Starbuck’s gun policy not “welcoming” weapons is the idiocy of commercial attitudes toward your safety while shopping.  Trader Joe’s public relations representatives have twice said they “want to be welcoming to everyone, including those carrying guns.”  How are these places concerned about your safety?  Good PR suggests customers want to leave a shopping experience feeling happy and safe, not terrified and intimidated.  The Gun Carry movement aims to desensitize us to the hazards of pervasive guns.  They don’t want to talk about or research the real facts about gun violence in America.   Do we want to shop with our children where the customer behind has a weapon that could be drawn at any moment? 
At least 8 Companies have actually banned guns.  It is possible to have a profitable company yet ban guns.  Thank you Whole Foods, Ikea, Peet’s Coffee and Tea, AMC Theaters, California Pizza Kitchen, Toys R Us, Buffalo Wild Wings, Disney World for being committed about our safety.  A lot of colleges also ban guns.  This is prudent policy.  Call before you shop to ask your favorite stores to join suit.



(thank/via: Doonesbury)

Starbuck’s gun policy not “welcoming” weapons is the idiocy of commercial attitudes toward your safety while shopping.  Trader Joe’s public relations representatives have twice said they “want to be welcoming to everyone, including those carrying guns.”  How are these places concerned about your safety?  Good PR suggests customers want to leave a shopping experience feeling happy and safe, not terrified and intimidated.  The Gun Carry movement aims to desensitize us to the hazards of pervasive guns.  They don’t want to talk about or research the real facts about gun violence in America.   Do we want to shop with our children where the customer behind has a weapon that could be drawn at any moment? 

At least 8 Companies have actually banned guns.  It is possible to have a profitable company yet ban guns.  Thank you Whole Foods, Ikea, Peet’s Coffee and Tea, AMC Theaters, California Pizza Kitchen, Toys R Us, Buffalo Wild Wings, Disney World for being committed about our safety.  A lot of colleges also ban guns.  This is prudent policy.  Call before you shop to ask your favorite stores to join suit.

(thank/via: Doonesbury)

It appears that negotiations over the federal budget deficit are about to begin once again, and presumably Senate Republicans will insist that Obama and the Democrats give way on taxes and spending in exchange for reopening the government and raising the debt ceiling for at least another year. 

But keeping the government running and paying the nation’s bills should never have been bargaining chits in the first place, and the President and Democrats shouldn’t begin to negotiate over future budgets until they’re taken off the table.

The question is how thoroughly President Obama has learned that extortionist demands escalate if you give in to them.

(read complete post at robertreich)

(thanks/via: robertreich)

We have elected an ungovernable collection of snake-handlers, Bible-bangers, ignorami, bagmen and outright frauds, a collection so ungovernable that it insists the nation be ungovernable, too.

We have elected people to govern us who do not believe in government. We have elected a national legislature in which Louie Gohmert and Michele Bachmann have more power than does the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who has been made a piteous spectacle in the eyes of the country and doesn’t seem to mind that at all. We have elected a national legislature in which the true power resides in a cabal of vandals, a nihilistic brigade that believes that its opposition to a bill directing millions of new customers to the nation’s insurance companies is the equivalent of standing up the the Nazis in 1938, to the bravery of the passengers on Flight 93 on September 11, 2001, and to Mel Gibson’s account of the Scottish Wars of Independence in the 13th Century. We have elected a national legislature that looks into the mirror and sees itself already cast in marble.

We did this. We looked at our great legacy of self-government and we handed ourselves over to the reign of morons.

This is what they came to Washington to do — to break the government of the United States. It doesn’t matter any more whether they’re doing it out of pure crackpot ideology, or at the behest of the various sugar daddies that back their campaigns, or at the instigation of their party’s mouthbreathing base. It may be any one of those reasons. It may be all of them. The government of the United States, in the first three words of its founding charter, belongs to all of us, and these people have broken it deliberately. The true hell of it, though, is that you could see this coming down through the years, all the way from Ronald Reagan’s First Inaugural Address in which government “was” the problem, through Bill Clinton’s ameliorative nonsense about the era of big government being “over,” through the attempts to make a charlatan like Newt Gingrich into a scholar and an ambitious hack like Paul Ryan into a budget genius, and through all the endless attempts to find “common ground” and a “Third Way.” Ultimately, as we all wrapped ourselves in good intentions, a prion disease was eating away at the country’s higher functions. One of the ways you can acquire a prion disease is to eat right out of its skull the brains of an infected monkey. We are now seeing the country reeling and jabbering from the effects of the prion disease, but it was during the time of Reagan that the country ate the monkey brains.

Government Shutdown - The Reign Of Morons Is Here

by Charles P. Pierce for Esquire

(thanks/via: Esquire)


Countdown to Shutdown: A Primer on Where the Budget Wrangling Stands
As Monday dawns, there’s no sign that Congress is any closer to a deal that will avert a government shutdown at midnight. Despite a flurry of activity over the weekend, the landscape is essentially the same as it was at the end of the day Friday: Republicans want to seriously scale back the Affordable Care Act in exchange for funding the government, Democrats won’t allow it, there are no real negotiations in progress, and that means a closure is all but inevitable. In fact, many members of Congress are resigned to that conclusion. Here’s a guide to what happened the last two days and what to expect today.
Read more. [Image: Jonathan Erst/Reuters]

First, ACA has been passed by a legitimate legislature, adjudicated by a legitimate court, and finally voted upon by the entire electorate.  This act is ours.  We WANT universal health insurance.  We do not yet understand the intricacies of the legislation but if problems arise we know we can fix them. Initial indications are that insurance prices may stop their stratospheric increase or may even decline for many people.  Who doesn’t want that?  And yet, a very small and extremely conservative section of the legislature is willing to SLAM the fragile US economy in order to discredit Obama.  This needs to stop!  Do your job, respect our will, or get out of the business of governance.
To the GOP:
If we get cancer, lose our jobs and insurance you’re gonna the pay bills right? No? Then we want ObamaCare.
Slamming the US economy is a common theme for Republicans; here are 21 things they’ve demanded similarly.
(thanks/via: theatlantic)

Countdown to Shutdown: A Primer on Where the Budget Wrangling Stands

As Monday dawns, there’s no sign that Congress is any closer to a deal that will avert a government shutdown at midnight. Despite a flurry of activity over the weekend, the landscape is essentially the same as it was at the end of the day Friday: Republicans want to seriously scale back the Affordable Care Act in exchange for funding the government, Democrats won’t allow it, there are no real negotiations in progress, and that means a closure is all but inevitable. In fact, many members of Congress are resigned to that conclusion. Here’s a guide to what happened the last two days and what to expect today.

Read more. [Image: Jonathan Erst/Reuters]

First, ACA has been passed by a legitimate legislature, adjudicated by a legitimate court, and finally voted upon by the entire electorate. This act is ours. We WANT universal health insurance. We do not yet understand the intricacies of the legislation but if problems arise we know we can fix them. Initial indications are that insurance prices may stop their stratospheric increase or may even decline for many people. Who doesn’t want that? And yet, a very small and extremely conservative section of the legislature is willing to SLAM the fragile US economy in order to discredit Obama. This needs to stop! Do your job, respect our will, or get out of the business of governance.

To the GOP:

If we get cancer, lose our jobs and insurance you’re gonna the pay bills right? No? Then we want ObamaCare.

Slamming the US economy is a common theme for Republicans; here are 21 things they’ve demanded similarly.

(thanks/via: theatlantic)

Considering the breadth of reforms that President Obama is now proposing to prevent privacy abuses in intelligence gathering, in the wake of Snowden’s disclosures, Snowden deserves a chance to make a second impression — that he truly is a whistle-blower, not a traitor. The fact is, he dumped his data and fled to countries that are hostile to us and to the very principles he espoused. To make a second impression, Snowden would need to come home, make his case and face his accusers. It would mean risking a lengthy jail term, but also trusting the fair-mindedness of the American people, who, I believe, will not allow an authentic whistle-blower to be unfairly punished.

Obama, Snowden and Putin from Thomas L. Friedman for NYTimes

(thanks/via: NYTimes)


Edward Snowden’s latest leak, which shows (via top-secret documents) that the NSA violated its legal authority on privacy issues thousands of times over the last few years, should really grind your gears. As The New Republic’s Marc Tracy puts it, “There is a valuable, vital debate to be had over how much the federal government, in its intelligence programs, ought to be permitted to violate Americans’ privacy in an effort to protect Americans from a dangerous world that includes people who want to kill Americans.”
Big deal. Catch up.

When Bush pushed for this authority it seemed intrusive; it’s still intrusive under Obama.  
(thanks/via: humanrightswatch and shortformblog)

Edward Snowden’s latest leak, which shows (via top-secret documents) that the NSA violated its legal authority on privacy issues thousands of times over the last few years, should really grind your gears. As The New Republic’s Marc Tracy puts it, “There is a valuable, vital debate to be had over how much the federal government, in its intelligence programs, ought to be permitted to violate Americans’ privacy in an effort to protect Americans from a dangerous world that includes people who want to kill Americans.”

Big deal. Catch up.

When Bush pushed for this authority it seemed intrusive; it’s still intrusive under Obama.  

(thanks/via: humanrightswatch and shortformblog)

Almost everyone seems to acknowledge that locking up vast numbers of nonviolent offenders is a waste of money. California devotes $179,400 to keep a juvenile in detention for a year, and spends less than $10,000 per student in its schools.

Help Thy Neighbor and Go Straight to Prison by Nicholas D. Kristof for NYTimes

More appalling facts from the same opinion in the NY Times:

With less than 5 percent of the world’s population, the United States has almost one-quarter of the world’s prisoners….

When almost 1 percent of Americans are imprisoned (and a far higher percentage of men of color in low-income neighborhoods), our criminal justice system becomes a cause of family breakdown and contributes to the delinquency of a generation of children. And mass incarceration interacts with other government policies, such as the way the drug war is implemented, to have a disproportionate effect on African-Americans. Black men use marijuana at roughly the same rate as white men but are more than three times as likely to be arrested over it.

(thanks/via: NYTimes)

From Robert Reich: Why Republicans Want Jobs to Stay Enemic

Robert Reich: Why Republicans Want Jobs to Stay Anemic

SATURDAY, AUGUST 3, 2013

Job-growth is sputtering. So why, exactly, do regressive Republicans continue to say “no” to every idea for boosting it — even last week’s almost absurdly modest proposal by President Obama to combine corporate tax cuts with increased spending on roads and other public works?

It can’t be because Republicans don’t know what’s happening. The data are indisputable. July’s job growth of 162,000 jobs was the weakest in four months. The average workweek was the shortest in six months. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has also lowered its estimates of hiring during May and June.

It can’t be Republicans really believe further spending cuts will help. They’ve seen the effects of austerity economics on Europe. They know the study they relied on by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff has been debunked. They’re no longer even trying to make the case for austerity.

It could be they just want to continue opposing anything Obama proposes, but that’s beginning to seem like a stretch. Republican leaders and aspiring 2016 presidential candidates are warning against being the “party of ‘no.’” Public support for the GOP continues to plummet.

The real answer, I think, is they and their patrons want unemployment to remain high and job-growth to sputter. Why? Three reasons:

First, high unemployment keeps wages down. Workers who are worried about losing their jobs settle for whatever they can get — which is why hourly earnings keep dropping. The median wage is now 4 percent lower than it was at the start of the recovery. Low wages help boost corporate profits, thereby keeping the regressives’ corporate sponsors happy.

Second, high unemployment fuels the bull market on Wall Street. That’s because the Fed is committed to buying long-term bonds as long as unemployment remains high. This keeps bond yields low and pushes investors into equities — which helps boosts executive pay and Wall Street commissions, thereby keeping regressives’ financial sponsors happy.

Third, high unemployment keeps most Americans economically fearful and financially insecure. This sets them up to believe regressive lies — that their biggest worry should be that “big government” will tax away the little they have and give it to “undeserving” minorities; that they should support low taxes on corporations and wealthy “job creators;” and that new immigrants threaten their jobs.

It’s important for Obama and the Democrats to recognize this cynical strategy for what it is, and help the rest of America to see it.

And to counter with three basic truths:

First, the real job creators are consumers, and if average people don’t have jobs or good wages this economy can’t have a vigorous recovery.

Second, the rich would do better with a smaller share of a rapidly-growing economy than their current big share of an economy that’s hardly moving.

Third, therefore everyone would benefit from higher taxes on the wealthy to finance public investments in roads, bridges, public transit, better schools, affordable higher education, and healthcare — all of which will help the middle class and the poor, and generate more and better jobs. (Aug. 3, 2013, Robert Reich)

Thanks, Robert Reich, for pulling the rather shameful and cynical Republican excuses for stalling and damaging the US economy into one concise column.

Are Republicans focused on finding ways to enlarge the list of 8 Appalling Ways America Leads the World (source: Salon)? 

(thanks/via: Robert Reich and Salon)

If John Boehner is to be believed — which, admittedly, is a real question — Republicans are once again willing to push America into default and/or shut down the government if they don’t get their way. As Greg Sargent points out, this is amazing — and what’s equally amazing is how this is being treated as normal. Politics ain’t beanbag; but “I’ve got a bomb strapped to my chest, and the whole room gets it if you don’t hand over the money” is not normal tactics, especially if pursued repeatedly.

Read To The Brink, Again by Paul Krugman from NYTimes.

Krugman sounds just about fed up with Boehner and his Republican colleagues destructive threats. (More reporting on this game of deadly “beanbag” from the Atlantic here)

I thought it was funny that Boehner recently said in his own speech:

Americans aren’t asking, ‘Where are the speeches?’ They’re asking, ‘Where are the jobs,’

Exactly, and why are Republicans threatening to push the economy to the brink again?  Krugman theorizes:

Republicans seem to have a hearing problem; they are so deep into their worldview that when, say, Ben Bernanke refutes that view they simply hear him saying the opposite .

(thanks/via: NYTimes)