Somebody forgot all about doing a post today.
THIS IS OUR OPEN THREAD. FEEL FREE TO EXPRESS YOURSELF.
Oddly the tea party still believes it will control the Repubican party. CPAC held a straw poll and the winner for the 2016 primary is Rand Paul. While that’s not really much to worry about the fact that so many current members of congress legislate with an eye to avoiding a tea party primary challenge is.
Nothing says patriotic like good old-fashioned Fascism, at least according to the president of the Greater Fort Bend County Tea Party, James Ives. As reported by the Texas Tribune, Mr. Ives’ title before he joined the Tea party was quite different: the director of propaganda for the American Fascist Party (AFP). When confronted with this information, he wisely did not deny, but what he did say was far more revealing:
“From my point of view, it was all pro-Constitution, pro-America.
I never did anything. There really weren’t enough people involved to be a gathering, let alone a rally. It was basically a scattering of people across the continent just complaining.”
Obviously we can’t afford to ignore Rand Paul and the Tea Party types while they continue to force their beliefs on the rest of us.
THIS IS OUR OPEN THREAD. WHAT’S UP?
This is our open thread. Feel free to mouth off about anything.
As much as $60 billion in U.S. funds has been lost to waste and fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade through lax oversight of contractors, poor planning and payoffs to warlords and insurgents, an independent panel investigating U.S. wartime spending estimates.
As the 10th anniversary of President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq approaches, the body charged with overseeing Iraq’s reconstruction has issued its final report, capping a tale of spending far too much money for very little results.
There is much more at the two links above. The question is how will this all turn out to be President Obama’s fault? George W. Bush stopped being responsible for anything the day President Obama was inaugurated in 2009 according to the GOP.
THIS IS TODAY’S OPEN THREAD. GO AHEAD AND VENT.
So, I’ve had a mild-mannered dispute with the economist Joe Stiglitz over whether individual income inequality is retarding recovery right now; let me say, however, that I think there’s a very good case that the redistribution of income away from labor to corporate profits is very likely a big factor.
Take a look at the chart on corporate profits as a share of gross domestic product. Corporations are taking a much bigger slice of total income — and are showing little inclination either to redistribute that slice back to investors or to invest it in new equipment, software, etc. Instead, they’re accumulating piles of cash.
If you put money in a bank, the bank might just accumulate excess reserves. If you buy securities from someone else, the seller might put the cash under his mattress, or put it in a bank that just adds it to its reserves, etc. The point is that buying goods and services is one thing, adding directly to aggregate demand; buying assets isn’t at all the same thing, especially when we’re at the zero lower bound.
“This bank is anti-fragile, we actually benefit from downturns,” Dimon bragged to his bank’s investors at a conference on Tuesday.
And it is true! The bank definitely benefited from the last downturn. It got to buy Bear Stearns in a government-backed fire sale, getting itself a brokerage business on the cheap in exchange for shouldering only a few tiresome legal burdens. It also got billions of dollars in government handouts, from $25 billion in TARP funds to billions in savings from low-interest-rate borrowing programs to a permanent subsidy arising from the idea that the government will bail out the bank if it ever gets in trouble.
And now we’re looking at the impending sequestration which in all likelihood will further stall economic recovery. Do politicians just not care about citizens or are they intentionally trying to keep us down? What do they gain by keeping us afraid of impending poverty? Just as they frightened us with the dangers of Obamacare which will actually benefit most they now say spending to stimulate the economy will destroy us with debt. Do out of work people really believe that the national debt is more harmful to them than not having a job and losing unemployment benefits?
THIS IS OUR OPEN THREAD. SAY ANYTHING.
The Food and Drug Administration has determined genetically engineered salmon won’t threaten the environment, clearing it of all but one final hurdle before it shows up on shelves throughout the nation — and igniting a final 60-day debate on whether it poses health risks before it’s officially approved.
Although it’s been nicknamed “Frankenfish” by critics, health professionals say they aren’t worried the lab-engineered salmon will cause more allergies or other harmful effects than any other breed of fish.
While labeling of genetically modified food of any type is not guaranteed and so we won’t know if we’re buying it. And we certainly won’t know if it is harmful to ingest. There is always a chance that it will interfere with indigenous species. Should we have learned a lesson from the destruction the common carp has created since it’s introduction?
A Fish once Prized, Now Despised
By the turn of the century, the introduction of the carp was such a “success” that both public agencies and sportsmen had come to regard the fish as a nuisance. While tons of free-swimming carp were being harvested from area waters, they were comparable in taste to neither the selectively bred pool-cultivated carp of Europe nor, it was believed, to many of the native “game” species, and were thus useless as a food source. Moreover, their rapid spread appeared to threaten both water quality and native species, as commissioners nationwide noted a deterioration of formerly clear and fertile lakes and waterways upon the arrival of carp.
While not on anyone’s dinner table just yet, genetically engineered salmon are just a pen stroke away. GE salmon are being developed by a U.S. company called Aqua Bounty Farms and are preferred for their ability to grow two to four times faster than other farmed salmon…
Research at both Purdue University and The National Academy of Sciences points to the “considerable risks” that genetically engineered (also called “transgenic”) fish pose to nearby populations of native fish:
“Purdue University researchers have found that releasing a transgenic fish to the wild could damage native populations even to the point of extinction.”
Sigurdson, C. (2000). Transgenic fish could threaten wild populations, Purdue News.
There is little doubt that transgenetic fish will, if raised, escape to the surrounding waters. Estimates of farmed salmon escapees in British Columbia total at least 400,000 fish from 1991 to 2001:
“According to the Canadian government, in the past decade nearly 400,000 farm-raised Atlantics escaped into British Columbia waters and began competing with wild species for food and habitat. (That number relies primarily on escapes reported by fish farmers; environmentalists put the actual figure closer to 1 million.)”
Barcott, B. (2001). Aquaculture’s Troubled Harvest, Mother Jones, November/December.
There is much more on the dangers to our waterways at Salmon Nation. Although you’d think common sense would be enough to know that this is a very bad idea.
This is our daily open thread. Feel free to talk about salmon, genetically-modified foods, or anything else you wish to discuss.
Ever since learning Ted Nugent would be allowed to attend SOTU Tuesday night we have to wonder what behavior is too much. Many, really most Republican pundits have lied and denigrated President Obama and his family. But what does it take for somebody to go so far in this country that they can be denied access to a prestigious event even though one member of Congress invited him.
Nugent seemed agitated when asked questions after the speech by President Obama.
The aging rocker called Rhode Island Rep. Jim Langevin ”s*#t for brains” for his comments that Nugent was an “odd choice for a member of Congress to invite someone who threatened the life of the President.”
He took on the president too, criticizing his “predicable, flowery, feel good, save the children, end world hunger insanity.”
“And then I see him either do nothing, or do the opposite,” he said. “I feel horrible that we’re going after my guns, instead of stopping crime and dangerous behavior.”
Just who is going after your gun Ted. And does your paranoia indicate that maybe you are too dangerous to own them.
This is your open thread. Talk amongst yourselves.