Thursday, March 31, 2016

Excellent article

In my daily list of stories that are frequently one sided and spamish, I got a link to this story from daily kos  

I was not surprised to see the story provide a call for both Rahm and Debbie Wasserman-Shultz to call, but I was kind of surprised to see it was written by Bill Moyers. I've always kinda thought Rahm was just an abusive prick, but up until this race, I had been a little more neutral on DSW. Moyers, IMO, supports his premise pretty well of why both of these two need to go. They do not seem very concerned with working class issues, and like Hillary, both seem very connected to money and willing to help grease the wheels for their benefactors. Nothing of the sort that Moyers is suggesting will happen of course, but it's refreshing to keep seeing stories like this.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Unrest In Cuba

The Obama visit may have stirred up a hornet's nest:

Obama's Middle East Disasters

Did Obama leave more Middle East disasters than he inherited?  This author says the answer is yes.
So what will the next President do about it?

Monday, March 28, 2016

Just punishment.

DENVER (AP) — The Veterans Affairs Department has no plans to punish any other employees over massive cost overruns at a VA medical center under construction outside Denver, the agency said Tuesday.
The executives who made the decisions that caused the price to swell to $1.7 billion have already left department, the VA said in announcing the long-awaited results of an internal review. The VA said last year that three other executives were transferred or demoted.
A separate investigation by the VA's inspector general is still underway.
The decision angered members of Congress who have demanded for months that the executives responsible be fired.
"There's going to be a billion dollars wasted on this hospital that could have gone to veterans' health care," said GOP Rep. Mike Coffman, whose district includes the site.
The facility's final cost will be nearly times the amount estimated in 2014. It's expected to be finished in January 2018.
When Congress reluctantly approved additional spending in September to complete the hospital, it stripped the VA of the authority to manage large construction projects in the future and turned it over to the Army Corps of Engineers.
VA officials have repeatedly said federal personnel rules controlled what action they could take against executives. They also said they had no legal authority to stop employees from retiring amid the internal review.
Coffman said the department should have at least tried.
"I think they use that system, the personnel system, to hide behind when it's convenient to do so," he said.
Colorado Sens. Michael Bennet, a Democrat, and Cory Gardner, a Republican, also condemned the decision.
Bennet called it an abdication of responsibility.
"It's incomprehensible that the VA concluded no further personnel action was necessary to hold these individuals accountable," he said.
Gardner said the VA's decision makes it appear that "federal employment comes with a get-out-of-jail-free card."
The 184-bed medical center in Aurora will replace an old, overcrowded hospital in Denver.
The new facility is a collection of a dozen large buildings connected by a long, soaring, glass-walled corridor. It is near the University of Colorado Hospital and Children's Hospital Colorado.

A Tampa Bay Protest

A Cuban "Fan" was arrested yesterday for throwing beer into the Tampa Bay Ray's dugout to protest their going to Cuba. The man was elderly and reportedly somewhat drunk. My question is: given our current climate of political correctness, what brand of beer would be proper for such a protest? I was thinking maybe Dos Equis, which is named to celebrate the twentieth century and is, of course, Hispanic. I also thought of Schlitz, which is flat and sour, sort of like dishwater, but it's not brewed anymore. What do you think?

Friday, March 25, 2016

My God, when does it end with Obama?

President Obama has stoked controversy after he suggested to an audience of Argentinian youth that there was no great difference between communism and capitalism and that they should just “choose from what works”.

Obama responded to a question about nonprofit community organizations and the necessity of attracting funding from both the public and private sectors.

“So often in the past there has been a division between left and right, between capitalists and communists or socialists, and especially in the Americas, that’s been a big debate,” Obama said.

“Those are interesting intellectual arguments, but I think for your generation, you should be practical and just choose from what works. You don’t have to worry about whether it really fits into socialist theory or capitalist theory. You should just decide what works,” he added.

Obama went on to praise Cuba’s socialist system under dictator Raúl Castro, touting the country’s free access to basic education and health care, although he acknowledged that Havana itself “looks like it did in the 1950s” because the economy is “not working”.

Who Needs Planned Parenthood?

After passing a bill to defund Planned Parenthood, Florida lawmakers provided a list of other "health centers" that could provide breast exams, contraception, and other women's care — and the list included dozens of public school nurse's offices, prisons, podiatrists, and dentists. "I don't think an elementary school can prescribe me birth control," said college student Kheyanna Suarez. The Week Staff.   My question is, Why not the family vet?


Posted: 23 Mar 2016 07:06 AM PDT
(Scott Johnson) 
Yesterday the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (the Circuit that includes Ohio and thus the IRS’s Cincinnati office) released its decision in United States v. NorCal Tea Party Patriots. In the court’s published decision, rejecting the IRS’s petition for extraordinary relief in a pending class action by the NorCal Tea Party and others mistreated by the IRS, the baloney meets the grinder. Judge Kethledge introduces the court’s opinion with these striking paragraphs:
Among the most serious allegations a federal court can address are that an Executive agency has targeted citizens for mistreatment based on their political views. No citizen—Republican or Democrat, socialist or libertarian—should be targeted or even have to fear being targeted on those grounds. Yet those are the grounds on which the plaintiffs allege they were mistreated by the IRS here. The allegations are substantial: most are drawn from findings made by the Treasury Department’s own Inspector General for Tax Administration. Those findings include that the IRS used political criteria to round up applications for tax-exempt status filed by so-called tea-party groups; that the IRS often took four times as long to process tea-party applications as other applications; and that the IRS served tea-party applicants with crushing demands for what the Inspector General called “unnecessary information.”
Yet in this lawsuit the IRS has only compounded the conduct that gave rise to it. The plaintiffs seek damages on behalf of themselves and other groups whose applications the IRS treated in the manner described by the Inspector General. The lawsuit has progressed as slowly as the underlying applications themselves: at every turn the IRS has resisted the plaintiffs’ requests for information regarding the IRS’s treatment of the plaintiff class, eventually to the open frustration of the district court. At issue here are IRS “Be On the Lookout” lists of organizations allegedly targeted for unfavorable treatment because of their political beliefs. Those organizations in turn make up the plaintiff class. The district court ordered production of those lists, and did so again over an IRS motion to reconsider. Yet, almost a year later, the IRS still has not complied with the court’s orders. Instead the IRS now seeks from this court a writ of mandamus, an extraordinary remedy reserved to correct only the clearest abuses of power by a district court. We deny the petition.
Judge Kethledge quotes the comments of the district court judge handling the case at a discovery conference:
My impression is the government probably did something wrong in this case. Whether there’s liability or not is a legal question. However, I feel like the government is doing everything it possibly can to make this as complicated as it possibly can, to last as long as it possibly can, so that by the time there is a result, nobody is going to care except the plaintiffs. . . . I question whether or not the Department of Justice is doing justice. 
As one can infer from the district court judge’s comments, behind the IRS’s foot-dragging and stonewalling is Obama’s Department of Justice. Judge Kethledge therefore reserves a few choice words for the Department of Justice:
The lawyers in the Department of Justice have a long and storied tradition of defending the nation’s interests and enforcing its laws—all of them, not just selective ones—in a manner worthy of the Department’s name. The conduct of the IRS’s attorneys in the district court falls outside that tradition. We expect that the IRS will do better going forward. And we order that the IRS comply with the district court’s discovery orders of April 1 and June 16, 2015—without redactions, and without further delay.
Stephen Dinan reports for the Washington Times: “Justice Department officials declined to comment on the judicial drubbing, and the IRS didn’t respond to a request for comment on the unusually strong language Judge Kethledge used.” The decision deserves much more comment, but it won’t be coming from the IRS or the Department of Justice any time soon.
Here I will just elaborate the obvious. The Sixth Circuit decision represents a disgrace that goes to the top of the Obama administration.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

WJC and HRC should be in jail

Judicial Watch: New Clinton Documents Raise Questions on Benghazi, Clinton Foundation

MARCH 22, 2016

Two days after Benghazi attack, Libyan president sought meeting with Bill Clinton through Clinton Foundation event

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released 276 pages of internal State Department documents revealing that within two days of the deadly terrorist attack on Benghazi, Mohamed Yusuf al-Magariaf, the president of Libya’s National Congress, asked to participate in a Clinton Global Initiative function and “meet President Clinton.”  The meeting between the Libyan president and Bill Clinton had not previously been disclosed.  The documents also show Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s staff coordinated with the Clinton Foundation’s staff to have her thank Clinton Global Initiative project sponsors for their “commitments” during a Foundation speech on September 25, 2009.

The Judicial Watch documents were obtained as a result of a federal court order in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the State Department on May 28, 2013, (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-00772)).

In September 13, 2012, al-Magariaf advisor Dr. Fathi Nuah wrote to the Clinton Foundation’s Director of Foreign Policy Amitabh Desai:  “Dr. Almagariaf will be addressing the United Nations this September in New York as the Libyan Head of State, and he expressed a wish to meet President Clinton and to participate at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting for New York as well.”

Four hours later, Desai emailed Hillary Clinton’s Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills asking, “Would USG [U.S. Government] have concerns about Libyan President being invited to CGI [Clinton Global Initiative]? Odd timing, I know.” Mills emailed back: “We would not have issues.”

Four days later, on September 17, Desai emailed Mills again, saying, The Libyan president is “asking for a meeting with WJC [William Jefferson Clinton] next week.” Desai asked, “Would you recommend accepting or declining the WJC meeting request?”

The State Department apparently had no objection to the meeting, because on September 26, Desai emailed Mills, “He had a v good meeting with Libya …” Hillary Clinton and al-Magariaf did not have ameeting until September 24.

An August 2009 email chain including Hillary Clinton’s then- Chief of Staff Huma Abedin, Mills, then-Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Jake Sullivan shows that the State Department coordinated with Clinton Foundation staff on how Mrs. Clinton to thank Foundation supporters/partners for their “commitments.”  Mills asks Desai for a “list of commitments during whole session so she can reference more than those just around her speech.”

Caitlin Klevorick, Senior Advisor to the Counselor and Chief of Staff to the Secretary of State who previously workedat the Foundation, notes:  “one question is if we want to see if there is a decent mass of fs [funds] related commitments to announce together at closing as a ‘mega’ commitment.”

The State Department material includes background information made by Clinton Foundation partners, which include Foundation donors Nduna Foundation, Grupo ABCA, and Britannia Industries.  Other CGI partners noted in the State Department documents include a federal agency (the Centers for Disease Control) and various United Nations entities, which also receive U.S. taxpayer funds.

The transcript of Hillary Clinton’s speechon the State Department Internet site confirms that then-Secretary of State did thank those making “exceptional commitments” to her husband’s foundation:

And so I congratulate all who helped to put on this (inaudible) CGI [Clinton Global Initiative].  I especially thank you for having a separate track on girls and women, which I think was well received for all the obvious reasons.  (Applause.)  And this is an exceptional gathering of people who have made exceptional commitments to bettering our world.

The documents also point to a chain of emails that show Haim Saban, a top Clinton donor, sought to entice Bill Clinton into to travelling to Damascus in 2009 to meet with a high-level Syrian delegation. The meetings were part of the Saban Forum. Evidently, the trip never took place.

As previously reported, a June 2012 email chain discusses a “firm invitation for President Clinton” to speak at a Congo conference, hosted in part by the controversial Joseph Kabila. Bill Clinton is offered $650,000 in fees and expenses, concerning which, as Desai emails Mills and others, “WJC wants to know that state [sic] thinks of it if he took it 100% for the foundation.”

This lawsuit had previously forced the disclosure of documents that provided a road map for over 200 conflict-of-interest rulings that led to at least $48 million in speaking fees for the Clintons during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. Previously disclosed documents in this lawsuit, for example, raise questions about funds Clinton accepted from entities linked to Saudi Arabia, China and Iran, among others.

Judicial Watch’s litigation to obtain these conflict of interest records is ongoing.  The State Department has also yet to explain why it failed to conduct a proper, timely search in the 20 months between when it received Judicial Watch’s request on May 2, 2011, and the February 1, 2013, date Secretary Clinton left office.

“These new State Department documents show Hillary Clinton and her State aides were involved in fundraising for the Clinton Foundation.  It is also incredible that the Libyan president would call and meet Bill Clinton through the Clinton Foundation before meeting Hillary Clinton about Benghazi,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.  “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton worked hand in glove with the Clinton Foundation on fundraising and foreign policy.  Despite the law and her promises to the contrary, Hillary Clinton turned the State Department into the DC office of the Clinton Foundation.”

Judicial Watch’s FOIA lawsuit has become particularly noteworthy because it has been reported that the Clinton Foundation, now known as the Bill, Hillary, & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, accepted millions of dollars from at least seven foreign governments while Mrs. Clinton served as Secretary of State.  The Clinton Foundation has acknowledged that a $500,000 donation it received from the government of Algeria while Mrs. Clinton served as Secretary of State violated a 2008 ethics agreement between the foundation and the Obama administration.  Some of the foreign governments that have made donations to the Clinton Foundation include Algeria, Kuwait, Qatar, and Oman, have questionable human rights records.

Links to the full production of documents can be found here.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

IRS rebuked for tea party targeting

IRS rebuked for tea party targeting, ordered to release secret list

A federal appeals court spanked the IRSTuesday, saying it has taken laws designed to protect taxpayers from the government and turned them on their head, using them to try to protect the tax agency from the very tea party groups it targeted.

The judges ordered the IRS to quickly turn over the full list of groups it targeted so that a class-action lawsuit, filed by the NorCal Tea Party Patriots, can proceed. The judges also accused the Justice Departmentlawyers, who are representing the IRS in the case, of acting in bad faith — compounding the initial targeting — by fighting the disclosure.

“The lawyers in the Department of Justicehave a long and storied tradition of defending the nation’s interests and enforcing its laws — all of them, not just selective ones — in a manner worthy of theDepartment’s name. The conduct of theIRS’s attorneys in the district court falls outside that tradition,” Judge Raymond Kethledge wrote in a unanimous opinion for a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. “We expect that the IRS will do better going forward.”

Justice Department officials declined to comment on the judicial drubbing, and theIRS didn’t respond to a request for comment on the unusually strong language Judge Kethledge used.

The case stems from the IRS‘ decision in 2010 to begin subjecting tea party and conservative groups to intrusive scrutiny when they applied for nonprofit status.

An inspector general found several hundred groups were asked inappropriate questions about their members’ activities, their fundraising and their political leanings.

The IRS has since apologized for its behavior, but insisted the targeting was a mistake born of overzealous employees confused by the law rather than a politically motivated attempt to stifle conservatives.

Tea party groups have been trying for years to get a full list of nonprofit groups that were targeted by the IRS, but the IRS had refused, saying that even the names of those who applied or were approved are considered secret taxpayer information. TheIRS said section 6103 of the tax code prevented it from releasing that information.

Judge Kethledge, however, said that turned the law on its head.

“Section 6103 was enacted to protect taxpayers from the IRS, not the IRS from taxpayers,” he wrote.

Edward Greim, a lawyer at Graves Garrett who is representing NorCal Patriots, said they should be able to get a better idea of the IRS‘ decision-making once they see the list of groups that was targeted.

“What we’ll be able to see is how, starting in the spring of 2010, with the first one or two groups the IRS targeted, we’ll be able to see that number grow, and we’ll even be able to see at the tail end their possible covering up that conduct,” he said.

He said they suspect the IRS, aware that the inspector general was looking into the tax agency’s behavior, began adding in other groups to try to muddle the perception that only conservatives were being targeted.

Tuesday’s ruling is the second victory this year for NorCal Patriots.

In January U.S. District Judge Susan J. Dlott certified their case as a class-action lawsuit, signaling that she agreed with NorCal Patriots that the IRS did systematically target hundreds of groups for special scrutiny.

Certifying the class allows any of the more than 200 groups that were subjected to the criteria to join the lawsuit. But until the IRScomplies with the appeals court’s ruling this week, the list of those groups is secret.

Now that the class has been certified, the case moves to the discovery stage, where the tea party groups’ lawyers will ask for all of the agency’s documents related to the targeting and will depose IRS employees about their actions.

The lawyers hope they’ll be able to learn details Congress was unable to shake free in its own investigations.

The Justice Department has concluded its own criminal investigation into the IRS and said the targeting was the result of bad management. But investigators said they found no criminal behavior, and specifically cleared former IRS head Lois G. Lerner, saying her fellow employees said she tried to correct the problems when she learned of them.

Republicans dismissed that investigation as a whitewash by the Obama administration.

Paul Ryan Is Running

Monday, March 21, 2016

Tucson Cop: Anti-Trump Protesters “Most Hateful People I’ve Ever Seen”

Tucson Cop: Anti-Trump Protesters “Most Hateful People I’ve Ever Seen”

"I could not believe what I saw"

An African-American Tucson cop who attended a Donald Trump rally on Saturday as a neutral observer described the anti-Trump protesters who crashed the event as “the most hateful people I’ve ever seen”.
Brandon Tatum said he wanted to personally attend the event in order to get a first hand experience of what it was all about instead of relying on media perception.
Describing what he saw as “very very shocking,” Tatum said anti-Trump protesters were “verbally violent,” swearing and yelling at people who were attending the rally.
Speaking about the Trump supporters, Tatum said, “everybody seemed to be peaceful, there wasn’t a lot of hatred and maliciousness going on,” and that Trump supporters were not lashing out at protesters. Challenging the media narrative that Trump is ‘inciting violence’ against protesters, Tatum said he heard an announcement before the event which told attendees not to become involved in altercations with protesters who were being unruly.“That was another thing I don’t see portrayed in the media, is that they gave a disclaimer, don’t hurt these people, you don’t need to do this”.Tatum goes on to explain how protesters were yelling “f**k Donald Trump” in front of children and that one parent had to cover her daughter’s ears because “these people are just outlandish and out of control”.

Despite being a police officer, even Tatum said he felt uncomfortable and that “at any moment I could get sucker punched by somebody”.

Although it was the protesters who were accusing Trump supporters of being hateful, Tatum asserted, “These people are the most hateful, evil people I’ve ever seen, I could not believe what I saw….I thought at some point it was going to be a full fledged riot because these people were acting so outrageous.”
“I had no problems when I was there, I’m an African-American man, I had no problems with people going against me,” added Tatum, again countering the narrative that Trump supporters are racist.
Tatum concluded by noting that the media rarely portrays the protesters in a negative light, focusing instead on violence committed by Trump supporters after they have been provoked by demonstrators “spitting and yelling in people’s faces”.

The Communist Revolutionaries/REVISED

March 1980

Flashback March 1980: Reagan Faces Probable Defeat – Trails Carter by 15 Points

reagan 1980
1980 electoral Map
Republican elites are very concerned this year that Donald Trump cannot beat Hillary Clinton or Socialist Bernie Sanders in a general election.
You hear the establishment types talk about it nearly every day on the FOX News Channel.
For his part, Donald Trump says he has not “even started” on Hillary Clinton.
The elites also worried about Ronald Reagan’s chances back in March 1980.
The CSMonitor reported, via Free Republic:
The nation’s Republicans are working against the clock to answer two key questions: Can conservative Ronald Reagan possibly attract enough independent and Democratic votes to win in November?
An if he is likely to lose, has former President Gerald Ford time enough to challenge him for the GOP nomination?
The consensus among political experts is that time has probably already run out for Gerald Ford, though he still appears the stronger choice to beat Jimmy Carter in November.
But some experts caution: Don’t count Ronald Reagan out as a national candidate for the fall. He is not, they say, “a McGovern or a Goldwater” — fringe candidates who led their parties to one-sided defeats in 1972 and 1964. Intellectuals don’t want to take him seriously, but he does well with working-class voters. He would take the West, challenge President Carter in the South, and do well in the pivotal Midwest states like Ohio and Illinois, whose southern regions titled toward Carter in 1976, they say.
Back in March 1980 the establishment the establishment said the same thing about Ronald Reagan.
They said he could never defeat Jimmy Carter.

He was too divisive.
Reagan trailed Carter by 15 points in February-March 1980.
reagan carter polls
Reagan came back and won in a 44 state landslide.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

We need more safe places

A new crusade has emerged among college students who insist on insulation from the real world – now left-liberal campus activists demand safe spaces from U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents who recruit at campus job fairs.
Protesters at several campuses in Southern California and Arizona have demanded administrators cut all ties with the federal agency, and some have protested agents’ presence on campus. Students say border protection representatives make students – especially students in the country illegally – feel unsafe.
At UC Santa Barbara in late January, a parade of students boisterously demonstrated against border patrol recruiters at a campus job fair, loudly chanting “f*ck your borders, f*ck your walls.” One organizer told The College Fix agents’ attendance was “triggering” for undocumented students, adding “there is no space on this campus for an organization that continues to threaten the safety of students.”
Last fall, after UC Irvine students circulated a petition that called on administrators to remove a U.S. Customs and Border Protection booth from the school’s fall career fair – saying officers’ presence would make the campus unsafe for students in the country illegally – the agency backed out of the event.
“The recruiters felt that the opposition to their attendance could be a distraction from their recruitment efforts and they could be more successful utilizing the on-line job postings,” a campus official said at the time.
The UC Irvine petition had declared “having border patrol agents on campus is a blatant disregard to undocumented students’ safety and well-being.” That sentiment was echoed recently by students at San Diego State and the University of Arizona, who have taken preemptive measures against border protection agents on campus.
“The university must divest any and all partnerships with U.S Customs and Border Patrol,” according to demands lodged this month by a group of self-described “marginalized” students at the University of Arizona.
“Given the high militarization of the US/Mexico border in Arizona and the violence it promotes against undocumented/migrant communities, the presence of Border Patrol on campus promotes a hostile environment towards Latina/o communities,” the group said.
Last week, a “Multicultural Coalition” student group at San Diego State published a demand list that included: “Bar Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement from campus grounds.”

Sanders Demands Treasury Block Pfizer Tax Dodging Deal

In a bid to prevent what has been called the biggest tax evasion scheme of its kind—and others like it—Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has urged U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to use his agency's authority to block the planned merger of two pharmaceutical giants.
Viagra-maker Pfizer's proposal to acquire Allergan, which manufactures Botox, is "nothing less than a tax scam," Sanders wrote in a letter (pdf) sent to Lew on Friday.
The so-called "corporate inversion," which would allow Pfizer to profit from a lower corporate tax rate in Allergan's home country of Ireland, could starve the U.S. government of up to $35 billion in tax revenue, Sanders said, citing a recent report from consumer group Americans for Tax Fairness.

Starving, with an expectation of 4 trillion in spending, 25 billion is chump change.

Perhaps Sanders should focus on fixing our broken tax system.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

New Research Reveals Candidate's Speach Grade Levels

 Which candidates are more advanced than a 6th grader? (If any)  Here is the answer:

Friday, March 18, 2016

Well Now, That's Okay Then

When is enough enough. After all we're talking chump change compared to 19 trillion.

The Congressional Research Service reports that for requests for both 2016 and 2017 fiscal years, Obama’s proposed federal budget would expand funding through the Former Presidents Act. In 2017 alone, Obama wants nearly an 18% hike in expenditures… $588,000. That means $3.865,000 in appropriations will be available to spend on former Presidents!
The 2016 proposed budget includes an additional $25,000 increase.
The Former Presidents Act, enacted in 1958, provides living former presidents with a pension, office staff and support, funds for travel, Secret Service protection, and mailing privileges. It also provides benefits for presidential spouses. Currently, former presidents are awarded a pension equal to the salary of cabinet secretaries, which totaled $203,700 for the 2015 calendar year and was boosted by $2,000 for the current calendar year.
Critics of the act argue that it financially supports former presidents who are not struggling. Many of them, alternatively, have gone on to profit from writing books about their time in the White House or delivering paid speaking engagements.
Former President Bill Clinton, for example, earned $132 million for delivering paid speeches between February 2001 and March 2015, according to an analysis from CNN. Clinton received $924,000 in taxpayer dollars last year by way of the Former Presidents Act.
Republicans in the House and Senate have introduced legislation that would cap annual pensions for former presidents at $200,000. Additionally, the bills would cut each pension by a dollar for every dollar the former president earns over $400,000 in the private sector in a given year. The measure was approved by the House in January with bipartisan support.
“It’s pretty simple. You want a retirement and pension, it’s there. But if you’re going to go out and make enormous sums of money, then you don’t need taxpayer subsidies,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah), who introduced the bill in the House, told ABC News in an interview.
“The former presidents are making gobs of money speaking and writing books, more power to them, but that doesn’t mean they need more taxpayer dollars on top of that,” Chaffetz added. “It’s embarrassing that they take that money.”

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Vladimir Putin Supports Trump?

From Bloomberg Politics:
Putin has praised Trump’s emergence as a contender to succeed Barack Obama in the White House, calling him the “absolute leader” in the presidential contest and a “very colorful character and talented” at his annual press conference in Moscow in December. Putin also said Trump wants the U.S. to have “closer and deeper ties” with Russia and “how couldn’t we welcome that?”

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

White Privilege

Harvard students debate whether whites should kill themselves due to ‘privilege’

MARCH 16, 2016

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – White lives do not matter, according to a student debater/activist from the University of West Georgia.

Miguel Feliciano, along with fellow West Georgia student Damiyr Davis, reportedly participated in a recent debate with other students at Harvard University.

During an exchange with their opponents, Feliciano suggested that white people should kill themselves because of their “white privilege.”

The exchange was caught on video and posted on YouTube.

“White life is wrong,” Feliciano was quoted as saying by “Our argument is that we should never affirm white life. White life is based off black subjugation.”

When a white debater asked Feliciano whether he should commit suicide, Feliciano said “I don’t see why not, it’s ethical.”

When the white debater suggested that it might be better to remain alive and fight the social forces that promote “white privilege,” Feliciano rejects the notion.

“Struggling against the structure means putting yourself on the line, putting your body on the line, do it. Affirmative suicide, that’s cool, it’s one little step in the right direction,” Feliciano said, according to

Ironically, the debate topic was supposed to be about renewable energy.

“The black debaters simply ‘chose’ to point out their opponents’ skin color and begin advocating genocide,” reported “They expressly stated that these were their ‘sincere beliefs,’ not just an argument to win a debate.”

Feliciano and Davis are not some anonymous student crackpots posing as serious debaters.

They form a respected two-person debate team that took second place at the 2013 Cross-Examination Debate Association Nationals, according to

Feliciano also acts as an instructor at the Eddie Conway Liberation Institute, an annual debate camp at Coppin State University that reportedly instructs high school students on debate strategy and radical thought, reported.

The institute is named after former Black Panther Party member Eddie Conway, who was convicted and imprisoned for 44 years for his involvement with the 1970 murder of a Baltimore police officer.

Crazy times

This race has probably been decided for awhile, but I thought last night made some things even more clear. Rubio seemed to basically kill himself a few weeks ago and seemingly needed last night to tell him the obvious. Kasich had a nice win, and after watching some of his town halls the past few days, I have to admit I found him pretty refreshing. He didn't preach the bible in a manner suggesting he has a direct line to God, instead he gave touching examples of how we should treat each other. But, the pundits say it is mathematically impossible for him to win, or even to go to the convention with a lead.

Which brings up an interesting point. Trump continues to roll. The Republican party seems to hate it. Yet, no candidate seems to want to speak to Trump voters. Cruz is openly courting Kasich and Rubio voters to come take a look at what Cruz's campaign has to offer. But, everyone seems to entirely dismiss Trumps voters as if they are simply not worth a damn because they aren't backing more traditional Republican candidates. I'll admit, there is one small subset of Trump's crowd that I have no respect for, and that subset is the racist idiots. That is not the entirety of his base, but neither is it so small that we can just overlook it. Ironically, I see a Venn diagram where supporters of Trump and Bernie have some overlap. I watched some Hillary talk last night and I can see her trying to reach out to Bernie voters. It looks false as shit to me, but in contrast to the Republicans, she is at least already making that effort. I had to laugh until I had a coughing fit when Hillary made a pitch for her crowd to send in small donations because "We really need that support" What an F'n joke coming from super pack lady. Anyway.....

I find it interesting that more than a few Republicans have said it might be just fine to go to the convention and have several ballots until they reach a conclusion where Trump loses. It seems like this would be the biggest fuck you possible that the party could dish out. Hard to picture right now what the outcome of that would look like, but I can't imagine it sitting well with a lot of people. On the Dem side, I kinda felt like last night closed the door on Bernie. He's got states coming up soon that are probably going to be more favorable to him, but I don't think he's going to overcome the superpunk delegates that basically protect the ability of the party to put their thumb on the scale in favor of whatever candidate they want. I still think Hillary is going to win the pledged delegates, but that will probably be closer. I don't expect any outcome right now other than Hillary and Trump being the nominees.

Who is politicizing this the most?

Obama noted Garland was confirmed to the D.C. Circuit in 1997 with backing from a majority in both parties, including seven current Republicans senators.
Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the No. 3 Democratic leader called Garland's section, "a bipartisan choice."
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who spoke to Obama Wednesday morning, said in brief remarks on the Senate floor that Republicans must act on the president's choice. "He's doing his job this morning, they should do theirs," said the Nevada Democrat.
If confirmed, Garland would be expected to align with the more liberal members, but he is not viewed as down-the-line liberal. Particularly on criminal defense and national security cases, he's earned a reputation as centrist, and one of the few Democratic-appointed judges Republicans might have a fast-tracked to confirmation — under other circumstances.
But in the current climate, Garland remains a tough sell. Republicans control the Senate, which must confirm any nominee, and GOP leaders want to leave the choice to the next president, denying Obama a chance to alter the ideological balance of the court before he leaves office next January. Republicans contend that a confirmation fight in an election year would be too politicized.

Ahead of Obama's announcement, the Republican Party set up a task force that will orchestrate attack ads, petitions and media outreach. The aim is to bolster Senate Republicans' strategy of denying consideration of Obama's nominee. The party's chairman, Reince Priebus, described it as the GOP's most comprehensive judicial response effort ever.

On the other side, Obama allies have been drafted to run a Democratic effort that will involve liberal groups that hope an Obama nominee could pull the high court's ideological balance to the left. The effort would target states where activists believe Republicans will feel political heat for opposing hearings once Obama announced his nominee.

For Obama, Garland represents a significant departure from his past two Supreme Court choices. In nominating Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, the president eagerly seized the chance to broaden the court's diversity and rebalance the overwhelming male institution. Sotomayor was the first Hispanic confirmed to the court, Kagan only the fourth woman.
Garland — a white, male jurist with an Ivy League pedigree and career spent largely in the upper echelon of the Washington's legal elite — breaks no barriers. At 63 years old, he would be the oldest Supreme Court nominee since Lewis Powell, who was 64 when he was confirmed in late 1971.

Presidents tend to appoint young judges with the hope they will shape the court's direction for as long as possible.
Those factors had, until now, made Garland something of a perpetual bridesmaid, repeatedly on Obama's Supreme Court lists, but never chosen.
But Garland found his moment at time when Democrats are seeking to apply maximum pressure on Republicans. A key part of their strategy is casting Republicans as knee-jerk obstructionists ready to shoot down a nominee that many in their own ranks once considered a consensus candidate. In 2010, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch called Garland "terrific" and said he could be confirmed "virtually unanimously."
The White House planned to highlight Hatch's past support, as well as other glowing comments about Garland from conservative groups.
A native of Chicago and graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Garland clerked for two appointees of Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower — the liberal U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Brennan Jr. and Judge Henry J. Friendly, for whom Chief Justice John Roberts also clerked.

In 1988, he gave up a plush partner's office in a powerhouse law firms to cut his teeth in criminal cases. As an assistant U.S. attorney, he joined the team prosecuting a Reagan White House aide charged with illegal lobbying and did early work on the drug case against then-D.C. Mayor Marion Barry. He held a top-ranking post in the Justice Department when he was dispatched to Oklahoma City the day after bombing at the federal courthouse to supervise the investigation. The case made his career and his reputation. He oversaw the convictions of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, and went on to supervise the investigation into Unabomber Ted Kaczynski.
President Bill Clinton first nominated him to the D.C. Circuit in 1995.
His prolonged confirmation process may prove to have prepared him for the one ahead. Garland waited 2½ years to win confirmation to the appeals court. Then, as now, one of the man blocking path was Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, argued he had no quarrel with Garland's credentials, but a beef with the notion of a Democratic president trying to fill a court he argued had too many seats.
Grassley ultimately relented, although he was not one of the 32 Republicans who voted in favor of Garland's confirmation. Nor was Sen. Mitch McConnell, the other major hurdle for Garland now. The Republicans who voted in favor of confirmation are Sen. Dan Coats, Sen. Thad Cochran, Sen. Susan Collins, Sen. Orrin Hatch, Sen. Jim Inhofe, Sen. John McCain, and Sen. Pat Roberts.

Monday, March 14, 2016


When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It!
Yogi Berra

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Who's responsible for violence?

As stupid as it may sound, this question has provoked my thinking for a long time. If somebody goes out looking for a fight, and they walk into a bar and provoke it, that seems pretty straight forward to me. My religious upbringing, of course, talked about turning the other cheek. And indeed, Buddhist thought is certainly chock full of suggestions that no matter what the occasion, if you find yourself in the midst of violence, you are almost certain (note almost) to be somewhat to blame for getting yourself there.

The Trump rallies appear to be getting violent. People can debate about whether Trump is racist or not, I think that's beside the point. What doesn't seem to be beside the point is that in the midst of Trump's diverse crowd of white dudes, there are more than a few who do not like black people. If it seems an established fact that a Trump is likely to have more than a few people who don't like black people, is a black person who shows up basically begging to get their ass kicked? I would say no of course, but clearly, it's a manipulative move daring the Trumplings to respond. And more and more, they seem happy to do so. Ironically, black people may be doing for the Republican party what it can't do for itself, which is make Trump look bad.

The thing about protest is that if you are really trying to bring change, you have to make people uncomfortable. In essence, disrupt their copacetic, iddilic day to make them think about something they don't want to think about. The Tea Party did it. They arguably haven't accomplished a whole lot yet, but they have put fear into a lot Republicans who felt they were safe from district challenges. Black people disrupting a white event though seems to really piss a lot of people off. I'll admit, it annoyed me when they jumped in Bernie's shit. Not enough that I wanted to cold cock someone, but it was annoying. But it's also made me take a fresh look at how I view race issues.

So who's to blame here? Trump for telling people he'll pay their legal bills if they kick some ass, or protestors who show up to a place where they know there are neanderthalls just waiting for a reason to kick someones ass?

Friday, March 11, 2016

Which GOP Tax Plan Is Most PRO Growth?

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Mr Haney

Speaking of light bulbs...........................
gloom despair and agony on me

The best and brightest they have to offer.

The deal that wasn't a deal

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director general Yukiya Amano explained what had up to this point been a mystery: namely, why its recent reports on Iran’s nuclear program have been so vague and contain such little data. As it turns out, under the Iran nuclear deal or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), there are now limitations on what the IAEA is allowed to report. According to Amano, due to new U.N. Security Council and IAEA resolutions, the agency will only monitor and verify Iran’s compliance with its JCPOA commitments and will no longer provide broad reporting on its nuclear program. A December 15, 2015, IAEA Board of Governors resolution directed the organization to cease reporting on Iran’s compliance with its Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty obligations and past Security Council resolutions because the Board of Governors is no longer seized of this matter.
Did the West conceded to Iran’s demand for vague IAEA reports during the nuclear talks in yet another secret side deal that the Obama administration failed to disclose to Congress. Is this more evidence that the nuclear deal with Iran is a fraud. Did U.S. officials give away everything to get this legacy agreement for President Obama that will not stop Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons?   It appears that by preventing the IAEA from publicly disclosing the full details of Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA, the Obama administration found a way to perpetuate the myth that this is a good agreement and keep Republicans from using reports of Iran’s cheating on the deal against Democrats in the 2016 presidential and congressional campaigns.

And a bad deal is better than no deal.  Didn't I read that somewhere here???

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Trump Wine, Trump Water, Trump Steaks?

At least he didn't claim that he changed water into wine.

The long awaited REAL Super Tuesday is upon us, and the Shit Show has arrived in NC.

Yes March 1st is considered Super Tuesday . But outside of Texas and Georgia there really aren't a lot of Delegates at stake.
 March 15th 6 more primaries are upon us and all but 1 are major states and 3 are winner takes all on the republican side. Our republican government in NC  has spent 4 years screwing up the state but the one thing they did do right was to move the NC Primary from late May to the second super Tuesday so the shit show has arrived to my state. A Trump yard sign has been planted by some idiot at the entrance to my neighborhood. Every other TV commercial is touting the fine qualities of our presidential hopefuls, And for the first time in my life I am headed for the presidential primary as an undecided voter. We have 3 visits scheduled in the immediate area already, Trump will be at the Crown Center in Fayetteville today, ( Yes Fayetteville is a mere 50 minutes away), Bill was here in Raleigh Tuesday and Hilary will be in Durham and Raleigh tomorrow. Bernie is at the Greensboro Coliseum Thursday night and Ted Cruz is scheduled in Charlotte on Saturday. But I am still undecided. I am leaning towards the Bern but have doubts if he could really win in November and obviously I agree that Hillary is a flawed candidate. Not because of E mails William but is America just tired of the Clintons as they have shown  to be tired of the Bushes. I sorta am.
    How big is Tuesday?  226 republican delegates are in winner takes all states of Ohio (66), Missouri (52) and Florida (99) and assuming Trump wins all his lead is nearly insurmountable and he will severely stain two more of his rivals if he takes their home states away from them. He could effectively cut the field to himself and Cruz, mano y mano just as Cruz wants. Ahh you say 66+99+52 doesn't add up to 226. No it does not, the Northern Mariana Islands (9) also has it's winner takes all republican primary on this second super Tuesday. There are 2 proportional races for the repubs also 69 delegates from Illinois, and 72 up for grabs here in the great state of North Carolina.
The dems will award proportionately a total of  792 delegates so although more states voted March 1st more is at stake in this second super Tuesday. 5 BIG states 3 of them Winner gets it all on the republican side. It may effectively seal the collective fates of Kasich, Rubio and Cruz.
  With that said who will Trump take as his running mate? My take is John Kasich, the one candidate he has never picked on, the one he has left standing through it all. The most experienced of the bunch, the governor of Ohio, Ohio a large swing state and a linchpin, a keystone in the blue wall of the electoral college. It is the choice that could make him a winner. Will he figure it out  or will he go outside the box as he is known to do and pick someone like say a Michael Bloomberg another nominal republican businessman. it will be interesting.

Monday, March 7, 2016

South Jersey voted to secede from NJ

South Jersey voted to secede from NJ

How much do you really know about the jazz legend? APP STAFF VIDEO/RYAN ROSS Ryan Ross

Jersey Roots is a look at the history of Monmouth and Ocean counties. Have a local historical topic you would like more information about? Contact Erik Larsen at

On the same day America elected Ronald Reagan its 40th president, five of six counties in southern New Jersey voted to secede from the Garden State.
The non-binding referendum on Election Day 1980 was the culmination of a quirky, mostly sincere but sometimes tongue-in-cheek political movement that began in the mid-1970s to create South Jersey, the 51st state, below Interstate 195 and the Manasquan River.
The plebiscite appeared on the Nov. 4 ballot in Atlantic, Burlington, Cape May, Cumberland, Ocean and Salem counties. Camden and Gloucester counties opted not to put the question to their voters.
Leaving New Jersey was favored in every county where it was on the ballot, with the notable exception of Ocean, winning a total of 51 percent of the combined vote. Collectively, in the six counties, secession was approved 180,663 votes to 174,151 votes; while in Ocean County, 59 percent of voters rejected secession — with 67,912 against to 46,863 in favor of South Jersey statehood.
MORE: Time travel with the Asbury Park Press
The creation of a new state from land and water within the borders of an existing state had not been done since 1863, when West Virginia broke away from Virginia during the Civil War. Before then -- and the only other time it had happened -- was in 1820, when Maine was established as its own state after having been a non-contiguous part of Massachusetts.
In reality though, the movement was not destined to move beyond theatrics. An independent South Jersey would have needed the approval of a New Jersey Legislature willing to give up 15 percent of its population and 49 percent of its land area. Furthermore, an act of Congress would have been necessary to admit South Jersey to the union as its own state. Quite simply, the politics and legal hurdles of that feat meant it was never a plausible venture.
In Trenton, Democratic Gov. Brendan T. Byrne was unimpressed. In his State of the State speech to the Legislature, the governor dismissed the organizers as “rabble-rousers.”
The rabble-rousers — proto-Tea Partiers with a joie de vivre vibe — responded the next August by dressing up as 18th Century colonists and staging a mock trial of the governor outside Resorts International Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. There, Byrne was hosting a national conference of state governors.
MORE: Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1966 visit to Monmouth County  
Secessionist leader Joel Jacovitz, chairman of the Committee to Free South Jersey, was a 35-year-old transplanted New Yorker from Egg Harbor Township.
"I think it's very clear that people want less government in their lives," Jacovitz told the Associated Press on election night. "It's a very clear message to our Trenton government and to our governor. We know that we'd probably be better off being our own state."
Jacovitz confidently predicted that American flags would need an additional star sometime around 1985.
What would a South Jersey state government have looked like? The Free South Jersey committee wanted a state constitution with a weak executive and a legislature in which its members would have been prohibited from sponsoring bills on matters outside their own districts. A California-like ballot proposition system was envisioned. However, there was no reporting at the time of where a South Jersey capital might have been located.
MORE: The POTUS who kept his mistress and love child in Asbury Park
“There’s no question the major purpose (of the vote) was protest,” then-Seaside Heights Mayor George Tompkins told the Associated Press two days after the election. “My God, we certainly have enough to be dissatisfied about.”
Tompkins had converted his borough clerk to the cause and although she was Bettsey Arnold — and not Betsy Ross — she sewed together a flag for the burgeoning would-be state that included an evergreen tree, a seagull, the sun and the words "South Jersey" emblazoned over a sky blue field.
Jacovitz, whose statecraft had been honed as the deputy mayor of Egg Harbor, promised a prosperous South Jersey — with economic stability from the casino gambling industry in Atlantic City, tourism and offshore oil drilling.
The population of the proposed state of South Jersey was 1.7 million in 1980. An estimated 2.4 million live there in 2016. Had the dreams of South Jersey secessionists come to fruition, its population today would be larger than New Mexico's, the 36th most populous state.
The list of grievances against Trenton was long. About 18 months earlier, Byrne had signed the Pinelands Protection Act, which had the effect of taking about 1 million acres of South Jersey out of the reaches of developers and off future tax rolls.
The 1970s in South Jersey were a boom time for those in the business of building things. Many young couples and families had fled the state’s crumbling urban centers and expensive suburbs of North Jersey for the new sprawling subdivisions of split levels and ranch houses in the cleared woodlands and drained marshlands at the Shore. Jacovitz himself was a builder.
State Sen. Barry Parker, R-Burlington, then a 14-year-legislative veteran, entered the GOP primary for governor in 1981 after having spoken publicly about the anti-Trenton fervor that was being stoked by what he viewed as overregulation of the Pinelands.
“(The vote) was a strong protest showing the people of South Jersey feel very bitter,” Parker told a reporter.
MORE: John Wilkes Booth spent his last summer in Long Branch
The argument that government overreach in the '70s was responsible for the secession movement is not the whole story. For others, it was about a lack of government reach. Many South Jerseyans were growing resentful of the state's economic investments in North Jersey. Most were convinced they were being shortchanged on the return in their taxes by a Legislature that was heavily represented by North Jersey members. Moreover, there were entire commissions, boards and authorities with statewide jurisdiction without a single South Jersey representative.
“We’re tired of paying taxes that end up in northern New Jersey,” complained Albert E. Freeman, the publisher of the weekly Burlington County Herald, who had helped ferment the resentment in columns calling for secession that he started writing in January 1976.
There were cultural differences too. For example, North Jersey is part of the New York metropolitan area, industrial, its residents cheer New York sports teams. South Jersey is part of the Philadelphia metropolitan area, agrarian and its residents cheer Philadelphia sports teams. Generally, North Jerseyans as a voting bloc were liberal in their politics and voted Democratic. Generally, South Jerseyans as a voting bloc were conservative in their politics and voted Republican.
“We want our destiny planned by ourselves and our neighbors,” Freeman told the Associated Press in April 1977. “Don’t worry, there won’t be any war. We’re peace-loving here in South Jersey.”

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Come on Trump

For every negative there is a positive.


Miley Cyrus pledges to leave US if Trump wins

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The finally nabbed Hillary.

Try this on for size, sure to iritate many.

For most of the 20th century most Americans knew, more or less, what their two parties stood for.
Today, America’s parties are more fragmented than usual. The Republicans are obviously fractured.  And the contradictions among Democrats, though less obvious, also run deep.
Donald Trump’s run for the presidency has prospered despite lacking all the things parties usually provide for a front-runner, strategists,  policies, money.  What is beyond strange is the failure to address the mismatch between grassroots supporters and the policy agenda into which Mr Trump has tapped so effectively. In its subsequent disarray, the party has simply failed the party members.  Hi-jacked by a minority group.  The rest of the party pretty much hates Trump and so others have joined the fray.  All unwilling to step aside because of their ego's and unite against Trump to bring a viable candidate that could win an election.  

Should Trump not win the nomination, his supporters will not support another candidate but will pout and stay home.  Should Trump be the candidate, some may support him, some may go the libertarian route however many will just stay home ensuring a Democrat either one would be elected.

For the Democrats,  the primaries have also revealed a powerful urge among activists to move the party leftward.  Bernie is the candidate of choice with Clinton morphing left to meet the challenge.  The primaries has also made it clear that Democrats are divided along generational lines. Bernie Sanders has thrashed Mrs Clinton in every contest among voters whose formative political experiences were the Iraq war (which she supported) and the financial crisis (blamed on her Wall Street supporters).   Older Democrats remember the party’s move to the center in the 1990s as pragmatic, correct and fruitful; younger ones consider it a betrayal.

Democrats were once the small-government party, opposing those who wanted a more powerful federal government and defending the interests of white southerners against Washington, now they are famous as the big-government party, pushing federal anti-poverty programs in the 20th century and government involvement in health care in the 21st.  Which are failures.  The Democrats have decided nut to trust the people and have instituted a policy of super delegates to ensure the party remains in control.  Should the vote in delegates be close, with the left fringe be angry at the betrayal by the super delegates?

All in all the fringe groups are ecstatic as they push their candidates and the results are likely to be disastrous for a broken country who can no longer understand the words from JFK's speech:

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country. 

We no longer put forth the best and the brightest to do what's best for the country but the people who will give us what we want.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

What To Do When Trump Becomes President

Something to cleanse the palate of politics for a day

I watched this TED talk yesterday from a doctor who works in palliative/hospice care.  It is 19 minutes long, and I encourage everyone to watch it. The speaker has a pretty incredible story of his own, and this is hard to describe, but just watch his eyes when he speaks. He made a great quote which I am going to steal wherein he called the Boomers the "Silver Tsunami" about to hit the health care system. We are at a spot right now where we are allegedly working on redesigning our healthcare system. However, I believe that every plan being floated right now is basically embedding the same flaw that has been there forever, namely that we treat symptoms, we treat illness, but we don't treat humanity.

I took care of a lot of people in the ICU and in Hospice, and they frequently have a lot more problems than their health. In fact, I'd say their health is typically the result of those problems. At present, we believe nothing is more important than saving money and reducing cost. We don't, however, seem to believe that a society of damaged, unhealthy people creates enormous cost on it's own, and we also don't seem to believe that society loses anything useful when somebody eats themselves into five different chronic diseases.

I like the slow changes I see happening. Maybe in fifty years people will have a different outlook. In any event, I really encourage people to watch this, it's good food for thought.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Over 2000 Classified Emails and counting!

Making America Great Again?

A peaceful group of black students from Valdosta State were thrown out of the latest Trump rally.

Exciting Stuff Mick!

Melissa Clevenger Duffy

MY CLEMSON: Melissa Clevenger Duffy ’08

This past summer marked a significant milestone for NASA when the New Horizons spacecraft finally reached Pluto after more than nine years and more than three billion miles traveled. I couldn’t help but reflect back on my great fortune to have been involved in fueling the spacecraft and playing a part in such an historic mission for the space program.
Melissa Duffy NASA
However, I never would have had this opportunity if it weren’t for the wonderful people and programs at Clemson. After my freshman year, I joined the Cooperative Education Program and with the help of the advisers I became the first chemical engineering co-op from Clemson to work for NASA at Kennedy Space Center. It was during my time as a co-op student that I participated in the fueling of the New Horizons spacecraft.
The co-op program not only enabled me to further develop my skills as an engineer, but also allowed me to take part in these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. This past year I supported the testing of MORPHEUS, an autonomous lander that was used to develop the technology that will enable us to land on Mars one day. And as you can see, I proudly wear my Clemson hat!
Melissa Clevenger Duffy graduated in 2008 with a B.S. in chemical engineering with a minor in business. She lives in Orlando and works for NASA at the Kennedy Space Center. She is also currently working on her master’s degree in industrial engineering.
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