Saturday, November 5, 2011

Must Reads

Barack Obama: We Can’t Wait: Helping Manage Student Loan Debt

David Neiwert: Just Another 'Isolated Incident:' Georgia Militiamen Arrested for Plotting Ricin Attack

Shanghaiist: GOP Presidential candidate Herman Cain Unaware China Has Nukes

Steven D, Booman Tribune: What Are The DFH's Protesting About?

Eugene Robinson: Let Herman Be Gone

MacDaffy: Twig: An Open Letter To Ann Coulter

Matt Taibbi: Mike Bloomberg's Marie Antoinette Moment

President Obama's Weekly Address - November 5, 2011

We Have to Increase the Pace

Brought to you by Vice President Joe Biden

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Quote of the Day

“Just a quick note about Grover Norquist. If Grover Norquist is now the most powerful man in America, he should run for president. There’s no question about his power. And let me tell you, he has people in thrall. That’s a terrible phrase. Lincoln used it. It means your mind has been captured. You’re in bondage with a soul.
So here he is. I asked him. He said, ‘My hero is Ronald Reagan.’ I said, ‘Well, he raised taxes 11 times in his eight years.’ And he said, ‘I know. I didn’t like that at all.’ I said, ‘Well, he did it. Why do you suppose?’ He said, ‘I don’t know. Very disappointing.’ I said, ‘He probably did it to make the country run, another sick idea.’”
~Retired Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY) lambasting Supercommittee Republicans for the deadlock they are causing by refusing to consider serious tax revenue increases with only three weeks remaining until they hit their deadline.

Bank of America Pulls Back On Its Fees

Remember that Bank of America announcement which stated they'd begin to charge their customers $5 per month just to use their money in the form of a debit card to try and end run financial reform and screw the little guy to the tune of $3 billion profit a year and other banks were following suit? Yeah... not so much.

Despite an outpouring of complaints online and at branch offices, the bank had remained steadfast in its plans until last Friday, according to a person briefed on the situation, planning to ease just some of the conditions for avoiding the fee. But over the weekend, after two major competitors — Wells Fargo and the nation’s largest bank, JPMorgan Chase — said they were backing away from their plans to levy similar charges, two high-ranking Bank of America officers recommended to Brian Moynihan, the bank’s chief executive, that the bank simply drop the fee.
...[Change.Org founder Ben] Rattray and other consumer advocates said the outcry was about much more than fees. “Bank of America’s new debit card fee was the last straw for many consumers who are tired of banks that got bailed out that are now turning around and hiking fees,” said Norma Garcia, manager of Consumer Union’s financial services program. “There was this phenomenon with banks and others confusing passivity with loyalty. And consumers are saying, ‘You can’t take us for granted anymore.’ ”
And don't tell me the Occupy Wall Street had no influence.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Political Bubble's 1%

I just realized that I'm part of the one percent. No, not the 1% that Occupy Wall Street is protesting against. I don't have old money or new money. I make a good living but I'm not wealthy. I don't work on Wall Street and I'm not a bank CEO. I'm talking about the 1% of Americans that are in tune with the country's politics on a day to day basis. The one percent in the political bubble.

I write on this blog as often as I can, some weeks more than others. But over the past few weeks my output has been lower than usual (lower than I'd like) because I've had to take on extra work to save some money for a new roof on my house. So some days I'm off to work and out of the house by 6:30am and don't get home until midnight, which means my usual blogging/reading/cable TV watching time is greatly diminished if not completely absent. And I have to tell you, I feel much less anxious and angry. It's kind of nice to not need to have an opinion or a reaction to Mitt Romney's latest flip flop or Herman Cain's idiotic arrogance or Rick Perry on medical marijuana. But still I knew about it. I tried to keep informed even though I wasn't laser focused on it for hours a day. I was an outlier, but I still considered myself one of the very few that knew what was going on

But I fear the problem we have as a nation, and I used to be part of the problem, is that 99% of us really don't care enough. 99% of the population won't see Rick Perry's strange performance. 99% of Americans don't know who Herman Cain is. 99% of Americans can guess on any of Mitt Romney's policy positions and get it right because he's held all of them. 99% didn't watch the last Republican debate, but on that one, really, can you blame them?

Of course, my 99% to 1% ratio is an exaggeration but you get the larger point. In a representative democracy, when 59% of registered voters didn't bother to make their voices heard in the 2010 midterm elections, it's not representational. The result was the Tea Party takeover in the House of Representatives. 41% voter turnout in 2010 means that 96 million people made decisions for 307 million of us. That needs to change.

Unfortunately, too many are blissfully ignorant when it comes to all things politics and wait until there are two candidates left to choose from before they'll flip a lever or mark an 'x' every four years. Then they go back home and wait until the next presidential election. Meanwhile, they don't hear about voter suppression, gerrymandering, the political scandal du jour, or any of the myriad of stories that happen with their own representatives in their own districts. They don't understand that in today's global economy, what happens in Greece affects us financially as a country. The 2008 presidential election had a bigger turnout than any in history, and still it was only 65% of registered voters. 146 million people - less than half the population.

Until we as a whole become more informed, and I'm talking about real information, basic stuff like Ronald Reagan really did raise taxes or President Obama really is an American born citizen, or even that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 and did not have weapons of mass destruction, we are only destined for more of the same.

And on that note, I'll try to make a better attempt to keep up with events as they happen. But it's not a promise - daddy needs a new roof.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Is Rick Perry Drunk?

...or is he smelling toast right about now?

Via Political Wire

Bachmann's "Flat Tax" Would Have "Several Rates"

From the annals of What The Fuckdom comes the latest from Michele Bachmann and her tax plan. A flat tax... with multiple rates.

“I would flatten the rates and simplify them, I would not have just one rate, but I’ll have several rates,” she said. “A flattened, simple, much fairer system, and one that would be equitable and raise revenues for the federal government as well.”
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

But you have to almost feel sorry for Bachmann. She keeps amping up the crazy but is continually outdone by Herman "Jesus was the perfect conservative" Cain.