Friday Night Fun and Culture Lesbian Feminist Music Edition

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The American People Are Angry

From Reader Supported News: http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/267-33/6799-the-american-people-are-angry

By Sen. Bernie Sanders, Reader Supported News
28 July 11

s House and Senate leaders fine-tuned rival deficit reduction plans on Wednesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke on the Senate floor about the public’s strong belief that additional revenue from the wealthy should be part of any package to reduce red ink. He cited a new Washington Post poll that found 72 percent favor raising taxes on those who make more than $250,000 year. Despite those overwhelming numbers, he said, “We are marching down a path which will do exactly opposite of what the American people want.” He called Republican opposition to more revenue “fanatical.” He also faulted President Obama for a bargaining strategy that sugars down to this: “Retreat after retreat after retreat.” Of the competing House and Senate proposals Sanders bluntly concluded that one is bad and the other is much worse. He shared his assessment with radio host Ed Schultz.

The senator also summarized his analysis in this statement:

“The rich are getting richer, and their effective tax rate is the lowest in modern history. Many corporations are enjoying huge profits and, because of outrageous loopholes, pay nothing in taxes. Among many other absurdities, we lose about $100 billion every year from companies and individuals who stash their wealth in tax havens in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and other locations.

“And yet, the Republicans have been fanatically determined to protect the interests of billionaires and large multi-national corporations so that they do not contribute one penny toward deficit reduction. The Republicans want the entire burden of deficit reduction sacrifice to be placed on the elderly, the sick, children, and working families. That is morally wrong and, in terms of getting us out of this recession, bad economic policy.

“Sadly, the Democrats have yielded far, far too much. In December, with the Democrats controlling the White House, the House of Representatives and the Senate they extended Bush’s tax breaks for the rich and lowered the tax rates on estates for the very rich. In April, they allowed tens of billions of dollars in cuts to vitally important programs for low- and moderate-income Americans.

“And now, we find ourselves debating two plans. The Reid plan, which calls for $2.2 trillion in cuts over a 10-year period, includes $900 billion in cuts (which will be determined later by committees) in education, health care, nutrition, affordable housing, child care and many other programs desperately needed by working families. Appropriately, it calls for meaningful cuts in military spending and ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Reid plan does not require the wealthiest people in this country and the largest corporations to pay one nickel in deficit reduction.

“The Reid plan is bad. The Boehner plan is much worse. It calls for large cuts in discretionary spending now and demands that this debt-ceiling discussion be revisited next year – which is totally absurd and which will likely keep the Congress paralyzed.

“Lastly, both plans call for a congressional committee to determine future efforts toward deficit reduction. Based on recent committees – Bowles-Simpson, the Gang of Six, etc. – I have little doubt that that new committee will call for major cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and will ask very little of the wealthy and multi-national corporations.

“Meanwhile, while all of this is occurring in Washington the American people have consistently stated, in poll after poll, that they want the wealthy and large corporations to pay their fair share of taxes and they want to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. For example, a recent Washington Post poll found that 72 percent of the American people believe that Americans earning over $250,000 a year should pay more in taxes.

“Given that reality, is there any reason to wonder why the American people are so angry and frustrated with what’s going on in Washington?”

Reproductive rights: the new activists

From The Rochester City Newspaper: http://www.rochestercitynewspaper.com/news/articles/2011/07/FEATURE-Reproductive-rights-the-new-activists/

By Jeremy Moule
July 27, 2011

The generations born after Roe v. Wade have never known a country without legal abortion. The Supreme Court’s 1973 landmark decision declared the due-process clause of the 14th Amendment covers “a woman’s qualified right to terminate her pregnancy.”

The decision didn’t end the controversy, of course. Abortion and reproductive rights as a whole have always been among the most polarizing topics the nation faces. And citizens and elected officials have sought to impose restrictions, whether on abortion itself or access to it, right from the beginning.

The abortion battle has intensified over the past year and is spilling over into other areas of reproductive health. That’s put new generations – some Gen-Xers and Millennials – in the position where it’s up to them to fight for their reproductive rights if they want to keep them.

“The fact that abortion has been legal throughout most young people’s lives makes it more common to them,” says Tara Sweeney, a spokesperson for NARAL Pro-Choice New York.

But do they take that right for granted? Does a generation that grew up post-Roe v. Wade, that didn’t live through a time of unsafe, illegal abortions, realize what’s at stake? And are they prepared to push back when legislators attack reproductive rights?

The short answer is yes, young people are engaged and in significant numbers, says Angela Clark-Taylor, a reproductive rights activist and former chair of Planned Parenthood of the Rochester-Syracuse Region’s young professionals group. The group hosts events, does advocacy work, and helps with Planned Parenthood events.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rochestercitynewspaper.com/news/articles/2011/07/FEATURE-Reproductive-rights-the-new-activists/

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The Progressive Magazine: Tim DeChristopher Is Not the One Who Should Be in Prison

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Gay Weddings: Is There a New Etiquette?

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marlo-thomas/gay-weddings-marlo-thomas_b_912573.html

Award-winning actress, author and activist
Posted: 7/28/11

You know that moment we all look forward to at a wedding — when the bride comes down the aisle and, for the first time, we get to see that beautiful white dress? How magical that moment always is.

Well, it’s even more magical when there are two white dresses.

I experienced this for the first time when my niece, Tracy, married the love of her life, a woman also named Tracey (only hers has an “e”). At that moment, as I looked at their radiant faces, I remembered seeing Tracy, age 8, singing along to the record of Free to Be…You and Me. And I couldn’t help but think, at last, Tracy is truly free.

For all of us who have long supported same-sex marriage, the depth of the justice of it all has never hit home for me as it did when I saw the these two dear, young women exchange their vows.

And everything was the same: the little kids giggling and running underfoot; the proud moms and dads wiping away a tear; the distant uncle sitting by himself, happily having one drink too many; and, as always, someone sneaking an early piece of the cake.

Now in New York, this historic ritual is being celebrated with a new and liberating joy. And while the ceremony at the heart of these weddings is no different from any other we’ve ever witnessed, many people have asked if there’s any special etiquette that guests attending a gay wedding need to know — such as “Will I insult the couple if I ask what they’re going to call themselves — like husband and husband or wife and wife?”

According to Steven Petrow of GayManners.com and author of Steven Petrow’s Complete Gay and Lesbian Manners, “Not at all! Intention is a big part of manners, so you don’t have to worry so much about making a faux pas. If you don’t know how to refer to a couple, just ask.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marlo-thomas/gay-weddings-marlo-thomas_b_912573.html

Rebuild the Dream Rally

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Investors: The $1 Billion Armageddon Trade Placed Against The United States

Gee I smell something totally corrupt and rotten.  The level of corrupt and rotten that would call for prison or in some countries , execution.

From Exchange Traded Funds: http://etfdailynews.com/2011/07/25/investors-the-1-billion-armageddon-trade-placed-against-the-united-states/

July 25, 2011

Jack Barnes:  Someone dropped a bomb on the bond market Thursday – a $1 billion Armageddon trade betting the United States will lose its AAA credit rating.

In one moment, an invisible trader placed a single trade that moved the most liquid debt market in the world.

The massive trade wasn’t placed in bonds themselves; it was placed in the futures market.

The trade was for block trades of 5,370 10-year Treasury futures executed at 124-03 and 3,100 Treasury bond futures executed at 125-01.

The value of the trade was about $850 million dollars. In simple terms, if that was a direct bond buy, no one would be talking about it.

However, with the use of futures, you have to have margin capacity behind the trade. That means with a single push of a button someone was willing to commit more than $1 billion of real capital to this trade with expectations of a 10-to-1 return ratio.

You only do this if you see an edge.

This means someone is confident that the United States is either going to default or is going to lose its AAA rating. That someone is willing to bet the proverbial farm that U.S. interest rates will be going up.
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