Saturday, June 30, 2012

Rubio's Doublespeak On The ACA

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)
English: Official portrait of US Senator Marco...
English: Official portrait of US Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  “Well, I think it’s telling that a victory for the Obama administration means a middle class tax increase. It is now unlawful for you not to buy health insurance. And if you don’t buy it, you have an IRS problem. If you do not buy health insurance, the IRS is going to be on your back and chasing you. They are going to take away your refund, they’re going to increase your fees.”

First off Senator, you should know congress has cut IRS funding every year since 1990.  Today, the IRS budget is 1/3 what it was a decade ago, in spite of the fact that for every dollar of funding the IRS provides 4-5 dollars of revenue in recovered taxes.  It's estimated that every year the US loses 385 billion in revenue due to cheating on taxes, mostly by the wealthy.  That's almost 4 trillion over a decade!  The IRS simply does not have the resources to "chase after every American". 

In Massachusetts,  less than 1% of the population pays a penalty instead of purchasing health insurance.  Most Americans will gladly purchase healthcare if its affordable, and the ACA helps insure about 30 million more citizens.  Finally, a tax increase applies to tanning salons and cadillac healthcare plans,  99% of Americans won't face a tax hike, but the 1% will and the wealthy are making more noise whining about paying a few dollars in taxes than 30 million Americans soldiering on without any healthcare. 
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Friday, June 29, 2012

Happy Friday

credit: NASA, ESA
This stunning hubble photo features the star forming region Eta Carina, 7500 light years away. 
Full size images and wallpaper here

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Seattle: ObamaCare Victory Celebration

Members from MoveOn, WashingtonCan and Planned Parenthood gathered in front of the offices of Washington States attorney general and republican governor candidate Rob McKenna on Thursday, to celebrate the SCOTUS constitutional ruling on the Affordable Care Act.  Attorney General Rob McKenna was targeted since he was one of the Attorney Generals who brought this case to the Supreme Court to begin with.   I'd say the mood of the crowd was enthusiastic elation.

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ObamaCare Constitutional! Sweet!

What a great victory for American citizens.  I was completely surprised by the decision, thinking the court would rule 5-4 against.   Every American deserves a chance to have access to normal healthcare.  This bill, tho not single payer, is a vast improvement, over CEO's of healthcare companies deciding who will live and who dies.  Healthcare should be a right, not a privilege. 

President Obama's Statement of the Supreme Court Decision
 today's decision was a victory for people all over this country whose lives will be more secure because of this law and the Supreme Court's decision to uphold it.
And because this law has a direct impact on so many Americans, I want to take this opportunity to talk about exactly what it means for you.
First, if you're one of the more than 250 million Americans who already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance - this law will only make it more secure and more affordable. Insurance companies can no longer impose lifetime limits on the amount of care you receive. They can no longer discriminate against children with preexisting conditions. They can no longer drop your coverage if you get sick. They can no longer jack up your premiums without reason. They are required to provide free preventive care like check-ups and mammograms - a provision that's already helped 54 million Americans with private insurance. And by this August, nearly 13 million of you will receive a rebate from your insurance company because it spent too much on things like administrative costs and CEO bonuses, and not enough on your health care.
There's more. Because of the Affordable Care Act, young adults under the age of 26 are able to stay on their parent's health care plans - a provision that's already helped 6 million young Americans. And because of the Affordable Care Act, seniors receive a discount on their prescription drugs - a discount that's already saved more than 5 million seniors on Medicare about $600 each.
All of this is happening because of the Affordable Care Act. These provisions provide common-sense protections for middle class families, and they enjoy broad popular support. And thanks to today's decision, all of these benefits and protections will continue for Americans who already have health insurance.
Now, if you're one of the 30 million Americans who don't yet have health insurance, starting in 2014 this law will offer you an array of quality, affordable, private health insurance plans to choose from. Each state will take the lead in designing their own menu of options, and if states can come up with even better ways of covering more people at the same quality and cost, this law allows them to do that, too. And I've asked Congress to help speed up that process, and give states this flexibility in year one.
Once states set up these health insurance marketplaces, known as exchanges, insurance companies will no longer be able to discriminate against any American with a preexisting health condition. They won't be able to charge you more just because you're a woman. They won't be able to bill you into bankruptcy. If you're sick, you'll finally have the same chance to get quality, affordable health care as everyone else. And if you can't afford the premiums, you'll receive a credit that helps pay for it.
Read the full statement here

Click here to Thank President Obama and Stand With ObamaCare

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Republican Minds Flooded With Abortion

Normal homeowners insurance doesn't cover flooding.  But you can buy flood insurance compliments of the US government.  At least you could until senator Rand Paul (R-Ky) attached a "life begins at conception" amendment to the flood insurance bill.  The "fertilized egg is a person bill" would ban all abortions and many popular forms of birth control- the pill and intrauterine devices.  This bill failed a referendum in Mississippi by 16 points last November.
Hurricane season is upon us. Homeowners whose homes occupy low-lying ground must be delighted that republican obsession with abortion, and the ultimate philosophical question--when does life begins, takes precedence over mundane matter like government assistance to rebuild flooded homes. 
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Monday, June 25, 2012

The Price Of Bain Capital

Bain Capital made a lot of money for Mitt Romney, but thousands of middle class Americans paid a terrible price; their jobs, pensions and healthcare for Romney's millions.  This clear and effective video is devastating for Mitt Romney.

Last week an excellent Washington Post article by Tom Hamburger examined filings by the Securites and Exchange Commission to document:
Mitt Romney’s financial company, Bain Capital, invested in a series of firms that specialized in relocating jobs done by American workers to new facilities in low-wage countries like China and India.
The Romney campaign issued this statement defending their candidate from the WaPo article citing Bain Capital and its subsidiaries as off-shoring pioneers.
 “This is a fundamentally flawed story that does not differentiate between domestic outsourcing versus offshoring nor versus work done overseas to support U.S. exports, Mitt Romney spent 25 years in the real world economy so he understands why jobs come and they go. As President, he will implement policies that make it easier and more attractive for companies to create jobs here at home. President Obama’s attacks on profit and job creators make it less attractive to create jobs in the U.S.”
Huh?  The next time I meet an investment banker I'll ask them to translate the Romney Campaign's statement. I'll agree that Romney understands how to buy a company, load it with debt and extract millions from the company before it goes bankrupt.  But Mitt Romney has no idea how to create jobs in American society, or his state wouldn't have been 47th in job creation during Romney's tenure as governor of Massachusetts.  President Obama  has an answer on offshoring jobs everyone can understand.
“If you're a worker whose jobs went overseas — you don't need someone who is going to explain to you the difference between outsourcing and offshoring. You need somebody who's going to wake up every day and fight for American jobs.”

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President Obama And Mitt Romney On SCOTUS Arizona Ruling

President Obama:
I am pleased that the Supreme Court has struck down key provisions of Arizona’s immigration law. What this decision makes unmistakably clear is that Congress must act on comprehensive immigration reform. A patchwork of state laws is not a solution to our broken immigration system – it’s part of the problem.
At the same time, I remain concerned about the practical impact of the remaining provision of the Arizona law that requires local law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of anyone they even suspect to be here illegally. I agree with the Court that individuals cannot be detained solely to verify their immigration status. No American should ever live under a cloud of suspicion just because of what they look like. Going forward, we must ensure that Arizona law enforcement officials do not enforce this law in a manner that undermines the civil rights of Americans, as the Court’s decision recognizes. Furthermore, we will continue to enforce our immigration laws by focusing on our most important priorities like border security and criminals who endanger our communities, and not, for example, students who earn their education – which is why the Department of Homeland Security announced earlier this month that it will lift the shadow of deportation from young people who were brought to the United States as children through no fault of their own.
I will work with anyone in Congress who’s willing to make progress on comprehensive immigration reform that addresses our economic needs and security needs, and upholds our tradition as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. And in the meantime, we will continue to use every federal resource to protect the safety and civil rights of all Americans, and treat all our people with dignity and respect. We can solve these challenges not in spite of our most cherished values – but because of them. What makes us American is not a question of what we look like or what our names are. What makes us American is our shared belief in the enduring promise of this country – and our shared responsibility to leave it more generous and more hopeful than we found it.

Mitt Romney:
“Today’s decision underscores the need for a President who will lead on this critical issue and work in a bipartisan fashion to pursue a national immigration strategy. President Obama has failed to provide any leadership on immigration. This represents yet another broken promise by this President. I believe that each state has the duty–and the right–to secure our borders and preserve the rule of law, particularly when the federal government has failed to meet its responsibilities. As Candidate Obama, he promised to present an immigration plan during his first year in office.  But 4 years later, we are still waiting.”
2010 the Dream Act passes the democratically controlled US House of Representatives.  The senate (HR5281)  voted 55-41 to pass the Dream Act.  The Dream Act would have become law in 2010 if the minority republicans hadn't filibustered the bill, requiring a super majority of 60 votes to pass the bill.  Republicans who cosponsored the bill Hatch (R-UT), skipped the vote , Bunning (R-KY), Gregg (R-NH) or voted NAY.  President Obama tried to pass the Dream Act, and a majority of our legislators voted for it.
Mitt Romney is wrong, President Obama has provided leadership, its the republican senators who have failed to work in a bipartisan fashion to advance the good of the nation in order to advance the ambitions of the republican party.

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Mitt Romney: Overseas Job Creator

Washington Post
Mitt Romney’s financial company, Bain Capital, invested in a series of firms that specialized in relocating jobs done by American workers to new facilities in low-wage countries like China and India.
During the nearly 15 years that Romney was actively involved in running Bain, a private equity firm that he founded, it owned companies that were pioneers in the practice of shipping work from the United States to overseas call centers and factories making computer components, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Washington Post article by Tom Hamburger  details how Romney's Bain Capital pioneered shipping US jobs overseas.

Stephanie Cutter: Mitt Romney's Career of Shipping American Jobs All Over the World

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Ohioans Discuss Romney

Mitt Romney visited some cities in Ohio during the week. This video features middle class Ohioans and how they feel about Mitt Romney.

Happy Friday

Credit: Hubble, NASA, ESA
NGC 634, a lovely spiral galaxy 250 million light years away.

Full size image and wallpapers here

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

American's Need Jobs, Now

The 2010 republicans ran on a platform of jobs.  The republicans have produced many anti-abortion bills but nothing directly promoting jobs.  In fact, they have done everything in their power to stifle job growth.  President Obama sent a jobs bill to capitol hill last fall, Speaker Boehner wouldn't even let the bill come up for a vote.  The jobs bill which was completely paid for would have reduced unemployment by a full point.  Our highways and bridges are crumbling and the republicans are stalling on a transportation bill.  Between 1980 and 2009 the US experienced 30 bridge collapses.  Since January 1, 2010 and June 1, 2012 there have been 29 bridge collapses, that's one bridge failure every 1.3 months.  For a decade the republicans promised millions of jobs with the Bush tax cuts.  Where are the jobs?  One way the US government has helped pull our nation forward during recessions has been to increase jobs in the public sector.  Hiring teachers, firefighters and policeman, helps our nation and provides much needed dollars circulating throughout the economy.  This recession, the worst since the great depression, unlike any of the other three recessions, we have lost public sector jobs, as you can see from the chart below.  This isn't President Obama's fault, the blame lies with the republican house, which controls spending in this country.  The republicans want to regain the White House through high unemployment numbers the republicans are directly responsible for. 

The republicans are shameless in their pursuit of power, last year they even tried to slash spending for AmeriCorps.  We can help create public pressure for the congress to do the right thing and pass President Obama's Jobs Bill and expand existing programs like AmeriCorps and Habitat for Humanity.  OurTime.Org has a petition to immediately create a million new jobs through existing community service organizations.

 Dear President Obama and Governor Romney:

Our country needs nurses, teachers, disaster relief, park restoration, infrastructure repair, and more. Yet 1 in 2 young Americans are currently jobless or underemployed.

A generation is a terrible thing to waste. Pledge to create one million new public service positions by expanding programs such as AmeriCorps, CitiYear, Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, and others so we can rebuild our country now.
Sign's petition and lets get Americans to work!

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Romney Lies About 33 page Medicaid Form

Mitt Romney
"I met an optometrist this morning and ... this optometrist wanted to change his billing address. He moved his office from one side of town to the other, same Zip code, same post office. But he wanted to change his address. He got a form from the federal government. This is so he could get reimbursement from the federal government for the services he provides for the poor and seniors.
"The form he gets to change address is 33 pages long -- 33 pages long. He calls someone to ask how to fill it out. He calls someone in government. They tell him what to do. He sends it in. They sent it back. It wasn't done right, got to do it again, another 33 pages. He calls another person. They tell him what to do. Doesn't get it right the second time. The third time's the charm, though. This takes several months during which time he's not getting the checks for the work he's doing for people who need his care. That's how government works."
There is NO 33 page long address change form for Medicaid.  The form is 4 pages long if you count the two pages of instructions.  You can download the full 4 page form here.
2 pages of instructions, this page and another page to list additional addresses where doctors see patients.
Can't Romney tell the truth about anything?  Will Romney or his staff issue a correction?   Just how dumb are Romney supporters that they have to send this form in 3 times before they get it right?   Just how dumb, does Romney and his staff think the American people are?  Everyone can and does make mistakes, but Mitt Romney, it seems can't be troubled with correcting his errors.  If we can't trust him to get the facts straight on simple things like the number of pages on a form, how are we to believe he'll do the right thing on his "undisclosed" spending cuts.
***6/20/12 Update***
It's been well over 24 hours and the Romney Campaign has neither produced the 33 page form, or issued a correction.  It's much more worrisome that the Romney campaign can't be bothered with backing up statements or correcting mistakes than is the telling of a story that lacks authenticity.  If it was a medicare form in question, that form is 6 pages, with three pages of instructions.  The 6 page medicare change of address form is available here.
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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Marriage Equality Math

+  +  0 = :(
-   +  0 = :(
+  +  -  = :)
+  +  + = :)
-   +  -  = :)

Republicans: Women Should Remain Silient While Men Legislate Women's Rights

In Michigan old white republican men are busy passing laws concerning women and women's health.  Last week in Michigan, republicans were angry that a woman used the word "vagina" on the house floor while speaking against an anti-abortion bill.  The republicans silenced this woman and one of her colleagues and then accused her of a "temper tantrum".  These old white republican men have neither the political judgement or competence  to refrain from legislating anti-abortion bills reflecting their own personal religious beliefs and biological ignorance.  The republicans in Michigan ran on unemployment, yet they have done nothing to help the jobs situation in Michigan.  Rather the Republican men have been waging a war on women's health and a war on voters.
Not only women but husbands, fathers and uncles are increasingly angry at old white republican men telling the women in our lives what they can or cannot do with their bodies.  It's none of their business.  The republicans seem to have forgotten that women and the men who love them all have the right to vote and we will all remember the republican war on women the next time we vote, and I promise you, we won't forget to vote!

 State Rep. Lisa Brown Op-ed column (Emphasis mine)
Thursday was an important day at the Michigan Capitol. Many big decisions were being made, and my constituents sent me to be their voice at the Capitol. That is why I am shocked that Republican leadership of the Michigan House of Representatives told me that I wouldn't be allowed to speak on the House floor that day.
So why was I silenced? On Wednesday I spoke against a sweeping new anti-choice bill. This bill attempts to over-regulate women's health clinics to the point that many could no longer offer abortions. Among other things, the plan would require doctors to make funeral arrangements for fetal remains after miscarriages.  In my comments on the House floor, I used a word that Speaker Jase Bolger and floor leader Jim Stamas are clearly offended by. I used the word "vagina."  I used that word because we were debating a women's health issue. Vagina, by the way, is the correct medical name of a part of women's anatomy lawmakers want to regulate. My statements were within the rules of the House and were clearly appropriate in relation to the bill we were discussing.  One of my counterparts, Rep. Mike Callton, R-Nashville, said "vagina" is such a disturbing word that he would never deign to use it in the presence of women or "mixed company." This, from a man who earned a bachelor's degree in biology.
Isn't that something?
These lawmakers — predominantly men — have no problem passing laws about my vagina. But when I dared mention its name, they became outraged.
You know what? I am outraged, too.
I am outraged that this legislative body wants to dictate not only what women can do, but also what we can say. I am outraged that the leaders of the House want to rob me and my constituents of their voice in Lansing. And I am outraged that they think they can do these things with impunity.  It is not acceptable for male legislators to silence women and tell us that we can't even speak about our own bodies. And it's not acceptable for House leaders to declare that an elected representative no longer has the right to speak on behalf of her people.
The leaders of the House have shown they will go to great lengths to not hear our voices. I am going to speak out anyway. I urge everyone else who feels the Legislature doesn't hear them to speak up with me.
State Rep. Lisa Brown, D-West Bloomfield Township, represents Michigan’s 39th District in Lansing.
Progressive Change Committee has a petition demanding an apology to Lisa Brown and Barb Byrum -- and allowing them to speak again on the House floor. Click here to sign.

Click here to tell Jase Bolger that if he doesn't like it when lawmakers say the word "vagina," then he should stop legislating vaginas. Petition:
Speaker of the House: Lift the censorship ban on MI Representatives Lisa Brown and Barb Byrum
Picture via @eclectablog:
An estimated 5000 people attended a reading of the Vagina Monologues at the Michigan Capital today.  On news coverage of the event, one protest sign stood out:  "vaginas brought you into the world and vaginas will vote you out".  Perhaps, if every republican who votes on anti-abortion legislation was asked vagina pertinent questions, they might tend to start legislating jobs bills instead of women's health. 
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Friday, June 15, 2012

Obama Delivers A Fragment Of The Dream Act

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

We salute President Obama's decision to stop deporting children of illegal immigrants. These children who have grown up here, attended our schools, fought in our military deserve a path to citizenship. The congress has put off action on this for years. The congress can't pass a highway bill, jobs act or even pay our bills without causing a debt crisis, Obama was correct to act. It's not the dream act but even a fragment of a dream is better than the nightmare fear of deportation.

Under the policy first revealed Friday in a Department of Homeland Security order to immigration and customs agency chiefs, illegal immigrants can have a two-year stay of deportation and obtain work permits if they: are younger than 30 and came to the country before they turned 16; have lived in the United States for at least five years; graduated from high school, served in the military or are in school; and have not been convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanor.
The immunity resembles the Dream Act, a long-sought bill that has never been able to get through Congress, but differs in one important way: Its beneficiaries will not step onto the path toward legal residency or citizenship. They will be protected from deportation and can live, work and study freely for the next two years.
A new poll released today, shows that 64% of Americans support President Obama's new policy on children of illegal immigrants, while 66% of independents approve.
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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Happy Friday

M8 Credit:NASA, ESA.
This close-up shot of the centre of the Lagoon Nebula (Messier 8) clearly shows the delicate structures formed when the powerful radiation of young stars interacts with the hydrogen cloud they formed from.
Summer is almost here and the best time to see Sagittarius or "the teapot", low in the southern skies.   
Unlike many Hubble objects M8 can just barely be seen with the naked eye under dark skies as a faintly greyish white smudge.  This active star forming region is 5000 light years away towards the center of our Milky Way Galaxy.

Hubble full size image and wallpapers here
M8, lagoon nebula learn more and more

Romney's Job Plan

Military Industrial Complex At Work In Congress

500,000 dollar bonus or big fat bribe?, you decide.  From the New Republic:

Our investigative news team at Republic Report broke this story late last week. The giant defense manufacturer Northrop Grumman actually did give one of its lobbyists half a million dollars in bonus pay right before he left to serve on a key congressional committee dealing with defense issues.
 The New Republic
Northrop Grumman, the fourth largest weapons maker in the world, follows the actions of Congress very closely. The F-35, which may cost over $1.45 trillion because of unprecedented cost overruns, an expensive surveillance drone program criticized as unnecessary, and even a new fleet of nuclear bombers are among the Northrop Grumman products that may be in jeopardy as the Pentagon is forced to trim fat from the military budget. But luckily for Northrop Grumman, which made $2.12 billionin profits last year, the firm essentially has a man on the inside of Congress with wide sway over how the government spends money on national defense.
In 2011, after Republicans seized the House of Representatives in a landslide victory, the House Armed Services Committee, which oversees the military, gained a new chairman, Representative Buck McKeon (R-CA). As with most leadership changes, McKeon and his committee hired new professional staff. Thomas MacKenzie, a vice president at Northrop Grumman, was tapped to work for the committee beginning in March of 2011.
There are many examples of lobbyists burrowing into government to work in policy areas that impact their former employers. These lobbyists, as Public Citizen’s Craig Holman, an expert on lobbying, has explained, seem happy to accept low-paid public service salaries, perhaps because they can expect extremely high pay once they return to K Street.
Read the rest of the report from the New Republic Here

Sign the petition to get this former Vice-President of Northrop Grumman fired from his "low paying congressional" job

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fresh Rhubarb Pie Recipe

For this recipe, I used about one and a three fourths pounds of fresh rhubarb for this deep dish pie.  The fresh rhubarb was $2 a pound.  The leftover rhubarb, was chopped up and tossed into the freezer in a freezer bag.   Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker. 

Deep Dish Rhubarb Pie
4-6 cups of cutup rhubarb
2 cups of sugar
1/3 cup flour
2 T butter
1 T of Tapioca

Line the deep dish pie plate with the first layer of rolled out pastry dough.  Layer the sliced rhubarb until the fruit almost reaches the top of the plate.  Add the sugar , (shake the plate a couple of times for the sugar to fill in all the gaps), flour, cornstarch and butter.  Cover with the pastry top and bake 50 minutes at 425 degrees. 
Rhubarb stacked almost to the top
Give the pie plate a couple of gentle shakes to settle sugar in the gaps.
Pie ready for baking
Finished pie
Observant viewers will notice a large slice in finished pie that doesn't show up in previous picture.  Seems fairly often, this baker forgets to add butter to his pie.  When that happens, make a fairly large slit, slide one thinly sliced T of butter under the crust  left of the slit and one to the right.  Mistake fixed and the pie is by far better off with a large slit, than without the magical combination of butter, sugar, flour and fruit.

How to make pie crusts quickly and easily using Saran Wrap

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

David Letterman: On Out Of Touch Romney

Mitt Romney:
“he wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more fireman, more policeman, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”

“…While speaking from the hot tub of his luxury yacht on another yacht next to a private island that is part of his chain of islands on his own planet,” said a soothing narrator. “Mitt Romney in touch with the common man.”

Rhubarb Pie

Fresh Rhubarb has been showing up at my local grocery.  This rhubarb pie was so delicious, I bought more rhubarb the next day.  I'll post recipe, with more pictures tomorrow.

Dave Reichert Wrong For Washington

Dave Reichert rode the republican wave that washed over the US in 2010 in his victory over Suzan DelBene.  Even with the nationwide republican support Reichert only won by 4 points over a political newcomer.  Dave Reichert voted to end Medicare, against President Obama's stimulus bill, against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and has voted three times to defund Planned Parenthood. 

Why does Rep. Reichert vote against women's healthcare?  Perhaps, the answer lies in the 0% rating issued to Mr. Reichert by the Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU).  Reichert isn't opposed to mixing religion and politics as long as it doesn't interfere with his War policies.  He supported Bush on Iraq and is an ardent supporter of our failed and inane War on Drugs.  In 2010 Reichert along with the rest of the GOP ran on a jobs platform, yet they have done nothing to encourage job growth.  The GOP even tried to defund AmeriCorps.  We need a representative in Washington that will represent its citizens not special or religious interests.  We want a representative that places the needs of America before the wants of the GOP. 
Karen Porterfield: "Her special interest is us"
Karen Porterfield's Campaign Website

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Mom's Sausage And Potato Soup

My mother used to make this all the time when I was a kid.  She got the recipe from her mother, who probably got the recipe from her mother in Czechoslovakia.   This recipe was a staple in our family, and nothing was better than a big bowl of warm soup after soccer or baseball practice in the chilly Northwest. 

Sausage and Potato Soup
1 lb. Hillshire Farms Polish Kielbasa sausage (sliced in half the long way, then sliced into bite sized pieces.)
1 lb. Hillshire Farms All Beef Smoked sausage (sliced in half the long way, then sliced into bite sized pieces.)
1 large potato per person, chopped into bite size pieces
2 large yellow onions chopped
11/2 lbs of fresh green beans, chopped into bite size pieces
1 green pepper chopped
2 T of caraway seed
4-5 cups of chicken broth
dash of buttermilk, or milk
1T of flour
salt and pepper to taste

First Mom's method, and then the present day healthy variation for people that aren't physically active on long farm days.
Slowly brown the sausage in a large soup pot.  After some of the fat is rendered from the sausage, add the onions and green pepper and fry until translucent.  Add the caraway seeds and stir well.  Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of flour and brown the flour.  The flour will stick to the bottom of the pan, just brown it then add chicken broth.  Cover pot and let simmer for an hour, then add potatoes and fresh green beans.  Cook till potatoes and beans are tender.

My mother used to add buttermilk to the soup, my children didn't seem to like that so we would add milk to their soup to cool it.   Also, after cooking the sausage, I drain off the fat, remove the sausage from the pot and add a T of olive oil, to cook the onions and green pepper in a healthy fashion.  

Friday, June 8, 2012

Meet Karen Porterfield, Democratic Candidate In the 8th Congressional District,This Sunday

Correction: In an earlier post, I listed the wrong day for Ms. Karen Porterfields appearance at the Sammamish Public Library.   I regret the error and hope no one shows up a day early for the event. 
Sunday 6/10/12  2-4pm Sammamish Public Library
Ms. Karen Porterfield will be speaking at a meeting sponsored by the Sammamish MoveOn group at the Sammamish Public Library this Sunday 6/10/12 from 2-4 pm.  Ms. Porterfield is running in Washington states 8th congressional district against the corporate funded congressman Dave Reichert (R), who survived a 2010 well crafted challenge from democrat Suzan DelBene.  

Ms. Karen Porterfields Campaign Website

President Obama And Romney On Jobs

September 8, 2011 Obama addressed congress and the nation, asking congress to pass a jobs bill, The American Jobs Act, right away.  The bill was completely paid for and would have put teachers, firefighters,  police officers and construction workers back to work, tax cuts for small business, incentives for hiring veterans... a great plan.  The republican controlled house wouldn't even let the bill come up for a vote.

 Mitt Romney doesn't want to hire teachers, firefighters or police officers:

Mitt Romney 6/08/12
“he wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more fireman, more policeman, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”
Join President Obama: Call Republicans in Congress and ask them to act now so that we can continue to put Americans back to work and keep our economy growing. Call Congress: (202) 224-3121
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Happy Friday

MACS J0717.5+3745
Credit:ESA/Hubble, NASA and H. Ebeling.
NASA calls this Hubble photo of three merging galaxy clusters; a snowstorm of galaxies.  I counted 9 stars, in this incredible image, every other light source is a galaxy each containing billions of stars. The many thin stretched out blue lines are "lensed" galaxies behind the massive cluster which bends spacetime allowing us a peek at what's behind it.  The photons that created this Hubble image left their creator stars a billion years before our solar system was created.  Have a great weekend! 
Full size image, wallpapers and full description here.
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Romney's Talk Doesn't Match His Walk

Mitt Romney:
"I know how jobs are created"

Governor Deval Patrick (current governor of Massachusetts)

"Today, Romney is trying to sell the same choices to the American people that he sold to the people of Massachusetts not so long ago. Massachusetts bought it then and got slow or no job growth, stifled innovation, neglected public infrastructure, and crowded and under-resourced schools. Those choices didn't work before, and they won't work now. Like I said, buyers beware."
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The Daily Bread

,recipe and directions here
Our oldest son has been working in California for the last couple of weeks.  The bread doesn't go as fast minus one ravenous appetite. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Women Moderators


Three New Jersey high school sophomores discovered that it has been 20 years since a woman moderated a presidential debate.  The young ladies wrote:
It's not just unfair that the Commission on Presidential Debates only picks men. It also sends young women like us a dangerous message -- that there's only so high we can rise, only so much we can achieve before it's time for us to step aside and let the men do the real work. Well, we don't think that's true, and we think it's about time to send a new message: that women can and should achieve all our dreams.

I can't think of a single reason why some or all of the presidential debates shouldn't be moderated by a woman.  Their simple request that at least one be moderated by a woman sounds fair and reasonable.  Sign the young ladies petition and let's have a female moderator for one or more of the presidential debates.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Meet Karen Porterfield (D) Running Against Dave Reichert

I posted the wrong day for the meeting.  The correct day is Sunday, June 10th 2-4PM.  The error was entirely mine and sincerely hope no one is inconvenienced by my mistake.  

Ms. Karen Porterfield will be speaking at a meeting sponsored by the Sammamish MoveOn group at the Sammamish Public Library this Saturday 6/9/12 from 2-4 PM.  The correct date and time is Sunday 6/10/12.  Ms. Porterfield is running in Washington states 8th congressional district against the corporate funded congressman Reichert (R), who survived a 2010 well crafted challenge from democrat Suzan DelBene.   Congressman Reichert (R) voted against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay act and he has voted to cut funding from Planned Parenthood and Title X family planning.   Although, to the best of our knowledge Congressman Reichert doesn't have a uterus, he is delighted to enact legislation designating the proper use of Washington State uteri equipped citizens.  Ms. Karen Porterfield seems to feel that women, can make decisions about their bodies all on their own without the aid and guidance of old white republican men.  From Karen Porterfield's campaign website:

  Women should be the only – and final – decision makers on all issues that pertain to their bodies. Unfortunately, the Republican Party is waging a very real “War on Women” which systematically is attempting to undermine the fundamental rights of women in this country to care for their own health and that of their families.
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