Sunday, March 6, 2011

The myth of those "evil, wealthy" unions

It goes without saying that money in politics has been a problem. With the Supreme Court's completely wrongheaded decision in Citizen's United it's likely to become an even bigger one. Given that money equals political power, it would make sense that the wealthy have much more political power than the middle class right?

Not according to this blog by Dr. Scoundrels that' been making the rounds among anti-union conservatives. You see, he insists that the rich really don't have that much power, even going as far as calling the Koch brothers "paupers" compared to those "evil, wealthy" unions.

As proof he cites records kept by Open Secrets that shows over the last eleven years unions have contributed more than $562,000,000 to political campaigns, while Koch industries has contributed more than $10.8 million over that same time span. On the surface this shows that unions have much more political sway right?

Well, there several problems with Dr. Scoundrels analysis. The first one is most obvious. His numbers appear to be wrong. He claims, for instance, that business has spent a little over $1 trillion on political contribution over the last eleven years. In reality they spent $1.3 trillion in 2010 alone, when counting contributions through political action committees (which is the preferred method of laundering corporate money). Secondly, he's counting ALL union contributions, as if they are one entity, and comparing it to an individual corporation. I shouldn't have to point out how incredibly silly that is.

Finally, and most importantly, he's ignoring the fact that unions represent the interests of millions of people (14.7 million to be exact) while Koch industries represents, well Charles and David Koch for the most part. You can't lump millions of people together, and pretend that they are equals to the Koch brothers when it comes to political power. To have a fair comparison you have to compare individuals, with individuals. So with that in mind let's do a little rough math:

According to Dr. Scoundrels numbers over the last eleven years unions have contributed a total of $562,124,612 to political campaigns. Divide that number by the total amount of current union members and you come up with about $38.24 in political contributions per member, over the last 11 years. Divide that by eleven and what do you get?


So over the last eleven years, each individual union member has contributed a total of $3.48 per year to political campaigns.

David Koch himself handed out close to $50,000 dollars last year in political contributions. And that's not counting the contributions he made to his various PAC's and through his business.

Who do you think has more political power in this situation? The guy who can throw tens of thousands of dollars around in individual contributions like it's going out of style? Or the millions of union members who's individual contributions over the last eleven years wouldn't even buy them a 12 pack of Koch made paper towels?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Anti-worker bill passes Ohio Senate; would jail striking workers

In yet another insult to the American people, the Ohio senate has passed SB 5, a bill that would strip the collective bargaining rights from all public workers in the state. Even more disgusting is a provision of the bill that would jail any public worker that went on strike. Teachers, as well as other state workers, could be thrown in jail for thirty days for simply standing up for their rights as workers.

People need to call this what it is: Class Warfare

This isn't about budgets. This is about consolidating all political power into the hands of the super rich. This is about further entrenching the conservative oligarchs as the ruling elite.

That's why conservatives want to eliminate campaign finance limits. Their financial advantage is useless if they are limited in what they can give. That's why conservatives oppose education, and consistently push disinformation. A dumbed down populace is easier to manipulate through exposure to constant propaganda (as the Tea Party has aptly demonstrated.) And it's why conservatives need to destroy unions. Unions represent a counterbalance to corporate political power. It is this reason we see Citizens United, and FoxNews, and SB 5.

This isn't happening by mistake. This is a coordinated war on the middle class. Nobody should lose sight of that.

Michelle Malkin decries "union thugs" while her commentors talk of "civil war" and murdering protestors

Michelle Malkin (better known as Anne Coulter's Asian facsimile) took to her blog today to decry "union thug" protestors because they followed a Wisconsin GOP legislator while he was walking outside the capitol and said mean things to him like "shame" and "you suck." Not unsurprisingly, Malkin lies and claims that the protestors were shouting "fuck you." She also fails to point out that the same woman shouting "you suck" was also yelling at people not to touch the legislator. In other words, the protest was entirely peaceful.

But that level of dishonesty is expected from Coulter lite. What's more interesting is that while Malkin was complaining about the union thuggery of peaceful protestors, her little cult followers were openly talking of civil war, and fantisizing about murdering protestors.

So remember folks, in the world of the modern conservative this equals thuggery...

And this is patriotism...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Because It Worked So Well Last Time

Via Reuters.

Obama, who wants Congress to move a stalled climate change bill, has sought to reach out to Republicans by signaling he is open to allowing offshore drilling, providing coastlines are protected.

Because kowtowing to conservatives worked soooo well for you last time, Mr. President. At what point do we stop believing that they are just trying to be pragmatic, and start thinking that maybe Democrats have become the new moderate Republicans.

Friday, March 5, 2010

...What Josh Marshall Said.'s Josh Marshall, on the Republican's reconciliation lies.

Let's stop dancing around it. On "reconciliation" the Republicans are being such a gang of hypocritical liars it's shocking even for them. It really is. The Health Care Bill isn't being passed through reconciliation; it's being used to pass a few amendments to the bill that's already passed. The Republicans have used it numerous times and themselves and for bill's that were far bigger in budgetary terms than this bill. The whole thing is just an immense crock. And it's borderline scandalous that any of their nonsense is even being taken serious.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Jeremy Is Driving

So I bought the Jeep from Ian in August of 2006. I knew it needed work. I replaced the radiator, heater hoses, and water valve. Got it running, bought new doors, new door panels, and new interior trim peices.

And now. Three years later. With hundreds of dollars invested!!!!!! I finally...!!!!

... bought a Ford Focus station wagon.

It has low miles (84,000 on a 2000 model year), it runs great, the body is totally straight, and it has plenty of room to store dog/music equipment/dead bodies!

Family car bitches!!!!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Why Best Buy Sucks

So as some of you may know I recently purchased an Asus K60-IJ notebook computer from Best Buy. I mainly bought the computer in order to have mobile internet access (like when I'm on vacation), and to be able to use it for school work as I am starting College at the beginning of January. Given the Asus' reasonable price, ample hard disc space, and dual core processor it seemed like a decent enough fit.

On November 6th I headed to Best Buy to check it out in person, and pick it up if I liked it. As soon as I walked to within sniffing distance of the computer department, every sales associate in the building pounced. They were like car salesmen. I was asked probably 10 different times (that's not an exaggeration) if I needed anything, and it was a different person every single time. I even had one guy try and sell me cell phones, apparently totally oblivious to the fact that he was nowhere near the cell phone department.

Eventually I decided it was the computer for me. So when the 37th person approached to ask if I needed any help, I told him I wanted to buy the Asus. He proceeded to pull a dented box out from underneath the display model and hand it to me.

"Uh, not to be rude, but do you think you could grab me one that doesn't have dented packaging?"

"Oh, not a problem," he said, as he reached for his upscale Fisher-Price walkie talkie and radiod for a warehouse boy to fetch the notebook.

As we were standing around waiting he took the time to try and sell me on the "Geek Squad" services. Would I like my computer "Optimized" for 130 bucks? No thanks, I can always do most of that myself for free. Would I like to buy Geek Squads "Black Tie Protection" plan for 200 bucks, which protects against any manufacturer defects, or accidental damage? Nah. Asus already offers a 1 year warranty on manufacturers defects, and accidental damage so I should be fine. Finally my computer shows up, I pay them their money and am on my way.

For about a month and a half the computer is awesome. It does everything I want it to do, and I have no complaints. It's not top of the line, even for a budget laptop, but it works for me.

I brought it home from Jenny's one day, set it over the baby/dog gate in the hallway (got to make sure the dog can't get it), and proceed to go to bed. A few days later I decide to bring it to work. It's Christmas Eve, and will probably be slow. Might as well take it and listen to music or something.

I get to work and pull it out of the case. Right when I open it I know something is wrong. I can see the black splotches on the LCD Screen. I know it's bad news bears, but hoping against hope I turn it on anyway. Disaster! The screen looks like someone stepped on it. The entire upper LH corner is blank white. Parallel lines run horizontaly accross the screen. A family member must have stepped on it I think. I certainly didn't drop it, and I'm sure I didn't step on it. Why did I leave it in the hallway? I'm such an idiot!

Once the initial feeling of imminent upchuck subsides I start thinking rationally. It will probably be covered under warranty. I mean, Asus has a 1 year accidental damage warranty. Why am I worrying?

Why? Maybe it's because when I went to check Asus site it says that Asus does offer an accidental damage warranty. Just not if you bought it at Best Buy! You see, Best Buy isn't a participating member! No, rather than allowing their customers to take advantage of the FREE accidental damage warranty that Asus provides, they would rather force you to pay 230 GOD DAMN DOLLARS FOR THEIR NOTORIOUSLY SHITTY BLACK TIE PROTECTION PLAN!

Thanks Best Buy! For making sure that I advise my friends to never buy a computer from you, and for making sure that I NEVER buy a thing from you again.