Sunday, May 31, 2015

Rand Paul is Right, Stop the American Police State...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Jeb Bush speaking for the neocons and MIC establishment (as well as the RINOS of the GOP) has criticized Rand Paul for is stand on the illegal data mining of United State citizen's telephone records. Jeb Bush wrong and Rand Paul is absolutely RIGHT. Unfortunately it may well be possible the majority of Americans might very well be bamboozled by the rhetoric of the fear mongers and advocates for the MIC. As unlikely as it may be we here at Rational Nation USA are fervently hoping Rand Paul's reason an logic prevails over that of the neocons and MIC war advocates who care NOTHING about civil liberties and the law abiding and truly patriotic individual.

AP - Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Saturday that Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul is "wrong" on his efforts to end post-Sept. 11 surveillance laws used against suspected spies and terrorists.

Bush, a likely GOP presidential candidate in 2016, called for the reauthorization of the Patriot Act enacted under the presidency of his brother George W. Bush.

"What I admire most about my brother was he kept us safe," Jeb Bush said at a Tennessee Republican Party fundraiser. "And I believe people will respect him for a long time because of that."

Without action by midnight Sunday, a number of tools that permit law enforcement to pursue and investigate suspected terrorists will expire. Paul, a senator from Kentucky, has said he will use his right to delay a final vote and let the powers lapse once midnight arrives.

"We do not need to give up who we are to defeat" terrorists, Paul said. "There has to be another way," he said Saturday in a statement and on Twitter, pledging to force the expiration of an "illegal spy program."

May we remind all of this:

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Think about it! Find full story BELOW THE FOLD.

Via: Memeorandum

Friday, May 29, 2015

Efforts to Stop Extention of the Patriot Act...

Kudos to All Participating Websites
Thousands of websites are blocking Congress’s access to their sites in a show of force to protest the Patriot Act.

Led by the online activist group Fight for the Future, more than 10,000 sites have added code that redirects any visitors from Internet protocol (IP) addresses from Congress away from their site and towards a protest page.

“Congress: This is a blackout,” the site reads. “We are blocking your access until you end mass surveillance laws.”

Instead of renewing or reforming the three expiring provisions of the Patriot Act, the activist group wants Congress to let them expire.

“The real answer is to end all authorities used to conduct mass surveillance,” Fight for the Future says on the protest page. “Until you do, thousands of websites have blocked your access, and more are joining every day.”

Should Illegal Immigrants (or undocumented immigrants in PC speak) be Afforded the Right to Vote?...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

We should insist that if the immigrant who comes here does in good faith become an American and assimilates himself to us he shall be treated on an exact equality with every one else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed or birth-place or origin.

But this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in very fact an American and nothing but an American. If he tries to keep segregated with men of his own origin and separated from the rest of America, then he isn’t doing his part as an American. There can be no divided allegiance here. . . We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language, for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, of American nationality, and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding-house; and we have room for but one soul loyalty, and that is loyalty to the American people.

Theodore Roosevelt

There are those who think surveys are fleeting and really don't accurately reflect political reality. This may or may not be so. But they do reflect attitudes and changing attitudes over time result in policy decisions that affect the nation. The following Rasmussen Survey, if even close to accurate is deeply troubling. Troubling for what this site believes are obvious reasons. We hope the survey is but a political tool whose purpose it is to stir right wing angst in order to insure conservative congressional domination. For this reason we are especially interested in our liberal/progressive readerships viewpoint on this subject.

Are voters ready to let illegal immigrants vote? A sizable number, including most Democrats, are.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that one-out-of-three Likely U.S. Voters (35%) now believes that illegal immigrants should be allowed to vote if they can prove they live in this country and pay taxes. Sixty percent (60%) disagree, while five percent (5%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Fifty-three percent (53%) of Democrats think tax-paying illegal immigrants should have the right to vote. Twenty-one percent (21%) of Republicans and 30% of voters not affiliated with either major political party agree.

Continue reading full survey BELOW THE FOLD.

Via: Memeorandum

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Another Gallop Survey Shows American's Moving Leftward On Moral Issues...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Americans are more likely now than in the early 2000s to find a variety of behaviors morally acceptable, including gay and lesbian relations, having a baby outside of marriage and sex between an unmarried man and woman. Moral acceptability of many of these issues is now at a record-high level.


The upward progression in the percentage of Americans seeing these issues as morally acceptable has varied from year to year, but the overall trend clearly points toward a higher level of acceptance of a number of behaviors. In fact, the moral acceptability ratings for 10 of the issues measured since the early 2000s are at record highs.

Americans have become less likely to say that two issues are morally acceptable: the death penalty and medical testing on animals. But Americans' decreased acceptance of these practices actually moves them in a more liberal direction.

These results reflect the same type of shift evident in the public's self-reported ideology on "social issues." More Americans now rate themselves as socially liberal than at any point in Gallup's 16-year trend, and for the first time, as many say they are liberal on social issues as say they are conservative.



Americans are becoming more liberal on social issues, as evidenced not only by the uptick in the percentage describing themselves as socially liberal, but also by their increasing willingness to say that a number of previously frowned-upon behaviors are morally acceptable. The biggest leftward shift over the past 14 years has been in attitudes toward gay and lesbian relations, from only a minority of Americans finding it morally acceptable to a clear majority finding it acceptable.

The moral acceptability of issues related to sexual relations has also increased, including having a baby outside of wedlock -- something that in previous eras was a social taboo. Americans are more likely to find divorce morally acceptable, and have also loosened up on their views of polygamy, although this latter behavior is still seen as acceptable by only a small minority.

This liberalization of attitudes toward moral issues is part of a complex set of factors affecting the social and cultural fabric of the U.S. Regardless of the factors causing the shifts, the trend toward a more liberal view on moral behaviors will certainly have implications for such fundamental social institutions as marriage, the environment in which children are raised and the economy. The shifts could also have a significant effect on politics, with candidates whose positioning is based on holding firm views on certain issues having to grapple with a voting population that, as a whole, is significantly less likely to agree with conservative positions than it might have been in the past.

As America moves ever more leftward on moral (social) issues and issues of equality the religious fundamentalists (as shown by Marco Rubio) become ever more fervent in their effort to push their beliefs on secular society. Often fundamentalists advocate forcing their brand of morality on us all by force of law. As evidenced above America is gradually yet surely moving away from the anility of past eras.

For the purpose of clarity and so there can be no false accusations this site does not advocate for or support several of the noted behaviors above. Should anyone have any questions on which ones they are ASK. Do not ASSUME.

For related commentary be sure to read Captain Fogg's article in today's publication of The Swash Zone.

Via: Memeorandum

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Criminals Hack IRS, Gain Personal Information On 100,000 Taxpayers...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Associated Press - Sophisticated criminals used an online service run by the IRS to access personal tax information from more than 100,000 taxpayers, part an elaborate scheme to steal identities and claim fraudulent tax refunds, the IRS said Tuesday.

The thieves accessed a system called "Get Transcript," where taxpayers can get tax returns and other filings from previous years. In order to access the information, the thieves cleared a security screen that required knowledge about the taxpayer, including Social Security number, date of birth, tax filing status and street address, the IRS said.

"We're confident that these are not amateurs," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "These actually are organized crime syndicates that not only we but everybody in the financial industry are dealing with."

Koskinen wouldn't say whether investigators believe the criminals are based overseas — or where they obtained enough personal information about the taxpayers to access their returns. The IRS has launched a criminal investigation. The agency's inspector general is also investigating.

Identity thieves, both foreign and domestic, have stepped up their efforts in recent years to claim fraudulent tax refunds. The agency estimates it paid out $5.8 billion in fraudulent refunds to identity thieves in 2013.

"Eighty percent of the of the identity theft we're dealing with and refund fraud is related to organized crime here and around the world," Koskinen said. "These are extremely sophisticated criminals with access to a tremendous amount of data."

Congress is already pressing the IRS for information about the breach.

"That the IRS — home to highly sensitive information on every single American and every single company doing business here at home — was vulnerable to this attack is simply unacceptable," said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. "What's more, this agency has been repeatedly warned by top government watchdogs that its data security systems are inadequate {emphasis mine} against the growing threat of international hackers and data thieves.

Really gives the citizens and taxpayers a really warm and fuzzy feeling about our government. On the one hand its data mines our phone conversations and intrudes into our private affairs . and on the other it cannot protect us from criminals getting or personal information. NICE. I can see a few law suits a coming and they damn well should!

Via: Memeorandum

Rubio Cultivating His Place With the Religous Right...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

For those of you who understand why our founders were in favor of the separation of church and state that resulted in the Establishment Clause no further explanation as to why one should be very leery of Marco Rubio and his fellow travelers is necessary. For those who do not understand the concern our forefathers and founders had with religion {church}informing secular law it would be advisable to brush up on the subject.

Christianity's 'Real and Present Danger'

Today, his deep faith drives public policy positions on social issues such as traditional marriage.

"If you think about it, we are at the water's edge of the argument that mainstream Christian teaching is hate speech," Rubio told CBN News. "Because today we've reached the point in our society where if you do not support same-sex marriage you are labeled a homophobe and a hater."

"So what's the next step after that?" he asked.

"After they are done going after individuals, the next step is to argue that the teachings of mainstream Christianity, the catechism of the Catholic Church is hate speech and there's a real and present danger," he warned.

Rubio said he's ready to face danger, here and around the world.

"You don't want to be engaged in every conflict on the planet. We're not the world's policemen," he said. "But I question - what would happen in the alternative? If America doesn't lead, what happens? Well, what happens is chaos."


... As for president, he'll leave that up to the American people and almighty God.

"Ultimately my view of it is you go out and do the very best you can and ultimately it's going to turn out the way voters and God decide," he said.

Listen to Marco Rubio's own words.

Hear him on the 700 Club with further commentary.

What sets this democratic republic apart from theocratic republics is the Establishment Clause and people of reason will damn well want to insure it remains the law of the land. Especially in light of Clarence Thomas' view that it applies only to the Federal Constitution. Be very, very frightened by this mentality. It now has a strong undercurrent in America's body politic and the result, should ever become dominate, will puh us back to an era of intolerance and bigotry most believed long since gone.

Read full story BELOW THE FOLD.

Via: Memeorandum

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Donald Savages 2016 GOP Presidential Hopefuls...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Donald Trump doing what Donald Trump does better than almost anyone, self promotion and slinging the BS. If a big mouth combined with conceit and the pompous attitude that accompanies it can get one elected president of the USA then The Donald is our next Chief Executive and Commander in Chief.

Daily Mall - Donald Trump isn't looking past the Republican primary and sharpening his manicured claws for Hillary Clinton. Not yet.

In a 70-minute speech before an audience of 1,500 in Sarasota, Florida on Thursday night, the business titan and storied dealmaker took shots at his fellow Republicans.

The crowd went wild and chanted Trump's name even before he took the stage at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center to receive the 'Statesman of the Year' award from the local Republican party.

And afterward as hundreds streamed out into the muggy Florida night, they surrounded Trump's car like groupies clamoring for a closer look at a movie star.

'There's never been anything like this,' Paige Green of Sarasota told Daily Mail Online as the red-meat conservative audience left. 'Not here.'

Other than the large-scale events where some Republican presidential candidates have launched their campaigns, Thursday night's gathering drew a larger turnout than any other speech this year by a single GOP hopeful.

Trump, 68, leveled his aim and fired at Florida's former governor Jeb Bush and the state's junior senator Marco Rubio, along with former tech CEO Carly Fiorina.

His criticism of the Republican competition isn't new, but the intensity of the attacks is. Trump already has a presidential exploratory committee and is expected to launch a campaign in mid-June.

Most of his jabs brought enthusiastic applause.

'It's hard for me,' he said. 'I like these people but they don't have it. It's not gonna happen. Even the people I do like – it’s not going to happen, folks. They’re not doing what I do. I do it better than anybody.'

'It's going to be an election, in my opinion, about competence. And I'm the most competent by far.'

Carly Fiorina 'ran a company and she got viciously fired,' Trump said. 'Viciously.'

'She was walked out of there. And the stock went up 7 points the day she got fired. That's not a good sign.'

Trump, whose signature line 'You're Fired' has propelled him through 14 seasons of 'Apprentice' shows on NBC, said Fiorina's dismissal was one for the history books.

'I know about firing people. I fire people all day long,' he said. 'I make millions of dollars firing people on television. I know more about firing than anybody in the world.'

'She got fired more viciously than anybody I've ever fired.'

Fiorina's next career turn was a 2010 U.S. Senate campaign against Barbara Boxer, which she lost by ten points.

'She loses in a landslide. A landslide!' Trump boomed. 'And now she says, "Okay, now I'm going to run for president." Give me a break!'

He also slammed Bush and Rubio in front of an assembly of right-leaning Floridians who likely voted for both.

'They're not getting us to the promised land,' Trump said.

He picked at the two for hemming and hawing on the question of whether President George W. Bush's 2004 decision to invade Iraq was the right call.

'I like Jeb Bush. He's a nice person. But when he was asked about Iraq, he couldn't give an answer,' Trump said. 'It took him four days before he got his answer straight.'

Bush endured a painful stretch of days last week following his indecision about whether or not the Iraq war was justified in hindsight.

He replied 'Yes' and 'I don't know' in separate interviews, and claimed he misunderstood the question the first time it was asked.

'How would you like him negotiating with the terrorists?' Trump said of the former governor.

Rubio was tripped up by the same Iraq question on 'Fox News Sunday' last weekend.

'I still say it was not a mistake because the president was presented with intelligence that said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction,' he said at first. 'It was governed by a man who had committed atrocities in the past with weapons of mass destruction.'

But moments later he seemed to reverse course.

'Based on what we know now, I think everyone agrees–' Rubio said before the host jumped in.

'So was it a mistake now?'

'I don't understand the question you're asking,' a frazzled Rubio replied.

Trump mocked the interview on Thursday as 'a horror show,' noting that he 'had the benefit of watching Jeb make a total fool out of himself' days earlier.

'I don't even know how he could be running for office,' Trump said. 'We can't put ourselves through this.'

'He couldn't answer "Is the Iraq war a good thing or a bad thing?"'

Trump offered his own analysis in a stream-of-consciousness argument that sounded like the Jewish comic Jackie Mason.

'Well, I don't know,' he said. 'We spend $2 trillion, we lost thousands of lives, we've got wounded warriors – who I love more than anybody – all over the place. And you can't say if it was a bad thing?'

He also lamented the fact that the U.S. 'got nothing' in return.

'Remember, I said we should keep the oil.'

Trump crowed about his week-long offensive this year that he said drove Mitt Romney out of the 2016 campaign picture.

'Once a choker, always a choker,' he said, explaining why the 2012 Republican candidate needed to go.

'That was an easy election. We had a failed president.'

'Romney had one thing going for him,' Trump claimed. 'He's good-looking. Other than that, there's nothing, okay? Even when he walked around the stage he walked like a penguin.'

Without a doubt The Donald sure knows how to put on a great and entertaining show. Even if it's just read meat.

Trump is having the time of his life. After all he is a showman, and a damn good one at that. However he does have one thing right, most politicians really are ALL TALK and NO ACTION.

Via: Memeorandum

Friday, May 22, 2015

A Recent Gallup Survey Shows America Is Becoming Less Conservative...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Not surprising at all. The old United States of America is indeed becoming less conservative socially and more liberal and or soft libertarian. Hard core conservatives (neo cons and evangelicals in particular), as they see their influence waning have responded with... more of the same that is gradually yet decidedly being rejected in increasing numbers.

31% say they are socially liberal, 31% socially conservative
• This is the first time conservatives have not outnumbered liberals
• Conservatives maintain edge on economic issues

Americans' growing social liberalism is evident not only in how they describe their views on social issues but also in changes in specific attitudes, such as increased support for same-sex marriage and legalizing marijuana. These longer-term trends may be attributable to changing attitudes among Americans of all ages, but they also may be a result of population changes, with younger, more liberal Americans entering adulthood while older, more conservative adults pass on. Gallup found evidence that population replacement is a factor in explaining changes in overall ideology using an analysis of birth cohorts over time.

The 2016 presidential election will thus be contested in a more socially liberal electorate -- and a less economically conservative one -- than was true of prior elections. Economically and socially conservative candidates may still appeal to the Republican Party base in the primaries, but it may be more important now than in the past for the GOP nominee to be a bit less conservative on social issues in order to appeal to the broader general electorate.

And while Americans are less economically conservative than in the past, economic conservatives still outnumber economic liberals by about 2-to-1. As a result, Democrats must be careful not to nominate a candidate who is viewed as too liberal on economic matters if their party hopes to hold the White House beyond 2016.

Continue on to the full Gallop Survey.

Via: Memeorandum

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Thomas Paine

When it shall be said in any country in the world, my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive; the rational world is my friend, because I am a friend of its happiness: When these things can be said, then may the country boast of its constitution and its government.

GOP Presidential Candidate Dr. Ben Carson Right on Iraq Invasion and Components of the Patriot Act...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

The Hill - Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson told The Hill on Wednesday that it was a mistake for the U.S. to invade Iraq, arguing that the nation should have found a different way to remove Saddam Hussein from power.

“I’ve said definitively that I was never in favor of going into Iraq,” Carson told The Hill in a phone interview, noting that he has previously addressed the matter in some of his books. “And since we did go in, the big problem is that we didn’t secure victory there, and that’s a huge problem.”

“I would have gotten rid of the problem of Saddam Hussein some other way,” he continued. “When you go into a situation with so many factions and such a complex history, unless you know what you’re doing or have a long-term strategy, it just creates more problems.”

When pressed on how the U.S. should have toppled Hussein without sending troops into the country, Carson said that “there are a lot of ways to get rid of people.”

OOPPS!I think he means... state sanctioned assassination of a foreign leader. Or, perhaps he means paying and arming the Shiite Mafia to take care of a Sunni adversary. We really don't know what he means for sure. perhaps he'll clarify t a later date.


Carson on Wednesday also weighed in on the debate in Congress over whether to reauthorize the Patriot Act, calling the National Security Agency’s (NSA) bulk collection of metadata with U.S. phone calls a violation of the Fourth Amendment.

“I think some aspects of the Patriot Act are wise, so you don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but certainly in terms of the Fourth Amendment, the unwarranted mining of data from citizens is a violation,” Carson said. “I totally oppose that. Our authorities can get a warrant any time they want. If they need it in the middle of the night they can get it, no problem.”

On this one issue we are in total and complete agreement with Dr. Carson.


Via: Memeorndum

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Christie Popularity Problem...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

View video of Chris Christie and Megyn Kelly here.

So, what do you think of Governor Chris Christie and his take on reality? Popularity ratings aside, would he make a viable president of these United States of America? Or is popularity the primary criteria for electing presidents? Sometimes it certainly seems that way. If ya know what we mean.

Via: Memeorandum

Anti Gay Texas College Prohibits Gay Athletes From Dating or Supporting Same Sex Marriage...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Consistent with our desire to celebrate and model a Scriptural approach to sexuality;, the University prohibits same-sex dating behaviors and public advocacy for the position that sex outside of a biblically-defined marriage is morally acceptable.

Filipe Farinha/Getty Images
LeTourneau Univ., an NCAA Division III school in Texas, has a new policy forbidding gay student-athletes from dating. Any support for same-sex marriage can result in an athlete's dismissal.

Here we see yet again the bigotry that blankets the religious right. Americans in general are moving away from religious fundamentalism with the younger generation leading the way to a more tolerant and less bigoted society. What is shown in the above quote is the dark side of religious fundamentalism. In one simple statement LeTourneau University, a Christ centered institution of higher learning, treats gay and lesbian individuals and couples as second class human beings and imposes discriminatory practices on gay and lesbian athletes.

LeTourneau University, an NCAA Division III school in Texas, has banned its gay student-athletes from dating and has banned all athletes from vocalizing support for same-sex marriage. The possible punishments listed for either "immoral" behavior includes dismissal from the athlete's team.


The addition of the anti-gay language is new for the school. The student-athlete handbook from the 2011-12 academic year did not contain any reference to homosexuality. The movement by trustees and administrations to explicitly marginalize LGBT students on college campuses across the country is growing, even as students and faculty become increasingly accepting. Recent episodes at Erskine College, Hillsdale College and an unnamed Christian school in the South have been particularly troubling.

LeTourneau Univ. is an inter-denominational Christian school in Longview, Texas, an hour west of Shreveport, La. The school's enrollment is a couple thousand students.

Interestingly, the handbook also claims to stand for five principles: "Commitment, Excellence, Integrity, Respect, Community." A commitment to respect for the integrity of the LGBT community doesn't seem to be part of that equation.

The school's policy gagging student-athletes on a key public-policy issue of the day runs against the spirit of the First Amendment, something so many Texans and Christians claim to hold so dearly.{Read More}

Shameful indeed...

Via: Memeorandum

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Obama and His Flawed Trade Agreement...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

While this site is neither a Warren or Clinton advocate in any broad sense of the word it does acknowledge that it would serves us all well to listen to what they have to say with respect to the Obama trade deal. Trade deals should be structured and tiled so as to serve our nations best interests. There is probable reason to believe this one, like NAFTA fails to do so.

POLITICO - You need to tell me what’s wrong with this trade agreement, not one that was passed 25 years ago,” a frustrated President Barack Obama recently complained about criticisms of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). He’s right. The public criticisms of the TPP have been vague. That’s by design—anyone who has read the text of the agreement could be jailed for disclosing its contents. I’ve actually read the TPP text provided to the government’s own advisors, and I’ve given the president an earful about how this trade deal will damage this nation. But I can’t share my criticisms with you.

I can tell you that Elizabeth Warren is right about her criticism of the trade deal. We should be very concerned about what's hidden in this trade deal—and particularly how the Obama administration is keeping information secret even from those of us who are supposed to provide advice.

So-called “cleared advisors” like me are prohibited from sharing publicly the criticisms we’ve lodged about specific proposals and approaches. The government has created a perfect Catch 22: The law prohibits us from talking about the specifics of what we’ve seen, allowing the president to criticize us for not being specific. Instead of simply admitting that he disagrees with me—and with many other cleared advisors—about the merits of the TPP, the president instead pretends that our specific, pointed criticisms don’t exist.

What I can tell you is that the administration is being unfair to those who are raising proper questions about the harms the TPP would do. To the administration, everyone who questions their approach is branded as a protectionist—or worse—dishonest. They broadly criticize organized labor, despite the fact that unions have been the primary force in America pushing for strong rules to promote opportunity and jobs. And they dismiss individuals like me who believe that, first and foremost, a trade agreement should promote the interests of domestic producers and their employees.

I’ve been deeply involved in trade policy for almost four decades. For 21 years, I worked for former Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt and handled all trade policy issues including “fast track,” the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization’s Uruguay Round, which is the largest trade agreement in history. I am also a consultant to various domestic producers and the United Steelworkers union, for whom I serve as a cleared advisor on two trade advisory committees. To top it off, I was a publicly acknowledged advisor to the Obama campaign in 2008.

Obama may no longer be listening to my advice, but Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren might as well be. Warren, of course, has been perhaps the deal’s most vocal critic, but even the more cautious Clinton has raised the right questions on what a good TPP would look like. Her spokesman, Nick Merrill, said: “She will be watching closely to see what is being done to crack down on currency manipulation, improve labor rights, protect the environment and health, promote transparency and open new opportunities for our small businesses to export overseas. As she warned in her book Hard Choices, we shouldn’t be giving special rights to corporations at the expense of workers and consumers.”

On this count, the current TPP doesn’t measure up. And nothing being considered by Congress right now would ensure that the TPP meets the goal of promoting domestic production and job creation.

The text of the TPP, like all trade deals, is a closely guarded secret. That fact makes a genuine public debate impossible and should make robust debate behind closed doors all the more essential. But the ability of TPP critics like me to point out the deal’s many failings is limited by the government’s surprising and unprecedented refusal to make revisions to the language in the TPP fully available to cleared advisors.

Bill Clinton didn’t operate like this. During the debate on NAFTA, as a cleared advisor for the Democratic leadership, I had a copy of the entire text in a safe next to my desk and regularly was briefed on the specifics of the negotiations, including counterproposals made by Mexico and Canada. During the TPP negotiations, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has never shared proposals being advanced by other TPP partners. Today’s consultations are, in many ways, much more restrictive than those under past administrations.

Given this advisors concerns. the highly elevated secrecy, and the concerns of Warren and Clinton it would do well to block any agreement until such time a considerable amount more is known about the details.


Via: Memeorandum

Monday, May 18, 2015

Administration Announces Plans to Restrict Police Forces’ Access to Military Equipment...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

I don't know about anybody else but I am adamantly and unequivocally opposed to militarization of our community police forces. PERIOD! The federal government has ben providing police forces with military hardware and paraphernalia since the 1990's. President Obama is scaling back the program as the White House announced Monday "... that bayonets, weaponized vehicles and grenade launchers will no longer be available to local police and that other equipment such as riot gear and other types of armored vehicles would be subject to a more onerous approval process."

Militarization of local police forces is purely and simply a very very bad idea. Unless you don't mind the possibility of you or your children actually living in a right wing police state someday.

POLITICO - CAMDEN, N.J. - The nation’s largest police union is fighting back against a White House plan to restrict local police forces’ ability to acquire military-style gear, accusing President Barack Obama’s task force of politicizing officers’ safety.

The White House on Monday announced that bayonets, weaponized vehicles and grenade launchers will no longer be available to local police and that other equipment such as riot gear and other types of armored vehicles would be subject to a more onerous approval process.

The move came alongside the release of broader recommendations for “21st-Century Policing” and is part of the Obama administration’s response to a series of deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police that has provoked a national debate about the relationship between police forces and the communities they serve.

James Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, told POLITICO on Monday that he hopes to have a White House meeting as soon as Tuesday to discuss his concerns about how the plans could put cops at risk.

“The FOP is the most aggressive law enforcement advocacy group in Washington, and we will be at our most aggressive in asserting the need for officer safety and officer rights in any police changes that are to be effected,” Pasco said.

He said in particular he objects to a measure that would require police departments to get permission from city governments to acquire certain equipment, including riot batons, helmets and shields, through federal programs.

“We need to only look back to Baltimore to see what happens when officers are sent out ill-equipped in a disturbance situation,” he said. “Because you don’t like the optics, you can’t send police officers out to be hurt or killed.”

Not really surprising we are hearing this. First police protection and next we'll see the fear card being played. Public safety and security. Works every time.

Yet Obama, announcing the policy in Camden, N.J., said the policies are the result of input from law enforcement.

“We’re doing these things because we’re listening to what law enforcement is telling us,” Obama said.

“We’ve seen how militarized gear can sometimes give people a feeling like it’s an occupying force as opposed to a force that’s part of the community that’s protecting them and serving them,” he said. “So we’re going to prohibit equipment made for the battlefield that is not appropriate for local police departments,” he said, while for other items, the administration would ensure officers have appropriate training.

But the sharp response from the police union illustrates the challenge before Obama — cracking down on controversial police activities while not alienating the law enforcement community

In recent days, Obama and his attorney general, Loretta Lynch, have taken care to honor fallen officers, while also being responsive to communities still simmering over a series of incidents of police brutality, including in Baltimore last month when 25-year-old Freddie Gray died after suffering severe injuries while in police custody.

Obama on Monday said the reform effort is everyone’s responsibility.

“We cannot ask the police to contain and control problems that the rest of us are unwilling to face,” Obama said while in Camden, which has a police force that is considered a role model of improved relations. He also said, “The overwhelming majority of police officers are good and honest and fair. They care deeply about their communities.”

Obama’s allies on Monday rallied around the administration’s reform plan.

There certainly are things communities, states. and the federal government can do. Increasing the militarization of police forces should not be among the options.

Continue reading BELOW THE FOLD.

Via: Memeorandum


Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Bernie Sanders' Facebook page; of course he is absolutely correct. Yeah, we know; at one time this site came out in favor of Citizens United. An initial error in judgment. Call it a brain fart if you prefer. Our republic is slowly being destroyed by special interest monies as oligarchs and plutocrats slowly impose their agendas on the governed.

Via: Memeorandum

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Questioning Hillary's Sincerity...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Bill Clinton got most of their income from speaking engagements, a campaign aide said. Credit Isaac Brekken for The New York Times        

Does anyone really believe after reading the following that Hillary Rodham Clinton, a multi-millionaire, is the least bit interested in those outside of her social and financial networks? If anyone does there's a bridge to nowhere for sale just waiting for the American electorate to purchase it.

The New York Times - Hillary Rodham Clinton and her husband made at least $30 million over the last 16 months, mainly from giving paid speeches to corporations, banks and other organizations, according to financial disclosure forms filed with federal elections officials on Friday.

The sum, which makes Mrs. Clinton among the wealthiest of the 2016 presidential candidates, could create challenges for the former secretary of state as she tries to cast herself as a champion of everyday Americans in an era of income inequality.

The $25 million in speaking fees since the beginning of last year continue a lucrative trend for the Clintons: They have now earned more than $125 million on the circuit since leaving the White House in 2001.

In addition, the report shows, Mrs. Clinton reported income exceeding $5 million from her memoir of her time as secretary of state, “Hard Choices.”

The Clintons’ riches have already become a subject of political attacks, and her campaign has been eager to showcase Mrs. Clinton as a more down-to-earth figure. Her only declared Democratic opponent at this point, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, is an avowed socialist, while Republicans like Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin have considerably more modest means.


The Clintons have come under increasing scrutiny for their financial activities since she announced her run for president last month. Much of the attention has been focused on the Clinton Foundation and the donations it received from foreign entities during the time that she was secretary of state.

But the couple has also faced criticism for giving highly paid speeches to certain groups, particularly the financial industry.

The speaking circuit has enriched many well-known Washington figures and former presidents, but the exorbitant pay for light work can distance them from the realities most Americans experience at their jobs. In one case, the report shows, Mrs. Clinton received $100,000 for a speech to the California Medical Association — by satellite. {Read the Full Story}

Via: Memeorandum

Friday, May 15, 2015

RIP BB King...

BB King, one of the greatest bluesmen there ever was (or will be) dies at 89 years of age.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

West Slams Pope Francis...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Thus sayeth Allan West and Newsmax.

RAWSTORY - Former Republican Congressman Allen West on Thursday suggested that Pope Francis was guilty of “disdain and anti-Semitism” after the Vatican announced plans to recognize the “state of Palestine.”

“This is horrific,” West told Newsmax host Steve Malzberg on Thursday. “At a time when Islamic terrorists are slaughtering Christians — Catholics — all over the Middle East, for the Pontiff to recognize a terrorists organization — which is really, either Hamas or Fatah, they’re both terrorists organizations, it’s just the degree of the actions that they’re taking.”

“This is unconscionable that he is doing that,” the former Republican congressman insisted. “And it just goes to show the level of propaganda success that the Palestinians have, and the level of disdain and anti-Semitism that there is out there.”

“And it is even coming from the Vatican.”

Perhaps it's time to attempt something different? Seeing as how the strategy and methodology of the past and present obviously hasn't worked out so well.

Via: Memorandum

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Yes, Iraq Was a Mistake. ..

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

BOOM!!! The Governor has it absolutely right. For many, many, many reasons.

- Dealing with a question that tripped up Jeb Bush, Ohio Gov. John Kasich says that the U.S. never should have gone to Iraq, knowing what we know now.

“There’s a lot of people who lost limbs and lives over there, OK?” the governor told The Dispatch yesterday. “But if the question is, if there were not weapons of mass destruction should we have gone, the answer would’ve been no.”

Why? “I wouldn’t have seen it as vital to national interests.”
{Continue Reading}

Via: Memeorandum

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Moving Away From the Right...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Blogging the past six years has been an education to say the least.

Perhaps it is the political aspect that has turned the experience into sour grapes rather than the positive experience and sharing of ideas it should be. Sharing of ideas, especially with those of opposing viewpoints, is an opportunity for learning and personal growth. Unfortunately this is the exception rather than the norm in these winner take all and leave no prisoners exchanges between differing political ideologies and political parties. Maybe it has always been this way; but there was a time when reasonable compromise borne of heated debate and honest dialogue was the respected norm.

Most would agree that no one political ideology or philosophy is right 100% of the time. By the same token no political ideology or philosophy can be wrong all of the tine either. Yet in right and left blogistan there are those who consistently, no matter what the issue, rigidly hold to the party line or ideological purity. There is nothing wrong with remaining true to ones principals and values for sure, but when doing so it it certainly is reasonable to first understand all the knowable potential alternatives before deciding. If and when new credible information becomes available it makes sense to reevaluate your position, and when sensible be flexible enough to change based on the new information.

Some conservative and liberal bloggers, probably because of their passion and in some cases loyalty to their cause, simply choose not to take viewpoints that differ from their own seriously. Even when the evidence clearly points to errors in their viewpoints. Those sites who fall into this category can generally be identified in one of two ways. The site either censors viewpoints they do not agree with, or the blog proprietor while not censoring engages in or encourages name calling and flame throwing without any thought given to truth. Of the two the latter is of the most troubling and infantile.

As noted earlier there are both conservative and liberal sites that engage in the above tactics so it is a bipartisan activity. As a somewhat right of center site Rational Nation USA has spent more time challenging those on the right rather than the left. While this might seem odd the reason is quite simple. One should look to clean up their own backyard before concerning themselves with their neighbors backyard. A simple yet perfectly reasonable and common sense approach to progress. Unfortunately, not many agree with this view.

After six years of perusing the internet highway one thing has become clear, apart from both sides culpability in the above described activities, it is the right (especially the fringe right) that is the most belligerent, least rational, most offensive, and provides the least credible documentation in support its positions. The ideology that at the top of its lungs trumpets free speech, freedom of religion, constitutional principles, the right to be left alone by government is, in fact, the first to toss out all of them when views it disapproves of stand in its way. It is for this reason moving away from the right is such a easy and sensible thing to do these days.

When the right talks about freedom and liberty it really means freedom and liberty only as the right views freedom and liberty.

Food for thought from two of our founders.

There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution. {John Adams}

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind, (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight,) the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration. It agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

There is an opinion, that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the Government, and serve to keep alive the spirit of Liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in Governments of a Monarchical cast, Patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in Governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And, there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be, by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume. {George Washington}

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Rick Santorum is Back and Pandering to the Neo Cons...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum is making the case to bomb ISIS back to the 7th century, in the name of preserving our cherished heritage of freedom and liberty. Of course he apparently hasn't any concrete ideas on exactly how that would be accomplished. Given ISIS is not a nation state and is wide spread in the Middle East, and it's tentacles reach further to other areas of the globe. Maybe Mr. Santorum is suggesting we simply load up and blanket bomb the entre Middle East and the Persian peninsula? Israel excluded of course as under Bibi's leadership they would no doubt be enthusiastic agents of mass destruction of their opponents in the region.

There is perhaps a slim chance Mr. Santorum might marshal enough support to actually receive the GOP nomination. Think about this possibility should that come to pass. Pamela Geller as his vice presidential running mate.

Don't laugh, stranger things have happened.

THE HILL - Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) said Saturday the military should damage the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to the point of impotence.

“If these folks want to return to a 7th Century version of Islam, then let’s load up our bombers and bomb them back to the 7th Century,” he argued during the South Carolina Freedom Summit in Greenville, S.C.

Santorum’s remarks came as he weighs a 2016 GOP presidential bid. The former lawmaker previously ran as a Republican in the 2012 election.

Santorum added the U.S. should not let ISIS threaten the liberties it had long cherished.

He cited ISIS’s repeated attacks on Western traditions as proof the terrorist organization despised the values Americans hold dear.

“What good is freedom of belief if you can’t speak what you believe?” Santorum asked. “If we don’t have liberty, what is it all worth?”

“Radical Islam is confronting this county,” he continued. “Terror is a tactic, and radical Islam is an ideology.”

“We need to be clear with the American people what a threat radical Islam presents,” Santorum added.

Santorum said President Obama had made the situation worse by disregarding America’s traditional diplomatic relations.

“I would be happy if the president were able to tell the difference between our friends and our enemies,” he said.

“Iran: Enemy. Israel: Friend,” he argued. “Iran will never keep anything that they promise to do.”

Santorum was criticizing President Obama’s framework nuclear deal with Tehran announced on April 2. The draft accord would lift economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for greater restrictions on its atomic energy program.

Obama has long argued diplomacy is the best means of preventing an Iran with nuclear weapons. {Read More}

Via: Memeorandum

Friday, May 8, 2015

Perhaps It's About Time...

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Purveyor of Truth

Uh-Oh! A good and proper gesture. I can only imagine the backlash this businessman will face. It doesn't fit the stereotypical agenda so many in minority communities have of white folks. Come to think of it some white folks have the same view of other white folks. Good and proper gesture nonetheless.

The Hispanic owners of the restaurant in Milliken say "all Americans should be celebrated."

MILLIKEN - The Hispanic owners of a barbecue restaurant in Milliken say they plan to host a "White Appreciation Day" in June.

What started as a joke is now on the calendar. Edgar Antillon and Miguel Jimenez recently purchased Rubbin Buttz BBQ on Broad Street. On June 11, they plan to offer a 10-percent discount to all white customers, and no one else.

"We have a whole month for Black History Month," Antillon said. "We have a whole month for Hispanic Heritage Month, so we thought the least we could do was offer one day to appreciate white Americans."

The men expect they might receive backlash and say they realize there's a history of racism in the America.

"It's a perpetuation of racism," Weld County civil rights activist and community organizer Ricardo Romero said. "It's wrong. If you're going to give a discount, give it to the whole community."

There could be legal repercussions as well, according to Jennifer McPherson of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies.

"If someone felt like they were being discriminated against, they could come to the civil rights division and file a complaint in our office, and we would investigate that," McPherson said.

Antillon says the discount isn't meant to discriminate, but instead bring people together. He added that he has been the target of racism in the past. He hopes opening up the discussion will prompt others to think differently about race.

"We're all American, whether you came from a different country, or you were born here," Antillon said. "We're all American."

Via: Memeorandum

Limits on Government Power -vs- Implied Power...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States....


The general welfare clause of the constitution has been been debated since before ratification and continues to this day. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were notable advocates of a strict interpretation and Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, and John Adams advocated a broader implied powers interpretation. Liberals today hold with the implied powers interpretation and conservatives and libertarians with the strict construction interpretation.

Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.

They are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose. To consider the latter phrase not as describing the purpose of the first, but as giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please which may be good for the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please…. Certainly no such universal power was meant to be given them. It was intended to lace them up straightly within the enumerated powers and those without which, as means, these powers could not be carried into effect.

That of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and, as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please. {Thomas Jefferson}

In this we see the concern a majority of the founders, as well as citizens of the time, held; that a strong central government with unlimited powers could very well restrict the liberties of all citizens.

“With respect to the words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creator.”

“If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress…. Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America.”

“If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the general welfare, the government is no longer a limited one possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one subject to particular exceptions.” {James Madison}

It is clear that James Madison, the father of our Constitution, recognized the dangers inherent in a government with unlimited power. A majority of Madison's countrymen were supportive of a limited central power with delineated powers as well.

The only qualification of the generallity of the Phrase in question, which seems to be admissible, is this–That the object to which an appropriation of money is to be made be General and not local; its operation extending in fact, or by possibility, throughout the Union, and not being confined to a particular spot.

No objection ought to arise to this construction from a supposition that it would imply a power to do whatever else should appear to Congress conducive to the General Welfare. A power to appropriate money with this latitude which is granted too in express terms would not carry a power to do any other thing, not authorised in the constitution, either expressly or by fair implication. {Alexander Hamilton}

Even as Hamilton had a more liberal view of the clause and favored the implied powers argument, having made it on numerous occasions, it is clear from the above he understood the intent of Article I, Section 8, Clause 1.

It is likely the debate will continue for decades and perhaps centuries to come. Today's political environment is heavily shaped by the arguments pitting strict interpretation advocates against implied powers advocates. Liberty, depending on how one defines liberty, has either been restricted and limited or enhanced and expanded by the historical trend that has moved the nation to acceptance of the implied powers argument. Whether that is good or evil again depends on ones individual perspectives. Judging from the political rancor between conservatives/libertarians and liberals today the jury is still out and may not return.

Above quotes taken from The Government Teacher.

What say you?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Nebraska Women Files Lawsuit Against All Homosexuals, Is God's Ambassador...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Just when we thought we'd seen it all. Ya just can't make this crazy s*it up!

NBC News - A Nebraska woman identifying herself as the "ambassador" for plaintiffs "God and His Son, Jesus Christ," is suing all homosexuals on Earth for breaking "religious and moral laws," according to court records filed Tuesday.

In the suit, entered into the docket as Driskell v. Homosexuals, Sylvia Ann Driskell, 66, of Auburn, Nebraska, asks in a seven-page, neatly handwritten petition (PDF) that U.S. District Judge John M. Gerrard decide once and for all whether homosexuality is or isn't a sin.

The suit doesn't cite any case law under which a judge could make such a determination. In fact, it cites no court cases at all, quoting Webster's Dictionary and numerous Bible verses, instead, to bolster Driskell's central contention, which is:

"That homosexuality is a sin and that they the homosexuals know it is a sin to live a life of homosexuality. Why else would they have been hiding in the closet."

Driskell writes, "I'm sixty six years old, an [sic] I never thought that I would see the day in which our Great Nation or Our Great State of Nebraska would become so compliant to the complicity of some peoples [sic] lewd behavior."

The suit was noticed by several gay activists and writers, including Dan Savage, the advice columnist, who said, "Man, I hope I get deposed!" and Steven Payne, a self-described "gay feller," who wrote in The Daily Kos:

"Brian (his husband) and I will be liquidating our assets in preparation for a certain loss. We anticipate the restitution ordered to this woman will take us down to our very last penny. In the meantime, our fear is so great we have ceased and desisted being homosexual."

Driskell, who's representing herself, didn't answer a call for comment. The court noted dryly that, regarding to the defendants, "No summons [was] issued."

The lawsuit against all gays identifies Sylvia Ann Driskell as the 'ambassador' for 'plaintiffs God and His Son, Jesus Christ'

And, how long can it be before Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, and Rick Santorum (perhaps others as well) will weigh in on this new twist in the anti marriage equality assault? Any bettors?

Via: Memeorandum

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Sex on the Beach...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

The ridiculously high cost of being sexual AND stupid.

Images of wanton destructive warfare and pictures and movies of wounded, dismembered, and dead soldiers are  a okay, even glorified as it is all in the name of freedom and liberty. Go figure.

The dude could receive 15 years because of a prior. The result of the war on drugs.

Bradenton Herald - MANATEE -- After only 15 minutes of deliberation, a jury Monday found a couple guilty of having sex on Bradenton Beach.

The convictions carry maximum prison sentences of 15 years.

Jose Caballero, 40, and Elissa Alvarez, 20, were charged with two counts each of lewd and lascivious behavior for having sex on a public beach July 20, 2014.

Video played in the courtroom during the 1- 1/2-day trial showed Alvarez moving on top of Caballero in a sexual manner in broad daylight. Witnesses testified a 3-year-old girl saw them.

Caballero and Alvarez will now have to register as sex offenders.

A sentencing date was not announced, but Assistant State Attorney Anthony Dafonseca said they will pursue a harsher sentence for Caballero than Alvarez, since Alvarez has no prior record and Caballero spent almost eight years in prison for a cocaine-trafficking conviction.

The state will ask for jail time for Alvarez and prison time for Caballero. Dafonseca said Caballero is he's looking at serving the maximum time of 15 years after being out of prison less than three years before committing another felony.

"We gave them a reasonable offer, what we felt was reasonable, and they decided it wasn't something they wanted to accept responsibility for," Dafonseca said. "Despite the video, despite all the witnesses."

Via: Memeorandum

Monday, May 4, 2015

Scientists Say Curbing Coal Burning Would Save Thousands Of Lives...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

The Obama administration’s proposed curbs on coal-burning power plants could prevent thousands of deaths each year from heart attack and respiratory disease, scientists said Monday in the first peer-reviewed study to examine the measure’s health impacts.

Many parts of the country could see immediate improvements in air quality as a side-effect of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed “Clean Power Plan” regulations, which are primarily intended to cut greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change, the researchers said in a study published in Nature Climate Change.

Depending on implementation, the proposals could prevent about 3,500 premature deaths a year, mostly from respiratory disease, said the study’s authors, scientists from Harvard and Syracuse universities and four other institutions.

“The bottom line is, the more the standards promote cleaner fuels and energy efficiency, the greater the added health benefits,” said lead author Charles Driscoll, a professor of environmental systems engineering at Syracuse.

The finding comes as the Obama administration deliberates over the final shape of the proposed rules, which have drawn a fierce backlash from the Republican-controlled Congress. GOP lawmakers are gearing up to battle the measures on Capitol Hill and in the courts, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has written letters to the governors of all 50 states urging them not to support the regulations. McConnell has called the proposals harmful to the coal industry and the economy.

Let the jousting begin. Science and Health versus Anti Science and Economics. It will be typical rhetoric and disinformation no doubt.

More at The Washington Post.

Via: Memeorandum

As Louisiana Struggles Jindal Eyes Presidental Run...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Anyone else sense something might be wrong with this picture?

Bloomberg Politics - Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, a potential Republican presidential candidate, is trying to close a $1.6 billion budget hole without touching as much as $415,000 per episode in tax breaks that may be due to “Duck Dynasty.”

The A&E television reality show takes part in the nation’s most generous entertainment-tax credit program. Jindal is proposing no changes, arguing that reducing such breaks is tantamount to raising taxes. The state approves enough incentives each year to make up at least $200 million in proposed cuts that led Louisiana State University to say that it may plan for insolvency.

“You’re talking about between $200 million and $250 million a year that goes out the door to TV and film producers to come here and shoot their pictures, in a state where money is scarce,” said Jan Moller, director of the Louisiana Budget Project, which advocates policies that benefit low- and moderate-income people. “It’s irresponsible to let this part of the budget continue running amok at a time when they’re talking about closing college campuses.”

Jindal, who is expected to announce his presidential decision after the Louisiana legislature adjourns in June, has positioned himself as an anti-tax, limited-government stalwart who has resisted tax increases as even other Republican governors reluctantly turned to them. His stand on the film-tax credit shows how his ideology has shaped his governance.

Louisiana’s tattered finances are a consequence of years of short-term patches to a structural gap between expenses and revenue and the recent sag in oil prices in the energy-producing state.

The budget crisis is hurting Jindal, said Scott McKay, who publishes the Hayride, a Republican blog, in Baton Rouge.

“If you are looking for a Republican nominee for 2016, he’s a bad choice,” McKay said. “Republicans are supposed to balance budgets.” {emphasis mine}

“The budget has never really been one of Bobby’s things.”

Jindal, 43, became the first Indian-American governor in 2008 and was re-elected with 66 percent of the vote in 2011. His approval rating was 27 percent in March, according to a poll by Mississippi-based Triumph Campaigns.

Including his current proposed cuts, Jindal’s office says he has reduced state spending by $10 billion since 2008. Revenue still comes up short. Louisiana has been one of the slowest states to recover from the recession that ended in 2009. Its economic health eroded more than all but four other states, according to the Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of States.

The $1.6 billion shortfall, about 18 percent of the general fund, led Moody’s Investors Service to put a negative rating on Louisiana debt in February, in a report that said scaling back tax credits could close some of the gap.

Given what I know from managing a business, cases flow, and budgets, I'm certain I wouldn't consider Governor Jindal for a top executive position, much less for president of the United States of America. It seems a reasonable assessment that were he to be elected president the USA budget and economy just might fair as poorly as Louisiana's has under his leadership. I guess in Louisiana higher education just ain't all that important.


Via: Memeorandum

Sunday, May 3, 2015

NYPD Oficer Shot in the Face, Were's the Outrage?...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

The New York Times - A New York City police officer in plain clothes was shot in the face and critically wounded on Saturday in Queens after driving up in an unmarked car to question a man on the street, officials said.

The officer, Brian Moore, 25, was taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where he was listed in critical but stable condition, the police commissioner, William J. Bratton, said at a news conference at the hospital late Saturday as Officer Moore remained in surgery.

On Sunday morning, Demetrius Blackwell, 35, was charged with one count of attempted murder, one of assault and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

Mayor Bill de Blasio called the shooting an “unconscionable act of violence” and “a reminder of the dangers that all of our officers face every single day.”

Officer Moore was shot around 6:15 p.m. on 212th Street in Queens Village, said the police. He and Erik Jansen, both anti-crime officers, were in a car with Officer Moore at the wheel near 104th Avenue when they approached a man who was “walking and adjusting an object in his waistband” and began speaking with him, Mr. Bratton said.

Almost immediately, officials said, the suspect fired at the plainclothes officers before they could step from the car or return fire. Witnesses described hearing at least two shots, according to the chief of detectives, Robert K. Boyce. The wounded officer was rushed to the hospital by other officers.

By late Saturday, Mr. Blackwell had been taken into custody at a house near the shooting after an intensive 90-minute search, Mr. Bratton said. “He resides on that block,” Mr. Bratton said, but was located in a home that was not his own.

Mr. Bratton described Mr. Blackwell as a man with a history of arrests — including robbery and criminal possession of a weapon — and said that he had served time in prison.

Mr. Bratton said that officers had been seeking Mr. Blackwell, who lives a block away from the site of the shooting, on 104th Avenue, to speak with him in connection with a crime, though whether he was a suspect or a witness was not immediately clear.

Where is the outrage? Who in the black communities across America is protesting or rioting because of this criminal act of violence by a black man against a 25 year old police officer simply doing his job? Where are the voices of black reason crying out against this heinous act of unprovoked violence? Where I ask. Who is standing for the good officers that do their jobs honorably protecting citizens daily. Where? Who?

Continue reading the story BELOW THE FOLD.

Via: Memeorandum

Visit this linked site and consider deeply the message the post is sending. It should move us all.

The Voice of Angst and Anger...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Is it just me or is there something wrong with this picture? Something missing?


Via: Memeorandum

Friday, May 1, 2015

If the SCOTUS Rules Against ObamaCare...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Affordable Care Act has made it possible for approximately 7.5 million individuals who would otherwise have no insurance coverage to feel more secure. 7.5 million qualified for tax payer funded subsidies that either significantly lowered, or eliminated altogether, the cost of health insurance. A good thing.

There are others like myself (my wife is covered under medicare with an appox. $120.00 monthly premium) who do not qualify for a subsidy yet the monthly premium cost for even the low cost higher deductible bronze plan is affordable. But I'm okay with this because of my relative good health and my decision not to reduce my life activities so I can pour in excess of $5.000.00 per anum into the coffers of an insurance company. The forgoing does not include dental and vision.

There must be a more effective avenue to take in pursuing affordable health care coverage for all. The ACA, aka ObamaCare, a start in the right direction but obviously not the ultimate solution. As to the GOP plan, (one likely to take us back to what was) certainly doesn't appear to be a viable response either.

Read the complete article at THE HILL.

Via: Memorandum

The Process Continues...

“The State’s Attorney’s Office has in fact received the hard copies of the Baltimore Police Department’s investigative file; however, the results of their investigation is not new to us. We have been briefed regularly throughout their process while simultaneously conducting our own independent investigation into the death of Freddie Gray. While we have and will continue to leverage the information received by the Department, we are not relying solely on their findings but rather the facts that we have gathered and verified. We ask for the public to remain patient and peaceful and to trust the process of the justice system.”

Full story HERE.

Via: Memeorandum