Monday, February 29, 2016

Looking forward (mark Sumner) · Friday, February 26, 2016, 10:41 pm

You know what? I’m looking forward to improvements in the healthcare system that include a form of public option and reduction of the power of private insurance companies.

I’m looking forward to the appointment of a Supreme Court justice who will not just safeguard Roe v. Wade, but help to roll back the hundreds of restrictions and complications which have reduced a woman’s right to choose.

I’m looking forward to a broad, national effort to address climate change and at the same time boost the economy by focusing on new, clean energy technology.

I’m looking forward to a vast reduction in the mandatory sentences and unreasonably severe punishments applied for nonviolent offenses in the name of getting tough on crime.

I’m looking forward to more funding for early childhood education, for a massive expansion of affordable public colleges, and to a renewed focus on creativity in the classroom.

I’m looking forward to a thoughtful humane plan on immigration that will recognize the contribution of the many immigrants already in our nation who need a path to officially become American citizens.

I’m looking forward to some restrictions on the hidden carry, open carry, stand your ground, shoot to kill legislation that has driven up both violence and unease.

I’m looking forward to seeing our crumbling infrastructure replaced by modern, safe replacements that include smart alternatives in public and private transportation.

I’m looking forward to changes in the tax system that will rein in the out of control disparity between rich and poor and restore to our nation a healthy middle class with opportunity to achieve.

I’m looking forward to greater justice. Across races. Across sexes. Across genders. Across religions. Across social classes. I’m looking forward to all these things.

And you know who I think will give them to me?

In One Month We Will Begin Intentionally Starving Poor People

Hamilton Nolan
Today 5:35pmFiled to: THE POORS

At the end of March, 22 states will begin imposing work requirements on people who want food stamps. Hundreds of thousands of people will likely lose their food aid.

The Wall Street Journal reports that starting on April 1, all of those states plan to reinstate a rule that had been set aside after the financial crisis led to mass unemployment: that adults with no dependents or disabilities are limited to “three months of food stamps in any three-year period—unless they work at least 80 hours a month, or meet education and training or volunteer benchmarks.”

Food stamps, by the way, are a government program that works extremely well.

If people are unable to find a job, it is cruel to force them to starve, and it is foolish to make a poor, unemployed, hungry person sit through classes that will not directly lead to a job, or spend their time volunteering, for no income, simply so they can have food to eat, but no money or free time to obtain it. The likely outcome of reinstating these rules: “The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that 500,000 to one million people will lose access to food stamps this year, citing the experience in states where work requirements already returned.”

This is the human cost of all of those years of right-wing rhetoric about fairy tale “welfare queens” ripping off the system. That rhetoric was used only for momentary political gain. But it engendered a deep belief in certain parts of the public that even food is too gracious of a gift for our poorest citizens. So now, hundreds of thousands of people will go hungry, so that some other, smaller number of better-off people can believe that they are not being ripped off by people they do not know and will never see.


The secretly-elected Heritage crew creates new headaches for House Speaker Paul Ryan

By Joan McCarter
Wednesday Feb 24, 2016 · 2:53 PM EST

For a former budget committee chairman—and GOP golden boy—House Speaker Paul Ryan is proving astoundingly inept at leading his conference in coming up with a budget. He began the Congressional session in January promising that once the House failed one more time to repeal Obamacare, they'd get the 2017 budget and spending bills done first thing. “First thing” has turned into March, and March is clearly going to turn into maybe sometime before November. Because the House Republican conference can't be led, except by the Heritage Foundation, with all the money its attached Heritage Action group has to spend.

Further complicating Speaker Paul Ryan's effort, the Heritage Foundation—the right's most influential think-tank—unveiled a budget blueprint that goes far, far beyond anything Ryan is proposing when it comes to slashing government spending.

The aggressive conservative wish list, provided to POLITICO, is likely to increase unrest in the Republican conference and boost hardliners’ resistance to leadership’s pitch of sticking to a spending deal made with President Barack Obama.

“The point of the blueprint is both to educate the public but also to influence Congress and the presidential candidates,” said Paul Winfree, director of the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation.

The public would be horrified by reading what Heritage has in store for them in their wish list. Of course there's the obligatory defunding of Planned Parenthood, and cutting off of funds for clean air and water enforcement. But they go all the way down to things like eliminating grants under the Violence Against Women Act (make those domestic violence shelters have bake sales!), disaster assistance for small businesses, and healthy food for school children. This is what the House maniacs are going to line up behind.

Meanwhile, the current budget chairman and Ryan are working within the realm of budgeting and spending that they inherited from the agreement outgoing speaker John Boehner worked out, the one that could actually pass in both the House and Senate and be signed by the president. But they have been working with the Freedom-y types toward something those guys might not totally oppose, "a compromise in which discretionary spending would remain at the higher level, but the House would pursue significant cuts to mandatory and entitlement spending through the appropriations process or in a reconciliation bill." That might lose them some fed-up Republicans and all Democrats—and thus would make it impossible to pass. And now that Heritage has released its marching orders, a compromise probably isn't going to be good enough for all the Freedomy folks.

So Ryan is in the thickets, where any Republican "leader" is going to end up. Meanwhile, John Boehner must be kicking his feet up with a bourbon and a cigarette, having a great time not having to deal with this particular set of clowns.

Re-post of a favorite: Willful, destructive ignorance...

Re-post of a favorite: The economy - it's not rocket science.

Five OBG posts - remembering the George W Bush years

Religiously speaking

In truth, the reason for the Burka 

Religion - when you really WANT to be deceived.
Just a piece of the crazy behind every facet of religion.

Living with America's gun culture

WLWT Cincinnati
Police: Officers shoot, kill man who pulled gun in Westwood
One person is dead after being shot by three Cincinnati police officers Wednesdayevening, Cincinnati police spokesman Lt. Steve Saunders said.
Two men recovering after double shooting on I-64 in Newport News
(WVEC) -- Two men are in the hospital after a shooting on Interstate 64 Thursday morning. State police say it happened at 2 a.m. on I-64 near the 259 ...
2 Plymouth officers identified in fatal shooting
PLYMOUTH, Minn. - Two officers involved in Friday's fatal shooting of a man accused of shooting a woman, before running her over with a vehicle, ...
WYFF Greenville
One dead, police searching for gunmen after shooting at bowling alley
EASLEY, S.C. —One person is dead after a shooting at Tri-City Lanes ... for three men who were seen leaving the parking lot after the shooting.
Son charged with murder after shooting mom's attacker
Son charged with murder after shooting mom's attacker. Police say Treveon Jones fired nearly 20 shots from an assault rifle and killed 40-year-old ...
Breaking: Police officer injured in Santa Ana shooting, one person detained
SANTA ANA – Authorities Wednesday afternoon are investigating a shooting in Santa Ana where a police officer was injured and one suspect was hit ...
The Coloradoan
DA: Larimer SWAT suspect slit own throat before shooting
Larimer County District Attorney Cliff Riedel deemed deputy Chris Melvin justified inshooting the man as he lunged toward deputies while clutching a ...
New York Daily News
East Flatbush, Brooklyn shooting victim may have been targeted
The 33-year-old man fatally shot in the driveway of a Brooklyn home may have been targeted, the Daily News has learned. Witnesses told police that ...
Latest: College President Says School Saddened Over Shooting
The president of Wabash College says everyone on the campus is deeply saddened by the shooting deaths of a woman and her young son that police ...
Shooting victim's body found in Santa Rosa roadway
Santa Rosa police found the body of a shooting victim lying in an east Santa Rosa road Wednesday night and detectives were called out to investigate ...
1 person arrested after deadly shooting outside Randolph bar
The shooting happened around 1 a.m. Wednesday morning. Officers were at the scene in a matter of seconds because they had just pulled someone ...
2 women injured, 1 critically, in Harvey shooting
A brief manhunt was launched when Harvey police arrived at the scene of theshooting, but did not find the shooter, who remains at large. Police say ...
CBS News
2 Dead, 1 Injured in Las Vegas Shooting
Las Vegas police say two people are dead and another is injured after an early morningshooting near the Strip. Lt. Dan McGrath told Las Vegas TV ...
911 calls reveal scary, chaotic scene during Northlake Mallshooting
911 calls reveal scary, chaotic scene during Northlake Mall shooting. CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Just after 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve a scary, chaotic shooting ...


Man doing OK after accidentally shooting himself
Dispatchers with the Huron County Sheriff's Office received a call from a Park Avenue man who reported heaccidentally shot himself after cleaning his ...
Telangana lawmaker's driver dies in accidental shooting
Hyderabad, Feb 16 : The driver of a Telangana legislator died when a gun went off under suspicious circumstances here on Tuesday, police said.
WLWT Cincinnati
Suspect says Westwood homicide was an accident
Police said Williams shot and killed Derrick Johnson, 23, on Saturday ... In court Monday, Williams' attorney said the shooting was an accident, and ...
ABC15 Arizona
Avondale police say shooting of man may have beenaccidental
AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Avondale police say a 19-year-old man was seriously wounded in a shooting that may have been accidental. Police say the ...
Family Grieves 13-Year-Old Killed in Accidental Shooting
Authorities in Florida say an 18-year-old lost his balance on a hoverboard andaccidentally shot his 13-year-old cousin in the back of the head.
The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News and Headlines
Family in mourning after accidental shooting death of 5-year-old boy
A 5-year-old boy was accidentally shot and killed on Tuesday evening. It happened at 71st and Canton, near Trinity Christian High School.
WBTW - Myrtle Beach and Florence SC
NC mom killed just weeks after her toddler son dies inaccidental shooting
MAXTON, N.C. – A man has been charged with the weekend killing of a North Carolina mom whose toddler son died in an accidental shooting just last ...
5-year-old dies after reported accidental shooting in South Lubbock
A 5-year-old boy is dead after what was reported as an accidental shooting Tuesdayevening in South Lubbock. The shooting was reported just after 6 ...
My Fox Boston
Girl, 9, dies after being accidentally shot by 3-year-old brother
A 9-year-old girl died after she was accidentally shot by her younger brother, police said. The siblings were at their great-grandparents' house in ...
911 call from fatal shooting in Battle Creek released
911 call from fatal shooting in Battle Creek released ... now hearing the 911 call after what investigators are calling an apparent accidental shooting.
Odessa American
Pre-K special education teacher accused of shooting husband
... Sheriff's Department were called out to 10637 W. 20th St., after receiving a call about an “accidental shooting,” a probable cause affidavit reported.