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The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Daily Drift

It's a Political Circus
When we decided Tuesday was to focus on Politics we had not figured that the first day would be All Fools Day (better known as April Fools Day) but the fates have a strange way of working things out like that because as you all know Politicians are all fools! 
 
Carolina Naturally is read in 196 countries around the world daily.   

 Although known as April Fools Day the proper name is All Fools Day ... !

Today is - All Fools Day

Don't forget to visit our sister blog: It Is What It Is

Some of our reader today have been in:
The Americas
Weehawken, Chttanooga, Yorba Linda, Shark River Hills, Fergus Falls, Atascocita, San Luis Obispo, Wilmington, New York City and San Francisco, United States
Delta, Surrey, Quebec, Regina, Guelph, Montreal, Thunder Bay, Pikangikum, Saint-Elzear, Vancouver, Joliette, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Mississauga, Prince Albert and Saint John's, Canada
Buenos Aires and Villa Maria, Argentina
Cali, Medellin and Armenia, Colombia
Rio De Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Palmeria, Curitiba and Porto Algere, Brazil
Managua, Nicaragua
Lima, Peru
Ecatepec, Mexico
Europe
Odessa, Zhovti Vody, Kiev, Yalta and Lviv, Ukraine
Saint Peter Port, Guernsey
Florence, Ivrea, Milan, Genoa, Naples, Rome and Palermo, Italy
Haarlem Netherlands
Budapest, Hungary
Lisbon, Covilha and Porto, Portugal
Ostrava, Czech Republic
Martin, Slovakia
Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Vladivostok, Kazan and Ryazan, Russia
L'Olleria, Basauri and Madrid, Spain
London and Cambridge, England
Tenja, Croatia
Riga, Latvia
Rouen, Paris, Lyon and Calais, France
Newport, Wales
Kista, Sweden
Dublin, Ireland
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Vilnius, Lithuania
Brussels, Belgium
Wroclaw, Poland
Reykjavik, Iceland
Asia
Tel Aviv, Israel
Jakarta, Jambi, Denpasar, Yogyakarta and Bojonegoro, Indonesia
La Dagotiere and Quarte Bornes, Mauritius
Patna, Pune, Kolkata, Delhi, Shillong, Bangalore, Mumbai, Jodhpur and New Delhi, India
Bangkok and Bang Khen, Thailand
Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi, Pakistan
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Hanoi, Vietnam
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Singapore, Singapore
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Rangoon, Burma
Kanghwa, Korea
Africa
Abuja, Nigeria
Algiers and Calabar, Algeria
Harare, Zimbabwe
Casablanca, Morocco
Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa
The Pacific
Mandaluyong City and Manila, Philippines
Sydney and Perth, Australia
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

Today in History

1572 The Sea Beggars under Guillaume de la Marck land in Holland and capture the small town of Briel.
1778 Oliver Pollock, creates the dollar sign.
1863 The first wartime conscription law goes into effect in the United States.
1865 At the Battle of Five Forks, Gen. Robert E. Lee begins his final offensive.
1868 The Hampton Institute is founded in Hampton, Va.
1905 Berlin and Paris are linked by telephone.
1918 England's Royal Air Force is formed.
1920 Germany's Workers Party changes its name to the Nationalist Socialist German Worker's Party (Nazis).
1924 Adolf Hitler sentenced to five years in prison for the "Beer Hall Putsch."
1928 China's Chiang Kai-shek begins attacks on communists.
1929 The yo-yo is introduced in the United States by Louie Marx.
1939 The Spanish Civil War effectively ends with the official recognition of Franco's government.
1942 The U.S. Navy begins a partial convoy system in the Atlantic.
1945 U.S. forces launch invasion of Okinawa.
1946 A miner's strike in the U.S. idles 400,000 workers.
1948 The Berlin Airlift begins, relieving the surrounded city from the Soviet siege.
1951 United Nations forces again move northward across the 38th Parallel in Korea.
1954 The U.S. Air Force Academy is founded in Colorado.
1968 The U.S. Army launches Operation Pegasus, the reopening of a land route to the besieged Khe Sanh Marine base.
1970 The U.S. Army charges Captain Ernest Medina for his role in the My Lai massacre.
1982 The United States transfers control of the Panama Canal Zone to Panama.

Non Sequitur

http://media.zenfs.com/en_us/News/ucomics.com/nq140331.gif

Did you know ...

That most Wisconsin repugican senators who voted to restrict early voting have themselves voted early

That in spite of not bailing out the banks, Iceland is on the mend

That the tea partiers want to re-fight 1964

That Democrats need to welcome Democrats to the party

That the Kansas 'retaliation' bill would allow cops to arrest people who complain about cops

According to a former undercover drug officer: why white people don't get busted

That we must stop calling each other 'nazi!

That Amanda Marcotte doesn't want a baby

Here's 9 maps that should outrage southerners

That Toyota pays $1.2 billion for defective accelerator cover-up

That wildflower season in the Rockies is 35 days longer thanks to global warming

That a scrap dealer finds Faberge egg at a flea market

Endangered Mitch McConnell Loses His Third Endorsement In a Week

Mitch McConnell lost yet another important endorsement to his tea party challenger. It couldn't have come at a worse time.…
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images( (cropped)
On the heels of Senator Mitch McConnell (r-KY) using the wrong team footage in yet another viral video disaster, Kentucky’s WFPL Phillip Bailey announced another endorsement loss to his tea party challenger for repugican Senator Mitch McConnell:
The Alison Grimes (D-KY) campaign isn’t about to let this one pass by, especially given Senator McConnell’s super bad week… er, month. The Secretary of State’s campaign put out a statement, “The endorsement loss could not have come at a worse time for the McConnell campaign. As noted this afternoon, his campaign “has sputtered worse than a beat-up jalopy” in recent weeks.”
I give you:
Phillip M. Bailey 
INBOX: #Lexington, Ky. tea party endorses MattBevin for U.S. Senate 
mcconnell paper
McConnell has already lost the tea party patriots and Louisville tea party endorsements. The Grimes campaign pointed out that he has until May 20th to win the tea party over — that’s the date of the repugican primary.
Here’s a summation of his very bad week via the Grimes people:
Mitch McConnell celebrated the Duke Blue Devils in his new ad – an egregious, out-of-touch move in Kentucky during March Madness.
McConnell’s campaign then swapped out Duke footage for a current University of Kentucky basketball player in a potential violation of NCAA policy.
The University of Kentucky issued a cease and desist letter to the McConnell campaign – echoing the message Kentucky voters will send Mitch McConnell this November.
And perhaps worst of all, when asked by a Daily News reporter to clarify whether he’s a Louisville or a Duke fan, McConnell refused to say (0:45).
Mitch McConnell has clearly lost touch with Kentuckians back home after 30 years in Washington. Despite several failed attempts, the McConnell team’s new Duke ad “just couldn’t get right”. This must be what Mitch McConnell meant when he proclaimed they would run a “presidential-level campaign.”
I’ve been saying for a few weeks that it looks like someone is sabotaging McConnell’s campaign. Now the Daily Beast is asking if he is trying to lose. But Mitch McConnell has gotten quite rich in D.C. Why would he want to lose?
It’s looking more and more as if the repugican Senator felt so secure and entitled to the seat he’s held for 30 years that he is going to succumb to the fact that he is not the best candidate. He’s not in fighting condition. Natural selection, then, seems to have finally found McConnell wanting.
Mitch McConnell is seriously endangered in Kentucky. What looked like a series of gaffes and typical Tea Party primary grumbles is shaping up to spell the end for McConnell. After all, if he can’t even defeat Matt Bevin in a primary, how’s he going to face Alison Grimes, who has been beating him or even with him in the polls?

The repugicans' Bad Acting Can’t Hide The Racism Behind Their Obama Outrage

There is a recurring theme in repugican outrage over President Obama's executive actions that centers on an African American President doing the same thing a white president would …
John Boehner
A bad actor can mean an unruly, turbulent, or contentious individual in one sense, or it can mean a person who badly interprets a dramatic character in a production they perform in regardless it is film, television, theatre, radio, or in front of cameras during a weekly news conference. The incredibly bad performance on Wednesday was the second in three months for Speaker of the House John Boehner who put on an equally bad acting job of feigning righteous indignation for the press last December. Boehner’s last bad performance was his portrayal of an “outraged” House Speaker complaining that teabaggers and conservative belief tanks were out of line for objecting to the bi-partisan, bi-cameral budget agreement between Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murray.
Boehner’s amateurish thespian attempt on Wednesday was also typical repugican hypocrisy and double standard targeting President Obama for extending the deadline to sign up for the Affordable Care Act by a about two weeks. Boehner must have spent all of Tuesday night perfecting his phony outrage to convince the press that during his tenure in the House he had never witnessed a president take executive action to extend a deadline for Americans to sign up for health insurance. Boehner said, “Last night brought us yet another delay of Obamacare, another deadline made meaningless. What the hell is this, a joke?” No Speaker Boehner, it was not a joke, it is precisely the same thing you witnessed the shrub do in May 2006 when he took executive action to waive “penalty fees for very low-income seniors and people with disabilities to sign up late” for the new Medicare Part D prescription plan and allowed the “same impoverished beneficiaries to sign up for Medicare drug coverage until December 31.” President Obama’s action was not exactly like the shrub’s because the shrub extended the enrollment for Medicare Part D by a full seven months and not two weeks that President Obama extended sign-ups for the Affordable Care Act for people who were “already in line.”
It is the second time repugicans and their wingnut punditry feigned seething outrage over the Affordable Care Act’s online sign-ups they did not demonstrate when the shrub’s Medicare prescription plan rollout did not work as well as advertised. Last November when the ACA rollout was plagued with glitches and long wait times, repugicans went berserk and convened a hearing in the House Energy and Commerce Committee to investigate the crimes in the Affordable Care Act’s implementation. When the Medicare prescription plan’s rollout experienced difficulties, repugicans lined up to beseech Americans to be patient and not pre-judge the prescription plan based on a few technical problems. A bevy of repugicans made excuses for the technical issues such as “This is a huge undertaking and there are going to be glitches. Any time something is new, there is going to be some glitches; it is going to take a little adjustment.”
There is a recurring theme in repugican outrage over President Obama’s executive actions that centers on an African American President doing the same thing a white president did less than six years ago with no cries of presidential overreach, dictatorial tyranny, or overstepping his constitutional authority. For example, in late December the President signed an executive order titled “Adjustments of Certain Rates of Pay” that mirrored the shrub’s order five years earlier titled “Adjustments of Certain Rates of Pay.” Last May President Obama signed an executive order titled “Providing an Order of Succession within the Department of Agriculture” that the shrub called “Amending the Order of Succession Within the Department of Agriculture” and signed in January 2009 just days before leaving office.  President Obama signed an order titled “Continuance of Certain Federal Advisory Committees” on September 20, 2013, and the shrub signed his “Continuance of Certain Federal Advisory Committees” on September 28, 2007. The list goes on and on and the overriding  theme is that regardless the executive orders are nearly identical, repugicans react completely the opposite when a Black President takes executive action as when a white president who did the exact same thing while most repugicans feigning outrage were in Congress.
The repugicans have assailed President Obama throughout his tenure for doing the same thing the shrub did without criticism and in fact with great support. For example, over the past year repugicans and their punditry have attacked the education model called “common core” as a plot to control young Americans’ minds, but they heaped praise on the shrub’s “No Child Left Behind” that was a deliberate attempt to close public schools, destroy teacher unions, and usher in an era of for-profit Charter schools using a voucher privatization scam. When President Obama asked Congress to pass a stimulus package to save the economy after shrub repugicans and the financial sector crashed the economy in 2008, the repugican cabal was beside themselves with outrage even though they made impassioned pleas for the shrub’s stimulus well before they crashed the economy as necessary to keep the economy running smoothly despite they squandered a budget surplus on tax cuts for the rich. The repugicans nearly caused a credit default over raising the nation’s debt limit in 2011 because the President is Black, and yet they raised it without condition several times for white guy. In every case of this President doing the exact same thing the shrub did is the repugican’s phony outrage and reaction driven solely by President Obama’s race.
There is no doubt that, as we pointed out, Boehner was not amused that the President’s executive action giving prospective enrollees a little extra time to sign up for coverage in the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges “outsmarted Boehner again, and killed his next line of Obamacare attacks before they could get started.” However, when Boehner asked “what the hell is this” he knew exactly what it was and that white president did precisely the same thing with his Medicare prescription plan with full repugican support and praise. What this President did was not, as Boehner asserted, “a long-term pattern of this administration manipulating the laws for its own convenience,” presidential overreach, dictatorial tyranny, or abusing the powers granted him by the Constitution. It was the same thing repugicans have criticized and complained about for five straight years without respite and the same today as it was in January 2009 when repugicans first complained that Barack Obama is President while being Black. They cannot possibly claim otherwise with a straight face or phony outrage because in every sense of the words repugicans are consummate bad actors and rank racists.

The ACA Smashes Its Goal Of 6 Million Signups Days Ahead of Deadline

obama-confetti 
The repugican predictions of gloom and doom for the ACA have officially been proven wrong as HHS has announced that Obamacare has already hit its goal of six million enrollees.
According the HHS blog:
As this historic open enrollment period enters its final days, more than 6 million Americans have signed up for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplaces since October 1, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

Consumers like these are coming in near record numbers to check out their options for affordable health coverage at HealthCare.gov or seeking help from a trained assister in person or via our 24/7 call center. We are seeing near record numbers of consumers coming to check out their options and enroll in coverage. Yesterday alone, we had 1.5 million visits to HealthCare.gov and took more than 430,000 calls at our 24/7 call center.
The shattering of the ACA’s enrollment goal along with a new Kaiser Health Tracking poll are a double whammy of bad news for the repugican cabal. According to the Health Tracking Poll, many Americans are tired of hearing about Obamacare, “While personal conversations may be on the rise, many Americans appear to be weary of the national debate about the law. Just over half the public (53 percent) say they’re tired of hearing about the debate over the ACA and want the country to focus more on other issues, while about four in ten (42 percent) say they think it’s important for the country to continue the debate. Democrats and those with a favorable view of the law are more likely to say they’re tired of hearing about the debate, while repugicans and those who view the law unfavorably are more evenly split between those who are tired of hearing about it and those who want the debate to continue.”
The repugicans are preparing to bombard voters will millions of dollars worth of ads about a subject that they are sick of hearing about. At the same time, the repugican cabal’s deadly predictions that Obamacare would kill you, your family, and the nation as a whole are being disproven every single day.
What repugicans are putting together is a textbook recipe for how to lose an election. Take one part ignoring all of the concerns that voters have, add two parts of a promise to harm millions of people, and add 100 parts annoying political ads about something that people don’t want to hear any more about, mix it together, bake at 450 degrees until the first Tuesday in November, and the result is Democrats maintaining control of the United States Senate.
The advantage that repugicans thought they had on Obamacare is evaporating. Obamacare fatigue is setting in. People are sick of the repeal voters, endless ads, and single-minded repugican obsession with the healthcare law.
The battle is over. Democrats have won. The enrollment goal has been met with days to spare. President Obama has been proven correct. People do want access to affordable healthcare. The repugicans gambled everything on stopping Obamacare, and they lost. With the ACA gaining in popularity, repugicans don’t have a leg to stand on.
Thanks to the hard work of President Obama and the Democrats, the ACA triumphed over endless repugican opposition. This is a historic day, and a giant step forward towards the goal of universal health insurance coverage for all Americans.

An Enraged John Boehner Blows Up After Obama Thwarts His Plan To Screw the Uninsured

boehner-rage 
John Boehner flew into an angry rage after finding out that the next phase in his plan to keep millions uninsured had been derailed by President Obama.
Video:

Boehner said,
Last night brought us yet another delay of Obamacare, another deadline made meaningless. You know, if he hasn’t put enough loopholes into the law already, the administration is now resorting to an honor system to enforce it. What the hell is this, a joke?
Listen, this is part of a long-term pattern of this administration manipulating the laws for its own convenience. And it is not hard to understand why the American people question this administration’s commitment to the rule of law.
What Speaker Boehner is so angry about is the fact that the Obama administration won’t screw over people who begin the enrollment process by March 31. According to the HHS blog, “We are ready for consumers. It’s now time for you to check out your options and signup by March 31. And don’t worry, for those consumers who are in line by the March 31st deadline to complete enrollment—either online or over the phone – we’ll make sure you get covered. Just like Election Day, if you are in line when the polls close, you get to vote. We won’t close the door on those who tried to get covered and were unable to do so through no fault of their own. So, those who were in line or had technical problems with the website can quickly come back and sign up as soon as possible.”
What is really ticking repugicans off is that Obama administration is allowing people weren’t able to sign up due to the website issues an extra few weeks to finish the enrollment process.
Boehner and his House repugicans thought that they had it all figured out. They were getting ready for another round of Obamacare “horror stories” based on the people who may have not been able to complete their ACA signups high consumer demand around the deadline, or the previous website issues in October of 2013.
President Obama cut the latest repugican smear campaign off at the knees, and also dealt a death blow to one of the GOP’s favorite complaints about the ACA. The repugicans have argued that Obama has given special waivers to his political friends. They have cried crocodile tears about the unfairness of the little person getting screwed, but when the president wanted to keep enrollment open for the same people that repugicans were claimed to be defending, John Boehner flew into a rage, cussing and moaning about the deadline being enforced.
Obama outsmarted Boehner again, and killed his next line of Obamacare attacks before they could get started. The real reason why Speaker Boehner is angry is because the ACA is working, and there isn’t a damn thing that he can do to stop it.

Despite wingnut Protests, Bin Laden’s Son-In-Law Convicted By Civilian Court

BINLADEDN-SONINLAWOn Wednesday, Osama Bin-Laden’s son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith was found guilty of conspiracy to kill Americans by serving as an Al Qaeda spokesman following the 9/11 attacks. Ghaith is the highest ranking member of Al-Qaeda to face trial under our system of justice since 9/11.
It was an open civilian trial, in a New York courtroom with jury comprised of civilians. It was covered by news outlets like CNN, the BBC, the New York Times and NPR.  Ghaith had the same rights as any defendant under our legal system.  Rights like the right to counsel, to remain silent, to be tried by a jury of his peers and the right to challenge the evidence against him.  The prosecution presented jurors with evidence, including videos of Ghaith threatening America with “storms of airplanes”   Ghaith testified in his own defense, denying that he had any prior knowledge of the 9-11 attacks.
The proceedings lasted 3 weeks. After six hours of deliberation over two days,  the jury found him guilty. It’s likely that Ghaith will be sentenced to life in prison.
When we learned that Ghaith would be tried in New York, at an open civilian trial complete with constitutional rights, repugicans and some Democrats used the same fear tactics they used to block President Obama’s efforts to close Guantanamo Bay.
They condemned the idea of allowing the civilian courts to try terror suspects because that would mean affording them the same rights to foreigners that anyone has, under our legal system.  It’s as if they thought prosecutors couldn’t secure convictions unless the trials and evidence were secret, and the rights of the accused were, relative to our legal system, minimal.
That’s despite the fact that our legal system successfully tried and convicted terrorism suspects before 9/11.
One might think that repugicans don’t trust a civilian jury of American citizens to weigh the evidence as well as a jury comprised of military officers.
The repugicans also tried to plant seeds of doubt in our penal system’s ability to hold terrorists and therefore keep us safe. Senator Richard Shelby’s comments at the time, reflect the doubts that many repugicans expressed about the security of our penal system.
All of the prisoners housed at Guantanamo are terrorists … They pose an obvious threat to our national security, and they should not be allowed to set foot on our soil.
The repugicans stoked doubt and fears about our penal system even though terrorists have never escaped nor have they attacked our super secure prisons.
Despite the repugican fear mongering, Ghaith, who was captured in Jordan last year, was brought to American soil, tried and convicted.
The real reasons repugicans melted down when they learned that Ghaith would be tried in New York is it would prove that we don’t need an expensive prison in Cuba to be safe.  We can also try and convict terrorism suspects in open court and with those suspects having the same rights as anyone else who faces the criminal justice system. It also proved that President Obama has more faith in the American system of justice than repugican “patriots” do.

The repugicans Wrong Again: Sanctions Force Putin To Call Obama and Propose Settlement

obama-big-point 
After seeing Obama’s sanctions take a bite out of the Russian economy, Putin blinked and called the president today with a settlement proposal to end the crisis in Ukraine.
According to a readout of the call provided by the White House:
President Putin called President Obama today to discuss the U.S. proposal for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Ukraine, which Secretary Kerry had again presented to Foreign Minister Lavrov at the meeting at the Hague earlier this week, and which we developed following U.S. consultations with our Ukrainian and European partners. President Obama suggested that Russia put a concrete response in writing and the presidents agreed that Kerry and Lavrov would meet to discuss next steps.
President Obama noted that the Ukrainian government continues to take a restrained and de-escalatory approach to the crisis and is moving ahead with constitutional reform and democratic elections, and urged Russia to support this process and avoid further provocations, including the buildup of forces on its border with Ukraine.
President Obama underscored to President Putin that the United States continues to support a diplomatic path in close consultation with the Government of Ukraine and in support of the Ukrainian people with the aim of de-escalation of the crisis. President Obama made clear that this remains possible only if Russia pulls back its troops and does not take any steps to further violate Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. President Obama reiterated that the United States has strongly opposed the actions that Russia has already taken to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Bloomberg reported that the sanctions are pushing Russia’s economy towards a recession and that current sanctions will already hurt Russia’s economic growth for two quarters. Experts also suggest that the energy sector of the Russian economy could take a big hit if the sanctions are expanded.
All of the repugicans who suggested that sanctions have been a pointless failure are wrong. The sanctions are doing what they are supposed to do. Putin is coming to the table, and he suggesting that he is ready to solve this crisis diplomatically.
President Obama hasn’t needed troops or to threaten militarily. His administration has clearly targeted Putin and the oligarchs that control the Russian economy. The repugicans have been like fanboys with their praise of Putin’s strength, but it turns out their new hero has been being brought to his knees by the intelligent and determined foreign policy of Barack Obama.

Putin Gets Earful From Worried Russian Tycoons Over Situation In Ukraine

by Nataliya Vasilyeva
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Russia's most powerful businessmen waited for over an hour Thursday to speak with President Vladimir Putin, whose decision to annex the Crimean Peninsula has cost their companies hundreds of millions of dollars in market value.
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When Putin finally showed up, he spoke to them for five minutes - and gave them no reassurances that they or their companies will get any respite from the uncertainty created by the takeover of a piece of land of little value to them beyond national pride.
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Russia's economy is getting pinched by the crisis over Crimea - even before the new sanctions the U.S. and Europe announced Thursday.
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The Russian stock market has tanked 10 percent this month, wiping out billions in market capitalization. Economists have slashed growth forecasts to zero this year and foreign investors are pulling money out of Russian banks. The Standard & Poor's ratings agency on Thursday cited all these issues when it cut its outlook for the country.

The repugican cabal helped Russia annex Crimea

by Bradley Klapper

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Monday that repugicans may have helped Russia annex Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in a surprisingly sharp attack ahead of a test vote on a bill authorizing more U.S. sanctions on Russia and $1 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine.
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Outlining the Senate's agenda after a one-week recess, the Nevada Democrat said the first item would be the Ukraine bill that repugicans blocked just before lawmakers went on break. He urged repugicans to consider "how their obstruction affects United States' national security as well as the people of Ukraine" and said their delay of any congressional action "sent a dangerous message to Russian leaders."
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"Since a few repugicans blocked these important sanctions last work period, Russian lawmakers voted to annex Crimea and Russian forces have taken over Ukrainian military bases," Reid said. "It's impossible to know whether events would have unfolded differently if the United States had responded to Russian aggression with a strong, unified voice."
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Reid's charge comes despite widespread support among repugicans and Democrats in Congress for providing Ukraine with much-needed economic assistance and hitting Russian President Vladimir Putin's government with sanctions.

We shudder to think ...

Democrats Deliver in Connecticut as State Raises Minimum Wage to $10.10 an Hour

Governors Fallin and Jindal listen as Governor Malloy speaks to reporters after a National Governors Association event hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington  
On March 27th, Connecticut Democratic Governor Dan Malloy signed into law a measure that would raise the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. As the wage increase is phased in, Connecticut will surpass Washington’s 9.32 an hour minimum wage, to become the highest minimum wage in the country. The 10.10 figure has been pushed by President Obama and congressional Democrats as a federal minimum wage target, but Connecticut wasted no time in becoming the first state to adopt that pay increase for the state’s low wage workers. The current minimum wage in Connecticut is $8.70 an hour, so the increase to $10.10 will be a substantial pay raise for those earning minimum wage.
Clueless and cynical Connecticut repugicans were quick to denounce the new law. State House repugican spokesman Patrick O’Neil dismissed the bill’s positive impact by stating:
This is just politics in an election year and isn’t going to lift anyone out of poverty.
Perhaps an extra 2900 dollars a year would not make a difference for Patrick O’neil, but for a full time minimum wage worker, that amount of money is not insignificant. The raise would amount to 56 dollars every week for a full-time worker. That money becomes real disposable income that can be used for food, health care, housing or utilities.
Connecticut’s Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey noted that:
Raising the minimum wage helps people who need it most, is good for the economy and is the right thing to do.
Governor Malloy stated:
This is just a step in moving people in the right direction. We will be lifting people out of poverty in the state of Connecticut. Increasing the minimum wage is not just good for workers, it’s also good for business.
The Democrats are right. Despite all the fear-mongering from repugicans that raising the minimum wage will usher in a jobless apocalypse, the truth is raising the minimum wage works. Washington state has had the nation’s highest minimum wage since 1999, and during the last fifteen years they have enjoyed lower unemployment than most states in the country. Now Connecticut is poised to reap the benefits of having the highest paid minimum wage workforce in the nation. Other states may soon follow. $10.10 is a step in the right direction towards making all jobs pay a livable wage. Democrats delivered for workers in Connecticut this week. Yes, it is an election year, but that merely illustrates just how important it is to choose Democrats over repugicans. Democrats believes Americans deserve a raise and repugicans do not. It really is that simple.

A State by State Breakdown of the 2.8 Million People House repugicans Are Screwing

job fair The Senate voted 64-34 to proceed with five-month extension for unemployment benefits, which new data from the Department of Labor shows would help nearly 2.8 million Americans.
The bipartisan, paid-for bill is expected to gain final passage. So naturally, the repugican-led House will purposely let the bill grow mold while they take another Obamacare repeal vote.
“There is no doubting the enormity of the impact that an extension of this program will have on so many Americans looking for work,” said Sander Levin (D-MI), the Ranking Ways and Means Committee Member. “I’m glad to see the Senate take a strong bipartisan first step toward renewing this vital lifeline for 2.8 million job-seekers and their families.”
The Ways and Means Committee Democrats explained that the agreement would actually help more than the 2.8 million folks estimated because it doesn’t count family members who will benefit indirectly, “The estimates include anyone eligible for retroactive or prospective benefits because of the extension of the EUC program under the legislation. It does not count the millions of family members, including children of job-seekers, who will indirectly benefit through an extension.
The Department of Labor estimates* show how many people in each state would receive help due to the Senate agreement.
Number of Job Seekers Benefiting Under Bipartisan Senate UI Bill
Number of Claimants Potentially Eligible for EUC During the First 5 Months of CY 2014 Including Claimants Cut off of EUC Due to the 12/28/2013 Expiration of the Program

State
Alaska 15,100
Alabama 27,100
Arkansas 21,100
Arizona 32,100
California 514,300
Colorado 41,400
Connecticut 48,100
District of Columbia 9,100
Delaware 6,400
Florida 132,300
Georgia 98,500
Hawaii 7,000
Iowa 19,100
Idaho 9,100
Illinois 153,400
Indiana 39,200
Kansas 17,100
Kentucky 31,200
Louisiana 16,000
Massachusetts 80,200
Maryland 47,200
Maine 9,000
Michigan 106,200
Minnesota 36,100
Missouri 49,300
Mississippi 22,100
Montana 8,200
North Carolina –
North Dakota 5,500
Nebraska 8,000
New Hampshire 3,800
New Jersey 144,300
New Mexico 14,100
Nevada 34,100
New York 228,700
Ohio 75,200
Oklahoma 16,100
Oregon 43,200
Pennsylvania 158,400
Puerto Rico 41,100
Rhode Island 12,000
South Carolina 29,100
South Dakota 900
Tennessee 41,100
Texas 164,400
Utah 11,100
Virginia 33,300
Virgin Islands 2,300
Vermont 2,500
Washington 57,500
Wisconsin 55,100
West Virginia 14,100
Wyoming 3,500
National Total 2,795,300
This is great, after repugicans tossed 2 million people off of unemployment last December, providing Xmas Scrooge style. The Senate is doing their job. They’ve reached a bipartisan agreement to help the people and boost the economy. Unfortunately, the repugican-led House is where good ideas go to die, so this bipartisan agreement has little hope of passage in the lower chamber.
House repugicans refusal to renew long term emergency unemployment benefits will cost us all 240,000 jobs this year.
The repugican Senators slammed Speaker Boehner for blocking the Senate agreement. Meanwhile Boehner just keeps dancing faster with new and more absurd reasons why he and his caucus couldn’t possibly do the right thing.
What is worth thinking about, though, is if the Senate becomes repugican-led, this will be the last of this sort of agreement. If the repugicans take the Senate in the midterms, it will be run much like the House. The Ted Cruz “wacko birds” will run the asylum, shutting down government on a whim, racking up more fake repeal Obamacare votes for their campaigns, and only passing legislation when it restricts women’s rights. Birth control coverage will be a thing of the past – don’t even pass go on that one. The beleaguered repugican Senators who take their jobs seriously will be outnumbered and relegated to the sidelines.
This is a poignant bipartisan working government moment worth appreciating, as it might be one of the last for a long time if repugicans manage to fool enough voters with their endless dark money.
* – Estimates are based on the FY 2014 President’s Budget economic Assumptions.
– Includes the estimated number of claimants cut off EUC following the week ending 12/28/2014.
– Includes actual regular UI exhaustee data available as of 3/19/2014.
– EUC Claimant estimates represent the maximum potential number of the claimants that would have at some point been potentially eligible for at least 1 week of EUC during the first three weeks of CY 2014.

Smokin’ Joe Biden Pierces repugican Hearts Saying Fair Wages Are Good for Business

smokin' Joe 
Vice President Joe Biden said Congress should raise the minimum wage because it’s good for people, business, women, and the economy. He thinks you ought to call your do-nothing representative and ask why they’re not passing a raise for the people. Smokin’ Joe also burned a certain Speaker by saying that Congress ought to do it because it’s what the people want.
But I’m sure Joe knows that Speaker Boehner (r-OH) can’t be bothered with what the people want. After all, he’s got an itty bitty circus tent full of extremists’ egos to stroke in an election year, since they’re the only people who vote repugican anymore besides the party’s actual base — the top 1%. The repugicans are very busy obstructing the economy to get back at President Obama for winning again.
Watch here:
The Vice President got right down to business, “There’s no reason in the world why an American working 40 hours a week has to live in poverty. But right now a worker earning the federal minimum wage makes about $14,500 a year. And you all know that’s incredibly hard for an individual to live on, let alone raise a family on.” Preach it, Joe.
Biden laid out why raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would be good for the worker – they’d be making “$20,200 a year—and with existing tax credits would earn enough to bring that family or a family of four out of poverty. ”
But heck, it’s not just the workers who would benefit. Nope. Business too.
Joe pierced repugican hearts by pointing out that actually, fair wages are good for business, “There’s clear data that shows fair wages generate loyalty of workers to their employers, which has the benefit of increasing productivity and leading to less turn over. It’s really good for the economy as a whole because raising the minimum wage would generate an additional $19 billion in additional income for people who need it the most.”
But… But… Maybe the entire American workforce are just bad negotiators, like repugicans say women are. So it’s their fault and too bad for them!
Joe wasn’t having that either because it’s not just the workers. It’s the economy, stupid. “The big difference between giving a raise in the minimum wage instead of a tax break to the very wealthy is the minimum wage worker will go out and spend every penny of it because they’re living on the edge. They’ll spend it in the local economy. They need it to pay their electric bill, put gas in their automobile, to buy fundamental necessities. And this generates economic growth in their communities.”
This is no fun. Now repugicans can’t justify punishing the hardworking American populace, pretending they’re unworthy of a living wage.
In case repugicans need to hear it from those who are ostensibly their own kind, “And I’m not the only one who recognizes these benefits. Companies big and small recognize it as well. I was recently in Atlanta, Georgia, and met the owner of a small advertising company, a guy named Darien. He independently raised the wages of his workers to $10.10 an hour. But large companies, as well, Costco and the Gap—they’re choosing to pay their employees higher starting wages.”
Then Biden pointed out that governors were doing this on their own — a cooperative, regional initiative the governors started as a go-around the do-nothing repugican-led House.
Joe summed it up for the slow House, “It’s good for business. It’s helpful to the overall economy. And there’s one more important benefit. Right now women make up more than half of the workers who would benefit from increasing the minimum wage. Folks, a low minimum wage is one of the reasons why women in America make only 77 cents on a dollar that every man makes. But by raising the minimum wage, we can close that gap by 5 percent. And it matters. It matters to a lot of hardworking families, particularly moms raising families on the minimum wage.”
Well, okay, we all know that talking about helping struggling moms is only going to make repugicans hate this idea more. The repugicans have made it clear that women shouldn’t be working, so this is really their own fault. And since they think single mothers are the bane of America’s existence, the thing to do is ignore and punish both them and their offspring. But also, no contraception will be covered, thanks so much.
Oh, wait. “And one more thing, folks—it’s what the American people want to do. Three out of four Americans support raising the minimum wage… ”
Joe thinks you should ask your representatives what gives, “So ask your representatives who oppose raising the federal minimum wage—why do they oppose it? How can we look at the men and women providing basic services to us all, like cleaning our offices, caring for our children, serving in our restaurants and so many other areas—how can we say they don’t deserve enough pay to take them out of poverty?” Yes, do it. DO IT.
Raising the minimum wage makes sense, it’s good for business good for people good for women and good for the economy. Call your do-nothing representative, write your local paper, tweet, and ask WHY NOT.
Joe’s work here is done for today.

The repugican Communications Guru Says Really Stupid Things About the Pay Gap for Women

National repugican Senatorial Committee Communications Director Brad Dayspring said there is no problem with a pay gap because a law was passed in 1963 to address gender pay…
 brad dayspring
This explains a lot. While National repugican Senatorial Committee Communications Director Brad Dayspring has a past littered with reasons why this is not the best job for him, today he’s really taken it to the next level.
Friday morning, Mr. Dayspring, Grand Communicator for the repugican cabal that is trying to win those lady votes, huffed with the confidence born of privileged ignorance that Democrats can’t run on equal pay because there’s already a law on the books for equal pay.
See here:
Brad Dayspring 
CNN: "Democrats seize on equal pay as a midterm issue." Problem: USA passed a law requiring equal pay for equal work in 1963.
Who’s going to tell this fool? Sigh. When (DEMOCRATIC) President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law in 1963, women were earning an average of .59 cents on the dollar compared to men. Today women earn about .77 cents on the dollar compared to men.
Allow me to translate this into language Mr. Dayspring might understand: We do not consider ourselves 77% of a person, Mr. Dayspring. FOR REALZ.
But we understand that Mr. Dayspring is handicapped by his own issues with women. This is the guy who called Alison Grimes an “empty dress” who “babbles”. But totes loves women. Snort.
Maybe he needs to check his own cabal’s offices, because right there in the Texas repugican candidate for Governor’s office, there are many women being paid less for the same work as men. This man is the current Attorney General for Texas. So even in repugican fairy land where a law means it never happens, it is happening right in the guy’s office who is charged with upholding the law. Irony much, Mr. Dayspring?
Of course that man, repugican AG Greg Abbott, expressed the same confusion when he announced to the world that there were four laws protecting women so there is no need for another one. This prompted state Senator and Democratic candidate for governor Wendy Davis to ask which of those four laws he broke in his office of the Attorney General (you can’t make this stuff up).
HUH.
The responses to Mr Dayspring’s ignorance explain who is voting for the Cretin Party:
• Brent Boydston ‏@baboydston 3h
@BDayspring on the equal payi ssue…does this mean it would also apply to Dems?
• Keith Appell ‏@keithcrc 3h
@BDayspring @CNN If Dems want to talk equal pay, good place to start would be FEDERAL workforce http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/ali-meyer/63-federal-workers-earning-100k-are-men …
• Low Info Buffalo ‏@DeadBuffaloBlog 2h
@BDayspring @instapundit Didn’t Barry campaign on the back of, what’s her name, Lilly Leadbelly?
Regarding the CNS article, Obama doesn’t set the wages of federal workers. Really.
Congress controls spending. Obama did use his pen to direct a minimum wage for federal workers under purview of the executive branch. This is as much as he can do. He’s not allowed to run around spending money. Only Congress can do that. So these clowns using this as their big “GOTCHA!” are actually faceplanting on their own ignorance and they don’t even know it.
Did “Barry” campaign on the back of “Lilly Leadbelly”? HA HA HA. Good one. Well, clueless, yes Barry did campaign on the Lilly Ledbetter Act and he also SIGNED IT FIRST THING WHEN HE GOT INTO OFFICE. It was the very first bill he signed into law.
Since this happened in 2009, there’s not really any excuse for not knowing it. The Lilly Ledbetter Act doesn’t guarantee equal pay. It makes it easier for women to seek legal remedy if they are being discriminated against.
President Obama and the Democrats have also been pushing the Paycheck Fairness Act that is being blocked by repugicans. This act would offer more transparency on the issue of equal pay. Why is this needed? Oh, I dunno. See Greg Abbott’s office, and mind that it’s much easier to find out what government employees are making than it is to find out in the private sector.
How would a woman know what her male colleagues are being paid unless they told her? And how many of them are going to do that? (Here’s an idea for you awesome men out there — start a revolution by telling your female co-workers what you’re being paid! Total white hat crusade.)
The repugicans are trying to say there is no pay inequity so bugger off ladies. But NPR reports, “The number of pregnancy and maternity discrimination charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has steadily increased since the late 1990s.”
Here’s the part for Mr. Dayspring. Yes it’s against the law and yes it is still happening:
“I think what’s interesting is that it’s against the law, I assume everybody knows it, yet it still occurs. And it occurs in a very overt fashion,” says David Lopez, the agency’s general counsel. “That means that employers often leave trails of emails saying, in effect, ‘We don’t want her because she’s a mother.’ “
Even their own candidates prove Mr. Dayspring wrong. As does reality and stuff.
My question is this: If repugicans are so sure that women are being paid equally, why aren’t women being paid equally? And if they are so sure this is already in place, what do they have against allowing a woman to sue should she stumble over information that she is in fact not being paid equally?

The Truth Is ...

We are becoming a nation of the Corporation, by the Corporation and for the Corporation

The repugican Led 'Red States' Are Dragging America Down By Leeching Off Of Your Tax Dollars

The rest of the nation is in decline because "Red States" are taking valuable resources in the form of tax dollars and preventing reinvestment in America.…

Charles Koch Says The Poor Have It Really Good So They Need to Stop Complaining

Kochs wealthiest one percent Poverty is a condition that refers to the general dearth of material possessions or money that prevents people from having access to basic human needs such as food, water, sanitation, clothing, shelter, health care, and education. It is a sad fact of life that in the richest nation in the history of the world, an inordinately high number of Americans live in abject poverty and do not have the means to provide their families with fundamentally basic needs of food, shelter, or healthcare. It is little surprise that repugicans are planning to increase the number of Americans living in poverty according to their intent to eliminate the nation’s anti-poverty programs, and it is not because the country is broke as repugicans are wont to claim.  It is more likely due, in part, to one of the two richest men in the country who claims the tens-of-millions of Americans living below the poverty line need to shut up, stop complaining, and start celebrating their good fortune as members of the richest one-percent in the world.
First, it is important to note that poverty, at least relative poverty, is generally defined by reputable economists contextually as economic inequality in the location or society in which people live, and in that context, it is likely that more than half of the American population is living in poverty. Charles Koch completely disagrees and last year his foundation produced a commercial stating that a family earning $34,000 annually are part of the richest one-percent in the world; especially when compared to developing third world nations and countries such as China and India where the majority of the population lives in absolute squalor.
It is not just Charles Koch, another wealthy CEO, Bud Konheim, said just last month that “We’ve got a country that the poverty level is wealth in 99% of the rest of the world, so we’re talking about woe is me, woe is us, woe is this. The guy that’s making, oh my God, he’s making $35,000 a year, why don’t we try that out in India or some countries we can’t even name. China, anyplace, the guy is wealthy.” Except Americans living in poverty do not live in China or India, or third world nations; they live in America where according to the Economic Policy Institute, a family of three would have to earn at least $48,000 annually just to afford the basic necessities to survive such as food, housing, and healthcare. Another organization, the Working Poor Families Project, estimates that the required income to meet the most basic survival needs is $45,000 annually; America’s median household income is approximately $51,000.
If the measure of poverty in America was not based on economic necessities for living standards during the 1950s and 1960s and applied to living costs today, the federal poverty level would exceed three times the current levels meaning that over half the nation is living below poverty. Simple arithmetic informs that if the current measure for a family of three earning 100% of the federal poverty level is $19,790 annually and exactly three times that figure is $59,370, then well over half the American population is, undoubtedly, living in poverty if the median income is $51,000.
It is astounding, but poverty measures are still based on food costs of the 1950s that have at least doubled, housing that has more than tripled, and healthcare costs that are six times higher than they were in the late 1970s. According to the Congressional Research Service, “The poverty line reflects a measure of economic need based on living standards that prevailed in the mid-1950s…It is not adjusted to reflect changes in needs associated with improved standards of living that have occurred over the decades since the measure was first developed. If the same basic methodology developed in the early 1960s was applied today, the poverty thresholds would be over three times higher than the current thresholds.” According to Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census Bureau calculations, a median family income of $51,000 will barely cover food, housing, health care, transportation, taxes, and other household expenditures in America; not China, India, or any sub-Saharan developing country. Between 2000 and 2011, the “official” poverty rate increased 25% with children and senior citizens being impacted the most drastically. Using the official poverty rate, 55% of seniors and 60% of children are considered very poor using “relative poverty” as a measure. For elderly women the figures are worse with Wider Opportunities for Women reporting that “60% of women age 65 and older who live alone or live with a spouse have incomes insufficient to cover basic, daily expenses,” but according to Charles Koch they are members of the richest 1% in the world.
What is often forgotten when discussing the state of American poverty is that the overwhelming majority of low-wage working families and senior citizens earning less than necessary to stave off starvation, ill-health, and exposure could not survive without anti-poverty programs Republicans and the Koch brothers want eliminated to return to pre-Depression era standards. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, food stamps, minimum wage, overtime pay, housing and heating assistance, and school lunch programs are all that keep tens-of-millions of Americans from falling victim to “killing poverty” Republicans and the Kochs are frantic to impose on all Americans. It is probably just one reason why Charles Koch and other extremely wealthy Americans are preparing the population for what is on their horizon by congratulating them for being part of the richest 1% of people in the world while living in dire poverty in the richest nation on Earth; because they have every intent to make conditions worse like in India and China.
It is irrelevant that Charles Koch is patronizing the poor in America by telling them they are wealthy by third world standards; it is precisely what Americans should expect from one of the two richest men in America who can fathom taking everything from the people and will not rest until he achieves his goal. It is not enough the Kochs and their ilk have repugicans in Congress poised to “reform” (read eliminate) anti-poverty programs, Social Security and Medicare, food stamps, and every other safety net preventing 99% of the population from sinking into poverty while “reforming” (drastically cutting) tax rates for the rich and corporations; they have ALEC and the State Policy Network raiding state public employees pensions to drive the entire population into poverty. When Charles Koch says $34,000 annually puts dirt poor Americans in the richest one percent by third world standards, he is preparing Americans for his vision of America to rival living conditions in China and India where those earning $32,000 annually are regarded as the wealthy elite.
It is no exaggeration to claim at least half of Americans are either extremely poor or low income that qualifies them as living in dire poverty according to the Census Department’s “Relative Poverty Measure used in developed countries to measure poverty.” It is likely there are way more than half the population living in poverty because even people barely surviving are likely to over-report their financial situation because no American wants to admit that despite working hard and scrimping to put food on their families’ tables and a roof over their heads, they are stuck in poverty. One thing is certain though, they know that although Charles Koch tells them they belong to the world’s richest one percent, in the richest country on Earth they are still living in dire poverty and with the Koch brothers’ cabal funding repugicans in Congress, they know they will never escape and can look forward to the rest of the population joining them much sooner than later.

The Truth Be Told

Faux News’ Geraldo Rivera Says That Minorities Are More Likely To Be Politically Corrupt

geraldo foxedited  
Former tabloid talk show host, now supposed serious news journalist, Geraldo Rivera was on Faux & Friends Friday morning to discuss recent political scandals that have effected Democratic elected officials. The two main stories that were discussed involved the recent arrest and resignation of Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon and the arrest of California State Senator Leeland Yee on gunrunning and bribery charges. Rivera, along with the hosts, used these stories as proof of liberal bias in the mainstream media. Rivera would later take it even further.
Basically, host Steve Doocy and Rivera discussed these two stories and stated that other media outlets made sure not to mention that these two politicians are Democrats. Rivera then stated that it is ‘provable’ and ‘undeniable’ that the media has a definite liberal bent and that the reporters don’t want to go against Democrats if they don’t have to. The discussion between Doocy and Rivera went along the line that media outlets want to portray repugicans as hypocrites when caught being corrupt and never want to label Democrats as it goes against their preconceived narrative.
Then, Rivera made the following statement:
“Usually, the politicians who are robbing on the Democratic side tend to be ethnic politicians, as in these cases…We are the antidote to that particular problem.”
This is just laughably bad and lazy ‘journalism’ by Rivera, along with it being at least a tad racist and bigoted. To start, he bases everything on the premise that the majority of media outlets did not reveal the political affiliation of either Yee or Cannon when reporting on these stories. Does he offer any proof? No. He just says it as if it is established fact. Neither he nor Doocy provide anything to back up their claims that only Faux News made sure to point out that both of these politicians are Democrats.
After going down that road and stating that mainstream media as a whole is liberal and that it is ‘undeniable’, Rivera then moves on and makes another statement without providing any actual proof. He states that when a Democratic politician is involved in corruption, that politician is usually ‘ethnic.’ Rivera then goes on and states that this makes it even more troublesome for liberal media members because of ‘political correctness.’ After that, he points out that Faux News provides the antidote for all of that, as they are the only ones with the guts to really report the facts.
What Rivera did was nothing more than conjecture, not actual reporting. He based his opinions on nothing more than his already biased notions. He didn’t cite actual facts once. Just because you say something is ‘provable’ or ‘without a doubt’ doesn’t necessarily make it so. It is possible that Rivera might be right about some or even all of what he said, but without citing anything at all, he is just shooting from the hip in an effort to sway the audience to agree with his position.
Finally, can Faux News please stop acting as if they are NOT part of the mainstream media? At every opportunity, you will see one of their screeching heads boast about Faux being the #1 news network ratings wise. Yet, at the same time, they will bemoan and chastise the MSM. I hate to tell you this, but if you are the most watched news channel, and you are owned by a guy that also runs several high-profile newspapers, then you are a major part of the mainstream media.

The wingnuts Plant A New Insane Conspiracy By Accusing Obama of Common Core Mind Control

Wingnuts think President Obama has taken hold of their minds via Common Core
The new scandal is the mind control behind Common Core, or “ObamaCore” as the tea party calls it. Never mind that it’s not a federal mandate, “It was developed by the National Governors Association, through a panel led by Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) and then-Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue (r).”
BUT OBAMA I tell you. He tells you what chair to sit in with ObamaCare and now he’s taken hold of our minds by trying to educate Americans. Well, the lunatic fringe isn’t having it.
Michelle Malkin tells us we are wrong not to be paranoid, for a national data base is being made for kids information (sorta like a Sarah Palin Death Panel, only less effective as a scare tactic due to her smaller platform), “They don’t loathe anti-Common Core parents because these parents are “paranoid.” They fear them because “paranoid” is the political demagogue’s word for active, alert, and well-informed.”
Yes, if by “well-informed” one means misinformed. It turns out that the data mining is voluntary and has nothing to do with Common Core. Also, like so many things the Right suddenly finds objectionable, it was going on long before Common Core.
The point of the story? Obama scares wingnuts a lot and so now they hate education. Prepare to be inundated with “non partisan” fear stories about Common Core.
Common Core is the new wingnut Benghazi, IRS (insert crazed, planted scandal here). Wingnuts are calling it “ObamaCore”, in what some say is a reflection of their frustrated inability to repeal ObamaCare (something everyone but the wingnut base knew was not going to happen, and the repugican leaders stoked those cheap flames of misinformed outrage).
Reid Wilson at The Washington Post explained on Tuesday that wingnuts have introduced 100 bills to “slow or reverse” Common Core, “an 85 percent increase over the year before”, even though their paranoia is unfounded.
Back in October, PolitFact rated the mind control fear mongering claims “Pants on Fire”. You see, Common Core is not even a curriculum. It’s standards. “Determining the curriculum is left up to local school boards, districts, and teachers.” So, it’s sorta like mind control only not.
In a long “guide to Common Core” published by USNews on March 6th by Allie Bidewell, the person she uses to lead us through the Common Core maze is Rick Hess from The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI). She never tells the reader that the AEI is a private, conservative, partisan institution or that some AEI members were leading architects of the shrub’s public policy. Dick Cheney, John Bolton and former deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz are associated with the organization — not exactly the folks many would want driving our education policies.
Rick Hess, who is an articulate scholar, also has a Wiki Page that was marked in January of this year as possible spam, “This article reads like a news release, or is otherwise written in an overly promotional tone…” And again, “This article contains wording that promotes the subject in a subjective manner without imparting real information.” But heck, his page is up in time for him to be used as an “non partisan” expert, as his Wiki page claims, so that’s handy when you have a narrative to weave.
Hess, who is big on Libertarianish sounding things like “educational entrepreneurship” and school “reform” brought about by cost cutting (LOL), was the undisclosed conservative lens through which the public got to view the alleged demise of Common Core on USNews. Hess followed up his disguised policy push with a March 26 (today) article in the National Review that reads exactly like the wingnut argument to ObamaCare.
On March 20, Hess argued in the National Review that Common Core wouldn’t be an issue in the midterms and if the tea party really want to see something done, it will only happen if tea party candidates win out over establishment repugicans (very subtle Mr Hess), which he ended with this opportunity for alert tea partiers, “… in this case, on how well (or poorly) the fancy new assessments work, on whether the public finds the test scores credible, and on whether parents find the homework and new lessons compelling.”
Just five days later, and voilĂ ! Guess what was trending today (written Tuesday), the day after Indiana dropped out of Common Core? Via Yahoo:
A Facebook update from a father frustrated with the Common Core math program at his son’s school is making the Internet rounds after the father Jeff Severt expressed (via what looks like a kid’s homework assignment) how convoluted the teaching approach is.
How did this note get noticed? Oh, it was posted to the “Patriot Post” Facebook Page and picked up by Glenn Beck. This isn’t mentioned specifically in the article, but it is captioned thusly and the first link goes to Beck. The patriot post declares that the time is now for Americans (white Americans it seems) to decide whether to be slaves or freemen. This article is shared right next to a picture of a car with a bumper sticker reading, “Does your Obama sticker make you feel stupid yet?”
The patriot post has been endorsed, according to their website, by Senator Rand Paul, Jim DeMint, and Dick Armey.
The Yahoo article notes, “The Facebook post (which by Tuesday had generated 4,400 likes, 4,300 shares, and 700 comments debating the issue) coincides with news that on Monday, Indiana became the first state to formally withdraw from the Common Core standards.”
So the story was posted on Monday, the 24, just 4 days after Hess noted that Common Core’s success or failure would be determined by factors like parents finding the homework compelling. It was written up in Glenn Beck’s the blaze on Monday the 24th, Yahoo on Tuesday the 25th, and it’s trending by Wednesday the 26th.
DO YOU GET IT YET? COMMON CORE IS HATED BY RANDOM PARENTS AND A WHOLE STATE JUST DROPPED IT. This is just like the proof that the IRS was “targeting wingnuts” (also debunked), which was provided by wingnuts who had been found guilty of illegally assisting the repugican cabal. (The media didn’t feel you needed to know that last part.) Then followed a summer of lies, later debunked.
If you want to laugh before you cry, read that WaPo article. Wilson explains that this whole big to-do regarding Indiana’s alleged “sovereignty” being protected doesn’t actually mean that they won’t be using Common Core. Or Common Core principles. In fact the new standards look a lot like the old standards, it’s just got a different name. Sort of like how Kentuckians love ObamaCare so long as it’s not called ObamaCare. Wilson notes, “That’s similar to the approach several other states are taking: Pass standards nearly identical to Common Core, but under a different name.”
This is the moment when it’s fair to say we are not actually discussing ideology or ideas. This “debate” is about nothing other than a new way to mask a partisan poutrage over Obama having any power at all, under the guise of alleged objections to policies.
The issue here isn’t whether Common Core is any good or not. Common Core is being pushed by the business community among others and it is not an Obama initiative. The issue is that the public is being duped again about the origins, partisan nature and purpose of the criticisms. And this set up looks a lot like the IRS set up, with coordinated timing of planted sources and claims, that taken together create a publicly accepted narrative that may or may not have any truth to it whatsoever.

Ziggy

http://media.zenfs.com/en_us/News/ucomics.com/zi140331.gif

Climate change deniers attack philosopher for musing about the debate

Climate change deniers attach philosopher for musing about the debate. 
Climate deniers have attacked a philosopher for pointing out that the funding of the climate deniers could be said to be criminally negligent when there is a 99% consensus amongst scientists that climate change is real.
Here’s a few things that US-based philosopher and academic Lawrence Torcello has been told about global warming over the last couple of weeks
It’s a “lie straight from the Jews”, it “isn’t real”, it’s a “hoax” designed to “enslave people” and it’s an artifact of scientists engaged in a “worldwide collusion to hide the truth”.
Torcello himself was told he was both a “faggot” and a “maggot” but not in the same email. Poets, these correspondents were not (he was also called a fascist and a Stalinist – another chance at a rhyming couplet criminally missed).
Torcello is an assistant professor at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York state who a few days earlier had written a story for The Conversation website.