Saturday, July 16, 2011

Those Republicans Are Toast

 Here is a look at the Republican Party  by a paper based in Germany. As is usual, they are dead-on with their views.

die Tageszeitung, Germany
The Republicans Will Lose

By Ulrike Herrmann
Their stubbornness means future tactical problems for the conservatives.
Translated By Ron Argentati
15 July 2011

Edited by Gillian Palmee

Germany - die Tageszeitung - Original Article (German)
Is America going broke? Of course not. The sound-effects thunder in Washington is loud, to be sure, but it’s already certain that Republicans and Democrats will compromise on further borrowing. Neither party can risk bankruptcy for the United States because it would be Americans who suffer. By far, the largest portion of America’s debt lies not in China, but in domestic pension funds and insurance companies.
The losers in this political showdown have also been decided already: Republicans who had assumed they could fall back on a strategy of permanent boycott because of their House of Representatives majority. This intransigence assured them only tactical problems. First, President Obama has already made huge concessions to the opposition and comes off looking like a reasonable statesman. Second, the business community and investors have begun having doubts about the Republican strategy and are turning to the Democrats. Third, moderate Republicans recognize these dangers, but the radical tea partiers do not.
The “Grand Old Party” is now so terribly divided that it is unrecognizable even to voters who want to defeat Obama in the next election. Conservative media outlets like the Wall Street Journal are expressing outrage at how stupidly Republicans are acting.
But the Republicans have not only lost tactically. The demands they’ve made in negotiating future budgets may also result in an election disaster for them. They insist on making reductions in Medicare. Many Americans don’t appreciate that idea in the least, as evidenced by the recent congressional election in New York. The Republicans suffered a surprise defeat there principally because their candidate also supported cutting Medicare.
That pattern may well repeat itself.



Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Funnies:What A Week

  Not sure about you, but this past week has been hell for me. When it comes right down to it, the month of July has been bad all the way around. I do not have much of a sense of humor, but I will give it a shot anyway.

Jay Leno: Scientists say life on Earth is wiped out every 27 million years, and we have 16 million years left. So we’re all going to die just when we finally get our debt paid off."

"Michele Bachmann and her husband run this institution where they try to 'pray away the gay.' They want gay guys to think outside the bun."

A report says that a growing number of Americans are worth $1 million. The bad news: last year they were worth $5 million."

David Letterman: "Congress is pledging to work around the clock until they're absolutely certain they will get nothing done."

It's so hot that instead of tapping phones, Rupert Murdoch has been tapping kegs.

"Michele Bachmann says that if she's elected, she'll ban pornography. We have multiple wars, skyrocketing debts, a recession, unemployment . . . Yeah, let's ban pornography."


Republican Candidates,Cartoon Style

  Some of the better cartoons with the GOP fools who wish to occupy the White House.





Thursday, July 14, 2011

Major Doc Drop: All ALEC Model Legislation Leaked

  Between the Koch brothers and ALEC, you and I are getting well f—ked.

Original Post by ManfromMiddletown for Exposing ALEC

Wed Jul 13, 2011

Major news is breaking today out of Wisconsin. And it's not (directly) about the recall elections. The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) has gone live with a web site containing leaked copies of all ALEC's model legislation.   For those of you who aren't aware what the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is, a bit of background is helpful.  I particularly enjoy the "definition" that CMD has come up with.

ALEC is not a lobby; it is not a front group. It is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, behind closed doors, corporations hand state legislators the changes to the law they desire that directly benefit their bottom line. Along with legislators, corporations have full membership standing in ALEC. Corporations sit on all nine ALEC task forces and vote with legislators to approve “model” bills. They have their own corporate governing board, which has a second, final vote on all legislation. They fund almost all of ALEC's operations. Participating legislators, overwhelmingly conservative Republicans, then bring those proposals home and introduce them in statehouses across the land as their own brilliant ideas and important public policy innovations—without disclosing that corporations crafted and voted on the bills. ALEC boasts that it has over 1,000 of these bills introduced by legislative members every year, with one in every five of them enacted into law. ALEC describes itself as a “unique,” “unparalleled” and “unmatched” organization. We agree. It is as if a state legislature had been reconstituted, yet corporations had pushed the people out the door.

ALEC Wants Us Peasants Quiet

ALEC was founded in 1973 by conservative activist Paul Weyrich. A brief clip of a Weyrich speech from 1980 explains a lot about the group's anti-democratic (note the little d) beliefs


"Now many of our Christians have what I call the goo-goo syndrome — good government. They want everybody to vote. I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people, they never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down."

As we all know voting rights have been under attack recently.  Whether it's voter id requirements or attempts to purge valid voters from the rolls, ALEC has led the charge.

On July 17, 2009, ALEC's Public Safety and Elections Task Force approved a piece of model legislation called the "Voter ID Act."  The act calls for ID's required of voters to have both a photo and an expiration date, meaning that most college ids will not fit the bill.  Understand, this isn't about the vague (and utterly baseless) possibility that someone might attempt to commit in person voter fraud.  It's about disenfranchising people of color and lower income folks who move far more often (and often have no car, thus no drivers license) and students.

In case we ever seriously questioned not only the effect, and intent, of these laws, a quick look at Section 4 of the Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, adopted May 17, 2008, really seals the bill. This bill enshrines the discredited practice of voter caging into state law. As a 1986 memo between GOP officials in Louisiana demonstrates, they know precisely who this tactic would catch, as evidenced by this choice quote:

I know this race is really important to you. I would guess that this program will eliminate at least 60-80,000 folks from the rolls. . . . If it’s a close race, which I’m assuming it is, this could keep the black vote down considerably

The RNC is actually under a federal consent decree prohibiting the use of this tactic, requiring that any "ballot security" program be pre-approved.

As a Brennan Center report (the quoted memorandum above comes from the same source) outlines, there are multiple reasons why mail sent to newly registered voters may be returned to sender:

1. Voter rolls suffer from typos and other clerical errors
2. A voter may not be listed on the mailbox of her residential voting address
3. A voter may live at a non-traditional residence
4. A voter may be temporarily away from her permanent residence
5. A voters permanent mailing address may differ from her residential voting address
6. Mail may not be properly delivered
7. A voters street name may have changed
8. A voter may refuse to accept certain mail

Why ALEC Wants Us Peasants Quiet

All this effort to disenfranchise voters has to be for some reason.  And it is.  ALEC's claim that it is a non-partisan organization is accurate on at least one count. If they could serve their corporate masters by reeling in Democratic state legislators to do their work, they would. Whether it's privatization, i.e. getting state assets at dimes on the dollar, pushing tax cuts, or deregulation, ALEC's model legislation is all about big money donors getting a leg up on you and I. And as every good dog knows there's only one reason to get a leg up, something's going to get wet.

I've chosen to narrow in on labor issues here. Believe me, if you dig through the files at ALEC Exposed, you'll find that there's all sorts of of other ways they are trying to get a leg up on you and I. But, to keep things short, I'm going to hammer home on my favorite ALEC model bill.  It's Orwellian the shit that's wrapped up in an innocuous enough title: The Full Employment Act.

Sounds good, right?  Think again, it's about eliminating the unemployment insurance safety net while continuing to collect money from workers that will later be used to subsidize business.

As many of you know, unemployment remains high, and long term unemployment (greater than 26 weeks) is at historically high levels as a percentage of the total. As it stands now the BLS reports 14 million Americans as unemployed (reported rate), while only around  4 million of those are receiving unemployment insurance.  Yes, most unemployed folks don't currently receive benefits for one reason or another, even though they paid into the system.

The Full Employment Act would shred what's left of this safety net, and use the scraps to subsidize businesses.

From Section 1 of the bill:

It is the purpose of this Act to reduce the need for welfare and the dependence welfare induces, and to that end, there is hereby created a demonstration
program to be known as the Full Employment Program, hereinafter referred to as the "Program." The Program shall be a three-year test in [insert number of counties] counties of the effects of replacing certain welfare and unemployment insurance benefits with guaranteed paid employment. During the test, normal Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), unemployment compensation, and Food Stamp benefits shall be suspended in [insert name of counties] counties. Persons otherwise eligible for those benefits, and others in need of work, shall be eligible for the Program. The Program shall assign them to wage-paying public and private sector jobs designed to increase their self-sufficiency and improve their competitive position in the work force.

Yes, they want to eliminate unemployment insurance.  Instead, you will be assigned to an employer, and made to work if you want benefits. Think about it, if you are trying to work full time at a job assigned to you, do you really think that you are going to be able to actively look for a position that actually matches your skills?  No, you'll be trapped.  It's not only the unemployed that this impacts, the idea is to disempower workers, using their own taxes against them.

Section 6 of the bill diverts the unemployment insurance revenue into a "Program Special Fund." Section 7 both sets the rate of pay at 90% of the minimum wage, or the federal rate if higher, and uses the funds gathered in the "Program Special Fund" to pay the employer portion of worker's comp and Social Security taxes.

Now let me ask you.  Do you think that employers are going to hire a machine operator at $14.50/hr if they can get someone in from this state program and pay them $7.25/hr, and get the extra 8-9% that normally goes to the employer portion of FICA paid for them.  That alone saves the employer $1100-$1200 a year, at taxpayer expense.

This is what the ALEC agenda looks like,  it's part of a broader agenda of repealing the 20th century.

What's a Peasant to do?

It's not hopeless.  The release of ALEC's model legislation exposes this people for what they are.  And it's just the beginning.

ALEC will be holding it's annual meeting on August 1-6 in New Orleans.  After the success of our protest at their Cincinnati event this spring, we plan to carry the fight forward to New Orleans.

Please join us, and/or, make a donation.

We will not be silent.  Will you stand with us?

Originally posted to Exposing ALEC on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 10:01 AM PDT.
Also republished by Frustrati, Class Warfare Newsletter: The Plutocracy VS the Working Class, and Earthship Koch.

Fun with The Bachman Clinic

  It has been reported that the clinic which the Bachman’s own, Bachman and Associates, has been using an un-scientific therapy method to turn gays away from their lifestyle. In that regard The Daily Show host Jon Stewart decided to get some comedic therapy along the lines that the Bachman clinic has used. The  “ cure “ is hilarious.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I Almost Feel Bad for the Teabaggers

Original Post    by BooMan23 at DKos    Tue Jul 12, 2011

It's kind of interesting to wade into the fetid waters of Lunaticville to see how they're reacting to the news that real Republicans represent Wall Street, and Tea Baggers are merely their (mostly) useful idiots.  Look, this isn't complicated.  There are a few very wealthy people in this country and there are hundreds of millions of...well...everyone else.  Very wealthy people have a particular set of concerns.  They would like to keep the money they have and they'd like to set the optimal conditions for them to make much more money.  In this, they're not really much different than the rest of us, but their behavior can have an outsized impact on all kinds of things, like the integrity of investments or the quality and safety of products or the healthiness of the air and water or the kind of compensation we receive as their employees.

Very frequently, our interests conflict with their interests.  They're badly outnumbered, so they should expect to lose political arguments pretty much all the time.  But they have money.  Lots and lots of money.  And they use that money to create political speech and political outcomes.  But speech isn't enough.  They need votes.  And the only way for them to get enough votes to have their interests reach parity with ours is to align themselves with some other large segment of the population.  In our recent history, this has been religious conservatives and, especially, Southerners who still retain an unhealthy contempt for the Federal government that beat them in the Civil War.  There's also another group of people, usually called libertarians, who are basically cheerleaders for rich fat cats not out of any particular self-interest but probably as a result of some quirky protein produced by their DNA in utero.  Who knows what is wrong with these people?  Most of them were born on third base, think they hit a triple, and are really pissed that they haven't yet scored.   They blame empathy.  And Al Sharpton.

Now, you can believe political rhetoric or you can believe your lying eyes.  Republicans run up huge deficits whenever they have the power to do so, and they loot the treasury to enrich themselves and their political donors.  That is literally what real Republicans live to do.  That's the party's entire purpose.  The deficits are not really the primary goal.  They're a byproduct of their desire to pay the lowest possible taxes while steering the maximum amount of the government's money to their rich pals.  The deficits do serve a purpose however. Once bounced from power, the Republicans behave as though it was the Democrats who produced those deficits.  And they pound the Democrats to cut social programs that steer government money away from their rich pals to people who are in need of some assistance. 

This is how American politics work in our two-party system.  Anyone who rallied to the Republican Party because they wanted to see them fix the deficit problem is not paying attention to how our system operates.  Mitch McConnell doesn't want to do away with earmarks.  He doesn't want a balanced budget amendment.  Those things would interfere with his ability to steer our tax money where he wants it to go.  A Republican Party that couldn't run up massive deficits would have no real reason to exist anymore. 

If you joined the Tea Party because you want to see lower taxes on millionaires and less regulation of business, then good; you're on solid ground.  But if you joined because you want smaller government and a balanced budget, you made a grave mistake.  The thing about greedheads is that they have no moral qualms about ripping you off and selling you out.  They're almost sociopathic by definition.  I mean, who attacks empathy?  That should be your first clue that you're on your own. 

If you are getting well paid to be an idiot, more power to you.  This is America.  But if you actually believed that John Boehner and Mitch McConnell want to transform the government into some Galtian paradise, you're just a sucker.  Plain and simple. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hey John Boehner

  You continue to tell Americans, and the Obama administration that you and the House will not raise taxes on corporations and the wealthy because to do so would hurt those “ job creators “ that you love so much. Then you say that Americans do not want higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations? What polls are you reading, sir. Can you even read?


....profits are up, where are THE JOBS?

Show us the jobs! Where are those jobs?

10 Years Of Bush Tax Cuts: What Have They Done For You?

  Not a whole lot, I can tell you that right now. You did not get much of a tax break if you are among the poorest 60%, but the richest 1% most assuredly did, as is pointed out by Citizens for Tax Justice, a group which is highly accurate in its studies. 

  Click here and then place your pointer over your state to see how much the average tax cuts was for you compared to that 1%.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Breaking News

  The Murdoch empire still going to have some major problems with their on-going scandal

Breaking: Murdoch Paid Police for hacking details of Royals, 9/11 Victims and British PM: UPDATED

by Brit    Mon Jul 11, 2011    Original

Yes, the scandal that is shaking the Murdoch Empire is expanding to the US, implicating not only the publisher of the WSJ in hacking the Royal Family with details bought from the police, but also - just as they hacked the victims and relatives of the London 7/7 bombings - there are reports that News International tried to suborn US police officers for hacking details of victims the 9/11 attacks.

According to today's Daily Mirror:

a former New York cop made the 9/11 hacking claim. He alleged he was contacted by News of the World journalists who said they would pay him to retrieve the private phone records of the dead.

Now working as a private ­investigator, the ex-officer claimed reporters wanted the victim’s phone numbers and details of the calls they had made and received in the days leading up to the atrocity.

A source said: “This investigator is used by a lot of journalists in America and he recently told me that he was asked to hack into the 9/11 victims’ private phone data. He said that the journalists asked him to access records showing the calls that had been made to and from the mobile phones belonging to the victims and their ­relatives.

“His presumption was that they wanted the information so they could hack into the ­relevant voicemails, just like it has been shown they have done in the UK. The PI said he had to turn the job down. He knew how insensitive such research would be, and how bad it would look.

“The investigator said the ­journalists seemed particularly interested in getting the phone records belonging to the British victims of the attacks.”

This comes hard on the heels of revelations from Robert Peston at the BBC that emails, seen by senior NI executives in 2007, but only handed to the police a few weeks ago, show that the News of the World paid police domestic protection officers, looking after the Royal Family, for private phone numbers and personal details...

Regarding the emails that were found in 2007 but only passed to the police on July. At least some of them provided evidence that the NOTW was buying the contact details of the Royal family and their friends from a Royal protection officer. This suggests that the security of the head of state was being compromised. It's a remarkable story. As soon as the newer management of the NOTW became aware of what was in the emails, they were told them that they had to give them immediately to the police. But here is evidence that the private details of the Royal family were sold, by a protection officer, to the News of the World.

So many laws, suborning a police officer, lying to Parliament, court perjury are exposed by this revelation, let alone the security risk to our nominal head of state. I don't like Monarchy, but the idea that News International could break the law to bribe, distort and blackmail with impunity for so long staggers me.

And this has ramifications for his US operations too. Thanks to BDA in VA for the link to Huffington Post which alerted me to the Mirror story

As other Kossacks have pointed out, Les Hinton, who oversaw the internal 2007 News International internal  inquiry into the hacking of phones in 2007, said that the journalist and investigator involved were one-offs:

Hinton, who then ran NI which is owned by News Corp, spoke to the Commons culture committee looking into the Goodman affair on 6 March 2007. He was asked whether the News of the World had "carried out a full, rigorous internal inquiry" into phone hacking and whether he was "absolutely convinced" the practice was limited to a single reporter.

The Guardian understands that Hinton was among five NI executives who had access to the report. The then News of the World editor, Colin Myler, and legal counsel, Tom Crone, are also understood to have seen it.

Having met with the family of the murdered schoolgirl whose phone was hacked, the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has now come out against the News International bid for BSkyB - an amazing turnaround - and making Murdoch's complete acquisition of Britain's largest broadcaster potentially dead in the water.

But Murdoch still has a largely intact media empire, both here and in the US. As it stands Les Hinton could be in defiance of various British laws, and therefore not a person of standing to be publisher of the WSJ, either under simple corporate governance rules, or the FCP act.

NB: For the best live feeds on this, try the Guardian here, the Daily Telegraph, and videos and Tweets from the BBC

UPDATE: Just to underline that it's not just NOTW nor just celebrities, victims or royals, Michael Crick, a well respected BBC reporter, is tweeting that the former PM, Gordon Brown, is going to make a statement this afternoon about The Sunday Times.

The news is now in thanks to the stellar reporter at the Guardian, Nick Davies: News International papers targeted Gordon Brown

Journalists from across News International repeatedly targeted the former prime minister Gordon Brown, attempting to access his voicemail and obtaining information from his bank account, his legal file as well as his family's medical records.

There is also evidence that a private investigator used a serving police officer to trawl the police national computer for information about him.

It gets more disgusting still - Brown's children were a victim. According to a BBC reporter

BBC told medical records of Gordon Browns son with cystic fibrosis illegally obtained + info then published by the Sun when Brooks in charge

UPDATEX2: Is US pressure now working? According to the Guardian via Reuters:

It appears that lawyers from a group of News Corporation institutional shareholders have filed a complaint at the chancery court in Delaware – the famously business-friendly state where News Corp and thousands of other companies are incorporated – saying the company's board should have taken action against phone hacking years before.

I've just heard  Michael Wolff, Murdoch's biographer, say it's "headless chicken" time at Newscorp and:

I think Rupert Murdoch for one of the first times in his life has absolutely no idea what he should do.

As of 16.33 BST Newscorp stock is down 6%

Is this potentially an ENRON moment for Newscorp. As Virginisland Guy says on the Moose:

Ruperts empire is a classic "Grow or Die" model. Cut off his expansion plans and shine the spotlight on the unprofitability of many of his holdings, and the whole will crumble under the leveraged debt load.
Originally posted to Brit on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 03:25 AM PDT.
Also republished by Moose On The Loose.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Brief Break From My “ Stupid People “ Postings


  I did manage to file complaints with the Department of Labor. Had to go federal on this because the state of Florida does not handle this sort of problem. No wonder workers get screwed so bad down here.

  As you all know through my previous postings, I’ve a few complications with a couple of very, truly stupid people. On top of dealing with them, which should not have been necessary in the first place with  situations that they have put me in, I have been in the process of relocating to a much nicer and better residence.

  So, because of the distractions, I will not be posting to much over the next week, maybe longer. in order to get myself back on track I am having to pretty much put myself in exile until I get these idiots corrected in the manner in which they need to be corrected.

   I’ll be back to tell you all about it whenever time permits.

  Have a great week!!


Stupid People, Part 2

  This continues from my rant July 9,2011 about an idiot who I worked for and who is now trying to rip me off. The fact that this scum thinks that he is going to get away with this is what makes him on of the “ Stupid People.”

  Florida residents be warned about this wannabe somebody who is actually a nobody. The only thing that this chump ( Thomas Jones ) has going for him is a felony criminal record, which includes prison time. What really pisses me off with this bum is that he passes himself off as a Christian, a Messianic Jew, to be exact. He can spout off what he believes the bible says, which much he is wrong about, and make you believe that he means what he is telling you. He can half-assed talk the talk, but he is woefully inadequate when it comes time to walk the walk. Thomas is a FRAUD in his life, in his business, and the punk has no morals. There is a lot of that down in Florida.

   Break time is over for me right now, so I have to continue this at a later time. If you get bored, check out other complaints against this man and his company, Electra Tech Industries, Inc.

  The start of this entire fiasco is coming up next. I may get violent if I feel the need to be that way.