Bad Deeds for 7-22-2009

Poll: Just Six Percent of Scientists are Republicans – Now, why would that be? Scientists deal with facts; Republicans deal with … Oh, never mind.


The States That Voted Republican in the 2008 US Presidential Election Tend to be Lower in per Capita GDP, K-12 Education, and Public Health – That’s right, vote Republican at your own risk! Remember, these are the people who say health care is just fine the way it is. And that’s true, if you have the Congressional health care plan, or if you’re an insurance company CEO.


The Moral Roots of Liberals and Conservatives – Liberals score high on openness to experience. Conservatives do not. They like things the way they are used to seeing them. Discrimination, war, the rich staying rich, millions of people without health care; it’s the way they think things should stay. Watch the video at the link above.


Conservatives Not Too Concerned About Behavior of Their Leaders – While for Democrats, adultery often leads to ruined or constrained careers – think Gary Hart, Bill Clinton, Eliot Spitzer, John Edwards – Republican adulterers from Newt Gingrich to David Vitter have lived to see another political day, still championing their hard-line conservative positions.

Their survival isn’t in spite of the GOP’s evangelical base, but rather because of it. And while liberals tend to see continued support as hypocrisy from both the politician and his supporters, what matters to conservative Republicans is not so much the behavior of their leaders as the repentance they show after their fall from grace.

In the rambling announcement of his affair, Gov. Sanford said little about politics and a lot about his faith. At times he sounded like a preacher expounding on the nature of God’s law, of self, and of sin. By getting it spiritually right, Sanford is well on his way to getting it politically right.


[How Liberals and Conservatives Think]


New Downbeat Unemployment Numbers Include Republican Mistresses – Unemployment surged over the past two weeks, new statistics released today show, but the Department of Labor was careful to point out that much of that increase was due to “forced layoffs of Republican mistresses.”


Tea Party Republican Warns That the Next Step After the Ballot Box is the Bullet Box – From a Tea Party in Virginia, where a Republican legislative candidate named Catherine Crabill got up and said the following:

Crabill: “If war is inevitable, then let it come, I repeat sir, let it come. We have the chance to fight this battle at the ballot box before we have to resort to the bullet box.

You have to wonder what Crabill will do if she fails at the ballot box. Get out her bullets?


Conservative Group Offers to Sell Endorsement for $2M – The American Conservative Union asked FedEx for a check for $2 million to $3 million in return for the group’s endorsement in a bitter legislative dispute, then flipped and sided with UPS after FedEx refused to pay. For the $2 million plus, ACU offered a range of services that included: “Producing op-eds and articles written by ACU’s Chairman David Keene and/or other members of the ACU’s board of directors. The letter exposes the practice by some political interest groups of taking stands not for reasons of pure principle, as their members and supporters might assume, but also in part because a sponsor is paying big money.


Karl Rove Advocates Breaking the Law When it Comes to the CIA and Congress – On Bill O’Reilly’s show earlier this week, Karl Rove said that Dick Cheney and the CIA should never inform Congress of what they are doing because it won’t remain a secret so, never mind about the law. Rove then appeared to make the argument that executive branch should not inform Congress of what it is doing:

ROVE: Look, it’s interesting. The CIA briefed Congress to this, I guess, in June. And the Congress immediately leaks it. That, itself is, a violation, I think, of several statutes and indicative of why it is so dangerous to give Congress information.

To clarify, Congress did not “leak” details of the secret program. The Wall Street Journal cited “former intelligence officials familiar with the matter” in its report. But Rove’s comment seems to confirm the Bush administration’s motives for routinely attempting to hide information from Congress.

Rove lies about what happened when the facts are clear as a bell. The CIA is required by law to inform Congress on what they are doing. Period. There are no exceptions.


Obama Administration Approves First Roadless Logging Contract In Alaska’s Tongass National Forest – This week, the Obama administration approved the sale of timber in a roadless national forest in Alaska. The Tongass National Forest is a 17 million acre temperate rain forest in southeast Alaska, which is home to both endangered species and native Alaskan tribes. It is the largest temperate rain forest in the United States.


Bush Administration Blacklisted Liberal Groups – According to an internal Justice Department report from 2008, from 2006 to 2007, “candidates to the Honors Program whose applications indicated liberal affiliations were rejected at a high rate, around 55 percent, as opposed to candidates who had conservative affiliations, who were rejected at a rate of about 18 percent.” Eighty-two percent of applicants who had “liberal affiliations” were rejected for summer internships, while only 13 percent with conservative affiliations were rejected for the same programs. “We found that in 2006 the screening committee inappropriately used political and ideological considerations to deselect many candidates,” the report as said.


Senators Call for Health Care Delay, Receive Big Campaign Contributions – Six senators called for a seventy day hold on voting on health care reform legislation today. The senators involved include three Democrats, Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu and Ron Wyden, two Republicans, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, and one Independent, Joe Lieberman. Each these senators has raised at least $1 million from the health and insurance sectors combined over the course of their respective careers.


Americans Losing Health Coverage – At least four people lose coverage every minute. That’s more than 260 people every hour, more than 6,300 people every day, 2.3 million people every year.


California Councilman Sent Racist Anti-Obama Jokes To Staff – In the past several months Atwater City Councilman Gary Frago has sent at least a half-dozen e-mails to city staff and other prominent community members containing racist jokes aimed at President Barack Obama, his wife and black people in general. In all, the Sun-Star obtained seven e-mails that Frago sent from October 2008 to February 2009 from an anonymous source. Some compared Obama to O.J. Simpson while others suggested that “nigger rigs” should now be called “presidential solutions.”

“I don’t see where there’s a story, I’m not the only one that does it,” Fargo said in his defense


Average Income in 2006 up $60,000 for Top 1 Percent of Households, Just $430 for Bottom 90 Percent: Income Concentration at Highest Level Since 1928, New Analysis Shows – Sometimes a picture is worth a million words. This graph, from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities tells you why it makes sense to tax the very rich to fund reform.




CIA Officials Committed Fraud – A federal judge has ruled that CIA officials committed fraud to protect a former covert agent against an eavesdropping lawsuit and is considering sanctioning as many as six who have worked at the agency, including former CIA Director George Tenet. According to court documents unsealed Monday, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth referred a CIA attorney, Jeffrey Yeates, for disciplinary action. Lamberth also denied the CIA’s renewed efforts under the Obama administration to keep the case secret because of what he calls the agency’s “diminished credibility” and the “twisted history” in the case.


The Audacity of Nope: The GOP Channels Groucho Marx: “Whatever It Is, I’m Against It” – The lead story in the WashPost today is “GOP Focuses Effort To Kill Health-Care Bills.” But really, the story could be about climate or clean energy — or anything else.

Here’s Groucho Marx singing in Horsefeathers:

“I don’t know what they have to say,

It makes no difference anyway,

Whatever it is, I’m against it.

No matter what it is or who commenced it, I’m against it.

Your proposition may be good,
But let’s have one thing understood,
Whatever it is, I’m against it.
And even when you’ve changed it or condensed it,
I’m against it.”


I’m against it!


U.S. Health Care System Is In Need of Emergency Care – Here are some statistics, via the nonpartisan/bipartisan National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC), to demonstrate just how dire the current health care situation is:

· 46 million Americans under the age of 65 (which represents 18 percent of the population) had no health insurance in 2007. And given the spike in the unemployment rate and downturn in the economy since then, that figure has to be even higher now.

· 2.4 trillion was spent on health care in 2008, representing 17 percent of the U.S.’s gross domestic product. That’s more than four times what we spend on defense.

· Costs are trending in the wrong direction. Projections have costs reaching3.1 trillion in 2012 and4.3 trillion by 2016, if the same health care system remains in place.

· The NCHC has compiled projections on the negative impact of spiraling health care costs on the economy, state and federal budgets and employers, large and small, and the effects are stifling. Health care costs are a major threat to our future.

· We are also very inefficient. We spend more money per person on health care than nations that provide universal coverage to their citizens. The NCHC, citing the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, points out that health care spending was only 10.9 percent of the gross domestic product in Switzerland, 10.7 percent in Germany, 9.7 percent in Canada and 9.5 percent in France, all countries that provide single-payer health care.

· And what about the small businesses Republicans are always pretending to defend? They are getting killed by health insurance payments. Employer-based premiums rose 5 percent in 2008. In 2007, rates for small employers went up 5.5 percent and companies with less than 24 employees saw an even bigger increase, 6.8 percent. The Republicans call any health care reform measure from the Democrats a job-killer, but nothing is killing the ability of small businesses to hire Americans more than the rising cost of health insurance.

· In 2008, employees had to pay a whopping 12 percent more in health insurance premiums than they did in 2007, so that the average worker is now paying $1,600 more a year for premiums than he/she did in 1999. In fact, since 1999, premiums for employment-based health insurance have increased 120 percent. (NCHC notes that during that same period, wages grew only 29 percent.) That means that health insurance costs are increasing four times faster for American workers than their wages are, on average.

· Republicans love to talk about how bad health care will be if the government gets involved, and President Obama has taken great pains to assure Americans that, under his plan, if they like the coverage they have, they can keep it. But the evidence points to the fact that care in the United States isn’t as good as it could or should be, and is not the best in the world. The NCHC notes that our infant death mortality rate is 7 percent, while the leaders are at 2.7 percent. A drop more than half of adult Americans get the care recommended for them, and less than half of those suffering from diabetes and less than a third with coronary heart disease receive proper care.


Media Helping Conservatives Spread Misinformation about Health Care – Despite passage of health care reform bills in House and Senate committees and the endorsement by major medical organizations of congressional Democrats’ reform efforts, numerous television pundits have suggested that President Obama’s health care plan is in serious jeopardy.

(Notice that these are all rich people with incredible health care who are doing all the smearing.)


Big Business is the Middle-Man Today – To Dr. Regina Benjamin, health care is a service, helping people in need with grace and compassion. To Ed Hanway, the Chairman and CEO of Cigna, and his highly paid friends, it’s big business, a commodity to be sold to those who can afford it. And woe to anyone who gets between them and the profits they reap from sick people.


Concentration of Pay at the Top Erodes Social Security – Executives and other highly compensated employees now receive more than one-third of all pay in the U.S., according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Social Security Administration data — without counting billions of dollars more in pay that remains off federal radar screens that measure wages and salaries.

The pay of employees who receive more than the Social Security wage base — now $106,800 — increased by 78%, or nearly $1 trillion, over the past decade, exceeding the 61% increase for other workers, according to the analysis. In the five years ending in 2007, earnings for American workers rose 24%, half the 48% gain for the top-paid. The result: The top-paid represent 33% of the total, up from 28% in 2002.

The growing portion of pay that exceeds the maximum amount subject to payroll taxes has contributed to the weakening of the Social Security trust fund.


Now that Walter Cronkite has passed on, who is America’s most trusted newscaster? – Is it Brian Williams? Nope. Katie Couric? Nope. Charlie Gibson? Nope. To see who, click the link above.





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About Jim Vogas

Texas A&M Aggie, Retired aerospace engineer, former union member, Vietnam vet, Demcratic Party organizer, husband and father.

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