Friday, February 28, 2014

The jet that ate the Pentagon, the Lockheed-Martin F-35!





The F-35 is the most expensive weapons program in history, with a total cost of $1.5 trillion.


The F-35 program has been plagued by cost overruns and delays, has been grounded twice, and even has been criticized by those within the Pentagon.


The $1.5 trillion that will be spent on this wasteful Pentagon program is an enormous sum. It is equivalent to the cost of the sequester.


Join our broad coalition
as we work to build support at the grassroots to pressure our lawmakers
to rethink their commitment to this costly weapons program.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Police Tricks to Nab You For Pot and How You Can Beat Them Back!

4 Police Tricks to Nab You For Pot and How You Can Beat Them! 
AlterNet / February 20, 2014  / By Aaron Cantú

 According to the ACLU, marijuana arrests account for over half of all drug arrests—and 88% of those charges are for simple possession. Because of decades-old grant programs, local precincts are showered with money from the federal government if they keep their arrest numbers high. Police have a built-in financial incentive to focus their arrests on low-level drug offenders to fatten their statistics, especially because these are some of the easiest arrests to make. This is a major reason why marijuana arrest rates have gone up in recent years, and why they make up the majority of all drug detentions nationally.
If you’re a cannabis aficionado who chooses to indulge in the herb, you're a walking dollar sign to the police. Your arrest can directly lead to more bullets, armor, assault rifles and other toys, and may even be used to justify higher wages. You’re more useful to them imprisoned or cited than free, and they will try their hardest to manipulate you into giving them a reason to take you in. They can even make false threats to trick you into waiving your rights.
What follows are the four most common ways police deceive people into incriminating themselves for marijuana possession. Heed these warnings and remember the advice so you can avoid giving the cops a reason to arrest you.
Although our laws are meant to protect everyone equally, some police treat people differently based on a number of factors, particularly race. The ACLU reported last summer that blacks are almost four times as likely as whites to be arrested for marijuana possession. Other activist groups have found
that law enforcement officers kill one black American roughly every 28 hours. Should you choose to invoke any of the rights detailed below, you must do so while remaining hyperaware of how you are perceived by police based on your race and other class-indicative factors, and then proceed with caution. Unfortunately, that's nothing new for people of color. 

1. Giving officers “reasonable suspicion” by talking too much.
A cop has no right to detain you without reasonable suspicion. “Reasonable suspicion” is a murky standard that isn’t as definitive as hard evidence, but requires more than a hunch, as Flex Your Rights explains:
A combination of particular facts, even if each is individually insignificant, can form the basis of reasonable suspicion. For example, police may have reasonable suspicion to detain someone who fits a description of a criminal suspect, a suspect who drops a suspicious object after seeing police, or a suspect in a high crime area who runs after seeing police.
If a cop simply stops and pummels you with questions, he has no right to force you to stick around and answer. In fact, if you’re carrying a bit of bud on you, your best bet for avoiding trouble is to use your constitutional right to silence. Here’s what I mean. Let’s say you just bought an eighth of deliciously fresh green shimmering with sticky trichomes.
You’re walking to a friend’s house for some communal smoking when suddenly a young police officer stops you to ask some questions—just the standard inquiries: Who are you, where are you going, where are you coming from, etc. You think, “Shit! I’m screwed! But maybe if I’m really nice, he/she will let me go.” You decide to blab away in an overly polite tone under the delusion that
he/she isn’t aware of your charm offensive. You notice your tactic isn’t working, and out of nervousness you begin stammering and giving inconsistent answers—which are cause for reasonable suspicion. The cop then decides to search you, finding your weed and brandishing it in the open, which gives him/her the right to arrest you for having pot in “public view.” You’re cuffed, shunted off to jail and stuck with a petty possession charge. To avoid such a sour experience, Flex Your Rights recommends that if an officer stops you, you should always ask from the very start, “Officer, are you detaining me or am I free to go?” If the officer says you can go, you can continue on your way. If he/she gives a vague answer or continues to ask questions, continue repeating the magic words until he/she relents.
“If the officer says something like, 'You're not being detained. I just want to talk to you,' then you are free to end the conversation and leave immediately, [without] wait[ing] for the officer to kindly dismiss you,” says Steve Silverman, executive director of Flex Your Rights.
If an officer tells you that you are being detained, that means you’re under arrest, in which case you should definitely inform him/her that you are choosing to stay silent; perhaps you can say something like, “I’m going to remain silent. I would like to see a lawyer.” Because you can be damned sure that anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
Also, DO NOT run away or trash-talk the cop. These are always causes for reasonable suspicion. Do your best to stay cool.

2. Consenting to a body search.
Often, the police won’t inform you of your right not to consent to a search. Sometimes people will consent to a search even when they’re holding weed, either because they don’t know they can say no or because they’re worried about the officer’s reaction. “The most powerful trick police use to make marijuana arrests on the street is to ask citizens to empty their pockets. Of course, this ‘ask’ generally sounds like a command when police shout, ‘What's in your pockets? What do you got?’ Silverman of Flex Your Rights says. He also says the vast majority of people stopped will comply with a search regardless of what they have on them out of intimidation or confusion.
“Unless police feel a hard item during a pat-down that could be a weapon, they are not legally allowed to reach into your pockets,” he added. Your right to refuse a search is expressly noted in the Fourth Amendment, which guards against “unreasonable searches and seizures” by the state.
As with refusing to answer a nosy officer’s questions, you are legally within your rights to say no to a physical search unless the officer hasa warrant.
“If the police say they have a search warrant, ask to see it. If they don’t, say ‘I do not consent to this
search,’” advises the New York City Civil Liberties Union website. An officer may still illegally search you even if you say no, but at least you’ll protect your rights if you have to go to court.

3. Consenting to a vehicle search.
 This one follows the same legal guidelines of refusing a body search: unless the officer has a warrant, you do not need to give him/her permission to search your car. Calmly inform him/her that you are aware of your rights and that he/she cannot search your vehicle. However, an officer can still order you out of your car if he/she wishes to do so, and you should comply if they do. Once you are out of the vehicle, the officer may threaten you with false consequences if you continue to refuse a search.
“Beware that police can legally lie to you, so never let false threats or promises trick you into waving your rights,” says Judge William Murphy, a civil liberties advocate. Once again, if the cop has no warrant or reasonable suspicion to search your vehicle, say the magic words: “Officer, are you detaining me or am I free to go?” Theoretically, he/she would then either give you a traffic citation and leave or just let you go on your way. However, experience has shown that officers sometimes become aggressive or even violent when a person denies a search. All you can really do in that situation is keep calm and continue to shield yourself from judicial damnation by asserting your lawfully guaranteed right to refuse a search.

4. Letting the police enter your home.
Withouta warrant, you never have to open your door for police. No matter how hard they bang or how many times they smash their pointer against your doorbell, you can leave them out in the cold. Just say no. Someone should have told that to former UNC basketball player Will Graves before he willfully allowed police to enter his coach’s home last December, which the athlete was renting while he completed his studies. When the cops came snooping at his door on a tip from a meter reader at a utility company, Graves allowed the cops to enter (probably out of fear), and for his courteousness he was cited (fortunately not arrested) for being in possession of a couple of
blunts, a grinder and a handful of pot seeds. Regardless of how unnatural or frightening (exhilarating?) it feels, always say no to a cop who is trying to get into your home without a warrant. You wouldn’t let a stranger in, and that’s exactly what a cop is.
Caveat:
One way cops can claim to have “reasonable suspicion” to search your body, car or home is to say they smell marijuana. This is a difficult assertion to guard against since it’s your word against theirs. More than a few people have gone down after a search because a cop claimed to catch a whiff of weed. The “smell” provision overwhelmingly favors the police in most drug cases.
Here’s what Flex Your Rights says about the matter:
“If police say they smell marijuana…[a]ll you can really do is say,
'Officer, I have nothing to hide, but I don’t consent to any searches.'
If they search you anyway and something is found, you’ll need an
attorney to help you fight the charges. Unfortunately, police sometimes
use tricks like this to circumvent your constitutional rights and
there’s no perfect way to handle the situation. Of course, they are most
likely to do this if they are suspicious of you for some reason, so do
your best to stay calm.”


Aaron Cantú is an investigator for the Marijuana Arrest Research Project and
an independent journalist based in Brooklyn. Follow him on Twitter 
@aaronmiguel_

"Keystone PipeLIES Exposed" from Center for Media and Democracy!

Keystone PipeLIES Exposed

from



 

Keystone PipeLIES Exposed from Center for Media and Democracy on Vimeo.



 This film, produced by the Center for Media and Democracy, debunks the
claims of proponents of the Keystone XL pipeline regarding jobs, energy
security, gas prices, safety, and climate change. More information
about this film and research project, "Keystone PipeLIES Exposed," at pipeliesexposed.org.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Right-brained? Left-brained? Take the brain test!

Which side of your brain is more dominant?
 



This is the results from my test!
http://en.sommer-sommer.com/braintest/

Does the brain test measure knowledge or brain development?

The brain test is a fun and insightful game that helps us learn
more about ourselves and the way we think. There are no right or wrong
answers, it merely tests the balance between the left and right
hemispheres of the brain. The brain test doesn't measure knowledge like a
brain training game does, and it is not designed for brain development,
however it does tell us a lot about our brains; the result reveals to
users how much they use the left and right hemispheres of the brain.
Simply complete the quiz to get the result. 
Have fun!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Obese Patients Who Feel Judged by Doctors Less Likely to Lose Weight | Psych Central News

Obese Patients Who Feel Judged by Doctors Less Likely to Lose Weight

 By

Associate News Editor



Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D.
on February 23, 2014

Obese Patients Who Feel Judged by Doctors Less Likely to Lose WeightObese
patients who believe their doctors are critical of their weight are
more likely to attempt to get fit but less likely to succeed, according
to a new study by Johns Hopkins researchers.


“Negative encounters can prompt a weight loss attempt, but our study
shows they do not translate into success,” says study leader Kimberly A.
Gudzune, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor in the Division of
General Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of
Medicine.


“Ideally, we need to talk about weight loss without making patients
feel they are being judged. It’s a fine line to walk, but if we can do
it with sensitivity, a lot of patients would benefit.”


Prior to the study, the researchers suspected that negative attitudes
and weight stigma may be limiting the effectiveness of advice from
primary care providers to their obese patients.


To test this idea, the researchers conducted a national
Internet-based survey of 600 adults with a body mass index of 25 or more
who see their primary care doctors on a regular basis. One of the
questions was, “In the last 12 months, did you ever feel that this
doctor judged you because of your weight?” Twenty one percent of
participants said yes.


Furthermore, 96 percent of those who felt judged said they attempted
to lose weight in the previous year, compared to 84 percent who did not.
However, only 14 percent of those who felt judged and who also
discussed weight loss with their doctor lost 10 percent or more of their
body weight, while 20 percent who did not feel judged and also
discussed weight loss shed a similar amount.


Overall, just two-thirds of participants reported that their doctors talked about weight loss.


“Many doctors avoid the conversation because they don’t want to make
anyone feel bad, worrying they’ll create a rift with their patients if
they even bring it up. But that is not in the patients’ best interest in
terms of their long-term health,” Gudzune says.


Gudzune, whose own practice focuses on obesity, believes that doctors
should be trained in ways to bring up the topic while also making the
patient feel understood and supported.


She says that it helps to start with smaller weight loss goals, such
as a 10 percent reduction. A larger long-term goal of 70 or 100 pounds,
for example, can be a setup for frustration and failure when tackled all
at once.


“We don’t want to overwhelm them,” she says. “If we are their
advocates in this process — and not their critics — we can really help
patients to be healthier through weight loss.”


Other Johns Hopkins researchers who contributed to this study include
Wendy L. Bennett, M.D., M.P.H.; Lisa A. Cooper, M.D., M.P.H.; and Sara
N. Bleich, Ph.D.


The study is published in the journal Preventive Medicine.


Source:  Johns Hopkins

Obese man and his doctor photo by shutterstock.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Shiffrin's childhood friend finds way to Sochi through Make-A-Wish | NBC Olympics

Shiffrin's childhood friend finds way to Sochi through Make-A-Wish | NBC Olympics



 19-year-old Thomas Walsh had dreamed of some day competing in the
Olympics alongside childhood friend U.S. Olympian Mikaela Shiffrin but
his aspirations were crushed when he was diagnosed with a type of bone
cancer called Ewing's sarcoma. But thanks to Make-A-Wish, Walsh found
his way to Sochi to cheer on his prom date.

I Am a Ukrainian!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

7 Countries That Show Us How Health Care Should Be Done!

7 Countries That Show Us How Health Care Should Be Done!
By Sona Jain  

7, countries, that, show, us, how, health, care, should, be, done,
Image Credit: Chasingthoughts.info
Senator Jeff Sessions' (R-Ala.) statement that Obamacare is destroying “the greatest health care system the world has ever known,” captured the misguided and ignorant sentiment among Republicans against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Some have cited expected
reductions in productivity and innovation as reasons for their stance, while others simply don’t think the budget can carry the financial burden of a universal system. While these assertions may make sense theoretically, a look at the facts reveals a different side of the story.
The World Health Organization ranked American health care 37th in the world, and in a recent comprehensive, comparative study, the Commonwealth Fund ranked America’s health care system last on the basis of 21 indicative factors. Analyzing the countries that  have surpassed the U.S. in these rankings highlights a puzzling reality:
What places these other countries ahead of the U.S. is not just their universal health care systems, but also their significantly lower health care costs and undeniably greater efficiency and equity. How’s that possible? Read about seven of those countries and find out.

1. Australia (Population 22.32 million, GDP US$1.379 trillion)

That’s right, their beaches and exotic wildlife aren’t the only things keepingAustralians happy — their medical system is too! In Australia, public coverage is guaranteed to all, but the state encourages wealthier individuals to use a private system by enforcing an additional 1% tax on
those who fall above a certain income level but use the public system anyway. The fruits of the government’s innovative techniques are evident in Australia’s death rate from conditions amenable to medical care, which was a startling 50% less than America’s in 2003 and 25% less than the United Kingdom's.

2. Sweden (Population 9.449 million, GDP US$539.7 billion)

Did you know that Sweden’s health care expenditures were as low as US$5,331 per capita in 2011? This rate can in part be attributed to government initiatives in Sweden that disincentivize sending patients to specialists when their illnesses can be treated by general practitioners. The Swedish
government’s success with cost efficiency explains why even though public funding accounts for 85% of total Swedish health expenditure, this does not place an unreasonable constraint on taxpayers or the government.


3. France (Population 65.43 million, GDP US$2.773 trillion)

As much as Americans may hate to admit it, there are some lessons they can learn from the French. France's share of GDP spent on health care is 40% than America's, but its public expenditure still accounts for an incredible 79.1% of total healthcare spending. The way the system works there is that a majority of medical bills are taken care of by the government (funding for this comes from payroll and income taxes) and the remaining expenses are paid for by the individual’s supplemental private insurance. Every citizen is entitled to public coverage, and now illegal immigrants are as well.


4. United Kingdom (Population 62.74 million, GDP US$2.445 trillion)

The U.S. and the UK may be just a letter apart by name, but are worlds apart in terms of health care. In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) publicly covers various costs, including preventative services and mental health care. About 88% of prescriptions there are exempt from charges! Despite American efforts to increase affordability and equity however, the UK ranked first on indicators of
efficiency in the aforementioned Commonwealth Fund study. America could learn a lesson or two from its successes at cutting administrative costs and closing loopholes that would otherwise cost the government millions.


5. Germany (Population 81.8 million, GDP US$3.601 trillion)

With the oldest universal health care system in the world, 90% of Germans happily use the public system offered there, and just 10% of the population voluntarily uses the private system. Moving past the mythical tradeoff between time and cost, Germany is one of the few countries to have quick access to specialty services with very little out-of-pocket costs. Germany spends around half as much as America does on health care per capita, with few differences in quality of services between the two countries.


6. Netherlands (Population 16.69 million, GDP US$836.1 billion)

Interestingly, health insurance coverage is statutory in Holland, but provided by private insurers competing for business. Insurers can decide by whom and how the care is delivered, which, to capitalists' great relief allows the insured to choose between alternatives based on quality and costs.
This system has proven to be very effective. In 2010, 72% of Dutch adults saw their doctor the same or next day when they were sick, compared with only 57% of adults in America.  And, whereas one third of U.S. adults did not see a doctor when sick, went without recommended care, or failed to fill prescriptions due to costs, only 6% of adults in the Netherlands faced these issues.


7. Canada (Population 34.48 million, GDP US$1.736 trillion)

In the realm of health care, America and its neighbor couldn’t be more different. Canada’s national health care system consists of a centralized body that sets standards that the 13 Canadian provinces must follow to receive funding. Hospitals are mainly private nonprofit organizations with their own governance structures, lending Canada an interesting balance between privatization and public
ownership. 

By: Sona Jain -
I am a student at Georgetown University majoring in International Political Economics and hoping to attain a certificate in International Business Development. I am passionate about Global Development, particularly in the context of education policy, social entrepreneurship, and food security.

Monday, February 17, 2014

"Distorting Russia!" | The Nation

Distorting Russia-
How the American media misrepresent Putin, Sochi and Ukraine.

Putin
(Reuters/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Pool)

The degradation of mainstream American press coverage of Russia, a
country still vital to US national security, has been under way for many
years. If the recent tsunami of shamefully unprofessional and
politically inflammatory articles in leading newspapers and
magazines—particularly about the Sochi Olympics, Ukraine and,
unfailingly, President Vladimir Putin—is an indication, this media
malpractice is now pervasive and the new norm.

There are notable exceptions, but a general pattern has developed. Even in the venerable New York Times and Washington Post,
news reports, editorials and commentaries no longer adhere rigorously
to traditional journalistic standards, often failing to provide
essential facts and context; to make a clear distinction between
reporting and analysis; to require at least two different political or
“expert” views on major developments; or to publish opposing opinions on
their op-ed pages. As a result, American media on Russia today are less
objective, less balanced, more conformist and scarcely less ideological
than when they covered Soviet Russia during the Cold War.

The history of this degradation is also clear. It began in the early
1990s, following the end of the Soviet Union, when the US media adopted
Washington’s narrative that almost everything President Boris Yeltsin
did was a “transition from communism to democracy” and thus in America’s
best interests. This included his economic “shock therapy” and
oligarchic looting of essential state assets, which destroyed tens of
millions of Russian lives; armed destruction of a popularly elected
Parliament and imposition of a “presidential” Constitution, which dealt a
crippling blow to democratization and now empowers Putin; brutal war in
tiny Chechnya, which gave rise to terrorists in Russia’s North
Caucasus; rigging of his own re-election in 1996; and leaving behind, in
1999, his approval ratings in single digits, a disintegrating country
laden with weapons of mass destruction. Indeed, most American
journalists still give the impression that Yeltsin was an ideal Russian
leader.

Since the early 2000s, the media have followed a different
leader-centric narrative, also consistent with US policy, that devalues
multifaceted analysis for a relentless demonization of Putin, with
little regard for facts. (Was any Soviet Communist leader after Stalin
ever so personally villainized?) If Russia under Yeltsin was presented
as having legitimate politics and national interests, we are now made to
believe that Putin’s Russia has none at all, at home or abroad—even on
its own borders, as in Ukraine.

Russia today has serious problems and many repugnant Kremlin
policies. But anyone relying on mainstream American media will not find
there any of their origins or influences in Yeltsin’s Russia or in
provocative US policies since the 1990s—only in the “autocrat” Putin
who, however authoritarian, in reality lacks such power. Nor is he
credited with stabilizing a disintegrating nuclear-armed country,
assisting US security pursuits from Afghanistan
and Syria to Iran or even with granting amnesty, in December, to more
than 1,000 jailed prisoners, including mothers of young children.

Not surprisingly, in January The Wall Street Journal
featured the widely discredited former president of Georgia, Mikheil
Saakashvili, branding Putin’s government as one of “deceit, violence and
cynicism,” with the Kremlin a “nerve center of the troubles that
bedevil the West.” But wanton Putin-bashing is also the dominant
narrative in centrist, liberal and progressive media, from the Post, Times and The New Republic to CNN, MSNBC and HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher,
where Howard Dean, not previously known for his Russia expertise,
recently declared, to the panel’s approval, “Vladimir Putin is a thug.”

The media therefore eagerly await Putin’s downfall—due to his
“failing economy” (some of its indicators are better than US ones), the
valor of street protesters and other right-minded oppositionists (whose
policies are rarely examined), the defection of his electorate (his
approval ratings remain around 65 percent) or some welcomed “cataclysm.”
Evidently believing, as does the Times, for example, that
democrats and a “much better future” will succeed Putin (not zealous
ultranationalists growing in the streets and corridors of power), US
commentators remain indifferent to what the hoped-for “destabilization
of his regime” might mean in the world’s largest nuclear country.

Certainly, The New Republic’s lead writer on Russia, Julia
Ioffe, does not explore the question, or much else of real consequence,
in her nearly 10,000-word February 17 cover story. Ioffe’s bannered
theme is devoutly Putin-phobic: “He Crushed His Opposition and Has
Nothing to Show for It But a Country That Is Falling Apart.” Neither
sweeping assertion is spelled out or documented. A compilation of chats
with Russian-born Ioffe’s disaffected (but seemingly not “crushed”)
Moscow acquaintances and titillating personal gossip long circulating on
the Internet, the article seems better suited (apart from some factual
errors) for the Russian tabloids, as does Ioffe’s disdain for
objectivity. Protest shouts of “Russia without Putin!” and “Putin is a
thief!” were “one of the most exhilarating moments I’d ever
experienced.” So was tweeting “Putin’s fucked, y’all.” Nor does she
forget the hopeful mantra “cataclysm seems closer than ever now.”
* * *
For weeks, this toxic coverage has focused on the Sochi Olympics and
the deepening crisis in Ukraine. Even before the Games began, the Times declared the newly built complex a “Soviet-style dystopia” and warned in a headline, Terrorism and Tension, Not Sports and Joy. On opening day, the paper found space for three anti-Putin articles and a lead editorial, a feat rivaled by the Post.
Facts hardly mattered. Virtually every US report insisted that a record
$51 billion “squandered” by Putin on the Sochi Games proved they were
“corrupt.” But as Ben Aris of Business New Europe pointed out,
as much as $44 billion may have been spent “to develop the
infrastructure of the entire region,” investment “the entire country
needs.”

Overall pre-Sochi coverage was even worse, exploiting the threat of terrorism so licentiously it seemed pornographic. The Post, long known among critical-minded Russia-watchers as Pravda
on the Potomac, exemplified the media ethos. A sports columnist and an
editorial page editor turned the Olympics into “a contest of wills”
between the despised Putin’s “thugocracy” and terrorist “insurgents.”
The “two warring parties” were so equated that readers might have
wondered which to cheer for. If nothing else, American journalists gave
terrorists an early victory, tainting “Putin’s Games” and frightening
away many foreign spectators, including some relatives of the athletes.

The Sochi Games will soon pass, triumphantly or tragically, but the
potentially fateful Ukrainian crisis will not. A new Cold War divide
between West and East may now be unfolding, not in Berlin but in the
heart of Russia’s historical civilization. The result could be a
permanent confrontation fraught with instability and the threat of a hot
war far worse than the one in Georgia in 2008. These dangers have been
all but ignored in highly selective, partisan and inflammatory US media
accounts, which portray the European Union’s “Partnership” proposal
benignly as Ukraine’s chance for democracy, prosperity and escape from
Russia, thwarted only by a “bullying” Putin and his “cronies” in Kiev.

Not long ago, committed readers could count on The New York Review of Books
for factually trustworthy alternative perspectives on important
historical and contemporary subjects. But when it comes to Russia and
Ukraine, the NYRB has succumbed to the general media mania. In a
January 21 blog post, Amy Knight, a regular contributor and inveterate
Putin-basher, warned the US government against cooperating with the
Kremlin on Sochi security, even suggesting that Putin’s secret services
“might have had an interest in allowing or even facilitating such
attacks” as killed or wounded dozens of Russians in Volgograd in
December.

Knight’s innuendo prefigured a purported report on Ukraine by Yale
professor Timothy Snyder in the February 20 issue. Omissions of facts,
by journalists or scholars, are no less an untruth than misstatements of
fact. Snyder’s article was full of both, which are widespread in the
popular media, but these are in the esteemed NYRB and by an acclaimed academic. Consider a few of Snyder’s assertions:

§ ”On paper, Ukraine is now a dictatorship.” In fact, the “paper”
legislation he’s referring to hardly constituted dictatorship, and in
any event was soon repealed. Ukraine is in a state nearly the opposite
of dictatorship—political chaos uncontrolled by President Viktor
Yanukovych, the Parliament, the police or any other government
institution.

§ ”The [parliamentary] deputies…have all but voted themselves out of
existence.” Again, Snyder is alluding to the nullified “paper.”
Moreover, serious discussions have been under way in Kiev about
reverting to provisions in the 2004 Constitution that would return
substantial presidential powers to the legislature, hardly “the end of
parliamentary checks on presidential power,” as Snyder claims. (Does he
dislike the prospect of a compromise outcome?)

§ ”Through remarkably large and peaceful public protests…Ukrainians
have set a positive example for Europeans.” This astonishing statement
may have been true in November, but it now raises questions about the
“example” Snyder is advocating. The occupation of government buildings
in Kiev and in Western Ukraine, the hurling of firebombs at police and
other violent assaults on law enforcement officers and the proliferation
of anti-Semitic slogans by a significant number of anti-Yanukovych
protesters, all documented and even televised, are not an “example” most
readers would recommend to Europeans or Americans. Nor are they
tolerated, even if accompanied by episodes of police brutality, in any Western democracy.

§ ”Representatives of a minor group of the Ukrainian extreme right
have taken credit for the violence.” This obfuscation implies that apart
perhaps from a “minor group,” the “Ukrainian extreme right” is part of
the positive “example” being set. (Many of its representatives have
expressed hatred for Europe’s “anti-traditional” values, such as gay
rights.) Still more, Snyder continues, “something is fishy,” strongly
implying that the mob violence is actually being “done by russo-phone
provocateurs” on behalf of “Yanukovych (or Putin).” As evidence, Snyder
alludes to “reports” that the instigators “spoke Russian.” But millions
of Ukrainians on both sides of their incipient civil war speak Russian.

§ Snyder reproduces yet another widespread media malpractice
regarding Russia, the decline of editorial fact-checking. In a recent
article in the International New York Times, he both inflates
his assertions and tries to delete neofascist elements from his
innocuous “Ukrainian extreme right.” Again without any verified
evidence, he warns of a Putin-backed “armed intervention” in Ukraine
after the Olympics and characterizes reliable reports of “Nazis and
anti-Semites” among street protesters as “Russian propaganda.”

§ Perhaps the largest untruth promoted by Snyder and most US media is
the claim that “Ukraine’s future integration into Europe” is “yearned
for throughout the country.” But every informed observer knows—from
Ukraine’s history, geography, languages, religions, culture, recent
politics and opinion surveys—that the country is deeply divided as to
whether it should join Europe or remain close politically and
economically to Russia. There is not one Ukraine or one “Ukrainian
people” but at least two, generally situated in its Western and Eastern
regions.

Such factual distortions point to two flagrant omissions by Snyder
and other US media accounts. The now exceedingly dangerous confrontation
between the two Ukraines was not “ignited,” as the Times
claims, by Yanukovych’s duplicitous negotiating—or by Putin—but by the
EU’s reckless ultimatum, in November, that the democratically elected
president of a profoundly divided country choose between Europe and
Russia. Putin’s proposal for a tripartite arrangement, rarely if ever
reported, was flatly rejected by US and EU officials.

But the most crucial media omission is Moscow’s reasonable conviction
that the struggle for Ukraine is yet another chapter in the West’s
ongoing, US-led march toward post-Soviet Russia, which began in the
1990s with NATO’s eastward expansion and continued with US-funded NGO
political activities inside Russia, a US-NATO military outpost in
Georgia and missile-defense installations near Russia. Whether this
longstanding Washington-Brussels policy is wise or reckless, it—not
Putin’s December financial offer to save Ukraine’s collapsing economy—is
deceitful. The EU’s “civilizational” proposal, for example, includes
“security policy” provisions, almost never reported, that would
apparently subordinate Ukraine to NATO.

Any doubts about the Obama administration’s real intentions in
Ukraine should have been dispelled by the recently revealed taped
conversation between a top State Department official, Victoria Nuland,
and the US ambassador in Kiev. The media predictably focused on the
source of the “leak” and on Nuland’s verbal “gaffe”—“Fuck the EU.” But
the essential revelation was that high-level US officials were plotting
to “midwife” a new, anti-Russian Ukrainian government by ousting or
neutralizing its democratically elected president—that is, a coup.

Americans are left with a new edition of an old question. Has
Washington’s twenty-year winner-take-all approach to post-Soviet Russia
shaped this degraded news coverage, or is official policy shaped by the
coverage? Did Senator John McCain stand in Kiev alongside the well-known
leader of an extreme nationalist party because he was ill informed by
the media, or have the media deleted this part of the story because of
McCain’s folly?

And what of Barack Obama’s decision to send only a low-level
delegation, including retired gay athletes, to Sochi? In August, Putin
virtually saved Obama’s presidency by persuading Syrian President Bashar
al-Assad to eliminate his chemical weapons. Putin then helped to
facilitate Obama’s heralded opening to Iran. Should not Obama himself
have gone to Sochi—either out of gratitude to Putin, or to stand with
Russia’s leader against international terrorists who have struck both of
our countries? Did he not go because he was ensnared by his unwise
Russia policies, or because the US media misrepresented the varying
reasons cited: the granting of asylum to Edward Snowden, differences on
the Middle East, infringements on gay rights in Russia, and now Ukraine?

Whatever the explanation, as Russian intellectuals say when faced with
two bad alternatives, “Both are worst.”

Stephen F. Cohen | This article appeared in the March 3, 2014 edition of The Nation.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Keystone XL has a Job for You!



When Keystone XL's top job recruiter comes to town, he reveals just what jobs the controversial oil pipeline would really create.

Oil executives like to claim that the Keystone XL pipeline would create thousands of jobs. But in a project fueling so many environmental and health risks, only one man is honest enough to say exactly what those jobs would be. (Hint: they're not construction.)

It's true, Keystone XL has a job for you! But the question is: do you really want it?

* * *

If you believe in good jobs AND a healthy environment, join the movement:

http://movementgeneration.org

* * *

Here in Richmond, CA, in the shadow of the massive Chevron refinery, we are joining with communities across the country in the Our Power Campaign to create millions of climate jobs -- jobs that meet people's needs while caring for natural resources and ecosystems. Find out more at:

http://ourpowercampaign.org

* * *

Video Credits:

Starring Josh Healey and Donte Clark
Directed by Yvan Iturriaga
Written and produced by Josh Healey

Director of Photography: Miguel Creus
Gaffer: Darren Colston
Editor: Ari Sigal
Sound: Mitch Brown

Thanks to: Katy Roemer (CNA), Nathaniel Arnold (ATU), Cheryl Vaughn (Solar Richmond), Tania Pulido & Adam Boisvert (Urban Tilth)

Additional thanks to: Mateo Nube, Gopal Dayaneni, Brooke Anderson, Shana Lancaster, Dania Cabello, Liam Flynn Jambeck, Esther Healey, Ferdy Jimenez, Rebecca Vasille, Deandre Evans, & Toai Dao

Monday, February 10, 2014

This is Proof That Republicans Can’t Run Government (Updated) | The PCTC* Blog

Posted on by Milt Shook

From: The PCTC* Blog

I keep rewriting and updating this article because
of the enormous number of examples of Republican incompetence at running
government, and everyone needs to know this. It’s really simple; when
we elect Republicans, or we help elect Republicans (which man people who
claim to be “real progressives” tend to do a lot), we are putting the
government in the hands of politicians whose most fervent followers
truly believe government can’t work, and so they struggle to try to
prove their premise. That’s right, folks. If you are one of those who
likes to throw out the “both parties are the same” crap, you are
equating one party that kisses your ass and does everything they can to
get you to like them, with another party that has a mandate to prove
that government is incompetent. In what way are those two concepts in
any way the same?
And while the Republican arty is far worse than we
could have ever dreamed of a generation ago, they’ve been bad for a
generation; especially since they recruited the worst elements of the
Democratic Party back in the civil rights era. If you think the latest
government shutdown and the constant brinkmanship is something brand
new, think again. And if you think it’s all about the Tea Party,
consider the fact that there are 46 members of the Tea Party Caucus in
the House, but this past October, 144 House Republicans actually voted
to default on the debt. That’s right; 144 “fiscally responsible”
Republicans voted to destroy the nation’s credit in order to prove
The government actually worked well during the
post-war era, when Democrats ran the show for 30 out of the 34 years
between 1946 and 1980, government actually worked. That’s true not just
of the federal government, but states, as well. Republicans have
controlled most of the government for 30 of the last 34 years, and it
shows.
While I am a partisan Democrat and a liberal, this
isn’t just about my beliefs. It’s easily provable through statistics.
Democrats have a strong record of competence, and Republicans have an
equally strong record of incompetence. And since getting the
most progressive government starts with state legislatures and a US
Congress that is at least competent enough to get the basics right, it’s
important that we understand that Republican Party ideology is what’s
holding this country back.

The Republicanization of the National Debt: Hypocrisy
Republican Party incompetence is obvious when you
look closely at their irresponsible stewardship of the federal
government.  It was Republicans who gave us the Great Depression and
kept us there for four years without really attempting to fix anything.
On the other hand, during the two periods after that, the 1930s and
1940s and the 1960s, when Democrats held the White House and a
supermajority in Congress, the New Deal and Social Security passed, as
well as market and economic reforms that created the largest economic
boom and social transformation in world history. The prosperity led to
the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, Medicare, OSHA, FDA, FTC and
the EPA, among numerous other changes.
Compare that with the last 34 years, during which
Republicans have controlled the government for 30. This is a period in
our history that simply should not have happened. As bad as the
Republican Party was before, the current radicalized version has has
caused the country to stagnate in many ways, and to basically stop the
country from moving forward. Mostly, this is because of the current
Republicans’ push for austerity. They pretend to care about deficits and
debt, but the fact is, almost all of the debt that’s accumulated to
date came from their incompetence. The money they borrow and spend
doesn’t go to investments in the country, like building infrastructure,
which would actually create more revenue and less debt. Instead, they
waste money went to tax cuts for the rich and making weapons for wars
we’ll never fight, which creates, at best, a short-term minimal gain.
This isn’t just a partisan grouse. There is plenty of data to support this. Look at these charts
The green stripe shows what the debt would look like if Reagan and Bush
41 had actually balanced the budget, which they promised going in, and
the Democratic Presidents did all of the same things they did. Even if
they had just kept the debt level they were given, there would have been
virtually zero debt, as a percent of GDP, by the time Bush 43 crashed
the economy. That would have made recovery far easier., because we could
have thrown $2-3 trillion at job creation without even flinching. We
can actually still do that – the current level of debt is not
unprecedented — but after 34 years of GOP politics, it’s hard to get
people to understand this. For 34 years, they’ve been told that
Between the end of World War II and 1980, when
Democrats ran government, the debt dropped from 120% of GDP to less than
33% of GDP. The debt at that time was $990 billion. But beginning with
Reagan’s inauguration in 1981, the neocon Republican Party changed all
that. In 8 years of Reagan, the debt more than tripled, and in 4 years
of Bush, Sr., it doubled again. After 12 years of Republican rule, the
debt had increased by a factor of six, and the economy largely remained
stagnant. As a percent of GDP, the debt rose to more than 60%.
It was then that Democrat Bill Clinton shamed
Congressional Republicans into helping him balance the budget, and they
even created a surplus. When Clinton left in 2001, he handed Bush, Jr.
and the Republican Congress a federal government scheduled to run budget
surpluses for at least the next ten years, according to the CBO,
which would trim the then-$6 trillion debt to about $4.5 trillion,
which would put it back below 30% of GDP and dropping. We should have
been back on track.
Instead, the same Republicans who crowed about their
own “fiscal responsibility” and happily took credit for Clinton’s
balanced budgets then helped Bush blow the debt up again, even before
they managed to break the economy. Bush 43 immediately enacted the least
necessary tax cuts in the history of the republic at the same time he
started two wars, which resulted in deficits and debt accumulation that
topped Reagan’s and his father’s debt record by leaps and bounds.  When
the GOP broke the economy, that made everything even worse.
As I pointed out in another post,
under the rosiest of perspectives, Republicans are responsible for at
least 90% of the current $17 trillion national debt.  And the major
reason for all of that debt is because Republicans operate from a
philosophical construct that treats all government spending as equal,
which makes them incompetent. Some spending just reduces the Treasury’s
size, while other spending actually creates more revenue.  They also
believe silly theories like “supply-side economics,” known more commonly
as “trickle down,” even though the architect of the theory, David
Stockman, has even said it doesn’t work. If we’ve learned nothing else
in 34 years, it’s that tax cuts for the rich reduce revenue, while job
creation creates revenue, because it creates taxpayers. Yet,
Republicans  haven’t learned this lesson. Congress has been presented
with multiple bills designed to create millions of jobs, and the GOP
refuses to even consider them, claiming their upfront cost is too high,
despite the fact that they would actually create economic activity and
reduce the deficit they cry so much about. How is this not incompetent?
While the magnitude of Republican incompetence at the
federal level will one day be legendary, when you look at their record
running states. In fact, when you look at that record, it’s absolutely
apparent that Republicans plainly suck at running things. Given their
rhetoric, you’d think life is idyllic in red states, while life in blue
states is a living hell. But when you look at actual data, you find the
opposite to be true. It’s difficult to find a quality of life issue that
isn’t better in blue states than in red states. I’m not just saying that; I have the data to prove it, and I’m passing it on to you.
(Before I continue, please note that I don’t
include the District of Columbia in the data, because they’re an
anomaly. They’re not a state, and they’re not run like one.)
Republicans Should Not Be Allowed Near the Economy
Let’s start with economic issues. Like I said, we now
know that supply side economics doesn’t work. Some might try to make
the case that, while it doesn’t work on the federal level, it might work
on the smaller, state-level scale. Most red states feature low income
tax rates, if there’s an income tax at all, and they brag of “balanced
budgets” and restrained spending. By doing all of that, they claim their
state economies are in far better shape than in blue states.
Only they’re not.
Start with unemployment. Republicans like to brag
about their low unemployment rates these days, but the fact is, it’s
very mixed. As of December 2013, while 7 of the ten states with the
lowest unemployment rates are red, so are six of the ten with the
highest rates. (Source)
But unemployment rates are constantly changing, and have to be combined
with other factors to make any sense. For example, is your state
well-run if most people are employed, but few are making enough money to
live on.
As of 2012, the ten states with the lowest median household income were: 50.
Mississippi, $37,095; 49. Arkansas, $40,112; 48. West Virginia,
$40,196; 47. Alabama, $41,574; 46. Kentucky, $41,724;  45. New Mexico,
$42,558; 44. Tennessee, $42,764; 43. Louisiana, $42,944 42. South
Carolina, $43,107 and 41. Oklahoma, $44,312
. (Source)
Do you see a blue state in there anywhere? I’ll show you where the blue states are:
The ten states with the highest median household income were: 1.
Maryland, $71,122; 2. New Jersey, $69,667; 3. Alaska, $67,712; 4.
Connecticut, $67,276; 5. Hawaii, $66,259; 6. Massachusetts, $65,339; 7.
New Hampshire, $63,280; 8. Virginia, $61,741; 9. Minnesota, $58,906; 10.
Delaware, $58,415
.  (Source)
In case you think these are just anomalies, download this spreadsheet.  The data goes back to 1984, and it shows that red states have always been among the poorest.
Since averages can be skewed a bit, we should also look at the states and their poverty rates.
As of 2012, the ten states with the highest percentage of household poverty are: 1.
Mississippi, 24.2%; 2. New Mexico, 22.8%; 3. Louisiana, 19.9%; 4.
Arkansas, 19.8%; 5. Kentucky, 19.4%; 6. Georgia, 19.2%; 7. Alabama,
19.0%; 8. Arizona, 18.7%; 9. South Carolina, 18.3%; 10. North Carolina,
18.0%.
(Source)
Keep in mind, the  poverty rate for the United States
for 2012 is 15.9%, which is already too high, because of the mortgage
meltdown Republicans caused. But look at these states; there are no blue
ones on the list.
By contrast, using the same source, the states with the lowest percentage of household poverty for 2012 were: 50.
New Hampshire, 10.0%; 49. Alaska, 10.1%; 48. Maryland, 10.3%. 47. New
Jersey, 10.8%; 46. North Dakota, 11.2%; 45. Minnesota, 11.2%; 44.
Hawaii, 11.6%; 43. Virginia, 11.7%; 42. Vermont, 11.8%; and 41.
Massachusetts, 11.9%.
Alaska doesn’t belong, since they’re basically a
socialist state. Everyone who lives in the state gets a check from oil
companies every year, so the fact that 10 percent of state residents are
in poverty is a puzzle. North Dakota is participating in an oil shale
boom that may last another decade, if they’re lucky. By the way, look at
the map in Figure 5, on page 11 of the source document. If that doesn’t
show, in graphic detail, the problem with Republicans running the show,
nothing will.
Most states with traditionally Republican leaderships
feature low incomes and high poverty. They keep tax rates low and they
rarely make investments in jobs, because they see every dollar that goes
out as “spending.” Also, they prefer to lure companies through tax
abatement to lure companies to the states, but do nothing to keep wages
up, which would produce revenue. That’s why red states tend to be the
nation’s welfare queens.
The Real “Welfare States” Are All Republican
When a Republican governor brags about a balanced
budget, you should know that it’s blue states who make that possible.
People in red states don’t seem to realize that Republicans keeping
their tax rates low because states like California and New York
subsidize them. I know this because they trash blue states for
occasionally running a budget deficit, even though many such deficits
are caused in part because they don’t receive every dollar they pay in
to federal coffers. If each state got back a benefit equal to the amount
they paid in federal taxes, Republican states would have to either
raise tax rates mightily, or cut services to the bone. Every time you
hear a Republican complain about having to support California during
their current tough times, show them these numbers and tell them to sit
down and shut up.
Here are the states who receive the most federal money back for every dollar they pay in taxes: Mississippi,
$2.83; West Virginia, $2.83; New Mexico, $2.80; Hawaii, $2.38; Alaska,
$2.24; Alabama, $2.21; South Carolina, $2.13; Montana, $2.13; Maine,
$2.00; Kentucky, $1.96.
Meanwhile, the following states are subsidizing the
above states to the greatest degree. In other words, when these people
pay $1.00 in taxes, this is the amount of benefit they receive in
return: Delaware $0.40; Minnesota, $0.54; New Jersey, $0.62;
Connecticut, $0.74; Illinois, $0.79; New York, $0.79; Nebraska, $0.82;
Rhode Island, $0.89; Colorado, $0.90; Arkansas, $0.92
(Source)
The first question I have to ask is, why does a state
like Alaska need any help at all? Oh, I know they have some military up
there, but so New Jersey, New York and Colorado. Alaska gets huge oil
subsidies and they hand out large checks to state residents. It seems to
me they would do well to cut their dependence on the federal government
and stop pretending they’re so incredibly “independent.”
Republican States and Guns – They’re Not Safer
Money isn’t everything. Republicans also like to brag
about how safe their residents are. They . After all, they are “tough
on crime,” right? Well… not according to statistics, they aren’t.
In 2012, the ten states with the highest murder rates were; 1.
Louisiana, 10.8 (per 100,000); 2. Mississippi, 7.4; 3. Alabama, 7.1; 4.
Michigan, 7.0; 5. South Carolina, 6.9; 6. Missouri, 6.5; 7. Maryland,
6.3; 8. Delaware, 6.2; 9. Tennessee, 6.0; 10. a tie between Arkansas and
Georgia. Eight out of 11 states are reliably red.
Meanwhile, the ten states with the lowest murder rates for 2012 were:
50. New Hampshire, 1.1 (per 100,000); 49. Vermont, 1.3; 48. Iowa, 1.5;
47. a tie among Minnesota, Utah, Idaho and Massachusetts, 1.8; 43.
Maine, 1.9; 42. Hawaii, 2.1; and 41. a tie between Oregon and Wyoming.
(Source)
There’s an addendum at the bottom of that chart that should give everyone pause:
“For 2012, the average Murder Rate of Death Penalty
States was 4.7, while the average Murder Rate of States without the
Death Penalty was 3.7”

Red States Don’t Seem To Like Women Much

To those of you who think the “War on Women” is a
myth, here are the 10 states with the highest rate of women murdered by
men in 2011; 1. South Carolina, 2.54 (per 100,000 women; 2. Alaska,
2.01; 3.  Oklahoma, 1.99; 4. Delaware, 1.92; 5. Arizona, 1.84; 6.
Tennessee, 1.80; 7. Idaho, 1.77; 8. West Virginia, 1.70; 9. Louisiana,
1.67; 10. New Mexico, 1.62
. (Source) If they’re not at war with women, why are the men shooting so many. Of the above, only Delaware isn’t a red state.
Of course, according to the NRA, the solution should
be more people with more guns, right? As usual, this is apparently a
myth. The data proves it.
The ten states with the highest rate of firearms ownership are: 1.
Wyoming 59.7%; 2. Alaska 57.8%; 3. Montana 57.7%; 4. South Dakota
56.6%; 5. West Virginia 55.4%; 6(T) Mississippi, Idaho and Arkansas
55.3%; 9. Alabama 51.7%; 10. North Dakota 50.7%. (Source)
Meanwhile, check out the states with the highest firearm death rate (not the same as murder rate, of course): 1.
Alaska, 20.4 (per 100,000); 2. Louisiana, 19.2; 3. Alabama, 16.2; 4.
Mississippi, 16.1; 5. Wyoming, 15.6; 6. Montana, 15.4; 7. New Mexico,
14.9; 8. Arizona, 14.6, 9. Nevada, 14.5; 10. a tie among Arkansas,
Oklahoma and Tennessee, 14.4.
And for all of the fun they make of Washington, DC, ALL 12 of those states came in ahead of it. (Source)
The national average firearm death rate was 10.1 per
100,000. In all, 29 states were above that average. But only two of
those states were not reliably red.
Meanwhile, the ten states with the lowest rates of gun ownership are: 41.
Florida 24.5%; 42(T). California and Maryland 21.3%; 44. Illinois
20.2%; 45. New York 18%; 46. Connecticut 16.7%; 47. Rhode Island 12.8%;
48. Massachusetts 12.6%; 49. New Jersey 12.3%; 50. Hawaii 6.7% (Source)
The ten states with the lowest firearm death rates in the country are:
50. Hawaii, 3.2 (per 100,000); 49. Massachusetts, 4.1; 48. Rhode
Island, 4.6; 47. New York, 5.1; 46. New Jersey, 5.2;  45. Connecticut,
5.9; 43. A tie between Minnesota and Iowa, 6.8 42. California and 41.
Maine
  (Source)
To summarize, there is no basis for the concept that
more guns equals less crime and less death. While guns don’t kill
people, of course, the more guns people have, the more likely people are
to end up dead. While that bit of logic should be obvious, the GOP
sells the opposite as if it’s been proven fact. The data also puts the
lie to the idea that blue states with tight gun control laws and
troublesome urban areas leave people vulnerable. New York, New Jersey
and California all have have LOWER firearm death rates than mostly rural
states with lax gun control laws, even though they have tight gun
restrictions and huge urban areas.

Even if You’re Not Murdered in a Red State, You’re Not Safer

Red states don’t pass the test, even when you look at
crimes other than murder. The ten states with the overall highest
violent crime rate are: 1. Tennessee, 643.6 (per 100,000); 2.
Nevada, 607.6; 3. Alaska, 603.2; 4. New Mexico, 559.1; 5. South
Carolina, 558.8;  6. Delaware, 547.7; 7. Louisiana, 496.9; 8. Florida,
487.1; 9. Maryland, 476.8 10. Oklahoma, 469.3.  
(Source)
The ten states with the overall lowest violent crime rate are: 50.
Maine, 119.8 (per 100,000); 49. Vermont, 131.4; 48. New Hampshire,
159.6; 47. South Dakota, 185.6; 46. North Dakota, 200.7; 45. Utah,
212.7; 44. Virginia, 226.8; 43. Wyoming, 228.2; 42. Idaho, 228.4; 41.
Minnesota, 243.9.
(Source)
People in South Carolina and Tennessee are more
likely to be killed, raped, assaulted or have their purse snatched in
their home states than those in New York, New Jersey and California.
Doesn’t tht seem kind of strange, given all those “tough on crime”
Republicans and their populations being armed to the teeth?

Republicans Talk About “Family Values,” But Their States Sure Don’t Live It

Given all of their whining about the decline of
civilization and their talk about “family values,” Republican-run states
don’t even come out winners in that arena.
For all their talk about “sanctity of marriage” in
those red states, they don’t seem to live it. The ten states with the
highest divorce rates: 1. Alaska;  2. Oklahoma; 3; Kentucky; 4. Arkansas; 5. Alabama; 6. Nevada; 7. Georgia; 8. Texas; 9. Tennessee; 10. Maine (Source)
Nevada doesn’t belong here. People go to Nevada from
all over just to get married and/or divorced. But only one other state
in the top ten can even be considered purple. If Republicans are to
claim that same-sex marriages hurts the “sanctity of marriage,” they
would do well to get their own house in order.
Republicans complain mightily about groups like
Planned Parenthood, but honestly, statistics demonstrate that they need
them more than anyone else, because those abstinence-only programs sure
aren’t working. The ten states with the highest rate of teen pregnancy
are: 1. New Mexico; 2. Nevada; 3. Arizona; 4. Texas; 5. Mississippi;
6. Delaware; 7. Arkansas; 8. Georgia; 9. a tie between. South Carolina
and Tennessee
(Source)

I keep rewriting and updating this article because
of the enormous number of examples of Republican incompetence at running
government, and everyone needs to know this. It’s really simple; when
we elect Republicans, or we help elect Republicans (which man people who
claim to be “real progressives” tend to do a lot), we are putting the
government in the hands of politicians whose most fervent followers
truly believe government can’t work, and so they struggle to try to
prove their premise. That’s right, folks. If you are one of those who
likes to throw out the “both parties are the same” crap, you are
equating one party that kisses your ass and does everything they can to
get you to like them, with another party that has a mandate to prove
that government is incompetent. In what way are those two concepts in
any way the same?
And while the Republican arty is far worse than we
could have ever dreamed of a generation ago, they’ve been bad for a
generation; especially since they recruited the worst elements of the
Democratic Party back in the civil rights era. If you think the latest
government shutdown and the constant brinkmanship is something brand
new, think again. And if you think it’s all about the Tea Party,
consider the fact that there are 46 members of the Tea Party Caucus in
the House, but this past October, 144 House Republicans actually voted
to default on the debt. That’s right; 144 “fiscally responsible”
Republicans voted to destroy the nation’s credit in order to prove
The government actually worked well during the
post-war era, when Democrats ran the show for 30 out of the 34 years
between 1946 and 1980, government actually worked. That’s true not just
of the federal government, but states, as well. Republicans have
controlled most of the government for 30 of the last 34 years, and it
shows.
While I am a partisan Democrat and a liberal, this
isn’t just about my beliefs. It’s easily provable through statistics.
Democrats have a strong record of competence, and Republicans have an
equally strong record of incompetence. And since getting the
most progressive government starts with state legislatures and a US
Congress that is at least competent enough to get the basics right, it’s
important that we understand that Republican Party ideology is what’s
holding this country back.
The Republicanization of the National Debt: Hypocrisy
Republican Party incompetence is obvious when you
look closely at their irresponsible stewardship of the federal
government.  It was Republicans who gave us the Great Depression and
kept us there for four years without really attempting to fix anything.
On the other hand, during the two periods after that, the 1930s and
1940s and the 1960s, when Democrats held the White House and a
supermajority in Congress, the New Deal and Social Security passed, as
well as market and economic reforms that created the largest economic
boom and social transformation in world history. The prosperity led to
the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, Medicare, OSHA, FDA, FTC and
the EPA, among numerous other changes.
Compare that with the last 34 years, during which
Republicans have controlled the government for 30. This is a period in
our history that simply should not have happened. As bad as the
Republican Party was before, the current radicalized version has has
caused the country to stagnate in many ways, and to basically stop the
country from moving forward. Mostly, this is because of the current
Republicans’ push for austerity. They pretend to care about deficits and
debt, but the fact is, almost all of the debt that’s accumulated to
date came from their incompetence. The money they borrow and spend
doesn’t go to investments in the country, like building infrastructure,
which would actually create more revenue and less debt. Instead, they
waste money went to tax cuts for the rich and making weapons for wars
we’ll never fight, which creates, at best, a short-term minimal gain.
This isn’t just a partisan grouse. There is plenty of data to support this. Look at these charts
The green stripe shows what the debt would look like if Reagan and Bush
41 had actually balanced the budget, which they promised going in, and
the Democratic Presidents did all of the same things they did. Even if
they had just kept the debt level they were given, there would have been
virtually zero debt, as a percent of GDP, by the time Bush 43 crashed
the economy. That would have made recovery far easier., because we could
have thrown $2-3 trillion at job creation without even flinching. We
can actually still do that – the current level of debt is not
unprecedented — but after 34 years of GOP politics, it’s hard to get
people to understand this. For 34 years, they’ve been told that
Between the end of World War II and 1980, when
Democrats ran government, the debt dropped from 120% of GDP to less than
33% of GDP. The debt at that time was $990 billion. But beginning with
Reagan’s inauguration in 1981, the neocon Republican Party changed all
that. In 8 years of Reagan, the debt more than tripled, and in 4 years
of Bush, Sr., it doubled again. After 12 years of Republican rule, the
debt had increased by a factor of six, and the economy largely remained
stagnant. As a percent of GDP, the debt rose to more than 60%.
It was then that Democrat Bill Clinton shamed
Congressional Republicans into helping him balance the budget, and they
even created a surplus. When Clinton left in 2001, he handed Bush, Jr.
and the Republican Congress a federal government scheduled to run budget
surpluses for at least the next ten years, according to the CBO,
which would trim the then-$6 trillion debt to about $4.5 trillion,
which would put it back below 30% of GDP and dropping. We should have
been back on track.
Instead, the same Republicans who crowed about their
own “fiscal responsibility” and happily took credit for Clinton’s
balanced budgets then helped Bush blow the debt up again, even before
they managed to break the economy. Bush 43 immediately enacted the least
necessary tax cuts in the history of the republic at the same time he
started two wars, which resulted in deficits and debt accumulation that
topped Reagan’s and his father’s debt record by leaps and bounds.  When
the GOP broke the economy, that made everything even worse.
As I pointed out in another post,
under the rosiest of perspectives, Republicans are responsible for at
least 90% of the current $17 trillion national debt.  And the major
reason for all of that debt is because Republicans operate from a
philosophical construct that treats all government spending as equal,
which makes them incompetent. Some spending just reduces the Treasury’s
size, while other spending actually creates more revenue.  They also
believe silly theories like “supply-side economics,” known more commonly
as “trickle down,” even though the architect of the theory, David
Stockman, has even said it doesn’t work. If we’ve learned nothing else
in 34 years, it’s that tax cuts for the rich reduce revenue, while job
creation creates revenue, because it creates taxpayers. Yet,
Republicans  haven’t learned this lesson. Congress has been presented
with multiple bills designed to create millions of jobs, and the GOP
refuses to even consider them, claiming their upfront cost is too high,
despite the fact that they would actually create economic activity and
reduce the deficit they cry so much about. How is this not incompetent?
While the magnitude of Republican incompetence at the
federal level will one day be legendary, when you look at their record
running states. In fact, when you look at that record, it’s absolutely
apparent that Republicans plainly suck at running things. Given their
rhetoric, you’d think life is idyllic in red states, while life in blue
states is a living hell. But when you look at actual data, you find the
opposite to be true. It’s difficult to find a quality of life issue that
isn’t better in blue states than in red states. I’m not just saying that; I have the data to prove it, and I’m passing it on to you.
(Before I continue, please note that I don’t
include the District of Columbia in the data, because they’re an
anomaly. They’re not a state, and they’re not run like one.)
Republicans Should Not Be Allowed Near the Economy
Let’s start with economic issues. Like I said, we now
know that supply side economics doesn’t work. Some might try to make
the case that, while it doesn’t work on the federal level, it might work
on the smaller, state-level scale. Most red states feature low income
tax rates, if there’s an income tax at all, and they brag of “balanced
budgets” and restrained spending. By doing all of that, they claim their
state economies are in far better shape than in blue states.
Only they’re not.
Start with unemployment. Republicans like to brag
about their low unemployment rates these days, but the fact is, it’s
very mixed. As of December 2013, while 7 of the ten states with the
lowest unemployment rates are red, so are six of the ten with the
highest rates. (Source)
But unemployment rates are constantly changing, and have to be combined
with other factors to make any sense. For example, is your state
well-run if most people are employed, but few are making enough money to
live on.
As of 2012, the ten states with the lowest median household income were: 50.
Mississippi, $37,095; 49. Arkansas, $40,112; 48. West Virginia,
$40,196; 47. Alabama, $41,574; 46. Kentucky, $41,724;  45. New Mexico,
$42,558; 44. Tennessee, $42,764; 43. Louisiana, $42,944 42. South
Carolina, $43,107 and 41. Oklahoma, $44,312
. (Source)
Do you see a blue state in there anywhere? I’ll show you where the blue states are:
The ten states with the highest median household income were: 1.
Maryland, $71,122; 2. New Jersey, $69,667; 3. Alaska, $67,712; 4.
Connecticut, $67,276; 5. Hawaii, $66,259; 6. Massachusetts, $65,339; 7.
New Hampshire, $63,280; 8. Virginia, $61,741; 9. Minnesota, $58,906; 10.
Delaware, $58,415
.  (Source)
In case you think these are just anomalies, download this spreadsheet.  The data goes back to 1984, and it shows that red states have always been among the poorest.
Since averages can be skewed a bit, we should also look at the states and their poverty rates.
As of 2012, the ten states with the highest percentage of household poverty are: 1.
Mississippi, 24.2%; 2. New Mexico, 22.8%; 3. Louisiana, 19.9%; 4.
Arkansas, 19.8%; 5. Kentucky, 19.4%; 6. Georgia, 19.2%; 7. Alabama,
19.0%; 8. Arizona, 18.7%; 9. South Carolina, 18.3%; 10. North Carolina,
18.0%.
(Source)
Keep in mind, the  poverty rate for the United States
for 2012 is 15.9%, which is already too high, because of the mortgage
meltdown Republicans caused. But look at these states; there are no blue
ones on the list.
By contrast, using the same source, the states with the lowest percentage of household poverty for 2012 were: 50.
New Hampshire, 10.0%; 49. Alaska, 10.1%; 48. Maryland, 10.3%. 47. New
Jersey, 10.8%; 46. North Dakota, 11.2%; 45. Minnesota, 11.2%; 44.
Hawaii, 11.6%; 43. Virginia, 11.7%; 42. Vermont, 11.8%; and 41.
Massachusetts, 11.9%.
Alaska doesn’t belong, since they’re basically a
socialist state. Everyone who lives in the state gets a check from oil
companies every year, so the fact that 10 percent of state residents are
in poverty is a puzzle. North Dakota is participating in an oil shale
boom that may last another decade, if they’re lucky. By the way, look at
the map in Figure 5, on page 11 of the source document. If that doesn’t
show, in graphic detail, the problem with Republicans running the show,
nothing will.
Most states with traditionally Republican leaderships
feature low incomes and high poverty. They keep tax rates low and they
rarely make investments in jobs, because they see every dollar that goes
out as “spending.” Also, they prefer to lure companies through tax
abatement to lure companies to the states, but do nothing to keep wages
up, which would produce revenue. That’s why red states tend to be the
nation’s welfare queens.
The Real “Welfare States” Are All Republican
When a Republican governor brags about a balanced
budget, you should know that it’s blue states who make that possible.
People in red states don’t seem to realize that Republicans keeping
their tax rates low because states like California and New York
subsidize them. I know this because they trash blue states for
occasionally running a budget deficit, even though many such deficits
are caused in part because they don’t receive every dollar they pay in
to federal coffers. If each state got back a benefit equal to the amount
they paid in federal taxes, Republican states would have to either
raise tax rates mightily, or cut services to the bone. Every time you
hear a Republican complain about having to support California during
their current tough times, show them these numbers and tell them to sit
down and shut up.
Here are the states who receive the most federal money back for every dollar they pay in taxes: Mississippi,
$2.83; West Virginia, $2.83; New Mexico, $2.80; Hawaii, $2.38; Alaska,
$2.24; Alabama, $2.21; South Carolina, $2.13; Montana, $2.13; Maine,
$2.00; Kentucky, $1.96.
Meanwhile, the following states are subsidizing the
above states to the greatest degree. In other words, when these people
pay $1.00 in taxes, this is the amount of benefit they receive in
return: Delaware $0.40; Minnesota, $0.54; New Jersey, $0.62;
Connecticut, $0.74; Illinois, $0.79; New York, $0.79; Nebraska, $0.82;
Rhode Island, $0.89; Colorado, $0.90; Arkansas, $0.92
(Source)
The first question I have to ask is, why does a state
like Alaska need any help at all? Oh, I know they have some military up
there, but so New Jersey, New York and Colorado. Alaska gets huge oil
subsidies and they hand out large checks to state residents. It seems to
me they would do well to cut their dependence on the federal government
and stop pretending they’re so incredibly “independent.”
Republican States and Guns – They’re Not Safer
Money isn’t everything. Republicans also like to brag
about how safe their residents are. They . After all, they are “tough
on crime,” right? Well… not according to statistics, they aren’t.
In 2012, the ten states with the highest murder rates were; 1.
Louisiana, 10.8 (per 100,000); 2. Mississippi, 7.4; 3. Alabama, 7.1; 4.
Michigan, 7.0; 5. South Carolina, 6.9; 6. Missouri, 6.5; 7. Maryland,
6.3; 8. Delaware, 6.2; 9. Tennessee, 6.0; 10. a tie between Arkansas and
Georgia. Eight out of 11 states are reliably red.
Meanwhile, the ten states with the lowest murder rates for 2012 were:
50. New Hampshire, 1.1 (per 100,000); 49. Vermont, 1.3; 48. Iowa, 1.5;
47. a tie among Minnesota, Utah, Idaho and Massachusetts, 1.8; 43.
Maine, 1.9; 42. Hawaii, 2.1; and 41. a tie between Oregon and Wyoming.
(Source)
There’s an addendum at the bottom of that chart that should give everyone pause:
“For 2012, the average Murder Rate of Death Penalty
States was 4.7, while the average Murder Rate of States without the
Death Penalty was 3.7”

Red States Don’t Seem To Like Women Much

To those of you who think the “War on Women” is a
myth, here are the 10 states with the highest rate of women murdered by
men in 2011; 1. South Carolina, 2.54 (per 100,000 women; 2. Alaska,
2.01; 3.  Oklahoma, 1.99; 4. Delaware, 1.92; 5. Arizona, 1.84; 6.
Tennessee, 1.80; 7. Idaho, 1.77; 8. West Virginia, 1.70; 9. Louisiana,
1.67; 10. New Mexico, 1.62
. (Source) If they’re not at war with women, why are the men shooting so many. Of the above, only Delaware isn’t a red state.
Of course, according to the NRA, the solution should
be more people with more guns, right? As usual, this is apparently a
myth. The data proves it.
The ten states with the highest rate of firearms ownership are: 1.
Wyoming 59.7%; 2. Alaska 57.8%; 3. Montana 57.7%; 4. South Dakota
56.6%; 5. West Virginia 55.4%; 6(T) Mississippi, Idaho and Arkansas
55.3%; 9. Alabama 51.7%; 10. North Dakota 50.7%. (Source)
Meanwhile, check out the states with the highest firearm death rate (not the same as murder rate, of course): 1.
Alaska, 20.4 (per 100,000); 2. Louisiana, 19.2; 3. Alabama, 16.2; 4.
Mississippi, 16.1; 5. Wyoming, 15.6; 6. Montana, 15.4; 7. New Mexico,
14.9; 8. Arizona, 14.6, 9. Nevada, 14.5; 10. a tie among Arkansas,
Oklahoma and Tennessee, 14.4.
And for all of the fun they make of Washington, DC, ALL 12 of those states came in ahead of it. (Source)
The national average firearm death rate was 10.1 per
100,000. In all, 29 states were above that average. But only two of
those states were not reliably red.
Meanwhile, the ten states with the lowest rates of gun ownership are: 41.
Florida 24.5%; 42(T). California and Maryland 21.3%; 44. Illinois
20.2%; 45. New York 18%; 46. Connecticut 16.7%; 47. Rhode Island 12.8%;
48. Massachusetts 12.6%; 49. New Jersey 12.3%; 50. Hawaii 6.7% (Source)
The ten states with the lowest firearm death rates in the country are:
50. Hawaii, 3.2 (per 100,000); 49. Massachusetts, 4.1; 48. Rhode
Island, 4.6; 47. New York, 5.1; 46. New Jersey, 5.2;  45. Connecticut,
5.9; 43. A tie between Minnesota and Iowa, 6.8 42. California and 41.
Maine
  (Source)
To summarize, there is no basis for the concept that
more guns equals less crime and less death. While guns don’t kill
people, of course, the more guns people have, the more likely people are
to end up dead. While that bit of logic should be obvious, the GOP
sells the opposite as if it’s been proven fact. The data also puts the
lie to the idea that blue states with tight gun control laws and
troublesome urban areas leave people vulnerable. New York, New Jersey
and California all have have LOWER firearm death rates than mostly rural
states with lax gun control laws, even though they have tight gun
restrictions and huge urban areas.

Even if You’re Not Murdered in a Red State, You’re Not Safer

Red states don’t pass the test, even when you look at
crimes other than murder. The ten states with the overall highest
violent crime rate are: 1. Tennessee, 643.6 (per 100,000); 2.
Nevada, 607.6; 3. Alaska, 603.2; 4. New Mexico, 559.1; 5. South
Carolina, 558.8;  6. Delaware, 547.7; 7. Louisiana, 496.9; 8. Florida,
487.1; 9. Maryland, 476.8 10. Oklahoma, 469.3.  
(Source)
The ten states with the overall lowest violent crime rate are: 50.
Maine, 119.8 (per 100,000); 49. Vermont, 131.4; 48. New Hampshire,
159.6; 47. South Dakota, 185.6; 46. North Dakota, 200.7; 45. Utah,
212.7; 44. Virginia, 226.8; 43. Wyoming, 228.2; 42. Idaho, 228.4; 41.
Minnesota, 243.9.
(Source)
People in South Carolina and Tennessee are more
likely to be killed, raped, assaulted or have their purse snatched in
their home states than those in New York, New Jersey and California.
Doesn’t tht seem kind of strange, given all those “tough on crime”
Republicans and their populations being armed to the teeth?

Republicans Talk About “Family Values,” But Their States Sure Don’t Live It


Given all of their whining about the decline of
civilization and their talk about “family values,” Republican-run states
don’t even come out winners in that arena.
For all their talk about “sanctity of marriage” in
those red states, they don’t seem to live it. The ten states with the
highest divorce rates: 1. Alaska;  2. Oklahoma; 3; Kentucky; 4. Arkansas; 5. Alabama; 6. Nevada; 7. Georgia; 8. Texas; 9. Tennessee; 10. Maine (Source)
Nevada doesn’t belong here. People go to Nevada from
all over just to get married and/or divorced. But only one other state
in the top ten can even be considered purple. If Republicans are to
claim that same-sex marriages hurts the “sanctity of marriage,” they
would do well to get their own house in order.
Republicans complain mightily about groups like
Planned Parenthood, but honestly, statistics demonstrate that they need
them more than anyone else, because those abstinence-only programs sure
aren’t working. The ten states with the highest rate of teen pregnancy
are: 1. New Mexico; 2. Nevada; 3. Arizona; 4. Texas; 5. Mississippi;
6. Delaware; 7. Arkansas; 8. Georgia; 9. a tie between. South Carolina
and Tennessee
(Source)

If You Wonder They’re Not, um, “Logical,” Republican States Fail at Education, Too
And the next time a Republican tells you he or she
knows how to fix education, tell them to relay the information to their
own states, because the red state record on education isn’t so great.
The ten states with the worst graduation rates in the country are: 50.
Nevada, 62%; 49. New Mexico, 63% ; 48. Georgia, 67% ; 46. tie between
Oregon and Alaska, 68%; 44. tie between Louisiana and Florida, 71%; 43.
Alabama, 72%; and 41. tie between South Carolina, Michigan and Colorado,
74%. 
(Source)
It’s no wonder. Look at how little red states spend
on education per pupil. The bottom ten states when it comes to per pupil
spending on education as of Fiscal Year 2011 are:  50. Utah,
$6,212; 49. Idaho, $6,824; 48. Oklahoma, $7,587; 47. Arizona, $7,666;
46. Mississippi, $7,928; 45. Tennessee, $8,242; 44. North Carolina,
$8,312; 43. Nevada, $8,527; 42. Texas, $8,671; 41. Colorado, $8,724
(Source)
Meanwhile, the states with the highest spending per pupil are: 1.
New York, $19,076; 2. Alaska, $16,674; 3. New Jersey, $15.968; 4.
Vermont, $15,925; 5. Wyoming, $15,849; 6. Connecticut, $15,600; 7.
Massachusetts, $13,941; 8. Maryland, $13,871; 9. Rhode Island, $13,815;
10. Pennsylvania; $13,467
First, note the overlap with graduation rates. Then
consider the gap between the highest and the lowest. Then, consider the
overlap with the list of states that get more federal money than they
pay. Obviously, they’re not spending it on education. They’re spending
it on tax cuts.
Republicans Really Don’t Care About Your Health
When you look at these statistics, you have to wonder
why the Republican Party voted 42 times and shut down the government in
order to kill Obamacare. They need it more than anyone.
Before Obamacare took effect last month, these were the ten states with the largest number of uninsured:: 1.
Texas, 26.1% 2. Florida, 22.4% 3. New Mexico, 21.7% 4. Nevada, 20.8% 
5. Georgia, 20.5% 6. California, 20% 7. Arizona, 19.6% 8. Arkansas,
19.2% 9. Oklahoma, 18.1% 10. North Carolina, 18.0%
. Of that group,
only California politicians seem interested in getting coverage for
their people, and making sure the hospitals and doctors get paid, which
is exactly what Obamacare will do.
Meanwhile, the ten states with the fewest uninsured individuals fought FOR Obamacare: 50.
Massachusetts, 4.4%; 49. Hawaii, 8.2%; 48. Minnesota, 8.8%; 47.
Wisconsin, 9.5%; 46. Vermont, 9.9%; 45. Maine, 10.2%; 44. New Hampshire,
10.5%; 43. North Dakota, 10.7%; 42. Pennsylvania, 11.4%; 41. Nebraska,
11.5%
(Source)
Why would the states with the most coverage be for
universal health insurance? Because it brings costs down. Why would
states who obviously need more universal coverage be against it? Because
it will shine a light on just how poorly run their states are. As we’ve
shown, people in red states are poor, less educated, sick and they are
at greater risk of crime. And if people knew it, Republicans might lose
their jobs…
This is why I’m here.
It’s not possible to look at these statistics and say
that what Republicans are doing is great for the country, if you’re
being honest. If you agree that their stewardship of federal and state
governments hasn’t been ideal, then join me in helping to elect
Democrats – you know, the people from the best-run states.

And the next time a Republican tells you he or she
knows how to fix education, tell them to relay the information to their
own states, because the red state record on education isn’t so great.
The ten states with the worst graduation rates in the country are: 50.
Nevada, 62%; 49. New Mexico, 63% ; 48. Georgia, 67% ; 46. tie between
Oregon and Alaska, 68%; 44. tie between Louisiana and Florida, 71%; 43.
Alabama, 72%; and 41. tie between South Carolina, Michigan and Colorado,
74%. 
(Source)
It’s no wonder. Look at how little red states spend
on education per pupil. The bottom ten states when it comes to per pupil
spending on education as of Fiscal Year 2011 are:  50. Utah,
$6,212; 49. Idaho, $6,824; 48. Oklahoma, $7,587; 47. Arizona, $7,666;
46. Mississippi, $7,928; 45. Tennessee, $8,242; 44. North Carolina,
$8,312; 43. Nevada, $8,527; 42. Texas, $8,671; 41. Colorado, $8,724
(Source)
Meanwhile, the states with the highest spending per pupil are: 1.
New York, $19,076; 2. Alaska, $16,674; 3. New Jersey, $15.968; 4.
Vermont, $15,925; 5. Wyoming, $15,849; 6. Connecticut, $15,600; 7.
Massachusetts, $13,941; 8. Maryland, $13,871; 9. Rhode Island, $13,815;
10. Pennsylvania; $13,467
First, note the overlap with graduation rates. Then
consider the gap between the highest and the lowest. Then, consider the
overlap with the list of states that get more federal money than they
pay. Obviously, they’re not spending it on education. They’re spending
it on tax cuts.
Republicans Really Don’t Care About Your Health
When you look at these statistics, you have to wonder
why the Republican Party voted 42 times and shut down the government in
order to kill Obamacare. They need it more than anyone.
Before Obamacare took effect last month, these were the ten states with the largest number of uninsured:: 1.
Texas, 26.1% 2. Florida, 22.4% 3. New Mexico, 21.7% 4. Nevada, 20.8% 
5. Georgia, 20.5% 6. California, 20% 7. Arizona, 19.6% 8. Arkansas,
19.2% 9. Oklahoma, 18.1% 10. North Carolina, 18.0%
. Of that group,
only California politicians seem interested in getting coverage for
their people, and making sure the hospitals and doctors get paid, which
is exactly what Obamacare will do.
Meanwhile, the ten states with the fewest uninsured individuals fought FOR Obamacare: 50.
Massachusetts, 4.4%; 49. Hawaii, 8.2%; 48. Minnesota, 8.8%; 47.
Wisconsin, 9.5%; 46. Vermont, 9.9%; 45. Maine, 10.2%; 44. New Hampshire,
10.5%; 43. North Dakota, 10.7%; 42. Pennsylvania, 11.4%; 41. Nebraska,
11.5%
(Source)
Why would the states with the most coverage be for
universal health insurance? Because it brings costs down. Why would
states who obviously need more universal coverage be against it? Because
it will shine a light on just how poorly run their states are. As we’ve
shown, people in red states are poor, less educated, sick and they are
at greater risk of crime. And if people knew it, Republicans might lose
their jobs…
This is why I’m here.
It’s not possible to look at these statistics and say
that what Republicans are doing is great for the country, if you’re
being honest. If you agree that their stewardship of federal and state
governments hasn’t been ideal, then join me in helping to elect
Democrats – you know, the people from the best-run states.

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