Saturday, September 24, 2011

Elizabeth Warren and Class Warfare

Thank You, Elizabeth Warren!"Progressives take note: THAT is how it is done. THAT is how you fight back hard, and THAT is how you defeat Fox News talking points. And THAT is why Warren has actually moved AHEAD of the Republican incumbent in this race."

'via Blog this'

Friday, September 23, 2011

Left wing propaganda video about evolution

 And a good comment on this video from a friend of mine on Facebook:

David Finn I'm afraid that the concepts put forth in this video are just impossible for some minds to conceive. So the real question should be... "Did you ever see a Dogma turn into a cat? Or to translate, " Did you ever see a Dogma give birth to anything but itself? Answer: " It is impossible to think outside a box when the box is in control of your thinking."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Rick Perry Corrupt?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Letting the uninsured die

House unexpectedly defeats spending bill - Yahoo! News

House unexpectedly defeats spending bill - Yahoo! News: " The House of Representatives unexpectedly defeated a bill that would fund the federal government past September 30 on Wednesday as dozens of Republicans broke with their party to push for deeper spending cuts.

The unexpected outcome was an embarrassment for House Republican leaders who have at times struggled to rein in a conservative wing that remains closely allied with the anti-spending Tea Party movement.

"This is a democracy. This is the sausage factory," said Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, who sponsored the bill."

'via Blog this'

Sums it up...

Found on Facebook, thanks Mindy!

Arctic ice at second-lowest extent since 1979 | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine

Arctic ice at second-lowest extent since 1979 | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine: "This is simply yet another data point in an increasingly long line of evidence showing global warming is real, along with all the evidence that it’s getting worse, we’re causing it, and the spin against it by the deniers is approaching light speed. The Related Posts links below make all that clear.

I just hope that by talking about this, more and more voters will listen. In a very real sense, what happens next is up to us."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The End of Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Email from Obama 2012...


Friend --

Today, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is officially over.

Gay men and lesbians in the military no longer have to hide who they are, and the servicemembers who were discharged under this policy can re-enlist.

This is one of the administration's signature achievements. Countless Americans fought hard to end this law over the course of nearly two decades, and President Obama is proud to have signed the repeal.

But today's news isn't just a policy promise kept -- it's a personal promise kept to the thousands of people who needed and deserved this change.

I want to share a video the campaign put together about some of the people affected by this law: four stories from men and women who served in the military during "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

You should watch the video and share it with everyone who cares about fairness and equality in America.

Before my current job, I was in the White House working on getting this done, and I can honestly say that repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is one of the greatest things I have ever been or ever will be a part of. I think about it every time I walk into my office, where I keep one of the pens the President used to sign the bill.

It's a reminder that -- as broken as Washington is and as long as change can take -- people and organizations can do amazing things when they work together and never waver from the vision that unites them.

Watch four people say what today means to them -- and let us know what it means to you:

There's a lot more to do in the months ahead. But today is one to savor.



Jim Messina
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

Obama turns fire on Republicans - Yahoo! News

The President seems to be coming to the understanding that you can't win a baseball game when the other team is playing football. Or that you can't win a knife fight when you show up armed only with a 14 point agenda for negotiation based on mutual concessions made by both sides and a sincere desire for both sides to act with maturity and common sense.

Obama turns fire on Republicans - Yahoo! News: "The deficit-reduction speech President Obama delivered from the Rose Garden on Monday underscores the sharp strategic pivot he and his administration have made in the wake of the debt ceiling negotiations.

Call it lessons learned the hard way, or the necessary readjustment by a politician, but the Obama who spoke on Monday was in a far different place politically and stylistically from the president who tried to pull off a grand bargain with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in July and August.

Obama is a politician whose first instincts always have been to try to find ways to entice, cajole, reason with or otherwise produce cross-party consensus. On Monday, he continued a transition toward greater partisanship that began with his speech to a joint session of Congress two weeks ago.
Rarely has this president been as blunt in his challenges to the other party as he was on Monday. Rarely has he been so willing to draw lines in the sand. Rarely has he waved the threat of a veto with such emphasis.

Obama has gone from a president who talked openly about his willingness to rile his own party by making concessions on entitlements to get a deal with the Republicans to a politician determined to reconnect with his base as the two parties head into a new round of negotiations and an election campaign in which the stakes could not be higher."

'via Blog this'

Monday, September 19, 2011

Revenue, the "Buffet Rule," and "Class Warfare"

Email from the Obama 2012 campaign...  Sounds good to me.


Friend --

This morning, the President proposed the "Buffett Rule," which would require those earning more than $1 million a year to pay the same share of their income in taxes as middle-class families do.

This proposal makes sure millionaires and billionaires share the responsibility for reducing the deficit. It would correct, for example, the fact that Warren Buffett's secretary currently pays taxes at a higher rate than he does.

The other side is already saying it's "class warfare" -- that's their rhetorical smokescreen for providing millionaires and billionaires special treatment.

As the President said this morning, "This is not class warfare -- it's math."

The wealthiest Americans don't need further tax cuts and in many cases aren't even asking for them. Requiring that they pay their fair share is the only practical way forward. The Republican alternative is to drastically slash education, gut Medicare, let roads and bridges crumble, and privatize Social Security. That's not the America we believe in -- but many in the Republican leadership actually prefer those policies, which explains their refusal to act.

That's why they'll say "tax increase" over and over again, trying to muddy the waters and trick ordinary Americans into thinking the Buffett Rule will hurt them. And if we don't speak out right now, they just might get away with it.

If you stand with President Obama in this fight and want to see the Buffett Rule passed -- say you'll get his back now.

Of course, the Buffett Rule won't really touch most Americans -- only 0.3% of households will even be affected.

And without it, the only way to reduce our debt is to savage the programs that seniors and middle-class families rely on.

That's exactly what the President refuses to do -- in fact, he's said he'll veto any bill that changes benefits for folks who rely on Medicare but doesn't raise serious revenue by asking the wealthiest Americans or biggest corporations to pay their fair share.

This isn't just a commonsense approach to cutting the deficit -- it's the only way to make sure we can provide security to people who work hard and play by the rules.

So right now, I'm asking you to say you'll stand with the President on something that won't be easy. Get the President's back today:



Jim Messina
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

5 Things Our Kids Won't Have In School |

Recess, p.e. class, textbooks, summer breaks, Valedictorians and other honors, and failing grades. Some of these, for parents with kids in school these days, well... We've seen the writing on the wall. Others, like the end of summer breaks, I've been hearing about since I was in school twenty years ago and it doesn't seem any closer than it did twenty years ago.

Using tablets and e-readers seems inevitable, but most of the other changes predicted by this writer do not, to me, feel like improvements.

The thing that is really killing us in our district is the budget cuts.  Already, the boys have nearly as many weeks with four school days as they do with five, and the district is having to cut five more days because of budget short falls.  We'll these dates will be announced when the district finished negotiating the timing with the teacher's union.

And these sorts of cuts are not recent.  At the end of the 2004-2005 school year, the Portland School District elementary school sent a survey around asking which staff member to lay off, the librarian, the p.p. teacher or the music teacher.  The school was already without a counselor.

At the end of the 2009-2010 school year, Gresham-Barlow S. D. was where Portland was five years earlier.

I don't think summer vacations are going away any time soon.  If anything, they are getting longer.  But it might be time to look at how all this down time is organized, though having all those long breaks would be murder on working, single parents.

Anyway, this article is not too deep, but it does have some entertaining food for thought...

"You remember recess, right? It was that one time when you could ditch the desks and run around in a frenzied scramble like an extra-caffeinated Bosstone. Whether you spent your 20 minutes hurling dodge balls at dorks or cowering under the slides (to hide from the dodge balls), recess has been an institution for generations. And thank goodness for recess. At a time when kids are tripping over their guts and trailing their asses on the sidewalk behind them, a few minutes of physical activity can be just what the doctor ordered. Literally.

Going Away Because ...

Four little letters: NCLB.
For those of you who have been out of the school loop for the past decade, those letters stand for "No Child Left Behind," which has, for better or worse, done a serious number on American education. Here's why: In 2001, President Bush and Congress passed a law saying we had to get better at school, specifically reading, language arts, math and science. Fair enough."

And failing grades? I agree and disagree with the concept, much like the writer. As long as we are rewarding our kids for real work, not just being overprotective of their feelings or, even worse, creating a situation where it is possible to keep moving through the system without actually learning anything, which I've heard of happening too, because it is just too difficult to fail a kid or to hold them back for a year.

More from Cracked...

"Failure makes students feel bad. And nobody wants that, do they?

Which is why programs like Zeros Aren't Permitted (ZAP!) are getting implemented everywhere from California to Michigan. In a no-fail zone, students can get an A, B, C, D or H, which presumably stands for "Ha ha ha! You didn't think we would give you an F, did you??? Give us a hug, apple dumpling!"

"You kids write whatever the hell you want on these essays. Mr. Scotch and I don't judge."

Upon getting their H's, students have multiple opportunities to complete their work to the teacher's satisfaction; during study hall, after school or, in extreme cases, during Saturday school. We can mock the idea, but in some ways, it makes sense. After all, in the real world, you work until you get the task done. Quitting every time you failed at something would just get you fired.

"I totally messed up that appendectomy. Next time I'll make sure they don't want a sex change."
Plus, the goal of school isn't to sort the stupid from the smart, but to teach everybody as much as possible. For struggling students, zero after zero builds up into one great house of fail, and with no hope of recovery in sight. It should be about getting them caught up, not continuously reminding them of how stupid they are.
But as soon as we defend it, it gets ridiculous again: There are places where red ink has been banned when writing grades because it's too "confrontational" and "threatening." We don't want to embarrass anyone, so let's just say that the country in question rhymes with "England."

No pressure.
'via Blog this'

Breitbart: Conservatives ‘outnumber’ liberals, ‘and we have the guns’ | Raw Replay

I am trying to get focused this morning and to get some work done, but when I saw this, I just had to share it. Wow.  This is the type of thing that really threatens our democracy.  Does this mean that the Tea Partiers will start shooting if the centrists or liberals (or just plain sane people in general from the left and the right) win the rhetoric and propaganda "war"?

Hell, if we are truly at war with these people, then I'd say our democracy is very much in distress.  Maybe they should be looking more at workable solutions then at conquering everyone who disagrees with them.

Breitbart: Conservatives ‘outnumber’ liberals, ‘and we have the guns’ | Raw Replay: "Speaking to a Massachusetts tea party group recently, conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart made some comments that are raising eyebrows online this week, telling the small gathering of Republicans that he sometimes wants to “fire the first shot.”

“I’m under attack all the time,” he said. “The call me gay. There are death threats… There are times when I’m not thinking as clearly as I should, and in those unclear moments, I always think to myself, ‘Fire the first shot. Bring it on.’ Because I know who’s on our side.

“They can only win a rhetorical and propaganda war. They cannot win. We outnumber them in this country and we have the guns… I’m not kidding. They talk a mean game, but they will not cross that line because they know what they’re dealing with. ”

Breitbart added that “major named people in the military” will sometimes “grab” him and say, “Thank you for what you’re doing, we’ve got your back.”"

'via Blog this'

Overdose Deaths Overtake Traffic Toll | The Fix

I was going to say, "It's the economy, stupid!" when I saw the headline, but I realized that this is actually a more complex problem when I saw the culprit... At least it is not krokodil. Yet.

Overdose Deaths Overtake Traffic Toll | The Fix: "Drugs are now out-killing cars nationwide, reveals the latest data, but illegal substances aren't the chief culprits.

For the first time overdose deaths outnumber traffic fatalities in the United States. The havoc isn't driven primarily by Afghan smack or Mexican ecstasy, however, but by common prescription pain medications and anti-anxiety drugs.

Companies began aggressively marketing narcotic pain medications like Vicodin and Oxycontin about a decade ago—and doctors, anxious to help patients feel better, duly wrote the scripts. The death toll has doubled since then. Vicodin is now the most prescribed and abused drug in the nation, according to the US Drug Enforcement Agency. Oxy, Xanax, Soma and relative-newcomer Fentanyl also figure highly..."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Some old images and a note on Labels/Tags...

If that cloud thing over on the right there looks like it was put together in 2004, well, that is because it was.  I am just adding these tags to the posts now, and tonight, working from the first post in November 2004, I've made it up to December 20, 2004.  Stopping for the night on my 32nd birthday.  If only...

For old times sake...

Google searching "democracy in distress"

Yes, this is how brain dead I have become this Sunday.  But it is interesting to me.  Only the Pearson Study Guide comes in higher on Google.

Here are some links that pop up other than my own...

Pearson American History Study Site...

From 2004...
Philip James: Democracy in distress | World news |
If the US wants to restore confidence in its voting system it must learn lessons from the recent elections in Venezuela, writes Philip James
Philip James, Friday 20 August 2004 12.18 EDT

A flikr photostream...

Our democracy is in Distress! by jarnocan

Our democracy is in Distress!, a photo by jarnocan on Flickr.

One from the rabid left wing...
democracy in distress – Oh!pinion: democracy in distress
Michigan replaces democracy with dictatorship
Apr 18th, 2011 by S.W. Anderson. 18 comments

"From the chambers of Congress to the legislatures of all the states, to various forms of county government down to the lowliest town council of the smallest hamlet, American government for more than 200 years has standardized on democracy, until now.

Under a radical-conservative, tea party governor and his legislative allies, Michigan has embarked on a path that replaces democratically elected local government with appointed managers — dictatorship at the least, potentially outright fascism at the worst."

Another one from the far side of the left...

Democracy In Distress"We the people have endured repeated abuses of power by the Executive Branch of our government, and the failure of Congress to stand up for what’s right.

  We’ve seen our nation led into war based on false premises and cynical half-truths. We’ve seen our good name disgraced by torture, secret prisons and profiteering. And we’ve seen our Constitution and laws ignored and violated.

  As a result our democracy has suffered at home, and our reputation has been tarnished abroad. America is less free and less secure. It is time to restore the core values of American democracy that made us a beacon of hope in a troubled world – freedom from tyranny, respect for individual liberty and human rights, and government based on the rule of law.

  It is time to right our country and reclaim our flag as the symbol of a democracy we can all be proud of.

  Today Common Cause launches Recapture the Flag, a campaign to unite us around the promise and hope of America. Please come to our website and sign the pledge below. "

One from 1998 and that whole flag burning amendment thing... The flag amendment: A symbol of democracy in distress"...a long line of Supreme Court decisions affirming the First Amendment right of American citizens to burn the U.S. flag as a form of expression.
Most Americans disagree with the Supreme Court. So do most members of Congress. For several years now, members of Congress have been trying to secure passage of a constitutional amendment to circumvent the court and to allow the punishment of those who desecrate the American flag.
Each term, the passage of such an amendment becomes more of a possibility. Last year, the House passed a proposed amendment by an overwhelming margin. Now the Senate is ready to take it up with the introduction of a proposed amendment earlier this week. During the 104th Congress, this effort fell only three votes short of the necessary two-thirds majority in the Senate after comfortably making it through the House. This year, that three-vote margin may not be there. If the proposed amendment is approved by the Senate, it goes to the state legislatures, where ratification is assured since 49 already have endorsed it.

If that happens, for the first time in its two centuries of existence, the Bill of Rights will have been amended. That is a terrible price to pay for the privilege of punishing those who believe the First Amendment means what it says."
Some Bengali political shenanigans...
Democracy in Distress : The Murder of Madan Tamang « Signpost : Siliguri" The brutal assassination of Madan Tamang, President of Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL) in broad daylight by an armed gang on 21st May is a body blow to democracy in the trouble-torn, three  mountainous sub-divisions of Darjeeling district in West Bengal.

Two days after the murder the police fear that the main accused, all members of Bimal Gurung-led Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s (GJM) frontal organizations, have taken shelter in neighbouring Sikkim.

Laxman Pradhan , General Secretary of ABGL has lodged an FIR accusing Bimal Gurung, his wife Asha Gurung and several other GJM central committee members including Roshan Giri, Harka Bahadur Chhetri and Binay Tamang  of criminal conspiracy.

It is now widely believed that Mr. Tamang’s fearless opposition to the fascist and corrupt leadership of GJM had infuriated them. GJM’s stranglehold on the hills was getting threatened by the coming together of several anti-GJM outfits including the influential Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxists (CPRM) under the leadership of Mr. Tamang.

That's it for now.  I am a little surprised at the lack of Tea Party links on the first couple Google pages.  I guess, after eight years of Bush, they need more than three years of Obama to catch up on their hit counts.