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That Commie Liberal Rag Bloomberg Business Week must just hate America and those freedom loving corporations running the country and making us great.

They have a report up on the hot line phone call from Freedom Industries reporting the chemical spill.

And it is a gold mine for the looming negligence lawsuits and investigations.

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LIBERTY AND SECURITY IN A CHANGING WORLD 12 December 2013

That is the title of the report to the President which has just been presented, and which the White House has published on the White House web site.

Now right off the bat, let me point out the irony in the title, because most of the justification for actions taken to dismantle our civil liberties and totally disregard the strictures in the Constitution requiring quaint things like habeas corpus and warrants has been rooted in the loudly proclaimed suggestion that 9/11 changed everything. And apparently that means the Constitution and the Rule of Law simply do not apply anymore.

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As a result of Huffington Post's decision to require linking your HuffPo account to Facebook and providing your phone number, I have deleted my Huffington Post account, and will no longer be reading that web site as a source of news. I have removed HuffPo from links on my personal web sites, as well.

I had to wonder, is anyone really thinking this through? Is there any evidence on what effect this has on the number and quality of comments?

And of course, there are those, like me, who do not have, and will NEVER have a Facebook account or engage in social media. And I certainly will not put my phone number or numbers on Facebook or give them to Huffington Post.

I guess HuffPo really does not care about the Curmudgeon Class of readers.

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So, Let's Vote on This Idea

1%13 votes
98%799 votes

| 812 votes | Vote | Results

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Seriously, KOS and site designers, you have got to end the instant post as soon as account created policy.

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So How Do You Like Your Spam

82%52 votes
17%11 votes

| 63 votes | Vote | Results

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I always communicate with my elected representatives via their FAX number. I consider it the most effective way to let them know I am serious on an issue, because it is my dime I am dropping for the phone charges. It also avoids the delays of surface mail on timely issues. It also avoids the ease with which they choose to ignore electronic email communication, and petitions that were generated online.

But to the point. The FAX below was sent, summarizing my thoughts on the looming disaster they have all created because they are the most dysfunctional and hypocritical Congress in the history of this Republic.

This went to Sen. Donnelly, Sen. Coats, Rep. Young IN-9, Boehner, Pelosi, and the White House.

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Faxed to Indiana Congressional Delegation, Pelosi, Reid, and the White House, on New Year's Day, 2013.

I am at this point sick and disgusted with the empty Kabuki theater of "negotiations" by Senate, House, and the President.

A bad deal is worse than no deal at all. The last minute proposals do not include enough revenue to attack the deficit and debt. And they only postpone for a couple of months having to actually deal with the debt ceiling and other pressing issues. What angers me the most is the hypocrisy of the GOP, which for decades has claimed the Democrats knew nothing but "tax and spend". Well, any sane economist will tell you that is a more viable model than the GOP's, which is very simple: "DON'T TAX, BUT SPEND LIKE A DRUNKEN SAILOR ANYWAY".

Precisely HALF and more of the current debt is due to three factors: The Bush era tax cuts for the super wealthy; waging two wars for a decade while keeping them off the books and pretending they were not costing anything; and spending necessitated by the economic downturn of 2008, which was triggered by the criminal activities of the housing, mortgage, and banking industries, crimes for which they were not held accountable, instead, they were bailed out by the American taxpayer!

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Jonah Goldberg and two sad ole white guys discuss on National Review how the Blacks, Asians, and all those 'Others' need to get with the program, be Americans, and learn to love the GOP. That will solve all the party's current problems.

“I see that the way we will get the Hispanics and the other groups, the Asians, as part of the Republican Coalition is to get them first part of the great American Coalition. Make them think of themselves, not make but, persuade them to think of themselves primarily as Americans. Restore the overarching, all-encompassing concept of an American identity, which we used to have, which we knew how to bring about and which in the last 20 or 30 years very largely as a result of the democrats wanting to emphasize ethnicity rather than American-ness. We have lost that and frankly one of the reasons we have not regained it and doing very badly at the moment is because the Republicans have neither had the imagination nor the courage to think how they could appeal to these other ethnic groups as Americans and craft an appeal that won them over. They have got to do that.”

The Coming Coalition

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Shelli Yoder, challenger for IN-09 House seat, debated the incumbent GOP representative Todd Young here in Indiana yesterday.

I am disgusted at her buying into one of the most dishonest GOP and right wing talking points regarding Social Security and Medicare, and saying she would consider means testing. Frankly, her saying this was just pandering to the right for a few votes, dishonest, and demonstrated her total lack of understanding of what these two programs represent to Americans who are retired and aging.

Yoder and Young agreed the national deficit is a problem but strongly differed on ways to solve the issue. Some of these differences included when Medicare would go bankrupt and how involved the federal government should be on higher education spending.

Yoder said she would be willing to consider means-testing, meaning wealthier Americans might receive fewer benefits or no benefits at all.

“I came out and I said I would want to look at it. I’m not closed off,” Yoder said. “I know that some have said that means-testing would be a way of discriminating, and this really put my feet to the fire.”

The above link may be behind the HeraldTimes firewall for non-subscribers. Sorry about that.
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Are you OK with having your Social Security and Medicare Savings Taken Away so the Plutocrats Can Keep their Huge Tax Cuts?

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I see that RMoney's vice presidential candidate, not satisfied with Willard's dismissal of the 47% of Americans he considers welfare recipients and not worthy of him worrying about since they will never vote for him, has decided to proclaim that as far as he, Ryan, is concerned, a full 60% of Americans are just low down worthless moochers, because they get back more in services from government than they pay in as taxes.

Romney's dismissal of 47% left him with 53% to appeal to.

Ryan's dismissal of 60% leaves him with 40%. Hard to win an election with just 40%, as I hope Ryan will soon discover.

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This diary was triggered by news about Social Security Payments, but that is not the main thrust of the diary. The key point here is our society's rush towards a total destruction of any shreds of privacy, and the government's rush to permanently store data on literally every aspect of our lives.

Don't wait for Social Security check in the mail
Mail drop: Social Security payments, other federal benefits, switching soon to direct deposit

Starting next year, the check will no longer be in the mail for millions of people who receive Social Security and other government benefits.

The federal government, which issues 73 million payments a month, is phasing out paper checks for all benefit programs, requiring people to get payments electronically, either through direct deposit or a debit card for those without a bank account.

The changes will affect people who get Social Security, veterans' benefits, railroad pensions and federal disability payments. Tax refunds are exempt, but the Internal Revenue Service encourages taxpayers to get refunds electronically by processing those refunds faster than paper checks.

About 90 percent of people who receive federal benefits already get their payments electronically, the Treasury Department says. New beneficiaries were required to get payments electronically starting last year, and with a few exceptions, the rest will have to make the switch by March 2013.

"It's just that natural progression of moving to how people are used to receiving their funds," said Walt Henderson, director of the Treasury Department's electronic funds transfer division.

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So How Do You Feel About Our Brave New World?

6%1 votes
80%12 votes
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| 15 votes | Vote | Results

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Romney is now running against Santorum on the claim that he, Romney, is the true Deficit Hawk(tm), while Santorum is just really a Democrat in GOP clothing. I know, it makes no sense, but what coming out of the mouths of any of the GOP candidates has made sense, or been supported by logic and facts and reality, in a long, long time?

And in Washington, the GOP stays on track with its plan to privatize and basically destroy Medicare, all in the name of fiscal austerity. Now one more time, how anything will be saved by replacing the most effective program in the nation's history, with cost overhead that runs at 5%, with privatized insurance that seniors cannot afford, run by companies that have taken 20 to 50% of all premiums as profits, while denying benefits and refusing to cover pre-exiting costs, still escapes my mind. But then, I still insist on using logic and looking at the facts, not the wet dream of the corporate oligarchy to suck up not just 40% of the nation's wealth, as they already have, but not to stop until they have it all.

Paul Krugman, you know, the economist with a Nobel Prize for actually doing the reality based research on economics, points out in his latest column the sheer folly of the deficit hawks, and the threat it represents to our nation's economy.

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College and university administrators are squealing like little piggy's in response to President Obama's demand that they do something to make the cost of college education affordable again.

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