Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Ten Serious Flaws in the House and Senate Budget Plans | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Ten Serious Flaws in the House and Senate Budget Plans | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities



There all serious: but the one that scares me most is #6: deep cuts in the transportation infrastructure; at a time when all the people that have studied our infrastructure have been warning us just how bad the situation is. And how dire the consequences of our failure to act. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

bad spammer



This spammer is a really bad spammer.
Poor person. To not even be any good at being bad.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

States Review Laws Revoking Licenses For Student Loan Defaults : NPR

States Review Laws Revoking Licenses For Student Loan Defaults : NPR



Oh yes this makes perfect sense: if we were in Bizarro world, that is.

Force someone to pay up, by taking away their means of earning money.

Sort of like punishing the person digging a hole for you, by taking away their shovel. 

TV Ads Financed With Secret Money Attack Paul On Day 1 Of Presidential Bid : It's All Politics : NPR

TV Ads Financed With Secret Money Attack Paul On Day 1 Of Presidential Bid : It's All Politics : NPR



This is sad yet so very right. That the shark the right created is now gobbling up members of the right as well as left.  Soon there will be no one left but the sharks. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Google works to rank sites based on ‘truthfulness’ | Fox News

Google works to rank sites based on ‘truthfulness’ | Fox News



Surprise, surprise, the purveyors of false truths are concerned that being rated on their truthfulness or lack there of may bring less traffic to their sites. 



But others who follow media bias note that even the media watchdogs –
let alone the sites used by the Google researchers like Wikipedia – are
often biased.



“They’re very good at debunking myths if they upset liberals, but if
it’s a liberal or left-wing falsehood, the fact-checkers don’t seem as
excited about debunking it,” Rich Noyes, research director at the Media
Research Center, told FoxNews.com.



He cited a 2013 study by George Mason University researchers, which
found that fact-checking site Politifact declared 52% of Republican
claims it looked at to be false, but did the same to just 24% of
Democratic claims.


I wonder if Noyes wondered, for even a nano-second, if that was because the Republican claims are that much more likely to be false? Because if you base your claims on faith and belief instead of science, well you just might be non-factual.

Probation Fees Multiply as Companies Profit - NYTimes.com

Probation Fees Multiply as Companies Profit - NYTimes.com



Charles Dickens is rolling in his grave. The blight that was known as debtors prison is alive and well in America. And growing apace as investors delight in this growing revenue stream. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Class Warfare does exist

Barbara's Blog

 Nickel & Dimed, updated



For the not-yet-homeless, there are two main paths to
criminalization, and one is debt. Anyone can fall into debt, and
although we pride ourselves on the abolition of debtors’ prison, in at
least one state, Texas, people who can’t pay fines for things like
expired inspection stickers may be made to “sit out their tickets” in
jail.


More commonly, the path to prison begins when one of your creditors
has a court summons issued for you, which you fail to honor for one
reason or another, such as that your address has changed and you never
received it. Okay, now you’re in “contempt of the court.”


Or suppose you miss a payment and your car insurance lapses, and then
you’re stopped for something like a broken headlight (about $130 for
the bulb alone). Now, depending on the state, you may have your car
impounded and/or face a steep fine -- again, exposing you to a possible
court summons. “There’s just no end to it once the cycle starts,” says
Robert Solomon of Yale Law School. “It just keeps accelerating.”


The second -- and by far the most reliable -- way to be criminalized
by poverty is to have the wrong color skin. Indignation runs high when a
celebrity professor succumbs to racial profiling, but whole
communities are effectively “profiled” for the suspicious combination
of being both dark-skinned and poor. Flick a cigarette and you’re
“littering”; wear the wrong color T-shirt and you’re displaying gang
allegiance. Just strolling around in a dodgy neighborhood can mark you
as a potential suspect. And don’t get grumpy about it or you could be
“resisting arrest.”


In what has become a familiar pattern, the government defunds services that might help the poor while ramping up law enforcement.  Shut down public housing, then make it a crime to be homeless. Generate no public-sector jobs, then penalize people for falling into debt. The experience of the poor, and especially poor people of color, comes to resemble that of a rat in a cage scrambling to avoid erratically administered electric shocks. And if you should try to escape this nightmare reality into a brief, drug-induced high, it’s “gotcha” all over again, because that of course is illegal too.


One result is our staggering level of incarceration, the
highest in the world.  Today, exactly the same number of Americans --
2.3 million -- reside in prison as in public housing. And what public
housing remains has become ever more prison-like, with random police sweeps and, in a growing number of cities, proposed drug tests for residents. The safety net, or what remains of it, has been transformed into a dragnet.



And it's the war being conducted by the "Haves" against the "Have nots".

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Fiscal 50: State Trends and Analysis - Pew State and Consumer Initiatives

Fiscal 50: State Trends and Analysis - Pew State and Consumer Initiatives





Ohio's governor keeps telling anyone who will listen just what a great job he's done for Ohio.

I'll grant him, there has been some improvement since 2009. But if AlaDamBama is doing better than our state, I don't think we're doing very well on the whole.