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Ramblings
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Published Thursday, July 21, 2016 @ 7:01 AM EDT
Jul 21 2016


(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Photo)

Not only did the Republicans nominate Trump for President, a red-bellied piranha was caught in North Park Lake. Ok, 2016, you win. Please stop.

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My son referenced a political thread in which he was engaged, and somehow the conversation turned into quotes from from the 1984 cult classic The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension.

My son noted, "Lectroid involvement would explain a lot about the Trump campaign."

Laugh while you can, monkey boys...

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Pixie, our small, insane, alien dog-like creature who resembes a Shih Tzu, behaved quite well for Dr. Joanna Rubin and her staff at Bridgeville Animal Hospital for her pre-spay exam. The thought of her reproducing is too terrifying to consider. (Pixie, not Joanna.)

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"Every word that comes out of Mike Pence's mouth reminds me that somewhere in rural Indiana, probably near Elkhart, a Quizno's is missing its assistant manager."
-Ed. Gin & Tacos (on Facebook)

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Today is Get to Know Your Customer Day, Invite an Alien to Live with You Day, Legal Drinking Age Day, National Junk Food Day, National Tug- Of-War Tournament Day, and Take a Monkey to Lunch Day.

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Watching the Republican National Convention, I keep expecting them to break out into "Springtime for Hitler."

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ACA out of detent. Mode control, both auto. Descent engine command override, off.
-Buzz Aldrin
(The actual first words spoken by a human from the surface of the Moon, July 20, 1969.)

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On The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, Braddock mayor John Fetterman observed that since outrageous claims, lies and statements seem to have no effect on Trump and his ilk, we are now living in a "post=factual" age.

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According to a story in The New York Times Magazine, this past May Donald Trump's son, Donald Jr.,contacted a senior adviser to Ohio governer and failed Republican Presidential candidate John Kasich, and asked him if the governor had any interest in being the most powerful vice president in history. Here's where it gets weird:

When Kasich's adviser asked how this would be the case, Donald Jr. explained that his father's vice president would be in charge of domestic and foreign policy.

Then what, the adviser asked, would Trump be in charge of?

“Making America great again” was the casual reply.

I've maintained since he entered the race that while Trump wants to win the Presidency, he really doesn't want to be President. Too much work, too much discipline and- let's face it- The White House is a step down from the decor of his multiple, gilded homes which appear to have been furnished by Saddam Hussein's interior designer.

He has the nomination. The question is now, how can he get out of it if he wins the election? Medical? Personal problems? (Hey, he's on wife number three). Stay tuned.

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I don't know if it's an accomplishment or not, but thanks to the Republicans in general and Trump in particular, I have now blocked more people on Facebook than I have as friends. Every once in a while I encounter one of them in real life, where I'm tempted to grab them by the shoulders and shake them, while screaming "Are you insane? We grew up together in the sixties! What the hell happened to you?"

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So, at least we now have the answer to the question "How could the German people allow Hitler to rise to power?"

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Someon stole my Bernie Sanders yard sign the other week. It was after he had suspended his campaign, but stil... I wanted to save it, to show there were some same people about in 2016.

You may have noticed on the right sidebar that I've replaced the Sanders plug with one for Hillary Clinton. At least she's not Trump...


Categories: 2016, Adolf Hitler, Bernie Sanders, Bridgeville Animal Hospital, Buckaroo Banzai, Buzz Aldrin, Candidates, Dogs, Donald Trump, Facebook, Gin and Tacos, Hillary Clinton, John Fetterman, John Kasich, Mike Pence, Politics, The Nightly Show


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This about sums it up
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Published Sunday, July 17, 2016 @ 12:01 PM EDT
Jul 17 2016


Categories: Bernie Sanders, Democrats, Hillary Clinton, Politics


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Wishful thinking
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Published Monday, April 18, 2016 @ 10:31 PM EDT
Apr 18 2016


Categories: Bernie Sanders, Elections, Star Trek


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Now it all makes sense...
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Published Friday, April 08, 2016 @ 3:12 AM EDT
Apr 08 2016


Categories: Bernie Sanders, Photo of the day, Politics, Star Trek


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"I'm whoever you want me to be."
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Published Saturday, March 12, 2016 @ 11:58 PM EST
Mar 12 2016


Categories: Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, SNL, Video


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Future history
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Published Monday, February 08, 2016 @ 11:34 PM EST
Feb 08 2016


Categories: Bernie Sanders, Star Trek


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The United States of Amnesia
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Published Friday, January 22, 2016 @ 8:48 PM EST
Jan 22 2016

...we are permanently the United States of Amnesia. We learn nothing because we remember nothing.
-Gore Vidal

For those of you who say it's impossible for Bernie Sanders to be elected President, here's an excerpted article from the Wednesday, November 4 issue of the Daily Kos entitled Why Obama will never, ever be elected president. Click on the link for the full article.

In honor of the anniversary of Barack Obama's election, this diary presents quotes from various pundits and commentators who confidently predicted Obama's defeat in the presidential race. I've listed them in chronological order, starting in late 2006 and ending just before Election Day in '08.

Oct. 27, 2006: "[Obama] should run in '08. He will lose in '08. And the loss will put him irrevocably on a path to the presidency." For him to win in '08 would require a "miracle." -- Charles Krauthammer

Dec. 17, 2006: "Barack Obama is not going to beat Hillary Clinton in a single Democratic primary. I'll predict that right now." -- William Kristol

Dec. 22, 2006: "Obama's shot at the top will be short lived.... Hillary Inc. will grind up and spit out any Democratic challenger that gets in its way." -- Joe Scarborough

Mar. 19, 2007: "The right knows Obama is unelectable except perhaps against Attila the Hun." -- Mark Penn

Sep. 24, 2007: "Sen. Obama cannot possibly believe, and doesn't even act as if he believes, that he can be elected president of the United States next year." -- Christopher Hitchens

Dec. 24, 2007: "A Bound Man: Why We Are Excited About Obama and Why He Can't Win." -- title of book by Shelby Steele

Jan. 26, 2008: "The 'could we beat Obama?' conversation is purely academic. It's over. The Clintons have defeated him already, because he is leaving South Carolina as 'the black candidate.' He won't win another state." -- Michael Graham, National Review

May 7, 2008: "[Obama] has shown he cannot get the votes Democrats need to win -- blue-collar, working class people. He can get effete snobs, he can get wealthy academics, he can get the young, and he can get the black vote, but Democrats do not win with that.... He will lose big." -- Rush Limbaugh

June 3, 2008: "Obama can't possibly be elected." -- Dick Morris

Aug. 4, 2008: "The Molten Core of Barack: Why Obama Can't Win." -- Alex Castellanos

Aug. 11, 2008: "As I wrote last December, '[t]he pundits can talk until they are blue in the face about Obama's charisma and eloquence and cross-racial appeal. The fact of the matter is that Obama has no chance of being elected president in 2008.' I am more convinced of this conclusion than ever." -- Steven M. Warshawsky, The American Thinker

Aug. 15, 2008: "Most people think Sen. Obama has this election in the bag, but in reality he stands very little chance of reaching the presidency because of the simple fact that he is far too liberal for America." -- Russ Duenow, Fredericksburg.com

Aug. 31, 2008: "Mr. Obama is doomed to defeat.... Mr. McCain will win - and win big - in November." -- Jeffrey Kuhner, The Washington Times

Sep. 22, 2008: "John McCain will win the presidential election, Kellyanne Conway, one of the country's most respected Republican pollsters, tells Newsmax." -- Ronald Kessler

Oct. 9, 2008: "I have received numerous emails from Republicans and Democrats alike, asking whether I still think Obama will lose the election. Yes, I do. But what about the polls, they ask? The polls show that Obama is winning. No, they don't, as I will explain." -- Steven M. Warshawsky

Oct. 25, 2008: "[T]here are real signs pointing to a McCain victory this year, whether or not the mainstream media wants to acknowledge them." -- Steven M. Warshawsky

Oct. 28, 2008: "The Seven Reasons McCain-Palin Are a Lock to Win." -- Dan Perrin

Nov. 2, 2008: Obama will win the popular vote but lose the election -- Fred Barnes

Nov. 3, 2008: "I think John McCain will win a squeaker over Barack Obama." -- Ed Morrissey

Nov. 3, 2008: "Throw out the polls. All of them.... The fact is that no pollster truly knows what is going on this election cycle, because this election is unlike any other in the nation's recent history.... The final Electoral Vote tally will be 275-263 for McCain." -- Mark Impomeni, Politics Daily

Nov. 3, 2008: "The media could be the real mid-wife of the November 4th victory by Senator McCain and Governor Palin." -- Dan Perrin

What's amazing is not that Obama won, but that these predictions from the enlightened pundit caste are not remembered.

Bernie can win this. Hell, Trump can win this. Ignore the pundits and pollsters. Do your own research and vote for the person you want.


Categories: Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, Politics


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"We'll marry our fortunes together..."
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Published Thursday, January 21, 2016 @ 1:44 PM EST
Jan 21 2016

This could be the equivalent of Reagan's "Morning in America."

Interestingly enough, Bernie Sanders, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel are all 74 years old.


Categories: Art Garfunkel, Bernie Sanders, Paul Simon, Politics, YouTube


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Add your endorsement
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Published Wednesday, January 06, 2016 @ 11:37 AM EST
Jan 06 2016

Greed, fraud, dishonesty, and arrogance: these are the words that best describe the reality of Wall Street today.

We can no longer tolerate an economy and a political system that have been rigged by Wall Street to benefit the wealthiest Americans in this country at the expense of everyone else. While President Obama deserves credit for getting this economy back on track after the Wall Street crash, the reality is there is a lot of unfinished business.

That's why today in New York City I announced my plan for taking on Wall Street. We must break up the banks, end their casino-style gambling, and fundamentally change the approach of the financial industry to focus on helping the American people.

When I am president, we will reform Wall Street and our financial system to make it work for all Americans. I want to tell you about what I will do, then ask you to add your name to endorse our plan. Add Your Name here.

To those on Wall Street, let me be very clear. Greed is not good. In fact, the greed of Wall Street and corporate America is destroying the fabric of our nation. And here is a promise I will make as president: If Wall Street does not end its greed, we will end it for them.

As most people know, in the 1990s and later, financial interests spent billions of dollars in lobbying and campaign contributions to force through Congress the deregulation of Wall Street, the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, and the weakening of consumer protection laws.

They paid this money to show the American people all that they could do with that freedom. Well, they sure showed the American people. In 2008, the greed, recklessness, and illegal behavior on Wall Street nearly destroyed the U.S. and global economy. Millions of Americans lost their jobs, their homes, and their life savings.

Meanwhile, the American middle class continues to disappear, poverty is increasing, and the gap between the very rich and everyone else is growing wider and wider by the day. But the American people are catching on. They also know that a handful of people on Wall Street have extraordinary power over the economic and political life of our country.

We must act now to change that. Our goal must be to create a financial system and an economy that works for all Americans, not just a handful of billionaires.

There are eight points to my plan, and I want to go through each of them here because I think it's important for our campaign to discuss specific policies with our supporters. Some of this may seem a little in the weeds, but I trust our supporters to be able to handle this kind of policy discussion.

Here's my plan for what I will do with Wall Street when I am president:

Break up huge financial institutions in the first year of my administration. Within the first 100 days of my administration, I will require the Secretary of the Treasury to establish a “Too Big to Fail” list of commercial banks, shadow banks, and insurance companies whose failure would pose a catastrophic risk to the U.S. economy without a taxpayer bailout. Within one year, my administration will break these institutions up so that they no longer pose a grave threat to the economy.

Reinstate a 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act to clearly separate traditional banking from risky investment banking and insurance services. It is not enough to tell Wall Street to "cut it out," propose a few new rules and slap on some fines. Under my administration, financial institutions will no longer be too big to fail or too big to manage. Wall Street cannot continue to be an island unto itself, gambling trillions in risky financial instruments. If an institution is too big to fail, it is too big to exist.

End too-big-to-jail. We live in a country today that has an economy that is rigged, a campaign finance system which is corrupt, and a criminal justice system which often does not dispense justice. The average American sees kids being arrested and sometimes even jailed for possessing marijuana. But when it comes to Wall Street executives — some of the most wealthy and powerful people in this country whose illegal behavior hurt millions of Americans — somehow nothing happens to them. No jail time. No police record. No justice.

Not one major Wall Street executive has been prosecuted for causing the near collapse of our entire economy. That will change under my administration. “Equal Justice Under Law” will not just be words engraved on the entrance of the Supreme Court. It will be the standard that applies to Wall Street and all Americans.

Establish a tax on Wall Street to discourage reckless gambling and encourage productive investments in the job-creating economy. We will use the revenue from this tax to make public colleges and universities tuition free. During the financial crisis, the middle class of this country bailed out Wall Street. Now, it’s Wall Street’s turn to help the middle class.

Cap Credit Card Interest Rates and ATM Fees. We have got to stop financial institutions from ripping off the American people by charging sky-high interest rates and outrageous fees. In my view, it is unacceptable that Americans are paying a $4 or $5 fee each time they go to the ATM. And it is unacceptable that millions of Americans are paying credit card interest rates of 20 or 30 percent.

The Bible has a term for this practice. It's called usury. And in The Divine Comedy, Dante reserved a special place in the Seventh Circle of Hell for sinners who charged people usurious interest rates. Today, we don't need the hellfire and the pitchforks, we don't need the rivers of boiling blood, but we do need a national usury law.

We need to cap interest rates on credit cards and consumer loans at 15 percent. I would also cap ATM fees at $2.

Allow Post Offices to Offer Banking Services. We also need to give Americans affordable banking options. The reality is that, unbelievably, millions of low-income Americans live in communities where there are no normal banking services. Today, if you live in a low-income community and you need to cash a check or get a loan to pay for a car repair or a medical emergency, where do you go? You go to a payday lender who could charge an interest rate of over 300 percent and trap you into a vicious cycle of debt. That is unacceptable.

We need to stop payday lenders from ripping off millions of Americans. Post offices exist in almost every community in our country. One important way to provide decent banking opportunities for low-income communities is to allow the U.S. Postal Service to engage in basic banking services, and that's what I will fight for.

Reform Credit Rating Agencies. We cannot have a safe and sound financial system if we cannot trust the credit agencies to accurately rate financial products. The only way we can restore that trust is to make sure credit rating agencies cannot make a profit from Wall Street. Under my administration, we will turn for-profit credit rating agencies into non-profit institutions, independent from Wall Street. No longer will Wall Street be able to pick and choose which credit agency will rate their products.

Reform the Federal Reserve. We need to structurally reform the Federal Reserve to make it a more democratic institution responsive to the needs of ordinary Americans, not just the billionaires on Wall Street. It is unacceptable that the Federal Reserve has been hijacked by the very bankers it is in charge of regulating. When Wall Street was on the verge of collapse, the Federal Reserve acted with a fierce sense of urgency to save the financial system. We need the Fed to act with the same boldness to combat the unemployment crisis and fulfill its full employment mandate.

So my message to you is straightforward: I’ll rein in Wall Street's reckless behavior so they can’t crash our economy again.

Will Wall Street like me? No. Will they begin to play by the rules if I’m president? You better believe it.

That is our plan to create an economy that works for all Americans, not just a handful of billionaires. If you agree with what we want to do, add your name to say that you stand with me.

No president alone, not Bernie Sanders or anyone else, can effectively address the crises facing the working families of this country without a powerful grassroots movement. When we stand together, there is nothing we cannot accomplish.

Thank you for standing with me.

In solidarity,

Bernie Sanders


Categories: Bernie Sanders


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Quotes of the day: Bernie Sanders
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Published Sunday, September 07, 2014 @ 8:00 PM EDT
Sep 07 2014


(Photo by Blair Kelly and Tylor Bohlman, truthdig.com)

Bernard "Bernie" Sanders (b. September 8, 1941) is an American politician and the junior United States Senator from Vermont. Before serving in the Senate, he represented Vermont's at-large congressional district in the United States House of Representatives and served as mayor of Burlington, the largest city in Vermont. Sanders is a self-described democratic socialist, and has praised Scandinavian-style social democracy. Sanders caucuses with the Democratic Party and is counted as a Democrat for the purposes of committee assignments, but because he does not belong to a formal political party, he appears as an independent on the ballot. He was also the only independent member of the House during most of his service and is the longest-serving independent in U.S. Congressional history. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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A nation will not survive morally or economically when so few have so much, while so many have so little.

CEOs of large corporations earn 400 times what their workers make. That is not what America is supposed to be about.

How could anybody defend the top 400 richest people in this country owning more wealth than the bottom half of America, 150 million people?

I fear very much that for the first time in the modern history of our country the next generation will have a lower standard of living than their parents, and that would be a real tragedy.

If a financial institution is too big to fail, it is too big to exist.

If you can't afford to take care of your veterans, then don't go to war. These people are bearing the brunt of what war is about. We have a moral obligation to support them.

Let us wage a moral and political war against the billionaires and corporate leaders, on Wall Street and elsewhere, whose policies and greed are destroying the middle class of America.

Let us wage a moral and political war against war itself, so that we can cut military spending and use that money for human needs.

Planes and tanks and guns are a cost of war. So is taking care of the men and women who use those weapons and fight our battles.

Right now, billionaires pay in to the Social Security trust fund the same amount of money as someone making $110,000 a year. And if we lift that cap to $250,000... Social Security will be solvent for the next 75 years.

The American people want to know that when they borrow a book from the library or buy a book, the government won't be looking over their shoulder. Everybody wants to fight terrorism, but we have to do it in away that protects American freedom.

The fact of the matter is that while tens of millions of American families are struggling to put bread on the table and are often one paycheck away from economic devastation, the wealthiest people in this country have never had it so good.

The Republicans are against every piece of legislation that would benefit working Americans. Why do they oppose raising the minimum wage, pay equity for women, ending our disastrous unfettered free trade policies and expanding Social Security? Government is supposed to represent all Americans, not just the billionaire class.

The rich people apparently are leaving America. They're giving up their citizenship. These great lovers of America who made their money in this country- when you ask them to pay their fair share of taxes, they're running abroad. We have 19-year-old kids who died in Iraq and Afghanistan defending this country. They went abroad. Not to escape taxes. They're working class kids who died in wars and now billionaires want to run abroad to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. What patriotism! What love of country!

The U.S. constitution is an extraordinary document. In my view, it should not be amended often.

The votes elected officials make should be based on the best interests of the American people, not the fear of retribution when shadowy groups spend millions of dollars on negative advertisements.

There are 492 billionaires living in this country and 16 million kids living in poverty.

They talk about class warfare- the fact of the matter is there has been class warfare for the last thirty years. It's a handful of billionaires taking on the entire middle-class and working class of this country.

Two-thirds of the directors at the New York Fed are hand-picked by the same bankers that the Fed is in charge of regulating.

We all remember Abraham Lincoln's wonderful remarks at Gettysburg in which he describes America as a country 'of the people, by the people and for the people.' Well, with the Citizens United Supreme Court decision we are rapidly becoming a nation of the very rich, by the very rich, for the very rich. And that is a horrendous tragedy. This is not the America that men and women throughout our history fought and died to defend.

We have billions to spend on a war but no money to take care of the very pressing needs of the American people.

What the American people want to see in their president is somebody who not necessarily can win every fight, but they want to see him stand up and fight for what he believes, take his case to the American people.

What Wall Street and credit card companies are doing is really not much different from what gangsters and loan sharks do who make predatory loans. While the bankers wear three-piece suits and don't break the knee caps of those who can't pay back, they still are destroying people's lives.

When men and women stand together for justice, we win. When black, white and Hispanic people stand together for justice, we win.

When you pay at Wal-Mart starvation wages and you don't provide benefits, who picks up the difference? The answer is that many of the workers in Wal-Mart end up getting Medicaid; they get food stamps; they get affordable housing paid for by the taxpayers of this country- while the Walton family remains the wealthiest family in the country. If that is not obscene, I don't know what is.

You have given the wealthiest portion of the population a tax break, and now you are coming before the American people and saying, we don't have enough money to protect the sick and the old.

You know, I think many people have the mistaken impression that Congress regulates Wall Street. In truth that's not the case. The real truth is that Wall Street regulates the Congress.

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September 8 is also the birthday of Sid Caesar and Thomas Szasz.


Categories: Bernie Sanders, Quotes of the day


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