Sunday Reads: Robot and Munster

WPA poster


Wow, what a busy 24 hours it has been. I don’t know about you all, but my PAD (Political Affected Disorder) has been kicked into high gear. I mean, in a Ryan world, that WPA poster would say, Lack of Funds…Fuck off…you’re on your own, no need for medical care, just die already!

The thought of a Romney/Ryan presidency scares the bejebees out of me! It is frightening though, all that talk of Obama, the Socialist Kenyan Fascist Dictator, bringing on the end of the world…and this is what these nuts are pushing on us? A lying unlikable jerk robot and his Munster asshole “intellectual” cough…cough…

Well, since we don’t know what taxes Romney has paid the last few years…plus, according to Roll Call, Paul Ryan’s Tax Plan Would Slash Mitt Romney’s Tax Rate to 1 Percent : Roll Call Politics

The tax plan proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), the newly minted GOP vice presidential candidate, would have slashed Mitt Romney’s effective tax rate to about 1 percent in 2010, based on Romney’s tax return that year, according to a Roll Call analysis.

The Ryan tax cut, which would shave about 90 percent off of Romney’s tax bill, would result from the Wisconsin Republican’s “Roadmap for America’s Future” proposal to eliminate taxes on capital gains, dividends and interest. Since about 95 percent of Romney’s $21.6 million income came from those sources in 2010, he would pay no taxes on the vast majority of his earnings. It’s not certain exactly how low Romney’s tax bill would go, but his income from other sources amounts to about $1 million, and Ryan’s plan would set a new top rate of 25 percent. Romney’s total tax bill would have dropped from the $3 million that he paid to a few hundred thousand dollars if Ryan’s plan had been in effect.

Ryan also proposes eliminating the estate tax, which would benefit Romney’s heirs by tens of millions of dollars.

Ryan’s “Roadmap” plan on his website says eliminating taxes on capital gains, interest and dividends would promote savings.

And speaking of Ryan Budget, take a few minutes to check out Nuns on the Bus…because I am sure they are going to be one of the groups to watch now that the coward, who refused to meet with these Nuns on a Mission, has been picked as Romney’s VP.

I still can’t stand Obama, and I still feel he intends to mess with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid: Obama’s Second Term Agenda: Cutting Social Security, Medicare, and/or Medicaid « naked capitalism

This is probably the least important Presidential election since the 1950s. As an experienced political hand told me, the two candidates are speaking not to the voters, but to the big money. They hold the same views, pursue the same policies, and are backed by similar interests. Mitt Romney implemented Obamacare in Massachusetts, or Obama implemented Romneycare nationally. Both are pro-choice or anti-choice as political needs change, both tend to be hawkish on foreign policy, both favor tax cuts for businesses, and both believe deeply in a corrupt technocratic establishment.

So while the election lumbers on like the death rattles of the wounded animal known American democracy, no one on either side is asking what the plan is for the next term. For Obama, his team is going into rooms of donors and shouting “Supreme Court”, while mumbling something about bipartisanship and $4 trillion, or Simpson-Bowles. What this means is that term two of the Obama White House will be organized around cutting entitlements.

The White House already tried cutting all three main entitlement programs, last year (cuts to Medicaid are actually cuts to Obamacare, for what it’s worth, since an expansion of Medicaid was a key plank of the new health care law).

Read the rest…it is quite upsetting.

In fact, I am going to move away from Romney and Obama, and bring you some stories you may have missed during all the hubbub.

Did you all see this crap: The Goldman Sachs Department of Justice™ Would Like to Apologize to Mr. Blankfein for the Inconvenience | emptywheel

It is beyond ridiculous, and this next link shows just how f’d up this DOJ decision is: AZ Woman Imprisoned — After Producing Her Birth Certificate | Crooks and Liars

Guilt has nothing to do with punishment — that is, as long as you’re not a Wall Street banker. In Arizona, if you “look” foreign, that’s enough to put you in jail indefinitely, without bail – even after you produce your birth certificate:

Recently, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office alleged Briseira Torres, a shy, 31-year-old single mom from Glendale, was here illegally and that Briseira Torres was not her real name.

She was accused of three counts of forgery, in part because her driver’s license had her real name on it, which the MCAO thought was bogus. Following her arrest, she was held without bond in Estrella Jail for 4 1/2 months.

Torres lost her home and car because she couldn’t make the payments as she endured Estrella’s harsh conditions, lousy food, and detention officers.

Bold emphasis is Susie Madrak’s not mine,

In the pile of paperwork they provided to the court, to the prosecutor, and to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was a silver bullet: a sworn statement from Arizona’s Office of Vital Records attesting to the legitimacy of documents on file for Torres.

Among these docs is Torres’ birth certificate, showing she was born August 14, 1981, in Avondale.

Salvatierra asked the court to remand the case back to the grand jury.

Judge Carolyn Passamonte did just this, noting in her minute entry that Torres’ long-form birth certificate was “clearly exculpatory evidence that should have been presented to the grand jury.”

The judge remarked that the documents on file with Vital Records had been “available to the state,” and in oral arguments, the prosecutor had to admit that he’d never bothered to pull the file and inspect it.

Can you believe this crap? As Susie says,

…her legal birth certificate was right there, the whole time of her incarceration. A cop with a bug up his butt decided to act as if it didn’t exist. If only her name was Goldman Sachs!

Now that your blood pressure is up, check this out: Mississippi county accused of running ‘school-to-prison pipeline’ | The Raw Story

The U.S. Department of Justice has accused officials in Lauderdale County, Mississippi of running ‘a school-to-prison’ pipeline that jails juveniles for even minor school disciplinary problems.

A letter sent by the civil rights division on Friday charges that the Lauderdale County Youth Court, the Meridian Police Department, and the Mississippi Division of Youth Services have been violating the constitutional rights of children in Lauderdale County and the City of Meridian.

According to the letter, an investigation launched last December revealed that “the agencies have helped to operate a school-to-prison pipeline whereby children arrested in local schools become entangled in a cycle of incarceration without substantive and procedural protections required by the U.S. Constitution. The department’s findings show that children in Lauderdale County have been routinely and repeatedly incarcerated for allegedly committing school disciplinary infractions and are punished disproportionately, without constitutionally required procedural safeguards. Children have also been arrested at school for offenses as minor as defiance.”

“Furthermore,” it continues, “children on probation are routinely arrested and incarcerated for allegedly violating their probation by committing minor school infractions, such as dress code violations, which result in suspensions. The department’s investigation showed that students most affected by this system are African-American children and children with disabilities.”

Meridian is known for the murders of three civil rights workers, back in 1964, aka “the Mississippi Burning” case.

In 2009 the Southern Poverty Law Center brought a class-action lawsuit against the Lauderdale County Juvenile Detention Facility, accusing it of keeping youths “crammed into small, filthy cells and tormented with the arbitrary use of Mace as a punishment for even the most minor infractions — such as ‘talking too much’ or failing to sit in the ‘back of their cells.’”

An agreement was reached at that time to reform the jail system and consider alternative methods of handling school disciplinary issues, but problems have continued in what an SPLC representative now calls “a broken system.”

The Justice Department letter cites a pattern of unconstitutional conduct that includes both failure to assess probable cause before arresting school children and failure to provide proper due process with regard to alleged probation violations.

A few weeks after the Justice Department investigation began last winter, Lauderdale County took steps to shut down its juvenile detention center and send youthful offenders instead to a neighboring county. That action was apparently considered inadequate, and officials are now being told they must enter into “meaningful negotiations” to end the violations within sixty days or face a federal lawsuit.

That is disturbing, I know, and I don’t want to end on a bad note, I mean it is Sunday…and since we started out mentioning the Nuns on the Bus, let’s end with a story about another activist nun.

Behind Nuclear Breach, a Nun’s Bold Fervor –

Shawn Poynter for The New York Times

Sister Megan Rice, 82, is one of three people arrested in a break-in at a nuclear complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

She has been arrested 40 or 50 times for acts of civil disobedience and once served six months in prison. In the Nevada desert, she and other peace activists knelt down to block a truck rumbling across the government’s nuclear test site, prompting the authorities to take her into custody.

She gained so much attention that the Energy Department, which maintains the nation’s nuclear arsenal, helped pay for an oral history in which she described her upbringing and the development of her antinuclear views.

Now, Sister Megan Rice, 82, a Roman Catholic nun of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, and two male accomplices have carried out what nuclear experts call the biggest security breach in the history of the nation’s atomic complex, making their way to the inner sanctum of the site where the United States keeps crucial nuclear bomb parts and fuel.

“Deadly force is authorized,” signs there read. “Halt!” Images of skulls emphasize the lethal danger.

I’ll tell you one thing…I see an Michael Bay action film in this story.

With flashlights and bolt cutters, the three pacifists defied barbed wire as well as armed guards, video cameras and motion sensors at the Oak Ridge nuclear reservation in Tennessee early on July 28, a Saturday. They splashed blood on the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility — a new windowless, half-billion-dollar plant encircled by enormous guard towers — and hung banners outside its walls.

“Swords into plowshares,” read one, quoting the Book of Isaiah. “Spears into pruning hooks.” The plant holds the nation’s main supply of highly enriched uranium, enough for thousands of nuclear weapons.

The actions of Sister Rice, a New York native who grew up on a prosperous block in Morningside Heights, and her companions, ages 57 and 63, are a huge embarrassment for President Obama. Since 2010, he has led a campaign to eliminate or lock down nuclear materials as a way to fight atomic terrorism. Now, the three — two of whom, including Sister Rice, are free and are awaiting trial in October — have made nuclear theft seem only a little more challenging than a romp in the Tennessee woods.

In interviews this week, Sister Rice discussed her life — somewhat reluctantly at times — and kept emphasizing what she called “the issue.”

You need to read the rest of the story…but isn’t she wonderful?

Can you imagine who would play Sister Rice and her two male accomplices? I see Diana Rigg as Sister Rice, of course with her Avengers background, it will be a spectacular performance. As for the men, one of them has to be Bruce Willis and the other must be Samuel L Jackson.  I can just hear the catch phrase as it trickles off of Jackson’s tongue, “Bless this, muthafukkaz…”

Have a wonderful day and please share what are you all reading about this fine Sunday morning?

53 Comments on “Sunday Reads: Robot and Munster”

  1. ecocatwoman says:

    vanden Huevel has a great piece on Aaron Sorkin’s new show on HBO, The Newsroom. There’s an incredible video in the piece, between Jane Fonda & Sam Waterston that speaks to just what is wrong with our media today: It really is worth your time – check it out.

  2. Pat Johnson says:

    I simply don’t get it: why all this push to end Social Security and Medicare coming from both sides. It makes no sense whatsoever since these are programs that have reduced poverty and have been considered successful since they were instituted.

    Without both of these programs more seniors will die. It’s as simple as that. Paul Ryan says he has a “vision” for this nation that includes “sweeping changes” but anyone with half a brain is capable of understanding that this warped vision comes replete with hardships that will effect most families. Tell me what is “Christian” about turning your back on seniors and the poor?

    The government has been instrumental in creating a middle class through programs like the GI Bill, student loans, unions rights, social security, along with programs like Medicare and Medicaid that offers access to healthcare which is a fundamental right and not a privilege. Without these programs most of us now would not be enjoying some of the benefits that these programs offered.

    Government funded research and development has led to the elimination of deadly diseases. Regulations have given us access to clean air and water supplies. Protection of the environment preserves some of our natural resources.

    It seems to me that both our individual and collective rights are being dictated by industries who are instrumental in writing laws that enrich them and force us to live under their terms and not the other way around. When did “public service” become a tool of privatization?

    What will this nation look like in 20 years with “visions” like these? Unrecognizable.

    • Pat, you are right about both sides wanted to get rid of the social services…do you think that the move further to the right…where Democrats are more like the Republicans were some years back and the Republicans are off the wall right wing extreme, will ever move back to a more reasonable state? I don’t think so. The Occupy movement was just a fleeting moment…at the time I felt it would not succeed, but I hoped that it would bring about another more organized and focused “revolution” but it hasn’t.

      I’ve got to go to Atlanta today, but maybe the ride will give me time to think about it.

    • bostonboomer says:

      It makes sense when you realize that both parties are controlled by Wall Street. But this time Wall Street has pretty much abandoned Obama. I continue to hope that he’ll develop some guts in a second term and try to leave a legacy he can be proud of instead of destroying what’s left of democracy. I guarantee you Romney-Ryan won’t do it.

      • RalphB says:

        If people don’t understand why the Democrats want to end SS and Medicare, maybe it’s because they don’t want to do it! Most of the noise in that direction has come from people who are out of office or from “disaffected” liberal sites.

        Medicare will probably need some changes to survive, if the ACA doesn’t hold costs down, but that’s arithmetic not politics. Social security may need some funding tweaks but any Democratic congress who did much else would find itself on the street so that ain’t gonna happen.

        Vulture/Voucher and the rapid Reps would do it in a heartbeat though.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Having Ryan on the ticket is a gift for those of us who want the elites to leave Social Security alone. Now Americans are going to realize what the Republican have in store for us.

    • janey says:

      They want to use the money paid in on more tax cuts etc, and then we will all be required to invest our savings with Wall Street and Wall Street will have more money to skim off. In other words they will use our money so the big fat cats can get even richer. that is why.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    I’ve said for years that Obama wanted to privatize Social Security, but I can’t buy into anything Matt Stoller writes. Sorry. Stoller had his chance to oppose Obama back in 2007-2008. It’s too late for him to sell his phony crap now. Naked Capitalism has turned into a conspiracy site a la Alex Jones.

    I don’t give a shit what Obama believes. I care what he does. I’m hoping when he sees the Romney-Ryan plan go down in flames, he will understand what will happen to him if he tries it. Every president begins caring about his legacy in his second term. Obama will be no exception.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Here’s just one 2008 Obama-shilling post I found from Stoller. I’m sure I could find lots more.

      The post praises Obama’s complete takeover of the Democratic Party, remaking it in his own image. An except:

      As Mike Lux wrote earlier, it’s time to get ready for Obama as the nominee. I would amplify this and point out that it’s time to get ready for a party that is being taken apart and rebuilt as the Obama movement. It’s incredibly refreshing, in a sense, for politics to be completely reimagined on top of the internet and with a strong focus on leadership development, volunteers, and outside of DC leadership disdainful of partisanship and the give and take of politics-as-usual.


      We have a leader, and he’s not a partisan and he can now end fractious intraparty fights with a word and/or a nod. His opinion really matters in a way that even Nancy Pelosi’s just did not. He has control of the party apparatus, the grassroots, the money, and the messaging environment. He is also, and this is fundamental, someone that millions of people believe in as a moral force. When you disagree with Obama, you are saying to these people ‘your favorite band sucks’.

      Like many of us, I endorsed Obama, gave him money, and I intend to work to get him elected. He is attempting to completely rewrite the rules of politics, and we should try to figure out what that means for where we take our meager work. Obama is now the party leader. And he has ensured and we have given him the mandate that when he speaks, he speaks for all of us. I hope he’s a vibrant progressive when he gets into office, and we should begin figuring out how to put ourselves in a position to help him take the country in a progressive direction.

    • dakinikat says:

      Stoller is a bonafide ignoramus. I have never seen one person have so many uniformed opinions. I have no idea how he ever got a platform. His knowledge of economics wouldn’t even fill a Cliff’s Notes chapter.

    • Naked Capitalism has turned into a conspiracy site a la Alex Jones.

      I didn’t realize it, but now I will pay close attention.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    I put this link on the previous thread, but people might want to go back and look at an old post I wrote on Paul Ryan and his economic influences. I had forgotten all about it until I noticed the post has been getting scads of hits over the past couple of days.

  5. Pat Johnson says:

    Again, this may be another “simplistic” answer to the current political atmosphere that we are forced to live with today:

    Few of these polticians have ever faced real hardship. No one has ever asked or expected them to serve in the armed forces thanks to the end of the draft.

    None of them have ever lived through a Depression because of the measure of prosperity that came about from government programs that lifted up the working poor into the realm of the middle class.

    Chances are those part time jobs they held as students were not jobs they needed to stay alive or that helped finance the next semester. They never were faced with having to worry about covering the costs of healthcare as they slipped into high paying or public service jobs that included that benefit.

    It seems to me that they were never faced with the everyday struggle that most of us have had to endure. They never had to worry about filling up the gas tank to get to a job. They have never had to mix with those who change diapers on old folks or who sweep up the trash for minimum wage.

    They don’t carry the burdens that most of the rest of us do because they are well insulated and financially capable of separating themselves from those who do. Their roads were paved for them well before they “struck out” on their own and it is unlikely that they would ever feel the same pain.

    These necessary programs mean nothing to them since they will never be faced with the same issues that plague us which makes it easier from that perch to call a halt to the benefits we rely upon to exist.

    Unless you have faced some of the same hardships of the majority then it stands to reason why you would not give a damn.

  6. ecocatwoman says:

    Ryan was described yesterday as an avid bow hunter. A manly man like good ole Ted Nugent. I wonder if Ryan’s choice of weapon bothers the NRA crowd.

  7. Pat Johnson says:

    Paul Ryan is the “darling” of the Tea Party. Enough said.

    The only difference is that so far he has not come across as some nutjob calling for Obama’s head on a platter. And he speaks in measured tones unlike some of those loonies demanding proof of birth.


  8. RalphB says:

    So much for getting away from Rmoney’s pesky tax return problems…

    Romney Campaign Examined Tax Returns Of Potential Veeps

    Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign requested “several” years of tax returns from potential vice presidential picks, senior adviser Beth Myers, who ran the search, told reporters Saturday.

    Myers said vetting documents were stored in safes in a secure room at campaign headquarters for review by attorneys.

    Asked what was inside the safes, Myers replied “tax documents, everything we used.”

    And how many years? “Several” she said, declining to provide a more specific number.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      Oh, ralphb, you are so naive.

      Don’t you realize that “god” wanted Mitt to have all this money? Isn’t this what they are talking about when they insist that this is a “Christian nation, blessed by go above all others”? The same god who apparently is telling them now to balance the budget (between times when he is helping some Olympic hopeful to victory!) by cutting off funding for the poor, the sick, the disabled?

      If god thought releasing those tax returns was anybody’s business but Mitt’s he would have told him by now.

      You don’t seem to be listening to those messages that suggest god prefers the rich over everybody else because that’s how he rolls.

  9. RalphB says:

    PoliticalWire: Why Ryan Could Make a Romney Victory Harder

    Ron Brownstein: “Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate could deepen the intrinsic tension between the Republican policy agenda and the voters it relies on to win elections.”

    “Ryan’s ambitious budget blueprint, as passed twice by House Republicans over the past two years, crystallizes the GOP’s highest policy priority: shrinking the size of the federal government, largely by dramatically restructuring entitlement programs led by Medicare and Medicaid. But the GOP today is increasingly dependent on the votes of older and blue-collar whites who — while eager to scale back government programs that transfer income to the poor — are much more resistant to retrenching entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security that largely benefit the middle-class.”

  10. ecocatwoman says:

    Probably a stupid and/or a naive question, but why isn’t there a lot more discussion of raising the SS cap? And, for those earning more than the cap, does anyone here know if those folks receive a higher monthly SS check than those at the cap?

    • RalphB says:

      From all I’ve ever read SS maxes out at the cap. Raising the cap would be the easiest tweak to fix any long term funding issues. There are still no short term funding issues with SS but there are with Medicare, which is the real problem.

      • ecocatwoman says:

        Which is why the goal in health care reform should have been controlling the astronomically rising costs of care & prescriptions, year after year after year. Single payer, please!!!!!!!!!

    • RalphB says:

      Personally, I’d like to extend SS taxes to investment income as well as salary income and lower the rate. Why should someone without wages and tip income escape SS taxes completely? Never has seemed fair to me.

      • ecocatwoman says:

        For me not taxing cap gains (or taxing at a lower rate) is like not taxing gambling winnings. Investing in the stock market, especially, is – to me at least – nothing more than legalized gambling. However, if Joe Schmuck wins big in Vegas, Atlantic City or the lottery, the IRS gets its money so why not pay for Wall Street gambling winnings as well? That’s economics of the simple-minded (me, of course).

  11. RalphB says:

    The Rmoney Electoral Math. How tough is it to get him to 270?

    There were 15 states in 2008 that were won by Obama or McCain by less than 10%.

    Seven of those were won by McCain:
    North Dakota
    South Carolina
    South Dakota

    Eight were won by Obama:
    New Hampshire
    North Carolina

    If Rmoney wins all seven that McCain won… and Rmoney wins 7 of the 8 states that Obama won, but Obama still wins Florida or Ohio…

    Rmoney loses.

    Give them the Ryan factor and assume Rmoney can win Wisconsin even though Obama won by 13 points, all seven of McCain’s, and 7 of 8 of Obama’s but Obama wins Florida…

    Rmoney still loses.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      Heard yesterday that the last time a Repugnant prez candidate won Wisconsin was good ole Ronnie Raygun.

      • RalphB says:

        The main takeaway is that without winning Florida, Rmoney has a very hard time winning at all. I hope Ryan does him in with the retirees in Florida!

        • ecocatwoman says:

          As a lifelong Floridian, I’m not sure that our percentage of retirees is as high as it once was. Yes, we have quite a few snowbirds, with summer – permanent – homes “up north.” But our Hispanic (primarily Cuban Americans) population has increased & our Florida cracker and/or redneck population along with Teabaggers seems inordinately large. Even though we have a much larger registered Democratic population, we have a Republican state House & Senate and our last 3 or 4 governors have been Republican. We really have no Democrat contender for governor, unless once Republican Governor Crist switches from Independent to Democrat, which is seeming much more likely as each day passes.

      • RalphB says:

        See the Ron Brownstein quote from politicalwire. I hope Ryan costs him some of those middle class white votes because of his stance on SS and Medicare.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Here are some demographic stats for Florida. The majority of the population is over age 50. About 17% are Latino/Hispanic.

        PA and OH also have high percentages of older voters.

      • northwestrain says:

        Florida has been conceded already by team Munster and Robot. They aren’t campaigning in Florida but will concentration on the Great Lake States.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Romney was in Florida this week.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      Here is another demographic listing of registered Florida voters:
      31% of registered voters are 60+. I have no idea how that compares to other states.

      • bostonboomer says:

        For MA, 14% of the population is 65+. That’s not registered voters though. About 10% Latino/Hispanic.

  12. ecocatwoman says:

    I apologize, up front, for having been asleep at the wheel when this ( happened last year. I heard the quote yesterday & was flabbergasted. I thought that Cheney only worshiped the ground on which he – the Mighty Cheney – walked. Jeez Louise.

  13. RalphB says:

    I’d really like to see a picture of Ryan driving a wienermobile with Rmoney tied on top of it. 😉

  14. ecocatwoman says:

    Question: is it just me or is WordPress acting up today? I’ve had to sign in 3 times today, just to post a comment.