May 22, 2014

Phony Republican Benghazi hearings not for CNN unless it becomes news.

CNN boss Jeff Zucker has let it be known that his network won’t be bullied by Fox News into covering Benghazi and that CNN won’t be covering Benghazi unless it becomes legitimate news.

During a recent interview, CNN boss Jeff Zucker said, “We’re not going to be shamed into it by others who have political beliefs that want to try to have temper tantrums to shame other news organizations into covering something,” he said. “If it’s of real news value, we’ll cover it.”

This came from the man who runs a network that spend weeks obsessing over a missing airplane. Republicans desperately need CNN and MSNBC to treat their Benghazi special committee circus as legitimate news. If CNN won’t go gavel to gavel with their coverage, it is going to be impossible for Republicans to convince the American people that their conspiracy theory is a legitimate news story.

It’s not a coincidence that other networks are backing away from the story after seeing the drop in Fox News’ ratings after they went all in on Benghazi coverage. What Zucker was saying is that if Benghazi were to become a legitimate news story, CNN would cover it, but right now, Benghazi isn’t newsworthy, so no matter how much Fox News screams at the top of their lungs, CNN won’t be covering the story.

Most of the media isn’t playing along with the Republican attempts to manipulate them into covering Benghazi. Through seven previous investigations, Republicans have found no evidence of wrongdoing by the White House. Benghazi is the ultimate non-story. Viewers outside of hard core Republicans aren’t interested.

House Republicans can’t even explain what the “crime” is. For the first time in years, the mainstream media is telling Republicans no. The mainstream media has been enabling Republican insanity for years, by treating their conspiracies and crackpot theories as if they are legitimate news. The media isn’t playing along anymore.

This means that Fox News is standing by themselves, and hemorrhaging viewers, by trying to do the Republican Party’s dirty work on Benghazi. CNN is letting Republicans know that they aren’t going to be a pawn in the Republican plan to use Benghazi to bring down Obama.


Hat tip Roger Lake

DEMS to WatchDog the Republican's witch hunt.

Democrats debated whether to even participate in what they call a political witch hunt...but have decided to participate to keep the Republicans honest.    And who will spearhead the Democrats watchdog team?  Veteran Elijah Cummings.   He plans to truthwatch Republicans more likely to give speeches than come up with new facts. 

Exerpt below,  from Huffington Post...

In the end, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calf.) decided that fuller engagement was best. She and numerous aides said it wasn't an easy call. The perils of legitimizing the investigation were clear. But one factor convinced them it was worth the risk: Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.).

Cummings, the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, has spent the past few years engaged in direct, often acrimonious combat with Republicans investigating a host of Obama administration controversies, including Benghazi. He has been, from the GOP's vantage point, a partisan antagonist, questioning the conduct of the committee's chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), and willing to dispense with decorum. Cummings' storied clashes with Issa culminated when Issa cut off Cummings' microphone during a hearing on the IRS screening of conservative groups.

From the perspective of Democrats (the White House included), however, it has been Cummings' combination of unrelenting scrappiness and lawyerly cross-examinations that has made him indispensable. As conversations over what to do about the Benghazi select committee progressed, Cummings' name kept being mentioned as a necessary ingredient.

May 19, 2014

Star Plugs MSNBC's Chris Hayes revealing reports this week on KANSAS

MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes” (7 p.m. weeknights) will feature stories from Kansas all (THIS)  week, part of the show’s “All In America” series.

The taped packages will focus on:

• Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger, “a Republican who explains why she tried to convince her Republican colleagues to embrace the Affordable Care Act and expand Medicaid. She also discusses how a conservative revolution in the Republican Party in Kansas has left more moderates feeling like they don’t have a party anymore.”

• Marquette Elementary in Marquette, southwest of Salina. The school will close permanently next week, a victim of budget cuts. Townspeople are worried about what the loss might mean for their community.

• Greensburg, the southwest Kansas community that was rebuilt as a “green town” after being leveled by a tornado in May 2007. Mayor Bob Dixson gives a tour “and talks about being a conservation-minded conservative.”

• Pete Ferrell, who runs a commercial-scale wind farm on his cattle ranch and “talks about the challenges of cultivating renewable resources in the backyard of the powerful Koch Industries.”

• Julie Burkhart, who opened an abortion clinic last year in the same building where physician George Tiller once practiced. Burkhart worked for Tiller, who was shot to death by a Kansas City abortion opponent in 2009. “The new clinic just celebrated its one-year anniversary, and Burkhart discusses the challenges of keeping it going.”

• State Rep. Jim Howell, who talks about a state law he sponsored that voids all city and county gun restrictions. Wichita City Council member Janet Miller explains why she opposed the measure.

--Tim Engle,

Thanks Kansas City Star for the above.  Well done coverage. 

In part, I'm pleased the Star reported this in time for their readers to see it.  Actual television journalism today is pretty rare but MSNBC is trying hard, IMHO.  Maddow's their best but it was clear tonight she was impressed with her colleague Chris Hayes' team effort on this story.

In some cities, newspapers refuse to acknowledge that rare TV journalism exists.   Similarly, TV stations refuse to acknowledge there are any other TV stations in their city--and they never give aid and comfort to networks other than their own. 

See for yourself...

I saw MSNBC's first Kansas Report tonight (Monday, May 19th)  Serious journalism at work at MSNBC--Hayes and Maddow have given Kansas a lot of coverage lately.  .   If people didn't know who the Koch Brothers are, Wichitas own billionaires, well they did a fine job bringing people up to speed.

 It'd be worth while to wait for it to be put up on the internet.  Lots on Brownback, the Kochs, oil, wind and solar.. more.   It usually takes MSNBC a day or two to make their show videos available.  Here's the link to his shows:

Sadly, the right wing crowd doesn't have a TV that has an MSNBC channel.   They only eat the same dogfood which makes them the most uninformed people in America.

Just Fox and  'redneck reality shows' likeDuck Dynasty and Honey-Boo-Boo.

May 18, 2014

Does anyone actually watch Sunday Morning Network Political shows anymore?

I don't even watch Sunday morning shows anymore... they're irrelevant, inside baseball, and they bring on too many propagandists to fill their airtime. I want truth, not talking points.

Former Bush strategist Karl Rove?   Fox staffer and the darling of all the BS Sunday talk shows Sunday for suggesting Hillary wasn't altogether after a fall?  The Joseph Goebbels of the Bush Election Machine?  And the networks fell for it, absent anything else they deem more interesting!  (Maybe they need to get out of the studio more!)

Well Republican Rove doesn't realize that we VIEWERS have his number already, even if the network news media doesn't!  The Republicans, with guys like him, have overplayed their hand and now Americans see through their rhetoric and find him both predictable and boring.

My BS Detector goes off every time the Bush team, from Rove to the Cheneys', open their mouths.  And most party hacks from BOTH parties, here, fully-coached with the Sunday talking points.

If anything will get me to watch Meet the Press again, it will be the host interrupting the propagandist and say, "Are you going to BS us with talking points again to my every question, or give us some truth....If you can't do that, take off your mic and get out of my studio right now... you won't be invited back!  We'll get through the hour without you!"

Polite, poised, pretty TV talk show hosts.  They won't do that though, because then they'll have to actually do some real show preparation other than browse this weeks internet posts and bring in political talkers to fill their airtime between commercials.

Eager political side propagandists want the airtime because they know how to escape network interviews unscathed, and they've all been coached how to turn around any question and sell their side's story to the low intelligence viewers.

Don't waste our time with the overly-coached talking point adversaries.
News programs shouldn't be a GOTCHA battle between hosts and interviewees. They always end in a draw, even with putting old archive tape in their faces--MTP style.    They should be about today's TRUTHS, not embarrassing their guests for gaffes or changing their minds.

Eliminate the "GOTCHA" strategy.  Bring on better hosts who know the issues.   Forget your dragging out old quotes designed to make interviwees squirm for entertainment purposes.   Lets move ON!   Where are we GOING TODAY???

ABC Nightline's Ted Koppel was a master at saying "I guess you're not going to answer my question, so let's just move on."

Nightline was a predecessor to news programs BEYOND the 30-minute newscast.   Koppel'd do 1-on-1 interviews and created the style.    For years, reporters asked his standard question to open up interviewers, "Give me a sense" of (whatever was the topic.)   It was his uncanny ability with that question to gets past the BS, just like an airport scanning machine. 

May 17, 2014

Mo Legis Session Ends. Time to throw Republicans OUT!

Despite the efforts of out of state millionaires, billionaires and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), two anti-worker bills - Paycheck Deception and “Right to Work” - will not appear on the Missouri ballot.

However, those same shadowy out of state interests managed to undermine important issues for working people and community allies.

Medicaid protest May 6th
PUBLIC PROTESTS ASIDE, Republicans kill Medicaid expansion which the feds fully pay for.

Missouri Medicaid expansion, which would create thousands of jobs, was sabotaged by a small band of ideologues.
And in the most cynical move of the session, after 300,000 signatures were submitted for a historic early voting initiative, legislators hastily passed a sham early voting ballot.  

We can't let them get away with it.

They passed STUDENT TRANSFER/VOUCHER BILL SB493 which does little to improve the educational outcomes in struggling school districts and communities. The legislature has missed the opportunity to increase investment in proven programs to help students, such as early childhood education and extended learning time.

Instead, the bill focuses on moving students out of their communities and hiding them in districts with higher socio-economic demographics or in unaccountable private and charter schools.  Beyond authorizing vouchers, the bill loosens the regulations on charter schools and interferes with local control of school calendars.  Please write or call the office of the Governor Nixon and ask him to veto SB493. We also encourage you to write to Dr. Mike Nietzel (  Dr. Nietzel is Governor Nixon's go to person for education issues.

-- from St Charles Dem page

Below, hat tip to 9's Michael Mahoney's blog.  Normally I'd just link to it, but he doesn't archive his stories... he just replaces them so I copied it before it disappears.   He reprinted an AP story on the Republican take of the session:

Missouri Lawmakers End Session, GOP Claims Victory

(AP) — Missouri lawmakers gave the OK for teachers to carry guns in the classroom Friday as they closed out a historic session in which they cut income tax rates for the first time in nearly a century, approved one of the nation’s longest abortion waiting periods and overhauled the state’s criminal laws for the first time in decades.

The final day of the 2014 session was generally anticlimactic, because many of the priorities of the Republican majority already had passed and some of Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s top goals – particularly a Medicaid expansion – had long been presumed dead.

Yet lawmakers passed several additional state sales tax breaks for particular industries that Nixon said could “blow up” the budget. He said the legislature had “abysmally failed” and pledged to veto bills or cut spending.

Republican lawmakers defended the budget, touted the business tax breaks as a means of boosting the economy.

“This was a significant, substantive year,” said Republican House Speaker Tim Jones.

The biggest intrigue on the closing day was whether lawmakers would pass an even more expansive gun rights measure than the one allowing specially trained teachers and administrators to carry concealed guns. Republicans made one final push on a separate measure attempting to nullify unspecified federal gun-control laws, but Senate Democrats waged a filibuster against it until the 6 p.m. deadline to pass legislation had expired.

“We are pro-gun,” said Sen. Paul LeVota, D-Independence. But “this goes too far.”
That loss aside, Republicans rejoiced in their success at cutting taxes and targeting abortions, two long-held party priorities.

Democrats joined Republicans in touting the first overhaul of the state’s criminal laws since the 1970s, which Nixon allowed to take effect without his signature. There was also bipartisan support – and opposition – to successful measures that will ask voters to raise the sales tax for transportation and rewrite a 20-year-old education law by allowing local tax dollars to be used for students in some unaccredited districts to transfer to nonreligious private schools.

Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey called it a noteworthy year because of “the overwhelmingly bipartisan support for many priority bills.”

Senate Minority Leader Jolie Justus, who helped pass the criminal code overhaul, described it as a “standout” year in which “some amazing things” were accomplished. But she expressed frustration with passage of the tax cut and abortion bills.

Missouri’s 24-hour abortion waiting period would be lengthened to 72 hours – matched only by Utah and South Dakota – under a bill pending before Nixon, which he has denounced as an “extreme proposal.”
In the final hour of their session Friday, lawmakers approved sales tax breaks for fitness centers and several specific industries, including electric utilities and computer data centers. Business groups had unsuccessfully pursued the data center tax breaks for years while arguing that Missouri was losing the battle for new high-tech businesses to neighbors such as Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma.

“This is a big deal. This is a true business economic develop bill here,” said Rep. Myron Neth, R-Liberty.

Below from ST LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO... Link also contains comments and this copy:

General Assembly Approves Bill Expanding Gun Rights, Lowers Concealed-Carry Age

Just hours before adjournment, the Missouri General Assembly has approved a bill that lowers the state’s legal age for carrying concealed weapons to 19 and allows the open carrying of firearms by any person with a valid concealed-carry permit.

Credit (via Flickr/ M Glasgow)
The bill also allows schools to designate teachers or administrators as "school protection officers" who can carry a concealed firearm or self-defense spray device. But school districts authorizing the armed officers are required to hold a public hearing on the matter.

The measure was among various pieces of legislation that backers were trying to push through on the final day of the session, particularly since higher-profile matters – such as the tax-cut and the school transfer bill – had been completed.

Among other things, the gun bill also prohibits health care professionals “from documenting or disclosing information regarding a person's status as a firearm owner except under certain specified circumstances.”
The bill would bar municipalities  or other jurisdictions from banning the open carrying of firearms by people who have concealed-carry permits.

The Missouri House passed the bill on Friday by a veto-proof margin, 111-28. The Senate had approved the bill on Thursday by a vote of 21-7, which is not veto-proof.

The current minimum age to carry a concealed weapon in Missouri is 21.

The measure would bar people from carrying a gun along with illegal drugs, but makes an exception for "35 grams or less of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoids. "

The Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action called for Gov. Jay Nixon to veto the bill.

"Reasonable people have differing opinions when it comes to guns— but I think all Missourians can agree that as parents, we have the right to know if there is going to be a gun in our kid’s classrooms,” said the group's spokeswoman, Melissa Brooks. “Missouri moms are deeply disappointed in the legislature’s passage of this dangerous bill, and we urge Governor Nixon to stand with parents across the state by vetoing it.”
Passage of some sort of pro-gun bill had been sought by gun-rights advocates, particularly since other related measures – such as the bill nullifying most federal laws – have died this session.

BALLOT QUESTION:  Voters to be asked to expand privacy protections to electronic data

The House also added another issue to this fall’s ballot by its approval of a proposed constitutional amendment that seeks to protect the privacy of electronic communications.

The chief sponsor -- Rep. Paul Curtman, R-Pacific – said the amendment is needed to guard the public’s privacy.  Rep. Jeff Roorda, D-Barnhart, questioned whether the proposal would block law enforcement from monitoring terrorists’ cell phone calls or allow people to claim that their Facebook posts were private. Roorda ended up voting “present.”

The Senate already has approved the amendment proposal, so it will go directly onto the ballot. No action by the governor is required.

It is to read as follows:
"Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended so that the people shall be secure in their electronic communications and data from unreasonable searches and seizures as they are now likewise secure in their persons, homes, papers and effects?"

May 11, 2014

Germany Shuts Down Fossil Fuel Plants Due To Continual Increase in Solar Energy

It’s no secret that the Germans are miles ahead of the rest of the world in renewable energies. They broke world solar power generation record in July with 5.1 TWh, leaving U.S. in dust.

They are the world leaders in photovoltaics (PV) installations and by 2012 they were producing 25% of their national electricity supply from renewables. They plan to reach targets of 35% by 2020 and an impressive 80% by 2050. This works in tandem with their goal to increase energy efficiency and cut their overall use of energy by a whopping 50% by 5050.


All of this incredible commitment and progress in renewable energy sources is actually now forcing gas and coal-fired plants to close down. RWE, one of the largest energy producers in the world, has had to take 6% of their total generating capacity offline, cutting 3,100 megawatts.

 “Due to the continuing boom in solar energy, many power stations throughout the sector and across Europe are no longer profitable to operate,” RWE said in a statement. RWE’s competitor, German run E.On, has also been forced to shut down 6,500 megawatts of generating capacity.

 RWE explained that important government regulations have resulted in their loss of profits, as the forward-thinking German government supports and gives great incentives for the development of clean energies and energy saving initiatives. “The company said new government regulations that require energy firms to simplify their tariffs and pay for energy saving measures in consumers’ homes had weighed on profits”, BBC News reported.

In America...

The Late 60 Minutes columnist Andy Rooney

May 10, 2014

Mo Senator McCaskill on MSNBC talking about Sexual Assault on College Campuses

It will be interesting...and IMPORTANT... to see if Claire campaigns to unseat some of Missouri's intrenched Republican House members.    It's been said before that both she and Mo Governor Jay Nixon stay pretty aloof about helping Democrats in Missouri regain power. 

Lets watch and see.

May 8, 2014

UPDATED!! VIDEO: MSNBC drills down on MO-KAN Republican politics

 MSNBC spends an uncommon amount of national airtime on Wednesday May 7th focusing on Missouri and Kansas politics.... Republican radicalism in both states.

Rachel Maddow's researched recent history and provides a great overview of the right's experiment in both states with analysis from Kansas City's Dave Helling.

Here's the video LINK to the 19 minute network segment that hits Missouri richman politics, KS Governor Sam Brownbeck's risky gamble to starve Kansas into prosperity... and other Republican issues in both states.

KC Star reporter Dave Helling (13 minutes into Rachel Maddows Kansas-Missouri focus) tells his perspective in what's going on.  Helling's been following politics for most of his journalism career.

But if we've learned ANYTHING, it's that whether in KANSAS or MISSOURI.... it's not about us so-wise METRO folks... we hope to enlighten our RURAL MISSOURI parents, cousins, uncles and aunts, and nephews.    They're such a HARDER SELL for they're low-info people and they really don't like us CITY FOLKS explaining today's upscale politics to them.

Just in... the WRITTEN TRANSCRIPT of Maddow's piece telling how Republicans are trying to crash and burn BOTH KANSAS and MISSOURI!

And TODAY"s MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT.... a commercial ballad by Jim Evans' campaign against the Ozark Republican Billy Long in Missouri's 7th District   ENJOY

May 7, 2014

Dave Helling on Rachel Maddows show Wed abt MO POLITICS

Veteran KC Star and TV newsman Dave Helling appeared on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show Wednesday night... the topic was -- to use Hellings words, Missouri's Southern-like political leanings over the past ten years.

Helling's poised, mature--gives good talking head!  He's one of KC's most seasoned and sterling reporters.

Sadly, videos of Rachel's nightly show on cable aren't instantly available.   Be watching for NBC to release the tape as Helling discusses Gov Nixon, St Louis Republican richguy Rex Sinquefield and the stranglehold Republicans have on state politics.

Missouri's been getting a lot of political press this week, since protestors shut down the Missouri senate for a time this week... urging a stubborn GOP Senate to get Missouri in line with Obamacare's MEDICAID plan.

Do you follow Helling on Twitter?

Well, Tony obviously got this tip from ME, but I'm mostly glad he GOT IT and POSTED it--for the STORY is vastly more important than the STORY-teller! So not that big a deal. My point was mostly that my former colleague Dave Helling spoke well for himself, for the Star, and for our state in a national venue!   Yes, that I worked with him once also makes me feel pretty good about myself as well...I admit that.  But he was hot decades ago!  An inspiration to everyONE of us back in the day!   Let's just be glad we still have that dude around still!

May 6, 2014

State Gumment Link. Find out what they're about to do to you in the state capital!

Media around the country generally does a lousy job covering their state legislatures until it's too late for us to write them, call them, STOP them.  

They've opted to cover ghetto news handed out by the police news releases rather than hop into their satellite trucks, drive across the state and dig up some news.


Here's help at least for Missouri.    Daily House and Senate reports and other good stuff.


And lots of OTHER political and media web and Facebook links in the US, Missouri and Kansas.
Right HERE on the BEST LINKS page:

May 2, 2014


Other than Rachel Maddow on MSNBC dazzling us again tonight on how horribly botched that Oklahoma execution was, I'm surprised the story has nearly disappeared from the NewWires. 

Squirming Gov Mary Fallin R-OK
What's clear is that the Republican Governor looks horrible as does the Okla Supreme court for playing politics that unfortunately for them (and the convict)... went horribly wrong.. That is another matter and it's been discussed and will further.

It did occur to me this week a facet of the inhumane execution has not been considered.   I"ve noticed lots of old testament, 'vengeance-types' have commented on Facebook, "SO WHAT?" that he didn't get executed painlessly.  What about his victims?. Mmm, kay.....

There've been other botched executions, including one inmate who complained loudly before dying, his whole body was burning.... Well...


South Vietnamese mistaken napalm attack, 1972
We kill people with extreme prejudice. Shoot them, bomb them, blowing their arms, legs, heads off, drowning and trapping them in sinking ships, burning them alive in shot down airplanes, dropping napalm on them.

In past wars, we shot them with muskets and left them to die unattended on the battlefield. Luckier ones got finished off when we got around to it with a bayonet.

Then there's the torture chambers of the Church in the times we called "The Dark Ages", and even the execution of Christ-- nailed by the Romans to a cross to die of either exposure or the loss of blood by a spear.   It's how they did it!

We've never been really that 'humane' in how we kill each other.

It occurs to me that the RISKY HORROR of execution might actually be a better crime deterrent than delaying the vengeance killings for years, and then doing it painlessly.

Have you seen how quickly children readjust their behavior at even a minor threat of a simple spanking? Just give them the evil eye and touch your fingers menacingly to your leather belt! They straighten right up.  Not everyone's against the paddle!

Taking your chances with the Executioner.

Maybe... we should NOT have closed the curtain as the inmate lay slowly dying...we should have taped it and released the tape to the media..
. for potential killers who NEED TO SEE an EXECUTION and fear taking a chance on a well-executed execution... 

What do ya think?