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Right click to open full image… Pictograph Courtesy of Viral..

So, can someone tell me again, why we shouldn’t tax the rich, and instead, balance the budget on the backs of everyone else?…….

I seem to be missing that little detail where that all makes sense……

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Case A: She was a single mom, working days as a medical assistant, and picking up shifts at a local restaurant… One night, after coming home almost empty-handed, she ranted on her Facebook page. Someone copied and alerted her employer. She lost her job.

Case B: Another local company, issued employee warnings to it’s entire labor force; “Don’t let a few moments on social media, cost you your job.”

Case C: Melissa Kellerman, after getting knocked over in yesterday’s game, had her twitter account pulled after commenting on it.


Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports

The Cowboys Organization, called her in, and ordered her to delete her account…. Here are the tweets she deleted….

Here are a list of comments that one sees in public media whenever this topic is broached….

Only a fool believes Facebook is private.

Don’t put anything on the internet you don’t want everyone to see.

Social Media is just that. Social. Don’t be shocked when your private life goes “social”….

And all those statements are true. When using the Internet, you need to be guarded lest your employer sees what you are saying…..

Now here’s an interesting question: WHY?

WHY DO EMPLOYERS HAVE THE RIGHT TO DICTATE INTERNET PROTOCOL?

The initial response is that they get to protect their image.
When someone says something on the Internet, it is publicly damaging if negative.

But why not people? Why can’t they be entitled to use their right to freedom of speech on the Internet?

If someone is complaining to another about being harassed by their superior, and it get forwarded and she gets fired, is that right?

If someone is complaining to another about improper mine safety and the deliberate non compliance of safety issues being forced upon them by management, and it gets forwarded and she gets fired, is that right?

If someone is complaining about being treated unfairly by their management team, and it gets forwarded and she gets fired, is that right?

Probably not.

The Internet is not private. but there can be reasonable assurances that some things on the Internet are private. Discussing topics on the Internet should be as safe as walking through the park, discussing items there… Sure, there could be someone behind the tree, listening to everything you say, but the fact that they had to hide behind a tree to hear it, means they weren’t legally entitled to the knowledge. Likewise someone could steal letters out of a mailbox. Someone could tap a phone. Someone would listen to your cell phone with a scanner… All of which are illegal.

But, reading someones private inbox message because it is on the Internet, is not…

It needs to be.

The law needs to catch up to technology. People are allowed to say what ever they want. That is guaranteed.

It is time that same right is canonized into America’s legal code. So that if a corporation acts aggressively upon someone’s free speech, that company stands to lose a year’s profit in damages and legal fees. That is the level of penalty required to protect the privacy of every American, when it comes to their using the Internet.

The global markets lost 1% today… Actually that is pretty good. The losses stemmed over the fact that Republicans won’t allow new revenue to enhance our failing budget…….

Like George Washington, they want to apply more leeches (tax cuts) which eventually will bleed the father of our country dry, and kill him dead.

There are great ideas to get around the impasse……

One was so close last week in which Obama and Boehner had come almost to a 4$ Trillion Deal… It was so, so close. Boehner was about to become the Alexander Hamilton of the 21st Century: Historians would forever know him as the man who brought America back from economic ruin…….

But Boehner’s owner, jerked hard on his leash… cracking Boehner’s trachea. He then spun Boehner to the ground, and applied zip strips to his wrists and ankles. He then tazed Boehner repeatedly. For the first time in his life, Boehner did not cry. He was then strapped to a board, tilted backwards into a tank of water, and held for 45 seconds, over 111 times. He was then blindfolded and pummelled with cans of Pepsi, embedded in old cotton socks, leaving no evidence. He then poked with a tube, in his (you know where) and the other end was attached to a fire hydrant.

The next morning, Boehner said the deal was off; he refused to return Obama’s calls.

Leaks from those working for his owners, tell us the taxes on the wealthy 1% were the sole reason Boehner was given “the treatment”… It’s a damn shame; for a package of $3 trillion in cuts, (yes, includes modifications to SS and Medicare) and a Trillion in tax increases on the top 1%… would shake the dynamics of our economy.

It would spur investment here in America.
It would therefore create jobs.
It would stop the uncertainty where America was financially headed.
It would prevent the immediate loss to our economy of $4 billion a day.
It would reduce the deficit over time, and save money spent paying interest, which could then be used for services.
It would be the proper step at this time in the direction we need to go.

But, if the US defaults on its debt, nothing in the financial markets is sacred, and when nothing is sacred, that… causes panics…

And a panic in 1929… caused the Great Depression. A panic in 2008, caused the mess we’re in right now.

The world’s managed wealth is $122 trillion… A one percent drop.. is $1.2 trillion. That is the amount, that one half, of one third our government,… cost the world today.

They are kids, playing with a live junction box… Sticking a screwdriver in the wrong hole, burns down the entire house……

(At $50,000 a job, today’s loss is the financial equivalent of putting 24 million human beings out of work)

Today the White House issued this Executive Order.

“Should the debt ceiling not be lifted in time by May 16, in order to prevent the Treasury from running out of funds, I am hereby using the emergency powers given to the Chief Executive by the Constitution, to temporarily suspend the Bush Tax Cuts until: 1) either we can legally borrow the funds to continue paying on our commitments, or 2) we bring our debt down to the 2008 level by having much more tax revenue pour in.

This is in effect, immediately, and I have instructed the IRS to recalculate all 2010 tax forms over the level of $2 million dollars, and asses those individuals and companies, for the differences.

We must take this action because Republicans want to pay politics with your lives. As Chief Executive, I am responsible to you, not them. I won’t let that happen.

With these tax cuts out of the way, and with our austerity programs already in effect, that windfall of profit the Treasury will receive, will be entirely funneled towards the paying off our debt.

This policy will continue until Republicans can act reasonably and in a productive fashion.

Barack Obama.

Duffy is God’s answer to a prayer.. I miss the old days of blogging when we were debating principals instead of people… Duffy has stuck to the old line of debating principals with facts, and that is what makes him special in the eyes of bloggers everywhere…

Since the passing of Steve Newton, he has been the only one to challenge me in any argument, and usually some pretty good stuff comes out of both sides during the exchange… I have respected that.. Cause once again, opinions mean dick. Facts are what we steer by.. It is my hope that in responding to his challenge that an answer may make itself apparent.. Who knows? It may not come from me… But if I’m the catalyst for bringing it out in the open, then… none of this was in vain..

Why I like to debate Duffy is simple.. Neither side, he or I, is concretely set in their opinions… We accept it when the other side makes sense… I usually go into such debates having no idea where they’ll end up… I hope the rest of you enjoy the ride as welI….

That said..

Duffy leads: Wall Street’s problems were caused by Fannie and Freddie loaning money to people they knew couldn’t pay and moreover, forcing banks to lend money to people who couldn’t pay. That was not deregulation but misregulation

kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate.

First off, the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 was developed for, and locked in on, urban developmental areas and had no part of the subprime boom, which primarily occurred out in western desert regions where owning 4 to 5 investment homes was normal… Those homes were overwhelmingly funded by loan originators NOT SUBJECT to the act… We all know the crises was not because people couldn’t afford a payment on their house. It came about, because with no occupants, people could not afford the payments of 4 to 5 houses….. Instead of one loan per borrower turning up in default; four to five were.
Investment Homes lead forclosures not inner city Residences

Second off, The housing bubble reached its point of maximum inflation in 2005.
The Housing Bubble Starts to Dive in 2005
Courtesy of NYT

Third off, During those exact same years, Fannie and Freddie were sidelined by Congressional pressure, and saw a sharp drop in their share of loans secured by the Feds… Follow the dotted line on the very bottom of the graph…
Freddie and Fannie on the lowest line
Courtesy of NYT

Fourth off; During those exact same years, private secures, like Delaware’s own AIG, grabbed the lions share of the market.
Private, not Public Insurers Caused the Crash
Courtesy of NYT

Remember these graphs for later on when I discuss the results of deregulation, versus regulation… But like it or not, these graphs conclusively show that private insurers, who thanks to Marie Evans, we now know were deregulated by Phil Gramm in the 2000 Omnibus Bill, were the primary cause of the worlds financial collapse.. Probably put best by these words of AIG’s spokesperson, who when asked why they didn’t have sufficient funds to cover losses, said point blank, “We were deregulated. We were no laws requiring us to keep any funds, ..so we spent it…”

Duffy leads: The loosely regulated hedge funds escaped this mess largely unscathed. Why? They can’t count on a bailout like the big banks. The Too Big To Fail banks were counting on a bailout (not unlike the S&L bailouts which started on the Republican’s watch) and they got them.

kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate. I agree that the hedge funds did survive better than the banks. Not because of bailouts, but because they sold short during the crises and made billions while firms closed and people got thrown out of work. There is nothing wrong with that; I did the same. In fact close readers may remember my warnings that the crises was impending almost a year earlier. Very close readers may remember my telling them exactly when to sell, and at what point the stock market would rebound… I must say: I called it rather well. 🙂

“Hedge funds were not in my understanding, at fault in the credit crisis,” said David Ruder, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. “At the most what they did was to sell securities when some of their investments were declining and they needed to have liquid funds. They were not the architects of these problems.”

De regulated hedge funds are not the issue… De-regulated, excessively leveraged, mortgage securities, are a different story however… They, not the banks that held them, are the cause of the crises…Years from now, when academics search for causes of the stock market crash of 2008, they will focus on the pivotal role of mortgage-backed securities. These exotic financial instruments allowed a downturn in U.S. home prices to morph into a contagion that brought down Bear Stearns a year ago this month – and more recently have brought the global banking system to its knees.

Where you err is when you state that banks too big to fail, assumed they would be bailed out… By implication, you say imply they failed from squandering money, and wanted the bailouts.. But your tax dollars didn’t flow directly to the bottom line.

The roughly $200 billion the Treasury Department has handed out to battered banks was swapped for a special class of stock that pays a 5 percent dividend (rising to 9 percent after five years.) As of April 15, the Treasury had collected about $2.5 billion in dividend payments on its investment.

So in that sense, the bailout money represents an expense for banks. That’s one reason a number of banks have said they want to give the money back as soon as possible.

You say big banks were counting on a bailout, and they got them? That didn’t happen to these banks. New Mexico, Georgia, and Florida each lost a bank just last Friday. That brings to 8, the number of banks failed in June. Unfortunately if a bank is failing, it can’t bet on itself to fail, as can a hedge fund.

Duffy leads: Banks have successfully lobbied to get their losses absorbed by taxpayers and gains are kept private. How nice for them. They felt comfortable making insane gambles because they knew they’d be bailed out. Most of them were right. Also remember that it was Bill Clinton who tore down the wall between retail and investment banking. The idea was to give banks more stability as they typically perform as exact opposites in bull and bear markets. (FWIW, I think that was a good idea and I can tell you first hand that two of the Fortune 100 banks I worked for were carried by retail banking in bear years. They may not have had bonuses those years but they didn’t have layoffs either)

kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate. The idea is that the banks made bad decisions knowing taxpayers would bail them out is the issue that is inaccurate. For the record, I have no qualms that it was the Clinton legacy who tore down the wall between banks and investment banking. Like you, I feel it was a good idea to do so… Again the problem was not primarily with banks making loans to people who could not pay.. Although, it was as late as October 2009, when I was made aware of one private Bank in Denver still exaggerating income to make loans look good enough on paper to get approval of securitization. What caused the collapse was the leveraging of those loans as securities, so that as the housing market became overextended, and the ARM jumped past the low cost opening years, the damage was 100 times worse because of leveraging. What made the collapse criminal, was that the insurance most financial institutions had bought from AIG, to cover such an improbable event, had already spent by that companies executives, out on bonuses to themselves. What made it doubly criminal, was that when they received government dollars through a taxpayer bailout, those same executives assumed it was to first go towards paying their bonuses again. However, very recent events may give some cover to the argument that some collusion was implicit in the bailing out of Goldman Sacs and AIG… Basically, once bailed out, AIG paid Goldman Sacs for shares twice as much as they were worth. The documents also indicate that regulators ignored recommendations from their own advisers to force the banks to accept losses on their A.I.G. deals and instead paid the banks in full for the contracts.

Because that……. is what we do.

Support the Rich!  Yeah!   Screw the Poor!  Boo!

Hello to my fellow Delawareans:

Hi, my name is Pamela Thornburg and I am from Dover and I am a Republican who voted to keep a vote for Bluewater Wind locked up in committee.

As a Republican I think your concerns do not matter. I am bought and paid for by corporate interests and this Bluewater Wind deal will prevent my lobbyist friends from making tons of money. You citizens have no understanding on how tough it is to be a lobbyist. The need someone to look after them too.

I am confident that after this hoopla is all over no one will remember that I voted to kill this bill. But had I voted on your side, to give you cheap energy with clean air, my lobbyist friends would stop calling on me and not invite me to any parties…..and I love parties……

Knowing that you all have tons of extra money and will not miss a couple of hundred dollars going to Delmarva, I hereby support those corporate interests who need to take billions, not just millions of your excess cash.

I refuse to vote for cheap power for anyone.

Sincerely,

Pam Thornburg.

There is nothing worse than the loss of a son or daughter. Somehow it takes all the good in your life, packs it up and steals it away.

It was with deep sadness that I read of his passing. My and my families prayers go out to this young man’s family. He was so full of life, so full of hope for a better world, and so devoted to his roots, regional and spiritual. I can only hope that justice on this world prevails. It wrenches my heart that these things are allowed to happen. It is sad. Sad that not compromising your home grown American values, can cost your life. I hope the world finds out what a hero he truly was……

It is in God’s hands now. I have trusted Him, and He has come through when I most needed Him. I can only hope the family and friends, of Todd Blue, can maintain their faith through such trying times. It will be very tough. My, and my families’ hearts, go out to you……

WTF?photo by SUCHAT PEDERSON, News Journal

What would you do with 2.86 Billion?  Would you redo every Delawarean High School, and hire additional teachers?  Would you inspect and repair those bridges in danger of falling down?  Would you put it as seed money into forming a Single Payer health care system so needed by this state?  Would you invest it and use the interest to fund the Highway Fund on a yearly basis?  Would you buy up farmland  in danger of development, so Delaware will always be a wonderful place to live?

What is this 2.86 Billion anyway?  Why are we speculating on what we would do with it if we had it?

IT IS DELAWARE’S PORTION OF THE MONEY WASTED IN IRAQ.   If we were not spending it on a religious civil war over there……we could be spending it here, on us………

For those of you who still do not know, anyone still supporting the policies of this administration in that part of the world, is the person to be blamed for us not spending that money where it is needed.  Here!

That person needs to switch parties, and then support spending that money here, not there.