Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Broken Senate In Easy To Understand Terms

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Senate Republicans Block Middle Class Tax Cut

Tax cuts for the wealthy or they will stop all business

How can they sleep at night knowing their actions will push even more people into poverty, more into foreclosure and drive the economy even further into the ditch? The fact is they are beholden to their corporate masters and the very wealthy who finance their campaigns. They should pass the unemployment extension through reconciliation and let all the tax cuts expire. Isn't it the Republicans who say you can't negotiate with terrorist's? I don't know what else to call a group that is literally holding the fate of millions of unemployed in their hands and demanding something in return. I believe that is the very definition of terrorism.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

A True American hero

There is a reason this man wins elections and never takes corporate money. He is a true American hero. We need 99 additional Senators just like him.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Republicans Block Unemployment Extension

But they still want to extend tax cuts for the rich

This is the exact tactic I knew they would take. Suddenly they are concerned about deficits, the very deficits they helped run up. This is really about one thing and one thing only and that is to destroy the Presidency of Barack Obama and if you or your family gets hurt in the process they could care less. I wonder how many unemployed voted for them to take back the House? See how much you like that vote when you can no longer put food on the table or keep a roof over your head.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Too Funny

This bird has more intelligence than most of the Teabaggers. Finally something to make you laugh after the past week of stupidity.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

The Lies Continue

They won based on lies and will continue to lie. It's too bad the idiots in America will actually believe this garbage.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Republicans Take Back the House

Today the American Middle Class voted to cut their nose to spite their face. Once again a lack of understanding has made the likelihood of even more Middle Class people falling into poverty. The new majority will look to privatize social security, cut programs for the poor and extend tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

The Republicans stopped a bill that would have stopped a tax break for companies that outsource our jobs. Do you expect anything will be different now? What you can expect is even more job losses and harder times ahead for those least amongst us.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Teabaggers = Thugs

So now in this country it is Ok to stomp on a woman who is protesting against your candidate? What man does this to a woman? I have seen Teabaggers spit on people, bring guns to rallies, carry racist signs and talk nonsense for this whole political season. These are the low information voters who are given a platform by today's media. They are an uninformed group of dolts and thugs who can't argue with facts so they argue with violence or racism. What a country we are becoming.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Perfect Storm

From Robert Reich

It’s a perfect storm. And I’m not talking about the impending dangers facing Democrats. I’m talking about the dangers facing our democracy.

First, income in America is now more concentrated in fewer hands than it’s been in 80 years. Almost a quarter of total income generated in the United States is going to the top 1 percent of Americans.

The top one-tenth of one percent of Americans now earn as much as the bottom 120 million of us.

Who are these people? With the exception of a few entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, they’re top executives of big corporations and Wall Street, hedge-fund managers, and private equity managers. They include the Koch brothers, whose wealth increased by billions last year, and who are now funding tea party candidates across the nation.

Which gets us to the second part of the perfect storm. A relatively few Americans are buying our democracy as never before. And they’re doing it completely in secret.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are pouring into advertisements for and against candidates — without a trace of where the dollars are coming from. They’re laundered through a handful of groups. Fred Malek, whom you may remember as deputy director of Richard Nixon’s notorious Committee to Reelect the President (dubbed Creep in the Watergate scandal), is running one of them. Republican operative Karl Rove runs another. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a third.

The Supreme Court’s Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission made it possible. The Federal Election Commission says only 32 percent of groups paying for election ads are disclosing the names of their donors. By comparison, in the 2006 midterm, 97 percent disclosed; in 2008, almost half disclosed.

We’re back to the late 19th century when the lackeys of robber barons literally deposited sacks of cash on the desks of friendly legislators. The public never knew who was bribing whom.

Just before it recessed the House passed a bill that would require that the names of all such donors be publicly disclosed. But it couldn’t get through the Senate. Every Republican voted against it. (To see how far the GOP has come, nearly ten years ago campaign disclosure was supported by 48 of 54 Republican senators.)

Here’s the third part of the perfect storm. Most Americans are in trouble. Their jobs, incomes, savings, and even homes are on the line. They need a government that’s working for them, not for the privileged and the powerful.

Yet their state and local taxes are rising. And their services are being cut. Teachers and firefighters are being laid off. The roads and bridges they count on are crumbling, pipelines are leaking, schools are dilapidated, and public libraries are being shut.

There’s no jobs bill to speak of. No WPA to hire those who can’t find jobs in the private sector. Unemployment insurance doesn’t reach half of the unemployed.

Washington says nothing can be done. There’s no money left.

No money? The marginal income tax rate on the very rich is the lowest it’s been in more than 80 years. Under President Dwight Eisenhower (who no one would have accused of being a radical) it was 91 percent. Now it’s 36 percent. Congress is even fighting over whether to end the temporary Bush tax cut for the rich and return them to the Clinton top tax of 39 percent.

Much of the income of the highest earners is treated as capital gains, anyway — subject to a 15 percent tax. The typical hedge-fund and private-equity manager paid only 17 percent last year. Their earnings were not exactly modest. The top 15 hedge-fund managers earned an average of $1 billion.

Congress won’t even return to the estate tax in place during the Clinton administration – which applied only to those in the top 2 percent of incomes.

It won’t limit the tax deductions of the very rich, which include interest payments on multi-million dollar mortgages. (Yet Wall Street refuses to allow homeowners who can’t meet mortgage payments to include their primary residence in personal bankruptcy.)

There’s plenty of money to help stranded Americans, just not the political will to raise it. And at the rate secret money is flooding our political system, even less political will in the future.

The perfect storm: An unprecedented concentration of income and wealth at the top; a record amount of secret money flooding our democracy; and a public becoming increasingly angry and cynical about a government that’s raising its taxes, reducing its services, and unable to get it back to work.

We’re losing our democracy to a different system. It’s called plutocracy.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

US Cities Face Half a Trillion Dollars of Pension Deficits

The news just keeps getting better.

What will have to happen is a complete restructuring of the generous pensions afforded municipal workers. Soon there will be no pensions even in the public sector. What will be left are 401(k) plans where the average person will never be able to save enough to retire. That will cause the workforce to explode with more and more people vying for the same limited employment opportunities. These two factors will force wages down even further. Wake up America before its too late.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

She Is Not A Witch

This is the funniest parody of Christine O'Donnell I have seen. She is not a witch she is a buffoon. What does it say about our electorate that morons like this can even get nominated?

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Will Florida Really Elect A Man Whose Company Defrauded Medicare?

Why this race is even close confounds me. Rick Scott said he didn't know that the company he ran was defrauding Medicare (the American Taxpayers). He is either a liar or he is incompetent. Do you really think a State in as much trouble as Florida can take that big a chance? Floridians need to educate themselves about who Rick Scott really is.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

What Would You Cut?

I had to post this in its entirety. This should be required reading of every American citizen, especially the teabaggers who are so uninformed.

Look twice at media spin on causes of deficit
By Marshall Helmberger

The American people are being sold another fraud.

You’ve heard the outline of the story countless times, from virtually every major commentator or political pundit on television, and in newspaper editorials and op-eds.

The U.S. faces a massive debt crisis and it will take entitlement reform (read: major Social Security cuts) if this country has any hope of getting its fiscal house in order.

There is no doubt that the country is deeply in debt. But to understand why, you first need to understand the problem.

The first thing to realize is that the Social Security is very healthy financially, taking in about $100 billion a year more than it pays out. While tax payments dipped in the past year because of the deep recession, that is a temporary situation. In addition to payroll taxes, the Social Security system receives more than $100 billion a year in interest on its accumulated $2.5 trillion in treasury bonds, which further enhances its fiscal stability.

While the retiring of the baby boom will put strain on the Social Security system, the latest report from the board of trustees indicates that the system has sufficient assets to continue to pay full benefits for at least the next 25 years even if nothing is done to increase revenues or decrease expenditures. And even very modest adjustments to benefits or the payroll tax are sufficient to extend the system’s financial viability through 2075.

Simply put, Social Security is almost certainly one of the most well-funded retirement systems in the country.

As for the rest of the federal budget, the situation is actually much worse than people realize. If you exclude Social Security and Medicare hospitalization, which have an independent funding system (primarily the payroll tax and Medicare premiums), the federal government spent about $2.3 trillion last year.

At the same time, it collected about $1.2 trillion in taxes, about three-quarters of it from the federal income tax. The rest comes from corporate income taxes, excises taxes, and various fees.

For the federal government to balance its books, the government either has to:

‰ Cut spending by approximately 50 percent over 2009 levels.

‰ Raise taxes by approximately $1 trillion a year, or

‰ A combination of the two.

To hear the Tea Party crew, that so dominates the media right now, the answer is to cut spending. But a quick look at the current expenses suggests just how difficult it will be to close the deficit solely through cuts.

Of the $1.2 trillion we collected in taxes (excluding Social Security and Medicare) in 2009, about $800 billion went to the Pentagon bureaucracy and to pay for the operation of ongoing wars. About $187 billion went to pay the interest on the national debt. The nation’s two major spy agencies are believed to spend about $200 billion between them, so if we leave this vast national security system in place, and continue to pay the interest on our debt, everything else in the federal government would have to go.

That means federal highway funding will no longer be available, so don’t worry about potholes, because we’ll be driving on gravel before you know it. Federal funding to states and local governments would be wiped out, as would federal funding for schools. Our national parks would be closed, as would every federal agency, including the federal court system and federal law enforcement. Food safety inspections would end, as would workplace safety oversight, port inspections, and all other federal regulation of business. Veterans’ hospitals would close and Medicaid funding would end, and since most Medicaid dollars go to pay the cost of nursing home care for the elderly, that means grandma’s coming for an extended visit.

Even if we were to cut the Pentagon and spy agencies by 50 percent (and good luck selling that in Congress right now), finding sufficient cuts to balance the budget would be virtually impossible. The economic impact of such a retrenchment would be incredible, resulting in the loss of millions of jobs across the country, including not just federal workers, but many state and local workers, teachers, and all those in the private sector who provide goods and services to the government.

All of this is intended to clarify a couple of key points. One is that politicians who oppose tax increases, while simultaneously decrying the deficit, are either out-of-touch with reality, or think the public is stupid.

Solving the budget problem will require new taxes and some painful cuts. That’s a fact. The only question is who will bear the burden, and which politicians are willing to tell us the truth.

The view of most Americans is that those who have so benefitted from the economic changes that have punished the average American family should start to pay their fair share. Allowing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to expire would be one way to start moving in that direction.

Unfortunately, it’s the wealthy who control the media and set the political agenda in this country, and that’s why cuts in things like Social Security and other “entitlements” are being portrayed as the only solution to the problem. If they can convince the American people that it is Social Security and Medicare (which are primarily funded by, and benefit, those with modest means) that are behind our growing debt problem, they can justify raising payroll taxes and premiums, cutting benefits, or both.

If so, they can continue to use surpluses in Social Security and Medicare to fund the operation of the government, as they do today, and head off more significant tax increases for the wealthiest Americans.

It’s routine bait and switch, and you’re going to hear a lot of it in the next few months in advance of the report from President Obama’s deficit commission. When you do, just keep in mind that Social Security and Medicare have their own funding systems, which are working well and will continue to work well for the foreseeable future.

Social Security and Medicare are in surplus. It’s the rest of the federal budget that’s deep in the red. And we don’t have to destroy Social Security in order to save it.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Outsourcing Bill Blocked By the Republicans

How can anyone buy the Republican nonsense that they care about the Middle Class when they helped kill a bill aimed at eliminating tax breaks for American companies that outsource their jobs.

Americans need to wake up and realize what is happening. They are saying one thing to your face and another on the Senate floor. If you think the job picture sucks now, wait and see what will happen if they regain control of Congress. These people make me sick. The best route to an economic recovery will be when we rid ourselves of the Republican party once and for all and also and vote out the Conservadems that have helped them block needed legislation.

We are a country in trouble. We have been led to the slaughter by the rise of big money in politics and we have done nothing. In some respects we have helped to kill our own economic class. I always say vote where you are economically, not where you hope to be.

Monday, July 26, 2010

U.S Middle Class Being Wiped Out

Here are the stats to prove it:

• 83 percent of all U.S. stocks are in the hands of 1 percent of the people.
• 61 percent of Americans "always or usually" live paycheck to paycheck, which was up from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.
• 66 percent of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1% of all Americans.
• 36 percent of Americans say that they don't contribute anything to retirement savings.
• A staggering 43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved up for retirement.
• 24 percent of American workers say that they have postponed their planned retirement age in the past year.
• Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a 32 percent increase over 2008.
• Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.
• For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all individual Americans put together.
• In 1950, the ratio of the average executive's paycheck to the average worker's paycheck was about 30 to 1. Since the year 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300 to 500 to one.
• As of 2007, the bottom 80 percent of American households held about 7% of the liquid financial assets.
• The bottom 50 percent of income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.
• Average Wall Street bonuses for 2009 were up 17 percent when compared with 2008.
• In the United States, the average federal worker now earns 60% MORE than the average worker in the private sector.
• The top 1 percent of U.S. households own nearly twice as much of America's corporate wealth as they did just 15 years ago.
• In America today, the average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks.
• More than 40 percent of Americans who actually are employed are now working in service jobs, which are often very low paying.
• or the first time in U.S. history, more than 40 million Americans are on food stamps, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that number will go up to 43 million Americans in 2011.
• This is what American workers now must compete against: in China a garment worker makes approximately 86 cents an hour and in Cambodia a garment worker makes approximately 22 cents an hour.
• Approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010 - the highest rate in 20 years.
• Despite the financial crisis, the number of millionaires in the United States rose a whopping 16 percent to 7.8 million in 2009.
• The top 10 percent of Americans now earn around 50 percent of our national income.

Giant Sucking Sound

The reality is that no matter how smart, how strong, how educated or how hard working American workers are, they just cannot compete with people who are desperate to put in 10 to 12 hour days at less than a dollar an hour on the other side of the world. After all, what corporation in their right mind is going to pay an American worker 10 times more (plus benefits) to do the same job? The world is fundamentally changing. Wealth and power are rapidly becoming concentrated at the top and the big global corporations are making massive amounts of money. Meanwhile, the American middle class is being systematically wiped out of existence as U.S. workers are slowly being merged into the new "global" labor pool.

What do most Americans have to offer in the marketplace other than their labor? Not much. The truth is that most Americans are absolutely dependent on someone else giving them a job. But today, U.S. workers are "less attractive" than ever. Compared to the rest of the world, American workers are extremely expensive, and the government keeps passing more rules and regulations seemingly on a monthly basis that makes it even more difficult to conduct business in the United States.

So corporations are moving operations out of the U.S. at breathtaking speed. Since the U.S. government does not penalize them for doing so, there really is no incentive for them to stay.

What has developed is a situation where the people at the top are doing quite well, while most Americans are finding it increasingly difficult to make it. There are now about six unemployed Americans for every new job opening in the United States, and the number of "chronically unemployed" is absolutely soaring. There simply are not nearly enough jobs for everyone.

Many of those who are able to get jobs are finding that they are making less money than they used to. In fact, an increasingly large percentage of Americans are working at low wage retail and service jobs.

But you can't raise a family on what you make flipping burgers at McDonald's or on what you bring in from greeting customers down at the local Wal-Mart.

The truth is that the middle class in America is dying -- and once it is gone it will be incredibly difficult to rebuild.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Headed For The Third Depression

From award winning Economist Paul Krugman:

Recessions are common; depressions are rare. As far as I can tell, there were only two eras in economic history that were widely described as “depressions” at the time: the years of deflation and instability that followed the Panic of 1873 and the years of mass unemployment that followed the financial crisis of 1929-31.

Neither the Long Depression of the 19th century nor the Great Depression of the 20th was an era of nonstop decline — on the contrary, both included periods when the economy grew. But these episodes of improvement were never enough to undo the damage from the initial slump, and were followed by relapses.

We are now, I fear, in the early stages of a third depression. It will probably look more like the Long Depression than the much more severe Great Depression. But the cost — to the world economy and, above all, to the millions of lives blighted by the absence of jobs — will nonetheless be immense.

And this third depression will be primarily a failure of policy. Around the world — most recently at last weekend’s deeply discouraging G-20 meeting — governments are obsessing about inflation when the real threat is deflation, preaching the need for belt-tightening when the real problem is inadequate spending.

In 2008 and 2009, it seemed as if we might have learned from history. Unlike their predecessors, who raised interest rates in the face of financial crisis, the current leaders of the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank slashed rates and moved to support credit markets. Unlike governments of the past, which tried to balance budgets in the face of a plunging economy, today’s governments allowed deficits to rise. And better policies helped the world avoid complete collapse: the recession brought on by the financial crisis arguably ended last summer.

But future historians will tell us that this wasn’t the end of the third depression, just as the business upturn that began in 1933 wasn’t the end of the Great Depression. After all, unemployment — especially long-term unemployment — remains at levels that would have been considered catastrophic not long ago, and shows no sign of coming down rapidly. And both the United States and Europe are well on their way toward Japan-style deflationary traps.

In the face of this grim picture, you might have expected policy makers to realize that they haven’t yet done enough to promote recovery. But no: over the last few months there has been a stunning resurgence of hard-money and balanced-budget orthodoxy.

As far as rhetoric is concerned, the revival of the old-time religion is most evident in Europe, where officials seem to be getting their talking points from the collected speeches of Herbert Hoover, up to and including the claim that raising taxes and cutting spending will actually expand the economy, by improving business confidence. As a practical matter, however, America isn’t doing much better. The Fed seems aware of the deflationary risks — but what it proposes to do about these risks is, well, nothing. The Obama administration understands the dangers of premature fiscal austerity — but because Republicans and conservative Democrats in Congress won’t authorize additional aid to state governments, that austerity is coming anyway, in the form of budget cuts at the state and local levels.

Why the wrong turn in policy? The hard-liners often invoke the troubles facing Greece and other nations around the edges of Europe to justify their actions. And it’s true that bond investors have turned on governments with intractable deficits. But there is no evidence that short-run fiscal austerity in the face of a depressed economy reassures investors. On the contrary: Greece has agreed to harsh austerity, only to find its risk spreads growing ever wider; Ireland has imposed savage cuts in public spending, only to be treated by the markets as a worse risk than Spain, which has been far more reluctant to take the hard-liners’ medicine.

It’s almost as if the financial markets understand what policy makers seemingly don’t: that while long-term fiscal responsibility is important, slashing spending in the midst of a depression, which deepens that depression and paves the way for deflation, is actually self-defeating.

So I don’t think this is really about Greece, or indeed about any realistic appreciation of the tradeoffs between deficits and jobs. It is, instead, the victory of an orthodoxy that has little to do with rational analysis, whose main tenet is that imposing suffering on other people is how you show leadership in tough times.

And who will pay the price for this triumph of orthodoxy? The answer is, tens of millions of unemployed workers, many of whom will go jobless for years, and some of whom will never work again.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gulf Pictures

If a picture is worth a thousand words then these pictures speak volumes about the environmental damage caused by this spill. When I hear people say that we need to keep drilling off shore I wonder how they would feel if this was in their neighborhood.

What we are witnessing is the biggest environmental disaster in world history. It is quite obvious that BP was more interested in profits than safety and now their profits are history and the Gulf of Mexico as we know it may be too. If this had been a car accident the driver would be arrested for negligent homicide.

Will Americans ever wake up?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Real Unemployment Rate

It's about time we understand the true figures
You flip on the nightly news and the news anchor says the current unemployment rate is 9.7%. Is that the true rate? What are the implications to the economy? Full employment in the U.S. has been considered to be 5%, but of course the rate is currently almost double.

There is a term called structural unemployment that is creating jobless recoveries and having a direct impact on the U.S. economy driven by consumption. Structural unemployment results from a mismatch between the skills and training of workers seeking employment and needs of employers. China, India, Brazil and Vietnam have created a global labor market where U.S. clerical and office jobs have been outsourced. Automation is reducing the need for workers in many industries. Many of these job losses do not show up in the headline unemployment currently at 9.7%.

In the future, more emphasis will be placed on the U-1 to U-6 spectrum of unemployment rates released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Unemployment Measure

May 2010 Seasonally Adjusted

U-1: Persons unemployed for 15 weeks or longer, as a percent of the civilian labor force 5.8%

U-2: Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs, as a percent of the civilian labor force. 6.0%

U-3: Total unemployed, as a percent of the civilian labor force
(official unemployment rate). 9.7%

U-4: Total unemployed plus discouraged workers, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus discouraged workers. 10.3%

U-5: Total unemployed, plus discouraged workers, plus all other persons marginally attached to the labor force, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force. 11.0%

U-6: Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force 16.6%

All this while the Asian economies are soaring.
India’s industrial production grew 17.6 percent in April, more than economists predicted, strengthening the case for an interest-rate increase even as Europe’s debt woes threaten the global economy.

The announcement affirms Asia has so far been untouched by the crisis emanating from Greece, with data from China’s exports to job growth in South Korea and Australia beating analysts’ estimates. The Reserve Bank of India has said it plans to counter inflation by raising rates at a “moderate” pace on risks posed by Europe.

“Demand-side pressures are building up and that may fan inflation,” said Jay Shankar, Mumbai-based chief economist at Religare Capital Markets Ltd. “Monday’s inflation number will be on RBI’s radar and that will hold the key to interest rate settings.”
We have sat by while our jobs have been shipped overseas. We have blamed the illegal immigrants for the while collar jobs that are being lost to India and the Philippines. It is time that we band together and fight for our way of life. What we are witnessing is no less than the destruction of our way of life while the richest among us grab an ever bigger piece of the pie yet polls continue to suggest that we will put more of the same party that helped destroy us back in power. We really have become the dumb Americans.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Gulf Disaster

Somewhere Over the Gulf Coast: A “Glee” and BP Oil Disaster Mashup
by David Yarnold, executive director of Environmental Defense Fund

From a comfortable distance the BP oil disaster is depressing and horrific. But up close, it’s worse.

Two days in the Gulf of Mexico left me enraged – and deeply resolved. Both the widespread damage and the inadequacy of the response effort exceeded my worst fears. I’d spent a full day on the Gulf and we ended up soaked in oily water and seared by the journey.

By Tuesday night, I was home. My throat burned and my head was foggy and dizzy as I showed my pictures and video to my wife, Fran, and my 13-year-old daughter, Nicole, on the TV in the family room.

Images of the gooey peanut-butter colored oil and the blackened wetlands flashed by. Pictures of dolphins diving into our oily wake and brown pelicans futilely trying to pick oil off their backs popped on the screen. And, out of nowhere, Nicole put on the music from the season finale of Glee.

With all these horrific images on the screen, she had turned on the show’s final song of the year, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” The song, a slow, sweet, ukulele and guitar-driven version, couldn’t have added a deeper sense of tragic irony.

I choked up. And then that resolve kicked in: I wanted anyone/everyone to see what our addiction to oil had done to the Gulf and to contrast that with the sense of hope and possibility that “Somewhere” exudes.

Long story short, last weekend, Peter Rice, Chairman of Fox Networks Entertainment, gave Environmental Defense Fund the green light to use the song. The pictures you’ll see were shot by two incredibly talented EDF staffers, Yuki Kokubo and Patrick Brown – and a few are mine.

The inspiration was Nicole’s. This is for her, and for all of our kids – and theirs to come.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Republicans Block Unemployment Extension Again

They say they are doing it for the children.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) promised that he'd be the next Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) if he had to be. And last night, he made good on his threat.

Coburn is blocking unanimous consent on extension of unemployment benefits, just as Bunning did a few weeks ago. Only this time, Coburn's not alone -- the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other members of the Republican caucus have joined with Coburn, promising to block billions in unemployment benefits just as the Senate is set to leave on a two-week recess.

Due to the timing of the blockade, benefits could expire on April 5, a situation that would not be remedied for a week while the Senate is out of town. Senators will return from their Easter break on April 12.
At issue is paying for it. The Democrats want to use a supplemental spending bill and not use stimulus funds. They feel the stimulus funds should be used for job creation so that people can come off the rolls permanently. The problem with the Republican argument on this issue is that the wars were all done during the Bush years as supplemental spending bills. So let me see if I have this correct, war without paying is fine but helping those in dire financial straits is irresponsible spending.

Will the games never stop?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Recession Has Damaged Social Security

It's time to tax all income.

There is a very easy fix for this problem. Tax all income not just the first $100,000.00. The Social Security tax is a regressive tax and needs to be fixed.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

When They Show You Who They Are Believe Them

These are the teabaggers.

Who will be responsible when one of these ill informed knuckle draggers kills a member of Congress or blows up a Federal Building? These people have been incited by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. Limbaugh should be doing time for his illegal drug purchases and Beck is certifiable but these are the spokespeople for the far right lunatics. The Republican spin machine has been in overdrive since the election of President Obama knowing full well that there are just enough racist morons who could be told any lie and made to believe it.

These people have increased the threat of domestic terrorism and have soured the political discourse. They have no shame and will probably have no remorse when this dangerous rhetoric spills over into violence.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Immediate Benefits of this Historic Health Care Reform Legislation

Below are the immediate benefits of this new Health Care Legislation. How could anyone in their right mind find these benefits anything but good for the average American? Finally fear lost to common sense.

* Prohibit pre-existing condition exclusions for children in all new plans;

* Provide immediate access to insurance for uninsured Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition through a temporary high-risk pool;

* Prohibit dropping people from coverage when they get sick in all individual plans;

* Lower seniors' prescription drug prices by beginning to close the donut hole;

* Offer tax credits to small businesses to purchase coverage;

* Eliminate lifetime limits and restrictive annual limits on benefits in all plans;

* Require plans to cover an enrollee's dependent children until age 26;

* Require new plans to cover preventive services and immunizations without cost-sharing;

* Ensure consumers have access to an effective internal and external appeals process to appeal new insurance plan decisions;

* Require premium rebates to enrollees from insurers with high administrative expenditures and require public disclosure of the percent of premiums applied to overhead costs.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Health Care Passes

Finally after a year of constant bullshit this historic piece of legislation has passed. This is the most significant social legislation in four decades. Maybe finally we will see the end of the Health Insurance Industry and their blood sucking ways.

The roll call is here.

Teabaggers = Stupid Bigots

Lets not fool ourselves. The teabagger movement is nothing more than the KKK without the hoods. Honest policy disagreements are one thing but if you watched the last video it was clear they didn't even know what was in the health care bill so hearing they are calling Black Congressmen "Niggers" and Barney Frank a "Faggot" was no surprise. This is not about policy its about race, hatred and bigotry. Lets hope there are more like Congressman Ryan who call these bigoted fools out for what they are doing. I actually have a better idea. Lets let them opt out of health care reform and stay with the status quo. They are too stupid to realize that most of them are fat and that is a pre-existing condition.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

More Teabagger Insanity

These people are dangerous because they are so ill informed. These people by and large are ignorant of the facts regarding the health care situation in this country. The worst part is that these are the people that would most benefit from real health care reform. These are the frightened Americans looking to blame others for their lot in life. I hate to say this but most seem absolutely idiotic. They have let hatred and fear lead them to campaign against their own self interests. Seeing videos like this makes me fear for the future of my country.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

We are Now A Fascist Country

Today the Supreme Court opened the floodgates on corporate funds in elections
In a decision that could have a profound impact on future elections, the court overturned a 20-year-old ruling that barred businesses from paying for campaign adverts. The decision in what is known as the Citizens United case will allow big businesses - such as those selling arms, drugs or insurance companies - that already wield influence through lobby groups to openly back favored candidates who support their interests.

The court also struck down part of a separate campaign finance bill that barred companies and trade unions from publishing political adverts in the closing days of election campaigns.

The ruling was swiftly condemned by liberal pressure groups such as the People for the American Way, which described it as "putting corporate power above individual rights".

"It is a long established principle that the government can act in the interest of democracy to prevent corporations from pouring in billions of dollars to unduly influence elections," the group said. "Given conservative rhetoric about deference to the democratically elected branches, today's ruling is stunning".

Republicans are expected to be the principal beneficiaries of the ruling, a further blow to some Democratic party candidates in November's midterm elections who are already feeling exposed after the Republican candidate, Scott Brown, won an upset victory in Massachusetts, taking the seat left vacant by the death of Democratic icon Edward (Ted) Kennedy.

Nineteen of the Democrats' remaining 59 seats in the Senate are up for re-election in November. Several incumbents told Politico that all of them are now considered vulnerable.

"Every state is now in play," said Barbara Boxer, who is facing a serious challenge for her California seat from a wealthy Republican, Carly Fiorina.

This will effectively end the voice of the middle class and poor. How can we possibly compete in a world where money contributed determines the outcome of legislation? What politician will have the will power to take the money and vote against the ones who supplied it? I have said for the longest time that who is placed on the Supreme Court is in most ways as important as who wins the Presidency. The Bush years have brought us to the brink of financial collapse and now have almost assuredly ended our democracy as we know it. His reign of terror will be known as the catalyst that destroyed a once great democracy unless we rise up and fight back.

The only way out of this mess is an amendment to the Constitution but who thinks getting that will even be possible with support necessary from Republicans? We all know they are the party of big business and this ruling today has said that the party with the most money has the loudest voice. I am truly sickened by this decision and afraid for what the future holds for this once great land.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

The Lost Decade

The past decade was a complete bust economically.
For most of the past 70 years, the U.S. economy has grown at a steady clip, generating perpetually higher incomes and wealth for American households. But since 2000, the story is starkly different.

The past decade has been the worst for the U.S. economy in modern times, a sharp reversal from a long period of prosperity that is leading economists and policymakers to rethink the underpinnings of the nation's growth.

It has been, according to a wide range of data, a lost decade for American workers. A decade that began in a moment of triumphalism - there was a current of thought among economists in 1999 that recessions were a thing of the past - has included two of them, bookends for a debt-driven expansion that was neither robust nor sustainable.

There has been zero net job creation since December 1999. No previous decade going back to the 1940s had job growth of less than 20 percent. Economic output rose at its slowest rate of any decade since the 1930s as well.

Middle-income households made less in 2008, when adjusted for inflation, than they did in 1999 - and the number is sure to have declined further during a difficult 2009. The decade was the first of falling median incomes since figures were first compiled in the 1960s.

And people are seriously considering putting Republicans back in office? What is wrong in America is the corrosive effect of corporate money in the political system. The people have become secondary to the companies that fund the elections. how can they get away with this? The American people are not curious enough to investigate the causes of their decades long slide. Until the average American understands the political system and does even the simplest of research, we will be ruled by the 15 second soundbite and the false news stories of Fox News.

We can not hope for a resurgence of the middle class until we band together and fight for what is right. Unfortunately by the time they wake up it may be too late. We will be nothing more than a former empire drowning in debt and headed for irrelevancy.