Day: December 28, 2011

Federal Judge orders Sheriff Arpaio to stop arresting people simply because he thinks they are undocumented

Think Progress

Less than two weeks after the Department of Justice found widespread lawlessness and abuse of Latinos by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his deputies, an Arizona federal judge ordered Arpaio to end one of his most abusive practices — detaining and arresting people who have committed no crime merely because his office suspects them of being undocumented.

The court also certified this lawsuit against Arpaio as a class action, thereby empowering any Latino stopped or detained by Arpaio’s office since 2007 or at any point in the future to enforce the court order.

How to argue with right-wing relatives

It’s still the Holiday Season so family gatherings are happening as we speak.  This article will keep you from pulling your hair out when hearing your Uncle Harry regurgitate Rush Limbaugh, Fox News and Newsmax talking points on almost any issue:

Salon

Responding to common conservative talking points without losing your mind

There comes a time at most large family gatherings when a heated political argument breaks out. And by “heated political argument” what I mean is “someone just repeats something they heard on Hannity’s radio show that you know to be completely untrue.” You may be the lone liberal in a conservative family, or you may have one right-wing uncle in your left-wing family, but this will happen. What to do?

If you have a “smart phone,” just bookmark Snopes now. That’ll take care of the really weird stuff. (Well, not this level of weird, but “I read that airlines don’t pair Christian pilots and co-pilots in case The Rapture happens” weird.)

But a right-wing myth generally lives on forever, no many how many times it is debunked. You are powerless to prevent its spread. All you can do is perhaps convince one person that one talk radio meme is completely bogus. But you will probably have better luck simply changing the subject. (Suggestions: Whether or not Peyton Manning will be a Colt next season, “American Horror Story,” Jay-Z and Beyonce’s baby.)

If you insist on answering back, here are some suggestions.

Barack Obama’s illegal immigrant aunt is an illegal immigrant and so is his illegal immigrant uncle, and they must be deported.

First, the immigration status of Barack Obama’s aunt Zeituni Onyango (the half-sister of Obama’s father, from whom the president was estranged for much of his life) was leaked to the press just before the 2008 election. She eventually won asylum, because she is old and sick and Kenya has recently seen a rise in political violence. “Uncle Omar” is in the news because he was recently arrested for drunk driving, and it turns out he’s lived here since 1963 and been in violation of a deportation order since the early 1990s. Mitt Romney accidentally said he’d deport him, but then Romney sort of walked that back, because he’s Romney.

Just ask what exactly is moral or beneficial to American interests in sending an old woman who is related to the United States president to a nation where she could be a target of politically motivated violence. And whether or not an appropriate punishment for drunk driving is to be sent “back” to a foreign country that you haven’t lived in in half a century. Then add that these cases have nothing to do with the president beyond involving people he is distantly related to, because the White House has never sought special treatment for either of these people. Then ask your relative if they really want these two people to go have to live underSHARIAH LAW, because why not.

That probably won’t convince anyone so maybe now would be a good time to bring up your own family’s ethnic heritage, unless you all happen to be American Indians.

Food nazi Michelle Obama is forcing children to eat vegetables even though she herself is fat and enjoys hamburgers.

“Have you ever noticed that pretty much everyone with a creepy fixation on the first lady’s fitness is a fat old white guy?”

Excessive regulation/regulatory uncertainly is killing the recovery, that is why there are no jobs!

Look, you can print out some lame chart from Ezra Klein or memorize some “statistics” about Obama not issuing any more regulations than other presidents, but those won’t help, because numbers and charts lie about everything. This is basically just a stand-in for the entire incomprehensible right-wing narrative of the ongoing miserable economy. Your best bet is just to say that it’s criminal that no Wall Street executives went to jail for fraud (unless your familiarly includes lots of Wall Street executives, in which case my only advice is to steal the silver on your way out).

Barack Obama disrespected the U.K. by sending it the White House bust of Winston Churchill.

Sure, the “correct” answer is that presidents change the decor when they move into the White House, but I’d just say, “Winston Churchill was a raging racist drunk asshole,” because he was.

Barack Obama’s Christmas card is anti-Christmas.

Sarah Palin insinuated that the Obamas’ Christmas card — which features wrapped presents, poinsettias, garland and bows — is part of his secret Muslim plot to destroy Christmas, because the card featured Bo the dog rather than “family, faith and freedom.” I’m not sure what you say to this, actually, because at this point you’re dealing with a lunatic, but if there are Christmas cards from loved ones nearby, maybe go check and see how many of them explicitly feature “family, faith and freedom.”

Solyndra!

Solyndra was a solar company that got a loan guarantee from the government and then it went bankrupt. Conservatives say this means the government shouldn’t try to support things that it thinks are good ideas because the government is a lot worse at “picking winners and losers” than the private sector, which never loans money to companies that then go bankrupt. I dunno, the “scandal” here is pretty opaque. I’d recommend trying to get someone to explain, to you, what exactly happened that was so illegal or whatever. Basically, the review of this loan guarantee to this poorly managed solar company with political connections was rushed, and someone might have asked them not to lay everyone off until after the midterms, which is pretty stupid, but honestly much less stupid than spending $4 billion on subsidies for oil and gas.

Eric Holder must resign because of “Fast and Furious.”

“Fast and Furious” was such an epically stupid and awful idea that you shouldn’t bother trying to “defend” it (though if you care you could point out that there’s still no evidence that Eric Holder knew about it) — you should instead congratulate your relative on finally coming to his senses regarding the ridiculous counterproductive drug war. We can finally all agree that the government should find better things to do with our tax dollars!

The New Black Panther Party.

Tell your relatives that you have recently joined the New Black Panther Party. They will be too terrified to bring it up again!

The “Muslim Test” – How To Expose The Hypocrisy Of The Religious Right

The following piece by my favorite writer over at Addicting Info, , is an eye-opener for Liberals and Conservatives.

Addicting Info

[…] the Right has spun a truly fantastic yarn where they are an oppressed minority and Christianity is beset on all sides by those with evil intent. But there is a way to pierce this fabrication. I call it “The Muslim Test.”

[…]

So what is the Muslim Test? Simple! It is the fool proof method of revealing this Right Wing hypocrisy. As the last three years have made blindingly obvious, the average conservative has lost all sense of reality. They are so consumed by hatred of Muslims, they’ve jettisoned every shred of rationality. But how do you get through to people this crazed? Well, you really can’t. But what youcan do is force them to confront their lunacy and watch them howl at the moon in outrage. This provides a glimpse for neutral or undecided bystanders into the depths of Right Wing fanaticism while providing liberals with an amusing game to play with mentally unhinged people.

Here’s how the Muslim Test works: Take any conservative claim that they are being oppressed by evil secularists or rival religions, replace Christianity with “Islam” and see if the offended party is still quite as gung-ho. Conversely, take any demand  for special privileges, insist that they be granted to Islam as well and watch the odd conservative head explode.

Let’s try it out!!

Angry conservative: “I’m offended that those darn liberals have taken prayer out of school! I demand that we allow our children to worship in the classroom!”

The Muslim Test: “Well, OK, we’ll allow the principal, Mr. Siddiq, to lead a morning prayer to Allah.”

Angry conservative: “WHAT?! I don’t want my children worshiping another faith!”

The Muslim Test: “Well, then they can stand out in the hallway while the class prays.”

Angry conservative: “ABSOLUTELY NOT! Why should MY children be treated like outcasts?!”

See how easy this is?

Angry conservative: “You can’t build a mosque in our neighborhood! We won’t allow it!”

The Muslim Test: “I guess you if you really feel that strongly about it, it’s OK. I hope you don’t mind, but the Muslim community of Dearborn, Michigan has said the same thing about new churches.”

Angry conservative: “They can’t do that! The Constitution says that I have the right to freedom of religion! I can build a church where ever I want!”

Please don’t look for consistency from these people. You won’t find it.

Angry conservative: “The Constitution does not say anything about keeping Church and State separate! We should base our laws on the Bible!”

The Muslim Test: “Well, OK. We’ll make it illegal to eat, drink or have sex between dawn and dusk during Ramadan.”

Angry conservative: “Wait, that doesn’t sound like the Bible…”

The Muslim Test: “Obviously pork will be illegal.”

Angry conservative: “Now hold on there…”

The Muslim Test: “And state mandated circumcisions for all males.”

Angry conservative: “Wait a minute! I meant MY religion!!!”

The Muslim Test: “Of course you did…”

You should have a pretty good idea of how the Muslim Test works now. Go ahead and try it out on a few of your conservative friends!*

*The staff of Addicitinginfo.org takes no responsibility for the fallout when your conservative friends call you a terrorist sympathizer and defriend you.

Keeping Students From the Polls

This New York Times editorial is in line with Wken’s comment from yesterday…

The New York Times

Next fall, thousands of students on college campuses will attempt to register to vote and be turned away. Sorry, they will hear, you have an out-of-state driver’s license. Sorry, your college ID is not valid here. Sorry, we found out that you paid out-of-state tuition, so even though you do have a state driver’s license, you still can’t vote.

Political leaders should be encouraging young adults to participate in civic life, but many Republican state lawmakers are doing everything they can  instead to prevent students from voting in the 2012 presidential election. Some have openly acknowledged doing so because students tend to be liberal.

Seven states have already passed strict laws requiring a government-issued ID (like a driver’s license or a passport) to vote, which many students don’t have, and 27 others are considering such measures. Many of those laws have been interpreted as prohibiting out-of-state driver’s licenses from being used for voting.

It’s all part of a widespread Republican effort to restrict the voting rights of demographic groups that tend to vote Democratic. Blacks, Hispanics, the poor and the young, who are more likely to support President Obama, are disproportionately represented in the 21 million people without government IDs. On Friday, the Justice Department, finally taking action against these abuses, blocked the new voter ID law in South Carolina.

Republicans usually don’t want to acknowledge that their purpose is to turn away voters, especially when race is involved, so they invented an explanation, claiming that stricter ID laws are necessary to prevent voter fraud. In fact, there is almost no voter fraud in America to prevent.

Continue reading here…