Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Obama Restores Diplomatic Relations With Cuba

It's about time.

What has the embargo done for the U.S. except keep some right wingers in Miami happy and the common people of Cuba miserable?

Every other nation recognizes Cuba.  Good to see President Obama leading on this ground-breaking change.  

Despite the embargoes and its overall poverty, Cuba has a better infant mortality rate and higher literacy rate than does the rich U.S.

History-maker: President Barack Obama, Raúl Castro open talks to thaw U.S.-Cuba relations 

"In the biggest change to U.S.-Cuba relations in more than five decades, President Barack Obama and Raúl Castro each announced Wednesday that the Cold War-era enemies are trying to normalize relations and have engaged in a prisoner swap involving two jailed Americans and three Cuban spies imprisoned in the United States. The mutual prisoner release involved jailed USAID contractor Alan Gross, whose five-year imprisonment had become a symbol of Cuba’s repression and, Obama said, a “major obstacle” in talks between the two nations. The talks, held in Canada, involved Vatican officials and were spurred by Pope Francis, who had urged rapprochement. "

Obama Scraps Our Failed Cuba Policy

Alex Massie of The Spectator:

"Today, for instance, he’s announced that the United States will restore diplomatic relations with Cuba. Hurrah for that. It should have happened years ago. Certainly at some point after the Soviet Union’s collapse. An embassy in Havana is just the start, of course. Full-scale normalisation requires more than that. It demands the foolish, counter-productive, plainly-failed embargo be binned too. At the very least this White House is more open to doing just that than any of its predecessors since relations were cut-off in 1961. T

his is not – repeat not - going soft on Cuba. It’s getting tough with Cuba. The old approach has had half a century to work and yet, golly, the Castros are still there, still running their sunshine-soaked island gulag. By any reasonable measure the old approach has failed. Every sensible person knows this. Every reasonable person knows just about any alternative policy could hardly do worse. So why not try something different? If the embargo was going to topple the Castros’ nasty little regime it would have done so by now. Perhaps capitalism should be given a chance instead."

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Lie of the Year

Below are a couple of the more hysterical right wing blogs that foamed at the mouth over this non-epidemic.

It appears that these boneheads on the right were hoping that some sort of medical armageddon would descend on the US so that their hatred of President Obama, whom they blamed for the "epidemic," would grow even more rancid than it already was.

None of their hoped-for catastrophes happened.  

One person in Texas died, and that person was infected in Africa, not here. The nurses at the hospital in Dallas, where the one fatal case was treated, contracted the disease because of inadequate protocols practiced at the hospital.  None of it had anything to do with President Obama, but that didn't stop the hysterics from the flame-throwing spittle-fleckers.

What this teaches us all is to never believe what you hear or see on FAUX NOOZ and on many of the more rabid right wing blogs whose only purpose is to stir up fear, unrest, and especially hatred toward President Obama.  These people have been wrong on so many issues, i.e., BENGHAZI!!!! and just recently EBOLA!!!  Why would any rational person take these low-information nutcases seriously? 


For PunditFact, the biggest lie of 2014 dealt with Ebola... but it couldn't be narrowed down to just one lie. PunditFact combined a series of misstatements -- or outright fear-mongering -- about the Ebola virus. 

 President Barack Obama: An Ebola outbreak is a situation that brings a dire sense of necessity and purpose, but it’s nowhere near as complicated as -- say -- reforming Medicare. So Obama did the smart thing: Kept his head while everyone around him was in the process of self-decapitation. Obama opted to calmly stick with the experts, imposing no draconian quarantine conditions or counter-productive travel restrictions, and let medical professionals do their jobs.

8 Conservative Ebola Freakouts That Blamed Obama

While the Chicken Littles on the right were running around like headless poultry screaming EBOLA!, President Obama was a paragon of calm and rationality.  There was no epidemic in the U.S., but the crazy right wingers were determined, no matter how many lies it took them to spread, to make EBOLA! into a life-threatening disaster for the United States.  They overreacted the same way with BENGHAZI!  And they were wrong about that, too.  For these yahoos, it's all disaster all the time, even when it isn't, because OBUMMER!

Will the right wing ninnyhammers admit they were wrong again?  Yeah.  When Sarah Palin wins the Nobel Prize in Physics.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Ohio Governor Forces Religious Affiliation on Tax Payer-Funded Program

Schools need a religious partner if they want any of Gov. Kasich's student mentorship money

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Gov. John Kasich's $10 million plan to bring mentors into Ohio's schools for students now has a surprise religious requirement – one that goes beyond what is spelled out in the legislation authorizing it.

Any school district that wants a piece of that state money must partner with both a church and a business – or a faith-based organization and a non-profit set up by a business to do community service.

 No business and no faith-based partner means no state dollars.


Buddy Harris, a senior policy analyst for the Ohio Department of Education, told the gathering of church and non-profit representatives that each application must include a school district (or charter school) plus a business and a place of worship or faith-based organization in its partnership.

Other non-profits can be involved, he said, only if they involve all three of the other groups. Partnerships between just schools, business and a community non-profit won't qualify. 

"The faith-based organization is clearly at the heart of the vision of the governor," Harris said after the session. "We do not forsee any proseletyzing happening between mentors and students," Harris said. "That's not really what we're seeking."


"The Good Lord has a purpose for each and every one of them (students) and you're helping them to find it," Kasich said..."

Churches and faith-based organizations were always intended to be included Kasich's "Community Connectors" mentoring plan, right from his announcement of the plan at his State of the State speech in February. 

What's new is that Kasich and ODE are requiring them and raising their status above other community non-profits.

I'm wondering if Gov. Kasich will accept affiliations from Muslims, The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Scientology, or even Satanists?  If his harebrained partnerships don't accept these or non-main-stream religious affiliations, this ill-thought-out, unconstitutional requirement will be overturned.  A waste of time and money for Ohio's taxpayers, and another attempt by Christianists to have a say in how everyone's tax money is spent.

The program's policy analyst, Buddy Harris claims there will be no proseletyzing by religious organizations, but Governor Kasich's words most definitely contradict that promise:  "The Good Lord has a purpose for each and every one of them (students) and you're helping them to find it," Kasich said..."

Governor Kasich apparently doesn't understand the fact that not all Americans believe that a god "has a purpose for each and every one of them."  By claiming such, he is imposing his beliefs on all the tax-payers of Ohio.  This is just plain wrong, and this program will be challenged.

Senator Barry Goldwater:

"Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.”