Thursday, December 27, 2012

The reason the House doesn't want to pass a bill... because it will be changed in the Senate. The House will have to vote again and then the Senate will take it into reconciliation.
The Byrd Rule defines a provision to be "extraneous" (and therefore ineligible for reconciliation) in six cases:
  1. if it does not produce a change in outlays or revenues;
  2. if it produces an outlay increase or revenue decrease when the instructed committee is not in compliance with its instructions;
  3. if it is outside the jurisdiction of the committee that submitted the title or provision for inclusion in the reconciliation measure;
  4. if it produces a change in outlays or revenues which is merely incidental to the non-budgetary components of the provision;
  5. if it would increase the deficit for a fiscal year beyond those covered by the reconciliation measure; and
  6. if it recommends changes in Social Security.

Speaker Boner is trying to find a way to keep the bill out of Reconciliation in the Senate which would only require a 51 vote majority.

It is impossible to keep a measure out of reconciliation if it increases revenues, unless, it changes Social Security. Whether Social Security needs it or not.

Corruption. Republicans are corrupt through and through. They won't govern. They refuse to be decent people doing the nation's business. It is making sense yet?

Recognize this lady?

That is the current Justice Sotomayor. That is also Senator Patrick Leahy from Vermont. I love him as a Senator. He does great work. 

The clown  standing next to Senator Leahy is Senator, oh what's his name? Ah, Jefferson something. Oh, yeah, Senator Jefferson Sessions. I can't figure out why he keeps getting elected. Whether it is the Jefferson the people like, or the Sessions. Well, he is a lousy Senator at any rate.

Why is he lousy, because, he is too much of a coward, that's why.

NRA to Score Holder Contempt Vote (click here)

See, Senators like Sessions cower to the NRA and their 'scoring' of votes by the House and Senate. Sessions is scared of a bad score by the NRA, therefore, it is actually the NRA voting and not the Senator or any entity with conscience.

It would be one thing to think the NRA (National Rifle Association) was actually only interested in THEIR SPECIAL INTEREST, but, the voting for Justice Sotomayor was EVIDENCE to the power brokering the NRA does on every aspect of government.

The N.R.A. at the bench (click here)
December 26, 2012, 9:00 pm
...Back in 2009, when President Obama chose Judge Sonia Sotomayor as his first Supreme Court nominee, the White House expected that her compelling personal story, sterling credentials, and experience both as a prosecutor and, for 17 years, as a federal judge would win broad bipartisan support for her nomination. There was, in fact, no plausible reason for any senator to vote against her.

The president’s hope was Senator Mitch McConnell’s fear. In order to shore up his caucus, the Senate Republican leader asked a favor of his friends at the National Rifle Association: oppose the Sotomayor nomination and, furthermore, “score” the confirmation vote. An interest group “scores” a vote when it adds the vote on a particular issue to the legislative scorecard it gives each member of Congress at the end of the session. In many states, an N.R.A. score of less than 100 for an incumbent facing re-election is big trouble.

Note that the N.R.A. had never before scored a judicial confirmation vote. Note also that Sonia Sotomayor had no record on the N.R.A.’s issues. (True, she voted with an appeals court panel to uphold New York State’s ban on nunchucks, a martial-arts weapon consisting of two sticks held together with a chain or rope, commonly used by gang members and muggers. The appeals court didn’t even reach the interesting issue of whether the Second Amendment guaranteed the right to keep and bear nunchucks, ruling instead that the amendment didn’t apply to the states – which, before the Supreme Court later ruled otherwise by a vote of 5 to 4, it didn’t.)

Never mind. The N.R.A. had all the reason it needed to oppose Sonia Sotomayor: maintenance of its symbiotic relationship with the Republican Party. Once it announced its opposition and its intention to score the vote, Republican support for the nominee melted away. Only seven Republicans voted for confirmation.

One senator, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, said by way of explaining her “no” vote that her constituents had expressed “overwhelming concern” about Judge Sotomayor’s views on the Second Amendment. However, Senator Murkowski told the National Journal at the time, “I am a bit concerned that the N.R.A. weighed in and said they were going to score this.” She added, “I don’t think that was appropriate.”

The following year, after the N.R.A. opposed Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court and announced that “this vote matters and will be part of future candidate evaluations,” Republican support for another nominee without a record on gun issues shrank to five senators....

It is called corruption, if it weren't completely obvious.

I do believe McConnell needs to be relieved from his job. He is a partisan hack and one hell of a lousy Senator. McConnell is as corrupt as the day is long. Then again, considering EST can fluctuate, I take that back. McConnell is consistently corrupt. More than the length of any day could allow.

The Coal Ash Corruption. It is a clue as to how impossible it has been for Secretary Jackson.

Fifteen homes like this one in Harriman, Tenn., were flooded with fly ash sludge on Monday after a storage pond wall broke

Published: December 24, 2008

KINGSTON, Tenn. — (click here) What may be the nation’s largest spill of coal ash lay thick and largely untouched over hundreds of acres of land and waterways Wednesday after a dam broke this week, as officials and environmentalists argued over its potential toxicity.
Federal studies have long shown coal ash to contain significant quantities of heavy metals like arsenic, lead and selenium, which can cause cancer and neurological problems. But with no official word on the dangers of the sludge in Tennessee, displaced residents spent Christmas Eve worried about their health and their property, and wondering what to do....

By golly, the Tennessee sludge is different than any other coal ash sludge the nation has ever witnessed. Like I said, "Republicans run on corruption, not the truth."

The corruption is rampant. 

Four years after Tennessee tragedy, politicians are blocking federal oversight of coal ash (click here)

This Saturday, Dec. 22 marks four years since a massive coal ash impoundment collapsed at the Tennessee Valley Authority's Kingston power plant in eastern Tennessee, sending over a billion gallons of toxic waste laden with arsenic, lead and radioactive elements into a nearby community. The 2008 disaster damaged 42 homes, leaving three uninhabitable, and inundated the Emory and Clinch rivers, causing a massive fish kill and ongoing contamination concerns....
...In 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed rules requiring safer handling of the waste, but it delayed issuing a final rule after coming under intense political pressure from electric utilities, coal mining interests, and the coal ash recycling industry, which fears that treating coal ash like hazardous waste would stigmatize its products....

Ya think? 

...There are currently two bills pending in Congress -- H.R. 2273 and S. 3512 -- that would block federal regulation and instead create state-implemented permit programs for the management and disposal of coal ash. But there are serious questions about the legislation's effectiveness. Earlier this month, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued a report that analyzed the bills and found they failed to establish a "clear standard of protection" necessary to safeguard human health and the environment from the risks of coal ash disposal....

I am quite sure the impoverished coal communities are in gratitude for the corruption and loss of longevity.

Oct 20 2011

Manchin, Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduce Coal Ash Recycling Legislation (click here)

Measure Will Help Preserve Jobs, Protect Local Oversight, Hold Down Energy Costs

...Under this legislation, states could set up their own permitting program for the management and disposal of coal ash that is based on existing EPA regulations to protect human health and the environment. States will know where they stand under this bill, since the benchmarks for what constitutes a successful state program will be set in statute. This is a states-first approach that provides regulatory certainty....

There is absolutely nothing like USA Senators that don't believe in the strength of the federal government to protect their people.

...In addition to Senator Manchin, Senators John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), and John Boozman (R-Ark.) have also sponsored this bill.

There ain't nothing like corruption to solve unemployment problems. It is a gift that keeps on giving. As soon as the employees die from environmental exposure to toxins, their children can stop standing in line for a chance at a paycheck.

Thank you, Secretary Jackson, for your expertise, caring and good service. If only everyone was as dedicated.

He harassed Secretary Jackson into resignation.

...The GOP chairman (click here) of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Fred Upton, said last year that Jackson would need her own parking spot at the Capitol because he planned to bring her in so frequently for questioning. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney called for her firing, a stance that had little downside during the GOP primary....

Secretary Jackson took on the problems of the nation. On occasion where there was no scientific evidence to the outcomes. She was able to harness cooperation and the expertise of scientists within the nation to 'figure it out' when the nation needed them.

The primary problem whereby no previous administration CARED about the coastal waters of the USA, was the Corexit applications during the BP Oil Disaster.

Previous to Secretary Jackson taking on the petroleum industry they were given a pass on any and all aspects of the industry. 

BP's Corexit Oil Tar Sponged Up by Human Skin (click here)

Tues. Apr. 17, 2012
The Surfrider Foundation has released its preliminary "State of the Beach" study for the Gulf of Mexico from BP's ongoing Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Sadly, things aren't getting cleaner faster, according to their results. The Corexit that BP used to "disperse" the oil now appears to be making it tougher for microbes to digest the oil. I wrote about this problem in depth in "The BP Cover-Up."...
Secretary Jackson had completely unreasonable problems to deal with. Problems the USA never faced before of which there was no research to any of the actions of the petroleum industry. She has also had to sort through the problems with hydraulic fracturing. She has done remarkably well considering the disaster the department was left in following Republican administrations.

The sincere asset she brought to the EPA was her chemical engineering background. As secretary she didn't need anyone to sort out facts regarding the problems she faced. When scientists provided information, she immediately know what they were discussing and was able to rule according to her own knowledge base. 

I hope she stays involved. We need her. I can't thank you enough and I am glad she is staying to the beginning of the President's new term in office. She'll be missed.

She also joins many minority members of this administration that has received incredible pressure while performing their duties with loyalty to the USA. They leave. After a time they leave because they feel stifled to carry out their responsibilities. She didn't need to be harassed by the House Committees to do her job. She did it well and with competency. When is this level of harassment going to be met with Ethical Violations? It is effecting our National Security and recruitment of completely competent minority experts to the nation's agencies. Ignoring this level of bigotry and racism by Congressmen is a measure racism and bigotry all itself.

Republicans don't care about competency, they uphold corruption above all else and this is just one more measure of it.

..."Under her leadership, the EPA has taken sensible and important steps to protect the air we breathe and the water we drink, including implementing the first national standard for harmful mercury pollution, taking important action to combat climate change under the Clean Air Act and playing a key role in establishing historic fuel economy standards that will save the average American family thousands of dollars at the pump, while also slashing carbon pollution."...

Owning weapons is a public safety concern.

In one of the most intense social settings in this country, a college campus, there are requirements to remove volatile content from young adults under the stress of learning and belonging to a new social situation that could dictate the direction of their lives.

Welcome to Old Town, Maine (click here)

Within Old Town, Maine is the University of Maine. Maine is one of the areas of the USA that has a lot of wilderness content to their lifestyles. Lucky ducks. I remember my Brother-In-Law stating one of his hurdles to making money on his newspaper route were the moose. They would charge at him at certain times of years and send him in the ditch with his bike.

Consequently, people carry guns. Hunting rifles and shotguns. They hunt. They act to keep down the populations of moose and other wildlife. It actually serves to maintain the health of the wilderness as they don't starve due to population stress. So, there are real kinships in Maine surrounding guns. But. There are also problems that might be described as "The Hatfields and the McCoys."

No weapon or ammunition shall be worn, displayed, used, or possessed on campus.

Weapons may be stored on campus under the control of the Director of University Police Department and in accordance with the policy and procedures of the Office of Public Safety.

The Chief of University Police Department may grant permission in writing to an individual to possess a weapon or ammunition on campus for instructional purposes and in other special circumstances and under conditions as approved by the Chief.

The people of Old Town, Maine have a right to find peace of mind with a changing population at the university from year to year. The Seniors graduate and the Freshmen arrive. Old Town is not necessarily the students hometown and their families may or may not live nearby. I am sure there are out of state students who would be completely disoriented to a gun presence on campus. So the University of Maine have rules. They are rules to protect the public and as they point out, their faculty, staff, students and visitors on campus.

Check your guns at the door (click here)

Old west weapons policy aims to keep campus safe

For as long as guns have existed in the USA, which is a long time, there has been gun 'edict.' There has been a clear understanding those carrying guns were responsible for safeguarding the innocent. 

The American people want safety from unlawful and dangerous gun fire. That is all they are asking and that has a very long history of a valid value in the USA. Very long history. Gunslingers would have standoffs in the street with people witnessing the action of those involved. A Dual is what that might be called. It was not a matter of surprise either. Everyone knew what was about to happen. QUICK DRAW McGRAW is well known to many who were youngster back in the day.

Today, we have come a long way as a civilized nation and such foolishness whereby men would act against each other for honor would require a call to 911. Then there would be prosecution of the 'one man standing.' Today, however, in the streets of the USA that 'civilized nation' no longer exists.

So. Demanding the government to protect them from unreasonable ODDS stacked against them is not at all alien to the USA. To know what gun content exists in the neighborhood is more than a reasonable demand. If there are AK-47s or Bushmasters or any other weapon of that nature in a neighborhood where I want to purchase a home for my family, I won't move there and I have a right not to move there.

It is proven in the year 2012, the number of dangerous weapons in an area can be used against the best interests of Americans. PROVEN. 

I applaud all those seeking our return to sanity in the USA and would seek neighborhoods with sane content for themselves and their families. It is about time. It is time the people of the USA demand a freedom from political hostage taking and a return to safe streets.

Senator Reid was just with President Obama in Hawaii to attend the funeral of the Late Senator Inouye. I would expect him to know where the President stands.

Harry Reid accused House Republicans of being 'out watching movies' instead of working on a deal to solve the budget crisis. Photograph: Yuri Gripas/Reuters

"Daniel was the best senator among us all," (click here) said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid during the ceremony at Honolulu's National Memorial Cemetery, a beautiful site located in an extinct volcano.

President Obama's family resided in Hawaii, so I would expect him to be present at the Senator's funeral.

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama look on as Sen. Daniel Inouye's widow, Irene, is given the flag that was draped over her husband's casket.

I am sure they were great friends. It was Hawaii's first President elected from his home state.

Hagel's opposition is not about Israel. It is about rubbing Neocons' noses in it.

U.S. President Barack Obama (2nd R) and Vice President Joe Biden (L) meet with co-chairmen of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) (R) and former Senator David Boren (D-OK) and senior leadership of the intelligence community in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington October 28, 2009. (photo by REUTERS/Jim Young)

Hagel is more than qualified for the position of Secretary of Defense. I'd like to see Mullens there, but, that won't happen so there is no reason to stand in the way of Chuck Hagel.

Hagel Praises Obama on Syria; Chides GOP on Iran (click here)
By: Barbara Slavin
posted on Mon, Mar 12.
Chuck Hagel, who co-chairs the Obama administration’s Intelligence Advisory Board, says the United States should offer Iran “face-saving ways” out of the nuclear crisis and let Arab countries to take the lead in ousting Syrian president Bashar al-Assad....

It is also a bit of revenge. Hagel called the invasion into Iraq another Vietnam.

Frm Ted Barrett
CNN Washington Bureau:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Perhaps the strongest worded opposition (click here) to President Bush's plan to send more than 20,000 additional troops to Iraq came from a fellow Republican on Thursday.
Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska described the move as "the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam, if it's carried out."
"I will resist it," he said.
Hagel's comments sparked applause from the Senate gallery, where lawmakers were engaged in a heated debate with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who came to Capitol Hill to answer questions about the president's new strategy for Iraq....

Hagel is also from Nebraska. He won many of his elections by double digit majorities. The Democrat was defeated in the Senate race this year. It might even be dangerous to have a Republican Senator from Nebraska that actually disagrees in any votes with a very popular and former Senator himself.
Chuck Hagel is a distinguished Professor at Georgetown University. He serves on the Boards of Directors of Chevron Corporation and Zurich’s Holding Company of America; the Advisory Boards of Corsair Capital, Deutsche Bank America, M.I.C. Industries and is a Senior Advisor to Gallup. He is Co-Chairman of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board and a member of the Secretary of Defense’s Policy Board. He also serves as Chairman of the Atlantic Council, Chairman of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration Advisory Committee, and is a member of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) board of directors and the Systemic Risk Council....
My concern about Hagel is where he falls on the DOD budget. It is far too large and the nation needs to scale back. Will he be on the side of the American people when it comes to military budget issues? I mean the spending on the F-35 Fighter is out of control. Will Hagel actually scrutinize the DOD budget and continue to relieve his nation of the spending on these machines. I would think as a two term Senator he would be able to discern prudent spending over wasteful spending and chase it down. His affiliations with Wall Street don't thrill me either, but, he has a record as an honorable man not easily swayed by cronies.
The upside is that Chuck Hagel will be a reasonable advocate for peace. That is important. He will not be another Rumsfeld, as a puppet to war at any cost for any reason.
I'd like to hear those concerns addressed at a Senate hearing for his nomination.

New Year Resolution Number One

In 2013 I will not be a free resource to CEOs anywhere. I will never answer another online or telephone survey again. They are annoying and they never stop until they are answered. It is harassment and I refuse to be a part of hostage taking. 

I will never rank an employee's performance in a commercial service I pay for. I will complain without end to the harassment of their surveys. I don't believe ranking employees is my job in life!

For all any CEO knows, I could have come on to the employee and threatened to give them a bad review and did. Jerks.

Unions. The employees in the USA need unions.
Kathryn Ann Bigelow makes conservative films. Maybe I didn't say that right.

She is very ambitious. She was awarded Best Director as the first woman to receive that award from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

She made the conservative film of all conservative films with The Hurt Locker. It was a Bush film. It catered to the Right Wing brokers within the Academy.

I never went to see The Hurt Locker. I won't see it, because while I can only imagine the people that do that kind of work; there are police with bomb squads all over the USA doing dangerous work. Yet. There was no film made about them. It was made about the military. There is a reason for that. It was pure ambition that drove Ms. Bigelow to direct The Hurt Locker. It was a film that could be promoted through the right wing ranks of the decision tree.

I am not surprised Mr. Bigelow made a film about Osama bin Laden that would highlight torture as the real winner of his death. If one remembers, when President Obama sent in the Seal Team, the Right Wing was screaming it was due to Bush's policies that bin Laden was dead. They never stopped. Then to create more controversy when Ms. Bigelow was given the opportunity to get the information for the film, it was coined as a propaganda film to benefit the Obama Campaign.

I guarantee you the people behind this film that provided Ms. Bigelow access was not the Obama election team, but the Right Wing Political machine. She wants another Oscar and any variety of aware thereafter or before for the film. She isn't interested in making a film based in fact. She is not a documentarian and never stated she ever was. She is making films that please people whom back her politically within her peer groups.

She never said the bin Laden film was factual or a documentary. She never will because it is a political film intended to win awards from inside the Academy. It is easy to promote as a Right Wing benefit to power million-billionaires. 

Believe it or not there are many people in this country that find the rating system a rejection of art. How does that relate to the Bigelow film? She plays by all the rules. She doesn't move outside of the rules to take chances to show herself as a sincere artist interested in expression. She makes movies to win awards, not portray the truth as a documentarian would or as an artist seeking to 'create' rather than make money.

She has made other films, but, they never made the money these do. These are controversial right wing films. Do you think the Right Wing thinks the remake of Atlas Shrugged is going to be seen, yet change opinion? They had to get Hannity to appear in the film in order to sell the boring mess.

There is a reason critics exist and used to exist in far larger numbers then today. It is because they would watch the film first and tell their readers about the risks within the film as well as the quality. See, critics think. They appreciate art. They appreciate the science of film making. But, a rating system simply 'ranks' the film for the political purpose of public opinion.

So, there you have it. The US Senators reviewing the propagandizing within the film are right to their verbal protests. The film is marketed as a factual depiction. It isn't and Ms. Bigelow will never claim it is completely true. It is a film about violence to enforce violence within our culture. There are members of this country needing to enforce violence and those are the ones that profit from it financially and politically.

Think about it.

Joel Edgerton: 'Kathryn Bigelow's Osama Bin Laden movie should wait'