Daily Archive: 07/15/2015

Jul 15 2015

Dispatches From Hellpeckersville-My Rant About Rain

I had all these plans to make this summer awesome. Of course, with Mom dying the month of June kind of sucked, but that couldn’t be helped. Here we are halfway through July and where the ever-loving fuck is the sun? I don’t want to sound like a big old whining baby, but at this point, I am, so that’s what’s coming out. I need sunshine, damn it!

The fire pit I was so happy about? Never been lit. Not once. The only weekend evening we had where it might have been feasible we had non-fire pit style company. Every other weekend night has been raining or just done raining. I wouldn’t mind that, but the kids sure do. And I wanted the damn thing to sit around it with them! Roast marshmallows, make s’mores, you know–like that.

My cheesy soft-sided above ground pool? I’ve been in it a whopping three times, with Cleetus fighting mightily against the green the entire six weeks so far. I have found that nothing busts my stress like floating around in my little circle of bliss, but can I do that? NO! I would do it if it were hot and not sunny, but it’s not even that, and that keeps the water too cool.

Sidewalk chalk, beanbags, bubbles, outdoor crafts–all a giant bust, and I am not happy. I am so not fucking happy. This is the third shitty summer in a row, and each one has been shittier than the last. I blame the climate change denialists. The rest of the country is baking and here in the northeast? Summer? What summer? Sure, with the rising sea levels I may eventually have beach front property, but not the sort of temperatures I would need to enjoy it. Fuck.me.running.

Jul 15 2015

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

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Katrina vanden Heuvel: How Obama can hurt the Kochs with one stroke of his pen

During the 2012 election cycle, total spending by super PACs and other outside groups exceeded $1 billion, a staggering number that would have been unimaginable four years earlier. In 2016, the Koch brothers’ sprawling political network is expected to approach the $1 billion threshold all by itself.

This proliferation of outside money was tragically predictable in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling in 2010. What many did not predict, however, was the explosion of so – called “dark money” https://www.opensecrets.org/ou… – spending by nonprofit groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that are not required to disclose their donors. In total, dark-money groups spent more than $300 million in 2012, nearly as much as all outside spending in 2008. And as the next campaign cycle gets underway, it seems likely that dark money will play a more significant role than ever. [..]

In the last year, Obama has forcefully rejected the notion that he’s a lame duck, picking battles and racking up accomplishments. But, if he wants to truly burnish his legacy, he should take on the scourge of money in politics before leaving office. With the next election well under way, the time has come for the president to live up to his rhetoric. In the battle against dark money, Obama can only lose by doing nothing.

Miranda Katz: ´╗┐Germany Got a Way Bigger Bailout Than It’ll Give Greece-and It Led to a More Peaceful Europe

´╗┐ In 1953, the London Debt Agreement canceled half of Germany’s debt. Greece will not get quite so generous a deal.

On Sunday night, as European leaders bargained over a third Greek bailout, the hashtag #ThisIsACoup began trending worldwide to protest the extreme conditions of the deal. If Prime Minister Tsipras pushes the agreement through the Greek Parliament, Greece will receive a bailout package of up to 86 billion euros, in exchange for stricter austerity measures than those the nation rejected in their July 5 referendum. Backlash has largely been directed at Germany, who some see as hypocritical for insisting on such a harsh package: Thanks to the generous 1953 London Debt Agreement, Germany itself never repaid much of the massive debt it incurred in reparations from both world wars. In April, Deputy Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas even claimed that Germany owes Greece 278.7 billion euros in war debt for the 13 percent of the population lost during the Nazi occupation. This sum would allow Greece to clear nearly all of its existing debt, though German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said that there is “zero possibility” of Germany ever making such a payment.

´╗┐ When asked about any similarities between the current bailout deal and the Treaty of Versailles, whose harsh reparations created a climate of unrest in Germany that arguably paved the way for Hitler’s rise to power, German Chancellor Angela Merkel responded: “I won’t take part in historical comparisons, especially when I didn’t make them myself.” Yet it is difficult to avoid historical comparisons here, considering European leaders’ benevolence toward Germany in 1953 and their relative lack of sympathy toward Greece today.

Vanessa Rodriguez: John Oliver 1, Big Chicken 0?

John Oliver, comedic anchorman of HBO show “Last Week Tonight,” made feathers fly when he took on the poultry industry in a May 2015 episode. Last week, it became clear that his gripe with Big Chicken had echoed all the way to the Capitol.

Oliver used his HBO show to attack the giant poultry processors – Tyson Foods, Perdue Farms, Pilgrim’s Pride, and Sanderson Farms – for punishing chicken farmers who speak out against terms dictated by the processors (according to a 2001 study, 71 percent of the farmers live below the poverty line) and pitting them against one another through contract farming.

Their efforts, however, may have been in vain this time. Last week, the House Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year 2016 Agriculture bill and, for the first time in years, the bill did not include a GIPSA defunding rider. The Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee is expected to release and debate its version of the 2016 Agriculture Appropriations bill this week; historically, the Senate has not attached the defunding rider to its legislation.

As it turns out, Oliver’s beef with the chicken giants may have made a difference.

Kristen Steele: Education: The Next Corporate Frontier

Over the last thirty years or so, private corporations have been steadily taking over school systems all around the world. Going hand in hand with “free” trade and development, the privatization of education is simply another step towards corporate control of the entire economy. If you’re tuned in to education news in the US, you may be familiar with the public school closures in Chicago, the so-called Recovery School District in New Orleans, and the proposed budget cuts in Milwaukee that have brought parents, students and teachers into the streets. But few of us hear about how students in Chile have been protesting for nearly a decade against rampant privatization that has increased economic inequality. Or how the UK government recently passed an education act allowing the conversion of all state schools into privately run “academies”. Or how Structural Adjustment Programs and development aid have paved the way for privatization of schools across Africa, which has resulted in reduced enrollment of girls and exclusion of the poorest children. Or how similar takeovers are happening in Canada, Sweden, New Zealand, India, and many other countries.

Privatization exists in different forms, including vouchers, public private partnerships, low-fee private schools, and charter schools. Whatever it’s called, it amounts to the same thing: private corporations gaining control of and profiting from an essential public function. In every country, the identical argument is used: public schools are failing, reform is needed and big business will do it best, providing choice and efficiency. If the statistics don’t match the argument, they are concealed or doctored to fit.

Katherine Paul: House Ag Committee Says ‘No’ to GMO Labeling, What’s Next?

With no debate and only a voice vote, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture today (July 14, 2015) passed out of committee H.R. 1599, a bill to preempt states’ rights to label GMOs. Within hours, it was announced that the bill will go straight to the House floor, as early as next week, with no vote in the Energy and Commerce Committee. [..]

Time and again, independent experts have stated that the cost of labeling GMO foods and ingredients, to manufacturers, retailers and consumers, would be negligible here in the U.S., just as it has been in the more than 60 countries that already require labeling. GMO labels are costless, as pointed out in this Washington Post article. Companies regularly update their food packaging as they come up with new designs or marketing strategies.

And then there was the ultimate lie about GMOs, that they have been “proven safe:”

Jul 15 2015

Deja Vu indeed.

I made the mistake of turning on the TV today. I should have known better.

Found a bunch of idiots parroting war monger McCain’s Wet Start I mean wet dream.

Bomb Iran song (from John McCain’s “joke”)

Uploaded on Apr 20, 2007

Parody of “Barbara Ann” taken from John McCain’s Bomb Iran “joke”, by Alex Arrowsmith.

Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran

Oh Bomb Iran, after Pakistan

Bomb Iran

You got me hiding in my bunker

Crying for my children

Bomb Iran

Went to Iraq, and the Communist Bloc

Didnt like that so Ill bomb around the clock

Ill Bomb Iran, after Pakistan

Bomb Iran

You got me hiding in my bunker

Crying for my children

Bomb Iran

Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran

Oh Bomb Iran, after Pakistan

Bomb Iran

You got me hiding in my bunker

Crying for my children

Bomb Iran

Tried Little Kim

Tried Chavez

Tried Mahmoud

But I knew he wouldn’t do

Bomb Iran, after Pakistan

Bomb Iran

You got me hiding in my bunker

Crying for my children

Bomb Iran

Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran

Oh Bomb Iran, after Pakistan

Bomb Iran

You got me hiding in my bunker

Crying for my children

Bomb Iran

Bomb Iran

Bomb Iran

Bomb Iran

Jul 15 2015

The Breakfast Club (Seeing Things I May Never See Again)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

 photo 807561379_e6771a7c8e_zps7668d00e.jpg

This Day in History

President Richard Nixon announces his breakthrough trip to China; Fashion designer Gianni Versace slain; Aerospace giant Boeing founded; Dutch painter Rembrandt born.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.

Saint Augustine

Jul 15 2015

On This Day In History July 15

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

Click on images to enlarge

July 15 is the 196th day of the year (197th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 169 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day 1789, Lafayette selected colonel-general of the National Guard of Paris

Only one day after the fall of the Bastille marked the beginning of a new revolutionary regime in France, the French aristocrat and hero of the American War for Independence, Marie-Joseph Paul Roch Yves Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, becomes the colonel-general of the National Guard of Paris by acclamation. Lafayette served as a human link between America and France in what is sometimes known as The Age of Revolutions.

National Guard, Versailles, and Day of Daggers

On 15 July, Lafayette was acclaimed commander-in-chief of the National Guard of France, an armed force established to maintain order under the control of the Assembly. Lafayette proposed the name and the symbol of the group: a blue, white and red cockade. On 5 October 1789, a Parisian crowd, composed mostly of rough women working in the markets selling fish, marched to Versailles in response to the scarcity of bread. Members of the National Guard followed the march, and when Lafayette said that this march is non-sense, the National Guard’s men openly defied his power and according to some sources, they said “We are going with you, or over you”, then Lafayette reluctantly led the National Guard army to Versaille. At Versailles, the king accepted the Assembly’s votes but refused requests to return to Paris. That evening, Lafayette replaced most of the royal bodyguards with National Guardsmen. At dawn, the crowd broke into the palace. Before it succeeded in entering the queen’s bedroom, Marie Antoinette fled to the king’s apartments. Lafayette took the royal family onto the palace balcony and attempted to restore order. The crowd insisted that the king and his family move to Paris where they were installed in the Tuileries Palace. At the balcony, King Louis simply appeared, and everyone started chanting “Vive le Roi!”. Then when Maria Antoinette appeared with her children, she was told to send the children back, afterwards, when she came out alone, people shouted to shoot her, but when she stood her ground facing almost certain death, no one opened fire. After several seconds and the lowering of rifles, people started to chant “Vive la Reine!” (“Long live the Queen”, now the crowd is including the Queen)As leader of the National Guard, Lafayette attempted to maintain order. On 12 May 1790, he instituted, along with Jean Sylvain Bailly (mayor of Paris), a political club called the “Society of 1789” . The club’s intention was to provide balance to the influence of the Jacobins. On 14 July 1790, Lafayette took the civic oath on the Champs de Mars, vowing to “be ever faithful to the nation, to the law, and to the king; to support with our utmost power the constitution decreed by the National Assembly, and accepted by the king.”

He continued to work for order in the coming months. On 20 February 1791, the Day of Daggers, Lafayette traveled to Vincennes in response to an attempt to liberate a local prison. Meanwhile, armed nobles converged around the Tuileries, afraid the unprotected king would be attacked. Lafayette returned to Paris to disarm the nobles.[89] On 18 April, the National Guard disobeyed Lafayette and stopped the King from leaving for Saint-Cloud over Easter.