Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Escape From Ohio

If you don't know who Electric Six is, you should. Kind of alternative-electronic-humorous stuff. Really fun. Really entertaining. Usually not that political, except for the lyrics to a song on their new album, called "Escape From Ohio," which contains this:

They say that what you give is what you're gonna get
It's no wonder everything's gone to shit
Because they've given us John Boehner
You better believe they've given us Jean Schmidt!

And the floodgates of hell have opened wide
It's better to get all politics aside
They're gonna roll out Joe the Plumber
Just to make sure our minds get properly fried

Good stuff.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Get Bernie's Back

From Open Left:

When Ben Bernanke was first nominated to chair the Federal Reserve Bank in 2005 by George W. Bush, he declared that there was no housing bubble. Three years later, during an economic crisis caused by the housing bubble he did not foresee, Bernanke used over two trillion dollars of Federal Reserve money to bail out the banks that caused the crisis.

Bernanke has been nominated for another four-year term. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has taken extraordinary measures to try and stop him. Can you join our partners at the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) to say "thank you" to Sen. Sanders for his courage?

Senator Sanders, thank you for standing up to Wall Street!

Bernanke's bailout has allowed banks to return to profitability, but the rest of the country still suffers from high unemployment. Even though the Fed's mission is to reduce unemployment, Bernanke says there is nothing can do to help. When asked what he thought Congress should do about unemployment, Bernanke recommended against a new jobs bill, but suggested cutting Social Security and Medicare instead.

To stop all of this, Sanders put a "hold" on Bernanke's confirmation. This hold will slow down the process by a few days, give the public more time to weigh in on Bernanke, force a debate on the Senate floor, and show Wall Street they can't buy every Seantor. You can say "thank you" to Bernie for his heroics here:

Get Bernie's back--sign the thank you letter!

When members of Congress make gutsy moves like these, they need to know the grassroots are backing them up. Organizations like Open Left and the PCCC are looking to deliver 20,000 "thank you" signatures to Senator Sanders by the end of the week. You can let Bernie Sanders know you have his back by joining the 8,000 people who have already signed the "thank you" letter:

Thank you Senator Sanders--we will keep fighting with you!

In solidarity,
Chris Bowers,


Askins for Governor Change Makers

This is the type of campaign I'd give money to if I had any money:

Sunday, December 6, 2009

More Perspective

From Re/Creating Tampa

From this hyper-Libertarian/Free Market perspective all of the following are clear indications of Socialist America:

Public airwaves
Public parks
Public education
Public domain
Streets and highways
civil servants
the military
the courts
scientific research supported by government grants
fairy tales
traditional music
the church
Santa Claus
the Post Office
Hurricane and Tornado advance warning systems
communications satellites
medical research
social safety net for the elderly and indigent
medicine for your grandparents
national defense
national currency
the federal government

and our founding document that gives primacy to “We the people…”
not “To the highest bidder…”

From my perspective, supporting the above list is a moderate, in some ways even conservative, position.


From While You Were Gone:

You are 13 times more likely to die in a railway accident than from a terrorist attack

You are 12,571 times more likely to die from cancer than from a terrorist attack

You are six times more likely to die from hot weather than from a terrorist attack

You are eight times more likely to die from accidental electrocution than from a terrorist attack

You are 11,000 times more likely to die in an airplane accident than from a terrorist plot involving an airplane

You are 87 times more likely to drown than die in a terrorist attack

You are 404 times more likely to die in a fall than from a terrorist attack

You are 17,600 times more likely to die from heart disease than from a terrorist attack

You are 1048 times more likely to die from a car accident than from a terrorist attack

You are 12 times more likely to die from accidental suffocation in bed than from a terrorist attack

You are nine times more likely to choke to death on your own vomit than die in a terrorist attack

You are eight times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist

Useful Definitions For Conservatives

From Air America:

con-serv-a-tive [kuhn-sur-vuh-tiv] -noun: A liberal who has not yet figured out how to think for himself/herself.

def-i-cit [def-uh-sit; Brit. also di-fis-it] -noun: The amount by which a sum of money falls short of the required amount, which only matters when a Democrat is elected to office.

fil-i-bus-ter [fil-uh-buhs-ter] -noun: The Republican's health care plan.

sen-ate [sen-it] -noun: an assembly or council of citizens having the highest deliberative functions in a government, easily manipulated by a single Senator from Connecticut who craves power and attention.

sur-plus [sur-pluhs] -noun: A thing of the past.

con-sti-tu-tion [kon-sti-too-shuhn, -tyoo-] -noun: the system of fundamental principles according to which a nation, state, corporation, or the like is governed. Used to discourage health coverage to others, and promote guns. Frequently used as buzzword without ever being read by person using.

stim-u-lus [stim-yuh-luh s] -noun, plural-li: A trip to Argentina for a visit with your mistress, which could potentially cost you your job as Governor of South Carolina.

di-ver-si-ty [di-vur-si-tee, dayh-] -noun-plural-ties: The state or fact of being diverse; variety. Best adhered to by publishing ten rules and excluding everyone unwilling to abide.

gov-ern-ment [guhv-ern-muhnt, -er-muhnt] -noun: something evil and ineffective that needs to be limited to giving tax breaks for the rich, subsidies for powerful interests, and wars fought by the middle and lower-classes.

hy-poc-ri-sy [hi-pok-ruh-see] -no results found

Daily Humor

Today's reason to laugh...

Learn To Speak TEABAG!

Judd Gregg's Obstruction Manual

The Republican agenda in action:


The Senate rules are designed to give a minority of Senators the right to insist on a full, complete, and fully informed debate on all measures and issues coming before the Senate. This cornerstone of protection can only be abrogated if 60 or more Senators vote to take these rights away from the minority.

I. RIGHTS AVAILABLE TO MINORITY BEFORE MEASURES ARE CONSIDERED ON FLOOR (These rights are normally waived by Unanimous Consent (UC) when time is short, but any Senator can object to the waiver.)

New Legislative Day – An adjournment of the Senate, as opposed to a recess, is required to trigger a new legislative day. A new legislative day starts with the morning hour, a 2-hour period with a number of required procedures. During part of the ―morning hour‖ any Senator may make non-debatable motions to proceed to items on the Senate calendar.

One Day and Two Day Rules– The 1-day rule requires that measures must lie over one ―legislative day‖ before they can be considered. All bills have to lie over one day, whether they were introduced by an individual Senator (Rule XIV) or reported by a committee (Rule XVII). The 2-day rule requires that IF a committee chooses to file a written report, that committee report MUST contain a CBO cost estimate, a regulatory impact statement, and detail what changes the measure makes to current law (or provide a statement why any of these cannot be done), and that report must be available at least 2 calendar days before a bill can be considered on the Senate floor. Senators may block a measure’s consideration by raising a point of order if it does not meet one of these requirements.

“Hard” Quorum Calls –Senate operates on a presumptive quorum of 51 senators and quorum calls are routinely dispensed with by unanimous consent. If UC is not granted to dispose of a routine quorum call, then the roll must continue to be called. If a quorum is not present, the only motions the leadership may make are to adjourn, to recess under a previous order, or time-consuming motions to establish a quorum that include requesting, requiring, and then arresting Senators to compel their presence in the Senate chamber.

II. RIGHTS AVAILABLE TO MINORITY DURING CONSIDERATION OF MEASURES IN SENATE (Many of these rights are regularly waived by Unanimous Consent.)

Motions to Proceed to Measures – with the exception of Conference Reports and Budget Resolutions, most such motions are fully debatable and 60 votes for cloture is needed to cut off extended debate.

Reading of Amendments and Conference Reports in Entirety – In most circumstances, the reading of the full text of amendments may only be dispensed with by unanimous consent. Any Senator may object to dispensing with the reading. If, as is often the case when the Senate begins consideration of a House-passed vehicle, the Majority Leader offers a full-text substitute amendment, the reading of that full-text substitute amendment can only be waived by unanimous consent. A member may only request the reading of a conference report if it is not available in printed form (100 copies available in the Senate chamber).

Senate Points of Order – A Senator may make a point of order at any point he or she believes that a Senate procedure is being violated, with or without cause. After the presiding officer rules, any Senator who disagrees with such ruling may appeal the ruling of the chair—that appeal is fully debatable. Some points of order, such as those raised on Constitutional grounds, are not ruled on by the presiding officer and the question is put to the Senate, then the point of order itself is fully debatable. The Senate may dispose of a point of order or an appeal by tabling it; however, delay is created by the two roll call votes in connection with each tabling motion (motion to table and motion to reconsider that vote).

Budget Points of Order – Many legislative proposals (bills, amendments, and conference reports) are subject to a point of order under the Budget Act or budget resolution, most of which can only be waived by 60 votes. If budget points of order lie against a measure, any Senator may raise them, and a measure cannot be passed or disposed of unless the points of order that are raised are waived. (See )

Amendment Process

Amendment Tree Process and/or Filibuster by Amendment – until cloture is invoked, Senators may offer an unlimited number of amendments -- germane or non-germane -- on any subject. This is the fullest expression of a ―full, complete, and informed‖ debate on a measure. It has been necessary under past Democrat majorities to use the rules governing the amendment process aggressively to ensure that minority Senators get votes on their amendment as originally written (unchanged by the Majority Democrats.)

Substitute Amendments – UC is routinely requested to treat substitute amendments as original text for purposes of further amendment, which makes it easier for the majority to offer 2nd degree amendments to gut 1st degree amendments by the minority. The minority could protect their amendments by objecting to such UC’s.

Divisible Amendments – amendments are divisible upon demand by any Senator if they contain two or more parts that can stand independently of one another. This can be used to fight efforts to block the minority from offering all of their amendments, because a single amendment could be drafted, offered at a point when such an amendment is in order, and then divided into multiple component parts for separate consideration and votes. Demanding division of amendments can also be used to extend consideration of a measure. Amendments to strike and insert text cannot be divided.

Motions to Recommit Bills to Committee With or Without Instructions – A Senator may make a motion to recommit a bill to the committee with or without instructions to the Committee to report it back to the Senate with certain changes or additions. Such instructions are amendable.

AFTER PASSAGE Going to Conference, Motions to Instruct Conferees, Matters Out of Scope of Conference

Going to Conference – The Senate must pass 3 separate motions to go to conference: (1) a motion to insist on its amendments or disagree with the House amendments; (2) a motion to request/agree to a conference; and (3) a motion to authorize the Chair to appoint conferees. The Senate routinely does this by UC, but if a Senator objects the Senate must debate each step and all 3 motions may be filibustered (requiring a cloture vote to end debate).

Motion to Instruct Conferees – Once the Senate adopts the first two motions, Senators may offer an unlimited number of motions to instruct the Senate’s conferees. The motions to instruct are amendable – and divisible upon demand -- by Senators if they contain more than one separate and distinct instruction.

Conference Reports, Out of Scope Motions – In addition to demanding a copy of the conference report to be on every Senator’s desk and raising Budget points of order against it, Senators may also raise a point of order that it contains matter not related to the matters originally submitted to the conference by either chamber. If the Chair sustains the point or order, the provision(s) is stricken from the conference agreement, and the House would then have to approve the measure absent the stricken provision (even if the House had already acted on the conference report). The scope point of order can be waived by 60 Senators.

Availability of Conference Report Language. The conference report must be publicly available on a website 48 hours in advance prior to the vote on passage.

Grayson: "The Constitution Didn't Contemplate a Standing Army, Much Less an Army Standing in Kabul"

Rush Limbaugh: "I Like Rubio."

Alan Grayson: Drop Cloture to 55 Votes

10 Companies to Avoid This Holiday Season

From Change in Tallahassee:

1. Children's Place: "It gets its products from places with human rights and labor violations and had to pay $1.5 million in a settlement alleging that they violated the Securities Act.

2. Hanes: "...went the extra step to be cited for 'egregious labor violations.'" Oh, and they have not even an attempt at an anti-discrimination policy for sexual orientation and gender identity.

3. JC Penny: "D- on Green America's scorecard and D+ from the NAACP."

4. Limited Brands (this includes Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works): "The now scarily common 'sourced from countries with widespread, well-documented human and labor rights abuses' rears its head here..."

5. IBM: "It's been sued for improperly converting employee pension plans and for exposing them to toxic chemicals." Oh and also for "aiding and abetting South Africa's apartheid regime."

6. Albertsons: The gamut of really bad labor stuff — "Unpaid overtime, punishing employees for opposing discrimination policies ... intimidates workers into refusing unions ..." and the list unfortunately goes on.

7. Chiquita: This is a good summary: "Everything is contaminated."

8. L'Oreal: Still getting it for their lack of policy on animal testing (oh, and using banned chemicals).

9. Target: Bad on the environment, racial discrimination and of course ''sourced from countries with widespread, well-documented human and labor rights abuses.'"

10. Wal-Mart: Obvi!

President Obama's Weekly Address: Pushing Forward on Jobs

Conniving and Sinister

From Shakesville:

Conniving and Sinister

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Daily Humor

Today's reason to laugh...

Not political, but funny nonetheless: The Landlord