Friday, September 30, 2011

"Puppet master": Beck's attacks on Soros are steeped in anti-Semitic stereotypes

"Puppet master": Beck's attacks on Soros are steeped in anti-Semitic stereotypes

Glenn Beck has repeatedly attacked financier and philanthropist George Soros with anti-Semitic stereotypes, referring to Soros as a "puppet master" and accusing him of controlling the media, the political process, and the global economy.
Beck: Soros is "the puppet master"

Beck portrays Soros as "the puppet master" during ads for his Soros episode. On his Fox News show, Glenn Beck has repeatedly referred to Soros as a "puppet master" while promoting the November 9, 2010, edition of his Fox News show, which he claims will "expose" Soros. During one ad for the program that referred to Soros as a "puppet master," an on-screen image of the Star of David faded into an image of Soros:

Beck called Soros the "king" and President Obama a pawn. On the September 15, 2010, edition of Glenn Beck, Beck displayed a large chess board, which he claimed would illustrate "how far the establishment will go to protect the power that they have built up." Beck assigned various figures roles based on the pieces of the chess game. Beck said, "Now, who are the king and queen and the advisers and the knights, the protection of the castle?" Grabbing the king piece, Beck continued, "Well, if I may -- I think you've got Soros." Beck later said that Barack and Michelle Obama were "pawns."

Beck: "I'm going to introduce the puppet master, George Soros." Appearing on the November 5, 2010, edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Beck displayed a puppet that he said "isn't just any puppet" and that it "is George Soros." Beck went on to say, "On Tuesday, I'm going to introduce the puppet master, George Soros, and -- and all of the stuff the spooky dude does" (transcript from the Nexis database).

Beck: "A special hour on the puppet master, George Soros. ... [Y]our republic's at stake." In a November 6, 2010, ad on Fox News, Beck said, "One of the most important shows I've ever done. Tuesday night on the Glenn Beck program, a special hour on the puppet master, George Soros. It's something you won't hear on any other network. Your republic's at stake -- set your DVR now. Five p.m. Eastern."

Beck: "Will the George Soroses of the world control everything?" From the October 27, 2010, edition of Glenn Beck (from Nexis):

    BECK: November 2nd will determine which road America will take. Will we start on the path to restoring honor and trust and common sense in Washington? Or will we continue down the road where anything goes, the ends justify the means and people can just look at you and lie to your face and there's no repercussions? Will we continue to live in a world where political games and the political allies and the George Soroses of the world control everything?

    Have you noticed Nancy Pelosi and President Obama and his administration keep talking about the economy and how it's recovering, it's on the right track, and how they're saving jobs left and right? Watch.

Beck: Soros "is the head of the snake." During the October 15, 2010, edition of his Fox News show, Beck claimed that "most everybody in the early progressive movement, their father or somebody involved, was a preacher. And they hated it." Guest David Barton then said, "The ACLU was headed by a preacher in the progressive movement; Americans for Democratic Action, headed by a preacher in the progressive movement -- it is amazing how many of these progressive organizations were headed by preachers." Beck then invoked Jim Wallis, who guest Calvin Beisner said "takes money from George Soros." Beck then said Soros "is the head of the snake."
Beck: Soros controls the economy

Beck cited anti-Semitic smear that Soros pursued a Jewish "agenda" to collapse Southeast Asian currencies. On the October 5, 2010, edition of his Fox News show, Beck continued his smear campaign against George Soros, saying that "many, including the Malaysian prime minister, believe it was billionaire speculator George Soros who helped trigger the [Southeast Asian] economic meltdown" in 1997, a reference to former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's false and anti-Semitic claim that Soros was part of a Jewish "agenda" to collapse Southeast Asian currencies. In an October 10, 1997, report from the Malaysian newspaper Berita Harian (excerpted by BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, accessed via Nexis), Mahathir was quoted as saying: "We do not want to say that this is a plot by the Jews, but in reality it is a Jew who triggered the currency plunge, and coincidentally Soros is a Jew. It is also a coincidence that the Malaysians are mostly Muslim." From the report:

    Kuala Terengganu, 10th October: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad has said that the government suspects that the Jews have an agenda to destroy the economy of this country and other Muslim countries. Also Dr Mahathir did not reject the possibility that the attack on the local currency was to shut his mouth so that he would stop criticizing George Soros, a Jew who hailed from Hungary. "We do not want to say that this is a plot by the Jews, but in reality it is a Jew who triggered the currency plunge, and coincidentally Soros is a Jew. It is also a coincidence that the Malaysians are mostly Muslim."

    "Indeed, the Jews are not happy to see Muslims. If it were Palestine, the Jews would rob Palestinians. Thus this is what they are doing to our country," he said when referring to Soros' involvement in the depreciation of the ringgit.

According to an October 11, 1997, Agence France-Presse article (from Nexis), Mahathir later denied that he was suggesting a Jewish agenda resulted in his country's economic crisis:

    Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad Saturday said he did not accuse the Jews of undermining the economy of Malaysia and other Moslem countries.

    "I merely stated that this person (American financier George Soros) is Jewish," Mahathir was quoted as saying by Bernama news agency in the Moslem dominated eastern coastal state of Terengganu.

As AFP reported in an October 15, 2006, article, Mahathir met with Soros and said of their meeting: "Mr Soros said he was not involved in the devaluation of the Malaysian currency and that other people were involved. And I have accepted that."

Beck: Soros is a "puppet master" looking to create a "new world order." During the November 3, 2010, edition of his Fox News show, Beck said that Soros was the "puppet master" who was "on the other end of Barack's BlackBerry." Beck went on to suggest Soros was using the Federal Reserve to create a "new world order" (transcript from Nexis).

Beck: Soros and his "minion, Al Gore" have "been preparing this new world order for a long time. They helped create it."

Yet Beck and libertarian-conservatives claim they are not anti-Semitic.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Rupert Murdoch's Anti-American Fox News Hosts Businessman To Call For Tax Cut Obama's Already Passed

Rupert Murdoch's Anti-American Fox News Hosts Businessman To Call For Tax Cut Obama's Already Passed

Fox News is bound and determined to portray President Obama as anti-business, even when reality tells a different tale. For example, today they hosted a businessman to demand that Obama offer a tax deduction "per job" employers create -- but Obama's already enacted such a deduction, and is now calling to expand tax breaks for businesses that hire new employees.

Fox & Friends Saturday today hosted Ryan Blair, an entrepreneur and CEO, to talk about a letter he wrote to President Obama with suggestions for jump starting the economy. Blair called on the president to "give me a deduction per job I create" in order to "get me off the bench and into the game" (emphasis added):

    ALISYN CAMEROTA (co-host): You say unemployment will be solved by stimulating innovation and creating new entrepreneurs. Great. How do you do that?

    BLAIR: Well, you know, it's real simple. You educate people on entrepreneurship, you get in there, you roll up your sleeves, and you give the incentives. So, for example, let's say I'm taxed at -- I make $10 million this year, and I'm taxed at 15 percent, or my rate goes up based on the amount of jobs that I actually create. And it's real simple -- you can figure out how to give me a deduction per child? Why can't you give me a deduction per job I create? Literally costing no debt money, just get me off the bench and into the game. Right now I'm not. I'm going to sit on the sidelines and save my money as much as I can because I'm uncertain. That's the wrong sentiment to be creating within the rich right now. Get them to work.

While Blair spoke, Fox News ran text stating, "Millionaire Explains The Problem w/ Jobs Plan."

What Blair and Fox & Friends failed to mention: Obama has already done this. The president has long championed this idea; he signed a bill that made it law; and he's calling for an extension of the policy through his American Jobs Act.

Do the math. Rupert Mudoch hates America. Murdoch has made America hating right-wing nut Roger Ailes the head of Fox News. Fox News constantly runs commentary that misleads the American public from everything about economics to cultural issues and public policy. Murdoch and the anti-American Ailes are trying to sabotage democracy by disseminating misinformation that is clearly against the best interests of the average American. Isn't it time for all patriotic Americans to keep the radicals at Fox News out of their homes and away from their kids.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Solyndra Scandal in Context - Republicans pursued clean energy loans, too

The Solyndra Scandal in Context - Republicans pursued clean energy loans, too

As I predicted, Solyndra's bankruptcy is serving as the new Climategate -- it's giving conservative politicians who once felt the need to grope for some sort of muddled centrist-sounding position (e.g.,"the science is uncertain," or "all of the above") the pretense they need to transition to full-on oppositionalism.

We see this now as Republicans decry clean energy loan guarantees that they were begging for a few years ago. I had some fun with Mitch McConnell a few days ago, and ThinkProgress has a great post nailing Daryl Issa -- who even now is investigating Solyndra -- for pleading with DOE's Steven Chu to fast track a loan guarantee to Aptera Motors, an electric car manufacturer.

The hypocrisy charge is legit, as far as it goes, and it's catnip for the media and for activists. But let's not forget: the main problem with Issa's effort to cripple the clean energy loan guarantee program is not that he did something contrary earlier, but that it's a bad idea to cripple the clean energy loan guarantee program.

I worry that the hypocrisy attack makes it look like Republicans were doing something embarrassing or unseemly by pursuing loans for clean energy companies in their districts. Quite the contrary! If I were one of Darryl Issa's constituents, I would be most pleased to hear that he was angling to get some advanced manufacturing in my district. Electric cars are are a booming market and it would be to a region's great benefit to establish an early foothold as a center of research, skills, and experience. Issa was serving the people who elected him.

This gets at a weird schizophrenia in public dialogue about energy policy. In an economist's dream world, all units of carbon emissions are priced equally. The government does not pick winners or otherwise interfere in the market. The carbon price creates demand for new low-carbon options, which pulls new competitors into the market. Lots of left pundits seem to have convinced themselves that this is the only thing they can credibly advocate for. Anything else is vaguely malodorous.

This is pure mythology, though. For one thing, a carbon price wouldn't be enough to spur innovation (see here or here). Putting that aside, though, it's not like a price on carbon would, in and of itself, make energy markets "free" or "fair." There are no markets in the world more riddled with state intervention, collusion, price-fixing, subsidies, tax breaks, cartels, monopolies, etc. etc. The government is always and already involved in energy markets, always and already "picking winners and losers."

Conservative Republicans don't care if they have to lie all day every day. They don't care if we all eventually find out they have been flaming two faced hypocrites for the millionth time. It is all about the politics of destruction and hysteria.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Anti-American Gov Rick Perry (R) Advocated Treason, Now Says He Didn't

Anti-American Gov Rick Perry (R) Advocated Treason, Now Says He Didn't

Before he announced his presidential bid, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) was commendably honest about his radical view of the Constitution. Perry repeatedly and proudly called Social Security and Medicare unconstitutional — even doing so on video at least once. Now that Perry wants to be president, however, he has unleashed a blizzard of falsehoods, claiming untruthfully that he never said Social Security and Medicare are unconstitutional.

Last night, in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Perry showed similar disregard for the truth in claiming that he never suggested Texas might secede from the union:

    HANNITY: Some people said, well, you used the term once “secession.” That’s not anything—is that something you believe?

    PERRY: No, and I never used that term, at all.

    HANNITY: Then why was it reported so heavily?

    PERRY: I have no idea to be real honest with you, because it was never a really factual piece of reporting. It was shouted out by an individual at an event—at a Tea Party, actually—and I said “listen, America is a great country. We have no reason why we would ever dissolve this union.”

Watch it: video at link

Perry is technically correct that he never uttered the word “secession,” but he did say that “when we came into the nation in 1845, we were a republic, we were a stand-alone nation. And one of the deals was, we can leave anytime we want. So we’re kind of thinking about that again.” Just in case Perry doesn’t remember saying that he is “thinking about” seceding, he can listen to himself saying it here:

For the record, Perry isn’t just wrong about his own previously stated views on secession, he was also wrong the first time when he claimed Texas has the right to secede from the union. Just in case the Civil War didn’t resolve this question enough to suit Perry’s unusually fluid understanding of the Constitution, the Supreme Court resolved the question just a few years later in 1869. As the Court held in Texas v. White, “[t]he union between Texas and the other States was as complete, as perpetual, and as indissoluble as the union between the original States. There was no place for reconsideration, or revocation, except through revolution, or through consent of the States.”
Truly sad if not insane times in American history when an America hating right-wing thug like Perry is leading among Republican voters in most polls. Advocate treason and conservatives think you're a hero. Advocate condemning senior citizens to live out their lives in poverty and pain, and you're a conservative hero. Conservatism continues to be the movement most dangerous to the survival of the USA as an enlightened democratic republic.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Neo Nazi Hero Joe Arpaio Birther Posse Probes President Obama's Birth Certificate

Neo Nazi Hero Joe Arpaio Birther Posse Probes President Obama's Birth Certificate

Obama ain't getting anything past master-sleuth Sheriff Joe and his crack team of birther probers

In a bizarre new stab at courting conspiracy nuts who believe President Barack Obama is a Kenyan, Sheriff Joe Arpaio has empowered a "birther posse" to look into claims by wackadoodles such as World Net Daily's Jerome Corsi that Obama's birth certificate from Hawaii is a forgery.

Yes, I know, it's hard to believe, but even after the president made the unprecedented move earlier this year of having his original, long form birth certificate from Hawaii released to the public, there is still a stubborn passel of flat-Earther lunatics who refuse to accept that Obama is a natural born citizen of the United States, and thus qualified to hold the highest office in the land.

Ironically, as CNN has reported at length, it's actually the computer-generated short form certification of live birth which is a legal document, and Obama's people made that document public during the 2008 campaign, in hopes of quashing the kookery.

But, of course, that wasn't enough for the crazies. Neither were public statements made by Republican Chiyome Fukino, the now-former Director of the Hawaii Department of Health, that Obama's original, long form birth certificate was in the state's possession, that she had examined it, and that, yes indeed, Obama was born in Honolulu on August 4, 1961.

No surprise considering his poltical beleifs and personality disorder that Sheriif Joe's poltical endorsement is being sought by Gov Rick Perry and anti-vaciine nut Michele Bachmann(R-MN). Who does wackadoo Joe Arpaio appeal in on the poltical spectrum? Neo-nazis - the third graphic- bottom - is a screen shot from the Nazi site Stormfront, it reads,

Re: SHERIFF Joe Arpaio - Obama and the ACLU Are Targeting Me
Imagine if that marxist jew lesbian liar of a female god ugly man/woman thing foul creature Janet Napalitano were to be replaced and Sheriff Joe were to be the US Attorney General....nah, the US doesn't deserve a real man these days...only a jewish dike.

I guess I can always dream...
Breaking News: White People Really Are Cool ( link redacted)

The multiCULT kingboy bleeds: KING Leonidas ETERNALLY TRIUMPHANT XXXXXX ( link redacted)

Obongo and/or Perry* 2012! Vote For Evil & Collapse the NWO System Sooner!
*the only hope for the survival of white children is to give the cultural marxists all the rope they want and let them hang themselves ASAP

Not all conservatives are Nazis, it just happens that all Nazis are conservatives. A genuinely patriotic American has to wonder what is it about conservatism that attracts fascists..

Monday, September 19, 2011

The poverty crisis is devastating young Americans. Here's what Congress can do about it.

The poverty crisis is devastating young Americans. Here's what Congress can do about it.

America excels in dramatic crises: When a bank goes bust, when a tornado strikes, there's no country in the world that rises to the occasion better. But we don't do so well with the accretive and perhaps more widely destructive social shifts that creep up on us, which is why the realization that we have a full-fledged poverty crisis is so troubling.

Publication of the Census Bureau's 2010 annual report on income—as dry a data set as there could be—reveal a shocking rise in poverty .

Median family income fell 2.3 percent between 2009 and 2010—to $49,445—but more significantly, is down 7.1 percent from its peak in 1999. The percentage of the population in poverty —15.1 percent—is the highest since 1993, and the total number—46.2 million—is an all-time high. We have given back a generation of economic progress.

But it gets much worse. Below this topline data is evidence of a more insidious picture of poverty and joblessness among the young and among African-Americans. Income for households headed by someone under 24 fell an astounding 15.3 percent between 2007 and 2010. The poverty rate among those under 18 is 22 percent. For those 18 to 24 it is 21.9 percent, and for blacks under the age of 18 it is a staggering 39.1 percent.

But this should be no surprise, since declines in income follow increases in joblessness, and the burden of the jobs crisis has fallen hardest on the young and African-Americans. The stated unemployment rate for whites aged 16 to 19 is 23 percent, and for blacks of that age it is a staggering 46.5 percent. (And recall, the formal unemployment rate is a significant undercount.) In the past year—which was supposedly a period of recovery, however painful and spasmodic—the number of those ages 16 to 19 who were working dropped by more than 500,000; the number of those counted as not even being in the work force increased by 600,000.

These numbers portray an unraveling of the social safety net. The convergence of multiple polices—reduced taxation of the wealthy at all levels of government and greater dependence on taxes that fall on the poor (sales and payroll taxes, in particular)—has has weakened government programs that help the poor and the young.

We have also had a full-fledged intergenerational transfer of wealth going on in our nation. The programs that consume the greatest percentage of our federal budget benefit seniors—Medicare and Social Security in particular—and have been rather well protected by politicians. The investments that benefit the younger generation—education, housing, and job training for instance—fall by and large into the non-defense discretionary spending part of the budget that has been subject to the most cuts.

We are facing a moral dilemma. We have actually done a reasonably effective job preserving the income of seniors. Medicare and Social Security have worked, future financing issues notwithstanding. But we are failing abysmally in investing in the next generation. How can we do both in a financially viable manner?

If we resolve the current fiscal crisis by cutting more deeply the investments we need to make in the young, we will be making a grave error. This makes it more urgent that the administration do something dramatic on the jobs front. What has been proposed—primarily a payroll tax cut–isn't enough. It is time for the president to channel Franklin Roosevelt, to create modern versions of the CCC and WPA for those under 25—not an entitlement program, a work program. The economy, our social fabric, and the president's political viability depend upon it.

Republicans control the House and will block any such work programs in the Senate with a filibuster threat. Republicans actually like people poor and unemployed it just makes them and their sugar daddy donors more powerful - in America money is power. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Government and Regulation - Republicans Prefer Death

In Anti-Government Politics, “Time-Out” on Regulation versus Shortened Lives

Seizing upon a reliable “job creation” talking point, conservatives have stoked their war against “big government” by trying to freeze federal actions to protect the public.

The proposed “Regulatory Time-Out Act,” which would impose a one-year moratorium on “significant” new regulations, takes aim at regulations that keep industry from dumping poison in rivers or accidentally blowing up factory workers—in other words, policies that capitalists call “job killers.”

According to the champion of the bill, Sen. Susan Collins, “significant” rules are those “costing more than $100 million per year,” and those projected to “have an adverse impact on jobs, the economy, or our international competitiveness.” The guiding principle of this proposed regulatory kill-switch is a cold cost-benefit analysis that weighs profitability against people's health and safety.

This particular bill may not make it through Congress, but it reflects the anti-regulatory mentality on the Hill by offering a convenient tool for undermining the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—that clean-air promoting, worker-protecting, “job killing organization of America,” which presidential hopeful Michelle Bachmann has promised shutter once and for all if elected.

Zeroing in on a textbook example of regulatory evil-doing, the measure seems to aim directly at a planned EPA regulation that would reduce emissions from boilers. According to a federal analysis, the pending boiler MACT rule would target tens of thousands of boilers at in various facilities including refineries, chemical plants, universities and commercial buildings, along with dozens of solid waste incinerators. The rule would reduce public exposure to mercury, soot and other toxics linked to cancer, child developmental problems, and premature death.

But the time-out crowd is less concerned with all that death and destruction than with the supposedly crippling impact on the economy. The Hill reported this week:

    Collins said this rule could force pulp and paper mills and other operations to close.

    “And that is just for starters," she said. "Once these mills close, the businesses that supply them would also be forced to lay off workers. Estimates are that nearly 90,000 Americans would lose their jobs, wages would drop by $4 billion, and government at all levels would see revenues decline by a staggering $1.3 billion.”

Surely this regulatory assault would devastate jobless Americans. Or at least be an unaffordable loss for lawmakers bankrolled by polluting industries.

Collins stressed there would be exemptions for certain protections that “address imminent threats to human health or safety,” or “foster private sector job creation and the enhancement of the competitiveness of the American worker.” But the reassurances invoke corporate terminology typically used to justify industry's drive to wring as much labor as possible from workers' bodies.

But who really loses from these burdensome rules? Rena Steinzor at the Center for Progressive Reform wrote in May that, although the agency had stalled on finalizing the boiler regulation:

    By any reasonable estimation, it should have been a jewel in the EPA’s regulatory crown. Released in February, the EPA’s final Boiler MACT rule (actually, it’s two rules—one addressing large boilers and the other addressing smaller ones) would annually prevent up to nearly 6,600 premature deaths, more than 4,000 non-fatal heart attacks, more than 1,600 cases of acute bronchitis, and more than 313,000 missed work and school days.  The final rule produced these enormous health benefits despite the fact it had been dramatically softened to placate industry critics. Because of these benefits, a recent CPR white paper had identified the Boiler MACT rule as one of the 12 “most critical environmental, health, and safety regulations still in the pipeline.” The EPA had projected that the rule would generate up to $54 billion in benefits at a cost of less than $2 billion; agency projections usually overestimate costs and underestimate benefits, and some benefits defy monetization.

So on balance, this regulatory investment is a bargain for the public: workers would gain back hundreds of thousands of otherwise lost workdays and maybe even avoid agonizing, unnecessary death. But these aren't the numbers anti-government ideologues like to cite in cost projections. Nor do they consider the potential jobs generated by regulations, and especially not the priceless benefit of a child spending more days learning in class. Nor the value of her parent living long enough to see her graduate from college. In anti-government politics, there's no room on the bottom line for real people—just as long as they vote the right way.

Michelle Chen is a contributing editor at In These Times. Reprinted here for purposes of public education about government and civic responsibility.
Conservatives think and have public debates like parrots. They grab on to the most extreme and stupid idea, than repeat ad nauseum. In the mean time they play games with the lives of real people. In many cases deadly or crippling consequences. For a party that claims to value families they sure seem like they have some perverse ideas about what actually constitutes values.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What Liberal Media - CNN Panders to the Anti-American Tea Party

What Liberal Media - CNN Panders to the Tea Party

CNN, which likes to boast that it’s America’s non-ideological cable news network, revealed in its Republican presidential debate collaboration with the Tea Party Express the hidden political reality behind “centrist” journalism – a never-ending pandering to the Right.

The basic truth about mainstream journalism is that the careerists who dominate the national news media are keenly attuned to where the worst career dangers lie and steer away accordingly. And, by far, the biggest risk to a journalist’s career is to be deemed “liberal” by the Right’s powerful attack machine.

So, while CNN would surely recoil from a suggestion that it co-sponsor a Democratic debate with, say,, the “No Bias, No Bull” network saw no problem in associating its journalistic credibility with the far-right Tea Party.

Similar tendencies in the U.S. news media can be noted in everything from the endless fawning over Ronald Reagan’s glorious legacy to the reliably pro-war tilt of most key news outlets, as underscored in an article on Sunday by the New York Times former executive editor Bill Keller. [See’s “Who Are These People?”]

Among mainstream journalists, there is almost no career danger from offending the American Left because it is viewed as essentially powerless, lacking any significant media clout of its own.

However, the Right has invested heavily both in building its own media infrastructure and financing anti-journalism attack groups. Together, they boast many scalps, including those of former CBS anchor Dan Rather and his courageous producer Mary Mapes (who broke the Abu Ghraib prison scandal but was undone for a segment questioning George W. Bush’s National Guard record).

So, career-savvy mainstream journalists carefully position themselves so as not to get in the Right’s firing line.

Earning Right-Wing ‘Cred’

In that regard, it’s useful to have some specific right-tilted story – or event – to point to, just in case a right-wing critic decides to target you as a “liberal.” CNN, which the Right has sometimes smeared as the “Communist News Network,” can now cite its collaboration with the Tea Party as valuable right-wing “cred.”

When I was working at PBS “Frontline” in the early 1990s, senior producers would sometimes order up pre-ordained right-wing programs – such as a show denouncing Cuba’s Fidel Castro – to counter Republican attacks on the documentary series for programs the Right didn’t like, such as Bill Moyers’s analysis of the Iran-Contra scandal.

In essence, the idea was to inject right-wing bias into some programming as “balance” to other serious journalism, which presented facts that Republicans found objectionable. That way, the producers could point to the right-wing show to prove their “objectivity” and, with luck, deter GOP assaults on PBS funding.

Similarly, in the 1980s, New York Times executive editor Abe Rosenthal vowed to steer the newspaper back to “the center” – by which he meant to the right – to counter criticism that the Times’ role in publishing the Vietnam War’s “Pentagon Papers” and Seymour Hersh’s reporting on CIA abuses amounted to “liberal bias.”

So, CNN’s behavior fits into a larger pattern which has frequently denied the American people the relevant facts and the clear analysis that are needed in a democratic society – because to do otherwise would invite devastating right-wing attacks on the journalists.

While such story slanting is unprofessional at all times, this journalistic cowardice is particularly dangerous at times of crisis and war. Yet, it is precisely at those moments when the careerist journalists are most sensitive to the dangers of being smeared as unpatriotic or un-American.

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek.
The full article is at the link. Real journalism tells the public the facts about events and people. We don't have that. The media, especially the broadcast media is deathly afraid they will piss off the Anti-American conservative movement. Thus we have The Today Show and Good Morning America doing lengthy segments on the latest missing person or this season's fashions, yet no comparable daily coverage of how radical and Anti-American Republican Senators and Representatives are being. There was no mention during the debt ceiling fiasco about how House Republicans had voted twice already for a budget bill that actually increased the deficit more than President Obama's proposed cuts. No network dared mention what hypocritical lairs Republicans were being.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Many Americans Complain Government Does Not Work. That's Because Republicans Have Declared War on Good Government

Republicans wage war on good government, and no one noticesA FEMA funding bill stalls in the Senate despite attracting a majority of the vote, to the surprise of no one

Republicans are probably just as surprised as anyone that it turns out that there are no political consequences for unprecedented legislative obstructionism. They have just kept at it for so long that it's no longer a fresh story. It has, in fact, become just the way things are, that proposals that in past Congresses would've been utterly uncontroversial a few years ago now require 60 votes to be considered. Did you know that a vote to fund FEMA failed in the Senate yesterday?

It failed, of course, with a majority of the vote. Fifty-three voted to proceed with the bill, and 33 senators voted no. The $6.9 billion in funding was attached to a non-controversial bill renewing sanctions on the government of Burma. Only one senator bothered to argue against the bill before a small minority quietly blocked it.

    “Has anybody given any serious thought to that? “asked Sessions. “Seven billion dollars? The state of Alabama’s general budget is $2 billion. Seven billion is a lot of money. We have not looked at it, we have not thought about it.”

    “I strongly oppose adding another debt spending bill that we haven’t carefully examined every penny of it to make sure it’s all necessary and appropriate,” Sessions continued.

They haven't thought about it yet! Jeff Sessions has been so busy doing ... stuff, that he has not yet had time to consider whether or not he thinks the government should appropriate disaster relief funds. It costs less to run Alabama than it does to clean up after a couple earthquakes and tornadoes and hurricanes spread across the entire continent! (Alabama might be running stuff on the cheap in part because it relies on the federal government to pay for things like disaster relief? Just a thought.)

This isn't a complicated proposal for a new federal program requiring careful review. This is money that will go to an established government agency that is already doing its important and necessary work. We can argue about how we should fund FEMA in the long term, but in the short term, stuff needs to get cleaned up, right now, and FEMA needs money to do so.

Not that there is a considered ideological statement behind blocking the money. It was just blocked because the Republicans now block things. That's what they do. Hold every bill hostage or kill it completely, let nominees twist in the wind, and take every negotiation right to the brink of full-blown catastrophe.

The debt ceiling fight, which usually involves a bit of minor grandstanding before everyone does what they always do, now ends with Standard & Poor's declaring that our political system is too dysfunctional to deal with non-manufactured crises. Billions of dollars were lost and airport upgrade projects were stalled because Republicans decided to use the routine extension of FAA funding as an opportunity to strike a blow against organized labor. (The FAA is currently operating on short-term extension bills because no one believes Congress could pass long-term funding of the FAA.)

This is a war on the basic functionality of the federal government, not any sort of philosophical conservative attack on government overreach. Denying political "victories" to political opponents is the primary goal here, and the fact that making government dysfunctional gives heft to the argument that government can't be trusted is really just a nice side benefit.

But Republicans are only willing to pull this because they've figured out that everyone just blames "Congress" for the sabotage of a specific minority of ideologues

And right-wing conservatives are right. People in the states that need help from FEMA will simply complain that Washington is screwed up. That Washington does not work. Never mind that a small band of REPUBLICANS are the ones making sure government does not work for and by the people.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Gov Rick Perry Is a Dumber George Bush. Cuts Fire Fighting Budget By $23 Million

Gov Rick Perry Is a Dumber George Bush. Cuts Fire Fighting Budget By $23 Million

Growing up in Texas you get used to, for better or worse, enduring what others can hardly conceive:

    Breaking into a sweat as soon as you get out of the shower from April through November.
    Camo-printed Crocs (yes, they exist).
    Budgets for moderately important pillars of government -- like public safety -- being slashed by rich politicians who like to talk about "tightening our belts" as if the Texas budget was some kind of Weight Watchers program

Devastating grassfires like the ones we had this weekend, however, are a relatively new phenom. Since Texas politicians like Gov. Rick Perry, the frontrunning GOP presidential contender, insist that climate change is either a bunch of hooey or God’s will, there’s no point in even arguing that these wildfires might be around to stay. But the destruction wrought by the fires fanned by a record drought and a month of triple-digit temperatures just might have something to do with our lack of resources.

In the latest legislative session, Texas volunteer fire departments were hosed with a Perry-approved budget that cut state funding from $30 million to $7 million. To make matters worse, most of Texas is protected by volunteer firefighters -- a good 879 volunteer departments cover much of the state of Texas, as compared to the 114 paid departments and 187 departments that are a combination of both.

This lack of concern for public safety might explain why it isn't the first time Rick Perry has had a fire, literally, in his own backyard. In June 2008, America was on the precipice of electing a new president and finally turning the page on one former Texas governor's horrific White House regime. (Perry has been Texas' governor since George W. Bush moved to Washington.) All was quiet in downtown Austin the night someone chucked a bottle soaked with petrol over the fence at the Texas governor's mansion. A four-alarm fire partially destroyed the gleaming building that held the proud title of being the oldest continuously occupied house in Texas.

Perry and his wife, Anita, had already moved out of the mansion in January of that year due to a renovation project that had already begun when the Molotov cocktail was tossed into its yard. On the night of the fire, the Perrys were tucked away safely in Europe on a summer vacation. Three days after the fire, on June 11, 2008, Rick Perry made his first public address about the mansion fire. He began his speech by saying that during his time as governor, "few sights have left a deeper impression on me than the charred remains of this genuine Texas treasure standing behind me."

So as homes burned across Texas this weekend -- more than 1,000 homes burned down across Central and East Texas -- where was this deeply affected governor who had seen for himself, just a few short years ago, the devastation a fire can wage?

Why, campaigning for president, of course.

It's not quite as good an indicator as his boot size, but it says a lot about a man who's off soaking up 60-degree temperatures in the northeast while the rest of his Texas constituency bakes to a crisp. I suppose Rick Perry left us in good hands -- God's hands, of course -- when he effectively bid us, “Adios, mofo,” at his prayer rally back in August and hit the campaign trail.

Now, I'm all for praying, but had I been one of the hundreds of people packing up my photo albums and cats over the weekend in a frenzied evacuation, I can tell you that I wouldn't have simply been watching the flames and praying for rain -- I would've been hollering for the firefighters to show up.

Inconveniently, however, Rick Perry's slash-and-burn, GOP-run legislature spent more time this session prioritizing exploratory expeditions inside women's uteri than they did public safety. In fact, the Texas Forest Service, which is also responsible for Texas firefighting efforts, is also facing millions of dollars in budget cuts over the next two years. So whether you pray or call 911, the answer may be that the resources just aren't there to save you.

Rick Perry finally did show up in Austin on Sunday, immediately beginning a press tour of the various fire locations. When questioned by a reporter about the potential for a lack of firefighting resources in light of the budget cuts, Perry did what he does best: avoided the issue and reminded everyone that it's about "these people" -- meaning the victims of the fires, and not the politicians who create the legislation that harms them.

But don't worry about us, America. We'll get things down here fixed right up, just as soon as our prayers kick in. As for Rick Perry, he may not even need that old burned-out mansion if things keep turning up corndogs for him. But it does make one wonder what will happen with the mansion renovation dollars if Perry is elected president. After all, $11 million came from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 -- a.k.a., the Obama stimulus plan -- you know, the one Governor Perry always talks about the states not needing.
Come to think of it, there's another thing we Texans are pretty used to down here: A terrible governor running for president -- and winning.

Reprinted for educational purposes. Written by Rachel Farris writes the blog,

Funny that Perry likes to take credit for anything good in the Texas economy, but never mentions the millions he used from the Obama administration to pay the state bills or the $200 billion a year the state gets in public employee payroll. Perry is not the Wizard of Oz, he is the empty suit behind the curtain.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Conservative Crooks of the Week - The Entire Missouri Republican Party

Conservative Crooks of the Week - The Entire Missouri Republican Party

Yesterday, Missouri lawmakers began a special session during which Republicans will try to pay for a business tax cut by eliminating a tax credit that benefits more than 100,000 senior citizens and disabled people.

Missouri Republicans are just the latest in a long list of state legislatures that are funding more corporate tax breaks on the backs of low- and middle-income residents. In this case, Republicans are targeting a property tax credit that helps offset higher rent for some of the state’s most vulnerable citizens:

    At stake is a tax credit that provides up to $750 for lower-income elderly and disabled people. Called the “Circuit Breaker,” it is designed to be an offset for the property taxes included in the rent paid by people with incomes of $27,500 or less. The tax credit costs $53 million annually. Repeal is part of a package that also would impose limits and sunset dates on credits targeted to developers. The Circuit Breaker tax credit is the only credit slated for repeal.

    “The real issue is that many people with disabilities simply can’t own their own homes because they live on a subsistence income,” said Edward Duff of Joplin, a member of the Governor’s Council on Disability. “It really is a sort of parity to offer these renters this shelter.”

Once again, Republicans have shown they are not averse to raising taxes, as long as they are on the poor. The “circuit-breaker” tax credit is such an important aid for low-income residents that 29 other states offer property tax circuit-breakers or similar programs, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Killing the credit would raise taxes on groups including disabed vets and senior citizens by up to $750 a year.

The proposal has drawn criticism from a diverse range of groups, from conservative anti-tax crusaders to liberal groups. Opponents include the AARP, the Association of Retired Missouri State Employees, the liberal-leaning Missouri Budget Project and the conservative United for Missouri, as well as agencies that work with the disabled on the local level.

The Post-Dispatch reports that Republicans have faced such a backlash for trying to repeal the tax credit that the tax-credit package they crafted may be unraveling. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Chuck Purgason (R), has prepared an alternative plan aimed at spreading tax credit cutbacks more equally among low-income residents and developers.

“Republicans are always portrayed as taking from the poor and giving to the rich, and we didn’t want to do that,” Purgason said. However, it’s unclear if there’s enough of a consensus to pass the alternative bill.
Granted there might be a few Missouri Republicans who have a little bit of a conscience. This is a fine example of conservative income redistribution, they take from the low income, the elderly and the sick to give to the wealthy. The wealthy are those people who have a rough day when they can't think of any new toys to buy with the wealth generated by American workers.

Romney and Rick Perry are pathological liars. They could not get through their first debate without creating an alternate reality.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Natural Disasters Are Reminders That Public Workers Are Not Thugs

Stop Bashing Government Workers

Two thousand and eleven has been one of the toughest years for public workers that I can remember. Every month until this past one, the private sector has added jobs, and every month the public sector has lost them. The August employment report [2] shows that the public sector got hit hard again—losing 17,000 jobs. In states across the country, public workers aren’t just being laid off; they’re being made into economic scapegoats. These workers deserve to be treated fairly any time. But in the wake of Hurricane Irene, as we watched teams of federal, state and local government workers tirelessly saving lives, and on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the Sept.?11 terrorist attacks, they deserve much better.

The last decade has been marked by both peril and possibility, and in all of it there has been no shortage of American heroes. Many, if not the vast majority, worked for the government — as firefighters and police, as teachers and rescue workers. In the aftermath of Sept.?11, 2001, men and women proudly wore hats and shirts labeled “FDNY” and “NYPD.” When we wept for our nation, it was the bravery of the first responders that reminded us of our national character. There was a newfound respect for public service and a heartening change in how Americans viewed their government. Fire and police departments, and organizations such as the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps, saw a surge in applicants. We didn’t just want to believe in those workers. We wanted to be them.

In the 10 years since, those and other public workers haven’t been any less heroic or any less essential. But they have been significantly less appreciated, even demonized. “There are a lot of government employees that need to go find a real job,”Rep. Paul Broun (Ga.) [3], a Tea Party favorite, snorted in June. For too many on the right, a government worker isn’t a worker at all.

This, more than anything, comes from a broadening acceptance that government can do no good. Anti-tax zealot Grover Norquist infamously called for government to be made so small that it could be drowned in a bathtub. But even within the far-right fringes, it used to be the case that government, though small, was supposed to serve essential functions. Chief among them: Providing security to its citizens, doing for the people what no private corporation could.

There was a time, for example, that disaster relief money was a foregone conclusion. And yet here we are, in the wake of a hurricane that has devastated parts of New York and Vermont, being told by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) that disaster aid can come only after spending cuts.

Conservatives make sure that government does not work so they can bash government. If America's Founders had not wanted a government that worked they would not have designed one. Government can work and as part of government, the people can accomplish what is difficult or impossible for individuals to do. If you could turn back the clock 100 years and ask how to keep senior citizens out of poverty, could you do that on your own or even with the help of a few people. Today a government program called Social Security keeps 20 million seniors out of poverty. Not back for a government program. Who are we going to trust, a government by and for the people or Enron, or Wall Street. This full article is available here.

The Republican Party Wishes You a Happy Labor Day!

To mark Labor Day 2011, conservative flame-thrower Michelle Malkin offered American workers a look back at the "top 10 union thug moments of the year." As it turns out, Malkin's union-bashing hyperbole differs little from the leading lights of the Republican Party. While Sarah Palin has decried "union thugs," Mitt Romney promised to take on "union bosses" and Michele Bachmann said she's open to reducing the minimum wage and eliminating the corporate income tax, virtually the entire party leadership has propagated the myth that public employees are overpaid.

Sadly, the numbers show that incomes, working conditions, educational performance and health care are worst where union protections are weakest and Republicans poll best. More disturbing still, recent polling confirms that in the face of chronic unemployment, the GOP has largely succeeded in demonizing unions and shifting attention from creating jobs to reducing the national debt.

This is where we are in America - if you are an American truck driver, a paper-mill worker, an auto assembler, a plumber, if you're an America worker you're thug according to conservatives.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day and Time to Remember Republicans Have Become the Thugs of Anti-Americanism

Labor Day and Time to Remember Republicans Have Become the Thugs of Anti-Americanism

While we'll enjoy a long weekend, final summer trips to the beach and ubiquitous barbecues this coming Monday, it won't be a "happy Labor Day" for the people for whom the holiday is named: Labor.

The holiday has drifted considerably from its roots (as have many holidays - Presidents Day wasn't originally designed to boost auto sales) and become more of a seasonal marker than a remembrance, but once upon a time Labor Day was an acknowledgement of the contributions by the organized workforce that was building our country. There was an era, if you could believe it, when powerful interests attacked workers, and when it was in the interests of politicians to reconcile the situation by offering some sign of respect and recognition to unions.

Twelve decades later and there are still powerful interests who attack working Americans on all fronts. This year has seen an unprecedented assault on the rights of workers to organize, starting in Wisconsin and spreading across the country. Unions have fought back and found allies in non-unionized Americans who recognize the right to organize as a fundamental American value; they have won early races in Wisconsin that have given their opponents pause --but in many states, the damage has been done - and ensured there will be less to celebrate this Labor Day in years past.

While there have always been forces that attack workers, the big change is how fewer are the politicians brave enough to stand with labor now than there were in 1894 when Congress authorized the holiday. Such legislation would never pass in Boehner's House. In fact, it's only a matter of time before today's Congress seeks to change Labor Day to Capital Day. In the end, they will only compromise and call it "Ronald Reagan Labor Day" if the White House cuts more jobs programs.

Given how difficult GOP politicians want to make it for workers to join unions, it's surprising how many of these same elected officials want to join labor themselves - specifically at Labor Day celebrations around the country. So these politicians received a surprise when local parade organizers in a Wisconsin town banned all Republicans from this year's parade.

Republicans explained they wanted to put aside differences and participate in "family-friendly fun." The non-partisan mayor is now threatening to pull municipal funding if Republicans are excluded.

And that's what Labor Day has transformed into: Not about the history of labor, respect for union or an opportunity to affirm our commitment to fundamental worker rights, just a chance for some family-friendly fun.

That family-friendly fun, by the way, is made possible by child labor laws, weekends and minimum wage - all progress that was championed by labor unions. But you won't hear about that on Monday, politicians will be too busy discussing how to get government out of the way of Big Business and regular Americans will be too preoccupied worrying about their economic future.

But if you can give a few minutes of your vacation day to remember the history of the occasion - a battle to improve the lives of the American worker that continues to today - there's a question you can and should ask every official and candidate: "If you want to march with us, why won't you stand with us?"

Let us know what they say when you come back from your long weekend, brought to you by American labor.
Republicans, especially at the state level have acted like Stalinist thugs attacking public workers such as teachers and police. American workers have been struggling for basic rights since the late 1700s - things we take for granted to day like a reasonable work day, a safe workplace. Along the way there have been a few bad apples, but nothing to match the thugs hired by people like Henry Ford to literally crack heads. Or factory owners who locked workers inside the factory who could not get out when a fire started. Who represents the head crackers and door lockers of modern times - Republicans. The party who used to stand for individual rights.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Democrats And Income Redistribution

The Conservative Slant of Government Economic Policy

The rich really are different from you and me. There’s the obvious, of course: They have a whole hell of a lot more money. But just as important, they are able to preserve their wealth from the forces that decimate the earning power of your average American. While government programs for working or jobless Americans are under constant attack, the state frequently intervenes on behalf of the rich, or at least lets them keep their earnings, tax free (leaving the rest of us to pick up the tab).

Republicans in Congress, and to a lesser extent the Obama administration, seem to believe that austerity is the best way to deal with our recessionary woes (despite all economic evidence to the contrary). Instead of unraveling the safety net, voters should consider all the ways the government aids and abets the one class of people who clearly don’t need help.

1. Protectionism for high-income professionals, free trade for everyone else

Economists incessantly extol the importance of free trade. Opening up our markets through treaties like NAFTA and CAFTA results in a flood of cheap consumer goods, which we all enjoy. However, these policies further expose America’s workforce to overseas competition, accelerating the decimation of middle-class jobs. The wounds inflicted by globalization are often shrugged off as a sad, but inevitable, part of the process. Those who would try to preserve these jobs are denounced as Neanderthalic protectionists.

But while many Americans are forced into low-wage work with no benefits, our doctors are the highest paid in the world. (Every year the medical profession dominates the Forbes list of best paying jobs in the U.S.) How did this happen? They protected themselves from overseas competition. In 1997, a mere three years after NAFTA, the American Medical Association argued that licensing rules for American doctors were too loose and demanded that we greatly restrict the number of foreign doctors practicing in the U.S. Our political elites happily obliged. Five years later, the number of foreign medical students had fallen by half. Our immigration laws also preserve the privilege of the professional classes by banning the government from hiring foreigners in most instances and snarling those who want to work in the private sector in a staggering amount of red tape.

“Our doctors, on average, get paid twice as much as doctors in Western Europe and Canada,” Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, said in a phone interview. “The income of high-end professionals is a cost the rest of us bear. Our wages are lower because whatever we take home doesn’t go as far if we pay our doctors $200,000 a year, where they’d get $100,000 in Western Europe.”

These government-protected wages also contribute to our grotesque health care costs that are far higher than those of any other developed nation. If we let people from India or China practice medicine here, we would have more medical professionals, pay them less, and pay less for health care. (Many professional workers are subject to the same principal, to a less extreme degree.)

“Most workers in the U.S. are getting paid the same or less as their counterparts,” Baker said. “If you don’t do the same for high-end workers, that’s class war. People have to understand they are being ripped off.”

2. Rich and own a big house? Here’s some money!

In theory, everyone should love the mortgage interest tax deduction. The lucky homeowner gets to deduct the interest on their mortgage from loans to buy, build, or improve her home directly from her income! (Rent is not deductible because renting, as George W. Bush helpfully explains, is unpatriotic.)

There's a catch of course. Rich people have larger mortgages and higher income taxes. Therefore, they get the most out of their mortgage interest tax deductions. Households earning more than $250,000 annually enjoy 10 times the remuneration of households with income between $40,000 and $75,000. Those homeowners earning $30,000 basically get nothing (check out the chart). Those without the income to buy a home, or who just choose to rent, are probably a bunch of impoverished Communists anyway, so they don’t get a damn thing.

Think of it like this: If you earn less than $30,000 a year, or you live in a big city and probably have to rent, your taxes are paying for housing for everyone else. But most of the benefits of the mortgage tax deduction go to rich people who, apparently, really need your money for that 8,000-square-foot McMansion. This is a system so blatantly unfair that everyone from Manhattan Institute economists to libertarian bloggers thinks the mortgage interest tax deduction is an incredibly regressive policy that should have been reformed years ago.

3. A sales tax for bread but not for bonds (or stocks or futures)

The stock market is the playground of the rich. 83 percent of stocks are owned by one percent of the population. Trillions of dollars are sloshing around in American stock markets, enriching the lucky few and periodically endangering the world economy. But the government gets nothing from this constant trading blizzard.

Sales taxes, which disproportionately hit low-income families, are in force across the nation. Taxes on financial transactions, which would disproportionately affect the rich, barely exist. There is a tiny financial transaction tax, generating $900 million annually, bankrolling the Securities and Exchange Commission. The New York Stock Exchange suffers under the yoke of tax that raises $14.4 billion a year, enough to handle New York’s fiscal deficit, with $4.4 billion leftover. Don’t fret though: The traders don’t pay a dime. It’s all rebated after they tally up how much they would be paying the state government, if anyone bothered to collect.

If New York would get $14.4 billion a year from its theoretical tax on financial transactions, think how much money the United States might make with a national tax. The London Stock Exchange currently operates with a tax for stocks (bonds, securities, and so forth aren’t covered) that pulls in $40 billion annually. The billions upon billions America could gain from such a tax would go a long way toward easing our budgetary woes. Instead, we are debating raising the social security retirement age and fundamentally weakening Medicare.

Wall Street claims such a tax would stall economic growth. “If you look at the seven fastest growing stock markets in the world, each and every one of them has a financial transaction tax,” said Robert Pollin, professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute. “China, Singapore, South Korea—all the emerging markets have one. It’s not preventing these economies from growing. Having the tax is not a barrier to a successful financial market.”

Pollin argued a tax would disincentivize excessive trading for short-term profit, one of the causes of the economic meltdown. Short-term traders would get hit by the tax often while those who invest their money responsibly, and for the long term, wouldn’t have to pay much. (Last week, the National Nurses United union used the same argument when it lobbied 61 different Congressional offices in support of a financial transaction tax.)

4. Tired of payroll taxes? The wealthy aren’t because they don’t have to pay

When most people get their paychecks, income taxes are taken out up front, before they ever get their hands on the money. Not so the super-rich, that blessed class of executives, movie actors, big business owners, hedgefund managers, and star athletes. Through a variety of byzantine loopholes, they get to pay their income taxes years, if not decades, in the future. (There’s no interest on this late payment either).

“The biggest single way that the rich benefit from the tax system is that you pay your taxes before you get your money, they pay their taxes by and by,” David Cay Johnson, Reuters tax columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner, told me. “This amounts to a loan from the taxpayers. You take $1 you don’t have to pay taxes on today, [invest it and] make 8 percent real return over the next 30 years, and inflation runs 3 percent. At the end of 30 years that one dollar is worth 10 dollars and inflation has eroded the value of the tax to 40 cents.”

But the federal government needs that money now and if they don’t get it from the super-rich (or from taxing, say, financial transactions) they’ll get it by borrowing. This borrowing adds to our debt, leading to conversations about “shared sacrifice,” which leads to massive holes in the budget, which leads to underfunded programs like the Peace Corps, community health centers, Pell Grants, and the National Park Service.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of the ways our political system rewards the rich for being rich. Don’t forget all the moaning over ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, which discounts the fact that the so-called “Bush tax cuts for the middle class” also help the rich and give them much more money on an individual basis. Or that many of America’s largest corporations haven’t paid a cent of income taxes in years.

There is little chance of these policies, most of which are tax-related, being changed to address the deficit. There is nothing harder to dislodge than entrenched privilege. This is especially true when one of the two major political parties refuses to raise taxes under any circumstance and controls a major policy choke point. (The unchecked torrent of money for lobbying and campaigning advantages the rich as well.)

Keep that in mind while you work until you drop, with little hope of Social Security-backed retirement. At least the rich will be able to enjoy the program: They live longer.

*reprinted here for educational purposes.

And that is how income is redistributed from the average American worker to the top 10%. Our economy has become the voodoo supply-side economic dream come true for the wealthy.

This is the story that goes with the pic of the dead Iraqi children - WikiLeaks: Iraqi children in U.S. raid shot in head, U.N. says dead children in ishaqi Iraq.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

As Republicans Push to Tax the Poor, Corporate Executives Dodge Taxes

As conservatives push for the working poor and lower middle-class to pay more taxes - Republicans for Tax Hikes - Republicans have finally found a group they want to tax: poor people. They have nothing to say about wealthy executives paying little to no taxes - Executive Pay and the Great Tax Dodge

Before the deficit reduction “super-committee” embarks on a $1–2 trillion course of human slashonomics [1], it should take a hard look at the Institute for Policy Studies’ (IPS) eighteenth annual executive compensation report [2], which details how corporations are rewarding CEOs for aggressive tax avoidance—to the tune of at least $100 billion in lost tax revenues every year.

Executive Excess 2011: The Massive CEO Rewards for Tax Dodging reveals that last year twenty-five of the 100 most highly paid CEOs took home salaries greater than the amount their companies paid in 2010 federal income taxes. And it wasn’t because the corporations weren’t making dough—they averaged global profits of $1.9 billion, and only seven reported losses in US pre-tax income.

But these twenty-five companies shielded their profits in 556 tax haven subsidiaries in places like the Cayman Islands, Isle of Man, and Singapore, which proved to be a lucrative tax dodging strategy for the CEOs themselves: the twenty-five CEOs averaged $16.7 million in compensation, compared to $10.8 million for their peers in the S&P 500.

“What we’re seeing here is tax dodging, pure and simple,” says Sarah Anderson, who directs the global economy project at IPS and has coauthored the Executive Excess report for eighteen years running. “And tax dodging that’s benefiting the CEOs of these companies personally.”

It’s not that the corporations are breaking the law. Indeed, the report co-authors emphasize that tax dodging isn’t illegal. But Anderson points out that the laws are “the result of a corrupt system where hundreds of millions of dollars spent lobbying can result in these kinds of crazy, corporate tax loopholes.”

That’s why twenty of the twenty-five companies who paid their CEOs more than they paid in federal income taxes also spent more on lobbying lawmakers, and eighteen contributed more to the political campaigns of their preferred candidates than they paid to the IRS.

America's wealthiest are like modern day feudal lords - they get all the wealth, and the power and privilege that goes along with that wealth, yet they take advantage of a system of tax laws that were largely written by their well paid lobbyists. What happened to those American ideals about a government for and by the people. We've bypassed that fundamental egalitarian ideal because that ideal is now seen as some kind of socialism by conservatives - conservatives who claim to be the embodiment of patriotism. How can someone be an American patriot and never stand up for American values.