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.
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.
Tuesday, 21 July 2009 at 11h 38m 21s
I love Robin Williams
Monday, 20 July 2009 at 19h 43m 17s
Ladies and Gentlemen : Ronald Reagan speaks, circa 1961
Keep in mind that Ronald Reagan's job in 1961 was as a hired vocal salesperson. Specifically he
worked for General Electric, which was one of the ivory posts of the early 60's American Corporations.
Not much has changed since 1961 in the minds of the Republicans. They are still battling
non-existent illusions because they are hired agents fighting for the narrow-minded interests of the
spoiled foolhardy elite who would rather profit from the costly dysfunctionalism of the health-care
Monday, 20 July 2009 at 11h 15m 12s
The Republican empty talk machine
Speak softly, and say nothing at all.
A young lady asks Republican PartySock-puppet Chairmen Michael Steele, "Do
Republicans support an individual requirement to get coverage?"
Says Steele, after the questioner explained what she meant be "individual requirement", and after
Steele restates "require individuals to get coverage", Michael Steele says this:
Look, uh, this is one of those areas where there is a difference of opinion, and look, uhm, I don't
do policy. [reaches up to push glasses on his face] I'm not a legislator. My point in coming here
today was to begin to set a tone and a theme if you will and approach to addressing this issue
that's centered bottom up, that is centered on real people who are struggling with this issue every
Notice how he doesn't answer the question. Notice how he excuses his inability to say anything of
substance by uttering the phrase, "I don't do policy. I'm not a legislator."
In other words, "There are a lot of big insurance companies that fund the Republican party who like
the idea of mandatory coverage paid for by the individual, but look uhm, I don't do policy. My
point in coming here today is
to act like I care about the problems of real people, and I assure you that we are still struggling
every day to figure out how to increase the monetary revenue from the bottom up ...."
Sunday, 19 July 2009 at 21h 59m 17s
Meet Wendall Potter
Click here for
a Bill Moyers interview with Wendall Potter, ex-CEO of Cigna Insurance who provides a great deal of
insight into the insurance company actions.
Sunday, 19 July 2009 at 21h 19m 56s
This is hella funny
Sunday, 19 July 2009 at 12h 23m 23s
The paradigm of short term thinkgin
This myth of "can't afford social services" right now, so we should cut it off is ridiculous. Real
people are affected by these cuts. And the payments to a large majority of these "social services"
is actually meant to save the community and individuals a lot of money in the long run.
Investment in many different social services programs is a cost upfront that will become an
aggregate much larger expense if not created by government and paid for by taxes.
Do you pay a traveling nurses aid who can service 10 people in an 8 hour day for $12 an hour
plus transportation costs of $5 a patient -- thereby allowing older people to stay at home -- or
subsidize private nursing homes for $200 a day?
Do you cut the police community interaction officer that earns a $65,000 salary, or deal with
increased criminal incidents and the accumulated costs of increased crime in the larger community --
auto thief, jail costs, court costs, burglaries, injuries that require hospitalization, and death
Do you fund a network of half-way houses for troubled teens and runaways, or do you ignore the
reality of that social phenomenom, the consequences of which are unwanted pregnancies, drug-abuse
and alcoholism, and increased criminal activity.
Do we cut funding for after school programs, or leave students on their own to find some way to
occupy their time among other choices, which thereby increases the number of youthful indiscretions
that occur -- or stunts the full development and choices our youth are exposed to in addition to
limiting their contact with good positive role models?
Do we cut funding for first-time mothers and create situations where more young girls will make
bad decisions because they are under incredible economic duress?
Spending on social services is also most needed during economic downturns so that the downside isn't
so deep that it prolongs the duration of the bottom. When the upfront investment in society doesn't
occur at the front-end of the economic downturn -- if we cut everything under the notion that we
"can't afford it" -- the only result is a more prolonged downturn that will be exponentially more
expensive than if we just paid the money in the beginning.
There are viable plans involving small tax increases which will enable the cuts to social services
to be manageable. But the governor and his Republican allies are acting like fools. They don't
understand economics and they don't care.
Saturday, 18 July 2009 at 15h 3m 50s
The current state of Health Care Reform.
For a Fourty minute audio assessment of all the various facts and players involved in the process of
Health care reform, Click here. Jonathan Cohn is interviewed on NPR radio on 16 July 2009.
The interview is very informative, and provides much insight about what has been going on, who the
major players are and what their moves and motivations might be.
Saturday, 18 July 2009 at 10h 3m 18s
A Republican Congressmen states the truth
A caller to a C-span show says “the insurance companies are the ones controlling what tests you
can get, when you get them, how you get them and if they’re accepted or not.”
Republican Congressmen from Pennsylvania, Tim Murphy agrees :"one of our big frustrations with
insurance companies is they control the market place, they control what’s done, a lot of times
doctors not making the decisions here."
Already, 1 in 6 metropolitan areas in a 2008 study of more than 300 U.S. markets is dominated by a
single health insurer that controls at least 70% of consumers enrolled in health maintenance
organizations or preferred provider organizations, according to the American Medical Assn.
"It becomes difficult for patients to have choice and doctors to get their patients the care that is
needed because a monopoly has been created," said Dr. James Rohack, a Texas cardiologist and AMA
president-elect. "Patients don't have as many other options."
Health insurers long have billed industry consolidation as a way to better control costs through
efficiencies and leveraged buying power.
Medical-care providers say the promise of efficiencies historically has not lowered premiums to
"The promise of saying we are going to come together and have administrative efficiencies and these
other projected savings" never comes to fruition, Rohack said. "Most of these [health plans] have
different IT platforms and software, so it is a false promise of being more efficient compared to
what their track records are."
So if the government does not provide a public option there will be no competition because just like
the Republican congressmen admitted, insurance companies "control the marketplace."
Friday, 17 July 2009 at 19h 57m 47s
The scare tactics of tax increase on the upper 2% of income
The opposition to a surtax on incomes over $350,000 is said to be a bad idea during a time of
recession. This is another favorite critique by those who don't understand economics but profuse to
be business oriented and knowledgeable about the free market. Another favorite criticism is used
when times are
good. In that scenario, the opposition to small tax increases is that it will stunt economic growth.
Either way, its a fallacious argument. Investment decisions by those who control the spigot of
large financial accumulations are what actually creates and stunts economic growth. Cutting or
raising taxes does not influence this reality at all.
The surtax plan is as follows: beginning in 2011, the plan would target all income over
$350,000 a year for families and $280,000 a year for individuals. The surtax would start at 1
percent, rise to around 1.5 percent for families earning more than $500,000, then step up again, to
around 3 percent, for families earning more than $1 million.
At a minimum this is $2,800 for a
single person who makes $280,000. If this person has the typical leftover income of 20%, or
$56,000, this person would still have more than $50,000 leftover to save or do whatever. Not a big
deal, right? Especially if you no longer have to worry about health insurance and insurance
companies ruining your finances because they decide to interpret your health care coverage against
your best interest.
More importantly however, the idea that these individuals actually use these leftover funds to
create economic growth. This is somewhat true if these funds are left in a bank as deposits , FDIC
insured, or put into certificates of deposit, but then the banks who use these aggregate funds will
still use them to pursue their own short-term profit goals. There is still no large-scale
guaranteed outcome that results by the investment of these funds. Participating in the owning of
buildings or stock certificates is not creating economic growth. Economic growth occurs when funds
are spent to develop new technologies, build factories, roads, electronic and internet
infrastructure, to build buildings that are used for libraries or schools or as community resources
like parks and recreation centers and civic centers. Commanding a greater share of the profit from
the existing infrastructure of economic marketplace relationships is not the same thing as actually
creating sustainable entities within society or the economy.
Tax cuts to wealthy people do not get invested in economic growth. They are either swallowed up by
short-term consumption, or they are invested in interest-bearing securities. For instance: A lawyer
that gets an
$11,000 tax cut buys a brand new $3,000 suit, takes a more expensive vacation, and puts an extra
$2000 grand in their retirement fund. Which means more than 80% is spent within the year as
consumption (suit + vacation). Imagine if that $11,000 was instead collected by the government to
first rate high-speed train system across the united states, or was invested in free college
education, or was spent on universal health care, or used to repair the thousands of bridges and
roads that are in bad shape across the nation. Or....
Saying this surtax is a bad idea in the face of a recession also ignores the fact that it will only
affect 2% of the entire population. 98% of the entire United States will not be affected at all.
"At a time like this." I think I've read critiques similar to this about a thousand times now. I
guess it sounds mighty clever, .... But it's nonsense. The "pay-or-play" payroll tax increase
doesn't go into effect until 2011 — and if the recession isn't over by then we've got way bigger
things to worry about than a minor increase in payroll tax receipts.