Saturday, March 19, 2011

Exactly Eight Years Ago Today


March 19, 2003. The never ending wars.

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Friday, March 18, 2011

“We the [corporate} people”

Serious Enough To Kill

motherjones:    Tokyo Electric Power Company Managing Director Akio Komiri weeps as Japanese officials finally admit that radiation leak is serious enough to kill people.


Tokyo Electric Power Company Managing Director Akio Komiri weeps as Japanese officials finally admit that radiation leak is serious enough to kill people.

Things keep getting more real.

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The 400 Richest Americans Are Now Richer Than the Bottom 50 Percent Combined

On Wednesday we told you that a rather shocking number of American politicians aren't much like most Americans at all, pulling in six-figure salaries to add to their existing seven-figure fortunes. Today, thanks to some quick math by the documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, there's another way to look at how rich our leaders are compared to the rest of the country: In 2009, if you were to add up the total fortune of America's richest 400 people, that amount—$1.27 trillion—would be more than the holdings of the bottom 50 percent of Americans, less than $1.22 trillion.

Says Moore:

By contrast, in 2007 the bottom 50% of U.S. households owned slightly more wealth than the Forbes 400; the economic meltdown has hurt the bottom more than the top. (And in fact, in 2010 the net worth of the Forbes 400 jumped to $1.37 trillion.)

That top 400, by the way, represents .0000035 percent of all households in the United States.

Granted, many of the nation's top earners, including Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, contribute a tremendous amount of their wealth to charity each year, and will continue to do so. But many others, like Charles and David Koch, who contribute to a wide range of right-wing causes, are also actively fighting to weaken working-class rights (as they did in the recent Wisconsin union fracas).

On top of all this, it's worth mentioning that, of the 25 richest Americans, just three are women, and none is a person of color.

400 people have more than 150,000,000 people combined.

A purely CAPITALIST society is (in many respects) a purely EVIL one.

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Anti-Union Bill Blocked In WI

About two weeks ago, under procedurally awkward circumstances, Wisconsin Republicans rammed through Gov. Scott Walker's (R) union-busting proposal. Almost immediately, critics argued, among other things, that the process violated the state's open-meeting laws.

Today, a Wisconsin judge, at least for now, agreed.

Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi issued a temporary restraining order Friday, barring the publication of Gov. Scott Walker's law that would sharply curtail collective bargaining for public employees.

Sumi's order will prevent Secretary of State Doug La Follette from publishing the law -- and allowing it to take effect -- until she can rule on the merits of the case. Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne is seeking to block the law because he says a legislative committee violated the state's open meetings law in passing the measure, which Walker signed on Friday.

Sumi said Ozanne was likely to succeed on the merits.

"It seems to me the public policy behind effective enforcement of the open meeting law is so strong that it does outweigh the interest, at least at this time, which may exist in favor of sustaining the validity of the (law)," she said.

In the meantime, CNN's professional moron Erick Erickson has argued, "If the judge in Wisconsin wants to play, the GOP should impeach her and up the ante."

Impeach her for what?

Different day, Republicans are still dicks.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Disparity Over Time

God bless the USA…


Disparity of Wealth

In 1933, the wealthiest one percent of the population held 33.3 percent of the wealth. In 1974, the wealthiest one percent held 19.9 percent of the wealth.
In 2007, the wealthiest one percent held 65.4 percent of the wealth.

In 1933, the bottom 90 percent held 66.7 percent of the wealth.
In 1974, the bottom 90 percent held 80.1 percent of the wealth.
In 2007, the bottom 90 percent held 34.6 percent of the wealth.

Federal Tax Rates (after custom-made individual deductions)

1974 Capital gains tax rate: 35 percent
1950 Highest marginal tax rate: 90 percent

2005 Capital gains tax rate: 15 percent
2005 Highest marginal tax rate: 34 percent

Average Real Income Change 1973-2000

Average real income of bottom 90 percent: -7 percent
Average real income of top 1 percent: + 148 percent
Average real income of top 0.1 percent: + 343 percent

Average Amount of Wealth Held by Persons: 2009 Census

Single Black Women: $100
Single Hispanic Women: $120
All White Men: $43,800
All White Women: $41,500
All Black Men: $7,900

Amount of Wealth Held by Families: 2009 Census

1986 Black Family Wealth: $2,000
2009 Black Family Wealth: $5,000
1986 White Family Wealth: $22,000
2009 White Family Wealth: $100,000

Full-Time Minimum Wage, Adjusted for Inflation

1968: $18,262
2004: $10,712


What do these numbers mean to you? Do the top 1% not have enough? Do the poor have too much?


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Class Warfare: The Rich Won

There was a time when the wealthy elite actually paid substantial taxes. The purpose of taxing the extraordinarily rich is to prevent an aristocracy from developing and to maintain a true democracy, a feat Aristotle recognized as impossible in the face of great income inequalities. Now, after over 35 years of cut, cut, cut for the rich, we have the most powerful aristocracy in history, and they are waging war against the rest of us. If you follow the results of studies that show the disparity of wealth in the US, you will see the flow of money from the bottom 90 percent to the top 1 percent over the 60 years between 1950 and 2010. The statistical evidence of the existence of class war is the direct result of the wealthy elite’s ownership of Congress, the executive branch and the courts. Class Warfare, the Final Chapter

In America, we will turn our back on 99 working class people to help one ultra rich person.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Corporate Persons v Real People

[O]ne can’t help but note the vile irony that Muslim “War on Terror” detainees have been essentially declared by some courts not to be “persons” under the Constitution, whereas corporations are.

- Glenn Greenwald

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Morgan Spurlock Sells Out at SXSW


Morgan Spurlock’s new documentary "The Greatest Movie Ever Sold" is a riotously funny, dead serious look at product placement, advertising and marketing in entertainment and the world around us and how it literally fucks with our heads. The entire movie was funded by the companies whose products are blatantly featured throughout the film.

[Would be nice if politicians wore jackets like this with all the corporate logos of companies that paid them off for favors.]

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Contract Busting Double Standard

azspot:    Andy Singer    Guess who’s winning…. So sad when the have-nots are pitted against one another in a death match as the wealthy manipulate the rules in their favor.


Andy Singer

Guess who’s winning…. So sad when the have-nots are pitted against one another in a death match as the wealthy manipulate the rules in their favor.

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"Teaching is unusual among the professions in that it pays poorly but has strong union protections and lockstep wage increases. It’s a factory model of compensation, and critics are right to fault it. But the bottom line is that we should pay teachers more, not less — and that politicians who falsely lambaste teachers as greedy are simply making it more difficult to attract the kind of above-average teachers our above-average children deserve."

Nicholas Kristof (via azspot)


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Monday, March 14, 2011

6.5 Minutes Of Tsunami Power

Insuring The Most People Is A Liability For Mitt

Gallup reports today on which states have the highest and lowest rates of residents without health care coverage. The results should cause one presidential hopeful to boast, but won’t. (via Ezra Klein) Here’s the best states in the country for the lowest rates of uninsured:

1. Massachusetts, 4.7% uninsured
2. Connecticut, 9.9% uninsured
3. Minnesota, 10.5% uninsured
4. Hawaii, 10.6% uninsured
5. Pennsylvania, 11% uninsured
5. Vermont, 11% uninsured

Texas and Louisiana are at the other end, with roughly a fourth of state residents going without coverage.

The Washington Monthly

You won’t be hearing Mitt Romney bragging about this accomplishment. So sad.

Greg Sargent comments on Mitt:

"Now what was originally one of his greatest accomplishments is suddenly one of his greatest liabilities, and Romney needs to figure out how to explain the fact that thanks to his leadership, the state he presided over now ranks lowest in the nation in the rate of the uninsured.

At a certain point all you can do is marvel at how topsy turvy the debate has become."

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Protecting The Rich By Gutting The Workers

As we’ve been documenting, several conservative governors have proposed placing the brunt of deficit reduction onto the backs of their state’s public employees, students, and middle-class taxpayers, while simultaneously trying to enact corporate tax cuts and giveaways. Govs. Rick Scott (R-FL), Tom Corbett (R-PA), and Jan Brewer (R-AZ) have all gone down this road.

Following suit, Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI) has proposed ending his state’s Earned Income Tax Credit, cutting a $600 per child tax credit, and reducing credits for seniors, while also cutting funding for school districts by eight to ten percent. At the same time, as the Michigan League for Human Services found, the state’s business taxes would be reduced by nearly $2 billion, or 86 percent, under Snyder’s plan…

Michigan’s GOP Gov. Slashes Corporate Tax Rate by 86 Percent, Hikes Taxes for Working Poor

And what happens when those favored businesses end up leaving the State for cheaper labor somewhere else? Plus, who will have the money to buy their goods and services?

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Meaningless Slogans

"Support the troops” originated in the public relations department of the military/security complex. What “support the troops” really means is to support the profits of the armaments industry and the neoconservative ideology of US world hegemony.

“Support the troops” is a clever PR slogan that causes Americans to turn a blind eye to the brutal exploitation of our soldiers and military families for profit and for an evil ideology.

Paul Craig Roberts

“Support The Killing” does not have that zing.

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Support Our Teachers [continued]

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pro-Life = Pro-Uterus: Just Don't Be Born Or You Start Losing Your Rights


Boehner: “What’s that? You want rights? Well, maybe you should have thought about that before you decided to stop being a fetus.”

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How Climate Change Has Become Political

Democrats overwhelmingly believe in climate change. Their position hasn’t changed. Republicans now don’t—overwhelmingly do not believe in climate change. So that drop has been split along partisan lines. Now, it seems kind of obvious that that would be the case, but still it’s remarkable, because what it means is that it no longer really has anything to do with the science. And the environmental movement has just been shocked by how it would be possible to lose so much ground so quickly when there is so much more scientific evidence, so that, there’s all kinds of attempts to respond to this, to get climate scientists out there explaining things better, to popularize the science, and none of it seems to be working. And the reason is that climate change is now seen as an identity issue on the right. People are defining themselves, like they’re against abortion, they don’t believe in climate change. It’s part of who they are…

[I]t isn’t about the science, because when you delve deeper into it and ask why people don’t believe in it, they say that it’s because they think it’s a socialist plot to redistribute wealth.

Naomi Klein: Why Climate Change Is So Threatening to Right-Wing Ideologues

Science is ending up being a Democratic ally. Seems so strange to abandon science and empirical evidence to pass the GOP litmus test.

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