Hometown: Missoula, MT
Home country: USA
Current location: Deep in Red State Hell!
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 5,214
Hometown: Missoula, MT
Home country: USA
Current location: Deep in Red State Hell!
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 5,214
Godless democratic socialist, look towards northern Europe for inspiration on what role-models our economy should aspire towards. Love the ACLU and donate heavily to them each year, wish they'd get with the program and defend the Second Amendment with as much fervor as they do the rest of the Bill of Rights. Proud member of the 99%.
- 2016 (6)
- 2015 (8)
- 2014 (12)
- 2013 (33)
- 2012 (39)
- 2011 (8)
- December (8)
As much as I've been tempted to wade in, either to engage some of the apologists of religious extremism, or those trying to blame everything on inanimate objects while minimizing motive, those giving excuses to the visceral hate against LGBT people in this country (coming from all quarters) that fueled that perp's thinking and rationale, even if it does turn out he's really just mentally ill and only used the "I pledge allegiance to ISIS" line during his frantic 911 call as a cover for his psychosis...
After all, it's no mystery how these events inevitably unfold... people are naturally angry. And outraged. And understandably so. They want answers. They want solutions. The perp is dead, so we can't hold him accountable, so by God, we need to blame something, burn SOMETHING in effigy. Ban shit, censor shit, boost security, restrict rights and freedoms, you name it. Something must be done.
Everyone goes crazy for a few days or few weeks following, until the threat passes and things slowly start simmering back down and everyone goes back to business as usual. Until the next time it happens. Rinse and repeat.
I really wish breaking the cycle were as simple as merely passing a few more "feel good" laws. If, say, banning certain weapons or tools would somehow prevent people with ill intentions from not just resorting to other means to commit similar atrocities. Sure, "assault rifles" may be the weapon of choice right now because they are so easy and available, and perhaps heavily restricting them would reduce at least the violence from guns... but you're never going to stop these acts of mass violence from occurring without addressing motive. Not so long as people can just resort to chaining shut doors to crowded buildings and use a $5 can of gasoline to burn the whole place down.
I wish I knew what the solution was. I wish there were just a surefire way to absolutely, 100% prevent all future massacres from occurring. I think there are things we can do to address motive, to try to tamp down the overall level of hate that permeates this society, but we'll never prevent all lone nuts from raging and lashing out at society. All we can do is try to detect them earlier, get them the help they need sooner, and if necessary keep them confined in a secure institution if indeed a credible threat is realized, someone intent on doing actionable harm.
Posted by LAGC | Mon Jun 13, 2016, 03:39 PM (7 replies)
With Lyin' Ted Cruz crashing and burning, the writing is on the wall... regular, frequently-attending church-going Christians overwhelmingly preferred Cruz as their candidate. Yet for the first time in a generation, they weren't able to deliver the GOP nomination.
It's Official: The Fascist Wing of the "Grand" Old Party has now taken over.
(At least Carnival Cruz has Carly at his side to help with laying off all those staffers... )
Posted by LAGC | Wed May 4, 2016, 06:18 AM (24 replies)
While discussing his belief that Ben Carson's "pathological temper" from his youth is not curable, Donald Trump on Thursday compared Carson's temper to child molesting.
"You know, when he says he went after his mother and wanted to hit her in the head with a hammer, that bothers me. I mean, that's pretty bad," Trump said on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront," adding that Carson described his temper as "pathological" in his book.
"I'm not saying anything other than pathological is a very serious disease. And he said he's pathological, somebody said he has pathological disease," Trump said.
"It's in the book that he's got a pathological temper," Trump continued. "That's a big problem because you don't cure that."
Trump then offered the example of a child molester.
"You don't cure these people. You don't cure a child molester. There's no cure for it. Pathological, there's no cure for that," he said.
Wow. He must really hate Cruz for spreading those lies about him dropping out in Iowa and hurting him so badly there for him to cozy up to Trump after all that.
Posted by LAGC | Thu Mar 10, 2016, 10:28 PM (0 replies)
Presidential Proclamation: Death of Antonin Scalia
DEATH OF ANTONIN SCALIA
- - - - - - -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
As a mark of respect for Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice of the United States, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, including section 7 of title 4, United States Code, that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and on all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, on the day of interment. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same period at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirteenth day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.
We may not have agreed with the man very much due to his detestable Reaganesque political philosophies, but there is no denying he was a lion in the SCOTUS, leaving one hell of an impression. He was the literal, breathing embodiment of the Reagan Revolution, which suddenly and finally came to a crashing end with his passing.
Obama knows what he is doing. By showing the same respect for his political opponent as Justice Scalia showed to his good friends Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan when off the Court, he's put the Republicans in a really tough spot -- especially if they try to obstruct and deny even holding a confirmation hearing on some of these very qualified and capable candidates for SCOTUS replacement that were previously confirmed unanimously without objection by the entire Republican Senate.
Let them try their obstructionist bullshit now, and let the American public see them for what they are: partisan political hacks who have no interest in compromise, and have no business being in control of the Senate, the Presidency, or the Supreme Court.
Posted by LAGC | Tue Feb 16, 2016, 04:59 AM (16 replies)
Late Spring 2015
Bill Clinton has a private telephone conversation with The Donald at the same time the billionaire investor and reality-television star was nearing a decision to run for the White House, according to associates for both men. Clinton encouraged Trump's efforts to play a larger role in the Republican Party and offered his own views of the political landscape.
June 16, 2015 - Donald Trump Enters the Race
The Donald: "We're being invaded by Mexican immigrants -- drug dealers and rapists -- we need to seal the border, build a wall, and make Mexico pay for it!"
(Donald seizes an early lead in the GOP polls.)
Next up: Carly Fiorina begins to rise in the polls...
The Donald: "She's an ugly bitch -- just look at that face -- can you imagine that as the face of our next president?!"
(Carly slips in the polls, as Donald continues to rise...)
Next up: Jeb Bush begins to gain traction...
The Donald: "His brother didn't keep us safe! We were attacked under his watch! He LET those terrorists in, he allowed 9-11 to happen!!"
(Jeb Bush plummets to single digits in the polls and never recovers...)
Next up: Ben Carson begins to rise in the polls...
The Donald: "He's pathological like a child molester! There's no cure for that!"
(Ben Carson collapses in the polls, Donald rises further...)
Next up: Ted Cruz climbs in the polls...
The Donald: "He's a Canadian! A foreigner! He's illegimate just like Obama born in Kenya!"
(Ted Cruz's momentum halts, begins to slip slightly in the polls...)
Next up: Big Dawg calls back up The Donald, asking for a status report.
The Donald: "Takin' them down one by one, tearing up the Republican field."
Bill Clinton: "You're the man, Donald. Please proceed."
Posted by LAGC | Fri Jan 29, 2016, 01:17 PM (2 replies)
FOR those of us who argue in favor of gun safety laws, there are a few inconvenient facts.
We liberals are sometimes glib about equating guns and danger. In fact, it’s complicated: The number of guns in America has increased by more than 50 percent since 1993, and in that same period the gun homicide rate in the United States has dropped by half.
Then there are the policies that liberals fought for, starting with the assault weapons ban. A 113-page study found no clear indication that it reduced shooting deaths for the 10 years it was in effect. That’s because the ban was poorly drafted, and because even before the ban, assault weapons accounted for only 2 percent of guns used in crimes.
Move on to open-carry and conceal-carry laws: With some 13 million Americans now licensed to pack a concealed gun, many liberals expected gun battles to be erupting all around us. In fact, the most rigorous analysis suggests that all these gun permits caused neither a drop in crime (as conservatives had predicted) nor a spike in killings (as liberals had expected). Liberals were closer to the truth, for the increase in carrying loaded guns does appear to have led to more aggravated assaults with guns, but the fears were overblown.
One of the puzzles of American politics is that most voters want gun regulation, but Congress resists. One poll found that 74 percent even of N.R.A. members favor universal background checks to acquire a gun. Likewise, the latest New York Times poll found that 62 percent of Americans approved of President Obama’s executive actions on guns this month.
So why does nothing get done? One reason is that liberals often inadvertently antagonize gun owners and empower the National Rifle Association by coming across as supercilious, condescending and spectacularly uninformed about the guns they propose to regulate. A classic of gun ignorance: New York passed a law three years ago banning gun magazines holding more than seven bullets — without realizing that for most guns there is no such thing as a magazine for seven bullets or less.
Pretty spot-on article... the author goes on to point out that more than 10 percent of murders in the United States, for example, are by intimate partners. Most risky is right after a violent breakup when a woman has won a restraining order against her ex. One "common sense" solution that both Democrats and Republicans might be able to agree on is temporarily prohibiting the subjects of these restraining orders from possessing a gun, which has been found to reduce these murders by 10 percent.
Other approaches that could win bipartisan support deal with working more with gangs to support high-risk children and reduce delinquency and adult crime. "If the left can drop the sanctimony, and the right can drop the obstructionism, if instead of wrestling with each other we can grapple with the evidence, we can save thousands of lives a year."
I would agree.
Posted by LAGC | Tue Jan 19, 2016, 12:55 AM (8 replies)
Donald Trump is not ruling out a run for president as an independent if things go south for the front-runner in the Republican race.
"I'm going to have to see what happens," he told George Stephanopoulos in an interview that aired Sunday on ABC's "This Week." "I will see what happens. I have to be treated fairly."
Trump was responding to a Wall Street Journal report that Republican operatives are considering banding together donors from the other GOP campaigns in a bid to knock Trump off the top spot.
If Republican operatives succeed in knocking Trump off his perch, their plan could backfire if he then runs as an independent.
A July Washington Post-ABC News poll found that in a hypothetical general election matchup between Bush and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, Clinton led 50 percent to 44 percent. But throw a third-party Trump run into the mix, and the poll found that he would tear support away Bush and give Clinton a 16-point lead.
Posted by LAGC | Sun Nov 22, 2015, 03:26 PM (15 replies)
So I saw this nasty piece of conservative propaganda trending on Yahoo! News just now:
It happens that I started a new day job as a principal engineer a couple of weeks ago. It's for a Very Large Company, VLC. It has a health insurance plan that is, if not the absolute best one I've ever had, a nicely adequate one. It's what's called a "high deductible" plan, but that means a $1500 deductible, with both a health savings account to which the company contributes, and a flexible spending account. Looked good to me. With my contributions to max out both the HSA and the FSA, my net deduction from my pay is around $600 a month -- but remember, that's almost entirely pre-tax money going into accounts I can use to pay for health care of various sorts.
Because of the ACA, however, they were required to notify me I could opt out of their plans, and choose instead a plan from the health insurance exchanges.
Okay, so just to reassure everyone I haven't completely lost my mind, when this option was offered, I immediately said "you mean I can opt to buy my own expensive and inadequate coverage instead of going with the company's plan they pay for?" And, reassuringly, the HR person explaining these plans answered, "Yes, that's about it."
I did get curious, though: what would that option be?
So I went to Connect for Health Colorado, the Colorado exchange website and ... well, tried to sign up. After filling in a long page of personal information, I tried to submit it, and got an error
So I thought I'd do a little quick investigating to see if he was telling the truth.
So I went to Colorado's exchange site:
Clicked on the blue "Sign-In/Shop" button on the top-right, then chose "Individuals & Families" from the drop-down list.
Then scrolled down to the lower-middle: "Browse Plans" (you don't even have to sign up and make an account and enter anything to see prices and plans, like that guy was claiming)
I just entered a Denver zip code (80123) and a date-of-birth making my fake persona age 50 like I presume is around the age of the author of that piece is, based on his profile picture, then left "Start Coverage" date to 01-01-2016 and ticked the "Health" coverage type leaving "Dental" blank.
Well lo and behold... I did find some cheaper shitty Bronze and Silver plans like he was saying that had high deductibles, but if you scroll down further I was able to find a decent Gold EPO plan (Cigna Vantage Flex Gold 1400) that cost less ($589.41/month) than what he is paying now through his private employer and has a slightly lower deductible.
In short, he's a bald-faced liar! Claiming that none of the Obamacare plans are any good in comparison.
I suppose that's just par for course for right-wing media, but I found it quite funny how I could debunk this guy's story in less than 5 minutes just by visiting the Colorado exchange site that he claimed "stumped" him, trying to sign up.
Posted by LAGC | Thu Nov 19, 2015, 08:28 PM (1 replies)
The latest batch of nationwide FBI crime data, released Monday, shows that in 2014, violent crime in the U.S. continued its long decline. The murder rate was down. The robbery rate was down, too.
"The story is actually better than we all anticipated it would be," says John Roman, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute's Justice Policy Center. "Violence is down a little bit. Property crime is down a lot… and all of this suggests that crime in America is continuing to move in the right direction.”
Earlier this month, I joined a number of fact-checkers in pointing out that a breathless New York Times story, "Murder Rates Rising Sharply in Many U.S. Cities," was misleading. The 30 cities cited by the Times weren't randomly selected; rather, they appeared to suggest their own selection because they were cities that had experienced a recent rise in killings.
That the Times got that story wrong mattered because it appeared right in the middle of a debate over the existence of a so-called “Ferguson Effect”—the (false) idea that the Black Lives Matter movement has somehow been emboldening criminals. But a Vera Institute of Justice senior research fellow looked at the most recent homicide data from 16 of the 20 most populous U.S. cities, and found that just three showed a statistically significant increase. And homicide rates often fluctuate; in recent years, Chicago's has moved both up and down, pointing to no real trend at all.
AIIIEEE!!! The sky is falling!! The sky is falling!! Gun violence EPIDEMIC!! We must do something about the GUNZ!!!
The reality is: despite the sensationalist MSM playing up these rare acts of mass violence, American cities and streets haven't been this safe in a long time.
Looking better each and every year.
Posted by LAGC | Thu Oct 1, 2015, 03:29 PM (24 replies)
So it's October 1, which means the 2016 Obamacare rate schedules are out on the Idaho exchange.
After hearing all the horror stories about how the plans were bleeding money and to expect big premium rate increases again this year, I was bracing for the worst. Well, guess what? For the same Blue Cross Silver Choice 4000 PPO plan I've had since March 2014 with a $0 deductible and $1000 max out-of-pocket, with my same base income of $12,000/year (working part-time while attending school full-time at age 38 -- yeah, I know, better late than never, right?) instead of paying $70.33 per month for my premium, it dropped down to $65.28/month!
Granted, it's not going down by much, but its a hell of a good sign that it isn't still increasing astronomically year after year, after jumping from $26.27/mo. in 2014 clear up to $70.33/mo. in 2015. Well, technically the raw premium still is, so we still need to do something to reign in the overall growth of healthcare costs in general, but at least if the advance tax credits keep up -- $254/month for 2016 vs. $183/month for 2015 all things being equal -- at least the bite will be mitigated somewhat...
Posted by LAGC | Thu Oct 1, 2015, 03:05 AM (8 replies)