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Home country: USA
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Member since: Mon Apr 28, 2014, 06:28 PM
Number of posts: 7,413

Journal Archives

I'm getting pretty worried here.


This link shows the shutdown calendar and the millions and millions of Americans that will be hurt in the worst possible ways - no paychecks, not enough food, losing affordable housing.

I'm so angry that it has come to this. An emotional five-year-old shuts down part of a $4.4 trillion government over $5.7 billion in US taxpayer funding for a wall he said Mexico would pay for.

The coast guard isn't getting paid.

TSA isn't getting paid and 10% of that workforce called in sick yesterday.

This shutdown is a criminal action that to my mind is designed to pull down the US, put us in a state of revolution. Just what Putin wants. It is nothing more or less than TREASON.

I'd like to urge all of you who read this post to:
1. call your US representative
2. call both your US Senators
3. call your governor's office (yeah, I know it is indirect, but it could add pressure on these lizards in the Senate, and NO governor wants chaos in his/her state, which is exactly what we will be seeing).

Because here's the thing - when 40 million Americans don't have enough food next month, air traffic stops, 800,000 federal workers and over a million federal contractors can't fill their tanks, pay their mortgages, buy groceries or even have a life, we will be in a state of revolution.

I mean, this is surreal. It reminds me of Rocko in the Boondock Saints saying, "See you on the flip side!"

Problem is, I think all of us want the 'flip side' to consist of the institutions we count on functioning properly. I sure do.

Last thought: Let's not EVER forget this. When we take power, we must hold these criminals accountable for their treason, crimes against humanity, and utter corruption.

Trees, fruit and the Democratic party - musings on Joe Lieberman's recent comment.

I'm going to have to say that I think AOC, or at least her ideas and her platform ARE the future of the Democratic party.

What I have found is that, with judging any politician (or anyone else), you are on much more solid ground with looking at what they DO first, and then comparing that with what they SAY. I’ve gotten tired, over the six decades I’ve lived, of politicians who come and tell me whatever it takes to get my vote.

Truth is, my grandchildren NEED AOC’s Green New Deal. NOW. The environment has become so fouled that species are going extinct at a rapid, human-caused rate, and the planet may become uninhabitable for humankind. This is an existential crisis and we must address it right away - not soon, not in a couple decades, not with 'all deliberate speed' (remember that?), but NOW. We need to address it NOW.

Our country needs to reverse the giant tax cut for billionaires and corporations passed in 2017 and adopt AOC’s graduated rates. We need our government to provide public services, and to my mind we need to expand the concept of 'public good' to include health care, and de-privatize a bunch of things where the profit motive creates conflicts, such as prisons. We have far too many infrastructure needs to waste public monies on things like a space force (I mean, how is THAT better for us than healthcare?), and we certainly cannot afford to route yet more money to these billionaires through unnecessary tax cuts.

I'll tell you as an economist that most of our problems — with wealth inequality, with environmental degradation, the human-caused climate change, huge and unsustainable national and consumer debt, comes to us as a direct result of the PRIMACY OF THE SHAREHOLDER. You've heard me talk about this before, and few of you comment, but it is the truth.

The CEO of a publicly held company has only one responsibility, and this has been tested to the Supreme Court:

- A CEO's ONLY responsibility is to increase earnings for shareholders. That’s it. So that CEO will bust unions, drive labor costs down, dilute benefits, gobble up pensions because on Wall Street, labor is considered a liability.

- That CEO will put consumer interests on the back burner too, and implement planned obsolescence in products - water them down, decrease the size of the package while at the same time raising the price. Or, if it is a financial service, will adopt predatory lending practices. This is all because the corporate charter says shareholders are more important than the consumer of the good or service.

- Finally, that CEO and his/her other C-Suite officers will foul the environment to whatever degree they can get away with (the capitalist euphemism for this is ‘externality’). In other words, as long as they don't have to pay for the damage to the environment or the people in that environment, the accountants and Wall Street consider this positive because it doesn't affect shareholder earnings. So guess who has to pay to mitigate environmental problems. That's right, us, the taxpayers.

To that end, Elizabeth Warren has introduced the Accountable Capitalism Act, which expands the fiduciary responsibility of CEOs to include the welfare of workers, consumers and the environment. WE NEED THAT.

In addition, across the USA, states are trying to pass the National Popular Vote Compact, which will force Electoral College members to vote the same way the national popular vote went, in effect replacing the elitist Electoral College with democracy. If enough states had passed this prior to 2016, Clinton would be in the White House actually acting like a president, instead of the petulant emotional five-year-old we have now.

We also must get rid of Citizens United because corporations are NOT people and dollars are NOT free speech. That is un-American.

The truth is that many politicians that have been voted into office over the last few decades would pay lip service to these things, but then, somehow, mysteriously, nothing would ever really happen. And the media won't EVER tell you what I just told you about the primacy of the shareholder. Why? Because nearly all our media outlets, including MSNBC, are corporate-owned and subject to that very same primacy of the shareholder. This is why they love Citizens United - the super pacs are cash cows for them and they gobble up billions in profits every time there's an election.

That’s the pabulum we’ve been fed for DECADES now, and I’m quite sick of it. So, yes, I’m a big AOC fan, and am not fond of the so-called Third Way Democrats because they don’t do much for me. To make my life better. To help me and my family and my grandchildren. To use our tax money for stuff that actually benefits us instead of corporate donors and the MIC. THAT should be the job of those we elect, should it not?

What? Wait? Slow down? Proceed with 'all deliberate speed?' Nope. As Obama said, there is a 'fierce urgency of NOW.'

I'll end with few words from the great Martin Luther King that echo to us through time from the Birmingham Jail:
We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."

Let us Democrats move forward now as the party of social, economic and environmental justice. THAT is the future.

Sometimes cats are SUCH jerks. I'm gonna talk litter-box here...

Don't get me wrong - we have three cats and love them very much. The oldest is 17 and the two youngest came from the same letter and are 6 years old.

Now, cats are really cool little animals. They are cute, fun and generally playful. My 17 year old will come and curl up on the desk beside me in my home office while I'm working. I love that cat. He's my cuddle-cat.

So, anyway, we have two large litter boxes and they are near my desk in my home office. Needless to say I clean as they go. Seriously, no one wants to be focusing on a spreadsheet surrounded by cat poop smell. So after the little guys go, I'm right there scooping it out.

Well, they've gotten spoiled. This morning, I didn't scoop the boxes out first thing.

Nope, I exercised, then sat down for a news review as I always do.

Well, I guess the male (neutered) six-year old didn't appreciate that. So this morning he goes into the box, poops and then proceeds to bury it VERY vigorously, which means he spewed litter all over the floor outside the boxes.

This is why I've given him the middle initial 'F.' I'll let you all surmise what that might stand for. First name starts with A. So A. F. Cat. Yep. That's his name...

Upcoming legislation we can ALL get behind :)

Speaker Pelosi apparently isn't wasting much time in working to ensure expansion of voting rights and to curtail voter suppression.

I'd strongly urge all of you to please call your Representatives and US Senators in support of HR1.

Here's a link to a Hill article that talks about it.

I think Pelosi's going to be outstanding her second time out of the block as Speaker.


Let's tell these folks with thousands and thousands of calls that we support what they are doing and give them the message we are watching (the Dems appreciatively, and the Repubs critically).

My evangelical church is gaslighting me, an article on HuffPo by

Elizabeth Baker, guest writer and evangelical Christian blogger.

Well worth reading and passing on, especially for those of us who cannot in good conscience call ourselves Christians anymore. Here's an excerpt:

The church told me that God is a God of justice. He says the poor and the persecuted are blessed and will have a great reward in heaven. However, the term “social justice warrior” is a reviled label in conservative Christian circles.

When I speak out against racism, police brutality, gun violence and discrimination against the LGBTQ community, many Christians sneer at the concept of justice and accuse me of being “divisive” and “too political.” Instead, they embrace nationalism, the rule of law without mercy and “Make America Great Again” as their values, even at the expense of human life.

It simply does not matter to the evangelical church that Trump is racist and that his dehumanizing rhetoric is emboldening radicals and costing Americans their lives. Americans are dying in mass shootings at the hands of white supremacists, while the church is celebrating the nation’s return to traditional values. For Christians who reject the MAGA mindset, this is absolute crazy making.

No wonder I live with crippling anxiety and spiritual trauma. The church that warned me against moral relativism now calls me a heretic when I apply the very principles they taught me to real situations, with real stakes for real people. I don’t know where to turn or whom to trust. Is any of it true? Have I wasted my life on a religion that hurts more than it helps?

Here's the link: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/evangelical-christians-trump_us_5bfc326de4b03b230fa57ae9

It boggles my mind how these spittle-spraying xenophobic racists have

used immigration to gin up fear in the Republican base. Basically, it is a molehill that has been made into an artificial mountain.

But wait - that's not the best of it. The reason they are such well-funded raving lunatics is because they provide a convenient distraction to the greatest heist in history - the giant tax cut for billionaires and corporations last year which transferred yet more trillions of dollars to the parasitic billionaire and CEO class.

Bankers have created a system of artificial scarcity through the Fed, which is primarily owned by JP Morgan Chase and Citi. It is NOT quasi-governmental - that is a sick joke. If the national debt is money we owe ourselves, then why are we paying it back to bankers with interest?

Wall Street MBA lizards have elevated the concept of shareholder primacy to an exact science that manifests in:
- for workers: unsafe working conditions, union busting, end-of-quarter and end-of-year layoffs just to raise share prices, crappy benefits and stagnant wages.

- for consumers: smaller packages at the same or higher prices, unsafe products, increased recalls, failure to honor warranties and products that are diluted or made poorer quality to increase profits.

- for the environment: the concept of 'externality' allows businesses to foul the environment and, as long as they aren't forced to pay, it is considered an 'externality.' So the earth is raped by capitalism and our entire species, as well as other living creatures, now face an existential crisis.

Billionaire parasites have bought our politicians, primarily the Republicans, have propagandized us to believe in a zero sum game - that if someone wins, then someone else must lose; we must all pull ourselves up by the bootstraps because we're rugged individualists, and only the strongest survive. In short, an Ayn Randian hell. This manifests itself in:
- irresponsible deregulation, which erodes our safety as consumers, our financial security (what little we all have left), and the quality of the environment.

- rampant privatization of things that should be part of the public domain, such as prisons, schools and non-military discretionary programs. And, make no mistake - the Wall Street greed heads have had their eye on the Social Security Trust Fund for decades.

- and gutting social programs through irresponsible tax cuts, coupled with more and more government contracts, primarily for 'defense.'

All these things, including the propaganda that drowns us, serves the sole purpose of transferring more and more of the world's wealth to the few at the expense of the many. Everything - the primacy of the shareholders, Citizens United, lack of a Fairness Doctrine allows this giant greed machine to grind us up a little more each day.

Tired of it yet?

Climate change will shrink US economy and kill thousands, government report warns

Source: CNN

(CNN)A new US government report delivers a dire warning about climate change and its devastating impacts, saying the economy could lose hundreds of billions of dollars -- or, in the worst-case scenario, more than 10% of its GDP -- by the end of the century.

The federally mandated study was supposed to come out in December but was released by the Trump administration on Friday, at a time when many Americans are on a long holiday weekend, distracted by family and shopping.

David Easterling, director of the Technical Support Unit at the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, emphasized that there was "no external interference in the report's development." He added that the climate change the Earth is experiencing is unlike any other.

"The global average temperature is much higher and is rising more rapidly than anything modern civilization has experienced, and this warming trend can only be explained by human activities," Easterling said.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/23/health/climate-change-report-bn/index.html




Why I am a healthcare voter.

Tonight I found this posted on Daily Kos:

It is titled, "My wife was just diagnosed with cancer; what this means under Universal Healthcare."

It's by a person who calls him/herself Dfh1. Here's the link: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/10/15/1804402/-My-Wife-Was-Just-Diagnosed-with-Cancer-What-this-means-under-Universal-Healthcare

Here's an excerpt - please, it is well worth reading.

My wife has always been one of my heroes. She is a strong woman who confronts challenges with a combination of courage, hope and humour. And now, after her diagnosis of Uterine Cancer, she is approaching this latest fight with this same combination of strengths. I really am in awe of her. We have been married now for 27 years. Even with this diagnosis, we believe our journey will continue into a healthy retirement and for many years to come.

Like all Canadians regardless of wealth or status, we do not have to worry about the financial implications of this diagnosis and her upcoming surgery. We don’t have to think about re-mortgageing our home, raiding our retirement funds, or declaring bankruptcy because this disease struck our family. We don’t have to set up a crowdfunding account to help us.

Although not directly linked to Universal Healthcare, my wife also does not have to worry about losing her job because of this diagnosis. She has access to sick leave (and I have access to care and nurturing leave), so neither her absence from work for up to six weeks, nor mine, will result in additional financial harm. No one needs to lend her sick days.

THIS is what we need here in the USA.

The New York Times Bombshell That Bombed

Source: Politico

It arrived on Page One of the New York Times last Wednesday with all the subtlety of a supertanker berthing at a sailing marina, consuming all the editorial space above the fold. Based on more than 100,000 pages of documents, countless interviews, and the voluminous Freedom of Information Act requests that accompany such investigations, the piece, written by three of the paper’s ace reporters, was more than 18 months in the making. Overflowing eight broadsheet pages, the 15,000-word story, titled “Trump Took Part In Suspect Schemes to Evade Tax Bills,” served also as the subject of a Showtime documentary. It accused President Donald Trump of “outright fraud” involving hundreds of millions of dollars.

The piece stirred both New York City and state regulators to commence investigations of their own that could ensnare the Trump family in years of consuming legal battles and force them to choke up hundreds of millions in fines and penalties. But even though the Times aggregated this piece for slow readers, produced clever video takes on the material and reprinted the original as a special section of the Sunday paper, the story has all but melted from sight. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called it “very boring,” as did Trump. By the time the pundits convened on the big Sunday political shows, the story was a goner—according to Matt Gertz at Media Matters, none of the shows covered it. (State of the Union mentioned it in passing; Joy Reid had a segment; and CNN’s press show, Reliable Sources, interviewed one of the Times authors.)

Another reason the story might not have entered the nation’s bloodstream is that it contained too much for anybody—outside of the most committed—to read in a single sitting.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/10/09/new-york-times-trump-taxes-221144

I know this is a day old...I know it. But you know what? No one else put it on here and we all need to be aware that this could be the death knell of Trump's horrible presidency. So please don't take it down.

...it contained too much for anybody—outside of the most committed—to read in a single sitting. NOW THAT IS PATHETIC.

I was at a Democratic Party GOTV gathering today...

I was at a Democratic Party GOTV gathering today, and one of the local candidates for the State House said she's knocked on about 20,000 doors personally during her campaign, in deep red territory. With home, she has voter registration info, and when she has knocked on doors, women are listening.

She told one story that she knocked on the door of a household, all Republicans, and a woman answered the door. She introduced herself and said, "I'm running for the State House in District XX."

The woman looked back - everyone was watching a football game. She asked, "What party are you?"

My candidate answered, "I'm a Democrat," and the woman took her flyer, nodded and closed the door. Clearly the GOP has misread the visceral anger of millions of American women.

My FERVENT hope is that the Dems will do SO WELL during the mid-term elections that the GOP will cease to be a viable party at the national level.

Let us dream, but as Lucinda points out, our dream may be a NIGHTMARE for the Republicans. They have horribly misread the anger of just about everyone who actually has a moral compass, and they have certainly shown Independent voters that the GOP no longer has a moderate wing.
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