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Corrupt Cuomo Gloats Over Bought Budget

Posted by libhom Tuesday, March 29, 2011 5 comments

Andrew Cuomo

If his name sounds familiar, it should. Andrew Cuomo was the corrupt Attorney General who refused to go after the multitude of Wall St. crooks because he was chasing after their big money campaign contributions.

Now, New York's mini me version of Scott Walker has just gotten through a budget with draconian and completely unnecessary cuts to attack public workers, the middle class, and the poor. That piece of walking garbage even pushed through a tax cut for the rich.

Cuomo's sleazy 3/28/10 press release should give you an idea of what he's really about.

"I have said that New York is at a crossroads – one road leading to further dysfunction and decline, the other towards fiscal responsibility and government efficiency. I believe this budget puts us on the right path," Governor Cuomo said. "This budget makes tough choices, which is what you sent me to Albany to do. It closes a $10 billion dollar deficit with no new taxes or borrowing, redesigns government to force it to cut waste and inefficiency, and finally delivers real results for hard-working families across New York State. I applaud and thank Majority Leader Skelos and Speaker Silver for working together to reach this agreement."

Let's look at the facts.

1) The deficit was one entirely manufactured by corruption and easily could have been resolved without cutting the state budget at all. The amount of money handed to back to Wall St. in the stock transfer tax rebate would be more than enough to balance the budget. Nothing epitomizes the pay for play environment in Albany than the stock transfer tax rebate, a Wall St giveaway, and Andrew Cuomo is one of its most strident and uncompromising supporters.

2) Cuomo massively cut taxes for the super rich in order to reward big money campaign contributors.

3) Cuomo's cuts were far from "waste and inefficiency." Cuomo cut HIV/AIDS funding, public K-12 education, funding for public universities, medical care for the poor, foster care, and mental health care among other vital services. Obviously, Cuomo thinks that it is "a waste" anytime anything goes to anyone who isn't a wealthy donor of his. Cuomo is such a spoiled, elitist, classist jackass who will do anything his rich and corporate bankrollers tell him to do.

4) The "real results for hard-working families across New York State" Cuomo is touting are lost jobs, lost services, daughters and sons who cannot afford college, and slower economic growth in the state. The results for his rich contributors will be..........Ka-ching!

No one can seriously claim to be moving "towards fiscal responsibility" while cutting taxes for the rich and continuing a huge, corrupt Wall St. giveaway. A fiscally responsible governor would have raised taxes on the rich considerably, given that tax rates for wealthy parasites have been cut over and over again.

Remember, any time any politician supports a tax cut for the rich or insists on keeping tax breaks for Wall St, that is absolute, irrefutable proof of corruption.

The reality is that Andrew Cuomo is an incredibly evil person with absolutely no personal or public integrity whatsoever. He may pretend to be a centrist Democrat, but he's really an extreme rightist whose real agenda is scarcely different from that of Scott Walker, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, or Karl Rove.

The rest of the Democrats who went along with this inexcusable budget deserve nothing but contempt as well. I don't know how I could ever vote for a New York "Democrat" again after this. The New York "Democrats" are as sleazy and as far to the extreme right as Texas Republicans, when you look at what they do instead of what they say.


Note: This is not a prioritized list.

121) Refusing to respect any treaties with the indigenous population of this country.

122) Demanding the "right" to assassinate US citizens.

123) Continuing the Bush-era policy of opposing the return of Haiti’s ousted former president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was overthrown in a 2004 U.S./France/Canada-backed coup.

124) Supports government Internet ID to spy on Americans.

125) Sicking a grand jury on peace activists.

126) Pushes a salary freeze on federal workers.

127) Votes against ending Cuban trade embargo at UN.

128) Rebuilding a Pentagon database that was shut down three years ago after it was found to have been used to monitor US peace activists.

129) Deploying Special Forces to over 70 countries.

130) Supports mountaintop removal mining.

131) Siding with Cheney and Rove in Plamegate lawsuit.

132) Trying to slash Pell Grants.

133) Trying to cut heating assistance to poor people.

134) Supporting another rigged election in Afghanistan, keeping the widely loathed Karzai in power.

135) Refuses to support taking "In God We Trust" off of US currency.

136) Continuing to endanger the food supply by approving genetically modified crops, including alfalfa which is fed to cattle and sugar beats that are refined and put into many processed foods.

137) Censored reporters covering military tribunals at Guantanamo. (Thanks to Christopher of From the Left for reminding me about that one.)

138) Trying to put in place an "Internet Kill Switch" similar to the efforts by dictators to shut off the Internet when they face popular unrest. (Thanks again to Christopher of From the Left.)

139) Starting yet another war for oil in Libya.

140) Taking the necessary steps to ensure technical and legal obstacles to warrantless surveillance are removed.

Some of the items in this entry were from a list by St. Pete for Peace.

Got more? List them in the comments section so I can add them.


Folks from other parts of the country may not know that the Poconos in Pennsylvania are a favorite vacation getaway for people living in the NYC area. The Poconos also is the site of a major battle between an evil for profit hospital corporation and its workers. From Labor Notes 3/18/11:

Members of Service Employees Healthcare Pennsylvania, the workers walked out March 15 to show unity against management attempts to impose an “open shop” in contract negotiations. The strike follows an earlier one-day strike February 9.

Unionized nurses in the hospital (members of the Operating Engineers) have been speaking out in support of their co-workers, joining rallies and holding a picnic for the strikers. Other SEIU locals from Pittsburgh, Ohio, and California have sent donations.

The 550 PMC workers voted in a union four years ago and have been negotiating their second contract, which expired in October. Management has been trying to push the “open shop” poison pill into the contract, in which workers could get the benefits of the union without paying dues.

These hospital workers had to fight hard to even get a union representation election in the first place, one that they won by a 2-1 margin. Now, an evil corporation is trying to divide the workplace and weaken the union by pushing a blatantly unethical "open shop" provision in contract talks.

It takes a lot to organize a union in the face of employer opposition. Working conditions and patient care conditions at the hospital forced the employees to fight against the odds and unionize.

Let's say that the fascist corporation wins the battle. Let's say that the workers get totally screwed. What will be the impact on healthcare?

- Nurses and other employees will go to work understandably angry and resentful.

- Many of the best nurses and other caregivers will find work elsewhere.

- The employees making up the slow exodus will be replaced by people who are incredibly desperate for jobs in the high demand nursing field. Most of the new people will be incompetent and dangerous.

- All the employees will be working under highly distracting, stressful conditions.

Now, what happens if you get sick or injured on vacation to the Poconos? Do you really want your ambulance to take you to that hospital if management gets to flush quality healthcare down the toilet in favor of corporate greed?

I'll vacation elsewhere. Yes, it will be partly out of solidarity, but it will mostly be out of self preservation.


Note: This is not a prioritized list.

101) Continuing ethanol subsidies (corn based ethanol in the US takes more fossil fuel based energy to grow than it actually produces) instead of shifting the money to public transportation.

102) Continues to keep hundreds of thousands of Americans on no fly lists.

103) Continues operating the kangaroo courts known as "military tribunals."

104) Blocking efforts by clean government groups to get access to Bush regime emails.

105) Supports Bush's 11th hour directive to allow concealed firearms in national parks

106) Refuses to condemn Israel's nuclear arsenal or demand compensation for the attack on the US Navy vessel that gave Israel its nuclear capacity.

107) Refuses to prosecute Ratzi or other high level Roman Catholic officials for obstruction of justice in child molestation cases.

108) Opposed shifting target of TARP bailout from banksters to homeowners.

109) Exempting global warming from protections afforded polar bears by the Endangered Species Act.

110) Continuing the Bush administration's exclusion of Alaska's Tongass rainforest from roadless protections.

111) Got the House to drop family planning funding from stimulus bill which they had added to his original proposal.

112) Pushing tax cuts for corporations.

113) Refuses to do anything about homelessness, even during the Great Recession.

114) Continues bowing and scraping before the fundamentalist, terrorist regime in Saudi Arabia.

115) Refuses to condemn Israel for their apartheid policies against the indigenous population of Palestine.

116) Continues providing economic and military aid to Israel.

117) Continues arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

118) Opposing a windfall profits tax on Big Oil.

119) Pushing the myth of "clean coal."

120) Treating African Americans as if they don't even exist.

Please put other items in the comments. I've already done more of this list in posts scheduled in the future, but there is room for new items at the end.


Obama speaking with the word bigotry under himDemonstrating the same fanatical misogyny that he proudly proclaimed when he involved the neo Nazi fundamentalist Rick Warren in his campaign and inauguration, President Obama is actually blocking entry of a women's rights activist from Afghanistan on a pretext that is so flimsy it insults the intelligence of anyone with an IQ over 60. (From the Afghan Women's Mission's 3/17/11 Press Release - Hat Tip: Peace Action West)

The United States has denied a travel visa to Malalai Joya, an acclaimed women’s rights activist and former member of Afghanistan’s parliament. Ms. Joya, who was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2010, was set to begin a three-week US tour to promote an updated edition of her memoir, A Woman Among Warlords, published by Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

Joya’s publisher at Scribner, Alexis Gargagliano, said, “We had the privilege to publish Ms. Joya, and her earlier 2009 book tour met with wide acclaim. The right of authors to travel and promote their work is central to freedom of expression and the full exchange of ideas.” Joya’s memoir has been translated into over a dozen languages, and she has toured widely including Australia, the UK, Canada, Norway, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, and the Netherlands in support of the book over the past two years.

Colleagues of Ms. Joya’s report that when she presented herself as scheduled at the U.S. embassy, she was told she was being denied because she was “unemployed” and “lives underground.” Then 27, Joya was the youngest woman elected to Afghanistan’s parliament in 2005. Because of her harsh criticism of warlords and fundamentalists in Afghanistan, she has been the target of at least five assassination attempts. “The reason Joya lives underground is because she faces the constant threat of death for having had the courage to speak up for women’s rights – it’s obscene that the U.S. government would deny her entry,” said Sonali Kolhatkar of the Afghan Women’s Mission, a U.S. based organization that has hosted Joya for speaking tours in the past and is a sponsor of this year’s national tour.

This is ironic, given how both George W. Bush and Barack Bush both used women's rights violations by the Taliban as a justification for war. Yet, neither has lifted a finger to stop human rights violations against women by their puppet regime. Outside of Kabul, the situation for women is the same as it was under the Taliban.

Hiaalry Clinton with a crazy look on her faceAlso, let's not forget the role of Hillary Clinton in this outrage. She may pretend to be a feminist when it is politically convenient to do so, but she is, in fact, a militant, Christian fundamentalist who gleefully embraces the misogyny of the Christian Right. (Ms. Clinton is so extreme in her fundamentalism that she is deeply involved in the dangerous, secretive cult known as "The Family" which, among other things, runs the C Street apartments for horny Republicans.)

In her short tenure in the Senate, Ms. Clinton demonstrated her militant fundamentalism by voting for the Iraq War and making her highest legislative priority trying to get us into war with Iran. As Secretary of State, Ms. Clinton has worked tirelessly to trigger a US-Iran war and to encourage Israel to provoke an Arab-Israeli war that Clinton and other fundamentalists believe is predicted by the nonsense in "Revelations."

Obama's action also is a subtle insult against writers and other artists. Treating creative people as "unemployed" is typical of the anti intellectualism of the right. Barack Bush is acting just like George W. Bush this time.

As Ronald Reagan's eighth term drags on, I still want real change. The bigotry and war mongering keep dragging on.

Hillary Clinton Photo: World Economic Forum


banner with radiation symbol and the words nuclear power is catastrophic

Please Sign Public Citizen's Petition Against Nuclear Power Subsidies

Back in 2/17/10, Kate Sheppard wrote in the Guardian about President Obama's reprehensible sellout of our country to the dangerous and irresponsible nuclear power industry.

In his first state of the union address last month, Barack Obama declared that creating new clean energy jobs "means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country". The following week, his administration proposed tripling the amount of money available for loan guarantees for nuclear power, to $54.5bn. And today, the administration took the next logical step in their plan to kick-start the nuclear revival in the United States, announcing that they will award the first loan to two new reactors in Burke County, Georgia – marking the first expansion of nuclear power in the United States in three decades.

The Obama administration's big payouts to the nuclear industry will be essential for expanding nuclear power; the industry has made it clear that there will be no nuclear renaissance unless the US taxpayer foots the bill. The economics of the nuclear industry are so dicey that Wall Street, no strangers to high-risk investments, have for years refused to finance new plants unless the government underwrites the deal. The nuclear industry has made its reliance on the taxpayer clear. "Without loan guarantees we will not build nuclear power plants," Michael J Wallace, co-chief executive of UniStar Nuclear and vice president of Constellation Energy, told the New York Times in 2007.

If jobs were Obama's real concern, he would have chosen the safer and more patriotic option of public transportation. Obama is perfectly aware of the fact that terrorists could easily attack any nuclear power plant in this country and create a nuclear disaster at least as bad as Chernobyl. Yet, he doesn't care because the only thing that matters to him is selling out America to big money campaign contributors.

And, the earthquake in Japan demonstrates just how vulnerable nuclear power plants are. Here are some relevant facts to keep in mind about earthquakes and nuclear power plants.

1) Earthquakes of the magnitude of the Japan quake happen a few times per century.

2) There are far more nuclear plants throughout this country and the world than most people realize. There are 442 nuclear power plants operating in the world, and over 100 nuclear reactors operating in 31 US states.

3) The epicenter of the recent earthquake in Japan was 60 miles from Japan's coast, and even farther from the nuclear power plants in catastrophe mode. A somewhat lower magnitude earthquake whose epicenter was closer to a nuclear power plant would do at least as much damage or more than Japan is experiencing now.

4) Alternative energy and conservation could make phasing out nuclear power plants out easy, given a decent amount of government spending.

Why does the nuclear industry even need insurance from the government? Private insurers have placed very narrow limits on what they will cover, limits that are far below the actual damages caused by even a relatively small nuclear disaster. The private sector recognizes that nuclear is too risky, and this government subsidy of powerful corporations and their wealthy owners is the only way to keep the nuclear industry operating.

That's why I find it so bizarre and hypocritical for "free market" conservatives and libertarians to defend the nuclear industry.

Please Take Action Towards Ending the Threat of Nuclear Power to Our Country!


Klan Brewer Extends Discrimination to Atheists

Posted by libhom Thursday, March 17, 2011 3 comments

Klan Brewer looking hateful and evilInfamous white supremacist and heterosexist bigot, Klan Brewer, is misusing her office as Governor of Arizona to launch a discriminatory jihad against another minority group: atheists. (From the Freedom From Religion Foundation's 3/16/11 Press Release)

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a national state/church watchdog, and four of its Arizona members, with the legal help of attorneys Richard W. Morris and Marc. J. Victor, filed a lawsuit in federal court yesterday seeking to enjoin Arizona Gov. Janice K. Brewer from declaring an “Arizona Day of Prayer” in conjunction with the National Day of Prayer.

The lawsuit also seeks a declaratory judgment declaring that Gov. Brewer violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution when she declared May 6, 2010, the “Arizona Day of Prayer.”

The lawsuit is the third legal challenge related to the National Day of Prayer by FFRF, which won a federal court ruling in FFRF v. Obama last year. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb of Wisconsin declared the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional.

Klan Brewer's contempt for the Establishment Clause of the US Constitution's First Amendment should surprise no one. She already violated the Constitutional mandate that immigration policy is under the purview of the federal government, not state governments.

Shitting on atheists like this may help her with the GOP's militant fundamentalist base, but it sends a message to centrists and liberals that Klan Brewer's hatred and bigotry knows no bounds. She has shown absolutely no interest in constructive policies to deal with her state's enormous problems like making the rich and their corporations pay their fair share in taxes. All she does is scapegoat, scapegoat, scapegoat.

Eventually she will run out of whipping boys and girls. That will be the end of her venomous political career.


cake with WTF written on itThe not-even-slightly-fabulous Mitch McConnell has shown the world just how far from fab he really is this time. Check out this doozy of a quote on the CBS News website.

"I don't think right after a major environmental catastrophe is a very good time to be making American domestic policy," Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said on "Fox News Sunday." "My thought about it is, we ought not to make American and domestic policy based upon an event that happened in Japan."

Talk about some of the most ridiculous spin so far this decade. Let's think about some of the flaws in this.

1) The laws of Physics don't vary from country to country.

2) Engineering principles have nothing to do with national borders.

3) Japan's government is as not as amazingly corrupt as the US government, meaning, in this case, that nuclear safeguards are stronger in Japan.

4) A major catastrophe is a really good time to think about how to prevent similar catastrophes in the future. Obviously, we can't prevent earthquakes. But, we certainly can prevent nuclear power plants.

Photo: SanFranAnnie


Note: This is not a prioritized list.

81) Opposes banning land mines.

82) Is working to certify meat and dairy produced with genetically modified alfalfa as "organic."

83) Opposes truth in labeling laws on genetically modified foods.

84) Continues to spy on the emails and text messages of all Americans.

85) Expanding charter schools despite the fact that they aren't working.

86) Engaging in union busting against teachers unions.

87) Continues to deny detainees access to the courts.

88) Opposes any new gun control legislation.

89) Supported phony "elections" in Haiti where the balloting is rigged and the most popular political party is banned.

90) Working with George W. Bush and Bill Clinton to block aid to Haiti and to restrict it to corporations like KBR.

91) Keeping secret the names of White House visitors, even in cases not involving national security or diplomacy.

92) Fought in court for immunity for telecoms who helped the Bush Regime engage in illegal wiretapping.

93) Refused to vigorously enforce antitrust laws (e.g., break up Microsoft, Wal-Mart, Exxon-Mobil, Apple, Macys, etc.)

94) Opposes legalization of marijuana.

95) Continues to support the Unpatriotic Act.

96) Continues to issue illegal signing statements.

97) Supports outsourcing US jobs to India.

98) Continues to operate the torture center at Gitmo.

99) Resisting Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

100) Interrogating innocent Americans who have traveled abroad, including demanding access to emails and other electronic records.

Even this doesn't come close to getting all of it.

Please put other items in the comments. I've already done more of this list in posts scheduled in the future, but there is room for new items at the end.


Hell Michigan sign
(Somehow I doubt the fundie was threatening me with an all expenses paid trip to a small town in Michigan. Photo: Danielle Walquist Lynch)

This is quite flattering. A militant, anti American fundamentalist has taken the trouble to damn me to "Hell" in a comment that s/he attempted to put on my blog. The Christian Taliban likes nothing better than to threaten people with eternal suffering.

I should note that I omitted the contact information the fundie included with the comment. I don't want to inadvertently help a ministry. I just want to share a good laugh.

I am less concerned about your tired liberal agenda because I know how it ends, you guys make the world increasing worse until the world finally ends and then you lose......and that is the really sad part. I hate probably everything you stand for but you're running out of time. In case no one else has ever told you, the devil has prepared a place for you that you WILL see if you don't turn to God. I know you don't want to hear that, but it is my job to tell you. I don't want to see anyone end up there, no matter how much I disagree with you. You give yourself credit for being so smart, so do a little research on hell. It is real and you are headed there, please listen to me now. I know you won't post this on your blog and I don't really care, but I PROMISE that you will remember these words either as the words that put you on the path to salvation OR you will remember them while burning in a lake of fire for eternity. Just ponder eternity.....can you even grasp what that means?

Jesus Christ died on a cross to save you from that place, grasp that. Even if you're not sure, why would you want to take a chance on 12,000 degrees coursing though every inch of your body forever? God will never send you to hell, but he does allow you to choose it for yourself and you are choosing it now. Fall on your face RIGHT NOW and ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins and live in your heart.


Probably won't hear anything (positive) from you, but I hope I do. Good luck & God bless.

There are so many things about this that are amusing. Here are a few.

1) This comment was off topic and old, submitted on a posting about a food author's sellout to corporate power. The post was from 2009.

2) The 12,000 degree figure is weird. The Bible was written thousands of years ago, but the Fahrenheit scale wasn't proposed until 1724, the Centigrade scale in 1744 (which evolved into today's Celsius scale later). What would these "degrees" be based on then? Why 12,000 other than it is a really high number for temperature?

3) The temperature of the surface of the Sun is 9940 F (5505 C). 12,000 degrees must be pretty darned hot. I'm thinking "Hell" should be portrayed as blue rather than red, since the Sun is yellow and "Hell" is hotter than the Sun's surface.

4) Why is it this clown's job to tell me I'm going to "Hell"? Who pays him? Is the money good?

5) Exactly how does one do credible research on "Hell"? The source document, the Bible, doesn't even get the origins of life and the planets correct. It is notorious for being riddled with contradictions.

6) Given that most of the world's potentially catastrophic problems are the result of conservative ideology (Global Warming, nuclear meltdowns, overpopulation, genetically modified food, war, etc.) and the rest are natural phenomena, it is cute and charming that this loser thinks that liberal policies are the danger.

Anyway, the irony in all of this is that there are too many legitimately frightening things in the real world. Why is there any need for religious fear mongering involving outlandish threats of hellfire and damnation anyway?


Warning! Keep your kids away from scumbag molesting priests.

Late last month, Towleroad noted the arrest of a militant, Christian fundamentalist who was obsessed with attacking the queer community, on charges of masturbating in front of children in a public park.

The description of the alleged pedophile's and known homophobe's activities is rather striking.

The Times-Picayune adds:
"Armed with bullhorns, Bibles and picket signs, Storms and a group of followers in 2003 protested against Southern Decadence, the gay three-day festival held over Labor Day weekend in the French Quarter. Storms' efforts prompted the New Orleans City Council to ban megaphones and other amplification devices."

Here's the article from 2003 about Storms' campaigns to end Southern Decadence, which included a Christian parade and 'purity' rally decrying the depravity:
Last year, Storms videotaped public sex acts on Bourbon Street and made the tape available to state legislators, hoping to bring an end to the celebration.
"There's no economic gain that justifies an orgy in the streets," Storms said. "That's all it is -- a three-day orgy in the streets."

In 2005 Storms sued gay rights group Action Wisconsin, claiming the group defamed him by saying that he advocated the murder of gays. He lost the lawsuit, a decision that was upheld by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Storms was then ordered to repay the group $87,000 in court costs.

Setting aside the specifics of this case, it is instructive to look at the larger pattern. Child molestation is quite common among Republican Party leaders, especially those in the Christian Right.

And the venomously heterosexist Roman Catholic Church is infamous for the rampant child rape in its clergy.

Why do heterosexist groups draw so many pedophiles? Part of it starts with their own rhetoric. Heterosexist bigots love conflating homosexuality with pedophilia (and bestiality and necrophilia) in fact free efforts to justify prejudice against queers and to emotionally abuse the LGBT community.

The false association provides an opportunity for child rapists. Homophobic organizations tend to be places where their child raping members can camouflage themselves, hiding behind the same rhetoric that slanders and libels queers. The pedophiles instinctively hope that joining a group that is against LGBT people will make it seem like they are equally against child rapists and wouldn't think of doing the things that they actually do.

That certainly explains part of the draw that these hate groups have for child rapists. However, there is another aspect of this whole thing that can get lost.

Fanatically religious people and socially extreme right folks tend to be the least moral and ethical people in all of their personal dealings.

At work, its the fundies and the rightists who are most likely to lie to and about coworkers. Rabid Catholics are much more likely to try to weasel their way out of work than the general population. They are the most likely to mistreat their neighbors and romantic partners.

Being rabidly religious, or rightist, allows people to feel moral while living completely amoral lives. It's always that group over there that's bad, not them. It's the queers who are immoral, not the tax cheats. Women who have abortions are the ones to point the finger at, not people who cut people off in traffic just to save a few seconds, if that.

In this context of diversionary "morality," it is hardly mysterious that child molesters are drawn to the bastions of the bullshit. By being a hateful religious or political extremist, they can project their own heinous actions on other groups of people, whether they be Muslims (in the US, Christians in Muslim countries), queers, government workers, women who aren't doormats, atheists, or whomever else becomes the flavor of the month.

The rightist and rabidly Christian child rapists are taking what their political and religious compatriots do to its most extreme. A child molester who lies about "teh gays" not only feels camouflaged, but also is socialized in these institutions to feel like one of the good people.


map of JapanThe earthquake in Japan was awful. However, it really wasn't that unusual. There will be earthquakes of comparable magnitude on an occasional basis. Rational policy making must take this reality into account.

Let's look at the biggest potential threat from the earthquake in Japan. Yesterday, the (Union of Concerned Scientists 3/11/11) issued a press release on the dangers posed by the first of two nuclear power plants in Japan.

If battery power is depleted before AC power is restored, however, the RCIC will stop supplying water to the core and the water level in the reactor core could drop. If it drops far enough, the core would overheat and the fuel would become damaged. Ultimately, a “meltdown” could occur: the core could become so hot that it forms a molten mass that melts through the steel reactor vessel. This would release a large amount of radioactivity from the vessel into the containment building that surrounds the vessel.

The containment building’s main purpose is to keep radioactivity from being released into the environment. A meltdown would build up pressure in the containment building. At this point we do not know if the earthquake damaged the containment building enough to undermine its ability to contain the pressure and allow radioactivity to leak out.

It gets worse. The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting similar concerns with a second nuclear power plant damaged by the earthquake.

If you want to understand what a nuclear meltdown is, think Chernobyl.

I certainly hope Japan and everyone downwind are lucky enough to avoid a meltdown and its consequences, but if we keep allowing nuclear power plants to operate near earthquake faults (or areas that experience hurricanes/typhoons), the kind of meltdowns people are worried about are inevitable at some point in the future.

It also is important to remember that terrorists could cause nuclear meltdowns at any nuclear power plants with significantly less effort than was expended with the 911 attacks. (Claims to the contrary from the nuclear industry and its bought politicians and pundits are as nonsensical as claims by the tobacco companies in the early 20th Century that cigarette smoking was good for peoples' health.)

Every nuclear power plant is a potential weapon of mass destruction.

How many more terrible nuclear disasters will it take before we get a clue and switch from nuclear power to green energy like wind, solar, tidal, and geothermal power? When will we start getting serious about conservation by dramatically reducing international trade and by expanding public transportation?

Oppose Really Terrible Budget Cuts

Posted by libhom Friday, March 11, 2011 1 comments

"Tell President Obama and Senate Democrats: Stand up to Republican budget cuts"
From The Color of Change's Action Alert:

If the Republicans triumph in the current budget battle underway in Washington, Black communities could lose big. What’s at stake? Access to basic health care, housing assistance and job training programs that we need, especially during these tough economic times.

If Democrats cave to the GOP’s war on poor and working folks, the most vulnerable among us will be left to figure out how to make do with less while the wealthiest Americans aren’t asked to compromise on much at all.

Please tell President Obama and Senate Democrats to stand up to the Republican budget.

Take Action!

Terribly important government programs for the middle class and the poor are being slashed for highly profitable wars and tax cuts for the rich and the corporations they own. We need to make it clear that politicians in all political parties need to represent the needs and interests of the vast majority, not the wealthy few.


Bush Regime Policies Obama Continues to Support 61-80

Posted by libhom Wednesday, March 09, 2011 0 comments

Note: This is not a prioritized list.

61) Demonizes liberals and progressives.

62) Lionizes the extreme right.

63) Through his Cat Food Commission, supported starting the privatization of Social Security.

64) Pushed through huge Medicaid cuts.

65) Flat funding US domestic AIDS budgets.

66) Improved relations with brutal military government in Burma in order to benefit Unocal.

67) Dramatically increased government subsidies for nuclear power plants, which are the most dangerous and vulnerable targets for terrorists while producing waste that cannot be disposed of safely.

68) Opposed a House resolution which would have recognized the Armenian Genocide.

69) Continuing the policy of creating AFRICOM instead of shutting the latest over extension of the US empire down.

70) Expanding military action in Afghanistan.

71) Expanding covert military operations in Iran.

72) Refusing to even propose an anti poverty initiative of any kind.

73) Refusing to acknowledge the problem of military suicides or help our veterans because it would show the damaging consequences of the wars.

74) Failing to support the Gulf Coast Civil Works Project, a long overdue program to create jobs and to help the recovery from Hurricane Katrina which still is far from done.

75) Supported tearing down safe and usable public housing in New Orleans and replacing it with far fewer units in a city where homelessness already had gotten worse.

76) Hired a Monsanto lobbyist as an administration adviser on food safety.

77) Condoned the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. for being at home while black.

78) Refused to lift a finger to pass the Employee Free Choice Act.

79) Met with a leader of the Mormon hate church in the White House.

80) Following the Bush regime policy of covering up the photos of torture at US detention facilities.

Continued next week.

Please put other items in the comments. I've already done more of this list in posts scheduled in the future, but there is room for new items at the end.


April 9, 10 Anti War Protests in NYC and SF

Posted by libhom Monday, March 07, 2011 0 comments

logo with 3 peace signsDetails have emerged on the upcoming protest against the seemingly endless wars. The protests, organized by the United National Antiwar Committee UNAC. You can download the protest flyers.


Here are the demands from the flyers:

WE DEMAND Bring U.S. Troops, Mercenaries and War Contractors Home Now: Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan! End the sanctions and stop the threats of war against the people of Iran, North Korea and Yemen. No to war and plunder of the people of Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa! End U.S. Aid to Israel! End U.S. Support to the Israeli Occupation of Palestine and the Siege of Gaza! End support of dictators in North Africa!

WE DEMAND an end to FBI raids on antiwar, social justice, and international solidarity activists, an end to the racist persecution and prosecutions that ravage Muslim communities, an end to police terror
in Black and Latino communities, full rights and legality for immigrants and an end to all efforts to repress and punish Wikileaks and its contributors and founders.

WE DEMAND the immediate end to torture, rendition, secret trials, drone bombings and death squads.

WE DEMAND trillions for jobs, education, social services, an end to all foreclosures, quality single-payer healthcare for all, a
massive conversion to sustainable and planet-saving energy systems and public transportation and reparations to the victims of U.S. terror at home and abroad.

I especially am fond of the mention of public transportation, since it prevents Global Warming. Also, our dependency on automobiles puts us in Big Oil's pockets, which results in a lot of wars and military bases.

Here are the whens and wheres.
Saturday, April 9th Noon
March & Rally
Union Square
14 St & Broadway



I hope a lot of people in those areas can turn out. These wars are horrific by themselves, but then you have to add the budgetary pressure they create, which is used as an excuse to cut desperately needed government programs and desperately needed government jobs.


The Right Sure Is Beating the Crap Out of the Word Reform

Posted by libhom Thursday, March 03, 2011 4 comments

sign saying, we the people, not we the corporations"Welfare Reform"
"Free Market Reforms"
"Pension Reform"
"Tenure Reform"
"Tax Reform"

What do all of these have in common? All of them are rightist, deceptive, and harmful to society. Most importantly, all are efforts to roll back reforms in the name of "reform."

Let's look at "welfare reform." Welfare was a reform that was put into place to take some of the suffering out of an economic system where there never was enough employment for everyone. Yet, while Bill Clinton reappointed a Federal Reserve Board Chair who used monetary policy to keep unemployment even higher than it otherwise would be under capitalism, he also pushed through a set of cutbacks in welfare payments that served as a punishment for women, children, and for people of color which made them pay the price for this needlessly high unemployment.

Non Western countries had put in place numerous reforms to keep their economies from being completely dominated by their own wealthy elites and by foreign corporations. Rightist US governments, using economic leverage through the World Bank, IMF, and private banks, pushed through policies that significantly reversed the reforms that those governments had put into place, all in the name of "free market reforms."

"Pension reform," often called "Social Security Reform" here in the US, follows a similar pattern. Social Security and pensions are reforms that have done a lot to relieve poverty and misery among the elderly. Wealthy elites have decided they are done tolerating this, since they want all the money and wealth for themselves. So, they looted most private corporate pensions in the late 20th Century. Now, they are trying to loot Social Security and public employee pensions, all in this Orwellian use of the word "reform."

sign saying cut bonus not teachersThen, there's tenure reform. Sleazy politicians like Michael Bloomberg and Scott Walker are trying to engage in the same age discrimination that private sector employers use. They private sector has been laying off older workers disproportionately and hiring younger workers disproportionately because older workers' experience has put them in a position where their work is worth more in terms of productivity, giving them higher salary scales. Also, older workers cost more in terms of health insurance. So, what do these sleazebags do? They create phony "budget crises" in order to justify massive age discrimination in the name of "tenure reform." Public school teachers have tenure to keep corrupt practices from determining who gets those jobs. While the original corruption tenure was meant to fight was patronage, tenure is an equally valid reform to prevent massive age discrimination.

Then, there is the right's biggest Orwellian phrase of them all, "tax reform." The graduated tax is the most important economic and political reform in US history. It is based on the fairest view of taxation. Those who are wealthier benefit more from society, so they owe society higher tax rates as compensation. Graduated tax rates also reduce social stratification, and make the upward mobility inherent in the American Dream a possibility outside of the world of fiction. Yet, the phony "tax reform" movement is attacking this reform by trying to cut taxes for the rich and raise them for the middle class and the poor through the flat tax.

sign saying, tax the rich!Real tax reform would involve getting rid of tax loopholes used by the rich and corporations. It would involve raising the tax rates for the rich and corporations. It also would involve luxury and windfall profits taxes. Yet, the corporate shills and the corporate media never talk about real tax reform. They just want to distort "tax reform" as a spin term to divert more and more of this nation's income and wealth to the rich.

"Reform" sounds great. Real reform is great. However, the way the rightists abuse the word to attack important reforms is truly reprehensible. The middle class and the poor need to take back the word reform and make sure that it is no longer acceptable to attack real reform in the name of "reform."


Bush Regime Policies Obama Continues to Support 41-60

Posted by libhom Wednesday, March 02, 2011 1 comments

Note: This is not a prioritized list.

41) Opposes a federal SUV tax.

42) Has taken no action to reduce the number of tax loopholes for wealthy and corporations.

43) Opposes treating capital gains (except from home sales) as regular income, taking income earned by working at higher rates.

44) Supports reducing the inheritance tax instead of raising it.

45) Uses high profile banksters as his top economic advisers.

46) Gradually eroding Net Neutrality.

47) Illegally criminalizing whistleblowers instead of going after the crooks they expose.

48) Sabotages global climate change summits and bullies poor nations in attendance.

49) Continues to make big promises on global AIDS but doesn't even include the funding in his proposed budgets.

50) Refuses to even propose a national safer sex campaign.

51) Supports fundamentalist "abstinence only" campaigns in the public schools.

52) Put carcinogenic body scanners in airports in order to help a lobbyist from the Bush Regime.

53) Continues to wildly exaggerate risks of terrorism to promote wars abroad.

54) Opposes an independent investigation of 911.

55) Continuing to practice torture at Guantanamo and throughout the world.

56) Siding with British Petroleum against the environment and the people in the Gulf Coast.

57) Discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in Cabinet level appointments.

58) Engaging in saber rattling with Iran and Venezuela.

59) Reappointed corrupt and incompetent Federal Reserve Board Chair Ben Bernanke.

60) Lied about the "cleanup" after the British Petroleum oil spill.

More next week.

Please put other items in the comments. I've already done more of this list in posts scheduled in the future, but there is room for new items at the end.



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