Bad Deeds for 8-25-2010

 

Rick Perry: University Regents Jobs Open to the Highest Bidders – Over the past decade, the men and women chosen by Rick Perry to serve as regents of the state’s universities have given his campaigns a total of at least $5.8 million, according to a Texas Tribune analysis. Using the Texas Tribune’s data application, you can search and rank every current and former regent who gave to the governor – by university, by amount, by city.

 

Beware the Republican Budget Proposal – Paul Ryan (R-WI) is the point person for House Republicans on the budget committee. He designed a budget proposal that he says would bring the nation’s books into balance, without raising taxes, within 10 years. Contrary to Democrats’ claims that Republicans have “no solutions”, the Republicans will point to this budget proposal on the campaign trail as proof that they can do it–this time. [Ryan’s entire exercise, by the way, was to concoct a scheme so Republicans could preserve tax cuts for the wealthy–that’s their core value!].

Of course, they will not talk about the details of that proposal, such as privatizing social security and turning Medicare into a voucher program with vouchers that will increasingly not meet the costs of medical care for the elderly. Remember Newt Gingrich’s reverie, “social security and medicare will be left to wither on the vine”? What will be the cost of your private insurance if the elderly are added to private insurance rolls? It will make taxes no longer seem so uniformly “evil.”

 

Co-Chair of the Deficit Commission Has No Heart – Alan Simpson co-chairs the deficit commission, which is considering various proposals to cut Social Security benefits. He believes that Social Security is “like a milk cow with 310 million tits,” according to an email he sent to the executive director of National Older Women’s League Tuesday morning. In the e-mail, Simpson also said to the head of the National Older Women’s League, “Call when you get honest work!” It’s bad enough that Obama staffed the commission with so many Republicans, Alan Simpson has shown that he doesn’t have the temperament, the aptitude or the class to be so influential in the lives of seniors for decades to come.

Simpson is the one who should be sent to look for “honest work.” There is a petition online calling for Simpson’s resignation. Please sign the petition: Remove Alan Simpson
Call the White House and let them know we want Alan Simpson’s resignation:
202-456-1111

 

The Government Can Come Onto Your Property and Plant a GPS, Except if You’re Rich – Government agents can sneak onto your property in the middle of the night, put a GPS device on the bottom of your car and keep track of everywhere you go. This doesn’t violate your Fourth Amendment rights, because you do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy in your own driveway – and no reasonable expectation that the government isn’t tracking your movements.

That is the bizarre – and scary – rule that now applies in California and eight other Western states. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which covers this vast jurisdiction, recently decided the government can monitor you in this way virtually anytime it wants – with no need for a search warrant.

It is a dangerous decision – one that, as the dissenting judges warned, could turn America into the sort of totalitarian state imagined by George Orwell. It is particularly offensive because the judges added insult to injury with some shocking class bias: the little personal privacy that still exists, the court suggested, should belong mainly to the rich. Your driveway is not private, the court ruled, because it is open to strangers such as delivery people and neighborhood children, who could wander across it uninvited. However, people who have the money to protect their homes with electric gates, fences and security booths have a large protected zone of privacy around their homes. People who cannot afford such barriers have to put up with the government sneaking around at night.

And if government agents can track people with secretly planted GPS devices virtually anytime they want, without having to go to a court for a warrant, we are one step closer to a classic police state.

 

Republicans Have Been Lying About the Stimulus Program – The massive U.S. stimulus package put millions of people to work and boosted national output by hundreds of billions of dollars in the second quarter, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said on Tuesday. CBO’s latest estimate indicates that the stimulus effort may have prevented the sluggish U.S. economy from contracting between April and June.

CBO said President Barack Obama’s stimulus boosted real GDP in the quarter by between 1.7 percent and 4.5 percent, adding at least $200 billion in economic activity. It raised employment by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million jobs during the second quarter of this year, CBO estimated. Measured another way, CBO said the stimulus increased the number of full-time equivalent jobs by up to 4.8 million, as part-time workers shifted to full-time work or employers offered more overtime work.

 

Don’t Blame the “Stupid” People, It’s the Propaganda Machine, Stupid – Last week, a Pew Research Center poll was released that showed an increase in the proportion of Americans who falsely believe President Obama is a Muslim. The conversation since then has largely focused on the failings of the public. Don’t these people read newspapers or watch TV? As a matter of fact, many do. According to the poll, 60 percent of those who believe Obama is a Muslim also told the pollsters that they learned it from the media. Go to the link to see the many examples of how people have been influenced by false accusations from the WorldNetDailys, tabloids, Drudge Reports, Fox News, Washington (Moonie) Times, Weekly Standard, and other right-leaning media.

Yes, people do tend to believe silly things, but it’s not silly when there is a deliberate effort to misinform people at our nation’s expense. Fight the darkness with light. Speak out with truth.

 

Republicans Wrong About Effects of the Deep Water Drilling Moratorium – When the Obama administration called a halt to virtually all deepwater drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon blowout and fire in April, oil executives, economists and local officials complained that the six-month moratorium would cost thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in lost revenue. However, unemployment claims related to the oil industry along the Gulf Coast have only been in the hundreds. Only 2 of the 33 deepwater rigs operating in the gulf before the BP rig exploded have left for other fields.

Oil companies used the enforced suspension to service and upgrade their drilling equipment, keeping shipyards and service companies busy. Drilling firms have kept most of their workers, knowing that if they let them go it will be hard to field experienced teams when the moratorium is lifted. Oil companies have shifted operations to onshore wells, saving industry jobs. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the agency was “ahead of schedule” in drawing up new rules to allow drilling to resume and suggested that the moratorium could be eased as early as next month for certain types of rigs.

 

Fox News Proves They Are Either Evil or Stupid (or Both) – Fox News often plays a dangerous game of association based on speculation. This week, Fox continued to mention a nameless man with ties to Imam Rauf (of the proposed Muslim community center in New York City) through the “Kingdom Foundation.” It turns out the man they are referring to but never name is Saudi prince Al-Waleed bin Talal. Talal just happens to be one of the biggest shareholders of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp (parent of Fox News).

That’s right, the guy they’re painting as a sinister money force owns part of Fox News. So, using their own logic, if we want to cut off funding to the “terror mosque,” we must stop watching Fox.

Did Fox actually not know the name of the Kingdom Foundation leader or that he is a News Corp owner? Or did they purposefully cover it up because it didn’t help their fear-driven narrative?” Stupid or Evil?

 

Fox News Scrubbing Wikipedia Entry About $1 Million Donation – As you probably know, Fox News parent News Corps donated $1 million to the Republican Governors Association back in June…one of the largest donations in history by a media organization.

Not only does this put a cloud on their slogan “fair and balanced” when covering the upcoming gubernatorial elections, it is made worse by the fact that, to date, Fox News has YET to cover the controversy. Even though every other major media outlet has.

It is no secret that Fox News spends a lot time scrubbing thier own Wikipedia articles, but several editors have managed to get some issues on the page “Fox News Controversies”. Now Fox News has been busy scrubbing entries about the donation.

 

At Ground Zero Anti-Islam Rally, Man Harassed for Looking Vaguely Muslim – At an anti-Islam rally at Ground Zero, a person of color wearing a skull cap and wandering through the crowd was targeted with insults and nearly attacked by protesters for the offense of looking vaguely Muslim. It turns out he is not Muslim, his name is Kenny, and he is a union carpenter who works at Ground Zero.

Regards,

Jim

 

 

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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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