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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Where Is Mickey Mouse?

As the mother ship approaches the black hole of the 2012 election year, it stops to look down.
In this time of the cycle, as it has been in many before, the Repugs, their corporate army of a media and their blogosphere have finally spun off into outer space.
Their heads orbiting at light speed, their mouths spitting fire and laser-guided opposition messages of hate and fear. Their Star Destroyers' hulls are loaded with lies and they've targeted you, my friend.
You are in the cross hairs.

We expected this from the Wing-Nutty(1%), but other beings of far different origin(99%) are starting to rumble.
Many of the typically sane conservatives and moderates are starting to show the effects of being infected by the contagion as well.
The signals aren't pretty.
A slight drooling of the mouth, a tick in the Newt Gingrich Moon Colony continuum.
Some have even resorted to quoting right-winged blogs as actual news-- Ala Fox The Merciless.

Mission Control?

Are you there?

Is anybody out there?

We need a Flash Gordon-type down here and we need him fast.

Well folks we already have him, he's been here all along, and his name is Obama One Kenobi.

Member Him?
He's the guy who saved our planet from "Mickey Mouse" and "Darth Cheney."

You know who I'm talking about? He's our current Man In Office.
He's the "No Planes Flying Into Buildings President."
The "Osama Bin Laden Is Dead President."
He's the "End The Wars President."

Member him?

I  do, but then I pay attention like no other. My Father always said I had the memory of an Android.

I Tell U What:

Better buckle up and put down your blast shields because it's about to get wet in these campaigns,
Really Wet...

Unlike the 1%, and in the interest of Science, I use only credible news sources for my information gathered.

Bruce Bartlett is here to debrief:

Republicans assert that Barack Obama assumed sole responsibility for the budget on Jan. 20, 2009. From that date, all increases in the debt or deficit are his responsibility and no one else’s, they say.

This is, of course, nonsense – and the American people know it. As I documented ina previous post, even today 43 percent of them hold George W. Bush responsible for the current budget deficit versus only 14 percent who blame Mr. Obama.
The American people are right; Mr. Bush is more responsible, as a new reportfrom the Congressional Budget Office documents. 
In January 2001, the office projected that the federal government would run a total budget surplus of $3.5 trillion through 2008 if policy was unchanged and the economy continued according to forecast. In fact, there was a deficit of $5.5 trillion.The projected surplus was primarily the result of two factors. First was a big tax increase in 1993 that every Republican in Congress voted against, saying that it would tank the economy. This belief was wrong. The economy boomed in 1994, growing 4.1 percent that year and strongly throughout the Clinton administration.The second major contributor to budget surpluses that emerged in 1998 was tough budget controls that were part of the 1990 and 1993 budget deals. The main one was a requirement that spending could not be increased or taxes cut unless offset by spending cuts or tax increases. This was known as Paygo, for pay as you go.
During the 2000 campaign, Mr. Bush warned that budget surpluses were dangerous because Congress might spend them, even though Paygo rules prevented this from happening. His Feb. 28, 2001, budget message reiterated this point and asserted that future surpluses were likely to be even larger than projected due principally to anticipated strong revenue growth.This was the primary justification for a big tax cut. Subsequently, as it became clear that the economy was slowing – a recession began in March 2001 – that became a further justification.The 2001 tax cut did nothing to stimulate the economy, yet Republicans pushed for additional tax cuts in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2008. The economy continued to languish even as the Treasury hemorrhaged revenue, which fell to 17.5 percent of the gross domestic product in 2008 from 20.6 percent in 2000. Republicans abolished Paygo in 2002, and spending rose to 20.7 percent of G.D.P. in 2008 from 18.2 percent in 2001.According to the C.B.O., by the end of the Bush administration, legislated tax cuts reduced revenues and increased the national debt by $1.6 trillion. Slower-than-expected growth further reduced revenues by $1.4 trillion.However, the Bush tax cuts continued through 2010, well into the Obama administration. These reduced revenues by another $369 billion, adding that much to the debt. Legislated tax cuts enacted by President Obama and Democrats in Congress reduced revenues by an additional $407 billion in 2009 and 2010. Slower growth reduced revenues by a further $1.3 trillion. Contrary to Republican assertions, there were no additional revenues from legislated tax increases.In late 2010, Mr. Obama agreed to extend all the Bush tax cuts for another two years. In 2011, this reduced revenues by $105 billion.On the spending side, legislated increases during the Bush administration added $2.4 trillion to deficits and the debt through 2008. This includes $121 billion for Medicare Part D, a new entitlement program enacted by Republicans in 2003.Economic factors added almost nothing to increased spending – just $27 billion in total. This is mainly because interest rates were much lower than C.B.O. had anticipated, leading to lower spending for interest on the debt.After 2008, it becomes harder to separate spending that was initiated under Mr. Bush from that under Mr. Obama. We do know that spending for Part D has risen rapidly – Republicans phased in the program to disguise its budgetary cost – adding $150 billion to the debt during 2009-11.According to a recent report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the unfunded wars in Iraq and Afghanistan increased the debt by $795 billion through the end of fiscal 2008. The continuation of these wars by Mr. Obama added another $488 billion through the end of 2011.Putting all the numbers in the C.B.O. report together, we see that continuation of tax and budget policies and economic conditions in place at the end of the Clinton administration would have led to a cumulative budget surplus of $5.6 trillion through 2011 – enough to pay off the $5.6 trillion national debt at the end of 2000.Tax cuts and slower-than-expected growth reduced revenues by $6.1 trillion and spending was $5.6 trillion higher, a turnaround of $11.7 trillion. Of this total, the C.B.O. attributes 72 percent to legislated tax cuts and spending increases, 27 percent to economic and technical factors. Of the latter, 56 percent occurred from 2009 to 2011.Republicans would have us believe that somehow we could have avoided the recession and balanced the budget since 2009 if only they had been in charge. This would be a neat trick considering that the recession began in December 2007, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.They would also have us believe that all of the increase in debt resulted solely from higher spending, nothing from lower revenues caused by tax cuts. And they continually imply that one of the least popular spending increases of recent years, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, was an Obama administration program, when in fact it was a Bush administration initiative proposed by the Treasury Department that was signed into law by Mr. Bush on Oct. 3, 2008.Lastly, Republicans continue to insist that tax cuts are highly stimulative,often saying that they add nothing to the debt, when this is obviously ridiculous.
Conversely, they are adamant that tax increases must not be part of any deficit-reduction package because they never reduce deficits and instead are spent. This is also ridiculous, as the experience of the Clinton administration clearly shows. The new C.B.O. data confirm these facts. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Weekly Post Convention Wrangle

The Texas Progressive Alliance is back from the state conventions and focused on the fall as it brings you this week's roundup.

Off the Kuff reminds you that your voter registration status is in the hands of a bureaucrat who might mistake you for someone else.

 BossKitty at TruthHugger knows why politicians always hire professional marketers. Americans have been conditioned to react predictably, and marketers know how to sway the voter and consumer. That's why America is Pavlov’s Dog.

The James Cargas campaign sunk to a new low over the weekend with an e-mail to precinct chairs criticizing a single mother's primary voting record. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs reminds voters of Congressional District 7 that there's a corporate Democrat and a community Democrat running for the Democratic nomination, and which one represents the party in a November should be a very easy choice, no matter where on the spectrum you fall.  

WCNews at Eye on Williamson says it's time for Democrats to change tactics and advocate for the poor, working and middle classes again. There is nothing left to lose.

Neil at Texas Liberal posted about 2012 Juneteenth observances and celebrations in Galveston, Houston and College Station. This post also has Juneteenth history links. Juneteenth 2012 is on Tuesday, June 19.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Cannabis Now Legal In 17 States

Once consigned to the political fringe, marijuana policy is appearing on legislative agendas around the country thanks to an energized base of supporters and an increasingly open-minded public. Lawmakers from Rhode Island to Colorado are mulling medical marijuana programs, pot dispensaries, decriminalization and even legalization. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia now authorize medical marijuana and 14, including neighboring Connecticut and Massachusetts, have rolled back criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of pot.  --NORML Facebook Page

Cannabis is now legal in 17 states. SEVENTEEN STATES! Did you hear that, Texas?
17 states and counting...

When will Texas make a change???

Hell, most of the people I know from both sides of the aisle (Republicans and Democrats) use it !
You can't blame the church either...
We have cigarettes, cigars, and alcohol in Texas;
All of which are worse for you than Cannabis... and yet, the church allows those vices.
Ever had a doctor prescribe you a Scotch on the rocks with a hand-rolled Cuban cigar,
or maybe have you smoke a pack of Marlboro Reds? I don't think so.

Those of you who look down your noses at people who use pot, you're all going to look like FOOLS when this herb is finally legal everywhere in the US.
Hypocrites and FOOLS.

I'm ready to blow smoke in your faces now.

To the hypocrites, the judges, the attorneys, the employers, and most of all the cops,

To all those who've ruined good peoples lives in the name of demonizing marijuana users and "turning a buck" in the courts while sending good people to jail,

I say,

'go get high!'
Did you know George Washington grew 1000's of acres of marijuana and many of the Founding Fathers smoked it.

 By Associated Press, Updated: Sunday, June 10, 12:25 PM

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Catharine Leach is married and has two boys, age 2 and 8. She has a good job with a federal contractor and smokes pot most every day.

While she worries that her public support for marijuana decriminalization and legalization could cost her a job or bring the police to her door, the 30-year-old Warwick resident said she was tired of feeling like a criminal for using a drug that she said is far less harmful than the glass or wine or can of beer enjoyed by so many others after a long day’s work. Like others around the nation working to relax penalties for possession of pot, she decided to stop hiding and speak out.

“I’m done being afraid,” she said. “People in this country are finally coming around and seeing that putting someone in jail for this doesn’t make sense. It’s just a changing of the time.”

Once consigned to the political fringe, marijuana policy is appearing on legislative agendas around the country thanks to an energized base of supporters and an increasingly open-minded public. Lawmakers from Rhode Island to Colorado are mulling medical marijuana programs, pot dispensaries, decriminalization and even legalization. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia now authorize medical marijuana and 14, including neighboring Connecticut and Massachusetts, have rolled back criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of pot.
Rhode Island is poised to become the 15th state to decriminalize marijuana possession. The state’s General Assembly passed legislation last week that would eliminate the threat of big fines or even jail time for the possession of an ounce or less of pot. Instead, adults caught with small amounts of marijuana would face a $150 civil fine. Police would confiscate the marijuana, but the incident would not appear on a person’s criminal record.
Minors caught with pot would also have to complete a drug awareness program and community service.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee has said he is inclined to sign the legislation.
One of the bill’s sponsors, state Rep. John Edwards of Tiverton, has introduced similar proposals in past years but the idea always sputtered in committee. Each year, though, he got more co-sponsors, and the bill passed the House this year 50-24. The state Senate passed it 28-6.
Some supporters of decriminalization say they’d like to go even further.
“America’s 50-year war on drugs has been an abysmal failure,” said Rep. John Savage, a retired school principal from East Providence. “Marijuana in this country should be legalized. It should be sold and taxed.”
Opponents warned of dire consequences to the new policy.
“What kind of message are we sending to our youth? We are more worried about soda — for health reasons — than we are about marijuana,” said one opponent, Rhode Island state Rep. John Carnevale a Democrat from Providence.
A survey by Rasmussen last month found that 56 percent of respondents favored legalizing and regulating marijuana. A national Gallup poll last year showed support for legalizing pot had reached 50 percent, up from 46 percent in 2010 and 25 percent in the mid-’90s.
 Medical marijuana helped bring marijuana policy into the mainstream back in 1996, when California became the first state to authorize the use of cannabis for medicinal use. Other states followed suit. “It’s now politically viable to talk about these things,” said Robert Capecchi, legislative analyst with the Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington, D.C.-based group that supports the reduction or elimination of penalties for medical and recreational pot use. “The public understands that there are substances that are far more harmful — alcohol, tobacco — that we regulate. People are realizing just how much money is being wasted on prohibition.”

Colorado and Washington state will hold fall referendums on legalizing marijuana. A ballot question on legalization failed in California in 2010.
This month, Connecticut’s governor signed legislation to allow medical marijuana there. Last week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed cutting the penalty for public possession of small amounts of pot.
Liberal state policies on marijuana have run into conflict with federal prohibition. Federal authorities have shut down more than 40 dispensaries this year in Colorado, even though they complied with state and local law. In Rhode Island, Gov. Lincoln Chafee blocked three dispensaries from opening last year after the state’s top federal prosecutor warned they could be prosecuted. Chafee and lawmakers then rewrote the dispensary law to restrict the amount of marijuana dispensaries may have on hand.
Robert DuPont, who served as the nation’s drug czar under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, said Americans should be wary of a slippery slope to legalization. While marijuana may not cause the life-threatening problems associated with heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine, it’s far from harmless.
“It is a major drug of abuse,” he said. “People ask me what the most dangerous drug is, and I say marijuana. Other drugs have serious consequences that are easy to recognize. Marijuana saps people’s motivation, their direction. It’s a drug that makes people stupid and lazy. That’s in a way more dangerous.”

Sunday Funnies

Who Are We?

The Prometheus is a ship sent to make contact with a race of ancient aliens believed to be the "engineers" of humanity.  
The saga of the crew unfolds and begins to explain how the original "Alien" films came to hatch.
While exploring the distant world, the crew, and their idealistic dreams, become a horrific nightmare... Go figure.

I love prequels to good movies, especially if they're made by Ridley Scott.
I love movies that make you uncomfortable at times. I like the ones that make you think when you leave the theatre. The films that are still playing in your mind the next morning when you wake.
They leave you with so many unanswered questions, but you have to stay tuned...
Prometheus is one of those films.
This film has everything you'd expect from the Alien franchise:
The android.
The scruffy crew (in it for the money...)
Corporate greed.
An expendable crew.
A resilient female who's survival instincts match that of the aliens.(Noomi Rapace is Sigourney Weaver TUFF!)
See a pattern here?
But wait!
There's also:
Ancient Aliens (Engineers).
Questions of our creation.
Questions of our doom.
Stephen Sills...
Charlize Theron. *purr*
Some badmutherfucking MONSTERS

Science Fiction and Horror together are a strong drink, my friends. Heavy.
A lot to SWALLOW here, that's for sure.
"Big things have small beginnings" says the resident android, David, I tend to agree with David because the next two films will be huge. This, however, was a set-up film to a much bigger universe.
I tell u what:
One shouldn't expect to understand Prometheus in one viewing, it's that good. Just my opinion.
Leave the young kids at home. It's rated R for nightmares.
I want to see it again, right now,  and the sequels, oh boy, don't even get me started...
Brave explores risk everything to get answers to mankind's biggest question, Who Are We?

Update: Notes from IMDB on the film. Good stuff.