Saturday Night Geezer Punk

In the 1960s The Who sang, “Hope I die Before I get old…” Two out of four survive.

In the 1960s Mick Jagger said he couldn’t picture himself doing “Satisfaction” at 50.. He’s heading for Chuck Berry longevity and still rockin’..

Punk rockers sneered at hippies but Henry Rollins is doing neat spoken word and Jello Biafra… well the DKs are but a memory and Jello is much heavier now with gray hair and still poking sharp sticks in to the soft underbelly of complacency…

Jello Biafra and Mojo Nixon

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Thanks to Decades of Conservative Spin, Americans Are Hopelessly Confused About Taxes, Spending and the Deficit

From Alternet: http://www.alternet.org/economy/150826/thanks_to_decades_of_conservative_spin%2C_americans_are_hopelessly_confused_about_taxes%2C_spending_and_the_deficit/

Conservatives have spent 30 years divorcing the taxes we pay from the services they finance — no wonder the public doesn’t know where their tax dollars go.

By Joshua Holland
May 6, 2011

A few weeks back, Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, felt compelled to take time out of what is presumably a busy schedule to explain that “taxes are, first and foremost, about paying for what the government buys.” That he felt compelled to do so is a sad reflection of the state of our economic discourse.

A good number of Americans are hopelessly confused about taxes, deficits and the debt. And it’s no mystery why – conservatives have spent 30 years divorcing the taxes we pay from the services they finance. They’ve bent themselves into intellectual pretzels arguing that cutting taxes – on the wealthy – leads to more revenues in the coffers. They’ve invented narratives about taxes driving “producers” to sunnier climes, killing jobs by the bushel, and relentlessly spun the wholly false notion that we’re facing “runaway spending” and are “taxed to death.”

And they’ve had great success. But they haven’t done it alone – credit the media with an assist for muddying the waters around our fiscal situation. Consider a poll released this week by the highly respected Gallup organization. Their headline reads, “Americans Blame Wasteful Government Spending for Deficit.” Is that true? Well, here were the options – the only options – that respondents were offered:

Which do you think is more to blame for the federal budget deficit: Spending too much on government programs that are either not needed or wasteful, or not raising enough taxes to pay for needed programs? (Emphasis added.)

“Accordingly,” says Gallup, “Americans generally favor spending cuts rather than tax increases as the way for Congress to reduce the deficit going forward.” According to that distorted narrative – that false choice — of course they do. I’m sure the results of a poll asking if people would prefer an ice cream sundae or a sharp stick in the eye would prove equally conclusive (not to mention bipartisan).

Continue reading at:   http://www.alternet.org/economy/150826/thanks_to_decades_of_conservative_spin%2C_americans_are_hopelessly_confused_about_taxes%2C_spending_and_the_deficit/

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Obama health secretary: Seniors may ‘die sooner’ under GOP Rationing of Medicare plan

Looks like people are catching on to ultra right wing Republican rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to euthanize elder American’s.

Republican Death Panels are actively plotting to kill off senior citizens by ending Medicare while enriching their ultra wealthy elite corporate donors by stealing the money from Medicare and mandating giving it to the wealthy corporate elite..

From Raw Story:http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/05/06/obama-health-secretary-seniors-may-die-sooner-under-gop-medicare-plan/

By Sahil Kapur
Friday, May 6th, 2011

WASHINGTON – U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius offered a pointed assessment Thursday of the Republican Medicare plan.

“If you run out of the government voucher and then you run out of your own money, you’re left to scrape together charity care, go without care, die sooner,” Sebelius said during a committee hearing, according to Politico. “There really aren’t a lot of options.”

Seniors, she explained, “will run out of money very quickly” under the House-approved GOP budget blueprint that replaces Medicare with a system of subsidies to buy private insurance.

The value of the subsidies would rise annually at a slower rate than health care costs tend to grow.

Divisions have emerged within the GOP over the plan, drafted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), and key Republicans admitted in recent days that it may not be politically feasible.

President Barack Obama and Democrats strongly oppose the proposal.

But it looks like the American people are finally waking up to the class warfare the republi-Nazis have been waging on them.

Some things like killing senior citizens are just too much for the right wing media noise machine to peddle to people no matter how brain washed they are.

New York GOP Candidate Watches Lead Evaporate After Defending Ryan’s Plan To End Medicare

From Think Progress: http://thinkprogress.org/2011/05/06/ny-26-gop-hurt-by-ryan-budget/

By Tanya Somanader
May 6th, 2011

The embarrassing manner of “Craiglist Congressman” Christopher Lee’s (R-NY) downfall failed to shake the GOP’s confidence in holding onto New York’s 26th congressional district. The overwhelmingly Republican district, which hasn’t been represented by a Democrat since early last decade, led the New York GOP to count “well-liked” state assemblywoman Jane Corwin as a “shoo-in” for the seat. Then, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) dropped a bomb — his budget plan. The plan that essentially eliminates Medicare and forces seniors to pay thousands morefor health care is now driving a stake through Corwin’s lead.

With numerous polls noting a majority of Americans oppose cuts to Medicare, democratic opponent Kathy Hoschul has started putting Corwin on the defensive over the contentious plan that is already fracturing House Republicans. Instead of listening to the public, Corwin is “vigorously” defending Ryan’s plan and watching her lead evaporate because of it. The New York Times reports:

But even as some House Republicans have started to express doubts about the wisdom of trying to push the Ryan plan this year, Ms. Corwin has vigorously defended it, arguing it places Medicare on sound financial footing. “This protects the Medicare program and ensures that there are benefits for future generations,” she said during a recent stop last month in Rochester, according to The Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester.

Still, Ms. Hochul’s message seems to strike a chord in the district, where the race has become much closer than experts in either party had expected. A recent Siena College poll of likely voters, for example, indicated that Ms. Corwin and Ms. Hochul are in a tight race. Ms. Corwin leads by only five points, within the poll’s margin of error.

The Seina College poll was taken a week ago. A new internal poll from Hochul’s campaign shows the race is now a dead heat. In a Global Strategy Group survey, Corwin only leads by one point. “The Republican vote to end Medicare has moved the needle in this race,” said Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), chairman of the DCCC.

Continue reading at:  http://thinkprogress.org/2011/05/06/ny-26-gop-hurt-by-ryan-budget/

Without Medicare Privatization, GOP Budget Won’t Eliminate The Deficit

From Talking Points Memo: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/05/without-medicare-privatization-gop-budget-wont-eliminate-the-deficit.php?ref=fpb

Brian Beutler
May 6, 2011

House Republican leaders see the political writing on the wall and won’t be making a hard push for their plan to privatize Medicare.

That’s a bitter pill to swallow for rank and file members who already voted for the GOP budget. Now the official position of the House of Representatives, it has won praise from conservatives — and even many mainstream media figures — for making “hard choices” to tackle long-term debt and deficit. But crucially, a huge chunk of the savings in the plan came from … the now-withered plan to privatize Medicare — to shift a significant portion of Medicare costs on to consumers.

It turns out that if you strike the Medicare plan from the GOP budget — authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) — it doesn’t achieve fiscal balance anymore.

“It certainly blows a major hole in his plan,” said Paul Van de Water, a health care and budget expert at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, in a phone interview.

Continue reading at:  http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/05/without-medicare-privatization-gop-budget-wont-eliminate-the-deficit.php?ref=fpb

Isn’t it time for the Working and Under Privileged People to Start fighting Back in the Class war that is being Waged Against Us?

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Gay Adoption In Illinois: Catholic Charities Threatens To Turn Away Gay Couples

From The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/05/catholic-charities-gay-adoption_n_858133.html

May 5, 2011

One of the largest adoption agencies in Illinois is threatening to turn away couples with civil unions, despite state law demanding they do otherwise.

Catholic Charities has more than 3,000 children in its foster care and adoption agencies, representing around 20 percent of all such services in the state, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. In recompense, the state pays the organization around $30 million a year.

But when the state’s new civil unions law goes into effect on June 1, heads of those agencies are saying that they do not plan to serve gay couples in those unions.

“The Catholic Church is not going to be OK with Catholic Charities processing applications from anyone in a civil union,” Trish Fox, the head of the Catholic Charities of Peoria, told Chicago Public Radio. “And all we’re asking is that we can continue what we’ve always done, which is refer cohabitating couples, heterosexual or homosexual, to another agency.”

Continue reading at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/05/catholic-charities-gay-adoption_n_858133.html

Question of the Week: Do Catholics consider abortion and/or orphanages preferable to same-sex couple or single parent adoptions?

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Senate Republicans Introduce Bill To Abolish The EPA

From Think Progress: http://thinkprogress.org/2011/05/06/senate-republicans-introduce-bill-to-abolish-the-epa/

By Brad Johnson
May 6th, 2011

Senate Republicans have introduced legislation to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency, established 40 years ago by President Richard Nixon to give Americans clean air and water. The bill, introduced by Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), would merge the EPA, which enforces environmental laws, with the Department of Energy, which manages nuclear energy and energy research, into one department.

Burr’s statement announcing his bill to eliminate the EPA argues that “duplicative functions” can be eliminated, even though the two departments are completely different:

U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) introduced a bill that would consolidate the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency into a single, new agency called the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE). The bill would provide cost savings by combining duplicative functions while improving the administration of energy and environmental policies by ensuring a coordinated approach.

Continue reading at: http://thinkprogress.org/2011/05/06/senate-republicans-introduce-bill-to-abolish-the-epa/

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Trump’s ‘University’ Accused Of Scamming Customers

From The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/06/trump-university-scammed-customers_n_858587.html?icid=maing-grid7|main5|dl9|sec1_lnk1|61018

Marcus Baram
05/ 6/11

NEW YORK — Along with touting his wealth and business acumen, real estate mogul Donald Trump has long portrayed himself as an educator, who is ready and willing to impart the knowledge that can turn any motivated person into a multimillionaire.

On top of the millions who watch his prime-time smash hit, “Celebrity Apprentice,” thousands have enrolled in seminars with Trump University in order to better learn his money-making real estate sales methods. The educational program, launched in 2005, promises mentorships that are “the next best thing” to being Trump’s apprentice.

In speeches across the country, the potential 2012 GOP presidential candidate touts the importance of education. Trump has decried the state of our public schools and mocked President Barack Obama’s academic credentials.

“I’m deeply and actively involved in Trump University because I firmly believe in the power of education and its function as an engine of success,” he wrote in “Trump 101: The Way to Success.” “I want to help people, and, simply put, the Trump University students want to be successful. I’m on their side.”

Yet Trump’s credentials as an educator may be undercut by the recent history of his so-called university. The for-profit institution is the target of a class-action lawsuit in federal court and the attorneys general of six states are investigating numerous complaints about it.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/06/trump-university-scammed-customers_n_858587.html?icid=maing-grid7|main5|dl9|sec1_lnk1|61018

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Hawaii: Governor signs bill to end discrimination based on Gender Identity/Expression

From Hawaii 24/7: http://www.hawaii247.com/2011/05/05/governor-signs-bill-to-end-discrimination/

MEDIA RELEASE

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has signed into law House Bill 546, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression as a public policy matter and specifically with regard to employment.

Abercrombie also enacted House Bill 1640, which allows counties to issue state IDs. That measure goes into effect Jan. 1, 2013.

For more information on these measures and other legislative bills, visit http://capitol.hawaii.gov

To date, 35 measures have been enacted. The governor has until July 12, 2011 to sign into law all measures that are passed out of the state Senate and the House of Representatives.

This year’s Legislature adjourns May 5.

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Do Red State Republicans Want More Divorces, STDs and Abortions? Their Policies Suggest “Yes”

From Alternet: http://www.alternet.org/reproductivejustice/150846/do_red_state_republicans_want_more_divorces%2C_stds_and_abortions_their_policies_suggest_%22yes%22/

At the state level, the GOP’s attacks on reproductive rights may widen the already huge gulf between red and blue states in health, family stability, and education.

By Amanda Marcotte
May 5, 2011

Republicans lost the first battle in their newly invigorated war on contraception and other health services for sexually active people, such as STD testing and treatment, when the Democrats called their bluff in the federal budget standoff. Planned Parenthood avoided the ax, but that doesn’t mean that Republicans are prepared to give up on doing everything in their power to separate women, especially low-income women, from access to contraception services. In lieu of cutting family planning subsidies on the federal level, Republicans have devised a plan to cut them on the state level, where they face fewer meddling pro-choice Democrats.

The strategy remains the same: Say the word “abortion” a lot, and use it to cut funding for contraception and other reproductive health services that aren’t abortion. Indiana kicked off the state-by-state strategy by banning Planned Parenthood from receiving any federal funding, using the usual abortion excuse, though none of the funding goes to abortion. Despite knowing that anti-discrimination laws would mean that this bill would end all family planning subsidies to the state, Gov. Mitch Daniels signed it anyway. Even though Republicans pretend to be cutting family planning spending more in sorrow than in joy, they still produce results for a right wing fringe that opposes not just abortion, but contraception, STD treatment, and preventing cervical cancer, all in the service of a religious belief that these are holy punishments for fornication.

Republicans in other red states see the benefit to the strategy, which allows them to cater to the far right while pretending to be more moderate. Invoking the demonized Planned Parenthood gives cover for an endless array of punishments for women who have sex and don’t have much money. Texas is using Indiana’s strategy to cut off all forms of reproductive health care, as are Kansas and a growing list of other red states. An enterprising Oklahoma legislator realized the strategy could be used to shut down WIC distribution in his state, adding “watching your babies starve” to the list of punishments Republicans view as appropriate for women who have sex without having the foresight to be financially comfortable first.

If Republicans in red states succeed in using the abortion bait-and-switch to cut off all reproductive health care, expect dramatic growth in the already-alarming divide between red states and blue states in measures such as health outcomes, family stability, and education. Red states top blue states consistently in divorce rates, STD transmission rates, and teen birth rates. Red states are overrepresented in high school drop out rates. A sudden disappearance of affordable reproductive health care will dramatically worsen this situation.

Continue reading at:   http://www.alternet.org/reproductivejustice/150846/do_red_state_republicans_want_more_divorces%2C_stds_and_abortions_their_policies_suggest_%22yes%22/

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Why Washington Should Pay Attention to the Economy Here and Now

From Robert Reich: http://robertreich.org/post/5244220848

May 5, 2011

After a week of non-stop Osama Bin Laden, Washington is now returning to the battle of the budget deficit and debt ceiling.

All over Capitol Hill Republicans and Democrats are debating spending caps and automatic triggers, and whether to begin them before or after Election Day.

But if you don’t mind my asking, what about the economy? I’m not talking about the economy five or ten years from now, when projections show the federal budget wildly out of control or when foreigners might start dumping dollars.

I’m talking about the here and now economy – the one Americans are living in day to day.

The Labor Department reported today that unemployment for April was 9 percent, up from 8.8 percent in March. And that doesn’t people working part-time who’d rather have full-time jobs.

Yes, 244,000 jobs were added in March — but that’s chicken feed. We’d need 350,000 a month, every month for the next three years, simply to get back to where we were before the Great Recession.

And the percent of working-age Americans actually working – 64.2 percent – hasn’t improved. It’s almost as low as it was in the depths of the recession. 13.7 million people remain out of work.

Hello Washington?

Continue reading at: http://robertreich.org/post/5244220848

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Friday Night Zinnea Fix

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The GOP’s Medicare Reform Plan: 5 Hidden Dangers for Seniors

From CBS Money Watch: http://moneywatch.bnet.com/economic-news/blog/make-money/the-gops-medicare-reform-plan-5-hidden-dangers-for-seniors/1062/

By Jane Bryant Quinn
May 5, 2011

What should you do to guarantee yourself access to future medical care? If you’re under 55, talk to your parents or your grandparents. They hold the votes that will decide whether your options will be as good as theirs.

The Republicans, in a recent House budget resolution, offered seniors and Boomers a breathtaking deal. The GOP will promise not to include Medicare in their massive cost-cutting program, for people who are currently 55 and up. In return, they have to agree to throw the next generation under the bus.

The GOP appears to be backing away from its plan, but that’s only temporary. The goal is to end Medicare as we know it for people under 55 today. Starting in 2021, new beneficiaries would have to buy private, individual coverage. The insurance companies would offer different plans, at different prices, with different types of benefits. The government would provide vouchers to help cover the cost. But the vouchers wouldn’t buy as much insurance as Medicare provides today. To get the same level of coverage, you’d have to pay more yourself, with your out-of-pocket amount increasing every year. The government saves money, while you pay more of your rising health expenses in older age.

Will seniors and Boomers take the deal? So far, they’ve shown themselves willing to vote their interests and forget the young. For example, more than half of the population 65 and up opposes the health reform law, known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

ACA provides coverage to people under 65 who are uninsured, usually because they can’t afford the premiums or have pre-existing medical conditions. The law also preserves seniors’ Medicare benefits, in full, but cuts $500 billion in future payments to various health-care providers. That’s enough to make beneficiaries worry. In last year’s election, older people gave GOP candidates a 20-point lead — the largest margin of any age group. They oppose aid to the young for fear that it will come at their expense of their own program.

Continue reading at:  http://moneywatch.bnet.com/economic-news/blog/make-money/the-gops-medicare-reform-plan-5-hidden-dangers-for-seniors/1062/

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