Sunday, December 23, 2012

Bang, Bang Crazy Part Three...

Jim Wright, an Alaskan blogger I follow, has written one of the best pieces on the subject of guns that I have run across. Jim blogs at Stonekettle Station. He is spirited, informed, irreverent, funny and a damn good writer.

He has the experience, the intelligence and the ability to get right to the heart of the matter when it comes to guns...anything guns. I hope you will read what he has to say...and you might even want to go back and read his original posts on Bang, Bang Crazy and Bang, Bang Crazy Part Two. Then if you want to discuss this topic in a civil manner we have a place to start.

Here is his excellent blog post... http://www.stonekettle.com/2012/12/bang-bang-crazy-part-three.html

I look forward to your comments.

Friday, December 21, 2012

NRA: "The Answer to Gun Violence Is Gun Fights"

Gun Fetishism IS a mental illness

Up is down. War is peace.

NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre just went on national television to tell the country that “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” In other words, the only solution to gun violence is gun fights. LaPierre also said, “I call on Congress, today, to act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation.” What LaPierre and all of the other gun fetishists out there are saying to America is that their freakish desire to own and shoot assault weapons that can fire countless rounds without reloading must be preserved at any cost and their solution to the gun violence that results from the presence of these weapons in our communities is to turn our schools into armed camps with armed guards. Every. Single. School. As so many gun fetishists do, he blamed it on mental illness. Putting aside for a moment that the very people protecting the gun fetishists “rights” have been the ones to eliminate funding for mental health services around the country, why are we not talking about the real mental illness here? Why is it not considered a mental illness to get obscene pleasure from owning and shooting weapon that has only one purpose: to injure or kill human beings. THAT, I would argue, is a clear sign of mental illness. One wonders what the impact of having our kids seeing armed people in their schools every single day will have. Does it not send them the message that the world is a dangerous place and that they should be afraid wherever they go? Will that not create even more unstable adults in the long term? Of course it will. The NRA is losing this battle of ideas in American. The vast majority of us see nothing of value from assault weapons. We don’t need to have our “man card reissued” by owning a gun. We don’t get pleasure from shooting guns. We don’t strive to be Rambo or Dirty Harry. We see guns as something to be diminished in our society, not worshipped or held as more important than our right to safety and freedom from fear. If you want to argue that the core problem here is mental illness, go right ahead. But never forget this one important fact: Gun fetishism IS a mental illness. Adding… The National Center for Education Statistics says that, in the 2009-2010 school year, there were 132,183 public and private K-12 schools in this country. Leave it to the NRA to come up with a solution to gun violence that involves putting over 132,000 new guns into our communities. The mind, it boggles. By Eclectablog on December 21, 2012 in Conservatives

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"Won Direction" by Bill Mahre

New Rule: Now that he's been reelected, President Obama must get back at all those right wing hacks who tried to paint him as an angry black man pushing a liberal agenda by becoming an angry black man who's pushing a liberal agenda.

Now, I have been mostly holding my tongue about the president this past season, because I didn't want to muddy the waters in a country where you only get two choices, but Mr. President, there are two ways to look at your 51 to 48 percent victory: One is, we love you. The other is, we like you three percent better than Mitt Romney. And by the way, let us never speak that name again... Mitt... let it be a dark and buried memory of a close call with a creature equal parts pure evil and excellent posture, like getting dry humped in a crowded subway by Roger Moore.

I like this president. In all those secret strategy meetings we had, with me and him and George Soros and The New Black Panthers, I found him to be very agreeable, Allah be praised. But it's now the job of progressives to hold his feet to the fire for causes important to us. If not now, when?

There's no third term, Mr. President, so you may as well throw caution to the wind, 'cause it's not like we're using it to produce energy. Yes, clean energy, that's just one of many issues, like civil liberties, the drug war, the drone war, the war war, gun control -- that have been on my mind these last four years, and let's just say I've been waiting to exhale.

And by that I mean, I've been holding my nose. But you're free now -- with no more elections to win, you are free to never again have to kiss the ass of coal miners and say the words "clean coal." There is no such thing as "clean coal." It's like saying "Internet Privacy" or "Tea Party Intellectual." Or "Fox News Journalist."

Another priority should be cutting the defense budget -- we're the home of the brave, let's prove it by getting by with one less submarine. Yes, we were involved in a struggle against a radical enemy bent on our destruction -- but the election is over, and we need to recognize that America has the same problem with the defense budget that Mrs. Petraeus has with her husband's penis: it's swollen, and we can't bring ourselves to touch it. And as far as Afghanistan goes, I know you said we're leaving in 2014, but look at it this way: enemies are always on guard for a surprise attack, but they'd never suspect a surprise retreat. Really. We can leave right away. Because we've figured out something the Afghans haven't: air travel. And as long as we're ending wars, how about the War on Drugs? Two states, Colorado and Washington, have actually legalized pot now, which gives you as president the rare opportunity to improve the world by doing... absolutely nothing. Just tell Eric Holder to stay the hell out of Boulder, and if the conservatives bitch about it, throw states' rights back in their face -- isn't that their big theme, send it back to the states, the will of the people? Well, this is the people who, in those two states on election day, got up off the couch and drove their 1987 Toyota Tercel with the "Visualize World Peace" sticker on the back to the polls, and voted to stop the drug war. And then drove home and got back on the couch. And finally, instead of rewriting Social Security, how about rewriting the Patriot Act? How about another look at rendition, and warrantless searches and wire taps? And how about stop listening in on our phone calls and reading our e-mails. I'm not a teenager and you're not my mom, ok? And besides, there's a better way to confirm your suspicions that I'm smoking weed and hanging around the wrong people: just watch my show.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mitt Romney Is The Executioner Who Is Leading His Supporters To The Gallows

October 21, 2012
This article was published today over at Politicususa.com and was written by Rmuse. I have no idea who this writer is, but this is the best article I have read lately that describes my frustration about the people I know and love who will be voting for Mitt Romney this election. I just don't understand how they could do it to all of us. Here it is...


In the Aesop fable, “The Ass and His Purchaser,” the moral of the story is that you are known by the company you keep, and it suggests that an adult is apt to be judged by their friends, associates, and heroes, but it does not mean they have to choose to be like them. It is related to another message in “The Farmer and the Stork” whose moral is “birds of a feather flock together,” and it is apropos to who one supports in the upcoming general election. The choice Americans make in November informs they either identify as associates of warmongers, racists, corrupt corporatists, and phony Christians, or as citizens of a country founded on equality and fairness.

At this late date in the campaign, it is unfathomable that any American would associate themselves with Republicans or Willard Romney. Romney promises to lead the GOP in cementing their reputation as enemies of the people and friends of corporations and the wealthy elite, and the idea that half of America yearns to cede government control to corruption and religion is beyond the pale. However, the past eleven years have proven that a large segment of the population is stupid enough to wildly cheer as their executioners lead them to the gallows, and defines the sad state of affairs America appears unlikely to escape.

There is no demographic that supports Romney that is not inexorably linked to their own destruction and unfortunately, to their family members, friends, and this country’s future. Republicans have panted to turn government over to corporations, religion, and the wealthy since their man-turned-god, Ronald Reagan, was president. For three-and-a-half years, Republicans actively and with malice aforethought worked to retard economic recovery and keep millions of Americans unemployed and hungry while they fought to increase entitlements to the wealthy, oil industry, and Israel. One hoped Republican supporters were not willing participants in inflicting damage to their fellow citizens and this country, but the 2010 midterm elections were proof positive that a majority of Americans thought so little of their countrymen and government, that they elected the most vindictive and incompetent representatives in the nation’s history.

What boggles the mind is the groups supporting Republicans and Romney know exactly what awaits them if they are victorious in November. Senior citizens who support Romney and Ryan know they intend on ending Medicare in its present form, and guarantee its insolvency by 2016. Veterans who support the current Republican ticket know the Veteran’s Health Administration faces steep cuts as Romney promotes giving them a coupon to buy private healthcare insurance as well as cutting their benefits. Women supporting Republicans are crying out for lower pay, discrimination, allowing Christian men to dictate their reproductive health, and to become birth machines producing cannon fodder for perpetual Middle East wars.



One might think that Romney supporters forgot the devastation their champions caused this country during the Bush presidency, but it is highly unlikely because it has only been two years since Republicans toured the nation promising their focus was creating jobs, jobs, jobs, only to begin the 112th Congress attacking women, women, women. Despite high unemployment and several jobs bills sitting idle on John Boehner’s desk, he led House Republicans on a campaign to ban contraception, drastically slash social safety nets, and strive to make America number one with the highest child poverty rate in the entire world. It must make Republican supporters proud that they are associated with harsh overlords influenced by religious fanatics and corporate cash. However, it is the number of Americans identifying with Willard Romney that associates them with racism, religious extremism, and corruption.

Willard Romney is a pathological liar with a business history steeped in corruption and fraud as he destroyed entire companies and consorted with the likes of disgraced junk bond king Michael Milken, his son Tagg’s Ponzi schemers, and foreign countries he contends are enemies of the state. Americans love a success story, but Romney’s support informs that they also love his un-American tactics that raided employees’ pensions, shipped jobs to China, and sent his ill-gained wealth offshore to avoid paying taxes. Romney’s supporters claim accusations of his malfeasance are historical, but how many corruption accusations does it take before intelligent human beings think, “where there’s smoke, there’s fire?” The only conclusion one can make is that a large segment of the population loves associating with liars, economic traitors, and tax evaders and still call themselves “real Americans.”

Read more here...

Bill Moyers Interviews Matt Taibbi and Chrystia Freeland on The New Gilded Age - for the 1%

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Joe Biden Was Right To Laugh

Matt Taibbi writes for Rolling Stone Magazine.

I've never thought much of Joe Biden. But man, did he get it right in last night's debate, and not just because he walloped sniveling little Paul Ryan on the facts. What he got absolutely right, despite what you might read this morning (many outlets are criticizing Biden's dramatic excesses), was his tone. Biden did absolutely roll his eyes, snort, laugh derisively and throw his hands up in the air whenever Ryan trotted out his little beady-eyed BS-isms.

But he should have! He was absolutely right to be doing it. We all should be doing it. That includes all of us in the media, and not just paid obnoxious-opinion-merchants like me, but so-called "objective" news reporters as well. We should all be rolling our eyes, and scoffing and saying, "Come back when you're serious."

The load of balls that both Romney and Ryan have been pushing out there for this whole election season is simply not intellectually serious. Most of their platform isn't even a real platform, it's a fourth-rate parlor trick designed to paper over the real agenda – cutting taxes even more for super-rich dickheads like Mitt Romney, and getting everyone else to pay the bill.

The essence of the whole campaign for me was crystalized in the debate exchange over Romney's 20 percent tax-cut plan. ABC's Martha Raddatz turned the questioning to Ryan:
MS. RADDATZ: Well, let's talk about this 20 percent.
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Well – (chuckles) –
MS. RADDATZ: You have refused yet again to offer specifics on how you pay for that 20 percent across-the-board tax cut. Do you actually have the specifics, or are you still working on it, and that's why you won't tell voters?
Here Ryan is presented with a simple yes-or-no answer. Since he doesn't have the answer, he immediately starts slithering and equivocating:
REP. RYAN: Different than this administration, we actually want to have big bipartisan agreements. You see, I understand the –
"We want to have bipartisan agreements?" This coming from a Republican congressman? These guys would stall a bill to name a post office after Shirley Temple. Biden, absolutely properly, chuckled and said, "That'd be a first for a Republican congress." Then Raddatz did exactly what any self-respecting journalist should do in that situation: she objected to being lied to, and yanked on the leash, forcing Ryan back to the question.

I'm convinced Raddatz wouldn't have pounced on Ryan if he hadn't trotted out this preposterous line about bipartisanism. Where does Ryan think we've all been living, Mars? It's one thing to pull that on some crowd of unsuspecting voters that hasn't followed politics that much and doesn't know the history. But any professional political journalist knows enough to know the abject comedy of that line. Still, Ryan was banking on the moderator not getting in the way and just letting him dump his trash on audiences. Instead, she aggressively grabbed Ryan by his puppy-scruff and pushed him back into the mess of his own proposal:
MS. RADDATZ: Do you have the specifics? Do you have the math? Do you know exactly what you're doing?
So now the ball is in Ryan's court. The answer he gives is astounding:
REP. RYAN: Look – look at what Mitt – look at what Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill did. They worked together out of a framework to lower tax rates and broaden the base, and they worked together to fix that. What we're saying is here's our framework: Lower tax rates 20 percent – we raise about $1.2 trillion through income taxes. We forgo about 1.1 trillion [dollars] in loopholes and deductions. And so what we're saying is deny those loopholes and deductions to higher-income taxpayers so that more of their income is taxed, which has a broader base of taxation –
Three things about this answer:

1) Ryan again here refuses to answer Raddatz's yes-or-no question about specifics. So now we know the answer: there are no specifics.

2) In lieu of those nonexistent specifics, what Ryan basically says is that he and Romney will set the framework – "Lower taxes by 20 percent" – and then they'll work out the specifics of how to get there with the Democrats in bipartisan fashion.

3) So essentially, Ryan has just admitted on national television that the Romney tax plan will be worked out after the election with the same Democrats from whom they are now, before the election, hiding any and all details.

So then, after that, there's this exchange.
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Can I translate?
REP. RYAN: – so we can lower tax rates across the board. Now, here's why I'm saying this. What we're saying is here's a framework –
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: I hope I'm going to get time to respond to this.
REP. RYAN: We want to work with Congress –
MS. RADDATZ: I – you'll get time.
REP. RYAN: We want to work with Congress on how best to achieve this. That means successful – look –
MS. RADDATZ: No specifics, yeah.
Raddatz did exactly the right thing. She asked a yes-or-no question, had a politician try to run the lamest kind of game on her – and when he was done, she called him on it, coming right back to the question and translating for viewers: "No specifics."

Think about what that means. Mitt Romney is running for president – for president! – promising an across-the-board 20 percent tax cut without offering any details about how that's going to be paid for. Forget being battered by the press, he and his little sidekick Ryan should both be tossed off the playing field for even trying something like that. This race for the White House, this isn't some frat prank. This is serious. This is for grownups, for God's sake.

If you're going to offer an across-the-board 20 percent tax cut without explaining how it's getting paid for, hell, why stop there? Why not just offer everyone over 18 a 1965 Mustang? Why not promise every child a Zagnut and an Xbox, or compatible mates for every lonely single person?

Sometimes in journalism I think we take the objectivity thing too far. We think being fair means giving equal weight to both sides of every argument. But sometimes in the zeal to be objective, reporters get confused. You can't report the Obama tax plan and the Romney tax plan in the same way, because only one of them is really a plan, while the other is actually not a plan at all, but an electoral gambit.

The Romney/Ryan ticket decided, with incredible cynicism, that that they were going to promise this massive tax break, not explain how to pay for it, and then just hang on until election day, knowing that most of the political press would let it skate, or at least not take a dump all over it when explaining it to the public. Unchallenged, and treated in print and on the air as though it were the same thing as a real plan, a 20 percent tax cut sounds pretty good to most Americans. Hell, it sounds good to me.
The proper way to report such a tactic is to bring to your coverage exactly the feeling that Biden brought to the debate last night: contempt and amazement. We in the press should be offended by what Romney and Ryan are doing – we should take professional offense that any politician would try to whisk such a gigantic lie past us to our audiences, and we should take patriotic offense that anyone is trying to seize the White House using such transparently childish and dishonest tactics.

I've never been a Joe Biden fan. After four years, I'm not the biggest Barack Obama fan, either (and I'll get into why on that score later). But they're at least credible as big-league politicians. So much of the Romney/Ryan plan is so absurdly junior league, it's so far off-Broadway, it's practically in New Jersey.

Paul Ryan, a leader in the most aggressively and mindlessly partisan Congress in history, preaching bipartisanship? A private-equity parasite, Mitt Romney, who wants to enact a massive tax cut and pay for it without touching his own personal fortune-guaranteeing deduction, the carried-interest tax break – which keeps his own taxes below 15 percent despite incomes above $20 million?

The Romney/Ryan platform makes sense, and is not laughable, in only one context: if you're a multi-millionaire and you recognize that this is the only way to sell your agenda to mass audiences. But if you're not one of those rooting gazillionaires, you should laugh, you should roll your eyes, and it doesn't matter if you're the Vice President or an ABC reporter or a toll operator. You should laugh, because this stuff is a joke, and we shouldn't take it seriously.


Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/the-vice-presidential-debate-joe-biden-was-right-to-laugh-20121012#ixzz29L7KzclN

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Rope-A-Dope: The Romney Edition

The big debate today is about the big debate last night that matched up Mitt Romney, the GOP nominee, with President Obama, the incumbent. At first glance just minutes after the debate the media was on fire about how Romney had won this bout and that Obama was lacking in energy, charisma, you name it. Everyone was so disappointed in Obama's performance. Yadda, yadda, yadda.


I didn't see it that way. I watched as President Obama looked down and kind of smiled, almost chuckled, as Romney went on and on slathering on the lies. Yes lies. I don't think Obama could even believe what he was hearing...so he just let Mitt bury himself even deeper and deeper.

I found this article by Allen Clifton, over at Right Off A Cliff and I think it says it best:

***********************


After the first Presidential debate right-wing voters are gushing all over themselves because Romney..

Looked strong? No, not really.

Because he really nailed Obama on key issues? No, didn’t do that either.

Because he laid out a clear vision for our country under his leadership? Nope, never gave specific details on much of anything.

You know why they’re gushing–because he managed to go 90 minutes on live television without looking like a complete moron. He didn’t say anything that made him seem like a competent leader with a clear vision for our country’s future.

But let’s prove this. Republicans–if he did such a great job please answer for me:
What tax deductions does he plan to close?
What plan will he use to replace the Affordable Care Act?
If Medicare is such a bad program, why does he want to keep it the same for current (or soon to be) retirees? If it’s such terrible health coverage why are those who currently receive these benefits strongly opposed to any changes to the program?

How does he plan to maintain tax revenue by just closing deductions? Especially when you look at the numbers that say even if you closed every single deduction we have for the wealthy it wouldn’t equal the amount of revenue we’d lose with his continuation of Bush’s policies. Only this time the tax breaks would be even larger than the Bush tax breaks…which added trillions to our national debt.
Oh..that’s right! His plan assumes 3% growth, every single year, just like George W. Bush’s plan. How many years did we see 3% growth under Bush? A whooping 2 of his 8 years. This plan promotes a hypothetical number that if we don’t hit 3% growth every single year it will mean we’ll either have to raise taxes or our national debt will continue to grow.

What government subsides, besides that deficit killer given to PBS, will he get rid of?
How does he plan to make America more energy independent when simply drilling more won’t do anything to lower the global price of oil? More domestic drilling just gives oil companies more to sell on the global market (to the highest bidder) just as they do now.
Unless of course Romney is calling for more domestic drilling with a simultaneous nationalization of our oil supply. I however doubt that’s what he’d do so in reality this pathetic “Drill Baby Drill!” bullshit is just that…complete bullshit. It’s fed to those who have no idea how oil is traded globally or how its price is set.

He said last night he likes regulation (except all he’s talked about, up until that moment, his entire campaign is how regulation kills job growth) and would repeal Dodd-Frank. So can you tell us which regulations he likes and would keep?

Can you, Republican voters, answer any of these? No? Oh that’s right…
Because he’s yet to offer a detailed explanation for any of these questions during his campaign and he sure as hell didn’t answer them last night.

But what did President Obama do? Well…not much. Only he actually did. He gave this debate to Romney. He let him spout off lie after lie, flip-flop after flip-flop. He let him play his hand early while sitting back allowing Romney to dig his own hole.

It’s called rope-a-dope. See Romney flip-flops on so many issues, seemingly at will, that it was impossible to really know publicly where Romney would make his final stand on key points. It’s hard to counter a man who’s anti-regulation one minute and pro-regulation the next. Who pushes a tax plan for 18 months only to say that if his plan were to call for an increase to our deficit, which almost every tax expert says it will, that he won’t pass it.

So President Obama let Romney fire away. He didn’t bring up the 47% comment, the ER health care comment, his tax returns, offshore accounts, his record of outsourcing jobs, his stance on letting Detroit go bankrupt, his blunders on foreign policy….he didn’t need to. He needed to know where Romney’s final stance on issues would be and he got just that.

See..in a fight it isn’t about who wins the first round. Often underdogs, or weaker opponents, come out initially strong–confident. They’re out there to show that they can win. The favorite, or stronger competitor, often just sits back…letting them burn themselves out. That’s exactly what Obama did. Romney came out swinging while Obama sat back and took the blows.

Now Romney’s dug himself into a hole. He played the best possible hand he could and even then it wasn’t that great. He just didn’t embarrass himself. That’s how pathetic he is. A victory for this man wasn’t landing a big blow, making a great point or obliterating his opponent…it was just not making a fool of himself on national television.
Hell, even towards the end you saw the wheels coming off when he said we’re a nation of people under one God. What the hell does that even mean? I’m a Christian and at no time have I read about the need to wear magical underpants or have I been told of some fake planet named Kolob. Then let’s not forget there are millions of non-Christian Americans of which he completely dismissed their personal beliefs with this comment.

Remember it isn’t who wins the first round, it’s who wins the last. If Romney gets crushed in the next 2 debates no one will remember a thing he said on October 3, 2012. President Obama knows this. He knew Romney would come out lying, flip-flopping and exaggerating on the issues. He knew the first debate would be the best Romney had to offer.


So now that Romney has made his stand (which fact checking groups have been shredding since the debate ended). He can no longer treat his campaign like an Etch A Sketch. He’s made his case and now it’s President Obama’s turn.

Come debate #2….just wait, President Obama is going to annihilate this flip-flopping clown.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Mitt Romney's Real Agenda - Rolling Stone Magazine

By Tim Dickinson


It was tempting to dismiss Mitt Romney's hard-right turn during the GOP primaries as calculated pandering. In the general election – as one of his top advisers famously suggested – Romney would simply shake the old Etch A Sketch and recast himself as the centrist who governed Massachusetts. But with the selection of vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan, the shape-shifting Romney has locked into focus – cementing himself as the frontman for the far-right partisans responsible for Washington's gridlock.

There is no longer any ambiguity about the path that Romney would pursue as president, because it's the same trajectory charted by Ryan, the architect of the House GOP's reactionary agenda since the party's takeover in 2010. "Picking Ryan as vice president outlines the future of the next four or eight years of a Romney administration," GOP power broker Grover Norquist exulted in August. "Ryan has outlined a plan that has support in the Republican House and Senate. You have a real sense of where Romney's going." In fact, Norquist told party activists back in February, the true direction of the GOP is being mapped out by congressional hardliners. All the Republicans need to realize their vision, he said, is a president "with enough working digits to handle a pen."

 The GOP legislation awaiting Romney's signature isn't simply a return to the era of George W. Bush. From abortion rights and gun laws to tax giveaways and energy policy, it's far worse. Measures that have already sailed through the Republican House would roll back clean-air protections, gut both Medicare and Medicaid, lavish trillions in tax cuts on billionaires while raising taxes on the poor, and slash everything from college aid to veteran benefits. In fact, the tenets of Ryan Republicanism are so extreme that they even offend the pioneers of trickle-down economics. "Ryan takes out the ax and goes after programs for the poor – which is the last thing you ought to cut," says David Stockman, who served as Ronald Reagan's budget director. "It's ideology run amok."

 Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital

 And Romney has now adopted every letter of the Ryan agenda. Take it from Ed Gillespie, senior adviser to the campaign: "If the Ryan budget had come to his desk as president," Gillespie said of Romney, "he would have signed it, of course."

 A look at the bills that Republicans have passed since they took control of the House in 2010 offers a clear blueprint of the agenda that a Romney administration would be primed to establish:

Read more here.

Bill Moyers: ALEC Explained

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mitt Romney Is Not Fit To Be President...His friends speak out!



Climate Change Happening Faster Than Predicted

The world's coral reefs are dying: http://phys.org/news/2012-09-sea-dead.html

The artic circle is melting:
Last week, the National Snow and Ice Data Center, in Boulder, Colorado, announced that the Arctic sea ice had reached a new low. The sea ice shrinks in the summer and grows again during winter’s long polar night. It usually reaches its minimum extent in mid-September. On September 16, 2012, the N.S.I.D.C. reported, the sea ice covered 1.3 million square miles. This was just half of its average extent during the nineteen-eighties and nineties, and nearly twenty per cent less than its extent in 2007, the previous record-low year.

It would be difficult to overstate the significance of this development. We are now seeing changes occur in a matter of years that, in the normal geological scheme of things, should take thousands, even millions of times longer than that. On the basis of the 2012 melt season, one of the world’s leading experts on the Arctic ice cap, Peter Wadhams, of Cambridge University, has predicted that the Arctic Ocean will be entirely ice-free in summer by 2016. Since open water absorbs sunlight, while ice tends to reflect it, this will accelerate global warming. Meanwhile, recent research suggests that the melting of the Arctic ice cap will have, and indeed is probably already having, a profound effect on the U.S. and Europe, making extreme weather events much more likely. As Jennifer Francis, a scientist at Rutgers, observed recently in a conference call with reporters, the loss of sea ice changes the dynamics of the entire system: “It’s like having a new energy source for the atmosphere.”

Haven't heard much lately about climate change, have you? Well, our candidates don't mention climate change. Nope, they just jump right over that topic like it was a rattle snake. You might enjoy this article from the New Yorker...
 http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2012/09/candidates-ignore-an-arctic-disaster.html#ixzz27pDeszG0



And here is an article in Huffington Post about 2012 being the hottest year on record: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/27/2012-hottest-year-ever-on-record_n_1920639.html?utm_hp_ref=green

Friday, September 28, 2012

Ann Romney Uncensored


 
Picked up from Reuters... "I think my biggest concern obviously would just be for his mental well-being," she said. "I have all the confidence in the world in his ability, in his decisiveness, in his leadership skills, in his understanding of the economy. ... So for me I think it would just be the emotional part of it."

Monday, September 17, 2012

Performance Poet Laura Zuniga on "Energy Drinks"

Performance Poet and teaching artist Laura Zuniga on "Energy Drinks..."
 
And if you like that one, you will like her other videos...check them out on YouTube.

Pure Raw Talent

It is rare to stumble on such a rare gem...
This young girl has the voice, the poise and the talent!
She randomly walks into this store, picks up the mic, and well...you just have to listen for yourself!
 
 
This is going to go viral. Only 455K have seen this as I post.
 
 

The Last Word


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
This is beginning to look like the end.

This is what Bloomberg says... http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-17/today-mitt-romney-lost-the-election.html

Saturday, September 15, 2012

"Obama's Way"

 By Michael Lewis
Vanity Fair Magazine

To understand how air-force navigator Tyler Stark ended up in a thornbush in the Libyan desert in March 2011, one must understand what it’s like to be president of the United States—and this president in particular. Hanging around Barack Obama for six months, in the White House, aboard Air Force One, and on the basketball court, Michael Lewis learns the reality of the Nobel Peace Prize winner who sent Stark into combat.



To read more, go here.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Matt Taibbi: The Secret to Mitt Romney's Fortune? Greed, Debt and Forcing Others to Foot the Bill

I've followed Matt Taibbi on satellite radio station POTUS and the Pete Dominic show for the last few years and I trust his perspective and experience in the financial world. Please listen to this interview and you will get a straight answer about how Bain Capital functioned and Mitt Romney's role in its success and failures.




Matt Taibbi: The Secret to Mitt Romney's Fortune? Greed, Debt and Forcing Others to Foot the Bill

FOX NEWS Contributor Weighs In On RYAN Convention Speech

Fox News contributor Sally Kohn wrote the best piece on Paul Ryan's coming out speech last night at the Republican National Convention, entitled Paul Ryan's Speech In Three Words. I would add one more word, "Disaster" because that is what it would be if he were voted into office.

 
1. Dazzling
At least a quarter of Americans still don’t know who Paul Ryan is, and only about half who know and have an opinion of him view him favorably.

So, Ryan’s primary job tonight was to introduce himself and make himself seem likeable, and he did that well. The personal parts of the speech were very personally delivered, especially the touching parts where Ryan talked about his father and mother and their roles in his life. And at the end of the speech, when Ryan cheered the crowd to its feet, he showed an energy and enthusiasm that’s what voters want in leaders and what Republicans have been desperately lacking in this campaign.

To anyone watching Ryan’s speech who hasn’t been paying much attention to the ins and outs and accusations of the campaign, I suspect Ryan came across as a smart, passionate and all-around nice guy — the sort of guy you can imagine having a friendly chat with while watching your kids play soccer together. And for a lot of voters, what matters isn’t what candidates have done or what they promise to do —it’s personality. On this measure, Mitt Romney has been catastrophically struggling and with his speech, Ryan humanized himself and presumably by extension, the top of the ticket.

2. Deceiving
On the other hand, to anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to facts, Ryan’s speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech. On this measure, while it was Romney who ran the Olympics, Ryan earned the gold.

The good news is that the Romney-Ryan campaign has likely created dozens of new jobs among the legions of additional fact checkers that media outlets are rushing to hire to sift through the mountain of cow dung that flowed from Ryan’s mouth. Said fact checkers have already condemned certain arguments that Ryan still irresponsibly repeated.

Fact: While Ryan tried to pin the downgrade of the United States’ credit rating on spending under President Obama, the credit rating was actually downgraded because Republicans threatened not to raise the debt ceiling.

Fact: While Ryan blamed President Obama for the shut down of a GM plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, the plant was actually closed under President George W. Bush. Ryan actually asked for federal spending to save the plant, while Romney has criticized the auto industry bailout that President Obama ultimately enacted to prevent other plants from closing.

Fact: Though Ryan insisted that President Obama wants to give all the credit for private sector success to government, that isn't what the president said. Period.

Fact: Though Paul Ryan accused President Obama of taking $716 billion out of Medicare, the fact is that that amount was savings in Medicare reimbursement rates (which, incidentally, save Medicare recipients out-of-pocket costs, too) and Ryan himself embraced these savings in his budget plan.

Elections should be about competing based on your record in the past and your vision for the future, not competing to see who can get away with the most lies and distortions without voters noticing or bother to care. Both parties should hold themselves to that standard. Republicans should be ashamed that there was even one misrepresentation in Ryan’s speech but sadly, there were many.

3. Distracting
And then there’s what Ryan didn’t talk about.
Ryan didn’t mention his extremist stance on banning all abortions with no exception for rape or incest, a stance that is out of touch with 75% of American voters.

Ryan didn’t mention his previous plan to hand over Social Security to Wall Street.

Ryan didn’t mention his numerous votes to raise spending and balloon the deficit when George W. Bush was president.

Ryan didn’t mention how his budget would eviscerate programs that help the poor and raise taxes on 95% of Americans in order to cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires even further and increase — yes, increasethe deficit.

These aspects of Ryan’s resume and ideology are sticky to say the least. He would have been wise to tackle them head on and try and explain them away in his first real introduction to voters. But instead of Ryan airing his own dirty laundry, Democrats will get the chance.

At the end of his speech, Ryan quoted his dad, who used to say to him, “"Son. You have a choice: You can be part of the problem, or you can be part of the solution."

Ryan may have helped solve some of the likeability problems facing Romney, but ultimately by trying to deceive voters about basic facts and trying to distract voters from his own record, Ryan’s speech caused a much larger problem for himself and his running mate.

Sally Kohn is a writer and Fox News contributor. You can find her online at http://sallykohn.com or on Twitter@sallykohn.

And The Beat Goes On...

Juan Cole also has an excellent piece out today detailing ten lies that Paul Ryan repeats. You can read it here.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/08/30/paul-ryans-speech-in-three-words/#ixzz253RAilRx

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Earth. We Are One.

We are biologically connected to each other.
And all of us are chemically connected to the earth,
and atomically connected to the rest of the universe.

"Everything is inter-linked.
And therefore everything has numberless causes.
The entire universe contributes to the least thing.
A thing is as it is, because the world is as it is."

Namaste ♥

 
Please visit this most important and beautiful group on Facebook here.


Monday, August 27, 2012

One Term More

This is just so over the top that I had to put it here on my blog. Enjoy!

ONE TERM MORE!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Everything You've Ever Wanted To Know About Voter ID Laws

You know that Voter IDs laws are in the news and will continue to be until the last ballot is counted in the November election. So, why not get the straight scoop now, so you can stand your ground when the Republicans try to impress upon you how they have all of our best interests at heart by passing stringent Voter ID laws in their states. Thanks to those over at Propublica for this thorough explanation of what's going on here.

Voter IDs laws have become a political flashpoint in what's gearing up to be another close election year. Supporters say the laws — which 30 states have now enacted in some form — are needed to combat voter fraud, while critics see them as a tactic to disenfranchise voters.
We've taken a step back to look at the facts behind the laws and break down the issues at the heart of the debate.
So what are these laws?
They are measures intended to ensure that a registered voter is who he says he is and not an impersonator trying to cast a ballot in someone else's name. The laws, most of which have been passed in the last several years, require that registered voters show ID before they're allowed to vote. Exactly what they need to show varies. Some states require a government-issued photo, while in others a current utility bill or bank statement is sufficient.

As a registered voter, I thought I always had to supply some form of ID during an election.
Not quite. Per federal law, first-time voters who registered by mail must present a photo ID or copy of a current bill or bank statement. Some states generally advise voters bring some form of photo ID. But prior to the 2006 election, no state ever required a voter to produce a government-issued photo ID as a condition to voting. Indiana in 2006 became the first state to enact a strict photo ID law, a law that was upheld two years later by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Why are these voter ID laws so strongly opposed?
Voting law advocates contend these laws disproportionately affect elderly, minority and low-income groups that tend to vote Democratic. Obtaining photo ID can be costly and burdensome, with even free state ID requiring documents like a birth certificate that can cost up to $25 in some places. According to a study from NYU's Brennan Center, 11 percent of voting-age citizens lack necessary photo ID while many people in rural areas have trouble accessing ID offices. During closing arguments in a recent case over Texas's voter ID law, a lawyer for the state brushed aside these obstacles as the "reality to life of choosing to live in that part of Texas."

Attorney General Eric Holder and others have compared the laws to a poll tax, in which Southern states during the Jim Crow era imposed voting fees, which discouraged the working class and poor, many of whom were minorities, from voting.

Given the sometimes costly steps required to obtain needed documents today, legal scholars argue that photo ID laws create a new "financial barrier to the ballot box."

Just how well-founded are fears of voter fraud?
There have been only a small number of fraud cases resulting in a conviction. A New York Times analysis from 2007 identified 120 cases filed by the Justice Department over five years. These cases, many of which stemmed from mistakenly filled registration forms or misunderstanding over voter eligibility, resulted in 86 convictions.

There are "very few documented cases," said UC-Irvine professor and election law specialist Rick Hasen. "When you do see election fraud, it invariably involves election officials taking steps to change election results or it involves absentee ballots which voter ID laws can't prevent," he said.
An analysis by News21, a national investigative reporting project, identified 10 voter impersonation cases out of 2,068 alleged election fraud cases since 2000 – or one out of every 15 million prospective voters.

One of the most vocal supporters of strict voter ID laws, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, told the Houston Chronicle earlier this month that his office has prosecuted about 50 cases of voter fraud in recent years. "I know for a fact that voter fraud is real, that it must be stopped, and that voter id is one way to prevent cheating at the ballot box and ensure integrity in the electoral system," he told the paper. Abbott's office did not immediately respond to ProPublica's request for comment.

How many voters might be turned away or dissuaded by the laws, and could they really affect the election?
It's not clear.

According to the Brennan Center, about 11 percent of U.S. citizens, or roughly 21 million citizens, don't have government-issued photo ID. This figure doesn't represent all voters likely to vote, just those eligible to vote.

State figures also can be hard to nail down. In Pennsylvania, nearly 760,000 registered voters, or 9.2 percent of the state's 8.2 million voter base, don't own state-issued ID cards, according to an analysis of state records by the Philadelphia Inquirer. State officials, on the other hand, place this number at between 80,000 and 90,000.

In Indiana and Georgia, states with the earliest versions of photo ID laws, about 1,300 provisional votes were discarded in the 2008 general election, later analysis has revealed.

As for the potential effect on the election, one analysis by Nate Silver at the New York Times' FiveThirtyEight blog estimates they could decrease voter turnout anywhere between 0.8 and 2.4 percent .

It doesn't sound like a very wide margin, but it all depends on the electoral landscape.

"We don't know exactly how much these news laws will affect turnout or skew turnout in favor of Republicans," said Hasen, author of the recently released The Voting Wars: From Florida 2000 to the Next Election Meltdown. "But there's no question that in a very close election, they could be enough to make a difference in the outcome."

To read more, go here.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Mitt's Lying Ways: Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity, Vol. XXX

Mitt Romney is a serial liar. He just blurts these whoppers out like nobody will ever check his accuracy. Doesn't he know that we have ways to do that in 2012? This is the 30th week that his lies have been tracked by the Maddow Blog. It's quite a list this week. If you don't believe what you read, then just click on the links and you will be transported to the truth.

Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity, Vol. XXX


So, can we trust this Presidential candidate to tell the truth...about anything,
especially his income taxes?
Nope.

 
Well, surely he will be able to tell the truth about his plan for Medicare, right?
Nope.



Saturday, August 11, 2012

Paul Ryan, The Cowardly Lion, Is Romney's VP Pick

Best of the Blogs featured this article by Progressive Winner today...It's Ryan's budget that the conservatives are pushing, and all that he has going for himself...but what does that budget imply for the American people??? Read on...

"Most major media outlets are at the time of this post reporting that Mitt Romney intends to select Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as his running mate. As such, now is a good time to take a look at Ryan’s cowardly record of proposing to abolish Medicare and raise taxes on the middle class, while providing more tax giveaways to the wealthy, all under the guise of being a fiscal conservative.

 Any discussion of Paul Ryan and fiscal issues should start with the fact that he has zero credibility as a “deficit hawk.” For example, Ryan supported every deficit-inducing Bush tax cut and tax cut extension, voted for the unfunded prescription drug expansion of Medicare and supported military ventures in Iraq and Afghanistan that weren’t paid for over the past few years, however, Ryan has tried to fabricate a record as a fiscal conservative by issuing a series of budget plans, including the 2010 Roadmap to America’s Future and the 2012 Path to Prosperity.

 In reality, Paul Ryan’s proposals should be called the Path to Higher Deficits and a Weaker Middle Class.

 For example, the folks at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explained that Ryan’s 2010 budget proposal would:
proposing a deficit “reduction” plan that would eliminate the tax on wealthy estates and lower taxes on the wealthiest A* Raise taxes on three-quarters of Americans, including any family with an annual income between $20,000 and $200,000 by, among other things, replacing the corporate income tax with an 8.5% value added tax that would hit middle class families the hardest
  •  Provide massive tax giveaways to the wealthiest two percent through elimination of the estate tax and capital gains taxes, reduction of the top tax brackets, and repeal of the corporate income tax. Households with annual incomes of more than $1 million would receive an average tax break of $502,000.
  •  Abolish Medicare for people currently under 55 years of age, and replace it with an inadequate voucher that would shrink in comparison to expected health care cost increases for people to try to purchase insurance on the market. A Congressional Budget Office analysis found that Ryan’s proposed elimination of Medicare would cost seniors between $7,000 and $13,000 per year while eliminating much of the cost savings achieved through the existing Medicare system.
  •  Cut Social Security benefits by 16% by 2050 and 28% by 2080, while blowing a $1.2 trillion hole in the Social Security Trust Fund in order to shift people to privatized accounts.
  •  Eliminate Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and replace them with a tax credit and a voucher that would be insufficient for many lower income folks to purchase insurance.
  •  Lead to an increase in the national debt from its 2010 level of 60% of GDP to a peak of nearly 175% by 2050 and remain at 100% or more of GDP through 2080. Despite these facts, many in the media will almost certainly continue to pretend that Paul Ryan’s budget proposals are somehow “brave” and “serious.” For people who claim that, we ask:
  • What is brave and serious about a Republican using deficits that conservatives created to propose abolishing Medicare, and replacing it with a program that would cost more to implement while leaving most seniors without quality health care?
  • What is brave and serious about a Republican mericans, while raising taxes on the poor and working class?
  • What is brave and serious about a Republican proposing a deficit “reduction” plan that puts almost all of the burden of spending cuts on the middle class, working class, and poor?
  • What is brave and serious about a Republican proposing a deficit “reduction” plan that relies on cooking the books and using ridiculous assumptions?
The simple fact is that Paul Ryan’s budget proposals are cowardly, as they simply go along with the interests of the Republicans’ billionaire funders while ignoring the role that conservative economic policies played in creating the deficits, eviscerating middle class security, and undermining our economy. And if Romney chooses Ryan as his running mate, Multiple Choice Mitt will simply be confirming that he prioritizes abolishing Medicare, privatizing Social Security, and providing billionaires with even more tax giveaways over any sort of serious effort to address the deficit in a balanced way.

If Ryan and Romney wanted to show they were “brave” and “serious” they would acknowledge that economic growth is the primary short term way to reduce the deficit, and that asking the wealthy to pay their fair share, cuts to military spending cuts and corporate subsidies, increased immigration, and the types of sensible efficiencies promoted by health care reform are what are necessary to achieving long term fiscal sanity.
Unfortunately, Ryan and Romney are neither brave nor serious. Instead, they are just Cowardly Lions, but without a heart."

It's Not Going Away Until Romney Shows His Tax Returns

I love Rachel Maddow...so here she is talking about how Mitt has made tax avoidance a habit over the years. You'll just have to watch to enjoy it all.

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

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mitt Romney Is A Shameless Liar

"Mitt Romney is a blatant liar and he is running for president of the United States.

Let’s look at that again: Mitt Romney is a blatant liar and he is running for president of the United States. What was once just “flip-flopping” has now become full on, in public, repeated without shame or any concern that anyone will care, lying about President Obama. Romney has been picking around the edges of the LIAR scab for a very long time but this past week showed us in no uncertain terms that Mitt Romney is making up lies about President Obama and repeating them over and over again in front of cameras. It’s now time for every major media outlet to acknowledge what is clearly obvious to thinking people:

Mitt Romney is a blatant liar and he is running for president of the United States." You'll want to read the rest of the article over at Electablog....here.

Rachel Maddow on Mitt's Unmanageable Message Machine

We don't have full cable up here in the foothills, so we don't get to watch Rachel Maddow on a regular basis. I try to catch her on the web, but I miss a lot, I know. Tonight I was reading Electablog and there was a link to this video. I think it was on yesterday's program. She is hilarious here and the clips are excellent. I love how she spins it all. Enjoy! And don't forget you watched it here.


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

Character Counts...or Does It?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Rachel Maddow On MItt Romney's Tax Returns

You just have to see these videos from MSNBC's Rachel Maddow show. It seems that Harry Reid has called out Mitt Romney to show his taxes. It has started to get really funny, actually, but Rachel explains it all in detail. Check it out here.
Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Obama Fights For Tax Cuts For the Middle Class

Wow. How cool? Obama/Biden have a TAX CALCULATOR that is interactive. You can put your yearly income into the field and it will give you a read-out for taxes or savings for both the Obama Tax Plan vs. the Romney Tax Plan. Go ahead, just put in your yearly income and you will instantly see how you will fair under each plan. If you don't believe it, you can read how this calculator was created and how it works. Please go here.

Betty Bowers Explains Traditional Marriage...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

America's Billionaires Flying High

Over at motherjones.com they have some pretty nifty graphs that show how America's billionaires fair taxwise compared to billionaires in other countries. Our billionaires have it rich! Find the article here.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Romney Was A Lobbyist For The Utah Olympics

So, Mitt Romney was a lobbyist for the Utah Olympics that he chaired? Seems he got in a little hot water as well...read the story here.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Truth-Out: Hide The Ball - What Is Romney Hiding And Why Is He Hiding It?

Romney still refuses to show his tax returns for more than a year. He has off-shore investments that we know nothing about. He has foreign business partners he keeps secret. This man wouldn't be able to get a security clearance in our government with all that he has been hiding in his personal finances and business career. What is he hiding and why is he hiding it? To read the whole story, go here.