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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Entertainment Ovenight -- Walk Off the Earth



And have a great weekend, y'all.


That Republican Keystone XL "Jobs Bill"?


Check out what the Republican Keystone XL "jobs bill" won't have in it (from The Daily Kos and Bloomberg News):.

Senate Republicans Block Keystone Export and Steel Amendments

Republicans like to point to Keystone XL as one of their signature jobs bills and, when oil prices are high, like to imply that it would mean cheap oil flowing free in America. But Tuesday afternoon they voted down two Democratic amendments aimed at just those issues.
Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey's amendment to the Keystone bill would have prohibited oil shipped through the pipeline from being exported. It was killed by a 57 to 42 vote. Minnesota Sen. Al Franken's amendment would have required that the pipeline be built with American steel. It was killed by a 53 to 46 vote.
Nice, huh?

First they won't promise the oil will stay in the US---because, of course, they're "Big Oil" overlords that own them don't want that. They want this stuff going out to the world oil markets where they can make more money than if they sell it to us Americans.

And then make it out of US steel?

FUGGEDABOUDIT!

Really could they be more shallow or transparent? It is precisely what it's been described all along. That is, it is foreign, Canadian oil, crossing the US and our pastures and fields and rivers and streams and creeks---and the huge, very important Ogallala aquifer--and then going out to world oil markets. And sure, for a short while we'll have some construction jobs but then it will create between 35 to 50 permanent jobs, tops. The CEO of the oil company, Transcanada, said as much, very publicly. 

This is not for you, America.

Let's not kid ourselves.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

President Obama, Kansas and the Likely Brilliant Move


By now, most who follow politics and/or President Obama know he's taking his State of the Union messages on the road. He was in Idaho today and will be in Kansas tomorrow, two very "red", Republican states.

And if you think about it, his going to Kansas is likely pretty brilliant.

Kansas' Republican Governor Sam Brownback and all the Republicans in the statehouse all slashed taxes for the wealthy and corporations a few years ago, claiming money and people would come flooding in.

Yeah, I know, right? Flooding in to Kansas?

For what, the beaches or the mountains?

Anyway, as predicted and even warned, not only did people and companies and jobs and money not flow in to the state, the only thing that did happen is that Kansas coffers are now not only pretty empty but Kansas needs to come up with hundreds of millions of dollars, due to all the slashing. This is where they were last August:

Adjusted Kansas numbers show $238 million budget shortfall


In this article, The New York Times points out Kansas' tax cuts could cost them as much as 9 billion dollars through 2019:


So what's all this got to do with President Obama and his trip now?

What could be great is if he rubs the Republicans' "trickle down" economic theories not only don't work but they put public budgets in debt---possibly deep debt---while rewarding the already-wealthy and corporations.

Now, clearly he can't get too obvious and punishing with this message---however fun that would be---but still, I expect it will be at least easy to rather gently but obviously point out that tax cuts only for corporations and the wealthy, again, that "trickly down" nonsense, only makes corporations have bigger profits and send yet more money to the already wealthy. None of this helps the middle class, the lower classes or working class. It not only doesn't help the broadest swaths of America, much of the nation, it actually hurts them because it puts the burdens of tax payments on, again, the working-, middle- and lower classes.

So let's hope for some fun barbs tomorrow from the President, directly into the faces of all the Republicans who supported and maybe still support the voodoo economics nonsense of "trickle down" economic theory.

It doesn't work, Kansas and our nation proves it doesn't work and we need to get beyond it.


The Things from the State of the Union Address I Think We Can All Support




Of all the things said last night in President Obama's annual State of the Union address, it seems these, at least, are things you'd think everyone and anyone, from any political affiliation, would surely support. Everyone, anyway, but the people who simply hate Barack Obama for being Barack Obama, anyway, and it certainly seems they're out there. (No worries, too. It's a short list. I don't think we Americans agree on much). 

No. 1--

"...nothing helps families make ends meet like higher wages. That’s why this Congress still needs to pass a law that makes sure a woman is paid the same as a man for doing the same work. Really. It’s 2015. It’s time. We still need to make sure employees get the overtime they’ve earned. And to everyone in this Congress who still refuses to raise the minimum wage, I say this: If you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, go try it. If not, vote to give millions of the hardest-working people in America a raise."

No. 2--

"...as a new generation of veterans comes home, we owe them every opportunity to live the American Dream they helped defend. Already, we’ve made strides towards ensuring that every veteran has access to the highest quality care. We’re slashing the backlog that had too many veterans waiting years to get the benefits they need, and we’re making it easier for vets to translate their training and experience into civilian jobs. Joining Forces, the national campaign launched by Michelle and Jill Biden, has helped nearly 700,000 veterans and military spouses get new jobs. So to every CEO in America, let me repeat: If you want somebody who’s going to get the job done, hire a veteran."

No. 3--

"21st century businesses need 21st century infrastructure – modern ports, stronger bridges, faster trains and the fastest internet. Democrats and Republicans used to agree on this. So let’s set our sights higher than a single oil pipeline. Let’s pass a bipartisan infrastructure plan that could create more than thirty times as many jobs per year, and make this country stronger for decades to come."

No. 4--

"I want Americans to win the race for the kinds of discoveries that unleash new jobs – converting sunlight into liquid fuel; creating revolutionary prosthetics, so that a veteran who gave his arms for his country can play catch with his kid; pushing out into the Solar System not just to visit, but to stay. "

No. 5--

""Let’s close loopholes so we stop rewarding companies that keep profits abroad, and reward those that invest in America. Let’s use those savings to rebuild our infrastructure and make it more attractive for companies to bring jobs home. Let’s simplify the system and let a small business owner file based on her actual bank statement, instead of the number of accountants she can afford. And let’s close the loopholes that lead to inequality by allowing the top one percent to avoid paying taxes on their accumulated wealth. We can use that money to help more families pay for childcare and send their kids to college. We need a tax code that truly helps working Americans trying to get a leg up in the new economy, and we can achieve that together."

No. 6--

"No foreign nation, no hacker, should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets, or invade the privacy of American families, especially our kids. We are making sure our government integrates intelligence to combat cyber threats, just as we have done to combat terrorism."

No. 7--

"A better politics is one where we appeal to each other’s basic decency instead of our basest fears.

A better politics is one where we debate without demonizing each other; where we talk issues, and values, and principles, and facts, rather than “gotcha” moments, or trivial gaffes, or fake controversies that have nothing to do with people’s daily lives...

...If we’re going to have arguments, let’s have arguments – but let’s make them debates worthy of this body and worthy of this country. "


No. 8--

"I want this chamber, this city, to reflect the truth – that for all our blind spots and shortcomings, we are a people with the strength and generosity of spirit to bridge divides, to unite in common effort, and help our neighbors, whether down the street or on the other side of the world.

I want our actions to tell every child, in every neighborhood: your life matters, and we are as committed to improving your life chances as we are for our own kids."


And that's it. Eight fairly brief things out of an entire hour of speech I think we can all agree on, as a nation. There are a few spots where I think we might have come a bit closer to agreeing on a few things but not very much. When I thought there was any chance of a person or group disagreeing or having reservations, I left it out.

Here's hoping we can come back together as a nation, as a people and that we address our questions and issues and problems of the country and go forward as one.


Hey, we can hope, can't we?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Republicans' hypocrisy "honoring Dr. King"




I was just out on Facebook and saw how Missouri's Senator Roy Blunt said he was to "honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." By comparison, Congressional Representative Billy Long had no tribute of any kind and Rep. Vicky Hartzler honored her mother's death, a week ago, instead.

In the bigger picture, their Republican party's true actions show what they're really made of and what they're about and it's important to keep it in mind and perspective:

The GOP’s state-by-state crusade to disenfranchise voters


You can't get too much more un-American than taking away the votes of fellow Americans.


Their official policies take voting away from students, the elderly, the physically-challenged, blacks, Hispanics, the poor, virtually anyone and everyone they even think might vote for any political party but their own.


They sometimes use the excuses of protecting the voting process but it's known, statistically, that people don't try to cheat on voting in anything like significant numbers, either state by state or nationally:



So happy Martin Luther King Day, Republicans. You, with your Jim Crow tactics in 2015 America.

You shameless, lying, un-American hypocrites.


Martin Luther King Day


"...we must find an alternative to war and bloodshed."

"It is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence."


"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom."







Saturday, January 17, 2015

Entertainment Overnight -- Flashback


Play loud



And have a great weekend, y'all.


America----Where is your memory?


Am I the only one in this nation that knows or remembers that the George W Bush administration flew billions of dollars into Iraq, around the time of the "mission accomplished"?

An armed guard poses beside pallets of $100 bills in Baghdad

How the US sent $12bn in cash to Iraq. And watched it vanish

Special flights brought in tonnes of banknotes which disappeared into the war zone


The US flew nearly $12bn in shrink-wrapped $100 bills into Iraq, then distributed the cash with no proper control over who was receiving it and how it was being spent.
The staggering scale of the biggest transfer of cash in the history of the Federal Reserve has been graphically laid bare by a US congressional committee.
In the year after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 nearly 281 million notes, weighing 363 tonnes, were sent from New York to Baghdad for disbursement to Iraqi ministries and US contractors. Using C-130 planes, the deliveries took place once or twice a month with the biggest of $2,401,600,000 on June 22 2004, six days before the handover.
Details of the shipments have emerged in a memorandum prepared for the meeting of the House committee on oversight and government reform which is examining Iraqi reconstruction. Its chairman, Henry Waxman, a fierce critic of the war, said the way the cash had been handled was mind-boggling. "The numbers are so large that it doesn't seem possible that they're true. Who in their right mind would send 363 tonnes of cash into a war zone?"
The memorandum details the casual manner in which the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority disbursed the money, which came from Iraqi oil sales, surplus funds from the UN oil-for-food programme and seized Iraqi assets.
"One CPA official described an environment awash in $100 bills," the memorandum says. "One contractor received a $2m payment in a duffel bag stuffed with shrink-wrapped bundles of currency. Auditors discovered that the key to a vault was kept in an unsecured backpack.
"They also found that $774,300 in cash had been stolen from one division's vault. Cash payments were made from the back of a pickup truck, and cash was stored in unguarded sacks in Iraqi ministry offices. One official was given $6.75m in cash, and was ordered to spend it in one week before the interim Iraqi government took control of Iraqi funds."
Can you even begin to imagine the uproar if current President Obama even thought of such a thing, let lone did it?
Then, not to be done there, that previous Republican, supposed Capitalist-loving president also made competition illegal?  Oh, yes he did.

Administration Opposes Democrats’ Plan for Negotiating Medicare Drug Prices


WASHINGTON, Nov. 12 — The Bush administration said on Sunday that it would strenuously oppose one of the Democrats’ top priorities for the new Congress: legislation authorizing the government to negotiate with drug companies to secure lower drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries....

“The government negotiates big discounts for the prices of drugs for our veterans,” said Senator-elect Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. “But the drug companies got Congress to make it illegal to negotiate for lower prices under Medicare.”

So I ask you----am I the only one that remembers these things? These outrageious things? If a Democrat did either of these, he'd be figuratively crucified upon an alter of wrongness and unfairness and--in the case of flying planeloads of American cash from our own Federal Reserve into a war zone, only to be handed out--and then promptly impeached.

You have to hand it to Dubya'.  All this and torture and war crimes, too. 

And he got away with it all.


Missourians, you and your government are being bought---and sold





Ladies and gentlemen, voters of Missouri, it's important you know the name Rex Sinquefield and that you know what he's done, what he's doing and what, it seems clearly, he's attempting to do with, about and to your government.

Check out just these 2 headlines. First this one:

Sinquefield gifts to Hanaway governor bid at $900K 


It seems Mr Sinquefield has already decided who he wants--and who we should have--for Missouri's next governor so he's ponying up nearly 1 million dollars for her.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Wealthy political activist Rex Sinquefield’s donations to Republican Catherine Hanaway’s campaign for governor have reached $900,000.
Campaign finance records show Sinquefield this week gave Hanaway another $10,000, the 10th straight week he’s given her that amount.
The recent donation comes after an October contribution from Sinquefield for $750,000 and another for $50,000 in March.
Most of the more than $1.1 million she’s raised so far this year has come from Sinquefield.
Sinquefield is a retired investment firm founder who has been one of Missouri’s most active political donors in recent years. He has backed efforts to cut income taxes and revamp public school teacher evaluation methods.
Hanaway is a former U.S. attorney and Missouri House speaker who is the only declared GOP gubernatorial candidate for 2016.
Then, next up, this little beauty int this second headline:

Missouri's big money man gives $1 million to 2016 Potential 2016 Candidate


Another day, yet another 1 million dollars from this man, to the candidate of his choice for Missouri.

Wealthy financier Rex Sinquefield appears to have made his choice for Missouri’s next lieutenant governor:  Bev Randles, chairman of the Missouri Club for Growth.
Sinquefield is backing up his support with a $1 million check into Randles’ newly created exploratory committee, set up Monday. Randles says she will spend months talking to fellow Republicans to decide whether she has adequate support for a 2016 campaign.
Sinquefield’s check appears to be the largest single donation to a candidate in Missouri history.  The check was taken to the Missouri Ethics Commission when Randles' paperwork was filed, and should be on its web site within 48 hours, her spokesman said.
Randles, a Kansas City lawyer, said in an interview, “Rex is one donor. He represents one vote. He is not going to be the only person who contributes during this exploratory phase.”
But Sinquefield's huge check could discourage other candidates in either major party from running for the post. His support for Randles may send a message to incumbent Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a Republican serving a third term.
"...Sinquefield's huge check could discourage other candidates..."?  Could? Seriously?

What else is it going to do but discourage other candidates? 

Can you imagine if you're current Lt. Governor Peter Kindle, considering a run for your fourth term? On the one hand, sure, you should have name recognition but if your opponent already has a million dollars in their campaign war chest, with more, surely, possibly available both from Mr. Sinquefield's rather deep pockets, along with anyone and everyone else who might contribute to your opponent's campaign. that's formidable. You have to at least think twice, if not give up entirely. That is already a daunting candidate, even before the campaign has begun. You'd have to overcome not just getting your name and message out but also all the time it would take, raising money, in an attempt to keep up.

I'm not aware of any other state where just one person, one very wealthy person, is trying so thoroughly to buy the government representatives and so, the government he wants. 

Lucky you, Missouri.

But then, it was "lucky Missouri" that got its campaign contribution limits taken down a few years ago, by the Republicans.

Indeed, lucky us.

Here's this rich guy, this Rex Sinquefield, trying to buy not one, not just the highest office in the state, but two---the highest and second highest offices in Missouri.

How's that for chutzpah?

The thing is, now this lack of limits is even hurting Republicans and high profile ones, at that, since Lt. Governor Kinder is, of course, a Republican.

How's that for Karma coming back and biting you?

The fact is, the time has long since come for Missouri to put back up campaign contribution limits. 

Secretary of State Jason Kander has campaigned for bringing back campaign contributions limits---and he's correct---but it's tilting at a bit of a rather Don Quixote like windmill because he's a Democrat and there are all those Republicans in the Statehouse in Jefferson City. It's important we Missourians need to stand up, stand with Mr. Kander and say "Enough!" 

We can't continue to let the wealthy and corporations buy our legislators and government.

We just can't.


Friday, January 16, 2015

Our Obscene Defense Spending, America


Famous and very talented, accomplished author James Fallows writes, this week, in The Atlantic Monthly on the obscene, wasteful Defense budget and our military and it's anything but flattering:

The Tragedy of the American Military


The American public and its political leadership will do anything for the military except take it seriously. The result is a chickenhawk nation in which careless spending and strategic folly combine to lure America into endless wars it can’t win.


Fortunately for us, he didn't stop with just the one article, either:

The Chickenhawk ChroniclesNo11: A Failure of Grand Strategy

What Alfred Lord Tennyson could teach us about civil-military relations. Plus, the simple lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan, from a naval veteran's point of view.

It's fantastic reading and research, as ever, from Mr. Fallows and it's downright important material many more Americans need to read, be aware of and hopefully, hopefully act on----maybe by contacting our governmental representatives and telling them it must stop.

Here's hoping.


The Nightmare That Is US Military Spening


Americans, you think you're a "peace-loving country", don't you?




Contact your Congressional Representatives and the President. Tell them to get the Defense budget cut. It's bloated, it's wasteful, it's unaccounted for, it's immoral, it's downright obscene.

Contact the U.S. Congress and the White House 


Tell them, not in our name. Not any longer.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Who and What's Bankrupting America?


The corporations and wealthy are bankrupting America, for one, what with all the tax deductions they buy themselves from their---our----legislators, with campaign contributions. They get to write off untold "expenses." Even "Big Oil", one of the most profitable industries in the nation and world, and then they offshore profits, on top of it.

The other culprit bankrupting America?

Look no further than the obscene, bloated, wasteful, nearly completely unaccounted for, utterly immoral defense budget:

Military spending dominates, once again, and accounts for almost 60% of Discretionary Spending. Where would you spend that money?

Budget Info: National Priorities Project

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Kansas City Gets Some Mention from the Oval Office


Kansas City, as I said above, gets some mention this week from the Oval Office and President Obama, largely due to Google's internet speeds:


Because here's what the big internet providers and free market Capitalism are doing to us in America. They're doing the same thing to us on internet speeds and costs as the health care companies have done and are doing to us for our health care:

Americans are paying more for slower Internet


We're just not that bright.


The More Common but Tragic Racism



"The vast majority of poor people and people of color whose lives have been lost to this inhumane system are never shot or beaten by police. They are not victims of unlawful abuse that can be caught on camera or ferreted out through federal investigation. They are victims of a lawful system of mass incarceration. . . . For every police shooting, tens of thousands of lives will be destroyed by a legal process that wreaks far more havoc on our most vulnerable communities than the illegal use of excessive force by police. . . .The battle for equal justice will only be won when we demand equal treatment in every aspect of our justice system. We must muster outrage over the routine dehumanization that happens in our criminal-justice system, rather than reserve it for the most extraordinary instances of injustice, if we are to maintain a movement for change."

--Jonathan Rapping, lawer and legal defense advocate, author

Links:  Jonathan Rapping — MacArthur Foundation


Jonathan A. Rapping | Harvard Law School


The Republican Part vs. Pope Francis


More particularly, the Republican Party and their economics models vs. Christianity


Awkward...


The Current Republican Congressional Session (guest post)




"Look at the priorities of the new Republican congressional – the Keystone XL Pipeline, the Trans-Pacific Trade agreement, tax cuts for big corporations and the wealthy, rollbacks of Dodd-Frank regulations on Wall Street, cutbacks on Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security, and decimating the Affordable Care Act – and connect the dots. Republicans want the public to think the central issue of our time is the size of government. Wrong. The central issue of our time is who government is for. Every one of their initiatives advances big corporations and Wall Street, and worsens or weakens everyone else.'

--Robert Reich, economist, author, professor



Saturday, January 10, 2015

Ladies and Gentemen, Meet the US Chamber of Commerce


If you're like most of America, you're in the middle, lower and/or working class.

Also like most of America, you probably don't know the US Chamber of Commerce, what they do and/or what they've done to undermine all of us out here, all in the name of helping the already-wealthy and corporations.

In an effort to change that and to help more know just what's going on in our political/economic world, besides what the Rupert Murdochs and Roger Ailes and their Fox Network is already doing to America in general bu to the middle class, more specifically, I give you this terrific article and urge you read it. Both of you.



The Business of America is Dirty Tricks

It used to be, in the not-that-distant-past, we were, all of us, for America. We were for the advancement and progress of America. Certainly government representatives were. Businessmen and women and all the people.

No more.

Now it's business and businesses and business people and corporations and the wealthy against everyone else. It's become a free-for-all.

And guess who's winning?

I can't recommend it enough.

Have a great weekend.

Kansas, Republicans and Budgets in the News


Yes, once again, Kansas, Kansas Republicans and their budget ideas are in the news. Just for all the wrong reasons:

Republicans are the real wealth redistributors

Kansas and other state governments are seizing money from middle-class workers to finance tax cuts for the wealthy


Their long-discredited ideas, inherited from Ronnie the Raygun and all that "trickle down" ideas and nonsense put Kansas infamously in debt and the news while California, doing exactly the opposite, is taking care of its debts, paying its bills, rebuilding infrastructure and paving a positive path to the future:

Welcome to Brownbackistan:
In 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama was lambasted for supposedly endorsing policies of wealth redistribution. The right feared that under an Obama presidency, Washington would use federal power to take money from some Americans and give it to others. Yet, only a few years later, the most explicit examples of such redistribution are happening in the states, and often at the urging of Republicans.
The most illustrative example began in 2012, when Kansas’ Republican Gov. Sam Brownback signed a landmark bill that delivered big tax cuts to high-income earners and businesses. Less than two years after that tax cut, the state’s income tax revenues plummeted by a quarter-billion dollars — and now Brownback is pushing to use money for public employees’ pensions to instead cover the state’s ensuing budget shortfalls.
Brownback’s proposal: Slash the state’s required pension contribution by $40 million to balance the state budget, even though Kansas already has one of the worst-funded pension systems in the nation.
Brownback defended his proposal to take money from middle-class state workers and use it to effectively finance his tax cuts for the wealthy. He told the Wichita Eagle: “It’s kind of, uh, well where are you going to go for the funds? And I don’t like it, but it’s kind of what’s your other option if you don’t hit K-12 and higher ed with allotments?”
See, if government officials, using our government, take money from the lower and middle and working classes and give it to the already-wealthy and corporations, it's okay. It's all well and good. In fact, it's "good business sense" by their way of thinking.
But try taking money from the wealthy and those same corporations and giving it to the middle, lower and working classes? Why, that's WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION!  Worse, it's Communism! It's Socialism! It's "un-American"!
What's additionally ironic about all this is that the Kansas governor did all this tax slashing and attempts at redistribution of wealth---all on the backs and pocketbooks of the Kansas people--in his now clearly vain attempts to gain the presidency, it's clear. Fortunately, that's one thing that won't go any further, anyway, what with the financial, economic and debt debacles he's created in his home state now.
That, in fact, is the only positive thing to come out of Kansas' mess.
Links: 

How Kansas and California Debunked the GOP's Tax Cuts Argument


Quote of the Day -- On a Just and Intelligent Society



Thursday, January 8, 2015

Canada's Tar Sands Oil vs. Clean Energy


A solar energy company from California is to be hiring 600 people for 600 jobs in Kansas City.

Sungevity shines on with office buildhiring spree

600 jobs.

Meanwhile, a Canadian tar sands oil company---TransCanada---would be bringing between 35 to 50 total permanent jobs TO THE ENTIRE NATION, if only we'll let them build a pipeline THAT WILL INEVITABLY LEAK AND SPILL THEIR TOXIC TAR SANDS OIL just so they can get this stuff to the Gulf coast so they can get it out to world markets.

And with the solar, "green", sustainable energy, there will never be any inevitable oil spill and environmental nightmare like we can count on with the Keystone XL pipeline.

So tell me how tar sands oil from Canada, for a foreign oil company, crossing our nation and our farmlands and aquifers and lakes and creeks and rivers and streams, threatening all those, so it can go out to world markets from the Gulf, is somehow a good idea and a jobs maker.

How does that make sense?

To anyone?


Happy birthday, Stephen Hawking



Stephen Hawking

"Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious."

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Missouri, Learning Nothing From Neighboring Kansas


First Kansas slashes taxes on the wealthy and corporations--you know, the old Right Wing "tickle down" ideas--on the promise it will bring business, people and money to the state and its coffers.

It fails miserably.

You think Missourians in Jeff City would see and learn anything from it?

Not really. They still wanted to slash those taxes down at the Missouri State Capitol.

Now?  It seems Missouri wants to do the same thing, again. That is, Missouri legislators are proposing already-sponsored legislation Kansas enacted and has some experience with.  First, what's being thought of and maybe proposed in the Show Me state just now:

Photograph

Lawmaker wants 75 mph limit on some Missouri roads

And as I said, Kansas beat us to this. And here's their results:

Photo of Kansas State Capitol Building


Folks? May I ask a question? Please?

Can we learn nothing?

And another.  Why would we go down this path?


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Entertainment Overnight


Haunting. Fascinating. I think Stanley Kubrick would love it. He'd likely have put it to effect.




The GOP, Their Leadership In Congress and Where We Go From Here


I love this article

GOP leaders staring at cliffs


Boehner, McConnell have big plans and big obstacles.


I'll cut to the chase, so to speak. Of the entire article, this is the part that intrigues and involves me most:

The highway trust fund will become insolvent in May, and federally funded infrastructure projects across America will grind to a halt if nothing is done. Congress will have to work out a new funding mechanism — the gas tax has not been raised since 1993, and fuel-efficient cars have steadily decreased its buying power. Raising the tax is politically difficult, so Boehner, McConnell and the transportation chairmen will have to work out another funding mechanism — or turn to another unpopular general fund bailout, rather than risk a construction shutdown.

This Highway Trust Fund needs so much money it's beyond thought. Our infrastructure needs so much attention. We have so many highways, bridges and airports and so much infrastructure that needs reworking and improving and updating, it's nearly staggering.

Fortunately and rather ironically, we're at a time when, not only do all these things need so much attention but with oil per barrel and per gallon, at the pump, is so low, it would seem it's the perfect time to increase this gas tax so we can fund this infrastructure and so, the country and our commerce.

It used to be government representatives would legislate and act for the betterment and best of the nation, of the country. But as we've seen of particularly the Republican Party in the last few decades at least and especially since our current president was elected, they legislate and put their party first, country be damned.

And that's where we are today.

What should be easy and intelligent legislation for the country and for the people becomes complicated and difficult, if not impossible, for these people. Their biggest fear is that this president would be successful and so, that they might suffer. 

It used to be if the country was successful, that was your goal in government, no matter your position. Not so now. These people are downright fearful that, should President Obama be successful, should the US profit and grow during this time frame, they would be hurt. The last thing they want is to come close to doing anything, anything whatever, that would create a second Franklin Roosevelt. They never forgot the lesson of FDR and the Great Depression. He was successful and what did that get them?  They were out of favor with the voters for at least 40 years.

So screw you, America. The Republican Party must come first. 

If you're still here after all this, once they're finally back in the White House, then they might consider doing something for you. Something for Mr. and Mrs. Working Man and Woman of the nation. 

Like a jobs bill.

Or like the infrastructure needed to make the nation work.