Saturday, July 23, 2011

Republicans Are Communists, Period!

  Corporate Communists, that is.

  Do you dumb Republican supporters need any more proof than this that the Republican>Conservative>Tea Party is only out to help their corporate masters on Wall Street to fuck you over once again?

WASHINGTON (AP) — As the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau officially opened its doors Thursday, the House was considering legislation that could restrict its authority to act against abuses of the financial system.

Republican sponsors of the bill say they are simply trying to promote transparency and accountability in the agency that was created a year ago as part of President Barack Obama's overhaul of the rules governing financial markets.

But the White House has threatened to veto the legislation, saying it would expose consumers to the same risks that led to the 2008 financial meltdown. The Democratic-controlled Senate is unlikely to take it up.

"The Republican majority," said Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., at the opening of the debate, would like the American people to believe that a near-financial collapse never happened."

  The Republicans want to create a 5 member bipartisan panel and the bill would basically make it easier for other financial regulators to block the agency from issuing new regulations which would help you from getting screwed over by the titans of Wall Street and the big banks.

   Maybe I should consider a switch over to Republicanism as it seems to pay very well while you screw over your next door neighbor.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Funnies: Murdoch Edition

  The hell with the debt ceiling debates. Obama is going to end up screwing us just like his Republican friends and he have been doing since 2008. One more time:  Problem solved!

Conan O'Brien: "While testifying in parliament, Rupert Murdoch was attacked by a man who threw a pie and yelled insulting names. Murdoch immediately gave the man a show on Fox News."

Jay Leno: "Rupert Murdoch said yesterday at the House of Commons that he was shocked, appalled, and ashamed. So apparently he watches Fox News, too."

"Rupert Murdoch testified today before the House of Commons. He said he was not responsible for the phone hacking scandal. Did you hear his defense? He said he's got AT&T so he can barely listen to anybody."

"A Harvard University ethics student was caught hacking into MIT's computer network. When he heard about it, Rupert Murdoch said, 'Hire that kid on the spot.'"

Craig Ferguson: "The Murdochs testified before parliament and did something that not many powerful people would have the courage to do: They blamed others."

"I think it's cowardly to attack an 80–year–old man with a pie. If the attacker had any courage, he'd go after Murdoch like I do: in the middle of the night from 5,000 miles away."

Jimmy Fallon: Rupert Murdoch was testifying in his phone hacking case today, and a man attacked him with a pie. Fortunately, Murdoch knew to move out of the way, because he heard about the plan on the guy's voicemail."

Jimmy Kimmel:"I don't think Rupert Murdoch's guilty of phone hacking. He paid $580 million for Myspace. Obviously he knows nothing about technology."

Forget The Debt Ceiling, ALEC Is What You Should Worry About

  ALEC is the enemy within, make no mistake about that. Go Here to see why this group should be prosecuted in the United States.

   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 membership 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 meets jointly with the legislative board. (ALEC says that corporations do not vote on the board.) Corporations 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.    Source

America The Beautiful, NEW LOW PRICE!

by Fed up Fed          Wed Jul 20, 2011

Some time back, in the early aughts, I worked as a shelf stocker for Safeway.  Scintillating work that it was, my mind yet wandered to other things as my hands repeated the same motions thousands of times a night, open box, grip can, stack can, grip and stack, grip and stack, open the next box, on through the dark.  As I worked, an observation struck me that seemed at once profound and profoundly pernicious.  And it seems, as we grow ever more entombed in partisan rhetoric and entitlement cut kabuki, the thing I learned about people in my ten years in the grocery business seems particulalry relevant to me now.

As a matter of pragmatism, shelf stockers and tag girls -- for some reason every file maintenance clerk, tag changer, I ever worked with was a woman -- worked the same shifts on ad change night.  It occurred to me, after some time, that whenever the girls changed the shelf tags, they left behind a flurry of special promotional tags that proclaimed "NEW LOW PRICE!"

Of course, promotional tags being hyperbolic by nature, I took no particular offense at their tone, but something about them did bother me a bit, and after a while, my minimal cognitive abilities kicked out an answer: the prices were higher.  They were charging more for those items, not less.  The tags advertised a new price, that much was true, and the term "low" is certainly subjective enough that it's open to interpretation.  But it seemed then, as now, that declaiming the price you just raised a "NEW LOW PRICE," well, that's just dishonest.  But it works in marketing, mainly because it turns out that people will, with only a little encouragement, make economic decisions that don't really make any sense, but that can only charitably be described as, "Good enough."

Marketers know a lot about this concept.  They even have a word for it: satisficing.  It's the idea that rational decisions are hard, while seeking a sense of adequacy minimizes the anxiety of risk and the pain of loss (satisfaction + suffice = satisfice).  It's the reason why a simple little sticker can ease the pain of a price increase by reassuring the customer that it's still low, despite their lying eyes.  And it works quite well at boosting sales for off-sale items, as customers satisfice themselves with mediocrity rather than do the hard math of maximizing their purchasing power and shopping for actual, rather than perceived, value.

Seeking customer satisficing rather than providing value now dominates retail because it works really, really well.  As a matter of fact, as a matter of record, it works just as well in politics.

The American Dream is a Promotional Sticker

In America, we used to do big things.  In my grandfather's day, no challenge daunted us, no height impressed us, and no depth ever sunk us.  We did big things in big ways, and we did them because great strength requires constant tests.  So we sought out the feats no sane nation could tackle, and that's the thing we did.  It's why we cut a sea lane across 50 miles of jungle, losing 30,000 men along the way.  It's why we corked the Colorado River with the largest dam in human history while simultaneously flailing our way through the greatest economic disaster of all time.  And of course, of course, it's why we went to the moon and did that other thing, not because it was easy, but because it was hard.  We were hard, and no test of our mettle could break us because we would not relent and the world would bend to our will.

We used to do things only because they were hard and because we were tough.  I say used to because, though that blood still pumps in our veins and the potential still plays about our heads in our wilder moments, we've grown timid and soft, complacent in our wealth, callous in our fortunate height.  We used to do the hard thing, but some time ago we discovered a fondness for easy and cheap wins.  We don't do the hard thing, the big thing.  We go out of our way not to.

September 1, 2001, 9/11, was a unifying moment of national outrage at an audacious slaughter of fantastic proportions.  It was followed by a time of deep pride and unstinting admiration for those implausible souls who died running into the smoke, and the rescue workers, an unlikely mix of cops and steelworkers and soldiers, whose faces on every magazine cover bore a dark patina of the dust that would later turn their lungs into rock.  In our greater days, when we did those big things, this would have been the moment when all our eyes turned from the empty machinations of soulless men who saw only opportunity in our tragedy.

But that would have been hard, and so we sat complacent while our leaders plotted the greatest heist in human history while distracting us all by bombarding a nation of goatherding religious zealots.  And because the money was so sweet, the pickings so plump, they put another fireworks display on our teevees and stole more and more from our treasury and thinned the herd at the same time, and all in the name of doing the easy thing endorsed by almost all of us.

And still those wars rage on while our kids die for whatever, and now most of us are clamoring once again to do the easy thing and pull away from commitments we made the day the first bomb dropped.  And meanwhile our country is wealthier than ever, but only at the top, and the debate somehow centers on how much to harm the poor and the old and the very young, because asking those very few who have benefitted from a lost decade to help put our nation back upright is some concoction of every sin imagined or invented by men whose grasp on our nation's greatness can be summed up in a Lee Greenwood song, and no deeds of any sort.

We used to do the big things.  We fed the poor, cared for the sick.  We built grand monuments to our greatness, but we also put profound energy into the least of us.  There were days when we knew that a great nation is measured by how well its poorest citizens lived.  And so we did the big things and we fought poverty where it lived and we spread wealth around to all who would work for it, and we finally realized Herbert Hoover's dream of a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage, and that was the biggest of all the big things we ever did, bar none.

But we don't do the big things anymore.  Now we say we're broke, we have other things we need to do, we can't help every poor soul not blessed to have emerged into the world with the correct family and the best of circumstances.  We do the small things, the least of things.  In today's America, we eschew the grand, shoot for the petty.  We don't plant the flag on the moon, we fly it from our car antenna.  We don't build grand structures, we let them crumble and fall.  We don't do the big thing, or the hard thing, we do the thing that comes first and easiest.

And that is the great tragedy of a great nation whose better days are only behind it by sheer force of will and a little known thing called satisficing.  Jesus wept.

Originally posted to Fed up Fed on Wed Jul 20, 2011
Also republished by Community Spotlight.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

U.S. Debt Ceiling Problem Solved

   It has been quite awhile now that the Republicans and the White House have been going at each others throats over the debt ceiling with the GOP wanting to add cuts to a few of the “ entitlement programs “ before they will pass any deal. At the same time, Obama and the Democrats are trying to get some of those tax cuts for the wealthy off of the books. I believe that Obama will somewhat cave in once again since he has gotten use to being at the Wall Street/Corporate trough.

   I have a simple solution that would not only help with the governments debt problem, but it would also make both the Democrats and the Republicans issues moot.

  My solution?   Problem solved!

  Now where is my finders fee?

Debt Negotiations


Copyright © 2011 Creators Syndicate

Copyright © 2011 Creators Syndicate

Voter Fraud? Are The Republicans The Fraudsters?

  Republicans are always harping about having tougher voting laws in place in order to curb their non-existent voter fraud issues.

   Let’s go back to the year 2004 and the Busch election.

New Evidence in 2004 Election Theft

by 1Watt Hermit     Wed Jul 20, 2011

A new filing in the King Lincoln Bronzeville Neighborhood Association v. Blackwell shows how the RNC transferred the votes from Ohio to RNC servers in Tennessee.


A new filing in the King Lincoln Bronzeville v. Blackwell case includes a copy of the Ohio Secretary of State election production system configuration that was in use in Ohio's 2004 presidential election when there was a sudden and unexpected shift in votes for George W. Bush.

The filing also includes the revealing deposition of the late Michael Connell. Connell served as the IT guru for the Bush family and Karl Rove. Connell ran the private IT firm GovTech that created the controversial system that transferred Ohio's vote count late on election night 2004 to a partisan Republican server site in Chattanooga, Tennessee owned by SmarTech. That is when the vote shift happened, not predicted by the exit polls, that led to Bush's unexpected victory. Connell died a month and a half after giving this deposition in a suspicious small plane crash



Prior to the filing, Cliff Arnebeck, lead attorney in the King Lincoln case, exchanged emails with IT security expert Stephen Spoonamore. Arnebeck asked Spoonamore whether or not SmarTech had the capability to "input data" and thus alter the results of Ohio's 2004 election. Spoonamore responded: "Yes. They would have had data input capacities. The system might have been set up to log which source generated the data but probably did not."

Spoonamore explained that "they [SmarTech] have full access and could change things when and if they want."

Arnebeck specifically asked "Could this be done using whatever bypass techniques Connell developed for the web hosting function." Spoonamore replied "Yes."

Spoonamore concluded from the architectural maps of the Ohio 2004 election reporting system that, "SmarTech was a man in the middle. In my opinion they were not designed as a mirror, they were designed specifically to be a man in the middle."

A "man in the middle" is a deliberate computer hacking setup, which allows a third party to sit in between computer transmissions and illegally alter the data. A mirror site, by contrast, is designed as a backup site in case the main computer configuration fails.


The last entry dated 7/15/11 links to a 259 page PDF for the complete filing.

This needs to be shouted from the roof tops to every MSM/blog/Politician in the country.

Hoping this is the nail in Rove's coffin.

Also republished by Three Star Kossacks.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Media Assault- Taxes and Budget Cuts

  The following post comes by way of the activist over at Daily Kos, who wish to have this idea for raising revenue to curb the deficit passed around to all of the news outlets possible. You may wish to also spread the word to you congress-critters while you are at it.

  This idea of taxing stock trades and such with something similar to a sales tax could go a long way towards cutting the deficit as well as stopping the assault on Social Security and Medicaid/Medicare.

This morning we have the usual conservative politics with a new wave.  We have had the Tea Party /Right wing effort to stop an extension of the debt ceiling.
Now we have "moderate" proposal from the Gang of Six, which is essentially the Simpson-Bowles plan. That is another conservative, not so crazy, right wing assault on benefits and working people.  And, since it is not the crazy Tea Party, the press is picking up on it.

Our task.  Today.
Get as many posts up as you can, letters to the editor, responses on web news stories.  In each case argue for the opposite- a financial transaction tax.  The information you need is on the DSA site;  here.

Despite what conservatives often say, there are several potential sources of money to pay for the needs of our country.  Perhaps the most promising is a tax on the trading of financial assets, a financial transaction tax, often called an FTT or a “Tax on Wall Street Speculators.”
Q:  How would an FTT work?
A: An FTT would be a small tax on all trading in stocks, currencies, and debt products such as treasury bills and bonds (and futures and options contracts on all of these). Think of it as a very small sales tax. It could be a tax of $1 on every $400 of stocks traded (0.25%); one-quarter of one percent, and $1 on every $800 dollars of currency or debt traded (0.125%), one-eighth of one percent.

Q: How much money could it raise?

A: This tax would have raised between $750 billion and $1.2 trillion during each of the past five years (2005 – 2009).  With that amount of revenue we could put a large number of people back to work on the projects that are needed to rebuild our economy.

We should be as creative as possible.  And, certainly among the people here on line there are some additional good ideas on how to penetrate the main stream media.  Even church newsletters and labor papers have value. ( because they are friend to friend).

We should be as creative as possible.  And, certainly among the people here on line there are some additional good ideas on how to penetrate the main stream media.  Even church newsletters and labor papers have value. ( because they are friend to friend).

Certainly Facebook and other social media.  The idea is focus.  for just 3 days, repeat and repeat. Financial transaction tax. Not cuts to social security and Medicare. It also helps if you can link to similar pieces, that raises the Google counting.
See the good essay on this by Dean Baker yesterday.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

More Washington Doublespeak on Social Security

   By  Congressman Dennis Kucinich    Tue Jul 19, 2011

Today the so-called 'Gang of Six' published a draft report that acknowledges the solvency of Social Security, but incorporates it into a deficit reduction plan anyway.

This latest bipartisan plan to reduce the deficit says on one hand that it will 'reform Social Security on a separate track, isolated from deficit reduction.' On the other hand if 'Social Security reform' gets sixty votes in the Senate, then it would be combined into a single bill with the deficit reduction plan. If the Social Security bill does not get 60 votes the deficit reduction bill is 'vitiated' or made invalid.

So an undefined Social Security 'reform' starts out on a separate track, joins the track of the deficit reduction bill, which lacking 60 votes becomes a train wreck.

Why are members of Congress and the Administration continuing to mix the '75 year solvency' of Social Security with the deficit, when Social Security, by the report of its own trustees, has enough resources to pay 100% of benefits through 2036, without any changes whatsoever? Who or what is driving this effort to simultaneously insist that Social Security reform is 'isolated from deficit reduction' and that deficit reduction depends upon Social Security reform?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Debt Ceiling: No Party Scores Good With Public

   Though President Obama and the Democrats have unfavorable ratings with the public, it is the American Taliban ( Republicans ) who are at the top of the publics dislike according to a new CBS News Poll, with the GOP getting a 71% disapproval rating from the public.


Americans are unimpressed with their political leaders' handling of the debt ceiling crisis, with a new CBS News poll showing a majority disapprove of all the involved parties' conduct, but Republicans in Congress fare the worst, with just 21 percent backing their intransigent resistance to raising taxes.

President Obama earned the most generous approval ratings for his handling of the weeks-old negotiations, but still more people said they disapproved (48 percent) than approved (43 percent) of what he has done and said.

    Maybe the Republicans should just stick to the things at which they are pros at, like job creation and hollering for more tax cuts for corporate America.. Okay, so they are pros at one of them.

  Even GOP party supporters do not care for they way in which their peters leaders are handling things, as noted by Brendan Nyhan:

Even half of the Republican respondents (51 percent) voiced disapproval of how members of their own party in Congress are handling the talks. Far fewer Democrats expressed disapproval of their own party's handling (32 percent) or President Obama's (22 percent) of the urgent quest to raise the nation's debt limit ahead of a looming default on Aug. 2 if action isn't taken.