Key finding: 39% of Catholics approve of the church's treatment of the issue of homosexuality, and 56% of Catholics believe that homosexual sex is not a sin.
Court Order, Schmort Order "In a stunning twist, controversial legislation limiting collective bargaining for public workers was published on Friday despite a judge's hold on the measure, sparking a dispute over whether it takes effect Saturday. ... The legislation was published Friday to the Legislature's website with a footnote that acknowledges the restraining order by a Dane County judge. But the posting says state law "requires the Legislative Reference Bureau to publish every act within 10 working days after its date of enactment." ... The measure sparked massive protests at the Capitol and lawsuits by opponents because it would eliminate the ability of most public workers to bargain over anything but wages. ... The restraining order was issued against Democratic Secretary of State Doug La Follette. But the bill was published by the reference bureau, which was not named in the restraining order. ... Laws normally take effect a day after they are published, and a top GOP lawmaker said that meant it will become law Saturday. But the nonpartisan legislative official who published the law disagreed."
America's last half-assed attempt at a serious newspaper, the New York Times, is rapidly losing the last of its serious op-ed writers. Bob Herbert is the latest to say goodbye, and his final column is devastating. It starts like this: "So here we are pouring shiploads of cash into yet another war, this time in Libya, while simultaneously demolishing school budgets, closing libraries, laying off teachers and police officers, and generally letting the bottom fall out of the quality of life here at home." Haha, and then it gets depressing. But it's good to see somebody in the NYT taking on the actual monsters in our nation — our horrific income inequality, the Obama Administration's perfidy in letting G.E. chief executive Jeffrey Immelt run the White House's "Council on Jobs and Competitiveness" even as G.E. refuses to pay a nickel in corporate tax, statehouse wars against public-service employees, congressional wars against women and Muslims and the poor, etc.
The U.S. has not just misplaced its priorities. When the most powerful country ever to inhabit the earth finds it so easy to plunge into the horror of warfare but almost impossible to find adequate work for its people or to properly educate its young, it has lost its way entirely ….
There is plenty of economic activity in the U.S., and plenty of wealth. But like greedy children, the folks at the top are seizing virtually all the marbles. Income and wealth inequality in the U.S. have reached stages that would make the third world blush. As the Economic Policy Institute has reported, the richest 10 percent of Americans received an unconscionable 100 percent of the average income growth in the years 2000 to 2007, the most recent extended period of economic expansion.
Wow, why is everybody going all communist all the sudden? Oh right, because it's time for Total Revolution. Anyway, good luck, Bob! Good luck, America! [NYT]
GE so good at not paying corporate taxes that IRS owes GE $3.2 BILLION!
This is going to get repetitive, we're afraid, but every aspect of the "financial crisis" in the United States is due to corporations not paying taxes and the very richest .01% individuals not paying taxes. That's it, that's the whole thing — your crumbling schools, your sinkhole highways, your abandoned state parks, the laid-off city maintenance worker who leaps to his death in Costa Mesa after half the town's workforce is replaced by hourly contractors and the mayor hires a $12,000-a-month P.R. manager, everything. General Electric, America's largest corporation and the second-biggest company on Earth, simply does not pay any taxes at all. You try that!
Until the exciting Comcast/NBC deal, G.E. informed the American people of the business and political news through CNBC's portfolio of channels and the NBC/MSNBC news/commentary operations while keeping poor people sedated with American Movie Classics and Telemundo and "Must See Teevee" and the Sci-Fi channel and another couple of hundred media channels on every kind of screen, but the company did not announce its massive success in evading all taxes. Instead, the New York Times showed an incredibly rare bit of spine today by publishing a dull numbers story that is possibly the most enraging thing you'll ever read:
The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States.
Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.
That may be hard to fathom for the millions of American business owners and households now preparing their own returns, but low taxes are nothing new for G.E.
With a massive internal tax-evasion department headed by a former Treasury official and staffed with former IRS agents, G.E. is simply the best at what has become common practice for the monstrous mega-corporations that control every aspect of policy and "politics." A half century ago, corporations paid 30% of America's total taxes. Now it's down to 6.6%.
And still, they whine ceaselessly about how they can barely afford to do business in America, what with the crushing burden of 6.6% taxes. [New York Times]
NY Times has a brilliant op-art chart on the new potential Glenn Beck channel: