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.

Advertisements

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

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 post 28 more words

“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.

A Gentle Reminder to “Progressive” Democrats 2

We have an election coming up this November.

President Obama is seeking a second term, every Representative and one-third of the Senate is up for election, and there are many state campaigns being waged as well.

Now that the basic facts are out of the way, here’s the reminder: Grow up.

This contest is not between President Obama and some abstract concept of perfection in the Oval Office.  It’s between President Obama and a shape-shifting, job-killing, pathological liar named Willard Romney.

Now is not the time for whining about how you didn’t get everything you wanted in January 2009.  Neither did I.  The difference is, I didn’t expect it.

Now is not the time for sitting on your hands to “teach President Obama a lesson” like you did in 2010.

How’d that work out?

Want to ask the folks in Wisconsin about that one?  Michigan, maybe?  Florida, where noted healthcare fraudster turned Governor Rick Scott’s voter suppression efforts have only just been sidetracked by a Federal judge?

We’re on the mend, to the extent that we can get anything at all through the single most obstructionist Congress in living memory.  Sit this one out and you’ll create a monster – a Congress (and possibly Senate) giving Willard Romney everything he wants.  And all he wants, to quote Southside Johnny, is everything.  Everything of yours, that is.  Your job.  Your house.  Your car, what’s left of your pension plan, maybe even your dog, to strap to the roof of Air Force One.

That can’t happen.  America can’t survive that.

Occupy tells us nothing can be fixed.  Everything’s too corrupt to be remedied, they say.

Really?  And sitting in a park or plaza banging on a drum will fix that how, exactly?  Waving signs and chanting solves what problems?  Having no leader or defined goals doesn’t mean you’re a new kind of movement, it just means you’re a crowd milling around wondering what to do next.

Here’s a hint: Vote.  If you’re not registered, register.  If you are, go help someone else get registered.  The regulations are more onerous now, thanks to 2010’s tantrums, but it still can be done.

Here’s why: No movement that accomplished its goals was ever leaderless, and no movement that accomplished its goals ever secured them in the streets and parks.  Not civil rights, not gay rights, not at all.  They secured them in courtrooms and legislative chambers, and that’s where these battles will be won or lost.  It takes time, it’s frustrating, it’s not instant gratification.

It’s still worth doing.

I’ve sat across a table from a very good attorney who’s secured the freedom of people confined in Guantanamo.  Can fauxgressive/Cato libertarian Glenn Greenwald, for all his bleats of concern for civil liberties, claim even one?  Of course not – he’s a clicktivist only, preferring to sit back in comfort in Brazil and pen his screeds from a distance where he doesn’t even have any real skin in the game.

Don’t be that guy.

Don’t be a do-nothing whiner.

Don’t be a clicktivist.

Call people, work to make things better, even if it’s not as fast as you like, and get votes out in November, we need Congress back and we need President Obama back in Washington.

Republican Racism 2

(repurposed from a Facebook post)

There have been repeated Facebook postings (and deletions) of a certain, highly racist, anti-President Obama sticker on a car of late.

I don’t need to see it again, though I do feel it’s been useful in that it points out a very real problem underlying much, though admittedly not all, of the Republican opposition to the President: RACISM.

And I can’t help but believe that since we do not see many explicit public disavowals or condemnations of such things from Republican candidates or party leadership, that they really don’t mind the expression of such racist sentiments by members and supporters of their party. In fact, I suspect they find them a useful rallying point to some extent.

Sincere opposition on principle I can understand, even though I disagree with it. Opposition underpinned by racism, or reinforced by racist expression, has no place in America.

So how about it, Republican candidates and leaders? Do you have the courage to publicly disavow and condemn these things? Do you have the courage to demand that your supporters stop such things?

Glenn Greenwald – now worse than ever! Reply

Salon’s pet Libertarian, Glenn Greenwald, has made even more of an ass of himself than before.

I know, I know, it hardly seems possible.   Facts have a nasty way of trashing suppositions, though, and this time he did.

Greenwald went so far as to claim that supporters of President Obama would literally excuse him for committing forcible rape, even against a nun.

Yes, you read that right.

Let’s leave aside for the moment that this first requires us to believe that President Obama would do something so heinous.  The suspension of disbelief that alone requires, straining credulity as it does, has to be left alone for the moment to carry Greenwald’s latest burst of insanity just a bit further.

I can safely presume everyone reading this had a mother.  I know I did.  I have a sister, and there is a woman in my life I love very deeply.

To presume that I can leave those aside and rationalize a hypothetical crime of violence even against an abstracted nun in order to continue to support President Obama is a contortion of imagination that defies…well, imagination.

Greenwald’s loathsome nonsense has been annoying and offensive before.  This, though, is an affront to every norm of civilized discourse, and it’s time for him to go.

I’ve written Salon’s management insisting they publicly fire him.  I know it won’t happen, they like the page views his libertarian fanbois bring them far too much to let something so inconvenient as using images of forcible rape as discussion fodder dissuade them from publishing his repellent screeds.

I have only one more message for Greenwald:

GOP Debate IX – The Lament of Ron Paul 2

One thing we know for sure, Ron Paul hates the government, according to him it can’t do anything right, which is why he has spent so many years in government… err I think. He’s been in congress since 1976! And he says government doesn’t work, well maybe that is because he participated in making sure government is dysfunctional and by defunding everything he can, he will continue to assure its dysfunction. How many guys in congress are just like him, and how does he get away with saying this stuff.

So Ron definitely doesn’t want anyone to pay any taxes at all, and of course all government spending is eventually a tax, and all the Republicans in the audience clap, clap, clap. He is okay with state taxes I guess, because he truly believes that each state can have better solutions on their own and that there is no case that can be made for a federal centralized government. Ron Paul doesn’t want to go back to 1850 as many people have suggested, Ron Paul wants to return to pre-1791! He wants to return to the time when America was governed by the Articles of Confederation. He is a pretty interesting fellow, and a little bit silly, but okay let’s listen to him some more.

He is going to cut one trillion dollars in one year by cutting all the taxes I think, he isn’t really clear about this, but I know one thing for sure, he is cutting everything.

Health Care, we have too much! People are living longer and healthier, but we have too much health care. And there should be no government medicine, nothing, and doctors should be paid directly and torte reform! ObamaCare! He made the false claim that insurance premiums have gone up since ACA, but that simply isn’t the case.

He doesn’t want to fund the government but he does want to bring all the troops home to put on the border. I  wonder how he will fund this? Should be interesting. Will he just give back the bases we hold all over the world or will he sell the land on the free market before withdrawing all those troops from all over the world and bringing them home. Will they will all be moving to Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California?

He wants to cut all foreign aid, and even though he doesn’t believe in government programs he makes the absurd claim that money could be going to America’s poor. Can Ron Paul answer that question, would he really use the refund from no-foreign aid to feed and cloth and house poor people? Really? What government programs would he use to deliver? Unanswerable and no Paul follower can answer that question either.

Oh Ron Paul, you are so awesome, because my favorite part of the evening was when he did pwn them all when he told them straight to their faces that St. Ronald Reagan negotiated with terrorists! Oh no he didn’t, the look on their faces the rest of the debaters were stunned, silent, scared, you could see it, how would they refute him. It was spectacular.

Here is the video of Ron Paul’s hits last night.

Crossposted at DAGBlog

GOP Debate IX: Herman Cain 2

Herb Cain has a 9-9-9 plan and he became target numero uno at the GOP debate, Cowboy Style. You knew the group would be all in on going after Herb’s 9-9-9 plan. Cain’s plan has been all the rage as of late with the punditry crowd and the blogging world.  These are the people, (yes like me) who keep Herb in the spotlight.  Although his 15 minutes may be up quickly or maybe not.

The debate begins with a weird commercial about the legendary western United States. It was cool, but it was pretty, well, um, weird.  From there we sing the national anthem and then move right to introductions, where the debaters seemed to be running to their podiums as though they were the quarterbacks of our favorite football teams,  I half expected them to raise both their arms in the sky and scream “Team” “Woo”. And so began debate IX – Cowboy edition.

Herb did get some time in the first 33 minutes of the debate, not a good deal of time, but he did get some time. At the 33 minute mark we get our first sponsored by ad… sponsored by Coal.

Let me draw your attention to my video, before we go into the 9-9-9 apples and oranges montage, we have to talk about Lawrence O’Donnell, the other evening he did a short montage to what Herb Cain knows about his 9-9-9 plan, it was so brilliant I did happen to record it, so I have spliced it together with the highlights of Herb Cain’s debate performance last night. It plays very well with his act, which I now believe is and act to sell his new book, and nothing more. I applaud him for using these debates to enrich himself even more, it is a Republicans dream scenario to become even wealthier doing little or no work something we all know as the “Limbaugh Economic Model or self Aggrandizement=$$$$$$$”, it works too, so I don’t blame him for doing it if it is his goal. So here we are, we are on to Apples and Oranges this becomes Cain’s response to the criticism of his plan.. apples and oranges, apples and oranges. He is an applies and oranges kind of guy. As Lawrence pointed out so well, Herman Cain aka Herb Cain has no idea how his tax plan will work and it isn’t as if he cares if it works. He only cares for the attention he grabs while he gets his 15 minute in the spotlight.

Even though he doesn’t know really how his own program works, he wants to throw out the current tax code and start with his plan, 9-9-9. His plan will liberate American workers and businesses and he definitely wants people to do the math on their own, even though he doesn’t offer any metrics to do so, because he doesn’t know, he just won’t say he doesn’t know.

He loves mixing apples and oranges, no wait, he doesn’t like mixing apples and oranges. According to Cain there are 5 invisible taxes on all products, he doesn’t say what they are, and his tax will replace those invisible taxes. It is a sales tax, but not a VAT tax.

But then Herb turns to Health Care and it sounds like he supports the President’s plan, even though he says he doesn’t. So here is the video of what good old Herman says about Health Care for American’s and as Herb points out some of those things included in ACA were propose by Republicans, yes but they cannot say they support ACA they just support what is in ACA up to and including having to purchase your own insurance.

Next up, Ron Paul’s Greatest Hits

Crossposted at DAGBlog

ADVICE TO OWS-EVERYWHERE! AGENDA: CONSTITUTIONIAL CONVENTION 2

There comes a time in the life of a nation when it is time to make choices, how are we going to institute effective change and reform our badly broken government. We now have a Legislative Branch filled with spoiled schoolyard children, who would prefer to see the country slip past the point of no-return, where they would prefer their citizens to be destitute and desperate in order to gain more and more power.

We certainly cannot rely on our legislative branch to put aside their ideological differences in order to do something for the country. They refuse; we’ve seen them, over and over and over again. We could never get them to reform the gerrymandering of congressional districts; we will never get them to put money into the country, hell that money that they throw around in Iraq and Afghanistan and they give away to oil companies, is our money, why can’t we use it to stimulate our economy here, at home. And why do those bozos constantly get away with enriching billionaires and corporations even more, as if they don’t have enough, which has been to the detriment of the entire nation! What the hell, it is outrageous! They don’t even care, they flaunt it, they laugh in our faces and say cut taxes on the wealthy and corporations but and they say on the floor of the US Senate, the poor simply don’t pay enough. What????? What civilized nation has representatives like this? Oh, I don’t think they do. In a civilized nation those people would be laughed out of public office, not here though, they win another term in congress.

Well protestors nationwide, we have an opportunity to effect change ourselves, it is time we used the very document these folks go on and on about every day, we must make our state legislature call for a Constitutional Convention and we will amend our constitution without them, we have an opportunity, you’ve started something, let’s direct it toward fundamental change in our government.

The second method prescribed is for a Constitutional Convention to be called by two-thirds of the legislatures of the States, and for that Convention to propose one or more amendments. These amendments are then sent to the states to be approved by three-fourths of the legislatures or conventions. This route has never been taken, and there is discussion in political science circles about just how such a convention would be convened, and what kind of changes it would bring about.

Suggestions for Amendments:

1. Amendment 28: The Public funding of elections,  30 days to campaign, advertising can only be through the public funding, no outside groups can run advertisements for or against candidates, you see what I am getting at,  no outside money, nothing, zero zip. Oh so yeah, add somewhere in this Amendment this is explicitly to repeal the citizen united ruling as well. So they can’t find some way around the amendment.

2. Term Limits for Legislators: 3 terms for H.o.R. 2 terms for Senators. They don’t need any more time than that.

3. Can we throw in the outlawing of the filibuster too? Cause these folks have simply abused the privilege to use this parliamentary tactic of obstruction.

4. We need to consider term limits for members of the Supreme Court. 20 years. No more. No one is grandfathered out.

Crossposted at DAGBlog