Monday, November 30, 2009

Dick Armey's Ten Principles a "Litmus Test" for GOP Candidates.

Dick Armey tries to explain the new "GOP Ten Commandments" by denying it is a litmus test to purify the Republican Party. The problem is, not even former RNC chair Ed Gillespie is buying it, and pretty much deep sixes the idea. Armey is either drunk or one confused movement leader.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Global Warming Conspiracy Plot to Destroy U.S.! Paranoia, not Science is the Problem.

I've always wondered why people fight so hard not to develop clean sources of energy by denying global warming, climate change or even air pollution. I couldn't make any sense out of the idea that we should leave our energy decisions up to mega big oil and energy who's only purpose is to make a profit from maintaining the status quo. Why would liberals, and now they claim conservatives too, want to destroy the worlds economies? Here's the answer from radio whack job Alex Jones:

Climate Gate is YOUR fight; The Blood of Patriots and Tyrants
The globalists, the eugenicists, are in this for the long haul. All of their eggs are in the climate hoax basket. They’re not going to stop now. Why would they? We all know this was never about climate change in the first place. No, what this is and always was about is an excuse for global government. This they certainly do not deny. Ban Ki-Moon, the UN Secretary General, penned an op-ed in the New York Times last month in which he called for a global government funded by carbon taxes.

The globalist plan for world government – the elimination of national sovereignty, ie the destruction of the United States of America – must be fully exposed. We know that this scheme is completely unknown to the vast majority of people. Perhaps now that Glenn Beck is finally speaking of this conspiracy, the Fox “News” crowd will get their heads out of their rears and realize it’s not “liberals” behind this, it’s globalists – there are prominent Republicans and so-called conservative leaders pushing this as well.
Is that what liberals and every country in the world want, the total destruction of of the U.S.? Could it be this conspiracy theory, or "scheme," is unknown for one good reason-it's crazy ! And what does it say that Glenn Beck is pushing the conspiracy? Can you say Howard Beale?

After reading through the many email "proofs" reprinted at Jones' web site, supposedly pointing to attempts to cover up information, I don't see it. It's pure hyperbole.

Dramatic Savings on Health Care Premiums Ignored. Employed Clueless over Costs, but Not Jobless.

For your information, a quick look at the cost of premiums under the proposed health care legislation from AP. Despite the fact that it dramatically reduces costs, people are still complaining. Go figure. Check out the Kaiser Foundation PDF, comparing both plans, that are updated after any new changes.

Q: How affordable is the new middle-class coverage going to be?

A: Most people would remain in their employer plans. Self-employed people and those working in small businesses would be able to buy coverage through a new insurance marketplace, with government subsidies available for many.
The aid is substantial for lower-income households, but drops off rapidly for the middle class.

Under the House bill, a family of four headed by a 45-year-old making $44,000 a year would pay roughly $2,400 in premiums, or $200 a month, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

A similar family making $66,000 would pay about $6,580 in premiums, or about $550 a month.

That's a bargain compared to current rates, which can top $1,000 a month, but it still may be too much for some family budgets. About one-third of the uninsured say they'd be able to pay $200 a month in premiums, and only 7 percent say they can afford $400.

Q: These bills are going to ban pre-existing conditions, right?

Both bills would forbid insurers from denying coverage to people in poor health or charging them more. That would happen in 2013 under the House bill, and 2014 in the Senate's. The reason for the delay is that it would be unfair to require insurers to take all applicants right away. The sick would sign up, but healthy people would probably wait until they faced the threat of government fines. Such a situation could raise premiums for everyone.

A Look Back: Rep. Ryan Lied About Obama with Spending Chart

According to TPM, Rep. Ryan has a tendency to LIE.

Back in the Spring, when Democrats were putting together the federal budget, House Budget Committee ranking member Paul Ryan (R-WI) released a much-mocked Republican alternative, which would have basically canceled the stimulus and instituted a spending freeze of sorts. The ideas in the Republican alternative budget were roundly rebuked by experts, but Ryan wasn't deterred. Instead of accepting defeat, he unveiled some graphs suggesting that, under Republican budgets, spending would be restrained, while under Democratic budgets, it would blow through the roof.

Except his numbers weren't based on any analysis at all. Instead, Ryan used CBO numbers through 2018 and then drew an upward-sloping line on the graph completely at random.
It didn't take long for Republicans to catch on and begin claiming that Democratic policies would make government spending half of GDP before the end of the century.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Bring on the Low Wages, Say Corporate Free Marketeers. Have we learned Nothing from Dickens?

America is one of the largest consumer markets in the world. Sell it here and foreign manufacturers can make a lot of money. Despite this huge attractive market, we're not using our consumer buying strength as a bargaining tool. It's simply a freebie for global markets to exploit and plunder.

Now instead of protecting our country workers and maintaining the ability of our citizens to be strong consumers, corporations are now push hard for lower wages. The excuse; we're not facing the "reality" that wages are really low all over the world. A reality they would like to create here. We're returning to a Dickensian labor market of the haves and the have nots, poor houses and Marleys ghost.

The following sick look at is so filled with bizarre leaps logic, I will hold my commentary back this time only because it's so obviously wrong in so many places. But it is what you'll start hearing more now than ever before, now that we have a free market Democrat in the White House.

From CNN:
Competition. A simple concept and a beneficial one. It makes us better by forcing us to work harder.

When we're not hiding from domestic competition, we're trying to shield ourselves from the foreign variety. High-skilled workers don't want to compete with those from China, India or Pakistan. Low-skilled workers are just as afraid of those from Mexico, Guatemala or El Salvador.

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton tried to give displaced workers in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania a convenient villain to blame -- the North American Free Trade Agreement. Build a wall. Impose a tariff. All so we don't have to put up with the annoyance of being forced to out-work, out-produce and out-hustle someone else to make a living. Imagine that. What people in other countries accept as the natural order, we continue to resist.

Consider what Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois, is pitching. He has just written a new 10-point immigration reform bill that he plans to introduce any day now. "No American worker, no citizen of the United States, no one born here in this country should ever have to lose an opportunity for gainful employment at the expense of someone not born here."

As principles go, that one is dreadful. If a job is available, U.S. workers should be free to compete for it, but not have it handed to them on a silver platter. Likewise, foreign workers who come here legally should have a shot at competing for that same job.

Of course, protectionists claim that the playing field isn't level since foreign workers will often accept less money to do the same job, thus putting American workers at a disadvantage.


Ruben Navarrette Jr. is a member of the San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board, a nationally syndicated columnist and a regular contributor to

Palin/Cheney Stir Up Dangerous Gun Toting Fringers. No Accident.

Ed Schultz demonstrates the power of suggestion and that words have consequences. Phil Wolf's racist bigoted billboard didn't just come out of nowhere. Palin and Cheney stir up the loony right into a killing frenzy.

Gun Owners of American's Pratt Fights for Mentally Unstable Patients Gun Rights! Credibility Killer for Group? You Bet.

Ed Schultz has recently been taking on the lunatic fringe, giving them the necessary air time to scare the living crap out of most of us, all the while exposing them as certifiable crazies. Like Larry Pratt, of Gun Owners of America. They want to protect mentally unstable patients from losing their guns unless ordered by a court. Think about that for a second. And if no ones around to get them in front of a judge, well....

As for Pratt's claim the governments plan will be going after fat people shows an ignorance of the current system in place. Insurers are already doing just that, so Pratt only has an issue with the policy if the government is doing the same thing. It isn't a "big government" idea.

What's clear is that many in the health care reform debate, Pratt especially, don't know what insurance companies are doing right now and don't know how broken the system is.'s Dick Armey not interested in READING THE BILL.

This is one of the most "head exploding" stories to come along in a while. You're ears will bleed after hearing that Dick Armey, with his website "," hasn't read the bill and has no desire to do so. Rep. Chris Van Hollen nailed Armey with a simple Q&A. This would be funny if it weren't so slimy.

Below is a video pushing an insane proposal to make it law that a bill be posted and allowed 72 hours to be read prior to a voted. Despite the fact that congress did post the bill, and gave everyone a chance to read it with more than enough time, kind of makes you wonder what the real point is. Whinning? Oh, and it also slows down the process, even for 1 page bills. I always thought reading bills and voting on them was just part of the job. Who knew.

Shocker! Fox News Tells the Truth: Buying Insurance Across State Lines Bad Idea.

Just as the title states, the Republican mantra of buying across state lines is actually bad for Americans for two good reasons; It removes basic state mandated coverage, services states have found to be life saving and humane. Secondly, cheaper a-la-cart plans puts the patient at risk by excluding too many basic services, putting limits on treatments, even after paying monthly premiums, and hides those exclusions in small print legalise designed to be ambiguous in court challenges.

This GOP "trick" is part of their phony plan of lowering costs with risky coverage and "tort reform" that doesn't lower individual premiums. It's frustrating for me to watch Ed Schultz, clueless on the "across state line" rhetoric, give Republicans a free pass on this horrific problematic "solution." So maybe Big Ed and a few other politicians could learn from this Fox News report. It's one of the first of its kind.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Mac & Cheese Thanksgiving in the South: A Southern Dinner Strategy?

Just kidding. The maps are real, but with my interpretation. One question; Do people really not know how to make mac & cheese?

But you can see the interactive maps for internet Thanksgiving recipe searches for regional food preferences here. What I'm wondering, who had the time to put this thing together?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Al Gore: Alarmist. Big Energies Threat of Price Jumps: not-Alarmist?

I found this shocking bit of information online at Fox News:

In 2007, a British High Court judge ruled that Al Gore's global warming film contained nine significant errors and should no longer be screened in schools unless accompanied by guidance notes to balance Gore's "one-sided" views.
Errors? That can't be good. So the media picked up on it by "activist" journalists, the most non-partisan kind:

Buoyed by the ruling, two Irish journalists -- Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney -- released a documentary in which they gather evidence outlining the damage of global warming hysteria. In "Not Evil Just Wrong," they challenge the claims made in Gore's film and conclude that the film is not worth screening in schools because it is shown there as "an article of science, not faith."
But what were the "errors" that prompted a ban in schools and a counter documentary? You won't believe this…

The film's "apocalyptic vision" was not an impartial analysis of climate change, High Court Judge Michael Burton said, adding that the film is "substantially founded up scientific research and fact" but that the errors were made in "the context of alarmism and exaggeration."
Alarmism and exaggeration negated fact? Is that possible? "Journalist" McAleer believes the wealthy and big business are behind the "exaggerations." After all, big energy can't possibly fight the all powerful green lobby and special interests. It's like a child's lemonade stand competing with McDonalds…or something like that.

McAleer said he believes the incident shows that the members of the Society of Environmental Journalists are simply environmentalists, not journalists. "They see it's their duty to protect the multi-millionaire politician/businessman, rather than support the journalist asking difficult questions," he said.
Those poor multi-billionaire CEO's, having to spend their money fighting off environmentalists instead keeping it for themselves.

Setting the Record Straight: The Society of Environmental Journalists is NOT an environmental group as McAleer portrays. That calls into question his judgements on other issues as well, doesn't it. They are:
The Society of Environmental Journalists is the only North-American membership association of professional journalists b dedicated to more and better coverage of environment-related issues. SEJ’s mission is to strengthen the quality, reach and viability of journalism across all media to advance public understanding of environmental issues.

Courage the Turkey given White House Reprieve, Coward the Turkey Feels...uh Felt He was Double crossed, blames Palin.

Al Gore is only Telling us Half the Story. It's the Air We Breath that's Killing Us.

The following story is something I've been trying to get my conservative friend to think about every time he emails me the latest proof climate change is a liberal conspiracy. It's simple logic.

We are always getting air quality alerts due to harmful particulates in the air we breath. It's from pollution, and it's getting into our bodies. Forget about climate change, think about dying from a disease caused by pollution.

"AP-Cutting global warming pollution would not only make the planet healthier, it would make people healthier too, newly released studies say. Slashing carbon dioxide emissions could save millions of lives, mostly by reducing preventable deaths from heart and lung diseases, the studies show.

Cutting carbon dioxide emissions would also reduce other types of air pollution, especially tiny particles that lodge in the lungs and cause direct health damage, doctors said. "Reducing greenhouse gases not only helps save the planet in the long term, but it's going to improve our health virtually immediately," said Christopher Portier, associate director of the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. And for places like the United States, those advantages of reduced heart and lung diseases are bigger than the specific future health damage from worsening warming, Portier said.

"Here are ways you can attack major health problems at the same time as dealing with climate change," said lead author Dr. Paul Wilkinson, an environmental epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"Tough on Crime" Republicans Blame Liberals for Out of Control Criminal Justice System. HUH?

In one of the biggest switcheroos, flip flops, reversals or takebacks, the tough on crime Republicans are now saying just the opposite. In fact, they are blaming liberals for their own tough on crime, lock 'em up, throw away the key mistake. NY Times:
In the next several months, the Supreme Court will decide at least a half-dozen cases about the rights of people accused of crimes involving drugs, sex and corruption.
Get this, there is now:
…an emerging consensus on the right that the criminal justice system is an aspect of big government that must be contained. The development represents a sharp break with tough-on-crime policies associated with the Republican Party since the Nixon administration.

Edwin Meese III, who was known as a fervent supporter of law and order as attorney general in the Reagan administration, now spends much of his time criticizing what he calls the astounding number and vagueness of federal criminal laws. Mr. Meese once referred to the American Civil Liberties Union as part of the “criminals’ lobby.”
It is utterly jaw dropping how Meese spins the GOP's "tough on crime" image used to defeat Democrats, as a liberal Democratic problem. It's masterful and completely deranged:
These days, he said, “in terms of working with the A.C.L.U., if they want to join us, we’re happy to have them.” In an interview at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative research group where he is a fellow, Mr. Meese said the “liberal ideas of extending the power of the state” were to blame for an out-of -control criminal justice system. “Our tradition has always been,” he said, “to construe criminal laws narrowly to protect people from the power of the state.”
So truth in sentencing, the removal of letting judges decide how the law is carried out, is a liberal idea? Locking people up who aren't a danger to the community is a liberal problem? Building more prisons and longer sentences is a liberal idea? The idea that rehabilitation is soft on crime is a liberal idea? Not only are Republicans rewriting history, they're rewriting a 60 year party platform.
Radley Balko, a senior editor at Reason, a libertarian magazine. “The more vocal presence of conservatives on over criminalization issues is really what’s new.”
Remember it was always crazy for Democrats to promote rehabilitation, that was for wimps:
Some religious groups object to prison policies that appear to ignore the possibility of rehabilitation and redemption, and fiscal conservatives are concerned about the cost of maintaining the world’s largest prison population.

Some scholars are skeptical about conservatives’ timing and motives, noting that their voices are rising during a Democratic administration and amid demands for accountability for the economic crisis.
Meese acknowledged that the current climate was not the ideal one for his point of view. “We picked by accident a time,” he said, “when it was not a very popular topic in light of corporate frauds.”

The Poor Pay A Lot More in Taxes than the Top 5 Percent In Wisconsin

If we can't believe anything Republicans say, why do we believe their tax numbers?
Sobering and real, tea party protesters don't seem to mind the tax disparity between them and the wealthy. I have no problem with wealthy people, mind you, but when I pay more in taxes then they do, I get pissed off. One Wisconsin Now:

A new study out today shows that poor and middle class families are hit much harder by taxes in Wisconsin than the wealthiest taxpayers. In Wisconsin, it’s the working families that are asked to carry the burden. Individuals making between 20k and 88k all pay about 11% of their income in sales, property and income tax. The top 1% of income earners, that is, those folks making more than $388,000 per year, only pay in 8% of their income. The top five percent (159,000 and up) average about 8.6 percent of income paid in taxes.

One thing is abundantly clear: the wealthy aren’t paying their fair share, not by any measure. The people in Wisconsin who have the most breathing room in their finances are paying less than those of us living paycheck to paycheck.
Another telling stat one can pull from the ITEP report is the share of income sales tax takes up. For the lowest income range, sales tax chews up 6.3% of income, while the wealthiest skirt by with less than 1%.

We’re stuck with the conservative Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance … “studies” are full of cherry-picked numbers to create an anti-tax environment here in the state that encourages conservative and regressive tax policy favoring the wealthy at the expense of the rest of us.

When was the last time WISTAX put out a study that showed the lower percentage of tax paid by the wealthy?

Sarah Palin Goin Nowhere Quitter Tour

The non-partisan liberal Democratic group, One Wisconsin Now, came up with this interesting counterpunch to the rabid teabagger gatherings. To the right, "fans" can insert their face in the hole and be Sarah, on what might have been the original Palin cover.

One Wisconsin Now heard that teabaggers were going to be teabagging their way to the state capitol Monday to convince themselves that members of the state legislature give two flying snorts about whatever gripe these bitters have. We decided to greet the dozen or so (or in teabagger math "eleventy thousand") with the kickoff of the One Wisconsin Now Sarah Palin "Goin' Nowhere" book tour. Look for upcoming opportunities to take your photo as the cover model of the "American Quitter's" missive.

So far the tour has gone from our office on State Street two block up to the Capitol.

Governor Candidate Scott Walker Missteps, Every Misstep of the Way.

Wisconsin is in real trouble if the people buy the idea that Scott Walker will be good for them. Presenting the case that Walker is incompetent and not familiar with the reality of poverty and struggling families is easy, just look at the following, starting with the jsonline:
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker says he didn't mean to subject sheriff's deputies and jailers to eight unpaid furlough days next year, but others say one of his 2010 budget vetoes did just that. At stake is roughly $250,000 in savings counted toward next year's budget, as well as Walker's credentials as a Republican law-and-order candidate for governor. Walker has already criticized Mayor Tom Barrett for the two furlough days Barrett OK'd for city police officers.

County Board Chairman Lee Holloway said that Walker was skewing his interpretation of the final budget provision on employee furloughs to try to cover a mistake he made with a budget veto. Walker changed his tune "so he doesn't look bad across the state" while appealing for conservative support for governor, Holloway said.

His veto statement makes no mention of a law enforcement furlough exemption.
That's just one big mistake, there's more:

Wispolitics wrote: Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s decision to rely on phantom county employee salary and benefit givebacks has created another looming budget crisis for 2010. Rob Henken, president of the nonpartisan Public Policy Forum, (said) that it was “unlikely the county could avoid another budget crisis in early 2010… without ‘significant service cuts.’” Walker relied on furlough and unpaid days off for county workers – which were never negotiated – in order to balance his budget.

Walker’s budget was already rife with major cuts, including the outsourcing of jobs at Mitchell International Airport, dismantling of the Community Justice Resource Center, and elimination of a bus information call center that would have increased mass transit efficiency. The upcoming budget shortfall could result in
up to 500 jobs loss on top of layoffs already in the budget.
Walker's parting gift to the next county executive is job cuts and budget shortfalls as far as the eye can see. The following numbers, from onewisconsinnow, would normally sink anyone's campaign for public office, but not when you’re a Republican.
Walker’s 2010 “credit card” budget, which actually INCREASES spending from 2009 by 6.3% -- twice the rate of inflation. As pointed out by Eye on Wisconsin: From 2003 to 2010, Walker has increased county spending by 35%, and raised the levy 18% -that’s a $40 million dollar increase.

Conservatives Scattershot List of Wedge Issues Maddening, Insane. Like Climate Change...

After I received another "global warming is a hoax, secret leaked emails reveal" story from my conservative friend, I fired off this response:

God I hate this ridiculous wheel spinning stuff. I don't believe any of it. So what do you suggest, doing nothing? This story hit the papers on Saturday, with not one reference to climate change. Hey, all we have to do is stop breathing, right?

"The advisory is being issued because of persistent elevated levels of fine particle pollution, mainly coming from combustion sources such as power plants, factories, vehicle exhaust and wood burning. An air quality advisory issued on Sunday for Dane, Brown and Milwaukee Counties expires at noon Monday.

The air quality index is at the unhealthy level for people in sensitive groups, including those with heart or lung disease, asthma, older adults and children."

Who cares right, it's not global warming.

Palin says the Dumbest Things, Children say the Darnedest Things!

The Daily Shows John Oliver does a number on Palin's book, using the unfiltered opinions of children. Oh sure it's unfair, but so is the whole idea of being subjected to her uninformed rantings and endless examples of being victimized.

Just go way....please.

Smothers Brothers still taking sharp jabs at media

The Smothers Brothers performed an updated version of "Those were the Days," to tell their story of network censorship and cancelation. Great stuff without being corny.

Media Matters Week in Review, Like any other week of Crazies.

Palin Book Tour Fan on Possible Presidency: "I Can't Think of the Policies Right off the Bat."

Before you pre-judge the intelligence of the rabid fans of celebrity Sarah Palin, watch the following clip of a recent book signing. You may already know the answer.

Beatles "Scholars" in the Year 3000

Having ridiculed high school Beatles translators back in the 60's, guys who reinterpreted every Fab Four lyric into something mystical, this video was especially funny. What would these Beatles musicologists be like in the year 3000?

President or Jihad? Billboard Not the Least Bit Subtle

This Ed Schultz interview is just plain scary. Car dealer Phil Wolf's birther billboard, with racist cartoon Obama faces in full view, shines a bright light on the radicalization of the GOP, libertarian and even independent voter. At least the right wings hate mongering and racism is no longer vailed by code words.

The message, "Wake-up America, Remember Fort Hood," is an unmistakable call to action.

Rep. David Obey: It's Time to Talk "War Tax"

I've been writing about it for awhile, now it looks like the media and congress might just be picking up on the "war tax."

Ed Schultz talks to Rep. Eric Massa about Rep. David Obey's proposal to pay for the $40 billion a year tab with a tax.

It's not just a political ploy to turn the public away from war, that's already happened, but it is time for everyone to pitch in. Another bit of business Bush put off for the next administration, not to mention the next generation.

Even the unquestioning, we've run out of time, David Gregory thinks it's a hugely valid topic.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Steele's Republican National Committee's Resolution Charts "Do Nothing" Course. Lazy Freeloader Party?

You might remember: In March, the RNC passed a resolution condemning the Democrats' "march towards socialism."

They were crazy then, off their friggin' rocker now: THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Republican National Committee identifies ten (10) key public policy positions for the 2010 election cycle, which the Republican National Committee expects its public officials and candidates to support:

Keith Olbermann easily shreds any remaining credibility the RNC had and proves even Reagan would not fit into todays fringe party.

(1) We support smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes by opposing bills like Obama's "stimulus" bill;
(2) We support market-based health care reform and oppose Obama-style government run healthcare;
(3) We support market-based energy reforms by opposing cap and trade legislation;
(4) We support workers' right to secret ballot by opposing card check;
(5) We support legal immigration and assimilation into American society by opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants;
(6) We support victory in Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting
military-recommended troop surges;
(7) We support containment of Iran and North Korea, particularly effective action to eliminate their nuclear weapons
(8) We support retention of the Defense of Marriage Act;

(9) We support protecting the lives of vulnerable persons by opposing health care rationing, denial of health care and government funding of abortion; and
(10) We support the right to keep and bear arms by opposing government restrictions on gun ownership; and be further

RESOLVED, that a candidate who disagrees with three or more of the above stated public policy positions of the Republican National Committee, as identified by the voting record, public statements and/or signed questionnaire of the candidate, shall not be eligible for financial support and endorsement by the Republican National Committee.

Rep. Ryan, the Catagory Five Economic Genius of Disaster.

Rep. Paul Ryan's Alice in Wonderland, upside down, through the looking glass, down the rabbit hole Ayn Randian world is showing some major fault lines. If even I can identify bad math and twisted logic, then something is dangerously wrong with this guy. Let's take two recent points he made in the Journal Times, reprinted on The Hill:

* Support Real Policies for Growth. Fast-acting tax policy - such as allowing expensing on all new investments - would boost incentives to expand business operations and create jobs. In addition, lowering the corporate income tax rate - currently the second highest in the industrialized world - would help attract investment in the U.S., and reduce the incentives to shift business operations and jobs overseas.
It always seemed odd to me that Republicans are as mad as hell over high corporate taxes, and want them changed, while not advocating change to the worlds most expensive for profit health care system. It can't be good for business, can it?

* Provide Tax Certainty. Due to next year's expiration of past tax laws, the Majority is set to hit Americans with new tax increases on investment, savings, businesses, families and workers. This threat is stifling business investment and job creation today because of the uncertainty in tax laws. Congress should permanently extend the current tax laws and drop its insistence tax increases. This would serve as a de facto tax cut, increasing the after-tax rate of return on investment and unlocking billions in private, idle capital.
Besides the fact that everything in the above statement is bad policy, Majority Republicans wrote into law the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. The tax cuts were meant to help us out of the first Bush recession, which apparently didn't work out real well. Then Ryan deliriously says business is uncertain about the expiring tax laws, because …they're not sure if the tax laws are expiring? Pull yourself together man. The graph above demonstrates what would happen if the tax cuts were extended indefinitely. He is CRAZY. The capper:

If the Majority puts aside its ideological commitment to growing government, these ideas could be included in bipartisan solutions to bring jobs back into our economy.
Ryan's solution is to set aside the Democratic solutions to our nations problems, the elected Majority, and put in place the scatter shot minority Republicans free market ideological theory that got us into this mess in the first place.

And we're still listening to this idiot.

2012, President Palin Trailer

How true is this parody of the movie trailer for 2012 featuring Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live?

Neighborhood Schools a Corporate Option! Bottom Line Decides Whether they Stay or Go.

Let's start with the premise that privatizing public education will reap huge profits while serving up a substandard corporate menu of subjects parents will have no choice but to except. Their kids will have to get an education. No options. The conversion is happening now. From

DePaul University professor and author Ken Saltman spoke about what Richland Parish Superintendent Cathy Stockton called "the other side of the story, what could happen to education." Saltman is the author of "Capitalizing on Disaster: Taking and Breaking Public Schools," a book that talks about the influence of business in public education, using the Recovery School District in New Orleans as one example.

Following Hurricane Katrina, many New Orleans area schools were reopened as charters and are operated by private companies. According to Saltman, states open the door for the expansion of private influence in education through charter schools. "What the advocates for charters … do not seem to realize is that once traditional public schools are transformed into charters, they are easy to close and replace with private providers. My research has found the push for privatization is
based less in evidence and far more in ideology and profit seeking."

Expanding this model statewide and involving business in education through charter schools is supported by Gov. Bobby Jindal.

"The point not to be missed and one that applies very much today in Louisiana is that if business models of efficiency work so well, why aren't the for profit charter schools getting the same per pupil funding (they're getting a lot more, $15,000) as the traditional public schools against which they are allegedly competing?" Saltman asked.

"Race to the Top has lots of traps for local boards and lots of people," Board of Elementary and Secondary Education President Keith Guice said. "It's cheese in the rat trap and we better be watching the rat trap," he said paraphrasing state Sen. Ben Nevers of Bogalusa.

Screw the Facts, Rep. Paul Ryan Sees Depression and Reagan Years Through the Looking Glass.

Hey Rep. Paul Ryan, reality is knocking, will you answer it?
Paul Ryan wrote it this way in the Wall Street Journal:

Why all the pessimism? The source appears to be a growing fear that the federal government is retreating from the free-market economic principles of the last half-century, and in particular the strong growth policies that began under Ronald Reagan.

Exhibit B is tax policy going forward. It is a near certainty that Democratic-controlled Congress will allow most of the tax cuts of 2001-2003 to expire on Dec. 31, 2010.

Exhibit C is the administration's intervention in the GM and Chrysler
reorganizations. Upsetting decades of accepted bankruptcy law, the administration leveraged TARP funds to place unsecured and lower priority creditors like the United Auto Workers union in front of secured and higher priority creditors. Gary Parr, deputy chair of the mergers and acquisitions firm Lazard Freres & Co., stated the problem more directly. "I can't imagine the markets will function properly if you are always wondering if the government is going to step in and change the game," he was quoted in The Atlantic Online in September. These investors understand a simple truth that current Washington policy makers fail to grasp: When you repeal the Reagan economic program, you repeal its results.
Don't you just love the quote from Gary Parr from Lazard Freres & Co. "I can't imagine the markets will function properly if you are always wondering if the government is going to step in…" Like the market worked out so well when the government DIDN'T step in to change the "game." It tanked the world economy. Hello, is anybody in there?

But in an opinion piece from the Plexus Group, Asha Bangalore of The Northern Trust Company, Rep. Ryan looks the total fool. Here are just a few highlights.

The main theme of the opinion piece by Representatives Hensarling and Ryan is poor economic policy choices of the current administration. To make their case they focus on the Reagan administration’s successful economic policies. It is well known that the federal budget deficit as a percentage of GDP during the Reagan years has been the largest in the entire post-war period ending 2008. Therefore, from a fiscal perspective, the perceived success of economic policies of the 1981-1988 period is not a resounding success.

“Exhibit B” of the article notes that “[i]t is a near certainty that Democratic-controlled Congress will allow most of the tax cuts of 2001 2003 to expire on December 31, 2010.”

The underlying reason for tax cuts is to promote economic growth. However, the economic expansion that stretched from November 2001 to December 2007 has the distinction of recording the smallest pace of economic growth in post-war economic expansions.

Moreover, the contribution of business investment to economic growth in the March 1991-March 2001 period surpasses the 1982-1990 and 2001-2007 economic expansions. Therefore, economic history paints a very different picture from the opinion piece of representatives Hensarling and Ryan. Should political leaders be engaged in partisan rhetoric or in a serious discussion of how to make policy choices that will foster sustained economic growth?

Asha Bangalore is vice president and economist at The Northern Trust Company, Chicago.

With Big Puppy Eyes, GOP Says They Aren't Influenced by Anything, Like Corp. Ownership, Board Positions, Vested interests, Lobbyists, Campaign Money

What was I thinking? I guess I've seen too many movies and read too many stories about the corrupting influence of money. I started believing the prevailing wisdom cranked out by the jealous underclass. Take for instance this summary on of a Milwaukee Journal Sentinal story titled "Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson is working to influence the national health care debate."

Critics say the former U.S. health and human services secretary is using his public profile to benefit his private interests.

As a partner in Akin Gump of Washington, Thompson advises health care companies. The former governor is also is president of Logistics Health of La Crosse and serves on a number of medical company boards, including AGA Medical Corp. of Plymouth, Minn.

Thompson says he sees no conflict with his public and private roles in health care reform.

Whew, that's good enough for me. Heck, we heard the same thing from our conservative activist Supreme Court Justices only a few weeks ago…
Voting 4-3, the court approved rules saying donations by groups and individuals to judges and independent spending to help them get elected do not by themselves require judges to step aside from cases. Justices Patience Roggensack and Annette Ziegler said the rules would prevent litigants from trying to force judges off cases simply because they received legal donations. Justice David Prosser said it would protect justices from attacks by those who unfairly suggest campaign money influences decisions.

Justice Prosser, a former legislator, shined brightly through when he blamed "outsiders," like the public, for thinking there might be an appearance of bias: "I've gone through the experience of members of the court being subjected to attacks without any justification," Prosser said. "I'm sorry, I've had it. It is time to address a true crisis that has been created, not by people on the court but people outside the court."
Wow, guess we had it wrong…or…someone is rewriting human nature and history all at the same time. Fancy that.

The Palin Interview We Would Like to See

Late Show host Conan O'Brien presented this slightly out of context interview with Oprah.

When it comes to the anti-government, anti-anything fans of celebrity Sarah Palin, don't make them mad....

And then there's commentary by Stephen Colbert...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Walker Wants us all to Go to Church and Beg for Assistance, Privatize America.

How can a guy like this run for governor? Milwaukee County Executive Walker hasn't created jobs but lost them, depleted maintenance funds to nothing for roads and parks and wants to remove public service accountability and give it to the private sector. Am I dreaming? In the Isthmus article about Walker, he said this at a summer tea party;
"Some people put their faith in the government," thundered the Milwaukee County executive and Republican candidate for governor, drawing a predictable chorus of boos and setting up his next line. "But we put our faith in the people and the employers who make this country great."
Is Scott unaware the "people" elected their representatives? According to the writer of the article, Roger Bybee,
"His message to voters has a populist flavor aimed at reaching disaffected working people, yet with an unabashedly pro-business punch. This at a time when trust in the banks, corporations and insurers with whom Walker is aligned has plummeted. He's even recommended dissolving Milwaukee County government and spreading its duties to the city and other municipalities.

How can a person who sees government as a main part of the problem make it an integral part of the solution? "It's like saying you want to run the Brewers, yet you hate baseball," quips former Milwaukee County Supv. Roger Quindel. And, like governors Mark Sanford of South Carolina and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Walker initially sought to reject stimulus funds available to Milwaukee County for job creation."
In his current run for governor, Walker promises to bring a host of "free-market" policies that will attract new jobs and prevent the further erosion of the state's family-supporting jobs. He calls for greater reliance on volunteerism and freeing corporations from restraints and tax levels that discourage investment.

"Many if not all of my social services in the future will be more about community partners like Catholic and Lutheran social services, Goodwill, other community-based partners who don't carry the type of legacy costs that public-sector employee-based systems do," Walker declared on WHA's "Here and Now" program in late August.

Walker also advocates widespread privatization of state agencies, saying everything from the Department of Motor Vehicles to correctional institutions should be considered.

"The people who pay for government," he says, "shouldn't be paying considerably more for health care and other benefits than the people that are provided those salaries." In other words, Walker would rather attack the benefits of government employees than argue that all working people deserve good benefits.
Which points out the biggest problem Republicans have with public policy; humanity. Has Scott turned down his own government provided benefits and has he promised to refuse coverage as governor? No. Pure conservative elitism.
He believes Wisconsin's taxes on corporations and the wealthy drive them out of the state, and he talks about luring retirees back from Florida and Arizona.

Walker's critics say his push to cut taxes, privatize whenever possible, and slash public employment has meant neglect of vital public institutions and fewer services for the poor. They say that outsourcing public-sector functions creates problems of accountability and that
cutting back services creates more problems than it solves.

He believes Wisconsin's taxes on corporations and the wealthy drive them out of the state, and he talks about luring retirees back from Florida and Arizona.

Walker's critics say his push to cut taxes, privatize whenever possible,
and slash public employment has meant neglect of vital public institutions and fewer services for the poor. They say that outsourcing public-sector functions creates problems of accountability and that cutting back services creates more problems than it solves.
Here's what the thinks about Walker:
Only corporate favors will bring jobs back to Wisconsin.

Where he has it wrong is believing that he can balance the state’s budget and run it in the black. It just can’t happen, at least not under our current moneyed political system.

Taxpayers want politicians to reduce spending and the Fat Cats that fund the elections want the opposite. The latter will win it every time. It does no good to be a fiscal hawk when your legislature is being paid to spend money, and it does no good to try to attract companies and jobs to a high-tax state. Solve the political problems first and then go after the growth.

Walker has made it clear that he does not support “government-run” health care, so that leaves the current privatized insurance system in place. Which, incidentally, also keeps the campaign cash rolling in.

And if congress does pass a health care bill that gives states the option to implement their own single payer, I’d count on a Walker veto here too. His brand of compassionate conservatism doesn’t reach that far.

Bothersome is Walker’s penchant for “privatizing” things; namely, at the moment, Milwaukee’s Mitchell Airport. To believe that the added corporate wastes (executive salaries, bonuses, profits and political contributions) would somehow not be passed onto the taxpayers is wishful thinking.

Outsourcing does not decrease government spending, it ultimately increases it. Chicago (and Milwaukee) are now looking at privatizing their water systems, which will surely come back to bite them. If the state politicians were smart — and nobody has ever accused them of being that — they’d buy back the power companies throughout the state. The ratepayers of WE Energies alone are forking out an extra $9.9 million for its CEO’s salary, a bit much for this neck of the woods.

The only benefit of privatization (to the politicians, anyway) is that government can’t give campaign contributions but private industry can. And that’s what we want to eliminate, not expand.
In one comment, this bit of wisdom:
Free Market success depends upon whether or not the choice to purchase a good or product is “free” to begin with. Some goods and
services operate under Captive Market rules (i.e. “have to have, or else” sort of thing). Free Market rules break down and don’t work when used to rule over Captive Markets, or what should be public goods and services. Captive Markets depend upon management using humane values that serve the “Good of the Whole”, while Free Markets depend only upon materialistic values serving the welfare of individuals.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

We're all Going Crazy because of Bachmann..

At City, you should check out the cover story's in depth look at the nations second most right wing zany endlessly hogging up the headlines. Here's the Pages reason for the cover:
It's the first time in 30 years that we're shipping a City Pages without our logo on the front, but we think it's worth it.

If you Repeat the Propaganda, People WILL Believe the Democrats are to Blame for the Recession. GOP Strategy Works.

The Democrats are their own worst enemy. As they continue to debate health care, and forget to repeat who got us in the Great Recession, the tide is turning away from them. Duh!

According to CNN: Nearly two years into the recession, opinion about which political party is responsible for the severe economic downturn is shifting, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey indicates that 38 percent of the public blames Republicans for the country’s current economic problems … down 15 points from May, when 53 percent blamed the GOP. 27 percent now blame the Democrats for the recession, up 6 points from May. 27 percent now say both parties are responsible for the economic mess.

“The bad news for the Democrats is that the number of Americans who hold the GOP exclusively responsible for the recession has been steadily falling by about two to three points per month,” says CNN Polling. “At that rate, only a handful of voters will blame the economy on the Republicans by the time next year’s midterm elections roll around.”

Washington Monthly’s Steve Benen thinks the most significant question in the CNN poll was this one: “Which of the following comes closer to your view of the budget deficit — the government should run a deficit if necessary when the country is in a recession and is at war, or the government should balance the budget even when the country is in a recession and is at war?" The response, Benen feels, should scare us all:

Common sense suggests concerns over the deficit should wane. But the poll found that a whopping 67% of respondents want the emphasis to be on deficit reduction.

Benen says: "I’m not even sure if the majority fully understands what the deficit is, why it’s large, what would be needed to make it smaller, and how it fits into the larger economic landscape. For many, it seems the “deficit” is just an amorphous concept that loosely means “bad economy.”

Which is why it’s important that policymakers not base policy decisions on illiteracy.


Republicans Gone Wild, Endless Source of Crazy Talk.

Watching the Republicans these days reminds me of watching the worst, most embarrassing dancers out on the floor gettin' it on with their spastic rhythms. What will they do and say next?

Rep. Louie Gohmert and John Shadegg are the latest Bizarro characters hitting the dance floor. Hell, I thought lunacy like this would have faded away once Bush left office. Guess the Daily Show points out.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Shadegg and Gingrey prove Clowns are Scary

Rep. John Shadegg, from under what rock...?

Rep. Phil Gingrey...clown?

Holiday Tips for Democrats

It's a sad day when the following list from Air America makes perfect sense to consider when dealing with your ideologically twisted relatives. Any time a party advocates even more of their failed policy while still digging their way out of the last hole they dug, you know there's very little that can be done.

Here are a few of my favorite survival tips.

2) Avoid facts, as they will play absolutely no role in the discussion and may cause your interlocutor to charge, gore (physically), etc. Examples: The mortgage meltdown is Jimmy Carter's fault. 9-11 was a Bill Clinton special. Do not engage.

3) Do not, under any circumstances attempt humor! This also applies to snark and sarcasm,

4) Do not get rattled when your opponents declare their adoration for Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, or Rush Limbaugh. They have been trained to do this. Do not fall for it.

5) Try your best to speak in platitudes, using words like "freedom," and "constitution." This should put you on the same wavelength as the person you're debating, confusing them, and draining their ammunition. Remember your civics class!

Basically, it's time Democrats end the argument by admitting that all those who believed in the Republican free market model, including cool-aide drinking Democrats, were proven wrong. Alan Greenspan admitted it, Timothy Geithner and Larry Sommers admitted it and anyone who can learn from history is admitting it.

Nuff said.

Geithner Reminds Republicans who Caused the Jobless Avalanche

It amazes me that the Republicans have the balls to blame the current administration for the continued bloodletting of jobs they themselves precipitated. That the downward spiral kept spiraling even after Bush left office is too hard for Republicans to grasp. They know better. What an act.

This insane agrument took place at a congressional Joint Economic Committee hearing on Thursday on financial reform with U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

"Unfortunately, the regulatory regime that failed so terribly leading up to the financial crisis is precisely the regulatory regime we have today. That is why recovery alone is not enough. To ensure the vitality, the strength and the stability of our economy going forward, we must bring our system of financial regulation into the twenty-first century. We need comprehensive financial reform."
We expect continued growth in the fourth quarter and ahead in 2010. But as we press forward toward recovery, there is still much work to do not only to ensure that many more Americans see the tangible benefits of recovery, but also to help ensure that Americans are never again forced to suffer the consequences of a preventable economic collapse
Basically, it's time Democrats end the argument by admitting that all those who believed in the Republican free market model, including cool-aide drinking Democrats, were proven wrong. Alan Greenspan admitted it, Timothy Geithner and Larry Sommers admitted it and anyone who can learn from history is admitting it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bush Will do to Mexico What he did to U.S.!

Rep. Ryan and Sensenbrenner Scared of the "Terrorist Threat." The New Red Threat?

Remember when Bush, that tough guy on terror, wanted to close Gitm? But Republicans are counting on that detail getting lost by the loud shouting of conservatives who are portraying Obama and the Democrats as soft on terror.

I'm wondering how anyone can fight terror and be so afraid of it. This is a non-topic, created by Republicans to dredge up the idea liberals don't take terrorism seriously. Taking human rights away is so much more manly. Rep. Ryan and Sensenbrenner are scared, real scared. Ryan raised concerns to reports that over 100 terrorists could be transferred from their Guantanamo Bay detention facility to the Thomson Correctional Center, a northern Illinois prison located 50 miles south of the Wisconsin border … Ryan expressed grave concern … bringing al-Qaeda terrorists a short drive from Wisconsin’s First Congressional District.

“The President continues to fundamentally confuse acts of war as mere criminal acts – naively believing that combating terrorism is a fight best left to courtrooms. Those I serve in Southern Wisconsin will not welcome these terrorists as our new neighbors. The President's promise to close Guantanamo Bay was a misguided political calculation that remains unworkable. For sake of our security, this is a promise he shouldn't keep.”
The following audio is from WHA's Joy Cardin's show, featuring to the point commentary by Howard Schweber, Associate Professor of Political Science and affiliate member of the UW-Madison Law School.

Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner oddly said pretty much that same crazy stuff:
"The Obama Administration's primary goal should be to keep terrorists off of U.S. soil, not house them near our homes or give them additional constitutional rights in a court of law. The President should be working to diminish the capacity for them to hurt the United States again, or receive more rights than they deserve."
Only certain people in the world deserve human rights, according to Sensenbrenner.

rocknetroots put it this way:
Why does Ryan and his GOP cohorts continually think America can’t do anything right? Is it because we're not quite as smart as they are? To most of these folks, American cities weren’t even worthy to hold the Olympics. Our prisons can’t hold prisoners and our justice system will surely fail. Government is completely inept on all fronts. Yet, why is it that government can’t do anything right - a'hem, except partner with corporate interests of course. That little trick they seem to have whittled down to absolute perfection.
The more Ryan, Sensenbrenner and their fellow Republicans continue this drumbeat, the more frightened they look in the eyes of the voting public. For them, it would be better if we ran in fear from the "terrorist threat," despite knowing they're locked away in prison.

Take from Rep. John "scared of his own shadow" Shadegg...

Rep. Brett Davis Proposes Anti-business Cost Cutting Bill; Don't give out State Maps to Find Local Businesses.

Take a look at this odd state cost cutting suggestion as reported at channel3000: "State lawmakers are considering temporarily stopping the presses on state highway maps to save money."

"Lawmakers?" It's really the idea of just one guy, Republican Rep. Brett Davis. Davis would like to ignore the reality of providing those state maps to tourists:

"We are the entry point to the state, right on the Illinois line, and this area has more visitors crossing at that point than any place in Wisconsin. And the first question they ask is, 'Can I get a Wisconsin map,'" said Martha Mitchell, executive director of the Beloit Convention and Visitors Bureau. Beloit's three visitor centers give out 50 to 100 maps a day during slow times and many more in the summer, which is why they're concerned
about the presses potentially stopping. The DOT's surplus 400,000 maps … would only last about six more months. That would leave the state until 2011 without maps.
The clueless Rep. Davis takes the anti-business position that if tourists and interstate commerce can't find their way around Wisconsin, they can make a u-turn and leave:
"This specific bill saves the state taxpayers $250,000 by not allowing the Department of Transportation to print state highway maps. We're going to have to make tough (budget) decisions, so asking someone to drive around, do a U-turn, I think is the least we can ask of people right now," said Davis.

Not only is Davis leaving businesses high and dry during an economic recession and making it even tougher for them to survive and create jobs, but Davis assumes he's being "fiscally conservative."

But according to Mitchell: "We are spending millions to invite tourists to come to Wisconsin. All the cities spend millions printing brochures to attract them to their destination; the state spends millions of dollars on roads to get them there. So why don't we want to show them or give them something to help get them there."

Because Rep. Brett Davis wants everyone to think he's making "tough decisions." Way to kill businesses in Wisconsin Brett. From WISC-TV.

Business Friendly States in South have higher unemployment!

On the map below you will notice the darker areas of higher unemployment are located in the business friendly southern states. The promise of lower business taxes and government handouts hasn't resulted in a stable jobs climate, has it? So should we continue to believe that bending over forwards and offering lower business taxes will bring in new jobs?

Click on this link to see the more detailed map below where you can actually get a county by county breakdown of the latest unemployment numbers.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tea Party Protesters missing Corporate takeover of Elections. What's next, Health Care?

Corporate power is about to take control, thanks to the high court appointments by Bush. Alito and Roberts head up one of the most activist supreme courts in history. The Republicans don't need to be in political power anymore. The die is cast.

USA Today: If the Supreme Court opens the door to more corporate money in political campaigns, it could affect laws in nearly two dozen states and a host of governor's races next year, including high-profile contests in Texas and Connecticut, experts say.

Twenty-two states ban corporate spending in state candidate races, and gubernatorial contests are underway in 17 of them. Fourteen are rated as competitive by election handicappers, such as The Cook Political Report. "The Supreme Court decision has the potential to open the floodgates," said Paul Ryan, of the non-profit Campaign Legal Center, which supports campaign-finance restrictions

In Virginia, one of six states with no contribution limits, business interests spent more than $4 million to aid Republican Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell. That's nearly 10 times what companies gave to his Democratic opponent Creigh Deeds and nearly twice what unions gave the Democrat.

Chief Justice John Roberts and others in the court's conservative majority questioned whether the limits violate free-speech rights.
"There's real hostility among a number of these justices to campaign-finance restrictions," said Michael Toner, a lawyer and former Federal Election Commission chairman who represents GOP candidates.

A ruling allowing unfettered corporate and union spending could affect other state-level races, according to groups such as Justice at Stake, a non-partisan organization working to keep special-interest money out of state judicial campaigns.

The Wisconsin Legislature recently passed a law allowing taxpayer funding of the state judges' races, but efforts to restrict what corporations and unions can spend on political advertising in state contests stalled, said Jay Heck, director of Common Cause in Wisconsin, because "everyone is waiting with some dread about what will happen in the Supreme Court."

Dithering on Health Care? Republicans are Either Confused or Stupid.

See all of This Modern World at, health care...

Republican Candidate Hangs out in Bar, Complains to only Bartender Who'll listen.

It's the craziest political party there ever was.

I'm still gathering my thoughts after watching "Pub Talk-the Game" by Republican congressional candidate Terri McCormick. In what appears to be a challenge to unseat Rep. Steve Kagan, McCormick bar flies her way into your psyche and slow moves a message of government outrage, that can only remind the viewer of a bad porn movie plotline. Palin, Biggert, Bachmann, Shedegg, Gohmert, King, Cantor, Hoffman, Prejean, DeMint, Coburn, and now Terri McCormick.

Keep reminding yourself this is not Onion News…

According to McCormick is posting videos of what she terms "Pub Talks." Seated at a bar with a drink in her hand, McCormick pontificates to a friendly, bow-tied bartender, "Jimmy," who recites his lines as stiffly as a community theater wannabe McCormick does her best to channel Sarah Palin: "We're a nation in crisis, and I've got strong feelings about what to do about that crisis." McCormick is also pushing a self-published book titled "What Sex is a Republican?"

(When Terri McCormick was in the Assembly, Republican staffers cringed whenever she spoke. Now we know why.)

Another Story Teabaggers missed on their way to a protest

Anti-government, tea party protesters want to keep more of their money. I got that message. But did they know that they are paying 7 times more of their hard earned money than a wealthy millionaire? The rich get to keep even more of their money. Yeah! They even get to spend less on property taxes:
The Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy (ITEP) analysis found that the poorest fifth of Wisconsin taxpayers pay 6.3 percent of their income for sales and excise taxes. That is seven times more than the richest one percent of taxpayers, who pay just 0.9 percent of their income for sales and excise taxes. Property taxes in Wisconsin are somewhat less regressive than sales taxes, with low and middle income taxpayers paying between 3.0 and 3.6 percent of their income for property taxes, compared to 1.7 percent for the richest one percent of state residents.
How can we make it more fair? By "restoring the state’s estate tax and eliminating income tax breaks that primarily benefit the wealthy, such as the preferential treatment of capital gains."

That'll happen.

Do the Limbo low can you go!

This was just a natural for an eventual song parody. Here's the background description from Air America on the new dance craze, "Do the Limbo Rush."
Rush Limbaugh is not just upset about the fact that Obama bowed to the Japanese emporer, he's also upset about the WAY he bowed. Says Rush, "Obama blew the bow. They're calling it 'a bow-and-crotch shot,' because if you're going to bow, you bow, but you don't shake hands. If you bow, you keep your hands at your side, you bend a little bit forward from the waist, and you bop right back up." Jack Rice's crew heard this clip and realized that it reminded them of a classic dance song.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Putting the Fox "Noose" Around Your Neck

This little clip from the Daily Show shows Jon Stewart going through what I go through anytime I watch Fox News for even one hour. No wonder conservatives are uncontrollably angry, frustrated and ready to get a gun.

Economically, We're going nowhere in Slow Motion. It's the Political Status Quo.

Has Wall Street been regulated or have attitudes changed? No.

The stimulus is a philosophical wedge issue, not an actual solution. Republicans won't allow the Democratic platform a chance to pass or fail, while we already know how their platform crashed. So what's the hold up? The following article written before last years election offers some insights into ways we can maybe move ahead.

Michael Porter, Professor at Harvard Business School in Business Week:

SAME OLD ARGUMENTS: We need a strategy supported by the majority to secure America's economic future. Yet Americans hear the same old divisive arguments. Republicans keep repeating simplistic free-market thinking, even though the absence of all regulation makes no sense. Self-reliance is preached as if no transitional safety net is needed. Some Republicans even argue passionately that the country should have no strategy because that would be "industrial policy." Yet the real issue is not picking industry winners and losers but improving the business environment for all American companies, something we cannot do without identifying our top priorities. Overall, Republicans seem to think business can thrive without healthy social conditions.

Democrats, meanwhile, keep talking as if they want to penalize investment and economic success. Democrats equivocate on trade in an irreversibly global economy. They seem to think social progress can be achieved only at the expense of business.

Efforts under way by both parties are largely canceling each other out. A strategy would direct our spending to priority investments that also put money into the economy, such as educational assistance and logistical infrastructure, rather than tax rebates.

Is such strategic thinking possible, given America's political system? It happens in other countries—Denmark and South Korea are just two where I have participated in serious efforts by national leaders, both public and private, to come together and chart a long-term plan. This almost never occurs in the U.S., except around single issues.

Even with Little Media Coverage, Concealed Carry Ends Up Killing People. Law Abiding Citizens?

To enlarge, click on the image, or visit the Violence Policy Center.

Democrats should take notice, 2013 Health Care Reform should be Moved by to Summer 2010, or Sooner.

What's wrong with this picture, and why can't our politicians see what is obvious to most of us?

NY Times: Even as drug makers promise to support Washington’s health care overhaul by shaving $8 billion a year off the nation’s drug costs after the legislation takes effect, the industry has been raising its prices by about 9 percent, according to industry analysts. That will add more than $10 billion to
the nation’s drug bill.
Not only is the $8 billion savings negated, but drug makers decided to raise prices even higher, raking in the profits. Are they whining just for show?

Critics say the industry is trying to establish a higher price base before Congress passes legislation that tries to curb drug spending in coming years.

A Harvard health economist, Joseph Newhouse, said he found a similar pattern of unusual price increases after Congress added drug benefits to Medicare a few years ago. Just as the program was taking effect in 2006, the drug industry raised prices by the widest margin in a half-dozen years.
So what does it all mean…?
And some critics say the surge in drug prices could change the dynamics of the entire 10-year deal. “It makes it much easier for the drug companies to pony up the $80 billion because they’ll be making more money,” said Steven D. Findlay, senior health care analyst with the advocacy group Consumers Union.
This is a no brainier Democrats. What are you going to do about it?

Milwaukee's Socialist Government a Model of Efficiency and Competence

The following is a clip from a two hour documentary of my home town Milwaukee. If you thought the Republicans were wrong about free markets, and they were, you won't believe how wrong they are about socialism. Guess what, it works.