Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bright House Lightening and Verizon FIOS faceoff

by Wirehead

My family and I have been concerned about the Verizon FIOS bills and the dire straights the family get in when a Verizon bill is not paid. It takes minimally two hours to pay Verizon over the phone and a second call later in the day to get the phone, cable and Internet restored. It is a battle royale.

After the latest episode with Verizon, my wife an I decided we needed to return to Bright House. We found that for an additional $15 per month we could get Bright House Lightening which is supposed to be twice as fast as Verizon FIOS. We will look at some actual stats on a home network a little bit later.

While talking to Bright House we found we could get rid of two of the settop boxes because still has 80 channels of analogue service that can be directly connected to the old style TVs. This saved about $10 month.
We also used a standard and expensive PSTN phone line with Verizon because we use a fax machines with distinctive ring. I had to purchase a second VOIP phone line for $10 a month. I wanted the second Bright House phone line to avoid fiddling with a cumbersome fax switch.

Regardless, the two phone lines from Bright House are still cheaper than a single PSTN line from Verizon because of the historic taxes and fees on PSTN phone lines.

The downside to replacing a PSTN phone line with one that runs over VOIP is that you need a UPS to provide power to the home phone when you lose power in your home. The phone company provides power for a PSTN line so it stays up during power outages.

The consumer, however, will have to replace the backup battery to the VOIP phone device every year at their expense. How do the two systems compare. The graphics compare the two systems:

Bright House Lightening results

Verizon FIOS results

Bright House claims Lightening is twice as fast as Verizon. This is true for the upload speed when you are fetching a web page  or sending email. The two services are closer in download speeds such as when you are downloading a web page, file or email.

Bright House in my opinion has better customer support and tech support than Verizon. When you pay your bill, the service is on very quickly if you missed a bill. 

The customer support and tech support people are also very friendly and helpful. The Bright House installer did not leave information on setting up an email account. I called a Bright House tech and got the email account up in minutes and linked it to my gmail account.I would expect the average user to save anywhere from $50 to $100 a month on their cable bill by switching to Bright House.

Verizon has an excellent but pricey service. Every TV will require a settop box and you have to request that any new settop boxes after installation be delivered and returned by UPS. The customer service appears to be overly centralized, impersonal and out of state. Verizon is an old AT&T local exchange carrier and it still has some rough edges because of it size.

Rightardia's recommendation is Bright House. It is faster, more convenient and offers better customer service than Verizon. You will also save money on you monthly cable bill.

Update: I verified that Bright House cable box supports a the standard 480p and 720p resolution. I was also able to get a 1080i resolution that was not available from the older Verizon FIOS settop box.

In the past I was able to get 1080i output from my Blu-Ray DVD player, but not the Verizon settop box. The difference between the standard analogue output of 480p and 720p is not that noticeable, but there is a big difference between 480p and 1080i output. The better LCD monitors, of course, also support 1080p.

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Sarah Palin defends her telepalmer

Sarah Palin charged the Tea Partiers $100,000 to speak at their convention and also resigned as governor of Alaska to make more money. She also ran up a credit card bill for $150,000 in new clothing courtesy of the RNC when she running for the vice presidency in 2008.

Sarah Palin claims she wrote on her hand to help her remember her 'core beliefs.' She called her hands  "a poor man's version of a Teleprompter," when Palin commented on Sean Hannity's show  Thursday night.

Poor Sarah!  She has to be certainly just as bad off as those 1.2 million Americans who won't get their unemployment checks in March because of another Republican, Sen. Jim Bunning.

source: Daily Beast

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Washington Whispers: Obama gets B- in week 58

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RT: CIA helps terrorists in Iran?

From: RussiaToday | February 26, 2010
 The leader of a Sunni terrorist group fighting against Shiites in Iran says his organization has close links with the CIA. The head of the Jundullah group was captured earlier this week in the south of the country. Abol-malik Rigi says he met the U.S. agents in Pakistan, who promised support for carrying out terrorist attacks in Iran.

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Washington Whispers: Palin as a Third-Party Candidate for President?

Palin as a Third-Party Candidate for President?
February 25, 2010 09:00 AM ET | Bedard, Paul

By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

The growth of the right-leaning tea party movement has prompted talk of a third-party challenge to President Obama and the eventual GOP nominee. The reason: If tea party activists don't like the GOP nominee, they'll bolt.

Many pollsters see Sarah Palin leading that wing, though polls show voters have fallen out of love with her. "I want Sarah Palin," grins Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg.

The Democrats would love the opportunity to run against Palin as either a Republican or third party candidate. She would get the Democratic Party faithful onto the streets for sure. She is more polarizing than Hillary Clinton.


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Fed Up With The Filibuster?

The American people are sick of process blocking progress. They're fed up with an arbitrary tradition that allows a minority of Senators to prevent popular, much-needed legislation from even coming to a vote.

Frankly, so am I.

Please sign this petition to my colleagues in the Senate, supporting the Harkin-Shaheen proposal or other similar proposals to eliminate the crippling 60-vote cloture requirement to overcome a filibuster.

Thank you,

Dick Durbin
U.S. Senator

Full Petition Text:

Dear United States Senators,

I urge you to support the Harkin-Shaheen proposal or similar proposals to eliminate the crippling 60-vote cloture vote requirement. These challenging times call for more progress, not more process. And that means we need to revisit the filibuster, which has allowed a minority in Congress to prevent popular, much-needed legislation from even coming to a vote.

The Harkin-Shaheen proposal would continue to provide ample time for all Senators to voice their concerns about legislation and seek changes. But it would allow for a gradual reduction of the necessary vote threshold needed to conclude debate so that a minority of Senators cannot impede progress indefinitely.

When our Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution and drafted the initial rules of the Senate, they never intended requiring a supermajority to pass any and all legislation. They just wanted to be sure that Senators took time to carefully debate and consider bills before taking votes.

That's why I urge you to support the Harkin-Shaheen proposal, or similar filibuster reform proposals.
Signed by:
[Your name]

Click on this automated Link to filibuster web site:

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Sen. Jim Bunning Tells Dem 'Tough Shit' on unemployment extension

by Arthur Delaney | HuffPost Reporting

Jim Bunning, a Republican from Kentucky, is single-handedly blocking Senate action needed to prevent an estimated 1.2 million American workers from prematurely losing their unemployment benefits next month.

As Democratic senators asked again and again for unanimous consent for a vote on a 30-day extension Thursday night. Bunning refused to go along.

And when Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) begged him to drop his objection, Politico reports, Bunning replied: "Tough shit."

Bunning says he doesn't oppose extending benefits -- he just doesn't want the money that's required added to the deficit. He proposes paying for the 30-day extension with stimulus funds. The Senate's GOP leadership did not support him in his objections.

"I'll be here as long as you're here and as long as all those other senators are here and I'm going to object every time because you won't pay for this and you propose to never pay for it," Bunning said.

And at one point during the debate, which dragged on till nearly midnight, Bunning complained of missing a basketball game.

"I have missed the Kentucky-South Carolina game that started at 9:00," he said,
"and it's the only redeeming chance we had to beat South Carolina since they're the only team that has beat Kentucky this year.
Story continues below

The unemployment rate in Kentucky is 10.7 percent.

The stakes are enormous: provisions of last year's stimulus bill that allow extra weeks of unemployment benefits and COBRA health coverage are set to expire on Feb. 28. State workforce agencies have already sent out letters informing recipients that they'll be ineligible for extra "tiers" of benefits starting next month. The National Employment Law Project estimates that 1.2 million people will prematurely lose benefits in March.

Rightardia comment: Sen. Jim Bunning has been a  huge disappointment as a senator and will not run for re-election. This is what happens when a sports hero with no political skill is elected. 

Apparently watching a sports game is more important to Bunning than helping needy Americans. The Democratic party should crucify Sen. Bunning for being a hard right ideologue.

Bunning is a major league conservative ass hole!

sources: Huffington Post and the Daily Beast

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Haaretz: Israel's 'chief scientist' is a wing nut

By Or Kashti

Israeli Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar found statements dismissing evolution and global warming made by the ministry's chief scientist over the weekend to be unacceptable.

Ahead of a request to discuss the matter in the Knesset, one of the senior sources at the Education Ministry said that chief scientist Dr. Gavriel Avital had been asked to clarify his position.

Also Tuesday, the National Academy of Sciences agreed to adhere to an Education Ministry request to delay any special statement criticizing Avital. Sources at the ministry said that the statements of the chief scientist were "unacceptable for the minister, and that is an understatement."

Three days ago, one of Sa'ar's aides sent a letter to Eyal Morag, whose blog, the Black Butterfly Effect, publicized Avital's statements.

"The statements of the chief scientist of the Education Ministry reflect only his personal views and do not reflect the policy of the ministry, those heading it and the professionals in charge [of the said] subjects," the aide wrote.

A source at the ministry said that the letter was in essence a vote of no confidence in Avital.

Avital was appointed to the post three months ago and he is the first chief scientist at the Education Ministry to be selected from a field other than education. A specialist in aerodynamics, Avital is a member of Likud and was on the party's list of candidates during the 2006 Knesset elections.

Earlier this week Haaretz reported on Avital's statements on evolution and the role of humans in global warming.

"If textbooks state explicitly that human beings' origins are to be found with monkeys, I would want students to pursue and grapple with other opinions. There are many people who don't believe the evolutionary account is correct," Avital said over the weekend.

Commenting on global warming Avital said in the past that "all the signs of a fanatic faith are there [among green groups], radicalism and a great deal of hatred."

In response to a question on whether he recycles he said: "I try to put plastics in the regular trash. The earth is not being destroyed. God has promised us ... and the influence of humans is minor."

Rightardia comment: This is the kind of scientists that get appointed when a conservative government wins the election. This is embarrassing for a country that prides itself in intellectual achievement. Is Israel graduating their scientists from divinity school?


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Jeb Bush chastises Florida governor Charlie Crist

Apparently Jeb Bush wants the hard right wing conservative, Marco Rubio, to beat Charlie Crist in the Florida Senate primary. 

The Florida unemployment rate is 11.6 per cent for a state that used to weather recessions well. That was before the Republicans took control of the state for the last 12 years.

If Crist had rejected the stimulus funds, unemployment would be worse and more Floridians would be eating in soup kitchens. The stimulus also provided more federal funds for food stamps.

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Democratic Underground: Senate has the votes to pass public option via reconciliation

By Jordan Fabian - 02/25/10 11:16 AM ET

The Senate has the 50 votes necessary to pass a public health insurance option using the budget reconciliation process, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said today.

Sanders, a self-described "democratic socialist" who supports the government-run plan, urged President Barack Obama to push for the public option even though the possibility of passing it appeared to die this week.

"I think we do have 50 votes in the Senate for a public option and frankly I don't know why the president has not put it in and I hope that we can inject it," Sanders said on MSNBC. "I think it's a very important part of healthcare reform."

It's not clear if Sanders's remarks will encourage leaders to take up the public option.

Rightardia has advocated using reconciliation to close out health care legislation to the government can concentrate on other matters. If Obama can pick up some Republican votes in the health care summit, that is well and good. We doubt if the Democrats will be able to get a Senate cloture vote on health care. Obama needs to move on to other pressing issues. It's time to get the job done!

Source: The Hill

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Workers Independent News: Wal-Mart gives demerits to workers who call in sick

by Doug Cunningham on February 24, 2010 - 3:41pm

On Wednesday Wake-Up Wal-Mart kicked off a week of action on Wal-Mart’s sick leave policy of giving workers demerits that can lead to being fired if they call in sick. Jill Cashen is with the United Food and Commercial Workers.

Jill Cashen: “Shining the light on Wal-Mart and its irresponsible practice of issuing demerits to workers who called in sick, or do call in sick, attempting to use the sick leave that they have.”

Cashen says Wal-Mart has a responsibility to set a high employment standard, especially now when America is in such great need of good jobs.

Jill Cashen: “What we’ll continue to do is to say to them, you know you’re making lots of money, you’re controlled primarily by the Walton family – extremely wealthy family in America. And you have an obligation to our country to do better, you know, to lie up to the highest possible standards, not push us down to the lowest common denominator.”

Wake-Up Wal-Mart will hold events at fifty Wal-Mart stores across the country to deliver demerits to management for their sick leave policies.

The last time The Major, our international affairs writer, received a demerit was when he was in officers training school. Wal Mart only allows managers to be full time workers so the company benefits to the store workers are limited. A worker should not be disciplined for using his or her sick leave benefits. This is a childish corporate rule. The  Wal Mart management team must have time on their hands to come up with such a stupid rule.


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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Why Dick Cheney will never die from a heart attack

He doesn't have a heart!

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Why is the incredible human brain is shrinking?

 The double whammy of religion and conservatism

Most people don't know this but the human brain has shrunk dramatically for the past 100,000 years. Scientists agree that the brain has shrunk by 8-10%. This is no surprise to people who have studied anthropology. The brain of homo neanderthalis was actually larger than that of homo sapiens. The large size did not provide an evolutionary advantage for our extinct cousin.

Rightardia thinks it knows why the brain is shrinking. The first cause of shrinkage was when man invented religion and created God. This had a tremendous effect of dumbing up people who were taught to follow dogma and to do what the priests told them. This was the first assault of free thought. People actually believed that a God or Gods lived up in the heavens and controlled everything on Earth. This produced a 'what me worry mentality" and the brain began to shrink.

The second assault on the brain was conservatism. Conservative thought essentially puts the brain into a box that discourages any thoughts which do not conform to conservative ideology. Conservatives are notorious conformists who must think inside the box. No one should be surprised that conservative and religious thought have a lot in common.

These two forces: religion and conservatism have combined to shrink the brains of many Americans who live in the South and West. The shrinkage has been hastened since the rise of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and the Tea Party movement.

What is the result? We now have many parts of America inhabited by slack-jawed yokels whose minds have been numbed by right wing media, guns, beer and religion.

What is the only hope for these people? That would be progressive and liberal thought. But it is very hard for people with a diminished intellectual thought to grasp complex progressive and liberal ideas. In fact, Lawrence Kohlberg, an ethical philosopher, didn't believe that liberal or post-conventional thought developed in humans until they were in their mid-thirties.

How else can you explain that Tea Partiers would be against reforms to health care that will benefit the vast majority of Americans and the middle class? So many Americans have been dulled by religion and conservatism that they can barely determine what is in their best interest.

Any new ideas that are outside of the conservative box are considered socialistic or communistic. These ignorant masses are controlled by their conservative and religious handlers: the evangelicals, the corporatists, fraternity and sorority sisters, and the right wing media who wish to maintain the status quo.

If the mind numbing effects of religion and conservatism continue, our world will, indeed, become the Planet of the Apes!

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How about a nice cup of weak white tea?

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Politico: Reconciliation will marginalize the Senate GOP


An idea that seemed toxic only weeks ago — using a parliamentary tactic to ram health reform through the Senate — is gaining acceptance among moderate Democrats who have resisted the strategy.

The subtle shift among this small group of centrist senators could mean the difference between success and failure for health care reform — giving Democrats a potential road map for passing a bill that had been left for dead after the Massachusetts Senate defeat.

That mood in the Senate was matched Tuesday by a growing momentum for President Barack Obama’s health care proposal in the House, where Democrats were beginning to coalesce around the view that getting something for health care is better than nothing at all.

These shifts couldn’t come at a better time for Obama ahead of Thursday’s health care summit. The White House has signaled he’s prepared to use reconciliation, which would require just 51 votes to pass health reform.

The Democratic strategy for selling the public on the tactic, especially if no Republicans sign on to Obama’s plan is simple: The GOP made us do it.

“Obviously, if the minority is just frustrating the process, that argues for taking steps to get the public’s business done,” said Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.). Bayh was one of the leading voices against the procedure after the Massachusetts election, calling it “very ill-advised.”

“At the same time ... Republicans would probably shut the place down, but you could argue they are doing that anyway,” Bayh said.

Bayh’s remarks Tuesday came a day after Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) cited Republican obstructionism as a reason why she could embrace the parliamentary maneuver to pass health care reform. Last month, she said she was leaning against reconciliation.

“I’m staying open to see how these negotiations go forward,” Landrieu said. “I’ve not generally been a big supporter, but the Republican Party, the leadership, has really been very, very, very disingenuous in this process.”

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) said he doesn’t prefer reconciliation, but it may be the only way. 

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WSJ: Cheap Internet Calling with Magic Jack

2/17/2010 9:00:00 PM

Magic Jack is a new device and service that allows you to make cheap phone calls through your computer.

Overall, the product works as advertised, Walt Mossberg found.

Rightardia has been aware of Magic Jack for a long time and it is a $19 a year alternative to VOIP services provided by Verizon, Bright House and third party providers such as Vonage.

Most of these providers charge more for one month of service than Magic Jack charges for the entire year.

A leading consumer magazine was also impressed with Magic Jack. At this time you can install Magic Jack on Windows and MAC PCs, but not on Linux based systems.

Magic Jack is also working on a Skype type of system that does not require a USB dongle and only uses software to communicate.


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Obama approval edges up 2/23/2009

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Nightline: Auto Professor Pinpoints Possible Car Flaw Expert says electronic design flaw is linked to runaway Toyotas

Southern Illinois professor,Dave Gilbert, says electronic design flaw is linked to runaway Toyotas. He was able to recreate the defect. The professor indicated moisture, corrosion, or wear could cause the fault.

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Washington Post: GOP's Brown branded turncoat for jobs bill vote

By GLEN JOHNSON, The Associated Press
Tuesday, February 23, 2010; 5:36 PM

BOSTON -- A month after being crowned the darling of national conservatives, Republican Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts is being branded "Benedict Brown" for siding with Democrats for voting for a jobs bill endorsed by the Obama administration.

Like the four other GOP senators who joined him, the man who won the late Democrat Edward Kennedy's seat says it's about jobs, not party politics.

The four other GOP senators who broke ranks - Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, George Voinovich of Ohio and Christopher "Kit" Bond of Missouri - also were criticized on Tuesday. But Brown was the big target on conservative Web sites, talk shows and even the Facebook page his campaign has promoted as an example of his new-media savvy.

"We campaigned for you. We donated to your campaign. And you turned on us like every other RINO," said one writer, using the initials for "Republican-In-Name-Only."

The conservative-tilting Drudge Report colored a photo of Brown on its home page in scarlet.

Update:  According to the Huffington Post, Some of Brown's fans are giving him some support, but the lion's share of comments read like "LYING LOW LIFE SCUM HYPOCRITE!" and "What a bummer dude. We didn't need another Olympia Snowe," and "BROWN, YOU JUST REMEMBER YOU DOUCHEBAG...WE ARE WATCHING YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! AND YOU FAILED AT THE FIRST CHANCE...YOU SCUM SUCKING ASS!!! GUESS MY 10-15 HOUR WORK DAYS WILL HELP PAY FOR THIS TOTAL BULLSHIT!!!!!!!!"

The new senator responded by calling into a Boston radio station.

"I've taken three votes," Brown said with exasperation. "And to say I've sold out any particular party or interest group, I think, is certainly unfair."

See the rest of the story at

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Monday, February 22, 2010

GOP dumps 'Joe the Plumber'

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GOP Filibuster Fails As Scott Brown And Others Break With Party

Scott Brown was in and out of the Senate chamber and had voted against his party before most of his colleagues had even arrived.

"It's a small step, but it's still a step," Brown told reporters after casting a procedural vote in favor of the Democratic jobs bill, bucking his party leaders and the strategy of opposition they have carried out since President Obama took office.

For Senate Democrats, it was much bigger step. Four Republicans followed Brown's lead, giving the jobs legislation 62 votes, two more than needed to cut off a GOP filibuster.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) thanked the newly-elected Republican from Massachusetts:

"I hope this is the beginning of a new day here in the Senate. Whether this new day was created by the new Senator from Massachusetts or some other reason, I'm very, very happy that we were able to get this done. But there are some winners. Not any individual Senator, not Democrats or Republicans. The winners are small business people throughout this country."

Brown was followed by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who was followed by her home state GOP colleague Olympia Snowe.

Sens. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) and Kit Bond (R-Mo.), who are retiring, also backed the bill.

Voinovich's vote came after he was given an assurance from Reid that the surface transportation reauthorization bill that Voinovich prizes will be given high priority.

Voinovich, who was patted on the back by a grateful Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) after the vote, said that he could see himself working jointly with Brown and Democrats for the remainder of the term.

"I think he and I are going to do a lot of music together," said Voinovich. "My vote was reflective of what I thought made sense."

Voinovich didn't stick around for any loyalty lectures after his vote. "I have no idea," said Voinovich when asked what leadership thought of his vote. "I voted and took off."

Brown also said that he had "no idea" how the rest of his colleagues would vote. But it was good enough for him. "It's not a perfect bill. I would have liked broader and deeper tax cuts, but I was comfortable with that first vote," said Brown.

Twenty nine Republicans opposed the measure, while six skipped the vote. More Republicans skipped the vote than voted in favor.

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), meanwhile, muddled the message of Democratic unity behind the jobs bill. He voted against it.

See the rest of the story at

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Republican family values

The Family Guy understands Republican family values. 

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Media Matters for America: Fox News gets the 'nuclear option' wrong

Fox Nation falsely refers to reconciliation as the "nuclear option"

Fox Nation: "WH: If GOP Filibusters Health Care, We'll Use Nuclear Option." On February 22, Fox Nation's home page displayed the following graphic:

FACT: "Nuclear option" refers to changing Senate filibuster rules, not to reconciliation.

Trent Lott coined "nuclear option" to refer to proposal to change filibuster rules. Lott coined the term "nuclear option" to refer to proposed changes to the Senate rule requiring a three-fifths supermajority to end a filibuster.

Lott was one of the leading advocates of this proposal. However, as Media Matters for America noted, after strategists deemed the term a political liability, both Republican senators and media figures misattributed the term to Senate Democrats.

FACT: Reconciliation is already part of the Senate procedure, and Republicans previously used it to pass Bush's agenda

Reconciliation is already part of the congressional process. The budget reconciliation process is defined by the U.S. House Committee on Rules as "part of the congressional budget process ... utilized when Congress issues directives to legislate policy changes in mandatory spending (entitlements) or revenue programs (tax laws) to achieve the goals in spending and revenue contemplated by the budget resolution."

Republicans previously used reconciliation to pass President Bush's agenda. In a March 28, 2009, article, The New York Times reported that "the long record of Republican support for fast-tracking budget-related bills definitely dilutes their ability to challenge Democrats on the issue."

During the previous adminstration, Republicans used the budget reconciliation process to pass President Bush's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts as well as the 2005 "Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act."

FACT: Fox routinely misuses "nuclear option"

Fox Nation, Fox News personalities routinely invoke the "nuclear option" while discussing reconciliation. Fox News personalities including Sean Hannity, Dick Morris, Bret Baier, and Greta Van Susteren have all falsely compared reconciliation to the "nuclear option."


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Russia House hosts Vancouver 2010 taping of The Colbert Report


On Thursday, The Colbert Report, a popular American satirical late night television program which has been nominated for four Emmys, was taped at Russia House in Vancouver. See who won the hockey match between Colbert and his his giant Russian opponent.


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The President's health care proposal

On Thursday the much-anticipated bipartisan meeting on health reform will be held at the Blair House across the way from the White House. With Congress having spent most of a year discussing and debating reform, the President put forward a proposal to work off of during the meeting to help lay out a path forward. 

The proposal aims to give the American people and small business owners more control over their health care choices by building on the progress Congress has already made, and including new ideas from both parties and the President himself.
And of course, join us on Thursday here at, where the entire bipartisan meeting will be streamed live.

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Al Jazeera: Asia-Pacific - Drilling company triggered mud volcano in Indonesia

A new study has concluded that a volcanic eruption of mud in Indonesia's East Java was caused by human error.

An international team of scientists says there is no doubt that drilling at a nearby gas well weakened rock formations, causing the crisis.

The company responsible for the drilling, Lapindo Brantas, claims the problem was caused by an earthquake.

Al Jazeera's Step Vaessen reports from East Java.


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The Paul Krugman blues

Rightardia is a big admirer of Paul Krugman. But most people didn't see Obama the way Krugman did; the right wing thought he was the savior of the left.

When Krugman wrote columns deriding Obama he was atacked and recieved scathing comments on the progressive blogs, more hate mail, and not the fun kind. The messiah or savior is an evangelical term. Rightardia agreed with Krugman that Obama was an intelligent alternative to right wing stupidity and ideology. 

"I won't try for fake evenhandedness here," Krugman wrote. "The Obama campaign seems dangerously close to becoming a cult of personality."

"OK, you did it," one commenter wrote in response. "You lost me. I've defended you on local blogs but you've sunk into low territory." "You're devolving into a caricature with your gross misrepresentations and strident, ignorant defense of the Clinton campaign," another wrote.

"Paul, you're killing a little bit of your readers' souls," a third wrote, "or at least those of us who used to love your column." "The primary was terrible, it was awful," Krugman says.


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Friday, February 19, 2010

RT: Russo-American WWII hero celebrated in St. Petersburg

Published 19 February, 2010, 10:38 

The extraordinary life story of “Jumpin’ Joe” Beyrle, a G.I. who managed to fight the Nazis in both the Soviet and US armies, is being celebrated in an exhibition in St. Petersburg.

Beyrle is thought to be the only American soldier who fought for both the US and Soviet Armies against Nazi Germany in the Second World War.

His son John – the current US ambassador to Russia – says the story is a memorable example of the wartime alliance between the two nations.

In 1944, 20-year-old paratrooper Joseph Beyrle was dropped over Northern France as the allies opened the second front. Just three days later, however, he was captured by the Germans and spent the next 10 months being moved between at least seven concentration camps.

“You have never lived until you have been interrogated by the Gestapo,” Jumpin’ Joe later said in an interview. 

When US troops found Joseph's dog tag on a body, his family back home in Michigan received the news they had always feared: their son had been killed in action.

Little did they know it had actually been found on the remains of a Nazi soldier who had stolen Joseph’s dog tag.

“There was somebody up there looking after me… that wasn’t my time to go,” Beyrle said. 

Eyeblast TV: Bill Mayer on Larry King

Rightardia agrees with Bill Mayer. The Democrats need to be tougher to get health care done. Democrats are being being viewed as weak and vacillating on health care.

The Affordable health Care Act on 2009 should have been on the presidnet's desk and signed by now. Rightardia is getting disgusted with the way the Democrats in Washington have handled health care.

Mayer's comments on socialism are also accurate. Only 36 per cent of Americans have farvorable views on socialism and many Americans look at socialism and communism as being synonimous.

Mayer's comments on the US Marines being socialist is right on. The Armed Services are the most socailistic instituions in the US with base housing, the base exchange, the commisary and base hospital. Military installations are like the old corporate towns, but the pay and benefits are a lot better. 

When you retire from the military after 20 years, you receive a generous penison and full medical benfits for the service member and his or her family. The federal government also subsides the serviceperson's VA mortgage and education benefits.

Rightardia is suprised the GOP has not tried to privitize the Armed Services. Actually, the Bush adminstration did that when they introduced the Blackwater mercenaries into Iraq and Afghnaistan.

Republicans have been trying to privatize Social Security which was a big failure in the UK. Another GOP pirvitization effort, The Bush Ownership Society, was another huge failure that led to the Great Recession.

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tom Tomorrow: The corporate American avatars

Corprations can merge and get married and soon they will sonn have the right ot vote. Corproations can also spin-off children and go bankrupt. Rightarida guesses the Supremes watched Avatar and figured out this would happen.

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Can't wait to hear the GOP ideas on health care

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International Tax revenue as percentage of GDP

Conservatives have doing a great job of confusing Americans about taxes. If you look at the tax comparisons below between countries, the US actually has the lowest taxes of almost all of the Northern Atlantic and large European countries.

A progressive income tax benefits the middle class because it puts more tax burden on the higher earning income earners. However, most American taxes such as municipal estate or sales tax are actually regressive or flat. Accordingly, the middle class and the poor actually pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than the wealthy.

Conservative efforts to flatten taxes have had a bad impact on the middle class. One third became wealthy and during the Reagan era and two thirds treadled water of declined.

Beware of Republicans bearing tax gifts. Most of the problems we have in the Great Recession are due to conservative tax fiddling and deregulation.

The percentages in the three tax columns were derived from the references. 

                                     1     2     3
 Australia              30.5  30.6
 Brazil                   38.8
 Canada                33.4  33.3
 Denmark             50.0   48.9   49.1
 France                 46.1   43.6   44.2
 Germany              40.6   36.2   39.3
 Italy                      42.6  43.3    42.3
 Israel                   36.8
 Russia                  36.9
 New Zealand       36.5   36.0
 Sweden                49.7   48.2   48.9
 Switzerland          30.1   29.7
 United Kingdom   39.0   36.6   37.4
 United States       28.2  28.3


  1. 2009 Index of Economic Freedom, Heritage Foundation. Accessed on May 2, 2009. Note: Tax revenue as a percentage of GDP was obtained from the individual country pages, under the "Fiscal Freedom" section. The year for the data for each country is not mentioned, but the source claims to use the most recent data up to June 30, 2008.[1]
  2. Revenue Statistics 1965-2007, 2008 Edition. OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). ISBN 9789264051393 (book), ISBN 9789264051409 (ebook), and ISBN 9789264051485 (CD). Publication date: October 15, 2008. The data is found in Table A. Total tax revenue as percentage of GDP. By OECD nation, and by regional averages. 1975 to 2006. With provisional data also for 2007.
  3. Taxation Trends in the EU. 2008 edition. Taxation and Customs Union. European Commission. June 26, 2008 EUROSTAT (Statistical Office of the European Communities) press release: Taxation trends in the EU. EU27 tax ratio at 39.9% of GDP in 2006. See note 2 at the end for the meaning of the 2-letter country codes. See also: 2-Letter Country Codes.

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    Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    Huff Po: IRS says Tax Rates For America's Top 400 Earners Fell As Income Soared In 2007

    First Posted: 02-17-10 06:21 PM | Updated: 02-17-10 08:07 PM

    The earnings of the 400 highest-income Americans hit new highs in 2007 while the tax rates they paid hit new lows, according to a recent IRS report.

    Former New York Times tax reporter David Cay Johnston reported the findings of the newly uncovered report for Tax Analysts:

    In 2007 the top 400 taxpayers had an average income of $344.8 million, up 31 percent from their average $263.3 million income in 2006, according to figures in a report that the IRS posted to its Web site without announcement that were discovered February 16.

    Bloomberg noted that the wealthy's low tax rate can be directly attributed to the George W. Bush tax cuts. Bloomberg:

    Almost three-quarters of the highest earners’ income was in capital gains and dividends taxed at a 15 percent rate set as part of Bush-backed tax cuts in 2003, the statistics show. Of the 400 earners, 289 paid a total effective federal tax rate of 20 percent or less in 2007, the last year for which figures were available, the data show.

    But the trend didn't start under Bush; rather, it started under former President Bill Clinton. While the average income of the Top 400 more than doubled during the Bush years (accounting for inflation), it more than tripled during Clinton's eight years in office, the data show.

    Of course, Clinton had to deal with a Republican controlled House and Senate two years after he was elected.

    Also, the effective tax rate paid by the highest earners fell more than 7 percent during Clinton's two terms, according to Johnston's calculations. It fell by about six percent during the Bush years.


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    WSJ: The End of the Fix-It-Yourself Car?

    As computers have revolutionized car safety, efficiency, and performance, they've also made those same cars increasingly hard to fix. This has robbed arm-chair mechanics of the thrills of tinkering in the garage.

    WSJ's Andy Jordan reports.

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    Ubuntu Linux 9.10 tips

    by Wirehead
    Karmic Koala (Unbuntu 9.10) has been out for months and is very stable. Wirehead just purchased the Ubuntu User Magazine No. 3 and was very impressed. It described a lot of the new features of the latest version of Ubuntu. Unlike some other Linux magazines, it did not contain a lot of articles about other versions of Linux or esoteric bash commands that are rarely used. This magazine is written primarily for the desktop user rather than a system admin who works on Linux servers.

    The magazine noted that Open Office 3.2 is now available, but Wirehead had to download the Debian files manually and install it using the terminal instructions from this link: The installation of Open Office went without a hitch.

    The magazine also mentioned Ubuntu Tweak which has some of the features of Windows Powertoys.This was a welcome addition to Ubuntu.

    Ubuntu Tweak
    The magazine included Ubuntu 9.10 disk with the 32-bit, the 64-bit and and the Live version. The latter allows a user to boot from the enclosed DVD into RAM to test drive the software. 

    The magazine also had articles about Ruby, an easy to learn programming language, some easy backup options, the remote control of PCs, and the Transmission Bit Torrent client plus other interesting articles.

    By the way, Wirehead has been trying to find a satisfactory Linux news reader for a while. He tried PAN which was complicated and tended to lose its newsreader view which was perplexing. Eventually the PAN newsreader data became corrupt and unusable. He also tried Knode which is a KDE application. This application kept losing its news server password and erroring out. 

    Wirehead then downloaded the Mozilla Thunderbird email client and configured it as a  USENET newsreader. It is easy to configure and is faster than both PAN and Knode. Wirehead thinks Thunderbird will be a keeper. 

    This review was unsolicited and written gratis. Rightardia  fully supports of the open source Linux community.

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    Mossad Hit Squad on camera in Dubai

    These are pictures of the Mosssad hit squad that killed a Hamas commander in Dubai. The suspected killers,who are wearing wigs and using stolen identities, are caught on surveillance video as they hunt down a Hamas military commander in Dubai. (Today Show)

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    UN Ratifies Ban On Cluster Bombs, but US Still Has Not Signed Agreement

    EDITH M. LEDERER | 02/16/10 10:18 PM | AP

    UNITED NATIONS — Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced Tuesday that the international convention banning cluster bombs has received the 30 ratifications required and the UN will enter the convention into force on Aug. 1.

    Cluster bomblets or flechettes are packed by the hundreds into artillery shells, bombs or missiles, which scatter them over vast areas. Some fail to explode immediately and can lie dormant for years until they are disturbed. These weapons often are picked up by children who are attracted by their small size and bright colors. A bomblet can kill or maim someone within 10 to 50 yards (meters).

    The convention prohibits all use, stockpiling, production and transfer of cluster munitions, sets strict deadlines for the destruction of stockpiles and clearance of contaminated land, and obliges states to support survivors and affected communities.

    Only those countries that have ratified the convention will be bound by its provisions.

    Ban said the United Nations received the 30th instrument of ratification for the Convention on Cluster Munitions on Tuesday. The conventionwill be in force on Aug. 1 according to a statement from the U.N. spokesman.

    The U.N. chief said "the world's collective revulsion at the impact of these terrible weapons" which are "unreliable and inaccurate" and kill and maim civilians long after conflicts end, the statement said.

    The group Handicap International says 98 percent of cluster-bomb victims are civilians, and nearly a third are children.

    Ban urged all countries to sign and ratify the convention.

    But some of the world's top military powers – including the U.S., Russia and China – and big users like Israel, India and Pakistan, have refused to support the convention, arguing that cluster bombs have legitimate military uses.

    Faced with growing international pressure, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced tow years ago that the United States would reduce its inventory of cluster bombs that don't meet new safety requirements.

    The London-based Cluster Munition Coalition said Burkina Faso and Moldova ratified the convention on Tuesday, bringing the total number of ratifications to the required 30.

    The 28 other countries that have ratified the convention are:

    Norway, Austria, Holy See, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Albania, Croatia, Laos, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Montenegro, Slovenia, Spain, Burundi, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malawi, Malta, Nicaragua, Niger, San Marino and Uruguay.

    see the rest of the story at
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