Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Rigged Game -- Rising Gas Prices, Speculation, and Big Oil Subsidies


Where are the Bush Tax Cuts going?  I am sure you may have noticed the soaring gas prices recently.  Nobody is immune to the harm these prices are causing the economy.  The national average is hovering around $4/gal, and a poll held by the Washington Post shows that 71% of American’s are experiencing financial hardships due to high prices.  All this while oil companies are reaching historic profit levels and are receiving $4B annually in tax payer funded subsidies…subsidies, according to the Wall Street Journal, that 74% of American’s want eliminated.
Recently, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) expressed his concern to ABC News about the rising gas prices by addressing the $4B a year in subsidies that tax payers give big oil.  He stated that it was “…something that we ought to be looking at…they ought to pay their fair share.”  So why is Boehner backpedaling now that democrats want to end the  $4B in tax breaks and put the issue to vote?  And more importantly, why does big oil even need these subsidies?
Former Republican National Committee chairman and Boehner spokesman Michael Steele stated, “The Speaker wants to increase the supply of American energy to lower gas prices and create millions of American jobs.  Raising taxes will not do that."  Of course we all know that this isn’t true.  Subsidizing the rich hasn’t created jobs recently, and over a 25 year period, we see that it actually causes debt.  Moreover, this isn’t an issue of raising taxes but eliminating tax subsidies.
More after the break...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Yahoo! News: White House releases Obama birth certificate


Can we put this to rest now and concentrate on the real issues?

Apparently Trump now wants to see his college transcripts.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Keith Olberamann returns June 20

He's baaaaaaaaaaaaack!

Keith Olbermann returns June 20 with his new show on Current: Countdown with Keith Olbermann!


TPM and Politico: The "Prince of Pork" -- Rep. Rogers' Neighborhood


Are you seriously surprised? 

Check out this illustration by TPM:

(click to enlarge)

More from Politico...


Monday, April 25, 2011

VIDEO: Town Hall -- Keep your hands off my Medicare!

The last couple of weeks, members of the congress across the U.S. returned home to their districts.  Upon arrival, many of the republicans that voted on Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget had to do some explaining.  In town halls across the country, concerned citizens voiced their opinions’ to save Medicare.  Let’s take a look at how Ryan’s constituents responded:

VIDEO: Socialism and Communism 101 -- Forget what you know

Think that something is wrong with capitalism but aren't sure of the alternatives? Afraid of socialism and communism because you were told to be? Watch. SOCIALISM AND COMMUNISM DOES NOT EQUAL FASCISM!


I'll never understand why some people think that equality for all is a bad thing...

(Big thanks to SPFL for the video)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Michigan Fascism: Snyder's new law claims its first victims


We have heard it time and time again…conservatives complaining about government being too big.  It seems to me that they only want a small government when it suits their agenda.  It is no secret that conservatives seek an enormous government when it comes to social issues, but a new trend in conservative states seems to be showing a movement towards a more massive, almost tyrannical, government...states like Pennsylvania and Governor Tom Corbett’s newly found Marcellus Shale Committee and states like Governor Rick Snyder’s Michigan.

Recently, Snyder signed a new bill into law which gives federal emergency managers even more power than they previously had.  The law essentially enables Snyder to appoint a federal emergency manager to districts that are in financial distress.  These managers are able to go into a city and completely and unilaterally dissolve any elected official’s power and gives them complete control over a town.  In the original house version of this bill, there were even provisions in the language that enabled corporations to become these managers. 

Could you imagine a company like Pepsi coming in and completely dissolving all the power of the officials your town elected?  Maybe your town would be renamed Pepsiville.  If you wanted a new stop sign put in, you could ask the board of directors.

Thankfully, this version of the bill did not pass, but that does not mean that the law is not highly unconstitutional.  Snyder can appoint anyone he wants as a manager, and his cronies could be coming to a town near you.

Friday, April 22, 2011

VIDEO: More of the same -- Rascism in the Tea Party

Take a good look at this clown.  This is the embodiment of what is wrong in this country.  It is 2011, and we still have jokes like this that people actually listen to.


I love how he doens't back up any of his statements...but isn't that the ultra-conservative's main weapon? 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Blog Update

I apologize for the lack of posts lately.  This week is a bit crazy with finals, Easter...and the start of the NHL's Stanley Cup Playoffs!  I will try and post some links this week, and I will return to posting more frequently after the week's completion.

Go Pens!

The Nation -- Obama vs. Ryan: Who's winning the deficit debate?


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Do we want America to be a good country, or do we want it to be a great country?


Do we want to live in a good country, or do we want to live in a great country?  Right now we are living in a mediocre country.  A great country takes care of its own.  Citizens in a great country recognize that they wouldn’t be there without the state itself.  Conservatives never seem to grasp that principle…that sense of community.  They want to rule on ideology and fail to see the human element.  They are busy trying to push their agenda no matter the costs; cut, cut, cut.

Spending and the deficit are related.  Nobody is trying to dispute this, but they are different discussions.  Conservatives are going to have to start getting used to the idea that the Affordable Health Care Act is here because it addresses inflation and the rising costs of health care.  Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) plan does not.  That was what health reform was all about; that is why there was an initiative for a federal approach.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Remarks of President Barack Obama: The Country We Believe In



Remarks of President Barack Obama

The Country We Believe In
The George Washington University
Washington, DC
April 13, 2011

As Prepared for Delivery—
Good afternoon. It’s great to be back at GW. I want you to know that one of the reasons I kept the government open was so I could be here today with all of you. I wanted to make sure you had one more excuse to skip class. You’re welcome.
Of course, what we’ve been debating here in Washington for the last few weeks will affect your lives in ways that are potentially profound. This debate over budgets and deficits is about more than just numbers on a page, more than just cutting and spending. It’s about the kind of future we want. It’s about the kind of country we believe in. And that’s what I want to talk about today.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Round 2: Debt ceiling 101 -- are conservatives holding the world hostage?


Here we are again.  It seems like déjà vu.  Democrats and Republicans are gearing up for another battle over cuts...only this time the implications are global. 

The new fight will focus on the issue of whether we should increase the debt limit.  I know; it seems like a no brainer, right?  Even Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) had this to say about what would happen if we didn’t raise the debt limit, as some conservatives want:
“We’ll have to find a way to help educate members and help people understand the serious problems that would exist if we didn’t do it.” – The New Yorker  
“I think that not raising the debt limit would have serious, very serious, implications for the worldwide economy and jobs here in America.” – Fox News Today 
So if Boehner understands the grave consequences of not raising the debt limit, why would he say this: 
“There will not be an increase in the debt limit without something really, really big attached to it.” – fundraiser, quoted in Politico
Did he not just get about $6M more in cuts than he originally asked for?  Was that not the largest domestic spending cut in U.S. history?  Didn’t we just have this same argument on a more domestic level?  It is clear that Boehner and his band of miserable conservatives are trying to take more hostages like they took poor American’s hostage not even week ago.  The hostage this time?  America and the world.

TRMS: VIDEO: How quickly we forget...

Why is it so difficult to enforce proper employment of functional blowout preventer valves?



Spill date: 4/19/10 
Seal date: 9/20/10
Fatalities: 11
volume: 2.6M gallons
Area: 68K sqare miles

Monday, April 11, 2011

Average CEO pay increases 20% to $11.5M; Average worker pay increases 2%


Looks like the old trickle-down theory is hard at work once again.  CEO pay in the United States increased by 20% in 2010 to $11.5M.  The average worker will see an average increase of about 2%.  You add in inflation, and the average worker will make about $0.58 more a week, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  No, I didn't misplace the decimal point.


It is this lack of parity that is destroying this country.  How is it that the real producer is getting hosed?  Do you mean to tell me that the average shareholder would rather see that money being spent in bonuses instead of, perhaps, receiving a higher dividend or seeing it reinvested back into the company.  Or...Orrrrr...and I know this is radical...they could increase worker pay.  Woah!  I know.  Mind-bending.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

MSNBC Sunday, noon et: A Stronger America: The Black Agenda

Important stuff here: 
 Join MSNBC for a special televised event - A Stronger America:  The Black Agenda, Sunday April 10th at 12pm ET.


Friday, April 8, 2011



Can the right please just drop the riders and pass the damn budget?  Riders have nothing to do with budgetary concerns!  Our troops need paid!!!  Now is not the time for politics!  Forget the social issues; you can discuss those tomorrow.  We cannot afford a government shutdown right now.  Planned Parenthood IS NOT an acceptable reason to shut down government.  FYI:  Planned Parenthood DOES NOT fund abortions.  The Hyde Amendment makes use of federal funding for abortion ILLEGAL.  You should know that, you know, because you're a legislator.  Stop playing politics and discuss your socially conservative ideology tomorrow.  

How did the work out for Newt?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

ThinkProgress: Idaho rejects exception in abortion bill because 'The hand of the Almighty' was at work

This is just wrong...


TEA PARTY: “Shut it down!” On the eve of government shutdown and more

Tea Party member Rep Mike Pence (R-IN)

 Which side doesn't want government shutdown?


First, congratulations to JoAnne Kloppenburg (D) of Wisconsin for defeating David Prosser (R) in the Wisconsin Supreme Court elections.  In what is the creepy practice of electing judges, Kloppenburg stunned Wisconsin by recovering from a thirty point deficit in the primaries.  As of now, with 100% of the precinct reporting, Kloppenburg has a 204 point advantage.  This one will probably go to a recount, the first recount in Wisconsin in decades.  

Also, in the Milwaukee County Executive election, Chris Abele (D) destroyed Jeff Stone (R), also commonly referred to as “Scott Walker’s Twin,” by 22 points.    When asked about the election results, Scott Walker said that in Milwaukee, the county was “deep blue,” even though the previous person to hold that seat was in fact Scott Walker.  He also stated that there were "two very different worlds in this state. You've got a world driven by Madison, and a world driven by everybody else out across the majority of the rest of the state of Wisconsin." 

Yeah, that means that there is you and there is everybody else.  Why won’t you listen to your constituents?  You are basically admitting that you don’t care what the voters think.  It’s no surprise that people are attributing this stunning victory to Scott Walker’s recent budget proposal, which strips unions of collective bargaining rights.  

Walker likes to say limiting these rights is about the budget because Wisconsin is broke…so broke that he can afford to hire a republican state senators mistress to a high profile job and hire his top corporate lobbyist’s son to another.  The son he hired is a college dropout and has two DUI’s.  The job, in which he has no experience or qualifications for, pays $81,500 of tax payer’s money a year.   The other top two candidate’s resumes were slightly better.  Candidate A has a PhD and two master’s degrees.  This candidate also served as the state cabinet secretary.  Candidate B is currently a chemical engineer that has served as acting administrator since 2003.  I am sure the decision was a tough one.

Impending government shutdown and more after the break…

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Stanford study shows grave reality of U.S. inequality


Stanford recently completed a study set out to answer two questions:  1.) Why is the United States so unequal and poverty-stricken? And what can or should be done about it?  The following statistics are startling, but they are not surprising.  Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz writes, " big part of the reason we have so much inequality is that the top 1 percent want it that way."

From Stanford University:

Wage Inequality
Over the last 30 years, wage inequality in the United States has increased substantially, with overall levels of inequality closing in on unprecedented levels. This overall trend is complicated, however, by somewhat different patterns of change at the top and bottom of the wage distribution. “Lower-tail” inequality is measured here by taking the ratio of wages at the middle of the income distribution (i.e., the 50th percentile) to those near the bottom of the distribution (i.e., the 10th percentile), and “upper-tail” inequality is measured by taking the ratio of wages near the top of the distribution (i.e., the 90th percentile) to those at the middle of the distribution (i.e., the 50th percentile of workers). We find that lower-tail (50/10) inequality rose sharply in the 1980s and contracted somewhat thereafter, while upper-tail (90/50) inequality has increased steadily since 1980.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ryan's proposed budget called "radical"


House Budget Committee Chairman, Rep Paul Ryan (R-WI), introduced his radical new budget proposal which would eliminate Medicare and completely privatize health care for seniors and would eliminate Medicaid altogether.  TPM breaks down what this means if you are elderly, disabled, or poor:

"Low-income Medicaid beneficiaries will lose their guaranteed benefits altogether. Currently, Medicaid is jointly financed by the federal government and states, which are required to provide comprehensive health care benefits to people in poverty. Ryan's plan turns the program into block grants for the states -- states get a bunch of cash from the feds and have to make the best of it. For many states, that will mean severe benefit rollbacks.
Seniors, and others on Medicare, would be in a slightly different predicament. Currently seniors 65 and over are guaranteed a defined benefit program: taxpayers finance the system, and the government agrees to pay for seniors' health care services (though seniors have to pitch in too). Ryan's plan would leave that system intact for anybody currently on Medicare, or expecting to be on Medicare within 10 years. For everyone else the program would be radically overhauled. Future beneficiaries would no longer have a single payer system to rely on. Rather, they'd be given a menu of private insurance plans to pick from, and subsidies to help pay their premiums. If those premiums skyrocket, that's on them. If the insurers themselves aren't required to pay for whatever the doctor orders, then the guaranteed benefits will erode."
Respected health care expert and Princeton economist, Uwe Reinhardt, states, "Under the defined contribution approach envisaged by the Rivlin-Ryan plan, most of the risk of future health-care cost increases would be shifted onto the shoulders of Medicare beneficiaries. This feature makes the proposal radical."

His plan would also give corporations a 10% tax break.  If the right's "Path to Prosperity," as they are calling this proposal, is anything like their "Roadmap for America's Future," it will increase the burden on the poor and middle class.  It will also reduce the burden for big business and the wealthy.  

Ryan's plan and more after the break...

The resistance has begun


"We don’t need to waste our time appealing to the Democratic Party or writing letters to the editor. We don’t need more diatribes on the Internet. We need to physically get into the public square and create a mass movement."

A national teach-in on austerity, debt, and corporate greed

Harvard Business School 


At 2 PM, join Harvard and guests as they discuss the current wave of domestic cuts and the effects of austerity and corporate greed.

Monday, April 4, 2011

US soldiers dead after FL preacher burns Qu'ran


I hope you're happy, religious far right.  Your shenanigans just killed 2 US soldiers and over 20 people total and counting in Afghanistan for your little book burning ceremony.  The upcoming "fighting" season is projected to be the worst yet.  You just had to post this on YouTube, didn't you??  Thank you for undoing YEARS of work done by US soldiers.  I hope their deaths haunt you forever!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Florida's severely disabled to help fund corporate tax cuts

Governor Scott never seems to miss an opportunity for a media op.  Check out this video:

It's good to know the governor cares so much about the disabled, especially since he is using his "emergency powers" to cut their programs 15%, which would affect over 30,000 disabled people with down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and autism.  How else can he afford those $1.5B in corporate tax cuts?  The intellectually disabled won't know, right?  What makes it worse is him attending a Special Olympics event AFTER he proposed this!  I guess I'll never understand politicians...

Link and more after the break:

Saturday, April 2, 2011

April Fools? Transocean execs get bonuses after ‘Best Year in Safety’ despite Gulf Oil disaster

Another April fools joke?


This is why big business needs corporate tax cuts.  Those bonuses aren't going to pay themselves.  It's good to know that all those corporate tax cuts that are being funded by domestic program cuts are being used to pay bonuses to these poor execs.  I mean, we need these corporate tax cuts, right?  You know, because corporations, despite churning out record profits since 1950 in the last quarter of 2010, need these cuts to create jobs, because trickle-down economics works and the money goes where it needs to go, right?  If profits continue at that rate for an entire year, that would amount to $1.6 TRILLION dollars.

Video and more after the break:

Job growth in PA third in nation due to spending

Cut programs and jobs when unemployment is falling?

Recent job growth in Pennsylvania is healthier than in most states

This article is a study based on job growth in Pennsylvania. The study shows that spending by former Governor Rendell made Pennsylvania third in the nation for job growth. The former governors spending plan includes $400M in infrastructure, $600M in promoting energy jobs, and $500M in economic development. This created 107,000 jobs due to investment. He did this without raising business taxes. Lower the tax rate, and close the loopholes. Why can't we logically cut spending and stop giving big business tax breaks?

Conspiracy in the White House!

Rep Gohmert (R-TX) thinks the president is escalating Lybia so he has the pretext to call up a private army as written within the language of the Affordable Care Act.  Even if this was President Obama's agenda, what would he do with it?  This is just plain ridiculous.

OH Gov Kasich signs union-stripping bill into law; includes police and firefighters

Ohio governor signs collective bargaining limits 

Governor Kasich of Ohio just recently signed his new union-stripping bill into law.  Unlike Walker's bill in Wisconsin, Kasich's bill included union-stripping measures for police and firefighters.  The law has caused major cuts in Ohio, including major cuts in police protection in big cities like Cleveland.  Cleveland had to lay off 300 officers.  Cleveland also had to shutdown their street crimes unit and car theft unit.  The 22 miles of coastline Cleveland has?  Unprotected, as Cleveland cannot afford a single boat.  One of the limited requests from the unions was to have two officers in a car for dangerous neighborhoods.  Oh those greedy bastards!  Here is video that pretty much sums up Kasich's thoughts on police officers:


This is unfortunate for the Fraternal Order of Police who endorsed state Sen. Shannon Jones (R-OH).  The FOP endorsed Sen. Jones, and then Jones went and supported the anti-union legislation.  I'm guessing this why the FOP is supporting President Obama in 2012 and not the Republican candidate as they have for as long as I can remember.  Referendum?  Yes, please.

Friday, April 1, 2011

What is Polity?

What is Polity?

Aristotle's Polity (regime of political rule)

-Everyone is similar in birth and free

-Everyone knows what it is to rule and everyone knows how to be ruled

-All citizens are capable of holding office; everyone has the ability to rule - rule by the many

-Political rule seeks common benefit

-In any case, the deliberative part rules

-In polity, everyone has logos, so collectively, it is better

-The best constitution aims at the most choice worthy life.  Deliberation helps us make good choices, good choices lead us to choose virtuously, to choose virtuously is to flourish, and to flourish is best, because it is natural

Aristotle believes that there are six types of regimes; three good and three bad.  The order from worst to best is as follows: tyranny, oligarchy, democracy, polity, aristocracy, and kingship. 

He initially picks kingship as the best form of rule...ideally. His argument is that a king is the most virtuous person, therefore he only has the best decisions for his people at heart. He uses this same argument for aristocracy, as the aristocrats are more virtuous, because they have had more time to deliberate. 

But, as with many of his writings, he flip-flops. 

He chooses polity as the best regime, because having more people in power makes it harder to corrupt, therefore the people must be the most virtuous. He explains that the many -- the net many -- have more virtue than the elite few. He believes that through deliberation, there would be a bigger pool of virtue to draw on to make good decisions.


Welcome to People for Polity. I created this blog as a forum for discussion on all things democracy. Here you can feel free to express your feelings on the current issues going on in our government. We personally believe in equality for all. I will post some editorials, but I will mostly post articles that I find particularly interesting that seem relevant to our mission and comment on them. Please feel free to express your opinion. If you are an activist that stumbled upon this blog on accident, feel free to contact me at for any assistance that I might be able to provide.