Today's Note From a Madman
Monday, January 2, 2006
Minimum Wage and the Fleecing of America
Isn't it funny ("funny" as in ironic, not "funny" as in "ha-ha") that since the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party has taken over at least one (now all) of the branches of the federal government, the US minimum wage hasn't risen... not even one cent. Isn't it even funnier (as in ironic) that just about every time the US House of Representatives, full of people like Tom (I Am the Law) DeLay, Tom (Let's Bomb Mecca) Tancredo, Frank (There were some people hitler liked) LoBiondo and Mike (How Should I Vote, Mr. DeLay) Ferguson is eligible for a raise, they have no problem signing up for it.
Dont'cha think that the US Congress, Senate and other high-office holders should refrain from voting themselves pay raises in times of recession (remember, President Bush has now presided over a five year recession, although he still blames former President Bill Clinton).
Seventeen states are going to attempt to raise their minimum wage requirements. Let's face it, there is not one family of four in the nation that could survive on the single minimum wage of one parent. The US "Poverty Line" is about $25,000 per year. If the only bread-winner in a family of four earns the lowest he can ($5.15 per hour), he will earn $10,712 in a while year. That's about $15,000 below the poverty line. Even if both parents work, they'll still be about $4,000 short of the Bush idea of "prosperity."
Hey, I know... Why don't the Bushies lower the poverty line level, to make their stats look better? If I didn't have a soul, I could work at the White House!
Congress raised the minimum wage in 1997 from $4.75 per hour to the present $5.15 it is today. If you account for inflation (estimated at 3 percent per year), that $5.15 per hour is worth only $4.04 based on 1997 dollars. This means that the minimum wage has decreased about ten percent from 1997 through today!
How bad is the minimum wage in the United States? Check this out:
"Even the chairman of Wal-Mart has endorsed an increase (in the minimum wage), saying that a worker earning the minimum wage cannot afford to shop at his stores."
-The New York Times
Wow... If Wal-Mart says it,, it must be true. Let's face facts: If one can't afford to shop at Wal-Mart because they don't earn enough, it really is time to increase the minimum wage. (You gotta love the way Wal-Mart made it all about them though, dont'cha?)
"Increasing the minimum wage is a bad move economically, philosophically and politically,"
-Marc Freedman, United States Chamber of Commerce director of labor law policy
There is no more conservative, employee hating organization than the US Chamber of Commerce. Have you ever looked at their member list? It reads like a "Who's Who in the fleecing of America". Their members are, for the most part, giant globalist corporations with little regard for the middle class and too much regard for the bottom line.
Thomas J. "Donohue established the Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), which has won significant legal reforms in the courts, at the state and federal levels, and in elections for state attorneys general and Supreme Court judges.
"The Chamber's lobbyists, policy experts, and communicators have helped secure many legislative victories, including major tax cuts, more sensible workplace and environmental regulations, and increased funding for transportation. The Chamber has advanced the business argument on outsourcing and the need for balance in applying new corporate governance and accounting rules, among other issues.
"On the international front, the Chamber has become a leader in knocking down trade barriers, winning new free trade agreements, and fighting protectionism both at home and abroad.
"Under Donohue's leadership, the Chamber has also emerged as a major player in election politics, helping elect congressional pro-business candidates through financial support and voter activism and turnout generated through the Chamber's grassroots organization, VoteForBusiness.com.
"The National Chamber Litigation Center, the Chamber's law firm, has become more aggressive in challenging anti-business measures in court, setting a new record for cases entered in each of the last four years and securing 34 court victories in 2004.
-From the biography of US Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue
It is just so unbelievable blatant. They don't even try to hide it anymore. The philosophy is to keep wages low; make the poor poorer; and render the middle class, the largest group of Americans, inconsequential. In the bio, as we read between the lines of horror, we see the real agenda of the Bush administration and the corporate globalists that pull his, and the other soul-less members of congress' puppet strings. They influence and steal elections; encourages the shipping of American jobs overseas (so much for the US part of their name - they ought to be called the Anti-US Chamber of Commerce); and have tied up our courts with a record number of frivolous lawsuits with the help of activist judges.
These guys don't only oppose a "living wage", they oppose all wages, except their own. Imagine a time some 150 years or so ago. You could just see them now "lobbying" for the expansion of slavery into the north. One has to believe that if GW was president back then, they might have been able to do it, too.
If you want to know why the minimum wage has decreased (counting for inflation) over the past few years, all you have to do id look at the "Think-Tanks" and "Lobbyists" who control the GOP and GW Bush.
A good start would be to get rid of them all!
More On NSA Wiretaps
During the confirmation hearing of John Bolton for Ambassador, it was revealed that the State Department asked the NSA to unmask the identities of American citizens 500 times since May 2001. The "NSA received - and fulfilled - between 3,000 and 3,500 requests from other agencies to supply the names of U.S. citizens and officials (and citizens of other countries that help NSA eavesdrop around the world, including Britain, Canada and Australia) that initially were deleted from raw intercept reports," Newsweek said in its May 2 issue.
The NSA in the past would black out American citizen names in intercepted communications. This is one way that the NSA was prohibited from doing domestic surveillance. So, this is what Bush means by breaking down the wall between domestic and foreign intelligence! But, the FISA court was designed to prevent abuses. Therefore, it is simply wrong for Bush to bypass the FISA court whether the surveillance comes from the FBI, CIA or NSA.
By the way, let's not forget that Condoleezza Rice was the head of the NSA during this time. Does anyone still think she is the one moderate in the Bush administration? If so, have another look at her track record - lying about rendition and spying on American citizens, just lovely. Also, will Bush kindly explain the justification for spying on the Florida Quakers and United for Peace and Justice? Are we suppose to believe these are organizations advocate violence? Get real!
Even More on Wiretaps
As Mr. Bush continued to defend the program in San Antonio, he was asked about a remark he made in Buffalo in 2004 at an appearance in support of the antiterrorism law known as the USA Patriot Act, where he discussed government wiretaps.
"Any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap," Mr. Bush said in Buffalo, "a wiretap requires a court order."
He added: "Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so."
Democrats have seized on the remark, made more than two years after Mr. Bush authorized the N.S.A. to conduct wiretaps without warrants, in charging that the president had misled the public.
Asked about that charge on Sunday, Mr. Bush said: "I was talking about roving wiretaps, I believe, involved in the Patriot Act. This is different from the N.S.A. program.
"The N.S.A. program is a necessary program. I was elected to protect the American people from harm. And on Sept. 11, 2001, our nation was attacked. And after that day, I vowed to use all the resources at my disposal, within the law, to protect the American people, which is what I have been doing and will continue to do."
-From The New
Pray tell Mr. Bush, how is the NSA wiretaps any different from a roving wiretap? The NSA is capturing communications from various sources - satellites for instance - and analyzes them in real time. This is the very essence of a roving wiretap. In fact, it's a non-specific roving wiretap. In the past, the NSA confined it's activities to intercepts of communications that originated outside the country - from Russia or China for instance - it now appears they are indiscriminately wiretapping everything.
Okay, we can parse language endlessly - something that Republicans specialize in. When you come down to it, the issue is whether domestic communication is wiretapped without a warrant. If so, it is blatantly unconstitutional.
Caesar Crossing The Rubicon - Bush Crossing The Line
With the revelation of domestic wiretapping, it is evident that Bush claims powers far beyond what the Constitution explicitly grants. Bush has asked for the suspension of the Posse Comitatus Act, prohibiting the domestic use of the military, at least four times using excuses ranging from hurricane relief to the bird flu. I am reminded of the historic event when Caesar crossed the river Rubicon in violation of Roman Posse Comitatus thus ending the Republic. We should regard any further attempts by Bush to expand his powers with alarm. Otherwise, we will be facing the destruction of our own Republic. It's time to push back against Bush's excess power.
This seems to be the new "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party strategy, even when in said or done jest: Bush and his cronies are now equating paltry injuries and self-perceived slights as terrorism or war injuries. Just yesterday, Madman reported that Ken "Kenny-Boy" Lay of Enron infamy said he was a victim of "torture. Today it was GW's turn comparing a scratch on his head with the injuries suffered in war by our brave soldiers.
I want you to imagine President Clinton walking into a VA hospital and saying that he was "injured in combat with a cedar".
Is it just stupidity or is it just GW being GW. Is there a difference?
In response to "This is exactly why the FISA (the secret court that issues warrants) with all of its faults (it has never turned down a warrant) was created," Robert Scardapane writes:
My understanding is that the FISA court rejected warrants 5 out of 16,000 requests (using round numbers). A right winger used the 5 rejected attempts as justification for Bush bypassing FISA! He argued that the FISA court may do the wrong thing - huh, you mean Bush never does the wrong thing? The purpose of the FISA court is to provide checks and balances. This way when Bush orders a wiretap of the Quakers as a potential "terrorist group" someone can jump up and ask "are you joking or just crazy?".
I stand corrected. -NG
A Media Madman Quote
KIM LANDERS: President George W. Bush marked the start of the New Year by visiting wounded US troops at an army medical centre in his home State of Texas. He was even sporting an injury of his own – cut on the forehead while brush cutting at his ranch.
GEORGE BUSH: As you can probably see, I was injured myself – not here at the hospital, but in combat with a… with a cedar. I eventually won.
KIM LANDERS: While Iraq continues to cloud the President's 2006 agenda, debate on the 'war on terror' has been reignited by revelations he authorized a secret domestic spying program.
Correspondent Kim Landers reports (www.abc.net).
Now this is news! "Spy Boy" Bush is having trouble with his true calling - clearing brush that is! I seen an excerpt of Bush's New Year's visit at the hospital - it was agonizing to watch but I hope it lifted the spirits of the wounded. This domestic spying case isn't going away soon despite Republican attempts to deflect attention by investigating the whistle blowers.
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