Monthly Archives: June 2011
In a five-to-one decision, the Federal Election Commission granted comedian Stephen Colbert the right to create a “SuperPAC” to raise money for the 2012 election campaign. This would make him an equivalent to people like Karl Rove who are attempting to influence the elections.
But the FEC also concluded that the television host’s employer, Viacom Corp., would have to report any help it gives to Colbert for political activities outside the “Colbert Report” show. The panel gave the newly registered “Colbert Super PAC” a relatively narrow media exemption applicable only to the humorist’s show. Any assistance from Viacom outside the show must be treated as “in-kind” contributions and reported to the FEC.
Since the 2010 Supreme Court decision allowing unfettered corporate spending in elections, Super PACs like Colbert’s now number over 100. They didn’t exist before the Court’s decision (a point Colbert seems to be making in a comic way.)
“Some people have said, ‘Is this some kind of joke?’ I for one don’t think participating in democracy is a joke.”
..said Colbert to the crowd afterward. When a reporter asked him when the first ad would run, Colbert Responded:
“I’ve got to get some money first.”
This is why Elly and I put a water filter onto the kitchen sink and no longer buy bottled water.
- StoryStuff Electronics Take Em’ Back (pulsecea.wordpress.com)
- On my nightstand, counter, coffee table and library box (thethoughtvomit.com)
- The Story of Annie Leonard: Her Take on Stuff, Bottled Water, Cosmetics and More (treehugger.com)
- Obsessive Consumption: Life in a Material World, Illustrated (brainpickings.org)
- Annie Leonard Looks at Cosmetics Industry: Simple, Serious, Scary (with Video) (treehugger.com)
Obama says Republican Leaders Must Bend on Taxes – especially in restoring tax cuts for the rich.
Speaking at his Press Conference today:
“If you are a wealthy C.E.O. or hedge fund manager in America right now, your taxes are lower than they have ever been. They are lower than they have been since the 1950s. And they can afford it… You can still ride on your corporate jet. You’re just going to have to pay a little more.”
– Barack Obama
This was sent to me this morning in John Case’s Daily Mailing:
Another Jobs Bill Killed via Open Congress : Blog by Donny Shaw on 6/23/11
On June 6th, the Senate opened debate on the Economic Development Revitalization Act of 2011, a bill to reauthorize and expand a long-running and consistently successful job-creation agency, the
Economic Development Administration. The EDA has traditionally enjoyed bipartisan support, and this reauthorization bill was introduced with bipartisan co-sponsorship and passed out of committee without any dissent from Republicans. But after two weeks of debate, the bill was unanimously filibustered by Republicans and has now been pulled from the floor.
Like the last jobs bill to die in the Senate, the bill was bogged down and ultimately killed by dozens of controversial and unrelated amendments that were submitted to it. Senate rules do not requireamendments to be germane to the bill they are submitted to, so individual senators can choose to use any bill to force a vote on any of their pet issues. By the time the EDA bill was killed, 99 amendments had been submitted, and the list read like an overview of current hot-button political topics. The amendments included everything from raising the debt ceiling, to repealing health care reform, repealing financial regulatory reform, expanding offshore oil drilling, and more.
This problem of non-controversial bills being killed by controversial amendments has its roots in a deal on procedure that Democratic and Republican Senate leaders agreed to at the beginning of this session.
In exchange for Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV] keeping bills open to amendments, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell [R, KY] and his caucus agreed to not mount filibusters of bringing bills to the floor as a matter of routine. As a result, the Democratic majority has been able to hold debates on their legislative agenda, but the Republicans have also been able to turn every debate into an attempt to repeal health care reform.
The Senate Majority Leader has almost complete control over what bills get brought up for debate, so it is the case that most Republican issues stand no chance of being voted on this session outside the amendment process. But the Senate can’t vote on every contentious political topic for every bill, so Reid has to make a decision when to cut off the amendment process and start moving towards passing the underlying bill. In this case, Reid allowed two Democratic amendments and two Republican amendments to be voted on before filing a motion to end debate and move forward towards passage. But since most senators didn’t get to have their pet amendments voted on, they voted against
he motion to end debate and essentially forced a filibuster. Even Sen. James Inhofe [R, OK], an original co-sponsor of the bill, voted for the filibuster.
And so gridlock prevails, even on the one issue that everyone claims to care about — job creation. Just another example of why Americans have less confidence in Congress than any other institution in American society.
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Keith Olbermann’s show brought up the relationship between the Debt Ceiling battle and the 14th Amendment.
Keith brought up and interviewed a couple of people on the 14th Amendment’s specific requirements of meeting all National debts on his program tonight… something that hasn’t been mentioned in any other budget discussions of late.
Section 4 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (You know – that document that the Tea Party says everything has to be based on?) confirmed the legitimacy of all United States public debt legislated by the Congress.
In Perry v. United States (1935), the Supreme Court ruled that voiding a United States government bond (ie: a debt… like the National Debt…or like the cause of our current deficit) “went beyond the congressional power” on account of Section 4.
Republican economist Bruce Bartlett argues that Section 4 renders the debt ceiling unconstitutional, and obligates the President to consider the debt ceiling null and void. Gee… I guess that means that there are no required budget cuts to abide by Constitutional law.
Let’s see if Obama will use this instead of giving in to Republicans again.
Who says the elusive Bulger still has no influence in Boston?
U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz says prosecutors consider a later 1999 indictment charging Bulger with 19 murders the stronger case, since faces life in prison on those charges. Doesn’t he also face life if you add the other charges? Maybe several lives.
Why take a chance with a guy who already eluded them for 16 years?
- Whitey Bulger Mug Shot: Released, White (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- Strapped for cash, will Bulger divulge assets? (cbsnews.com)
- Bulger: The “Hannibal Lecter of South Boston” (cbsnews.com)
- The “Departed” Returns to Boston: A Sordid Tale of Mobster Whitey Bulger & the FBI (jonathanturley.org)
- FBI Arrests Boston Mob Boss James ‘Whitey’ Bulger in California (blippitt.com)
If you miss it, the recording will be at BlogTalkRadio, HERE .
You can call in during the half hour that it’s on at 1 (661) 554-9186. I’ll be glad to discuss just about anything with you.
Success, Success! I only did about 15 minutes since I was testing out the iPhone and connections, but it worked.
I’ll plan bigger and better for next Tuesday.
- Listen in on Blog Talk Radio (musicsparks.wordpress.com)
- How to Improve Blog Traffic:Podcasting (aleasemichelle.typepad.com)
I was going to right something about the overwhelming vote in the New York State Legislature which has legalized Gay Marriage… but then I heard Jonathan Mann‘s Song-A-Day for today, and that about sums it up:
- Gay Marriage Finally Legal In NYC! (since1910.com)
- ‘Gay Marriage,’ Libertarians, and Civil Rights (nationalreview.com)
- What’s Next For The Gay Marriage Movement? [Rites And Rights] (jezebel.com)
- New York makes gay marriage legal. Excelsior! (blogs.discovermagazine.com)
- NY becomes 6th US state to legalize gay marriage (morningtology.wordpress.com)
- New Yorkers Take to the Streets to Celebrate Gay Marriage Vote [Photos] (gawker.com)
- Gay Marriage is Now Legal in New York State (shoppingblog.com)
– and –
Kevin Siers in the Charlotte Observer:
… and their lawyers were reduced to second raters…
– and –
– and –
… and women are persecuted by society in general…
– and –
… of course, we are following precedents from other countries.
– and –
I first saw Playten onstage in the rather abstract off-Broadway musical Promenade by Al Carmines and Maria Irene Fornes, where she played Miss U. She went on to appear in shows such as The Last Sweet Days of Isaac and National Lampoon’s Lemmings (for which she received one of her two Obie Awards.)
Alice Playten was liked and admired by so many in the Theatre. As Charlie said in his Facebook post:
“What a light and joy Alice was to the theatre. I am stunned and so very grateful that her life touched mine. She brought her amazing talent and joy for living to all who knew her.”
Unemployment looks like it’s starting to go up again, even here in Shepherdstown where we were doing pretty well – something which I think is pretty common in small University towns not based on industry or international trade – and I’m getting more and more pissed off at our Congressfolk who would rather battle for control of the government than the salvation of the citizenry.
Take, for instance, the walkout of Cantor and Kyl from the deficit talks – blaming it n the Democrats seeking tax increases for the rich (after they had already given up three trillion dollars in concessions according to the news on television). Now it seems the walkout was pre-planned and this was a strategy to throw the Republican position into Boehner‘s lap, keeping the House from any kind of agreement on returning the upper 1% of rich folks from going back to the tax levels that Bush had brought them “temporarily” down to. As they pulled this off, the ability to fund the basics of Medicare and Medicaid seem strained and folks like Max Baucus, one of the few Democrats that I have the least trust in, announced he was ready to look at more cuts in the health care agenda.
If the deficit ceiling is not raised by the end of the next three or four weeks we will have plenty of opportunity to hear both parties blaming the other… both of them claiming that the majority of Americans agree with them. But since the rest of us are all part of that majority of Americans it seems strange that no one really feels the politicians are really speaking for us.
Perhaps it is time for us all to find ways to show that we could work together to solve problems, and send the politicians, lobbyists, Koch Brothers, Fox Newscasters, and all the rest who are making their big bucks on this conflict out into the night.
- Top Republican Cantor exits budget talks (ctv.ca)
- Republican claim that Cantor’s walkout was planned doesn’t add up (dailykos.com)
- We Are One Demonstration Tonite In Shepherdstown… (underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com)
- We Are In Deep Trouble With Our Economy and the Libs Just Want to Keep it Up (rantsandrage.com)
… and I’ll be spending some time there. I’ll get back to the blog later today…
“Today’s union families ought to follow the example of those who came before us. Talk to your children about why some politicians want to use us as scapegoats. Tell them why attending a union meeting at night is important. Make sure they understand the importance of standing up for what’s right.
“Tell everyone from your children to your neighbors to your newspapers that privatization can be stopped and collective bargaining can be restored. Tell them why we must defeat politicians who want to hurt working families. Our union’s political strength — the Green Machine — has long overcome our adversaries and, working together, it will continue to be the force of change. We’ve proved our determination in the past, and we will do so time and again.”
OK… defeating politicians who want to hurt working families. That means defeating huge corporations and tax-eating billionaires. Are you ready? Can we do it?
Everybody say “Yeah!“
- AFSCME, SEIU going back to the table to talk to Gov. Tom Corbett’s labor negotiators (pennlive.com)
- State employee unions and Gov. Tom Corbett administration remain optimistic that labor agreements are within reach (pennlive.com)
- Pa. state workers union heads back to the bargaining table this morning (pennlive.com)
- Union leader makes strong argument against public sector collective bargaining (quinnscommentary.com)
The idiosyncratic character actor first caught my attention in 1961 in the film A Pocket Full of Miracles, Frank Capra‘s last film and a color version of his 1933 classic Lady for a Day. Falk played a comic underling gangster to Glenn Ford‘s Dave the Dude.
During his career, Falk made over 50 films, but he will be remembered by audiences for his years on television as the disheveled, cigar smoking Police Lieutenant in the wrinkled raincoat.
He drove a beat up Peugeot and was always polite to the suspect (and this was the only show at the time where the audience knew who did it from the beginning.) The fun was in watching Columbo, in a most distracted and fumbling manner, lead the guilty party to a confession.
Columbo, and, indeed all of Falk’s characters, had a signature squint due to his having a glass eye, which was due to a tumor removal in childhood. After the series’ long run, he came back several times over the years to play the Columbo character in made-for-TV movies.
- Peter Falk, Star of ‘Columbo,’ Dead at 83 (aoltv.com)
- Peter Falk, TV’s Detective Columbo, Dies at 83 – NYTimes.com (macc502.wordpress.com)
- ‘Columbo’ Star Peter Falk Dies (tmz.com)
- TV’s Columbo, Peter Falk, Passed Away at the Age of 83 (fortheloveoftv.wordpress.com)
- Peter Falk Has Passed Away (dlisted.com)
- ‘Columbo’ star Peter Falk dies at age 83 (pbpulse.com)
- Rest in Peace: Peter Falk (dreadcentral.com)
Monsanto‘s Roundup, which has been associated with deformities in a host of laboratory animals, may have a similar impact on humans.. One laboratory study done in France in 2005 found that Roundup and glyphosate caused the death of human placental cells and abnormal embryonic cells. Another study, conducted in 2009, found that Roundup caused total cell death in human umbilical, embryonic and placental cells within 24 hours. Yet researchers have conducted few follow-up studies.
“Obviously there’s a limit to what’s appropriate in terms of testing poison on humans, but if you look at the line of converging evidence, it points to a serious problem. And if you look at the animal feeding studies with genetically modified Roundup ready crops, there’s a consistent theme of reproductive disorders, which we don’t know the cause for because follow-up studies have not been done.
“More independent research is needed to evaluate the toxicity of Roundup and glyphosate and the evidence that has already accumulated is sufficient to raise a red flag.”
– Jeffrey Smith, executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology
We have been critical of Monsanto for soft-peddling Roundup, as have members of the scientific community. In 1996 New York State’s Attorney General sued Monsanto for describing Roundup as “environmentally friendly” and “safe as table salt” (although I don’t think anyone from Monsanto would sprinkle Roundup on their spaghetti.) Monsanto, while not admitting any wrongdoing, agreed to stop using the terms for promotional purposes and paid New York state $250,000 to settle the suit.
Roundup Ready seeds are now proliferating 80 % or more of the seed market (if you don’t believe me try purchasing a heritage corn seed at any major supplier like Home Depot or Lowe’s. While they are occasionally there, most products are Monsanto GMO seeds that are Roundup Ready.) Driving by fields and fields of weed-free Roundup Ready corn yesterday, I rolled up my car windows so as not to breathe in any of this crap.
- If You buy ROUND UP you are helping to build Monsanto’s income while destroying our agriculture. (underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com)
- Monsanto product causes birth defects in humans (theramblingsofateenagegirl.wordpress.com)
- Media Silence on Disturbing New Evidence About Monsanto’s Roundup (friendseat.com)
- Educate yourself – learn about Monsanto, GMO foods and industry lobbying… (underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com)
- Roundup Birth Defects: Regulators Knew World’s Best-Selling Herbicide Causes Problems, New Report Finds (worldtruthtoday.com)
- Monsanto Chemical Shown to Cause Infertility and Super Weeds (worldtruthtoday.com)
- Modern-Day Earth Angels (marieclaire.com)
- World’s Top Commercial Weed Killer Linked to Infertility (misbehavedwoman.wordpress.com)
- Heading for the last Roundup? (pdalbury.wordpress.com)
- Monstanto Buys Influence In Universities (misbehavedwoman.wordpress.com)
- More problems with glyphosate for US rice growers (genomega1.wordpress.com)
- GMOs Linked to Organ Disruption in 19 Studies (worldtruthtoday.com)
- “Roundup Birth Defects: Regulators Knew World’s Best-Selling Herbicide Causes Problems, New Report Finds” and related posts (markcrispinmiller.com)
What if some day the Supreme Court didn’t support Corporations over Citizens?
What if some day the Senate and the House put our country first and the lobbyists a distant tenth?
What if all Billionaires begged the government to tax them at the same rates that Ronald Reagan did?
What if ALL workers, teachers, firemen, police officers, public employees and salespeople were encouraged to join Unions by receiving significant tax perqs?
What if everyone in government believed they were working “in service” to America and not to themselves?
- Thomas’s ongoing ethics problem, and Chris Murphy’s potential solution (dailykos.com)
- Stepping Toward Single Payer in the Green Mountain State (hcfama.org)
- Why Daydreamers May Become Visionaries (eideneurolearningblog.blogspot.com)
- Another Useless Friday Daydream (goodcomics.comicbookresources.com)
“They found him? Finally. I want my sister to come home.”
– Margaret McCusker, Catherine Greig’s sister, when told of Greig and Whitey Bulger‘s arrest.
McCusker lives in Whitey’s old stomping grounds of South Boston. I guess she doesn’t realize that her sister is implicated in one of the 19 murders as a co-defendent.
- Federal Agents Arrest Whitey Bulger In California (wzlx.radio.com)
- After 16 years on run, mob boss ‘Whitey’ Bulger caught (ctv.ca)
- BREAKING NEWS: San Monica, Los Angeles: Most Wanted Boston Fugitive James ‘Whitey’ Bulger Arrested By FBI (lostchildreninthewilderness.wordpress.com)
- FBI nabs ruthless Boston mob boss in California (thenewstribune.com)
- James “Whitey” Bulger: Timeline (cbsnews.com)
- Fugitive Boston Mob Kingpin And Brother of… Um, Longstanding Masschusetts President of the State Senate Whitey Bulger Arrested In… Santa Monica? (minx.cc)
- Ex-FBI agent: Bulger arrest “inevitable” (cbsnews.com)
I spend most of my time on this blog, lately, pointing out the growing number of things that are destroying our economy, our community, our health and, ultimately, our existence. I’m not sure who listens or believes what is proven over and over. I know many are putting their faith is religion, in second comings, in waiting to be lifted to heaven as the Devil takes over the Earth
Come back to reality, folks. Most of the solutions are fairly clear and require us to put in a great deal of work. We have all got to be ready for it.
I haven’t run one of these videos in some time… but I feel like upping everyone’s will to win:
Got it? I hope so.
- Fragments from the Book of Job #1: chapters 1-12 (christadelphians.wordpress.com)
- A Little Faith (hippielib.com)
- The Onion launches YouTube campaign in quest to win Pulitzer (digitaltrends.com)
- The Writer’s Toolbox: Plots and plants (madgeniusclub.com)
Most Americans go rambling through their grocery stores with no concept of what they are buying as it relates to the poison Monsanto and other chemical companies has spread through our fruits, vegetables and even meats. If YOU are unaware of this situation, then watch the video that follows…
- No GMO Labeling Laws in the USA!
- Lack of Adequate FDA / USDA Safety Testing
- Monsanto Puts Small Farmers out of Business
Farmer Suicides After GMO Crop Failures
- Monsanto Products Pollute the Developing World
500,000 Agent Orange Babies
- Monsanto Blocking Government Regulations
- Monsanto Guilty of False Advertising & Scientific FRAUD
- Consumers Reject Bovine Growth Hormone rBGH in Milk
- GMO Crops Do NOT Increase Yields
- Monsanto Controls U.S. Soy Market
- Monsanto’s GMO Foods Cause NEW Food Allergies
In 2009 a documentary was aired on French television (ARTE – French-German cultural tv channel) by French journalist and film maker Marie-Monique Robin, The World According to Monsanto – A documentary that you won’t see on American television. . . but you can see it HERE.
Got the picture? Now figure out what you are going to do about this. Start by educating others.
- Should We Label GMO Foods? (tipggita32.wordpress.com)
- Organic food under threat from Monsanto (rogerblobaum.com)
- If You buy ROUND UP you are helping to build Monsanto’s income while destroying our agriculture. (underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com)
- Alert: Monsanto’s Chemicals in bloodstream, plus free (download) Non-GMO Shopping Guide! (phblog.wordpress.com)
- Monstanto Buys Influence In Universities (misbehavedwoman.wordpress.com)
- Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s Sell GMO Foods – With No GMO Label (unaskedadvice.wordpress.com)
- (VIDEO) – Must-Watch Documentaries (bluehoney.org)
- Monsanto in the news again! (greenflbroker.com)
- Don Huber Explains Science Behind New Organism and Threat from Monsanto’s Roundup, GMOs to Disease and Infertility (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)
- The World According to Monsanto (zahirah.com)
- Monsanto Will Soon Be Allowed To Police Itself (fastcompany.com)
It took 16 years with James “Whitey” Bulger on top of the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list, but yesterday they grabbed the former gang leader, alleged murderer (wanted for 19 killings) and all-around bad Bostonian in Santa Monica, CA.
Bulger had a $2 Million reward on his head… the highest ever offered on an FBI wanted criminal. His girlfriend, Catherine Greig, also captured had a $100 Thousand reward attached to her.
At one time Bulger was an FBI informant and used that position as a means of actually committing robberies and murders and getting his competition out of the way. His brother, William “Billy” Bulger had been a well-known Boston politician and, later, the President of the University of Massachusetts, and admittedly withheld information on Whitey for years,
eventually costing him his job.
However, it was only recently after years of embarrassment with books and movies made about Whitey that the FBI actually stepped up it’s investigation. Recently they started focusing on Greig, a former Dental Hygienist known to frequent beauty parlors and plastic surgeons, as a means of capturing Whitey. Recently, in this context, the released a video in cities where Bulger had been spotted over the years:
There has been no mention of who, if anyone, received any of the awards for information leading to Bulger and Greig.
- Boston crime boss James ‘Whitey’ Bulger nabbed here * (laobserved.com)
- James “Whitey” Bulger busted in Santa Monica! Yep, one of the FBI’s MOST WANTED CROOKS OF ALL TIME IS CUFFED AND STUFFED! SURFS UP WHITEY! (economy4abc.blogspot.com)
- London: FBI TV Blitz Targets Partner Of Most Wanted Boston Gangster ‘Whitey Bulger’ (lostchildreninthewilderness.wordpress.com)
- FBI’s TV Advert For ‘Most Wanted’ Partner (news.sky.com)
- FBI to discuss new plan to catch James Bulger (boston.com)
- 6.21.2011 … summer solstice meant longest day trying to get my car to pass inspection … including going to dmv for a waiver when the computers were down … then having it pass on its own. (teaguenc.wordpress.com)
Al Gore doesn’t think he’s done very much at all.
This from a piece called Climate of Denial in Rolling Stone:
“President Obama has never presented to the American people the magnitude of the climate crisis. He has not defended the science against the ongoing withering and dishonest attacks. Nor has he provided a presidential venue for the scientific community … to bring the reality of the science before the public.”
There is one other quote from later in this superb article (which shows one of the many reasons that Gore is our leading advocate of finding a solution to Climate Change) that sums up the poor support Obama has given to this life-affecting problem:
“… President Obama has thus far failed to use the bully pulpit to make the case for bold action on climate change. After successfully passing his green stimulus package, he did nothing to defend it when Congress decimated its funding. After the House passed cap and trade, he did little to make passage in the Senate a priority. Senate advocates — including one Republican — felt abandoned when the president made concessions to oil and coal companies without asking for anything in return. He has also called for a massive expansion of oil drilling in the United States, apparently in an effort to defuse criticism from those who argue speciously that “drill, baby, drill” is the answer to our growing dependence on foreign oil.“
So what can we do about the abandonment of Climate Change focus by the administration? Gore lays out five distinct things we can all do at the end of his essay. Since it runs over a page, I’ll just link to it HERE. It is worth your while to go in and read it.
Of course the most obvious of the five solutions is to put pressure on the President, or Representatives and our Senators, and everyone else involved at the Cabinet level. If we don’t push for the decisions that will, hopefully, start turning around the changes in our climate, then they won’t be made. As Gore says:
“Why do you think President Obama and Congress changed their game on “don’t ask, don’t tell?” It happened because enough Americans delivered exactly that tough message to candidates who wanted their votes.”
Can you imagine what a great President Al Gore would have made instead of…oh, what was the name of that jackass that left us in debt and at war? A Republican, wasn’t he?
- More Environmental Gore (powerlineblog.com)
- Obama has failed to lead on climate: Gore (windsorstar.com)
- Al Gore: Obama a Climate Disappointment (newser.com)
- Al Gore: Obama lacks ‘bold action’ on global warming (thegrio.com)
- Is NASA Climate-Change Guru’s Outside Income Affecting His Reports? (usapartisan.com)
- Gore: Obama has failed on global warming (cbsnews.com)
- Gore: Obama lacks `bold action’ on global warming (thenewstribune.com)
- Liveblogging Al Gore’s Games for Change Keynote [Live] (kotaku.com)