Friday, May 22, 2015

Greedy Insurance Weasels: Top of the Line and the Worst

The Main Goal: Still Alive and Sipping TEA

The headlines from here - quite the shock treatment and from your friendly HMO, too:
Health insurers seek hefty rate boosts

(Proposals set the stage for debate over federal health law’s impact)

Major insurers in some states are proposing hefty rate boosts for plans sold under the ACA (Obama-care) setting the stage for an intense debate this summer over the law and its impact. Samples from around the nation:
In New Mexico: Health Care Service Corp. is asking for an average jump of 51.6% in premiums for 2016.
In Tennessee: BlueCross BlueShield has requested an average 36.3% increase.
In Maryland: CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield wants to raise rates 30.4% across all its products.
In Oregon: Moda Health seeks an average boost of around 25%.
All of these insurers cite high medical costs incurred by people newly enrolled under the ACA (Obama-care), which is ironic in view of the fact that health cost growth has slowed to historic lows in recent years, and that is a fact consumer groups are expected to bring up during rate-review debates.
Under the ACA, insurers can file proposed rates to their local regulator and, in most cases, to the federal government. Some states have begun making the filings public, as they prepare to review the requests in coming weeks. The federal government is due to release its rate filings in early June.  Insurance regulators in states can force carriers to scale back requests they can’t justify. The Obama administration can ask insurers seeking increases of 10% or more to explain themselves, but cannot force them to cut rates. Rates will become final by the fall.
Consumer groups are demanding federal and state officials put premiums requests under the microscope this year, saying: “We are really wanting to see very vigorous scrutiny,” said Cheryl Fish-Parcham, director of the private insurance program at Families USA, a group that advocates for the health law.
The insurers say their proposed rates reflect the revenue they need to pay claims, now that they have had time to analyze their experience with the law’s requirement that they offer the same rates to everyone — regardless of medical history. (I note: everyone knew that aspect existed going into the law and that was a huge selling point – more people more business and thus more money – now they want to renege)? 
Insurers add that they face significant pent-up demand for health care from the newly enrolled, including for expensive drugs, saying in part: “This year, health plans have a full year of claims data to understand the health needs of the [health insurance] exchange population, and these enrollees are generally older and often managing multiple chronic conditions. Premiums reflect the rising cost of providing care to individuals and families, and the explosion in prescription and specialty drug prices is a significant factor,” said  Clare Krusing, a spokeswoman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, an industry group.
Odd, since the GOP screeched that Obama-care was a job killer, too expensive, and would wreck the industry and country as they have worked hard to get the law repealed, yet, now the money makers, the insurance industry leaders, are asking for more money and where is the GOP? I told you; um.. yeah, maybe but who is driving us back over that cliff? Hint: it ain't Mr. Obama or this law.

What does come to mind, however, is “Back to the Future," part who knows. Right anyone – anyone at all??

Thursday, May 21, 2015

FOX Goals: Disparage, Embarrass, Insult, Put Down America

FOX Milked This Crappy Story Like An Oversized Udder

To emphasize my post title, this is FOX's latest stunt - and yes, it is typical of FOX practically 24/7 and reruns: FOX's War on the Less Fortunate in Our Society.

I have had these notes from my files dated September 2014. I now post here for your review.

My label was then and remains so today: “A legitimate news organization does not do these things, but FOX has and continues to do so.”

  1. Source its research to conservative blogs.
  2. Purposefully present stories out of context.
  3. Regularly declare Victory! when a White House initiative fails.
  4. Ignore a breaking news story that embarrasses the Republican Party.
  5. Invite fringe conspiracy theorists to appear on news shows.
  6. Suggest during a news program that Democrats voted to protect pedophiles, but not veterans.
  7. Routinely accuse the president of the United States of being like Adolf Hitler.
  8. Describe itself as the voice of the opposition.
  9. Air more than 100 commercials promoting partisan political rallies.
  10. Show 22 clips of health care reform opponents who attended town hall forums, and none of health reform supporters.
  11. Purchase full-page newspaper ads to spread falsehoods about the news competition.
  12. Invade the privacy of second-grade students.
  13. Promote violent political rhetoric.
  14. Allow a news anchor to suggest a Supreme Court nominee is guilty of reverse racism.

Now this post for today re: the photo above and related story below – enjoy:

FOX News continues to mislead with this smear about a certain food stamp recipient “known as the Surfing Freeloader.” Now that story has found its way into a congressional hearing aimed at examining the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). 

For example: On May 20, the House Committee on Agriculture held a hearing addressing the “Past, Present, and Future of SNAP.”

Throughout that hearing, FOX News used the misleading 2013 special, “The Great Food Stamp Binge” that attempted to make the Surfing Freeloader (photo above) the face of food stamps" and he and that story was referenced several times as evidence of abuse within the food stamp program. That misrepresentation found its way into the hearing via two members on the committee who used the FOX “special” as anecdotal evidence of abuse within SNAP as follows:

(1)  Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH) cited the FOX example of that “surfer in California living on food stamps and eating lobster” as evidence of abuse within the program, though he “forgot which network” had aired the spot.

(2)  Then later, Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) referenced “the same surfer that was on one of the news channels,” as he claimed was, “unfortunately, what we see in our districts, and I hear stories about that every day.” (I note: so there are a lot of suffers in Ohio, Mr. Yoho? I see, I see). 

The background: That surfer mentioned by Gibbs and Yoho identified himself as Jason Greenslate. He was featured in FOX’s special as part of their “News” longstanding history of maligning the poor and misrepresenting food stamp recipients. After it aired, the network delivered physical copies of the special to members of Congress in an attempt to influence a vote to cut SNAP benefits by billions of dollars.

What the special failed to note was the fact that according to the Agriculture Department's Food and Nutrition Service, that kind of fraud and waste rate in SNAP is roughly only about 1 percent.

A key point: The FOX special also ignored the fact that SNAP kept 4.7 million people out of poverty in 2011 alone. Many on food stamps are children, and further, some 82 percent of all households with SNAP include at least one child, at least one elderly person, and, or disabled person or persons. (I note: it is pathetic and ironic that FOX would skip those numbers).

But, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), corrected the record by pointing out the “surfer on food stamps was is not the reality of the program, and he said “… it's our job to tell anybody who says it is, that it isn't.”

Mr. McGovern’s precise words: “I want to make sure that the record is corrected on this. We heard a couple of times mention the guy who is a surfer on food stamps. That is not the reality of the program, and it's our job to tell anybody who says it is, that it isn't. The majority of people on this program are kids, senior citizens, or are those who are disabled. And of those who are able-bodied, the majority of them work. Given the opportunity between working at a job that pays a wage where I wouldn't have to rely on this benefit, or a job that I have to work full-time and I still need to rely on SNAP, I mean, we know what people would decide. So let's not demonize this program by taking some examples that may have appeared on some news show that I won't mention the name of the news show, but anyway, the point of the matter is we ought to be talking, we ought to make sure that the narrative we are echoing here reflects the reality.”

I wonder who reported that surfer to proper authorities for proper legal action, for surely some is needed. I tend to doubt that any member of that committee even thought about that aspect.

Shame on FOX and shame for anyone who listens or watches them and falls for their crap for surely it is a heaping pile of horseshit. Now how do they get the shit back in the horse? (Line in the 1992 movie: “The Distinguished Gentleman” spoken by Joe Don Baker).  

Closing note is this reminder, as if many of us didn’t already know. Watching Fox Makes You Stupider

Monday, May 18, 2015

Defining Issue: Common Sense Campaign Finance System

Looks Like Someone Counting Drug Money 
(Campaign Money: Hard Drug Habit)

As polls showed after the 2012 election cycle, there was an unprecedented torrent of negative TV attack Ads that took their toll on almost every presidential and congressional candidate.  A hearty kudos to the Supreme Court (5-4 decision in Citizens United in 2010). Thanks for nothing.

In a candidate I want what I think a lot of Americans want. That is strong leadership. Not just a savvy person, well-spoken, sharp, good looking, with a silver tongue and “business or industry or military experience per se” and tons of money, but someone who listens, follows their heart but most of all is true to the public and offers bold decisions that do and are not harmful to the public or country – in other words: substance on tough issue that benefit us all – not pick and favors for the tons of money that put them in office. Sounds corny, I know, but that’s the kind of leadership I want – how about you?

A lot of Americans have spoken out about that dreadful Citizens United ruling and later in the McCutcheon case (also USSC 5-4 ruling) that followed and for good reason – some of that damage: 
  1. It swept aside decades of bipartisan regulation of campaign finance and sent us “back to the future” as it were – an ugly future to boot.
  2. Some 23 billionaires contributed a minimum of $250,000 each so far in the upcoming cycle.
  3. That number is really much greater because many of these contributions are made in secret.
  4. That small handful of powerfully rich Americans are just not content to own our economy, that 1 percent wants to own all of government (said Sen. Bernie Sanders in his remarks before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights advocating repeal of Citizens United).
  5. That small handful already own a significant part of the wealth of America and have enormous control over the entire economy.
  6. The wealthiest 400 individuals own more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans — half the country.
  7. One family, for example: the Walton’s of Wal-Mart fame, is worth $89 billion, more than the bottom 40 percent of America (Sen. Sanders noted).
What the Supreme Court did in Citizens United was to say in essence that those billionaires and the corporations they control:  “Okay, you own and control the economy, you own most of Wall Street, you own the coal companies, you own the oil companies, and now, here we’re going to give you the opportunity to own the entire United States government” (also what Sen. Sanders said).

Advocates want an amendment to the constitution that says in part: “(1) for-profit corporations are not people, (2) they are not entitled to any rights under the Constitution, (3) they are subject to regulation by state legislatures consistent with free press protections, (4) they are prohibited from making contributions or expenditures in political campaigns in any amount, and (5) that Congress and the states have the right to regulate and limit all political expenditures and contributions in all elections.”

People each election cycle scream for government that is both effective and efficient, less-taxing, and truly stands for these famous words: “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America” (my emphasis added).

On the other hand, it seems to me with little organized public outcry and demand for reverse course that leaves an impression “I can’t give that kind of match. The big guys can, so what. That’s politics as usual and the money is speech, right?” I retort: Okay, if money is speech then it follows that only a small group of billionaires is allowed to own all the dictionaries and vocab lists in the country, and I ask: Why???

I strongly believe and have advocated for years that the massive amounts of big money from uncontrolled and unknown sources in most cases is and will be the further decline of political discourse in America.

I sincerely wonder how a handful of billionaires can override the will of the people while having the support a 5-4 high court without debate and discussion about reform that serves us all, because now it seems to me that the new rule is painfully obvious: “Don’t Kill the Golden Goose.” 

Let’s face, big money does not always win, but it drowns out less financed voices. Money is needed in politics for sure – to be effective to win – we all know that, but the massive amounts that we have seen in recent years is totally out of control.

Some people advocate and say: “Hey, that’s our system.” Yes, it is, but it needs to be changed on this critical point to keep in step with time and events and the general public who says: “The current campaign finance system with the tons of money from a few in a system that that is clearly corrupt has to go.  The standard must return to: “One-man/one-vote and not One-billionaire/all the votes.”

How we can’t see a serious need for reform is beyond my comprehension. I guess a supportive 5-4 court and a handful of billionaires forking over billions to those seeking their blessing (cold hard cash) who collectively stand for the status quo clearly comprehend, and they have a miserable record to prove it.  So, is this is anyway to run a great country or railroad? The answer is self-evident. 


April 2013 from Alternet.org http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/how-we-ended-worst-congress-money-can-buy

Friday, May 15, 2015

FOX in Weasel Den or Weasels in FOX Den: No Difference at All

FOX and Their Moneyed Backers Who Blast the Clintons
(apparently hiding in plain sight)

Attention Clinton haters, listen up: Drop pants, bend over, grab ankles, and smile ... you are on hypocrite TV run by FOX. Yeah, that FOX who has many folks on the air 24/7 blasting HILLARY about BILL’s big money machine (the Clinton Global Initiative the "Foundation") propping her up for 2016… Two major oops follow:

Oops #1: Many Republican Party-affiliated individuals have attended and supported Clinton Foundation-affiliated events, including the annual Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) meetings.

That “A” list as it were includes those well-known GOPers: 
  1. Former first lady Laura Bush,
  2. Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch,
  3. Mitt Romney, 
  4. Sen. John McCain, 
  5. NJ Gov. Chris Christie,
  6. Carly Fiorina, 
  7. GOP billionaire, T. Boone Pickens,
  8. Colin Powell, 
  9. Condoleezza Rice, and
  10. Dubya Bush daughter Barbara Bush.
Romney praised Bill Clinton and his CGI in the middle of his 2012 presidential campaign, saying in part: “One of the best things that can happen to any cause, to any people, is to have Bill Clinton as its advocate.  I have been impressed by the extraordinary power you have derived by harnessing together different people of different backgrounds, and different institutions of different persuasions. You have fashioned partnerships across traditional boundaries -- public and private, for-profit and nonprofit, charitable and commercial.”  

McCain spoke to CGI in September 2008 during his own presidential run, and also praised its efforts, saying: “You know something about great change at the Clinton Global Initiative, because you are striving every day to bring it about. I thank each one of you for the good work you have done to relieve suffering across the earth, and to spread hope. I thank you for the even greater works that you seek to accomplish in the years to come, under the leadership of the man from Hope.”

Laura Bush appeared at CGI in 2006 and said that she was “delighted to be a part of this year's Clinton Global Initiative. Thank you for inviting me, and thank you for the terrific development work you're doing through your foundation.”  

Newsmax CEO and Editor Christopher Ruddy just recently praised the foundation for helping “… improve global health and wellness, increase economic opportunities for women in less-developed nations, reduce childhood obesity, and spur economic growth in countries that desperately need the help.” (Note: Ruddy dogged the Clintons in the 1990’s) now says: “I  found CGI to be nonpartisan. I have never felt the whiff of politics from either its staff or any of its activities.”

Oops #2: Numerous others who do not fit the model for critics of the Clinton’s have in fact donated big money as well. Here are some key and big time “conservative” donors: 
  • Newsmax Media, Inc. (cited above) made donations of between $100,001 to $250,000, and between $1,000,001 to $5,000,000.
  • Trump donated between $100,001 to $250,000.
  • The late Richard Mellon-Scaife “one of America's leading funders of conservative causes” donated between $250,001 to $500,000.
  • News Corporation Foundation, the foundation for News Corp., (and FOX’s parent) run by Uncle Ruppy himself donated between $500,001 to $1,000,000.
  • James R. Murdoch, the co-chief operating officer of FOX News parent company, 21st Century Fox and son of Uncle Ruppy, donated between $1,000,001 to $5,000,000.
So, are those GOPer-Conservatives somehow all helping HILL with her 2016 campaign goal of raising billions to beat their team?  How about a hearty wow…!!!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Wow: See More Hersh Hyped Up and Leading a Boggle

 Seymour Hersh in the Middle and As Full of Shït as Ever
(bin-Laden died, Obama lied)

Breaking story, still developing from the source below:

Seymour Hersh, who normally writes for the NEW YORKER magazine, has an article in the London Review of Books and alleges that the U.S. killed Osama bin-Laden with the cooperation of a payment of $25 million to a Pakistani officer who provided the info, and that bin-Laden was being held captive by Pakistanis in Abbottabad, and not hiding out there.

That would make the Obama administration’s account of the daring SEAL TEAM 6 raid a fiction on the level of Alice in Wonderland according to Hersh own words.

Hersh goes on to say: “You have to think about this. “A team of SEALS go into the middle of Pakistan, take out a guy with no air cover, no protection, no security, no trouble – are you kidding me?”  

Hersh it should be pointed out uses the account of a single anonymous source, yet argues much of account has been independently verified (NFI – no further info).  

So, are we to believe that a fully-armed SpecOps raid conducted primarily by Navy SEALs losing one ‘chopper in the raid that faced fire even from the bin-Laden clan that was armed, was as Hersh says: “… bin-Laden was like under house arrest and detention and protected by the Pakistani government like he was in Wit-Sec (Witness Protection program)? GMAFB…!!!  

Related: Former CIA Acting Head, Mike Morrell, Says Hersh’s Revision of the bin-Laden Raid is All Wrong and not factual

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Should Rubio Be Investigated re: His Billionaire Benefactor

Rubio and His Personal Billionaire Backer

Yeah, This Rubio

Powerful and very troubling story headlines; 

Billionaire Lifts Sen. Marco Rubio Politically and Personally

BTW I say right up front: this story STINKS to high heaven in more ways than this NY Times article points out:

A few details: Billionaire auto dealer named Norman Braman has helped Rubio as he ascended in the ranks of Republican politics, for example: 

  • He has bankrolled Rubio campaigns.
  • He has financed Rubio legislative agenda.
  • He subsidized Rubio personal finances (as Rubio and his wife grappled with heavy debt and big swings in their income).
  • He hired Rubio's wife.
  • He gave Rubio access to his private jet. 
Rubio in turn has managed to get tens of millions for Braman and his business interests.

So, my question remains: Should Rubio be investigated about say, quid pro quo? I think so. But, will it? Not likely. Why not? Who wants to kill their Golden Goose (or geese) as it were. 

Still the contents of this story stink. 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

No Matter the Loophole Size, a Snake Will Slither Through

John Ellis (Jeb) Bush: Pretty damn good at slithering it seems

This story, which is no big surprise to many like-minded folks like me who hates big money from a handful fat cats trying to buy the White House — with a hearty thanks to the USSC and Citizens United (2010) 5-4 ruling that unleashed this nasty anaconda on us.

All is left for Mr. Bush now is to kowtow like there is no tomorrow - and  quite frankly there might not be one, either. His campaign logo might very well be this symbol (Kowtow) and his motto could very well be: "Hey, it's the law and it's legal, and I'm following it to the letter - so what?"

As I said, this major event is pretty disgusting, and as I also said, many of us already suspected this would happen. Even former Justice John Paul Stevens warned Citizens United in his dissent: “This ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the Nation. The path the Court has taken to reach its outcome will, I fear, do damage to this institution.”  

From the article: Mr. Bush is taking things to an entirely new level. He is putting off his official entry into the 2016 race so he can raise vast sums for a super PAC that’s supposed to be entirely independent of his all-but-certain campaign. 

By not officially jumping in the race, Mr. Bush does not have to abide by the “hard money” rules of presidential campaigns, which cap primary donations at just $2,700 per individual.

He’s raising unlimited funds for his "Right to Rise" super PAC.

Recall that "Super PAC" sprang to life in the wake of that awful 5-4 ruling in Citizens United decision, wherein they can accept unlimited donations from wealthy individuals and from corporations. The only rule: they must operate independently of a candidate’s official campaign operation.

The word ‘candidate’ is key. Since Bush isn’t yet an announced candidate, he is essentially exploiting a loophole in the law and soliciting for his own super PAC.

Why so many are opposed to the Super PAC's? Simple, this ruling that says: [...] until Mr. Bush says the magic words I’m running for president, he can raise as much money as he wants, and we expect him to do exactly that like we have never seen before. Then watch a few others jump on that gravy train and ride it for all it's worth and believe me, it's worth plenty, right Mr. Adelson, Koch Brothers, et al, um??

The Citizens United ruling and this loophole will be in my view the ruination of our country ... also keep in mind that a loophole also resembles a noose.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Good GOP Policy, Craziness, or Nutiness About State Rights

Utah GOP Rep. Rob Bishop Says: "States can better manage the nation's lands."
(his deputy, I guess will be citizen Cliven Bundy from Nevada)

This story is interesting, if not insane at first glance - more anti-Federal any and everything here in part from Think Progress:

A group of Republican congressmen this week took an aggressive step in a campaign to seize and sell off America’s national forests and other public lands.

In launching what they are calling the “Federal Land Action Group,” Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) and Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) plan to develop a legislative framework for giving states control of America’s public lands. Calling the federal government a “lousy landlord for western states,” Rep. Stewart said “we simply think the states can do it better.”

Bishop, who is also chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, said that “this group will explore legal and historical background in order to determine the best congressional action needed to return these lands back to the rightful owners.”

This latest effort to transfer or dispose of national forests and public lands was immediately blasted by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), the ranking member on the House Natural Resources Committee, as being unwise, unpopular, and illegal.

Building on the ideas of extremists like Cliven Bundy, House Republicans have formed a group to explore the idea that if you see a federal resource you like, maybe you can just take it,” said Grijalva in a statement. “There is no legal authority to give these lands away to developers and no chance the American people will support such a scheme.”

In addition to Bishop and Stewart, the group’s “Congressional team” includes: Reps Mark Amodei (R-NV), Diane Black (R-TN), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Cresent Hardy (R-NV), and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY).  

Story continues at the link… how do we spell another insane GOP idea? This article pretty much defines that for us. Wow ... What's next Texas/Rick Perry-style secession talk that he put forth and then backtracked? Sure seems like it. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

GOP Anti-Vets in 1932 & Today: Why — Oh, Yeah, Too Costly

WW I Vets Protest in DC for Promised Bonus Checks (c. 1932)

Nearly 83 years ago this occurred in Washington, DC.

On June 15, 1932, the U.S. House (DEM-majority) approved a $2.4 billion World War I veterans’ bonus bill — which would be approximately $32 billion in today’s dollars — sponsored by REP. Wright Patman (D-TX). It passed by a vote of 211-176. 

BACKGROUND TO THE VOTE – WHY THAT VOTE?  This from U.S. History here:  

In 1924, Congress rewarded veterans of World War I with certificates to be redeemed in 1945 for $1,000 each. By 1932, however, many of those former servicemen had lost their jobs and fortunes in the early days of the Great Depression. Vet groups asked Congress to redeem the Bonus certificates early.

Led by a man named Walter Waters from Oregon, their group was named the “Bonus Expeditionary Force.”  They set out for the nation's capital, hitching rides, hopping trains, and hiking and reaching the capital in early June 1932 – now called the “Bonus Army” was about 15,000 strong.

 President Herbert Hoover refused to address them, but the veterans found an audience with a congressional delegation, and soon they convinced them to meet the demonstrators' demands and pass a bill to get the early payments rather than waiting until 1945.  

As deliberation continued on Capitol Hill, the Bonus Army built a shantytown across the Potomac River in Anacostia Flats. When the Senate rejected their demands on June 17, 1932 *vote of 62-18 (strong GOP-majority – they supported President Hoover) and most veterans dejectedly returned home. But several thousand remained in the capital with their families. Many had nowhere else to go. The Bonus Army conducted itself with decorum and spent their vigil unarmed. However, many in the public and congress believed them to be a threat to national security.

On July 28, Washington police began to clear the demonstrators out of the capital. Two men were killed as tear gas and bayonets assailed the Bonus Marchers. Fearing rising disorder, President Hoover ordered an army regiment into the city, under the leadership of General Douglas MacArthur (Army Chief). That regiment consisted of infantry, cavalry, and tanks. They rolled into Anacostia Flats forcing the Bonus Army to flee. MacArthur then ordered the shanty settlements burned. Many Americans were outraged. How could the real Army treat veterans of the Great War with such disrespect people asked?  

President Hoover maintained that political agitators, anarchists, and communists dominated the mob and thus presented a threat (actually he and his GOP majority didn’t want to pay due the impact of the Depression). However, the facts contradict Hoover and others’ claims. Nine out of ten Bonus Marchers were indeed veterans, and 20% of them were disabled. Despite the fact that the Bonus Army was the largest march on Washington up to that point in history, Hoover and MacArthur clearly overestimated the threat posed to national security. 

As Hoover campaigned for reelection that summer, his actions turned an already sour public opinion of him even further bottomward as the country sank deeper into the Great Depression!!!

During the House debate on the bill, REP. Edward Eslick (D-TN) died of a heart attack on the House floor while delivering an impassioned speech on behalf of the bill. A day later, when the measure passed, hundreds of veterans jubilantly celebrated in the House Gallery.

The GOP-run Senate, however, subsequently rejected the Patman Bonus Bill by a wide margin, and several thousand veterans refused to leave the capital. Thus some marchers clashed with police on the orders of President Hoover conducted by GEN. MacArthur.

After the 1932 election, FDR beat Hoover by an overwhelming landslide.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt offered members of the Bonus Army work building the Overseas Highway in the Florida Keys. In 1936, Congress, overriding a Roosevelt veto, approved early issuance of the veterans’ payments.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

GOP Problem With Gays: Hey, Just Erase Them; Easy Peasy

Praise the Lord and Pass the Eraser

Interesting story here about the 2016 GOP field and their problem with gays from Think Progress:

This field is truly Christian, right; hell, they say they are; they profess it in every speech and sound byte, even as some waited for the Lord to give them campaign advice and approval to run.

So, if you want crazy and insane then this is it big time and on a grand scale. 

Just imagine the U.S. as a leader in speaking out against discrimination around the globe all the while preaching and advocating it here at home from the Oval office should one of those GOPers win. 

If there ever was a time to be ashamed of potential “leaders” in our country, this would be that time ... if this field of GOP candidates have a gay problem and need solution, say like 1938 in Germany, well, hell, just erase them (I guess erase is a nicer label for other actions)?  

Surely the GOP has reached the edge of total insanity. Who can believe that view and way of thinking in the 21st Century?  Sadly, and apparently, a lot of their base does. And, that is the scariest part.

Do Weasels Commit Suicide? RED ALERT: This May Be a First

                    (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
    Nancy Reagan, Mrs. Gipper


Photo and story from The National Report here.  

Last week, during a promotional press conference for The History Channel’s upcoming series “First Ladies in Their Own Words,” series’ host Ron Reagan shared clips of his interviews with all living former First Ladies of the United States. In a brief video clip with his mother Nancy Reagan, she offered her endorsement of Hillary Clinton as President saying:

The time for a woman to serve as our President has come – really, now is the time – and I think the idea of having a former First Lady as the leader of the free world is really quite a marvelous notion. I want Hillary to win. Even though I admire two of the current potential Republican nominees, I have no interest in seeing either of them lead this country.”  

Whew boy ... now watch the righties go all batshit crazy for a week or so ... what will be their counter responses? I wonder, Um...

1.  Well, that's her view.
2.  Nancy Reagan is a strong-willed woman, she speaks her own mind.
3.  See, Republicans don't lock stop as the Libs try to paint us as.
4.  How soon can we get her on FOX to state in her own words, not what her Lib son says?  

Too good to be any funnier than that, isn't it?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

How to Undermine America With Straight Face: Watch FOX

(Kudos to Angelo Carusone

Yes, from his actual broadcast. It's it's not hard to believe when measured against all the cumulative data thus far in history. This might very well go down as the #1 rated lie of the 21st Century, hands down.

The worse part? FOX viewers, that is their brain dead GOP, Conservative, and TEA sipping fans buy into that crap.

Thought you'd like to know in case you missed the broadcast ... shame on FOX and Murdoch.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Emerging Face of Ugly and Nasty Along Side Other Hypocrites

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee, FOX Regular, and Spreader of BS

To kick things off, a few of the others along Huckabee (there are plenty of others out there in la-la land, too): 

Huckabee claimed in an interview (his words here, not mine) with Iowa talk radio host Jan Mickelson that the Obama administration has “an open hostility toward the Christian faith,” and he urged prospective military recruits to wait until the end of President Obama’s term to enlist.

So, say we were attacked in all-out war by someone. The CINC was still Mr.Obama,  Would Huckabee still tell young American men and women to "Stay home. Don't enlist. Wait for this guy to leave office. Don't serve under him." Sure seems like it.

I cannot come close to imaging anyone of Huckabee's so-called stature let alone possibly someone running for president to say such a thing, although that belief and stance does kinda remind me of this from history: 

“I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.” [Author: Adolph Hitler, in Mein Kampf, pp. 46]
Sounds harsh, I know, but the parallels are too close not to compare or mention them. No one likes Hitler references, but in this case of the interjection of God in both quotes by those two experts, well... I think it is apropos.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Name of Place for 100 Weasels to Gather: Easy — U.S. Senate

Logo snatched from THE DAILY show ... 
(watch video segment below)

Jon Stewart, in his usual delivery style of a serious topic with humor that makes you think, on the DAILY SHOW nailed the Senate and a handful of hypocritical senators about their rabid stance over the Iranian “nuclear deal” which BTW is not yet a done deal. It again shows the raw hypocrisy of the GOPers and even joined by a few DEMS. 

Watch the segment here especially the first 9 minutes. At the conclusion Stewart talks about only needing 50 votes (a simple majority) to go to war, yet requiring 67 votes to override a presidential veto aimed at ensuring peace (the Iranian forthcoming deal – hopefully). How pathetic is that Senate rule? Surely it is something to think about isn't it? 

This is how I rate the current senate and their harsh stance on this issue and GOP insistence to block and shame and insult Mr. Obama anyway possible. Especially those like Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), whom I consider extremely bloodthirsty and anxious for more war – this time with Iran. I don't dislike the possible positive outcome, but the Senate's method of getting there sucks.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

NY Lawmakers IQ Test: One Simple Question — Easy, No Tricks

Albany Lawmakers: Pick and ID Pictures; No Cheating; No Peeking at Neighbor
(take your time - all day if you need it)

Pop Quiz: Which one are you? Why don't you know the difference? 

That wasn't so hard, was it? So, why was this test developed especially for you? The background follows below (psst: I'll be honest, I had some professional help drawn from Bufflalo News here –the highlights are my editing to fit this post): 

State law set up a panel who will say yes or no to a pay raise. It impanels six people who will vote on recommended pay hikes for lawmakers, statewide officials such as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, and agency commissioners.

Q:  Who will sit on the 6-person panel?

A:  Anyone the governor and lawmakers want. The will specifically say: “No panel member shall be disqualified from holding any other public office or employment.”

Q:  What does that mean exactly?

A:  Well, it means aides to Gov. Cuomo, people with business before the state, and even lawmakers, or their staff could serve on the panel that will recommend a pay hike and how much the raise would be.

Q:  What is the time frame for the pay plan to be in place?

A:  November 15, 2016. And, that is just in time for those in office to run for re-election which happens to be two weeks before the pay panel’s report reports out.

Q: Is all this legal? (well yes, but some might say it's also "sneaky and underhanded").

A:  The implementing bill will say that the panel and their ruling “shall” – or must – “have the force of law.”

Ergo: If the panel recommends a pay hike, then the raise automatically becomes law on January. 1, 2017 – unless “abrogated” (which means: not voted on; or if voted on, does not pass; or, if passed, is cancelled or repealed) by the lawmakers themselves, which the new law will stipulate.

In plain English that means: (1) only an act of the Legislature can stop the pay hike recommendations for their pay raise, and (2) lawmakers constituents will never know how their representatives stood on the issue of raising their own pay before the election.

Negotiators for the panel and rules, etc., also tossed in another word – “modified” – into the bill’s wording. Okay, what does that mean? Well again in simple English it means: that if the lawmakers don’t like the panel’s pay level recommendations, they can modify, or increase, the salary levels to whatever level they can negotiate with the governor and then it becomes law.

Then we see this handy provision. 

The panel’s recommendations are effective on “the first of January after the general election in November wherein members of the state Legislature are elected following the year in which the commission is established, and on the first of January following the next such election.” 

Translation: The raise can come on January 1, 2017, and then again on January 1, 2019. Neat trick, isn’t it? Call it representative government, right? My aching ass!!!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Baker Behind Another Bush: Hang on Tight; Might Get Bumpy

Out of the shadows — but which one

Dark deals in the wings

Former secretary of state and longtime Republican Party fixer James Baker, speaking on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS on Sunday, alleged that the Iran nuclear deal being struck by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany is "going to alienate all of our allies in the region."

Baker is known for his strong ties to Arab Gulf oil monarchies such as Saudi Arabia. But was he really speaking for them? A review of reactions from the Middle East itself does not support Baker’s assertion. Also, it’s a major GOP-Rightwing, Talk Radio, and FOX-promoted talking point we have heard nearly 24/7.

Baker is an old oilman and was really talking about the six Arab Gulf monarchies that belong to the Gulf Cooperation Council, of which Saudi Arabia is loosely speaking the leader, but within which Qatar and Oman are often mavericks. Still, even there, Baker’s cautions need some qualifications.

After the basic political framework of the deal was read out in Lausanne last week, President Obama called King Salman of Saudi Arabia to brief him on the state of the negotiations. Soon thereafter, the Saudi cabinet issued a communique in which it welcomed the negotiations. It expressed its hope that a binding final agreement will be reached that augments security and stability in the region. The cabinet reaffirmed Saudi Arabia’s support for peaceful solutions that allow the countries of the Middle East to deploy nuclear energy for civilian energy generation, under the inspection regime of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The cabinet drew attention again to the Arab League call for a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear warheads. Peace and security in the area, it said, depend on good-faith dialogue and non-interference in the internal affairs of Arab states.

So, which Arab states is Baker trying to speak for?

1.  It is not all of the Arab League 22-member states.
2.  It is not Syria, an Arab nationalist state where al-Assad is beleaguered and depends on Iranian support (they have greeted the Lausanne agreement with enthusiasm).
3.  It is not Iraq, largely an Arab state, where the government of PM Haydar al-Abadi warmly welcomed the announcement of the framework agreement. Keep in mind that Iraq had its own small nuclear weapons program in the 1980s, but they were rolled up by UN inspectors in 1991. Iraq hopes for this agreement is especially important since Iraq, like Syria, also has a military alliance with Iran.
4.  It is not Algeria, another Arab state with a storied role in modern Arab nationalism, congratulated the negotiating partners on their achievement and praised their “positive intentions and that that any solution that allows us to avoid war in the region is welcome.”
5.  It is not the Oman foreign ministry who welcomed the Lausanne announcement as opening a new stage in increased security and stability in the region and worldwide. Foreign Ministry Secretary-General Sayyid Badr Al-Busaidi tweeted that “The international agreement between Iran and the P5+1 must be considered an accomplishment for the international community and a victory for peace.”
6.  It is not Qatar, their foreign minister made a statement on the Lausanne framework agreement that differed in no particular from the Saudi response, which is rare occurrence, except that Qatar did not bring up Iran’s interventions in Arab politics.

Of course, the public Saudi statements in general support of the Lausanne framework but conceal a great deal of private anxiety about Iran. In 2008, King Abdullah’s government spoke of the need to “cut off the head of the snake.” But while some Saudi leaders no doubt continue to hold such views, the cabinet of King Salman is now publicly supporting Obama’s initiative.

Still, the notion that “the Arabs” in general oppose Lausanne, or even that the GCC unanimously condemns it, cannot be supported from the public record as Baker asserts.

But then we have the strident efforts of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his pal apparently in the Senate, Sen. Chuck Schumer – both determined it seems, to derail the negotiations even before they are in ink and on paper. Rather, the member states of the Arab League are divided among allies of Iran, independent nationalists who view the accord positively, and the conservative Gulf oil monarchies. The spectrum runs from enthusiasm to cautious acceptance, with even one of the GCC states, Oman, showing enthusiasm.

PM Netanyahu is an outlier in the Middle East on this issue and so is hard line Republicans (the 47 Senators and their letter to Iran) and now apparently a few DEMS like Schumer who have joined them … that is most unfortunate.

So, what how does Baker feel about PM Netanyahu?? It’s not just Democrats and White House officials who’ve got problems with Benjamin Netanyahu, but Baker blast “diplomatic missteps and political gamesmanship” by Netanyahu. He is criticizing him for an insufficient commitment to peace and an absolutist opposition to the Iran nuclear talks.

Baker recently told a gala dinner crowd of left-leaning Israeli advocacy groups on J Street that he supported efforts to get a deal with Tehran — but he called for President Obama to bring any agreement before Congress (as noted: Mr. Obama is not legally required to do that).  

Baker was the chief diplomat for President George H.W. Bush, and prior to that Secretary of State under Reagan II. Now, is he advising JEB Bush on his presidential campaign. All we need now is Dark Dick (Cheney) to come back as DOD adviser.