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Sun Mar 15, 2015 at 10:06 AM PDT

Open letter to Eric Holder

by Helpless

Eric, You've announced your resignation.  Your  boss has nominated your replacement.  Yet the Senate is stalling her hearings -- reportedly because they fear she won't investigate the President overstepping his boundaries regarding Executive Actions.  A suggestion:  Announce that you are going to open an investigation into the 47 Republican Senators who signed the infamous letter to Iran.  Promise to haul their asses in front of a judge to explain why they shouldn't be charged with treason.

Whatdaya think?


I was struck by the philosophical difference between the way basketball and football are played.  And it struck me that Democrats are basketball players and Republicans are like football players.  You know the ad where the opposing basketball player passes the ball and it goes out of bounds with just a few seconds left?  The "good guys" huddle to plan strategy and one player sheepishly tells his coach, "I touched the ball".  Coach tells him to go tell the ref.  That's how basketball is supposed to be played.  By the rules.  With integrity.

Has anyone ever seen a football receiver tell a ref the ball bounced off the turf into his hands?  Or a defensive tackle confess he held a pass rusher?  Of course not.  That's how football is played.  Whatever you can get away with is good.  And it struck me, with their registration efforts, Democrats by and large are playing basketball.  And with their voter suppression efforts, Republicans are playing football.  It is obvious to me that Republicans don't believe in democracy.  And I'm sure the poor and black populations being oppressed overwhelmingly agree.  But how can "ordinary" Republicans think this is OK?  That politics is a contact sport?


Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 09:15 AM PDT

Asiana 214 SFO Crash *UPDATED 2X**

by Helpless

Details are emerging on the crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214.  It was most frustrating to watch talking heads speculate as to what had happened as we watched events unfold.  Now the physics of the crash are out.  I don't know how this story is being covered nationally, my local paper (The Contra Costa Times) has extensive coverage in it's paper edition.

Mostly, the story has been of the heroism of first responders and the flight crew -- truly amazing stuff -- like responders rushing up the evacuation slides to suppress the fire and rushing into the gaping hole in the back to rescue aged and injured passengers.  And the possible tragedy that there's suspicion that a rescue vehicle may have hit and killed one of the two passengers to have died so far.

But this diary is about how was it that this plane ended up landing on the breakwater.

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Why do these shooting tragedies keep happening?
The assault weapon ban expired in 2004.  School shootings started in 1988, coincidentally, the year Prozac was introduced.  Or perhaps not so coincidentally.  Evidence points to suicidally depressed teens as a common "type" in these catastrophes.  Further, many were being treated for their depression by a class of drug called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) which have been linked to violent behavior and even being the cause of suicide.  We need to ban SSRIs and find new ways to treat depression.

Follow me below the fold.

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Barack's speech to the nation was right on.  It was a call to do something.  Certainly, the US can't claim to be the greatest country in the world given the level of gun violence here.  Certainly we can do better.

I'm tired of discussions about whether it's appropriate to have a discussion about gun violence.  Of course it is.  And it seems Barack is calling for those discussions.  Let's have the discuss on DailyKos.  Perhaps we can contribute something to the national discourse hopefully about to begin.

It seems to me we in the US have at least three different problems regarding gun violence:  Shooting accidents in general (according to xajaxsingerx in "Every Wasted Day = 38 More Wasted Lives" diary, 8 innocent children are killed every day in accidental shootings), Urban (seemingly random) gun violence that occurs on the streets of our inner cities every day, and mass shootings that occur all too frequently, but much more rarely.  All claim innocent victims.  All are urgent problems that need to be addressed. I want to discuss mass shootings (as happened in Newton) in this diary.

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Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 10:12 AM PST

Democrats are such ...

by Helpless

Democrats are such timid ....  I'm so damned frustrated!  Imagine!  Raising the top marginal tax rate all the way back to Clinton's rates.  Rates set during the longest peacetime economic growth in US history.  Here's the thing.  We are not at peace.  We haven't been at peace for over a decade.  Two unfunded wars have drained us dry.  So now, faced with a financial crisis, (and everyone admits a major cause has been these wars) why are we not talking about finally instituting war time tax rates?   Top marginal tax rates during WW I were gradually raised to 77% (1918) -- funding a third of the war. After the war was over, rates were lowered 5 times in the 1920's. Rates were raised again leading up to and during WW II.  In 1941 the bottom rate was 23% while the rate on incomes over $1 million was 94% helping to fund our Lend/Lease Program and our war expenses.

After our current war is over and the defense budget has been reduced to a peacetime level, the economy has recovered from the Great Recession (the deficit is eliminated) rates can be reduced again.

Further, I don't buy that argument that capital gains deserve to be taxed at a lower rate than wages from working or my IRA distributions.  What about small investors who cash in big winnings one year?  Re-institute income averaging.  This would also keep lotteries viable.

Since the top earners have done very well this past decade, and the rest of us haven't, it's time to ask those top earners to do their share.  And it's time to stop asking seniors and others scraping by to do with less.  We've given enough.  So hands off my "entitlements".

There.  I feel better.


What do you think the top rate should be?

36%12 votes
24%8 votes
27%9 votes
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| 33 votes | Vote | Results

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Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 06:25 AM PDT

Flim Flam Man

by Helpless

Last night I had another uncomfortable experience with a flim flam man.  Only this time I caught him in the act.  My previous experience with a flim flam man occurred in 2006 when I bought a new car.  The salesman was very personable, spent much time gaining our trust before he closed the deal.  The only thing that seemed amiss happened when we went to pick up the car.  He stood in one spot next to the driver's door while we walked around the car.  It turned out he was hiding a crimp in the door, damage that occurred in transit or at the dealership.  A defect allowed the door to be extended too far -- so far that the front edge of the door ran into the hinge crimping a quarter inch wide strip like an accordion. Because he hid the defect with his body, we picked up the car and only noticed the damage when we got home.  This is a flim flam man.  A trickster.  And last night I saw another.

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Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 10:10 AM PDT

Please stop laughing at Ryan/Romney

by Helpless

Mitt can't be a complete idiot.  So ask yourself why he would pick someone seen as a "true conservative" for VP.  Someone with little or no chance to attract moderates.  Romney trails in the polls.  All but a few have made up their minds and swear they would never change sides.  And Romney picks someone who appeals to tea party idiots?  What can he be thinking?

It's not difficult to figure out.  Maybe it's so plain no one cares to talk about it.  BruceMcF diary-ed it yesterday in Is the Ryan pic doubling down on Voter Suppression.  It got a total of 40 comments.  But voter suppression and what we can do about it is what we should be talking about.

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Sat May 05, 2012 at 05:18 AM PDT

Tell me why

by Helpless

Gallup has the Presidential race tied between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama today.  I don't get it.  How can this be?  What are voters thinking?  The George Bush approval rating was in the low to mid 20's when he left office.  And rightly so as his disastrous policies left the country entering a second Great Depression as he walked out the door.  Mitt promises to pick up where George left off -- filling his campaign with ex-Bush advisers.  Do voters really want to return to those years?  Who are these people who say they want Mitt?

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Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 06:15 PM PST

Breaking: Iran Hijacked US Drone

by Helpless

The Christian Science Monitor reports that an Iranian engineer has told a reported what we suspected:  That they hijacked the drone and fooled it into landing in Iran.  The fact that it landed intact seemed suspicious.  But how could they have defeated the super power that spends more on it's military than the rest of the world combined?

Simple:  They jammed the control signals forcing it into autopilot mode, then overrode the GPS signals to fool it into landing in Iran.

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Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 12:55 PM PDT

Default? Never Gonna Happen

by Helpless

This is in response to Obama Impeachment Threatened, currently on the Rec List.

Both are takes on Rep. King's quote

"Obama would be impeached if he blocked debt payments."

Of course he would.  And it would be successful -- if by successful you mean Obama would be removed from office.  What may happen is a government shutdown.

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Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 05:52 AM PST

David Brock coming with the cavalry?

by Helpless

There has been a lot of hand wringing around here in conflicting diaries the past couple of days as to what we should do.  Contact our Senators.  No, what a stupid idea, they won't listen.  Contact Obama. No he can't do anything until Congress acts.  How about a grass roots effort?  (My favorite, but who's going to organize it?  Who is our MLK?)  Things have been looking pretty depressing.

Well, David Brock may be coming with the cavalry.  Finally a ray of hope.
Greg Sergeant reported on the 10th that Media Matters' David Brock is forming a 527 group to raise funds to counterbalance Republican outside groups.  He confirmed and corrected Greg's report in an  appearance on Olbermann's Countdown yesterday.  Video below the fold.


Democrats will win in 2012

13%18 votes
3%5 votes
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5%8 votes
13%19 votes
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62%85 votes

| 137 votes | Vote | Results

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