Posts filed under ‘Outrage Overload’

Rail Industry Blackmails Obama Administration, it Backs Down on New Safety Rules

Oil Train David Gubler on Wikimedia Commons

(Image David Gubler via Wikimedia Commons)

Geezus Obama, you’re a huge disappointment:

Nine days after announcing new regulations designed to improve oil-by-rail safety, the Department of Transportation quietly weakened the rules for testing rail cars and exempted shippers of bitumen from having to meet the new regulations.

[...]

In a Feb. 25 press release, Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said all of the right things:

Today we are raising the bar for shipping crude oil on behalf of the families and communities along rail lines nationwide —if you intend to move crude oil by rail, then you must test and classify the material appropriately.”

The industry quickly responded with a letter to Foxx letting him know that keeping families and communities safe might require them to shut down oil-by-rail shipping, which would  “have an immediate and significant negative economic impact on the nation”.

Apparently this got Foxx’s attention. And the Department of Transportation did the industry’s bidding and relaxed the regulations. This time there was no press release or PR blitz touting the change.

More…

I think this would commonly be known as blackmail.

Like I said, corporations are the government now.

I expected more of you Mr. Prez.  I expected you to stand up to these tyrants who think only in terms of profits at any cost, including the lives of We the People.

Oh, and in looking for a photo to add to this post, I came across these inconvenient facts:

April 2, 2014: Firefighter training inadequate for crude oil train fires, group tells Congress

February 27, 2014:  Rail cars used to ship oil are ‘unacceptable public risk,’ NTSB official says

January 25, 2014:  Accidents Surge as Oil Industry Takes the Train

But, according to the Obama administration:  Oh well!

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/02/4035622/firefighter-training-for-crude.html#storylink=cpy

April 4, 2014 at 5:07 PM Leave a comment

Listen to Us Damnit! Huge We the People Rallies Today in Spain and Chile

People acted up against austerity today (i.e., giving money to banks and starving We the People) in Spain and Chile.  Don’t expect to see coverage of these events on your local TV (they don’t want to give us any ideas).

 

Anti-Austerity Protesters Join Forces in Spanish Capital

3-22-14 Dignity March Spain via revolution-News.com

(Image via Revolution-News.com)

Tens of thousands of protesters from across Spain converged in Madrid on Saturday calling for an end to EU-imposed austerity which has deepened poverty amongst the worst-off.

The so-called “Dignity Marches” brought tens of thousands to the capital, Reuters witnesses calculated, in support of more than 160 different causes – employment, housing, health and education and an end to poverty amongst them.

Banners urged the conservative government not to pay its international debts and to tackle unemployment of 26 percent.

More…

——————————————————–

Chileans Rally to Demand Promised Reforms

Tens of thousands of protesters have marched in Chile to press Michelle Bachelet to follow through on ambitious reforms she pledged before assuming the presidency less than two weeks ago.

The protest on Saturday in central Santiago, dubbed “the march of all marches”, was the first of Bachelet’s new term and the biggest political demonstration since huge student protests in 2011.

Organisers said at least 100,000 people were present, even without core groups of student protesters active in the past. Those activists said they would not take part because they were working with Bachelet on education reforms soon be sent to Congress.

The march underscored lingering frustrations in Chile, which has one of the region’s widest inequality gaps. It also raised expectations following four years of rule by the unpopular Sebastian Pinera.

Protesters said the march was a warning sign they would not go easy on Bachelet.

“This is not a protest against Bachelet or for her, it’s just an alert for the political class so they know people have demands,” said Oscar Rementeria, a spokesman for gay rights group, Movilh.

The 40 activist groups that helped fill the streets supported causes ranging from environmental protection to gay and indigenous rights.

More…

If anyone sees any coverage of this in the U.S. media, please let me know.

Thanks in advance.

March 22, 2014 at 8:05 PM Leave a comment

Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson Joins Lawsuit Against Fracking (Yep, You Read That Right)

Ah, yes, We the Little People who live near fracking wells and drink water contaminated by them should be so lucky as to have pockets lined with $1000 bills so we can afford to fight against having our environment trashed by, wait for it, Exxon!

For an example of hyper-elitism, NIMBYism, and the arrogance of the corporatocracy and the 1%ers, you’ve gotta read this:

Rex Tillerson via Wikipedia

(Image via Wikipedia)

Exxon CEO Comes Out Against Fracking Project Because It Will Affect His Property Values

 

February 22, 2014 at 6:50 PM Leave a comment

John Hickenlooper, Colorado’s “Democratic” Governor, is Eating Out of ALEC’s Hand

John Hickenlooper via Wikimedia Commons

(Image via Wikimedia Commons)

This morning I came across this:

ALEC Plans Massive Environmental Attack for 2014

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has a big year ahead of them, as they attempt to dismantle a slew of environmental protections from state to state.  More specifically, the corporate front group is hoping to pass dirty energy friendly legislation to ease the rules for electric utilities.

From state to state, ALEC is drafting legislation that would cut renewable energy, increase dependence on coal and dismantle energy efficiency standards.

More…

And then I remembered reading about this a few days ago:

[Colorado's "Democratic"] Governor Hickenlooper has chosen Glenn Vaad, a former state representative from Weld County, as the newest of the three-member Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC).  Mr. Vaad is no friend of clean energy for Colorado—his voting record allied primarily with the fossil fuel industry at the expense of Colorado’s clean energy economy.   Mr. Vaad is also a former high-ranking member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a powerful corporate lobbying group whose members include Koch Industries and others pushing state legislatures to turn back the clock on adoption of renewable energy in Colorado and elsewhere.

More…

If a so-called Democratic governor is appointing “former high-ranking” members of ALEC to state boards — any board — we’re doomed.  Seriously.  It illustrates the fact that this isn’t about Republicans versus Democrats anymore — they’re all being corrupted — it’s about the corporatocracy and the monied class against the rest of us.

January 19, 2014 at 12:47 PM Leave a comment

Sentence of the Day

From David Sirota over at Pando.com in an article titled:  For Economic Stimulus, Pensions Beat Stadiums and Server Farms.

Detroit Protestors via Voice of Detroit.net

(Image via VoiceofDetroit.net)

There [in Detroit], as if proudly advertising its reverse-Robin Hood class war, the city is simultaneously seeking bankruptcy to avoid pensions payments, while pledging $400 million to build a new hockey stadium.

I would much rather have my tax dollars go toward pensions instead of a hockey stadium.  Geezus.  It’s a no-brainer.

December 10, 2013 at 1:40 PM 2 comments

Fired Pizza Hut Manager Offered Job Back

I think Tony Rohr is a “working class hero” in the purest sense.  I hope he’s had a flood of job offers since walking away from Pizza Hut and I hope some of them are attractive enough to make him turn down this disingenuous, kiss ass offer obviously generated by public pressure:

Pizza Hut

Indiana Pizza Hut Manager Offered Job Back After Firing for Refusal to Open on Thanksgiving

Pizza Hut has offered to rehire the manager of a northern Indiana restaurant who was fired over his refusal to open up on Thanksgiving Day.

[...]

Pizza Hut’s corporate office issued a statement Wednesday saying it respects an employee’s right to not work on the holiday and that the store owner has agreed to reinstate [Tony] Rohr.

“This was clearly an unfortunate situation, and we are very upset by what has transpired in Elkhart,” the company statement said. “While the choice as to whether a restaurant should be open or closed on a holiday is handled at the local level by our independent franchisees, we feel strongly that this situation could have been avoided.”

Rohr said he hasn’t decided yet whether to accept the job offer.

More…

 

November 28, 2013 at 9:14 PM Leave a comment

The Shutdown Hits the Senate and They’re Crying Like Babies

Bawwaha:

Bpxed Lunches 10-6-13I invite these poor suffering Senators to hang out with me on any given Friday at the food bank where I volunteer.  A boxed lunch sounds so fresh compared to what the people I see get.

How about some canned chili made with mystery meat that’ll last for a million years and oh, I don’t know, some canned green beans from who-knows-where?  And let’s have some soggy brownish government-issued canned peaches for dessert.

Sounds yummy huh?

Catered meals?  Really?  That’s what you’re used to?

October 7, 2013 at 8:25 PM 2 comments

Watch an NRA Activist Shoot an Elephant in the Face

Elephants via wikipedia.org

(Image via Wikipedia.org)

Wow.  I hadn’t heard about the NRA-sponsored NBC show “Under Wild Skies” until today.  It features NRA proponents shuttled into “wild” hunting grounds so they and shoot innocent animals in the face from just feet away.

Cool huh?

Wanna see an elephant get blown away?  Go here.

The show makes it all about gun:

“Positively lethal. Great to handle.  Beautiful gun.  And the 577 was made to shoot ivory.”

“Made to shoot ivory?”  Behind that “ivory” is a sentient being with a life and a family.

This goes in my Outrage Overload category.

Oh, and just hours ago NBC canceled the show.  But what were they thinking when they debuted it?  Hey, I know.  They were PAID BY THE F’ING NRA.

Geezus America. You’re losing your mind!!!!!

 

 

 

September 28, 2013 at 6:49 PM Leave a comment

Obama Thought George W. Bush’s Spy Rules Were Too Lenient

 

The Obama administration secretly won permission from a surveillance court in 2011 to reverse restrictions on the National Security Agency’s use of intercepted phone calls and e-mails, permitting the agency to search deliberately for Americans’ communications in its massive databases, according to interviews with government officials and recently declassified material.

In addition, the court extended the length of time that the NSA is allowed to retain intercepted U.S. communications from five years to six years.

[...]

Together the permission to search and to keep data longer expanded the NSA’s authority in significant ways without public debate or any specific authority from Congress.

[...]

But — and this was the nub of the criticism — a warrant for each target would no longer be required. That means that communications with Americans could be picked up without a court first determining that there is probable cause that the people they were talking to were terrorists, spies or “foreign powers.”

More…

Who is this Obama guy?

 

September 8, 2013 at 7:45 PM Leave a comment

Another Email Provider Walks Away Because of U.S. Government Spy Requests

Binocluars via Wikipedia

(Image via Wikipedia.com)

Thursday I posted this:  Lavabit’s Balls of Steel, about how the small email services supposedly used by Edward Snowden folded and ceased to exist after its founder, Virginia-based Ladar Levison, refused to comply with the U.S. government requests to spy on and/or turn over information as to its customers.  Bravo.  Great minds think alike

Yesterday we learned, via Forbes, that another small email provider, Silent Circle, has done the same thing:

Hours after Lavabit announced its shutdown, encryption app Silent Circle said it was preemptively shutting down its email service. Silent Circle founder Phil Zimmermann, who created email encryption software PGP, said the company deleted all of its customers’ existing email when it did that. “We’ll try to do something nice for them to numb the pain,” he said. It’s not obstruction of justice if you do it before justice comes calling.

Bravo to these two (three, counting Snowden) for protecting the rights of American citizens unlike ah, Constitutional lawyer Barack Obama.

Back to Levison:

If the shutdown is a permanent one, Levison would be walking away from $50,000 to $100,000 in annual revenue, his primary source of income. He also walked away from his personal email address, which was shut down along with all the other Lavabit accounts.

“I’m taking a break from email,” said Levison. “If you knew what I know about email, you might not use it either.”

Folks.  These people are under a gag order,

“In America, we’re not supposed to have to worry about watching our words like this when we’re talking to the press,” Levison’s lawyer, Jesse Binnall said.

but they obviously want us to read between the lines which I suggest we do.  Let’s listen — carefully — to what they’re trying to tell us.

More…

 

 

 

 

August 10, 2013 at 6:57 PM Leave a comment

Journalists Sue the FBI for Failure to Comply with FOIA Request Regarding Michael Hastings

Okay, I’ll say it flat out:  I think Michael Hastings — one of our most fearless journalists — was murdered (hi, NSA).

Michael Hastings image via Fair.org

(Image via Fair.org)

Do the Google if you don’t know who Michael Hastings was.  For those who do know about him and his untimely and very suspicious death, this is one of the big reasons why I think what I think:

Staff Sergeant Joseph Biggs, who yesterday told Fox News (June 25, 2013) that Hastings was working on “the biggest story yet” about the CIA before his untimely death, was responsible for releasing an email Hastings wrote 15 hours before his car crash in which the journalist stated he was “onto a big story” and needed “to go off the rada[r] for a bit.”

Biggs tweeted that the reason he released the email was because Hastings’ other friends and colleagues who received it were “too scared” to do so.

[...]

Biggs, who met Hastings when he was an embedded journalist in Afghanistan in 2008, added, “I won’t let a man die in vein [sic] because I’m too scared of what will happen to me. If I sent that email to Mike he wouldn’t rest, he would fight.”

In his interview with Fox News yesterday, Biggs also said that Hastings “drove like a grandma” and that it was totally out of character for him to be speeding in the early hours of the morning.

[...]

Hastings had made numerous powerful enemies as a result of his exposure of Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal in 2010, receiving several death threats in the process.

According to Hastings’ colleague Cenk Uygur, the writer was, “incredibly tense and very worried, and was concerned that the government was looking in on his material,” and also a “nervous wreck” in response to the surveillance of journalists revealed by the AP phone tapping scandal and the NSA PRISM scandal.

BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith added that Hastings had told friends and family “he was concerned that he was under investigation.”

Another close friend who wishes to remain anonymous said that Hastings was “very paranoid that he was being watched by the FBI.”

More…

There’s this too:  Evidence Indicates Michael Hastings Was Assassinated.

That said, I’m happy to see some journalists aren’t “too scared” to pursue this:

Does the FBI have any records on the late investigative journalist Michael Hastings? I don’t know. But fellow FOIA terrorist Ryan Shapiro and I just filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the agency to find out.

Hastings died in a tragic car accident in Los Angeles June 18 at the age of 33. Immediately after the news broke, I filed a FOIA request with the FBI for any records the agency maintained on the award-winning reporter, which is something I do whenever a public figure passes away (yes, I realize some people think that’s weird). A week later, Shapiro, a doctoral candidate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology who specializes in FOIA research pertaining to the policing of dissent, also filed a request with the FBI for “any and all records that were prepared, received, transmitted, collected and/or maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Terrorist Screening Center, the National Joint Terrorism Task Force, or any Joint Terrorism Task Force relating or referring to” Hastings.

[...]

he FBI, while acknowledging our records requests, failed to respond within the 20-working day time period with a determination as to whether the agency will comply as required by law. Nor has the FBI responded to Shapiro’s expedited processing request. So we decided to litigate and Jeffrey Light, our Washington, DC-based FOIA attorney, has also filed a motion for summary judgment seeking expedited processing of our federal complaint.

(Lots) more here.

More as it happens.

July 29, 2013 at 5:51 PM Leave a comment

VICE Magazine Glamorizes Female Authors’ Suicides

One of my brothers committed suicide in 1988 at the age of 32, so as a “survivor,” I think it is appalling beyond words that a magazine would stage a fashion shoot based on the suicides of female writers.  Suicide is not a thing to be glamorized.

This is just sick:

Vice‘s Women in Fiction issue is an interesting package. There’s a short story by Mary Gaitskill here, an interview with Marilynne Robinson there, and a short story by Joyce Carol Oates over yonder. And then…there’s the fashion spread. Featuring models styled and posed as famous female writers who have killed themselves. At their times of death.

[...]

Each photo in the spread is captioned with the name of the author depicted, her dates of birth and death, and cause of death. And the fashion credits for what the model is wearing (“Issa dress, Morgenthal Frederics glasses, Jenni Kayne shoes”), obviously.

More…

Vice photo 1 via jezebel.com

(Image via Jezebel.com)

 

Vice foto 2 via jezebel.com

(Image via Jezebel.com)

 

June 18, 2013 at 9:08 AM 4 comments

Obama: Monsanto’s Man in Washington

Bees image via Wikipedia

(Image via Wikipedia)

Wow.  This is huge:

The shocking minutes relating to President Putin’s meeting this past week with US Secretary of State John Kerry reveal the Russian leaders “extreme outrage” over the Obama regimes continued protection of global seed and plant bio-genetic giants Syngenta and Monsanto in the face of a growing “bee apocalypse” that the Kremlin warns “will most certainly” lead to world war.

According to these minutes, released in the Kremlin today by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation (MNRE), Putin was so incensed over the Obama regimes refusal to discuss this grave matter that he refused for three hours to even meet with Kerry, who had traveled to Moscow on a scheduled diplomatic mission, but then relented so as to not cause an even greater rift between these two nations.

At the center of this dispute between Russia and the US, this MNRE report says, is the “undisputed evidence” that a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically related to nicotine, known as neonicotinoids, are destroying our planets bee population, and which if left unchecked could destroy our world’s ability to grow enough food to feed its population.

[...]

Most perplexing in all of this, the MRNE says, and which led to Putin’s anger at the US, has been the Obama regimes efforts to protect pesticide-producer profits over the catastrophic damaging being done to the environment, and as the Guardian News Service detailed in their 2 May article titled “US rejects EU claim of insecticide as prime reason for bee colony collapse” and which, in part, says:

“The European Union voted this week for a two-year ban on a class of pesticides, known as neonicotinoids, that has been associated with the bees’ collapse. The US government report, in contrast, found multiple causes for the collapse of the honeybees.”

To the “truer” reason for the Obama regimes protection of these bio-tech giants destroying our world, the MRNE says, can be viewed in the report titled “How did Barack Obama become Monsanto’s man in Washington?”

More…

This is beyond shameful.  Obama is in the process of establishing an awful legacy for himself.

May 28, 2013 at 10:31 AM Leave a comment

Obama Signs Monsanto Immunity Bill

This infuriates me:

SOLD OUT!

Food, shelter, and clothing are often considered the three basic needs by humans and the actions by President Obama on Tuesday have now left millions of Americans across the land in shock as the very first tenet has been horrifically jeopardized by his signing the Monsanto Protection Act into law (H.R. 933) as mentioned on the Facebook page for Food Democracy Now.

For those that are new to this situation, the Monsanto Protection Act is the name given to what’s known as a legislative rider that was inserted into the Senate Continuing Resolution spending bill.

Using the deceptive title of Farmer Assurance Provision, Section 735 of this bill actually grants Monsanto immunity from federal courts pending the review of any GM crop that is thought to be dangerous.

Under the section, courts would be helpless to stop Monsanto from continuing to plant GMO crops that are thought — even by the US government — to be a danger to human health or our cherised environment.

More…

Oh my God!  What.  Is.  Obama.  Thinking?

The gun industry has immunity from the courts too.  Look how well that’s workin’ out for us.

Unbelievable.  Obama’s brain has been taken over by the corporatocracy.

March 27, 2013 at 11:41 AM Leave a comment

The U.S. Invasion of Iraq, Ten Years On

Mission Accomplished

I don’t know what to say on this, the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.  I was against the war before it began and I’ve been against it ever since.  I thought we were being lied to all along and it turns out, that’s exactly what was happening.

So much misery.

In my opinion the invasion was one of the greatest tragedies the world has ever seen.

(It’s indicative of the fantasyland George Bush lived in when we’re reminded that Bush gave his “mission accomplished” speech six weeksSIX WEEKS — after the March 19, 2003 invasion.  (The war officially ended on December 15, 2011).)

March 19, 2013 at 9:45 AM Leave a comment

The Navy SEAL Who Killed Osama Bin Laden is…Screwed

Esquire is out with an interview with “The Shooter,” i.e., the Navy SEAL Team 6 member who killed Osama Bin Laden.  He’s preparing to leave the Navy but the U.S. government has essentially kicked him to the curb, leaving him almost destitute and scared for his life (and his wife and children’s).  He might have to enter the Witness Protection Program and be disappeared forever.

It’s awful the way he’s being treated.

Navy Seals via SealSWCC.com

(Image via SealSWCC.com)

But the Shooter will discover soon enough that when he leaves after sixteen years in the Navy, his body filled with scar tissue, arthritis, tendonitis, eye damage, and blown disks, here is what he gets from his employer and a grateful nation:

Nothing. No pension, no health care, and no protection for himself or his family.

Since Abbottabad, he has trained his children to hide in their bathtub at the first sign of a problem as the safest, most fortified place in their house. His wife is familiar enough with the shotgun on their armoire to use it. She knows to sit on the bed, the weapon’s butt braced against the wall, and precisely what angle to shoot out through the bedroom door, if necessary. A knife is also on the dresser should she need a backup.

Then there is the “bolt” bag of clothes, food, and other provisions for the family meant to last them two weeks in hiding.

“Personally,” his wife told me recently, “I feel more threatened by a potential retaliatory terror attack on our community than I did eight years ago,” when her husband joined ST6.

When the White House identified SEAL Team 6 as those responsible, camera crews swarmed into their Virginia Beach neighborhood, taking shots of the SEALs’ homes.

After bin Laden’s face appeared on their TV in the days after the killing, the Shooter cautioned his older child not to mention the Al Qaeda leader’s name ever again “to anybody. It’s a bad name, a curse name.” His kid started referring to him instead as “Poopyface.” It’s a story he told affectionately on that April afternoon visit to my home.

More…

February 11, 2013 at 9:18 AM 1 comment

Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, John Bolton, Lindsay Graham and Erick Erickson Praise Obama’s Drone Plan/Kill list

They’re all warmongers so if they love it, I don’t!

Sheeple via Wearhere.eu

(Image via WeAreHere.eu)

This:

GOP and TP on Obama’s Foreign Policy “Successes”

To wild GOP crowd cheers, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachman vehemently defend Obama’s assassination policy.

And this:

John Bolton Praises Obama’s Drone Program As ‘Sensible’ And ‘Consistent’ Extension Of Bush-Era Policies

—-

Graham Defends Obama on Drones

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) will offer a resolution next week commending President Barack Obama’s use of drones and the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki.

—-

Skip the Drone Debate, Just Kill the Terrorists Before They Kill Us

We no longer have to transport ourselves to a magical alternate reality to ponder what a love child between Richard Nixon and Dick Cheney would look like.  Given a Justice Department memo obtained by NBC News, we can conclude that child would look like none other than President Barack Obama.

“Just kill the terrorists before they kill us.”  Land of the free and home of the brave? No.  When I saw folks tearing up at the Super Bowl over those words I gagged.

We’re a scared bunch of sheeple.  We stood by while almost 60,000 Americans were killed in Vietnam because our leaders told us the commies were coming to get us.  Ten years ago yesterday, Colin Powell lied his face off in front of the United Nations Security Council and as a result, we invaded Iraq because they (I’m gagging again) supposedly had WMD and were ready to send a mushroom cloud over the U.S.

None of that was true.

Yet, again, we’re so scared of the lies we’ve told ourselves, all in the name of kill them before they kill us.

Defense spending — our tax dollars! — has doubled since 2001.

Ten years ago there was no such thing as the Department of Homeland Security but now we’re dumping untold billions dollars into that agency because it’s supposedly keeping us “safe.

And now we have drones — millions going to defense contractors for their new toys that we’re paying for — AGAIN, out of our tax dollars that  — and President Obama’s kill list predicated on his supposed authority to kill Americans without their Constitutional right to be charged and tried by a jury of their piers.

They tell us these drone strikes are keeping us safe.  But they aren’t:  “Drone attacks are doing nothing but inciting more hatred” say Pakistani protesters.  Google it yourself. There’s a whole bunch of info out there about how drone attacks are actually making us less after

So when will be again become the land of the free and the HOME OF THE BRAVE and when will we stop being scared little people who sacrifice their future for defense contractors and politicians who want to enrich them?

February 6, 2013 at 8:18 PM 1 comment

Obama: It’s Okay to Kill Americans Without Due Process

Obama Shoots a Rifle

(Image via WhiteHouse.gov)

Now I know why Barack Obama shot that gun.  He wants to kill our right to due process:

Justice Department Memo Reveals Legal Case for Drone Strikes on Americans

A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” — even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.

More…

Last I knew, every American is entitled to and guaranteed a trial by a jury of his or her peers before he or she is sentenced to anything, much less death.

Now we have the “liberal” Constitutional lawyer Barack Obama’s Justice Department obliterating that for what will probably be forever.

Blows my mind.

February 4, 2013 at 9:54 PM 3 comments

Brainwashing Our Kids

H/t to NancyB for alerting me to this “toy:”

Playmobile Security Check Point on Amazon.com(Via.)

January 5, 2013 at 9:57 PM Leave a comment

93% — 93%! — of all Income Gains in 2010 Went to the Top 1%

This is one of those bits of information that is so frustrating and so infuriating it might be best not to know it.  But, in the interest of staying aware and fully present, here we go:

In 2010, a stunning 93 percent of all income gains went to the top 1 percent of Americans. Also astonishing: just 15,000 households received 37 percent of all of those income gains. In no other period in recent American history have economic gains been concentrated so disproportionately in an elite sliver. (The red bars indicate recessions.)

93 percent of 2010 income gains went to top 1 percent

(Image via Opinionator.Blogs.NYTimes.com)

(Filed under Outrage Overload.)

As I’ve said before, the lobbyists hired by the rich and the corporatocracy have earned their money in spades.  They’ve bribed our dear leaders into structuring the US economy and its tax laws such that they benefit them and essentially, no one else.

Go here for more, especially if you’re a fan of depressing charts.

January 3, 2013 at 1:50 PM Leave a comment

Obama Offers More Cuts to Social Security Than to the Pentagon

President Obama via CNN

(Image via CNN)

There are now multiple press reports that President Obama will agree to a fiscal deal that enacts a so-called “Chained CPI” to calculate Social Security and veterans’ benefits. Under this plan, beneficiaries would get cuts in their cost of living adjustments. Outraged Congressional Democrats have been speaking out for days against these cuts.

The cuts to Social Security benefits under such a recalculation would amount to about $112 billion over ten years.

Let’s put this in perspective. In the offer Obama gave to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), he also put $100 billion of Pentagon spending cuts on the table for the same period.

That means that Obama offered to cut a program that doesn’t add a penny to the deficit — Social Security — by more than the single largest drain on discretionary spending, the Pentagon.

More…

Label me one of those “outraged Democrats.”

“Beneficiaries would get cuts in their cost of living adjustments?”  A Social Security recipient called in to a radio show I was listening to yesterday and said her last cost of living “raise” was $30.00.  $30.00.  $30.00 a year.

Hey, I have an idea; how about we cut military bands?

The Defense Department could be shelling out nearly $50 billion in the next 50 years for its military bands, a prominent defense analyst says, a figure that could raise eyebrows amid Washington’s new climate of fiscal restraint.

“The nation’s military services really are going to spend over $25 billion on music bands in the coming years,” Lexington Institute COO and industry consultant Loren Thompson said.

After adjusting that figure for inflation and other factors, Thompson projects the nominal costs of the bands will approach $50 billion — a price tag he derided as “ridiculous.”

[...]

The nation’s ground service has 35 active-duty bands, 18 Army Reserve bands and over 50 made up of Army National Guard groups, according to the site.

The Air Force has at least 15 bands, 11 regionally organized Air National Guard groups and at least one Air Force Reserve band, according to the Air Force Bands Program website.

More…

December 20, 2012 at 11:49 AM Leave a comment

Obama Preparing to Give Rupert Murdoch More Propaganda Power

Filed under Outrage Overload:

What if I told you the Obama administration’s first major post-election policy move was a big, fat gift for Rupert Murdoch?

[...]

Murdoch already owns the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, Fox News Channel, Fox movie studios, 27 local TV stations and much, much more.  [Check out its holdings here.]

Word is that Murdoch now covets the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune — the bankrupt-but-still-dominant newspapers (and websites) in the second- and third-largest media markets, where Murdoch already own TV stations.

Under current media ownership limits, he can’t buy them. It’s illegal… unless the Federal Communications Commission changes the rules.

But according to numerous reports, that’s exactly what FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski plans to do. He’s circulating an order at the FCC to lift the longstanding ban on one company owning both daily newspapers and TV stations in any of the 20 largest media markets.

And he wants to wrap up this massive giveaway just in time for the holidays.

[...]

If these changes go through, Murdoch could own the Los Angeles Times, two TV stations and up to eight radio stations in L.A. alone. And he’s not the only potential beneficiary: These changes could mean more channels for Comcast-NBC, more deals for Disney, and more stations for Sinclair.

For anyone who actually cares about media diversity and democracy, the gutting of media ownership limits will be a complete disaster.

These rules are one of the last barriers to local media monopolies. Without them, we will lose competing voices for local news. We will see the mainstream media get even more monotone, monochrome and monotonous.

More…

I’m speechless.  Does Murdoch really need even more outlets with which to manipulate our society?  I don’t think so.

If Obama was going to run again, this would be the newest entry in my “Obama — Don’t Count on my Vote” category.

Amazing.

November 20, 2012 at 10:15 AM 2 comments

If You Piss Voters Off, They’re Going to Fight Back

CORRECTED

Florida Rep. Alan Grayson on Wednesday after defeating certifiably insane Republican Allen West on the Joy Bahar “Say Anything” radio show:

What the Republicans are doing [now] is different from what they normally do. They normally try to vilify groups that can’t fight back. They vilify the undocumented because they can’t vote, so they can’t retaliate. They vilify pregnant teenagers because they can’t vote either. Here, they’re vilifying the voters. They’re attacking the voters. They’re pissing the voters off, and that’s a very dangerous thing for elected officials to do anywhere.

We had lines as long as six hours here in Central Florida to vote, and it was simply because the Republicans wanted it that way. It’s because [Republican Governor] Rick Scott wanted it that way. It’s because the Republican super-majorities in Tallahassee wanted it that way. If you make voters your enemy, the voters know that, and they are going to fight back.

(Image via Pospislaw.com)

More…

The thing I loved the most about Tuesday was that voters didn’t cow to Republican voter suppression efforts, they acted up and they stood in line and they gave Republicans a big ol’ middle finger.

USA!  USA!  USA!

CORRECTED:  Not to detract from what Grayson said or the insanity of Allen West, I must make a correction because I guess I had my head in the sand when I put this post up.  Grayson did not defeat Allen West.  Allen West appears to have been defeated by Democrat Patrick Murphy but a recount is taking place so there are no official results as yet (November 12).  Grayson defeated Republican Todd Long.

November 11, 2012 at 9:41 PM 4 comments

Oy, The Second Presidential Debate

Heading into this new week I’m already exhausted because all the attention in the US media is on Wednesday night’s second presidential debate.  Nobody knows what will happen of course. It’s all about speculation.  Predictions.  What ifs.  Could be.  This or that.

We’re watching talking heads justify their own existence and their own paychecks.

A friend of mine had some simple advice for me last week:  Don’t watch any of the debates so you can…sleep.

I’m thinking she’s right.

And another thing:  So much is going on in the world but in order to save/make money, the MSM has laid off their foreign correspondents and the campaign is all they’ve got.

So, here we are.  The Debates.  That’s it.

If only we could train them to to think we care about real news.

October 14, 2012 at 7:52 PM Leave a comment

Time to Think Twice About Watching the Discovery Channel

I guess the Discovery Channel is turning into the Discover Racism, Hate and Bigotry Channel.  Check this out:  VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED: Discovery Channel To Air Special Starring Ted Nugent.

October 1, 2012 at 2:37 PM Leave a comment

“Bush Was Better Than Obama On This”

For those of us who aren’t necessarily going to vote for Barack Obama on November 6 because he’s the Democratic candidate and/or because he’s less bad than Romney, there’s this most recent info in a long line of disturbing news out of the Obama administration:

A critical document from President Barack Obama’s free trade negotiations with eight Pacific nations was leaked online early Wednesday morning, revealing that the administration intends to bestow radical new political powers upon multinational corporations, contradicting prior promises.

[...]

The new leak follows substantial controversy surrounding the secrecy of the talks, in which some members of Congress have complained they are not being given the same access to trade documents that corporate officials receive.

Gee.  I’m so glad this has been all over the “liberal media.”

The newly leaked document is one of the most controversial of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. It addresses a broad sweep of regulations governing international investment and reveals the Obama administration’s advocacy for policies that environmental activists, financial reform advocates and labor unions have long rejected for eroding key protections currently in domestic laws.

Under the agreement currently being advocated by the Obama administration, American corporations would continue to be subject to domestic laws and regulations on the environment, banking and other issues. But foreign corporations operating within the U.S. would be permitted to appeal key American legal or regulatory rulings to an international tribunal. That international tribunal would be granted the power to overrule American law and impose trade sanctions on the United States for failing to abide by its rulings.

I can see it now.  American corporations will rush to register in foreign countries so they can “appeal key American legal or regulatory rulings,” like clean air and water laws.  Geezus.  Obama’s brain has been infiltrated by CEOs.

“Bush was better than Obama on this,” said Judit Rius, U.S. manager of Doctors Without Borders Access to Medicines Campaign, referring to the medication rules.

[...]

Trans-Pacific negotiations have been taking place throughout the Obama presidency. The deal is strongly supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the top lobbying group for American corporations. Obama’s Republican opponent in the 2012 presidential elections, Mitt Romney, has urged the U.S. to finalize the deal as soon as possible.

More…

I don’t recognize this hyper pro-corporate Obama. He isn’t the guy I voted for.  He isn’t a Democrat as I define Democrats.  Democrats have historically been pro-worker.  Who’s standing up for We the People around here anymore?  No one.

Filed under:  Obama — Don’t Count on My Vote

September 27, 2012 at 5:47 PM Leave a comment

Watch Cable News Outlets Cover for Paul Ryan’s Lies

Watch his painful mashup of cable newsers covering for the lies Paul Ryan told last night in his speech at the Republican National Convention.

(Via.)

Ryan wouldn’t tell lies like this if he wasn’t pretty darn sure he would never be called out on them so thanks “liberal media!”

Geezus.  The cables are so terrified of being called “biased,” pointing out a lie and proving that it’s a lie is off limits.  In my opinion, that’s the definition of news.  Pointing to the fuc*ing facts and ah, hello, informing people for God’s sake.

Can you hear me screaming now?

UGH!

August 30, 2012 at 2:06 PM Leave a comment

Thinking of You Tonight Haiti

Remember when we donated millions of dollars to help Haitians after the 2010 earthquake there?  Me too.

What with the approach of Tropical Storm Issac I’m hearing about the hundreds of thousands of people who are still living in tents for God’s sake.

Now, in my Tweet of the Day, we hear they haven’t even been warned about Issac’s approach:

I can’t stand it.

August 23, 2012 at 5:00 PM Leave a comment

Yo, Rand Paul

SMDH.

Reality check.

June 29, 2012 at 8:34 PM 1 comment

Calling all Teachers: You Won’t Believe This

So, we lay off and/or cut teacher’s salaries because paying them high (yeah, right) salaries hurts the economy but we can’t cut defense because that would hurt the economy?  Or some such crazy double talk (and it’s coming from a “Democrat” no less):

The threat of new U.S. defense spending cuts next year is creating uncertainty in the economy, and Congress should take steps this summer to reassure industry it is capable of “avoiding that train wreck,” a top senator on defense issues said on Tuesday.

“Uncertainty which is created by the threat, the prospect, the specter, of sequestration, I believe, is a real threat to this economy,” said Senator Carl Levin, referring to $500 billion in automatic cuts that will kick in unless Congress acts to stop them.

More…

The defense budget is the first thing we should cut (see below) but instead, Levin thinks we should put it in some sort of protected lock box?

THIS IS INSANE!

Carl Levin has got to go.

 

 

 

June 12, 2012 at 3:36 PM 1 comment

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