“Every method that human ingenuity can conceive of is being used to undermine, dilute and circumvent the rights of minority voters to enjoy the franchise.” Whitney Houston dies. Fox News posts the story and a torrent of racist comments follow. Some will say, but these are just commenters… They don’t represent the GOP. Right? Head on over to the minstrel show at CPAC this weekend where “wearing track suits and colonial-style wigs, Steve Crowder, a Fox News contributor and comedian, and Chris Loesch, the husband of conservative commentator Dana Loesch, warmed the crowd up with a rap about “Mr. America” that using the n-word and claiming they’re saying “knickers.” (There’s a reason there’s no conservative competition for Jon Stewart). You can also read a defense of ”Mr. America” at Breitbart’s blog. And none of this is any different than what Rush Limbaugh says every week. Or take a short walk on the Republican Primary campaign trail where: Black people have lost the desire to perform a day’s work. Black people rely on food stamps provided to them by white taxpayers. Black people, including Barack and Michelle Obama, believe that the U.S. owes them something because they are black. Black children should work as janitors in their high schools [...]
I know this is the year where every GOP candidate gets a turn. Bachman, Perry, Cain, Paul, Gingrich. But Santorum? The national picture: A new Pew Research Center poll found Santorum and Romney neck-and-neck, with Santorum winning 30 percent of the support among Republican registered voters to Romney’s 28 percent — a difference that falls well within the poll’s five percentage point margin of error. Separately,Gallup’s latest tracking survey of the Republican race found Romney with 32 percent support and Santorum right on his heels with 30 percent. Santorum is up +10 in Michigan. Michigan? Where George Romney was Gov? For reals? What a primary. Who’s next? Jeb Bush? Mitch Daniels? Your mom?
That is what birth control pills seem to cost, over the counter. So how about let’s just give everyone $20 a month credit at the pharmacy. If people want to spend it on something other than BC, they should be allowed to do that, to cash it in to buy whatever they need more. And if they want to use it on BC, they should be allowed to do that too. But that way, no one is forced to buy birth control pills, and everyone gets the same benefit from the government.
Just imagine for a moment what an ecologically dirty project like Keystone would look like from out there in space. Not who stands to make money, but the planet itself. Lobbyists can and DO work full time and overtime to advance the causes of their paymasters. That is simply what they do. According to www.keystone.org there is stealth legislation moving silently in the United States Senate to do just this – an end run against President Obama, an end run against the indigenous peoples who are fighting the Keystone Pipeline, and the 1000+ people who were arrested in this cause. To sign an online petition against the Keystone Pipeline go to: http://act.350.org/sign/kxl/ Further, there is now ALEC – the American Legislative Exchange Counsel writing legislation, with a large staff funded by corporate and plutocratic interests to do this full time, and then pitch and fund PACs for elected officials, and wine and dine staff so that the legislation written by ALEC is filed in state legislatures all over the country “as if” a legislator wrote it advancing the agenda of the Neo Robber Barons of this new gilded age, The 1% has weapons and resources that dwarf any individual, [...]
As you know, the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision led to the creation of “Super PACs,” which are political committees to which individuals may contribute without limit, and which may in turn spend unlimited amounts of money on any federal election they choose. Want to support a presidential candidate to the tune of $5 million, but can’t donate more than $2,500 directly to him? No problem – just send the $5 million to the candidate’s Super PAC, and watch your money work. You can’t do quite the same thing in Massachusetts, but, as some clever Republicans in central Massachusetts have figured out, you can come close. State law of course allows the formation of ward, town, and city party committees. Most of these committees are fairly small operations, and most of them presumably spend their time and resources helping out candidates who are running to represent the ward, town, or city in which the committee is located, as you might expect. But as of now, there is actually no requirement that a local committee spend its money on elections related to that locality. The only limitation is that expenditures must be for “the enhancement of the principle for which the committee [...]
(Cross-posted from the COFAR blog) Direct-care workers in the state’s contracted human services system have seen their wages stagnate in recent years, but the executives who run the largely nonprofit contractor agencies that employ those workers do not appear to have been feeling that same pain. We examined compensation to both CEOs and direct-care workers in a sample of 30 service vendors to the Department of Developmental Services, both large and small, from around the state in Fiscal Years 2008 and 2011. This information is available in Uniform Financial Reports, which are submitted to the state Operational Services Division by the vendors and are posted online by the OSD at www.mass.gov/ufr. The CEO compensation of our sample increased by an average of 16.6 percent during the four year period while the direct-care salaries decreased by an average of 2.17 percent during that time. (See Vendor Compensation Table.) Among the 30 vendors, the average CEO compensation in FY 08 was $197,068. It increased to an average of $229,872 in FY 11. In FY 08, the average direct care salary for the sample was $33,508. It decreased to $32,780 in FY 11. In FY 11, direct-care workers were earning an average of 14 percent of what the CEOs of those vendors were earning, down from 17 percent in FY [...]
Imagine if a university found to have violated Title IX and ordered to strengthen its women’s athletics program passed the cost of required improvements in women’s programming on to the female students who enrolled in them. Imagine if a defense contractor found to be operating an unsafe workplace charged the workers for the cost of addressing the health and safety violations. These are (hopefully) absurd examples of passing the buck for mitigation… but that’s exactly what the Mass. Legislature did when it saddled the MBTA — and its ridership — with the debt service to pay for the federally mandated transit improvements required as Big Dig mitigation. According to MBTA Manager Richard Davies, the T’s $452 million in annual debt service eats up the entire $450 million in annual farebox revenues: “every dollar of what we take in from our customers goes to pay off the credit card.” Fully 1/3 of that debt service — and an amount approximately equal to the annual operating deficit — is paying off transit improvements that were part of the State’s Big Dig SIP obligations. Instead of passing the buck for mitigation — and burdening transit riders with fare increases and service reductions (which [...]