,000 Internet cafes were shut down immediately, including Miami-Dade’s Incredible Investments, LLC, a café that provides online services to migrant workers, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The owner, Consuelo Zapata, is now suing the state after her legal team found that the ban was so hastily worded that it can be applied to any computer or device connected to the Internet, according to a copy of the complaint obtained by The Miami Herald.
If you’re looking for an example of what a Teapublican Paradise might look like, Texas is always a good place to start. Another entertaining option is Floriduh, where common sense and critical thinking, if they’re thought about at all, are seen as obstacles to achieving the idiocracy the Tea Party seems to so desperately want.
What other state could, in a knee-jerk reaction to the horrors of Internet gambling, ban any device that connects to da Interwebs? Yep, the same state that brought us Stand Your Ground is now evidently trying to legislate Floriduh back to the Stone Age…which in this case may not be all that far away. Perhaps scientific researchers and financial institutions can go back to using the abacus?
Becuase the law is so broadly and sloppily worded, ANY computer or smart phone is illegal in Floriduh, because they have the ability to connect to the Internet, where (GASP!!! WHAT ABOUT THE POOR< IMPRESSIONABLE CHILDREN???) gambling can take place. The hearts- if not the brains- of Floriduh’s legislators may have been in the right place, but this is what happens when you let the Tea Party run the show.
(More at What Would Jack Do?)
BTW, if you’re in Floriduh and you’re reading this, you’re breaking the law. Go ahead and run; I just gave you a head start. You can thank me later…when you’re in Georgia or Alabama.
Welcome to our New Idiocracy ©….
From tax policy to health care policy to actual lectures written to be delivered to women, to mandatory, unnecessary invasive procedures, Ohio’s Tea Party Republicans put together a wish list — with the worst provisions added at the last minute with no debate — that places new burdens on the state’s most vulnerable women. Like Republican legislatures in Florida, Wisconsin and Michigan, Ohio’s Republicans are refusing to acknowledge that President Obama won their state twice. Instead they’re relying on electoral maps redrawn after the 2010 GOP landslide in hopes that 2014 will be another low-turnout election to push an agenda fit for the nation’s reddest states.
A good deal of attention has (justifiably and understandably) been focused on the recent efforts of the Texas Legislature to turn a woman’s uterus into the property of the State. The idea that a woman should be able to control her own body has been ridiculed by authoritarian Conservatives for quite some time. Adolf Hitler echoed this philosophy in Mein Kampf, stating that one of the first things he would do upon taking power would be to do away with the silly idea that women should control their own bodies. (Yes, this post has been thoroughly Godwinized for your protection.)
Texas may have been sucking up the media spotlight, but it’s not the only state attempting to turn the clock back to the 11th century. In fact, Ohio’s legislative efforts are arguably even worse and more dismissive of women’s rights. Led by a cabal of Teapublicans consumed with a burning disdain for womens’ rights, Ohio has travelled far down the path to setting up their version of “small government” in the uterus of every woman of childbearing age in the Buckeye State.
(Read the full post at What Would Jack Do?)
[Today] we celebrate the birth of our nation. Land of the free and all that. Too bad as a nation we are still struggling with ‘minor’ things like allowing our citizens to vote. One would think that making sure all citizens can participate in the democratic process would be important. Alas it is not so. Quite the opposite actually.
Today is Independence Day, the holiday where we celebrate the declaration of our independence from England (I wonder how many Americans know even that much of our history?) On July 4th, we get to celebrate all of the wonderful things that make America unique: freedom, economic strength, democracy, etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum…wonderful things all. Before most of the nation gets caught up in our annual 24 hours of self-congratulations, I want to reflect on the whole picture…and as with the totality of anything, there’s the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The good is that we’re Americans, and we’re blessed to live in the greatest and (arguably the) freest country in the world. Yes, we have our problems, but if you doubt America’s greatness, just take a look at how many from around the world are desperately trying to get into our homeland. America is still the dream destination for most of the rest of the world. This may not be a perfect vision of Paradise, but if you’re on the outside looking in from places like Somalia or Iraq or [insert name of struggling Third World country here], it looks pretty damned good.
(Read the full post at What Would Jack Do?)
Texas Republican state senator Dan Patrick is not impressed by Wendy Davis. Despite Davis’ all day filibuster of an anti-choice bill, Patrick thinks he is the one that deserves the praise. Patrick, the sponsor of the bill, told Mike Huckabee…that he urged his fellow Republicans to break Senate tradition and stop the filibuster. He compared his action
to Jesus’ criticism of the Pharisees for placing too much importance on “laws and rules.” Patrick went on to encourage other senators to similarly cast off the law, asking, “Are we going to become the modern day Pharisees as Republicans of the Senate?”…. Patrick also criticized the crowd that turned out to support Davis, calling it an “organized mob” carrying out an attack on the government. He blamed their behavior on the fact that they were Democrats, because “a tea party would never do this.”
You might think that being a Texas Republican is easy. All you need is the ability to ignore facts, cling to an unshakeable belief in an Imaginary Friend, consider yourself superior to other, less enlightened mortals, and have no problem ranslating your narrow belief system into legislation that proscribes behavior you find “ungodly” and/or “icky.” Oh, it helps if you lack self-awareness, a conscience, and are willing to create a government small enough to set up a satellite office in a woman’s uterus.
You know the rest…
Reports from the arc of the angry Tea Party movement indicate that, yes indeed, there is a FEDERAL government and yes, it does provide a big payoff to be in one of the five states that comprise Tea Party Homeland. Each and every one of the states on the map receives back more from the federal government than it pays in taxes and other revenues (Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas). These states voted for Mitt Romney by big margins and contributed a healthy share of the Tea Party Republicans in Congress.
Now it’s time to pay the price for this type of negligence. Businesses and defense workers, schools and health programs, you name it, are going to feel the lash of the Tea Party madness. This isn’t your normal budget drama that gets resolved at the last minute. It’s the apogee of Tea Party anger and cynicism. Just look at the way the Senate handled the Hagel hearings. They treated their former colleague with utter contempt. Recall John McCain’s anger. He’s one of the more reasonable Republicans.
Utah governor Gary Herbert is not amused. In fact, he’s pretty pissed off at the mindless Frankenstein of the March 1 sequestration that will result in robo-cutting federal programs across the country. He estimates that Utah will lose $550 million in federal funding abruptly.
“Utah’s fundamentals are strong, as evidenced by continued state economic growth. Unemployment is down, wages are up and the local economy is growing, but nevertheless Washington, D.C., is having a chilling effect on our state’s recovery. We would be seeing even greater growth were it not for the backdrop of federal uncertainty and a fragile national economic recovery. Governor Gary Herbert’s Blog, Feb 25
This is a clear indication that nobody out there, regardless of party, in charge of running a state, county, or city government sides with the Tea Party extremists in their effort to fix everything right now – i.e., sequestration. Just imagine the phone calls from all of these officials, especially the Republicans. This may equal the call intensity from citizens in opposition to the first bailout (which was defeated). Read More
My morning newspaper Feb. 17 provided several depressing reports. I learned more about the spread of horsemeat in Europe’s human food supply. Subscribers read also about austerity measures in the United States that hurt the young, old, and those in between.
The downward developments are worth noting, especially because they contrast so much with the uplifting words and stagecraft of the president’s recent second-term Inaugural and State of the Union speeches.
Our normal topic in this space — injustice — is gloomy in its own way. Legal rights will seem increasingly like a luxury in hard times ahead, subject to new limits on freedom. Few will recall that due process and other legal rights are not a luxurious token of the nation’s success, but were a necessary precondition.
As for Europe, we now know that unwitting consumers there have been eating horsemeat. It’s cheap for the food processors and under-funded, lax regulators have not been careful about eliminating mystery meat from processed foods. Read More
by Cas Mudde
(Originally posted by openDemocracy, republished under a Creative Commons license)
What a difference two years make.After the congressional elections in November 2010, the Tea Party was the talk of the town. Both left-wing and right-wing media pundits declared “the” Tea Party to be the (only) winner, and all focus was on the right’s new stars such as Rand Paul in Kentucky and Marco Rubio in Florida. The new Republican Party kingmakers were Jim De Mint and Sarah Palin, support from whom was claimed to be essential for their fellow Republicans to get elected. It became obligatory to refer to the new legislature as “the Tea Party Congress”. The fact that only one-third of Tea Party-backed candidates had actually been elected was irrelevant. The Tea Party was the new story, and all experts knew that it was here to stay.
An aptly titled Fox News story – “After election victories, Tea Party activists look ahead to 2012” – speculated about the movement’s future. It seemed beyond debate that it was the newly dominant force in United States politics; the question was whether it was going to take over the Republican Party or create a third party. Within a month of the November 2010 elections the answer to that question became clear: helped by massive spending by “astroturf” organisations such as FreedomWorks, and led by members of the Grand Old Party establishment, the Tea Party was steadily integrated into the GOP. But who controlled who? Read More