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Wings and Weights
Work of Progressives to move us forward and the people and attitudes that weigh us down.
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Gingrich unmasks Romney shifting claims about taxes on national TV

by CHRIS MILES, Policy Mic

 

On Meet the Press on Sunday morning, Mitt Romney supporter (and former GOP rival in the Republican presidential primaries) Newt Gingrich admitted that Romney wasn’t telling the truth about his tax plan.

 

Ouch. Are even Republicans backing off the Romney tax spiel?

 

In the first presidential debate earlier this week, the president charged that Romney's plans called for a $5 trillion tax cut.

 

Romney has said he will cut taxes across-the-board and that his proposal would not harm the deficit, but would rather boost growth and revenues by eliminating loopholes.

 

“I’m not looking for a $5 trillion tax cut. What I’ve said is I won’t put in place a tax cut that adds to the deficit,” said Romney during Wednesday's debate. 

 

The Obama campaign, however, says that Romney has failed to specify which loopholes and deductions he would target and that the plan would increase the tax burden on the middle class. The Obama campaign has shifted into a strategy of painting Romney in “lies, all lies” terms. [MORE]


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Strong Enforcement Of Voter Protections Needed To Stop "Bullies At The Ballot Box"

Through the 1-866-OUR-VOTE hotline and a comprehensive field deployment, Election Protection helps voters overcome obstacles to the ballot box while collecting data for meaningful reform. Over 100 organizations have joined forces to monitor polling places across the country and provide aid, including legal assistance, to voters who encounter obstacles to voting.


by COMMON CAUSE

 

NEW YORK – As the elections approach, strong enforcement of voter protections is needed to prevent attempts to block voters from casting their ballot, according to a report released today by voting rights groups Demos and Common Cause. The study, “Bullies at the Ballot Box: Protecting the Freedom to Vote from Wrongful Challenges and Intimidation” focuses on voter protection laws in10 states where elections are expected to be close, or where large challenger operations are expected or have taken place during recent elections.

 

True the Vote and other Tea Party-affiliated groups are reportedly recruiting 1 million volunteers to object to the qualifications of voters in targeted communities on and before Election Day, according to the study. These volunteers are being rallied to block, in their own words, the “illegal alien vote” and “the food stamp army.” Their stated goal is to make the experience of voting “like driving and seeing the police behind you.”

 

“Ballot box bully” tactics include:

 

Targeting registered voters in communities of color, student voters, and voters facing foreclosure to challenge their eligibility to vote and kick them off the voting rolls. “Hovering over” voters waiting to cast their ballots and otherwise intimidating voters at the polls. Encouraging states to engage in systematic purges of voter rolls, in violation of federal law.

 

“Voting must be free, fair and accessible to all, and voters should know their rights,” said Common Cause President Bob Edgar. “It is important to maintain the integrity of our election system, and that means that candidates, parties and political activists should be focused on persuading and turning out voters, not bullying them or trying to manipulate the law to freeze them out of our democracy.”

 

The ten states reviewed in “Bullies at the Ballot Box” are Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. In addition to assessing the current state laws, the report provides recommendations to protect citizens from these large-scale, well-organized efforts to intimidate or block them from voting.

 

“We call on elections officials and law enforcement at the state and federal level to stand ready to enforce the law and aggressively protect every eligible American’s right to vote this November,” said Liz Kennedy, report co-author and Counsel at Demos. “Wrongful challenges and intimidating tactics should never stand between Americans and their right to have their voices heard on the issues that affect their lives. There should be zero tolerance for bullying at the ballot box.”

 

Findings

 

The report grades the level of protection that state law provides eligible voters in three major categories – challenges to voters’ right to vote before Election Day, on Election Day, and laws governing the conduct of poll watchers or other observers at the polls. While every state has room for improvement, the authors find that:

 

As for challenges to voters’ registration status and right to vote before Election Day:

 

Colorado, Nevada, and Ohio laws are satisfactory; North Carolina and Texas laws are mixed as to the level of protection they afford voters but could be improved; and Florida, Missouri, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Virginia (half of the states examined) have unsatisfactory laws on the books. As for challenges to a voter’s right to vote on Election Day: Texas (which does not allow any Election Day challenges), Ohio, Colorado, New Hampshire, and North Carolina laws are satisfactory. Missouri, Nevada, and Virginia laws are mixed in the level of protection they afford voters; and Florida and Pennsylvania have laws with unsatisfactory protections to guard against inappropriate Election Day challenges to voter eligibility. As for state laws governing poll watchers or observer conduct at the polls: Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia laws are satisfactory; Florida, Missouri and New Hampshire are mixed in the level of protection they afford voters; and Pennsylvania and Texas allow behavior by poll observers and poll watchers that is problematic and could intimidate voters, so their laws were assessed as unsatisfactory.

 

The report cites federal law and laws on the books in all ten states that prohibit voter intimidation and could be enforced to prevent harassing conduct at the polls.

 

“It is important that all participants understand the rules and respect the right of all eligible Americans to vote free of intimidation or obstruction. We want to minimize the risk of positive civic engagement moving into disrupting the orderly conduct of elections,” said Liz Kennedy.

 

“Unwarranted challenges to voters’ eligibility can lead to problems at the polls for everyone seeking to cast a ballot by depleting resources, distracting officials, and leading to longer lines. They threaten the fair administration of elections and the fundamental freedom to vote.”

 

“Voting is one of our most fundamental rights,” said Common Cause’s Edgar. “No eligible voter should be blocked from casting a ballot, and the entire voting rights community is mobilized to protect voters’ rights.”

 

Common Cause and Demos are part of the Election Protection coalition, the nation’s largest non-partisan voter protection coalition. Common Cause and coalition allies are recruiting and organizing non partisan Election Day monitors to help voters understand the voting rules in their state and report any and all efforts to discourage or intimidate voters. 


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Can I Vote? | Find Out If You Are Registered to Vote

Can I Vote? | Find Out If You Are Registered to Vote | Wings and Weights | Scoop.it

Need help with voting? You've come to the right place. This nonpartisan web site was created by state election officials to help eligible voters figure out how and where to go vote. Choose a category below to get started.

Visit the National Association of Secretaries of State website for more 2012 election information. If you are an active duty member of the uniformed services, or a citizen living outside of the United States, please visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program website.


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U.S. election: Ron Paul stripped of delegates on eve of Republican convention

U.S. election: Ron Paul stripped of delegates on eve of Republican convention | Wings and Weights | Scoop.it

Last-minute manoeuvring by Mitt Romney’s legal team ensures Romney holds the only hand going in to this week’s Republican National Convention.

 

by MITCH POTTER, The Star


He was the last wild card left in the Republican deck. But now Ron Paul too has been deftly played, ensuring Mitt Romney holds the only hand going in to this week’s Republican National Convention.


Up until Friday, Paul’s young and wildly committed supporters held out hope of mounting a coup on the convention floor in Tampa, or at least raising the flag noisily for their 77-year-old candidate.

 

But last-minute manoeuvring by Mitt Romney’s legal team stripped Paul of a trove of delegates, leaving many of Paul’s libertarian-leaning supporters all dressed up with nowhere to go.

 

Instead Paul will end his third and likely final run for the presidency with what amounts to a political whimper: a “video tribute” to the former obstetrician and longtime Texas congressman will play on the convention floor.

 

However, Paul himself will not be trusted to speak. Though an invitation was proffered, it came with rigid conditions — Paul’s words would be vetted by Team Romney and include a full-throated endorsement. Ron Paul said no.

 

“It wouldn’t be my speech,” Paul told the New York Times. “That would undo everything I’ve done for the last 30 years. I don’t fully endorse him for president.”

 

It’s all adds up to a bitter pill for his true believers, several thousand of whom gathered Saturday at the Florida State Fairgrounds for an event billed as the Paul Festival. [MORE]



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Gore Vidal » Gore Vidal on Ayn Rand in 1961: ‘She Has a Great Attraction for Simple People’

Gore Vidal » Gore Vidal on Ayn Rand in 1961: ‘She Has a Great Attraction for Simple People’ | Wings and Weights | Scoop.it

"This odd little woman is attempting to give a moral sanction to greed and self interest," Gore Vidal said of Ayn Rand, writing for Esquire in July 1961, "and to pull it off she must at times indulge in purest Orwellian newspeak of the 'freedom is slavery' sort."

 

The mindset of Rand’s followers has not changed over the decades. "She has a great attraction for simple people" Vidal said then, "who are puzzled by organized society, who object to paying taxes, who dislike the 'welfare' state, who feel guilt at the thought of the suffering of others but who would like to harden their hearts. For them, she has an enticing prescription: altruism is the root of all evil, self-interest is the only good, and if you're dumb or incompetent that's your lookout."

 

[Read more.]


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james's comment, August 17, 2012 7:00 PM
Ayn Rand didn't write for the simple-minded; she offered a simple solution. So the moral of this story is if you are trying to sell a point of charity rather than greed, use the KISS approach. So far compassion seems to have a convoluted message compared to the over-simplified "greed is good" mantra. We need to change the dialogue from greed vs charity and move it to sustainability and viability for the sake not only of the rich and poor of today, but of those we have put into economic slavery that have not yet been born.
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Jon Huntsman Sr., longtime Romney backer, calls on him to release tax returns

Jon Huntsman Sr., longtime Romney backer, calls on him to release tax returns | Wings and Weights | Scoop.it

By Greg Sargent, The Washington Post

 

The internet is alive with speculation that the secret source Harry Reid claims to have on Mitt Romney's tax returns is Utah industrialist Jon Huntsman Sr. He is the founder of Hunstman Corporation and the father of the former GOP presidential candidate - and the speculation is based on the fact that his profile fits with much of what we publicly know about Reid’s presumed confidante.

 

But I just got off the phone with Huntsman, and he confirmed to me that he is not Reid’s source.

 

However, in a move that could be significant, Huntsman forcefully called on Romney to release his tax returns. This matters, because Huntsman is a longtime backer of Romney - he has long been close to Romney; he supported his early campaigns; he was the national finance chairman of Romney's 2008 presidential campaign; and he has raised a lot of money for him over the years. (He backed his own son in the latest GOP primary.)

 

"I feel very badly that Mitt won’t release his taxes and won’t be fair with the American people," Huntsman told me. In a reference to Romney’s father, who pioneered the release of returns as a presidential candidate, Huntsman said: "I loved George. He always said, pay your taxes for at least 10 or 12 years." (See update in full article.)

 

"Mr. Romney ought to square with the American people and release his taxes like any other candidate," Huntsman said. "I've supported Mitt all along. I wish him well. But I do think he should release his income taxes."

 

[Read more.]


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Bush Tax Cuts Have Provided Extremely Large Benefits to Wealthiest Americans Over Last Nine Years

Bush Tax Cuts Have Provided Extremely Large Benefits to Wealthiest Americans Over Last Nine Years | Wings and Weights | Scoop.it

by Chye-Ching Huang and Nathaniel Frentz, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

 

The tax cuts first enacted under President Bush in 2001 and 2003 have made the tax code less progressive and delivered a large windfall to the highest-income taxpayers.[1] Tax Policy Center estimates for the years 2004 to 2012 (the years for which TPC provides data that are comparable from year to year) give us a sense of the cumulative effect of these tax cuts:
 

The average tax cut that people making over $1 million received exceeded $110,000 in each of the last nine years — for a total of more than $1 million over this period. The tax cuts made the tax system less progressive. In each of the nine years from 2004 through 2012, the tax cuts increased the after-tax income of the highest-income taxpayers by a far larger percentage than they did for middle- and low-income taxpayers. For example, in 2010, the year in which all of the Bush income and estate tax cuts were fully phased in, they increased the after-tax income of people making over $1 million by more than 7.3 percent, but increased the after-tax income of the middle 20 percent of households by just 2.8 percent.[2] ... Policymakers need to consider the extension of the Bush tax cuts in this context. If the tax cuts on incomes above $250,000 ($200,000 for single filers) expire, the wealthiest taxpayers will still have enjoyed a decade-long windfall, and the top two tax rates will return to those of the 1990s, when the economy grew robustly, tax rates on high-income taxpayers still were lower than in most prior decades, and both corporations and small businesses thrived. [Read more.]
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Lawrence Lessig Prepared Remarks at US Senate Hearing on Overturning Citizens United

Lawrence Lessig Prepared Remarks at US Senate Hearing on Overturning Citizens United | Wings and Weights | Scoop.it

From prepared testimony of Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig before the Senate Judiciary Committee, speaking out against "Citizens United," the 2010 Supreme Court decree for unlimited, anonymous spending to influence American elections.

 

The People have lost faith in their government.


They have lost the faith that their government is responsive to them, because they have become convinced that their governmentis more responsive to those who fund your campaigns. As all of you, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike, find yourselves forced into a cycle of perpetual fundraising — spending, according to the estimates in the academic literature, anywhere between 30% and 70% of your time raising money to get back into office or to get your party back into power — you become, or atleast most Americans believe you become, responsive to the will of “the Funders.” But “the Funders” are not “the People”: .26% of Americans give more than $200 in a congressional campaign; .05% give the maximum amount to any congressional candidate; and .01% — the 1% of the 1% — give more than $10,000 in an election cycle.

We have up-sourced the funding of your campaigns to the tiniest fraction of the 1%; America has grown cynical in response. Citizens United has only made this problem worse, as it has further and predictably concentrated funding in an even smaller sliceof America. In the current presidential election cycle, .000063% of America — that’s 196 citizens — have funded 80% of Super PACspending.  22 Americans — that’s 7 one-millionths of 1% — account for 50% of that funding. Citizens United has thus furthershifted the sources of campaign funding toward an ever shrinking few.

 

This, Senators, is corruption. Not “corruption” in the criminal sense. I am not talking about bribery or quid pro quo influence peddling. It is instead “corruption” in a sense that our Framers would certainly and easily have recognized: They architected a government that in this branch at least was to be, as Federalist 52 puts it, “dependent upon the People alone.” You have evolved a government that is not dependent upon the People alone, but that is also dependent upon the Funders. [MORE]  |  [VIDEO]


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The Sharp, Sudden Decline of America's Middle Class | Culture News | Rolling Stone

The Sharp, Sudden Decline of America's Middle Class | Culture News | Rolling Stone | Wings and Weights | Scoop.it
They had good, stable jobs - until the recession hit. Now they're living out of their cars in parking lots.

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After Texas Charges Only Misdemeanors, Feds Win Felony Case Against Hate Criminals | Hatewatch | Southern Poverty Law Center

After Texas Charges Only Misdemeanors, Feds Win Felony Case Against Hate Criminals | Hatewatch | Southern Poverty Law Center | Wings and Weights | Scoop.it

Three white supremacists involved in a racially motivated assault last year on a black man in Houston will serve federal prison sentences ranging from 30 to 77 months.

 Brian Kerstetter, 32, was sentenced yesterday to 77 months, followed by three years of supervised release, by U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt. Charles Cannon, 26, was sentenced to 37 months and Michael McLaughlin, 41, to 30 months. They each also must complete three years of supervision upon their release.A Houston jury on April 16 convicted the three of violating federal law contained in the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Those three convictions are believed to raise the number of people convicted nationwide under the 3-year-old law to 15.
 

“James Byrd was murdered 14 years ago not far from Houston because he was African-American, and today, these defendants have been sentenced under the critical new law enacted in his name for viciously attacking an African-American because of the color of his skin,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division. “It is a sad reality that violent acts of hate committed because of someone’s race are not a thing of the past, and the department will continue to use every available tool to identify and prosecute hate crimes whenever and wherever they occur.”
 

The three men met on Houston streets and “bonded” over their white supremacist tattoos, authorities said. After removing their shirts, they approached and confronted Yondell Johnson, 29, as he waited for a bus shortly before midnight on Aug. 13.

Johnson, an amateur boxer, was backed up against a pole and fought off the men for about 10 minutes before one of them grabbed his ankles and pulled him to the ground. Then, the attackers stomped and kicked Johnson, causing serious injuries. “I thought I was on my way to dying, especially when they got me on the ground,” the victim said later.
 

Initially, the three were charged only with state misdemeanors before the Department of Justice stepped in, seeking and getting federal felony indictments.
 

Passage of the Shepard-Byrd hate crime law “provided a powerful tool to law enforcement,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen L. Morris said after the three were sentenced.

“With today’s sentencing, the message is clear,” Morris said. “Our communities will not tolerate hate, and individuals who commit such despicable bias-motivated crimes have been put on notice. They will be brought to justice and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

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US Senate Hearing on Overturning "Citizens United"

US Senate Hearing on Overturning "Citizens United" | Wings and Weights | Scoop.it

LIVE WEBCAST

 

In support of today's first ever Senate Hearing on Citizens United, concerned citizens will deliver at least 1,959,063 signatures calling for overturning Citizens United and related cases by amending the Constitution.

 

 

The petitions were gathered in support of hearings held by the Constitution Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee to examine the impact of unlimited, often anonymous spending to influence election results, and the need for constitutional remedies to restore the democratic promise of America. The people whose names appear on these petitions reflect the deep-seated public concern about the state of our democracy and the growing grassroots movement to restore government, of, by, and for the people. [MORE]


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Margaret Reeve Panahi's comment, July 25, 2012 9:32 PM
He is an honorable senator.
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Eagle Scout Returns Badge To Boy Scouts In Protest Of Group's Anti-Gay Policy

Eagle Scout Returns Badge To Boy Scouts In Protest Of Group's Anti-Gay Policy | Wings and Weights | Scoop.it

A letter penned by a former Eagle Scout who returned his badge to the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) in an act of protest against the organization's decision to uphold its anti-gay policy is going viral in the blogosphere.
 

As Towleroad, Instinct magazine and other media outlets first reported, Martin Cizmar, who now works as the arts and culture editor of Oregon's Williamette Week, described the gesture as "kind of sad, but important" on Twitter.
 

In the letter, Cizmar -- who is straight -- writes: "Though I didn't know at the time, I was acquainted with a number of gay scouts and scouters. They were all great men, loyal to the scout oath and motto and helpful to the movement. There is no fair reason they should not be allowed to participate in scouting."
 

"A national policy on sexuality forces good, principled people from scouting," he continues. "I can only hope that someone inside the BSA has the courage to fix this policy before the organization withers into irrelevance."
 

Cizmar then concludes, "I don't want to be an Eagle Scout if a young man who is gay can't be one, too."
 

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The U.S. Passed Mandatory Health Insurance In 1798 Under President And Founding Father, John Adams

The U.S. Passed Mandatory Health Insurance In 1798 Under President And Founding Father, John Adams | Wings and Weights | Scoop.it

Many people who oppose the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”, also known as ‘Obamacare’, say the Founding Fathers wouldn’t have wanted the Government to make health insurance mandatory for private employees.
 

This is simply not true. In 1798, under 2nd President and Founding Father John Adams, the United States passed a law requiring mandatory health insurance for any private employees working on Maritime vessels. The bill was called “An Act for The Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen”
 

It’s safe to assume that John Adams, who was the first Vice President of this country, the 2nd President of this Country, one of the Founding Fathers, and was a key negotiator in the peace treaty between the United States and Britain, had a pretty clear idea of what the Founding Fathers would have been alright with.

 In July of 1798, Congress passed – and President John Adams signed -“An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen.” The law authorized the creation of a government operated marine hospital service and mandated that privatelyemployed sailors be required to purchase health care insurance.
 

Keep in mind that the 5th Congress did not really need to struggle over the intentions of the drafters of the Constitutions in creating this Act as many of its members were the drafters of the Constitution.

And when the Bill came to the desk of President John Adams for signature, I think it’s safe to assume that the man in that chair had a pretty good grasp on what the framers had in mind.

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"Fact-based, solutions-oriented, people-powered news for the 99%"

"Fact-based, solutions-oriented, people-powered news for the 99%" | Wings and Weights | Scoop.it

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The Imaginary Campaign

The Imaginary Campaign | Wings and Weights | Scoop.it

by JOE KLEIN, Time Magazine

 

On Aug. 31, the night after the Clint Eastwood empty-chair colloquy at the Republican Convention, Jon Stewart identified the radioactive ingredient that would provide the fuel for Mitt Romney's September meltdown. The Republicans, he noted on The Daily Show, were suffering from "cognitive dissonance." Like Eastwood, they were campaigning against a Barack Obama who was a figment of their imagination. "There is a President Obama that only Republicans can see," he said. That Obama--the Muslim socialist foreigner--was "bent on our wholesale destruction." The mad fact is, Stewart was only scratching the surface. We now know that Romney has been running not only against an imaginary President but against an imaginary electorate as well. This is an electorate in which 47% are looking for handouts, don't pay income taxes and won't "take responsibility...for their lives."

 

How utterly insulting to the legions of hospital workers, restaurant (and country club) employees and security guards who work their butts off servicing the plutocrats Romney was addressing at his now infamous fundraiser in Boca Raton, Fla. These workers barely get by, but they are helped a bit by benefits--like the earned-income and child tax credits invented by Republicans--that limit their exposure to income taxes (although they continue to kick in payroll taxes and pay a host of state and local levies). The great irony is that the vast majority of Romney's 47% would be shocked to learn that they're among the freeloaders, which is why this incident might not, in the end, have all that much impact on the presidential campaign. Romney was right about the larger picture in Boca: this election will be decided by a sliver of middle-class independents, the 6% who can't decide which of these candidates they disdain more.


The conservative commentariat and fat-cat contributors are mystified by Obama's buoyancy. This election should have been a rout, they believe, even for a candidate as lame as Romney. The President is weak, inept, a job killer leading the economy off a cliff. Ah, but there's that cognitive dissonance again: the Romney campaign is running against a phantom economy as well. [MORE]

 

 


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Our Low-Wage Recovery: How McJobs Have Replaced Middle Class Jobs

Our Low-Wage Recovery: How McJobs Have Replaced Middle Class Jobs | Wings and Weights | Scoop.it
Mid-wage jobs vanished by the millions during the recession. They've been replaced by retail, fast food, and temp work.

 

By JORDAN WEISSMANN, The Atlantic

 

When we think about what the economy has lost since the Great Recession, we tend to consider it in terms of simple addition and subtraction. We said goodbye to more than eight million jobs in the downturn; we've added around four million back. It's easy and dismal math.

 

But there's another painful dimension to this recovery that's gotten far less attention than the lingering jobs deficit. It's the fact that most of the jobs we lost offered decent pay, while the ones we're adding are mostly low-level, service sector positions. Middle class jobs have been replaced by McJobs.

...

 

This isn't just the familiar story of how blue-collar, male-dominated fields such construction and manufacturing were decimated. As NELP notes, many of the worst hit mid-wage occupations have been office workers; there are now around 345,000 fewer secretaries and administrative assistants and 108,000 fewer insurance claims clerks, for instance. These are jobs that have likely been made redundant by better technology, and the recession became an opportunity for companies to shed weight. Just like factories have reaped productivity gains by laying off workers and investing in machines, some white collar industries have trimmed their payrolls by relying more on IT and temps.

 

In that sense, what's happened during the recession and its aftermath is really the extension of a longer-term pattern, where technological change and globalization have shaped an economy that creates new work at the top and bottom, but very little in the middle. As this graph, also from NELP, shows, the housing boom helped arrest that trend a bit. It resumed right after the bust.

 

The middle layer of our economy was hollowed out in the recession. We've barely begun to fill it back in.

 

[Read more.]


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Former Gov. Charlie Crist: Here's why I'm backing Barack Obama

Former Gov. Charlie Crist: Here's why I'm backing Barack Obama | Wings and Weights | Scoop.it

by former the former Republican Governor of Florida CHARLIE CRIST, written for the Tampa Bay Times


I’ve studied, admired and gotten to know a lot of leaders in my life. Across Florida, in Washington and around the country, I've watched the failure of those who favor extreme rhetoric over sensible compromise, and I've seen how those who never lose sight of solutions sow the greatest successes.

 

As America prepares to pick our president for the next four years — and as Florida prepares once again to play a decisive role — I'm confident that President Barack Obama is the right leader for our state and the nation. I applaud and share his vision of a future built by a strong and confident middle class in an economy that gives us the opportunity to reap prosperity through hard work and personal responsibility. It is a vision of the future proven right by our history.

 

We often remind ourselves to learn the lessons of the past, lest we risk repeating its mistakes. Yet nearly as often, our short-term memory fails us. Many have already forgotten how deep and daunting our shared crisis was in the winter of 2009, as President Obama was inaugurated. It was no ordinary challenge, and the president served as the nation's calm through a historically turbulent storm.

 

The president's response was swift, smart and farsighted. He kept his compass pointed due north and relentlessly focused on saving jobs, creating more and helping the many who felt trapped beneath the house of cards that had collapsed upon them.


He knew we had to get people back to work as quickly as possible — but he also knew that the value of a recovery lies in its durability. Short-term healing had to be paired with an economy that would stay healthy over the long run. And he knew that happens best by investing in the right places.


President Obama invested in our children's schools because he believes a good education is a necessity, not a luxury, if we're going to create an economy built to last. He supported more than 400,000 K-12 teachers' jobs, and he is making college more affordable and making student loans, like the ones he took out, easier to pay back.

[MORE]


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Deb's comment, August 26, 2012 1:01 PM
Thanks Gov. Took a lot of guts to say that. You just moved up several more notches in my book.
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Mexicans protest over poll winner

Mexicans protest over poll winner | Wings and Weights | Scoop.it
Tens of thousands of people in Mexico City demonstrate against the result of the presidential election, alleging fraud and vote-buying.
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The kind of woman who needs a late-term abortion

The kind of woman who needs a late-term abortion | Wings and Weights | Scoop.it

by Christy Zink, The Washington Post | Opinion

 

We are not reckless, ruthless creatures. Our hearts hurt each day for our losses. We mourn. We speak the names and nicknames of each other’s babies to one another; we hold each other up on the anniversaries of our losses, and we celebrate new babies and new accomplishments, all bittersweet because they arrive in the wake of grief. We extend our arms to the women who must join our community, and we lament that our numbers rise every day.

...

 

The consequences of the House bill, if it becomes law, will be inhumane. If the restrictions in this bill had been the law of the land when my husband and I received our diagnosis, I would have had to carry to term and give birth to a baby who the doctors concurred had no chance of a real life and who would have faced severe, continual pain. The decision my husband and I made to terminate the pregnancy was made out of love — to spare my son pain and suffering.

 

The ugly politics in this Congress and the sheer number of Republicans mean that this bill will likely pass in the House. I understand any citizen’s hesitancy when the issue of the right to middle-term to late-term abortion arises. But I also know from my own experience that this bill would have calamitous ramifications for real women and real families, and that the women it would most affect could never imagine they would need their right to abortion protected in this way.

 

Women and their families must be able to trust their doctors and retain their access to medical care when they most need it. To make sure that happens, members of the Senate and ordinary people across this country must see through the stereotype of the late-term aborter and see, instead, the true face of a woman who has been in this situation. I extend my hand; it is an honor to make your acquaintance. [Read more.]


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J'nene Solidarity Kay's comment, August 1, 2012 4:29 PM
Thank you for this lovely post, Lynda. I know young people who have had to face this terrible decision, and fight for their dignity all too often. Their sorrow is only exacerbated by the insensitivity of the cult that forgets that only god can judge. xo
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Indianapolis Marches Against NDAA Aug. 11, 2012 at Monument Circle

Indianapolis Marches Against NDAA Aug. 11, 2012 at Monument Circle | Wings and Weights | Scoop.it

CLICK HERE for Facebook event page

 

P.A.N.D.A. People Against National Defense Act (Indiana Chapter) has scheduled a march against the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 on August 11, 2012 to begin at 1:00PM at Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis. The NDAA of 2012 with the support of 93 Senators was signed December 31st by President Obama while most Americans were celebrating New Year's. The vague language of sections 1021 & 1022 states that any "covered persons" may be detained indefinitely without trial until the end of hostilities under the law of war. This is yet another bill similar to the Patriot Act passed in the name of National Security which violates our Constitutional rights. The ACLU, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Amnesty International, the National Lawyers Guild, journalist Chris Hedges, Noam Chomsky, and Cornel West all stand opposed to the NDAA. While the mainstream media uses elements of the Tea Party & Occupy movements to divide us the time has come to unify. We will not stand idle while our rights are trampled upon.

 

Monument Circle
1 Monument Circle, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
View Map · Get Directions

 

Join the movement


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Another London Headache? Romney Fundraiser Raises Eyebrows

Another London Headache? Romney Fundraiser Raises Eyebrows | Wings and Weights | Scoop.it

BY PEMA LEVY, TPM

 

With his London visit mired in controversy, Mitt Romney is also facing criticism for taking money from individuals implicated in an ongoing banking scandal.

 

Barclays executives have donated over $1 million to Romney’s campaign, according to the Guardian, and many are expected to be in attendance at Thursday’s fundraiser, raising eyebrows on both sides of the pond.

 

Former Barclays CEO Bob Diamond bowed out as host of Romney’s fundraiser after resigning in the wake of a scandal in which major banks colluded to artificially lower the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR), the rate at which banks loan to one another. Diamond has donated $2,500 to the Romney campaign.

 

Eighty-two other Barclays employees have donated to Romney, according to the Associated Press. Patrick Durkin, Barclays’ chief lobbyist in D.C., is a co-host and has raised more than $1 million for Romney.

 

Last week, 11 members of the British Parliament signed a letter citing the upcoming fundraiser and called on Barclays executives to "cease fundraising for political candidates immediately and to concentrate entirely on repairing confidence and trust in the banking system instead."

 

[Read more.]


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Local Official To Defy State On Harsh New Measure

Local Official To Defy State On Harsh New Measure | Wings and Weights | Scoop.it

A local election official in Pennsylvania announced plans Thursday to defy the state and resist enforcing its newly enacted voter ID law, signed by Gov. Tom Corbett (R) earlier this year.

 ‎"To ask me to enforce something that violates civil rights is ludicrous and absolutely something I am not willing to do."

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Justice fines Capital One for violating law protecting troops from creditors

Justice fines Capital One for violating law protecting troops from creditors | Wings and Weights | Scoop.it

Capital One Bank will pay $12 million in restitution to troops it denied a reprieve from credit card payments, foreclosure and car repossession while they were on active duty.

 Investigators at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) found instances in which call-center agents hired by the bank enrolled people without consent or made false claims that the services were mandatory or free.

Capital One — known for its “What’s in your wallet?” ad campaign — has blamed these problems on poor internal controls. As to its treatment of military personnel, the bank did not officially admit to wrongdoing but in a statement said it was sorry. 

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CNN: Cantor’s office wrote loophole into insider trading bill | The Raw Story

CNN: Cantor’s office wrote loophole into insider trading bill | The Raw Story | Wings and Weights | Scoop.it

CNN is reporting that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) office wrote a loophole into the House version of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act (STOCK) exempting Congress members’ spouses and children from having to report stock market transactions over $1,000 in a timely manner.
 

The Senate version of the bill requires these transactions be reported within 45 days by both its members and their families. But a memo from the Office of Government Ethics, which oversees all federal executive branch employees, used the House version, telling them spouses and children were not subject to the rule.

Neither of the bill’s Senate co-sponsors, Scott Brown (R-MA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), knew about the discrepancy.
 

“I mean, bottom line, we’re supposed to have that level of transparency and have us be treated like every other member of the United States,” Brown told CNN’s Dana Bash. “Bottom line, if we can’t do it, then — sorry, if they can’t do it — then we shouldn’t be able to do it as well.”
 

The law, which bars members of Congress from trading stocks based on information they get for work purposes and requires them to register any stock transactions over $1,000 within 45 days, was signed into effect in April, and was praised at the time for being a bipartisan effort.
 

But Cantor had drawn criticism for introducing a House version of the bill that stripped provisions requiring political intelligence consultants to register as lobbyists and stripping pension benefits from members found to be corrupt.

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Republicans Abandon ‘Government Doesn’t Create Jobs’ Mantra In Fight To Preserve Military Spending

Republicans Abandon ‘Government Doesn’t Create Jobs’ Mantra In Fight To Preserve Military Spending | Wings and Weights | Scoop.it

Defense industry-backed Republicans are so desperate to stave off the automatic military spending cuts that they’re trying to scare Americans about job losses and an ensuing nose-diving economy should the military spending cuts hold.

Except there’s one problem. Republicans aren’t supposed to believe that government spending creates jobs. But in this last act of desperation, however, it seems that Republicans pushing to preserve America’s bloated military budget have come to a pretty significant epiphany. Next week, three right-wing think tanks will co-host Sens. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Reps. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA) and Randy Forbers (R-VA) to “discuss the dangers of deeper defense cuts.” All four lawmakers are warning about job loss because of sequestration, yet they’ve all previously argued that government spending doesn’t create jobs: 

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