Today is the highest Holy Day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb, so on a scale of one to ten I plan to be bad… very bad!! Pizza order!! Yum!! Tomorrow I have a podiatry appointment, so I’ll be posting an Open Thread, at most. Go Broncos!!
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today’s took me 4:35 (average 6:51). To do it, click here, How did you do?
From Daily Kos (classic 6/2014): Multi-millionaire Nick Hanauer is no dummy. He sees the writing on the wall.
I’d strongly suggest you read this entire piece titled "The pitchforks are coming . . . for us Plutocrats"
And what do I see in our future now?
I see pitchforks.
At the same time that people like you and me are thriving beyond the dreams of any plutocrats in history, the rest of the country—the 99.99 percent—is lagging far behind. The divide between the haves and have-nots is getting worse really, really fast. In 1980, the top 1 percent controlled about 8 percent of U.S. national income. The bottom 50 percent shared about 18 percent. Today the top 1 percent share about 20 percent; the bottom 50 percent, just 12 percent.
But the problem isn’t that we have inequality. Some inequality is intrinsic to any high-functioning capitalist economy. The problem is that inequality is at historically high levels and getting worse every day. Our country is rapidly becoming less a capitalist society and more a feudal society. Unless our policies change dramatically, the middle class will disappear, and we will be back to late 18th-century France. Before the revolution.
And so I have a message for my fellow filthy rich, for all of us who live in our gated bubble worlds: Wake up, people. It won’t last.
Today this piece is even more relevant than it was then. Click through to read it in its entirety.
From NY Times: An opportunity to pass the most significant federal criminal justice reform in a generation may be slipping away — despite the tireless efforts of many top Republicans and Democrats in Congress, as well as a rare exhortation from President Obama during last month’s State of the Union address.
The bill, known as the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015, is the product of years of negotiation over how best to roll back the imprisonment spree of the past four decades, a period in which the federal prison population grew from just under 25,000 to more than 195,000.
Among other features, the act would reduce absurdly long mandatory minimum sentences for many nonviolent drug crimes, give judges more control over the terms of punishment and provide inmates with more opportunities to get out early by participating in rehabilitation programs….
…So what’s the problem? There are two, in fact — and both are serious threats to the bill’s chances of passage.
First, some congressional Republicans now say they will approve the bill only if it includes an across-the-board change in federal law that would make corporations and their executives harder to prosecute for environmental or financial crimes by imposing a new intent, or “mens rea,” standard on these crimes…
…It is already very difficult to prosecute corporate wrongdoers. A report released late last month by Senator Elizabeth Warren documented 20 cases from 2015 alone in which corporations or their executives broke the law but got off with little or no punishment, even when people died as a result of the violations. Speaking from the Senate floor on Wednesday, Ms. Warren called the push for the new intent provision “shameful because we’re already way too easy on corporate lawbreakers.”
The other obstacle to the reform bill’s passage is old-fashioned scaremongering about the release of “violent criminals” into the streets. This is simply not true: Most of the provisions are focused on low-level, nonviolent drug offenders, who make up nearly half of all federal inmates.
Senator Ted Cruz is leading this attack on the new bill. Yet just last year he called mandatory minimum drug sentences “unfair and ineffective,” and he sponsored reforms that would have reduced those sentences even more than the current bill does. Running for president on a hard-right platform has, apparently, changed his mind.
The sentencing reform legislation is not perfect, but it represents remarkable progress in what is often a harsh, oversimplified debate about crime and punishment in America. It should not be weakened, either by narrowing its reach or by sneaking in an unrelated mens rea provision.
The problem with this bill is that it doesn’t go anywhere near far enough but between Koch sucking members of Congress and TRUS "Uranus Inspector" Ted, we probably lose even this pitifully small step forward.
From Alternet: Bernie Sanders’ much-anticipated cameo on Saturday Night Live along-side host Larry David did not disappoint.
This is not the video included with the article. That has been taken down. I hope this one fares better.
Which Bernie is Bernier?
After the game!