Because it involves contraception and family planning:
Because it involves contraception and family planning:
…for protecting Freedom of (anonymous) Speech.
The consequences of Citizens United is well demonstrated by tonight’s Frontline program called “Big Sky Big Money.
Courtesy of Gina Rinehart, the richest woman on the planet, who inherited her family’s iron-ore prospecting fortune of $30.1 billion.
“If you’re jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain. Do something to make more money yourself — spend less time drinking or smoking and socialising, and more time working,”
Or maybe marry Gina and fight the estate (oops) I mean “Death” tax.
which is getting the billionaires to kill Obama with kindness – but not Todd Akin.
On the final morning of the Republican National Convention, Karl Rove took the stage at the Tampa Club to provide an exclusive breakfast briefing to about 70 of the Republican Party’s highest-earning and most powerful donors. During the more than hour-long session, Rove explained to an audience dotted with hedge fund billionaires and investors—including John Paulson and Wilbur Ross—how his super PAC, American Crossroads, will persuade undecided voters in crucial swing states to vote against Barack Obama. He also detailed plans for Senate and House races, and joked, “We should sink Todd Akin. If he’s found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts!”
Regarding the Gospel according to Rand – Ryan renounces Rand (or denies her like Peter denied his savior) and stops handing out her scripture. It must be Paul’s road to Damascus moment. I shrug.
My Buddy sent me this last week. I’ve only just now read it. It comes from a huge horse’s ass Andrew Breitbart. That said it is an important and as far as I can see journalisticly neutral appraisal of the politics of public employee union dues.
Here’s my take.
A. Public employees with enough seniority have very secure jobs.
B. As private sector unions have fallen on hard times over the past four decades of increasing “Right-to-work” labor laws the revenue from public employee’s union dues have become indispensable to the union movement as a whole.
C. The many rights won for all workers by unions in the 1940′s and 50′s have made union protection far less important in the eyes of workers with the result that many workers have adopted as anti union viewpoint as their fire breathing right-to-work fire employers.
D. Many of the protections that existed up until the Reagan ERA for workers are beginning to erode. The best example of this is medical coverage. This is just fine by a new Republican Party which has purged itself of moderate politicians who were comfortable with America’s less expansive version of Europe’s “cradle to grave” protection.
E. Today a right-to-work (and right to starve) GOP is faced with a public that has begun to notice that America has become a land of haves (Mitt Romneys) and have nots (the 99 percent)
F. Having done its best to put black drug sellers in prison and fence out Mexicans and cling to pale “european” skin the GOP is desperate to keep the Public employee Unions from raising money that could be used to challenge Republicans. They are probably right that unions grossly abuse their power to raise political funds from union members. There is a very big BUT in this assertion.
G. Here’s the BUT. The GOP inclined Supreme Court justices have givencCorporations an unlimited First Amendment right to spend money on politics as copiously as they wish. This threatens to turn American politics into a very unlevel playing field based on the 19th century premise that a corporation has Constitutionally guaranteed citizenship rights.
H. I think an equally persuasive argument could be made that corporations should have to allow their stockholders to withold political donations that they have not agreed to just as union members should have the right to deny their dues to be spent for political purposes to which they object.
I. If my point of view becomes law then both right wing business and left wing labor could find themselves muzzled. That would be OK by me.
If this chart is right then after the conclusion of the Depression and World War II it took the average renter a week’s income to pay for a month’s rent. Today it takes two and a half weeks income to pay for rent. That doesn’t leave much left to live and recreate on.
The founding father’s would have viewed it as such even if the laws today permit it. From a book review by Mathew Yglesias:
Lessig moves beyond quid pro quo corruption of the sort that typified the Gilded Age and recently ensnared such congressmen as Duke Cunningham of California and William Jefferson of Louisiana. Taking a broader view of the problem, Lessig develops a concept of dependence and independence that draws on the Founding generation’s obsession with the alleged corruption of Parliament at the hands of a monarchy that dispensed pensions and offices to compliant representatives. As part of this analysis, Lessig cites the anthropological concept of a “gift economy” to argue that a person can become indebted to another without any explicit agreement of a quid pro quo.
I just saw on the news tonight that there was a school board candidate forum held by the League of Women Voters…….
They didn’t bother advertising it or I might have sacrificed the third installment of Ken Burns’ Prohibition to attend it. I could see that it was held in the School Board meeting room. Wonder if they were trying to control crowds by keeping it secret. I’m kind of glad I didn’t go. The PBS series has been great. I learned to my surprise about a famous women voter in history that I’d not known about Pauline Sabin.
She damn near single-handedly reversed Prohibition. She even quit the Republican Party to do it. She hated hypocrisy. Wow! My kinda gal.
Maybe the women of the League should have stayed home with me to watch it rather than put on a secret side show. They could have learned a thing or two. No wonder the Republicans want to stop funding Public Broadcasting.
But its darned funny.
But there’s actual substance behind the punch line: Colbert is setting up a superPAC to run campaign ads. The FEC got involved when he asked for an opinion on how to finance the superPAC. His query suggested the possibility of a new loophole — a way for media companies to underwrite commentators with political ambitions.
Now Fox News can give Sarah Palin more than just a paycheck.
Today’s story on Dr. Dixon’s continued plundering of a million in Desegregation funds to fund all day kindergarten needs some explanation. Here’s mine. Dixon convinced some of his acolytes like former Board member Bevan Schraw that new schools would attract back students from Edison and elsewhere. The folly of that is belied by Edison’s plans to build a new school which would be able to accommodate another 200 students.
All day kindergarten will be the supposed carrot to lure families to the Duluth Schools. Certainly the completion of some elementary schools will be enticing but the ballooning classroom sizes will put a lot of parents off. My guess is that after three or four years of losing students until all the schools are finally completed there will finally be a stabilization with a much smaller student population.
Dr. Dixon is trying to hide this transfer of money by giving the Board options to supposedly fund the all day kindergarten. That’s bull, of course. The board might do some of these other things but it can and will only do it by taking deseg funds.
The current all day kindergarten in Duluth is set up as a program that guarantees poor families free all day K if they want it. Better off families can take advantage of it if they pay for it on a sliding scale just as they would day care. The Deseg program allows for smaller classrooms in the deseg schools with minority children. Until Dixon showed up this was slowly improving test scores in Duluth. Now these funds will be dispersed through out the District and will mean schools with richer school populations will draw this money off. In other words spending for minority students will be drawn away from them to implement all day kindergarten.
Dr. Dixon claims that his other alternative deseg spending will prove superior. The best reason to treat this claim with skepticism is his sorry experience in Faribault where minority students fared worse under his tenure. This was pointed out by former Duluth School Board member Eileen Zeitz Huddleson in letters to the editor shortly after he replaced Julio Almanza. Ironically, I pooh poohed Eileen’s letters in a rebuttal shortly afterward.
Dr. Dixon’s manipulation of race has been shameless. (more…)
I recently heard the author of the book Free Lunch give a speech in which he said that the Sam Walton descendents had earned a large portion of their fortune, if not most of it, from taxpayers rather than consumers. He claimed they did it by extorting huge tax advantages out of the communities that they wanted to build a Walmart store in.
I wouldn’t have commented on it except that I just opened this page unrelated to the book’s author. It is an animation of Walmart openings since the store was started in Arkansas by Sam. I imagined every town giving millions to the Walton family to get their own Walmart and beat out the other poor schmuck communities nearby which were too cheep to pay the extortion.
An interesting commentary on changes at Business Week Magazine which my Dad used to read religiously.
Are Americans really more obsessed with getting rich quick than Joe Sixpack’s place in the Economy? I guess that’s a silly question.
I’m very impressed with the Nobel Committee’s Peace Prize selection.
I heard about Yunus’s small loans several years ago on NPR and they make so much sense. I wish a few Republicans would pay attention to this as it is exactly what the party used to encourage before it got the idea that a free enterprise economy meant steering big government contracts to cronies and campaign contributors, making them rich, and easing their tax burden.
If there is any economic assumption that undergirds today’s Republican Party it is that Adam Smith had it right when he described the “invisible hand” that make markets work most efficiently.
Light-weight Republican hacks like Grover Norquist have been championing a simple-minded and corrupted version of Smith’s philosophy. Unaware or indifferent to Smith’s very real belief that fairness and charity should be introduced into the invisible mechanics of the soulless marketplace Norquist has said that his goal is to make “government so small that you can strangle it in a bathtub.”
Tom Delay Grover Norquist and a whole passle of Republicans are guilty of their own more selfish violations of the invisible hand. Perhaps camophlaged hand is a better discription of things like the K Street Project where Republican lobbyists ply congressmen and their staffs for statutory law which will tilt the invisible hand in their favor or win them government contracts like the many shabby ones granted during the Second Iraq War.
Today’s example of the GOP’s visible hand has to do with President Bush’s billion dollar Reading readiness program which got directed to good ole boys friends of the Republican Party.
Not surprisingly when good-ole-boys get overpriced federal contracts they turn around and contribute a hunk of their “earnings” to the campaigns of the small government folks who got him their big payday. Its just plain old good business.
Or take the secretive, arch-conservative, New York multi-millionaires who have spent millions to organize petition drives in dozens of states to put caps on state taxation fueled not only with their money but with a heavy dose of deceit. Invisible hand indeed!
Yesterday the Duluth Trib had a story about a woman who went missing a few months ago. She was just found. It turns out that gambling and loan sharking had her hiding from her creditors.
An interesting column on Poverty by economist Bradley Schiller contends that for the vast majority of impoverished Americans their condition is short term. Schiller pointed to a study by the University of Michigan which found that only 5% of poor Americans stayed poor for ten years out of the 13 years they were studied. That means that 19 out of 20 poor people were able to escape extreme poverty most of the time.
Democrats would be well advised to pay attention to this because it helps explain why America continues to be a place where optimism sells. In many ways the Democrats are too steeped in the Era and ethos of the Depression.
Schiller suggests that the best thing to do is to work on eliminating the structural barriers which make it difficult for people to escape poverty. One of those is a very Republican barrier. Usurious interest rates of short term loan business like title loans have become widespread as they left the Republicans Deep South in search of new customers in Republican leaning states. They are very much like the company stores of the coal fields or tenant farming which replaced the plantations after the Civil War.
In Republican eyes if a good ole boy can get rich by earning a 100 or 150% return on a loan to some poor desperate person so be it. Not exactly a family value – usury. Apparently it doesn’t make any difference how you make a buck so long as the law allows it and keeping it legal is what the Republicans want.
Yet a ruinous loan is a structural barrier. It should also be noted that Republicans have also become the primary champions for gambling which provides a sin tax for government. Gaming in America reminds me of the failing Soviet Russian’s dependence in the late 1980′s on revenues from vodka sales which helped to keep the population in a compliant stupor.
Schiller also mentions the 5 million low achieving students who drop out of school every year. This is another critical barrier because poorly funded school systems drive kids out before they can get the tools to help them achieve success. This too is an outcome of Republican politics because Republicans champion “local control” of schools which all too often means localalized financing of schools.
I’ve thought for years that Congress should withold federal education revenue from states which refuse to implement some financial equity between their rich and poor school districts. I suggested this to Paul Wellstone a few months before he died. The Senator didn’t disagree with me but told me that too many Congressmen would fight such a plan.
After the BBC news it was off to breakfast in the hotel and the complimentary copies of the Financial Times and International Herald Tribune. While I read the Tribune’s story about the Danish police breaking up an alleged terror plot in Hans Christian Anderson’s home of Odense, which we passed through two days ago, Claudia read about Europe’s answer to illegal immigration in the Times. Non-standard labor. This is the new world threat and the origin of the alleged Danish terrorists – illegals who work dirt-cheap under threat of constant arrest in barrios or slums, with no government protection for things like mistreatment or loss of life and limb.
Then I read about the poor child workers in India who now face being liberated from the slavery of middle-class Indian families who employ them as domestic help. It seems India has now passed a law making such employment illegal and threatening a two-year jail term to any middle-class Indian family who takes such a child off the streets. Now these middle-class families will have to bribe police to keep the kids or send them back to the streets.
What challenges for the brave new world. Fortunately there were some stories about silly stuff like the birth of the boy to Japan’s royal family and the escape of the Austrian girl from the man who put her in an underground cell for eight years. It’s nice to have distractions from the real world.