Monday, Jan 23rd

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Present, in the Land of the Surreal

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You know the expression:  If it's not one thing after another, it's the same damn thing, over and over again.  The over-and-over part:  being on deathwatch, then losing another family member.  The damn thing, in this case:  Cancer.

It's the way these things go for those who survive:  Too many events are suspended in the fog of the surreal.  The sequence of events rubberizes and freezes clocks, stretching out and shrinking time.  Gravity is too variable, but almost always heavy-handed -- trying to run, or move quickly, makes one feel submerged to the neck in bread pudding.

This deathly period boils it down, right down to bare-bones existence.  Life, living, or feeling alive might come later.  For now, I am able to merely vote "present."


Would we need to shoot Cracker-backs at the border?

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In June, the private sector added 84,000 and government cut 4,000 jobs. The good news is that with government revenues stabilizing, there are signs that the massive losses in public employment may be coming to an end. Still, since May 2010, the government sector has cut 1.04 million jobs. At the same time, since February 2010, the private sector has added 4.35 million jobs. The thing is that most of these government job cuts occurred in the Red states, and they are same states that aren’t producing private sector jobs either. Blue states are even adding government jobs as their economies start to recover.

Another part of the problem with slow job creation is the lack of skilled workers, but businesses refuse to provide job training, or pay high enough wages to allow workers to go to school. Raise taxes to support education? Of course not.


White House, or Big House?

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Initial Jobless Claims are down again this week putting in doubt the prognostication that we’re going into the double dip recession. That would be the recession that the Republicans have been working so hard to engineer before the election. Jobless Claims are in fact down 15% from this time last year. This is of no comfort for those who have become permanently unemployed under the universal corporate policy of never hiring people who are unemployed. A permanent oblivion that workers can be cast into focuses the minds of the Neo-feudal serfs.

Gasoline prices continue fall putting cash in the hand of consumers, and retailers are hoping this will trigger a huge surge in back to school sales. There is a certain amount of pent up consumer demand, and the urge to buy stuff for the kids is usually a leading indicator of renewed consumer confidence.


Judge Threatens Gag Order On Effort To Restore Privacy Of Ballot

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By Bev Harris, Founder of

Don't be confused, and don't let anyone tell you that you shouldn't talk about this.


We have a right to BOTH. Some election officials have been conflating these two issues, claiming that if we examine ballots we can see how people voted. Now, this raises a stunning question: If this is so, that means that election officials and vendors can also figure out how you voted.

We all need to grab a cleaver and chop these two rights into the two distinct rights that they are. The right to inspect; the right to privacy.


Blood and Feathers

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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is after the our friends over at JP Morgan Chase for rigging wholesale electricity prices to the tune of $73m. You thought that activity went away with the collapse of Enron? These crooks will steal anything that isn’t nailed down, well okay, they will pry up the nails too. They aren’t the only people the FERC has been going after, Obama was delayed in appointing people by Republicans in the Senate, but things are finally starting to happen.

The FERC has been going after other “banks” (that’s a questionable term) for stealing hundreds of millions by illegal trading schemes. And, this is only the low hanging fruit. More complex schemes, and strategies that were de-criminalized by Reagan, and his successors, have cost us billions if not trillions.


Hooray! We Won Something ... Maybe.

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Before the Affordable Care Act came to pass almost fifty million Americans were uninsured. Now that the Supreme Court has upheld President Obama's signature health care law … 26 million Americans will remain uninsured. But how many more millions of Americans can barely afford the coverage they now have?

Depending on your personal outlook on life … the glass is half full or half empty. But who wants a sip?

Where I live it is unimaginable that people can’t afford health coverage. it is unthinkable that a person can’t get health care.


Colorado Supreme Court Decision Assures That Ballots Remain Public Records

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by Bev Harris, founder of

The Colorado Supreme Court's decision has reaffirmed that election ballots are open public records. As a result, the public will be able to verify that untraceable votes are accurately interpreted and counted. This decision comes as election officials are preparing for the 2012 presidential election.

In September, 2011, the Colorado Appeals Court ruled that ballots are indeed open public records. The City filed requested that the Colorado Supreme Court reverse the decision. The Supreme Court has now decided not to hear the Koch v. Marks case. The Court chose to end the controversy in favor of election transparency.

"This is a welcome decision that reconfirms the vitality of the Colorado Open Records Act as a powerful tool that permits ordinary Coloradans to hold their state and local governments accountable," said Marks's attorney Robert A. McGuire of Denver.


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