Thursday, November 29, 2012

Good Cartoon by Ted Rall

Denying science isn’t dumb. It’s a brilliant strategy for governing the country! Consider the possibilities that open up when you refuse to live within the constraints of time and space.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Modern wheat is a perfect chronic poison: cardiologist

Play CBS News Video

(CBS News) Modern wheat is a "perfect, chronic poison," according to Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist who has published a book all about the world's most popular grain.

Davis said that the wheat we eat these days isn't the wheat your grandma had: "It's an 18-inch tall plant created by genetic research in the '60s and '70s," he said on "CBS This Morning." "This thing has many new features nobody told you about, such as there's a new protein in this thing called gliadin. It's not gluten. I'm not addressing people with gluten sensitivities and celiac disease. I'm talking about everybody else because everybody else is susceptible to the gliadin protein that is an opiate. This thing binds into the opiate receptors in your brain and in most people stimulates appetite, such that we consume 440 more calories per day, 365 days per year."

Asked if the farming industry could change back to the grain it formerly produced, Davis said it could, but it would not be economically feasible because it yields less per acre. However, Davis said a movement has begun with people turning away from wheat - and dropping substantial weight.

"If three people lost eight pounds, big deal," he said. "But we're seeing hundreds of thousands of people losing 30, 80, 150 pounds. Diabetics become no longer diabetic; people with arthritis having dramatic relief. People losing leg swelling, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, and on and on every day."

To avoid these wheat-oriented products, Davis suggests eating "real food," such as avocados, olives, olive oil, meats, and vegetables. "(It's) the stuff that is least likely to have been changed by agribusiness," he said. "Certainly not grains. When I say grains, of course, over 90 percent of all grains we eat will be wheat, it's not barley... or flax. It's going to be wheat.

"It's really a wheat issue."

Some health resources, such as the Mayo Clinic, advocate a more balanced diet that does include wheat. But Davis said on "CTM" they're just offering a poor alternative.

"All that literature says is to replace something bad, white enriched products with something less bad, whole grains, and there's an apparent health benefit - 'Let's eat a whole bunch of less bad things.' So I take...unfiltered cigarettes and replace with Salem filtered cigarettes, you should smoke the Salems. That's the logic of nutrition, it's a deeply flawed logic. What if I take it to the next level, and we say, 'Let's eliminate all grains,' what happens then?

"That's when you see, not improvements in health, that's when you see transformations in health."


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Our Liberal Future by Jonathan Chait

How doomed are conservatives? Pretty doomed, if you look carefully at the Pew Research Survey’s close analysis of the youth vote in the 2012 elections. The Republicans’ long-term dilemma has generally been framed in racial terms, but it’s mainly a generational one. The youngest generation of voters contains a much smaller proportion of white voters than previous generations, and those whites in that generation vote Republican by a much smaller margin than their elders. What’s more, younger voters supported President Obama during the last two election cycles for reasons that seem to go beyond the usual reasons — social issues like gay marriage and feminism, immigration policy, or Obama’s personal appeal — and suggest a deeper attachment to liberalism. The proclivities of younger voters may actually portend a full-scale sea change in American politics.

More than four decades ago, Lloyd Free and Hadley Cantril identified the core of Americans’ political thinking as a blend of symbolic conservatism and operational liberalism. Most Americans, that is, oppose big government in the abstract but favor it in the particular. They oppose “regulation” and “spending,” but favor, say, enforcement of clean-air laws and Social Security. The push and pull between these contradictory beliefs has defined most of the political conflicts over the last century. Public support for most of the particulars of government has stopped Republicans from rolling back the advances of the New Deal, but suspicion with “big government” has made Democratic attempts to advance the role of the state rare and politically painful.

This tension continues to define the beliefs of American voters. Among the 2012 electorate, more voters identified themselves as conservative (35 percent) than liberal (25 percent), and more said the government is already doing too much that should be left to the private sector (51 percent) than asserted that the government ought to be doing more to solve problems (44 percent). But this is not the case with younger voters. By a 59 percent to 37 percent margin, voters under 30 say the government should do more to solve problems. More remarkably, 33 percent of voters under 30 identified themselves as liberal, as against 26 percent who called themselves conservative.

What all this suggests is that we may soon see a political landscape that will appear from the perspective of today and virtually all of American history as unrecognizably liberal. Democrats today must amass huge majorities of moderate voters in order to overcome conservatives’ numerical advantage over liberals. They must carefully wrap any proposal for activist government within the strictures of limited government, which is why Bill Clinton declared the era of big government to be over, and Obama has promised not to raise taxes for 99 percent of Americans. It’s entirely possible that, by the time today’s twentysomethings have reached middle age, these sorts of limits will cease to apply.

Obviously, such a future hinges on the generational patterns of the last two election cycles persisting. But, as another Pew survey showed, generational patterns to tend to be sticky. It’s not the case that voters start out liberal and move rightward. Americans form a voting pattern early in their life and tend to hold to it. That isn’t to say something couldn’t shake these voters loose from their attachment to the liberal worldview. Republicans fervently (and plausibly) hoped the Great Recession would be that thing; having voted for Obama and borne the brunt of mass unemployment, once-idealistic voters would stare at the faded Obama posters on their wall and accept the Republican analysis that failed Big Government policies have brought about their misery.

But young voters haven’t drawn this conclusion — or not many of them have, at any rate. So either something else is going to have to happen to disrupt the liberalism of the rising youth cohort, or else the Republican Party itself will have to change in ways far more dramatic than any of its leading lights seem prepared to contemplate.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Humor: The red states are planning to secede <>


One nation -- but maybe not so indivisible

You red states want to secede? Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

By Paul VanDevelder

November 18, 2012

We in the blue states hear from the talking heads on Fox News and MSNBC that many of you in the red states are so distressed about the outcome of the elections that you would like to secede from the Union. Now, it seems that at least six of you — Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina — have submitted enough signatures (25,000) on petitions to the White House website to merit a formal response, with more petitions on the way.

We wish you the best of luck with this. We feel your pain. If we can speak frankly, it's been coming for a long, long time. The question now is: What's next?

First, we're happy to report that most people here in Oregon, Washington and California think you're really on to something. This marriage has run its course. Too many niggling little things built up over time, driving us all crazy. So let's just stop. It's time to divvy up the china and draft a property settlement. In the spirit of fairness and goodwill, we propose the following as a starting point.

We'll keep the West Coast, Nevada and Hawaii, New York, the rest of the Northeast and all the other states that turned blue on election night. You guys get Texas, Mississippi, the rest of the Confederacy and all the other states that turned red on election night. Alaska can do whatever it wants. It does what it wants anyway.

One caveat here. We've been asked by the citizens of Austin, Texas, to give them sanctuary, so we'll keep Austin as a territorial protectorate, along with Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Samoa, and you can have Key West.

We get Meryl Streep, Woody Allen, Bill Maher, Katy Perry and Jerry Seinfeld, and you get Ron White, Jeff Foxworthy, the Osmonds, Larry the Cable Guy and all the NASCAR people. We'll split custody of the NFL and the NBA — alternating years, with monthly visitation.

We get Bill and Hillary, Jennifer Granholm, the Obamas, Elizabeth Warren and the new Kennedy kid, and you get Rick Perry, Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal, Jim DeMint, Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham and Todd Akin. Also, we get all the lobster, salmon and clam chowder and you get all the shrimp, grits, fried chicken, corn pone and dumplings. (We'll get over it.)

And just so there's no confusion, we get the Statue of Liberty, the Cascades, Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Disneyland and Hollywood. You get Opryland, Dollywood, the Smokies, Six Flags Over Texas and Branson. We agree to split the Grand Canyon (you get the south rim, we get the north). And while we're at it, we get Intel, Apple, Twitter and Google; you get Halliburton, Enron and Dell (good luck with that).

And no hard feelings, but what this means is that we'll own 86% of America's venture capital and have 92% of the young entrepreneurs. For the first time ever, we'll get to keep 100% of our tax revenue (go ahead, look it up), and for the first time ever you'll get the satisfaction of paying for your own schools, hospitals, military bases, bridges, highways, dams and flood control. This may strike you as a real hardship, but trust us on this one: Paying for your own stuff can be incredibly rewarding.

Just so there aren't any surprises, when this divorce is final, the blue states (we haven't settled on a name yet) are going to be pro-choice, antiwar. We'll own most of the country's fresh water, 95% of the best wines, most of the cheese and natural gas and low-sulfur coal, all of the redwoods, most of the pine forests, the best beaches and stem cell research. We get the Ivy's, MIT, Stanford, the Seven Sisters, the Bruins, the Trojans and the Ducks. You get Ole Miss, Bob Jones University, the Crimson Tide and the Gamecocks.

Of course, you also get 99% of the Southern Baptists, nearly 100% of the tornadoes, 90% of the hurricanes, most of the mosquitoes and the obese people (and all of their healthcare costs), 96% of the televangelists, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Dick Morris.

One more thing. We're taking the good weed. The pot they grow down around Chihuahua, Mexico, is all yours. And while we're on that subject, the southern border is yours too, except the California and New Mexico parts — we like Latinos.

What's left to say that hasn't been said? Fact is, this was never going to work. Most of you folks believe that climate change is a lot of hooey and Earth was made in seven days, 6,000 years ago. We just can't go there. But we gave it a shot! Two hundred years is a long time to beat your head against the brick wall of an unhappy marriage.

A lot of historians have argued that we would have been a whole lot better off going our separate ways in 1861. Sure, Abe Lincoln was a Republican then, but today he'd be as blue as the ocean. He tried. He thought we could transcend our differences and learn to live with one another.

Even the Lincolns of the world make mistakes. It's time to move on. We wish you well, and let us know how it's working out.

Paul VanDevelder is a journalist, screenwriter and the author, most recently, of "Savages and Scoundrels: The Untold Story of America's Road to Empire through Indian Territory."

Copyright © 2012, Los Angeles Times <>

The cause of freedom is not the cause of a race or a sect, a party or a class – it is the cause of humankind, the very birthright of humanity ~
Anna Julia Cooper



Friday, November 23, 2012

Do you care about our country and its people? If you do, watch this!

New Yorkers and Pennsylvanians, this is affecting you!  Watch the following short videos to see what you are up against!
  -- SPLIT ESTATE (short trailer preview of documentary)   -- FRACKING HELL (short documentary telling about fracking going on now in Pennsylvania and New York).  Aquifers, wells, streams and rivers in Pennsylvania are being poisoned!   Poisonous fracking waste is being dumped from Pennsylvania into Chemung County and other counties in New York.  The waste contains radium along with multiple carcinogenic chemicals.  Our country is being ruined!!!  

If you care for our country and its people, this information will make you cry.... and it's going to be done all over the world!  If you live in New York or Pennsylvania, you are first in line for the horrors.  Colorado and other western states, including California, are also sites of fracking, which is now spreading throughout our country.  This is a HUGE disaster in the making!  MAKE NOISE!  ALERT YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS!  WRITE YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES!  PROTEST!!!! 

The GOP and Our Grand Old Planet by Paul Krugman

Hard to believe in this day and age that Republican candidates are driven by fear to agree with the scientific ignorance of many of their voters!  It must feel strange to the most intelligent of their well educated candidates (as I am assuming Rubio is) to have to pretend to be doubtful about absolutely proven, factual scientific evidence, knowing this will make them look ignorant, too.  Pandering to the ultra right wing base is a good way to kill the Republican party. I have a hard time understanding why intelligent Republicans have tolerated the taking over of their party by the least informed.

Earlier this week, GQ magazine published an interview with Senator Marco Rubio, whom many consider a contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, in which Mr. Rubio was asked how old the earth is. After declaring “I’m not a scientist, man,” the senator went into desperate evasive action, ending with the declaration that “it’s one of the great mysteries.”

It’s funny stuff, and conservatives would like us to forget about it as soon as possible. Hey, they say, he was just pandering to likely voters in the 2016 Republican primaries — a claim that for some reason is supposed to comfort us.

But we shouldn’t let go that easily. Reading Mr. Rubio’s interview is like driving through a deeply eroded canyon; all at once, you can clearly see what lies below the superficial landscape. Like striated rock beds that speak of deep time, his inability to acknowledge scientific evidence speaks of the anti-rational mind-set that has taken over his political party.

By the way, that question didn’t come out of the blue. As speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, Mr. Rubio provided powerful aid to creationists trying to water down science education. In one interview, he compared the teaching of evolution to Communist indoctrination tactics — although he graciously added that “I’m not equating the evolution people with Fidel Castro.” Gee, thanks.

What was Mr. Rubio’s complaint about science teaching? That it might undermine children’s faith in what their parents told them to believe. And right there you have the modern G.O.P.’s attitude, not just toward biology, but toward everything: If evidence seems to contradict faith, suppress the evidence.

The most obvious example other than evolution is man-made climate change. As the evidence for a warming planet becomes ever stronger — and ever scarier — the G.O.P. has buried deeper into denial, into assertions that the whole thing is a hoax concocted by a vast conspiracy of scientists. And this denial has been accompanied by frantic efforts to silence and punish anyone reporting the inconvenient facts.

But the same phenomenon is visible in many other fields. The most recent demonstration came in the matter of election polls. Coming into the recent election, state-level polling clearly pointed to an Obama victory — yet more or less the whole Republican Party refused to acknowledge this reality. Instead, pundits and politicians alike fiercely denied the numbers and personally attacked anyone pointing out the obvious; the demonizing of The Times’s Nate Silver, in particular, was remarkable to behold.

What accounts for this pattern of denial? Earlier this year, the science writer Chris Mooney published “The Republican Brain,” which was not, as you might think, a partisan screed. It was, instead, a survey of the now-extensive research linking political views to personality types. As Mr. Mooney showed, modern American conservatism is highly correlated with authoritarian inclinations — and authoritarians are strongly inclined to reject any evidence contradicting their prior beliefs. Today’s Republicans cocoon themselves in an alternate reality defined by Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, and only on rare occasions — like on election night — encounter any hint that what they believe might not be true.

And, no, it’s not symmetric. Liberals, being human, often give in to wishful thinking — but not in the same systematic, all-encompassing way.

Coming back to the age of the earth: Does it matter? No, says Mr. Rubio, pronouncing it “a dispute amongst theologians” — what about the geologists? — that has “has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States.” But he couldn’t be more wrong.

We are, after all, living in an era when science plays a crucial economic role. How are we going to search effectively for natural resources if schools trying to teach modern geology must give equal time to claims that the world is only 6.000 years old? How are we going to stay competitive in biotechnology if biology classes avoid any material that might offend creationists?

And then there’s the matter of using evidence to shape economic policy. You may have read about the recent study from the Congressional Research Service finding no empirical support for the dogma that cutting taxes on the wealthy leads to higher economic growth. How did Republicans respond? By suppressing the report. On economics, as in hard science, modern conservatives don’t want to hear anything challenging their preconceptions — and they don’t want anyone else to hear about it, either.

So don’t shrug off Mr. Rubio’s awkward moment. His inability to deal with geological evidence was symptomatic of a much broader problem — one that may, in the end, set America on a path of inexorable decline.


Study: 1.3 million women over-diagnosed for breast cancer in U.S.

Not just guided by fear but based on all available information, women should use their best judgment in making decisions for themselves...

More than a million US women have received unnecessary and invasive cancer treatments over the last 30 years, thanks to routine mammograms that detected harmless tumors, scientists said Thursday.

The results throw new doubt over the effectiveness of an already controversial cancer screening tool that is aimed at detecting tumors before they spread and become more difficult to treat.

To reach the one million figure, researchers compared the number of breast cancer cases detected at early and late stages among women over 40 between 1976 and 2008.  Their analysis showed that, since mammograms became standard in the United States, the number of early-stage breast cancers detected has doubled — in recent years, doctors found tumors in 234 women out of 100,000.

But in that same period, the rate of women diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer has dropped just eight percent — from 102 to 94 cases out of 100,000.

“We estimated that breast cancer was overdiagnosed — i.e., tumors were detected on screening that would never have led to clinical symptoms — in 1.3 million US women in the past 30 years,” authors Gilbert Welch of Dartmouth Medical School and Archie Bleyer of the Oregon Health & Science University, wrote in a study published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“We estimated that in 2008, breast cancer was overdiagnosed in more than 70,000 women; this accounted for 31% of all breast cancers diagnosed,” they added.  These women likely received major medical interventions — including surgery, radiology, hormone therapy and chemotherapy — that ought only to be used when absolutely necessary, the authors stressed.

They also concluded the significant drop in breast cancer deaths can be best explained by the improvement in treatments, rather than the early detection through mammograms.

The research adds to other work published in recent years that throw into question whether mammograms ought to be performed regularly as a cancer prevention tool.  One often cited study, done in Norway, showed that regular mammograms reduce the risk of death from breast cancer by less than 10 percent.  Another study — which compared European countries where mammograms became routine in the 1990s with ones where they became common in the 2000s — concluded that the screening tool did not lessen the number of deaths at all.

Earlier, in 2009, a group of independent experts commissioned by the US government revised its recommendations for when and how often women should get mammograms.  The group said most women should wait until age 50, and go every other year for the screening, rather than every year starting at age 40.  A separate article, also published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, argued that, despite the risk of false positives and overdiagnosis, women should begin getting mammograms at age 40.

“Screening can be thought of as a kind of insurance. As with all insurance, there are costs for protection against adverse events that have a low probability of occurrence but could be catastrophic if they occurred without the insurance,” wrote Robert Smith.

“In that context, given the evidence, there are good reasons to begin screening at the age of 40,” he added.  Despite significant progress, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women and the one that kills the most women around the world.  Each year, another 1.4 million cases of the disease are diagnosed worldwide.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Let's Go for a Hike in Spain

INCREDIBLE!  Talk about a daring ADVENTURE!

Subject:  Let's Go for a Hike


 Mountain Trail in Spain 

The entrances for this trail are closed but not policed.  It was built in 
the 1920's for hydro workers.  There is no rail but there is a chain to hold 
onto but it doesn't hold much weight and several people have fallen to their 
deaths.  This is an amazing walk! This should have you on the edge of your 
seat possibly feeling slightly dizzy. It's 6 minutes long and should be 
watched till the very end. 

To intensify the experience, click on the full screen button (middle button 
that looks like four arrows on the lower right hand side of the screen when 
the player comes up). It's enough to make you nauseous especially when you 
consider that it was filmed by someone who made the hike carrying a video 
camera while he did it. To exit, click the full screen button again.



Climate reports predict dire future, even if action is taken

Earth residents are like the man in the tree, sawing off the branch he is sitting on. 
Held back by the Greedies of our world, we've waited too long to make the necessary changes, and we will all pay the price.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

God Bless Bernie Sanders!


WASHINGTON -- A group of progressive lawmakers led by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Thursday called for protecting Social Security and Medicare benefits in any deficit reduction deal.

"We're going to send a loud message to the leadership in the House, in the Senate and President Obama. Do not cut Social Security, do not cut Medicare, do not cut Medicaid," Sanders said. "Deficit reduction is a serious issue but it must be done in a way that is fair. We must not balance the budget on the backs of the elderly, the sick, the children or the poor."

Thursday's press conference was the latest in a series of high-profile events surrounding negotiations to avert the so-called "fiscal cliff," a set of tax increases and spending cuts set to go into effect on Jan. 1. Although no immediate economic damage will be inflicted if Congress and President Barack Obama fail to act by the new year, several months of higher tax rates on the middle class would likely throw the country into a recession.

Obama has said forcefully that he will allow the Bush-era tax cuts for those making more than $250,000 a year to expire at the end of the year, but he has been much less clear about the fate of Social Security and Medicare. On Wednesday, Obama told reporters he wants to cut "a big deal, a comprehensive deal" with Republicans to reduce the federal budget deficit that will tackle "entitlements."

"I do not often quote Ronald Reagan," Sanders said. "This is what Ronald Reagan said on October 7, 1984. 'Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit. Social Security is totally funded by the payroll tax ... if you reduce the outflow of Social Security, that money would not go into the general fund to reduce the deficit.' End of quote, Ronald Reagan -- which goes to show you, anybody can be right at least once."

But on Thursday, liberal lawmakers struck a supportive tone when invoking Obama.

"We will have your back, you will have ours, together we will give President Obama all the support he needs during these negotiations," said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)

Social Security does not contribute to the deficit. It is funded by payroll taxes, and currently enjoys a $2.7 trillion surplus, enough to fund the program without any changes until 2033. While lawmakers at Thursday's event universally rejected any cuts to Social Security benefits, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) told the crowd he would be happy to boost revenue for the program by allowing income for people who make more than $108,000 a year to be subject to the payroll tax. Doing so, he said, would allow beneficiaries to receive an additional $65 a month through 2050.

"If you wanna fix Social Security, there it is. Make those making millions of dollars a year pay the same thing and the same rate as those making 40 or 50 or 60 thousand dollars a year," Harkin said. "This is not magic. It can be done."

Medicare, by contrast, is a major driver of long-term deficits, driven by the abnormally high cost of health care in the United States. Whitehouse said that any changes to Medicare included in a debt-reduction package should focus on reducing health care costs, not on cutting benefits for seniors.

Whitehouse also said that the Defending Social Security Caucus, a 19-member group of senators founded by Sanders, would create a "firewall" in Congress to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid from cuts. Sanders highlighted Wednesday comments from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) who said he would oppose any deal to cut the deficit that would reduce Social Security benefits. The notion that Social Security is in dire financial straits, Reid says, is a "myth" created by Republicans.

While most members of Congress at the event struck a positive tone, Rep. Keith Ellison's (D-Minn.) comments indicated a belief that Social Security is indeed in the crosshairs for a debt-reduction package, with strong political forces allied to cut benefits.

Averting cuts to benefits will "take a big lift from all of us," Ellison said.

Sanders' press conference, which comes ahead of an Obama meeting with lawmakers on Friday, showed some Democrats are already digging in their heels as negotiations begin.

"Over my dead body will we cut benefits to Social Security and Medicare," said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.).


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wow -- man in supposed "vegetative" state communicates

You have to wonder -- how many others who are in a diagnosed "vegetative" state can respond like this?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Great short video: Is There Life After Death?

I believe an upliftment of human consciousness is taking place in a gradual way on our planet through stories like the one told on this short video.  It is very well worth your time to view -- Morgan Freeman narrates the story of a neuroscientist, a non-believer in life after death, whose own experience changed his belief in a very dramatic way. 

Dr. Evan Alexander tells us about his experience in the afterlife and concludes that consciousness survives physical death. The expansion in his understanding affects us all as we also learn from his experience.

Video (about 9 mins):


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Oops! Fordham U. Republicans cancel Ann Coulter's speech -- they "didn't research her"

I guess they just didn't realize she was that Ann Coulter.  (~.~)

After a harsh admonishment from the college President, and a loud outcry from the student body, college Republicans at Fordham University decided it would be a good idea to cancel a scheduled appearance by Ann Coulter on December 6. In explaining this change of heart just 24 hours after announcing the speaking engagement, they stated that they failed to do their research.

"Looking at the concerns raised about Ms. Coulter, many of them reasonable, we have determined that some of her comments do not represent the ideals of the College Republicans and are inconsistent with both our organization's mission and the University's. We regret that we failed to thoroughly research her before announcing; that is our error and we do not excuse ourselves for it."


Romney Staffers Stranded When Credit Cards Were Cut Off

Also, at the big Romney Campaign gathering for staff and workers on election day and night, all drinks were CASH BAR.   Along with all his offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes to our country and his refusal to show his tax returns (deductions), this tells you a lot about Romney's billionaire generosity and donation philosophy, doesn't it?  This is a very small man, in every way that matters.

Staffers working for the Romney 2012 campaign got a sudden and unwelcome lesson in fiscal conservatism Tuesday night and Wednesday morning when they tried to check out of hotel rooms or travel home. According to NBC’s “First Read” blog, campaign workers were left to pull themselves up by their bootstraps when they found that all the credit cards issued by Romney/Ryan 2012 were canceled as soon as the nominee finished his concession speech.

“From the moment Mitt Romney stepped off stage Tuesday night, having just delivered a brief concession speech he wrote only that evening, the massive infrastructure surrounding his campaign quickly began to disassemble itself,” wrote NBC’s Garrett Haake. “Aides taking cabs home late that night got rude awakenings when they found the credit cards linked to the campaign no longer worked.”

Forbes magazine explained that this is not normal protocol for political campaigns.“In case you are wondering, this did not have to happen,” wrote columnist Helaine Olen. “The Mitt Romney for President entity does not end with Romney’s Tuesday night loss. There are papers to be filed with various federal commissions and bills to be paid.”

Romney/Ryan 2012 is expected to be an extant business entity for years to come. In 2010, Hillary Clinton’s campaign was still soliciting donations to retire the last $771,000 of the $5.9 million debt it accrued in the bruising 2008 Democratic primary fight.

Raw Story (


Most Americans See Climate Change as a Serious Problem

Some of us believed our scientists when they noted warming temperatures and pleadingly warned us, "This is a Problem!"  Some of us believed when we saw photos and videos of vanishing glaciers and fast-changing terrain.  And for some it took a Hurricane Sandy to make it all seem credible.  There are still some, however, who either do not believe in climate change or, if they do, that it is caused by human activity, and they will not be budged from their position, I expect, even if their entire state should be flooded, torn apart, or blown away. The non-believers in change of any kind will always be with us, fueled in their false beliefs by Fox "news" and Rush Limbaugh.  They vote and they support Big Oil lobbyists. We will just have to find a way to work around these stubborn, unyielding holdouts until they die out (or we all go together).


By Alana Horwitz, Huffington Post

68% of Americans see climate change as a "serious problem," according to a poll released on Friday.

The poll was conducted by Rasmussen on Monday, the day before the U.S. presidential election.

Of the 1,000 likely voters surveyed, 68% said they thought climate change is a somewhat serious or very serious problem. 30% of respondents said it was not a serious problem.

The poll marks a huge shift for Americans. In 2009, a Rasmussen poll showed that only 46% of Americans thought climate change was a serious issue. In 2010, Gallup reported that 48% of Americans thought that the seriousness of global warming was exaggerated.

Friday's poll reflects one released in July by the Washington Post in which 60% of Americans surveyed said they believed climate change was real.

According to Rasmussen, 41% of those who believe in climate change think it's because of human activity. 38% believe global warming is caused by planetary trends.

It's not just American voters that are becoming more convinced that climate change is a real problem. Some Republican politicians are also growing concerned. Earlier this year, New Jersey Governor and once-rumored VP candidate Chris Christie admitted that "climate change is real" and "impacting our state."

One possible factor as to why people's beliefs are changing? The recent extreme weather in the United States. Between Hurricane Sandy, record high temperatures and wildfires across the nation, many people are seeing a connection between the changing weather and the climate.

As New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg put it, "Hurricane Sandy provided a wake-up call about the impacts of climate change. Recent extreme weather and climate events make clear that ignoring climate change will be costly in human, environmental, and economic terms for the United States and the world."


Veterans Day 2012 - Patriot Guard Organization

One of the readers of this blog has sent me information (see below) about an organization whose mission I totally respect and support.  You might be interested in learning about it, too. It doesn't matter if you are Republican or Democrat, a hawk or a dove, this is an honorable organization everyone would be interested in supporting (except for the military-hating Kansas church led by Fred Phelps). There are branches of Patriot Guard in many states--you can look it up online at their national site:

Thanks to Bob, who alerted me to this organization and its good work in honoring our veterans!

From: StateCaptain
Sent: Saturday, November 10, 2012 8:47 AM
Subject: Veterans Day 2012

Patriot Guard and Associates:
I hope this note finds you all doing well, with power and staying dry and warm!
On the eve of Veterans Day 2012, I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for the work you do for our Veterans and 1st Responders.
For many of us, Veterans Day is a year-long endeavor to honor those who have served and not a single day observed on calendar. We Stand for Those Who Stood for us, anytime, anywhere, in any weather and we do it as it is our honor to do so. Whether you are able to make missions, stand a Flag Line, help out behind the scenes, or just keep our Veterans in your thoughts and prayers, you serve with professionalism and integrity as a proud member of PGR! What you do makes a difference in the lives of others and for that, I am very appreciative to be part of such an honorable organization.

We will all observe Veterans Day in our own way…some of us will attend events, stand a Flag Line at a special mission, take a moment to reflect on what this day means to you or perhaps, shake a hand or two for those who currently serve and who have served.

From Harry S Truman:
"Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service to our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices"

Once again, thank you for what you do for others!

Gregg "Flag 7" Barratt
Patriot Guard Riders
Connecticut State Captain


INSPIRING Video! `102 year old woman drives her 82-year-old car

WOW!  This FANTASTIC woman is making me feel good about my young age of 76! (~.~)  I'm just a teenager compared to her -- and look at her go!  I guarantee you're gonna' love this video and it will bring a smile to your face.  This gal doesn't look a day over 80!  Car enthusiasts are going to LOVE her car (and she has several more of its generation)!  I feel a new spring in my step today!  (~.~)


GOP Finger Pointers' Excuses for Romney's Loss

There are many excuses floating around the shell-shocked right wing for the big thumping Republicans were given on election day, but a few of the excuses are listed in this article. I'm sure the Tea Party folks have a much longer list and will be adding more self-justifying reasons to it as time goes onSo steeped in the lies they are fed by Fox and Rush Limbaugh, many in the far right wing are unwilling/unable to accept defeat, and their hatred of Obama will continue.  Fox News will keep feeding faux "news" to them and they will continue to live in their fictional Bubble world, doing everything they can to obstruct change taking place in our nation. They would rather see the nation suffer than to make the changes that will help our country get back on its feet and pay down its debt (such as having the rich pay their fair share of taxes at the same rate they paid in the Clinton years--a no-brainer for most of us.)

I found a quote online that gives good advice regarding change:
We are not separate from Life. Life is change. Since we are Life, we are continually changing. Trying to stop or control change, we end up creating more pain and suffering in our lives and in the lives of all beings...Change is not the enemy. We do not need to fight against ourselves, divide ourselves into only this or only that, creating islands to ward against the flow of life. Seeking to be only this or that, we become less than who we are....Trying to save ourselves from change, we cut ourselves off from the beauty of all that life is. --Brenda Carter Blessings

By Sabrina Siddiqui

WASHINGTON -- Republicans across the country were shellshocked as President Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney in Tuesday’s presidential election, finishing the race with 332 electoral votes and winning every battleground state except for North Carolina. The blame game began almost immediately, as Republicans looked to determine how a vulnerable incumbent like Obama had found a pathway to reelection.

The evidence behind the president’s victory points toward a stronger appeal to middle-class Americans, one of the most formidable ground games in the history of politics, and serious failures within the GOP to attract Latino and women voters. But a faction of conservatives were having none of it -- offering up instead a series of explanations for their nominee’s loss, rounded up below:

The media selectively reported Romney's gaffes.
In an op-ed posted to Fox News, Rich Noyes of the conservative Media Research Center slammed the “media’s biased gaffe patrol” for only magnifying every alleged Romney gaffe while failing to treat the president’s missteps equally. “When Obama infamously declared, 'You didn’t build that,' ABC, CBS, NBC didn’t report the politically damaging remark for four days,” Noyes wrote. In contrast, the Republican National Committee pounced on the remarks, selectively editing them for use in advertising, and even building an entire convention theme around the out of context quote. In the end, instead of turning on Obama, some voters reacted to the remarks by saying the words in context made them feel more positive about the president.

Fact-checkers were biased.
Noyes, in his mostly bizarre reading of the GOP ticket’s loss, also took aim at bias among the fact-checkers who essentially did their jobs and truth-teamed the Romney campaign's factual misstatements. Noyes homed in on Paul Ryan’s tale about the closure of a General Motors plant at the GOP Convention -- widely criticized as misleading -- arguing the vice-presidential nominee was “correct in all the details.” Noyes curiously left out that Ryan later backpedaled on his own claim, or that on more than one occasion, the Romney campaign was at times called out by its own surrogates for engaging in dishonest attacks.

Hurricane Isaac hit the Tampa convention.
Christopher Ruddy at Newsmax bemoaned that Hurricane Isaac washed away the first day of the GOP convention, and subsequently all of Romney’s presidential aspirations. The storm “seriously disrupted the official schedule,” he wrote, prompting Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Romney’s heartfelt biographical video to be bumped from prime-time TV coverage. It was up to the Romney campaign and the RNC to make the best use of their condensed convention -- which, shortened to three days, was still the same length as the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. Instead of keeping Rubio in a prime-time spot, they chose instead to allow Clint Eastwood to walk onstage before a national TV audience and shout at an empty chair.

Romney was too nice.
Ruddy offered another explanation as part of his reflection on what went wrong: “Obama's ads were nasty, negative ones, while Romney's were of the kinder, gentler, country-club Republican variety.” It’s true that the Obama campaign hammered away at Romney’s business record, but it’s also true that it was Romney who used his career in private enterprise as the centerpiece of his candidacy. And based on data collected by, conservative outside groups spent over $74 million attacking the president, as opposed to the $5.1 million liberals spent in attack ads targeting Romney. The Romney campaign also falsely accused the president of ending the work requirement in welfare and, in the final days leading up to the election, implied in an ad that Chrysler was moving its Jeep production to China under Obama’s watch. Amid the barrage of advertising that dominated swing-state airwaves throughout the cycle, it’s safe to say that both sides churned out plenty of negative attacks.

Hurricane Sandy and Chris Christie get the blame.
Even before Romney lost the election, his aides preemptively blamed a potential loss on the storm that devastated parts of the East Coast. They even quietly decried top Romney surrogate New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for lavishing the president with praise over his response efforts. In the aftermath of the election, conservatives appear to have gone from disappointed in Christie to flat-out exiling him from the GOP establishment.

Robert Stacy McCain wrote in the American Spectator:

The list of fools who have brought this disaster upon us certainly also will include New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the gelatinous clown who (a) hogged up a prime time spot at the Republican convention to sing his own praises; (b) embraced Obama as the hero of Hurricane Sandy; and (c) then refused to appear at campaign events in support of Romney's presidential campaign. Good luck with the remainder of your political future, governor. It is unlikely Republicans shall soon forget your perfidious betrayal.

But as Ezra Klein points out, the “Hurricane Sandy and Chris Christie won Obama the election” theory is inherently flawed. Moreover, there is little evidence to support the notion that Romney’s momentum was lost in the wake of the hurricane. Most polling indicated he had lost it by the second presidential debate.

Obama won by “suppressing the vote.”
GOP strategist Karl Rove, who was one of the first to pin Romney’s loss on Hurricane Sandy, concluded that Obama actually “succeeded by suppressing the vote” -- in other words, the president somehow prevented voters from casting their ballots. Rove did not fully explain his claim, perhaps because there is literally no evidence to support it, but instead insisted that the Obama campaign engaged in the sort of character assassination from which Romney never fully recovered. But the best was yet to come: Rove said the Romney campaign did not adequately defend itself against the attacks on the GOP nominee’s business record, prompting Rove’s super PAC to give it a shot. “We don't do defense all that well,” Rove concluded, somehow failing to mention that his two groups, American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, spent a combined $300 million on the 2012 race.

Romney wasn’t conservative enough.
This one was bound to happen. Romney, the once moderate Republican who served as governor of Massachusetts, lost because he tried too hard to be a centrist, some said. The effort by Romney to appeal to moderate-minded Americans in an increasingly progressive society left some conservative leaders so furious that they “vowed to wage a war to put the Tea Party in charge of the Republican Party by the time it nominates its next presidential candidate,” according to The Hill.

But the trajectory of Romney’s campaign tells an entirely different story: The GOP nominee spent nearly 17 months walking away from the positions he once held while presiding over blue state Massachusetts in a tireless bid to win over the conservative base. It wasn’t until the final month of the race, namely the first presidential debate, that Romney pivoted to the center in a last-stage effort to court independent and undecided voters. If anything, Romney’s attempt to appear centrist was too little too late for a populace that smacked down Tea Party candidates on Election Day.

Americans are basically ignorant.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) said on Thursday that the president’s win was decided by an uninformed electorate -- even though voters had more access to information in 2012 than in any past election cycle. Johnson also neglected to mention the record spending on the part of Republicans to disseminate their message -- a message that ultimately lost out to that of Obama and his Democratic allies.

Liberals bought the election.
The Free Beacon has a primer on super PAC spending from liberal-leaning groups that helped propel the president to reelection. There’s even a handy breakdown of individual donors, such as “misogynistic comedian” Bill Maher and George Soros, founder of the “shadowy network of wealthy leftwing donors” Democracy Alliance, who both donated over $1 million to pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action. The total amount of liberal super PAC spending during the 2012 cycle, the Beacon concludes, is a staggering $200 million. But they left out one minor detail: that number was exceeded by Karl Rove alone, whose groups American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS spent $300 million on this election. The combined total for conservative outside group spending? An estimated $715.9 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Obama was backed by the 47 percent.
Following Tuesday’s result, retiring Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) channeled Romney’s infamous comments that almost half the nation are government-dependent “victims” who support Obama because they feel entitled to food, health care and housing. “The majority dictates against the minority. So, right now the majority are receiving a check,” Paul said. “That is why people were sort of surprised with these conditions that this president can get reelected.” Of course, exit polls show the president collected his votes from a populace that found his policies more favorable toward the middle class, and his election was boosted by turnout among Latinos, women and youth. And Paul recently admitted to HuffPost’s Sam Stein that he himself receives social security checks in the mail.

America’s white establishment is now a minority.
Bill O'Reilly took to Fox News to discuss the changing face of “traditional America,” which was, according to O'Reilly, once home to a majority white population. Obama’s reelection, he said, was a result of the Hispanic and black vote comprised of individuals who “want stuff.” While it’s true that Romney led the president among white voters by 20 points, the majority of Obama’s total nationwide vote still came from white voters.

The Washington Post reports:

Obama’s 39 percent showing among white voters matched the percentage that Bill Clinton received in 1992 — albeit it in a competitive three-way race — and exceeded the percentage of the white vote earned by Walter Mondale in 1984, Jimmy Carter in 1980 and George McGovern in 1972.