Thursday, November 24, 2016

Saturday, November 19, 2016

A Sorry State of Affairs

Mike Pence went to see Hamilton. After the show the cast delivered a respectful message to the Vice President.
“Vice President-elect Pence, we welcome you, and we truly thank you for joining us here at ‘Hamilton: An American Musical.’ We really do,” Dixon said to further applause. “We, sir, we are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and work on behalf of all of us. All of us. Again, we truly thank you truly for (sharing) this show, this wonderful American story told by a diverse group of men and women of different colors, creeds and orientations.”
Donald Trump then demanded an apology for this. Trump tweeted, "Our wonderful future V.P. Mike Pence was harassed last night at the theater by the cast of Hamilton, cameras blazing.This should not happen! The Theater must always be a safe and special place.The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!"

In the land of Trump positive and peaceful expression is frowned upon.

I guess the cast should have just grabbed Pence by his pussy.

Drain The Swamp

Can the people of Florida take one day off from being crazy?

‘I voted for Trump! You lost!’: White Starbucks customer accuses barista of ‘discrimination’
Jorge de Cárdenas said in an interview with the Miami New Times that he was telecommuting Wednesday from a Starbucks near the University of Miami when a customer became impatient while waiting for his drink and began screaming that he had been denied service because of “anti-white discrimination.” 
Another customer told Sanguesa he was an “a–hole” and Sanguesa said, “F— you, b—-,” Cárdenas told the New Times...
The Miami Herald reported that Sanguesa has a criminal history: In 2008, he was charged twice — one week apart — with DUIs. In 2014, he was charged with domestic violence, though that charge was later dropped, the Herald reported. 
And for years, the Miami Herald said, Sanguesa has been emailing the newspaper “with rants against Cubans, women, immigrants, gays and lesbians, President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.”
Time to drain the swamp, Florida, of all these misogynistic, racist assholes.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Republican Duplicity Knows No Bounds

Peaceful protesting is a first amendment right.

Don't conservatives remember all the protesting their side was participating in during the Obama presidency? The amnesia of the Republican party is staggering.

Democrats protesting this election, according to Trump and Republicans, are thugs. But when Republicans protest, well, that's something different and righteous.

Such hypocrisy is astounding.

Conservatives mount anti-tax 'tea party' protests across the US
Conservatives gathered in cities across the US today in "tea party" protests to rail against their income tax obligations, in what organisers are billing as the emergence of a mass, conservative grassroots movement to counter President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress.
Conservatives forget history in discrediting Trump protesters
Obama’s election in 2008 was preceded and followed by violent attacks and property destruction targeted against minorities.
The right’s hypocrisy on Trump protesters: It was only OK when the Tea Party was crashing Obamacare meetings
During the August 2009 congressional recess, representatives returned to their home states to host town hall meetings detailing the Affordable Care Act. Prompted by an extensive mobilizing effort by conservative lobbying and media groups, right-wing protesters derailed several of these events. In some cases, violence erupted and people wound up in the hospital. 
The series of protests is widely considered to mark the dawn of the Tea Party movement. What ensued was a domino effect whereby Democrats lost their majority in the House, and a filibustering obstructionist and a pandering racist can viably compete for the GOP nom this coming July.
Protests present GOP with tricky task
The "Taxpayer March on Washington" proved that conservatives can turn out in impressive numbers to protest the direction of the Democratic-led federal government, but it also presented Republicans with a tricky task in figuring out how to marshal the energy on display on the Mall Saturday.
A Dozen People With Guns Protest Obama Speech
About a dozen people carrying guns, including one with a military-style rifle, milled among protesters outside the convention center where President Barack Obama was giving a speech Monday — the latest incidents in which protesters have openly displayed firearms near the president. 
Michigan KKK Member Protests Obama Election
On the day after Obama’s election, Michigan Ku Klux Klan member Randy Gray took to the streets to protest Obama’s election and what Gray sees as the “oppression” of white people.
10 Horrifying Racist Attacks on Obama
Surely the past months of 2009 will go down in history as the "summer of hate" -- with fearsome crowds of thuggish, and almost entirely white, conservatives railing against Barack Obama's stimulus package and proposals for health care reform and "cap-and-trade" climate legislation.
Since the election of Trump-nado, I've seen plenty of tweets and conservative articles belittling these protesters. This time it's different.

Conservatives felt justified in their protest of health care, tax policy and other Obama administration policy initiatives. So much so that they even felt it was warranted to bring guns to town hall meetings.

But now that Democrats are protesting a racist, sexist, bullying, know-nothing, buffoon, they're thugs and they need to be quelled. Republican duplicity knows no bounds.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s Popular Vote Victory Keeps Growing

Hillary Clinton’s Popular Vote Victory Keeps Growing
She is up by 1.8 million votes, with millions still being counted in California.
Hillary Clinton not only won the popular vote in Tuesday’s election. It is now clear that she won it by a margin larger than two candidates who went on to win the presidency. 
David Leonhardt, a columnist for The New York Times, noted on Friday that with a 1.7-percentage-point popular vote lead over Donald Trump,Clinton will have a larger margin of victory than Richard Nixon had over Hubert Humphrey in 1968 or John F. Kennedy had over Nixon in 1960. (Her edge is also larger than Al Gore’s popular vote victory over George W. Bush in 2000, though he too was stymied by an electoral college loss.) 
In raw numbers, that amounts to an edge of roughly 1.8 million votes as of Saturday.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Weekend Reading

For Democrats, Cleaning House Means Pelosi and Schumer Too
Surviving The Age of Trump
Did Trump Steal Wisconsin?
Why Oklahoma Can't Turn Off Its Earthquakes
Fracking Isn't Causing Oklahoma's Earthquakes - This Is
Do Markets Really Hate Uncertainty? Not At All
Why Are These Clowns Winning? Secrets of The Right-Wing Brain
Treat Start-Up Companies Like The Bucks
Walker's Lead Poisoned Politics
David Clarke The Demagogue
John Doe, Open Records Proves Harsdorf, Olsen Crooked, Unfit for Office
Wisconsin Corporations Won't Step Up To Improve State's Economy
Almost Two-Thirds of People In The Labor Force Do Not Have A College Degree
10 Facts About American Workers
How America Grew -- and Grew Unequal
Who Really Runs Your City?
Why I Left The Republican Party To Become A Democrat
Democratic Presidents are Better at Making Us Rich. Eight Reasons Why
Art of the Steal: This Is How Trump Lost $916M and Avoided Tax
Paying For Job Reductions: The Unreported Story of a Ballooning Tax Credit
The Deficit is Too Small, Not Too Big

The Election Was Rigged!!!

Donald Trump was right, the election was rigged. I hope he doesn't accept the results of such a phony, rigged election.

A Message To Eligible Voters That Didn't Vote

Thanks for nothing you fucking, lazy shit-bags.

Way to sit on your ass and do nothing. That's how great things always get done. Right?

You're not bringing the system down by not participating in it. You're playing right into the Republicans hands with your ignorant indifference. They want you to stay home. That's what allows them to maintain power.

Fuck being charged with treason for burning the flag, you should be charged with treason for not voting. For ignoring your democratic duty and thus helping to negatively transform the system, by allowing Republicans to pillage and plunder our public institutions.

This Is Change?

Trump voters declared the Donald was the best candidate to "bring about needed change."

Have you seen the names being thrown about for Trump's cabinet?

It's a who's-not of has-beens and wingnuts. Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, Chris Christie, David Clarke, Kris Kobach, Jamie Dimon, and Sarah Palin.

Now, this indeed may be change, but change for the worse, no doubt. But really, the change they want is to go back to political hacks that bankrupted the country (or their state), exacerbated the recession or have shown complete incompetence? These people are the poster children for cronyism and bad policy.

Oh, and one of their top priorities, repealing the Affordable Care Act, could cost the U.S. $41 billion.

For Further Reading:
Lobbyists abound on Trump transition

Friday, November 11, 2016

Trump Victory Kills Leonard Cohen

So sad. We've lost one of the great poets of our time.

Leonard Cohen Dead at 82
The World Mourns Leonard Cohen — A Loss It Didn’t Need Right Now
Singer-Songwriter Leonard Cohen Dies at 82

Cohen's last album - You Want It Darker - seems to have predicted this election. Dark days ahead indeed.

R.I.P. Field Commander Cohen
Give me back my broken night
my mirrored room, my secret life
it's lonely here,
there's no one left to torture
Give me absolute control
over every living soul
And lie beside me, baby,
that's an order!
Give me crack and anal sex
Take the only tree that's left
and stuff it up the hole
in your culture
Give me back the Berlin wall
give me Stalin and St Paul
I've seen the future, brother:
it is murder. *


Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People? The Electoral College

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Sheriff Wingnut At It Again

When David Clarke's team is put upon, it's time for pitchforks and torches. But when Democrats protest Donald Trump, they must be quelled.

Just more of the authoritarian demagoguery sweeping across our nation. 

Sheriff Who Said It Was Time For ‘Pitchforks And Torches’ Denounces Anti-Trump Protests - “These temper tantrums from these radical anarchists must be quelled.”
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who urged Americans to pick up “pitchforks and torches” last month in response to what he called a “rigged” system, on Wednesday denounced thousands of Americans for demonstrating against the president-elect’s stunning victory over Hillary Clinton
“These temper tantrums from these radical anarchists must be quelled. There is no legitimate reason to protest the will of the people,” Clarke said on Twitter, even though the former secretary of state won the popular vote.
The Republicans, since the 1990s, have seen the demographic writing on the wall. Most citizens don't support their policies. (Hillary Clinton received more votes than Donald Trump.) As Republican's numbers stagnate, they've become more and more cunning in elections. Gerrymandering, stacking the courts, Citizens United, closing polling stations, voter IDs, to name just a few of the ways they've clung to power.

The craziness coming from the Republicans could have be quashed long ago, if not for Republicans appointing favorable judges, redrawing districts to keep seats, and making an already embarrassing voter turnout even worse by making it harder for citizens to vote.

Smell that big whiff of fascism blowing our way. Coming to town alongside a dip-shit Cowboy-wannabe on a horse.

Deplorables 1, Sanity 0

A few things we can glean from the Wisconsin exit polling:
Third party candidates either held Trump back from a blowout or cost Clinton the election, more likely the latter. Again, third party candidates are a wrench in the system. Unless we move to something like an instant run-off voting system, third party candidates are destructive. Other than a sense of smug self-righteousness, what do Johnson and Stein voters have to show? 
Persons 45 and older seemed to have tipped the election to Trump. Amazing that folks receiving, or close to receiving, Medicare and Social Security would vote for the party that wants to end those programs. I really have no clue what these people think Donald Trump or the Republican party will do for them. 
Those with only some college or a high school diploma or less tilted toward Trump. Ignorance is bliss.
The US Elections Project estimates that 128.8 million Americans cast a ballot in 2016, out of 231 million eligible voters — a turnout rate of 55.6 percent. Thus, around 45% of eligible voters did not vote. In 2012, there were 153 million registered voters out of 235 million eligible voters. Nearly 133 million people voted in that presidential election.
Wisconsin, by a thin margin, went for Trump. Odd. Has the state learned nothing from the disaster that has been Scott Walker? 
Persons identifying as religious leaned toward Trump. How is this even possible? Trump is one of the most obscene and deplorable candidates to ever run. He's mean-spirited, twice-divorced, sexist and racist. Not really in keeping with the teachings of Jesus. So, how about this, all you conservative gas-bags talking about values and family and church, shut the fuck up! You are full of shit. You have no spine and Jesus is ashamed of you. Grab 'em by the pussy!



The majority of non-college educated white women (64%) voted for Trump. Unbelievable. Do they really think Trump gives a shit about them? I can only play armchair psychiatrist and assume these women must really hate themselves to vote for such a vile and sexist man.

The fact that any women or any person who calls him or herself religious would vote for Trump is sad and disturbing. As a John Mulaney joke states, "You have the moral backbone of a chocolate éclair."



Lets flash back to the George W Bush presidency. Mired in war, economy in ruins, retirements wrecked, there really wasn't any good news from the two terms. Since President Obama, millions now have health care, unemployment is down from over 10% to under 5%, the stock market is at all-time highs, and the country has seen years of steady job growth, to name a few positives.

Trump voters were supposedly voting for change. Do they want to go back to the recession economy of George W Bush? I guess I'm still feeling a bit squishy about what the Trump voters actually want. I mean, platitudes are great, we want our country back, make America great again, build a wall, kill health care...but how and what exactly is Trump going to do? Exit polling showed Trump voters believe he can "bring needed change." (Although, again, the things they seem to want to change would make all of us worse off, not better.) Their most important issues were terrorism and immigration. Funny, Obama was actually Commander in Chief when Osama bin Laden was killed. Net migration from Mexico has been negative every year since 2008. So, really, what are you talking about? I have a hunch (as always) it's about taxes, deregulation, racism and sexism.

They really can't logically claim Trump would be better for the economy. Just leading up to the election, with the chance of a Trump victory, the market began a downturn. As the headline the day after the election stated, Trump Win Leaves Dollar, Stocks, Mexican Peso Reeling. Investors fear a Trump victory could cause global economic and trade turmoil and years of policy unpredictability.

Hillary Clinton actually won the popular vote. More of the people that actually voted wanted Hillary Clinton to win (and 45% were either discouraged, disenfranchised or didn't vote). Yet the antiquated Electoral College gave the victory to Donald Trump. The Electoral College is gerrymandering at the Federal level. If we must keep the Electoral College, why not just give the electoral votes that match the percentage of votes won? Using Wisconsin as an example - Trump got 48% to Clinton's 47%, thus, of Wisconsin's 10 electoral votes, Trump would get 4.8 and Clinton 4.7. Or we could just go by the popular vote, seen as that best represents direct democracy.

One of the lessons we can take from this election is that Republicans, or at least those voting that way, really have no principles. Voting has become a contest for them. The ends justify the means. They really don't care about the details. They just want their guy to be in power...and then they make excuses and outright lies when the reality of that candidate doesn't match the rhetoric.

Another lesson Democrats need to learn, which I thought they would have by now, is that they need to, just as the Republicans do, passionately and relentlessly pursue and push the policies they want, win, lose or draw. Can we make elections public? Get rid of Citizens United? Get rid of the Electoral College? Get rid of gerrymandering? After Gore v Bush one would have thought this would have been a more pressing issue for Democrats.

Also, how about making voting a national holiday? Turnout for elections in the U.S. is embarrassing. Not to mention the fact that Republicans are continually trying to restrict voting rights and disenfranchise voters. (Yes, Republicans are cheaters, just like Donald Trump.) How about more polling places. Newer, modern voting equipment. More early voting. If anyone really cares about the will of the people, democracy, the constitution and all the other bromides that get shouted around, voting would be a mandatory duty of American citizenship.

And, as far as elections laws are concerned, can we put some rules in place for what can be televised in election ads? We allow outright lies to pass as persuasive campaigning. Can we exercise some control over the allowable content of campaigns like the Canadian Elections Act, which sets out various provisions regarding the publication or broadcast of election advertising?

As Bruce Bartlett put it, "The lesson of this election is that when the media normalize racism, sexism, fascism, lying & stupidity, it has political consequences." This is truly horrifying; to think that our nation is still so sexist, racist and stupid. Donald Trump and a pliable media have normalized our national discourse into a reality television program.

All of this has left H.L. Mencken's quote ringing in my head, “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” Indeed, a good portion (but not a majority) of America has now shown itself to appreciate lies, chest-thumping and stupidity over all else.

America hits new landmark: 200 million registered voters
Clinton clenched the popular vote, but both candidates missed out on half of voters
Michael Moore: Morning-After To-Do List
Hillary Clinton’s campaign was crippled by voters who stayed home

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Hedge Fund Manager's Simple Reason Why The Rich Should Vote For Hillary Clinton

Hedge fund manager has a simple reason why the rich should support Hillary Clinton
Billionaire Marc Lasry, who runs distressed-debt hedge fund Avenue Capital, laid out a simple explanation why he’s voting for Hillary Clinton even though his tax bill will likely go up. 
“At the end of the day, an individual has to decide whether he or she is going to do what’s best for the country or what’s best for them,” Lasry told Yahoo Finance in a recent phone interview. 
“If you vote for Trump, your taxes will go down and the deficit goes up $5 trillion. If you vote for Hillary, taxes go up and the deficit stays where it is. So, I get it, but you’ve got to decide. We’ve all done extremely well. You’ve got to decide — Are you looking out for your kids’ interests or your own? 
“It’s not more complicated than that,” he added. 
Yahoo Finance’s Rick Newman recently reported that under Clinton, the 1% would pay an extra $117,760 in taxes per year, with the bill rising $805,250 for the top 0.1%, according to data from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. Meanwhile, under Donald Trump’s tax plan, the top 1% would save $214,690 per year, with the top 0.1% saving $1.066 million. 
“If my taxes go down, will that change my life? No. But it will make future generations’ lives much more difficult as there will be less money for infrastructure and other social services,” Lasry said. 
In other words, saving a few hundred thousand on a tax bill isn’t going to make that big of a difference for someone like Lasry. 
It’s along the lines of what billionaire investor Warren Buffett recently said about money.
“There comes a point where money really has no real utility,” Buffet said. “You can use it to show off, but you can’t do much else with it. I don’t think it’s good for your family. It can do wonders for people around the world.”

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Milwaukee County Supervisors & The Coaliton of "No!"

I think an argument can be made that the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors should be full-time positions. One could also argue that the number of districts, currently 18, could be reduced.

Regardless of this, more and more, it appears the Board is uninformed, petty and counterproductive. I get the fact that many of the Supervisors seem to have chips on their shoulders concerning County Executive Abele. Political representatives are allowed to have differences of opinion. But, at the end of the day, their objective should be to enact policy that benefits their constituents. Blocking and stonewalling legislation as a figurative middle-finger to Abele is childish and wasteful.

I get it, I have disagreements with Abele on some of his policy opinions. But, it seems, even when the Board of Supervisors would seem to be in 99.9% agreement with an Abele proposal, they still find some convoluted reason to block passage. Just saying "No!" without an explicit reason is moronic and immature.

This is the tactic Republicans have used against Democrats for the last two decades and it's merely caused gridlock with no discernible benefit for the public. In fact, it's the same reason more Federal dollars haven't been used for public infrastructure and stimulus programs. Deciding to just blindly block anything the other side proposes is not the action of a good public servant. This is the type of behavior of cultish apparatchiks who have no real concern for our well-being.

Bruce Murphy details the rampant hypocrisy and asinine actions of the Supervisors in Is a County Wheel Tax Needed?
Besides Lipscomb, supervisors Steve Taylor and Deanna Alexander have suggested they would oppose the wheel tax. To date not one board member has offered a positive word about it. “It’s frustrating,” says Sup. Sheldon Wasserman in describing the stance of board members. “They want the services but they won’t pay for them. Some of the no-sayers (on the wheel tax) are adding budget amendments to spend more money.” ...
Lipscomb, in an email response to my questions, made clear his antagonism to the county executive: “Abele spent $5 million on an anti-tax message this spring only to turn around and introduce a new $60 wheel tax. Then, when given an opportunity to more fully explain his new tax proposals in public (October 3rd), Abele abruptly left the table before many questions could be answered – that makes it a pretty tough sell.” Lipscomb predicts the board will come up with a better budget, adding, “we have a history of adopting a more responsible and balanced budget than the Executive originally proposed.”
It would take a book (and not a very enjoyable one) to analyze who was right in all the disagreements between the board and Abele, but it’s worth noting that Lipscomb and his colleagues have contributed to the ongoing budget shortfall by approving the GO Pass, a free bus pass for senior citizens and disabled riders that was never requested by them and that is now projected by run a $6.1 million shortfall in 2016. The problems with this program have been well documented in columns by me and by Jannene.
Thus, the Supervisors counterproposal, Milwaukee County Board considers $30 wheel tax.
"This recognizes the fact that we simply can't say no to a wheel tax," Lipscomb said Monday at a meeting of the board's finance committee. Lipscomb and other supervisors acknowledged there is no other new revenue source available to help pay costs of transit services and major transportation capital projects in the 2017 budget...

The committee's action went against the advice of County Comptroller Scott Manske. In a memo to the County Board, Manske said the revenue from a $60 vehicle registration fee is needed "to maintain the county's portion of the local transportation systems, including highways, the bus system and parkways." 
Even with a $60 wheel tax starting in 2017, Manske said, revenue will not be sufficient to cover transit costs in just a few years without fare increases and route reductions. 
Abele recommended a $60 wheel tax to provide $27.1 million of new revenue in 2017. Half of that amount is $13.55 million.
So, they recognize the funding is needed, and there's no other way of getting it, but they still only recommend half of the proposal.

Maybe we could just increase the sales tax to help pay for public infrastructure. We seem to have billions for sport stadiums, but we can raise enough funding for public transportation, parks and schools?

Nevertheless, the County Supervisor are looking and acting like a bunch of petulant ne'er-do-wells.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Ron Johnson Invests In Irish Company That Resembles A Tax Shelter

GOP Senator Invests In Irish Company That Resembles A Tax Shelter
While it may be perfectly legal, Ron Johnson’s stake in the multimillion-dollar firm with one employee sure seems odd.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who has defended corporate tax dodging throughout his Senate career, owns part of an Irish company that bears some of the hallmarks of a tax avoidance scheme. 
Johnson has a 9.9 percent stake in DP Lenticular, a Dublin-based company, according to his Senate financial disclosure for 2015. His investment is worth between $250,001 and $500,000 and he earned $5,001 to $15,000 in dividend income from the company that year, the disclosure indicates. 
The 9.9 percent stake is just below a cutoff that requires private citizens to disclose their ownership. Americans who own 10 percent or more of a foreign business must report it to the federal government. Now that Johnson is a member of Congress, he has to report all of his assets.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

GOP States Keep Ignoring Court Orders to Restore Voting Rights

 GOP States Keep Ignoring Court Orders to Restore Voting Rights
 Wisconsin, Ohio, Texas, and North Carolina won’t stop suppressing the vote.

On July 29, US District Judge James Peterson called Wisconsin’s process for issuing voter IDs “unconstitutional,” “a wretched failure,” and “pretty much a disaster.” The state’s strict voter-ID law “has disenfranchised a number of citizens who are unquestionably qualified to vote, and these disenfranchised citizens are overwhelmingly African American and Latino,” he wrote. 
The judge ordered that “Wisconsin may adopt a strict voter ID system only if that system has a well-functioning safety net” and that the state must “promptly issue a credential valid as a voting ID to any person who enters the [ID petition process] or who has a petition pending.” 
But Wisconsin never followed the court’s order. On September 22, the same day Wisconsin assured the judge in a legal filing that everything was hunky-dory, Zack Moore, a 34-year-old homeless African-American man who moved from Chicago to Madison, was turned away from the DMV without a voter ID despite bringing an Illinois driver’s license, Social Security card, and proof of Wisconsin residency. He was told to go back to Illinois and get his birth certificate, or else it would take six to eight weeks for him to get an ID for voting, despite a sign in the DMV that said, “Get your ID to vote! No birth certificate? No problem!” 
Reporting in The Nation and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, based on DMV recordings provided by VoteRiders, confirmed that across the state Wisconsin was systematically failing to promptly issue IDs for voting as required by the court order. In response, Peterson ordered an investigation and held a hearing on October 12 and 13. 
Kristina Boardman, the DMV’s administrator, admitted on the stand that for two months after the court’s July order, the DMV was giving voters incorrect information about the voter-ID law. “I’m very disappointed to see that the state really did nothing in response to my order,” Peterson said on October 12. “There was really, as far as I can tell, no effort made…to inform the public.” He called the DMV’s voter-ID training “manifestly inadequate” and said, “Undeniably there are people who have been disenfranchised.” He concluded, “The state really needs to step up and make sure the IDs get into the hands of voters who can’t have them [under the current system].”

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Duke


When Lamb of God recorded last year's VII: Sturm und Drang, they held onto a song they felt was special enough to stand on its own: "The Duke." The track, which finds frontman Randy Blythe singing about mortality, is dedicated to Wayne Ford, a fan of the band whom the singer befriended in late 2012. Ford was suffering from leukemia and after Blythe heard his story – captured on the band's website – it left a profound impact on him.

To honor Ford, the group is releasing an EP, also titled The Duke, which features the hard-rock–leaning song along with another unreleased track that dates back to their Wrath LP, the thrashy, heavy "Culling," which they finished up especially for this EP, along with live recordings of three Sturm und Drangtracks. The Duke is due out November 18th with a vinyl edition following on the 25th; pre-orders for those editions begin today, while digital pre-orders and streaming will start Friday. Blythe is hoping the EP will raise awareness for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and BeTheMatch.org, a website operated by the National Marrow Donor Program. (Blythe joined the marrow registry after the band's merch seller, Evie Carrano, died of leukemia in 2008; he also supported it when Behemoth frontman Nergal battled the disease in 2010 and survived.)

In conjunction with the EP release, the band has also organized a charity campaign to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Randy Blythe will be offering his personal gold plaque for Lamb of God's Ashes of the Wake, signed copies of handwritten lyrics and a signed copy of his bookDark Days, and band members will be contributing signed signature-model guitars, signed copies of The Duke on CD and vinyl, and other items.  [source]

American Politics Behind Rest of The World in Allowing Women to Serve as Head of State

Unfit For Office

Since we're already talking about being unfit for office, someone has to mention Sheriff David Clarke.

Sheriff David Clarke, Poll Denier
During a segment on Donald's 'rigged election" comments, Trump supporter Sheriff David Clarke told Fox News' Outnumbered panel that he doesn't believe in any of the polls and said, "I don't know the methodology that's why I don't trust them."

Sheriff Clarke took a lot of heat when he used violent rhetoric and proclaimed via The Twitter that the election was rigged and called for "pitchforks and torches."

During their panel discussion, Sheriff Clarke applauded the handling of the Trump campaign and supported his calls of a rigged election. "You guys are doing well, keep doing what you're doing." ...

Clarke said, "If you believe the polls. If you want to believe the polls"

Harris Falkner asked, "Sheriff, you're not buying polls?"

Clarke replied, "No, I'm not, not at all. I don't know the methodology.
He doesn't know the methodology? Really? Well, statistician Clarke, most polls footnote their methodology or at the very least you could contact the organization (CNN, NY Times, 538, etc.) for an explanation.

Here's the MRG Michigan Poll explanation of methodology, listed directly below the candidates, on their webpage.
The survey was conducted by Marketing Resource Group with 600 likely Michigan voters by live interview October 16-19, 2016. The sample was randomly drawn from a listed sample of all registered voters and stratified by city and township to reflect voter turnout. In addition, quotas for gender and cell phone interviews were met within each geographic area, and extra efforts were made to reach African Americans. Thirty percent of the interviews were conducted with cell phone only homes.

A sample of 600 likely voters in Michigan yields a sampling margin of error of ±4 percent with a 95 percent confidence interval. The sampling margin of error for subgroups may be higher depending on the size of the subgroup.
And, regardless of this, we've all seen Clarke's handling of the budget for the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department. So we know Clarke isn't a numbers guy. Which leads to a few questions: Who cares if Clarke knows the methodology or not? Why does anyone care what Clarke thinks about the presidential election? Does anyone believe that Clarke could actually explain how to operationalize and formulate a meaningful survey?

This guy should really be relieved of his duties immediately. Come on, Milwaukee County, wake up! (Aside: how does this guy get to keep claiming he's a Democrat?)

From pitchforks and torches, to rigged elections, this isn't the language anyone with a public platform should be spouting, especially a County Sheriff.

For Further Reading: 
David Clarke: Extremist, Bombastic, Incompetent

Friday, October 21, 2016

Michelle Obama Campaign Speech For Hillary Clinton & America At A Crossroads


And, for all you racists and imbeciles that are incapable of reading a book, research paper or newspaper article, life in America has improved since Barack Obama became president. You aren't improving anything by hurling racial epithets and regurgitating disproven Sean Hannity talking-points.

In case you haven't noticed anything over the past four decades, supply-side/trickle-down economics has been disproven. Tax cuts and deregulation are no panacea. Government is not bad. Government is us. It's only as bad as our weakest link. The weak link in the U.S. is the Republicans, and their supporters, that keep pushing these debunked policies, along with inciting violence, hatred and racism.

For those of you supporting the orange buffoon, spouting your hatred and stupidity, take a deep breath, step back and put aside your preconceived notions that you wrap yourself in, like a blanket, and try to reasonably and rationally absorb what has taken place in the last 8 years.

Specifically, during President Obama's two terms, he has brought our country back from the brink of a second Great Depression. He and the Democrats have also (in the face of Republican obstructionism): regulated the banks, reformed health care, eliminated Osama bin Laden, signed a nuclear agreement with Iran, created over 13 million jobs (almost 7 straight years of expansion), gotten unemployment down below 5%, helped the stock market set record highs, reduced the Federal budget deficit by two-thirds, held government spending increases to only 3.3% annually (the lowest rate since Eisenhower was president), lowered income taxes - for 95% of Americans - as low or lower than they were at almost any point in the last 50 years, and shrunk dependence on foreign oil due to record domestic oil production and improved fuel efficiency standards, to name a few.

Can we actually try to be a sane, civil, reasoned country? How does demeaning minorities or women, or using ethnic slurs, or sticking your head in the sand and refusing to believe reality help grow the economy, create jobs, or improve education or health care?

Maybe these Republicans yearning for yesteryear, the old times, should remember the great years they are always memorializing were due to the New Deal - a progressive idea of shared prosperity, public work, public infrastructure and high taxes on the wealthy. As Paul Krugman described, "An era of widely shared growth. Real wages rose 81 percent, and the income of the richest 1 percent rose 38 percent."

It's sad the knuckle-draggers prefer the bluster and braggadocio from their representatives, rather than actual effective policies. Luckily, they, too, will be pulled further into the 21st Century by Democrats that are actually trying to make all of our lives, and the world around them, a better place.

Hillary 2016!

For Further Reading:
14 Facts About Obama's Presidency
Life Got Better Under Obama, According to Gallup
Republican Scapegoat Politics or Demeaning Government: Cutting Off Our Nose To Spite Our Face

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Crazy Clown Time

Hopefully the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division has a bed available.
Sheriff Supporting Trump Says It’s Time To Bring Out ‘Pitchforks And Torches’
Professional mental health help is long overdue for Sheriff David Clarke.

Weekend Reading

Scott Walker, the John Doe Files and How Corporate Cash Influences American Politics
How Privatization Is Killing The Public Sector
Scaring Kids About The National Debt
Wall Street Journal Mourns The Growing Efficiency of the Banking Industry
Elizabeth Warren Asks Obama To Replace Wall Street Regulator For Brazen Conduct
Ruling Against Wall Street Watchdog Decried As Reckless and Partisan
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin Declares 'Oilfield Prayer Day' To Ask God To Protect The State's Oil Industry
Larry Summers Makes The Case For Higher Capital Requirements
Social Security Is Not The Main Driver of the Country's Long-term Budget Problem
Economics Has A Major Blind Spot
Wisconsin Among The Worst Places In U.S. To Start A Business
Talgo Coming Back To Milwaukee
Solution To False 'Benefit Crisis' Isn't Cuts - It's Better Fiscal Policies
America Isn't The Greatest Country On Earth. It's No. 28
The Undercover War Against The Parks
How The Oil & Gas Industry Awakened Oklahoma's Sleeping Fault Lines

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Senator Warren Grills Wells Fargo CEO

Wisconsin Reading

In the piece written by Daniel Bice (“John Doe leak offers insights”), a leaked document (email) has Baas discussing making up concerns about voter fraud in an effort to stir up the Republican base immediately after then-Supreme Court Justice David Prosser barely squeaked by challenger Joanne Kloppenburg in April 2011. 
In the April 6, 2011 email Baas states: “Do we need to start messaging ‘widespread reports of election fraud’ so we are positively set up for the recount regardless of the final number? I obviously think we should.”
Scott Walker Confronts Alarming New Allegations In Wisconsin
Gov. Scott Walker and the GOP-controlled Legislature approved a measure aimed at retroactively shielding paint makers from liability after a billionaire owner of a lead producer contributed $750,000 to a political group that provided crucial support to Walker and Republicans in recall elections, according to a report released Wednesday. 
Citing leaked documents gathered during a now-shuttered investigation into the governor’s campaign, the Guardian U.S., an arm of the British newspaper, reported that Harold Simmons, owner of NL Industries, a producer of the lead formerly used in paint, made three donations totaling $750,000 to the Wisconsin Club for Growth between April 2011 and January 2012.
Scott Walker Put Wisconsin Up For Sale
Among the documents are several court filings from the case, as well as hundreds of pages of email exchanges obtained by the prosecutors under subpoena. The emails involve conversations concerning Walker, his top aides, conservative lobbyists, and leading Republican figures such as Karl Rove and the chair of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus. Trump also appears in the files, making a donation of $15,000 following a personal visit from Walker to the Republican nominee's Fifth Avenue headquarters. In addition to Trump, many of the most powerful and wealthy rightwing figures in the nation crop up in the files: from Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone, hedge-fund manager Paul Singer and Las Vegas casino giant Sheldon Adelson, to magnate Carl Icahn. "I got $1m from John Menard today," Walker says in one email, referring to the billionaire owner of the home improvement chain Menards.
Walker Wants To Start New Projects, Delay Others
In a series of four events that began alongside I-39/90 south of Madison, Walker plunged ahead with his no-new-gas-tax pledge, betting his next budget on his belief that voters prefer delays on some major projects to pennies more at the pump per gallon.
GOP Operatives Discussed Ginning Up 'Voter Fraud' Reports
The mining firm Gogebic Taconite secretly donated more than $1.2 million to two conservative political groups in 2011 and 2012. 
The Journal Sentinel had previously reported that Gogebic Taconite had given $700,000 to Wisconsin Club for Growth, a pro-Walker group then headed by one of his campaign advisers. After that contribution, the GOP-controlled Legislature and Walker approved legislation aimed at streamlining regulations for an iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin. 
But the figure actually turns out to be higher. According to one of the John Doe records, the mining firm gave at least $930,000 to Wisconsin Club for Growth and another $300,000 to the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce -Issues Mobilization Inc. — another conservative dark money group — during 2011-'12.
Republican Wisconsin senator disputes 'pay-to-play' allegation regarding lead paint vote
In a statement, Shilling said that both Olsen and Harsdorf used their positions on the committee "to push through controversial changes in 2013 that shielded lead paint manufacturers after receiving secret financial help in their 2011 campaigns."

"We knew Gov. Walker was at the center of this ‘criminal scheme’ to coordinate efforts with dark money special interest groups," Shilling said in a statement. "What we didn’t know was how closely Senate Republicans worked with these special interests and how favors were doled out to lead paint manufacturers that bankrolled these secret campaign efforts. These new documents clearly highlight a disturbing pay-to-play scheme between out-of-state lead paint manufacturers and Senate Republicans."
Because Scott Walker Asked
Scott Walker was under pressure. It was September 2011, and earlier that year the first-term governor had turned himself into the poster boy of hardline Republican politics by passing the notorious anti-union measure Act 10, stripping public sector unions of collective bargaining rights. 
Now he was under attack himself, pursued by progressive groups who planned revenge by forcing him into a recall election. His job was on the line. 
He asked his main fundraiser, Kate Doner, to write him a briefing note on how they could raise enough money to win the election. At 6.39am on a Wednesday, she fired off an email to Walker and his top advisers flagged “red”. 
“Gentlemen,” she began. “Here are my quick thoughts on raising money for Walker’s possible recall efforts.” 
Her advice was bold and to the point. “Corporations,” she said. “Go heavy after them to give.” She continued: “Take Koch’s money. Get on a plane to Vegas and sit down with Sheldon Adelson. Ask for $1m now.” 
Her advice must have hit a sweet spot, because money was soon pouring in from big corporations and mega-wealthy individuals from across the nation. A few months after the memo, Adelson, a Las Vegas casino magnate who Forbes estimates has a personal fortune of $26bn, was to wire a donation of $200,000 for the cause.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Americans Got Raise Last Year For First Time Since 2007

Americans Got Raise Last Year for First Time Since 2007
In a long-awaited sign that middle-class Americans are finally seeing real economic gains, U.S. households got a raise last year after seven years of stagnant incomes. Rising pay also lifted the poorest households, cutting poverty by the sharpest amount in nearly a half-century. 
Higher minimum wages in many states and tougher competition among businesses to fill jobs pushed up pay, while low inflation made those paychecks stretch further. The figures show that the growing economy is finally benefiting a greater share of American households... 
Still, median incomes remain 1.6 below the $57,423 reached in 2007. The median is the point where half of households fall below and half are above... 
Even so, it follows years of tepid pay gains that contributed to widespread political turmoil, driving insurgent presidential candidacies from GOP nominee Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders. Median household income remains 2.4 percent below the peak it reached in 1999.
Good news, but no need for policy-makers to get carried away. The Fed doesn't need to raise interest rates just yet. And, with income inequality still near record highs, there's plenty of room for much more wage-growth below the top 1 percent.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Pay More

Dr. Ed Yardeni, President and Chief Investment Strategist of Yardeni Research, Inc., provided a summation of the latest U.S. employment findings:
Plenty of jobs available. In August’s consumer confidence survey, the Conference Board found that the percentage of respondents who said that jobs are plentiful rose to 26.0%, the highest since August 2007. The percentage saying that jobs are hard to get was 23.4%, near recent cyclical lows, and consistent with the cyclical low in the unemployment rate.
Record job openings. It’s actually somewhat surprising that nearly a quarter of respondents still say that jobs are hard to get given that job openings are at a record high. Perhaps many workers simply lack the skills required by the available jobs.
Unfilled positions hard to fill. NFIB’s August survey also reported the following litany of complaints by small business owners about the labor market: “Fifty-three percent reported hiring or trying to hire (down 3 points), but 46 percent reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Fourteen percent of owners cited the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their Single Most Important Business Problem. This issue ranks third out of nine major issues listed. Twenty-six percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, down 3 points from, the highest reading in this recovery.”
Business owners, especially in our hyper-politicized environment, have been claiming there aren't any skilled workers to be found.

One caveat from Yardeni's findings:
Why aren’t wages rising more rapidly? There are a few explanations for the slow pace of wage gains. One possibility is that high-wage Baby Boomers are retiring and more jobs are going to low-wage Millennials. Workers may be afraid to push for big raises, fearing that that would provide an even greater incentive to employers to replace them with automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence. Since the Trauma of 2008, corporate managements have been obsessed with keeping a lid on their costs and maintaining high profit margins.
Although Yardeni mentions the lack of wage growth, he really doesn't give that factor its proper due. Which is sad because its the crucial point in this discussion. If demand is high and supply is low, wages should rise. That's basic economics.

Owners can't have it both ways - claiming they have all these positions to fill, yet they can't find anyone, while also being unwilling to increase wages to attract workers. If they are such astute businessmen, they should understand basic economics.

As Barry Ritholtz wrote, Having Trouble Hiring? Try Paying More.

None of this means there is never some frictional or structural unemployment, where skilled workers for a certain industry are in short supply. But, again, this is solved by increasing wages.




For Further Reading:
Shortage of Skills or Abundance of Excuses?
Skills Shortage Sham
Training, Skills, & Other Fairy Tales
The Zombie Skills Gap Meme That Won't Die
Low Wages, Not Skills Mismatch
Wage 'growth' continues to go nowhere
Wage Growth Is Weak. Inflation-Adjusted Wage Growth Is Much Healthier

Weekend Reading

Why Financial Advisers Hate Elizabeth Warren
Ask Colorado Whether Infrastructure Spending Works
Excess Management Is Costing The U.S. $3 Trillion Per Year
Taking Stock: Income Inequality and the Stock Market
The States With The Biggest Obamacare Woes Spent Years Undermining The Law
Why Companies Are Moving Back Downtown
Affluent and Black, and Still Trapped By Segregation
One Big Reason For Stagnant Wages and Rising Inequality
Workplace Wellness Programs Are A Sham

Wisconsin Ranks 33rd In Job Creation

Wisconsin ranks 33rd in job creation
Wisconsin gained 37,166 private-sector jobs in the 12 months from March 2015 through March 2016, a 1.58% increase that ranks the state 33rd among the 50 states in the pace of job creation during that period. 
Wisconsin continued to trail the national rate of job creation, as it has since July 2011. The United States created private-sector jobs at a rate of 2.1% in the latest 12-month period, according to the data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wisconsin ranked fourth among its Midwest peers, ahead of Minnesota, Illinois and Iowa, but behind Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. 
Economists consider Wednesday’s job creation figures, known as the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, to be the most credible and comprehensive available. The census report breaks out data for the nation as a whole as well as each of the 50 states. It tracks the economy in rolling 12-month increments, measured every three months. 
The quarterly data are based on a census of 96% of the nation’s employers in the public and private sectors. That makes the figures far more reliable than monthly jobs data, which are based on a sample of only about 3% of employers, leaving monthly estimates prone to large margins of error.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Decline of Unions Has Hurt All Workers

Decline of unions has hurt all workers
The steep decline in union membership in recent decades has had an outsize effect on the American workforce, tamping down wage increases for nonunion workers, a new study says. 
Average weekly earnings for nonunion private-sector male workers would have been 5%, or $52, higher in 2013 if the share of union workers had remained at 1979 levels, according to the study out Tuesday from the liberal-leaning Economic Policy Institute ahead of Labor Day. That’s tantamount to a loss of $2,704 annually for the average nonunion worker. 
The paper was authored by Washington University sociologists Jake Rosenfeld and Patrick Denice, and Jennifer Laird, a research scientist at Columbia University’s Center on Poverty and Social Policy. 
The earnings loss is smaller for women because they were not as unionized as men in 1979. Weekly wages would be about 2% to 3% higher for women if union membership had stayed at 1979 levels, the report says. 
About 10% of male private-sector workers were union members in 2013, down from 34% in 1979. In that period, the share of women who belong to unions fell to 6% from 16%. 
The report argues the dwindling influence of unions is a significant but often ignored reason for wage stagnation, along with globalization, technological change and the slowdown in educational achievement gains. 
The prevalence of unions affects the pay of nonunion workers in various ways, the study says. Nonunion employers often raise their workers’ pay to foster loyalty and head off an organizing drive. Kodak deployed that strategy in highly organized New York State, the study says. 
The fatter paychecks of union workers also creates a more competitive labor market that forces nonunion companies to lift wages to prevent employees from jumping ship. And unions often establish labor-friendly policies that generally promote fairness in pay, benefits and worker treatment, according to the report. 
The gains of yesteryear were not limited to nonunion workers at risk of joining unions, the study says. When those workers received raises, their higher-level supervisors who couldn't join unions also saw sharper pay increases to maintain salary hierarchies, the paper says. 
But the losses engendered by shrinking union participation are most pronounced for nonunion private-sector male workers who lack a Bachelor's degree. Wages for that group would be 8% higher in 2013 if union membership had stayed at 1979 levels, translating into an annual wage loss of $3,016.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Charter Schools



For Further Reading:
John Oliver Slams Charter Schools And His Critics Totally Miss The Point

Worlds Apart

Even living within 15 miles of the City of Milwaukee is too much for the Milwaukee Police Department.

Police sue over new residency rule
For decades, all city employees, with few exceptions, had to live within Milwaukee boundaries. In 2013, the state Legislature passed a law that undid all such strict residency requirements but did allow for cities to require certain employees, including police and firefighters, to live within 15 miles of city limits. Milwaukee did not adopt a new rule but instead continued to enforce its longtime rule of residency within city boundaries. 
The police union sued. One judge agreed the city requirement had been eliminated by the state law, but the Court of Appeals reversed and sided with the city's right to make employees live in the city. 
But ultimately, in June, the state Supreme Court sided with the Legislature and the police that the state law blocked the city's historic residency requirements. 
Only in July, in light of that court ruling, did the city adopt a new rule under the state law setting the 15-mile limit for police and firefighters.
We can trace some of the problems which recently came to a head in Milwaukee to this entitled, unaccountable attitude of the Milwaukee Police Department. Law enforcement used to be part of the community and know their neighbors. Now they just want a paycheck from the community but to live in some exurb.

How can the police really serve and protect a population and community that they want nothing to do with? 15 miles isn't enough of a buffer?

An "occupying force," as Mayor Barrett phrased it, does not produce trust and respect. What else can a group of armed enforcers be called? Paid mercenaries patrolling a neighborhood during their well-paid shift, only to return to their home many miles away and, often, worlds apart.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Conservatives' Government Dependency Fairy Tale

Acclaimed Mensa member and Wrangler jeans spokesperson, Sheriff David Clarke, following the calamity in Milwaukee, has fingered "progressive policies" as the cause of the protests.
The growth of the welfare state” encourages the destructive behavior seen on Saturday and Sunday nights...
“These progressive policies have hit the black community like a nuclear blast, and until we reverse this government dependency, that’s what creates all of this – and encourages it, by the way,” Clarke said.
Just like the good little conservative soldier he is, Clarke regurgitates right-wing tripe on cue.

In case you haven't heard, everything the Democrats, liberals, etc. have ever done is the cause of everything bad in the world. Nevermind reality or facts, everything the Democrats, liberals, etc. have ever done is the cause of everything bad in the world.

TANF Continues to Weaken as a Safety Net
In 2014, for every 100 families in poverty, only 23 received cash benefits from TANF. This is down from the 68 families for every 100 in poverty that received cash assistance when TANF was first enacted in 1996. This ratio, which we call the TANF-to-poverty ratio (TPR), has declined nearly every year since 1996 and reached its lowest point in 2014.
Improving the State of Our Welfare State
By the time Bill Clinton first ran for president, the concept of public assistance had diminished to such an extent that that he pledged to “end welfare as we know it.” He fulfilled this promise when he signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996. With the stroke of a pen, the government’s largest direct cash assistance program for families with low or no income AFDC was replaced by the more restrictive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. What was called “welfare reform” at the time was in fact an attempt to lessen the financial commitments of the federal government. It also included several features advanced by conservatives, including time limits on assistance, connecting benefits to work effort, and a block grant structure that gave states greater discretion in how to distribute resources.
The End of Welfare as We Know It
More than 13 million people received cash assistance from the government in 1995, before the law was passed. Today, just 3 million do.

If nothing else, these policies were an effective way to reduce the number of people on welfare rolls. People on the left and right agree that they helped change a program that was in need of reform. But there were real human costs too: Those who didn’t find jobs, who weren’t working, who lived in states trying to reduce their cash-assistance programs, were left to struggle on their own...
Today, in large part because of welfare reform, the safety net—the set of government efforts to come to the aid of the country’s citizens when they are down on their luck, much of which has existed since the Great Depression—is thin and getting thinner. And this thinning goes beyond welfare, which gives needy families cash support: On April 1, between 500,000 and one million childless adults will lose access to food stamps (officially known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP). This is the belated consequence of a rule that was part of Clinton’s welfare reform, which stipulated that childless adults can only receive three months of food stamps if they aren’t employed at least 20 hours a week or in a training program. For years states received waivers for the rule, but in many states, governors have chosen not to ask for extensions for this year.
How the rise of America’s massive military welfare state led to the decline of the civilian welfare state
Over the past four decades in the United States, as the country has slashed its welfare state and employers gutted traditional job benefits, growing numbers of people, especially from the working class, grasped for a new safety net – the military. Everyone recognizes that the US armed forces have become a global colossus. But few know that, along with bases and bombs, the US military constructed its own massive welfare state. In the waning decades of the 20th century, with US prosperity in decline, more than 10 million active‑duty personnel and their tens of millions of family members turned to the military for economic and social security.
Reality appears to be almost the exact opposite of what Clarke claims. It has been, in fact, the decline of the welfare state and the lack of investment in the poorest persons and neighborhoods that has caused the current situation.

Too much money for stadiums and the well-connected, not enough investment in the needy and underprivileged.

In can also be argued that our recently militarized police state has diverted dollars from more appropriate investments in the communities that need it most. We keep increasing our police force in communities nationwide, claiming a need for law and order. But, what if, rather than employing a force to "keep order," we were, instead, investing in community institutions and assets, schools, real estate renovations, public spaces and jobs for these economically blighted neighborhoods? Rather than employing a force to lock down a neighborhood, why not try a New Deal-like infrastructure investment and jobs program targeted at these distressed areas?

Update:

Another aspect of this issue in which Republicans, Conservative, Right-Wingers, etc. are hypocritical and wearing blinders - where are the their complaints about corporate welfare? We have millionaires and billionaires with their hands out asking for public dollars for stadiums, business parks, factories and on and on. These are The Haves asking for more...and getting it. Talk about a culture of dependency.

Wisconsin's Corporate Welfare
Corporate Welfare
Where Are The Conservative Calls For Accountability For Corporate Welfare Recipients?