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Dumber than a can of paint

In yet another example of how wingnut politicians act without thinking of the logical consequences, Georgia Republicans passed a law that’s leaving their agricultural industry in sad shape:

After enacting House Bill 87, a law designed to drive illegal immigrants out of Georgia, state officials appear shocked to discover that HB 87 is, well, driving a lot of illegal immigrants out of Georgia.

It might be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

Thanks to the resulting labor shortage, Georgia farmers have been forced to leave millions of dollars’ worth of blueberries, onions, melons and other crops unharvested and rotting in the fields. It has also put state officials into something of a panic at the damage they’ve done to Georgia’s largest industry.

Barely a month ago, you might recall, Gov. Nathan Deal welcomed the TV cameras into his office as he proudly signed HB 87 into law. Two weeks later, with farmers howling, a scrambling Deal ordered a hasty investigation into the impact of the law he had just signed, as if all this had come as quite a surprise to him.

And you know, here’s where the chickens really come home to roost. Politicians act as if undocumented immigrants contribute nothing to the nation’s economy, when the truth is, they do damned hard and dirty work that Americans consider beneath them:

The first batch of probationers started work last week at a farm owned by Dick Minor, president of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association. In the coming days, more farmers could join the program.

So far, the experiment at Minor’s farm is yielding mixed results. On the first two days, all the probationers quit by mid-afternoon, said Mendez, one of two crew leaders at Minor’s farm.

“Those guys out here weren’t out there 30 minutes and they got the bucket and just threw them in the air and say, `Bonk this, I ain’t with this, I can’t do this,'” said Jermond Powell, a 33-year-old probationer. “They just left, took off across the field walking.”

Mendez put the probationers to the test last Wednesday, assigning them to fill one truck and a Latino crew to a second truck. The Latinos picked six truckloads of cucumbers compared to one truckload and four bins for the probationers.

“It’s not going to work,” Mendez said. “No way. If I’m going to depend on the probation people, I’m never going to get the crops up.”

You’d think that someone would figure out that undocumented laborers working for crap wages are what keeps food prices low enough for the entire nation. But then, you’d be assuming that these showboating politicians are smart enough to think of anything that can’t fit on a bumper sticker.

You’ve got to have freedom

My very first date with the man I married was to a Pharoah Sanders concert:

Gonna take a miracle

Diane Birch:

Hungry heart

Bruce Springsteen was asking hitmaker Kal Rudman what he had to do to get a hit single. “You have to write something girls like,” Kal told him. So Bruce went home and wrote this:

I wish you love

From Nancy Falkow McBride, another songwriting bud:

When I grow up (I want to be an old woman)

Michelle Shocked:

Suddenly I see

KT Tunstall:


Troops to be brought home from Afghanistan. That is to say, 10%. Remember when everyone said they had to vote for him because he would have theoretically voted against the war?

Uh huh.


Infrared transmitter that will disable the video recording function on iPhones at concerts. Gee, I wonder how long before they’ll use it against protesters or victims of police brutality?

The three wings of the Republican party

The crazies, the corporatists… and the Democrats. Drew Westen:

First, apologists for the president and the Democrats rightly claim that their hands are tied: the Republicans just won’t let them pass any legislation that might move the economy forward, so their only tools are ineffectual ones such as tax cuts and exhortations to the business community to invest.

But what this account leaves out is that this state of affairs is entirely of the Democrats’ creation. Had the White House and the supermajorities the president started out with for two years simply done what the voters asked them to do — and what the House actually did do with remarkable speed in 2009 — the Democrats’ hands would not be tied today.


Second, by running scared and adopting Republican talking points on economics, Democrats have created a self-fulfilling prophecy. Listening to the same pollster-industrial complex that advised them in 2002 to support George W. Bush’s trillion-dollar unfunded bloodbath in Iraq, Democrats have joined with Republicans in offering massive giveaways to millionaires and billionaires and then telling working and middle class Americans that the sky is falling and we (they) have to tighten our (their) belts. Democrats inside the tightened beltway (with the exception of a strong contingent in the House and a dozen or two Senators) appear to have become convinced by the new conventional wisdom in Washington, that Americans aren’t really concerned as much about jobs as they are about the deficit.

If you stop and think about it for a moment, that notion is absurd on the face of it. Is it really possible that Americans who have lost their jobs or fear losing them are more worried about an abstraction — the budget deficit in Washington — than about the realities of their lives – that they face a budget deficit around their own kitchen table at the end of every month when they’re trying to pay their rent or make their mortgage payment on their rapidly depreciating home?


That brings us to the third reason so many Democrats have created a third wing of the Republican Party: because they’re competing for the same corporate money, which leads them to support the same policies. The major difference between Republicans and Democrats is that virtually all of the Republicans are quite comfortable being bought because it fits their ideology, whereas most of the Democrats who are beholden to one industry or another are conflicted about it – but not conflicted enough to pass a fair elections bill when they had the chance last year that might have taken away some of the advantages of incumbency but restored integrity to our electoral system.


Americans need a choice again between two parties, not between two strains of Hoover Republicanism.

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