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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 50,697

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Tired of hearing about the minimum wage?

Yes, We Should Panic (But not in the way people want you to ...)

by digby

I'm getting older so I guess I shouldn't care so much about the future anymore. In the long run, yadda, yadda, yadda. But strangely, I do. I see little kids running around every day right here in my neighborhood and on TV halfway across the world and it breaks my heart to think that we are such a limited species that we will allow catastrophe despite the fact that we know very well how to stop it and could do it easily if we just cooperated with one another. The first half of the 20th Century was a terrible lesson in how irrational human beings are capable of being in the modern world. And sadly so much of what we're seeing today shows we haven't improved much in that area:

The conventional (smart) wisdom is that we should not panic about Ebola in the United States (or Europe). That is certainly true because, even with its huge warts, US and European health-care systems are well-equipped to handle the few cases of Ebola that might pop up.

However, we should panic. We should panic at the lack of care and concern we are showing about the epidemic where it is truly ravaging; we should panic at the lack of global foresight in not containing this epidemic, now, the only time it can be fully contained; and we should panic about what this reveals about how ineffective our global decision-making infrastructure has become. Containing Ebola is a no-brainer, and not that expensive. If we fail at this, when we know exactly what to do, how are we going to tackle the really complex problems we face?

Climate Change? Resource depletion? Other pandemics?


GOP STRATEGY:Eliminate American Dream So "they" won't want to come here & ruin it for Real Americans

So long, American Dream, it's been good to know yuh

by Tom Sullivan

Hmmm, maybe killing off the American Dream will keep out them foreigners?

Nicholas Kristof recalls how in 1951 his French-speaking father from Eastern Europe felt France was too stratified for a penniless refugee to get ahead. So he bypassed France for a opportunity in the United States. Better to learn English. He did. And earned a Ph.D. and became a university professor.

Now the escalator to opportunity is broken, writes Kristof.

A new Pew survey finds that Americans consider the greatest threat to our country to be the growing gap between the rich and poor. Yet we have constructed an education system, dependent on local property taxes, that provides great schools for the rich kids in the suburbs who need the least help, and broken, dangerous schools for inner-city children who desperately need a helping hand. Too often, America’s education system amplifies not opportunity but inequality.

Once the United States led the world — even Great Britain — in educating its people:

Then the United States was the first major country, in the 1930s, in which a majority of children attended high school. By contrast, as late as 1957, only 9 percent of 17-year-olds in Britain were in school.

Until the 1970s, we were pre-eminent in mass education, and Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz of Harvard University argue powerfully that this was the secret to America’s economic rise. Then we blew it, and the latest O.E.C.D. report underscores how the rest of the world is eclipsing us.

In effect, the United States has become 19th-century Britain: We provide superb education for elites, but we falter at mass education.


But it's not just the educational system that's broken. Or the financing. It's the social contract that undergirds the whole culture. People wave around pocket copies of the U.S. Constitution as though it is holy writ, yet break faith with it after the first three words of the preamble. We the People? Sounds like socialism. In spite of the fact that support for public education predates ratification of the constitution, is written into statehood enabling acts including the 50th (Hawaii, 1959), and is reflected in state constitutions from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Yet, conservatives such as Rick Santorum preach that “... the idea that the federal government should be running schools, frankly much less that the state government should be running schools, is anachronistic.”

Because it's "Every man for himself and the Devil take the hindmost," you takers. Conservatives for conservatives. Undermining the public schools by cutting budgets and diverting public funds to private-school vouchers and charters isn't an accident. It's a strategy. Eliminate the American Dream and maybe "they" won't want to come here and ruin it for Real Americans™.


Without an O.K. from the astrologer, he said, Air Force One did not take off.

Quigley died Tuesday at the age of 87 in San Francisco.

Here is how the former chief of staff described Quigley's role in the Reagan White House, via the Times:

He said an astrologer had set the time for summit meetings, presidential debates, Reagan’s 1985 cancer surgery, State of the Union addresses and much more. Without an O.K. from the astrologer, he said, Air Force One did not take off.

She was kept on a $3,000 a month retainer and spoke with Mrs. Reagan two or three times a day, according to the Times. Private phone lines were set up for her at the White House and Camp David.

Read the whole remarkable account, written by the Times's Douglas Martin, here.



Luckovich: "If Palin Had Become VP"


No Brains?

McConnell: It’s not “particularly enlightening” talking to constituents-especially “factory workers"

Mitch McConnell: It’s not “particularly enlightening” talking to constituents, especially “factory workers”

Mitch McConnell’s been in office for 30 years and twenty six years ago he explained on the Senate floor that he tries to avoid talking to actual voters because, quote, “I don’t find it particularly enlightening.”

Mitch McConnell is currently refusing to debate Alison Lundergan Grimes in front of voters.
Mitch McConnell spent three weeks refusing to discuss the great issues of the day on the state’s most popular radio show (until finally he called in and yelled at the host for 13 minutes, claimed it’d been thirty and hung up).
Mitch McConnell is currently refusing to meet with the CJ editorial board for a live and uninterrupted interview while simultaneously attacking Grimes for doing so.
Mitch McConnell says it’s “not my job” to bring jobs to Kentucky while simultaneously, for twenty six years, refusing to go to the factory gates to actually talk to workers about what’s important to them.
Mitch McConnell is running scared from Kentucky voters because he doesn’t find them “particularly enlightening.” And that, friends, is Mitch McConnell’s way of calling you stupid.


Elizabeth Warren Teams Up With Orrin Hatch To Push Huge Science Research Fund

Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) have been quietly working for the past year on the Invest for a Healthy Future Act, a bill that may end up increasing money for government agencies that fund research by more than $21.5 billion over the next dozen years.

The timing of the bill, amid growing concern about America’s vulnerability to Ebola or a biological attack, may give it a bit of momentum heading into the lame duck session, when aides said they hope it gets considered.

Still, the authors recognize that even during times of heightened political concern about medical research funding, there likely isn’t enough support in Congress to simply spend more for scientific studies. So the proposal puts in place a trigger mechanism that may help galvanize that political support.

The bill would create a $10 billion biomedical science fund that would be offset by cuts elsewhere. That fund could only be tapped if appropriators keep the budgets at five major government agencies at steady levels. Those agencies are the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority



re: Faulty Airbags

Breaking: New Scary Chart Released!!!


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