Sunday, 1/30/11, Public Square


Filed under The Public Square

61 responses to “Sunday, 1/30/11, Public Square

  1. Bill Maher says it like it is — (adult language warning)

    New Rule: Americans Must Realize What Makes NFL Football So Great: Socialism

    New Rule: With the Super Bowl only a week away, Americans must realize what makes NFL football so great: socialism. That’s right, for all the F-15 flyovers and flag waving, football is our most successful sport because the NFL takes money from the rich teams and gives it to the poor teams… just like President Obama wants to do with his secret army of ACORN volunteers.

    • wicked

      As usual, Bill’s New Rule this week hit the nail on the head. My youngest (21) sat on the couch with me and watched most of the show. She usually walks out on political conversations or shows. Can’t say that I blame her. As a family, we do get a bit rabid at times. When Bill was finished, she asked me if it was true that the winning team gets last draft pick. I explained that it was, and that the worst team gets first pick. I used Michael Oher (Blind Side) as an example.

      Yeah, he usually gets it right, and I always look forward to his latest New Rule. He has a way of taking the mundane and using it as the perfect example. Kinda like a preacher…but don’t tell him I said that. 😉

  2. Tea Partier Who Ran on Tax Revolt Line Causes Massive Local Budget Crisis

    In 2009, Republican Edward Mangano was one of the first politicians to channel the Tea Party’s anti-tax fervor into a political victory when he knocked off Democrat Tom Suozzi for Nassau County Executive in New York State. Suozzi was a major political figure with ambitions for statewide office, and Magnano was a local legislator “given little chance of winning leading up to Election Day.”

    Upon taking office, Mangano — who ran on both the Republican and Tax Revolt Party lines — made good on a key campaign promise. On his inauguration day, Mangano signed a repeal of an unpopular home energy tax, instituted by Suozzi. The tax was implemented two years before as part of a deferred-pay deal Suozzi brokered with public worker unions, which was intended to spread around the sacrifice to deal with the county’s budget problems.

    In a special report, Reuters details how the repeal of that tax lead to a budgetary crisis and ultimately a takeover of the county’s finances by a state-appointed fiscal overseer. Noting that Mangano’s actions are “a black eye for the Tea Party,” the report explains how the Tea Party county executive had no plans for how to replace the lost tax revenue:

    • wicked

      …the Tea Party county executive had no plans for how to replace the lost tax revenue

      Reminds me of our new governor…

  3. Will the GOP moves to promote social issues that appeal to conservative activists do anything to create jobs? Guess if we count the money they personally pocket to pay for their reelection bids we can rest assured they’re doing everything humanly possible to protect their own jobs.

    Did they get rape redefined? I and other women have heard reports the GOP think it’s not incest if you’re 18, it’s not rape if you were drugged so you couldn’t fight back or say no, it’s not statutory rape if you’re 13 and you “consent” to sex with a 40-year old. None of the women I know will easily forget this new assault on females!

    • indypendent

      I just find it very distressing the Party that claims to be morally superior and in love with family values can even contemplate this change is a good thing.

      But then again, these are the same folks that want us to go back to the good ol’ days where women were not even considered 3/5 of a person. Women were simply property. But the women were sure the ones that kept their little Yankee Doodle Dandy well dressed and fed – were’n’t they?

    • wicked

      Very disturbing.

      I hate to be sexist, but only a bunch of men could think of these things.

  4. Anyone here have ideas of what the government can do to create jobs, short of expensive stimulus bills or public works programs such as those launched by President Franklin D. Roosevelt?

    • indypendent

      Perhaps stop sending billions of US taxpayer dollars to foreign countries that are ruled by known corrupt leaders.

      Perhaps stop spending billions of US taxpayer dollars on wars for corporate profits?

      And since Republicans think it is okay to give taxpayer money to private corporations to make more profit, why not allow average Americans to form their own corporations to start new businesses and let the average Joe get in on all those subsidies and tax breaks.

      But for this to work – corporations are going to have to give up their strangle hold on our economy. And I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

    • prairie pond

      The only thing right now that will create jobs is to increase demand for products and services. That means money has to get circulating again. The velocity of money needs to get off it’s ass. It’s not the amount of money in the economy right now, it’s that it isn’t flowing. A related point is the wealth gap or how income and wealth are distributed. The wealthy just put their money in non-job creating investments like derivatives and such. Rich folks only spend so much money on goods and services in terms of quantity. They may buy a billion dollar yacht, but they won’t buy more than one, or even a handful. Lower income folks will spend on goods and services, which is the very definition of demand.

      Address the wealth gap and the velocity of money will improve. Increasing supply hasn’t and never will create a job. Only buyers create jobs. And when the majority of the population can’t buy, no jobs will be created.

    • prairie pond

      Oh yeah, and addressing the prices and availability of things with non-elastic demand, such as health care and energy costs, and you’ll see more money made available for job creating goods and services. The more money that gets sucked out of the economy by health care and energy, (and is disproportionately large for the lower income folks) the less money there is to spend on goods and services. Which, as I’ve noted before, from the purchases of other people than the top one percent of income and wealth.

      It really isn’t rocket surgery 🙂

    • prairie pond

      Indy, you make a good point about foreign aid, even though it may not be the one you intended 🙂

      I read today that most “foreign aid” has strings attached, especially the aid we give Egypt, which is second in size only to the aid we give Israel. The strings attached include requirements that the aid be used to buy goods and services from American corporations.

      So… most foreign aid is yet ANOTHER form of corporate welfare, including Cargill, Monsanto and the MIC.

    • prairie pond

      Hee hee heeeeeeeee!

      And thus endeth today’s boring sermon on economics. Where are 617 and Zippy when I need them? HA!

    • prairie pond

      Ok, you knew I was lying when I said it was the end…

      I went from here to see what was up on DU, and lookie at what I found. He said what I wanted to say.×302691

    • prairie pond

      …and a post to tie the whole wealth distribution, Egypt and US thingies together. There are riots in Egypt over the wealth distribution and political power disparities, and low and behold, the wealth distribution inequality in the US is WORSE than in Egypt.

      Oh well, there’s always American Idol to keep the Yanks fat and happy!×304610

    • prairie pond

      I could be wrong about the figures here, but I think I heard on TV today that almost two thirds of Egypt’s population is thirty or under. And that it is the young folks there who are saying “basta” (Ok, I know I’m mixing languages and culture) to the corruption that is the chicken to wealth inequality’s egg.

      A lesson for America? If things are going to change for us, the youth will have to bring it. They are going to have to vote like they did in 2008, and do even more. While they may hurt us old bastards on Social Security, I’d like to think their compassion, idealism, and commitment to social justice will make us a better nation.

      Only time will tell, but I hope they take a lesson from the young folks in Egypt. Without the violence, of course.

      And isnt it interesting that the revolution in Egypt has nothing to do with radical Islam, and everything to do with corruption and wealth inequality? That oughta make some wingnut hawk heads explode!

    • I don’t know these answers and can look them up if no one else knows off the top of their head —

      What proportion of our population do the Boomers comprise?

      If it’s a disproportionate number, the youth will have to take over soon because the oldest of we boomers are closer to death than forcing our outdated ideas on others.

      And isn’t the GOP disproportionally older people? If so, wouldn’t this mean in order to survive the youth have to change to their way of thinking? I know many of the GOP think as youth age they’ll become more ‘conservative,’ and I think in a fiscal sense this is truer than in a social sense. At the same time I think ‘conservative’ today has much less to do with fiscal measures than social measures.

    • prairie pond

      Fnord, I don’t know those answers off the top of my head, but it doesn’t stop me from giving my opinion 🙂

      It isnt really about the proportion of the population, or even absolute numbers in the population. What does matter is that the older the cohort, the more dedicated they are to voting. If you want to win an election, turn out the old folks! That’s why it’s so important for the youth to vote like they did in 2008, and it’s also important, maybe even more so, for minority groups to get their asses to the polls.

      Old, white, rich people win election because they can bankroll campaigns, but also because old and white get to the polls more often than young or brown.

      Which leads us to the GOP. They may not have the majority of the population, but they DO have the majority of those who get to the polls. Kind of related to the so called “enthusiasm gap.” They are used to having power, and they are not giving it up or going away quietly.

      And did I mention they have money? Citizens United makes that even MORE valuable.

      It all reminds me of the sign I used to have that said “Age and treachery will overcome youth and vigor any day.”

      Too bad that is too often true!

  5. Heads turned when Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, presented the next item on the agenda: writing into law a perennially renewed ban on federal dollars for abortion, and to specify that it applies to health plans.

    The abortion proposal “reflects the will of the people,” said Boehner. “It’s one of our highest legislative priorities.”

    A new AP-GfK poll asked 1,000 adults to name the one thing they would want the federal government to do this year, if it accomplished only a single thing. The economy and jobs ranked first, cited by 38 percent of those surveyed. By comparison, 31 percent named health care, with some supporting Obama’s health law and some opposing it.

    No other issue exceeded 12 percent; abortion barely registered.

    • indypendent

      Did Speaker Boehner cite the Constitutionality of his proposal?

      Wasn’t that one of the new and improved House rules these fine Republicans were going to implement now that they are in control of the House?

      Wait a minute – that might not apply since they also promised transparency and then turned around and the Republicans voted against the proposal for House members to disclose if they are taking the taxpayer-funded health care benefit.

      In the words of SP – now that was a a WTF moment….

  6. prairie pond

    OT, where is Captain? Did we make him mad? 🙂

    • I don’t know is my only answer to both questions.

      Maybe we bored him away. 😉 Isn’t that what we are — boring? It’s one of the nicer words we’ve been called by those who can’t stay away from our ‘boring’ site.

    • prairie pond

      I think we’re anything but boring, unless someone is addicted to the rhetorical violence and arguing on TBTSNBN. I think our brand of boring trumps that bullshit any day.

      But then, that’s just me 🙂

    • Guess that’s another example of why the right to make our own choices makes sense! More often than not I get to spend time blogging with smart people and I appreciate that!

  7. prairie pond

    Another ROFLMAO post!

    Remember the explanation of credit default swaps that I posted long ago? Well…I’m going to post an equally good explanation of the bank bailouts. It would be funny if it were not so sad!

    • When you already own the U. S. government you don’t need to buy banks. 😦

      If you aren’t a banker then you simply don’t exist.

  8. “Ok, you knew I was lying when I said it was the end…

    I went from here to see what was up on DU, and lookie at what I found. He said what I wanted to say.”

    OK, it was a great link, but I want you to know you said it very well and they only reinforced what you already said!

  9. prairie pond

    Heh. Thanks, Fnord. It’s nice to know I can always count on you to be my fan. I’m a sucker for that. And I want you to know that I’m your fan too!

  10. prairie pond

    In my internet safari today, I found something, somewhere ( you know how that goes) that said one of the talking heads asked, why, with our wealth inequality and such, the Egyptian thing can’t happen here?

    The reply was that this Egyptian revolution fermented among the long term unemployed there who had too little money and too much time on their hands and sat in the coffee shops egging each other on.


    They don’t think there are too many people here with too little money and too little time on their hands, not to mention too little hope of economic recovery, that they cant foment a revolution here?

    I guess there’s always American Idol to keep us out of the radical coffee shops….

    • wicked

      The internet could be the savior. Think about it. Virtual coffee shops. Or even real coffee shops where those without internet connection can go and sit with those with laptops. I’m envisioning a whole new breed. Well, trying to, anyway. LOL

  11. prairie pond

    Hee hee heeee! And on the subject of how and why we are different from TBTSNBN…

    “- We like the idea of protecting endangered species.
    – You probably won’t see many of us at a monster truck event.
    – We might avoid a John Voigt or Mel Gibson movie.
    – Probably more interested in seeing Hoover Dam than Las Vegas.
    – TV won’t be on Fox.
    – No pork rinds.
    – We have no problem with a 13.7 billion year old universe.
    – We think it’s a bad idea to let sick people die because they can’t afford HC.
    – It’s none of our business how people pair up. It’s actually beautiful.
    – We think Multi-nationals and the Military Industrial Complex have agendas.
    – We know there is no gay agenda.
    – And environmentalists are not terrorists.
    – And Muslims are fine.
    – Assault weapons are really about killing people, not hunting.
    – Iraq & Afghanistan are wars of choice.
    – Saddam had no WMD’s.
    – One cold day does not discredit global climate change.
    – An elevated level of hate will not impress god.”

    Ok, I confess. I also got this at DU today.

  12. Today the Koch brothers and a cabal of other wealthy and powerful elites will be meeting behind closed doors in Rancho Mirage, CA (close to Palm Springs) to plot their strategy to take power in 2012 and dominate American political life. Today’s meeting won’t fly under the radar as well as previous meetings they’ve held!

    • wicked

      It’s always nice to have the Brits tell us what’s going on in our country.

      A good example of why I rarely, if ever, watch the news–local or national–on TV. There is no news.

  13. prairie pond

    Thanks for the linky, Frago.

    Tunesia, Yeman, Egypt, you can even lump in Greece and France.

    None of the unrest, riots or protests against the government related to religion, especially radical Islam. ALL about wealth inequality and the economic desperation of the long term unemployed.

    I wonder why I keep thinking that THIS is why TPTB cling so desperately to the Patriot Act and all the Sons of Patriot Act. It’s why the Patriot Act was supposedly needed in the first place. Not to protect us from Islamic “terrorists” or Mexican immigrants or even bad ol’ commies. Nope.

    It’s ALL about protecting the wealth of the bourgeois Americans and their corporate proxies. “Let them eat cake!”

    • fragotwofortwo

      “I wonder why I keep thinking that THIS is why TPTB cling so desperately to the Patriot Act and all the Sons of Patriot Act. It’s why the Patriot Act was supposedly needed in the first place. Not to protect us from Islamic “terrorists” or Mexican immigrants or even bad ol’ commies. Nope.

      It’s ALL about protecting the wealth of the bourgeois Americans and their corporate proxies. “Let them eat cake!”

      You have now publicly connected the dots. You are now an enemy of the state.

  14. prairie pond


    Algeria, the West Bank, hell, even Brittainia! Remember Camilla and Charles besieged in their limo?

    IIRC, NON of those are related to Islam. They all had economic distress as their triggers.

    I gotta answer a knock at the door. It’s probably Homeland Security. 😦

  15. prairie pond

    “You are now an enemy of the state.”

    HA! That isn’t news to anyone who knows me!

    My first words were “question authority.”

  16. Zippy

    Juan Cole on the creepy, autocratic, black-dyed eight-something who has ruled Egypt, an what’s happening.

    Funny how these basic of issues of class keep coming up.

    And by the way, the fact someone can pay heed to the insights of Karl Marx well over a century ago (“we have nothing to lose but our chains”) is not the same as endorsing socialism, though the entrenched powerful obviously have an interest as misportraying as such.

  17. fragotwofortwo

    Egyptian upheaval a ‘complete surprise’ to Israel

    u know what surprises me after spending trillions of dollars on security-spies-torturing bad guys that anything surprises anybody

  18. fragotwofortwo

    apologizes for my rude behavior

    • Zippy

      Rude? Hardly.

      I do rude, on occasion, and usually regret it.

      You’re just providing desperately needed information.

      The US has a long history of supporting despots for short-term strategic reasons. Even FDR was once quoted as saying the Anastosio Somoza Sr (Nicaragua’s dictator at the time) was “a son of a bitch, but our son of a bitch,

      Notwithstanding the human costs to human beings in that region, that one never really came back to bite us (though, incredibly, the Reagan administration tried to overthrow the subsequent Ortega government–not exactly a wonderful democrat, but a change– and reinstall autocratic terrorists (in a related development, Daniel Ortega, a corrupt but democratically-elected SOB, had become Nicaragua’s president for a second time recently, and serves in that position today without the sky falling).

      I “get ” all the Realpolitik reasons for sticking by Mubarak: he’s honoring the peace agreement with Israel, he hasn’t had any interest in invading them or any other neighbors, and a hell of a lot Western money (including 1 billion in weapons sales, according a Wikileaks cable) are invested in Egypt and the particular government.

      But apparently Mubarak’s hold on power is so tenuous that he took the unprecedented step of shutting down –not merely throttling—all 4 of the countries major Internet Service Providers. While they’ve appparently found a way to keep vital Europe-to-Asia traffic up, this is still “an action unprecendented in Internet history. ”

      Fine: Screw the lives, hopes and aspirations the Egyptian people (that will hardly be a new attitude). Let’s pretend they’re not human (again, nothing new), or that the citizens of this highly educated, Western-hip country are just Islamic terrorists. Keep the Fox talking points that are no doubt already circulating.

      This is costing too much money, people. And America’s hypocrisy will be noted all too well if the Mubarak government fails while the US dithers.

      Mubarak needs to go, via the fire exit if necessary.

  19. Let’s not forget the lesson of when you own the government… Yes, of course, you can get 25 peaceful protesters arrested!


    MEDIA UPDATE: 25 People Arrested in Protest of Billionaire Koch Brothers Secret Meeting

    Today, thousands of everyday citizens from across the country converged at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort in Rancho Mirage, CA to protest a secret right-wing strategy meeting held by billionaires David and Charles Koch. Attendees, deputized as members of the “People’s Center for Disease Control”, occupied the intersection of Bob Hope Drive and Rancho Las Palmas as part of the demonstration to voice opposition to the Koch’s funding of climate denial groups, far-right political candidates, and anti-health care reform efforts. The entrance to the Rancho Las Palmas Resort was blocked off by several dozen members of a quarantine squad dressed in hazmat suits, holding banners and a 140 foot police tape marked “Quarantine the Kochs.” 25 arrests were made as part of the peaceful demonstration.

    • indypendent

      But all those pro-lifers thought it was okay to protest and harass Dr. Tiller for many years.

      So, I guess these fine folks can dish it out but cannot take it – huh?

  20. fragotwofortwo

    Thanks Zippy,
    I was referring my calling Pam Gellar an old hag in my comments at ,

  21. indypendent

    I really do not know what to think of the Egypt situation yet. On one hand, we do need to be on the side of the Egyptians who are protesting to have a voice in their own country’s future.

    But on the other hand, I can see where an ally of 30 years would be helpful to our interests in the region.

    But if our ally is really corrupt and borders on a dictator – then why are we supporting him?

    This is why America needs to keep our nose out of everyone’s business. We need to stop sending out all this foreign aid to countries that don’t like us very much and start strengthening our own country.

    But that would mean we need to get off the oil teat and some of those corporations are going to have do without those record-breaking profits.

    • indypendent

      I heard the population of Egypt is a majority of people 30 yrs and younger.

      Can you imagine? The majority of their entire country is 30 or younger. We are no where near that.

      And within this younger population is where the highest unemployment seems to be concentrated.

      So, let’s see – a younger population who has known no other leader but the current one they are protesting against and then that leader has fighter jets flying low over their heads today.

      Now what could possibly go wrong with this scenario?

      Someone up thread posed the question about if the same thing could happen here in the US. Well, if we continue to give special favors to corporations who outsource or want to drive down the wages, then I think what is happening in Egypt could happen here.

      But I don’t think our younger generation has gotten the memo yet that they need to become politically active. Without a unified movement, the younger generation will simply keep on being the ones that will be handed the big fat unpaid bill by those who profess to hate all that federal spending – unless, of course, that evil government spending is in the form of a monthly check in their name.

  22. indypendent

    It appears there is a division within the GOP as to how to handle Egypt.

    • Rush doesn’t broadcast on weekends so they have no idea what side to land on. Twittering the GOP’s dogma is insufficiently pompous.

  23. indypendent

    As if we don’t have enough problems already……..

    Maybe it is time to cut our losses and put a stop payment on that last foreign aid check to Pakistan.

    But when reading this article, I have to wonder why anyone would even want to go work in an embassy in a foreign country that is as unstable as Pakistan?

    I wonder if we could make a deal with these radical Islamists? If we send them our radical Christians – then they can go out in the middle of their barren lands and just have an all-out holy war.

    With a little luck, both radical sides will end up with no one left standing.

    Now that would help the rest of us that want peace and are willing to work towards peace.

  24. Protesters Take On Conservative Retreat

    An invitation-only political retreat for rich conservatives, run out of the spotlight for years by a pair of Kansas billionaires, became a public rallying point for liberal outrage on Sunday, as 11 busloads of protesters converged on a resort in the Southern California desert.

    An estimated 800 to 1,000 protesters from a spectrum of liberal groups vented their anger chiefly at Charles and David Koch, brothers who have used many millions of dollars from the energy conglomerate they run in Wichita to finance conservative causes. More than two dozen protesters, camera crews swarming around them, were arrested on trespassing charges when they went onto the resort grounds.

    Organizers depicted the Koch brothers as symbols of the “unbridled corporate power” that they maintain was loosed by last year’s Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United campaign finance case, which lifted a ban on corporate spending in elections.

    Not much coverage to this point, but much more than this secret group has ever had before! Remember that article in The New Yorker earlier this year that began shedding light into the evil world of the Koch brothers?

    • indypendent

      This duo might have bit off more than they can chew after it was reported they were funding the Tea Party bent on the goal to derail health care reform.

      And let’s not forget about those people that seemed to be on each bus as they traveled from town hall to town hall to do their yellling and screaming.

      But what galls me is when this same duo is one of the first companies to get in line for that ‘evil’ government’s financial help with the same very health care reform they were trying to kill. But to them – that was just good business. Yeah, to me it was a whole lot of hypocrisy thrown in with a bunch of downright nerve to have two billionaries come to the government with their hat in the hand like two little beggars.

    • indypendent

      I suspect the Tea Party is going to overplay their hand and the backlash they receive will be tsunami.

      It could not happen to more deserving people – could it?

  25. Zippy

    When “revolution” is mentioned in the US these days, it is always in connection with the delusional and usually-well armed extremists.

    Meet the face of the revolution in Egypt, the Nobel-Prize winning expert in international law.

    What happens over there can affect what happens here, and elsewhere. For good or ill (mostly ill at present, but that can be changed), our fate is tied up with the people of the rest of the world.

    “Us” is them.

    Osama bin Laden actually did the Middle Eastern autocrats a huge favor, the egotistical bastard.

    But hatred is the wave of the past.

    If we want it. Now.

  26. prairie pond

    So the Kochs are having a party?

    Heh. I guess now we know where Steve Anderson is.

    Anderson, in case you don’t know, is brownback’s budget adviser or director or some such. He’s brownie’s budget guy, and his claim to fame came from his “model” state budgets he came up with while working for Americans For Prosperity. Yeah. That one.

    Go figure that his budgets all have one thing in common. Cut state worker pensions, especially teacher pensions, and cut education. Then cut taxes for the rich guys. Sound familiar?

    All this is ironic. I happen to know the guy. He grew up in Oberlin, and graduated in the same class I did at good ol’ Ft. Hays State University. We sat next to each other in most of my finance and economics classes as we were both finance majors. I knew him because his grandparents were LIFE LONG EDUCATORS in WaKeeney. His grand dad was my h.s. prinicpal and his grandma taught fourth grade here for decades. They both retired on their teacher pensions.

    And… Steve’s grand dad went on, after retirement, to serve as our state rep. in the Kansas House for several terms. A.R.A., as we called Anderson the elder, was a good DEMOCRAT and fairly liberal at that. He and his wife must be absolutely spinning in their graves at the thought of what their grandson is doing now.

    Steve was also notorious for some other nefarious activities where he was the “money man” washing those dollar bills. Mostly through oil investments. It was the seventies, so you can guess what those “business activities” were. It’s why when the heat was turned up, he took off for Oklahoma and even though he is a partner in a CPA firm in Osborne, his residence has been in Edmond, OK.

    I could say more, but not here. It’s the kind of stuff that could get one killed. Let’s just say I know the dude, and his appointment is not good news for Kansas. He’s been missing from the legislative hearings regarding budget. I assume there are lots of questions he doesn’t want to answer. Especially in public.

    • wicked

      Well, gee, what a happy note to wake up to in the morning. (That’s sarcasm, folks, deep, dark sarcasm.)