Bill Nye Debates Marsha Blackburn and David Gregory 3

I don’t really believe David Gregory is a good reporter at all, and I certainly do not believe he knows anything about science. So it wasn’t too surprising that Mr. Gregory did a terrible job moderating a so-called debate between Bill Nye and Marsha Blackburn, who knows nothing about science so instead of beginning a debate on facts, Blackburn immediately makes the claim that Bill Nye is just an actor/engineer and not a climate scientist, but her problem is, Nye knows his science Blackburn does not. But then of course she dove right into the BS that there are scientists who disagree so there is no consensus on climate change. Nyee does an excellent job, but he is fighting two people here. Neither of who seem to know much about anything except how to play politics.

On-Going Things that are Pissing Me Off 14

Well a few things have been on my mind and building up, so let’s begin.

Charter Schools and Voucher programs:  There is no evidence that Charter Schools are any better than public schools, there is evidence however that they are much, much worse. What is this about, the incessant need to cheap out on our children? What I mean by cheap out here is, the hiring of unqualified individuals with crackpots ideas to teach our children.

Creationism: Check.

Distorting test results: Check, Why does Michelle Rhee’s name always come up in these cases?  (Hey New Orleans, what’s up?)

Greenwald, because Greenwald… that guy is simply exasperating. I’m tired of him.

Climate change deniers.. seriously, what will it take for these people to wake the fuck up?

Politico, all of it, all of their reporters, Check out the link, Pot meet kettle.

Chuck Todd, who doesn’t seem to know what his job actually is, oh well.

Congressional Republicans, god they piss me off. So once again they are attacking poor people. Why do they hate poor people so much? I honestly don’t understand it.  Republicans actually worship at the Temple of Draco. I am convinced of this.

Congressional Republicans have rushed headlong into a draconian new cut to the nations meal assistance program known as  SNAP. The 5% cut will displace 3.8 million people from receiving this assistance.  Not a big deal for those Republicans and their big wig friends.  However, the SNAP program dollar amount is around $32.00 a week for groceries per person. Wow. If one gallon of non-organic milk is around 6.00, which is roughly 1/5th of the weekly allotment, how does one get adequate nutrition? And yet these horrible human beings, Congressional Republicans, are willing to throw 3.8 million more people off the rolls, even though they are only getting $32.00 a week. It’s a huge cut at a time when we should be putting more money into that program. We should be boosting WIC, Public Health programs and senior meals. These monies need to be restored.

There are huge societal consequences to malnutrition.

In children the effects are great from an early age in that it impacts cognitive abilities.

From the Nursing Times.

Here is more on the impact of malnutrition on children and pregnant women.

Effects of malnutrition on the elderly.

And let’s be honest here, cutting SNAP does nothing for the budget, it has no impact. If Republicans were serious about righting the wrongs of subsidized money we would quit subsidizing oil, natural gas, corn, commodity crops, military contractors and their cost plus bidding processes, etc and so on. Cutting SNAP just makes Republicans look like they worship at the temple of Draco.  Well they do worship at the Temple of Draco, that is part of the problem.

And now onto ACA, Republicans need to stop, just stop, they look like the biggest asses on the face of the earth.  Like Chris Hayes said on Real Time last night, let’s see what works, let’s get this law implemented and see what works, and we will go from there.  And frankly, this is the law, all three branches have affirmed this. All three.  Time for the opposition to get over it. They Lost. Time to  participate in the system we have created, contribute to new reforms, something anything, just quit being such pricks about everything by basically holding the entire country hostage because they are still mad they lost the election in 2008 and 2012.  If they don’t they will be left out of the process, because the more they dig their heals in and do nothing, or do things that have extremely negative effects on the nations already fragile economy, they will be thrown out of office, and that is just fine by me.

That’s all I got.

Have a good day.

Bats***-Crazy NC Repubs Take A Step Towards Secession Reply

Originally posted on bluntandcranky:

Yes, it’s technically nullification at this point. But it’s a step in a very dangerous direction. A load of North Carolinian legislators gave signed onto a crazy, loony, unconstitutional bill that says, in essence, “neener, neener ” to the Supremacy and Edtablishment Clauses of the Constitution. And all because they can’t evangelize during opening prayers at public meetings.

Note this well: they are allowed to have a prayer. They are just not allowed to favor one flavor of religion during that prayer. You know, that freedom of religion Thinggummie. But evidently, being required to follow the law is equivalent to tyranny in the minds of these yahoos.

A unilateral declaration that state laws are supreme over federal laws is pretty much the start of secession, never mind the word games. These people are trying to create their own version of national law, just for their little state. Declaring one state’s…

View original 28 more words

Brad Paisley, Accidental Racist on Purpose 7

Hey Brad Paisley, your song sucks and I can’t believe LLCoolJ sang with you and you are lucky you have one black friend left.

I want you to know something, if you are still wearing that shirt with a confederate flag on it, you aren’t a racist by accident, and to make the claim you don’t know what that shirt means to many Americans, Black or otherwise, because you either aren’t paying attention or your just plain lying. Oh and as a side note,  good for the Starbucks employee for calling you out.

I am utterly disappointed with this weird attitude of some of you southern boys. The Confederate flag is a symbol of separating us as a nation, splitting America in two in order to maintain Slavery as an institution and really spitting on everything that America is supposed to stand for, equality, fairness and justice. When you say you can’t walk a mile in the shoes of a fellow human being it simply indicates your too lazy to bother. Cause see, here is the thing Brad, you have so much to learn.

First off I have completed a reading list for you to learn what that flag means to those of us who do not associate ourselves with that flag.

  • Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  • The Bondwoman’s  Narrative Harriet Craft, edited by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
  • Harriet Jacobs, A Life
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X
  • Life Upon These Shores, Henry Louis Gates Jr.
  • Eye’s on the Prize, JuanWilliams
  • In Search of Hannah Crafts, Critical Essays on the Bondwoman’s Narrative
  • Ghosts of Mississippi, The Murder of Medgar Evers, The Trials of Byron De La Beckwith, and The Haunting of the New South

Please also read about James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, those were the three voter registration volunteers who were murdered by Klan members in Mississippi. Did you ever see Mississippi Burning? Did you think it was just a movie? Read about Jim Crow laws and tell me that states rights is really all that symbol represents. It isn’t of course, it represents a sinister terrible part of our history, the terrible awful part where white people got away with murdering black people in the south.. just because they wanted to!

You brought it up dude, now it is time to woman up and learn why maybe you shouldn’t be so butthurt that people think your stupid TShirt with the Confederate Flag on it is racist, guess what, it is racist. Now go read something. Because this is what your song really about, it is about ignorance, ignorance of our history, ignorance of slavery and the civil war and ignorance about how others might perceive this type of shirt. You wouldn’t walk around with a TShirt that had a swastika on it would you? Well the Confederate flag is just as vile. But I don’t like that you simply don’t understand our history, that is a real shame. You are certainly someone who ought to know better.

Kermit Gosnell, Eleventh Dimensional Chess, Michelle Rhee, Rand Paul and Other Bullshit that Pissed Me Off This Week 5

Sigh, the right wing media is having a major melt down about Kermit Gosnell, complaining on and on ad-infinitum that the Main Stream Media is not covering the Gosnell story. Of course this is absolute BS, since I first starting hearing about Gosnell in 2011. The question must be asked, where was the right wing media in 2011 when it came to Kermit Gosnell, serial abuser of women in need? Oh right, it didn’t suit their purpose back then to talk about this at all, in fact it was a non-story to them. Why? Let’s review the work that was done in 2011 about Gosnell and his arrest in January of 2011:

http://www.myfoxphilly.com/story/17533017/doctor-allegedly-killed-babies-with-scissors

http://www.cnn.com/2011/CRIME/03/02/pennsylvania.abortion.doctor/index.html

http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Abortion-Doctor-Charged-With-Murder-114205094.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/23/us/23doctor.html?_r=0

http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/the-feed/item/11662-21tmmayor

http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20110128/NEWS01/101280337/AG-Beau-Biden-launches-probe-into-abortion-doctor-s-work-in-Delaware?nclick_check=1

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/23/kermit-gosnell-abortion-c_n_812702.html

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/01/19/national/main7261741.shtml

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1354889/Kermit-Gosnell-House-horrors-abortionist-1-8m-year.html

http://rhrealitycheck.org/tag/dr-kermit-gosnell/

There were just so many reports at the time of his arrest all about his clinic of horror. What we know is, that facility was not inspected by the state of Pennsylvania for 17 years. Of course the excuse wingers are using that the place wasn’t inspected in 17 damn years was because of a pro-choice policy, which is utter bullshit.  The Business Insider article does say that it was Governor Tom Ridge, Republican who ordered the Dept of Health to stop inspecting abortion clinics, and that isn’t because of  a pro-choice policy that is a direct result of conservatives not believing that the health of women is important. Let’s be clear, it seems Dr. Gosnell would have used hangers to give women abortions if he could have gotten away with it, the state of Pennsylvania was complicit. It’s disgusting but it has nothing to do with being pro-choice, it has everything to do with not believing women health is important. And now a bunch of men are enraged because they think the story isn’t being covered… more utter bullshit, and they don’t care one bit about the health of women, they care 100% about using this case to politicize the health of women. It certainly isn’t shocking.

Then we get to the 11th Dimensional Chess Meme, smh, really? The  I just hate the meme, it’s lame. Everyone who is using this term as though it has meaning, stop it, you sound stupid when you type it out day after day after day. Sheesh!

Michelle Rhee’s reign of error in the DC schools is finally coming under some intense scrutiny, in light of the big testing scandal in Georgia. See the test scores of those kids in DC took a sudden rise, and it just seemed highly unusual for this to happen.  Cheating on standardized tests is at the core of this scandal and Rhee selling her so-called methods to other school systems is on the periphery.  There is plenty of evidence that Rhee’s policies encouraged teachers to cheat. Here is some evidence from a Frontline Investigation:

The DC-CAS scores at Noyes, where 81% of classrooms were flagged for high erasures, are themselves circumstantial evidence that supports Cothorne’s allegation. Below are the Noyes DC-CAS scores over five years; 2011 represents the year that security was tightened.

  2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Reading 44.14% 61.53 84.21 61.36 32.40
Math 34.24% 57.69 62.79 53.64 28.17

 
That represents a drop of nearly 50 points in reading between 2009 and 2011, and a drop of roughly 34 points in math. Note also that in 2011 Noyes students were scoring below their pre-Rhee level.

In all, data are available for 16 schools with erasure rates of at least 50%. DC-CAS reading scores rose in only two schools after security was tightened. Math scores rose in just 4 schools and declined in 12.

Rhee is the epitome of an educated grifter. It pisses me off that people seem to believe that improving scores always equals firing teachers. It isn’t that easy people, and for the most part teachers are very dedicated to helping children learn. I’m sick of people like Rhee who present easy solutions to improving education for the underprivileged, Guess what it isn’t easy. There are no quick solutions, we have to have community based solutions that include a change in how we view education. Where all children are not hungry when they begin class, where families have access to help, want to better education children, well the community must come together, and that has little to do with test scores. Melissa Harris Perry has the right idea, but of course she is attacked for it. But I know one thing for sure, Rhee took advantage of the DC system and helped no child learn.

Oh Rand Paul, sure thing black people need to know just how great Republicans are beginning with Lincoln, because they would never know what he did or anything really, unless a white person tells them.  What a great way to recruit people to your party, condescend to them repeatedly!

Yes it makes me mad that people are attacking Melissa Harris Perry for saying the raising children is a community responsibility, it is, how is that so wrong? Oh conservatives on the one hand you always insist how great thigns were in the past, when you would get in trouble at home after getting in trouble with a neighbor for being a pinhead, but if a liberal suggests that is important to raising children suddenly it is communism, socialism, social engineering and all wrong. Idiots.

There are many more things that piss me off on an on-going basis, but we can’t go over them here, this would be a never ending blog. Have a good Sunday my tens of readers!

“Why?” is the wrong question. 1

To go a bit deeper into one aspect of the responses to the Connecticut mass murder yesterday: When something like this happens, the very first thing most people ask is usually “Why?” – and that’s the wrong question.

Why is irrelevant. It’s only useful in retrospect. There’s a different “why” for each one of these grotesque incidents, and there’s no way we can ever hope to anticipate every last one of them.

What we can do, the one thing that can make a real difference, is to change the easy access to the another aspect of such things, the how.

There are simply too damn many guns out there, and too many people who think that it’s the single most important part of life. Or they come up with some weak-sauce rationalization of defending themselves, or their property.

Unless you hunt to provide food, or you’re in law enforcement or the military, you have very little reason to own a firearm. If you feel you need to defend yourself badly enough to have to carry one on you regularly, maybe it’s time to ask yourself what you’re doing in such situations that often. Or look even deeper into yourself and see where so much fear is coming from.

If that guy’s mother had not LEGALLY purchased the three weapons he used, she and 20+ other people would be alive today. How safe does she feel right now?

Oh, that’s right. She can’t feel anything. She’s dead, killed with one of the guns she brought home.

Your first challenge, America, is to stop making it so easy for the deranged, and for the common criminal lowlife, to take the lives of others.

Everyone calls out for President Obama to call for more control measures. That’s fine, let’s see them get through Congress and pass a Supreme Court test when that bench has a “bend-over” majority for such right wing shibboleths as “Castle doctrines” and “Stand Your Ground” laws.

Was Trayvon Martin not also standing his ground when George Zimmerman murdered him? What’s the differential there?

Your second, harder challenge is to stop feeling that guns are the solution. If that’s your real worldview you have a problem.

That problem is fear.

Your fear of others. Your fear that you can’t quite cope with life without the ability to take someone else’s at a moment’s notice.

Grow up, America. It’s long past time.

 

Edited to add: I don’t owe you anything, least of all tolerating obnoxious commenters.  Get inflammatory and you’ll get gone.

I am both, I am neither… 2

I’m Alan, and I don’t exist.

Oh, I’m corporeal enough.  I have a temperature, a pulse, a bit more weight than I did in my younger days, and hair that’s gone gray.

I’m just not a part of the system that’s there to catch most of us when we fall.  And thus, I’m not technically part of Romney’s deeply derided 47%.  You know, the ones that “don’t pay taxes” – except we do.  Payroll taxes are income tax, except no one who pays them that way gets to use foreign accounts and convoluted shelters to hide behind in order to skip sending in a check – they’re deducted every time that eagle flies.  Then  there’s sales taxes, property taxes, excise taxes, state and local taxes, all kinds of ways we contribute to running things, really, far beyond the return we get here in middle-to-bottom-land.  Especially here in the blue states.  Go look it up.

You know the type he’s talking about.  The ones that look for handouts.  Wish I was.  I’d love to lay about and drink beer all day and have everything seen to by Uncle Sugar.  Except they don’t.  Being broke sucks.  Try it sometime.

I am, believe it or not, part of his much-vaunted 53%.

As a freelancer/contractor/project worker I don’t have payroll taxes deducted.

So I pay income tax.

And I know what those taxes pay for. They pay for the roads I drive on, the sidewalks I walk down, the water system that keeps me hydrated and lets me cook my interesting pasta dishes, the police and fire departments that are there in the slim and terrible likelihood that I would need their services, and yes, assistance to those who may need it through no doing of their own.

It’s part of the admission charge to a civilized society.

And that word, right there – SOCIETY – is what the libertarian utopians choose to overlook in their staggeringly shortsighted focus only on the economy. We live in a society. An economy is a component of that, not a substitute for it.

So if you’re so utterly convinced that the poor, the sick, the blind, the elderly, and the infants have it so amazingly good, why aren’t you rushing to join them?  It’s amazing to me that someone can seriously believe that the rich folks are taking all the risk in society.

And Willard, if you’re going to cry about those nasty, smelly taxes so damn much, let’s see those returns.  Show us the truly awful percentages you’re paying so we can at least sympathize.

You know, sympathy.

You’d find it in the dictionary, somewhere between shit and syphilis.

The Object of the Game is to Win 10

You read that right.

The object of the game is to win.

Don’t get me wrong, in an election, that’s not the end, it’s the end of the beginning.

Winning an election means we get to implement policies. Losing (even “losing pure”) means we get to sit on the sidelines and watch the other guys implement theirs. And if we liked their policies more, why are we on our side?

If you don’t understand that, maybe politics isn’t for you. Maybe another hobby would suit you better. Stamp collecting? Model railroading? Birdwatching? Really – if you don’t get this, leave it to those of us that do.

There is no such thing as “making a statement” by coming in second in electoral politics. That’s called losing, and we’re far too used to it, because our side, the Dems if you will, have viewed principled losses as somehow ennobling.

They’re not. They hurt us, and they hurt America. Internalize that now. Then prepare to act on it, because November is important.

We have to do whatever we can to undo the disaster fostered in part by Democrats sitting on their hands in 2010 to “teach Obama a lesson” of whatever sort.

Never, ever, do that again.

Down-ballot elections are even more important, both Congressional and state legislative races make huge differences in people’s lives, and giving things over to the Republicans out of some sort of pique is not just foolish, it’s destructive – to you, me, our families, and this society. Ask the good folks in Wisconsin, Ohio, or Michigan about what happens when Republicans turn out and Democrats stay home. They’ll have stories, I suspect.

November matters.

And the object of the game is to win.

Anderson Cooper’s disclosure is not news – and that’s a positive! 2

CNN’s Anderson Cooper recently disclosed, to Andrew Sullivan, that he is in fact gay.

While this surprised few people, it also passed close to unremarked.

This is a good turn of events.  We’re seeing something that is a personal matter being treated as such, and not as headline-generating shock value.

People are who they are.  That has never changed, and it never will.  That such a disclosure doesn’t matter nearly as much as it would have even two or three years ago shows that while we still have some distance left ahead of us, we’re growing up as a society.

That’s it for now – all the news that, thankfully, isn’t, really.

Fact Checking Factcheck.org 3

Factcheck has released yet another ridiculous truth-o-meter on the President and how he is selling the newly Constitutional PPACA. I think their points are worth refuting.

Fact Check States in their summary: Obama reiterated his “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” refrain, despite the fact that at least a few million workers won’t keep their employer-sponsored plans, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Really? You are suggesting that below average plans which leave subscribers underinsured, is definitely a product sentient beings want for their families. Three cheers for substandard insurance! PPACA is in part a regulation that mandates what a basic health plan must cover. It’s already that way for federal employees. There are two levels of health insurance, the standard, which has somewhat higher co-pays and high-options which cost more and cover more services. Previous to the law standards vary wildly state by state. Governments are supposed to regulate services that can affect the general wellbeing of the citizenry. I realize Republicans have made the claim over and over again that government is only to wage war and make it so businesses can rip off whomever they choose to rip off. American citizens deserve standardized insurance coverage that basic minimum requirements, and if an insurance company for some odd reason does not comply they will go out of business, does anyone see that happening? Nope. It isn’t as simple as Fact Check states, and it certainly isn’t a negative for the President for people to have standard and not substandard health services coverage. They have tried to twist it into a negative.

One more point, employers switch health plan providers every time they get a better deal. I mean you can’t be serious on that critique; currently no one can stop your employer from taking his business elsewhere. I am not sure why that fact works against the President and brings what he said into doubt.

Fact check states: The president also exaggerated the benefits of the law, such as the number of young adults who were able to join their parents’ plans.

Coverage for Young Adults:
Factcheck cited the Los Angeles Times claiming it refutes the claim that 6.6 million young adults have insurance because of ACA. Unfortunately for factcheck, the LA Times and the Commonwealth Fund, from the outset they actually misstate ACA, the passage in the times says this:

Not all of the estimated 6.6 million young adults who joined or stayed on their parents’ plans would have otherwise been uninsured, according to officials at the Commonwealth Fund, which is a leading source of healthcare research. At least some probably moved to their parents’ plans from other health insurance plans because the family plans were less costly or more comprehensive.

Take special note of the part I bolded, both not only is factcheck, because this is the Republican talking point of their argument and is a misstatement of the legislation
This is important: Young adults have the right to stay in a parent’s plan—or to get back into that plan—if they meet the following conditions:

1. Their parent has coverage through an employer or buys family coverage in the individual market.
2. Their parent’s health plan provides “dependent coverage”—that is, it covers children, spouses, or other family members.
In the past, some plans required children and young adults to be “dependents” for tax purposes before they could qualify for coverage on their parents’ plans. Under the new law, this is no longer the case. Nor does it matter whether or not the young adult is a student, lives with the parent, or receives financial support from the parent.
3. Insurance companies are only required to provide access to insurance for young adult children if the child does not have access to insurance through their employer.
But then factcheck states:

The White House told us that the president’s statement is correct because all 6.6 million benefited from the law, but some more than others. True.

What?

Factcheck claims the President has overstated the number of people affected by the preventive care coverage regulation.

Obama: [Insurance companies] are required to provide free preventive care like checkups and mammograms, a provision that’s already helped 54 million Americans with private insurance.

Fact Check’s complaint is: Obama would have been on safer ground if he had said the provision potentially helped 54 million.

This is a distinction without a difference. It has more than a potential to impact those 54 million people, it is a regulation, it is required by law that insurers implement these reforms. It is hard to tell what fact is distorted here, it directly affects those 54 million people why the word game? Is it to appear more balanced to Republicans, so factcheck has apparently decided to go full Orwellian Newspeak to twist their critique to appear legitimate, even when it isn’t.

Finally, factcheck goes all in and makes the claim that because the vast majority of those tax rebates are going to employers, people aren’t really getting a rebate. But it does mean the cost of their insurance will go down, and their premiums will reflect that fact. Not every savings will be in the form of a direct rebate for each and every person. But he isn’t exaggerating either, because rebate checks are going out. Costs will begin to stabilize across the country and that is positive news.

So factcheck, could you get anymore dramatic using the term overreach to describe the Presidents attempts to explain this law to people? Overreach is such an overused Republican word, they use it all the time, wasn’t Jim DeMint just claiming Overreach here and threatening nullification once again as their ultimate solution. I wonder how many times Sheldon Adelson is going to use your half-assed work to attack ACA and the President. I guess as many times as his money can purchase.

Crossposted @ DAGBlog and LittleGreenFootballs