Thursday, October 31, 2013
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
So many people espouse this idea that a) our government is far too big and that b) we spend too much and so c) need to cut spending needs to read all of the following by Senator Bernie Sanders, (Ind., VT):
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Saturday, October 26, 2013
A two-fer this evening: great music and accompanying, unique, fun, intelligent video--
Creep">http://vimeo.com/16262803">Creep (Radiohead) - Scala & Kolacny Brothers
from Alex">http://vimeo.com/user1507951">Alex Heller on Vimeo.https://vimeo.com">Vimeo.>
Have a great weekend, y'all.
Let's face it, the fact is, there are only two real problems Americans have with the Affordable Care Act, aka "Obamacare."
Sure, there's the whole idea that we aren't quite sure what it is or how much it's going to cost or who's going to pay for it or, ultimately, how it will work because, really, that would require reading and/or paying attention, after all, right? And who's "got time for that"?
But ignoring that, there's really only two problems Americans have with this bill.
The first one is the big one.
It REQUIRES Americans to do something.
It demands that we all get health insurance.
And that goes against everything Americans in the 21st Century have come to be for.
WE HATE TO BE TOLD WHAT TO DO.
And we especially hate to be told what to do, for something to be required of us by Uncle Sam. We hate to be told we have to do something BY GUBMINT. It just goes against our current, very spoiled grain right now. We're far too spoiled to have anyone TELL US WHAT WE HAVE TO DO. (Even if it's for the greater well-being of the society, too, as it turns out).
That's the first problem.
The second problem is a tougher one, though albeit more short-term.
We really, really don't want no dang Kenyan/Socialist/Communist/Pinko/Gubmint lover tellin' us what to do.
As I keep repeatedly discovering, we're just not very bright.
Links: The F-35's History Of Costly Problems
Cost overruns, delays mar F-35 production
Lockheed Martin F-35 Fighters to Cost Another $771 M
F-35 racked up $1.2 billion in cost overruns
And on doing what's best for the average American.
Yeah, they're pro-life, of course.
Until it comes to the poor.
Or when they want young men to go off to wars.
It's God's will, for sure.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
It happened yet again, yesterday:
The weapons supporters and enthusiasts and NRA disavow and/or ignore this, however:
What does he know, right?
He was only on the Supreme Court.
And studied law his entire career.
Oh, and it was Dubya's administration that made it illegal--ILLEGAL, mind you--for our own government to be able to negotiate lower costs for our--for you and me out here in America--prescription drugs from the pharmaceuticals.
And people think the current President is out to do bad things to the public NOW, by making the most expensive health care system in the world more affordable for us?
Monday, October 21, 2013
If you don't already follow this group on YouTube, you might consider it. They are consistently, dependably wonderful in their singing.
Links: Solala - Du måste finnas - YouTube
For something still very beautiful but funny, too, check this out:
Sunday, October 13, 2013
So suddenly they're concerned about all that debt?
Where, anyway, did most of it come from?
Saturday, October 12, 2013
The following pictures from Warrensburg, Missouri, thanks to Show Me Progress :
At least if our Republican senator and representatives can be so wrong, at least plenty of us here in the state know what's right and what should happen.
Link to original post:
Protesting the budget shutdown - Warrensburg, Missouri - October 9, 2013
Most Americans oppose the Senate Democrats' proposal to raise the debt limit without implementing real spending reforms. I agree. The federal debt stands at almost $17 trillion today. Washington needs to get serious about reining in out-of-control spending.
Well, yeah, except a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll this week showed completely, totally and utterly the opposite of the Senator's contention:
And let's keep in mind, the Wall Street Journal is solidly pro-business and Right Wing leaning owned, as it is, by Rupert Murdoch so it shouldn't be claimed this is some wacko, Left Wing media nonsense.
The evidence is overwhelming.
Americans blame the Republicans for the federal government shutdown and rightly so, and Americans want our government up and working, running again and we also patently don't want our nation to go in default on our debt we already owe.
Another thing. Lest Republicans should try to contend that they haven't supported these debt ceiling increases in the past:
Finally, where, exactly, is the debt right now anyway?
The debt is actually dropping?
Under this president?
Maybe we shouldn't have this shutdown and a possible default on our debt after all.
Yes, we were:
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced Friday that he is calling off a planned execution using the drug Propofol in the wake of threats from the European Union that the 27 country bloc will scrap exports of the drug altogether if it is used for lethal injection, the AP reports.
Nixon is a fervent death penalty supporter who saw 59 men executed during his tenure as attorney general in the state. Missouri been had slated to become the first state to use the drug in an execution October 23, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.
The governor's announcement comes a day after German drug manufacturer Fresenius Kabi confirmed that it halted all shipments of the drug Propofol to a U.S.-based distributor after 20 vials were sent to Missouri for execution of prisoners on death row, Reuters reports. Shipments of the drug to Louisiana-based distributor Morris & Dickson were suspended from November 2012 to March 2013, the company stated.
The EU has banned the death penalty, as well as the export of drugs for use in lethal injections. The company purportedly halted shipments over concerns that the EU would place an all-out ban on exports of Propofol if it is used in executions.
A majority of Propofol is produced in Europe, and the manufacturer says the drug is administered approximately 50 million times a year for surgical procedures in the United States.
Nearly two dozen Missouri death row inmates had filed a lawsuit over concerns that injection with an experimental drug would cause horrific pain and suffering.
Once again, our country, the good old US of A is on the wrong side of an issue and the rest of the world has to correct us.
Friday, October 11, 2013
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
To hear Republicans, you'd think any Federal Government shutdown they induce is either not effecting people or a good thing.
Herewith, then, are 50 different ways their conceived, planned and executed shutdown is hurting Americans and America, with thanks and acknowledgement to The Huffington Post:
- Border patrol training has been suspended in New Mexico. (LINK)
- Businesses, including a hot dog store in Columbus, Ohio, can't get their government-backed Small Business Administration loans. (LINK)
- Congress' failure to consider a farm bill because of the shutdown is hurting dairy farmers. (LINK and LINK)
- Sugar daddy websites, focusing on relationships that feature older men who spend lavishly on women, are witnessing a spike in interest, which some website operators attribute to young women losing government benefits. (LINK)
- Real estate agents in Texas are seeing less business. (LINK)
- Veterans, including 100 Missouri State University students, will not receive federal tuition assistance. (LINK)
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service facilities -- in states that include Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin -- are closed to the public. (LINK)
- Timber contracts for national parkland have been suspended and sales are slowing. (LINK and LINK)
- A town in Montana dependent on seasonal tourism has become a "ghost town." (LINK)
- A dinosaurs fossil exhibit museum delivery to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History has been delayed. (LINK)
- Private tour companies near Yellowstone National Park have seen a dramatic drop in customers. (LINK)
- An annual roundup of wild ponies on the Eastern Shore of Virginia has been canceled. (LINK)
- Private hotels on government property are struggling with the shutdown and the absence of customers. (LINK and LINK)
- The director of a project to study stink bugs was furloughed, just as the pests are beginning to find winter hiding places inside homes. (LINK)
- Arizona stopped payments to 5,200 families eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. (LINK)
- Private businesses at Grand Canyon are suffering. (LINK and LINK)
- A legal challenge to Texas' voter ID law has been delayed at the request of the Department of Justice. (LINK)
- Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are growing frightened. "The blind spots are getting bigger every day as this goes on," said CDC spokeswoman Barbara Reynolds in Atlanta. (LINK)
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission court cases have been delayed in Maine. (LINK)
- The citrus forecast, which influences price negotiations between Florida growers and juice processors, was cancelled. (LINK)
- NASA websites have been pulled down. (LINK)
- King crab fishing boats have to stay docked without government approval of permits and quotas, costing Alaska fisherman potentially "hundreds of thousands of dollars." (LINK)
- Everglades restoration project funding has been jeopardized. (LINK)
- Tours at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Park in Kentucky have been canceled. (LINK)
- Some Native Americans are not receiving scholarships. (LINK)
- Other Native American communities are seeing nutrition programs, foster care payments, financial assistance for the poor and anti-elder-abuse programs cut. (LINK)
- Oregon State University is losing $600,000 a day in federal research money. (LINK)
- Dog park volunteers are being forced to stay at home in Oregon. (LINK)
- Medicare program audit has been delayed. (LINK)
- Farm and livestock producers are lacking basic information to make business decisions. (LINK)
- Two New Hampshire families were stuck in Arizona parking lot after planning 20-day rafting trip on the Colorado River. (LINK)
- Lockheed Martin announced it was furloughing 3,000 workers in Colorado. (LINK)
- The Maverick Mountain Bike Championship canceled two of its three races in Colorado. (LINK)
- The absence of a farm bill has hit cotton farming in Georgia. (LINK)
- Nursery plants in Virginia may die waiting to be given to defense installations. (LINK)
- Federal investigators can't inspect a fatal Metro accident in Washington, D.C. (LINK)
- The Department of Justice is seeking a delay in a National Security Agency case. (LINK)
- Washington, D.C.'s, food trucks have lost a tremendous amount of business. (LINK)
- United Technologies Corp. says it may furlough more than 5,000 workers in Nevada. (LINK)
- Sea turtle monitoring in Florida has been hampered. (LINK)
- Children in Tennessee couldn't ride the bus to school. "Since the Great Smoky Mountains are closed, along with a number of roads overseen by rangers, a some parents had to find another way to get their children to class. During the government shutdown, Bus #49 could not make its route." (LINK)
- Habitat for Humanity has been dealt a funding cut. (LINK)
- A free health care clinic in Alabama can't take on new patients. "Our hands are tied because we can’t help those patients unless we get that," said Cullman’s Good Samaritan Clinic Executive Director Kelly Lindsey. "We also work with pharmaceutical companies to get people free medicine, but they won’t do that unless we have that paperwork. It’s impacting us quite a bit now." (LINK)
- A boy was denied blood test until Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) stepped in to help. (LINK)
- Unemployment claims skyrocketed 500 percent in Utah. (LINK)
- Build America Bond rebates were not being paid. (LINK)
- A death penalty appeal in North Dakota was delayed. (LINK)
- Pig virus monitoring was stopped. (LINK)
- A wedding was displaced in Tennessee because it was in a national park. (LINK)
- Canopy tours in Great Smoky Mountain National Park saw "a dramatic decrease in the number of people walking through their doors." (LINK)
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
...you should probably be paying attention to this sessions' decisions, at least on this one, if nothing else:
In one of the most closely watched cases of the term, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the court will consider the constitutionality of overall limits on how much an individual donor may give directly to federal candidates, party committees and PACs in a two-year election cycle.
McCutcheon is the first major campaign finance case to reach the court since its controversial 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which struck down a ban on independent spending in campaigns by corporations and labor unions. In a 1976 case, Buckley v. Valeo, the court upheld limits on direct political contributions to prevent corruption. That precedent is being tested again in the McCutcheon case; the justices should reaffirm it.
And if that's not enough, look how it seems to be trending from this largely Conservative, pro-business, pro-Republican, pro-big money court:
As if it weren’t already clear enough that the U.S. Supreme Court’s next money in politics decision is about money in Republican politics, the plaintiffs are spelling it out for you, giving Sen. Mitch McConnell argument time before the justices.
We need this to go for the people and against the big money and corporations.
It surely doesn't look like it will go that way.
Monday, October 7, 2013
It looks like this government shutdown will end soon. Check this out:
Republicans are breaking.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the bedrock of traditional Republicanism, now says that it will get involved in Republican primaries by providing financial support to incumbent Republicans who vote to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. In other words, if some Republicans act responsibly and then have to face tea party challengers accusing them of being RINOs, the Chamber will have the back of those reasonable Republicans. It's a civil war within the GOP, folks.
That's how far off the deep end the tea party and right-wing House Republicans have gone. They've lost the Chamber of Commerce.
So good news, indeed. Someone in this group needed to get them to come around to sanity. The shutdown is irresponsible and expensive and utterly unnecessary but flirting with a default on our national debts, which would be catastrophic for the nation and world, is beyond insane.
More proof of good turns for the people right now:
Mind you, the shutdown is, of course, not ended yet and we're still suffering the ramifications. This from earlier today:
U.S. Stocks Drop on Default Concern Amid Budget Deadlock
Default Threat Generates Fear Around Globe
And then there's this fear, beyond our shores:
Default Threat Generates Fear Around Globe
And this simple, brief truth:
Yet more good news:
Fortunately, finally, Rand Paul has weighed in on the far bigger problem of a national default on our debt with something that's out and out intelligent, which is far too rare for him: "I think it's irresponsible of the president and his men to even talk about default. There's no reason for us to default."
The trouble is, the source of any default on the debt isn't "the president and his men." Far from it.
Stay tuned, folks. Surely the "right things" will take place here and sanity will rule.
In case you're like to see what the Republicans' shutdown shenanigans are costing us, go here:
Video: The Cost of the Shutdown by the Numbers
Sunday, October 6, 2013
Friday, October 4, 2013
(click on picture for easier reading)
We need to stop the stupidity, at least, if not the insanity.
Contact your member of Congress:
Republicans conceived it, Republicans planned it and those same Republicans executed it, this government shutdown.
Now they're trying to get something---desperately, anything--out of it, nation be damned.
Want proof? Look no further:
House Republicans who didn’t support tying government funding to ObamaCare now find themselves too committed to the strategy to back down, according to twin reports by David Drucker and Byron York of the Washington Examiner. Both writers said GOP leadership would likely seek to conflate budget negotiations with the raising of the debt ceiling in an effort to extract concessions to justify their efforts, even as they admitted they don’t know what those concessions are.
“We’re not going to be disrespected,” Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) told Drucker Tuesday night. “We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”
“This is not just about Obamacare anymore,” said Michael Grimm (R-NY).
What's crazy is that a) this is so true and that b) we can even here, let alone quote these people saying these things.
And weren't afraid to ask...
And one more thing:
This is and Republican-conceived, Republican-planned and Republican-executed Federal Government shutdown.
And no one else's.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Here's proof: Dollar falls after US shutdown
Fortunately, the American people aren't completely daft and there is some good news:
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Welcome to October:
"What's happening in Washington these days may seem far removed from my boyhood memories, but Washington is really just another childhood playground. Its current bullies are rightwing Republicans, now threatening that if they don't get their way they'll close down the government and cause the nation to default on its debts.
"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."
Really? The American people don't want Obamacare as much as I didn't want my softball and bat.
Okay, maybe not quite as much. But 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 bullies are a faction inside the Republican Party -- extremists who are threatening more reasonable Republicans with primary challenges if they don't go along.
And where are the Tea Party extremists getting their dough? From even bigger bullies -- a handful of hugely wealthy Americans who are sinking hundreds of millions of dollars into this extortion racket.
They include David and Charles Koch (and their front group, "Americans for Prosperity'); Peter Thiel, leverage-buyout specialist John Childs, investor Howie Rich, Stephen Jackson of the Stevens Group, and executives of JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs, (all behind the "Club for Growth"); and Crow Holdings' Harlan Crow, shipping magnate Richard Uihlein, and investment banker Foster Friess; executives of MetLife and Philip Morris, and foundations controlled by the Scaife family (all bankrolling "FreedomWorks.")
Their game plan is to not just to take over the Republican Party. It's to take over America. The showdown over the budget and the debt ceiling is a prelude to 2016, when they 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.) Obama and the Democrats must not give in. They shouldn't even negotiate with extortionists. As I learned the hard way, giving in to bullies just encourages them to escalate their demands. The president gave in at the end of 2011 when Republican bullies threatened to go over the fiscal cliff and take the rest of the nation with them. At that time they demanded spending cuts. Now they want to repeal a law they detest.
If we give in again, what's next?
A coup d'état?"
--Robert Reich, American political economist, professor, author, and political commentator