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The New York Times:
Investigators are still trying to figure out exactly how an estimated 7,500 gallons of a chemical used to clean coal called 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, or MCHM, leaked from a storage facility into the Elk River. But state and federal agencies clearly should have done more to limit the risks. For starters, the state failed to adequately inspect how the facility stored chemicals, though it did send inspectors there to check on air quality. The chemicals were kept in tanks on the riverbank, upstream from a large water-treatment plant that supplies Charleston.

 [...] What’s needed is meaningful reform like the Safe Chemicals Act of 2013 introduced by Senator Frank Lautenberg, Democrat of New Jersey, and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, the New York Democrat, that would require manufacturers to prove that chemicals are safe before they can be sold.

In recent days, concentrations of MCHM in the water system have fallen sharply and some in the Charleston area can now drink the tap water. But the passing of this crisis should not dissuade the state or the federal government from strengthening and enforcing statutes.

Much more on the day's top stories below the fold.

Barbara Stripling at Wired:

Here’s something you probably didn’t know: The recent ruling striking down network neutrality doesn’t just affect websites and internet service providers — it affects libraries, too.

By striking down the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s Open Internet Order this week, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals just gave commercial companies the authority to block internet traffic, give preferential treatment to specific internet services, and steer internet users away from online content based on their own commercial interests. Since the internet is now the primary mechanism for delivering content and applications to the general public, it’s more important than ever that commercial ISPs not have that kind of power to control or otherwise manipulate such communications.

As a school librarian — and the head of the American Library Association — I expect that the court’s ruling will negatively affect the daily lives of Americans in a number of ways, particularly children in K-12 schools. School, public, and college libraries rely upon the public availability of open, affordable internet access for school homework assignments, distance learning classes, e-government services, licensed databases, job-training videos, medical and scientific research, and many other essential services. We must ensure the same quality access to online educational content as to entertainment and other commercial offerings. But without net neutrality, we are in danger of prioritizing Mickey Mouse and Jennifer Lawrence over William Shakespeare and Teddy Roosevelt. This may maximize profits for large content providers, but it minimizes education for all.

The Denver Post calls for a stronger blogger shield law:
A bill to strengthen Colorado's shield law is a long time coming but so is an update to the antiquated law that offers no protection to bloggers. [...] As written, the statute now protects only members of the mass media — newspapers and periodicals, radio, TV, wire services, news syndicates and cable TV.

Offering protection to bloggers has been controversial and stalled a bill in the U. S. Senate last year.

Today, news gathering is done on a broad spectrum of formats and protection should be afforded regardless of the medium.

Chris Mooney at Mother Jones:
The latest data are out on the prevalence of global warming denial among the US public. And they aren't pretty.

The new study, from the Yale and George Mason research teams on climate change communication, shows a 7-percentage-point increase in the proportion of Americans who say they do not believe that global warming is happening. And that's just since the spring of 2013. The number is now 23 percent; back at the start of last year, it was 16 percent [...] The obvious question is, what happened over the last year to produce more climate denial?

According to both Anthony Leiserowitz of Yale and Ed Maibach of George Mason, the leaders of the two research teams, the answer may well lie in the so-called global warming "pause"—the misleading idea that global warming has slowed down or stopped over the the past 15 years or so. This claim was used by climate skeptics, to great effect, in their quest to undermine the release of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report in September 2013—precisely during the time period that is in question in the latest study.

Eugene Robinson looks at the latest Benghazi report:
The bipartisan report on Benghazi released Wednesday by the Senate intelligence committee should finally convince conspiracy theorists of the obvious: There is no there there.

Administration officials did not orchestrate any kind of attempt, politically motivated or otherwise, to deceive the American people. In their public statements, including the infamous talking points, they relied on what intelligence analysts told them.

Paul Krugman:
For four years, Europe has been in the grip of austerity fever, with mostly disastrous results; it’s telling that the current slight upturn is being hailed as if it were a policy triumph. Given the hardship these policies have inflicted, you might have expected left-of-center politicians to argue strenuously for a change in course. Yet everywhere in Europe, the center-left has at best (for example, in Britain) offered weak, halfhearted criticism, and often simply cringed in submission.

When Mr. Hollande became leader of the second-ranked euro economy, some of us hoped that he might take a stand. Instead, he fell into the usual cringe — a cringe that has now turned into intellectual collapse. And Europe’s second depression goes on and on.

In case you missed it, this David Horsey piece is an important read:
Guns don’t kill people, popcorn kills people. Or maybe it’s texting. Or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time with some fool who thinks he needs to take a gun to the movies.
Each and every day it is possible to scan the news from across the U.S. and find an example of human stupidity turned lethal by the presence of a gun. This week’s top horror is the shooting of a father out on a kid-free date with his wife who was gunned down by an idiot with a pistol in his pocket. Except he wasn’t really an idiot.

Gun-rights fanatics (these days there are few who are not fanatics) insist that only a few poorly trained, mentally unstable or criminally inclined gun owners give all the millions of God-fearing, Constitution-defending firearms enthusiasts a bad name. But can anyone think of a person more well-trained and responsible than a retired police captain, SWAT team leader and security guard?[...] Guns may not kill people, but people who think they need to carry guns too often find themselves killing other people in the most wasteful, needless, pointless ways.

Jay Bookman at the Atlanta Journal Constitution dares the GOP to put out its agenda:
Since the Republicans took control of the House in 2010, and even before that, their entire message has been critical of what Democrats have proposed or passed, with no discussion of what if anything they would do if given real power.
So let's see it. They talk tax reform endlessly -- let's see what conservative tax reform would actually look like. They've promised "repeal and replace" -- let's see what this "replace" looks like. As National Journal reports in a similar piece, a health-care reform bill sponsored by Rep. Tom Price of Roswell is said to have strong support among GOP House members, yet party leadership refuses to allow the bill to move or even get a hearing in a subcommittee. They treat it as a crazy old aunt that they're keeping hidden in the basement.
If a bill exists, yet its supposed champions refuse to allow a vote on it, does it really exist at all?
Robert Schlesinger looks at the GOP "uncertainty" principle:
Remember the right's uncertainty obsession? It wasn't too long ago that virtually every conservative was pinning the soft economic recovery on the bogeyman of "uncertainty" – businesses couldn't hire, we were told, because they didn't know what taxes they'd be paying and what regulations they'd be enduring short months or years later. "Uncertainty is the enemy of our prosperity," then-Rep. Mike Pence memorably said at the end of 2010.

But having gone around, uncertainty is coming around for conservatives, undercutting the right's rearguard attempts to roll back Obamacare.

Rachel Maddow:
According to reporting in The Record, Wildstein has made a habit of buying the Web addresses of people who cross his path in New Jersey politics — including the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor in 2012 and a mid-level official at the Federal Aviation Administration who helped forge a firefighting agreement with the Port Authority that Wildstein disliked. While he was at the Port Authority, Wildstein bought the online names of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top appointees to the agency, including Executive Director Pat Foye, who sounded the alarm about the Fort Lee scheme. Wildstein’s redirect on PatFoye.com sends visitors to the Web site of the New York Yankees.

It’s one thing for public officials to subject one another to that kind of low-level, neener-neener harassment, but in New Jersey, reporters have been targeted too. Wildstein snatched up and redirected ShawnBoburg.com after Boburg wrote a (not terribly unflattering) profile of the intensely private Wildstein last year and an article on Christie’s patronage hiring.

Finally, Steve Rosenthal points out that America is becoming more liberal:
The country is getting more diverse, and as the proportion of white voters shrinks, so, too, does the conservative base. As demographics shift, so do political preferences — in this case, toward the left. A close examination of U.S. attitudes in the past decade-plus reveals that the United States is steadily becoming more progressive. It’s been well publicized how America has “evolved” on marriage equality. Washington Post/ABC News polling last year found that, by a margin of 58 percent to 36 percent , people believe their fellow Americans should be able to marry whomever they choose — something that would have been unthinkable less than a decade ago.

This progressive trend isn’t isolated to this issue. Over the past 10 or so years, national polls have shown that the general public is becoming more liberal on...

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Comment Preferences

  •  As regards climate change it is time now to look (15+ / 0-)

    on the bright side.

    Since it really is happening there is no other conclusion that one can draw except to note that it will shortly lead to the extinction of the human race.

    But because of the way our society has chosen to structure itself the very last to die will be the very richest among us.

    But as they too begin to die off they will have to till their own fields for food.

    In essence they will be just like the serfs they made of us and despite all their wealth there will be no where for them to spend their money.

    •  Humans won't die off (0+ / 0-)

      There will still probably be hundreds of millions of them. They'll just work harder, and live shorter lives, and forget the accomplishments of past generations. We might have done this before, you know?

      I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

      by CFAmick on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 08:57:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Global warming will go on until something stops it (0+ / 0-)

        Assuming that this isn't something voluntary, then technological society will be destroyed.

        I rather doubt that this will destroy genus homo. We lived millions of years without extracting fossil fuels. We can live without extracting fossil fuels again.

        Remember that we evolved in a rather warm section of the world. We'll get along in a warmer N. America.

        Of course, without technology, fewer of us will get along.

    •  CDC issues PSA calling for "0 PPM" safety (5+ / 0-)

      level for the chemical MCHM for pregnant women in West Virginia.

      That went out with a map. It follows up on a letter earlier to WV public health officials, which got mostly lost. Also, just running water through your pipes is not enough to get rid of this stuff.

      Getting rid of it is going to be a tough problem.

      "4-Methylcyclohexanemethanol (MCHM, systematic name 4-methylcyclohexylmethanol) is an organic compound with the formula CH3C6H10CH2OH. Classified as an alcohol, it exists as two diastereomers with similar properties. It is a colourless oil with a faint mint-like alcohol odor. Like other 8-carbon alcohols, such as 1-octanol, this compound is only slightly soluble in water but highly soluble in many organic solvents."
      That's wiki. MCHM is a deadly liver poison.

      West Virginia: Safe Level For MCHM Is 0.057 PPM In Water. Unless Pregnant !! Implications ::UPDATE2

      The comments to that diary reflect industry dysinformation related to MCHM toxicity and to clean up problems. One claims the chemical is water soluble -- a flat lie.

      There's also confusion stemming from the polluter's early presser for whether this leak is a chemical from Georgia Pacific or from Eastman. Not that it matters.

      CDC is adamant that pregnant women be protected with 0 PPM avoidance of MCHM.

      Everybody do it !! And cleaning out your home's pipes is no treat:

      1. Flushing pipes doesn't get you below 0.057 PPM. You have to shut off water and drain your pipes first. Pretend you are going away for January and February with the heat off. Then refill with no-MCHM clean water.

      2. Test by taking a 50 cc sample and mailing it in. This is going to be a big problem for West Virginia government. They had nothing going as of this afternoon. They are relying on the local water authorities, not on testing individual houses. Try the State Police with a note asking them to register evidence and forward to the appropriate authority for testing ASAP.

      Houses need to be tested. The pipes need to be emptied and refilled, related to MCHM's limited water solubility.

      Liver damage can take a long time to show up. Or just weeks. The world saw a similar corporate crime back 40 years ago at Minamata, Japan. Chisso Corporation was the perp. It is well documented including use of thugs to beat the victims and their supporters.

      Minamata was mercury poisoning. WV is MCHM with liver poisoning. Same difference. Same 0 PPM for pregnant women. Same extremely difficult clean-up problems.

  •  Breaking! Tom Coburn announces retirement. (24+ / 0-)

    Morning Joe just announced that Coburn will retire at the end of this Congressional session, 'two years early'.

    (I'm not wasting a diary on a 'breaking', because someone out there will do a much more in-depth epitaph for Coburn's sordid past in Congress than I care to bother with.)

    Good riddance.

  •  Jay Bookman notes.......The GOP got nuthin. (6+ / 0-)
  •  If Wildstein is seeking immunity, does that mean (7+ / 0-)

    if granted, he will sing like a canary? I hope so.

    Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

    by wishingwell on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:12:48 AM PST

    •  I hope the prosecutors..... (5+ / 0-)

         ...are not too hasty and over-generous with the immunity. Wildstein is one of the ringleaders, and he needs to be held accountable!

         IMO there's an Imelda Marcos closet-full of shoes yet to descend.... :)

      Compost for a greener planet.............got piles?

      by Hoghead99 on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 06:02:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is true but I just do not want to see all of (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Oh Mary Oh, SueDe, salmo, gffish, tb mare

        them taking the 5th and saying nothing at all. I want someone to spill the beans and that might mean giving someone a deal.

        Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

        by wishingwell on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 06:11:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  One of the miscreants will emerge as (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wishingwell, gffish, tb mare, TerryDarc

          weaker or more frightened than the others, and a seasoned prosecutor will be able to recognize him and home in on his vulnerability.  It may take some time, but it will all come out.  Hopefully it will all become obvious before the 2016 election season.

          "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

          by SueDe on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 06:56:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  "weaker or more frightened" and less important (0+ / 0-)

            These are Dems running the show. They understand they need to go after the top banana. On Rachel last night the house's investigation leader was saying they were issuing subpoena's in the "right order". Meaning, lower hanging fruit first and given immunity, then moving on to Mr. Big Banana.

            What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

            by TerryDarc on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 10:16:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks Eugene (9+ / 0-)

    but no stinking report is going to stop the Benghazi train. From what I've read this week the report "proves" everything the deranged have been claiming, much like the Lara Logan 60 Minutes report did. Gene, thanks for recognizing that no matter what we will have a Benghazi "scandal" with us for quite some time & surely Hazi overload in 2016.

    I am under no illusion that these findings will quiet the hard-core Benghazi conspiracy crowd.
    •  The answer is in Toles (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hulibow, skohayes, tobendaro, tb mare

      here.

      Expecting sanity and truth out of that swamp is like expecting fine wine out of a fermenting cesspool.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:23:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Benghazi Train to Nowhere (8+ / 0-)

      Some of my Republican friends, otherwise intelligent people, are convinced that Benghazi will derail Hillary. If these engineers, small businesspeople, dentists, marketing managers and such are any indication of what the general right-wing population believes... well they're in for another Karl Rove election night moment in 2016! Let that Benghazi train run full steam; it's not Hillary's train that will derail!

      Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' ― Isaac Asimov

      by GoodGod on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:30:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  GOP has to pull out all the stops to keep their (4+ / 0-)

        rambling wreck together....Making up shit?...check......Fantasizing?.....check......Bloviating?....check.

        •  I'm thinking they'll go with (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          skillet

          An emotional gut punch with patriotism flogging those four charred Marine bodies maybe played against Clinton's "no big deal" quote taken out of context.

          "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

          by Stude Dude on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 06:12:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Apparently Hillary said something in her (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes, Stude Dude, Donkey Hotey

        testimony in a committee hearing to the effect of "What difference does it make?"  That one reply is now what the republican intelligentsia believe is her callous disregard for the loss of 4 lives, AND the cover up.

        •  What about the callous disregard of the lives (4+ / 0-)

          of America's children gunned down in school?
          Let the wingers build their shrine in Benghazi and make their pilgrimages there.  Erik Prince's mercenaries can protect them.  It would be ironic if Chris Stevens had turned out to be a registered Democrat, wouldn't it?

          Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

          by judyms9 on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:59:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Chris Stevens a Dem? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            judyms9, tb mare

            Was he not? Everything I read about him, I'd be surprised if he wasn't (or at minimum a left-leaning Independent).

            At least most of my "otherwise intelligent" Republican friends were horrified by Newtown and are in favor of increased gun background checks and restrictions on automatic weapons. Of course, I'm in Connecticut (not too far from Newtown), as are most of those I'm anecdotally describing, so they've been more "close-to-home" impacted than the general conservative population.

            Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' ― Isaac Asimov

            by GoodGod on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 06:42:29 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Hillary was replying to a question from (5+ / 0-)

          a Republican senator asking about whether the attack on the Benghazi mission was caused by the anti-Muslim video or was a terrorist attack.  She replied, "What difference does it make?" to attempt to make the point, again, that importance lay in how to keep such attacks from happening again rather than rehashing why this one happened.

          "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

          by SueDe on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 06:25:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  It was about the fact she kept (3+ / 0-)

          calling the attackers terrorists and they wanted her to say they were al Qaida. She said they had no evidence that it was a al Qaida group. They kept hassling her. That's when she said that.

          I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

          by samddobermann on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 07:14:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Jeezuz! They're still talking about ACORN! (0+ / 0-)

      Benghazi!!!™ will live for-fucking-ever in the minds, and I use that term loosely, until the sun no longer rises in the east.

      What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

      by TerryDarc on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 10:18:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ah election consequences & TP/GOP corruption! (14+ / 0-)

    "Herring drops taxpayer-funded lawyers for McDonnell and former staff" has the dirt:

    Attorney General Mark R. Herring on Thursday dismissed two law firms that charged Virginia taxpayers about $785,000 to represent the office of former governor Robert F. McDonnell and his staff in investigations related to lavish gifts that a businessman provided to the McDonnell family.
    and
    Herring spokeswoman Ellen Qualls said the attorney general saw no legal need for state representation of McDonnell (R) or his former staff members.

    She said if such a need were to arise because of some official action unrelated to a criminal inquiry, lawyers could be provided by the attorney general’s office because Herring believes he faces no conflict of interest in the matter.

    Sunshine? Well, it reveals that McDonnell’s office has redacted so much in public releases about that $785,000 siphoned out of the public treasury that "it has been impossible to judge the exact nature" of the two law firm's work. Also, Herring has a new policy that reflects McAuliffe's for members of the executive branch: They cannot accept a gift valued over $100. It is a start.

    The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

    by pelagicray on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:17:14 AM PST

  •  Another angle to all of the chemical spill (6+ / 0-)

    that I haven't seen discussed much, is if people weren't under the thrall of "clean coal" they probably wouldn't even have chemicals for washing coal (you know, to clean it so it's all nice and shiny like this) and this whole ugly incident could have been headed off long ago . . .

    •  Criminal act(s) (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SueDe, tobendaro, alrdouglas, tb mare, JerryNA

      I have run industrial facilities which included relatively large quantities of stored chemicals, and in every instance we had those chemical tanks enclosed in berms sized to contain at least twice the maximum tank capacity.  It's a normal safety standard, imposed by regulatory agencies and our insurance carriers.  We're talking about a few hundred feet of earthen berms, some liner (which might be just clay), some associated structures to handle stormwater, and some structures to handle traffic in and out.  While certainly not free, the costs are relatively small.  I do not understand plant management that would overlook this simple risk management step, and I certainly do not understand any inspector (regulatory or insurance) who would overlook the absence of containment.  It's industrial safety 101.  

      So, the fact that it is not there seems likely to reflect an ownership philosophy akin to that of a slumlord.  I suspect they were running the plant into the ground and intending to shrug off any damage and liability by hiding behind their corporate veil.  That sort of malignant ownership pattern is not unique to coal and the Ohio River valley, but it certainly is a common problem there.  The veil is probably safe, but the managers and officers should not be.  This sort of disaster was, and is, a likely consequence of management decisions and operating the plant in that condition is negligence.  It seems to me that it was a criminal act.

  •  Koches (5+ / 0-)

    Since the Koches already have their petcoke and their polluted river, I wonder if there is a way to really pin that to them and make them both literally and figuratively too toxic for politicians to associate with?

    OTOH, we may be tripped up in not having the funds and megaphone to do this.

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:19:05 AM PST

    •  spelled that way, the name rhymes with "roaches"! (4+ / 0-)

      I think.

    •  Funny that you mention the Koch Bros (6+ / 0-)

      just when I'm reading an article about them trying to manipulate the GOP legislature in Pennsylvania to rewrite the electoral college rules in 2012:

      The Pennsylvania nonprofit All Votes Matter spent tens of thousands of dollars lobbying elected officials to push the change. It was largely funded by out-of-state groups with ties to Charles and David H. Koch, the billionaire brothers who bankroll conservative causes.

      That was the finding after an analysis by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

      "I think there is proof now that it was a political effort," Melanie Sloan, a former federal prosecutor and the group's executive director, said Thursday. "It's not a debatable point."

      All Votes Matter, which billed itself as bipartisan, threw its financial and political heft behind the bill that was authored in late 2011 by Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R., Delaware) and supported by Gov. Corbett.

      That measure sought to replace the winner-take-all apportioning of votes by awarding most of them to the winner of the popular vote in each congressional district.

      Read more at http://www.philly.com/...

      Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

      by skohayes on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 06:11:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The score so far today Benghazi 1; Bridgegate 0? (0+ / 0-)

    Robinson is right; there's no evidence on the one and Christie is an ignoramus on the other.

  •  Sunday school daze (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pelagicray, marykk

    Anybody else get brought up as main stream Protestant and got confused by the fringe noise by people like Garner Ted Armstrong and Jack Chick?

    After reading the diary about "Hustler Academy" I sort of get thrown back to that Sunday school kid being confused by corrupt Christians. That shouldn't such a thing should be too contradictory to exist? Are these people the poseurs of Christianity?

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:25:03 AM PST

    •  Christian grifters more descriptive. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude, skohayes, SueDe, tobendaro, JerryNA

      Not the first time a gullible Christian gave . . . over in Night Owls is a clue.

      As a very much "outside observer" for six or so decades I've noticed the high correlation between a fundamentalist tilt, even in members of my distant family, and falling for Ponzi and other schemes. I've been amazed at both repeat victims and the Teflon armor against any evidence that the schemes they are involved with and pushing are swindles. I've had them describe a classic Ponzi in every detail, pulled up the evidence and had them say their get rich scheme isn't one because "in ours we have been told not to use that term (for the levels of 'investor')" and blandly continue trying to convince me I should get in and move up by recruiting my friends.

      I suspect it is due to a mindset deep into belief over all other mental processes. They are also the people that "Forward, Forward, Forward" the most ridiculous crap as well. They are believers without rational filters in all things.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:44:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have some of those in my family, (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pelagicray, tobendaro, Stude Dude, JerryNA

        and they are nuisances to the others of us trying to live our own lives with whatever freedom is available.  Send anyone of them a story, true or not, about the future of Christians being run out of Kazakhstan or starving children in Africa in need of missionaries. and they freely open their wallets.  But these same people are the ones who shriek the loudest at citizens of this country freely exercising their right to vote or women controlling their own bodies.  I refuse to be around them.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 06:42:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  They think that fellow Christians (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pelagicray, SueDe, CFAmick, Stude Dude, JerryNA

        won't rip them off,  foolish people that they are.
        Despite many warnings that gold was going to drop, gold bugs kept buying- egged on by right wing nut jobs like Glenn Beck to protect themselves from "runaway inflation". Then they're buying overpriced coins that they can't sell back to the broker without a 30% cut in the price they paid.
        When people start touting their business as having "Christian values", I normally steer clear.

        Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

        by skohayes on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 06:43:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Voting Rights Act change puzzle: (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, marykk, SueDe, skohayes, tb mare

    Look at the map, consider what has been going on in the deep red/South states particularly, and wonder at the formula that produces such a result.

    Under the new formula, a state would fall back under federal watch if it commits five voting violations in a 15-year period and at least one is committed by the state itself. A county, town or other subdivision of a state would fall back under federal watch if it commits three violations over 15 years or commits one and has “persistent and extremely low minority voter turnout.”
    Better than nothing, but it seems to contain a large rat escape hole.

    The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

    by pelagicray on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:33:15 AM PST

  •  Two bullets that I dodged in this life. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    exlrrp

    One is being a Randroid, since I was an AV geek and Science nerd tripped up by my stupid high school. How stupid was it? The place underperformed into dissolution.

    The other is being a Dittohead, for being an angry white guy in his early '30s with no prospects in the early '90s. This is just getting out of Tipper and Dworkin and "I;m wearing my PC on my sleave" Liberalism. OTOH, I was alienated just a little more by the Right's antics like the Moral Majority, Yuppie greed being good, the Farm Crisis, and dumb jock Hawkishness. Plus I was picking up the pieces of going through two Don Olweus type mobbings in fandom. I saw a lot of the faces of those socially manipulative bullies in Limbaugh.

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:34:47 AM PST

    •  I listened to Limbaugh when he was new (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, tb mare, Stude Dude

      I'd argue with him in my head. Finally---I can be slow about things---I realized I just didn't want to give that fat draftdodging freak free rent in my head. I haven't heard him utter a word in 20 years and I don't miss it at all.
      Ive known liberals who listened to him because they wanted to hear the awful things he was saying. what do you do when you want a bad time anyway

      Happy just to be alive

      by exlrrp on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 06:37:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Harvey Weinstine (sp?) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hillbilly Dem, tb mare

    Any thoughts on his brag about taking on the NRA?

    I have to wonder if he bit off more than he can chew.

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:43:34 AM PST

    •  Maybe. But if he's taking on the NRA, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude, tb mare

      it was probably a mistake to telegraph his punch.

      The Republican motto: "There's been a lot of progress in this country over the last 75 years, and we've been against all of it."

      by Hillbilly Dem on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 06:11:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I share your skepticism, SD. If Weinstein (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude, tb mare, JerryNA

      thinks making a Meryl Streep film that is "The Wild Bunch" on steroids will make folks hand over their guns and cancel their NRA memberships, he's delusional.
      Last night in Detroit a four year-old girl accidentally killed her four year-old cousin after finding an AK47 in a back bedroom.  The TV news team reported that no arrests were made, made their obligatory nose crinkle that was supposed to be a wince and went on to the sports news.  That "every life is sacred" crap is just that to the NRA.  

      Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

      by judyms9 on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 06:11:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, somebody should do it. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tb mare, Stude Dude, JerryNA

      The congress has proved it won't; the states have shown they can't, so it's time someone else had a go at it.  The more times someone attempts to take down the NRA's propaganda wall, the closer we come to someone, finally, being successful.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 06:48:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •   America is becoming more liberal? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, Don midwest, SueDe, salmo, tb mare

    Yet our policies are not.

    Note that OUR president is trying to pass NAFTA on steroids, aka the TPP.

    And he still wants to cut Social Security.

    And he's continuing the Bush-Cheney-NSA war on civil liberties.

    As long as the "lesser evil" keeps getting more evil, we're all going to keep getting poorer, while the rich get richer.

    So what are we going to do about it...pretend that Obama isn't working against us?
    ~

  •  Wildstein: How petty (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, DRo, skohayes, tb mare, JerryNA

    Buy domain names using the names as enemies?  Is he still a teenager?

    What type of adult does that?

    •  Republican adults (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SueDe, tampaedski, tobendaro, tb mare, JerryNA
      Michigan Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell has taken up an unlikely target: the student assembly president at the University of Michigan.

      On a blog he started called "Chris Armstrong Watch," Shirvell attacks what he says is Armstrong's "radical homosexual agenda," posts Photoshopped pictures of Armstrong with rainbow flags and swastikas and picks apart the student's Facebook page. Armstrong is the first openly gay student assembly president at the University of Michigan.

      Shirvell says the blog is "nothing personal," though he has gone to Ann Arbor to protest outside of Armstrong's house and attend student assembly meetings, over which Armstrong presides.

      In an awkward interview with Anderson Cooper last night, Shirvell said his main issue with Armstrong was his push for gender-neutral housing at the University of Michigan. "What we're talking about is anybody -- any man or woman -- wanting to choose to live together," he said. "That's a radical redefinition of gender norms."

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

      Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

      by skohayes on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 06:47:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What does "safe" mean for chemicals? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes

    I presume that "safe" is limited to specific situations like storing large quantities by a river?

    After all -- many chemicals, including simple household bleach, are not safe for living things.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 06:27:27 AM PST

    •  If it means only (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dinotrac, JerryNA

      regular inspections of chemical holding tanks, that would be an enormous improvement.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 07:08:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Safe for everyone except women and children (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Forward is D not R, tb mare

      and unborn babies, who are "people" except when we want to protect them from chemicals that could harm them.

      "Safe" also currently means: "No one has managed to find a control group and run a scientifically objective experiment to establish that they're harmful in statistically significant ways, so nah nah, we get to sell them and use them and store them next to your well."

      •  If that's what it means, then it is a terrible law (0+ / 0-)

        We routinely use and need plenty of unsafe chemicals.

        We fuel our cars with unsafe chemicals.
        We clean with unsafe chemicals.
        Doctors treat cancer with unsafe chemicals.

        It's got to be more nuanced than that.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 08:04:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Accepting global warming is no more liberal than (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SueDe, tb mare, waterstreet2013, JerryNA

    believing spoons are handy to have when you want to eat soup.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 06:35:47 AM PST

  •  Forget it, Jake, it's Charleston (0+ / 0-)
  •  Does anyone know? (0+ / 0-)

    Is the Presiden't making the announcement about NSA today publicly?  If so, what time?

  •  re: net neutrality (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare, GeorgeXVIII, JerryNA

    These judicial and legislative decisions are just fucking it up for US tech companies in the long run.  The US is giving up its tech dominance and other nations will make themselves havens or provide resources for small companies and start-ups that don't want to base in the US.

    The US is being incredibly short sighted on... well... thinking about it, pretty much everything.  Not just tech and science.

    elipsii: helping the masses express aposiopesis for...

    by bnasley on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 08:16:25 AM PST

  •  Re: chemical tanks, they need to be surrounded (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JerryNA

    by a berm, so that  stuff that leaks forms a pond around the tank, instead of running right off into the river. And how on earth it can be OK to just perch that sort of thing right next to a river truly escapes me.

    •  West Virginia is "business friendly" when it comes (0+ / 0-)

      to coal companies and their associates. Similar to how Texas is "business friendly" when it comes to oil companies. The state politicians are bought by those companies, or more likely are in those industries (many state legislatures are part-time jobs). That, in turn, means any laws regulating those industries are essentially written by the industries themselves.

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