TheBorealAvenger's Journal - Archives
The People's Budget
Budget of the Congressional Progressive Caucus
• End overseas contingency operations emergency supplementals starting in Fiscal Year 2013,
providing $170 billion in FY2012 to fund redeployment, while saving more than $1.8 trillion
from current law spending levels over ten years
• Reduce baseline defense spending by reducing strategic capabilities, conventional forces,
procurement, and R&D programs
Reduce base discretionary defense spending
Our budget institutes a realistic reduction in
defense spending on conventional and strategic forces and capabilities that would not compromise
our national security interests or capabilities. Savings would accrue from decreasing routine
deployment of U.S. troops overseas (ignoring overseas contingency operations), reducing the size
of the Army and Marine Corps as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down, reducing the fleet
size of the U.S. Navy, reducing the number of Air Force squadrons, and canceling outdated coldwar weapon systems (including variations of the F-35, MV-22 Osprey, and Expeditionary Fighting
Vehicle), among other savings.
This proposal does not touch Tri-Care
They would not have won Congress or reinstalled their dictator in 2004 unless the neocons could trump up a fake case for war and use it to label the Democrats as unpatriotic.
So it is bullshit to say that the GOPs were divided on military intervention.
Source: Akron Beacon Journal
COLUMBUS: Opponents of Ohio's new collective bargaining law say they have collected hundreds of thousands more signatures than needed so voters can weigh in on repealing the measure this fall.
We Are Ohio said Friday it has collected more than 714,000 signatures, which still must be checked by the state's election chief to ensure enough are legitimate.
The group is making a final petition push in the coming weeks. It needs more than 231,000 valid signatures by June 30 to get the issue on the November ballot.
The signatures have to be from at least 44 of the 88 counties.
The law signed by Gov. John Kasich in late March bans public employee strikes and restricts collective bargaining rights for more than 350,000 teachers, police officers, state employees and others.
Read more: http://www.ohio.com/news/break_news/124071...
They obtained three times the number of signatures required to defeat the Republicans' bill: SB5!
or whatever those writers-without-editors at counterpunch are saying
IMHO, gasoline prices killed consumer spending and henceforth blew up the real-estate and bonds bubble.
Their economy was based on stealing the electronics industry from the US by dumping TVs &semiconduct
-ors at below-market prices. Japanese consumers paid the price with more expensive entertainment electronics and applicances. An economy based on a "distortion in the market" cannot prevail ultimately.
In no uncertain terms, Japan stole a lot of our jobs in electronics.
Posted by TheBorealAvenger in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sat Sep 18th 2010, 11:42 AM
Blogging with Alan Colmes! http://www.alan.com/2010/09/17/richard-daw... /
Posted in Liberaland by Alan • September 17, 2010, 11:45 AMET • 102 Comments »
Pope Benedict’s speech to Queen Elizabeth in England praised how Britain fought “Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society,” prompting one of the world’s best known atheists, Richard Dawkins, to proclaim it “a despicable outrage.” What set off Dawkins is this paragraph:
“Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live. I also recall the regime’s attitude to Christian pastors and religious who spoke the truth in love, opposed the Nazis and paid for that opposition with their lives. As we reflect on the sobering lessons of the atheist extremism of the twentieth century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus to a “reductive vision of the person and his destiny” (Caritas in Veritate, 29).”
Even if Hitler had been an atheist, his political philosophy was not based upon atheism and had no connection with atheism. Hitler was arguably (and by his own account) a Roman Catholic. In any case he enjoyed the open support of many of the most senior catholic clergy in Germany and the less demonstrative support of Pope Pius XII. Even if Hitler had been an atheist (he certainly was not), the rank and file Germans who carried out the attempted extermination of the Jews were Christians, almost to a man: either Catholic or Lutheran, primed to their anti-Semitism by centuries of Catholic propaganda about ‘Christ-killers’ and by Martin Luther’s own seething hatred of the Jews. To mention Ratzinger’s membership of the Hitler Youth might be thought to be fighting dirty, but my feeling is that the gloves are off after this disgraceful paragraph by the pope.
Dawkins is urging a letter-writing campaign to British media in protest, adding:
I am incandescent with rage at the sycophantic BBC coverage, and the sight of British toadies bowing and scraping to this odious man. I thought he was bad before. This puts the lid on it.
Both of whom were considered to be "enemies" of the Saud monarchy and the Bushies. They accomplished price cuts by overproducing oil.
As a result, there was a glut of oil on the market that led to a period of overconsumption, more sprawl and more gas guzzling automobiles. Americans somehow "got the message" that there never was an energy crisis and those who wanted to conserve resources were openly mocked.
Now we are in a crisis due to the shortage of oil.
Bush EPA hid data on coal-ash risks, study shows
By Ken Ward Jr.
Read more in Coal Tattoo http://blogs.wvgazette.com/coaltattoo
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Bush administration kept secret for nearly five years data that showed increased cancer risks from drinking water polluted by coal-ash impoundments, according to a new report issued Thursday.
Under President Bush, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials never made public an October 2002 study that outlined increased risks of as high as 1 in 50 additional cancer cases.
EPA later published some of the data in an August 2007 study. But even then, the agency report left out some key information about additional dangers to aquatic ecosystems and wildlife from toxic metals leaching out of unlined or inadequately lined coal-ash dumps.
The Environmental Integrity Project and Earthjustice on Thursday issued a report that tries to explain in simple language the findings in both EPA documents, which examined more than 200 coal-ash landfills and surface impoundments.
"We now have the full picture about coal dump sites across America and it is not pretty," said Eric Schaeffer, director of the Environmental Integrity Project.
Congresswoman Kaptur Votes Against
Bill To Bail Out 'Reckless' Wall Street
TOLEDO – U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) this afternoon voted against the Wall Street bailout bill, which was defeated on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Kaptur, the senior woman in the House, addressed the issue in remarks on the House floor on Sunday evening. She disputed the contention by President Bush that America is facing the worst financial crisis in its history and accused the White House of using fear to pressure Congress into bailing out Wall Street. She also said Congress should approve no funding for a bailout until it establishes an economic crimes unit to investigate criminal activity that created the current situation.
“Taking a trillion dollars of taxpayer money and buying bushels of unknown and unvalued paper is not smart,” Kaptur said. “It will delay resolution of that housing crisis. In fact, this bill actually asks taxpayers to buy a garbage truckload of worthless paper, everything from subprime auto loans, to foreign bank loans, to hedge fund paper, to credit swaps. Every reckless Wall Street deal thought up these past several years they want to dump on us. We say: No.”
Kaptur said the current turmoil constitutes “a credit crisis, not a liquidity crisis,” and the bailout bill does not address it. “The housing bubble that burst is at the heart of our dilemma. Until Main Street housing foreclosures are remedied, the situation will not improve.”
Kaptur said, “We need the right deal, not a fast deal. The White House is counting on fear to propel this Congress into hasty and inappropriate action on a Wall Street bailout that is not in the interest of our Republic. There is a better way. In fact, it is as likely the expenditure of $700 billion will actually stand in the way of the most effective means to remedy the economic challenges facing us.”
Kaptur said the market problems of the 1980s, when 3,000 banks failed and interest rates hit 21 percent, posed a greater threat to the economy than the current crisis. Nonetheless, she said, “the economic instability was resolved in the financial system in a much more disciplined and rigorous way than taxpayers printing money for Wall Street.”
She said the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation response dealt with the earlier crisis effectively with no cash changing hands. FDIC, she said, resolved “thousands of problem situations” issued net worth certificates to get the nation through the credit shortage. The agency also regulated transactions with banks with subordinated debentures and promissory notes, assumed power over executive salaries and controlled dividends to restore health and rigor to the market.
“The FDIC also adopted a contingency plan to nationalize all institutions in the event it was necessary. The cost of the entire enterprise was $1.8 billion, resolving over $100 billion in problem institutions from the FDIC insurance fund, paid for by the banks, not the taxpayers. In other words, the market was used to heal the market, not set up a big government bureaucracy at the U.S. Treasury, run and overseen by the very reckless people who caused these problems in the first place,” she said.
Kaptur said the bailout bill fails to reform the Securities and Exchange Commission, which “more than any other regulatory body,” has caused the current problem “by its false accounting, overinflated leverage ratios and (destruction of ) fair value accounting.”
Finally, she said, Congress should create and fund an independent Emergency Financial Crimes Unit “to investigate the malfeasance, securities fraud, false accounting, and insider trading that were the root causes of this extravagance.”
...by moving into America with a different business model. They realized that they could make huge profits and keep growing because they were not hobbled with legacy costs.
All enabled by the highway system that our income taxes and fuel taxes funded years ago.
WASHINGTON: Here is a number easily understood by even the math-phobic: Every 1 percent increase in the unemployment rate leads to another 1.1 million Americans becoming uninsured — and causes still another million more children and adults to become eligible for state health insurance programs.
This means that over the past 10 months, as the hemorrhage of jobs began to push the national unemployment rate toward its October level of 6.5 percent, about 3 million Americans were thrown off the insurance rolls or had their incomes fall so much that they became eligible for Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program.
These estimates by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured do not bewilder as much as do the tallies associated with the various federal bailouts and guarantees of banks and other institutions at the core of the financial crisis. Those are in the hundreds of billions — actually, we're into the trillions when you count up each form of taxpayer backing — to shore up this or that part of the teetering financial system.
But before long, if unemployment climbs as predicted to 8 percent or 9 percent next year, the worsening economic crisis will deepen the health insurance crisis. And the combination of job losses and the loss of insurance that is inevitably connected to them is likely to be an awful lot like the crisis of the early 1990s — the last time the political system tried to fix the confused, costly and crumbling health insurance system.
The recession of the early '90s led the Clinton administration to attempt universal health care. Though the Clinton plan is consistently derided as a failure, in truth, President-elect Barack Obama's campaign pledge to build a universal system based on the current, employer-based method of delivering insurance is in good measure modeled upon it. And that is the problem.
Look only to the Detroit automakers' current economic straits for the reasons why. The car companies' unionized workers still count on a model health insurance safety net — but even this has been scaled back repeatedly in successive contracts.
Last year, the United Auto Workers Union and the Big Three entered into a deal to create a separate trust fund to bear the cost of retiree health benefits. The fund is jointly financed by the union and the companies, and a substantial part of the money is coming from current workers' forgoing promised wage hikes.
Year after year, employers demand health benefit cuts in contract talks, or impose them unilaterally where there is no union. In a 2008 survey, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 40 percent of firms that offer insurance said they are ''somewhat likely'' or ''very likely'' to increase the amount their workers contribute to insurance in the coming year, a cost shift that includes higher premiums and co-payments. Yet the average annual worker contribution toward premiums for a family policy already has more than doubled in the past nine years. During the same period, middle-class incomes have been largely stagnant.
With employers quickly shedding workers, is there any doubt that more health benefit cuts are coming for those lucky enough to keep their jobs? And when recovery comes, does anyone think American business is going to abandon its argument that health costs represent a competitive disadvantage in the global marketplace?
They won't, because it's accurate. And that's largely because other countries have universal, taxpayer-funded health care systems.
These are the immutable truths of the health-care conundrum. They haven't changed much in two decades. Costs are driven inexorably higher by continual advances in care as well as an aging population that needs more of it. Employers can't cope unless they scale back coverage, shift costs to workers or eliminate benefits altogether. States have become insurers of last resort — but right now they face crippling budget shortfalls that threaten this safety net.
Using this compromised system as the basis for health insurance revision is folly — more so now than it was in the Clinton era, when more employers still were covering their workers. Tightening regulation of the insurance industry and creating a new, government-based plan to make coverage available to those who cannot afford to buy it from private insurers — the essence of Obama's campaign proposal — would only add another layer of complexity and, eventually, cost.
Only a single, government-financed system can eliminate the administrative waste, unfairness and economic burden of our current health insurance scheme.
Timidity is no longer an option.
Cocco is a Washington Post Writers Group columnist. She can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org .
We have heard decades of unsubstantiated dogma that union members are lazy and produce inferior products. I am sure the propaganda was the work of rich-Republican America. Now it snapped back and will destroy a big part of the economy.
Then they will just make fun of the Rust Belt residents as they had displaced coal miners and transient Oakies.
According to the NPR Morning Edition report this morning, the contracts that were issued were merely contracts to facilitate oil production. The four western oil companies do not get rights to the oil.
However, this oil is close to existing pipelines and within 100 miles of the Persian Gulf, so it will be relatively quick to get the oil to market. 500,000 barrels of oil a day from five existing fields
There are some companies like airlines that *have to* play the oil futures market as a means of planning their expenses. Of late, speculators have entered *all* of the commodities markets. There are mutual funds who are compelled to buy into oil futures--investors who are not seasoned commodities investors are wading into new financial products that they probably don't understand.
There is certainly a shortage of the oil resource, but by some accounts the price is driven by speculation. It could happen that when Iraq's oil becomes a predictable resource in the world market, the price of oil in the long term contracts will collapse. Investors will get burned in this bubble. However, the price of oil on this continent will drop, and the price of gasoline will drop. And that could happen quickly. We all know that Cheney has been hustling to get a "production sharing agreement" (aka petro-imperialist rights to Iraq's oil). That failed. So, he is trying the next best thing to get the Republican elected, the drop in gasoline prices that he and the neoconservatives promised in 2003.
Let's hope that four months from the election is too late.
Cars today are heavier. A Honda Accord is listed as a "large" car on some lists. A Civic or a Cobalt, the small cars on the lot are in the 2600 pound weight range.
Customers have not wanted 2000 pound cars like they were buying during the gasoline price inflation period of the 1970s. The Toyota Echo failed in the market place.
Of course, none of this matters to the "terse, unresearched posts set" on the internet.
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