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Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 08:09 PM PDT
SHUTDOWN = GOP MELT DOWN
by noise of rain
We hit the bridges tonight in honor of Ted Cruz. We were thinking of TEA PARTY TANTRUMS, or TEA PARTY TALIBAN, but felt that those messages might be ambiguous for the 60 mph crowd on their way home from Milwaukee, where they make money, to the Western Suburbs, where they complain about Milwaukee. EVICT THE TEA PARTY has promise, and might be good at a future date. SHUTDOWN = SHAKEDOWN has nice symmetry to it, but we were afraid that the Republicans migrating west might well feel it was a "pox on both houses" type of message. What we compromised on (this being a last minute messaging decision) was SHUTDOWN = GOP MELT DOWN. It looked pretty sweet out in the chilly autumn air.
As for Mr. Cruz? He seems to be using the country's pain and suffering as a good fundraising opportunity. Good character, that.
To quote Kurt Vonnegut: "I could carve a better man out of a banana!"
Posted by FourScore | Wed Oct 16, 2013, 11:36 PM (6 replies)
Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 12:55 PM PDT
To whoever vandalized my son's grave...
My son's grave marker is beautiful - flat and bronze - flush with the ground like all the markers in the cemetery where he is buried. If you turn a knob and pull, a matching bronze vase pulls out from the marker. Turn it over and it fits back into the marker to hold flowers. When the grounds keeper needs to mow, he simply throws the flowers away and returns the vase. It was attached by a small chain.
When I looked down and realized someone had stolen my son's vase, along with the vase from my late father's grave nearby, I swear I went through the stages of grief all over again. I stood with my jaw dropped for the longest time. Then I cried. Then I got pissed. Then I started freaking out. How soon could I get a new one? Who should I call? Should I even get a new one? Is there some way to lock the things?
I know there are a lot of drug addicts running around this country with minds so fried they will do anything. But what came to mind as I stood there looking at the empty hole in my son's marker was, instead, a recent local news story. A woman sent a man out to the store to buy diapers for their baby. After he left he realized - not only did he have no money for diapers, he had no idea what his family would eat that night. So he walked into a nearby bank and pretended to have a gun. The lone teller (go figure that one out) pushed a hidden panic button, but then saw something in this young man. By the time the police arrived the two of them were on the floor, on their knees, holding hands and praying.
I live in a community with a large stock of empty houses thanks to foreclosures. The vandalism is like nothing I've ever seen before. More than just angry families trashing the place before leaving, vandals take the light fixtures, wiring, copper pipes, toilets, sinks, windows, cabinets - everything. There are yard sales in town everywhere. Our houses of worship and community centers are overwhelmed. More people are more desperate than I have known in my 56 years.
My Congressional Representative (US Rep Tom Marino - R-10 in PA) recently told the executive director of our local Meals on Wheels that he supported the meals program but called "elimination of long term federal debt his top priority." When asked if he could help them to end across-the-board federal cuts from the sequestration he responded, "Folks, we do not have the money. The revenue is not there. How are you going to pay for it?"
Isn't that his job?
The Executive Director of Meals on Wheels for northeast Pennsylvania tried to explain to him that these meals keep senior citizens in their homes, which is much cheaper for the government than paying for nursing home care. His response had something to do with people on welfare that don't belong.
Marino was given a stack of paper plates with messages from the elderly and disabled who depend on these meals. Some of them read:
"Living alone, I am 90 yrs old and handicap. Meals on Wheels is a must."
"I'm 95 years old and unable to cook. Please help people like me."
"Meals on wheels saves me money, show(s) me people still care, and they are very tasty and healthy." (from a 92 year-old)
I did not attend this very sad event. I credit Pocono Record reporter David Pierce for his reporting and these quotes on August 27, 2013.
I don't believe a drug addict vandalized my son's grave. I believe someone, somewhere bought diapers and soup. I wish I could find them and tell them that if my sweet son were still here he would gladly have given them the vase.
Heck, maybe he did.
Posted by FourScore | Wed Oct 16, 2013, 11:09 PM (7 replies)
Tue Oct 15, 2013 at 11:29 AM PDT
GOP Congresswoman Stunned: 'Do You Hate Obamacare More Than You Love Your Country?' (VIDEO)
by Egberto Willies
It has taken a brush with economic disaster for the traditional media to pushback at the GOP. The false equivalencies that Americans have endured have led to misinformed citizens and an emboldened Republican Party that continue to push the limits of sanity. They hate Obamacare so much that they are willing to bring the country down lest it is repealed.
MSNBC Thomas Roberts refused to allow Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) to spin him. In the past, these politicians have been given full latitude to not answer questions as they use the interview as a platform to mislead. Roberts did not allow this.
This caught the GOP representative completely by surprised. She was stunned and left with silly statements of righteous indignation.
Thomas Roberts: Joining me now is Republican Congresswoman from Tennessee Marsha Blackburn. … Do you agree that no matter what something needs to come from the House that still has attachments for ACA?
Marsha Blackburn (R-TN): … We are going to take the steps to bring together components of a bill that we will send over to the Senate and be hopeful that they are going to take it up today.
Thomas Roberts: When it comes to Obamacare, do you hate Obamacare more than you love your country?
Marsha Blackburn (R-TN): I got to tell you something. I think that comments like that that you are making are just incredibly inappropriate. What we have to realize.
Thomas Roberts: You don’t think it is incredibly inappropriate to shutdown our government and to take all the hostages of Americans, that you have taken? No. No. No. It is not inappropriate because you have taken the government hostage to a shutdown and all the American people you are now walking them to a cliff, the economy. And you are going to push them over one by one based on the fact that you don’t like the ACA. That’s all it is. You don’t like the affordable care act.
Marsha Blackburn (R-TN): Listen to yourself. We didn’t want a government shutdown. Just listen to the way you are sounding; my goodness.
Thomas Roberts: On August the 6th at the Economic Club of Nashville you said, “Everything we can do. Whether it is the funding, delaying, repealing, replacing, all of our energy needs to be in every one of these efforts. I applaud Ted Cruz for getting out there and bringing this to the forefront. Did you not say that?
Marsha Blackburn (R-TN): Those are comments that I did make.
Do You Hate Obamacare More Than You Love Your Country?
It is a known fact that the renegades, the Right Wing Tea Party Conservatives were giddy for a shutdown. They hate Obamacare and they believed that holding the entire nation hostage was the only way they could repeal it. They lost at the polls. They lost in the Supreme Court. They lost in Congress.
They planned this government shutdown. Now they are being held accountable even as many try to distance themselves when in the public eye. Some in the traditional media are stepping up to the plate and not allowing them to get away with it. Hate Obamacare more than country Rep. Blackburn?
Posted by FourScore | Tue Oct 15, 2013, 04:30 PM (27 replies)
The Dixiecrat Solution
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: October 13, 2013
So you have this neighbor who has been making your life hell. First he tied you up with a spurious lawsuit; you’re both suffering from huge legal bills. Then he threatened bodily harm to your family. Now, however, he says he’s willing to compromise: He’ll call off the lawsuit, which is to his advantage as well as yours. But in return you must give him your car. Oh, and he’ll stop threatening your family — but only for a week, after which the threats will resume.
Not much of an offer, is it? But here’s the kicker: Your neighbor’s relatives, who have been egging him on, are furious that he didn’t also demand that you kill your dog.
And now you understand the current state of budget negotiations.
Stocks surged last Friday in the belief that House Republicans were getting ready to back down on their ransom demands over the government shutdown and the debt ceiling. But what Republicans were actually offering, it seems, was the “compromise” Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, laid out in a Wall Street Journal op-ed article: rolling back some of the “sequester” budget cuts — which both parties dislike; cuts in Medicare, but with no quid pro quo in the form of higher revenue; and only a temporary fix on the debt ceiling, so that we would soon find ourselves in crisis again...
Posted by FourScore | Mon Oct 14, 2013, 10:52 AM (3 replies)
Mon Oct 14, 2013 at 04:46 AM PDT
MERS Outbreak: Virus has 48% Mortality Rate as GOP fanatics have 2/3 of CDC & 3/4 of NIH shut down
by Lefty Coaster
This is truly alarming news. An outbreak in Saudi Arabia of a lethal new strain of virus named MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) has coincided with the return of Muslim Pilgrims from the Hajj, and the Republicans' deliberate crippling of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
MERS is a virus had spread from bats to humans. This new outbreak has killed 48.7% of its victims in Saudi Arabia so far making it a dire threat we shouldn't be unprepared for as a technologically advanced nation. Yet that's exactly what these reckless Republican fanatics have done.
Shutdown alarms health officials amid MERS, flu threat
Melissa Maynard, Pew/Stateline Staff Writer
This week more than 11,000 U.S. Muslims are expected to join millions of other pilgrims in Mecca for the annual Hajj pilgrimage. When the Americans return home, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local health departments will be watching for any sign of the MERS virus that has caused severe acute respiratory illness in 140 people since 2012, killing about half of them.
But because of the shutdown of the federal government, about 9,000 of the CDC's 15,000 workers have been furloughed. James Blumenstock, chief of public health practice for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, said states are concerned that the absence of those workers might slow down identification and response to MERS cases if the virus spreads to the U.S.
Shutdown hits scientists hard, White House says
The National Institutes of Health, the nation's top medical research facility, has lost almost three-quarters of its staff, forcing it to turn away most new patients from its studies. Funding for the NIH became a focal point of debate early in the shutdown when reports emerged that children with cancer were being denied entry into potentially life-saving studies.
The majority of Americans may feel the greatest impact, however, from the cuts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Two-thirds of its personnel have been sent home, and as flu season begins, influenza monitoring has been cut back, according to the White House.
Still, the CDC will continue its most important role in monitoring any imminent threats to the public's health, and most flu vaccines are produced by private companies.
The CDC will be able to monitor the situation, but the CDC and the NIH won't be able to respond as quickly should an outbreak of MERS occur in this country. That could be precious time lost for a US population vulnerable to this deadly new virus.
MERS-CoV: Returning pilgrims could be exposed to virus
By Qaiser Butt
MERS-CoV acts like a cold virus and attacks the respiratory system, which can lead to pneumonia and kidney failure, according to the US-based Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. However, officials do not know much about how the newly discovered MERS-Cov spreads, which makes it extremely difficult to take prevention measures.
Its time for Americans to tell the Republicans crybabies to let the adults resume the business of government, as if our lives depended on it, because there's some possibility they may.
Posted by FourScore | Mon Oct 14, 2013, 10:18 AM (5 replies)
Posted by FourScore | Mon Oct 14, 2013, 10:10 AM (8 replies)
Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 08:39 PM PDT
Now This Is Smart Strategy
I have to say that I've been very pleased with how the Democrats have been conducting themselves in the fight to get the government re-opened and to end the hostage-taking situation with the debt ceiling. I've also noticed the Senate Democrats staking out a position on the left: repealing the sequester. Now, this is very smart strategy because it allows the Democrats to take a position on the left, and it also helps the GOP save face.
How does it help the GOP save face? Namely, by opposing the repeal of the sequester in any CR bill. This is what allows the clean debt ceiling bill to be passed with none of the GOP goodies in it since they'll have to go in and vote for the clean CR. They can go home to their voters and say we didn't allow the repeal of the sequester to happen.
Posted by FourScore | Mon Oct 14, 2013, 12:29 AM (7 replies)
Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 07:06 PM PDT
The Saddest Government Shutdown Photo You'll Ever See
by David Harris Gershon
Add to the growing list of Americans affected by the GOP-led government shutdown this adorable, heartbroken child:
Now, I present this image not to make light of the real suffering being caused by the current shutdown, from furloughed workers to cancer patients struggling to receive treatment.
I present this image because it is the perfect metaphor for the heartless, billionaire-funded hostage situation orchestrated by our country's Republican leadership.
For not only does this cute, costume-wearing kid imagistically represent those innocent Americans who are being hurt by the shutdown. This child also symbolizes a generation of voters who are growing up witnessing a national party embarrass itself – a national party self-destructive enough to be led by impetuous House representatives elected due only to gerrymandered districts.
In other words: this child won't be voting Republican. Nor will his peers who are also standing at the gates.
Posted by FourScore | Thu Oct 10, 2013, 11:29 PM (1 replies)
Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 01:30 PM PDT
Poison pill in House debt limit plan would be a hostage taker's dream
by Jed Lewison
Thanks but no thanks, Speaker Boehner
This is completely nuts:
The House Republican plan to extend the debt ceiling for six weeks would permanently ban the Treasury Department from using extraordinary measures to avoid default, congressional aides said.
The provision would ban practices, used by Democratic and Republican administrations for decades, which have effectively allowed the Treasury to limit investments in pensions and other funds when the government bumps up against its borrowing limit. These steps have extended the time that Treasury can continue borrowing and paying the nation’s bills while Congress debates terms for raising the debt ceiling.
This idea is like banning the bomb squad from defusing bombs. There's really nothing subtle about it either: It is a measure with one goal and one goal alone—to make it harder to avoid defaulting on our obligations.
The only people who could possibly like this idea are hostage takers who think having the power to force America into a default gives them leverage in political negotiations. In other words, it's exactly the kind of idea that House Republicans are bound to love.
But if you're sick and tired of the drama of debt limit hostage crises, this idea is not for you. Instead of disarming the debt limit time bomb, it is designed to weaponize the debt limit. It would make things worse, not better. It's an idea that should be dead on arrival.
Posted by FourScore | Thu Oct 10, 2013, 05:03 PM (3 replies)