Want Some Stupid For Your Coffee, Erick?

“If you’re a 30-something-year-old person and you’re making minimum wage you’ve probably failed at life.”

–Our old pal Erick Erickson who not only tells you to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, but gives you a deadline to do it.

Word Salad from D’Vorce D’Spousa

“I think the progressive attack always pretends to be against the 1 percent, and it’s against the immigrants because when you look at this critique, you stole the country from the Indians,” he said. “You stole half of Mexico in the Mexican war. Wait a minute, that wasn’t the top 1 percent. And they were living in handsome mansions and cottages, and it’s poor settlers who went out West and they defeated the Indians and the Mexican war.”

–Convicted confessed felon, auteur, and would-be bigamist Dinesh D’Souza showing us again why he is considered an intellectual giant on the Right.

GOP: Job Creators for Comdey Troupes

What could possibly go wrong (or right?) with an idea like this?

The Koch brothers were recently criticized — which they hate — for a series of misleading anti-Obamacare ads, so actors with morals or political qualms probably shouldn’t bother. For the soulless, this should be tons of fun:
TRAVEL GIG
Client: Firefly Millward Brown
Business: Research Company
Project: Still being developed: Koch Industries wants to identify current and emerging social and economic issues and the underlying emotional drivers and motivations behind them. This research project will take a cross-section of people, ask questions, and then based on the answers, the improvisers will perform scenes.
Dates: Either the week of 4/21 or 4/28
Talent Needed:
One Team Leader
Four-Five Additional Team Members
One Note Taker
One Videographer

Can mimes apply? (h/t Krugman)

The Kristallnacht of the 1% Continues!

For having all the money in the world, the 1%ers sure do whine a lot. Anyway, today’s persecution complex exhibit A is brought to us by The Wall Street Journal (again), and features the Perils of the Koch Brothers. Yes, Charles wrote an editorial about how put-upon the wealthy are, specifically himself and his brother:

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[T]he fundamental concepts of dignity, respect, equality before the law and personal freedom are under attack by the nation’s own government. That’s why, if we want to restore a free society and create greater well-being and opportunity for all Americans, we have no choice but to fight for those principles.

We have no choice but to fight for those principles, well that takes balls for him to say. But here’s the passage (after the self-congratulatory clap-trap) that sings out:

Instead of fostering a system that enables people to help themselves, America is now saddled with a system that destroys value, raises costs, hinders innovation and relegates millions of citizens to a life of poverty, dependency and hopelessness. This is what happens when elected officials believe that people’s lives are better run by politicians and regulators than by the people themselves. Those in power fail to see that more government means less liberty, and liberty is the essence of what it means to be American. Love of liberty is the American ideal.

So, in other words, accountability is un-American, the wealthy are morally superior, and we serfs should know our place and surrender unto the wealthy’s tender embrace.

Historians say that the French Aristocracy never saw The Terror coming. Just sayin’, Charlie.

(WSJ)

Hey, Let’s Look At What A 1%-er Bought!

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When you are crazy rich, it seems you have opportunities to evangelize your opinion wherever you want. Here’s an example of another Xristian Xrazie Plutocrat (who seem to be out in force today, you know, Hobby Lobby and whatnot) who is going to foist his opinion on the public:

A major funder of “creation museums” has been selected — strange as it may seem — to be the commencement speaker at Montana’s leading institution of science, Montana Tech, the mining and engineering school in Butte that has produced some of the world’s top geologists.

The speaker is Greg Gianforte, a conservative billionaire whose philanthropic endeavors include funding museums whose purpose is to discredit Darwinism and persuade visitors that the Earth is 6,000 years old, that North America’s geology was carved by Noah’s flood, and that dinosaurs coexisted with early humans.

A young-earther is going to address geology students at commencement? Continue reading

$15 Minimum Wage

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Somewhere, Tom Perkins is weeping:

As a renegade member of the 1 percent, venture capitalist Nick Hanauer is leading the debate locally and nationally for raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

We’ve talked about billionaire Nick Hanauer before, he’s one of the good’uns. Anyway, the article is a refreshing break from the bizarre sense of persecution that the über-wealthy have been complaining about as they raid the treasury, slash the safety nets and send our jobs overseas.

(Seattle Times)

Compare and Contrast Tom Perkins surreal explanation…

This interview is fascinating from the perspective of what Bloomberg doesn’t follow up on.

He’s still an assrocket without a clue, of course. Also/too: THE CREATIVE ONE PERCENT?!

Now compare Mr. Perkins with a different Venture Capitalist, Nick Hanauer:

I’m a very rich person. As an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, I’ve started or helped get off the ground dozens of companies in industries including manufacturing, retail, medical services, the Internet and software. I founded the Internet media company aQuantive Inc., which was acquired by Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) in 2007 for $6.4 billion. I was also the first non-family investor in Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN)

Even so, I’ve never been a “job creator.” I can start a business based on a great idea, and initially hire dozens or hundreds of people. But if no one can afford to buy what I have to sell, my business will soon fail and all those jobs will evaporate.

That’s why I can say with confidence that rich people don’t create jobs, nor do businesses, large or small. What does lead to more employment is the feedback loop between customers and businesses. And only consumers can set in motion a virtuous cycle that allows companies to survive and thrive and business owners to hire. An ordinary middle-class consumer is far more of a job creator than I ever have been or ever will be.

And he continues on with that theme, including calling for a raise in taxes for the wealthy:

I can’t buy enough of anything to make up for the fact that millions of unemployed andunderemployed Americans can’t buy any new clothes or enjoy any meals out. Or to make up for the decreasing consumption of the tens of millions of middle-class families that are barely squeaking by, buried by spiraling costs and trapped by stagnant or declining wages.

If the average American family still got the same share of income they earned in 1980, they would have an astounding $13,000 more in their pockets a year. It’s worth pausing to consider what our economy would be like today if middle-class consumers had that additional income to spend.

It is mathematically impossible to invest enough in our economy and our country to sustain the middle class (our customers) without taxing the top 1 percent at reasonable levels again. Shifting the burden from the 99 percent to the 1 percent is the surest and best way to get our consumer-based economy rolling again.

It’s a great read from someone who wants to see the economy recover from the ground up, not the top down, because it will be good for business and good for him, too.

(Nick Hanauer)

The Game is Rigged

…but I think we all knew that:

A growing share of the country’s jobs pay less than $15 an hour, replacing higher wage jobs, according to a new report from the Alliance for a Just Society.

The number of jobs in occupations that pay a median wage below $15 an hour grew by 3.6 million between 2009 and 2012, increasing by about 3 percent. During the same time period, the number of jobs that pay above that level fell by 4 million. There were more than 51 million jobs paying less than $15 an hour last year. Someone making $15 an hour working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year will make $31,200, while experts say a two-income family with two kids needs $72,000 a year to be economically secure.

The report also notes that there is a huge number of people vying for the jobs that pay better. It calculates that there were seven job seekers for every projected job opening that paid above $15 an hour in 2012 and 17.9 million more job hunters than higher wage jobs.

So, when Wingnuts misquote the Bible and say “If a man will not work, he will not eat,” even if he is working chances are he will not be eating. That’s why Walmart workers apply for food stamps.

(Think Progress)

The Lump of Coal

Atlas-Shrugged

From The Hill:

The number two Democrat in the Senate and a Republican member of the budget conference committee on Sunday strongly signaled that an emerging budget deal will not include new spending on unemployment benefits.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said that he hopes extended jobless benefits will be part of the budget deal, but Democrats are not at this point insisting on it.

“I don’t think we have reached that point where we say ‘this is it, take it or leave it,’ ” Durbin said on “ABC’s This Week.”

Great idea, boys, throw a million+ people out of their homes on the day after Christmas. Is there no principle that the Dims will not be willing to throw over-board at a moments notice to make nice play-time with these Teabagging fascists?

UPDATE (NBC):

“I do support unemployment benefits for the 26 weeks that they’re paid for. If you extend it beyond that, you do a disservice to these workers. When you allow people to be on unemployment insurance for 99 weeks, you’re causing them to become part of this perpetual unemployed group in our economy.”

–Rand Paul

Um, Rand, about that unemployed thingie? There are no jobs. You cannot make a job just out of wishful thinking. The long-term unemployed aren’t immoral leeches but are the victims of bad US fiscal policy. You cannot identify economic success with virtue, and lack of success with a lack of virtue, or are you saying all those people who were fired as the Bush Depression started suddenly became morally bankrupt?

Helping people is never a moral hazard, as you seem to think.