Monday, June 27, 2011

Headlines - Monday June 27

The new Oakland Bay bridge is being pre-fabricated in China by workers earning $12 for a 16-hour day, working at times 7 days a week:

"I don't think the U.S. fabrication industry could put a project like this together," Brian A. Petersen, project director for the American Bridge/Fluor Enterprises joint venture, said in a telephone interview. "Most U.S. companies don't have these types of warehouses, equipment or the cash flow. The Chinese load the ships, and it's their ships that deliver to our piers."

He's absolutely right: As long as government—which, after all, builds all the bridges—can outsource major projects like this to the lowest-bidding, most exploitative employer in the entire world, we're not going to have an local industry able to build new bridges. Such is the monumental, self-serving stupidity of our Galtian/governmental confluence.

Steve Benen at the Washington Monthly spells out the obvious, one more time:

Seven months after raising the specter of Republicans trying to hurt the economy on purpose, I can't help but notice the "sabotage" question appears to be picking up some steam. Just this month, some high-profile, mainstream pundits have begun exploring the issue, and just this week, two of Congress' most powerful Democrats broached the same subject.

Yesterday, Michael Tomasky
went even further, arguing that Democrats should start "saying openly what has been clear for months or even years now — that as long as economic recovery would work to the political benefit of Barack Obama, the Republicans have been, are, and will be in favor of sabotaging the economy." Tomasky added this is "obvious."

The point isn't to question Republicans' bizarre priorities or values; the point is to make economic argument clear to the public. Too many bemoan a vague "lack of political will" or "absence of leadership" as the reason so little gets done. Those people are wrong.

Republicans said a payroll tax cut would help create jobs, and now they're opposed to their own idea. Republicans said the Economic Development Administration is great for the economy, and now they're opposed to that, too. Republicans have traditionally supported infrastructure investment, but the "infrastructure bank" idea appears likely to be killed by the GOP. Many Republicans endorsed the TANF Emergency Fund last year as an incredibly effective method of lowering unemployment, and the congressional GOP killed that, too.

Republicans are blocking qualified Treasury Department nominees who could also be working on economic policy. Republicans are blocking qualified Federal Reserve nominees who could also help improve the economy, while demanding that the Fed do nothing to promote economic activity. The GOP is demanding that Congress and the White House agree to immediately take money out of the economy and eliminate public-sector jobs, even when conservative economists say that's crazy. What's more, these same Republican officials have made it abundantly clear that failure to give them the cuts they want would force them to crash the economy on purpose.

And it's against this backdrop that one of the most powerful Republican officials on Capitol Hill has argued, more than once, that his "
top priority" isn't job creation, but rather, "denying President Obama a second term in office."

There's a metaphor, originally I think from Alcoholics Anonymous, that badly damaged, dysfunctional people / families / organizations limp along by "ignoring the elephant in the room"... the 'elephant' being the horrible truth (addiction, co-dependency, criminal activity) which can't be treated until everyone stops pretending it doesn't exist. And in a group situation, the pretence is usually at the behest of one domineering individual who forces their victims to buy into their pathology at whatever cost to the rest of the group.

The current GOP leadership has taken its pathology to the national level, and its members (with the complicity of most of the media) are holding us all hostage to the worst elements of political authoritarianism, religious fundamentalism, and economic piracy. We need to start talking out loud about the dead elephant in the room—the GOP doesn't want to protect America, they just want to protect Republicans.


As world diabetes rate doubles, Wal-Mart and K-Mart raise diabetes drug costs 


Mexican invasion!

For years, many of us have been noting that the United States continues to violate international law and the sovereignty of foreign nations in some of our military assaults on terror targets. We have often asked how we would respond to countries like Mexico sending military personnel into our territory. Well, it happened this week when three military trucks loaded with Mexican soldiers crossed the border at Bridge Number Two into the U.S.

Continue reading 'Mexican Invasion! United States Objects To Mexican Troops Briefly Entering U.S.'


Who doesn't feel safer with this brain trust at the wheel of security? They're all class, to boot.


Guardian: Eisenhower's worst fears came true. We invent enemies to buy the bombs.


Privatization kills.


In other news, Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ), who walked out of budget negotiations along with Eric Cantor, went to bat for Big Oil today on Fox News Sunday, and the tires of 51 floats headed for a pride parade in Chicago were slashed last night.


When Even a Corrupt Senator Cares About Constituents 


Funny how budget cuts like this - the ones that cause actual, physical harm to innocent people - only happen when there's a Democrat in the White House.

Zandar ruins my whole fucking day:

The budget that did pass did make federal cuts to Planned Parenthood, and as a result, clinics are already starting to close across the country, not in just Indiana.

In Minnesota, clinics are closing. Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota announced this week that it'll be closing six Minnesota clinics because of federal cuts to Title X family planning funding that were made in this year's budget.

Announcing the closures, the organization's president and CEO, Sarah Stoesz, said the budget cuts "were driven by ideological attacks on women's health, not by a desire to fix the economy."

There will be cuts in North Carolina and Kansas, too.

The North Carolina cuts won't affect Medicaid patients but their spokesperson, Paige Johnson tells us they stand to lose all of their Title X family planning funding from the federal government and state funding for programs aimed at preventing teen pregnancy and providing access to the most effective forms of birth control for low-income women.

Kansas also defunded Planned Parenthood through the state budget -- Kansas' budget includes a measure that essentially disqualifies Planned Parenthood from receiving Title X funding. Medicaid patients aren't affected in Kansas, either. But according to Peter Brownlie, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas & Mid-Missouri, those Title X funds represent about half of the revenue that runs Kansas' two Planned Parenthood clinics. The cuts are set to take effect July 1 and Mr. Brownlie says the organization is still considering a lawsuit.

Why do Republicans want poor women to have so little family care?  One theory is that if Republicans cut access to Planned parenthood services, poor people will be shamed into not having sex, and stop having children or something.  More cynical people like myself think that Republicans want the opposite to keep them poor.  Oh, and Republicans just hate women, too...especially the ones that won't submit to their dominion.

You bet your repug-reamed ass I'm fucking furious. But not at the repugs.


Consider Paul Allen, 55, a former mortgage CEO who defrauded lenders of over $3 billion. This week, prosecutors celebrated the fact they got him a 40-month prison sentence. Consider Roy Brown, 54, a hungry homeless man who robbed a bank of $100. The teller gave him more but he handed the rest back. The next day, he felt bad and surrendered to police. He got 15 years.


Attorney Brian Kammer has called for the suspension of further lethal injections in Georgia after he said the execution of his client, Roy Blankenship, was botched with the use of an untested animal tranquilizer.
Continue reading 'Attorney Calls For Cessation Of Lethal Injection After Use of Animal Tranquilizer Allegedly Lead To Botched Execution'


Delicious chemical McNuggets.: Eeeewwwwww.


After the state of New York passed marriage equality on Friday night, the question begged to be asked: Who would be the first Republican presidential contender to attack the decision?

Despite his dubious history, Newt Gingrich saw fit to be the first out of the gate.

(Reuters) – Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich on Saturday said the adoption of same-sex marriage in New York showed the nation is "drifting toward a terrible muddle."

Saying he thinks marriage is between a man and a woman, he told reporters that he "would like to find ways to defend that view as legitimately and effectively as possible."

He said he thinks the nation should be defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage ass being between a man and a woman.

Newt Gingrich knows all about defending marriage, doesn't he?

Actually, I can think of no one better to educate the rest of us on what it looks like to be "drifting toward a terrible muddle."

Will Newt display his unrivaled patriotism and love of straight marriage by marrying a fourth woman? Only time, and his next bill from Tiffany's, will tell.


Terrible Koch-owned Wisconsin Justice Allegedly Choked Lady Colleague

In response, Fox News' Greta Van Susteren has called for the resignation not of Prosser but Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson:

And while I have no idea who is off the wall (Justice Prosser or Justice Walsh or both), I do know one thing, CHIEF JUSTICE SHIRLEY ABRAHAMSON sure is not doing her job to lead the court and to give confidence to the people of Wisconsin. She needs to step aside and let someone else attempt to run that zoo.

Abrahamson is a previous victim on Prosser's abusive behavior. In March, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported "Justice David Prosser exploded at Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson behind closed doors, calling her a 'bitch' and threatening to 'destroy' her." While Prosser admitted he "probably overreacted," he also said his outburst was "entirely warranted." Bradley, Prosser's latest alleged victim, wrote an email to the other Justices complaining of his behavior.


Skippy's environmental news stories Sunday.


Israel's Government Press Office issued a letter yesterday telling foreign journalists that participating on an aid flotilla to Gaza is illegal under Israeli law. The letter sensationally claims that the flotilla "is a dangerous provocation that is being organized by western and Islamic extremist elements to aid Hamas."


Fox News has been under increasing scrutiny this week after Daily Show host Jon Stewart appeared on Fox News Sunday last weekend where he came prepared with research to tear into the network as an "ideological organization" that "gets marching orders" to promote conservative ideology.

Today, Wallace devoted the end of his show to wagging his finger back at Stewart, laying out a lengthy defense of his employer. But within moments, Wallace demonstrated the very bias he was trying to disprove when he used the term "Obamacare" — a derisive term for the Affordable Care Act used reliably by conservative media, politicians, and activists. The rest of his argument was not much better. Wallace took particular issue with a poll Stewart cited that found that Fox has the most misinformed viewers. Wallace said the poll was junk because it labeled respondents as "misinformed" if they didn't believe scientists and acknowledge that climate change is real, or didn't trust the Congressional Budget Office that the Affordable Care Act lowers the deficit.

In other words, Wallace thinks someone who doesn't believe facts shouldn't be considered "misinformed":

The fact checking website PolitiFact called into question some of Stewart's statements, but as ThinkProgress and others have pointed out, their conclusions are wrong. Every poll that has tested factual knowledge on politically controversial issues has found Fox News viewers to be the most misinformed.

No comments: