Thursday, October 31, 2013

Polio Outbreak

The chilling and anger provoking ugly Middle East story of polio break out in war demolished Syria with NO medical facilities or help. Can you imagine this nearly-eradicated-from-the face-of-the-earth viral disease making a comeback? This is what war provokes as no sewage or sanitation facilities exist spreading the disease as societies break down. This is why war must not, cannot and should not ever be used as a tool for change.

If anyone can imagine this I surely can. Do I thank fate for Children's Hospital in Boston and for having been born in this country where I attained superb care as a child unlucky enough to have been born before the 1955 Salk vaccine? A resounding YES!

The story is here or below.
We here in Boston are DELIRIOUS with Sox happiness. It is a story book ending to a year filled with grief for the city.

I LOVE my city, love my state and love my country (when Democrats are in power.) We MUST defeat the Republican Party that brings revelry for ONLY the top 2%. It brings death and destruction to everyone else.

The Red Sox did it and won. So must the rest of us.



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

OUT OF THE PARK--The President's Speech in Boston

My email to NBC News:

Brian Williams, if you report anything but the fact that the President HIT THIS SPEECH IN BOSTON OUT  OF THE PARK THEN YOU WILL LOSE ME AS A VIEWER!  The president's speech on healthcare was MAGNIFICENT and to report it as anything but is simply WRONG and immoral.

If NBC continues to skew the news to the right you will lose me as a viewer entirely.  The president was BRILLIANT.  Give him credit for that.

Mr. President, you hit a grand slam, as we hope the Red Sox do tonight, now let's see the media admit it!!!

I simply wanted to see if I could get connected to and I did in seconds. You may if you like use this statement as proof positive that if one comes from a state that is not in obstructive opposition to the ACA that one can easily be connected. Those who are screaming the most often come from the reddest states and if conservative government rules those states than obstruction of the president is the rule. 
I believe the positive stories MUST be told as those malevolent toward the president will do anything to subvert him. We MUST support this ACA act.
I want support for this president's supreme signature legislation to work you may use my email to prove that there are many out there for whom the ACA works and works well one simply must come from a state that is receptive to it!!

Why we MUST elect Democrats in 2014 all over the nation. Republicans have NOTHING absolutely NOTHING with which to replace the Affordable Health Care Act. They can criticize it to be sure but have NOTHING to offer. Another reason as if we needed one to work for Democrats within the Democratic Party!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I Spy--The Rules We Live By

I am NOT thrilled with the scope of NSA spying. The NSA is a gargantuan agency. When something is that huge it becomes uncontrollable missing the needles that threaten us in a very huge haystack. I think it is possible the president did not know of spying on Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel because the NSA has become a power in and of itself. President Dwight Eisenhower predicted in his farewell address the scope of what he called then “the military industrial complex.” It is, perhaps now, the Fifth Estate.

Having said that I am a pragmatic realist who rather enjoys breathing. Without Snowden's treachery, putting his own nation and those in it at risk, we probably would not know about the tapping of Angela's Merkel’s phone and who among really does care? Do I think spying on Merkel was fruitless and unnecessary? Yes, I do. However, it cannot be emphasized enough, the world we live in is a rough place. Who can you trust? A nation, we have seen before, EVEN one's ally could try to gain God knows what in God knows what ways. Countless incidents of espionage all over the world take place every day, I am convinced, even against friends. Who knows what leaders will say to one another, even friendly ones, when no one is looking? Most in the NSA, I would aver, think trust around the globe is in small supply and often for good reason. It is, I think, too, in man's survivalist DNA to be always vigilant even among friends.

We are not involved in a sports game. The stakes for our nation’s survival are much grander. This is, 9/11 showed for whatever rationales it was perpetrated, an existential struggle. Modern weaponry can travel all over the globe and present the possibility of eternal destruction. We understood this to be true when the first atomic bomb was tested and then dropped. Robert Oppenheimer who helped create the atomic bomb through Roosevelt’s Manhattan Project said when he was asked upon a visit to Japan in 1960 his thoughts about the destructive weapon he helped create: 

We knew the world would not be the same. Few people laughed, few people cried, most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form and says, "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.

The hardest part we now, I believe, face as a nation, is how to balance our Constitutional founding civil libertarian principles with the cold realities of securing the homeland in an unkind world. Our Post 9/11 policy is still a work in progress while life and the creation of world-ending destructive weaponry goes on around the globe. 

That weaponry both here and around the world must, at all costs –yes, even sometimes by spying on friends—be secured never to be used by those who seek to destroy us. It is indeed a brave new world and a fact of life in our modern era that none of our 18th century Founding Fathers could have predicted the rules we must live by today when they wrote the rules to live by in 1776.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pensions anyone? Vigilance

I love the Democratic Party but vigilance of all things between money and things political is a necessity! An article by David Sirota is of interest. Scroll down to read the article or go to the web page for more links. here or :

Wall Street’s favorite Democrat wants your pension

The financial services industry hopes to gain even more control over workers' retirement savings

Wall Street's favorite Democrat wants your pension
Gina Raimondo (Credit: AP/Steven Senne)
Less than a year ago, the Wall Street Journal alerted its national readership to what was happening in the tiny state of Rhode Island. In a story headlined “Small State Gets Big Pension Push,” the paper noted that the state’s “rollback of public-employee retirement benefits has turned (it) into a national battleground over pensions.” With the help of billionaire former Enron trader John Arnold and his partnership with the Pew Charitable Trusts, conservative ideologues and Wall Street profiteers who engineered Rhode Island’s big pension cuts were looking to export those “reforms” to other states. Now, after two huge revelations in the last few days, we know more about what that means in practice — we know the kind of corruption and damage the “reforms” mean for taxpayers and retirees, and we know what kind of new muscle is behind the effort to bring that corruption and destruction to other states.
The first set of revelations comes from a detailed forensic analysis of Rhode Island’s pension system by Forbes columnist and former SEC investigator Edward Siedle. Commissioned by groups representing public pensioners in the Ocean State, the data-driven analysis ends up reading like a criminal indictment of the speculator-turned-State-Treasurer Gina Raimondo (D), who is now cheerily touted by the Wall Street wing of the Democratic Party as a rising star. Raimondo has received such billing from corporatist Democrats in no small part because of her role in helping turn her state’s pension fund into a private profit center. Indeed, in 2012, this Wall Street-funded Democrat joined with Arnold to champion specific pension reforms that simultaneously slash guaranteed retirement income and give a disproportionate amount of retiree money to the hedge fund industry, thus enriching Raimondo’s old pals in the financial industry. According to Siedle’s report, they also potentially enrich Raimondo personally. Here are just some of his report’s key findings:
  • “A sinister pall of secrecy”: The report documents “a sinister pall of secrecy” about the pension fund’s new investments in hedge funds — a pall “orchestrated by state officials and aided by key investment services providers.” Siedle reports that “the overwhelming majority of the information … requested for this review (has) been withheld in apparent violation of state law.” As Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi and I noted in our recent San Francisco Chronicle report, such secrecy is now the norm in states, as “reformers” have changed the law to prevent retirees from even seeing how much of their money is being handed over to hedge fund billionaires.
  • A transfer of retirement income to Wall Street, potentially costing taxpayers big money: The report documents a “staggering, almost 700 percent planned increase in (pension) investment expenses from $11 million to an estimated $70 million—fees paid to Wall Street hedge fund and other alternative managers” who control the so-called alternative investments in hedge funds. In total, Siedle estimates that “the projected cost to (the pension fund) of the Treasurer’s $2 billion alternative investments gamble over the next 20 years amounts to in excess of $3 billion.” That’s more than the total savings of the retirement benefit cuts, meaning those cuts aren’t saving taxpayers’ money — they are being used to finance a new Wall Street handout.
  • “Profiting at the expense of the state”: Raimondo came to the Treasurer’s office from a financial firm backed by billionaire hedge funder Paul Tudor Jones. According to the report, “A significant portion of (her) wealth and income relates to shares she owns in two illiquid, opaque venture capital partnerships she formerly managed” at that firm — “one of which she convinced the state (pension fund) to invest in.” Siedle notes that during Raimondo’s time in office running the state’s pension system, the fees Rhode Island is paying to the fund she has an ownership stake in “are significantly higher than the venture capital industry.” As the report concludes, all of this means that “the Treasurer may literally be profiting at the expense of the state.”
  • Worse returns that damage the pension fund even further: If all this graft was delivering better returns to the state’s pension system, it might be written off as merely a necessary cost of doing business and protecting taxpayers. But as Siedle documents, at the very moment Raimondo has handed over more retiree money to her hedge fund pals, “The investment performance of the Fund has lagged behind its peers, earning a mere 11.07 percent versus 12.43 percent for the median public-sector pension.” In total, the New York Times notes that for all of Raimondo’s insistence that giving Wall Street more taxpayer cash will generate better returns, neither set of hedge funds she has put state money into beat the returns of simply investing the cash in a simple S&P index fund — one that doesn’t incur massive fees paid to the financial industry that bankrolls Raimondo’s election campaigns.
Siedle’s report is worth reading in its entirety to understand what your state legislators actually mean when they start throwing around the Orwellian phrase “pension reform” — and thanks to the second piece of news this week, we know that state legislators everywhere will almost certainly be throwing that seemingly innocuous phrase around. That news came from the St. Louis Beacon, which reports that none other than the American Legislative Exchange Council has decided to make cutting pension benefits one of its top goals in the 2014 state legislative sessions. They will be pushing to replicate Raimondo’s much-hyped “reforms” in legislatures throughout the country.
It is difficult to overstate the influence of ALEC in state policymaking. Bringing together the largest corporations, best-connected lobbyists, and most powerful state legislators, it calls the shots when it comes to state economic policymaking. So it is huge news that it is prioritizing thePlot Against Pensions — and not surprisingly, its renewed involvement in the plot is connected to Enron John Arnold. That connection can be seen in the author of ALEC’s new report urging state legislators to convert traditional defined-benefit pension plans into 401(k) style schemes and consequently reduce pensioners’ guaranteed retirement benefits. It is written by none other than Utah state Sen. Dan Liljenquist (R), who was not only the failed Tea Party primary challenger against U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R), but more important, a paid pension “reform”consultant for John Arnold’s foundation.
Like Siedle’s analysis, the ALEC report is worth perusing — but for different reasons. While Siedle’s report is all about indisputable data and numbers, ALEC’s is all about a kind of misinformation so dishonest it’s hard to believe even the most shameless propagandists could even think it, much less publish it. As just one example, notice the section of the ALEC report telling legislators to lie to public employees by telling them “that pension reform will increase take home pay and benefits” and then citing that claim as rationale to entitle pension-slashing legislation a “wage liberation act.” Of course, in almost every state that has experienced pension “reform,” retirement benefits have been cut, giving a far different meaning to “wage liberation.” Workers’ wages haven’t been liberated to make higher wages — workers themselves have been liberated from their wages.
Why would ALEC involve itself in the effort to cut retirement benefits and replace cost-effectiveeconomically stimulative defined-benefit pensions with “alternative investments” and 401(k)-style systems? Part of it probably has to do with its connections to the financial industry which, as Rhode Island proves, sees huge profit potential in “reforms” that let them raid public pension funds and bilk them with private investment fees.
The other part, no doubt, is about protecting the corporate welfare on which many of ALEC’s corporate members rely. By pushing to balance state budgets exclusively through cuts to pension benefits, ALEC helps create a budget discourse that solely blames public employees for state budget shortfalls, and thus leaves corporate subsidies off the chopping block. Ultimately, pension shortfalls become the boogeyman, even though the corporate subsidies that benefit ALEC members (but that often don’t create jobs) are far larger than those pension gaps.
None of this should be particularly surprising; in a pay-to-play political system, where there is cash under the control of industry-bankrolled public officials, there will always be the potential for graft and corruption. And where there is the potential to use state legislation to institutionalize graft and corruption, there has always been ALEC. What’s different here is scale. Public pension funds are collectively worth almost $3 trillion. Though that is supposed to be money to fulfill sacred retirement promises to public workers, a coalition of right-wing ideologues, billionaire political activists, Wall Street profiteers and bankrolled politicians sees that nest egg as a lucrative private profit center. If they are successful in hiding their rip-off schemes in the argot of “reform,” they will have accomplished one of the biggest heists in American history.
David Sirota
David Sirota is a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist, magazine journalist and the best-selling author of the books "Hostile Takeover," "The Uprising" and "Back to Our Future." E-mail him at, follow him on Twitter @davidsirota or visit his website 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Sox Lesson -- Time Travel

How about those Sox yesterday--hitting, fielding and pitching pretty much picture perfect. The Cardinals looked impotent but tomorrow (meaning today) is another day. This year has been simply fun if you love the Sox as I do but last year was different. Like the market or anything related to human beings things rise and things fall only to rise again another day. I believe the president’s legacy in the end will prevail.

The latest Republican onslaught against the president in their futile attempt to make him fail is the issue in the Republican cross-hairs, the Affordable Care Act they have tried to repeal 42 times wasting time and money. I am confident VERY confident the computer glitches will be fixed and health care will be provided to millions who do not now have it. I am also very confident that the Party of hate, the Republican Party, will use anything they can to crucify this half black president.

The latest Republican vile utterance allegedly said directly to the president by one Congressman (we know not who .... yet) "I cannot even stand to look at you!" I loathed George Bush but I know if one were in his presence one would NOT say I cannot stand the sight of you even if it were true. Show some respect for the office of the president here at least when one is in the president's presence. No, Republicans simply cannot as their blood of racist red courses through their veins. Republicans who are in power will use whatever they can to gain more. There have been a plethora of examples both in and out of the political process that mirror that reflection.

Add another issue -- Angela Merkel of Germany is mad because the US read Germans' email. Edward Snowden has released yet another US secrets he gained while in the employ of a government contractor. Up until now, I have had mixed feelings about Snowden who is responsible for revealing Everest size US secrets through NSA spying. I no longer have mixed feelings on Snowden. He is naive jerk who from Russia -- Russia of all places -- is vomiting up Everest size US secrets and gaining his 15 minutes of fame. I would love to see him critiquing Russia for all its noxious foreign AND domestic policy.

What nation does not spy even on friends? I vaguely remember an American citizen spy for Israel, Jonathan Pollard, now in jail convicted of espionage for the Israeli state -- our friend. Nations spy even on friends all the time. Yes, this is the way the world works. Other nations, however, to do not have an Edward Snowden spilling all the beans of his own country. I would LOVE Snowden to spill the beans on Russia who is using him for their own propaganda purposes. Caught spying in Russia and you will get an all-expense paid trip for life to the coolest part of Russia, Siberia, or you will get a free dinner at a fine restaurant and an expensive meal of plutonium poisoned steak courtesy of the Russian state.

Snowden is in Russia of all places with ex KGB tyrant Putin (with help from US rightwing groups) ramping up laws against gays, jailing them, beating them over the head and god knows what else. I would love to see Snowden take a verbal pot shot at Putin policy. Good thing for Snowden is not gay. I suspect he would not be getting all those expensive dinners toasting him. He might, however, get a "nice" steak dinner on Putin’s dime!

As progressives we must NEVER let our opposition extremist right wingnut Republicans gain power again. The results of that power give us wars like Iraq -- futile, costing trillions in debt Republicans say they care about so much and death to the youngest among us for war policy based on lies. The cost of Republican rule is staggering and the lives they ruin in their wake are many. Never forget the Iraq war, never forget the Great Recession, never forget the 94 BILLION buck government shutdown and certainly never forget the impudent, rude, racist Republican malignancy -- a cancer in the marrow of their bones.

Like our Sox the lesson is NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER GIVE IN and NEVER surrender to a party who would like to give us a very expensive time travel trip to an era none of us should want to revisit.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My Profile in Courage

Yet again, our president cannot catch a break.  Yet again, the Confederate sympathizers with their Confederate flags take great glee in pounding the president because they have had NOTHING for which to excoriate him that gained credence and worse they were responsible for a government shutdown that cost 24 BILLION, yes with a "B," bucks!  These microscopes of our national debt just rang up the tally of that debt 24 billion bucks more and caused mountains of difficulty for the families they put out of work.  Moreover, they sent shock waves into their once favorite son Wall Street. 

Now, Republicons could not be happier because a web site -- let me say that again A WEBSITE -- had glitches.  Does anyone who has worked on a computer and with web sites not understand that stuff happens ALL the time?  Is it frustrating?  Yes.  Do the fixes eventually solve the problem? Yes.  Are the problems eventually forgotten by most of us who have been angered?  YES. The glitches, from small to consequential in the roll out of health care can and WILL be solved.  This is a big country and healthcare is a big program.  As night follows day errors will naturally occur.  ALL federal programs of large magnitude historically have had problems but who hears of them now?  Few do. Errors WILL inevitably happen especially in Internet technologies.  To err is human and to forgive is divine but there is nothing divine about the Republican Party.

I love the president.  He will make it right. Why? BECAUSE HE SAID SO. The man has the patience of Job in the face of such brutal, mean, cruel and often racist hatred of a Tea Bag Republican Party that loses its breath every time they see a family of color walk up the White House steps.  If the president said the sun will be out tomorrow the Republicons would say they want rain.  Remember, Republicons are dedicated to this president's fall and dedicated to retaining their House seats in 2014.  DO NOT LET THEM. 

The Republicon Party is the party of patriots doncha know who wanted to "shut the place down."  I thought patriots wanted their government and their country to work.  Republicans will lose their latest effort to make the president fail as they have lost every other faux criticism of a president who is smarter MUCH smarter than they.  They know it and they fear it.  Yes, there is plenty for them to fear.  They are a Party whose death knell is ringing as the country of formerly majority white is now losing that majority and is diverse. Republicans, keep ratcheting up all those false issues and you and your Party of white will surely lose.

My heart goes out to the President but more than that I trust him to be the force behind the efforts to get the health care roll out right and he will. Those who love you, Mr. President, have your back and I am one of them.  He is a truly a great man and my profile in courage!



Monday, October 21, 2013

How millions of violent Muslim deaths feed the cycle of terrorism

This story by By Robert Windrem and Richard Engel of NBC News is a must read for those who care about the foreign policy of the west 
vis-à-vis the Islamic world.  That means everyone should read it because it has an impact -- a big impact -- on the days and fate of of our lives!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

May I Remind You

May I remind you of the prescience of political comedian and brilliant George Carlin who died in 2008 well before the height of the Party wars. His "American Dream" stand up is one of the best most prescient political comedic routines ever done.

He knew what was happening alright and was not afraid to lay it on the line. I urge you to revisit it because it is as right and true today as it was in 2008 but also a WARNING it is laced with profanity as only George Carlin could get away with and did to send home his point. If you cannot take that then delete it but I urge you to listen and demand of your leaders Democrat and Republican alike not to ruin you. I received Carlin's message loud and clear. He was 100% EXACTLY correct! The Carlin YouTube is Here or below. Then read Huff Post article entitled: "Why Democrats Might Cave on Social Security." It is here or below Carlin's.

Just secede already: The obstructionists aren’t going anywhere. Maybe we should

We don't want to live in Ted Cruz's America. He doesn't like ours. Maybe a split really is inevitable — and right


One of the advantages in being out of the country during the government shutdown—until this week I’d been riding out the fiasco working in Asia—is not being exposed to the petty, day-to-day indignities it spawns.

There’s no finding out what new outrage the three Chrises (Cillizza, Hayes, Matthews) have dug up. No trawling the Foxbaugh universe to see if there’s any reasonable discourse coming out of Camp Sabotage.

On the other hand, with distance comes clarity, and viewing America’s political decay through the lens of the international world comes with its own problems—not least of which is that it brings the depressing truth about this country’s social and political dysfunction into frightening focus.

That truth isn’t simply that our government is under attack from a band of domestic anarchists—presumably everyone can see that—but that the attack is working. No matter when the current crisis is declared “over,” its damage has already been done. The victory already claimed by those out to drive the American government to its knees will simply embolden the infidels to mount another attack once they’ve licked their wounds, regrouped and gained strength for another Pickett’s Charge.

Mm-hmm. That Pickett’s Charge, the last-day-of-Gettysburg calamity than broke the Southern war effort once-and-not-quite-for-all.

If you imagine there’s anything even remotely new about the current movement to cripple the government, well, bless your heart.

Say hello to our little friends

There’s a notion out there that the Tea Party jihadists leading the crusade against a functional federal government represent some new school of grassroots activism and that their dissonance echoes from Wal-Marted plain and Cracker Barrelled valley.

In fact, it’s the same old obstructionist strategy that’s been pursued by traitorous Southerners in government since long before Robert E. Lee’s doomed charge at Gettysburg. It’s part of the same soiled fabric that stretches from John C. Calhoun and South Carolina’s 1832 Ordinance of Nullification—an argument that essentially said that if a state didn’t like a federal law it could simply ignore it—all the way to the Newt Gingrich-led government shutdown and de facto second paralysis brought about by his presidential impeachment campaign of the 1990s. With stops along the way to roll back Reconstruction, stop black kids from entering white schools, dismember the Voting Rights Act, etc., etc.

Yes, I know Michele Bachmann is from Minnesota and Steve King is from Iowa, but all this proves is that in the 150 or so years since the Civil War, the vituperative Confederate agenda of anti-Americanism has managed to spread its irresistible redneck poison into benighted pockets across the country. Kind of like Waffle House.

But to deny that the current attack on the federal government isn’t part of the hidebound Confederate agenda is to ignore the people who have engineered it and whose sedition will be rewarded with reelection

In a piece published earlier this month beneath the headline “32 Republicans Who Caused the Government Shutdown,” The Atlantic tallied up the hardliners who have bent the country into going along with their insidious shutdown. Of the 32 it counted—“there’s no official ‘wacko bird’ caucus that keeps a register,”The Atlantic pointed out in justifying its own need to do so—20 come from Southern states. (Twenty-two, if you include Arizona, a place that more and more is resembling the South in terms of abysmal public education, obstructionist politics and guns in kindergarten.) That’s why although we were all supposed to act shocked and appalled when a Confederate flag showed up in front of the White House during a Tea Party protest last week, nobody actually was.

Among the Atlantic’s ignoble menagerie of clampdown Clampetts is North Carolina Representative Mark Meadows, the man rightly identified as the “architect of the brink” and “the man behind the government shutdown,” by CNN and others. It was Meadows who in August wrote that open letter to John Boehner and Eric Cantor, then press-ganged 79 of his colleagues to sign, demanding that Congress “repeal ObamaCare in its entirety this year, next year, and until we are successful.” It was Meadows who insisted on tying that effort to defunding the government.

Much as Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell did in 2010 when he said that the “single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president,” Meadows’ legislative gambit revealed a man and a party absorbed in a classic state of Southern pique. It’s a pathology sadly worthy of Calhoun and his whole sorry legacy of tantrum-throwing quack parliamentarians who want to continue enjoying all of the benefits that come with being part of the United States without having to make any of the necessary sacrifices or compromises.

In addition to all the unfair treatment Paula Deen has received from the mean old lamestream media this year, the angry Dixie mob has been galvanized most effectively by still another Southerner, Texas Senator Ted Cruz. The oratorical bar-lowerer is renowned for staging a 21-hour filibuster against Obamacare in the Senate, during which he read “Green Eggs and Ham” to his children. (What’s with Texas “My Pet Goat” Republicans turning to children’s books in times of national crisis, by the way?)

More notable, however, is the catastrophic defunding strategy Cruz called for in May when he implored the House Appropriations Committee to “abolish the IRS.”

This may have sounded like the latest wacko bird statement from yet another phenomenally shortsighted backwater pol with a Gospel zombie constituency to suck up to.

It wasn’t.

It was the cotillion debut for the latest strategy in the South’s never-say-tie fight against the U.S. government. Having failed through military, social, moral, political, procedural and pretty much every other means to destroy the Union, the Southern star-chamber that can’t let go of its antipathy toward America has hit on a new approach.

Take away its money.

It’s the Tony Montana philosophy in reverse: “First you take away the money, then you take away the power.”

Hey, why not look to “Scarface” for inspiration? The guy was from Florida, after all. And he had the Cubans in his back pocket.

It’s not playing in Peoria, but it is in Beijing

Watching this all unfold from abroad somehow made the circus sadder, the clowns even scarier.

While I was in Hong Kong, President Obama canceled a trip during which he was to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Indonesia and the ASEAN and East Asia Summits in Brunei. Obama blamed the shutdown for canceling appearances at sessions where global leaders gather to figure out who’s going to play makeweight in world affairs in coming years and who’s going to sit on the sidelines.

In the international press, the dominant theme that emerged from the APEC meetings was how Obama’s absence amounted to rolling out the red carpet for China and Russia. Taking the unaccustomed role of dominant players at the event, America’s primary global rivals wasted no opportunity to chisel away at American influence, all while giddily sound-biting about the United States’ torrential loss of financial and political authority in the world’s most robust economic region.

If the anger and narcissism of an influential part of the U.S. government was preventing it from seeing the big picture—no need for the shaky U.S. dollar to continue on as the world’s standard currency when by comparison the Chinese yuan looks Rushmore-esque in its rock-solid reliability—then let’s get on with cutting deals with the superpowers who actually seem both super and powerful. Or at least who have an idea about how to handle their business.

I’d call this analysis unanimous, but I suppose somewhere around the tenth or twelfth Google page a more diligent researcher than myself might find a link to some wayward editorialist voicing timid dissent.

But these times aren’t for the timid, not outside U.S. shores, anyway.

It’s an exciting, almost magisterial era, especially in Asia, where trade pacts are being inked, progress smells like cooperation and it actually feels like the 21st century is underway … at least for those who want to be a part of it.

Vladimir Putin made the most of his meetings with Chinese president Xi Jinping, crowing about cooperative agreements and tighter bonds between Russia and China.

As a Chinese professor named Wu Fei told Radio Free Asia, “Whenever China and Russia enter into any sort of agreement, this weakens the United States.”

But then, so does entering into agreements with a domestic gang that’s been working to tear down this country for more than a century and a half.

On that point, at least, everyone in Congress seems to agree.

They’ll continue to do so for as long as the patriotic Southern grudge against the United States is permitted to play a serious role in the federal government. So long as that’s the case, there’s no reason to expect an end to the division, no reason to expect anything new.

Chuck Thompson is the author of "Better Off Without ‘Em: A Northern Manifesto for Southern Secession"

Hope springs eternal -- The Boston Marathon, Boston Strong and the Boston Red Sox

How about those Red Sox! I kept asking myself throughout the American League playoff just why I was so emotionally invested in it after all I was not making a penny from it. I know the answer to that is an intangible something imbued in my childhood -- a love of my country, my state and my city. 

Despite the Red Sox of the era of my youth, a time in which they failed over and over again; despite my father's hand-wringing over the 1920 sale of baseball's then most valuable player George Herman "the Babe" Ruth we still loved those Sox and hoped next season would be better. Harvery Fromer on his blog wrote:

Harry Frazee had a home in Boston, but his main residence was on Park Avenue. He had made the comment that the "best thing about Boston was the train ride back to New York." A show business wheeler-dealer who owned a theater on 42nd Street in Manhattan, close by the New York Yankees offices, Frazee was a gambler. And he was always hustling, scuffling about for a buck, always overextended in one theatrical deal or another. 

Frazee actually said "the best thing about Boston was the train ride back to New York"? HARUUMPH. That man deserved the decades of scorn he received. I wish Frazee could have seen the Boston in which I grew up. I was a girl but that did not matter as I wore a Red Sox uniform proudly and have a youth picture to prove it.
The allegiance to this club that so many even if they travel far from Boston have reflects the love of the city, the state and the country. No matter its frailties, tragedies, historical upheavals and defeats Boston, the place of our nation's birth, still stands Boston Strong.
Those of us who lived through the Boston Marathon sickening bombing, those of us who lived through 9/11, those of us who lived through the tragedies of past wars and those of us who lived through the losses in years long ago of our beloved Red Sox, we still through it all, indeed, remained Boston and country strong. 

The Red Sox are Boston's pride and emblematic of our nation's hope. If we do not succeed today then certainly we will succeed tomorrow! Hope springs eternal for a baseball club and for a nation.

Let's maintain the hope that the entire country some day will be Democrat blue!

Slavery, Rebel Flag and the Shutdown

The article entitled above by Andrew O'Hehir in is posted here or below. 

 It is historically relevant to our time. Tomorrow, Sunday, October 20, the film "12 Years a Slave" is about to open in selected theaters and then nationally shortly thereafter. It appears to be a work of art and should be, by the glowing reviews it has achieved, mandatory viewing for all those who live in this country or those who are scratching their heads as one segment of one Party tried to do that which would have taken this country down and them along with it. The question is why. Why would a Tea Party made up of middle and lower middle class whites want to align itself with those forces of power in the Republican Party who do not give a rat's petuti about them? Why would they vote for people who would, in the end, destroy them and the nation? It is a question for the historical ages. 

This article is a brilliant analysis of the pre-Civil War era and its legacy of slavery's albatross STILL wrapped around this nation's neck!


Friday, October 18, 2013

Ruinous Demands by Republicons for lifting debt ceiling

I urge you to watch a segment of The Rachel Maddow Show that I post here and below. The insanity, the utter gall and stupidity of Republicon demands as they held the nation hostage to open the government and raise the debt ceiling is chilling.  

It will show you just what it means to be a Republican.  The lack of character, the lack of humanity, the lack of empathy, the sheer naked huzpah (nerve) of what they call Republicon policy and the lack of intelligence IS astounding. For this nation to be relegated to one faction of one major party in our meager two party system controlling the life and death of all of us is untenable.

One party is the party of stupid, yes, and the party of ideologically ruinous policy to the ENTIRE American system and global stability. 

It is a MUST to run these know nothing science denying cruel Republican beasts out of office.  2014 MUST be a takeover of the House by Democrats while keeping the Senate not because the Democratic Party is perfect but because it is the only vehicle we have that runs on rationale thought.  The survival of our country, the world's economy, the very existence of our planet and man on it is at risk if we do not.

For your ease I list the unconscionable demands of a Republicon Party obsessed with the neutering of "Obamacare" denying health care to millions of people who need it as extortion to open the government and raise the debt ceiling so that the world will not be convulsed.

1.  Defund Obamacare
2. Delay the individual mandate of Obamacare
3. Deny coverage to the president and vice president
4. Deny congressional staffers health care
5. Deny members of the President's cabinet health care
6. Deny birth control coverage
7. Approve the Keystone Pipeline -- Devastating to the environment
8. Means testing of Medicare
9. Changing pensions i.e. reducing or eliminating pensions of federal workers
10. Expand oil drilling -- ruinous to the environment
11. Net neutrality -- i.e. paying for levels of speed of internet service. 
12. Tort reform
13. EPA pollution rules changed i.e. relaxed for coal fired plants
14. Ryan's tax code changes favoring the rich (naturally)
15. Medical device tax eliminated for Obamacare

and more

What did they get?  NOTHING!

THIS is what the Republicon Party is about.  I would be ashamed to call myself Republican!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

It's OVER!!!!!!!!

Let us HOPE this holding innocent Americans hostage by an insane Republican minority NEVER EVER EVER happens again!!! Let's hope they learn something and throw these rancid tea bag crackpots OUT as in 2014 Democrats TAKE BACK THE HOUSE, KEEP THE SENATE and keep the Presidency blue in perpetuity!!

The Republican Party as it is today is DEAD!

Click here or

Default -- Whose Fault?

Boehner said "We are NOT going to default."  I think his plan is to take it to the brink to show his caucus that he is a "REAL tea bag Republican and not be primaried. His entire plan I think is NOT about the nation but about HIMSELF.  He wants to preserve the perks of his speakership and his House seat. That is what he cares about and that is ALL he cares about.  His history has shown Boehner is about Boehnor and little else.  A three pack a day smoker and allegedly a heavy drinker who used to show up little in the House, Boehner now has it in his hands to do the right thing. Why the world has to go down or up with the decision of this malcontent alone is beyond my comprehension and how the American system allows that to be so is insane!

Having said that the Republican Party has created their own Frankenstein in the tea baggies birthed from the bank bailouts, the Wall Street bonuses and men who should have gone to jail for what they did but did not.  When the health care bill was ushered into law and the President did NOT explain it well in that fateful summer of 2010 the November election crucified him.  Add to it HUGE racism on the right and really in the Republican Party generally and you have a party of stupid as Republican Governor of Louisiana Jindal said .  They are the Dixicrates of old.  Johnson predicted his Civil Rights Act would lose the south for Democrats and that is exactly what it did as Nixon and the Republican Party formed his coalition of the so called law and order "moral majority."  

Fast forward to today and they have built quite a party of old white men, racists, other right wingnut fringe groups and crazy religious fanatics.  The Tea Party is loaded with know nothings.  So their Frankenstein creation of tea baggies is biting the Republican moderates in the posterior and is aiming for the head. The Party itself is paralyzed and fractured seemingly beyond repair.  There is a schism right down the middle of populist (and racist) anti banking interests vs. corporate Republicans that always favored economic interests and split is profound.  I am hoping the Frankenstein will be crushed and Wall Street prevails to end this self inflicted nearly fatal wound.  I favor Wall Street?  Yes, Wall Street with strict ethics and regulation would keep a modern nation economically healthy.  The key is ethics and regulation.  

Whose fault is default?  History will show, IF it happens, that it will be laid squarely at Republicans' feet.  I await 2014, at least as of this moment, with glee IF the American public remembers the egregious things the Republican Party has done.

Yes, I will say it:  Pray for our country!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Baking a Cake

I surely do not agree with all of Stephen Lendman's extreme opinions on the left. Occasionally, he does, though I believe tell truth or at the very least he gives one food for thought. The article below is food for thought.

As one who adored the social critical comedy of the late George Carlin -- profane though it was -- especially his prescient "American Dream" Youtube which one can find by Googling it. He says in essence they (the richest 2%) with a complicit Congress are coming for it all; all of it so don't look for anything be glad with what you have because the owners OWN YOU. They control it all. They want it they want ALL of it; "they want your Social Security they want it back; they are in a club and "you ain't in it." The game is rigged, he says. It's called the "American Dream" because you have to be asleep to believe it.

Stephen Lendman thinks so too. If you have time to read this see if you agree with what he says.

Debt Ceiling Hype

by Stephen Lendman

The so-called deadline to raise it isn't one at all. Lots of ways can resolve it. Prioritized spending can keep government operating. It can prevent default.

From October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014, an estimated $3 trillion in revenue will be collected. The Treasury can mint trillion dollar coins if needed.

The Fed monetizes debt by buying Treasuries. It's purchasing about $1 trillion annually. It can double the amount if it wishes.

Doing so, of course, is madness. What can't go on forever, won't. Massive monetization debases dollar value. Doing so is back door defaulting. Short-term, nothing prevents it from continuing.

Technically the debt ceiling is unconstitutional. The 14th Amendment Section 4 mandates paying public debt obligations. It states:

"The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned."

"But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void."

Defaulting violates the Constitution's "general welfare" clause. Article I, Section 8 states:

"The Congress shall have power to…provide for (the) general welfare of the United States."

Having power means using it when most needed. It means doing so for the good of the country and everyone. It requires keeping government operating. It requires funding its obligations.

The so-called debt problem is an accounting one. The Treasury can issue any amount it wishes. The Fed can buy it all if needed.

It can cancel debt it owns. It can simply forgive it. It's a bookkeeping entry. It's money Washington owes itself.

Doing it creates lots of wiggle room. It would end the current standoff. It would prevent default.

It won't happen whether or not the so-called deadline is passed. Bet on it.

Here's where things now stand. An hour from now they may change. According to Defense

Senate Democrat and Republican leaders "are close to finalizing a debt-ceiling deal…"

It buys time. It gives Congress and Obama three more months to resolve differences. It averts new defense sequestration cuts.

Senate majority and minority leaders Harry Reid (D. NV) and Mitch McConnell (R. KY) respectively agreed on 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA) funding levels.

If House Republicans concur, government reopens. It continues operating until January 15. It provides time to resolve differences.

Reid and McConnell are close to a deal to raise the debt ceiling until mid-February. In weekend talks, Democrats introduced a sequester replacement plan. Republicans balked.

Reid and McConnell agreed on $986 billion additional spending. It'll end in mid-January without a sequester replacement deal in the meantime.

According to Senator Mark Pryor (D. AK), both leaders agreed on what 13 Republican and Democrat senators proposed. Passing a continuing resolution (CR) would keep government operating.

Doing so requires House and Senate approval.

At 9:56 AM EDT time today, The New York Times headlined "House Outlines Plan on Spending Debt Limit," saying:

Doing so "would end the government shutdown and raise the debt limit into next year, but would also make some changes to the health care law."

Their plan mandates Obamacare coverage for congressional and high-level administration staffers. It excludes them from receiving government subsidies.

It suspends the medical device tax for two years. It reopens government. It funds it through January 15. It increases the debt ceiling until February.

Other House and Senate Democrat and Republican proposals were floated. They're being considered. So far, nothing is resolved.

At 11:30 AM EDT today, The New York Times headlined House "Republican Leaders Back Off New Plan," saying:

"Republican leaders walked back from a plan that had emerged this morning. Speaker John A. Boehner told reporters there are 'no decisions about what exactly we will do.' "

"We're trying to find a way forward in a bipartisan way that would continue to provide fairness to the American people under Obamacare."

House Republicans have different ideas on how to do it, he added.

According to The Times, they "appear intent to extract at least one concessions"

They want congressional members, Obama, Biden, and high-level administration staffers excluded from federal health insurance subsidies. They want them bound under the same Obamacare provisions as everyone else.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor calls it "our provision of fairness. No special treatment under the law."

Stay tuned. Ongoing toing and froing has a ways to go. Debt default won't follow. Whatever happens, ordinary people will be harmed most.

A previous article explained. Squabbles mask Washington's longstanding class war. Neoliberal harshness explains it.

Bipartisan complicity demands it. Destroying social America is planned. Brinksmanship is theater. It masks what's really going on.

Expect resolution to hammer ordinary people hard. It'll hurt America's most disadvantaged hardest. It'll come incrementally.

It'll eliminate social protections too vital to lose. It'll leave growing millions increasingly on their own sink or swim.

It'll reveal more than ever America's dark side. It reflects heart of darkness wickedness writ large.

Expect the worst of all possible worlds ahead. It's baked in the cake. Both parties agree.

Monday, October 14, 2013

China Calls for a DeAmericanized World

China, into the US for TRILLIONS, is worried and angry about the RepubliCONS preventing our debt from being paid and the potential world economic chaos to ensue because a part of the US -- enough to gum up the works -- simply does not like a one half black president!  Read the link here or below.

We are the laughing stock and the worry of the world. I cannot blame China and the world ONE bit for their distrust and disgust of this nation. All I can say is, China, we are NOT all like our government. Most of us want a compromise; heck most of us want the debt ceiling by law to have to be raised if it needs raising AND I do not know one American who is for this government shutdown. 

The ones for it are the hillbilly know nothings who do not know an economic principle if they fell over one nor do they have a humanitarian bone in their body.  The moneybag RepubliCONS, enemies of Social Security and Medicare, are the Dixcrats and Civil War Confederacy of old complete with Confederate flag waiving of it, are taking full advantage of a racist, white minority in the nation to gain power. 

Our system in one word is NUTS and ridiculous with people like an imbecile Ted Cruz (I do not care if he did go to Harvard) allowed to read a Dr. Seuss children's book on the floor on the sacrosanct Senate, faux filibuster a bill, a 60 vote necessity to pass a bill and the allowance of gerrymandering in the states to skew the one-man-one-vote principle are nothing less than shameful.  There IS a 14th amendment that mandates our debts MUST be honored. 

China, I suspect the ceiling WILL be raised but I do envy the seamlessness of your system.  Add free speech to it and a REAL due process not like the fake one we have now in the US and you've got a great system. Be patient, China, this gridlock WILL be changed. 2014 cannot come fast enough for most of us!

Why we need Democrats to take back the House, Keep the Senate and maintain a Democratic presidency!

Sunday, October 13, 2013


For those who are voting for the 5th District House seat this pertains to you.

Whomever you choose to vote I ask you NOT to vote for Katherine Clark. She and Emily's List too have pulled what in my opinion is a Republicanesque move by passing around a flyer the Clark campaign says is not at their direction but IS at the direction of Emily's List that shows in clear fashion Clark next to Elizabeth Warren and states at the very top "Katherine Clark & Elizabeth Warren."

I find it DIFFICULT -- very difficult -- to believe that Katherine Clark had NO idea about the Emily's List produced flyer in her name. I find these tactics deceptively noxious, rancid and ATYPICAL of what the Democratic Party is SUPPOSED to be about. It leads me to conclude because "Emily's List" is about corporations gaining their endorsement for women that somehow there was some deal or a wink and a nod by the Clark campaign who all of a sudden shot to the top of a poll and all of a sudden is a candidate whom The Boston Globe endorses. I had not heard about Clark UNTIL Friday when I received the Warren flyer with Clark on it. I was ALMOST bamboozled by it until I dug further.

Elizabeth Warren came out yesterday with a statement that she has endorsed no one. You decide. I am rather sick of corporations spending money like the people they are NOT in the political realm and the lies of candidates professing not to know a thing about it when in fact they PROBABLY do. 

The aforementioned is MY opinion and mine only. Using my right to free speech I urge EVERYONE to THINK about your vote and not vote for Katherine Clark unless and until she or Emily's List clarifies the flyer advertisement episode as we can see what happens in Washington when corporations rule and leave the rest of us in the dirt!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Point of No Return


    Climate change anyone? This cyclone in east India will make Katrina look like a summer storm.

    I surely HOPE it is NOT where their nukes are!! 
    Speaking of nukes--Fukishima had a human error accident and now it's leaking MORE, if that is possible, radiation from a broken hose. The radiation level isvery high.  But TEPCO and the government says not to worry--NOT MUCH!

    Sure let's build more nuclear plants here so that when we have continuous RepuGlican induced government shutdowns with no one to monitor them what could possibly go wrong?  Let's depend on the  ever so ethical and moral money machine nuclear power industry to keep us SO safe--NOT!