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Member since: Mon Dec 19, 2011, 05:17 PM
Number of posts: 307

Journal Archives

Top Ten News Stories 11.30.2013

Some guys play video games, but I read news stories. I have a roommate backing me up on the research and I feel like I could get in a good ten stories every day. Please enjoy this series and share it with your friends--I hope to be able to get my virtual studio tech up soon and push these out as custom youtube news videos for liberals like us. I like feedback and I love criticism.
10.) Blodget, H. (2013, November 29). Sorry, Folks, Rich People Actually Don't 'Create The Jobs'. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/rich-people-create-jobs-2013-11

"Rich people create the jobs."

Specifically, by starting and directing America's companies, rich entrepreneurs and investors create the jobs that sustain everyone else.This statement is usually invoked to justify cutting taxes on entrepreneurs and investors. If only we reduce those taxes and regulations, the story goes, entrepreneurs and investors can be incented to build more companies and create more jobs.

This argument ignores the fact that taxes on entrepreneurs and investors are already historically low, even after this year's modest increases. And it ignores the assertions of many investors and entrepreneurs (like me) that they would work just as hard to build companies even if taxes were higher.
9.) Stein, S. & Bendery, J. (2013, November 30). Obama Gets A Second Shot At Getting Health Care Reform Right. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/30/obama-health-care-reform_n_4361679.html

On a technological level, the administration is far ahead of where it stood on Oct. 1 -- an important but hardly remarkable feat considering how bad things were two months ago. Medicare spokeswoman Julie Bataille said that as of the end of November, approximately 50,000 users will be able to use HealthCare.gov concurrently, which will be the equivalent of more than 800,000 during a day.

If user interest exceeds those numbers, the administration has set up “a customer-friendly queuing system which would notify you when to come back to the site and sort of be first in line,” Jeff Zients, President Barack Obama’s point man for rebuilding the website, told reporters in a Tuesday roundtable.
8.) Icarius. (2013, November 27). Study: Conservatives More Likely To Make Up Facts In Order to Justify Their Beliefs. Retrieved from http://iacknowledge.net/study-conservatives-more-likely-to-make-up-facts-in-order-to-justify-their-beliefs/

Two psychologists Brittany Liu and Peter Ditto from the University of California-Irvine conducted a study to evaluate how liberals and conservatives dealt with so called hard truths in areas that they may not be prone to believing because of their ideologies. The study looked at four areas – two of these areas are supported by liberals and detested by conservatives and two are supported by conservatives and detested by liberals:

#1 – Educating kids on condoms

#2 – Embryonic stem cell research

#3 – The death penalty

#4 – Water boarding captives

Even though both liberals and conservatives alike had a tendency to rationalize their views … conservatives created a new reality essentially in all four of these areas in order to square their thought process. The conservative movement by and large suffers from this; another term for this is cognitive dissonance. For whatever reason – the brains of conservatives just make stuff up in order to justify their support for two conflicting beliefs.
7.) Drew, C. (2013, November 29). Scandal Widens Over Contracts for Navy Work. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/30/us/scandal-widens-over-contracts-for-navy-work.html?ref=us

The Justice Department is looking into allegations that the company, Inchcape Shipping Services, with the help of subcontractors, overcharged the Navy by millions of dollars, interviews and previously undisclosed court documents show.

Inchcape, which is owned by the government of Dubai, was suspended this week from winning new federal contracts and is expected to meet with Justice Department officials soon to discuss the case.

The civil fraud investigation, which was prompted by a whistle-blower who had worked for the company, is another serious embarrassment for the Navy, which is already grappling with a criminal investigation of its main ship supplier in the Pacific, Glenn Defense Marine Asia.
6.) Wydra, E. (2013, November 27). Religious Liberty Is For People, Not Corporations. Retrieved from http://edition.cnn.com/2013/11/26/opinion/wydra-supreme-court-obamacare/index.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fcnn_topstories+%28RSS%3A+Top+Stories%29

Unless the Supreme Court reverses these radical decisions, the consequences could reach far beyond the Affordable Care Act, making this particular roadblock for Obamacare more problematic in the long term than the well-publicized problems associated with the health exchange website's rollout.

By accepting the religious free-exercise claims, these three federal courts have turned first principles of religious freedom, as well as fundamental tenets of corporate law, on their head.

From the nation's founding until today, the Constitution's protection of religious liberty has been seen as a personal right, inextricably linked to the human capacity to express devotion to a God and act on the basis of reason and conscience.
5.) Spetalnick, M. (2013, November 26). Americans Back Iran Deal By 2-to-1 Margin: Reuters/Ipsos Poll. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/27/us-usa-iran-poll-idUSBRE9AQ01420131127?feedType=RSS&feedName=everything&virtualBrandChannel=11563

Americans back a newly brokered nuclear deal with Iran by a 2-to-1 margin and are very wary of the United States resorting to military action against Tehran even if the historic diplomatic effort falls through, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Tuesday.

The findings were rare good news in the polls for President Barack Obama, whose approval ratings have dropped in recent weeks because of the botched rollout of his signature healthcare reform law.
4.) Pizzi, M. (2013, November 30). Syria Rebels Say Peace Talks Destined For Failure. Retrieved from http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/11/30/syria-rebels-skepticalaboutgenevatalks.html

"At long last and for the first time, the Syrian government and opposition will meet at the negotiating table instead of the battlefield,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday as he announced the long-delayed summit for Jan. 22 in Geneva. Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby promptly affirmed his support for the planned conference and said his only regret was the long delay in scheduling the talks.

But comments from world leaders wrangling for a solution to the war belie a bleak reality: almost no one believes the long-anticipated talks will succeed – not even the Coalition itself.

“I really don’t think the prospects of a successful meeting are there – the gaps between the two sides are huge,” Najib Ghadbian, the Coalition's special representative to the United States, told Al Jazeera. The Coalition will go to Geneva, Ghadbian said, to push for delivery of humanitarian aid to besieged cities and for the release of some of Syria's tens of thousands of political prisoners. "From our point of view," he said, "we have nothing really to lose."
3.) Goodman, A. & Shaikh, N. (2013, November 26). As Wal-Mart Workers Plan Record Black Friday Protests, Study Says Retail Giant Can Afford Higher Pay. Retrieved from http://www.democracynow.org/2013/11/26/as_wal_mart_workers_plan_record

AMY GOODMAN: Amidst criticism of the workers low wages, Wal-Mart has been touting its campaign to promote more than 25,000 of its roughly 1.3 million U.S. employees by the end of January. The workers are featured in clips on the company’s YouTube channel, like this one.

GREGORY PORTIS: Hi, how are you doing? I am the produce manager here at Wal-Mart. I started with the company four months ago. I’ve been promoted to the department manager three weeks after I started. This time of the year is a really busy time of the year due to Thanksgiving and Christmas. We have a lot of customers that are in the store, so we try to meet all their needs and getting them everything that they want, to make sure that they can take care of their families.

AMY GOODMAN: Wal-Mart Spokesperson Kory Lundberg said the company already has hundreds of thousands of associates who earn at least $25,000 per year. Catherine Reutschlin, your response?

CATHERINE RUETSCHLIN: Wal-Mart, by their own admission, is just making the same promotions that they would have made anyway. This isn’t an improvement in their labor standards at all. In fact, what it is, is a lot of workers who have been part time before and just kind of waiting on the fringes for the opportunity to put in more hours are being kind of touted with a grand fanfare that this is a great promotion. But, it doesn’t change the fundamental labor practices at Wal-Mart where they operate on a model of low investment in their workforce and high turnover. In fact, approximately 500,000 Wal-Mart workers quit every year.
2.) BBC News Asia. (2013, November 30). US Carriers Urged To Comply With China Air Zone Rules. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25165503

The establishment of the ADIZ has caused widespread anger, with the US state department calling it "an attempt to unilaterally change the status quo in the East China Sea" which will "raise regional tensions and increase the risk of miscalculation, confrontation and accidents".

But on Friday, the state department said the US government "generally expects that US carriers operating internationally will operate consistent with Notams issued by foreign countries".

It added: "Our expectation of operations by US carriers consistent with NOTAMs does not indicate U.S. government acceptance of China's requirements for operating in the newly declared ADIZ."
1.) JANE Perlez, J. (2013, November 30). North Korea Accuses Detained U.S. Veteran of War Crimes. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/01/world/asia/north-korea-accuses-detained-us-veteran-of-war-crimes.html?hp&_r=0

North Korea has accused an American veteran of war crimes and on Saturday released a video of him confessing to “hostile acts” during the Korean War and while he was visiting the country in October.

The veteran, Merrill Newman, 85, of Palo Alto, Calif., who has been held since Oct. 26, appeared on the video dressed in casual Western clothes and wearing glasses as he read excerpts from the apology from several sheets of white paper.

. . .

In the apology Mr. Newman describes how he wanted to meet “surviving soldiers and pray for the souls of the dead soldiers” involved in the Korean War. If he met any surviving soldiers he planned to put them in touch with members of the Kuwol Partisan Comrades-in-Arms Association who had escaped to South Korea, the apology said.

NY Mayoral Debate Highlights: Anthony Weiner is Still Texting

Yes, the mayoral debate for NY happened yesterday. Lots of important things were said. But if you want to laugh at Anthony, Skip to 2:50. Oh, Anthony, you so crazy.

On a more serious note. Democrats look strong. I'm excited for New York. Real, full-blown excited.

Gov. Paul LePage: "About 47% of able-bodied people in the state of Maine don’t work"

Let this be a lesson to the American people. Heed his humble words of truth and valor.

Awesome blog from Maine on the topic:

The quote is stunning, both for how ridiculous it is on its face as well as how closely it mirrors a comment made by 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who also took aim at 47% of the population (those he said were victims, dependent on government and therefore voting for his opponent) in a leaked video that did significant damage to his campaign.

Just to be absolutely clear, LePage’s statistic is completely wrong. Currently, around 65% of Mainers over the age of 15 are working or are unemployed and actively seeking work. Of the remaining 35%, almost all are retired, are caring for children or other family members, are pursuing education or training or have a disability that prevents them from working. Only a tiny fraction aren’t working for other reasons. The conservative Heritage Foundation, using U.S. Census data, puts this number at 1.1% nationally.

Maine is known for our strong Yankee work ethic and we have a higher labor force participation rate than the rest of the country, despite our more elderly population. We work harder, longer and often in more dangerous occupations than people almost anywhere else.

We deserve a Governor who is proud of Maine, doesn’t falsely believe that half the people he was elected to serve are lazy and useless and doesn’t govern as if this were true.

Let's remember that this guy is calling upon his experience as a manager for an Antiques firm. That's not exactly cutting edge technology for the next generation of workers.

Holy Shit

I live in Albuquerque. Am I going to have to do some real live action reporting?

Randy Neugebauer Confronts Park Ranger Over Closed WWII Memorial

So this happened this morning.

Worst. PR. Ever.

Absolutely disgusting. I don't know about you compañeros on the east coast, but here in Southwest--a lot of park rangers and fire fighters have died to the wildfires. Closing down a park service, especially if you are cutting the park budget, is perfectly reasonable.

I recall that Colorado and Texas Republicans slashed the budget for fighting forest and park servicemen are dying over that fact as they serve the American people. I mean dudes are dying just before the shutdown, let alone after we underfund them. < http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2013/09/28/report-yarnell-firefighters-died-trying-to-make-it-to-safe-zone >. This public statement just shows how out of touch with reality the Republican party has fallen.

Seriously, don't mess with the park ranger. They have to deal with your armed maniacs meandering the woods (which is legal now, thanks congress).

God bless you, bicyclist dude.

C-SPAN Call-ins Blame Corporate America For Shutdown

This morning showed a real opposition to the Republican's claim that they spoke for "The Will of The People". These calls of dissent might just get you through your day

Recorded this morning 9.22.2013

C-SPAN Callers Hate Republican Congress

Lots of C-SPAN liberals bashing on the manufactured crisis. This is in response to the Republican budget ultimatum. The new budget would require Obama to fold on the XL Pipeline and the Affordable Care Act.

"This is Treason!" Democrats Call-in To C-SPAN This Morning

Yes, they used the "T" word.

Recorded 9.20.2013. With a government shutdown coming soon, I anticipated a troll-bush of Republicans this morning on C-SPAN radio. But instead there were a lot of Democrats calling out the Republican congress and their opposition to Affordable Care Act.

CSPAN Conservatives on Gov. Shutdown

So, a lot of disinformation going about on CSPAN in regards to the government shutdown.

First. A caller from Kentucky wants to end entitlements and is totally cool with a government shutdown. Second, A call from Louisiana who wants, "Something to happen from the fruitcakes". Last a campaigner calls in to tell us why Tom Graves, infamous for trying to underfund the Affordable Care Act, should be the next president or at least a senator.

I strongly feel you should talk with your friends and family about the affordable care act. Many of the callers seemed to be oblivious to the benefits of the Affordable Care Act. It has nothing to do with fruitcake.

Also, Tom Graves is a horrible person.

Who Is Dr. Laffer?

From CNBC:

Laffer Associates

Arthur B. Laffer is the founder and chairman of Laffer Associates, an economic research firm that provides global investment-research services to institutional asset managers, pension funds, financial institutions, and corporations. Since its inception in 1979, the firm’s research has focused on the interconnecting macroeconomic, political and demographic changes affecting global financial markets.

Dr. Laffer’s economic acumen and influence in triggering a world-wide tax-cutting movement in the 1980s have earned him the distinction in many publications as "The Father of Supply-Side Economics." One of his earliest successes in shaping public policy was his involvement in Proposition 13, the groundbreaking California initiative that drastically cut property taxes in the state in 1978.

Years of experience and success in advising on a governmental level have distinguished Dr. Laffer in the business community as well. He currently sits on the board of directors of several public companies, which include: MPS Group Inc. (MPS) and Oxigene Inc. (OXGN). He also sits on the board of directors or board of advisors of a number of private companies including: Nicholas Applegate Institutional Funds, Retirement Capital Group, Pillar Data Systems, LifePics, Jovian Holdings, Roth Capital, Atrevida Partners, Health Edge Partners, First Q Capital, The Mayfair Group, and Endovascular Instruments. In the past, he has served on the board of directors of: Veolia Environnement, Provide Commerce, Neff Corporation, Petco, Clarcor and Amplicon Financial.

We need to document these Austerity Economists (AE's) because they keep giving ammunition to fringe media in the Republican camp.


I just wrote an article about him on my blog. Check out my signature for more information.
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