Monday, 10/17/11, Public Square


Filed under The Public Square

28 responses to “Monday, 10/17/11, Public Square

  1. ‘Bank Transfer Day’ Protest Attracts Massive Facebook Following, As Well As “Bank Trolls”

    emember, remember…to close your bank account and transfer your funds into a credit union on the fifth of November?

  2. ‘Gargantuan large’ investment in infrastructure needed, experts say

    Given the gap between estimated need and available cash, there is a bipartisan push to get some form of long-term funding bill through Congress. That, everyone agrees, at least will allow states to tackle major projects that cannot be launched without funding certainty.

    But if the nation is going to be saved from a deepening infrastructure crisis, the next steps require finding billions in new revenues, streamlining the project approval process and developing private-public schemes to rebuild and expand highway and transit systems, the panelists said.

    Without that, the United States will not remain competitive with other countries.

    “We are in a crisis,” said Metro’s general manager, Richard Sarles. “After ribbons are cut, systems are ignored and decay sets in. There’s finally recognition we’ve got to find a good level of funding to resolve it.”


    Because the conversation needs sanity, not demagoguery.

  4. ‘Occupy Wall Street’ — It’s Not What They’re for, But What They’re Against

    Ironically, the original Boston Tea Party activists would likely support Occupy Wall Street more as well. Note that the original Tea Party didn’t protest taxes, merely the idea of taxation without representation — and they were actually protesting the crown-backed monopoly of the East India Company, the main big business of the day.

    Americans today also support taxes. In fact, two-thirds of voters — including a majority of Republicans — support increasing taxes on the rich, something the Occupy Wall Street protests implicitly support. That’s not just anarchist lefty kids. Soccer moms and construction workers and, yes, even some bankers want to see our economy work for the 99%, not just the 1%, and are flocking to Occupy protests in droves.

    Read more:

  5. If you get your “news” from Fox News television, and don’t under estimate the numbers of folks who do just that, this is what you hear about the 99%. No wonder Fox News television viewers are paranoid, delusional and ill informed —

  6. I’ve heard angrily from a number of reporters in the last few days. They are objecting to my claims that mainstream journalism is “enabling” Senate dysfunction by describing it as dysfunction plain and simple, rather than as the result of deliberate and extremely effective Republican strategy. That strategy, over the past four-plus years, has been to apply the once-rare threat of a filibuster to virtually everything the Administration proposes. This means that when the Democrats can’t get 60 votes for something, which they almost never can, they can’t get nominations confirmed, bills enacted, or most of what they want done.

    You can consider this strategy brilliant and nation-saving, if you are a Republican. You can consider it destructive and nation-wrecking, if you are a Democrat. You can view it as just what the Founders had in mind, as Justice Scalia asserted recently at an Atlantic forum. You can view it as another step down the road to collapse, since the Democrats would have no reason not to turn the same nihilist approach against the next Republican administration. Obviously I think it does more harm than good. You can even argue that it’s stimulated or justified by various tactics that Democrats have used.

    But you shouldn’t pretend that it doesn’t exist. That was my objection to a recent big Washington Post story on what is wrong with the Senate, which did not contain the word “filibuster.” And there is an example again this very day. I wish to Heaven that the item had appeared somewhere else, but it happens that it’s also in the Post. A story on what happened to Obama’s jobs-bill proposal in the Senate concentrates on the two Plains States Democrats, Ben Nelson and Jon Tester, who defected during the cloture vote — and not on the 100% Republican opposition to even bringing this bill up for consideration.

    You should read the whole story to savor it, but I will point out these features:

    – Like the previous one, it manages not to use the word “filibuster” while describing why the Administration’s programs have not gotten through a Senate that the Democrats “control.” The Democrats would actually “control” the Senate if a 51-vote majority were enough to pass most measures. But they don’t control it, with 53 Dem+Indep seats, when the 60-vote standard becomes routine. This is too important a fact to be left out of accounts of what is happening in the Senate.

    Continue reading —

  7. The Occupy Wall Street protesters have hit a raw nerve in this country and around the world.

    One thing that I have not heard much talked about is the fact that the 1% are are controlling the 99%.

    This is more than just in the 1% wealth – that 1% also has the monopoly of all the business around the world.

    When Tea Party Republicans talk about the free market and yada, yada and yada….exactly what is so free market about the 1% controlling these global corporations that are so huge that they take over any and all competition?

    I remember growing up in the 50’s and 60’s – we had independent stores and restaurants.

    What do we have today? Huge corporate stores – corporate banks – corporate health care – corporate politicians – corporate government and even corporate religion.

    And for all these Religious Right Evangelical Republicans complaining about their fear of the one-world government taking over…..the fastest way to that one-world government is through these huge corporations taking over every aspect of our lives.

    But rather than face the truth – these same folks demonize Obama as a ‘Socialist’ and try to scare everyone into thinking that Obama is the Anti-Christ.

    All I can say to that is – maybe Michelle Bachmann was onto something when she stated that Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan, when you turn it upside down becomes 6-6-6 and the Devil is in the details.

  8. Here is a link to an article and a video. IIRC – this Lowrie guy is the one who works for Wells Fargo Mortgage and has ties to the Koch Bros.

    I found it quite interesting when this Lowrie guy blatantly sucked up to the host of the show……… I’ve learned whenever someone first feels the need to flower you with such praise before even answering the question – should probably be one of those televangelists because that is the first rule of the con game – flatter the person, , butter them up and then stick the knife in as far as it will go….

  9. david B

    Let’s pay three times as much in the service of fiscal conservatism!

    Assisted living may no longer be option for Kansas seniors on Medicaid

    Many of those residents (I’m not sure if it is 25% or 75%) will be forced into nursing homes, where the state will pay roughly THREE times what they are paying us under the pre-September 1st system,” the facility wrote. “This does not seem like sensible economics to me.”

    Read more:

    • My husband and I have been in the nursing home business for 30+ years.

      Let me say that things totally changed when the big corporations got involved in this business. Many homes have been treated like chess pieces on some big Wall Street chess board.

      Many homes have been bought and sold so many times, it would make your head spin.

      The goal of some nursing home owners is to buy a home, drain all the money they can from Medicare, Medicaid and private pay (but those people are far and few between now) and then these corporations ration back money to the homes to operate on a small budget.

      The labor costs are the most expensive – and guess what, they are not unionized (there are some union homes, but very rare).

      But – you’re right – the cost of Assisted Living is cheaper and it makes no sense to force the residents into more expensive nursing homes.

      But – to be fair – Medicaid is NOT the highest paying source of revenue for nursing homes – Medicare has that honor. But Medicare only covers for so many days and criteria has to be met in order for Medicare to pay.

      Which is why the majority of nursing home residents are both Medicare and Medicaid.

      Like I stated above – private pay residents are few and far between now. But even then, if these folks qualify for Medicare – then Medicare pays for their health care.

      I wonder how many of these Far Right Republicans who are hellbent on destroying Medicare know how many employees they would be putting out of their jobs if they succeed in their quest to destroy Medicare?

      Bottom line – if Medicare and Medicaid go bye-bye – WTH are we going to do with all these elderly patients?

      Send them to live with their family members who are too busy dressing up like Paul Revere and wearing those tea-stained hats?

      The solution to our budget problems is more complex than just yelling 9-9-9 and then grinning like a jackass.

      • P.S. – Medicaid is currently under the budget-cutting gun – and they are already the lowest paying revenue source. How much lower can the State of Kansas pay and still expect positive results?

  10. badbiker

    For once, I would like the media to state in plain, no nonsense English, just what the Cain “9-9-9 Plan” really is, with out bullshit, couching it in analysis and economic parlance, giving the man the slightest benefit of the doubt.

    Just once, state that the Cain plan is “A tax hike from 0 to 18% for 47% of the American people.”

    Ignore the “rich get richer” scenario. Ignore the “screw you and your savings” picture. Ignore the fact that Cain himself would reap a huge financial windfall. Ignore the effect on demand and the destruction of the auto industry. Ignore the massive giveaway to Wall Street. Ignore the death of Social Security benefits and Medicare. Ignore the impact on employment. (Wages would no longer be deductible for business.) Ignore the economic impact of taking nearly 20% of the dollars away from the people that can least afford to lose them. Ignore removing roughly 10% of the dollars spent in the economy.

    For once, just drill this simple point home: “A tax hike from 0% to 18% for 47% of the American people.”

    • Unfortunately, the Cain 9-9-9 plan makes for a great bumper sticker for the mentally-challenged folks who think a bumper sticker slogan is going to save their ass.

  11. badbiker

    Just one simple part of the Cain plan would **** the employment picture significantly – no more business deductions for wages. What does that say about the Tea Con position on the working man and woman? Businesses can deducted all sort of expenses, a new $2500 leather office chair for example, but the wages of the guy sweeping the floor don’t count?

    • The original Tea Party got hijacked by the Corporate Master Tea Party Express….

      So these TeaCons do not care about working people.

      Oh, they speak in simplistic bumper stick slogans but that is as far as their mentally challenged brains can take them.

      I remember when the State of Kansas (under Bill Graves, I think) proudly boasted that the personal property taxes on cars and trucks were lowered?

      But at the same time, the State of Kansas raised their other fees required to tag cars and trucks.

      So bottom line – the TOTAL amount of money required to tag the same car or truck actually was raised – but since the governor boasted that he lowered the personal property tax portion of it – everyone thought their taxes were lowered.

      Which technically is true – the tax was lowered – but the total amount of money it took to the tag the car and truck was increased.

      But yet no Republican at that time could see that fact – and I tried to point it it out to them – with no success.

      I also remember working in a tax return preparation office for the tax season. It was the first year Bill Clinton was in office.

      If you remember, Daddy Bush had the withholding tax rate lowered during his last year – but he did not lower the actual tax owed. So, of course, alot of these Republicans were coming in expecting their usual large income tax refund checks.

      But, as we all know, the less withholding during the year can mean the more one has to pay when filling income tax return to actually pay the tax at that time.

      So many of these Republicans would come up to me and bitch out Bill Clinton for raising their damn taxes.

      I promptly told them that it was their precious Republican George H.W. Bush that kept the tax the same but lowered the withholding rates – so that is why their tax refund check was less that year.

      A few of these Repubs kept squealing to my boss about how I did not know what I was talking about and my boss quietly smiled and said – ‘she’s right’. If you do not hold withhold enough money during the year and the actual tax was not lowered – you will have to make up that difference at tax paying time.

      Geesh, people cannot seem to think beyond their noses. It’s the BIG picture.

      I suspect that is why the Republicans fall for those bumper sticker slogans – it is easy, it is small enough of a thought but they never bother to think about the BIG picture.

      And then they get mad when the BIG picture turns out badly for them but yet they will ALWAYS blame the wrong guy….

      • P.S. – I tried to tell those Repubs in the tax office that Bill Clinton was only in office since January of that year and he had NOTHING to do with the tax rates for the previous year under Daddy Bush.

        But, heh, that concept was much too hard for them to understand – LMAO

        I suspect these Repub folks were just damn mad because a Democrat won the White House.

        Now where have we seen this mindset being displayed recently? Maybe when Mitch McConnell and John Boehner have both expressly stated their #1 job is to make Obama a one-term president?

        Or was it when Rush proudly exclaimed that he wanted Obama to fail?

  12. Here’s a pet peeve of mine…

    We’ve all seen these huge Help Wanted Ads in the newspaper that are big, bold and long paragraphs – correct?

    Upon reading the fine print of the ad or if you’re lucky enough to get an interview, then you learn this job only pays $7 or $8 an hour and then with no health care benefits.

    I’ve often wondered why these employers can pay out more money to run their damn help wanted ads than they are willing to pay their employees?

    Also – if you notice – these same huge ads for the same employers are run routinely in the newspaper for the same damn jobs.

    Is it is just a racket? Is the newspaper giving them a cut-rate deal on the price for the ads?

    But I know of several employers who are paying several hundreds of dollars out for one ad and then do not even want to pay the employee a decent living wage. Their ad costs more than the employees’ first months’ paycheck.

  13. This photo, unaltered, has been shared 817 times (as of my posting this corrected version). It’s being circulated with the claim that it is a photo of Occupy protesters in NYC. That is a lie. It’s a photo of some jackass anarchists at an anti-war demonstration in Portland, Oregon in 2007. The person circulating the lie? Former wall-street trader. What a shock.

    The pic of the man defecating on a police car is also not from the protests…It’s a pic taken in Canada, several years ago. We need to set some of this straight.

  14. This is an opinion of the 99% from a man who helped establish The Tea Party — back before it was bought by Koch, Fox News and the Republican Party. The write-up is a ‘snip’ of the entire interview which is a video also available at the link —

  15. Huckabee to Anti-Union Crowd: Deflate Car Tires and Mislead Voters

    Former GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has some advice for people who support the anti-union law passed in Ohio that faces a statewide repeal vote on November 8: Find out who’s voting to repeal the bill and block them from ballot box. The onetime Arkansas governor suggested deflating tires and giving these voters the wrong election date. “That’s up to you, how you creatively get the job done,” Huckabee quipped.

    • This is exactly why I keep posting that the original Tea Party had some goals that I actually agree with – but when the TEa Party Express (bought and paid for by Koch Bros and Dick Armey and the GOP) rolled into town – it was nothing more than a Trojan Horse.

      Alot of so-called Tea Party people fell for the old Trojan Horse trick – didn’t they?

    • Mike Huckabee – a self-professing Evangelical Christian preacher who thumps his Bible, waves the American Flag and yammers on and on about how democracy is the best thing since sliced bread and THIS is the same guy that tells people to deflate the opposing voters’ tires or mislead the voters?

      I wonder if Jesus would tell the people the same thing??

  16. Zippy

    P.S. Tucson very active, very good Saturday, seems like pretty sharp, capable folks (the irritating punctuation error notwithstanding), but apparently ignorant of the legalities, even though they had consulted a lawyer.

    What the TPD is telling them is excessive, if I recall the statute correctly and how it’s usually applied. I can’t argue that the law should be nullified, but the numbers Chief Villesignor is throwing out are bullshit.

    Just my two cents on the local part of the worldwide revolution.

    • IIRC – The Wichita Tea Party people got their tickets for illegal parking dismissed because they threw their hissy fit.

      I guess breaking the law IOKIYAR….