• Anyone ever think that this could be the end result of pattering the Iraqi army after our “be-all-that-you-can-be” careerist volunteer armed forces? If military service is just another career option, getting killed or maimed isn’t a way to fast-track your career, after all.


  • stewartm commented on the blog post Voters Like Democrats But Think They Are Incompetent

    2014-10-24 07:45:16View | Delete

    Yet Democrats are about to suffer a significant defeat this year because the public thinks they are incompetent.

    Substitute “corrupt” for “incompetent” and it’s more to the truth.

    McConnell’s block-it-all strategy could have been easily defeated by eliminating or reforming the filibuster back in 2009-2010. But the Dems (particularly the WH) was more interested in using the filibuster as an excuse of why they couldn’t do card check, do the public option in HCIR, do immigration reform, repeal DADT, repeal Glass-Steagal, raise the minimum wage, and keep all their campaign promises. The Repugs played their part, and then the Dems went along.

    Now of course, the Dems are shaking their fists in the air again telling us how much they really want to do all these things that could have been done and finished in 90 days if they had really wanted to. But in truth they were (and are) eyeing all that 1 % money.


  • People are paying attention but half of them are OK with winning by any means necessary. Cheating is OK as long as they are on the side that benefits.

    (Thinking of the Billy Jack theme song on that one…)


  • stewartm commented on the diary post Everything Wrong With Liberalism in One Image Found on FaceBook by David Swanson.

    2014-10-23 15:04:40View | Delete

    David–add to that $4 trillion for Wall Street via QE.

    But hey, we’re broke, so I guess we’ll have to put Grandma on cat food.


  • stewartm commented on the diary post Everything Wrong With Liberalism in One Image Found on FaceBook by David Swanson.

    2014-10-23 14:56:17View | Delete

    The liberal approach has become elitist; the alternative is populist. One draws from European history and thought; the other is rooted in American experience. One favors a centralized state and believes in the beneficence of large bureaucracies; the other is skeptical of grand institutions and keeps pulling decisions back towards the community based democracy. One seeks [...]

  • Gerrymandering allowed the GOP to keep the House in 2012 despite getting less votes and now voter suppression is the plan to retake the White House despite having a smaller electorate. But even if this strategy works for now it won’t work for long.

    And why not? After all, how many decades did it not work for the white South? If it works short-term, all I see is evah-more doubling down.

    The only bright side of this might be if that if the franchise option is denied, the disenfranchise will start fighting back in other ways, some of which could really hurt the 1 %. But the 1 % have never been smart, only greedy.


  • stewartm commented on the diary post Over Easy: WA Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Backpage.com Online Child Sex Trade Case by Crane-Station.

    2014-10-22 18:38:16View | Delete

    I’m on backpage’s side on this one. Should we go after ATT if it is found that one of their supported phone sex lines has underage?

    Yep. It’s unreasonable to ask a provider or personals or sex website to comb through all their material doing the cops job for them. And, although a lot of people [...]

  • Even the example provided is unclear. The $530 bill may not include the copay in all cases.


  • Jon, this polling is based upon “likely voter” models. Such models which over the past two elections have had a systematic Republican bias by underestimating the number of Democratic voters who actually showed up. What do the “registered voter” models say by comparison?


  • stewartm commented on the blog post For Conservatives it is all About Fox News

    2014-10-21 14:28:30View | Delete

    To mindlessly claim that “we need a return to the Fairness Doctrine” is proof you are not paying attention – contrary views are constantly being expressed to counter facts based on facts being opinions.

    And the alternative is for Fixed News to promote outright falsehoods with no rebuttals?

    Yes, the public needs to hone critical thinking. However, I am much more comfortable–even given your example about climate change–that allowing a diversity of ideas is more likely to hone such thinking than unrestrained propaganda outlets.

    Moreover, since it’s the left that’s often shut out entirely in today’s process (as per my example of “should we privatize SS or merely slash it?”, a “debate” one would often see on CNN or ‘Case the Nation’) we’d gain more than we’d lose. And there’s the danger in ignoring minority views–back when we had real public broadcasting, pre-Reagan, PBS and NPR would fulfill the role of letting minority viewpoints have the mic (I recall from PBS one of the first shows on homosexuality, in the 1970s, where gay people got to speak for themselves rather than be talked about). Now that they’re depending on begging for money from the bemonied, not so much more.


  • stewartm commented on the blog post For Conservatives it is all About Fox News

    2014-10-21 12:03:16View | Delete

    Among conservatives in this country reality is effectively what Fox News says it is and since the conservatives are a deciding force in Republicans primaries, Fox News also defines reality for the Republican party.

    This is what the foolish repeal of the Fairness Doctrine hath wrought. I can’t help but being reminded of the Southern press just before the Civil War, where Southern newspapers printed *as fact* that Lincoln had campaigned on and promised that he would free all the slaves, then have them marry white women. Given racial prejudices of the time, no wonder the South went beserk.

    (The other interesting thing is that Lincoln not getting *any* votes in several Southern states was probably more the result that ballots weren’t secret back then–you had to ask for a specific ballot to vote for a party’s candidate, so everyone knew. Given that all Southern states but South Carolina supplied soldiers for the Union army, can we say “fear of recrimination”?)


  • stewartm commented on the blog post For Conservatives it is all About Fox News

    2014-10-21 11:57:52View | Delete

    Watched any of those Sunday morning “news shows” lately? “Reasonable Balance” just does not apply.

    As in “Should we privatize SS (“the Right”) or should we merely go Catfood (the supposed “left”). *Doubling benefits*, which is perfectly doable, isn’t presented as an option.

    -stewartm, you know, serious people.

  • That is, what could possibly be wrong with beheading as opposed to, say, lethal injection, firing squad, electrocution, hanging, etc.?

    Hmmm. All are potentially ugly, but I had to suffer one, it would be firing squad (all the others I believe more likely to suffer from really really bad slipups. That’s why German Generals Jodl and Keitel after they were convicted of plotting aggressive war at Nuremberg after WWII (wrongfully I think, as long as Dick Cheney still walks free, who was far more culpable for plotting aggressive war than they) asked for firing squad rather than hanging.

    -stewartm, grimacing.

  • stewartm commented on the blog post Not Even Thomas Duncan’s Fiancee Contracted Ebola

    2014-10-20 13:24:59View | Delete

    The things that are far graver dangers – diabetes, heart disease and gun violence – are effectively killing the 47%, and thus not to be questioned.


    However, to put things in perspective, the risk of catching HIV/AIDS doing the most riskiest sexual act (passive anal sex) is only about 1 % per occurrence with an infected partner (other sexual acts range from 1:10,000 or 50,000 or even less; blood-to-blood contact is a far more efficient way than sex). That doesn’t mean that we should be entirely cavalier about the matter either.


  • stewartm commented on the blog post Not Even Thomas Duncan’s Fiancee Contracted Ebola

    2014-10-20 13:20:07View | Delete

    It’s clear we don’t have public health, disease control, and healthcare systems in place to deal with a potential epidemic, regardless of the details and dangers of this particular situation.

    Nor do we have the work and health-care policies in-place to prevent the next deadly pandemic (and a recurrence of a virulent 1919-style flu could happen any year). As long as we believe that people should have “skin in the game” and pay-out-of-pocket for health care, and as long as we don’t have mandatory paid sick leave, then sick people who shouldn’t be working because they will spread the disease WILL be working. Count on it.


  • stewartm commented on the diary post The Anti-Empire Report #133 – The Islamist State by GREYDOG.

    2014-10-18 08:17:51View | Delete

    After seeing several ISIS videos on the Internet, filled with the most disgusting scenes, particularly against women, my thought is this: Give them their own country

    That won’t work either, because they won’t abide by it. However, there are plenty of people there who detest them, and they would lose on any neutral field (if you [...]

  • The Democrats can never fail. “Apparently” it’s just those un-self-aware (aka health insurance illiterate, unreliable, indifferent) voters who fail to vote for them.

    All this hoopla in coal country–if Obama and the Dems had put enacted a modern, permanent, CCC and WPA, plus given people real health care instead of dubious health insurance, you wouldn’t see this. These people aren’t that stupid.


  • Well, google is really seeking to profit from child porn, fraud, murder conspiracy, terrorism by protecting the data and communications from government spying.

    I hope you are snarking now.


  • In audio obtained by Iowa Public Radio, Senate hopeful Joni Ernst told a group of reporters that the reason Republicans oppose Obamacare is because the job of caring for the poor is simply not the purview of government.

    Plus that it takes badly-needed funding away from Lockheed-Martin and BankOfAmerica.


  • stewartm commented on the blog post Hating the Other Party Really Drives Turnout

    2014-10-18 07:57:15View | Delete

    There will be an election in a couple of weeks. And in that election, over 95% of the people will vote for an R or a D candidate.

    A consequence of a winner-take-all electoral system.

    As a start to fix that, I propose simply eliminating Congressional districts and having House elections done state-wide. Not only do you solve the gerrymandering problem, third party candidates now have a chance.


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