Our Crumbling African Empire - Posted by Bob Lord There's a bunch of stuff out today on inequality, but the most eye-opening piece I've seen in awhile is Nick Turse's piece, Blowback Cen...
4 hours ago
Welcome to the Blog Home of the Legislative District 26 Democrats and all of Northwest Tucson! This is the place to keep up to date on the issues important to voters in LD 26, Pima County and Arizona.
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In case you haven't noticed, the world's economy is suddenly undergoing a classic "Shock Doctrine"-style, coordinated propaganda attack.
The wealthy and powerful, having insisted that countries cut their taxes and run up debt, now insist that the middle class and poor must work harder, have their pensions reduced, sell off (to them) their publicly-held resources, and take other "austerity" steps to pay off the debt that these lazy, parasitic peasants dared to run up.
In 2008, Paton actively championed the deceptive ballot initiative, Prop. 200, to bail out this predatory industry while Arizonans struggled with the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Read his ballot argument supporting Prop. 200’s deceptive claims here
Paton also made thousands of dollars working for the payday lending lobbyists who ran the Prop. 200 campaign in 2008 -- while Paton was serving in the state Legislature. That’s right, while Jonathan Paton was supposed to be representing Southern Arizonans, he was on the payroll of payday lending lobbyists!
Attorney General Terry Goddard Reacts to Brewer's Untruths
Consider what Jan Brewer has had to say recently:
· "The majority" of illegal immigrants are drug smugglers.
· Some 87 percent of those arrested for being here illegally have prior criminal records.
· Law enforcement has found "bodies in the desert" that "have been beheaded."
When she is asked for evidence of her untrue claims, she has nothing. The list of untruths and misstatements grows every time Jan Brewer speaks. Today the Arizona Republic has called her on it, in an editorial entitled, 'Gov. Jan Brewer needs to get her facts straight." The Republic calls her "reckless" and "irresponsible." They're being gentle.
Jan Brewer is scaring people out of visiting Arizona and creating fear in our communities - all so she can win an election. Is that "irresponsible," as the Republic charges? Yes. But it's worse than that.
It's politics - and it stinks.
Arizona needs change, and I need your help to make it happen. Please join our campaign and sign up to volunteer today. With your help, we can tell Jan Brewer that telling the truth isn't optional.
In a move that could add a broad new element of accountability to elections -- or simply make the political process even more gaffe-centric -- the DNC is encouraging its followers to upload video, mail pieces or audio recordings of GOP officials to a DNC-run site.
Stabenow says what the conservative bloc is doing in the Senate constitutes the most vile form of politics. "
It appears that everybody in the Republican caucus has gone purely into election mode [before] the fall. If they can stop the recovery from occurring, if they can create as much pain as possible, people will be angry and will not vote at all or will vote against those in the majority. This is a very cynical political strategy and I sure hope it doesn’t work."House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also blasted the Senate Republicans. The Politico article that quotes her bears a bad, arguably biased headline—"Pelosi stokes House-Senate tension"—but as you will see this isn't the battle of the legislative chambers; it is a fundamental battle between lawmakers who want to respond to a jobs emergency and ideologues who show by their actions they could care less.
“Time and time again, Democrats in the House have sent legislation to the Senate to create jobs,” she said. “What did middle-class families ever do to Republicans in the Senate that they would snuff out every opportunity for job creation that has been sent to them?”Continue reading here.
Brewer Campaign co-chair claims governor has created 'thousands of jobs'
In May, Arizona lost another 4,300 private-sector jobs and the unemployment rate here increased to 9.6 percent, according to the state Commerce Department. Arizona's only job gains in May were due to federal Census worker hires. Arizona has a net loss of 98,900 jobs since Brewer took the reins as governor in January 2009. [Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/schedule/archives/laus_nr.htm]
In February, Brewer signed off on massive cuts to AHCCCS and KidsCare. According to a study commissioned by the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association, these cuts could eliminate 42,000 Arizona jobs, devastating a sector of the economy that is actually growing in our state.
Gov. Jan Brewer's proposed cuts to health care would drain an estimated $2.7 billion in state and federal funding from Arizona's economy and result in the loss of 42,000 jobs, according to an analysis by economists at Arizona State University... The Governor's Office did not dispute the analysis. [Analysis conducted by Seidman Research Institute at ASU's W.P. Carey School of Business. -- AZ Republic, 2/25/10]
Why doesn’t he acknowledge that in February of 2009 French and British submarines collided somewhere in the Atlantic? Or that there are 13 documented nuclear incidents involving nuclear powered ships and submarines from 1959-1992? See http://www.lutins.org/nukes.html Eight nuclear submarines lie at the bottom of the sea as a consequence of either accident or extensive damage: two from the United States, four from the Soviet Navy, and two from the Russian Navy. Japan and New Zealand have raised concerns about the safety of U.S. nuclear powered ships threatening their harbors.
Some Republicans even said it’s time for ”tough love” to motivate the long-term jobless.
Heck, when you still get your taxpayer-funded, congressional paycheck every week ($3,346.15) for not doing very much work, it can certainly alter your view of the economy—even to the point where some Republican politicos actually claim the not quite $300 a week average unemployment check is a “disincentive” for the unemployed to get out of the door and look for work.
No, senator, the response to a couple hundred bucks a week goes more like this:
Maybe we should think about gassing up the car so we can go down to the food bank and set something aside for your blood pressure medicine. Oh, and there’s that foreclosure notice we need to deal with.
The rigged deck approach should come as no surprise. America Speaks is largely funded by Peter G. Peterson, the investment banker billionaire who has been on a decades long crusade to gut these programs. In recent years, Peterson has redoubled his efforts, committing more than a billion dollars to a wide variety of groups in addition to America Speaks. To advance his agenda Peterson has even set up a fake news service, the Fiscal Times. To fill the staff, Peterson's son hired a number of reputable reporters who were displaced by the collapse of the newspaper industry.
The intermediary was Clinton's White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles. The same Bowles is now the co-chair of Obama's fiscal commission -- which also has designs on Social Security. Corporate Democrats keep turning up, like bad pennies.
But what is it with Democrats like Bowles, Rubin, and Rubin's protégé Peter Orszag, now director of the Office of Management and Budget and another of the deficit hawks who would weaken Social Security in order to cut the deficit? Don't they get that Social Security, along with Medicare, is one of the Democrats' crown jewels? Don't they appreciate that two-thirds of elderly Americans depend on Social Security for at least half their income?
As Nancy Altman pointed out earlier in this series, the argument that Social Security is adding to the federal deficit is a bum rap. Ever since Congress in 1983 acted to anticipate the retirement of the baby boom generation by raising Social Security taxes and pushing back the retirement age from 65 to 67, Social Security has contributed trillions of dollars to a government surplus. The intent was to pre-fund the additional cost of the boomers. George W. Bush pilfered that surplus for his wars and his tax cuts for the rich, but even so, Social Security is still in great shape for at least 30 more years.
Social security taxes wages. Get wage growth back to historic postwar norms, and Social Security is in surplus forever. Restore the traditional fraction of wages that are taxed, so that affluent people do not get a free ride on part of their income, and the proclaimed crisis disappears. There is no need to further cut benefits, or further raise the retirement age, or raise taxes on working Americans. If only Citigroup's balance sheet were as healthy as Social Security's!