Friday, December 06, 2013

How the Rot Spreads

I think a lot of Americans were aghast when they learned about the Stand Your Ground laws across the country that made it legal to murder someone with impunity. No one had seen that coming until young Trayvon Martin was killed and his assailant went free.

And I think a lot of Americans laughed out loud the first time they heard anyone suggest that there should more guns in schools. The idea is absurd, idiotic, and malevolent. Who suggests these things?

There was a time when the word "torture" was a tee-hee thing that evoked a big-nosed cartoon character from the Inquisition with his whip in his hand and a poor, barefoot, bearded heathen chained to his dungeon wall. And then it became an actual topic for public discussion, should America torture people? And, actually, torture won the argument.

How do these things happen? How does somebody come to the conclusion that there is something sinister about women using birth control, about gay people falling in love, who decides what random tiny country we are going to declare war on next? Who is pro-pollution?

The Guardian had an important article yesterday, following the paper trail connecting far-right conservative groups who are literally writing legislation and handing it to their puppets in state legislatures to be passed into law.
Conservative groups across the US are planning a co-ordinated assault against public sector rights and services in the key areas of education, healthcare, income tax, workers' compensation and the environment, documents obtained by the Guardian reveal.

The strategy for the state-level organisations, which describe themselves as "free-market thinktanks", includes proposals from six different states for cuts in public sector pensions, campaigns to reduce the wages of government workers and eliminate income taxes, school voucher schemes to counter public education, opposition to Medicaid, and a campaign against regional efforts to combat greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

The policy goals are contained in a set of funding proposals obtained by the Guardian. The proposals were co-ordinated by the State Policy Network, an alliance of groups that act as incubators of conservative strategy at state level.

The documents contain 40 funding proposals from 34 states, providing a blueprint for the conservative agenda in 2014. In partnership with the Texas Observer and the Portland Press Herald in Maine, the Guardian is publishing SPN's summary of all the proposals to give readers and news outlets full and fair access to state-by-state conservative plans that could have significant impact throughout the US, and to allow the public to reach its own conclusions about whether these activities comply with the spirit of non-profit tax-exempt charities. State conservative groups plan US-wide assault on education, health and tax

The Guardian has documents you can link to and read. Many of these groups are trying to pass themselves off as nonpolitical nonprofit, tax-exempt charities but they commit a great proportion of their resources to lobbying.

Sure, they want lower taxes and free enterprise. And freedom. Don't forget to mention freedom. Here's what it comes down to:
The proposals in the grant bids contained in the Guardian documents go beyond a commitment to free enterprise, however. They include:
  • "reforms" to public employee pensions raised by SPN thinktanks in Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey and Pennsylvania;
  • tax elimination or reduction schemes in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Maryland, Nebraska and New York;
  • an education voucher system to promote private and home schooling in Florida;
  • campaigns against worker and union rights in Delaware and Nevada;
  • opposition to Medicaid in Georgia, North Carolina and Utah.
They want the poor to get poorer and the rich to get richer. You might think it is an obvious fact that education is a good thing, a way for people to rise above a disadvantaged beginning, but not to these guys -- they want to keep the population uneducated, they want pliant workers who won't complain about their constantly decreasing share of the pie. They don't want more workers, they want cheaper workers. They don't want better medical care, they want medicine to be something you have to pay an arm and a leg for, so poor people won't get it.

There is no philosophy or science that says it is good to screw the little guy and give more, always more, to the people at the top. This is evil.

95 Comments:

Anonymous Robert said...

There is the philosphy that government is a conspiracy by poor people to fleece the rich.

December 06, 2013 1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A dozen facts about America's struggling lower-middle class

1. More than half of families in the United States earn $60,000 or less per year.

2. Nearly half of families in the United States live below 250 percent of the federal poverty level.

3. Struggling lower-middle-class families are almost equally headed by single parents and married couples.

4. Nearly one out of two families in the struggling lower-middle-class is headed by an adult who has attended college.

5. Nearly one-third of struggling lower-middle-class families relay on income support from a government program.

6. Roughly 40 percent of children in the struggling lower-middle-class experience food insecurity or obesity, or both.

7. More than one in five children faces food insecurity in thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia.

8. Nearly 90 percent of Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients live in a household with at least one child, one disabled individual, or one elderly individual.

9. America's tax and transfer systems expands the middle class.

10. Struggling lower-middle-class families depend on an array of tax and transfer benefits.

11. A low-income, single parent can face a marginal tax rate as high as 95 percent.

12. The highest marginal tax rates tend to fall on the struggling lower-middle class.

Compared to families living in poverty, families in the struggling lower-middle class are more likely to be headed by a married couple, to have a second adult worker, and to be headed by an individual with some college education. Those in the struggling lower-middle class still face many of the same challenges as those in poverty, however, including food insecurity and a reliance on government programs for income support.

There are programs in place to assist the struggling lower-middle class. In fact, nearly one-third of these families rely on at least one government transfer program for income support in any given year. For both the struggling lower-middle class and families living in poverty, the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) is by far the most prevalent program. Low-income families benefit from an array of tax credits and transfer programs, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Medicaid. The phase-out of these programs at near-poverty levels of income leads to high marginal tax rates on low- to moderate-income families, however, lessening the return to work and making economic security more difficult for working families to achieve.

This policy paper presents a snapshot of America’s struggling lower-middle-class families and highlights their challenges with food insecurity and with barriers to work that are inadvertently created through the tax and transfer system. An important next step is to identify policies that can improve the well-being of these families.

http://www.hamiltonproject.org/papers/a_dozen_facts_about_americas_struggling_lower-middle_class/

December 06, 2013 5:14 PM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

Attacks on compensation of public sector workers are part of an ongoing effort, starting in 1969, to cripple government by discouraging capable people from entering into, and staying in, government service. The idea is to create a self-fulfilling prophecy that government cannot function effectively.

December 06, 2013 9:01 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Research has shown that its a myth that cutting corporate taxes creates jobs.

Paying high tax rates doesn’t stifle job creation at the country’s biggest, most profitable companies and low tax rates seem to be more correlated with job losses, according to a new report from the Center for Effective Government.

The 30 Fortune 500 companies that paid the highest tax rates from 2008 to 2010 created about 200,000 jobs from 2008 to 2012, the researchers found. By contrast, the 30 companies with the lowest actual tax rates in that time frame shed a collective 51,289 jobs.

The report compared tax data compiled by Citizens for Tax Justice with employment data from corporate filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The tax data include only companies that turned a profit in each of the three years in question. The 30 high-tax companies each paid at least a 33 percent tax rate over the time frame in question, and only eight of them saw a net decrease in employees. In the low-tax grouping, just two of the 30 profitable companies paid any federal taxes, and a full 15 of them cut their payrolls. Many of the companies report their employment data on a global basis, so the jobs figures are not necessarily representative of solely American job creation.

Despite that fuzziness, the report’s findings align with previous research on the linkage between corporate tax rates and economic success. There is no association between lower rates and higher growth. Making corporations pay higher tax rates makes the overall tax code more progressive, which is good for the poor and working-class.

There is ample room to raise the rates corporations pay without necessarily raising the on-paper tax rate. That’s because companies have gotten very good at paying far less than the top-line corporate tax rate of 35 percent. The gulf between the statutory tax rate and the effective tax rate — what companies actually pay the government — is massive. About 11 percent of the S&P 500 paid a zero percent tax rate over the past year, in many cases due to flagging sales. But even among profitable corporate giants, effective tax rates are about a third of the statutory rate. At 12.6 percent, the effective tax rate paid by large, profitable companies in 2010 was lower than what the median American middle-class household paid to the tax man.

December 07, 2013 4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pretty sure govt wages (just the wage part, not the overall comp package) are now HIGHER than the private sector wages.

the argument used to be, well, if you get a govt sector job you can't make the money you could in the private sector, BUT, the retirement benefits were great.

I believe Metro of DC has a 95K average wage (including overtime pay benefits) for a mid level manager with 15-20 years of services for a full retirement plan at what, 60% of wages ?

we simply can't afford that anymore.

we are broke.


December 07, 2013 10:06 PM  
Anonymous chicken's in the breadpan, pickin' out dough said...

"I won't be comming back because every honest person can see I've utterly destroyed your anti-gay assertions and exposed your true evil motivations."

I guess if you have enough multiple personalities, you can't ever lie, huh?

Hopefully, one of you won't delete that post

December 07, 2013 10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and govt wages now are GREATER than private sector wages, NOT including retirement. Hours are stable, job is stable.... oh wait, that means everyone should work for the govt !

exactly what Obama has planned.

December 07, 2013 10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the corporate tax code needs to be reformed Priya. Raising the rate just means they higher more lawyers, pay the lawyers more and the govt the same or less.

December 07, 2013 10:10 PM  
Anonymous the lazy liar comes out from under said...

"Research has shown that its a myth that cutting corporate taxes creates jobs"

this post shows that it's a myth that lazy Priya has a brain bigger than a pea

"The 30 Fortune 500 companies that paid the highest tax rates from 2008 to 2010 created about 200,000 jobs from 2008 to 2012, the researchers found."

that's because they were the most profitable, hence the high tax rate, hence they had more money to spend

"By contrast, the 30 companies with the lowest actual tax rates in that time frame shed a collective 51,289 jobs."

again, they weren't doing well so they tried to cut back

"Many of the companies report their employment data on a global basis, so the jobs figures are not necessarily representative of solely American job creation."

hence, the study is meaningless

"Despite that fuzziness, the report’s findings align with previous research on the linkage between corporate tax rates and economic success. There is no association between lower rates and higher growth."

actually, there's no way to know that without having parallel universes to study

"Making corporations pay higher tax rates makes the overall tax code more progressive, which is good for the poor and working-class."

the poor don't pay tax in America

the working class, which shouldn't be taxed on their 401K investments, wind up paying tax on them anyway because the corporations the 401Ks are invested in pay this immoral tax

in America, we believe it is not necessary to destroy the successful to help the less successful

it's worked out very well

it's why everyone wants to come here

"There is ample room to raise the rates corporations pay without necessarily raising the on-paper tax rate."

ah, but then the government would lose control over corporations

"That’s because companies have gotten very good at paying far less than the top-line corporate tax rate of 35 percent. The gulf between the statutory tax rate and the effective tax rate — what companies actually pay the government — is massive. About 11 percent of the S&P 500 paid a zero percent tax rate over the past year, in many cases due to flagging sales. But even among profitable corporate giants, effective tax rates are about a third of the statutory rate. At 12.6 percent, the effective tax rate paid by large, profitable companies in 2010 was lower than what the median American middle-class household paid to the tax man."

except that is only the first time the earnings are taxed

they are then taxed again when they are distributed to shareholders

so the effective rate is the addition of the corporate and individual rates

the corporate tax is simply unfair double taxation on those who invest in the stock market, not all of whom are wealthy

lazy Priya, you have not apologized for advocating Obamacare and now you have lied when you said you wouldn't come back here because you've "destroyed" my arguments

just go crawl back under your rock, you lazy liar

December 07, 2013 11:14 PM  
Anonymous Drowning the government in the bathtub, any way they can, is GOP goal... said...

CA Republicans' Fake 'Obamacare' Website Mailers Sent at Taxpayer Expense

"The Ventura County Star reports that my CA Assemblyman Jeff Gorell (R-Thousand Oaks), and three other members of the California Republican Assembly Caucus abused their public mailing privileges by sending nearly 260,000 deceptive mailers to their constituents.

According to a former opponent of his that I spoke with, it wouldn't be the first time Gorell has been linked to deceptive mailers.

Instead of directing constituents who desire to take advantage of the state's Affordable Care Act health insurance exchange, the mailer "labeled as 'A California Resource Guide' to explain federal health care reform", points constituents to a fake website created by state Republicans. Rather than the official CoveredCA.com website, the new mailers direct the recipient to CoveringHealthCareCA.com, a bogus Republican site which, though attempting to appear to be the official CA health care exchange site, doesn't actually provide the ability to shop for or purchase policies.

"Though it launched in August," ABC News reports, "the site made waves this week after a number of GOP Assembly members sent out mailers to their constituents, highlighting the page as a 'resource guide' for information on the Affordable Care Act."

The deceptive, publicly funded mailers sent by the self-described "fiscal conservatives" cost CA taxpayers $77,496, according to the Star's public records request. The money, they report, came from the state Assembly's "taxpayer-funded operating budget."

Since the fraud was exposed, the LA Times reports, the GOP site has added some links to the official CA health care site. The original site, according to Karoli at Crooks and Liars who helped expose the scam, included "links to negative articles and twisted messages intended to sour people on signing up for health insurance before they ever land at the official health exchange site."

The effort comes on the heels of a what ABC describes as an "onslaught of fake insurance sites popping up in the state --- 10 of which were shut down by Calif. Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris in November --- since the implementation of Obamacare."

This is not the first occasion in which Gorell, an outspoken opponent of the Affordable Care Act, has been tied to deceptive constituent mailers. Last year, the chairman of a local Democratic Club asked me to speak on the subject of GOP voter suppression laws and e-voting issues. While there, I was approached by Democrat Eileen MacEnery, Gorell's unsuccessful 2012 Assembly opponent. She was still miffed by what she described as a deceptive Gorell mailer. In it, she told me, Gorell included his name and photo, alongside those of Democratic Sen. Diane Feinstein and Rep. Julia Brownley. MacEnery claimed the mailer falsely implied that the Democratic Party supported all three, even though Gorell is a dedicated member of the GOP.

Gorell was the only local Republican who retained a seat in my area after state redistricting converted what had been a Republican-majority district into one where registered Democrats hold a slim majority. Last month, Gorell announced that he will challenge Brownley for her seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Hopefully local voters will keep his deceptive record in mind when any of Gorrell's mailings show up in their mailbox."

December 08, 2013 10:51 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Thirty years of shrinking Arctic sea ice has boosted extreme summer weather, including heat waves and drought, in the United States and elsewhere, according to a study
published today (Dec. 8) in the journal Nature Climate Change.

The new study — based on satellite tracking of sea ice, snow cover and weather trends since 1979 — links the Arctic's warming climate to shifting weather patterns in the Northern Hemisphere's midlatitudes.

"The results of our new study provide further support and evidence for rapid Arctic warming contributing to the observed increased frequency and intensity of heat waves," said study co-author Jennifer Francis, an atmospheric scientist at Rutgers University in New Jersey. [Images of Melt: Earth's Vanishing Ice]


Changes in the Arctic can perturb midlatitude weather in such regions as the United States, Europe and China because temperature differences between the two zones drive the jet stream, the fast-moving river of air that circles the Northern Hemisphere, explained lead study author Qiuhong Tang, an atmospheric scientist at the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research in Beijing.

"As the high latitudes warm faster than the midlatitudes because of amplifying effects of melting ice, the west-to-east jet-stream wind is weakened," Tang told LiveScience in an email interview. "Consequently, the atmospheric circulation change tends to favor more persistent weather systems and a higher likelihood of summer weather extremes."

In the past 30 years, the amount of summer sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean shrank by 8 percent per decade. The total area of summer ice lost would cover 40 percent of the lower 48 U.S. states. The amount of high-latitude snow cover during June waned even more quickly, at almost 18 percent per decade. Ultimately, these two measures mean the Arctic is warmer when summer starts, because the open ocean and meltwater on ice absorb more of the sun's rays than ice does.

When the temperature difference between the Arctic and midlatitudes lessens, the jet stream starts to take swooping swings on its journey around the globe, like a river flowing over a flat plain, Francis said. The ridges and troughs in the jet stream create stagnating weather systems, such as high-pressure heat waves, that are stuck in the swoops. The Arctic sea ice effects were even blamed for Hurricane Sandy's swing toward the Mid-Atlantic Coast.

The new results add to earlier studies by Francis and her colleagues showing a similar link between Arctic climate change and extreme winter weather, also driven by a wild jet stream pattern.

December 08, 2013 6:09 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 08, 2013 6:17 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

An unusually cold winter across China has some regions hitting their lowest average temperatures in more than 40 years, according to state media reports. The Chinese national meteorological agency said polar fronts caused by global warming are to blame for the frigid air.

The freeze is the coldest winter in 28 years, the English-language newspaper China Daily reported. The national average temperature across China's vast territory was a chilly 25.2 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 3.8 degrees Celsius) since late November. In northeast China, which typically has snowy, cold winters, the average temperature was an icy 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 15.3 degrees Celsius), the lowest in 42 years.

Temperatures have dropped down to minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 40 degrees Celsius) in eastern Inner Mongolia, northern Xinjiang and the Arctic reaches of northeast China. (Mohe, in northeast China, holds China's record low temperature of minus 62.1 F, or minus 52.3 C, set on Feb. 13, 1962.)

Global warming brings record cold

The wintry weather doesn't disprove global warming, however. In fact, an expert a China's National Climate Center blamed rising temperatures for the deep freeze. Global warming is shrinking ice in the Arctic and pushing polar fronts south, Zhou Botao told China Daily.

The loss of Arctic ice could affect weather in China in several ways, said Julienne Stroeve, a research scientist specializing in Arctic ice at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colo. "It's hard to separate out cause and effect, but one of the things we do know is when we have less sea ice, the Arctic atmosphere is a lot warmer," Stroeve told OurAmazingPlanet.

With less ice cover, the Arctic Ocean absorbs heat and solar energy from the sun that the ice would have reflected back into space. The heating of Arctic sea water can shift weather patterns in the Arctic and also affect the jet stream, Stroeve said. The jet stream is a persistent river of air that circles the planet, and has a strong influence on winter storms and movement of frosty polar air. Dips and troughs created by the shifting Arctic wind patterns could let Arctic air sneak south, studies show.

So when global warming deniers point to the odd place with colder than normal temperatures keep in mind that this is a result of global warming and even though temperatures might be colder than normal in some regions the average temperature for the planet as a whole is warmer with the last decade being the warmest on record.

December 08, 2013 6:24 PM  
Anonymous round of shots said...

the planet hasn't warmed appreciably in the last fifteen years

which is, no doubt, proof of global warming for lazy priya

yes, now cold weather is proof of cold weather, just as warm weather would have been if the predictions of global warming alarmists had actually been correct

you really have to wonder if the climate had stayed exactly the same how the alarmists would have used that as proof of global warming

time to pack it in and cut your losses, lazy Priya

you were wrong

just like with Obamacare and when you said you weren't coming back because you have destroyed my arguments

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

I see one of your multiple personalities is deleting your posts again

I know you can't help it

but you can get help

Canada's wonderful health insurance covers mental problems

and while you're waiting two years for an appointment, you can self-medoicate

December 09, 2013 7:44 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

I'm all for more snow in Arlington.

December 09, 2013 8:32 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

I'm afraid I actually agree with anonymous: it makes sense that in toto companies that pay less in taxes are likely to have less successful businesses, therefore to hire fewer workers. There are some glaring exceptions, though.

A point though: the poor pay payroll taxes on all their income, while the highest earners do so only on a portion of theirs. Social Security taxes are regressive.

December 09, 2013 8:35 AM  
Anonymous hipster said...

"I'm all for more snow in Arlington."

let's not be provincial, Robert

let's wish for snow for everyone

two of my favorite things, much like Carrie Underwood, are snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes

"I'm afraid I actually agree with anonymous:"

nothing to be scared of, old boy

this one was so obvious, I thought lazy Priya might have gotten it from the Onion and thought it was serious

"A point though: the poor pay payroll taxes on all their income, while the highest earners do so only on a portion of theirs. Social Security taxes are regressive."

the problem is that liberals have always sold Social Security (SS) as a retirement plan rather than social net

so, if it's a retirement plan, it doesn't make sense to charge more to some people than others

of course, smart people like Robert and I know SS is not a retirement plan

there is no correlation between what you put in and what you get out

but liberals are afraid if they give up on that idea that SS will lose popular support

if we could be honest about it, we could stop sending SS checks to people who are wealthy and don't need them

this would go a long way toward stabilizing SS

it's what Mitt Romney proposed in the last election

btw, Robert, applying the SS tax to unlimited earnings of the wealthy wouldn't work because they have many means at their disposal to decrease the amount of their income deemed "wages"

also, Obamacare has already placed an additional tax on the wealthy to support subsidized health insurance

December 09, 2013 1:34 PM  
Anonymous it's up to my knees out there said...

evidence of global cooling continues to pile up

the Northeast corridor, including DC, will have 6 inches tomorrow

yesterday was the first time ever that five simultaneous NFL games were played in the snow

December 09, 2013 4:08 PM  
Anonymous O'Malley and Obama: Bar Room Buddies said...

SILVER SPRING, Md.—Maryland is struggling to fix its troubled health-insurance website more than two months after it opened, showing how technology woes are affecting more than just the federal system.

The official in charge of Maryland's insurance marketplace, Rebecca Pearce, resigned late Friday after criticism of her decision to take a vacation in the Cayman Islands during Thanksgiving week. New statistics released Friday showed just a trickle of customers signing up for private coverage in the state.

Maryland, under Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat who quickly moved to implement the Affordable Care Act, was expected to be a leader among the 14 states running their own health-insurance exchanges. The state is strongly Democratic, and Mr. O'Malley hired Ms. Pearce two years ahead of the site's launch on Oct. 1.

The site has suffered repeated crashes and errors, a reminder of the challenges of building a new health-insurance market from scratch. The federal HealthCare.gov site, which serves 36 states that declined to run their own exchanges, has had similar problems, as have other states running their own websites, including Oregon and Hawaii.

O'Malley has been mentioned as a potential Democratic presidential contender in 2016, but Maryland's botched rollout will dent his reputation.

As of Nov. 30, just 3,758 people had signed up for private coverage through Maryland Health Connection, while another 13,296 were found eligible for Medicaid—collectively a small fraction of the state's estimated 700,000 uninsured.

December 09, 2013 6:28 PM  
Anonymous robert said...

I wish mote snow on everyone. It's beauty is proof of the existence of God. I agree, we should stop sending SS checks to wealthy people. We'll make a socialist out of you yet

December 09, 2013 7:48 PM  
Anonymous I have miles to go said...

hey, where's the like button around here?

December 09, 2013 8:30 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

At the end of every summer, SS sends mea record of what I've paid in each year of my working life. How will they determine what I get in retirement?

December 09, 2013 11:36 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

It's snowing in Arlington!

I was watching Fox news this morning (I think for much the same reason I read anonymous's comments here). They put up a graphic with the top 10 people nominated for Time's Person of the Year. The group included people such as Jeff Bezos, Bashar-al-Assad, the pope, the president of Iran and the president of the United States, among others.

The Fox commenters mentioned each person in turn, and gave a little blurb explaining why he or she might be person of the year. They did this for each person, except one: Edith Windsor.

Fair and balanced.

I wonder where they got the graphic.

December 10, 2013 7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sign the petition

"California Republicans have stooped to a new low­ in their ongoing misinformation campaign to turn voters against Obamacare. They have created a fake health care website to discourage people from getting health insurance, and they are using official mailers to send constituents to the site.

Instead of sending constituents to CoveredCA.com, the official California health insurance exchange site, Republicans created CoveringHealthCareCA.com. The Republican website poses as a hub for health care information but just contains negative information about Obamacare that could discourage people from obtaining health insurance.

Deceiving the public to carry out a political agenda has to stop. Please sign the petition denouncing California Republicans for their misinformation campaign, and demand they take the site down.

Petition Text

Our Message to To the California Republican Assembly––
To California Republicans–

It is reprehensible that you have deliberately created a website to misinform your constituents about how to get healthcare coverage under the ACA in California and that you are using the power of your office to send misinformation through your mailers. We demand you take down the site."

December 10, 2013 9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gen. Colin Powell calls for universal health care in the U.S.

December 10, 2013 10:25 AM  
Anonymous the liberal nose is growing said...

"Deceiving the public to carry out a political agenda has to stop"

you mean like when Obama lied to America to get Congress to pass a healthcare bill that most of us are opposed to?

like when he said you can keep your insurance, you can keep your doctor, you will pay less for insurance?

the gay agenda will soon the rest of Americans in opposing Obamacare when they realize that many AIDS patients won't be able to afford the high deductibles and co-pays of the new plans for the drugs keeping them alive and most insurance companies won't pay for the one-pill regimen at all

"California Republicans have stooped to a new low­ in their ongoing misinformation campaign to turn voters against Obamacare. They have created a fake health care website to discourage people from getting health insurance, and they are using official mailers to send constituents to the site.

Instead of sending constituents to CoveredCA.com, the official California health insurance exchange site, Republicans created CoveringHealthCareCA.com. The Republican website poses as a hub for health care information but just contains negative information about Obamacare that could discourage people from obtaining health insurance."

how about posting the wording of these supposedly deceptive mailers?

I suspect you are trying to deceive people since your fearless leader has provided such an example

America is preparing to throw out lying liberals in less than a year

December 10, 2013 10:46 AM  
Anonymous ha-ha said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

December 10, 2013 11:17 AM  
Anonymous if the truth gets told said...

"the top 10 people nominated for Time's Person of the Year"

I can usually figure out who it will be, Robert

of the ten, it's close between Edward Snowden and the new Pope (who, btw, today called right-wing Christianity a "sickness"), but I think it will be Snowden

December 10, 2013 1:08 PM  
Anonymous say November 2014 and I get tingly said...

Despite a relatively strong jobs report last week, a new CBS News/New York Times survey indicates that most Americans still negatively view President Obama’s handling of the economy, which a majority of poll respondents believe is performing poorly.

While 58 percent of those surveyed said they disapprove of the president’s handling of the economy, only 37 percent approve.

The weak numbers are similar to those in a poll released last month, before the latest round of positive economic reports.

61 percent of voters view the economy negatively.

A majority of respondents across all age and income levels believe the economy is in bad shape.

December 10, 2013 3:23 PM  
Anonymous wasted time and money too said...

"I was watching Fox news this morning (I think for much the same reason I read anonymous's comments here)."

Poor guy.

Squandered youth in search of truth when he could have just looked in the right places.

December 10, 2013 3:56 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

The 113th Congress has stuck it to the poor at pretty much every opportunity. In fact, if you take all their past and future plans into account, it looks like they have accomplished that rare feat: To close in on enacting an overarching, radical agenda without control of the Senate or the presidency. How did they do it? Probably by escaping scrutiny through a piecemeal approach to legislation, a president who is willing to meet them halfway, and one diabolic word: Sequester.

1. Kick 'em to the curb
Congress will basically start kicking poor people out of their homes early next year. The idea is, if you can't pay for your home without government assistance, you don't deserve to live in one. In this spirit, budget cuts due to sequestration will take rental assistance vouchers away from 140,000 low-income families by the beginning of next year, making housing more expensive as agencies raise costs to offset the budget cuts. All in all, about three million disabled seniors and families will be affected. The savings? $2 billion, which is pretty much what the government shutdown cost in back-pay to federal workers.

If you're lucky enough to keep your home, don't expect to heat it. Sequester cuts to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) meant that 300,000 low-income families in 2013 were denied government support for energy costs.

2. Take the food out of their mouths. Literally.
The recent reduction in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits has affected more than 47 million Americans and is the largest wholesale cut in the program since Congress passed the first Food Stamps Act in 1964.

The cuts to Food Stamps were implemented on November 1. Yet, Congress won't let the program rest there — House Republicans are pushing to take $39 billion from SNAP over the next decade. If their plan succeeds, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that 3.8 million low-income individuals would lose their benefits in 2014 with 2.8 million more getting kicked off the program each year. SNAP is one of the three most effective anti-poverty programs the government has, keeping four million people out of poverty last year alone. So the initial and further cuts make a lot of sense — if you despise the poor.

And don't worry, other cuts to food programs ensure both the oldest and youngest amongst us won't be spared. Cuts to Meals on Wheels will cost poor seniors four to 18 million meals next year. Meanwhile, the Women, Infants, and Children program (WIC), which provides health care referrals and nutrition to poor pregnant and postpartum women and children up to age five, has grappled with $500 million in cuts this year and faces even deeper ones next. Fair's fair, though.

December 10, 2013 4:56 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

3. Dim their kids' future
There's nothing that will make our economic future brighter than under-educating our children, right? That's why, again as a result of sequestration, Head Start literally had to kick preschoolers out of their classrooms this March and removed 57,000 children from the program this September (70,000 kids total are will be affected). If this weren't enough, more than half of public schools have fired personnel due to the ominous cuts — and Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said sequestration "has been one of the good things that has happened." Given that 40 percent of children who don't receive early childhood education are more likely to become a parent as a teenager, 25 percent are more likely to drop out of school, and 70 percent are more likely to be arrested for a violent crime, this is definitely the definition of a "good thing."

4. Erase the roadmap for employment
The United States has one of the stingiest unemployment programs in the developed world and it is getting even stingier. People who have been out of work for 27 weeks or more — 40 percent of the unemployed — have already begun and will continue to lose a large portion of their benefits between January and March. Eight percent of this year's sequestration cuts are coming from unemployment insurance. The logic here is that the program discourages people from looking for work, so why fund something that just makes the unemployed lazier? The evidence, however, proves that government assistance fuels the job searches of these 4.4 million Americans. Yet by the end of December, about 1.3 million will lose their extended jobless benefits if Congress doesn't renew the program. And cuts to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF, or welfare) means there will be even less of safety net to fall back on.

5. Make 'em work till they drop
President Obama put Social Security cuts in his budget for fiscal year 2014, and Republicans are thrilled. Switching to a new formula called Chained CPI would lead to benefit cuts of $230 billion dollars in the next ten years. Apparently, it's Social Security that's driving up the debt, as Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) has said. The irony here, according to The New York Times' Paul Krugman, is that while debt can indirectly make us poor if deficits drive up interest rates and discourage productive investment (they haven't), investment is low because the economy is so weak, partly from cutbacks in public spending and investment — the cuts, such as this one, that supposedly protect Americans from a future of excessive debt. Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Tom Harkin (Iowa) have been fighting an uphill battle to boost Social Security benefits. But carry on, Congress. What you're doing really makes sense here.

In just a few short decades, we've gone from LBJ's Great Society, where many of these ideas originated, to this Congress' attacks on the poor. According to the Census Bureau, safety net programs keep tens of millions of Americans out of poverty each year. But that's just not the federal government's priority anymore. This Congress' message: It's every man for himself.

December 10, 2013 4:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fascinating article.


Top 40% Paid 106.2% of Income Taxes; Bottom 40% Paid -9.1%, Got Average of $18,950 in 'Transfers'

December 10, 2013 6:47 PM  
Anonymous when? said...

Bill Clinton ended the "War on Poverty" in 1996

lazy Priya, tell us:

what do you personally do to help those in poverty?

do you know people who work with the poor?

December 10, 2013 9:56 PM  
Blogger Patrick Fitzgerald said...

"This is evil."

Amen.

December 11, 2013 2:31 AM  
Anonymous Patrick, you go girl said...

"There is no philosophy or science that says it is good to screw the little guy and give more, always more, to the people at the top. This is evil."

when the government is almost entirely funded by the upper 1% while the lower 40% makes no contribution at all and receives massive handouts

and you call that situation "screwing the little guy" and giving "more, always more, to the people at the top", you are telling a lie which can lead to much evil

but when Patrick makes a comment, at least there's someone to laugh at

December 11, 2013 10:13 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

"when the government is almost entirely funded by the upper 1% while the lower 40% makes no contribution at all and receives massive handouts".

Bad anonymous thinking one person paying $200,000 in income taxes and the next person paying none isn't fair. To a simple minded person that is true but equal isn't always equitable. The top 1% can pay 90% of their income into taxes and it won't affect their standard of living one scintilla. For the bottom 40% if you raise their income by 30% it will make a vast difference in their standard of living. Equitable is the rich paying the vast majority of taxes and the poor paying none.

The vast majority of rich people haven't gotten rich through merit, they did it by inheriting wealth and gaming the system to favour the wealthy over the poor. Research shows the wealthy are much more likely to lie, cheat, and steal than the poor.

Those who've benefitted from society in gross disproportion to the rest of society deserve to give that much more back to the society that created the environment that allowed them to succeed. No one got rich on their own, they did it in large measure due to the society that disproportionately favours the rich and they did it through luck and gaming the system with the help of the Republicans.

The gap between the rich and the poor is ever widening. Bad anonymous, at what point is the gap between the rich and the poor too great for you to accept, or is there ever such a point? Is it acceptable for you to have it so great that the poor work 18 hour days 7 days a week and yet 40% of the population starves to death while the top 20% controls 99% of the wealth and does nothing but earn tax free interest income as Paul Ryan proposed?

The purpose of society is to benefit all people, not to benefit 1% people while shafting 50% of people. A person born into wealth isn't starting from the same place as a person born into poverty, they've started the race 3/4 of the way towards the finish line. Their education is paid for, they grow up with all the advantages wealth provides them, they don't have to work to achieve wealth, it is all given to them. That's not equitable.

At one time a person born into poverty had a decent chance of moving into the upper class. The percentage of people who move from lower class to upperclass is steadily declining. The wealthy are essentially establishing monarchies such that the station you're born into in life is the station you stay in - there is no equal opportunity.

And with the help of the Republicans the wealthy are doing everything they can to keep it that way, by cutting educational funding and other programs that demonstrably help the poor change their lot in life, and declaring corporations people such that the tiny number of super rich can drown out the voice of the poor majority in elections.

Under Paul Ryan's 2012 budget plan Mitt Romney would have paid an income tax rate of less than 1%.

This is what the rupublican lap dogs of the rich are trying to do, make the rich ever richer and drive the poor ever farther into poverty until they simply can't survive. The wealthiest corporations such as oil companies pay little to no taxes and yet lobby to repeal the minimum wage law so they can line their pockets with ever more money they have no use for and yet Republicans constantly push for more tax cuts for the rich and cuts to the programs the poor need to live and have a remote chance of getting out of poverty.

When society only benefits the very few at great disproportion to the majority of people society is broken and needs to be fixed. And it can start with the super rich paying virtually all taxes.

December 11, 2013 1:54 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

EPI economist Thomas Hungerford explained in a report Tuesday that the supposed link between corporate tax rates and growth rates does not hold up to scrutiny. After examining the question from various directions – statutory tax rates, effective rates, effective rates on capital income overall rather than corporate income, inserting a one-year lag in the data to see if the putative growth effects were being hidden – Hungerford concludes that “there is no apparent association between the statutory corporate tax rate and economic growth.”

"At first glance, a link between the statutory corporate tax rate and economic growth appears to go in the “wrong” direction—higher tax rates are consistent with higher economic growth rates! The economy grew at an annual average rate of 3.9 percent between 1950 and 1960, when the statutory corporate tax rate was over 50 percent. Between 2000 and 2010, the statutory corporate tax rate was 35 percent (over 15 percentage points lower than the rate in the 1950s), and annual economic growth averaged 1.8 percent (less than half of the growth rate in the 1950s).

The trend in real GDP growth is displayed in Figure B (dotted line). With its ups and downs since 1947, real GDP growth basically fluctuated around a downward trend. The statutory corporate tax rate is also displayed in Figure B (in dark blue). The tax rate leveled at about 52 to 53 percent through most of the 1950s and 1960s, then fell in steps to 35 percent. Again, this suggests a positive association between GDP growth and corporate tax rates."

December 11, 2013 2:09 PM  
Anonymous wave of the future said...


here's a fun story:

India's Supreme Court on Wednesday reinstated a ban on gay sex in the world's largest democracy. A four-year period of decriminalization brought homosexuality into the open in the socially conservative country and allowed law enforcement to identify the country's homosexuals for arrest and prosecution, now that the ban has been reinstated.

In 2009 the Delhi High Court ruled unconstitutional a section of the penal code that prohibits "carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal" and lifted the ban for consenting adults.

The Supreme Court threw out that decision, reinstaing Section 377 of the penal code, widely interpreted to refer to homosexual sex. Violation of the law can be punished with up to 10 years in jail.

The move shocked rights activists around the world, who had expected the court simply to rubber-stamp the earlier ruling.

"It's a black day for us," said Anjali Gopalan, the executive director of the Naz Foundation, a Delhi-based gay advocacy group.

"I feel exhausted right now, thinking that we have been set back by 100 years."

U.S. actress Mia Farrow described the decision as "a very dark day for freedom and human rights," in a post on Twitter.

December 11, 2013 2:10 PM  
Anonymous the juvenile presidency said...

wonder if we'll ever have a grown-up for President again:

Call it the selfie seen 'round the world.

Among the enduring images from Nelson Mandela's massive memorial service in Johannesburg Tuesday will be one of a jovial President Obama taking a cell phone pic with his seat-mates, Denmark's Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and Britain's David Cameron.

As the three of them smile for the camera, a stern-looking Michelle Obama can be seen staring straight ahead, hands clasped. As if to remind anyone who sees this photo years from now that it was, after all, a memorial service for one of the great human rights leaders.

The tsk-tsk-ing could be heard across continents.

"What on earth is going on? Why do world leaders now behave like this?" The Daily Telegraph's Iain Martin wrote. "Perhaps it is just that the current generation is so appallingly spoiled that basic notions of decorum have been shot to pieces."

RedState.com's Erick Erickson tweeted: "Thank you Mrs. Obama for knowing how to behave at a funeral."

The first lady's reaction -- not just to the "selfie" but to her husband's chatting and joking with the young Danish prime minister -- was priceless. In one picture, Michelle Obama could be seen glaring over at him while he put his hand on Ms. Thorning-Schmidt's shoulder.

In another, it appeared the first lady and the president switched seats, putting Michelle squarely between him and the PM.

The "selfie" incident was the second unexpected controversy stirred up by the president in South Africa. Earlier, Cuban-American lawmakers publicly objected after Obama -- on his way to deliver his tribute to Mandela -- shook the hand of Raul Castro.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., called the moment "nauseating."

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who was at the Johannesburg service, walked out when Castro spoke.

December 11, 2013 2:22 PM  
Anonymous is there in truth no beauty? said...

"India's Supreme Court"

so, gays are now banned in the largest democracy in the world

and they are being restrained in Russia, Africa, Latin America, the Mid-east...

let's just put it this way:

the only place where homosexuality is part of the subset of normality is the US, Canada and Western Europe

kind of reminds of the old famous quote from Gandhi:

reporter: what do you think of western civilization?

Gandhi: I think it's a good idea

December 11, 2013 3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"While 58 percent of those surveyed said they disapprove of the president’s handling of the economy, only 37 percent approve."

That very same poll found 10% of those surveyed said they approved of the way Congress is handling its job, while a whopping 83% said they disapprove.

And what do the most of these respondents say is the most important problem facing the country today? Jobs!

They want Congress to pass Jobs bills, not to waste all its time defunding Obamacare, which is all the House GOP and Speaker Cruz offer.

Another question asked "Do you think Barack Obama has the same priorities for the country as you have, or doesn't he?"

65% said yes, while 29% said no, and 7% didn't know.

December 11, 2013 4:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah yes. Our resident homophobe sings the praises of India as the "wave of the future."

Those of us not residing in the bubble know that India is more like a wave from the dark ages when it comes to sexual matters. Rather than using the horrific gang rapes of minors and others to update their backward notions of women being disposable sexual props for men, the reality is that Rapes Double In Delhi After Last Year’s Brutal Gang Rape

December 11, 2013 5:27 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Oppressive cultural attitudes towards women go hand in hand with oppressive cultural attitudes towards gays. The anti-gay are usually misogynistic as well.

December 11, 2013 6:00 PM  
Anonymous Obama really did it this time!! said...

"That very same poll found 10% of those surveyed said they approved of the way Congress is handling its job, while a whopping 83% said they disapprove."

really?

did you know Democrats control one of the Houses of Congress?

did you know the member of Congress with the lowest national approval rating is Harry Reid?

did you know that generic polls show most Americans now prefer that the Republicans control Congress, not Democrats?

did you know that Paul Ryan just negotiated a deal from Democrats that cuts the deficits without raising taxes and cutting government worker pension benefits, so there will be no shutdown next year?

did you know the next Congressional election is in November, right after Americans who have employer-paid insurance will find out they will (1) owe higher premiums, (2)have deductibles and co-pays that will bankrupt many,(3) have a limited choice of doctors and probably have to lose the one they've been using for years, and (4) will only have the hospitals and specialists with the lowest reputations available to them?

boy, did Obama screw the liberals!!

December 11, 2013 6:08 PM  
Anonymous you're gonna hear me...SNOOORE!!! said...

"Oppressive cultural attitudes towards women go hand in hand with oppressive cultural attitudes towards gays. The anti-gay are usually misogynistic as well."

once again, lazy Lynn says something stupid

common knowledge right there

(btw, why would someone change their last name just because they reassigned themselves?)

December 11, 2013 7:30 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

It's just worth noting there there has been a huge expansion in lgbt rights in places such as Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina.

December 12, 2013 7:00 AM  
Anonymous left-right-left left said...

right to what?

could you be more specific?

December 12, 2013 8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Email from Senator Patty Murray:

"Finally!

After months and months of trying to get the GOP to come to the table and negotiate in good faith, I am pleased to announce that -- last tonight -- Rep. Paul Ryan and I have reached a budget agreement.

While this deal isn't perfect -- and no compromise ever is -- I was able to work with GOP Budget Chairman Paul Ryan to reach a compromise that replaces the hurtful sequester cuts with more responsible ones, preserves the priorities of our Senate budget, and rejects Republican attempts to slash Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

For the next two years, this budget deal will protect us from the devastating prospect of another government shutdown and keep our economic recovery on track.

What's more, this budget compromise actually increases investments in our domestic economy this year and next, while reducing our budget deficit by $24 billion.

So while it's not a perfect deal, it's a good deal that avoids more economic crises down the road. Will you stand with me?

Please show your support for this new budget deal: Sign my petition now.

Last night's budget deal just goes to show you the good that we can do when we hold firm to our principles -- to put the American people first, keep our economy growing, and protect Social Security and Medicare -- while also being willing to negotiate on the details. And this is something that needs to continue as we work to extend unemployment benefits before we wrap up this year. I hope this is a lesson that the House GOP will continue to learn as we move into 2014.

Thank you for standing with me.

Patty Murray
U.S. Senator"

December 12, 2013 9:56 AM  
Anonymous R said...

"left-right-left left said...
right to what?

could you be more specific?"

A good example of trollery. Maybe the OED can use it.


December 12, 2013 10:35 AM  
Anonymous left-right-left left said...

"A good example of trollery. Maybe the OED can use it."

this is a funny way to admit this person has no idea what rights they are talking about

who is denying homosexuals any rights and what are those rights?

December 12, 2013 8:03 PM  
Anonymous put on the ruby slippers said...

"After months and months of trying to get the GOP to come to the table and negotiate in good faith, I am pleased"

Patty Murray is like Glinda the Witch, floating around in her own special bubble

the budget deal passed because the Dems dropped their uncompromising stance

they have, in past negotiations, refused to make cuts in entitlements unless taxes are raised

this deal cuts government pensions without taxes, raises military spending, and cuts the deficit

hopefully, Dems have learned their lesson and will now negotiate in good faith

December 12, 2013 8:15 PM  
Anonymous Pop said...

Tonight's WaPo:

"The House overwhelmingly passed a 2-year bipartisan budget deal Thursday evening, possibly signaling a truce in the spending showdowns that have paralyzed Washington for the past three years.

In their final action of the year, the House approved the budget 332 to 94, with 169 Republicans and 163 Democrats voting in favor, and 62 Republicans and 32 Democrats voting against. Earlier Thursday, lawmakers agreed unanimously to approve the National Defense Authorization Act, which sets military pay and policy, and to extend current agricultural policy after negotiators failed to complete a new Farm Bill.,,,

...Earlier Thursday, House Speaker John A. Boehner escalated his feud with the outside advocacy groups that have repeatedly undermined his agenda after they took aim at the $85 billion compromise agreement.

“Frankly, I just think they’ve lost all credibility,” Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters Thursday at his weekly news briefing.

After years of enduring broadsides from groups such as Heritage Action for America, Boehner appeared to reach his limit this week when the collection of Washington-based conservative organizations attacked the budget deal negotiated by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who chair the budget committees in their respective chambers. Several groups announced their opposition before the proposal was unveiled Monday night.

“They’re using our members, and they’re using the American people for their own goals,” Boehner said Wednesday. “This is ridiculous.”

He expanded his criticism Thursday, screaming into the microphone at one point, “Are you kidding me?” He said at another point, “I don’t care what they do,” suggesting that after years of helping sabotage pacts that Boehner and his lieutenants were trying to craft, the conservative activists had finally begun to “step over the line” by opposing Ryan’s deal.

“When you criticize something and you have no idea what you’re criticizing, it undermines your credibility,” Boehner said.

Heritage Action for America sharply rejected Boehner’s charge, saying that conservative organizations are merely reflecting the sentiments of their grass-roots activists.

Ryan took a similar shot Thursday at Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who had denounced the deal within minutes of its announcement. “Read the deal and get back to me,” Ryan said in an MSNBC interview.

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) called Boehner’s comments “a breath of fresh air.” In a separate Capitol Hill news conference, Reid said the conservative groups’ actions were “showing the American people why the rules had to be changed” — a reference to his move last month to curtail senators’ use of filibusters to block judicial and executive branch nominees...."

December 12, 2013 8:52 PM  
Anonymous rules and regulations, who needs them? said...

"Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) called Boehner’s comments “a breath of fresh air.”"

glad that Mr Popularity could chime in

newsflash for harry: you have less than a year left as majority leader

"In a separate Capitol Hill news conference, Reid said the conservative groups’ actions were “showing the American people why the rules had to be changed” — a reference to his move last month to curtail senators’ use of filibusters to block judicial and executive branch nominees....""

actually, Reid was dead wrong

he took this action under duress, trying desperately to distract the public from the disastrous Obamacare bill that Dems had unanimously supported without reading it

the filibuster rules were longstanding because judges serve for life and it stabilizes our political system to ensure they have broad support

when rules in a legislature are changed by a simple majority, there are no rules at all, just how the majority happen to be feeling that day

nevertheless, Dems will regret this

very soon

December 12, 2013 9:50 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...



"this is a funny way to admit this person has no idea what rights they are talking about

who is denying homosexuals any rights and what are those rights?


December 12, 2013 8:03 PM"

These questions and comments are troll-like because their intent is to disrupt and antagonize, not foster discussion. Please, tell us under which bridge you hide, so we can warn our children not to cross it.

Whenever I ask my friend Dan simple factual questions, he says "I wish we had the internet in our pockets," then pulls out his phone and looks up the answer.

I wish we had the internet on our computers. Oh wait....

If you do, here's a link for you. You too can use the google.

Gay rights in Latin America

December 13, 2013 6:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the filibuster rules were longstanding because judges serve for life and it stabilizes our political system to ensure they have broad support"

The filibuster rules worked pretty well until the GOP decided to abuse the rules and obstruct President Obama. The GOP filibustered more of Obama's executive branch nominees than all other presidents combined.

Right Wing Watch reports:

“Since the start of the 113th Congress in January 2013, the confirmation rate has failed to keep up with the number of vacancies,” leading to more than one in ten seats on the federal courts being or soon to become vacant.

Since the start of this Congress, the number of federal judicial seats that are or will soon be vacant has risen from 90 to 110, an increase of more than 20 percent. The number of judicial emergencies – vacancies that have caused courts to face extraordinary backlogs in cases -- has risen from 27 to 38, an increase of 40 percent.

…and it’s not just judges.

Republicans have filibustered more of President Obama’s executive branch nominees than were filibustered under all other presidents combined. From 1949 through the end of 2008, the Senate held cloture votes to end filibusters of 20 executive branch nominees. So far in the Obama administration, the Senate has held cloture votes on 27 executive branch nominees. That means the Senate GOP is on pace to filibuster over twice as many of President Obama’s executive branch nominees as the total number filibustered under all previous presidents combined."

December 13, 2013 7:26 AM  
Anonymous Pop said...

"the budget deal passed because the Dems dropped their uncompromising stance"

Oh brother! There's no lie like a whopper, huh Bubblehead??

Warning! Facts ahead:

Republicans Spent Year Blocking Budget Conference

"Oct. 1, 2013: WASHINGTON -- House Republicans decided Monday that government shutdown or not, it was more important for them to keep trying to strike a blow against Obamacare. Having failed to convince Senate Democrats to go along, the Republicans resorted to seeking a "conference committee" to resolve the differences.

For Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), chair of the Senate Budget Committee, the move is ironic. She has been trying for more than a half-year to go to a conference to work out dramatic differences between the Senate budget and the House version. Senate and House Republicans have objected, repeatedly.

But with the clock expiring at midnight Monday, and federal officials starting to shut down all non-essential government functions, the House resorted to seeking a conference committee to pass a spending bill, or "continuing resolution" that runs only through mid-November or mid-December.

Senate Democrats called that negotiating at gunpoint.

"We know going to a conference means that we have to compromise -- that's what a conference is," Murray said just before midnight. "But we're not going to do it with a gun to our head that says we're shutting government down and we're going to conference over a short little six-week C.R. We have to deal with the longer-term budget. We have asked many times to go to conference on that."

Indeed, Murray and her colleagues asked 18 times. They have been blocked by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and a group of tea party Republicans led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)...."


The fact is Democrats sought compromise on the budget but Paul Ryan wanted to wait until he had leverage of the debt ceiling.

""...Republicans face a listless summer, with little appetite for compromise but no leverage to shape an agreement. Without that leverage, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Tuesday, there is no point in opening formal budget negotiations between the House and the Senate...

....“The debt limit is the backstop,” Ryan said before taking the stage at a debt summit organized by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation in Washington. “I’d like to go through regular order and get something done sooner rather than later. But we need to get a down payment on the debt. We need entitlement reform. We’re very serious about tax reform because we think that’s critical to economic growth and job creation. Those are the things we want to talk about.”...""


The public's intense negative reaction to the GOP's decision to shut down the government finally brought Ryan and the GOP to the negotiating table Senator Murray has held open to them for months.

December 13, 2013 7:53 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Pop said "Oh brother! There's no lie like a whopper, huh Bubblehead??".

Yes, that's typical Bad anonymous, just like in this thread at October 12, 2013 6:19 PM when he lied about the poll numbers on the shutdown by swapping the Republican blame numbers for the Democrat blame numbers (see the links to the actual polls at October 12, 2013 7:59 PM).

And then later he has the unmittigated gall to claim he didn't lie about any material facts to the discussion when the discussion was about who the public blamed for the shutdown!

That child has no ethics at all.

December 13, 2013 1:08 PM  
Anonymous elementary, my dear flotsam said...

How the Rot Spreads

Priya Lynn said...

December 13, 2013 6:19 PM  
Anonymous ... said...

...the...

...troll.

December 13, 2013 10:31 PM  
Anonymous when will lazy Priya apolgize to America? said...

it's actually a very odd technique of TTFers to call me a liar and then post something that supports my point

I guess it's because they want to demonstrate that their minions will march along with thinking for a second about what's being said

here's the part that shows what I said was true:

"....“The debt limit is the backstop,” Ryan said before taking the stage at a debt summit organized by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation in Washington. “I’d like to go through regular order and get something done sooner rather than later. But we need to get a down payment on the debt. We need entitlement reform."

well, he got a down payment on debt and entitlement reform without agreeing to the taxes the Dumbocrats have been insisting on

btw, nice little dodge about the gay "rights"

everyone is somewhat mystified what rights homosexuals are claiming to be missing while they seek special protection and preferences

but you won't get that answer from a TTFers

they can't answer

they don't know

December 13, 2013 11:53 PM  
Anonymous halting destruction said...

For more than 20 years, an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll has been measuring how voters feel about Congress.

And "perhaps unsurprisingly," writes Ezra Klein, "a majority of Americans -- a new record -- thinks the current Congress is one of the worst ever." Klein, like many other liberal pundits, has written numerous pieces about how Congress is the worst/laziest/rottenest ever, so this works out well for him. Not getting your way all the time can be frustrating.

"96 percent of Americans think this Congress is at or below average. What's wrong with the other 4 percent?" asked Klein in a tweet.

What's wrong? Absolutely nothing, that's what. Though I can't speak for all 4 percenters, as someone who believes this Congress has been one of the most effective and underrated in American history, I can offer a number of my own reasons.

Voters tend to believe a lot of myths about American government. We believe gridlock is unhealthy (even though historically, we tend to favor divided government). We believe that the majority should always have its way, that popular ideas automatically deserve up-or-down votes and that Congress is more "productive" when it passes lots of laws.

Klein once argued that the No. 1 reason a GOP Congress was "the worst ever" was that it was "not passing laws," which is the "simplest measure of congressional productivity." The simplest and also the most misleading. Admittedly, we tend to measure productivity by goals scored, when often we should be measuring it by goals against average. And John Boehner's House, often pressured by a minority within the minority, has made saves on all kinds of terrible bills.

Americans reflexively dislike gridlock. But today's intractable GOP Congress -- despite its often amateurish politics, overreaches and missteps -- is an organic safeguard against irresponsible centralized democracy. On that merit alone, it should be a lot more popular.

I do wonder whether these ham-fisted congressional approval polls tell us as much about our distaste for Congress as pundits think they do.

Despite the widespread belief that gridlock is the primary driver of Congress' unpopularity, we all have our own bone to pick with politicians. Trust me; not many conservatives walk around lamenting the fact that Congress doesn't pass more laws. More than likely, many respondents are frustrated by the perception/reality that the GOP isn't politically effective, that it's too weak and too accommodating.

Moreover, disliking Congress is basically akin to disliking lawyers or journalists. Sure, they deserve it, but it's still often perfunctory. If we truly loathed Congress as much as we maintain, we wouldn't reliably vote for incumbents. We love our member of Congress. Incumbents, in fact, are safer today than they have been in many decades. I'm going to guess there's a 96 percent chance that your representative has a better approval rating in his or her district than President Barack Obama does nationally.

So there are probably numerous factors driving Congress' unpopularity. It's doubtless that some of those factors conflict with one another. So hate Congress if you must. But if, as liberal pundits argue, an overwhelming majority of Americans are dissatisfied with the House because it's not passing enough laws to hit some arbitrary quota, then the large majority of Americans have absolutely no clue what healthy republican government is supposed to look like.

December 14, 2013 5:57 AM  
Anonymous Four percent bubble said...

Thank you for posting some crap written by this guy:

David Harsanyi is the former editor of Human Events. He is a syndicated columnists and his work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Weekly Standard, National Review, Reason, New York Post, and numerous other publications and is the author of “Obama’s Four Horsemen: The Disasters Unleashed by Obama’s Reelection” (Regnery, 2013) and “Nanny State: How Food Fascists, Teetotaling Do-Gooders, Priggish Moralists, and other Boneheaded Bureaucrats are Turning America into a Nation of Children” (Doubleday/Broadway, 2007).

December 14, 2013 8:40 AM  
Anonymous they don't use much of their brain said...

sounds like a guy that has written for a diversity of reputable publications

again, the TTF technique of endorsing my post while making it sound like they don't

people aren't that stupid, you-who-use-only-four-percent-of-your-brain-capacity, and they notice you had no argument against his points

jolly good

Obamacare has lost the uninsured.

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released this week asked uninsured individuals whether or not they thought the law was a good idea. Just 24 percent said they thought it was. The same poll also finds that 56 percent of the uninsured believe the law will have a negative effect on the U.S. health care system.

Let that sink in: What that means is that regardless of how bad the old system—the system that for whatever reason left them uninsured—was, a majority of people without health coverage now think that Obamacare makes it worse.

That’s how poorly the rollout of the health law has gone. The exact group the law was designed to help have instead turned on the law. It’s never been particularly popular with the wider public, but now even those who were supposed to be beneficiaries are skeptical.

That’s more than a political problem. It’s a policy problem—a threat to the law’s viability, especially when combined with other recent poll numbers showing that young people, who are crucial to the law’s coverage scheme, are rejecting the law as well. A Harvard Institute of Politics Poll released earlier this month found that 56 percent of young adults age 18-29 don’t approve of the health law. Only 29 percent of uninsured young adults said they expected to enroll.

These low numbers represent a body blow for the law. It’s telling that Americans are now so soured on Obamacare that a majority say they would prefer to go back to the old system, flaws and all. As this week’s Reason-Rupe poll found, 55 percent of Americans now say they prefer the old, pre-Obamacare health care regime.

Numbers like those will help fuel efforts to repeal or otherwise block the law, regardless of whether or not there’s a replacement. They should also make Obamacare-friendly Democrats up for reelection more than a little nervous.

When the health law passed back in 2010, the thinking amongst many Democrats was that controversy around the overhaul would eventually fade, and the law would become popular as people felt its effects. Part of the thinking behind that argument was that the American health system was already so bad that nothing could really be worse. But nearly four years later, with the law’s health exchanges launched, its various interim benefits in place, and its biggest insurance market changes just weeks away from kicking in, the verdict from the public is in: Obamacare isn’t just a bad system. It’s a bad system that’s worse than the old bad system. Even the uninsured, the people who supposedly stand to gain the most from the law, think so.

December 14, 2013 10:30 AM  
Anonymous who, me? said...

can't believe Robert the Civil told me to go crawl under a bridge

getting nasty must be the gay way to celebrate Christmas

anyway, while we wait for him to figure what rights he thinks gays lack and wait for lazy Priya to apologize, like Sir Barry did, for supporting the lies of Obamacare, let's have a good laugh at Sir Barry's latest explanation for the failure of Obamacare:

In explaining the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, President Obama told Chris Matthews he had discovered that “we have these big agencies, some of which are outdated, some of which are not designed properly.”

An interesting discovery to make after having consigned the vast universe of American medicine, one-sixth of the U.S. economy, to the tender mercies of the agency bureaucrats at the Department of Health and Human Services and the Internal Revenue Service.

Most people become aware of the hopeless inefficiency of sclerotic government by, oh, age 17 at the department of motor vehicles. Obama’s late discovery is especially remarkable considering that he built his entire political philosophy on the rock of Big Government, on the fervent belief in the state as the very engine of collective action and the ultimate source of national greatness. (Indeed, of individual success as well, as in “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”)

This blinding revelation of the ponderous incompetence of bureaucratic government came just a few weeks after Obama confessed that “what we’re also discovering is that insurance is complicated to buy.” Another light bulb goes off, this one three years after passing a law designed to force millions of Americans to shop for new health plans via the maze of untried, untested, insecure, unreliable online “exchanges.”

This discovery joins a long list that includes Obama’s rueful admission that there really are no shovel-ready jobs. That one came after having passed his monstrous $830 billion stimulus on the argument that the weakened economy would be “jump-started” by a massive infusion of shovel-ready jobs. Now known to be fictional.

Barack Obama is not just late to discover the most elementary workings of government. With alarming regularity, he professes obliviousness to the workings of his own government. He claims, for example, to have known nothing about the IRS targeting scandal, the AP phone records scandal, the NSA tapping of Angela Merkel. And had not a clue that the centerpiece of his signature legislative achievement — the online Obamacare exchange, three years in the making — would fail catastrophically upon launch. Or that Obamacare would cause millions of Americans to lose their private health plans.

Hence the odd spectacle of a president expressing surprise and disappointment in the federal government — as if he’s not the one running it. Hence the repeated no-one-is-more-upset-than-me posture upon deploring the nonfunctioning Web site, the IRS outrage, the AP intrusions and any number of scandals from which Obama tries to create safe distance by posing as an observer. He gives the impression of a man on a West Wing tour trying out the desk in the Oval Office, only to be told that he is president of the United States.

The paradox of this presidency is that this most passive bystander president is at the same time the most ideologically ambitious in decades. The sweep and scope of his health-care legislation alone are unprecedented. He’s spent billions of tax money attempting to create, by fiat and ex nihilo, a new green economy. His (failed) cap-and-trade bill would have given him regulatory control of the energy economy. He wants universal preschool and has just announced his unwavering commitment to slaying the dragon of economic inequality, which, like the poor, has always been with us.

December 14, 2013 5:10 PM  
Anonymous who, me? said...

Obama’s discovery that government bureaucracies don’t do things very well creates a breathtaking disconnect between his transformative ambitions and his detachment from the job itself. How does his Olympian vision coexist with the lassitude of his actual governance, a passivity that verges on absenteeism?

What bridges that gap is rhetoric. Barack Obama is a master rhetorician. It’s allowed him to move crowds, rise inexorably and twice win the most glittering prize of all. Rhetoric has changed his reality. For Obama, it can change the country’s. Hope and change, after all, is a rhetorical device. Of the kind Obama has always imagined can move mountains.

That’s why his reaction to the Obamacare Web site’s crash-on-takeoff is so telling. His remedy? A cross-country campaign-style speaking tour. As if rhetoric could repeal that reality.

Managing, governing, negotiating, cajoling, crafting legislation, forging compromise. For these — this stuff of governance — Obama has shown little aptitude and even less interest. Perhaps, as Valerie Jarrett has suggested, he is simply too easily bored to invest his greatness in such mundanity.

“I don’t write code,” said Obama in reaction to the Web site crash. Nor is he expected to. He is, however, expected to run an administration that can.

December 14, 2013 5:10 PM  
Anonymous frosty the doctor said...

maybe if Sir Barry, Oprah Winfrey and Ezekiel Emanuel get together and do a selfie, that will fix Obamacare

if that doesn't work, they could try putting the White House hard drive in the freezer

December 14, 2013 5:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For some of us who do not reside in the bubble, watching the GOP twist and turn and tear itself apart is fun!

John Boehner's Budget Outburst Shows Right-Wing Groups Have Jumped The Shark

"WASHINGTON -- With an emphatic "Are you kidding me?!" aimed at right-wing Washington groups, House Speaker John Boehner this week may have finally pronounced the verdict that activist outfits, prosperous amid the tea party movement, have jumped the shark.

The Ohio Republican lashed out twice at organizations that have invited themselves to the tea party since 2009, blasting groups like Club for Growth, Heritage Action, FreedomWorks and others on Wednesday as "ridiculous" for opposing a bipartisan budget deal before they even saw it.

And Thursday he declared, albeit two months after the fact, his stunned disbelief that some of their leaders admitted they knew their bid to defund Obamacare by shutting down the government last fall would fail. Boehner accused them of "misleading their followers," and using House Republicans and the American people to promote themselves.

"Frankly, I just think they've lost all credibility," Boehner told reporters at his weekly news conference."...


Ryan Piles On:
Paul Ryan Was 'Frustrated' By Conservative Groups, But Still Thinks They Are 'Very Important"

"WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says he was frustrated with conservative groups that protested the bipartisan budget deal he helped engineer, but distanced himself from House Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) public criticism of the groups.

The House Budget Committee chairman tells NBC's "Meet the Press" that these groups are "very important elements" of the conservative movement. But the Wisconsin Republican says discussions about these groups should be kept "within the family."

"I think John just got his Irish up there," Ryan said. "I think these groups are valuable. The way I look at it is this: They're part of our conservative family. I'd prefer to keep these conversation within our family."

The 2012 GOP vice presidential candidate says he shares the same goals as the groups — trying to balance the budget and pay off debts without raising taxes. But Ryan says they sometimes differ on tactics.

Ryan says the compromise agreement is an important first step."

December 15, 2013 11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Northern Ireland has lifted its ban on gay couples adopting, a massive step toward equality that could also help in Northern Ireland’s marriage equality fight.

The ban was officially lifted on December 11. It prevented same-sex and opposite sex unmarried couples from adopting. As same-sex couples cannot yet marry in Northern Ireland, this was a de facto ban on same-sex couples adopting even if they were in a legally recognized civil partnership.

In June, the Court of Appeal upheld a decision by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission finding that the ban breaches European human rights laws.

Northern Ireland Health Minister Edward Poots, infamous for his anti-gay views, immediately attempted to appeal that decision. He maintains the erroneous position that it is in the best interests of an adopted child to be raised by a mother and a father. In so doing, the ban remained in effect.

In November of this year, the Supreme Court refused Poots the right to appeal saying that he had failed to offer a valid challenge to the High Court ruling.

Poots took to the Norther Ireland Assembly on November 12, whereby he simply restated his position, “The natural order is for a man and a woman to have a child and, therefore, that has made my views on adoption very, very clear and on raising children very, very clear.”

The Northern Ireland health department appeared then to ignore the legal requirement for change. Unfortunately, there is precedent for that. Northern Ireland has in the past routinely attempted to skirt legislating around the subject of abortion with court decisions effectively being either ignored or given only lip-service. Gay rights groups began to worry.

However, this week the Department of Health issued a simple statement confirming that same-sex couples can now apply to jointly adopt:

‘Following the Court of Appeal judgement in June 2013, unmarried couples, including same-sex couples, and those in a civil partnership may apply to adopt.

‘The final decision regarding the granting of an adoption order will lie with the court.’

As all adoptions must be approved by a family court judge, this statement adds up to an important win for equality. Together with the announcement that Northern Ireland will hold a referendum on abortion laws, this decision is one that Belfast Telegraph has said signals a change in the landscape on “moral” issues.

The decision brings Northern Ireland into line with the rest of the UK on same-sex couples adopting. It also comes shortly after ministers announced a referendum in 2015 that will give the public the chance to legalize same-sex marriage. Northern Ireland is now the only place in the UK where same-sex marriage isn’t in the process of being legalized.

A majority of people in Northern Ireland appear to support same-sex marriage, but the campaign will face stiff opposition from religious quarters who have already announced their plans to campaign against the move.

While same-sex adoption rights have no direct impact on same-sex marriage, it certainly will now be harder for anti-gay marriage groups to argue that same-sex marriages could be detrimental to children given that same-sex couples will have been able to adopt for more than a year — and no doubt with no detriment to Northern Ireland’s children.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/northern-ireland-gives-gay-couples-an-early-christmas-present.html#ixzz2nYr7npDK

December 15, 2013 11:20 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Not particularly wanting to get drawn in to the troll discussion about civil rights, I will say this:

I really wish people would stop suing about wedding cakes and photography. I can't imagine that they couldn't find someone else to provide the service happily.

Non-discrimination laws serve a very serious and important purpose, especially around things like employment, housing, banking and family law, for which people may not have viable alternatives. Wedding cakes and photos seem to me to trivialize the whole matter.

December 16, 2013 5:01 AM  
Anonymous Robo cracks said...

"Not particularly wanting to get drawn in to the troll discussion about civil rights,"

I bet you don't.

Then, everyone might realize that the gay agenda is an emperor with no clothes.

"I will say this:"

Ooops!

Robo just couldn't help himself.

"I really wish people would stop suing about wedding cakes and photography. I can't imagine that they couldn't find someone else to provide the service happily."

That's true with all the other stuff the naked emperor is whining about as well.

Right?

"Non-discrimination laws serve a very serious and important purpose,"

Sure they do. Like assuring that sexual deviancy will have no social consequences.

Why the special protection around sexual practices and not other types of deviant behavior?

Take for example all these TTFers whose favorite metaphors involve fecal matter.

These people obviously love the stuff.

Suppose they starting using it for hair gel.

That would be deviant, right?

Why not say employers have to hire them even if they find this deviant behavior repugnant?

"especially around things like employment, housing, banking and family law, for which people may not have viable alternatives"

Finally, Robo gives us a list of the "rights" that he feels homosexuals are denied. Notice that none are rights for anyone who is normal. I don't have the right to insist that an employer or landlord engage with me regardless of whether they like me.

Yet, homosexuals want people to not have the right to choose whether to engage them. I guess the reasoning is that if you don't take away the right for people to associate with whoever they want, homosexuals won't be able to work because no one likes them.

I don't think that's true. They have countless "viable alternatives".

Even if they didn't, they could always play the trump card and just keep their homosexual behavior discreet.

Get real. In our society, there are no homosexuals who can't find work, housing or checking accounts because they are homosexual.

As for the "family law" that Robo sneaks in, this is what will eventually begin the backlash against homosexuality. Increasingly, gays are threatening to sue employers if they let employees have time off for certain family matters and they don't give gays equal time off to go to drag queen shows.

Ridiculous.

Homosexuals have all the rights everyone else has.

They want to take away everyone else's right to dislike them.

December 16, 2013 8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pope Francis to Rush Limbaugh: I’m no Marxist, but I have known plenty of good Marxists

"In an interview published Sunday in Italian news daily La Stampa, Pope Francis addressed conservative criticism of his recent statements on economic justice by explaining that he is not a Marxist, but is also not offended by the label because he believes Marxists are good people, too.

Last month, Rush Limbaugh said that Francis’ views on poverty equated to “pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope.”

“Marxist ideology is wrong,” the pope said in an apparent response to Limbaugh. “But in my life I have known many Marxists who are good people, so I don’t feel offended.”

Going on to address Limbaugh’s accusation that his papacy has become “purely political,” the pope said he is only following “the social doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church” by speaking out about economic inequality, and that “this does not mean being Marxist.”

By pointing out rampant global poverty and the excess wealth concentrated among global elites, he is merely presenting a “snapshot of what is happening” in the world today, he added.


I bet the Pope knows some good LGBT people too and would never insult them by calling them "deviants" like our resident Anonymous bully.

December 16, 2013 9:42 AM  
Anonymous The More You Know said...

http://psychcentral.com/disorders/narcissistic-personality-disorder-symptoms/


Narcissistic Personality Disorder is characterized by a long-standing pattern of grandiosity (either in fantasy or actual behavior), an overwhelming need for admiration, and usually a complete lack of empathy toward others. People with this disorder often believe they are of primary importance in everybody’s life or to anyone they meet. While this pattern of behavior may be appropriate for a king in 16th Century England, it is generally considered inappropriate for most ordinary people today.

People with narcissistic personality disorder often display snobbish, disdainful, or patronizing attitudes. For example, an individual with this disorder may complain about a clumsy waiter’s “rudeness” or “stupidity” or conclude a medical evaluation with a condescending evaluation of the physician.

In laypeople terms, someone with this disorder may be described simply as a “narcissist” or as someone with “narcissism.” Both of these terms generally refer to someone with narcissistic personality disorder.

Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder
In order for a person to be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) they must meet five or more of the following symptoms:

Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

Requires excessive admiration

Has a very strong sense of entitlement, e.g., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

Is exploitative of others, e.g., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends

Lacks empathy, e.g., is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her

Regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

December 16, 2013 10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure, I'm presenting a view against an array of lunatics, pretty much on my own, and I'm the bully.

"I bet the Pope knows some good LGBT people too and would never insult them by calling them "deviants" like our resident Anonymous bully."

The Pope believes in the Catholic doctrine, which is that homosexuality is "intrinsically disordered", which sounds a lot like "deviant".

His comments that have been widely publicized were concerning an individual, not a behavior. I agree with his sentiment. (btw, I'm not a Catholic)

As far as economics, all recent Popes have addressed "social" or "economic" injustice. Non-catholics groups also should share this concern. The difference, however, is that Catholics don't believe in the separation of church and state so they would more likely be amenable to governmental approaches to the problem.

December 16, 2013 11:09 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Darling, you thought I was responding to you. Too funny.

December 16, 2013 12:03 PM  
Anonymous saving Mr Darling said...

what do think this is, Peter Pan?

I'm not from the Darling family

what's really funny, sweet pea, is that you don't realize you did respond to me

we now know you think homosexuals have a "right" to employment and housing and checking accounts and paid time off to attend drag shows

and they get preference over others

December 16, 2013 12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People with narcissistic personality disorder often display snobbish, disdainful, or patronizing attitudes. For example, an individual with this disorder may complain about a clumsy waiter’s “rudeness” or “stupidity” or conclude a medical evaluation with a condescending evaluation of the physician"

Or calling some of God's creations "deviants."

"The Pope believes in the Catholic doctrine, which is that homosexuality is "intrinsically disordered", which sounds a lot like "deviant"...(btw, I'm not a Catholic)"

If you are not Catholic, then what difference does it make to you what the Pope says about homosexuals?

You have failed to note that Francis didn't get to be Pope by debasing himself with insults directed at any of God's creations like you do and have done for your own apparent amusement for all to see right here on this blog for years.

You have no shame for the hatred you spread over and over again.

By contrast, His Holiness teaches not only with his words, but also with his example of compassion for all, which is often emulated by those who are not as blinded by their own fear and loathing as you are.

December 16, 2013 2:20 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Bad anonymous said "The Pope believes in the Catholic doctrine, which is that homosexuality is "intrinsically disordered", which sounds a lot like "deviant"...".


The pope said “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”. That's not the statment of someone who thinks gayness is "intrinsically disordered", its the statement of someone who realizes gays have been mistreated by society in general and the Church in particular.

The pope said what's evil is "trickle down economics" and the attacks on the poor. That's why conservative Republican christians hate him, are falling all over themselves to "explain what he really meant", and are freaking out over the path he's taking. The pope has broken with historical Catholic doctrine and is moving the church towards morality based on fairness, as it should be.

December 16, 2013 4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's right. Here's the Pope's full quote on the "trickle down" theory:

"The only specific quote I used was the one regarding the “trickle-down theories” which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and social inclusiveness in the world. The promise was that when the glass was full, it would overflow, benefitting the poor. But what happens instead, is that when the glass is full, it magically gets bigger nothing ever comes out for the poor. This was the only reference to a specific theory. I was not, I repeat, speaking from a technical point of view but according to the Church’s social doctrine. This does not mean being a Marxist."

December 16, 2013 5:50 PM  
Anonymous TTF catechism said...

"The pope said “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”."

yes, he did

"That's not the statment of someone who thinks gayness is "intrinsically disordered","

yes, it is

"its the statement of someone who realizes gays have been mistreated by society in general and the Church in particular."

well, perhaps, but not in the way you understand

when he says he has no right to judge, it's not because homosexuality isn't wrong, it's because he realizes he isn't perfect himself

"The pope said what's evil is "trickle down economics""

if he did, he's wrong

"and the attacks on the poor."

well, attacking the poor would be wrong but that's not what trickle-down economics does

"That's why conservative Republican christians hate him,"

I'm know lots of conservative Christian and lots of Republicans and have never heard anyone express any hatred for him

"are falling all over themselves to "explain what he really meant", and are freaking out over the path he's taking."

not really

most conservative Christians already considered Roman Catholicism a denomination with a great deal of false doctrine

"The pope has broken with historical Catholic doctrine and is moving the church towards morality based on fairness, as it should be."

he hasn't broken with any doctrine

he just chosen to emphasize parts of that doctrine at this time

if he's saying Christian need to show more concern for alleviating the suffering of the poor, he's right

if he's saying we should enact governmental policy to redistribute income and assets, he's wrong

December 16, 2013 11:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is nothing new. Popes have long sided with liberal economics. Here's some discussion about Benedict and Paul VI:

http://onfaith.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/georgetown/2009/07/pope_benedict_on_economic_justice.html

December 17, 2013 7:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Advocate's Person of the Year: Pope Francis

Don't be afraid.

Click the link above and read how much of a change from Benedict, Pope Francis is.

Excerpt:

..."Pope Francis's stark change in rhetoric from his two predecessors — both who were at one time or another among The Advocate's annual Phobie Awards — makes what he's done in 2013 all the more daring. First there's Pope John Paul II, who gay rights activists protested during a highly publicized visit to the United States in 1987 because of what had become known as the “Rat Letter” — an unprecedented damning of homosexuality as “intrinsically evil.” It was written by one of his cardinals, Joseph Ratzinger, who went on to become Pope Benedict XVI. Since 1978, one of those two men had commanded the influence of the Vatican — until this year."

When Time magazine named Pope Francis its Person of the Year last week, it rightly pointed out the Catholic Church's inability to move quickly, calling it "a place that measures change in terms of centuries." Pope Francis is still not pro-gay by today's standard. He started his term by issuing a joint encyclical in July with Benedict, in which they reiterate that marriage should be a “stable union of man and woman.” It continues, “This union is born of their love, as a sign and presence of God’s own love, and of the acknowledgement and acceptance of the goodness of sexual differentiation.”

As Argentina's archbishop, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio opposed marriage equality's eventual passage there, saying in 2010 that it's a “destructive attack on God’s plan.” When Bergoglio became pope, GLAAD was quick to point out that he'd once called adoption by same-sex couples a form of discrimination against children.

But it's actually during Pope Francis's time as cardinal that his difference from Benedict and hard-liners in the church became apparent. As same-sex marriage looked on track to be legalized in Argentina, Bergoglio argued privately that the church should come out for civil unions as the "lesser of two evils." That's all according to Pope Francis's authorized biographer, Sergio Rubin. Argentine gay activist Marcelo Márquez backed up the story, telling The New York Times in March that Bergoglio "listened to my views with a great deal of respect. He told me that homosexuals need to have recognized rights and that he supported civil unions, but not same-sex marriage."

As pope, he has not yet said the Catholic Church supports civil unions. But what Francis does say about LGBT people has already caused reflection and consternation within his church. The moment that grabbed headlines was during a flight from Brazil to Rome. When asked about gay priests, Pope Francis told reporters, according to a translation from Italian, "If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?"

The brevity of that statement and the outsized attention it got immediately are evidence of the pope's sway. His posing a simple question with very Christian roots, when uttered in this context by this man, "Who am I to judge?" became a signal to Catholics and the world that the new pope is not like the old pope.

Francis's view on how the Catholic Church should approach LGBT people was best explained in his own words during an in-depth interview with America magazine in September. He recalled, “A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person.”...

December 17, 2013 11:02 AM  
Anonymous where have you been? said...

you haven't added a thing to what's already been said

the guy has said the rhetoric and approach should change but he hasn't changed the Catholic view of homosexuality, which is scriptural

honestly, too much is being made of this

he simply affirms the Christian view that redemption is available to all

personally, I don't see that the Catholic has ever been all that judgmental

consider that there are probably more gay clergy in the Catholic church than in any other major institution

and while there was a process to follow when they were discovered, gay priests have rarely been removed, even those who victimize their underage charges

December 17, 2013 11:35 AM  
Anonymous where have you been? said...

you haven't added a thing to what's already been said

the guy has said the rhetoric and approach should change but he hasn't changed the Catholic view of homosexuality, which is scriptural

honestly, too much is being made of this

he simply affirms the Christian view that redemption is available to all

personally, I don't see that the Catholic has ever been all that judgmental

consider that there are probably more gay clergy in the Catholic church than in any other major institution

and while there was a process to follow when they were discovered, gay priests have rarely been removed, even those who victimize their underage charges

December 17, 2013 11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"you haven't added a thing to what's already been said"

Thanks for telling us twice

December 17, 2013 11:47 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Bad anonymous said "when he says he has no right to judge, it's not because homosexuality isn't wrong, it's because he realizes he isn't perfect himself".

You don't even believe that yourself. If you didn't you wouldn't be ranting non-stop as you do about how gayness is immoral.

To believe gayness is "intrinsically disordered" one must make a judgement. The pope said he has no right to judge gays so that necessarily means he doesn't believe gayness is "intrinsically disordered" or immoral.

December 17, 2013 3:15 PM  
Anonymous easy to be hard said...

your last thinking is evident, lazy "Lynn"

you fail to make a distinction between judging an action and judging an individual

all men must do the former, none have a right to do the latter

to make it easy for the lazy, let's take that ever popular behavior, homosexuality, out of the example and make things more generic

if someone said selfishness is wrong, that wouldn't be judgmental

if they said Miley Cyrus is selfish, that would be judgmental

see how easy it is with just a little light thinking?

December 17, 2013 4:15 PM  
Anonymous the Grand Poo-bah said...

"To believe gayness is "intrinsically disordered" one must make a judgement. The pope said he has no right to judge gays so that necessarily means he doesn't believe gayness is "intrinsically disordered" or immoral."

that view of homosexuality is Catholic doctrine, part of the catechism, and hasn't changed

if he didn't agree, he would resign

December 17, 2013 4:18 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Nonsense. You can't seperate the person from their actions. A person's actions spring from who they are. When you judge a behavior you are judging the person. When a person commits a crime we don't put the behavior in jail, we put the person in jail. If only the action was to be judged we'd put the behavior in jail, not the person. Obviously a person is the sum of their behavior and when we judge behavior we necessarily are judging the person.

And of course, once again you don't believe your own claims. You've never hesitated to declare that gays are immoral, sick, perverted, and deviant. You obviously don't believe the behavior is to be judged and not the person.

Large numbers of the church disagree with parts of its doctrine and they don't resign over it.

The pope didn't hesitate to judge those who have abortions or provide aborttions, he declared that evil. The pope isn't afraid to judge when he sees something immoral. He refused to judge gayness because he doesn't see it as immoral. That's why he told people to stop focussing on gays and start worrying about the poor.

Conservative christians like you have been pushing the pope ever since his statment to say that gayness is still immoral. He has refused to do so because he doesn't see it that way. The pope recognizes that that which does not harm others is not immoral.

The pope is not on your side. The pope sees that bigots like you have lead the church astray and he's trying to correct that - much to the chagrin of bigots like you.

December 17, 2013 5:09 PM  
Anonymous I 4 I said...

you're amazing, lazy Priya

you have no empirical evidence that the Pope doesn't believe in Catholic teaching about homosexuality and yet you believe

isn't that the claim you make all the time about religious people?

let us know when the Pope declares homosexuality A-OK

you might think back to John Paul II, who went to see his attempted assassin in jail and prayed for him

not because he didn't consider shooting people wrong

btw, putting words in the mouths of others to fulfill your fantasies is wrong too

December 17, 2013 5:19 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

I have all the evidence necessary to show the pope doesn't accept that gayness is immoral - he said “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”.

Our actions aren't divorced from who we are as people, there is no such thing as judging the behavior and not the person. Pope John Paul didn't say his attempted assassin wasn't guilty, "let him go free and imprison his behavior". He wanted that person in jail because the sum of a person's actions and behaviors is who they are.

Christian teaching doesn't say that a person's behavior goes to hell if that behavior is unacceptable - the person goes to hell. That wouldn't be the case if behavior rather than people was what was condemned.

I know a Catholic Bishop who says the church's teaching on gays is wrong and who seeks to change the church from the inside. He's not opposed to same sex romantic relationships, he's only opposed to promiscuity. People don't resign from the Catholic church because they disagree with its doctrine on gayness, they quietly try to discourage the attitude that its immoral and get the church to focus on real problems.

That's what the present pope is doing. And people like you are losing their minds over it because he refuses to condemn gayness as bigots like you keep demanding he do.

He condemnd abortion, he wouldn't hesitate to condemn gayness if he thought it was wrong - he doesn't.

You can't win your war on gays - there is no rational way to dispute that which is harmless is also moral. The condemnation of innocent gays can't stand the test of time.

December 17, 2013 6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Priya, you spend too much time surfing the internet and talking to yourself. The only way that the new Pope has changed things is that he seems inclined to allow priests with homosexual tendencies to remain in their offices, as long as they remain true to their vows of celibacy. The previous Pope had said those with strong homosexual tendencies should not be priests but he was the first to say that and it was in the context of the epidemic of gay priests abusing male youths.

Here's Francis trying to explain the remarks you quoted:

"During a recent return flight from Rio de Janeiro I said that if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge. By saying this, I said what the catechism says. Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person. We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”

He's not saying homosexuality isn't wrong, as you can see, but that it shouldn't be dwelled on.

December 17, 2013 7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So stop dwelling on homosexuality, Anonymous, and quit coming here to post your insults about gay folks around.

Grow up and try to act more like the man you just quoted.

December 18, 2013 8:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

..."But it's actually during Pope Francis's time as cardinal that his difference from Benedict and hard-liners in the church became apparent. As same-sex marriage looked on track to be legalized in Argentina, Bergoglio argued privately that the church should come out for civil unions as the "lesser of two evils." That's all according to Pope Francis's authorized biographer, Sergio Rubin. Argentine gay activist Marcelo Márquez backed up the story, telling The New York Times in March that Bergoglio "listened to my views with a great deal of respect. He told me that homosexuals need to have recognized rights and that he supported civil unions, but not same-sex marriage."

As pope, he has not yet said the Catholic Church supports civil unions. But what Francis does say about LGBT people has already caused reflection and consternation within his church. The moment that grabbed headlines was during a flight from Brazil to Rome. When asked about gay priests, Pope Francis told reporters, according to a translation from Italian, "If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?"

The brevity of that statement and the outsized attention it got immediately are evidence of the pope's sway. His posing a simple question with very Christian roots, when uttered in this context by this man, "Who am I to judge?" became a signal to Catholics and the world that the new pope is not like the old pope.

Francis's view on how the Catholic Church should approach LGBT people was best explained in his own words during an in-depth interview with America magazine in September. He recalled, “A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person.”

He said that when he was a cardinal, “I used to receive letters from homosexual persons who are ‘socially wounded’ because they tell me that they feel like the church has always condemned them. But the church does not want to do this. During [a recent] return flight from Rio de Janeiro I said that if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge. By saying this, I said what the catechism says. Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.”...

December 18, 2013 8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

..."He continued, “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”

True to his word, Pope Francis hasn't used his biggest moments in the world spotlight to condemn LGBT people, as Benedict had done. At this time last year, Pope Benedict had just issued his message for the World Day of Peace — celebrated by the Catholic Church on New Year's Day. In it, he warned that efforts to allow gays and lesbians to wed "actually harm and help to destabilize marriage; obscuring its specific nature and its indispensable role in society." Benedict described marriage equality as "an offence against the truth of the human person." By contrast, Pope Francis issued his first message for the World Day of Peace last week.

Brotherhood, he said, "is the foundation and pathway of peace." He retold the story of Cain and Abel as an example of humanity's failure to recognize its brothers and instead find enemies. "In Christ, the other is welcomed and loved as a son or daughter of God, as a brother or sister, not as a stranger, much less as a rival or even an enemy. In God’s family, where all are sons and daughters of the same Father." He went on, "All men and women enjoy an equal and inviolable dignity. All are loved by God."..."

December 18, 2013 8:59 AM  

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