discuss, debate, decide

The World Is Buzzing

Hate to give tou a harsh fuzz buzz BUT:

Bees Who Work For the Police
www.npr.org

An artist dreams of turning social insects into police intelligent units — to help track illegal plants growing around town. Robert Krulwich is on the case.

And for many Americans thinking about eating their frozen catfoodcicles... They will not be happy about this:

Dear Poor People, Thank You for Going Without Heat So We Can Buy Another Week of War
fdlaction.firedoglake.com

It is important to put budget issues in perspective, so I have a simple request that President Obama, the top members of his administration, and his allies in Congress send a hand written version of this letter to constituents: Dear low-income American, I know times are tough.

But the buzz in Washington is that even the well known evul communist leftiest of the Senate leader, Harry Reid, has  got a problem with Obama outflanking the GOP on their right wing:

According to his spokesman, Reid requested the meeting with Obama — after Obama openly courted House and Senate Republicans at the White House last week.

They apparently discussed the House’s proposed cuts, “and what they mean to real people in their everyday lives,” according to Reid’s office — notable because many of the cuts overlap with Obama’s own budget recommendations, though the GOP’s dig deeper.

“Sen. Reid also reiterated his position on protecting Social Security,” the statement concludes.

Meanwhile, Matt Taiibi wants to give Wall St. a well deserverd pre-lockup buzzcut:

Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail?
www.rollingstone.com

over drinks at a bar on a dreary, snowy night in Washington this past month, a former Senate investigator laughed as he polished off his beer.

"Everything's fucked up, and nobody goes to jail," he said. "That's your whole story right there. Hell, you don't even have to write the rest of it. Just write that."

I put down my notebook. "Just that?"

"That's right," he said, signaling to the waitress for the check. "Everything's fucked up, and nobody goes to jail. You can end the piece right there."

Nobody goes to jail. This is the mantra of the financial-crisis era, one that saw virtually every major bank and financial company on Wall Street embroiled in obscene criminal scandals that impoverished millions and collectively destroyed hundreds of billions, in fact, trillions of dollars of the world's wealth — and nobody went to jail. Nobody, that is, except Bernie Madoff, a flamboyant and pathological celebrity con artist, whose victims happened to be other rich and famous people.

The rest of them, all of them, got off. Not a single executive who ran the companies that cooked up and cashed in on the phony financial boom — an industrywide scam that involved the mass sale of mismarked, fraudulent mortgage-backed securities — has ever been convicted.

You can go over and read the substantial piece, first get a six page coffee ready for the worthy read, but I can answer the titled question for you, "Why isn't Wall Street in Jail?", right now:

Because Wall Street owns the government. Lock, stock and over the barrel with all 3 branches of corporatism.

And, holy moly, Wisonsin is buzzing like the streets of Egypt with the news that the governor is ready to declare war, Natinal Guard and all, on the middle class with a manufactured budget crisis:

Another day of protests is on in Wisconsin and more than a dozen school districts have canceled classes after a legislative committee made only minor changes to Scott Walker's reprehensible budget plan. In fact, the amendment alters the bill so little that:

At last night’s Joint Finance Committee meeting, Democrat Representative Schilling declared the amendment “Lipstick on a pig.” She quickly corrected herself, saying, “I wouldn’t even call this lipstick on a pig. It’s chapstick on a pig.”

Here's a view of the crowd in action yesterday, via Blue Cheddar:

This really is a protest like we've rarely seen in this country in recent decades, a sustained uprising of working people flatly saying no to yet another attempt to make them -- make us -- the villains of a lousy economy. What's it like on the ground?

Yeah... This is a manufactured faux budget crisis. That fact is not debatable:

Surprise, surprise the WI Budget Crisis -- is really more a Faux Crisis ... the cost of paying back political favors by Gov Walker to special interests it seems:

Walker gins up ‘crisis’ to reward cronies
Cap Times editorial madison.com -- Feb 16, 2011

In its Jan. 31 memo to legislators on the condition of the state’s budget, the Fiscal Bureau determined that the state will end the year with a balance of $121.4 million.

To the extent that there is an imbalance -- Walker claims there is a $137 million deficit -- it is not because of a drop in revenues or increases in the cost of state employee contracts, benefits or pensions. It is because Walker and his allies pushed through $140 million in new spending for special-interest groups in January. If the Legislature were simply to rescind Walker’s new spending schemes -- or delay their implementation until they are offset by fresh revenues -- the “crisis” would not exist.

[...]
To achieve that end, [Walker] has proposed a $137 million budget “repair” bill that he intends to use as a vehicle to:

1. Undermine the long-established collective bargaining rights of public employee unions, [...]

2. Pay for schemes that redirect state tax dollars to wealthy individuals and corporate interests that have been sources of campaign funding for Walker’s fellow Republicans and special-interest campaigns on their behalf.
[...]

The Fiscal Bureau memo -- which readers can access at legis.wisconsin.gov/lfb/Misc/2011_01_31Vos&Darling.pdf -- makes it clear that Walker did not inherit a budget that required a repair bill.

The facts are not debatable.

Only the intentions Gov. Johnson are -- debatable, that is.


Isn't great to see what American Workers CAN DO -- when we take the time to Organize ...

And the buzz on main street, today?

Solidarity!

And the Green Bay Packers are winners because they don't punt on this issue:

In response to Walker’s intent to misappropriate the deployment of the National Guard in an effort to intimidate state workers, the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers released a statement today, expressing that collective bargaining is “fundamental” to the middle class:

    As a publicly owned team we wouldn’t have been able to win the Super Bowl without the support of our fans. … They are the teachers, nurses and child care workers who take care of us and our families. But now in an unprecedented political attack Governor Walker is trying to take away their right to have a voice and bargain at work.

    The right to negotiate wages and benefits is a fundamental underpinning of our middle class. When workers join together it serves as a check on corporate power and helps ALL workers by raising community standards. Wisconsin’s long standing tradition of allowing public sector workers to have a voice on the job has worked for the state since the 1930s. It has created greater consistency in the relationship between labor and management and a shared approach to public work.

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