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Where have we been?

March 8, 2011
by
Plaseebo x Hellopike Skulloctopus

I don't know what this is, but it sure is funny.

I am taking a vacation from politics. 

The recent events in Wisconsin and Libya and our glorious leaders’ (all of them) responses to these things (none) have been causing me a great deal of anger and anxiety lately.

Luckily, the message seems to be getting out and the working people of this country are getting PISSED.  I will be back in a week or two when the Xanax and Vodka have done their jobs… 

Selena

THANK YOU Scott Walker. I am NOT crazy!

February 24, 2011

FINALLY, after feeling like podcasting and sounding like a crazy conspiracy nut yelling about how the rich own the government and are trying to purposely destroy the middle class, Wisconsin Douchebag Supreme, Scott Walker, decides to dismantle the teachers’ unions sparking a massive revolt by America’s workers.  With moveon.org working on plans to march on state capitals in all 50 states this weekend, I cannot help but to feel THANKFUL that I was not just imagining things. 

Then I see this:

February 23, 2011 07:00 PM
Jeffrey Sachs: This is the Billionaires Final Deed of Crushing Workers to the Maximum Extent

(See the video here)

This is the transcript:

Columbia University Professor Jeffrey Sachs sat down with Lawrence O’Donnell to discuss the coordinated efforts by Republican governors to help billionaires like the Koch brothers deal a final blow to unions and the working class in America. I guess if we can thank Scott Walker for anything, it’s reigniting the labor movement in America and for being the reason we’re seeing conversations like this one take place on television. They’re long past due.

O’DONNELL: You hear in that phone call the governor saying, I’m talking to John Kasich every day. This is what we’ve been suggesting here, that it feels to us like this is a national Republican governors movement. This is not just one state trying to get control of its budget. It seems that phone call shows us that this is, the hope is that this governor will be able to spread something nationwide.

SACHS: Well this is absolutely coordinated. There’s no doubt about it and it’s not an accident that one Republican governor after another is trying to crush the unions and crush workers in general. And what’s astounding is we have the greatest inequality in income and wealth in the history of this country and you have the billionaires going out to absolutely do the final deed of crushing workers to the maximum extent. It’s amazing what’s going on.

O’DONNELL: George Will’s column has what I thought was the smoking gun on this even before the phone call where he praised, of course George Will loves what the governor’s doing and the governor says to him that he’s hoping that if his bill succeeds, that eventually union members will look at their unions and say “Why do we need this”?

SACHS: The reason they need it is that the wages have been going down while the income at the top has been soaring. And what these billionaires have been doing is buying up the whole Congress, now buying up the governors to make sure they never have to pay taxes again. And then we have these huge budget deficits because they don’t pay taxes any more. And what do they want to do? Cut the benefits for the poor, cut the education, stipends, cut the wages of the teachers.

This is, it’s unbelievable, the game that’s going on in this country. A little bit of it was exposed today, but this is absolutely vile, given what’s been happening in the last twenty years. We’ve got workers going down, we’ve got billionaires soaring and they’re doing everything they can to put in that final twist.

O’DONNELL: And why would the Kochs care about a little union question in a state like Wisconsin?

SACHS: Well what they’re doing, they have business in Wisconsin. They have polluting industries all over this country. They have bought up all the Congress on the Energy Committees in the House and the Senate on the Republican side to make sure we never do anything about the coal industry, about oil, about our dependence on imported oil, on climate.

They have bought everything they can in politics. They’re making sure they never have to pay a tax, they never have to do any environmental control.

O’DONNELL: Would Ronald Reagan look at what’s happening today and say “Yes!” Governor Walker is the inheritor of my spirit? This is the lesson I was trying to teach by firing air traffic controllers?

SACHS: He might. It is true that Reagan got a lot of this started, of this unbelievable surge of income wealth and inequality. We’ve never lived like we do right now with the middle class disappearing in this country and the rich in a contagion of greed trying to crush the bottom and I think Reagan did get that started. People revere him to this day in this country, but the fact of the matter is that when you look at how the middle class started this decline in America, it was in the 1980’s when the tax cuts on the top were given, the budget deficits opened up, they started to squeeze education, social spending. They were breaking this country in two. That’s what’s happening.

O’DONNELL: Now in a lot of the discussion that I’ve listened to over the last year about public education in this country, there seems to be a rather relentless, conscious and sometimes subconscious attack on teachers’ unions. Teachers are the problems. The scores aren’t going up because of the teachers. It seems like they’ve isolated the teachers as the reason why the schools are the way they are. It seems to me that we’ve got some kind of political spillover from that dialog into the anti-union talk that we hear now.

SACHS: Well that dialog itself is a gimmick. It’s trying to find a cheap way to take a social crisis that we have in this country and find someone to blame. You have poor kids that can’t make it right now and so blame the teachers, not blame the poverty, not blame the neighborhoods, not blame the inability of mothers to provide a decent day care for their children, that their children get decent preschool.

So this is part of the same story actually which is we’re crushing the middle class in the country and then the rich who want to pay no taxes are doing everything they can to blame the poor and it’s out of control. It’s spiraling out of control. And where is President Obama right now frankly when we need him to be defending the basic values of this country? We need to hear his voice.

DIVIDE AND CONQUER: The truth about Wisconson

February 24, 2011
by

From Progressive.org

Walker Tells Wisconsinites: Nobody Should Get Decent Benefits.
By Ruth Conniff, February 23, 2011

 
Governor Scott Walker held what he called a “fireside chat” with Wisconsinites yesterday, in which he told citizens of the state that he would not budge on his so- called “budget repair” bill and its provision depriving public sector unions of the right to bargain.
In the ten-minute address, the governor used anecdotes about an out- of-work autoworker in Janesville, a substitute teacher sidelined in the walk-out last week, and his own brother, a banquet manager and occasional bartender, who has to pay $800 a month for health insurance.
The point of these anecdotes–about Wisconsin citizens struggling to scrape by in tough economic times–was not to offer a plan to help people find desperately needed health insurance, or help fund their retirement or college savings.
Just the opposite.

The point of Walker’s anecdotes was to say that public sector employees, who enjoy decent health care and retirement benefits, have it too good. In other words–everyone should be like struggling, non- union private sector workers who can’t get to a doctor or save for college or retirement.
No more promises of good economic times, of “trickle down” wealth spilling over the majority of citizens.

This is the true message of Walker and the whole Koch brothers- funded right-wing assault on unions: sowing resentment among workers who are not unionized in order to make the argument that working families who have made it into the middle class should be dragged down and lose their purchase on a decent life. (italics are mine)

The brazenness of the attack on ordinary, working folks is amazing.
The pension and health care contribution hikes Walker is asking for have already been agreed to by Wisconsin’s public sector unions. “Reforming” collective bargaining is the real point of his “budget repair” bill. (As well as the provisions that allow him to sell off Wisconsin’s public utilities to his cronies in no-bid contracts, and concentrating power over regulation and rule-making in his office, overthrowing democratic governance in the state.)

The irony of stealing the title “fireside chat” to stick it to the citizens of Wisconsin is overwhelming. FDR used his fireside chats to calm a nation riven by economic hard times and war. Walker used his pulpit to bash workers and tell them he fully intends to take away their benefits and their right to bargain–no matter how divisive the issue becomes with citizens.
As Walker told a crank caller posing as David Koch from the Buffalo Beast “I don’t budge.”

He outlined his next moves in the same call: forcing Democratic lawmakers to come to the floor of the state senate to pick up their paychecks, and pursuing legal action against them for not showing up to work. He has already threatened massive state worker layoffs.
In only a few weeks, Walker has become a national rightwing star and the most unpopular governor in Wisconsin history. If he wins this round and sticks it to state workers, there is a good chance there will be a general strike.

Now is the time for progressives around the country to come together, as the right wing has done so effectively to break unions.

NEW PODCAST POSTED

February 21, 2011
by

I felt compelled to record a random podcast to talk about the fucking Federal Budget because it’s a bunch of bullshit.  You can find it at Talkshoe.com at Because Politics Sucks, or you can go to the “Podcast” tab at the upper right to listen to it.  Also you will find links to some of the items I referenced in the podcast.  This is the stuff I read that makes my head steam.

-Selena

A Little about Obama’s 2012 Budget.

February 15, 2011

Oh, how I love the politics of running the country.  At a time when big business is calling “the end of the Recession” while still not hiring, and the middle class is rapidly becoming the working poor, President Obama has released his Budget plan for 2012. 

In the months since the last election in which Republicans took the lead in the House of Representatives (and for some reason that is not clear to anyone who understands how government actually works now have total control over all three branches of government), first came the “compromise”, where Obama gave over $5oo billion in tax cuts to kajillionaires so that he was allowed to spend $56 billion to “let” displaced workers continue to collect unemployment insurance.  Then he named TWO big business corporate superstars to prominent posts in his Administration.  The President has also been on a huge PR campaign where he is basically frolicking around with CEOs in an effort to prove how PRO-BUSINESS he is, which I can only assume is an attempt to make sure he re-election campaign is financed. 

The White House has been telling us all how we should truly feel sympathy for Mr. President because he has to make such tough decisions (I am sobbing into my hankie right now), and so the release of the budget plan for 2012 should truly have come as no surprise.  Any time that the government talks about “tough decisions”, the middle class and the poor should run for cover, because those tough decisions will almost always be decisions that will dramatically affect them and leave the tiny obscenely rich minority who is untouchable further untouched.

The biggest news was that Obama proposes hacking away at the LIHEAP (Low Income Heat Energy Assistance Program) so that thousands of poor families will have to choose between starving or freezing to death.  But don’t worry.  We’ll still be spending about $120 billion in Iraq and Afghanistan, where obviously we do so much good!

Frankly, I find it hard to hide my disappointment with President Obama.  Far from being someone who is really working on behalf of the People, he has focused his attention on making sure that the Rich recover from the Recession unscathed and crossed his fingers hoping that the rest of us would bounce back on our own.   His “solutions” in the proposed budget that address the problems of the struggling working class involve things like work-sharing (where people get to work part-time instead of not at all, but also instead of full-time jobs where the employer has to offer benefits), increasing funding to help temporarily shelter homeless people while cutting funding to programs that help people who are at risk for homelessness, and increasing funding for Federal prisons (I suppose so that homeless people will have someplace to sleep after all?).  And who can forget the increase in funding to push breastfeeding!  That will keep the middle class intact!

There are some proposals in there that I believe are truly necessary.  He DOES want to cut (but not eliminate) subsidies to oil and gas companies, which I am sure you can imagine I would cheer for.  He wants to raise taxes on Wall Street (which I doubt will actually happen) and wants to (slightly) cut defense spending. 

But overall, it is a complete disappointment to those of us who believed we were electing an end to the status quo and were supporting a true leader who would use his position to protect and build the middle class in an effort to restore the American Dream for our children. 

I just LOVE this guy. Seriously.

January 29, 2011
by

Is Kucinich worried about not being able to fund his re-election?

January 27, 2011

This article was posted on Overlawyered.com.  I am truly shocked that he is suing for so much when obviously, his GOVERNMENT HEALTH INSURANCE covered his medical and dental costs and I am also sure that the congressional cafeteria is publicly funded….  I’m just saying…

Rep. Dennis Kucinich sues House cafeteria over olive pit in sandwich

by Walter Olson on January 26, 2011

He bit into a sandwich wrap in 2008 and encountered an olive pit, and now he wants $150,000. [Cleveland Plain Dealer, Wonkette, Memeorandum]

P.S. Gawker finds video taken five days later on the House floor in which the Ohio representative “looks fine and talks normal” notwithstanding the “serious and permanent dental and oral injuries requiring multiple oral and dental surgeries.” And Daniel Fisher at Forbes:

No indication why Kucinich mulled this lawsuit for three years before filing it. Or how he plans to get around the District of Columbia statute of limitations on personal injury claims, which could mean he was SOL after only a year.* The lawsuit alleges negligence and breach of implied warranty.

*Commenter “Mattie” says the SOL in DC for this type of suit is indeed three years, though it would be one year for some other torts.

Who besides the People’s Congressman would be willing to name America’s olive pit safety crisis and call out the Big Pit interests responsible.

Here’s the link to the original article:

http://overlawyered.com/2011/01/rep-dennis-kucinich-sues-house-cafeteria-over-olive-pit-in-sandwich/comment-page-1/

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