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John Boehner has just won the coveted "Biggest Pussy to Ever Serve as Speaker of the House" Award, by scheduling a vote on his infantile lawsuit against the president instead of attending to the people's business.

I urge everyone to send His Pussyship a postcard at the address below congratulating him.

Discuss

Sat Jul 12, 2014 at 10:30 AM PDT

Kittens Rescued From Exterminator

by Pragmatus

For anyone ill-disposed to read cat stories, stop right here.  

There is a big problem in the US of overpopulation of companion animals, especially cats.  Feral cats will breed, creating more cats, and usually this results in hordes of kittens that starve to death because an area cannot support them. This cruel situation is in nobody’s interest.

Cat rescuers have developed a plan for dealing with feral cat populations (known more appropriately as “community cats”) called T-N-R, which stands for “Trap, Neuter and Release”. The idea is to trap all ferals in an area, neuter them, then release them back where they were caught. Almost every neighborhood in America has feral cats, also known as alley cats or stray cats. Sometimes people put food out for them, but mostly they are on their own.  In cities where the weather is clement, these animals can make a living off the rodent population.  What a boon this is to any neighborhood!  Who wants rats and mice invading their homes?  Feral cats wouldn’t dream of entering a house. Plus, rodents will gnaw and gain access even to the most intimate locations inside your house, and crap there repeatedly, while feral cats do their business outside and then politely bury it.

Recently several unfixed ferals showed up in our West Hollywood CA neighborhood.  One mother cat, who had a litter of five, was caught, spayed, and, since she responded to human touch and kindness (most ferals don’t) she was placed in a very good home with two other cats.  Her kittens are all fixed and are up for adoption with a no-kill fostering agency.

Another mother was discovered to have had kittens May 25, in the attic of an uninhabited duplex.  Our neighborhood cat-rescue team approached the owner of the property and proposed trapping these kittens to both get them off his hands and allow us to socialize them (which can be done with feral kittens younger than twelve weeks) then find them homes.  But he flatly refused to allow anyone on that property “because of issues of liability”.

“But we are all willing to sign hold-harmless waivers.  Look, this is in your interest as well as ours.”

“No.  I will not permit anyone on that property.”

Later we found out that the property owner intended to call an exterminator and simply kill the kittens and dispose of them.  This is against the law, in fact it is a felony in California, but in these situations everybody involved keeps quiet and so no one can be prosecuted.

The kittens could be seen venturing out onto the roof of the duplex, where we were able to get distant images of them.

Then through a great stroke of luck, just after the kittens turned six weeks old the mother moved them down into the unkempt yard around the property.  A week of planning and careful maneuvering on our part resulted in the capture of all of the kittens.  They are now being socialized, and in six weeks all will be neutered at “FixNation” a wonderful non-profit here in Los Angeles which fixes feral cats for free.  (The mother has also been caught and spayed, and since she is too wild for placement, released back into the community.  The responsible male cat has also been caught and fixed, and he too was let go.  Feral cats, being territorial, will not allow others, who might not be fixed, to move into the area.)

In a delicious stroke of irony the City of West Hollywood slapped a big fine on the property owner for allowing the property to become derelict and also for blocking a city sidewalk with unkempt vegetation.  Ha!

Now my question is this—who would ever think that killing animals that might (or might not) be in your way is preferable to allowing people to take them off your hands for free?  How do some people get so enamored of expediency that they will do anything, no matter how heartless, just because they think it solves a perceived problem (doesn’t even have to be a real one) as quickly as possible?

The human capacity for stupid cruelty beggars the imagination.  

Discuss

Sat Jul 12, 2014 at 09:13 AM PDT

John Boehner: Spineless Lickspittle

by Pragmatus

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California suffers under the boot heel of developers, most egregiously in the guise of the “Ellis Act”, which has effectively gutted rent control ordinances and now runs roughshod over communities being poisoned by “gentrification” (Newspeak for “get those damn black people and the homeless out of my sight”).  This is a common plague in red states, but in California, where the legislature is solidly in the hands of Democrats, as is the Statehouse, one would think that lobbyist money wouldn’t carry the same weight as it would in, say, Washington DC.  

Alas, this is not the case.  

The State Assembly, headed by the real-estate-lobby-money-greased Democrat Toni Atkins, who was supposed to shepherd an Ellis Act Reform bill designed to prevent the wholesale evictions of elderly and disabled persons by developers interested only in making a buck, suddenly and inexplicably abandoned the effort—although SB 1439 passed the Senate, it died in the Assembly.  SB 1439 was no radical measure; instead it merely provided some much needed protections for the most vulnerable citizens of the state.  In fact in hearings no one spoke up against the measure, because the only possible argument against SB 1439 was that it would restrict and hamper greed.  Read below from the website of Tenants Together, the organization trying to prevent the entire state from being handed over to real estate developers:  

Yesterday, Democratic Assembly Members Sharon Quirk-Silva (D – Fullerton) and Cheryl Brown (D- San Bernardino) teamed up with Republicans Brian Maienschein (R – San Diego) and Beth Gaines (R – Roseville) to defeat SB 1439 (Leno), a modest bill to stop speculators from misusing California’s Ellis Act to evict long-term tenants.  The bill, co-sponsored by Tenants Together and San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee failed on a 3-4 vote, with Assembly Members Ed Chau (D – Monterey Park), Tom Ammiano (D – San Francisco) and Mariko Yamada (D –Davis) voting to support the bill.  The bill would have plugged a loophole that has allowed speculators to purchase apartment buildings and immediately evict long-term San Francisco tenants who are disproportionately elderly and disabled.  With no real arguments against the bill, the real estate lobby relied on a strategy of misrepresentations and campaign donations to prevail.

The defeat of SB 1439 highlights a growing problem in Sacramento.  The real estate industry’s control of Democrats through campaign donations corrupts the lawmaking process, undermining the ability of California’s 15 million tenants to have their needs addressed by legislators.

Tenants saw the same dynamic when Democrats heavily funded by real estate money joined with Republicans to defeat SB 603, our bill last session for fair treatment of security deposits.  That bill would have simply imposed a penalty on landlords who illegally withhold security deposit funds, something that is already the law in Alabama.  The bill was unacceptable to realtor-funded Democrats for reasons they refused to articulate.

With rents, evictions and habitability problems escalating across the state, tenant discontent is on the rise.  We thank all of the tenants and tenant organizations who came to Sacramento, sent letters, signed petitions, made calls and otherwise supported our legislative efforts.  Your presence was felt in the Capitol, and without your support, we would not have made it this far.  We defied the odds and got this bill through the California Senate, but in the end were not able to get it through the Assembly Housing & Community Development Committee.

The Ellis Act reform bill was backed by an incredibly broad coalition of labor unions, senior groups, tech companies, and social justice groups.  San Francisco political leaders --Mayor Ed Lee (SB 1439 co-sponsor), Senator Mark Leno (SB 1439 author), Assembly Member Tom Ammiano, Assembly Member Phil Ting and the entire San Francisco Board of Supervisors – were united for Ellis Act reform.  We appreciate the solidarity and the hard work of all of our allies in this fight.

We are deeply disappointed that Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D – San Diego) did not take steps to secure passage of SB 1439. Tenant advocates were excited to welcome Speaker Atkins – a proven leader on affordable housing construction -- when she recently took over leadership of the Assembly.  As Speaker, she has considerable power to control whether bills live or die.  Her inaction on this bill stands in sharp contrast to the Senate in which President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D – Sacramento) and incoming Pro Tem Kevin de Leon (D – Los Angeles) fought for passage of the bill, leadership that proved essential in a difficult floor fight.  We urge our members to call Speaker Atkins at (916) 319-2078 and urge her to take a more proactive role in passing commonsense tenant protections like SB 1439.

California’s 15 million tenants need representation and leadership in Sacramento.  Too often, lawmakers claim to be affordable housing champions while refusing to stop unfair displacement, exorbitant rent hikes, security deposit theft, and other abuses of current tenants.  This was the case in the Assembly Housing & Community Development Committee where Assembly Members went out of their way to profess their support for affordable housing, while voting to displace tenants from affordable housing.

98-year old Mary Elizabeth Phillips testified at the hearing yesterday.  How could any lawmaker who claims to care about the vulnerable look this long-term, elderly tenant in the eye, and vote to empower the speculators who are evicting her?

This marks the beginning, not the end, of our fight to change the dynamic in Sacramento and stop unfair displacement of California tenants.  We urge tenants who would like to get involved in our struggle for fairness and justice to visit our website www.TenantsTogether.org and become a member today.

To read more on the savaging currently going on in San Francisco by the hordes of techies who work at firms like Google and Facebook driving rents and property values in Baghdad by the Bay sky high, read “California Screaming” by Nathan Heller in this week’s New Yorker.
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Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 05:19 PM PDT

Answer to Gov. Pig LePig of Maine

by Pragmatus

Since Gov. McGOPig of Maine considers Social Security and Medicare “welfare pure and simple”, as a man of principle he will surely repudiate such benefits for himself when he is eligible.

Uh, good luck buying private health insurance, Governor, as a 65+ year-old man.  Better start loosening up one arm and one leg now, ’cause that’s what it’s gonna cost you.  Every year.  Until you die.


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Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 09:55 AM PDT

*Sigh* John McCain, Please Shut Up

by Pragmatus

Discuss

Is the GOP completely devoid of ideas?

Yes.

Are all their reactions just knee-jerk?

Yes.

Are there any Republicans who aren’t douchebags?

I’m looking, I’m looking…

Any stupid GOP tricks from today?

Yeah, and rather than explain it myself, I’ll let you see a postcard that was sent to Douchebag Doc Hastings, US House member (GOP, of course) from the state of Washington—


Discuss

Following up on this fantastic Joan McCarter DailyKos post about Harry Reid’s pointing out Lindsay Graham’s endorsing the idea of amnesty for illegal immigrants, we should all now pitch in to help any way we can.

Those of you in South Carolina can write angry letters to the editors of papers across the state demanding to know what in thunderation Lindsay Graham means supporting amnesty for all them durn wetbacks and terrorists (or turrsts, to use George Bush’s pronunciation).

The rest of us can pepper the good Senator’s office with tart postcards like the one below.  Nothing like a little salt in the wound Harry Reid opened up to keep it festering.  (Please especially note the message at top left on front of card—“Examine the surface of this card under a strong light to see a watermark of the ghost of Eric Cantor”)

Discuss

Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 05:56 PM PDT

Boycott Target: It's That Simple

by Pragmatus

The DailyKos diary which featured the gun-toting asshole inside the baby department at a Target store turned my stomach.  Target is apparently too timid to refuse entrance to people sporting firearms.

The only solution is to boycott Target, and to let them know you think their policy is disgusting.

Address for Target Stores’ president is below.


Discuss

Well I see you wasted no time retreating even further into your shell when you heard about Eric Cantor, the House majority Leader (in case you forgot) being slaughtered in a primary election within his own party.

Now the issue is spending necessary money on the VA to see that veterans don’t die as they wait, ignored, on interminable healthcare lists.  Senators McCain and Sanders have come up with a bill to increase funding so VA hospitals and other facilities can hire the staff they need to cope with the backlog of uncared-for veterans.  (Similar legislation has already passed the House.)  So what do you do? Filibuster their bill.

You can run, Mr. McCoward, but you cannot hide.  If the Tea Party, which you have done so much to foster over the years, doesn’t hunt you down and bring you to ground, the electorate will.

(Please note the BOSTON TEA PARTY STAMPS on the postcard to McClod below…)

Discuss

Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 08:22 PM PDT

The GOP is consuming its own!

by Pragmatus

As Saturn devoured his children (as Goya saw it, below)

So Eric Cantor has been sent to the showers!!


Discuss

As if everyone didn’t know already, or at least those whose brains have not been rotted by Fox Noise and Glenn Beck, the GOP has latched upon a firm strategy for victory in the various Senate and House races this November, to wit—

1.    President Obama does something (anything, as long as it rises to the level of a news item)

2.    One after another GOP politician/apparatchik rises to cry that what the president has just done (whatever it is) was “wrong”, a “mistake”, “making the problem (whatever it is) worse”, “playing into the hands of (a. The Taliban b. Al Qaeda c. Al Bundy)”, “selling America out”, “treasonous”, “more evidence that he hates America”, and then calls for impeachment.

The good news is that the Bergdahl release has suddenly made the Benghazi farce old news.  Nobody is going to listen to stale old CPSU boilerplate enemy-of-the-people bullshit when they have fresh new turds to dig through!  I predict that as the GOP whips up the Bergdahl frenzy interest in the House hearings on Benghazi will dry up and blow away in two days.

As Stephen Colbert says, the GOP has gone from “the party of Just Say No to drugs to the party of Just Say No to everything”.  Including governance.  Especially  governance.

Why, oh why, is the GOP still considered worthy of anything but ridicule?

Discuss
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