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    Because slapping a yellow ribbon magnet on your car is all the support our troops ever needed… →

    …Michele Bachmann has a plan to cut veteran’s health care and disability benefits. Now that’s how a Tea Party patriot supports the troops!

    Tea party favorite Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has unveiled a plan for cutting $400 billion in federal spending that includes freezing Veterans Affairs Department health care spending and cutting veterans’ disability benefits.

    Her proposed VA budget cuts would account for $4.5 billion of the savings included in the plan, posted on her official House of Representatives website.

    Paul Sullivan, executive director of Veterans for Common Sense, said cutting veterans’ health care spending is an ill-advised move at a time when the number of veterans continues to grow as troops return from Iraq and Afghanistan. Sullivan said he finds it difficult to see how VA could freeze health care costs without hurting veterans.

    — 3 years ago with 1 note
    #economy  #military  #politics  #Republican Party  #Tea Party  #disability  #health care  #Michele Bachmann  #military  #patriot  #Tea Party favorite  #troops  #veterans affairs 
    Morning reading
Police: 63-year-old Army vet plotted to blow up a Michigan mosque.
House  Speaker John Boehner said Sunday it would mean  “financial disaster”  for the global economy  if Congress were unable to  come to a deal to raise the debt ceiling this  spring. But he and Lindsay Graham and Paul Ryan want deep spending cuts (like to Social Security) in exchange for their vote.
And, by the way, House Republicans are testing support for their budget ‘plan’ to privatize Medicare.
The Republican-Teaparty wants to redefine rape and incest with regard to ‘federally funded’ abortion.
The United States plans to begin evacuating thousands of Americans from  Egypt on Monday aboard government-arranged chartered planes.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who appeared on all the major Sunday talk shows, called for Egypt to hold free and fair elections that would ensure “real democracy.”
Tracy Morgan correctly explains Sarah Palin’s appeal (video – 41 sec)

    Morning reading

    • And, by the way, House Republicans are testing support for their budget ‘plan’ to privatize Medicare.
    • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who appeared on all the major Sunday talk shows, called for Egypt to hold free and fair elections that would ensure “real democracy.”
    — 3 years ago with 10 notes
    #economy  #politics  #Roundup  #army vet  #debt ceiling  #egypt  #GOP  #Hillary Clinton  #John Boehner  #Medicare  #michigan mosque  #repoublicans  #sarah palin  #social security  #Teaparty  #tracy morgan 
    Obama reminded Chamber of Commerce that it’s not all about them →

    AFL-CIO: We liked Obama’s challenge to the Chamber of Commerce

    Obama’s reminder to business that they have a responsibility to America, that they can’t just worry about shareholders and the bottom line:

    “Ask yourselves what you can do for America. Ask yourselves what you can do to hire American workers, to support the American economy, and to invest in this nation.”

    Obama’s reminder to business that there are important regulations:

    “For example, even as we work to eliminate burdensome regulations, America’s businesses have a responsibility to recognize that there are some safeguards and standards that are necessary to protect the American people from harm or exploitation.”

    His reminder to business that changes in the tax code need to benefit everyone:

    “If we’re fighting to reform the tax code and increase exports to help you compete, the benefits can’t just translate into greater profits and bonuses for those at the top. They should be shared by American workers, who need to know that expanding trade and opening markets will lift their standard of living as well as your bottom line. We cannot go back to the kind of economy — and culture — we saw in the years leading up to the recession, where growth and gains in productivity just didn’t translate into rising incomes and opportunity for the middle class.”

    It was probably shocking for the CoC to hear that America might expect more of business than profit increases for their shareholders and huge bonus checks for their executives.  Certainly it needed to be said.

    — 3 years ago with 2 notes
    #AFL-CIO  #Chamber of Commerce  #economy  #politics  #presdient obama. 
    Greg Sargent looks at a new Pew poll showing major contradictions in the American public’s opinion on  government spending.  Half of the people think deficit reduction is a  priority for economic recovery — until you get to specific programs. Given specific federal programs, more people favor spending increases or no reduction in spending:
Half the American public favors deficit reductions — but few support decreases in specific federal programs

    Greg Sargent looks at a new Pew poll showing major contradictions in the American public’s opinion on government spending.  Half of the people think deficit reduction is a priority for economic recovery — until you get to specific programs. Given specific federal programs, more people favor spending increases or no reduction in spending:

    Half the American public favors deficit reductions — but few support decreases in specific federal programs

    — 3 years ago with 135 notes
    #deficit reduction  #economic recovery  #economy  #pew poll  #politics  #public opinion  #spending 
    The United States of NASCAR →

    Fuck women, fuck healthcare reform, fuck federal workers, and fuck the unemployed and the poor.

    But hazzah! for NASCAR:

    The battle over spending continues to rage on Capitol Hill and while Republicans are keen to take an axe to the budget, today one interesting item was spared: The Army’s sponsorship of NASCAR.

    The Army spends more than $7 million a year to sponsor NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Ryan Newman and several million more as part of a partnership with NASCAR. It says the prominent ads on the car and presence at the track help attract recruits.

    Today the House gave the green light for that sponsorship to continue, rejecting an amendment introduced by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) that would have blocked the Pentagon from using taxpayer dollars for NASCAR ads.

    The amendment failed by a largely partisan vote of 281-148, with Republicans overwhelmingly voting against the measure.

    Source

    Yes. Really.

    Official car of the American taxpayer:

    http://www.autoracingdaily.com/images/featured/Mark_Martin_markmartin.jpg

    — 3 years ago with 2 notes
    #class war  #economy  #politics  #budget  #budget cuts  #conservatives  #federal workers  #GOP  #healthcare reform  #nascar  #planned parenthood  #poor  #Republicans  #tea party  #teabaggers  #unemployed 
    Koch Industries, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and the labor unions →

    It’s not for nothing that Koch Industries was one of Governor Walker’s biggest campaign contributors last year. And it’s no coincidence that “Tea party counter protesters” have been bussed into Wisconsin’s capital today. These counter protesters could also be called the “I stand with Scott Walker,” Koch funded astroturf, K Street pros.

    Koch Industries has a lot at stake with Scott Walker.  And Walker aims to deliver what they paid for:

    It’s important that people understand this: This is a fight Gov. Walker picked for the specific purpose of breaking the unions. Wisconsin had a surplus, and as soon as he was sworn in, Walker gave it away to special interests in order to put the state into deficit. Is it a coincidence that every Republican governor is suddenly going after the unions and the pensions? Is it simply bubbling up from the ground for no special reason? Hell, no. – Republican Governor Deliberately Spent Wisconsin Surplus To Pick Fight With Unions

    And there’s this:

    Koch Industries Slashed WI Jobs, Helped Elect Scott Walker, Now Orchestrating Pro-Walker Protest

    Koch Industries is a major player in Wisconsin: Koch owns a coal company subsidiary with facilities in Green Bay, Manitowoc, Ashland and Sheboygan; six timber plants throughout the state; and a large network of pipelines in Wisconsin. While Koch controls much of the infrastructure in the state, they have laid off workers to boost profits. At a time when Koch Industries owners David and Charles Koch awarded themselves an extra $11 billion of income from the company, Koch slashed jobs at their Green Bay plant…

    […] Koch Industries was one of the biggest contributors to Walker’s gubernatorial campaign, funneling $43,000 over the course of last year. In return, Koch front groups are closely guiding the Walker agenda. The American Legislative Exchange Council, another Koch-funded group, advised Walker and the GOP legislature on its anti-labor legislation and its first corporate tax cuts.

    According to the EPA, Koch businesses are huge polluters, emitting thousands of pounds of toxic pollutants. As soon as he got into office Walker started cutting environmental regulations and appointed a Republican known for her disregard for environmental regulations to lead the Department of Natural Resources. In addition, Walker has stated his opposition to clean energy jobs policies that might draw workers away from Koch-owned interests.

    http://s3.amazonaws.com/data.tumblr.com/tumblr_l8bwz1CP1W1qb5gh9o1_1280.gif?AWSAccessKeyId=0RYTHV9YYQ4W5Q3HQMG2&Expires=1298219851&Signature=88PJQa%2FxzmouAfBJI2XVS5en%2FaI%3D

    — 3 years ago with 3 notes
    #class war  #economy  #politics  #astroturf  #campaign contributions  #collective bargaining  #conservatives  #GOP  #IStandWithScottWalker  #k street  #Koch brothers  #koch industries  #labor unions  #Republicans  #scott walker  #tea party  #wisconsin  #wiunion 
    Graphs: Wealth, taxes, federal tax revenue

From Mother Jones: It’s the Inequality, Stupid
A  Harvard business prof and a behavioral economist  recently asked more  than 5,000 Americans how they thought wealth is  distributed in the  United States. Most thought that it’s more balanced  than it actually  is. Asked to choose their ideal distribution of wealth,  92% picked one  that was even more equitable.


Hold on… a professor from Harvard?  Obviously he interviewed 5,000 of his fellow socialists. 
But  seriously, if the GOP-Teaparty succeeds in busting up the collective  bargaining rights of organized labor, and if the extension of Bush’s tax  cuts is never terminated, that yellow line above will run right over  everyone else — goodbye middle-class. And the wealthiest 20%  with their GOP-Teaparty politicians will continue to fight to the death  against returning to the Clinton-era tax rate (about 4% more – see  below). Then even more federal programs and services will be cut,  because the government can’t afford them in relation to the tax revenue  it brings in. 
And,  most importantly, the working- and middle-class teabaggers will  continue to support and vote for the GOP-Teaparty politicians, because  gays want to get married and there’s a Muslim in the White House — they  are Christian Patriots after all.

    Graphs: Wealth, taxes, federal tax revenue

    From Mother Jones: It’s the Inequality, Stupid

    A Harvard business prof and a behavioral economist recently asked more than 5,000 Americans how they thought wealth is distributed in the United States. Most thought that it’s more balanced than it actually is. Asked to choose their ideal distribution of wealth, 92% picked one that was even more equitable.

    Hold on… a professor from Harvard?  Obviously he interviewed 5,000 of his fellow socialists.

    But seriously, if the GOP-Teaparty succeeds in busting up the collective bargaining rights of organized labor, and if the extension of Bush’s tax cuts is never terminated, that yellow line above will run right over everyone else — goodbye middle-class. And the wealthiest 20% with their GOP-Teaparty politicians will continue to fight to the death against returning to the Clinton-era tax rate (about 4% more – see below). Then even more federal programs and services will be cut, because the government can’t afford them in relation to the tax revenue it brings in.

    And, most importantly, the working- and middle-class teabaggers will continue to support and vote for the GOP-Teaparty politicians, because gays want to get married and there’s a Muslim in the White House — they are Christian Patriots after all.

    — 3 years ago
    #class war  #economy  #politics  #bar graph  #conservatives  #GOP  #mother jones  #Republicans  #teabaggers  #Teaparty  #U.S.  #wealth distribution 
    UPDATE: Gov. Walker and the Koch Brothers →

    A couple days ago I posted:

    So Gov. Walker’s “budget repair” bill is really a two-parter: 1) bust the unions that didn’t support him, and 2) sell off the state-owned power plants to his generous cronies.

    This morning there are some interesting updates:

    1) Charles Johnson caught an advertisement that was posted just two days ago for plant managers for multiple power plants in Wisconsin. What a coincidence!

    2) Also, the Koch Brothers have quietly opened a lobbying office in downtown Madison, Wisconsin.

    3) And finally, Gov. Walker was punk’d last night by a journalist, who pretended to be David Koch on a phone call. Walker fell for it. In fact, “believing himself to be on the phone with his patron, [Walker had] a long conversation about busting Wisconsin’s unions.” There’s audio of the call at the link.

    Buffalo Beast

    — 3 years ago
    #class war  #economy  #politics  #conservatives  #David Koch  #GOP  #gov. walker  #Koch brothers  #phone call  #power plant sale  #punk'd  #pwnd  #Republicans  #scott walker  #tea party  #united states of koch  #wisconsin  #wiunion 
    Government Shutdown News: Countdown to March 4
Government shutdown: Facts and figures – Despite assurances from the Obama administration and congressional  leaders that they don’t want a government shutdown, each day closer to  March 4 without a final agreement makes the suspension of government  services more likely.
Ezra Klein — One step closer to shutdown? – This isn’t just about the spending bill. The stakes are higher even  than that. At this point, no one side really knows how the power dynamic  between the House and the Senate will shake out. House Republicans feel  their preferences should take priority because they won the last  election. Sharp cuts to non-defense discretionary spending are nothing  more than their due. Senate Democrats counter that they still control  not just the Senate, but also the White House — the House Republicans  are a minority partner in this play, and don’t get to decide what the  government does or doesn’t do merely because they control one of the  three major legislative checkpoints. An uncompromising force is meeting  an unimpressed object.
Sam Stein — Government Funding Talks Dissolving, Shutdown Now Floated As Negotiating Tactic – Behind the scenes, aides say, talks have taken on an even more  ominous tone. According to sources familiar with the discussions,  Republican negotiators have said that the only way they could build  support within their own party for reducing the size of the cuts — even  in the stopgap measure — would be to let the government actually shut  down.
If government shuts down, bye-bye BlackBerry — The law could force agencies to sever access to Web mail and portable Internet devices.
Agencies close-lipped on personnel policy planning for shutdown –  The age of telework presents a particular challenge for agencies, which  would have to define a new set of rules to prohibit employees from  conducting business from their homes, he said.
(Opinion) Revenge of the Pomeranians – Hundreds of thousands of nonessential federal employees will be  furloughed, stuck at home without a paycheck and contemplating their  nonessentialness. The economy will tank. Nobody is going to be happy.
The battle for Wisconsin goes to Washington – Why Scott Walker’s fight with the unions will raise the stakes for Obama’s budget showdown with House Republicans.
A slap to the GOP… from Goldman Sachs?! –  The Republican spending bill will slow down U.S. economic growth,  predicts the investment bank. […] Let’s recap: If Republicans don’t  get the cuts they want — which will deliver a direct blow to the  American economy at a time of high unemployment — they’re prepared to  shut down the government, which will also hurt the economy. Either way,  Americans lose.
Gallup: 60 percent want spending compromise, not federal shutdown

    Government Shutdown News: Countdown to March 4

    Government shutdown: Facts and figures – Despite assurances from the Obama administration and congressional leaders that they don’t want a government shutdown, each day closer to March 4 without a final agreement makes the suspension of government services more likely.

    Ezra Klein — One step closer to shutdown? – This isn’t just about the spending bill. The stakes are higher even than that. At this point, no one side really knows how the power dynamic between the House and the Senate will shake out. House Republicans feel their preferences should take priority because they won the last election. Sharp cuts to non-defense discretionary spending are nothing more than their due. Senate Democrats counter that they still control not just the Senate, but also the White House — the House Republicans are a minority partner in this play, and don’t get to decide what the government does or doesn’t do merely because they control one of the three major legislative checkpoints. An uncompromising force is meeting an unimpressed object.

    Sam Stein — Government Funding Talks Dissolving, Shutdown Now Floated As Negotiating Tactic – Behind the scenes, aides say, talks have taken on an even more ominous tone. According to sources familiar with the discussions, Republican negotiators have said that the only way they could build support within their own party for reducing the size of the cuts — even in the stopgap measure — would be to let the government actually shut down.

    If government shuts down, bye-bye BlackBerry — The law could force agencies to sever access to Web mail and portable Internet devices.

    Agencies close-lipped on personnel policy planning for shutdown – The age of telework presents a particular challenge for agencies, which would have to define a new set of rules to prohibit employees from conducting business from their homes, he said.

    (Opinion) Revenge of the Pomeranians – Hundreds of thousands of nonessential federal employees will be furloughed, stuck at home without a paycheck and contemplating their nonessentialness. The economy will tank. Nobody is going to be happy.

    The battle for Wisconsin goes to Washington – Why Scott Walker’s fight with the unions will raise the stakes for Obama’s budget showdown with House Republicans.

    A slap to the GOP… from Goldman Sachs?! – The Republican spending bill will slow down U.S. economic growth, predicts the investment bank. […] Let’s recap: If Republicans don’t get the cuts they want — which will deliver a direct blow to the American economy at a time of high unemployment — they’re prepared to shut down the government, which will also hurt the economy. Either way, Americans lose.

    Gallup: 60 percent want spending compromise, not federal shutdown

    — 3 years ago
    #economy  #politics  #Democrats  #federal employees  #government shutdown  #Harry Reid  #John Boehner  #march 4  #President Obama  #Republicans  #tea party 
    How the Republicans are forcing a government shutdown while blaming the Dems
It  appears that the Republicans (GOP-Teaparty) know there will be a  government shutdown and are now worrying — as they should be — about  negative fallout.  They don’t want to be blamed. So the RWNJ media  machine has begun outlining the case that Obama and the Dems are to  blame.  But as I pointed out at the end of  the last post, don’t believe it — the loudest voices in right-wing media last year were, literally, “giddy“ thinking about a government shutdown.
Jed Lewison makes a good argument as well:

If  Republicans were serious about avoiding a government shutdown, they’d  agree to Harry Reid’s proposal to keep government open through the end  of March with a continuing resolution at current funding levels. That  would give both sides time to sit down and forge a compromise solution  and it would prevent a government shutdown.
Instead, they are offering a two-week long version of the very same spending bill that they passed over the weekend. That’s not a move designed to prevent a government shutdown: it’s a move designed to force it.

    How the Republicans are forcing a government shutdown while blaming the Dems

    It appears that the Republicans (GOP-Teaparty) know there will be a government shutdown and are now worrying — as they should be — about negative fallout.  They don’t want to be blamed. So the RWNJ media machine has begun outlining the case that Obama and the Dems are to blame.  But as I pointed out at the end of the last post, don’t believe it — the loudest voices in right-wing media last year were, literally, giddy thinking about a government shutdown.

    Jed Lewison makes a good argument as well:

    If Republicans were serious about avoiding a government shutdown, they’d agree to Harry Reid’s proposal to keep government open through the end of March with a continuing resolution at current funding levels. That would give both sides time to sit down and forge a compromise solution and it would prevent a government shutdown.

    Instead, they are offering a two-week long version of the very same spending bill that they passed over the weekend. That’s not a move designed to prevent a government shutdown: it’s a move designed to force it.

    — 3 years ago with 2 notes
    #economy  #politics  #Democrats  #federal employees  #GOP  #GOP-TeaParty  #government shutdown  #march 4  #Republicans  #tea party 
    "The more federal spending Congress slashes this year, the greater the potential drag on economic growth, according to a new analysis from Goldman Sachs.
    .
    In a research note, economists at the Wall Street bank estimate that the House GOP’s spending bill — which would cut $61 billion between March and Sept. 30 — could reduce economic growth by 1.5 percentage points to 2 percentage points in the second and third quarters.
    .
    Last week, the Federal Reserve forecast the economy would grow between 3.4% and 3.9% this year."
    — 3 years ago
    #economy  #politics  #republicans  #gop  #tea party 
    Friday’s Countdown to Government Shutdown: March 4 (or March 18?)
Government Shutdown Would Halt Vet Burials — The Department of Veterans Affairs office responsible for burying  veterans will close up shop if the cash stops coming, putting a halt to  the internments of thousands of deceased vets. Just how many would be  effected is hard to guess – it would depend on how long a shutdown  dragged on. According to a Congressional Budget Office projection, the  VA could be burying up to 100,000 veterans in 2011.
US government shutdown could curtail data — The release of some US economic indicators could be halted in a  government shutdown, creating a partial vacuum of information about the  trajectory of the recovery.
Read more…

    Friday’s Countdown to Government Shutdown: March 4 (or March 18?)

    Government Shutdown Would Halt Vet Burials — The Department of Veterans Affairs office responsible for burying veterans will close up shop if the cash stops coming, putting a halt to the internments of thousands of deceased vets. Just how many would be effected is hard to guess – it would depend on how long a shutdown dragged on. According to a Congressional Budget Office projection, the VA could be burying up to 100,000 veterans in 2011.

    US government shutdown could curtail data — The release of some US economic indicators could be halted in a government shutdown, creating a partial vacuum of information about the trajectory of the recovery.

    Read more…

    — 3 years ago
    #economy  #politics  #Democrats  #GOP  #government shutdown  #march 18  #march 4  #Republicans  #tea party 
    Tim Pawlenty’s wish for a “dramatic” month-long government shutdown →

    Tim Pawlenty Supports Government Shutdown: ‘A Dramatic Month’ Is ‘What We Need’

    As the threat of a government shutdown looms over the nation, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) have repeatedly and forcefully denied that rank-and-file Republicans are calling for a closure.

    That’s false.

    This weekend, prospective GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty called for a shutdown lasting a month or longer — “a dramatic month,” as he termed it — in order to force Congress to make tough decisions. Interview with Think Progress, in part:

    KEYES: So you would support a shutdown if it comes down to it?

    PAWLENTY: If it came down to it and it was between that and not getting the budget headed in the right direction, that’s an option I think Republicans have to consider.

    — 3 years ago
    #politics  #Congress  #GOP  #government shutdown  #Republicans  #tea party  #tim pawlenty  #economy 
    "A Republican plan to sharply cut federal spending this year would destroy 700,000 jobs through 2012, according to an independent economic analysis set for release Monday."
    — 3 years ago with 1 note
    #politics  #economy  #gop  #republican  #budget plan  #slash spending  #cost 700K jobs  #fail