about being liberal or conservative anymore y'all. That is a hype offered by the fascist whores who want to confuse the people with lies while they turn this country into an aristocratic police state. Some people will say anything to attain power and money. There is no such thing as the Liberal Media, but the Corporate media is very real.
How about this for a New Rule: Not everything in America has to make a profit. It used to be that
there were some services and institutions so vital to our nation that they were exempt from market
pressures. Some things we just didn’t do for money. The United States always defined capitalism, but
it didn’t used to define us. But now it’s becoming all that we are.
Did you know, for example, that there was a time when being called a “war profiteer” was a bad
thing? But now our war zones are dominated by private contractors and mercenaries who work for
corporations. There are more private contractors in Iraq than American troops, and we pay them
generous salaries to do jobs the troops used to do for themselves – like laundry. War is not
supposed to turn a profit, but our wars have become boondoggles for weapons manufacturers and
connected civilian contractors.
Prisons used to be a non-profit business, too. And for good reason – who the hell wants to own a
prison? By definition you’re going to have trouble with the tenants. But now prisons are big
business. A company called the Corrections Corporation of America is on the New York Stock Exchange,
which is convenient since that’s where all the real crime is happening anyway. The CCA and similar
corporations actually lobby Congress for stiffer sentencing laws so they can lock more people up and
make more money. That’s why America has the world’s largest prison population – because actually
rehabilitating people would have a negative impact on the bottom line.
Read the rest by following the link:
[SOURCE:Bill Maher | Fog City
Journal | 26 July 2009]
Sunday, 26 July 2009 at 11h 37m 47s
Lest you think the long awaited Bull market run has arrived
What's pushing the stock market upward? Mainly, unexpectedly positive second-quarter corporate
profits. But those profits aren't being powered by consumers who have suddenly found themselves with
a lot more money in their pockets. The profits are coming from dramatic cost-cutting -- including,
most notably, payroll cuts. If a firm cuts its costs enough, it can show a profit even if its sales
are still in the basement.
The problem here is twofold. First, such profits can't be maintained. There's a limit to how much
can be cut without a business eventually disappearing -- becoming, in effect, a balance sheet in
space. Secondly, when businesses slash payrolls to show profits, consumers end up with even less
money in their pockets to buy the things businesses produce. Even if they hold on to their jobs,
they're likely to fear that they won't have the jobs for long, which causes them to retreat even
further from the malls.
Friday, 24 July 2009 at 16h 46m 26s
Pollution makes you stupid
A new study published in the journal Pediatrics links mothers' exposure to high levels of
environmental pollutants during pregnancy to a four-point drop in children's IQ scores by age
"We know from many studies that the developing fetal brain is particularly vulnerable to neurotoxic
chemicals," says Perera. "One of the reasons is that it is rapidly developing. The defense
mechanisms present in the adult are not present in the fetus: these include detoxification and
repair enzymes." Exposure to pollution could cause direct genetic damage or epigenetic changes,
which are changes in how genes are expressed.
[SOURCE:Time magazine | Claudia
Wallis | 23 July 2009]
Friday, 24 July 2009 at 15h 8m 1s
The Health Care crisis in allegorical form
Wednesday, 22 July 2009 at 12h 12m 12s
The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009
A bill that cleared a House committee Tuesday would largely remove private lenders from the
federal student loan industry, generating an estimated $87 billion savings over 10 years to fund
more government grants and loans.
The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009 would eliminate an entire category of
student loans issued by private lenders and subsidized by the federal government, vastly expanding
direct lending by the government starting next July. Democrats would use the savings to fund a $40
billion increase in federal Pell Grant scholarships over 10 years, $10 billion in community college
upgrades and $8 billion in pre-kindergarten changes, among other uses.
Republicans opposed to the legislation say it amounts to a federal takeover of student lending.
Look, the government already controls the entire lending process -- it helps students directly and
it subsidizes private companies to direct funds to students. All Obama and his allies want to do is
make the process more efficient and cost-effective. And all Republican critics of the idea want to
do is keep the middleman in place to maintain the ideological facade of a "private" system.
I'm glad I'm not the only one who is starting to see through this mantra of privatization for
exactly what it is.
Wednesday, 22 July 2009 at 11h 35m 59s
The Budget Compromise
Click here for a discussion by David Dayen on the California budget compromise.
The voting has not yet occurred and it is quite possible that the lousy Rethuglicans might even now
actually still vote against the compromise.
Some people have to have it all their way. If you have a $10 item and I have $12, you refuse to
sell me the item for $10 because you know I have $12. Me telling you that I need the $2 to take the
bus after I buy the $10 item has no affect. You still want $12. The fact that no one will buy the
item at $12 doesn't faze you either. You saw my $12 as a market signal that prices need to go
higher and see dropping the price to $10 as a loss. Why should you give me an extra $2, right?
Exactly. That's what the Republican's are essentially doing. Crying about 2 bucks because they
think $2 more in their pocket is better than 2 times 10 million dollars to deal with the
economic budget crisis.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
UPDATE: Did you know that
Included in the budget is the first offshore drilling in California in 40 years, at the
Tranquillon Ridge site off the coast of Santa Barbara. This represents a power grab by the Governor
and the Legislature, taking the authority for drilling leases away from the State Lands Commission.
The drilling deal actually calls for an end date on the entire existing platform by 2022, but
that appears completely voluntary on the part of the PXP energy company doing the drilling, because
the federal government holds jurisdiction over the existing platform.
The deal would privatize welfare and social services enrollment, essentially a $2 billion dollar
annual giveaway to provide a function government has shown itself capable of providing. The
philosophy that brought you no-bid contracts to Halliburton in Iraq has come to California. other
states who privatized their enrollment systems have suffered higher costs and enrollment problems.
School districts can reduce the school year by a week under this plan to save money, and special
education students can be exempted from the High School Exit Exam.