Archive for February, 2011

February 17, 2011

Raise Taxes On The Rich To Avoid Teacher Layoffs!!!

by Ben Hoffman

Everybody is making sacrifices these days, except of course for the rich, who are just getting richer. Wealthy CEOs are cashing in on profits made by shipping our jobs overseas. Wall Street bankers received no-interest loans so the financial markets wouldn’t collapse, and are swimming in cash. Credit card companies are getting cash at near zero interest and are charging many people 29% interest. Stock traders are using computerized trading techniques to scam the market. Exxon earned record profits for the past few years and paid nothing in taxes.

Republicans protected the wealthy from a tax hike when the Bush tax cuts were extended. It’s time we took some action. Our national debt is well over 14 trillion dollars now. Just 11 years ago it was only 5 trillion. It’s sad that we can now say it was “only 5 trillion dollars.” Our country is on its last legs.

People need to take to the streets and force the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes.

February 17, 2011

More Proof That Bush Lied Us Into War

by Ben Hoffman

Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell, appeared on “MSNBC Live” tonight and discussed Powell’s role as Secretary of State during the lead-up to the Iraq War. Wilkerson said he believes that Former Vice President Dick Cheney’s office “manipulated” Powell into justifying the case for war and that “the Secretary of State was not told the complete truth.” He went on to state his belief that the Bush Administration was “using” Powell due to his respected reputation.

A key moment in the interview comes when host Cenk Uygur asks Wilkerson about Powell’s speech to the United Nations in which Powell made the case for war:
Uygur: Do you think the Vice President’s office manipulated you and Secretary Powell into giving a speech?

Wilkerson: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Read more…

Bush needs to be prosecuted for this. We are a country of laws and no person is above the law. Crimes have been committed yet no one is being prosecuted. It’s unAmerican.

February 17, 2011

Doctors, Nurses, Therapists Arrested For Medicare Fraud

by Ben Hoffman

Federal agents raided health care facilities in nine states this morning, arresting dozens of suspects believed to be defrauding Medicare of tens of millions of dollars.

Federal authorities say this is one of the largest — if not the largest — take-down of Medicare fraud suspects ever conducted.

The raids began this morning in the pre-dawn hours. The targets: more than 100 doctors, nurses, therapists and healthcare company executives who have allegedly been stealing tax dollars to the tune of $200 million in recent months. Much of the fraud involved healthcare professionals billing the government for medical services never performed and medicine not provided.

“With this takedown, we have identified and shut down large-scale fraud schemes operating throughout the country. We have safeguarded precious taxpayer dollars. And we have helped to protect our nation’s most essential health care programs, Medicare and Medicaid,” said Attorney General Holder. “As today’s arrests prove, we are waging an aggressive fight against health care fraud.”

[…]

The Department of Human Services estimates that Medicare fraud cost taxpayers more than $24 billion, just in 2009. HHS Inspector General Daniel Levinson told Congress recently that 1,300 investigations in the past year alone have resulted in 500 Medicare fraud convictions, and an estimated $3 billion in recovered funds. Because of the massive scale of the fraud, special Medicare strike forces were created beginning in 2007 to try to stem the flood of taxpayer dollars flowing to illegal operations.

Read more…

February 17, 2011

Protesters Flood The Wisconsin Capital Building

by Ben Hoffman

This needs to turn into a national movement to stop the war on the middle class in America. Beginning with the Reagan administration, conservatives have been destroying everything that made America great and it needs to stop. We need to stand in solidarity with the public union members in Wisconsin.

February 17, 2011

Senate Democrats Boycott Thursday Vote on Walker’s Budget Plan

by Ben Hoffman

MADISON, WI — Law enforcement officers are searching for Democratic senators boycotting a Senate vote on Gov. Scott Walker’s budget-repair plan Thursday in an attempt to bring the lawmakers to the floor to allow Republicans to move forward with action on the bill.

One Democratic senator said that he believed at least most of the members of his caucus are in another state. At least one, however, Sen. Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) said he was still in his Capitol office listening to constituents.

In a press conference just off the Senate floor, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said that Democrats were “not showing up for work” and that police were searching for them to bring them to the floor.

Read more…

Some 35,000 people protested Scott Walker’s plan to destroy government unions. This could mark the beginning of the end of his governorship. 🙂

February 16, 2011

Scott Walker, Government Worker, Declares War On Government Workers

by Ben Hoffman

WASHINGTON — Public employees around the country have become the nation’s scapegoats for the rough economy, with many Republican politicians in recent months criticizing them as privileged, overpaid and underworked — unlike their private sector counterparts. But in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker (R) is now in hot water, facing an overwhelming backlash from the state’s residents.

Read more…

So just who is this Scott Walker?

He flunked out of college in 1990. He’s the first governor of Wisconsin in 64 years to not have a college degree. With right-wingers, the dumber the better. He’s one of them.

Scott has been on the government payroll since 1993 when he won his first political election and he’s been living off the taxpayers’ dime ever since.

February 15, 2011

Obama Awards Medal of Freedom To Mass Murderer

by Ben Hoffman

Today, Barak Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to George H.W. Bush, the man who ordered the invasion of Panama in 1989 that resulted in the massacre of some 4,000 defenseless Panamanian civilians. He freed them from the confines of life, I guess.

February 15, 2011

Sharia Law Coming To South Dakota

by Ben Hoffman

A law under consideration in South Dakota would expand the definition of “justifiable homicide” to include killings that are intended to prevent harm to a fetus—a move that could make it legal to kill doctors who perform abortions. The Republican-backed legislation, House Bill 1171, has passed out of committee on a nine-to-three party-line vote, and is expected to face a floor vote in the state’s GOP-dominated House of Representatives soon.

The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Phil Jensen, a committed foe of abortion rights, alters the state’s legal definition of justifiable homicide by adding language stating that a homicide is permissible if committed by a person “while resisting an attempt to harm” that person’s unborn child or the unborn child of that person’s spouse, partner, parent, or child. If the bill passes, it could in theory allow a woman’s father, mother, son, daughter, or husband to kill anyone who tried to provide that woman an abortion—even if she wanted one.

Read more…

February 15, 2011

Wisconsin Gov. Walker Threatens To Deploy National Guard As ‘Intimidation Force’ Against Workers’ Unions

by Ben Hoffman

Last month, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) said that if employees strike, “they should be fired,” and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) wrote in an op-ed that the moral case for unions “does not apply to public employment.” Now, facing a $137 million budget deficit, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has proposed a “budget repair bill” that would severely limit collective bargaining, eliminate the right of unions to negotiate pensions, retirement and benefits.

Walker is facing fierce criticism for this all-out assault against state workers, especially after he insisted that the “National Guard” will be used against a walkout:

When asked by a reporter what will happen if workers resist, Walker replied that he would call out the National Guard. He said that the National Guard is “prepared…for whatever the governor, their commander-in-chief, might call for. … I am fully prepared for whatever may happen.”

Read more…

February 13, 2011

President Obama Screws The Middle Class. Again.

by Ben Hoffman

WASHINGTON — In his 2011 State of the Union address, President Obama promised that investment in education and getting the next generation of Americans ready to face their own “Sputnik” moment would be a focus of his administration. But at least one component of his FY 2012 budget, which will be released tomorrow, will likely pile more debt upon students who decide to pursue graduate school, potentially making the dream of higher education even more unattainable for many Americans. The move, say administration officials, is needed to ensure that a popular financial aid award stays available at current levels.

In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob Lew said that interest on graduate school loans will begin building up while students are still in school. Currently, interest does not begin compiling until after students graduate.

Read more…

Yep, the rich get interest free loans but the struggling middle class gets the shaft.

Hey Obama… Fuck you!

February 13, 2011

Why The Revolution In Egypt Succeeded

by Ben Hoffman

Many of us were in awe as we watched the events of the past few weeks unfold in Cairo. The oppressed people of Egypt finally had enough and decided to take matters into their own hands. They flooded the streets and fought the tyrannical regime of Mubarak. There were some bloody battles with the Mubarak followers, but the people won. The outcome of their win has not yet been determined. Many of the protesters are religious zealots called the Muslim Brotherhood who’s desire is to implement sharia law in Egypt. But it looks like they are heading to a true democracy. Time will tell.

The outcome could have been much different if not for one thing: the Egyptian army. Mubarak’s big mistake was retaining a conscription army, which means that most people of Egypt have friends and family in the military. For that reason, the army was reluctant to fire on the protesters. It was an army of the people.

Here in the United States, we have an army of mercenaries. They join the military on their own free will and are expected to follow orders, no matter what. Most of them bought into the lies about Iraq, hook, line, and sinker. They claim to be fighting for our freedoms, but they’re just doing what they’re told. With a volunteer army, there’s no such thing as being a conscientious objector.

Along with the volunteers, we also have a large number of private companies doing the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. They’re well paid mercenaries and are responsible for many atrocities against civilians.

When you fight a war for profit, those giving the orders can have the soldiers do anything. Our military would blow up an orphanage if that’s what they were told to do. Right-wingers especially put the military up on a pedestal. They love the military. Why? Because serving in the military is often the biggest accomplishment in their miserable little lives.

If we had a conscription military here in the U.S., Bush wouldn’t have been able to start two wars as easily. Well, then again… we had a draft back in the 60s and Johnson was able to get us involved in Vietnam. Some people are just not able to learn from past mistakes.

We saw large protests during the first two years of the Obama administration by the new Tea Party movement. The “tea” in Tea Party supposedly stands for “Taxed Enough Already.” Taxes have never been lower, so why all of a sudden are they protesting taxes? They were told to. They’ve protested the “out of control spending that caused the enormous deficits.” The problem with that is, it’s not the spending that created the deficits; it’s the tax cuts and the decreased revenues due to high unemployment that resulted in the deficits. Spending has increased under Obama, but most right-wingers think it’s the stimulus bill that caused the huge deficits. The stimulus bill consisted of less than 600 billion dollars in spending spread over five years. The rest of the stimulus was tax cuts.

The Tea Baggers were really protesting our democracy. They hate the fact that a democrat won the presidency. On top of that, it’s a black democrat, but they just hate democrats in general. They hated Bill Clinton almost as much as they hate Obama.

Right-wingers hate the fact that their party sometimes loses power. They hate our democracy and would rather have a single party system with a right-wing authoritarian ruler. And they’d gladly fight to achieve that end.

February 12, 2011

March Is National Abortion Month – Save On Abortions With Printable Coupon

by Ben Hoffman

Focus on the Family president Jim Daly on Friday said he will bridge a great divide by asking abortion-rights advocates to work with his conservative Christian ministry to make abortion more affordable.

However, it is in keeping with his makeover of the house that James Dobson built. Daly has said he wants the ministry, which it says reaches 220 million listeners worldwide with its daily broadcasts, to have more conversations and fewer fights.

“As I think about this,” Daly said during his Friday broadcast, “I think about the babies that people are having right now that they can’t afford, don’t want, or are putting the mother’s life at risk. It’s time to stop that madness.”

“If we ban abortion, like we have tried in the past,” Daly continued,” we will put thousands of abortion doctors out of work. America is a place where any enterprising doctor can open an abortion clinic and achieve the American dream. That is our right, and we don’t need the government taking away our freedom to have an abortion or to start an abortion clinic.”

February 11, 2011

The Chamber of Commerce’s Dirty Tricks (Dan Rathergate – Part II)

by Ben Hoffman

The Chamber of Commerce is involved in a major controversy after thousands of emails were released yesterday to reveal a secret sabotage campaign by the Chamber directed at political opponents, progressive media, and Wikileaks. These emails were acquired by the hacktivist organization known as “Anonymous” from a private security firm working on behalf of lawyers for the Chamber. At a price of more than $2 million – three private security data firms – HB Gary Federal, Palantir, and Berico Technologies – collectively known as “Team Themis” plotted to release fake documents about the Chamber of Commerce to entice progressive blogs like ThinkProgress to pick up the fabricated stories and publish them. Upon doing so – Team Themis would release evidence showing the documents were fabricated – and thus damage the credibility of the sites that reported on them. Team Themis also circulated emails containing the private information of political opponents – like the name of their spouses, their children, their sexual orientation, and their place of worship. Among the organizations targets by the Chamber of Commerce – ThinkProgress, Change to Win, the labor organization SEIU, and the US Chamber Watch – among others. So the question is – if the Chamber of Commerce is going to such great lengths to silence their political opponents…what do they have to hide?

-Thom Hartman

February 11, 2011

Christian Priests Are More Dangerous Than Al-Qaeda

by Ben Hoffman

PHILADELPHIA — A grand jury on Thursday accused the Archdiocese of Philadelphia of failing to stop the sexual abuse of children more than five years after a grand jury report documented abuse by more than 50 priests.

The new report said a senior church official charged with investigating allegations of sexual abuse by priests had in fact allowed some of those accused to remain in posts that gave them continued access to children. It charged him with endangering the welfare of minors and accused three priests and a teacher of raping two boys between 1996 and 1999.

“By no means do we believe that these were the only two parishioners who were abused during this period,” the report said.

At least 37 priests who are subject to “substantial evidence of abuse” are still in roles that bring them into contact with children, the new report said, and 10 of those have been in place since before 2005, when the last grand jury made its allegations.

The Rev. Edward Avery, 68, and the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, 64, were charged with the rape and indecent assault of a 10-year-old boy in St. Jerome Parish in Northeast Philadelphia in 1998 and 1999. The teacher, Bernard Shero, 48, was accused of assaulting the same boy in 2000.

The Rev. James Brennan, 47, was accused of assaulting a 14-year-old boy in 1996. All three priests were under arrest on Thursday.

The report also charged Msgr. William Lynn, secretary of clergy in the archdiocese under former Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua, with endangering the welfare of children by allowing “dangerous” priests to remain in place. Monsignor Lynn was responsible for investigating abuse allegations from 1992 to 2004.

“The rapist priests we accuse were well known to the Secretary of Clergy, but he cloaked their conduct and put them in place to do it again,” the grand jury said.

Read more…

Those perverts are more dangerous to the the U.S. than Al-Qaeda. They’ve spread to nearly every major city here. They brainwash the weak-minded into believing bizarre stories about some supernatural being and then they prey on the defenseless children of those weak-minded. We need a war on those perverts.

February 10, 2011

Sarah Palin’s Expert Opinion On The Crisis In Egypt

by Ben Hoffman

“And nobody yet has, nobody yet has explained to the American public what they know, and surely they know more than the rest of us know who it is who will be taking the place of Mubarak and no, not, not real enthused about what it is that that’s being done on a national level and from DC in regards to understanding all the situation there in Egypt. And, in these areas that are so volatile right now, because obviously it’s not just Egypt but the other countries too where we are seeing uprisings, we know that now more than ever, we need strength and sound mind there in the White House. We need to know what it is that America stands for so we know who it is that America will stand with. And, we do not have all that information yet.”

That’s so true, Sarah… Great point. Now go shoot a moose.