2.26.2005

Which side are you on?

Bush's bait and switch
Salon.com (Premium) (02.25)
Ok, so you have to watch a commercial but this article is well worth it: It's a look at Social Security Privitization (fuck you Frank Lunz. Asshole). Some real gems here...

First from über conservative Richard Viguerie (whom the article calls "the direct-mail maven who is considered one of the engineers of the religious right's political dominance") who says:

"I'm not surprised. I'm disappointed," Viguerie says of Bush's focus on Social Security reform rather than social issues. "I'm not surprised because that's the way Republican presidents always do it -- they use and abuse conservatives. We're the shock troops. We do the heavy lifting, making the phone calls, walking the precincts." But when they win elections, "the Republican politicians in the Congress and in the White House have, as long as I can remember, taken the religious conservatives for granted. They treat us in a symbolic way, give us symbolism."
So you got suckered eh? SUCKER!! HA HA! Who didn't see that one coming 'cuz it turns out that Bush doesn't hate the Homos!

Our favorite part of the article? Where they sum it all up:
He may well succeed, Frank predicts. "If Bush rams it through, and I suspect he will, it could be very costly for Republicans," he adds. "It has the potential to be a huge disaster for them politically."

The disaster could come when social conservatives, people who've been duped into voting for the GOP on the assumption that it was the party of morals (rather than of money), might finally see the truth. If, as some economists predict, Social Security privatization goes badly for working people, with traditional benefits cut and stock market gains diminutive, wouldn't family-values voters realize that the Republican Party has diminished the value of their checking accounts? Couldn't Republicans possibly lose some elections over it?

Possibly. That's why most Republicans in Congress aren't jumping for joy over the Bush plan. But when it comes to Social Security reform, Frank argues, the White House and other Republican leaders may be willing to pay any price. Social Security is, after all, the linchpin of the American welfare state, the most popular and well-regarded entitlement program. By privatizing it, Republicans will achieve a long-standing ideological goal. They'll be fundamentally altering the government's responsibility to its citizens, profoundly realigning the nation in favor of the stock-market-invested rich and against the interests of the poor. As Frank says, they'll be repealing the New Deal -- and such a grand mission, they may feel, might be worth losing a few elections over.

"The leadership and the big thinkers don't care that this is going to be an extremely disastrous issue 10 years from now," Frank says. "They think they can get out of bearing the consequences of anything with some slick talk. After all, nobody blames Reagan for budget deficits anymore. And here, you're talking about such an enormous change, it will be impossible for Democrats to put it back the way it was. It's such a huge change that it will be permanent; they can't put it back once it's done."
Remember: they're using you. They don't care about the Homos or abortion: they care about the almighty dollar. If you voted for Bush Co. because of "morals" or "values" then you clearly weren't paying attention.

And you may get what you deserve for not "loving your neighbor as you love yourself" when they destroy Social Security.

We Love the General

Wow, Jesus' General knocks one out of the park.

2.25.2005

Why do 'top firms' hate America?

Tax schemes saved 61 top firms $3.4B
USAToday via Yahoo News (02.27)
Wonder why they're cutting government programs? Wonder why your community doesn't have enough cops (like Los Angeles)? Why your roads & bridges are in such disrepair? Why hospitals are closing?

Fortune 500 companies took advantage of abusive tax shelters sold to them by their auditors to avoid $1.8 billion in federal taxes from 1998 through 2003, the Government Accountability Office reported Thursday.

During that time, the GAO said, 61 Fortune 500 companies avoided a total of $3.4 billion in taxes through auditor-inspired tax schemes, sometimes while providing tax advice to their top executives.
Schemes. They actually call them schemes.

Scheme. Noun. A plan or program of action; especially : a crafty or secret one

Better yet, they called them Abusive. Now, do we really need to define that one for you?

Lots of stuff about Sprint and Ernst & Young here... but note this part:
Last week, the IRS asked participants in a series of discredited tax shelters it has identified publicly to settle with the agency or face sanctions. To date, the IRS said, it has identified $700 million in unreported income by 42 companies and many of their executives.
Somehow I don't think we would be so lucky to be asked by the IRS to be nice enough to 'settle.'

So they saved all that money, but did they use it to create new jobs? Apparently NOT.

2.23.2005

Why does Gov. Owens Hate American Workers?

Offshoring bill goes to Senate
RockyMountainNews.com (02.23)
Now we don't claim to have all the solutions, but we do agree that keeping jobs here in America is better for our communities (since we're all not ├╝ber-wealthy and just can't move to bermuda). The story in Colorado...

A hotly contested bill to stop Colorado from using offshore workers to perform state services won bipartisan approval from a Senate panel yesterday, triggering sharp criticism from Gov. Bill Owens.

Over the strong objections of business groups, the Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee approved the anti-outsourcing measure 5-2. Senate Bill 23 now goes to the full Senate.
'Strong opposition of business groups...' hmmm, but not workers? Well then they must be doing something right here...
Organized labor is a strong booster, arguing SB 23 would ensure taxpayer dollars are used to fund U.S. jobs rather than sent offshore to pay foreign labor.

But speaking with reporters, Owens made clear he opposes SB 23. That raises the specter the Republican governor could veto the bill if it clears both chambers of the legislature, now controlled by Democrats.

"I think it would cost Colorado taxpayers more, and I think it would jeopardize our ability to compete internationally," Owens said of the bill.

"If this causes us to have to increase costs to Colorado taxpayers because we aren't able to promote Colorado and buy things on the international market, it would be a real concern to me."
Fair enough, but wait, here's our favorite part:
Business groups - ranging from the banking industry to high-tech - lined up in the hearing room to denounce SB 23, saying it would jack up taxpayer costs and discourage foreign companies from doing business in Colorado.
Ok, so we're protecting imaginary future jobs by allowing real present jobs to leave? Got it.

Welcome to Bizzaro world. Please watch your step...
Proponents were equally adamant, denouncing the practice of U.S. jobs being sent overseas, or "offshored."

A slew of unemployed workers came forward to support the bill, saying taxpayer money should be spent on jobs here.

John Coffey, a Longmont resident who said he lost his job last year at IBM after Big Blue sent the work to Canada, said he has been unable to find a new job.

"Offshoring infringes the general well being of the state," Coffey told lawmakers.

Said Sen. Deanna Hanna, the Lakewood Democrat who sponsored the bill: "The state loses money when people are unemployed."
Wait: the state loses money when folks are unemployed? And why do these 'workers' want to keep jobs in Colorado?? Who will fill those imaginary future jobs if no one is unemployed? Don't they know they have to lose jobs to gain jobs?

>Wheee!!< business logic is fun!

These employed people are standing in the way of investment in the great state of Colorado! UnAmerican we say!

2.22.2005

Hunter

Still stunned by the Death of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. What can you say? Just this...

"Well, shit on that dumbness. George W. Bush does not speak for me or my son or my mother or my friends or the people I respect in this world. We didn't vote for these cheap, greedy little killers who speak for America today -- and we will not vote for them again in 2002. Or 2004. Or ever. "

(thanks to Salon for pulling that. Brandoland has as good a tribute as any)