Category Archives: Economy

I know conservatives don’t understand, but we’ve got joint custody

With oil as cheap as it is now (January 2015) how cheaply will Lisa Murkowski’s corporate masters be able to obtain leases in Alaska? When Lisa refers to Alaskans’ not taking it (government restrictions on drilling), referring to protection of national treasures as a “frontal assault” on her state to whom does she think the land in question, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, belongs? If it belonged to Alaskans exclusively then the Federal government wouldn’t have much of a say in its disposition. But the truth is that the land, the Refuge, belongs to Americans jointly, not just Alaskans. Lisa has no right to give it, the Refuge or access to the resources on it or beneath it, to a few of her closest friends nor compel the federal government to do so. Lisa hides her attempt to plunder the nation’s treasure behind this frame: The Obama Administration is stopping Alaska from deciding what to do with its resources. But those resources are the nation’s resources. The real attack is an assault by the conservatives on the intelligence of Americans in an attempt to take their property.


What is almost comical is the desperation in Lisa Murkowski’s expression, as she wades right through the points made about the nation not needing more oil fields to be opened and exploration companies laying-off workers. Talk about a bridge to nowhere. Why does this remind me of “I can see Russia from my back yard?” Why should Americans hand over natural resources and risk despoiling their country (“a move that could irreparably damage this ecological treasure and harm the Alaska Native communities who still depend on the caribou for subsistence”)* for Lisa Murkowski and her plutocratic puppet masters? America “this land is your land, this land is my land, this land was made for you and me.” Someone has to stop Lisa and her buddies for despoiling things they did not make and can never replace.

*”Obama proposes expanding oil-drilling ban in Alaska wildlife refuge” – by By David S. Cloud LA Times

Governor, that ain’t rain

Do you feel that warm, wet substance on your leg? You got to feel it when someone suggests the state of public education in Mississippi is so fine that funding to equalize schools should only be increased by 2.7 per cent and taxes should be cut.

Is Mississippi 19th in Education?

19th in education,1 that’s what you were supposed to think about Mississippi’s education position, nationally, according to the conservatives (Governor’s State of the State Address 2015). But the number refers to spending as a percentage of “state taxable resources.” Misdirection is the conservatives’ forte. Speaking of spending as a percentage of “state taxable resources.” diverts attention from equality, the lack of adequately funding all school districts, an underfunding which in turn affects the need for college remedial efforts (in neo-feudal Mississippi college remediation has come under attack – read Bricks without straw) and workforce re-training (costlier to re-train workers with learning deficiencies), new business formation (“highly educated areas have above average entrepreneurship rates”)2etc. A state can’t deprive the people of equal education funding and not suffer the consequences in retarded economic growth and human potential, this exhibited in increased crime rates.3

A state can’t deprive its citizens and avoid these consequences, but groups within the state can deprive large segments of equal educational opportunities, profiting disproportionately in a way that shifts wealth upward. But what do you expect from a crowd determined to urinate on your leg and tell you it’s raining. A crowd so disingenuous that they crow about how well Mississippi’s economy’s is doing and never thank Uncle Sugar(see Mike Huckabee government assistance reference) No, they’ll never mention the $97 million in recovery funds to Rankin County, Ms. and the $67 million to Madison County, Ms., or that Mississippi’s economy received over $5 billion in stimulus funding. Despite the evidence, conservatives insist that the ARRA didn’t create any jobs. So when it comes to everything from public education to ObamaCare, who you gonna believe the neo-feudalists and their walking dead sycophants or your lying eyes and those darn numbers? But then again maybe the conservatives are right and what their trickle-down proposals work and the thousands of jobs we were losing when Obama came into office is the way things should be; maybe rain is warm and smells like pee.

1 Gov. Bryant’s full 2015 State of the State speech – Clarion Ledger
January 21, 2015
2 Local labor force education, new business characteristics, and firm performance
Mark Doms a,*, Ethan Lewis b, Alicia Robb c
a Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, United States
b Dartmouth College, United States
c Kauffman Foundation and University of California, Santa Cruz, United States

3. The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates,
Arrests, and Self-Reports
Lance Lochner
Department of Economics
University of Western Ontario
Enrico Moretti
Department of Economics
UCLA

Conservative assassination attempt on the Dream.

Thinking of the Republican response to President Obama’s state of the Union address, think of a bullet in a revolver aimed straight at the temple of the American Dream. What happens when there are not enough progressives to knock the gun down? Why should democracy lovers listen to Iowa U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, when if she had her way $285 million in aid to Iowans and $495 million in aid to Mississippians through the department of education would not have been available, thwarting an opportunity to climb the ladder in America. She, like recent Mississippi U.S. Senatorial candidate, Chris McDaniel who came within a whisker of winning, favors abolishing the Department of Education. How’s that for economic development considering Ben Franklin’s assessment; education pays the best interest. And then there’s the Department’s anti-discrimination duties which considering the Republican party’s attraction to racist (See Steve Scalise and Chris McDaniel speaking engagements) reveals the true nature of the conservative attack on public education even on the state level (see MAEP in Mississippi), an anti-egalitarian attack which has been in the bloodline of conservatism for some time and has been a particular attraction for southern conservative whites since Nixon because of it’s extreme virulence for minorities. If the conservative bullets find their mark, democracy suffers and a Neo-Feudalism takes it place.

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Maybe Mississippi’s last place position is profitable.

Maybe directing attention towards making the bible the official state book and placing “in God we trust” on the State Seal, are expressions of self-righteousness, comforting on the one hand to those who rely heavily on symbols but the actions are diversionary on the whole. Those who direct the government in this manner take on the persona of holy men directing public policy. Political priesthood bona fides established, “conservative” leaders who undermine acceptance of federal assistance to expand Medicaid or erect new voting requirements are less likely to have their judgment challenged. After all, how can holy men mislead the religious? The “conservative” leaders, as opposed to Mississippi’s poor and middle class, have an economic interest in the status quo, a crypto-neo-feudalistic system, profiting as a result of their positions. The wolves clothed as sheep are so comfortable in their disguise that they snarl those who oppose them “can get off their butts and move somewhere else.” And those comforted by the religious gestures roar approvingly, content with a vicarious moral superiority, their reverence for symbolic gestures distracting them, facilitating the shackles of last place.

The inspiration for this post was a very informative piece in the Clarion Ledger, “Why are Mississippians conservative?” by Robert S. McElvaine, Elizabeth Chisholm Professor of Arts and Letters and chair of the Department of History at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi.

Charles Barkley speaks from the Big House

Did you see Charles Barkley’s Ferguson comments?* At some point people are gonna notice how much Charles Barkley resembles Stephen of Mississippi’s Candyland from Django Unchained. His defense of a broken, biased policing system is relentless, predictable and understandable. He is high in massa’s house and of course he should be the staunchest defender of the status quo. He of course should be expected to defend Zimmerman when he kills Trayvon and Darren Wilson when he kills Mike Brown. Stephen, I mean Charles, being well situated (wealthy and isolated), couldn’t possibly understand how someone not so well situated could be experiencing a sense of hopeless and disconnection from those more well off , how people could lash out at things that seem permanent and stationary, things that give the impression that all is well, normal. Stephen, I mean Charles, doesn’t have to worry about where he will get the money to pay a traffic ticket in a place, Ferguson, which relies heavily upon traffic citations to meet its budget (“It was the city’s second-biggest source of income of the $20 million it collected in revenues.”),** a place which disproportionately fishes for and nets blacks to pay these fines (“67 percent of the city’s population, but are 86 percent of motorists stopped by police.”) He doesn’t have to worry about a son being stalked and gunned down and having some basketball-star-turned-clown who the media seeks for comments on social issues talk about his son being an aggressor when he’s murdered. So when someone sets something in Candyland on fire you can expect Stephen, I mean Charles, to call them scumbags. Perhaps the real scumbag is someone who defends vigilantism and cops who behave like skinheads (Officer Wilson even came from a police department (Jennings, Mo.) in which a white police officer actually beat a black woman for laughing at him)***
without asking:
1. When does an officer draw his weapon while sitting in his patrol car?
2. When does an officer not write a report about his shooting of an unarmed citizen until after he has a chance to hear what the witnesses have said?
3. When does an officer bag his own weapon after he has shot a citizen?
4. When does a police department leave a gunned-down citizen in the street for 4 hours?
5. What message does leaving a gunned-down citizen in the street for 4 hours send to the community and how closely does that action resemble leaving a lynched man hanging in a tree like some strange fruit?
Abusive police and the people who defend may be the real scumbags. Apologists like Stephen, I mean Charles, curse the fruit and ignore the seeding and cultivation. The fact that he has a microphone with which to announce his pithy conclusions is attributable to his priesthood in America’s true religion, entertainment. Remove the athletic success and it is possible that Barkley would not be prince or priest but pauper and some other priest might be calling him “scumbag.” Something some of those in the big house could never imagine.
* Charles Barkley backs police, calls violent Ferguson protestors ‘scumbags’ by RYAN GORMAN Dec. 2, 2014 AOL.com
** “In Ferguson, Court Fines And Fees Fuel Anger” by Joseph Shapiro NPR August 25, 2014
*** “Darren Wilson’s first job was on a troubled police force disbanded by authorities” By Carol D. Leonnig, Kimberly Kindy and Joel Achenbach Washington Post Aug. 23, 2014

Yippee!!! Comedy by Coulter, again!

Did you catch Ann Coulter’s latest routine where she feigns concern for the American worker in an attack on Sheldon Adelson’s immigration stance (amnesty). What’s hilarious is how see thinks we haven’t noticed the things about which she’s silent.

While she attacks Mexican immigration and the businessmen who hire Mexicans, she’s conveniently silent about the real attack by business on American labor via job and profit off-shoring which weakens the tax base thereby giving rise to Teabaggers.

Ann, you’re so funny. I just love how you quote Friedman about the businessman’s love of free enterprise except “when it comes to themselves,” as if with lobbyists writing the laws, America actually has had anything approximating free enterprise.

Ann, this routine is almost as funny as the time, a few months ago, when you did your best Angela Davis impression by attacking white southerners (Democrats) for opposing black gun ownership after the Civil War. Ha, ha, ha! You have got to love it when conservatives like Coulter criticize conservatives of the past like Klansmen and by association their descendants the Neo-Confederates.

But back to the immigration discussion, a reference to white people (Israelis) giving black people one-way tickets to Uganda, priceless. Haven’t had this much fun, since Gingrich proposed firing janitors and giving their jobs to the children. Republicans favoring American labor. Guffaw, guffaw, heehaw!

Coulter not concerned about workers

Conservatives love to hate the government

 

Chris McDaniel, 2014 Mississippi U.S. Senate candidate, may be the best thing for Mississippi. At long last Mississippi would be able to end its secret lover (Strom Thurmanesque) relationship with the federal government.
McDaniel would back Utah Sen. Mike “Laughing Stock” Lee

Well paid clowns running interference for the insurance companies

the next time Republicans decide to shut the government down (like the Tea Party shutdown/Republican employment plan which idled thousands of Utah workers) as a way of showing how they would be willing to widen the doughnut hole for seniors (a hole which Obamacare closes) for freedom’s sake.
Oh, the government is too large, the constitutional conservatives say, so no one should have a problem with cutting farm subsidies and letting the free market work in Mississippi, right? And, by ending this affair that the people have with their government, Mississippi could help stop the government from forcing insurance companies to allow Mississippians to keep their children on their health policies until they’re 26 or to accept people with pre-existing conditions.
Yes, Republicans are ideal for America because they know that nothing fails like all that government and/or labor involvement in the market. Just look at those wretched Singaporeans, Japanese and Germans with their economies in total free-fall, totally un-American.

Obama’s deception on health care ‘hurting the economy,’ Romney says | Fox News

Obama's deception on health care 'hurting the economy,' Romney says | Fox News.

How can you tell if Republicans are lying about the effect of Obamacare on the economy?

“It’s hurting the economy.”

– Mitt Romney, on ObamaCare –
January 05, 2014•
FoxNews.com

And somehow,

“The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose, reaching an all-time closing high and headed toward its biggest annual gain since 1996, as Walt Disney Co. led a rally in consumer shares.” and “Five years after the equity bull market started, U.S. investors returned to stocks in 2013, just in time for the best relative returns versus bonds on record.” Bloomberg -Dec 30, 2013

“It’s hurting the economy.”

– Mitt Romney, on ObamaCare

“That’s at the heart of the president’s deception,” Romney said.
January 05, 2014•
FoxNews.com

And somehow

“The stock market posted in 2013 its best gains since the go-go ’90s, defying the skeptics and proving that the bull market is alive and well as it nears its 5th birthday.” – December 31, 2013

And then there this

“Stocks closed out their best year in more than 15 on Tuesday, with major indexes advancing throughout 2013.” – December 31, 2013 Reuters

and

The third quarter’s 4.1 percent growth rate is only the second time in the 4-1/2 year economic recovery that quarterly GDP growth topped 4 percent. Forecasters see in the report more evidence that the economy is gaining traction.

The Christian Science Monitor December 20, 2013

“The Commerce Department said construction spending increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $934.4 billion. That’s the fastest rate since March 2009 and a slight improvement on the revised 0.9% gain in October.

The November pace was up 5.9 per cent from a year earlier. The gains were mainly in private projects as public spending on construction declined 1.8 per cent from October.” – Wyoming State News.Net Thursday 2nd January, 2014

I ask again how can you tell Republicans are lying about Obamacare and the economy?

Their lips are moving.

Privatizing on the sly or how to shift wealth upward.

Ever wonder how to make wealthy people wealthier while gutting the middle class, you know like fulfilling the true core mission for ALEC?  Let’s repackage that concept.  How would you make government smaller

Smaller government isn’t really the goal.

 

and create a source of funding for your campaign? Can you say privatization?  That’s right. Those same people who get the “contracts” replacing or killing those “government” jobs can make “contributions” to the campaigns of those who promote the wealth re-distributions.  And in those right-to-work-for-less, anti-union states there is no union to counter-balance that electoral influence.  Why would anyone think that Republican legislatures are behind the transfer of state jobs into private hands and why would that transfer work to the detriment of minorities and even non-heterosexual employees?  Simply put transferring government revenue from the many citizens to the few citizens through government contracts has been their true goal all along and they have the track record to prove it as the Party has become the refuge of people with antiquated views on race and other things (see the polling on interracial marriage).  Republican legislatures can just initiate privatization of departments within state agencies thereby circumventing fairness in hiring and termination. Take, oh say, a maintenance department within say a state’s corrections department in, oh say, Alabama or Mississippi, neo-feudal strongholds, and privatize it.  You see if you privatize the departments you can get around things like personnel boards and minority hiring initiatives and fair employment practices when expending government funds and virtually hand the reigns of government services over to people with your political views, however discriminatory they may be like the old spoils system.

PolitiFact | John Boehner says U.S. health care system is best in world

That headline was from a 2012 Politifact discussion.  It’s relevant because Boehner repeated the comment which gave rise to the 2012 Politifact discussion again this month, November 2013.  It is is indeed odd how even supposedly objective entities, like Politifact, reshape the statements of Republicans, abetting construction for them of a mantle of reasonableness.  Donning this cloak, this mantle of credibility,  the conservatives are then free to support the crypto-fascist’s schemes of the Koch brothers, the ALEC agenda if you will, in the face of weakened scrutiny.  What Boehner said was that  Obamacare will ruin “the best health care delivery system in the world.” In order to portray the joker, John Boehner, as being a respectable contributor to the health care conversation Politfact has to change the discussion from one about the best health care delivery system to one about the best health care system.  What muddies the discussion and allows Politifact to give Boehner a “Half True” on its “Truth-o-Meter” is the veil  Politifact conveniently supplies from the phrase “delivery system,” effectively taking it off the field.  Politifact gets into discussing the quality of care some people can obtain allowing in the following Boehner praise of the status quo

“ wealthy foreigners flock to the U.S. to receive care because of its cutting-edge facilities, and that the U.S. is among the leaders, if not No. 1, in medical research and pharmaceutical development.”

Give the joker a chance to defend his original assertion and he will make you laugh.  Of course wealthy foreigners can get quality care, even while Republican administrations in states in the union will not expand Medicaid so that poor Americans can get medical care.  We’re talking health care delivery here.  And delivery or access depends too heavily on income and the Affordable Care Act seeks to address that and of course that involves a reduction in insurance industry profits and the guy who handed out tobacco checks on the House floor, the crypto-fascist foot soldier, would have a problem with that. 

Remember the American wage earners don’t have checks to give Republicans to hand out on the house floor and big business rules America not anti-choice advocates.

 

 

And as for his reference to America’s cutting-edge facilities and  medical and pharmaceutical development, Boehner seems to be implying that those things were somehow things bequeath to America by a private sector without government assistance because you know how government gets in the way.  Far be it from the crypto-fascists to note “

As the world’s leading medical research institution, the
NIH funds more than 35,000 research grants each year to scientists across the country
making advances against heart disease, cancer, and many other diseases. NIH-funded
scientists have won 93 Nobel Prizes over the years, and researchers in the NIH’s own labs
have won 5 Nobel Prizes.” 

But Politfacat, when even people you note as having written for the Koch-founded Cato Institute tell you that “”The assertion that the U.S. is ‘the best’ across the board has little support”  you have to say that Boehner’s comment about the best delivery system” is false not politely and sympatheticly, half true.  Best health care delivery system my foot.  Boehner can only get away with statements like that because he knows that the people who vote for him are so drunk on the notion of American exceptionalism that they believe that Americans have the best of every thing, case closed.  Boehner, the joker, can count on his constituents not knowing that contrary to what Dr. Ben “Americans-use-too-much-healthcare” Carson spews like an overflowing, Koch-brother cesspool,

“the average Japanese visits a doctor about 14.5 times per year-three times as often as the U.S. average, and twice as often as any nation in Europe.  If you can’t get to the doctor, no problem: Nearly all general practitioners in Japan make house calls, either daily or weekly.”  – The Healing of America by T.R. Reid

How’s that for health care delivery? 

 

 

 

PolitiFact | John Boehner says U.S. health care system is best in world