Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Reagan + China = Economic Disaster

Click here for an article by Dave Johnson at Crooks & Liars entitled "Reagan Set Up The Death Of The Middle Class, But China Was The Clincher."

Reagan directed the flow of power and money into the hands of a few; they used that power and money to outsource the American economy to China. Germany, though, with stronger labor unions, followed a different economic model where the wealth was more evenly distributed, and thus has a much stronger middle class today.

LBJ's War On Poverty - 50 Years Later

Click here for an article by Mark E. Andersen at Daily Kos from 2008, entitled "The Counteroffensive on the War on Poverty." That counteroffensive was launched by Ronald Reagan. When Johnson announced the "War on Poverty" in 1964, the poverty rate was 19%; today it's 15%. Not really astonishing improvement for 50 years, is it?

Well, when Reagan took office in 1980, after only 16 years, the rate had fallen to 11.4%. But after Reagan's counteroffensive "War on the Poor," it had risen to -- 15%, the same as it is today.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Kochs' Criminal Enterprise

Click here for an article by Charles Pierce in Esquire entitled "Criminal Minds."

Thanks to Harry Reid's recent efforts, a lot more people have become aware that Charles and David Koch are a couple of America's richest men who are trying to buy state and federal governments: House members, senators, and judges at both levels -- not to mention the U.S. presidency. But a lot of those people are not aware that Chuck and Dave are the sons of Fred C. Koch, a prime mover behind the radical John Birch Society (hell, a lot of them are probably not aware of what the John Birch Society is).

Nor are a lot of those people aware of just how big a polluter Koch Industries is:
Under the nearly five-decade reign of CEO Charles Koch, the company has paid out record civil and criminal environmental penalties. And in 1999, a jury handed down to Koch's pipeline company what was then the largest wrongful-death judgment of its type in U.S. history, resulting from the explosion of a defective pipeline that incinerated a pair of Texas teenagers. The volume of Koch Industries' toxic output is staggering. According to the University of Massachusetts Amherst's Political Economy Research Institute, only three companies rank among the top 30 polluters of America's air, water and climate: ExxonMobil, American Electric Power and Koch Industries. Thanks in part to its 2005 purchase of paper-mill giant Georgia-Pacific, Koch Industries dumps more pollutants into the nation's waterways than General Electric and International Paper combined. The company ranks 13th in the nation for toxic air pollution. Koch's climate pollution, meanwhile, outpaces oil giants including Valero, Chevron and Shell. Across its businesses, Koch generates 24 million metric tons of greenhouse gases a year.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Good Links

Jon and Stephen both hit this one out of the park. I hope I can add this when I have more time.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Monday, September 8, 2014

Obama: Best Economic President Of Modern Times?

Click here for an article by Adam Hartung at Forbes, that bastion of liberal progressivism, entitled "Obama Outperforms Reagan on Jobs, Growth, and Investing."

Hartung discusses various ways in which economic performance is measured, and the article concludes:
Economically, President Obama’s administration has outperformed President Reagan’s in all commonly watched categories. Simultaneously the current administration has reduced the deficit, which skyrocketed under Reagan. Additionally, Obama has reduced federal employment, which grew under Reagan (especially when including military personnel,) and truly delivered a “smaller government.” Additionally, the current administration has kept inflation low, even during extreme international upheaval, failure of foreign economies (Greece) and a dramatic slowdown in the European economy.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Ben Carson: U.S. Could Be Like Nazi Germany ...

Black tea party conservative darling Ben Carson (h/t Driftglass):
"You can't dance around it," Carson told The Washington Post's Ben Terris. "If people look at what I said and were not political about it, they'd have to agree. Most people in Germany didn't agree with what Hitler was doing…Exactly the same thing can happen in this country if we are not willing to stand up for what we believe in."

In February Carson suggested that liberals could turn the country into Nazi Germany...
After which comes Driftglass's devastating reply:
But you know what? I actually agree with what Dr. Carson said, although not in any way that would make him happy.

The despair and rage and paranoia of post-WWI Germany that made the rise of Nazism possible -- an overpowering sense of betrayal and lost greatness... an obsession with race and purity... a berserk hatred of impure outsiders and immigrants... a willingness to believe the most paranoid conspiracies about fifth columns and internal enemies ... the relentless scapegoating of (among others) minorities, foreigners, intellectuals, unions and Liberals ... the round-the-clock raving of demagogues -- are precisely the same toxic conditions which prevail within the Republican Party and the Conservative Movement today.

And, just as in Germany, all of it is being purposefully orchestrated and bankrolled by wealthy industrialists, propagandists, amoral opportunists, con men and various other psychopaths and scumbags.

Friday, September 5, 2014

John Kenneth Galbraith:

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."

Exxon Hates Your Children - And The World

Bob Rankin - Microsoft Fix It Solution Center

Click here for a Bob Rankin article entitled "Microsoft Fix It Solution Center." Bob claims that at the time of writing this article, Microsoft had 270 Fix It Solutions to common computer problems. There is a one-click option, "Run Now," that simply solves the problem you've selected, or you can click "Learn More" to find out exactly what steps will be taken. (I wish I'd had this a couple of weeks ago, when a Microsoft patch or update bricked my computer -- of course, it wouldn't boot, so I couldn't have accessed it anyway.)

"Demote Reagan From Hero To History"

Click here for an excellent op-ed in the NY Times by Boston College history professor Heather Cox Richardson, entitled "Bring Back the Party of Lincoln." Can the Republican party reorganize itself, as it has twice in the past, to serve the needs of the general public rather than the wealthy? I like the closing sentence:
The same rebranding is possible today, if Republicans demote Reagan from hero to history and rally to a leader like Lincoln, Roosevelt or Eisenhower — someone who believes that the government should promote economic opportunity rather than protect the rich.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Margaret Thatcher On Global Warming

Taken from Youtube:
Published on May 17, 2012

Recently, the Heartland Institute, a hotbed of Climate Contrarianism, posted a billboard near a Chicago freeway. The Billboard suggested that those who accept mainstream science in regard to climate change, are like Ted Kaczinsky, the Unabomber. Heartland promised to follow up with similar billboards featuring Fidel Castro, Osama Bin Laden, and Charles Manson.

When a scathing barrage of internet protests and parodies went viral, Heartland was forced to withdraw the billboard, and post a defense on its website. Even then, they continued to maintain that "the most prominent advocates of global warming are not scientists, they are murderers, tyrants, and madmen."
Margaret Thatcher thought different -- and she had a chemistry degree from Oxford and experience as a researcher.