That cinches it, we totally need waaay bigger tax cuts for the rich

Here’s the news, unsurprising to those who follow this sort of stuff… 

WASHINGTON — The income gap between the richest and poorest Americans grew last year to its widest amount on record as young adults and children in particular struggled to stay afloat in the recession. 

The top-earning 20 percent of Americans — those making more than $100,000 each year — received 49.4 percent of all income generated in the U.S., compared with the 3.4 percent earned by those below the poverty line, according to newly released census figures. That ratio of 14.5-to-1 was an increase from 13.6 in 2008 and nearly double a low of 7.69 in 1968. 

A different measure, the international Gini index, found U.S. income inequality at its highest level since the Census Bureau began tracking household income in 1967. The U.S. also has the greatest disparity among Western industrialized nations. 

At the top, the wealthiest 5 percent of Americans, who earn more than $180,000, added slightly to their annual incomes last year, census data show. Families at the $50,000 median level slipped lower. 

And the “money” quote… 

Rea Hederman Jr., a senior policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, agreed that census data show families of all income levels had tepid earnings in 2009, with poorer Americans taking a larger hit. “It’s certainly going to take a while for people to recover,” he said

Yes, it’s going to take a while, especially if we extend Bush’s tax-cut giveaway to the rich while pililng debt on everyone else.   And his “a while to recover” is actually more accurately phrased as “never”.  There isn’t going to be a recovery, in this sense, given the current environment. 

And what is the current environment, you ask?   Here’s a hint… 

More people are getting their news about the upcoming election from cable television than any other source, and from Fox News more than any other cable channel, according to a POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Poll released Monday. 

The poll found that 81 percent of those polled get their news about the midterm elections from cable channels, like Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, or their websites, compared with 71 percent from national network news channels, such as ABC, NBC or CBS, and their websites. 

Among cable news channels, Fox was the clear winner, with 42 percent of respondents saying it is their main source, compared with 30 percent who cited CNN and 12 percent who rely on MSNBC

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0910/42738.html#ixzz10ptAiPJ4 

You know the sad part?  The most popular news outlet is the one claiming to be the least popular, continuously.   It’s become a cliche even, with the most powerful player and victimizer claiming to be the weakest and the victimized.   Sure, study after study shows that Fox News viewers have a faulty view of reality (death panels, illegals covered under HCR, WMD in Iraq, Saddam and 9/11, Obama’s a socialist who the world hates, etc, etc…) but that doesn’t even slow them down.  After all, studies and learnin’ are liberal, and therefore evil, ideas.

Heck, even today Mr. Murdoch has one of his minions arguing that his taxes need to be cut even lower (BTW, that article is filled with the usual Fox wharrgarbl, damned lies and statistics [compare]).   It’s also an argument for how News Corpse taxes should be cut…again.  This picture seems somewhat appropriate…. 

 
…especially when we look at the rest of the data from that first link. 

_The poorest poor are at record highs. The share of Americans below half the poverty line — $10,977 for a family of four — rose from 5.7 percent in 2008 to 6.3 percent. It was the highest level since the government began tracking that group in 1975. 

_The poverty gap between young and old has doubled since 2000, due partly to the strength of Social Security in helping buoy Americans 65 and over. Child poverty is now 21 percent compared with 9 percent for older Americans. In 2000, when child poverty was at 16 percent, elderly poverty stood at 10 percent. 

_Safety nets are helping fill health gaps. The percentage of children covered by government-sponsored health insurance such as Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program jumped to 37 percent, or 27.6 million, from 24 percent in 2000. That helped offset steady losses in employer-sponsored insurance. 

And so it goes… 

BTW, this angle of analysis (income disparity) was probably the strongest indicator that we were headed for a collapse.  Previous to the recent economic troubles, the last time the U.S. had diverged so far between the haves and have nots was right before the Great Depression.   

When the labor force of a country realizes that no matter how hard they work they won’t make any progress, and the real money is being made by people who do no real work, it has far-reaching consequences. 

UPDATE:  Oh, and I missed this horribleness…. 

Fox’s opinionated personalities were also rated as having the greatest positive impact on the political debate in the country. Bill O’Reilly was rated as having, by far, the greatest positive impact, with 49 percent of respondents rating him positively, and 32 percent negatively. 

Glenn Beck was the second most-positively rated personality, with 38 percent of respondents saying he had a positive impact, and 32 percent saying he had a negative impact. 

..
 
MSNBC’s personalities were largely ranked as unknown by respondents: 70 percent said they had never heard of Ed Schultz, 55 percent said they had never heard of Rachel Maddow and 42 percent said they had never heard of Keith Olbermann.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0910/42738_Page2.html#ixzz10q0UG2Wn

Again, this demonstrates rather forcefully that those referencing the “lamestream media” (you know, people who use those terms, like girls in junior high school) are talking about Fox.

This poll seemed somewhat off, and I finally saw the bright spot and the explanation…

This result might, to some extent, be explained by the age of those polled. The largest segment of respondents, 21 percent, were between 55 years old and 64 years old, with 20 percent between 45 and 54. Only 5 percent were between 18 and 24, and 7 percent were between 25 and 29.

Other recent polls have shown that the largest segment of “The Daily Show’s” audience is under 30, while the largest segment of Fox News’s audience is over 60.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0910/42738_Page2.html#ixzz10q0UG2Wn

This is something of a side note and a bit of positive news for the future.  Once the Boomers die off, we might actually have a chance of having an informed  (rather than faux outraged) electorate again.   Unfortunately they’ll be so cynical and snarky anyone endeavoring to actually fix the huge mess the Boomers will leave us with will face constant ridicule.   Hmmm, maybe we already live in the  future…

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Glenn Beck’s war on the FCC (and Satan worshippers)

Glenn Beck’s War on the FCC  (and Satan Worshippers)

By handling these issues the way he does, Beck unfortunately makes real debate more difficult—though at least millions of Americans now knowsomething about diversity, localism, and net neutrality. Unfortunately, they also “know” that Obama worships Satan, that the Internet is about to become a “public utility,” and that the FCC will shut down conservatives with network neutrality.

Nicely done piece re: the useful idiots I mentioned a couple days ago. Bonus: it even includes some of their comments to the FCC.

UPDATE: It’s quite sad to see Fox start to make this an “us vs the marxists/communists/terrorists/socialists/nazis” thing.   Especially when the way they are going about it is to just play word association with their geriatric audience.  Those folks don’t understand the Internets as it is, much less a discussion about the technical underpinnings.  Beck using this ignorance to tell them the opposite of the truth (in the name of God, no less).

Beck also seems to think that the Republican led FCC was also actually run by marxists/communists/terrorists/socialists/nazis as they are the ones that started to notice that despite “Liberals” being voted into nearly two thirds of both houses of Congress (and then later the Presidency), 91% of political-talk radio was “Conservative”.  And it was also controlled by a small group of huge corporations that used economies of scale to crush any competition.  This is the result of the 1996 Telecom Act, not the result of the end of the fairness doctrine.   I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, deregulation leads to consolidation, not competition.

One of the most consistent ways to get a monopoly out of a market is to remove the rules that govern it.  Eventually someone “wins”.  Which means everyone else loses (in the context of the “market”).   We’ve watched the banks do the same thing (deregulate, consolidate, “win”) in much the same time frame.

Now the pendulum is swinging back to rational land, and Beck is there to try and rewind the clock back to crazy-time.   I wonder here if he knows he’s lying or has just kept himself ignorant of what the words he uses actually mean.

Actually, to be honest, I don’t really wonder all that much about what actors *really* thinks of politicis, and Beck is an actor extraordinairre.  One of the highest paid enteratainers on the planets, thank to media consolidation, Rupert Murdoch, and the FCC rolling back media ownership rules under Bush (they also got a special exemption for News Corp to buy (and destroy) the WSJ).

In other words, when you are chowing down at the trough, you certainly don’t mind lying to your viewers to keep the gravy rolling. *chomp* *chomp* Net Neutrality *chomp* is *gulp* *chow* *chew* *chomp* marxists/communists/terrorists/socialists/nazis *!BUUUURRRRPP!!

The Audacity of a New Hope

The Audacity of a New Hope

The Audacity of  a New Hope
The Audacity of a New Hope

This post is more just a general clearinghouse of some of the more interesting articles I’ve come across lately, and a bit of a call for a ray of hope, somewhere along down the line.

First up is this diatribe by Camille Paglia [bio].  She takes no prisoners on either side.

By foolishly trying to reduce all objections to healthcare reform to the malevolence of obstructionist Republicans, Democrats have managed to destroy the national coalition that elected Obama and that is unlikely to be repaired. If Obama fails to win reelection, let the blame be first laid at the door of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who at a pivotal point threw gasoline on the flames by comparing angry American citizens to Nazis. It is theoretically possible that Obama could turn the situation around with a strong speech on healthcare to Congress this week, but after a summer of grisly hemorrhaging, too much damage has been done. At this point, Democrats’ main hope for the 2012 presidential election is that Republicans nominate another hopelessly feeble candidate. Given the GOP’s facility for shooting itself in the foot, that may well happen.

I would mention one quick point of fact that Pelosi was just pointing out some of the more absurd rhetoric that many townhall and tea-bag protesters have adopted (parodied to wonderful effect by Tom the Dancing Bug here). Indeed, it was an illustration of Godwin’s Law and the sad fact that pointing out what others are doing in a ham-fisted way can often make it seem like one is doing it themselves.

I also disagree with her 2012 predictions, at least for the moment.  I wouldn’t mind being wrong on this.

Having said all that about the failures of my own party, I am not about to let Republicans off the hook. What a backbiting mess the GOP is! It lacks even one credible voice of traditional moral values on the national stage and is addicted to sonorous pieties of pharisaical emptiness. Republican politicians sermonize about the sanctity of marriage while racking up divorces and sexual escapades by the truckload. They assail government overreach and yet support interference in women’s control of their own bodies. Advanced whack-a-mole is clearly needed for that yammering smarty-pants Newt Gingrich, who is always so very, very pleased with himself but has yet to produce a single enduring thought. The still inexplicably revered George W. Bush ballooned our national deficits like a drunken sailor and clumsily exacerbated the illegal immigration debate. And bizarrely, the hallucinatory Dick Cheney, a fake-testosterone addict who spooked Bush into a pointless war, continues to be lauded as presidential material.

Which to me really sets up the point: the Democrats might be a bit reluctant to push forward their own agenda, but at least that agenda is rational.   As I mentioned a while back, even if the Democrat do try and compromise on the health care legislation, the Republicans are so worked up into a fervor by their fringe, now their Beck-led core, they can’t support anything the Obaminator supports without facing the wrath of the Fauxrage.

This problem is pinpointed in Tom Friedman’s horribly titled op-ed, “Our One-Party Democracy“.

The fact is, on both the energy/climate legislation and health care legislation, only the Democrats are really playing. With a few notable exceptions, the Republican Party is standing, arms folded and saying “no.” Many of them just want President Obama to fail. Such a waste. Mr. Obama is not a socialist; he’s a centrist. But if he’s forced to depend entirely on his own party to pass legislation, he will be whipsawed by its different factions.Look at the climate/energy bill that came out of the House. Its sponsors had to work twice as hard to produce this breakthrough cap-and-trade legislation. Why? Because with basically no G.O.P. representatives willing to vote for any price on carbon that would stimulate investments in clean energy and energy efficiency, the sponsors had to rely entirely on Democrats — and that meant paying off coal-state and agriculture Democrats with pork.

Indeed, when we look at the general response of the Beck-led nutjob Republican core, we see the same old mantra being brayed at high volume.

GLENN: Let me tell you something. For those of you who think climate change is real and manmade, you should know this, that — I mean, you don’t have to be a socialist, I guess, to believe in global warming. It’s just that almost everyone who does believe in global warming is a socialist. I mean, believes in manmade global warming that now can be fixed and reversed or whatever. And we’ve got the tools to fix it. Almost everybody who says, “I’ve got a plan to fix it” is a socialist.

So that’s about where we stand now.  A lot of serious, deep, and long term problems to solve.  One party that actually can see them but is afraid to do anything serious about them, and one party that seems to only see a black dude in the Oval Office and can’t come to terms with it.  Oh yeah, I, like Jimmy Carter, went there.

“I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he’s African American,” Carter said. “I live in the South, and I’ve seen the South come a long way, and I’ve seen the rest of the country that shared the South’s attitude toward minority groups at that time, particularly African Americans”

Continued Carter, who is famously from Georgia: “And that racism inclination still exists. And I think it’s bubbled up to the surface because of the belief among many white people, not just in the South but around the country, that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country. It’s an abominable circumstance, and it grieves me and concerns me very deeply.”

Just to be clear here, I don’t think all Republicans are racist, nor do I think anybody who disagrees with Obama or the Democratic policies are racist.  Nor do I think people who don’t understand science, or history are racist [1].

I do think, however, that the level of vitriol, disrespect, and suspicion aimed at the President has a serious racist element.  Gone is the notion of respectful disagreement.  It has been replaced with outright hatred.  Gone is the notion of “we know you think this is best, but believe you are wrong.”  It has been replaced with “He’s not even an American and we need to take our country back!

Gone is the notion that the Office of the President should be respected, in any way form or fashion.

It took George W. Bush nearly four years, and one terribly misguided war to reach this level of opposition.  It took Obama eight months of doing what he campaigned on to reach the same level of opposition.  There is obviously something else at work here.

Such was the audacity of Barack Obama, and those who voted for him.  Thinking that somehow, some way, those that lost the election would accept their defeat and work to re-invent a party that had lost its way in the support of torture and war and an absurd approach to health care.

Instead we got the Party of No.   A party led by those that want to see our country fail.  A party that sees fear around every corner, and steadfastly refuses to acknowledge their own failure, and complicity, in the problems we now face.

A party that, indeed, refuses to accept we even face these problems, and just keeps shouting “Liar!!” at those who painstakingly point them out.   And just keep shouting “No!!” at any and all proposed solutions simply because of who they are proposed by.

I hate to break to to you folks, but its not going to work.   It’s going to continually marginalize you, which is just going to make you angrier, which is just going to marginalize you further.

We need a sane and rational opposition party for our system of government to work.   We need someone to propose *better* ideas, and work to get those ideas implemented.  We need the sane Republicans to take back over their party.

And we need it soon.  *That*, my friends, is an audacious new hope.  And I hold it dear.

—-

[Pic source Our Nerd President brandishes a lightsaber after a fencing demonstration on the White House lawn today during a photo op to promote Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympic Games.]

[1] That first link is for the climate change deniers.  The second link is for the “OMG!! Obama is hiring commie czars” people.

McCarthyism ’09 Claims Its First Victim

McCarthyism ’09 Claims Its First Victim

Sen. McArthy with the Red Glare
Sen. Joe McCarthy

Over the weekend and under the cover of darkness, we had the first casualty of the new Red Scare.

Van Jones, Obama’s pick to help build the U.S.’s green job economy, resigned after the constant attacks by the right wing media.

For those that don’t know who Jones is, here’s a couple of bios about the guy.

When you look at his actual accomplishments, and his dedication, he seems to be the perfect guy for that job.  But oh how looks can be deceiving when one puts on the red sunglasses and sees Commie demons around every corner.

Jones submitted his resignation after the constant attacks from an alcoholic (who, according to rumors on the Internet, raped and killed a woman during a blacked out stupor in 1990) talk show host with the innocuous name of Glenn Beck.

You can see the type of attacks leveled at Jones here (warning: rumors and innuendo abound here).  Just as with McCarthy (read a bit here), Beck’s love of the drink and scarediness of dark skinned men dancing fueled his paranoia.

Actually McCarthy was probably no more racist than your average Republican politician of the 1950’s, which is, well, pretty damned racist.  OF COURSE, racism has absolutely nothing to do with current nutjob attacks on the President.  After all, racism no longer exists in this country.  People how just, you know, don’t trust the guy, have plenty of others reasons to site (cue: socialist/marxist/communist whargarrrbl).

The sad thing is, when one gives in to people like Beck and McCarthy, it only makes them stronger.   There is now blood in the water, and the sharks are just getting warmed up.

In the socialist propaganda news, Barrack Obama delivered a completely innocuous speech to many of the nation’s children today.

[general note: hey, spreading rumors is fun and profitable, why not get in on the action?]

Why I Cain’t Vote for Black Hussein Obama

I put together this here video for yer enjoyment. May you enjoy it many times over.

I did this’un last night after a good day for football watchin’, which is to say, drinkin’.

Here’s the non-parody version of that video.

Gateway Pundit says he contacted the LA Times to ask about a video showing Barack Obama at a party for radical Islamist Rashid Khalidi, mentioned by the LA Times in this article: Allies of Palestinians see a friend in Barack Obama.

At Khalidi’s going-away party in 2003, the scholar lavished praise on Obama, telling the mostly Palestinian American crowd that the state senator deserved their help in winning a U.S. Senate seat. “You will not have a better senator under any circumstances,” Khalidi said.

The event was videotaped, and a copy of the tape was obtained by The Times.

LA Times writer Peter Wallsten said he won’t release the video or reveal his sources: Confirmed: MSM Holds Video Of Barack Obama Attending Jew-Bash & Toasting a Former PLO Operative… Refuse to Release the Video!

If true, this is media malfeasance of an almost astounding degree. They have a video that could change the stakes in this election and they’re hiding it. And they’ve been hiding it since last April.

UPDATE: The Glenn Beck Version.

Whether holding a career-launching state Senate campaign event at the home of an unrepentant terrorist should disqualify you from the presidency is up to the people to decide. I tend to see it as a rather low bar to clear if you’re going to run the world, but hey, that’s just me.

Remember, William Ayers is a pasty white guy like me. Shouldn’t the fact that Palin is criticizing a white terrorist show that it’s not his color — but his terrorism — that she’s not fond of? Instead, the AP tries to make the case that voters will think Obama is “not like us” since “terrorists are envisioned as dark-skinned radical Muslims.” Right, because nothing dredges up visions of radical Muslims with box-cutters like a guy named Bill.

Just ridiculous.

That wasn’t enough to convince Democratic Rep. Gregory Meeks, who said, “He’s ‘not one of us’? That’s racial. That’s fear. They know they can’t win on the issues, so the last resort they have is race and fear.” He also added, “They are trying to throw out these codes.”

More from that jackass here.