Wednesday Open Thread

‘Tis not enough your counsel still be true;
Blunt truths more mischief than nice falsehoods do.

–Alexander Pope

10 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Zappatero says:

    UPDATE: House set to slash Amtrak funding $100 Million. Democrats lack the Political Will to respond to Republicans’ destructive, anti-government and anti-democratic behavior.

    The failures of Amtrak are the failures of the Great United States of America to fund basic infrastructure requirements of an advanced technological society with great economic vitality since Republican Ronald Reagan came into office and speciously asked for valid ROI on any government spending. Since Reagan's destructive time in office, Republicans have further rejected the idea that fair taxes should pay for modern advances in schools, power grids, high-speed rail, renewable energy and energy efficiency, and many other technologies that exist elsewhere or that need the kind of support only government can provide. 

    Republicans' overarching priority is to help big business make as much money as possible from the masses and to help the stewards of those businesses, the CEO's, board members, major stockholders, and owners keep that money for themselves or their kin, the rest of us can go to hell and any thought of paying taxes is considered an illegal taking by government. 

    Harry Truman was spot on when he said this stuff, and very little has changed, except for the fact that Democrats are far less concerned with or politically capable of refuting the Republican/Conservative Gospel of Greed and No Taxes:

    On the other side, there is the Wall Street way of life and politics. Trust the leader! Let big business take care of prices and profits! Measure all things by money! That is the philosophy of the masters of the Republican Party. 

    Well, I have been studying the Republican Party for over 12 years at close hand in the Capital of the United States. And by this time, I have discovered where the Republicans stand on most of the major issues. 

    Since they won't tell you themselves, I am going to tell you. 

    They approve of the American farmer — but they are willing to help him go broke. 

    They are strong for labor — but they are stronger for restricting labor's rights. *

    They favor a minimum wage — the smaller the minimum the better. 

    They endorse educational opportunity for all — but they won't spend money for teachers or for schools. 

    They think modern medical care and hospitals are fine — for people who can afford them. 

    They approve of Social Security benefits — so much so that they took them away from almost a million people. 

    They believe in international trade — so much so that they crippled our reciprocal trade program, and killed our International Wheat Agreement. 

    They favor the admission of displaced persons — but only within shameful racial and religious limitations. 

    They consider electric power a great blessing — but only when the private power companies get their rake-off. 

    They say TVA is wonderful — but we ought never to try it again. 

    They condemn "cruelly high prices" — but fight to the death every effort to bring them down. 

    They think the American standard of living is a fine thing — so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. ….


    And if you're still wondering why Michael Bennet does some of the things he does, go back and read Truman's rant again and note Bennet's acquiescence. 

  2. Zappatero says:

    The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) is working hard to make us forget Michael Bennet's failed stint by continuing to make bad choices in Senate races around the country:

    Chuck Schumer and Jon Tester are trying to hand-pick non-progressive Senate candidates who are acceptable to the Wall Street donor class. And they're doing that despite knowing it's a losing strategy. If a Democrat in Florida wanted what Patrick Murphy is offering, he or she could just as well be– or at least vote– Republican. Murphy's a little extreme in this sense because he was an active Republican for his entire life until, opportunistically, reregistered as a "Democrat" to run against neo-fascist war criminal Allen West. But in Ohio Schumer and Tester have forced the DSCC to endorse Ted Strickland, a relatively conservative former congressman and governor, over the progressive in the race, Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld.

    Back in April, when the DSCC and the Ohio Democratic Party dropped their neutrality pledges to back Strickland in the Ohio Senate primary, the state's newspapers have been denouncing the unwarranted interference regularly. The Cincinnati EnquirerCleveland Plain DealerDayton Daily NewsAkron Beacon Journal and Toledo Blade have dealt with the premature endorsement by pointing out that "Ohio Democrats need a conversation, not a coronation" and that the endorsement was "another mistake by the Ohio Democratic Party's myopic insiders," tantamount to resigning itself to "remaining a party where the future is never now."

    By continuing to choose Centrists who stand for nothing, or New Dems who often stand with Republicans, the party organs will continue to fail at the polls and fail at their professed philosophy. But if you're a consultant, in Denver or DC, you can usually win even by losing elections and failing Democratic voters:

    U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet’s campaign announced Tuesday it hired Dan McNally as campaign manager for his 2016 re-election bid.

    McNally most recently served as regional political director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, working with Bennet, who led the DSCC’s campaign [failed] efforts in 2014.

    Bennet is one of the few vulnerable Democrats facing re-election in 2016 — which will only further put Colorado in the political limelight as an important state next year.

    McNally offered a glimpse at Bennet’s campaign themes in a statement announcing his new role.

    Bennet “has a reputation as someone who offers solutions and cuts through the dysfunction to get things done for Colorado. It’s the hard work that he and his office have put in over the last few years that are why he will win re-election in 2016,” McNally said.

    Well, that's what Bennet wants you to think of his reputation as if he had one. His minimal attempts at enacting positive legislating are merely a disappointment. His manipulation of the press is expert, and if whining about the senate's dysfunction is considered doing something by these guys, then they need a new line of work.

  3. MichaelBowman says:

    Obama tackles poverty on a panel in front of Catholic and evangelical leaders

    Obama said he can’t wait to host Pope Francis this fall because he thinks the pope will spark a larger discussion on poverty.

    “The stereotype of folks on the Left who just want to pour more money into social progress and don’t care about culture or parenting or family structures … and then you’ve got cold-hearted free-market capitalist types who are reading Ayn Rand and think everyone is mooching, and the truth is more complicated,” Obama said.

    The Georgetown gathering includes some nitty gritty about specific policies on things like predatory lending, (my emphasis) taxes and wages in breakout sessions.

    Speaking of predatory lending, any word on whether the Gov is going to veto the CitiGroup legislation rushed through the leg and supported by my state senator? (btw, a shout-out to Vicki Marble for casting a NO vote.  Credit where credit is due…)

  4. BlueCat says:

    R legislatures have already managed to mandate that doctors lie to women about abortion risks but this is  even sicker than that:

    Say an obstetrician in Milwaukee was performing a routine ultrasound on a pregnant woman and tragically discovered that the fetus had a serious developmental disability. In Wisconsin, that doctor is legally (not to mention ethically) required to inform the patient.

    However, if then-Rep. Scott Walker (R) had gotten his way, Wisconsin doctors who opposed abortion would have been allowed to withhold that information from the woman if the doctor feared she might get an abortion.

    Along with 34 other lawmakers, Walker introduced AB 538 in September 1997. At the time, if a health care provider withheld information about a fetal disability while abortion was still an available option, they could be liable for the child’s future medical expenses. But AB 538 would have changed that.

    According to the bill’s text:

    This bill creates an immunity from a wrongful birth or wrongful life action for a person who commits an act or fails to commit an act and that act or omission results in the birth of a child because a woman did not undergo an abortion that she would have undergone had the person not committed the act or not failed to commit the act.

  5. MichaelBowman says:

    So while the Capitol Hill Yahoos gut Amtrak, diss science, attack fuel efficiency standards, thumb their nose at distributed food supplies, starve the poor, play the role of carnival barker to the coal industry's fake "war" – and openly advocate state's dumping the Clean Power Plan – the planet screams that things are going awry.  Andy Borowitz nailed it this morning when he titled today's submission, "Earth Endangered by New Strain of Fact-Resistant Humans"  

    A great read on the subject by Jeffrey Sachs in today's Guardian

    ‘By separating nature from economics, we have walked blindly into tragedy’

    These are momentous decisions, yet still badly understood globally. Our mental models, analytical fields of study, and ethical decision making is poorly equipped to handle the challenges of sustainable development. We have been walking blindly into tragedies and more will come unless we learn to open our minds and our ethical reasoning to the current crisis. My new book The Age of Sustainable Development is an attempt to help the public understand both the growing crisis and the ways to overcome it.

    Of course, the problem being this challenge requires critical thinking skills, something that half of our elected politicos seem incapable of performing.  

    Sein hartes, eine überzeugende Argument zu machen, wenn Ihr Kopf ist in den Arsch



  6. MichaelBowman says:

    Climate Denialists In Congress Acting As NASA's Kryptonite

    So, now you can see the embarrassing state of affairs in which climate denialists find themselves. NASA is our best-known force for scientific and technical understanding. But that same NASA is telling the world that climate change is very real and needs to be taken very seriously. Superman has spoken. In response, the only thing folks in the climate denial business can come up with is to gag Superman.

    But here is the big problem with this gag approach. There are very real consequences that follow from taking NASA out of climate science. Decades of expertise in satellite remote observing, crucial to unpacking the complexities of the Earth's system, could be lost. And once that expertise is gone, you can't just flip a switch to bring it back. As NASA head Charles Bolden put it, the move proposed in Congress "guts our Earth science program and threatens to set back generations worth of progress in better understanding our changing climate."

    Anyone who reads comics knows the real problem with taking Superman out of the picture. He won't be there when we need him most.

    • BlueCat says:

      The Pentagon is also very much tuned in to the global strategic consequences of climate change which they recognize as very real and very dangerous as the struggle for resource inevitably leads to (already is contributing to) all kinds of unrest, instability and confrontation. And aren't righties supposed to just love and admire our heroic military?

      Remember when we were supposed to be listening only to the generals and not the civilian political leaders, especially not to Obama or any other Dem, on Afghanistan and Iraq? Remember how many times GW said he was following their lead? Remember when righties screamed at anyone who doubted the generals' infallible wisdom that they were being unpatriotic and not supporting the troops? So what do they say now about the Pentagon position on global warming? Crickets.

      On another subject, can anyone tell me what they're saying about the universal Republican support in the Senate for Obama's trade deal and for giving that un-American, radical, dangerous, worst president ever expanded fast track power to get it done? It must be kind of a confusing situation for them when Mitch McConnell is leading the charge in support of Satan Incarnate. With only two choices, support of Obama or siding with the Dem opposition, available it must be putting them in quite a quandary and confusing the hell out of grumpy old Fox viewers and Rush's ditto heads. Wonder how many of them are polishing up their ice skates and heading for hell.

  7. MichaelBowman says:

    These maroons are as crazy as a shit house rat. Just like the fluff up with the military exercises in Texas last week – the natters are only interested military intelligence when our Commander-in-Chief isn't a Kenyan, socialist Muslim.

    Pentagon Calls Climate Change "Threat Multipliers"


    But the Pentagon's assessment is that global warming is not only real, but also a civilizational threat, as stated in sobering language in the past three QDRs.

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