The Watering Hole: Wednesday, July 20, 2011: Hump Day

Imagine…what if we experimented, say, in just one State, giving Republicans everything they want in the way of pro-business legislation.

No taxes on Corporate income. No need to find loopholes; no more Corporate decisions based on tax advantages – no more using the tax code to encourage hiring.

No minimum wage. Corporations would pay as low as the market would bear.

No child labor laws. Corporations could hire children of any age.

No more wage and hour laws, period. Overtime? forget it. Holidays? Vacations? Sick days. Only if the Corporation wants to.

No more Worker’s Compensation, or job safety laws. Hurt on the job? too bad.

No more environmental protection laws. Preventing pollution is expensive, after all.

Any State that was this Corporate-friendly would see manufactures flocking to it. The State benefits from having a manufacturing base and higher employment, albeit at lower wages. But more of its citizens are working.

Well, that’s what we have with “free-trade” agreements. Only the benefits don’t flow to a State, but to foreign countries.

Free Trade Agreements are good for business, bad for America.

This is our Sunday Roast. What’s on your mind this Hump Day?

134 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: Wednesday, July 20, 2011: Hump Day

  1. And yet we are talking trade agreements with South Korea, Columbia and Panama. (I think it’s those three)

    This will just send more American jobs overseas, allowing more corporations to exploit more citizens of the world with slave labor.

    I recall candidate Obama boldly saying early in his presidential campaign that he would renegotiate unfair trade agreements. He took a lot of heat from the US Chamber of Commerce and others thus he never mentioned anything about renegotiating unfair trade agreements ever again. We should have seen the signs.

  2. Yes, yes, we should go for it! Think of how fabulously wealthy we would all become, and virtually overnight if the Republican program were to be put in place! Just imagine those trillions of gubmint waste distributed instead to we the people to make us rich with plenty of money to spend on stuff we want!

    /end of Republican logic

  3. Yesterday, there were three races in the now almost weekly Wisconsin recall elections. Two were GOP primaries to choose challengers for Democratic incumbents next month…but one race was an actual recall between a Democrat and a Republican, and the Democrat won, 66% to 34%! Incumbent State Senator Dave Hansen, one of the ‘Wisconsin Fourteen’, easily retained his seat.

    Recall elections resume August 9th, when six incumbent Republicans must defend their seats, and conclude on August 16th, when the other two Democrats defend theirs.

    Why did the state of Wisconsin require four election dates, when two would have been more cost effective? I thought Republicans were famous for running things more efficiently?

    • The shape of things to come in 2012 in Ohio? In Michigan? In New Jersey? In Florida? In Minnesota? We can only hope!

    • “Show me what Democracy looks like!”
      And the People voted
      “This is what Democracy looks like!”

      Greetings from a foot soldier.

      Nice victory last night in Wisconsin. Battle won but the war continues.

      I miss the old TP where commenting was easy but whatever…

      For those of you that recognize my handle from the “Madison Uprising” I’m still at it. Fighting these repthug pricks in now my job. This probably won’t be reported anywhere but labor pulled off minor miracles this weekend & Monday & Tues right up until the polls closed in the Dave Hansen (D) recall race. (Green Bay & surrounding areas.) A relatively small crew knocked on over 15,000 doors in two days in an effort called GOTV or Get Out The Vote with “We Are Wisconsin”. The people that weren’t home on the weekend were revisited Mon & Tues. The weather conditions were brutal as we are in the mist of a heat wave with heat indexes up to 114 degrees. Everyone walked several sweat drenched miles a day and I’m sure all are as sore as I am today. That makes the victory even more sweet!

      I’ve had no time for anything but a little research here & there so I haven’t been able to keep up with you critters. But I do consider all of you as moral supporters. (Not much time to chat so please don’t consider me rude if I don’t reply.)

      If anyone has the luxury of a Wisconsin vacation in the first weeks of August- volunteers are always needed. We Are Wisconsin will gladly put you to work.

      BTW- I guess my backside made it onto the Ed show last night at the Hansen reception. If that’s my 15 minuets- I want them back ; )

      • Thanks for the update, Pampero. You are awesome!!

        I don’t think any of us can say our butt has been on the Ed Show — you just outshine us at every turn. 😉

  4. Can somebody please point out to me where capitalism and free markets are mentioned in our constitution…or the bible?

    A true Christian, whether they are wealthy, middle class or poor should be appalled with the free market and our current, warped brand of capitalism.

    Capitalism, we are told at a young age is the American way. Capitalism is about being competitive, it allows you to be anything you want to be, to be successful, to make as much money as you can. It is also about destroying your competitors and treating other human beings as modern day slaves to amass maximum profits.

    How can a true Christian defend the mythical free market? A free market system that allows multinational corporations to steal the natural resources from the citizens of a country or community, a system that thrives and encourages slave wages and the exploitation and mistreatment of our fellow human beings around the globe?

    So many Christians today raise their voices loudly in opposition to gay marriage, gay rights and abortion, but where are their voices in opposition to usury? Or the obscene greed on Wall Street, which is fueled by capitalism?

    How can a Christian be okay with buying cheap affordable goods, goods made by our fellow man in a third world nation, who earns 7 cents an hour? How can a Christian be okay with buying clothes made in countries where the corporations are allowed to force pregnant young women to have abortions, so that they can continue to work for slave wages as the corporation gains more profits?

    It seems so many Christians in America have replaced religion with nationalism and use religion only when it helps push theirs or their political party’s agenda.

    Welcome to America Babylon, now bow to Mammon, worship capitalism and serve the corporations.

  5. You forgot to privatize the schools so that only the rich can go to school… which would lead back to a caste system of living with multiple layers of social status…

    And Privatize the roads…. so that only the rich can travel on the roads… and there wouldn’t really be a need for roads anyway because the poor can’t afford cars. Just WHO will the gas companies be selling their product to in the future? The military, of course.

      • We’d love to chase after the hoodlum who have just robbed your store – $225 an hour plus a catch-and-arrest bonus of $1000 50% up front…. we take Visa, Mastercard and DIner’s Club…

    • Privatization would destroy capitalism because the consumer base would shrink. Walmart is losing money because the poor and the middle class that shop there no longer have the extra money to purchase “things that they think they need.” The wealthy don’t shop at Walmart.

    • Why would an Irishman be wearing a kilt unless he was playing the bagpipes? I had several customers who had to leave Belfast (wink, wink) at my last bar job. Kilts aren’t part of the garb they’re required to wear because of their religion. They weren’t really trying to stick out. O’Keefe must be the dumbest bastard on the planet.

    • Question:

      Why does O’Keefe insist on dressing up in stereotypical costumes to do his “investigations?” Does he really think that IRA members dress in kilts? Or for that matter, that all pimps really dress up in gaudy and tasteless clothes?

      What a joke of a boob.

  6. More and more I like both the concept and the sound of Socialism, even if it moves far enough to the left to include the Karl Marx precept ‘From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs’ (something close to that).

    One thing is certain: unfettered free market capitalism is one of if not the most overall and ultimate destructive forces yet devised by the human species. If the planet is to survive, FMC has to be severely curtailed, and the sooner the better.

    • Same here. I like the idea of pooling our resources so that at least all the basic needs are met; food; clothing; housing.

      We have the wealth to achieve that today. Unfortunately, FMC enshrines greed. So the distributions is hardly equitable.

      • Nice to know I won’t be the only zooster at Camp Waterboard after “they” come and haul all us atheist anti-Amurkan socialist-pinko-fascist-commie-marxist radicals off for reeducation. [twisted] 😈

    • Dang – that one had a color film launch…
      this one is actually more exciting to watch. It was a grand day to watch the launch on our small b/w t.v.!

  7. Just saw an ad on last night’s MSNBC that proclaimed the new series “Storage Wars: Real Life Drama” where, in the clip, a bunch of guys that look and sound like truck drivers for a Septic Tank maintenance company apparently are bidding money to buy the unknown contents of storage units? Something like that. Reminds me of, “And now, behind curtain three …” Anyway, it premiers soon on A&E. And I caint watch. Ain’t got no cable TV. God, what have I done to myself? 😯

    • My husband says there are 3 shows where they buy storage units. They open the doors and the bidders only have a few seconds to look from outside and decide what to bid. It’s no Pawn Stars or even American Pickers. There’s also a guy who helps people take their stuff to flea markets and shows them how to set prices and negotiate. Before you watch any of them it’s probably wise to watch one of the shows on hoarding thought. 🙂

    • I don’t want to sound judgmental but it seems that these shows celebrate those hit by the economic downturn. They put their stuff into storage for whatever reason (I think Storage Wars is in Vegas so foreclosure comes to mind…) and then when they fall behind on their payments, the storage facility cuts the lock and auctions off the contents.

      I don’t know, it just seems sad to me…

  8. No minimum wage. Corporations would pay as low as the market would bear.

    Reminds me of a time I worked for a giant evil corporation (that’s redundant, sorry); and one of their mottos/visions was to be the industry leader. Fair enough.

    One year (after several similar years) the company made record profits. The CEO got record pay. And our raises barely kept up with inflation.

    HR assured us that our increases and levels of pay were typical among our peers.

    I reminded them that we strive to be an industry leader, not just typical. They were not amused.

  9. Rep. Steve King: No Default Unless Obama Wants to ‘Punish America’

    July 19, 2011 2:36 PM

    “We have about $200 billion a month coming into our coffers from tax receipts before we start to borrow money from American people and from abroad. That two $200 billion is plenty more than enough to pay our military and service our debt,” King told us.

    “America is not going to default. We’re just trying to scare people into being stampeded into a debt-ceiling increase. But we would hold our full faith in credit together regardless, unless the president had decided to punish America by refusing to pay our bills.”

    Lucky us. We have “enough to pay our military and service our debt.” As for the people, fuck ’em. Let ’em eat cake.

    I suggest before we cut any program by so much as a red cent, we demand that all in Congress work for nothing. Period. Let ’em see how much they like cake.

      • Yep. Keep Amurka safe. For the billionaires. Not a new idea. In 1944, in fact, with the Second World War’s outcome no longer in serious doubt, former GE CEO Charles E. Wilson wrote it down in a memo:

        The revulsion against war . . . will be an almost insuperable obstacle for us to overcome. For that reason, I am convinced that we must begin now to set the machinery in motion for a permanent wartime economy.

        Sixty-seven years later and we’re almost there!

      • oh, and make sure to keep paying the military contractors! doG forbid those mercenaries who are replacing our “drawdown” troops at 10X the rate of pay don’t get their checks!

  10. When I entered the IT industry as a lowly contract PC tech in 1994 my pay scale was $14 a hour (technically $28K a year, but as a contractor I never saw a year long contract–in fact the only time I worked a complete year was because the client company was shuffling IT management every three months so my contract status was never really reviewed properly).

    When I was downsized out of the IT industry in 2001 my pay rate was technically $28 an hour for 2000/2001, in salary terms, though in terms of hours actually worked it was about $12 an hour).

    Now in 2011, though far more experienced and officially qualified than I was in 1994, I am clearly failing to acquire entry-level tech jobs being advertised at $12 an hour—BELOW the typical rate of 1994 in nominal dollars. Given 16 or 17 years of inflation I’d guess that, even if I scored one of these current skilled jobs, I’d still be below the official poverty line.

  11. Last week economist Ravi Batra was on Thom Hartman and said basically this is all the result of Reaganomics and won’t end until the people rise up. Can somebody find that?

  12. Quote of the Day:

    “The Tea Party venerates the Constitution while despising the political system it has produced” – Gideon Rachmann, Financial Times.

    • My only quibble with that truism is that I’ve yet to spot any evidence that any teabagger anywhere has even READ the Constitution (and if perchance a handful have made the attempt, they obviously didn’t understand a word of it).

      With the Tea Party, we’re “treated” to a continuous display of the consequences of either grossly insufficient education or low IQ. Or both.

      • They don’t read it they carry it around in their pockets. They think they know it through osmosis or something. Idiots.

      • Just like their bible, they don’t bother to read it but rather allow someone else to just tell them what’s in it, interpretation and all.

    • Well, Galupo is half right.

      Is it not contradictory to say “businesses and consumers have stopped spending,” and then, just moments later, assert that “somebody somewhere in the economy who would have spent it on something, can’t”? Who is this “somebody somewhere” when you’ve just conceded that spending has stopped?

      That assumes that your pool of money to borrow from is limited to that from within your economy, unless that writer is including China, Japan, the UK, Dubai, Saudi Arabia etc. in the US economy. There’s nothing to support that funds used to purchase US treasuries wouldn’t be otherwise invested in other countries, if the return on investment would be as safe and more lucrative.

      Actually, the problem with our economy is that Keynesian economics, while still a better option than Friedman economics, can no longer give us the bang for the buck that we used to get, when we still had durable consumer goods manufacturing in the US. Now when people get a job and start spending more money, they aren’t putting more producers to work within our economy. At best, we get a few extra sales jobs at HH Gregg and Best Buy.

      What Dr. Batra regularly advocates on Thom Hartmann, is that the US market, even in it’s weakened condition, is still strong enough to reconstitute itself, but in order to do that, cheap foreign products have to be excluded from the market, to rebuild a US manufacturing infrastructure, and in order for that to happen, the people must rise up in too large a number for politicians to ignore.

    • Of course he has. And Rupert knows about it. Now Roseann Barr is saying her phone was hacked. My belief is that celebrities didn’t realize it was illegal and were so used to being abused by the media that they didn’t even know laws were being broken.

      • Shayne, no doubt in my mind. The wsj is already losing badly in reputation. Not that there was much of it left. After they hired Kristol I thought they were even more useless than before. But I would like to see FOX news going the way of the NotW. I have this visual of thousands of teabaggers stepping out of their houses stunned and blinking after they have been exposed to true news for the first time in their sorry lives. 😆

        • EV, I think they would seek out the Glenn Beck network before that would happen.

          Once they go Beck, they can’t go back!

            • I bet they play him on a loop. Most of ’em won’t know the difference!

            • The fricking white collar shirts Hubby wears.Then I leave the laundry until I don’t have anything in the closet anymore and then I tackle the mountains of unironed shirts. Procrastination is at the root of it.

              I’m off now seriously, work tomorrow. Good Night All

    • I have thought for some time now that the only president that will be a true progressive will have to come from a wealthy family and believes in or was taught noblesse-oblige. FDR came from wealth and JFK came from wealth. After FDR, they term-limited the Presidency and when JFK came to power, “they” killed him and RFK behind him. Both FDR and JFK took on people in their own class.

      Presidents like Clinton and Obama, while Democratic and very good men, haven’t been able to take on the upper class because they did not come from it.

  13. From TP:

    Joe Romm demands an inquiry into News International’s role in hacking climate scientists’ inboxes:

    “Certainly Wallis had plenty of motive to join Scotland Yard just to keep an eye on the investigation into the phone-hacking scandal. Indeed, the NY Times reports Wallis “was reporting back to News International while he was working for the police on the hacking case.” But this also suggests how corrupt Wallis was — and how corrupted Scotland Yard was. In the light of the News Corp phone-hacking scandal, it is clear that Murdoch’s outfit had means, motive, and opportunity for the Climategate email hacking. News Corp certainly has a history of defaming climate scientists and a penchant for hacking.”

    http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/07/19/272361/news-corp-hacked-climategate-emails-time-for-an-independent-investigation/

      • ah, that’s interesting! I remember when his little slimeball followed Amanda Terkel on a weekend away, and having her phone messages would sure help him track her…

  14. I know I haven’t been around here much. (Yes, I still have a job.) I’ve been having fun with Twitter. I’m being followed by Paul Reickhoff, and I got one of my tweets retweeted by Eric Boehler of Media Matters.

  15. Penis pump judge arrested again

    …Thompson was reportedly arrested for DUI early Tuesday morning.

    In 2006, Thompson was convicted of indecent exposure for using a sexual device while on the bench and served time in prison.

  16. …hello, hello. Just wanted to pop in for a quick hello, since I feel that I’ve been MIA.

    Have felt worked to death the last few days…and then back to work tomorrow again. August will be a much lighter work schedule.

    Cheers to all!

  17. It seems the pressure cooker has been given a name. A heat dome. Supposedly going to be slinking off towards the East Coast by the weekend.

    Had a fascinating storm pass thru last night. Thunder, lightning and really weird winds. It hit about 10pm and power went out about 10:30. I finally got power back at 9 this AM and then lost it again around 2. The reason for the excessive outage was the weird wind.

    Jaunting about the neighborhood this AM (going over to my sister’s to get the chunk of tree out of her driveway which just missed her car) I was fascinated by the number of downed trees. Many were 100+ year old hardwoods that were taking a nap while airing out their roots. More were the kind that had multiple trunks and one of them was peeled down like a banana. The third group were pines that were snapped off at about 15 feet.

    The last time I saw something like this was when a nasty storm went thru up north and the wind appeared to be blowing down at the ground.

    On a slightly lighter note, two underpasses were also flooded. One had two cars in it with just their roofs showing. No one was hurt but both drivers thought they could drive thru the water. Rumor has it one has Bush for President stickers on it and the other, Jesus fish.

    • That is a peculiar wind pattern – especially given the fracture patterns on the various trees.

      Perhaps next time those drives will think twice – ah, never mind they’ll not have attained any common sense…

    • In the desert, they used to call that a ‘downdraft’. Very destructive, very RAPIDLY destructive. Trees, block walls, windows, take your pick. Poof. Best not to be an airplane caught in one either.

      • The storm up north they called it wind shear. Last night I was outside and the wind was very gusty but every once and a while it was like being under one of those hand dryers in a public bathroom. Very odd to have wind blowing down on top of you.

        • Yeah, wind shear, downdraft, probably about the same.

          Flooding of underpasses and dry washes was/is extremely common in the desert. And invariably there were the dumbasses that figured they could get through. Lots of idiots with apparently extremely huge dicks got washed downstream, along with lots of dudes driving Hummers, jeeps, whichever was the substitute. It was actually almost funny.

          • Who here thinks a Hummer looks like a canoe?

            The truly sad part is, neither of the submerged vehicles were SUVs.

    • Sounds like the same cell that blew through here around noon. The wind was switching so often that the water in the street was sloshing back and forth like a wave tank. And it was a HOT wind. The trees around the neighborhood didn’t drop too many branches but the hail, about the diameter of a nickel, was tough on leaves.

      With a heat index of only 100 it seemed much cooler today than the previous four. It seems like I hit my limit of tolerance at around 105, or 65% humidity, whichever comes first. I’m still not about to go running or riding the bike but the forecast looks like I might be able to crack a window by midnight. I don’t think I’ve been closed up this long since I moved here almost 6 years ago and it’s a bit stuffy.

  18. Howizit Hooda?

    I had two downed trees in my yard here in Junktown. One got a little po’d when I was cutting her up and threw the chainsaw back at me when I was at an odd angle in the ditch- 7 or 8 stitches in the thigh. Wound isn’t deep but it smarts a bit.

    We still have to hook up again for a cold one sometime. Hope all is well with you.

    • Pamp! Great to hear from you. Juggling chainsaws is not for the faint of heart but glad to hear it was just stitches. Fact is I’m going to be out in your neighborhood soon, again, also, too. The rock crusher in the pit at 10/34 needs some TLC.

      • Ahhhh, it’s been a good day. Got my money, had lunch with my best friend, and saw the final Harry Potter movie.

        I hope all y’all are doing well today!

          • Speaking of The Undefeated, NewsBusters is having a cow over a bad review of the movie by Entertainment Weekly. They cite, of course, the fact that they gave better reviews to F9/11 and Inconvenient Truth.

            Naturally, being NewsBusters, they assume there’s some nefarious liberal plot afoot. They overlook the fact, that agree with him or not, Michael Moore is good at his craft. Agree with Gore or not, Inconvenient Truth is a very well made documentary.

            NewsBusters just can’t handle the fact that those films might just actually be better done than Palin’s.

            Also, the subject matter of those movies was more along the lines of “Here’s an issue and here’s my view about the issue.” The Palin film is “here is Sarah Palin; isn’t she wonderful?” What’s even the point of the film other than to boost Palin?

            Anyway, here’s the NewsBusters screed, if you dare.

      • That’s right at the end of my street my friend. Not a huge fan of the Junktown pubs but the old Dago’s might be interesting. The only thing tough is free time on my end.

        If you caught my post from this morning that’ll give you an idea what I’ve been up to. Got a few canvassing stories you might enjoy.

        I’ll pop into your blog to leave my new email address.

          • Wanted to make the spring Bobfest but had a mandatory conference. I’ll be at the next one…might even have a booth there.

            Let me know when you’ll be at the pit- some of my work I do from home.

  19. “Can somebody please point out to me where capitalism and free markets are mentioned in our constitution…or the bible?” ~ Insidious

    CONSTITUTION:

    No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.
    No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another. (Article I, Section 9)

    No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it’s inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress. (Article I, Section 10)

    But then there’s:

    The Congress shall have Power … regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes… (Article I, Section 8)

    Note that this does not explicitly grant Congress the power to regulate an otherwise “free market” just commerce between the States and with foreign nations (hence “free trade agreements are within Congress’ powers).

    BIBLE:

    Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. 15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. 16 And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” (John 2:13-16)

    The moneychangers operated on a free market economy. Theirs was an unregulated business. The Son of a Carpenter challenged that status quo, and the powers that be had him put to death.

    Such is the power of a free market economy. Those who oppose it risk their very lives.

    • There’s a stupid bitch commenter on TP spouting off the same bullshit. “Responsible” sex seems to be whatever these moronic women decide it is.

      Sex is natural for humans, and being responsible ought to mean that women can plan their families and protects themselves from unwanted pregnancies via contraception. Of course, that makes too much sense for these ‘sex is dirty’ fuckwits.

  20. Briseadh na Faire on July 20, 2011 at 7:11 pm said:

    Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. 15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. 16 And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” (John 2:13-16)
    ———————————————————————————
    This reminded me of the time a few months ago when I had a heated political debate with my Bachmann adoring, very republican sister. I brought up John 2:13-16, to prove my point on what Jesus thought of wealth and what was to become capitalism and she actually said the money changers were tax men…..I couldn’t believe it….I was stunned and saddened.

    • See! The Son of Man spoke out against the free market and the monied elite had him killed. Ergo the Bible supports free market capitalism!

  21. West: I Apologized! Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Huh?

    “…Then, to complicate this escalating ‘he said/ she said’ fiasco, Angela Sachitano, a spokesperson for West also came out claiming the apology is “absolutely false.” She said that actually, West is waiting for an apology from Wasserman Schultz. Indeed, the signs are that West is actually using the incident for fundraising purposes.”

    West is a real piece of work –

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