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Open Thread - 3/18/2014

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: Open Thread )

- 1553 days ago -
Personal news, a Jig Zone puzzle, 3 short takes, and a homemade cartoon (shown).. That's all today.

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Jordan G (37)
Tuesday March 18, 2014, 12:58 am
Noted. That was interesting.

Lona G (80)
Tuesday March 18, 2014, 7:23 am
You're a very busy cat lately, TomCat, and that is very good to hear. But don't exhaust yourself too much; take a catnap every now and again.

NY Times: People in Japan are taking more and more notice of this mismanagement of Fukushima and take to the streets to protest the re-opening of other nuclear power plants and the way the dreadful mistakes and its consequences are piling up in Fukushima. Those down-and-out that join the clean-up teams must really have a death wish or are on the brink of dying anyhow. It's mind boggling that the government is so lacks or insensitive that it lets Tepco get away with it, but it is also quite hard to understand that the international community doesn't call out for stricter measures and a better workforce: highly radioactive water is pouring into the ocean this very minute.

Alternet: I'm not even going to start on this tax.. Just a tenth of a percent? They've got to be kidding, only the rich buy stock and derivatives. Only money makes more money. You better send your IRS guys over to us or to Scandinavia to learn how to tax.

Crooks and Liars: The Russians have promised the Russian population of Crimea the sky in terms of money and goods if they voted to join Russia and then held a referendum while the streets were controlled by Russian para-military. Putin has been planning this since 2008 and he and his puppet Ukranian government have brought the country to its knees financially in the meantime. If Putin is true to his words and pours all this money into Crimea the people have made a wise choice, the only one really left to them. But we all know that Putin never has kept his words, so the people in Chrimea will see the in-pour of goods they see right now (they've immediately send a convoy with goods) dry up as soon as the Russians in the eastern border districts also have had their 'referendum' they are clamouring for right now.
We're all holding our breath here, the situation is very tense. One Ukrainian throws back a stone at a Russian 'protester' and Putin will have his reason to deploy his troupes.

Joanne Dixon (38)
Tuesday March 18, 2014, 8:46 am
4:44 Carnival is so two weeks ago.

NY Times - There are Republicans everywhere. There have always been Republicans. There will always be Republicans. Even if one could wave a magic wand and cause everyone to instantly know the truth about who is benefitted and who is hurt by Republican policies, there would still be Republicans - and they would still be rich and in power. There might be fewer of them, and we might be able to make some small changes going forward, but even if we could rein in the worst excesses, there would still be Republicans, because, for want of a better word, greed. Which brings me to

Alternet - This is the Robin Hood tax. It has its own website at It is supported by Oxfam, National Nurses United, Daily Kos, The Nation, Mother Jones, and other progressive groups. One petition is here
but there are certainly others. Is anyone here not already on board with this? I will be happy to put together a list of petitions. It just takes a little googling.

Crooks and Liars - The Ukraine used to be referred to as "Little Russia" (maybe it still is). There are all sorts of cross-ties around the region. I personally think the whole situation is very fishy, happening as it did upon the heels of China rejecting GMO corn from the United States, choosing to buy corn (non GMO, although apparently the Ukraine does raise some GMO corn that is approved by China, which the US does not) from the Ukraine instead. At the very least I have to wonder if Monsanto started all the unrest. But the Chinese decision also turned the Ukraine into a desirable cash cow. Scary stuff.

Cartoon - It's like remembering the birthday of a lovely child who died young and painfully. Mixed feelings here.

Kit B (276)
Tuesday March 18, 2014, 8:51 am

Time 4:03 - I thought that would be easy, I was wrong.

TEPCO is the Japanese company that operates Fukushima and other Japanese based Nuclear plants. The designer, builder and at least part owner is none other than General Electric, also building these same "junk" plants on fault lines in the US. France was using Nuclear plants and is now converting to sustainable energy. Japan could do the same, but it seems the power of the dollar wins out in Japan and the US. Those who are homeless are paid sub-wages to clean up the mess caused by the earthquake at Fukushima, and they are not being issued haz-mat suits. This is Free Enterprise the capitalist market that no one wants to look at, the stuff under the rock when it's kicked over.

First, as much as possible I buy from the many web-sites that sell only things Made in America. Second, I don't mind the sales tax, though I wish it were used for betterment of this country and not the fill the pockets of Koch and their ilk. Third, I think we do need a new tax code, the current one is over 70,000 pages of legalese and even the tax agents have no clue what it says. Though FTT is not what I mean by a better tax code. For a while I thought the Fair Tax would be the answer to a more honest taxation, but after reading through each detail I found that was not true. A flat tax would very soon be exactly what we have now.
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
"Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

The Charge of the Light Brigade - but I'm sure the readers know that. So now what? We place economic sanctions on Putin, umm....Russia? Sure the cost to the US is not that much, but the EU will be at a greater disadvantage because they do get about 25-30% of the fuel from Russia. It would be completely stupid policy to go in with the military, this is not our fight, nor a ground war we would win. Even if John McCain does disagree, given the opportunity to send healthy young Americans into war, McCain has no qualms. This when we really need to work in cooperation with the EU and find a compromise with Russia. I would not be surprised to see Putin make a move on Ukraine next. The KGB runs through Putin's blood.

The Miranda decision - when SCOTUS did things for the protection of the American public.

Thanks TC - Have a wonderful day.


Terrie Williams (798)
Tuesday March 18, 2014, 9:03 am
Fukushima....Ever get the feeling our so-called 'world leaders' really don't give a flying rat's southern end about the world or it's peoples anymore? I do. Or, are all of them bought female dogs and in the pockets of the global corporations? Yup, I get that feeling also. Or, are they so fed up trying to stem the tide of global Fascism that they have merely given up trying. That too I surmise, if they aren't bought, they have thrown their hands up and sat down in silence. Soon, we won't be able to eat any seafood at all from anywhere in the world because this abomination of a 'power plant' is ALLOWED to keep vomiting its radioactive content into the ocean.....and it all circulates globally, not just to the shores of the US. EVERYWHERE. I guess the Uberriche will get their seafood from Mars or some other off-world dining facility (yeah, right, stupid foolish arrogant POS) while the rest of the world populations die off or get sick with various and sundry cancers and what-not. Makes me ill and enraged. Personally, I think they should get what corporate ne'er-do-wells in CHINA get when caught and 'convicted' of corporate malfeasance---EXECUTION. No appeal, no, 'I'm sorry, we won't do it again', no nothing, just a quick and sometimes public, execution. Done. Over. They really WON'T do that again. But, that's just my fantasy to keep myself sane in this rapidly becoming insane world we are forced to live in.

Tax the rich? Surely you jest! They aren't going to allow the tools they own in Congress to do ANYTHING that would cause them to have to GASP, pay for their pleasures. How dare we even contemplate such a thought as a PALTRY .01% tax on their financial transactions....GASP, SPEW, SPUTTER, CHOKE......HURL. Not gonna happen anytime soon. Personally, I live for the day they are taxed at 90% rate we had back in the 50's. I know, I am dreaming, but I like that dream.

Not even gonna start on Crimea. But, we need to stay the hell out of it......for now.

Miranda? What is....Miranda? mean that right we used to have before all the rest of them were taken away. See Patriot Acts I & II...oh, and the War Commissions Act. Silly humans......WE HAVE NO RIGHTS!!!!!!!!!! None, zip, zilch, nada. They allow us the illusion of having them ...... until it is not convenient to their purposes....which is often these days. Welcome to AmuriKKKa.

JL A (281)
Tuesday March 18, 2014, 11:19 am
Japan: reports indicate Japanese organized crime is doing the provision of labor portion of clean-up (probably Yakuza affiliations)--comparisons would ask whether the GOP has Mafia affiliations probably.

Europe is ready for that Robin Hood transactions tax--no reason to have NY have advantages not found in London for traders.

Would much prefer UN oversight of any such Crimean election decision.

SCOTUS reduced Miranda rights in last year's session sadly.

Lynn S (235)
Tuesday March 18, 2014, 10:21 pm
Puzzle 3:20 No masking my delight at coming in at more than 2 minutes under the average.

NY Times Damn! The Republicanus/Teabaggers are propagating all over the place worldwide. Where is the spay/neutre clinic when you need it?

It seems that people are disposable wherever there are "Republicanus/Teabaggers"!

Alternet Any objections? Damn straight!

"Any objections? The Wall Street Journal had this to say about an FTT: "The waning investors' wealth as a result of the decline in asset prices will reduce consumption and hinder economic recovery." "

Hinder economic recovery? No! Let's face it, the FTT is something that affects the wealthist, not the masses, unless you consider that the 1% will try to pass that expense downward in any way possible. This idea of "entitlement" by the 1% is just disgusting!

Crooks and Liars I saw something on the US news a few days ago during which the reporter referred to the Cold War as still being in place. I was dumb struck! The official Cold War has been over for a number of years. But a new one.certainly appears on the horizon with the way that the US and other countries are reacting towards Russia. And Mad Vlad is doing all he can to escalate things. Having a United Nations sponsored referendum where NO nation can manipulate the outcome is absolutely necessarry. True democracy means listening to the people.

Cartoon Interesting how so many of the advancements made during the civil rights era are falling. That's what happens when you a conservative activist SCOTUS>

TomCat S (128)
Wednesday March 19, 2014, 3:07 am
Tanks everyone.

I took Lona's advice and took a cat nap. I overslept big time!! It's her fault!! ;-)

Robert B (60)
Wednesday March 19, 2014, 5:56 am
Let's see if I can understand this: The right says there is no recovery, no jobs, etc. REALLY! If you check the statistics you will see that the right is DEAD WRONG! At the end of the Bush error we nearly fell into a full blown depression, Since 2008 we've had slow, but steady, job growth, slow but steady economic growth. The rich are making more than ever. SO, why are teabaggers attacking the middle class and the poor and not the 1%?!!! WTF??!!!!

Robert B (60)
Wednesday March 19, 2014, 5:59 am
PS, Looks like Putin wants to become the new Hitler of the new century. How do we get sociopaths out of politics?

Terrie Williams (798)
Wednesday March 19, 2014, 9:01 am
lol....I could answer that, Robert, but I would be censured and banned......

David C (129)
Wednesday March 19, 2014, 9:22 am
all well said........

Gloria p (304)
Wednesday March 19, 2014, 11:00 am
Care2 will be offline for maintenance March 19th at 11 PM Pacific. See you later!

James Maynard (84)
Wednesday March 19, 2014, 2:33 pm
Fukushima is scary business.
Tickled my time on the puzzle
was just about average.

Sheila D (28)
Wednesday March 19, 2014, 9:02 pm
Many excellent comments. TEPCO/Fukushima is only out for the money, and will destroy the environment if given half a chance. The rabid Right would never allow any kind of tax on anything that would give them less money. Putin is going to push as hard as possible, and the rest of the world probably won't do anything to stop him. He believes he's right and everyone else is wrong, so won't listen to anyone else.
Yes, the cartoon is a reminder of what we want to believe we still have; rights.
Thanks, TomCat. Even if you overslept, it just means you really needed the sleep.

TomCat S (128)
Thursday March 20, 2014, 3:49 am
Thanks all.
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