Wednesday, July 29, 2015

T-rump: Wealth From Father; Missed Mother's Breastfeeding Apparently

Mommy: Did that man say this was disgusting?

Current Reality Show Contestant: Seeking to be Hired

You Want a Break for Breastfeeding: Whoa!! Hold it: "That's disgusting..."

First some background on T-rump: Spoiled brat as a kid (I suspect), his wealth, and then the following story:

“The” Donald Trump was born in New York City in 1946, the son of real estate tycoon Fred Trump. Fred Trump’s business success not only provided Donald Trump with a posh youth of private schools and economic security but eventually blessed him with an inheritance worth an estimated $40 million to $200 million. It is critical to note, however, that his father’s success, which granted Donald Trump such a great advantage, was enabled and buffered by governmental financing programs. 

In 1934, while struggling during the Great Depression, financing from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) allowed Fred Trump to revive his business and begin building a multitude of homes in Brooklyn, selling at $6,000 apiece. Furthermore, throughout World War II, Fred Trump constructed FHA-backed housing for US naval personnel near major shipyards along the East Coast.
Now T-rump's string of insults gets a lot uglier with this“blast from the past” as they say:

Trump called a lawyer and breastfeeding mother “disgusting” after she requested a break from a deposition in order to pump, according to a New York Times report just out. 

According to the Times, lawyer Elizabeth Beck was questioning Trump in 2011 about a failed Florida real estate project. Beck, with her husband, represented clients who claimed to lose thousands of dollars in the deal. At one point, Beck, who had a 3-month-old daughter, requested a medical break which was contested by Trump and his lawyers, who wanted to continue. That’s when Beck took out her breast pump to show that her request was urgent — she needed to pump for her infant. “You’re disgusting,” Trump told Beck before leaving the room.  

The quote is not disputed by Trump’s camp.

In an interview with CNN Beck says she had pre-negotiated breaks during the deposition in order for her to pump. “[Mr.] Trump] got up, his face got red, he shook his finger at me and he screamed, ‘You’re disgusting, you’re disgusting, and he ran out of there.” Beck called his behavior “an absolute meltdown.”

Alan Garten, a lawyer for Trump who was present at the deposition, told the Times that Trump’s statement “was in no way a statement about her decision to breastfeed or pump. It was solely the fact that she was appearing to do it in the middle of a deposition,” and Garten said Beck was using the pump break as an excuse to get extra time to come up with questions for Trump.  

In a series of tweets, Trump addressed the incident, claiming that Beck “wanted to breast pump in front of me” at the deposition, and then he wrote that “Lawyer Elizabeth Beck did a terrible job against me, she lost and I even got legal fees. I loved beating her, she was easy.”

Beck told CNN that she was not interested in pumping in front of anyone, but was simply asking for a break and a private space. Trump hasn’t spoken publicly much about his views on breastfeeding, working mothers, or working families in general.

More recently, T-rump congratulated himself in Iowa in April after he withheld from screaming at a crying baby in the audience.

During a speech, he called out an infant who was crying, as well as the little one’s parents, telling everyone: “And did you notice that baby was crying through half of the speech and I didn’t get angry?” (This part of the story from Raw Story).  “Not once. Did you notice that? That baby was driving me crazy. I didn’t get angry once because I didn’t want to insult the parents for not taking the kid out of the room! I have great restraint” T-rump then emphasized.  

Yep, you sure do, Mr. T — you sure do. So, how about I add a Rick Perry “oops” moment to finish this, okay?

Sunday, July 26, 2015

State-run ACA Health Insurance Exchanges Struggle With Costs

Sample of Getting Info to Sign Up for ACA at State Level

These headlines from The AP are a bit worrisome (at least for the affected states):

Sign up challenges could lead more of the states to turn over operations to the Federal government or join forces with other states.
Latest Example: Hawaii's marketplace was awarded $205 million in federal startup grants. It has spent about $139 million and enrolled 8,200 customers for individual coverage in 2015. Unable to sustain itself, they are turning over sign-ups to the Federal HealthCare.gov site for 2016.
Twelve states and the District of Columbia fully control their own markets. Experts estimate about half face financial difficulties. Federal taxpayers invested nearly $5 billion in startup grants to the states, expecting that state markets would become self-sustaining. Most of the federal money has been spent, and states have to face the consequences.  
Bottom line: The way I see it is that problems popping up can and must be resolved ... and I still advocate for the simple solution that would be a single one-payer system for the entire country. 
Money from Insurance giants (paid into by those insured) would flow back to the Feds who in turn would pay the bills with Fed tax dollars added just we do now for Medicare or Medicaid. That would solve a whole lot of problems: (1) make payments easy, and it would (2) standardize care for everyone in the country (citizens or those here legally for starters).
Story continues at the link. More on this later, I am sure.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Only Alternative to Iranian Agreement is WAR, and the GOP Loves That Prospect

If bombs could spell "PEACE" the GOP would love that, too

Words of Wisdom from a Man Who Knew too Much

GOP yearning for the "good old days" sequel

If GOP Stops Agreement: "The DAY AFTER," Finis

Reality is about to sink in big time: Either we stop the spread of nuclear weapons and the spread of them in the Middle East with what I think is a decent agreement, or suffer the only consequence of no agreement: more war in that region. In short: there is no middle ground on this point.

The ugly nasty reality of GOP politics about to set in - a few samples with my special labeling, which I stand firmly behind: 

Sen. Marco "Dufus" Rubio (R-FL_:  “President Obama has consistently negotiated from a position of weakness, giving concession after concession to a regime that has American blood on its hands, holds Americans hostage, and has consistently violated every agreement it ever signed." One of his support groups released an Ad trashing the deal, saying:  “Congress can stop it,” the ad from the Conservative Solutions Project goes. “Marco Rubio is leading the fight… Tell your senators to join Marco Rubio and defeat Obama’s deal with Iran.”

Possibly the "Worse" Bush of all time:  Former Gov. JEB Bush (R-FL) outlined his objections in a separate statement. “This isn’t diplomacy – it is appeasement."

Businessman and Latino Divider Donald T-Rump (R-NY):  “You know the Iranians are going to cheat. They’re great negotiators and you know they’re going to cheat.”

Gov. Crispy "Bridgegate" Christie (R-NJ): “He should have walked away." Further urging Congress to reject the agreement.

The Canadian Sen. TED Cruz "Missile" (R-TX):  He called the deal “...a fundamental betrayal of the security of the United States and of our closest allies, first and foremost Israel.”

RNC Chair, Rinse Priebus (no, not the Toyota) (R-USA):  “This deal would not have happened without Hillary Clinton, who as Secretary of State, put things in motion. She owes America an explanation: Why did she support negotiations that empowered Iran, and what would she do to prevent Iran from ever getting a nuclear weapon?”

Gov. Piyush "Bobby is his Reel name" Jindal (R-LA): “While Secretary Clinton has been the architect of President Obama’s foreign policy, she can do the right thing and prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and oppose this deal.”  

Sen. Rand "Really Dumb Ass" Paul (R-KY) in a tweet: “The deal is bad because: (1) sanctions relief precedes evidence of compliance, (2) Iran is left with significant nuclear capacity, and (3) it also lifts the ban on selling advanced weapons to Iran. Better to keep the interim agreement in place instead of accepting a bad deal.”

The Koch bros fav: Gov. Scott "Anti-Everything" Walker (R-WI): He called the deal “...one of America’s worst diplomatic failures" and called on Clinton and Republican candidates to follow his lead, saying further: “Looking ahead, we need to terminate the bad deal with Iran on the very first day in office, put in place crippling economic sanctions and convince our allies to do exactly the same thing.”

Former Gov. Huck Mikeabee (R-AR) also a tweet: “I will stand with Israel and keep all options on the table, including military force, to topple the terrorist Iranian regime.”

Sen. Mitch “We need more campaign money, not less” McConnell (R-KY) “The deal appears to further the flawed elements of April’s interim agreement because the Obama administration approached these talks from a flawed perspective: reaching the best deal acceptable to Iran, rather than actually advancing our national goal of ending Iran’s nuclear program.”

Sen. Bob “Corkscrew” Corker (R-TN):  “I begin with skepticism because two years ago we had a roguish country with a boot on its neck and we went from dismantling their [nuclear] program to managing their proliferation.”

Carly “Almost Ruined HP” Fiorina (R-CA): “Iran has demonstrated bad behavior and we know they have been trying to cheat on this deal.”

However, here is this level-headed GOPer, seen with a sign at rally. His name is Jacob Heilbrunn, who later said: “It would be a profound mistake for the GOP to conclude that it can profit politically by bashing the deal during the 2016 presidential campaign. It won’t. Instead, the party would seem a fortiori to be stuck in even more of a time warp.”

Actually Huckabee is closer to what I say the GOP seeks: Get rid of Obama, put a GOPer in the W/H and then crank up the old war machine and "go git em." 

I seriously wonder: Will Huck's two sons enlist? Will Romney's sons time join? How about Walker's two sons, or Jeb's two sons, and all the others screeching the same tune?

This might well be the GOP 2016 campaign rally cry and logo for their convention in Cleveland in July 2016:

Sunday, July 5, 2015

ISIS Gets More Horrible World Attention: World Unity Needed to Wipe Them Out

Celebrating in Syria and Across Iraq 
(IS Direct Combat Side)

Teen Girls from UK to Syria and Marriage to IS Fighters
(IS More Subtle Yet More Serious Long Term Side)

This update comes only one day after the following extensive post, but it needs reinforcement again based on this story source is here - it includes a short video yet unconfirmed:

More Carefully Staged ISIS Mass Executions for World Consumption 
(in Syria recently)

Original post starts here: This posting is quite long and the focus (the three girls in the story) follows at the end of this background:

Nine nations agreed to help the U.S. combat ISIS that includes training and equipping the Iraqis – those nine are: the UK, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, Turkey, Italy, Poland, and Denmark. Also, some 21 of the 22 states in the Arab league (Syria has been suspended since 2011 due to their Civil War) have pledged support. That is all very good news and potentially bad news for ISIS/ISIL with caveats – is it and are they working effectively enough?

The past and massive GOP criticism of President Obama appears to have been premature and most political point-making (as usual). Now they are hot and cold or totally silent about a previous stance that “we need a declaration of war and more American “boots” on the ground – let’s go get them attitude.” Yet they will not take that Constitutional step, either. Seems the Grand Old Party is confused and apparently not so damn grand after all.  

Lest we forget the Tonkin Gulf resolution that got us into Vietnam for 10 years (I know, I served two full infantry combat tours there), and then in Iraq for 8 years (both on lies and deceit), and still to a certain degree in Afghanistan, and of course in other hot spots in the ME (Yemen).

Let me be clear: Afghanistan was the right call for the right reason at the right time that is until the Bush team lost focus and shifted towards Iraq and we all know that story – which BTW is now reigniting under a real threat by ISIS or ISIL with their murder all across the Internet and TV and in the news in horrible acts of “serving Allah” they claim.

Reflect on this from NY TIMES columnist, Thomas Friedman, who reminded readers that ISIS emerged from a context of three civil wars raging in the Arab world, which makes the U.S. response incredibly complicated. He urged caution, writing in part that: “ISIS is awful but it is not a threat to America's homeland” (I would now interject: Not a direct threat to us yet, but don’t hold your breath).

Friedman continued, which I agree mostly, in part:

I'm all-in on destroying ISIS. It is a sick, destabilizing movement. I support using U.S. air power and Special Forces to root it out, but only as part of a coalition, where everybody who has a stake in stability there pays their share and where mainstream Sunnis and Shiites take the lead by demonstrating that they hate ISIS more than they hate each other. Otherwise, we'll end up in the middle of a God-awful mess of duplicitous allies and sectarian passions, and nothing good we do will last.”

So, who can logically answer this question: “Why is it safe or otherwise appear to be safe in assuming or saying that ISIS fighters — well-armed, with lots of money, U.S. and EU passports in many cases, and having and displaying a thirst for American blood on display with the public execution of the two American journalists: James Foley and Steven Sotloff — won't bring the fight directly to our shores?”

ISIS is not a case or set of circumstances that warrants any kind of containment or deterrence – not one bit. They have to be totally wiped out and off the face of the Earth, and that must be in harmony with an international coalition of like-mined countries focused on that same single goal.

The U.S. can and must set the example and lead. The “how part” is always the toughest part. Just “how” deep should our involvement be? “How” much must we invest compared to the countries in that region where ISIS is literally in their backyard?

Yes, there is a lot the U.S. can do … but shedding more blood and spending billions like we did in Iraq and continue to do in Afghanistan – well, that’s very different kind of “why” now isn’t it? That word apparently is weak in GOP-speak, BTW. The results kind of speak for themselves, too.

My thinking tracks along these lines. See if you agree or not with some of these points:

1.  War should not be our first, second, or even third choices. However, war may be necessary in cases where we are up against an ideology or over zealous religious perspective that acts the way we see it acting today – that in short, denies any logical reasoning.
2.  Certainly going to war in cases or in response to attacks such as Pearl Harbor and 9/11 are totally justified.
3.  Fighting against Nazism and Japanese Imperialism in World War II are classic examples which highlight the need for strong, united, direct, and decisive military intervention no matter the cost; no matter the time; and no matter the suffering along the way. 
4.  Not acting in those cases benefit the attackers and their goals and not those of freedom-loving decent people – thus we cannot allow ourselves or our citizens to become slaves or cowards in the face of that kind of thinking.
5.  I do not advocate a hawkish national policy across the board, either. Simply stated: we must be prepared and ready and willing to intervene and act if circumstances require or warrant it.
6.  Identifying and clarifying the threat and circumstances to act must be in harmony with public support. That is key.

What we face today, I strongly believe, with the recent beheadings by ISIS of the two American journalists who are not combatants in any sense of the word, do warrant strong and swift and decisive military action that is not limited in scope, but that strives to build a like-minded international coalition of free men to act and react full bore to eradicate the threat that ISIS obviously presents. 

I see no other way – especially in light of this recent news and update about ISIS worldwide aim:

London (AFP) (July 4, 2015) - Two of three teenage girls who travelled from Britain to Syria sparking criticism of the police response have married Islamic State (IS) group fighters, the lawyer for their families said Saturday. The girls: Kadiza Sultana, 16, and 15-year-olds Shamima Begum and Amira Abase left their homes in February and flew to Istanbul before crossing into Syria. Two of the trio have been in touch with their families to say they have married men in ceremonies approved by IS and are living in and around the Syrian city of Raqqa, the group's stronghold, the Guardian reported. The paper reported that the two teenagers were given a “catalogue of men to choose from” and that their husbands were in their 20s.
The newspaper did not identify which two of the three had got married at the families' request.
Attorney Tasnime Akunjee, who represents the families, told the Guardian that the news had “caused a lot of distress,” and it entrenches their lives in Syria, rather than in Britain. It erodes significantly hopes that they will come back.”
All three of the girls attended the same school in east London, Bethnal Green Academy. They are believed to have followed a classmate who left a few months previously. Four other girls from the same school have been given a court order banning them from travelling abroad over fears they too could go to Syria. The girls' families have accused police of failing to communicate information which could have alerted them to the risk that their daughters would travel to Syria.
Related to the heart of thoughts introducing this posting today:
Scotland Yard believes around 600 Britons have travelled to Syria and Iraq since the conflict began though about half are believed to have returned to Britain. I would hope and ask: are they being tracked? Several hundred let alone one or two “lone wolves” could do great harm in London or elsewhere no matter what country they “return to” to fulfill IS dreams whatever the f**k ISIS dreams are or may be down the road.
It is very concerning and the world had better wake up.

Friday, July 3, 2015

July 4, 1776 - July 4, 2015: 239 Years for a Young Democracy

That image and a lot more in between led to this and much more history since:

The American Revolution (1775-1783) is also known as the American Revolutionary War and the U.S. War of Independence. 

The conflict arose from growing tensions between residents of Great Britain’s 13 North American colonies and the colonial government, which represented the British crown. Skirmishes between British troops and colonial militiamen in Lexington and Concord in April 1775 kicked off the armed conflict, and by the following summer, the rebels were waging a full-scale war for their independence.

France entered the American Revolution on the side of the colonists in 1778, turning what had essentially been a civil war into an international conflict. After French assistance helped the Continental Army force the British surrender at Yorktown, Virginia, in 1781, the Americans had effectively won their independence, though fighting would not formally end until 1783. 

By June 1776, with the Revolutionary War in full swing, a growing majority of the colonists had come to favor independence from Britain.

On July 4, 1776 the Continental Congress voted to adopt the Declaration of Independence, drafted by a five-man committee including Benjamin Franklin and John Adams but written mainly by Thomas Jefferson (later 3rd President of the United States under the Constitution which would be ratified on June 21, 1788 (official date).

That all became effective when Geo. Washington was sworn in as the First President of the United States of America on April 30, 1789, and in the eyes of the world ever since we became and are The United States of America

Thursday, July 2, 2015

F-35 Stealth Fighter: Cost, Production, and Combat Effectiveness in Question

F-35 Lightning II (Stealth Joint Strike Fighter)

This post is related to this dramatic headline:
Military: Don't Worry if the F-35 “The Most-Expensive Fighter Jet Ever” Can't Dogfight

First this background on the plane:  
·         In 1997, Lockheed Martin was selected as one of two companies to participate in the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) concept demonstration phase.
·         In October 2001, the Lockheed Martin X-35 was chosen as the winner of the competition and teamed with Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems to begin production.
·         In February 2006, the first produced F-35A rolled out of the assembly in Fort Worth, Texas. Later that year, it, in development by the United States and eight other countries, was named the “Lightning II” in homage to two earlier fighters.
·         In December of 2006, the F-35 completed its first flight. Over the next few years, flight and ground test articles of all three variants rolled off the production line and began collecting test points.
·         In February 2011, the first produced F-35 conducted its first flight with deliveries beginning that very same year.
·         In 2012, the F-35 ramped up with 30 aircraft deliveries and increased testing operations across the United States. The program reached several milestones in weapons separation testing, angle of attack testing, aerial refueling training, and surpassed more than 5,000 flight hours with more than 2,100 recorded flights in that year.
Now, the source article of this post is from this story (ABC News – July 1, 2015), in part: The makers of one of the most expensive weapons programs in history went on the defensive today, saying a recent report on the F-35 fighter jet’s failures in old-school dogfighting against a decades-old, much cheaper legacy fighter “does not tell the whole story.”
The report in question, posted on the national security news website War Is Boring, was based on an internal five-page brief in which an F-35 test pilot wrote a scathing criticism of the next-generation jet’s abilities in a January dogfight with an F-16, one of the planes the F-35 is designed to replace.
Essentially, the pilot reportedly wrote, the F-35 was no match for the F-16 in close-up, high maneuvering fighting – whether the F-35 was trying to get the F-16 in its sights or trying to evade the F-16’s mock weapons.
“The F-35 was at a distinct energy disadvantage,” the test pilot reportedly wrote. “There were not compelling reasons to fight in this region.” Now the Pentagon’s F-35 Program Office did what the actual $138 million jet (GAO report) apparently couldn't, well, they are fighting back.
I conclude that it would be great to get the whole story, and ideally the whole truth and nothing but the truth … and not from members of congress protecting their aircraft production turf, either.
Related media coverage on this subject:
From Business Insider February 2014 http://www.businessinsider.com/f-35-cost-2014-2

And this extensive chronology from the NY Times (dating back to 2011) http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/m/military_aircraft/f35_airplane/index.html

A story worth following. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Texas in Spotlight (again): USSC 5-4 Favor Woman's Clinic and Health Privacy

A win in Texas, but for how long???

Granny nails it ...

The basic argument

Definitely a good week for progressives and decent people who are truly part of the most-important words in America: "We the People."  Another 5-4 and the backlash is just starting:


Supreme Court Allows Texas Abortion Clinics to Remain Open

The Supreme Court voted (5-4) to allow nine Texas abortion clinics to remain open while the justices consider whether to hear an appeal from a decision effectively ordering them to close.

Chief Justice Roberts along with Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito voted to deny the stay.

The case concerns two parts of a state law that impose strict requirements on abortion providers. One requires all abortion clinics in the state to meet the standards for “ambulatory surgical centers,” including regulations concerning buildings, equipment and staffing. The other requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

Read more  » from the NY Times.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Justice Scalia Rips Justice Kennedy on Gay Marriage: Unbecoming and Unseemly

Justice Kennedy sided with the liberal opinion & Justice Scalia went bonkers

Scalia wrote about Kennedy, in part about Kennedy's opening in his overall opinion which apparently enraged Scalia so much so that he went further than his usual criticism of Kennedy’s signature flowery language writing in this footnote that “... he would (if he were Kennedy) hide his head in a bag” if he (Scalia) ever signed onto an opinion containing this first sentence, which Scalia said contained “the mystical aphorisms of a fortune cookie.”

This is the sentence that Scalia apparently took issue with about Kennedy, who is known for rhetorical flourishes and sweeping legal writing, who began his majority opinion with this broad statement: “The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity.”

Kennedy concluded that the 14th Amendment guarantees the right to marriage to same-sex couples, and that denying them marriage robs them of liberty entitled to them by law. And on his way to that, Kennedy colorfully explains that marriage is an ennobling institution that bestows dignity upon those who enter it, concluding: “Marriage responds to the universal fear that a lonely person might call out only to find no one there.” 

At that point, I surmise Justice Scalia went off the rails.

You can read the whole piece here from a National Affairs reporter.

I conclude that if Justice Scalia is so strong on this principle about the topic of same-sex marriage that perhaps he should resigning or retiring ASAP.

That seems logical to me and it would serve the nation quite effectively and honestly, too. But, as we also know, such a decision is left to the Justice to step aside or not since they are appointed for life. Um … maybe we need to reconsider that aspect of high court appointments, too, you think? That topic for another day perhaps.  

Thanks for stopping by. Your opinions are always welcome.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

New York State and Guns: Be Proud Not Ashamed or Guilt-ridden

Washington, DC rated worst at #51 

 Wild, Wild West 

What the country wants (more or less)

Cartoon, but no laughing matter
(Mothers always know best)

The cartoon is right on target (no pun intended) - why? It seems that always after these horrible shootings the GOP-FOX-NRA team line up and theme song is the same: It's not the guns or the volumes of ammo or massive number of clips or over-sized magazines, etc., nay. It's the breakdown in our mental health screening and treatment of sick people who just happen to have a gun and go off the rails. This cartoon nails it perfectly.

Of course anyone who pulls the trigger and murders in cold blood nine innocent churchgoers (in Charleston, SC), or 20 innocent children in school (at Sandy Hook Elem in Newtown, CT), or 12 people watching a movie (in Aurora, CO), or 23 killed while eating a meal (in Killeen, TX), or 32 murdered in college (at VA TECH), or 13 soldiers killed at a clinic (in Fort Hood, TX) along with 42 wounded has a mental problem - but they have guns, too, don't they?

The trail of such shootings is long as noted from 1991 until now and each time afterwards, gun sales skyrocket. Why? Oh, yeah fear of losing "our guns, or they are coming to take your gun" and of course, fear of government and decent, logical, rational gun control - not taking them, but making sure maniacs don't get or have easy access to them - the question as always is how - cooperation for starters would help.

Every three seconds in the month of May alone, the FBI conducted a background check on someone buying a handgun, rifle, or other weapon. That's actually down a bit. During the recent peak, in December 2012 when the holiday shopping season overlapped with fears that new restrictions would be put in place after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, background checks were conducted nearly once a second.

What the hell is wrong, America? Really. Threat to American sanity - easy in this day and age: the NRA - I call them the National Rotten Ässhølës - 'cause they are. Reflect on this old NRA message – ironic isn’t it?

And how about this old NRA message, but since then: The gun lobby and gun industry have both run amok, as well as members of Congress quite literally, running scared.

I'm done now.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Scott Walker's Benefactor: Fox News CEO Roger Ailes — Cheerleader-in-Charge

In Gov. Scott Walker's Corner with Tons of PR Weight 
(quite literally)

The headlines are eye-catching to say the least:

A report from New York magazine indicates that FOX News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes is leaning towards Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) while at the same time having been personally involved in the FOX News network attacks on Hillary Clinton. Sounds like an old Nixon-era “dirty tricks ploy.”  Wait, Ailes used to work on the Nixon campaign. Whoops…

Ailes is to have said he “likes Walker,” who is “a ready-made FOX hero” for his Midwestern roots and “Union-busting agenda.”

Those words are from the writer of the New York article, Gabriel Sherman, also noted that Ailes likes Walker's “hardline” immigration position [that is] in sync with FOX's” (i.e., FOX has been a reliable ally for Walker in his fights against public sector labor unions, and some on-air hosts have described Walker a “sexy guy” and even he is someone who makes my toes curl. In turn, Walker advised fellow Republicans to use FOX to get their “message out.”

Nothing like quid pro quo waiting in the wings as it were, right boys? Quid pro quo is hard to prove, but with all these warm and fuzzy statements this early on and money behind Walker (the power of FOX and the Koch’s) hell, the inference lines are easily drawn and seen, don't cha' think?

My hunch: FOX and the Koch's both want Walker in office why? Because he is a dumb ass lackey (easily handled) and tailor made to their liking. That is pretty obvious to anyone paying close attention - kind of like Cheney with his meat hooks and strings on George W. Bush. Hell, even Bloomberg thinks so.  

More later, I am sure. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

UPDATED: More Proof Gov. Scott Walker is a Blockhead Dummy

Not a "Koch Sucker" eh??? Think gain...
(listen to Walker here - in his own words)

This update is mind boggling to say the least about Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) who is by all accounts and most standards is: Staunchly Anti-Union, Anti-Public Employees, Public Schools and Public Teachers, a Rabid Homophobe, total Dümbäss, and now, well, just Plain Stupid:
Wisconsinites Blast Gov. Scott Walker’s Stadium Deal as Outrageous

Depending on who you ask, building a new, publicly financed basketball stadium for the Milwaukee Bucks is either a horrendous example of corporate welfare and official corruption, or a chance to reinvigorate an economically depressed city. The county held its first public meeting recently to night to discuss the proposal to use tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to keep the team in the city. The large crowd took issue with many aspects of the deal, which would sell public land valued at nearly $9 million for $1 dollar to the team’s billionaire owners, post grabbed from Think Progress.

I note: A piss poor, but classic example of a GOP wheeler and dealer (for the top): Stick it the people, while saying you are protecting the people and their tax dollars while with the other hand, giving huge tax breaks (or whatever this deal is called) to the top crust (read: filthy rich) … so, you gotta luv the GOP: They always standing on principle and and they are not very selective about whose backs they stand on to appease the top … now that’s what I call "being principled" isn’t it? You bet cha’… (Damn I don’t believe I used that phrase – smile).

Now more key pieces data on this dimwit.

Update of the following post: From the NY Times:

Behind Walker, a Longstanding Conservative Alliance Against Unions
Original post from here with this headlines:

Walker Backs Constitutional Amendment Allowing Ban Same Sex Marriage

But, first this historical background about what Walker in essence now proposes and that is to amend the Constitution and allow discrimination against gay Americans who want to marry and seek happiness.

1.  The Constitution in Plessy v. Ferguson sanctioned and blessed discrimination against Americans in the USSC ruling in 1896 that basically said: “Separate but Equal” was okay and the law of the land.

2.  That same high-court attitude prevailed and did not change until 1954 in Brown v. Board of Education ruling in Topeka, KS that said “Separate but Equal” was not okay, thus overturning Plessy.

Now, the current story: Walker who is clearly anti-everything and everyone in public life (e.g., Unions, Teachers, Public Employees, et al) advocates a back to future attitude to allow the Constitution to once again legally discriminate, here in part:

WASHINGTON -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) said Sunday that he supports a constitutional amendment that would bar the Supreme Court from granting marriage equality rights nationwide.
The Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision this month that could grant, for once and for all, same-sex couples the right to wed across the country. But Walker said on ABC's "This Week" that he would support amending the constitution to protect states that still want to ban same-sex marriage.
“I personally believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. If the court decides that, the only next approach is for those who are supporters of marriage being defined as between one man and one woman is ultimately to consider pursuing a constitutional amendment,” Walker said, then added: “That the decision on defining marriage should be left up to the states.”
Same-sex marriage is legal in Wisconsin. Walker has said that he voted for the state's constitutional ban on marriage equality in 2006, which was overturned eight years later by the courts.  
In April, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who is also running for president, introduced legislation to establish a constitutional amendment protecting states that want to bar same-sex marriage.  
Both of these men should never be allowed anywhere near the White House … they advocate very sick and dangerous change the Constitution.  

Thanks for stopping back - I am sure more updates on this man (or men) will follow. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

GOP-Run Congress: Gridlocked, Ineffective, Stalemated, Out of Step, Flatline Next

GOP Leadership: doubtful they can even spell the word...
(NSA snooping issue)

Next for GOP Congress

Update on the NSA bulk data gathering:

WASHINGTON — In a remarkable turnaround, Senate Republicans have agreed to debate a House bill that would overhaul the National Security Agency's handling of Americans' calling records (see below reference) that at the same time would help preserve other domestic surveillance provisions. 

But that move didn't happen soon enough to prevent expiration of legal authority for the programs from expiring at midnight Sunday night. Now Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), a 2016 presidential contender, is hitting the airwaves hammering Mr. Obama. Keep in mind it was he who stood and still stands in the way of extending the overall program. 

That is angering his GOP colleagues, frustrating intelligence and law enforcement officials, and generally pissing off most GOPers who want the mass bulk collection left in place to “keep us safe from ISIS coming here and killing us all” (Sen. Lindsey Graham’s words – not mine) (Related Note: Sen. Graham off and running today, too).

So, the question is whether the Senate will pass a bill the House passed and can live with (see below reference), and if so, then the surveillance program will resume, but with some major and significant changes in how the phone records are collected and handled, or if not, will remain dormant?  

I think as millions of others think, this inaction could harm our tracking of any bad guys – the issue is simple: Yes, collect and act on what data is considered applicable, but NOT info on every single American with a telephone or tablet or computer.  That makes no sense unless done legally and court approved – that is the only issue.

Original Post from Here with Background on the above: On May 13, 2015, the House passed the new the new “Freedom Act” but it is hung up in the Senate now with a lot of fear tactics in play. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and others want a “clean extension of the bill specifically Section 215 until 2020 and in its present form.” Opposition and fear are strong on all sides…  Where are we now?

THE QUESTION EVERYONE IS ASKING (extracts from here): “What is the impact if SECTION 215 expires or the entire thing expires and the Senate does not approve the House’s Freedom Act which lessens fear over the metadata bulk collection?"

Woe is us, I guess. Ding… please keep in mind that two other “Patriot Act” provisions set to expire if the Freedom Act is NOT passed (that deal with fighting terrorism as it were) are:  (1) The roving wiretap provision, and (2) The lone wolf tracking provision — are relatively uncontroversial and would be extended unchanged under either the Freedom Act or a clean re-authorization. (Thus some GOP fear may be misplaced).


(1) The roving-wiretap provision allows investigators to obtain court orders allowing them to follow a suspect who switches phones, instead of needing an individual warrant for each device. The FBI has historically said roving wiretaps are an important tool that allows them not to go dark on targets who might use burner phones and,

(2) The lone-wolf language allows intelligence services the ability to spy on non-U.S. suspects not believed to be connected to a terrorist organization or a foreign government. A pro-reform Hill staffer said that this authority has never actually been used.

Both roving wiretap and lone wolf will also be turned off if the June 1 expiration occurs. That is a real concern, more so that the metadata/bulk collection program.  Sen. McConnell and his hawks want to keep the status quo – nothing else … common sense says pass the House version of the Freedom Act and stop the hand wringing and fear mongering.

However, McConnell and his gang are not listening much I would argue: Their concerns over losing a broader Section 215 (bulk collection) are not sufficient reason to support the House-passed USA Freedom Act as they say – thus we need it all extended until 2020.

While the House version would end the metadata collection (bulk collection) program and usher in other surveillance reforms related to transparency and oversight, it would, however, preserve much of the other powers granted by Section 215, in addition to the lone-wolf and roving-wiretap provisions also staring down a June 1 expiration as outlines above. The worry warts are out in force and most argue unnecessarily.  

So, how did we get to this point? These two references relate to the story in more legal detail, extracts from them follow – click to read each one entirely: 

Keep in mind that a common premise among most of Congress if not most of the public is:

“Congress can do what pretty much what they please about anything taking a chance on the legal and public fall out later (call it fingers cross rule) – that is the can enact laws they choose and make decisions that they want when they want.” (Or, if a presidential veto is overridden).

In essence they take their chances with any public outrage or legal fallout like now and what is amazing about that is there are a lot of lawyers serving in Congress. Don’t or didn’t they know or suspect that the metadata gathering part of the Patriotic Act was illegal or should be, if so, they apparently did not and do not care even now since the Snowden leaks to the world?  

However, an APPEALS COURT weighed in this way:

In a 97-page ruling, the three-judge panel for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (NY) has held that a provision of the USA Patriot Act permitting the Federal Bureau of Investigation to collect business records deemed relevant to a counter-terrorism investigation (e.g., that Section 215 – metadata collection) cannot be legitimately interpreted to permit the systematic bulk collection of domestic calling records, as the Court said in part: “[that provision of the act] cannot bear the weight the government asks us to assign to it, and that it does not authorize the telephone metadata program.”

I think this part of the ruling is critically important wherein the Judges said:

“We do so comfortably in the full understanding that if Congress chooses to authorize such a far‐reaching and unprecedented program, it has every opportunity to do so, and to do so unambiguously.” (That means in layman’s terms: If congress continues the program they do so knowing full and well it has been and remains illegal).

In summary I note and stand firm on these two points:

1.  How can Congress, any Congress for that matter, act knowing something has been ruled illegal or unlawful? Isn’t government supposed to stand for right and wrong, not the illegal over legal; and do good not bad? To pass good decent laws that are helpful, not harmful. Well with this bunch right now I have serious doubts.  

2.  Pass the House bill and stop worrying, Sen. McConnell and others. Have some faith and confidence in our system and the parts of the bill left in place, then fulfill your duties to the people.

Thanks for stopping ... Updates will follow - stay tuned.