November 4, 2014 archive

Election Day is Here: Vote Your Fear

Finally, after today no more robo calls and no more political adds, at least for awhile. Voter turn out is expected to be low, as typical in mid-terms and as was seen in 2006, the party that is not in the White House is expected to take over the leadership of the Senate and further secure its majority in the House. Why voters will put the party that destroyed the US economy and got us into two unpaid for wars is pretty obvious, Americans are afraid and the Democratic party doesn’t exactly exude the confidence that they can lead. The GOP hung their hats on fear and won.

The Phantasmagoric World of Washington

By Tom Engelhardt, Huffington Post

Sometimes it seemed that only two issues mattered in the midterm election campaigns just ended.  No, I’m not talking about Obamacare, or the inequality gap, or the country’s sagging infrastructure, or education, or energy policy.  I mean two issues that truly threaten the well-being of citizens from Kansas, Colorado, and Iowa to New Hampshire and North Carolina.  In those states and others, both were debated heatedly by candidates for the Senate and House, sometimes almost to the exclusion of anything else.

You know what I’m talking about — two issues on the lips of politicians nationwide, at the top of the news 24/7, and constantly trending on social media: ISIS and Ebola.  Think of them as the two horsemen of the present American apocalypse.

And think of this otherwise drab midterm campaign as the escalation election.  Republican candidates will arrive in Washington having beaten the war and disease drums particularly energetically, and they’re not likely to stop. [..]

Keep this in mind as well: We’re talking about a country that has lived in a phantasmagoric landscape of danger for years now.  It has built the most extensive system of national security and global surveillance ever created to protect Americans from a single danger — terrorism — that, despite 9/11, is near the bottom of the list of actual dangers in American life.  As a country, we are now so invested in terrorism protection that every little blip on the terror screen causes further panic (and so sends yet more money into the coffers of the national security state and the military-industrial-homeland-security-intelligence complex).

Now, a terror disease has been added into the mix, one that — like a number of terror organizations in the Greater Middle East and Africa — is a grave danger in its “homeland,” just not in ours.


Midthusiasm and the Blame Obama Crowd

So I’ve been nagging my 22 year old niece to vote for the past week, making sure that she knew her polling place, the hours for voting, and about the local ballot initiatives, and the impact they might have.

Do I think she’s going to vote? Hell no.

She practically runs away every time I bring the subject up. She’s told me how she feels.

What difference does it make? My vote didn’t change anything last time. Every time I work extra hours, most of it disappears in taxes. Things just get worse and worse. Nobody cares. Nothing ever changes.

So I try to explain to her that she doesn’t make enough money to pay income tax. What she thinks is income tax, is social insurance programs with benefits that are guaranteed for as long as she lives. Anything over withheld she’ll get back like a bonus when she files her 1040 ez.

I explain how much her vote matters and how if the wrong people get elected, her grandmother’s teacher pension will likely get cut. And that may mean the roof over her head doesn’t get fixed or worse.

La La La I’m not listening. You’re making me depressed. You’re just a rabid political junkie. Worse than a Red Sox fan.

Here’s the thing though. I don’t have a team. And she’s right. To a large extent- Nothing ever changes.

The Breakfast Club (Calm Before the Storm)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

Militants storm the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and seize its occupants; Israel’s Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is assassinated; Soviet troops move in to crush the Hungarian Revolution; Baseball hall-of-famer Cy Young dies; Sean “Diddy” Combs is born.

Breakfast Tunes

On This Day In History November 4

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

November 4 is the 308th day of the year (309th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 57 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1922, British archaeologist Howard Carter and his workmen discover a step leading to the tomb of King Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt.

The British Egyptologist Howard Carter (employed by Lord Carnarvon) discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb (since designated KV62) in the Valley of the Kings on November 4, 1922, near the entrance to the tomb of Ramesses VI, thereby setting off a renewed interest in all things Egyptian in the modern world. Carter contacted his patron, and on November 26 that year, both men became the first people to enter Tutankhamun’s tomb in over 3000 years. After many weeks of careful excavation, on February 16, 1923, Carter opened the inner chamber and first saw the sarcophagus of Tutankhamun. All of this was conveyed to the public by H. V. Morton, the only journalist allowed on the scene.

The first step to the stairs was found on November 4, 1922. The following day saw the exposure of a complete staircase. The end of November saw access to the Antechamber and the discovery of the Annex, and then the Burial Chamber and Treasury.

On November 29, the tomb was officially opened, and the first announcement and press conference followed the next day. The first item was removed from the tomb on December 27.

February 16, 1923 saw the official opening of the Burial Chamber, and April 5 saw the death of Lord Carnarvon.

On February 12, 1924, the granite lid of the sarcophagus was raised In April, Carter argued with the Antiquities Service, and left the excavation for the United States.

In January 1925, Carter resumed activities in the tomb, and on October 13, he removed the cover of the first sarcophagus; on October 23, he removed the cover of the second sarcophagus; on October 28, the team removed the cover of the final sarcophagus and exposed the mummy; and on November 11, the examination of the remains of Tutankhamun started.

Work started in the Treasury on October 24, 1926, and between October 30 and December 15, 1927, the Annex was emptied and examined.

On November 10, 1930, eight years after the discovery, the last objects were finally removed from the tomb of the long lost Pharaoh.

Late Night Karaoke

TDS/TCR (This is Bat Country!)


Truly Bizzare

Eminiar VII

The real news, 3 (count ’em) 3 web exclusive Spoon performances and this week’s guests below.