liveonearth: (kiss kiss bang bang)

Source: Rick Ungar "from the left" at Forbes Magazine

President Obama has signed 23 executive orders designed to address the problem of gun violence in America. The following are the items addressed:

Gun Violence Reduction Executive Actions:

1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.

3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make itwidely available to law enforcement.

11. Nominate an ATF director.

12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.

13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effectiveuse of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to developinnovative technologies.

16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.

22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.

23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.

It does not appear that any of the executive orders would have any impact on the guns people currently own-or would like to purchase- and that all proposals regarding limiting the availability of assault weapons or large ammunition magazines will be proposed for Congressional action. As such, any potential effort to create a constitutional crisis—or the leveling of charges that the White House has overstepped its executive authority—would hold no validity.

liveonearth: (Hands w/ Lotus)

President Obama certainly inherited a mess in the Middle East. But his foreign policy has never broken decisively with the fatal conceit of the Bush administration: that America has the final and decisive say on the nature of the regimes in the Middle East. Obama has kept the imperial premise of American politics, without the will to commit the strength needed to actually make them effective.

-Michael Brandon Dougherty 11/3/15

liveonearth: (moon)
I sample propaganda from all sides of the US political spectrum. Today I got an email from Dick Cheney. I will have to check with my republican friends to find out if they actually think highly of Dick, because as far as I can tell he is evil incarnate. Anyway, Dick sent me a link and asked me to give money to the National Republican Congressional Committee. The headline on the donation page is "Stop Democrats from controlling all of Washington" and the image is one of Obama, Hillary and Biden walking toward the camera, smiling. Here: I showed it to my coworkers today and they could not figure out how that image supports the republican desire to oust the Dems, aside from who was in it. I did notice that Obama's hands are in his pockets (hidden hands = deceitful), and that all three are laughing as if about an inside joke. Also Biden has his arm around Hillary in comfortable buddy gesture. The last thing to notice about the image is that it is shot from above, looking down on Obama's head as he looks down to walk. I am told that this angle makes a person seem less powerful. I would have thought, though, that they'd go for something that made him look more evil, but I guess that having an inside joke with hands in pockets is bad enough. Dick didn't get any of my money, though.
liveonearth: (blue skinned alien)
I'm reading an article in New York magazine (April 7-20, 2014) about the color of Obama's presidency, and the first thing mentioned is the Bill Maher show in which Bill Kristol was frankly upset at him for saying that the rise of the Tea Party was due to racism. My liberal friends here in Oregon, and the ones that live in the Rockies and the South for the most part agree with this assessment. They are certain that's the reason that some who call themselves Tea Party are in stark opposition to every single thing that Obama says or does, apparently without consideration of the details. It is reasonable to assume that this oppositional defiance is based in that base instinct that Obama is brown and different and must be wrong and evil. But this assumption is simpleminded too; there is more to the Tea Party than simple racism.

Those who hate Obama for his skin are not political creatures. They do vote, and host radio shows, but in they do not make sense or generate policy. All they do is upset everybody, stop policy and new ideas from being developed. We need to shut them up by ignoring them, instead of trying to beat them in rational argument. There is no point arguing with racism or insanity.

There are Tea Party libertarians who are political, intelligent and curious, and interested in shades of meaning without regard for shades of skin tone. These are the Tea Party core that most liberals haven't met, and won't meet, because their experience has been so bad trying to negotiate with the angry racists. There is a rational case for small government, for making the government operate according to the constitution, for the separation of church and state and for making corporations behave like responsible businesses instead of being "persons" with rights but no responsibilities under the law. These concerns need to be discussed and rationally balanced with our desire to take care of the less fortunate among us, instead of dismissed as rantings.

So I beg of you, Americans, to do your best to listen to and respect the other side, whoever they are. I beg liberals to consider that there might be real concerns about the longterm viability of large government. And I beg Tea Party conservatives to offer reasons, to be specific and soften your words when you despise something that Obama has done. It is my conviction that Obama is sympathetic to the libertarian position, but because he is a politician and elected as a Democrat, he must play the game within the parameters of his position or be removed. It has cost him dearly. It will be interesting to see what our first brown-skinned president does after his 2nd term ends and he is free to act on his real inclinations.
liveonearth: (moon)
I can't seem to get the speech windows to embed currently, but you can find it online if you want to look. It's worth hearing. I just listened to it.

He's trying so hard. Obama is reaching out to all sides, working to encourage Americans of every stripe to admit that we have something in common, to accept that our shared interests can be promoted by our government. He has many good points. Unfortunately, the people who most need to hear this message are guaranteed not to hear him. The easiest way to maintain a dogmatic or extremist position, is to completely avoid all other inputs. It is possible for a person to sit there and hear the sounds of the speech, but to tune out entirely inside, to hear only the internally entrenched brainwashed messages of whatever pundit or preacher has had most impact. If only we could get all Americans, congress included, to admit that there is importance to every geniune concern that comes to the table. At least Obama knows it. He is the most impressive moderate I have yet to witness in the US presidency.
liveonearth: (blue skinned alien)

No, Virginia, there is not a Santa Claus, except in marketing and the media and in your imagination.

Earlier this week I attended a training on how to facilitate support groups for people who experience Extreme States, including hearing voices, seeing visions, and other experiences most commonly diagnosed as psychosis. We broke out many times into small groups to practice what we were learning. One time, when I was facilitating a small group, one of the women in the group started freaking a little bit and asking "Is she real?" of another person in the room. I calmly reassured her that yes, indeed, that person was real as far as I could tell.

This clip reminds me of that. This reality check is for the Republicans who thought that their version of reality was going to triumph on Tuesday. For a while I stopped listening to Rachel because I have libertarian sympathies and she was taking unfair potshots from a very partisan position. This time she's not being partisan. This time she's speaking about the basics of reality, of what is our consensual truth, except for a few tone-deaf and science-ignorant Republicans who have poisoned their entire party.
liveonearth: (Default)
This is today's headline in the business section of the local newspaper, The Oregonian. The sectors that took the biggest hits were finance and managed care. This supports my conviction that Obama will serve big business interests less than Romney would. Suits me, even though my tiny retirement fund is shrinking again.
liveonearth: (Default)

If you know me, you know that I have mixed feelings about Obamacare. My issue with it is the fact that insurance is not healthcare, and modern healthcare would be better named sickcare for the profit of insurance. But since Obama is back in, and the law passed the Supreme Court challenge, I'm going to be working under it. What a sad state of affairs to be required to purchase insurance that would not cover naturopathic care. So I signed the petition, and I hope you will too.


Nov. 6th, 2012 11:27 pm
liveonearth: (Default)
Four more years of Obama is better than the alternative in my book.
liveonearth: (bridge shaking (earthquake))
"I think it has the potential to be quite explosive," Potholm says. "I don't think the Ron Paul people are particularly interested in whether Obama is defeated or not. I think that's long passed as their number one objective."

The way I see it, the Republican party has lost all credibility and is ripe for takeover. And the Ron Paul people are more interested in resurrecting a fiscally conservative party (from the fascist ashes) than they are in ousting Obama. And Obama is more ready for that revolution than Romney is.
liveonearth: (Default)
Repealing Health Care
Posted on July 11, 2012
by Ed Stein

This just in: the House voted to repeal the new health care law. That is, the Republicans in the House went through the fruitless exercise of once again voting to do something the Senate has no intention of going along with. This makes sense for Republicans, because it must be really embarrassing for them that Obama managed to pass a law that was almost entirely their idea. The whole notion of the mandate to buy health insurance was cooked up by the Heritage Foundation and endorsed by Mitt Romney when he gave Massachusetts citizens nearly universal coverage. It’s really funny to hear them denounce it all now as a big government intrusion into our lives, and as a–gasp!–tax, which nobody thought to mention until he Supreme Court decided that’s what the penalty for not buying it really is. What troubles me most about the repeal effort is that I don’t hear any Democrats asking the obvious question: WHAT PART OF THE LAW DO YOU WANT TO REPEAL? The part that allows your kids to stay on your plan? The part that prevents insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions? The part that ends lifetime limits on coverage? The part that closes the donut hole in Medicare? The part that prevents insurers from kicking you off your plan if you get sick? The part that establishes the state insurance exchanges (another Republican idea)? Or is it just the part that Obama passed it and not Republicans.
liveonearth: (dancer romani)
According to the Oregonian yesterday, there are 15 million illegal Mexicans in the US today. The announcement today is that Obama will issue work permits to some 800,000 young illegals instead of deporting them. The older folks are still getting deported, but the young will be... assimilated? Perhaps. Once they have a work permit, and they can be in this country under the light of day, they may decide they want to stay and seek citizenship.

ruminations )
liveonearth: (Default)
Obama nominated a Korean-born physician to head the World Bank, a fellow named Jim Yong Kim. I am completely ignorant about World Bank. All these years I thought it was an organisation of bankers, bent on reaping profits from building dams in regions too poor to defend their turf. You mean that's not their mission? I finally looked it up and their official mission is to reduce world poverty and support development. Somehow that bit about "reduce world poverty" was completely lost on me. This doc Obama has nominated has worked in AIDS reduction, and is currently the president of Dartmouth. Obama trying to inject some reason and some humanity into the political workings of this world.
liveonearth: (Default)
Here's the actual text of the EO. It looks kind of totalitarian on its surface, and the conservative blogosphere is screaming stuff like Obama seizes control over all food, farms, livestock, farm equipment, fertilizer and food production across America!!! But the Hot Air blog breaks it down relative to the old law, and it appears that the changes are really quite minimal. In the name of National Defense Resources Preparedness an assortment of agencies are authorized to do whatever they need to take over the means of production and supply the military. Which they already were.
liveonearth: (endless_knot)
Nobody expects him to win. Not even him. It would be quite a shock, after this many attempts. Ron Paul realizes that he's not really campaigning for himself to be president, but rather for an alternative view of how government works and what it should do. For a movement, and a revolution. For an alternative view of how society works, and what it means to be human. I am thrilled for him because he got the youth vote in Iowa today. The new voters came out for him. Probably because of that Big Dog ad, in combination with Dr Paul's willingness to legalize pot. Strange bedfellows indeed. Societies shift according to the ley lines of the culture.

It's pretty amusing to hear the rest of the candidates talk mainly about defeating Barack Obama. I would and will vote against all of them in favor of Barack Obama. Newt makes me wish desperately for a moral atheist candidate. The others I can't even remember. I wish for Palin. She'd at least make big enough gaffes to make me spit out my food.

Don't worry, I'll turn off the radio, soon. I have to say I really do enjoy hearing the candidates speaking to their own people at these events. I learn a lot more than I do from statements that have been honed for the mainstream news.

We're all Austrians now.
--Ron Paul

(Austrians = opposite of Keynesians. This quote of course taken radically out of context, he is speaking of some time in the future when Keynesian economics is no longer broadly accepted and applied in America.)
liveonearth: (Montana Mountains)
The EPA's new rule is a compromise between public health and corporate profits. Nothing comes for free. Particulates cause increased cardiovascular and respiratory disease and have neurological effects as well. The new rule is called MATS: Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. Obama can't get anything done through congress, but he is still working his evil socialist ways via agencies designed to protect public interests. I for one appreciate some attention given to public health: better to have some reasonably devised limits than to simply let industry poison us for greater profit, even if we WANT the product of that industry.

The EPA proposal incorporates three separate limits: one for mercury, a second for acid gases and a third for particulate matter, which is used to target emissions of metals such as chromium, selenium and cadmium.

In its March proposal, it said the regulation could prevent 17,000 premature deaths from toxic emissions. Today it lowered that estimate to 11,000, according to the statement. Jackson said improved estimates for benefits from a rule to combat pollution across state borders leaves the mercury standard with fewer toxics to remove.

The changes announced today include easing off on mandatory controls for particulate matter, dispatching with pollution caps when plants are starting up or shutting down, and allowing companies greater leeway to average mercury emissions across units. Those changes will save utilities about $1 billion annually, EPA said in a fact sheet.

For more:

For the rule straight from the EPA:
liveonearth: (Default)

Jonathan Alter says that while President Obama goes into his re-election campaign with a weak economy, he still has one asset that hasn't received much attention: He's honest.

"How did we end up in such a scandal-less state? ... For starters, the tone is always set at the top. Obama puts a premium on personal integrity, and with a few exceptions (Tim Geithner's tax problems in 2009) his administration tends to fire first and ask questions later. The best known example is Shirley Sherrod, the Agriculture Department official who was mistakenly fired by her boss over a miscommunication that led higher-ups to believe -- wrongly -- that she had made inappropriate racially tinged remarks. In several other cases, the decision to give staffers accused of wrongdoing the boot was made within hours, taking the air out of any possible uproar."

Found via [ profile] grail76 friend of [ profile] rick_day
liveonearth: (Default)
People will believe it if told enough times that black is white. Unfortunately. It appears that the majority of Americans have painfully weak powers of observation and critical reasoning. Such is the embarassment of our land. The Canadians absolutely adore Obama, so I hear, and they can't understand why "we" despise him. I guess those of us who find him to be masterful really need to make more noise. Obama rocks. And this from a person who did not vote for him.
notes )


liveonearth: (Default)

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