I have three blogs that are in various levels of development but I am shooting this one from the hip, so to speak, in five minutes of an adrenalin rush upon arriving home.
Ten minutes ago I left my NYC neighborhood Duane Reade pharmacy and on my way out the door withdrew some cash from a Chase ATM machine.
As my transaction finished a row of balloons spelling out HAPPY BIRTHDAY flashed merrily on the screen.
Whaaaaa.....????. Read more about An ATM Just Wished Me Happy B-day & I FREAKED!
Today, John Boehner bowed to the inevitable logic of the impending political season and placed a “clean” debt ceiling increase bill on the floor of the House. At this writing, the bill passed with 28 Republican and 193 Democratic votes. Now it moves on to the Senate, where it is expected to pass in time to allow the Treasury to keep issuing debt instruments.
So, now we have had agreement on a budget partially rolling back the sequester, and the Republican leadership appears to have decided not to have another debt ceiling crisis. I wrote a post called “What Happens Now?” just after the Government shutdown ended last October. There I analyzed the political situation and made a number of predictions about the short-term future. Here's how I answered the question: “Growth and Jobs or Shutdowns and Debt Ceiling Crises?” Read more about What Now?
Maybe you received an email petition from change.org in the weeks before the 2014 Super Bowl demanding that the owners of its team participants -- Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos -- commit to pay their cheerleaders a living wage.
And they didn’t. Commit, that is. Read more about NFL Cheerleaders' Pay Akin to Bangladesh Garment Workers'!
A recent, very good post at Naked Capitalism by Clive, suggests:
. . . Dear readers, you may think that writing to your elected representative, commenting negatively on articles you read in the mainstream media about the TPP and generally kicking up a bit of a fuss, making some noise, is a waste of effort. That is not so. The world does watch what goes on in the US. If popular sentiment is against something, the US government has a much harder job of convincing foreigners that it’s just them being awkward and reactionary and not getting the big, progressive, reform-minded, modernising picture.
I agree that this is a good proposal for one way the American public could register its objections to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with foreign leaders. But, I think that such letters ought also to point out that even if the TPP were railroaded successfully in the next few months, then it is unlikely to stick. After all, it is only a Treaty. Wouldn’t an electoral victory here by a movement dedicated to overturning corporate control of the political system, result in withdrawal from the TPP before any concrete legislation likely to conflict with it was passed by Congress? Read more about The TPP: A Dangerous Proposal Whose Time Has Gone
Andre Damon in “US Congress passes bipartisan austerity budget” runs down details of the 1,582-page budget that was overwhelmingly accepted by both houses. In fact, it had a fast-tracked approval process Monday through Thursday in the Senate, suggesting that most of the senators never even read it.
Damon labels the new budget “reactionary” and “anti-working class in character” and points out that it reduces discretionary social spending to its lowest percentage since the 1950s. Read more about The New 1,582-page Bipartisan-Sell-Out Austerity Budget
Business Insider reporter Hayley Peterson discusses briefing materials Walmart uses to train its managers to deal with unionizing efforts. Read more about A Peek Inside Walmart's Anti-Union Playbook
What is this really about? Charles Pierce:
Today, someone from the chop shop took to the pages of Tiger Beat On The Potomac to make the case that, because politics are icky and people are mean, what the country needs is a bipartisan figurehead about whom we can all feel nicey-nice.
So Obama stood up at his year-end press conference on Friday and gave “an Orwellian defense of unrestrained US spying” according to Bill Van Auken in “Latest Snowden revelations expose Obama’s lies on NSA spy programs”.
“I have confidence that the NSA is not engaging in domestic surveillance and snooping around…”
Last week’s Politico Magazine ran a story quoting Wall Street executives who have become saddened and bewildered by how little pull they have in Washington:
Fred Klonsky has been all over the proposed pension theft scheme in Illinois. All these Illinois Democrats were elected by teachers, firefighters, police, et al. Why do public employees, or anyone else vote for Illinois Democrats?
Or Detroit, which just elected someone noted for the privatization experience. Why did they elect someone they knew would pillage their city?
I really do not understand it, what will take in order for people to learn that the Democratic party is irredeemably corrupt? Read more about People who vote against their own interests
Come the revolution we will need stronger laws to protect us from this trash. Read more about In case you weren't paranoid enough
Charlie Pierce, (not for the first time) is consumed with iration. The cause of his irritation: the threat by Inifinito Gold (love that name...) to sue the Country of Costa Rica for $1 Billion (U.S.).
Infinito is aggrieved to the point of litigation by Costa Rican objections to consuming the cyanide byproducts of its open pit mining operation. Read more about National sovereignty is dead--get over it. (Also, amend the UN Charter...)
Lately, I've had the feeling that “progressive” journalists and commentators too often pull their punches in calling attention to social problems, by underestimating the magnitude of problem-related statistics such as the unemployment rate and the number of fatalities due to lack of health insurance in the United States. My theory about this is that “progressives” are being defensive in their approach and bending over backwards to give the right wing the benefit of the doubt by understating numbers out of an abundance of caution. Read more about Are Deaths Due to Lack of Health Insurance Seriously Underestimated? Update
Kate Randall in “Obamacare exposed: The gutting of health care for workers” contends that affordable, quality health care will not be provided by the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Read more about That Popping Noise? The Obamacare Bubble!