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The Debt Ceiling Crisis: Let’s Get Personal

 


 


by WALTER BRASCH


 


You have a credit card with a $25,000 limit.


 Because you have a good job, you only have $6,000 on the card, and routinely pay the monthly statement and a little extra on the principal.


 But then you decide you need a 52-inch high-def LCD TV screen to go into your “man cave,” and your family rightfully decides they need a vacation. So, you add a few thousand to the credit card. But, it’s all OK since you just got a promotion at work.


A couple of months later, your 2008 Honda begins puffing smoke. By the time repairs are done, it’s another thousand on the card.

Reading Nietzsche in Starbucks

By John Grant

When the human waste of politics gets to piling up so deep you want to run screaming into the night, a good remedy is to fall back to the powerful historical minds and immerse yourself in some great writing. I ran into this dilemma last Sunday, after a morning of reading The New York Times about the continuing blackmail antics of Rep. John Boehner and Senator Mitch McConnell and their merry band of Teabag Republican cutthroats.

America's Big Speed-Up: No Wonder the Jobless Rate is Staying at Depression Levels

By Dave Lindorff

My wife Joyce and I were renting a car for the week this morning at a Hertz office just outside Philadelphia.  There was a line of people either waiting to pick up a vehicle, or to return one.  

The harried clerk behind the counter -- the only guy in the office -- was fielding calls while trying to serve the first guy in line, who was trying to rent a car for a vacation trip with his wife to North Carolina’s Outer Banks.  No sooner would the poor clerk sit down at the computer to start typing in the information from the man’s driver’s license than the phone would ring -- a phone that was located on a desk in a cubicle behind him, requiring him to get up and run around to the back cubicle.

The man at the counter, and others in the line, sighed audibly.

The War on You


Let the word go forth from Washington!  The corporate rulers occupying our nation's capital have declared war on just about every citizen.

Have no doubt: those in the upper ranges of the top 1% of wealth in this country (aka The Money Party) want to kick you to the curb.

They want to reduce your social security and make you go broke paying for medical care.

They want to lower your wages and trash your retirement.

The (T)'s Continue the "Screw You" to Soldiers/Vets and Families of

Now over a decade with two wars of choice and added to the previous decades of ignored issues and not fully funding the Veterans Administration, thus saving monies instead of increased costs to catchup with the needs, as to the results of our wars. Easier to lay blame on the agency rather then the country, the 99% who don't serve it, who collectively don't look in the mirror at their total lack of Sacrifice as they wave those flags!

Last night, 30 July 2011, the Congressional House (T)'s did exactly what many thought they would and now the Congressional Senate (T)'s, going into their oft used filibuster, follow the Houses lead, and their Supporters Cheer, a day after this:

 

Congress

 

The latest from ThisCantBeHappening!:

Infrastructure and Alternative Energy = Good Strong Growth

No money for infrastructure? Get ready to crumble!

 

July 28: Ed Rendell, former governor of Pennsylvania, talks with TRMS guest host Melissa Harris-Perry about the litany of benefits that would come with more investment in US infrastructure and the certain disaster if Republicans succeed in slashing government spending.

 

DeJa-Vu: Long Past the Wars

A Country that is willing to 'Sacrifice', Not the U.S.!

As we've seen since Korea and especially from our long War of Choice, Vietnam and since! To easy to ignore the Veterans of and the few really concerned citizens, PTS, Agent Orange/Defoliant poisoning, Suicides, Gulf War Syndrome and so much more of the not so distant past and the now rising concerns of the present. Way to easy to lay blame on the Agency especially by congressional representatives, calling that conservatism, and the people, then to fund on the front end, knowing the long term results of our invasions and occupations will have costs similar to the ever growing defense costs, thus saving money long term than to Demand the Same Sacrifice demanded of the soldier, sailor and marine and their families, now over a decade of No Sacrifice and certainly No Demand For!

 

How would you spend the federal budget?

budgetTime to take out the good ol' fashioned paper and pen and create your budget. As George Lakoff once wrote, a budget is a value document. So enter numbers based on your values. When you're done, scroll down to compare your budget with the one governing United States federal spending.

Directions: Enter a percentage of the budget that you would spend on each of these six broad categories.  (If you're feeling industrious, fill in each little line item.)  Make sure the total equals 100%.

FRIENDLY FOREIGN RELATIONS____%

Economic development aid to select foreign countries, medical aid to poor nations, and development aid to poor nations, the Peace Corps, and disaster relief abroad: ____%
State Department: ____%
United Nations, peacekeeping, weapons nonproliferation: ____%

HOSTILE FOREIGN RELATIONS____%

Military and Homeland Security Department and military "aid" to other nations: ____%
Current wars: ____%
Veterans' benefits: ____%

SUSTAINABLE POLICIES____%

Job training, mass transit, and a jobs program to build renewable energy infrastructure and mass transit: ____%
Management of public lands: ____%
Pollution control and Renewable energy research: ____%
Subsidies to small farmers: ____%

EDUCATION AND RESEARCH____%

Elementary and secondary education, and higher education, and special education for students with disabilities: ____%
Medical research: ____%
Scientific research: ____%
Nasa: ____%

BASIC GOVERNANCE____%

Law enforcement and federal prisons: ____%
Housing for the poor and elderly: ____%
Paying off national debt: ____%

BIG AGRICULTURE AND BIG TRANSPORTATION____%

Airports and railroads and highways: ____%
Subsidies to big agriculture: ____%______

______

Now compare what you did with what the White House projects for 2015.

Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs: 27 July 2011

WAR TAX NOW, and stop laying blame on the agencies YOU are supposed to fund!
Hearing: Examining the Lifetime Costs of Supporting the Newest Generation of Veterans
Committee on Veterans’ Affairs United States Senate 112th Congress, First Session Hearing Schedule Wednesday, July 27, 2011 10:00 a.m.

 

May be live streamed from site

 

WITNESS LIST

Crystal Nicely, Caregiver and Spouse of OEF veteran

Paul Rieckhoff, Executive Director, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

Heidi Golding, Principal Analyst, National Security Division, Congressional Budget Office

James Hosek, PhD, Senior Economist, RAND Corporation

Debt Is A Crisis

What if the imminent banging of Uncle Sam's skull into the looming debt ceiling isn't a crisis, but the very concept of debt is?  The debt ceiling has been lifted numerous times without fanfare or fainting spells.  All we face this week is a fabricated opportunity to gut social programs and trusts under the guise of a phony crisis and a discourse constricted to exclude taxation of the wealthy or cuts to the war machine.

But what if more deficit spending isn't a safe answer?  I am completely aware that those who want to ruin this country by defunding everything but Wall Street and wars are opposed to deficit spending.  I am familiar with the notion that the Great Depression required deficit spending in order to boost the real economy, after which the government's books could be more readily put in order.  I don't imagine that a nation is the same thing as a household or any such simpletonian hooey.  And yet…

"Shared Sacrifice"??

"Shared Sacrifice"? WAR TAX NOW!!

 

Hearing: Examining the Lifetime Costs of Supporting the Newest Generation of Veterans

 

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs United States Senate 112th Congress, First Session Hearing Schedule Wednesday, July 27, 2011 10:00 a.m.

Veterans and the Veterans Administration have been short changed for decades now, costing much more in fighting to catch up then if funded properly at the beginning and into, and throughout, our wars of choice, instead it's easier for the people, their reps and some veterans to lay blame on the agency. Magnetic ribbons, wordy patriotic meme's, flag waving and historic costumes, lapel flag pins and purple heart bandages is Not Sacrificing after Demanding the Soldiers and their Families do!!

 

To Hell with the Democrats!: Time to for Any Real Progressives in Congress to Bolt the Party and Start a New One

By Dave Lindorff

Jeff Greenwald has just written that President Obama, by playing a leading role in pushing for cuts in Social Security benefits as part of the whole kabuki-theater drama over the debt ceiling, and the alleged crisis of America’s national debt, has cut out the “soul” of the Democratic Party.

Tepublicans to Military Veterans: Shove It!!

WAR TAX NOW, and call it that
Some of this I posted last night, under a different subject heading, I'm adding more to that with a change in the VVA press release link.

Add in vitter trying to block the VA budget in the Senate {below} and the tepubs are continuing their decades long obstruction of Veterans Issues while laying blame constantly on the VA and their supporters love that, including veterans among them!!

Since the 110th congress and with Gen. Shinseki in they've been trying to play catchup with What Wasn't Done Nor Mentioned in the 108th and 9th while they rubber stamped two more wars of choice and with Still No Demand from the Country as to their own Sacrifice now over a decade, added to the previous decades!!

I'm sure though they still have a supply of those 'purple heart bandages' they so enjoyed, pointed directly at us in-country Navy personal, while sending those troops into these two conflicts!!

Senator Coburn to Vietnam Veterans: Shove It!!

Add in vitter trying to block the VA budget in the Senate {below} and the tepubs are continuing their decades long obstruction of Veterans Issues while laying blame constantly on the VA and their supporters love that, including veterans among them!!

Since the 110th congress and with Gen. Shinseki in they've been trying to play catchup with What Wasn't Done Nor Mentioned in the 108th and 9th while they rubber stamped two more wars of choice and with Still No Demand from the Country as to their own Sacrifice now over a decade, added to the previous decades!!

I'm sure though they still have a supply of those 'purple heart bandages' they so enjoyed, pointed directly at us in-country Navy personal, while sending those troops into these two conflicts!!

 

Balance the Budget on the Backs of Billionaires

By David Swanson, RootsAction.org

The wealthiest nation on earth is not actually obliged to starve our senior citizens.  We don't need a military 670% more expensive than the next largest one on earth.  We don't need to fund health insurance corporations instead of healthcare.  And we don't need tax breaks for billionaires.  In fact, we don't need billionaires.  That's the message RootsAction is taking to Congress.

San Diego 'Stand Down': record 1,003 homeless vets

 

Stand Down serves record 1,003 homeless vets

 

Howard Simpson, a U.S. Army veteran, shows off a 1969 picture from Life magazine that shows him standing behind entertainer Bob Hope in Vietnam. At right is Garrett Miller, of the U.S. Navy, who helped Simpson, a former sergeant, shop for new clothes at Stand Down. — Peggy Peattie

July 18, 2011 - A record 1,003 homeless veterans in search of help getting off the streets attended the 24th annual Stand Down event over the weekend.

Move the Budget Debate to One of Those Democracies We're Bombing into Place

Imagine how radically different the current debate over the Giant Debt Ceiling Monster would look if we moved it to one of those nations we're bombing into a democracy. Imagine us all still U.S. residents with the same views we have now, but imagine that our representatives in Washington, D.C., were obliged to give a damn what we thought.

'Jobless veterans, US national disgrace'

I Demand a War Tax and call it that, it's been over a decade and counting of No Sacrifice by the Country as we demanded Sacrifice of our Soldiers and their Families, with multiple tours in two occupation theaters!

Those of us who were born during or in the years shortly after World War II grew into what our grand parents and parents with the help of our Government investments were building, joining in as we joined the workforce professions to build for our children, from the needed education professions to the skilled trades once professions.

Economic rebirth through monetary reform

Democrats and Republicans in Washington are emitting much sound and fury on the issue of federal debt and a balanced budget. What they won’t be telling us is that we could have it all: a balanced budget, no national debt, full employment, greatly reduced income taxes and expanded social programs. How this is even remotely possible will never be addressed by our two corporate political parties or the U.S. corporate stream media.

Read the rest at http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/2504

"Stand Down," 60min. Revisits

 

 

Homeless veterans: Trying to find help and hope

 

July 10, 2011 - This story was first published Oct. 17, 2010. It was updated on June 21, 2011.

One weekend a year, nearly a thousand military veterans assemble in a camp in San Diego. What brings them is what they have in common: they're all homeless. The vets gather for something called "Stand Down," started in 1988 by a soldier turned psychologist named Jon Nachison.

Then, it was an emergency response to homelessness among Vietnam vets but, all these years later, Nachison is welcoming the generation from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Voodo Economics circa 2011: The Magic of BKS Numerology Roils Markets and also Government Policy-Making

By Dave Lindorff

It is part of America’s state religion, the Free Market fundamentalist religion that is accepted as gospel by all leading politicians, by the “brain trust” that sets goverrnment economic policy, and by the supposedly hard-nosed analysts who convince American investors where to put their money, that “markets know best.”

How then to explain the panicked reaction of investors and markets to the Labor Department’s monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics report on the latest monthly jobs and unemployment figures?

Why Are Veterans Issues Off The Table?

Frankly that's very easy to answer, the country refuses to demand it's own sacrifice the greater majority cheer on but don't serve in or have direct connection to, especially the political party claiming their strength on "National Security" and it's the total opposite of what's being argued as to this debt ceiling and the growing deficit itself, remember these two present conflicts were kept off the books and fought on borrowed financing until put back on the books and our spending by the present administration. All those costs include the no bid contracts of the growing private armies as well as the numerous other private contractors serving a bottom line and not the country.

The Great Unravelling

The Great Unravelling - by Stephen Lendman

Friday's jobs report threw more cold water on so-called recovery. Since 2008, Main Street America's been in Depression.

Conditions have worsened, not improved, because of force-fed austerity, not badly needed stimulus to create jobs, reemploy people, and revive real economic growth, not the illusory kind since the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) officially declared June 2009 the end of recession.

At 11:05AM on July 8, Obama commented from the Rose Garden, doing what he does best - dissembling and distorting reality to conceal what's going on and why.

His best shot was saying:

"We still have a long way to go and a lot of work to do to give people the security and opportunity that they deserve."

Family Feud: Blacks Battle Blacks over Criticism of Obama

By Linn Washington, Jr.

So, some black folks are bashing Princeton Professor Cornell West for his sharply phrased critiques of President Barack Obama’s failure to specifically address crisis- proportion problems in a long-suffering segment of American society: the black community.

Black supporters of the first African-American president echo the rationale advanced by Obama himself that he is the president of all Americans so addressing issues specific to African-American would be inappropriate.

However, that view side-steps the critical issue of the very American right to criticize a U.S. President.

Compounding the First Amendment criticism issue is the reality that Obama has addressed issues important to specific groups, including gays and women. He has even been addressing the issues of his political adversaries, the Republicans, like his embracing their demands for deficit reducing austerity by slashing services to the most needy.

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