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Resistance Hero: Beth Fukumoto

Hawaii’s Republicans responded on one of their leaders participating in the recent Women’s March in Honolulu by stripping one of their best and brightest, State House of Representatives Minority Leader Beth Fukumoto. Fukumoto, who maintains her seat, also critcized President Donald Trump during the March–an action that “party-first” Republicians just could not abide.

fukumotoThe 33-year old Fukumoto was confronted by members of the Republican Caucus who demanded that she commit to not criticizing Donald Trump under any circumstances. When she refused, she was ousted from her leadership role.

“What ended up being very problematic for me was that my caucus and others said, ‘If you want to stay in leadership, then you need to make a commitment to not criticize the president for the remainder of his term,'” Fukumoto said. “And with what we’ve been seeing in the news with the different executive orders coming out every day, I didn’t believe I could make that commitment.”

During an ensuing House floor session, she stated. “I believe it is our job as Americans and as leaders of this body to criticize power when power is wrong,”

In the aftermath, Fukumoto is considering joining the Democratic Party. Conscious of her responsibility to those who voted for her, she has contacted her constituents in order to hear their input and opinions.

“In the last couple years, I’ve watched leaders in the Republican Party become less and less tolerant of diverse opinions and dissenting voices,” Fukumoto said today in a news release. “Today, I’m facing demands for my resignation from leadership and possible censure because I raised concerns about our President’s treatment of women and minorities. I’ve been asked by both my party and my caucus to commit to not criticizing the president for the remainder of his term and to take a more partisan approach to working in the Legislature. That is not a commitment I can make. As a representative of my community, it is my job to hold leaders accountable and to work with anyone, regardless of party, to make Hawaii a better place for our families.”

“This morning, I sent a letter to my district explaining that I would like to leave the Republican Party and seek membership in the Democratic Party,” Fukumoto said. “When I was re-elected in November, I was elected as a Republican, and I want to honor my community’s choice by consulting them before any decision is made. As I articulated in my letter, I encourage my constituents to contact me with input and provide feedback. I was elected by the people of Mililani, and I am here to represent them.”

Predictably, Republican leaders resent Fukumoto’s putting morals above Party loyalty.  Hawaii Republican Party Chair Fritz Rohlfing demanded that if Fukumoto chooses to leave the party three months after being re-elected as a Republican, she must immediately resign from her seat entirely so the GOP could have time to propose replacements to Gov. David Ige.

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/hawaii-republican-leader-vocal-trump-opposition-ready-leave-gop-n716071?cid=sm_fb

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More On The #OregonUnderAttack Drama

I posted yesterday about the attack on Malheur National Wildlife Preserve, and while I admittedly was shooting somewhat from the hip, as the saying goes, I stand by the basics of what I said.  As time passes, more information has made the press and more folks with better communication skills and greater understanding have stepped up to offer their own accounts on the attack.  The basics, in brief:

Some ranchers in Oregon, from the Hammond family, were convicted of doing some stuff on federal land that they knew they weren’t supposed to do, and did anyway because, well, at best they just thought they knew better or, at worst, were hiding evidence of poaching.  A sympathetic judge rendered slap-on-the-wrist-style punishments, which were then overturned by a bigger judge who ruled those sentences didn’t meet guidelines, being too lenient.

Folks got angry. Some thought this amounted to double jeopardy. Down in Nevada, famous ranching scion Ammon Bundy, whose own family generated a big hysteria by initiating an armed stand-off with federal authorities just last year, inserted himself in the discussion and called for his gun-happy militia comrades, to join him in Oregon, stage a protest, and cause a big stir that would get their pet issues back in the spotlight.

Most of the folks around Burns, OR were annoyed and frightened by the arrival of about 150 extremists. Calls for them to leave town persisted. The local sheriff received death threats when he refused to back the extremist calls to join them in defying the federal government.

The Hammond family issued a statement distancing themselves from Bundy and his gang, even as a small group of them moved on the Malheur National Wildlife Preserve, occupied the park headquarters, and issued a statement that they wouldn’t leave “for a long time” or until the Hammonds were exonerated and the preserve, founded by Teddy Roosevelt about a hundred years ago, was turned over to mining, timbering, drilling, and ranching interests. The claim the park, which (again) was established over a hundred years ago, is part of an insidious United Nations Plot to end private land ownership in the USA  and cede authority to a “new world order.”

I’ve arranged some links below, including a wonderful screed by a pro-Bundy blogger which I’ll put right at the top of the list.  Make sure to watch the video of the poor, deluded guy crying in his truck, drunk on anti-government kool-aid.

The Last Refuge

Ammon Bundy: Five Fast Facts You Need To Know

ABC News

#OregonUnderAttack: The Tweets You Need to See

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Patriots Hate Club? I’m a Lifetime Member

Just for the record, I hated the Patriots back in the early 1990’s, since long before it was cool.

http://espn.go.com/…/1…/split-nfl-new-england-patriots-apart

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Edelman vs. Sabrina = Feminist Coup? Plus More Post-Superbowl

Ah, the Superbowl.  The lights, the commericals, the hubris…

Screen-shot-2015-02-04-at-12.07.41-PM1Richard Sherman, Doug Baldwin, the worst play call in the history of the Superbowl notwithstanding, the best story line is “Sabrina’s” priceless sleeping Julian Edelman photo: I think it’s crass and inappropriate and immature and disrespectful and indicative of much that’s wrong in our culture today but also totally fantastic because this is the kind of shit guys pull all the time and everybody chuckles and wags their fingers and grins about what a bad boy (nudge nudge, wink wink) he is.

I know that’s a run-on.  It’s supposed to be.

I’m not sure if post-coital internet posts (and I’m so damned old I don’t even know what the hell Tinder is*) following a drunken celebrity-bagging safari is a feminist gesture, but it sure seems like this young lady was taking control of and owning her sexuality. From that perspective, she’s almost heroic.

Right?

I mean, if they’d had digital cameras a back when dodo birds roamed the world and I was sleeping with all sorts of famous women…

Ah, the twisted. delusional ramblings of a dirty old man.

Other Post-Bowl Comments:

In the wake of Superbowl 49, let’s ditch the Roman numerals–no one learns latin anymore: they’d be better off putting Superbowl titles in Cyrillic: Cуперкубок 49

Or Chinese: 超級碗49

Or even arabic:  الفناء تسعة وأربعين

All equally effective to Superbowl XLIX.  Sounds like the name of a rapping porn star.  X-licks?  Phooey!

This never gets old.
This never gets old.

And how about Seattle’s bonehead play to serve up the Superbowl to the crux of evil Patriots? Any good Steelers fan who was alive in 1994 will tell you NEVER PASS DOWN THE MIDDLE ON SHORT AND GOAL AT THE END OF THE FOURTH QUARTER WITH THE GAME ON THE LINE.  It’s ironic, because so many Seahawk faithful still whine about the Steelers beating them back in Superbowl XL (now that’s a Roman Numeral…Xtra Freaking LARGE, mofo.

So many good Asshats to right about right now:   let’s not fail to mention (it’s what he wants, anyway) Seattle’s “Baldwin Squat” touchdown celebration.  From this point forward he’ll be known as Shithead–not the only guy in the NFL with that nickname, but the most deserving.  I’m pretty certain he’s the first guy in NFL history to be disciplined for simulated defecation.

He used to be just a run of the mill douchebag–but now he’s a infamously juvenile “deucebag.”

This is turning out to be a fun post, and I’m realizing one thing that didn’t occur to me while the two teams I despise most were butting heads.  You see, I’d been thinking that it was lamentable that one of these teams would win, but what I should have been thinking about was that one of them was just as certain to lose.

Is that my own sour grapes talking?  Absolutely, but it’s okay as long as I’m self-aware enough to realize it.  The truth of the matter is that it was a very interesting, exciting game, unlike last year’s debacle (thanks, Peyton) so, ultimately, it could have been worse.

*Oh, I have an idea what Tinder is, and I know that I could look it up and find out in about twenty seconds, but I’d like the idea of living in a world where I’m totally ignorant of such things.  A happier, less complicated world….