Friday, October 31, 2014

Someone Still Likes O

Obama's Approval Rating Remains Unchanged This Year, So Why All The Press Coverage About "Sinking" Poll Numbers? | Blog | Media Matters for America:

The news media reminders arrive almost daily now: President Obama's approval rating is low and going lower. McClatchy Newspapers highlighted the "dropping approval ratings," while the Washington Post declared "President Obama's approval ratings have plunged to record lows." The Christian Science Monitor noted the numbers have "plummeted." The Washington Examiner stressed the president's approvals were "sinking to historic lows," while an Atlantic headlined announced, ""Obama's Sinking Approval Could Drag Democrats Down With Him."

The portrait being painted by an array of media artists is unmistakable: Obama's approval ratings are not only weak but they're going down, down, down.

But it's not true...

More Ebola Silliness

Simply Left BehindThe Non-Rapturist's Guide To The Galaxy: The Real Ebola Epidemic:

...We really are children. Colleges have revoked acceptances of African students, Syracuse University barred an appearance by a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer who had returned -- three weeks earlier and Ebola free -- from the region, and Harvard has imposed stern limits on students and faculty from traveling to West Africa. A school in Cleveland was shut down and disinfected after it was learned a staffer was on the same flight as nurse Vinson. Parents in Mississippi, which suffers from a far worse epidemic of ignorance, threatened to keep their kids out of school after it was discovered the principal had traveled to Zambia, 3,000 miles from the nearest Ebola outbreak. A Maine teacher was put on 21 day paid leave just for visiting Dallas for a conference...

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Why The Good Guys Lose

How Can Dems Be Losing to These Idiots? - The Daily Beast:

...But high-ranking Democrats collectively need to perform the following exercise. Sit down together in a room. Distribute index cards. Let each of them write down five adjectives they associate with the GOP, adjectives they not only believe themselves but hear from constituents. Because the crowd has wisdom that the individual does not, take those that get the most mentions and turn them into attack on the GOP’s essence that will put Republican candidates on the defensive. Maybe that’s when our campaigns will change.
Encapsulate the GOP essence? Simple: "Republicans Are Evil."  Push that long and hard and hope someone asks for an example because there are literally thousands of examples of GOP evil. I'd love to have the money to run that ad campaign.


HUFFPOLLSTER: How The Senate Polls Could Be Wrong:

HOW POLLS COULD ERR - With less than a week remaining before Election Day, HuffPost's poll tracking model continues to report roughly the same forecast for control of the U.S. Senate as it has for the past two weeks: The polling averages show Republicans leading at least nominally in enough states to gain a 53-seat majority. The margins remain close enough, however, that the overall probability of a Republican majority is just 63 percent as of this writing. In other words, polling shows the Senate battle leaning Republican, but there is still a real potential that Democrats could hang on due to late shifts or polling errors. So how could these polling averages be wrong?...

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Trussing The Turtle

Addicting Info – That Moment When Mitch McConnell Put The Final Nail In His Political Coffin:

If Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) loses his seat to Democratic challenger Alison Grimes, pundits may point to this moment as the one that put the final nail in the Turtle’s political coffin:

When a reporter asked McConnell whether he planned on continuing his efforts to privatize Social Security, McConnell made a pitifully blatant and pathetically self-serving attempt to dodge the question:

“I’m not announcing what the agenda would be in advance.”...

Comment Of The Day: Old School Employer Edition

American Exceptionalism - Esquire

Mark Whitney · Top Commenter · President at NCTI of Colorado

To me this is the money quote: "But we can still make money out of it -
and McDonald's does, too. Otherwise, it wouldn't be in Denmark."
McDonald's is making money in Denmark. Any business that is turning a profit will stay open.
The problem here in the "Exceptional Merica", is that the sociopaths here don't give a f^%k about the employees here.
I have said it before, but I will say again: I am a small business owner here in Colorado. My yearly income for my business is less than 1 million. My lowest paid employee is making $15.00 per hour. I offer health and dental to all of my full time employees. I my taxable income is 6 figures. I could take home more by paying my employees less, but I want everyone who works for me to make a living wage and not have to worry about making ends meet. More importantly I don't want them to have to apply for government assistance. This is my social contract as a business owner. I would be hauled out a boardroom in chains if I worked for Walmart. How much is enough for these people?

High Minimum Works In Denmark

Living Wages, Rarity for U.S. Fast-Food Workers, Served Up in Denmark -

On a recent afternoon, Hampus Elofsson ended his 40-hour workweek at a Burger King and prepared for a movie and beer with friends. He had paid his rent and all his bills, stashed away some savings, yet still had money for nights out.

That is because he earns the equivalent of $20 an hour — the base wage for fast-food workers throughout Denmark and two and a half times what many fast-food workers earn in the United States...

Brownback Sinking

The Great Kansas Tea Party Disaster | Rolling Stone:

...As a senator and a failed presidential candidate, Brownback was already one of the nation's most prominent social conservatives, "God's Senator," in the words of a 2006 Rolling Stone profile. But Brownback turned out to be even more radical when it came to economic policy. In 2012, he enacted the largest package of tax cuts in Kansas history, essentially transforming his state into a lab experiment for extreme free-market ideology. The results (disastrous) have reduced the governor to making appearances at grim strip malls like this one in a desperate attempt to salvage his re-election bid...

Is There Something Wrong...

...with this headline? Seattle man shoots dead daughter and granddaughter before killing himself | US news |

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Great Idea In VA Health Care

Senator Mark Begich - Esquire:

...When I ran for office, one of the issues I talked about was called the Heroes Health Card. And it was a very simple concept. The idea was, Look, if you’re a veteran anywhere in Alaska, you’ll be able to show this card and get access to our Indian Health Service clinics. Which are all over the state, and they’re run by our tribes here. And very successful. If you ask CMS and any of the health care monitors, they’ll tell you our health care system is the best. And, so we have great quality care in very remote areas. Example: Nome, Alaska—$180 million dollar hospital up there, native hospital. Beautiful hospital. But veterans up there would have to fly to Anchorage or Seattle to get care. Because we have no veteran’s hospital! And so we said, 'Wait a second, here. Why can’t these veterans, native or non-native, walk across the street, get their care, if they want, and we reimburse them?' Oh— Everyone said, 'Bad idea. Can’t be done.' I actually have a memo that they wrote! And so, I took General Shinseki—Secretary Shinseki—to rural Alaska, out into the villages, and I had him sit with some veterans. And it wasn’t long after that that we got the Health and Human Services Department and the VA to sit down and write out a memorandum of understanding between those guys and our tribes. We have over twenty-six tribes now. And they deliver care everywhere in Alaska to any veteran who wants it. So what’s happening? Two-and-a-half years ago, we were able to put a line item in the VA budget, specifically for this program. Now, think about that. That was two-and-a-half years ago. Right? When no one was yet talking about the VA. Go in the records of the VA Committee I sit on, or floor statements I’ve made, I talk about this all the time. And no one paid attention! And we said, 'This is a solution to create access...'
Funny. No one talks about the Indian Health Service as a model of socialism, a successful one.

The End Of The Liberal Is Neigh

Netvibes: "Apocalypse Now: Seriously, It's Time for a Major Rethink About Liberal and Progressive Politics"

... In that light, I have started describing myself as a pragmatic apocalyptic. What that means is, there are huge problems on the horizon, likely severe crises ahead, and there is at present no light at the end of the tunnel. Let's stop fantasizing about all the ways our world should be when there isn't the remotest chance of those ideas coming to fruition
anytime soon, if ever. Let's focus on what can be done, on building local and regional strength, on developing thousands of new organizers and fewer think-tankers, and bringing people together in ways they feel supported, as opposed to on their own, with no one at their backs. 
Great. You go first for a change. How about stopping demeaning all Southerners instead of the mouth- breathing right-wing ammosexual freaks you're really aiming at?

Ammosexual Neutrality

Gun extremists’ ghastly new low: A fight over “open carry” turns vulgar and scary -

...Never mind the fact that several days before our conversation, Open Carry Texas posted photos of themselves marching into Staples with semiautomatic rifles and a Texas flag. When “neutral” means almost anyone can openly carry loaded guns into your place of business, remaining “neutral” is in effect siding with the gun extremists. That’s how frightening this debate has become.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Rapers And Abusers Are US

More ‘Sons of Guns’ stars arrested: Pro-gun reality TV family charged with child abuse:

Another family from the reality TV series Sons of Guns is facing charges of child abuse...

Armor To Collect Fines

Wisconsin Sheriff Sends Military Armored Vehicle To Collect Fines From 75-year-old Man | Crooks and Liars:

A 75-year-old Wisconsin man is considering filing a federal civil rights lawsuit after officials in Marathon County sent an armored military to collect fines that resulted from a property dispute...

No Escape From NY

Quarantined nurse knocks Ebola policy -

Kaci Hickox, a nurse placed under mandatory quarantine in New Jersey, went on CNN on Sunday and criticized the "knee-jerk reaction by politicians" to Ebola, saying "to quarantine someone without a better plan in place, without more forethought, is just preposterous."

Hickox, an epidemiologist who was working to help treat Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, has tested negative twice for Ebola and does not have symptoms, she said...

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Ebola Freak Out Boogey

The Rude Pundit: The Rude Pundit's Chicken Soup for the Ebola'd Soul:

...They're not homogenous down there. There's a lot of people in the South just like the Rude Pundit's friends. And we're not homogenous up here. We are filthy with religion, too.

But here's the difference, the reason that we're not freaking out. Our lawmakers, for the most part, know that science, not Jesus, shows us we shouldn't freak out. The people, for the most part, think that, too (and, besides, it's a helluva lot easier to go about your daily routine than change it up). So the pressure will be on us to panic. People who profit from such things will attempt to assure that it does. And maybe you will be able to wipe the smirk off our smug faces as we board our windows after another half dozen cases...
I have neither seen, nor heard, nor read of anyone "down" here freaking out. It's been decades since anyone tried to "Jesus" me and I've never heard Christian music played in a public space, though that would be a break from the never ending goo of elevator music.

On The Latest Shooting

UNARMED Hero Teacher Crushes NRA Talking Points, Courageously Stops WA School Shooter (Video) - Firebrand Progressives:

...The shooting could have been much worse, as Fryberg was reportedly reloading his “rapid fire” pistol and was poised to shoot a few more people. But during the time he paused to reload, a courageous teacher approached Fryberg and put a stop to it.

The teacher, who was initially described as being a “lunch lady” but was later identified as first year social studies instructor Megan Silberberger, grabbed Fryberg’s arms while he was reloading. And then the gun went off, striking and killing Fryberg. It is unclear if he intentionally shot himself or if the shot was a result of Silberberger’s intervention. But at any rate, the tragedy was over, and this brave teacher surely prevented it from being a bigger tragedy...

Friday, October 24, 2014

Mitch The Clot

George Will, master troll: Why his new screed about dignity and the GOP cannot be serious -

...Will is correct about how the Founders designed the Senate: to be the forger of consensus, to cool the majoritarian impulses of the House. There are numerous veto points blocking a bill’s passage from drafting to a final vote on the floor. In order to make this sort of thing work, though, senators have to work in good faith; the minority party won’t abuse those veto points. It will only draw on them in extreme circumstances. Mitch McConnell is an incredibly consequential figure in Senate history already: He exposed the flaws in the Senate’s design. He recognized that a minority party could act in bad faith and get away with it. There is no one more to blame for the breakdown of the Senate than Obama-era Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

McConnell made a decision at the very beginning of the Obama presidency that he, and his conference, would filibuster every significant piece of legislation that the Obama administration proposed, before even hearing out the merits. He and his party would then criticize the president for refusing to work with Republicans. This, in turn, would give the administration a reputation for being partisan and ineffective. This plan was as cynical as it gets, was in purely bad faith, and it worked...

He;s Still Dead-- They're Still Free

Cops' Killing of Homeless Preacher to Cost Denver $4.6 Million | The Smirking Chimp:

Surveillance video shows the large, open booking room of Denver’s brand new Downtown Detention Center, shortly after 3:30 a.m. on July 9, 2010. It shows Denver County sheriff’s deputies grabbing and killing an unarmed, shoeless black man in a public place for no good reason. More than four years later, an all-white, seven-member federal jury has now delivered a verdict against the cops and the city of Denver. On October 14, the jury found that the cops had acted with “evil motive” toward Rev. Marvin Booker, and the city is ordered to pay $4.6 million to the victim’s family...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

SC GOP Crook Goes Down

South Carolina house speaker pleads guilty in ethics case, to resign | Reuters:

South Carolina House of Representatives Speaker Bobby Harrell pleaded guilty on Thursday to criminal ethics charges and agreed to immediately resign from the legislature.

Harrell, a Republican who became speaker in 2005, pleaded guilty to six counts that included using campaign funds for personal expenses, misconduct in office and false reporting, in a case that has laid low a key figure in the state Republican Party...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Today In GOP Sensitivity

And Up From The Ground Come A'Bubblin' Crude - Esquire:

I have to say that Wasilla, Alaska has to be the single greatest place on earth right now. It seems that Congressman Don Young came by to give the young folks a talk about suicide. Things did not go quite as planned, Wasilla water apparently coming from a deep underground reservoir of pure, crystal-clear crazy...

Will Global Warming Create A 51st State?

South Miami commissioners propose seceding from Florida -

Miami-area lawmakers are proposing adding a 51st star to the American flag.

City of South Miami commissioners have approved a resolution that calls for splitting Florida in half. The resolution outlines a new state, made up of 24 counties in the southern part of the peninsula...

Amendment Clash

1st v 2nd Amendment: Anti-gun activist outs concealed-carry license owner with lawn sign — RT USA:

A difference of opinions between a lawful gun owner and a concerned neighbor has caused a commotion in Rochester, Minnesota over the rights protected by the First and Second Amendments to the United States Constitution.

The debate at hand involves a local woman’s recent decision to post a sign on the front lawn of her Rochester home announcing to passersby that an area man, Matthew Halleck, carries a concealed handgun on him every day when he walks his two daughters past her property on his way towards Harriet Bishop Elementary School...

Demographic Change In Iowa

With Farms Fading and Urban Might Rising, Power Shifts in Iowa -

...Those changes have turned Iowa’s older, Republican precincts even redder and its younger, Democratic districts even bluer, while giving rise to suburbs whose politics can be harder to categorize — a mixture of millennial generation religious conservatives, baby boomer libertarians and Generation X liberals...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ebola Vaccine Nuts

Here's Some Stupid For Lunch - Esquire

Joon Noel · Top Commenter

When these holier-than-thous start adopting multiple unwanted, uncared for and especially, unwanted disabled and mentally retarded children with Duggarish enthusiasm, I'll be more inclined to listen to their whining about saving snowflakes and zygotes. There are hundreds of thousands of living, grown, walking around children needing saving right this minute. How many have opened their homes and hearts to them? It's just so much easier to adopt a cardboard sign.

Monday, October 20, 2014

GOP Top Ten Stupids

10 Of The Most Outrageous And Idiotic Statements By GOP Hopefuls - Liberals Unite | Liberals Unite:

 1) “Well what I want them to know is just like, John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa. That’s the kind of spirit that I have, too.” —Michele Bachmann, June 2011, getting her John Waynes mixed up during an interview after launching her presidential campaign in Waterloo, Iowa, where she grew up. The beloved movie star John Wayne she was referring to was born in Winterset, Iowa, three hours away. The John Wayne that Waterloo was home to is notorious serial killer John Wayne Gacy...
In case you've forgotten why you should be voting.

Trolls Beware

Internet Trolls Could Get Two Years in Jail : Discovery News:

People found guilty of Internet "trolling" in Britain could be jailed for up to two years under government proposals outlined on Sunday, following a number of high-profile case of abuse on Twitter...

A Real American Hero

Captain America - Esquire:

...And then, when confronted by Robinson with this covert campaign of decency and integrity, this is how Moulton explained it.

In the interview, Moulton asked that the Globe not describe him as a hero. "Look,'' he said, "we served our country, and we served the guys next to us. And it's not something to brag about.' The greatest honor, he said, his voice choked with emotion, had nothing to do with the medals. "The greatest honor of my life was to lead these men in my platoon, even though it was a war that I and they disagreed with."
Nobody who reads this blog can be unclear about where I stand on how I hope the midterms play out. But I can honestly say that there's only one person for whom I am shamelessly rooting. That person is Seth Moulton and, if the veterans of our 21st century wars are looking for their own JFK, be that John F. Kennedy or John Forbes Kerry, I think they've found him...

Have We Become A Nation Of Cowards?

In U.S., Fear of Ebola Closes Schools and Shapes Politics -

...A crowd of parents last week pulled their children out of a Mississippi middle school after learning that its principal had traveled to Zambia, an African nation untouched by the disease...

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Comment Of The Day: Phony Patriot Edition

A Texas Border Militiaman Reconsiders the Mission

I spent 24 years in the US Army, all of it in combat arms. I'm entitled to wear the Combat Infantryman's Badge on appropriate occasions. Most of the guys in these militia organizations seem to be people who never had what it takes to volunteer for military service where they might actually have to put their lives on line for the nation. Doing this sort of crap makes them feel all manly and important, but, as the article points out, what they are mostly doing is chasing down people who are tired, hurting and dehydrated, and then abusing them once they catch them. We used to have a term for people who beat up on people who can't fight back, and it wasn't a nice term at all. 

You will have noticed, haven't you, that none of these militias are offering to go over to the Middle East and help the Kurds fight ISIS? Says a lot, right there.

NRA & Ebola

Howard Dean Slams Rick Perry As Know Nothing 'Ignoramus' On Ebola | Crooks and Liars:

...HOWARD DEAN: I think it's fine. He's a manager. He's not a doctor. Look, the Republicans just slay me. They are just so ridiculous. So they had an Ebola czar. His name is Vivek Murthy. He's President Obama's nominee for Surgeon General which the Republicans have been stalling at the request of the National Rifle Association since February. So, the Republican's idea of how to practice medicine is to listen to the National Rifle Association. I discount everything they say, they know nothing. They're not interested in health; they're interested in politics. We've got to manage this thing. I think Klaine is a good manager...

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ginsburg Gets Real

Justice Ginsburg sees what motivates Texas' voter ID law: racism - LA Times:

As one might expect, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had no difficulty putting her finger on the point of Texas' voter ID law: it's openly racist...

Muslims In India

Why India’s Muslims Haven’t Radicalized -

...Back in 2009, the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman reported on a growing trend among Indian Muslims wherein community members refused to bury the bodies of suicide bombers. “That’s why India’s Muslims, who are the second-largest Muslim community in the world after Indonesia’s, and the one with the deepest democratic tradition, do a great service to Islam by delegitimizing suicide-murderers by refusing to bury their bodies. It won’t stop this trend overnight, but it can help over time,” he wrote.

“The fact that Indian Muslims have stood up in this way is surely due, in part, to the fact that they live in, are the product of and feel empowered by a democratic and pluralistic society,” Mr. Friedman explained. “They are not intimidated by extremist religious leaders and are not afraid to speak out against religious extremism in their midst. It is why so few, if any, Indian Muslims are known to have joined Al Qaeda...”

Friday, October 17, 2014

Inequality Number One

Americans consider inequality world’s greatest danger | Making Sen$e | PBS NewsHour:

Nuclear weapons. Ethnic conflict. Global warming. Americans have a lot to be worried about these days. But what do they see as the biggest threat to the world? Inequality.

Americans aren’t alone. According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, Europeans, too, rank inequality as the top threat. People in the Middle East, meanwhile, are most concerned about religious and ethnic hatreds, while Asians worry about pollution and the environment. For Latin Americans, nuclear weapons pose the greatest global threat, and for people in African nations, it’s AIDS and other diseases. Note that the survey was conducted between March 17 and June 5 — before either ISIS or Ebola had become big international stories...

Good News In WI

Scott Walker fighting for his political life as voters reject his callous policies -

Less than three weeks before voters head to the polls, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker finds himself in a struggle for political survival, with a new survey from the state’s most respected pollster finding that his lead over Democratic challenger Mary Burke has vanished.

The poll, from Marquette University Law School, shows a dead heat between Walker and Burke, with each candidate garnering 47 percent among likely voters. Two weeks ago, Marquette’s survey had given Walker a five-point lead. RealClearPolitics’ polling average now gives Walker just a 0.4 point edge over Burke...

A Touch Of FL Justice

Michael Dunn gets life in prison for killing teenager over loud music -

A man convicted of first-degree murder for fatally shooting a teenager in an argument over loud music outside a Florida convenience store was sentenced Friday to life in prison without parole...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Goating Of Todd

Dem rallies for Grimes: McConnell can’t win with ‘words that come out of Chuck Todd’s goatee’:

...“And what the national folks haven’t seemed to catch on to is this, this election is not going to be won by some party hack or words that come out of Chuck Todd’s goatee!” Conway exclaimed. “It’s going to be won by you on the ground, and your hearts and minds, and Allison’s hard work!”...

Today In Ebola Nuttiness

Conservative Activist Klayman: Obama Must Be 'Taken Alive' For Inflicting Ebola On White Americans | Firebrand Progressives:

The furor over the Ebola “outbreak”, the one that has affected a massive 3 people in the United States, has really exposed us for how collectively stupid we are. The media has most of us freaked out with their wall to wall coverage of the virus, to the point where many of us are sitting on the edge of our couches, scared that the next person who contracts Ebola just might be our next door neighbor. It’s like we’re all itching to go into panic mode. Maybe we’re just looking for an excuse to not go to work the next day, or maybe we’re all subconsciously hoping for a complete breakdown in society that many of us are not happy with....

Any Important Voice Against Police Militarism

WATCH: “My Son-In-Law Was Killed By The SWAT Team I Founded” Former Sheriff Turned Activist, Speaks Out:

William “Dub” Lawrence is a former city police officer, former US Marine, and former Sheriff of Davis County who has awaken to the reality of Police State USA. Sadly this awakening was sparked by the murder of his son-in-law by a SWAT team that he created.

In September 2008, he watched helplessly as the same SWAT team he helped create over 30 years earlier shot and killed Brian Wood, his 36-year-old son-in-law...
There is a contingent who say the SIL deserved shooting but that's another story.

PC Stupidity

Thanks, Duke English Department, for coming up with this "politically correct" nonsense. Liberals need to get away from this kind of energy-sucking crap and focus on important issues like income disparity. (A heavier teaching load for university faculty would have prevented pcism from taking hold.)

Despite Critics, Army Helicopters Named After Indian Tribes Are Not Racist -

Political Correctness: Despite the latest example of word-use insanity, naming a helicopter after the Indian nation that handed the U.S. Army one of its most ignominious defeats is a sign of respect, not racism...

Sermon Hysteria

No, The City Of Houston Isn't Bullying Anti-Gay Pastors - This Is Basic Lawyering | Blog | Media Matters for America:

...But the facts of the case - and normal legal procedure -- don't support right-wing claims of religious persecution:

The Subpoenas Are In Response To A Lawsuit Filed By HERO's Opponents. The subpoenas are part of the discovery phase of a lawsuit filed by HERO's opponents after they unsuccessfully tried to gather signatures to repeal the ordinance. The lawsuit claims that the City Attorney "wrongly determined that they had not gathered enough valid signatures" to qualify for a vote to repeal HERO. As one conservative commentator noted: "This is basic court procedure. But the headlines make it sound like a surprise attack by leftists advancing their agenda on unsuspecting Christians..."

Lying Liars Lying About Campaign Spending

Fox News Ignores "Dark Money" To Pretend Democrats Are Destroying Republicans In Election Spending | Blog | Media Matters for America: .

...But Fox News is trying to absolve Republicans by dismissing dark money and pretending it is not, as the Center for Responsive Politics says, "still dominated by conservative organizations."

As the amount of conservative-leaning dark money is expected to double between now and the election, this distinction could make a huge difference. Despite Fox News' protests, the Koch brothers and others who oppose campaign finance transparency are still very much one of the big stories of 2014...

Crazy In NC: Profitizing Children Edition

Charter School Power Broker Turns Public Education Into Private Profits - ProPublica:

...In that regard, Mitchell, 74, appears to be thriving. Every year, millions of public education dollars flow through Mitchell's chain of four nonprofit charter schools to for-profit companies he controls.
How Public Dollars for Charters Flow to For-Profit Companies

Over six years, Mitchell's two companies have taken in close to $20 million in fees and rent — some of the schools' biggest expenses. That's from audited financial statements for just two schools. Mitchell has recently opened two more.

The schools buy or lease nearly everything from companies owned by Mitchell. Their desks. Their computers. The training they provide to teachers. Most of the land and buildings. Unlike with traditional school districts, at Mitchell's charter schools there's no competitive bidding. No evidence of haggling over rent or contracts...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

To Err is GoodHair (ebolaebolaebola)

Why Is Texas Gov. Rick Perry Hiding From The Ebola Virus In His State? | Crooks and Liars:

...OMG, say it ain't so? He left his home state to run to Europe for a conference while an infectious disease is on the loose there? (That's what Fox News would have you believe anyway) Where's those leadership skills that he's been telling us about? Doesn't the governor have a duty to protect his people and take an active role in a situation like this?...

Union Truths And Ebola

Dallas Nurses Accuse Hospital of Sloppy Ebola Protocols - ABC News:

Co-workers of a Dallas nurse who contracted Ebola from a sick patient say they worked for days without proper protective gear and that the hospital’s Ebola protocols and procedures were unclear and inadequate, leaving workers and hospital systems prone to contamination, according to a statement by the largest U.S. nurses’ union.

The statement, which was provided by National Nurses United on behalf of several registered nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, details hospital procedures after Thomas Eric Duncan arrived at the hospital. The nurses are not represented by the union, and the group declined to reveal the nurses’ identities...

Fear Mongering Winning

Republicans Are Pressing the ISIS Fear Button Hard for Midterm Votes - The Daily Beast:

Jihadis pouring across the border. Obama powerless to respond to the chaos. Democrats out to lunch. That’s the picture GOP campaigns and political groups are painting—and it’s working...

What's Wrong With Congress

This article is a long, thorough and enlightening examination of Congressional dysfunction. Our Lives are Hell - Esquire

Con Icon Fries Voter ID

Reagan-Appointed Federal Judge Who Approved First Photo ID Law in 2008 Writes Devastating Dissent AGAINST Photo ID Voting Restrictions | The BRAD BLOG:

If you read just one top-to-bottom dismantling of every supposed premise in support of disenfranchising Photo ID voting restrictions laws in your lifetime, let it be this one [PDF]!...

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Bad Advice For Dems

How to save the Democratic Party from milquetoast sellouts - The Week:

...That brings us to policy, which is where Marshall really goes off the rails. Again he admits that Republicans have the worst of it, with their vicious austerity budgets and their magic asterisks. But he insists that Democrats are just as bad because they have built up progressive advocacy groups, think tanks, and so forth. Lefty organizations both new and old, he moans, are mobilizing against self-evidently wonderful things like "modernizing entitlements" (read: cutting Social Security and Medicare), free trade agreements, and fracking! We should be focusing instead on getting some high growth, the "best antidote to inequality" since it ensures "shared prosperity..."

Gov. GoodHair Loses One

Supreme Court blocks Texas abortion restrictions | Reuters:

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked certain restrictions on abortion contained in a Texas state law that abortion rights groups said would have forced all but a handful of clinics to shut down in the state of 26 million people...

Holy Rollin' The Economy

How Righteousness Killed the World Economy -

...Why are debtors receiving so little relief? As I said, it’s about righteousness — the sense that any kind of debt forgiveness would involve rewarding bad behavior. In America, the famous Rick Santelli rant that gave birth to the Tea Party wasn’t about taxes or spending — it was a furious denunciation of proposals to help troubled homeowners. In Europe, austerity policies have been driven less by economic analysis than by Germany’s moral indignation over the notion that irresponsible borrowers might not face the full consequences of their actions...
...But it has been very hard to get either the policy elite or the public to understand that sometimes debt relief is in everyone’s interest. Instead, the response to poor economic performance has essentially been that the beatings will continue until morale improves...
Support Daily Puma's Debt Neutrality Petition!

If "They" Fill Heaven, I'll Stay Here

Christian right’s vile PR sham: Why their bizarre films are backfiring on them -

...“We don’t believe that billions of people are going to be tortured in hell,” David told me recently. His is a mature faith, based on reason, self examination and even doubt. He seems as exasperated with the religious right as I am. For me they are a never-ending source of essay fodder but for my father in law, they have hijacked and twisted his deepest beliefs. Religion and non-religion can only live together if we acknowledge each other’s fundamental humanity and right to exist. Even though I’m an atheist, I can see a place in society for faith communities built on kindness and mutual understanding. This kind of community is not the face of American Christianity nor do you ever see this message in any Christian film.

The people who create and consume Christian film are neither mature nor reflective. They are at their core superstitious, afraid and tribal. They self-identify overwhelmingly Republican and shout about “moochers” while vilifying the poor. They violate the teachings and very essence of their own “savior” while deriving almost sexual pleasure from the fictional suffering of atheists, Muslims, Buddhists, Wiccans, Hindus, and even liberal Christians. To top it all off, the stories they tell themselves are borderline psychotic...

Monday, October 13, 2014

More Murdering Cops

Colorado family stunned: Cop breaks in, fatally shoots man in back, and ‘no one knows why’:

Sara Lindenmuth told KRDO that a Rocky Ford police officer forced down the door to their home sometime after her brother-in-law, 27-year-old Jack Jacquez, came home around 2 a.m. on Sunday morning.

She recalled that the two men started shouting at each other...

Texas Voter Suppression Blocked

Federal Court Blocks Texas Voter ID Law, Calling It A 'Poll Tax':

A federal judge in Texas struck down the state’s voter ID law on Thursday, calling it an “unconstitutional poll tax” intended to discriminate against Hispanic and African-American citizens that creates “an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote.”

In a 147-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos, an appointee of President Barack Obama confirmed to the bench in 2011, ruled that the law passed by Texas legislators and signed by Gov. Rick Perry (R) took an “unorthodox” approach they knew would have a disparate impact on minority voters. The law requires voters to produce government-issued identification before casting a ballot...

GOP Is Ebola Friendly

The right’s scary Ebola lesson: How anti-government mania is harming America -

If not for serial budget cuts to the National Institutes of Health, we would probably have an Ebola vaccine and we would certainly have better treatment, NIH director Dr. Francis Collins tells the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein. This comes on the heels of reporting that the Centers for Disease Control’s prevention budget has been cut by half since 2006, and new revelations about how botched protocols at the Dallas hospital that turned away Thomas Eric Duncan and then failed to treat him effectively also led to the infection of one of Duncan’s caregivers...

The Double Standard In The Media

The Kentucky Senate Race And The Media's Double Standard For Disqualifying Candidates | Blog | Media Matters for America:

...Recall that query ("Is she ever going to answer a tough question on anything?"), and the way Todd described it as a disqualifying trait for a Senate candidate. Because the day before the Grimes interview, McConnell called into Kentucky Sports Radio to talk with host Matt Jones. Days earlier, the popular host had interviewed Grimes with the understanding the McConnell campaign had also agreed to an interview. But after Jones grilled Grimes on the air, McConnell's campaign refused to answer Jones' emails and phone calls with regards to finalizing an appearance.

After days of on-air pleas, McConnell, without advance notice, finally called into the show last Wednesday and spoke with Jones for 14 minutes. Among the actual topics covered (in the place of optics analysis) were climate change and gay marriage. McConnell basically refused to answer questions about either:...

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Flogging The Teahadists

Wouldn't let me post a sample without obtaining a license. WTH?  You'd think a site would be tickled to let someone copy a few lines but I guess they've been infected by AP.

A Retired Navy Officer Rips Tea Party Terrorist Behind ‘Reward for Capture of Obama’ Facebook Page | Americans Against the Tea Party

I Blame UFOs

After-dark clown sightings trouble California city | Nation & World | The Seattle Times:

People dressed as clowns are causing a stir in California's San Joaquin Valley.

The latest after-dark sighting came Saturday, when police in Bakersfield responded around 8 p.m. to a report of a clown holding a firearm...

Why There Are Liberal Professors

Fox News Disparages Critical Thinkers From Harvard For Thinking Critically | Crooks and Liars:

But the final objective of this pointless conversation, where the intellectual is mocked and disregarded, is to find the real culprits, the bad guys. It is none other than who is teaching them. 90% of all professors (who usually possess a Masters Degree or PhD) lean liberal. Since the people who are educated, critical-thinkers, believe in a more pro-analytic, scientific and fact-based liberal way of thinking, they must be wrong. The more the Fox-Go-USA-cheer leading squad mocks and laughs at these silly Ivy Leaguers, the better they make themselves feel about the xenophobic, narrow-minded bigots they really are. It's the Fox way: put down those who threaten you in a pathetic attempt to lift yourself up...

Dutch Retirement

No Smoke, No Mirrors: The Dutch Pension Plan -

Imagine a place where pensions were not an ever-deepening quagmire, where the numbers told the whole story and where workers could count on a decent retirement.

Imagine a place where regulators existed to make sure everyone followed the rules.

That place might just be the Netherlands. And it could provide an example for America’s troubled cities, or for states like Illinois and New Jersey that have promised more in pension benefits than they can deliver...

Saturday, October 11, 2014

On Police Violence

How Much Does Police Brutality Cost Taxpayers?:

...If you aren’t outraged by these injustices already, chances are there isn’t much else that’s going to set you over the edge, short of a massacre of children or an accidental no-knock raid on your home that kills your own dog or maims your own child.

If you cannot be bothered to care about the physical, emotional, and inhumane trauma inflicted upon your fellow citizens, maybe you will find motivation to care in the cold, calculable numbers. Not of lost life, but that police departments inflict upon the taxpayer–not in human dignity, abuse or surrender of freedom–but in dollars...

Friday, October 10, 2014

Deficit Fall Continues

Secret Deficit Lovers -

What if they balanced the budget and nobody knew or cared?

O.K., the federal budget hasn’t actually been balanced. But the Congressional Budget Office has tallied up the totals for fiscal 2014, which ran through the end of September, and reports that the deficit plunge of the past several years continues. You still hear politicians ranting about “trillion dollar deficits,” but last year’s deficit was less than half-a-trillion dollars — or, a more meaningful number, just 2.8 percent of G.D.P. — and it’s still falling...

Guardrail Killers

Guardrail Company Accused of Deadly Safety Cover-Up, Fraud - ABC News:

The company that makes many of the safety guardrails found next to highways across the country will defend itself in court next week against accusations of a massive cover-up and fraud against the U.S. government that the company’s accuser says is linked to dozens of gruesome injuries and deaths.

Jury selection begins Monday in Marshall, Texas in a federal suit brought against Trinity Industries of Texas by Joshua Harman, who claims the company defrauded the government when it sought for, and was granted approval to sell its ET-Plus guardrail end terminal to state departments of transportation without disclosing all of the design changes it had made. Harman claims small but crucial alterations made the device defective, causing severe injuries or deaths to some highway drivers who hit the guardrails in accidents. The federal government has chosen to not participate in this case...

Thursday, October 09, 2014

The War On Okra Continues

Heavily armed drug cops raid retiree’s garden, seize okra plants - The Washington Post:

...Okra busts like these are good reason for taxpayers to be skeptical about the wisdom of sending guys up in helicopters to fly around aimlessly, looking for drugs in suburban gardens. And that's not to mention the issue of whether we want a society where heavily-armed cops can burst into your property, with no grounds for suspicion beyond what somebody thought he saw from several hundred yards up in a helicopter...

Drug Test Congress

Trey Radel, Busted On Cocaine Charge, Voted For Drug Testing Food Stamp Recipients:

In September, Rep. Trey Radel voted for Republican legislation that would allow states to make food stamp recipients pee in cups to prove they're not on drugs. In October, police busted the Florida Republican on a charge of cocaine possession.

“It’s really interesting it came on the heels of Republicans voting on everyone who had access to food stamps get drug tested," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told BuzzFeed Tuesday. "It’s like, what?”...

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Lying Liars Benghazi Lying Again

Fox News Deceptively Clips Obama To Claim Panetta Interview Revealed Benghazi Deception | Blog | Media Matters for America:

Fox News used doctored video of an interview with President Obama to claim his description of briefings he received on the night of the Benghazi attack contrasts with former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's. In reality, their accounts are consistent...

This Is What Happens When You Divide One Brain 19 Ways

Duggar daughter blames the Holocaust on evolution, then compares it to abortion -

Un Missing

Where's Kim Jong-Un? North Korean leader disappears from public eye - World News | TVNZ:

The rumour mill is turning following the absence of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un at a number of event over the last month.

The North Korean leader hasn't been seen since September 3, sparking rumours the 31-year-old is ill or has been overthrown by a coup...

Mass Murder By Bottom Line

Michael Moore - Our health insurance companies have killed more...:

Our health insurance companies have killed more Americans than ISIS will EVER dream of killing...

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Crazy In NC: Aiken Edition

Oh snap! Barbs fly in Clay Aiken-Renee Ellmers debate | OnPolitics:

...The hour-long debate sponsored by the North Carolina Bankers Association, which aired Monday on WRAL-TV, normally wouldn’t be the subject of so many news stories in local and national outlets except for Aiken’s candidacy. He has fought hard to beat back negative perceptions about his candidacy and has drawn on his experience as a special education teacher.
His special-ed experience will be helpful in Congress.

Stealing From Teachers

Reading, Writing, Ransacking - Esquire:

...They all have so very much to answer for, the people who have decided to enrich themselves by bashing public school teachers and, in doing so, putting the entire philosophy of public education, one of the lasting contributions to society of the American political commonwealth, at serious risk. No wonder they operate secretly, and in the shadows, and beyond the reach of public accountability. They are burglarizing the future for their own profit.

Ernst Corruption

EXCLUSIVE: Iowa Senate shocker — contracts awarded to Joni Ernst’s father raise conflict of interest questions -

A construction company owned by GOP Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst’s father received more than $200,000 in county contracts while she served as auditor of Montgomery County, Iowa, despite a strict conflict of interest code governing the provision of contracts to family members of county officials.

A new review of records — as well as an analysis of the Code of Iowa — by Salon reveals that the nature of the contracts and how they were promulgated, may have violated relevant county standards...

Jobs Truth

Jared Bernstein: It's Not A Skills Shortage That's Keeping Wages Down | Crooks and Liars:

The missing piece that economist and former White House advisor Jared Bernstein knows and is too nice to say, is that the Powers That Be set out to deliberately suppress wages, to the point where hiring an engineer in America won't cost any more than hiring one in Pakistan. But I'm not that nice, so I'll say it for him. Whenever you see the president making his speech about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) training for good jobs, what he really means is that corporations demand a glut on the market that will drive down wages. Because we already have plenty of unemployed people in those fields, people employers don't want to hire at the rate their skills demand. And new graduates are also having trouble getting hired. So when employers talk about a STEM skills shortage, they almost always mean "trained people who will work for peanuts." See how that works?...

Monday, October 06, 2014

Selling Competence

Things In Politico That Make Me Want To Guzzle Antifreeze, Part The Infinity - Esquire:

...At this point, anyone who is still defining the Affordable Care Act by its "sputtering launch" is just being a hack. But the rest of this swill is also simply rote memorization of the narrative that the Republicans want to sell, and I do mean sell, to a midterm electorate scared stupid by six years of deliberate disinformation. The people selling that narrative are the people who purposely wrecked the government's "track record" in unprecedented fashion, and not simply to demolish the agenda of a Democratic president, but also because they are the creatures of a philosophy and of a self-contained political universe in which government is not supposed to work, at least not for the general good, anyway. So, now, having thrown a carload of spanners into the works, the same people point out that the mechanism was built to fail. It's a neat trick, and it almost always works. But, let's press ahead past all the dead horses there in the road and check out the people whom the writer believes are the folks to build a bridge across Competence Gap...

Comment Of The Day: Tuff O Edition

Here's Some Stupid For Lunch - Esquire

Barry Friedman · · Top Commenter · University of Tulsa · 148 followers

To: Senator Kelly Ayotte
From: A dead Somali pirate
Re: Your statement: "I'm very concerned about that, Chris, and his resolve in this regard."

He put a bullet in my head and bullets in the heads of those who came before and after me.
I only wish there was a problem with his resolve. Oh, gotta go. Osama just floated by.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

The Right Wing And History

Why the GOP hates U.S. history: Inconvenient truths that freak out American conservatives -

... American’s right wing, you see, is terrified of history because it is always sentimentalizing it. Many of its arguments rely on a feeling of nostalgia for “good old days,” that appeals almost exclusively to aging whites. That means that a more accurate history, one that considers groups that are traditionally marginalized — women, people of color, Native Americans, immigrants and the poor — don’t necessarily sit that well. Their stories, the stories of the downtrodden, crush the false narrative that many conservatives like to imagine — that of a idyllic past marred by the New Deal, women’s liberation and civil rights...

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Donor Costs Revealed

G.O.P. Error Reveals Donors and the Price of Access -

...Such an error by the Republican Governors Association recently resulted in the disclosure of exactly the kind of information that political committees given tax-exempt status usually keep secret, namely their corporate donors and the size of their checks. That set off something of an online search war between the association and a Washington watchdog group that spilled other documents, Democratic and Republican, into the open,

The documents,many of which the Republican officials have since removed from their website, showed that many of America’s most prominent companies, from Aetna to Walmart, had poured millions of dollars into the campaigns of Republican governors since 2008. One document listed 17 corporate “members” of the governors association’s secretive 501(c)(4), the Republican Governors Public Policy Committee, which is allowed to shield its supporters from the public. ...

Trooops Say No To More War

Poll: 70% of troops say no more boots on the ground in Iraq | Military Times |

As the tide of war rises again in the Middle East, the military’s rank and file are mostly opposed to expanding the new mission in Iraq and Syria to include sending a large number of U.S. ground troops into combat, according to a Military Times survey of active-duty members...

Free Markets And Education

Free Market Forces Will Not Save US Education -- They Will Destroy It�|�Peter Greene:

...But then, the market has only one measure for winning, and that is the production of money. The heart of a business plan is not "Can I build a really excellent mousetrap?" The heart of a business plan is "Can I sell this mousetrap and make money doing it?"

There is nothing about that question that is compatible with pursuing excellence in public education.

The most incompatible part of market-driven education is not its love of money-making winner, but its attitude about losers. Because the market hates losers. The market has no plan for dealing with losers. It simply wants all losers to go away...

O Pokes Fox News

Update: BillO Whines

Pres. Obama Claps Back at Fox News; Anchors Take Offense:

*President Obama took an opportunity Thursday to fire a shot at Fox News over its constant bashing of Obamacare...

Friday, October 03, 2014

Hospital Ebola Questions

A reminder about ebola treatment | The Confluence:

...Do we know whether Mr. Duncan has insurance? He’d better because no one in Texas without insurance is allowed to get ebola. Perry didn’t expand Medicaid. Update: Duncan is not an American citizen. He’s just here for a visit. So, we can guess that one of the reasons why the hospital didn’t keep a sick Liberian who was showing signs of possible ebola infection when he first showed up is because they were concerned with the costs. Oh, yes, my best beloveds, hospitals are more than willing to toss sick people out when it starts to get too expensive for the insurance company. We have been there.

We really need an investigation of the behavior of the hospital that discharged Mr. Duncan to discover whether this was the result of a bad cost-benefit calculation. Did the hospital just take a wild bet that Mr. Duncan did not have ebola so they wouldn’t have to keep him in an expensive isolation unit? Enquiring minds want to know...
The first response to all medical errors: Blame The Nurse.

Palestine To Be Recognized

Sweden to become first major European country to recognize state of Palestine - The Times of India:

Sweden's new centre-left government will recognize the state of Palestine in a move that will make it the first major European country to take the step, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said on Friday...
Is this the foreign affairs equivalent of pot being legalized in Colorado?

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Ebola Looney Tunes

The "Alternate-Universe" Origins Of The Far Right's Anti-Immigrant Ebola Doctor | Blog | Media Matters for America:

Conservative media outlets, including Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham, are fanning the flames of Ebola panic and anti-immigrant sentiment by highlighting the unfounded opinions of fringe medical expert Dr. Elizabeth Vliet, the former director of an organization that claimed that undocumented immigrants caused a leprosy epidemic...

RS Retorts To Koch Claims

Koch Industries Responds to Rolling Stone – And We Answer Back | Rolling Stone:

Koch Industries has written a lengthy response to our feature story on the company in the latest issue of Rolling Stone. In tweets the company apparently paid to promote, Koch bills this write-up as a "point-by-point response to Rolling Stone writer Tim Dickinson's dishonest and misleading story." The salient feature of Koch's response is that the company does not argue the core facts of our 9,000-word expose. Instead, Koch targets the messenger. Koch's top target here is not even Rolling Stone, but me, Tim Dickinson...

Why SS Chief Fell

Scandal and secrets contributed to end of Pierson's Secret Service tenure | The Rundown | PBS NewsHour:

One lesson from Julia Pierson’s short tenure as director of the agency that protects the first family: The Secret Service can’t keep secrets from the president.

Pierson’s undoing was not telling the president about a Sept. 16 incident in Atlanta in which President Barack Obama rode an elevator with an armed security contractor during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two White House officials said. The armed contractor’s proximity to Obama violated the agency’s security protocols...

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

White Guilty Of Murdering Black

Florida Man Convicted of Murder in Dispute Over Rap Music -

A Florida man was convicted Wednesday in the 2012 fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager amid a dispute at a gas station over loud rap music blaring from a car...
Will all the "liberals" screaming about Confederates and racists now stand up and apologize to the 10 rednecks on the FL jury?