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Chernynkaya On March - 12 - 2011

 

 

You can now access the current and past editions of The Daily Planet on the green Category bar

on the top of each page under the heading Planet POV.

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TAKE ACTION


CREDO Action:

Tell Senate Democrats: Stand up and fight.

Sign the petition

The petition reads:

“We need our Democratic senators in Washington, D.C. to learn a lesson from the Democratic state senators in Wisconsin. The Republicans have gone too far in their budget demands. Stand up and fight.”

Please sign the petition here.

 

US Uncut

Los Angeles, CA, Sat Mar 12th 2011

This weekly protest of Bank of America has been going on for more than 9 months now; every Saturday at 1:30pm at 2420 Glendale Blvd @ Siverlake. We have been protesting foreclosures mainly, but our signs include like-minded sentiments to that of US Uncut and welcome all uncutters to join us. Chop from the Top, not from Mom and Pop!

Contact details

Feel free to contact Heather here: Coff...@gmail.com Our demos are also posted here: www.facebook.com/CoffeePartyLA

 

BUDGET


Top Treasury Official: Government Shutdown May Be Unavoidable

A senior Treasury department official told reporters Thursday that a brief government shutdown may be unavoidable as the only feasible way to de-escalate the confrontation over government spending dividing Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill. The official said the administration still hopes to avoid such a flashpoint because of the impact it would have on the economy, but added that President Obama will not sign short-term stop-gap government funding measures in perpetuity.

The comments were made in a briefing with reporters conducted on deep background, meaning no direct quotes could be attributed to the official.

The official’s remarks represent the most serious indication yet that the administration is willing to endure a short term shutdown despite the unknown political costs, to focus congressional leadership on brokering a long-term deal. But they also come at a time of ongoing negotiations between the White House and congressional Republicans, and are a signal that the administration isn’t resigned to getting rolled by the GOP. Whether that’s tough talk designed to move negotiations, a bluff, or an indication that the White House is prepared to go the brink on this remains to be seen.

 

Paul Ryan: Republican Party has secret plan to cut Medicare

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-FitzWalkerStan) says the GOP has a secret plan to cut Medicare:

In a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press, the Wisconsin lawmaker and chairman of the House Budget Committee said the House Republicans’ budget proposal for the 2012 fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 will propose fundamental changes to Medicare and Medicaid, the giant health care programs that cover 100 million Americans and whose combined costs rival the defense budget.

Last year, Ryan proposed eliminating the current Medicare program and replacing it with vouchers, but now:

Ryan offered no specifics, saying details are still being hashed out.

Despite his refusal to offer specifics, Ryan congratulated himself for showing leadership and predicted Democrats would demagogue the his plan, whatever it is:

“I think the country’s ready for this kind of discussion even though we are going to lead with our chin and they’re going to demagogue us,” Ryan said.

Speaking of demagoguery, wasn’t it Paul Ryan’s party that attacked Medicare cost savings in the health care reform bill as “death panels.” Wasn’t it the GOP that said Democrats wanted to kill your grandma? And given that track record, aren’t you at least a little bit suspicious when Paul Ryan says the GOP is ready to embrace big things?

“I see a willingness to embrace big things, I see a willingness to tackle the problem,” Ryan said, describing the sentiment among Republican freshmen elected on a wave of concern about the growing scope and reach of government.

So the same guy who voted for TARP and Bush’s Medicare prescription drug coverage bill, the same guy who won’t put military budget cuts on the table, and the same guy who wants to extend about $4 trillion in tax cuts over the next decade says he’s ready to “tackle the problem.” Except he won’t say what it is that he’s going to do. But the GOP is going to lead with their chin. Someday.

 

The GOP’s EPA Ambush

Can the 112th Congress officially claim the mantle of “most anti-science” ever? So says Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), a 36-year veteran of congressional wrangling over environmental matters. Even the contentious fights over issues like the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments pale in comparison to the environmental battles of the current Congress, the 71-year-old lawmaker noted earlier this week: “I’ve never been in a Congress where there was such an overwhelming disconnect between science and public policy.”

It’s not just that the House GOP is pushing—and will likely pass—a bill that would bar the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating planet-warming emissions and nullify the agency’s scientific finding that those gases endanger human health. Congressional Republicans have mounted an all-out assault on the EPA, pushing a lengthy list of measures to handcuff the agency from exercising its regulatory authority. For good measure, they are also trying to slash the agency’s budget by a third.

More>>>

 

How Public Opinion Does Matter

Politicians don’t understand that the voters don’t care about the deficit because the voters themselves don’t understand that they don’t care about the deficit. Black, Paul Krugman, Brad DeLong, and I all believe that with unemployment high and interest rates and inflation low that a larger short-term deficit will help post real output and reduce unemployment. If most people agreed with that, then politicians would talk about the deficit in a different way.

But they don’t. Public understanding of fiscal policy is hazy, inaccurate, and dominated by fallacious analogies between a national government and a household. What’s more, voters believe that deficits are primarily driven by wasteful government spending. So when a recession strikes the deficit spikes, and people complain. The smart thing for a politician to do under the circumstances is ignore the voters, do what you can to fix the economy, and recognize that in the end the economy drives public opinion. But of course much like the voters themselves, many politicians and political staffers are not that savvy about New Keynesian macroeconomic models. Indeed, it seems to me that many grassroots proponents of expansionary fiscal policy seem to actually be in the grips of the broken windows fallacy. Over the long-term, the country and the world will be a lot better off if we can improve people’s understanding of the business cycle. And improvement on the margin counts. It’s not that everyone needs to be expert in this subject, but people all up and down the spectrum of “need-to-know”-ness (politicians, staffers, journalists, voters) could be better informed than they are.

 

BUSINESS


US retail sales jump by 1% in February

Monthly sales figures showed their eighth gain in a row, with February’s up by 1%.

[…]

Paul Ashworth, chief US economist at Capital Economics, said: “This is a very encouraging report.”

However, he warned that higher energy prices would start affecting household budgets in the next month or two.

The most recent figures for spending, which on its broadest measure accounts for 70% of US economic activity, show it grew at a 4.1% annual rate in the fourth quarter, the fastest for more than four years.

The data adds to the picture of an improving US economy.

 

Walmart Plans To Open 40 Scaled-Down Express Stores This Year

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will next week start building its first Express stores, a format less than a tenth the size of an average supercenter, according to building permits obtained by Bloomberg News.

[…]

“Wal-Mart’s U.S. store fleet is designed for yesterday’s retail wars,” Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners in New Canaan, Connecticut, said in an interview. “If they want to capture their rightful share of today’s shopping trips they have to have a smaller format. God bless supercenters, but they are not designed to get in and out of within five minutes.”

Chief Executive Officer Mike Duke is seeking new avenues for growth in the U.S. as comparable-store sales in Wal-Mart’s namesake stores have fallen for seven straight quarters. The retailer plans to open as many as 40 smaller units this year in rural and urban areas, and executives said last month that the first Express store would open as early as May.

U.S. chief Bill Simon has said that “there are hundreds, if not thousands of opportunities in the U.S.” for stores smaller than the retailer’s supercenters, which accounted for 76 percent of Wal-Mart’s U.S. locations as of Jan. 31.

The Express stores, concrete square boxes with metal roofs, will cost $1.2 million to build and sit on lots just under 5 acres, according to building permits filed in Gentry and Prairie Grove, which has a population of 4,380. The stores will have 75 parking spaces, a pharmacy and three or four checkout counters, said Jackie Baker, Prairie Grove’s building and planning director.

More>>>

 

ECONOMY


U.S. household wealth jumps $2.1 trillion

Household wealth rose by $2.1 trillion in the fourth quarter and their debt contracted at the slowest pace since 2008 as consumers stepped up spending and boosted the fragile economic recovery.

Gains made in investments such as mutual funds boosted overall household wealth to $56.8 trillion even as the value of real estate fell, data released by the Federal Reserve showed on Thursday.

Businesses were holding $1.9 trillion in liquid assets in the last quarter of 2010, fueling hopes that companies would use their stockpiles of cash to step up investments.

The government’s debt expanded 14.6 percent on an annual rate in the fourth quarter, down from 16 percent in the previous quarter.

Meanwhile, state and local government debt expanded 7.9 percent on an annual basis after expanding 5.4 percent in the previous quarter.


ENERGY


PA Governor Gives Energy Executive Supreme Authority Over Environmental Permitting

Pennsylvania has come under fire lately as pollution from drilling in the Marcellus Shale threatens water resources across the state. But instead of ratcheting up oversight, Gov. Tom Corbett wants to hand authority over some of the state’s most critical environmental decisions to C. Alan Walker, a Pennsylvania energy executive with his own track record of running up against the state’s environmental regulations.

Walker, who has contributed $184,000 to Corbett’s campaign efforts since 2004, is CEO and owner of Bradford Energy Company and Bradford Coal, which was once among Pennsylvania’s largest coal mining companies. He also owns or has an interest in 12 other companies, including a trucking business and a central Pennsylvania oil and gas company

[…]

A 2009 ProPublica investigation [1] revealed that Pennsylvania’s sewage treatment plants were accepting millions of gallons of drilling wastewater, but lacked the technology to remove or treat many of the chemicals and pollutants the water contained. In 2008 people along one stretch of the Monongahela River were advised [2] to drink bottled water because the level of dissolved minerals and salts in the river was almost twice as high as the DEP considers safe.

Much more>>>

 

The Ed Show

As we predicted, Republicans are blaming President Obama for not drilling enough for oil, even though production is at an eight-year high, and supplies are at an 18-year high.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

 

ENVIRONMENT


Academy Endorses Navy Concerns on Warming, Arctic and Law of the Sea

There’s a lot more in the full report. Here’s the news release:

In response to the measured and projected effects of climate change, U.S. naval forces should begin now to strengthen capabilities in the Arctic, prepare for more frequent humanitarian missions, and analyze potential vulnerabilities of seaside bases and facilities, says a new report by the National Research Council.  Although the ultimate consequences of future climate change remain uncertain, many effects such as melting sea ice in the Arctic and rising sea levels are already under way and require U.S. naval monitoring and action.

[…]

In addition, for Arctic national security operations, the U.S. Coast Guard should have operational control of the nation’s three icebreakers, rather than the National Science Foundation.  The report reiterates a previous Research Council report that says the icebreakers — which should provide access to many sites throughout the year — are old, obsolete, and underfunded.  The Coast Guard should have the authority to determine future icebreaker requirements.

Naval forces will also need to meet growing demands for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts in response to a range of predicted crises created by climate change, including floods, droughts, intense storms, and geopolitical unrest.  Of particular concern is the future of U.S. Navy hospital ships to provide evacuation services and trauma care.

[…]

“Although the future degree and magnitude of climate change on regional scales is uncertain, it’s clear that the potential for environmental disasters is on the rise due to the changing nature of the hydrologic cycle and sea level,” said Antonio J. Busalacchi, committee co-chair and director of the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center at the University of Maryland, College Park.  “Naval forces must be prepared to provide more aid and disaster relief in the decades ahead.”

The report notes that rising sea levels accompanied by stronger, more frequent storm surges could leave U.S. naval installations vulnerable.  An estimated $100 billion of Navy installations would be at risk from sea-level rise of 1 meter or more.

 

IMMIGRATION


Rise of the Ethnoburbs

The fastest-growing ethnic group in the nation’s largest state, the Census reported this week, is not Latinos, but Asians — up 31.5 percent over the last decade, to about 5 million. There are more Asians in California than the total population of any American city but New York, and the group is larger than 28 of the states.

[…]

The new narrative comes from the ethnoburbs, a term coined in a 2009 book by Arizona State University professor Wei Li to describe entire cities dominated by a nonwhite ethnic group. They are suburban in look, but urban in political, culinary and educational values, attracting immigrants with advanced degrees and ready business skills.

Monterey Park, just to the south of here, is considered the first suburban Chinatown. And with 61,571 people, it’s much more than a “town.” Now there are eight Asian-dominated ethnoburbs sprawling through a 25-mile stretch of the San Gabriel Valley. Here, you’ll find one of the largest Buddhist temples in the hemisphere, and a string of Boba drink shops, often called the Starbucks of the valley. (Boba is a drink flavored with small tapioca balls.)

[…]

Now, as to the political power question: with every census count comes redistricting. This time around, following a rare showing of common sense, California voters took the task of sketching fresh congressional districts out of the hands of political hacks and created an independent citizen panel. By law and court decisions, they will have to draw districts that reflect the new demographic reality of the state.

This should mean that Asians and Latinos, the dynamo forces of virtually every fast-growing Western state, will get their seat at the political table, at least in California. And since nearly one in eight members of Congress come from this state, Congress should soon look more like the new America.

More>>>

 

MEDIA


House Panel Votes to Repeal New FCC Internet Rules

From Senator Al Franken:

A Republican-controlled Congressional panel has voted to repeal new Federal Communications Commission rules that prohibit phone and cable companies from interfering with Internet traffic on their broadband networks.

The House Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology voted 15-to-8 along party lines Wednesday to overturn the FCC’s new “network neutrality” regulations. The FCC’s three Democrats voted to adopt the regulations in December over the opposition of the agency’s two Republicans.

The rules are intended to prevent phone and cable companies from using their control over broadband connections to dictate where their subscribers go and what they do online. They prohibit broadband providers from favoring or discriminating against Internet content and services, including online calling services like Skype and Web video services like Netflix that could compete with their core phone and cable operations.

Wednesday’s vote marks the second attempt by House Republicans to reverse the FCC’s actions. Last month, they attached an amendment to a sweeping spending bill that would prohibit the agency from using government money to implement its new regulations.

More>>>

 

Murdoch’s WSJ Has Wisconsin Egg On Its Face

Covering one of the year’s biggest news stories, Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal managed to get the story exactly wrong. The paper, though, has refused to acknowledge, let alone explain, its glaring gaffe.

From Monday’s Journal, right on the front page:

Democrats to End Union Standoff

The Journal reported as fact that Democrats would soon end the “game of political chicken” in Wisconsin when the 14 state legislators who had fled to Illinois in order to block Gov. Scott Walker’s anti-union agenda would return, thereby allowing a vote to take place. (i.e. Democrats were caving.)

[…]

Then on Tuesday, the Journal reversed course and announced both sides had opted to “dig in.” Suddenly, the newspaper’s scoop about Democrats ending the standoff vanished.

Since then, of course, we all know it was Republicans who ended the standoff when, late on Wednesday night, they rewrote the controversial union-bashing bill so that it could pass the legislature while Democrats remained in Illinois.

It would be nice if Murdoch’s newspaper explained to readers what happened to its Monday exclusive about Democrats ending the Wisconsin standoff.

 

CNN Contributor Dana Loesch Compares Secretary Sebelius To ‘Terrorists’

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has been pushing a “revelation” that she discovered $105 billion in mandatory spending included in the health reform law. However, the spending she is referring to was openly discussed in congressional hearings and by the congressional budget office on multiple occasions. On Dana Loesch’s Tuesday broadcast of her radio show, Bachmann gave an interview discussing the issue. Responding to Bachmann’s manufactured controversy, Loesch compared negotiating with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and other health reform advocates to negotiating with “terrorists.” Bachmann didn’t skip a beat, and continued on with the conversation:

[...]

While Bachmann claimed she was educating her fellow Republicans on her pet controversy, top Republican lawmakers have already dismissed it as a non-issue. Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) recently brushed the topic aside during an interview with Sean Hannity, telling the host, “tell me something I don’t know.”

Loesch’s rhetoric, referring to health reform advocates as terrorists, is part of her regular routine. Despite a long history of extreme rhetoric and myth-based political punditry, she was hired by CNN last month as a regular contributor.

 

TWEET from Michael Moore:

Retract! HuffPo/AOL story by RFK Jr about Canada/”FoxNews” NOT accurate: http://j.mp/e4ZqFn This IS true: HuffPo/AOL laid off 900 ppl today.

TWEET from Keith Olbermann:

Am I missing something or has the primary appeal of The Huffington Post been its independence from big $ media?


MILITARY

State Dept. Spokesman: Treatment Of Bradley Manning Is ‘Ridiculous And Counterproductive And Stupid’

Since his arrests, civil liberties groups and members of Congress have protested his treatment, which involves being kept in solitary confinement, being denied access to a pillow or bed sheets, and being forcibly stripped naked every single night.

Last night, as reported by former BBC America journalist Philippa Thomas, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley commented on Manning’s treatment during an event organized by the Center for Future Civic Media. Crowley blasted the treatment of Manning by his “colleagues at the Department of Defense“:

More>>>

 

POLITICS


Murkowski opposes Planned Parenthood, Title X cuts

Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska has come out in opposition to the House’s attempts to defund Planned Parenthood, making her the first Republican senator to specifically support the beleaguered organization.

[...]

Murkowski’s move follows that of Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who last week came out against the House vote to defund Title X, the only federal program dedicated to reproductive health issues.

[...]

While the House’s long-term continuing resolution strips Planned Parenthood of all its federal funding, the letter comes on the heels of two, short-term continuing resolutions that leave their funding intact.

Social conservatives have petitioned the House leadership to make the defunding of Planned Parenthood a “nonnegotiable” in their budget talks with the Senate. But leadership has given them no such a promise.

Seven House Republicans voted against the amendment to defund Planned Parenthood during the continuing resolution debate.

 

Romney Endorses Multinational Corporations’ Push For Huge Taxpayer Giveaway

Several multinational corporations last week launched a lobbying campaign to press for what’s known as a tax repatriation holiday — a window in which they can bring overseas profits back to the U.S. at a dramatically lower tax rate. Profits brought back to the U.S. are usually subject to the statutory corporate income tax rate.

The corporations — including Cisco, Microsoft, Apple, Qualcomm, Pfizer, Kodak, and Duke Energy — have hired big-name lobbyists to advance their efforts. And they’ve evidently picked up the endorsement of 2012 Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney:

Likely presidential candidate Mitt Romney wants to use the promise of huge tax breaks to entice large corporations to move their overseas profits back to the United States, in hopes they would create a wealth of new jobs for US workers. The payoff would be significant and almost immediate, generating “hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of good, permanent, private sector jobs,’’ Romney told Republicans in Bartlett, N.H., last weekend.

While Romney and the corporations say that such a tax holiday would lead to massive domestic investment and job creation, the Bush administration tried such a policy already. It turned into a windfall for shareholders and corporate CEO’s, but didn’t deliver the promised domestic investment.


Grassroots backlash beats right-wing attempts to smack down student vote in New Hampshire

If you can be drafted at 18, be sent overseas to kill and die for your country, you should be able to cast a ballot. That rationale got the voting age in the United States lowered from 21 to 18 in 1971 when the 26th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified. And ever since, despite a federal district court ruling in 1972 and a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1979, many county registrars, city councilmembers and state legislators have been doing their best to block students from registering and voting in the towns and cities where they attend college.

[…]

But, remarkably, on Wednesday, as occasionally happens, some Republicans saw the light. The New Hampshire House Elections Committee shot down an attempt to screw students out of the right to vote in their campus towns. Students, who have been organizing against this travesty since it was introduced in January, deserve full credit for their protests and letter-writing campaigns.

[…]

Redefining residency is not the only thing Republicans had on their minds in New Hampshire. They also wanted to terminate same-day voter registration. The House Elections Committee voted Wednesday against that change, too. But a plan for a voter identity card is still a possibility. And New Hampshire isn’t the only state trying for that option. Forcing students to purchase state-issued identity cards before they can vote has been proposed in several states, including Wisconsin and Montana.

The good news, as we saw from the effort in New Hampshire, is that students everywhere are fighting back. However, as has been the case since the founding of the Republic, defending the franchise is everybody‘s fight. Two good places to volunteer to help win it are Election Protection and RocktheVote.

 

SCIENCE


Updated – Are There More Earthquakes Now?

Are we are experiencing more earthquakes? Have they been increasing in recent years? No, says the United State Geological Survey (USGS) in Common Myths about Earthquakes. Earthquakes with a magnitude 7.0 or greater have remained fairly constant in numbers throughout the last century.

However, Dave Santek (CIMSS/SSEC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison points out that there have been stronger earthquakes recently. There were no quakes of 8.5 or stronger in the 1970’s, 80’s or 90’s, but already 4 in the 2000’s. Quakes 8.0 and greater also register more since 2000, with 6 in the 1970s, 4 in the 1980s and 6 in the 1990s, yet already 13 in the 2000s.

According to the USGS, it may seem there are more earthquakes today because of more and better communication, and better technology. But also, says Steve Dutch at the University of Wisconsin, growing population bases in at-risk areas cause more damage and bring more media attention. There is no question that scientific and technological advances lead to better monitoring and study – and more awareness.

In 1931 there were about 350 seismograph monitoring stations in the world. Today, says USGS, there are more than 4,000 stations, with more rapid and comprehensive data reporting by satellite and computer.
More>>>

SCOTUS


Consensus reigns in high court’s early decisions

A couple of angry dissents aside, the Supreme Court has shown a remarkable degree of consensus in the nearly two dozen opinions issued so far this term.

Fifteen of the 23 decisions have been unanimous and four have drawn just one dissenting vote. No case has ended in a 5-4 split in which the liberals and conservatives are on opposite sides. But the term is young, with 50 or so decisions to come.

Broad agreement is not that unusual in the court’s early decisions. Indeed, a major reason they’re issued more quickly is that there is general accord about the outcome.

But the decisions to date include four unanimous opinions in cases in which the U.S. Chamber of Commerce supported the losing side. The cases involved claims of workplace discrimination, retaliation concerning alleged discrimination, an automaker’s negligence involving seat belts and corporate rights under the federal open records law. The votes are notable if only because some critics have complained that the court – the conservative-leaning justices, in particular – is too business-friendly.

Robin Conrad, head of the chamber’s legal team, said too many cases important to the business world have yet to be decided, including a major class-action sex discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart Inc., to read too much into the early returns. But Conrad said, “I have always been critical of the claim that this court has knee-jerk, pro-business inclinations.”

 

UNIONS

 

Democrats See Wisconsin Loss as Galvanizing

In a push to raise money for their candidates, Democrats hope Wisconsin will be for them what the health care overhaul was for Republicans in last year’s midterm elections: a galvanizing force for their base, and an example of overreaching that will win them crucial independent voters, not just in Wisconsin but also in Congressional races and the presidential election next year.

They point to polls showing that the same level of intensity that helped Republicans campaigning against health care is now behind Democrats on the issue of collective bargaining. Gov. Scott Walker’s refusal to compromise with Democrats has given them a vivid way to demonstrate the point they tried unsuccessfully to make during the midterms: that Republicans are motivated by ideology, not just budget balancing.

“This is one of the uglier examples of the tyranny of a temporary majority, and I think it’s going to backfire badly,” said Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland, the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association.

[...]

Democracy for America and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, two Democratic groups, said they had jointly raised $200,000 in the 12 hours after the Wisconsin Senate approved Governor Walker’s bill, and a total of $750,000 to run ads against Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature who are facing recall campaigns over the collective bargaining bill.

“On every front of the battle to take back the House — fund-raising, volunteers, candidates — what is happening in Madison is helping,” said Representative Steve Israel of New York, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “People who we have talked about running now seem more energized by what’s happening. They understand that this is part of an ongoing Republican attack on working families, and they want to fight back.”

Republicans counter that the energy will not last.

Much More>>>

 

Iowa reps pass bill limiting collective bargaining

The Iowa House approved a bill Friday limiting public workers’ collective bargaining rights and requiring them to pay more for their health insurance.

But while similar legislation reducing the power of unions has passed in states like Ohio and Wisconsin, it is unlikely to become law in Iowa. Democrats who control the Senate there have said they won’t allow debate on the bill backed by Republican Gov. Terry Branstad.

Republicans who control the House insisted the measure was needed to help address a state budget shortfall estimated at between $500 million and $700 million. [...]

But Democrats say the bill is a political attack on the public employee unions that traditionally support their party.

“Like Wisconsin, Republicans in Iowa will stop at nothing to take away rights from police officers, firefighters, state troopers, teachers, correction officers and other hard-working Iowans,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, D-Des Moines.

More>>>

 

WEDGE ISSUES


Who’da thunk? Evangelicals denounce Glenn Beck as a “New Age” Mormon because of new feel-good book

Back when he was blaming President Obama for the fact that so many malinformed right-wingers believe that he is Muslim, Glenn Beck was fond of remarking that Obama’s brand of Christianity is “a Christianity that many Americans just don’t recognize,” and “I don’t know what that is, other than it’s not Muslim, it’s not Christian. It’s a perversion of the gospel of Jesus Christ as most Christians know it.

[...]

Of course, you’ll recall that much of the thrust of Beck’s work in the past year, particularly his big shindig on the Capitol Mall, was about marrying the Tea Partiers with the Religious Right. But we had to wonder how long it would be before his new “friends” on the evangelical set couldn’t stomach his Mormonism any longer.

Well, now we know. From WorldNutDaily:

Christian author: Glenn Beck actually New Age ‘anti-Christ’

A Christian author and national speaker has just released a video in which he flays radio and TV commentator Glenn Beck as a pagan, New Age “anti-Christ” who is deluding many believers away from the Bible’s teachings and leading them toward Eastern mysticism.

Brannon Howse of Worldview Weekend in Collierville, Tenn., who was once a defender of Beck, is now blasting the popular Fox News host based on content of Beck’s new book, “Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life,” co-authored by psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow.

“Back in August of 2010, I tried warning folks that Glenn Beck was a pagan, New Age, universalistic Mormon, and indeed, he now has revealed his hand,” Howse says in the video, which is based on a column he wrote earlier this year. “Beck’s book is nothing less than a promotion of universalism, postmodernism and pagan spirituality, also known as the New Age movement.”

 

AND IN OTHER NEWS…


A Soldier And His Dog

 

A British soldier, Lance Corporal Liam Tasker, was inseparable from his bomb-sniffing Springer spaniel, Theo. Together they forged a formidable record of finding IEDs that could have killed. Tasker was shot by a sniper, after which Theo returned to his kennel. A few hours later, Theo died of a seizure. Tasker’s dad reflects:

“My honest opinion on this is, when Liam went down, Theo did not have the comfort from Liam to calm him down. I truly believe when Theo went back to the kennel, that would have a big, big impact because Liam was not there to comfort him.”

These things move me in ways I cannot fully express.

When the lance corporal’s body arrived back in the UK, the residents of Wootton Basset all turned out to honour him – as they do with every fallen soldier.  But this time they all brought their dogs, and the emergency services arrived in uniform with their working dogs.  Apparently the usual respectful silence was interspersed with the sound of barking.  It was heartrendingly marvelous.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“We are all in the same boat in a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty.”

G. K. Chesterton

 

 

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Written by Chernynkaya

I am an artist and have lived in Los Angeles all of my life, except for a brief hippie period when I lived in SF. I am currently (semi-unwillingly) retired, but have had several careers.

13 Responses so far.

Click here to leave a comment
  1. chazmania says:

    CHerney…OK Almost every story has some corporate or political despot maneuvering to screw the people out of anything they can get. each one a horror of greed corruption.. I mean are the democrats even present? are they in on the scam? or is it the MONEY that trumps everything else…
    It seems to me the R vs D battle may be waging away but the war is being won by the republicans and corporate robber barons along with whatever democrats that benefit from a government position as they bend over and smile…The human story as great as it is does not account for much in the way of easing my pain at witnessing the corporate take over of all our lives happening right in front of me. And to watch the zombie like Americans just walk right into it…Its like they have been fully brain washed into accepting the idea of corporate rule.. I coined it corporate Stockholm syndrome.. people now sympathize with their captors…
    Its what i see as the physiological war we have long sins lost..
    People have indoctrinated themselves into a system of corporate money worship..Its the norm, its how people function now, its ingrained in the mind that that is society and the dictators of this society sit in board room’s and think tanks and have used the media to convince people to pay and obey without thinking..Oh i know that is not people here on the POV but the vast mass of Americans seem as I said corporate cubical zombie drones serving one master..Money
    At night the downtown Los Angeles sky line is light up on every major building a bright banking logo,, Its like a gigantic monolithic middle finger saying FUCK YOU WE OWN YOU. And the people keep feeding the beast least they be consumed.

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    • audadvnc says:

      I just came to the realization that what these people are all about, and what we are seeing is, in fact -- cannibalism. Look it up:

      http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Cannibalism

      “…the act or practice of eating members of one’s own species and usually refers to human beings eating other humans (sometimes called anthropophagy).”

      The rich eat their employees, and poop out money.

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      • KQuark says:

        Wow I figured that up in the 80’s when US companies started shipping manufacturing jobs overseas and started busting unions. There will come a point when American businesses are so crippled by the lack of consumers that they will feel the pain as well. American CEOs are dumber than I think they are if they think that they will let American based conglomerates make profits off their workers exploits forever. Once the Chinese middle class anywhere near the size of ours they will call in their debt and sell to their own middle class.

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    • choicelady says:

      chaz -- the axis shifted from the Japanese earthquake, and the political axis is doing the same. You can trace the rise of the GOP to exactly ONE thing -- the absolute failure of Obama supporters to vote in 2010. The GOP win was very broad and terribly shallow. Had people NOT gone off in a self-righteous snit, things would have been very different. VERY different.

      That said, look around you -- the movement, the polls, the actions, the rallies, the turn out are all telling you things are NOT AS THEY WERE. The people, GOOD people all, are opening their eyes and seeing reality. This morning three of the 14 Dem Senators had a press conference and said hundreds even thousands are sheepishly coming forward to thank them AND admit they’d voted for Walker. They did NOT understand what that man and his Republican legislators wanted.

      First story above -- Ryan boasting about cutting Medicare saying people WANT this. Oh? Really? Not one single poll shows that to be true even from those not yet ready for it. The TP will be in an uproar -- remember the dimwit woman screaming “keep the government out of my Medicare?” Even them. (BTW Ryan -- “demagogue” is NOT a verb.)

      The GOP/TP have simply gone so public with their slavering servility to corporations that Americans are finally fed UP. They now see that real change IS possible -- nearly 18 million people suddenly have health care coverage they can afford which frees not just them but their families from crushing bankruptcies and debt -- or illness and death. That cannot be ripped away. That’s far too many people! Others are seeing the light about balanced budgets and the need for tax revenue -- and are waking up to corporate manipulation over tax giveaways to themselves while the rest of us get programs cut.

      Your anger is fine, but your assumption that everyone is “sheeple” is not. We in California have to wake up -- we have NOT been the leaders for 30 years. If you want leaders -- look to WI, OH, MN, MI. If you want innovation in tackling big banks -- look to North Dakota that has a STATE bank If you want community activism, look to Cleveland, OH. You want socially responsible corporations? Look at Maryland that has the first “B Corporation” incorporation rights. If you want innovative strategies for those in need to take back their communities -- look to Mission Hill in Boston. I can and have given examples from across the nation, none of which began in CA. NONE. Don’t waste your time looking in CA -- you won’t (YET) find it.

      It will not help to assume your insights are unique and that there is “nothing being done”. There is LOTS being done by millions of people with great ideas and success. Now go find it and help. RAge is impotence. Action is everything. You have great insights, but it is not helpful just to be angry.

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  2. Smedley Butler says:

    Energy

    A GOP spokesperson declared today that Republicans favor tough new regulations on Fracking and and will introduce a bill requiring that all fracking be done by two person teams consisting of one man and one woman for the purpose of production only.

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  3. jkkFL says:

    Cher,
    Theo’s story brought me to tears when I saw the original post. The tribute I had not seen before, bringing me to tears again.
    Not dismissing the other news, but sometimes I need some humanity in my daily feed.
    Thank you.

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    • chazmania says:

      Pups understand the value of cooperation and loyalty..they could teach Humans a lot….

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    • Artist50 says:

      There is so much we can learn from their loyalty. It’s too bad we humans have to be so complicated, huh? I read this news today with a mixture of anxiety and stress while my little Bob napped on my lap. I think I want to reverse roles!

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    • Chernynkaya says:

      jkk-- It was my favorite story today by far! I have to be reminded of the essential things. I get so caught up in divisive politics that I forget. Does it matter what young Tasker’s politics were, really? Everyone in that village came together in their humanity to honor him and Theo and their love and camaraderie. I think we need to see more of this. (And you are more than welcome!)

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      • jkkFL says:

        I totally agree. Sometimes I wonder why I feel so drained- and I think it’s the tone and the dialog in the US.

        I still long for that Sunday magazine I proposed where we can put our fuzzy bunny slippers on the coffee table and read warm and fuzzies- do a search or a jumble read the funnies- and find a recipe for a microwave crepe recipe!!
        Smiley

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