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Thursday, December 23, 2010

We have got to stop the consalidation of corporate power

Media consolidation might be the most dangerous of all. Comcast is raising hell over the fact that one of my favorite services Netflix is allowed to stream media for as cheap as it does.

From Huffington:

"The conditions laid out Thursday by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski are intended to guarantee that satellite providers and other rival television services can still carry marquee NBC programming and that new Internet video distributors can get the content they need to grow and compete.

Comcast's takeover of NBC Universal could have profound consequences for the nascent market for Internet video – a market that could eat into Comcast's core cable TV business if enough consumers drop their cable subscriptions in favor of low-cost alternatives online.

Genachowski wants to ensure that Comcast won't be able to use its control over NBC's vast media empire to withhold content from emerging online competitors such as Netflix Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. – locking consumers into costly monthly cable bills to get access to a wide range of popular programming.

Genachowski now needs at least two of the other four FCC commissioners to back his proposal, and he is likely to make modifications to win the support he needs to cap off the yearlong regulatory review.

The FCC is expected to approve the deal, with conditions, early next year."

So I bring you a "mediaopoly"


Mediaopoly
Uploaded by dekku. - Classic TV and last night's shows, online.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

We're living in a historic Progressive Era

Soak it up America, we're witnessing a political revolution. Not since LBJ have we seen the passage of such sweeping reforms.

With the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, the passage of the Start Treaty, and the 9/11 first responders bill Obama is truly turning out to be a revolutionary President.

Click here to see what else he's done so far.

We're advancing policies that Republicans have been trying to tear down for over a century now.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Well, well, what are the Tea Party people reading in Kentucky?

I stumbled upon this sometime back in October when I wasn't able to report on stuff like this, but after some house cleaning I turned a gem up. My oh my what were Tea Party people giving out at of all place in Louisville KY?

A little newspaper called The Freedom First which proudly bears a Confederate Flag on the front of it, hmmm, where is this going you ask yourself?

Let's take a look at October's issue:









To summarize, Jews, Jews, Jews, Zionist Media, worldwide Marxist conspiracy led by the Jews, Israel, Jews, Zionism, Jewish Media, Black hit squads that kill white people, Negroes, the Beck-Palin rally was a socialist conspiracy, and more to come.

Here's one of my favorite lines: "Or get the jump on those who can’t see equal rights for Whites by subscribing right now."

There is an unlimited amount of belly laughter embedded in these pages... I wish I had obtained the PDF version of the October and November editions of this to avoid scanning the entire paper, we'll see if this paper's "editor" responds to my email.

BTW, December's edition is available online if you're interested...

Oh yeah and btw, couldn't help posting this last pic:

Friday, December 10, 2010

Senator Awesome fillibusters

"The real difference between democracy and oligarchy is poverty and wealth. Wherever men rule by reason of their wealth, whether they be few of many, that is an oligarchy, and where the poor rule, that is democracy". -Aristotle


While the Middle Class would benefit greatly from the extension of the Bush tax cuts (temporarily), Bernie Sanders stands alone in the Senate highlighting a radical Republican agenda to destroy the Middle Class.

Can't wait for the next FDR to run these wealthy oligarchs into the ground. What they call economic freedom I call economic tyranny.

See the livestream here:


Part 1 here.

Part 2 here.

Dissenting voices chime in:

From the Washington Post:

"Barack Obama won the great tax-cut showdown of 2010 - and House Democrats don't have a clue that he did. In the deal struck this week, the president negotiated the biggest stimulus in American history, larger than his $814 billion 2009 stimulus package. It will pump a trillion borrowed Chinese dollars into the U.S. economy over the next two years - which just happen to be the two years of the run-up to the next presidential election. This is a defeat?"

UPDATE: Found this great quote...

"The absence of effective state, and, especially, national restraint upon unfair money-getting has tended to create a small class of enormously wealthy and economically powerful men, whose chief object is to hold and increase their power. The prime need is to change the conditions which enable these men to accumulate power which is not for the general welfare that they should hold or exercise.… Therefore, I believe in a…graduated inheritance tax on big fortunes, properly safeguarded against evasion and increasing rapidly in amount with the size of the estate." -Teddy Roosevelt.

Full article by Sanders here:

These people continue to push people like myself further to the left. I used to be a Republican, then a moderate Democrat. Now I'm nothing less than a liberal, let them keep going to the right and I wonder where I'll end up.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

How did I miss this Onion article?!

via The Onion:

January 17, 2001

Bush: 'Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over'

WASHINGTON, DC–Mere days from assuming the presidency and closing the door on eight years of Bill Clinton, president-elect George W. Bush assured the nation in a televised address Tuesday that "our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is finally over."

My fellow Americans," Bush said, "at long last, we have reached the end of the dark period in American history that will come to be known as the Clinton Era, eight long years characterized by unprecedented economic expansion, a sharp decrease in crime, and sustained peace overseas. The time has come to put all of that behind us."

Bush swore to do "everything in [his] power" to undo the damage wrought by Clinton's two terms in office, including selling off the national parks to developers, going into massive debt to develop expensive and impractical weapons technologies, and passing sweeping budget cuts that drive the mentally ill out of hospitals and onto the street.

During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years.

"You better believe we're going to mix it up with somebody at some point during my administration," said Bush, who plans a 250 percent boost in military spending. "Unlike my predecessor, I am fully committed to putting soldiers in battle situations. Otherwise, what is the point of even having a military?"

Bernie Sanders again being his awesome self

Obama, you're caving into lunatics

via NYTs:

What Else Would $60 Billion Buy?

$60 Billion: The approximate amount that extending the Bush tax cuts on income above $250,000 a year — which Congress seems on the verge of doing — will cost a year, in inflation-adjusted terms. On average, the affluent households that benefit from these cuts will save $25,000 annually. What else might that $60 billion a year buy?

•As much deficit reduction as the elimination of earmarks, President Obama’s proposed federal pay freeze, a 10 percent cut in the federal work force and a 50 percent cut in foreign aid — combined.

•A tripling of federal funding for medical research.

•Universal preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds, with relatively small class sizes.

•A much larger troop surge in Afghanistan, raising spending by 60 percent from current levels.

•A national infrastructure program to repair and upgrade roads, bridges, mass transit, water systems and levees.

•A 15 percent cut in corporate taxes.

•Twice as much money for clean-energy research as suggested by a recent bipartisan plan.

•Free college, including room and board, for about half of all full-time students, at both four- and two-year colleges.

•A $500 tax cut for all households.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Senator Awesome lifts the curtain on the financial crisis

The only problem I have with Bernie Sanders is the fact he isn't my senator.

These banks aren't doing anything for the American people. It's time we took a hard look at the systematic structural problems our current economic model is diseased with.

"The Federal Reserve has made public an enormous trove of data about the emergency measures it took during the worst of the credit crunch and the ensuing recession. It's confusing stuff: arcane spreadsheets showing more than 21,000 transactions totaling more than $3.3 trillion via an alphabet soup of programs. (Gratuitous example: the Asset-Backed Commercial Paper Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility, or, well, ABCPMMMFLF.) Still, the revelations provide a fascinating glimpse into the workings of the Fed in the apocalyptic days of 2008, when the world economy was on the verge of collapse. They also leave one major question unanswered.

First things first: Why did the notoriously shy Fed post the detailed data this week? Because Congress forced it to. The Dodd-Frank financial-reform law included a provision, authored by longtime critic of Fed secrecy Sen. Bernie Sanders, requiring the disclosure of the information by Dec. 1. Right on deadline, the central bank opened up.

During its multitrillion-dollar rescue of the financial system, the Fed continued its usual policy of omertà, shrugging off requests from politicians and journalists for information about the trillions in emergency loans it was making. By way of explanation, the Fed told Bloomberg at the time that the country was facing "an unprecedented crisis" wherein "loss in confidence in and between financial institutions can occur with lightning speed and devastating effects." Essentially, the Fed worried that more information might make a very bad situation even worse.

But now—with the recovery under way and bank profits healthy again—the Fed has coughed the data up. The trove shows which firms used what facilities, when, for how much, and on what terms. (The Wall Street Journal has a handy tool so that the curious don't need to wade through spreadsheets.)

It makes for interesting reading—or, at least, holds some interesting revelations even for those not tickled by the sight of spreadsheets. Consider the case of investment-banking giant Goldman Sachs, whose transactions with the Fed are here. The company, among the most profitable on Wall Street, has boasted that it would have been able to survive the crisis without government assistance. President Gary Cohn said it explicitly in Vanity Fair last year, in a piece by my fellow Moneybox columnist Bethany McLean. "I think we would not have failed," he said. "We had cash."

Meanwhile, Senator Awesome will continue to illustrate and infuriate me (in a good way) about how corporate oligarchy poisons our Democracy.


The rest is here:

Bankers, Wallstreet terrorists and business elites alike beware, Bernie Sanders has come to do two things...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bernie Sanders blows lid of secrecy off of bailout, fallout to come...

Let heads roll... I can't wait for a complete transformation away from this ridiculous system. Thank God we have 'Senator Awesome' coming to bat for the American people!

"Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said the Federal Reserve's recent disclosure about transactions it undertook during the financial crisis lifted the "veil of secrecy" at the Fed, one that he wants to further expand with congressional investigations.

"After years of stonewalling by the Fed, the American people are finally learning the incredible and jaw-dropping details of the Fed's multi-trillion-dollar bailout of Wall Street and corporate America," he said in a statement. "Perhaps most surprising is the huge sum that went to bail out foreign private banks and corporations. As a result of this disclosure, other members of Congress and I will be taking a very extensive look at all aspects of how the Federal Reserve functions."

Sanders specifically said he wants to explore whether institutions used near zero-interest-loans from the Fed to buy higher-yielding Treasury bonds.

"That's corporate welfare," he said. "This is something that has to be examined very closely."

He also said he wanted to dig into whether large financial institutions prematurely paid back funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program to avoid executive compensation limits while still relying on loans from the Fed.

"These guys on another planet operate to protect their own incredible wealth while they ignore the needs of the average American," he said."


The rest is here:

Lexington KY offering free (Communist) public Wi-Fi in certain areas



Beware Kentucky, Communism is taking hold in the city of Lexington. Lexington is offering free Wi-Fi internet in certain areas of the city, yeah that's right FREE Wi-Fi as in not for profit tax payer funded.

Guess I missed this creeping red threat while I was trying to catch Liberty Christ saying something stupid for a good 6 months.

Eeekk!! Socialism/Communism! Run and hide Kentucky this must only be the beginning of a worldwide push to destroy free markets and capitalism!

Memo from the Commissar's (Mayor's) office about it here:

"Mayor Jim Newberry today announced that the expanded wireless network targeting the downtown business district and underserved areas in the East End is now operational.

In addition, work will soon be complete on a public safety wireless network that will serve officers in the field, and on a network in the Cardinal Valley area. Completion is expected on both before the end of the year.

“This network is a bridge over the digital divide in the underserved East End and soon in Cardinal Valley,” Newberry said. “Ultimately, it will also make our community safer by supporting our police officers, Sheriff’s deputies and firefighters in the field, enabling them to use the computers that are in their vehicles to access key databases and transmit information quickly.”

Over the past year, a $550,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, asset forfeiture money from the Division of Police and approximately $1.1 million in state and federal public safety grants to the city and to the Sheriff’s Office were used to expand and reactivate the network, which originally served only the downtown business district.

Lexington Police Commander Alan Martin said Police Chief Ronnie Bastin has made establishment of the network a priority, choosing to use grants and asset forfeiture funds for the network over other needed projects because it will benefit the entire law enforcement community. The public safety network will soon cover major roads throughout the community."

The rest is here.

Comrades Marx and Lenin are no doubt overjoyed as they burn in hell for their anti-capitalist crimes. This is no doubt a Communist plot to expedite the government death panel denial process.

Will this birther nonsense ever end?

Well I guess Clinton had allegations of black helicopters and he of course murdered his own cabinet.

Anderson Cooper lays the smack down, now this is journalism.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gene reactivation reverses aging-related brain deficits in mice

A huge game changer:

Aging is generally accompanied by a gradual decline in cellular and organ functioning that eventually results in increased mortality risk. One proposed mechanism for aging focuses on telomere maintenance. Telomeres are the ends of chromosomes that, for mechanical reasons, require a special copying enzyme. Human germ cells produce a complex called telomerase to maintain telomere length; other human cells do not. As a result, the telomeres of most cells get shorter with each cell division. Eventually, their reduced length activates DNA damage signaling pathways that induce the cell to enter a sort of senescence.

Interestingly, mouse somatic cells express telomerase and therefore do not senesce in culture. So, to provide models for humans, we had to genetically engineer mice that lack telomerase. These mice display widespread tissue atrophy, especially in highly proliferative organs like the spleen, intestines, and testes. They also suffer from loss of germ cells, stem cell depletion, organ system failure, impaired tissue injury response, and a lifespan diminished by half.

The rest is here:

Monday, November 29, 2010

Had to post....

These are among my favorite commercials:

Friday, November 26, 2010

8.4 million people had serious thoughts of suicide in 2009

The Bluegrass State is no exception to this. We've had a string of suicide's during routine traffic stops.

When the wealth is concentrated into the hands of a few this is what we can expect. I wait for the next FDR to chase these bankers into their holes.

via Bloomberg

Emotional troubles often tied to substance abuse, survey finds

THURSDAY, Nov. 18 (HealthDay News) -- A new survey finds that 20 percent of U.S. adults -- over 45 million people -- experienced mental illness in the past year.

Overall, 4.8 percent (11 million people) suffered serious mental illness, 8.4 million people had serious thoughts of suicide, 2.2 million made suicide plans, and one million attempted suicide, according to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Nearly 20 percent (8.9 million) of adults with mental illness in the past year also had a substance abuse disorder, the report found. The rate was 25.7 percent for those with a serious mental illness -- about four times higher than the rate of 6.5 percent among people without a serious mental illness,

The survey, which included 67,500 adults nationwide, was released Thursday by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Among its other findings:

"Too many Americans are not getting the help they need and opportunities to prevent and intervene early are being missed," SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde said in an agency news release.

"The consequences for individuals, families and communities can be devastating. If left untreated mental illnesses can result in disability, substance abuse, suicides, lost productivity, and family discord. Through health care reform and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act we can help far more people get needed treatment for behavioral health problems," she said.

Hyde was scheduled to present the survey findings at the World Conference on the Promotion of Mental Health and Prevention of Mental and Behavioral Disorders in Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Some of the wealthiest in the U.S. still have souls

Gotta love Warren Buffet who says tax the rich (himself included) more because they have quite enough.



When Amanpour pointed to critics' claims that the very wealthy need tax cuts to spur business and capitalism, Buffett replied, "The rich are always going to say that, you know, 'Just give us more money, and we'll go out and spend more, and then it will all trickle down to the rest of you.' But that has not worked the last 10 years, and I hope the American public is catching on."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Halt the Deportation of All-American Dreamer Jennifer Abreu

This woman has been in the United States since the age of 13 and was detained over a traffic citation.

There is a campaign to halt her deportation.

Details below:

On Monday, November 15th, 2010, Jennifer Abreu was taken into ICE custody after a minor traffic violation led officers to find a deportation order written in her name.

Jennifer, who immigrated to the United States as a 13 year old, is a journalism student at Bluegrass Community and Technical College. If action is not taken now, Jennifer will spend Thanksgiving and her 19th birthday in a detention center awaiting deportation.

1. Sign the email petition

Please make the following calls TODAY!

Senator Jim Bunning: (202) 224-4343

Ask Senator Bunning to introduce a Private Bill for Jennifer immediately. Jennifer is an outstanding young person who knows no other home but the United States.

Assistant Secretary of DHS John Morton: (202) 732-3000

Ask Secretary Morton to grant Jennifer Deferred action.

Congressman Ben Chandler: (202) 225-4706

Ask Congressman Chandler to introduce a Private Bill for Jennifer immediately.

Director of Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano: (202) 282-8945

Ask DHS to halt Jennifer's deportation proceedings and leave comments of support for her. It is an answering machine, lets fill it up with support for Jennifer.

Original link here.

Voters Strongly Back Amending Constitution To Restrict Corporate Political Spending

Great news, but we don't have the numbers to push it through at this point:

"WASHINGTON - By a double-digit margin, voters want Congress to amend the Constitution to overturn the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United that allows unlimited corporate spending on elections, a new poll paid for by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee has found.

Nearly a fifth of voters remain undecided on an issue that has only been live since the Supreme Court overturned a century of legislation and precedent in a 5-4 ruling whose effect was visible to anybody with a television through the months of September and October. Of those who have an opinion, 46 percent said that "Congress should consider drastic measures such as a constitutional amendment overturning the recent Supreme Court decision allowing unlimited corporate spending in elections," while 36 percent disagreed. The survey, which was provided to The Huffington Post, was conducted by the liberal-leaning Public Policy Polling on November second and third and reached 548 voters.

A Constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds vote in both chambers of Congress and must be ratified by three-quarters of the states. But, said Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.), the author of an amendment that would overturn Citizens United, there have been times in American history when amendments have caught fire and ripped right through the land. "The process is very rigorous, and it should be," Edwards told HuffPost. "But there have been plenty of examples of amendments to the Constitution that have happened, actually, with fairly rapid-fire when they catch on."

via Huffington Post

While America's business elites fiddled, the unemployed burned

Corporate Profits Were the Highest on Record Last Quarter

The nation’s workers may be struggling, but American companies just had their best quarter ever.

American businesses earned profits at an annual rate of $1.66 trillion in the third quarter, according to a Commerce Department report released Tuesday. That is the highest figure recorded since the government began keeping track over 60 years ago, at least in nominal or non-inflation-adjusted terms.

via New York Times


And this is what business oligarchy looks like. If you ever doubted who truly runs our economy and influences our government look no further to the human monsters who compose the wealthiest 1% in our country.

While they profit elected officials who's job it is to ensure maximum employment through increased monetary supply simple twittle their thumbs as mortal record deinflation devastates the American people.

I hope President Obama remembers a revolutionary President when he takes a long hard look at the wealthy elites in this country.



"The Fed is required by law to keep prices stable and to maximize employment. Some economists are concerned that by announcing an inflation target, the Fed would feel compelled to stick to it even at the cost of neglecting employment. "

NYT

Least we forget who the real terrorists are... These people have devastated more lives than Al Queda ever has.

UPDATE: Sorry I missed these two articles.

Are Republicans 'sabotaging' the economy?

NONE DARE CALL IT SABOTAGE....

KY Tea Baggers blame the victim Lauren Valle, want all charges against head stomper dropped

If she didn't want to be head stomped, she shouldn't have worn that wig.

Simple awful... No remorse from these people whatsoever.

From an email they sent out:

Most of you all will remember the incident that took place outside of KET studios before the final debate between Rand Paul and Jack Conway. For those of you who don't know a woman dressed in a disguise posing as a Rand Paul supporter tried getting close to Rand for a political stunt paid for by MoveOn.org. The woman would later be identified as a Ms. Lauren Valle. This altercation made national headlines when the first available footage became available was the tail end of her finally being restrained in which one Rand Paul supporter, Tim Profit put his foot on her shoulder and pushed down trying to prevent her from getting back up again. Video of the entire event would later be released showing her charging into the vehicle's window at Rand. She made several other attempts launching herself at him but ultimately had to be subdued by Rand Paul supporters, whom had called for law enforcement assistance. This created a lot of chaos and fear that night as no one knew what was really happening at first or Ms. Valle intentions. If she had a weapon on her the situation would not have been good and when her wig came off and she having a short hairstyle Mr. Profitt was shocked and thought they were dealing with a man and that possibly more force was necessary, especially considering her multiple attempts to get at Rand. For the most part the media has not told the entire story and only 27 WKYT aired Mr. Profitt's side of the story. Mr. Profitt has been made out o be a bad guy and he and his family have been harassed. Mr. Profitt was only doing what he thought was necessary to protect Rand.

On November 18th Mr. Profitt had his arraignment and his trial date has been scheduled for December 7th, he is being charged with assault. While Mr. Proffitt is being charged Ms. Valle thus far has not. It is clear that Ms. Valle triggered the incident and was the aggressor. Not all the facts of the case have been revealed, but we believe that Mr. Profitt will be vindicated for his actions. It was known to everyone there that for a short while Ms. Valle was in handcuffs (arrested) but apparently not charged, she even falsely identified herself to police until she found out that was against the law, but again no charges are being brought against her for that. Below are a list of laws (KRS) Ms. Valle was in violation of and should be charged for.

525.055 Disorderly conduct in the first degree.

(1) A person is guilty of disorderly conduct in the first degree when he or she:
(a) In a public place and with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm, or wantonly creating a risk thereof:
1. Engages in fighting or in violent, tumultuous, or threatening behavior;
2. Makes unreasonable noise; or
3. Creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act that serves no legitimate purpose;


525.150 Disrupting meetings and processions in the second degree.
(1) A person is guilty of disrupting meetings and processions in the second degree when, with intent to prevent or disrupt a lawful meeting, procession, or gathering, he or she does any act tending to obstruct or interfere with it physically or makes any utterance, gesture, or display designed to outrage the sensibilities of the group.
(2) Disrupting meetings and processions in the second degree is a Class B misdemeanor.

525.070 Harassment.
(1) A person is guilty of harassment when, with intent to intimidate, harass, annoy, or alarm another person, he or she:
(a) Strikes, shoves, kicks, or otherwise subjects him to physical contact;
(b) Attempts or threatens to strike, shove, kick, or otherwise subject the person to physical contact;
(c) In a public place, makes an offensively coarse utterance, gesture, or display, or addresses abusive language to any person present;
(d) Follows a person in or about a public place or places;
(e) Engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts which alarm or seriously annoy such other person and which serve no legitimate purpose

We at Take Back Kentucky stand firm in our support for Mr. Profitt and his appeal for justice and we hope that you do as well. The situation Mr. Profitt was put in was far from ideal and so we would also ask that if you are not yet swayed to act on Mr. Profitt's behalf ask yourself what would you have done in a split second intense situation like that? So we are asking you to contact the Fayette County Attorneys Office and question them on this matter either through written correspondence, phone or e-mail. It is our firm belief that Ms. Valle should have to answer for what she has done, not Mr. Profitt in his attempts to protect Rand from her.

Below is all the contact information you should need. Please be respectful and patient when contacting their office. If you have any questions, please contact them and we will try and address them as best we can, but please keep in mind this is a trial and we may not have all the answers available to us to give.

Larry Roberts Fayette County Attorney's Office

Address:
110 W. Vine Street
Lexington, KY 40507

Phone:
(859) 254-4941


h/t Barefoot

Simple awful...

UPDATE: Hey, those of you in the progressive/liberal camp, you might want to do something like call the prosecutor's office and express outrage and ask why the other woman beater hasn't been charged yet. If these people have one thing going for them it's the fact they're vocal and dedicated. Get off your asses and do something, simply being upset about this doesn't cut it (859) 245-4941.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Salvation for Kentucky's horse industry?

Kentucky can't allow itself to be 20 years behind when it comes to saving it's ailing horse industry.

In Pennsylvania things are humming along:

"The racehorse sector (Thoroughbred and harness) of the overall equine industry in Pennsylvania had an estimated total economic impact of $344.5 million in 2001 and $1.6 billion in 2008. These figures included the direct dollar contribution of racing businesses in addition to indirect contributions from feed suppliers, veterinarians, and the like. The number of employees rose from 6,430 in 2001 to 23,028 in 2008. Racing produced $6.9 million in taxes for federal, state, and local coffers in 2001 and $78.3 million in 2008.
Interestingly, Act 71 also apparently boosted the overall equine industry in Pennsylvania of which racing is a component. The total economic impact from all equine activity jumped from $780 million in 2001 to $3 billion in 2008.

Under the provisions of Act 71, racing’s share of slot machine revenues is divided as follows: 80% to purses, 16% to breeders, and 4% to a health and pension fund. Tripp Umbach wrote: “For the first time in the history of the sport, members are receiving basic health insurance that includes eye and dental.” Moreover, “an overall impact of investment in new farm facilities and bloodstock helps a slumping economy.” Todd Mostoller, the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania HBPA, tells of prominent out-of-state racing interests looking for farms to buy in Pennsylvania. The state had a 22 percent increase in live foals for 2010, the sole venue to show a positive."

(h/t) Blueinthebluegrass

America's next Lost Generation; Generation Y

Life and debt for Generation Y.

This country is facing an unprecedented state in which those who were promised a comfortable living at the expense of taking on debt during their college years are finding there are no jobs to be found.

When the stock market crashed those who would have gone into retirement stayed in the workforce and millennials looking for decent wages to pay for their loans were left high and dry. We're witnessing the unraveling of the Middle Class and those on the right will softly acknowledge what's happening but refuse to acknowledge what created America's Middle Class; government action during the 1930's through the 1960's, this era has been referred to as "The Great Compression"



Paul Krugman and The Great Compression: "The middle-class society I grew up in didn’t evolve gradually or automatically. It was created, in a remarkably short period of time, by FDR and the New Deal. As the chart shows, income inequality declined drastically from the late 1930s to the mid 1940s, with the rich losing ground while working Americans saw unprecedented gains. Economic historians call what happened the Great Compression, and it’s a seminal episode in American history.

Middle class America: That’s the country I grew up in. It was a society without extremes of wealth or poverty, a society of broadly shared prosperity, partly because strong unions, a high minimum wage, and a progressive tax system helped limit inequality. It was also a society in which political bipartisanship meant something: in spite of all the turmoil of Vietnam and the civil rights movement, in spite of the sinister machinations of Nixon and his henchmen, it was an era in which Democrats and Republicans agreed on basic values and could cooperate across party lines.

The great divergence: Since the late 1970s the America I knew has unraveled. We’re no longer a middle-class society, in which the benefits of economic growth are widely shared: between 1979 and 2005 the real income of the median household rose only 13 percent, but the income of the richest 0.1% of Americans rose 296 percent.

Most people assume that this rise in inequality was the result of impersonal forces, like technological change and globalization. But the great reduction of inequality that created middle-class America between 1935 and 1945 was driven by political change; I believe that politics has also played an important role in rising inequality since the 1970s. It’s important to know that no other advanced economy has seen a comparable surge in inequality – even the rising inequality of Thatcherite Britain was a faint echo of trends here.

On the political side, you might have expected rising inequality to produce a populist backlash. Instead, however, the era of rising inequality has also been the era of “movement conservatism,” the term both supporters and opponents use for the highly cohesive set of interlocking institutions that brought Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich to power, and reached its culmination, taking control of all three branches of the federal government, under George W. Bush. (Yes, Virginia, there is a vast right-wing conspiracy.)"

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/09/18/introducing-this-blog/

Where are we today?

"Currently, even after a slight boost in jobs growth, unemployment for 18-24 year olds stands at 24.7%. For 20-24 year olds, it hovers at 15.2%. These conservative estimates, using the Bureau of Labor Statistics U3 measure, do not reflect the number of marginally attached or discouraged young workers feeling the lag from a nearly moribund job market."

"The U3 measure also does not count underemployment, yet with only 50% of B.A. holders able to find jobs requiring such a degree, underemployment rates are a telling index of the squeezing of the 18-30 year old Millennial generation. While it appears everyone is hurting since the financial collapse, young adults bear a disproportionate burden, constituting just 13.5% of the workforce while accounting for 26.4% of those unemployed. Even with good credentials, it is difficult for young people to find work and keep themselves afloat."

"Jobs aren’t the whole story. Recent college graduates, those in the labor force with the freshest batch of knowledge and skills, are currently underwater and sinking fast with unprecedented student loan and personal debt. Average student debt for the class of 2008 was $23,200, an increase over four years of about 25%, meaning that students are knee deep in negative equity between their educational investment and actual earnings."


http://baselinescenario.com/2010/11/20/how-are-the-kids-unemployed-underwater-and-sinking/

And there are other signs that The American people are under attack from the powerful and wealthy, look to the mortgage crisis that homeowners are suffering through right now, from Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi:

"Kowalski's current case before Judge Soud is a perfect example. The Jacksonville couple he represents are being sued for delinquent payments, but the case against them has already been dismissed once before. The first time around, the plaintiff, Bank of New York Mellon, wrote in Paragraph 8 that "plaintiff owns and holds the note" on the house belonging to the couple. But in Paragraph 3 of the same complaint, the bank reported that the note was "lost or destroyed," while in Paragraph 4 it attests that "plaintiff cannot reasonably obtain possession of the promissory note because its whereabouts cannot be determined."

The bank, in other words, tried to claim on paper, in court, that it both lost the note and had it, at the same time. Moreover, it claimed that it had included a copy of the note in the file, which it did — the only problem being that the note (a) was not properly endorsed, and (b) was payable not to Bank of New York but to someone else, a company called Novastar.

Now, months after its first pass at foreclosure was dismissed, the bank has refiled the case — and what do you know, it suddenly found the note. And this time, somehow, the note has the proper stamps. "There's a stamp that did not appear on the note that was originally filed," Kowalski tells the judge. (This business about the stamps is hilarious. "You can get them very cheap online," says Chip Parker, an attorney who defends homeowners in Jacksonville.)

The bank's new set of papers also traces ownership of the loan from the original lender, Novastar, to JP Morgan and then to Bank of New York. The bank, in other words, is trying to push through a completely new set of documents in its attempts to foreclose on Kowalski's clients.

There's only one problem: The dates of the transfers are completely fucked. According to the documents, JP Morgan transferred the mortgage to Bank of New York on December 9th, 2008. But according to the same documents, JP Morgan didn't even receive the mortgage from Novastar until February 2nd, 2009 — two months after it had supposedly passed the note along to Bank of New York. Such rank incompetence at doctoring legal paperwork is typical of foreclosure actions, where the fraud is laid out in ink in ways that make it impossible for anyone but an overburdened, half-asleep judge to miss. "That's my point about all of this," Kowalski tells me later. "If you're going to lie to me, at least lie well."

Now, one might think that after a bank makes multiple attempts to push phony documents through a courtroom, a judge might be pissed off enough to simply rule against that plaintiff for good. As I witness in court all morning, the defense never gets more than one chance to screw up. But the banks get to keep filing their foreclosures over and over again, no matter how atrocious and deceitful their paperwork is."

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/232611?RS_show_page=3

We have in affect adopted the worst in a capitalist system, state policy that is influenced entirely by corporate influence, we have in affect began a slide back toward the days of The Guilded Age. Corporations and banking institutions are given the benefit of the doubt regardless if there is clear evidence to show the opposite. Even if clear evidence shows that the homeowner is correct, the bank just refills it's claim until it gets it's desired result, foreclosure then eviction.

And there's quite a bit of irony here too, big business is actually doing quite well. Even thought Obama's reforms and expanded regulations were said to be destroying the ability of corporate power to hire and profit, quite the opposite has proven to be true. While Obama passes landmark reforms and legislation business is on track to make record profits.

"Investors around the world say President Barack Obama is bad for the bottom line, even though U.S. corporations are on track for the biggest earnings growth in 22 years and the stock market is headed for its best back-to- back annual gains since 2004."

“The uncertainty around the administration’s approach to dealing with businesses and the lack of clarity on taxes has created an environment where companies are less likely to make incremental investments, which in turn is bad for future corporate profits and hence the investment climate,” says poll respondent Quinten Stevens, 46, managing partner of Stevens Asset Management LLC in Darien, Connecticut. “Hopefully, the recent election results will be a powerful wake-up call to significantly change their approach towards the private sector.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-11-11/investors-show-obama-no-respect-in-poll-as-profits-surge-with-u-s-stocks.html

The truth is, businesses understand very little about what's good for them, and what impact they have good or bad on the economy. We've been told since 1981 that government is the biggest obstacle facing full employment and the creation of wealth, however we're seeing quite the opposite to be true. Let's look at the results of deregulation and tax breaks for the wealthiest, inequality across the board:

"Today, incomes in the U.S. are more unequal than in Germany, France, and the United Kingdom, not less so. Eugenics (thankfully) has fallen out of fashion, and the immigration debate has become (somewhat) more polite. As for income inequality, it's barely entered the national political debate. Indeed, the evidence from the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections suggests that even mild economic populism was a loser for Democrats. (To sample authentic economic populism, click here.)

But income inequality is a topic of huge importance to American society and therefore a subject of large and growing interest to a host of economists, political scientists, and other wonky types. Except for a few Libertarian outliers (whose views we'll examine later), these experts agree that the country's growing income inequality is deeply worrying. Even Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve Board chairman and onetime Ayn Rand acolyte, has registered concern. "This is not the type of thing which a democratic society—a capitalist democratic society—can really accept without addressing," Greenspan said in 2005. Greenspan's Republican-appointed successor, Ben Bernanke, has also fretted about income inequality.

Yet few of these experts have much idea how to reverse the trend. That's because almost no one can agree about what's causing it. This week and next, I will detail and weigh the strengths and weaknesses of various prominent theories as to what has brought about the income inequality boom of the last three decades. At the same time, I'll try to convey the magnitude of its effects on American life. The Great Divergence may represent the most significant change in American society in your lifetime—and it's not a change for the better. Let's see if we can figure out what got us here."

http://www.slate.com/id/2266025/entry/2266026

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Reagan insider: 'GOP destroyed U.S. economy'

DAVID STOCKMAN, President Ronald Reagan's director of the Office of Management and Budget explains how the GOP is to blame for the mess we're in:

"Through the 1984 election, the old guard earnestly tried to control the deficit, rolling back about 40 percent of the original Reagan tax cuts. But when, in the following years, the Federal Reserve chairman, Paul Volcker, finally crushed inflation, enabling a solid economic rebound, the new tax-cutters not only claimed victory for their supply-side strategy but hooked Republicans for good on the delusion that the economy will outgrow the deficit if plied with enough tax cuts."

"By fiscal year 2009, the tax-cutters had reduced federal revenues to 15 percent of gross domestic product, lower than they had been since the 1940s. Then, after rarely vetoing a budget bill and engaging in two unfinanced foreign military adventures, George W. Bush surrendered on domestic spending cuts, too — signing into law $420 billion in non-defense appropriations, a 65 percent gain from the $260 billion he had inherited eight years earlier. Republicans thus joined the Democrats in a shameless embrace of a free-lunch fiscal policy."

"The third ominous change in the American economy has been the vast, unproductive expansion of our financial sector. Here, Republicans have been oblivious to the grave danger of flooding financial markets with freely printed money and, at the same time, removing traditional restrictions on leverage and speculation. As a result, the combined assets of conventional banks and the so-called shadow banking system (including investment banks and finance companies) grew from a mere $500 billion in 1970 to $30 trillion by September 2008."

Original article in the NYTs.


Link to Infowars.

Inside Job

Busy this evening?

I know what I'll be seeing:



Playing at The Kentucky

Show times are:

(1:00), (3:10), (7:30), (9:40)

Friday, November 19, 2010

You too can be govenor of a liberal state running as a Republican

It's all about the grunting and screaming, the middle/lower class think you relate to their pains.

Kentucky journalism

In an offhand note, let me take a moment to poke lamestream media in Kentucky in the eye with the way Lauren Valle's assault case has been covered.

I give you Robert Fisk:

Inquery into Lauren Valle's other attacker.

So, I just called the prosecutor's office that handled Tip Profitt's prosecution.

It's the county attorney as I understand it at this point Ray Larson isn't even directly involved in this (because he's the Commonwealth's attorney who handles circuit court cases).

I got shuffled around through their phone system until I landed in a voicemail box to which I left a message inquiring about where the prosecution/investigation of Mike Pezzano the man who pulled Lauren Valle to the ground.

I would encourage Kentuckians to follow my lead the number is:

859 254 4941

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tim 'the head stomper' Profitt has his day in court.

Hillbillyreport.org is covering this event as well.

Video to follow.

Local media is all over this and the AP is here.

He refused an interview from the media and his lawyer claimed Lauren was to blame.

I asked how Profitt's foot was after Lauren's head brutally attacked it, his attorney declined to comment.

UPDATE: Here's the video



Tim Profitt enters a not-guilty plea and another hearing is set for early December.



Can't wait to see Hillbillie's video, he went into the elevator with Profitt...

UPDATE: As promised.



Profitt requesting a police escort due to my street cred I'm convinced.



I had absolutely no intention of following him to wherever he was going, but due to my massive muscles that you can see in my picture with the girl in the bikini top he was no doubt afraid that my neck muscles were so massive I could have obliterated his foot with my head.



Next court date is in early December, I'll be there covering that as well.

On a personal note, if he would have just come out and apologized I might feel some sympathy for this Brown Shirt. However he's still blaming the victim and doesn't deny that he stomped on her head, there's no excuse for this sort of behavior, violence should not be tolerated and I'll make sure it's not in my community. He can take that garbage elsewhere.

Here was the AP's wire that went out about it:

LEXINGTON, Ky. — A former volunteer with Rand Paul's Senate campaign pleaded not guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor assault charge arising from a videotaped scuffle in which a liberal female activist was stepped on the head after being pulled to the ground.

The widely disseminated videotape marked a flashpoint in the conservative Republican's winning campaign against Democrat Jack Conway in Kentucky.

An attorney for former volunteer Tim Profitt said Profitt was just trying to protect the tea party favorite during a scuffle outside a TV studio where Paul and Conway debated Oct. 25.

"I'm sure he was doing at the time what he thought was necessary," defense attorney Michael Dean said after Thursday's court hearing.

Profitt, 53, was silent when his lawyer entered the not guilty plea to a charge of fourth-degree assault in a court in Lexington. Profitt declined comment afterward.

Democrats vilified Profitt and Paul's campaign dropped him as a county coordinator after the tape showed Lauren Valle, a 23-year-old activist with the group MoveOn.org, being pulled down, her faced pinned to the concrete and then being stepped on. Valle said afterward that her face was swollen and her neck and shoulder were sore.

Dean told reporters Thursday it was premature to say whether Profitt's case, which is up for another scheduled hearing in December, would go to trial.

The scuffle overshadowed the final days of the Kentucky campaign as Paul's opponents tried to link the Republican to the scuffle by airing a 60-second TV ad called "The Rand Paul Stomp," complete with video footage.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Great NPR piece interviewing Matt Taibbi

My favorite political journalist explains the financial meltdown.

Listen here:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Woman stomper Tim Profitt in Court Thurs Nov. 18th 1pm


I'll be covering the court proceeding and possible tweeting the proceedings. Here are the details:

Fayette County District Court House
Room:3
01:00 PM

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tim Profitt lobbies for support from Dea Riley... And she destroys him.



Dea Riley who is running for Lt. Governor of Kentucky as an independent forwarded me a message from our favorite stomper who is being arraigned Nov 18th in Lexington district court. In Profitt's message he continues to defend the fact that he assaulted a 115 lb woman. Dea lets loose, take a look:

Dea Riley November 15 at 11:27am Reply • Report
I received this from Tim Profit today via FB message – Please see below my response.

Dea

Not sure who you may know but there are a lot of details about my case that is unknown. Ms. Valle from moveon.org has said on msnbc I kicked her in the head and that what I did was premeditated which are both false. She has also stated the reason I attacked her was because we disagree on the issues. That is also false. She doesn't know where I stand on the issues.
1-I think Marijuana should be legalized and controlled.
2-I am against the patriot act.
3-I think the war is unconstitutional.
I would bet we agree on other issues as well. They don't know me but have portrayed me as something I am not.
The real reason of what happened was she went after Rand like a crazed person who I felt was a threat to his safety.
I am sorry all this happened but there are many other circumstances involved here I cant talk about. I have lived in ky all my life and never been in trouble with the law in this way. 31 years with at&t and bellsouth and not 1 complaint. She broke at least 3 laws and did not get charged. I just don't understand why Ray Larson is doing this to me.

Tim,

I'm not one to mince words. I know that you have been a supporter of this campaign, but I feel I should express myself. I don't know you well, but I've met you on a few occasions and I would agree that you're not a bad person as you have described in your message. I also will acknowledge my interaction with you has always been cordial and you have seemed respectful of me in every regard.

I'm not sure my words will help you but I do want you to know that I am expressing myself in the hope that you will embark upon a self evaluation. Frankly Tim, I don't think where you stand on any of the issues is relevant to what occurred. It has been widely accounted that Ms. Valle was spoken to prior to the incident whereas SHE made clear her purpose for attending. One witness on scene told me that many of the Rand supporters where planning on "getting her" when they saw her make her move. I don't understand why it is you kicked her at all in that she was on the ground, but whether she was or not does not justify her being kicked. I don't approve. She was alone and undefended. I think you were caught up in a moment and that moment was recorded on film. As to "they" portraying you as something other than what you are - it is you who committed that act that likely will define you for sometime to come. I cannot offer you assistance. I think Ray should throw the damn book at you and if I know anything about Ray Larson that is exactly what is about to happen.

I think this attitude that she was of threat to Rand Paul is ridiculous but mostly convenient. She had every right to be there and every right to make an effort to capture a photograph and accomplish her mission - as Moveon.org has done so many times before. In these United States Individuals are not required to agree with or behave in any manner as imposed by those of differing opinion. Our liberties extend themselves equally to all. There is no "exception" to this rule. There is no doubt in my mind that the reason she was subdued was to prevent her not from harming Rand Paul but rather to prevent her from accomplishing her political stunt. I don't care if she was paid - again the excuses are irrelevant to the outcome. It's politics - get over it. Your cause is NOT important enough to justify what occurred.

This type of hysterical overly exaggerated expression is nothing more than mob riot. Rand Paul should have returned your campaign contributions as I would have done - immediately. You have served to point out the severity and potential danger of this extreme movement that is enjoys protection under the umbrella of "Tea Party" but I'm certain that is not what was intended by those who organized the initial grass roots effort.

On a personal note if you had kicked me you would have been faced with a far different reaction than the submissive and refrained demeanor of Ms. Valle. I would have done all I could do to beat your ass into the ground with everything I had in me. Guarantee it. I'm afraid I stand with Ms. Valle and wish I had been there to defend her - which is what I would have done and am doing now.

You don't put your hands on women - EVER!

May I suggest the following
1. Stop defending your behavior there isn't any defense
2. Apologize to Ms. Valle as well as all those countless thousands who have witnessed your video
3. Seek counseling and learn to discern between inappropriate and appropriate behavior in expressing your views
4. Volunteer to serve in a women's abuse shelter, rape crisis center or home for abused children. Then and only then will you understand why it is our society is so repulsed by your behavior and what it leads to.
5. Next time you give money to a cause, contribute to one of the above organizations that benefits those who are truly victimized and truly in danger of having their lives harmed or jeopardized by someone "crazy".
6. Reevaluate who it is you support for office - may I suggest you support someone such as myself who isn't willing to tell you what it is you want to hear to get your vote.

Dea Riley

UPDATE:

And here's Tim's facebook profile:

Tim Profitt

UPDATE:

You can see he's on Fayette County's court docket here:

He's facing only misdemeanor charges at this point, rumor is that the prosecutor is going to throw everything he has at Profitt.



Let's not forget:



UPDATE:

Got a request to throw a screenshot up so here it is:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pauls dips and dives again

Wow, if I'm a campaign manager I'm going to tell my candidate to just deny everything that they've said in prior interviews and never give specific answers.

Chinese sub scares U.S. Navy

Yep, well this is all we need to convince undecided people that the deficit and debt shouldn't be reduced by cutting out unnecessary pentagon programs.

Reducing the debt/deficit will of course come down on the heads and on the back of the oldest and poorest in our society.

From the BBC:

The uninvited guest: Chinese sub pops up in middle of U.S. Navy exercise, leaving military chiefs red-faced
American military chiefs have been left dumbstruck by an undetected Chinese submarine popping up at the heart of a recent Pacific exercise and close to the vast U.S.S. Kitty Hawk - a 1,000ft supercarrier with 4,500 personnel on board.
By the time it surfaced the 160ft Song Class diesel-electric attack submarine is understood to have sailed within viable range for launching torpedoes or missiles at the carrier.

Micheal Moore on Olbermann

Colbert is going to have some great material on Kentucky for the next 6 years

At Kentucky's expense that is.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - Nothingness
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionMarch to Keep Fear Alive

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Less than a week goes by and Paul flips on major campaign promise

Here's Paul's earmark ban promise:

Rand Paul has made a ban on wasteful earmark spending in Washington D.C. one of the key points of his campaign. He has supported Sen. Jim DeMint’s vocal support for an earmark ban and he supports news that House Democrats are even coming around on the idea of a partial ban.

“The Tea Party movement is an effort to get government under control,” Rand said. “I’m running to represent Kentuckians and to dismantle the culture of professional politicians in Washington. Leadership isn’t photo-ops with oversized fake cardboard checks. That kind of thinking is bankrupting our nation. Senator DeMint understands that and has taken action to stop it.”

Rand’s emphasis on reform has ruffled a lot of establishment feathers, but it is clear that the more regular citizens are getting the message every day as his campaign continues to grow.

Here's the flip:

"Father and son, age 47, have different styles. Asked what he wanted to do in Washington in a Wednesday morning television interview, the senator-elect said that his kids were hoping to meet the Obama girls. He has made other concessions to the mainstream. He now avoids his dad's talk of shuttering the Federal Reserve and abolishing the income tax. In a bigger shift from his campaign pledge to end earmarks, he tells me that they are a bad "symbol" of easy spending but that he will fight for Kentucky's share of earmarks and federal pork, as long as it's doled out transparently at the committee level and not parachuted in in the dead of night. "I will advocate for Kentucky's interests," he says.

So you're not a crazy libertarian? "Not that crazy," he cracks."

Monday, November 8, 2010

It would be funny if it weren't so true...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

We lost

No use pointing fingers and playing the blame game.

Governor Steve Beshear has an important race in 2011, victory in 2011!

Fancy Farm 2008



Fancy Farm 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

Jack Conway for United States Senate!

What did Rand have to say when he figured out he wasn't campaigning to the radical right past the primary?



Go Conway go!



Here's a recap of Rand at The University of Kentucky





Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I have to suspend politics on this blog till November

Jack and I in were in Lexington today.

Hey Rand, guess what Jack and Daniel BOTH got more votes than you did in this primary, get ready for a licking this November you carpetbagging 19th Century Texas idiot.



And Rand, we're going to make sure that all eligible voters do get to vote ;-)

It's primary day Kentucky!



Get out and vote!! Plain and simple!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Trey Grayson, I have a message for you.....

Your staff ignored the videos I offered you of Rand Paul at UK talking about all sorts of tough love for the American public on video here, here and here, these weren't just volatile comments that Republicans would find offensive, no one living in the 21st century who has something to lose would approve of these comments. Trey, I'm disappointed and I think you're going to get your tail handed to you this Tuesday.

Please for the love of God, don't drunk dial Freedomworks

Freedomworks is for freedom, it says so in their name dummy, do you hate freedom?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Glen Beck hypocrisy, 'Back in black'

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Back in Black - Glenn Beck's Nazi Tourette's
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

David O'Neill is a great PVA, Lexington needs him

There is one good choice for the Democratic primary for PVA and that's David O'Neill.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The 17th Amendment

Trey Grayson, once a Democrat turned to a right leaning conservative arguable a moderate is pretty much toast as far as the Republican primary goes. While I would have supported either Democrat (let's be honest there are 2 serious candidates) Trey wouldn't had been that bad although he still would have driven me up the wall no doubt, but he wasn't part of the group that Rand Paul is which wants to repeal the 17th Amendment, the direct election of our Federal senators.

When the country was founded it was each state's legislature that choose who would represent such state in the United States Senate. Problems began to arise with the system as early as the 1850's as legislatures weren't sending senators to Washington coupled with allegations of bribes and foulplay in their appointments. The catalyst came during the industrial boom starting in the 1870's after the American Civil War. Corruption was so widespread during the Guilded Age when President U.S. Grant used the phrase "now let us have peace" the running joke was those in government and industry heard "now let us have a piece". When running for his seat Illinois’ Senator, William Lorimer bought his seat when he bribed members of the Illinois state assembly.

Big surprise, the golden rule plays out again; those with the gold make the rules or in this case those with the gold buy a senate seat. It was in fact the Populist Party of the late 19th century that advocated the direct election of senators, coupled with the problems of the appointment holdups in the state legislatures enough senators were finally brought on board to make the United States more Democratic and less Republic with the adoption of the 17th Amendment allowing for the direct election of senators every 6 years.

Now there are those people (usually completely ignorant of history) who believe the 17th Amendment should in fact be repealed in an attempt to return "The United States" to the 19th century when it was known commonly as "These United States", they believe the Federal Government has grown far too large and minimized the states as actors. And yes it's true that special interest money plays on elections at a national level, and the recent supreme court decision which struck down the laws that limited the reach of corporate influence in our elections was a terrifying ruling with awful implications in our current system if it isn't minimized.

But to say the 17th Amendment should be repealed is to say that the American people as a whole need less influence on our government, not more. These people argue that populism and our national identity should be sacrificed in favor or returning the United States to what it resembled in the 19th century, a government run and owned by those with influence and money. There are those who say and believe such things, and I for one am not one of them.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Watching the Kentucky Republican Senate debate...

Oh this is classic, video of this to come...

But for now, I seem to remember a similar sort of situation back in May 2008, we could call this a good ole fashion Kentucky douche off!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Indecision 2008 - West Virginia
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party


Here's the debate on the youtube's: