Tuesday, April 17, 2012

6-year-old Texas boy's lemonade stand raises $10,000 for cancer-stricken dad

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Occupy Wall Street Video: 1st Amendment Violated by NYPD

"http://wearechange.org Watch NYPD use noise violations and disorderly conduct accusations to intimidate and arrest Occupy Wall Street protesters, including Matt of WeAreChange. Even if you disagree with why they are there, you must realize that when their rights are violated, it sets the precedent for your rights to be violated too."

Bloomberg Editorial: U.S. Minimum Wage Needs A Raise

Why is a capitalist newspaper calling for raising the minimum wage and Obama refuses to mention the subject? And why is Democratic Party almost completely silent except for some States legislatures? Maybe because they represent the interests of big business:

Here’s an unhappy observation about the minimum wage: Congress last increased the rate in stages in 2006, topping it out at $7.25 an hour in 2009, or $15,080 a year.

That amount, when adjusted for inflation, is actually lower than what a minimum-wage worker earned in 1968 and is too meager to offer anyone the chance to climb out of poverty, let alone afford basic goods and services.

About 10 states are now considering raising the rate, and Senator Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat, is proposing to increase the federal rate in three increments to $9.80 an hour in 2014. Many of the initiatives under consideration would smartly tie the minimum wage to the cost of living, meaning that those workers’ wages would finally keep up with inflation.

[...]But a wave of new economic research is disproving those arguments about job losses and youth employment. Previous studies tended not to control for regional economic trends that were already affecting employment levels, such as a manufacturing-dependent state that was shedding jobs. The new research looks at micro-level employment patterns for a more accurate employment picture.
The studies find minimum-wage increases even provide an economic boost, albeit a small one, as strapped workers immediately spend their raises. A 2011 paper by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago found that a $1 minimum-wage increase lifts household income by about $250 and increases spending by about $700 a quarter in the following year. The spending increase is driven by a small number of households that primarily buy vehicles.

[...]A team of economists, led by Arindrajit Dube of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, compared employment levels in contiguous areas with disparate minimum-wage levels over a 16-year period and concluded in a 2010 paper there are “strong earnings effects and no employment effects of minimum wage increases.” 
Full article

Can the Chinese Communist Party Contain the Bo Xilai Scandal?

The smartphone/internet brought down Mubarak. Maybe it can bring down the powerful Communist Party in China. Not possible. No one thought the Soviet Union would collapse either:

The fall of Communist Party leader Bo Xilai began as an exercise in crisis management for the Chinese Communist Party and it continues as such.

Bo — who is descended from Chinese Maoist royalty — had been flamboyantly running Chongqing, a Southwestern city of 32 million people, brutally suppressing opponents whom he accused of corruption. For this and his success in stimulating the local economy Bo enjoyed strong popular support which he had been using to angle for a position in the ruling Standing Committee. During the night of February 6, posts on the internet told us that Wang Lijun, Bo’s recently removed Police Chief and hatchet man was inside the U.S. consulate in Chengdu; apparently he had driven there, about 180 miles, in fear of his life.

Bloggers and ultimately the international press were on it like white on rice. Since the get-go many of the rumors flying around the Chinese blogs about what’s going on have been extremely accurate. There are over one billion cell phones in China, mostly having texting capability. By comparison, when the Party last had to deal with factional disagreement within its ranks during the Tiananmen Square incident in 1989  there were only around 200,000 cell phones in use (without texting) , and blogging hadn’t yet become a national pastime,  so the leadership could handle its issues, under the then-strongly-consolidated power of Deng Xiaoping, behind closed doors.
Full article

Ted Nugent Threatens Barack Obama

This kind of talk is traitorous:

Ted Nugent -- the proud gun-owner, poorly coiffed Michigander, and washed-up rocker -- has said some silly and offensive things in the past, and not just while performing "Cat Scratch Fever." In 2007, he said the following during a concert: "Obama, he's a piece of shit. I told him to suck on my machine gun. Hey Hillary [Clinton], you might want to ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless bitch."

So that's his level of political discourse. Of course, he seems to be speaking figuratively if distastefully. But he made another rather appalling statement over the weekend at the NRA convention in St. Louis:
If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will be either be dead or in jail by this time next year.

GSA Inspector General investigating potential bribes and kickbacks at agency

Huge Majority Of Americans Think Tax System Unfairly Benefits Rich

According to the latest CNN poll, “68% of respondents said the current tax system benefits the rich and is unfair to ordinary workers, compared with 29% who disagreed with that view.” The poll’s respondents have good reason to think the rich pay less: Many millionaires pay a lower effective tax rate because their income comes from capital gains or other low-tax investments, instead of wages. Yet Senate Republicans blocked the Buffet Rule last night, which would have helped address this problem, even though it too has strong support from the public.
Huge Majority Of Americans Think Tax System Unfairly Benefits Rich

14 singing protestors arrested for disrupting Bronx property auction as foreclosures, evictions continue

Occupying Tax Day, Earth Day

Australia to withdraw troops from Afghanistan early

Australia to withdraw troops from Afghanistan early | The Raw Story - StumbleUpon

U.S. strikes kill 6 in Yemen, officials say

U.S. strikes kill 6 in Yemen, officials say

Syria Ceasefire: Assad Troops Break Truce, Shell Cities, Says Opposition

Syria Ceasefire: Assad Troops Break Truce, Shell Cities, Says Opposition

"Pig Book:" Congress curbs earmarking habit, but still sneaking in pet projects

"Pig Book:" Congress curbs earmarking habit, but still sneaking in pet projects

Goldman Sachs earnings more than double

Goldman Sachs earnings more than double