New Blog Post: Governor Oops

New Blog Post: Governor Oops never fails to disappoint – True to his unprincipled belief in crony capitalism and sel… http://ow.ly/1lhSgE

Texas local news makes it to TPM

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My State Senator, Wendy Davis’s, office was the target of a number of firebombs within recent days.  It is a scary story that had a good ending.  A staff member put out the fire and a suspect was arrested within hours.  No one was injured, thank goodness.

See the details in this well written story from yesterday’s Talking Points Memo blog post by Nick R. Martin.

From President Obama:

This is the Email sent to me from Organizing for America/President Barack Obama.  I am posting it today because it provides a good summary of the main points of his State of the Union address to Congress Tuesday night , the 25th.  I have omitted any interactive elements.

Carol —

Tonight I addressed the American people on the future we face together.

Though at times it may seem uncertain, it is a future that is ours to decide, ours to define, and ours to win.

I know we will.

Because, after the worst recession in decades, we see an economy growing again.

Because, after two years of job losses, we’ve added private-sector jobs for 12 straight months — more than 1 million in all.

Because, time after time, when our resolve has been tested, we, as a nation, have always prevailed.

Overcoming the challenges we face today requires a new vision for tomorrow. We will move forward together, or not at all — for the challenges we face are bigger than party, and bigger than politics.

Yet the story of America is this: We do big things.

Just as the progress of the past two years would not have been possible without your hard work, we will not realize the agenda I described tonight without you.

So as we continue this great mission together, and we set out the plans for how far we can go, I need to know that you are ready to work side by side with me once more.

The last two years have been marked by unprecedented reforms and historic progress.

But there is much more work to do.

Moving forward, America’s economic growth at home is inextricably connected to our competitiveness in the global community. The more products American companies can export, the more jobs we can create at home.

This vision for the future starts with innovation, tapping into the creativity and imagination of our people to create the jobs and industries of the future. Instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrow’s. It’s why I challenged Congress to join me in setting a new goal: By 2035, 80 percent of America’s electricity will come from clean energy sources.

It means leading the world in educating our kids, giving each of our children the best opportunity to succeed and preparing them for the jobs of tomorrow.

We must build a 21st century infrastructure for our country, putting millions of Americans to work rebuilding roads and bridges and expanding high-speed Internet and high-speed rail.

We must reform government, making it leaner, smarter, and more transparent.

And we must take responsibility for our shared debt, reining in our long-term deficit so we can afford the investments we need to move our country forward.

That is the vision I laid out tonight. That is how we win the future.

It is going to take a lot of work — but I have no doubt we are up to the task.

Half a century ago, when the Soviets beat us into space with the launch of a satellite called Sputnik, we had no idea how we’d beat them to the moon. The science wasn’t there yet. NASA didn’t even exist.

But after investing in better research and education, we didn’t just surpass the Soviets. We unleashed a wave of innovation that created new industries and millions of new jobs.

This is our generation’s Sputnik moment.

Please stand together with me.

It is because of each of you, who define the will of a people, that the state of our union is strong in the face of tough challenges. You are the reason our future is still bright in the face of deep uncertainty.

And you are the reason I believe that future is ours to win.

Thank you,

Barack

We as a nation are now more deeply changed and more separated from each other than at any time in several years.

Since the turn of the century things have gotten worse for most Americans except the very rich.  For the first time in history children are worse off economically than their parents were.  What does it say about progress when we are not able to assure a better life for our children than for ourselves?

Income disparity — The gap between the very rich and those in poverty, which has now risen to a new high, is growing in severity, according to a recent census report.  Yahoo! News noted:

The income gap between the richest and poorest Americans grew last year to its widest amount on record as young adults and children in particular struggled to stay afloat in the recession. The top-earning 20 percent of Americans — those making more than $100,000 each year — received 49.4 percent of all income generated in the U.S., compared with the 3.4 percent earned by those below the poverty line, according to newly released census figures. That ratio of 14.5-to-1 was an increase from 13.6 in 2008 and nearly double a low of 7.69 in 1968.

One would think that billionaires are mostly immune to recessions. America’s 400 wealthiest people hold fortune $1.37 trillion in total, according to English pravda.ru.  (9/27/10).  Summarized, “The combined worth of the 400 wealthiest citizens in America rose to $1.37 trillion this year, an 8 percent increase over 2009, though still shy of the $1.57 trillion total from 2008, according to Forbes’ annual rankings, released Wednesday night.”  Bill gates tops the list, for the 17th year in a row.  Mark Zuckerberg, of Facebook fame, is the biggest gainer on the list.

Sociological change on a larger scale — The recession is the worst downturn since the Great Depression in the 1930’s.  Despite economists’ claims that the recession has been officially over since June of 2009, the effects of it are long lasting and even surprising.  The unemployment rate is disheartening and persistent. Profound and peculiar changes were caused by the recession#, reports the (9/22/10)Yahoo! News. To quote,

The recession officially ended in June 2009, the National Bureau of Economic Research announced on Monday (Sept. 20). Yet the financial pain lingers for many, and the downturn caused profound shifts in everything from consumer habits to the rate of births. The recession affected the United States in some other, more peculiar ways, too. . . Shark attacks declined . . . Energy consumption declined . . .Fewer babies were born . . . Violent crime went down . . . Dead bodies piled up . . . Adulthood was delayed.

Health care reform spotlighted — Neither Democrats nor Republicans have been able to help jobless people very much.  However, Democrats in Congress were able to help people lacking good health care.  If the Republicans take control of either chamber of Congress, on the other hand, are talking about repeal of the health care legislation. The Republican plan is to dismantle Health Care Reform# headlines the (9/22/10) Yahoo! News. To quote,

Republicans will still have plenty of ways to inflict a thousand cuts on health reform if they win even a single chamber. They could gum up funding needed to enforce the law; they could try to strip out the requirement that employers offer employees insurance or pay a penalty for not doing so; they could go after the same thing the attorneys general of 20 states are seeking to overturn in the courts: the requirement that individuals obtain insurance or also pay a fine.

Women’s equality?  “Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia takes on women’s rights# is a (9/22/10) maddening story found at Yahoo! News. Scalia claimed late last week that women’s equality is entirely up to the political branches.

It is a strange view of the Constitution to say that when it says every “person” must have “equal protection,” it does not protect women, but that freedom of “speech” – something only humans were capable of in 1787 and today – guarantees corporations the right to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections.

As a nation we are getting in deeper and deeper trouble because of increased income segmentation, more separation by political partisanship, and more at risk because of the changes in the media and the press.  We stand to lose what makes us America if we do not reverse these trends.  Suggestion: start with the 2010 midterm elections.