Monday, November 24, 2014

President Obama heard the electorate: GO LEFT!

[Let's hope the author of this piece got it right- Bozo]
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Rss@dailykos.com (egberto Willies)
Sunday, November 16, 2014, 2:55 pm
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When President Obama walked up to the podium to talk about the thumping the Democrats got in the 2014 midterm election, he was not slouching. He seemed resolute. It is clear that while the president nominally accepts blame, he must know that acquiescing to the will of Democrats to mostly stay out of campaigning with them likely sealed their fates. They decided not to run on Democratic accomplishments that are now paying dividends.
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President Obama's seeming disaffection about the election results was so obvious that Fox News Ed Henry's questions became a bit contentious. "I haven't heard you say a specific thing during this news conference that you would do differently," Ed Henry said. "You've been asked it a few different ways. I understand you're going to reach out. You've talked about doing that before. It's almost like you are doubling down on the same policies and approach you've had for six years. So my question is, why not pull a page from the Clinton playbook and admit you have to make a much more dramatic shift in course these last two years?"
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In other words, Ed Henry and his ilk are asking the president to capitulate to the Republicans. He brought up President Clinton as if Clinton was a model to follow. One should remember that Clinton's capitulation-or maybe chameleonic triangulation-effected the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, a repeal hat was partially responsible for the 2008 financial collapse.
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Source...

Sixteen stores and three states where you can't shop on Thanksgiving

Rss@dailykos.com (laura Clawson)
 Saturday, November 15, 2014, 5:19 pm
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As Thanksgiving openings become a more and more common strategy for retail chains, and the openings get earlier and earlier, some companies are taking the opportunity to say a very public no to that practice. There's reason for cynicism, since these brands now get good publicity for doing the right thing, while avoiding what may not be a very profitable day despite the hype over "Black Thursday."
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But whatever the reason-and some of them surely do have their hearts in the right place-and however much it may suck that workers' holidays are not taken for granted but dependent on a decent boss, workers at these stores will not be told to come in to work on a major holiday, and that's something:
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Costco, famously a good employer, will once again be staying closed on Thanksgiving, with a spokesperson saying "Our employees work especially hard during the holiday season and we simply believe that they deserve the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with their families. Nothing more complicated than that."
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DSW's CEO was blunt about the shoe chain's plans:
This holiday season, you've probably seen or read about all the retailers opening their doors as early as 6:00pm on Thanksgiving Day. We have decided not to follow that trend. Instead, WE BELIEVE FAMILY COMES FIRST AND YOU SHOULD BE HOME CELEBRATING WITH THEM ON THIS SPECIAL HOLIDAY. This means none of our stores will be open on Thanksgiving Day. In addition no stores will be open before 7:00am on Black Friday.
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Barnes & Noble's spokesperson said "We want our booksellers to have the opportunity to enjoy what is a family holiday."
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Sur La Table: "Our people share a passion for cooking and entertaining with our customers on a daily basis. We want to make sure they can share that same passion with friends and family on the biggest cooking and entertaining Holiday of the year."
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T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, Sierra Trading Post, which all share the same parent company: "We consider ourselves an Associate-friendly Company, and, we are pleased to give our Associates the time to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends."
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Dillard's offered a similar rationale, that "We choose to remain closed on Thanksgiving in longstanding tradition of honoring of our customers' and associates' time with family."
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Other stores that will stay closed include American Girl, REI, Neiman Marcus, Patagonia, and Burlington Coat Factory, with some getting bonus points for issuing statements with an air of bewilderment about why they even would open, like American Girl's "this is not a new decision for us."
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The states of Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island stand out, having blue laws that prevent most stores from opening on Thanksgiving across the entire state.
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Source

Five ugly and uncanny parallels between lynchings and police killings in America

THU NOV 13, 2014 AT 01:42 PM PST
Shaun King
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It's hard to think of anything that was uglier in post-slavery America than lynching. From 1882 to 1964, the archives at Tuskegee University documented that at least 3,445 African Americans were brutally lynched in the United States. While these lynchings are most commonly remembered as hangings from trees, the lynchings in this statistic include men, women, and children who were shot, burned, and beaten to death in every tortuous way imaginable. At its core, to be lynched is not a method of killing, but it is to be murdered without due process.
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What is often overlooked is that police, during the height of lynching, were complicit in most lynchings. In  the book Lynching in the New South: Georgia and Virginia, 1880-1930, it was determined that 64 percent of lynching victims in the early 20th century were actually seized from jails.
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While historical lynchings and modern-day murders at the hands of police have some differences, many of the legal, physical, and emotional parallels are frightening. What follows below the fold are seven troubling similarities between the two.
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1. The universal agreement is that the number of lynchings and police murders have both been seriously underreported.
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2. The excuses given to justify lynchings and police killings are tragically bad.
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3. The lynchings and police killings of African Americans are outrageously brutal and excessive.
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4. Few instances in history exist where people are held truly liable for lynchings or police killings.
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5. The character of the men and women who were lynched by mobs or killed by police is assassinated as a sick form of justification for the killing.
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Read it all...

The reason believers love their god so much...


Previous Pope expounds on his religion


Atheism is nothing new...


Reason is a just cause


Hef's got it right. Enjoy THIS life!


Shooting report - reminding you that we need to get the guns out of the hands of people who don't need them except to do harm.






Gun control - too many people have guns who are clueless as to how to use them and care for them.






We need, now more than ever, to put our faith in facts.


Information you won't get from the MSM


On network neutrality


Obamacare - just the facts.


Good words from a former Secretary-General of the U.N.


There's a reason to vote. Keep your fingers crossed, folks.


Still debating Citizens United


A few more facts on the success of the ACA


It's Thanksgiving week!


Can't argue with that, Lindsey


Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Christian God was probably NOT the sharpest member of his civilzation


Is the force with them?


Diderot on God and his apples


Love is NOT an expression of religious belief


When religion is used to suppress the rights of women


Shooting report - just a reminder that we could do more with gun control laws.






Gun control and a prescription for the open-carry nuts.


And so the voters didn't turn out


A higher minimum wage - it makes an economy stronger


It's a sad, sad time we live in for those of us who value education.


Right-wingers loves them some ignorance


I put out the recyclables every week - but how much of it actually gets recycled?


Corporate welfare


Voting - it makes a difference


Blame Obama!


Following up on the notion of impeachment...


Ignorance and lies - the first step in creating new Republicans


Saturday, November 22, 2014

After 13 years, 2 wars and trillions in military spending, terrorist attacks are rising sharply

By Christopher Ingraham
November 18
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Last year saw the highest number of terrorist incidents since 2000, according to the latest Global Terrorism Index released by the Institute for Economics and Peace. Worldwide, the number of terrorist incidents increased from less than 1,500 in 2000 to nearly 10,000 in 2013. Sixty percent of attacks last year occurred in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria.
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The report suggests that U.S. foreign policy has played a big role in making the problem worse: "The rise in terrorist activity coincided with the US invasion of Iraq," it concludes. "This created large power vacuums in the country allowing different factions to surface and become violent." Indeed, among the five countries accounting for the bulk of attacks, the U.S. has prosecuted lengthy ground wars in two (Iraq and Afghanistan), a drone campaign in one (Pakistan), and airstrikes in a fourth (Syria).
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The report defines terrorism as  "the threatened or actual use of illegal force and violence by a non-state actor to attain a political, economic, religious, or social goal through fear, coercion, or intimidation."
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The U.S. will invest somewhere between $4 and 6 trillion on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with untold additional resources spent on anti-terrorism efforts elsewhere, according to the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. While we haven't suffered any major terrorist attacks on U.S. soil since 9/11, the Global Terrorism Index numbers cast considerable doubt on whether that money's been well-spent. And they give some credence to the notion that our ham-handed foreign policy is actually a destabilizing factor in world affairs.
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In other news, the Obama administration recently approved doubling the number of troops we currently have on the ground in Iraq.
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See more...

House Republicans just passed a bill forbidding scientists from advising the EPA on their own research

[The stupid - it worsens further each day. Seriously - we might just as well cancel all school forever and ever if this is the crap we're going to live with. - Bozo]

Lindsay Abrams
Wednesday, Nov 19, 2014 10:39 AM EST
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The "reform" measure makes room for industry-funded experts on the EPA's advisory board

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Congressional climate wars were dominated Tuesday by the U.S. Senate, which spent the day debating, and ultimately failing to pass, a bill approving the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. While all that was happening, and largely unnoticed, the House was busy doing what it does best: attacking science.
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H.R. 1422, which passed 229-191, would shake up the EPA's Scientific Advisory Board, placing restrictions on those pesky scientists and creating room for experts with overt financial ties to the industries affected by EPA regulations.
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The bill is being framed as a play for transparency: Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) argued that the board's current structure is problematic because it  "excludes industry experts, but not officials for environmental advocacy groups." The inclusion of industry experts, he said, would right this injustice.
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But the White House, which threatened to veto the bill, said it would "negatively affect the appointment of experts and would weaken the scientific independence and integrity of the SAB."
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In what might be the most ridiculous aspect of the whole thing, the bill forbids scientific experts from participating in an "advisory activities" that either directly or indirectly involve their own work. In case that wasn't clear: experts would be forbidden from sharing their expertise in their own research - the bizarre assumption, apparently, being that having conducted peer-reviewed studies on a topic would constitute a conflict of interest. "In other words," wrote Union of Concerned Scientists director Andrew A. Rosenberg in an editorial for RollCall, "academic scientists who know the most about a subject can't weigh in, but experts paid by corporations who want to block regulations can."
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Continue reading...

Canadian Mother Gives Birth While On Vacation In The U.S., Faces $1 Million Hospital Bill

[Conservatives will tell you that America has the best health care system in the world. That people from many other nations travel here for health care. Really? Maybe sheiks from Saudi Arabia - beyond that, maybe not so much. - Bozo]
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by Tara Culp-Ressler
Posted on November 19, 2014 at 9:00 am
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Jennifer Huculak, who lives in the Canadian province Saskatchewan, was six months pregnant when she flew to Hawaii to go on a vacation with her husband. But two days into her 2013 trip, her water unexpectedly broke; she spent the next six weeks on bed rest, and her daughter was delivered prematurely via an emergency C-section.
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A year later, the Huculaks and their daughter are healthy and back at home. But they're now facing medical bills that total $950,000 for the hospital care they received in the United States last fall. "It makes you sick to your stomach," Huculak told CTV News. "Who can pay a million-dollar medical bill? Who can afford that?"
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Although the couple purchased travel insurance from Blue Cross before their vacation, the insurance company says that Huculak's previous pregnancy complications - she had a bladder infection when she was four months pregnant - amounted to a pre-existing condition, so her medical expenses won't be covered. Blue Cross also maintains that the Huculaks' plan expired while they were still in Hawaii.
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Jennifer Huculak told CBC News that she's frustrated with Blue Cross because she thought she did everything right. She had approval from her doctor to travel, and after her water broke, she tried to figure out how to return to Canada. But she couldn't find a medical evacuation company that was willing to transport her home in her condition.
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It's not entirely uncommon for visitors to the U.S. to accrue big medical bills if they suffer from a health condition while they're here. Travel insurance isn't currently subject to all of the regulations under the Affordable Care Act - and the health reform law doesn't apply to people who aren't U.S. residents - so there can be confusion about how exactly these plans will work in practice. Other Canadian travelers have been stuck with hefty bills after unexpectedly suffering from kidney failure and struggling with high blood pressure while in the United States.
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Continue reading... 

The atoms of our bodies


Living your life according to the tenets of a burning bush


Sasquatch - another mythical being


Islam's recent contributions to science