Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Advertisings Cruelty to Kids Strange, But Funny too

It's cruel to be kind, sorta, in these two ads featuring a few cute unsuspecting children. What they don't know is just how unkind the world of advertising is, in all its shocking brutality, where fellow children and parents spring unexpected horrors on them.

The "Screature" ad on the right is almost Monty Pythonesque in its treatment of a little girl victimized by a boy's toy dinosaur. I love the tag line; "Are his master, or prey."

The Instant Alarm ad pretty much incapacitates one kid on the kitchen floor. He never knew what hit him.

Cheney Self Destructs as He Seeks Media Attention

Dick Cheney's attempt to undermine President Obama's credibility in Israel should finally relegate this psychopath to histories trash bin, and hopefully prison someday. Here's a compilation of this villainous partisan, as he snakes his way back into the public dialogue. It appears Joe Conason wasn't the only one surprised at how low this ghoul was willing to go.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Franken v Coleman Drags on. Where are the Democratic Complaints of Obstruction?

Sen. Al Franken proved to Al Gore, John Kerry and all the other cowardly Democrats, the ones who gave up on their contested election results too early, what could happen if you stick to your guns and challenge your Republican opponent. The GOP may not have a viable platform anymore, but they know how to play the game and win elections.

Amazingly, without a peep from the Democrats in the Senate, Republicans are holding up the Franken seat to take away that incredibly important 59th vote. Complain for gods sake. For purely political purposes, Republicans are trying to hold up the Democratic agenda. It's true, they won't be able to argue against a Democratic election challenge in the future without looking like complete hypocritical idiots, but that has never stopped them.

Here's Chris Matthews with the story:



Update Thursday 4-2, according to the LA Times:
GOP rival Coleman says if he loses he'll appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court. And if he loses there, many expect he'll continue to challenge the election all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Which means that Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty ... may soon have a delicate political decision to make.

If Franken wins the recount, Pawlenty could (1) sign the election certificate that will allow Democrats in Washington to seat Franken (remember Illinois Democrat Roland Burris?), or (2) withhold the certificate while Coleman challenges the election.

If he signs the certificate, Pawlenty would give Democrats their 59th vote in the Senate. But the governor is up for reelection in 2010, and this option might be more popular with mainstream voters. And Pawlenty has shown himself to be a pragmatist. Just Wednesday, he and Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle of neighboring Wisconsin announced a unique plan for the two states to share services, like hunting licenses and Internet contracts, that could save both states $10 million each.

If he doesn't sign the certificate, Pawlenty would please Republicans.

Wednesday, a three-judge state panel decreed that no more than 400 absentee ballots can be reviewed. This was good news for Democrat Franken, who in the current recount leads by 225 votes.

With Disappointing Results, Milwaukee Voucher Study Proves Public School Critics Wrong.

You've heard it before: Private school vouchers will save the day, and finally create an uber student, the likes of which the world has never seen before. Or the…”private school voucher program with students in Milwaukee Public Schools shows no major differences in success between the two groups.”
That’s the conclusion of a number of new studies examining the Milwaukee Public School System. From the University of Arkansas, JSonline:

The primary finding in all of these comparisons is that there is no overall statistically significant difference between MPCP (voucher) and MPS student achievement growth in either math or reading."

A second study, (of) not scientifically matched groups of MPS and voucher students, found that the percentages of fourth-graders in voucher schools who met the state's definition of proficiency in reading and math were lower than percentages for low-income MPS fourth-graders. For eighth-graders, the proficiency rates were about the same.

One of the studies concluded that, by a small margin, MPS results are better now than they otherwise would be because of the presence of voucher schools.

Oh really? Would it be possible NCLB and other educational advancements may have improved the public schools and not the voucher school presence itself? Besides, every time any research has been released resulting in lower voucher student performance, researchers are quick to leave the results open for further debate: “The researchers couched their findings in warnings that they were making no conclusions about the causes of differences between MPS and voucher students and only were describing what results showed.”

Brilliant. What they’re basically saying is the resulting facts, are only facts, so don’t jump to any logical conclusions. Even thought the results aren’t encouraging or up to the voucher hype, the price is right:
They show that the voucher system is educating children at less cost than MPS … The researchers wrote that the voucher program was "a rising tide that has lifted all boats, but that tide has not exactly been a tsunami."

The finding that voucher students weren't really doing any better is probably not good news for advocates. Also keep in mind that the research isn’t necessarily done by the most impartial group:

The School Choice Demonstration Project was given a green light to conduct extensive studies for five years.

In another study the results for low-income MPS students were compared with voucher students … fourth-graders showed higher percentages of MPS students as proficient, while for eighth-graders, the numbers slightly favored voucher students.

The researchers did not release any information about individual schools … Many voucher critics want school-by school information to be made public … it was clear from data in the reports that there is a set of voucher schools that have very high results, while the bulk of the schools cluster around the average levels for MPS.

Patrick Wolf, the lead researcher, said the data on the progress being made by the comparison groups of MPS and voucher students will be more interesting in coming years. "Maybe with another year or two, one side will create some daylight" by improving significantly more than the other, he said.

So there it is.The for profit education industries solution to the public education problem. Nothing better, maybe worse, and no accountability unless of course they are subject to the same testing and answerability to parents complaints and requests for information.

One Hell of a Bad Week For Republican "Platform." Remember, They Once Controlled our Entire Country!

An easy way to catch up after five days off is to put together a thematic compilation of Republican clips that demonstrate how out of touch and devoid of ideas the party has become. The surreal nature of their collective bad week is one for the political comic This Modern World. I hope you have the time to be amazed.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Republican Scott Walker: The Man Who Would Be Governor has a “Deferred Maintenance Problem.” Is He the George Bush of County Executives?

I don't think I've ever seen a more unqualified politician as a candidate for governor in my entire life here in Wisconsin. This guy is coming up with more baggage for the voters to sort through than General Mitchell International Airport handles in a single year. A problem solver he is not.

According to WisPolitics:
A new Public Policy Forum report paints a dire picture of Milwaukee County's fiscal condition, detailing how short term budget fixes have kept the county afloat without addressing structural problems, leaving the county's long-term solvency “questionable at best.” Milwaukee County Exec. Scott Walker said he will address problems highlighted in the report. “While the county's in decent shape right now, long term we're not financially sustainable without changes in the structure that we have in place for wages and benefits and the way that we budget.”
Ah, a question for the TWO term County Executive: After so many years, when would it be a good time to take on these difficult structural problems Mr. Walker?

According to the report: Milwaukee relies too heavily on inflexible and external sources of revenue, leaving it vulnerable to budget cuts at other levels of government. The county has balanced its budgets, but has done so through depleting reserves, deferring maintenance, restructuring debt and using one-time revenues to fill budget holes. Unfunded health and pension liabilities exceed $2 billion and are likely growing, the transit system soon faces a $21 million budget gap, and the county faces an $87.9 million county budget gap by 2013.

“indicators that insolvency is not imminent – it is clear that annual reductions have not achieved financial equilibrium, and that its long-term fiscal outlook is grim,” the report says. To stave off long-term fiscal crisis, the report recommends a solvency plan that considers additional local revenue sources. If leaders fail to act on a plan, the report recommends outside intervention to address the situation. “New or enhanced local revenue streams?” You mean taxes to pay your bills? Are you kidding?

Walker said the county already relies heavily in sales and property taxes and county residents don't have the “appetite for anything else.”

It appears that county residents “appetite” for a lower quality of life is about to be satisfied. The freeloading mantra of Republicans like Walker has finally taken its toll on the majority of Democratic voter’s way of thinking. It’s all downhill from here.

After all, a dysfunctional county government is now just the way things are for voters who have reelected the ultimate economic trouble maker and philosophical partisan they have grown to admire.

Walker believes he's not a lazy county executive, just a fiscal conservative, and deferred maintenance is just another example of government not working.

Democrats Willing to "Give Up" Public Health Care Option. A Majority Party of Cowards.

The following first paragraph of a Wall Street Journal story on health care reform should be a warning to anyone who thinks change is ever going happen in our lifetime.
Congress is poised for a battle over whether an
ambitious health-care overhaul should include a new government-run health plan to compete with private companies in the effort to cover the uninsured.
The public option is the only real reform being offered. Everything else would be just moving the deck chairs on the health care ship Titanic. Democrats know that, yet are still willing to “negotiate” this critical change out of the plan. I’m breathless.
“…Senate Finance Committee, Chairman Max Baucus has pledged to write a bipartisan bill. His partner, Sen. Charles Grassley … is adamantly opposed to the provision for a public health-care plan. As such, aides in both parties say it's unlikely a public plan will be included in the legislation now being negotiated.
I’m not sure what to make of this revelation. It’s either the conservative slant the Wall Street Journal is putting on the story, or Senate Democrats are seriously considering health care reform without a public plan. Again, I’m breathless. After all:
Sen. Baucus said last fall he, too, favored a public plan. The chairmen of the relevant House committees all favor it, too. Proponents say that will give people the choice of a nonprofit plan that will help keep costs low, particularly by controlling administrative costs. The government option will provide needed competition, they say. Republicans fear the government will have unfair power over the market.
Oh, you mean the same unfair power over the market insurance companies now have, as they ration care to bolster their bottom line? The health care debacle is in the private sector. To expand the private sectors involvement only makes the problem worse. Think about it: How can an insurance company make a profit spending money on making people healthy again? For them it’s simple: There will have to be a lot of losers, people who need to be treated, that won’t get the monetary help. On the other hand…
The House of Representatives is likely to include the provision in its version of the bill, expected in late spring or early summer, aides say. For liberal Democrats, many of whom would prefer that all Americans join a government-run health system, the inclusion of a public plan among other options for consumers is a fallback position that they are reluctant to give up. But even some supporters privately predict that it may have to go to get a deal done.
“Reluctant to give up…may have to go…?” What the hell are Democrats saying now? I’m sorry, did we just elect a super majority of Democrats promising health care reform or are they just a bunch of political cowards? Breathless would be an understatement. How crazy is this option:
At the heart of the larger health plan being contemplated is a government-organized health-insurance exchange through which individuals and small businesses could purchase coverage. Private companies would compete for business under a new set of rules, such as a ban on rejecting applicants who are already sick. Subsidies would be available to many people based on their incomes.
But opponents say a public plan would be an unfair competitor because it could become big enough to drive down reimbursements to doctors and hospitals, much like Medicare does, putting more cost pressure on the private sector. Consumers would then flock to the public plan because its premiums would be cheaper, opponents fear, and ultimately no viable private plans would remain.
That would be bad? The key point here, “Consumers would then flock to the public plan,” would seem to indicate a public preference for A BETTER PLAN. How unfair. It’s hard not to cry alligator tears for the insurance industry, but...
Karen Ignagni, president of America's Health Insurance Plans, the industry lobby group. "It's a very short step to a Medicare-like program for all Americans in a single-payer system," she said.
Exactly.

Religious Programming on VCY America Declares Men and Families Threatened by Feminists.

VCY America Radio Network with 24-hour a day stereo Christian programming by satellite, plus individual programs dealing with issues, like feminism destroying religion and our families. Wwwhat?

This was a one minute audio ad on VCY America that kind of...blew me away. I'm now afraid of what feminism might do to us, and how silently insane it is, covert and ruthless in its quest to destroy the male dominated family hierarchy spelled right out in the Bible.
"Feminism disrespects men like Ward Cleaver, Charles Ingalls (little house) and other men of our culture that were once upheld as the model."



Be afraid, be very afraid.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Gift of Capitalism: "A Different Standard of Living, and How Much Lower"-CNBC's Erin Burnett



Every once in awhile, someone says something so completely honest, that I have to post it here for everyone to see. Not the Maxim cover pic of CNBC's Erin Burnett, but her closing comment this last week on Meet the Press.

It's amazing how so many have bought into the free market fantasy (I'm talking to you, Democrats). Even after our total economic collapse, a collapse described by Republicans as a market adjustment, we all have to get used to a different standard of living. A lower one.

Erin Burnett: "It's a complete reset...we had expectations that we were gonna have three cars in every driveway. We're probably not going to have three cars in the driveway, we might have two cars, might even have one. There's going to be a different standard of living, and how much LOWER will that be than where we were a year ago."

Providing Rural Internet Access in Stimulus a Waste of Taxpayer Money? Republicans Should Read This...

The Journal Sentinel article “Rural areas hope stimulus package includes funds for broadband” by Rick Barrett, shines a spotlight on the necessity of bringing high speed internet to rural areas of the country. Remember, this was considered a waste of taxpayer money in the recently passed stimulus bill.

From his home in Richland County, Jordan Maclay (a) retired quantum physics professor is among thousands of rural Wisconsin residents frustrated over a lack of fast, reliable access to the Web for business and personal use. With a little luck, that could change. Maclay says the satellite-based broadband at his home is inadequate and unreliable for downloading large files and participating in online video conferences. It's also not suitable for his wife, Mary, who works from home as an inventory analyst for Rockwell Automation Inc.

Maclay … drives to Richland Center to use high-speed service at the University of Wisconsin Extension's library. "It's a problem for those of us living out in the sticks. We just don't have a lot of options," he said.

The federal economic stimulus bill includes $7.2 billion in grants, loans and loan guarantees to extend broadband Internet to underserved rural areas. Currently, rural dial-up Internet service (is) a slow-speed connection (and) satellite-based service (is) costly and less reliable … in urban areas. But under the stimulus spending, telecom companies and government entities will be eligible for grants and loans to extend broadband into rural areas.

Coverage gaps in rural areas are a problem as businesses and individuals increasingly turn to the Internet for everything from online sales to entertainment. The lack of broadband access has put children in rural schools at a competitive disadvantage. "… they do not have access to the Internet that allows them to work at home on homework and projects for school." Unable to quickly access podcasts, videos and Webinars, these children are a step behind in a technological society.

The FCC assumes that if one house in a ZIP code has broadband access from a certain provider, then everyone in that area has the same access. They also define high-speed Internet as anything that's slightly faster than a basic dial-up connection, including satellite service.

Tom Jackson, a staff member with state Sen. Dale Schultz (said), "We have plenty of working professionals in our district who would like to be able to work from home but can't because they lack broadband access." Rural businesses also struggle with not having high-speed Internet. Maple Leaf Cheese Cooperative is located less than a mile from where broadband service provided by TDS Telecom ends. "It's nearly impossible to run a business on a dial-up connection," said Paul Reigle, a master cheesemaker with Maple Leaf Cheese. Satellite service isn't reliable for sending large graphic files to customers, said Dave Knapp, owner of New Farm Inc., an agricultural products company in Mineral Point.

Internet providers say they can't afford to extend broadband coverage to rural areas where there are a limited number of subscribers.

Expansion projects could get under way soon, once stimulus money starts flowing from the federal Rural Utilities Service and the National Technology Information Agency. "The whole idea of the stimulus is to get it done fast," said Gary Evenson, administrator of the PSC telecommunications division.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Plug-in Cars for Everyone, Eveywhere. THE Infrustructure Plan of the Century.

The NY Times slipped the most amazing story by most of us the other day, on CBS News, that could change the way we drive in the U.S. and around the world.

A plug-in car plan that not only allows you to charge up anywhere, but swaps your battery out if you need to keep driving. To make it all more surreal, the idea is based on the same business model as your cell phone company. Check out the video.

Parks are Safe Again! No Guns.

Thank god!

According to the Washington Post:

A federal judge yesterday blocked a last-minute rule enacted by President George W. Bush allowing visitors to national parks to carry concealed weapons. In her ruling, Judge Kollar-Kotelly agreed that the government's process had been "astoundingly flawed."


She noted that the government justified its decision to forgo an environmental analysis on the grounds that the rule does not "authorize" environmental impacts. Calling this a "tautology," she wrote that officials "abdicated their Congressionally-mandated obligation" to evaluate environmental impacts and "ignored (without sufficient explanation) substantial information in the administrative record concerning environmental impacts" of the rule.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Wall Street Journal Admits Lie, Secret Ballot Still Part of Employee Free Choice Act

This will probably be the last reminder that the Employee Free Choice Act does not do away with the "secret ballot," since even the Wall Street Journal had to admit it just isn't so.

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow has been on this, unlike the major news organizations, reminding everyone that not everything people say can be considered a legitimate side of the argument.

Stossel's Cartoon Voice Inflections Make Everything Sound Horrific, Even Pre-School.

I never watch 20/20 anymore, and that overly whiny libertarian and crazy guy John Stossel.

But I did catch his report on the pending disaster of a taxpayer supported public pre-school. And what better person to talk to than a private pre-school owner protecting her turf. He even gathers together a bunch of zealot Republican women who love making sweeping generalizations about wasting taxpayer dollars and fictionalize things "liberals" are saying about them. You know, statements like, "parents are being told we're not capable of facilitating our child's learning...that bulls**t." Who said that? Maybe a whiny conservative private pre-school advocate who can afford to pay those hefty admission prices.

I know their full of bulls**t, because I just put my kids through pre-school, and it drained me. The way the economy is right now, I'd have to think long and hard to justify that expense now.

For the fun of it, and to demonstrate just how horrific Stossel's vocal cadence is now, I've edited together his endless drone and upturning voice. He is the personification of a whiner. If you don't end up getting too sick, I've also included the pre-school owner spouting every Conservative cliche' possible, like she isn't protecting her own business interests right?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Finally, the Flying Car!!

It seems like every guy I know dreams of having a flying car someday, even the crude one seen here in this video, the century old science fiction wonder. In fact the "Transition" pretty much looks like a plane crash landing on a road someplace. But at least the great American minds of the 21st century are still pursuing the Jetson's inspired flying commute home.



According to CBS News: How many times have you been stuck in traffic and dreamed of being able to just have your car take off and fly over it? Well, the future is almost now.

A flying car made by Woburn, Mass.-based Terrafugia has already been cleared for use on roads by the company's home state, and the process of getting it OK'd for use in the air is well under way, Terrafugia says. The car/plane, dubbed the Transition, is the brainchild of Terrafugia founder Carl Dietrich, who brought one to The Early Show plaza Thursday to show weather anchor and features reporter Dave Price, who happens to have a pilot's license.

The Transition can go from drive to fly in 30 seconds -- that's how long it takes for its wings to extend and lock into place, as Dietrich demonstrated for Price. If all goes as planned, the Transition will be on the market by the end of 2011.

To fly it, someone would need a minimum of a light sport plane pilots license, which basically allows you to fly a plane weighing less than 1,350 pounds. Terrafugia says about 40 people have plunked down a $10,000 refundable deposit toward the $194,000 purchase price. The Transition needs 1,700 feet to take off, the company says.

Republicans: Whether it's 1919 or Now, They Haven't Changed. A Robert Freeman Must Read!

I heard Mike Malloy read "The US Is Facing a Weimar Moment" by Robert Freeman on his radio show the other night, and wanted to spread the word here. You can find it at Commondreams.org for the complete version. Also check out Mike's archived read from Wed. 3/18 about half way into the podcast. It's a free listen, for now.

In early 1919, Germany put in place a new government to begin rebuilding the country after its crushing defeat in World War I. But the right-wing forces that had led the country into the War and lost the War conspired even before it was over to destroy the new government, the "Weimar Republic." They succeeded.

The U.S. faces a similar "Weimar Moment."

The devastating collapse of the economy after eight years of Republican rule has left the leadership, policies, and ideology of the right utterly discredited. But, as was the case with Germany in 1919, Republicans do not intend to allow the new government to succeed. They will do everything they can to undermine it. If they are successful, the U.S. may yet go the way of Weimar Germany.

World War I left Germany utterly devastated. The landed aristocrats, industrial
magnates, wealthy financiers, weapons makers, and the officer corps of the military that formed the locus of right wing power were completely discredited.
Their failure in provoking and prosecuting the War was catastrophic, undeniable,
and complete.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

CNBC's Rick Santelli and the Daily Show Lawyer

Rep. Eric Cantor Accuses Obama Administration of "Disarray." Just Another Example of Republican of "Projection."

Representative Eric Cantor may not be able to do two things at once, accusing the administration of being in disarray because he finds it overwhelming, but it should be unsettling for the voters who thought he could at least keep up in Congress.

This is all the Republican have.

Saving the Newspapers with E-Readers




Well, I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised. With the loss of so many local newspapers across America, I came up with an idea to save all of them, using the newest technology available. Download them to E-readers, like the Kindle 2.

Here my BIG idea:

Online papers were now a part of the electronic media, delivered via my cable line. Cable TV utilizes a digital box or a DVR to deliver in the information. Like those devices, the Kindle 2 and other book readers would allow subscribers to get their newspapers downloaded wirelessly every day. A partnership with reader manufacturers would allow subscribers to rent the reader from the news outlet for a small fee per month along with a small service fee for the news service. It would offer the local newspaper along with “packaged” national papers and magazines as well. This would not only benefit online papers, but the daily "paper" versions as well, moving them into the future.
As bad luck would have it, my dreams of being a multi-billionaire have been dashed.
Editorandpublisher.com: The Detroit Media Partnership (DMP) is testing the waters of digitally distributing two Detroit dailies with an electronic reader. The company, which at the end of this month is cutting home delivery of The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press to three days a week, is working with Plastic Logic. The plan is for readers to rent the digital devices from DMP, according to Newspapers & Technology. Currently the Detroit Partnership is testing 100 of the Plastic Logic devices for distribution. Much of the details like pricing and availability have yet to be finalized, N&T reported.

Physorg.com: US publishing group Hearst Corp. plans to launch a wireless electronic reader for magazines and newspapers similar to Amazon's Kindle for books. "What Hearst and its partners plan to do is sell the e-readers to publishers and to take a cut of the revenue derived from selling magazines and newspapers on these devices," Fortune Magazine said. The Hearst e-reader has a large-format screen "suited to the reading and advertising requirements of newspapers and magazines." It said the device "will approximate the size of a standard sheet of paper, rather than the six-inch (15-centimeter) diagonal screen found on Kindle. Given the evolving state of the technology, the Hearst reader is likely to debut in black and white and later transition to high-resolution color with the option for video," Fortune said.

Cnet.com: Fujitsu gets set to release its Flepia color e-book reader in Japan with a $1,000 price tag. In the works for several years, the Flepia has a bigger display than does Amazon's Kindle 2--it has an 8-inch 1,024x768-pixel XGA touch screen that can display 260,000 colors (Fujitsu refers to its e-ink technology as "color e-paper"). The unit also has built-in wireless Bluetooth and Wi-Fi options, an SD card slot capable of holding up to 4GB of storage, and a battery that, according to Fujitsu, is rated at 40 hours of continuous use (we assume that using Wi-Fi would drain it quicker, however). You link your cell phone to the e-book via Bluetooth to access an online e-book store and a Web browser.

Plastic Logic revealed the first partners to distribute content on its eReader when the device becomes commercially available sometime in 2010. The eReader is about the size of an 8.5 inch by 11 inch pad of paper and weighs less than most print magazines, according to Plastic Logic. It's made with plastic, not glass, meaning that it is designed to be strong and to be able to stand up to being hit with objects or, presumably, even dropped. Furthermore, the eReader is an open platform that allows content creators to offer their digital content in their own way

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

76% of Americans Give Up on American Made Cars. We Don't Need those Jobs?

Isn't it amazing? While Americans fear the possibility of someday losing their jobs, they are more than willing to toss millions of people out of work employed in the auto manufacturing industry. Have we become so dependent on foreign made "stuff" that we don't care if American have jobs anymore? How short sighted have we become? Sadly, the slogan "buy American" is just a bumper sticker barely visible inside a block of scrap metal. I'm still stunned at the results of this recent CBS poll:

Americans have little sympathy for U.S. automakers facing financial difficulties. Just 18 percent think the government should provide them with additional financial assistance, and 76 percent think the government should not. Also, the public blames the automakers themselves for their current problems - by a big margin.

Sixty-three percent say the problems facing the big three auto companies are mostly the result of management strategies and decisions (up from 56 percent last December), while only 24 percent say the problems are a result of economic conditions beyond the automakers’ control.

I've been one of the more vocal critics about the American auto industry since the 1970's, but to let it die is crazy. An America without Chevrolet? Without Chrysler? What in the hell are people thinking?

Bossie's Documentary "Hillary" a Campaign Hit Piece That will Test the Supreme Court Conservatives Impartiality.

Conservatives are a scandalous lot. If they wanted to, they could take down Jesus Christ by simply turning him into a Rev. Wright or a raving Marxist. But with Hillary Clinton they missed their mark. What they couldn't do is predict who was going to be the Democratic nominee for president. "Hillary" the movie was a preemptive strike at the presumptive nominee they tried to short circuit from the start. But the courts didn't allow it. Just by looking at a clip of the promo for the "documentary," it's clear what it was meant to accomplish, and why the courts banned the promo's during the election.



If there ever was a case that could shatter the "strict constructionist" interpretation of the Constitution, this would be it. For instance:

David Bossie of Citizens United argues: "The founding fathers didn't know that G.E. would be protected underneath their free speech rules because you guys have the media exemption. What they're saying is a person with a printing press who would print a pamphlet to discuss any issue of the day should be protected by the first amendment."

Of course the founding fathers would have never imagined TV, the movies or a political party on the fringes of insanity. Free speech does have limits, even though the founding fathers didn't enumerate them in the bill of rights.

Just imagine what you would think if a news organization cobble together a similar piece with the quotes included in this clip. Just how impartial do you think they were? And this movie, unlike Michael Moore's Farenheit 9/11, is a personal attack on Hillary Clinton and is in no way similar to an examination of Bush's run up to the Iraq war.

Governor Hopeful Mark Nuemann says: Wisconsin to be "Tax Haven." The Cayman Islands of the Midwest?

How is it possible that so many conservative Americans missed what has happened, in the last 13 years, as a result of a Republican Congress and the Bush presidency? These people appear in the media ready to spread their happy talk about corporate tax cuts and free market capitalism as if the global economic crisis never happened. Welcome into the real world another conservative happy face, Mark Neumann.

Mark Neumann, home-builder and former Republican congressman, wants to run for governor in 2010. As governor, he said he would make Wisconsin a “tax haven” for both people and businesses. “So when people are making decisions on where to locate jobs, they will locate here in Wisconsin,” he said.

Wisconsin already has the 16th lowest tax burden on "business royalty." But for Republicans, anything greater than zero is way to much to ask of our corporate neighbors. When it comes to pollution, as Neumann explains below, we're competing with other countries that have little or no environmental standard. This imbalance is killing our states economic health and moving jobs overseas. This attempt to save American lives at the expense of a businesses bottom line is costly. Neumann has an alternative to strict environmental controls, which he doesn't get to explain, or isn't even asked about on the show "Upfront with Mike Gousha ."



With tighter and smarter environmental controls in place, businesses will have to raise prices for gods sake, keeping some people from buying their products on an impulse, or maybe not at all. We wouldn't want that.

Remember when you couldn't afford something back in the '50's and '60's? Didn't you hate waiting until you saved enough money to buy something?

Here in the new millennium, we don't have that problem anymore, thanks to our global markets. We have cheap labor making cheap products. Who needs to make a lot of money when you don't need to spend a lot?

Discredited and Disliked, Darth Cheney Blames Dems For Global Meltdown. Party of Responsibility My Ass.

Dick Cheney gets another look, this time from former Newsweek reporter, Richard Wolffe and MSNBC's Keith Olbermann. Needless to say, Cheney's role in the world is about as welcome as a black hole.

BBC's Katty Kay Seems to Get It: Republicans Caused the Global Crisis and Have No New Ideas. Pretty Obvious.

Despite the fact that David Gregory still doesn't know what a "follow-up question" is, his guests at least get a few good ones in from time to time.

The Washington Correspondent for BBC World News America Katty Kay gives us the European perspective on the economic crash and an international viewpoint of a Republican Party with nothing new to offer.

Democratic Moderates Decide Now is the Time to Protest Spending, Side with Republicans.

I've always disliked Sen. Evan Bayh, the male mannequin of politicians, and now I know why. He and his generic group of moderate Democrats seek to stall the party agenda and empower the crazy fringe party of Republicans. Hey, why not continue the platform that got us here in the first place. What a weak kneed political party of opposition. I've already given up on health care reform due to the conservative elements of the liberal party that love the idea of taxing the middle class health benefits.

Here's MSNBC's Rachel Maddow with the extremely bad news for those who thought change was on its way:

Monday, March 16, 2009

Not Seeing the Health Care Forest for the Trees

I know this story is about a week old, but this recent summary at medheadlines.com put in stark contrast the disconnect big business has on a health care reform. When it comes to ideology v reality, CEOs are choose ideology.
Chief executive officers (CEOs) of major US companies gather each year for a Business Roundtable … These CEOs are describing the American health care system as a liability on the global economy and have called out for years to put some controls on health care costs, especially since the burden of the expense falls so heavily on the nation’s employers.
This is where these business geniuses start bumping into walls…
(Their) report asks for reform but does not endorse government-run health care systems similar to those of other industrialized (advanced) nations. It suggests, instead, that health care should remain privatized but with a safety net backed by the government to assist people of limited means.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t they just recommended the system we already have in place. You know the one in crisis right now. CEOs want health care to remain private with safety nets like Medicare and Medicaid. They came to this conclusion even after compiling the following data:

When comparing the dollar amount spent to the health of the citizenry, the roundtable findings include:

$2.4 trillion a year is spent on health care in the US ... On a per-capita basis, that’s $1,928 per person for 2006, $1,928 per capita is 250% more than any other advanced nation spends.

On a cost-to-value basis, the US is 23 points behind its five top economic competitors (Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom).

The governments of these five nations play a bigger role in their health care systems than the US does although each nation operates on a different health care system.

The US is 46 points behind its closest emerging competitors (Brazil, China, and India).The roundtable report highlights the fact that other nations pay less for health care but have healthier citizens.

Faced with a health care business model that works, American CEOs have decided to change the current system into something that is exactly the same…

That is the definition of insanity.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Uh Oh! I Have a Bad Feeling About Health Care Reform


I backed Hillary Clinton during the primaries because she had the better health care plan for America.

I am now wondering just how much the Obama administration is going to fold under the pressure of blue dog Democrats, lobbyists and Republicans opposed to any “public” option. During the campaign, Democrats were soundly ridiculing John McCain for proposing a tax on health care premiums. The idea was so counter to health care reform and universal access that it was a completely unthinkable option.

Oops! I forgot, we’re talking about the spineless Democratic Party of compromisers. It is with great reluctance that I can confidently say, health care reform is dead. If it does change, it won’t cost any less than today and double digit premium increases will continue to be the norm. Here’s the bad news from the NY Times:

The Obama administration is signaling to Congress that the president could support taxing some employee health benefits … The proposal is politically problematic for President Obama, however, since it is similar to one he denounced in the presidential campaign as “the largest middle-class tax increase in history.” … while he (Obama) will not propose changing the tax-free status of employee health benefits, neither will he oppose it if Congress does so. Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat … own health plan would make benefits taxable … Senator Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana, advocated taxing benefits … The administration’s receptivity to the idea is owed partly to the advocacy of Mr. Baucus, and to support from Republicans.
Well if the Republicans like the idea, than it must good... or might be the poison pill they were hoping to include to derail any real change or improve affordability. Obama’s plan to limit the tax deductions claimed by the wealthy turned out be to painful for the upper class.

“…limiting the income tax deductions that the most affluent taxpayers claim — has run into opposition not only from Mr. Baucus but also from his counterpart in the House, Representative Charles Rangel, Democrat of New York, who is chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. Mr. Obama’s proposed limit on deductions would raise an estimated $318 billion over 10 years, or half of his proposed “health care reserve fund.” That is a fraction of the revenues that could be raised from taxing employer-provided health benefits.”

Like I said, it’s all over. I can either go back to writing big checks to the insurance industry or do without coverage, and take the gamble that we won’t lose everything to a health care emergency. Gee, I wonder who will lose, me or the multi-billion dollar insurance industry.

What an incredible waste of a Democratic Congress and presidency.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Georgia Legislators Grab Pitchforks and Torches, Run Stem Cell Scientists out of State.

As I write this blog from the stem cell research center of the country, Madison, WI, I couldn't help but smile over the possible influx of new jobs heading our way after Georgia legislators put limits on and vilified the up and coming biomedical industry. It's part of their platform, and a strengthening of an "idiot ideology," aimed at the new extremist Republican Party. According to MSNBC:
In recent years, Gov. Sonny Perdue has sought to make Georgia a hub for the biotech and life sciences industry.
While at the same time, Perdue supports:
a push in the state Legislature to restrict embryonic stem cell research could put that economic development initiative in jeopardy. Critics (say) it would brand the state as anti-technology even as it's set to host the world's largest biotech conference this spring.
And this backward state incubator of Republican wedge issue politics is actually going to host the Biotechnology Industry Organizations BIO 2009 Annual International Convention, which could attract more than 20,000 professionals from 70 nations? This is just too sweet. Just the thought of science, in the Old South, is laughable. Not exactly a match made in heaven, so to speak.
"It's a huge black eye," said Charles Craig, president of Georgia Bio, which represents life sciences companies in the state. Perdue disputes that, arguing the state will still be able to recruit and keep cutting-edge science companies even as it adheres to a conservative moral code. "I can't in my conscience fathom that we would create human embryos to be used in scientific research," Perdue said.
Beautiful! I’m sure Sonny Perdue used his folksy southern drawl to show he’s just as much a stereotypical hick as can be imagined and admired by the anti-science troglodytes that support him.

Daniel Becker, president of the group Georgia Right to Life, praised the Senate measure as "a tremendous advance … Science is advancing at an exponential rate. It's outstripping our ability to provide ethical restraints. This does, in fact, draw the right type of business to Georgia, the kind that is ethical and sound."

The bill comes as the recession has Georgia shedding jobs at a record-breaking pace. (But) Georgia has seen a surge in bioscience jobs. Employment in the bioscience industry shot up 11 percent, compared with 2 percent average employment growth for all industries. 270 multinational and emerging bioscience companies call the state home. From 2001 to 2005, the number of companies in the bioscience industry grew by 38 percent. The jobs tend to pay well and have not been hit as hard by the economic downturn as sectors like manufacturing. The University of Georgia has spent millions of dollars on labs for renowned stem cell researcher Steve Stice.

Charles Craig asked, "What science company is going to want to come to Georgia after it has sent a signal that is trying to set limits on research that are far more restrictive than the federal government or other states?"

On Monday, President Barack Obama lifted the Bush-era ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. The Georgia bill was hurried through committee that same day. Legislation approved by senators would ban new embryos for research in Georgia.

The bill was scaled back from an earlier version that would have outlawed the destruction of any fertilized embryo after companies complained it would create obstacles for women wanting to get pregnant by in vitro fertilization. It also bans therapeutic cloning, which supporters said holds promise for those who suffer from juvenile diabetes.

I think Craig said it best:
"If we pass this bill with the convention coming, that will just be an embarrassment."

In the past I've pleaded, I have prayed, that every red state would pass all the anti-science legislation and statewide voucher laws they could come up with. It would be the best "blue" state stimulous package ever put together, all without the lifting a finger.


Republican (Rich) Family Values. Health Care is a Reward the Poor Don’t Deserver



The following short reality check reported in the Kansas City Star pointed out the draconian disciplinary system meted out by the party of authority, Republicans. You’ll notice health care is being kept from lower and middle income families for no other purpose than to appease an intangible ideological position. The arguments to cover these families are neither unreasonable or wasteful, in one case at no additional cost to taxpayers, but never the less resisted by state Republicans as the ultimate punishment for being a drag on society.
Jackson County Democrats took turns today lashing their GOP counterparts over recent votes dealing with expansion of health care to poor Missouri kids (Gov. Jay Nixon's proposed budget sought to add 34,800 more parents to Medicaid and 27,609 children to the State Children’s Health Insurance Program). "The Republicans just don't get it," state Rep. Jason Holsman, a Kansas City Democrat said. Republicans, though, have blocked attempts to make those additions to the budget
That’s over 60,000 more people receiving coverage, for a “total cost to the state: about $35 million.” In a budget dealing with billions, it appears to be a small cost for such a large number of uncovered people. If that wasn’t mean spirited enough, state Republicans blocked:
“(the expansion of) Medicaid coverage to 35,000 low-income adults in an arrangement with the Missouri Hospital Association. The move would cost state government nothing … the House Budget Committee, controlled by Republicans, said no.”
Of course, I could go on one of my usual rants here, but instead I’ll defer this time to the reasoned, logical and caring point by point rebuttals from the outraged state Democrats.

House Minority Leader Paul LeVota said: “It is ridiculous that the Republicans would not use our Federal money to help the people of Missouri during this economic downturn. They care more about their political ideology than the people of Missouri.” Holsman: “The issue of uncompensated care is so drastic that hospitals are willing to provide coverage for an additional 35,000 people with no tax increase. The Republicans just don’t get it. We pay for this care. The choice is rather we pay for it in the doctor's office or in the ER.”

Stephen Bough, the Jackson County Democratic chairman: “Simply put, the Republicans in the House are doing everything to ensure that poor children don’t get the same health care that the State of Missouri provides to the children of elected representatives. Even when the federal government will pay for it, like the SCHIP program, the Republicans toss it aside with a school yard argument like socialism. Taking care of poor, sick children is not socialism, it is a moral obligation.”

Blah blah blah! Am I right conservatives? Socialism. Of course it would be unfair not to include the Republican response, by someone less swayed by humanitarian concern for the plight of those who need help:
Submitted by craig: “When they can clean up their own party, then they may have an opinion that is worth a crap. Until then, they need a big warm glass of ‘shut the hell up’.”

Friday, March 13, 2009

Wall Street’s Humpty Dumpty’s Blame "Honesty" and "Transparency" for Crisis.


The following story will “blow your mind.” I’m getting the feeling that the Wall Street meltdown wasn’t a learning experience, and that teaching old “rabid” dogs like bankers new tricks, is just not going to happen. They’ll always be rabid. Here’s a sample of Floyd Norris’s piece from the NY Times:
Bankers Say Rules Are the Problem

If mark-to-market accounting is to blame for the current financial crisis, then the National Weather Service is to blame for Hurricane Katrina; if it hadn’t told us the hurricane hit New Orleans, the city would never have flooded.

This is the logic the bankers are using, and they are getting sympathetic ears in Congress. The bankers have gotten two members of Congress to introduce a bill to establish a new body that could suspend accounting rules for financial institutions (mark to market rules).

They say the problem, in short, is not that the banks acted irresponsibly in creating financial instruments that blew up, or in making loans that could never be repaid. It is that someone is forcing them to fess up. If only the banks could pretend the
assets were valuable, then the system would be safe.

Sadly, a victory for the bankers would not help them much. Even if it were true that banks would be held in higher regard now if they had not been forced to write down the value of their bad assets — and that is, at best, debatable — changing the rules now would be counterproductive. Would you trust banks more? Would other banks be more inclined to trust banks?

I call it “Alice in Wonderland” accounting, after Humpty Dumpty’s claim in that book that “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.” After Alice protests, he replies, “The question is, which is to be master — that’s all.”

Next time you hear a banker denounce mark-to-market rules, ask if he runs his business that way. Will he offer you a mortgage loan based on what you think your home should be worth, which you can repay only if you make a lot more money than anyone will pay you? If so, then perhaps the bank should be able to use “Alice in Wonderland” accounting on its own books. Or maybe that is not such a good
idea. The banks already tried that, with liars’ loans. Those loans did not work
out so well.

American's Want Government Health Care

Here's an article posted by Jerry Policoff at opednews.com, that dug deep into a January poll dealing with America's expectations for reforming health care. From the results posted here, Republicans are about to jump off the career cliff by opposing right out of the gate, a public health care choice. This choice would compete with the private sector, a bill killer for Republican zealots who don't see a problem with runaway premium hikes, and a hot button issue they hope to use in their re-election campaigns. Yikes! They're on the opposite side of what voters want:

"An article posted at The Huffington Post, Poll: 73% of Voters Think Health Care Reform Must Include Choice of a Public Health Insurance Plan, drew attention to a recent poll commissioned by HCAN (Healthcare for America Now) that suggests strong grassroots support for the Obama-supported Healthcare reform plan. It is indeed an interesting survey, though not a particularly candid or objective one, and if one reads between the lines, the survey strongly suggests that the one option respondents were not asked to consider, the Single-Payer option, would have resoundingly defeated the others if it had been included in the survey questionnaire.

The HCAN survey asked respondents whether they preferred health care reform with "everyone getting health insurance through private health insurance plans;" or "everyone getting insurance through a public health insurance plan;" or “everyone having a choice of private health insurance or a public health insurance plan?" 15% favored private only: 9% public only: 73% a choice of public or private.

The AHIP Plan would require all private health insurers to offer at least a set amount of health coverage to all who wanted to be covered (regardless of pre-existing conditions) through a high-deductible plan whose cost would be determined by the insurance companies.

The Government would then subsidize the cost of insurance for low income and some middle-income families. Everyone would be required to buy health insurance under this plan (a windfall outcome for the already very profitable health insurance industry).

The Obama plan would require all insurers to offer at least one standard comprehensive health plan with guaranteed benefits, with the cost determined by a family's income. Denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions would be prohibited, and restrictions would be imposed on how much people with pre-existing conditions could be charged. Everyone would be able to keep the insurance they have, or have a choice of a private insurance or a public insurance plan. (Note: nothing in this plan guarantees comprehensive coverage or affordability)

A Single-Payer system, privately administered but publicly financed was not included as a third possible option in the survey, even though such a system has widespread national support and has been endorsed by numerous mainstream organizations from both inside and outside the medical community (see, for example: here, here, here, here, here, here, and here).

Not surprisingly, given only the Obama Plan option or the AHIP Plan option in the survey, 67% chose the former and 24% the latter.

The next question is a bit tricky. It asked respondents if they favored or opposed providing access to affordable quality healthcare for all Americans even if it means raising taxes (tricky because in reality neither the Obama Plan nor the AHIP Plan guarantees this). 60% favored comprehensive universal health care (which only a Single-Payer plan can deliver) even if it resulted in higher taxes. 31% were opposed.

The next question is interesting, and the response to it fascinating: "Do you favor or oppose providing access to affordable quality healthcare for all Americans even if it means a major role for the federal government?” 71% favored a major government role versus 21% opposed.

By a 62% to 28% margin respondents rejected the notion that a public health insurance plan would be a big government bureaucracy that would increase costs to taxpayers.
The respondents to the survey hold a dim view of private insurance companies. 60% agreed with this statement:

Private health insurers will always find ways to put profits before people. That’s why we need an independent non-profit public health insurance plan that is not driven by making higher profits, in order to control costs and guarantee access to quality affordable health care.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

GREED-J.P. Morgan CEO Complains: Stop Vilifying Corporate America. & Please Don't Raise Taxes on Corporation and Wealthy

GREED PART 1

It's really true; Wall Street CEO's are complete d**ks!

Taxpayers have a right to be mad at Wall Street bankers, they messed up big time and tanked the global economy, yet they don't seem to understand why. J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Diamond said this before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:
"When I hear the constant vilification of corporate America, I personally don't understand it. I would ask that folks in government stop doing it, 'cause I think it's just hurting our government."

No really, he said that!

MSNBC followed those comments up with Financial Times Editor Francesco Guerrera, who soundly repudiated Wall Street executives complaints, "no one understands us. Please don't pick on us.."



GREED PART 2

Did you ever get the idea that the economic crash has made the perpetrators of the this crisis dig there heals in even deeper. It’s no longer a secret that the wealthy got used to the special treatment and benefits they received for the last 25 years. They’ve started thinking that basically they are “entitled” to keep it all, and giving nothing back in return. If you’re thinking I’m just some liberal ranting about some fiction I’ve imagined, think again. According to the Wisconsin State Journal:
Don't raise taxes on corporations or wealthy people. That is a key to bringing the nation's economy back to good health, Barry Asmus, a senior economist with the National Center for Policy Analysis, a Dallas-based conservative think tank, said in Madison. "The surest way to abundance is to allow people to keep the fruit of their labor," Asmus told Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce's annual Business Day in Madison.

Asmus said after Ronald Reagan became president in 1980, he lowered tax rates, ending 50 years of a "lousy" U.S. economy, spanning the Great Depression of the 1930s to the days of high inflation, unemployment and interest rates in the 1970s.

The result was "the best 25 years in the history of the planet. It just doesn't get sweeter than 1983 to 2007. Taxes matter," Asmus said.

Wow, it really is breath taking stuff. But Asmus’s comments demonstrate how out of touch business is to the devastation they have brought to the lower and middle class family of losers. It’s not Asmus’s greedy “keep the fruit of their labor” guilt trip that’s the problem, the actual heart of the matter, but those other jerks that screwed things up:
He blamed the nation's financial crisis on big banks that were "in cahoots with" the Bush administration, as well as on government-sponsored mortgage finance lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, saying they were all too loose with home loans. He claimed thousands of "teenage boys" each own two to 15 homes, saying, "Something is wrong with this picture."

"So many people are swimming naked," Asmus said, entertaining the crowd with his colorful rhetoric. "Greenspan. (Current Fed Chairman Ben) Bernanke. (U.S. Rep. Charles) Rangel. (U.S. Rep.) Barney Frank. And now they have the audacity to drop on a $1 trillion bailout. Who do they think they are?"

In an interview later, UW-Madison political science professor David Canon questioned some of Asmus' comments, calling them a "very, very selective and distorted reading on U.S. history."

WMC presented its own plan for encouraging business development, calling for more tax incentives.

"The first order of business is: Do no harm. Raising taxes on business or (imposing)
expensive regulations - this isn't the time for that," WMC vice president James Buchen said.

Of course, it wasn’t the right time for a tax increase when the economy was “roaring along” on a bull market riding on vapor either, but that’s besides the point.

Just remember, “Don’t raise taxes on corporations or wealthy people.” Their special.

Democratic Governor Lowers Tax Burden on Bussinesses. Republicans Drop Dead From Shock!


Oh oh. The tax burden on Wisconsin busenesses have gone down. That's throwing a possible wrench in the Republican plan to distribute their preprinted stockpiles of flyers telling the nation how bad we are for business. The Wisconsin State Journal reports:

Wisconsin has the 16th lowest tax burden on businesses, according to a study released Wednesday by the Anderson Economic Group, a research and consulting firm in East Lansing, Mich. Wisconsin’s ranking has improved since the organization began conducting its study two years ago. Last year, the Badger state ranked 21st lowest, based on 2005 Census data, and the year before, Wisconsin was 24th, based on 2004 data.

The firm analyzed the ratio of taxes paid by businesses to the profits they earned, using 2006 data. Wisconsin companies paid state taxes amounting to 13.54 percent of their profits. Nationwide, the average was 16.69 percent. States with the lowest
business tax burden are: North Carolina, Delaware, Tennessee, Ohio and Missouri.

Those with the highest ratio of business taxes to profits are: Montana, Maine,
Vermont, Alaska and Hawaii.

I thought the following response to the article is pretty close to how I feel, so I've included it here:
Gbsparks says: We should be doing even more for business to minimize their underwhelming tax burden. For example, is it too much to ask for non-business owners to subsidize business owners by tithing?

Wisconsin Governor Blames State Budget Problems on Bad Economy! Republicans Blame Doyle for Global Crisis. Who's Right?


Republicans in Wisconsin are trying to pretend the recession was caused by their dearly beloved Democratic governor, Jim Doyle. It's his fault for the projected deficit, and proves that the state spends way to much of our hard earned taxpayer money on wasteful government spending.

The cartoon on the right lays the entire blame of the global economy...I mean state economy, on Doyle's baseball bat of "spend now pay later." Boy, it's just like a Democrat to blame everything on the GLOBAL ECONOMIC RECESSION.

Oddly enough, it appears that OTHER states have similar budget deficit problems, coincidentally at the same time Doyle tanked Wisconsin's economy. I ran across the following graphic in the latest AARP Bulletin, using figures from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities-Feb. 10, 2009.

Do I hear a retraction...?


Country First? McCain Supporters Beck and Norris Change Tune.



While the country watches, Glenn Beck and Chuck Norris expose themselves as insurgent anti-Americans, the angry leaders of a group of conservative whiners who back an armed revolution against their elected government. This is country first?

Or does it finally state unequivocally: The idea of representative government only works if Republicans are in power and Republicans are the majority. The country only works if Republicans get what they want.

Here’s a partial transcript of a recent Glenn Beck show with Chuck Norris.
GLENN: Americans will, they just, they won't stand for it. There will be parts of the country that will rise up. And they said, where's that going to come from? And I said Texas, it's going to come from Texas. Do you agree with that, Chuck, or not?
NORRIS: Oh, yeah. You know, Texas is a republic, you know. We could actually --
GLENN: It was a country before it was a state.
NORRIS: Yeah, we could break off from the union if we wanted to.
GLENN: You do, you call me.
NORRIS: Oh, yeah.
GLENN: Seriously, you do. I don't mind having that lone star on my flag.

Now that’s “My country, right or wrong.” Beck would leave this country in a heart beat. And that’s just 50 days into the Obama administration. Let me see...liberals put up with eight years of Bush, conservatives can only handle 50 days of Obama. Wow, they are patriots. Maybe they should stick around and rise up against their own government, like one of those radical religiously driven insurgencies.

From Beliefnet.com:

Chuck Norris with his column on World Net Daily who says in not such unsubtle language that it may soon be time for a violent uprising:

"On
Glenn Beck's radio show last week, I quipped in response to our wayward federal government, "I may run for president of Texas." That need may be a reality sooner than we think. If not me, someone someday may again be running for president of the Lone Star state, if the state of the union continues to turn into the enemy of the state...How much more will Americans take? When will enough be enough? And, when that time comes, will our leaders finally listen or will history need to record a second American Revolution?"
Personally, I would love to see Texas become the first great libertarian experiment where an entire country is ruled by unchecked corporate power. The only problem: They would be our neighbors.



Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ari A*sh**e Fleischer on Hardball. Chris Matthews Ends Interview with an Appropriate Parting Shot.

How nightmarish were the last eight years? Ari Fleischer reminds us with his slimy smirk and condescending reprimands. I'm normally a very tolerable interviewer, but this guy would have hit the bricks early if he pulled this kind of stunt on my show.

You'll love this line from Fleischer: "After Sept. 11, having been hit once, how could we take a chance that Saddam would strike AGAIN..."

David Brooks Right, Then Wrong on Wayward Republicans

While columnist David Brooks understands the flailing nature of the Republican Party’s actions right now, he’s still a freeloading advocate of better marketing and no actionable solutions. While the first two paragraphs of his recent opinion, “Taking a Depression Seriously” hit all the right notes, his sage advice relies on the same old clich├ęs he criticizes the party for still using.

The Democratic response to the economic crisis has its problems, but let’s face it, the current Republican response is totally misguided. The House minority leader, John Boehner, has called for a federal spending freeze for the rest of the year. In other words, after a decade of profligacy, the Republicans have decided to demand a rigid fiscal straitjacket at the one moment in the past 70 years when it is completely inappropriate.

The G.O.P. leaders have adopted a posture that allows the Democrats to make all the proposals while all the Republicans can say is “no.” They’ve apparently decided that it’s easier to repeat the familiar talking points than actually think through a response to the extraordinary crisis at hand. If the Republicans wanted to do the country some good, they’d embrace an entirely different approach.

Democrats apparently think that dealing with the crisis is a part-time job, which leaves the afternoons free to work on long-range plans to reform education, health care, energy and a dozen smaller things. Democrats are counting on a quick recovery to help pay for these long-term projects.

What, plan ahead? Are they loco? Instead Brooks, like all Republicans, would rather put off today, what they can do tomorrow…maybe. The list of solutions Brooks offers below are concepts, not actions.

Republicans could point out that this crisis is not just an opportunity to do other things … it’s Nero-esque for Democrats to be plotting extensive renovations when the house is on fire … not going to try to make long-range plans based on assumptions that will be obsolete by summer … offer the public a realistic appraisal of the health of capitalism … reminded of its shortcomings … If the free market party doesn’t offer the public an honest appraisal of capitalism’s weaknesses, the public will never trust it to address them. Power will inevitably slide over to those who believe this crisis is a repudiation of global capitalism as a whole … supporting President Obama’s plan for global stimulus coordination, because right now most of the world is free-riding off our expenditures … should be the party of restoring fiscal balance — whatever it takes — not trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see.

Do I expect them to shift course in this manner? Not really.

Brooks has at least offered a blueprint for the Republicans to follow, no matter how short sighted it is and no matter how ideologically wrong it has proven to be.

The Republican response has been to demand the American worker except the "reality" of lower pay and benefits, live with the massive job losses by doing nothing to stimulate the economy, let the free market shake out and continue to blame the middle class for living beyond their means. On the last point, the Republican plan is to get credit up and running again so families can continue to borrow and live beyond their means, again.

Do they ever think through their policies of contradiction?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Conservative and author Frank Schaeffer: "You Republicans are the Arsonists who burned Down our National Home."

Frank Schaeffer, conservative and author of "Crazy for God," talked about his recent "Open letter to the Republican traitors." The one thing that will strike you is his blunt, straight to the point criticism of the current state of the Republican Party. He wrote,
"You Republicans are the arsonists who burned down our national home. Now you have the nerve to criticize the "architect" America hired-President Obama- to rebuild from the ashes."

After watching the video, you'll be wishing the Democrats could hit the Republicans just as hard as Schaeffer does here. Enjoy, I know I did.

Ed Schultz Talks About his own Increase in Health Insurance Premium


Ed Schultz brought his "everyday man" persona to MSNBC, filling in for David Shuster, and kicking ass on his first show hosting stint. Drawing from what he has learned in nationwide listening sessions and on his radio show "Where America Comes to Talk," Schultz talked about kitchen table issues like health care premiums.

In fact, his first topic sounded just like a conversation I had with my wife about our rate increase. It was like having Ed right there waving his own premium notice in the air with ours. He was like a neighbor, bringing a fresh down home approach to cable news, speaking our language.

Karl Rove Hypocrite? Shuster Showcases the Master.

For nearly eight years, almost everyone has been begging the news media to get tough on Republican blowhards who lie straight faced selling their snake oil lunacy. MSNBC's David Shuster is making up for lost time with Hypocrisy Watch. No surprise, Karl Rove made the feature a couple of time in the last week.

Rachel Maddow S P E L L S it Out to the Idiot Press and Republicans about Card Check

The Employee Free Choice Act, by virtue of its name, allows union organizers to choose between the existing secret ballot or conduct an open sign-up. The choice to choose a union would be left to the employees, not their bosses. So why do we have a problem? It appears that despite the fact that the unions support it, conservatives hell bent on destroying unions have convince those to busy to read the act, that it does something that it does not do. Another words, they've decided to lie. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow states the case for the act clearly enough for even the simple minded to understand. (below)

How effective are the Republicans with their ability to "propel the propaganda," as George Bush would say? It appears the folks at a major newspaper were too busy to investigate.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial

"...But the solution isn't taking away workers' rights to choose by secret ballot. That is attacking the solution, not the problem. While card check may well lead to more unions, it also may well lead to more intimidation and coercion on the part of union organizers. Workers' intentions would no longer be private, which would open them to all manner of mischief from the overzealous, including the risk of forgery or fraud.

Yes, management has some inherent advantages. Its language can be threatening -warning of closure, a plant move or job losses if contracts are signed. Employees can be compelled to attend sessions in which companies make their cases, while union meetings are voluntary. Coercion can occur and be difficult to prove, because companies either have on staff or can bring in expert help to combat union organizing.

No big deal, management has advantages...threatening closure...job losses...coercion by experts.
Hey, nothing wrong with that, systems working just fine, right?