Monday, April 25, 2016

The Democratic Party has two great candidates.

I don't envy those voting tomorrow in Pennsylvania. It is a tough choice.

"We built a new prison every 10 days between 1990 and 2005 to keep up with our mass incarceration explosion of nonviolent offenders."
— Cory Booker on Monday, July 27th, 2015 in a post on Instagram
Pre-K or early childhood education seems to be coming up often in the two town halls. I think Secretary Clinton is correct to seek such improvements in our public educations system, but, Senator Sanders has a point I can respect. He believes we have to insure the monies spent on early childhood education are quality experience with well paid teachers and assistants.

Part of what bothers Americans when thinking about federal spending is that while money is in the pipeline for such worthy programs as early childhood education there is a problem with insuring quality outcomes at the distal end of that pipeline. 

That means fighting corruption and trusting the people invested with such monies are good and honest people.

The Republicans insure corruption before the law is even written by putting federal monies into block grants. How can Americans know corruption will end in federal spending?

I'll also put it another way. I don't think sitting children in front of a computer at such a young age creates learning habits. Most children can sit in front of a computer or some other 'screen' at home. Doing the same activities in a school setting only creates a baby sitter and not learning.

Containing costs are important as well. This is Hawaii with frequently higher cost items, but, there are problems with teachers supplying their own teaching supplies and paper and pencils for students throughout the country. When does the balance return for teachers throughout the country?

It is one thing to pass a bill and provide funding, but, it is something very different to return responsibility to the country. Pass laws with requirements to local school boards to supply books and supplies. The standard today is out of control and puts the complete burden on teachers. It's nonsense.

Teachers are professionals and should be given the respect they deserve. Their salary should be their own, not that as an extension of a local political machine that cuts taxes by cutting costs and putting the burden on teachers. They have to pay property taxes like anyone else, why should they be paying for their own school supplies?

April 25, 2016
By Max Dible
Kailua - Kona — For new parents in Hawaii, (click here) figuring out how to afford a quality education for their children is no longer a distant concern.
The 18-year buffer zone between birth and high school graduation to beef up bank accounts in preparation for educational costs no longer exists, as the demand for serious dough is now more immediate due to the rising cost of early childhood education.
According to numbers released last week by the Economic Policy Institute, the average cost of full-time child care for a 4-year-old in Hawaii, either in preschool or at a daycare center, is $9,312. The average price of in-state college tuition in Hawaii was $8,216.
The institution’s estimates vary somewhat from those generated by Child Care Aware of America in May of 2015, which tabulated average child care costs in the state at between $7,600-$9,300 yearly and the average annual price tag to attend a four-year, public college at about $9,700.
But the conclusions of both studies are essentially the same: Early childhood education is now effectively as hefty of a financial burden as college.
“The biggest expense for any preschool is staffing,” said Executive Director of Hawaii Montessori Schools Angeline Geldhof, who employs 20 staff members between the organization’s two campuses in Kona and Waimea. “We are accredited with the National Association for the Education of Young Children, which means we have to set higher standards in terms of staffing our programs, what we provide, our equipment and our facilities.”
Maintaining accreditation, paying leasing fees, buying supplies and maintenance work are just some of the costs that contribute to the high price parents pay for their children to attend private preschools.

Hawaii Montessori, which has not raised tuition in two years, still charges $10,200 for year-round care, including the summer months. There are also application, supply and registration fees totaling $235 as well as insurance costs....

The extreme right wing is making Pre-K a political volley.

Texas has hate based education.

April 25, 2016
By Laura Moser

You have to give credit to Mary Lou Bruner, (click here) the probable newest member of the Texas State Board of Education come November: Her far-right-fringe worldview is nothing if not coherent. In an election season where front-runners can’t decide whether they’re for or against immigration or the Trans-Pacific Partnership or a higher minimum wage, Bruner’s convictions never waver despite the seldom-flattering national attention she continues to receive.
Bruner—a Republican candidate for the District 9 seat on the Texas State Board of Education, who came in just shy of the 50 percent she needed to bag the nomination on Super Tuesday—has yet to walk back her claims that President Barack Obama worked as a gay prostitute in his 20s, or that humans cohabited the earth with dinosaurs, or that sex-education classes “stimulate children to experiment with sex,” or that Islam “is not a real religion.” Bruner, bless her, has also suggested that Paul Ryan’s manly beard makes him look “like a terrorist” and that opposing the Common Core is right up there with objecting to National Socialism. (I could go on.)
Bruner’s latest target is federally subsidized Pre-K programs, which Obama has repeatedly proposed expanding and which several erstwhile (like Jeb Bush) and current (John Kasich) GOP candidates have also supported at one point or another. According to a Gallup poll, 70 percent of Americans are for using federal money to expand Pre-K access....

It hasn't been easy running for office in the US House as a spouse of a celebrity.

She must be tough to beat because there has been scrutiny of her donors, some of which have been "Hardball" guests. I hope she wins.

Maryland 8th Distirct congressional 
candidate Kathleen Matthews speaking to the Rockville/Midcounty Democratic Breakfast Club in January

April 7, 2016
By Bill Turque

Kathleen Matthews (click here) is one of nine Democrats vying for the nomination to succeed Rep. Chris Van Hollen in Congress. Van Hollen is vacating the seat to run for the U.S. Senate. A first-time political candidate, Matthews is well-known in the Washington area for her years as a television news anchor. She also spent a decade as an executive with Marriott. Here are five less-known facts about her:
1) Born to Serve: She played varsity tennis at Stanford University in the mid-1970s. “Men had the best courts and scholarships, and I learned first-hand about the gender gap.”
2) Watergate Baby: Washington Post’s Watergate coverage prompted her to major in communications at Stanford. She got an interview with Bob Woodward, but no job.
3) Broadcast News: She met her husband, Chris Matthews, at the Radio Television Correspondents’ Association dinner when he was an aide to President Jimmy Carter. They were married in 1980.
4) Gone Green: She was inspired by Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth” to spearhead Marriott International’s sustainability strategy. Matthews drives a 2007 Smart Car, which gets 40 miles to the gallon.

5) Surf’s Up: She sang with The Beach Boys during a 2000 concert at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds.

The authors of the Energy and Water bill spoke on the Senate floor today.

First was a rather impassioned speech by Senator Grassley. It was a really good speech. He talked about citizens knowing the Constitution and how that facilitated by reading "The Federalist Papers" (click here). He wants people to understand the Constitution. He believes a well educated public about their Constitution leads to a deeper understanding of their rights, hence, their government.

He talked about shifting some of the money in the bill to increase funding for wing power. He is the first person I have ever heard speak of the bill that provides subsidies to the petroleum industry. He stated it is an old bill written in the 1960s. He believes the industry should not be subsidized by the federal government anymore.

That was the first time I ever heard anyone in the federal legislature speak up to end silly spending on petroleum.

April 25, 2016

...Tomorrow morning, (click here) the chamber will vote on an amendment by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to add $95 million for wind energy. The proposal faces opposition from Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), a longtime critic of federal support for wind.
Also tomorrow, senators will vote on an amendment by Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) to steer $50 million toward Lake Mead, to be followed by a vote on a proposal by Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake to cut $69 million from the Army Corps of Engineers' construction account....
How is the Army Corp going to be funded? Through emergency monies as needed? There needs to be a plan in place to fund the Army Corp through emergencies at the very least. There should be an amendment in regard to emergency funding for the Army Corp.
After Senator Grassley spoke, Senator Diane Feinstein spoke about the national debt. She pointed out right now the interest is 6.5 percent of the monies owed. She also stated it could go to 13 percent in the future if the interest rates go up. Currently, she pointed to the fact the interest rates are very cheap and do not impact the country's funding today.

She spoke about the entitlements and how the federal government gave a pledge to the people in establishing Social Security and subsequent taxes to afford it. She pointed to many entitlements such as Medicare, Medicaid and the Children's Insurance Fund as being promises that cannot be dissolved. People have come to plan their future regarding these programs.

She addressed discretionary funding and non-discretionary funding both in the general fund and military. She frequently provides this information to her constituents to provide real insight to the government's spending. Basically, she seeks to demystify the government and it's budgets.

It is not a bad idea. I really do believe the people want that information and what the future looks like. 

But, I was pleasantly surprised by the two authors to the bill. It sounds as though the Senate is coming together to provide for the American people and their best path forward. It was refreshing. I hope it continues.

Brand new F35 jets are being REPAIRED and modified at the Depot in Utah.

It has been estimated the cost of keeping the F-35 jet flying will be in the BILLIONS US PER YEAR. These modifications are only the beginning.

April 20, 2016
Ogden Air Logistics Complex
The Ogden Air Logistics Complex (click here) here became the first depot facility to perform modifications on all three F-35 Lightning II variants after it inducted a Navy F-35C carrier version April 15.
The F-35C was flown in from Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, by Navy Capt. Mark Weisgerber, the 33rd Fighter Wing vice commander.
"Hill has the capacity to accomplish the needed modifications and it is important to optimize the workflow within the Air Logistics Complex," Weisgerber said.
The first F-35 arrived at Hill AFB for modifications in September 2013. Since then, the depot has performed modifications on the Air Force's fleet of conventional takeoff and landing F-35As. It also has completed work on four Marine Corps F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing aircraft, helping the Marine Corps reach initial operational capability.

This is the estimate of lifetime costs for the F-35 in 2012. The $1.45 trillion will increase of fifty years. These estimates are based in the monies of 2012.

March 29, 2016
By Andrea Shalal-esa

The U.S. government now projects (click herethat the total cost to develop, buy and operate the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will be $1.45 trillion over the next 50-plus years, according to a Pentagon document obtained by Reuters.
The Pentagon's latest, staggering estimate of the lifetime cost of the F-35 -- its most expensive weapons program -- is up from about $1 trillion a year ago, and includes inflation.
While inflation accounts for more than one-third of the projected F-35 operating costs, military officials and industry executives were quick to point out that it is nearly impossible to predict inflation over the next half-century....

When Canada actually had an interest in this jet, they figured the cost would double over it's life time of 40 and not 50 years.

When Republicans state they are interested in lowering the US National Debt, they are lying. They have no sincere interest. They only exploit 'the lazy American' on food stamps as an election issue.

How the hell did the next two to three generations of Americans get charged trillions upon trillions of a military jet that can't even protect it's pilot? The F35 is produced in Texas and was announced as America's new jet when Bob Gates was Secretary of Defense in the "W" White House. That should say it all.

The reason allies were able to end their contracts for the F35 is because the manufacturer lied about the overall costs. An independent agency looked at the projections of maintenance, etc. and doubled it.

Once the money is spent, there is no getting it back. That is the way the USA is suppose to treat allies, huh? Exploit dependency relationships for USA industries. I don't think so. 

Wall Street doesn't value 17 children's lives?

Senator Bill Nelson has a bill he has proposed to change the dangers in the new "PODS" for laundry and dish washing.

There were 17 children lost to these pods through ingestion causing coma and suffocation.

Senator Nelson states there are changes that can be made to the plastic container that holds the PODS which makes is far more difficult to open.

An additional method of protection is to change the colors of the ingredients in the POD to make it less attractive to children.

It makes sense Senator Nelson would bring this forward to the Senate Floor because he represents Florida. Everyone knows Florida has many older Americans living there. These Americans have grandchildren that come to visit. How would any grandparent feel if by chance their grandchild became sick from laundry detergent under the kitchen sink? Worse than sick, what would that family feel if the child died? 

Senator Nelson has brought an important issue to the Senate and the companies using this method of delivery detergent as a viable marketing venture needs to prove the container and the pod color is all created to inhibit rather than facilitate the poisoning of a child.

I cannot believe this is even an issue, but, in the USA in the year 2016 anarchy and cost cutting is permitted. In the day where I would expect such a product to be approved by the FDA BEFORE it was marketed is in the past. I wonder if the parents that have lost children would have appreciated prevention over profits?

February 13, 2015
...Safety experts (click here) have expressed concerns because the colorful plastic capsules look like candy or juice to toddlers.
Consumer groups have been pushing for rules to strengthen consumer protections as the demand for the product has continued to increase dramatically in just the last few years.
Last year alone, according to the American Association for Poison Control Centers, there were nearly 12,000 calls to poison-control centers for children aged five and younger who had been exposed to this highly-concentrated detergent - almost double the number of calls just two years prior.  
In 2013, the first known fatality was reported in Florida – a seven-month-old boy from Kissimmee.
The industry is signaling its willingness to repackage the capsules in opaque and child-proof containers.  Just Thursday, an industry association met in Washington, D.C. to look at several possible proposals.

Meantime, one of the most outspoken advocates for kids has been the head of the Tampa branch of the Florida Poison Information Center, Dr. Alfred Aleguas.... 
Finally, someone speaks to the adverse effects of the USA Trade Agreements. Whoever put this panel together is nothing short of a genius. On the same day, March 24, 2015 the Lieutenant Governors Association also had panels on Drug Innovation and Development (click here), the oil market (click here) and veteran issues (click here).

Ready for this? (click here)

March 24, 2016

National Lieutenant Governors Association Meeting, Trade Policy Representatives from the Chamber of Commerce and the National Farmers Union (The gentleman representative from the National Farmers Union is the one best versed on the TPP and other bogus USA trade agreements. He works with commodities and understands foreign trade better than anyone on Wall Street. Agricultural products are commodities sold in the financial markets.) presented their perspectives on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and its potential impact on the U.S. economy. The trade pact was signed earlier in 2016 by trade ministers from 12 Pacific Rim nations including the U.S., and was awaiting congressional approval at the time of this program.
“How to Evaluate the Possible Impacts of TPP to Your State or Territory” was a panel of the National Lieutenant Governors Association’s (NLGA) annual Federal-State Relations Meeting.

The United States Trade Representative (click here) HAS TO BE ASKED for a BALANCED trade agreement.

The woman from the US Chamber of Commerce says nothing about a balance of trade. She blames everything on currency manipulation.


Currency manipulation doesn't belong in trade agreements.

Oh, by the way Ted Cruz is becoming Marco Rubio; he is running for President and he does not have time to vote in the Senate today.

Snyder is king. What does anyone expect. His administration killed and poisoned people, you betcha he is paranoid.

April 25, 2016
By Andrew Blake

As the world watches Flint, Michigan, (click here) to monitor the progress of the city’s continuing water crisis, newly released emails reveal that state police have been interested as well. Official correspondence made available earlier this month by Gov. Rick Snyder’s office confirms that the Michigan State Police have been conducting social media surveillance, specifically with regards to discussions surrounding Flint’s ongoing water dilemma.

Evidence of the online surveillance was confirmed in correspondence included in the more than 127,000 pages of state departmental emails released by the Republican governor’s office on April 15 and reviewed by Michigan Live ahead of an article published by the news site on Monday morning.

And the added deaths and cover-ups. I want the FBI! The Snyder administration has been manipulating what happens here for nearly two years, including ignoring the US EPA.

April 24, 2016
By Mike Adams

(NaturalNews) For those who wonder why, (click here) as the editor of Natural News, I carry a loaded weapon with me at all times, consider how often whistleblowers who threaten to expose government conspiracy crimes end up dead. In just the last few days, a water treatment plant foreman who could have testified against the corrupt government of Michigan was found dead in his home. On the exact same day, Sasha Avonna Bell, who spearheaded a lawsuit against the government over the lead poisoning of the Flint water supply, was found murdered.

"She was identified Thursday, the same day the death of a Flint Water Treatment Plant foreman who was wanted for questioning in connection with the crisis was announced," reports the Daily Mail....

Sasha Avonna Bell's lawsuit can and should go forward and quite possibly should become a class action. Her survivors can still seek such justice.

There would be a limited number of people who would know Matthew McFarland and Sasha Avonna Bell was involved in the water crisis, in particular Matthew McFarland. There would be even less who knew both.

Who would know he held information that would result in far different focus then the people the State Attorney has targeted?

The Lansing Mayor is backing up the Flint Mayor in that $55 million will be needed to repair and replace the Flint water system. The state's "Rainy Day Fund" has the monies Flint needs. Considering the poisoning was caused by the state government there should be no delay in tapping The Rainy Day Fund.

The longer government waits to build infrastructure the more expensive it gets.

24 April 2016
By Trent Gillies

As Flint, Michigan's water disaster continues, (click here) a blueprint to fix the city's lead contamination is being floated by the mayor of the state's capital city.

A decade ago, Lansing was able to avoid a toxic tap water disaster in their city by making a decision to initiate a massive lead pipe removal program. It's a solution the city's mayor is advocating to Flint, in order to alleviate a problem that's morphed into a national scandal.
"This is a crisis of epic proportions," Lansing Mayor Virgil "Virg" Bernero told CNBC's "On the Money" in a recent interview. "Those lead pipes have got to go."

Back in 2004, Lansing residents began voicing complaints about their water. That led the city to act decisively, Bernero told CNBC. The Democrat has been Lansing's mayor since 2006.

"Just like in Flint, some of the citizens were the canary in the mine. They brought it to our attention and we started looking into it," he added....

While on the subject of pesky nukes, the world is moving quickly toward the so called "Limited Nuclear War."

The USA drives other countries to build hideously dangerous weapons. The USA is spending far too much on the military.

April 16, 2016
By William J. Broad and David E. Sanger

The United States, Russia and China (click here) are now aggressively pursuing a new generation of smaller, less destructive nuclear weapons. The buildups threaten to revive a Cold War-era arms race and unsettle the balance of destructive force among nations that has kept the nuclear peace for more than a half-century.

It is, in large measure, an old dynamic playing out in new form as an economically declining Russia, a rising China and an uncertain United States resume their one-upmanship....

There was a time when peace activists would point out how people could have better quality of life if governments outside the permanent members spent monies on the people and infrastructure rather than military.

Today, the same statements apply to the USA. There is a growing level of impoverishment in the USA while the country is spending trillions on the military. How is the world suppose to back down military spending and invest in their people when the USA's governance is very much out of control? At this point countries can point to the USA as a menace even to it's own people.

January 11, 2016
By William J. Broad and David Sanger

As North Korea dug tunnels (click here) at its nuclear test site last fall, watched by American spy satellites, the Obama administration was preparing a test of its own in the Nevada desert.

A fighter jet took off with a mock version of the nation’s first precision-guided atom bomb. Adapted from an older weapon, it was designed with problems like North Korea in mind: Its computer brain and four maneuverable fins let it zero in on deeply buried targets like testing tunnels and weapon sites. And its yield, the bomb’s explosive force, can be dialed up or down depending on the target, to minimize collateral damage.

In short, while the North Koreans have been thinking big — claiming to have built a hydrogen bomb, a boast that experts dismiss as wildly exaggerated — the Energy Department and the Pentagon have been readying a line of weapons that head in the opposite direction....

Danger Alert!

Senator Markey has noted in an oversight committee of nuclear energy, there is a bill before the Senate to eliminate local notice and hearings when there is a nuclear reactor being proposed for energy. 

That is amazing. It is removing democracy from the process of where towns and cities receive their electricity. Public hearings and public comment is the minimal democracy that keeps the country legitimate in it's governance and there are Senators, including Inhofe,that wants to eliminate public involvement of energy generation. 

I think I've heard it all now. It is corruption. Removing democratic processes from the people is corruption. Such a bill if ever passed would require lawsuits at the least to contain the damage to the lives of real Americans.

Oh, good, with France witnessing drones over nuclear power plants, the USA nuclear industry wants less security and less safety provisions. 

Chernobyl, thirty years later over 150,000 people still suffer from the exposure of gamma radiation.

Oh, there is a refugee crisis in Turkey? YA THINK!

I have no sympathy for the Turkish government. They did nothing about porous borders.

April 25, 2016
By Sergio Pecanha

Turkey (click here) is struggling to cope with the 2.7 million Syrians it hosts and honor its agreement to stop refugees from crossing into Europe. And renewed fighting in Syria last week pushed tens of thousands of Syrians closer to the border with Turkey, in a sign that the problem could still get worse....

The only border security Turkey understood was to take out any human being that looked like a Kurd. The entire world was telling Turkey it was making things in Syria worse because the wackos from around the world were crossing from Turkey.

Now, all of a sudden Turkey has refugees problems. The civil war in Syria was fueled by Turkey's policies. If the Syrian - Turkey border was closed where would the wackos cross? What would that do to Daesh. I have no sympathy for Turkey. It's leadership completely lacks expertise in protecting the country's sovereignty. Turkey's ridiculous policies including their chronic attacks against Kurds that fight to stabilize the region is ancient and self-defeating.

Turkey and any escalation in Syria are directly related to Turkey's policies and it's lack of resolve to end the conflict. The best idea to handle Turkey is to take up a UN Resolution the country has to live by.

The Kurds need to move before the UN Security Council against Turkey. The Kurds, including PKK, have been acting to stabilize the region and Turkey is killing them. This is outrageous. The Kurds are as much an ally to peace as any other country involved. Turkey is killing innocent people while it allows Daesh recruitment to cross it's borders. That isn't policy, it is suicide.

It's about money, not potential. The Bubbas ran out of cash.

When they lose the nomination, they'll go home penniless or worst owing money. Will Americans donate to candidates without future potential having already failed the race for the presidential nomination? 

It is about ambition and not reality.

April 25, 2016
By Sean Sullivan and David Weigel

Donald Trump's (click here) two remaining Republican presidential opponents prepared to campaign Monday after striking an agreement on a strategy to divvy up three states holding primaries in the coming weeks -- an unusual and urgent arrangement aimed at stopping the mogul from clinching the GOP nomination.
The campaigns of Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Ohio Gov. John Kasich released written statements within minutes of each other Sunday night calling for Kasich to stop competing in Indiana and for Cruz to clear the way for Kasich in New Mexico and Oregon. They called on allied third-party groups to do the same....
"Morning Papers"

The Rooster 


April 21, 2016
By Charlotte Ames

Knee and joint pain (click here) affects one hundred million Americans. Now patients can choose from many different treatment options. Here are details on how fluid from a rooster can get the joints moving again.
Bob Justiana is in full swing now, but just a few months ago he could barely putt along. “I would hear bone to bone contact, clicks in my knees and tremendous strain,” he said.
So Bob tried ultrasound-guided injections of hyaluronic acid, a substance that comes from an unlikely source, a rooster. Bob said, “I took the chance and went for it.”
Nurse practitioner Evelyn Kikta from the Tarpon Spine and Medical Center said humans also make the hyaluronic acid.
“By putting this hyaluronic acid from the comb of the chicken, of the rooster, it stimulates the production of your own,” Kikta said.