Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The little-known tool Republicans will use if they take the Senate

Bachmann and Palin, a Sad Little Boy and The Unscientific Wingnut Lamar Smith



Bachmann gets "Security Detail"

We haven't heard much from Michelle Bachmann in recent months.  That's a good thing.  Except for the fact that when she keeps her mouth shut, we have to go elsewhere for our comedy fix.

But now, wow!  Michelle believes she is a threat to the Islamic State (ISIS) because her blurred image and her clear voice is reported to have been used in a video produced by ISIS.  In the video she mentions the rise of radical Islam.

That's not surprising, though, as Bachmann has long been outspoken in her criticism of radical Muslims even to the point of urging the US to take military action against them.  In a speech at the "Value Voters" gathering earlier this fall, she said the Islam State was evil and that we must take it seriously. "You declare war on it, you don't dance around it.  Just like the Islamic State has declared war on the United States of America."

Both Bachmann and her male alter ego in the Senate, Teddy Cruz, have introduced legislation which would strip American citizenship from anyone who joins ISIS.

Evidently, this anti-Islamic State action has led her to believe that she is in danger from ISIS although it is hard to comprehend why any group, even ISIS, would spend two seconds fussing about this Republican nutcase.  Nevertheless she will get getting a security detail - police persons - who will follow her 24/7 either in Washington, D.C. or in her home state of Minnesota.

This security detail (and the waste of money) will end when Bachmann "retires" from Congress in January.  But what a great gig for the cops;  so long as they're allowed to wear ear plugs when she gives a speech.

h/t to Mock, Paper, Scissors








Palin's SuperPac

Sarah Palin, who was governor of Alaska for about half a term and now is reported to live in Arizona, set up a SuperPac awhile back ostensibly to raise money for GOP candidates.

If you recall, though, Sarah went through money like a sieve when she was McCain's VP candidate.  (I get chills just mentioning the fact that Sarah could have been one little heart attack away from the Oval Office!)

Nothing much has changed since 2008, it seems, as to how Sarah appropriates money for herself.  At one point her SuperPac gave a mere 5% to those GOP wannabes she thought should be elected to one office or another.  Lately, though, her stinginess has grown.  Now, it appears she's giving only 3% of what she takes in for her SuperPac to GOP candidates.

So, what happens to the other 97%?  Hmmmm?  Clothes, shoes, travel, wine, food, helicopters to shoot wolves?

But it gets worse.  If you were a Republican running for office, you might be on the receiving end of Palin's "generosity" if you were also batshit crazy.  And that could be embarrassing.  Consider this:  She "endorsed" John Raese for U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania.  Oops.  Mr. Raese is from West Virginia.






A Sad Little Boy

He doesn't look sad when you see him kneeling next to his kill - a rare white albino, 12-point buck!

In fact, he looks happy.  The buck looks sad.  And very dead.

The boy from Michigan shot the deer with a bow and arrow.  Why would he do this?  He wanted to be a big hunter like his dad?  Did killing a basically defenseless rare animal just for the hell of it make him feel like a man?

Don't tell me he wanted the meat!  That's what we have grocery stores for!

So why?

What a crazy race we humans are!  What a sad little boy.






Lamar Smith (R-TX) - U.S. House Science Committee Science Hater

You wouldn't think that being a Republican science hater from Texas is a big deal.  Most every Republican from Texas hates science because science proves him or her wrong on almost every issue.  So the way you deal with that if you are a member of the U.S. Congress is to go after people in the scientific community whose work shows you to be a numbskull.

Smith has a lot of power to exert when attacking the scientists and their work.  This kind of thing must happen in other countries, also, but it's quite incredible that this know-nothing from Texas has been a member of the House science committee for 26 years and now serves as its chairman.

You wouldn't think we'd want an anti-science dimwit to chair the science committee, but there it is

Daily Kos describes him this way:

"His votes reflect a pattern of opposition to climate change and alternative energy efforts, sympathy to large industry in matters of copyright and patent law, deference to law enforcement on privacy issues, and moral policing of the Internet."

Smith, a member of the Tea Party Caucus, and an anti-abortionist, has "voted to bar the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases, voted no several times on tax credits for renewable energy and incentives for energy production and conservation, voted against raising fuel efficiency standards, and rejected implementation of the Kyoto Protocol."

But, hey, the NRA gives him an A+.

Why, he's just a good ol' boy from Texas, don't ya know.  Y'all take care now, hear?"










Monday, October 20, 2014

Greed and the Bottom Line

[Note:  Photo is from Working Life.]

The holiday season is rapidly approaching which means that all of us will be inundated with pleas for money by a variety of "charitable" organizations.

It's all very confusing.  Which ones are worthy of our hard-earned money? 

Unfortunately, some charities tend to be less than charitable in the dispensation of their largesse.  Some charities, including many churches, use the funds they receive in ways which contradict the claims they make about their work.

What follows comes from a friend of mine.  It appears to replicate quite closely the facts as turned up by my own research.

Please note, however, this is an imcomplete list of both the bad guys and the good guys.  But some of the largest and most persistent charities are given the once-over.

So, as you consider what to give to whom, think about the following:

First the "not-so-good" guys:


1.  The American Red Cross:  Marsha J. Evans, President and CEO, had an annual salary of $651,957.00, plus expenses.  That seems a little excessive.

2.  The March of Dimes:  It is called the March of Dimes because for every dollar they receive, they give merely one dime to the needy!

3.  The United Way:  President Brian Gallagher is gifted a $375,000 base salary as well as numerous expense benefits.

4.  UNICEF:  Caryl M. Stern, CEO, received $1,200,000 per year ($100,000/month) plus all expenses, including a Rolls Royce.  Less than 5 cents of every dollar donated goes to the cause.

5.  Goodwill:  Mark Curran is the owner and the CEO of this well-known organization.  He currently enjoys an annual profit of $2.3 million.  Goodwill is a very catchy name for his business.  You donate stuff to Goodwill, which he then sells for proit.  He pays nothing for his products and pays his workers minimum wage.  In reality, not one cent goes to help anybody.


The "good" guys:


1.  The Salvation Army:  Commissioner Todd Basset receives an annual salary of $13,000 for managing this $2 billion organization.  Ninety-six percent of donated dollars go to help people.

2.  The American Legion National Commander gets no annual salary.  Your donations go to help veterans and their families and youth.

3.  The Veterans of Foreign Wars National Commander gets no annual salary.  Your donations go to help veterans and their families and youth.

4.  The Disabled American Veterans National Commander gets no annual salary.  Your donations go  to help veterans and their families and youth

5.  The Military Order of Purple Hearts National Commander gets no annual salary.  In this case, also, what you donate goes to help veterans and their families and youth.

6.  The Vietnam Veterans Association National Commander get no annual salary and your monies go directly to veterans and their families and youth.

7.  Make A Wish Foundation:  100% of donated dollars goes toward funding trips or special wishes for a dying child.

8.  St. Jude Research Hospital:  100% of donated dollars goes toward helping children with cancer who have no insurance and cannot afford to pay for treatment.

9.  Ronald McDonald Houses:  All donated money goes toward providing housing and food for parents who have critically ill children in the hospital.

10.  Lions Club International:  Again 100% of donations is used to help the blind, for hearing aids for the deaf, and to support medical missions around the world.  Their latest endeavor is to provide measles vaccinations for $1.00 a shot.




Sunday, October 19, 2014

Meet the U.S. Gun Industry


Florida needs Charlie Crist

This post is primarily for Floridians.  It is to urge residents of the Sunshine State to vote for Charlie Crist for governor.


But this first.  Senate Republicans, following the lead of the teapot crackpot, Ted Cruz, have blocked President Obama's nomination of Dr. Vivek Murthy as the country's Surgeon General.

Why would they do that?  The reasoning is so specious it boggles the mind and it also clarifies how much power the NRA has in this country.

Cruz, believing that his interpretation of the 2nd Amendment trumps all other concerns we might have as a nation, including the Ebola crisis, said he and other Republicans in the Senate could not support Dr. Murthy because the doctor at one time backed a ban on military-stye assault weapons.

So, our Republican senators, who take an oath to serve the entire country and all the people, have abrogated their responsibility to protect the health of our citizens because they are afraid of the National Rifle Association.

Now these same Republicans are blaming President Obama for the fact we don't have a Surgeon General!

I don't believe in hell, but that is where these clowns belong!


The governor's race in Florida is relatively close, although the latest polls show Crist leading by several points.  We've talked about the criminal that is Rick Scott many times and we've dealt in detail with his scumbag ways.

To be fair I should mention that, in the past, I've gone after Charlie Crist because of his support for school vouchers (which by any measure is blatantly unconstitutional!) and his ties to the religious right.  But in his first go around as Florida's chief executive, he did quite well and over the years his position on many issues has become more progressive.  The difference between Charlie and Rick is the different between night and day, to use an old cliche.

From the beginning, Scott has turned away from the people of the state to feather his own nest.  He proposed a draconian drug-testing law for civil servants which would, initially at least, have been a financial boon for a company run by his wife and in which he had an interest.

Scott has yet to disclose his 2013 tax returns and has neglected to fully disclose all of his financial interests basically telling the people of Florida it's none of their business.

He famously turned down Obamacare Medicaid, which would have helped millions of Florida's elderly and would have cost the state nothing for the first three years and not much more than nothing in the years following.

Scott has enacted 12 pro-gun laws.  Is it any wonder that folks who walk around packing heat in Florida suddenly shoot someone and then claim that was their "right" under Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law because they felt threatened as the other person had big, fearsome ears?

Scott has cut funding for public schools and pushed private and charter schools.  He has cut taxes for the rich which means that those with less financial resources are impacted more by various fees and taxes.

But when it comes to the environment - protecting the land and the sea that gives us life - Scott has been an unmitigated disaster.  He'll talk about his multi-billion dollar environment initiative but it's all smoke and mirrors - there's no money appropriated or in place to carry out these plans.

He's done nothing to counter the effects of global warming which will soon become Florida's greatest nemesis!  The seas are rising and as they rise, Florida's beaches are going to be washed away.  The highest point in southeast Florida is Pine Island Ridge at 12 feet above sea level.  Areas of downtown Miami are underwater every day now at high tide.

The Florida chapter of the Sierra Club has done an excellent job profiling Scott's utter failure in dealing with environmental issues.  The Florida Sierra Club's newsletter, "The Pelican," points out a few of these failures:

1)  Scott eliminated the Department of Community Affairs which means that developers can pretty much do whatever they want with no government oversight.

2)  When the EPA proposed rules to stop pollution of Florida's waters, Scott fought the agency all the way!

3)  Scott cut funding for Florida's water management districts which led to reducing environmental staff and programs.  These districts are absolutely critical to the ongoing environmental health of the state!

4) "Crippled enforcement of environmental rules and appointed industry officials in top regulatory positions."

5)  Scott is pushing to build "several new transportation corridors that would create new cities with millions of people and would eliminate much of Florida's rural farmland," destroying many wildlife habitats and threatening the state's water supply in the process.

And there's much more.  We haven't even touched on his criminal actions in masterminding the most massive Medicare fraud in history!


Crist, on the other hand, has a good environmental record.

When governor, Crist's advice to reject new coal plants in Florida was followed and six massive plants were never built.  He recognized the challenge of climate change and got the state going on ways to develop renewable energy (this was reversed by Republicans in the state legislature).

As governor, Crist will work to protect our beaches, the Everglades, wildlife habitats, and reduce algae pollution.  Charlie is opposed to fracking for natural gas and off-shore oil drilling.  He is a strong proponent of solar energy.  Crist believes we must build more mass transit and supports electric vehicles.


It couldn't be any clearer.  Florida's future is at stake.  And that's why Charlie Crist has been endorsed by many, if not most, of the state's major newspapers, including the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Tampa Bay/St. Pete Times, the Miami Herald, and the Orlando Sentinel.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Republicans fear freedom


Governor Rick Snyder (R - Michigan)


Generally, in this country, new cars are produced by car companies and sold by car dealerships.  There's one exception, however.  The new Tesla, a very expensive, premium electric car, is sold to consumers directly - no dealerships involved.

Holy Henry Ford!  That's not good, say the car companies and the car dealerships!  It's not good because some folks who might become Tesla dealers won't be able to increase their personal fortunes and it could lead to other people producing cars and selling them on their own, and omigod, everyone in the car bizness is going to lose!

In fact, Republicans in several states have already passed legislation making direct sales from car company to consumers illegal.

The latest state considering such a proposal is Michigan, where a bill is sitting on the governor's desk awaiting his signature to ban direct sales of cars to consumers.  The guv has until Tuesday to sign the bill.

You can bet your bippy he'll sign it!  For one thing he's a Republican.  But then wouldn't dare do anything else as big names in the automotive industry, such as Ford, have been funding his campaign coffers for a long time!

Isn't it interesting that when push comes to shove, Republican business magnates tend to think freedom in this country is overrated.  They don't want to regulate carbon emissions or greenhouse gasses or air travel or financial transactions, but when they see a threat to their unconscionable profits, they cry foul and pull out the rule book which they rewrite to their satisfaction!

Tesla, in their view, should not enjoy the same rights as Chase or ING or even Burger King.  Freedom is good only if it doesn't threaten their bottom line.


If you want to know more about Tesla, click here.


The Dumbest Politico in the USA



There are many examples of why Louie Gohmert of Texas is the dumbest politician in the country.  He once urged Obama to invade Mexico.  He wanted to arrest Eric Holder.   He claims liberals use vaccines for population control.

Obama, says this clown, cares more about climate change than Ebola or ISIS and he's allowing infected people to come into the country so everyone will "feel included."  And there's so much more.  For example:

Gohmert is a fan of Glenn Beck.  Naturally.  They're both nuts.

Gohmert told Glenn Beck that the nurses who contracted Ebola were suffering as part of the Democrat's "War on Women."

Yup.  And that's the truth!

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Second State of the Union Message

State of the Union Message to Congress

January 11, 1944

To the Congress:                                                               

This Nation in the past two years has become an active partner in the world's greatest war against human slavery.

We have joined with like-minded people in order to defend ourselves in a world that has been gravely threatened with gangster rule.

But I do not think that any of us Americans can be content with mere survival. Sacrifices that we and our allies are making impose upon us all a sacred obligation to see to it that out of this war we and our children will gain something better than mere survival.

We are united in determination that this war shall not be followed by another interim which leads to new disaster- that we shall not repeat the tragic errors of ostrich isolationism—that we shall not repeat the excesses of the wild twenties when this Nation went for a joy ride on a roller coaster which ended in a tragic crash.

When Mr. Hull went to Moscow in October, and when I went to Cairo and Teheran in November, we knew that we were in agreement with our allies in our common determination to fight and win this war. But there were many vital questions concerning the future peace, and they were discussed in an atmosphere of complete candor and harmony.

In the last war such discussions, such meetings, did not even begin until the shooting had stopped and the delegates began to assemble at the peace table. There had been no previous opportunities for man-to-man discussions which lead to meetings of minds. The result was a peace which was not a peace.

That was a mistake which we are not repeating in this war.

And right here I want to address a word or two to some suspicious souls who are fearful that Mr. Hull or I have made "commitments" for the future which might pledge this Nation to secret treaties, or to enacting the role of Santa Claus.

To such suspicious souls—using a polite terminology—I wish to say that Mr. Churchill, and Marshal Stalin, and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek are all thoroughly conversant with the provisions of our Constitution. And so is Mr. Hull. And so am I.

Of course we made some commitments. We most certainly committed ourselves to very large and very specific military plans which require the use of all Allied forces to bring about the defeat of our enemies at the earliest possible time.

But there were no secret treaties or political or financial commitments.

The one supreme objective for the future, which we discussed for each Nation individually, and for all the United Nations, can be summed up in one word: Security.

And that means not only physical security which provides safety from attacks by aggressors. It means also economic security, social security, moral security—in a family of Nations.

In the plain down-to-earth talks that I had with the Generalissimo and Marshal Stalin and Prime Minister Churchill, it was abundantly clear that they are all most deeply interested in the resumption of peaceful progress by their own peoples—progress toward a better life. All our allies want freedom to develop their lands and resources, to build up industry, to increase education and individual opportunity, and to raise standards of living.

All our allies have learned by bitter experience that real development will not be possible if they are to be diverted from their purpose by repeated wars—or even threats of war.


China and Russia are truly united with Britain and America in recognition of this essential fact:
The best interests of each Nation, large and small, demand that all freedom-loving Nations shall join together in a just and durable system of peace. In the present world situation, evidenced by the actions of Germany, Italy, and Japan, unquestioned military control over disturbers of the peace is as necessary among Nations as it is among citizens in a community. And an equally basic essential to peace is a decent standard of living for all individual men and women and children in all Nations. 

Freedom from fear is eternally linked with freedom from want.

There are people who burrow through our Nation like unseeing moles, and attempt to spread the suspicion that if other Nations are encouraged to raise their standards of living, our own American standard of living must of necessity be depressed.

The fact is the very contrary. It has been shown time and again that if the standard of living of any country goes up, so does its purchasing power- and that such a rise encourages a better standard of living in neighboring countries with whom it trades. That is just plain common sense—and it is the kind of plain common sense that provided the basis for our discussions at Moscow, Cairo, and Teheran.

Returning from my journeyings, I must confess to a sense of "let-down" when I found many evidences of faulty perspective here in Washington. The faulty perspective consists in overemphasizing lesser problems and thereby underemphasizing the first and greatest problem.
The overwhelming majority of our people have met the demands of this war with magnificent courage and understanding. They have accepted inconveniences; they have accepted hardships; they have accepted tragic sacrifices. And they are ready and eager to make whatever further contributions are needed to win the war as quickly as possible- if only they are given the chance to know what is required of them.

However, while the majority goes on about its great work without complaint, a noisy minority maintains an uproar of demands for special favors for special groups. There are pests who swarm through the lobbies of the Congress and the cocktail bars of Washington, representing these special groups as opposed to the basic interests of the Nation as a whole. They have come to look upon the war primarily as a chance to make profits for themselves at the expense of their neighbors- profits in money or in terms of political or social preferment.

Such selfish agitation can be highly dangerous in wartime. It creates confusion. It damages morale. It hampers our national effort. It muddies the waters and therefore prolongs the war.
If we analyze American history impartially, we cannot escape the fact that in our past we have not always forgotten individual and selfish and partisan interests in time of war—we have not always been united in purpose and direction. We cannot overlook the serious dissensions and the lack of unity in our war of the Revolution, in our War of 1812, or in our War Between the States, when the survival of the Union itself was at stake.

In the first World War we came closer to national unity than in any previous war. But that war lasted only a year and a half, and increasing signs of disunity began to appear during the final months of the conflict.

In this war, we have been compelled to learn how interdependent upon each other are all groups and sections of the population of America.

Increased food costs, for example, will bring new demands for wage increases from all war workers, which will in turn raise all prices of all things including those things which the farmers themselves have to buy. Increased wages or prices will each in turn produce the same results. They all have a particularly disastrous result on all fixed income groups.

And I hope you will remember that all of us in this Government represent the fixed income group just as much as we represent business owners, workers, and farmers. This group of fixed income people includes: teachers, clergy, policemen, firemen, widows and minors on fixed incomes, wives and dependents of our soldiers and sailors, and old-age pensioners. They and their families add up to one-quarter of our one hundred and thirty million people. They have few or no high pressure representatives at the Capitol. In a period of gross inflation they would be the worst sufferers.

If ever there was a time to subordinate individual or group selfishness to the national good, that time is now. Disunity at home—bickerings, self-seeking partisanship, stoppages of work, inflation, business as usual, politics as usual, luxury as usual these are the influences which can undermine the morale of the brave men ready to die at the front for us here.

Those who are doing most of the complaining are not deliberately striving to sabotage the national war effort. They are laboring under the delusion that the time is past when we must make prodigious sacrifices- that the war is already won and we can begin to slacken off. But the dangerous folly of that point of view can be measured by the distance that separates our troops from their ultimate objectives in Berlin and Tokyo—and by the sum of all the perils that lie along the way.

Overconfidence and complacency are among our deadliest enemies. Last spring—after notable victories at Stalingrad and in Tunisia and against the U-boats on the high seas—overconfidence became so pronounced that war production fell off. In two months, June and July, 1943, more than a thousand airplanes that could have been made and should have been made were not made. Those who failed to make them were not on strike. They were merely saying, "The war's in the bag- so let's relax."

That attitude on the part of anyone—Government or management or labor—can lengthen this war. It can kill American boys.

Let us remember the lessons of 1918. In the summer of that year the tide turned in favor of the allies. But this Government did not relax. In fact, our national effort was stepped up. In August, 1918, the draft age limits were broadened from 21-31 to 18-45. The President called for "force to the utmost," and his call was heeded. And in November, only three months later, Germany surrendered.

That is the way to fight and win a war—all out—and not with half-an-eye on the battlefronts abroad and the other eye-and-a-half on personal, selfish, or political interests here at home.

Therefore, in order to concentrate all our energies and resources on winning the war, and to maintain a fair and stable economy at home, I recommend that the Congress adopt:

(1) A realistic tax law—which will tax all unreasonable profits, both individual and corporate, and reduce the ultimate cost of the war to our sons and daughters. The tax bill now under consideration by the Congress does not begin to meet this test.

(2) A continuation of the law for the renegotiation of war contracts—which will prevent exorbitant profits and assure fair prices to the Government. For two long years I have pleaded with the Congress to take undue profits out of war.

(3) A cost of food law—which will enable the Government (a) to place a reasonable floor under the prices the farmer may expect for his production; and (b) to place a ceiling on the prices a consumer will have to pay for the food he buys. This should apply to necessities only; and will require public funds to carry out. It will cost in appropriations about one percent of the present annual cost of the war.

(4) Early reenactment of. the stabilization statute of October, 1942. This expires June 30, 1944, and if it is not extended well in advance, the country might just as well expect price chaos by summer.
We cannot have stabilization by wishful thinking. We must take positive action to maintain the integrity of the American dollar.

(5) A national service law- which, for the duration of the war, will prevent strikes, and, with certain appropriate exceptions, will make available for war production or for any other essential services every able-bodied adult in this Nation.

These five measures together form a just and equitable whole. I would not recommend a national service law unless the other laws were passed to keep down the cost of living, to share equitably the burdens of taxation, to hold the stabilization line, and to prevent undue profits.
The Federal Government already has the basic power to draft capital and property of all kinds for war purposes on a basis of just compensation.

As you know, I have for three years hesitated to recommend a national service act. Today, however, I am convinced of its necessity. Although I believe that we and our allies can win the war without such a measure, I am certain that nothing less than total mobilization of all our resources of manpower and capital will guarantee an earlier victory, and reduce the toll of suffering and sorrow and blood.

I have received a joint recommendation for this law from the heads of the War Department, the Navy Department, and the Maritime Commission. These are the men who bear responsibility for the procurement of the necessary arms and equipment, and for the successful prosecution of the war in the field. They say:

"When the very life of the Nation is in peril the responsibility for service is common to all men and women. In such a time there can be no discrimination between the men and women who are assigned by the Government to its defense at the battlefront and the men and women assigned to producing the vital materials essential to successful military operations. A prompt enactment of a National Service Law would be merely an expression of the universality of this responsibility."
I believe the country will agree that those statements are the solemn truth.

National service is the most democratic way to wage a war. Like selective service for the armed forces, it rests on the obligation of each citizen to serve his Nation to his utmost where he is best qualified.

It does not mean reduction in wages. It does not mean loss of retirement and seniority rights and benefits. It does not mean that any substantial numbers of war workers will be disturbed in their present jobs. Let these facts be wholly clear.

Experience in other democratic Nations at war—Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand- has shown that the very existence of national service makes unnecessary the widespread use of compulsory power. National service has proven to be a unifying moral force based on an equal and comprehensive legal obligation of all people in a Nation at war.

There are millions of American men and women who are not in this war at all. It is not because they do not want to be in it. But they want to know where they can best do their share. National service provides that direction. It will be a means by which every man and woman can find that inner satisfaction which comes from making the fullest possible contribution to victory.

I know that all civilian war workers will be glad to be able to say many years hence to their grandchildren: "Yes, I, too, was in service in the great war. I was on duty in an airplane factory, and I helped make hundreds of fighting planes. The Government told me that in doing that I was performing my most useful work in the service of my country."

It is argued that we have passed the stage in the war where national service is necessary. But our soldiers and sailors know that this is not true. We are going forward on a long, rough road- and, in all journeys, the last miles are the hardest. And it is for that final effort—for the total defeat of our enemies-that we must mobilize our total resources. The national war program calls for the employment of more people in 1944 than in 1943.

It is my conviction that the American people will welcome this win-the-war measure which is based on the eternally just principle of "fair for one, fair for all."

It will give our people at home the assurance that they are standing four-square behind our soldiers and sailors. And it will give our enemies demoralizing assurance that we mean business -that we, 130,000,000 Americans, are on the march to Rome, Berlin, and Tokyo.

I hope that the Congress will recognize that, although this is a political year, national service is an issue which transcends politics. Great power must be used for great purposes.
As to the machinery for this measure, the Congress itself should determine its nature—but it should be wholly nonpartisan in its make-up.

Our armed forces are valiantly fulfilling their responsibilities to our country and our people. Now the Congress faces the responsibility for taking those measures which are essential to national security in this the most decisive phase of the Nation's greatest war.

Several alleged reasons have prevented the enactment of legislation which would preserve for our soldiers and sailors and marines the fundamental prerogative of citizenship—the right to vote. No amount of legalistic argument can becloud this issue in the eyes of these ten million American citizens. Surely the signers of the Constitution did not intend a document which, even in wartime, would be construed to take away the franchise of any of those who are fighting to preserve the Constitution itself.

Our soldiers and sailors and marines know that the overwhelming majority of them will be deprived of the opportunity to vote, if the voting machinery is left exclusively to the States under existing State laws—and that there is no likelihood of these laws being changed in time to enable them to vote at the next election. The Army and Navy have reported that it will be impossible effectively to administer forty-eight different soldier voting laws. It is the duty of the Congress to remove this unjustifiable discrimination against the men and women in our armed forces- and to do it as quickly as possible.

It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth- is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill housed, and insecure.

This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.

As our Nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. "Necessitous men are not free men." People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

America's own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens. For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world.

One of the great American industrialists of our day—a man who has rendered yeoman service to his country in this crisis-recently emphasized the grave dangers of "rightist reaction" in this Nation. All clear-thinking businessmen share his concern. Indeed, if such reaction should develop—if history were to repeat itself and we were to return to the so-called "normalcy" of the 1920's—then it is certain that even though we shall have conquered our enemies on the battlefields abroad, we shall have yielded to the spirit of Fascism here at home.

I ask the Congress to explore the means for implementing this economic bill of rights- for it is definitely the responsibility of the Congress so to do. Many of these problems are already before committees of the Congress in the form of proposed legislation. I shall from time to time communicate with the Congress with respect to these and further proposals. In the event that no adequate program of progress is evolved, I am certain that the Nation will be conscious of the fact.

Our fighting men abroad- and their families at home- expect such a program and have the right to insist upon it. It is to their demands that this Government should pay heed rather than to the whining demands of selfish pressure groups who seek to feather their nests while young Americans are dying.

The foreign policy that we have been following—the policy that guided us at Moscow, Cairo, and Teheran—is based on the common sense principle which was best expressed by Benjamin Franklin on July 4, 1776: "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."

I have often said that there are no two fronts for America in this war. There is only one front. There is one line of unity which extends from the hearts of the people at home to the men of our attacking forces in our farthest outposts. When we speak of our total effort, we speak of the factory and the field, and the mine as well as of the battleground -- we speak of the soldier and the civilian, the citizen and his Government.

Each and every one of us has a solemn obligation under God to serve this Nation in its most critical hour—to keep this Nation great -- to make this Nation greater in a better world.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Dumbass Republicans and Other Critters


[Photo from GreatBigCanvas.com]


It's hard to know where to begin; there are so many frightening dumbass Republicans!

Here are a few examples.


Dennis Ross, a Republican representing the Sunshine State of Florida, has introduced a bill in Congress to ban all direct flights from west African countries - those countries in which Ebola has made some headway.  Ross doesn't want any infected folks flying straight into JFK or Newark or Miami or Boston.

The first problem with this proposal by dumbass Ross is that there are NO direct flights from that part of the world to the U.S.

When he was presented with that fact, Mr. Ross said he didn't care, he still wanted his bill passed - just in case, ya know.

And then when health "experts" said this was a bad idea as it might affect the ability of health workers to get to where they are needed or to get supplies to the right places, dumbass Ross stuck to his guns.  Just like the NRA.  Facts never impact a Republican's ideology.  Same goes for the NRA.


Sarah Palin.  Lordy, lordy, what would we ever do without this mistake from Alaska?  She wants to make a "global apology" because, well, you know, Obama.  Oh, and this ISIL thing.  Obama obviously doesn't know what to do and he doesn't take these militants (who are just like Hitler) seriously, and oh God, if only John McCain were president.  John McCain should be president and all would be well in the world!

Now both people who listened to her were so bored they went to get a beer and missed the thing about John McCain being Amurica's "savior."


Rick Scott is the governor of Florida.  He's also a criminal.  And a fraud.  And a crook.  Wait, I just said that!  He's also a "fan-atic."

Needless to say, this Republican desperado is a Republican.  He was to debate Charlie Crist (the Democratic candidate for the Florida governorship) the other night but Scott thought he could pull a fast one and make Crist look like a fool so he refused to come out from backstage because Charlie had a fan on or near his podium.

Seems that ol" Charlie (who may not be the Christ figure we need, but is sure as hell better than Scott), never goes anywhere without his fan.  Now, Scott, being a sneaky character, knew there was a clause in the debate contract or agreement that negated electronic devices.  Everyone knows what that means, including Scott, and it has nothing to do with something so mundane as a fan.

Charlie strode to the podium and stood there by himself to wait for Ricky.  Ricky didn't show.  Lots of people booed Ricky.  Finally, Ricky, in a last-minute attempt to save himself from being torn to shreds, shuffled out looking even more lame than usual.

The debate began.  It was essentially meaningless.  But Scott looked almost as stupid bitching about the fan as Eastwood did talking to a chair!


Lots of people in this country thought it best if we kept out of the conflict created by the ISIL militants in the Middle East.  It never, ever has gone well for the U.S. when we've gotten involved militarily in the Middle East.  Never.  Ever!

But it is possible we don't have enough information.  At any rate, the US along with other countries have instigated a military response consisting of jets flying over ISIL positions and bombing the hell out of them.

What could go wrong?

Seems to me we bombed the hell out of North Vietnam and we know how that ended!

And now, the ISIL crazies have captured three jets from the Syrian military.  Iraqi pilots who have seen fit to join up with the militants are training other members of ISIL to fly said jets.

Bombs away!


Ebola is not funny and it is indeed dangerous and we need to be aware of the dangers and take whatever precautions are necessary.

You may have noticed that the pundits at FAUX News and in the MSM (NBC anyone?) are doing their best to try to ease American minds about Ebola.  The way they're doing that is talking about Ebola 24/7 and discussing all the hoary details involved in an Ebola infection and noting that already we've got probably three confirmed cases of Ebola in this country.  Oh my god!

Let's see, what's the ratio of 3 to 316,000,000?

A word of advice:  Don't panic!


Paul Ryan.  Do I need to say any more?  A Roman Catholic who adores the atheist Ayn Rand.  A Republican with Catholic "values" but no compassion for those in need.

We are very fortunate that Mr. Ryan is not our vice president; that when Romney bombed Ryan went down, too.  It's bad enough he's in Congress.  In a shining example of his mental aptitude he decided to diss most all the climate scientists in the world by stating there has always been global warming but it's not caused by humans and to think otherwise is not scientific.

This at the same time people in the South Pacific are scrambling to find higher ground - entire countries moving to safer places; at the same time Pentagon chiefs complained publicly that global warming is going to drastically alter their war-making effectiveness.

Ryan continues to have many admirers.  As a friend of mine says frequently, the people deserve what they get when they vote bozos like this into office!


Speaking of bozos, it's hard to beat Scott Brown, now a candidate from New Hampshire for the U.S. Senate.  Brown, you may recall, was at one time a senator from Massachusetts, but lost his last election bid to the brilliant and feisty Elizabeth Warren.

So, what do you do when you lose an election in one state.  Well, if you're a Republican named Scott Brown, you move to another state - in this case, New Hampshire, and try again.

Brown is not one of the brightest bulbs in the Republican chandelier nor is Thom Tillis from North Carolina, both of whom have played upon the fears of the American public by crying about our "porous" borders and claiming that anyone with Ebola (including especially Islamist militants) can simply walk into the United States and infect millions of our citizens!

The implication being, of course, that Mr. Obama and their Democratic challengers are not doing a good job of insuring the safety of this country.


And finally we have good ol' Tom Cotton, the GOP senate candidate from Arkansas.  Talk about bozos! Mr. Cotton, who is probably named for what's between his huge ears, also thinks our borders (the southern one in particular) are much too open.

His reasoning is a little different, though.  He's very much afraid - and he implies that the good folks of Arkansas should be very much afraid, too - that ISIL (or ISIS) is planning to join forces with the Mexican cartels to "infiltrate" the United States and head north to kill the people of Arkansas.

Cotton must have decided in one of his hissy fits that Arkansas is the center of the earth.

















Polar Bears and Global Warming


Koch Industries, Big Coal and Big Oil are going to kill us all…but at least we're going to get some SUPER-CUTE stories along the way! So, maybe it's best we just enjoy the self-inflicted ride to extinction, and go out knowing we at least learned how to say "there's a polar bear on my front porch"…

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Rosie Perez apologizes! What?

On "The View" the other day, the actress, Rosie Perez, commented that divorced Catholics are not welcome at the altars of the Roman Church because divorced Catholics are banned from eating the Communion cracker (nobody gets the wine except in certain dioceses with liberal bishops).

Rosie was pretty much correct, but oh boy, did she stir up a proverbial hornet's nest.  You're wrong, people said (and many in a not very nice way).  And Rosie was wrong.  Maybe.  A little bit.

So Rosie apologized!!

I might be a little wrong, too, but I think the status of divorced Catholics depends a lot on who is holding court at the bishoprick.

In some cases, I've read that the bishop is adamantly opposed to divorced Catholics sharing in the Eucharist.  In other cases, divorced Catholics are welcome to take Communion so long as they haven't remarried.

A divorced person can also have their marriage annulled, which is a sneaky way of pretending that the marriage was never really a marriage at all and therefore doesn't count when it comes to taking Communion or getting into heaven.


Now I don't give a damn as to who is eligible to eat the cracker or whether wine is also available for the non-clerics.  What is so funny and sad, though, is that Rosie's comment engendered so much commentary and even hostility.

Rosie needn't apologize.  She was merely talking about a little magical rite practiced by Roman priests who pretend they can turn a cracker into flesh and wine into blood so the foolish faithful can eat and drink flesh and blood.

What I'd like to see people get worked up about is the continuing child molestation that is endemic in the Roman church, about how LBGTs are treated by the Roman church (even though up to 25-50% of the clergy are gay), and how the Roman Church continues to do everything in its power to impose its medieval views and practices upon the rest of us.

I'm quite sick and tired of old, tired white guys wearing dresses telling non-Catholics that life begins at conception, that it is a sin to get an abortion or use a contraceptive device, and that the views of these pompous prelates should be the law of the land!


[Photo from Wikipedia]

Anne Romney, the stalwart if stupid wife



Okay, maybe Ms. Romney isn't stupid.  Maybe she's all screwed up because she's a Mormon.  I mean, really, who the hell can believe the crap in the Book of Mormon?  Or perhaps she's dumber than a doorknob because she's a Republican.  The Republican well doesn't go very deep.  Or maybe she is still pissed because the majority of Americans didn't think her elitist wingnut husband was fit to sit in the Oval Office.

Whatever, Ms. Romney, in contradiction to the evidence, tells those who still listen to her that the U.S. is in deep caca because all the ignorant poor people who did not inherit a massive fortune voted for Obama (quite possibly a Muslim) who has, in a mere six years, ruined this fine country which was built on solid Christian values.

Oh dear.  Not only so, but says Anne, Mitt is a real man.  Well, she didn't say that.  I mean, she's a genteel rich lady and to say something that crass would make her sound like a normal woman.  No, what she said was that Vladmir Putin would not have dared invade Ukraine if Mitt the mutt was el presidente because Putin is afraid of Mitt the mutt.

There would have been consequences, says Anne, if Mitt was in charge of wars and stuff.  And Putin knew that.  Putin knew in his heart of hearts that Mitt would have probably invaded Ukraine and run the Russians right back into their crummy Kremlin with Mitt leading the troops on his gallant steed, Geronimo, named for a wonderful Native American.  Well, Anne didn't say anything about the Kremlin or Mitt leading the troops on horseback.  She didn't want Mitt to look like a horse's ass.  He can look that way without any help from her, thank you very much.

Psst.  Word is out that Putin just got word of Anne's wordy comments and he hasn't been able to stop laughing for two hours, 45 minutes, 37 seconds and counting!

So, the moral of this tale is, don't vote for the wrong man for president; especially if you think war with Russia would be beneficial to the United States.

If you want war, vote Republican.  Republicans do like war.  Their friends in the military and in the military supply business make a ton of money some of which always finds its way into the coffers of certain political types who lean into the Republican wind.

Reagan v. Obama






Although many Republicans in this time and place credit Ronnie Reagan with creating the sun and the moon and putting the stars in place, he actually wasn't a very good president and would likely be run out of town by the dimwits who have co-opted the Republican Party.



For one thing, good ol' Ronnie did not single-handedly cause the demise of the Soviet Union.  The Soviets did not run off screaming into the woods when Ronnie stuck out his chest and talked tough.

For another, good ol' Ronnie raised taxes as well as the national debt and the U.S. government increased dramatically in size during his time in office.

Republicans hiding out in lawyer's offices these days don't like to think about Ronnie in those terms for such thoughts are detrimental to their belief that Ronnie was a god-incarnate, born of a virgin while surrounded by shepherds listening to the angels sing, "Joy To The World"!


Forbes magazine is not Rolling Stone.  Forbes magazine rests proudly on its conservative laurels, such as they may be.  But it was in Forbes magazine that we read, in amazement, this headline:

"Obama Outperforms Reagan On Jobs, Growth And Investing."

Here are some excerpts from an article by Adam Hartung, so titled and published back on September 5:

1)  Although the latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics was less than thrilling (August brought only 142,000), the fact remains that every month for the past six months, over 200,000 jobs have been created.

2)  Furthermore, "unemployment did continue to decline and is now reported at only 6,1%.  Jobless claims were just over 300,000; lowest since 2007.  Despite the lower than expected August jobs number, America will create about 2.5 million new jobs in 2014."

3)  "This is the best private sector jobs creation performance in American history."  In fact, says, Bob Deitrick, while Ronald Reagan has (among some Republicans) been considered "the best modern economic president," Obama has consistently outperformed him in terms of job creation and reducing the rate of unemployment.

Obama's success came about in spite of the fact that "... Reagan had the benefit of a growing Boomer class to ignite economic growth, while Obama has been forced to deal with a retiring workforce developing special needs.  During the eight years preceding Obama there was a net reduction in jobs in America. We now are rapidly moving toward higher, sustainable jobs growth."

4)  Other indicators:  "63 straight months of economic expansion [...] and 25 consecutive months of manufacturing expansion."  "The stock market has converted the long-term grown in jobs and GDP into additional gains for investors.  Under Reagan, a dollar invested earned a 190% return.  Under Obama, that same dollar earned 220%.  "This level of investor growth is unprecedented by any administration, and has proven quite beneficial for everyone."


And finally from Mr. Hartung:

"Economically, President Obama's administration has outperformed President Reagan's in all commonly watched categories.  Simultaneously, the current administration has reduced the deficit, which skyrocketed under Reagan.  Additionally, Obama has reduced federal employment, which grew under Reagan (especially when including military personnel,) and truly delivered a 'smaller government'.  Additionally, the current administration has kept inflation low, even during extreme international upheaval, failure of foreign economies (Greece) and a dramatic slowdown in the European economy."


Yet, today, from FAUX News and its ilk, even from the MSM we hear nothing of this.  We do hear, over and over again, however, that Obama has failed as a president and his policies are running the country into the ground and that the United States may never, ever recover from Obama's shenanigans.  Some ignorant and spineless Democrats currently running for office are afraid to mention the man much less be seen in public with him.

Truth once again has been trounced by ideology.


And I didn't even mention Reagan's stupid comment about the Taliban as noted in the picture above!


Monday, October 13, 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014

French Report: Syrian Woman Secretly Films Life in Raqqa under ISIL



Please note that I did not attempt to verify the authenticity of this tape.