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The story of broke

No, we’re not:

Tonight

Tuesday, Nov 8 | 9 pm eastern | 6 pm pacific |Virtually Speaking Susie | Recovering journalist, blogger and working class warrior Susie Madrak talks with political cartoonist and graphic novelist Ted Rall about the limitations of non-violence as a revolutionary strategy. Check out his latest book: “The Anti-American Manifesto.” Follow @TedRall @Susie Madrak| Listen live and later on BTR.

Sign this petition

I think you’ll like this one.

Generational warfare

Economist Dean Baker:

If we had the same per person health care costs as people in Germany, Canada, or any other wealthy country we would be looking at long-term budget surpluses, not deficits. But controlling costs involves reducing the income and profits of the 1 percent. It means reducing payments to insurers, drug companies, medical equipment manufacturers and highly paid medical specialists.

Rather than control costs, the folks in Washington would rather make people pay even more for health care. This is why we see proposals like raising the age for Medicare eligibility to 67 or turning the program into a voucher system. Both plans are likely to protect the income of health care industry, while making it even more difficult for current or retired workers to cover their health care costs.

The public should realize that “generational warfare” is an agenda that was deliberately designed by the 1 percent to distract the rest of us from the class war that they have been successfully waging over the last three decades. Rather than have a public debate on the policies that have redistributed so much income upward, the 1 percent want to pit children against their parents and grandparents, forcing them to fight over crumbs.

In this context, the only victory that the supercommittee can hand to the 99 percent is a blank sheet of paper. People will have enough things to worry about this Thanksgiving without adding a Congressional plan to slash their Social Security and Medicare.

Voting

If you’re voting in Philadelphia today, vote Green Party’s Cheri Honkula for sheriff. She’s promised to stop all foreclosure sales.

Seniors Occupy Chicago

You know, this movement is only going to work if everyone gets involved. Unfortunately, I’m guessing the Democrats will soon give us a good reason:

More than 1,000 senior citizens and their supporters marched from Chicago’s Federal Plaza to the intersection of Jackson and Clark Street Monday morning to protest proposed cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Housing and Urban Development (HUD). At the intersection, more than 40 protesters, 15 of them seniors affiliated with the Jane Addams Senior Caucus, stood or sat in the street, arms linked, blocking traffic.

Amid chants demanding that the cuts be forestalled — with suggestions for alternatives, including tax hikes — 43 demonstrators were escorted from the intersection (see video, above) by police and issued citations for pedestrian failure to “exercise due care,” or for blocking traffic. Those cited included four protesters using assisted mobility devices and at least one centenarian.

Judy Moses said she was glad to receive the citation–her second in her quest to maintain funding for programs that benefit seniors, following an arrest for blocking traffic in December at a similar protest.

“When I was younger, I never did protests,” she said. “I was a silent majority. Now, I’m ready to make noise.”

What the hell are they so afraid of?

In Wisconsin, the first thing the state’s gun extremists did was to pass the concealed-carry legislation, even beating back the previous modest requirement for four hours’ training. (Because, you know, you really want inexperienced people carrying loaded weapons.)

Then they rushed to pass their Castle Doctrine legislation – you know, the one that allows people to kill anyone who enters their home. (Even though the Milwaukee County D.A. said the laws already in place permit people to shoot in cases of legitimate self defense.)

The Criminal Law Section of the Wisconsin State Bar Association also opposed it, pointing out a rather large problem with the legislation:

“AB 69 changes Wisconsin law by providing a defense for irrational people armed with deadly force. Under its provisions, malevolent, reckless, or paranoid people who shoot trick-or-treaters or repairmen on their porch will be presumed to be acting in self-defense.”

“…it provides a solid defense, and a favorable jury instruction, for any man who kills his wife in the family home and lies about it in court.”

Oh yeah, that last one? Protection for domestic abusers isn’t a bug, it’s a feature! You know Walker’s Wisconsin: They passed it anyway!

And now the state’s gun nuts at Wisconsin Carry Inc. want to extend that “right” outside the home with “stand your ground” legislation — basically, so you can shoot people anywhere you feel threatened.

What is it with people like this? I don’t understand it. (Not the lobbyists, they’re working for a fat paycheck.) I mean, what is it with the regular people who get into causes like this? I always wonder about whether certain (ahem) personal inadequacies drive this sort of fixation on domination and destruction. Or maybe they have “Deadwood” fantasies. Whatever it is, they make me tense.

This post is written as part of the Media Matters Gun Facts fellowship. The purpose of the fellowship is to further Media Matters’ mission to comprehensively monitor, analyze, and correct conservative misinformation in the U.S. media. Some of the worst misinformation occurs around the issue of guns, gun violence, and extremism, the fellowship program is designed to fight this misinformation with facts.

Ugh

I’m drinking this protein shake (don’t ask) and trying not to gag. God, this stuff really tastes awful! I have new respect for weightlifters, if only for their ability to repress the gag reflex.

Crocodile tears

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

See, we didn’t actually need a spreadsheet to tell us this. Banks took all that bailout money and didn’t increase lending, because Congress didn’t add even minimal strings to the cash. And we’ve certainly noticed that the president has pulled in $15.6 million from Wall Street for his own campaign and the Democratic party. That’s why we Occupy!

The largest banks are larger than they were when Obama took office and are nearing the level of profits they were making before the depths of the financial crisis in 2008, according to government data.

Wall Street firms — independent companies and the securities-trading arms of banks — are doing even better. They earned more in the first 212 years of the Obama administration than they did during the eight years of the George W. Bush administration, industry data show.

(See data in an Excel file here.)

Behind this turnaround, in significant measure, are government policies that helped the financial sector avert collapse and then gave financial firms huge benefits on the path to recovery. For example, the federal government invested hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars in banks — low-cost money that the firms used for high-yielding investments on which they made big profits.

Stabilizing the financial system was considered necessary to prevent an even deeper economic recession. But some critics say the Bush administration, which first moved to bail out Wall Street, and the Obama administration, which ultimately stabilized it, took a far less aggressive approach to helping the American people.

“There’s a very popular conception out there that the bailout was done with a tremendous amount of firepower and focus on saving the largest Wall Street institutions but with very little regard for Main Street,” said Neil Barofsky, the former federal watchdog for the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP, the $700 billion fund used to bail out banks. “That’s actually a very accurate description of what happened.”

What was she going to attack?

Another right-wing extremist with murder and mayhem in mind. Maybe if we sing “We Shall Overcome,” they’ll stop this sort of thing!

Federal prosecutors in Alaska filed a motion Friday to deny bail to an officer of the Alaska Peacemaker Militia, a right-wing extremist sovereign citizens group, after she attempted to enter Canada in late October through a remote Yukon Territory border crossing.

Mary Ann Morgan, 53, was driving a truck containing virtually no personal effects but what prosecutors termed a “horde of documents” including detailed information on home-cooked explosives and ricin, an extremely lethal toxin derived from castor beans and weaponized using lye or solvent.

Prosecutors cited the fact that last week, four members of a militia group in Georgia were arrested for allegedly plotting to attack various government targets using ricin and explosives and said Morgan poses “risk to the public in general, law enforcement or the judiciary.”

Also in the Chevy S-10 pick-up truck driven by Morgan was a .32 caliber Beretta handgun that Morgan, a convicted felon, is prohibited from possessing. Morgan was convicted in 2001 of Custodial Interference in the First Degree for violating a child custody agreement. Canadian law also bans private U.S. citizens from driving handguns across the border, and strictly prohibits the possession anywhere in Canada of easily concealable handguns including .32 caliber semi-automatics.

After discovering the handgun, Canadian Border Security Agency officers turned custody of Morgan over to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Alaska State Troopers. Morgan told Canadian border guards she was headed for a meeting about the U.S. Constitution being held in Montana, according to Canadian law enforcement sources in the Yukon Territory.

The motion identifies Morgan as secretary of the sovereign citizen Alaska Peacemaker Militia, part of a movement rooted in racism, anti-government extremism and bizarre conspiracy theories that is growing nationwide as part of an ongoing surge in right-wing militia activity.

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