Saturday, August 20, 2011

Why 'Constitutional Conservatives' Like Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry Have No Respect for the Constitution

Why 'Constitutional Conservatives' Like Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry Have No Respect for the Constitution: "It's ironic that those claiming fealty to the constitution habitually thumb their noses at its most sacred principle.

A great irony of our political discourse is that those who describe themselves as “constitutional conservatives” display not only habitual ignorance of what our founding documents proscribe, but also show blatant scorn for the most important principle they enshrine: the separation of powers.

For much of our history, people across the political spectrum laid competing claims to being the true champions of the United States constitution, but in recent years that ground has largely been ceded to the far-right. When the Tea Partiers stormed into Congress, one of their first acts was a bit of political theater arranged by Tea Party caucus leader Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota: reading the Constitution (with the embarrassing bits edited out) aloud on the floor of the House..."

What Are You Friggin' Nuts Over There?

Friday Night Funnies: Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry & Tea-Party Nutbaggery

Hartmann - The latest slap in the face to 9/11 first responders

Motivated In Ohio: Hartmann - Fox News Doesn't Know Jack about Econom...

Motivated In Ohio: Hartmann - Fox News Doesn't Know Jack about Econom...

What I Don't Understand

So, I got told today by a Teabagger that I don't understand that if taxes are raised on the rich, that they won't create jobs. Oh fucking really now? Somehow Clinton raised taxes, and 20-25 million jobs were created. Bush lowered taxes and we lost millions of jobs and you're going to try and tell me that I don't understand?! What I don't understand is how I pay more in taxes than Exxon Mobil when I live below the fucking poverty level. I actually owed money this year when they and plenty of other companies got a fucking refund check! What I don't understand is how they're the 'job creators' and they're not making any damn jobs. Instead, they're laying of workers while making record profits and sitting on millions of dollars! What I don't understand is how people get this idea into their head that supply side economics is a fucking good thing. What I don't understand is how me and millions of other people are expected to pay more than our fair share when we sure as hell can't afford it. And the people who can afford it are receiving welfare on steroids!

A company who makes $5 million an hour in profit can receive welfare and that's ok but thousands of people who actually need the help are given the boot! Are you fucking kidding me?! How are we supposed to get out of this damn recession when money is being squeezed out of the middle class? To give you an idea of how bad it's getting; the CEO of Wal-Mart makes in one hour, what the average annual salary is of a Wal-Mart employee. But somehow they can't afford to pay more but the rest of us can?! Give me a fucking break!

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

Who Will Win The Argument Between Professor Right And Dr. Wrong?

Running on Fumes: Michele Bachmann Promises $2 Gas and a Golden Chicken!

Bernie Sanders Delivers A Powerful Message To Working Families

Unemployment in the U.S.

Unemployment in the U.S. This link is on Google, it's an interactive that shows the unemployment rate in the US. You can do it by state and county. From there you can break it down even more. Some scary stuff.

An Angry and Battered America Demands Tax Increases On The Rich

An Angry and Battered America Demands Tax Increases On The Rich: "Approximately thirty years ago, an actor-turned-god told the American people that government was their enemy and was single-handedly responsible for their economic plight, and it started the neo-conservative movement that is ravaging the country today. Ronald Reagan convinced many Americans that if the wealthiest citizens in the country got all the breaks they would allow miniscule amounts of their wealth to trickle down to the peasants who would in turn pay more taxes to feed the wealthy’s low tax rate. When Bill Clinton was president, he raised the wealthy’s taxes to a level that is 3% higher than it is today and the economy made a recovery that has stood as the most prosperous era in recent memory.

When George W. Bush took office in 2001, he immediately took the budget surplus President Clinton left and turned it over to the wealthy with repeated assurances that the rich would let some of their crumbs trickle down to working Americans who paid for his two wars and gave the rich tax breaks. Now the economy is once more near the brink of disaster and Republicans are refusing to raise taxes on the wealthy; all the while they help corporations send Americans’ jobs overseas to avoid paying taxes on the foreign income. So what is the Republicans answer to save the economy and create jobs? They are still trumpeting that tired canard that if the rich keep their tax breaks and regulations are eliminated, the job creators will get the economy working again..."

Dominionism: Bachmann, Perry Share Radical Religion Ties

This is some scary stuff!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Foreign Students in Work Visa Program Stage Walkout at Plant

Foreign Students in Work Visa Program Stage Walkout at Plant: "PALMYRA, Pa. — Hundreds of foreign students, waving their fists and shouting defiantly in many languages, walked off their jobs on Wednesday at a plant here that packs Hershey’s chocolates, saying a summer program that was supposed to be a cultural exchange had instead turned them into underpaid labor.

The students, from countries including China, Nigeria, Romania and Ukraine, came to the United States through a long-established State Department summer visa program that allows them to work for two months and then travel. They said they were expecting to practice their English, make some money and learn what life is like in the United States..."


A few years ago, I heard a shocking story on This American Life about Indian guest workers in Oklahoma. The John Pickle Company had recruited and hired 52 guest workers from India, many of whom were highly educated, to come to Oklahoma to work in an oil industry parts factory. They were essentially held captive, without passports, and made to work long hours for almost no money and housed in a decrepit “dormitory”, isolated by culture from the locals and by distance from support from family. Eventually, the guest workers made contact with members of a local church, who helped organize their escape and eventual financial restitution.

Shocking that this kind of thing would happen in our country, I thought, but I managed to put that sickening feeling out of mind with the comforting thought that this was a one-off thing, that one ignorant individual might have thought he was helping people from a developing country by essentially enslaving them, but it slid under the radar only because it was a small-time operator with relatively few employees. But then I came across the news today in the New York Times that hundreds of foreign students from countries like China, the Ukraine, and Nigeria had been recruited to come to the United States on a “cultural exchange” program but were steered into backbreaking work at a Hershey’s chocolate packing plant that didn’t even compensate them enough to cover their costs of coming to this country.

Here’s how the program worked. The US State Department offers a J-1 Visa that allows students wanting to experience American culture firsthand to work for two months in the United States and then to travel for a month. It’s actually a fairly good program when it’s not abused – friends of mine have participated and raved about their experiences.

In theory, students can travel to the US and make enough money during their two months to cover the expenses it took for them to come to the States and to see the sights for a month. Then they go back to their home countries and report on how wonderful life is in the United States and how welcoming and friendly the American people are.

But in reality, the student workers in Palmyra, PA paid up to $6,000 in application and processing fees and traveled to a small town in Pennsylvania to work in a Hershey packing plant operated by Exel, a local contractor, where they were forced to perform back-breaking physical labor for low wages. Many of the students are training for highly-skilled careers in fields like medicine in their home countries, but working in the factory left them with strained backs and numb hands. The workers were videotaped and told that if they slowed from a constant rapid pace, they would be fired. If they complained, they would be fired. And if they took their complaints to other authorities, they would be fired. (Sensing a pattern?) They couldn’t leave the job to work somewhere else, because this was the position listed on their visa. And they couldn’t just go home, because they didn’t have any money to change their ticket.

One student, a medical student from Nigeria, complained that his hands are so stiff from work that he can hardly hold a pen nowadays. It’s going to be awfully difficult to progress very far in his studies or career if he can’t hold a pen to write, much less wield a scalpel.

On top of it all, they were forced to live in company housing and charged exorbitant rent by the terms of their contract, paying far more for housing than their neighbors. This last bit was the last straw. Along with utility costs, the high rent was deducted directly from their $8.35 an hour pay, leaving them with almost no money to save up for traveling, much less pay them back for application fees and plane fare. When they compared their rent with neighbors, it became apparent that Exel was doing everything they could to extract as much as possible from a group of people who as guests in our country had very little power to defend themselves.

Obviously, my heart first goes out to the students who went through hell at the packing plant. Instead of participating in a cultural exchange, they’ve been exploited because of their cultural isolation. Their spirits were broken down with their bodies. They’ll go back to their home countries to tell everyone who will listen what horrible and cruel people Americans are, and from their own experiences, they’ll definitely have justification for doing so.

But the other side of it is that we’ve had a jobs crisis in this country for several years now. Instead of giving local Pennsylvanians jobs, Exel went after a steady rotation of exploitable foreign students, who were much easier to cow into submission as virtual indentured servants. I’m sure that at least some of the 7.6% of Pennsylvanians who are currently unemployed would love a job, any job, but then Exel wouldn’t be able to charge them outrageous rents or work them to the bone without pushback from union organizers.

In the end, pushback is what Exel and Hershey got. 200 students who were scheduled to start an afternoon shift yesterday walked out of the plant at 3pm, and other students finishing their early morning shift joined in. Enough workers walked off the job to stop or slow production at the plant. The students marched off the plant grounds chanting “We are the students, the mighty, mighty students!” in English and their own languages, joining local representatives of labor unions at the entrance to the plant. Several were arrested at a sit-in blocking the entrance, including Rick Bloomingdale, president of the Pennsylvania State Federation of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., and Neal Bisno, president of a Pennsylvania branch of the Service Employees International Union.

It’s not clear what’s going to happen with the students, Exel, or Hershey now. In the case of the John Pickle Company, which I mentioned at the beginning of the post, the guest workers were allowed to return home, and the company ended up having to pay them almost $1.5 million in back wages and damages.

But in this case, Hershey claims that it’s an Exel managed plant, and Exel claims that the students were hired by a staffing agency, although I’m not sure what that has to do with their exploitative management practices. And the foundation responsible for managing the J-1 Visa program, the Council for Educational Travel, claims that it’s trying to investigate the allegations, but that while they “would go out of [their] way to help [the students], it seems like someone is stirring them up out there.” That’s a strange way to blame the victim.

As for the students themselves, it’s unclear whether they will be fired, fined, or whether they will receive some sort of restitution for what they’ve been through.

Rebuild the Dream

Unemployed Constituents Stage Sit-In At Paul Ryan’s Office, Ryan’s Staff Calls The Cops

Unemployed Constituents Stage Sit-In At Paul Ryan’s Office, Ryan’s Staff Calls The Cops: "Yesterday, seven unemployed constituents of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) staged a sit-in at his office in Kenosha, Wisconsin, to protest the congressman’s decision not to hold any free public town halls during the August recess. An additional 100 protesters picketed outside the office. Politico reported this week that Ryan, Chairman of the powerful House Budget [...]"

Screw Medicare - Family Responsibility (Senator)

God's Message To Rick Perry

World of Class Warfare

Why the Mainstream Media Are Clueless About the Religious Right

Why the Mainstream Media Are Clueless About the Religious Right: "Though it has shaped American politics for the last 40 years, the religious right still baffles reporters.

Every four years, just as a presidential campaign kicks up, legions of media types who make their living outside the right-wing echo chamber emerge as a militia of Margaret Meads, descending on flyover country, trying to make sense of that exotic phenomenon, the religious right. In the end, those who actually get it are few.

From the attitudes shown by media toward the religious right, you'd never know that more than one-quarter of the U.S. population identify as evangelicals, according to a 2007 survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, and among white self-identified evangelicals, 62 percent told Pew in 2006 that they believe the Bible to be the literal word of God...."

The Ohio jobs puzzle

The Ohio jobs puzzle: "Ohio Governor John Kasich says his reforms should be judged on whether they create jobs. The last while hasn't been kind to him on that score. In July, the state now reports, unemployment rose for the second consecutive month. It's now at 9 percent, up from 8.8 percent in June. The rate had been falling -- it was 10 percent a year ago, before Mr. Kasich took office -- and now it's rising again.

From the start, Governor Kasich has made a point of shifting resources from the public sector to the private one, stripping rights from unions because he said it would save the state money, and cutting the overall budget...."

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Motivated In Ohio: Ohio Gov. John Kasich willing to negotiate to avoi...

Motivated In Ohio: Ohio Gov. John Kasich willing to negotiate to avoi...: Visit for breaking news , world news , and news about the economy

The Frozen

Rich People Wasting Money on Building Libertarian Islands Now

Debt, Debt, Debt: 90% of Americans Experience Income Decline As Wealth Gets Sucked Back Into Top .1% -- Debt Explodes As We Try to Make Ends Meet

Debt, Debt, Debt: 90% of Americans Experience Income Decline As Wealth Gets Sucked Back Into Top .1% -- Debt Explodes As We Try to Make Ends Meet: "Americans have made up for the decline in income by taking on large amounts of debt.

The cuts in taxes for the mega-wealthy have led to record wealth inequality and resulted in a huge national deficit. Meanwhile, to make up for the deficit created in part by tax giveaways to one-tenth of one percent of the population, Democrats and Republicans are committed to making draconian budget cuts to vital social services, which target the poor, middle class, elderly and sick, while handing out billions more in corporate welfare annually. (Inequality = Debt = Austerity)..."

I can totally relate to this.

Horrifying Cigarette Warnings Debate

The Buckeye State Gives the Koch Agenda A Big Black Eye

The Buckeye State Gives the Koch Agenda A Big Black Eye: "Today, Ohioans served Republican Governor John Kasich some of his own medicine, rejecting his offer to negotiate with them on Senate Bill 5 (the bill that killed collective bargaining rights). They told him the time for talking was over.

We Are Ohio has taken the people’s fight all the way back to the ballot box to the chagrin of Governor Kasich. The anti-union bill (S.B. 5) that he rammed down the throats of Ohioans in spite of daily protests (hello, Scott Walker) is being put on the November ballot after 1.3 million Ohioans signed petitions to put the vote before the people. Kasich is now begging for “compromise” from the legislature in order to avoid the harsh judgment of the actual people he serves...."

The Texas Miracle

Donald Trump Slams Oil Subsidies Because Of Warren Buffett

Welfare Queen Michele Bachmann Exposed By Tax Returns

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Saving WIC

:Economists estimate that every dollar spent on pregnant women in WIC produces $1.92 to $4.21 in Medicaid savings for newborns and their mothers."
~Center for American Progress

Missouri School Sued For Allegedly Making Special Ed Student Write Apology Letter To Her Rapist

Missouri School Sued For Allegedly Making Special Ed Student Write Apology Letter To Her Rapist: "In one of the most brazen examples of “blaming the victim” in recent memory, a school in Springfield, Missouri, has, according to a lawsuit, not only dismissed the rape claims of a seventh grade special education student, but also forced the girl to write and hand-deliver an apology letter to her alleged attacker. The lawsuit [...]"

The following info is out of Full Frontal Feminism according to the 2004 National Crime Victimization Survey:

  • Almost two-thirds of all rapes are committed by someone the victim knows.
  • Every two and a half minutes someone is sexually assaulted in the US.
  • One in every six women has been the victim of an attempted or complete rape.
  • Fewer than half of all rapes and sexual assaults are reported.
  • Eighty percent of rape victims are under the age of 30.
  • Forty-four percent are under eighteen.

Surprise! The Hated Tea Party Nothing More Than Right Wing GOP Religious Theocrats!

Are Michele Bachmann's Views About 'Christian Submission' Even More Extreme Than She's Letting On?

Are Michele Bachmann's Views About 'Christian Submission' Even More Extreme Than She's Letting On?: "The people, churches and groups that shaped Bachmann's thinking are far more anti-woman than most Americans fully comprehend.

Michele Bachmann told a barefaced lie the other day. She was asked in the Republican candidates' debate with the other Republican contenders, “As president, would you be submissive to your husband?"

Bachmann answered: “Marcus and I will be married for 33 years this September 10th. I’m in love with him. I’m so proud of him. And both he and I — what submission means to us, if that’s what your question is, it means respect. I respect my husband. He’s a wonderful, godly man, and a great father. And he respects me as his wife.”..."

Motivated In Ohio: Land of the Free, Home of the Poor

Motivated In Ohio: Land of the Free, Home of the Poor: "Watch the full episode . See more PBS NewsHour."

Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry’s Politics Betray The Teachings of Christ

Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry’s Politics Betray The Teachings of Christ: "In American politics it has become normal for candidates to brand themselves in order to garner support from special interest groups, voters and campaign donors alike even though there are times when voters are pitched one brand and campaign donors hear a totally different storyline. There is not always a distinct correlation between a candidate’s advertised credentials and their experience or actions, but some politicians are so far-removed from their public expression of themselves that voters cannot help but be aware of the divergence. Two of the Republicans seeking the nomination for the presidency have branded themselves as evangelical Christians who will transform the country into a “nation under the Christian god,” and although they are true believers, their actions as politicians are far-removed from a follower of Christ...."

Thom Hartmann: Libritarian Paradise...will it work?

Standard and Poor

Hartmann: Immigrants for Sale

Motivated In Ohio: How America criminalised poverty | Barbara Ehrenre...

Motivated In Ohio: How America criminalised poverty | Barbara Ehrenre...: "How America criminalised poverty | Barbara Ehrenreich | Comment is free | I completed the manuscript for Nickel and Dimed ..."

Anonymous' Real Life DDoS on BART

Michele Bachmann Elvis Presley Birthday Mistake


Dear Boss

Dear Boss,

I have enjoyed working here these past several years. You have paid me very well, given me benefits beyond belief. I have 3-4 months off per year and a pension plan that will pay my salary till the day I die and a health plan that most people can only dream about.

I plan to take the next 12-18 months to find a new position. During this time I will show up for work when it is convenient. In addition, I fully expect to draw my full salary and all the other perks associated with my current job.

Oh yeah, if my search for this new job proves fruitless, I will be back with no loss in pay or status. Before you say anything, remember that you have no choice in the matter.

I can and will do this.

Every Senator or Congressman running for President.
...Try that at your job and let me know how it works for you.

The Book of Cletis: The Face of American Fascism by Insidious Prophet

The Book of Cletis: The Face of American Fascism by Insidious Prophet: "Big Business, including DuPont Chemical, J.P. Morgan Bank, US Steel, Goodyear Tire, Standard Oil, and Mutual Life Insurance, and men like Pr..."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ron Paul Sucks

Anonymous, LulzSec to FBI: We're Not Going Anywhere, Expect Us

How One Kid Is Taking On Fox News

What They Won't Tell You about the National Debt

Thom Hartmann on the News: August 16, 2011

Not Even Michele Bachmann Understands What Michele Bachmann Is Saying

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Dear America

Motivated In Ohio: 21st Century Segregation in North Carolina Schools...

Motivated In Ohio: 21st Century Segregation in North Carolina Schools...: "Visit for breaking news , world news , and news about the economy"

Hartmann: If Corps are people - we're SCREWED

Hartmann: Will America survive without Shared Sacrifice?

Michele Bachmann: Gays, Satan, Bondage & Families

Cell Service Shutdown Raises Free Speech Questions

Cell Service Shutdown Raises Free Speech Questions: "The shutdown of mobile phone service in San Fransisco Bay Area subway stations has constitutional experts hitting the law books.

Authorities for Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART, blocked wireless signals in certain stations on Thursday in an attempt to prevent protests opposing the July 3 shooting death of Charles Blair Hill by BART police. Police say Hill came at them with a knife.

First Amendment scholars say they can't remember a time when a public agency in the U.S. moved to disrupt wireless traffic in quite that way. Now, they're trying to stretch old First Amendment principles to fit in the context of new technology...."

American Fundamentalism in the 70s – The Rise of the Moral Majority

American Fundamentalism in the 70s – The Rise of the Moral Majority: "I left off last time with the formation of the “New Right” which linked the political right to the Religious Right. In 1973, Paul Weyrich , who was instrumental in the formation of the New Right, founded the Heritage Foundation (with aid from money from Joseph Coors), a right-wing think tank. Remember that next time you sit down to have a beer. Sure, the Rockies are beautiful, but what that beer represents is pure Colorado ugly.

Weyrich also founded ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council to coordinate the work of Religious Right state legislators. William Martin Chavanne author of With God on Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right in America offers a quote from Weyrich: “This alliance between religion and politics didn’t just happen. I have been working on this for years.”..."

Motivated In Ohio: Americans Don't Realize Just How Badly We're Getti...

Motivated In Ohio: Americans Don't Realize Just How Badly We're Getti...: "Americans Don't Realize Just How Badly We're Getting Screwed by the Top 0.1 Percent Hoarding the Country's Wealth | Economy | AlterNet Wit..."

Warren Buffett: "We Coddle Super-Rich" ...WRONG.

Whoa: Women Have To Have A PhD To Make As Much As Men With A BA

Seeing charts like this reminds me how far women still have yet to go for equal rights.

To read more on this please click here.

"The poorest and most backward societies are always those that put women down."
~Isabel Allende

Cenk Rips CNN Obama Analysis By Fareed Zakaria

The Book of Cletis: Budget For A Dysfunctional Family by Brian Cooney

The Book of Cletis: Budget For A Dysfunctional Family by Brian Cooney: "Last week’s debt ceiling agreement was a striking victory for Republicans, although they almost threw it away under pressure from the Tea..."

Monday, August 15, 2011

Fox News Says Texas Prayers Answered?

Starbucks' CEO: Halt the political donations

Starbucks' CEO: Halt the political donations: "Starbucks Corp Chief Executive Howard Schultz is winning support for his call to withhold political contributions from U.S. lawmakers until they strike a "fair, bipartisan" deal on the country's debt, revenue and spending.

Schultz recently led the world's biggest coffee chain through a painful but successful restructuring that returned it to growth. In his letter Monday, he also challenged fellow U.S. business leaders to do their part by hiring workers to give the national economy a much-needed jolt...."

Anti-gay Republican ‘arranged gay sex with teenager’

Anti-gay Republican ‘arranged gay sex with teenager’: "An Indianapolis politician who has voted against gay marriage allegedly arranged a gay sex session with a teenager and tried to bribe him not to tell anyone.

Republican Phillip Hinkle, 64, reportedly responded to a Craigslist ad looking for a “sugga daddy”.

In response to 18-year-old Kameryn Gibson’s ad, Mr Hinkle apparently said he could not be a permanent sugar daddy but could offer him $140 for “a really good time”.

According to the Indianapolis Star, the politician wrote from his publicly-listed personal email address: “Cannot be a long time sugar daddy, but can for tonight. Would you be interested in keeping me company for a while tonight?’...."

Anti-Gay Rep. Busted At Hotel

Stop Coddling the Super-Rich

Stop Coddling the Super-Rich: "OUR leaders have asked for “shared sacrifice.” But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched.

While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks. Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily labors but are allowed to classify our income as “carried interest,” thereby getting a bargain 15 percent tax rate. Others own stock index futures for 10 minutes and have 60 percent of their gain taxed at 15 percent, as if they’d been long-term investors..."

Sunday, August 14, 2011

America's Nuclear Nightmare

Top 10 Things Texas Gov. Rick Perry Doesn’t Want You To Know About Him

Top 10 Things Texas Gov. Rick Perry Doesn’t Want You To Know About Him: "With widespread discontent on the right over their current presidential field, all eyes are trained on a likely new entrant: Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R). Perry, who has been elected governor three times and served for more than 10 years, enjoys bona fides from social conservatives and Tea Party-types alike. Glenn Beck even described Perry [...]"

10 Things You Need To Know About Rick Perry

One thing they forgot was that he's one of the extreme right wing Christians who hangs out with other crazy right wing Christians who remind me of Westboro Baptist Church. :|

What Hurt US's Credit Rating?: The Disproportionate & Perilious Influence of Ignorant Tea-Partiers

Bachmann Takes $1.1 M From Taxpayers But Claims Unemployment Benefits Are Unaffordable

Bachmann Takes $1.1 M From Taxpayers But Claims Unemployment Benefits Are Unaffordable: "Today Michele Bachmann claimed that we can’t afford to extend unemployment benefits, but while she has been in Congress, she has taken over $1.1 million taxpayer dollars in salary, subsidies, and benefits...."

'Wives Be Submissive!,' Says Cockamamie Michele Bachmann

Being submissive is not the same thing as respect. :|