Wednesday, March 30, 2011
'Nearly half of California's income taxes before the recession came from the top 1% of earners: households that took in more than $490,000 a year. High earners, it turns out, have especially volatile incomes—their earnings fell by more than twice as much as the rest of the population's during the recession. When they crashed, they took California's finances down with them..'
Monday, March 28, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Monday, March 14, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
Thursday, March 10, 2011
'Maine health insurers are getting a temporary waiver from the health reform law's requirement that they spend at least 80 percent of premiums on care, federal regulators decided Tuesday.
Maine is the first state to get a waiver. Three other states — New Hampshire, Nevada and Kentucky — have pending waiver applications.'
'Unions protested the proposed cuts to collective bargaining, and the effort led to protests in states where similar legislation is under consideration. The Ohio Senate passed a bill last week curbing collective bargaining for government employees with a 17-16 vote. Democrats and six Republicans objected. '
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Monday, March 7, 2011
Thursday, March 3, 2011
'"During the four-plus weeks since entry of my order, the defendants have seemingly continued to move forward and implement the act. ... While I believe that my order was as clear and unambiguous as it could be, it is possible that the defendants may have perhaps been confused or misunderstood its import. Accordingly, I will attempt to synopsize the 78-page order and clarify its intended effect."'
'Wisconsin Senate OKs arrest of absent Dems for contempt:
The Wisconsin Senate has passed a resolution calling for police to take 14 Democrats into custody for contempt after they fled to Illinois to avoid voting on a union rights bill, the Associated Press reports.
The resolution says the absent Democrats are determined to be guilty of contempt and disorderly content.
It gives the sergeant at arms the authority to take any and all steps, with or without force and assistance from police, to bring the senators back, the AP says.'
'Case in point: Paul Krugman. The Times' staff economics blowhard recently typed, re the state of education in Texas:
And in low-tax, low-spending Texas, the kids are not all right. The high school graduation rate, at just 61.3 percent, puts Texas 43rd out of 50 in state rankings. Nationally, the state ranks fifth in child poverty; it leads in the percentage of children without health insurance. And only 78 percent of Texas children are in excellent or very good health, significantly below the national average.
Similarly, The Economist passes on what appears to be the cut-'n'-paste lefty factoid du jour:
Only 5 states do not have collective bargaining for educators and have deemed it illegal. Those states and their ranking on ACT/SAT scores are as follows:
South Carolina – 50th
North Carolina – 49th
Georgia – 48th
Texas – 47th
Virginia – 44th
If you are wondering, Wisconsin, with its collective bargaining for teachers, is ranked 2nd in the country.
The point being, I suppose, is that unionized teachers stand as a thin chalk-stained line keeping Wisconsin from descending into the dystopian non-union educational hellscape of Texas. Interesting, if it wasn't complete bullshit…
Luckily, there is data to answer this question via the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The NAEP is an annual standardized test given to 4th and 8th graders around the country to measure proficiency in math, science, and reading. Participation is fairly universal; if you've had a 4th or 8th grader in the last few years, you're probably familiar with it. Results are compiled on the NAEP website, broken down by grade, state, subject and ethnicity.
So how does brokeass, dumbass, redneck Texas stack up against progressive unionized Wisconsin?'
'I have determined that the actions of Colonel Muammar Qadhafi,his government, and close associates,
including extreme measuresagainst the people of Libya,
constitute an unusual andextraordinary threat to the national security
and foreign policyof the United States.
The order declares a national emergencyto deal with this threat.'
We are currently spending 60% more than we can afford. (4 trillon in spending, 2.5 trillion in income)
The 61 billion is 1.5% of the federal budget, and it is too much.
Who thinks the democrats should have agreed to the $61 billion in less federal spending this year?
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
So, do you want a world without unions?
From: Trout, Larry R
'In 1978, Democratic President Jimmy Carter, backed by a Democratic Congress, passed the Civil Service Reform Act… focused as it was on worker accountability and performance. It severely proscribed the issues over which employees could bargain, as well as prohibited compulsory union support.'