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Posts Tagged ‘public option’

Everything Under the Sun by Justin Bass

October 19, 2012 Leave a comment

FAH-Q Me!

March 6, 2012 Leave a comment

FAH-Q = For All to Hear & Question. ; )

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Advance to minute 2:20 of The New York Times’ “TimesCast” to see an example of an Ignorant Conservative/Ignorant Republican voter in Columbus, Ohio by the name of Isaac Shupe, who is susceptible to the rhetoric of campaign commercials and repeats those talking points in place of his own reasoning.

Today on TimesCast
The Times’s Jeff Zeleny previews Super Tuesday | The changed perspective of a Republican voter in Ohio.

http://video.nytimes.com/video/playlist/timescast/1247467375115/index.html?hp

Could The New York Times’ reporter and the editors of the video have taken Isaac Shupe’s words out of context? Yes! We do not know what Isaac Shupe said off camera, we only know what he said on camera. That is why it is necessary to keep questioning the sources of our information: campaign commercials, TV/Radio/Internet/Print News reports, your neighbor, me, everybody. For All to Hear & Question…that goes for everybody.

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Can you feel your soul? I can feel mine. Wishing people dead is not good for my soul. I can feel it. I still hold on to the hope that Fact & Evidence, Reason & Sense will win out over the people who lie, cheat and steal…and that We, the People, will V-O-T-E for the best ideas and the best solutions that benefit the majority of Americans. Maybe there is hope of changing the greedy, self-serving demagogues and sophists, like the Koch Brothers, Karl Rove and Dick Cheney?

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To everybody out there making it hard on others…

February 10, 2012 Leave a comment

That goes for the incompetent people who don’t think about anything past their own shoelaces. That goes for the greedy motherf*ckers out there working on Wall Street or in the financial services industry. That goes for the people on the freeway tailgating. That goes for the people butting in line wherever they go and not waiting in line like everybody else. That goes for those who lie, cheat and steal; and who never bother to stop what they’re doing, learn from their mistakes, and strive to do things right the next time. That goes for women who enable destructive bosses. That goes for Chinese manufacturers polluting the air and abusing their workers. That goes for George W. Bush and double for Dick Cheney. I am talking to you, people of planet Earth. Do better.

Click for larger image… http://justiceleagueunlimited.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/pyramid_lg.jpg

https://fandecande.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/johnwoodenpyramid.jpg?w=300

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A special FAH-Q to Apple (AAPL) for making crap computers and tablets, like the iPad, that restrict access to ESPN videos and make it difficult/frustrating/impossible to post what I want to on my own blog. FAH-Q = For All to Hear & Question. ; )

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 Free Your Mind and Think‘s photo.

Read more:

http://billmoyers.com/segment/jonathan-haidt-explains-our-contentious-culture/

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/02/09/online-users-of-citibank-bill-pay-app-charged-twice/?hp

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/10/opinion/krugman-money-and-morals.html?hp

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Just say NO to KOCH

February 22, 2011 Leave a comment

* These are the same Koch Brothers who, along with the oil companies Valero and Tesoro, tried to stop California from using renewable energy by pushing Proposition 23 in the last election.


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Billionaire Brothers’ Money Plays Role in Wisconsin Dispute

source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/22/us/22koch.html?_r=1

EXCERPTS:

Among the thousands of demonstrators who jammed the Wisconsin State Capitol grounds this weekend was a well-financed advocate from Washington who was there to voice praise for cutting state spending by slashing union benefits and bargaining rights.

The visitor, Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity, told a large group of counterprotesters who had gathered Saturday at one edge of what otherwise was a mostly union crowd that the cuts were not only necessary, but they also represented the start of a much-needed nationwide move to slash public-sector union benefits.

“We are going to bring fiscal sanity back to this great nation,” he said.

What Mr. Phillips did not mention was that his Virginia-based nonprofit group, whose budget surged to $40 million in 2010 from $7 million three years ago, was created and financed in part by the secretive billionaire brothers Charles G. and David H. Koch.

State records also show that Koch Industries, their energy and consumer products conglomerate based in Wichita, Kan., was one of the biggest contributors to the election campaign of Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, a Republican who has championed the proposed cuts.

Even before the new governor was sworn in last month, executives from the Koch-backed group had worked behind the scenes to try to encourage a union showdown, Mr. Phillips said in an interview on Monday.

State governments have gone into the red, he said, in part because of the excessively generous pay and benefits that unions have been able to negotiate for teachers, police, firefighters and other state and local employees.

“We thought it was important to do,” Mr. Phillips said, adding that his group is already working with activists and state officials in Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania to urge them to take similar steps to curtail union benefits or give public employees the power to opt out of unions entirely.

To union leaders and liberal activists in Washington, this intervention in Wisconsin is proof of the expanding role played by nonprofit groups with murky ties to wealthy corporate executives as they push a decidedly conservative agenda.

“The Koch brothers are the poster children of the effort by multinational corporate America to try to redefine the rights and values of American citizens,” said Representative Gwen Moore, Democrat of Wisconsin, who joined with others in the union protests.

A spokesman for Koch Industries, as well as Mr. Phillips, scoffed at that accusation. The companies owned by Koch (pronounced Coke) — which include the Georgia-Pacific Corporation and the Koch Pipeline Company — have no direct stake in the union debate, they said. The company has about 3,000 employees in Wisconsin, including workers at a toilet paper factory and gasoline supply terminals….

Political activism is high on the list of priorities for Charles Koch, who in a letter last September to other business leaders and conservatives explained that he saw no other choice.

“If not us, who? If not now, when?” said the letter, which invited other conservatives to a retreat in January in Rancho Mirage, Calif. “It is up to us to combat what is now the greatest assault on American freedom and prosperity in our lifetimes.”

Campaign finance records in Washington show that donations by Koch Industries and its employees climbed to a total of $2 million in the last election cycle, twice as much as a decade ago, with 92 percent of that money going to Republicans. Donations in state government races — like in Wisconsin — have also surged in recent years, records show.

But the most aggressive expansion of the Koch brothers’ effort to influence public policy has come through the Americans for Prosperity, which runs both a charitable foundation and a grass-roots-activists group. Mr. Phillips serves as president of both branches, and David Koch is chairman of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation.

The grass-roots-activists wing of the organization today has chapters in 32 states, including Wisconsin, and an e-mail list of 1.6 million supporters, said Mary Ellen Burke, a spokeswoman. She would not say how much of last year’s $40 million budget came from the Koch family, but nationwide donations have come in from 70,000 members, she said, offering it as proof that it has wide support.

The organization has taken up a range of topics, including combating the health care law, environmental regulations and spending by state and federal governments. The effort to impose limits on public labor unions has been a particular focus in Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, all states with Republican governors, Mr. Phillips said, adding that he expects new proposals to emerge soon in some of those states to limit union power.

To Bob Edgar, a former House Democrat who is now president of Common Cause, a liberal group that has been critical of what it sees as the rising influence of corporate interests in American politics, the Koch brothers are using their money to create a façade of grass-roots support for their favorite causes.

“This is a dangerous moment in America history,” Mr. Edgar said. “It is not that these folks don’t have a right to participate in politics. But they are moving democracy into the control of more wealthy corporate hands.”

During a demonstration outside the Wisconsin Capitol Monday, one protester made a similar point, holding a sign saying: “Gov. Walker: Kick the Koch Habit.”

But Mr. Phillips and members of his group and other conservative activists, not surprisingly, see it very differently.

Just as unions organize to fight for their priorities, conservatives are entitled to a voice of their own.

“This is a watershed moment in Wisconsin,” Mr. Phillips said. “For the last two decades, government unions have used their power to drive pensions and benefits and salaries well beyond anything that can be sustained. We are just trying to change that.”

The New York Times bringing the Fande (even when it’s Opinion)

February 14, 2011 Leave a comment

source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/14/opinion/14krugman.html?hp

EXCERPT:

“Once you understand the imperatives Republicans face, however, it all makes sense. By slashing future-oriented programs, they can deliver the instant spending cuts Tea Partiers demand, without imposing too much immediate pain on voters. And as for the future costs — a population damaged by childhood malnutrition, an increased chance of terrorist attacks, a revenue system undermined by widespread tax evasion — well, tomorrow is another day.

In a better world, politicians would talk to voters as if they were adults. They would explain that discretionary spending has little to do with the long-run imbalance between spending and revenues. They would then explain that solving that long-run problem requires two main things: reining in health-care costs and, realistically, increasing taxes to pay for the programs that Americans really want.

But Republican leaders can’t do that, of course: they refuse to admit that taxes ever need to rise, and they spent much of the last two years screaming ‘death panels!’ in response to even the most modest, sensible efforts to ensure that Medicare dollars are well spent.”

And so they had to produce something like Friday’s proposal, a plan that would save remarkably little money but would do a remarkably large amount of harm.”

source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/14/opinion/14Salmon.html?hp

EXCERPTS:

“What the market is not doing so well is its core public function: allocating capital efficiently. Apple, for instance, is hugely profitable and sits on an enormous pile of cash; it is thus very unlikely to use its highly rated stock to pay for any acquisitions. It hasn’t used the stock market to raise money since 1981, and there’s a good bet it never will again.

Meanwhile, the companies in which people most want to invest, technology stars like Facebook and Twitter, are managing to avoid the public markets entirely by raising hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars privately. You and I can’t buy into these companies; only very select institutions and well-connected individuals can. And companies prefer it that way.

A private company’s stock isn’t affected by the unpredictable waves of the stock market as a whole. Its chief executive can concentrate on running the company rather than answering endless questions from investors, analysts and the press.

There’s much less pressure to meet quarterly earnings targets. When the stock does trade, the deals can be negotiated quietly, in private markets, rather than fall victim to short-term speculation from the high-frequency traders who populate public markets. And companies love how private markets allow them to avoid much of the regulatory burden of being public.

That burden comes largely from the Securities and Exchange Commission, which was created in the wake of the 1929 stock-market crash to protect small investors. But if the move to private markets continues, small investors aren’t going to need much protection any more: they’ll be able to invest in only a relative handful of companies anyway.

Only the biggest and oldest companies are happy being listed on public markets today. As a result, the stock market as a whole increasingly fails to reflect the vibrancy and heterogeneity of the broader economy. To invest in younger, smaller companies, you increasingly need to be a member of the ultra-rich elite.

At risk, then, is the shareholder democracy that America forged, slowly, over the past 50 years. Civilians, rather than plutocrats, controlled corporate America, and that relationship improved standards of living and usually kept the worst of corporate abuses in check. With America Inc. owned by its citizens, the success of American business translated into large gains in the stock portfolios of anybody who put his savings in the market over most of the postwar period.

Today, however, stock markets, once the bedrock of American capitalism, are slowly becoming a noisy sideshow that churns out increasingly meager returns. The show still gets lots of attention, but the real business of the global economy is inexorably leaving the stock market — and the vast majority of us — behind.”

source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/13/opinion/13dowd.html?src=me&ref=general

EXCERPTS in italics from The New York Times:

As a Republican congressman in the Johnson era and a Nixon White House official, Rummy had a front-row seat to the ego-driven bungling on Vietnam. But unlike McNamara, who said that the U.S. repeated Vietnam’s moral, political, economic and cultural mistakes in Iraq, Rumsfeld is still blinded by ego.

As part of his “Je ne regret rien pas” book tour, the 78-year-old former defense secretary stopped by the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday, where he got the group’s annual “Defender of the Constitution” award. Only another person with such an ironic spin on the phrase “Defender of the Constitution” could present the award, of course, so Dick Cheney popped by to give it to his old pal.

Cheney’s entrance music was Tina Turner’s “Simply the Best,” also favored by Ricky Gervais for motivational speeches in the British version of “The Office.” When supporters of Ron and Rand Paul heckled the crusty pair — yelling “draft dodger” at Cheney, “Where’s bin Laden?” at Rumsfeld, and “war criminal” at both — Cheney blithely ordered them to “Sit down and shut up.”

Noting that his friend was both the youngest and oldest defense secretary, Cheney said, “Maybe if we give him a third term he’ll get it right.”

Doubtful. Rummy was still full of vinegar as he taunted President Obama for the conservatives.

Looking at the administration’s many “reversals of their announced policies on national security issues — Guantánamo Bay, military commissions, indefinite detention, CIA drone strikes,” he said, it makes me wonder if Dick has had more influence on President Obama than the people that got him elected.”

He is still oblivious about how wrong it was to shunt aside Afghanistan and goose up reasons to go careering into Iraq, which he felt had easier-to-hit targets and easier-to-find villains. He doesn’t agree with the “If you break it, you own it” theory. He thinks you can break it and just leave and not get bogged down in trying to build democratic dream countries.

Rummy’s memoir, “Known and Unknown,” is an unnerving reminder of how the Iraq hawks took crazy conditionals and turned them into urgent imperatives to justify what the defense chief termed “anticipatory self-defense.”

At “Rumsfeld.com,” the author has put up an archive of records and memos. One, marked “SECRET” and declassified last month at his request, is dated Sept. 9, 2002. That was after his P.R. roll-out to the March 2003 Iraq invasion was under way.

The subject line reads “WMD.” Secretary Rumsfeld is sending a secret report that he received a few days earlier to Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, asking: “Please take a look at this material as to what we don’t know about WMD. It is big.”

The attachment is from Major Gen. Glen Shaffer, then the director for intelligence for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the secretary of defense, responding to Rummy’s request to know the “unknowns” about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

“We range from 0% to about 75% knowledge on various aspects of their program,” Shaffer wrote. Unfortunately, the 0% had to do with actual weapons.

“Our assessments rely heavily on analytic assumptions and judgment rather than hard evidence,” the report said. “The evidentiary base is particularly sparse for Iraqi nuclear programs.”

It added: “We don’t know with any precision how much we don’t know.” And continued: “We do not know if they have purchased, or attempted to purchase, a nuclear weapon. We do not know with confidence the location of any nuclear weapon-related facilities. Our knowledge of the Iraqi nuclear weapons program is based largely — perhaps 90% — on analysis of imprecise intelligence.”

On biological weapons: “We cannot confirm the identity of any Iraqi facilities that produce, test, fill, or store biological weapons,” the report said, adding: “We believe Iraq has 7 mobile BW agent production plants but cannot locate them … our knowledge of how and where they are produced is probably up to 90% incomplete.”

On chemical weapons: “We cannot confirm the identity of any Iraqi sites that produce final chemical agent.” And on ballistic missile programs they had “little missile-specific data.”

Somehow that was twisted into “a slam-dunk.” You go to war with the army you have, but the facts you want.

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IMPORTANT: The Republican Party of the 2000s wants to dismantle FDR’s “New Deal” for Americans, which came about after the Republican Party of the 1920s led to the Great Depression

February 11, 2011 Leave a comment

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/11/opinion/11krugman.html?_r=1

Abraham Lincoln, Inflationist

By PAUL KRUGMAN
OP-ED COLUMNIST
Published: February 10, 2011

EXCERPTS in italics from The New York Times:

There was a time when Republicans used to refer to themselves, proudly, as “the party of Lincoln.” But you don’t hear that line much these days. Why?

The main answer, presumably, lies in the G.O.P.’s decision, long ago, to seek votes from Southerners angered by the end of legal segregation. With the old Confederacy now the heart of the Republican base, boasting about the party’s Civil War-era legacy is no longer advisable.

But sooner or later, Republicans were bound to notice other reasons to disavow Lincoln. He was, after all, the first president to institute an income tax. And he was also the first president to issue a paper currency — the “greenback” — that wasn’t backed by gold or silver. “There is nothing more insidious that a country can do to its people than to debase its currency,” declared Representative Paul Ryan in one of two hearings Congress held on Wednesday on monetary policy. So much, then, for the Great Liberator.

Which brings me to the story of what went on in those monetary hearings….

Mr. Ryan, who led the other hearing — the one at which Ben Bernanke, the Fed chairman, testified — is a rising Republican star. So it’s worth noting that Mr. Ryan’s hard-money rhetoric was nearly as bizarre as Mr. DiLorenzo’s.

Start with that bit about debasing our currency. Where did that come from? The dollar’s value in terms of other major currencies is about the same now as it was three years ago. And as Mr. Bernanke pointed out, consumer prices rose only 1.2 percent in 2010, an inflation rate that, for the record, is well below the rate under the sainted Ronald Reagan. The Fed’s preferred measure, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, was up only 0.7 percent, well below the target of around 2 percent.

But Mr. Ryan is sure that the dollar is being debased and won’t take no for an answer. In an attempt to create a gotcha moment, he waved a copy of a newspaper bearing the headline “Inflation Worries Spread” at the Fed chairman. But the gotcha actually went the other way. As Mr. Bernanke immediately pointed out, the article was about inflation in China and other emerging markets, not in the United States. And the Fed chairman declared, correctly, that “inflation made here in the U.S. is very, very low.”

Advantage Bernanke. But the facts don’t matter, because conservative hard-money mania, the demand that the Fed stop trying to rescue the economy, isn’t really about inflation fears.

Mr. Ryan said as much in Wednesday’s hearing, in which he declared that our currency “should be guided by the rule of law, not the rule of men.” A few years ago, my response would have been, say what? After all, even Milton Friedman saw the conduct of monetary policy as a technical issue, not a matter of principle; his complaint about the Fed’s role in the Great Depression was that it didn’t print enough money, not that it printed too much.

But then Friedman, who believed that it sometimes makes sense to let your currency depreciate, who urged Japan’s central bank to adopt a policy very similar to what the Fed is doing now, was a leftist by the standards of today’s G.O.P.

Wednesday’s hearings aren’t likely to have any immediate effect on monetary policy. But they offer a revealing — and appalling — look at the mind-set of one of our two major political parties. We’ve always known that the modern G.O.P. wants to take America back to the way it was before the New Deal; but now it’s clear that the party wants to build a bridge to the 19th century, and maybe even to the antebellum era. Backward, march!

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Paul Krugman - New York Times Blog

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/opinion/editorialsandoped/oped/columnists/paulkrugman/index.html?scp=4&sq=krugman%20bio&st=cse

EXCERPTS:

“Paul Krugman joined The New York Times in 1999 as a columnist on the Op-Ed Page and continues as professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University.

Mr. Krugman received his B.A. from Yale University in 1974 and his Ph.D. from MIT in 1977. He has taught at Yale, MIT and Stanford. At MIT he became the Ford International Professor of Economics.

Mr. Krugman is the author or editor of 20 books and more than 200 papers in professional journals and edited volumes. His professional reputation rests largely on work in international trade and finance; he is one of the founders of the ‘new trade theory,’ a major rethinking of the theory of international trade. In recognition of that work, in 1991 the American Economic Association awarded him its John Bates Clark medal, a prize given every two years to ‘that economist under forty who is adjudged to have made a significant contribution to economic knowledge.’ Mr. Krugman’s current academic research is focused on economic and currency crises….

On October 13, 2008, it was announced that Mr. Krugman would receive the Nobel Prize in Economics.”

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http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/franklindroosevelt

Photo of Franklin D. Roosevelt

EXCERPTS:

“Assuming the Presidency at the depth of the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt helped the American people regain faith in themselves. He brought hope as he promised prompt, vigorous action, and asserted in his Inaugural Address, ‘the only thing we have to fear is fear itself’….

In the summer of 1921, when he was 39, disaster hit-he was stricken with poliomyelitis. Demonstrating indomitable courage, he fought to regain the use of his legs, particularly through swimming. At the 1924 Democratic Convention he dramatically appeared on crutches to nominate Alfred E. Smith as “the Happy Warrior.” In 1928 Roosevelt became Governor of New York.

He was elected President in November 1932, to the first of four terms. By March there were 13,000,000 unemployed, and almost every bank was closed. In his first ‘hundred days,’ he proposed, and Congress enacted, a sweeping program to bring recovery to business and agriculture, relief to the unemployed and to those in danger of losing farms and homes, and reform, especially through the establishment of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

By 1935 the Nation had achieved some measure of recovery, but businessmen and bankers were turning more and more against Roosevelt’s New Deal program. They feared his experiments, were appalled because he had taken the Nation off the gold standard and allowed deficits in the budget, and disliked the concessions to labor. Roosevelt responded with a new program of reform: Social Security, heavier taxes on the wealthy, new controls over banks and public utilities, and an enormous work relief program for the unemployed.”

 

 

Glenn Beck Lies…and Conservatives believe him

July 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Here’s an email propaganda campaign from the Conservatives:

“Remember when Nancy Pelosi said, Just pass the HC bill and then we will have to wait to read it!!

Remember President Obama accusing people like Glen Beck and the Tea Party movement of lying and bearing false witness that abortion is in the bill.  He said he had a core ethical and moral obligation to tell the truth. (August 19, 2009)

Remember STUPAC- The pro-life democrats who believed President Obama, when he said he would sign an Executive Order that the HC bill would not be federally funded.  HE LIED, HE LIED, HE LIED

Just in today from “The National Review”

The Health and Human Services Dept is giving Pennsylvania $160 Million to setup a new High Risk Insurance Pool that will cover any abortion that is legal in the state.

And, in New Mexico, the new $37 Million High Risk Pool began enrolling individuals on July 1, 2010. They will start receiving benefits in august 2010, INCLUDING ELECTIVE FEDERALLY FUNDED ABORTION.

You will never hear about this except on FOX News.  Now we know why 80% of Americans wanted to KILL THE BILL.  Brace yourselves, this is just the beginning.

Pass this on to everyone you know with an email address and pray for this country.”

Here’s Fact & Evidence refuting those false claims:

Be very careful how you deal with Conservatives.

* Introduce them to Fact & Evidence. Ask them to use their critical thinking skills and encourage them to read various highly accredited sources of information to corroborate their viewpoints. (Hint: CNSNews is not a trustworthy source.) In this case, Conservatives allowed themselves to be duped by an email propaganda campaign.

SOURCES:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2010pres/07/20100714d.html

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Contact: HHS Press Office
(202) 690-6343

As is the case with FEHB plans currently, and with the Affordable Care Act and the President’s related Executive Order more generally, in Pennsylvania and in all other states abortions will not be covered in the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) except in the cases of rape or incest, or where the life of the woman would be endangered.

http://mediamatters.org/research/201007150054

Jenny Backus, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services, said the charge is inaccurate. She said all high-risk pools — whether run by the states or by the federal government — will follow the same rules as do the insurance plans for federal employees, which only cover abortions in cases of rape or incest or when the life of the mother is in danger.

HHS says conservative accusations are wrong in several respects:

1) Pennsylvania hasn’t signed a high-risk pool contract with HHS yet;

2) States won’t begin providing services under the high-risk pools until Aug. 1, by which time HHS guidance will be in place;

3) HHS contracts with states make it clear that the federal government will be issuing guidance “so they know they will have to live by our guidance per the contract.”

Please tell Conservatives that “Right to Life” issues continue whenever human beings are breathing and sharing the Earth post-birth. Remind them that we spent $1 Trillion on a false war in oil-rich Iraq that killed possibly more than 100,000 innocent Iraqis and over 4,000 of our own troops unnecessarily.

There are so many “Right to Life” concerns outside the womb. These abortion debates, these hypothetical exercises, divert our attention from the Life & Death struggles of all of us fully formed human beings who need food, jobs, schools and housing.

Don’t let the Conservatives distort the truth and pervert the meaning of Life. Be patient with Conservatives. They are obviously very confused people and you may have to teach them how to use their critical thinking skills, so that one day they can formulate a logical conclusion for themselves instead of buying whatever Glenn Beck says hook, line & sinker. Conservatives, like all of us, are works in progress.