Monthly Archives: August 2011

LUV Newsletter

MASSIVE CORPORATE CORRUPTION IN THE LAND OF THE FREE

“Twenty-five of the 100 highest paid U.S. CEOs earned more last year than their companies paid in federal income tax, a pay study said on Wednesday. It also found many of the companies spent more on lobbying than they did on taxes,” begins a report in British news this morning.

We’ve pointed out that many corporations, for campaign financing bribes, get back a thousand-fold return in tax breaks and/or treasury access through privatization, in the most corrupt political system imaginable. Microsoft was under an antitrust investigation before the corporation caved to the “pay to play” system, now they have no problems with a government there to serve the corporations which finance the elections.

Government policy and Nuclear Mafia theft resulted in at least $60 billion down the toilet in the Afghanistan/Iraq adventures in another report out this morning. Expect this to be ignored, nothing is ever done to install accounting for what euphemistically passes as “defense spending.” Often, nobody knows what happened to billions of dollars missing at a time, and nobody is held responsible.

The web site Its Our Economy explains how we got to this point of corporate government and corporate media increasingly working hand in hand to sell out the American people.

Juanita Jean on the Sleaze King

Takes One To Know One

Rick Perry said that Washington DeeCee is sleazy.

He knows that because he’s The Sleaze King, so he gets to bestow such honors.

Let me show you just one more reason why he wears the sleaze crown.

Since Rick Perry joined the presidential race this month, his campaign entourage has included not just the standard array of political advisers and aides, but a squad of Texas law enforcement agents.

The security forces scout and secure locations days in advance. Well before the governor’s visit to Tommy’s Country Ham House in Greenville, S.C., last weekend, more than a half-dozen suited and armed agents were giving orders to the crowd of more than 400.

How much is this ever-present phalanx of state policemen costing the taxpayers of Texas? They won’t know at least until after next year’s presidential election, thanks to a provision, tucked into a school finance bill in July, that will keep the governor’s travel records sealed for 18 months.

So, Rick is spending my money but I can’t know how much until AFTER the Presidential election.

Head on over and read the article so you’ll know what we’ve paid for so far, keeping in mind that we roped, hogtied and field dressed education funding this year in Texas.

By the way, this is not Rick Perry’s new campaign bus.  No matter what you hear in the librul media, it is not.

He designed it, but it’s not his exactly.  It belongs to Dave Carney, who lets Rick drive it slowly on the driveway every Saturday.  But not on Monday, definitely not on Monday.  He’s an excellent driver.

Ben Sherman Blasts Perry on Education

About one in ten American schoolchildren are Texan schoolchildren. Clearly, Texas must maintain an effective public education system for its own and the United States’ sake. Rick Perry doesn’t care. Since 2000, enrollment in Texas public schools has increased by 874,000 to 4.9 million schoolchildren.

As Texas’ schools were rapidly filling up five years ago, Perry mandated a gratuitous 33% cut in local school tax rates. Now, a shocking one in three Texas high school graduates in college require corrective work to learn math, writing and reading skills that their high schools couldn’t afford to teach them.

But that was just the groundwork for Perry. When his own fiscal mismanagement led to a $27 billion budget shortfall this year, Perry used the opportunity to slash public education even more.

During the Legislative session, Perry pushed for and received a $4 billion cut from the public education budget, prompting tens of thousands of teacher layoffs across the state. This kind of buffoonery can only lead one place. “Heading into the new fiscal year, Texas ranked 42nd in per-pupil spending among U.S. states and 43rd in high-school graduation rates,” Bloomberg News explains.

Is this terrible reality a product of Rick Perry’s stupidity? Maybe not.

Perry recently suggested that our government’s founding fathers’ dedication to the “general welfare” doesn’t mean that government programs have a right to promote the general welfare. Under Perry’s insane view, public education is treated as unimportant.

Why else would Rick Perry purposefully fail to prepare Texas schoolchildren for their futures? Maybe because studies show that the poorer and less educated Americans are, the more likely they are to vote for Republicans.

Don’t put it past him. Rick Perry only cares about one Texas child: himself.

Rick Perry Fails Our Kids

Rick Perry has robbed Texas kids of a quality education by slashing billions in public education funding. Rick Perry’s education policy has forced tens of thousands of teacher layoffs, bigger classes and less funding per student. Despite being home to about a tenth of American schoolchildren, Texas ranks 43rd among the states in high school graduation rates. One third of Texas high school students who go to college require corrective work to make up for what they didn’t learn in high school.

—Ben Sherman, Burnt Orange Report

Mario Piperni

Why You Should Pray For A Rick Perry Presidency

You can now cast away any lingering doubts you might have had about Rick Perry.

What would America be like under a Rick Perry presidency? Well, if Rick Perry’s Texas is any indication, the country could look forward to 85 mph speed limits, hog hunting from helicopters and a security check “fast-lane” for concealed handgun carriers.

Any minor concerns you might have had about casting a vote for a man who…

  • drastically cut eduction funding as governor
  • is not quite sure about that evolution thing know-nothing scientists keep talking about
  • believes climate scientists are in it for the money
  • prays for rain
  • thinks Medicare is unconstitutional
  • wants federal income tax scrapped
  • would work to make abortion illegal in all 50 states
  • would gives states the right to opt out of Social Security and Medicaid
  • prays for an end to EPA regulations
  • wants same-sex marriage made unconstitutional by redrafting the Constitution

…well, so what?  The ‘pork chopper’ law comes into effect September 1 in Texas!  That’s right, for $500 Texans can shoot an unlimited number of 400 pound hogs with semi-automatic rifles from low flying helicopters.  Nice.

I think it’s a fair trade-off.  You get a loud mouth, in your face religious, gay-hating, science-bashing, shit-for-brains president in exchange for the right to shoot animals from helicopters in all 50 states.  It doesn’t get much better than that.  And you can consider those security check “fast-lane” for concealed handgun carriers as a bonus.

The Borowitz Report

Cheney’s Book Features Foreword by Satan

‘Couldn’t Put it Down,’ Says Prince of Darkness

NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report) – Publishing circles were abuzz today with the news that the new memoir by former Vice President Dick Cheney features a foreword by an unusual contributor: Satan.

In his introduction, the Prince of Darkness said he rarely reads political memoirs but made an exception in the case of Mr. Cheney “because we had worked so closely together in the past.”

When he began to read the Cheney manuscript, however, the Lord of Misrule said he was “surprised” by what he found.

“Quite honestly, I couldn’t put it down,” Satan wrote.  “It was almost like a book I would have written myself.”

In what could be construed as minor criticism of the book, Satan admitted he was “miffed” that Mr. Cheney took total credit for the idea of invading Iraq, but added, “We were such close collaborators at the time, it may be hard for Dick to remember whose idea was whose – half the time we were finishing each other’s sentences.”

While Satan said he is unlikely to make a habit of writing introductions to books, he said that he could foresee making another exception in the future: “I’ve heard Rupert Murdoch is working on his memoir.”

Elsewhere, after Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn) said God created last week’s earthquake and hurricane to punish America, God issued this rebuttal: “Actually, that’s why I created Michele Bachmann.”

LUV Newsletter

Capitalism’s New Era

by Shamus Cooke

Karl Marx got it right, at some point capitalism can destroy itself,” said Mr. Roubini, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “We thought markets worked. They’re not working.”

The world economy is in shambles and about to get worse, according to even mainstream economists. How bad is anybody’s guess. Some things, however, are certain: the recovery that politicians have been promising for years existed only in their heads. The reality of the situation is now apparent to millions of people across the globe, who, before, clung to the empty promises of economic recovery. This new found consciousness will inevitably find expression in the political realm and, more importantly, the streets.

A key aspect of this sudden mass awareness is in response to high unemployment and the deeply unpopular measures that politicians are forcing upon working people, both byproducts of the Great Recession. Politicians are blaming “the markets” for demanding austerity measures, but “markets” are simply places where wealthy people invest their money. To guarantee a profitable return on their money these investors demand that labor laws be squashed and social programs be eliminated, all over the world.

Spain, for example, is one of many countries having austerity measures forced down their throats. Reuters reports:

“Analysts see the shaking up of the country’s inflexible labor laws [laws that protect workers] and the easing of hiring and firing [so older, activist, or slower workers can be fired] as vital to restoring the country’s competitiveness. The labor reforms are crucial. They will help to restore growth [profits] in the long term. Growth is the only way out of these adverse fiscal trends,’ said Luigi Speranza, analyst at BNP Paribas.” [May 27, 2010]

To summarize, creating new laws that enable Spanish corporations to work their workers harder will be better for profits.

Greece faces a similar austerity plan, according to The Guardian UK:

“Tax increases, spending cuts and wage reductions and a sweeping privatisation programme have led to violent protests in Greece, with many arguing that the International Monetary Fund and European Union have demanded too high a price for their financial support.” [August 2, 2011]

In the United States, these policies find expression in the attack against public-sector unions and the targeting of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for cuts, while mass unemployment is allowed to act as a very efficient way to lower wages for all workers.

Politicians have made it clear that economic growth, especially corporate profits, will increase in response to these anti-worker policies. They are only partially right. Corporate profits in fact have been on the rise, but the austerity measures have been responsible for the depressed economies throughout Europe and the US. When workers’ wages are lowered and social programs are decimated, working people and the poor are left with little money for any purchases other than the bare necessities. Without consumer demand for their products, corporations curtail operations even more. This global dynamic has been decades in the making, with the recession having finally forced the issue into the forefront.

The Reagan and Thatcher administrations were the first Western representatives during the post-World War II era of this now dominant trend, which aimed at pushing back the social programs and wages won by the labor movements. Their policies were in response to the lower corporate growth rates that began in the 1970s and continue to this day. Now, all of Europe is suffering because banks and corporations demand a more profit-friendly business environment: universal health care and education programs are in jeopardy, plus wages and other benefits are under attack.

For the wealthy and corporations this is a life-and-death struggle. The Great Recession has already bankrupted the banks and corporations who were not fit enough to survive under a crumbling market economy. The existing companies are thus forced to squeeze more work for less pay out of their workers, since labor is the most flexible cost of any business. Pushing labor costs down – and by extension cutting social programs – is thus the priority of the corporations and their paid-for politicians across the globe, since the global economy is tightly connected and they all play by the vicious rules of the market. In fact, the intensity with which the corporate elite is pursuing these policies is a reflection of their negative outlook for the global economy.

This constitutes a new era in global capitalism, one that mimics the market economy of past generations. The 2008 recession was not a temporary phenomenon, but the ushering in of a new period in which the corporate elite attempt to restructure social relations, meaning that past assumptions regarding wages and social programs must be destroyed, as a new, more profitable equilibrium is sought between the corporate elite and working people.

Implied in this nation-by-nation restructuring is a restriction of democracy, since these anti-worker policies negatively affect the vast majority of the population. The riots in London are an expression of this, as are the mass demonstrations throughout Europe as well as the Middle East. In the United States, democracy is circumvented via the so-called Super Congress, whose duty it is to cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Austerity programs throughout Europe are being implemented against the wishes of the general working populations.

Also included in this attack on working people is the corporate elite’s doubled efforts to divert the working-class anger toward fake populist movements – like the Tea Party in the US – or against minorities, such as Muslims and immigrants in the US.

This will require that working people stay focused on who exactly is attacking them, while focusing on measures that can serve as alternatives to what the corporate elite are forcefully implementing.

The most immediate and important demand of working people must be taxing the rich and corporations, since social programs need to be funded and expanded and a massive jobs program with a strong green component is desperately overdue. It’s not by coincidence that taxing the rich is rarely used in austerity plans; and when, on rare occasions, the rich are taxed, it’s at low levels with high publicity, so the angry public will think the illusion of “shared sacrifice” is a reality.

For example, in the US, President Obama is again calling to end the Bush tax cuts for the rich (after allowing them to continue less than a year ago). It is doubtful that the Bush tax cuts will be ended, but if they were, it would be insufficient. Working people must demand that taxes on the rich be raised to at least pre-Reagan levels (70 percent), while President Eisenhower levels would be best (90 percent). Over the decades, the tax burden has shifted dramatically, causing wealth to accumulate into the bank accounts of the top 1 percent of the population, the same people who are now demanding that social programs be destroyed so that their investments are secured and their corporate profits remain high.

Since illusions of an economic recovery have now been shattered, it’s up to working people to demand that their labor unions and community groups unite to tax the rich and corporations in order to finance a massive jobs program. Fortunately, the AFL-CIO is organizing actions for the first week of October to demand jobs and oppose cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Many within the labor movement are calling for massive demonstrations across the country for October 1. It will take these types of actions to unite working people to fight for a positive solution to the economic crisis.

Snake Oil on the Radio

Our sister site, Keeping the Public in Public Radio, reports that it’s all over but the crying for iBiquity, the shyster company that has been trying to foist HD radio off on a disinterested public. Despite massive infusions of hype and dollars from some of the big guns in corporate radio, the company appears to be dying an agonizing death. To its detriment, NPR was involved in trying to sell this turkey, in cahoots with the lapdog “regulators” at the FCC (all well chronicled at KTPPR), and the public dollars that flowed from your local stations to this flawed, monopoly technology have just been frittered away. The local station put $1 million-plus into HD and may never have realized a dime in return. Maybe a nickel. Cue the fat lady. It’s time.

A Rick Perry Fact Sheet

Mark Harris of the Facebook page The Reality of Rick Perry’s Texas created a doc with the following information gathered in one handy location:

PERRY FACTS

Texas Not Drinking Perry Koolaide

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44294006/ns/local_news-dallas_fort_worth_tx/

Rick Perry Conspired With Multinational Bank To Raise Revenues Off The Deaths Of Texas Teachers

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/08/26/304672/rick-perry-monetize-teacher-deaths/

Perry the Creationist

http://gawker.com/5834921/richard-dawkins-gamely-takes-on-rick-perrys-evolution-denialism

Perry Anti Gay

http://www.dallasvoice.com/breaking-perry-signs-anti-gay-marriage-pledge-1087368.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DallasVoice+%28Dallas+Voice+Feed%29&utm_content=FaceBook

Perry’s Hungry Kids

http://www.dallasvoice.com/breaking-perry-signs-anti-gay-marriage-pledge-1087368.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DallasVoice+%28Dallas+Voice+Feed%29&utm_content=FaceBook

Perry Facts and Myths

http://flaglerlive.com/26991/rick-perry-facts-myths-guide

Hard Time ahead for Perry

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Elections/President/2011/0610/Texas-Gov.-Rick-Perry-for-president-Why-he-could-have-a-hard-time

Perry’s Schools

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.salon.com%2Fnews%2Fpolitics%2Fwar_room%2F2011%2F08%2F25%2Fwinship_perry&h=gAQDt_ae4AQAVlIoskcwq3gGc6e7kD79XV0l7JLQ6CT-ZzA

“Diamond Jim” Rick Perry’s Travels

As Cindy Noble Cole points out in a post on The Reality of Rick Perry’s Facebook page, the “conservative” repug has no problem when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars — unless, of course, you want him to disclose that… He’s not big on fiscal conservatism, apparently.

Expenses for a Rick Perry trip in 2008. Broke down for one trip he and his wife, Anita, made to France and Sweden June 2-10, 2008, for a trade and investment conference and recruitment mission: The total cost of just more than $126,800 included $16,931.63 in meals and other expenses; $34,784.98 in hotels; $20,574.04 in car rental; $21,254.01 in airfare; $18,415.51 in base pay for the officers; and $14,840.35 in overtime. He is now working to keep the information from taxpayers. Wonder why?

Here‘s the link to the story.