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Big Government Steve King Introduces Nanny State Bill to Congress

I thought the Republican Party was supposed to be the party of small government.

Why, then, would Republican Representative Steve King of Iowa introduce H.R. 997?

H.R. 997 is a bill that imposes big government requirements on millions of people who work for the United States Goverment.

H.R. 997 is the Nanny State bill to top all Nanny State bills, creating a list of millions of words that United States government workers are forbidden from law from using when they are engaged in official actions on the job.

Why?  Because Big Government Steve King has decided these words are not politically correct.

If H.R. 997 is passed, only English words will be permitted.

That would be the most politically-correct big government action taken in decades, yet on February 13 2015, the very same day that Steve King introduced his Whopping Big Government Mandate Act, he declared without irony that “we must ensure that we take to heart an important lesson from this crisis: big government is not the answer.”

Does Rep. Steve King not recognize the irony in his synchronicity?  Or does he think that you won’t recognize it?

Republican Presidential Candidate Claims That White Christians Are Being Murdered By Barack Obama

silvia stagg for president“I go forward as a Presidential-Vice Presidential Candidate as a Matter of National Security to save and empower the White Christian European Descent Race from Race Extinction”. These are the words of Republican presidential candidate Silvia Stagg.

Stagg claims that there is a secret health care program that “the US Government has failed to use for the betterment, defense and posterity of the US Born White Christian European Descent Race”. She proposes that the President of the United States offer the program to Christians of European descent – in order to preserve “genetic integrity”.

However, Stagg accuses Barack Obama of using a “Microwave Brain Alteration Device” to control Republicans in Congress, including John Thune, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Paul Ryan and John Boehner. These Republicans, according to Stagg, are implementing a program of torture and mass murder against white Christians in the United States on behalf of Barack Obama, their microwave mind master.

If Irregular Times readers witnessed any instances of torture or mass murder against white Christians in the United States, please let us know.

Scott Walker Is Right About This, And The Washington Post Was Wrong

When two “journalists” from the Washington Post asked Governor Scott Walker, commonly presumed to be planning a campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, if he thought that Barack Obama was a Christian, Walker responded. “I don’t know.”

Writers at publications such as the Huffington Post have made a big tizzy about the response, saying that it indicates that Scott Walker is trying to insinuate that Barack Obama is not a Christian, and that this statement is thus a grave insult to the President.

Scott Walker often does and says outrageous things. He has an ugly right wing political agenda. However, in this case, Scott Walker said the right thing.

How Scott Walker explained his statement to the reporters from the Washington Post places his comment in context: “I’ve actually never talked about it or I haven’t read about that… I’ve never asked him that. You’ve asked me to make statements about people that I haven’t had a conversation with about that. How [could] I say if I know either of you are a Christian?”

Essentially, Scott Walker was saying that he doesn’t know if Barack Obama is Christian or not because it’s not relevant whether he is. It’s not the job of the President of the United States to be a Christian. It’s not the job of the Governor of Wisconsin to interrogate the President of the United States about his religion.

scott walker obama christian so whatIt doesn’t matter whether Barack Obama is a Christian or not – except to Barack Obama.

So, why were the reporters from the Washington Post asking Scott Walker if he thought Barack Obama was a Christian? Why did it matter to the Washington Post what one politician guesses about another politician’s personal choices about religion?

The Washington Post reporters might as well have asked Scott Walker: Is President Obama a vegetarian? Does President Obama like to play poker? Is President Obama arachnophobic? Has President Obama ever been to South Dakota? Does President Obama prefer fluffy tissue paper? Does President Obama get itchy skin in the winter time? What TV shows does President Obama like to watch? Is President Obama a good swimmer?

Religion is of no relevance to the job of the President of the United States of America. The Constitution clearly states this when it declares, “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

We’ve all seen how different presidents make astoundingly different policy decisions, based on different moral values. Yet, every single President of the United States has been a Christian. So, knowing that a president, or a presidential candidate tells us almost nothing about what that politician actually stands for, or with how much skill that politician would serve in the Oval Office.

The Washington Post reporters were in the wrong in even asking the question of Scott Walker. It was an unprofessional attempt to replace intelligent political journalism with an irrelevant culture war sideshow. These reporters deserve to be re-assigned to make coffee for the genuine journalists at the Washington Post.

Despite Improvement, Complaint Backlog at DOL Wage and Hour Division is Worse than Under Bush

The staff of the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor are tasked with investigating worker complaints to make sure that workers aren’t being abused by employers who exploit labor laws — by withholding pay, by refusing to grant overtime, by employing child labor, and otherwise exploiting people who are desperate for work.

This is important work to protect the powerless against the powerful in America, but the Wage and Hour Division is suffering from a backlog of cases.  Measured by the average number of days taken to resolve complaints to the Wage and Hour Division, the backlog was cut back in fiscal year 2013 (the last year for which data is currently available), but is still worse than when George W. Bush was the sitting President of the United States:

Graph: Average number of days to resolve complaints with the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor, Fiscal Year 2003-2013

Why does the backlog exist?  Adjusting for the cost of expenses by indexing for inflation, the Wage and Hour Division of the DOL has a lower budget than it did in 2003 — and at the same time the population of the United States grew by 9% during that time while the civilian labor force grew by 6.7%, increasing the volume of possible violations.

Is the backlog and funding stagnation liable to improve for the investigators of the Wage and Hour Division in the future?  Well, the Division suffered an 11% budget cut in FY 2013, the last year for which data is available.  What does that tell you?

Disclosure Delayed is Disclosure Denied: Another Year, Another Bill to Bring Senate Disclosure into the 21st Century

S. 366, a bill introduced by Montana Senator Jon Tester, would require senators to file campaign finance reports electronically with the Federal Election Commission, not on paper with the Senate.

This may not sound like an important distinction, but the practical effect of the current system is to delay the processing of campaign contribution reports, often until after an election is over, as FEC staff laboriously type in Senate campaign reports into computer databases.  This means that the discovery of unsavory campaign expenditures to Senators is made more difficult and often practically impossible during the period before the election when such information would matter most.

Tester’s bill, the continuation of a veteran effort by ex-Senator Russ Feingold in previous sessions of Congress, would increase efficiency within the government, increase transparency of information to reporters, and increase the accountability of Senators to American citizens.  Tester himself has brought up the bill numerous times.  In the last two-year session of Congress, the bill was known as S. 375.  Before that, it was S. 219.

Another Congress, the same text, the same dismal odds.  Some members of the Senate support the change to electronic disclosure.  They are a minority.  The majority don’t.

Let’s focus on the Senators who have cosponsored S. 366, who do support meaningful, timely campaign finance disclosure.  They are, along with Jon Tester (listed with date of cosponsorship):

Sen. Cochran, Thad [R-MS]* 02/04/2015
Sen. Leahy, Patrick J. [D-VT]* 02/04/2015
Sen. McCaskill, Claire [D-MO]* 02/04/2015
Sen. Udall, Tom [D-NM]* 02/04/2015
Sen. Boxer, Barbara [D-CA]* 02/04/2015
Sen. Durbin, Richard [D-IL]* 02/04/2015
Sen. King, Angus S. Jr. [I-ME]* 02/04/2015
Sen. Heitkamp, Heidi [D-ND]* 02/04/2015
Sen. Warren, Elizabeth [D-MA]* 02/04/2015
Sen. Donnelly, Joe [D-IN]* 02/04/2015
Sen. Brown, Sherrod [D-OH]* 02/04/2015
Sen. Sanders, Bernard [I-VT]* 02/04/2015
Sen. Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [D-NY]* 02/04/2015
Sen. Menendez, Robert [D-NJ]* 02/04/2015
Sen. Hirono, Mazie K. [D-HI]* 02/04/2015
Sen. Heinrich, Martin [D-NM]* 02/04/2015
Sen. Whitehouse, Sheldon [D-RI]* 02/04/2015
Sen. Franken, Al [D-MN]* 02/04/2015
Sen. Klobuchar, Amy [D-MN]* 02/04/2015
Sen. Murphy, Christopher S. [D-CT]* 02/04/2015
Sen. Cardin, Benjamin L. [D-MD]* 02/04/2015
Sen. Peters, Gary C. [D-MI]* 02/04/2015
Sen. Merkley, Jeff [D-OR]* 02/04/2015
Sen. Kaine, Tim [D-VA]* 02/04/2015
Sen. Ayotte, Kelly [R-NH]* 02/04/2015
Sen. Collins, Susan M. [R-ME]* 02/04/2015
Sen. Gardner, Cory [R-CO]* 02/04/2015
Sen. Grassley, Chuck [R-IA]* 02/04/2015
Sen. Scott, Tim [R-SC]* 02/04/2015
Sen. Wicker, Roger F. [R-MS]* 02/04/2015
Sen. Daines, Steve [R-MT]* 02/04/2015

That’s not nearly enough members for the bill to pass.  If your members of the Senate aren’t listed, ask yourself what they have to hide.


The Can Kicks Back Throws Students Under its “Millenial” Bus

Although the DC beltway political corporation called The Can Kicks Back was funded by an elderly billionaire, it says it acts on behalf of the millenial generation of young people just getting their start in life.

Although The Can Kicks Back got started with an advisory board made up entirely of elderly rich white men, it insists that it is a “grassroots” movement for millenials.

The Can Kicks Back campus tour puts old rich people on stage and interviews themThree years later after its founding, the advisory board for The Can Kicks Back is still populated by elderly rich white men:
Evan Bayh – Former Democratic Senator and Governor from Indiana

Erskine Bowles – Former Co-Chair, National Committee on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform; Chief of Staff, President Bill Clinton

Jonathan Cowan – President, Third Way

Ryan Randall -Director of Public Policy with Passport Capital

Gary Shapiro – CEO, Consumer Electronics Association

Alan Simpson – Retired Republican U.S. Senator from Wyoming

David M. Walker – CEO, Peterson-funded Comeback America Initiative


The closest this big-power, big-money list comes to the millenial generation is 45-year-old hedge fund king Ryan Randall, who is 15 years too old to even rank among the oldest of the millenials.  Everyone else on this list is old, old, old.  But still The Can Kicks Back says it is all about the millenials, with 96 web pages on its website using the word “millenial,” only 3 using the phrase “Generation X,” and only 14 using the phrase “Baby Boomers.”

Although The Can Kicks Back’s campus tour was centered around interviews with elderly rich white men, the corporation insists that it acts in the name of the millenial generation.

In the winter of 2013, The Can Kicks Back vowed it would demonstrate its millenial bona fides by starting up 300 campus chapters by the end of the spring semester of that year.  It flooded campus chapters with money and even flew its student “volunteers” to Washington, DC on junkets to meet with the rich and powerful.  Still, The Can Kicks Back only managed to generate 10 active chapters out of its goal of 300.  It spent $2.4 million on American campuses in an effort to obtain signatures on just 800 cans declaring support for the agenda of budget cuts to social programs — that’s $3,000 per can.  Two years later, in the spring semester of 2015, The Can Kicks Back campus program is defunct.

The Can Kicks Back corporation keeps declaring, despite all evidence, that it is an advocacy group working on behalf of the millenial generation, a generation centered on those who are about to go to, in, or recently graduated from college.  In short, the millenial generation is the generation of massive student loan debt.

And what does The Can Kicks Back support?  Check out their recent tweet:

The Can Kicks Back Posts a Tweet in Opposition to Aid for Student Loans


The opinion piece which The Can Kicks Back encourages everyone to read declares that the government should stop helping college students with their student loan debt because doing so adds a few billion dollars a year to the federal deficit.  Written by a staffer for the pro-corporate, corporate-funded New America Foundation, the opinion piece concluded by declaring that it’s time to cut university budgets.

The Can is Kicking, all right: kicking the millenial generation right under the bus.

Jim Rickards’ Prediction of Dire Economic Collapse has 8 Days Left Before it Expires

Last month, Peregrin Wood noted the many predictions of “economic expert” Jim Rickards that had gone wrong in the past:

“He’s addicted to predicting imminent doom. He’s quoted in an article from October 2014 as predicting that another ‘Great Recession’ is ‘about to strike.’ In September 2013, however, he told a crowd of potential investors in Washington D.C. that the United States would suffer a recession in 2014. He put the chances of the financial crisis in 2014 at ‘100 percent’ – but it didn’t happen. In 2012, Rickards told his followers that the United States was in a recession, though it wasn’t, and that the recession would end in 2014.”

Labeling himself an “authority on U.S. economics,” Jim Rickards posted a video on August 27, 2014 declaring that “economic collapse could begin within the next six months.”  Those six months expire in just 8 days, on February 27, 2015.

How’s the economy been doing over the last six months?  The Dow Jones Industrial Average:

Dow Jones Industrial Average, 2014-2015

The unemployment rate:

U.S. Unemployment Rate, January 2014 - January 2015

A lot will have to happen in the next 8 days to precipitate that economic collapse.

The other possibility is that Jim Rickards is full of baloney.

Wait and see.


Where To Find Out How To Dress Like Doctor Who

The time traveling character in Doctor Who is like no other person you will ever meet. As a consequence of this, fans of The Doctor are eager to dress up in costume to look just like him.

Of course, there have been thirteen versions of The Doctor, so there is some choice of which aspect of the character to imitate. WikiHow has instructions for them all.

dress like doctor whoSome are easier than others. Put on an overlong striped scarf and people will pick up on your attempt to emulate Tom Baker’s incarnation of the Time Lord. BBC America seems to be struggling, though, to reconcile the subdued style of Peter Capaldi’s Doctor with the eccentricity of previous incarnations. “This is a man who wishes you to know that despite being unwilling to transmit his quirks and eccentricities from a first glance, that does not mean he lacks standards,” it explains. So, no funny hats, no jewelry, not even any neckties.

Many of the top search results for dressing like Doctor Who actually share recommendations for how to dress like Clara Oswald, the cuter-than-a-button current companion of The Doctor. Step one: Be cuter than a button. Fashion Of Doctor Who expects us to believe that we can be seen as dressing like Clara Oswald if we wear a dowdy green parka, though.

On Pinterest, the concept gets stretched, showing how to wear women’s clothes but still be dressed as The Doctor, or how to dress like The Tardis, or a Dalek, or a sonic screwdriver.

A fellow named Neil begins from the outside, and heads in, considering how to dress like Matt Smith’s Doctor as he compiles a list of ways to live like the Doctor:

– Take action
– Be playful
– Ask questions
– Smile
– Feel compassion
– Wear whatever you want
– Observe
– Embrace change
– Know when to say no
– Dive into the unknown
– Be positive

Of course, these choices may be easier if you are born on the planet Gallifrey and have more lives than a cat, than if you are a human with only one lifetime.

The $140 Humidifier, Minus $110

The Sharper Image is trying to sell me a small one-room humidifier for $140:

a small scale humidifier for $140 is $110 too expensive

What am I missing? I could spend $140 on this gadget, or buy a $15 teakettle and a $15 pot (and chances are, between you and me, that I already have these in my kitchen. With the teakettle, I could humidify the air with its “teakettle” setting, and if I set the pot to boil it will humidify in “volcano” mode. Add a few drops of “essential oils” (whatever they are) into these mundane humidifiers and I’ll get the same smells in the air. The only thing my teakettle and pot don’t have is a plastic part that looks like an avocado nipple. I’ve never seen an avocado nipple responsibly priced at $110.

For Jeb Bush, A Very Different Class Of Kickstarter

Across America, people are working hard to raise a bit of money to support projects that will make the world a better place. They aren’t asking for huge donations – just a few dollars here and there. In return for these donations, they are providing concrete products and services. However, they’re struggling to get just a bit of what they need.

Kragnes Family Farms is seeking seven thousand dollars in crowdfunding to build a greenhouse in which to grow seedlings for food crops. They have successfully reached out to 37 small donors, but with just nine days left in their effort, they have less than half the money they need.

GlobalPost is running a Kickstarter effort to finance the hiring of an editor for its reporting on the human impacts of war. So far, the publication has raised just over five thousand dollars, from pledgers promising between ten and one hundred and fifty dollars.

Nation Of Change has begun a fundraising campaign to finance a documentary film about the corrupt influence of dark money in American politics. “End Dark Money is a new campaign designed to expose the truth to millions of Americans via the internet. We are creating a documentary-style film that outlines the shocking realities of corporate money in the American political system,” the group explains. So far, the group has raised three dollars to support the project.

Then there’s Jeb Bush. Today, Jeb Bush is going to two fundraising events in Illinois. He’s asking for money so that he can promote himself and gain the power of the President of the United States in 2016.

At his first fundraiser today, at a club in Chicago, Jeb Bush is being hosted by William Kunkler, vice president at CC Industries, a company that is helping wealthy American families to invest their money in factories in China, instead of in jobs in the USA. At this event, Bush is demanding one thousand dollars in exchange for the right to stand in the same room as him.

That’s nothing compared with the price of attendance at the fundraising dinner Jeb Bush is holding in Lake Forest, Illinois this evening. The cost of attending that dinner is a $25,000 donation.

That’s ten thousand dollars more than a low wage worker makes in an entire year.

jeb bush 25 thousand dollar dinner

“What Global Warming?” asks North Country New York. This Global Warming, answers NASA.

In a February 12 2015 letter to the editor of New York State’s North Country Now, an anonymous reader asks, “What Global Warming? Whatever happened to global warming?  I feel short changed!”

You see, it’s been cold lately.  How could that be if we’re experiencing global warming?

There are two answers to that question.  The first answer is that even if the globe is warming, winter will be colder than the summer.  That’s how winter works.  But winters have been getting warmer, not cooler, over time.  In the NASA dataset of global temperature measurements from 188o to 2015, the 10 warmest winters have all occurred in the last 20 years, and the 10 coldest winters all occur before 1920.  We just don’t remember that winters used to be colder because most of those experiencing the coldest winters are dead.

The second answer is even on a warming globe, some places can be locally cooler.  In other words, local weather is not the same as global climate.  NOAA’s most recent global temperature anomaly map shows a local cool spot hanging right over New York’s North Country.  The letter writer doesn’t know that in most other places around the globe, it’s getting hotter, making for a general trend of global warming.

The trend extends through data newly released by NASA, showing that after the record-hot year of 2014, January 2015 is the second-hottest January in its records, topped only by January 2007.  Even in the winter, this is what global warming looks like.

P.S. I hear some other New Yorker under the local cold spot has been asking the same question.  He goes by the name of Don:

Donald Trump denies global warming.  What a buffoon.