Archive for June, 2012

How Ronald Reagan and Alan Greenspan Pulled off the Greatest Fraud Ever Perpetrated against the American People

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Story is located here

David Leonhardt’s article, “Yes, 47% of Households Owe No Taxes. Look Closer,” in Tuesday’s New York Times was excellent, but it just scratches the tip of the iceberg of how the rich have gained at the expense of the working class during the past three decades. When Ronald Reagan became President in 1981, he abandoned the traditional economic policies, under which the United States had operated for the previous 40 years, and launched the nation in a dangerous new direction. As Newsweek magazine put it in its March 2, 1981 issue, “Reagan thus gambled the future — his own, his party’s, and in some measure the nation’s—on a perilous and largely untested new course called supply-side economics.”

Essentially, Reagan switched the federal government from what he critically called, a “tax and spend” policy, to a “borrow and spend” policy, where the government continued its heavy spending, but used borrowed money instead of tax revenue to pay the bills. The results were catastrophic. Although it had taken the United States more than 200 years to accumulate the first $1 trillion of national debt, it took only five years under Reagan to add the second one trillion dollars to the debt. By the end of the 12 years of the Reagan-Bush administrations, the national debt had quadrupled to $4 trillion!

Ronald Reagan and Alan Greenspan pulled off one of the greatest frauds ever perpetrated against the American people in the history of this great nation, and the underlying scam is still alive and well, more than a quarter century later. It represents the very foundation upon which the economic malpractice that led the nation to the great economic collapse of 2008 was built. Ronald Reagan was a cunning politician, but he didn’t know much about economics. Alan Greenspan was an economist, who had no reluctance to work with a politician on a plan that would further the cause of the right-wing goals that both he and President Reagan shared.

Both Reagan and Greenspan saw big government as an evil, and they saw big business as a virtue. They both had despised the progressive policies of Roosevelt, Kennedy and Johnson, and they wanted to turn back the pages of time. They came up with the perfect strategy for the redistribution of income and wealth from the working class to the rich. Since we don’t know the nature of the private conversations that took place between Reagan and Greenspan, as well as between their aides, we cannot be sure whether the events that would follow over the next three decades were specifically planned by Reagan and Greenspan, or whether they were just the natural result of the actions the two men played such a big role in. Either way, both Reagan and Greenspan are revered by most conservatives and hated by most liberals.

If Reagan had campaigned for the presidency by promising big tax cuts for the rich and pledging to make up for the lost revenue by imposing substantial tax increases on the working class, he would probably not have been elected. But that is exactly what Reagan did, with the help of Alan Greenspan. Consider the following sequence of events:

1) President Reagan appointed Greenspan as chairman of the 1982 National Commission on Social Security Reform (aka The Greenspan Commission)

2) The Greenspan Commission recommended a major payroll tax hike to generate Social Security surpluses for the next 30 years, in order to build up a large reserve in the trust fund that could be drawn down during the years after Social Security began running deficits.

3) The 1983 Social Security amendments enacted hefty increases in the payroll tax in order to generate large future surpluses.

4) As soon as the first surpluses began to role in, in 1985, the money was put into the general revenue fund and spent on other government programs. None of the surplus was saved or invested in anything. The surplus Social Security revenue, that was paid by working Americans, was used to replace the lost revenue from Reagan’s big income tax cuts that went primarily to the rich.

5) In 1987, President Reagan nominated Greenspan as the successor to Paul Volker as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. Greenspan continued as Fed Chairman until January 31, 2006. (One can only speculate on whether the coveted Fed Chairmanship represented, at least in part, a payback for Greenspan’s role in initiating the Social Security surplus revenue.)

6) In 1990, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, a member of the Greenspan Commission, and one of the strongest advocates the the 1983 legislation, became outraged when he learned that first Reagan, and then President George H.W. Bush used the surplus Social Security revenue to pay for other government programs instead of saving and investing it for the baby boomers. Moynihan locked horns with President Bush and proposed repealing the 1983 payroll tax hike. Moynihan’s view was that if the government could not keep its hands out of the Social Security cookie jar, the cookie jar should be emptied, so there would be no surplus Social Security revenue for the government to loot. President Bush would have no part of repealing the payroll tax hike. The “read-my-lips-no-new-taxes” president was not about to give up his huge slush fund.

The practice of using every dollar of the surplus Social Security revenue for general government spending continues to this day. The 1983 payroll tax hike has generated approximately $2.5 trillion in surplus Social Security revenue which is supposed to be in the trust fund for use in paying for the retirement benefits of the baby boomers. But the trust fund is empty! It contains no real assets. As a result, the government will soon be unable to pay full benefits without a tax increase. Money can be spent or it can be saved. But you can’t do both. Absolutely none of the $2.5 trillion was saved or invested in anything. I have been laboring for more than a decade to expose the great Social Security scam. For more information, please visit my website or contact me.

Story is located here

Obama didn’t kill your granny, freedom is not actually dead and constitutionally protected taxes can—and often do— create a stronger America

Friday, June 29th, 2012

The full frontal assault on taxes was birthed by conservatives with an agenda to squeeze the life out of popular social spending initiatives in the latter part of the last century. Given how normative taxes were in American culture, the intellectual architects of the “Starve the Beast” strategy saw no way to force spending cuts without a high-profile campaign to destroy the funding mechanism. The fact that the Federal Treasury would be collateral damage was of no concern to these men, and any political consequence for an incoming Democratic administration was icing on the cake. George W. Bush’s deficit spending and casino style regulatory approach drove the American economy straight off a cliff after systematically dismantling the rescue squads. The subsequent mess is one that Republicans have delighted in watching Obama try to clean up, a task made even more impossible by Republicans who would rather see the economy destroyed than vote for an increase in tax revenue, even—or especially—on the country’s wealthy.

But the impacts of this scorched-earth campaign are ominously visible not only in a policy agenda skewed towards the 1 percent but also in newly embedded cultural norms. When fire services were rendered optional in rural Tennessee as a way to curb spending in 2011, many residents opted out. After all, who ever believes that their house will burn until the sparks start flying? But in at least two heart-breaking instances, firefighters were forced to sit by and watch as peoples’ homes burned to the ground because of unpaid fees. The parallels are strikingly similar to the conservative outcry against the healthcare mandate, without which we would be forced to sit idly by while people suffer. As I wrote last week here, Justice Scalia’s endorsement of the “let them die” faction of the tea party in the healthcare hearings gave judicial credibility to a fundamentally anti-American posture of indifference—a position reinforced by his dissenting opinion this morning. Do we really want to embrace an America where we watch our neighbors’ lives go up in flames?

Given all of this, the irony of this much-reviled three letter word offering a parachute for a plummeting healthcare initiative is not lost on this progressive. As millions sleep easier tonight as a result of this ruling, it’s important to remember a few lessons as we forge ahead: Obama didn’t kill your granny, freedom is not actually dead and constitutionally protected taxes can—and often do— create a stronger America. That may be language actually worth fighting for.

Story is located here

Teaparty owned Colorado Spring is mad they are not getting enough Socialism fast enough

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Some of the same people who have bashed the president as a big government, big spending liberal now say a wildfire that destroyed hundreds of homes in the conservative stronghold of Colorado Springs can be blamed on the president because he has been too slow to spend money to beef up the federal fleet of air tankers.

The meme began more than a week ago when pundit Michelle Malkin, who lives in Colorado Springs, wrote a piece for the National Review Online titled “Obama Bureaucrats Are Fueling Wildfires.”

“The Obama administration’s neglect of the federal government’s aerial-tanker fleet raises acrid questions about its core public-safety priorities,” she wrote.

Story is located here

Here is Romney stating his policy.  Video is located here

The moral of the story is that Colorado Springs is owned by the Teaparty and they hate the results of living the Teaparty dream.  Not very Christian of them considering Colorado Springs is also the Evangelical capital of the world.

Republican Congressman ADMITS the GOP has no idea what to do once they repeal ObamaCare

Friday, June 29th, 2012

KEYES: If it does ultimately all get struck down, what do we do for 57 million people who have pre-existing conditions?

TERRY: We’re going to work on that. We’re going to do it by looking at first, how do we lower health care costs, how do we make the system more efficient and less costly.

KEYES: Are there any ideas on how to do that?

TERRY: There’s going to be lots of ideas. We just have to accept all of them.

KEYES: Do we have any yet?

TERRY: We’re going to hold hearings, we’re going to invite experts. This is not going to be a closed process at all. It’s going to be completely open where we take as many ideas for reform as we can get and then we’ll see what it takes to deal with those that need more attention if they have significant pre-existing. So we’re going to deal with all of those issues.

KEYES: The mantra for a while has been “repeal and replace.” Is there an idea of what the replace would be yet?

TERRY: No. We want to take it in a very deliberate, open approach and take everybody’s ideas.

Story is located here

Jon Stewart again shows why he is the smartest man on TV

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Here is Jon Stewart talking with Marco Rubio.  Rubio doesn’t know it but Rubio walked right into Jon Stewart’s trap of proving that the Republicans have an almost theological view of Democracy in that it is there way or the highway.  Whereas the nuance that the Democrats are often falling victim to is their weakness in that they are willing to bend.  Rubio proves Jon Stewart’s point to perfection.

Video 1 is located here

Video 2 is located here

Video 3 is located here

The truth about the Fast and Furious scandal

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

A Fortune investigation reveals that the ATF never intentionally allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. How the world came to believe just the opposite is a tale of rivalry, murder, and political bloodlust.

Story is located here

Standing on top of the world in Chicago

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

An ironworker stands on top of the Sears Tower (never the Willis Tower!) as it is being finished.  Picture is located here

A crane operator atop the Trump Tower in Chicago.  Picture is located here

Romney’s business would always make money even when losing money and going bankrupt

Friday, June 22nd, 2012
How many businesses do you know that make money when losing money? Even going bankrupt.
Romney did not have a business….he had a money printing machine which somehow avoided being called a scam….which is what it was.
Of course bankruptcy resulted in tax writeoffs which recouped those losses so WE paid for it.
How is this really different from Bernie Madoff?
Story is located here
Bain structured deals so that it was difficult for the firm and its executives to ever really lose, even if practically everyone else involved with the company that Bain owned did, including its employees, creditors and even, at times, investors in Bain’s funds.Bain officials vigorously disputed any notion that the firm had profited when its investors lost, arguing that a full accounting of their costs across their business would show otherwise. They also pointed out that Bain employees put their own money at risk in all of the firm’s deals.

“Bain Capital does not make money on investments when our investors lose money,” the company said in a statement. “Any suggestion to the contrary is based on a misleading analysis that examines the income of a business without taking account of expenses.”

To a large extent, however, this is simply the way private equity works, offering its practitioners myriad ways to extract income and limit their risk. Mr. Romney’s candidacy has helped cast a spotlight on an often-opaque industry.

In four of the seven Bain-owned companies that went bankrupt, Bain investors also profited, amassing more than $400 million in gains before the companies ran aground, The Times found. All four, however, later became mired in debt incurred, at least in part, to repay Bain investors or to carry out a Bain-led acquisition strategy.

Rachel Maddow explains the Conspiracy Theory that has overtaken the entire Republican Party today

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

This is a tremendous take-down of Conspiracy Theories that Republicans believe.  But are simply not true.

Video is located here

Newt Gingrich perpetuates the amazingly insane Conspiracy Theory in an interview on CNBC here

The REASON for such fear comes from the top of the NRA as paranoia is the theme of the day every day. Video is located here

Darrell Issa voted FOR the precursor to Fast and Furious.  Story is located here

Fast and Furious is truly a needless partisan fight.  Story is located here

FOX & FRIENDS demanded that other news organizations report on Fast & Furious video is located here

And when the truth comes out there was NO THERE THERE. Story is located here

Ron Paul contradicts himself in a massive way by taking Social Security checks which is something he could stop

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

“Are you on Social Security,” The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein wondered. “Do you get Social Security checks?”

“I do,” Paul replied.

“You just told younger generations that they should wean themselves off of this social contract but you haven’t done it yourself,” Stein noted. “You’re not the wealthiest man in Congress, I’m not saying that. But you have enough means to take care of yourself in retirement. Shouldn’t you provide an example?”

“No,” Paul said. “I think the programs are so designed, just as I use the post office too. I use government highways. I do that too. I use the banks. I use the Federal Reserve system. But that doesn’t mean you can’t work to remove this. The same way on Social Security, I am trying to make a transition.”

“I personally don’t see any inconsistency in that,” he added.

Watch this video from MSNBC’s Morning Joe, broadcast June 20, 2012.

Video is located here

Comment below explaining the failure RESULTING IN the creation of Social Security is located here

My understanding is that Ron Paul would prefer that retirement savings be purely a matter for the individual. The problem with that approach is that it has already been tried.

  • Prior to the creation of the social security program, the U.S. had a terrible problem with poverty and homelessness among the elderly. Low and middle income workers often lived from paycheck to paycheck despite their desire to put something aside for old age. Those who DID put something away quite often lost those savings due to periods of illness, injury or bank closures (deposits were not insured back then).While more of the elderly lived with family back then, we had a far worse problem with homelessness – often due to the dangerous working conditions of the day that left workers broken and unable to support themselves – among the elderly than we have today. For millions of retirees, Soc ial Security is their only income and allows them to at least purchase the basics of life.Elimination or privatization of the program would put us right back where we started. My biggest beef with Ron Paul is that he just seems so lacking in compassion for those who are of limited means for reasons beyond their control. Frankly, he reminds me of Scrooge…a million dollars is not enough if he can still squeeze a few more dollars out of the poor.
  • ——————————-

    Of course Ron Paul is here calling for the end of Social Security and Medicare.  Video is located here

    Are women who take Birth Control Pills carrying out abortions?

    Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

    But scientists and medical experts have debunked the claim that the morning-after pill causes abortions. The New York Times wrote in June 2012 that “the politically charged debate over morning-after pills and abortion…is probably rooted in outdated or incorrect scientific guesses about how the pills work.”

    Emergency contraception works before pregnancy begins by delaying or inhibiting ovulation or thickening cervical mucus so sperm have trouble swimming.

    Appeals courts have handed down conflicting decisions as to whether for-profit companies like Hobby Lobby should be able to refuse to cover birth control in their health plans, and the Supreme Court is currently deciding whether to take on the case next year.

    Story is located here

    Romney lied about Medicaid doctor changing address with 33 page document

    Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

    Aargh. You want to talk disconnected? Forget the Wawa, this shows just how clueless Mitt Romney is, or perhaps just how stupid he thinks the rest of us are. Have you ever changed your address? You probably have. Did you have to fill out a 33-page form? Of course you didn’t. The form to change your address is a friggin’ postcard. Old address, new address, when you want the change to happen. Done. You can do it online now, and it’ll take about 2 minutes. Yet Mitt Romney gets up in front of a crowd of people and tells them that government is so awful, at the Post Office you have to fill out a 33-page form to change your address.

    Story is located here

    Jon Stewart explains how FOX News uses edited video of Obama speaking to make it seem Obama rejected the use of Executive Power Orders

    Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

    Stewart headed the segment first zoning in on those who were unhappy with the president for using executive power to make this decision about deportation. No other modern-day president has acted thusly. Except, of course, Stewart added, George W. Bush (regarding Liberia). And Bill Clinton. And George H. W. Bush. …And Ronald Reagan.

    But he digressed, turning to Fox News’ segment that aimed to catch Obama contradicting his view of his own authority. In a video from less than a year ago. The clip Fox News played included Obama said the following:

    I just have to continue to say this notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true. We are doing everything we can administratively. But the fact of the matter is there are laws on the books that I have to enforce. And I think there’s been a great disservice done to the cause of getting the DREAM Act passed and getting comprehensive immigration passed by perpetrating the notion that somehow, by myself, I can go and do these things. It’s just not true.

    Game over, Stewart said. “I’m kind of a dick” to Fox News, he said, “but they got it right. I commend them.” But actually…in that video, it kind of looked like the president wasn’t done speaking. Let’s just double check, he said, rolling the longer clip. In it, Obama’s remarks continued off where Fox News’ clip left off:

    The notion that somehow, by myself, I can go and do these things is just not true. What we can do is to prioritize enforcement — since there are limited enforcement resources — and say, we’re not going to go chasing after this young man or anybody else who has been acting responsibly, and would otherwise qualify for legal status if the DREAM Act passed.

    Video is located here

    Bill Moyers- Letting down the next generation

    Monday, June 18th, 2012

    As his grandson graduates from high school, Bill reflects on what we’re leaving the next generation of Americans: a country mired in debt and inequality, and controlled in large part by Wall Street insiders and Washington hucksters. Yet, Bill says, “I hear our grandson’s name being called, see him handed his diploma, watch the whole class rise, and think: “They just might pull us back from the edge.”

    Video is located here

    Myths of Austerity – Cutting which provides abundance is simply counter to logic.

    Monday, June 18th, 2012

    What’s the evidence for the belief that fiscal contraction is actually expansionary, because it improves confidence? (By the way, this is precisely the doctrine expounded by Herbert Hoover in 1932.) Well, there have been historical cases of spending cuts and tax increases followed by economic growth. But as far as I can tell, every one of those examples proves, on closer examination, to be a case in which the negative effects of austerity were offset by other factors, factors not likely to be relevant today. For example, Ireland’s era of austerity-with-growth in the 1980s depended on a drastic move from trade deficit to trade surplus, which isn’t a strategy everyone can pursue at the same time.

    And current examples of austerity are anything but encouraging. Ireland has been a good soldier in this crisis, grimly implementing savage spending cuts. Its reward has been a Depression-level slump — and financial markets continue to treat it as a serious default risk. Other good soldiers, like Latvia and Estonia, have done even worse — and all three nations have, believe it or not, had worse slumps in output and employment than Iceland, which was forced by the sheer scale of its financial crisis to adopt less orthodox policies.

    So the next time you hear serious-sounding people explaining the need for fiscal austerity, try to parse their argument. Almost surely, you’ll discover that what sounds like hardheaded realism actually rests on a foundation of fantasy, on the belief that invisible vigilantes will punish us if we’re bad and the confidence fairy will reward us if we’re good. And real-world policy — policy that will blight the lives of millions of working families — is being built on that foundation.

    Story is located here

    The GI Bill raised college graduation rate from 6 to 21 percent and opponents called it WELFARE

    Monday, June 18th, 2012

    “Politifact looked at that record,” Maddow said, “and they found that the chairman of the veterans affairs committee in the House at the time criticized the GI bill by saying, “The bane of the British Empire has been the dole system.’”

    “What’s the dole system, what’s the dole?” she continued. “The dole is welfare. That’s what British people call welfare. It’s an English language, slang term everywhere for welfare. So case closed, right? Lawrence’s ad says that critics of the GI bill called it welfare. Politifact finds that they did call it welfare. Politifact fact checks historical claim A, finds it to be true, and therefore rates the claim… Mostly False! They found it to be true, but they rate it Mostly False. They print the evidence that it’s true, ‘the bane of the British Empire has been the dole system,’ and right under that they say, ‘we found no evidence of critics referring to the gi bill as welfare.’”

    She’s actually being kind. The fact that “welfare” and “the dole” are synonymous was explained to Politifact…by MSNBC! Here’s the portion of Politifact’s ruling that Rachel is referring to:

    Story and video are here

    Romney Campaign based on handful of baldfaced lies

    Sunday, June 17th, 2012

    The Republican recalcitrance on taxes has led to a Washington stalemate that the president referred to eight times in his speech, saying it can be broken only by the voters. But Mr. Obama’s re-election cannot, by itself, end the impasse. It is once his opponents’ free-market ideas are fully seen to be bankrupt that Congress will either change or begin acting in the country’s interest. Breaking the grip of these ideas truly is, as Mr. Obama said Thursday, “a make-or-break moment for America’s middle class.”

    And it is there that Mr. Obama still has not made his case. Mr. Romney’s entire campaign rests on a foundation of short, utterly false sound bites. The stimulus failed. (Three million employed people beg to differ.) The auto bailout was a mistake. (Another million jobs.) Spending is out of control. (Spending growth is actually lower than under all modern Republican presidents.) He says these kinds of things so often that millions of Americans believe them to be the truth.

    It is hard to challenge these lies with a well-reasoned-but-overlong speech — just as, in an odd juxtaposition, Mr. Obama failed to make his case for his Afghanistan policy in a speech in May that was both too short and too shallow. The president has less than five months to find a way to make a vital message sink in.

    Story is located here

    Does the Federal government pay for teachers/cops/firefighters?

    Friday, June 15th, 2012

    CNN says yes.

    Story is located here

    FOX lies no.

    Story is located here

    Of course Romney would cut billions for cops/teachers and firefightera

    Story is located here

    World’s Richest Man says we need more Feudalism because he ain’t gonna fix the economy YOU HAVE TO!

    Friday, June 15th, 2012
    World’s Richest Man says people should work to 70 in order to improve economy. Forget the fact that he is worth $60Billion and could pay his workers at his monopolies in Mexico more…please forget that as it would be much more efficient for him if you did it for him and he can collect many more billions. A good number of Americans top him in saying they foresee working into their 80s. This is 100% Feudalism…it is 100% TEAPARTY in that the lack of redistribution of income results IN EXACTLY THIS.
    Please get ready for re-entry back into Feudalism…because apparently weekends, vacations, safe work conditions and child labor laws were something we were not serious about anyway.
    Story is located here

    Why was the word “vagina” such a problem in the Michigan Legislature?

    Thursday, June 14th, 2012

    “If they are going to legislate my anatomy, I see no reason why I cannot mention it,” she said according to the Free Press.

    “Regardless of their reasoning, this is a violation of my First Amendment rights and directly impedes my ability to serve the people who elected me into office,” Brown added in a statement released by her office.

    Brown was not the only woman silenced on the floor today. Rep. Barb Byrum was also not allowed to speak on the floor.

    “Byrum, D-Onondaga, caused a disturbance on the House floor Wednesday when she wasn’t allowed to introduce an amendment to the abortion regulations bill banning men from getting a vasectomy unless the sterilization procedure was necessary to save a man’s life,” the Detroit News reports.

    Video is located here

    Remember that the Republicans came up with the Individual Mandate portion of ObamaCare. THEN once the BLACK GUY wanted to use that idea it suddenly became Marxist/Communist/Socialistic

    Thursday, June 14th, 2012

    James Taranto, who writes the Wall Street Journal’s excellent “Best of the Web” column, put forth a lengthy and informative discussion yesterday on the conservative origins of the individual mandate, whose inclusion in Obamacare is today its most controversial feature on the Right.

    This came up at Tuesday’s Western Republican Leadership Conference Debate, where Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich tussled on the question:

    ROMNEY: Actually, Newt, we got the idea of an individual mandate from you.

    GINGRICH: That’s not true. You got it from the Heritage Foundation.

    ROMNEY: Yes, we got it from you, and you got it from the Heritage Foundation and from you.

    GINGRICH: Wait a second. What you just said is not true. You did not get that from me. You got it from the Heritage Foundation.

    ROMNEY: And you never supported them?

    GINGRICH: I agree with them, but I’m just saying, what you said to this audience just now plain wasn’t true.

    (CROSSTALK)

    ROMNEY: OK. Let me ask, have you supported in the past an individual mandate?

    GINGRICH: I absolutely did with the Heritage Foundation against Hillarycare.

    ROMNEY: You did support an individual mandate?

    ROMNEY: Oh, OK. That’s what I’m saying. We got the idea from you and the Heritage Foundation.

    GINGRICH: OK. A little broader.

    ROMNEY: OK.

    (Romney was prepared to go on, but Michele Bachmann, in her usual role as the person who makes the debates less useful, interjected and changed the subject. Here’s a YouTube video of the entire debate. The Gingrich-Romney exchange begins at the 27:38 mark.)

    Story is located here

    Mitt Romney’s latest lie about ObamaCare

    Thursday, June 14th, 2012

    Mitt Romney yet another lie to spew at his victims. This one goes something like this: President Obama is out of touch with small business needs and doesn’t even understand how Obamacare is hurting them. Why look! Here’s a small business that had to close one of its locations because Obamacare caused them to!

     Yeah, except that’s not exactly true. Greg Sargent explains:

    Story is located here

    But I don’t have anything to hide. The loss of privacy ususally hurts those who are not paying attention.

    Thursday, June 14th, 2012

    A commentator on my recent post about the DEA installing license plate scanners on the nation’s interstate highways asks, “If you aren’t doing anything illegal why would you care if someone captures your license plate number?”

    Another commentator countered: “If I’m not doing anything illegal, why do the police need to record my license plate number?”

    It’s a great response. In essence, it points to our civilization’s core principle that the government is not supposed to look over our shoulder unless it has particularized suspicion that we are involved in wrongdoing.

    But the original poster’s point is a frequent refrain: “Why should I care about surveillance if I have nothing to hide?” As a privacy advocate I have heard this question for many years, and over time developed my own list of answers

    Story is located here

    Bernie Sanders names names as far as banks and what they received in the bailouts

    Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

     During the financial crisis, at least 18 former and current directors from Federal Reserve Banks worked in banks and corporations that collectively received over $4 trillion in low-interest loans from the Federal Reserve.

    Story is located here

    The Root of Mitt Romney’s Comfort with Lying

    Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

    But this pattern of lying and not acknowledging it, even when confronted directly, has persisted and led me to look for other sources of Romney’s behavior and of his clear comfort with continuing it. I think much of this comfort stems from his Mormon faith.

    Read more: http://ideas.time.com/2012/06/13/the-root-of-mitt-romneys-comfort-with-lying/#ixzz1xk3LBw9q

    Newt Gingrich was on MSNBC Rev Al Sharpton program and Newt was eviscerated

    Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

     

    Original interview part 1 video  is located here

    Original interview part 2 video is located here

    The followup analysis by the Rev is here

    Let’s live like the Bible tells us to live and if we did you will be either stoned or sold

    Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

    President Martin Sheen nails it.

    Video is located here

    Charts and graphs from The Fed show the Trickle Down Theory of Reaganomics does not work

    Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

    In November, Americans will have a chance to speak their minds.

    And there’s one thing everyone should agree on:

    America just isn’t working right now.

    It’s not just Americans who aren’t working. It’s America itself, a country whose economy once worked for almost everyone, not just the rich.

    In the old America, if you worked hard, you had a good chance of moving up.

    In the old America, the fruits of people’s labors accrued to the whole country, not just the top.

    In the old America, there was a strong middle class, and their immense collective purchasing power drove the economy for decades.

    No longer.

    Over the past couple of decades, the disparity between “the 1%” and everyone else has hit a level not seen since the 1920s. And there is a widespread and growing sense that life here is not fair or right.

    If America cannot figure out a way to fix these problems, the country will likely become increasingly polarized and de-stabilized. And if that happens, the recent “Occupy” protests will likely be only the beginning.

    The problem in a nutshell is this:

    In the never-ending tug-of-war between “labor” and “capital,” there has rarely—if ever—been a time when “capital” was so clearly winning.

    And that’s not just unfair.

    It’s un-American.

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/dear-america-you-should-be-mad-as-hell-about-this-charts-2012-6#ixzz1xi6KWhwg

    If we followed Jesus the rich would lose EVERYTHING every 7 years meaning Jesus would not approve of our society with rich people hoarding cash thereby denying it from the poor

    Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

    Torah is very straightforward. Land and ultimately all wealth belong to God, who places property in the control of human beings, not as owners but as stewards who must share it and return it to God every 49 years for redistribution.

    For Israelites, time was divided into blocks of seven years. Land was not tilled in the seventh year. After a series of seven, seven-year blocks of time, a Year of Jubilee was declared. During the Year of Jubilee, all land was to be returned to the control of the priests, who, in the name of God, were to make a new and fresh distribution of all land.

    In other words, the wealthy were supposed to surrender their stewardship and the poorest of the poor were given land with the encouragement to be productive for God and their fellow Israelites. All slaves were set free and all debts were canceled.

    Story is located here

    Thom Hartmann explains and Newt Gingrich confirmed how Republicans plotted to keep President Obama’s idea failing

    Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

    Newt Gingrich admitted on the 6/12/12 Al Sharpton “Politics Nation” show on MSNBC that this meeting DID happen and he DID attend.

    Thom Hartmann explains how as President Obama was being sworn in there was a meeting of Republicans….as confirmed by Newt Gingrich…plotting to keep the economy bad and stop President Obama from having a second term

    Video is located here

    Jeb Bush seems to be running away from any elected office as a Republican ever again

    Monday, June 11th, 2012

    BUSH: I don’t think people need to be discriminated against because they don’t share my belief on this, and if people love their children with all their heart and soul and that’s what they do and that’s how they organize their life that should be held up as examples for others to follow because we need it. We desperately need it and that can take all sorts of forms, it doesn’t have to take the one that I think should be sanctioned under the law.

    And with that Jeb Bush’s life as a Republican has come to an end.  Good night Jeb.

    Story is located here

    When Union are broken pay levels drop for everyone.

    Monday, June 11th, 2012

    Former Bush budget director and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels was more than happy to tout his state’s union busting as a model for the country during his interview on Fox News Sunday, but when asked about Indiana’s ranking as 46th in state worker gross salary, the best he could come up with is to pretend he’d never heard those stats before.

    Daniels bragged that his state has been “rated as one of the best jobs climates in the country by everyone now.” I’m guessing “everyone now” means businesses that would like a race to the bottom on wages and benefits and not the workers whose collective bargaining rights he just destroyed.

    Story is located here

    Solyndra described by a GOP Congressman

    Monday, June 11th, 2012

    “Ultimately, we’ll stop it on Election Day, hopefully. And bringing attention to these things helps the voters and citizens of the country make the kind of decision that I hope helps them as they evaluate who they are going to vote for in November.”

    Story is located here

    How Bain Capital helped BP blow up the Deepwater Horizon

    Monday, June 11th, 2012

    I almost fell off the barstool when I read that it was Bain Capital (Mitt Romney, former CEO), that told oil giant BP it was a good idea to cut costs. The cuts would lead to death, mayhem and the destruction of the Gulf Coast (not to mention BP’s poisoning of Alaska, Africa, Central Asia and Colombia).

    In 2007, after BP’s criminal negligence and penny-pinching led to the explosion at the BP oil refinery on the Gulf Coast, in Texas City, Texas, the company brought in industry pooh-bah James Baker, their lawyer and former Secretary of State, to write a report. Baker is Big Oil’s BFF, but in this case, he was horrified, and told BP to get its act together and spend some real money on operating safety.

    BP didn’t like Baker’s recommendation nor did it like another report by its own consulting firm, Booz Allen Hamilton which advised the company to …get its act together and spend money on safety.

    When two respected industry voices agree that you’d better start spending and thinking while you’re operating in a deadly business, a corporation’s CEO has only one choice: find a consulting house of ill repute to contradict the others and tell you what you want to hear.

    That’s what BP’s CEO Tony Hayward did. In 2008, he hired Bain Capital to say the company would be better managed if it spent less money. Bain used consulting BS terms like reducing “complexity,” but it all meant the same thing: cut, cut, cut.

    After all, Bain’s motto is, “We like to fire people.” The oil company then fired 5,000 employees in response to the Bain report.

    To hell with safety.

    Story is located here

    When people buy a house they ask about government jobs whether they know it or not. Therefore the real estate value is higher where government jobs are stronger.

    Monday, June 11th, 2012

    Conservative media figures have mocked President Obama’s concerns about continuing job losses in the public sector but experts say the job cuts are more severe than in other recoveries in recent decades and threaten the recovering economy.  However the question that everyone asks when they buy a home is- HOW are the schools….meaning government jobs strengthen that home’s value and translate to more money for those homeowners.  So YES government jobs actually make people more money as well as a stable society which encourages business development which makes more money for people.  How simple can it get that teachers and cops and firefighters and so on ADD to society greatly beyond their specific job purpose.

    Story is located here

    Christian women are responsible for vast vast majority of abortions

    Sunday, June 10th, 2012

    According to the Guttmacher Institute, nearly half of all pregnancies in America are unintended. And of those, 40 percent end in abortion. More than 1 million abortions occur in the United States each year. But perhaps the most disturbing statistic for the Church: 65 percent of the women obtaining abortions identify themselves as either Protestant or Catholic (37 percent Protestant and 28 percent Catholic). That?s 650,000 abortions obtained by Christians every year.

    Story is located here

    Free Market released a children’s toy in 2007 with asbestos.

    Sunday, June 10th, 2012

    This is the deregulated world that Teaparty WANT.

    December 4, 2007 Tom DeLuca/Al Kaufman Toys “R” Us, Inc. Headquarters One Geoffrey Way Wayne, NJ 07480-2030 Attn Mr. DeLuca/Mr. Kaufman: We are writing to ask that you immediately remove from sale all Planet Toys’ CSI: Crime Scene Investigation™ Fingerprint Examination Kits due to recent test results finding dangerous levels of asbestos in powders contained in some sample kits.

    Story is located here

    And so it begins: Republican Governor calls for ending all public sector unions (cops, teachers, firefighters)

    Sunday, June 10th, 2012

    Obvious that this is a Republican plan.

    Story is located here

    Boehner Aide Received Bonus From Medical Device Lobby Group Before Overseeing Tax Repeal of Industry

    Sunday, June 10th, 2012

    Yesterday, the House of Representatives moved to help save $30 million dollars for medical device companies while defunding programs designed to expand health coverage for ordinary Americans. The House took action on legislation to “repeal a 2.3 percent excise tax on gross sales receipts in excess of $5 million for manufacturers and importers of certain medical devices, including defibrillators, pacemakers and prosthetic limbs.” The tax, originally part of the Affordable Care Act, was set up to pay for an expansion in health programs to cover the uninsured in America, which studies have linked to over 45,000 deaths a year.

    The repeal comes as medical device makers, a $140 billion industry, have lobbied aggressively and showered lawmakers with contributions. A report from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities notes that the tax would likely spur innovation by promoting cost-effective ways of delivering care, while also ensuring vital health programs are properly funded. Nevertheless, the House passed the bill 242-173.

    The medical device lobby had several advantages in this fight. For one thing, they had a man in the inside. In late 2010, as Congressman John Boehner (R-OH) prepared to take the gavel as Speaker, he hired a lobbyist named Brett Loper as his new policy chief. Loper left his job at the Advanced Medical Technology Association, a lobby group for medical device-makers, to join Boehner.

    Republic Report reviewed ethics forms disclosed filed with the House clerk’s office, and noticed that Loper actually received a $100,147 bonus in 2011 for leaving his medical device lobbying group and becoming a public servant. View the disclosure here.

    Story is located here

    The years 2000 to 2007 were the period of the weakest job growth in the United States since the Great Depression. The plan used then is Romney’s plan.

    Saturday, June 9th, 2012

    For those who think President Obama’s policies have done little to produce growth, keep in mind that the single largest piece of his policies — in dollar terms — has been tax cuts. They actually began before Obama, with the tax cut passed under the George W. Bush administration in response to the financial crisis in 2008. Then came the stimulus bill, of which tax cuts were the largest chunk by far — one-third of the total. The Department of Transportation, by contrast, got 6 percent of the total to fix infrastructure.

    That wasn’t the end of it. There was the payroll tax cut, the small business tax cut, the extension of the payroll tax cut, and so on. The president’s Twitter feed boasted: “President Obama has signed 21 tax cuts to support middle class families.” And how has that worked out?

    Story is located here

    There are MORE Private Sector jobs now under Obama then when he began as President

    Saturday, June 9th, 2012

    So Obama made a pretty big “gaffe.” He said that the private sector was doing “fine.”

    Here’s the full quote, via WSJ:

    “The truth of the matter is that … we’ve created 4.3 million jobs over the last 27 months, over 800,000 just this year alone … The private sector is doing fine. Where we’re seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government,” which, he said, isn’t getting the support it needs from Washington.

    Given that unemployment is over 8 percent, and Q2 GDP is tracking at less than 2 percent, saying that any part of the economy is “fine” looks wildly out of touch, and Republicans are lambasting him for it.

    Obama has already backtracked, but is what he said true?

    See the slides that lay out the clear case for the truth of that statement here »

    29 charts that describe what happened following the enactment of the Stimulus and yes it shows the Stimulus worked

    Saturday, June 9th, 2012

    Simply said the Stimulus had an affect on America that is easy to see.  Charts are located here

    Almost EVERY single lie that Romney has told in one location and updated regularly

    Friday, June 8th, 2012

    One after the other after the other after the other. They simply do not stop.  The lies of Willard Mitt Romney are located here for your one stop shopping.

    Story is located here

    This blog actually had its start at this location

    This is what TREASON looks like. Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan & Kevin McCarthy: Plot To Sabotage US Economy with Frank Luntz

    Friday, June 8th, 2012

    On January 20, 2009 Republican Leaders in Congress literally plotted to sabotage and undermine U.S. Economy during President Obama’s Inauguration.

    In Robert Draper’s book, “Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives” Draper wrote that during a four hour, “invitation only” meeting with GOP Hate-Propaganda Minister, Frank Luntz, the below listed Senior GOP Law Writers literally plotted to sabotage, undermine and destroy America’s Economy.

    During the four hour meeting:
    The senior GOP members plotted to bring Congress to a standstill regardless how much it would hurt the American Economy by pledging to obstruct and block President Obama on all legislation.

    These Republican members of Congress were not simply airing their complaints regarding the other party’s political platform for four long hours. No, these Republican Congressional Policymakers, who were elected to do ‘the People’s work’ were literally plotting to sabotage, undermine and destroy the U.S. Economy.

    Story is located here

    The next great technology that the Federal Government is working on. Which means TEAPARTY cannot use because they don’t want this type of investment

    Friday, June 8th, 2012

    NHTSA has been working on the technology for the past decade along with eight automakers: Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai-Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen.

    “We think this is really the future of transportation safety, and it’s going to make a huge difference in the way we live our lives,” said Scott Belcher, president of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America, which promotes technology solutions to transportation problems.

    The technology is already available, said Rob Strassburger, vice president for safety of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. He said what’s needed is for the government to set standards so that all automakers use compatible technology.

    Since V2V relies on wireless technology, ensuring that the safety systems are reliable and can’t be hacked is another concern, NHTSA officials said.

    Automakers dislike government mandates requiring them to add technology to cars, but that’s probably what’s needed, said Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, a consumer group.

    “If you have the technology, and the price has gone down so much, use it,” he said. “You aren’t going to get it into the marketplace as fast as you could and save as many lives as you could unless you mandate it.”

    Story is located here

    Republicans killed my friend Keith.

    Thursday, June 7th, 2012
    Below is a story that just unfolded over the past 2 weeks for me. I wrote the story below….hopefully by passing it around some people will learn some things and something will be done.
    @JoeWo
    ————————-
    In Grade School and through High School there was a kid one year behind me named Keith. He was a goofy teen who was quick with a funny thing to say…a funny face with his tongue hanging out…he was self depricating and chubby. Just an average kid who was not much more than an acquaintance in school I shared a laugh or two with and not much more.
    Facebook connects people through time and distance. I became friends with Keith on Facebook and really did nothing more as far as communicating with him. His posts revolve around the ususal Facebook fare- “Dinner was good but my beer is better….my ex girlfriend is awful but my new girlfriend is an angel….so much for my new girlfriend I am swearing off girls until I drink too much next time.” He seemed to be an average guy who was quick with a joke or a light up his smoke and that was Keith.
    The posts on his Facebook account stopped the other day after being very consistent.
    A few days later “RIP Keith” was written by a friend of a friend of a friend I don’t know nor never will know. A few more RIPs and other emotionally packed nebulous weepy phrases were posted.
    A couple days later someone finally asked and someone finally answered what happened. It seems Keith had a medical condition and could not afford insurance. He knew that something was wrong and he needed to go to the doctor but the cost of paying out of pocket was too expensive. He had time to go to the doctor as he discussed this with others but could not afford it. He died of a heart attack in his sleep at the age of 44.
    Keith did not deserve to die. Keith did not have the money to be healthy so Keith died. He is dead.
    This does not happen in any other Industrialized nation. Other Industrialized nations have nationalized health care to some degree which protects people like Keith from outcomes like Keith’s. America stands alone. We are told being denied this medical safety net is FREEDOM. We are told we cannot succumb to the “Europeanization” of our nation for some reason. If Keith were in Europe or Canada or many other nations he could have gone to the doctor when he knew something was wrong and it would not have cost him much if anything. He would have at least been given a chance at life. FREEDOM in America apparently denies you life if you don’t have the cash to back it up. By definition FREEDOM is purchased here.
    We live in the “PROLIFE United States of America” where the gold standard is the fetus….until it reaches the air of our world and at that time it becomes nothing more than the vehicle for corporate profit in health care and prisons and education and marketing and so on. We are dollar signs. We are not humans we are dollars. Ironically Keith did not have enough dollars despite the fact he was nothing more than dollars to corporations. Once they could not get anything else out of Keith because he had no more money the corporations did not see dollar signs any more so they cast Keith away as they do about 45,000 times a year. Keith and the other 45,000 people a year die as they are worthless to Corporate America.
    Fetuses see crowds swarm for them chanting DON’T KILL BABIES. These crowds coordinate assassinations of doctors or the bombing of medical centers that are trying to stop pregnant women from dying in a backalley clothes hangar abortion…but Keith did not see that. He saw no crowds chanting to save his life nor did he see Congress run back to session during Christmas as they did during the Terri Schaivo fiasco to prove their PROLIFE bona fides in not allowing that decades brain dead victim from being finally allowed to rest. No. Keith died in his sleep. He knew he was sick. He was too poor to go to the doctor and since he really didn’t appear to be that sick the Emergency Room was not an option.
    This is the Republican plan. There is no other way to state it. Keith was killed by politics as this would not happen anywhere else in the Industrialized world.
    Keith is dead and the Republicans are not phased and they continue their policies and are proud to do so. They call it FREEDOM.
    Now multiply this Keith outcome 44,999 times over the next year. In 2013 do this 45,000 times again. In 2014 another 45,000 will die. Make the circumstances much more and a little less horrific. All those people are still equally dead. Why? Politics. The politics of other nations stops this from happening. The politics of our nation continues this tragedy.
    I know people who are proud to be politically ignorant or who vote for this political group denying health care to others. Shame on them. Some of them…are named Keith.
    Republicans killed my friend Keith about 2 weeks ago.

    Meet the Press hits 20 year low with key 25-54 demo for a reason

    Thursday, June 7th, 2012

    Well of course.  David Gregory allows Right Wing lies to go without challenging them.  They need Rachel Maddow to be the host.  She is someone who will hold the guests to the fire and demand truth.

    The NBC News program — which is typically the top Sunday public affairs show — drew 2.46 million total viewers and 687,000 viewers ages 25-54 on Sunday, according to Nielsen. The demo audience was its smallest for a regular telecast since July 1992.

    Meanwhile, ABC News’ “This Week” took the top spot in the demo, with 700,000 viewers. It was the first time the show beat “Meet the Press” and CBS News’ “Face the Nation” in two years.

    “Meet the Press” has seen its competitive lead slip in recent years. On the bright side for NBC News though, the show still beat its rivals in total viewers on Sunday.

    Story is located here

    Good ratings are no guarantee of Progressive radio surviving

    Thursday, June 7th, 2012

    Granted this is from 2000 but the concept still remains

    Story is located here

    —————————–
    July/August 2000
    Solid Ratings Don’t Protect Progressive Radio Voices
    Are “controversial” and “mean-spirited” code words for “left”?
    By Kimberly Pohlman

    Commercial talk radio, like television punditry, is politically lopsided, dominated by the likes of Dr. Laura Schlesinger and Rush Limbaugh. The airspace for voices that tackle political issues from a progressive perspective even seems to be shrinking; two progressive shows–Pat Thurston of Santa Rosa, Calif., and Chicago’s Mike Malloy–were canceled earlier this year.

    The February 15 firing of Pat Thurston by Santa Rosa’s KSRO sparked protest rallies and letters to the local paper lamenting the loss of “the voice of Sonoma County” and “the only widely accessible interactive debate on local issues” (Press Democrat, 2/17/00; 2/27/00).

    Project Censored’s Peter Phillips told the Press Democrat (2/18/00) that Thurston’s show “featured some people who alienated the powers that be in Sonoma County.” Thurston agreed that her politics “rubbed advertisers and powerful friends of the station the wrong way.”

    Thurston didn’t shy away from criticizing powerful business interests, like the Sonoma wine industry, or the local political elite. Local elections were just a few weeks away when she was fired, and she had recently infuriated an area judge by endorsing her challenger.

    But “the final straw,” Thurston told CounterSpin (2/18/00), may have been a recent show on which she and guests discussed the unsolved 1990 car-bombing of Earth First! activist Judi Bari. On the day she was fired, Thurston refused to read a retraction of the program, in which a guest had suggested the FBI investigate Bari’s ex-husband–who has family connections to KSRO’s ownership.

    Oddly, KSRO station operations manager Brian Hudson insisted Thurston’s firing “had nothing to do with any of the content of her shows” (Press Democrat, 2/15/00). According to Hudson, this was just about ratings: “She was fiery and controversial and appealed to certain residents in Sonoma County, but beyond that, we needed to look for a little more mass appeal.”

    If the outcry at Thurston’s firing didn’t count as “mass appeal,” her ratings should:

    Thurston told Counterspin (2/18/00) that when her show debuted two years ago, KSRO had a 0.8 percent share for that timeslot. By the last ratings period before she was fired, her numbers had risen to 4.6 percent. With the elections just a few weeks away at the time of her firing, Thurston’s focus on local political issues had never been more popular –except, perhaps, with the politicians and station owners.

    Thurston was replaced by the nationally syndicated Mike Gallagher show–which is much cheaper to air than a locally produced show. One month later, KSRO owner Lawrence Amaturo announced the station’s sale to the Washington, D.C.-based Emerald City Radio Partners chain of stations (Press Democrat, 3/16/00).

    “Dark” and “mean-spirited”

    The management at ABC’s WLS-AM in Chicago has been even less forthcoming about their reasons for firing Mike Malloy on March 24: The official line is that the decision was “amicable” and “mutual,” and a severance agreement prevents both parties from discussing further details. But Malloy certainly wasn’t eager to abandon his show and five-year contract; this “mutual” decision was sent down by station bosses.

    The problem certainly wasn’t the ratings. During his last Arbitron ratings period, Malloy was No. 2 in his timeslot, and he consistently beat or tied the station’s overall ratings among 24- to 54-year-old men.

    But like Pat Thurston, Malloy rubbed station management the wrong way with the content of his shows. As columnist and occasional guest Eric Zorn observed (Chicago Tribune, 3/27/00), Malloy tackled “issues involving the environment, foreign policy and corporate irresponsibility that other hosts rarely touch.”

    The Chicago Sun-Times reported (4/6/00) on long-standing conflicts over content: “As far back as September, Malloy complained about clashing with his bosses over interference with his show, saying he had been pressured not to talk about issues related to Walt Disney Co., owner of ABC and WLS.”

    Station management “flatly denied reports that Malloy’s outspoken left-wing politics were an issue,” the Sun-Times reported. But in a message to a listener, WLS operations director Mike Elder wrote, “It is time to let Mike go,” citing the host’s “very dark and mean-spirited approach to talk radio.”

    WLS seems to be over its qualms when it comes to “mean-spirited” and confrontational programming–just as long as it’s coming from conservatives like Limbaugh and Schlesinger.

    Kimberly Pohlman wrote about the commercialization of children’s public TV for the May/June 2000 issue of Extra!.

    As unions decline, inequality rises

    Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

    To a remarkable extent, inequality, which fell during the New Deal but has risen dramatically since the late 1970s, corresponds to the rise and fall of unionization in the United States.

    BLOG: Union decline and rising inequality in two charts

    The passage in 1935 of the National Labor Relations Act, which protected and encouraged unions, sparked a wave of unionization that led to three decades of shared prosperity and what some call the Great Compression: when the share of national income taken by the very rich was cut by one-third. The “countervailing power” of labor unions (not just at the bargaining table but in local, state, and national politics) gave them the ability to raise wages and working standards for members and non-members alike. Both median compensation and labor productivity roughly doubled into the early 1970s. Labor unions both sustained prosperity, and ensured that it was shared; union bargaining power has been shown to moderate the compensation of executives at unionized firms.

    However, over the next 30 years—an era highlighted by the filibuster of labor law reform in 1978, the Reagan administration’s crushing of the PATCO strike, and the passage of anti-worker trade deals with Mexico and China—labor’s bargaining power collapsed. The consequences are driven home by the figure below, which juxtaposes the historical trajectory of union density and the income share claimed by the richest 10 percent of Americans. Union membership has fallen and income inequality has worsened—reaching levels not seen since the 1920s.

    Story is located here

    Heritage Foundation Expert on voter fraud cannot name one example of voter fraud

    Monday, June 4th, 2012

    In an interview with Chuck Todd on MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown this morning, Heritage Foundation senior fellow Brian Darling argued for the importance of Florida-style voter suppression laws in order to stop potential voter fraud. But when pressed by Todd to identify any actual examples of voter fraud, Darling appeared stumped:

     Video is located here

    DARLING: And there’ve been examples of voter fraud… in Florida. Look at ACORN.
    TODD: Where is this voter fraud? I mean it is not this giant…
    DARLING: We’ve had recent examples.
    TODD: We’re talking about one or two people here, one or two people… and we’re not even a hundred percent sure.
    DARLING: We just had a Michigan Congressman [Republican Thaddeus McCotter] resign… not run for re-election because he gathered signatures… his campaign gathered signatures that couldn’t be validated.
    TODD: Yeah, but that’s a case of petition signatures being valid. I mean that’s a different law here.
    DARLING: Yeah, but it’s very hard to catch voter fraud. Look at what James O’Keefe did. He walked into DC, he didn’t have any ID. One of his guy video…
    TODD: Did he vote?
    DARLING: No, he didn’t vote.
    TODD: See?
    DARLING: He didn’t vote. But he asked for a ballot and they were gonna give it to him.
    TODD: Right, but you’re actually proving the point here. That the fraud didn’t take place because they prevented it.
    DARLING: But it’s very hard to catch the fraud. That’s why you have to do it before Election Day. If you try to do it on Election Day, you’ll never catch any of the fraud.
     

    tricter voter ID laws would do nothing to stop candidates like McCotter from submitting invalid ballot petitions. Nor would they stop cases like the ACORN example, in which a few individuals plead guilty to submitting bogus voter registration forms in hopes of getting paid more for voter registration. In both instances, the existing laws proved more than sufficient to address the problems.

    The one example of the sort of fraud these strict voter ID laws allegedly aim to stop that Darling could site was conservative filmmaker and convicted law-breaker James O’Keefe. O’Keefe’s approach was to break a law intentionally to prove how easy it is to break a law and to then claim that the law is insufficient because he could break it. This strategy is similar to going into a convenience store, pretending to shoplift a candy bar, and citing that as evidence that the store needs to do a background check of every customer before they come into the store. And, as Darling concedes, even O’Keefe didn’t actually vote.

    And, as ThinkProgress reported previously, in the one instance O’Keefe recently claimed to identify voter fraud, the two alleged non-citizens who he claimed should not registered voters both proved to be naturalized citizens.

    It is very hard to catch voter fraud because it is exceptionally rare. In fact, studies have shown individuals are more likely to be struck by lightning than to commit it. People generally don’t commit voter fraud because they realize that it is immoral, because it is illegal and they fear being punished, and because it is an extremely inefficient way of affecting an election.