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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
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The quest for status

Disproportionate wage ratios are nothing new in business, but the potential increase in worker resentment toward those receiving a much higher wage is causing diminished morale

“Over 99 percent of all the new income generated goes to the top one percent.” This is how Bernie Sanders, an independent senator from Vermont, began his assault on the issue of income inequality during a speech he delivered at the Brooking’s Institute earlier this year. He continued his tirade, providing examples designed to communicate the severity and scale of the rich-poor divide. He explained how the top 25 hedge managers made more than $24bn in 2013 and that this figure is equivalent to the full salaries of over 425,000 public school teachers, posing the question: “Is that really what our country should be about?”

Some political commentators will contend that Sanders is only using such powerful rhetoric because he knows that it resonates with voters, with many people thinking and hoping that the senator will throw his hat in the ring for the 2016 presidential race. But regardless of his intentions, the man from Vermont still puts forward some ideas worth pondering – mainly, if it is morally, socially and economically justifiable to continue to live in such an unequal world.

Justifying inequality

In the 1960s, the late Peter Drucker warned that CEO-to-worker pay should not exceed a ratio larger than 20:1, as it would increase employee resentment and lead to a decrease in overall morale among ordinary workers. The French economist, Thomas Piketty, in his book Capital in the Twenty-First Century, coined the term ‘meritocratic extremism’, which he used to describe the doctrine that extravagant pay – which now far exceeds what Drucker advised – is justified by the merit of performance.

But in Will Hutton’s book, How Good We Can Be, the British political economist contends that the huge salaries afforded to CEOs, “have almost nothing to do with carefully calibrated performance and everything to do with the attempts of CEOs and boards to keep up with each other in a status race substantially influenced by social and psychological rather than economic concerns”.



Dems downplay whispers of coup against Steny Hoyer

A number of House Democrats are dismissing the threat to Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) following a news report revealing younger members in the caucus are hoping to prevent him from succeeding Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Hoyer, the 75-year-old Democratic whip, has been standing one step behind Pelosi for more than a decade, after he challenged her unsuccessfully for the minority whip spot in 2001, and he’s eager to move up the ladder should she step down.

But House Democrats have been licking their wounds following a disastrous 2014 election cycle, and there’s a lingering concern the party will need fresh faces if it hopes to regain control of the lower chamber any time soon.

Against that backdrop, some of Pelosi’s closest allies held a series of secret talks this year designed to whip support for Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) to replace her whenever she does leave Capitol Hill, The New York Times Magazine reported Wednesday.


Obama’s favorability rating ticks higher

President Obama’s favorability ratings have reached 53 percent in a new Gallup poll, the highest marks since September, 2013.

Those ratings reached an all-time low in late 2014, just after the Democrats’ resounding loss in the midterm elections. But they’ve steadily increased since, mirroring a trend in his approval rating, which has increased to 46 percent as of late March. That was his best score since mid-2013.
His favorability ratings have improved 9 percentage points with Democrats, 11 percentage points with Independents, and 5 percentage points with Republicans since August of 2014.

“The recent increase in how Americans view Obama, and likely also his performance, might have something to do with his attempts to bridge various communities in recent months -- such as police and racial minorities; Cuba and the U.S.; and members of Congress from both parties who are pro- and anti-trade,” Gallup’s Justin McCarthy wrote.


Jeb Bush's new Iraq strategy: Blame Obama

By NICK GASS 5/21/15 6:39 AM EDT
Jeb Bush is back on offense against President Barack Obama’s strategy in Iraq, following a difficult week in which the likely presidential candidate struggled to clean up his answer on whether he would have invaded Iraq knowing what he knows now.

“It got a little bumpy, but all is well now,” Bush said at a roundtable event in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on Wednesday. “The ship is stable.”

Perhaps a better focus, Bush posited, is “Knowing what we know now, Mr. President, should you have kept 10,000 troops in Iraq?”

Bush said that Obama “abandoned” Iraq and lamented the fall of Ramadi to Islamic State terrorists, saying that “ISIS didn’t exist when my brother was president” and that Al Qaeda was decimated under his brother.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/05/jeb-bush-iraq-obama-fault-118171.html

High-level ex-staffer: 'I’d rather go to Iraq than work for' Carly Fiorina again

Politics has a well-known revolving door, with candidates often rehiring consultants, strategists, and vendors as they move from one campaign to the next. But for Republican presidential contender Carly Fiorina, that might not be so easy.

Twelve of about 30 people who worked on Fiorina’s failed 2010 California Senate campaign, most speaking out for the first time, told Reuters they would not work for her again. Fiorina, once one of America's most powerful businesswomen, is now campaigning for the Republican nomination in 2016.

The reason: For more than four years, Fiorina — who has an estimated net worth of up to $120 million — didn’t pay them, a review of Federal Election Commission records shows.

Federal campaign filings show that, until a few months before Fiorina announced her presidential bid on May 4, she still owed staffers, consultants, strategists, legal experts, and vendors nearly half a million dollars.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/r-paid-late-some-ex-staffers-of-white-house-hopeful-fiorina-wont-sign-on-again-2015-5

Thursday TOON Roundup 3- The Rest










Thursday TOON Roundup 2 - The Bush league Party

Thursday Toon Roundup 1- Bikers and Crooks

Baltimore officer made Taser threat to witness who filmed Freddie Gray stop

The Baltimore police lieutenant charged with manslaughter over the death of Freddie Gray threatened to use his Taser on an eyewitness who filmed part of the crucial first stop made by a police van carrying the 25-year-old after he was arrested, according an investigation by the Baltimore Sun.

Footage filmed by a witness to the stop on the corner of Mount and Baker Street, where Gray was placed in leg shackles after “acting irate” in the back of a police van, shows Gray lying halfway out of the van. In the short clip, first reported by CNN and uploaded to YouTube in April, Gray does not appear to be moving.

This first stop occurred four minutes after Gray was initially placed inside the van. Officers completed paperwork over Gray’s arrest, placed him in leg shackles, and according to charges laid against all six officers involved in the incident, placed Gray “on his stomach, headfirst on to the floor” back into the van without a seatbelt.

The van went on to make three further stops with no medical assistance being rendered to Gray at any point, despite his distress and requests for assistance.


Oregon’s Gov. Bans Conversion Therapy

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown Monday signed into law House Bill 2307, which bans the use of so-called conversion therapy on minors.

The bill passed the Oregon Senate earlier this month by a vote of 21-3, after passing the House in March. Oregon now joins California, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia in outlawing the scientifically discredited therapy, which attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

The practice, sometimes called “ex-gay” or “reparative” therapy, has been denounced as ineffective and harmful by every major mental health organization in the nation, and by President Obama and other top federal officials.

The Oregon law, which includes protections against efforts to change a transgender person's identity, prohibits licensed therapists from attempting to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity, “including attempting to change behaviors or expressions of self or to reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same gender.”

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