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Friday, February 28, 2014

Entertainment overnight -- In memoriam






Proof the Time Warner-Comcast merger shouldn't go through


So there is a proposal that the two telecommunications giants, Time Warner and Comcast should merge and there is no better example of why these two shouldn't merge than the upstart T-Mobile and their story:


The fourth-ranking carrier blew up the rules on smartphones and wireless contracts, to the benefit of many consumers.

Little, fourth-placed T-Mobile needs to get more customers and business, so what happens?

They lower their prices and come out swinging.

And what happens?

They get more business.

And who won, because of it?

You and me. The consumers.

If the Time-Warner/Comcast merger goes through, not only do the customers of these two companies lose and they likely get higher prices, but it's better for every other big telecommunications company. You know, like the biggest one? The one on the Fortune 500 list that rhymes with Bay Dee and Dee?  Yeah, that one. They win big, too.

Fewer companies, vying for the same customers.

Us.

If it goes through, folks, it's one more way we, as consumers, are screwed.

If you're not already against this possible merger, you should be.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Entertainment overnight


I love these guy's work.  Turning cellos, classical music and rock and roll, on their collective heads:





What government representative right now could be against more Americans working?


So President Obama came up with an idea for America:


And naturally, everyone in the Right Wing--the Republicans, Tea Party and all the associated and non-associated haters out there--will come out squarely against him and this idea. But unless you simply don't want this president to be successful, how could ANY current government representative in Washington be against this?  Especially right now?

For one, America rather famously needs the infrastructure work.

We've already had not one but two bridges in the nation collapse in the last few years.

Interstate 70, all across the state, from St. Louis and Illinois on the East to Kansas City and Kansas on the West, needs updating, widening, improving and resurfacing, as just one fantastic example.

Secondly, and maybe more importantly, Americans need the jobs. Since 2008, our nation and our nation's people have suffered through the worst economic downturn in 80 years, since the Great Depression. The unemployment rate skyrocketed and is still too high. This, then, would be a place to get people back to work, it seems clear.

Third and finally, our nation's economy needs the boost. We have a lackluster economy now, at best and demand needs to be increased. Give people work, put money back in their pockets and see if demand doesn't increase. It only makes simple economic sense.

As proof or all this, particularly those last two points above, here's a report from NPR this morning:

Jobless Claims Jump UpOrders For Durable Goods Fall Off


But wait for it.

Somehow, Republicans like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell and even our local Republican politicians will come out agin' it.

'Cuz HE'S fer it.

President Obama and all Democrats, on both state and federal levels, should implore the Republicans, shame them, if it comes to that, into supporting this effort and as soon as possible.

No one should be against getting more Americans back to work.

And this work, infrastructure, at that.


The food stamp president?



Former Vice Pres. Cheney blasted Pres. Obama for food stamp spending, but the number of recipients grew more during the Bush-Cheney years. 

Perhaps he just forgot about that when he said this: http://on.msnbc.com/1gA2qvK

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Entertainment overnight






From the Washington Post: The US Defense budget, in charts


The Washington Post does their readers--and the nation, I'd propose--a terrific service in January by having an article on:


America's staggering defense budget, in charts

I'll only post a few here, the most glaring and important, to me:

The United States spent 20 percent of the federal budget on defense in 2011.

budget defense
All told, the U.S. government spent about $718 billion on defense and international security assistance in 2011 — more than it spent on Medicare. That includes all of the Pentagon's underlying costs as well as the price tag for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which came to $159 billion in 2011. It also includes arms transfers to foreign governments.

Defense spending has risen dramatically since 9/11. (no surprise)

The United States spent more on its military than the next 13 nations combined in 2011.

4A8078449E794DFB8CC33ADD00A6F1AF
Ordinary Americans want to cut defense spending far more than is already on the table


What we spend on defense is obscene--morally, sure, but even regarding logic and fiscal and economic sustainability. What we spend on "defense", I contend, only weakens the nation, taking away from both what we spend on infrastructure and the people but also taking away from our own nation's coffers and economic stability.

I think it important to keep in mind what took the now-former Soviet Union down.

It was spending on defense.



On our obscene Defense Spending: Stephen Colbert



The Colbert Report
Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Video Archive


And a graphic on it:






Photo: America's staggering defense budget: http://wapo.st/1c5JIcI

Meanwhile, that money is NOT being put toward healthcare, education, feeding the hungry, infrastructure...the list goes on.

#WarCosts

Monday, February 24, 2014

Entertainment overnight






That Pentagon, Defense budget?


Yeah, that one. The biggest share of the budget, bar none. Watch this:



And if that's not enough:


Like this post if you agree that you'd rather see your tax dollars go elsewhere! Please help us with this F35-spending public awareness effort by watching & sharing this new short video at  http://www.afsc.org/F35film  #FederalBudget #MilitarySpending
When are we going to stop plowing so much money and treasure into war and bombs and planes and the sort, instead of into people and even infrastructure for the people?



Sunday, February 23, 2014

Entertainment overnight






Final Olympic medal count

1
Russia
13
11
9
33
2
Norway
11
5
10
26
3
Canada
10
10
5
25
4
United States
9
7
12
28
5
Netherlands
8
7
9
24
6
Germany
8
6
5
19
7
Switzerland
6
3
2
11
8
Belarus
5
0
1
6
9
Austria
4
8
5
17
10
France
4
4
7
15
11
Poland
4
1
1
6
12
China
3
4
2
9
13
South Korea
3
3
2
8
14
Sweden
2
7
6
15
15
Czech Republic
2
4
2
8
16
Slovenia
2
2
4
8
17
Japan
1
4
3
8
18
Finland
1
3
1
5
19
Great Britain
1
1
2
4
20
Ukraine
1
0
1
2
21
Slovakia
1
0
0
1
22
Italy
0
2
6
8
23
Latvia
0
2
2
4
24
Australia
0
2
1
3
25
Croatia
0
1
0
1
26
Kazakhstan
0
0
1
1
Repeat after me:

WE'RE NUMBER FOUR!!  WE'RE NUMBER FOUR!!

There is this, anyway:
United States is king of the bronze

Some facts on the final Olympics counts for us:

It didn’t look good for the United States. No medals in individual figure skating for the first time since 1936. No medals in speedskating for the first time since 1984. The four most identifiable Winter Olympians — Shaun White, Bode Miller, Lindsey Vonn, Shani Davis — won a total of one bronze medal. (In Vonn’s defense, she wasn’t competing in Sochi due to injury.) The women’s hockey team blew a late 2-0 lead in the gold-medal game and the men’s team was outscored 6-0 in the medal rounds. Still, it wasn’t all bad. American athletes won 28 medals, good for second on the overall medal count. (That was nine fewer medals than the U.S. won in Vancouver, however.) Team USA’s 12 bronze medals were the most for any nation. It’s the third time in the past four Winter Olympics the Americans have won that tally.

Links:  The 14 most fascinating facts about the final 2014 Winter Olympics medal count

Inside the Final Medal Count at the 2014 Winter Olympics


On 2016 and President Hillary Rodham Clinton




Much as I would love, love, love to have a woman, specifically Hillary Clinton, as next president of these United States and as good as that would be, in at least some, if not a lot of ways, I've come to the conclusion that, even though it should be inconsequential--a woman as president--it will, quite likely, tear the nation apart.

I was speaking with an older, white friend last evening--and I mention his color because it does, in fact, matter--and mind you, he's beyond Right Wing, he's that far out there, and the anger and invective that came from his mouth at the mention of Hillary Clinton as next president of the nation was extremely strong and swift.

I think, for these people, quite likely a great deal of them, they feel or have felt that the election of the first black as president, Barack Obama, of course, was an aberration, whether they think the election was stolen or that he was put in there by some Left Wing cabal or the "Illuminati" or whatever. They'd like to get away from that aberration, naturally, in this line of thought, and getting back to some man--nearly any man but preferably, again, of course, a Republican, first but just ANY man would be accepted and an improvement, even if he's a Librul, God forbid.

Going from, first, a black man--a Kenyan, at that, they think--to a woman, THAT woman, Hillary Rodham Clinton--will just be continuing the nightmare for these people. Sure, it would do wonders for Fox "News" and Rush "Porkulus" Limbaugh and Bill O'Really and Glen Beck and Mike "Huckster" Huckabee and all the haters but with both their hate and anger, I believe they may well come to the conclusion, for all their hysterical but deeply held beliefs and "reasons", that we, America and Americans, really are "going to hell" and Hillary Clinton as president, if even for only 4 years would be beyond the pale.  It would be too far. It would be too much. For them, anyway.

Forget that, as I said above, you'd think and hope that it's inconsequential that she happens to be female. Forget the historic factor of, not just finally, finally, as a nation, having our first female elected president or that she would be, in fact, also following the first elected black president and forget that there would also, at the same time, be a former president as sitting "First Man" in the White House. Forget all that, sweep that aside, monumental as it would all be.

The fact is, Ms. Clinton has a good to great shot at being the next president of this country.  Naturally, it's a long, long way from November, 2016 politically but it is coming up on the time horizon very quickly, nonetheless. The race has clearly already begun, for that matter. The positioning for the job began at least months ago.

The possibilities and likelihoods of all this for the nation is both exciting and scary, all at once.

These are fascinating times in which we live.

I could go for a bit less "fascinating", however.

Other nations can have a female leader for their countries.

We Americans just don't seem to be that intelligent, mature or open-minded to it yet.  We aren't ready.

I'd love to be wrong about that.


A simple solution to a great deal of the nation's problems


Seriously, President Obama should come out against oxygen so Republicans would all suffocate.  Here's the latest proof:


What just happened:

An Obama administration proposal to reduce Medicare payment rates for managed care plans was met with resistance by Republicans, who said beneficiaries would suffer.

So this president just proposed cutting spending, something that, up to now, I thought, I think we all understood, was one of the Republicans' highest priorities and, true to form, "if the black guy in the White House is 'fer it, we must be agin' it."

I'd like to see the headline in the paper tomorrow:  

PRESIDENT OBAMA SAYS OXYGEN GOOD

It would, it seems clear, solve a LOT of our problems.