Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Portions of 911 Victims Remains Taken To Landfill

Just like body posts from troops ended up there, some victim remains were discarded after going to Dover.

The questions remains though how Limbaugh's going to pin this on Democrats, Liberals, and/or Hippies.

See Washington Post report for details:


John Boehner Now Looking Less Like Don Draper More Like a Failure

Remember how multiple news sources styled John Boehner as the second coming of Don Draper because the House Speaker drank heavily and smoked? 

Obviously they were just following talking points sent to them by the RNC.  Now we see the problem with having a news system that accepts political talking points sent to them via emailemail in lieu of real reporting.

John Boehner is less Mad Man than just a failure.

See his latest fiasco at Politico:


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Charities and Those They Serve Could Be Hurt By Congressional Inaction

The clash between the parties in Congress may keep people from eating, communities from the user of land easements. 

We should tell Congress to extend credits for charitable donations and sort out later who might not be worthy.

Enough with endless posturing.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Video: Republicans Won't Tamp Down Oil Prices by Demanding Keystone XL Pipeline Products Stay in US

The US takes the risk of the Keystone XL pipeline across one of our most vital aquifers, but the Republicans refuse to vote to ensure the oil stays here because they get millions from oil companies to help keep gas prices high.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Gannett, Excepting USA Today, To Use Internet Pay Walls

My take: The Balkanization of the news media with pay walls is a dangerous development that is likely to lead  to a serious reduction of real democracy in the US. 

See Politico blogger's report on this basic details.

My  take: Imagine if, in 2002, you could only afford to party for a NyTimes subscription.  You would not have the tools to evaluate whether to go to ear on Iraq or not. 

Though our national leaders still decided to go to war possibly because of the under- developed blogging society at the time, many Americans knew how terrible the decision was.

I imagine the  extreme right, Koch Industries, and other special interests will still offer news for free, but you can guess how balanced those sources will be.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ezra Klein Writes About Paid Writers Working the Comment Sections. Finally a mainstream acknowledgement.

Much of mainstream media keeps the knowledge that some commenters are being paid under their hat, but watching what happens in comment sections and even on forum boards, and Twitter and similar type spots over the last 15 years, I've found patterns that suggest that  there are rather large numbers of people who are writing for money, though I am astonished that $20 a hour is mentioned. 

I'm guessing that is only for some writers as specified by Klein's report.  As his chart shows it is still cheaper to do that than to make advertisements and the newspaper offers commenters free space.  Then again not everyone who reads an article reads all the comments too.

In my general experience with forums, blogs, Twitter, comment boards, etc. it appears to be the right and centrist interests paying for their commenters.  Even among liberals those who seem to be working for money tend to the right of many of us, though maybe not in their personal lives.

What I'm saying is that the money is coming from the right of every issue when it comes in to politics. 

So the money earners during the Health Care Debate  on the Democratic side were working to get  a lot of us liberals on Twitter to be happy with an HCR package without a public option.  To their credit most of the liberal commenters that I suspect were paid, were articulate and nice in their work.  That's more than can often be said for the paid Twitterers on the right.

Now, that being said, even college students don't know some things.  They don't see yet how they are going to be dragged down by that college loan, as many Occupiers know and have expressed.  They don't see how it is when you have to go to work in High School to help support family and can't even get to college and will only be hired at minimum wage, if then, if their skin is darker than many of their peers, so  many employers don't trust trust them without that degree.

They also may not know what it's like to see the children of families that are better connected to the 1% go quickly into high paying jobs that don't seem even to have that much work associated with them even when they have a degree.

They don't know how it feels when they are just getting by working long hours and suddenly they or here significant other gets pregnant and they wouldn't know how to maintain their work schedule with a baby and immense medical bills are a part of their lives.

Therefore, college students might be more susceptible to right wing and even Libertarian lies about what equality is or even the newest Big Lie that the young pay for the retirement of the old.  I wrote a post that showed that the old pre-pay for their retirement entirely except for a few that live extraordinarily long lives.

BTW, the rising lifespan numbers are actually a myth created because so many children tended to die in the first decades of the twentieth century.  So, the increased lifespan actually reflects a lot of children who made it into the work force.  Without the 1% constantly getting tax cuts and privileges, and convincing the nation to go to war to secure them resources we would be a much more equitable nation of people living much happier lives.
But Ron Paul's libertarians and others will pay you to post for money.

And now I know that at least some other people know about this.

I'm telling you this so sponsored Internet postings will have less of an influence on you.

Me, I should get some ads, it's the only way I'll see money.

But thanks Ezra for talking about the Elephant in the Room of public commentary.  Once people see it, it's hard to hide it again.

See Ezra Klein's Wonklife Tumblr Blog report  >>>> Here <<<<

#Keystone XL Pipeline Oil Would Subtract 3 Cents or Less From a Gallon of #Gasoline in the US


I wouldn't want to meet the spirits of Pine Ridge if my actions threatened their aquifer, especially for no more than $.03 off a gallon of gas!

I think Chief Young Man Afraid of His Horse is somewhere laughing at the lies promoting the Keystone XL pipeline.

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Bloomberg's Biz Week says that there is evidence that much of the tar sands oil or post refinery output will be going overseas instead of staying in the US to ease gasoline prices.
Though the pro tar sands oil folk crow that refined products from the tar sands will cure the US gas shortage (though we don't really have a shortage, just a speculation spike) a "Biz Week" report says:
The gas price argument rests on the bump in supply the Keystone XL will bring to market. Keystone XL would deliver around 830,000 barrels a day. Not all of that would be used in the U.S., however: The pipeline delivers to a tariff-free zone, so there’s a financial incentive to export at least some of this oil. This is especially true because area refineries are primed to produce diesel, for which there’s less stateside demand. But let’s say two-thirds of the capacity—half a million barrels a day—of Keystone oil stays in the U.S. That’s a convenient estimate on which to gauge the impact of Keystone oil, because it’s the supply increase the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which provides independent data on energy markets, expected in a recent study of the expiration of offshore drilling bans. In 2008, it studied what 500,000 barrels more per day would save consumers at the pump 3¢ a gallon.
(Various text emphasis modeling above added by this blogger to keep each unique point clear.)

Wow, 3 cents a gallon.  What a deal!  (and that is based on speculation, which the author of the article admits is arbitrary, that two thirds of the oil & products stay in the US instead of heading off on Oil tankers or Supertankers to Asia ).

And the latest, increased, jobs numbers that Trans Canada says will be created are viewed with skepticism by BW.  See excerpt:

Clearly, the construction of the pipe, most of it below ground, will be a huge undertaking. The estimated number of people it will employ in the process, however, has fluctuated wildly, with TransCanada raising the number from 3,500, to 4,200, to 20,000 temporary positions and suggesting the line will employ several hundred on an on-going basis. The U.S. State Department, which made its own assessment because the pipeline crosses the U.S.-Canada border, estimates the line will create just 20 permanent jobs. One advantage of a pipeline, after all, is that it’s automated.

John McCain Pals Around the Mideast

LOL I couldn't resist using the Roll Call writer's headline, Usually I write my own.

This article is actually about how "liberals" in Egypt are afraid to meet with McCain because they could be vilified by their opposition as palling around with Americans.

Of course, "liberals" in Egypt would be those who are not Islamists.

Sarah Palin would be proud to be considered one there.

See report at Roll Call: http://bit.ly/yAYAda

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Political Associate Confronted Ron Paul About Double Billing for Flights

When confronted with evidence of the Congressman's people double billing for travel Ron Paul told man from group who had paid fire reimbursements that it "happens all the time".

The Roll Call reporter reminds readers that an earlier report found evidence many of Rep Paul's flights may have been paid for twice, once by a political group and once by the US Taxpayer.

Mr Paul's people need to clear this up even if it means taking a hit monetarily at this point, if he wants to keep this from blowing up, though it is possible that the charges were first introduced by another candidate's opposition research, I'd guess from the campaign of the Republican "front runner" that Paul threatens who has never been in Congress and so hasn't faced submitting such charges to the taxpayers himself but I could be wrong.

(Gmail posted this report too soon when I hit  a back button while revising a stump report I had saved in the draft box.  If Gmail tends to send off draft email while a person works on it, that cannot be good for business people or anyone else.  They should require a specific command to send email currently saved as a draft.  Because Blogger sends off a notice to Twitter when a post is added to the blog, I am leaving this up.  I will look for other information on the Liberty Committee or Ron Paul ....developing.......) 

See shortened link below for complete Roll Call Report which also contains some details of  about the rift between the group and Ron Paul:


Source Watch on The Liberty Committee

Monday, February 20, 2012

Is the Right Wing Getting Set to Go After Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert?

Restoring Sanity Rally - Crowd
Crowd at Jon Stewart's and Stephen Colbert's Rally to Restore Sanity, Keep Fear Alive

The rally near the National Archives on The Mall attracted a quarter of a million people in October 2010, much more than the 67k estimated attendees at Glenn Beck's rally in front of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28 of that year. Other sites in the US held linked events Both estimations of crowds were given widespread respect except among the right wing media and the sources they control. So far Stewart and Colbert have avoided strong constraints that they mold their commentary to fit the desires of fat cats and the right wing media control machine.

**Picture allowed by Creative Commons license Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) and placed via coding available at Flickr. Roll over picture to see name of photographer who has has no relationship to this blog or blogger. **

There may have been a dangerous corner turned last week when the Right Wing journalism strategists realized how deeply people care about The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. After Wednesday's cancellation of Stephen's show due to the illness (as we have been informed) of the comedian's mother it took only a few days for an article in the Wall Street Journal by Dante Chinni the creator of Patchwork Nation Politics Counts: The Impact of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert telling the Journal's readers that the two Comedy Central shows are teaching things to people the Right deeply wants to control, "the Monied Burbs".

The Monied Burbs sound like a group from which the Right can get political, and personal power as well as those golden political dollars, and the a decent percentage of the group seems to be following the students in more likely Democratic patches to that hour of TV 4 days a week, learning things "free of the constraints of regular journalism".  You know those constraints like never mentioning that the extremely wealthy are ripping the rest of us off, and never working against invasions of various nations from which businesses want to extract oil and other resources, or against the interests of Israel, whatever our little buddy wants. Yeah, those constraints on mainstream media.

I find the way Mr. Chinni is using words, chilling. "Look Look, these people are being told stuff and our usual sources don't have control of what is being learned!" appears to be the hidden message.

It's the same problem that the wealthy and the right wing have with the Occupy movement.

In media though, the right has usually been able to pull the strings that guide the horse of information to the right. Recent evaluations of political fact checking sources show they now tilt towards a right wing bias instead of being honest representatives of reality. Rachel Maddow has repeatedly shown how the once more balanced "Politifact" Fact Checker has shifted to the right.

And just recently, the Washington Post's Pinnochio nose displaying Fact Checker (in this instance Glenn Kessler who followed Secretary of State Condi Rice around and make sure she sounded reasonable though her statements usually reflected the extreme right bias of the Bush administration) recent piece on the contraception controversy found:
The Guttmacher Institute, citing “confusion” over the statistic, on Wednesday posted the actual data behind it. It turns out it was based on a question that asked self-identified Catholic women who have had sex if they have ever used one of 12 methods of birth control. Jones, in an interview, said the women were asked to answer “yes” or “no” whether they had used each of the different forms; only two percent had said they had used only natural family planning.
Kessler also shows that the media accurately reported that finding, and Mrs. Pelosi basically said the same thing in the video near the top and yet he gives the former Speaker two Pinnochio noses!

People want fast ways to get real information on whether political people are telling the truth because they don't have time to sift through all the news especially since it's larded with nonsense and often propaganda by politicians business folk and others. So the fastest way for Kessler to show the right how much he values their support is to take a basically true statement that the news and Nancy Pelosi says and call it a half truth. I bet that hit the right wing sites instantly and Kessler knows he's on track to keep his good job.

The Right gets news media to tilt to their side by directly lambasting writers and analysts with insults and lamentations of "bias', but even more so, by going to their sources of money for whatever media they want to bend to their view. For Comedy Central, Vaicom might get complaints from thousands of people about "liberal bias". Non profits sponsored by right wing interest groups have lots of nickel a tweet or dollar a post "protestors" of "liberal bias" ready to ruin the reputation of those in the media who won't serve the purpose of the rich and the right wing.

Business folk and their representatives contact the the funding finding end of media that aren't serving their purposes and lay down threats of reduced ad purchasing or charitable donations. Pretty soon media folk are tilting more and more to the right.

In fact, searching on Mr. Chinni's name, I found instances where the he himself was the subject of attacks by News Busters and others, that may have taught the pollster that it's safer to do what they want and help them keep control over other media. And there he is in the pages of Murdoch's Wall Street Journal giving the heads up. "Watch out: Stewart and Colbert aren't under your control yet, and they are teaching real truths to the "monied burbs" whose minds and pocket books you want to influence."

Go to the comments sections. Some of the commenters are getting the message though others are as trusting as a the majority of the electorate that what they get in the news shows is a "balanced" view of reality. I fear some of the right wing pundits are just smart enough to know that Stewart and Colbert would be better off co-opted or removed from their slots.

This has happened before with others, and you see the constant battle to destroy Media Matters and it's funders, and , in fact,  though the group is already known to be liberal, FOX News constantly brings the same idea up time and again as if it's some kind of scandal.

Will Viacom back the integrity of the Stewart and Colbert programs or will they push them to add more right wing propaganda. The two shows already host plenty of conservative politicians along with liberal ones and the regular authors and celebrities. But, we should watch and listen as to whether a stink arises in the next few weeks.

If attacks on Stewart and Colbert appear we need to fight against them anyway we can. Sometimes it just takes people getting upset for a little while. In other cases it's a long process. We need to protect the right of Mr. Stewart and Mr. Colbert to report what they see in our society honestly. It is after all commentary. And the hosts often give the right wing politicians more than enough credit and often just enough room that the politicians expose themselves. It's just that the two shows won't cover for conservatives and pretty up their claims and desires in front of the rest of us.

Beyond The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, though, we also need to protect other sources of political knowledge who should be allowed to report things as they see them. For example Media Matters is currently under attack right now and some people within mainstream news have faced allegations that they are coordinating unnaturally with the news site, or even with David Brock and Satan, you know.

That's how the right does it. A ton of manure falls on a news site or even one or two people and enough of it sticks in the minds of the lethargic public their sponsors will  feel forced (or enabled) to demand a move to the right or even to ask for employee resignations or disbandment of news sources.

 To fight this use your presence on the web when you're home, in the streets when you're there, to tell people how the right corrupts the news, and where they can go for better information.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Though Most Americans Favor the President's Health Insurance Plans, Republicans Want to Use the Contraception Issue to Stop It and to Allow Any Employer To Deny Health Care Coverage

New legislation creating an exemption for any employer to deny coverage of any kind of health issue base on "convictions" is being promoted by the GOP. No insurance is safe. Got health insurance by union contract? No, you won't anymore, if this bill passes. (Obama would never sign the Blunt amendment into law, but what about next year if the GOP wins in November?) See video for details. It enters in middle of program and explains the GOP's attitudes and plans from there. Wait for video. It takes time to load:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Look Who Supports Everyone's Troops

I can't bring myself to just steal the graphic so see it >>>> there<<<<.  I know the graphic is all over the web.  I don't know who started it, sometimes it has a white background sometimes a red one, but the flickr account I linked to had a copyright license so I haven't shared it here.

Meanwhile below is a Banksy version of the Grim Reaper with a twist of smiley face. I know it's still someone else's art, but I don't think one can copyright street art, and I think Banksy knows that and the flickr host has this offered as through Creative Commons license Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0). We love him more every time we see his work though, so that's some kind of payment. Okay I'll go buy his movie. Somehow I have to pay the man back for all that great street art. (Rollover picture for photographer attribution.)
Smiley Grim Reaper, Banksy

The Testimony That Darrel Issa Doesn't Want You To See

This is Sandra Fluke's testimony that should have been included with the men in the first group of witnesses for the House Oversight Committee, instead of only that from right wing, male, anti-choice religious leaders.
Weirdly I could not find this video at The Ed Show, where he had another video of Sandra's testimony. In that one I couldn't get the sound to work, so I searched at YouTube for Sandra Fluke and found this. Enjoy!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Remember How PM David CameronWas Going to Save the UK With Austerity? #fail #unemployment

London, England
Downtown UK w/ London Eye

Part magnificent architecture, part stultifying class-ism. Same as it ever was.

Picture is shared via Flickr's native sharing code and allowed by Creative Commons license Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0). Roll over for  name of photographer who has no connection to this blog or its blogger. Click on Picture to go to original site for precise descriptions of buildings if desired. I called them what I called them

 When he got into office David Cameron started right off to make plans to push the UK into austerity programs, and eventually got his way. This was announced and the nation saw demonstrations and even, by last summer, riots over the results.

But don't rely on the NY Times to give you the true story of Britain's youth-employment crisis in their article "For London Youth, Down and Out Is Way of Life". Yes, Britain was smacked by the downturn in Europe which was a result of the banking crisis in the US, but many models for recovery say to increase government spending during a downturn, and then cut the debt after recovery has been achieved.

Don't rely on the New York Times to tell you that either. Instead they will publish a whole article on Britain's youth employment crisis without saying anything that would give anyone a clue as to how to avoid such economy harming circumstances in the future, even in our nation. BTW, does anyone think that the sons and daughters of Dukes and Earls are having the same kinds of troubles finding good paying jobs?  It seems the solution the Times wants is to throw older people out of work and hire younger.  That, of course is not a solution, just a shifting of the pain to another class of people.

Note comment below the first page of the Times piece as linked. That does explain how more equality helps keep a nation's economy stable. Nice that someone explains for free what the NY Times won't, though the newspaper expects money from their readers every month. This is why I don't go for their deal though I'm sure the owners and major investors at the Times own multiple vacations homes, while those who tell the truth, make do with much fewer of the trappings of wealth.

Keith Olbermann Explains Reality that Conflicts with Anrew Breitbart's Claims that #Occupy Members are Raping People

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Women #Democrats Walk Out of #Oversight Hearing on Religions' Liberty to Keep #Women From Affordable #Contraception #Issa #religion #health

US Capitol Rotunda
From the US Capitol Rotunda
I'm sure they weren't talking about keeping women from birth control in this painting.

Picture placement done with Flickr's native placement and attribution coding and allowed via Creative Commons license Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0). Roll over picture to see name of photographer (who has no connection to blog or blogger).
Darrel Issa thinks women should have to pay $700 a year for birth control when men don't.

Yeah you heard me correctly, Darrell Issa, head of the House Oversight Committee which often investigates suspected inappropriate or even criminal behavior is investigating whether women should be allowed to receive birth control treatment from insurance programs, and then blocks the sex from his first panel on the subject though Democrats offered a suitable young woman to represent the female side.

Issa says that the hearing is about "Liberty"  (obviously religious liberty to enslave women, men, and their families) in their self serving money collecting schemes.

Can you imagine the representatives of Catholic Bishops talking about how they have to be able to deny women birth control help (even though the Obama administration changed the mandate to the insurance providers paying for the need instead of the religious businesses themselves) while they pretend the whole priest on kid thing didn't happen.  What's the matter, are they running out of young boys and girls to molest?

And who's enabling these guys?

Rising GOP star Darrel Issa who says that the hearing is about liberties, not contraception.

Dude religions don't have liberties, people do.  In the US people have the rights, not religious leaders to control them!

See "Carolyn Maloney, Eleanor Holmes Norton walk out of contraception hearing"  for full desktop article or

 http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0212/72971.html#ixzz1mZuaWuH3  for the mobile edition of pertinent article from Politico's mobile edition

Last link above shortened: http://bit.ly/xksjth

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Reports & Video: How Goldman Sachs Caused Greek-Euro Crisis Which Ultimately May Harm the US

Attn: New link added at bottom. If you've read the rest, scroll down.
Zakynthos Museum on Zakynthos, Greece
Greece the Mother of Democracy is wounded
thanks to the smart guys at financial institutions, in the US. The crisis is threatening to take down Europe's and possibly the world's economy.

Picture sharing enabled by Flickr's native sharing code, and allowed via Creative Commons license, in particular Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) Roll over picture to see attribution of photographer (who has no connection to this blog or blogger).

Jim Hightower in his succinct but folksy way explains how Goldman Sachs ruined the Greek economy
In 2001, Goldman's financial alchemists formulated a scheme to allow the Greek government to hide the extent of its rising debt from the public and the European Community's budget overseers. Under this diabolical deal, Goldman funneled new capital from super-wealthy investors into the government's coffers.
Fine. Not so fine, though, is that, in exchange, Greek officials secretly agreed that the investors would get 20 years' worth of the annual revenue generated by such public assets as Greece's airports. For its part, Goldman pocketed $300 million in fees paid by the country's unwitting taxpayers. The financial giant dubbed its airport scheme "Aeolus," after the ancient Greek god of the wind -- and, sure enough, any long-term financial benefit for Greece was soon gone with the wind.
By hiding the fact that the government's future revenues had been consigned to secret investors, Goldman bankers made the country's balance sheet look much rosier than it was, allowing Greek officials to keep spending like there was no tomorrow.
Other reports of note do mention that refusal to raise taxes was also a big part of the problem.  By providing a semblance of prosperity without raising taxes on the wealthy (like W's cut taxes and spend program) the Greek government could mask the effects of it's bad management for years.

Hightower's report from May 2010 is at AlterNet : How the Monsters at Goldman Sachs Caused a Greek Tragedy
Picture from May 2010 riots:

Picture sharing enabled by Flickr's native sharing code, and allowed via Creative Commons license, in particular Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) Roll over picture to see attribution of photographer (who has no connection to this blog or blogger).

Another Report, this from January explains more: Vampire Hedge Funds Are Sucking Greece Dry

An analyst at The Guardian writes: I fear for a social explosion: Greeks can't take any more punishment. The writer might be a little too impressed with the violence, but then again Greece does have a history of rebellion followed by military juntas and repression. 

A video report from Democracy Now (below) with Richard Wolff shows how Europe's problems can hurt Americans even in our own nation.

New Report 2/15/12: Greece’s depression could prove worst in modern history

Monday, February 13, 2012

GOP To Attach Keystone XL to Highway Bill

Job one for Republicans = Destroy the economy with extreme prejudice!

By inserting the Keystone XL into the Highway bill, they can hold up that important infrastructure building program that will not only fix the nation's roadways and bridges, but also supply lots of jobs.

See report on the GOP's plan at The Hill via link:


Polls Show Contraception Not a Successful Wedge Issue for Republicans

An "opinion" piece by Juan Williams at The Hill (mobile edition as linked) shows support across the board for insurer provided contraception even from those paid for by non church but religious businesses.

Opinion is a description used by news organizations for any work they don't want tohave to verify, especially one from someone not currently on staff.

I have seen the same poll numbers in non opinion articles at other mainstream news sites, and Mr Williams analysis seems to be very reasonable.  He even brought over the FOX poll result showing 61% approval for employer based insurance covering  contraception.

Possibly he's trying to warn Republicans to not rely on this issue for their 2012 wedge.

I doubt that Santorum and other extreme Republicans will listen, but if we remind our friends and families that most Americans want insurance provided contraception it will help even our less politically informed acquaintances realize that the Republicans are running another scam on us. 

Religions should not control our lives except as we want them to and in this case, most Americans don't.

People have rights to practice religion as they see fit.

Religions don't have the right to control our nation.

It's nice to see, via the poll numbers, that people will no longer be manipulated into the latest Republican political gambit.

I guess the Republicans can thank their predecessors for a stream of wedge issues and self proclaimed mandates that went so bad, that even mainstream media's focus on right wing talking points won't work anymore.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Santorum, Boehner, & Romney Lie! 28 States Already Enforce Insurance Coverage of BirthControl, and 98% of Catholic Women Use Contraceptives

Woman with Burqa
Hey, Mr. Santorum: Our Constitution Promises Freedom of Religion for Humans
Not freedom for Religious leaders to control people.

Otherwise, we might as well invite the Taliban in.

Picture shared with native Flickr sharing code. Roll over picture to see owner name (no connection with this blog or it's bloggers.) Permission granted via Creative Commons license CC by 2.0.

Yes, 28 states already force religious businesses to cover birth control requests by their female employees, and the courts have already rejected cases against the practice.  Where were Rick Santorum, John Boehner, and Mitt Romney while that situation was developing?  Did they lift their little fingers to protest those supposed infringements on "religious freedoms".  No? Well, there is a good reason for that.  Religions don't have freedoms, people do, and Catholic women like contraceptives which they use quietly in the secret of their own homes.

Let me make this clear: requiring religious institutions to cover birth control without extra cost is already the law of the land, not a new program.  It's not being installed by Obama, just extended to the rest of the nation so that all may have this freedom. That's extending democracy to all.

And since an overwhelming majority of American Catholic women use birth control during their reproductive years it turns out that Obama's plan is not about forcing anything on them.  See article written by a protestant church leader published in  April 2011 98 % of American Catholic Women Use Birth Control ‘Banned’ By Their Church.

So Catholic women want access to contraceptive medicine, and they should have the right to get it on the same terms as women of other religions.  That's what equal rights under the law is all about.

It's human beings that have rights, not religions.  Religions are not people.

But by all means if you feel you have to reject President Obama over his attempt to extend the right to contraception to all American women, go ahead.  Take your burqa with you though.  You wouldn't want to deny the Taliban their right to see you covered from head to toe.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Prop 8 Backers Call For Federal Takeover of Court

Chic Dessert Table by Shauna Younge Dessert Tables
After Appeals Court Decision Celebration is Appropriate
Hate is not

Picture shared by Flickr native share coding, allowed via Creative Commons license: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) Rollover picture to see name of photographer (has no connection to this blog or blogger).

The haters backing Proposition 8 are outraged with the two 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judges who voted that the measure is unconstitutional and at least one has proclaimed:
Judicial activists like Stephen Reinhardt and Michael Daly Hawkins need to be reined in like Newt Gingrich has been saying about judicial activists
That is just part of a quasi-religious ramble from SaveCalifornia.com president Randy Thomasson.

First he starts preaching as if some religion has anything to do with telling us what all people's rights are, then he declares that marriage is not in the constitution.

But, Thomasson ignores the fact that constitutional rights are often denied to unmarried people who cohabitate that are given automatically to married people, from the all so important ability to visit one's partner in intensive care without special permission, to being compensated for all the time and effort you put into a relationship if it fails through a legal divorce decision..

In fact, Thomasson decides that since one prominent couple divorced, there is not reason for any same sex couple to get married.

But thanks Mr. T for showing us how undemocratic and unAmerican your agenda is.

We straight people will0 know to steer clear of you too.

See Thomasson's full statement in Mercury News Report   What they're saying about the Prop. 8 ruling

Thomasson notes that the two judges on the three man panel who voted for today's ruling were appointed by Democrat Presidents, but forgets to mention that the judge in opposition is a Mormon judge from Idaho (Wikipedia and Mormonwiki.com), who George W. Bush tried to push into a California seat on the 9th Circuit, in effect attempting to stack the court with more conservatives that are unused to dealing with California issues.  When Senator Feinstein and Boxer refused to agree, Bush dropped that request and waited to appoint Justice Smith into the Idaho seat.

So it's not about constitutional rights, but it is about constitutional rights.  It's amazing what religious politico people make up when they are trying to sell the rights of Americans to the highest fat cat bidders.

Now they want unconstitutional action against appellate judges for a matter they've decided isn't about the Constitution.

It appears that the extreme right like Gingrich are making things up as the go along.

Pete Hoekstra's #Superbowl Ad More Wrong in it than the Racism

Pete Hoekstra's Super Bowl ad is a mess of incoherent right wing talking points that high lightt the hipocrisy of Republican attitudes toward jobs and world trade.

The ad itself was filmed in CA  and features a young woman with long black hair riding a bike between rice fields (yes, we do have all those props in California).  She comes up to the camera in her perfectly coiffed long "do" and starts right in with the sophomoric message she was paid to deliver (in partially broken English).

The text is straight out of the playbook of a 10th grade bully as she's forced to call Michigan's senator "Debby Spenditnow".  I bet that was a phrase order from Hoekstra himself and the articles available on this ad note that the lobbyist who wants to become the junior senator from Michigan does see himself as morally superior because he isn't interested in spending money.  Unfortunately, Hoekstra is probably telling the truth about his proclivity towards  not aiding US companies so they can compete with the highly subsidized businesses of China. But that lack of spending could be what is holding back efforts to protect American jobs from what really looks more and more like a trade war with China especially in environmental fields.

Hoekstra now says don't look at the racism of using the young actress (of Chinese descent according to Mr. Hoekstra) and her "broken" English, look at her use of English at all, supposedly a sign of superiority.  But, if Hoekstra wants more American students to learn Chinese,  he should be behind more money flowing to schools and colleges for just that purpose.

Wait, no.  Hoekstra believes you accomplish goals by not putting money into them.  What a novel idea!  It's like not paying your mortgage so you'll be more likely to keep your house.

There's only one problem with that idea.  It doesn't work.

In another report Hoekstra complained about the failure of Solyndra, yet he fails to see that once again, it appears that spending more money on American businesses would help them compete.  That fact is supported by fellow Republicans like a GOP primary candidate for a Wisconsin Senate seat, Mark Neuman, whose company, Neuman Solar Leasing has received a half million dollars from the government.  Because, Mr. Hoekstra, if Americans don't have foward looking businesses we can't compete.

And, in fact, spending money is exactly what the Chinese government did to get the powerhouse economy it has now.

Why wouldn't it work here, Mr. Hoekstra?

In fact, that money spending gimmick is also what brought this nation out of the Great Depression.  Yes, in the end the only way that the Republicans would allow President Roosevelt to spend enough to put a final cap on the Depression was to go to war.  Still the spending finally happened and it did it's job.

The big problem for the Republicans is that spending requires asking for taxes from the wealthy.   And that is anathema to the GOP.

It looks like the second half of the American game will be led by the same quarterback as the first half, and Pete Hoekstra won't be going to the Senate, if we spread the message that spending to grow the economy is the right thing to do.  We can settle up on paying down the debt later.

BTW, I have liked some of Fred Davis previous ads, like the Demon Sheep, and Christine O'Donnell's  "i'm not a witch" spot. 

That doesn't mean I'd follow their advice.

This ad, though, with its racism, sucks.

I like though that the Hoekstra camp had to pay a lot of cash to get it on the Superbowl.  I hope it depleted ol' Pete's coffers.

What we need to do is to educate our friends and families to counter the lies of such ads, then we don't have to worry about them.

Articles I read on the new Hoekstra ad:

Politico: Super Bowl ads: Pete Hoekstra's hits a nerve

AP News Break:  APNewsBreak: Super Bowl ad hits Sen. 'Spenditnow'  (at Deseret News)

On Hoekstra and Solyndra : Pete Hoekstra Predicts Michigan to Elect New Senator.

Web site Fred Davis Strategic Perception

Monday, February 6, 2012

Did Ron Paul Double Bill for Political Trips?

Roll Call has found 8 instances in which evidence shows that Ron Paul (R TX) may have been reimbursed by both the US taxpayer and others for travel to and from DC. 

Other records are too incomplete but RC says there are indications that there may be many more cases of problematic travel and that after 2009 rule changes prevent reporters from being able to identify why Congress members are getting repaid by taxpayers for their trips.

Of course, the Libertarian presidential candidate's people deny any wrong doing.

But as one of those taxpayers I'd say full disclosure needs to be reinstated as soon as possible.

Politicians should be held accountable for every trip. 

We pay them enough and dipping into taxpayers' and political supporters' wallets for the same trip shouldn't happen.

See Roll Call report at: http://bit.ly/wXKnfV

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Finally: Proven Voter Fraud -- By Republican Indiana Secretary of State

Indiana Dogwood in Spring

A Beautiful picture showing the state and the tree emerging from winter and woods. Will the people of Indiana see their way to rid themselves of corrupt government?

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To quote Gomer Pyle: Oh, what tangled webs we weave, when first we practice to deceive.

BTW, the Republican governor Mitch Daniels is doing all he can to keep the Secretary of State in his office though the man apparently committed voter and representation fraud.

After renting a condo with a new girlfriend Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White kept his voting address at his ex wife's house so he could keep a job in the local town council.

But later his story becomes staying with his ex-wife to try to help raise his 10 year old son amid planning his marriage to his girlfriend.

But the jury didn't believe him, and the SOS was found guilty of six felony charges though Governor Mitch Daniels says he will not remove him from office until the judge decides whether or not to reduce the counts to misdemeanors (a scenario under which White could remain in office).

Yes, a man convicted of vote fraud running the states highest office overseeing voter integrity.

Just another example of GOP hypocrisy. 

You can read the details of Charlie White's various excuses for his actions. They are all pretty transparent and someone needs to tell the good people of Indiana that Mitch Daniels and Charlie White are just the type of state officials people get when they don't do diligence before voting.

See more details at AP report Indiana election chief found guilty of voter fraud

An IndyStar.com News report Jury finds Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White guilty on 6 of 7 felony charges also shows that White's opponent in the election that put him in the Secretary of State office actually won the election according to a recount commission.

Still Governor Daniels is apparently trying to keep the right to allow White to stay in office or assign it as the governor sees fit.

Where's that fail duck when you need it?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

San Onofre Nuclear Reactor Shut Down Due to Steam Leak

One of the two nuclear reactors at the San Onofre nuclear plant on the coast of Southern California has been shut down due to a radioactive steam leak though the facility manager says there was no danger to the community.

(No sniggering now little French children who got leukemia while living near a nuclear reactor.)

The plant's operators say high temperatures (105f) within the plant are preventing work to restore service despite expense of buying replacement power.  This being California, at least one person in the comment section finds it strange that people can't fix the problem at that temperature.

Two reasons come to mind.

a.You can't go into a reactor area in a Hawaiian shirt and Bermuda shorts.  Think protrection suits that look like space suits but have no temperature reduction systems in them.

b.You can't get help for this job from the parking lot outside Home Depot. You really want skilled help here, and with all their facilities in the best condition.

Clean, safe, too cheap to meter?  Funny how they meter it just fine.

See link for complete report: http://bit.ly/xQelHe

Romney Camp Fires Campaign Advisor Credited With Debate Turnaround So They Don't Have To Give Credit

I don't know if the man really deserved credit for Mitt Romney's better results from debating, but the press wad giving him credit.

He was warned. He got credit again. And now he's gone.


Friday, February 3, 2012

New Movie: Pink Ribbons, Inc. About the Politics of Philanthropy

A new movie has emerged based on the book of the same name questions whether health advocacy is best managed by such groups as are doing it now, noting low levels of collected money going to breast cancer prevention and the environmental causes of the disease.

I heard about the book of and then in the last few days heard this movie had been at Sundance.

It might be a good thing to check outwhen it comes around (probably to smaller theaters and art house types).

For now, see report on the movie at link following and check for book online at any book seller:


Failure of Russian Space Capsule Test Delays Station Crew Exchange

The rupture of a Russian space capsule due to over-pressurization will cause the delay of the exchange in space station crew which is dependent on the program now that the American shuttle program has ended.  This is most likely creating some anxiety among the members of both the Russian and the US space crews.

Thank goodness we can trust that the US Congress has done all it can to get money to those private companies that are building a new American space program.

Wait. No they're not!  They delivered way too little money to the new space program in last year's budget delaying the US ability to get manned vehicles into space until 2017!

BTW, how do you over-pressurize a capsule meant to be sent into near zero pressure space?  It seems the pressure differential outside on the capsule out there would be so great that it would be very hard to exceed that necessary strength.

But don't let me second guess pronouncements of the Russian space agency.

See WP report: http://wapo.st/xp19gf

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Is the Susan G Komen Foundation Relevant Anymore?

Breast Cancer Campaign - 10 Downing Street Illuminated Pink
Some Women Will Be Left Out
Just because they can't afford to pay for screening

Picture: 10 Downing Street, UK
During Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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One might want to ask if there is much relevancy to consumer philanthropy and activism anymore.

Arising during the Reagan years, the  bubble gum pink method of fighting a disease through "awareness"  might be past it's use by date.  Everyone is aware these days of breast cancer. Awareness is not a problem.

Getting screening to poor women who may live years of desperate worry or even die because their breast cancer was not found and treated early, now that would be a worthwhile activity for a charity.  But that's just what the Susan G Komenn foundation will not be doing anymore in conjunction with Planned Parenthood according to the reports.

Instead they will focus on awareness.  I guess that's for the middle and upper classes who have the money to buy their pink shit.

This analysis based on news reports that the Susan G Komen foundation will not be donating to  Planned Parenthood anymore.

For one see: Susan G. Komen Pulls Planned Parenthood Funding

Also see review of book that appears to be sceptical of the SGKF.  I'm going to order a copy.

Pink Ribbons, Inc.: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy 

(for more information about what is inside see reviews by customers below the main posting.)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Maybe The Lies Ron Paul and His Followers Tell About Social Security and Retired People Led to His Poor Showing in Florida

The Sunset Years
They're not the time that you want to be attacked with vicious lies

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Young Ron Paul followers are told by the Libertarians, whether Representative Paul or not, that retired people are stealing their money.   The Paulites and friends have a scenario cooked up in which poor suffering young underpaid workers are virtual slaves to Baby Boomers.

It's hardly a surprise that wealthy Mr. Paul has as much disdain for older people as his newsletters used to show against people of darker skin.

Mr. Paul maybe you'd better consider that's why you did so poorly in the Florida primary election, because though there are lots of retired folk in Florida there are lots of them all over these United States as well, though maybe not in such a concentration, and telling lies about some of the most vulnerable people in the nation is not good.

BTW,  I already proved that most retired people have already financed their retirement via their payroll taxes, whether our government wants to acknowledge it or not.

See:  Do You Feel Entitled to Social Security? That Could Be a Good Thing