Saturday, April 30, 2011

When is a Pig Not a Pig?

When it's a Republican Plan....with lipstick!!

Robert Reich says that there is a new bipartisan proposal regarding the budget. Although it approaches the budget from the angle of capping spending while not taxing the rich, it would still have the same disastrous results on the economy. Reich says this is The Republican Plan with Lipstick.

Republicans figure that if they can’t sell the pig, they’ll just put lipstick on it and find some suckers who will think it’s something else.

That’s the proposal emerging in the Senate from Republican Bob Corker of Tennessee and also Democrat Claire McCaskill of Missouri. It would get the deficit down not by raising taxes on the rich but by capping federal spending.

If Congress failed to stay under the cap, the budget would be automatically cut.

According to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the McCaskill/Corker plan would require $800 billion of cuts in 2022 alone. That’s the equivalent of eliminating Medicare entirely, or the entire Department of Defense.

Obviously the Defense Department wouldn’t disappear, so what would go? Giant cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, education, and much of everything else Americans depend on.

It’s the Republican plan with lipstick. It would have the same exact result. But by disguising it with caps and procedures, Republicans can avoid saying what they’re intending to do.

The McCaskill/Corker spending cap would also make it impossible for government to boost the economy in recessions. Which would mean even higher unemployment, lasting longer.

Other Senate Dems are showing interest in the lipsticked pig, including West Virginia’s Joe Manchin. Not surpringly, Joe Lieberman is on board.

But don’t be fooled, and don’t let anyone else be. McCaskill/Corker is the same Republican pig.

Republicans figure that if they can’t sell the pig, they’ll just put lipstick on it and find some suckers who will think it’s something else.

That’s the proposal emerging in the Senate from Republican Bob Corker of Tennessee and also Democrat Claire McCaskill of Missouri. It would get the deficit down not by raising taxes on the rich but by capping federal spending.

If Congress failed to stay under the cap, the budget would be automatically cut.

According to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the McCaskill/Corker plan would require $800 billion of cuts in 2022 alone. That’s the equivalent of eliminating Medicare entirely, or the entire Department of Defense.

Obviously the Defense Department wouldn’t disappear, so what would go? Giant cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, education, and much of everything else Americans depend on.

It’s the Republican plan with lipstick. It would have the same exact result. But by disguising it with caps and procedures, Republicans can avoid saying what they’re intending to do.

The McCaskill/Corker spending cap would also make it impossible for government to boost the economy in recessions. Which would mean even higher unemployment, lasting longer.

Other Senate Dems are showing interest in the lipsticked pig, including West Virginia’s Joe Manchin. Not surpringly, Joe Lieberman is on board.

But don’t be fooled, and don’t let anyone else be. McCaskill/Corker is the same Republican pig.

It is time to tell you Congressperson or Senator that the only budget plan that makes sense is the People's Budget, an alternative budget proposed by the Progressive Caucus. It's proposals will generate a government surplus by 2021.

Unlike the Ryan Roadmap to Ruin or the new bipartisan McCaskill/Corker spending cap, this plan creates millions of twenty-first century jobs, makes everyone pay their fair share and protects the social safety net that's kept this country strong for generations. You can learn more by reading this outline or selecting "FY2012 Progressive Budget" under "Issues" at the Progressive Caucus Web site.
It would get the deficit down not by raising taxes on the rich but by capping federal spending.
It would get the deficit down not by raising taxes on the rich but by capping federal spending.
the McCaskill/Corker plan
the McCaskill/Corker plan
the McCaskill/Corker plan

Saturday, April 23, 2011

When a Tough Question is Deemed Disruptive

Think Progress has the story: More Republican Congressmen Face Town Hall Backlash Over Tax Breaks For Wealthy And Medicare Privatization.
Earlier this week, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) held town halls across his district to defend his budget’s plan to end Medicare and extend tax cuts for the wealthy. During a stop in Milton, WI Ryan’s constituents made their feelings apparent, booing down the seven-term congressman when he defended tax breaks for the rich, as Think Progress first reported. Yesterday, Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) received the same hostile reception from his constituents for voting to end Medicare.

Here's Ryan during a town hall meeting where he is asked a question about his budget.

During a town hall meeting in Milton, a constituent who described himself as a “lifelong conservative” asked Ryan about the effects of growing income inequality in our nation. The constituent noted that huge income disparities contributed to the Great Depression and the Great Recession, and thus wanted to know why the congressman was “fighting to not let the tax breaks for the wealthy expire.”

Ryan argued against “redistribut[ing]” in this manner. After the constituent noted that “there’s nothing wrong with taxing the top because it does not trickle down,” Ryan argued that “we do tax the top.” This response earned a chorus of boos from constituents:

CONSTITUENT: The middle class is disappearing right now. During this time of prosperity, the top 1 percent was taking about 10 percent of the total annual income, but yet today we are fighting to not let the tax breaks for the wealthy expire? And we’re fighting to not raise the Social Security cap from $87,000? I think we’re wrong.

RYAN: A couple things. I don’t disagree with the premise of what you’re saying. The question is what’s the best way to do this. Is it to redistribute… (Crosstalk)

CONSTITUENT: You have to lower spending. But it’s a matter of there’s nothing wrong with taxing the top because it does not trickle down.

RYAN: We do tax the top. (Audience boos). Let’s remember, most of our jobs come from successful small businesses. Two-thirds of our jobs do. You got to remember, businesses pay taxes individually. So when you raise their tax rates to 44.8 percent, which is what the president is proposing, I would just fundamentally disagree. That is going to hurt job creation.


This town hall backlash is now spreading to other districts across the country. As Huffington Post reports, freshmen Reps. Robert Dold (R-IL) and Charlie Bass (R-NH) got an earful from their constituents for voting in favor of the Republican budget this month. During a Buffalo Grove, IL town hall, Dold caught a lot of flack for supporting corporate tax breaks and voting to end Medicare:

But Dold couldn’t even get to the end of the presentation before audience members began peppering him with questions about the Ryan budget, named after House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin. It began with audience members telling Dold they don’t believe chopping 10 percentage points off the highest corporate tax rate will create jobs. A handful of people in the audience identified themselves as business owners and accountants who said their effective corporate income tax rate is already lower than the lowest rates proposed in the Ryan plan. They pointed to companies such as GE that pay almost no taxes despite billions in profits as evidence. [...]

Some in the audience then told Dold they don’t like the idea in the Ryan budget plan of Medicare becoming a voucher program that makes senior citizens buy private health insurance about 10 years from now. Audience members said buying private insurance is a shell game where no one really knows what costs a company will cover or to what degree.

Here is Rep. Lou Barletta (R- PA) trying to support his position in support of Ryan's budget while being asked tough questions:

Barletta spokesman Shawn Kelly said that the activist who challenged the Congressman at a town hall, Linda Christman, deliberately set a raucous tone as part of a coordinated effort by Democrats to disrupt the event. Linda Christman merely charged that Rep. Barletta didn't run on changing Medicare but then voted to change the Medicare system.

Christman dismissed the suggestion that she was part of an organized effort.

“I’ve been politically active in this community for a long time and I had heard that Rep. Barletta had voted for the Ryan budget. As far as being part of a larger group, there was only one other person there that I knew.”

She said the group had emailed her and encouraged her to attend.

“I got an email from, saying they were trying to get people to go. I don’t think they were very successful. There were only one or two people there who raised objections.” did send an email to local activists encouraging them to attend the town hall. However, the email contained no mention of disruption. This was the call to action:

“Late last week, Representative Lou Barletta voted in favor of gutting Medicare and Medicaid. Join us on Wednesday, April 20 to ask the congressman why he voted for a budget that that puts millions of seniors, children, and people with disabilities at risk of losing their health care, so we can give millionaires trillions in tax cuts.”

It makes one wonder who are politicians representing. Do they want a town hall meeting comprised of solely those people who don't question their political positions? Are we at a point where asking questions and supporting a political position is called 'organized' and 'disruptive'?

Friday, April 15, 2011


On April 14th, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) delivered a one-minute presentation on the House floor. It was a unique speech. This is more of a visual than audio video. WATCH:

Using tear sheets to illustrate his rebuttal to the Republican budget plans that would slash hundreds of thousands of public jobs and effectively eliminate Medicare, Crowley concluded that he was simply “speechless.”
Here is his speech!









Cut more than 700,00 American Jobs


Take away healthcare for the people...

but keep it for themselves

Surely, a jobs bill must be priority #3


Manipulate tax code to pursue ideological agenda...

at the expense of women $ small businesses






Monday, April 11, 2011

Michelle Bachmann's Inner Marxist

Taylor Jones - - Congresswoman Michele Bachmann - COLOR - English - bachmann,republicans,conservative,congress,tea-baggers,minnesota,michelle bachmann,caricature

Yasha Levine says that Rep. Michelle Bachmann [R-MN], the anti-government tea-bagger queen, is really a Welfare Queen.....Oh My!!!!

Government handouts in the form of a farming subsidy

Michele Bachmann has become well known for her anti-government tea-bagger antics, protesting health care reform and every other government “handout” as socialism. What her followers probably don’t know is that Rep. Bachmann is, to use that anti-government slur, something of a welfare queen. That’s right, the anti-government insurrectionist has taken more than a quarter-million dollars in government handouts thanks to corrupt farming subsidies she has been collecting for at least a decade.

And she’s not the only one who has been padding her bank account with taxpayer money.

Attempted socialist takeover of America vs. profiting from taxpayer largesse

Bachmann, of Minnesota, has spent much of this year agitating against health care reform, whipping up the so-called tea-baggers with stories of death panels and rationed health care. She has called for a revolution against what she sees as Barack Obama’s attempted socialist takeover of America, saying presidential policy is “reaching down the throat and ripping the guts out of freedom.”

But data compiled from federal records by Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit watchdog that tracks the recipients of agricultural subsidies in the United States, shows that Bachmann has an inner Marxist that is perfectly at ease with profiting from taxpayer largesse. According to the organization’s records, Bachmann’s family farm received $251,973 in federal subsidies between 1995 and 2006. The farm had been managed by Bachmann’s recently deceased father-in-law and took in roughly $20,000 in 2006 and $28,000 in 2005, with the bulk of the subsidies going to dairy and corn. Both dairy and corn are heavily subsidized—or “socialized”—businesses in America (in 2005 alone, Washington spent $4.8 billion propping up corn prices) and are subject to strict government price controls. These subsidies are at the heart of America’s bizarre planned agricultural economy and as far away from Michele Bachmann’s free-market dream world as Cuba’s free medical system. If American farms such as hers were forced to compete in the global free market, they would collapse.

Confused on the issues: She receives a farm subsidy and government medical benefits, but voted NO on foreclosure relief and health care legislation

However, Bachmann doesn’t think other Americans should benefit from such protection and assistance. She voted against every foreclosure relief bill aimed at helping average homeowners (despite the fact that her district had the highest foreclosure rate in Minnesota), saying that bailing out homeowners would be “rewarding the irresponsible while punishing those who have been playing by the rules.” That’s right, the subsidy queen wants the rest of us to be responsible.

Bachmann’s financial disclosure forms indicate that her personal stake in the family farm is worth up to $250,000. They also show that she has been earning income from the farm business, and that the income grew in just a few years from $2,000 to as much as $50,000 for 2008. This has provided her with a second government-subsidized income to go with her job as a government-paid congresswoman who makes $174,000 per year (in addition to having top-notch government medical benefits). “If she has an interest in a farm getting federal subsidy payments, she is benefiting from them,” Sandra Schubert, director of government affairs for the Environmental Working Group, told Gannett News Service in 2007, when the subsidies to Bachmann were first publicly disclosed.
Not the only politician on the public dole

But Bachmann isn’t the only welfare recipient on Capitol Hill. As it turns out, there is a filthy-rich class of absentee farmers—both in and out of Congress—who demand free-market rules by day and collect their government welfare checks in the mail at night, payments that subsidize businesses that otherwise would fail. Over the past couple of decades, welfare for the super-wealthy seems to be the only kind of welfare our society tolerates.

In the 11 years for which the Environmental Working Group has compiled data, the federal government paid out a total of $178 billion to American farmers. We’re not talking about the Joads here. The bulk of subsidies go to the wealthy, not small farmers, as Ken Cook, the group’s president, explained to the Central Valley (Calif.) Business Times:

American taxpayers have been writing farm subsidy checks to wealthy absentee land owners, state prison systems, universities, public corporations, and very large, well-heeled farm business operations without the government so much as asking the beneficiaries if they need our money. ... Even if you live smack in the middle of a big city, type in a ZIP code and you’ll find farm subsidy recipients.

Sen. Chuck Grassley [R-IA]

Chuck Grassley, the longtime Republican senator from Iowa who warns his constituents of Obama’s “trend toward socialism,” has seen his family collect $1 million in federal handouts over an 11-year period, with Grassley’s son receiving $699,248 and the senator himself pocketing $238,974. Even Grassley’s grandson is learning to ride through life on training wheels, snagging $5,964 in 2005 and $2,363 in 2006. In the Grassley family they learn early how to enjoy other people’s money.

Sen. Grassley railed against government intervention in the health care market, telling The Washington Times, “Whenever the government does more ... that’s a movement toward socialism.” As the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, he ought to know, especially because the government has done more for him and his kin than for Americans struggling with high medical bills and mortgages. Even the free-market think tank the Heritage Foundation criticized Grassley on his deep connections to farming interests and his stubborn lack of transparency.

Sen. Sam Brownback, [R-KN]

Then there’s Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., whose family has been on the government take for at least the past 11 years, pocketing some $500,000. The senator recently held a “prayercast” with Michele Bachmann to beseech God to kill health care reform as soon as possible because it would bring an evil socialist spirit into America. Like Bachmann, Brownback has a fierce belief in God, the free market and a two-year limit on all welfare benefits—unless it’s welfare to rich Republicans who don’t need it.

Blue Dog, Sen. Max Baucus [D-MN]

Not surprisingly, Blue Dog Democrats are on board with this welfare-for-the-rich thing. Max Baucus, the fiscally conservative Democratic senator from Montana who did his best to sabotage the health care reform process before it ever began, collected $250,000 in taxpayer subsidies to his family’s farm while fighting to keep Americans at the mercy of free-market health insurance.

Blue Dog, Sen. Blanche Lincoln [D-AK]

Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, another Democrat, also helped hold the line against so-called socialized medicine for Americans who need assistance, even though her family farm business follows the socialized subsidy playbook to a T. The Lincolns pocketed $715,000 in farm subsidies over a 10-year period, and the senator even admitted to using $10,000 of it as petty cash in 2007.

Conservative Dem, Rep. Stephanie Sandlin [D-SD]

Democratic Rep. Stephanie Sandlin of South Dakota stayed true to her conservative free-market roots by voting against the public option. Meanwhile, her daddy, Lars Herseth, a former South Dakota legislator, collected a welfare jackpot of $844,725 paid out between 1995 and 2006.

Profit off taxpayers while denying voters

That’s just the way the game is played these days. Republicans and conservative Democrats bitch and moan about the allegedly Marxist underpinnings of universal health care and do everything they can to deny struggling Americans access to social services. Meanwhile, many of them profit off taxpayers in a massive welfare program.

Farm subsidies have become so corrupt that payments sometimes go to dead people for years. Federal farm subsidies, which were originally meant to help struggling farmers survive, are now little more than taxpayer robbery, taking taxpayer wealth from working Americans and sending it to the have-mores. According to 11 years’ worth of Environmental Working Group data that tracks $200 billion in subsidies, the wealthiest 10 percent of “farmers” have collected 75 percent of the money. That’s exactly the kind of socialism that Rep. Bachmann and her elite ilk like.

This line of thinking falls in with the conservative worldview, of the strict father model as explained by George Lakoff.

The conservative worldview, the strict father model, assumes that the world is dangerous and difficult and that children are born bad and must be made good. The strict father is the moral authority who supports and defends the family, tells his wife what to do, and teaches his kids right from wrong. The only way to do that is through painful discipline - physical punishment that by adulthood will become internal discipline. The good people are the disciplined people. Once grown, the self-reliant, disciplined children are on their own. Those children who remain dependent (who were spoiled, overly willful, or recalcitrant) should be forced to undergo further discipline or be cut free with no support to face the discipline of the outside world.

While, the progressive worldview is modeled on a nurturant parent family. Briefly, it assumes that the world is basically good and can be made better and that one must work toward that. Children are born good; parents can make them better. Nurturing involves empathy, and the responsibility to take care of oneself and others for whom we are responsible. On a larger scale, specific policies follow, such as governmental protection in form of a social safety net and government regulation, universal education (to ensure competence, fairness), civil liberties and equal treatment (fairness and freedom), accountability (derived from trust), public service (from responsibility), open government (from open communication), and the promotion of an economy that benefits all and functions to promote these values, which are traditional progressive values in American politics.

Michelle Bachmann applies the conservative worldview for everyone else but really likes the social safety nets of the government, provided by the progressive worldview, for herself and her family. The motto of the Republican/Tea Party seems to be focused on 'don't do as I do, just do as I say.'

Friday, April 8, 2011

Senate Women Fighting Back

The government shutdown was averted. A temporary agreement was reached by Democrats and Republicans. But several Senate Democratic women explain that the budget impasse by the Republicans and the Tea Party was not on fiscal issues but on social issues. WATCH:

This agreement will be short lived. It is a temporary fix. The Republicans will continue their fight to reduce health care for women, cut Pell grants, eliminate the EPA, reduce aid to the poor and cause extreme loss of jobs. The Senate women are right when they say that it's not about fiscal responsibility. It's really about fiscal irresponsibility!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Red Snake Republicans

The Blue Dog Democrats were the cog in the wheel on the issue of a public option during the health care debate. Now it is the Red Snake Republicans who are saying no to any compromise that would avoid a government shutdown in the budget negotiations.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spinning the Loss in Wisconsin

Taylor Jones - - Anti-union goon Scott Walker - COLOR - English - scott walker,wisconsin,unions,public employee unions,collective bargaining,republicans,conservatives,tea party,koch brothers

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has an agenda. Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser was vocal in his support of Walker and the Governor's measures to bust unions and deny collective bargaining. While the Republicans are trying to claim that their plan for the country is bold, others might be more accurate in calling it extreme or radical. PR Watch found that the win for a liberal judge in the state of Wisconsin has thrown the conservative plan off its track.

While Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan prepares to shut down the federal government to prove that government is bad, analysts say the radical agenda of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker suffered a major set back today as his good friend incumbent Justice David Prosser was defeated for Wisconsin Supreme Court. The AP unofficial vote count, with 100 percent of the precincts reporting, puts challenger Joanne Kloppenburg ahead by slightly more than 200. A recount is doubtless on the way.

In a state that has never unseated a conservative Supreme Court justice, people power fueled a concentrated effort to deny the Imperial Walker one branch of government. Walker’s opponents hope a Kloppenburg victory will swing the Supreme Court in a more independent direction and set the stage for the court to strike down Walker’s controversial collective bargaining law. While the fate of the law is uncertain, Kloppenburg’s three week sprint from dead-in-the-water to victor may give Walker, Ryan and other Wisconsin politicians pause as they rush to radically reshape government to benefit the privatizers and profiteers.

Sleepy Court Race Electrifies the State

While it may seem odd to many Americans, Wisconsinites like to elect their judges. Although an elected judiciary has its problems (namely, unseemly high-dollar elections), the ballot box sometimes hands citizens a rare opportunity to un-elect judges -- and that is what many Wisconsinites decided to do today. Prosser, a former Republican Assembly Speaker, stumbled when his campaign embraced Walker’s election.

The Kloppenburg victory is stunning. Six weeks ago, sitting Judge David Prosser was a shoo-in and the challenge by Assistant Attorney General Kloppenburg was a snooze fest. But something happened on the way to the high court. A governor, who was elected to create jobs, took office and quickly moved to disenfranchise voters and kneecap unions so they could no longer be a viable force in state elections. The raw power grab sparked a spontaneous uprising, the likes of which this state has never seen, and the Supreme Court race was the next vehicle for people to have their voices heard.

As noted in Salon, this judicial race was very important to Walker in order for him to fulfill his political agenda.

The best evidence of what was at stake in this election, ironically, comes from the Walker camp. The night before the election, Walker's chief counsel, Brian Hagedorn, sent out an email, obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, outlining the dire consequences of a Kloppenburg victory.

"If Justice Prosser loses:

* The Supreme Court will shift from a 4-3 conservative majority to a 4-3 liberal majority.

* Governor Walker's agenda could be stopped in its tracks by this new activist majority.

* Union bosses and their allies will be emboldened and further push to recall the brave Senators who voted for Governor Walker's budget repair bill.

* (Chief Justice) Shirley Abrahamson and her allies will continue to drag down the reputation of the Court, with an additional vote to further push through their radical agenda."

One could argue about who really has the "radical" agenda in Wisconsin, but the gist of Hagedorn's email shouldn't be in dispute. Walker's opponents will be emboldened. And so will anyone else looking for evidence of what can happen when enough people get out and vote.

Walker is now blaming the liberals in Madison for Prosser's loss.

Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) reacted Wednesday afternoon to the super-close state Supreme Court race -- in which liberal-backed challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg now leads incumbent conservative Justice David Prosser, thanks to popular reaction against Walker's anti-public employee union legislation. Walker's response: Blame it on Madison -- which he said is in a "very different world" from the majority of the state.

WisPolitics reports:

Gov. Scott Walker said this afternoon that the spring election results show there are "two very different worlds in this state."

"You've got a world driven by Madison, and a world driven by everybody else out across the majority of the rest of the state of Wisconsin," Walker said at a press conference in the Capitol.
Of course, the proof is in the numbers that show Prosser's loss was more widespread.
Adding fuel to liberal euphoria, a Democrat also won election to the county executive seat in Milwaukee vacated by Gov. Scott Walker. But perhaps the most important result is the one offering the biggest hint as to what happens next: Kloppenburg decisively trounced Prosser in the district currently represented by Republican state Sen. Dan Kapanke, the first legislator for whom Democrats have accumulated enough signatures to force a recall vote. With one victory -- at least for now -- notched on their belt, Wisconsin's Democrats will be eager for more.
The Republicans claim that they received a mandate from the voters in the last election. However the platform they ran on is not the message that they now claim is bold. The voters in Wisconsin decided to change the course of the Republicans and have embolden the message of the Democrats in this judicial race.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sarah Palin Took a Government Handout and Bristol Palin Raked It In

Bill Schorr - Cagle Cartoons - Palin or Non-Palin - English - Sarah Palin, restaurant, waiter, dinner,

Did you know that Sarah Palin's TV reality show, "Sarah Palin's Alaska,"was government subsidized?" Yup, Palin's reality show took advantage of state tax credits that Palin herself created as Governor in 2008.
Palin's reality show received a $1.2 million subsidy from the state. Under a state subsidy created by the Legislature in 2008 and signed into law by Palin, Alaska allows film and TV producers to recover 30 percent or more of the money they spend on filming in the state. All told, the Palin show spent $3.6 million in Alaska. This covered almost a third of the show's Alaskan production costs.

Could the fact that Palin took a chunk of taxpayer money to fund her reality TV show come back to bite her if she runs for president next year?

I signed that bill years before I ever imagined I would film a TV series in Alaska, responds Sarah Palin on her Facebook page. And it was the production company, not me, that benefited from the tax break. Besides, Alaska's tax credit program —"an effective way to incentivize a new industry that would diversify our economy" — is indeed consistent with "my position on the proper role of government."

Jim Geraghty at the National Review, doubts that there are many Tea Party leaders who believe governments should "be in the business of subsidizing television programs." Just look at what they're saying about PBS and NPR.
Like Mother, like daughter. Bristol Palin, Sarah Palin’s daughter, joined a teen pregnancy prevention nonprofit called the Candie’s Foundation in 2009. Remember, Bristol became pregnant before being married. However, the Associated Press reported that the Candie’s Foundation released its 2009 tax information, revealing the salary that was paid to Bristol.
Bristol was paid a salary of $262,500.

But a closer examination of the tax form by ThinkProgress shows that the group disbursed only $35,000 in grants to actual teen pregnancy health and counseling clinics: $25,000 to the Mt. Sinai Adolescent Health Center and $10,000 to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.

Thus, the nonprofit paid Bristol over seven times what it paid to teen pregnancy prevention groups.
The mom takes government subsidies that she rails against for the poor. The daughter raised money for teen pregnancy prevention but earns more money that the cause she is working for. What lesson will we learn from the Palin's?

The Spooky GOP

Joe Heller - Green Bay Press-Gazette - Spending Cuts - English - Spending Cuts, budget, tea party, tree, federal budget

Rep. Anthony Weiner [D-NY] appearing on Lawrence O’Donnell’s show and agreeing with O'Donnell that if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling the economic consequences will be devastating. WATCH:

According to Rep Weiner:
“The straw that’s stirring this drink are the Tea Party nihilists who just want the government to shutdown. And one of the things about being Speaker is you’ve got to lead. I don’t see Speaker Boehner doing that, so I think we’re going to have a government shutdown and my Republican friends are going to get what they want.”
Republicans aren't just drinking the Kool-Aid of the Tea Party, they are also watching episodes of the T.V. show the West Wing. WATCH:

The Republicans are claiming that their ideas are bold. Somebody needs to tell them that they are not bold, they're just plain spooky!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Future Farming

Vertical farming is a revolutionary idea that would enable cities to feed themselves.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The True Story of the Tea Party...

...Boston Tea Party that is! Thom Hartmann explains the reasons behind the Boston Tea Party. It was truly a revolt against corporate power and corporate tax cuts. WATCH:

The Path to Single Payer Health Care

Joe Heller - Green Bay Press-Gazette - Socialism-COLOR - English - socialism, health care, medicine, universal, single payer, obama

Rachel Maddow talks about Vermont's "Medicare for all" single payer plan. With a Democratic Governor, and a Democratic controlled Senate and House, Vermont is heading toward a "single payer" plan for healthcare. Essentially Medicare for all!!! WATCH:

Via Crooks and Liars:
Vermont is now moving towards passing a single payer health care plan in their state. President Obama recently stated his support for allowing waivers for states that want to implement single payer health plans before the date of 2017 called for in the Affordable Care Act. And as Rachel Maddow noted here, despite all of their rhetoric about how Republicans supposedly have better ideas for how to reform our health care system, we're not seeing any of these red states step up in the manner Vermont has and offer any alternatives like we're seeing in Vermont.
Let's hope other states follow Vermont's lead.

Pat Bagley - Salt Lake Tribune - Private Health Insurers - English - Private, health, insurance, Public, option, Government, Obama, Health Care, Pharmacy, Doctors, barack, Congress, Government Sponsored, Single payer

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Consequences to Elections

Adam Zyglis - The Buffalo News - Pledge to the Bag - English - gop, republican party, tea, tea party, tea bag, pledge to america, congress, plan, agenda, tax cuts, no, spending, right wing, conservatives, far right, pledge, flag

A new wave of Republican legislators were voted into office in 2010. The gains in seats for the Republicans and the loses for the Democrats were seen as a message from the voters that they were tired of business as usual. But are the changes that were promised, really the changes that are now being offered? The following examples are representative of the direction conservative legislators are heading.

Montana legislator opposing stricter DUI laws
Rep. Alan Hale, R–Basin said drunken driving regulations hurt local businesses and are "destroying a way of life."
"These DUI laws are not doing our small businesses in our state any good at all. They are destroying them," he said in a speech on the state House floor. "They are destroying a way of life that has been in Montana for years and years."
Current Montana regulations establish a five-year "look-back period" for drunken driving offenses. The new bill, which passed the state House 88-12, extends the cutoff to 10 years, giving authorities a greater ability to crack down on repeat offenders.
Maine Republicans seek to rollback child labor laws

Republican lawmakers are pushing a bill through the Maine Legislature that would rollback child labor laws enacted by the state in 1991.

The bill, LD 1346, establishes a "training wage" for employees under 20 years of age at $5.25 per hour for their first 180 days of employment and increases the amount of hours minors can legally work. The proposed "training wage" is over two dollars less than the state's current minimum wage.

The bill also would eliminate the maximum hours a minor over 16 can work during school days and allow minors to work over 50 hours a week when school is not in session.

Another bill, LD 516, is headed to the Senate floor for a vote after being passed along party lines by a Senate committee, with Democrats voting against the measure. It would allow minors 16 years and older to work up to six hours a day and until 11pm on a school night.

Republicans currently control the state's House and Senate.

Republicans claim rolling back the child labor laws would give employees and employers greater flexibility and let students save more money for college. Democrats said they oppose the bills because it takes money away from young employees and could harm students education.

Modify Child Labor Laws in Missouri

Missouri Republican state Senator Jane Cunningham has proposed a bill that would "modify" child labor laws, eliminating the prohibition on employment of children under 14. Cunningham defends the bill, saying that it's important to cultivate a work ethic in young people and emphasizing that kids are still prohibited from working in dangerous professions.

Maine governor LePage orders labor mural removed
In the state's Department of Labor building, a 36-foot mural depicting the history of labor movements in Maine, was removed to send a "message" to business that Maine is not a labor-run state.

The mural, which depicts illustrations of union workers demonstrating in front of black-and-white images showing the state's labor history, was installed in 2008.

He's also ordered a number of the Department of Labor's conference room names changed, apparently because they are named after heroes to the labor movement, like Caesar Chavez and Frances Perkins, America's first female labor secretary.

“I’m trying to send a message to everyone in the state that the state of Maine looks at employees and employers equally, neutrally and on balance,” he reportedly said.

Montana Bill to outlaw science
State Rep. Joe Read (R-MT), a farmer and emergency firefighter who unseated a Democratic incumbent in the climate zombie wave of 2010, introduced HB 549 “to ensure economic development in Montana” claiming global warming is beneficial.

The legislature finds that to ensure economic development in Montana and the appropriate management of Montana’s natural resources it is necessary to adopt a public policy regarding global warming.

(2) The legislature finds:

(a) global warming is beneficial to the welfare and business climate of Montana;

(b) reasonable amounts of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere have no verifiable impacts on the environment; and

(c) global warming is a natural occurrence and human activity has not accelerated it.

Repeal Driver's License in Georgia
State Rep. Bobby Franklin, R-Marietta has filed House Bill 7, calling it the "Right to Travel Act."In his bill, Franklin states, "Free people have a common law and constitutional right to travel on the roads and highways that are provided by their government for that purpose. Licensing of drivers cannot be required of free people, because taking on the restrictions of a license requires the surrender of an inalienable right."
Criminalize miscarriages as well as abortions in Georgia
State Rep. Bobby Franklin, R-Marietta wants to criminalize not just abortions—but miscarriages as well. His 10-page bill would make any “prenatal murder” a felony punishable by death or life in prison—and that includes miscarriages, in the event the woman cannot prove that there was "no human involvement whatsoever in the causation" of her miscarriage. Holding women criminally liable for a totally natural, common biological process is cruel and non-sensical. Even more ridiculous, the bill holds women responsible for protecting their fetuses from "the moment of conception," despite the fact that pregnancy tests aren't accurate until at least 3 weeks after conception. Unless Franklin (who is not a health professional) invents a revolutionary intrauterine conception alarm system, it's unclear how exactly the state of Georgia would enforce that rule other than holding all possibly-pregnant women under lock and key.
Redefining a rape victim as an accuser in Georgia
State Rep. Bobby Franklin, R-Marietta has decided that there is no such thing as a rape victim. He has introduced a bill “to be entitled” which states that the term “victim” should be changed to the term “accuser” in a number of "statutes making reference to circumstances where there has not yet been a criminal conviction." You can have burglary victims and assault victims but if he has his way, rape victims will become “accusers” because, you know, a man is innocent until he is proven guilty. At least where rape is concerned.
You can have burglary victims and assault victims but if he has his way, rape victims will become “accusers” because, you know, a man is innocent until he is proven guilty. At least where rape is concerned.

Bill would require all S.D. citizens to buy a gun

Five South Dakota lawmakers have introduced legislation, HR 1237, that would require any adult 21 or older to buy a firearm “sufficient to provide for their ordinary self-defense.”

Rep. Hal Wick (R-Sioux Falls), is sponsoring the bill and knows it will be killed. But he said he is introducing it to prove a point that the federal health care reform mandate passed last year is unconstitutional.

“Do I or the other cosponsors believe that the State of South Dakota can require citizens to buy firearms? Of course not. But at the same time, we do not believe the federal government can order every citizen to buy health insurance,” he said.

Armed Citizen Militias in Montana

Montana House Bill 278 would authorize creating armed citizen militias able to repel invaders, presumably war-like Canadians.
What is the message the Republicans are sending? With all of these far-right extreme legislative proposals, have the good people of these states begun to realize that there are real consequences to elections.