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Sunrise.  Topsail Island.  March, 2013.  Photo by joanneleon.

Sunrise.  Topsail Island.  March, 2013.  Photo by joanneleon.

Sunrise.  Topsail Island.  March, 2013.  Photo by joanneleon.

Sunrise.  Topsail Island.  March, 2013.  Photo by joanneleon.

Sunrise.  Topsail Island.  March, 2013.  Photo by joanneleon.

The Beatles - Here Comes the Sun

News and Opinion

Yeah, mmm, that's pretty much it.  Done with.  War in the D zone.   All out revolt.  

Obama's Social Security Cut Proposal Sparks Backlash, Threats Of Primary Contests

WASHINGTON -- Progressive-leaning groups reacted quickly and angrily to news that President Barack Obama is proposing cuts to Social Security, going so far as to threaten to mount primary challenges against congressional Democrats who sign on to Obama's plan.
"You can't call yourself a Democrat and support Social Security benefit cuts," said Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, in a statement that was among many fired off by liberal groups Friday. "The president is proposing to steal thousands of dollars from grandparents and veterans by cutting cost of living adjustments, and any congressional Democrat who votes for such a plan should be ready for a primary challenge."
"The president has no mandate to cut these benefits, and progressives will do everything possible to stop him," Taylor said.

Many other left-leaning groups from MoveOn to Democracy For America echoed her sentiments.

That's all I can stand, I can't stands no more
Comments on Atrios post:
Steve Simels • 13 hours ago −
The truly crazy thing about this is that the Republicans will use it as a cudgel to beat Democrats with for years to come.

It's criminally bad policy, but it's suicidal politics. I simply cannot fathom the reasoning behind it.

In any case, if Obama gets his way with this, history will judge him as the most disastrous president in American history.

Sam Seder and Cliff Schecter.  This is a must listen.
Obama's Budget: The Grand Sell Out (with Cliff Schecter)

But the arrogant dumbasses from Team Obama still don't seem to get it.  What's their answer?  Well, start primarying progressives!  Yeah! That'll do it!  Oh wait, if that doesn't work, send a bunch of people out to the blogs and to Twitter and pound a bunch of virtual heads.  Yeah! That'll do it!
Top Obama campaign aides join primary bid against Democratic incumbent Mike Honda

Top officials from President Obama’s 2012 campaign team have joined a primary bid against an incumbent Democratic congressman with strong labor backing and an endorsement from Obama himself.

Rep. Michael M. Honda, in his seventh term representing a district in the southern San Francisco Bay area of California, faces the challenge from Ro Khanna, a former Commerce Department official who has written a book about renewing American manufacturing.

MoveOn Calls Obama’s Proposed Social Security Cuts ‘Unconscionable’

The liberal advocacy group MoveOn on Friday blasted President Barack Obama's budget, calling the proposed cuts to Social Security "unconscionable."

Anna Galland, executive director of MoveOn, said in the statement that Obama's proposal is especially baffling given that "Republicans in Congress aren't even asking for this Social Security cut."

Congressional Democrats Blast Obama ‘Chained CPI’ Proposal To Cut Social Security Benefits

Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN), in a statement emailed to us:

“Republicans have been trying to dismantle Social Security ever since President Roosevelt proposed it during the Great Depression. We should not try to bargain for their good will with policies that hurt our seniors, especially since they’ve been unwilling to reduce tax loopholes for millionaires and wealthy corporations by so much as a dime.

“One hundred seven Members of the House of Representatives, a majority of the Democratic Caucus, have already stated our vigorous opposition to cutting Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits. Americans all over the country depend on every single dollar they get from Social Security to put food on the table and pay for housing. Using chained CPI will shift more costs onto already struggling American families, seniors, veterans – including our 3.2 million disabled veterans who also depend on the Social Security calculation for their Veterans Affairs benefits – individuals with disabilities, and children on survivors’ benefits.

“This week, a new study from the New America Foundation finds that proposals to cut Social Security benefits could be disastrous for our economy because the recession has led more seniors to rely to Social Security for income. Cutting benefits now, when people are already struggling to make ends meet, will mean unnecessary hardship for millions of people. It is unpopular, unwise and unworkable.”

Roger Hickey of Campaign for America's Future.
Obama’s Social Security Cuts: Wrong Policy, Dumb Politics

President Obama’s decision to include cuts to Social Security benefits in his budget is wrong policy and dumb politics.

His chained CPI plan is wrong because it hurts Americans who have worked hard their entire lives and who need the support that Social Security gives them. It is wrong because Social Security is financed separately and does not contribute to the deficit. And it is dumb politically because:
1. Republicans will now call the chained CPI Obama’s proposal – or the Democratic proposal.

2. Republicans will try to pass these cuts – because cutting Social Security has always been their goal.

3. Whether the chained CPI passes or not, Republicans will attack Democrats in the next election for trying to cut Social Security.

Digby.  Note that she brings up the issue of bringing this bill to the House floor without a majority of the the majority party supporting it.  So, as horrendous as this sounds, this means she's figuring that the Democrats are going to have to pass this in the House.  Which means Obama and Pelosi plan to put an enormous amount of pressure on the House Democrats.  Remember that during the August 2011 Grand Bargain fiasco, one of Boehner's demands was that Pelosi provide enough votes so that his caucus would not be responsible for it.  So the taint for this will not even be on the Republicans' hands.  And the spectacularly stupid and corrupt D leadership is willing to go for shit like that. That's how bad they are.  I'm a former fan of Digby but now I read her only occasionally.  I'll excerpt her now and then but the "what Digby said" phrase is long dead for me.  The elephant in the room is "what Digby didn't say" for a solid year before the 2012 election.  A shining light in the failed progressive movement that is the main reason that Obama feels that he can send his base such a bold fuck you with impunity.  Anyway, this point about the Hastert Rule is a hugely important point.
It’s Official

Mark this day. For the first time in history, a Democratic president has officially proposed to cut the Democratic Party’s signature New Deal program, Social Security: [...]

God help us if the Republicans wise up and take this deal. After all, it’s a more conservative budget than even their hero Ronald Reagan ever submitted.
And call your Senators starting today. The pattern so far has been that Speaker Boehner will only suspend the Hastert Rule (allowing legislation to the floor without a Republican majority) if it is already passed with a bipartisan Senate vote. Best to try to stop it here first.

Thom Hartmann.
The “Grand” Budget Isn’t Grand At All!

Our nation has a policy of not negotiating with terrorists, and economic terrorists shouldn’t be the exception.  We must stand together to preserve our social programs.  Tell Congress and the President that we won’t stand for balancing the budget on the backs of the poor.  Sign the petition at no-cuts.com.

Dave Johnson, Campaign for America's Future.
Today’s One-Two Punch Of Jobs And Cuts

Today’s news was a one-two punch in the gut for the middle class. First, a terrible jobs report, then a Democratic President offers a budget that proposes cuts to Social Security and Medicare. The only thing on the public’s mind is that we need jobs — and the President comes out with a plan to cut Social Security and Medicare. Is he telling the public that cuts to Social Security and Medicare are necessary to restore the economy and fix the jobs crisis? Because whatever the administration thinks it is doing, that is what the public will hear.

From the Roosevelt Institute blog.  Interestingly, the editor of this blog is also announcing that she is leaving and taking a job at ThinkProgress.
Daily Digest - April 5: Obama Cuts to the Chase

Obama Budget Reviving Offer of Compromise With Cuts (NYT)

Jackie Calmes reports that the president plans to reissue his final offer to John Boehner from last year's deficit negotiations, including chained CPI and cuts to Medicare, though the GOP is still giving increased tax revenue the full Green Eggs and Ham treatment.

The New Telecom Oligarchs (The Nation)

Michael J. Copps writes that Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford's Captive Audience offers insightful analysis of a trend that plagued him as FCC commissioner: the Katamari Damacy-like growth of merger-happy telecom giants that roll right over their customers.

Young Adults Make Up Nearly Half of America's Unemployed Workforce (Think Progress)

Travis Waldron highlights a new Demos report that finds 10.3 million Americans ages 18 to 34 are either out of work or underemployed, with minority youths and those without a college degree hit especially hard. Stay in school, kids. Forever, if at all possible.

From an older article, March 22, 2012. This is the antidote to the overwhelming feelings of despair and helplessness.  This is doable.  And better yet, it has been done before.  Now after you read that last part of the quote from the FDR speech, who does it bring to mind?
FDR Countered Wall Street's Greed With Mass Prosperity
Today, national progress and national prosperity are being held back chiefly because of selfishness on the part of a few... You know their reasoning. They say that in the competition of life for the good things of life "some people are successful because they have better brains or are more efficient; the wise, the swift and the strong are able to outstrip their fellowmen." And they say that that is nature itself and you cannot do anything about it and it is just too bad if some, the minority of people, get left behind.

It is that attitude which leads such people to give little thought, to give anything but lip service, to the one-third of our population which I have described as being ill-fed, ill-clad, and ill-housed. The majority of them say, "I am not my brother's keeper" -- and they "pass by on the other side." Most of them are honest people. Most of them consider themselves excellent citizens.

But, my friends, this Nation will never permanently get on the road to recovery if we leave the methods and processes of recovery to those people who owned -- I say "owned" -- the Government of the United States from 1921 to 1933. -Franklin D Roosevelt


Taking note of this, FDR observed that the efforts of the people of Gainesville to rebuild their city touched "the interest and life of the whole Nation" because they typified the concept of citizenship "which is latent in the American character." It was true that in the wake of the destruction the city had "great needs," but these needs "were met," he said, "in accordance with the democratic principle that those needs should be filled in proportion to the ability of each individual to help."

Not one to miss a teachable moment, FDR then went on to address the larger question of economic inequality that still plagued the country. Much of this inequality, he insisted, was the result of the selfishness and greed of those at the top end of the income ladder who refused to accept or acknowledge that a society built on such vast disparity of wealth was not only undemocratic, but also economically unsustainable. These individuals, he went on:

...are the kind of people who...were saying, "Oh, yes, we want nobody to starve" but at the same time were insisting that the balancing of the budget was more important than making appropriations for relief. And when I told them that I, too wanted to balance the budget but that I put human lives ahead of dollars and handed them the book of the government estimates and asked them just where they would out the appropriations, inevitably they folded up and came back and told me, "Mr. President, that is not my business, that is yours."
How about if I just delete you completely from my phone?  Do I really have to have Facebook access on my phone?  No I really don't.  I'm just effing sick of this stuff.   Buh-bye Facebook for Android.  
Facebook details Home privacy: It won’t collect info from inside apps and it can be shut off completely

Following yesterday’s announcement of ”Home,” Facebook’s new Android launcher, the company has come forward to address the privacy concerns of its users and the public at large.

Facebook shared that Home will not collect usage information from inside other applications, and that location data will not be used differently from how the company’s Android app already employs it. The company also shared that Home can be uninstalled or shut off completely.

Media not allowed in the spill area in Mayflower, Arkansas.  OMG, can't have pictures!  And a no-fly zone.  And the sheriffs are enforcing this.  
Questions linger one week after oil rupture in Mayflower

Cleanup work seemed to be continuing in Mayflower on Friday morning. Workers in yellow protective suits were scrubbing a drainage creek near Interstate 40, and numerous officials appeared to be on scene at the Northwoods subdivision where the pipeline burst. A Faulkner County sheriff's office deputy said media were not allowed in the area and asked a reporter to leave.
She said the smell initially on her property — which is near but outside of the subdivision where about two dozen homes remain evacuated — was unbearable. It's gotten better since, she said, though a taste of oil remains in her mouth when she spends time outside in the city.

"If I can taste it, I'm ingesting something," Naylor said, noting she's forbidden her grandchildren from going outside on the backside of her property nearest the spill.

KBO was wondering why I burst out laughing...
Exxon wins safety award as Mayflower sees no end to spill cleanup (VIDEO)

As responders continue clearing tens of thousands of gallons of oil from a small Arkansas town after an Exxon pipeline burst, delivering a severe blow to the local ecosystem, a major NGO has named the oil giant the winner of a national safety award.

With Mayflower, Arkansas struggling to deal with the 84,000 gallons of crude that began running through its streets last week, ExxonMobil has been made the recipient of the National Safety Council's Green Cross for Safety medal.

And there it is, the announcement from the National Safety Council.  That guy walked up and accepted that medal on Tuesday night, four days after the major spill in Arkansas.
ExxonMobil: Winner of the 2013 Green Cross for Safety medal

Itasca, IL –The National Safety Council presented Exxon Mobil Corporation with the Green Cross for Safety medal at its annual fundraising dinner in Houston last night. The dinner honored ExxonMobil for its leadership and comprehensive commitment to safety excellence.

“It is an honor to receive this medal on behalf of the men and women of ExxonMobil,” said Rex W. Tillerson, ExxonMobil chairman and chief executive officer. “We hold this award in high esteem because it recognizes the deep commitment of our company and our people to a culture of safety.”

NSC Chairman of the Board of Directors, Kent McElhattan and Janet Froetscher, NSC president and CEO, presented the Green Cross for Safety medal to Mr. Tillerson.

“It is evident that ExxonMobil is committed to excellence in safety, security, health and environmental performance,” said Froetscher. “The Council is honored to recognize ExxonMobil with the Green Cross for Safety medal. This organization is a wonderful example of the role corporations can play in preventing injuries and saving lives.”

Blog Posts and Tweets of Interest

Evening Blues
Obama: I will not make cuts to Social Security (w/ video)
Entire Obama Campaign Machine Reactivating to Win Back House in 2014. UPDATED x1
President Obama's budget will include cuts to Social Security, Medicare
I live on $710.00 a month, what exactly am I supposed to cut?
'Electoral Victory' My A$$

... and people say Occupy is dead.  

The Presets - Girl and the sea
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