Kendra Pierre-Louis has crafted a powerful little manifesto for social change agents who seek to challenge and change the status quo. Her book, Green Washed, largely assumes that readers know the grim state of affairs ? basically, Peak Everything and[...]
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(Right Wing Watch)Every time Pat Robertson makes the news, it confuses me for a moment because for some reason I am always under the impression that he died a few years ago. Then I remember it was that other inexplicably influential televangelist who was always blaming people caught in natural disasters for pissing off God with their reckless sinning, not this one.
Robertson is still with us. And he wants you to know that science is legitimate, except in certain areas where it's not, and the delineation between those two areas is, as always, whatever religion says it is. Here ya go, via Right Wing Watch:
"God created the world; the laws of nature were created by God. True science tries to find out what God put in the world. The trouble is where scientists speculate about theology and they don?t know what they?re talking about because they weren?t there. They can?t speculate about the origins of life because they weren?t there. If they tell you observable phenomenon then we ought to believe them, and I tell you if you find a geologist who tells you something existed 300 million years ago then you better believe them because he knows what he?s talking about. We don?t want our religious theory go with flat earth."You may think this sounds confusing. Maybe, but it's also one of the most concise explanations of the relationship between fundamentalism and science I've ever seen. A religious figure or institution declares themselves to be the Speculation Police, defining what areas of physical law or common history may or may not be speculated upon by individuals not versed in the Holy Word, and that is that. Later, as that particular policeman gets more comfortable with whatever scientific premise is being advanced (usually long after the rest of the world, and usually long after said scientific premise has already resulted in a few hundred years of other scientific progress based on the obvious truth of the thing), the theology is revised to begrudgingly accept the thing, and life (and religion) goes on.
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They told me I was the best, better than any human. I didn't hesitate. I didn't flinch. I didn't think.[...]
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If you want to keep your food down, don't read these numbers.
Where else but Wall Street can you divide $700 million among 50 employees? It's so painfully obvious to anyone with an ounce of objectivity that the problem leading to the 2008 crisis was the compensation. Any company that pays out crazy money like Wall Street should expect similar problems.
Keep in mind that to date, none of the Wall Street bankers were ever forced to pay back their bloated bonuses, despite the business being wiped off of the books. It does not work that way in any other business outside of Wall Street. Even now after this crash, these are the people who are considered to be part of polite society, but there's nothing polite about this at all.
More on the sickening story of compensation at Lehman Brothers at the LA Times.
In a new strategy aimed at identifying with the common man, Mitt Romney touted the strength of his business acumen as an important trait qualifying him to be president of the United States.People like Mitt Romney for example.
Speaking to a group of students and administrators at Ohio's Otterbein College Friday, GOP presumptive nominee Mitt Romney went into detail about his past at Bain Capital and how this experience gave him the know-how to run the country.
"The impact of gathering facts, gathering information, learning about the reality behind the words, has proved to me, in the business sector, that facts are more important than words and that results are more important than words," he told the crowd.
"You will hear words from people running for office that sound great. But sometimes what people say is not a perfect example of what they're going to do."
Romney says he wants to put the nation on a path to a balanced budget while also cutting an array of taxes, building up the Navy and Air Force and adding 100,000 active-duty military personnel. He says he would slash domestic spending and reduce tax loopholes but has offered few details.Cut taxes for the rich, cut spending on investment in people and infrastructure, increase military spending and whammo: balanced budget. Like Mitt says, don't believe anything he says because the facts are always the opposite of whatever he says.
?Consider that the crown jewel. The only economic success that President Obama has had,? Fehrnstrom said, ?is because he followed Mitt Romney?s advice.?Mitt Romney is simultaneously for President Obama's auto bailout and for letting Detroit go bankrupt. Is anyone surprised?
In February 2006, Bain purchased an outfit called CRC Health Group for $723 million and proceeded to go on a shopping spree, snapping up nearly 20 new facilities over the next two years. The company took a breather during the financial crisis, but in 2011 resumed its buying binge with the purchase of some smaller treatment centers.You and I see broken lives and intense personal struggles that require caring and understanding. But the boys at Bain see substance addiction and think "KA-CHING!"
Rehab, it turns out, is a pretty good business. CRC's flagship facility, Sierra Tucson in Arizona, charges upwards of $30,000 for a 30-day stay. And with Hollywood and the sports world providing a seemingly endless supply of customers (Sierra Tucson has treated Michael Douglas, Ringo Starr, and Tiger Woods, among others), there's growth potential too.
There are so few people I actually admire these days, and one of them continues to be Paul Krugman. Put him on a panel with a bunch of right-wing talking heads, and he's usually going to be the only person who nails them on their zombie talking points. Like this morning, on This Week With George Stephanopoulos, when he put corporatist robot Carly Fiorina, George "His Hair Was Perfect" Will, and David "If Only We Could Slash Social Security" Walker in their places.
If you watch, you'll see Krugman's trademark move: He looks off to one side as if he's so exasperated, he can't even bring himself to look at someone who's so stupid - or so careless with the truth.
Today, he did three very important things. He called out Caroly Fiorina on her made-up "data shows" that people leave states with high taxes, firmly rebutted David Walker's contention that the new Social Security report proves the program is in trouble and need of overhaul, and he completely destroys George Will's vastly uninformed and careless recommendation that Social Security be indexed to life expectancy.
Obviously, he doesn't take Fiorina seriously - and neither should you. She keeps making sh*t up: She says "data shows" and then lies. Krugman just batted her away, like a cat with a mourse. Then he explained to Walker (as if Walker didn't already know) that all the Social Security report showed is that, like the rest of the country, the bad economy is affecting Social Security. (Walker, in case you didn't know it, is Pete Peterson's chief lackey and the person "centrists" keep pushing as a third-party candidate for president. His latest vehicle, Comeback America, is another version of America's Townhall, whose purpose was to build popular support for cutting Social Security and Medicare.)
And then, after prissy blueblood Will lectured that Social Security was created during a time when retirement averaged two years, and now it was closer to 20, proving that since people were living much longer and we needed to index payments to life expectancy, Krugman just knocked it out of the park.
No, it's only the upper income population that's living longer, he said. And this just goes back to the issues of income inequality.
“What’s the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? A pit bull is delicious.” – Pres. Barack Obama
AT THE 1% INTERSECTION OF ELITISM, access and insider greasing.
That doesn’t mean it wasn’t funny.
I’m sure someone will find something wrong with Pres. Obama’s prepared jokes, because it wouldn’t be fitting to just enjoy the hilarity without bitching about some perceived slight or offense.
“We gather during a historic anniversary. This weekend last year, we finally delivered justice to one of the world’s most notorious individuals,” Obama said to a packed ballroom at the Washington Hilton.
A photo of Trump was shown, rather than that of slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
Obama then went back even further in time.
“Four years ago, I was in a brutal primary battle with Hillary Clinton,” Obama said. “Four years later, she won’t stop drunk texting me from Cartagena,” a reference to the city where Secret Service agents allegedly consorted with prostitutes.
The President of Cool, baby.
The king of the White House Correspondents? Dinner remains Stephen Colbert roasting of George W. Bush.
The Reishi Mushroom: Queen of All Mushrooms
Mushrooms - Although we’ve heard much about medicinal mushrooms (reishi, shiitake, maitake, chaga) in recent years, even the common white button mushroom (the kind you find on pizzas) removes bad estrogens from the body, so is protective against breast and ovarian cancer. For those who live in areas where medicinal mushrooms aren’t easily available (no, not…
Should be obvious, but relentless repug lies for the past 40 years have made it necessary to drag out the statistics and the facts and the reality-based arguments.
In the Wall Street Journal a few days ago, Allan Meltzer hauled out the chart below, which shows that income shares of the rich have been rising all over the world for the past 30 years. His conclusion: if income inequality is changing everywhere, "that means domestic policy can't be the principal reason for the current spread between high earners and others."
So although domestic policies certainly aren't the whole explanation for the exploding income of the rich - and nobody has ever claimed they are - the evidence certainly suggests they play a significant role. There's a big difference between 8% and 17%.[Meltzer] seems to have missed an important implication of his own conclusion. If the rich are going to continue to get richer in low-tax countries and high-tax countries alike, then it must mean that high tax rates have far less of a disincentive effect on the rich than conservatives like Professor Meltzer continually proclaim.
He asserts that we should not raise tax rates on the wealthy, as President Obama has proposed, because it won't do anything to reduce the share of income going to the ultrawealthy and thereby equalize the distribution of income. For the sake of argument, I will concede the point. But there is another very good reason to raise taxes on the ultrawealthy: the government needs the revenue.
Right. As it happens, I don't think tax policy is a great instrument for wealth redistribution. There are probably better ways to make society more egalitarian. On the other hand, tax policy is a great instrument for raising money that can be spent on programs that make society fairer and more decent - like universal healthcare, for example. And since (a) the evidence suggests that high-but-not-punitive tax rates have little effect on economic growth, and (b) growing income inequality means that the rich have ever more money, then it makes sense to tax the rich at higher rates. They're the ones benefiting from economic growth, they're the ones with the money, and they're the ones who can best afford it. If your income share doubles over the course of 30 years, it only makes sense that your tax rates ought to go up, not down.
According to the constant refrain from Republicans in Congress, the reason that tax rates can't be raised on anyone, even the already super-wealthy, is because doing so will hurt economic growth. However, two prominent economists - Nobel Prize winner Peter Diamond and John Bates Clark award winner Emmanuel Saez - write in today's Wall Street Journal that the conservative theory is basically bunk:In the postwar U.S., higher top tax rates tend to go with higher economic growth - not lower. Indeed, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis, GDP annual growth per capita (to adjust for population growth) averaged 1.68% between 1980 and 2010 when top tax rates were relatively low, while growth averaged 2.23% between 1950 and 1980 when top tax rates were at or above 70%.
Neither does international evidence support a case for lower growth from higher top taxes. There is no clear correlation between economic growth since the 1970s and top tax-rate cuts across Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries.
Saez and Diamond also note that growth can be boosted if the revenue raised from higher taxes gets spend on infrastructure or other public investments. "The neglect of public investment over the last few decades suggests that the returns could be quite high," they wrote.
As this chart shows, job growth has been weakest when the top tax rate was at its lowest:
In fact, job growth has been stronger when taxes are higher overall:
Of course, none of this should be construed as proving that higher taxes cause better job growth. But the Republican claim that higher taxes will blunt job growth is most certainly not true, as the data shows.
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Houston-based mega church minister Joel Osteen said on Sunday that same sex marriage should be illegal, but insisted he was "not for discriminating against gay people."
In an interview on Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace asked the pastor if being gay was a sin.
"I believe that the scripture says that being gay is a sin," Osteen smiled. "You know, every time I say that, Chris, I get people saying, 'You're a gay hater and you're a gay basher.' I'm not. I don't dislike anybody. Gays are some of the nicest, kindest, most loving people in the world. But my faith is based on what the scripture says, and that's the way I read the scripture."
Wallace also pressed the preacher on the issue of marriage equality.
"I don't think we should discriminate against anybody," Osteen replied. "There was an issue where somebody couldn't go visit a gay loved one in the hospital. I don't think that's right. I think they love each other. So, I think there should be some [rights]."
"I'm not for gay marriage, but I'm not for discriminating against people."
But while Osteen thought that LGBT people should be excluded from the institution of marriage, he didn't feel the same when it came to Mormons being labeled as Christians.
"I believe they're followers of Christ," the Dallas pastor said of Mormons like presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. "I don't believe that Mormonism is traditional orthodox Christianity. I realize there's differences there, but I go back to when I hear Mitt Romney and some of my Mormon friends say, 'I love Jesus. He's my savior. I believe he was raised from the dead.'"
"They follow the teachings of the Bible. I believe they are followers of Christ and that they're my brothers. And I'm not looking to exclude them and, you know, push them out."