Sep 012014


For most of my early life I considered Labor Day little more than a day off at the end of summer.  That’s because I am not a union man.  I have never belonged to a union, nor has anyone in my family.  So what has the labor movement done for me?  I have learned what organized labor has done to improve the lot of all American Workers, and I have come to understand that Labor Day is a celebration of Union labor, and one that is well deserved.

laborThinkProgress has assembled just five of the many things that Americans can thank the nation’s unions for giving us all:

1. Unions Gave Us The Weekend: Even the ultra-conservative Mises Institute notes that the relatively labor-free 1870, the average workweek for most Americans was 61 hours — almost double what most Americans work now…

2. Unions Gave Us Fair Wages And Relative Income Equality: As ThinkProgress reported earlier in the week, the relative decline of unions over the past 35 years has mirrored a decline in the middle class’s share of national income…

3. Unions Helped End Child Labor: “Union organizing and child labor reform were often intertwined” in U.S. history, with organization’s like the “National Consumers’ League” and the National Child Labor Committee” working together in the early 20th century to ban child labor…

4. Unions Won Widespread Employer-Based Health Coverage: “The rise of unions in the 1930′s and 1940′s led to the first great expansion of health care” for all Americans, as labor unions banded workers together to negotiate for health coverage plans from employers…

5. Unions Spearheaded The Fight For The Family And Medical Leave Act: Labor unions like the AFL-CIO federation led the fight for this 1993 law, which “requires state agencies and private employers with more than 50 employees to provide up to 12 weeks of job-protected unpaid leave annually for workers to care for a newborn, newly adopted child, seriously ill family member or for the worker’s own illness.”

… [emphasis original]

Inserted from <Think Progress>

It’s well worth the time to click through for the rest of this article.

Furthermore, here is an excellent video on what labor has done for America.


Therefore, to begin my celebration of Labor Day in the best possible way, I wish to thank all of you who are or have been union workers.  My life is better because of you.  And to you and everyone else, have a Happy Labor Day!

Sep 012014

Here are the results of our Police Murder Poll.  Politics Plus Polls are not scientific, because those who respond are not balanced according to demographic categories.   Therefore, we do not accurately reflect the makeup of the US population.  Nevertheless, our polls are often both accurate and indicative of the nation’s view.


And here are your comments:

Showing comments 1-18 of 18.

Posted by Rixar13  August 28, 2014 at 1:23 pm.  


I hope so but, we shall see.



Posted by Edie  August 27, 2014 at 5:09 pm.  


Based on what I have seen about Ferguson, they will never find a jury to convict a white cop for killing a black man.


Posted by Jim Phillips  August 27, 2014 at 4:33 pm.  


Remember the subway shooting in Oakland, CA of Oscar Grant? Former transit cop convicted in California subway shooting. Yes, Darren Wilson will do prison time for either murder, manslaughter or violating Brown’s civil rights.


Posted by Lynn Squance  August 26, 2014 at 1:16 pm.  


Well isn`t it interesting that Wilson was part of a police force known for racism, so much so that the entire force was fired. That in his rookie year when he would normally be so “impressionable“. No wonder he found another home in Ferguson. The plot thickens.


Posted by Alex P.  August 22, 2014 at 8:36 am.  


In a fair and just world, of course he would. However… in THIS one, the answer is almost certainly "Haha, no. Of course he won’t."


Posted by mamabear  August 21, 2014 at 2:52 am.  


He will not even stand up in court and tell how he murdered a man because he was not white. Justice is a joke sometimes.


Posted by Patty  August 20, 2014 at 6:12 am.  


Of course he won’t serve time. I’m sure if he is even arrested and charged, he will claim PTSD and nightmares about Black men coming after him and get off with just probation IF convicted.


Posted by Steve  August 20, 2014 at 5:28 am.  


Since there are not even charges of murder against the officer yet much less a conviction your question is premature.


Posted by SoINeedAName  August 17, 2014 at 2:24 pm.  


Darren (chuckle-chuckle) Wilson (tee-hee) do PRISON (chortle-chortle) TIIME (guffaw-guffaw) for murdering a black man (bwaaa-haaaaa … snort … cough … gasp … No, really – I’m OK now …




DAMN – w/e you’re toking, I WANT SOME OF IT!


Posted by Yvonne White  August 16, 2014 at 5:29 pm.  


I believe the "award-winning" cop will not be charged – but will probably resign & move to another country very soon…


Posted by Lynn Squance  August 16, 2014 at 11:16 am.  


I said ‘no’. I have lost faith in the American justice system. Look back at Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman shot the kid and walked away from it. And I am sure that there have been others. Now Michael Brown. It seems "SSDD".


I have experienced racism twice — once as a pre teen and second as a teen. The first was my maternal grandfather who grabbed me by the scruff as we walked to the corner store in a Buffalo, NY neighbourhood. "Get over here girl or the "n …rs" are going to get you." That left such an indelible mark on me that I will never forget it. I was apalled at my grandfather and never forgave him for that hateful remark. The second came when I was going out with a black student about 1970. He was from Jamaica and the cousin of my best friend. One day at school I heard a group of his "friends" (with friends like that, who needs enemies?


talking and saying "he’s trying to see how far he can get with a little white girl". I was angry. There can be racism onall sides, however, historical evidence going back into the 1600′s, and probably before, shows that racism was and is alive and well. That should not be!


If there is any repercussion towards Wilson, I don’t think it will be more than a slap on the wrist, not even termination of employment. I hope I am wrong because racism is a cancer that too easily metastacises affecting all of society.


Posted by Lynn Squance in reply to Lynn Squance  August 16, 2014 at 11:17 am


That ‘smiley’ should be a bracket. Don’t know how it got there.


Posted by Joanne D  August 16, 2014 at 4:34 am.  


Seeing as the chief prosecutor of the county is one of the most livid that Nixon even brought the Highway Patrol in, and seeing as they won’t even interview eyewitnesses, even if it got to trial there would be no evidence presented to convict.


Posted by jla  August 16, 2014 at 2:12 am.  


There will be grounds for a mistrial due to prosecutor bias


Posted by Dandelion  August 16, 2014 at 1:13 am.  


If they have Stand Your Ground law he will most certainly get off. All someone has to do is look at you wrong and say your life felt threatened.

They have circled the wagons around their own. They "might" sacrifice him to get the spotlight off of the rest of them if the heat and attention stay on it.

But I lean more to the he’ll get away with it. Sadly in our Country the scales of justice are rigged.


Posted by gene jacobson  August 16, 2014 at 12:57 am.  


Probably not. Now that they are throwing around allegations that Michael "may" have been a suspect in a minor shoplifting incident, though Wilson did NOT know that, and muddying the waters, sadly, the most that will likely happen is they may fire one racist cop – eventually.



Posted by Lona Goudswaard  August 15, 2014 at 8:54 pm.  


Too many other cases like this in the past to make me think that this time common sense or justice will prevail. However, I can hope for a different outcome, can’t I?


Posted by Edie  August 15, 2014 at 4:06 pm.  


Very few police officers ever serve time for murders they commit while on the job. In view of the racism apparent in that area, I doubt any jury would convict if he were even indicted.

The poll results are no surprise, but I ant5icipated a lively discussion in the comment section.  You did not disappoint. I  voted No, of course.

The new poll is a bit of humor for a time when everyone is busy with the end of summer and the beginning of school.  It has s special feature you have requested for months.

Sep 012014

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 133.  Except for blogging, I’m being as lazy as I can.  Whatever you are doing this holiday weekend, I hope and pray you stay safe.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:00 (average 5:13).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From AlterNet: Conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly: If women were more focused on getting married, maybe men wouldn’t sexually assault them so much.

Phyllis Schlafly shared some pearls of wisdom with young women on her radio show this week: Stop focusing on your career so much and get hitched. That’ll stop the menfolk from raping.

Brilliant! Why didn’t we think of that?

Wise old Phyllis asked a question she already had an answer for: “What’s the answer for women who worry about male violence?" (Wait, isn’t that all women? And all people?) "It’s not to fear all men," Schlafly continued. "It’s to reject the lifestyle of frequent ‘hookups,’ which is so much promoted on college campuses today, while the women pursue a career and avoid marriage.”

Hell, what are young ladies even going to college for? To selfishly get educated? What’s next? Are they going to selfishly go out and support themselves? And have boyfriends or girlfriends? That is pretty much asking to be raped.

Had enough crazy? Here’s more.

You read right. The Republican view is that women who opt to support themselves are asking to be raped. This is just one of six unhinged Republican moments from last week alone. Click through for the other five.

From Crooks and Liars: The gasbags from Fox’s Business Channel who make up the Saturday morning lineup on their sister network every weekend were hard at work this Labor Day weekend participating in one of their favorite activities — bashing anyone in the United States who believes that workers here ought to be able to earn a living wage, and attacking minimum wage workers who are out there protesting to have their wages raised.

Barf Bag Alert!

The job market has improved in states that have raised the minimum wage. But the 0.1% wants you to pay their employees’ food bill, so they can suck up more profit.

From Daily Kos: The 2014 campaign is well under way, and the ads have been flying. Most spots are unmemorable, but there are a few that stick out. Some of them offer a compelling and memorable case to voters, either in a primary or general election. Others … don’t.

What follows is a look at 10 spots from up to this point in the 2014 cycle. Five of them are good, and five of them have a serious flaw. There are plenty of great and terrible ads that didn’t get included. These 10 spots were chosen because each offers a lesson in political messaging, and they are worth learning from.

Let’s start with the above commercial, a spot that is almost universally mocked.

Boredom Bag Alert!


Every one of the other nine ads are more interesting, good or bad, than that one. Click through.



Aug 312014

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 132.  I don’t feel well, and I just can’t seem to wake up today, so I need to stay down.  This is tomorrow’s only article.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:34 (average 5:43).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: I can’t wait until we’re ready to push the national conversation around bullying beyond "stop being mean" and into the realm of "actually proactively be nice." Wouldn’t that be great? "Do no harm" is a good, bare-minimum message for the cool kids to hear, but "go out of your way to make others smile" is an even better one. It’s so great to see a bunch of football players who already get it.


Color those kids too cool for school!! Major Kudos!

From NY Times: Six years after being struck by economic crisis, Europe is facing a fresh downturn, with few new ideas on the table for reigniting growth and deepening political divisions over the austerity policies that many blame for worsening the malaise.

If I had a nickel for every time I said that austerity would screw Europe, I’d almost be a Bankster!

From TPM: Herman Cain took the conservative rhetoric of "impeachment bait" to the next level on Thursday by theorizing that President Obama is actually trying to get impeached in order to "laugh at the Republicans."

Herman "9-9-9" Cain is crazy. Does he actually think we need an excuse to laugh at the Republicans?!!?



Aug 302014

I have long supported the idea of a carbon tax because it is the most direct way for corporate polluters cover the cost they are now pushing onto taxpayers.  In several nations, the carbon tax ix making inroads.  Chile, for one, is making excellent progress since throwing off the murderous Pinochet dictatorship, established by Nixon, Kissinger, and the US Republican Party in 1971.

0830chile_glacierIt’s a big year for fighting climate change in Chile. A carbon tax is set to go before its House of Representatives next week, as part of a larger tax reform package that includes measures intended to fight air pollution and climate change. Chile would become the first country in South America to institute a carbon tax, and the second in Latin America after Mexico, which imposed its carbon tax in January.

A carbon tax is what it sounds like. The government charges emitters of carbon pollution for every metric ton they release into the atmosphere. Carbon taxes are gaining popularity as a way to massively cut the amount of carbon dioxide put into the atmosphere, while creating jobs, raising incomes, and cutting deficits in countries where they’re implemented. British Columbia, Canada has had a carbon tax since 2008 and has seen success cutting energy use and carbon emissions, and giving revenue from the tax back to low-income families to offset higher energy prices.

Chile’s initial tax will be $5 per ton of CO2, and Mexico’s taxes fuels at different rates, averaging out to about $3.50 per ton. Those are both pretty low, but once a carbon tax is in place, it can be raised. British Columbia’s started at C$10 per ton in 2008, ramping up over the years to C$30 in 2012. A study in California found that even a $200-a-ton carbon price would actually help businesses and create jobs in the state, though it’s far higher than anything that has been tried yet.

There is currently no carbon tax in the United States, and any attempt to pass one would be extremely difficult, thanks in part to a pledge from the Koch-backed organization Americans For Prosperity that requires signers to “oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue.” A third of the U.S. House of Representatives and a quarter of Senators have signed the pledge… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Think Progress>

In 2008, Obama supported a Carbon Tax, while both Clinton and the Republican Party supported Cap and Trade.  In a misbegotten early attempt to foster bipartisanship, Obama switched to Cap and Trade, and the Republican Party disowned it immediately, calling it Cap and Tax and a Socialist, Kenyan conspiracy.  Now Republicans just support polluters, because that what the Koch Brothers want.  So we get to suck pollution, while Republican politicians suck … never mind.

Aug 302014

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 131.  Because I overslept I was up most of the night last night, so I slept late this morning and have behind all day.  Research was tough, as we enter Labor Day weekend.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:20 (average 4:31).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football:

As the Broncos dined on Cowboy meat, preseason came to an end.  Regular season starts next week as the Packers and Seachickens square on Thursday night.  Players, if you have players from either of those teams, make sure your lineup is set by Thursday morning: if not, by Saturday night.  Folks who wish to follow our league, Lefty Blog Friends, are welcome to do so.  Click through.  The TomCat Teabag Trashers are ready to rock!

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Across the United States on Wednesday, a heated national debate began on the extremely complex issue of children firing military weapons.

“Every now and then, the nation debates an issue that is so complicated and tricky it defies easy answers,” says pollster Davis Logsdon. “Letting small children fire automatic weapons is such an issue.”

Logsdon says that the thorny controversy is reminiscent of another ongoing national debate, about whether it is a good idea to load a car with dynamite and drive it into a tree.

“Many Americans think it’s a terrible idea, but others believe that with the correct supervision, it’s perfectly fine,” he says. “Who’s to say who’s right?”

Similar, he says, is the national debate about using a flamethrower indoors. “There has been a long and contentious national conversation about this,” he says. “It’s another tough one.”

I’m afraid Andy hit the bullseye with this one.

From Daily Kos: “The worst day of my political life was when President George W. Bush signed McCain-Feingold into law in the early part of his first Administration.” – Mitch McConnell

This is just one of seven disturbing Republican comment from Summit of Republicans who suck … never mind. Click through for the other six. As for Bought Bitch Mitch, may that soon become the second worst day of his life.

From Upworthy: By now, some of you are thinking, "Man, I’m so tired of hearing about Ferguson." I see it in my comments all the time. But rather than explain to you why I think that’s not the best thing to say, I’m gonna let Jon Stewart do it. He’s way more eloquent than me. And he smashes pretty much every argument you might have about why we need to keep talking in an eloquent manner.


What could I possibly add to that? Bingo!



Aug 292014

I certainly stand my opinion that Ron Paul should have had himself neutered before polluting America with Idiot, Son of Idiot, Named after Idiot.  My opinion that Ron Paul is a racist and misogynist, who disguises John Birch Society dementia for libertarianism remains unchanged.  But those of you, who have known me over several years, will remember the one thing I have said about him most: “Ron Paul has never mattered, and never will.”  In that, I may have been wrong.  Ron Paul actually may matter, because his criminal behavior during the last Iowa caucus may have an effect in who controls the Senate in 2014.

0829SorensonA former Iowa state senator concealed payments he received in exchange for defecting from one presidential campaign to another ahead of Iowa’s 2012 caucuses and then obstructed an investigation into the incident.

Kent Sorenson of Milo now faces up to 25 years in prison, after pleading guilty on Wednesday to two counts in federal court in Des Moines.

The case revolves around Sorenson’s dramatic jump from the presidential campaign of U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann to then-U.S. Rep. Ron Paul’s rival campaign in late December 2011, just days before the Iowa caucuses.

According to a statement of facts [broken link removed] accompanying Sorenson’s plea agreement, he secretly negotiated with the Paul campaign over a period of months to join the campaign and received $73,000.

The payments included several monthly payments, ranging in size from $8,000 to $33,000, routed through a film production company and a second company before being received by Sorenson. Those circuitous routes circumvented reporting requirements of the Federal Election Commission, ensuring the payments were kept hidden from the public…

Inserted from <Des Moines Register>

Now on the surface, it appears that this is nothing more that a squabble between two extremist fools that were going nowhere, except for one thing.  Bribery needs a person taking the bribe and a person doing the bribing.  Who was that? In addition to Ron Paul himself, the decision maker in  Paul’s campaign was his Campaign Manager, Jesse Benton.  A key candidate for the US Senate was so impressed with the criminal way in which Benton managed Ron Paul’s campaign that he made Benton his own Campaign Manager.  Guess who!


It was Rachel Maddow that made this connection.

If you cannot watch MSNBC video where you live, you can see the clip on YouTube.

Benton is likely to be indicted as well, but his criminal behavior certainly reflects on the character of Bought Bitch Mitch and we need to keep reminding Kentucky voters about yet another reason to Ditch Bought Bitch: Ditch Mitch!!

As for Ron Paul, were he not such a  dishonest walking, talking sphincter, we would not have this criminal record, so in this one small way. Ron Paul may have mattered.

Late Update: I just learned that the bag man who delivered the check to Sorenson for Paul And Benton also went to work for Bought Bitch Mitch!