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Open Thread - 4/8/2014

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

- 601 days ago -
Personal news, a Jig Zone puzzle, 3 short takes, and a homemade cartoon (shown).

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Lona Goudswaard (82)
Tuesday April 8, 2014, 5:24 am
That's the trouble for us night owls, TomCat, we're not allowed to complain if people make a racket during daylight ours, but it's a nuisance they disturb our sleep nevertheless. I hope you can get enough sleep catnapping when they're on a break and otherwise invest in a good pair of fitted earplugs. They do work well, but then you may need a new, extra loud, alarm clock too. Good luck.

The New Yorker: Its clear as bell to me, TomCat: Andy has seen your cartoon of Boehner of a few days back. Of course the GOP can't live with the ACA even if it is a fact and a success despite their efforts to repeal it. But they will continue along the same line, now they're lying about the premium rates that will go up and soon they'll think of something else.

Daily Kos: I think I get most of my political information from the US from your articles, TomCat, so I was absolutely astounded by the 15 facts that are never or barely covered by the liberal media. I can draw only one conclusion from that: the US has no liberal media. If you concern yourself only with entertainment and making money, you can't possibly consider yourself liberal, you're just mainstream. It seems that "liberal" is almost only available in internet form and a isolated show here and there, most of which are available through the comedy stations. That is sad, very sad.
So Kudos to you TomCat, except for a story on bees and the short take on Nixon's strategy today, you have covered all major topics one time or another in your articles.

NY Times: I0ll keep my fingers crossed for all those long-term unemployed in the US that their benefits are extended. They are in desperate need of support. If only the unemployed don't fall for the ploy of those seven Republicans who might go along with this legislature without any blocking amendments and vote for them again. These seven have nothing but their own interest at heart, they couldn't care less about the hardship of others.

Cartoon: I'll go and look this one up now.


Gloria picchetti (305)
Tuesday April 8, 2014, 6:19 am
The pipline is not a job creator. It's an flora and fauna destroyer.

Nymphaea Kubucki puzzle time 5:19.

Pat A. (117)
Tuesday April 8, 2014, 6:45 am
ou foresaw Andy's article didn't you TC! The Daily Kos article is exceedingly good – if we HAD a liberal media they would have asked those questions – the Reich Wing have been doing the old 'holler and shout' about libruls being everywhere and got the daft 'apworths in charge believing them! Oh for people of intelligence and conscience and compassion to be in charge!

New Yorker – how did the GOP get away with all that gerrymandering – were the Democrats in those districts asleep? Have they woken up yet and are they determined to right wrongs? I do hope so! To treat the unemployed so vilely is unconscionable and also stupid – and I hope the GOP voting like that get kicked out at the next election and become unemployed themselves!


Jim Phillips (3199)
Tuesday April 8, 2014, 7:00 am
New Yorker: "“I don’t like to get so emotional,” he (John Boehner) said. “But when seven million people signed up for Obamacare, a part of me died.”" That's ok, John... We'll let you go... sniff, sniff...

ty, tc.

Pat B. (356)
Tuesday April 8, 2014, 7:30 am
New Yorker: Andy (as usual) is spot-on with the RePugs reaction to a GOOD thing for our Nation!
Cartoon: The Seventeenth Amendment (Amendment XVII) to the United States Constitution established direct election of United States Senators by popular vote. By April 8, 1913, three-fourths of the states had ratified the proposed amendment, making it the Seventeenth Amendment. Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan formally declared the amendment's adoption on May 31, 1913. Source: Wikipedia.
I can understand your frustrations with the upgrades, like Lona said (above,) a good pair of earplugs works wonders, or a good set of headphones playing your Cat Tunes works well too. Most contractors work till 4/5 p.m., so at least you'll get a night break. Do take care, hope you have a good day/evening, and Thanks, Tom.

Kit B. (276)
Tuesday April 8, 2014, 8:17 am

Time 3:13 -

Thanks goodness for Andy Borowitz, Jon Stewart, Bill Maher and the other voices of sanity. We do not have Mark Twain or Will Rogers but these guys walk tall in their shadow. They each have a method for turning a mess into humor and with that humor often a light bulb effect.

It is interesting that the "southern strategy" is not talked about much anymore. It is as real today as ever but expanded to be the southern strategy of poor whites, and all people of color most particularly using language about inner city people. By overwhelming numbers the poorest are not people of color but white women and children. Who needs SNAP? Mostly children and the elderly. All people living at or near the poverty line need to learn about these tactics. One thing Americans love to hate is the poor.

LBJ once said: "If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him someone to look down on and he'll empty his pockets for you." --Lyndon Johnson

Lyin Ryan is using exactly that tactic when he says that SOME of THEM just lie around on the sofa watching TV and collecting benefits. He knows it's a lie, informed people know it's a lie, but once those things are out there the right wing blogosphere is clogged with writers talking about those lazy, worthless people and so for those who chose ignorance, it becomes a twisted truth.

It is note worthy that the passage of the restoration of unemployment benefits comes quickly on the heels when the republicans are spending most of their time at home and campaigning.

Bill Maher on his show is playing a game called "Flip a District" and all one needs do is send in the name of the useless Representative from their district and the most votes will become a focus. Right now only a few have made it to the board. One who said, "unless Bill Maher has a lot of money he is no threat to me...." (paraphrased) Though even with this attitude of having a shoe-in for the district these folks are not laughing or turning this gambit to their advantage. They are fighting mad. The brighter ones, those who have a sense of humor could turn this to an advantage, but they will not.

In what is a major victory for the president, House Republicans will vote on three bills next week that correct small issues and unintended consequences in the ACA.

Politico (via Slate) has the details:

"t leaders of both parties do not expect any heated debate.House Republican leaders are planning to bring up three changes to Obamacare next week — but unlike dozens of prior bills, these are more minor measures that are not expected to be controversial. All three bills essentially fix drafting errors, perceived oversights or unintended consequences in the president’s Affordable Care Act. They have bipartisan support and are scheduled to be considered under a suspension of the rules, which limits debate and requires support from two-thirds of House members — a signal that leaders of both parties do not expect any heated debate. They hold some political significance, however, because they allow Republicans to push back against the Democrats’ talking point that the GOP is only interested in holding votes to pick at Obamacare’s flaws. They also represent the reality that Obamacare is now fully implemented — and not fixing errors could be more damaging to opponents than being perceived as trying to make Obamacare work better."

What makes this news all the juicier is that Boehner and company introduced these bills last Friday while conservatives were distracted by CPAC. The right wingers were screaming about repeal from across the river the Republican leadership was submitting legislation that improves the law. On at least fifty previous occasions, Republicans tried to pass off attempts to repeal the law as improvements. In this case, Republicans are actually doing their jobs.

The answer to why the House Republicans are trying to improve the ACA can be found the polling. The popularity of repeal has sunk to a record low. The vast majority of Americans say that they want to keep and improve the law.

[....] It’s all but over. These small pieces of legislation mark a major shift, and a big win for President Obama.

Thanks for this, TC I still can not beat your record on the puzzle. I hope for your sake the building improvements move along quickly.

Joanne Dixon (37)
Tuesday April 8, 2014, 9:38 am
5:23 Well, I didn't quite drown trying to reach it.

New Yorker - The only thing missing is a little reference to his intention to keep trying to sabotage it. Just because 7 million signed up for it, he and his cronies won't stop wasting our money voting to repeal it. While you were in the artocle, did you see the cover picture?

Daily Kos - The whole article is very revealing, and I bookmarked it. The only thing that surprised me about the Southern Strategy part, however, is the implication that the NYT actually printed that quote in 1970. They certainly wouldn't print it now! I also note that all 15 things are FACTS. A Liberal Media wouldn;t have to spread falsehoods, fantasies, and conspiracy theories. Reality has a liberal bias.

NY Times - Gerrymandering - Every 10 years there is a census. After the census, the Census Bureau resulta are applied to to the national population. Some states gain one or more House seats, some states lose. These states MUST reapportion their Congressional Districts. But I think that even states that keep the same number of House seats are required to look at the state population and reapportion if necessary, unless of course they only have one House seat in the state. Every state has its own procesudes for doing this. Democrats are WAY behind on monitoring this process. Some states have processes in place that favor Republicans. In other states the Governor gets to appoint a committee to reapportion. If the Governor is Republican, only a court challenge will give the state an apportionment approaching sanity. We are paying so much attention to issues and emergencies that we have not invested much effort on apportionment. We need to do so, and we need to do so starting as early as 2016, since Governors elected in 2018 will be in place to affect the next apportionment. Yes, Pat A, I guess you could say Democrats were asleep.

Cartoon - I think the last Amendment they liked was the 18th.

Miscellaneous - Has everyone seen this? And this? This may get some attention if enough of us do it.
Then there's this. Finally, 2 videos, one of Elizabeth Warren in Minnesota and one of an ad even more feel-good than graham crackers.

Lona Goudswaard (82)
Tuesday April 8, 2014, 12:06 pm
@Pat B Thanks for the explanation of the Seventeenth Amendment

@Joanne Dixon: thanks for the great links, loved the Thai ad.

Dave C. (237)
Tuesday April 8, 2014, 1:17 pm

Birgit W. (155)
Tuesday April 8, 2014, 2:24 pm
Thanks for sharing.

Yvonne White (233)
Tuesday April 8, 2014, 3:39 pm
Great stuff TomCat! But I wish EVERYONE knew the only "Liberal Media" consists of Comedy Central infotainment shows: The Daily Show & the Colbert Report! The really funny part is that they are Both MORE informational and more entertaining than FAUX News!

JL A. (287)
Tuesday April 8, 2014, 4:12 pm
Some key issues and the Senate did indeed pass the bipartisan draft of UI extension. Today is also about equal pay, that remains as long a time coming as full civil rights many hoped for from LBJ's legislation. What is it about people seeking to appeal to hidden base emotions for political power rather than best and the brightest?
Glad improved accessibility will be the trade off for lost sleep.

Tuesday April 8, 2014, 5:40 pm
Boner is a Joke!! He is only thinking of the wealthy teapubs!
He musta drank his bottle when he let that go by and pretended he mean't to appeal it!
He is like glass we can see right thru him!!
We are all glad it went thru!!!
Thank you TomCat

GARY L. (138)
Tuesday April 8, 2014, 7:11 pm
it it wasn't so tragic it might be funny trouble is our country is in deep trouble and people who really care need to show up and vote

Edith B. (145)
Tuesday April 8, 2014, 8:42 pm
I hope they get done with the remodeling sooner. We live in a small subdivision where most of the residents are young and still working. I hate week ends because they are all home making racket. Can;t take a nap on Saturday anymore.

The New Yorker: Andy seems to know the speaker well. I am sure it is killing him that so many have access to health care who are not wealthy.

Daily Kos: I read the whole article and shared it on Facebook. We have only media that is controlled by corporations who determine what we will hear and read. My son works for a newspaper company that owns 28 papers. He was quickly disillusioned about what he could and could not print if he wanted to keep his job.

NY Times: I could chew nails reading about the Republicans response to extending unemployment benefits. The workers who need this money are only out of work because of 8 years of Republican government under Bush and nearly six years of Republican obstructionism under Obama. I wish for each of them to be unemployed, bankrupt, and destitute, maybe then they could see why we need these umbrellas of protection.

Lynn Squance (233)
Tuesday April 8, 2014, 11:34 pm
Puzzle — 3:21 Never was there a rose as sweet as a water lily!

The New Yorker — Love Andy! It is about time that the Weeper of the House and his whole cadre, stepped aside, aka retirement or unemployment, so that the people could have their needs met. Enough of this 1% bullshit!

Daily Kos — I just laugh at the thought that there is a liberal bias in the media. How can there be a liberal bias when the likes of right wing media like Faux Noise are screaming hard and loud. They are like weed killer chocking off the liberal point of view as being fantasy. Further they treat their media role as entertainment because let's not forget, the right sees the people as unintelligent sheeple. Great article.

NY Times —

"… such "emergency" benefits are no longer needed…" as posited by some Republicanus/Teabaggers. They probably would not be needed had the Republicanus/Teabaggers in Congress not obstructed jobs bills, infrastructure spending etc ad nauseam. But they did and the political infighting and obstruction is not helping the recovery and working against the every person. Republicanus/Teabaggers need to be put in their places, THE UNEMPLOYMENT LINE!

Cartoon — Oh wouldn't the Republicanus/Teabaggers just love to repeal this. With so many states being Republicanus/Teabagger, the state legislatures would then "elect" the senators and there would be a definite shift in the Senate to Republicanus/Teabagger rule. That move would definitely screw the people!

TomCat S. (214)
Tuesday April 8, 2014, 11:46 pm
Thanks all, Did taxes. Am pooped.

Janis K. (129)
Wednesday April 9, 2014, 6:09 pm
Thanks, great comments.

James Maynard (81)
Wednesday April 9, 2014, 9:45 pm
Gracias el gato Tomas...

Robert O. (12)
Wednesday April 9, 2014, 10:57 pm
Thanks Tom. I'm glad to know at least one person whose taxes are done with. That actually makes me feel calm since I find the weeks before April 15th very taxing (pun intended). ;)

TomCat S. (214)
Wednesday April 9, 2014, 11:40 pm
Damn Spammer!


Linda Kemp (0)
Saturday April 12, 2014, 8:50 am
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