Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Redneck For Obama, Again.



Yeah, I know that I've bad mouthed Barack in the past and it's not like I believe that I was wrong, not even considering that he had every Republican and Blue Dog Democrat in Congress doing their best to make sure that he had a failed presidency, but honestly and with what he was up against, he's done one hell of a job. 

OK, so he ran sounding like a liberal and has so far governed as a moderate, plus I have a great deal of respect and admiration for how he's handled himself and the economic wreck that the conservatives put us in, so, unless you are just plain bat shit crazy, you know, go and vote for Obama/Biden this November.

Honestly, even if you're one of those grumpy old white people who actually believe that Fox News is fair and balanced, Rush Limbaugh and Neil Bortz are great American heros, don't seem to realize that your Social Security and Medicare falls under the "socialism" mantra that you think makes you sound so intellectual, believe that Obama is going to take away your firearms and turn them over to the Black Panthers, that the president was born anywhere other than the United States, gay is a choice and ignorance isn't, if you can't find your butt with both hands or are not able to pour piss out of a boot with the directions printed on the heel, from one old white geezer to another, vote Obama.

That is of course, unless you enjoy bending over and taking it up the backside from the rich and powerful, if that's the case, then enjoy and by all means Vote Romney.

Later.
'


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Inequality Of Wealth Distribution In The United States.

 Originally posted at LeFlore County Real Democrats.

This post was a response to a friend at Stumpburners - The Political Voice of the South whose political acumen I have a lot of respect for.  But occasionally he gets an email...




  First, most of the time when an email ends with "If you agree...Pass it on!" you can bet that it's part of the Right's disinformation campaign and while in and of itself it's a valid point, unfortunately this one is just a misdirection to keep attention away from the real problem.

Here's what I posted back to him, and keep in mind that Beast is one of those rare Okies whose principles trumps his political affiliations.
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Certainly for the crap job that these people have been doing they are way overpaid.  But they are not the real problem.  However, they have passed the laws that have created the problem.  And they were well paid by the people who are the problem.

OWS has it right, the one percent is the problem, they have a little over a third of this country's wealth and they pay our weak willed lawmakers to pass laws to give them even more.  Talk about "Welfare Queens".

Combine that with the rest of the top ten percent and they have over 70% of this country's wealth.  Which leaves 30% left over for 90% percent.

Now it gets even better for for the well to do.  The next richest 40% have 26% of this country's wealth.  The kicker is that the lower 50% in this country have to make do with what's left over, a whopping 2.5%.  That's not a typo, the bottom half of this country, that means all the working class, the people who generate the economy have to do it with only 2.5 percent of the financial assets of the richest country on the planet.

And the super rich are putting out big bucks to try to get even more of that tiny fraction of wealth for themselves.

Your chart, useful information, is just a smokescreen to hide what the real problem is.  Another big part of the problem is what I like to call the dumba$$itude of a large part of the population of this country.  Tea Party, other people who believe the rich need a tax cut, people who believe the rich create jobs, people who believe Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the Right Wing Propaganda Machine, people who will happily run get the rope to hang themselves with, people who vote against their and their family's own best self interest, people who refuse to think for themselves and let their pastors, bosses or whoever tell them how to vote, "conservative" Democrats, hell, just the general dumbing down of the people in this country.

Here's a chart to show the income distribution inequality in this country.  Believe me, in countries that care about all their citizens the bottom half gets a hell of a lot more than 2.5% and they laugh at us and think we're crazy.  And they're right.



We have the highest income inequality of any developed nation.


Beast, if you'll read the link above and these, you'll be better informed than probably 98% of the people in this country.  BTW, I'm working on a post about the real Ronald Reagan, I'll try to get it out tomorrow, I think you'll like it.  You know most of this problem, not to mention most of the other problems we have today, started with that pathetic, simpleminded old man.

The Distribution of Wealth in America

It's the Inequality, Stupid

Wealth, Income, and Power

Study: Most Americans want wealth distribution similar to Sweden

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I know that real Democrats would rather know how things really are, as opposed to, say, burying your head in the sand that is Fox News.  Of course, everything on here is open for discussion or debate.  There's a comment section below, or an even better venue for it;


Later.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Quick Glance At A Conservative America, Part I.

Just going thru the news and ran across several things that the conservatives want to change and have changed.  If the conservatives win, hope you like how they intend to get government out of your life.

Strip searches for traffic tickets
, jay walking, any minor offense?  Oh yeah, too late on this one, the five conservative Supreme Court justices have already decided to get government out of your life by sticking it up your orifices.

Quote
In a devastating 5-4 ruling that not only condones an overreach of state power but legitimizes what is essentially state-sponsored humiliation and visual rape, the U.S. Supreme Court recently declared that any person who is arrested and processed at a jail house, regardless of the severity of his or her offense (i.e., they can be guilty of nothing more than a minor traffic offense), can be subjected to a strip search by police or jail officials without reasonable suspicion that the arrestee is carrying a weapon or contraband. The five-man majority rationalized their ruling as being necessary for safety, security and efficiency, the government's overused and all-too-convenient justifications for its steady erosion of our freedoms since 9/11.

This ruling stems from the case of Albert Florence who was erroneously arrested for failing to pay a traffic fine and forced to submit to two egregious strip and visual body-cavity searches at two different county jails. Ironically enough, the supposed crime for which Albert Florence was arrested (having an unpaid traffic fine) is not a criminal offense in New Jersey, while being strip searched for something other than a crime is a criminal offense. Florence, an African-American man in his mid-thirties, was on his way to Sunday dinner in 2005 with his then-pregnant wife and 4-year-old son when they were stopped by a New Jersey State Police trooper. Florence's wife was driving. However, after showing his ID, Florence found himself handcuffed, arrested and taken to jail. After spending six days in jail, Florence was finally able to prove his innocence.

Outraged, Florence sued the jail officials who had needlessly degraded his bodily integrity. A federal appeals court sanctioned the blanket strip search policy, which was then affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court. In a nutshell, what Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the majority, concluded was that it is impractical -- "unworkable" was the phrase used -- to expect overworked jail officials to have to take the time to distinguish between harmless individuals guilty of nothing more than driving without a seatbelt and those who pose a true threat and may be reasonably suspected of carrying drugs or weapons.
Of course, chances are that if you are a white male or an unattractive white female this won't happen to you.  It probably wouldn't happen to me if I got a haircut.  Look for the left to save us from the paranoia of five afraid old men.  Yeah, I know Roberts and Alito aren't that old, they just act like it.

I'm sure that we're all familiar with the Scopes Monkey Trial back in Tennessee in 1925.  Well, history is trying to repeat itself there now, thanks to conservative lawmakers.  Willing to disregard facts and turn public schools into quasi religious institutions.  Conservatives in Tennessee are the fourth state this year to try devolving public education into Bible study.

Quote
Tennessee’s law is not just out of the scientific mainstream, it falls outside the political mainstream as well. This year, legislators have tried and failed to pass similar legislation in multiple states, including New Mexico, Kentucky, and Oklahoma.
Here in Oklahoma the bill lost in committee on a 9-7 vote, but just like herpes, it will be back.

Quote
"The measure failed, 7-9, but it is not a final action," The Oklahoman reported, explaining that its sponsor, Sally Kern (R-District 84), "could ask the committee to bring it up again this session or next year." Kern is a persistent sponsor of antievolution legislation in Oklahoma, having sponsored a similar bill (HB 2107) and a similar resolution (HCR 1043) in 2006; neither passed. In the meantime, the antievolution bill in the Oklahoma Senate, SB 554, is still with the Senate Education Committee. A hybrid of the "academic freedom" antievolution strategy and the flawed Texas state science standards, SB 554 was introduced by Josh Brecheen (R-District 6), who described it in the Durant Daily Democrat (December 24, 2010) as "requiring every publically funded Oklahoma school to teach the debate of creation vs. evolution."
Back to Tennessee, the bill passed and the governor, a conservative, said he's "probably" going to sign it.  Just think, if the conservatives win, how much simpler education will be in this country.

Quote
Although the bill is written to seem benign, as it neither specifically authorizes the teaching of creationism nor permits teachers to do more than criticize scientific theories “in an objective matter,” the practical impact of this bill will be to intimidate all but the heartiest of school administrators against disciplining teachers who preach the most outlandish junk science in their classrooms. Because the bill provides little guidance as to what constitutes an “objective” criticism of a scientific theory, any principal who reigns in teachers who force creationism or Pastafarianism upon their students risks finding themselves on the wrong side of the law.

In reality, of course, there are few, if any, “objectively” valid objections to the theory of evolution (or, for that matter, to global warming). Rather, as Travis Waldron explained when this bill passed a legislative committee nearly a year ago, “Scientists have reached a consensus that evolution is ‘one of the most robust and widely accepted principles of modern science,’ and as such, it is ‘a core element in science education.’”
Maybe it's because I'm an unabashed liberal and just find certain things beyond the realms of debate and one of those things is bullying in school.  But by now I shouldn't be surprised by just how warped are the ways that conservative minds work.  You have to ask, "How and why can any sane person be against anti-bullying laws?".  Obviously the key term in this question is "sane person" we are talking about conservatives here and their brains function differently from those who aren't.  Not making this up, click on the link.

Anyway, some conservatives feel that anti-bullying laws will interfere with their God given right to harass those who are different.  I mean, to a conservative this is not about protecting kids, it's about the government coming in and taking something away from them, they think. So, when the conservatives win, we won't have to worry about the meek inheriting the playground.

Quote
In Arizona, for example, legislators had their anti-bullying bill teed up for passage in March. But then, Cathi Herrod, chief of a lobbying group associated with Focus on the Family, decidedthat the bill was really part of an effort to "force cultural acceptance and affirmation of homosexual lifestyles". Although the bill doesn't refer specifically to any one victimized group, Herrod successfully pressured lawmakers into rejecting it. Senate minority leader David Schapira, a sponsor of his Senate Bill 1462, called her a "legislative terrorist". "Cathi Herrod, an unelected lobbyist, killed a bill that would protect all Arizona kids purely because of her intolerance of gay kids," he said.

In Michigan last year, the "anti-anti-bullying" lobby went on the offensive with some legislation of their own. In a bill dealing with the bullying issue, they inserted a provision that would have exempted bullies who acted out of "a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction". With an irony that seems more than usually cruel, the bill was named for a Michigan teen who had committed suicide after years of bullying.

A national outpouring of disgust at the Michigan legislature's attempt to legitimize faith-based bullying ultimately resulted in the removal of the provision from the bill. But now the lawmakers of a Tennessee plan to make good on the loss. In what must count as an extraordinarily perverse way to mark the suicide of Jacob Rogers, they have introduced a bill that follows the trail blazed by the Michigan lawmakers, with some inconsequential changes in language, to open up a loophole for verbal bullying that is motivated by religious prejudices. Given that theTennessee legislature approved Bill 368, which is intended to bring "creationism" into the state's biology classrooms, on 26 March, the prospects for this anti-anti-bullying bill have to be considered good.
We all know how much conservatives love Big Business, they've even gone so far as to bestow "personhood" upon them.  "Personhood" without any of the responsibilities the rest of us non corporate "persons" have to show toward each other.

In a neat and orderly, that is the way conservatives like things (emphasis on orderly), conservative America corporations will finally (yes, I'm being facetious) be able to conduct business in the way it wants.  In fact, it's already happening in Obama's "socialist" America.

Quote
You can’t be outraged by — or fight back against — what you don’t know. At least that seems to be the theory behind a spate of new government-backed efforts to help corporations prevent inconvenient information from ever reaching the public domain. In states across the country, as in Washington, D.C., lawmakers are helping companies keep secrets in everything from factory farming to fossil fuel exploration to home foreclosures.

In five states, for instance, so-called Ag Gag laws are now on the books. Iowa just passed legislation that “criminalizes investigative journalists and animal protection advocates who take entry-level jobs at factory farms in order to document the rampant food safety and animal welfare abuses within,” according to the Atlantic’s Cody Carlson.

The impetus for such laws is obvious: After a series of damning videos of factory farms abusing animals, Big Ag faced a consumer backlash. But rather than make its facilities more humane, it has opted to spend its cash on lobbyists and court cases aimed at preventing the public from ever seeing the atrocities in the first place. Accomplishing that means pioneering new legal theories that threaten to set dangerous new precedents curtailing some of the most basic First Amendment freedoms we take for granted.

Over in the world of energy, it’s much the same thing. Last month in Pennsylvania, the oil and gas industry successfully lobbied state legislators to ban physicians from telling patients what toxic fracking chemicals they may have been exposed to. As Mother Jones’ Kate Sheppard reports, “While companies must disclose the identity and amount of any chemicals used in fracking fluids to any health professional that requests that information … the new bill requires those health professionals to sign a confidentiality agreement stating that they will not disclose that information to anyone else — not even the person they’re trying to treat.”
Kinda makes you wonder if something that adversely effected us all, like, say we found out that fracking for oil and gas was actually causing earthquakes in places that really aren't known for earthquakes, oops.

Quote
A US Geological Survey research team has linked oil and natural gas drilling operations to a series of recent earthquakes from Alabama to the Northern Rockies.

According to the study led by USGS geophysicist William Ellsworth, the spike in earthquakes since 2001 near oil and gas extraction operations is “almost certainly man-made.” The research team cites underground injection of drilling wastewater as a possible cause.

“With gasoline prices at $4 a gallon, there’s pressure to rush ahead with drilling, but the USGS report is another piece of evidence that shows we have to proceed carefully,” said Dusty Horwitt, Senior Counsel and chief natural resources analyst at Environmental Working Group. “We can’t afford multi-million-dollar water pollution cleanups or earthquakes that could pose risks to homes and health.”
Good thing that conservatives seem to only see things in black or white so that it makes it easy to rationalize that damage to some peasants homes and drinking water is nothing compared to company profits.

And just how do conservatives convince people that their way is the right, proper and beneficial thing, well they do seem to take the truth a tad lightly.

I don't suppose that anybody remembers the Iraq War?

Quote
A man whose lies helped to make the case for invading Iraq – starting a nine-year war costing more than 100,000 lives and hundreds of billions of pounds – will come clean in his first British television interview tomorrow."Curveball", the Iraqi defector who fabricated claims about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, smiles as he confirms how he made the whole thing up. It was a confidence trick that changed the course of history, with Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi's lies used to justify the Iraq war.

The chemical engineer claimed to have overseen the building of a mobile biological laboratory when he sought political asylum in Germany in 1999. His lies were presented as "facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence" by Colin Powell, US Secretary of State, when making the case for war at the UN Security Council in February 2003.

But Mr Janabi, speaking in a two-part series, Modern Spies, starting tomorrow on BBC2, says none of it was true. When it is put to him "we went to war in Iraq on a lie. And that lie was your lie", he simply replies: "Yes."

US officials "sexed up" Mr Janabi's drawings of mobile biological weapons labs to make them more presentable, admits Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, General Powell's former chief of staff. "I brought the White House team in to do the graphics," he says, adding how "intelligence was being worked to fit around the policy".
What's a little white lie here and there if it gets you what you want?

But this can't be, most conservatives consider themselves good Christians and it's pretty explicit, that commandment about not bearing false witness.  Isn't it?

Quote
You know how you can tell when we're winning? When the wingnuts go completely off the reservation and start lying through their tiny little teeth about their opposition. In this case, Planned Parenthood is the target, but they end up making themselves look like the fools and hypocrites they are.

Kristan Hawkins is Dobson's cohort in this radio clip. Kristan is the executive director of Students for Life, an organization dedicated to spreading guilt and hate ahead of its alleged message of love and peace for those Chosen Followers in The Light.

Here's why people like Kristan and Grampy Dobson drive me crazy. First they lie, and they extol liars like Lila Rose, who lied through her teeth and edited video dishonestly to make Planned Parenthood look like the Satan they think it is.

 If that's the God fearing side of conservatism can you imagine what the politicians are like?

Paul Ryan’s 2013 budget proposal is a good example, according to Ryan his budget will:

(1) “We’re putting the budget on a path to balance and to pay the debt off”

(2) “We’re not proposing tax cuts”

(3) Republicans would “clear out all the special interest loopholes

(4) the budget would “create jobs and economic growth”

 Sounds great!  Just don't read this link.

And Paul's got some prime lots he'd sell cheap in Newt's moon colony.  However, his budget is a prime example of the bs hitting the propaganda fan.

Quote
Fox News, GOP Pretend Ryan Plan Doesn’t Add Trillions to the Debt

The new House Republican budget unveiled by Congressman Paul Ryan last week does many things. Ryan’s so-called “Path to Prosperity” would deliver yet another massive tax cut windfall for the wealthy and pay for it by gutting the social safety net he pretends to protect.

  “Ryancare” would end Medicare as we know it with a premium support gambit that would dramatically shift health care costs to America's seniors.  While increasing defense spending, the House Budget Chairman would repeal the Affordable Care, slash Medicaid by a third and leave an estimated 48 million more people without health insurance.  And despite his lofty pledges to eliminate many tax loopholes and deductions to fund his gilded-class giveaway, Paul Ryan doesn’t have the courage to say which ones.

Which is why the Ryan plan does not do the biggest thing it claims to achieve.  Rather than reducing the U.S. national debt, Paul Ryan’s House GOP budget would bleed trillions in more red ink from the U.S. Treasury.

Nevertheless, as Heather of Crooks and Liars’ Video Café pointed out, Republicans and their water carriers at Fox News continue to pretend otherwise.  On Sunday morning, Mike Huckabee aided GOP Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) in perpetuating that myth:
Not that Ryan's plan will have any chance of getting thru the Senate, but take it as a cautionary tale about the America that the conservatives want to give you.

Here's a report card on the various budget plans.  These things effect all of us, it's kinda incumbent on us to know what's going on, thanks to the Founding Fathers and the Constitution.

Quote
Overall Grade F: “The Path to Prosperity” from Representative Paul Ryan: --Destroys 900,000 jobs in 2012, cuts early childhood spending by 14 percent, takes away healthcare from millions of citizens, denies Pell Grants to 1.4 million students, dramatically reduces federal revenue, and provides large tax cuts to the wealthy.   

 Overall Grade D+:
Proposal from Erskine Bowles and former-Senator Alan Simpson: --Destroys over four million jobs over the next four years, dramatically cuts early childhood spending, forces long-term cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, cuts student aid by $48 billion over the next four years, permanently caps revenue, and significantly cuts future Social Security benefits. 

 Overall Grade C: “Deficit Reduction Plan” from President Obama: --Forgoes new stimulus for deficit reduction, raises no new corporate revenue, increases defense spending, protects education and low-income programs from cuts.   

 Overall Grade A-:
“People’s Budget” from The Congressional Progressive Caucus: --Creates jobs with trillions spent in public investment, increases child care and Pell Grants, allows the government to negotiate drug prices, closes foreign tax loopholes and ends both the Bush tax cuts and deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2013.   

 Overall Grade A-:
“Investing in America’s  Economy” from Our Fiscal Security, a collaborative effort of Demos, the  Economic Policy Institute, and The Century Foundation: --Favors immediate stimulus over deficit reduction until unemployment falls to six percent, creates jobs through trillions spent in public investment, provides universal early child care, reduces healthcare costs without increasing burdens on beneficiaries, and makes the tax code more progressive.
Later, and remember to visit us at


  • Stumpburners - The Political Voice of the South.


  • Friday, April 06, 2012

    Paul Buchheit's "Five Preposterous but Persistent Conservative Myths", because it's good and easier than writing my own stuff.

    You have to wonder or at least you should wonder how total untruths become accepted as "just feel it in my bones", has to be, actual fact.

    Take for instance, that all of mankind's woes because of one woman's/girl's lack of will power and substandard reasoning ability (compared to male's) to withstand the temptation of an apple or some other fruit.  And this, whichever you choose to believe, truth or untruth has been used to subjugate the female sex for centuries.  History is just filled with examples of myths used to give someone or some group an advantage over others.

    OK, at least understandable back in the days when humankind had no other way of explaining things besides local superstition, you know, before the internet and now anywhere outside of the American South.

    Well, the "why" is pretty simple, if you hear something over and over enough without questioning it, it becomes an accepted fact, not to be confused with actual fact, or truth.

    One guy, back in 1925, very eloquently put this idea into words and later and not so eloquently used the idea with devastating effect.

    Quote
    But the most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly and with unflagging attention. It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over. Here, as so often in this world, persistence is the first and most important requirement for success.

    Such a simple technique, amazing that it works on an educated and sophisticated population, best example is 1930s Germany and the quote above is from "War Propaganda", in volume 1, chapter 6 of Mein Kampf (1925), by Adolf Hitler.

    This country is a pretty good example of how it still works and later I'll try to give some insight as to why it does.  But right now from Paul Buchheit at Buzzflash:

    Quote

             Five Preposterous but Persistent Conservative Myths
    With the mainstream media in the hands of the mostly conservative and wealthy, it's difficult for average Americans to learn the truth about critical issues. The following five conservative claims are examples of the mythical beliefs that fall apart in the presence of inconvenient facts:

    1. Entitlements are the Problem

    Beyond the fact that we're "entitled" to Social Security and Medicare because we pay for them, these two government-run programs have been largely self-sustaining as they support the needs of millions of Americans.

    Medicare is much less costly than private health care. Social Security, which functions with a surplus, would not be in danger of a long-term shortfall if the richest 10% (those making over the $106,800 cutoff) paid their full share.

    The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities recently reported that 91% of entitlements go to the elderly or disabled, or to members of working households needing supplemental assistance. Only 9% of entitlement dollars go to non-working but employable individuals, and most of that is for medical care, unemployment, and survivor benefits.

    2. Charter Schools Are the Answer

    Free-market adherents have a lot of people believing that the public school system needs to be "saved" by charter schools. That belief is not supported by the facts. A Stanford University study "reveals in unmistakable terms that, in the aggregate, charter students are not faring as well as their traditional public school counterparts."

    A Department of Education study found that "On average, charter middle schools that hold lotteries are neither more nor less successful than traditional public schools in improving student achievement, behavior, and school progress."

    Charter schools also take money away from the public system. For example, the Los Angeles Unified School District loses nearly $7,000 in state money for each student who transfers to a charter. In Florida, the entire $55 million budgeted in 2011 for school maintenance went to charters. Governors in several states plan to direct money to schools that serve upper-middle-income families.

    Furthermore, charter school teachers have fewer years of experience and a higher turnover rate, and according to one study were less likely to be certified.

    Perhaps most damning are studies by the University of Colorado and UCLA, which found that some charter schools segregate students by race and income. Said researcher Gary Miron of Western Michigan University, "Parents are selecting schools where their child will experience less diversity."

    3. Corporate Taxes Are Too High
    This one is easy. The facts can be found in US Office of Management (OMB) figures, which show a gradual drop over the years in Corporate Income Tax as a Share of GDP, from 4% in the 1960s to 2% in the 1990s to 1.3% in 2010. That's one-third of what it used to be.
    Also coming from the OMB is the percent of Total Tax Revenue derived from corporate taxes. The corporate share has dropped from about 20% in the 1960s to under 9% in 2010.

    Finally, in a US Treasury report of global competitiveness, it is revealed that US corporations paid only 13.4% of their profits in taxes between 2000 and 2005, compared to the OECD average of 16.1%. A similar PayUpNow.org analysis of 100 of the largest US companies found that less than 10% of pre-tax profits in 2010 were paid in non-deferred US federal income taxes.

    Corporate tax avoidance is rampant at the state level, too. A new study by Citizens for Tax Justice, which evaluated 265 large companies, determined that an average of 3% was paid in state taxes, less than half the average state tax rate of 6.2%.

    4. Jim Crow is Dead
    Even though white Americans are the nation's most frequent drug users and dealers, the people in jail for these offenses are overwhelmingly black. In some states, African Americans make up 80-90% of all drug offenders sent to prison.

    As a nation, we lead the world in rates of imprisonment, and drug offenses have accounted for two-thirds of the increase in federal inmates. 
    Once drug users are in prison, they're stigmatized for life. As stated by Michelle Alexander, author of "The New Jim Crow": "Rather than rely on race, we use our criminal justice system to label people of color 'criminals' and then engage in all the practices we supposedly left behind...Once you're labeled a felon, the old forms of discrimination - employment discrimination, housing discrimination, denial of the right to vote, and exclusion from jury service - are suddenly legal. As a criminal, you have scarcely more rights, and arguably less respect, than a black man living in Alabama at the height of Jim Crow."

    5. Poverty Is Declining Everywhere
    There's something disturbing about World Bank researchers using mathematical functions to determine who's living in poverty. But free-market fanatic, The Economist, liked the results, proclaiming that "poverty is declining everywhere."

    That's easy to say when the World Bank gets to set its own poverty threshold, at $1.25 per day. The organization admits there was little change in the number of people living below $2 per day between 1981 and 2008. And almost half the world lives on less than $3 a day.

    Another fact is that the rapid growth of China accounts for most of the global poverty changes. China is where hundreds of millions of starry-eyed young people went from zero income on the farms to a few dollars a day under oppressive factory working conditions. The GDP may show a decline in poverty, but a "quality of life" index wouldn't make that mistake.

    6 and 7. Evolution and global warming don't exist.
    These are just too preposterous for words.

    Progressive activists continue to work toward the day when poverty is down everywhere, and minorities receive equal treatment, and education is properly funded, and tax subsidies rather than entitlements are minimized. But that day is being delayed by make-believe messages from the American conservative.
    Paul Buchheit obviously didn't think that evolution and global warming needed any in depth explanation.  Understandable since evolution is one of those actual, instead of accepted, facts and man made global warming is believed by something like 98%+ of climate scientists.  Now, wait a minute, I'm not going into the evolution thing, that's a done deal.  However I will try to explain why there is so much question about man made global warming, simply.

    Let's go back to Herr Hitler's explanation of propaganda and repeating it over and over again and keep that in mind, because it applies to all these myths, not just global warming.  General Motors recently quit its funding of the Heartland Institute.  The Heartland Institute "which identifies itself as a free-market think tank, has questioned the ideas on global warming through its newsletters, web site and associated scientists. Last year, the tagline for its annual conference on the subject was "Global Warming: Was It Ever Really a Crisis?"  Got that?  Ford and Chrysler stopped funding them some time ago. 

    One of Heartland's paid, although he denied being paid and later got caught lying about that, then issued the statement "that being truthful about one's funding is "a very quaint and old fashioned practice", scientists is Robert M. "Bob" Carter.  Bob appears to be just one hell of a guy if you pay him, he'll say what you want him to and even provide the phony data to back it up.  Bob's awfully popular with with the global warming crowd, I guess because there are so few in the scientific community morally bankrupt enough to do what Bob does.  Here are a few;

    * The Heartland Institute
     * The Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI)
     * The Science and Environmen­tal Policy Project (SEPP)
     * The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF)
     * The Nongovernm­ental Internatio­nal Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC)
     * The Internatio­nal Climate Science Coalition (ICSC)

    Check 'em out, all funded by the big polluters who would rather spend their money trying to confuse people instead of cleaning up their nasty acts.

    Later I'll bring you why some people refuse to believe actual facts and that's reason enough for the rest of us to really know what's going on.

    This is from Stumpburner-The Political Voice of the South, I post there under lowdown and if you enjoy politics it's not a bad place to be.  Couple of minutes to register and hours to try to raise the level of political discourse.  Plus more than 700 games in the arcade.

    Later.

    Thursday, December 16, 2010

    Barack Obama, Best Republican President in the Last 30 Years?

    I feel the need to apologize for the post I made back on 4 November, 2008.

    Sorry, I was just giddy thinking that after eight years of George W. Bush the country was about to do a one eighty thanks to the fiery, young, go-getter we'd just elected as our President.  Is my face red!

    I mean, the chance to be one of the really great ones was right there and if even an semi-literate country boy like me realized it, then surely the erudite, Harvard Lawyer would jump right on top of it.

    Hell, all you had to do was to go after the Bush Administration to show the American People that shady goings-on, read that probable criminal activities/definite unethical actions, were not to be tolerated, even at the highest levels.  History backs this up, just look what happened because Tip O'Neill thought that the country didn't need an investigation into Iran/Contra, most of the crooks involved in that wound up in
    W's administration, at least the ones that didn't have a job at Fox News.

    OK, maybe Barack's just not as bloodthirsty as I am, maybe he just wants to show what a nice guy he is or maybe he just wants to show the Republicans that he is willing to work with the people who everyone knows have absolutely no intention of doing crap for him.  And to prove his good intentions he even waters down the Stimulus Package, the one thing that would create jobs and keep the economy ginning to get a little love from the Right.  Right.

    But now it's time to finally catch America up with the rest of the civilized world and get universal health care.  Barack promptly sat on the sidelines and let conservative Democrats or Blue Dogs and Republicans draft the legislation while health industry financed "grassroots" Teabaggers to yell inanities and frame the argument.  So we got more of the same with minor improvements and major perks to the Health Insurance Industry.

    Iraq and Afghanistan, the money hungry, unnecessary wars that should be history, ain't.  Guantanamo, yes, American justice for all, no.  Prisoner renditions and spying on American citizens still going on.

    No doubt, except in Right Wing Fantasyland, Global Warming is the biggest problem facing the planet today, Barack talked the talk, however ...  Well, you know.

    The biggest problem facing the country is the widening income gap between the incredibly wealthy and everybody else.  Honestly, you have to be Teabagger stupid not to understand that 1% of the population getting 24% of the income is a major economic problem, not for the 1%, of course.  Barack's solution? 
    Keep shoveling the money to the top 2% like a Republican wet dream.

    In his defense Obama knows where the real fault lies and he's not bashful about letting everyone know who's really at fault here.  Now think about this, it was the left that supported Obama, sent the money for his campaign and stood firm while the Right Wing Propaganda Machine lied about everything he was trying to do, the GOP and Blue Dogs on the Hill wouldn't lift a finger to pass good legislation, so naturally Obama rags on the left.

    White House press secretary Robert Gibbs scolded what he called "the professional left" for its vocal objections to President Barack Obama's record. "These people ought to be drug tested," Gibbs said. "They will be satisfied when we have Canadian health care and we've eliminated the Pentagon. That's not reality. They wouldn't be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president." Later, Gibbs said he had spoken "inartfully."



    “This is the public-option debate all over again,” Mr. Obama complained, adding: “Now, if that’s the standard by which we are measuring success or core principles, then, let’s face it, we will never get anything done. People will have the satisfaction of having a purist position and no victories for the American people. And we will be able to feel good about ourselves and sanctimonious about how pure our intentions are and how tough we are, and in the meantime, the American people are still seeing themselves not able to get health insurance because of pre-existing condition, or not being able to pay their bills because their unemployment insurance ran out.”



    Yeah, it kinda is the public-option debate all over again, I mean you pretty much whiffed on that one and we we're kinda hoping that you'd learned not to give up the farm for a crap piece of legislation and an illusional sense of accomplishment.

    Actually, not getting anything done would be an improvement.  For those of us in the lower four quintiles going back to the pre-Bush tax cuts wouldn't be much of a stretch, hardly any of us noticed them and if it would help the deficit, then go for it.  But looking at the big picture here...



    Sorry, 2005 was the best I could do, trust me those top lines have gone even higher in the last five years.

    Take a look at how the lower four quintile's incomes have gone up maybe 20% and mostly less since 1980, while the top quintile went up close to 80%.  Now this top quintile was supposed to be creating jobs with those tax cuts and we all know how that worked out.

    Now take a look at the top 1%, two freaking hundred percent increase in income and this has accomplished what?  An accumulation of this country's finite wealth in the hands of fewer people.  This is a policy that you want to continue, Mr. President?

    I voted for change not lame and I the one who's supposed to be on top of this.  So I apologize for letting myself be fooled by another so-called Democrat who would seem to rather roll over than stand for principles.

    BTW, unemployment benefits would have been extended regardless.  Hell, even the GOP knows what would happen to them if they put millions of Americans out on the street.

    Later