Two Old Oaks Spring wallpaper – Tea Baggers Versus The American Worker

Two Old Oaks Spring wallpaper

The tea bagger elitists, who collect their Social Security and Medicare, in between attending astroturf sponsored rallies where they are bussed in by the Koch brothers, better really have the number of supporters they claim to have in 2012. Tractors Roll Into Madison, As Wisconsin Readies For The Biggest Protest Yet

Wisconsinites from every background, every religion, every politics and every job have filled the Capitol Square for the past month.

Their message has been clear and unequivocal. They oppose Scott Walker’s assault on working families. They oppose the lawless actions of legislative leaders who are more determined to advance the governor’s political agenda than to respect their colleagues or to serve the interests of the whole state.

[   ]…The tractorcade, organized by the Wisconsin Farmers Union and Family Farm Defenders, will begin a day of rallying at the Capitol that is expected to be the largest yet — and that will signal the determination of Wisconsinites to keep fighting the Walker agenda.

“The governor wants to divide us,” says western Wisconsin farmer Joel Greeno, who will ride his tractor into the Capitol Square this morning. “But that won’t happen. The governor’s got his corporate contributors. But the state employees and the teachers, they’ve got us. Farmers understand that when you cut funding for road crews and schools, our rural communities get hurt. And we’ve been hurt enough.

Wisconsin workers and farmers will in the words of the tractorcade organizers “Pull Together!” That’s a slogan that recalled the historic organizing of the farmer-labor movements of the upper Midwest, which has their expression in Wisconsin in the Progressive Party that sent Robert M. La Follette Jr. to the U.S. Senate and elected Phil La Follette as governor in the 1930s.

The Right’s plan – exemplified by Fox, Michelle Malkin, FreedomWorks, The Gateway Punk and their assorted miscreants followers have really distinguished themselves by declaring all union members and their supporters “thugs”. Those thugs would be the bed rock middle-America exemplified by guys that protest on their tractors. Teachers, nurses, lawn maintenance workers, and firefighters that protest on weekends. The tea bag’s desire to dis-empower the working class movement – with candy ass heroes like Scott Walker and Chris Christie may have spit in the face of the wrong people, at exactly the wrong time. These people who the Right calls thugs – work, raise families and pay taxes. And they have reached their not going to take this anymore moment. The unions made concessions, only asking to keep their right to bargain – their right to exercise their 1st Amendment rights to free speech and to redress grievances ( you know stuff like class sizes that are too big) and Republicans took those basic human rights and shredded them like so much trash. I would only request the Right to keep it up. It’s like political fuel, Idaho passes Republican bill to curb union rights

The Idaho state legislature approved a bill on Tuesday to strip public school teachers of many of their collective bargaining rights while protesters in five states rallied against Republican efforts to curb union power.

The Idaho bill, which excludes issues like class size and workloads from negotiations for the state’s 12,000 unionized teachers, was given final approval by the Republican-led House and is expected to be signed by Republican Governor Butch Otter.

I have some sympathy for the desire to rework the seniority and merit provisions of some teacher contracts. That is something that can be done via collective bargaining, not for Republicans to act like mini-lite versions of Muammar Gaddafi.  Nearly Identical Anti-Labor Bills Appear In Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, Other States

David Koch’s Americans for Prosperity group has beefed up its presence in Maine since the election of Gov. Paul LePage (R), a far-right tea party favorite. Meanwhile, Maine’s Republican Speaker of the House hired Trevor Bragdon, the former director of the Americans for Prosperity state chapter in Maine. And Trevor’s brother Tarren is the executive director of the Maine Heritage Policy Center, a conservative state-based think tank with ties to several corporate donors, including Koch Industries. Both Americans for Prosperity and the Maine Heritage Policy Center appear to be laying the groundwork for the same type of anti-labor effort as Wisconsin’s led by Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI).

besides the obvious union busting the common thread to all this legislation is to it has nothing to do with saving state budgets. As Wisconsin unions noted several times, they had agreed to wage and benefits concessions. Walker gave away millions in state revenue to corporations that did not need them. Public Sector Unions Should Have the Right to Collective Bargaining – Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and his colleagues in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Idaho, and Tennessee are wrong in trying to strip workers’ rights

And the absence of public sector unions does not necessarily help balance state budgets, either. Texas, which does not allow collective bargaining and has a very weak union movement, faces a $27 billion budget deficit over the next two fiscal years, a budget deficit similar in size to California’s, but with a much smaller economy.

Governments have budget problems because of the recession, which was caused by Wall Street speculation and not the middle-class lifestyle of teachers. Despite all the rhetoric to the contrary, public sector workers are not overpaid. They make about 4 percent less compared to similar employees in the private sector.

Public sector unions also are not newly powerful. Unionization rates for government employees are roughly the same as they have been for the past three decades. Government employees have already seen reductions in pay through furloughs, and 426,000 state and local government jobs have been cut since August 2008.

In 2012 the usual kool-aid drinkers will swear these anti-democracy governors saved their states money. Public employees, their families and friends will know otherwise. Unions Are Good for the Economy and Democracy

* Without unions, fewer workers get ahead. Shrinking union membership hurts all Americans. Corporations rather than workers are increasingly rewarded for growth in the economy. Long before the current financial crisis began, working families were struggling to make ends meet. American productivity has expanded by nearly 16 percent since 2001, but most of that economic boom bypassed workers, and real wages have remained flat. Corporate profits have meanwhile doubled since 2001, according to Moody economist Mark Zandi. Not since the 1920s has the link between economic growth and the well-being of the middle class been so tenuous. Labor’s decline squeezes the middle class, raises inequality, and undermines democratic values.

Unions are good for the economy. They can help foster a competitive high-wage, high-productivity economic strategy.

* Higher wages are competitive. Critics argue that union wages are too high and make it hard for American employers to compete globally. Yet competitiveness is also linked to productivity, quality, and innovation—all of which can be enhanced with higher wages. Henry Ford found in 1914 that paying employees $5 per day—double the auto industry’s prevailing wage—reduced turnover, allowing him to cut the price of the Model T and increase profits significantly. Ford commented that the $5 day was one of the finest cost-cutting moves we ever made.


Bachmann Mangles Revolutionary History In N.H.

“What I love about New Hampshire and what we have in common is our extreme love for liberty,” the potential GOP presidential candidate said. “You’re the state where the shot was heard around the world in Lexington and Concord. And you put a marker in the ground and paid with the blood of your ancestors the very first price that had to be paid to make this the most magnificent nation that has ever arisen in the annals of man in 5,000 years of recorded history.”

In fact, the 1775 Battles of Lexington and Concord that marked the first military engagements of the American Revolution took place in Massachusetts. But Bachmann did not correct her error when she referenced the battles again later in her speech.

If Bachmann, who like every other right-wing conservative, advertises herself as a strict originalists on matters of history and the Constitution, had made just the one gaffe. No big deal. People get hurried and nervous, and mistakes are sure to follow. The problem seems to be that Bachmann and her staff have made the same gaffe twice. They’re genuinely are unaware of the details of the  historical event they are using to make a point.

It’s bad enough to be ignorant of this seminal moment in American history. Worse still, Bachmann can’t be bothered to get basic facts straight even as she’s revving up a presidential bid. And she repeats her mistake without any apparent concern for accuracy, nor even an awareness that she’s blathering away in front of an audience that is surely far better informed than she is.

If Bachmann got $250k in government subsidies for remembering history maybe her memory would improve (Bachmann got $250K in federal farm subsidies).

Wanker of the Day: Larry Kudlow

In these tough economic times, isn’t it nice to know that calamitous natural disasters needn’t have an adverse affect on your investment portfolio? After the 8.9-magnitude earthquake in Japan failed to induce a market nosedive, CNBC’s Larry Kudlow expressed his relief in terms that seemed to appall even his fellow cheerleaders for capitalism: “The human toll here,” he declared, “looks to be much worse than the economic toll and we can be grateful for that.”

Conservatives do have values. They just happen to be the kind of values that place the losses of day-traders over people’s lives.

Majestic Mountain Lake wallpaper – A Republican Chorus of Liars

Majestic Mountain Lake wallpaper

Charles Krauthammer is a reliable echo of the Right’s latest talking points ranging from the fun to be had invading Iraq to celebrating the recreation of the Age of the Robber via conservative redistribution of wealth from the bottom half of wagers earners to the top 2%. Chuck has not made a relevant contribution to political discourse from either his lofty soapbox at the WaPo or his regular appearances on the Fox Disinformation Network in the past 10 years. His latest fact-less diatribe from WaPo proves the point, Et tu, Jack Lew?

Everyone knows that the U.S. budget is being devoured by entitlements. Everyone also knows that of the Big Three – Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security – Social Security is the most solvable.

Back-of-an-envelope solvable: Raise the retirement age, tweak the indexing formula (from wage inflation to price inflation) and means-test so that Warren Buffett’s check gets redirected to a senior in need. (emphasis mine)

It is my understanding that the basic ingredients of an opinion paper have not changed since I was in school. Your opening and usually fact based thesis is stated and evidence is than provided. Chuck starts out with a statement that is ridiculous on its face. The U.S. budget is sad shape because of a recession which is largely the result of conservative economic policies, lack of enforcement of financial regulation, runaway spending such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Medicare part D( an entitlement passed by Republicans with no provisions to provide revenue to pay for it. A travesty corrected by Democrats in 2009). Instead of a modest payroll tax cut suggested by Democrats in 2001, Bush and Rethuglicans passed the fiscally irresponsible Bush Tax Cuts, that were voodoo supply side economics on steroids. If Chuck’s assertions and attempts to remold the public narrative about where the country is financially, that is because it became the new narrative as soon as Republicans lost power in 2008. Like petulant little brats in $4000 dollar suits that refused to take responsibility for the failure of conservatism at manages the nation’s wealth. Chuck is simply doing his job as professional hack for the Right. Echoing the message of the conservative noise machine. The Heritage Foundation continues to be a big part of that noise and denial,

Heritage Foundation’s Analysis is Misleading

A recent Heritage Foundation report claims that tax cuts and other policies initiated during the Bush administration are not a significant factor behind the deficits we face in the coming decade.[10] Heritage places blame for the deficits squarely on rapid growth in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and interest costs, and dismisses the significance of weak revenues in general and the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts in particular. But Heritage’s analysis is both misguided and seriously misleading.

Did Chuck simply rewrite a Heriatge Foundation “study”. Probably. But Chuck’s laziness and plagiarism is a small matter compared to the disservice he does to honest discourse about our economic problems, where they came from and how to handle them.

…Heritage ignores the fact that the share of deficits accounted for by the Bush-era tax cuts will grow in future years as the impact of the economic downturn on deficits diminishes . Because the economic downturn and efforts to combat it have such a large effect on the deficit in 2010, the share of the deficit accounted for by the tax cuts seems relatively modest; we estimate that the tax cuts account for about one quarter of the 2010 deficit. But as the effects of the downturn recede, the tax cuts will account for a much larger share. In 2019, the tax cuts, if continued, will account for nearly three-fifths of the deficit. And, despite the growing impact of rising health care costs and the continued aging of the population after 2019, the tax cuts will continue to have a major impact on the deficit. The Center has estimated that not extending the tax cuts — or fully paying for the cost of extending them — would reduce the projected budget shortfall through 2050 by two-fifths. [13]

I’ve posted the chart below a couple of times. It was true previously and remains true no matter how much Chuck and the Heritage Foundation would like it not to.( I wonder where the “Heritage” factors into that foundation’s name. The Weimar Republic, perhaps). Chuck further embarrasses himself by jumping on the Social Security as ponzi scheme meme. The first I read of that hacktacular propagandists view of Social Security was some right-wing net magazine. How far Chuck has fallen to be taking clues from the conservative gutters,

Here’s why. When your FICA tax is taken out of your paycheck, it does not get squirreled away in some lockbox in West Virginia where it’s kept until you and your contemporaries retire. Most goes out immediately to pay current retirees, and the rest (say, $100) goes to the U.S. Treasury – and is spent. On roads, bridges, national defense, public television, whatever – spent, gone.

In return for that $100, the Treasury sends the Social Security Administration a piece of paper that says: IOU $100. There are countless such pieces of paper in the lockbox. They are called “special issue” bonds.

Special they are: They are worthless.

Charles Krauthammer Doesn’t Understand How Bonds Work

It’s nice that Mr. Krauthammer thinks that government bonds are worthless. (I have a standing request that he, or anyone else, pass along any government bonds that he considers worthless. We will use them to support CEPR.) While he is welcome to believe anything he wants, the bonds held by the Social Security trust fund are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Krauthammer may want to default on bonds that belong to the nation’s workers, but his desires are not the same as reality.

Selling these bonds to fund Social Security no more raises the deficit than the decision of a rich person to sell bonds to finance their consumption raises the deficit. The deficit was incurred when the money was lent to the Social Security trust fund in the first place.

There are a couple of trolls over at Bruce’s who seem to think bonds are debt, just in the way your mortgage is a debt. If you do not pay your mortgage you eat the loss. The same is not true of bonds.

Possibility located next to Dick Cheney’s bunker is the Republican school of Tax Bait and Switch, just above the basement where they have magic classes in which they teach that yelling falsehoods makes them true, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is a Darling of Republicans. It That Because He Lies Loud and Often

Some overstatements have worked their way into the governor’s routine public comments, like a claim that he balanced the budget last year without raising taxes; in truth, he cut deeply into tax credits for the elderly and the poor. But inaccuracies also crop up when he is challenged, and his instinct seems to be to turn it into an attack on someone else instead of giving an answer.

When Christie and Krauthammer watch “It’s A Wonderful Life”, they root for Mr. Potter. Christie, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, Ohio’s Governor John Kasich are all taking money from teachers, the poor, the elderly to pay for tax breaks for corporations that are back to making pre-recession profits.