Sunday, March 29, 2015

To New Orleans

matthew mcConaughey recently visited New Orleans and left this love letter to her:


Dear New Orleans
"First of all what a big, beautiful mess it is. Cheers to that.

I said this years ago. A friend of mine asked what is New Orleans like? I said New Orleans is like a giant flashing yellow light. Proceed with caution ... but proceed. It is not an overly ambitious place, and that's being complimentary. It has a great identity, and, therefore, it doesn't look outside itself for intrigue, evolution or labels of progress. People here are proud of their home. You're proud of your Crescent City. You know your flavor. You know it's your very own. And if people want to come taste it with you, you welcome them with open arms. But you do not solicit.

"The hours trickle by here. Tuesday and Saturday are more similar here than any other place I've ever been. The seasons slide into one another without any status quo. Yes, it is the Big Easy, home of the shortest hangover on the planet, where libation can greet you on Monday morning with the same smile as it did on Saturday night.

"OK, (it's) home of the front porch. I don't know if y'all recognize this: it's home of the front porch. Not the back porch. Everyone everywhere else has back porches. The back porch is something different. The front porch is an engineering feat that lends itself to the sense of so much community around here and fellowship. Private property and lines of demarcation all land across borders. Here you relax facing the street. You do not retreat into the seclusion and privacy of your backyard. No, you engage with the goings-on of the world that is in front of you. It's a great engineering feat that you've pulled off here. It really is.

"What's my alarm here? My alarm here is church bells, sirens and a slow-moving, $8-an-hour carpenter nailing windowpanes two doors down. That's a good alarm. Do not honk your horn in a traffic jam here.

"You do not sweat the misdemeanors, and, since everybody's getting away with something, the rest of us just want to be on the side of who's getting away with it. And if you CAN get away with it, good for you. You love to gamble. Rules are made to be broken, so do not preach about abiding. And, hey, if (they) don't get away with it, you're probably gonna let them slide anyway.

"Where else do the dead rest eye to eye with the living? New Orleans is a right-brained city. Do not come to town wearing your morals on your sleeve unless you want to get your arm burned. Yes, it's oil and vinegar, but somehow they mix. The poverty, the humidity, they both gracefully suppress all the rationale. And if you're crossing a one-way street, it is best to look both ways.

"Mother Nature rules around here. We all know that. (She's) the natural law queen who reigns supreme. She's a science to the animals, yet she's an overbearing and inconsiderate b---- to us bipedal humans. But here you forgive her and you forgive her quickly. You have to. You know any disdain for her wrath is going to reap more wrath, more bad luck, more voodoo and more karma, so you roll with it, ... actually you meander rather slowly forward taking it in stride and never sweating the details."

"See, the art is in the overgrowth here. Mother Nature wears the crown around here. Her royalty rules. And unlike in England, she has both influence AND power. And, like the most authentic European cities, you guys don't use vacuum cleaners to give structure to anything, you use brooms. You use rakes to manicure, because everything here lends it soft edges.

"Where it falls is often where it lays, the swerve around the pothole, the duck beneath the branch, the poverty, the murder rate, all of it is just how it is and how it came to be. Just like a good gumbo, the medley is in the mix.

"Thank you, New Orleans; thank you, Louisiana. Cheers."

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

More Wacko Politicians

Arkansas Senator Tom Cottonheld a town hall meeting in his district in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The meeting was organized primarily to discuss the Affordable Care Act, most specifically the mishaps with the websites governing the health insurance exchanges.

At one point, a constituent submitted a question mentioning that her insurance plan had been cancelled and she refuses to utilize the exchanges that Obama, who she calls a liar, set up.

Rather than telling her that she has an obligation for her own health to seek insurance, Cotton goaded her on, telling her that he himself wouldn’t use the exchange website because “Russian mobsters” may steal his identity.


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Ted Cruz:



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Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (via Daily Kos)

As Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed the so-called "right to work" bill on March 9, making Wisconsin the twenty-fifth right-to-work state in the country, labor advocates braced themselves for the stream of anti-worker bills that were almost certain to follow. Many assumed the first target would be Wisconsin's 1930s prevailing wage laws, which require that workers on public works projects be paid the established going rate for their labor, rather than allowing contractors to try to outbid each other by lowering workers' wages. Few, however, expected the legislative cluster bomb that is currently being referred to committee by a pair of Republicans: a bill to repeal the weekend.
(snip)

A similar version of this bill was introduced last year at the urging of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, the state's largest business organization. But the legislature was not able to vote on it before the end of the session. However, Representative Born's office was "optimistic" of the bill's chances in this session.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

WHO elects these crazies??

FromJezebel.com:

Republican State Representative Vito Barbieri from the state of Idaho thinks that a woman's vagina has some sort of direct passageway to her stomach because, I mean, how else does the pee come out?

This rather impressive display of anatomical ignorance (h/t Salon) came during a Idaho House State Affairs Committee hearing where the members heard testimony on a bill that "would ban doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing medication through telemedicine."

Our friend Vito asked Dr. Julie Madsen, who was testifying against the bill, if women could simply swallow a camera in order for doctors to perform remote gynecological exams. Madsen I assume chocked back cries of utter disdain and horror before explaining that "swallowed pills do not end up in the vagina."

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From RawStory.com:

vada state Assemblywoman Michele Fiore (R) plans to introduce a bill she said would provide more options for cancer patients — but actually relies on what medical experts call a myth, Think Progress reported.

“If you have cancer, which I believe is a fungus, and we can put a pic line into your body and we’re flushing with, say, salt water, sodium cardonate through that line and flushing out the fungus,” Fiore said on her radio show over the weekend. “These are some procedures that are not FDA-approved in America that are very inexpensive, cost-effective.”

As Ralston Reports noted, Fiore likely meant to say “sodium bicarbonate,” commonly known as baking soda.

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From Daily Kos

"Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) reportedly said at a town hall in his district last week that constituents should monitor purchases made with debit cards from Food Share, which is Wisconsin's name for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Grothman "told the people in attendance to keep an eye on the types of things people on Food Share buy at the grocery store," Oshkosh Northwestern Media reported Monday.
Because that's what poor Americans really need, to have the whole store looking over their shoulder when they're buying groceries, looking to see if there's anything there that Congressman Glenn Grothman needs to know about. Don't you think you should be buying generic-brand rice, not the fancy stuff? Do your kids really need romaine lettuce? What the hell's wrong with iceberg? A bag of chips? You. Monster.

Another Generation of Fans