Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Van Jones Validated By Joe Wilson

Anybody else remember the Republicans whining about "respecting the President" and "showing respect for the office, even if you don't agree with the man" for the last 8 years? What ever happened to that?

Seriously, they lectured us on civility while they were arresting people for wearing anti-Bush t-shirts, now their elected officials are screaming at the Presidnt and calling him a "nazi" at town halls.

WTF is wrong with these people?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Real Canadians Talking Real Health Care

This is a great video of real Canadians talking about real health care and blasting apart the lies that are being told about their system. The Canadians still get it. They still have some semblance of Christian morals that America seems to have lost and replaced with the religion of "greed is good."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Jesse Ventura's Sanity Tour

Jesse Ventura was doing the rounds in the media last week, speaking common sense about the issue of torture.

The Republicans think that this is an issue they can spin but they are wrong. Torture resonates with most people (except sociopaths) on a very primal moral level. Republicans seriously underestimated the damage that coming out strongly pro-torture is doing to them as a viable political party. Seriously, who wants to join the party of torture?

I am not sure in what order these interviews aired, but I saw the View clip first.

Here is Gov. Ventura on the Hannity show.

Then there was the interview on Fox and Friends that turned pretty heated when one of the right wing idiot hosts got frustrated at someone he couldn't baffle with his B.S. or bully.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Why The Right Wing's Attacks On Pelosi Are Backfiring

Matthew Yglesias discusses how the right-wing strategy on torture is backfiring.

By accusing Pelosi of "knowing about" illegal torture, they are admitting by default that:
A. Torture took place.
B. It was illegal.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Republicans Show their Maturity

Republicans show their maturity when asked about working with the President. This is funny stuff!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Its the Wages Stupid!

The problem with the global economy is falling consumer demand.

Consumer demand is falling because people are buying less.

People are buying less because wages have been stagnant for 30 years. Wages have not kept pace with productivity for 30 years. It is as simple as that. Everything else is just a symptom of this root problem.

People have tried to suppliment their lack of wages with debt, but debt has to be paid off with wages. In the last couple decades the debt industry has grown faster and larger than any industry ever in the history of the world. It has exploded into a multi-trillion dollar business and they are making way too much money by screwing us over with 25-30% interest rates and hidden fees to allow us to clean our house and fix our system without a fight. The entire "credit crisis" meme that the corporate media is pushing is just an attempt to prop up a failed system and avoid talking about the real issue - stagnant wages.

The entire system of globalization was based upon a model where China and India are the world's source of cheap labor and the U.S. is the world's consumer market. It was based on assumptions that America's over-consumption was a good thing and that it was going to last indefinately. The only problem with their system is that the reason American was able to be such a thriving market during the 20th century was because we had good jobs where our wages kept pace with our productivity. Then they outsourced all our good jobs, and consumer demand went into freefall. Now they are calling a "crisis" what many economists have for years called the predictable consequences of bad economic policies.

Now this morning, we read that wages are falling again, this time on purpose as a response to the "crisis", by the same people who created this situation in the first place. Cutting wages and jobs is only going to lower consumer demand even more and make the situation worse for working Americans.

This is not only about the war on the middle class, but it is also about redefining American society and our attitudes of hyper-consumerism. We need to reevaluate our lifestyles as Americans and do what is necessary to bring the amount of resouces we consume in line with our population and the rest of the planet.

At the same time, we need to change the rules of the game so that America is no longer economically defenseless. The rest of the world is screaming about how America must not practice any "protectionism" whatsoever, but think about this: When an American company exports a car to Japan, they put a 30% tariff on it, but when a Japanese company exports a car to America we only put a 2% tariff on it. We are being exploited by the rest of the world and they are desperate to stop us from doing anything to protect ourselves. We, as a country, must remember there is nothing wrong with rational tariffs and reasonable protection of our domestic industries.

We had better hurry though, because America doesn't have many domestic industries left to protect.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Republicans stripped pandemic preparedness funds from the stimulus bill

What comes around goes around...
When House Appropriations Committee chairman David Obey, the Wisconsin Democrat who has long championed investment in pandemic preparation, included roughly $900 million for that purpose in this year's emergency stimulus bill, he was ridiculed by conservative operatives and congressional Republicans.

Obey and other advocates for the spending argued, correctly, that a pandemic hitting in the midst of an economic downturn could turn a recession into something far worse -- with workers ordered to remain in their homes, workplaces shuttered to avoid the spread of disease, transportation systems grinding to a halt and demand for emergency services and public health interventions skyrocketing. Indeed, they suggested, pandemic preparation was essential to any responsible plan for renewing the U.S. economy.

But former White House political czar Karl Rove and key congressional Republicans -- led by Maine Senator Susan Collins -- aggressively attacked the notion that there was a connection between pandemic preparation and economic recovery.

Now, as the World Health Organization says a deadly swine flu outbreak that apparently began in Mexico but has spread to the United States has the potential to develop into a pandemic, Obey's attempt to secure the money seems eerily prescient.

And his partisan attacks on his efforts seem not just creepy, but dangerous.
This goes back to the Republican cult-like belief in "small government". Their argument has long been that government has no role to play in public health issues. Thus, they ridiculed the idea that the government should spend any money preparing for a pandemic.

Let us remember that this belief extends to disaster relief, which was why we saw the abysmal federal response to Katrina in 2005. That's why "Brownie" didn't think anything of it when he wasted 24 hours trying to find a dog sitter while a major American city was drowning. He wasn't supposed to have a role to play anyway. The Red Cross and private charities were supposed to handle that stuff. In the minds of most Republicans the federal government was only there to shoot looters.

This is just a reminder of why Republicans suck so badly at governing. They don't believe in government. A Republican in government is like an atheist being a priest.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Lawrence O'Donnell sets a wingnut straight

This is an excellent smackdown of a neocon who was actually trying to defend torture.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Freed Pirate Hostage Accuses Limbaugh of "Hate Speech"

This is pretty interesting.
The right wing is predictably having kittens.
They don't take criticism of their leader very well.

Shane Murphy, the second-in-command aboard the American merchant ship seized by pirates, lashed out at Rush Limbaugh for the talk show host's racial characterization in discussing the rescue of the ship's captain by the Navy.

Murphy, who returned to his Seekonk, Mass., home Friday, called Limbaugh a purveyor of "hate speech."

In commenting on the rescue of Capt. Richard Phillips by the Navy Seals who shot and killed the three Somali pirates who were holding him captive, Limbaugh generated controversy when he called the pirates "black teenagers."

"There you have it, three teenagers shot on the high seas at the order of President Obama," said Limbaugh according to a transcript of an April 14 broadcast on his Web site.

"Just imagine the hue and cry had a Republican president ordered the shooting of black teenagers on the high seas," Limbaugh said.Murphy said Limbaugh's remarks were unacceptable.

"It feels great to be home," Murphy said. "With the exception of Rush Limbaugh who is trying to make this into a race issue.

It's disgusting.""The president did the right thing. It's a war. It's about good versus evil. And what you (Limbaugh) said is evil, that is hate speech. I won't tolerate it," Murphy said.

Quote of the Week

I saw this on another site and had to share it. The far right in America desperately wants to sweep the issue of torture under the rug because they are afraid of being held responsible for their actions. They really screwed themselves when they decided to become cheerleaders for torture.

"The United States participated actively and effectively in the negotiation of the Convention . It marks a significant step in the development during this century of international measures against torture and other inhuman treatment or punishment. Ratification of the Convention by the United States will clearly express United States opposition to torture, an abhorrent practice unfortunately still prevalent in the world today....

...The core provisions of the Convention establish a regime for international cooperation in the criminal prosecution of torturers relying on so-called 'universal jurisdiction.' Each State Party is required either to prosecute torturers who are found in its territory or to extradite them to other countries for prosecution.

...By giving its advice and consent to ratification of this Convention, the Senate of the United States will demonstrate unequivocally our desire to bring an end to the abhorrent practice of torture."

Ronald Reagan in a signing statement ratifying the UN Convention on Torture, 1984

Saturday, April 18, 2009

"Nothing better than a dead liberal"

I made this video the other day while walking around the tea bagging event in St Clair Shores. I only had a couple of minutes but you couldn't walk five steps without running into some kind of wacko.

The first woman was holding a sign that read "Honk if you support the constitution". I asked her exactly what she thought was threatening the constitution now and then I asked her if she had been out protesting for the constitution over the last 8 years. The second person was holding a sign that read "brew the liberals" so I stopped and asked exactly what that meant.

Tea Bagging Hypocrisy

This picture is worth 1000 words.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Media Lies about Employee Free Choice

There are a lot of lies being spread about the Employee Free Choice Act and many of them are being spread by the corporate media.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

On This Day We Choose Hope

This is going to be one of the classic lines that come out of President Obama's first speech. Let us hope that we can live up to that hope in the days to come. Let us hope that we can all rise to meet the challenges before us.

God Bless America.

Deliver us from evil.

Liveblogging the Inauguration

As I sit here and watch the inauguration on television I wonder, in my own cynical way, are we being played yet again by the corporate powers-that-be? Is this another huge game of 'good cop, bad cop', with Bush playing the bad cop and now Obama playing the good cop? I have high hopes, but at the same time I look around me and I do not see the organization we need to overcome the opposition to the things we need, like single payer universal health care, public financing of elections, repeal of the patriot act, etc, etc, etc...

The one thing I agree with Rick Warren on that he said in his invocation:

"And deliver us from evil.


Cheney to spend inauguration in wheelchair

I saw this one line buried in an article this morning about the inauguration.

"On Monday, Vice President Dick Cheney pulled a muscle in his back, leaving him in a wheelchair for the inauguration."

This should make for an interesting image.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Why Obama's tax cut plan will not work

Let me break this down.

The problem with our economy today is a lack of consumer demand.

Sales are down because people are not buying stuff anymore. The "credit crunch" is only an issue because people are so overly dependent on credit these days.

We have plenty of supply. We have supply coming over from China by the boatload till it's coming out our ears.

What we lack is demand.

Every economy runs on a balance between the forces of supply and demand.
Supply is driven by primarily by productivity; by the ability to make things.
Demand is driven primarily by wages; by people having money in their pocket to buy things.

Productivity has been rising consistently for decades, but wages have been stagnant in America for the last 30 years. The real wage has actually been falling for the last 7 years.
People make the same amount of money they did ten years ago but costs have gone up so everyone effectively has less money.

As economist Kevin Phillips reported, the real inflation rate, if calculated the way they did just 25 years ago, before the government started fudging the numbers, is actually at 12% right now.

The right wing anti-worker, anti-union, corporatist forces have been trying to drive demand with debt instead of wages since the 1980s.

People stopped buying stuff with cash years ago and now it is to the point that there are actually television commercials for a credit card company that mocks people who use cash.

I grew up in a small blue collar town that had a couple auto plants in the area. 30 years ago, just about everybody who worked at an auto plant had a nice, middle class house, at least two American cars in the driveway, a cottage up north and a boat to go fishing in. The middle class was strong. 30% of the workforce was unionized. Consumer demand was high.

Now a days, people live on credit. Wages are stagnant and people have to make up for it with something, so they use their house like an ATM and they have an average of $8000 in credit card debt. Most people have long since sold their cottages up north and anyone who does still have a boat couldn't afford to take it out this summer. The average household savings in America is negative for the first time since the great depression. Only 6% of the American workforce is unionized today. Consumer demand is falling because people don't have the cash to pay for things anymore and interest rates on credit are going up even though the prime rate is at 0% for the first time ever.

The corporatists have been trying to fuel demand in the American economy with debt for the last 30 years in order to avoid raising wages. Credit cards were around for decades but their usage didn't explode until the 1980s, when the voodoo economists came to power.

Wages also work on the fulcrum of supply and demand. When there are more people looking for jobs than there are jobs available, it drives down wages because people are willing to work for less in order to compete for those jobs. Conversely, when there are more jobs available than there are people looking for jobs, it drives wages up because employers are willing to pay more as an incentive to lure workers.

Our good jobs have all been outsourced and all we have left is subsistence level wages at retail stores like Wal-Mart or a McJob in the Republican "manufacturing" sector flipping burgers. They are also bringing people over from India by the boatload to compete against Americans for the same shrinking number of good IT jobs available, which is driving down wages even further.

Obama's current plan for tax cuts is a bad one because tax cuts are not going to stimulate the economy. Tax cuts cannot raise anyone's wages significantly because they cannot be very large when the government is already running at a deficit. They will do nothing to help the people who are not working and they will do nothing to raise consumer demand because their effects will be extremely finite and limited. As much as I would love a tax cut I would love to see the American middle class restored even more.

What we really need is a massive jobs creation program. That would drive wages up and restore consumer demand.

What Obama needs to do is start a huge, comprehensive jobs creation program like the New Deal that would include government works projects, rolling back the Reagan and Bush tax cuts for the rich and getting out of "free trade" agreements with poor nations that only undercut our own workforce.

Opponents of this plan will cry "but that is government spending!".
Well, I have a question for them. What the hell do you call $2 Trillion in corporate bailouts besides government spending?

We already have massive government spending. All I am saying is that we should be spending that money on the right things that will help our entire economy for the long term instead of just giving handouts and corporate welfare to millionaires and billionaires.

Tax cuts only made things worse in 1929 when Hoover tried it and they will not work now.