Wednesday, 2/5/14, Public Square



by | February 5, 2014 · 6:00 am

35 responses to “Wednesday, 2/5/14, Public Square

  1. While state and federal legislators are busy controlling women’s reproductive systems, and the right-wing idjits are outraged over a soft drink commercial, other things are happening and being ignored:

    A stormwater pipe under an unlined coal ash pond at a shuttered plant in Eden, North Carolina, burst Sunday afternoon — draining tens of thousands of tons of coal ash into the Dan River.

    Duke Energy, which owns the Dan River Steam Station, retired since 2012, estimates that 50,000 to 82,000 tons of coal ash and up to 27 million gallons of water were released from the 27-acre storage pond. The leak has at least temporarily been stopped, while Duke works on a more permanent solution. Coal ash is a toxic waste byproduct from burning coal, usually stored with water in large ponds.

    The closest community at risk from the spill is Danville, Virginia, which takes its water from the Dan River about six miles downstream of the pond. No water quality issues have been reported so far.


    Inequality is a cancer on society, here in the U.S. and across the globe. It keeps growing. But humanity seems helpless against it, as if it’s an alien force that no one understands, even as the life is being gradually drained from its victims.

    The recent Oxfam report on global wealth inequality reveals some of the ugly extremes that have divided our world. It also directs our attention to the Global Wealth Report compiled by Credit Suisse, and the companion Databook, which offer a shocking testament to the severity of U.S. and global inequality.

    – See more at:


    No, Obamacare isn’t handing out 2 million pink slips, but that’s the lie republicans are spreading anyway. Truth has never been an obstacle to their hate for Obama.

    If people don’t have to depend on their employers for health insurance, they will retire, start their own business, or transition to work they WANT to do, even if it doesn’t offer benefits because they will get benefits on their own. For those who worry about the unemployment rate, this is GOOD news.



  2. R.D. Liebst


  3. John Prine knew long ago —

  4. fnord posted:

    No, Obamacare isn’t handing out 2 million pink slips, but that’s the lie republicans are spreading anyway. Truth has never been an obstacle to their hate for Obama

    The thing that has Right Wingers panties in a twist is the worry that people would rather not work than to risk keeping their benefits.

    Excuse me, but this has been going on for decades – and nothing the black man in the White House has done.

    I remember when my son was diagnosed with diabetes at age 5 – I was told to divorce my husband, not work and then both my kids would have their health care covered until they were legal age – plus, we would get all the other government benefits such as food stamps, heating assistance, etc.

    Ronald Reagan was in the White House when I was given that advice…….

    Or, we could talk about the time I worked doing income tax returns and the HR Block tax course teacher told everyone to be prepared for people calling the office to find out what the maximum income cap before earned income credit was taken away – because there are people who plan to work just shy of that cap amount in order to qualify for the earned income credit.

    Or, we could also talk about how people who have kids together will NOT get married because then the one that makes the lower income (usually the mother) will claim the kids and then she will usually walk away with several thousands in the income tax refund check due to the fact she gets all her taxes withheld from her wages, plus earned income credit, plus tax credits for the kids (remember GWB increased those child tax credits for these soccer moms to vote for him).

    So…..the Republicans’ argument that Obamacare is causing people to choose not tow work just so they can continue to get health care – is a rather moot argument – isn’t it?

    After all – I did not see any of these Republicans get their ruffled panties in a twist when Ronald Reagan was in office and I was told to divorce my husband and put my two kids on welfare.

    Republicans are a peculiar bunch……they’re a lot like Puritans – IMO. Puritans really love to punish others for the same sins they commit themselves.

    • Speaking of being told to divorce my husband and go on welfare…..

      In 2007, I was told to do the exact same thing when I started my cancer journey after 32 days in the hospital and facing months of chemotherapy.

      George W. Bush was in the White House…..

      Hmmmm…..I guess the idea of choosing to not work and go on welfare did NOT start with Obama – did it?

    I wonder – if these people are lined up days before the restaurant even opens, are these some of those morally superior God’s favorite folks who choose to work instead of getting benefits from Uncle Sugar?

    Please notice – Chick-fil-a is providing security, access to restrooms and Chick-fil-a food to these folks……..

    Only in America………….

  6. I personally know people, including my husband, who will now retire younger than previously planned. They aren’t tied to an employer for health insurance any longer! This will open thousands (maybe millions) of good paying jobs! Of course, republicans will continue with their lies. Their whole reelection strategy is to run on the ‘problems’ of Obamacare — whether the ‘problems’ are real or made up doesn’t matter to them. They have nothing else.

    • I plan to take my Social Security benefits when I turn 62 yrs old. I had planned to wait, but what the hell.

      But, as my husband and I’ve said quite often, we are people who know how to be content with what we have and not be looking to upgrade on everything we own – houses, cars, wedding rings.

      Yes, wedding rings. I worked with younger women who were constantly upgrading their wedding rings.

      Now, mind you, I’ve been married to the same man for 37 years – and the only time I changed my wedding ring was when the I lost the diamond from the original setting – which happened about 5 years ago.

      My husband got me one of those 3 diamond rings – past, present & future – because we’ve been together for so many years.

      But these girls I worked with were all married for less than 5 years when they first upgraded their wedding rings – even then, these girls were planning on what rings they wanted when it came to get the upgrade at 10 years anniversary.


      Of course, these are the same folks who never own anything – they refinance everything they’ve got – houses, cars, trucks, boats – anything….

      I came from a generation that still valued the day something was paid off – remember the mortgage burning parties? I do….

      These folks I worked were also upgrading their houses (in between refinancing) – they were never satisfied with the house they got….they seemed to always want something bigger, better or better than the guy ‘over there’.

      The sad part is – IMO – these folks were having kids and they were raising the kids to be the same materialistic little creatures. I never saw their kids in clothing or shoes that were not designer clothes/shoes.

      Where in the hell do these people get their money? They were working alongside me – so I know the basic pay range these folks were making and it was nowhere near the level of their spending…

      So….I assume it is because these folks all get to that monthly payment amount they feel comfortable with and try to stay within that range.

      But… this rate…..these folks will NEVER own anything they are making payments on – will they?

      Have we become a society that does not care if we ever OWN anything?

      Do we even know how to work towards owning anything – do we even know the value of owning anything?

      Times have changed………

      Another question to ask – if our society is accustomed to never owning anything and always making those monthly payments on things we never own – do we even care if our country has lost many of our American-owned companies that used to make products?

      Americans are very good at being consumers……..but the consumers are not the ones who take home the profits – are they?


    Remember all the outrage and protests against health care reform in the very beginning?

    Wellpoint – was one of the loudest critics and NOW they are one of the biggest beneficiaries of the ACA.

    Guess who is singing a different tune?

    Republicans – at their peril – are continuing this constant drumbeat of getting rid of health care reform……

    This is why I think this particular issue will widen the gap between the Chamber of Commerce Republicans and the Tea Party/Fundy Christian Republicans.

    Anybody in business knows that if Wellpoint is on board as a cheerleader of the ACA – then these health insurance companies have placed their bets on the ACA working…….and hell be damned if these money men will allow a bunch of folks wearing tea-bags stapled to their hats carrying misspelled protest signs is going to get in their way..

    If the 2014 midterms go badly for the Tea Party/Fundy Christians – I look for the Far Right Wing faction of the GOP to sever ties or try to complete the burning down of the Grand Old Party.

    Either way – the GOP will not come out of the midterm elections unscathed…

    Democrats need to continue debunking these Republian lies and just sit back and watch as the Far Right extremists do what they do best – ruin everything they touch..


    Now this is quite commendable. The Michigan law enforcement must have wanted to catch this desperate criminal for a long time……and it appears they finally caught up with her.

    I wonder…….will the Michigan law enforcement also go after the Corporate White Collar criminals that take money away from their unsuspecting victims?

    Or – how about the Michigan elected officials that have been accused of taking taxpayer money and/or raiding the public service workers’ pension plans – and now there is no money left…

    I wonder….will there be such a devoted effort to see that these criminals are served justice?

  9. I just learned that a friend of mine from high school days died unexpectedly. He was only 62yrs old.

    This was a guy that was shy, unassuming, had a slightly speech impairment but he was one of the nicest people I have ever known. He was not the star athlete – nor star student – nor star musical talent.

    Richard was one of those guys who make up the backbone of our society – the quiet ones that take their responsibilities seriously and just go about their business without any fanfare or monetary rewards.

    I’ve not seen Richard in many, many years. But I will always remember his sweet disposition, kind heart and compassionate soul.

    Life is not fair….is it?


    Remember the case where a Tennessee judge made a couple change their baby’s name from Messiah – because, according to the judge’s own words to a television station later – she said the word ‘messiah’ is a title and belongs to only one person – Jesus Christ.

    I wonder if these Far Right Wingers will be protesting this decision?

    They better stock up on those overpriced, deep-fried chicken sandwiches – of course, now without the usual Coca Cola drink they used to get with it.

    I do hope these Far Right Wingers don’t go singing their favorite song – ‘America the Beautiful’ – because that was written by a lesbian.

    Oh, oh….poor little Far Right Wingers …everywhere they turn, they are confronted with the facts that the world has moved on without them..,,,

    • Maybe Uncle Sugar Mike Huckabee will be able to rile up a bunch of those women with uncontrolled libidos to go stand in those protest lines?

      Every time I think of Huckabee standing up there and saying those words, I have to shake my head in disbelief.

      The implosion of the GOP is going to happen – hopefully it will be complete after the midterm 2014 elections.


    Did you hear CVS Pharmacy Corporation has decided to stop selling tobacco products?

    What are your thoughts?

    • I’ve wondered why alcohol, with the exception of 3.2 beer, can only be sold in a Liquor Store and decided it must be in an effort to keep separate what people under 21 can legally purchase. Maybe the same should go for cigarettes? Maybe I’m wrong about the reason for Liquor Stores. I quit smoking around 10 or so years ago. It was hard and I don’t trust myself to be strong enough to do it again. Sometimes I feel tempted even now. It’s all up to me, and I make the decision not to smoke each time I need to make that decision again. However, I also don’t think adults who smoke are anything more than an adult who smokes. I don’t know anyone who isn’t a considerate smoker — there are so few places they can smoke and they’ve been criticized so often they probably are always on guard against offending someone. I would like to see fewer kids get started, but I don’t know if changing where cigarettes are sold will impact that in any way. I guess I basically just think this is a business decision CVS made and I’m sure they hope it is a good one. Time will tell.

      • Alcohol is more deadly – IMO – than smoking cigarettes.

        But, the alcohol lobbyists are way more powerful than the tobacco lobbyists – again, this is my opinion.

        I do not like to see young kids get started on cigarettes – but I remember growing up and the kids that got a hold of cigarettes thought they were the ‘cool kids’ – and when you look through the television shows during the 50’s – a lot of them had cigarette companies as their sponsors.

        My beloved Grandpa smoked like a fire truck and dropped over dead from a heart attack when he was 64 yrs old. His lungs were fine – it was his heart.

        My mother has the lungs one would see if they had been a lifetime smoker – and she never smoked.

        But she was around her dad – my Grandpa – for the first 18 yrs of her life – so the doctors assume this is where my mother got her lung condition.

        But….who really knows?

        My Grandpa always told me that his smoking a cigarette while driving never killed anyone like a drunk driver kills when driving.

        And….to that end….my Grandpa had a valid point – didn’t he?

        These new e-Cigarettes are something I’ve noticed a lot of people have been using recently. There are no ashes – no ashy smoke – and no awful smell of tobacco.

        But, as for the health benefits of e-Cigarettes – are they a lesser risk for lung cancer? I don’t know….

        I guess my bottom line is – the day alcohol is treated the same way as tobacco products, then we’ll have something to talk about…

        My SIL and DIL have both quit smoking – one through using the patches and the other one through using the nicotine gum. Whatever works for the person – I am glad they have made that decision.

        Both of them have told me they never realized how much money they were spending on cigarettes – and their clothes, their car and their own bodies do not smell like tobacco.

        They both seem very happy with their decision.

        Of course, my SIL had the motivation of his first little baby girl coming soon – and he did not want her to grow up around the smoke-filled house and the ash-filled ashtrays.

        But….it’s a personal choice….just like the CVS decision is a business decision that this corporation has made.

        Let’s just see where it takes them and what happens?

  12. There are good people in our world. Here’s a short story about one of them.

    (from the link): In his 10 years as a mentor and tutor, a local man has always done his best to meet the needs of the students in his life.

    That’s exactly what Kenny Thompson did Monday when he learned that some children at Houston’s Valley Oaks Elementary School who had negative balances on their lunch accounts were receiving different lunches than the other kids: cold cheese sandwiches instead of a full tray of food.

    He was spurred to take action after hearing last week that dozens of Utah students, whose accounts were delinquent, had their lunches taken and thrown away.

    “I’m like, ‘Wow. I know that’s probably a situation at my school, and the school my son goes to, and the other schools I mentor at.’ So I came in and inquired about it,” Thompson said.

    He not only inquired about it, Thompson learned that many of the kids were already on reduced lunch. Children whose parents couldn’t afford the meals that cost just 40 cents a day. He took $465 of his own money and zeroed out the delinquent accounts of more than 60 kids.

    “These are elementary school kids. They don’t need to be worried about finances,” said Thompson. “They need to be worried about what grade they got in spelling.”

    Thompson says many kids he knows with negative accounts forgo the lunch line altogether to avoid embarrassment. But that’s bad for education as physicians have linked classroom performance with proper nutrition.

    • There are plenty of good people in the world – we just don’t hear about them in the news.

      Sex, corruption and violence sells the most.

      People who go about their daily lives doing what they can to help their fellow citizens never get a parade, never get their own reality t.v. show or never get elected to office even though they have proven themselves to be a bully, liar and a crook.

      Thank God for the good people – for I truly believe the good people outnumber the bad people. The bad people just have the loudest voices in our society.

    • Pray tell, what is speaking American?

      I lived in the Deep South for several years – their speech pattern is much different than those in my home state of Illinois. New York is different than Kansas.

      So…exactly what is this language ‘American’ specifically?

      • Y’all, come on over yonder iff’n you want to sit and talk a spell.

        Ya hear……

        This was what I heard in the Deep South… THIS the language of American?

        When was the last time you heard a Kansan say this phrase?

    Have we finally hit the bottom of the immorality pool in our society by allowing this to happen?

    I have to give credit to Rev. Al Sharpton for trying to start a movement to stop this ridiculousness.

    I heard today on MSNBC that this boxing match is slated for March 1st. And to top off this news, somebody said this is Trayvon Martin’s birthday today? He would be have been 19yrs old.

    Is this anyway to honor this young man’s life?

    BTW – I also heard that George Zimmerman has said he will give some of his money to a charity – some dog rescue group. He will not name them publicly because he does not want them to get unwanted publicity.

    How sad….how very sad…

    Conservative Republicans do not want to do anything about illegal immigration until after the 2014 midterm elections?

    Excuse me, but exactly why would anyone who advocates for helping illegal immigrants to come out of the shadows and to get into a possible and real pathway to citizenship vote for any Republican who has already stated their goal is to allow illegal immigrants nothing more possible than ‘legal status’ – which is nowhere near citizenship status?

    CONservative Republicans – always those folks who love to make a sub-class of Americans. You know, those folks ‘over there’ who are ‘not like us’….but sure do make cheap gardeners, housekeepers, nannies, etc.

  15. “Oh beautiful caucasian guys
    Who’re speaking English plain
    In ALL CAPS tweets mendaciously
    About Obama’s reign.
    ‘Merica! ‘Merica!
    God shed his grace on thee
    But only if they all are straight
    And just as white as me!”

    • P.S. – Karma, she is a B-I-O-T-C-H….

      I wonder if these Puritan retreads I call CONservative Christian Republicans ever think about exactly how the white race became dominant in this country?

      Or ….how their ancestors would have died during that first winter if the Native Indians had not helped them…

      Do you think this part of history ever crosses their narrow-sighted minds?


    The man known as Nels Oleson from ‘The Little House on the Prairie’ television show has died.

  17. This ‘meme’ perfectly sums up trying to talk to ‘conservatives.’