Friday, December 07, 2012

Sunday Satire: Mitt’s Bored,Obama’s Christmas Trees, And WTF?


Jay Leno: Mitt Romney is going back to work. Romney is joining the board of directors at Marriott hotels. See, who says President Obama can't create jobs? There's one right there."

"Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he's taking steps to run for president in 2016. In fact, this week he's meeting with donors. He better hope they're brain donors."

Conan O'Brien: "Kim Kardashian has been touring the Middle East, touching off angry protests among conservative Muslims. You would think conservative Muslims would be happy to see a woman who's never had a job."

"A new study says the average American now weighs 176 pounds. May not sound too bad to you. But the study was conducted at elementary schools."

"The CEO of the Olive Garden blames his company's low profits on Obamacare – which is odd because most people won't eat at the Olive Garden until they have health insurance."

"The Obamas have decorated the White House with 54 Christmas trees. It's all part of their 'For the last time, we're not Muslim' campaign."

David Letterman: "Mitt Romney of course lost the election. Think about it this way. One day you're the Republican candidate running for president of the United States, and the next day you're sitting in Applebee's blowing on your soup." 

"It's a very proud night for myself and my family and my staff and my friends. I received a Kennedy Center Honor. And today the Republicans are trying to block it."

Jimmy Fallon: "Friends of Mitt Romney are saying that he’s bored now that he’s no longer running for president – though not as bored as the rest of us were when he WAS running for president."

Computerized Brain By 2020?

   It appears that science and the military are well on their way to creating a “ computerized brain “ by the year 2020. Of course, the medical field would also benefit from the technology in combating disease, according to USSpinWatcher  at DailyKos:

Three ongoing research projects have convinced me that it's inevitable that humanity will create a computerized mind.  For example, the IBM funded Blue Brain Project which is scheduled for completion in 2020 requires no new inventions to complete.  The Blue Brain Project uses existing technology to reverse engineer the human down to the molecular level by scanning information obtained from brain tissue into a highly specialized computer..  All this project requires is time and money and it's well funded. The project has already demonstrated that it can do this with neurocortical columns of a rat brain and that it can apply that knowledge to other species.

Since 2020 is a long way away, the Europeans are applying for a billion dollars to increase the level of funding of the project.  It won't be known till next year if the project will be funded but experts say the chances are good.

The military has taken a big interest in such projects.  For example, Britain has commissioned robotic intelligent honey bees for among other things search and rescue missions.  Tiny bees with brains are expected to be able to fly extremely well as they can automatically adjust to wind and obstacles without operator instructions. They are also expected to develop a hive swarm mind. 

So how much additional effort could it take to create killer bees for search and destroy missions?

The U.S. military research agency (DARPA) has also shown a great deal of interest in developing computer brains.  They are helping to fund another IBM project that will greatly increase computer power for computerized minds.  The project is setting new speed records ever day and can process more neurons than are contained in a human brain.  However, the computerized neurons are much less power efficient and 400 times slower than human brains at present.

The direction of the research suggests that these computer minds will initially be copies of existing minds.  The physicality of the brains is being developed by the Canadians.

Thus far, I haven't heard any scientist or politician yell stop!  Apparently, none of these project scientists have ever read Frankenstein, watched an episode of Battlestar Gallactica or are concerned that these projects have a high potential for being controlled by the military industrial complex. 

However, it's not the potential for creating intelligent destructive machines that is my only worry. 

When the projects are completed then humanity will have created intelligent life but the scientists on the project clearly have no qualm about using their new brains for experimentation.  The scientists on the project are discussing using the first initial brains as essentially lab rats to test drugs and other medical treatments for human brains.

Originally posted to USSpinWatcher on Tue Dec 04, 2012

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Fox Sidelines Karl Rove and Dick Morris…For Now

By Lorraine Devon Wilke   2012/12/04      Original

In the continuing, squirming readjustment of the Republican party since the gut punch known as Election 2012, and in a story that’s either completely stunning or pulled from the “why’d it take so long?” vaults, Fox News chief, Roger Ailes, has seen the light and given the boot to crow-eating duo Karl Rove and Dick Morris.

It’s no secret that both Rove and Morris took preposterous punditry to its height during the election – Rove with his infamous post-Ohio “it’s premature!” hissy fit and Morris’ smarmy, smiling, absolute assurances that “Romney will win in a landslide.” In the pre-election culture at Fox News it’s likely everyone would’ve looked away and neither would’ve been called on their crazy. But it’s a new day, the playbook has changed, and this one says both were wrong, both made the boss look bad, both are gone.

Stunning and “why’d it take so long?”

New York Magazine reports that given the new, somewhat chagrined post-election atmosphere at Fox News, it’s time for “freshening story lines – and in some cases, changing the characters”:

According to multiple Fox sources, Ailes has issued a new directive to his staff: He wants the faces associated with the election off the air — for now. For Karl Rove and Dick Morris — a pair of pundits perhaps most closely aligned with Fox’s anti-Obama campaign — Ailes’s orders mean new rules. Ailes’s deputy, Fox News programming chief Bill Shine, has sent out orders mandating that producers must get permission before booking Rove or Morris.

In other words, gentlemen, you are no longer needed.

Likely they’ll find other pulpits, other soapboxes; other carnivals at which to bark, probably sooner as opposed to later. But until then the airwaves will seem somehow clearer. Take a deep breath and enjoy. Ahhhhhh

Monday, December 03, 2012

Boehner’s GOP House Terrorist Prepare to Attack America…Again!

      House Majority Leader John Boehner and the rest of the House Republican’s are still planning on an attack against the majority of America who isn’t in the GOP’s 1% fan base over the usual tax cuts for the wealthy and their corporations          After the disastrous results for the clan in the November elections, one would think that they had gotten the memo saying to tax the wealthy at a fair amount. Guess not, or ether the American public and their desires mean nothing to Boehner and friends.  More debt-ceiling hostage taking is forth coming from the House, as reported by

Steven D at DKos.

That's what John Boehner told President Obama when Obama told him that there  had to be a deal on the debt ceiling. But he wasn't really talking to Obama - he was talking to the people of the United States who re-elected Obama to a second term and helped Dems pick up seats in the Senate and House.  In essence he's telling all of us the price for the Democrats winning the election is that the Republicans in the House are going to ruin the US economy if they don't get what they want - no tax cuts for the rich and cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. For starters - repeal of Obamacare is also "on the table."

This is how the Movie Mafia Gang Lords talk.  It's extortion.  It's a direct threat to tank the country's economy.  In fact, we've seen this real life political hostage taking before in 2010 and 2011 when Republicans played a crude, reckless and dangerous game with the lives of their fellow citizens as part of a naked grab for complete power over the budget and also to wreck Obama's re-election by any means necessary.  That a last minute deal to keep the Bush tax cuts in place resulted in a downgrading of America's credit rating and damaged the economy was just "collateral damage" as far as Republicans were concerned.

The threat that the country might not pay all its bills caused a slump in financial markets and led in August 2011 to the first downgrade of the nation’s credit rating. It left broader economic scars, too. Many economists contend it hurt economic growth and jobs, and a July 2012 report by the Government Accountability Office found that it increased the country’s borrowing costs by about $1.3 billion in the 2011 fiscal year.

On short, Republicans didn't give a damn about the millions of unemployed, improving the economy so people could find jobs and provide for their families, or protecting the social safety net for millions of people on Medicare and Social Security.  All they cared about was preserving tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans from rising 3.5%.  They were willing to cut spending on everything for essential scientific research, funding for the National Weather Service, the safety of our food and medicine the FDA, money for disaster relief, etc.  Only cuts for defense spending were off the table. In brief, it was their version of Austerity or nothing

You know Speaker Boehner, we've had the chance to watch how well austerity, during a deep recession, has worked out in real time in Europe these past few years.  The result: A European Union on the brink of economic collapse.  Why?  Because austerity measures take money out of the hands of people who would spend it thus eliminating demand for goods and services. You don't have to bring up Greece or Spain or Portugal to make that case.  Just look at the United Kingdom:

he UK economy is flatlining, unemployment is rising and around 13.2 million people live below the poverty line. The prospects of building a sustainable economy remain distant.

The common factor behind these grim statistics is that the purchasing power of ordinary people has been severely eroded and without adequate resources people cannot buy goods and services produced by businesses.

The UK gross domestic product (GDP) has increased from the 1976 figure of £621bn to around £1.5tn, but the share going to employees in the form of wages and salaries has declined. In 1976, the amount of wages and salaries paid to UK employees, expressed as a percentage of GDP, stood at 65.1%. By the end of 2011, it was around 54% ...

That's from the well known leftist publication the Business Insider. Austerity in Europe isn't just an economic policy with economic consequences.  It has led to an increase in suicides, the closure of health clinics and signs of a rise in infectious diseases.  To be blunt, Austerity policies endanger the lives and health of real people, as well as affects the bottom line of many small businesses.  Believe it or not, Goldman Sachs CEO is against austerity measures right now.

TORONTO (AP) — The chief executive of Goldman Sachs said Wednesday he is against austerity measures in the short term as the U.S. "fiscal cliff" looms.

Lloyd Blankfein, also chairman of the investment bank, said during a talk at the Canadian Club of Toronto that he's all for budget cutbacks in the long term but not right now.

Blankfein said, "You can't austere yourself into a higher GDP" and added, "It's not going to be very good if the medicine kills the patient." He said there can't be another stimulus because of the consequences to the government's balance sheet and said the U.S. has to convince the market it will deal with its problems in the long term.

Even Wall Street Banksters know that austerity in a time of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression is a "short-sighted" idea.  Yet, a failure to raise the debt ceiling would impose immediate and long lasting austerity effects on the US economy.  So why are the Republicans continuing to push for policies that will hurt our economy, but more importantly impact and in many cases devastate the lives of their fellow Americans, many of them already just barely getting by? 

Because frankly they care more about their rich benefactors, the billionaires who spent all that money this last election cycle to defeat President Obama and reclaim the Senate.  Well, that flood of money did not do what the financiers of the Republican election campaigns expected, and they are royally pissed at the GOP. Combine that with the still powerful bloc of Tea Party ideologues in Congress led by Paul Ryan, and you have the explanation for why Boehner is promising that he will not raise the debt ceiling to allow the government to function unless the Republican agenda, the one voters rejected at the polls, is passed.

To call the GOP a political party is an oxymoron.  The republicans in office are merely the means by which right wing media outlets generate infotainment programming and revenues, large corporations preserve the ability to make obscene profits at a time of economic distress, and a fee hundred billionaires protect their monstrous hoards of wealth from a small rise in taxation.  It's not a political party,it's simply the bought and paid for political machine of people like the Koch Brothers. It will not compromise or do the "people's business" because it does not care about the people, nor is it able to compromise.

Less extreme Republicans, like Richard Lugar and Charlie Crist, have either left the party or been pushed out.  Others have simply adopted the extremist views of the most rabid portion of their base, a base that has been brainwashed by conservative media outlets such as Fox, talk radio, etc.  The famous Yeats poem "The Second Coming" has a verse that perfectly describes them: "The best lack all conviction, while the worst/Are full of passionate intensity."

We learned in 2009, 2010, 2011 and this year that Republicans will say anything, repeat any lie, and worse, do anything, no matter how disastrous the consequences would be for our country in order to oppose the policies that would help ordinary Americans at the minor expense of a few uber rich individuals and corporations.  We've witnessed hate speech, racism and even violence at levels not publicly seen since the Jim Crow era.  We've watched Republicans pull every dirty trick in the book to keep people from voting, and pull every political stunt to delay and obstruct Democratic policies (e.g., the unprecedented abuse of the filibuster) while also grabbing every opportunity to pass laws promoted by ALEC that protect the profits of the wealthiest and most polluting industries on the planet.

Nothing they do should surprise us anymore.  Republicans do not support America as a nation of diverse peoples and cultures with a common dream of creating a better life for themselves and their families.  What they do support is whatever Fox News or their benefactors demand they support.

They will not compromise.  They will not give in.  On the contrary, they expect the Democrats to meekly surrender to their demands.  Well, I didn't vote for Democrats to cave in at the first sign of these egregious bullying tactics by the extreme right, and I suspect neither did you.  There have been hopeful signs from Senator Reid, Senator Durbin and from the White House that the Democrats have learned the lesson of the past four years and will not abandon the principles and policies they espoused to win our votes in order to appease these extortionists.

I pray they are right.  But in the meantime let your Democratic officials, your representatives know that you will not stand for a repeat of 2010 and 2011.

Get on the phone, send in your emails and tweets and tell them to fight, and as Harry Truman once said, "Give them hell."  Certainly Republicans deserve nothing after this election other than a resurgent, combative and united Democratic Party that won't stand for these brazen attempts to essentially hold America hostage once again.  Tell them to tell Boehner there is no price we are willing to pay to see the Republican agenda passed against the will of the people.

Contact links here:  LINK and LINK

UPDATE:  From the comments (mithra): 

Obama Wants You to Tweet Congress on Fiscal Cliff

He's even got a hashtag

The hashtag is #My2k.

A list of Congressional twitter accounts can be found here: LINK