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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 11,627

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"More Fun With Bill & Hill" or, w/friends like Bill, who needs enemies? Explosive piece.

A biting examination and analysis of Bill Clinton's motives for his comments re President Obama, published in today's international New York Times edition.

BEFORE President Obama administered his fix to the Affordable Care Act last week and even before it was clear that he was leaning that way, Bill Clinton piped up, opining that Obama should honor his claim that Americans with insurance they liked could keep it. This advice wasn’t exactly solicited. And inasmuch as it gave detractors of Obama and Obamacare a fresh cudgel, it wasn’t terribly helpful, either.
. . . . . . .
You can alternately view what he (Clinton) said as payback. He’s no doubt aware of a widely publicized nugget from the new book “Double Down: Game Change 2012,” which reports that Obama finds him a tad insufferable, the guest who overstays his welcome, and has said that he’s best savored “in doses.” So he gave Obama a dose all right. It was more vinegar than honey, with just the slightest trace of arsenic.
. . . . . .
Or you can view what happened last week in grandly strategic and utterly gallant terms, which is where things really get interesting and which may be the most accurate appraisal of all. Clinton is looking to 2016, and he’s helping Hillary. It’s less dicey for him than for her to second-guess Obama, which could wind up being a prerequisite to succeeding him. His presidency at this particular moment looks more and more like one of those unlucky Florida homes perched unsuspectingly over a sinkhole. Soon only the top of the chimney will be visible.
. . . . . . .
And in precisely the way that he sometimes makes Obama seem tepid, he could outshine Hillary, inadvertently or not. A friend of mine who went to a public event of hers last week was blown away by how not blown away he was. Amid all of the Hillary hullabaloo, he’d forgotten that she’s no dynamo on the stump. Many Democrats overlook this, but not the ones whispering sweet encouragements in Elizabeth Warren’s ear. Part of what they see in Warren — and part of what they believe could make her a spoiler — is a sizzle that doesn’t come as naturally to Hillary.

Japan postpones removal of Fukushima atomic fuel rods

Source: Euronews

The operators of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant have postponed the extremely complicated and difficult task of removing damaged atomic rods.

Kazuaki Matsui, the executive director of Japan’s Institute of Applied Energy said: “It’s very difficult to remove a spent rod because parts of the wall and the bottom of the reactor are all melted. We’ve never had to deal with this before so that adds to the complication.”

Meanwhile, decontamination workers say mismanagement is to blame for the delay of radiation removal work.

The inital plan called for the clean-up in the affected towns to be finished by March this year but the government now says the work will be delayed by as much as three years.

Read more: http://www.euronews.com/2013/11/15/japan-postpones-removal-of-fukushima-atomic-fuel-rods/

Earlier this month a delay of "a couple of weeks" was announced to allow for a "test" removal. At that time, by way of robot video, new leaks were discovered, as well as that one of the fuel assemblies was damaged and bent out of shape. The current delay is apparently indefinite. In other words, nobody's figured out what to do!

Postponed: Fuel removal attempt at Fukushima Unit 4 delayed, possibly for weeks — Gov’t safety agency wants tests conducted, as another ~M5 quake hits Eastern Japan http://enenews.com/postponed-fuel-removal-attempt-at-fukushima-unit-4-delayed-possibly-for-weeks-govt-safety-agency-wants-tests-conducted

The Japan Times, Nov 4, 2013: Tepco to conduct fuel removal test at reactor 4 Tokyo Electric Power Co. will conduct a fuel removal test at the No. 4 reactor building of the stricken Fukushima No. 1 power plant, delaying the start of the actual operation by up to two weeks, sources close to the matter said Monday.


Conlin Concedes: Seattle Elects Sawant as First Socialist Councilmember

Source: KUOW-FM, Puget Sound/Seattle radio

Longtime Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin conceded his seat to challenger Kshama Sawant late Friday after Sawant's lead widened to 1,640 votes, or 50.3 percent.

Sawant becomes the first Socialist elected to the city council. Her grassroots campaign focused on a $15 minimum wage, rent control in a city with rising rents, and a millionaires' tax to fund transportation. Sawant has a Ph.D. in economics, and has taught economics at Seattle Central Community College. She's been active in the Occupy Seattle movement.

Sawant ran as a Socialist Alternative. She previously ran unsuccessfully for House Speaker Frank Chopp's seat in 2012. She won 29 percent of the vote in that race, which put her on the map. She had been steadily gaining on Conlin since election night when she trailed by more than 7 percent of the vote.

At City Hall on Friday night, Conlin said it’s not alarming to have a Socialist on the Seattle City Council because “when we think of socialism, we think of Sweden, and that's a pretty good model."

Read more: http://kuow.org/

You go Seattle! Cutting edge again!

777X In Danger: Machinists Reject Boeing Contract

Source: KUOW Puget Sound/Seattle

Boeing’s machinists have rejected the company’s proposed contract, with 67 percent of union members opposed.

Members said they are calling the aerospace giant’s bluff – they expect the company to renegotiate the contract deal instead of building the 777X jet somewhere else. At least 20,000 area Boeing jobs are at stake. The vote, which was closely watched by state lawmakers, was about more than just compensation for the 31,000 machinists. Boeing had repeatedly threatened that it would move production of the 777X out of state if the machinists didn't approve the contract.

Under the proposed eight-year contract, Boeing would stop contributing to the machinists’ pensions in 2016, and workers’ health care costs would increase. If the machinists had approved the contract, they would have received a $10,000 bonus by the holidays.

Whether the company was bluffing ahead of the vote was difficult to gauge. The machinists in the Puget Sound region are highly skilled, a fact highlighted by the delays and technical problems that turned the 787 Dreamliner – built in South Carolina – into a public relations nightmare.

Read more: http://kuow.org/post/777x-danger-machinists-reject-boeing-contract

I'm proud of the union members who refused individual bribes/"bonuses" of $10,000 each to vote against a contract which stripped them of their pensions & jacked up health care costs. Boeing is in deep shit in the operation it moved to South Carolina with masses of untrained, unskilled workers, costs overrides, canceled contracts, etc.

Airbus is beating Boeing's ass in recent sales and is considering opening an operation in Washington state to take advantage of the wealth of experienced workers shafted by Boeing.

Your argument is insultingly simplistic & flat wrong. The European Union is getting it right.

The EU's recent reforms to its farm subsidy program include features like:
(1) Farmers under 40 years old will get extra subsidies;
(2) 30 percent of EU members' farm payments will also be spent on "green" measures like crop diversification, maintaining grassland and creating ecological areas;
(3) favors young farmers and smallholders over big business;
(4) give farmers' organizations a greater role in helping farmers cope with market volatility;
(5) lets the markets play their role but also gives farmers a chance to play their role.


A reform of EU farm subsidies agreed this week will favour young farmers and smallholders over big business as well as more eco-friendly farming in a "paradigm shift" for Europe, a top official said on Thursday after three months of talks.

"We wanted to have a fairer and more economical Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), as well as one that is more in touch with the modern world," the EU's Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos told reporters in Brussels.

"This is the start of a paradigm shift for the CAP," he said.

Paolo De Castro, head of the Parliament's farm committee, said the deal was "a victory for EU farmers and consumers". Fellow European lawmaker Luis Manuel Capoulas Santos said it signalled the end of a "dependency culture" for farm subsidies.

William Coyne, retired long time congressman from Pittsburgh, dies

Source: Pittsburgh Post Gazette

William Coyne, 77, the quiet Democratic congressman who represented the Pittsburgh area for 22 years, from 1980 to 2003, has died.

Mr. Coyne, an Oakland resident, died early this morning of complications from a fall that occurred two months ago, according to Jamie Rooney, his longtime executive assistant.

“Bill was in good health until he fell and hit his head, very good shape,” said Mr. Rooney.

Often described as affable, but quiet and self-effacing, Mr. Coyne was an old-fashioned liberal who had a number of behind-the-scenes successes on the House Ways and Means Committee, including earned income tax credits for the poor and industrial development bonds for cities. He also had an admirable record of constituent service.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/2013/11/03/William-Coyne-retired-ling-time-congressman-from-Pittsburgh-dies/stories/201311030207

I had the pleasure of meeting him several times while he was in office. He was an old-fashioned liberal Democrat in the finest sense - a kind man and a gentle man, without a whiff of the entitlement, ego or greed of too many of today's politicians. The very best kind of public servant. Rest in Peace, Congressman Coyne. You were a good man and you led a good life.

State Senator Ferlo comes out fighting against Big Fracking.

Here's the announcement I got from Senator Ferlo's office. Please contact your state senators and ask them to co-sponsor his new legislation, Senate Bill 1100, which amends the infamous pro-fracking Act 13 of 2012.

PHONE: (412) 952-3364
CONTACT: Anne Huber
PHONE: (717) 787-6123

Senator Ferlo Holds Town Hall, Unveils New Oil & Gas Legislation
Pittsburgh, October 30, 2013 – Senator Jim Ferlo, in partnership with Protect Our Parks, held a town hall meeting to discuss fracking in Allegheny County Parks on Wednesday evening. The event was held in the auditorium of Highlands Middle School in Natrona Heights with several hundred in attendance. As the prime sponsor of Senate Bill 1100, a statewide moratorium on fracking, Senator Ferlo called the meeting to inform local residents, exchange ideas, and rally public support to protect county parks.
“I have heard countless stories over the years about the reckless and dangerous practice of fracking, and I am extremely concerned that this method is something under consideration within our pristine and valuable public parks. With children, public health, lost recreation areas, and water quality in mind, I oppose drilling in our county parks. I called this open meeting for the sake of public dialogue, and those in attendance did not disappoint,” explained Ferlo.
The middle school auditorium was host to concerned citizens, elected officials, and various community members. Fracking is proposed for two Allegheny County Parks in the 38th Senatorial District: Deer Lakes Park and Harrison Hills Park. Allegheny County Councilwoman Barbara Daly Danko has proposed a “3 year hold on drilling, exploration, of surface or subsurface development relating to natural gas extraction on any property located within the boundary of any County park,” and she was present to discuss her concerns.
“I support Councilwoman Danko’s proposal wholeheartedly, and I believe we should do the same in Allegheny County as we ought to do statewide: impose a temporary moratorium on new fracking and establish an unbiased committee to study the effects of fracking across our Commonwealth which is why I have introduced Senate Bill 1100,” said Ferlo.
The event was hosted by Senator Ferlo in conjunction with Protect Our Parks, a group comprised of ten member organizations that oppose fracking in county parks and has organized a number of local events to protest the proposal.
“The member organizations of Protect our Parks are grateful to have Senator Ferlo’s support for our efforts educating the public on all aspects of shale gas extraction. It is up to us to make sure that our health, safety, and welfare are considered above the interest of the drilling industry. We are finding that the negative impacts from this industry are far greater than any short term gains. We believe it is up to the people to make sure our elected officials are doing their due diligence to protect the people and not the gas industry," said Briget Shields of Protect Our Parks.
In addition to the robust discussion regarding fracking the parks, Senator Ferlo went on to unveil new legislation. Ferlo plans to introduce, in the near future, a bill which would overhaul Act 13 of 2012 that provides for the State’s oversight of the oil and gas industry. The proposal includes a 17-point plan to amend the law which is currently in place. Some of the changes include increasing criminal penalties for violations of the Act, eliminating the impact fee and replacing it with a fair severance tax, and requiring that a driller notifies surrounding property owners and municipal officials of their plans to drill if they are within 5,000 ft of the prospective well site, among several others. The co-sponsorship memorandum is available online with a complete description of the bill.
“While a statewide moratorium is my goal, in the meantime I strive to amend Act 13 because we can make significant changes to the law currently on the books that will benefit thousands of Pennsylvania residents. I hope my Senate colleagues will join me in supporting this legislation,” said Ferlo.
Panelists at the event included Patricia DeMarco of DeMarco & Associates, Lynda Farrell of the Pipeline Safety Coalition, Erika Staaf from PennEnvironment, Dr. Cynthia Walter, Councilwoman Barbara Daly Danko, and former Pittsburgh City Council President Doug Shields.
State Senator Jim Ferlo is a Democrat representing the 38th Senatorial District comprised of parts of the City of Pittsburgh, Armstrong, and Westmoreland Counties. Senator Ferlo serves constituents in two district offices; one in Lawrenceville and one in Natrona Heights. For more information, visit www.senatorferlo.com

Is there a man alive who privately thinks his testosterone level is too HIGH?

Big Pharma knows the answer is a resounding, "HELL, NO!" All these adds with the cutsey phrases: "ED" for erectile dysfunction; "T Number" for testosterone level, etc.

I'm still waiting for the add that says, "Hey, guy! Can't get it up with a derrick? Are you DIB (Dead in Bed)? Have we got a drug for you!" Of course, no guy wants to cop to that description, so Big Pharma spins it as something every guy wants just to add something to their performance.

I think what the world needs is for every male MIC executive and board member to take testosterone LOWERING drugs - also every male politician elected to national office.

Big election coming up for balance of power in Washington state Senate.

The GOP/ALEC (Koch Brothers) are supporting a woman who's a former banker/small business person and currently ALEC state co-chair, who "doubts the validity of climate science". The Democrats' candidate is an ER physician who was appointed to the state Senate seat last January after then-Democratic state senator Derek Kilmer was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Of particular note is that Democrat Dr. Nathan Schlicher's biggest supporter is a San Francisco billionaire named Tom Steyer who made his fortune in hedge funds but now devotes his time and considerable money to promoting government action against global warming. He started a Political Action Committee called the Next Gen Climate Action Committee which has " pumped money into two high-profile races: the special election that sent Massachusetts Democrat and oil-industry critic Ed Markey to the U.S. Senate in June and the current governor’s race in Virginia.

“I don’t personally know Mr. Steyer and haven’t spoken with him,” Schlicher told KUOW. “I appreciate that he believes I represent somebody who cares about the environment and has chosen to invest in that.”

I find this story doubly inspiring: a physician candidate who could make a very good living independent of politics, versus an ALEC political hack; and a self-made billionaire fighting for the environment, instead of spending his time figuring out how to further benefit the one percent.

Climate Contrast
In a recent candidate forum hosted by League of Women Voters of Kitsap County, Schlicher called for fighting climate change by investing in nonpolluting energy sources. "Regardless of what we individually think, the rest of the world believes that climate change is a reality. The rest of the world will be investing trillions, trillions of dollars in green technology. If we’re not investing in it and building those opportunities here in Washington state, it’s like turning away Microsoft in the 70s. It just doesn’t make any sense."

Jan Angel, by contrast, said she doubts the validity of climate science. " The climate change area, I believe, we’ve got to work through what is it we can do better? What can we do smarter? And I’m fully prepared to have those discussions and act when need be, but there’s a lot of areas right now that can’t be proven scientifically that we've had an issue. We can’t throw money at it, without scientific proof."

Virtually all scientists who study the atmosphere agree that there’s scientific proof that humans have started to change the global climate, and those changes will accelerate unless greenhouse gas emissions are reduced.

Jan Angel declined to be interviewed. Her campaign manager Keith Schipper said she’s focused on reaching voters directly.


Beating up on the elderly is filthy! Shows what Texas Republicans are made of!

Elderly Texan May be Disenfranchised by Texas' new voter suppression law; Woman Denied Voter ID 3 times

When 84-year-old Dorothy Card was born, women had enjoyed the right to vote for less than a decade. She never took it for granted. “It just makes me know that I’m an American and I have a right to vote,” she said, recounting past elections where she’d voted. “Truman, I guess I voted for him,” Card noted.

Card’s experience is emblematic of the challenge that many Texas residents have faced or will face when trying to exercise their right to vote. Because she hasn’t driven in nearly 15 years, Card doesn’t carry the most common form of photo ID: a driver’s license. Once the voter ID law took effect, she went down to her local Department of Public Safety, the Texas agency that administers voter IDs.

She brought her documents and thought they would issue her a voter ID without hassle. She was wrong. What should have been a simple trip to the DPS turned into three (and counting) long, arduous trips, each ending without Card being issued a voter ID.

Card didn’t have a license or other photo ID already. She tried to get a copy of her marriage license from the county courthouse, but officials there were unable to locate it. Even a special letter from a county administrator attesting to this was deemed insufficient by the DPS.

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