Saturday, June 30, 2012

Bravo! A Brilliant Essay!

If only it could reach the ears of every voter -- and pierce the Bubble in which so many right wingers live! Right wing obstructionism has kept the country from moving in the direction of fixing problems. We are living in a stagnant political wasteland created by the 1% that rules us now. Through clever manipulation of the misguided "patriotism" of the flag-waving Tea-Party type dittoheads who believe everything they are told on Fox News, the 1% have increased their own wealth while reducing the middle class to tatters.  They will not allow passage of any common-sense, practical solutions so desperately needed for the multiple problems facing our country. Read on for a brilliant understanding of what is going on, as voiced by an Irish electrician at a local neighborhood bar:

America Must Declare War on America
By William Rivers Pitt

"Perhaps, after all, America never has been discovered. I myself would say that it had merely been detected."
-- Oscar Wilde

I was polishing the local bartop with my elbows the other day next to a naturalized Irishman who works as an electrician. He asked what I did for a living, and I winced a little before telling him, "I write politics," because I knew what was coming. As ever, when I let people know what I do while in the confines of a drinking establishment, I was immediately subjected to a sustained violation of The First Law Of The Bar: "Thou shalt not talk of religion or politics here."

Such moments are normally excruciating for me, pretty much entirely because the absolute last thing I want to do while nursing a whiskey and watching a ballgame is talk shop. This time, however, was different. My new friend regaled me with a succinct, accurate and scathing assessment of his adopted country - "Millions of people need work, the infrastructure of the country is falling down around our ears, but no one in power seems able or willing to put one and one together and solve two problems with one stroke," he railed at one point - before summing it all up with a single, perfect, devastating brick.

"America," he said, "has a war on drugs that doesn't work. It has a war on poverty that doesn't work. It has a war on crime that has only managed to fill its prisons. It has wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that didn't work. You want to fix everything that has gone wrong? There's only one answer: America must declare war on America."

My new friend did not pay for another drink the rest of the night.

Absolutely God damned right.

America must declare war on America, against the fusillade of divisive nonsense that passes for political discourse these days, provided with full corporate sponsorship by a small cabal of rich people via the "mainstream" news media they own from top to bottom. Americans must declare war on America, on the America this fortunate few would create with zeroes to the left of the decimal on their secret donation checks, on the America these reavers and traitors seek to make in their own corrupted, bloated image.

I have made this point time and time and time again, but it bears repeating once more: the single greatest strength the far right and their paymasters enjoy is their utter and complete lack of shame. They will say anything - literally anything - to gain an advantage in any debate, and be damned to whoever takes a screwing in the process.  

A perfect example: on Wednesday, Rand Paul (R-KY), darling of teabagger nation and son of that walking farce of a fake Libertarian Ron Paul, blocked a vote on extending FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program until the Senate votes on legislation declaring that human life begins at conception. Forget all those people in Iowa and Florida who are swamping out their homes after being inundated with record rainfall. We need legislation on fetuses...but God help them if they're born, because these God-fearing Republicans don't give a fig for them once they've passed through the birth canal. Welcome to the planet, brat. You're on your own.

My friend at the bar was on fire over the massive infrastructure problems facing America right now, noting that more than 2,000 bridges are trembling on the edge of collapse in Massachusetts alone. Why has this incredibly important problem not been addressed? Adam Peck of ThinkProgress provided an answer last week:

With as many as 2.9 million new and existing jobs on the line, House Republicans are refusing to pass a transportation reauthorization bill, even after the Senate's version of the bill overwhelmingly passed through the upper chamber in a 74-22 bipartisan vote.

The deadline for new transportation funding is June 30, and if the calendar flips to July without a compromise, as many as 1.9 million workers could lose their jobs, at least temporarily. The Senate version of the bill, if adopted, would create an additional one million new jobs as well, according to Department of Transportation projections.

So why are House Republicans holding nearly three million jobs hostage? Because they want approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline to be included in the bill. The State Department estimates that roughly 6,000 jobs would be created if the Keystone XL is approved, but as few as 20 of them will be permanent.

These are but two examples; there are dozens upon dozens more. Were I to list them all, I would singlehandedly cause a worldwide electron and ink shortage. Sufficed to say, where we are can best be explained by how we got here. On the eve of the Supreme Court's ruling on President Obama's Affordable Care Act, James Fallows of The Atlantic laid out how exactly we came to this sad and disgraceful state of affairs:

When you look at the sequence from Bush v. Gore, through Citizens United, to what seems to be coming on the health-care front; and you combine it with ongoing efforts in Florida and elsewhere to prevent voting from presumably Democratic blocs; and add that to the simply unprecedented abuse of the filibuster in the years since the Democrats won control of the Senate and then took the White House, you have what we'd identify as a kind of long-term coup if we saw it happening anywhere else.

You can try this at home. Pick a country and describe a sequence in which:

First, the (2000) presidential election is decided by five people, who don't even try to explain their choice in normal legal terms. Then the beneficiary of that decision appoints the next two members of the court, who present themselves for consideration as restrained, humble figures who care only about law rather than ideology. Once on the bench, for life, those two actively second-guess and re-do existing law, to advance the interests of the party that appointed them. Meanwhile their party's representatives in the Senate abuse procedural rules to an extent never previously seen to block legislation - and appointments, especially to the courts. And, when a major piece of legislation gets through, the party's majority on the Supreme Court prepares to negate it - even though the details of the plan were originally Republican proposals and even though the party's presidential nominee endorsed these concepts only a few years ago.

How would you describe a democracy where power was being shifted that way?

As if all this were not enough already, that small cabal who helped deliver us to this diseased and deranged estate has the perfect answer to all the problems before us: a plastic-fantastic fraud of a multi-millionaire, named after a kitchen utensil, who was against everything he stands for before he was for it before he was against it, who made his money killing American jobs, whose wife tries to connect with the common people by wearing $900 t-shirts on national television, and whose family claimed a $70,000 tax deduction for owning a doped-up horse.

America must declare war on America. You, me, and everyone we know with brain one in our heads and the best interests of the country at heart need to charge the ramparts, stand our post, and refuse to take even one step back.

The Supreme Court is rewriting the Constitution on the back of a corporate pay stub, Congress has made itself more useless than nipples on an ice cream cone, the President of the United States has decided he can kill where and who he wishes with a video game, and Colorado is on fire even as the "mainstream" news media gives respectful ear to a Republican presidential candidate who argues that firing firefighters is a bully idea and the answer to all that ails us.

To a great many people's surprise, a majority of the Supreme Court - led by Chief Justice Roberts, of all people - ruled in favor of the Affordable Care Act on Thursday morning. For many Americans, this was a big victory and a tremendous relief, but in truth, the law does not nearly go far enough. Senator Bernie Sanders said it best: "In my view, while the Affordable Care Act is an important step in the right direction and I am glad that the Supreme Court upheld it, we ultimately need to do better. If we are serious about providing high-quality, affordable healthcare as a right, not a privilege, the real solution to America's health care crisis is a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system. Until then, we will remain the only major nation that does not provide health care for every man, woman and child as a right of citizenship."

This issue is one of a multitude facing this nation today, and there is only one way to get it done.

America must declare war on America.

Stand your post.


Dancing Matt Harding is Back, Dancing around the World

What better way to bring people of the world together than to get them dancing?  This is one of the best Feel Good videos ever!  ENJOY!


Death Valley Heat in Kansas 118 degrees

Yet, the Tea Party types/Rush Limbaugh dittoheads will tell you there is no global warming...and, even if there is, it's not caused by humans.  These folks live in a bubble of false beliefs, and it's not possible to break through to them with truth.  They won't allow for change, growth and new ideas -- and often they are racist.  Mostly, they are old white men -- and we can only hope they haven't passed down their rigid unyielding beliefs to their progeny.  Oh yes, and by the way, their candidate this time around is Mitt Romney, who has been on both sides of every issue since entering politics.  The old white guys will ignore all that and vote for him anyway, because they hate the half-black "upstart" in the White House. Low consciousness is still prevalent on planet Earth.


Friday, June 29, 2012

Sanity and Truth are in this essay

But right wingers, fueled with lies from their nay-saying leaders, do not understand this and foolishly continue to vote against their own interest.  Their eyes and their minds are closed to truth, to common sense, and to the golden rule.  Paul Krugman is one of the sanest clear-seeing people in our country.  As weak as the Affordable Care Act is in its present form because of conservative obstructionism, still it is a step forward in its attempt to provide health care to ordinary Americans who desperately need it and have been high priced out of its reach.

EXCERPT: what was and is really striking about the anti-reformers is their cruelty. It would be one thing if, at any point, they had offered any hint of an alternative proposal to help Americans with pre-existing conditions, Americans who simply can’t afford expensive individual insurance, Americans who lose coverage along with their jobs. But it has long been obvious that the opposition’s goal is simply to kill reform, never mind the human consequences. We should all be thankful that, for the moment at least, that effort has failed. Unless you belong to that tiny class of wealthy Americans who are insulated and isolated from the realities of most people’s lives, the winners from that Supreme Court decision are your friends, your relatives, the people you work with — and, very likely, you. For almost all of us stand to benefit from making America a kinder and more decent society.

By Paul Krugman

So the Supreme Court — defying many expectations — upheld the Affordable Care Act, a k a Obamacare. There will, no doubt, be many headlines declaring this a big victory for President Obama, which it is. But the real winners are ordinary Americans — people like you. 

How many people are we talking about? You might say 30 million, the number of additional people the Congressional Budget Office says will have health insurance thanks to Obamacare. But that vastly understates the true number of winners because millions of other Americans — including many who oppose the act — would have been at risk of being one of those 30 million.

So add in every American who currently works for a company that offers good health insurance but is at risk of losing that job (and who isn’t in this world of outsourcing and private equity buyouts?); every American who would have found health insurance unaffordable but will now receive crucial financial help; every American with a pre-existing condition who would have been flatly denied coverage in many states.

In short, unless you belong to that tiny class of wealthy Americans who are insulated and isolated from the realities of most people’s lives, the winners from that Supreme Court decision are your friends, your relatives, the people you work with — and, very likely, you. For almost all of us stand to benefit from making America a kinder and more decent society.

But what about the cost? Put it this way: the budget office’s estimate of the cost over the next decade of Obamacare’s “coverage provisions” — basically, the subsidies needed to make insurance affordable for all — is about only a third of the cost of the tax cuts, overwhelmingly favoring the wealthy, that Mitt Romney is proposing over the same period. True, Mr. Romney says that he would offset that cost, but he has failed to provide any plausible explanation of how he’d do that. The Affordable Care Act, by contrast, is fully paid for, with an explicit combination of tax increases and spending cuts elsewhere.

So the law that the Supreme Court upheld is an act of human decency that is also fiscally responsible. It’s not perfect, by a long shot — it is, after all, originally a Republican plan, devised long ago as a way to forestall the obvious alternative of extending Medicare to cover everyone. As a result, it’s an awkward hybrid of public and private insurance that isn’t the way anyone would have designed a system from scratch. And there will be a long struggle to make it better, just as there was for Social Security. (Bring back the public option!) But it’s still a big step toward a better — and by that I mean morally better — society.

Which brings us to the nature of the people who tried to kill health reform — and who will, of course, continue their efforts despite this unexpected defeat.

At one level, the most striking thing about the campaign against reform was its dishonesty. Remember “death panels”? Remember how reform’s opponents would, in the same breath, accuse Mr. Obama of promoting big government and denounce him for cutting Medicare? Politics ain’t beanbag, but, even in these partisan times, the unscrupulous nature of the campaign against reform was exceptional. And, rest assured, all the old lies and probably a bunch of new ones will be rolled out again in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision. Let’s hope the Democrats are ready.

But what was and is really striking about the anti-reformers is their cruelty. It would be one thing if, at any point, they had offered any hint of an alternative proposal to help Americans with pre-existing conditions, Americans who simply can’t afford expensive individual insurance, Americans who lose coverage along with their jobs. But it has long been obvious that the opposition’s goal is simply to kill reform, never mind the human consequences. We should all be thankful that, for the moment at least, that effort has failed.

Let me add a final word on the Supreme Court.

Before the arguments began, the overwhelming consensus among legal experts who aren’t hard-core conservatives — and even among some who are — was that Obamacare was clearly constitutional. And, in the end, thanks to Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., the court upheld that view. But four justices dissented, and did so in extreme terms, proclaiming not just the much-disputed individual mandate but the whole act unconstitutional. Given prevailing legal opinion, it’s hard to see that position as anything but naked partisanship.

The point is that this isn’t over — not on health care, not on the broader shape of American society. The cruelty and ruthlessness that made this court decision such a nail-biter aren’t going away.

But, for now, let’s celebrate. This was a big day, a victory for due process, decency and the American people.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Not a talent you would want your child to have: a very strange case

Girl Who Can Start Fire With Her Brain Mystifies Scientists

Many think this young girl has supernatural abilities and scientists are puzzled by what she has accomplished so far.

She is now being called a global scientific phenomenon.

According to the family, their 11-year-old daughter has a bizarre ability to set things aflame by just being near them.

The young Vietnamese girl living in HCM City’s Tan Binh District has drawn a great deal of attention from the nation’s media.

Her father tells it all started about a month ago when the family home’s electrical network suffered several short circuits, about a month ago. Electricians were called to fix the short circuit but could not find the cause behind the power failures.

He said the girl was taken to other houses where the same phenomenon took place each time. Her mattresses, fans and other equipment have burst into flames. The hotel room where her family stayed two weeks ago during their holiday on Vung Tau beach also suffered burns from a blaze.

The girl has been examined by doctors at Cho Ray Hospital and the Children’s Hospital No. 2 but nothing abnormal has been found.

But a team of scientists from the Centre of Research and Application for Radio-active Geo-biological Energy at Hong Bang University has also carried out tests on the girl and confirmed that she is unusual.

Prof. Nguyen Manh Hung, director of the university, said that the girl is capable of burning things around her.

“This is a very strange case not only in Viet Nam but for the world,” said Hung.

Brain scans discovered an unusual line on the right part of the girl’s brain, said the doctor.

“She burned objects that were located near and far from her, so there is no specific distance limit,” said Hung.

Samples of her blood, skin tissue and urine along with objects from the girl’s home have been taken for further analysis, he said.

Nguyen Phuc Giac Hai, a scientist at the Research Centre of Human Potential, said the girl was a global scientific phenomenon.

“This case is special because it has lasted for more than one month and fires have occurred wherever she has been,” said Hai.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Justice Scalia Must Resign!

How recklessly bold, how flagrantly arrogant!  Scalia doesn't even try to hid his political bias.  He does just the opposite and proclaims it to the world, never mind that, as a Supreme Court justice, he is supposed to hold himself above the political fray.  Once the right wing got its sleazy tentacles on the Court, judicial prudence and propriety went down the drain.  John Jay and George Washington must be spinning in their graves.


Oh, the irony of it all -- Fast and Furious

Want truth about the spurious Fast and Furious non-scandal?  You won't get it from Darryl Issa or Fox Noise, that's for sure!  They're employing the typical tactics of lies and obfuscation that always seems to be the modus operandi of the GOP.  Read about it at:

EXCERPT: Irony abounds when it comes to the Fast and Furious scandal. But the ultimate irony is this: Republicans who support the National Rifle Association and its attempts to weaken gun laws are lambasting ATF agents for not seizing enough weapons—ones that, in this case, prosecutors deemed to be legal.

Quite simply, there's a fundamental misconception at the heart of the Fast and Furious scandal. Nobody disputes that suspected straw purchasers under surveillance by the ATF repeatedly bought guns that eventually fell into criminal hands. Issa and others charge that the ATF intentionally allowed guns to walk as an operational tactic. But five law-enforcement agents directly involved in Fast and Furious tell Fortune that the ATF had no such tactic. They insist they never purposefully allowed guns to be illegally trafficked. Just the opposite: They say they seized weapons whenever they could but were hamstrung by prosecutors and weak laws, which stymied them at every turn.

Indeed, a six-month Fortune investigation reveals that the public case alleging that Voth and his colleagues walked guns is replete with distortions, errors, partial truths, and even some outright lies. Fortune reviewed more than 2,000 pages of confidential ATF documents and interviewed 39 people, including seven law-enforcement agents with direct knowledge of the case. Several, including Voth, are speaking out for the first time.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

So, so TRUE!

Conservative hatred of Obama is so great, Republicans will vote against their own ideas if Obama adopts them.  They will cut off their nose to spite their face -- and don't give a damn about the country or what happens to it.  While they are hating Obama and ignoring all the problems confronting our country and the world, the middle class is disappearing and our democratic republic is being replaced by an oligarchy/plutocracy.  But the Tea Party rolls along, insisting on mindless hatred of the half-black man in the White House instead of addressing the real problems we face.  And, to top it off, while they are doing this, they are calling themselves "patriots."  Such idiocy/hypocrisy staggers the mind.  Conservatives don't want true facts--they want the Rush Limbaughs, the Rupert Murdochs, and the Fox Noise sideshow barkers to give them their bubble illusion that they call "truth." 

George Carlin is the best person at describing exactly the way it is -- God bless that man; he is sorely missed here on earth.  Here he is in an online video, really giving the facts for those who have ears to hear:  For those who want to wake up and hear real truth, Cenk Uygur is carrying on with fact-finding and truth-telling, in the Carlin tradition.  Read on:

The Mandate Is the Perfect Symbol of the Central Mistake of the Obama Administration

By Cenk Uygur

The individual mandate in the health care law was originally proposed by the Heritage Foundation, the most conservative think tank in the country. It was supported by almost every Republican in the country, including the first President Bush, Mitt Romney and conservative stalwarts like Orrin Hatch. Simply put, it was a conservative idea. There is no question about that; it is a fact.

Let me immediately digress to point out how terrible our media is since about 2% of the country knows that fact. If you asked the average American now, I'm sure they would say it was a liberal idea originally proposed by Barack Obama. Another fact -- Barack Obama was originally opposed to the mandate during his campaign for president.

So, this brings us to the central problem with President Obama's administration. They were under the unbelievably mistaken impression that if they worked with the Republicans, compromised with them and gave them what they wanted, that the Republicans would react likewise. Progressives (and anyone that was paying attention to politics in the last decade) warned them that would not be the case. We were dismissed. Now look at what's happened.

Not only did the Republicans not thank the president for including their mandate in the health care law, they have turned around and pretended they are against it. But of course it goes much deeper than that. In fact, they are now using it as the principal argument to take down the whole law.

They have no sense of shame or propriety. They're not embarrassed at their legendary hypocrisy and mendacity. They will do whatever it takes to win and support the corporate interests they are sworn and paid to defend. They also know that Democrats, generally speaking, are horrible at defending themselves and the media will help them tremendously by calling everything even.

So, we warned the president -- don't ever, ever agree with the Republicans, they will only use it against you. I must have said this on our show a hundred times over the last three years. It's not because Republicans are always wrong or I am always opposed to compromise. It's because we've seen this movie -- it's a trap. It's like the feckless, young girl walking outside into the barn at night in a horror movie -- bad idea, we know how that ends. She is not going to be able to compromise with Jason. Jason is going to rip her face off. Don't go into the frickin' barn!

And now we wait as the Supreme Court is getting ready to rip the face off President Obama's signature legislation because he thought the Republicans would appreciate it if he switched his position and adopted their mandate. They must have laughed long and hard. Now they ready their steely knives to gut that same law with the same provision they argued in favor of for decades.

President Obama thought compromise, conciliation and agreement with Republicans was the correct path in his first term. He was dead wrong. The correct course is to be as progressive as possible and argue strongly for your own principles (if you have them). The country is on your side. Look at almost any poll on any issue, the country sides with the progressive position -- tax the rich, stop the wars, don't cut Social Security or Medicare, and on and on.

And after all this, I'm not sure President Obama has learned anything at all from this debacle. He now says he's sure they'll work with him if he gets a second term. Come on! Didn't we just see this movie?


Monday, June 25, 2012

Repugs change horses in midstream and no one seems to notice

How Republicans made it possible for the Supreme Court to rule against the individual mandate
By Ezra Klein

Over the past two years, the Republican Party has slowly been building a permission structure for the five Republicans on the Supreme Court to feel comfortable doing something nobody thought they could do: Violate the existing understanding of the Commerce Clause and, in perhaps the most significant moment of judicial activism since the New Deal, overturn either all or part of the Affordable Care Act.

The first step was, perhaps, the hardest: The Republican Party had to take an official and unanimous stand against the wisdom and constitutionality of the individual mandate. Typically, it’s not that difficult for the opposition party to oppose the least popular element in the majority party’s largest initiative. But the individual mandate was a policy idea Republicans had thought of in the late-1980s and supported for two decades. They had, in effect, to convince every Republican to say that the policy they had been supporting was an unconstitutional assault on liberty.

But they succeeded. In December 2009 every Senate Republican voted to call the individual mandate unconstitutional. They did this even though a number of them had their names on bills that included an individual mandate. (For more on the political history of the mandate, see this post.)  (Note from StarWisdom: It's easy for the GOP to get their Bubble-dwelling voters to buy whatever they're selling, even if it is the exact opposite of what they sold them a year or so ago -- just tell Rush Limbaugh and FOX News to broadcast their new view, as if they'd never had another one that was diametrically opposed to it. If Obama adopts RomneyCare from Massachusetts asking for an individual mandate just like Romney had, BUT Romney is now running against Obama...OOPS--Make an immediate 180 degree turn and start calling RomneyCare ObamaCare, pretending Republicans were never involved with such a thing. You can be sure the dittoheads will buy it.  Conservative voters will listen to their leaders, no matter what they are peddling.  That's why Rush Limbaugh calls them "my dittoheads."  And they don't even take offense at that -- I guess they think it's an honor to be a dittohead of their great-in-girth leader (am shaking my head in cynical wonderment at their willingness to swallow anything that is thrown at them by the right wing media and then send it out as "truth" in their e-mails)

For full article, go to:


Do female frogs croak? Hilarious Q & A from Hollywood Squares

Time for Laughter -- we've got to keep our sense of humor alive in these heavy times... (~.~)

These great questions and answers are from the days when the Hollywood Squares game show responses were spontaneous, not scripted, as they are now!

Do female frogs croak? 
A. Paul Lynde: If you hold their little heads under water long enough.

If you're going to make a parachute jump, at least how high should you be 
A. Charley Weaver: Three days of steady drinking should do it.

 True or False, a pea can last as long as 5,000 years... 

A. George Gobel: Boy, it sure seems that way sometimes.

 You've been having trouble going to sleep. Are you probably a man or a woman? 
A.. Don Knotts: That's what's been keeping me awake.

According to Cosmopolitan, if you meet a stranger at a party and you think that he is attractive, is it okay to come out and ask him if he's married? 

A.. Rose Marie: No wait until morning.

 Which of your five senses tends to diminish as you get older? 

A. Charley Weaver: My sense of decency..

 What are 'Do It,' 'I Can Help,' and 'I Can't Get Enough'? 

A. George Gobel: I don't know, but it's coming from the next apartment.

 As you grow older, do you tend to gesture more or less with your hands while talking? 

A. Rose Marie: You ask me one more growing old question Peter, and I'll give you a gesture you'll never forget.

 Paul, why do Hell's Angels wear leather? 
A. Paul Lynde: Because chiffon wrinkles too easily.

 Charley, you've just decided to grow strawberries. Are you going to get any during the first year? 

A.. Charley Weaver: Of course not, I'm too busy growing strawberries.

 In bowling, what's a perfect score? 

A. Rose Marie: Ralph, the pin boy.

 During a tornado, are you safer in the bedroom or in the closet? 
A. Rose Marie: Unfortunately Peter, I'm always safe in the bedroom.

 Can boys join the Camp Fire Girls? 

A.. Marty Allen: Only after lights out.

 When you pat a dog on its head he will wag his tail. What will a goose do? 

A. Paul Lynde: Make him bark?

 If you were pregnant for two years, what would you give birth to? 

A. Paul Lynde: Whatever it is, it would never be afraid of the dark...

 According to Ann Landers, is there anything wrong with getting into the habit of kissing a lot of people? 

A. Charley Weaver: It got me out of the army.

Back in the old days, when Great Grandpa put horseradish on his head, what was he trying to do? 
A. George Gobel: Get it in his mouth.

 Who stays pregnant for a longer period of time, your wife or your elephant? 

A. Paul Lynde: Who told you about my elephant?

 Jackie Gleason recently revealed that he firmly believes in them and has actually seen them on at least two occasions. What are they? 

A. Charley Weaver: His feet.

 According to Ann Landers, what are two things you should never do in bed? 

A. Paul Lynde: Point and laugh