Omaha Steve's Journal
Member since: Tue Nov 9, 2004, 05:03 PM
Number of posts: 43,375
Number of posts: 43,375
No link. We got the pre-release because the DU rocks!
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: October 15, 2014
** MEDIA ADVISORY **
New Report Exposes Governors who Helped Campaign Donors, Corporations Boost Profits at Taxpayer Expense
-- CMD report “Pay to Prey” reveals how governors in Florida, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin facilitated a corporate power grab of public services, shortchanging taxpayers and the public.
(Washington, DC) – On Wednesday, October 15, at 1:30 P.M. EDT, the Center for Media and Democracy will host a telebriefing to unveil its new report “Pay to Prey: Governors Facilitate the Predatory Outsourcing of Public Services”.
The report highlights the intensive efforts of governors across the country to privatize important public services to private firms with high-powered lobbyists and related campaign contributions. Time after time, outsourcing has gone awry, generating worse outcomes for the public, scandal, lawsuits, and scorching headlines. The report includes examples from Florida, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maine, and Wisconsin.
Examples from the report include:
In Michigan, Governor Rick Snyder outsourced prison food service to a previously rejected contractor after the company spent half a million on lobbying. The contract has been plagued by scandal, including maggots, employees smuggling drugs and having sex with inmates, and even murder-for-hire allegations.
In Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Corbett has outsourced millions in legal contracts to major campaign contributors to defend ALEC-style voter ID legislation and other policies. The governor is attempting to privatize liquor sales, which would benefit another set of deep-pocketed contributors.
In Florida, Governor Rick Scott has overseen a massive expansion of for-profit online schooling, to companies which spent millions on lobbying. Scott signed a bill requiring every student to take online courses and online tests benefiting firms like ALEC funder K12 Inc., which received failing grades from Florida’s Department of Education.
WHAT: Telebriefing to release “Pay to Prey: Governors Facilitate the Predatory Outsourcing of Public Services”
Lisa Graves, Executive Director, Center for Media and Democracy
Shar Habibi, Research and Policy Director, In the Public Interest
State Rep. Andrew J. Kandrevas (D-MI), Democratic Vice Chair, Appropriations Subcommittee on Corrections
State Rep. Chris Taylor (D-WI), Member, Committee on Labor
State Rep. Janet Cruz (D-FL), Member, Appropriations Committee
WHEN: Wednesday, October 15, at 1:30 P.M. EDT
Conference ID: “Pay to Prey”
Posted by Omaha Steve | Tue Oct 14, 2014, 07:24 PM (61 replies)
October 1st, 2014 by Robin Dorman
This is about love, loss, and a brave and beautiful dog with a nearly imperturbable calm who transfigured lives. It was this past January when we first spotted her lying on concrete, sprinkled with falling snow, in an area of the market that was strewn with garbage left to rot, as she was, possibly a day or two before she would have met her fate in the large vat right behind her, where during slaughter, dogs are thrown into boiling water. They are then dropped into a rotating drum, like the one located just above where she lay, for the removal of fur, and finally blowtorched, often while still alive, destined to be dog meat stew or “boshintang” or dog broth or “gaesoju” from a so-called health food store. She was motionless, her eyes staring out in a quiet despair, a sick dog’s look. We reached out to stroke her. Because she was not locked in a cage, we took off with her to Seoul Animal Medical Center, where Dr. Jeffrey Suh, surgical team leader, was waiting. It was after 2 a.m. and we were hoping for a miracle. We named the Jindo mix, Somang, meaning “wish” in Korean.
We didn’t know her past but callous desertion was evident, as she was indelibly marked by misfortune. Hit by a car, she was probably then dumped at Moran Market, South Korea’s largest distributor of dog meat for human consumption. If we hadn’t taken her, we have no idea how many days she would have lived, if one more day, either because of dehydration or because she would have been killed that morning. But we also entertained the idea that she was someone’s companion because of her astonishing gentleness and, therefore, could have been abducted or, because of the accident, suddenly abandoned. It’s anyone’s guess. But the decision to save her was an easy one. She wanted to live, despite being worn out by afflictions. She was a luminous presence everyone felt like a nimbus.
As Dr. Suh explained it, she was suffering from a fractured femur of the right hind limb, heartworm infection, mild dehydration, a mass on her mammary glands and on her vulvar area, endometrial hyperplasia on her uterus, weakened kidneys, and a cyst on her liver, but her blood work was normal, aside from malnutrition. She also had disc anomalies on multiple areas of her lower vertebrates but, again, there was no hampering her ability to walk.
The first order of business was diminishing the adverse effect of heartworm treatment, and allowing her time to recover from dehydration and malnutrition. On intravenous fluids, and gaining strength, her broken leg was amputated, and she recuperated beautifully. Ten days after surgery, she began her heartworm treatment, which can be very uncomfortable, but she handled it with her usual ease. She received three injections, a week apart, and an intravenous injection of a steroid and antihistamine to counter any unpleasant reaction. Befitting her personality, she took all of this in great stride, and made the hospital hers, strolling among the dogs and cats with that singular Somang affability, as sweet a dog the world has ever seen.
FULL story at link.
Posted by Omaha Steve | Fri Oct 3, 2014, 06:19 PM (2 replies)
The largest dam removal in the U.S. is already paying off in the return of salmon, bears, and other wildlife.
September 17, 2014 By Zachary Slobig
Editor, reporter, and radio producer Zachary Slobig has covered coastal issues for Outside, NPR, Los Angeles Times, and many others.
For 102 years, native salmon bumped up against massive concrete hydroelectric dams on Washington state’s Elwha River, stubbornly persisting in their primitive urge to swim upstream and lay their eggs. Last week, that persistence paid off.
Habitat managers spotted Chinook salmon and bull trout in the upper reaches of that river—above the former locations of demolished 108-foot and 210-foot dams that long blocked their path to the spawning ground to which they are hardwired to return.
The arrival of these fish is being celebrated as a promising sign for the return of the river to a fully functioning ecosystem, flowing freely from its source in the Olympic Mountains all the way to the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Mel Elofson, a habitat biologist with the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, was the first to spot the healthy female Chinook in the riverbank above the Glines Canyon Dam last week.
FULL story at link.
Posted by Omaha Steve | Wed Sep 17, 2014, 10:19 PM (26 replies)
Part I: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10025433174
Part II: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10025470469
Yesterday with the setting sun below. It finally stopped raining and the sunlight filtered through the trees illuminating the roses and moon finally.
We lost a tree in the front yard two years ago to drought.
Posted by Omaha Steve | Sat Sep 13, 2014, 08:15 PM (7 replies)
Most DUers know how Marta and I feel about birds.
I hope you will forgive me for being the bearer of bad news.
America’s birds are headed for serious trouble — more serious than you might imagine.
But this is not a call to worry. It’s a call to act.
Just today, we released the results of a seven-year scientific study of the potential impact of global warming on North American birds. Based on four decades of bird census data, here is what we found:
314 species of North American birds — nearly half of all species — could be severely affected by global warming in the coming years at the current pace of warming. The science shows that these birds could lose half or more of their livable ranges by the year 2080 if nothing is done to stop global warming.
Many of those severely threatened are birds like the Rufous Hummingbird or the Baltimore Oriole that we see every day, or love and cherish.
Some, like the Trumpeter Swan, Brown-headed Nuthatch, and American Avocet, could lose more than 99 percent of their livable range — which puts them at extreme risk for extinction.
The science also pinpoints potential “climate strongholds,” key places that will continue to support bird life in the coming decades and which merit urgent protection.
FULL info at link.
Posted by Omaha Steve | Tue Sep 9, 2014, 08:46 PM (10 replies)
By Ned Resnikoff
Thousands of fast food workers across the United States were walking off the job Thursday morning, affecting restaurants in about 150 cities nationwide.
It was just the latest in a series of coordinated strikes that have taken place since November 2012, although Thursday’s strike may be the first such action to include large-scale civil disobedience.
Organizers would not confirm on the record whether civil disobedience and arrests would take place in any of the cities affected by the strikes, but fast food workers have repeatedly vowed to take whatever measures are necessary in order to win a $15 hourly wage and union rights.
Thursday’s strike is the first to take place since the fast food workers held their national convention in July in the suburbs of Chicago. At the convention, some 1,300 fast food workers agreed to a resolution vowing that they would do “whatever it takes” to achieve their goals. Workers who had been arrested in May at a protest in front of the McDonald’s headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois – the movement’s first major act of civil disobedience – spoke to the audience about the experience of getting arrested, and encouraged other workers to take part in civil disobedience if necessary.
FULL story at link.
Protesters demanding higher wages for fast food workers chant during a massive rally on May 15, 2014 in New York City. Andrew Burton/Getty
Read more: http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/fast-food-strikes-hit-150-us-cities
“At McDonald’s we respect everyone’s rights to peacefully protest. See picture below.
Scott Olson / Getty Images
Police guard the entrance of McDonald's corporate campus as about 2,000 fast-food workers and activists seeking higher wages march toward the Oak Brook, Ill., complex in May.
What is McDonald's afraid of?
Posted by Omaha Steve | Thu Sep 4, 2014, 08:48 AM (46 replies)
I haven't talked much about what we all lost since his passing. Very hard to do until I got some time to grieve. I don't know how his friends that got a camera stuck in their face that night did it.
We bought "The Bird Cage" on Blu-ray a couple weeks before he decided to exit stage left. I know it was stage left because his politics leaned way left. We watched it about a week before the kind of day you always remember where you were when you got "the news". I am so glad we did. Anything of his we watch now will feel a little different than before.
Marta and I got the shock headline as I was reading the DU. Kudos to LBN. There was a quick reply it was another net death hoax. Whew. Then coverage of his passing became convincing. It was another 10 minutes before it started to get TV coverage. We went with MSNBC.
Very few stars touch us in the way the characters Mork, Mrs Doubtfire, Genie, etc., all did. Marta and I took the kids to see "POPEYE" more than once. Like many fans, for us it would become a multi-decades long quest see his latest film, guest appearance, or E.T. special.
He wasn't just funny. He was fun. He often pushed the limits and expanded one to perhaps a new point of view. Seeing someone we identify with so closely play a gay character in "Bird Cage" certainly opened doors in minds that had always before been closed to LGBT individuals.
Deep down I think my favorite role was one that is little known and the critics hated. But what do they know. I took my mom to see "Jakob the Liar" in first run. Concentration camps are a dark subject. Showing the audience the condemned were real people can be tricky. His statement on waterboarding is undeniable. Again he was giving us his view without preaching from a pulpit. It was more like one friend to another offering us his simple point of view. I've watched Jacob 3-4 times since he passed away.
More on Jakob and waterboarding below.
We have learned so much about his off screen generosity in the last few weeks. Causes that concerned people like being homeless and or hungry. Making sure the crew behind the camera around him were treated well. An all around good egg. Didn't Mork land here in an egg?
Most agree he left us way too soon. Be thankful he left so much behind to remember him. Drama is easy, comedy is hard. So is getting over the fact he didn't reach out to someone close to him for help before his final moments. I hope he found what he was looking for.
The waterboarding scene:
Jakob the Liar review: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/jakob-the-liar-1999
Posted by Omaha Steve | Tue Sep 2, 2014, 08:13 PM (42 replies)
A few years ago my husband was diagnosed with Dementia. As he entered the late stages, it became difficult for me to keep up with him while he was working outside. I felt that we needed a dog to watch over him. During my daily prayer, I asked for a dog to be sent to him, one that would love him enough to become his guardian when I was not able to be there.
In about 2 weeks this stray dog entered our yard. I managed to contact her owner. He came and took her home but she was back the next morning. This became an everyday occurrence. But while here, she never left my husband’s side, staying close to him but never in his way. One day I found my husband on the road, the dog walking beside him. I watched in amazement as she led him safely home.
The owner noticed how she was getting attached to my husband. He said some dogs’ sense disabilities like this and he asked me to keep her so she could continue watching over him. He had named her Rose. I did keep her and was so proud to have her. I thought back to our granddaughter Haley Rose, who lost her battle with cancer at the age of 17.
I believe my prayer was answered at the time this man, about 2 years prior, got this puppy at the shelter and named her Rose. This sweet loving dog had been sent here to watch over my husband and she did her job well. Even though my husband is now in a healthcare center, our precious Rose is still here; now watching over me. She was sent on a mission to rescue me and I will be forever grateful. She has captured the hearts of all our family members and she will be well cared for and loved the rest of her life.
Posted by Omaha Steve | Mon Sep 1, 2014, 10:24 AM (36 replies)
Original post Two red roses across the moon (no daisy a day dear): http://www.democraticunderground.com/10025433174
This is our front facing west view bay window. Her glass will catch the sun light in the afternoon filtered all summer by leaves. It just figures it had to be a rain day for the photo.
Posted by Omaha Steve | Sun Aug 31, 2014, 04:38 PM (37 replies)
Today's story below.
Original post: How A Seed Saver (DU's own NRaleighLiberal) Discovered One Of Our Favorite Tomatoes : http://www.democraticunderground.com/10025319364
Remember the Amazon boycott! Powell's has NRaleighLiberal's upcoming "Epic Tomato" book available here: http://www.powells.com/biblio/62-9781612122083-0
Use this link first: http://ilwulocal5.com/ At no extra charge the union employees get paid FMLA, sick time, additional training like new automation, family emergency funds, college scholarships, etc.
Marta and I were at the store yesterday when he asked the question. I have a voice that carries. Several people got to hear the story on NPR about the Cherokee tomato. I went on about how the high acid level gives it more of the tomato taste everybody loves tomatoes for. I went on to mention I have a small connection to the guy in the story that is responsible for making this variety available to the world. And his book will be coming out in a couple months.
Several people went to the vegetable area and bought out what was left in stock of the Cherokees. There were not many of them in the heirloom section to begin with.
We can't have a garden here because all the animals that pass through our yard to graze. So I can't thank NRaleighLiberal enough for this wonderful favor he did for ALL tomato lovers as the Cherokee legend grows. His page: http://nctomatoman.weebly.com/nctomato-and-garden-blog
Posted by Omaha Steve | Sun Aug 31, 2014, 10:48 AM (52 replies)