HomeUncategorized2.27 Open Thread
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

Good morning, orlbucfan. Thanks for getting us started.

We see this morning that the House Relief Bill passed.

And the Senate is offering scant replacement for the $15 minimum wage. Their pretend strategy concerns giant companies only. The vast majority of workers in this country do not work for the favored few. So stick that entire plan where the sun don’t shine.

Save room ( where the sun don’t shine) for the Act of War strike on Syria. I hope as few people were harmed this time as there were in Trump’s similar Act of Battle—-which was actually, the Raytheon Bottom Line Enrichment Campaign.

Which War Companies profit this time? We will find out eventually.

Trump used Raytheon missiles. Biden wasted ???

That’s where our money goes. By choice. From all of us to the already wealthy.

Nothing for those that toil for insufficient wages.


There are actually incentives for smaller businesses to provide $15. Yes this approach is not anywhere as good as a mandated $15, but it’s definitely better than nothing. Progressives in Congress are behind this. It’s the Biden Administration that’s not. The $15 minimum can be brought as a stand alone but that needs the filibuster to go and that definitely is not a sure thing. Another alternative is to attach it to something that Republicans would have a hard time voting against like defense spending or farm subsidies.


we may have to agree to disagree on this.

Universal fair wages are the answer to a lot of what ails this country.

Pushing a so-so bill that probably won’t pass if it worth much more than nothing, is not a decent answer.


amen. as for neera, fine. just not close to Bernie and the budget.


Why Democrats should still fight for a $15 minimum wage

The increase in the minimum wage is something that is far more popular among Republicans and independents than Biden. His approval ratings with Republicans and independents stood at 11% and 44% in the Quinnipiac poll, while approval for a $15 minimum wage came in at 32% and 63% respectively.

Among Democrats, Biden’s approval rating (89%) is basically the same as support for a $15 minimum wage (88%).

LIkewise, people of color and White people without a college degree are much more supportive of a $15 minimum wage (79% and 47%) than they are of Biden (60% and 33%). White working class voters were Donald Trump’s base and people of color were less supportive of Biden than they were of Hillary Clinton.

If Democrats are looking for something that appeals to the mythical White working class voter, the minimum wage may be it.

Now, we obviously don’t know if embracing a $15 minimum wage will actually help Democrats nationally. It’s tough to see how it hurts, though.

If a $15 minimum wage can do so much better than Biden the national polling and in a state Democrats would love to win in the future like Florida, then it would make sense for them to be more forcibly behind it on a national level.

Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

Such good sense here. So I expect the dem ptb will not heed.


Oh my, you made me laugh! 😀 Thank you, I needed that.

From yesterday’s thread, sounded like even Bernie may be backing off. That was tough to read.


Bernie is backing off because he knows that the 1.9 trillion bill will not pass if the Dems go against the ruling of the parliamentarian and include the $15. The $15 minimum is not the only thing at stake here. People need their $1400 checks among other things. Manchin sucks and he will blow the whole thing up over this. Also the Biden Administration, which says it’s 100% behind the $15, really isn’t. They are not even in favor of the backup plan.


The pork must..be served?

I have mixed feelings about this. If the earmarks truly help local communities, great! But this isn’t our first rodeo and we can only hope the process is tightly controlled.

Key Democrat unveils plan to restore limited earmarks

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) unveiled a plan on Friday to restore a limited version of earmarks that would allow lawmakers to direct spending for special projects in their districts.

Republicans banned the practice of earmarks upon taking over the House majority in 2011 because of concerns about corruption.

But supporters of restoring the practice, including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), argue that it allows members of Congress to more specifically direct spending and helps build broader support for appropriations bills.

Sounds like something Republicans could both take advantage of to woo voters with back home by bringing them some of the bacon, while at the same time giving Republicans an anti-Dem talking point while campaigning for midterms, “We put an end to earmarks to stop the corruption, Democrats want the corruption to return!”.

Under DeLauro’s plan, earmarks — which Democrats are calling “community project funding” — would only be permitted if lawmakers adhere to requirements like providing evidence of “strong community support” and only request funding for up to 10 projects.

The funding could only go toward state and local grantees or eligible nonprofit organizations, and could not be directed to for-profit recipients.

Lawmakers would have to certify that neither they nor their families have any financial interest in the projects. In addition, every project funding request would be posted publicly online with descriptions justifying the rationale.

The Government Accountability Office would also be required to audit a sample of enacted earmarks to ensure that the funding was used for its original intent.

Earmarks would be limited to one percent of discretionary funding.


Earmarks can be helpful in getting our wonderful Congress members to vote for needed stuff. Manchin, Sinema etc will need lots of bribes.


For Orl.

Will this designation slow down development in FL?

Elusive Wetland Bird Added to Florida’s Endangered Species List

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commissioners met Thursday and Friday online, adopting the eastern black rail bird to the list, in order to be consistent with federal protections. It is the size of a sparrow, found in marshy areas, and is described by Audubon as “extremely secretive.”

Rarely seen or heard, the black rail’s habitat is disappearing rapidly as climate change and development continue to destroy wetlands.

It’s quite a pretty little bird.

Eastern black rail bird B.jpg

what a beauty.



A few hours before that decision was announced, I watched Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) hold his debut hearing as chairman of the powerful Budget Committee. Sanders, a longtime champion of the Fight for $15, made the consequences of our much-too-low federal minimum wage, set at $7.25 an hour since 2009, his focus.

The parliamentarian’s job is to offer nonpartisan guidance to members about the Senate’s often arcane rules and procedures. Her decisions are dry and bloodless; the hearing was anything but. Among those testifying: Terrence Wise, a father of three, and a “second-generation fast food worker.” Wise recalled stretches when his family was so broke they lived in their car. But right now, as a McDonald’s employee, he needs government help to pay for the basics. “I don’t want to go to the supermarket with my kids and pull out my benefit to pay for food. My check should pay for that.”

What would Wise do if his salary increased to $15 an hour? Nothing fancy. He said he’d buy his partner flowers. Right now, he can’t afford to buy flowers for Valentine’s Day.

Sanders held this hearing because he wants people to know that Wise and his family are not alone. All too many Americans work full-time, but are paid so little that they still need to rely on such government benefits as food stamps and Medicaid to get by. In his view, that amounts to corporate welfare. “Why should the taxpayers of our country,” Sanders said Thursday, “many of whom are struggling economically as a result of the pandemic, be subsidizing the starvation wages being paid at some of the largest and most profitable corporations in America?”

Last year, the Government Accountability Office — at Sanders’s behest — released a survey showing that Walmart employees were the largest group of employees using safety-net benefits in the 11 states it studied. McDonald’s came in second. Walmart paid its six highest-ranking executives $112 million in 2019. Earlier this month, the company announced it would increase its stock dividend and buy back $20 billion in company stock.

No one aspires to get by on government benefits, Sanders noted when I spoke with him before the hearing. “If you say to somebody, ‘Would you rather be working for a decent wage so that you can provide for your family? Or would you rather be working for a starvation wage and have to fill out government forms and get government help?,’ I think most people would say, ‘You know what, pay me a decent wage and I’ll take care of my family.’ ”

Sanders invited the chief executives of McDonald’s and Walmart to testify at the hearing and talk the issue out. Both turned the invitation down.

The Biden administration could simply overrule or replace the parliamentarian — something Republicans have had no problem doing in the past — but has said it won’t do that. A stand-alone bill for a $15 minimum wage is unlikely to receive 60 votes, and is unlikely to survive a filibuster. Sanders says he will introduce an amendment to the current covid-19 legislation that will punish at tax time large corporations that don’t pay their employees at least $15 an hour.

Only one thing seems certain: Wise is going to need to wait to buy those flowers.

And that’s a tragedy, not just for his family, but for all of us. “You give low-wage workers a raise, we’re not going to invest it in beach front property or invest in a stock,” he testified on Thursday. “We’re going to invest in the economy.”

If only Congress would let them.


Keeping the pressure on the Senate and Biden


“Get it done,” declares Bowman. Yes.

Now, not later. Now, not soon. Now, or the creeping perception that Biden is useless will be confirmed and cast in cement.

It’s hard to ignore the pardon of MBS.

It’s hard to ignore a bombing exercise similar to Trump’s fiasco.

It’s hard to pretend that the $1,400 that may or may not arrive eventually is a big whoop-de-doo when you recall that Trump & Co, directed $1,200 and then $600 to my bank account. If you have kids, the total is much higher.

It’s hard to ignore an indignant response to objections to Neera Tanden. It’s hard to ignore that Ron Klain acted so outraged as if he didn’t understand that ALL presidents have nominations that hit speed bumps. It’s hard to ignore that Ron Threatened us. “Neera will work somewhere close to Biden,” he said.

I think Biden is running out of road. He will soon be revealed as the empty corporate shell my deepest fears hinted at, but wouldn’t believe.



The middle east has been at war for thousands of years, right now to much hatred from to many factions, most caused by religious beliefs. One day thier will be peace but it will be when the people there are sick of hate and constant death tolls. Even the various super powers that provoke the wars will have little influence on a true peace agreement when it happens. Right now thier religious hatred is to strong and it allows the US and Russia to play them off against each other. Someday they will tier of being the rubes of the superpowers. When will they wake up and see the all the superpowers do is supply the weapons, tech support while the locals pay the price with thier dearest blood I E their children go off to fight on both sides. Meanwhile the superpowers MIC just smile as the ever increasing profits of the MIC rolls on.

What a sad world we live in


Neocons patting themselves on their own backs about their…I mean Biden’s, “discriminate, calibrated and focused use of force”.

“Somewhere there’s a nice, happy middle between taking out someone like [Qassem] Soleimani and showing that you mean business,” Barry Pavel, director of the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, said, referring to the Iranian general killed in a drone strike ordered by former President Trump.

The use of the word “happy” in the context of killing people seems psychopathic to me. I guess, in their minds, killing one general is a lot worse than killing the 22 no-name people Joe just killed?

The strikes killed at least 22 people, London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Friday, citing unconfirmed local reports.


same garbage we heard about Trump using expensive missiles to bomb empty airplane hangars.

“Security theater” which translates to MIC Enrichment Program.

Worthless, unless you profit from it.


it is psycopathic. there is no “balance” when you’re taking a life, especially so light heartedly, so indifferently. it’s all about show, except for the people on the receiving end. i hate this. hate it.


Golden and Schrader voted against.

I give up if the parliamentarian somehow manages to rule that this tax plan is not appropriate for reconciliation. And if including it makes the whole package fail, then there is no way it wouldn’t be the same for including the $15 minimum. I suspect this NY Times author’s sources include lots of Biden Administration people. They don’t want anything $15 related in the package so they are trash talking the $15 tax idea


The House passed President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan early Saturday in a nearly party-line vote, advancing a sweeping pandemic aid package that would provide billions of dollars for unemployed Americans, struggling families and businesses, schools and the distribution of coronavirus vaccines.

The vote was 219 to 212, with Democrats pushing the measure over unanimous Republican opposition. After hours of debate that stretched past midnight, two Democrats — Representatives Jared Golden of Maine and Kurt Schrader of Oregon — broke with their party and voted against the bill.

It has prompted outrage among progressive activists, calls for Democratic leaders to fire or overrule Ms. MacDonough, and demands for the elimination of the filibuster to allow Democrats to enact the wage increase and other priorities over Republican objections.

Mr. Biden has made clear he does not support any of those actions, sending top congressional Democrats searching for a wage proposal that could meet the stringent requirements of a reconciliation bill, which must have a direct effect on federal spending or revenues.

It was not clear on Friday whether the tax penalty plan would qualify because if it achieved its objective of ensuring all large companies pay their workers at least $15 per hour, none of the firms would pay the tax, and federal revenues would not change.

Mr. Wyden said as part of the plan, very small businesses “with middle-class owners” would receive an income tax credit to cover 25 percent of their employees’ wages, up to $10,000 per year per employer, in an effort to incentivize higher pay at those businesses.

As its details were being ironed out on Friday, the tax penalty proposal was drawing broad criticism, raising questions about whether it could garner enough support to pass even if it met Senate rules. Some progressive groups raised concerns that the plan would be difficult to enforce, relying on federal officials to collect huge amounts of new data on employee pay and hours at large


Just want to have a little trivia fun in the next today, so here goes, can anyone identify the two guys below? They look like they could be brothers


The guy on the left looks like someone I may have seen acting on tv (a cop show?), but the other guy on the right I have no idea at all. Guess I don’t get out much.

Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

Is the guy on the right Senator Ron Johnson?






The one on the left ” Ronny Cox” played a complete political hack on Stargate SG1. The one on the right, I don’t have a clue.


Correct the other is none other than Ron Johnson the real political hack from WI
two points from this scene that starts around the 50 sec point
1. I wouldn’t be kidding as far as sending Kinsey off Planet mean while i would send several politicians off this one if i could.
2. Liked it when Thor put Kinsey in his place


THAT’s where I saw that guy on the left! I used to watch that show. (love sci-fi)


Apologies if a dupe.

This part of the Common Dreams story that included Alexandria’s tweet was one of the worrying aspects of this tech:

A more insidious threat of police robots, says Guariglia, involves surveillance.

“The next time you’re at a protest and are relieved to see a robot rather than a baton-wielding officer, know that that robot may be using the IP address of your phone to identify your participation,” he wrote. “This makes protesters vulnerable to reprisal from police and thus chills future exercise of constitutional rights.”


A raise in the Minimum Wage is an enduring lift to our people and our economy.

A Relief Bill is just that. Worthy as it is, a non-repeating check in our pockets will always be welcomed, but it is not in anyway comparable to the benefits that accrue from paying people what they need to live on.


Other than the $1400, the relief package also includes among other things the following stuff. This stuff is crucial for a lot of people!s survival. Yes we need the $15 minimum but Manchin and others are threatening to blow the whole thing up if it’s included (no $15 either).

It’s definitely a valid complaint about why the Biden Administration hasn’t been able to convince him about $15 (or hasn’t even tried)

Expanded unemployment insurance and child tax credit

The $900 billion stimulus package passed in December provided the unemployed an extra $300 per week in unemployment benefits. But that program expires in mid-March, raising concerns about a looming cliff facing its recipients. Nineteen million Americans were on some for of unemployment insurance for the week ending Feb. 6.

The House legislation increases the weekly benefit from $300 to $400 per week through August 29. That’s one month shorter than Biden’s original proposal.

The House law also expands the Child Tax Credit to $3,000 per child, and $3,600 for children under age 6. The bill also expands the Child and Dependent Tax Credit so families can claim up to half of their child care expenses on their taxes.

Pandemic response

About $50 billion will fund coronavirus testing and contact tracing. Another $19 billion will go to increase the size of the public health workforce. And another $16 billion will fund vaccine distribution and supply chains.

Aid for state and local governments and transit

The House law sets aside $350 billion for state and local governments, territories and tribes.

Facing deep budget shortfalls, state and local governments have shed 1.3 million jobs since the pandemic began last year. While tax revenue grew in some states last year, the majority — at least 26 states — were hit with declines.

Schools and child care block grants

The bill sets aside almost $130 billion for K-12 education. That money would go to improving ventilation systems, reducing class sizes, buying personal protective equipment and implementing social distancing, according to the House Committee on Education and Labor.

Colleges and other higher-education institutions would get almost $40 billion. Schools must dedicate at least half of the funding for emergency financial aid grants to prevent hunger, homelessness or other challenges for students during the pandemic, according to the House committee.

Almost $40 billion would go to child care providers through the Child Care and Development Block Grant program. The bill also sets aside $1 billion for the Head Start program, which provides early-childhood education, health and nutrition services to low-income children and families.

Assistance for food, rent and mortgages

The bill invests more than $5 billion in Pandemic-EBT, a program through which schoolchildren can receive temporary emergency nutrition benefits loaded on EBT cards that are used to purchase food. It also includes more than $800 million for the WIC program, which supports low-income women and infants.

The bill sets aside $30 billion in emergency rental assistance and other relief for the homeless.

Another $10 billion goes to mortgage assistance.


None of that is convincing evidence that we must sacrifice doing the ONE THING that will help the most people.

This cannot be spun to make lemonade out of lemons.

The Relief Bill is a positive GOOD.

I must have missed the rule that in order to get anything of any value whatsoever, we have to give up the Best Thing.


While Sanders himself suggested the Plan-B effort was only necessary because the more straightforward pathway may be blocked, critics say the more complicated route to increased wages may fair (sic) little better in terms of making its way through the Senate and simply having Vice President Kamala Harris overrule or disregard the parliamentarian’s guidance would be the better and easier path.

Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, told the Post it would be “impossible” to adequately monitor corporations to make sure they pay at rates that aren’t mandated by the federal minimum wage statute.

“Anybody who wants to pay less than $15 under these alternatives will do it,” warned Weisbrot.

“So it’s not going to do the job,” he said. “Democrats should just overrule the Senate parliamentarian.”




Sacrificing the Wage Increase in fear of losing the Relief Bill strikes me as a bargain from Hell. There are no mitigating excuses that work for me. If they work for you, please don’t re-state the good parts again, because they do not convince me.

So, in a departure from what some may see as my hard ass behavior on $15 Minimum Wage, strap in for a surprise:

I believe with no hesitancy that the ACA modifications that have been discussed are amazingly good.

First of all, the income restrictions and subsidies for participation will be widened so well, that the income limits and cost are very close to what I pay for Medicare Advantage!! a BFD. I ran the numbers some time ago and will do so again if I need to.

Second. the incentives for the 11 no Medicaid Expansion stupid states, will be widened so greatly that even the dumbest Governor probably will expand Medicaid in His/Her State.

Third, Biden has discussed dropping the Medicare age to 55 in the short run.

That opens the door. And does immediate good.


hi @NYCVG. I’m on my phone and I’m not sure if this is a reply to me, but my post is only about using MMT to pay for everything. just so you know. 🤗

Unlike my usual righteous know-what-I want self, I am unsure where I stand on risking the bigger bill for the minimum wage. Right now I can see it both ways.


Absolutely NOT aimed at you. We are soulmates.