Blog Archives

Attend a National Demonstration Against Fracking in Washington, D.C. — Saturday, July 28

 

I am passing this on to all my readers in the Washington DC area and around here in Shepherdstown and Harper’s Ferry who don’t mind a 90 minute drive. This is very important for West Virginia, already subject to the disaster that is Mountain Top Removal in the coal industry, which is about to be subject to widespread fracking.

This is from the Center for Biological Diversity:

A fossil fuel rush is sweeping the United States — with terrible consequences.  The oil and gas industry is surging into new areas all over the country as quickly and cheaply as possible, largely as a result of advances in fracking technology.
Fracking is a dangerous oil and gas drilling technique that threatens waterfowl, fish and endangered species like the California condor, not to mention human health. In addition to intense local pollution, fracking also emits methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas, and represents an increased dependency on fossil fuels when a rapid transition to clean, renewable energy should be our first priority.

“Natural gas” has been marketed as the clean alternative to traditional sources of oil, even though fracking routinely employs toxic chemicals like lead, arsenic, chromium 6 and benzene. This extreme drilling technique is set to explode across the United States, run by a largely unregulated industry.

We must demand that decision makers inside the Beltway take action to stop dangerous oil and gas industry practices before the damage is done. Join us on Saturday, July 28, in Washington, D.C., for a rally at the Capitol to demand a stop to dangerous drilling that hurts public health, water and air.

RSVP here.

What: Stop the Frack Attack: A National Call to Action

When: Saturday, July 28; rally starts at 2 p.m.

Where: The West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol

We’re joining with groups all over the nation for this day of action. Check out this video invite from Josh Fox, producer of the documentary Gasland, and Mark Ruffalo, star of this summer’s action hit The Avengers.

For more information on this and other Center for Biological Diversity activities, visit our events page.

Rose Braz, Climate Campaign Director
rbraz@biologicaldiversity.org
(415) 436-9682, Ext. 319

 

Quote of the Day – Romney had better wise up.

This from The Fix in the Washington Post:

“The truth — in politics and in life — is almost always less damaging than what the imagination can conjure. While the tax return debate is a no-win for Romney, he’d be better to lance this political boil once and for all. It’s not going away and if he doesn’t it’s only likely to grow.”

And grow is what Romney’s situation is doing. He has to be hiding something, and the longer he represses the truth the more obvious it becomes.

Romney’s Lies of the Week are back again…

Steve Benen has 16 of them this week… here are three of them:

 

 

  • On taxes, Romney argued, “I’m not looking to lower the tax burden paid by the highest-income Americans. That’s a fundamental principle.”

That’s a fundamental falsehood. Romney’s plan slashes taxes on the wealthy.

  • On a related note, he added, “I’m looking, if there’s any break at all, the break will go to middle-income Americans that have been most hurt by the Obama economy.”

In reality, it’s the rich, not the middle class, that primarily benefits from Romney’s tax plan.

The Romney campaign has never been able to point to a single credible example of Obama attacking success.

Read the rest of them HERE (this is Steve’s 19th week of documentation…you’d think Mitt would realize he’s being covered and just stop it.)

Robin Gibb dies at age 62…

Robin Gibb, Bee Gees singer has died.

Following the recent death of  Donna Summer,  another defining voice of the disco era, Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees,  has passed on after a long battle with cancer. He was 62.

Robin Gibb helped define the disco subculture of the 1970s. His signature song was “I Started a Joke.” The Bee Gees first emerged as a pop-rock act in the late ’60s, but reinvented themselves in the mid-’70s when Robin, Maurice and Barry Gibb came to public attention with the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack.

 

Quote of the Day – What Congress Does

Congress creates a new achievenment record…achieving nothing.

“If you were to stroll by the House chamber today — or tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after that — you would arrive at the ideal time to see what the lawmakers do best: absolutely nothing.”

“It’s another recess week for our lazy leaders… By the time the Republican-led House returns next week, members will have been working in Washington on just 41 of the first 127 days of 2012 — and that was the busy part of the year. They are planning to be on vacation — er, doing ‘constituent work’ — 17 of the year’s remaining 34 weeks, and even when they are in town the typical workweek is three days.”

- Dana Millbank

And we pay these people?

Did you hear Charles Krauthammer on Inside Washington?

Taegan Goddard made this his quote of the day, referring to pundito-nastioso Charles Krauthammer‘s view on Rubio being selected VP:

“If Rubio passes the vetting process, assuming he does, I think he’s the obvious choice. And if he says he doesn’t want the office, he’ll find a horse’s head in his bed. The next day he will accept. Romney’s not going to take no for an answer.

We have ways, we Republicans.”

– Charles Krauthammer, on Inside Washington.

Frankly, I don’t think Mitty is that powerful. Do you? Or was this Krauthammer’s attempt at the thing that usually escapes him…humor?

So, what is Romney planning to do if he gets elected?

Mitt Romney wants to shut down or amalgamate several US government departments if elected president, but has no plans to tell voters which ones in advance of November’s general election. However, he told some wealthy campaign donors yesterday  at a Florida fundraiser when an NBC reporter caught some live comments on tape:

“I’m going to take a lot of departments in Washington, and agencies, and combine them. Some eliminate, but I’m probably not going to lay out just exactly which ones are going to go.

“Things like Housing and Urban Development, which my dad was head of, that might not be around later. But I’m not going to actually go through these one by one. What I can tell you is, we’ve got far too many bureaucrats. I will send a lot of what happens in Washington back to the states.”

When he says “far too many bureaucrats” that he wants to get rid of, remember Harry Truman‘s very old comment:

“A bureaucrat is a Democrat who holds some office that a Republican wants.”

He does seem to be planning to destroy the Education Department and many of the offices that support all those things we of the middle class depend on. If this is what you are looking for in a President from the 1%, then he pretty much admits that’s what he will be.

Cartoon(s) of the Week – The Court Protects Us All

Tom Toles in the Washington Post:

Government of the people, by the people and for the people…

- and -

Pat Bagley in the Salt Lake Tribune:

Government by the majority…

- and -

Stuart Carlson in GoComics:

Government serves and protects…

- and -

Ben Sargent in the Austin American Statesman:

Government responds to the needs of the people…

Quote of the Day – Obama at the Center… Where did the Republicans go?

“I think it’s important to remember that the positions I’m taking now on the budget and a host of other issues, if we had been having this discussion 20 years ago, or even 15 years ago, would have been considered squarely centrist positions. What’s changed is the center of the Republican Party.”

- President Obama

Official photographic portrait of US President...

The President spoke at an Associated Press luncheon yesterday and reminded campaign journalists about the false-equivalence fallacy:

“I think that there is often times the impulse to suggest that if the two parties are disagreeing, then they’re equally at fault and the truth lies somewhere in the middle, and an equivalence is presented — which reinforces I think people’s cynicism about Washington generally.”

Note that Obama changed his position on the mandate policy, but remember that the mandate was a conservative idea, embraced by Republican policymakers for years.

Obama went from supporting a single-payer plan during the 2008 campaign to supporting a plan designed by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts and backed by moderate Republicans throughout the ’90s.

Does this strike you as Obama moving to the left? As the Republicans look to tear down the plan they had previously recommended, who is really moving away from the center?

Will Dennis Kucinich find his way back into Political Office? – Quotes for the afternoon:

“I’ll find a way back in to public service, there’s no doubt about that. The only question is where and when.”

—–

“Tomorrow’s victories will be built from the embers of defeat. Of this I have no doubt. How do I know this? I started my career in 1967 and since then, I have lost a total of eight times. Indeed, when I was elected to Congress in 1996, it was on my FIFTH try.”

- Dennis Kucinich

There has been speculation that Kucinich may try to gain a seat from Washington state after losing in a redistricted election in Ohio. To that end, he has taken up speaking in the west coast state where the filing deadline for candidacy is May 18th.It is also easier to get on the ballot in Washington, without petitions or other expenses and complications getting in the way.

A Congressional candidate in Washington state must only pay 1 percent of the annual salary of a House Member as his filing fee and declare his party affiliation. A group called Washington Citizens for Kucinich knows how simple the requirements are and feel it is best if Kucinich makes a decision to run by the end of April.

The new 10th district, which he would run in, is a safe Democratic seat.

Cartoon(s) of the Week – Eve of Destruction

Jim Morin in the Miami Herald:

Education destroys Santorum’s world…

-and -

 

Tom Toles in the Washington Post:

…and unchangeable opposition is destroying the Congress

-and -

 

Ted Rall from UClick:

…and the Right wants to destroy social benefits

-and -

 

Mike Luckovich in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

… and, while we’re at it, let’s destroy America’s sex life…

-and -

 

Lee Judge in the Kansas City Star:

 

Of course, we’ve already destroyed the influence of average citizens on our government.

 

Happy Presidents Day… go out and buy a car.

Here’s an essay I did a while ago… it still applies. Sorry I’m being lazy on this holiday…

Presidents Day

This is the Holiday which, as far as I can tell, is designed for Car Dealers more than it is to revere the men who made our country great.

When I was growing up we had separate holidays for Washington’s Birthday and Lincoln’s Birthday. They first honored the man who was our first President and who led us through the military activities of the Revolution. We also remember every year that he voluntarily stepped down after two terms when he could easily have become a lifetime American King. The second holiday honored the man who kept our nation together, freed the slaves and suffered assassination.

These holidays were originally held on actual birthdates, no matter where in the week they fell (Washington on the 22nd, Lincoln on the 12th). Then, as holidays and long weekends became inextricably connected in order to satisfy labor demands, they were moved to nearest Mondays on a regular basis. When it became clear from our corporate citizens (as defined by the Supreme Court last month) that we had too many holidays throwing business off… and wanting to make room for a holiday for Martin Luther King (highly deserved, btw), the birthdays of the two Presidents were combined into President’s Day.

Without a particular focus on a particular President, the holiday was easily co-opted by automobile dealers as the big sale holiday designed to get folks to part with money in the bleak month of February, thus cleaning out inventories before the Spring announcement of new models for the coming year. And that seems to be where we have stayed.

So happy President’s Day. Take the kids who are out of school with you to run around the showrooms (that will act as necessary protective measure… salesmen will get to their price more quickly just to get the little devils out of their sales area) as you shop for new wheels.

Have a good time.

I’m getting ready for a solar energy presentation at Town Hall this evening. Actually, that’s a good way to celebrate Presidents Day… energy awareness makes the country better.

Cartoon(s) of the Week – Merrily We Run Along…

Tom Toles in The Washington Post:

Mitt keeps up with the news…

- and -

Tony Auth in the Philadelphia Inquirer:


Newt shows his well earned knowledge of marriage…

- and -

Mike Luckovich in the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

The Super PACS keep us all up to date on where Democracy stands…

- and -

Signe Wilkinson in the Philadelphia Daily News:

…and the Republican World is changing its point of view…

- and -

Matt Davies of Tribune Media Services:

… except on Citizens United and Gay folks.

Cartoon(s) of the Week – A Day Late (sorry)

 

Drew Sheneman of Tribune media Services:

Jobs, jobs, jobs…

- and -

Tom Toles in the Washington Post:

Republican Christmas

- and -

Steve Sack in the Star Tribune:

House sitting…

- and -

Steve Breen in the San Diego Union Tribune

Dark today because they are all on vacation…

Hope you’re all having a great Holiday. – Bill

Some distressing facts we should review from the US Census Bureau:

WASHINGTON — Continued high unemployment drove the number of Americans living in poverty to a record high in 2010 and dragged down median household income for the third straight year since the Great Recession first darkened the nation’s economy in 2007.

More than a year after the economic recovery officially began in June 2009, 46.2 million people had annual earnings below the poverty line last year, up from 43.6 million the previous year, according to new U.S. Census Bureau figures released Tuesday. That’s the largest number in the 52 years for which poverty estimates have been published.

Thanks to Mock, Paper, Scissors for passing this along...

So the question is, how do we get back on track and IMPROVE the well-being of the 99%. If you don’t think it’s by increasing revenues as well as cutting some unnecessary expenses ( and healthcare, education and unemployment relief are NOT unnecessary) then you are living with a blindfold on.

And if you are a White non-Hispanic like me, resting on your current advantages will also not improve the lot of all of us. Remember, we are soon to be a minority group compared to the rest.

Cartoon(s) of the Week – Primary Colors

Sorry to have missed doing last week’s cartoons… but here are this week’s:

Mike Luckovich  in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

The primary has replaced our favorite situation comedies

- and -

Tom Toles in the Washington Post:

… and given us great reality shows

- and -

Clay Bennett in the Chattanooga Times Free Press:

…plus a lot of ads…

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Jeff Danziger in the L.A. Times:

… things we’ll all forget.

- and -

Ben Sargent in the Austin American Statesman:

Now we’ll wait for the reviews.

Economic Quote for the Day

Why do we need banks at all? If it sounds crazy – a world without banks – it is not.

We have become so used to storing money in banks and talking to our banks that we have forgotten what they do. Simply put, banks borrow money from you, and lend it out to borrowers at a higher rate than they pay you in interest. That is it: Banks are lenders. They provide credit. Everything else is window dressing.

***

You think banks provide safety? Wrong. That is the government and FDIC…. So why do you go to a bank? Because your brain has been trained to believe that you can trust them.  Their brand means safety to you. You assume that their risk management is better than yours, and therefore will protect your money and enhance its value.

What if that assumption is wrong?

- Economist Michael Eisenberg quoted in Washington’s Blog

There are so many potential enemies destroying our free society through economic and political means that it it hard to see where to grab on that would be effective. I watch the spread of Occupy Wall Street and I am impressed with the energy, but I don’t see where it will end… positively or negatively.

Meanwhile, we are slowly moving into Depression-level Unemployment and politicians are very busy clawing at each other as a means to attract corporations.

It’s hard to see a way to win given the present Congress and Administration. If we could only Raise FDR from the grave (Yeah, I’m influenced by Greek Tragedy.)

Prediction: Obama will retake Presidency

Cover of

Lichtman's Book

From Washington Whispers in USNews.com:

Allan Lichtman, the American University professor whose election formula has correctly called every president since Ronald Reagan’s 1984 re-election, has a belated birthday present for Barack Obama: Rest easy, your re-election is in the bag.

“Even if I am being conservative, I don’t see how Obama can lose,” says Lichtman, the brains behind The Keys to the White House. [...]

Lichtman developed his 13 Keys in 1981. They test the performance of the party that holds the presidency. If six or more of the 13 keys go against the party in power, then the opposing party wins.“The keys have figured into popular politics a bit,” Lichtman says. “They’ve never missed. They’ve been right seven elections in a row. A number that goes way beyond statistical significance in a record no other system even comes close to.”

A quote for the Day re: the Downgrade to AA+

This morning we heard the debunking of the  GOP talking point that the S&P downgrade was due to debt:

“We know the hole we have been digging out of is deeper than we thought. The question is whether or not the stock market dropping 500 points in a day and as much as it did in two weeks, the downgrade is going to be a wake-up call. What is feasible in Washington? The downgrade message, whatever you think of S&P, they mentioned the need for increased revenues and revenues being on the table three separate times. They indicted the Republican Party right now in Washington. It’s a question about whether or not there will be a change in fashion and whether or not it will be a wake-up call that the parties need to work together rather than the Republicans fashion right now, which is any deal is a bad deal.”

- Rachel Maddow on Meet The Press this morning.

Why I love (and support) Bernie Sanders…

As the debate over deficits ramped up in Washington today, Sen. Bernie Sanders laid out the compelling case not to slash programs for working families. Any deficit reduction package must rely on new revenue for at least half the reduction in red ink, he added in a major address in the Senate. Sanders spoke at length about what caused deficits (wars, Wall Street bailouts, tax breaks for the rich) and how to shrink them (more revenue from the wealthiest Americans to match spending cuts). He urged fellow senators not to yield to Republican congressional leaders who “acted like schoolyard bullies” when they walked out of budget negotiations. And he urged President Obama not to accommodate them again on the backs of working Americans, the poor and the Elderly. He summed up the situation in a letter to the president that had been signed by more than 18,700 people by the time he completed his speech.

Sign the letter »

Quote of the Day – Are we trading women’s rights for budget agreement?

The Teabaggers are trying to defund Planned Parenthood, eliminating pap smears and breast exams (and, yes, abortions) for poor women. Patty Murray looked at it as blackmail:

Senator Patty Murray added the GTX into a bill...
Patty Murray

“I am really stunned, and I am angry as a woman that we have come to this after weeks of negotiating on numbers, where we have in principle an agreement on numbers, that there are those in the Republican Party in the House who are willing to shut down the government, take people’s paychecks away from them, because they want to deny women access to health care in this country.”

- Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington

Go Patty! Don’t let Obama concede this one.

 

How Gov. Haley Barbour Cuts Costs…

"At his press conference today, Governor ...

Haley Barbour, Air Traveler

It’s hypocrisy time again among the Republicans. Taegan Goddard put up this piece which he took from Time Magazine this morning. 

And this guy may run for President (that will take care of his flying costs for at least four years if he wins.)

clipped from politicalwire.com

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, his wife and three aides flew in a luxury jet to Washington in February “for a weekend of politicking, including an appearance on Fox News Sunday and a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference,” Time reports.

 

He told the gathering: “Our problem is not that we tax too little. It’s that we spend too much.”

However, it appears Mississippi taxpayers “paid the tab for Barbour’s first-class travel. State documents obtained by Time show that Mississippi shelled out $7,020 to shuttle Barbour and his entourage to and from D.C. on its Cessna Citation, a cost that Barbour says is justified by state work he did in D.C. over the same weekend.”

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Quote of the Day – As House Republicans Reject E.P.A. Ruling on Climate Control

Jay Inslee

“If Copernicus, Galileo, Newton and Einstein were testifying today, the Republicans would not accept their views until all the Arctic ice has melted and hell has frozen over, whichever comes first.”

- Rep. Jay Inslee, Washington (D)

The House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing yesterday, requested by Democrats, on a bill to strip the E.P.A.’s power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. The measure would overturn the E.P.A.’s finding that carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases pose a threat to public health and the environment and would bar the agency from writing any regulations to control them.

Needless to say, in a Republican-controlled House, despite the overwhelming scientific opinion, this bill will pass.

Don’t you get tired of hypocrisy among Republicans???

clipped from politicalwire.com

Reform Opponent Gets Free Public Health Care

Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ), who opted out of the health care plan available to members of Congress and opposes the new health care reform law over cost concerns — gets free, taxpayer-funded health care at the state level, the Courier-Post reports.

“Lance receives family health coverage that is free except for co-pays… The former state senator, assemblyman and Kean administration official qualified for retirement in 2006, his 25th year of service. He retired in January 2009, when he moved on to Washington, and enrolled in the state’s free health plan for retirees.”

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Of course, this way Lance can say he doesn’t support public-funded health care while collecting it himself and making sure his family gets it, too.

A “free state health plan for retirees”… well, not quite free. Some poor taxpayers are covering it as he tries to remove theirs!

How the majority of Americans would like to balance the budget (says a CBS Poll)

The next time you hear Republicans say that most Americans want to get rid of the Health Care plan or some other nonsense to balance the budget, show them the results of this study:
clipped from www.cbsnews.com

Poll: To Reduce Deficit, Most Americans say Tax the Rich More

As Washington gears up for a fight over federal spending and the national debt, lawmakers may want to consider some new polling figures.

A survey from CBS News‘ “60 Minutes” and Vanity Fair magazine shows that most Americans, given a set limited choices for balancing the national budget, would prefer to see taxes increased for the wealthy.
As many as 61 percent said they would prefer increasing taxes on the rich over three other options: cutting defense spending, cutting Medicare or cutting Social Security. Another 20 percent chose cutting defense spending as the best option. Just 4 percent said they would cut Medicare, and just 3 percent said they would cut Social Security.
Perhaps not surprisingly, those with higher incomes were less inclined to say increasing taxes on the wealthy would be the best option. Nevertheless, as many as 46 percent of Americans making more than $100,000 said it was the best option — 26 points higher than the next-preferred option, cutting defense spending.
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