Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Minnesota Senate Race | Coleman Concedes!

YOWZAH! Congratulations to SENATOR Al Franken AND Franni!


-BRIAN BAKST Associated Press Writer
Al Franken ascended Tuesday from the ranks of former "Saturday Night Live" comedians to an even more exclusive club, outlasting Republican Norm Coleman in an eight-month recount and courtroom saga to win a seat in the U.S. Senate."

That sound you hear is heads on FAUX News exploding..
I've been hiding from the other cable "news" to avoid the(so far) 5 day, 24-7, corporate wankathon over "The King of Pop".
What else is going on?


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Friday, June 26, 2009

Ring Of Fire On The Corporate Takeover of America

Who's actually in charge of our government? Corporate boardrooms apparently. You already suspected that didn't you? Air America's "Ring of Fire" is here to help:

"..Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. of Air America's Ring of Fire talks about this shift in power with Rolling Stone political correspondent Matt Taibbi.."

Part 2, and more at C&L..


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Missing Blogger | He Was There Just A Minute Ago

In WoW he's AFK(Away From Keyboard)..

..or gone to bed, 'night travelers..

Oh, and here's father and son. Believe it or not, Peanut(in back) is the father of Little Man Jack(in front)...


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Great Idea Of The Day That's To Smart To Happen | Increase Kentucky's Coal Severance Tax

Increase coal severance tax

"..A non-profit economic development organization, the Berea-based Mountain Association for Community Economic Development, set out to calculate coal's effect on the state budget, using methodology originated almost 30 years ago by the Legislative Research Commission.

Conclusion: Coal is a parasite on the state budget.

In 2006, state government spent $115 more on services and programs for the coal industry and those to whom it provides jobs than it collected in taxes from them.

The authors present detailed explanations for how they reached their conclusions, which you can find at www.maced.org/coal.

There's a lot to think about here, some of which will be subject to hot debate.

One conclusion is inescapable, though: The legislature should raise the coal-severance tax.

Kentucky's coal-severance tax rate, which is lower than West Virginia's, has been unchanged for 30 years. In 2006, the year that was studied, Kentucky collected less in severance taxes from the industry ($224 million) than it cost to repair roads damaged by heavy trucks transporting coal from mines ($239 million).

We suspect that one of the more controversial findings will involve indirect employment by the coal industry. This refers to jobs that wouldn't exist if people directly employed by the industry weren't spending money in other businesses.

The authors estimate the cost of providing services to those indirectly employed by coal exceeds the taxes they pay by $73 million, a reflection of their low wages.."


On a related note. Mountain top removal is being debated in Congress. Which usually means that in the spirit of compromise with Republicans very little to nothing will be done to stop this abomination against nature.

Congress hears debate over mountain top removal mining


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Friday Video | Lou's "Pale Blue Eyes"

Lou Reed 1998 Live with "Pale Blue Eyes":


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Other Farewells | "Jacko" and Farrah and Hall

While doing my daily web job searches I want to bid fond farewells to Farrah, who(like many guys my age) ruled my youthful fantasies, and The King of Pop(the only K.o.P).
Look to others much more talented than I to do adequate eulogies, here and here to start. But I have to mention both before moving on.
What could be said of Farrah Fawcett, she was never outdone in beauty or grace. And YES I had "the poster" on my wall.
Michael Jackson, in his heyday he was(and will remain) an unsurpassed talent. I'm sure he would be ecstatic at this attention. I think he craved that more than anything. Unfortunately(for him) in this age he had to die to get the praise and adoration he craved.
You do realize of course that suits everywhere will be trampling each other for the movie and book rights for both.
Another great loss, especially to Kentuckians, is James Baker Hall former Poet Laureate of the state.
Farewell...Stars...Farewell talent..You are now with the ages..


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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

RIP Bill "Skeets" Combs

Skeets is gone.

I'll leave it to others to write up the loss of Ed Mcmahon. They'll do a better job of it anyway.

Instead I want to post this small memorial(in a way) to the memory of another fondly held person in my life. For my Brother-in-law of(at least) 44 years Billy "Skeets" Combs who also died recently.
Skeets passed away last Saturday from what we think(so far) was a stroke and/or possible heart attack. Stupid thing really if you think about it. A sedentary man his age(60+) and his condition out mowing a large yard in ninety degree weather.
We attended his funeral ceremonies Monday. Once again, it's time to put to rest another person who has accompanied me from my childhood to now.
We all have to do it, if we live long enough.
All the memories unfolded and brought up. Skeets was the most wonderful person in the world to have around as company. Just the name, "Skeets" conjures up over four decades of memories, mental slideshows of great and funny moments; Me running my bicycle into the front of his car when I was 13 and learning to ride, an old apartment they had with a snowy street-facing fire escape in a long ago Cincinnati.
Slides of a few bad memories also, like with any life.
Being a wonderful, gentle person Skeets was also sadly cursed with alcoholism, the bane of a lot of families. He put my sister through some years of hell in assorted, crazy ways.
You tend to remember the good when someone who's been intertwined in your life so long is gone though. Especially as good a person as Skeets Combs. The good memories far outnumber the bad anyway.
His Masons Lodge members did a small service at the funeral. It was was an interesting thing in itself. They had a reading of Tennyson's "Crossing the Bar", which I liked, here's a bit of that:

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

I've thought to myself dozens of times in the last few days, "Wow, Skeets is gone", over and over. Like with the passing of all my loved ones. My mother and father, my uncles and aunts, all the others, and now Skeets is gone. I told my sister that, while looking at the picture album Saturday night I realized what "the good old days" really were. The good old days are simply, back when everyone you love was still alive.
Farewell Brother. Words are somewhat inadequate to describe my feelings for you and all the other unique/loved people who have followed my life. Although, I suppose it's still me doing the following.
Again, the world is lessened..

Skeets is gone....


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Fox News Mis-Labels Another Sleazy Republican

As a Democrat.
The most bizarre political story in months(and that includes REPUBLICAN John Ensign's affair with the married worker). How does Faux News do it's part? By labeling disappearing "Luv" Guv Mark Sanford as a Democrat, instead of correctly as a Republican of course. Faux has a LONG history of this, Foley and Vitter are two examples.

Fox can't help it, any more than holier than thou Republican politicians can help getting caught with their pants down...so to speak..


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Monday, June 22, 2009

Robert Reich | Memo To President Obama

Sounds correct to me.
Robert Reich at Salon has a MUST DO list for President Obama to win universal health care. And yes, there HAS to be a REAL public option for it to actually work:

Six things you must do to save universal healthcare

Oh, and regarding those doomsday cost predictions from the media talking heads here's Reich's words on that:

"..Projecting the future costs of universal healthcare without including the public option is like predicting the number of people who will get sunburns this summer if nobody is allowed to buy sun lotion. Of course the costs of universal healthcare will be huge if you leave out the most important way of controlling them.."


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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Videos Out Of Iran

Some of the horrific videos coming out of Iran:

Here from; Iran Election Crisis: 10 Incredible YouTube Videos, is a video of the Iranian government's Basij militia firing into crowds of protesters:

From BoingBoing is this disturbing and graphic video of a young Iranian woman killed by a Basij sniper bullet: Warning, grapic video!

In the video the girl's father who was standing beside her when she was murdered is crying out, in Farsi: "My Neda, don't be afraid, please don't go, please don't go, please stay...!"

'Neda' becomes rallying cry for Iranian protests


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John Hodgman's Nerdilicious Roast of President Barack Obama

I wanted to put this up yesterday but got involved with chores and WoW so here it goes now. Better late than never here's comedian/writer John Hodgman's nerd send up of Obama at the Radio & tv Correspondent's dinner.

Family just called and they're almost home. They probably have a few Father's Day surprises, so I gotta go. Maybe back later today.


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Summer Solstice At Stonehenge

Now those Druids know how to throw a party:

Flicker photo

Pagans and partiers greet the summer solstice at Stonehenge
STONEHENGE, England – Pagans and partygoers drummed, danced or gyrated in hula hoops to stay awake through the night, as more than 35,000 people greeted the summer Solstice Sunday at the ancient stone circle of Stonehenge.."


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Iran | Split Among Cleric Rulers?

Speaking of Iran(and everyone is). This would explain why they haven't already brutally put down the demonstrators:

Arrests of Rafsanjani kin show Iran clerics split

It's reaching a flashpoint, all we can hope is it's in a good way.


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Sunday Blogging On This And That... Oh, And Baby Raccoons!

Thought I'd log on while waiting for the family to get home from Ohio. Amazing what's going on in Iran. Once again the Internet opens doors for freedom. It's turning ugly there.
Don't have much to say at the moment. Got to play some extra WoW while they were gone(Yay!). I'm going to check the weather radar right now and surf for a bit. Here's a little happy ending story from Yahoo while I'm looking around:

Oh, and from those guys at JibJab, A VERY Happy father's Day:

Quick thought of the day before I move on; Will someone ask those Republican(and a few Democratic) politicians that are out there ranting about this HOWWIBLE effort to get decent health care for every citizen that wants it-what kind of health care THEY have, and how good THEIR health care is?


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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Republican Hypocrite #4 Zillion | Sen. John Ensign

Well, well it seems yet another Republican hypocrite raises a well coiffed head:

John Ensign: GOP Senator Admits Affair With a married Ex-Campaign Staffer

Let's see, here's a few Ensign comments about President Bill Clinton's short lived tryst with Monica Lewinsky:
"an embarrassing moment for the country."
"I think we have to feel very sad for the American people and Hillary and Chelsea"

A "Weak Tea" Harry Reid spokesman had this to say:
"Sen. Reid's thoughts are with Sen. Ensign and his family at this time."

Oh, and Ensign is one of "The Promise Keepers" a men's Christianic group.


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The Night's Video | Great Northern

The song is "Houses". The band is Great Northern from Los Angelos.

These days I'm reading Odd Hours, along with assorted magazines-Mother Earth News and Kentucky Explorer. Simple pleasures. Nothing really political right now other than the Internet(got to have my Huffington Post, Crooks and Liars, etc.).
When I'm watching talking heads(and a lot of other stuff on tv) I'm often thinking what a sweet job the smuck in camera has.
Have a good night surfers..


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Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Milky Way's Center | Astronomy Pic Of The Day

The lights of our neighbors:
Infrared cameras from the Spitzer Space Telescope, penetrate much of the dust of the Milky Way's crowded galactic center region. The detailed, false-color image shows older, cool stars in bluish hues. Reddish glowing dust clouds are associated with young, hot stars in stellar nurseries.

-Link to the full image, it's well worth loading.

On a related note, I hope you're associating with "young, hot stars", again and again, harder and harder, every chance you get...WHAPEESH!


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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sad And Bad, News | Misty Chihuahua Has Diabetes

More of that Dean luck.
We found out Wednesday that our little girl chihuahua Misty has diabetes. So she'll have to have two insulin shots a day, morning and evening given by me. We have 4 dogs now. Misty and her son "Little Man Jack" have to take phenobarb twice a day, "Peanut" chihuahua, father of L.M.J. has to take half a heart pill in the mornings. Now Misty has to go on the diabetes meds. Geez....

All that pain for her and what goes with it(cataracts, etc.). All the time and even all that extra expense with me not working.

Just a note in passing and a quick pic.


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Cheney's Memoirs | "They Call Me DICK"

That's my submission. Go vote for the winner:

Vote for the Title of Dick Cheney's Memoirs

Brought to you by the good folks at Buzzflash. Good evening fellow 'Netters, I just dropped in on my way to some news.
Oh, and "Lord of the Lies" is currently winning.


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Monday, June 08, 2009

Words To Say Aloud | "A Different Sound"

A Different Sound

There’s a different sound to the month of June with broader bandwidth silences between motor noises in distant skies, or close at hand on the road, these long, delicious silences perhaps reflecting certain rare moments in adolescence when the rigid, confining, imperious adult world of education, politics, peers & family impinged upon a grand desire for Freedom. Silences of Freedom heard in their broader bandwidths heralding return of subtle, internal revolt against the world’s prescriptions. Yesterday we erected a huge eight-foot-high-cedar-stockade fence against the back edge of the property. Ah, the silence it provides against neighbors who mistreat pets, clamor for more material goods; our yellow roses bow in homage to the silence of Freedom. I told her, too, in low tones during our walk around Back Cove as wind ushered up sunlight off the water, that if good fences make good neighbors, we’ll have great neighbors. June with her broader bandwidth silences between dog moans & children’s cries, between fears & angst of a newer world gone wrong, again, the unmistakable & recognizable silent tone of June I crave & savor.
-Robert Gibbons


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Piechart; What Do You See?



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All The Crazy Wingnut Rumours About Barack Obama

In just one place.

Crazy right-wing myths about Obama 2.0

"..The wheels of rumor grind fast, but they grind exceedingly dumb. Marooned on a grassy knoll of the mind, the right has spun new and scarier fantasies about the president, tales that would send any patriotic, gun-toting Christian fleeing across the border to Canada, if only the Canadians weren't so damn socialist. We present for your inspection, and then debunk, or paw at in desultory fashion, a dozen of the choicest conspiracy theories to gain traction since Jan. 20.. "

Thank you Salon.


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Saturday, June 06, 2009

Saturday Video | Classic Elton

Went down to the mountains yesterday to visit my sister and spent the night. Took the two daughters and had a pretty good time. Apparently one of my cousins has turned evangelist of sorts in a big Shooow at Oneida tonight, Manchester Kentucky has the nastiest water reservoir of any I've ever seen. White trash trash, the best I could tell everywhere we walked around the banks. I wish I'd taken a pic I would have posted it(YUCK!).
Anyway I've been craving a little classic Elton John all day for some reason and here's "Burn Down The Mission" from Tumbleweed Connection:


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Republicans Bite When Cornered?

I remember my horror-ridden days; back when "Turdblossom" was creating a "Thousand Year Republican Rule" and when unnamed Bush Administration drones would have the ignorance and arrogance to say things like this:

"We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

-On record(which I continue to ridicule in my little comment at the top right on this Blog):

Would I rather Republicans still be in nearly complete control or "cornered and dangerous"? Well the answer is obvious. I'm glad they're(apparently) going into the fetid dustbin of history but I agree with Mark Adams of American Street(especially when they and their enablers will STILL give away National Secrets for political reasons).

GOP: Cornered, Dangerous


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I (Also) Stand With Sotomayor

From C&L:

Me to.

It's time for another woman and for a Latino. From her volumes of rulings to her comments I think she'd be a great justice to replace Souter.
Hell my BIG fear is she may rule farther to the Right than Justice Souter when seated. I'll cross my fingers against that. Otherwise, she looks like a damn fine pick to me.

Let her in.


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Thursday, June 04, 2009

David Carradine Commits Suicide?!

Damn David...!
What could have been so bad in the life of a world class actor that would make him do this, and in such a nasty, painful way?

Actor David Carradine found dead in Bangkok
"Actor David Carradine, star of the 1970s TV series "Kung Fu" who also had a wide-ranging career in the movies, has been found dead in the Thai capital, Bangkok. A news report said he was found hanged in his hotel room and was believed to have committed suicide.."

The "Kung Fu" years hold a lot of fond memories for me.

Awaiting more details


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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The "Morning Joe" Folks Hate Unions

Apparently all of Joe Scarborough's high-priced Media Ho's hate unions and think there's none ANYWHERE which shows a "profit"(hint: one union company pays their high salaries).

How about, oh...let's see; UPS and MSNBC(GE) to name a few.


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Vice-President Biden And Supertrains

I agree with Atrios and would LOVE to see more of this:

"Biden met with state governors, including Gov. Rendell, at the White House today to urge them to think boldly in planning for trains that could travel up to 150 m.p.h. He said funding from the federal economic stimulus package could "jump-start" a high-speed rail network to improve the nation's "terrible passenger rail system."


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Governor Beshear Unveils budget proposals

"He can't cut services, for instance Medicaid. He can't throw people out of prison. I think the biggest danger is in education"
-Rep. Harry Moberly(D, troglodyte)

Actually that's one BIG thing that should be done. Anyone who is in prison for simple possession of marijuana should be released and put back into the job market(and no I don't need the competition) paying payroll taxes.
Gatewood Galbraith who(unlike Rep. Moberly) isn't afraid of political ramifications and is fairly intelligent(except when he's going all "Ted Nugent" about guns) has said for decades that marijuana should be legalized and taxed just like alcohol. He's absolutely right.
Sadly my old Kentucky home which ALWAYS brings up the rear lacks the will, the common sense, the scientific knowledge, the courage and the vision to lead in anything that makes sense.
Anyway, here's Guv Steve's budget. Overall it has some good parts. Working within the restrictions they have on themselves it could be worse(and most likely would be under a Republican).
This is from The Kentucky Democrat so the glowing oratory is theirs:

Kentucky is facing the largest budget shortfall in modern history. It is the third year in a row the state will be faced with revenues that don't meet projected needs - also an unprecedented occurrence.

Governor Beshear's plan represents a common-sense, compassionate approach that will help fulfill the two goals he has set for his administration: helping people survive and positioning the state for progress when the economy does inevitably turn around.

Three key elements of the plan:

The proposed budget next year does not raise taxes on working families and businesses - now is not the time to put additional burdens on our families already struggling to make ends meet.

The plan would preserve basic funding for classroom instruction and universities, health care programs for the most vulnerable and key areas of public safety.

The Governor said: "My plan protects our families and businesses in this vulnerable time; preserves investments in critical priorities like education, health care and public safety and recognizes the economy will take years to recover."

How will it be paid for?

In short, the proposed plan will be paid for by making an additional $200 million in cuts this coming budget year and utilizing more than $740 million in federal stimulus dollars, the bulk of which would go toward education and Medicaid as designed by law.

Given the challenges that we will face in the next biennium, as predicted by the Consensus Forecasting Group, it is prudent that we reserve some of the stimulus money to help us address next year's budget.

Without this money, the pain we are experiencing would be magnified many times over. We must realize, however, that this is one-time money. We cannot and should not use it to create new programs we would be unable to sustain in future years.

Highlights of the plan include:

Preserving the same amount in the coming year as last year in per pupil spending in classrooms across the state - the basic formula known as SEEK -- and funding for higher education at the same levels as the 2009 budget.

Fully funding Kentucky's Medicaid program, which until recently had run a more than $280 million deficit.

Preserving funding for mental health services at current levels.

Preserving funding for state police and support for local jails as well as increasing funding for prosecutors, public defenders and corrections(*1).

Maintaining current funding for economic development efforts, veteran's programs and increasing resources in the Department of Revenue to escalate tax collection efforts. Also, increasing funding for parks to ensure that the system can meet its obligations in the coming year.

Cutting most other areas of state government by an additional 2.6 percent in the coming year from current year levels. That's on top of nearly $600 million in cuts to state government since Gov. Beshear took office 18 months ago, including some $150million in the 2009 budget.

Eliminating three paid holidays for state employees making under $50,000 annually and five holidays for those making $50,000 or more. This move, Governor Beshear said, will prevent the disruption of basic services as state government is closed on holidays in any event. And it will help avert mass layoffs, as some other states are doing.

Continuing the budget reduction plan in the Transportation Cabinet to deal with a projected $239 million shortfall in the state's Road Fund.(*2)

Despite the pain that additional spending reductions and program cuts will foster, Governor Beshear said Kentucky is much more fortunate than most states, many of which have laid off scores of police, teachers, state and university employees, while also severely cutting basic and human services programs.

"*'s" are mine
(*1) To put away lot's more of those "killer weed" addicts don't you know.
(*2) So much for the job prospects picking up in my line of work.

Oh, by the way. I tend to agree quite a bit with Eric Schansberg. They need to learn what the word staying within a "budget" actually means. I didn't say I agree completely, I'm a Liberal Democrat and Schansberg's a Libertarian for heaven's sake.
So you have that.


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