Thursday, March 31, 2011

Boo-Hooing For Downtroden Congressmen

Let us play the world’s smallest violin for Rep. Sean Duffy. « Uppity Woman:

"Outrage on the left this week was sparked by reports Duffy had complained at a town hall meeting that he has to “drive a used minivan,” pays too much for health care, has “more debt than all of you” and struggles to pay his bills–all on $174,000 a year.

Our hearts are bleeding for you Congressman. Just because you make four times the average income for a family in Wisconsin is no reason why we shouldn’t just cut ourselves and bleed for you.

Wait, let me get a tissue. Why, I’m just crying all over myself..."

Rape & The GOP

ThinkProgress » VIDEO: Indiana GOP Rep Says Women Will Pretend To Be Raped To Get Free Abortions: "...Outraged by Turner’s allegation, state Rep. Linda Lawson (D) — who spent six years as a sex crimes investigator for the Indiana police — delivered an emotional rebuke. Describing her experience with both elderly and young children who had been raped, she forcefully informed Turner that “they don’t make it up.” “Women don’t make this up! My Goodness!” she exclaimed. “This is the state of Indiana!” ..."

Your Own Worst Enemy

COLUMN — American workers got what they deserved - Holland, MI - The Holland Sentinel: "...Remember the Reagan standard? Are you better off today than you were a decade ago? Two decades? Three? Unless you make more than $380,000 a year, the answer is no. In fact, your standard of living over the last quarter century has actually decreased while millionaires have added 30 percent to their net wealth. Why? Two reasons..."

Classism Returns To Ships

Ships Woo Premium Passengers - "...There is a new cruise ship class system. A growing number of cruise lines have built lavish—and separate—cocoons for their biggest spenders. It is a departure from the egalitarianism that had reigned on most ships for the last several decades when everyone from the humblest inside stateroom to the most luxurious suite would rub elbows in the same bars, dining rooms and pool decks. In a way, the trend is a throwback to the heyday of trans-Atlantic crossings in the 1920s, when first-, second- and third-class passengers were assigned separate areas of vessels. (Though no one would mistake today's cheapest stateroom for the gloomy steerage dorms of centuries past.) ..."

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

GOP Ignoring Constitution Again

Republicans Pitch Unusual Backup Plan as Fragile Budget Talks Resume -

"...In the latest gambit out of Washington's head-spinning budget debate, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced Wednesday that if the Senate fails to act by next week, Republicans will proffer a bill forcing an earlier House GOP plan that did not pass Congress to become the 'law of the land.'

The proposal outlined Wednesday would be an unusual and likely unconstitutional move..."

Tea Party Gloom Meter

CNN Poll: Unfavorable view of tea party on the rise – CNN Political Ticker - Blogs: "Nearly half of all Americans have an unfavorable view of the tea party movement, putting it in the same company as the Democratic and Republican parties, according to a new national poll..."

Deep Thinking Ricky

Santorum abortion social security, Santorum links abortion and social security - Social Security's future insolvency problem is caused in part by abortion, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum said Tuesday..."

SCOTUS Sides With The Man

Supreme Court: No damages for man wrongly sent to death row, Supreme Court rules -

"A bitterly divided Supreme Court tossed out a jury verdict Tuesday won by a New Orleans man who spent 14 years on Death Row and came within weeks of execution because prosecutors had hidden a blood test and other evidence that would have proven his innocence.

The 5-4 decision delivered by Justice Clarence Thomas shielded the New Orleans District Attorney's office from being held liable for the mistakes of its prosecutors. The evidence of their misconduct did not prove 'deliberate indifference' on the part of then-District Attorney Harry Connick Sr., Thomas said..."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Killer BP

BP could be hit with manslaughter charges | Houston Business Journal: "U.S. prosecutors are considering manslaughter charges against BP Plc related to the deaths of 11 people when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in Gulf of Mexico last April...

Read more: BP could be hit with manslaughter charges | Houston Business Journal"

Now that the Supremes have ruled that corporations are people-- why not?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Before Unions

The Triangle fire: A blaze that woke a nation - CNN:

"'Three stories of a ten-floor building at the corner of Greene Street and Washington Place were burned yesterday, and while the fire was going on 141 young men and women -- at least 125 of them mere girls -- were burned to death or killed by jumping to the pavement below.' -- The New York Times, March 26, 1911

Friday marks the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Waist Co. fire, a blaze at a sweatshop in New York that shocked the nation and became a defining moment in the history of the American work force. Its death toll would reach 146 -- mostly young Italian and Jewish immigrants struggling to earn a living making blouses in a garment factory in Manhattan's Greenwich Village..."

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Return Of The Underwear

Coffee Cups in Hell -

"It’s the Mormon moment.

The Republican Mormons Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman may run for president, braving more questions about whether they wear the sacred undergarment and more resistance from evangelicals who consider Mormonism an affront to Christianity..."

Shafting The Powerless

California budget: Gov. Jerry Brown approves cuts to services for poor, sick and elderly - Los Angeles Times: "Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law billions of dollars in budget cuts Thursday that will mean fewer government services, particularly for the old, the poor and the sick..."

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pushers Don't Use Their Wares

GM foods not served in Monsanto cafeteria - World - CBC News - StumbleUpon:

"The fight to ban genetically modified foods has won more converts -- some employees of Monsanto the company that is doing the most to promote GM products.

The Independent newspaper reports that there is a notice in the cafeteria of the Monsanto pharmaceutical factory is High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, advising customers 'as far as practicable, GM soya and maize (has been removed) from all food products served in our restaurant. We have taken the steps to ensure that you, the customer, can feel confident in the food we serve...'"

They Didn't Fight For This

Egyptian women protesters forced to take ‘virginity tests’ | Amnesty International: "Amnesty International has today called on the Egyptian authorities to investigate serious allegations of torture, including forced ‘virginity tests’, inflicted by the army on women protesters arrested in Tahrir Square earlier this month..."

Gitmo Etc. Beginnings

I went through one of these courses back in their infancy in the late 60's. Supposedly, some photos of one of our classes were obtained by the Soviets and used for propaganda purposes in Pravda. EXCLUSIVE: CIA Psychologist's Notes Reveal True Purpose Behind Bush's Torture Program:

In Lost America

Losing Our Way -

"...Arthur Miller, echoing the poet Archibald MacLeish, liked to say that the essence of America was its promises. That was a long time ago. Limitless greed, unrestrained corporate power and a ferocious addiction to foreign oil have led us to an era of perpetual war and economic decline. Young people today are staring at a future in which they will be less well off than their elders, a reversal of fortune that should send a shudder through everyone.

The U.S. has not just misplaced its priorities. When the most powerful country ever to inhabit the earth finds it so easy to plunge into the horror of warfare but almost impossible to find adequate work for its people or to properly educate its young, it has lost its way entirely..."

Friday, March 25, 2011

Get It Yet?

New Civil War erupts, led by super rich, GOP Paul B. Farrell - MarketWatch: "Get it, folks? In the GOP governors new strategy escalating this Civil War, the GOP is robbing the poor to give to the rich... "

Copying Failed Europe

The Austerity Delusion -

"...What do these events have in common? They’re all evidence that slashing spending in the face of high unemployment is a mistake. Austerity advocates predicted that spending cuts would bring quick dividends in the form of rising confidence, and that there would be few, if any, adverse effects on growth and jobs; but they were wrong.

It’s too bad, then, that these days you’re not considered serious in Washington unless you profess allegiance to the same doctrine that’s failing so dismally in Europe..."

Killing Unions

ThinkProgress » Buried Provision In House GOP Bill Would Cut Off Food Stamps To Entire Families If One Member Strikes:

"...The bill also includes a provision that would exempt households from losing eligibility, “if the household was eligible immediately prior to such strike, however, such family unit shall not receive an increased allotment as the result of a decrease in the income of the striking member or members of the household.”

Yet removing entire families from eligibility while a single adult family member is striking would have a chilling effect on workers who are considering going on strike for better wages, benefits, or working conditions — something that is especially alarming in light of the fact that unions are one of the fundamental building blocks of the middle class that allow people to earn wages that keep them off food stamps..."

Killing Public Schools

Not-so-public education - Los Angeles Times: "Supporters of school vouchers like to say that their goal is to provide a higher-quality education for the children who need it most. The latest events in Colorado say otherwise. A voucher program there seems more likely to benefit middle-class children and religious schools than low-income public school students, and to worsen inequities in education..."

What's Wrong With America--

G.E.’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether -

"General Electric, the nation’s largest corporation, had a very good year in 2010.
Worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States.

Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion..."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Crazies To Protest Liz

Westboro Baptist Church Plans to Protest Elizabeth Taylor’s Funeral - TIME NewsFeed:

Pro-American Libyans

Hugs From Libyans -

"...Even though some villagers were hit by American shrapnel, one gamely told an Associated Press reporter that he bore no grudges. Then, on Wednesday in Benghazi, the major city in eastern Libya whose streets would almost certainly be running with blood now if it weren’t for the American-led military intervention, residents held a “thank you rally.” They wanted to express gratitude to coalition forces for helping save their lives.

Doubts are reverberating across America about the military intervention in Libya. Those questions are legitimate, and the uncertainties are huge. But let’s not forget that a humanitarian catastrophe has been averted for now and that this intervention looks much less like the 2003 invasion of Iraq than the successful 1991 gulf war to rescue Kuwait from Iraqi military occupation..."

Blame The Prophets

The War on Elizabeth Warren -

"...In retrospect, the financial crisis of 2008 was a missed opportunity. Yes, the White House succeeded in passing significant new financial regulation. But for whatever reason, it failed to change the terms of debate: bankers and the disaster they wrought have faded from view, and Republicans are back to denouncing the evils of regulation as if the crisis never happened.

By the sheer craziness of their attacks on Ms. Warren, however, Republicans are offering the administration a perfect opportunity to revive the debate over financial reform, not to mention highlighting exactly who’s really in Wall Street’s pocket these days. And that’s an opportunity the White House should welcome." 

Bachman Gets Presidential

CNN: Bachmann to form committee for White House bid - On Politics: Covering the US Congress, Governors, and the 2010 Election - "Tea Party favorite Michele Bachmann is taking steps to form an exploratory committee to run for president in 2012, CNN reports..."

The Next Victims

Randy's Ramblings: It’s voter suppression no matter how you spin it | Hudson Star-Observer | Hudson, Wisconsin:

"Expect the other shoe to drop soon.

Now that Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican Legislature have stripped public employee unions of their collective bargaining rights, they’ve got their sights set on a new group of victims.

The goal is to prevent college students, minorities and the itinerant poor from voting..."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Beck Forming Psycho Channel

Glenn Beck Contemplates Starting His Own Channel -

No Union Busting

Wisconsin: As collective bargaining fight continues, a boycott is needed - "For anyone who believes that the hard-won rights of organized labor constitute an American birthright, who would as soon see the flag burned as a picket line crossed (both acts disrespectful of blood shed in our "country's cause"), the decision of the Wisconsin Legislature to end most collective bargaining rights for public employees amounts to sacrilege. In effect, Wisconsin has become a pariah state. It ought to be treated as such..."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Losing The Kids

Calls for segregated seating rise with tensions on flights - "It's not that Ian Burford hates children. But the founder of the Facebook page 'Airlines should have kid-free flights!' would prefer not to have a wailing tot nearby when he flies..."

ROFL- O Holy O

John W. Smart: A Reading From The Obama Scriptures « Uppity Woman:

Safe Nukes

Tuesday: Are you still vulnerable to media messaging? « The Confluence:

"...By the way, did you notice how little radioactivity was produced during the TMI incident? If you listen to the media, you’d think it was right up there with Chernobyl- squared. The actual amount was tiny. REALLY tiny. It’s a blip.

Oh, sure, you say, but NO nuclear energy is safe. You can never turn your back on it. I’m not so sure I’d agree with that statement. If anything, the Fukushima accident refutes these claims. It shows that a 40 year old reactor can come through a “great” earthquake, a tsunami and a power failure and still expose people in Japan to less radioactivity than they would get in a CT scan.

That doesn’t mean I think we should run out and get one for the patio. But I am very willing to consider nuclear energy as an alternative to burning fossil fuel. The lessons learned at Fukushima could make new reactors even safer..."

Monday, March 21, 2011

About That Jerusalem UFO...

Iran builds world's first flying saucer: Looks like it belongs in 1950s B-movie | Mail Online:

Warning For America

The Frustrations of the Educated and Unemployed American - "...The uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa are a warning for the developed world. Even if an Egyptian-style revolution breaking out in a rich democracy is unthinkable, it is easy to recognize the frustration of a generation that lacks opportunity. Indeed, the “desperate generation” in Portugal got tens of thousands of people to participate in nationwide protests on March 12. How much longer until the rest of the rich world follows their lead"

Libya Primer

What's Happening in Libya Explained | Mother Jones:

Being Selfless

The Japanese Could Teach Us a Thing or Two -

"When America is under stress, as is happening right now with debates about where to pare the budget, we sometimes trample the least powerful and most vulnerable among us.

So maybe we can learn something from Japan, where the earthquake, tsunami and radiation leaks haven’t caused society to come apart at the seams but to be knit together more tightly than ever. The selflessness, stoicism and discipline in Japan these days are epitomized by those workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, uncomplainingly and anonymously risking dangerous doses of radiation as they struggle to prevent a complete meltdown that would endanger their fellow citizens..."

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Blame The Victim--GOPer Style

Republican lawmaker blames 11-year-old victim of alleged gang rape | The Raw Story:

"Elected officials should know better than to blame the victim of a sex crime.

While it's a common tactic of abusers, it's something no one expected of Republican Florida state Rep. Kathleen Passidomo.

During debate over a bill that would legislate a dress code for Florida students, Passidomo blamed the alleged gang raping of an 11-year-old in Cleveland, Texas on the way the young girl was dressed..."

SOS Clinton Says US Didn't Lead Attack

U.S. actions may speak louder than words - The Washington Post: "...But her modest words belied the far larger role the United States played as international forces began an open-ended assault on Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi’s military capabilities. U.S. warships fired more than 110 Tomahawk missiles into Libyan territory to disable air-defense systems. And the French and British warplanes that began to enforce the emerging no-fly zone operate under U.S. command...."

Does Austerity Work?

The Forgotten Millions -

"...On one side, we’ve been warned, over and over again, that “bond vigilantes” will turn on the U.S. government unless we slash spending immediately. Yet interest rates remain low by historical standards; indeed, they’re lower now than they were in the spring of 2009, when those dire warnings began.

On the other side, we’ve been assured that spending cuts would do wonders for business confidence. But that hasn’t happened in any of the countries currently pursuing harsh austerity programs. Notably, when the Cameron government in Britain announced austerity measures last May, it received fawning praise from U.S. deficit hawks. But British business confidence plunged, and it has not recovered..."

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Agony Of Teaching

Randy Turner: The Failure of American Teachers:

"...And that brings me to the sole reason I have changed my mind about the competence of American public schoolteachers -- if we were doing our job, somewhere along the line we would have taught the politicians who are systematically destroying public education, the greatest of all American experiments, something about decency, respect, and developing the mortal fortitude to resist the siren song of the special interests who are well on their way to making the U. S. into a world of haves and have-nots, where public education will serve to provide low paid feeder stock for non-union companies and taxpayer-financed private schools will continue to cater to the elite, with the middle class existing only in history books.

Public schoolteachers have failed miserably by producing the most incompetent, mean-spirited legislators in U.S. history."

Forget That Home!

Homeownership should not be part of the American Dream - Fortune Finance: "...But perhaps it's time to question whether homeownership should even be part of the American Dream. Tighter mortgage lending rules could return the housing market to the way it was in the 1970s, when homeownership was much lower and virtually all homebuyers put down at least 20% of the value of the house. Standards began changing around the 1980s as home prices appreciated significantly and mortgage financing became more sophisticated..."

Judge Blocks WI Law

Wisconsin Judge Blocks Union Collective Bargaining Law -

Thursday, March 17, 2011

NPR Sting Not All It Seems

Simply Left BehindThe Non-Rapturist's Guide To The Galaxy: Blowback:

"The fallout from Coward James O'Keefe's latest stunt is starting to build.

I mean, it's hard to add to Glenn Beck's deconstruction...yes, Glenn Beck...of the 11 minute faux NPR sting that O'Keefe cobbled together out of two hours of tape. I'm surprised O'Keefe is still standing and not curled up in some corner, sucking his thumb..."

If It's Not Fox, It Can't Be

House Republicans Make Another Run at Cutting NPR Funding | The Rundown News Blog | PBS NewsHour | PBS:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Manning Watch

Punishing Pfc. Manning - Los Angeles Times: "...It's hard to resist the conclusion that punishment, not protection, is the purpose of these degrading measures. Punishment may be in Manning's future; he was charged last week with an additional 22 offenses, including aiding the enemy. But Manning's treatment should reflect the fact that he remains innocent until proven guilty..."

Justice Has A Price

CIA contractor freed after Pakistani families reportedly paid $1.4M -

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Israeli Standard

Stephens: Are Israeli Settlers Human? - "...For 60 years, no nation has been held to such stringent moral account, or such ceaseless international hectoring, as Israel. And no people has been held to so slight an account as the Palestinians. Redressing that imbalance is the essential first step in finding a solution to the conflict. The grotesque murders of the Fogels and their little children demands nothing less."

Pot 'n Kettle Theatre

Jonah Goldberg: Exploiting a nuclear climate of fear -

Insulting Behavior

What you can take away from this story is that it is ok to insult women but Japan, not so much. Gov. Haley Barbour's aide resigns after Japan joke - On Politics: Covering the US Congress, Governors, and the 2012 Election -

Sueing Over Search/Detention

Man With 4th Amendment Written on Chest Sues Over Airport Arrest | Threat Level |

"A 21-year-old Virginia man who wrote an abbreviated version of the Fourth Amendment on his body and stripped to his shorts at an airport security screening area is demanding $250,000 in damages for being detained on a disorderly conduct charge..."

The definition of "unreasonable" has shifted and squirmed over the years; maybe, previously unlawful detention is now legal because of the Patriot Act. I hope not.

Monday, March 14, 2011

MSM News Decline

Cable News Viewership Declines Double Digits in 2010 - The Hollywood Reporter:

"After years of audience growth, cable news may have hit a wall.

According to the Project for Excellence in Journalism's annual State of the News Media report, cable news viewership for CNN, MSNBC and Fox News fell substantially in 2010 -- 13.7 percent in aggregate for a sharper decline than any other sector. Broadcast news, which has experienced declining viewership for years, was down another 3.4 percent in 2010..."

Free Speech Can Be Death

Brave Pakistan Politician Stands Her Ground - Newsweek: "...It has been a bleak year so far for Pakistan, even by its own harrowing standards. Salmaan Taseer, governor of Punjab, was assassinated by his own fanatical security guard in January, and Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, the only Christian in Pakistan’s government, was gunned down earlier this month by the Punjabi Taliban. Like them, Rehman has urged a review of the country’s blasphemy laws to prevent their misuse. Like them, Rehman had stood up for protecting minorities as well as vulnerable Muslims in Pakistan. Last November, after Taseer took up the cause of Aasia Noreen, a Christian mother of five sentenced to death for blasphemy, an indignant Rehman put forth a bill in Parliament to amend the controversial laws..."

Republicans Acting Like Republicans / Kansas Democrats say GOP legislators not focused on economy | Homepage for De Soto Container:

"Republicans, who hold a significant majority in the state House of Representatives, are pushing issues that have little to do with improving the economy. At least that’s what Democrats in the Legislature say.

His party outnumbered 92-33, House Democratic Leader Paul Davis, of Lawrence, ticked off a long list of issues that Republicans muscled to the forefront just last week.

They include more abortion restrictions, increased regulation of sexually oriented businesses, an Arizona-like crackdown on illegal immigrants, decreasing a tax break for working poor families, eliminating the corporate income tax and trying to change the Kansas Constitution to put public schools and higher education under direct control of the governor, Sam Brownback, a conservative Republican..."

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Budget Battle Feel Good

Finally, amidst all the horror of the past weeks, a story that will make you feel a little better, a little more hopeful-- Bill Nemitz: A pointed budget message hits the mark | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram:

Even Larger Protest Than 'Nam

Up to 100,000 protest Wisconsin law curbing unions | Reuters:

"...Up to 100,000 people protested at the Wisconsin state Capitol on Saturday against a new law curbing the union rights of public workers that is seen as one of the biggest challenges in decades facing U.S. organized labor.

Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain estimated the crowd at 85,000 to 100,000 people, which would top the size of protests in Madison during the Vietnam War..."

Paying Teachers

Pay Teachers More - "...Changes in relative pay have reinforced the problem. In 1970, in New York City, a newly minted teacher at a public school earned about $2,000 less in salary than a starting lawyer at a prominent law firm. These days the lawyer takes home, including bonus, $115,000 more than the teacher, the McKinsey study found..."

HIV In Libya

Gaddafi's HIV Shakedown - Newsweek:

Saturday, March 12, 2011

More History Failure For Bachmann

For Michele Bachmann, a pattern of getting facts wrong - Jonathan Martin and Kendra Marr - " Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s suggestion Saturday that the Revolutionary War began in Concord, N.H., rather than Lexington and Concord, Mass., marks the third time in recent months that the potential GOP presidential hopeful has committed a puzzling gaffe about history and current affairs..."

Arab League Backs No-Fly

BBC News - Arab League 'backs Libya no-fly zone': "The Arab League has backed the idea of a no-fly zone over Libya, reports say, as rebels continue to be pushed back by Colonel Gaddafi's forces..."

Friday, March 11, 2011

Class Warfare Moore Says

Michael Moore To Rachel Maddow On Wisconsin: 'This Is War' (VIDEO): "On her Wednesday show, Rachel Maddow and filmmaker Michael Moore both agreed that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and the state's Republicans will lose what Moore called a 'class war' being waged against the working class..."

Thursday, March 10, 2011

No Reading In WI Capital

Wisconsin capitol bans recording, flags, reading, balloons, chairs, bags, backpacks, photography, etc etc etc - Boing Boing:

Rush Sez Hez No Fraud

Rush Limbaugh Denies Paying Actors To Pose As Radio Callers (AUDIO): "Rush Limbaugh helped revive a nearly month-old story on Monday when he vehemently denied ever paying actors to pose as callers to his radio show..."

About That Other Straight Shooter

Governor Christie’s Talk Is Not Always Straight -

Workers Screwed In WI

Republican Wisconsin senators bypass Democrats in vote on collective bargaining: "...The bill would eliminate most collective-bargaining rights for public employees across Wisconsin. It also would prevent unions from collecting dues with payroll deductions and would not allow unions to require members to pay dues. Collective bargaining is negotiation between an employer and a group of employees to determine the conditions of employment..."

Buying Supreme Justice

Clarence Thomas' dangerous conceit - Los Angeles Times:

"...In January, Common Cause released documents showing that Thomas had attended events funded by conservative billionaires David and Charles Koch. Thomas was even featured in Koch promotional material — along with Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and others — for events that sought financial and political support for conservative political causes.

Worse yet, Common Cause discovered that Thomas had failed to disclose a source of income for 13 years on required federal forms. Thomas stated that his wife, Virginia, had no income, when in truth she had hundreds of thousands of dollars of income from conservative organizations, including roughly $700,000 from the Heritage Foundation between 2003 and 2007. Thomas reported 'none' in answering specific questions about 'spousal non-investment income' on annual forms — answers expressly made 'subject to civil and criminal sanctions...'"

One presumes that the Supreme Court is another institution that is too big to fail.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

How To Create An Evil World

Smashing 'Demon Government' - JSOnline:

"...If you listen closely to the rhetoric of the new right, the libertarian message is hard to miss, and there are corollaries of that message that many Wisconsinites might find troubling:

• The liberty of the individual is more important than the welfare of the community. As long as we don't descend to total anarchy, 'I'll get mine' takes precedence over 'Let's get ours' every time.

• Everyone should have the opportunity to make just as much money as he or she can, beginning with the rich. The tea party faithful display a grim preoccupation with money: making it, growing it and preserving it intact from the clutches of a rapacious government. In time, they promise, the prosperity of the few will percolate down to the many. Try selling that one to the people of Chile or Argentina.

• The poor are responsible for their poverty. Some groups are truly deserving of help - the disabled and the frail elderly among them - but any able-bodied person of even modest intelligence should be able to get by without assistance from the rest of us. Forget generations of family dysfunction, centuries of entrenched prejudice or an economy that has shed entry-level jobs by the hundreds of thousands. This is America, where everyone has the same opportunities, isn't it?..."

Yeah, what would Jesus do?

The Ultimate Hypocrite?

For Peter King, Lawmaker Examining Terror, a Pro-I.R.A. Past - "For Representative Peter T. King, as he seizes the national spotlight this week with a hearing on the radicalization of American Muslims, it is the most awkward of résumé entries. Long before he became an outspoken voice in Congress about the threat from terrorism, he was a fervent supporter of a terrorist group, the Irish Republican Army... "

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Disrupting The Man

Liberal Tea Party? U.S. Uncut Disrupts Service At Bank Of America: "Demonstrators posing as a liberal Tea Party disrupted service at banks across the country on Saturday, in an effort to spotlight the gimmicks multi-billion dollar corporations use to avoid paying their fair share in taxes..."

Some Egyptian Men Act Like Pigs

This is disheartening. Tahrir Square women's march marred by rival protest | World news |

The You Beyond You

The New Humanism -

"...You get a different view of, say, human capital. Over the past few decades, we have tended to define human capital in the narrow way, emphasizing I.Q., degrees, and professional skills. Those are all important, obviously, but this research illuminates a range of deeper talents, which span reason and emotion and make a hash of both categories:

Attunement: the ability to enter other minds and learn what they have to offer.

Equipoise: the ability to serenely monitor the movements of one’s own mind and correct for biases and shortcomings.

Metis: the ability to see patterns in the world and derive a gist from complex situations.

Sympathy: the ability to fall into a rhythm with those around you and thrive in groups.

Limerence: This isn’t a talent as much as a motivation. The conscious mind hungers for money and success, but the unconscious mind hungers for those moments of transcendence when the skull line falls away and we are lost in love for another, the challenge of a task or the love of God. Some people seem to experience this drive more powerfully than others..."

After spending decades in higher education, I can testify that there are those people who may not have the testing, writing, or speaking skills so highly valued in today's world, but who nevertheless possess interpersonal skills far beyond their peers. These are the people who should be managing the affairs of the world because they possess both empathy and compassion and, more importantly, can project those traits to others. You can name a very few of these people of the world stage today. History yields a few more. Yes, Jesus was one of them.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Paying For War

Introducing the Bipartisan War Tax Act of 2013 | Crooks and Liars: "George W. Bush was the first modern president to cut taxes during wartime. Now, the unpaid $2 trillion bill for the wars he fought - and chose to fight - is long overdue. While President Obama and the Republican leadership in Congress jockey to position their budget cutting plans, it's time for both parties - and all Americans - to pay the price we claim liberty demands. Here, then, is the Bipartisan War Tax Act of 2013..."

Sunday, March 06, 2011

America Has $$$

VIDEO: America Is NOT Broke |

"America is not broke.

Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe so that you'll give up your pension, cut your wages, and settle for the life your great-grandparents had, America is not broke. Not by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It's just that it's not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich.

Today just 400 Americans have more wealth than half of all Americans combined..."

Astroturfing Undermines Democracy

Cannonfire--Astroturf Wars:

"...Astroturfing may be the most important story of our time. Astroturfing insured the election of Obama. Even if our current president had a change of heart and decided to take real action on the economy, he couldn't do it -- because the sowers of doubt and mistrust would create a public firestorm of reaction.

Astroturfing is the great failure of democracy -- one which the authors of the Federalist papers could not foresee."

What Iran Plans

As Arabs Rise, Tehran Trembles -

'...Iran, in essence, understands that it can inspire and champion the region’s downtrodden and dispossessed, but not the upwardly mobile. Its strategy to dominate the Middle East hinges less on building nuclear weapons than on the twin pillars of oil and alienation.

Iranian petrodollars are used to finance radicals — Khaled Meshaal in Syria, Hassan Nasrallah in Lebanon and Moktada al-Sadr in Iraq, to name a few — who feed off popular humiliation. As an Arab Shiite friend once complained to me, “Iran wants to fight America and Israel down to the last Palestinian, Lebanese and Iraqi...” '

Feudal Society Coming

John Colson: Hit and Run |

"...Right now, anyone who doesn't want to see the United States degenerate into a completely feudal society, where there is a tiny class of the super-rich, a slightly larger management class, and a monstrously huge, underpaid, underfed and persecuted worker class, had better wake up and smell the blood, sweat and tears of our forebears.

We've been through this before, over most of human history, as we slowly evolved to the point where we, the underclass, realized there is no such thing as a divine right to power held by a mysterious, mystical but inherently nasty upper-class.

In this country, the realization came in the early 20th Century, a time of bloody riots and ruthless attempts by the ruling class to hold on to its undeserved plutocracy, with the ignorant aid of an army of thugs and cops.

Scott Walker and his ilk want us to go back to those times, because they believe they will be among the rulers. And getting rid of the public-sector unions, which are just about all that's left of a once-mighty labor movement, is a big step in that direction."

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Koch The Good Guy

Cancer Research Before Activism, Koch Brother Says - Or is it all just self-interest? Real giving involves not expecting anything in return. Still, kudos to Koch for doing something other than fomenting monarchy.

Walker Helps Obama

Gov. Scott Walker Has Lost The War - Rick Ungar - The Policy Page - Forbes:

"...The damage has already been done.

Should Gov. Walker accomplish his goal, he will have stoked a level of union anger that I very much suspect will become a key driver in an Obama victory in 2012. He will also have prompted the nation’s unions to work together for a common objective– a feat that would have seemed impossible just one month ago.

If Walker loses his fight, he will have reminded the unions of the importance of fighting back against their enemies, reminding them of how life was for their forbearers who fought to establish the modern union movement. This will ignite the passion for battle while reminding those union folks who have been voting republican of the importance of sticking with the party that sticks with them..."

Huck's Hubris

The Fictions of Mike Huckabee -

"...In one of his lame attempts to explain the Obama comments, Huckabee only added to the character assassination. He said, “Most of us grew up going to Boy Scout meetings, and you know, our communities were filled with Rotary Clubs, not madrassas.” In other words, Obama may not be Kenyan, but he’s probably Muslim! (Note to Huckabee: Hawaii has both Boy Scouts and Rotary Clubs.)

The second question is about judgment, always the most crucial thing to consider in a person who wants to be president. If Huckabee can’t see past a crude convict ploy to his heart, how can he judge the North Koreans?

Huckabee makes a very good living from his employer at Fox News, and from more than a half-dozen books about values. One of the books is called “Character Makes a Difference,” and another “Do the Right Thing.”

Preacher: follow your own advice. "

Call For Revolution

Four time bombs that will blow up Wall Street Paul B. Farrell - MarketWatch:

"...Bottom line: Forget jailing Wall Street’s dictators. It’s naïve and too late. We missed that opportunity. But a revolution will do the trick, give us a second chance to jail the crooks.

Until then, remember, these four factors are building to a head, merging into a critical mass that will accelerate into a revolution and destroy Wall Street from within: The widening wealth gap, capitalism’s new rule-by-anarchy, the high cost of feeding the Pentagon’s costly war machine, and the huge global population explosion."

The Rich Aid China

How the rich soaked the rest of us | Richard Wolff | Comment is free | "...Second, the richest Americans take the money they save from taxes and invest big parts of it in China, India and elsewhere. That often produces more jobs over there, fewer jobs here, and more imports of goods produced abroad. US dollars flow out to pay for those imports and so accumulate in the hands of foreign banks and foreign governments. They, in turn, lend from that wealth to the US government because it does not tax our rich, and so we get taxed to pay for the interest Washington has to give those foreign banks and governments. The largest single recipient of such interest payments today is the People's Republic of China..."

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Channeling Dan Quayle

Mike Huckabee Slams Natalie Portman's Out-of-Wedlock Pregnancy - Moms & Babies -

Heads Will Exdplode At Fox

Hillary Clinton Calls Al Jazeera 'Real News,' Criticizes U.S. Media (VIDEO):

What The Rights Wants For Teachers

Proposed Cuts Strike Teachers as Attacks on Their Value to Society -

..."Ms. Parker, a second-year teacher making $36,000, fears that under the proposed legislation class sizes would rise and higher contributions to her benefits would knock her out of the middle class.

“I love teaching, but I have $26,000 of student debt,” she said. “I’m 30 years old, and I can’t save up enough for a down payment” for a house. Nor does she own a car. She is making plans to move to Colorado, where she could afford to keep teaching by living with her parents..."

Get them in poverty-- nothing else will satisfy the Right.

Another Obot Sees The Light

Matt Damon Calls Out President Obama, Education Policy: "...Now, he's not so enthused about Obama. When asked if he was happy with the way the President is running the country, Damon said, point blank, 'no...'"


Koch Sez Gimme More

Charles G. Koch: Why Koch Industries Is Speaking Out -

Government Assault Via Medicine

AP IMPACT: Past medical testing on humans revealed - Yahoo! News:

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Thieving Tax Dodgers Report

ThinkProgress » REPORT: You Have More Money In Your Wallet Than Bank Of America Pays In Federal Taxes: "...- BANK OF AMERICA: In 2009, Bank of America didn’t pay a single penny in federal income taxes, exploiting the tax code so as to avoid paying its fair share. “Oh, yeah, this happens all the time,” said Robert Willens, a tax accounting expert interviewed by McClatchy. “If you go out and try to make money and you don’t do it, why should the government pay you for your losses?” asked Bob McIntyre of Citizens for Tax Justice. The same year, the mega-bank’s top executives received pay “ranging from $6 million to nearly $30 million...””

Federal Tax Rate Near Lowest In History

Look at the chart at the bottom of the page. Income tax in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Inside Job Trailer

Hate Protesting Wins

I am surprised, with decidedly mixed feelings. High court rules for anti-gay funeral protesters - Politics - More politics -

"The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the First Amendment protects fundamentalist church members who mount attention-getting, anti-gay protests outside military funerals.

The court voted 8-1 in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan. The decision upheld an appeals court ruling that threw out a $5 million judgment to the father of a dead Marine who sued church members after they picketed his son's funeral..."

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

No Lying In Canada

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: Regulators Reject Proposal That Would Bring Fox-Style News to Canada:

"...As America's middle class battles for its survival on the Wisconsin barricades -- against various Koch Oil surrogates and the corporate toadies at Fox News -- fans of enlightenment, democracy and justice can take comfort from a significant victory north of Wisconsin border. Fox News will not be moving into Canada after all! The reason: Canada regulators announced last week they would reject efforts by Canada's right wing Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, to repeal a law that forbids lying on broadcast news..."

When Raygun trashed the Fairness Doctrine, I knew the results would be terrible. I didn't know they would be catastrophic. Thanks God the truth can be found somewhere in this hemisphere.

Most Say "No" To Cuts

Majority in Poll Back Employees in Public Sector Unions - "...As labor battles erupt in state capitals around the nation, a majority of Americans say they oppose efforts to weaken the collective bargaining rights of public employee unions and are also against cutting the pay or benefits of public workers to reduce state budget deficits, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll..."

Public v. Private Salaries

Simply Left BehindThe Non-Rapturist's Guide To The Galaxy: Mayor Mike Blows It:

"...The argument you never hear, the argument that Mayor Mike ought to hear and then shut his piehole over, is this: public sector workers make MUCH LESS SALARY than their private sector counterparts. A clerk in a bank gets a 10-15% higher salary, plus vacation, plus paid sick time, and may even be eligible for a bonus each year.

Yes, that's right: a clerk at Goldman Sachs can make a bonus that brings his income significantly higher than the private sector premium already paid! The equivalent clerk at the city Department of Finance? Not so lucky..."

Leno Gets It

You know your spin is losing traction when even Jay Leno sees through it, so the Kochroaches and others must be fuming at Leno's put down last night. Leno mocked the contention that (paraphrasing here) teachers, cops, and firemen are the "new elites." If that's the case, he said, then a part-time minimum wage worker at Wal-Mart must be the "new middle class." Welcome to the new Republican economy.

Brain Drain In WI

The hollowing-out of Wisconsin | Meir Russ | Comment is free | "The untold story of Walker's plan is that it will accelerate the state's race to the bottom as a low-wage, low-skill economy..."