Monday, February 28, 2011

The Joke's On Us Peasants

"A unionized public employee, a teabagger, and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table there is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies, looks at the teabagger and says, "Look out for that union guy -- he wants a piece ...of your cookie."

WI Taxpayers Contribute Nothing to Employee Pensions

Forbes: Wisconsin Lie Exposed - Taxpayers Actually contribute Nothing to Employee Pensions

Friday, February 25, 2011

It's the Disparity Stupid / Plutocracy Now

Look at these graphs: It's the Disparity, Stupid.

Do not however, read this article: Plutocracy Now: What Wisconsin is Really About.

It's just too damn depressing for our democracy. I'll go to Madison Saturday, because if I'm going down, I might as well be swinging against plutocracy. But if Madison isn't a water shed, then I fear democracy is dead.

You'd think actual proof of the sell out of your democracy by the Koch Whores to the big money guys would wake most people up. But the FuxSnooze.

The Repubicons say they're so concerned about the debt, though they caused it and their continued actions speak otherwise.What's maddening is that the middle class people are supposed to sacrifice (if ya want blood don't look to turnips) but we dare not even think about asking the mega rich people to kick in more to solve the debt problems, because both parties serve them alone. They alone possess the money that is key to the TV ads, which are most sacred to all who would "serve the public".

What the GOPsters have succeeded in doing again is what they are SO good at; pitting different sectors (public/private) of the poor, working and middle classes against one another to fight over the remnant crumbs while the top 1% who possess more wealth than the bottom 90% combined, laugh all the way to their bailed out banksters and tell the politicians they sponsor that they need even more! It's a disgusting, vile situation in America today! Democracy my ass.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pro-labor Rally in Kenosha today at 4PM!

Pro-labor Rally in Kenosha today at 4PM!
Click for details!

Madam, I Must Stick my Nose in There

From Yesterday's Democracy Now! headlines:

A Republican state legislator in Georgia has introduced a measure that would make abortion the legal equivalent of murder and force the criminal investigation of women who suffer miscarriages. The bill, HB 1, from House Republican Bobby Franklin, would classify the removal of a fetus under any circumstance other than during a live birth or to remove a dead fetus as "prenatal murder." Doctors and hospitals would be forced to report miscarriages to authorities, who would then have to investigate if the miscarriage occurs without medical attention.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Walker is a Koch Whore

This is proof that Walker doesn’t work for the people of Wisconsin. He’s nothing but a shill for his plutocrat corporate sponsors, raiders of the public trough, enemies of democracy! Think government is too expensive? ANY price is too expensive when the government isn’t yours! You are being SOLD OUT!

A prank caller posing billionaire con-man David Koch was able to speak with Gov. Scott Walker for 20 minutes yesterday afternoon as Walker laid out in detail his strategy and confirmed that it was intent to cripple public employee unions. The governor's office has confirmed that the call did take place.

The Audio of the conversation was posted on the Buffalo Beast and you can listen to it here:

The man pretending to be Koch said, “You’re the first domino.” To which Walker replied, “Yep, this is our moment”. Walker laughed about bringing a baseball bat to a potential meeting with Dems (Gee, ya think there’ll be a few cardboard bat in Madison after today?!).

In closing the prankster says: "I'll tell you what Scott, once you crush these bastards, I'll fly you out to Cali and really show you a good time." Walker replied. "Alright, that would be outstanding. Thanks for all the support and helping us move the cause forward. We appreciate it and we're doing the just and right thing for the right reasons and it's all about getting our freedoms back". Then the caller said, "Absolutely. And you know, we have a little bit of vested interest as well" and laughed. "That's just it. The bottom line is, we're going to get the world movement here because it's the right thing to do," replied Walker. Walker ended the call saying, thanks a million." Walker ends the call by saying, "thanks a million."

It should be more like THANK MILLION$! The brothers own Koch Industries, Inc., which is the largest privately-owned company in America and has significant operations in Wisconsin. Its political action committee gave $43,000 to Walker's campaign, and donated heavily to the Republican Governors' Association, which funded ads attacking Walker's opponent in last year's election. The Kochs also give millions to support Americans For Prosperity, which launched a $320,000 television ad campaign in favor of Walker's legislation. The Koch have also opened a lobbying office on Wisconsin’s capitol square and may be positioning themselves to buy publicly owned power plants at whatever price their boy Scotty sets as stipulated deep in the 144 pages of Walker’s Budget Despair Bill.

Part of the irony is that Walker suggests that if the unions are helping with costs for the 14 Dem senators to stay in the land of Lincoln (another Quorum foiler) that is might be an ethics or legal violation. But apparently he thinks there’s no ethical or legal violation to his shilling for his corporate sponsor! He also complains that unions give money to Dems and expect something in return while he’s talking at length to his faux corporate sponsor about doing his bidding!


400-500 demonstrated against Plan Plutocracy with peaceful high spirits on the square in Elkhorn last night, countered by 50-75 teabaggers.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Oh Mr. Lincoln, the Irony!

Indiana Dems Flee to Illinois as former Party of Lincoln cries foul! On December 5, 1840 State Legislator Abraham Lincoln jumped from a 2nd story window to deny the Illinois House a . . . QUORUM!

Panderer to Payoff Plutocrats

The Budget Dispair Bill contains provision for Walker to sell off or lease publicly owned heating and cooling power utilities with no bidding at whatever price they determine is "fair". And who will Pay the Plutocratic Privatizing Profiteers (Koch Bros) "return on investment" in little scotty walker? The citizens of Wisconsin of course!

In short:
1) Koch Brothers get their puppet Governor Walker in power
2) Governor Walker gins up a crisis
3) Democrats and Progressives take the bait and counter-protest on collective bargaining
4) Governor Walker will compromise on collective bargaining if the rest of the budget is passed as is
5) Bill passes, with Trojan horse give-a-way to the Koch Brothers nested in
6) Koch Brothers will buy Wisconsin state-owned power plants for pennies on the dollar in closed unsolicited bids for which there will be no oversight
7) Koch Brothers get the best vertical monopoly in a


Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker: Funded by the Koch Bros.
Protesters surrounded Wisconsin's capitol building in Madison this week to register their opposition to GOP Gov. Scott Walker's plans to strip collective bargaining rights from public employees. Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker, whose bill to kill collective bargaining rights for public-sector unions has caused an uproar among state employees, might not be where he is today without the Koch brothers. Charles and David Koch are conservative titans of industry who have infamously used their vast wealth to undermine President Obama and fight legislation they detest, such as the cap-and-trade climate bill, the health care reform act, and the economic stimulus package. For years, the billionaires have made extensive political donations to Republican candidates across the country and have provided millions of dollars to astroturf right-wing organizations. Koch Industries' political action committee has doled out more than $2.6 million to candidates. And one prominent beneficiary of the Koch brothers' largess is Scott Walker.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Public Wisconsin workers earn less in total compensation than private

Graphic: Public Wisconsin workers earn less in total compensation than private

Wisconsin public-sector workers have lower total compensation

Video from Madison Saturday and Vigil for Workers in Elkhorn on Tuesday

Great! video shot by a local man in Madison on Saturday the 19th with lots of excellent comments from demonstrators regarding what Walker's push to plutocracy is really all about, cheap labor, insecure workers and one party rule:

ALSO: A Candlelight Vigil will be held in downtown Elkhorn on Tuesday, Feb. 22 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. We are asking people to bring candles and signs that do not attack individuals, but rather point out the contributions that public service workers make to the community such as:
"Local Unions Support Local Jobs"
"We love our health professional/teacher/nurse/maintenance worker/child care professional" etc.
"Labor rights are human rights"
You get the picture...

**A sign making party will be held at the Walworth County Dems office at 13 E. Walworth St. on Monday at 6:30 p.m. - bring posterbaord and markers.

Please forward this and duplicate and distribute lavishly. We are expecting a good turnout - we have buy-in from WEAC, two local units of AFSMCE, IBEW, Walworth County Dems and the Construction and General Laborers Union Local 464 as well as numerous community members who "get it". Many thanks to all!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Conservatism: America's Leading Cause of Stupidity!

Five states in the U.S. specifically prohibit collective bargaining for teachers. Their rankings in combined ACT/SAT scores:
44. Virginia
47. Texas
48. Georgia
49. North Carolina
50. South Carolina

Wisconsin is tied for second.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Walker's One Man Death Panel!

The Budget Dispair Bill that Scott Walker attempted to ram through to prevent public scrutiny contains a change to the way Medical Assistance is determined that is every bit the egregious dictatorial power grab that his attack on labor and the middle class is. In fact, this is probably WORSE, because people's health and their very lives are at stake. These are the pro-life, family values folks, right? But hey, don't take my word for it. Below is a dire warning and analysis from a person whose famiily will be directly impacted by Walker's one man death panel and his would be power to change the rules with NO PUBLIC NOTICE and NO PUBLIC HEARINGS!



For years, advocates in Wisconsin have been working to make life better -- in some cases, make life possible -- for people with disabilities.

The process has been slow. It has taken years to create the programs and put the funding in place to allow people with disabilities to live a meaningful life in their communities, in their homes, with the healthcare support they need. Bit by bit, but with much further to go, the argument has moved forward: if you don't want to go back to the bad old days of warehousing people in very expensive institutions where lives were unbelievably difficult and generally much shorter, the public needs to step up and provide support.

This successful argument has won us the MA waiver that provides intensive therapy for children with autism.

We've won funding for health care.
For respite care.
For the home modifications that keep people safe and mobile.
For the supports that allow adults with disabilities to live in the community.

On Friday February 11, Governor Scott Walker proposed a so-called "budget repair" bill that will allow him and his appointees to restructure and slash Medical Assistance programs in Wisconsin. If this bill passes, the future slashing will take place...

Without public notice. Without public input.

The budget bill was released on Friday. A public hearing was announced Monday noon to take place on Tuesday at 10am, less than 24 hours notice.

They want the legislature to rubber-stamp this bill with a vote THIS WEEK. (And they claim they have the votes to do it -- though the protests are beginning to make some Republican state senators squirm.)

Very few people even know about the provisions of the bill impacting Medical Assistance.

Some links to news articles backing this up...
Walker budget proposal would impact how health care works in state:
Budget repair bill gives Walker free hand to revamp, cut Medicaid programs:
State attorney said Walker's Medicaid plan raised "potential constitutional issues":

The bill also eliminates outright the agency that coordinates my daughter's respite care services, the Wisconsin Quality Home Care Commission. (The cuts in the respite funding itself will surely come later. Without public input or notice.)

Why don't people know about this?

Two major reasons:
1) The bill is loaded with outrages. The one that has been in the headlines, that people know most about, is the proposal to strip most collective-bargaining power from public employees, so that (for starters) the governor can implement a massive cut in take-home pay via drastically-increased employee benefit contributions. [For JoyDad and myself, the loss of income amounts to half our mortgage payment every month, the equivalent of a 150% income-tax hike.] The union-busting, an outrage in and of itself, also sets the stage for immense cuts in public education...
2) The timeline is appallingly, undemocratically short. The advocacy groups have not had time even to properly analyze the Medical

Assistance provisions in the bill, let alone inform the public to get to the hearing and tell their stories. People slept over in the Capitol rotunda in Madison last night. I submitted my written testimony Tuesday morning, but could not stay the whole day awaiting my turn to speak.

As I said in a letter to the editor that was published Tuesday, nobody is arguing that the state has no budget challenges. Some pain will have to be shared. Tax increases will have to be a part of this puzzle.

Governor Walker's approach so far, however, has been to hand over millions of dollars in corporate tax giveaways during a special-session in January this year. In other words, making the hole bigger, creating an "emergency" wher none truly exists.
And the mechanism that allows unfettered cuts to Medical Assistance, without so much as public notice let alone public input, is moving through practically un-noticed.

Scarier still -- the Walker-appointee in charge of the Department of Health Services, which will be responsible for the Medical Assistance revisions, is one Dennis Smith, formerly of the Heritage Foundation, who has argued that states would be better off dropping Medicaid altogether:

Spread the word. Call the state legislators, or e-mail them if their phone mailboxes are still jammed full like they were yesterday! Write to your local paper. Hit the streets if you're anywhere near a rally. The Capitol was alive with protest today, what with the Madison schools closed as the teachers go out to advocate for Wisconsin public education -- JoyDad and I support them wholeheartedly.

But if the MA issue continues to fly under the radar, the protests won't get that part of the bill so much as tweaked.

Please help!

P.S. A little bit of wonky sausage-making detail for those who are interested in such things! According to the balance of powers in the State of Wisconsin, Medical Assistance changes have had to go through a legislative process, either through direct legislation or through administrative rule-making. Both approaches require public hearings.

The budget proposal changes the requirements for the process. Changes would be able to be made via "emergency rule," regulations which could be created by the Department of Health Services under the aforementioned Dennis Smith. Ordinarily, hearings must be held on emergency rules, and then after a specified period of time, the emergency rules must be converted into final rules, with another round of public hearing. However, according to the budget proposal, the new "emergency rules" slashing MA could be passed without hearing by the Joint Finance Committee, simply by the committee declining to take them up.

The JFC is currently 8 Republicans, 4 Democrats. The committee WILL DECLINE to take up any proposed emergency rules that result in MA cuts. So the emergency rules will simply pass into effect in 14 days. No public notice, no public input. The bill also waives the requirement for the emergency rules to be revisited and converted into final rules. No chance for public input and changes there either.

Re-posted with slight updates from the blog, Elvis Sightings by way of the Daily Kos:

Friday, February 18, 2011

Walker Gins Up "Crisis" to Reward Cronies

I thought this piece from the Cap Times might help everyone fight the good fight.

Say "NO!" to Walker's despicable plan.  In fact, say "HELL, NO!" and help turn out anyone who backs him on it.

Contact your legislators and make them do what's right!

Or, if they're on this list, you could start recalling them right now.,-Walker-next-January

Keep the faith!  Keep up the pressure!

REPEAT - Rally for Rights in Racine Today! (Friday) Monument Square 4PM

Progressivism or plutocracy! Play it again Sam!

Democrats with real gumption?! Salute the Senate Dems, may there be more where that came from!

Walker's blitz on working people goes way beyond public employees. This NOT about temporary concessions to get through a crisis, it is about plutocracy vs democracy. It'll be the police and firefighters next and then the private sector unions, etc., etc, Waging a War on Working People.

A coordinated attack was launched last Friday with Walker's pronouncement that he would end a 70 year tradition of collective bargaining for Wisconsin's public servants. On the very same day the Club for Growths began airing TV ads attacking public employees and urging support for Walker's power grab. That is NO ACCIDENT!

This is about money taking power. The Koch Bros have come to town, OUR government in the bathtub to drown!

There is another rally TODAY at Monument Square in Racine today (Fri 2/18) at 4:00 PM. Be There at the Square! Despite the balmy weather there's a corporate shill in the air!

I am not, nor is anyone in my family a public employee or even a union member. But this is just another, albeit more egregious example, in a long line of assaults on the middle-class by our would be plutocratic overlords and their Republicon thugs. This, like the equally unnecessary voter ID bill is completely politically motivated and designed to weaken democracy and move toward one party rule. If it works it will go WAY beyond public employees and WAY beyond Wisconsin.

Walker has invented this crisis at pretext for his blitz on workers. On Jan 31 the Legislative Fiscal Bureau reported that Wisconsin would end the budget year with a $121.4 million positive balance.

Two weeks later, after Walker pushed through $140 million in new spending and tax cuts for his cronies he's claiming we have a $138 million deficit. Walker is liar. And he won't stop there. He and his radical allies will not be happy until they can proudly say:

Tax cuts for the rich!
Sacrifices for the middle class!
Death panels for the poor!

Stand up today so that tomorrow we needn't say "Welcome to Walker's Wiscossippi!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rally for Rights in Racine Today! Monument Square 4PM

Progressivism or plutocracy!

Walker's blitz on working people goes way beyond public employees. This is about plutocracy vs democracy. A coordinated attack was launched last Friday with Walker's pronouncement that he would end a 70 year tradition of collective bargaining for Wisconsin's public servants. On the very same day the Club for Growths began airing TV ads attacking public employees and urging support for Walker's power grab. That is NO ACCIDENT!

This is about money taking power. The Koch Bros have come to town, OUR government in the bathtub to drown!

There is a rally at Monument Square in Racine today (Thurs 2/17) at 4:00 PM. Be There at the Square! Despite the balmy weather there's a corporate shill in the air!

I am not, nor is anyone in my family a public employee or even a union member. But this is just another, albeit more egregious example, in a long line of assaults on the middle-class by our would be plutocratic overlords and their Republicon thugs. This, like the equally unnecessary voter ID bill is completely politically motivated and designed to weaken democracy and move toward one party rule. If it works it will go WAY beyond public employees and WAY beyond Wisconsin.

Walker has invented this crisis at pretext for his blitz on workers. On Jan 31 the Legislative Fiscal Bureau reported that Wisconsin would end the budget year with a $121.4 million positive balance.

Two weeks later, after Walker pushed through $140 million in new spending and tax cuts for his cronies he's claiming we have a $138 million deficit. Walker is liar. And he won't stop there. He and his radical allies will not be happy until they can proudly say:

Tax cuts for the rich!
Sacrifices for the middle class!
Death panels for the poor!

Stand up today so that tomorrow we needn't say "Welcome to Walker's Wiscossippi!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

America: The Richest Nation in the World – Really?

America: The Richest Nation in the World – Really?

I got fired up and posted a pretty detailed rant after watching Thom Hartmann's Big Picture show from last night on RT. Frankly, we should all rise up and continue to fight until this is resolved. This suffering needs to end and this nation needs a wakeup call.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

An Open Letter to My Legislators

Dear Senator Wanggaard and Representative Vos --

I am deeply distressed by Governor Walker’s threat to strip the collective bargaining rights of our public employees.

These people -- our teachers, ER nurses, 911 operators,  snow plow drivers, and others -- have given our state their best for many, many years.  To take their right to bargain collectively away from them is not just a slap in the face for all their hard work, it is just plain wrong.

Governor Walker has made a series of terrible blunders since taking office, mistakes that cost our state the good, high-paying jobs of the future -- turning down the money for high-speed rail (and the jobs and cleaner environment that would bring), turning away funding for rural broadband access, and making it more difficult to site new, efficient windmill generators among them -- and all this within 2 months of being sworn in!

This threat to our public employees is just his latest bad move, and it’s a tactic I urge you to oppose.

Certainly, during these tough times, all of us must tighten our belts and pitch in where we can for the common good.  The public employees union, as the employees themselves, agree with this.  It smacks of dictatorship to exclude these people from the talks that will affect their lives, their salaries, their benefits, and, thus, their futures.

Mr. Walker must not seek to balance Wisconsin’s budget on the backs of middle-class workers and the poor!  The benefits these people have now are ones they bargained for in good faith -- and sacrificed for  -- in the past.  It is wrong, just plain wrong, to take away those benefits, and the right to bargain for them, now or at any time in the future.

By acting unilaterally as he has threatened, Governor Walker is robbing Peter to pay Paul.  There is, in fact, no need to rob anyone.  Reasonable people can sit together across a table and come to reasonable agreements.

So, I urge you to stand up for the right of every Wisconsinite to organize and bargain collectively -- the right of all of us to seek our future together.

Because I have volunteered to teach 100+ students tomorrow in Kenosha, I will not be marching on the capital tomorrow.  But I will be with those protesters in spirit.

Since I cannot be there, I count on you to represent my interests.

Yours Sincerely,

Steve Sullivan

Monday, February 14, 2011

Then they came for the Trade Unionists....

This statement is often misquoted -- especially by the right wing, who like to insert themselves into it -- but here's the real thing.

And I want you to pay special attention to the 2nd stanza, and think about the Governor's threat to collective bargaining in Wisconsin:

First They came... - Pastor Martin Niemoller

First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

I guess the Governor felt he could just skip that first step in this day and age.

Stand up against the Governor of Wisconsin and for our teachers & public workers, before it's too late.

Contact your state reps.

WI Public Employees Over Compensated? NO!

Rutgers Prof Jeffrey Keefe just completed a study which shows that when controlling for education level Wisconsin Public Employees are undercompensated by 4.8% compared to similar private sector employees, and that INCLUDES their pension and health insurance benefit packages:

59% of full-time Wisconsin public sector workers hold at least a four-year college degree, compared with 30% of full-time private sector workers. Wisconsin state and local governments pay college-educated employees 25% less in annual compensation, on average, than private employers.

Action Alert Worker's Rights & the Budget Repair Bill

Many of you are already aware that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has planned legislation that will strip state workers of their right to collective bargaining.

Former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold released the following statement:

"Governor Walker’s request to the State Legislature to eliminate nearly all of the collective-bargaining rights for thousands of Wisconsin workers is big government at its worst. No private employer can do what the governor proposes, nor should it. For decades, Wisconsin has protected the rights of workers to collectively bargain with their employer on wages, benefits, workplace rules, and many other aspects of their employment. The governor is wrong to suggest that public workers are responsible for the state’s budget woes, and he is wrong to use that bogus excuse to strip them of rights that millions of other American workers have."

There are a number of things you can do:

There are buses going to Madison on Tuesday and Wednesday.
These buses are headed to rallies at the Capital. The buses will be leaving the park and ride at Highway 11 and I-94 at 7am. The rallies are planned for noon. The buses WILL be returning each day. If you want to be part of this and want to be on the bus please RSVP to Meg at

There will be marching and rallying in Racine on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 4pm to 6pm at the Racine Unified Central Office. That's at 2200 Northwestern Ave. Just show up and be supportive.

Call, email, or fax State Senator Van Wanggaard and tell him to vote against this proposal.
~His office phone number is 608 266 1832, or 866 615 7510.
His mailbox is full now, but try again on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday and
~His email address is
Send him an email right now and tell him that you do not want Wisconsin union
workers to have their rights taken away.
~His fax number is 608 282 3561. Send a fax telling him how you feel about what
Gov Walker is trying to do to your friends, relatives and neighbors.

Call the legislative hotline and tell your State Senator that you oppose this bill. That number is 877 753 5578.

Help make phone calls telling other people to call, email, or fax. There will be phone banks set up at the Labor Hall in Racine at 1840 Sycamore (across from
Skatetown). Calling will start tomorrow (Sunday) at 11am. If you can join in, RSVP to Meg at just show up. (You WILL need to bring your own cell phone to use,as we do not have phone lines set up. Make sure you have free minutes on Sundays.)
One or all actions will make a difference. Please join your friends, family and neighbors in Wisconsin who will be affected by this legislation!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fruther Proof the Ryan is Lyin Sack of Shit

The following half truth (LIE!) courtesy Paully Ryan and the Weekneed Standard was posted by Nemo on Free Racine and is making all around the wingnut blogospere. The truth, which CONservatism cannot abide, follows below

Chairman [Paul] Ryan: “[I]t’s been argued...that the new health care law will create jobs and increase labor force participation. But if I recall from your analysis, it was quite the opposite. Is that not the case?”

Director [Douglas] Elmendorf : “Yes.”...


Rep. [John] Campbell: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, we'll -- and Dr. Elmendorf -- and we'll continue this conversation right now. First on health care, before I get to -- before I get to broader issues, you just mentioned that you believe -- or that in your estimate, that the health care law would reduce the labor used in the economy by about 1/2 of 1 percent, given that, I believe you say, there's 160 million full-time people working in '20-'21. That means that, in your estimation, the health care law would reduce employment by 800,000 in '20-'21. Is that correct?

Director Elmendorf: Yes. The way I would put it is that we do estimate, as you said, that...employment will be about 160 million by the end of the decade. Half a percent of that is 800,000.

EXCERPT: However, the CBO prediction is a little more nuanced. Last summer's CBO report said the projected labor reduction is "largely" the result of more people voluntarily staying out of the workforce because the healthcare reform law gives them better healthcare options through an expansion of Medicaid and new state-run health insurance exchanges.

From the report:

"The expansion of Medicaid and the availability of subsidies through the exchanges will effectively increase beneficiaries’ financial resources. Those additional resources will encourage some people to work fewer hours or to withdraw from the labor market."

Further, a ban on discriminating against preexisting conditions will likely "increase the appeal" of health insurance plans offered outside the workplace for older workers.

"As a result," CBO said, "some older workers will choose to retire earlier than they otherwise would." END EXCERPT

Hey, THAT means they'll leave job openings that younger workers can fill. BONUS!

Thank you Nemo for your continued service in allowing me to point out the lies required to advance the Con-servatisma. If you must lie to advance your thoughts, your thoughts are not advanced.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Hooray For Eqypt!

I'm so happy for the people of Egypt and hopeful that it goes well from here to peaceful democracy there and elsewhere!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Fux Snoozers Most Misinformed

The University of Maryland conducted a studt after the fall election that shows there is a disturbing amount of misinformation, you know propaganda in the Plutocratic States of America and that it is influencing the what citizens believe (wrongly) and how they vote (ignorantly):

But Fux Snoozers are by far more likely to swallow the bullshit and then regurgitate it all over what remains of our republic. Fux viewers are by:
-14 points more likely to mistakenly believe that the stimulus legislation did not include tax cuts. -13 points more likely to erroneously believe that the auto bailout only occurred under Obama.
-12 points more likely to hold the incorrect belief that when TARP came up for a vote most Republicans opposed it.
-30 points more likely to mistakenly believe that most scientists do not agree that climate change is occurring.
-31 percent more likely to believe the that it is not clear that Obama was born in the United States.

Want more clear evidence of the lies the Teabgnorant are more likely to believe? Read it and weep:
-Most economists estimate the stimulus caused job losses (12 points more likely)
-Most economists have estimated the health care law will worsen the deficit (31 points)
-The economy is getting worse (26 points)
-Their own income taxes have gone up (14 points)

Plutarch's like Rupert the Murdoch and the Koch Bros don't like bedrock American values like self determination through the INFORMED consent of the citizenry. They're not your countrymen, they're would-be overlords.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Torturer-In-Chief Forced to Cancel Trip

On February 7, 2011, two torture victims were to have filed criminal complaints for torture against former president George W. Bush in Geneva, who was due to speak at an event there on February 12th. On the eve of the filing of the complaints, George Bush cancelled his trip. Swiss law requires the presence of the alleged torturer on Swiss soil before a preliminary investigation can be open. The complaints could not be filed after Bush cancelled, as the basis for jurisdiction no longer existed.

On Monday, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) released the 'Preliminary Bush Torture Indictment', a document outlining the core aspects of the case against Bush for torture, and his violations of the Convention Against Torture to which the United States is a signatory.

Friday, February 04, 2011

An Easy Understanding of the 2nd Amendment

An Easy Understanding of the 2nd Amendment

Seeing recent (today) Facebook gun owner posts, I figured this to be an appropriate rant.

The 2nd amendment to the US Constitution simply states: A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.


The founders were quite scared of a standing army in the US; they wanted the states to form local militias that would be activated when necessary. In order to maintain this idea of not having a standing army, we needed the right of the people to keep an bear arms.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

NFL a Triumph of Socialistic Capitalism

This Sunday millions of Americans will gather watch the spectacle of the NFL Superbowl, a triumph of socialistic capitalism. The NFL is by far the most successful professional sports enterprise in America today. And the reason for this great success? Revenue sharing among the individual franchises that make up the league, you know socialism. They share revenue on everything from tickets and TV to towels and t-shirts, with the individual franchise keeping a portion of the sales and the rest going for equal distribution among all the teams.

Make no mistake about it, the NFL and the individual franchises (except for the most-glorious Green Bay Packers, owned by The People of Green Bay) are capitalistic ventures intent on making a profit and a return on investment and that is as it should be. But the NFL, unlike it's now weaker cousin MLB (America's former passtime) long ago realized that the health and well being of the whole is directly related to, and dependent on, the health and well being of each individual member.

By socializing their success the NFL has been able to produce a superior product with most of the teams being competative at any given time and a fairly rapid turnover of championship teams. And this has been good for their customers, the fans who get competative teams to root for and close, entertaining games to watch, which in return is good for the NFL and all it's members. There are no Yankees in the NFL, using their big media market renvue advantage perenially to buy their way to success. There are no Cubs, perpetually refusing to re-invest revenue in a superior product, secure in the monopoly over their mindlessly loyal and long suffering fans. It's better to be successful on a wheat pile than king of a dung heap.

Purity is not always a good thing and often comes with severe drawbacks and shortcomings. It's true with dogs and horses. Constant inbreeding in the quest for purity ends up accentuating inherent weaknesses and in general, mutts tend to be healthier than purebreads. The same is true with economic systems. Pure capitalism and pure socialism soon show the cracks of their inherent weaknesses that inevitably lead to crisis and failure. But the balancing act of a healthy blend allows the strengths of both to come through while keeping expression of the weaknesses of each to a minimum.

So remember this Sunday when when your witnessing a prime display of sucessful socialistic capitalism that even the Packers from the smallest city in professional sports can reach the top and enjoy their day in the sun when there is a reasonable sharing of resources and a level playing field. Go PACK GO!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


I'm watching the events in Egypt in particular and the region in general with great hope for the people of the middle-east and a peaceful transition to freedom and democracy.

Gas prices be damned if it works out it would be well worth almost any price over the near term.

State of the Union? Unbalanced & Sick

From last Thursday's On Point with Tom Ashbrook:

American inequality is at towering heights not seen since before the Great Depression. Wealth is packed at the top of the ladder, and dwindling on the rungs below.

The picture naturally makes many uneasy. A new global research effort says we are quite right to worry about it.

In their new book Inequality: The Enemy Between Us, two British epidemiologists say inequality is a public health issue, a national health issue. From crime rates to drug use to teenage pregnancy to heart disease and more, they say, the evidence shows inequality makes countries sick, even the rich.

Inequality: the enemy between us?

By Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett

Excerpt of the Excerpt: Like others, we had been working for some years trying to understand the tendency for health to be better in countries with smaller income differences between rich and poor. There are now around 200 studies of income inequality and health. Other researchers working on violent crime had shown that homicide rates were lower in more equal countries. We started to wonder whether this pattern applied to other health or social problems. To find out, we collected internationally comparable figures on levels of trust, mental illness, life expectancy, infant mortality, prevalence of drug use and levels of obesity, homicide rates and rates of imprisonment, teenage birth rates, children’s educational achievement, and measures of child wellbeing – for each of 21 rich developed market democracies.

To measure inequality we used the ratio of the incomes of the top 20 percent in each country compared to the incomes of the bottom 20 percent. In the more equal countries (Japan, Finland, Norway, Sweden) the top 20 percent have 3.4 to 4.0 times as much. In the more unequal societies (USA, Portugal, UK) they have between 7 and 8.5 times as much. By this measure they are twice as unequal as the more equal countries.

Although people have often regarded inequality as divisive and socially corrosive, that did not prepare us for what we found. The frequency of all these problems was systematically related to income inequality. The bigger the income differences between rich and poor in each society, the worse these health and social problems became. And rather than things being just a bit worse in more unequal countries, they were very much worse. More unequal countries tended to have three times the level of violence, of infant mortality and mental illness; teenage birth rates were six times as high, and rates of imprisonment increased eight-fold.

The sense that inequality is divisive was shown by the fact that in more unequal countries, only about 15 percent of the population feel they can trust others, compared to around two-thirds in the more equal ones. That evidence was supported by relationships with social capital and levels of violence – all showing that inequality damages the social fabric of society.
Although the statistics told us that these relationships could not be dismissed as chance, we thought we should check in a second, independent, test bed to see if the same relationships held true. We looked at data for the 50 states of the USA, asking exactly the same question: did the more equal states, like the more equal countries, also do better on all these health and social problems than the less equal ones?

The pattern was extraordinarily similar. What the evidence shows is a tendency for more unequal societies to be socially dysfunctional right across the board. It is not that one country or state has good health but high levels of violence, or high teenage birth rates but low levels of drug abuse. Instead, the pattern is for most problems to become better or worse together.