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Member since: Fri Dec 25, 2015, 03:07 AM
Number of posts: 443

Journal Archives

Couple surrounds eco-home with greenhouse to keep it warm (Video)


It's an innovative, out-of-the-box and under-the-greenhouse idea that not only keeps the house warm, but also protects it from weathering due to the elements. It would not work in extremely hot and sunny climates, but for the colder, northern climates it may be a viable alternative to cut heating bills and to extend your growing season.
Posted by ErisDiscordia | Thu Feb 4, 2016, 11:11 PM (3 replies)

Zika: Outbreak worse than predicted because virus has no symptoms, warns Brazilian health minister


...A relatively harmless fever when it manifests itself in the body, Zika is most feared for its links to microcephaly: a condition where babies develop brain damage and their heads can appear shrunken.

However, the majority of people infected show no symptoms, meaning pregnant women can be unaware they are infected and that their babies are potentially vulnerable to microcephaly.

Pregnant women, who have been urged to protect themselves from mosquito bites, must instead wait until they undergo an ultrasound to discover whether their baby has been affected by the condition.

Marcelo Castro, the health minister of the country understood to be the worst affected by Zika, told Reuters: “Eighty per cent of the people infected by Zika do not develop significant symptoms.

Posted by ErisDiscordia | Thu Feb 4, 2016, 09:51 AM (0 replies)

Billionaire Super Pacs Are Big Losers in Iowa

Hillary’s Super Pac, Priorities USA, was legally required to update its filings with the Federal Election Commission on January 31, 2016. Those filings make for some very interesting reading. Over 90 percent of the $41 million the Super Pac raised during the full year of 2015 came from a handful of billionaires and the super rich.

George Soros, the hedge fund billionaire, gave a total of $7 million to Priorities USA in 2015, writing one check in the second half of the year for an astonishing $6 million. The second largest bundle came from Haim Saban, a billionaire entertainment mogul, and his wife, Cheryl, who gave a combined $5 million in 2015. Another hedge fund mogul, David Sussman, operator of Paloma Partners, kicked in $2.5 million to Priorities USA in 2015.

Hedge fund operators are depending on Hillary Clinton not to repeal their tax perk windfall known as “carried interest,” which allows their profits to be taxed at a lower rate than wage earners like nurses and plumbers.

One eyebrow-raising donor to Hillary’s Super Pac is former World Savings Bank CEO Herbert M. Sandler, who chipped in $2.5 million to Priorities USA in 2015. Time Magazine credits Sandler and his now deceased wife, Marion, as two of the top 25 people responsible for the 2008 financial crash, writing as follows:

“In the early 1980s, the Sandlers’ World Savings Bank became the first to sell a tricky home loan called the option ARM. And they pushed the mortgage, which offered several ways to back-load your loan and thereby reduce your early payments, with increasing zeal and misleading advertisements over the next two decades. The couple pocketed $2.3 billion when they sold their bank to Wachovia in 2006. But losses on World Savings’ loan portfolio led to the implosion of Wachovia, which was sold under duress late last year to Wells Fargo.”

Posted by ErisDiscordia | Thu Feb 4, 2016, 08:36 AM (1 replies)

The fractures in America’s political landscape have been exposed


...The Democratic and Republican Iowa results have three things in common.

  • First, they are an undeniable and unequivocal rebuke to the party establishments. Cruz, an ideologically driven pious Texas senator, whose grandstanding in the senate has irritated his colleagues, is far more loathed by the Republican leaders than Trump. Add the 52% they got between them to the 9% who backed Ben Carson – the brain surgeon who claimed pyramids were for grain storage and called Vladimir Putin a “one-horse country” – and you have almost two-thirds of Iowans rejecting anything close to a consensus candidate who could unite the party...Clinton had name recognition, money, a former president-husband, a previous presidential run and virtually the entire party machine on her side. This was supposed to be a coronation in which Sanders was cast as the jester: but it’s beginning to look more like regicide.

  • Second, the insurgent wings of both parties are redefining the contours of American politics. In 1999, after the release of his film Bulworth, I asked Warren Beatty if he was a socialist. He wouldn’t go near it. “Ideology seems to be so unfashionable,” he said. “So why not take advantage of it and not name oneself with a term that has become particularly problematic.” A poll earlier this month showed that 43% of Iowa Democrats defined themselves as socialists. We have no idea what to compare that with because it’s simply not a question anyone would have asked before Sanders came on the scene...Among Republicans, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, a young, telegenic candidate whose unexpectedly strong third place showing will make him the establishment favourite, has been cast as a moderate. That’s true if you compare him to Trump and Cruz, although judged by that yardstick Ronald Reagan and George W Bush would be moderates, too. But Rubio, an anti-abortionist and foreign policy hawk, was the Tea Party choice for Mitt Romney’s running mate just four years ago.

  • Third, we are now set for two long races stretching well into spring. The Republican race is fairly evenly split three ways between Trump, Cruz and Rubio; now that Sanders has proved himself viable some will now take a second look. The polls have not served us well thus far, but they predict that both Sanders and Trump will win New Hampshire next week, resetting the dial and recalibrating expectations. It is unlikely that either party will have settled on a nominee by Super Tuesday...

Posted by ErisDiscordia | Wed Feb 3, 2016, 08:20 PM (0 replies)

Iowa proved Bernie Sanders can win – and that Hillary Clinton is beatable

but, you knew that...


...The actual results underscored what he and his supporters have said all along: establishment Democrats have underestimated him and the power of his movement.

The chief argument against Sanders for his entire campaign is that he’s unelectable in a national election and, by extension, ineffective as a candidate or a statesman. He’s alternately been written off as a fringe candidate, an adorable elderly relative and more subtly, as a political tool for pushing Clinton the left.

But Monday night proved that he could win and, in proving it, he’s weakened Clinton by exposing her as something other than the inevitable candidate we had all but assumed her to be. Some Sanders staffers have argued Sanders definitely did win if you count raw totals and not state delegates; given the geographical layout of Iowa, that claim is likely if unproven. (More than a quarter of Sanders’ supporters come from just three counties – which awards only 12% of delegates; the caucus structure is thought to favor Clinton significantly)...
Posted by ErisDiscordia | Wed Feb 3, 2016, 08:13 PM (2 replies)

Clinton Campaign Goes on Tilt as a Result of Dead Heat With Sanders in Iowa


The New York Times, despite its fealty to the Clinton camp, caught its operatives at a vulnerable moment as the Iowa caucus results rolled in. And the picture that emerges is consistent with that of Hillary herself: elitist, out of touch with the needs of actual voters and presumptuous about what it ought to take to win them over.

The story, Hillary Clinton Campaign, Unnerved by Iowa, Braces for New Hampshire, at points reads like self-parody. And you can see similarly rattled nerves elsewhere. Brookings, which likes to depict itself as detached, had as its lead story in its AM email, “How Hillary Can Move Past Iowa,” with the subhead, “After Iowa, Hillary should take advice from the “West Wing” and skip New Hampshire.” Sounds a tad desperate, no?

We’ll go through the New York Times story in detail. The opening paragraphs depict Clinton staff and supporters expecting a comfortable win of several percentage points and Clinton having prepared only a victory speech that focused on Republicans. As the results streamed in, the mood darkened:

The outcome in Iowa — which at least until Tuesday afternoon appeared to be effectively a tie with a far left senator from a small New England state — dealt a jolting psychological blow to the Clinton campaign, leaving volunteers, donors and aides confused throughout the night, and then crestfallen. They had hoped that the former secretary of state would garner a decisive victory here and put to rest any doubts about her strength as a candidate.

You can see the Clinton blind spots on display. The “former secretary of state” isn’t merely elegant variation in drafting. The Clinton machine has been unwilling to see Sanders as more than an upstart, even as his gains in polling have been showing otherwise. They are invested in the SS Clinton: Hillary as national, indeed international figure for over two decades, versus Sanders as a pol from a the frosty hinterlands. And “far left” translates into “unsound” and “unable to get big corporate backing.”

Posted by ErisDiscordia | Wed Feb 3, 2016, 08:45 AM (12 replies)

Follow the MONEY



O’Malley meltdown: $169,442 cash on hand, $535,477 in debt. Owes staffers salary & has $500K outstanding bank loan” (@davelevinthal) Federal Election Commission. Well, he might have lasted long enough to take a few votes from Sanders, and that’s got to be worth something. So I hope Hillary’s straw gets a nice job at The Clinton Foundation.

Clinton’s squillionaires: Soros, $8 million, Haim and Cheryl Saban, $3 million; Sandler and Donald Sussman, $1.5 million each Politico. And millionaires: “The top 10 employers of her contributors were the law firms Paul Weiss, Kirkland & Ellis, Jenner & Block and Sidley Austin; Cantor Fitzgerald, Lazard and Morgan Stanley; Stanford; Google; and healthcare company Centene, according to the FEC report Politico.

Sanders small contributors: “More than 770,000 people gave to the Vermont senator’s bid in January, with online contributions averaging just $27, the campaign said. And Sanders has so far received more than 3.25 million contributions — more than any presidential campaign at this point in the cycle ever” Politico. “More than 99.9 percent of donors are able to give to Sanders again because they haven’t reached the limit, unlike other campaigns whose contributors are maxed out, the campaign said.” Ya know, you’d think Soros could at least have given Sanders $27 bucks. How hard would that have been?
Posted by ErisDiscordia | Tue Feb 2, 2016, 07:34 PM (0 replies)

You do know what a Pyrrhic Victory is, don't you?

from wikipedia:

A Pyrrhic victory is a victory that inflicts such a devastating toll on the victor that it is tantamount to defeat. Someone who wins a Pyrrhic victory has been victorious in some way. However, the heavy toll negates any sense of achievement or profit. Another term for this would be "hollow victory".

The phrase Pyrrhic victory is named after king Pyrrhus of Epirus, whose army suffered irreplaceable casualties in defeating the Romans at Heraclea in 280 BC and Asculum in 279 BC during the Pyrrhic War. After the latter battle, Plutarch relates in a report by Dionysius:

The armies separated; and, it is said, Pyrrhus replied to one that gave him joy of his victory that one other such victory would utterly undo him. For he had lost a great part of the forces he brought with him, and almost all his particular friends and principal commanders; there were no others there to make recruits, and he found the confederates in Italy backward. On the other hand, as from a fountain continually flowing out of the city, the Roman camp was quickly and plentifully filled up with fresh men, not at all abating in courage for the loss they sustained, but even from their very anger gaining new force and resolution to go on with the war.

— Plutarch, Life of Pyrrhus

In both of Pyrrhus's victories, the Romans suffered greater casualties than Pyrrhus did. However, the Romans had a much larger supply of men from which to draw soldiers and their casualties did less damage to their war effort than Pyrrhus's casualties did to his.

The report is often quoted as

"Another such victory and I come back to Epirus alone",


"If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined."

On edit:
Hillary's supporters on this site may be fuzzy about the meaning, but I'll wager Hillary isn't. All that money for what? If this is what it's going to cost in each state, she's going to run out in a couple of weeks...and the SuperPACS scandal shall increase.
Posted by ErisDiscordia | Tue Feb 2, 2016, 06:02 PM (21 replies)

I regret that the caucuses weren't more decisive; but Iowa seldom is.

On the other hand, it makes for great theater. So we get to live with uncertainty for a few more weeks.

I think Bernie's Revolution will be the greatest story since...well, there hasn't been anything like it in our history. And I'm hoping for a happy ending for this nation.

With NH apparently in the bag, that makes 1.5 to 0.5, a good start!
Posted by ErisDiscordia | Tue Feb 2, 2016, 07:02 AM (7 replies)

History lesson from Keith Olbermann

Posted by ErisDiscordia | Mon Feb 1, 2016, 03:18 PM (15 replies)
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