Posts filed under ‘We the People’

Teachers and Firefighters are Overpaid? Let’s Talk

The elites would have us believe teachers, firefighters and oh yeah, letter carriers, are overpaid.  But when was the last time we heard them scream about these guys:

Coaches overpaid

(Image via MSNBC.com)

(Via.)

Oh, and don’t forget, the players got nothin’.

April 7, 2014 at 6:56 PM Leave a comment

Rail Industry Blackmails Obama Administration, it Backs Down on New Safety Rules

Oil Train David Gubler on Wikimedia Commons

(Image David Gubler via Wikimedia Commons)

Geezus Obama, you’re a huge disappointment:

Nine days after announcing new regulations designed to improve oil-by-rail safety, the Department of Transportation quietly weakened the rules for testing rail cars and exempted shippers of bitumen from having to meet the new regulations.

[...]

In a Feb. 25 press release, Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said all of the right things:

Today we are raising the bar for shipping crude oil on behalf of the families and communities along rail lines nationwide —if you intend to move crude oil by rail, then you must test and classify the material appropriately.”

The industry quickly responded with a letter to Foxx letting him know that keeping families and communities safe might require them to shut down oil-by-rail shipping, which would  “have an immediate and significant negative economic impact on the nation”.

Apparently this got Foxx’s attention. And the Department of Transportation did the industry’s bidding and relaxed the regulations. This time there was no press release or PR blitz touting the change.

More…

I think this would commonly be known as blackmail.

Like I said, corporations are the government now.

I expected more of you Mr. Prez.  I expected you to stand up to these tyrants who think only in terms of profits at any cost, including the lives of We the People.

Oh, and in looking for a photo to add to this post, I came across these inconvenient facts:

April 2, 2014: Firefighter training inadequate for crude oil train fires, group tells Congress

February 27, 2014:  Rail cars used to ship oil are ‘unacceptable public risk,’ NTSB official says

January 25, 2014:  Accidents Surge as Oil Industry Takes the Train

But, according to the Obama administration:  Oh well!

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/02/4035622/firefighter-training-for-crude.html#storylink=cpy

April 4, 2014 at 5:07 PM Leave a comment

Listen to Us Damnit! Huge We the People Rallies Today in Spain and Chile

People acted up against austerity today (i.e., giving money to banks and starving We the People) in Spain and Chile.  Don’t expect to see coverage of these events on your local TV (they don’t want to give us any ideas).

 

Anti-Austerity Protesters Join Forces in Spanish Capital

3-22-14 Dignity March Spain via revolution-News.com

(Image via Revolution-News.com)

Tens of thousands of protesters from across Spain converged in Madrid on Saturday calling for an end to EU-imposed austerity which has deepened poverty amongst the worst-off.

The so-called “Dignity Marches” brought tens of thousands to the capital, Reuters witnesses calculated, in support of more than 160 different causes – employment, housing, health and education and an end to poverty amongst them.

Banners urged the conservative government not to pay its international debts and to tackle unemployment of 26 percent.

More…

——————————————————–

Chileans Rally to Demand Promised Reforms

Tens of thousands of protesters have marched in Chile to press Michelle Bachelet to follow through on ambitious reforms she pledged before assuming the presidency less than two weeks ago.

The protest on Saturday in central Santiago, dubbed “the march of all marches”, was the first of Bachelet’s new term and the biggest political demonstration since huge student protests in 2011.

Organisers said at least 100,000 people were present, even without core groups of student protesters active in the past. Those activists said they would not take part because they were working with Bachelet on education reforms soon be sent to Congress.

The march underscored lingering frustrations in Chile, which has one of the region’s widest inequality gaps. It also raised expectations following four years of rule by the unpopular Sebastian Pinera.

Protesters said the march was a warning sign they would not go easy on Bachelet.

“This is not a protest against Bachelet or for her, it’s just an alert for the political class so they know people have demands,” said Oscar Rementeria, a spokesman for gay rights group, Movilh.

The 40 activist groups that helped fill the streets supported causes ranging from environmental protection to gay and indigenous rights.

More…

If anyone sees any coverage of this in the U.S. media, please let me know.

Thanks in advance.

March 22, 2014 at 8:05 PM Leave a comment

When Trickle Down Stopped Trickling Down

Check out this chart:

Productivity v Wages via business insider

(Image via BusinessInsider.com)

The top, blue line is U.S. productivity/output per hour (1945 – 2013).  The bottom red line is median family real income.  Look at how productivity has kept going up but incomes have leveled off and then fallen since roughly 1980.  Americans have kept working — hard — but the corporatocracy, again, in roughly 1980, stopped increasing wages commensurate with that level of production.  The so-called trickle down stopped at just about the same time politicians started dangling that term in front of our face, like a carrot.

Interesting ahem, coincidence?  No, in retrospect, I’d call it a rather obvious distraction.

Larger version and more here.

 

March 22, 2014 at 3:21 PM Leave a comment

It’s No Wonder 99%ers Don’t Think The Economy Has Recovered

Polls consistently show that We the People don’t think the economy has recovered.  The Very Serious People in the media usually report that with a tone of bewilderment, as if they, gosh darn it, just can’t figure out why.  Well, hello, here’s why:

Wages and salary as a share of GDP via the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis:

Wages & Salary

(Image via nytimes.com/blogs/economix)

 

March 16, 2014 at 9:38 AM Leave a comment

The War on Cancer: The United States Lost

Bad news:

C  A  N  C  E  R

Cancer Soon to Become #1 Killer in America

Here’s a depressing stat: Within the next 16 years, cancer will be the number one cause of death among Americans, according to a new report from the American Society for Clinical Oncologists (ASCO).

In their first report of its kind, ASCO dug into the prevalence of cancer in the U.S. and its projected rise, as well a number of pitfalls in our current medical system that will make treating all those cancer cases increasingly difficult. In fact, the report notes, the field of oncology is under such strain from skyrocketing medical costs and doctor shortages that the Institute of Medicine has called it “a system in crisis” in need of “urgent intervention.”

More…

Why do we have “skyrocketing medical costs” and “doctor shortages?”  I’m definitely not an expert on that but I would suggest unrestrained corporate greed might have something to do with “skyrocketing medical costs” and low wages and the high cost of a college education (not to mention medical school for crying out loud) might have something to do with it.

That said, due to the corporatocracy buying off the folks who are supposed to represent and protect We the Little People, we know there are chemicals in our soil, chemicals in our air, chemicals in our water, chemicals in our clothes, chemicals in our food, chemicals in our building materials and chemicals in our baby bottles.  There’s no end to the list.

I’m 61 and I’ve been lucky.  No cancer (other than some basal cell carcinoma on my nose from spending my teen years roasting in the sun).  Living 61 years — factoring in climate change — might be a thing of the past for today’s little ones.

Oh, and remember when Dick Nixon (R) declared a “War on Cancer?

We lost.  Our tax dollars went to “defense spending.”  Never mind that cancer has, and will, kill more of us than the boogeyman out there.

 

March 13, 2014 at 7:34 PM Leave a comment

The Guys Who Destroyed the World Economy Are Free But an 84-Year-Old Nun Isn’t

The “smartest guys in the room,” who destroyed the world’s economy are still strutting around, getting  multimillion dollar bonuses, but an 84-year-old nun who tried to bring attention to the danger of nuclear weapons has been sentenced to two+ years in prison:

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Feb. 18 (UPI) — Three anti-nuclear activists, including an 84-year-old Catholic nun, received jail terms Tuesday for breaking into a nuclear weapons plant in Tennessee in 2012.

Sister Megan Rice received a 35-month term, and her co-conspirators, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed, received 62-month terms, WVLT-TV, Knoxville, reported.

Sister Megan Rice on Facebook

(Image via Sister Megan Rice on Facebook)

Rice, 84, Michael Walli, 64, and Greg Boertje-Obed, 58, were convicted of breaking into the Y-12 Security Complex at Oak Ridge, a nuclear weapons manufacturing facility operated by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration and considered among the most secure buildings in the world. They defaced a uranium-processing facility with human blood as an anti-nuclear protest.

More…

A “co-conspirator?”  Labels like that are reserved for We the Little People, as in 84-year-old nuns who want to save us from ourselves.  I guarantee the so-called liberal media will never refer to greedy bastards extraordinaire like Jamie Dimon that way.

February 18, 2014 at 8:56 PM Leave a comment

If There Were Only 100 People on Earth…

Interesting graphic over at BusinessInsider breaking down the state of the world’s population by illustrating it as if there were only 100 people on Earth.  For example:

100 People on Earth via BusinessInsider.com

(Image via BusinessInsider.com)

See the whole thing here.

February 17, 2014 at 1:36 PM Leave a comment

Caving to Pressure from the Corporatocracy, the Oregon Legislature Refuses to Ban Toxic Chemicals From Children’s Clothing

Chemicals via Wikipedia

(Image via Wikipedia)

This is the kind of insanity that occurs when politicians can be bought or sold via campaign contributions:

An effort in the Oregon Legislature to phase out arsenic, cadmium, mercury, Bisphenol A, formaldehyde and other potentially toxic chemicals from some children’s products looks on track to fail after intense lobbying from the chemical, toy and business industries.

An amendment in the works for Senate Bill 1569 would require the Oregon Health Authority to maintain a list of 66 “high priority chemicals of concern for children’s health” and would require manufacturers to disclose children’s products that contain the chemicals.

But gone is the third part of the bill that would have required, with some exceptions, a five-year phase-out of the listed chemicals in the products.

The new version of the bill is a bitter disappointment to phase-out advocates, especially after the Oregon House comfortably passed the bill last year with bipartisan support.

More…

What a no-brainer of a law, but here we have politicians explicitly working against the interests of their constituents.  Because?  $$$$$$

February 5, 2014 at 12:48 PM Leave a comment

Obama, Tell Us: Which Side Are You On?

‘Which Side Are You On?’ is a song written by Florence Reece in 1931. Reece was the wife of Sam Reece, a union organizer for the United Mine Workers in Harlan County, Kentucky. In 1931, the miners of that region were locked in a bitter and violent struggle with the mine owners. In an attempt to intimidate the Reece family, Sheriff J. H. Blair and his men (hired by the mining company) illegally entered their family home in search of Sam Reece. Sam had been warned in advance and escaped, but Florence and their children were terrorized in his place. That night, after the men had gone, Florence wrote the lyrics to ‘Which Side Are You On?’ on a calendar that hung in the kitchen of her home. She took the melody from a traditional Baptist hymn, ‘Lay the Lily Low’, or the traditional ballad ‘Jack Munro’.

(Via.)

 

January 28, 2014 at 8:16 PM Leave a comment

Republicans Kick a Million+ Lazy Ass Americans Off Their Unemployment Insurance

Got that?  Earlier this month, Republicans refused to extend unemployment insurance to more than a million Americans because they’re lazy a++holes and if we coddle them they’ll just keep on keepin’ on sucking the tit of the American taxpayer.

Dear god of the universe:  If only we really did have a liberal media here in the U.S., they’d be screaming about this<—-  <—-:

—->  —–>

GOP not working-

And if we had Democrats here in the U.S. who made some serious noise, who had guts and a willingness to stand up to the corporatocarcy (thank you Justice Roberts and your ruling on Citizens United), We the People might stand a chance…

 

December 28, 2013 at 8:44 PM 2 comments

Uh Oh — Socialist America

Republicans will say this proves Americans are lazy, spoiled brats and they need to have their support systems yanked out from under them so they’ll man up and take responsibility for themselves.  Big babies:

Pew 12-19-13

(Image via People-Press.org)

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Dec. 3-8 among 2,001 adults, finds majorities say it is more important to maintain spending on Social Security and Medicare and programs to help the poor than to take steps to reduce the budget deficit. Nearly seven-in-ten (69%) say it is more important to maintain current Social Security and Medicare benefits than to reduce the deficit, while 59% prioritize keeping current levels of spending for programs that help the poor and needy over deficit reduction.

There is greater public support for cutting military spending in order to achieve deficit reduction. About half of Americans (51%) say reducing the deficit is more important than keeping military spending at current levels, while 40% say deficit reduction is more important.

More…

In other words Washington, don’t reduce the deficit on our backs.

Way to go Americans!

Speaking of big babies, maybe D.C. should look into fixing this little ditty as a way of bringing in more money:  Accidental Tax Break Saves Wealthiest Americans $100 Billion.

December 19, 2013 at 3:53 PM Leave a comment

The USA is the “New India”

The only thing the USA! USA! USA! is #1 in is the number of people incarcerated and the number of people with adult-onset diabetes:

Union made

I’m so old I remember when “union made” labels were everywhere — from clothes and tools to pamphlets.

America has become a RINO: rich in name only. By every measure, we look like a broken banana republic. Not a single U.S. city is included in the world’s top 10 most livable cities. Only one U.S. airport makes the list of the top 100 in the world. Our roads, schools and bridges are falling apart, and our trains—none of them high-speed—are running off their tracks. Our high school students are rated 30th in math, and some 30 countries have longer life expectancy and lower rates of infant mortality. The only things America is number one in these days are the number of incarcerated citizens per capita and adult onset diabetes.

[...]

he destruction of labor has been so comprehensive that first-world nations now offshore their jobs to the U.S. In other words, we’ve become the new India. Foreign companies now see us as the world’s cheap labor force, and we have the non-unionized South to thank for that. Chuck Thompson, author of Better off Without Em, writes, “Like Mexico, the South has spent the past four decades systematically siphoning auto jobs from Michigan and the Midwest by keeping worker’s salaries low and inhibiting their right to organize by rendering their unions toothless.” Average wages for autoworkers in the South are up to 30 percent lower than in Michigan.

[...]

In Sweden, the minimum wage is $19 per hour and workers enjoy a minimum of five weeks paid vacation every year. In the U.S. the minimum wage is a tick above $7 per hour and workers can expect no more than 12 days of annual vacation. So guess what? IKEA has set up a factory in Virginia. Volkswagen has set up in Tennessee, and the likes of Hyundai, KIA, BMW, Honda, and Toyota have all set up in the South to take advantage of the world’s latest cheap labor source. Moreover, the profits of these foreign companies goes toward stimulating their economies instead of ours.

More…

The Republican effort to turn non-union workers against union workers — and to thus let the destruction of unions go essentially unchallenged — has been just fab-u-l-ous for the corporataocracy.  For workers?  Not so much.

December 11, 2013 at 12:21 PM 1 comment

Xcel Energy Sucks

The electricity has been off at my house for roughly three hours today. (That’s what it’s like in Baghdad.)

This is Al waiting for it to come on:

Xcel Sucks Lost power 12-10-13

Xcel’s gas was out at my brother’s house for roughly 48 hours over the weekend.  The temps were in the below zeros.

Xcel doesn’t want to invest in infrastructure and nobody’s saying it should.  It wants to steer its profits to the execs and shareholders and our tax laws are structured such that they can; they encourage them to do that (thanks bought-and-sold congress).

Meanwhile, Al and I wait…

USA!

——————–

Pray tell I’ll have time to look into the subsidies I’m paying for this piece of shit “public utility.”

Love how that label has stuck.

What a lie.

December 10, 2013 at 8:30 PM Leave a comment

The U.S. Government Takes Care of Raytheon. The Unemployed? Not So Much

This is happened yesterday:

Pentagon Approves $1.1 Billion Raytheon Missile Sale To Saudi Arabia

Meanwhile, there’s this from today:

Destatute via Wikimeida Commons

Strong Jobs Report Could Mean Bad News For Unemployment Benefits

 

December 6, 2013 at 7:41 PM Leave a comment

Is Mass Malnutrition Coming to the U.S.?

Feed the Hungry Logo

Here’s a shocking article about how austerity cuts are affecting the health of folks in the U.K.:

 

Malnutrition a Public Health Emergency, Experts Warn

Malnutrition is something most of us associate with the third world or even the world of Dickens. But new figures show hospital admissions in England have nearly doubled in the last five years.

A group of scientists and public health experts is warning the rise is evidence of a “public health emergency” which could be linked to changes to benefits.”

They cite government statistics that show there were 5,500 hospital admissions for malnutrition between 2012 and 2013 compared to just over 3,000 in 2008.

They also point to a report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies that found families were buying cheaper more unhealthy food.

This has all the signs of a public health emergency that could go unrecognised until it is too late.

Letter to the British Medical Journal

In a letter to the British Medical Journal, David Taylor-Robinson from the University of Liverpool and six other academics warn: “This has all the signs of a public health emergency that could go unrecognised until it is too late to take preventive action.”

They say they are particularly worried about the number of children with malnutrition because it can cause cardiovascular and other chronic diseases in adulthood.

They believe the rise in cases of malnutrition, and the increase in the use of food banks, could be linked to welfare reform.

More…

So, that’s austerity, U.K-style.

Meanwhile, this is what’s happening here in the U.S.:

 

Meanwhile, there may be no way to prevent Congress from allowing 1.3 million people to lose their unemployment benefits, or reversing the sharp cuts to food stamps, which are one of the most destructive forms of austerity. (In fact, Republicans demand much, much greater cuts to food stamps.)

As the CNN report says, the ostensible reason to cut spending and/or raise taxes is to keep the budget deficit low. But government borrowing costs are still near historic lows, and the budget deficit is plummeting like a stone. Meanwhile, unemployment is still high, inflation is still low, and hysteresis is turning unemployment into long-run structural damage.

Overall, the austerity binge has cost the economy about 3 million jobs at this point. Put simply, this is insane, and there is no sign Congress will stop it anytime soon.

More…

I volunteer at a food bank.  Food banks in the area just held their big annual food drive.  We collected something like 6,000 pounds less than we did last year.  Last year we collected roughly 13,000 pounds less than the year before that.  At some point, food banks are going to get crushed under the weight of so many starving people and hey, maybe then we should get together with the U.K. and have a malnurishathon.

Geezus.  I think it’s immoral to cut services to the poorest, most desperate segments of a society.

USA, USA, USA!

 

December 4, 2013 at 12:42 PM Leave a comment

Obama’s SEC Says Disclosing Corporate Political Spending Isn’t a Priority

$  $  $  $  $  $  $  $

I wouldn’t be surprised if this were to happen under a Republican but under Mr. Constitutional lawyer Obama?  It’s a disgrace. Maybe it’s just me but I expect Democrats to have higher standards — standards that tilt toward We the Little People and away from the corporatocracy and the rich having all the freakin’ advantages.

This is just fucking infuriating.

SEC Drops Disclosure of Corporate Political Spending From its Priority List

Missing from the Security and Exchange Commission’s list of regulatory priorities for the coming year is any plan to consider whether public companies should disclose their political spending, a setback for investor advocates who rallied behind the cause.

A “set back for investor advocates?”  How about a set back for people like you and me who donate $10, $15, $20 and want to know what we’re up against?

Last year around this time, when the SEC released its 2013 to-do list, it signaled that it might consider formally proposing a rule to require the spending disclosures. But the item slipped off the 2014 agenda released this past week without any formal explanation.

More…

Geezus.  Don’t get me started.

December 2, 2013 at 8:41 PM Leave a comment

How About a $4.5 Million Car?

Only for those with unfathomable incomes:

Lamborghini Veneno via lamborghini website

(Image via Lamborghini.com)

After its March debut at the Geneva Motor Show, Lamborghini’s completely over-the-top Veneno supercar made its official public debut on Sunday. To make sure the setting matched the car, the event was held on an Italian aircraft carrier, docked in Abu Dhabi.

Only nine units of the Veneno Roadster will be built, starting in 2014, and each will cost €3.3 million euros ($4.5 million), before taxes.

So what do you get for all that money? A somewhat absurd-looking car that comes with 750 horsepower, enough to go from 0 to 62 mph in under three seconds. You do not get a roof, but we believe Lamborghini when it promises “an intense driving experience.”

More…

Ah yes.  The 1%-ers have a new toy!

December 2, 2013 at 2:24 PM Leave a comment

Fired Pizza Hut Manager Offered Job Back

I think Tony Rohr is a “working class hero” in the purest sense.  I hope he’s had a flood of job offers since walking away from Pizza Hut and I hope some of them are attractive enough to make him turn down this disingenuous, kiss ass offer obviously generated by public pressure:

Pizza Hut

Indiana Pizza Hut Manager Offered Job Back After Firing for Refusal to Open on Thanksgiving

Pizza Hut has offered to rehire the manager of a northern Indiana restaurant who was fired over his refusal to open up on Thanksgiving Day.

[...]

Pizza Hut’s corporate office issued a statement Wednesday saying it respects an employee’s right to not work on the holiday and that the store owner has agreed to reinstate [Tony] Rohr.

“This was clearly an unfortunate situation, and we are very upset by what has transpired in Elkhart,” the company statement said. “While the choice as to whether a restaurant should be open or closed on a holiday is handled at the local level by our independent franchisees, we feel strongly that this situation could have been avoided.”

Rohr said he hasn’t decided yet whether to accept the job offer.

More…

 

November 28, 2013 at 9:14 PM Leave a comment

Colorado Republican Wants People to Pay a $5,000 Fee to Protest an Oil or Gas Drilling Project

This is the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States:

Constitution 1-4-10

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

This is what Colorado Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Oil) is working on in D.C.:

This week, the House will vote on a bill [introduced by Rep. Doug Lamborn] that could impose a $5,000 fee on any person who opposes a proposed drilling project. The bill, also known as the Federal Lands Jobs and Energy Security Act, will make it easier for oil and gas companies to drill on public lands…

Should the bill become law, onshore drilling permits will automatically be approved if the Department of the Interior (DOI) does not act on the permits within 60 days. It will also require any individual who wishes to oppose a proposed drilling project to pay $5,000 to file an official protest.

More…

Imagine the Founding Fathers writing an amendment that read something like this:

Congress shall require that a $5,000 fee be paid by any member of We the People who object to an oil and/or gas company drilling wherever it wants.

You go Doug.  You probably wear a flag pin on your lapel too, huh?

November 19, 2013 at 10:32 AM 1 comment

Ignorant

What happens when we stop teaching U.S. history in elementary school:

Image via Atheistican on Twitter

(Image via Atheistican on Twitter)

 

November 13, 2013 at 5:01 PM Leave a comment

Familiarize Yourself With the TPP

Blocking the implementation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (the TPP) is the most important fight We the People must win — along with blocking the Keystone XL pipeline — in the next year.

The TPP via BillMoyers.com

(Image via BillMoyers.com)

Learn more about the TPP here.  It’s a very big deal.  In essence, it gives the corporatocracy control of our government.

November 12, 2013 at 7:08 PM Leave a comment

Right-Wing Legislatures Screwing Workers Left and Right

I was getting ready to post my Tweet of the Day when I inadvertently took a detour through this paragraph:

…[A] slew of other laws passed in the two years following the 2010 right-wing electoral romp. Among them: Michigan banned safety regulations covering repetitive motion. Florida banned local paid sick leave mandates. Wisconsin banned compensatory and punitive damage suits over employment discrimination. New Hampshire made it easier for companies to classify workers as “independent contractors” lacking the legal rights of employees. Maine allowed employers to apply for employees to be considered disabled, and to determine what fraction of the minimum wage to pay employees classified as such.

More…

Now, here’s that tweet:

Tweet of the Day 10-31-13

October 31, 2013 at 10:23 AM 2 comments

The Clinton Machine Backs Wholly Owned Terry McAuliffe in Virginia

As I’ve said before, if I lived in Virginia, I might have to sit out this year’s gubernatorial election set for November 5.  Two wholly owned corporate ass kissers are running.  One, the so-called Democrat — Terry McAuliffe — is backed by the Clinton machine which gives us a glimpse into what a Hillary Clinton presidential reign might look like.  I.e., great for the corporatocracy but for We the People?  Not so much:

Terry McAuliffe via Twitter.com

(Image via Terry McAuliffe on Twitter)

If you want to see how grossly money can distort democracy, just go to the state of Virginia, where there are no limits on how big a check can be written for statewide office. Groups and individuals from outside the Old Dominion are taking full advantage, pouring millions into a governor’s race they see as a dry run for the tactics they’ll use in the 2014 midterms and the 2016 presidential race – sort of the way the Spanish civil war turned out to be a testing ground for many of the deadly weapons of World War II.

[...]

The Democrat, Terry McAuliffe, has been in training for years as courtier to the rich. He has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for the Democratic National Committee, which he chaired for four years, and the campaigns of his – Best Friends Forever – Bill and Hillary Clinton, who now are shaking down donors for him. Along the way, according to The Washington Post, this gregarious bagman used government programs, his huge Rolodex of political connections, and wealthy investors from both parties to enrich himself. He organized a company to build electric cars and promoted it to investors with a prospectus featuring photographs and ample references to his Clinton ties. He even got the former President to show up at the opening of the plant in Mississippi, along with that state’s former Republican governor, Haley Barbour, who made his fortune as a lobbyist in Washington for the tobacco industry

[...]

But Cuccinelli is in no position to talk. The candidate was drawn into that Virginia money scandal in which Jonnie R. Williams, Sr., CEO of Star Scientific, a company that manufactures dietary supplements, showered lavish presents and perks on the current governor and his wife. Cuccinelli also received a sprinkling of Williams’ largesse. He recently donated the value of what he says he got — $18,000 – to charity.

What’s more, his donor list includes considerable checks from big tobacco and big coal, including Murray Energy Corporation, which has often been fined for endangering the health and safety of its miners. Last year, its boss, Bob Murray, was discovered insisting that employees contribute time and money to his favorite anti-regulatory candidates – including Mitt Romney – or else.

Now Cuccinelli’s touting a major tax cut for the rich, with a plan that, according to the liberal Center for American Progress, would give 47% of a proposed tax reduction to the top five percent of Virginians. The state would lose nearly a billion and a half dollars in revenues so the rich can be even richer.

More…

What a choice huh?

I wish I could take my head off and set it down for a while.

 

 

October 17, 2013 at 7:53 PM Leave a comment

Poor People Don’t Matter, As Usual: Outage Shuts Food Stamp Program in 17 States

I’ve got to start keeping track of the infrastructure failures that are occurring all across the United States;  everything from water main breaks to computer glitches. I read about them here and there almost every day.    They seem small on their own but together, they add up.

Our country is falling apart.  Literally.  The thing is, the failures aren’t happening in areas where rich white people live so we aren’t hearing about them.

Food Bank

Case in point.  This is an emergency:

Power Outage Shuts Down Food Stamp Program In 17 States

SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) – Food stamp recipients in 17 states lost access to the electronic system used by stores to verify their benefits on Saturday, leaving many unable to buy groceries, the company that manages the system said.

People enrolled in the government food assistance program use plastic vouchers similar to debit cards. Starting at about 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT), some of those cards stopped working, Xerox spokesman Kevin Lightfoot said.

A power outage that started the problem was fixed within 20 minutes, Lightfoot said, but shoppers continued to run into difficulties throughout the day. By early evening, the problem still had not been fixed.

[...]

States States experiencing problems included Alabama, California, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois,Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, Ohio,Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia, Lightfoot said.

More…

My food bank-volunteer-self knows this is going to hurt so many people in so many ways.  The ripple effect will be tremendous lest it’s fixed tonight. Get that “electronic system” up and running ASAP! Oh, wait, the government’s shut down.  Shi*t.

H/T Republicans.

 

 

October 12, 2013 at 8:28 PM 2 comments

Where the Top 0.00001387015% Live

According to the latest Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report, there are 98,700 “ultra high net worth” individuals in the world, defined as those with a net worth of over US$50 million.

 

That number is up 14,200 from last year, and the report reasons that this shows that the world’s economy is working out well for the ultra rich.

 

 

[...]

So where do this global elite — roughly the world’s richest  — live? Mostly in one country.  The United States (see a larger version here):

Where the Rich Live

(Image via BusinessInsider.com)

When they say the division of wealth is as unequal here in the U.S. as it’s been since the Roaring 20s, they mean it.

October 9, 2013 at 10:41 AM 3 comments

The Shutdown Hits the Senate and They’re Crying Like Babies

Bawwaha:

Bpxed Lunches 10-6-13I invite these poor suffering Senators to hang out with me on any given Friday at the food bank where I volunteer.  A boxed lunch sounds so fresh compared to what the people I see get.

How about some canned chili made with mystery meat that’ll last for a million years and oh, I don’t know, some canned green beans from who-knows-where?  And let’s have some soggy brownish government-issued canned peaches for dessert.

Sounds yummy huh?

Catered meals?  Really?  That’s what you’re used to?

October 7, 2013 at 8:25 PM 2 comments

Shutdown: Worker Safety Isn’t an “Essential Service”

Over the weekend the Pentagon ordered “almost all furloughed civilian employees back to work” despite the government shutdown.

Ah yes.  “Essential services” as in wars and drone attacks.

As for the health and wellbeing of We the People?

OSHA Logo

Nonessential:

A 32-year-old Scituate man doing tree work at a residence on Border Street suffered severe traumatic injuries this morning when the harness he was wearing failed and he fell 30 to 40 feet to the ground, police said.

Police responded to a 9-1-1 call at 9:45 a.m. Police said Total
Tree Co. of N. Main Street was removing trees at 136 Border St.

Police said the victim was treated at the scene and taken by Cohasset Fire Department ambulance to South Shore Hospital.

Acting Chief William Quigley said it is standard procedure to contact OSHA’s (Occupational Health and Safety Administration) Braintree office when there is a work-related accident but they could not get a hold of anyone due to the partial shutdown of the federal government. OSHA is a federal agency that regulates workplace safety and health.

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As an aside, there’s this: Owner Made a Billionaire Feeding U.S. War Machine.

Interesting, isn’t it, who suffers and who doesn’t?

October 7, 2013 at 7:02 PM Leave a comment

Fox’s Stuart Varney Wants to “Punish” the Cops Who Protected Capitol Hill This Afternoon

Fox “business news” reporter Stuart Varney yesterday on AM 560′s The Big John & Amy Show:

Fox Business Logo

HOWELL: Do you think that federal workers, when this ends, are deserving of their back pay or not?

VARNEY: That is a loaded question isn’t it? You want my opinion? This is President Obama’s shutdown. He is responsible for shutting this thing down; he’s taken an entirely political decision here. No, I don’t think they should get their back pay, frankly, I really don’t. I’m sick and tired of a massive, bloated federal bureaucracy living on our backs, and taking money out of us, a lot more money than most of us earn in the private sector, then getting a furlough, and then getting their money back at the end of it. Sorry, I’m not for that. I want to punish these people. Sorry to say that, but that’s what I want to do.

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This is their mindset folks. They’re cruel and vindictive and they want to take it out on We, the Little People.

October 3, 2013 at 5:30 PM Leave a comment

Colorado Republicans Support Local Flood Relief After Voting No on Help for Hurricane Sandy

Ah yes, fickle Republicans strike again.  Ethics?  Morality?  Character?  Doing what’s just plain right to help their fellow humans?  Nah.  It’s all about what will get them re-elected:

Colo Republican Committee via Wikipedia

(Image via Wikipedia.com)

Colorado House Republicans Unanimously Support Flood Relief, Unanimously Opposed Sandy Aid

As historic floods of “biblical” proportions continue to ravage Colorado, President Obama signed an emergency declaration on Sunday — a move that was encouraged by a bipartisan letter last week from the state’s nine-member Congressional delegation. But the four Republican Congressmen who are now supporting disaster relief for their own state were among those voting earlier this year against the emergency aid funding for Superstorm Sandy victims on the East Coast.

Colorado Republican Reps. Mike Coffman, Cory Gardner, Doug Lamborn, and Scott Tipton joined their delegation in asking the president to send emergency funds to help their constituents combat and recover from the more than 14 inches of rain that have flooded Colorado this month.

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The next time you hear a Republican say he or she wants to “cut the deficit” laugh and tell them about this. What they bloviate about to their Fox & Friends has nothing to do with their convictions.  It has everything to do with sticking one’s finger in the air and deciding which way the wind is blowing.Turning that upside down, both of Colorado’s Democratic senators voted for Sandy relief earlier this year, despite the fact that that that relief didn’t go to their state.  Hello!

In a 62-36 vote, the Senate on Monday approved legislation providing $50.7 billion to help New York, New Jersey and other states hit by Hurricane Sandy.

All 36 “no” votes came from Republicans.

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September 19, 2013 at 7:48 PM 4 comments

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