Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Paul Ryan's "Path to Prosperity" relabelled as "emergency toilet paper"

Paul Ryan is lost, lonely and angry on his "Path to Prosperity". 
He has lost his way and claiming that it's all other people's fault.  WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 25:  House of  Representa...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Recent Paul Ryan statements:

“The president and his party have decided to shamelessly distort and demagogue Medicare,”

“It’s a preview of the scare tactics, distortions, demagoguery, to try and scare seniors,”

He's not going to get away with it.  What kind of politician bundles  the elimination of medicare with even lower taxes for the wealthy and corporations?  Obviously, to Paul Ryan poor people have too much money and they need to spend more of it on medical care so that rich people can have bigger yachts. 

 Paul Krugman fires all guns at Paul Ryan; afterward Ryan's "Path to Prosperity" relabelled as "emergency toilet paper"
But the reality is that the Ryan plan is turning into a political disaster for Republicans, not because the plan’s critics are lying about it, but because they’re describing it accurately. Take, for example, the statement that the Ryan plan would end Medicare as we know it. This may have Republicans screaming “Mediscare!” but it’s the absolute truth...
The new program might still be called Medicare ... but it wouldn’t be the same program. And ... the ... vouchers — which by 2030 would cover only about a third of seniors’ health costs — would leave many if not most older Americans unable to afford essential care.
If anyone is lying here, it’s Mr. Ryan himself, who has claimed that his plan would give seniors the same kind of coverage that members of Congress receive — an assertion that is completely false. ...
Dana Milbank of the Washington Post; slowly roasts Paul Ryan with Ryan's own "Hypocrit Sauce"

Paul Ryan's "Path to Prosperity", is only a path of lower taxes for the wealthy and a path to the poorhouse and diminished care for 98% of Americans

Warning: this video shows a Paul Ryan look alike throwing grandma off the cliff. 

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Famous Republican Lies, part 2 Ex-1/2term Governor Sarah Palin (R)

August 2009  Sarah posts this on facebook
"The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's "death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society," whether they are worthy of healthcare. Such a system is downright evil."

I count 6 distinct lies in this statement.  House Bill H.R. 3962 download it here. (pdf) contains nothing even remotely like her statement.  Let me repeat House Bill H.R. 3962 does not include anything remotely similar to her statement.

Obama's "death panel"The Lies of Sarah PalinImage by elycefeliz via Flickr
 There was no death panel and Obama certainly would never be part of one
bureaucrats can decide
 A large part of this bill was taking "decisions" away from health care companies that would "decide" that people had pre-existing conditions and therefore they didn't have to pay for treatment. 
 subjective judgment 
 She is just making this up, there are no subjective judgements in the bill
"level of productivity in society"
 You can do a word search on the 1990 page healthcare bill and no where does it mention "level of productivity in society"
worthy of healthcare
 Likewise, no where in the healthcare bill does it ask if anyone is"worthy of "healthcare"
Such a system is downright evil."
you could say such a system would be evil if it existed.  But there is no such system in the U.S. now or in any of the pending health care bills that democrats have introduced.

 This is what Sarah Palin should have said instead:
 The America I know and love is not one in which ex-half-term governors with "terrorist" asperger's syndrome will stand in front of Fox's "yes, dear", panels so Fox bureaucrats can decide in a subjective judgement of fairness based on " low levels of taxation on society" whether they are worthy of political office.  Such a system is downright evil"

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Famous Republican Lies, part 1 Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IO)

Welcome to Part 1 of my new series:  Famous Republican Lies.  They have a talent for bald faced whoppers.  I have no idea how they look at themselves in the mirror, oops forgot they don't have reflections. Here is senator Chuck Grassley (R-IO) lying about the healthcare bill, he starts lying 32 seconds into clip.

"In the House bill, there is counseling for end of life,",  "You have every right to fear. You shouldn't have counseling at the end of life, you should have done that 20 years before. Should not have a government run plan to decide when to pull the plug on grandma."   the Iowa Independent.

Grassley hits the trifecta, four sentences and 3 lies.
In the House bill, there is counseling for end of life
There was a provision to pay for end of life counseling if the patient requested it.   There was no government run plan to decide when to pull the plug on grandma.   It merely allowed Medicare to reimburse doctors for end of life counseling; living wills and hospice care it was a completely optional plan.  Meaning no patients at any time were required to have the counseling.  WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 23:  Ranking member Sen...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
"You have every right to fear.
There was nothing to fear in the provision.  This is just plain scaring the elderly for political gain.  Chuck Grassley thinks that by terrifying the senior citizens of his district he can score political points.  Absurdly, in hindsight the only thing to fear was Chuck Grassley's demagoguery.
Should not have a government run plan to decide when to pull the plug on grandma.
There was obviously no  plan to pull the plug on grandma.  But Chuck Grassley had to make this up.Later, Grassley admitted there was no "government run plan to pull the plug on grandma" but did not apologize and claimed that it was Obama's fault!!  He also said:  there are some people who think it is a terrible problem that grandma is laying in a bed with tubes in her… and that the government should intervene. I think that's a family or religious thing that needs to be dealt with."  He lies again. 
In 2005, Grassley supported legislation that injected Congress into the Terri Schiavo saga. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IO) voted to authorize the government to intervene in end of life decisions.  How would you like the republican legislature making decisions about you while your lying unconscious in a hospital bed.  They did for Terri Shiavo, against the wishes of her husband and the doctors.  Party of small Government? 
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IO) we remember your lies.
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Why did the Republicans oppose the automobile bailout?

DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) said:  “If it were up to the candidates running for president on the Republican side, we would be driving foreign cars.  They would have let the automobile industry in America go down the tubes.     
How could the Republicans be so wrong on the auto bailout?  They were adamant and vociferous in their opposition to saving the American automobile industry.

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.)
"I know that I don't want Speaker Pelosi and Harry Reid designing the car that I drive, and I don't think any New Yorker -- or any American -- does, either,  "Washington, the president, Congress, none ... has any business running that car company. They'll run it into the ground."

 Rep. John Boehner (R-OH):
“Does anyone really believe that politicians and bureaucrats in Washington can successfully steer a multi-national corporation to economic viability?” [6/1/09]

Minority Leader Mitch McConnel (R-Ky)
"Even if we grant that these companies would fail without taxpayer help, we would still have to ask ourselves whether the proposal before us achieves the goal that everyone claims to embrace -- namely, the long-term viability of ailing car companies -- and, in my view, it does not."

U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, (R-S)
Now the government has forced taxpayers to buy these failing companies without any plausible plan for profitability. Does anyone think the same government that plans to double the national debt in five years will turn GM around in the same time?”(He fails to mention that his party DID double the debt in the last 8 years)

You might think it was part of their general plan of obfuscation towards any agenda President Barak Obama tried to advance.  However, President Bush tried to get the republicans to pass an automobile industry saving bill also, and he failed.   Was it just the idea of bailing out companies?   Hardly, most of the republicans voted for the massive financial bailout.  House Republican leader Rep. John Boehner got on the floor and cried urging his fellow republicans to bail out wall street to the tune of 700 billion dollars.  The auto bailout was peanuts compared to the 700 billion financial bailout.

House Minority Leader John Boehner called the auto bailout ‘neither fair to taxpayers nor sound fiscal policy’ but that statement could apply to the financial bailout also. John Boehner represents Ohio, the heart of the automobile industry.   Rep. John Boehner had to have a good reason to fight against the automobile bailout.  However, neither  Rep. Boehner or any other Republican failed to advance any cogent argument to deny the bailout.  Notwithstanding Eric Cantors ludicrous fear of driving a car designed by Nancy Pelosi.

Then came this leaked memo from the RNC:  

From: Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 9:12 AMWASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 03:  House Minority Lead...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
To: Subject: Action Alert -- Auto Bailout
Today at noon, Senators Ensign, Shelby, Coburn and DeMint will hold a press conference in the Senate Radio/TV Gallery. They would appreciate our support through messaging and attending the press conference, if possible. The message they want us to deliver is:

"1. This is the democrats first opportunity to payoff organized labor after the election. This is a precursor to card check and other items. Republicans should stand firm and take their first shot against organized labor, instead of taking their first blow from it. 
Again, the hardest thing for the democrats to do is get 60 votes. If we can hold the Republicans, we can beat this."

This memo is incredible.  It shows a callous emptiness and selfishness bereft of any patriotism.  1-3 million U.S. jobs were riding on the survival of the U.S. auto industry.  It was unclear whether the U.S. was heading into the second great depression and the republicans are talking about striking a blow against organized labor?! Clearly, from this memo and the actions of the Republican leadership show their priorities were not about creating a viable economic nation with benefits to all.  Rather they would see 1-3 million more unemployed and all the heartbreak that entailed to millions of Americans in order to strike a blow against organized labor and gain a political advantage. We should not have been surprised this year with the formidable  assault on unions and voting rights from republican legislatures all across the country.  For Republicans its all about the power, government for the rich by the rich and to hell with everyone else.

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

A flurry of "Big Brother Bills" by the supposedly small government party

Mass. State Senator Richard Ross Republican (the small government party) introduces a bill mandating no dating or sexual conduct in the home without the expression permission of the court.    
"Section 31 of chapter 208 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2004 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following paragraph:-
In divorce, separation, or 209A proceedings involving children and a marital home, the party remaining in the home shall not conduct a dating or sexual relationship within the home until a divorce is final and all financial and custody issues are resolved, unless the express permission is granted by the courts"
Florida:  An NRA sponsored bill that has passed both Republican dominated houses in Florida makes it illegal for pediatricians to ask new parents about guns, gun ownership or gun safety.  The NRA’s Tallahassee lobbyist, Marion Hammer, says that “we take our children to pediatricians for medical care — not moral judgment, not privacy intrusions.”  DANI ALEXIS RYSKAMP: Succintly states the problem in the Perpetual Post:  "Letting pediatricians ask whether parents have guns and, if so, how to store them so kids don’t get hurt is, apparently, a major privacy issue that requires the intervention of a state legislature to solve."

In 1999  alone 3,385 children and youths were killed by gunfire.  Of those 3,385 deaths, 73 were under the age of 5.  More children were killed by gunfire in this country in one year than casualties in all the 9/11 attacks.  (2002 national Safety Council: Injury Facts)http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/guns.htm

 Virginia Foxx (R-NC) passed a law in the house last week that limits what medical schools can teach medical doctors.  That's right Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC) is banning knowledge.  Can't have our doctors too smart, or too well trained.  It's unknown if her amendment advocates the burning of medical textbooks.  
 the Foxx amendment passed 234-182.

from the Guttmacher report:
To date, legislators have introduced 916 measures related to reproductive health and rights in the 49 legislatures that have convened their regular sessions. (Louisiana’s legislature will not convene until late April.) By the end of March, seven states had enacted 15 new laws on these issues, including provisions that:
You can read the report here, mostly concerning abortion, abstinence only sex education and restricting private insurance coverage of abortions  this only the FIRST QUARTER!

The Republican Party does not want any regulations on the oil industry, wall street, coal fired power plants, media companies or just about any other business or area of government. They would love to disband the Environmental Protection Agency.   However, when it comes to people's individual lives, especially women, they want lots of regulations. The Republican party has gone amok, restricting or eliminating by law: Women's healthcare, sexual conduct, sex education, medical knowledge, STD's , birth control and pediatric care.   It won't be long before some republican legislates that all women from the age of puberty wear a wireless fetal heart monitor 24/7 whether they are pregnant or not.  Republicans have never meet a uterus they didn't want to regulate.  Oh wait, illegal immigrant uteri are not to be regulated, just deported.

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You know your a Republican if:

Image from Wikipedia
Are you a republican?
  1. your an old white male
  2. you have one or more yachts
  3. you have 3 or more homes
  4. currently have, are looking for or recently broke up with your mistress
  5.  you own or have use of a private aircraft
  6. think medicare should be eliminated
  7. think social security should be eliminated
  8. you are in the top 2% income bracket
  9. you pay little or no taxes and cheat on the ones you do pay
  10.  you have a 500,000 dollar or more credit line at Tiffany's
  11. you own significant amounts of gold
  12. you are an avid church goer and/or evangelist
  13. you believe your personal beliefs are more important that women's rights/gay rights.
  14. you feel the need to apologize to corporations if they have to pay taxes or fines
  15. you believe Global Climate Change is a hoax
  16. you believe evolution is a hoax and creationism should be taught in schools
  17. you believe the earth is 7000 years old
  18. you believe public education is against your best interests and should be stopped anyway possible
  19. You believe you are smart and the public isn't
  20. you watch Fox news exclusively
  21. you believe mass transportation is for the masses and you are not one of the masses
  22. you think wars are great but would never fight in one
  23. you said "drill baby drill" anytime in the last 3 years
  24.  Russia is visible from your house
  25. you believe aid for disaster relief needs to be cut from other programs
  26. instead of raising taxes on corporations or the wealthy, thousands dying without medical care is a sacrifice you are willing to make.
  27. you would rather pass laws limiting abortion than laws creating jobs
  28. you believe in trickle down economic theory (here's a picture of republican trickle down economic theory at work in an American City) Warning Graphic!
  29. You believe that its good to reduce revenues without reducing spending and you did that for a decade. 
Six years ago, “it was standard practice not to pay for things,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. “We were concerned about it, because it certainly added to the deficit, no question.”
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    Paul Ryan's Priorities

    This is my 100th post.  Fitting it should be about Paul Ryan as it was his right wing conservative wish list and lying (2.8% unemployment!!) budget that motivated me to start this blog.    It's estimated that 45,000 people die unnecessarily in the U.S. every year because they lack insurance and cannot get good care. [1.]  Every other industrialized nation provides health care for the entire population except us. [2.]  Now, Paul Ryan and the Republicans are saying we can't afford to take care of our seniors either?  Maybe not when large corporations like G.E., Bank of America and Exxon pay zero taxes.[3.]  Maybe we can't afford health care for our seniors when we give oil companies huge tax subsidies.  We all know what a tough time the oil companies have had lately.  Maybe we can't afford health care for our seniors because the tax rate on the wealthy is the lowest since the 1930's.  Paul Ryan thinks the "road to prosperity" is to lower those taxes even more and eliminate medicare. If Rep. Ryan was so concerned about the deficit how could he vote for two unfunded wars, the unfunded bush tax cuts, the unfunded Medicare part D. and the unfunded financial bailout?  All those unfunded votes of Paul Ryan doubled our national debt.[4.]  Wall street, corporations, drug companies and the wealthy benefited greatly from Paul Ryan's unfunded votes and now he wants the elderly to pony up and pay the price of his ridiculous eight year spending spree.    As recently as last August Paul Ryan wrote an opinion piece strongly urging that the Bush Tax cuts be extended.  The Bush Tax cuts are the single largest driver of our deficit.   Paul Ryan and his Republican cronies represent the richest corporations and the wealthiest individuals in this country.  If your not a corporation or in the top 1 or 2 percent Rep. Ryan has no interest in representing you and if you show up to protest will have you arrested.   Rep Paul Ryan and his wealthy clients feasted on an expensive 8 course dinner, then skipped out and left the check with the retired couple at the next table.

     [1.] Harvard Medical Study
     [2.] Institute of Medicine of the National Academies
     [3.] Bernie Sanders top-10-list-of-corporate freeloaders
     [4.]  George Bush doubles the national debt
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    Friday, May 27, 2011

    Ban political spending by Corporations that get most of their money from Government contracts

    Dwight D. Eisenhower photo portrait.                      Image via Wikipedia "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.  We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."
    Dwight D. Eisenhower 1/17/61

    From MoveOn.org:
    Right now giant defense contractors like Lockheed-Martin, Halliburton, and Blackwater are allowed to funnel taxpayer money from government contracts into lobbying and secret political contributions for their friends in Congress.
    President Obama is taking on this perverse cycle by considering an executive order that would require corporations doing business with the government to disclose their political spending.1
    In a new video, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich calls on President Obama to go further and ban all political spending by corporations that get most of their business from government contracts."

    sign the petition and help stop the out of control defense spending

    1. "Obama order could make corporate political spending public," Los Angeles Times, May 8, 2011Story here

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    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    Eric Cantor: No help for Missouri tornado victims unless spending is cut elsewhere

    photo from cantor. house.gov
    The reported deaths in Joplin, Mo are over 117 with over 232 people still missing.  The f5 tornado leveled large portions of the city.  I saw a picture of the Joplin home depot store, it didn't look anything like a building.  Whole blocks of the city have been devastated.

    Amid the destruction comes this from Eric Cantor: no help for Missouri unless spending is cut elsewhere.  ??  Since when did Rep. Cantor have a problem spending money or increasing the debt?  Eric Cantor had no problem with the completely unfunded Bush tax cuts.  He had no problem cutting revenue and not cutting spending.  As a matter of fact during the Bush and Cantor administration the federal deficit doubled.  Eric Cantor also had no problem with running two wars on the credit card.   He also was perfectly fine with the big unfunded medicare part D that he, the republicans and George Bush passed.  Darn, that Eric Cantor also voted for the unfunded 700 billion dollar bailout of the financial industry when George Bush was president.   But the fact that his wife worked for one of the banks that got bailout money did not in any way influence his decision to give the 700 billion, surprisingly without 700 billion in cuts elsewhere.  So what is his objection to helping Americans in need now?  They are poor and not wealthy.  The average family income in Joplin, Mo is 39,500 per family.  So obviously, they are not in the top 2% income bracket and not part of the small segment of the population that the Republicans represent.  They did find a mere billion for Joplin by cutting 1.5 bill for electric cars.  The extra .5 billion was annoyance money for bothering the Republicans with minor matters especially concerning poor homeless people. 
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    Psychology Today was wrong, wrong, wrong

    photo from Change.org
     Lets fight bullshit science wherever and whenever we find it.  Please click the link and sign the petition
    from Change. org:
    "A week ago, the magazine Psychology Today published an article titled "Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?” on its website. Within hours, following widespread outrage and criticism, the post disappeared.
    Colleagues and peers of Satoshi Kanazawa, the article's author, have since analyzed his same data and unanimously (and unsurprisingly) found his conclusions in error.
    Yet Psychology Today has remained silent. They have refused to apologize or even explain why they published the article.
    Articles like Kanazawa's are more than offensive or spurious—they're deeply harmful because they promote racist and sexist stereotypes as science.
    That’s why documentary filmmaker Aishah Simmons and academic Alisa Bierria are leading a petition on Change.org to call on Psychology Today to apologize and take transparent steps to prevent the publication of racist and sexist material in the future.  
    Click here to sign Aishah and Alisa's petition.
    Kanazawa's article never would have survived a thorough and responsible editorial process. In fact, the author himself doesn't stand up to review.
    Kanazawa has a history of pushing discredited research and is particularly notorious for making meritless claims about race and gender. (He is also known as the mind behind the much-mocked book Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters.)"
    *UPDATE 6/02/11* 
    The efforts of you and more than 75,000 other ColorOfChange members paid off.1 Psychology Today has now agreed to remove controversial author Satoshi Kanazawa, the author of a deeply offensive article regarding Black women, from its website, and they have implemented new policies to prevent inflammatory content in the future.
    It wasn’t easy or a foregone conclusion. After staying silent for almost two weeks, Psychology Today on Friday issued an apology, but they refused to say how they would prevent such a situation from happening again. Then hundreds of ColorOfChange members started calling the magazine by phone, along with additional pressure on Facebook and Twitter demanding a clearer response — at which point Psychology Today came correct and did the right thing. 
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    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Paul Ryan's "Path to Prosperity", is only a path of lower taxes for the wealthy and a path to the poorhouse and diminished care for 98% of Americans

    The Senate voted on Rep. Paul Ryan's plan to eliminate Medicare and give tax breaks to millionaires today.  All but 5 Republicans in the Senate voted to eliminate Medicare and pass the savings on as tax breaks to millionaires.  The house passed Paul Ryans' "Path to Prosperity" 235-189.  Every democrat voted against the house and senate bill and all but 9 Republicans voted for it.  275 Republicans in D.C. voted to eliminate Medicare?   It's clear by their votes that Republicans have no idea of how the majority of Americans live.  They just don't see how vital Medicare and Social Security  is to the average American.  I'm not sure who they are representing other than the religious right, corporations and the very wealthy.  They will need all the money and cash they can get from the Citizen's United decision to hang onto their seats next election. 

    In this video Paul Ryan tries to defends his plan.  Paul Ryan thinks that your 77 year old grandma, as a conscientious consumer is better at cutting costs than the government? Where did he get the idea that someone who needs heart surgery is a consumer and not primarily a patient?  The next time you break your leg, be sure and shop all the available hospitals and clinics to find the best price before they set your compound fracture.  Republicans are out of touch, people who need medical treatment are patients NOT consumers.

    Rep. Nancy Pelosi won't let the republicans lie about their plan to end Medicare

    Today, Paul Ryan accused Democrats of "shamelessly demagoguing"  and using "medi-scare" tactics.  Pointing out that Paul Ryan's Path to Prosperity, is only a path of lower taxes for the wealthy and a path to the poorhouse and diminished care for 98% of Americans is not medi-scare tactics.  It's the truth. Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize winning economist who writes for the NY Times has the best one paragraph description of the Ryan plan:

    "What I hope regular readers of this blog understand by now is that the Ryan plan is, in fact, a self-serving piece of junk. It doesn’t add up — in fact, it would probably make the deficit bigger not smaller. And far from representing some kind of sacrifice of political interests in the service of the greater good, it’s a right-wing wish-list on steroids: sharp tax cuts for corporations and the rich, savage cuts in aid to the poor, and a gratuitous privatization of Medicare. And again, it’s technically incompetent along the way."
    Paul Krugman

    sign Senators Patty Murray, Barbara Boxer and Charles Schumer petition for keeping Medicare not tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires.

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    Elizabeth Warren

    Elizabeth Warren from Credo
    Consumers can find no better honest and enthusiastic advocate than Elizabeth Warren.  She is an articulate and clear thinking spokesperson against the dirty tricks and shenanigans being pulled by wall street and the banks.  Four years ago she put forward the idea for a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  She has pushed tirelessly for this new agency.  But the republicans do not want her to head it, and have repeatedly tried to dumpster the agency.  Al Franken wrote,: "Since the president appointed Elizabeth Warren to set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau she has proven she can stand up to Wall Street.  Now, it's time for a permanent leader to be appointed and, because Republican senators have vowed to block anyone, it's up to President Obama to use his constitutional power to bypass Republicans and make a recess appointment."

    Now the Republicans have decided to make  personal attacks on Ms. Warren.  This clip of Chairman Patrick McHenry, R (NC-10) displays an almost unbelievable lack of respect and rudeness.  In essence calling Ms. Warren a liar is completely uncalled for. 

    Here is congressman Congressman McHenry's fan page on facebook, Comments anyone?

    Add your name to a letter urging President Obama to do a recess appointment of Elizabeth Warren to the new consumer financial protection bureau: from the Progressive Change Committee
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    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    Paul Krugman on the Ryan Plan

    "What I hope regular readers of this blog understand by now is that the Ryan plan is, in fact, a self-serving piece of junk. It doesn’t add up — in fact, it would probably make the deficit bigger not smaller. And far from representing some kind of sacrifice of political interests in the service of the greater good, it’s a right-wing wish-list on steroids: sharp tax cuts for corporations and the rich, savage cuts in aid to the poor, and a gratuitous privatization of Medicare. And again, it’s technically incompetent along the way."

     Paul Kruman is a Nobel Prize Winner in Economics 
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    I get OUTSTANDING mail from Nancy Pelosi

    Kathy Hochul from her Facebook page

    It is my great pleasure to report that tonight, thanks to you, Democrat Kathy Hochul has won a triumphant grassroots victory in the special election in NY-26.

    Victories like this are what happen when we fight together to protect our core Democratic values.

    Congresswoman-elect Hochul’s victory in a staunchly-Republican district has shocked the political world and sent an unmistakable sign that the American people will not stand for the Republicans’ reckless and extreme agenda to end Medicare.

    This is our third straight special election victory in New York -- and it is truly one for the ages. All of the Republicans’ right-wing outside groups with their secret money and dishonest attacks were no match for the combined strength of grassroots Democrats.

    Thank you again for fighting to protect and defend Medicare and bringing us one step closer to regaining our Democratic House Majority.

    Nancy Pelosi
    Democratic Leader

    Congratulations to Kathy Hochul and all the Democrats who worked for her victory.  This is only the 4th democrat to be elected in that district since 1857.  This really is incredibly wonderful news.

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    The Republican Health Care Plan: "Don't get sick"

    We have to be fair. "Die quickly" is only half of their healthcare plan. The first half is "Don't get Sick".  Congressman Alan Grayson D, Fl said that last year during the healthcare debate on the floor of the house.  The Republicans spent Massive dollars in his district and unfortunately, he lost.  Yesterday in an Interview with Cenk Uygur, Alan said:  " Every other industrialized country in the entire world not only provides health care for its seniors, but health care for everyone. And the Republican right wing is trying to tell us that somehow we can't afford health care for our seniors. We’ve got 40,000 Americans under the age of 65 who die every year, because they can't afford to see a doctor when they're sick. And now they want to extend that [tragedy] to the most infirmed, most victimized, sickest part of the population, our senior citizens, so that more will die."

    You can contribute to Alan Grayson's new campaign here
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    I get great mail from Bernie Sanders

    The average citizen in the U.S. has no better champion than Senator Bernie Sanders I, V.  He has long been a staunch advocate for the poor and the middle class.  He worked tirelessly for the Public Option in the healthcare fight.   Here is Bernie explaining the budget fight with passion:

    "The most important point to understand about Washington today is that extreme right-wing Republicans now control the House of Representatives and are hell-bent on destroying every piece of legislation established in the last 80 years which protects the interests of working families or the most vulnerable members of our society. You and I, working together, must not allow them to do that.

    The major vehicle the Republicans will use to protect the interests of the rich and the powerful against the needs of ordinary Americans will be the budget process.

    In this clip Bernie Rails against the Republican budget

    Despite the fact that the budget deficit exploded primarily as a result of Republican policies pushed through during the Bush years – two wars, tax breaks for the rich, the Wall Street Bailout, the Medicare Part D prescription drug program written by the insurance companies – ALL UNPAID FOR – the Republicans now want to balance the budget on the backs of the middle class and the most vulnerable people in our society.

    As a member of the Senate Budget Committee let me briefly describe what the budget passed by the Republican House of Representatives (the so-called Ryan budget) would do:

    · At a time when 50 million Americans have no health insurance and the cost of health care is soaring, the Republican budget ends Medicare as we know it by giving senior citizens inadequate vouchers to buy health insurance from private insurance companies. The result is that seniors would, on average, see their out-of-pocket expenses more than double - increasing by over $6,000 a year. The Republican budget would also cut, over ten years, $770 billion from Medicaid, vastly increasing the number of uninsured Americans, and threatening the long-term care of the elderly who live in nursing homes.

    · At a time when the middle class is collapsing and unemployment remains sky-high, the Republican budget makes savage cuts in education, nutrition, housing and virtually all aspects of the social safety net that low and moderate Americans depend upon. It also substantially reduces funding for infrastructure, energy, environmental protection and almost every investment that could rebuild our country and create decent paying jobs.

    · Amazingly, while the Republican budget wages a vicious and unprecedented attack against the needs of working families and the poor, Republicans do not ask the wealthiest people in this country, whose tax rates are now the lowest on record, to contribute one penny toward deficit reduction. Nor do they propose to do away with any of the loopholes that enable extremely profitable corporations to pay little or no federal income taxes. Quite the contrary! The Republican budget actually provides one trillion more in tax breaks over the next ten years for the very rich.

    · Further, at a time when defense spending has more than tripled since 1997 and now consumes over half the discretionary budget, the Republicans do nothing to reduce unnecessary military spending.

    As a member of the Budget Committee, I will not support a plan to reduce the deficit that does not call for shared sacrifice. At least fifty percent of any deficit reduction plan must come from increased revenue from the wealthy and large corporations. Further, there must be no cuts to Social Security – a program which has not contributed one nickel to the deficit.
    Bernie's Homepage where you can sign up for "Bernie's Buzz"
    You can contribute to Bernie Sanders Campaign here
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    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Stop the Republican War on Women

    From People for the American Way:
    "The Tea Party and Religious Right-dominated House of Representatives passed one of the most sweeping attacks on choice ever. If we can't stop it in the Senate, the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" (H.R. 3) will resurrect the failed "Stupak ban" from the health care debate, effectively banning even private coverage of abortion care ... and a tax provision in the bill will could mean that rape and incest survivors who choose abortion care would be audited by the IRS.
    We expect that Republicans in the Senate will now try to push this legislation through as an amendment to another bill. Senate Leadership can't let H.R. 3 be sneaked onto the floor as an amendment and ALL Senators need to know that Americans oppose the House GOP's war on women."

    Dear Senators,
    Americans want jobs, not extremist attacks on women's fundamental constitutional rights. Senate passage of H.R. 3, the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," would be a disaster for women's rights and their basic health care.
    Please OPPOSE H.R. 3 and do all you can to STOP the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act."

    You can sign the Petition by People for the American Way here

    Planned Parenthood 
    Sign up for Planned Parenthood's Action Center  
    Pro-Choice America is waging an active campaign against HR3:" Stop the War on Women"

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    Take Medicare Cuts off the Table!!

    Well done, Robert Reich.  I concur whole heartedly.  Mr. Reich knows what he is talking about.  He was labor secretary during the Clinton administration.  During the Clinton administration  23.1 million jobs were created.  The George "unfunded" Bush years saw 3 million jobs created.  That's not a typo, 3 million jobs.  That's only 375,000 jobs a year for 8 years.  Wow, those unfunded Bush tax cuts really got the economy rolling.  Bush had the worst record on jobs EVER.  Source: the Wall Street Journal

    "The current President Bush, once taking account how long he’s been in office, shows the worst track record for job creation since the government began keeping records." –Sudeep Reddy

    The Bush tax cuts created the worst job environment ever.  Why do Republicans continue to lie stating that "cutting taxes, creates jobs"?  Where is the evidence?  We have very strong evidence over 8 years that they do NOT create jobs.  Let's raise revenues by raising taxes on the top 2% and make sure corporations pay their fair share of taxes.  No more corporate Welfare Queens, yeah, we're looking at you GE and Whirlpool.

    Bernie Sanders top 10 list of corporate welfare Queens

    Petition from People for the American Way:
    "Dear Members of Congress,
    Just one month after voting to extend billions of dollars in oil industry subsidies, and one week after it was reported that G.E. and other major corporations essentially paid no U.S. taxes due to loopholes and refunds, How can you consider an extremist proposal to pass the cost of corporate welfare and the burden of our deficit onto the elderly, the poor and the struggling middle-class?
    REJECT Rep. Paul Ryan’s draconian plan to punish Americans in need. Leave Medicare alone and rein in corporate welfare."
    Sign the petition telling Congress to Leave Medicare Alone
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    Sunday, May 22, 2011

    Today's Daily Bread

    For today's bread I tried something new.  Wheat Montana, premium white unbleached and unbromated all purpose flour.  For years I have only used unbleached flour with good to excellent results.  If there is a problem, it's usually traced to the baker.  The loaf seems about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch taller than usual.  Haven't tried it yet.
    Here is a link to my bread recipe with instructions and photo's.
    The new flour gave wonderful results.  Lighter, with more bubbles, great texture.  I stopped off at the grocery store and bought 3 more bags of the Montana flour. 

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    Sen. Paul Unfunded Ryan says "huh?"

    In this clip Paul Ryan says "we need to address the drivers of our debt".  He also claims that the reason we are running into the debt limit so soon is because of the spending spree over the last two years.  Mr. Ryan seems to forget his votes for two unfunded wars and the unfunded Bush tax cuts.  Did he also forget that he voted for the completely unfunded Medicare part D,  George Bush's gift to the pharmaceutical industry?  He should change his name to Paul Unfunded Ryan.  We can all imagine Paul Unfunded Ryan ordering a 15 course dinner then after eating the fortune cookie, complains he's had too much to eat.  Paul Unfunded Ryan , still oblivious to his own contribution, is still asking in wide eyed wonderment what is driving the debt.  Meet Chad Stone who is Chief Economist at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, where he specializes in the economic analysis of budget and policy issues.

    Thank you Chad Stone
    Even a quick glance at this chart displays the terrible price Paul Unfunded Ryan's and George Unfunded Bush's tax cuts and wars have inflicted on our budget.  Hey, Paul Unfunded Ryan, you and George Unfunded Bush is mostly what is driving this debt!!  Remember Budget surpluses, we had them when you and George Unfunded Bush first arrived in D.C.  An age old proverb states you save in times of plenty so you have something in times of lean.  George Bush: "I earned some capital.  I’ve earned capital in this election — and I’m going to spend it."  Paul Unfunded Ryan and George Unfunded Bush, spent all our capital.
    Now Paul Unfunded Ryan wants to know what is driving the debt?  
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    Saturday, May 21, 2011

    Comcast FCC Ccommissioner pt. 3

    from FCC.gov
    Meredith Baker has defended her move to NBCUniversal.
    In a statement issued last week, she said "I'm proud of my nearly eight years of government service, and especially my service as an FCC
    Commissioner under Chairman Genachowski's leadership."

    Well, lets see if she has anything to be proud about.

    • BROADBAND: The FCC declares that "All Americans should have affordable access to robust and reliable broadband products and services.  Regulatory polices must promote technological, neutrality, competition, investment and innovation. "

    So how does the U.S. stack up for "robust and reliable broadband"?
    Image: Communication Workers of America

    In a FCC report the U.S. is lagging behind in broadband adoption, ranking 12 out of 33 nations in fixed broadband households.

    The U.S. ranks 9th in broadband speeds (we rank below Romania).

    So for "reliable and robust" internet connections the U.S. is far far from number 1.  We didn't even make the top 10 list in households with broadband.  Overall, a very poor showing.
    • Net Neutrality:  As part of the FCC her stated purpose is to maintain "technological neutrality".  However, she has been a frequent and vociferous opponent of net neutrality.
    FCC’s Meredith Baker slams Net neutrality plan. From Politico

    Another poor showing on Ms. Baxter's part, here she didn't even try to protect net neutrality and was an active opponent.

    • Media: "The Nation's media regulations must promote competition and diversity and facilitate the transition to digital modes of delivery."
    Meredith Baker voted to approve the  Comcast/NBC merger.  In what way does the Comcast/NBC merger improve diversity, lower prices or provide additional competition?  You'll seek in vain for anything that significantly improves life for the average consumer in the FCC report.  But Comcast/NBC reap many benefits from the deal.

    You can read the full FCC report on its approval here.

    But it does say:  "This transaction would effectuate an unprecedented aggregation of video programming content with control over the means by which video programming is distributed to American viewers offline and, increasingly, online as well. The harms that could result are substantial."  "It would also have the incentive and ability to hinder the development of rival online video offerings and inhibit potential competition from emerging online video distributors that could challenge Comcast’s cable television business."

    Wait, "unprecedented aggregation" "substantial harm", "the ability to hinder and inhibit competition"??   This sounds like a good case to DENY the merger.  So far, you and I the average citizen has received no benefit from this merger, on the contrary it has many grave dangers and disadvantages.  So how is the FCC going to protect the consumer from the threats of substantial harm to diversity and competition?  

    from the report:
    "Because of these and other threats posed by the proposed transaction to competition, innovation, and consumer welfare, the Commission has developed a number of targeted, transaction related conditions and Comcast has offered a number of voluntary commitments to mitigate the potential harms the proposed combination might otherwise cause."

    Your kidding?   The FCC admits that this merger provides grave threats to competition and diversity.  To protect the citizens of the U.S. from these dangers we have "voluntary" commitments by Comcast.  They promise to be good?!!  That level of self-regulation didn't work very well on wall street, or in the gulf of Mexico. 

    Let's summarize Meredith Baker's accomplishments at the FCC:  During her tenure at the FCC the U.S. has fallen behind in internet speeds and in broadband access, she has been an active opponent of net neutrality and she has approved a merger that threatens competition and diversity in a key component of our economy that could cause grave and substantial harm to not only the communications industry but our democracy as well.  In short, she can be "proud" that she got a big fat check from Comcast/NBC for making decisions that help Comcast/NBC and endanger, stifle or provide zero benefit for everyone else in the country.  Did I mention that she was a Republican Commissioner?  This feels like  government by the corporations and for the corporations. 

    Here is a petition to demand Congress investigate Meredith Baker
    Expecting Darrel Issa, R  to do a thorough investigation of this is like expecting Pinochio to become an arsonist.  In the senate we have Patrick Leahy, so we have a chance.

    U.S. Government fully funds education!!

     The Onion scores with this piece
    WASHINGTON—According to bewildered and contrite legislators, a major budgetary mix-up this week inadvertently provided the nation's public schools with enough funding and resources to properly educate students.
    Sources in the Congressional Budget Office reported that as a result of a clerical error, $80 billion earmarked for national defense was accidentally sent to the Department of Education, furnishing schools with the necessary funds to buy new textbooks, offer more academic resources, hire better teachers, promote student achievement, and foster educational excellence—an oversight that apologetic officials called a "huge mistake."
    Photo by Gage Skidmore
    "Obviously, we did not intend for this to happen, and we are doing everything in our power to right the situation and discipline whoever is responsible," said House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), expressing remorse for the error. "I want to apologize to the American people. The last thing we wanted was for schools to upgrade their technology and lower student-to-teacher ratios in hopes of raising a generation of well-educated, ambitious, and skilled young Americans."
    "That's the type of irresponsible misspending that I've been focused on eliminating for my entire political career," Ryan added.