Tuesday, 11/23/10, Public Square

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Filed under The Public Square

47 responses to “Tuesday, 11/23/10, Public Square

  1. fragotwofortwo

    I”m shocked !!!

    Body scanner makers doubled lobbying cash over 5 years

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2010-11-22-scanner-lobby_N.htm

    WASHINGTON — The companies with multimillion-dollar contracts to supply American airports with body-scanning machines more than doubled their spending on lobbying in the past five years and hired several high-profile former government officials to advance their causes in Washington, government records show.

    • It always seems to boil down to follow the money.

      My sis is on her way to Wichita from Charlotte. She called a few minutes ago from Houston to say this early in the morning the airports are nearly empty, she had a row of three seats to herself on the plane from Charlotte to Houston, no pat downs and the full body scanner at the Charlotte airport wasn’t in use this morning. She said it seems eerie for airports to be so quiet at this time of year.

  2. Former Senator Alan Simpson is a Very Serious Person. He must be — after all, President Obama appointed him as co-chairman of a special commission on deficit reduction.

    So here’s what the very serious Mr. Simpson said on Friday: “I can’t wait for the blood bath in April. … When debt limit time comes, they’re going to look around and say, ‘What in the hell do we do now? We’ve got guys who will not approve the debt limit extension unless we give ’em a piece of meat, real meat,’ ” meaning spending cuts. “And boy, the blood bath will be extraordinary,” he continued.

    Republicans will probably try to blackmail the president into policy concessions by, in effect, holding the government hostage; they’ve done it before.

    Now, you might think that the prospect of this kind of standoff, which might deny many Americans essential services, wreak havoc in financial markets and undermine America’s role in the world, would worry all men of good will. But no, Mr. Simpson “can’t wait.” And he’s what passes, these days, for a reasonable Republican.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/22/opinion/22krugman.html?_r=4

    • Zippy

      Did you already mention “the lesser people will be cared for” and that Social Security is “a milk cow with 300 million tits.”?

      My apologies if I’m being redundant. This is a perfect example of the worst of inherited wealth (and, in this case, a Senate seat from his dad).

      I should point out the obvious: neither wealth nor privilege mandates this this type of vacuous, predatory mediocrity.

      But having stacks of cash makes being a dumbass a hell of a lot easier, and can open doors to success when failure would be the most obvious result (as in the case of the not-terribly-clever former Senator from Less-than-Sedgwick-County).

      And I reminded that both George W. Bush and J. Danforth Quayle graduated from Yale.

      The advantage thinking people have is not that we have endless vision, boundless rationality, or incapable of screwing up. What have is the capacity to self-conciously examine screw-ups: our own, and others., and ocassionally learn from them. The only lesson these people learn is that “we need to win more elections, and let someone else worry about the collapse of everything that makes of exagerrated standard-of-living possible–we pay someone to do that for us.”

      And–this may be our only hope–a significant percentage of the wealthy and privileged can see what’s happening now, worldwide, and realize that it destructive not just to democracy and human lives, but the continuance of human civilization itself. People who understand that economic feudalism wastes the best and the brightest, and that nothing but sucking the bones from a economic corpse happens if class become the sole vector of “success.”

      What happens when the people who make and do everything refuse to make and do everything for those who do nothing? “Nothing to lose but your chains”! No wonder we saw all the premature hysterical over hallucinated “socialism.” It is the inescapable counterpoint to the oligarchic plans. Of course, institutionalized socialism has its own issues but, having lived through many various of market-driven democracy, I think maybe, if they can actuallly pay attention to reality instead of the latest TV propaganda, they might actually examine it for what it is:, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

      P.S. Sounds like a pretty self-righteous, self-assured treatise, huh? I could be an idiot, and would cheerfully welcome evidence to that effect.

      But when you see the same things happening in country-after-country, and realize this is what happened in the 20-30s, well, I can only point my finger and say “Lookit that!”

      (Well, okay, I can say more, but I’ve saved those rants for a future time) .

  3. David B

    Many politicos think Obama and the Democrats will look very good after the Republicans throw their temper tantrums and disrupt the nation.

    • Obama and the democrats look good before the Republicans begin whatever it is they decide to begin. Have you heard a single one of them mention the word, “jobs?” Nope! Their plan seems to be fight against anything that might improve America. Borrow money to give tax cuts to the wealthy, while simultaneously depriving unemployed Americans any additional help. They’re even fighting against aid to small businesses and a strategic arms treaty.

      My oft-asked, never-answered question: What was the last legislative accomplishment of a Republican majority that improved the lot of Americans and makes you feel most proud?

  4. tosmarttobegop

    28,500 U.S. personal in South Korea, can anyone else say “sacrificial lambs”?
    Reengaging in the Korean conflict (i.e. war) at any time would not be popular.

    With the American people already mildly war anoded ( not weary since both Iraq and Afghanistan are seen by many more like watching “The longest day” movie over again and just as real as a movie.

    Or as a partisan power point) it on occasion interfering with following Bristol Palin dancing.

    An all out conflict those 28,500 would be at best, hard press to not be over ran waiting for a response of large enough reaction from the military.

    How would the people respond to a activation of the draft in order to have the man power to respond to fighting a series of conflict through out the world?

    When it is no longer someone else’s sons or daughters in harm’s way.

    • indypendent

      As you are all aware, I have very strong feelings about how our military leaders have handled the wars ever since Vietnam.

      I am tired of these old geezer politicians and their lockstepping warbots sitting here in the comfort of the USA and chanting WAR-WAR-WAR.

      If our country’s safety is at stake and we are attacked – then I have absolutely no problem with going to war. but as we saw in Iraq – Saddam did attack us – the majority of those 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia. But what did bush do? He went after Saddam (perhaps because the Saudis wanted Saddam out and to bankrupt the US at the same time).

      Bush vowed to capture bin laden – but we all know after awhile Bush himself stated that he did not think about bin laden anymore. What a slap in the face of all those 9/11 victims, their families and the entire USA.

      I think we should make it a law that every elected official that votes to go to war has to send their firstborn for the front combat line (not some cushy Washington insider job). And if they are not willing to do that – then they have to send their OWN sorry butt to the front line.

      Maybe then – and only then – will we get this fantasy of riding up on our little cowboy horse and screaming ‘bring it on’ with not having a clue as to how to actually exit the war finally get out of our heads!

      But I suspect the defense contractors and all those private contractors that profit from useless wars would feel differently. And they are – after all – the only ‘real’ americans with a vote because they have the big bucks to grease the old geezers’ pockets.

    • indypendent

      correction: Saddam did NOT attack us.

  5. Maybe Joe should get hold of Kris Kobach and the two of them can collaborate about problems that don’t need solutions because they aren’t a problem…

    Joe Miller will not go quietly into the night: The Alaska Republican Senate candidate is suing the state for a recount, alleging that it counted too many votes for write-in victor Lisa Murkowski. Miller is suing even though Murkowksi leads by 10,000 votes—and would still lead by 2,100 votes if Miller’s ballot challenges were all successful. Miller alleges too many votes were counted for Murkowski, the state failed to count votes for him, and some voters were allowed to cast a ballot without identification.

    http://www.adn.com/2010/11/22/1567823/miller-files-vote-suit-in-state.html

  6. fragotwofortwo

    “Many politicos think Obama and the Democrats will look very good after the Republicans throw their temper tantrums and disrupt the nation.”

    How long do you think the country can last with the current con vs. lib dynamic? Feels like we are approaching some kind of end game. What happens next who knows.

    • Their masters, the corporations, keep them at one another’s throats thus ensuring they are doing the master’s bidding.

      Accomplishments that benefit Americans and America? Nope! Because that means someone would get the credit and the opposing someones would see that as a defeat. Since no one can win because all that seems to mean is someone lost, I don’t expect we lowly citizens to benefit.

  7. itolduso

    Cut the defense budget

    Role of US Navy

    USS Iwo Jima Returns from Continuing Promise Mission

    NORFOLK (NNS) — USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), along with various embarked units, returned to Norfolk Nov. 18 concluding four months at sea in support of the Caribbean phase of the humanitarian/civic assistance (HCA) and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief missions for Continuing Promise 2010 (CP10).

    Iwo Jima’s mission during CP10 was to conduct joint civil-military operations, conduct HCA missions and provide veterinary, medical, dental and civil engineering support to eight partner nations. Iwo Jima and its Sailors strengthened the United States’ and 4th Fleet’s commitment to the region by fostering partnerships, building relationships and improving partner nation capabilities.

    “Continuing Promise 2010 was a spectacular success,” said Capt. Thomas Negus, Continuing Promise 2010 mission commander. “The entire Continuing Promise team demonstrated through their incredible efforts everyday, the strong commitment the United States has for its neighbors in the region. Every person involved with this mission should be incredibly proud of their efforts and achievements over the past four months as they gave of themselves to provide aid and help to those in need. They are true heroes of compassion

    • indypendent

      I agree to cut the defense budget. And while I can see the benefits of being seen as a country that helps our fellow neighors, is that really what the US Navy needs to be doing?

      Where are all those faith-based and other charitable groups? Why don’t they set up something like the Navy did in this case and go out to fill the humanitarian needs?

      of course, those faith-based groups will want the right to proseltyze and I would have to draw the line there. If these faith-based groups really want to present our country as a Christian country – then do it by actions and not just words.

  8. indypendent

    Here is one possibility of what could happen if the Democrats and Republicans continue on this same divided path. It was rumored NYC Mayor Bloomberg was considering about an independent 2012 run for president.
    In reading this article, he rules it out as things are now due to the probable scenario that the independent cannot win the 270 electoral college votes to seal the win.

    But let’s just suppose the younger voters and all those who are fed up with both parties (of which I suspect a vast majority of the Americans fall into that category) form their own grassroots movement (much like the original tea party) and then the political landscape looks much diffrent?

    I suspect Bloomberg might just analyze his chances at that point in time. In a year, we’ll see how both parties act and if nothing is done – the voters will be looking elsewhere.

    bloomberg would certainly have enough money of his own – plus he has countless supporters with big pockets – to certainly give both parties a run for their money.

    Personally – I think any independent candidate would win if they are fiscally conservative and socially liberal – that is where most of the average voters are. But alot of that success will depend on the younger voters getting involved.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20023165-503544.html

    • fragotwofortwo

      I hope he goes for it.

    • indypendent

      I have stated here several times that I think the younger generation needs to get it through their heads that in order to get what they want from government, they need to be just as powerful as the seniors who are known to vote in every election.

      I think this health care debate will bring that home to the younger generation. If Republicans continue down the path to take away health care from every American and not make seniors do some sacrificing of their Medicare benefits – the younger generation will be happy to cut them off entirely. Especially if the younger people get caught in their local Walmart pharmacy when a bunch of seniors are there griping about their govenrment-subsidized health care.

  9. 6176746f6c6c65

    First, Bloomberg (or any other “independent” candidate for President) will need to assemble a slate of electors in each state, and meet the respective states’ ballot requirements. Unless and until this is done, the rest is irrelevant.

    • indypendent

      As the article states, the two-party system is so entrenched – it is difficult for any independent candidate to run.

      But just because it is difficult to do does not mean that it is impossible.

      We don’t have alot of time to shake up this country politically unless or until the right person and/or grassroots movement really does throw a scare into the two-party system.

      If we don’t at least try – then we continue on the path we have been on since god knows when?

    • 6176746f6c6c65

      Understand your position, indy. However, to do what you believe needs to be done will take a lot of time and money, and should be well underway as we blog today. The ballot requirements vary so widely, the need to identify and select those who will be willing to be the slate of electors for a independent candidate, cannot be done in a few months imho. Thus, I don’t believe (as I have oft stated) that any third party/independent candidate will be successful in my remaining lifetime (when we’re discussing a candidate for President of the United States). That said, if (and only if) there are sufficient dissatisfied voters that will band together over a decade or so with the common goal of electing a President and be able to raise the necessary funding to support a candidate without resort to corporate donations (an assumption of some size, I know), there is a chance; a slim one, but a chance nonetheless.

    • 6176746f6c6c65

      For example, the GOP was founded in 1854, in a time of national dissatisfaction with both parties (particularly the Whigs, but also the Democrats), yet wasn’t a force nationally until the 1860 election. That was a much simpler time insofar as number of states, population concentration, and the source of funding of the party are concerned (among other factors). Thus, my thought of a decade to try to replicate (well, at least as a Third Party effort is concerned).

  10. indypendent

    I am watching Bloomberg closely this next year. He may be the one person that could galvanize enough people to make a serious threat to the status quo.

    Or maybe at least throw a scare into both parties to maybe – just maybe – attempt to compromise with each other and actually DO something constructive?

  11. indypendent

    Now this is just plain weird. But to blame it on a housekeeper just makes it all the more weird.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/23/barbara-bush-fetus-jar_n_787477.html

    • indypendent

      What I mean by weird is – where is the dignity of the stillborn? If this family is so Christian, why didn’t they give their stillborn baby a proper funeral?

    • Maybe she wants to be sure the world doesn’t see her as the one who would conduct herself in this manner — had to be ‘the help.’

  12. You know how our local paper publishes “News You Can Use”? Well, here is some news you should use. 😉 It would help if the research scientists wrote in language we could understand.

    Sex makes you smarter!

    Sexual Experience Promotes Adult Neurogenesis in the Hippocampus Despite an Initial Elevation in Stress Hormones

    We found that acute sexual experience increased circulating corticosterone levels and the number of new neurons in the hippocampus. Chronic sexual experience no longer produced an increase in corticosterone levels but continued to promote adult neurogenesis and stimulate the growth of dendritic spines and dendritic architecture. Chronic sexual experience also reduced anxiety-like behavior. These findings suggest that a rewarding experience not only buffers against the deleterious actions of early elevated glucocorticoids but actually promotes neuronal growth and reduces anxiety.

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0011597

    • indypendent

      I don’t about sex making you smarter, but I do believe many of these grumpy political radicals might feel better if they just got some from time to time.

      LOL

    • 6176746f6c6c65

      Hmm, maybe the lack of sex is making me feel as I do…

  13. indypendent

    Reported corporate profits high but yet still Republicans demand more be done so those poor corporate masters can put food on their barren tables?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/23/corporate-profits-q3-2010-_n_787573.html

  14. indypendent

    Victim of over-exposure or over-the-top ego? Pay close attention to the demographics of week two’s viewership.

    The Tea Party set must be in her corner – but the younger people?

    Like I’ve said before, the younger voters need to learn a lesson from the seniors – get your own demands met when you form a group and consistently vote.
    I’m all for that idea. I think we need the younger generation in here – we’ve seen what these old geezers have done. Can the younger ones be much worse?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/23/sarah-palins-alaska-ratings_n_787454.html

  15. indypendent

    6176 – I agree 100% with your assessment of the independent’s chance to win on the presidential level.
    I guess that is why the original Tea Party stuck with the GOP? but then – in my opinion – they got hijacked by the very establishment GOP they claimed to be running against.

    The next two years will be very telling and I suspect will be the launching pad of any grassroots movement that is truly independent?

    BTW – I hope you did not take offense at my comment about the sex thing – it was just my lame attempt at humor.
    Seriously, though, some of these radical fringe socially conservative political types makes me wonder if that is not the root of their problem – they never get any?

  16. fragotwofortwo

    from the dept. of genocide meet your enemies

  17. itolduso

    OMG! Dancing With The Stars fans take this reality TV competition serious… a little too serious!

    Fans take it so serious that Mark Ballas and Bristol Palin began receiving death threats shortly after making it to the finals. Sources connected to the show told TMZ that security has been heightened for tonight’s show and Mark has been instructed to stop tweeting because it was inciting the fans.

  18. indypendent

    Appears there is unrest in Iran over their president. What,if any,will this do to our relationship with them?

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703904804575631093531990342.html?mod=WSJ_hp_MIDDLETopStories

  19. itolduso

    NEWTON — First Baptist Church will host its 15th annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday.

    The free dinner is open to the public. First Baptist Church is located at Sixth and Poplar in Newton.

    Dinner will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and will include many traditional holiday favorites, including turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, and dressing.

    Transportation and meal delivery are available by calling First Baptist Church after 10 a.m. Thanksgiving day at 316-283-3610.

    The event is hosted by First Baptist, First Missionary church, Salem United Methodist church and Trinity Heights United Methodist church.

    Rat bass turds

    • itolduso

      Enjoy if you are in the area, and need a place to go. Pass along to your friends.

    • indypendent

      If these are not the churches with the huge monuments, giant gold crosses and the gym for their exclusive members – then these are the churches who are doing what they should.

      but if these churches are only doing this as a way to be thanked and held up on a pedestal – then perhaps they are no different than those churches I mentioned above?

      Is giving to others really giving if a thank you and loyal gratitude expected?

  20. indypendent

    If the next two years are only going to be a regurgitation of the same old failed policies of the same GOP but somehow disguised as a new and improved Tea Pot snake oil salesman, then voters will turn on them like a snake.

    And while all this is happening, our real problems are getting bigger and more expensive to resolve.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/23/gop-new-old-same-pet-issues-republicans_n_787415.html

  21. indypendent

    I don’t hate all churches and christians – just the fake ones.

  22. WSClark

    My computer won’t post!