Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Moving Day

After a four month hiatus from blogging, I've decided to close the chapter on Broadway Carl. The blog has been a labor of love (Jebus knows I never got paid for it) but over the course of the six and a half years of its existence, I've gotten married, bought a house and had two beautiful children - the second just eleven weeks ago - and worked picked up in a more managerial sense. As life progressed spare time grew shorter and shorter. Something had to give and unfortunately the blog was it.

There were many times over these past four months that I felt a twinge to writing about something on my mind, whether it was about the faux Obama "scandals" or Edward Snowden or Trayvon Martin, but the feeling would pass and I'd let it go. I realized I was suffering blogger burnout and since there wasn't sufficient time to properly put my thoughts down, I avoided it altogether.

Then last week, my friend and contributor to the blog Desert Crone published a post that was thoughtful and thought provoking, enough for me to respond to it. And I realized I missed it. I missed expressing my opinion in this format and I let  her know that I'd reestablish the blog and try to start it up again. It was like trying to turn over an engine that hadn't run for a while.

So while this is the end of one blog, it's the beginning of a new chapter - and it started last night with Broadway Carl 2.0. After a 3am feeding, I couldn't sleep as my mind was racing about work, house projects and yes, Anthony Weiner. A few random thoughts popped into my head and I felt the need to express them. But since my blog has been dormant for months besides the one post from Desert Crone, I am starting anew. Broadway Carl 2.0 ( was born and until I can straighten out the domain name redirect, there will be a transitional period.

If you've enjoyed what you've read here for over 6 years, please come visit us at

to continue the journey with me. I've grown a lot these last six years and I'm hoping that my writing will be less rage and more comical cynicism with a point and some humor (some of it inappropriate but that's how I roll). Yes, I'll still rant occasionally but that all becomes white noise after a while... sort of like Glenn Greenwald screaming about drones and how Obama is worse than Bush, even though he was a Bush supporter... still trying to wrap my head around that one.

Head on over!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

On the Occasion of My Grandson's Seventeenth Birthday

Posted by Desert Crone

I must warn you that this post is not focused on politics, which my posts usually are. Quite the contrary it is very personal; therefore, it may not interest you whatsoever. Furthermore, I'm ashamed to admit,  it rambles, but I hope this post, like so many personal pieces often do, resonates with some readers at some level.

The funny thing about writing is sometimes it takes me on journey that surprises me because I often end up at a place I had no intention of going. And so it is with this post.  Originally, I was going to address the adage that "all too often people will vote against their own interests."  It was my grandson who enlightened me about the psychology behind this paradoxical behavior. He wasn't sharing any knowledge he had gleaned from a text book or a teacher; his knowledge was an insight gained from observation.

This post, or essay if you will, quickly took on a life of its own, and rather than try to divert its path or twist it painfully into something it was never meant to be, I went with it, not against it. I felt context, which would be in the form of background,  was important; however, background soon gave way to biography. Before I realized it, I was describing the hopes and shattered dreams of so many Americans as well as the resolute spirit which creates survivors rather victims out of so many of us. This post is not only a tribute to my ex son-in-law but to all of those who have struggled just to provide the basic necessities for their families.  But most of all, this post is a love letter to my grandson.

My ex son-in-law, my grandson's father, had a rough time as a kid. Like so many kids struggling with serious dysfunction at home, he had a difficult time in school. Eventually, he was sent to the alternative school, from which he was also expelled, but later at some point he earned a GED.  He is very intelligent and talented, and after working minimum wage jobs for years, he landed a well-paying position with a privately owned tech company. Over the previous years he absorbed every technical aspect concerning PCs he could, which eventually paid off for him.

Paul had never owned a home; in fact, after he and my daughter divorced, he lived with his grandparents in a city 5 or 6 hours away from where my daughter lives. When he married his current wife, my grandson's step-mother, he was determined to buy his first home. His wife, however, was unable to hold onto any kind of job because she could not deal with any workplace stress or conflict. You see, in an unimaginable tragedy a few years before she married Paul, her then husband shot and killed their infant daughter while she held the baby girl in her arms.   Understandably, both  Paul and his wife yearned for the kind of normalcy they had always been denied. Thus, I think they were easy prey for unscrupulous mortgage companies.

And as the story so often goes, they bought a nice home on a nice street within walking distance of good schools for their kids. About this time my grandson, now in middle school, and my daughter were having serious conflicts and after much discussion between my grandson and his mom and dad, the three decided he would live with his father. My grandson thrived with his dad. His grades came up, he formed friendships at his new school, and seemed to be very content.

After a couple of years, Paul lost his job in the collapse of the economy. The owner of the tech company simply closed his business and walked away, leaving Paul and the other employees without jobs or prospects for any. And it got worse. Paul had taken out an adjustable rate mortgage because that was the only way he could afford a home, and because he was not very worldly wise, he didn't understand the ramifications of that decision until it was too late.

Soon Paul  was without a job and a home, which was foreclosed on when he could no longer make the ballooning payments. Now jobless and homeless, Paul was forced to take unemployment and food stamps.  He found a house he could barely afford to rent in one of the most rundown, unsafe neighborhoods in the city. He eventually secured a minimum wage job, but his family still relies on assistance just to get by.

Through all his dad's hardships, my grandson has remained fiercely loyal to his father and undaunted by his circumstances. A couple of times both his mother and I have asked him if he would like to move back here, and without hesitation, he has answered no.  I once offered to send money to his dad, which Paul emphatically refused, and later my grandson asked me never to offer money again. He explained to me that his father was a proud man who was determined to support his family without handouts. I did not remind my grandson that his dad already takes help in the form of state and federal assistance, and from my daughter, who, although not required to, sends a generous amount to Paul for child support every month. I am not sure why Paul drew the line with my help, but really it's unimportant. However, my grandson and I did collaborate on ways I could help and together we hatched a plan. Occasionally my grandson calls to ask me to send him enough money to take his family to Burger King for dinner, which is a real treat for them. His father never asks his son how he can manage it, but my guess he knows and allows me this one gesture.

On the months my grandson isn't here for holidays or summer, my husband and I go to see him for a weekend. We get a hotel room, and our grandson spends the weekend with us. We spoil him rotten by taking him shopping and to the movies as well as out to his favorite restaurants. I'm not sure how he picks those restaurants since I doubt he has never eaten at a single one.  Generally the practice was for Paul to drop our grandson off at the hotel on Friday and pick him up on Sunday; however, on this one Sunday his car wouldn't start, so we took our grandson home. My grandson confided to us that his dad was ashamed of their house and didn't want us to see it.

Home was a rundown house with a hard-packed dirt yard surrounded by a dilapidated fence. The street was pitted with large potholes and much of the asphalt was covered with sand or just gone.  Junked appliances were abandoned along with old tires and a rusted out car in an empty lot across from the house. Like so many similar streets in so many other cities, the city isn't concerned about street maintenance  or trash pick up,  much less the hazards that the vacant lot presented. In all aspects of society it isn't enough that poverty alone marginalizes people but their own governments do so as well. For the first time in his young life, my grandson felt the effects of a pervasive callous attitude directed at the poor. My grandson has observed that his neighborhood is neglected because the residents have no money nor power. Yet, unlike most children in poverty, he could have easily escaped, but he remained resolute in his loyalty to his father. As he once told me, "My dad needs me."

When I walked into the house, I noticed daylight peeping through cracks in a wall and a closed door. The floors were  either covered with grimy frayed carpet or yellowing cracked and curled  linoleum.  Any nice furniture they once had was replaced by shabby broken pieces left on the street or purchased from a junk store. Now I'm not naive. I've seen abject poverty. You can't live in New Mexico and be unaware of the poverty that surrounds you. Neither can you be a teacher and be blind to poverty's impact on kids. When I was a teacher, I gave rides home to plenty of kids, most of whom lived in poverty, and my heart broke for everyone of those kids as I dropped them off at similar homes.   But I will tell you, seeing my grandson, my own flesh,  standing in that house was not only heartbreaking but  gut-wrenching as well.  Don't we all want our children and grandchildren to be better off and more successful than we were?

As I became a seasoned teacher and learned really to hear, not just listen, to my students, I was struck by the uncanny instincts and insights into human nature that children raised in dysfunction often exhibit.  My grandson also has this gift of insight that accompanies hyper-vigilance. One day after he arrived here for this summer, he was telling us about his progress on the guitar. Like his father my grandson is an accomplished musician, so one Christmas we all chipped in to buy him an an Ibenex electric guitar. That same year my brother-in-law, a well-known and accomplished guitar maker, also made my grandson a guitar, sort of a hybrid created out of many guitars. That day, he matter of factly said, "At the end of the month,  if we are broke or our food stamps are gone, I let Dad pawn the guitar you bought me but never the one Uncle Jim made for me." Of course, a gift made with love is more cherished than a gift given with love, and so my grandson made his choice of which could be pawned so his family could eat. Besides, he trusted his dad to get his guitar out of pawn when his check came.

Recently, we had another discussion about his dad, the topic of which was going to be the original topic of this post. Oh well, so it goes. My grandson told me that his dad was very conservative in his politics, which I already knew. I told him I was surprised because the GOP opposed food stamps and unemployment insurance, both of which helped his dad. I shared that I didn't understand how people could vote against their own interests. Finally, I heard an answer to this conundrum that made sense to me coming from a 17-year-old kid, "My dad doesn't like the people who are most like we are." My grandson continued saying that when Paul railed against people who received "handouts," he would remind his dad that they did too.  His father always replied that "no, we are different." My grandson went on to observe that his dad wasn't voting against his self-interest in his eyes but against the party that represents the welfare state, which he resented needing.  He projected his resentment toward himself onto others and was blind to the idea that for many, receiving assistance was a temporary state. That was the most negative statement (although I'm not sure it can even be called that) I'd ever heard my grandson say about his dad. But I don't think he saw it as criticism at all, but simply one of the many paradoxes in human beings.

My grandson is here for his last summer before he graduates from high school. With his high SAT scores and excellent grades I'm certain he will receive scholarship offers, so I don't know how many more summers I'll have with him. One thing is certain I will cherish every heart to heart I have this summer with this remarkable young man.

PS Today on his birthday we went to the Georgia O'Keefe Museum in Santa Fe. When I asked him if he'd like to go with me, he answered yes without any hesitation. As we strolled through the small museum, looking and commenting about some of O'Keefe's lesser known works, I couldn't help but think what a incredibly lucky woman I am to be blessed to have this remarkable young man for my grandson.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

President Obama's Weekly Address - April 6, 2013

The President’s Plan to Create Jobs and Cut the Deficit

Saturday, March 30, 2013

I'm Still Here

I've been extremely busy these last few weeks and consequently the blog has suffered. But I'm still here and soon I'll hopefully be back on a regular basis. Thanks to all who stop by here to check in.

President Obama's Weekly Address - March 30, 2013

President Obama Offers Easter and Passover Greetings

Weekly Address - March 23, 2013

Helping Protect Our Kids by Reducing Gun Violence

Saturday, March 16, 2013

President Obama's Weekly Address - March 16, 2013

Time to Create the Energy Security Trust

Sunday, March 10, 2013

If Only Rand Paul Would Use His Filibuster Powers For Good Instead Of Evil

This week Kentucky Tea Party Sen. Rand Paul decided to have a thirteen hour, one-man circle jerk filibuster on the Senate floor in opposition of the nomination of John Brennan as the next CIA director until he got assurances from the White House that drones would not be used to target US citizens on US soil, you know because it's happening almost daily on our streets already.

This all stems from the targeting of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American born expatriate who repeatedly called for jihad against the United States, had ties to three of the 9/11 hijackers, Fort Hood shooter Nadal Malik Hasan, underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, and was elevated to regional commader in Al-Qaeda. Yes, the same Al-Qaeda which we are supposedly involved in a war against. Not what I would call a model US citizen, that al-Awlaki. Yet all these politicians are getting the vapors over this particular drone strike targeting someone that clearly was an enemy of the US, but since he was a US citizen the logical conclusion is that clearly it can happen here on American soil, even though it's never happened. And why would that be? Enter Rand Paul.

Paul sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder to ask if the Obama Administration thought it was legal to use drones against American citizens on American soil. Holder responded with the following:

"As members of this administration have previously indicated, the US government has not carried out drone strikes in the United States and has no intention of doing so. As a policy matter moreover, we reject the use of military force where well-established law enforcement authorities in this country provide the best means for incapacitating a terrorist threat. We have a long history of using the criminal justice system to incapacitate individuals located in our country who pose a threat to the United States and its interests abroad. Hundreds of individuals have been arrested and convicted of terrorism-related offenses in our federal courts.” 
The question you have posed is therefore entirely hypothetical, unlikely to occur, and one we hope no president will ever have to confront. It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States.” 
“For example, the president could conceivably have no choice but to authorize the military to use such force if necessary to protect the homeland in the circumstances like a catastrophic attack like the ones suffered on December 7, 1941, and September 11, 2001.
So, the answer: It's never happened, we have no intention of making it happen but hypothetically under the most extreme circumstances, it's possible. And the only thing Rand Paul focused on (as well as a lot of the media - you know, because controversy du jour) is the "it's possible" part to begin his fist shaking (and fundraising opportunity) outrage.

As David von Ebers writes, no one was worried about "the possibility" of military strikes on US soil under extreme circumstances when we were under attack.
"...the fact that the Bush Administration sent military aircraft – both armed and unarmed – into the skies on September 11 surprised exactly no one. As events were unfolding, and before anyone knew exactly who was responsible for the attacks, the President and the military were prepared to use lethal force to stop planes from hitting additional targets, even if it meant killing innocent American passengers, and regardless of the nationality or citizenship of the hijackers. 
If you paid any attention to the news coverage at the time, you knew this. And I suspect, like me, you didn’t object to it in the least. As much as I abhor nearly everything George W. Bush did as president, I can’t fault him or his military leaders for making that awful decision. What other choice did they have? If they’d had the opportunity to shoot down even one of those planes, they might have saved the lives of thousands of other innocent people. It’s an awful choice to have to make, but we expect presidents to make extraordinarily difficult choices in extraordinarily difficult circumstances... 
...Atty. Gen. Holder told Sen. Paul that the Obama Administration would do exactly what the Bush Administration attempted to do on September 11, 2001, in identical circumstances. Now I’m old and my memory is imperfect (although I did remember, quite clearly, that the Bush Administration scrambled fighter jets on 9/11), but try as I might to wrack my middle-aged brain, I recall exactly no controversy – as in none, zip, zero, nada – absolutely no controversy whatsoever following the Bush Administration’s attempt to use lethal military force that day. 
So you can understand my confusion. This is not a case where the Bush Administration expanded the powers of the presidency and the Obama Administration followed suit; instead, this is a situation where Pres. Bush’s actions were met with no controversy at the time because they were not controversial. What Pres. Bush did on 9/11 – ordering fighter pilots to take to the air, to shoot down hijacked airliners if necessary – appeared to everyone at the time to be right in the presidential wheelhouse, legally and constitutionally. Awful, yes. Illegal? Of course not."

Now, don't misunderstand. I think the usage of drones and who orders them and where are important issues. I think that their usage puts the US' moral creditability on the line (if we have any left to begin with). But it makes absolutely no difference to me whether the target is a US citizen or not. 

All these politicians wetting their diapers over the drone debate have framed the issue as a hypothetical attack on an American citizen, and the hypocrisy is astounding. What about those brown people we've been vaporizing "over there" with the drone program that we all knew about? Fuck them, what do we care about killing innocent civilians in a foreign land? Collateral damage. Wrong place, wrong time. Besides, they're probably jihad loving mooslims anyway, right?

Anwar al-Awlaki was an American citizen and therefore and deserved a fair trial? But those 160 guys imprisoned in Guantanamo for years without benefit of trial - fuck those guys. And so says the rest of the Senate with their continual votes not to fund the closing of Gitmo. The only thing for which Rand Paul should be given credit is for actually using the filibuster as it was intended (instead of placing a cowardly, anonymous hold on a vote) even though all it amounted to was free publicity and some campaign cash as intended.

So Rand Paul, and Tea Party wingnut Ted Cruz and Poland Spring spokesman Marco Rubio who took the opportunity to ride Paul's coattails in the latest search for the 2016 spotlight, please spare me the crocodile tears of Constitutional rights on one drone terrorist target who also happened to be an American citizen. Until Congress sets trials for everyone in detention centers like Gitmo, they should just shut their cake holes.

Must Reads

Ezra Klein: This is why Obama can’t make a deal with Republicans

Justin Rosario: How To Prove Obama LOWERED The Deficit In 4 Easy, Indisputable Steps!

Igor Volsky: Top Republicans Demand Obama Provide Coverage To People With Pre-Existing Conditions

Imani Gandy: Louie Gohmert Introduces Bill to Force Obama to Stop Golfing So Goddamn Much

Michael Calderone: Politico Investigated Menendez Claims Before Daily Caller Report

Bob Cesca: Republicans Take Credit for VAWA Even Though They Voted Against It

Saturday, March 9, 2013

President Obama's Weekly Address - March 9, 2013

End the Sequester to Keep Growing the Economy

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mitt Romney Gets It. Wife Ann? Not So Much.

In a not so shocking first interview since his presidential election defeat, Mitt Rommney admitted that it's "killing him" not to be in the Oval Office. In a more than surprising admission, he blames his campaign (and I'm assuming himself) for not being able to connect with black and hispanic voters, and points to his "47 percent" debacle as the turning point of the race.

In a complete yawner, however (and who didn't see this coming), his wife Ann "I love you women" Romney is still in the dark and is perfectly willing to blame the media for her husband's rout, apparently unaware of the fact that a journalist's job is to report what her husband and his campaign say and do. Ann, being a one percenter, is so totally insulated from the real world, that it is unfathomable to her that the actions of her husband are what caused his downfall. It wasn't made up. It wasn't a lie. It happened.

Now, perhaps in the days before social media, a 24 hour cable news cycle and practically real time reporting through the Internet, a guy like Mitt Romney could have gotten away with some of his ridiculous gaffes and his real thoughts spoken in "private rooms" away from the media, but that's no longer the case. And someone who runs a 1950's style campaign in 2012 is going to suffer.

But Ann just doesn't get it because in her insular world, she can't see past the fences of her estate or the walls of her gated communities. To Ann, this was an unfair, epic takedown by the "librul" media of the only man who could possibly have the ability to run the country.
“It was not just the campaign’s fault," Ann Romney said. "I believe it was the media's fault as well, in that he was not being given a fair shake--that people weren’t allowed to really see him for who he was. I’m happy to blame the media.”
See - Ann doesn't get that "who he really was" was the man that showed his real side through the gaffes and statemens made in private rooms when he thought the rest of the world wasn't listening. Mitt really does think corporations are people. Mitt really does think that 47 percent of the country were voting for President Obama because they're moochers looking for free stuff. Mitt really isn't concerned about the poor because of the safety net they have - the same safety net he would have dismantled given the chance. Mitt doesn't have a clue as to what the actual income is of more than 90% of the population, and how could he? He's just as isolated and insulated as Ann.  But Ann will never understand what the rest of the world understands when she pretends to shop at Costco and doesn't have to worry about filling up her gas tank. Or paying her mortgage. Or having a job.

Now that Romney has admitted what's eating him up inside, it's only a  matter of time before we find a World Weekly News headline on the ever reclusive Mitt Romney taking a Howard Hughes turn, complete with long beard, hair, gnarled fingernails and toenails, designing his own Air Force One made entirely out of wood.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Must Reads

David Von Ebers: Why I Can't Stand Bob Woodward

Paige Lavender: David Axelrod To Bob Woodward: Why Didn't You Say 'Don't Threaten Me?'

The Rude Pundit: Random Observations on Yesterday's Supreme Court Hearing on a Challenge to the Voting Rights Act

Bob Cesca: Secretary Kerry Has Balls of Steel

Chez Pazienza: Down the Outrage Hole (Again)

Van Cliburn 1934-2013

Van Cliburn died this week. Had it not been for Mr. Rogers, I wouldn't have known who Van Cliburn was in my younger years.

And looking back, I find it amazing that our Cold War with the Soviet Union permeated everything. It consumed us. And it was all a dick swinging contest. Not only in regards to military supremacy, but the Space Race, sports, music, Rocky IV, everything was a contest. I didn't know why we hated the the guys wearing the CCCP shirts, but I knew we were supposed to hate them.

And in 1958, Van Cliburn was a part of that.


President Obama's Weekly Address - March 2, 2013

Congress Must Compromise to Stop the Impact of the Sequester

Friday, March 1, 2013

Rebuttal of the Rebuttal: Say What, Zach!?

Posted by DesertCroneNM

I read Zach Green's rebuttal of his critics with amusement and a little dismay. Asking legitimate questions about Unite Blue hardly qualifies as a smear campaign. In fact, I asked some of those very questions myself and was very irritated with the evasive non-answers I received. I felt many of the answers Zach wrote in his blog post defy common sense. (Previous post: Four Reasons I Broke Up with Twitter . . .)
First: Zach claims he supported Buddy Roemer's campaign because "'Buddy Roemer only had one issue: get money out of politics.'" No, Zach, Mr. Roemer had other issues: supporting the Keystone Pipeline, a wall along the border with Mexico, supports a flat tax, things the Tea Party is good for America (which voids his support of the Occupy movement, don't you think?), raising the eligibility age for Social Security, anti-choice, support of DOMA, and the repeal of Obamacare -- which are all anathema to liberals. Some liberals have dismissed Zach's connection with Roemer by saying that they liked Buddy while at the same time excoriating President Obama for even mentioning chained CPI. I find that odd. But like Roemer (once member of the Democratic Party and then the GOP and now Independent), Zach seems to change his associations according to the political winds. For example, Zach also hosted a Tea Party town hall on Twitter.  In fact, S.E. Cupp even tweeted her appreciation:
I'm a loyal, lifelong liberal Democrat. I'm not interested in following an organization that seems to have no political loyalties whatsoever. I have said from the time I became aware of Unite Blue, it is a money-making venture. In fact, Adam Green, Zach's father, writes in his blog:
So does this mean that Twitter development is done, and devs (developers) will just move elsewhere? No way. Devs go where the customers are, and the customers are using Twitter in increasing numbers. I do development as a business and as a businessman, I go where the money is. That is still Twitter.
Show me the money!

Second: In his rebuttal, Zach wants us to believe that he's quite naive about cookies. He writes in response to the question: Are you tracking us across the Internet with cookies?
Before people started asking this I didn’t know it was even possible. Our CTO says it is apparently. We’re not doing it, nor do I understand why we would.
 I have such a difficult time believing that the co-founder of a Twitter consulting company doesn't understand the purpose of collecting information from cookies and IP addresses. Zach's tweet below is why I am very skeptical about his naïveté about cookies. 
Hmmmmm.  What data might that be?  And how do collect that data? Cookies? IP addresses?

Third: Here's what Zach wrote about how one joins Unite Blue.  In reply to Did you steal ConnectTheLeft’s Lists?  Zach says,
No. Every member of UniteBlue has to tweet  'I want to join @UniteBlue' to get on our Lists. It started from scratch. Others can feel free to use our Lists how they like. They are public. 
Come on, Zach. You know that's just not true. I never tweeted I wanted to join Unite Blue, but there I was following Unite Blue and on the list as well. Oh, and that second account you started--We Demand A Vote--I never followed it either. Yet, there I was as a follower.  And many other twitterers have the same complaint. Again, many of us never ever tweeted "I want to join @uniteblue."  We weren't even aware of such a group till around the first of February, when we were deluged with hundreds of followers and DMs from Unite Blue.  During that time I was getting about forty follows a day, and my number of followers jumped from 1730 followers to approximately 2050 in less than a week.  So, no Zach, you didn't start your list from scratch. And this reminds me of another question. Why, if you started Unite Blue in September 2012, did we just start seeing Unite Blue follows and hashtags in February 2013? What a coincidence that UB appeared about the time TGDN also appeared on the Twitter scene. 

Also, Zach knows that you can change the name on an account and still keep all the followers, follows, and Tweets from the previous account. He knows this because his father and's CTO, Adam (not the same Adam Green from Bold Progressives), explains it so well in another blog post (which has since been pulled so here's a shot of the cached file):

We recently had a client that paid us to help build up a series of accounts for his political campaign. Most of the effort went into growing a qualified follower list for a single engagement account. This is the account that interacted with supporters and sent out various versions of the campaign messaging to test them for later use in the candidate’s own account. When the campaign finally came to an end, his staff deleted this engagement account. What a waste! Most people don’t realize it, but you can change everything about a Twitter account and still retain all the followers.  We’ve changed the screen name of accounts lots of times, and all the followers were always retained. As long as the account’s new purpose and message is similar to its previous incarnation, this seems completely ethical, and there are no restrictions on this from Twitter. You can change everything about an account, and since it retains the original user id all the links for followers, retweets, etc. still work in Twitter’s database. We’ve never had a complaint from a follower of an account that had this type of conversion.
So the next time you or a client are tempted to erase an account after you no longer need it, don’t do it. Recycle, reuse, repurpose applies to Twitter accounts. Think of all the energy used to power the servers building that account. Save it for another use.
Last, I would urge you to read another post by Adam Green. Basically, Adam discusses how he created a Twitter group, compiled a list of names, and then provided that list to a client.  Sound vaguely familiar?  (Oops! This post has been removed, too. But here's a screen grab)

I find it odd that the two of Adam Green's blog posts that closely describe Zach Green's actions with UniteBlue have been deleted from his father's blog site,  But then again, I have found many things about Zach Green's venture to be odd.  However, what I find strangest of all is that liberals would so quickly and enthusiastically jump on the UB bandwagon without any curiosity about the owner of the bandwagon or its purpose.

Much grattitude to my niece @jhw2212 and Jennifer on this blog for her research, proofreading, and support.

Four Reasons I Broke Up with Twitter Or How Zach Green Stole My Playground

Posted by DesertCroneNM

Let me start with this disclaimer--I do not follow Shoq, Simon, or Karoli. Based on what some of Twitter pals have told me, dissension has broken out between their factions over who turned the Connect the Left (CTL) twitter account to Unite Blue (UB).  I don't care about that. In fact, I don't care how Unite Blue took control of the Connect the Left Twitter account. What concerns me is that UB did take take over the CTL. On February 6th, I blogged about my concerns about Unite Blue. I still have those concerns and more. Since I wrote that blog, I've taken a hiatus from Twitter.

I love Twitter. I have made some wonderful and lasting friendships there. Although I first got on because I'm a political junkie, I enjoy the nonpolitical chit chat as much as the political discussion. I have access to many interesting links and thoughtful blog posts by @smartypants32, @D_V_E, and @root_e to name just a few of my favorites.  Twitter also brings a social life right into my home, which is what I like the best.

I am a month from being 65, disabled because of severe arthritis, and degenerative spinal disease which leave me in chronic pain. There isn't an hour that goes by that I'm not in pain; therefore, I am stuck at home most of the day.  I don't want anyone's sympathy because I have a wonderful life in spite of that. What I am trying to convey is how important Twitter is to me because I'm not very mobile. On Twitter I can talk politics, mindlessly chit chat with friends, crack a few jokes, even whine and most importantly, I can forget about the pain.

Once you understand my relationship with Twitter, maybe you'll understand how difficult it was for me to leave. Some of my tweeps told me to ignore Unite Blue, and others told me to unfollow or block UB members. Both are difficult for me to do. I have a lot of longtime followers who are now UB members, and when at least every other tweet has to do with UB or has so many hashtags that take up half the 140 characters, those tweets are difficult to ignore. Nor do I want to unfollow tweeps whom I've followed and who have followed me for 2-3 years. I keep hoping they'll come to their senses soon.

I decided to take a break from Twitter. I don't how long I'll be gone--maybe I'll be on tomorrow, next week, or even next month. But as long as these four conditions exist in my time line, I'll be on hiatus.

Cultish behavior of members: The other morning when I got on Twitter, I saw many disturbing tweets that suggested folks go through their followers and drop anyone not following UB to make room for UB members. Sadly, many of the tweeps who were unfollowed have thousands and thousands of tweets while many UB members I've seen have less than a thousand tweets. UB is clearly about quantity, not quality. For many, loyalty to UB has become more important than loyalty to liberal causes or values or even longtime followers. Many tweets contain gushing endorsements of UB, proclaiming that Unite Blue has changed their lives or that UB is the most important thing that has happened to them. Other tweets brag about UB ratings, whatever that means. Although these tweets irritate me, I don't want to unfollow longtime tweeps. I just want them to get a grip.

Divisive: Since I first blogged about UB, I've received many DMs from tweeps expressing concerns about UB, but, fearful they themselves might be spam blocked by members, they are unwilling to speak out. Several of us who have done nothing more than ask legitimate questions, questions everyone should be asking, have been demonized by some UB members. In fact, I see more loyalty to UB by some than to the Democratic Party and/or liberal causes.  Unite Blue? How about Divide Blue?

Fear-based: I think the TGDN (Twitter Gulag Defense Network) threat has been highly exaggerated.  I have seen one follower spam blocked and others have told me that maybe one or two of their followers have had their accounts suspended, for which there could be a variety of reasons. This frenzy of fear reminds me of the way Bush's  Homeland Security kept anxiety levels high by using the the color-coded terrorist alert.

Inorganic: Unite Blue was not a spontaneous, organic movement. It was started by a Twitter consulting company. It wasn't started from scratch; it co-opted an already existing Twitter account.

Zach Green or @140elect stole my playground. He turned my TL into something unrecognizable--a nonstop stream of praise for Unite Blue, UB hashtags and knee jerk reactions to fear of TGDN.   I'll unite behind the Democratic Party, fellow liberals, and most certainly behind Barack Obama, but I don't see where Zach Green shares my loyalties.  I don't want to be part of the Green Gang on twitter, and  I want them to get off my playground. I miss my "old" buddies, and I want them back, not the zombiefied UB followers I see now.  (Follow up post.  Rebuttal of the Rebuttal: Say What, Zach?)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Must Reads

Mr. Brink: Glenn Beck: Progressives Have Infiltrated The WWE

Chez Pazienza: This Week in Republican Stupid

The Rude Pundit: Let Us Now Praise Skeletor for He Has Made Florida Suck a Little Less

Charles Pierce: The Shame of The Sham Shaman

Steve M.: Douthat: The Permanently Underemployed Have All The Luck

Driftglass: The Both Sides Duet

Abby Zimet: Choked To Death On Waste

Saturday, February 23, 2013

President Obama's Weekly Address - February 23, 2013

Congress Must Act Now to Stop the Sequester

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Must Reads

Steve Benen: A lesson on the value of inflation

The Rude Pundit: The NRA's Wayne LaPierre: Join Our Resistance and Get a Free Tote Bag

Charles Pierce: Your Daily Pope

Brian Dowling: 'Lincoln' Screenwriter Defends Depiction Of Connecticut Slavery Vote, Acknowledges Changing Details

Jim Wright: Preemptive Pessimism Isn’t A Plan

Brian Beutler: Republicans Want Off The Hook For Voting For Defense Sequester

President Obama's Weekly Address - February 16, 2013

Following the President's Plan for a Strong Middle Class

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Where's Marco?

Okay, I get it. He's nervous, his mouth is drying up, he can't get the saliva to form in his mouth. Anyone who's stood in front of a crowd and performed or spoken in public knows the feeling. But why in the name of all that is holy, did he feel compelled to keep eye contact with the camera when he decided to finally reach for the water bottle? And why would his people, or the RNC, or whoever was in charge of this whole debacle not have a glass of water within arm's reach?

Keep going Republicans, you're doing great!

...And the Republican Response to the SOTU

I can't wait for the 2016 Primaries.

President Obama's State of the Union Address - 2013

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Must Reads

Steve Benen: Boehner's bewildering bombast

The Rude Pundit: You Can Hate Obama for Drone Strikes and Support Him on Other Things

Charles Pierce: Down The Pipeline

Katla McGlynn: Bill Maher Tells Donald Trump To 'Suck It Up,' Dismisses $5 Million 'Orangutan' Lawsuit

Imani Gandy: Racist White Rabbit at Disneyland Refuses to Dirty Paws on Black Kid’s Skin

NJ Star Ledger: Christie wrong to slam report about AshBritt cleanup contract with N.J. towns: Editorial

Jim Wright: Open the Pod Bay Doors, HAL

Steve Benen: This Week In God

President Obama's Weekly Address - February 9, 2013

Averting the Sequester and Finding a Balanced Approach to Deficit Reduction

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

DesertCroneNM Pushes Back on UniteBlue

For those of you who follow me on twitter, you may have noticed I'm concerned about this onslaught of new followers I'm getting through something called Unite Blue. But I first  need to set the stage for this little drama.

When someone follows me, it's generally after we've chatted or one of us has RTed the other's tweet. Before Unite Blue I had about 1750 followers, but in about a week, that number has jumped to 1960 without my having interaction with the the new followers.  I can't keep up with them. When I get a new follow, I check her/his followers list to see if we have any common ones. Then I begin reading tweets. So this process takes some time, but if new followers pass my background check, I'll follow back.

I've just had a bad feeling about Unite Blue, which I've discussed with @jhw2212 (Jennifer on the this blog) during numerous phone calls. Today she called & told me to check if I was following Unite Blue. Well, I didn't need to check because I knew I wasn't. After much explanation, Jen finally convinced me that I was probably following Unite Blue and told me how to check. I'll be damned if I wasn't following Unite Blue.

I was completely astounded and began tweeting about my experience to warn others. I'm not casting aspersions  on UB.  Maybe it is what it claims to be. However, I like to choose who I follow, not have someone else choose for me.

Here's my theory. I think that somehow UB has taken over Connect the Left's twitter account, maybe by hacking into it or by some other less nefarious scheme. So when  the name on the Connect the Left account was changed  to Unite Blue, everyone following CTL became a follower of Unite Blue.

I don't like the way this was done. I think it was dishonest. And if this kind of deception becomes commonplace on Twitter, then I have no use for it.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Must Reads

Charles Pierce: An Anniversary You Won't See On Television

Joy-Ann Reid: Four things that are true (even if Republicans don’t want them to be)

Mark Leccese: Scott Brown's Twitter trouble

Steve Benen: 'Ardent fans of the U.S. military'

Chez Pazienza: Stay Classy, Assholes

Alex Seitz-Wald: Memo to Mamet: Stick to plays

The Rude Pundit: Hispanic Republicans to White Republicans: You Can Still Be Jerks, Just Not Such Big Jerks

President Obama's Weekly Address - February 2, 2013

A Balanced Approach to Growing the Economy in 2013

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Must Reads

David Taintor: Hillary Clinton Erupts At GOP Senator Over Benghazi Attack

E.J. Dionne: Obama follows in Reagan’s footsteps

Robert Reich: How Obama is unraveling Reagan Republicanism

Deaniac83: Did Harry Reid Choose to Lose a Battle to Win the War?

Michael Moore: In Defense of Zero Dark Thirty

Tommy Christopher: Sen. John McCain On Benghazi: ‘There’s Two Movies Been Made About Getting Bin Laden’

Steve Singiser: An oft-ignored lesson of 2012: The case for appeasing the base

Mr. Brink: America Will Wait Forever For You, Republican Party

Saturday, January 26, 2013

President Obama's Weekly Address - January 26, 2013

Two Nominees Who Will Fight for the American People

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Phil Mickelson Shanks One

Possibly the worst shot of his career.

Mickelson instantly became the perfect example of the rich, out of touch, privileged white man when he complained about the amount of taxes he pays for the backbreaking work of playing a game dominated by rich, out of touch, privileged white men.
“Well, it’s been an interesting offseason, and I’m going to have to make some drastic changes,” said Mickelson, who lives with his wife and three children in Rancho Santa Fe, just north of San Diego. “And I’m not going to jump the gun and do it right away, but I will be making some drastic changes." 

... “If you add up all the federal and you look at the disability and the unemployment and the Social Security and the state, my tax rate is 62, 63 percent,” Mickelson said. “I’ve got to make some decisions on what I am going to do.”
Now if you're a golf enthusiast I'll stop here before you think I'm maligning the game. I'm not. I play golf. I wouldn't call myself a "golfer" for the same reason I wouldn't call myself a basketball player, because I suck at it, but being the masochist I am, I love the game and even enjoy watching professionals on the television apparatus. But I don't delude myself into thinking that this game is for Everyman. It's expensive, time consuming and needs constant practice to even begin to get better at the game, let alone excel. The average person who has the opportunity to play once a week will most normally be a below average golfer. The person who plays once a month or less will suck. The person who can't play but 3 or 4 times a season because he's too busy WORKING will really suck. That's me.

And that's where Mickelson comes in. There's no doubt that the man is a great talent. He's a multiple Major winner, has a beautiful wife who has survived breast cancer and three gorgeous kids. He's paid millions to play a game. He's living the American dream, right? But he clearly has no clue of what goes on outside his little, wealthy bubble.

According to Forbes, Phil Mickelson's net worth is $180 million. He made $48 million last year. Over $40 million of that came in endorsements. FORTY. MILLION. DOLLARS. Just to plaster his face on some product. The other $8 million I assume from actually doing his "job."

Let's put this in perspective. The average person in America making $60,000 a year would have to work 800 years to make what Michelson made last year. But wait, that includes endorsements, something the average person doesn't do - the average person in America making $60,000 a year would have to work 133 years -  52 weeks a year - to earn what Mickelson made actually doing his "job" working about 30 weeks a year.

Phil Mickelson needs to have a 3-wood shoved up his ass to even begin to understand the pain that people who live paycheck to paycheck go through every single day of their lives, while he travels all over the world on private jets week to week to play a game. And he doesn't even have to carry his clubs.

He's had the luxury of living in California and voting with others for tax cut referendum after tax cut referendum, putting the state in a huge financial hole in the process. And now that the people of the state voted to temporarily raise taxes to alleviate their budget woes, Phil cries foul. Poor, poor millionaire.

Phil has quickly realized what a douchebag he sounded like and issued an apology. Sort of.
"Finances and taxes are a personal matter, and I should not have made my opinions on them public,” Mickelson said in a statement released Monday night. “I apologize to those I have upset or insulted, and assure you I intend not to let it happen again.” 
 So he's not apologizing for what he said, he's just sorry he said it in public.

Here's my advice to Mickelson:

1 - When Joe Average is paying their hard earned money to see you play golf, complaining that you can't be part owner of the fucking San Diego Padres comes off as more than a little elitist. You obviously watched Mitt Romney too much during his campaign and didn't learn anything from it.

2 - If you don't want to pay taxes in a certain state, then fine. Move. You have that luxury and aren't bound to one location because of your "job." But keep your fucking mouth shut. Lots of other golfers live in Florida and Texas with low or no state taxes. But they didn't sit under a neon sign that said, "Millionaires Taxes Too Much! Now I  can't buy a Major League baseball team! Whaaaaa!!!"

3 - Get a new financial planner because if you're paying 62-63% in taxes you are either A) getting ripped off by your money men or B) a lair.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

President Obama's Second Inaugural Address

January 21, 2013

Arguably the best part of the address:

"It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began, for our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal, as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity, until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm."
The distant popping sounds you heard during the address were thousands upon thousands of wingnuts' heads exploding all across the country.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Must Reads

The Rude Pundit: Republican Representatives: "Relief for Me, Not for You"

Steve Benen: Obama claims Reagan legacy as his own

Charles Pierce: A Man On a Very Small White Horse

Samuel P. Jacobs: John Roberts, Obama Leave Little To Chance After Fumbled Oath

Mike O'Neal: Kansas Speaker O’Neal asks House GOP to pray for Obama’s death

Andrew O'Hehir: Welcome to the new Civil War

Saturday, January 19, 2013

President Obama's Weekly Address - January 19, 2013

Now Is The Time to Take Action Against Gun Violence

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Must Reads

The Rude Pundit: Fun with Terrorism in the Bible (A Brief But Special Post for Pamela Geller)

Alex Seitz-Wald: The Hitler gun control lie

Mike Wall: Largest structure in universe discovered — it's mind-boggling

Josh Marshall: Okay, This Is Awesome - White House Responds to Petition For Building Death Star

Driftglass: Days of Future Passed

David Atkins: Dishonestly and ignorantly switching the culprit from guns to games

Robert Reich: The Hoax of Entitlement Reform

Paul Krugman: Coins Against Crazies

Robert Fisk: Anonymous trolls are as pathetic as the anonymous "sources" that contaminate the gutless journalism of the New York Times, BBC, and CNN

Charles Pierce: The Chris Christie Conundrum 

President Obama's Weekly Address - January 12, 2013

Ending the War in Afghanistan and Rebuilding America

Friday, January 11, 2013

Too Stupid To Be On Television

No. A trillion dollar platinum coin does not mean it's made of a trillion dollars worth of platinum.

How these people don't get randomly hit by traffic when crossing the street is amazing to me because obviously, they have brains the size of walnuts. FUCKING. MORONS. ALL.

(H/T Bob Cesca)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Another Bullsh*t Smear: Obama Hates Women

Whiteys, Whiteys everywhere, another meme that stinks.

Oh, look! It's President Obama in a room full of men! How will I ever get over it?! Pass the smelling salts! I think I'm getting the vapors!!!

How dare he! How dare President Obama nominate a man, A MAN!, to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. The gall of President Obama to nominate Jack Lew to replace Timothy Geitner as Treasury Secretary. Chuck Hagel at Denfense? Wait, doesn't he have testicles? THE NERVE!

A splashy front page story in the New York Times wondering why there is no diversity in Obama's new Cabinet picks and history is immediately forgotten. NO DIVERSITY! cries Annie Lowrey. Where are the binders full of women, asks The Washington Post's Ruth Marcus, conveniently playing on and misinterpreting Mitt Romney's gaffe as something Romney initiated, and as we later found out, revealed to be yet another lie.

Yes, a war on women. President Obama hates women so much, his most trusted advisor is Valerie Jarrett. He hates them so much Kathleen Sibelius is the head of Health and Human Services, Janet Napolitano runs the Department of Homeland Security, Hillary is still his Secretary of State, and both Elena Kagen and Sonia Sotomayor have been appointed to the Supreme Court. I haven't checked under their robes but I think they still have vaginas. The latter is also a Latina, a two-for! Damn that diversity.

Eric Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, is of Japanese descent and Attorney General Eric Holder is black. Up until announcing her retirement, no one was mentioning Labor Secretary Hilda Solis. She's a woman too, right? I hope so with a name like Hilda.

Here's what pisses me off about this ridiculous non-story: had the right wingers not banged the Susan-Rice-Benghazi-Faux-Outrage drum so incessantly, we very well may have seen Rice replace Clinton, and we wouldn't be talking about how President Obama hates women so much. Oh, and Susan Rice is still the UN Ambassador, isn't she? Another Obama appointment.

So knock it off with this, ridiculous, eye-roll worthy bullshit. Had he picked a person of color or a woman, I'm sure we'd be hearing about how it was an Affirmative Action pick and the whiners would beat their chests wondering why someone (maybe even a white male) more qualified wasn't chosen exactly like the Rice/John Kerry fiasco. Must we at every turn, try to pin something on the President that has no real basis in reality? Do you think perhaps he's attempting to choose the best qualified person for the job with whom he's also comfortable? There's enough to criticize without making shit up.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Jon Stewart is Back and Brilliant!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Lindsey Graham Plays the Race Card... The Jewish Race

What in the hell is going on with the ever disintegrating Republican Party? On CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley this Sunday, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham bristled at the thought of another possible Cabinet appointment by President Obama to have former Senator Chuck Hagel be the next Defense Secretary.

So, former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel from Nebraska, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, who in 1982 resigned as deputy administrator of the Veterans Administration amid his superior's inclination to cut VA benefits and his calling VA groups "greedy," isn't the right choice for Lindsey Graham as a possible nominee as the next Secretary of Defense. Why? Because according to Graham, Chuck Hagel is not a supporter of Israel.
"Chuck Hagel, if confirmed to be the secretary of defense, would be the most antagonistic secretary of defense toward the state of Israel in our nation’s history... 
...he said you should directly negotiate with Iran, sanctions won’t work, that Israel should directly negotiate with the Hamas organization, a terrorist group that lobs thousands of rockets into Israel... 
...This is an in-your-face nomination by the president," Graham said. "And it looks like the second term of Barack Obama is going to be an in-your-face term."
Seriously? Lindsey Graham played the Jew card?! You know, because our foreign policy must solely rely on Israel and make sure that whatever we do, we have to get Israel's approval first. And enough with challenging EVERY possible Obama nominee. It's unbecoming of the Republicans in the Senate to play The Boy Who Cried Wolf every time the White House suggests a cabinet appointment. Do your fucking job and have your say in a Senate Nominating Committee and vote the way you want to vote. Otherwise, fuck off.

And please remind me how former President Bush ran his possible Cabinet nominees by every Democratic member of Congress to make sure it was okay with them, because I don't recall that. Please remind me how the party that just got trounced in November should have more say about who the winner should choose to be part of his staff.

Guess what, douchebag: elections have consequences, and President Obama won re-election pretty handily over that sorry excuse for a candidate your side put up. So now it's time to shut your goddamn cakehole and since you're a fucking SENATOR, have the wherewithal to understand that your opinion matters just as much as 99 other Senators, be a little more deferential and diplomatic, and try to come to the realization that the United States does not and should not revolve around Israel.

An "in-your-face" term? Fuck, yeah.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Must Reads

Ezra Klein: Calm down, liberals. The White House won.

Justin Rosario: Fox News: Fiscal Cliff Vote Like Lead Up To Revolutionary War

Bob Cesca: In Spite of Reality, Liberals Claim Obama “Caved” on the Fiscal Cliff

Shauna Theel: 10 Dumbest Things Fox Said About Climate Change In 2012

Eric Boehlert: How Fox News Screwed the GOP

Andy Borowitz: Republicans Apologize To Top 1.5 Per Cent

Bloomberg News Editorial: Budget Deal Offers Silver-Lining Playbook for Next Round

Michael Tomasky: Dear Liberals: Stop Complaining

Tim Murphy: Republicans Have a Habit of Blocking Disaster Relief for Americans

Dana  Milbank: Defined by a Sandy sidestep

New York Times Editorial: Al Jazeera In America

The Rude Pundit: Fiscal Cliff-Leaping: The Hopeful Politics of Capitulation

Charles Pierce: The Passion of The Boehner

President Obama's Weekly Address - January 5, 2013

Working Together in the New Year to Grow Our Economy and Shrink Our Deficits

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Meet the New House...

... same as the old House.

So as expected, despite his attempts at self sabotage by walking away from negotiation after negotiation,  pouting during a meeting with leaders after his failed Plan B stunt, telling Sen. Harry Reid to go fuck himself and blowing off the Sandy Relief Aid bill incurring the wrath of some of his own congressional "allies," including one particular large Republican Governor, John Boehner was re-elected as Speaker of the House with 220 votes.

The first filed bill came from Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota, what the fuck are you thinking?!) to... wait for it... repeal Obamacare. You know, because the first 33 votes worked so well.

The sound you hear is that of my forehead repeatedly banging into my keyboard.

Dude, Where's My Club?

This is kinda funny in part because it's not in the least surprising.
"The White Horse Inn, one of two recreational marijuana clubs that opened in Colorado this week, is closing its doors after just a few hours of doing business, the Denver Post reports. The club lost its lease after it opened ahead of schedule on Monday in an effort to become the first club of its kind in the state."
Now whether the club lost its lease because of some legal issues for opening early, or because the landlord didn't want to rent to a marijuana club is not metioned in this particular article. But I can't only snicker at the thought of the club owner's reaction to the news.