Saturday, August 16, 2014

See Rick Scott Run

  I am still working on new blogging software so this is basically a test. It appears that my videos are now loading, which is a good thing.

   I put up a ad with Florida Governor Rick Scott in it because this piece of crap does not need to be our governor for another 4 years.

  It is pretty much a foregone conclusion that Mr. Scott would plead the 5th with reporters if he could, since he does not know how to answer a question when asked to define his positions on anything.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Ferguson Chief Releases Shooter's Name, Begins Smearing of Michael Brown

    Michael Brown's killer has been identified for the press and the public. But in the press conference conducted by Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson, there was scant information about the actual shooting and its immediate aftermath, and an awful lot about Michael Brown being a suspected thug who had allegedly participated in a strong-arm robbery at a convenience store, stealing cigars.

The Washington Post's Wesley Lowery confirms that no information about the shooting was included in the information packets provided to the media.

Info handed out ONLY about alleged robbery. NO info included about interaction with Officer Wilson, the shooting.

Not handed out: a use of force report, any police report written by Officer Wilson, any narrative of shooting

The fact that Ferguson cop Darren Wilson was the shooter was almost an afterthought in this press conference. The main point was to say that Brown stole cigars before the shooting, and that Wilson was apparently on the look-out for him. What also should have been communicated to police from the 911 dispatches, however, was that the cigar store robbery was not an armed robbery. Wilson, who ultimately found and killed Brown, should have known—even if he was apprehending Brown as the robbery suspect—that he was unarmed. He certainly knew he was unarmed when he shot Brown, according to witness accounts. Brown's empty hands were in the air when he was fatally shot.

The alleged robbery is a red herring. At issue is why Brown was fatally shot.  Even if he was a robbery suspect, that doesn't mean it was legal for Wilson to shoot him as he was surrendering.

  Originally posted by Joan McCarter for Daily Kos on Friday, August 15,2014

Friday Funny’s: Robin Williams Funniest Quotes On Politics and Life

"Politics: 'Poli', a Latin word meaning 'many' and 'tics' meaning 'bloodsucking creatures'."

"You could talk about same-sex marriage, but people who have been married say, ‘It’s the same sex all the time.’ "

On Canada: "You are a big country. You are the kindest country in the world. You are like a really nice apartment over a meth lab."

"A woman would never make a nuclear bomb. They would never make a weapon that kills. They’d make a weapon that makes you feel bad for a while."

"Where did they get Sarah Palin? . . . Did Ronald Reagan have a kid with Posh Spice? It’s like she came from some reality show — ‘Project Running Mate.’"

On George W. Bush: "People say satire is dead. It's not dead; it's alive and living in the White House."

On the end of the George Bush presidency: "It’s the end of the reign of George the Second. The reign of error is over. America is officially out of rehab."

On the American economy: "And you can’t blame the economy on [George W. Bush]. They say the economy is essentially sound because people are considering buying things. That’s like saying fat people are healthy because they might exercise."

On Osama bin Laden: "We can't find him, but he's a 6-foot-5 Arab on dialysis. Call me crazy, but look for a guy connected to his luggage."

"When the media ask George W. Bush a question, he answers, "Can I use a lifeline?"
"You'll notice that Bush never speaks when Cheney is drinking water."

"Having George W. Bush giving a lecture on business ethics is like having a leper give you a facial, it just doesn't work!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Ferguson protestors see police not as protectors, but as an occupying force.

Hunter on Thursday,  August 14, 2014

Why did this take this long?

St. Louis County police will be withdrawn from Ferguson, Mo., Gov. Jay Nixon will announce Thursday, in a law enforcement shift for a town where anger over the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager have sparked violent protests.
This may have been the most visibly incompetent police response in a decade, and yes—it can all be chalked up to the apparent desire or need for local police departments to kit themselves out in Iraq-era military gear that makes them look like they're about to storm Fallujah. The protests were—are—about excessive police force that in this case led to what to witnesses are describing as an outright murder, and the response has been to systemically prove the residents right.

When you have television reporters being attacked with tear gas so that their camera equipment can then be disassembled by "police," how must residents be treated when reporters are not there? If a national reporter can get handcuffed and have his head slammed into a window by an officer for being in McDonalds when the authorities don't want him to be, what has been going on while the cameras were not watching? When you've got seventy-plus officers in full military garb, wearing not police uniforms but infantry gear, sitting on the top of armored vehicles and pointing sniper rifles at a daytime crowd of people of people singing, is that the act of a protecting force, or an occupying one?

When residents are protesting the violence of your police force, maybe don't point sniper rifles at them while they're singing. There's not a damn non-sociopathic person alive who you can point a gun at and have them like you more. When you point rifles at reporters asking for directions away from town, you've made it perfectly clear how much contempt you have for any American who isn't sitting in the same armored vehicle as you are. This has been a clusterfuck of staggering proportions. It seems crafted precisely to demonstrate that residents do not, in fact, have the "rights" other police forces might grant their citizens. The people of Ferguson are, unmistakably, being treated like animals.

Right now Ferguson residents are protesting because they don't trust their own police force. They see them not as protectors of the community, but as occupiers. Looking at the pictures, they're not wrong.

  Original DailyKos

Robin Williams - When a Suicide is a Cause to Celebrate Courage

   I can relate the this story and I am sure that many of you can, so I am reposting it from Dailykos. It is well worth the read.

   By Anti Fanatic on Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Suicide has touched my life personally through friends and acquaintances - and through my own attempts at suicide.  I have often heard the discussion in the aftermath of how suicide is cowardly, and selfish because of the hurt it leaves for survivors. 

Yes, it does leave hurt in the aftermath.  But sometimes, such as in the death of Robin Williams, I think we should look beyond the immediate fact of the suicide and celebrate the courage of the person who fought for so long before succumbing to the forces that drove him to suicide.

I am bi-polar, and believed when I first wrote this diary that Robin Williams had admitted to having the same condition.  After further research, I know he was believed to be bi-polar, but may never have stated that.  It really makes no difference to my views on his death.  He suffered from bi-polar or depressive disorder. I am writing in admiration of the courage it took for him to battle his condition for probably 50 years before he finally lost the battle.

This will be personal, because the struggles to deal with the bi-polar condition are personal to me.  I didn't write immediately after news of Robin Williams' suicide because it took time to organize my thoughts and feelings.

Robin Williams and I were born only a few months apart.  Bi-polar symptoms usually occur with adolescence.  I was about 13 when the voices started, and Robin Williams was probably about the same age.  That means he successfully battled his condition for 50 years.  FIFTY YEARS.  That is a very long time to fight.

Those who are not bi-polar, or afflicted with pure depression, probably can't understand what was happening in those 50 years.  I have heard family members, spouses, or friends tell me, or my family members who are in the depressive phase of our disease to just "snap out of it" or "stop moping around."  They have absolutely no idea that what they are advising is physically impossible.  A bi-polar family member once described it to me as waking up each morning of the depression and saying, "Oh, God!  Why did you let me wake up for another day just to hurt like this?"

To someone on the outside, we may have everything to live for.  From the inside of the maelstrom of the depressive episode, however, there is nothing to live for and no end in sight.  No, we are not "sane" in those periods in the sense of being able to accurately evaluate our lives.  That's why it is called mental illness.  It just hurts.  Sometimes it hurts too much to bear.

To some on the outside, such as those posting cruel comments about Robin Williams being just another druggie, our behavior may seem self-indulgent at times.  However, one of the diagnostic symptoms of the bi-polar condition is overindulgence in pleasurable activities such as sex, alcohol or drugs.  We self-medicate.  We drink to come down.  We take drugs to go up.  No, it is not the best way to cope, but sometimes it seems the only way.  And so, we struggle, as Robin Williams did, to overcome the addictions that come from those activities even as we struggle with our mental health condition.

The courage it takes to keep going, even with the overwhelming pain, even with our mind telling us that the pain will never end, is tremendous.  It is not one day at a time, or one hour at a time.  It is minute by minute.

I have always watched Robin Williams with the knowledge of his condition and a great appreciation of how he had the talent, and willingness, to take his condition and transform it into comedy and drama we enjoyed.  I don't mean that he always was manic when he performed comedy or depressed when he performed dark drama, although I'm sure he was at times.   I mean that I could see the "thinking too fast to process it all" manic energy which we have in the manic phase in his brilliant comedy.  I think he was an intelligent, self-aware man who used his experiences to craft his performances.

Of course, not all bi-polars can do anything like the brilliant performances of Robin Williams, and not all comics are bi-polar (though many others, such as Jim Carrey, are).   But, I could see Robin Williams using both his tremendous talent, and what would otherwise be seen as an affliction, and combining them to produce something extraordinary.

As I watched Robin Williams' career, I often thought of the toll it must take on him.  As bi-polars, our condition is easily affected by disruptions in our sleep patterns and stress.  Even those of us who are very stable on our medications can be thrown completely into manic or depressive swings by sleep disruption and/or stress.  All those years, he managed the long hours necessary for television or movie production.  He traveled around the country giving live shows, hopping time zones.  All of those things were additional strains on his condition.

So, I'm back to where I started.  I'm writing this in admiration for a brilliant man who had the courage to fight his condition for approximately 50 years before he lost the fight.  I'm writing in admiration of a man who did things to allow him to share his brilliant performances with us, even those things would likely aggregate his condition.

I wish he could have continued to hold off his personal demons longer.  I wish we could have had more years to enjoy him.  I wish so much that his children could have had more years with their father.  But, I recognize that he fought a good and courageous fight.

Originally posted to Anti Fanatic on Wed Aug 13, 2014

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Non-Expanding States Will Lose $423.6 Billion In Medicaid Funding

  A public service announcement from the  Daily Kos Staff

The 24 states that have refused to expand Medicaid are losing out on some $423.6 billion between now and 2022, according to a new study [pdf] from the Urban Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Using that data, Jonathon Cohn created an interactive map (click here to see the map actually interacting) to show how much each denying state was missing out on.

Over the next ten years Florida will lose $66.1 billion. Texas, $65.6 billion. North Carolina, $39.6 billion. Even states with small populations, like Idaho ($3.3 billion) and Wyoming ($1.4 billion) are foregoing huge amounts of funding relative to state budgets. Most of the states argue that the eventual costs of expansion will be far too high, so they are being fiscally prudent in rejecting it. This study puts that argument to rest. Here's an example from Cohn.

The Urban Institute researchers have made projections for just how much money each state is implicitly giving up by refusing to expand Medicaid. Georgia is a good example. According to the Urban report, Georgia would have to spend an additional $2.5 billion over the course of a decade in order to finance its share of the Medicaid expansion. But the state is giving up more than ten times that—$33.5 billion—in federal funds.

There's plenty else the states are missing out on, besides having a potentially healthier population. In 2015 alone, these 24 states could create 172,400 jobs and their hospitals would receive $168 billion in new reimbursements. The economic shot in the arm from Medicaid expansion could do wonders for some of these struggling states. But it's far more important to most of these Republican legislatures and governors to fight Obama.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sarah Palin: Idiot At Large?

   Sarah Palin is not an idiot. What she is is the typical Conservative mouthpiece out to make as much money from the Tea Party/Republican voters, aka "Group of Stupid)  as she can, while she can.

   That being said, have you by any chance had the weak moment to check out her newest money for nothing website? Watch the video and then try to figure out if she was drunk or high, or both.





Time For Real Journalists To Hold McCain's Feet To The Fire

Retroactive Genius on Monday, August 11, 2014

The spiteful and embittered old sack of bile that is John McCain was on the box on Sunday, as he is every damn Sunday, attacking President Obama. The irresponsible old fool who gave us Caibou Barbie and enabled the Tea Party was, as usual, questioning the President's judgement.

On CNN's "State of the Union," McCain blamed the deteriorating situation in Iraq on America's failure to leave forces behind in Iraq.
It was at this point that Candy Crowley should have jumped in and said:
"Evidently, Senator, you need to be reminded that it was President George W. Bush who negotiated and signed the Status of Forces Agreement in December 2008 that legally obliged the US to withdraw its forces by 2011. The Obama administration tried to renegotiate those terms to keep US forces on the ground for longer but the Iraqi government refused to grant immunity to our troops, so no agreement could be reached. The Iraqi government wanted us gone, Senator."
But McCain was allowed to get away with his contemptible revising of history. McCain went on to tell Crowley:
“I predicted what was going to happen in Iraq," he said."

He certainly did. Let's do what Crowley should have done and what Chris Hayes did do last month and revisit McCain's 'predictions':

John McCain predictions

  For whatever reason, the video would not load, so a link is the best that I can do. Sorry about that. 

Look, you either hold this unprincipled and mendacious old buffoon to account or stop asking the fool for his worthless opinions: either way, do your goddamned job, journalists.

   Original Daily Kos posting