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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 happen...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.