Tuesday, 1/21/14, Public Square

branches of govt

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38 Comments

by | January 21, 2014 · 6:00 am

38 responses to “Tuesday, 1/21/14, Public Square

  1. Remember this GOP gem talking about the four branches of government?

    • Another video of this markwayne mullin GOP Congressman that seems to believe we have four branches of government.

      This dude was first voted into office in 2012…he appears to be one of those GOP Stepford CONS in the same mold as several other Tea Party/Fundy Christians that feel they can take over….with no experience, no sense of the word compromise and, obviously, a lack of basic understanding of exactly how many branches are in our American government.

      Where do these folks come from?

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/09/markwayne-mullin-birther_n_3732834.html

      • This video shows Markwayne Mullin in a townhall telling some woman calling herself the birther princess that they lost that argument on November 6.

        Then he goes on later to say something to the effect that who would have thought we would be talking about where our president was born……

        DUH…..that issue has NEVER been brought up – or pushed – until the Republicans pounced on that idea and then set their GOP mouthpiece of trash t.v. and hate talk radio loose to spread that particular piece of B.S.

        The saddest part in all this – IMHO – is the fact we STILL have folks who will condone and encourage so-called birther princesses to keep spreading their B.S.

      • You can’t make this stuff up because the sheer stupidity goes too far to even imagine.

  2. Riqht on cue……..the next thing I see on the Internet as I was surfing is the news that Donald Trump – another Birther – is mulling a run for president in 2016.

    Hey – Donald – where are those private investigators that you sent to hunt down the truth about Obama’s birth place?

    Isn’t it very telling that we have never heard of their findings?

    The Republican Party is such a big can of MIXED N-U-T-S……but make no mistake, they are all NUTS.

    http://news.msn.com/us/trump-mulls-2016-presidential-run

    • While we’re talking about the birther issue – again – let’s talk about Ted Cruz, shall we?

      What’s good for the donkey is good for the elephant – don’t you think?

  3. Last evening a Facebook friend began a conversation by posting that she and her husband had just returned from meeting with our next Governor and Lt Governor, Paul Davis and Jill Docking. The conversation started when a male friend of hers (a person I don’t know) made the first reply to her post:

    “We will agree to be on opposite sides on this one. I am pleased with our current Governor. Most Kansas tax payers are tired of paying for every project liberals can think up. Especially when they want someone else to pay for it. State retirement programs are far beyond the private sector and in funding schools no one wants to count the cost of employee retirement or the money spent on building. That is simply unreasonable. The same people who want to bring us Paul Davis brought us Katherine Sabelius and President Obama.”

    The whole conversation remained very civil while several people chimed in. The same male who first responded brought ‘Obamacare’ into the conversation. Then, another male friend of hers (again, someone I don’t know but he is a Kansan over 40 years old, I checked out the info he listed on his Facebook page) posted:

    “Don’t know about all the tax breaks you reference but I read an article in the Washington Examiner last week comparing the Wal-Mart health care plan to Obamacare. The Wal-mart plan was substantially cheaper and offered far better coverage. Interestingly enough, the unions who back the anti-Walmart campaign had no comment for the article. Google “Walmart health care vs. Obamacare” for the whole article.”

    Of course, some did and found the article, confirmed that was the one he had read…

    It was a piece of fiction, no references cited, much “Joe said, Mary contended…” It had unsupported words and unsupported figures… So, of course, the lack of references was pointed out. You can read it if you want to verify it’s no more than a piece of fiction here —
    http://washingtonexaminer.com/surprise-walmart-health-plan-is-cheaper-offers-more-coverage-than-obamacare/article/2541670

    Then, this 40 year old man said: “But the actual prices of the various policies are right there in the article, so I’m simply not understanding the whole “unsupported” argument.”

    I haven’t been able to get this conversation out of my mind. I don’t think anything has made me feel more discouraged than the statement, “But the actual prices of the various policies are right there in the article, so I’m simply not understanding the whole “unsupported” argument.”

    I’m pretty sure I couldn’t have gotten by with writing a paper without citing references in Jr. High School, and I know by High School it wouldn’t have passed muster unless the assignment was to write fiction.

    It seems to me the republicans in our state have no worries about continuing to defund education, they’ve accomplished their goal of a dumbed-down electorate.

    • Let’s not forget these – these folks on the right who refuse to acknowledge what ‘unsupported’ means when it comes to trying to state facts – are the majority of those same folks who will say something like……the Bible says homosexuality is a sin – so it is.

      I keep reminding these folks that just because they believe the Bible to be the literal word of God – does not MEAN it is.

      • I wonder how many of these Bible thumpers actually know how many times the Bible has been translated?

        How do we know if those people tweaked their version of how they want the Bible to read?

        That reminds me…..has anyone heard anything lately about Pyhyllis Schafly and her son and their project to rewrite the Bible into a more CONservative read?

      • All the while ignoring separation of Church and State because they really think a Christian Theocracy is a good thing.

        Here’s an explanation that made some interesting points —

        On the rise of the radical religious right and the breakdown of democracy in the United States

        Several mistakes are commonly made when thinking about the radical religious right. The first is to assume that the religious right shares the values held in common by most Americans.

        http://www.sklatch.net/thoughtlets/pall.html

  4. Chemical spill in West Virginia – from an old tank that has not been inspected since 1999 – and was not even required to be inspected.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    http://news.msn.com/us/more-oil-spilled-from-trains-in-2013-than-in-previous-4-decades

    • This situation and the Chinese showing the sunrise on a big television screen are only two of the more recent examples of lack of regulations. Don’t expect republicans to notice, they’re being told what they should ‘think.’

  5. It seems to me the republicans in our state have no worries about continuing to defund education, they’ve accomplished their goal of a dumbed-down electorate
    —————————–

    Unfortunately, look around the general population and I can see the effects of how our country has been dumbed down…

    From those in retail that cannot make change without the cash register telling them how much to give.

    And when was the last time you had a cashier actually count back the change to you – like I remember when I was growing up. There’s a few places….but not many.

    But – these folks all seem to have the latest blinged-out cell phones, a Big Gulp or Starbucks coffee in their hands.

    And the same CONS who praise Brownback and his Boys actually want to deny birth control ?

    In what world does this even make sense???

  6. I copied this section from the article fnord posted above about the Radical Right – please, take the time to read this article ..
    ————
    The best hope we have of taming the radical religious right is to bring it out of the shadows. If mainstream Americans understood what the radical religious right actually stands for and plans to do, they would be shocked.
    ————————–

    I have shared many times about my experience with these Fundy Radical Right fanatics. I was involved in this group during the 70’s……..around the time this article speaks of…

    I got out in late 1976……..and I could sense that these folks in this Radical Right Movement were something that I wanted no part of ……..and it’s only gotten worse.

    IMHO – Ronald Reagan used this Radical Right Group – just as much as the RR’s used Reagan.

    There are rotten politicians and rotten Radical Righties – but when you combine the two…….that is H-E-L-L…..IMHO

    • It gave me a better understanding and insight. I thought it was well written and made important points. Their agenda is dangerous, but they’re also being used and I’m not sure they know the extent the Republican Party is using them. It is an absolute disastrous pairing!

      • I’ve often asked several of my Conservative Christian Republican friends – Republicans had total control from 2000 to 2006 – and even the Supreme Court was leaning heavily to the Far Right – and I get no answer to this simple question:

        Don’t you ever wonder why nobody from the Republican side of the aisle tried to ban abortion during those entire 6 years of total control?

        Hmmm…….interesting thought, huh?

  7. Hopefully, the new Pope Francis will comment on this issue…..and then kick some gold-blinged butt……

    http://news.msn.com/crime-justice/vatican-monsignor-arrested-for-money-laundering

  8. bobwhitenks

    Billy got it mostly right —- “Greed, Cronyism and Propaganda” —- so why can’t the SCOTUS and their friend the GOP? Even school kids, today, see what is happening and the court chooses not to see it.

    • When a Supreme Court Justice’s wife is an active Tea Party leader and nobody on the Right side of the aisle sees this as a potential problem…..what can we say?

      What can be done?

      • Four years ago today, on January 21, 2010, the five Republican appointees on the Supreme Court — either oblivious to the concentration of income and wealth at the top of America or conspiring with it — declared that the First Amendment protects corporations because corporations are “people,” and that the government therefore may not keep corporations from spending money to support or denounce individual candidates in elections. And as “Citizen’s United versus Federal Election Commission” has been interpreted by lower courts, it has opened the floodgates of money from billionaires and multimillionaires as well.

        “Citizens United vs. FEC” is right up there with “Bush vs. Gore” and “Dred Scott vs. Sanford” as the most shameful decisions in Supreme Court history.

        Nothing is more important than restoring our democracy and getting big money out of politics. We must rededicate ourselves to (1) ensuring that, when one of the five Republican appointees responsible for this abomination retires or expires, he is replaced by a Justice who will reverse Citizens United, (2) get behind a constitutional amendment to reverse it, (3) pressure Congress to require full disclosure of all corporations and people financing political advertising, and (4) move to full public financing of elections. Have I left anything out? How do we make these happen?

        — Robert Reich

      • The courts have been giving corporations the rights of people since way before the Citizens United decision, which allows corporations to spend as much as they want to influence politics.

  9. Here’s another piece of that link I posted above —

    A more troubling and perhaps less obvious effect of the exercise of power by the radical religious right will be the rise of militant nationalism in the United States.

    Many people fail to understand this because, again, they are thinking of the religious right as being Christian, and that Christianity is a religion that teaches peace. That view misses the mark on several levels.

    Christian fundamentalists believe in biblical literalism, and the Judaeo-Christian bible is actually full of references to war and an angry, aggressive God, and certainly does not condemn war.

    Also, the religious right is rooted in the American South, which has a longstanding culture of militarism. Many people in the South have lived as professional soldiers or in communities that support military bases, and have done so for generations.

    For the radical religious right, an American foreign policy based on militant nationalism has an almost holy virtue. They believe that the United States has been specially dedicated to Jesus Christ for His purposes. To question or resist militant nationalism is to be unpatriotic, and to be unpatriotic is to be un-Christian in the eyes of the religious right.

    This perceived connection between the United States and Jesus Christ is important to understand, as it motivates much of the political activity of the religious right.

    http://www.sklatch.net/thoughtlets/pall.html

    • Just two more from this link —

      American Christian fundamentalists during the past few decades have increasingly embraced a view that Jesus wants them to be wealthy. Conspicuous consumption by believers is regarded as a beneficial display of God’s power and His love for His people.

      Until the late 1970s, Christian fundamentalists were not particularly involved in politics. From the fundamentalist perspective, however, Christian believers are the “salt of the earth, but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” (Matthew 5:13)

      That scriptural injunction, along with others, is taken by fundamentalists to mean that they are held accountable by God to stem social rotting and corruption (like salt in meat) and to actively promote the sanctity of the United States.

      Christian fundamentalists understand that God does not want them simply to be passive in the political sphere, minding their own business and practicing their religion in private. They believe that their God has solemnly enjoined them to force their biblical beliefs upon all levels of government, from local school boards to Congress and the Supreme Court.

      • All very scary thoughts….huh?

        I saw a lot of this exact same crappola coming out of the Fundy Baptist Church and College back in the 1970’s.

        Which is why I got the hell out of there……

      • I have no problem with these mega church people being wealthy….BUT when they get tax free income and abuse/manipulate their way into taxpayer pockets…..THEN I d have a problem with that

        These mega churches sitting on prime real estate are not just churches….they are big businesses – IMHO.

        What is their product for sale you may ask?

        J-E-S-U-S….of course, but a particular Jesus who loves ONLY them and wants them all to be fat, sassy and rich….

      • fnord – remember your comment above about that guy in FB not getting the ‘unsupported’ argument he was ranting about?

        No thinking allowed – or encouraged..

  10. Boomers are using their nest eggs to help their adult children in this troubled economy?

    I can understand that ………but I am a person that believes in family helps family.

    But….then again…..where is the real questions that should be asked –

    1) why do adult children need to be helped financially? Too few living wage jobs?

    2) Do our adult children expect too much?

    3) I remember when my grown son was sick for three months and the doctors did not know what was wrong with him. It took them the first 6 weeks to figure out the problem was celiac disease. It took the rest of the three months for I.V. iron treatments and to gain back the 45 pounds that he had lost. My son is 6ft 2in tall and weighed 160lbs when all that started.

    Can you imagine what he looked like when he got down to 115lbs?

    We could see every rib bone poking out – and it was a scary sight.

    During that time…..he did take the Family Medical Leave, which kept his job waiting for him and the health insurance that was sorely needed in place.

    But…..no income from his job – and his wife’s job was a good job – but nowhere near what they made together.

    Plus, all the medical bills that were not covered by insurance…..deductible, co-pays, medical items that are not paid for….

    So…..of course we helped our son and his family…and who the hell wouldn’t ?

    http://t.money.msn.com/business-news/newsarticle?feed=OBR&date=20140121&id=17274145

  11. I detest people who laugh at others in misery….

    But, I do have to chuckle to see these two get indicted – because I believe they have brought everything upon themselves…….

    Oh well, if my chuckling is a sin – so be it…

    http://news.msn.com/us/former-va-gov-bob-mcdonnell-wife-indicted

  12. Is the choice between this woman getting health care for her cancer or some insurance exec making a million dollar bonus? I know which is the humane and sane choice.

    • I can relate so much to this story……….but I was one of the lucky ones, I had a good insurance when I was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer.

      Even with that – we still had medical bills we had to pay for out of pocket.

      When I came home from the hospital after the first surgery – my husband would run to get the mail out of the mailbox before I knew it had arrived.

      He told me just a few years ago that he got to the point where he did not even open the damn envelopes any longer – he just threw them into a folder in the closet in the spare room – to keep me from finding them.

      Of course, eventually he had to look at these bills to see exactly what we were facing……and he again threw up his arms in exasperation at the entire overwhelming ordeal.

      Like I said – we had good insurance….and we still found ourselves in dire financial straits.

      We quickly went through our savings account – and then started draining on the retirement accounts (which was a very costly thing to do)

      I was diagnosed in 2007 and was put back together in 2008 (I had a temporary colostomy, my gallbladder was threatening to go beserk and I had a port-a-cath implanted into my left upper chest, just beneath the clavicle bone.

      Even after the 2008 surgery (the one they put me back together) – I still had to endure CT scans every 3 months……they found a troubling spot on one of them….which then required a PET scan (a more intense nuclear testing) and this continued scan testing went on for another 5 years………..

      All of those things add up to a huge financial burden…..

      We have all those bills in a huge binder…….we had to use a second binder to hold everything because it never ends…

      I am the lucky one…..I survived my cancer journey. My brother lost his battle with cancer – first it was in the colon and then his went to the liver.

      He had more bills than I ever did…..which is why his doctor knew the right words to use to get him on disability – but even then, he had to wait a year until Medicare disability kicked in…

      About six weeks before the Medicare disability kicked in…….my brother’s health insurance maxed out …….the hospital was going to deny him a chemotherapy treatment because he did not have insurance and he could not afford the $10,000 cost of the treatment.

      His oncologist went to bat for him and told the hospital to go ahead and give him the chemo treatment and to just look the other way or find some other way to pay for it…

      My brother’s oncologist was a good man…a caring man….and a compassionate man. He would get infuriated with all the red tape……and he often said that this is not right in a country that is so rich as America.

      Did I mention my brother’s oncologist was a foreign-born doctor?

      My brother lived in Illinois. I live in Kansas and my oncologist is also a foreign-born doctor who is much like my brother’s oncologist.

      Both doctors had the same feeling towards America’s health care system…..these men could not understand why so many of their patients had t suffer financially just because they had the misfortune to be the ones that got cancer.

      Is it something unique to America that we have people who feel that health care is only reserved for those who can afford health insurance or to pay for it privately?

      If that is true….then why do those same people loudly profess to be so God-fearing and Pro Life supporters?

      It does not make any sense to me……not back then when I was facing my own cancer….and not now.

      My own oncologist

      • My own oncologist would often take patients that had maxed out their insurance plans and was not on Medicaid or Medicare yet but still needed treatment.

        Ironic thing is – these patients would come from downtown Wichita where the large group of ‘the best doctors’ have their offices.

        Also very telling is how ‘the best doctor’s had no trouble asking my oncologist to treat their patient during this time and then would they please send the patient back when their Medicaid or Medicare kicked in.

        What nerve……don’t you think?

      • Yours is a powerful story. I’m so sad it turned out the way it did for your brother and so happy it turned out differently for you. I wish everyone had good health care and there wasn’t any question about who had to pay for what. I can’t even imagine the added misery of medical bills when you’re fighting for your life.

      • It is even more sad when I think back and it was the Catholic-owned hospital billing person calling me on the phone the next day after I was discharged from their hospital with two drainage bags still attached to my left side and she was demanding to know WHEN I was going to pay my portion of their damn bill.

        From that day forward – those billing people kept calling me and when I told them that I still had drainage bags hanging off my left side, the color of my skin was a pale grayish ash color and due to the weight loss – my skin was hanging on my bones.

        Exactly….how in the hell was I going to return to work to pay their damn bill.?

        It was then this woman (representing this Catholic-owned hospital) that I could divorce my husband, quit my part time job and go on welfare.

        Hmmmm…..I guess divorce is okay if it means that is the fastest way for the Catholics to get their blood money?

        When my insurance did pay – rather quickly, I may add – the hospital was paid $168,000.

        This was for a 29-day stay at the hospital (in two different visits).

        DAMN…for $168,000 – I could have had a really big celebration party and gone out of this world in style………instead, I was in an uncomfortable bed, tied down to the bed with those SCD things (they massage your legs to keep the circulation going to help prevent blood clots) and I was being fed intravenously and I had ever antibiotic in the world thrown at me in high doses to kill the bacteria in the abscess that had attached itself to my colon.
        (This was just one of my complications).

        Sometimes I look back on those days and wonder…..how the hell did we ever do what it took to survive?

        Short answer: my 1-yr old granddaughter was my focal point. My kids and husband, of course, but it was the thought of leaving that precious little baby girl that I could not bring myself to give up.

        But….just imagine my story multiplied by thousands in this country…..

        Something has to be done with our health care system. the Affordable Care Act is a good start…..but it needed to go further…IMHO

        The prices of health care are still way too much…….and the waste and fraud is still too much…..