April 6, 2011- As the budget standoff between the Republican controlled House of Representatives and the Democrats reaches a fever pitch, much of the media attention — and frustration — has been focused on reaching a solution to avert a government shutdown. But, under the radar, newly-elected Republicans across the country are proposing disastrous environmental legislation to achieve radical-right aims, such as opening state parks for fracking and exposing their citizens to industrial waste.
April 5, 2011- A “working class hero,” John Lennon told us in his song of that title, “is something to be/ Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV/ And you think you’re so clever and classless and free/ But you’re still fucking peasants as far as I can see.”
The delusion of a classless America in which opportunity is equally distributed is the most effective deception perpetrated by the moneyed elite that controls all the key levers of power in what passes for our democracy. It is a myth blown away by Nobel Prize winner Joseph E. Stiglitz in the current issue of Vanity Fair. In an article titled “Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%” Stiglitz states that the top thin layer of the superwealthy controls 40 percent of all wealth in what is now the most sharply class-divided of all developed nations: “Americans have been watching protests against repressive regimes that concentrate massive wealth in the hands of an elite few. Yet, in our own democracy, 1 percent of the people take nearly a quarter of the nation’s income—an inequality even the wealthy will come to regret.”
Government must stop doling out ever-larger tax breaks to the superrich and vast corporations.
April 4, 2011- Have you heard? America is broke, according to many governors and lawmakers.
They’re calling for deep cuts in teacher pay, firing cops, slashing medical services for working-class kids, and scrapping other essential services to narrow state and federal budget deficits.
There’s a better and fairer way to tackle this situation. Government must stop doling out ever-larger tax breaks to the superrich and vast corporations.
Around the country, states and towns are gutting their budgets, undermining the quality of our lives.
“Our country is not really broke,” said Cynthia Carranza who directs a food pantry in Niles, Illinois. Carranza witnesses the growing number of hungry people at her food pantry door even as government support for her program is slashed. “We’re an incredibly rich and prosperous nation. But our wealth is skewed to a very few fortunate at the top. We’re not broken, just twisted.”
April 6, 2011- While Beltway media portray a dual effort by Republicans and Democrats to avoid a government shutdown, the unavoidable question must be asked: Hasn’t a shutdown been the GOP’s goal the entire time? The Nation’s Melissa Harris-Perry agreed with Rachel Maddow on her show last night that many of the programs—and individuals—that have been targeted for funding cuts are beloved in American society; post office employees, teachers, Medicare. But the Republican Party, with little resistance from Democratic leaders, has been able to successfully demonize these figures and programs.
According to Harris-Perry, the GOP has manipulated popular opinion by linking these programs and workers with “less beloved” figures in American society: African-Americans, poor people and immigrant populations.
April 6, 2011- With Republican super-majorities in the New Hampshire senate and house, the Koch front groups American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and Americans for Prosperity (AFP) have carefully orchestrated a campaign to remove the state from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
In 2008, New Hampshire joined RGGI, which is a market-based regulatory program that cuts greenhouse gas emissions and has created 1,130 jobs as a result of the energy efficient benefits. While cleaning the environment, RGGI has cumulatively generated $28.2 million in revenue for New Hampshire.
Koch Industries, because they have manufacturing plants in the Northeast and release 300 million tons of carbon dioxide pollution every year, stand to profit greatly by repealing RGGI. To increase their bottom line, ALEC — a Koch-funded group that drafts model legislation for conservative state legislators — has written legislation to repeal regional climate programs:
The Brad Blog: WI’s Supreme Election Debacle (And What We Should, But Probably Won’t, Learn From It)
April 8, 2011- Here is an update, along with some important thoughts on the WI Supreme Court election debacle which exploded out of Waukesha County yesterday, plunging that important election into utter disarray — an election seen by many as a referendum on Gov. Scott Walker and the state GOP's legislating away many of the rights of state citizens to collectively bargain.
I am writing quickly as I scramble, once again to get to the studio on time to finish up my week tonight as guest host of the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show. I will, of course, speak again about these matters in greater detail on air this evening. So please forgive any typos or lack of clarity in the following for now.
First, some of the latest related news of note, and then some quick thoughts on this entire fine mess.