Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Arizona authorities can enforce existing illegal aliens law.

No new law is needed in Arizona to rid the state of illegal workers. Federal laws on the book can be enforced by Arizona police. The truth is that Arizona politicians do not want to upset local businessmen who depend on cheap labor, legal or illegal.

SB 1070 is nothing more than subterfuge for the purpose of:

1. Deflecting attention away from the real problem which is illegal employers.

2. Aiding right wing candidates in the coming election

3. Bestowing honor upon irrational bigotry.

Recruitment and Employment of Illegal Aliens

It is unlawful to hire an alien, to recruit an alien, or to refer an illegal alien for a fee, knowing the illegal alien is unauthorized to work in the United States. It is equally unlawful to continue to employ an illegal alien knowing that the illegal alien is unauthorized to work.

It is unlawful to hire any individual for employment in the United States without complying with employment eligibility verification requirements. Requirements include examination of identity documents and completion of Form I-9 for every employee hired. Employers must retain all I-9s, and, with three days' advance notice, the forms must be made available for inspection. Employment includes any service or labor performed for any type of remuneration within the United States, with the exception of sporadic domestic service by an individual in a private home. "Day laborers" or other casual workers engaged in any compensated activity (with the above exception) are employees for purposes of immigration law. An employer includes an agent or anyone acting directly or indirectly in the interest of the employer. For purposes of verification of authorization to work, employer also means an independent contractor, or a contractor other than the person using the illegal alien labor.

The use of temporary or short-term contracts cannot be used to circumvent the employment authorization verification requirements. If employment is to be for less than the usual three days allowed for completing the I-9 Form requirement, the form must be completed immediately at the time of hire.

An employer has constructive knowledge that an employee is an illegal unauthorized worker if a reasonable person would infer it from the facts. Constructive knowledge constituting a violation of federal law has been found where (1) the I-9 employment eligibility form has not been properly completed, including supporting documentation, (2) the employer has learned from other individuals, media reports, or any source of information available to the employer that the alien is unauthorized to work, or (3) the employer acts with reckless disregard for the legal consequences of permitting a third party to provide or introduce an illegal alien into the employer's work force. Knowledge cannot be inferred solely on the basis of an individual's accent or foreign appearance.

Actual specific knowledge is not required. For example, a newspaper article stating that ballrooms depend on an illegal alien work force of dance hostesses was held by the courts to be a reasonable ground for suspicion that unlawful conduct had occurred.

It is illegal for nonprofit or religious organizations to knowingly assist an employer to violate employment sanctions, regardless of claims that their convictions require them to assist illegal aliens. Harboring or aiding illegal aliens is not protected by the First Amendment. It is a felony to establish a commercial enterprise for the purpose of evading any provision of federal immigration law. Violators may be fined or imprisoned for up to five years.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

We Have a choice. End the Bush tax cuts.

A family with an income of $250,000 would not be effected but every additional $1000 it earned would cost them an additional $40 in taxes.

A family making $300,000 would pay an additional $2000 in taxes.

A family making $1,000,000 would pay an additional $30,000 in taxes.

The additional taxes would have little, if any, effect on consumption of consumer goods.

This would generate approximately $6 Billion per year and would nearly cut the deficit in half. Bring the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan and we have a balanced budget. Bring the unemployment down to 5% and we have a surplus.

Reinstating the Bush program and we have disaster. WE HAVE A CHOICE!

An act of murder not an act of war

An Act of murder not an act of war.

The terrorist attack on the Twin Towers cost nearly 3000 deaths. It was horrific. Even more horrific is how the Neocons, the oil industry and the right wing evangelists used it as an excuse to invade a country that was totally uninvolved and were no threat to us; in fact, they made us more safe by the mere fact of providing countervailing influence to Iran. It has plunged us into a permanent low grade war, financed by borrowing. Our so-called voluntary military cannot supply the manpower for this war so we have reinforced them with outfits like Blackwater which cost us three times as much as our regulars cost us. Again, this is funded by borrowing. Americans are hypnotized by faux patriotism and are impervious to the cost, both in human life and money, because they don’t have to make any sacrifices for its execution. The troops, for the most part, come from across the tracks and as a “thank you” for our blind support we have been given a tax cut.

Even more horrific is the fact that never ending war, either through design or serendipity, has proven to be outrageously profitable. Corporations like Halliburton, Blackwater, General Electric and Mobil Oil are raking in unprecedented profits. Their stockholders are ebullient…and they don’t have to participate in the war…neither do their children. It’s all good!

And our new President is doing nothing to change it. My grandson is in Iraq as I write. This is his 4th deployment including the original invasion of Afghanistan. He got out when his first enlistment was up but was forced back in when he could not find a job that provided enough pay or health coverage for his wife and child. Later he was prevented from leaving because of “Stop Loss,” and then forced into another enlistment. Our voluntary army is only partly voluntary.

He was home on leave for the past two weeks and I had a long talk with him. He says that everyone he knows just wants to come home because they see it as a hopeless war and they just don’t care anymore. Never mind what you see on the news networks, the morale is bad. They see NO difference between Bush and Obama. He told me that many were wearing Hillary T-shirts’ before the election because, rightly or wrongly, they thought she would be more likely to end the war.

9/11 was an act of murder not an act of war and it should be treated as such. The monsters who did it are criminals, not soldiers! It’s too expensive and ineffective to treat them as soldiers as if they had a country with borders. They have no army, navy or air force and it’s irrational to attack them with an army, navy and air force. They represent nothing but religious fanaticism at best and human malice at worst. You cannot beat them by destroying the communities they hide in, but beating them is not what this “war” is about. It’s about using them as an excuse for using our military as a tool for economic exploitation. Perhaps some in our government are na├»ve enough to think it’s about protecting our freedom but the international corporations who control our government and their pawns in our government know it’s not!

There is no doubt that they are a threat and must be eliminated or at least marginalized but lets put the threat in perspective. On September 11, 2001, 3000 souls were lost in the attack. In 2001, over 16,000 people in the United States were murdered. In the 9 years since the attack, 148,413 people have been murdered in our nation. The count from terrorists remains at 3000. Where is our outrage, where is our fear? Where is the danger? Where is our perspective? We spend an estimated 76.4 billion, or $250 per person per year for law enforcement in the US. Our military budget in 2008 was 607 billion dollars.

We spend more than any other country in the world on our military; over 7 times more than the second highest which is China, and yet we are less safe than most, if not all, the other western countries. The obvious reason is the extent of our economic invasion of the oil producing countries which are predominantly Muslim. It can be argued that they don’t hate us because of our way of life and our “freedom,” but because of our appetites. If cars ran on olive oil, we would be at war with the olive producing countries.

But regardless of the reason, the threat is real and can’t be ignored. As stated earlier it is a police problem at a level calling for a militarized approach. Not military police as those of us who have served think but of policemen with military training. Having been both the army and the police department, I can say that, given the relatively low level of technology at their disposal, the cops do a better job. Along with their excellent training, they are instilled with an attitude of restraint, a controlled use of deadly force, as it were.

Instead of killing ants with a sledge hammer, we need to go after them with precision with specially trained and specially selected soldiers. There has to be killing, just as there is in civilian law enforcement but it can be done selectively, efficiently and discretely. With even half of those 607 billion dollars a year, we could recruit and train highly selected soldier/cops and provide the kind of human intelligence we need to eradicate the criminals without providing them with recruiting propaganda. We have amply demonstrated that the military approach will not succeed. In the words of a Nuremburg War Crimes prosecutor:

We shouldn't let them kill our principles at the same time they kill our people. And our principles are respect for the rule of law. Not charging in blindly and killing people because we are blinded by our tears and our rage.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The importance of a Democrat in The Whitehouse

Thom's blog
The Importance of a Democrat in the White House...
According to the New York Times, based on an analysis of four sets of political science data, now after five terms, Chief Justice John Roberts' Supreme Court is "the most conservative one in living memory." During this time, the Roberts court "issued conservative decisions 58 percent of the time" and, in the last year, that rate increased to 65 percent, the highest since 1953. As Jeffrey Toobin noted last year in an article for The New Yorker, "In every major case since he became the nation's seventeenth Chief Justice, Roberts has sided with the prosecution over the defendant, the state over the condemned, the executive branch over the legislative, and the corporate defendant over the individual plaintiff. Even more than Scalia, who has embodied judicial conservatism during a generation of service on the Supreme Court, Roberts has served the interests, and reflected the values, of the contemporary Republican Party." And now with the additional appointment of Alito, Bush moved the Supreme Court so far to the right that some are wondering when they're going to repeal the minimum wage and child labor laws, as the last uber-conservative court did about 100 years ago. Given that the Supreme Court is the most powerful of the three branches of government - the result of their taking onto themselves a power not given them in the Constitution, the power to declare laws unconstitutional which they asserted in 1803 - it becomes ever more important that there be a Democrat in the White House over the next two terms when it becomes increasingly likely that one of the conservative members of the court will retire.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Roll back Reaganomics

Thom's blog
Voodoo Economics Partially Rolled Back....
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has announced that the Obama administration will let tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire on Jan. 1, despite calls from a small group of mostly millionaire conservadem politicians. Mr. Geithner said it's part of the effort to bring down the mounting deficit, although the White House does plan to extend tax cuts for middle- and lower-income Americans. With the exception of two world wars, for over two hundred years the debt of the United States rarely and only briefly surpassed what would be one trillion dollars in todays dollars. That long American history of fiscal sanity came to a screeching end when Ronald Reagan was elected and dropped the top income tax rate on millionaires and billionaires from 74% down to less than 30%. The result was an explosive tripling of the national debt to nearly three trillion dollars during Reagan's administration. George HW. Bush, afraid to raise taxes added another trillion or so, and George W. Bush - fully embracing Reagan's voodoo economics- added almost another five trillion to the debt. While letting tax rates rise back to Clinton era levels is a good start that will probably somewhat reduce our annual budget deficit, the real solution is to end the thirty years of voodoo economics insanity by rolling back the Reagan tax cuts.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Voodoo economics

Thom's blog
Deficit fraud ConservaDem Senator Kent Conrad Loves the Bush Tax Cuts
Deficit fraud ConservaDem Senator Kent Conrad said in an interview with reporters outside the Senate chambers this week that he is supporting extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy without paying for them. President Barack Obama and most Democrats allies support extending the lower rates for individuals earning less than $200,000 or couples making less than $250,000, but raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires modestly back to the level where they were during the Clinton administration, which produced a budget surplus. Although Republicans and conservadems keep promoting the magical thinking idea that when you cut taxes on rich people it magically causes more money to come into federal coffers, experience proves otherwise. Reagan cut taxes on millionaires and billionaires from over seventy percent to around thirty percent and more than tripled the federal debt from under a trillion - where it had been in real dollars for about two hundred years - to nearly three trillion dollars. Clinton raised taxes on the rich, without a single republican vote, and both balanced the budget and produced the first surplus in years. Bush came into office with Clinton's surplus, immediately cut taxes back to and drove a five trillion dollar deficit to over ten trillion. Never ever in history has this magical thinking embraced by Kent Conrad conservaDems and republicans been shown to actually work but they continue to promote it like children waiting for the Easter bunny.

Letter from Rupert Murdoch

"Dear Americans,
I am here to thank you for supporting Fox News and reading my many newspapers.
The American dream has come true for me. As a foreigner I have been
able to make billions of dollars off of generally dull , gullible
and unstable people. Please never give up your lack of critical thinking skills and please continue to watch my biased news reporting.
Warm regards, Rupert Murdoch

Monday, July 19, 2010

Who is responsible for the deficit?

Without the Billionaire's tax cuts, our deficit would have only been $100 Billion. Without the Iraq war, we would have had a $225 Billion surplus for the last ten years. That would be $2.25 Trillion; enough to finance health care and the stimulus bill.

And let's not forget that Bush passed TARP, with a two page set of rules. All Obama did was attach some strings.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Those who love small government

Those who love small government

  1. Banksters. The same ones who nearly destroyed the economy with wild speculation and packaged worthless mortgages.
  2. International corporations; particularly the pseudo American ones who sell their products mostly in the US but outsource their labor to captive 3rd World Nations.
  3. Libertarians who base their very existence on a visceral distaste for large government. They have no logic, just platitudes and sophistry.
  4. Privatization advocates who have never seen a successful government operation, such as the US military and the TVA that they couldn’t, make a profit by taking it over. Never mind that it will cost the public more.
  5. G roup O f P honies (GOP) which is, to an even greater extent than the DINOs, owned by corporate America. Thanks to Reagan and Bush, the federal government and international corporations, especially oil, have become identical. Only the leadership titles change as they shuffle back and forth between Washington and corporate headquarters.
  6. Fools who think that government regulating big business and protecting the rights of minorities impinges on their right to become billionaires themselves someday. Most will struggle from pay check to pay check and live at the mercy of the corporation that hires them. Giving equal rights to minorities deprives them of the right to be better than someone.
  7. Free loaders who demand government service when they have a problem but whine when the same government stops them from screwing over someone else.
  8. Idiots who are incapable of realizing that the roads they drive on and the freedom they enjoy are not free. Somehow they see no quid pro quo like when they pay for their groceries at the market. Perfect example is their love for the Iraq war at the same time they are demanding a tax cut.
  9. International terrorists and other organized criminals who are love ineffective law enforcement

Dear Brooks,

The Wild West days on Wall Street are over.

Moments ago, the Senate joined the House of Representatives to pass the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which cracks down on corporate fraud and holds big banks accountable for reckless, risky behavior. If the financial crisis has taught us anything, it is that the look-the-other way, hands-off deregulatory policies of the recent past can jeopardize not only private investments, but our entire economy.

As a member of the conference committee that crafted this final bill, I added measures to ensure law enforcement and federal agencies have the tools -- including stiffer criminal penalties -- to investigate and prosecute financial crimes and to protect whistle-blowers who help uncover these crimes.

Once signed into law by President Obama, this bill will reform Wall Street by:
  • Creating a consumer financial protection bureau to regulate the trading of derivatives, one of the root causes of the current meltdown, while allowing small businesses to continue using them to mitigate risk.

  • Ending taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street institutions by establishing a new authority to wind down failing mega-firms outside of bankruptcy, so shareholders and creditors pick up the cost, not taxpayers.

  • Protecting small businesses by establishing reasonable and fair swipe fees for debit and credit cards.
These changes bring long-overdue transparency and regulation to Wall Street, ending the days of back-room deals that put our entire economy at risk. This historic reform bill creates clear standards and real enforcement mechanisms -- including jail time for corporate wrongdoers -- to finally curb the fraud, manipulation and reckless speculation that undermined confidence in our markets and derailed our economy.

I'm proud of Congress's work to pass a bold reform bill that reigns in Wall Street abuses, ends government bailouts, and gives everyday Americans the consumer protections they deserve and expect. We have taken an important step towards restoring faith in America's financial system and rebuilding confidence in the long-term health of our economy.

Patrick Leahy
U.S. Senator



US Chamber of Commerce still pushing Bush econ plan

Thom's blog
Dark Money...
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent the White House an "open letter" laying out a proposed roadmap to economic recovery, coinciding with the organization's "Jobs Summit" underway in Washington. The Chamber plans to spend more than $50 million electing Republicans to Congress in 2010 and here are the highlights of their recovery plan. Cut taxes on the wealthy and business, cut or reduce social security, privatize roads, drill offshore, and log national forests. Although the Chamber loves to point out that more than 96 percent of its member companies are small businesses with fewer than 100 employees, in 2008 about a third of its total revenues came from just 19 companies, according to a Washington Monthly profile of its CEO Thomas Donahue. As journalist Michael Winship notes, "approximately 8 out of every 10 dollars the Chamber gives in political donations go to GOP candidates," and one of the main jobs the Chamber plays is to destroy legislation big business doesn't like without those companies having their fingerprints all over the hit job. As Chamber CEO Donahue told Washington Monthly, "I give them all the deniability they need." Now that the Supreme Court has ruled in its Citizens United case that the Chamber is a human with full Constitutional rights including the free speech right to both influence laws and even lie in political advertising, they are quickly becoming the biggest of the big players on Capitol Hill, eclipsing even the "dark money" fund that Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie are putting together for the similar purpose of destroying Democratic politicians with carpet-bombing TV advertising campaigns.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Thom's Blog - Tea Party Insanity

Thom's blog
Tea Party - Live Free or Die?
A new billboard in downtown Mason City, Iowa features our President Obama, flanked by photos of Hitler and Lenin. The billboard headlines "Radical leaders prey on the fearful and naive." Last fall that billboard said "Obama-Nation, Live Free or Die" with the Communist symbol of a hammer and sickle. It's brought to you by the North Iowa Tea Party. Iowa state Tea Party coordinator John White says, "everything Obama has done is 'lock-step' with what Hitler did in his day." The Tea Party was initially created, funded, and promoted by operators and funders like Dick Armey and David Koch. But by appealing to the worst in people, by basing their pitch on "no" and fear and paranoia, Dick Armey and his rich buddies have created a mobster. The Tea Partiers now appear to just be the most extreme right-wingers of the current crop of Republicans, trying to repackage themselves as patriotic instead of the bigots and racists some have shown themselves to be. Conservatives like William F. Buckley and Barry Goldwater wouldn't even recognize these creatures from the darkside. In 1996, observing the post-Reagan swing of the Republican party to the hard reich, true conservative Barry Goldwater, just two years before his death, told Bob Dole, "We're the new liberals of the Republican party. Can you imagine that?" With the 1998 death of Barry Goldwater, the fate of the Modern Republican Party was sealed. They've become total and incoherent shills of billionaires and transnational monopolies. And, tragically, they seem to be taking some Democrats and much of this once-great country with them.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Absurdity of the Libertarian Party

The Libertarian Party 2010 Platform


As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others.

The inference here is that the existing US government is tyrannical or despotic. They apparently approve of the laissez faire government that denied freedom for all people in the pre-civil rights era.

We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized.

But this doesn’t apply to the force and fraud used via employment requirements to compel workers to work in unnecessarily dangerous work environments, i.e. mine workers and those killed on the BP drill platform. This is just good business. Workers don’t have to do the work; they can quit and watch their families starve.

Consequently, we defend each person's right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and welcome the diversity that freedom brings. The world we seek to build is one where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own ways, without interference from government or any authoritarian power.

Since BP is, by law now, a person, the oppressive government has no right to deny them the rights to drill for oil wherever and however they want.

In the following pages we have set forth our basic principles and enumerated various policy stands derived from those principles.

These specific policies are not our goal, however. Our goal is nothing more nor less than a world set free in our lifetime, and it is to this end that we take these stands.