Link roundup

No time for a post, but there’s a lot of interesting stuff out there. A few highlights:

Quartz: Why it’s un-American to get rid of AP US history class

Washington Post: Marijuana may be even safer than previously thought, researchers say

Texas Monthly: To Love and to Cherish

Washington Post: The wealthy are walling themselves off in cities increasingly segregated by class

And the best of the day:
Aeon: Fact-checking grandma

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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221 comments on “Link roundup
  1. flypusher says:

    Here’s another opportunity for Congress to do something beneficial, but don’t anyone hold their breath:

    If there were justice in the universe, the people lobbying against this would be the first ones to get infected by the antibiotic resistant bugs.

    Personally I’d rather pay more for meat in exchange for having a reasonable expectation that an infected cut wouldn’t end up killing me.

  2. way2gosassy says:

    It was a really bad day for House Republicans.

    Seems they can’t agree on any of their favorite targets.

    • flypusher says:

      Control of Congress by one party is inherently unstable; we saw that happen to the Dems back in ’08- ’10. But it took the Dems some time to fall apart. This Congress started in self-destruct mode.

  3. 1mime says:

    Centrist Republican Congressman Charlie Dent – the only grown-up in the room, after tonight’s one week (paltry) extensionof funding for Homeland Security.

    The Hill: “”I think a lot of people around here have to get serious about governing,” Dent told reporters Friday night. “It’s time for all these D.C. games to end, all these palace coups or whatever the hell is going on around here, has to end, and we have to get down to the business of governing.”

    “This is about protecting the country right now,” Dent added. “We’re living in a time of enhanced, increased terror activity around North America and around the world. We need to get on with the business of funding Homeland Security.”


    • bubbabobcat says:

      John Boeher has to be the most power hungry, yet gutless and ineffective House Speaker of either party in modern history. He can’t even corral the wingnuts to vote on his own sponsored legislation!

      The teabaggers have proven time and again they don’t give a shit about their country, their fellow Republicans or Boehner’s authority and yet Boehner repeatedly obsequiously kowtows to them and slinks back to the teabaggers with his hat in his hand and his tail tucked between his empty testicle absent scrotum sack legs for more abuse and open defiance and emasculating embarrassment. His own teabaggers have done more damage to Boehner’s authority and self respect than the Democrats could ever hope to in their wildest dreams.

      And Boehner and McConnell don’t even see eye to eye much less work together between the House and the Senate within their own party. You reap the poisonous discord you sow Repubs and you own this mess all by your fractious, immature, insolent, and ignorant lonesome, Repubs.

    • lomamonster says:

      That was the hairiest escape from the painted corner that we have ever seen. Even so, The House GOP is never going to live this one down!

      • lomamonster says:

        We will also find out within a week whether the Demos will all be yelling, “Indian Givers!!!”

      • 1mime says:

        It would be helpful if the media were all over this and stayed all over it. Totally irresponsible on the part of this TP faction, yet they seem to feel they have “won” something. At whose expense doesn’t seem to matter.

        I deeply hope people are paying attention but I am reminded time and again that I am too finely tuned in and most people don’t pay attention until it gets right up to the elections. So sad.

        This. has. got. to. stop.

        VOTE, DAMMIT!

      • vikinghou says:

        My fear is that Boehner will renege and refuse to put the clean DHS bill up for a vote. He’s already waffling, saying that he didn’t make such a deal with Pelosi.

        From the NYT:

        The speaker was rescued by Democrats, who supported his offer of a weeklong extension because they believed it would lead to a vote next week on full funding for the department through the fiscal year, without any provisions related to President Obama’s executive actions on immigration included in the House’s original legislation. A spokesman for Mr. Boehner said the speaker had made no promises or deals with House Democrats to guarantee such a vote.

      • 1mime says:

        The only good thing about this is that the media (don’t know about Fox) seem to be clearly showing how Dems saved Boehner’s butt. And, Nancy Pelosi is no fool nor is Reed. If Boehner doesn’t deliver, there will be a cost. Unfortunately, the GOP only loses “face”, America stands to lose much more. What a travesty.

        As my brother (died in the wool lib) told me, “give ’em (Repubs) exactly what they want and let them clean up after themselves. Too often, Dems have saved them from themselves, which, many may argue, is what Pelosi did with supporting a one week’s extension of Homeland’s funding; however, I think she’s smarter than that, and, if they renege, there will be
        consequences for the GOP. Stay tuned.

        So, this is what Republican governing looks like….(You’re gonna see that statement from me at the end of every post on the GOP.)

  4. texan5142 says:

    I have no words, the CPAC convention as been high on platitudes and short on substance. Notice the silence from the crowd, they know he means them.

    • rightonrush says:

      Hummmm, so if you have sex for less then 30 seconds you won’t get that nasty STD and stuff? Me thinks Phil just wants to bring back his old time TeaParty circle jerk.

      • 1mime says:

        Is it only me, or are others as bothered by the optics of Republicans at a CPAC conference focusing on STDs while the vote to fund Homeland Security fails?

        I hope Americans understand what is happening because our enemies are surely watching.

      • rightonrush says:

        Jeb Bush was the only normal person there IMO. Of course, they were disrespectful to him because he’s not nutty enough to fit their idea of a good Republican “yet”. It’s going to be interesting to see if he goes full rightie nut job like Romney did.

    • RobA says:


      Russia trying to push us back to the cols war, a new and unrecedented enemy rising in Iraq/Syria, Europe in crisis, Global “recovery” is tepid at best, income inequality at decades long highs………and all the GOP can do is focus on who fcks who and STD’s and abortion and EVERYTHING ELSE THAT DOESN’T MATTER!!!

      And these clowns think they can run the country? The GOP isn’t just dumb, they CELEBRATE dumbness. A backwater, bigoted, uneducated hick whose only qualifications are a) he’s on TV and b) he’s a fan of God is given this kind of elevated status, esteem and influence?

      WHO THE FUCK CARES how many STD’s there are? It’s not like they’re airborne. If you don’t want one, either don’t have sex, or enter into a monogamous relationship, or at least use condoms. It’s not you’re job to protect other people from STD’s.

      I also had to laugh when he goes “I don’t want our country sick! I don’t want us ill!”

      Yeah, makes a lot of sense Pat. If only they could introduce some sort of law that greatly increased medical coverage to the poorest part of the country. Maybe someday we’ll have a Prez with the balls to enact such a law. Hell, going by Pat here, I bet if he did, it’d be so popular they’d even honour him by naming it after him. Something like Bushcare, or Cruzcare or Walkercare or something.

      I trust we can count on GOP support when this happens, because it seems that’s the far more efficient and effective way to reduce sickness in this great nation.

      • 1mime says:

        This just in. Our ultra concerned hawkish House of Representatives as reported by Politico, just “upped” the bar of stupidity and bigotry:

        In a stunning blow to House Republican leaders, the chamber on Friday defeated a three-week funding measure for the Department of Homeland Security in a 203-224 vote. The anti-terrorism department is slated to run out of money at midnight.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      The most fun part, our Duck Dynasty friend here was awarded the Andrew Breitbart Defender of the First Amendment Award at CPAC.

      Evidently, saying crazy shit about gay folks = defending the First Amendment.

      From what I hear, Jeb had the unenviable task of following Mr. Duck at CPAC.

      While Mr. Duck was winning awards at CPAC, Jeb evidently was boo’d.

      It’s a sad, sad place.

    • lomamonster says:

      Red somehow always appears to be the dominant color of dysfunction, and those who stand before it seem transfixed.

  5. Turtles Run says:

    OH No

    Mr Spock has passed away. Star Trek was a big part of my childhood.

  6. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    Everybody’s friend and current conservative darling, Scott Walker, has some interesting provisions buried in his budget. Attached below with no editing:


    Delete the requirement that the Board direct each institution and college campus to incorporate oral and written or electronic information on sexual assault in its orientation program for newly entering students and to supply all students enrolled in the institution or college campus with the same information in either printed or electronic form.

    Delete the requirement that the Board of Regents submit an annual report to the Legislature regarding the methods used to comply with the above requirement.

    Delete the requirement that any person employed at an institution who witnesses a sexual assault on campus or receives a report from a student enrolled in the institution that the student has been sexually assaulted report the assault to the dean of students. Delete the requirement that each institution report annually to the Department of Justice (DOJ) statistics on sexual assaults and on sexual assaults committed by acquaintances of the victims that occurred on the campus of that institution in the previous years, and that DOJ include those statistics in appropriate crime reports.

    There is no plan offered for better or more efficient reporting – just that they don’t have to report it. Don’t have to report it to students and don’t have to report it to the DOJ.

    Hey, if no one reports it, it is like we don’t have any sexual assaults at college! Woowoo!

    Not only does this seem to go against federal law regarding colleges reporting sexual assaults, it probably has some Title IX issues as well.

    One has to wonder what the motivation is for trying to end this requirement (other than “the federales can’t make me do stuff and we don’t like Title IX to begin with”)?

    But hey, the GOP is awash in young female voters, so they can afford to piss off a few of them.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      What is he thinking?

      • texan5142 says:

        He was not thinking.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Sincerely, there has to be a follow-up to this that they have a better/more efficient process for this. They can’t be this tone deaf, and hopefully it is that they are just too busy at CPAC to have gotten their alternative plan out.

        However, Walker has cut a chunk of university funding, and this reporting I’m sure costs some dollars in terms of people’s time, so maybe they saw the dollars and cut it without really thinking about it.

        I, sadly, suspect however, it is more of a “the federal gov’t has no business telling us what our universities have to do”.

      • 1mime says:

        As much as Walker is pandering to the conservative wing, I’m surprised it’s buried and not headlines. Wow. He must be trying to protect the female vote. I hope Dems in WS blast this news all over the place. Good work, Bobo.

    • johngalt says:

      Walker can delete whatever requirements he wants about reporting anything to him or the DOJ. Title IX, on the other hand, is pretty darn clear that there must be a process for handling sexual assault and sexual harassment cases and that they must be reported to DOJ. If they do not, penalties can include the suspension of federal funds – including student aid and research funding. For 2011, the University of Wisconsin’s Madison campus brought in $600 million in federal R&D grants. He will, of course, not jeopardize that.

      So Walker gets to grandstand and talk about rolling back regulations (although curiously ones that help protect mostly women from sexual assault), while nothing changes. Illusion over substance.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Yeah, hard to get around the Clery reporting requirements.

        I actually googled the good governor today. I assume only polar bears and penguins live in Wisconsin, so I do not know much about the man who may be our next president.

        Maybe it is not ironic that a guy cutting $300 million from higher education, doesn’t actually have a college degree.

        He dropped out of college at the start of his senior year.

        Not that GPA necessarily shows how smart you are (although there is a nice correlation) or how hard you work (again, there is a correlation), but his 2.59 GPA is not going to attract Rhode’s Scholar attention.

        Every President since Truman has had at least one college degree (and most before Truman did as well).

        It would be an interesting “common man” position to take in a campaign, but I’m generally in favor of my President being one of smartest people in the room, and Walker probably is not going to be able to be that person in any room except the bathroom at the White House.

      • 1mime says:

        But, JG, Walker is cutting higher ed in a big way. More of our brilliant GOP state tax cutting. When are people in red states going to start voting these people out of office!

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Wisconsin is not a red state.

      • RobA says:

        I agree it wwill have no practical effect. But what does it say about the GOP, Walker and to some extent America when you feel that promoting sexual assualt and removing protections for victims is a good political strategy.

      • 1mime says:

        I’m more concerned about the fact that Walker has moved dedicated bond funds to other cost centers in order to balance his budget. That needs to be investigated as I cannot believe it is legal to shift dedicated funds for bond issues..

    • RobA says:

      I just……I don’t even get it.

      It’s one thing to not really care either way, but to go out of your way to REMOVE the requirements that are already there? Literally the only people this benefits are rapists and those who are thinking about becoming one.

      • flypusher says:

        Maybe rapists and wannabe rapists are a bigger potential voting bloc for the likes of Walker than are educated women.

      • 1mime says:

        Rob – Maybe Walker is just demonstrating to his base that “he can” take on issues related to campus sex? Like – if it’s not reported, it doesn’t really happen, right?

    • flypusher says:

      Doncha know, it’s all fault of those loose, wayward college women who keep drinking too much at frat parties!!!

      Oh please, let this bit of pandering go viral!

    • objv says:

      Homer: Let me guess … You got this from one of your lefty sites. Why on earth would Walker do such a despicable thing?

      “because there is already a federal reporting requirement related to sexual assault and harassment on campuses.”

      This was done at the request of the University of Wisconsin.

      “UW System spokesman Alex Hummel said that Walker’s proposed changes would allow campuses to focus on submitting one federal report.

      “Requirements proposed for removal are, in many cases, duplicative of federal requirements and reporting standards we comply with and are deeply committed to,” Hummel said.”

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Obj…don’t you know…they are all liberal websites.

        UW (and sadly a large number of universities) have fought the requirements to report sexual assaults on campus, so the fact that the request comes from the UW is not comforting.

        It is an interesting spin to say this allows the school to focus on submitting one federal report. Were that all that was involved, many would say, “no harm, no foul”. That is not what we are doing here. They also cut the requirement that incoming and existing students be notified of such assault numbers.

        So, the UW folks asked the gov to cut some things related to federal reporting, and then also asked that notifications to students be cut, so that it could be handled by the university rather than at the state or federal level.

        Want to wander over to a few “liberal” websites and see the hundreds of articles about universities not exactly doing right when it comes to sexual assaults on campus?

      • objv says:

        Homer, yes, colleges have an abysmal record of reporting rape, but your source did not give the whole story. UW was still required to report the abuse to federal authorities.

      • RobA says:

        well, if there’s one thing we don’t want it’s TOO much protection for sexual assault victims.

      • 1mime says:

        There cannot be ENOUGH daylight on rape. I understand your need to defend conservatives, but, as a woman, I ask that you please think more deeply on the trauma, its consequences, and accountability. Rape is the ultimate humiliation. It shouldn’t be excused or legislated away. Campuses need to be safe and accountable for all its young people. As parents, when we send our young adults off to college, shouldn’t we feel they will be safe from campus rape? And, if rape occurs, shouldn’t college administrations be their first protector, not a “reluctant” reporter who is looking for less responsibility for the victims?

        If you have ever been around a rape victim soon after the event, you would never accept excuses for less protection and accountability. Instead, we label a young woman a “slut” for her behavior and a young male a “stud” for his. Rape crosses the line. Every time.

        Please hold your party accountable for their mistakes – and this is just another one where women are concerned. I don’t see liberals passing all the anti-woman legislation. I see Dems standing up for women. Think about it. I know you’ll do the right thing.

        “So this is how Republicans govern”

      • objv says:

        Mime: As a woman, I do take rape very seriously. Members of my family have been affected. I have written a new comment about The Daily Beast’s retraction on the information Homer posted.

  7. rightonrush says:

    Hell just froze over, I’m in agreement with Perry.

    “These are Americans. You are talking about, in the case of ISIS, people who are beheading individuals and committing heinous crimes, who are the face of evil. To try to make the relationship between them and the unions is inappropriate.”

    — Rick Perry, in an interview with NBC News, criticizing Scott Walker’s comparison of union protests with the Islamic State.

    • RobA says:

      Yeah, but don’t worry. That’s not really you agreeing with crazy ol’ Rick Perry. It’s an example of crazy ol’ Rick Perry having a sensible and reasonable opinion for once.

      • rightonrush says:

        Well it was short lived because he just made an ass outta himself at ComicPac. It’s like watching a train wreck, you know what’s coming but you can’t look away.

      • way2gosassy says:

        I clicked my remote over to CSPAN and watched Mike Pence for a bit. I have a cousin who lives in Indiana she has told me a few things about what goes on there so I thought I would check him out but listening to that man made me sick. If he is the more rational of the bunch then heaven help us all.

    • 1mime says:

      Right on, I’d like to believe that Perry’s motives were “pure”, but he is running for Pres, and Walker is the front-runner right now……I wouldn’t trust him on anything.

    • rightonrush says:

      Piffft Tex, that little old catfish ain’t nothing to brag about. I throw’em back when they are that size.😚

      • Turtles Run says:

        What do you throw them back with…..a crane?

      • rightonrush says:

        I’m having a hell of a time getting my post to go through.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        According to one news report I saw, those Italian guys threw the MOAC (Mother Of All Catfishes) back also after taking tons of pictures. Good for them. Though that would have made for one Mother Of All Catfish Fry!

    • Turtles Run says:

      I got just the thing to fry that whale in.

      • RobA says:

        Is that the Pawn Stars guy?

        “Looks like a nice needlessly huge frying pan, but let me get an expert in needlessly huge frying pans in here so i know what I’ve got here”

  8. lomamonster says:

    There’s even more bait out there now. The Net Neutrality ruling will surely be contested in the GOP (because President Obama supported it), and used in future nonsensical attempts to get even with perceived threats to the Plutocracy and its adherents.

    Look for absolutely no governance from this GOP gang of clowns – especially if it has to do with exceptional American ideals. The party is a useless waste of concern but for the egregious amount of harm that it will precipitate upon this nation…

    • RobA says:

      I don’t understand why this is even a partison issue? Is the GOP’S only policy “do the opposite of what Obama wants?”

      I have no doubt a if Obama were against NN the GOP would support It.

      These guys are fast becoming a joke.

      There’s some pretty high respected tech giants with no skin in the game who are saying the NN is an unequivocal good for the consumer.

      Moneyed interests have become really, really good at convincing the conservative base at voting agaibst their own interests. It’s fascinating

    • Crogged says:

      “Net neutrality” is a big subject which is discussed with sparse details. Data transfers have limits in resources and if the provider of that resource can’t get more money from the largest users of the resource then no one will invest in further modernization. Why make it bigger? I’m not arguing ‘against’ net neutrality, just saying this subject is somewhat similar to arguments with ‘fiscal conservatives’ who refuse to acknowledge that the rules for your home and business, income must meet expected expenditures and ‘balanced budgets’, are far different when you can print money. A government, a society and an economy are not ‘a’ business or a home and applying what you know as ‘common sense’ is like wondering why you are floating in the space ship.

      • flypusher says:

        ‘ “Net neutrality” is a big subject which is discussed with sparse details. Data transfers have limits in resources and if the provider of that resource can’t get more money from the largest users of the resource then no one will invest in further modernization.’

        Given how important the internet is, I really can’t see that scenario playing out. To me, not having net neutrality would just be more of Murphy’s Golden Rule. The people with the gold already have more power and influence than is healthy.

      • Crogged says:

        I’m a ‘liberal’, mostly because there are just way too many damn Baptists in the Republican party. But this one choice leads me to other consequences, which is that many liberals don’t want to or have trouble with understanding that economic markets need ‘freedom’ and regulation. How much money should someone make to provide internet services-enough to want to provide more of them. How?

      • 1mime says:

        Crogged, I don’t think you’re giving Dems enough credit. For most liberals (myself included), social rights are my greatest concern, but, effective, responsible (key adjective) fiscal management runs a close second. I fall into a category called “neo-liberal”, which is sort of like Lifer’s “moderate” conservative position (my description, not his). You are doubtless aware that under Democratic leadership, government fiscal operation has performed much better than under Republicans. Here’s a great link to shore up your confidence in Dem fiscal management. (There are many others.)

        I believe liberals not only understand that economic markets need freedom’ and regulation but have a responsible track record in this regard. As for the issue of NN, as I mentioned in an earlier post on the subject, watching experts discuss the pros and cons of the subject on CNBC the day of the FCC vote, clearly illustrated how complex the issue is. The majority of those speaking acknowledged that there will be some downside, but felt that the change would be largely beneficial. It’s a big change and time will tell, obviously.

        I have long advocated for honest, responsible fiscal prudence from both parties. The problem Republicans have is that they are hypocrites. They never met a Democratic program they could support even if it was a health care plan of their own design.

        Not that I feel strongly on the subject (-; )

      • flypusher says:

        I don’t claim to be an economic expert Crogged, but the gist I get from the people against NN is that if there’s the potential to make only half a bazillion $ instead of a bazillion $, the potential innovators are going to say, why bother? There are other factors to consider besides maximizing profit, whatever the Ferengi may think.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        There are some moderately coherent and logical arguments against the new net neutrality provisions.

        There also are some “but we need freedom and free markets will get us to the best solution” arguments that hold less water. There are some big corporate donors that would like more control themselves rather than more control from the gov’t. Wanting to make more money doesn’t make them wrong. I like money. However, there is a downside to less/no regulation.

        Of course, taking the position opposite of Ted Cruz will normally put you on the side of the angels.

      • flypusher says:

        No way that you can please everyone. Giving all the history of the big fish denying opportunity/ access to the little fish, I’m inclined to favor NN.

      • johngalt says:

        Most ISPs have a tiered access system based on bandwidth speeds. If you are a heavy user of internet video (the most data heavy common application), then you will likely want to pony up for the 24-45 Mb/s packages, which are significantly more expensive than the basic 6Mb/s Facebook and email grandma package. The economic distortions that come from individual ISPs making deals with content providers to fast-lane or slow-lane certain content are not worth the incremental increase in Verizon’s profit, er, I’m sorry, their investments in infrastructure.

      • Doug says:

        “I don’t claim to be an economic expert…”
        You don’t have to be. Just google “regulatory capture.”

      • Crogged says:

        We are Americans, we favor hidden subsidies and costs.

        You are right, which is why Redbox still seems to do pretty good business at my Walgreens-who wants that 200 dollar ‘all in’ plan? We constantly battle with Uverse, why is an existing customer unable to take advantage of the ‘new’ plans, how come my Direct TV plan has to double after the first year?

        So when will the existing network get upgraded? Do you build it and they will come, or do you wait until you can build it from people like me who still haven’t set up their Netflix account on their blu-ray?

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        OK Doug…I’ve fired up the google machine.

        It seems that folks here are seeing at least a little of both sides of the argument and recognize there is potential downside.

        So, weigh in. Convince us. What is your argument?

      • RobA says:

        It’s the free market. If Verizon, or Comcast, or anyone else doesn’t want to put in the infrastructure investments in the future to maintain and upgrade service, then that’s a huge chunk of customers who are now open for the taking to the copmany that will. It all balances out. If Comcasr or Verizon essentially says “that’s it, we’re done investing” then that will make the economics of investing much more feasible to one of the other big fish, because now there’s a huge pool of customers that are within easy striking distance.

        Sure the telecoms will make less profit, but fck em. If there’s a demand (and there is and will always be voracious demand for internet) somebody will fill it.

        But now imagine a hypothetical scenario where NN doesn’t exist and big companies can buy the best bandwidth. Let’s say Netflix doesn’t exist yet. How can it even hope to get off the ground when it can’t afford the bandwidth? Ventur capital wound’t touch a company with as huge a risk profile, and Netflix (or any company like it, including maybe some with acutally life changing business models) never comes into being because the rich big boys are sucking up all the bandwidth. That’s the future I envision.

        And, as Franken said, NN is merely keeping things as they are. We’ve always HAD NN, we’re just encoding it as regulation now. I think most would agree that things so far have been ok so far with the internet, no? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

      • Doug says:

        Dissenting statement from O’Rielly:

    • way2gosassy says:

      Well apparently there is a conservative agreement that NN is a good thing even if President Obama is for it. Ted Cruz is getting an ear full.

  9. bubbabobcat says:

    More Republican Schadenfreude off topic (yes I’m not above enjoying it):

    Apparently Repubs now realize governing as responsible adults an’t as easy as just saying no as astrology induced Nancy Reagan claimed decades ago. And reigning in/herding the wingnut cats in the House chamber is an even harder task. So hard that Boehner throws up his orange hued pansy hands (yet again) and says no mas, you jerks in he minority (the teabaggers) win.

    Boehner hasn’t even spoken to Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell in 2 weeks. Boy THAT honeymoon didn’t last long. Repubs are so used to discord and chaos and non action, they can’t even agree with each other.

    • 1mime says:

      Yep, governing is haaarrrrd and the fun is just beginning. It couldn’t happen to a nicer, more deserving group. Such a sanctimonious pair.

      The GOP has depended upon obstruction for so long they have forgotten how hard it is to actually get something done. The unfortunate piece in this is that the GOP has a majority on SCOTUS and there are some big decisions coming up that could wreak havic with the significant Democratic achievements. FOUR words is all it would take to bring the ACA into perfect compliance on state exchanges – FOUR. But, why waste all that effort on legislating when you can simply hand it off to the Supreme Court!

      • 1mime says:

        Well, this just reported from The Hill – The House has passed a 3 week C.R. (continuing resolution) to extend funding for Homeland Security. Supposedly, the extra time will allow them to devise a better plan to deal with the Pres’s immigration order…and, as I prophesied in my post above, (and I quote) :

        “GOP lawmakers also said a three-week continuing resolution (CR) buys more time for the federal courts to consider a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Obama’s policies, which would shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation.”

        Why waste all that effort legislating when you can simply hand it off to the Supreme Court!

      • 1mime says:

        The Dept of Homeland Security is a Republican creation(2002). If they don’t like it, that’s their problem. However, the real problem is “you know who” using executive orders (like other Presidents before him) in order to jump-start immigration reform. How dare he!

        A comprehensive, bi-partisan bill passed the Senate months ago and it never got a hearing in the House despite (or because) they had the votes to pass it. The lip service from Republicans on Immigration reform was purely an election ploy and when their riled up base objected, bye bye Immigration Reform.

        So, now Repubs have punted once again to SCOTUS to do their dirty work. Again.

    • Doug says:

      McConnell needs to grow a set. Call the Dem’s bluff. Shutting down DHS in support of Ombama’s illegal executive non-action is indefensible.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Eh, Republicans have viewed DHS as an infringement on our freedoms for years.

      • RobA says:

        you can’t blame Dems for not agreeing to add ons that have nothing with the main bill (DHS funding) and that is anti ethical to Dem values.

        How would it go down if Dems had a majority and they passed a DHS funding bill but attached a rider that outlawed automatic weapons. Would it be the GOP fault for refusing to pass it?

        Of course not. Because that would basically force republicans to be democrats.

        Funding DHS should be completwly non partison. Trying to sneak riders that the Dems cannot and don’t want to pass is the GOP playing politics at its worst.

      • johngalt says:

        OK, so McConnell calls the “Dem’s bluff” and they pass a bill with the immigration shit in it. The Dems filibuster it, or don’t and Obama vetoes it. You think this throws the blame onto Dems? After the well-publicized fratricide in GOP ranks, they’ll still get the blame.

      • flypusher says:

        I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the one thing the Confederates got right was a provision in their constitution that forbade these noxious unrelated amendments/ riders from being tacked on to bills.

        So how about this for a 28th Amendment: No riders that are unrelated to the subject of a bill shall be added to a bill. That’s probably not proper legalese, but someone can translate.

      • 1mime says:

        If logic prevailed in Congress, your suggestion allowing only pertinent riders wouldn’t be needed. But, really, to hold up Homeland Security Funding with ANY riders is absurd! I wonder how our esteemed Republican members of Congress would like their salaries withheld on whim….As Lifer noted in one of the links he provided, the wealthy are walling themselves off in communities and in D.C. They. Just. Don’t. Get. It!

        So, this is what GOP governing looks like. Well, now we know.

      • flypusher says:

        1mime, if Congress persists with playing chicken with keeping the gov’t functions going, I’ll suggest that we start by locking them inside the Capitol until they hash out a deal. As the deadline approaches we start cutting off various utilities to “encourage” them to work harder.

      • 1mime says:

        (-: (-: (-:

  10. bubbabobcat says:

    More off topic:

    Apparently ol’ Jeb ain’t all the sweetness and roses façade he likes to project and shield himself with. It’s my way or the highway scorched earth from the get go. Already. Ruthlessly consolidating power against his fellow Repubs. The sheer arrogance that due to his name, he has some birthright destiny to the nomination.

    Though I imagine a certain a parallel universe is playing out with Hillary in the Democratic pre-primary.

    • 1mime says:

      That ought to win Jeb lots of friends among his colleagues….not that he cares, right? The “moderate, kind Jeb” image may be fading. More significantly in the article is the fact that Jeb is drawing heavily from resources from his dad and bro’s campaigns. Bush redux.

  11. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    CPAC 2015 – Putting the C(razy) back in Conservatism.

    CPAC is underway, and Chris Christie is trying to woo folks who are unlikely to ever be wooed by him.

    His biggest applause-getter was saying he vetoed Planned Parenthood funding five times.

    Christie actually cut family planning funding from the budget each year. While most of that goes to Planned Parenthood, it pays for cancer screenings, birth control, STIs treatment, Pap smears, etc. It doesn’t, can’t, and never has paid for abortions.

    Christie says the cuts are because the state cannot afford the $7.5 million.

    Funnily, the attorneys hired to defend Christie corruption allegations in Bridgegate have cost the state more than $6 million.

  12. 1mime says:

    As much as I hate to detour from the science/global warming discussion, Lifer offered three other links that deserve comment. I’ll take the one that focuses on the wealthy walling themselves off in cities increasingly segregated by class. The authors of the study are from Toronto, Canada. Here’s a link to the full study:

    Click to access Segregated%20City.pdf

    The study posits that there are principally 3 types of segregation: income, education, occupation. The most significant of the three is income segregation, hence the study’s focus on how the wealthy are separating themselves from the poor.

    We often talk about segregation by race, but with increasing diversity, especially in large metropolitan areas, class is becoming a more significant factor. To what extent is segregation by class limiting America’s ability to understand the needs, problems, and differences of poor and less advantaged people? And, as important, is this awareness factor contributing to the political divide in America?

    As an aside, living in TX, I noted that the ten largest metropolitan areas in the United States identified in the study with the greatest disparity of segregation by class are in TX.

    BTW, changed my security system so icon changed.

    • 1mime says:

      Well, my icon didn’t change (-;

    • vikinghou says:

      I’m a bit puzzled by this. It seems to me that the wealthy have for the most part always lived in splendid isolation–hence the phrase “living on the wrong side of the tracks.” I wonder if the present statistics are mainly an artifact of the declining middle class.

      • 1mime says:

        Viking, that “other side of the tracks” situation has always existed but it was determined more by race than income (at least in the South where I grew up). The decline of the middle class is probably a significant contributor to urban segregation. Middle class families used to own homes; now people rent – for generations, and rental properties (except for the elite) are typically segregated to an area with lower property value and with access to mass transit.

        The income divide is squeezing out the middle class and enlarging the base of poor and working class people. What a loss for a country who has prided itself on upward mobility – which still is possible, but very difficult for the poor.

  13. jwthomas says:

    Chris will probably pick up on this for an extended commentary but I wanted to be sure everyone here read this op ed in today’s NY Times: The topic is the influence of Evangelicals on Republican Party policies and it’s an eye opener. Polling shows that only a bare majority of Republicans support the Party’s stand on many social issues and that bare majority is made up almost entirely of Evangelicals. On the other hand a large minority of Republicans and Republican leaning Independents hold liberal positions on gay marriage, abortion, immigration and other issues that define Republican Party official policy. Go read it!

    • RobA says:

      not just evangelicals, but specifically WHITE evangelicals. A not insignificant distinction that makes the whole movement even more insiduous.

      At the end of the day, it seems to just be a bunch of bitter old white men who are losing their social and cultural dominance for the first time since Independence and they just can’t handle it.

      I’m convinced that behind all the religious/”moral” bullshit, it’s all just a facade for that simple fact: it’s the most powerful group losing power finally, and they cannot handle it. All the importance of conservatism and “tradition” is just because they think if they can stop change, they’ll be able to hold on to their dominant social position.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        I think there is a pretty good chunk of data to indicate that a decent sized majority of Blacks are not so gung ho about gay marriage. They tend to be religious Blacks more so than non-Religious Blacks.

        When you are talking about inside the GOP, there really are only going to be WHITE evangelicals ’cause there aren’t a lot of Blacks in there to begin with.

      • 1mime says:

        And, Rob, for those who are “entitled”. And, those who dislike people with brown skin. And, those who are offended by opinions and beliefs that do not conform with their own. This is one narrow, bigoted group of people and I stay as far away from them as I can. My only problem is that too many of them are getting elected and trying to remake America is “their” image – which, of course, is the “correct” image.

    • Elf Himself says:

      OK, so I’m only an occasional lurker here and this may be my only post, but I feel compelled to point out that business-centric social liberals are just as out-of-place in today’s Republican party as socially conservative, pro-labor union members (like me) are with today’s Democrats. A “bare majority” is still a majority, and while the Republican establishment may be (privately, for the most part) embarrassed by the conservative Christians they depend on, they know full well that they cannot actually, you know, win elections without them. So here we are. Neither of us has a major party we feel fully at home in. Now what?

      • johngalt says:

        Ideally, we’d jettison the social conservatives on the far right and the nutty liberals on the far left and rally behind a party in the middle that was socially liberal and fiscally conservative and both within reasonable boundaries. That’s not going to happen, so we will, as usual, muddle through in the existing two-party system.

      • 1mime says:

        Elf, you must have as much fun as the rest of us trying to have a family discussion at the family table! You describe yourself as socially conservative, pro-labor. Few of us fit into nice tidy political packages, so you’re not alone.

        I haven’t seen Owl around lately, but he frequently advocates for a third party. The problem I see with the Republican Party’s embrace of conservative Christians is that the extreme sector of Christian fundamentalists is hurting the party’s appeal and growth. This group, just like the Tea Party, may help the GOP short term, but is not representative of the direction in which our nation is heading. More diversity on social issues is especially evident in the young adult population – our leaders of tomorrow.

        The key, of course, is tolerance for others’ viewpoints and beliefs. The problem is that does not appear to be the game plan of the far right and it is not reciprocal. There is where things begin to break down in our families, communities and in politics.

      • Crogged says:

        What does ‘socially conservative’ mean? I don’t understand, beyond getting off my lawn, those crazy kids with saggy pants, etc. Do I need a political party to reflect my view of culture, or get the trains running on time?

  14. Doug says:

    Just thought I’d share some irony I saw today.

    The Nobel Prize acceptor, smut writer, and alleged sexual predator R.K. Pachauri finally heard what many people have been saying for years and stepped down as head of the IPCC yesterday. In his resignation letter, Patchy said:

    “For me the protection of Planet Earth, the survival of all species and sustainability of our ecosystems is more than a mission. It is my religion and my dharma.”

    And some folks thought is was all about science.

    • flypusher says:

      Newsflash Dougie, for many of us, it IS about science.

      • Doug says:

        It certainly should be. Hence the irony.

        Would it bother you if they elected a fundamentalist Christian to head the IPCC?

      • johngalt says:

        Yes. Religious fundamentalists are incapable of good, objective, science. Pachauri may have also been incapable of objective science. The IPCC has certainly been incapable of good politics. Perhaps replacing him will give it more credibility. The fact that one person, or one group, is ineffective does not change the overwhelming body of science – from very many scientists in very many countries, most of whom are not affiliated with the IPCC – regarding climate change.

      • flypusher says:

        I 2nd what JohnGalt said. People making / recommending policy based on science need to leave personal religious/ spiritual / political feelings out of it when they are looking at the data. Pachauri was a bad fit for the position, period. His foibles don’t have any bearing on the data or the nature of reality, and your harping on that is the classic sign of a weak argument.

      • Doug says:

        “…your harping on that is the classic sign of a weak argument.”
        Oh, please. The IPCC report is the bible (pun intended) for policymakers.

      • flypusher says:

        So then enlighten us about the connection between pornographic literature and the acidification of the oceans. Or how sexual harassment feeds into the Arrhenius equation. Or how political affiliation affects CO2 levels. Otherwise you’re just desperately tossing red herrings.

      • johngalt says:

        It clearly isn’t the bible for anyone but activists, because virtually none of their recommendations have been adopted. The scientific support for global warming is far deeper than the IPCC report and whatever policy changes have been made, such as CAFE standards and the EU carbon cap, were in the works well before the IPCC reports.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Doug…if the fundamentalist Christian did not believe in evolution, I think he/she probably shouldn’t be heading up a scientific group (or any group, of anything, at any time).

    • texan5142 says:

      I have said this before and I will say it again just for you Doug. If you are ill and 97% of the doctors consulting on your treatment tell you that their consensus tells them that X is the treatment that will save your life, and the other 3% of the doctors tell you that Y is the treatment that will save your life, who are you going with, the 97% or the 3%?

      • Doug says:

        Just a few years ago, nearly 100% of doctors thought ulcers were caused by stress.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Doug…I have no doubt that at some point, people will look back at chemotherapy for cancer as wildly insane and near barbaric. That doesn’t mean that we should stop using chemotherapy now.

      • texan5142 says:

        Bloodletting use to be a treatment also and as with ulcers, the science has evolved. FYI some ulcers are caused by stress.

        Stress ulcers are single or multiple mucosal defects which can become complicated by upper gastrointestinal bleeding during the physiologic stress of serious illness. Ordinary peptic ulcers are found commonly in the gastric antrum and the duodenum whereas stress ulcers are found commonly in fundic mucosa and can be located anywhere within the stomach and proximal duodenum.

  15. 1mime says:

    This one’s for you Lifer. Per Viking’s NYT link by Frank Bruni re: the “data compiled by the Public Religion Research Institute, a nonpartisan group that interviewed more than 50,000 Americans last year….in a paper entitled ‘American Values Atlas'” (which is being released in full today). 50,000 people interviewed (telephone). That’s significant. Here’s a snippet related to the interview on gay marriage:

    “According to the survey, there are just seven American states — Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, West Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky — where more than 50 percent of voters oppose gay marriage.

    All of them “have white evangelical Protestant populations of one-third or more,” Jones told me. “There’s basically a linear relationship between the number of white evangelical Protestants and opposition to same-sex marriage.”

    Here’s a link to the Public Religion Research Institute’s “American Values Atlas”. I’m betting their Atlas will be in heavy demand as the 2016 election process ramps up.

    • flypusher says:

      Culture wars are the low-hanging fruit for all politicians. Craft a comprehensive immigration policy? No, that’s a lot of work, and compromises would have to be made, which means everyone would find something to not like. Get moving on infrastructure repair? Sure, everyone likes roads and utities, but those aren’t free and you’d actually have to tax people and/or gore someone’s sacred ox if you reallocate funds. Figure out an energy policy? Yeah right, so much easier to grandstand.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Fly, assuming skilled rhetors, with good intentions but different political philosophies, want to solve the roads problem with a tax, there are some rhetorical steps that might could help.

        For example, tie Ike/WWII to good roads and the successes of capitalism and American exceptionalism — from your political point of view.

        Use visual images as well as text. Flag, flag, flag. Craft some similar messages for your supporters (party members, CoCs, unions, etc.) to use. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Saturate social media and newspaper comments sections. Discuss American style problem solving, not compromise. Find some cool technologies that are changing the nature of road construction and tie it full employment and trade school education.

        Some on both sides might be embarrassed by the naked intent of it all, but many in the target audience wouldn’t notice at all. Over time, using tax money for upgraded roads could become a patriotic thing to do.

        The end. Really the end, because today compromise and taxes cannot be fully discussed without because one party retains power by not solving anything.

        Also, perhaps because I’m home recovering from knee surgery and taking a pain med, I find myself wanting to know the musical instrument you play. I’m pretty sure you posted it somewhere sometime, but I do not remember it.

      • flypusher says:

        Also, perhaps because I’m home recovering from knee surgery and taking a pain med, I find myself wanting to know the musical instrument you play. I’m pretty sure you posted it somewhere sometime, but I do not remember it..”

        1) Get well soon, and 2) I didn’t post it, but I’ll indulge your curiosity. It’s clarinet.

        Also, your invoking of Ike and the highway system reminds us all how low our elected officials have fallen. Once upon a time, they actually got stuff done.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Well, if you ever need an imaginary orchestra, in my head you play violin.

        Thank you for the good wish.

      • flypusher says:

        “…in my head you play violin.”

        Well, when orchestral works are transcribed for band, the clarinets do get the violin parts.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        Fly and Bobo, very interesting thread. Bobo, I like your recipe for getting infrastructure work done. Could it be applied to almost any contested idea in politics? For instance, components of the safety net. If the message was patriotism, and would only show only white recipients. I think you could also use religion along with patriotism using a New Testament slant.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Fly, I didn’t know that about clarinets and violins. Thanks.

        I wish I knew more about music.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:


        It seems to me that rhetors believe people can alter their values or prioritize them differently in different situations, if those values are skillfully addressed.

        For a school project, I’ve been reviewing studies in varied topic areas, including safety training, cultural economics and health.

        These studies were completed within the past decade. Each has a section on the perceived values of the intended audience. It is as if the authors understand that if they want their research to feed policy, they really have to know how to address the intended audience.

        I think Fox is really good at this.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:


        I hope I didn’t imply any whites-only notion.

        I only meant to say if two politicians on opposite sides decide to cooperate on a particular issue, they could jointly agree on the messaging, then pivot to their audiences to respectively deliver those messages in a manner that addresses the values of their particular audience.

        All classes of people enjoy good roads. 🙂

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        Bobo, you said: “I hope I didn’t imply any whites-only notion.”

        No, Bobo I added that. I was thinking in shorthand again. That it would be nice to target the religious right and peel off a percentage point or two. Not to make someone into a progressive but maybe allow the election of more moderate politicians. My assumption is that hyper versions of patriotism, religion and racism run… In parallel tracks. To anyone reading this that feels offended, I don’t mean you. You are a true patriot and are a true Christian and don’t have a racist bone in your body.

        And I’m not suggesting more than message to moderate a point of view. Sort of like the “Southern Strategy” in reverse.

    • Anse says:

      This reminds me of Scott Walker recently refusing to say whether or not Obama is a Christian. A part of me would like to interpret this in the best light. Is Walker saying that a politician’s religion is irrelevant? Is he arguing that we should not dwell on religious affiliations when considering a candidate or the quality of a leader? Because that sounds awesome. A lot of us liberals dream of the day when we can get through a campaign without a candidate going on and on about his religion.

      Of course that’s not really why Walker refused to say. He doesn’t want to piss off his Tea Party primary voters by saying the right answer.

      • 1mime says:

        Anse, it’s all posturing, but there are some deeply concerning changes going on in politics in which the judiciary is becoming a pawn (happily in many cases) in the process. Re: the debacle of passing a clean Homeland Security Funding bill, read this “telling” statement from one of TX own:

        A number of Republicans pointed to the injunction a Texas judge issued early last week as a reason to not approve a clean Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spending bill. The judge’s ruling has temporarily halted Obama’s immigration orders from November and the Obama administration requested a stay on the ruling on Monday.

        “I don’t see the need of that,” Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) said of McConnell’s new strategy. “We’ve got the courts on our side.”


      • Anse says:

        I don’t know what to say about that, except that Democratic voters need to get off their asses and stop handing midterm elections to Republicans. Judicial appointments go to the victors, after all.

      • RobA says:

        Ironically, he’s probably right.

        Given his extensive education and (what appears to me) a logical and rational thought process, I’d be surprised if Obama wasn’t an atheist.

        Of course, we’ll never know. At least not while he’s in office.

      • johngalt says:

        Yeah, RobA, I wouldn’t be surprised either (or agnostic, at least). For all the brouhaha about Rev. Wright, I always had this suspicious that Obama was in those pews because he was an ambitious black politician and that is what he needed to do to get support in the black community.

      • Crogged says:

        Man, if you heard half the sh*t spoken in ‘mainstream’ Southern fundamentalist churches we would be arguing about which is more radical and/or crazy. Fortunately when our minister spoke of his doctrinal arguments with a man who had raised cats from the dead I was well into my junior high turn into an apostate ……..

        In fairness to the congregation this particular minister ‘pursued other opportunities’ in a relatively short time after this sermon………

        But still, whenever I hear about ‘radical’ ministers one realizes this statement is usually coming from someone who believes Jonah couldn’t have been swallowed by a whale because a whale is a mammal and the Bible says, it was a fish……

      • flypusher says:

        “The measure argues that the Christian faith is under “strident attack” in the United States, and cites as evidence the absence of Christian traditions and symbols in public institutions such as schools.”

        Then they should be blaming Madison et al., because the 1st Amendment forbids that.

        Look jerk faces, you are free to practice any religion you want. Oh that’s not enough, you want official gov’t endorsement AND help with advertising? Then screw you, you are NOT entitled to special treatment.

      • way2gosassy says:

        Fly I don’t think those jerks even acknowledge that more than 50% of the population in Idaho identify with religions that are not Evangelical or Baptist.

      • 1mime says:

        Fly – Whatever is in those pain pills has got you “fired up and ready to go”! (-:

  16. 1mime says:

    Off current topic but keeping up with IL Gov. Rauner. Here’s a link that summarizes Rauner’s cuts, and here’s a partial list. (

    Limiting eligibility for Department of Aging Community Care Programs.
    Cutting health care benefits for home care workers.
    Slashing funding for the Department of Children and Family Services.
    Eliminating all Department of Children and Family services for youths 18-21.
    Cutting adult dental and podiatry services as well as kidney transplants for undocumented children.
    Eliminating exemptions for drugs for severe mental illness from a state 4-prescription limit.
    Reducing payments to facilities for children on ventilators, supportive living facilities and children with severe mental illness.
    Cutting Medicaid spending by1.5 billion – including 735 million in cuts to hospitals serving Medicaid patients.
    Eliminating assistance to families with Hemophilia.
    Freezing intakes on childcare for children over 6.
    Increasing childcare co pays for working parents.
    $27.5 million in reductions to community substance abuse programs.
    $82 million reduction to community mental health programs.
    Eliminating State funding for specific organizations providing: – Services for people with disabilities – Services to children with autism – Services to homeless young people – Services to run away teenagers – Immigrant integration services – Advanced placement classes – After school programs – Agricultural education – Arts and foreign language programs – Parent mentoring – Safe Schools initiatives
    Cuts to breast and cervical cancer programs.
    And a 31.5% cut to higher education.

    Just sayin’

    • johngalt says:

      Democratic governments strike sweetheart deals with public sector unions in which the costs are pushed well into the future.

      Republican governments cut social services (that are essentially investments in human capital), which ends up costing more overall, but the costs are pushed well into the future.

      Short-termism is the real enemy.

      • mary says:

        JG – “short-termism is the real enemy”….You are absolutely correct, particularly as it relates to states like IL which has had dominant one-party rule for decades. Election of a Republican to “clean up the mess” will never be sucessful if he proceeds with severe austerity for the poor and middle class yet rewards the very wealthy. Rauner needs to build a coalition to educate IL citizens and build the necessary support for sustained change.

        The optics of cutting higher ed and eliminating support for children on ventilators while enjoying a $750K boost in his own personal wealth – present a very mixed message to all who are affected.

    • way2gosassy says:

      The optics of these draconian cuts is made much worse by people like Aaron Shock.

      I think he needs to explain this to the family whose grandparents were just kicked out of a nursing home because they lost their funding of medicaid.

  17. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    Net Neutrality?

    I’m not fully up to speed on the ramifications, but it seems that FCC is going to treat the internet as a “public good” despite GOP protestations.

    I’m trying to resist my natural (and evolutionarily beneficial) reaction to take the opposite position of Ted Cruz just because he is Ted Cruz. Cruz tweeted (because tweeting is how Senators should spend their day), “Net Neutrality is Obamacare for the Internet; the Internet should not operate at the speed of government”.

    If that is his response, I have to assume I should be in favor of it right?

    So, what do you smart people say? Net Neutrality….good thing/bad thing, or let’s just wait and see?

    • johngalt says:

      It’s a good thing. Creating fast tracks for internet traffic for those large companies willing and able to pay for it almost by definition means slowing down traffic from those who can’t. You think YouTube, Netflix, Tumblr, or any of a variety of other tech revolutionaries would have gotten a foothold as startups if their bandwidth had been throttled in favor of Verizon, NBC, and Microsoft?

      • way2gosassy says:

        Net neutrality or being treated like a public utility. I’ll go for net neutrality.

      • johngalt says:

        That’s not an either/or. Classifying the internet as a utility (technically as a “telecommunication service”) allows the FCC to regulate it to the “last mile” so that ISPs could not discriminate against net traffic to your house. As an example, in a non-net neutral world, Verizon could block access to Netflix (high bandwidth) unless you paid for “premium services” while pushing a proprietary alternative. AT&T could block video-chatting or Skype to push more expensive calls on their network. It’s essentially the same principle as phone companies not being able to discriminate against incoming calls based on the network or place of origin.

      • 1mime says:

        I wonder how the internet would look today if government hadn’t been involved at the earliest stages. Having fought the buffering war with ATT (finally hard-wired my connections out of total frustration and solved my problem), I empathize with the “David and Goliath” struggle in the question of net neutrality. Yet, without these media giants, what would the internet be?

        Government has pioneered many scientific advancements that have attracted private enterprise, which is great. Look at the work Elon Musk has done with Space X, to name one venture in one field, or the development of vaccines and so much more. Point being, government provided the stimulus and the market responded which is surely capitalism at its best. From there it gets more messy.

        In today’s CNBC discussion on net neutraiity , even the “smart technology” experts acknowledged the difficulty in understanding what “net neutrality” is, so we neophytes need not feel badly if we are having trouble following the discussion…..especially when we have our Congressional officials to figure things out for us (-:

      • way2gosassy says:

        I don’t know if this is peculiar to my little space in Tennessee but ( since you mentioned phone service) cable services here are blocked from providing telephone service to their customers even though all the equipment needed to provide it is available. Hard line telephone service is treated as a public utility which, from my understanding, can monopolize the use of the available infrastructure.

      • johngalt says:

        Sassy, it might not be unique to your corner of Tennessee, but that’s not the case in the Lone Star State. I get my cable, internet, phone and wireless service as a package from AT&T. Their reliability, at least at my address, has actually been very good.

      • way2gosassy says:

        It was for me as well John when we lived there and had Comcast. We transferred our account from Texas here no problem until the techs arrived to install the system. It was then I was informed that I could not bundle my phone service but they couldn’t explain why. In order to get phone service ( land line) the cost is nearly 100.00 a month for any kind of services.

      • objv says:

        Sassy, You might want to check out

        Phone service is FREE after you buy the Obi device (about 40 bucks on Amazon). After connecting the device to your modem and phone base, you open a Goggle Voice account (free) and set things up online. You can also buy a set of multiple phones for different rooms of your house.

        Even a dummy can do it! (As a certifiable bumbler when it comes to electronics, I set up OBiTalk devices in Texas and New Mexico.)

        Your phone service will be like what you had with Comcast. I had both Comcast and OBiTalk and thought the voice quality on OBi was slightly better than Comcast but not as good as a landline. Like Comcast,if you loose your internet connection, the phone won’t work.

        There are other brands besides OBiTalk, which might also work well, but OBi is the only one I’ve tried.

      • objv says:

        Free in the US that is. There is a charge for international calls.

      • way2gosassy says:

        Are you calling me a dummy? ; ) Thanks for the link OV I’ll check it out. My only concern about a land line was having access to 911 services which are practically non-existent here with cell phones or internet based phone services and they charge a pretty high fee compared to other places I have lived. It may have as much to do with the rural areas as anything else.

      • objv says:

        Sassy, I was calling myself the dummy. 🙂

        You absolutely need 911 service, so if you don’t have a backup mobile phone with a good signal, an internet phone would not work out for you. When my husband had a heart attack, I was glad I had my mobile phone nearby.

        An option mentioned in an Amazon comment was to tape a number to the phone with a local emergency number (or put the number on speed dial). I wouldn’t trust doing that because when my husband was rushed to the hospital, seconds counted. During the ambulance ride my husband’s suffered a 100% blockage. Luckily, the hospital was close by.

        I’ve used my internet phone for almost three years. It’s not perfect, but the service is free (at least until Google continues to provide Google Voice.) An added bonus has been that I have not received robo calls. 🙂

      • way2gosassy says:

        My cell has a GPS tracker on it but it only works if your ass is sitting on top of hill. Cell service is kinda sketchy so I think I will look into it. Thanks again for the link.

      • objv says:

        Some facts about 911 service on mobile phones

  18. Anse says:

    Republicans demand that education curriculum be written to teach the children to be more patriotic. For some reason, forcing the kids to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance every morning is not doing the trick.

    • fiftyohm says:

      Anse – I agree 100%. It’s exactly the same in all respects like taking children to church and making them pray.

      (And for the first time today, this is not some wan attempt at irony.)

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      As a product of Texas public schools, it was an eye-opening experience when someone finally taught a history class that didn’t gloss over everything. Sadly, that didn’t happen until college.

      • flypusher says:

        The whole names-dates-places shtick is quite dull. One thing that makes history interesting is to discus motives. But that’s also what stirs up the controversy.

      • 1mime says:

        Yes, the “why” of historical events is much more interesting than dates and things. As you noted, FLY, asking questions can lead down some tricky paths….But, oh how much more interesting the voyage is! (unless you live in TX or OK where there’s never a fork in the road…)

        A great example of teaching kids to think would be a discussion of a non-fiction book by John Barry, entitled “The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927”. It presents the two options Congress debated to “tame the MS River” in order to control flooding, and the consequences of choosing the Corps of Army Engineers proposal. Kids could learn how the political process shaped land use policy, flood control, farming and commerce from Grand Rapids, MN to New Orleans, LA, and how these decisions contributed to the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl.

        They might forget the dates, but they’d never forget why this decision was so important.

      • fiftyohm says:

        I think it was Tolstoy who said, “History would be a wonderful thing, if only it were true.”

        That, my friends, is a significant thought, IMnsHO.

  19. flypusher says:

    All the fuss about history class content reminds me of this Al Franken quote:

    “We [liberals] love America just as much as they [conservatives] do. But in a different way. You see, they love America like a 4-year-old loves his mommy. Liberals love America like grown-ups. To a 4-year-old, everything Mommy does is wonderful and anyone who criticizes Mommy is bad. Grown-up love means actually understanding what you love, taking the good with the bad and helping your loved one grow. Love takes attention and work and is the best thing in the world. That’s why we liberals want America to do the right thing. We know America is the hope of the world, and we love it and want it to do well.”

    The history classes I endured in the TX public schools grades 2-8 would have made the RWNJs very happy. The people at the Alamo were all saints, everybody loved Manifest Destiny, and the USA was never wrong. It was also mind-numbingly boring.

    • fiftyohm says:

      Al Fraken loves Washington, in all its machinations, exactly like Mommy. And he trusts her with all his heart – just like all grown ups should.

    • 1mime says:

      Dang, Fly! You missed the one about guns! “And a Texan never leaves home without packin'”

  20. fiftyohm says:

    I was reading the link from the Canadian sociologists on the newly discovered “other side of the tracks” syndrome. I was so enamored by it I decided to post a list of the most significant, relevant, and actionable contributions made by the field in modern times.

    But I was stymied.

    • Doug says:

      Did you know there are people who actually pay money to get a degree in sociology?

      • fiftyohm says:

        Wonder what side of the tracks they live on?

      • 1mime says:

        Doug, Finally, something we can agree upon….even tho I’m not exactly sure where 50 was headed with his post…..

        One of the finest people I ever met was a college doctorate teacher of Sociology. This person ended up applying her interest in social behavior and social institutions into a recognized support group for people with A.I.D.S. in the late 70s. She understood the problem, saw the need, and had the skills to build the non-profit structure that served this population that no one else would touch. It became a model for other communities and is still functioning. Sociology is a credible field.

      • johngalt says:

        My cousin was one of them. He now works for an online college textbook rental company, a job for which a Ph.D. in sociology was not a pre-requisite.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Is this going to turn into a hard science vs. soft science rumble?

        Bring it on.

        Some of us dated in high school rather than memorizing Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Lord of the Rings.

      • fiftyohm says:

        HT – Well Bud, Hitchhiker’s Guide hadn’t been been written yet, and Tolkien was for the nerds. I was into math, science, chicks, and pot. Still am into three of the four – if you count Mrs. Ohm!

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Chicks? I never would have had you pegged as a poultry science major.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Well, there you go!

        How’s the little one?

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        The little one is wonderful. With twin two-year old hellions, we were due to have a chill, easy-going baby. Otherwise, we would have had to give at least one of them away.

      • johngalt says:

        Three of the four? Oh, Fifty, you’ve turned your back on math?

      • fiftyohm says:

        JG – LOL! ( I mean it!).

        Oh, and I forgot beer – to the extent I even knew what that was then…

      • Doug says:

        “Doug, Finally, something we can agree upon….even tho I’m not exactly sure where 50 was headed with his post…..”

        Sorry for the confusion, mime. I couldn’t find the incredulity emoticon when I posted that.

      • 1mime says:

        Well, Doug, forgive me for reaching deeeep for a common thread. I shoulda’ known better.

      • Turtles Run says:


        Is this what you were looking for Doug

  21. rightonrush says:

    Are there any sane Republican besides Chris left?
    Terror threats in the U.S.
    Story highlights

    Intelligence assessment focuses on domestic terror threat from right-wing sovereign citizen extremists
    Some law enforcement groups view domestic terror threat as equal to threat from Islamic terror groups

    Washington (CNN)They’re carrying out sporadic terror attacks on police, have threatened attacks on government buildings and reject government authority.

    A new intelligence assessment, circulated by the Department of Homeland Security this month and reviewed by CNN, focuses on the domestic terror threat from right-wing sovereign citizen extremists and comes as the Obama administration holds a White House conference to focus efforts to fight violent extremism.

    Some federal and local law enforcement groups view the domestic terror threat from sovereign citizen groups as equal to — and in some cases greater than — the threat from foreign Islamic terror groups, such as ISIS, that garner more public attention.​

    • mary says:

      RoR, It’s been coming. It can be seen in America’s manic preoccupation with individual rights, including:

      the right to bear and use arms with little accountability and carry them anywhere with impunity,

      vitriolic verbal attacks on government employees deploying complete disrespect and little sanction,

      self-styled militia patrolling the border,

      media assaults that promote fear and paranoia with seemingly no culpability,

      passage of laws like “stand your ground”,

      the assault on individual rights of self-determination in every respect,

      active, openly partisan involvement by members of the American judiciary, from the U.S. Supreme Court down through state and appellate levels,

      members of Congress encouraging and participating in vile attacks on the sitting President of the United States

      states threatening secession from the United States of America.

      These are just a few symptoms of a nation that is losing its way. I’m sure each of you could add to the list. It’s deeply concerning and it’s getting worse because American leadership has aided and abetted the problem instead of demonstrating rational thought.

  22. 1mime says:

    Bobo – in addition to knowing one’s own values, it is important to know when someone seeking office is lying or speaking out of both sides of their mouths. That requires being informed about their history and asking direct questions, if given the opportunity, which likely won’t happen.

  23. johngalt says:

    Here’s a fun link in which we learn – to the surprise of an Idaho state legislator – that the vagina is not part of the digestive system.

    • 1mime says:

      Vito – you can’t take it back!!!! Geez! Well, the bill was heard in the House “Affairs” Committee….(come on, stretch a little…have a little fun with this (-: )

      Idaho voters, ya listening?

    • GG says:

      How did this guy get out of high school and why am I not surprised he’s a republican?

      • johngalt says:

        Well, every five year old knows that babies grow in mommies’ tummies. And every teenager knows that getting pregnant starts with a boy sticking his, um, well, thingie, into a girl’s [blush], um, down there. So it stands to reason that the vagina is connected to the stomach.

      • 1mime says:

        Are you not surprised he’s a Republican because he was fixated on vaginas?

  24. RobA says:

    Good idea lifer. This is similar to a Jays blog I follow (I grew up in Canada). Especially in the offseason, there isn’t a whole lot of stuff to talk.about, but the blogger that runs it usually posts links like you’re doing here if there’s nothing else going on.

    keeps the pressure off him to churn out content all the time, and gives the blog lurkers new things to talk about and fresh posts to comment on (it can get annoying scrolling down through hundreds of comments to carry on a conversation)

    I think you may find traffic goes up and participation increases if you have more regular posts, even if it’s just a link dump like this one.

    Just my $0.02

  25. vikinghou says:

    My father is 91 years old and constantly receives e-mails from friends that contain ridiculous stories about Obama or rants about how America is going to hell. I used to refute them by going to Snopes, etc. but eventually got tired of the battle. Now I just leave him alone. Discussion of politics with him is verboten; otherwise, he has a meltdown.

    • RobA says:

      There’s no changing the minds of ppl over a certain age (I’m going to unscientifically and arbitrarily estimate that age at around 30-35.

      Not for everyone of course, but for the majority of ppl (in my experience) once your mind is made up on issues by that stage, there isn’t much changing it.

      Sure you can learn to temper your public actions based on changing public values, but I think you’re not REALLY changing your mind. For example, did Strom Thurmond actually become much less racist as his career went on, or did he just learn to hide it better? My guess is the latter.

      When opinions that will surely fall on the wrong side of history are held by ppl we love, the best solution is just avoid discussing it, as you mentioned you already do.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        RobA, I really want you to be wrong. I know I have late in life changed my mind about things. Of course I never was really certain about much.

        I started replying to facebook and email chains with links to Snopes. And I don’t see the same type of comments and links that I used to see. But it may be that I have been taken off mailing lists and unfriended. If so not sure if there is a net gain.

    • GG says:

      I can relate. I have a relative like that too. We all skirt around politics but it’s amazing how he can turn any conversation into a paranoid Obama is Satan speech. If refuted he gets red-faced and starts yelling.

      • texan5142 says:

        That relative must be one of those unhinged posters over at Real Clear Politics. If you want to see crazy, go there and check out the comments.

        Here is an example or two,

        54fakeout • 6 hours ago
        When I hear Obama, he reminds me of a sleazy defense attorney spinning PR for his client. The man is a Muslim and was only elected because he is half black. He loathes our military and is only concerned with entertaining celebrities and playing golf. He is a total disgrace. His chief advisor is Iranian and the liberal press are co-conspirators in the downfall of our great country. How any intellectually honest person can look at this man, who does nothing but defend our enemies and criticize our allies, and actually think he is doing right by us is frightening! Eugene is Obama’s Baghdad Bob. Let’s call it for what it is.

        strathead Charterholder • 5 hours ago
        The ODS is strong in me. Setting aside the facts like, his religion is questionable, he has lied repeatedly to get his way on things he thinks are best for us, he has trivialized the concept of American exceptionalism, etc. I just plain hate him. He is smug, arrogant, hypocritical, narcissistic, over-privileged, and then this morning I noticed, a terrible actor. (In Michelle’s new commercial)
        3 • Reply•Share ›
        dinza strathead • 4 hours ago
        It’s Moochelle – please!

      • GG says:

        That does sound a lot like the stuff I hear from him. It’s crazy. I never heard anything racist at all from him before Obama and then he started in on anyone who wasn’t a white person or who had an accent.

  26. 1mime says:

    (TX)….”attorney general’s office has also advocated a third, more provocative, argument: that banning same-sex marriage benefits the public good by helping to promote “responsible procreation.”

    Well, now we know. It’s back to the Pilgrim days, folks! Procreation is king….forget sex for pleasure. Oops, did I really say “sex for pleasure”?! Our young people are gonna save us from ourselves…so us old folks can keep on being responsible and let them have all the fun!

    • RobA says:

      I’m always amazed at the logical twist and turns the GOP has to squeeze itself through on certain issues.

      For a party that is so “freedom loving” and “anti big gov’t” that they call a law which helps prevent poor ppl from dying from health issues only b/c they are poor as “tyranny” you’d think they’d be leading the charge on marriage equality.

      I can’t think of too many more egregious examples of “big gov’t interference” and limiting individual freedom then by legislating who is allowed to marry whom and who we are allowed to designate as our legal life partner.

      • 1mime says:

        Oh, but Rob, the GOP has got to “grow” their base as it is getting really old and white. And, as far as Repubs being concerned about preventing health issues for the poor….these people are considered Dem voters, don’t you know? They are feeding off hard working Americans with their socialized benefits. Why help them? Instead, the GOP wants to give more tax cuts to the wealthy……

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      There are some really wonderful arguments for this idiocy. The number of people past child bearing age getting married each year dwarfs the number of gays who could possibly get married. Then you bring in just general infertility issues, and the number gets even bigger.

      If we can’t have gays marrying because they can’t procreate, then we clearly can’t have women over the age of 50 getting married either.

      • RobA says:

        Not onlt that, but in a “freedom loving” country, the ability or lack thereof to have kids is a complete non starter for any argument against marriage equality.

        To be free means that I should have the freedom to have kids…..or not, if I so choose. Marriage is not simply a vehicle to raise kids in. Kids can be a big part, of course, but by no means are they the driving force. Lots of people get married because they love the person theyre with, and want to live with them the rest of their life, and want the legal protections that come from that. In my opinion, the legal protections are by far the most important benefit to marriage.

        You can have a loving life long partnership with or without marriage. You can have kids and be great parents with or without marriage. Pretty much ANY typical benefit that we ascribe to marriage can be had WITHOUT said marriage.

        But ONLY with legal marriage can we prevent disgusting things like this happening

        where a gay mans life partner was handcuffed and removed from the hospital while his dying partner lay in the hospital at the request of the mans homophobic family EVEN THOUGH both men had a legal document giving medical power of attorney to each other.

        Can you imagine being forced to leave the bedside of the love of your life who you may never see again because their hateful family disapproves of you?


      • 1mime says:

        Oh, but it’s not really about procreation, Homer! It’s about sin. You have to understand GOP-speak: Homosexuality and same sex marriage = SIN, but conservatives can’t be honest about their homophobia.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      That is about the weakest argument imaginable. Um, gay couples of both genders ARE procreating and raising families as the Texas Monthly article Chris posted noted.

      Male gay couples use surrogates as do STRAIGHT couples. Duh.

      And what the hell is wrong with NOT procreating and having a family? Until there is a worldwide shortage of orphan children to adopt, screw the procreation red herring.

      Man are the wingnuts perpetually painting themselves into a smaller and smaller ethical and morality corner.

  27. Bobo Amerigo says:

    Dare I bring up the ‘r’ word again?

    From the grandma blog this quote struck me: “I don’t know, it’s a gut thing. You see something and you connect to it.”

    This is what communications strategists have come to understand. Address an audience’s values, and they will bend to you. Affiliate, they call it. Even if the audience has not articulated their values.

    It’s why politicians alter their stump speeches to reflect what they think a current audience values, even if it’s in contrast to what the previous audience valued.

    It seems to me that the responsibility of the audience, all audiences, is to be aware of their values, including unspoken biases, so that the audience becomes aware when a skilled rhetor tries to manipulate them. Then, they can choose to go with it or reject it.

    Not being aware is another peril of the unexamined life, I guess.

    • unarmedandunafraid says:

      “r” word? Ringworm, rhubarb,rapscallion?

      • Bobo Amerigo says:


        Its roots go deep into ancient Greek and Roman history, where they seemed to focus on the qualities a rhetor must have in order to — well, use rhetoric, to argue persuasively. Not everyone was deemed qualified, it seems.

        Later, as in post WWII, researchers focused on the audience as well as the speaker, trying to explain the Holocaust, for example. How was it that people were persuaded to do that?

        As the world’s oldest graduate student, I have increasing respect for the discipline of rhetoric. It’s very powerful. Used by the unscrupulous (read Fox), it can do damage.

        Me, I am incorporating some rhetorical principles into my capstone project, which I think has commercialization possibilities — for a good cause, she avers.

        Sorry you asked? 🙂

        PS I respect your r words. Rapscallion has always reminded me of an ingredient in a Julia Child recipe.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        Fascinating. I never knew that the root of rhetoric was rhetor.

        I’m very interested in the ability to persuade also. I’ve given a lot of thought as to why there is a Fox News and a multitude of conservative talk shows but so few liberal or progressive talk shows. And why there are shows like the Daily show and Colbert Report. I think I know now, at least in a superficial way.

        Very glad I asked.

        PS, first make a rue.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Ah. An r world and Louisiana. Nice.

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