Blog Catalog

Monday, September 30, 2013

On this ignorant, irresponsible government shutdown

Mad as hell and don't want to take it any more:

“The American people don’t want a government shutdown, and they don’t want Obamacare,” House Republican leaders said in a statement over the weekend. “We will do our job and send this bill over, and then it’s up to the Senate to pass it and stop a government showdown.” Wrong. The only settled way we know what the American people want is through the democratic process. And the Affordable Care Act (...Obamacare) is the law of the land. A majority of the House and Senate voted for it, the President signed it into law, its constitutionality has been upheld by the Supreme Court, and a majority of Americans reelected the President after an election battle in which the Affordable Care Act was a central issue. Moreover, we don’t repeal laws in this country by holding hostage the entire government of the United States.

The showdown over the budget and the debt ceiling is a prelude to 2016, when the Tea Partiers plan to run Texas Senator Ted Cruz for President. (Cruz, if you haven’t noticed, is busily establishing his creds as the biggest flamer in Washington – orchestrating not only the current extortion but also the purge of reasonable Republicans from the GOP.) We mustn't give in to extortionists."
--Robert Reich, American political economist, professor, author, and political commentator.

Fortunately, the American people knows who's to blame:

Poll Reveals Most Would Blame GOP 'Spoiled Children' For Shutdown

Links:  The Shocking Cost to Taxpayers of a Shutdown

Wall Street declines as government shutdown nears

Republicans Lose Business Allies As They Push U.S. Toward Shutdown

Entertainment overnight

For Donna at JUST ME and all:

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Entertainment overnight

Another one new to me.

Norah Jones is one of those artists I love to both hear and see, when she's performing.

Why America's Middle Class needs help

"Last year, a typical American household had an income of $51,017. The last year it was at that level was 1989 - meaning that America's middle class is making the same amount today as they did 25 years ago."   --Bill Moyers, American journalist and political commentator.


Here are some of the most poignant statistics from the site:
  • Percentage drop in average real income per family since 2007: 8.3
  • The median net worth of a family in 2010: $77,300  and in 2007: $126,400
  • Percentage of Americans that are unemployed/underemployed rate: 14
  • Number of states in which poverty rates rose between 2007 and 2010: 46
  • Approximate poverty rate from 2009 to 2012: 15
  • The last time it remained at or above 15 percent for three years running: 1965

So do you think our Congress would be working on these issues?

Oh, heck no.

Jobs bill?  Infrastructure bill?  Either one?

Heck no.

Instead they vote 42 times to overturn legislation aimed at helping the nation afford health care and push for regulating women's reproductive rights, among other things.

All this from the political party that says they're for the country, for the nation.

Clearly not.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Entertainment overnight

New to me, anyway:

Entertainment overnight

One of the most unintentionally perfect songs for Autumn I can think of:

Senator Claire on getting American jobs back

Claire McCaskill On the issues

I wrote our Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill on doing away with tax breaks for offshoring manufacturing and other work that could and should, of course, be done here in the States.

It seems difficult to believe our government representatives would have ever--EVER--given tax cuts to companies so they could offshore manufacturing and even profits but hey, that's what you get from a system that allows the wealthy and corporations to give campaign contributions (read: bribes) to our legislators for whatever legislation those wealthy people and corporations might want.

So, with that, Sen. McCaskill wrote me back the following:

For the past several decades, outsourcing has devastated many communities in the United States.  The jobs that have been most affected by outsourcing tend to be jobs with good wages and benefits, including many manufacturing jobs.  Plant closures can devastate communities, especially small communities where there may not be another major employer. 
And here's where it got good:
Unfortunately, tax and other policies in the United States actually can serve to encourage outsourcing, something I consider an outrage.  I am proud to co-sponsor S. 337, the Bring Jobs Home Act.  If enacted, this bill would cancel tax breaks for companies that move work overseas, including deductions for moving and other expenses.  The bill would also create a 20% tax credit for companies that move work to the United States.  The Bring Jobs Home Act has been referred to the Senate Committee on Finance, of which I am not a member, where it awaits further consideration.
You may be interested to know that I also believe that the American people should be able to know which companies are planning to outsource jobs, so that they can use their knowledge to make informed decisions in their communities and in the marketplace. 
That's why I introduced S. 3425, the Offshoring Notification Act, in the 112th Congress. 
This legislation would require any company planning to move jobs overseas to let affected workers know at least two-months in advance.  I also co-sponsored S. 3392, the Outsourcing Accountability Act, which would require big public companies to disclose in their financial statements the number of workers they employ in the U.S. and how many they employ overseas. 
So there are two things, at minimum, this Senator has done for us, the people and working and middle- and lower-classes.  Two things this Democrat has done for us.
Two big things that separate the Democrats from the Republicans, to be sure. 
So, if you're reading this (either of you), you might contact Sen. McCaskill and tell her you support her and this legislation and, more importantly, you should contact Missouri's other Senator, Roy Blunt, and tell him he should support it, too.
Cutting tax deductions for offshoring manufacturing--and profits--would go a long way to bringing jobs back home to our shores.
To us.

Lt. Gov. Kinder against Missourians getting more affordable health care now

It's rather famous now--infamous?  Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder not only has come out further against the Affordable Care Act--"Obamacare"--but he says we in the state should boycott the program:

(AP) – State legislators continue their fight against Obamacare. Now, Lietuenant Governor Peter Kinder is discouraging Missouri residents from signing up for health insurance under a new online marketplace.

People can start enrolling for insurance next Tuesday under several options offered by a federally run health insurance exchange. The online shopping site is a key part of Obamacare.

Kinder is among several Missouri Republicans that have fought against the federal health care law. He says Missourians should actively resist it by refusing to sign up for coverage through the insurance exchange.

We don’t know specific insurance policy options and prices here yet. That’s partly because a Missouri law prohibits state officials from taking steps to implement an insurance exchange.

Springfield's News-Leader newspaper, in their op/ed piece, got it so right Monday, I think:

Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder has gone to great lengths to oppose the Affordable Care Act — aka, Obamacare — even to the point of filing a lawsuit challenging its implementation.

But his latest effort to undermine the law is his most insidious and distasteful move to date.

On Monday, Kinder urged Missourians to boycott the online marketplace that launches next week, saying: “I would hope there would be active resistance to this law — that people would not sign up.”
Kinder, like many of his Republican colleagues at the state and federal level, would rather turn a blind eye to the thousands of needy state residents who are unable to access or afford health insurance.

Missouri has roughly 800,000 people without health insurance. About half of those could be eligible for subsidized coverage through the online health insurance exchange, said Ryan Barker, vice president of health policy at the Missouri Foundation for Health...

...Of course, Kinder is sitting comfortable while he discourages poor families and even jobless adults or others unable to get insurance.

Kinder is insured through the state plan for employees, his spokesman confirmed. For those plans, the state pays the lion’s share of the cost.

Kinder’s spiteful attempt to discourage people from accessing health care reminds us of Captain Ahab and his quest to kill the white whale. You can almost hear the echoes of Gregory Peck from the classic 1956 “Moby Dick” film:

“From hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee.”

Keep in mind, too, that this column is from the very Right Wing, very Conservative and very Republican, "Red" Southwest corner of the state.

The facts are, ladies and gentlemen:

--We have the most expensive health care system in the world.

--It's the number one reason people in America go bankrupt.  40% of us, in fact.

--We get the worst physical outcomes of that health care out of the top 17 industrialized nations in the world.

--The Republicans have no alternate solution or solutions to fix it.

But they're against this Affordable Care Act.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Entertainment overnight

Like no one else.

Business, banks, Wall Street and the people, all against a government shutdown

Other than the extreme Right Wing of the nation, it seems most have lined up solidly against any government shutdown--most of the people, the business community, the banks and Wall Street:

Concerns about the strength of the economy and the potential for a budget fight in Washington pushed down the stock market Monday...

...The threat of a looming political showdown over the budget also weighed on investors.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to defund President Barack Obama's health care law on Friday, a gesture that reminded Wall Street that the Republican-led House and the Democratic-controlled Senate are poised for a showdown over spending.
The debt ceiling must be raised by Oct. 1 to avoid a government shutdown, and a potential default on payments, including debt, later in the month.
"There seems to be a higher probability there will be more of a battle over that," said Scott Wren a senior equity strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors. "That could inject some volatility into the market."

No one, no one wants a government shutdown except, again, the extreme Right Wing and uber-Conservatives and the extremists of the Republican Party, including and likely especially the Tea Party members.

There's nothing good--and a lot of bad--that would come with such an extreme, unnecessary, utterly avoidable and irresponsible move.

Quote of the day--On the Republicans vs. working, middle-class Americans and the poor

“What the Republicans are doing is fighting for tax breaks for billionaires, for the one out of four corporations in America that pays nothing in taxes, and they’re going to war against working families, against kids, against the elderly and the children. And our job has got to be to expose what right-wing extremism is… at a time when the richest people in this country are becoming richer and the middle class is disappearing it is beyond shameful to cut food programs… for people in need… to allow people to go hungry.” 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

You know how Rep. Vicky Hartzler voted to kill the food stamp program?

Yes, she did: 

These Republicans Who Voted To Cut Food Stamps Personally Received Large Farm Subsidies

So she voted to cut 40 billion dollars out of food stamps that are, as we know, for the poor--oh, and the military, they get food stamps too:

But get this.  If you read that article, above, you realize good ol' government-hatin' Rep. Hartzler be lovin' herself some gubmint largesse:

Another Republican congresswoman who voted to make cuts to the food stamp program was Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri. Her farm received more than $800,000 in Department of Agriculture subsidies from 1995-20102. In 2001, her farm received $135,482 in subsidies.

Check that out.

Ol' Vicky be hatin' on gubmint but not so much she can't take more than three-quarters of a million dollars from 'em.

I mean, from you and me.

Go get 'em, Vicky.


Three huge, recent developments to give one hope

Three things have taken place recently and really, if you think about it, they really could give you great hope.

The first is that we have, to date, avoided war, or anything like it, with Syria:

First things, first on this one, too.  Don't think for a minute I'm foolish enough to think or believe a) this is a done-deal or that b) it will be easy. It won't.  It will at least take some time for Assad and Syria to get rid of its gas weapons, if they even do at all but, that said, we came perilously close to bombing Syria.
But we didn't. 
And we aren't.
And that's a good thing.
That's a VERY good thing.
Making it even better is that Russia and their leader, none other than Vladimir Putin jumped in to make it happen.
He knew we'd do it and knew, also, it would only hurt Russia, besides their partner.
This is a big, big good thing.
The second good thing to happen to give one hope are all the good signs coming out of Iran and from their new leader, President Hassan Rouhani:
The truth is, there have been so many good signs and public statements coming from Pres. Rouhani lately, I can't even post them all.
And he's due here next week.  He and President Obama are to meet and talk.
Fantastic stuff.  Inconceivable, not that long ago.
Finally, the third good thing happening of late are all the good signs and, again, quotes, coming from the new Pope and head of the Catholic Church:

Pope Francis: Church too focused on gays and abortion

If only the Republicans in this country could do the same.  That is, realize they're too focused on social issues like gays and abortion, for starters, but make less stupid, divisive, ugly statements and work, instead, to get America back to work, maybe we'd really be getting somewhere.
If we can just get beyond the Republicans' stupidity and attempts at ending the Affordable Care Act and shutting down the government, and get them, instead, working for the benefit of ALL Americans and not just the wealthy and corporations, we might really be making some breakthroughs.

Quote of the day--all that matters

Great quote for a Sunday:

"Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones." 

—Marcus Aurelius

Saturday, September 21, 2013

First the vote, yesterday, and now the stupidity

So the House Republicans did it, just as expected. They voted to send a bill to the Senate stripping 40 billion dollars of spending out of support for the poor for food and the much ballyhooed defunding of "Obamacare."


Fortunately, for the rest of us, sanity still has a hold on the rest of us. This from The New York Times yesterday:

Delay and defund. And default.
That is the House Republicans’ brilliant plan in their last-ditch effort to block implementation of the Affordable Care Act. It is a plan that threatens to grind the government to a halt and wreak havoc on the economy.
If they can’t take over Washington, they’ll shut it down. It’s their way or no way. All or nothing.
This is what has become of a party hijacked by zealots.
It would be tempting to blame all Republicans for this absurdity, but that would be unfair. There are still Republicans who are interested in good governance, but they’re being dragged to the nether regions of nonsensical policy making by younger, more ideological members of Congress, many from safely gerrymandered districts that form virtual echo chambers of irrationality.
Here's where the people still in touch with reality came in, along with Charles Blow, who wrote this piece:
The old guard has warned against the recklessness of the tactics of far-right House Republicans.
John McCain told CNN on Thursday: “In the United States Senate, we will not repeal, or defund, Obamacare. We will not. And to think we can is not rational.”
Senator Richard Burr, Republican of North Carolina, said of the House Republicans’ strategy of threatening a government shutdown to force the defunding of Obamacare, “I think it’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard of.”       
Senator Jim Risch, Republican of Idaho, has said: "There isn’t anybody that thinks that Obamacare is going to get defunded. It cannot happen.” He added, “It is as impossible as anything can possibly be in Washington, D.C.”
Even Karl Rove struck a rational tone in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published online Wednesday evening, saying:
“Any strategy to repeal, delay or replace the law must have a credible chance of succeeding or affecting broad public opinion positively. The defunding strategy doesn’t. Going down that road would strengthen the president while alienating independents. It is an ill-conceived tactic, and Republicans should reject it.”
But all those pleas seem to have fallen on deaf ears, or at least defiant ones.
On Friday, House Republicans (and two Democrats) passed a spending resolution that would cut all funding for the health care law.
And this is what it all boils down to:
Sometimes in a fight, you just have to know when your opponent has gotten the better of you, limp home and live to fight another day. But the House Republicans prefer a twisted, last-stand view: face sure defeat in a blaze of glory and be remembered for standing up for what you believe in.
If only their stance were honorable. There is no glory in this. This is petty and small. This is vindictive and vainglorious. This is what the end of seriousness looks like.

Here, however, is more truth:


Still more:

“What the Republicans are doing is fighting for tax breaks for billionaires, for the one out of four corporations in America that pays nothing in taxes, and they’re going to war against working families, against kids, against the elderly and the children. And our job has got to be to expose what right-wing extremism is… at a time when the richest people in this country are becoming richer and the middle class is disappearing it is beyond shameful to cut food programs… for people in need… to allow people to go hungry.” --Sen. Bernie Sanders, Indep., VT

It should fail, these attempts from the Republicans. They apparently, likely will fail, too.

It just can't happen soon enough.

Links:  Meet the 217 Republicans Who Voted to Cut Food Stamps Program

Fox's Williams: House Republicans Are "So Dysfunctional ...

Where the Republicans--and we--are now

After that horrible vote from the House yesterday...

This is where our hope lies, in how recognizably stupid this all is.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Kansas City's next big, annual celebration??

I got to thinking today at work. (I do it constantly, to make clear, not just once in a while).

Anyway, it occurred to me, EVERY CITY IN THE NATION could--and should--have a "Bacon Day."


Who DOESN'T like bacon?

Other than the vegetarians and vegans, virtually everyone loves this stuff.

Rather understandably.

And what city better than Kansas City--Kansas and Missouri--to start it off?

With our history as a cattle town--including hogs and swine--and then as a food town, too, really, who better than us to kick one off?

There's really an unlimited number of different things you can do with it--appetizers, main course, and now I think I heard people are making ice cream out of the stuff.

There could be events from downtown to the Bottoms to Overland Park to even the higher brow Country Club Plaza.

Bacon Day.

The First Annual Kansas City Bacon Day.



I love the sound of it.

Let's get this party started.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Entertainment overnight

A double shot.

If you never saw it, see the whole movie:

More insanity from our Federal Government

This headline:

Just a couple of notes from it:

According to the report, lots of 1%ers will pay no taxes at all this year, while the country cuts jobs and services in the name of cutting the deficit.
“Ten major tax breaks that together total more than $750 billion in tax savings in 2013 are tilted heavily in favor of the top income earners; according to the Congressional Budget Office, 17% of the benefits from these major tax breaks go to the top 1% of households. In fact, according to the Tax Policy Center, nearly 1.2 million taxpayers in the top 1% will owe no income tax at all in 2013, thanks in large part to tax breaks that help them reduce their tax liability down to zero.”
Two of the key findings in the report tell the story:
  • Corporate tax breaks will total $108 billion in FY2013 – more than 1.5 times what the U.S. government spends on education funding. Between 2007 and 2013, the revenue lost from U.S. corporations deferring taxes on income earned abroad rose 200%, going from $14 billion to $42 billion.
  • All tax breaks for individuals will exceed $1 trillion this year, with about 17% of the biggest individual tax breaks going to the top 1% of earners. In fact, many individual tax breaks disproportionately benefit wealthy households.

Further proof, as if we needed it, of why we need to demand an end to campaign contributions so we can get our government and country back.

For the people.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Entertainment overnight

Quote of the day

"We will continue to have mass shootings as long as it is so easy to buy politicians."

--Andy Borowitz, American comedian and New York Times-bestselling author, also won the first National Press Club award for humor.

If only that were somehow only funny and not true or tragic.

Links:   Andy Borowitz - Search : The New Yorker

Andy Borowitz Report - The New Yorker

Andy Borowitz - Wikipedia

Another documentary more Americans should see

But sadly, won't.

"Who is looking out for the American worker?

The answer is:  nobody."  --Robert Reich, American political economist, professor, author, and political commentator

Links:  Inequality for All | a documentary film about income inequality

Inequality for All (2013) - IMDb

Theaters & Opening Dates

October 11, 2013

Kansas City: Tivoli @ Manor Square

Big money in our government

Photo: Pink Progressives

It's why we have to fight to end campaign contributions, folks, I say again.

We have to get the big, ugly, corrupting money out of our election system so the corporations and wealthy don't keep buying our legislators, their legislation and so, our laws and finally, our government.

And it has to come from us.

We have to demand it.

Related link:  Government Hands More Than $1 Trillion to Wealthy While Deficit Is $642 Billion

Think the European countries spend more on taxes than the US on their health care?

You would be very, very mistaken.

We, the US, spend far, far more on taxe--as well as and on top of our health care--than any other nation.

We are being taken for a very, very expensive ride, ladies and gentlemen and it's all so the insurance companies and pharmaceuticals and other corporations can make--and keep making--big, big profits.

All on our backs.

We need to demand an end to this.

"Obamacare" is just one start in our favor.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Entertainment overnight

Nearly takes my breath away.

We need a jobs bill from this Congress

From 2008 on, we have experienced the worst downturn in the American economy since the Great Depression, 80 years earlier.

No small fact.

Then, additionally, there is this report, breaking yesterday:

Many US bridges old, risky and rundown

A little from the article:

An Associated Press analysis of 607,380 bridges in the most recent federal National Bridge Inventory showed that 65,605 were classified as "structurally deficient" and 20,808 as "fracture critical." Of those, 7,795 were both—a combination of red flags that experts say indicate significant disrepair and similar risk of collapse.

And here's a kicker for us, in Missouri:

There are wide gaps between states in historical bridge construction and their ongoing maintenance. While the numbers at the state level are in flux, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and Pennsylvania have all been listed recently in the national inventory as having more than 600 bridges both structurally deficient and fracture critical.   (Bolding added for emphasis).

When you take that into consideration along with the fact that 2 bridges in the nation collapsed last year, it seems extremely clear what needs to happen.

We need Congress to come up with a jobs/projects/infrastructure bill.

We need the work, as a nation, as a people and our highways and bridges and streets and sewers and all kinds of infrastructure need updating and improving and even saving.

Our own I-70, as I have written here so many times, needs widening and improving and being made safer, alone, from Illinois on the East, all the way to Kansas on the West.  It's a no-brainer yet here we sit.

Instead, they legislate on women's reproductive rights and on loosening gun laws and trying to have us default on our debt.

It's irresponsible, reckless and nearly insane.

Link:  Don't worry ... that bridge you're driving over won't collapse. Probably.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Entertainment overnight

Nice version, I think/thought:

Notes on our debt limit--and what some Republicans are thinking of doing to us all

There is a terrific, simply factual article in yesterday's NY Times Magazine about the nation's debt limit and how several Republicans are considering trashing the nation's debt--and so, economy--just so they can make some points and get their way.

The most poignant, brief quotes from it:
Congress has imposed a strict limit on how much debt the federal government can accumulate, but for nearly 90 years, it has raised the ceiling well before it was reached. But since a large number of Tea Party-aligned Republicans entered the House of Representatives, in 2011, raising that debt ceiling has become a matter of fierce debate. This summer, House Republicans have promised, in Speaker John Boehner’s words, “a whale of a fight” before they raise the debt ceiling — if they even raise it at all.

If the debt ceiling isn’t lifted again this fall, some serious financial decisions will have to be made. Perhaps the government can skimp on its foreign aid or furlough all of NASA, but eventually the big-ticket items, like Social Security and Medicare, will have to be cut. At some point, the government won’t be able to pay interest on its bonds and will enter what’s known as sovereign default, the ultimate national financial disaster achieved by countries like Zimbabwe, Ecuador and Argentina (and now Greece). In the case of the United States, though, it won’t be an isolated national crisis. If the American government can’t stand behind the dollar, the world’s benchmark currency, then the global financial system will very likely enter a new era in which there is much less trade and much less economic growth. It would be, by most accounts, the largest self-imposed financial disaster in history....

...No wealthy country has ever voluntarily decided — in the middle of an economic recovery, no less — to default. And there’s certainly no record of that happening to the country that controls the global reserve currency.

 If the debt ceiling isn’t raised by X-Day, I figured, the world’s investors would begin to see America as an unstable investment and rush to sell their Treasury bonds. The U.S. government, desperate to hold on to investment, would then raise interest rates far higher, hurtling up rates on credit cards, student loans, mortgages and corporate borrowing — which would effectively put a clamp on all trade and spending. The U.S. economy would collapse far worse than anything we’ve seen in the past several years.

While this possibility might not sound so bad, it’s really far more damaging than the apocalyptic one I imagined. Rather than resulting in a sudden crisis, failure to raise the debt ceiling would lead to a slow bleed. Scott Mather, head of the global portfolio at Pimco, the world’s largest private bond fund, explained that while governments and institutions might go on a U.S.-bond buying frenzy in the wake of a debt-ceiling panic, they would eventually recognize that the U.S. government was not going through an odd, temporary bit of insanity. They would eventually conclude that it had become permanently less reliable. Mather imagines institutional investors and governments turning to a basket of currencies, putting their savings in a mix of U.S., European, Canadian, Australian and Japanese bonds. Over the course of decades, the U.S. would lose its unique role in the global economy.
The U.S. benefits enormously from its status as global reserve currency and safe haven. Our interest and mortgage rates are lower; companies are able to borrow money to finance their new products more cheaply. As a result, there is much more economic activity and more wealth in America than there would be otherwise. If that status erodes, the U.S. economy’s peaks will be lower and recessions deeper; future generations will have fewer job opportunities and suffer more when the economy falters. And, Mather points out, no other country would benefit from America’s diminished status. When you make the base risk-free asset more risky, the entire global economy becomes riskier and costlier.
And one final word of caution. Even if the Republicans don't "pull this trigger", so to speak, come October and have us default on our debt, there are still other concerns, thanks to their selfish, self-centered ways, for the rest of us:
...if the debate becomes an annual affair, the world’s largest investors probably will one day move toward a mix of other financial reserves. Decades from now, the world would probably be poorer on account of about only 20 people.

--Adam Davidson , co-founder of NPR’s “Planet Money,” a podcast and blog.

Heads up, skywatchers

...and lovers of nature.

This Thursday evening.

Thanks to Donna and her JUST ME blog for the "heads up."

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Entertainment overnight

Make it a great weekend, y'all.

The NSA?

If you think the NSA tracking us is a big deal, think about it.

We are so easily and simply traceable, it's not funny.

Between our cell phones, our computers and credit and/or debit cards, if virtually anyone wants to know anything about you, there's no difficulty to it at all.

At all.

Now, get out there and have a great weekend anyway.

And don't be paranoid.

Apple? That's it? That's all ya' got?

As we all know, the new Apple company--you know, the one without Steve Jobs--had yet another product release this last week.

Yes, they did.

And whoop-ti-freaking-do.

Apple unveils two new iPhones -- the 5S and 5C 

Poll are you buying the new iPhone 5S or iPhone 5C

One's a cheaper model and the other offers colors.


Forgive me if I'm neither impressed nor dissuaded from thinking that unless things change at that company, they're going down.

Not even a bigger screen.

Seriously, Mr. Cook?

That's all y'all can come up with?

Notes on a viral video

I just found this video on the YouTube home page.


1)  How cool, simply;

2) How great that Home Depot is getting/will get support and goodwill out of it;

3) This is what equality is all about;

4) Most of us don't have, will never have someone who loves us that much;

5) It's freaking beautiful;

6) How great that all those friends--ALL those friends--were there and so supportive;

7) Their parents were there;

8)  Lots of family was apparently also there;

9) Plenty of people will have cried at how beautiful and simple this is.

10) If someone's religion gets in the way of this beauty, in the way of love, of this kind of love, it's their problem--the one with the judgmental, condemning religion--and no one else's.

Now, get out there and have a beautiful weekend, people.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Entertainment overnight

A big, personal favorite artist.

Here's your 9/11 Memorial

@[216484961711918:274:Steve Marmel]
At the national memorial in New York, I hope they also include a copy of the Presidential Daily Briefing from August, 2001, telling then-President George W. Bush of Osama bin Laden's plans to attack the US.
It should be there.
He completely, totally and utterly ignored it.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

You wouldn't think this would even be possible

Not only is it possible, however, it is law.

The corporations and wealthy paid our representatives to create these laws so it's possible for these things to take place and, conversely, we now need them to make laws making the following illegal:

1) End tax credits for US companies that send American jobs overseas.

This one is difficult for any but the truly cynical to believe. You wouldn't think our representatives could be paid enough to create a law making tax deductions and credits for taking American jobs offshore, would you? Yet that is, in fact, the law of the land.

To make matters worse, the Democrats have brought up bills in Congress, in the past, to overturn this BUT THE REPUBLICANS VOTED IT DOWN.

And we're tolerating this nonsense?

 2) End tax deferral of the foreign earnings of US corporations. They must be paid as earned.

Same thing here. You wouldn't even think this is a law, let alone that we can't get it overturned.

 3) End tax deductions for foreign investment by American companies. Our tax dollars can not be used to create jobs overseas.

Again, ditto.

(Shaking head in frustration).

 4) Require all government agencies and the US military to purchase products and supplies made in the US

This requires action by Congress. Unfortunately, they're still getting "campaign contributions" from the very people who wanted these laws in the first place.

 Contact your representatives in Congress today -

Yet more reasons we need to end campaign contributions

As though there aren't already enough reasons to end the obscenity that is the campaign contributions of our election and government system--a lot I've written of here--yet more:

Members of Congress spend much of their careers chasing campaign cash and struggling to boost their war chests to fight off the next rival. When their careers are over, and there are no more rivals, many quickly dispose of what little cash is left by donating it to charity, returning it to donors or transferring it to party committees.
But not all. An increasing number find themselves sitting on flush bank accounts. 
A Center for Responsive Politics analysis shows that the number of former members of Congress who have campaign committees holding more than $100,000 has dramatically increased. In the 1998 election cycle, there were just 18 former members with war chests of that size. The number rose and fell slightly over the years until 2010, when there were 21. By 2012 there were 37. Now, the campaign accounts of 52 ex-lawmakers hold more than $100,000 in cash -- and eight have more than $1,000,000.

For some, this creates an opportunity to continue to play a role in politics or to support politicians they like. But several told that with so many charities and politicians asking for a cut of the action, having a lot of leftover campaign cash becomes something of a burden.
We need to stop this nonsense.
We need to demand an end to campaign contributions in our elections so we can get our government back.
For the people.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

A "Christian nation"?

"While attention is focused on Syria, food stamps for the nation’s poor are about to be cut. So are funds for low-income housing.

And although jobs are slowly returning, the median wage continues to drop, adjusted for inflation. At the same time, both income and wealth continue to become more concentrated at the very top.

Rich vs Poor ..

A single income of one of the ten richest Americans could buy housing for every homeless person in the United States for an entire year. (Based on a typical day last winter, when over 633,000 people were homeless, and the typical monthly rental cost of a unit with single room occupancy of $558 per month.)

The 400 richest Americans have more wealth than the bottom 150 million put together. But we are not talking about any of this.

We are not debating about what’s happening to our nation. We are not raising the minimum wage or reforming our tax code or fixing our schools or getting big money out of politics. We are paralyzed at home, and now turning our attention to a potential quagmire abroad.

This is the great tragedy of our time."

--Robert Reich, American political economist, professor, author, and political commentator.

What part of that sounds vaguely Christian?

Links:  Robert Reich | Facebook

Robert Reich - Wikipedia

The local connection to the "The Wizard of Oz"?

 This intersection sits at the entrance of, Cosby, MO.  This may seem like a trifling coincidence until you consider that E.Y. Harburg, the writer of the song, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, had a great aunt who lived in Cosby during his childhood.  He visited her every summer, and had many adventures in the fields surrounding his aunt’s farmhouse.  Still, you might not be blamed for thinking that it is just happenstance that Cosby sits at the intersection of OZ.  However, in the original version of the song, E.Y. Harburg mentions the town by name several times.  Producers in Hollywood and later historians were often baffled by the original lyrics, but once it is pointed out where the changes to the song were made, keen listeners can easily detect where the author mentioned his beloved home away from home.
 The original section of verse read, “If ever, oh ever, a wiz there was, the Wizard of Oz is one, be Cosby Cosby Cosby Cosby ‘cause... because of the wonderful things he does.”
 And now you know the truth.

 It is also worth mentioning that, L. Frank Baum wrote, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, in much the same way that Lewis Carroll wrote, “Alice in Wonderland”.  It was a verbal tale told to children.  Originally, the wizard was, the Lizard of Oz.  When children inevitably pointed out that the Lizard’s tricks weren’t real magic at all, Baum would say, “Of course not.  He’s not magic.  He’s a lizard.  Lizard’s can’t cast magic.”  He only succumbed to pressure later on when he was trying to get his book published.  For the rest of his life he didn’t understand the changes he had to make.  The witches were magical, but the Wizard was not.  That’s because originally he was a lizard.

From Facebook today, Typo Magazine  and my younger brother, Thad  , with thanks:

This intersection sits at the entrance of, Cosby, MO. This may seem like a trifling coincidence until you consider that E.Y. Harburg, the writer of the song, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, had a great aunt who lived in Cosby during his childhood. He visited her every summer, and had many adventures in the fields surrounding his aunt’s farmhouse. Still, you might not be blamed for thinking that it is just happenstance that Cosby sits at the intersection of OZ. However, in the original version of the song, E.Y. Harburg mentions the town by name several times. Producers in Hollywood and later historians were often baffled by the original lyrics, but once it is pointed out where the changes to the song were made, keen listeners can easily detect where the author mentioned his beloved home away from home.

  The original section of verse read, “If ever, oh ever, a wiz there was, the Wizard of Oz is one, be Cosby Cosby Cosby Cosby ‘cause... because of the wonderful things he does.”

And now you know the truth.


Typo Magazine


Quote of the day--on a higher minimum age

And to Wal-mart and every other fast food restaurant and retail store out there that's paying this sub-standard wage:

Image from Raise The Minimum Wage

Quote of the day


Have you no shame?

Missouri is No. 1 in hunger. Shameful.

If you have any doubt, it's from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's annual report on food insecurity:

Of all the ways Missouri has grabbed national headlines in recent months, this might be the worst:

Missouri is No. 1 in the nation in hunger.

This distinction can be found in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual report on food insecurity, released on Wednesday.

Never worry about where your next meal is coming from? You’re food secure, like 85 percent of the people in the nation.

Unfortunately, nearly 1 in 6 Missourians, or 16.7 percent of them, are food insecure.

That means that at least once in the past year, in most cases several times, they skipped meals because they didn’t have enough food. Money ran out. Or they got by on less nutrition than they needed just to spread out the food they could afford.

Last year, Missouri ranked 7th worst in the nation in food insecurity. For those more extreme hunger cases, classified as “very low food security,” Missouri had the second highest rate in the country. Arkansas was first. Those with “very low food security” sometimes go an entire day without eating.
That’s bad enough.

But when compared to the numbers from a decade ago, Missouri’s negative change, that is the number of people falling into hunger, is worse than any other state in the nation.

Not Mississippi. Not Alabama. Not Georgia. Not another poor, Southern state.


Number one in food insecurity.

So, all you representatives in Jefferson City. You want to do something about this?

I mean, instead of regulating women's reproductive rights.

Or trying to ban Federal regulations of guns.


Want our government back for the people?

Fight to end campaign contributions. 

When we get that, we'll get government back for the people.