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Sat Jan 17, 2015 at 06:18 PM PST

HOMELESS IN AMERICA

by vlboyd53

Reposted from A Day In The Life by Bud Fields

This is a very personal diary today. It deals with a topic that is near to my heart, because I am currently homeless. The path that led me here is a story that could belong to anybody.

My husband and I worked very hard our entire lives. I think our average work week was over sixty hours, each. We never took our vacation days. In 2003, I was injured at work. Two botched surgeries and four years later, I was informed that my condition was now permanent. I began the long process of applying for my Social Security Disability benifits.

At that time, my husband was earning a very high salary, and he provided both of us with top notch medical insurance. We owned a beautiful home in an exclusive Atlanta suburb. We both had fat 401K accounts, and a large portfolio of stocks, as well as hefty cash savings.

Then in early 2007, my husband's kidneys failed. He had a bad reaction to an antibiotic that he took for a chest cold. Thus our fall began.

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Reposted from Daily Kos by Bud Fields Editor's Note: This info will be used on "Progressive Politics:Tennessee Style" (PPTS) on Sunday, November 2, 2014 show, with full credit to the authors. -- Bud Fields
Senator Mark Udall joined Sandy Gutierrez (to his left), the president and CEO of the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Pueblo, at a Senate Democratic Hispanic Task Force meeting in Washington, D.C., to talk about innovative ways to encourage job growth acros
Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) ends 2014 atop the Power Rankings for competitive Senate races.
After the long two-year midterm cycle, we are now down to the final sprint. Within 72 hours, we will have the identity of (most of) the winners and losers of the 2014 elections from coast to coast.

With the finish line now in sight, the final weekend brings us to the very last edition of the Daily Kos Elections Power Rankings. Beginning in April, the monthly top ten was designed to assess which races were getting the most ink (using our own daily digests), the most polls, and were viewed as the most competitive. Using a simple rubric (which you can peruse at the end of the piece), we assigned a point value for each of these criteria. Add them up, and ... lo and behold! ... the Top 10 appears.

For fun, in this final edition, we will compare our current Power Rankings for the Senate and gubernatorial categories, not from where they were during the last edition of the Power Rankings (published in late September), but where they were ranked all the way back in the spring, when the inaugural rankings were pulled together.

Follow me past the fold to see where your favorite race wound up, as we close down the 2014 midterm cycle with the final round of the Daily Kos Election Power Rankings.

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Reposted from Hunter by Bud Fields
LOOK OUT EVERYONE HE'S REALLY REALLY TAN
Goal ThermometerThis may be the stupidest conservative panic to come over the transom all year. All. Year.
In the video — which was posted at Glenn Beck’s The Blaze under the headline, “Surveillance video apparently catches guy doing something at the ballot box that left Republican monitor stunned” — Ben Marine can be seen entering the lobby of the polling station in a Citizens for a Better Arizona (CBA) shirt and delivering absentee ballots he had collected. [...]
Which would be truly terrifying—if you were stupid. Because collecting sealed absentee ballots from voters and delivering them is, in Arizona, a perfectly legal GOTV effort. You can have them delivered by a dog or a parrot or Donald Trump's hair if you want, so long as they get to the polling place still sealed. Nevertheless, this video of a Hispanic volunteer delivering absentee ballots has sent conservatives into one of their patented conservative tizzies, because Oh the humanity:
But A.J. LaFaro, the chairman of the Maricopa County Republican Committee, told the Arizona Daily Independent that Marine’s behavior was suspicious, and complained that Marine was “a vulgar, direspectful, violent thug that has no respect for our laws. I would have followed him to the parking lot to take down his tag number but I feared for my life.”
What's suspicious? Being brownish? Where was the violence? Did he crush a bug setting the box down? Is the vulgar and the thug part just because the chairman of the Maricopa County Republicans ran out of ways to say brown, or did he just not show proper deference to A.J. LaFaro when LaFaro demanded he explain his obviously suspicious brownness? My goodness, it's a wonder A.J. LaFaro didn't faint dead away in fright.

Whatever the case, this dramatic video of an ordinary community volunteer delivering ordinary absentee ballots in an ordinary way has resulted in a great tidal wave of the violent and the stupid, as conservatives demand this terrifying person be hunted down and killed for daring to deliver ballots to a polling location as part of an ordinary GOTV operation that would give every last one of them screaming public orgasms if David Koch were doing it.

Commenters on the video’s YouTube are calling for Marine’s death. “This is a high crime, it is treason to this country and a betrayal of democracy,” one writes. “This should be a crime punishable by death.”

“I am going to find this illegal-loving scumbag and kill him,” writes another.

I repeat: This may be the stupidest conservative freakout all damn year. James O'Keefe spends his days trying to coax people into saying things he can later use as evidence of vast voter-fraud conspiracies, but he's a damn nitwit because all you really have to do is find a video of a Hispanic guy doing a perfectly legal and reasonable thing and you'll have the whole conservative internet six feet deep in their own urine by the end of the afternoon. God help us—what if they figure out that black people can collect absentee ballots too? What if their grandma asks them, upstanding conservatives all, to drop her ballot off at the office—will grandma be executed then and there, or will she get a trial first? Or can we instead PLEASE tone down the rampaging, city-destroying stupidity just one damn little notch, you cabbage-headed nitwits?
This is so stupid we can't even think of good text to put here, but you can still chip in $3 to help elect Secretary of State candidates who will protect the vote, not sabotage it.

Defeat Mitch McConnell in just two hours. Sign up to make GOTV calls to Democrats.
As a capper, the aforementioned Republican official who is so concerned about the vulgar (brown) disrespectful (brown) violent (brown) thug (brooooooown guy) delivering ballots? He knows perfectly well it's legal. He was part of a far-right movement to make it illegal, as part of HB 2305, but it was so widely condemned that the legislature (yes, even the crackpot Arizona legislature) caved in and repealed it. A.J. LaFaro is part of the Russell Pearce hard-right xenophobe racist monster wing of the Arizona Republican Party, which in Arizona has no other wings, and was trying to start a freakout over a legal thing because he's been part of the effort to make Arizona conservatives soil their pants over the brown people for years. The conservative internets took him up on it because, and I repeat myself for emphasis, they are the stupidest damn jackasses to ever put themselves behind a keyboard.
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On this thirteenth anniversary of "that moment" which changed forever the landscape of America and her citizens, "Progressive Politics: Tennessee Style" (PPTS) will present a very special hour-long presentation.

Beginning at 7 PM (Central Time), we will take a look at the children and families of 9/11 who, from across the land, have been forever changed because of that day. We are looking for YOUR stories, and your remembrances led off by one from myself. There are shows, and times for discussion, debate, dialog and discourse concerning every possible perception of that day. This show is not one of them.

If you have a story you would like to share with our international audience, a memory which has great meaning for you personally, we would love to hear it. We would love to honor, and share it. While there will doubtless be numerous national media presentations, this one is meant to be intimate, and personal. You can call in to the live show at (516) 418-5867 to share your remembrance with our listeners. You can join us in our chat room to share your story if you wish, as well.

"On That Day..." is a very special memorial show which we hope will bring to our national conscience a reality that, perhaps more than any other single aspect, it was the children of 9/11 which solidified for us all a memory that cannot, and perhaps even should not be erased.

We hope you will join us. We're on the air.

We'll see YOU there.

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Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 10:45 PM PDT

Water Wars: A prologue

by rlegro

Reposted from Ron Legro by Bud Fields

What to make of the following, gargantuan contradiction?

1. As climate change leads to ocean levels tens of feet higher later in this century, and as coastal cities already are estimating the initial costs of saving their shorelines in the tens of billions of dollars per community, the pregnant question is: Who should pay for that? Local citizens in all likelihood won't be able to absorb such costs on their tax base, even in some wealthy cities. Residents will resist relocation and demand to preserve their quality of life. Hello, in all likelihood, federal government, and hello as well to all you inland taxpayers who will foot much of the bill.

2. Meanwhile in Detroit, among 323,900 local water accounts, 150,806 are now in arrears and so the local authorities -- egged on by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's  unelected bankruptcy machine  -- have announced they'll begin shutting off most of those delinquent accounts. Never mind that some of the water-bill debts have been rung up by low-income customers struggling to keep their utilities on, much less cope with other fundamental needs. Who should step in to help these unfortunates? Except for private charities on a small scale, no one has made a commitment. Michigan state government? Apparently it has washed its hands of the matter (excuse the metaphor). The feds? Well, the Obama administration has helped as best it can with Detroit's financial crisis but federal government is still badly constrained by GOP-imposed austerity limits.

So will there be a national commitment to rescuing impoverished Detroit residents at risk of withering from thirst? That commitment would be tiny compared to the likely bill we'll all eventually be asked to pay for saving McMansions on barrier islands and walling off Miami beach, or Manhattan, or New Orleans. But don't hold your breath, especially if you're already under water.

The Detroit case is so out of sync with purported American values that a coalition of that city's social advocacy groups is now appealing to the United Nations to assist city residents in fighting the water shut-offs. Why the UN? Because that international organization has long since laid out a marker on the "human right to safe drinking water and sanitation."  

That's right: An international statement of human rights aimed at staving off misery in lesser developed, Third World countries now seems entirely applicable to big, fat, wealthy, powerful America.

The Detroit advocacy groups label the cut-offs a “massive human rights atrocity” and urge both state and federal government to work to develop a sustainable water rate structure. Here's my idea of what's fair: If you're at the poverty line, the rate should be zero. The health of no American -- child, adult or senior -- should be put at risk for lack of affordable, accessible, potable water.

Another example of the disparities emerging in the dystopian US economy: Across Michigan in Benton Harbor, another governor-appointed bankruptcy czar decided to seize a lakeshore park that had been willed to city residents for their free use in perpetuity. Benton Harbor, like Detroit, is predominantly black and very low income, and now the community's one remaining gem -- offering fresh air, exercise and spiritual renewal to everyone at no cost -- will now be developed into a private, high-end golf club serving a few well-heeled people, who won't in many cases be local residents.

America already has walled itself off in terms of class and geography, Now we're going to wall off water. Wealthy people will have all they can drink and swim in, and the best views, protected by everyone else's money. Meanwhile, more and more citizens will find it harder to recreate along beautiful shorelines and in some cases almost as hard to find a drink of water that doesn't come from a pricey, environmentally unwise plastic bottle.

Moral: The seas are rising and ocean shorelines will have to be saved at great cost to benefit, mostly, a wealthy few. But if you're poor or even perhaps middle class, your community's shorelines may be seized to pay the debts of others, and the water that comes out of the taps in your home may be shut off because, hey, H2O is expensive. So go find a drinking fountain somewhere, if you can. Or drink champagne.

Further reading: http://www.detroitnews.com/...
http://www.invw.org/...

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Reposted from Daily Kos by Bud Fields

Today's source material:

Screencap of Townhall.com op-ed:
It's becoming faddish again to mentally bra-burn. The Times found twenty-something feminist actresses who are perpetually outraged at people's failure to bow to feminism. HBO star Lena Dunham said her "greatest pet peeve" is women spurning the term feminist. Last summer in The Guardian newspaper, openly lesbian Ellen Page lamented: "I don't know why people are so reluctant to say they're feminists. Maybe some women just don't care. But how could it be any more obvious that we still live in a patriarchal world when feminism is a bad word?" [...]

Many people don't accept the term "feminist" because it sounds like a very serious kind of pagan religion, with its own dogma and doctrinal enforcers. Others find feminists to be boors, pure and simple. Still others see the hypocrisy of it all. If feminists really believed women should be liberated to make their own path, wouldn't they embrace a debate over feminism? Such is the world of the "tolerant" left.

See, if you're annoyed that women don't like the term "feminist", that's not tolerant. On the other hand, waging a long-running legal and electoral battle to deny people the right to marry who they love, well that's kosher.

As you'll see below the fold, the natives agree that women really do suck.

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Reposted from Hunter by Bud Fields
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart: Stewart with image of Tennessee State Sen. Stacey Campfield
Oh, right. That guy.
Tennessee State Sen. Stacey Campfield, who we have heard from before due to his status as a thundering moron, blogs his "Thought of the day."
Democrats bragging about the number of mandatory sign ups for Obamacare is like Germans bragging about the number of manditory sign ups for "train rides" for Jews in the 40s.
Campfield says he will not be apologizing, though "it was never my intent to insult anyone."
“I think Jewish people should be the first to stand up against Obamacare,” Campfield said. “If government is controlling people's health insurance, they are potentially controlling people's lives....letting the government choose who lives and who dies.”
That's Republican State Sen. Stacey Campfield, America, a man who is pretty sure a plan to give Americans health insurance is like the Holocaust. And this, America, is why looking for the Republican Party to become less batshit insane in the near future is a fool's quest. That bench is too deep.
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Reposted from An American Citizen by Bud Fields

"Progressive Politics:Tennessee Style" (PPTS) has been looking, for some time now, at "The War on the Poor!". I have determined eight "battlefields" upon which a majority of this war, from my perspective, is being waged.

On our previous show, I outlined the overview of the fifth battlefield: "The War For Reason!" As most Kossacks might readily approve, this battlefield seems to stay very, very busy. In fact, it is this battlefield that propelled me to introduce a new blog of my very own, so that I could safely state my own opinions about those things we discuss on the show. I wanted a forum that was not tied to, or limited by either my writing here, or my political activities.

For instance, my blog introduces the concept of rhetorical argument, with the average citizen in mind. Follow me just below the sguiggledoodlethingey fold, for just a bit of explanation.

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Reposted from An American Citizen by Bud Fields

Progressive Politics: Tennessee Style (PPTS) works very hard for consistent accuracy. Sometimes, regardless of our attempts, the show is limited by the words of it's host: me.

On-air yesterday I stated that the Jewish Community Centers attacked earlier in the day were located in New York City. That was a factual error on my part.

The attacks occurred in the Overland Park, Kansas area, a suburb of Kansas City. I regret the error, and issue this correction personally, as I, and not the PPTS staff, made the error. Please accept my sincere apologies. It was a stupid mistake made as real time events were unfolding.

Bud Fields

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Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 02:57 PM PDT

Focus: What We Must Focus On!

by Bud Fields

Reposted from An American Citizen by Bud Fields

I do not agree that debate, discourse, and / or disagreement among members of this site are, or should be a bannable offense, generally. As I have been known to say before, there is a time, and a place for honest, honorable, civil and decent disagreement among those who have the ability to do so without being, or becoming disagreeable.

Throwing respect out the window for no purpose other than to "win" a point is a political tactic we are not generally known for. I believe we should leave that (and many other) rhetorical fallacies to the parties opposite.

However, the time comes when such activities become more than meaningless: they become harmful. We, as reasonable people of at least average intellect should clearly know when that time arrives, and agree to withhold perhaps our most favorite passion, and focus on action. Polity and ideology should inform our discussion. Our actions however require decision.

If we do not make them, they will be made for us. I cannot think of any political reality more starkly apparent than this one, right now. If not in Florida's 13th Congressional District, certainly in Crimea.

It seems to me that we are focusing on either nothing, or the wrong thing with entirely too much frequency here. I'd like to urge a dramatic, and immediate change to that situation right now.

Follow me below the squiggledoodlethingey fold for some opinions.

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Reposted from An American Citizen by Bud Fields

Sometimes, we mere citizens feel useless, and more often than not powerless to have impact on those important things which affect our daily lives. One of the principal reasons for such (and other) feelings is the perception that we can actually DO nothing about them, one way or the other.

We even sometimes admit our ignorance about those things which could have dramatic and lasting impact on us personally, or as community, or even as nation. Many or most of those things which give us these feelings do so because we do at least get a glimmer of understanding that we could feel (either positively or negatively) the impact for a very long time. That can be intimidating, fear-causing--or just plain something (like a really bad tooth pain) we really wish to avoid.

I wonder what the citizens of Kiev are thinking along these lines tonight. Actually, I wonder what the people of Kansas City are thinking about such things as these tonight. Or, to be very specific (because I have friends there, and just because I absolutely LOVE their name), I wonder what my target focus group in Lost Nation, Iowa are thinking about such things at the moment. (Waves at LN,I! Long Live Rustic Days! I love and miss you all!)

There is just such one of those things upon our visible horizon today. At some point during this term (between this second and some point during June, 2014), The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will release its decision in a quite very important legal case, "McCutcheon v. FEC". Many American citizens are hoping vehemently that this case is affirmed. At least an equal number of citizens in our land are hoping against hope that the Justices will overturn this decision.

You can certainly do a search on the style caption of this important case and learn why so many think their view should be reflected in the decision of the Justices. A lot is at stake here. Some, myself included would tell you that democracy itself is at stake here. That's because it is. Surely at a minimum, by any fundamental basic definition of OUR democracy, democracy is at stake here. Affirming the case would change that definition. Overturning the lower court could preserve that definition. Those are the stakes.

How can you, or I possibly do anything about that? Well, follow me just below the squggledoodlethingey fold, and I'll tell you.

Poll

Citizen: Will you accept this challenge?

83%5 votes
16%1 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes

| 6 votes | Vote | Results

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Reposted from Daily Kos Labor by Bud Fields
Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) questions members of the panel testifying before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee in Washington February 14, 2013. REUTERS/Gary Cameron
Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)
Workers at Volkwagen's Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant are in the middle of voting on whether to join a union—and their senator is making some very serious threats about the outcome of the vote:
"I've had conversations today and based on those am assured that should the workers vote against the UAW, Volkswagen will announce in the coming weeks that it will manufacture its new mid-size SUV here in Chattanooga," said [Sen. Bob] Corker, without saying with whom he had the conversations.

In the past few weeks, Volkswagen officials have made several statements that the vote will have no bearing on whether the SUV will be made at the Chattanooga plant or at a plant in Puebla, Mexico.

If Volkswagen told workers that it would move production away from Chattanooga on the basis of a union vote, that would be a violation of labor law; telling a public official that and sending him out to levy the threat wouldn't be a lot better. It's also in direct contrast to something an actual VW official said last fall:
Bernd Osterloh, head of VW's global works council, said in a statement that forming a council was important if the plant wanted to produce other VW cars and that he would keep talking with the UAW.
Works councils bring managers and workers together to make decisions about some factory policies; workers would have to unionize to have one in the United States. Under pressure from its strong German union and because it knows works councils do work, Volkswagen is officially neutral in this union election. Corker's public, and legally questionable, threats are an astonishing move by a public official. It's not Corker's first such public temper tantrum over the possibility of a union in Chattanooga; he's called Volkswagen "very naive" for its openness to a union in the past. Now he's apparently graduated to making the threats he wishes VW would—at whatever cost to his state's economy.
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