Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Want To Win A Scholarship To Netroots Nation?

Want To Win A Scholarship To Netroots Nation?:



Want an opportunity to win a scholarship for Netroots Nation 2012, the country's biggest gathering of progressive activists?
Netroots Nation is teaming up with Rally.org for the first-ever Raise the Future contest, which invites people from around the country to fundraise for progressive causes for the chance to win an all-access pass to Netroots Nation this June in Providence. Ten winners will receive an all-access pass to the conference, hotel accommodations and invitations to VIP events (a $1200 value).
Sign up at rally.org/raisethefuture.
It's easy to participate: just recruit the most donors for one of the six featured causes—or choose one of your own—using the Rally.org fundraising platform. This contest is unique because it's not about how much money you raise, but the number of donors you engage.
The featured causes include Elizabeth Warren for Massachusetts, National Wildlife Federation Action Fund, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Washington United for Marriage, Truman National Security Project and New Leaders Council.
There's still plenty of time to sign up (and win!). The contest runs through May 15, with finalists announced May 17th.
It takes less than four minutes to get started. Sign up at rally.org/raisethefuture.

Monday, April 30, 2012

How Paul Ryan Escapes Scrutiny

How Paul Ryan Escapes Scrutiny:
House Budget chairman Paul Ryan inhabits two, mutually exclusive spaces in Washington politics. He’s both a crusader for deficit reduction—the recipient of praise and accolades from the Beltway’s collection of deficit hawks—and a pure right-wing ideologue, whose budgets would gut the social safety net, slash taxes on the rich, and load the United States with trillions of dollars in debt. That he’s managed to do this without backlash from the Right or incredulity from the mainstream is a remarkable achievement, and as Jonathan Chait describes for New York Magazine, a product of his studied earnestness and ostentatious love of “wonkery”:
Seeming genuine is something Ryan does extraordinarily well. And here is where something deeper is at play, more than Ryan’s charm and winning personality, something that gets at the intellectual bankruptcy of contemporary Washington. The Ryan brand is rooted in his ostentatious wonkery. Because, unlike the Bushes and the Palins, he grounds his position in facts and figures, he seems like an encouraging candidate to strike a bargain. But the thing to keep in mind about Ryan is that he was trained in the world of Washington Republican think tanks. These were created out of a belief that mainstream economists were hopelessly biased to the left, and crafted an alternative intellectual ecosystem in which conservative beliefs—the planet is not getting warmer, the economy is not growing more unequal—can flourish, undisturbed by skepticism. Ryan is intimately versed in the blend of fact, pseudo-fact, and pure imagination inhabiting this realm.
The thing that comes across in Chait’s piece, more than anything, is the degree to which so many people simply don’t believe that Ryan is a right-wing ideologue. When given a choice between him and their lying eyes, they choose him, despite the fact that his budget would clearly result in a return to the pre-New Deal era, where government was mostly uninvolved in the economic life of the country, to the detriment of everyone.

Ryan’s ideas should discredit him—they are little more than an updated version of the policies that led us to the worst economy since the Depression. But people like to be hooked, and the earnest congressman is a great salesman.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Mitt Romney to Speak at Hate Group Conference

Mitt Romney to Speak at Hate Group Conference:

Ron Hill is a Republican who blogs extensively about the religious right hijacking of his party at republicans4freedom.net.

The only thing missing is the Ku Klux Klan and a burning cross.
Gonna be hard for Romney to pretend he’s a mainstream candidate when he’s addressing the Friends of Adolf at their “Values Voters Summit”. I can see the Obama commercials tying Romney to Bryan Fischer’s comments that black women “rut like rabbits to have welfare babies” or to his statement that hispanic women are “immoral”. Want to paint Republicans as mean-spirited and divisive? Just tie Romney to leaders of America’s hate groups – they’ll all be at the “Value Voters Summit” being photographed with Mitt Romney.
How convenient for the Obama campaign. [cont'd.]
Oh yes, Speaker of the U.S. House John Boehner is also invited to speak.
Want to tell Mitt Romney to stay away from the “Value Voters” hate-fest? Contact his campaign and let them know what you think at Romney for President, PO Box 149756, Boston, MA 02114-9756, or call 857-288-3500.

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Simple Fact About The Trayvon Martin Murder That Must Be Shared

A Simple Fact About The Trayvon Martin Murder That Must Be Shared

If this tragedy had happened in any sane state, it would have been handled like it is: a homicide. Police in any sane department would have looked for witnesses and evidence and recorded the event and persons involved with photographs so that it could be determined if the shooter was in fact telling the truth about fearing for his life before shooting an unarmed minor.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Alaska Lawmaker: Women Should Obtain Permission From Men Before Undergoing An Abortion

Alaska Lawmaker: Women Should Obtain Permission From Men Before Undergoing An Abortion:
Like several conservative states across the country, Alaska is considering anti-abortion bills that would mandate ultrasounds for women seeking abortions and prohibit state agencies or employees from referring women to “abortion counseling, or another abortion-related service.” Such extreme measures have been rejected — and mocked — by the general public, and have also exposed the sexist and patronizing world views of their sponsors. For instance, a lawmaker in Idaho was recently forced to walk back his suggestion that “a doctor should ask a woman who says she was raped if the pregnancy could have been ’caused by normal relations in a marriage’ and now an Alaska legislator is facing blowback over an insensitive comment of his own. The Mudlfats reports that State Rep. Alan Dick recently “said that he doesn’t believe that when a woman is pregnant, it’s really ‘her pregnancy’” and “would advocate for criminalizing women who have an abortion without the permission via written signature from the man who impregnated her.” “If I thought that the man’s signature was required… required, in order for a woman to have an abortion, I’d have a little more peace about it,” he said. Such remarks suggest that the GOP’s effort to restrict access to abortion aren’t just about outlawing a particular procedure — they’re also aimed at ensuring that women are subservient to men.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Why Do Territories Get a Say in the GOP Primary Process?

Why Do Territories Get a Say in the GOP Primary Process?: Byron York notes that in recent weeks it has been Mitt Romney's wins "in the island territories -- Marianas, Guam, Samoa, Virgin Islands -- that gave Romney the edge in delegates. And on Sunday comes the primary in Puerto Rico. It's possible that if Romney finally reaches the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination, his delegate margin of victory will have come from the islands."



"Which leads to the question: Why are places that are not states, whose residents cannot vote for president, and which have no electoral votes allowed to play a potentially critical role in selecting the party's nominee?"

Dave Weigel notes a Republican's vote in Samoa was actually worth 4,182 times more than a Republican's vote in Florida.

Natural Born Drillers: Krugman Explains Why Fossil Fuel Boom Doesn’t Lower Prices Or Create Many Jobs

Natural Born Drillers: Krugman Explains Why Fossil Fuel Boom Doesn’t Lower Prices Or Create Many Jobs:

To be a modern Republican in good standing, you have to believe — or pretend to believe — in two miracle cures for whatever ails the economy: more tax cuts for the rich and more drilling for oil. And with prices at the pump on the rise, so is the chant of “Drill, baby, drill.” More and more, Republicans are telling us that gasoline would be cheap and jobs plentiful if only we would stop protecting the environment and let energy companies do whatever they want.
In place of the news round up today, I’m excerpting Paul Krugman excellent op-ed, “Natural Born Drillers.” The Nobel-prize winning economist debunks popular but fact-free right-wing myths:
Thus Mitt Romney claims that gasoline prices are high not because of saber-rattling over Iran, but because President Obama won’t allow unrestricted drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Meanwhile, Stephen Moore of The Wall Street Journal tells readers that America as a whole could have a jobs boom, just like North Dakota, if only the environmentalists would get out of the way.
The irony here is that these claims come just as events are confirming what everyone who did the math already knew, namely, that U.S. energy policy has very little effect either on oil prices or on overall U.S. employment. For the truth is that we’re already having a hydrocarbon boom, with U.S. oil and gas production rising and U.S. fuel imports dropping. If there were any truth to drill-here-drill-now, this boom should have yielded substantially lower gasoline prices and lots of new jobs. Predictably, however, it has done neither.
Outside of the WSJ editorial page, though, even the newspaper itself doesn’t buy this nonsense (see Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal and Koch-Fueled Cato Agree: “It’s Not Obama’s Fault That Crude Oil Prices Have Increased”).  Nor does the public (see Poll: 66% Blame Big Oil and MidEast Countries For High Gas Prices, 23% Blame Obama).
Here’s more from Krugman:

U.S. oil production has risen significantly over the past three years, reversing a decline over decades, while natural gas production has exploded.
Given this expansion, it’s hard to claim that excessive regulation has crippled energy production. Indeed, reporting in The Times makes it clear that U.S. policy has been seriously negligent — that the environmental costs of fracking have been underplayed and ignored. But, in a way, that’s the point. The reality is that far from being hobbled by eco-freaks, the energy industry has been given a largely free hand to expand domestic oil and gas production, never mind the environment.
Strange to say, however, while natural gas prices have dropped, rising oil production and a sharp fall in import dependence haven’t stopped gasoline prices from rising toward $4 a gallon. Nor has the oil and gas boom given a noticeable boost to an economic recovery that, despite better news lately, has been very disappointing on the jobs front.
As I said, this was totally predictable.
First up, oil prices. Unlike natural gas, which is expensive to ship across oceans, oil is traded on a world market — and the big developments moving prices in that market usually have little to do with events in the United States. Oil prices are up because of rising demand from China and other emerging economies, and more recently because of war scares in the Middle East; these forces easily outweigh any downward pressure on prices from rising U.S. production. And the same thing would happen if Republicans got their way and oil companies were set free to drill freely in the Gulf of Mexico and punch holes in the tundra: the effect on prices at the pump would be negligible.
Krugman also dismantles the jobs argument.
Meanwhile, what about jobs? I have to admit that I started laughing when I saw The Wall Street Journal offering North Dakota as a role model. Yes, the oil boom there has pushed unemployment down to 3.2 percent, but that’s only possible because the whole state has fewer residents than metropolitan Albany — so few residents that adding a few thousand jobs in the state’s extractive sector is a really big deal. The comparable-sized fracking boom in Pennsylvania has had hardly any effect on the state’s overall employment picture, because, in the end, not that many jobs are involved.
And this tells us that giving the oil companies carte blanche isn’t a serious jobs program. Put it this way: Employment in oil and gas extraction has risen more than 50 percent since the middle of the last decade, but that amounts to only 70,000 jobs, around one-twentieth of 1 percent of total U.S. employment. So the idea that drill, baby, drill can cure our jobs deficit is basically a joke.
Why, then, are Republicans pretending otherwise? Part of the answer is that the party is rewarding its benefactors: the oil and gas industry doesn’t create many jobs, but it does spend a lot of money on lobbying and campaign contributions. The rest of the answer is simply the fact that conservatives have no other job-creation ideas to offer.
And intellectual bankruptcy, I’m sorry to say, is a problem that no amount of drilling and fracking can solve.
Precisely.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Must Read: Taibbi: Bank of America is "too crooked to fail"

Taibbi: Bank of America is "too crooked to fail": This really is a must-read, and it really speaks for itself. The subject is Bank of America, and it stands proxy for the entire U.S. banking system.

Kudos to Rolling Stone for actually turning a good researcher (Taibbi) loose on this stuff — and for publishing it during election season. A sitting president is a very persuasive man when his job is up for renewal (just ask MSNBC, Dylan Ratigan excepted).

The link is here. In the subtitle, Taibbi asks:
The bank has defrauded everyone from investors and insurers to homeowners and the unemployed. So why does the government keep bailing it out?
That covers it, right?

A taste (my emphasis and reparagraphing):
At least Bank of America got its name right. The ultimate Too Big to Fail bank really is America, a hypergluttonous ward of the state whose limitless fraud and criminal conspiracies we'll all be paying for until the end of time.

Did you hear about the plot to rig global interest rates? The $137 million fine for bilking needy schools and cities? The ingenious plan to suck multiple fees out of the unemployment checks of jobless workers?

Take your eyes off them for 10 seconds and guaranteed, they'll be into some sh*t again: This bank is like the world's worst-behaved teenager, taking your car and running over kittens and fire hydrants on the way to Vegas for the weekend, maxing out your credit cards in the three days you spend at your aunt's funeral. They're out of control, yet they'll never do time or go out of business, because the government remains creepily committed to their survival, like overindulgent parents who refuse to believe their 40-year-old live-at-home son could possibly be responsible for those dead hookers in the backyard.
That was my asterisk; no kittens or hookers were harmed in the pasting of this quote. (That was one paragraph of the source, by the way; I get two more.)

How about this:
It's been four years since the government, in the name of preventing a depression, saved this megabank from ruin by pumping $45 billion of taxpayer money into its arm. Since then, the Obama administration has looked the other way as the bank committed an astonishing variety of crimes – some elaborate and brilliant in their conception, some so crude that they'd be beneath your average street thug.

Bank of America has systematically ripped off almost everyone with whom it has a significant business relationship, cheating investors, insurers, depositors, homeowners, shareholders, pensioners and taxpayers. It brought tens of thousands of Americans to foreclosure court using bogus, "robo-signed" evidence – a type of mass perjury that it helped pioneer.

It hawked worthless mortgages to dozens of unions and state pension funds, draining them of hundreds of millions in value. And when it wasn't ripping off workers and pensioners, it was helping to push insurance giants like AMBAC into bankruptcy by fraudulently inducing them to spend hundreds of millions insuring those same worthless mortgages.
And:
But despite being the very definition of an unaccountable corporate villain, Bank of America is now bigger and more dangerous than ever. It controls more than 12 percent of America's bank deposits (skirting a federal law designed to prohibit any firm from controlling more than 10 percent), as well as 17 percent of all American home mortgages.

By looking the other way and rewarding the bank's bad behavior with a massive government bailout, we actually allowed a huge financial company to not just grow so big that its collapse would imperil the whole economy, but to get away with any and all crimes it might commit. Too Big to Fail is one thing; it's also far too corrupt to survive.
This "institution" needs to be put down, and hard. It needs to be set as an example of unacceptable corporate behavior. It needs to be prosecuted to the full extent of the existing law, and new laws need to be enacted to address the grievances that are not yet prohibited by the letter of the law.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Goldman Sachs director quits 'morally bankrupt' Wall Street bank

Goldman Sachs director quits 'morally bankrupt' Wall Street bank:
Greg Smith resigns as executive director of Goldman's European equity derivatives business after devastating attack
A Goldman Sachs director in London has resigned after publishing a devastating open letter accusing senior staff of being "morally bankrupt" and bent on extracting maximum fees from clients by offloading unsuitable investment products.
Greg Smith, who has left his post as executive director of the firm's equity derivatives business in Europe, claimed that chief executive Lloyd Blankfein and president Gary Cohn have "lost hold of the firm's culture on their watch". He added that "this decline in the firm's moral fibre represents the single most serious threat to its long-run survival"..
Smith's charges, which were swiftly denied by the bank, were published in Wednesday's New York Times and raised questions about the firm's relationship with existing clients, whom Smith claimed were referred to as "muppets".
Lord Oakeshott, the Liberal Democrat peer and his party's former Treasury spokesman in the Lords, said the matter raised questions about any relationship between the UK government and Goldman.
Smith, who joined Goldman as a summer intern and worked at the firm for 12 years, first in New York and then in London, claimed managing directors made their remarks about "muppets" in internal email.
"I attend derivatives sales meetings where not one single minute is spent asking questions about how we can help clients. It's purely about how we can make the most possible money off them."
Selected as one of 10 people, out of a firm of 30,000, to appear in a Goldman recruiting video which is played on college campuses around the world, Smith has hired and mentored new recruits and managed a summer intern programme for the bank.
"I knew it was time to leave when I realised I could no longer look students in the eye and tell them what a great place this was to work," he wrote.
He said junior analysts are absorbing a culture in which the most important question is "how much money did we make off the client?", and that hearing talk of "muppets," "ripping eyeballs out" and "getting paid" will not turn them into "model citizens".
"Leadership used to be about ideas, setting an example and doing the right thing. Today, if you make enough money for the firm (and are not currently an axe murderer) you will be promoted to a position of influence."
In response, Goldman Sachs denied that Smith was giving an accurate view of life at the company.
"We disagree with the views expressed, which we don't think reflect the way we run our business. In our view, we will only be successful if our clients are successful. This fundamental truth lies at the heart of how we conduct ourselves," the bank said.
Conscience and Wall Street banking don't mix, apparently. I'm not sure how this person got as far as they did if they had a conscience all this time, but, hey, better late than never.

Monday, March 12, 2012

About That Pension

About That Pension: We'll get rid of those and your Social Security. It'll be paradise!



Big employers want Congress to give them a break on pension funding. Business lobbies such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers have managed to get a pension sweetener attached to a Senate highway bill that, potentially, would reduce required contributions by billions of dollars.


Soylent White is made of old people!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

BREAKING: Bush Appointee Finds DOMA Unconstitutional

BREAKING: Bush Appointee Finds DOMA Unconstitutional:

Moments ago, Judge Jeffery White of the District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violates the Constitution’s equal protection clause in a case brought by Karen Golinski. Golinski, represented by Lambda Legal, “was denied spousal health benefits by her employer, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.” White was appointed to the court by President George W. Bush in 2002. The decision represents a serious setback for House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), whose Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) defended DOMA after the Obama administration announced it would no longer defend the law. Read the full opinion here. (HT: GinnyLaRoe)



Update

The Court has ruled that considerations of discrimination against people based on sexual orientation should be held to heightened scrutiny for all four factors that determine such scrutiny:


HISTORY OF DISCRIMINATION: The first factor courts consider is whether the class has suffered a history of discrimination. There is no dispute in the record that lesbians and gay men have experienced a long history of discrimination.


ABILITY TO CONTRIBUTE TO SOCIETY: Similarly, there is no dispute in the record or the law that sexual orientation has no relevance to a person’s ability to contribute to society.


IMMUTABILITY: Regardless of the evidence that a tiny percentage of gay men or lesbians may experience some flexibility along the continuum of their sexuality or the scientific consensus that sexual orientation is unchangeable, the Court finds persuasive the holding in the Ninth Circuit that sexual orientation is recognized as a defining and immutable characteristic because it is so fundamental to one’s identity.


POLITICAL POWERLESSNESS: The Court finds that the unequivocal evidence demonstrates that, although not completely politically powerless, the gay and lesbian community lacks meaningful political power… Although this factor is not an absolute prerequisite for heightened scrutiny, the Court finds the evidence and the law support the conclusion that gay men and lesbians remain a politically vulnerable minority.




Update

The Court rebuked Congress for BLAG’s argument that caution should be taken with issues that can be socially divisive:


Here, too, this Court finds that Congress cannot, like an ostrich, merely bury its head in the sand and wait for danger to pass, especially at the risk of permitting continued constitutional injury upon legally married couples. The fact that the issue is socially divisive does nothing to relieve the judiciary of its obligation to examine the constitutionality of the discriminating classifications in the law.

Bought By Big Oil, House GOP Vote Against Keeping Keystone XL Oil In America

Bought By Big Oil, House GOP Vote Against Keeping Keystone XL Oil In America:

When the House of Representatives voted on a transportation bill, H.R. 3408, that expands oil drilling into long-protected areas and forces construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, Republican lawmakers proved their complete allegiance is to Big Oil. Although Republicans like House Speaker John Boehner have parroted the myth that the pipeline would “lower gas prices” and “reduce our dependence on hostile, unstable sources of energy,” their actions show that helping American families is only an empty promise.


Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) offered an amendment to the bill during the Feb. 15 vote, giving the House a chance to “ensure that if the Keystone XL pipeline is built, the oil that it transports to the Gulf of Mexico and the fuels made from that oil remain in this country to benefit Americans.” But the amendment failed 173-254.


Not surprisingly, the 254 members who voted against the amendment have collected seven times more total campaign cash from oil and gas interests. The 254 members (230 Republicans) took in $37.3 million in career campaign contributions from oil and gas companies and executives.


On average, each member who voted against banning exports collected $146,808 from the oil and gas industry. This is contrasted with the $5.2 million total for the 173 in favor (9 Republicans) of the export ban – or an average of $29,951. In other words, legislators who want to export refined gasoline and diesel from oil sands received five times more oil money than the legislators who want to keep these fuels here.



















254 votes to reject amendment (230 Republicans)173 votes for amendment

(9 Republicans)
Total oil & gas money in career contributions$37,289,233$146,808
Average oil & gas money per vote$5,181,599$29,951

* Data from the Center for Responsive Politics at OpenSecrets.org


The vote shows that House Republicans will not even support their own spin about the supposed benefits of increasing U.S. oil and gasoline supplies from the Keystone XL pipeline. In fact, the pipeline does nothing to impact production and Time magazine concurred that “Keystone would have little immediate [price] effect, especially since there’s already sufficient pipeline infrastructure in place for the next few years.” At best, gasoline prices in the Gulf Coast region would be only one and three-quarter cents lower per gallon, while prices would increase in the Midwest because the current oil glut keeps prices there lower.


Although the evidence shows the pipeline won’t help Americans, Republicans continue to fight to boost Big Oil’s profits at the same time the industry raked in record-breaking profits of $137 billion in 2011.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Woman Prevented From Testifying In Favor Of Birth Control Says She’s ‘Stunned’ By GOP’s Rebuke

The Woman Prevented From Testifying In Favor Of Birth Control Says She’s ‘Stunned’ By GOP’s Rebuke:

Sandra Fluke, the woman Republicans prevented from testifying at yesterday’s House Oversight Committee hearing, says she was “stunned” at Chairman Darrel Issa’s (R-CA) decision to keep her from discussing the consequences of limiting women’s access to affordable contraception at a hearing focused on Preside Obama’s birth control requirement. “I was so stunned when Chairman Issa made the decision to not allow me to speak…and to say that I was not an appropriate witness and that those women’s stories were not appropriate for this committee,” Fluke said last night on MSNBC’s The Ed Show. “I cannot think of who would be more appropriate for the committee to hear from than the women who are affected by this policy, whose lives were affected.”


The third-year Georgetown Law student went on to tell the story of her friend who couldn’t afford her birth control — at $100 per month — and was refused insurance coverage for the medication, despite its medical necessity. Shortly thereafter, she developed a massive cyst on her ovary and underwent a surgery that may have jeopardized her abilities to conceive a child:


FLUKE: What ultimately happen is she that had to have that ovary surgically removed. As a result of that, of course she would have problems conceiving a child, but even more, it just hasn’t stopped for her. She since the surgery has experienced symptoms of early menopause and her doctors are very concerned that at the age of 32 she is entering early menopause, which means that there will be nothing any doctor can do to help her to conceive a child and it will also put her at increased risk for cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis. And that’s where she was this morning when I was attempting to tell her story to the public and to members of Congress, she was at the doctor’s office trying to cope with the symptoms she’s experiencing.


Watch it:



Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy




As the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein pointed out last week, Fluke’s friend isn’t the only woman relying on contraception to treat health ailments. “The Guttmacher Institute estimates that roughly 14 percent of birth control prescriptions are written for non-contraceptive purposes, helping some 1.5 million women with issues like ovarian cancer, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, and endometrial cancer.” Many women currently “do not have access to health insurance coverage to pay for this medication simply because they work at places owned or run by the Catholic Church” and lower-income women too often can’t afford to pay for the medication out of pocket.


A recent study found that insured women paid about 50 percent of the total costs for oral contraceptives, even though the typical out-of-pocket cost of non-contraceptive drugs is only 33 percent. Oral contraceptives can cost $600 dollars a year for women without insurance. As a result, nearly one in four women with household incomes of less than $75,000 have put off a doctor’s visit for birth control to save money in the past year. Half of young adult women report using their method inconsistently because of high costs.


Under the administration’s new rule, all women will have access to a wide range of women’s health services — including contraception — as part of their health insurance plans, at no additional cost sharing. Houses of worship and institutions that primarily serve people of the same faith are exempt from the providing birth control, while nonprofit religiously affiliated colleges, hospitals, and universities can also opt out of offering the benefit. Their employees will receive the medication directly from the insurance company.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Leaked: a plan to teach climate change denial in schools

Leaked: a plan to teach climate change denial in schools: Internal documents have been leaked from the Heartland Institute, a Chicago nonprofit think tank, showing its funding of leading skeptics of global warming and a plan to teach climate change skepticism in schools.



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Monday, February 13, 2012

Obama Unveils Budget That Includes Billions To Rebuild Nation’s Infrastructure, Create Jobs

Obama Unveils Budget That Includes Billions To Rebuild Nation’s Infrastructure, Create Jobs:

Economists estimated in 2011 that the United States needed $2 trillion in immediate investments just to bring its infrastructure up to date, and with borrowing costs low and the nation’s unemployment rate still high, such investments would allow the country to fix its crumbling roads and bridges while also putting unemployed Americans back to work. President Obama is attempting to take advantage of that opportunity by releasing a budget that takes billions of dollars in war savings and pours them into infrastructure investments and job creation programs.


Obama laid out his budget proposal, which includes the Buffett Rule to raise taxes on millionaires and aims to cut the deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade, today in Virginia. The budget includes billions in spending on infrastructure programs, worker training, and higher education investment, all in attempts to create jobs and bolster the nation’s economic recovery:


The president will propose using half of the money from ending Americas’ two foreign wars to subsidize investment in infrastructure as part of his request for over $800 billion in multi-year spending on job creation and transportation.


The Obama budget also includes funds for worker training to prepare American workers for open jobs through community colleges and other avenues and invests in higher education to make Americans “the most skilled workers in the world” in the future, Obama said.


Republicans have already opposed multiple attempts to invest in infrastructure spending and create jobs, as they fought efforts to include further infrastructure measures in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, fought a 2010 attempt to pass a large-scale infrastructure bill, and blocked the American Jobs Act last fall, even as the infrastructure in their districts continues to crumble. Multiple Republicans have already announced their opposition to this budget.


Obama’s budget may not be perfect — it cuts spending from areas that need investment and it includes less revenue than bipartisan plans like Simpson-Bowles — but considering the tough budgetary environment, it is a step forward on the road to economic recovery. The GOP, meanwhile, continues to tout budgets that force radical spending cuts, jeopardizing the nation’s economic recovery and putting America on a path that economists say increases the likelihood of yet another painful recession.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Contraception Accommodation: Insurers Will Be Required To Offer Birth Control Free Of Charge

Contraception Accommodation: Insurers Will Be Required To Offer Birth Control Free Of Charge:

Senior administration officials announced early this morning that President Obama will announce a new “accommodation” for religious liberties in the rule requiring all employers to offer contraception coverage without additional cost sharing. Under the new policy, “all women will still have access to free preventive care, including contraception,” no matter where they work. However, if a nonprofit religiously affiliated organization like a Catholic college or hospital objects to offering birth control, the insurance company will be required to provide the coverage free of charge and the employer will not pay for it. Sister Carol Keehan, President of the US Catholic Health Association and Planned Parenthood head Cecile Richards support the compromise, the administration officials said.


Significantly, unlike the Hawaii model, religiously affiliated organizations will not have to refer employees to contraception coverage. Instead, the same insurer that provides insurance to the employer, will be offering contraception coverage to the employee directly. Insurance companies will be able to deliver birth control at no additional charge because the cost of contraception is far less than the costs associated with an unwanted pregnancy, the administration official explained. Therefore, “there is no extra premium” associated with the service.


The new rule will also eliminate the one year implementation delay that was included in the original regulation, meaning that contraception without cost sharing will be available starting Aug. 1.



I just love it when a plan comes together. Women win, and the RAO's can go back to their respective irrelevancies. Oh, and the insurance companies can stuff it, too!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Mortgage settlement? Try bank Bailout II

Mortgage settlement? Try bank Bailout II:

At this writing, the federal government and forty-nine state attorneys general (all minus Oklahoma) have agreed to a settlement with the nation's five largest banks for their fraudulent robosigning practices. The banks will pay $5 billion penalty as part of this deal and also provide a vary range of credits which could account for another $20 billion. David Dayen at FireDogLake has the best rundown of what is in the deal, based on his own reporting and mainstream outlets. Dayen gives the breakdown:

$3 billion will go toward refinancing for current borrowers who are underwater on their loans, as well as short sales. $5 billion will go as a hard cash penalty to the states, which can use them for legal aid services, foreclosure mitigation programs, and ongoing fraud investigations in other areas (one official close to the talks feared that much of that hard cash payout will go in some Republican states toward filling their budget holes). The federal government will get a cash penalty as well. Out of that $5 billion, up to 750,000 borrowers wrongfully foreclosed upon will get a $1,800-$2,000 check if they sign up for it, the equivalent of saying to them “sorry we stole your home, here’s two months rent.”

The bulk of the money, around $17 billion, will go to principal reduction credits for troubled borrowers. The banks will not get dollar-for-dollar credit for every write-down; reductions on loans bundled in private-label mortgage-backed securities, for example, will be under 50 cents on the dollar, and write-downs for second liens (mostly home equity lines of credit) will be more like 10 cents. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan believes that they will be able to get between $35-$40 billion in principal reduction in real dollars out of the settlement. Donovan became the point person on the federal level, along with DoJ, as the Administration pretty much took over the investigation and settlement process from the states, who were led by Iowa AG Tom Miller.

But even this $35-$40 billion number, which is at best a guess since the direction of the principal reduction is mostly at the discretion of the banks, pales in comparison to the negative equity in the country, which sits at $700 billion. And the banks have three years to implement the principal reductions, drawing out the loss on their books. [Emphasis added]

Look at the section in bold. What this settlement says is that if the bank stole your home - and according to the deal, banks did this to 750,000 American families (though in reality the number is much higher) - the banks will get off scot-free for $2,000. Can you imagine the Department of Justice arresting a bank robber who stole $180,000 and letting him go as long as he returned $2,000? Wouldn't we all be bank robbers if such was the state of justice? This is quite possible the most insulting, if not the most problematic, aspect of the deal.

The banksters who perpetrated this fiasco, and sent the economy into the toilet, should be in jail. Anything short of that, especially a "settlement" that does nothing but add insult to injury for the victims, is yet another crime against humanity. This is what the One Percent thinks of us. Thanks a lot. And where are the jobs, by the way?



How Zealous Clergy and Their Media Enablers Are Manufacturing a Controversy Over Birth Control Coverage

How Zealous Clergy and Their Media Enablers Are Manufacturing a Controversy Over Birth Control Coverage:

The real opposition here isn't about conscience, it's about women and sex.


Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Did you hear the one about the multi-millionaire who played the poor union guy on the Super Bowl ad?

Did you hear the one about the multi-millionaire who played the poor union guy on the Super Bowl ad?: From Republican Report:

This morning, Republic Report published a post revealing the backers of an anti-union ad that ran during the Super Bowl. We realized after publication that one of the actors playing a disgruntled union mechanic was actually Rick Berman, the consultant advising the anti-union lobbying campaign. A call to Berman and Company confirmed that Berman, who owns a $3.3 million dollar house and is known for his elaborate astroturf campaigns on behalf of big corporations, played the part of a mechanic in the ad.



Birtherism Makes A Comeback Among Republicans

Birtherism Makes A Comeback Among Republicans:

A new poll from YouGov’s Adam Berinsky shows that the number of people who believe President Obama was born in the United States has dipped to levels below even the weeks leading up to President Obama’s release of his birth certificate last April. The movement appears attributable to Republicans, 37 percent of whom now say that President Obama was not born in the US. That’s 12 points higher than when Republicans were polled just before President Obama released the certificate.


So, what is it with these people? Besides the obvious attempts to disenfranchise and denigrate the leader of the free world, how do they get away with this hogshit? The media is just not doing its job, and that's all I can bring myself to say about this absurdity that should have been laid to rest before it even started. At least the climate change deniers have some wiggle room in the sense that science has been wrong about things on occasion (though the evidence of climate change keeps building beyond any reasonable doubt), but this? Proof is proof and facts are facts, though this apparently has no bearing on the subject when it comes to the birthers. Shameful, since it is only a thin veil over the racism and hatred that drives it.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Does Right to Work Actually Lead to More Jobs?

Does Right to Work Actually Lead to More Jobs?:

Most people watching the Super Bowl last night probably had no idea that only a few days before, in the same city of Indianapolis, Governor Mitch Daniels signed a law that will cripple unions. As I've written before, Indiana is the first Rust Belt state to pass a right-to-work law, which prohibits both mandatory union membership and collecting fees from non-members. The news, however, has hardly gotten the attention the labor-minded might have expected. Blame it on the big game or the GOP presidential primary. Or blame it on the loss of union power that allowed the law to pass in the first place.


Whatever the reason, this lack of stories has meant little discussion of the actual impact of right-to-work legislation. Daniels, along with many proponents of such measures, argues that companies choose to locate in right-to-work states rather than in states with powerful unions. And the Indiana governor says he's already seeing the fruits of the newly passed law. Union advocates, meanwhile, say the laws decrease not only union power but also wages and workplace protections. According to conventional wisdom, it seems, the choice is between fewer good jobs and more cruddy jobs.


But according to Gordon Lafer, an economist at the University of Oregon's Labor Education and Research Center, that's a false choice. In fact, he says, there's no evidence that right-to-work laws have any positive impact on employment or bringing back manufacturing jobs.


While 23 states have right-to-work legislation, Lafer says that to adequately judge the law's impact in today's economy, you have to look at states that passed the law after the United States embraced the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and free trade in general. "Anything before the impact of NAFTA started to be felt in the late '90s is meaningless in terms of what it can tell us," he says.


Because of free-trade agreements, companies can go to other countries and get their goods made for a fraction of the cost. Even in the most anti-union state in the country, there are still basic worker protections and a minimum-wage law to deal with. Such "roadblocks" to corporate profit can disappear if the business relocates overseas. "The wage difference that right to work makes ... is meaningless compared to the wage savings you can have leaving the country," Lafer says.


Only one state has passed right to work since NAFTA: Oklahoma in 2001. (Before that, the most recent was Idaho in 1985.) About a year ago, Lafer and economist Sylvia Allegretto published a report for the Economic Policy Institute* exploring just what had happened in the decade since Oklahomans got their "right to work." The results weren't pretty.


Rather than increasing job opportunities, the state saw companies relocate out of Oklahoma. In high-tech industries and those service industries "dependent on consumer spending in the local economy" the laws appear to have actually damaged growth. At the end of the decade, 50,000 fewer Oklahoma residents had jobs in manufacturing. Perhaps most damning, Lafer and Allegretto could find no evidence that the legislation had a positive impact on employment rates.


"It will not bring new jobs in, but it will result in less wages and benefits for everybody including non-union workers," says Lafer.


*Full disclosure: I was a writing fellow at the Economic Policy Institute in 2008.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Paul Approved Racist Newsletters

Paul Approved Racist Newsletters: Ron Paul has denied writing racially-charged pamphlets he published during the 1990s but the Washington Post reports "people close to Paul's operations said he was deeply involved in the company that produced the newsletters, Ron Paul & Associates, and closely monitored its operations, signing off on articles and speaking to staff members virtually every day."



Said a former secretary in his company: "It was his newsletter, and it was under his name, so he always got to see the final product... He would proof it."

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Top 10 Middle-Class Acts of Congress

The Top 10 Middle-Class Acts of Congress:

As members of Congress ponder President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address this year, they should reflect on how, at critical junctures in our nation’s history, Congress made the decision to strengthen the American middle class, which proved instrumental in the country’s growth and prosperity.


Previous Congresses passed legislation that increased access to health care and education, expanded home ownership, protected the savings of average Americans, and ensured the rights of Americans in the workplace and beyond.


The current Congress would be well served by looking at their predecessors’ record when considering how to strengthen the middle class in the 21st century.


Homestead Act of 1862 and the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862: Together these two acts helped grow the American middle class, especially in the central and western parts of the country. The Homestead Act allowed citizens to lay claim to federal lands if they lived on the land and improved it. Thus, instead of large swaths of the country being sold off to the highest bidders, creating a region of wealthy landowners and impoverished tenant-farmers, those lands ended up in the hands of farmers who underpinned a strong, growing, middle class among the farmers and in the communities that flourished with them. The Morrill Act created the land-grant colleges that developed agricultural improvements and created educational opportunity for a broader cross-section of Americans.


Glass-Steagall Act of 1933: Passed in the wake of the Great Depression, Glass-Steagall, among other things, created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the government agency that insures commercial bank deposits. The FDIC insures that the savings of average Americans are not lost if a bank fails. This made banking secure and viable for the middle class and offered a means for maintaining and growing savings. Although portions of this act have been repealed, the FDIC continues to fulfill this important role today.


National Housing Act of 1934: The creation of the Federal Housing Administration helped make the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage a pillar of the American mortgage market. The loans allowed middle-class Americans to become homeowners with stable and predictable payments. Homeownership became a key source of middle-class wealth creation over the next few decades and the FHA continues to increase homeownership among Americans.


Social Security Act of 1935: One of the signature achievements of the New Deal, this act created Social Security, the unemployment insurance system, and other assistance programs. An update to the law passed in 1939 added dependent and survivor benefits to Social Security, and a disability insurance benefit was added in 1956. These programs created the foundation of the modern American social safety net. Social Security is the basis of the American retirement system while unemployment insurance cushions the blow of unemployment as well as boosting the economy in downtimes. Both of these programs have kept Americans in the middle class in retirement and between jobs.


National Labor Relations Act of 1935 and the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938: These acts created many of the workplace protections that modern Americans depend upon. The NLRA, also known as the Wagner Act, created modern American labor law and eased the way to union membership and collective bargaining, keys to creating a strong middle class. The act also established the National Labor Relations Board, which oversees union elections and adjudicates labor law. The FLSA created several labor market protections including the minimum wage, overtime regulations, and restrictions on child labor.


G.I. Bill (the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944): After World War II, many returning veterans were able to attend college and other postsecondary programs thanks to the G.I. Bill. The program helped veterans receive grants to pay for higher education, which in turn increased the number of college graduates. Expanding access to college education simultaneously boosted the competitiveness of the United States and opened up a path to well-paying, middle-class careers to millions of Americans. A similar benefit was extended to veterans of the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the post-9/11 era.


Social Security Act of 1965: The creation of Medicare and Medicaid expanded health insurance coverage to elderly, the poor, and the disabled. This was accomplished through amendments to the Social Security Act and surely ranks as one of the most important middle-class policies. Assuring that Americans have access to health insurance in old age and when they fall on hard times has helped bring an important level of security to the middle class. Medicare and Medicaid also paved the way for later reforms that increased health insurance coverage.


Civil Rights Act of 1964: The expansion of civil rights for communities of color, religious minorities, and women allowed them not only to fight back against discrimination in society writ large, but in the workplace as well. The CRA created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which insures that no one is discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. Fighting back against discrimination increased the ability of many Americans to become more fully part of the workforce and the middle class. While this effort is not yet over, the Civil Rights Act was a major step forward increasing the size of the middle class. Later laws increased the rights of the elderly and the disabled.


Higher Education Act of 1965 (the creation of Pell Grants): Increasing access to a college education is a critical way of strengthening the middle class. Pell Grants are need-based financial aid that allows students to pay for postsecondary education that might otherwise be out of reach. Like the G.I. Bill before it, expanding the pool of college students, including those who couldn’t afford it before, has significantly helped the American middle class.


Affordable Care Act of 2010: The ACA will, when fully in effect, constrain the cost of health care for middle-class individuals and families, ensuring that it is available and affordable to all Americans. It will also make it more affordable for a broad range of businesses to offer health coverage to their employees.


As Congress debates how to build our economy back up, these laws serve as a reminder that helping the middle class helps everyone and leads to robust growth for our country.


Nick Bunker is a Special Assistant with the Economic Policy team at the Center for American Progress.

Santorum’s Tax Plan Would Increase The Deficit By $1.3 Trillion

Santorum’s Tax Plan Would Increase The Deficit By $1.3 Trillion:

Rick Santorum, who following a recount may very well have been the winner of the Iowa caucus, has released a tax plan that, like those of all his competitors, would overwhelmingly aid the wealthy while doing next to nothing for the middle class. In fact, 40 percent of the benefit of his plan would go to the richest 1 percent of the country.


Not only that, but as the Tax Policy Center found, Santorum’s plan would blow a $1.3 trillion hole in the budget, gutting federal revenue by about 40 percent:


The Santorum plan would reduce federal tax revenues substantially. TPC estimates that on a static basis, the Santorum plan would lower federal tax liability by about $1.3 trillion in calendar year 2015 compared with current law, roughly a 40 percent cut in total projected revenue. Relative to a current policy baseline, the reduction in liability would be about $900 billion in calendar year 2015.


“I was surprised at how large the revenue losses were,” said TPC’s Roberton Williams. “It’s a lot of rate cuts and doesn’t get rid of anything to help pay for that.”


The average tax cut for a millionaire under Santorum’s plan would be nearly $448,000. For the richest 0.1 percent of the country, the tax cut would be worth $1.3 million annually. Santorum often complains that the deficit “is exploding,” but his plan would do nothing to turn around the nation’s budget woes, instead spending trillions to cut taxes for those at the very top of the income scale.

2nd wife: Gingrich asked me for "open marriage" so he could keep sleeping with mistress, now 3rd wife

2nd wife: Gingrich asked me for "open marriage" so he could keep sleeping with mistress, now 3rd wife:


Cheryl Casey / Shutterstock
ABC News has the interview with Gingrich's second wife of 18 years, Marianne (he's on his third now). But the Daily Beast does a nice summary of the interview, without having to be submitted to ABC's obnoxious auto-on videos that were very au courant in 1996.

Newt Gingrich’s ex-wife told ABC News that the Republican presidential candidate lacked the proper moral character to be president. In an interview that will Thursday night on Nightline, Marianne Gingrich said her ex-husband had sought an “open marriage” when he admitted that he was having a six-year affair with his current wife, Callista. Marianne said Gingrich conducted his affair from “my bedroom in our apartment in Washington” and during the time he led the impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton—a time when Marianne defended his ethics. She said Gingrich proceeded with the divorce only months after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, when a doctor had advised she not have any stress. At the time of the divorce, Marianne said Gingrich told her that Callista was “going to help him become president.”
Keep in mind that Gingrich met his first wife when he was in high school and she was his teacher, his second wife by cheating on his first, and his third by cheating on his second. Here's the timeline. So any pretensions about Gingrich being a family values kind of guy flew out the window decades ago.



Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Marco Rubio Jumps Protect IP Ship Amid Internet Blackout Protest

Marco Rubio Jumps Protect IP Ship Amid Internet Blackout Protest:

WASHINGTON -- With thousands of websites large and small blacked out Wednesday in protest of the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act, a House bill, and its Senate counterpart, the Protect IP Act, another co-sponsor of the legislation has withdrawn his support -- Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

Home to the Disney World and Universal Studios theme parks, Rubio's Florida may be the most Hollywood-centric state outside California, and Rubio had been one of the first senators to sign on in support of Protect IP when Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced it this past spring. In a frank statement posted to his Facebook page on Wednesday, Rubio hinted at a Beltway truth that many other wavering Protect IP and SOPA supporters have been hesitant to admit: More than one lawmaker signed on to the legislation without understanding its technical workings and potential problems, believing it to be an uncontroversial, bipartisan bill that would support American industries.

"Earlier this year, this bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously and without controversy," Rubio wrote. "Since then, we've heard legitimate concerns about the impact the bill could have on access to the Internet and about a potentially unreasonable expansion of the federal government's power to impact the Internet. Congress should listen and avoid rushing through a bill that could have many unintended consequences."


Read More...

More on Hollywood



Monday, January 09, 2012

An open letter to the people who hate Obama more than they love America

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    I meet you all the time. You hate Obama. You hate gay people. You hate black people, immigrants, Muslims, labor unions, women who want the right to make choices concerning their bodies, you hate em all. You hate being called racist. You hate being called a bigot. Maybe if you talked about creating jobs more than you talk about why you hate gay people we wouldn't call you bigots. Maybe if you talked about black people without automatically assuming they are on food stamps while demanding their birth certificates we wouldn't call you racist. You hate socialism and social justice. You hate regulations and taxes and spending and the Government. You hate.

Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com      You like war. You like torture. You like Jesus. I don't know how in the hell any of that is compatible, but no one ever accused you haters of being over-committed to ideological consistency. You like people who look like you or at least hate most of the things that you hate. You hate everything else.

Now, I know you profess to love our country and the founding fathers (unless you are reminded that they believed in the separation of church and state), but I need to remind you that America is NOT what Fox News says it is. America is a melting pot, it always has been. We are a multi-cultural amalgamation of all kinds of people, and yet you still demonize everyone who is not a rich, white, heterosexual christian male or his submissive and obedient wife.

You hate liberals, moderates, hell, anyone who disagrees with Conservative dogma as espoused by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. You hate em.

Well, here are the facts, Jack. If you hate the Government then you are unqualified to manage it. If you hate gay people more than you love America than you should take your own advice and get the hell out. There are several countries that are openly hostile to gay people, but they are full of brown people and you don't like them much either from what I understand. It looks like you are screwed, but that's not what I am here to tell you.

More rant below the fold . . .

Now that you have thrown everything and the kitchen sink at President Obama and it still hasn't worked you are panicking. Obama's approval ratings are still near 50% despite your best efforts to undermine the economy and America's recovery at every step you can. You tried to hold the American economy hostage to force America into default on its' debts, debts that YOU rang up under Bush, so you could blame it on Obama and it failed. You've used the filibuster more than any other Congress ever, going so far as to vote against providing health care access to 9/11 first responders. You remember 9/11, don't you, it's that thing you used to lie us into a war in Iraq, and then when Obama killed Bin Laden and ended the war in Iraq you told people that he hates America and wants the troops to fail. You monsters. You hate Obama with a passion, despite the fact that he is a tax cutting, deficit reducing war President who undermines civil rights and delivers corporate friendly watered down reforms that benefit special interests just like a Republican. You call him a Kenyan. You call him a socialist. You dance with your hatred singing it proudly in the rain like it was a 1950's musical.

Frankly, you disgust me. Your hatred nauseates me. Your bigotry offends me. Your racism revolts me.

Dear haters, I am openly questioning your patriotism.

I think you hate gays, Obama, black people, poor people, all of us, women, atheists and agnostics, Latinos, Muslims, Liberals, all of us, I think you hate every one who isn't exactly like you, and I think you hate us more than you love your country.

I think you hate gay soldiers more than you want America to win its' wars.

I don't even think you want America to win wars, you just want America to have wars, never ending wars and the war profiteering it generates. You love that kind of spending, you love spending on faith based initiatives and abstinence based sex education (George Carlin would have loved that one), you love spending on subsidies for profitable oil corporations, you spend like drunken sailors when you are in the White House, but if it is a Democrat then suddenly you cheer when America doesn't get the Olympics because it might make the black President look bad. But oooh you love your country, you say, and you want it back. Well listen here skippy, it isn't your country, you don't own it, it is our country, and America is NOT the religiously extremist Foxbots who hate science, elitist professors and having a vibrant and meaningful sex life with someone we love if Rick Santorum doesn't approve of it. Rick Santorum isn't running for America's fucking high school dance chaperone, he should probably just shut the hell up about sex, but he can't because he has nothing else to run on.

Republicans can NOT win on the issues. They've got NOTHING. All they have is a divide and conquer class war that pits ignorant racist and bigoted people against the rest of us in a meaningless battle of wedge issues and the already proven to fail George W. Bush agenda again of tax cuts for the rich, deregulation, privatization and war profiteering and nothing else, so all they can do is blame black people, gays the government, anybody and everyone else for their own failings. The party of personal responsibility, my ass.

But they love multi-national corporations, just ask a gay hating and racist religious extremist if they think Corporations are people and they will gladly agree, but if you ask them if gay people are people they aren't so sure.

Dear haters, you are the cruel, heartless misinformed assholes who would sell America out to Haliburton in a heartbeat, you would rather pay ZERO taxes than you would see a newly born baby get access to quality health care, you cheer when we discuss denying health care to young people with preventable diseases, and you boo when we discuss the First Ladies plan to cut back on childhood obesity. You are a cross to carry and a flag to wrap yourself in away from being the people who Huey Long warned us about, but I guarantee that if Fox News told you to dress that way you would, because you are the same blind, ignorant and closed minded dunces who drove this country into a civil war years ago because you are bound to the notion that some men are more equal than others. In short, the reason I proudly wear my union army hat is because of seditious sell outs like you who constantly fuck over working class Americans so a foreign entrepreneur like Rupert Murdoch can get a bigger tax break. If corporations are people, they are neither American patriots nor capable of love. Just like you.

So stop wearing your hate with pride. Stop celebrating your anti-science, anti-math ignorance. Stop using code words to mask your bigotry like "family values", especially when you hate my family and when you stand on the same stage as a guy who has had three marriages or if you share a seat in the Senate with a guy who cheated on his wife with hookers while wearing diapers. You should be ashamed. I know that you are just doing this to motivate your misinformed hate cult base because if they actually knew that your ideas will make them poorer than they are now, they would never vote for you. You are doing your best to impoverish your countrymen so rich people can get bigger tax breaks and you can keep on delivering corporate welfare to the special interests who have bribed you, and I am disgusted by the way you gleefully parade your hatred with aplomb. I don't think you do love America. At least, not as much as you hate everyone in America who isn't exactly like you.

You should think about that, and maybe get some help.

And for the record, I do not hate you. I am embarrassed by you and nauseated by your cruel and thoughtless behavior and your all consuming greed, but I don't not hate you. I forgive you and I hope you can change someday, but I don't hate you. You have enough hate in you for the rest of us as it is.

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You can follow me on twitter @JesseLaGreca

Originally posted to MinistryOfTruth on Mon Jan 09, 2012 at 01:57 PM PST.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement and Street Prophets .

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Meteor Blades, skybluewater, JekyllnHyde, Alumbrados, shari, Ed in Montana, Terri, fcvaguy, Kaina PDX, filkertom, tundraman, jotter, deben, bball, NYmom, Outsourcing Is Treason, yogipohaku, TechBob, Emerson, dengre, krwada, mrhelper, Heather in SFBay, donna in evanston, billlaurelMD, cotterperson, eeff, Foreign Devil, scribe, Justina, missLotus, CoolOnion, KMc, gtrpkr, LickBush, lorikay4, poe, jhklawyer, high uintas, Alna Dem, tomephil, tidalwave1, Joe Bacon, MrSandman, danthrax, TexDem, Karash, pat bunny, churchylafemme, texasmom, flatford39, Chirons apprentice, On The Bus, Steveningen, rlharry, strengthof10kmen, clarknyc, Mark Warner is God, blonde moment, Matt Esler, Sembtex, mungley, randallt, shadowplayer, bobnbob, tomjones, Steven D, Black Max, rickeagle, The Gryffin, Josiah Bartlett, KathyK, Gowrie Gal, rapala, hanswall, A Citizen, historys mysteries, Bluesee, 3goldens, blueyedace2, CTPatriot, SherwoodB, ccasas, elkhunter, basquebob, zamrzla, emejia, Dobber, Laurence Lewis, Kevskos, boofdah, Beetwasher, indiemcemopants, SaraBeth, wiseacre, Dem Beans, jimstaro, jimreyn, aaraujo, Little Lulu, Ozzie, Geekesque, Savvy813, Shotput8, kerplunk, coolbreeze, daddybunny, orphanpower, kathny, Asinus Asinum Fricat, begone, Mother Mags, third Party please, esquimaux, gwilson, emperor nobody, Orinoco, irishwitch, detroitmechworks, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, GeoGrl, Medium Head Boy, ferallike, BeadLady, profundo, raptavio, cookseytalbott, mooshter, Hear Our Voices, sleipner, Shakludanto, raincrow, The Hindsight Times, Libby Shaw, paul2port, plf515, ER Doc, MBNYC, oakroyd, llbear, Briney Remark, commonsenseseeker, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, fiddlingnero, Dreaming of Better Days, Statusquomustgo, FrankieB, ipsos, Thinking Fella, ladypockt, clinging to hope, Sapere aude, hooper, Habitat Vic, lms in mpls, Loudoun County Dem, weneedahero, leema, linkage, karmsy, jeanette0605, Matt Z, Dave in Northridge, bnasley, artisan, bluehen96, US Blues, martyinsfo, mudslide, Killer of Sacred Cows, millwood, carpunder, rogereaton, GeorgeXVIII, JML9999, July4rocks, spearfish, trueblueliberal, vet, on the cusp, TomP, cville townie, MKinTN, rogerdaddy, revm3up, Sixty Something, Fe Bongolan, swen eiknuj, ajr111240, moose67, rssrai, tofumagoo, CenFlaDem, hwmnbn, demoKatz, Jake Williams, pickandshovel, Tam in CA, Rolling, makettle, nb41, enufisenuf, GrannyOPhilly, shortgirl, princess k, statsone, maxcat06, legendmn, maggiejean, enemy of the people, Rhysling, MufsMom, J M F, christine20, rudewarrior, litoralis, lapidarygal, ronnied, bsmechanic, Mislead, Norm in Chicago, shopkeeper, zaka1, MKSinSA, Shelley99, Kysen, dalfireplug, jimmylutherking, cachola, Tortmaster, zenmasterjack, jfromga, mahakali overdrive, MizKit, jpmassar, citisven, Vita Brevis, Lefty Ladig, Railfan, dtruth, smileycreek, mamamorgaine, awcomeon, Laurilei, GBC, David PA, TFinSF, Vacationland, estreya, gramofsam1, politik, Observerinvancouver, The Free Agent, catwho, stunzeed, Lost and Found, alguien, WXRock, dagnome, gougef, JoanMar, Arenosa, gulfgal98, symmetry, OnlyWords, scarlet slipper, anonevent, Egalitare, DiegoUK, sharonsz, rja, ericlewis0, science nerd, dwayne, theKgirls, Onomastic, kerflooey, Miniaussiefan, vintage dem, Lost Left Coaster, ozsea1, Old Jay, Valerie8435, Bob Duck, moondance, sostos, ultraviolet uk, KCthinking, Cintimcmomma, TexasDan, OhioNatureMom, stonedoubt, deeproots, CoExistNow, boomerchick, zukesgirl64, Lorikeet, Cinnamon, deweysmom, Jasonhouse, IllanoyGal, thomask, marigold, muddy boots, IndyReader, SueM1121, tardis10, Vayle, createpeace, worldlotus, MuskokaGord, poliwrangler, wide eyed lib, bakeneko, lovespiral, Mets102, FininWA, Phil T Duck, SteelerGrrl, zenox, too many people, lyta, Chitown Kev, Mentatmark, Lucy2009, grannycarol, ParkRanger, The BigotBasher, drawingporno, ArtemisBSG, NightOwl40, demongo, AnnetteK, stormicats, Prairie D, Liberal Granny, JTinDC, ettajamesfan, OldDragon, Heart n Mind, vacilando, damfino, cwsmoke, teachered, We Won, im a plugger, tb92, do unto others, S F Hippie, AnnieR, Joieau, rukidingme, draa, swampyankee, 2thanks, JGibson, Evolutionary, congenitalefty, Horace Boothroyd III, kait, Lh1695, TexDemAtty, mapamp, Forward is D not R, jan4insight, pot, nerve, AspenFern, Karelin, JupiterSurf, hardart, sankaty, Damiana, MartyM, ClutchCargo, doroma, qannabbos, sexgenderbody, Scott Campbell, lollol, rat racer, Kinak, bigrivergal, Spirit of Life, mumtaznepal, maf1029, tn mountain girl, BabeInTotalControlofHerself, Dumas EagerSeton, natfroiland, Zera Lee, onceasgt, Dancun74, countwebb, Herodotus Prime, Eric Twocents, WisChickinChi, Waldo Harumph, glorificus, poopdogcomedy, broths, goodpractice, IamNotaKochsucker

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Meteor Blades, skybluewater, JekyllnHyde, Alumbrados, shari, Ed in Montana, Terri, fcvaguy, Kaina PDX, filkertom, tundraman, jotter, deben, bball, NYmom, Outsourcing Is Treason, yogipohaku, TechBob, Emerson, dengre, krwada, mrhelper, Heather in SFBay, donna in evanston, billlaurelMD, cotterperson, eeff, Foreign Devil, scribe, Justina, missLotus, CoolOnion, KMc, gtrpkr, LickBush, lorikay4, poe, jhklawyer, high uintas, Alna Dem, tomephil, tidalwave1, Joe Bacon, MrSandman, danthrax, TexDem, Karash, pat bunny, churchylafemme, texasmom, flatford39, Chirons apprentice, On The Bus, Steveningen, rlharry, strengthof10kmen, clarknyc, Mark Warner is God, blonde moment, Matt Esler, Sembtex, mungley, randallt, shadowplayer, bobnbob, tomjones, Steven D, Black Max, rickeagle, The Gryffin, Josiah Bartlett, KathyK, Gowrie Gal, rapala, hanswall, A Citizen, historys mysteries, Bluesee, 3goldens, blueyedace2, CTPatriot, SherwoodB, ccasas, elkhunter, basquebob, zamrzla, emejia, Dobber, Laurence Lewis, Kevskos, boofdah, Beetwasher, indiemcemopants, SaraBeth, wiseacre, Dem Beans, jimstaro, jimreyn, aaraujo, Little Lulu, Ozzie, Geekesque, Savvy813, Shotput8, kerplunk, coolbreeze, daddybunny, orphanpower, kathny, Asinus Asinum Fricat, begone, Mother Mags, third Party please, esquimaux, gwilson, emperor nobody, Orinoco, irishwitch, detroitmechworks, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, GeoGrl, Medium Head Boy, ferallike, BeadLady, profundo, raptavio, cookseytalbott, mooshter, Hear Our Voices, sleipner, Shakludanto, raincrow, The Hindsight Times, Libby Shaw, paul2port, plf515, ER Doc, MBNYC, oakroyd, llbear, Briney Remark, commonsenseseeker, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, fiddlingnero, Dreaming of Better Days, Statusquomustgo, FrankieB, ipsos, Thinking Fella, ladypockt, clinging to hope, Sapere aude, hooper, Habitat Vic, lms in mpls, Loudoun County Dem, weneedahero, leema, linkage, karmsy, jeanette0605, Matt Z, Dave in Northridge, bnasley, artisan, bluehen96, US Blues, martyinsfo, mudslide, Killer of Sacred Cows, millwood, carpunder, rogereaton, GeorgeXVIII, JML9999, July4rocks, spearfish, trueblueliberal, vet, on the cusp, TomP, cville townie, MKinTN, rogerdaddy, revm3up, Sixty Something, Fe Bongolan, swen eiknuj, ajr111240, moose67, rssrai, tofumagoo, CenFlaDem, hwmnbn, demoKatz, Jake Williams, pickandshovel, Tam in CA, Rolling, makettle, nb41, enufisenuf, GrannyOPhilly, shortgirl, princess k, statsone, maxcat06, legendmn, maggiejean, enemy of the people, Rhysling, MufsMom, J M F, christine20, rudewarrior, litoralis, lapidarygal, ronnied, bsmechanic, Mislead, Norm in Chicago, shopkeeper, zaka1, MKSinSA, Shelley99, Kysen, dalfireplug, jimmylutherking, cachola, Tortmaster, zenmasterjack, jfromga, mahakali overdrive, MizKit, jpmassar, citisven, Vita Brevis, Lefty Ladig, Railfan, dtruth, smileycreek, mamamorgaine, awcomeon, Laurilei, GBC, David PA, TFinSF, Vacationland, estreya, gramofsam1, politik, Observerinvancouver, The Free Agent, catwho, stunzeed, Lost and Found, alguien, WXRock, dagnome, gougef, JoanMar, Arenosa, gulfgal98, symmetry, OnlyWords, scarlet slipper, anonevent, Egalitare, DiegoUK, sharonsz, rja, ericlewis0, science nerd, dwayne, theKgirls, Onomastic, kerflooey, Miniaussiefan, vintage dem, Lost Left Coaster, ozsea1, Old Jay, Valerie8435, Bob Duck, moondance, sostos, ultraviolet uk, KCthinking, Cintimcmomma, TexasDan, OhioNatureMom, stonedoubt, deeproots, CoExistNow, boomerchick, zukesgirl64, Lorikeet, Cinnamon, deweysmom, Jasonhouse, IllanoyGal, thomask, marigold, muddy boots, IndyReader, SueM1121, tardis10, Vayle, createpeace, worldlotus, MuskokaGord, poliwrangler, wide eyed lib, bakeneko, lovespiral, Mets102, FininWA, Phil T Duck, SteelerGrrl, zenox, too many people, lyta, Chitown Kev, Mentatmark, Lucy2009, grannycarol, ParkRanger, The BigotBasher, drawingporno, ArtemisBSG, NightOwl40, demongo, AnnetteK, stormicats, Prairie D, Liberal Granny, JTinDC, ettajamesfan, OldDragon, Heart n Mind, vacilando, damfino, cwsmoke, teachered, We Won, im a plugger, tb92, do unto others, S F Hippie, AnnieR, Joieau, rukidingme, draa, swampyankee, 2thanks, JGibson, Evolutionary, congenitalefty, Horace Boothroyd III, kait, Lh1695, TexDemAtty, mapamp, Forward is D not R, jan4insight, pot, nerve, AspenFern, Karelin, JupiterSurf, hardart, sankaty, Damiana, MartyM, ClutchCargo, doroma, qannabbos, sexgenderbody, Scott Campbell, lollol, rat racer, Kinak, bigrivergal, Spirit of Life, mumtaznepal, maf1029, tn mountain girl, BabeInTotalControlofHerself, Dumas EagerSeton, natfroiland, Zera Lee, onceasgt, Dancun74, countwebb, Herodotus Prime, Eric Twocents, WisChickinChi, Waldo Harumph, glorificus, poopdogcomedy, broths, goodpractice, IamNotaKochsucker
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Pretty much says it all. This is the same fellow who pwned Fox Propaganda at OWS a couple of months ago. I hope someday to meet him.

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