"Using data drawn from over 1,800 different policy initiatives from 1981 to 2002, the two conclude that rich, well-connected individuals on the political scene now steer the direction of the country, regardless of or even against the will of the majority of voters.
"The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy," they write, "while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.""
"Of course this is intolerance. Would Sullivan rush to this guy's defense if it turned out he was a Grand Wizard in the KKK? Of course not. We are allowed to be intolerant of people who operate outside the bounds of civil decency. This wasn't governmental action infringing on any Constitutional rights. This was Mozilla developers saying they refused to do work with a bigot, private websites blocking access to the Firefox browser because they refused to do business with a bigot, and employees of the firm speaking up because they refused to work for a bigot."
"Several of the mutual funds in Hobby Lobby's retirement plan have holdings in companies that manufacture the specific drugs and devices that the Green family, which owns Hobby Lobby, is fighting to keep out of Hobby Lobby's health care policies: the emergency contraceptive pills Plan B and Ella, and copper and hormonal intrauterine devices."
"Vallier's third point about a woman simply being able to choose a different employer could perhaps be seen as rational from the perspective of an ivory tower academic who seems to view people and employers as, in the immortal words of Charlie Stross, frictionless spherical humanoids of uniform density who can simply choose at will to associate and dissociate with employers as we see fit. That perspective, however, is not so applicable to reality. In the real world and the actual economy, unemployment is still high and underemployment is even higher. So is it a viable option for most women to change jobs and uproot their lives just because their employer doesn’t offer the full health coverage they deserve? No, no, no, and no. "
"The study included nearly 15,000 people who went to the Karolinska University hospital with chest pains over two years. About 8,900 had low scores on a faster, more sensitive blood test for troponin, a substance that's a sign of heart damage. The test has been available in Europe, Asia and Canada for about three years, but it is not yet available in the United States."
In reaction to a $3 million ad buy in Colorado, North Carolina, Arkansas, Michigan and Louisiana by Senate Majority PAC, a spokesman for Koch Industries accused the group of “negative cynical, divisive, and dishonest attacks” against Charles and David Koch.
"The truth is actually this: Many a rich person gets wealthy just by being born to wealthy parents. Others get rich by ripping off other people. Bankers committed massive fraud on mortgage loans leading up to the financial crisis, and continue a crime spree which includes laundering money for terrorists and drug cartels, rate-rigging, manipulating the prices of commodities, taking bribes, engaging in insider trading, participating in ponzi schemes, cooking the books, and so on. Fraud has grown so pervasive in corporate America that legendary short seller Jim Chanos describes a culture in which executives think they have a fiduciary duty to cheat. The idea is that since everybody else is cheating, they owe it to shareholders to cheat in order to stay competitive!"
Macroeconomic math is very simple. There is one mathematical fact. If the wealth of the rich is growing at a consistently higher rate than the rate of the economy’s aggregate wealth creation and that rate differential is not completely attributable to sources external to the U.S., then wealth is being transferred from the poor and the middle class to the rich.
The working man pays up to 39 percent in taxes while those that live off their capital appreciation pay 20 percent or so on realized gains. While the current administration is more progressive than the Bush administration, conservatives have moved so far to the right our current government is viewed as being more progressive than it is.
It seems as if many people are under the mistaken impression that we dodged a surveillance-bullet when DHS withdrew this solicitation. We didn’t. A national plate tracking database exists, run by Vigilant Solutions, and it is widely used by law enforcement nationwide. The company is currently aggressively defending in court its ability to track anyone it wants, however it wants. If you’d like to see which agencies have access to its rapidly growing database, you can click here and scroll through the drop down menu. Vigilant has helpfully provided a list for all to peruse.
"“Minimum wage should be indexed to inflation or subject to a cost-of-living adjustment like any other federal income program,” Jolly said. “That means some years it may go up, other years it may stay static. Barack Obama is not an economist, neither is the Congress.”
The purchasing power of the minimum wage has significantly lagged the rate of inflation over the past four decades. In 1968, the federal minimum wage was $1.60 per hour. Had it kept up with inflation since then, it would currently be set at $10.50, 45 percent higher than its current rate of $7.25.
In addition, if Jolly preferred tying the minimum wage to increases in worker productivity, it would currently be $18.30 per hour, according to a study from the Economic Policy Institute."
"When this document is read in the right context it is nothing short of amazing. James Madison was an elitist who was writing to other elitists who would be voting to ratify the Constitution in New York. It was assuring them that their interests would be best served with this Constitution. They had nothing to fear. The Constitution has a construct that prevents those who want a bigger piece of the pie from taking any of it from you.
Real democracy will not come to Americans until most Americans understand that the current state of government is designed. James Madison never expected those that represented the masses to vote in concert with the constituents. He makes that clear in "Federalist #10." A representative democracy can be purchased on the cheap. The plutocracy only needs to purchase 1 president, 5 Supreme Court justices, 67 senators, and 218 Congressional representatives—300+ million Americans, you all be damned. For this reason careful examination of those representing us must take on more urgency and scrutiny."
"Fourth-quarter GDP growth would have been 4.2 percent instead of 3.2 percent if it had not been for spending cuts and the government shutdown pulling huge sums of money out of the economy. Total economic output would have been 0.43 percentage points larger for the year if government investment in the economy had only been flat rather than shrinking due to austerity measures. "
"The word atheist in itself is not synonymous with virtuous. The same can be said for any religious brand. No religious or non-religious label can indicate if someone is a moral person as history contains evil and good examples of each. "
"Now usually the right will jump on any story involving an investigation into a Democrat, but they are eerily silent on this one. Why is that? Again, sleight of hand. They want their readers to believe that the DOJ will only go after Republicans and give Democrats a pass. This story, like the Edwards one, proves that theory categorically false. The wingnuts can not have that, so they again choose to ignore the facts and continue pushing their meme. Read their comment sections and you also see that it is working."
"Some tips include: Heed the Food Recovery Pyramid. Other tips fall under “source reduction,” such as by preventing food waste before it’s created. Extra edible food should go to hungry people, then to animals. If food waste cannot be avoided it should be converted to energy or composted, and only as a last resort should it go to the landfill, according to the Web site that offers other tips, such as on how to shop smart.
Some are tips we’ve heard for decades: don’t shop hungry; that risks buying food you don’t really need, and just might end up tossing rather than consuming."
"According to Kneebone, since 2000, the number of poor people living in suburbs has grown by 65 percent.
For example, poverty is up by almost 16 percent in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. Up more than 27 percent in the suburbs of providence. Nearly 79 percent outside Seattle. And in the suburbs of Austin, Texas, the number of poor has swelled almost 143 percent. More poor people now live in America’s suburbs than in cities or in rural areas."
"Adding a level of absurdity to the controversy, Little Sisters of the Poor’s insurance plan qualifies as a self-insured “church plan” under an insurance statute known as Erisa. The Justice Department has conceded that it has no authority to compel a third-party administrator of such a plan to provide contraceptive coverage. In this case, contraceptives would not be made available even indirectly to the nuns’ employees. "
"In a harshly worded, 30-page opinion, Scriven concluded that "there is no set of circumstances under which the warrantless, suspicionless drug testing at issue in this case could be constitutionally applied."
"In sum, there simply is no competent evidence offered on this record of the sort of pervasive drug problem the State envisioned in the promulgation of this statute," she wrote.
The state failed to show that TANF recipients used drugs with more frequency than the rest of the population, Scriven found. But even if it had, creating a special class of people who would be exempt from the constitutional protections could be dangerous, she wrote.
"If persons in an economic demographic could be shown to have a higher rate of drug use, would all such persons in that economic group be subjected to drug testing? Even if such suspicionless testing as proposed by the State were limited to those persons receiving state funds, would college students receiving governmental assistance to subsidize their education, for example, be subjected to random, suspicionless drug testing if it could be shown that drug use is demonstrably higher among college students? The Supreme Court's Fourth Amendment precedent would suggest not," Scriven wrote."
A months-long investigation by The New York Times "turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role" in the assaults last year on a U.S. diplomatic mission and a C.I.A. compound in Benghazi, Libya. the Times also reports that the incident "was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam."
"The graph shows the price per watt, starting in 1977 at over $76/watt all the way down to $0.74/watt in 2013. While already competitive with dirty energy in many areas of the world, just a few more years will show solar taking over the world!"
- 2012 election (118)
- budget cuts (33)
- church and state (134)
- economic collapse (85)
- gop (42)
- gop fail (98)
- health care reform (27)
- income inequality (79)
- jobs (31)
- mitt romney (52)
- politics (36)
- poor (36)
- president obama (30)
- religious bigotry (28)
- religious right (32)
- republican (46)
- republicans (145)
- secular humanism (318)
- tax cuts (41)
Click in to find related links.