Archive for April, 2011

Video explaining how Trump has devalued all African Americans with his hounding of Obama

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Video is located here

Shortest List Ever — Republican accomplishments of the last 20 years

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

A few nights ago, Todd Harris, a top Republican strategist appeared on Hardball
to talk about Republicans winning Congressional seats in this year’s
midterm elections. Chris Matthews invites him to give a rundown of the
accomplishments of the Republican Party in the last fifteen to twenty
years.

Harris doesn’t seem to be able to think of anything, until he tries
“The Bush administration kept the country safe.” To which Matthews
responds:

 

I just wanted to get the Republican bragging points
straight here. So the Republican Party has kept us safe, except for
9/11. Is that the argument? No, really, because you had the worst attack
on the American homeland in history, but you’re bragging about your
ability to defend the country. … That’s your defense, right?

 

Harris doesn’t have an answer.

So is it really true that the Republicans don’t have any recent
accomplishments? Interestingly, even the Republican National Committee
website had trouble coming up with any real accomplishments in the last twenty years:

Story is located here

Bob Schieffer: Trump Guilty Of ‘Racism’

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Bob Schieffer didn’t hold back in his criticism of Donald Trump on Wednesday’s “CBS Evening News.” In an unusually unvarnished comment, he accused Trump of peddling “racism” through his comments about President Obama’s academic qualifications.

Trump has received substantial negative attention for saying that he is suspicious about how Obama was admitted to Columbia and Harvard. Schieffer told Katie Couric, “that’s just code for saying he got into law school because he’s black. This is an ugly strain of racism that’s running through this whole thing. We can hope that kind of comes to an end too, but we’ll have to see.”

Video is located here

The Human Cost of Apple’s Magic Gadgets

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

It’s a funny time in media history when our performers are the ones doing the real reporting. (Jon Stewart has my vote in the 2012!)

Case in point: Compare the coverage of Foxconn in performer Mike Daisey’s one-man show The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” with Wired Magazine’s treatment of the same subject, which ran as their March cover story. Daisey’s show is touring the country — first in Berkeley, then DC, and running April 22-May 22 in Seattle.

Chances are, the computer you’re reading this post on was made in Shenzhen, China. And if it’s an Apple, it was made at Foxconn. Shenzhen is a special economic zone where China’s already lax labor laws don’t apply. Foxconn alone — just one company in Shenzhen — makes over half of our electronics.

For his one-man show, Daisey took a reporting trip to the Foxconn plant in Shenzhen to find out how his beloved Apple products were made and talked to hundreds of factory workers. He claims workers lived in 10×12 cement cubes with up to “15 beds stacked up on top of each other.” In our radio interview with Daisey, he says he “met a huge number of people with permanent nerve damage,” from the toxic chemicals used to clean Apple touch screens, for which there’s no compensation.

Now contrast this with Wired’s reporting. The feature story doesn’t include one quote from an actual Foxconn worker and more surprisingly, the writer downplays actual undercover reports of forced overtime.

For example, the reporter who worked undercover in Foxconn’s factory and for nearly a month “experienced dreadful conditions… churning out iPods, iPads, and iPhones for Apple nonstop.” This is according to Gizmodo writer Chris Chang.

Wired is like, really? The Public Relations rep didn’t show me those kinds of conditions.

Story is located here

Did You Fall for It? America’s Outrage Over TSA Naked Body Scanners Was Right-Wing PR to Prevent Workers from Unionizing

Thursday, April 28th, 2011
The right fears nothing more than unionized workers, and found a cunning way to scapegoat workers to derail a campaign to organize the TSA.
Story is located here

16 facts of today’s economy

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Some shocking numbers, courtesy of the Atlantic magazine:

  1. 33% of working age men don’t have jobs
  2. 74% of American families are planning on reducing spending this year
  3. Gasoline prices are up $1 this year
  4. Average property taxes paid have increased 20% since 2005
  5. Eight million Americans are behind on their mortgages, while 33% owe more than their house is worth
  6. The average homeowner in foreclosure hasn’t made a payment in 17 months, up from 11 months two years ago
  7. 13% of homes nationwide are vacant
  8. There are two million more children in poverty today than two years ago
  9. Half of American workers earn less than $500 a week, and the median weekly wage has declined $37 since 2000
  10. Credit card debt is up 800% over the last 30 years
  11. Americans now owe over $900 billion in student loans, an all-time high
  12. 1,500,000 Americans filed for bankruptcy in 2010, the fourth straight year the number has increased
  13. The number of Americans without health insurance has increased 14 million — to 52 million — over the last decade
  14. 60% of bankruptcies have unpaid medical bills as a major cause and many of these bankruptcies are people who have health insurance
  15. Median household net worth has declined 23% since 2007
  16. 25% of American households have zero or negative net worth

While politicians fiddle around with birth certificates, voter ID, banning gay marriage (which is already illegal), tax handouts for the wealthy and corporations, and numerous other distractions in Washington and St. Paul, real people are dealing with real problems.

It’s time for our representatives to get back to work on behalf of all the people — not special interests, not corporations, not big money campaign donors. We can’t afford to wait any longer.

With President Obama’s Birth Certificate, Klansman Trump Reminds Blacks They Will Never Be American

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Video is located here

Obama Long Form Birth Certificate

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Now shut up!

Story is located here

Obama comments on release of form.  Video is located here

Republicans declare war on education and children and America’s future.

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

What is it called when you remove the mandate keeping kids in school for a minimum number of hours and when they go to work instead of school remove the minimum wage standard for them?  That is called an all out war on children….their education…and the nation’s future.  The problem America has is not getting kids OUT of school but getting kids INTO school.  The voucher program will provide dollars for children to go to school however not enough dollars.  The average family will pay more for education of their children as the cost of school is simply not covered by the state in voucher based systems…where better results are NOT seen nor are they even monitored so WE DON’T KNOW if they are doing better or worse.  This is simply the wrong direction and par for the course for this group of Republican lawmakers in Washington DC.

And…a law making foster kids only spend state dollars in second hand stores.  Unreal.  No…this is typical Republican policy.

Video is located here

Observations of the nation from the view where the rubber meets the road

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Story is located here

A couple of months ago I took a job at a local truck stop in order to make a bit of cash while I’m trying to find a teaching job.

Week in, week out, I see the misery that is creeping throughout this country. Some general observations, and specific instances follow.

First off, people are desperate and on the move, trying to find work anywhere they can. One of the first families that stood out came through shortly after I started. They were in a beat up old(fifty plus old) bus that they had converted to a camper. This was their home, containing all of their belongings, hopes, and dreams, such as they were. A silver beast, it was running on its last legs, doing good to make fifty five, sixty mph with a strong tailwind. Mom, Dad, two small kids, heading out to Texas and the Southwest, looking for jobs. I watched them go with sadness, hoping that the bus will make it and carry them to a better future. The modern day Joad’s.

Secondly, people, even dumb redneck truckers, aren’t as dumb as we like to believe around here. I’ve heard more than one trucker come in and, after talking awhile, mention that one solution to this economic mess we’re in is to end these wars, cut the military, and start looking out for the folks here at home. As far as fuel goes, many, if not most, rightfully blame rising fuel prices on two things, oil speculators and the weakening dollar.

Third, our economy is going to go deeper into the toilet as prices continue to rise. I see people carefully putting in a certain amount, a gallon, a couple of gallons worth of gas. I see truckers coasting in on fumes because we’re the cheapest fuel place for hundreds of miles. In fact one trucker blew it, and we had to bring fuel out to him, twenty miles away, because he thought he could make it.

Compounding this, tourism is already taking a hit. We’re a major stop on the way to Missouri’s largest tourist destination, the Lake of the Ozarks. Already folks who normally flock to the lake every weekend, every other weekend, are deciding to stay home. People aren’t bringing their boats to the Lake, and with fuel so expensive, they’re going to stay home, not making the three hour drive to the Lake.

Fourth, people are desperate. Drive-offs are becoming more common as fuel prices rise. Please, don’t do a drive off, the only people you’re hurting is your local station owner. They making just a few pennies profit on each gallon, and they don’t like rising fuel prices either, it is killing their business. More people simply come in, get gas, and drive off. Most of a station’s profit is derived from people coming in, getting a drink, something to eat, etc.

Fifth, more companies are soon going out of business due to high oil prices. One example, had a nursery company driver come in this morning at 4:30, fuel up, and when he went to pay with the company card, it was declined. Apparently this isn’t the first time this has happened in the recent past. He finally got a hold of his boss two hours later, and after going through another card that was declined, he finally found one that worked. I felt like telling the driver that he should be worried about his next paycheck, but I’m sure he already is thinking along those lines.

Sixth, and final, trucking companies are going to start charging fuel surcharges soon, if they aren’t already. That means that prices are going to climb even further, since most goods are shipped by trucks. Sadly, more pain is on the way for all of us.

That’s just part of overnight life at a truckstop, and it is not pointing towards anything good.

Shepard Smith: “Fox News Can Confirm That The President Of The United States Is A Citizen Of the United States, Period”

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

The video says it all.

Video is located here

CNN investigation: Obama ‘birther’ claims have no merit

Monday, April 25th, 2011

A new CNN investigation reveals what most analysts have been saying since the so-called “birther” controversy erupted during the 2008 presidential campaign: Obama was born in the state of Hawaii on August 4, 1961. Period.

Story and video are located here

Major Garrett Admits that Fox News Wants to Keep America Divided

Monday, April 25th, 2011

When Barack Obama talks about unifying America, he is threatening the very business model that Fox News is based on. Polarization and division are the heartbeat and lifeblood of Fox News. If America ever became more politically unified, FNC would go out of business. A suspicious and divided nation is good for FNC’s bottom line. Fox News does push the Republican agenda, and they do try to divide the nation, because that is how they make money. It’s not just about ideology and politics at Fox News. It’s also about profits, and when polarization stops being profitable, Fox News will cease to exist.

Story and video are located here

Lawrence ODonnell uses the parable of the Goats and Sheep to explain to Rush Limbaugh the concepts of Jesus

Monday, April 25th, 2011

It is quite clear that using the concept of the Words of Jesus results in one answer regarding taxes as that is the stage here….ALL OF IT….ALL. $50 million annually which is your paycheck Rush if you follow His Word. So an increase in taxes to the top in order to help the poor as we see in the headlines today is more…Christlike. How simple can this be?

Happy Easter

Video is located here

Teabagger uses racism to explain that the Tea Party is not racist.

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

When someone tries to negate a comment and uses the original charge in that comment….well you know you are not dealing with someone who is very lucid.  This is Standard Operating Procedure for the Teabaggers.

Video is located here

The satire stories are closer to the truth than true stories. Mitt Romney haunted by past of helping poor people

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Though Mitt Romney is considered to be a frontrunner for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, the national spotlight has forced him to repeatedly confront a major skeleton in his political closet: that as governor of Massachusetts he once tried to help poor, uninsured sick people.

Story is located here

Obama speaks to Facebook

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

“Nothing is easier than solving a prolem on the backs of people who are poor or people who are powerless or people who don’t have lobbysits or don’t have clout.  I don’t think that’s particularly courageous.”

How can the gap between Democrats and Republicans be articulated more efficiently than that?  Democrats believe the above wholeheartedly. 

Video is located here

The essence of Teabagger philosophy destroyed by a Teabagger

Monday, April 18th, 2011

In a perfect world Obama would make this a HUGE national address on the concept of our being a WE nation and not a ME nation. Obama would craft one of his “out of the park” speeches he is known for and rub the nose of Perry and the whole Teaparty in it for 45 good minutes. And then….give him funds to help his state. I would have that speech on a continuous loop for about a week and I laughed my evil laugh every minute of the loop. But this is only in my dreams. Funny how the GOP Gulf states also begged for a Socialist bailout from the rest of us during the BP oil spill huh? Kind of shoots holes in their Ayn Rand concepts AT EVERY TURN.

Story is located here

Once again Reagan contradicts everything Teabaggers say about him

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Today is “Tax Day,” the normal filing date for federal income tax returns for millions of Americans who do their patriotic duty and ensure that, to paraphrase Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., we live “in a civilized society.”

Yet while ordinary, Main Street Americans sacrifice for their country by paying taxes, a whole host of big corporations are getting away with paying little to nothing in federal corporate income taxes — exploiting loopholes in the tax code to avoid their tax responsibilities. From Bank of America to ExxonMobil to General Electric, these big businesses have gone quarters or entire years without paying their income taxes — at a time when the effective tax rate on a median family is 13.6 percent.

This isn’t the first time Americans have had to deal with a tax code that lets the nation’s richest firms get away with shirking their tax responsibilities. In the middle of his presidency, then-president Ronald Reagan learned that a number of big corporations, including his former employer, General Electric, were completely escaping paying federal corporate income taxes. “I didn’t realize things had gotten that far out of line,” Reagan told his Treasury secretary, Donald T. Regan, according to his 1988 memoir.

So Reagan undertook a comprehensive tax reform effort that actually raised the corporate taxes and closed numerous loopholes that allowed big firms to dodge their tax responsibilities. As part of these reforms, Reagan passed the 1986 Tax Reform Act. This law “raised corporate taxes by $120 billion over five years and closed corporate tax loopholes worth about $300 billion over that same period.”

During the signing ceremony for the speech, Reagan explained that his goal in pursuing these reforms was to make sure “that everybody and every corporation pay their fair share”:

Story is located here

45% don’t owe U.S. income tax

Monday, April 18th, 2011

For tax year 2010, roughly 45% of households, or about 69 million, will end up owing nothing in federal income tax, according to estimates by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. Some in that group will even end up getting paid money from the federal government.

That does not mean such households end up paying no taxes whatsoever. For instance, those in the group still pay other taxes such as state and local income taxes, as well as property and sales taxes.

And the group doesn’t necessarily get off scot-free when it comes to payroll taxes — which support Social Security and Medicare.

More than two-thirds — or 49 million of the 69 million households — pay payroll tax. Of those, 34 million end up paying more in payroll taxes than they get back on their federal return. The other 15 million pay payroll tax but they get enough refundable credits to offset what they paid. (Get a ‘receipt’ for your taxes)

Contrary to what many assume, membership in the group isn’t restricted to the poor.

It’s true that the vast majority of the 69 million households make less than $50,000 — with very heavy representation among households making less than $30,000.

But nearly 5 million households in the group make somewhere between $50,000 and more than $1 million.

Story is located here

Only the little people pay taxes

Monday, April 18th, 2011

“We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes,” billionaire hotelier Leona Helmsley famously (and allegedly) sniffed. She wasn’t entirely correct: The superrich do still pay taxes. The wealthiest 1 percent of taxpayers pay 32 percent of all income tax collected by the federal government.

But the superrich don’t pay as much as they used to—and thanks to a combination of tax cuts and preferential tax policies, their tax obligations can be less demanding than the so-called little people’s. In fact, the very wealthiest Americans’ tax burden has been steadily dropping for years, even as they’ve enjoyed astounding income growth not seen by the vast majority of Americans.

Story is located here

Ayn Rand movie brings a closer look at her writings

Monday, April 18th, 2011

A film adaptation of the 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand, opened this past Friday. The release of the film has coincided with a resurgence of popularity for Rand on the American Right. The trailer for Atlas Shrugged had its world premier at this year’s CPAC conference, the Tea Party group FreedomWorks has rolled out a massive campaign to promote the film, and the story’s opening line — “Who is John Galt?” — has appeared on numerous signs at Tea Party rallies.

At the same time, some of the right’s leading political and media lights have heaped praise upon Rand. The author of the Republicans’ new budget plan to gut Medicare and Medicaid, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), has said Rand is the reason he entered politics, and requires his staff to read her work. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) have both declared themselves devotees of her writing. Conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has his law clerks watch the film adaptation of Rand’s book The Fountainhead. She’s also received accolades from right-wing pundits Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, John Stossel, and Andrew Napolitano.

During her lifetime, Rand advocated “the virtue of selfishness,” declared altruism to be “evil,” opposed Medicare and all forms of government support for the middle-class and the poor, and condemned Christianity for advocating love and compassion for the less fortunate:

Rand also dismissed the feminist movement as a “false” and “phony” issue, said a female commander in chief would be “unspeakable,” characterized Arabs as “almost totally primitive savages,” and called government efforts to aid the handicapped and educate “subnormal children” an attempt to “bring everybody to the level of the handicapped.”

As for the new Atlas Shrugged film, it made $1.7 million in its first three days in theaters, reasonable but unspectacular numbers for a limited release on 299 screens. The movie scored a paltry 8% on the leading film critic site Rotten Tomatoes. But box-office watchers looking to see if the Tea Party represents a discrete market would have been disappointed. The movie grossed just $5,608 per theater over that time period, hardly a sign that groups were buying out theaters or that the movie was a pop culture phenomenon.

By contrast, An Inconvenient Truth took in $70,333 per theater during its first five days on screens. That number fell to $17,615 per theater in its second week, but that number is still higher than Atlas Shrugged’s more widely-available debut. And Atlas Shrugged’s numbers look positively puny next to another culture-war adaptation of a popular book, Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, which raked in $125,185,971 over its first five days in theaters.

Story is located here

Glenn Beck once again contorts a statement and lies about what is being said.

Monday, April 18th, 2011

During his attack, Beck interrupted a clip of Van Jones’ keynote address, which began, “When your uncle Joe, who loves Fox News, starts talking to you, and starts dominating the discussion . . . ” Beck then broke in, “Listen to what he’s saying. ‘Don’t listen to the elders in your family.’”

Of course, Beck didn’t let his audience listen to the respectful and honest message Van Jones had for the “uncle Joes” of America:

Video and story are located here

The biggest threat to the free market is the free market.

Monday, April 18th, 2011

A tremendous comment from this page

1. Government doesn’t enable big business unless it has been co-opted by big business. The biggest threat to the free market is the free market. Left completely unregulated, the natural order of it will be to accumulate massive wealth and power in the hands of a very few. They will use their power to destroy all competition. In essence, a completely unregulated market will result in oligopolies and monopolies, which is the antithesis of the free market. The biggest threat to main street and mom and pop businesses is the mega corporation and ultra rich.

2. The biggest threat to good democratic governance is the accumulation of power in the hands of a few. For example, the church, the mega corporation, the super rich and the unions. In our country, the church and the unions have some power over government. For example, in education. But, in general, it is the mega corporation and super rich that have enormous privilege to shape government. For example, they can meet personally with elected officials whenever they want. They can fund “grassroots” groups to get their message out. In essence, they have more voting power than the average person purely because they have massive wealth ($100 million +).

3. The question is how to PROTECT the free market and government against the threat of the accumulation of power in the hands of a few. The natural law of the free market does NOT control for this. Not only is the unregulated free market the biggest threat to small and medium sized business, but a completely deregulated market also means child labor is legal, no maternity leave, chemical dumping into rivers and lakes becomes legal, all drugs by pharmaceutical companies are allowed without any testing, food companies can put whatever they want in our food and the only right an employee has is to go to another mega-corporation or to try and start their own. Of course, they will have to contend with the mega-corporation competition and once in awhile they will succeed but the vast majority will struggle.

4. Megacorporations and the super-rich have NOTHING in common with small and medium business owners or with the average wealthy person (someone making under $5 million/year). They use the rhetoric of the free market and the everyday American’s longing for freedom to inspire fear and get people to fight for free markets. In reality, the free markets that people fight for produce the very opposite because unprotected, it helps accumulate wealth and power in the hands of the few.

5. The Megacorp and super rich do NOT want a free market. They want it as a stepping stone to accumulate their wealth and power, which results in the end of the free market and democracy.

Examples:

- $75+ billion per year in corporate welfare
- Bailout of Savings and Loan
- Junk bond debacle
- Bailout of auto industry
- Recent bank debacle and bailout
- Real estate bubble connected to bank debacle, which is still there. (Look at how many homes are not being foreclosed. Banks have stopped b/c if they continue, they will have to put a true market value to their assets and their balance sheet will prove them insolvent.)
- Military industrial complex which is public money used to fund private corporations. Thus, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan took tax dollars and gave them to a few people. They also generated enormous fear and we now have the largest military budget in US history
- 1970s began a new business philosophy. Downsize, eliminate jobs, send them overseas, get people to work more for less money AND increase CEO and executive salaries regardless of performance. Yes, poorly performing CEOs and executives still make tons of money, this is an example of free market evolving into a not so free market, but rather a very expensive one.

6. We need strong free market protection as follows: no corporate welfare, anti-trust laws, too big to fail laws (no company can be allowed to be so big that its failure threatens the democracy, that is not something the constitution protects), criminal prosecution of fraud (if you are a CEO and you steal, you do hard time, no club fed; if your corporation allows a faulty oil well that kills 10 workers and destroys habitats, you go to jail for life or get the death penalty and your corporation, since it is a person, must pay even if it goes bankrupt). There should be fair taxation that incentives people to invest but also puts an equal burden and doesn’t overly suppress consumption, which is needed for people to invest in the first place. A sales tax is bad because it would create a high sales tax and suppress consumption by middle income and low income people, which are essential purchasers in our economy. It puts an unequal burden of the government on the everyday American.

7. We need to protect equal access to political decision making and to good education. A poor person should have a school that is just as good as the rich person’s. It should be based on effort not bloodline.

Ps: work harder!! your CEO and his private equity investor need a new private jet, a 3rd villa in europe, a 5th sports car, and, most importantly, massive funds for bribing every politician

One last thing, and here is the ironic kicker. We need a separation of wealth from political decision making so we can have a real political discussion and enact laws that protect the free market from oligopolies and protect the state from corporations that get too big and use the tax payers as their free insurance policy and their free financial investment tool. But, since our political system is corrupt and there aren’t enough free politicians who would vote for such legislation, we have no choice but to give the mega corporations want they want. Give them all the power save one thing, pass an amendment making bailouts of any private business illegal.

Then, we wait until the next financial catastrophe and the first true market correction since the big depression. Only when the economy collapses and we have massive unemployment and unrest will there be the political will in the everyday person to protect the democracy and pass laws that separate mega wealth and state, just like we have a separation of church and state.

Top 1 Percent Control 42 Percent of Financial Wealth in the U.S. – How Average Americans are Lured into Debt Servitude by Promises of Mega Wealth.

Monday, April 18th, 2011

If we break the data down further we will find that 93 percent of all financial wealth is controlled by the top 10 percent of the country. That is why these people are cheering their one cent share increase while layoffs keep on improving the bottom line. But what bottom line are we talking about here? The Wall Street crowd would like you to believe that all is now good that the stock market has rallied 60+ percent. Of course they are happy because they control most of this wealth.

Story is located here

Pro Lifers are often times anti Health Care as well. Makes no sense…of course

Monday, April 18th, 2011

On Wednesday, the Alaska Senate shot down a health bill that would expand a program that provides medical services to the low-income children and pregnant women. The 14-year-old program, Denali Kid Care, is specifically “designed to ensure that children and teens of both working and non-working families can have the health insurance they need.” The bill seeks to “restore the original income eligibility threshold established more than a decade ago, raising it from the current 175 percent to 200 percent of the federal poverty line” — a move that bill sponsor State Sen. Bettye Davis (D) said would cover nearly 1,300 more children and about 250 pregnant women. But the bill — which passed the Senate last year 15 to 4 — failed this year. The obstacle? A woman’s right to choose.

Story is located here

Your income has quadrupled as your tax rate is halved???

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Imagine starting with an income in the millions.  Increase your pay by four-fold and at the same time cut your tax rate in half.  That is what is happening.

Story is located here

Allen Barra went to see the low-budget, poorly reviewed film adaptation of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, which has targeted a Tea Party audience. He found “Shruggies.”

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Pauline Kael skewered it perfectly when she wrote, “ … this paean to the individualism of ‘superior’ people [is] made in a sleek, hollow, expressionless style … It’s an extravaganza of romantic, right-winged camp, with a hyper-articulate superman Roark (played by Gary Cooper) standing in the wind on top of a phallic skyscraper and a fierce, passionate Dominique (Patricia Neal) rising in an open elevator to join him there.” With a brief change or two, that’s a fairly accurate description of several scenes in Atlas Shrugged–minus, of course, Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal.

Story is located here

Thomas Jefferson was afraid of several things that have come true

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Who do you trust more to guide us today – Republicans who owe their allegiance and political survival to billionaires and corporations – or the author of our Declaration of Independence – Thomas Jefferson – who also was the founder and father of the Democratic Party?

Video is located here

What if you lived life at home according to Ayn Rand’s philosophy?

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

Part of being in a society is giving up some of your liberty to gain cooperation and community. If you don’t want to give up those things, then go live in a cave as a hermit and don’t inflict your selfishness on others.

Story is located here

Barack Obama Is Now The Biggest Tax Cutter In American History

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

In fact, most Americans have no idea that Barack Obama has lowered taxes. According to a 2010 CBS News/New York Times Poll, only 12% of Americans knew that Obama has lowered taxes. 53% thought that he kept taxes the same, and 24% believed that Obama has raised taxes.

Not surprisingly, only 2% of Tea Party supporters knew that Obama had lowered taxes. 44% of them thought that the President has raised their taxes.

Story is located here

100 days of GOP rule in the House and 0 jobs bills

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

A very good video highlighting the negative things the GOP has done in the House and the lack of jobs bills….which they said was job #1

Video is located here

30 years of Reaganomics Supply Side Economics has failed

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

For three decades we have conducted a massive economic experiment, testing a theory known as supply-side economics. The theory goes like this: Lower tax rates will encourage more investment, which in turn will mean more jobs and greater prosperity — so much so that tax revenues will go up, despite lower rates.

The late Milton Friedman, the libertarian economist who wanted to shut down public parks because he considered them socialism, promoted this strategy. Ronald Reagan embraced Friedman’s ideas and made them into policy when he was elected president in 1980.

For the past decade, we have doubled down on this theory of supply-side economics with the tax cuts sponsored by President George W. Bush in 2001 and 2003, which President Barack Obama has agreed to continue for two years.

You would think that whether this grand experiment worked would be settled after three decades. You would think the practitioners of the dismal science of economics would look at their demand curves and the data on incomes and taxes and pronounce a verdict, the way Galileo and Copernicus did when they showed that geocentrism was a fantasy because the Earth revolves around the sun (known as heliocentrism). But economics is not like that. It is not like physics with its laws and arithmetic with its absolute values.

Story is located here

Obama speech on budget negotiations

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Video is located here

Jon Stewart shows Ryan’s budget plan unnecessarily hurts the poor

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Jon Stewart again takes a simple look at the budget plan as put forth by Paul Ryan and shows how it unnecessarily hurts those with the least as those with the most get more.

Video is located here

What if Ryan’s Medicaid Block Grant Had Taken Effect in 2000? Federal Medicaid Funds Would Have Fallen over 25% in Most States, Over 40% in Some, by 2009

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

To help illustrate how states would likely fare under the Ryan block grant over time, we have estimated what the state-by-state effects would have been if it had been in effect between 2000 and 2009, based on the Ryan block grant’s specifications as outlined by CBO.  We compare how much states would have received in federal funding under the block grant for fiscal years 2000 through 2009 to the actual federal funding they received during this period (not counting the additional Medicaid funds that states received in fiscal years 2003, 2004 and 2009 as a result of federal legislation that temporarily increased federal Medicaid matching rates in response to weak economic conditions).

Our findings show that:

  • States would have received $350 billion — or 21 percent — less over this period than they actually did.
  • In 2009 alone, the cuts in federal funding would have equaled an estimated $63.5 billion, a reduction of 29 percent.
  • While the Ryan block grant would have hit all states hard over the 10-year period, it would have produced disparate effects, with some states made substantially worse off than others.

Story is located here

The reason we are going to see more expensive gas

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Currently, the public knows very little about the oil speculation industry because a conservative majority on the CFTC has refused to implement a mandate from the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill to curb abuses. Meanwhile, Republicans are pushing steep cuts to the CFTC, hampering any new rules on oil speculation that may be released later this summer. Fortunately, both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the CFTC have so far survived the latest round of budget cuts.

While much of the attention on oil speculators has rested on the backs of investors and commodity traders, the petrochemical conglomerate Koch Industries occupies a unique role in manipulating the oil market. Koch has little business in the extraction process. Instead, Koch focuses on shipping crude oil, refining it, distributing it to retailers — then speculating on the future price. With control of every part of the market, Koch is able to bet on future prices with superior information. As Yasha Levine notes, Koch along with Enron pioneered a number of complex financial products to leverage its privileged position in the energy industry.

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FOX News ran the story of the New Black Panthers endlessly but only gave 88 seconds to the truth about the group

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

In the fifteen days following Megyn Kelly’s June 30, 2010, interview hyping the unsubstantiated allegations of right-wing activist J. Christian Adams, six Fox News shows devoted 95 segments and more than eight hours of airtime to the phony New Black Panthers scandal. By contrast, those shows have devoted a total of two segments and 88 seconds to the Justice Department’s release of the results of an internal investigation clearing DOJ officials of any wrongdoing or misconduct in that case.

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Pity the Poor Tea Partier!

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Just think for a moment about the 55-year-old Tea Party activist who today is caught up in the excitement over Rep. Paul Ryan’s “bold” Republican budget. Picture the activist adjusting his tri-corner hat, waving his yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, and thrilled that finally someone is getting serious about dismantling the socialist tyranny of Medicare.

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Moby “The Day” Video: MoveOn Teams With Artist To Bash Spending Cuts

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign was propelled by a number of high-profile music videos from artists boosting his candidacy.

It’s a different picture in 2012.

The first track released from Moby’s new album, Destroyed, is a broadside against the Obama-GOP budget. “The Day” features images of some of the 30,000 critics of spending cuts who fasted in opposition, organized by MoveOn.org.

Video is located here

Rand Paul may filibuster the budget

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Why is it, according to the Tax Foundation, the Commonwealth Of Kentucky receives $1.59 in federal spending for every $1.00 in taxes the state and its residents send to Washington. And yet KY is the most vocal about government waste. Rand Paul won’t stop the federal welfare for KY and everyone else, including New York State residents who receive only $0.79 in spending could care less?

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Birthers…I hope you don’t stop. The more you keep it up the better Obama will look

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Donald Trump brings the nuttyness-

  • He claims the president’s grandmother says Obama was born in Kenya. In fact, the recording to which he refers shows Sarah Obama repeatedly saying through a translator: “He was born in America.”
  • He claims that no hospital in Hawaii has a record of Obama’s birth. Hospital records are confidential under federal law, but Honolulu’s Kapi’olani Medical Center has published a letter from Obama calling it “the place of my birth,” thus publicly confirming it as his birthplace.
  • He insists that the official “Certification of Live Birth” that Obama produced in 2008 is “not a birth certificate.”  That’s wrong. The U.S. Department of State uses “birth certificate” as a generic term to include the official Hawaii document, which satisfies legal requirements for proving citizenship and obtaining a passport.
  • He claims that there’s no signature or certification number on the document released by Obama. Wrong again. Photos of the document, which we posted in 2008, clearly show those details.
  • He says newspaper announcements of Obama’s birth that appeared in Hawaii newspapers in 1961 “probably” were placed there fraudulently by his now-deceased American grandparents. Actually, a state health department official and a former managing editor of one of the newspapers said the information came straight from the state health department.
  • He claims “nobody knew” Obama when he was growing up and “nobody ever comes forward” who knew him as a child. “If I ever decide to run, you may go back and interview people from my kindergarten,” Trump said. Well, two retired kindergarten teachers in a 2009 news story fondly recall teaching a young Barack Obama.

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Shep Smith: Focusing On ‘Stupid Stuff’ Of Birthers Plays Into ‘Simpleton Hands’

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Count Fox’s Shepard Smith among those who’d like to move on and stop talking about whether the “President is from the United States of America or not.” In a discussion on raising the debt limit with Wall Street Journal assistant managing editor John Bussey, who called birtherism a “big distraction,” Smith called the birther debate “stupid stuff.”

Smith said continuing to talk about the president’s birth instead of “something important” like the debt ceiling plays into the birther’s “simpleton hands.” The future of the nation’s debt–and credit–Smith called “substantive” in comparison to that other “load of it they’re trying to make us talk about and we’re not going to do it here.”

Video is located here

How To Interview Donald Trump: The Birther-Debunker’s Guide To The Universe

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Although everyone seems to be having a ball with Donald Trump’s Magical Birth Certificate Mystery Tour®, the sheer volume of Birther mythology makes it tough for interviewers to hit every clay Birther pigeon Trump tosses into the air. To be fair, reporting on the birth certificate issue always seems to be missing one or two pieces, like a yard-sale Monopoly set. Hopefully, this handy guide will remedy that situation, and help The Donald’s next Birther interview go straight to truth-jail. Do not pass “Go,” do not collect the nomination.

As Birthers go, Donald Trump is actually only a mediocre specimen. My friend Les Kinsolving could run circles around him with the kind of deep-dish Birtherism that would even make Orly Taitz roll her eyes. For the sake of time and sanity, though, I’ll confine this to the points that Trump raises. The next time someone interviews Trump, I expect them to knock this Birther thing out right quick, and see if they can get The Donald to produce his Gaddafi charity receipt. So far, his office has declined to do so.

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Jesus was a Republican?

Monday, April 11th, 2011

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Eisenhower explains why Republicans did not dismantle The New Deal in the 50s when they could have

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Eisenhower famously discussed his position – and that of others in the GOP – in a 1954 letter to his brother: “Should any political party attempt to abolish Social Security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”

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Republican health plan will simply screw old people

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

One of the features of Paul Ryan’s plan to save the federal budget is that it replaces Medicare with vouchers with which older folks can use to buy private health insurance.

The idea is that this private insurance will do what Medicare does. And it might. At first.

But the vouchers are linked to the CPI, not to the inflation rate of healthcare expenses (and private insurance costs).

So as time goes on, barring a radical change in the inflation rate of healthcare costs, the vouchers will cover less and less of the costs that Medicare covers today.

This will protect the government from rising healthcare costs. And hose seniors.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-how-paul-ryans-budget-plan-screws-old-people-2011-4#ixzz1JBzf2EF0

The Flat Tax or Consumption Tax is a ruse

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

It is a payoff to the super rich.  Video is located here

What the Republican Budget Plan tells us about Republican priorities

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

The Republicans want you to believe that they’re concerned about the deficit. Of course, that concern is a lie. They don’t care about the deficit. They only care about using the deficit as an excuse to pursue their extremist agenda. And the single most extreme part of it is their war on people. On workers. On women. On immigrants. On the environment that keeps us all healthy and alive. If they cared about the deficit itself, they’d have noticed that the previous three Republican presidents produced consecutively the largest deficits in human history, each outdoing his predecessor, and the most recent Republican president not merely shattering his father’s unprecedented standard, but actually having to destroy the federal surplus built by a Democratic president in order to do so. An impressive feat, by any measure. But when Republicans talk about deficits, you know they are lying. Republicans destroy surpluses and create record deficits. That’s the truth.

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NPR is not biased

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

The host cited a study from Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) that found if you simply count the guests on public radio shows, they break down into 60 percent Republicans and 40 percent Democrats. “That’s regardless of whether if Republicans or Democrats are in the White House or Congress,” he elaborated. Glass also referenced a study from Pew that monitored 50 major news outlets to see how each covered Obama’s first 100 days in office. “It found that 28 percent of the stories on NPR were positive about Obama versus 37 percent in the media generally; 52 percent of NPR’s stories were neutral or mixed versus 40 percent in the media overall; 21 percent of the stories were negative about Obama versus 23 percent in general. So bias at NPR would lean more toward neutrality.”

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