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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
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Fox Pundit: America Should Eliminate Minimum Wage Because Switzerland Doesn't Have One

Fox Pundit Asks If America Should Eliminate Minimum Wage Because Switzerland Doesn't Have One
By Heather February 22, 2014 9:45 am

Here's how host Brenda Buttner opened the show and the response from one of their regulars, Gary B. Smith:

BUTTNER: You heard it here first, that all these calls for pay hikes will backfire and now the independent Congressional Budget Office is confirming it, predicting the president's push to hike the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour will bring a half million job losses. Gary B, that's why you're saying scrap it altogether.

SMITH: I know Brenda and before people on the left say “My gosh, that heartless Gary Smith! How can you scrap the minimum wage?” I went around and searched to see if any other developed country scrapped the minimum wage. In fact, Switzerland has no minimum wage.

Now look, it's interesting. Switzerland's unemployment rate is 3 percent, so you say, well, surely then they have a high poverty rate. No. Their poverty rate is less than half ours, at 7 percent. Ours is at about 16 percent. In fact, California, which has a higher than the $7 per hour minimum wage at $8 has a 23 percent unemployment rate.

And oh, by the way, Switzerland has the highest wealth per capita in the world. My god, if Switzerland can do it, doesn't it make sense that we should try it?


Of course no one bothered to mention that Switzerland and other countries that don't have a minimum wage don't have one because their labor unions and collective bargaining agreements contain minimum compensation clauses, so it's not needed.


Al Gore On Climate Change: “The one missing ingredient may well be you, no kidding”

Al Gore brings climate change message to Kansas City
February 22
The Kansas City Star

Al Gore has been known for his climate change warnings since the 2006 film “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Former vice president Al Gore spoke about climate change Saturday during the Folk Alliance International conference at the Westin Crown Center hotel.


Gore conceded the possible fatigue some may have with his warnings, as well as the possible sense of powerlessness as to what any one individual can do to affect what appear to be vast, unchangeable trends.

“Do we really have to do this and — if the answer is yes — can we do it?” Gore said, repeating two questions he routinely hears.

“The answer to both of those questions — spoiler alert — is ‘yes.’ ”


He urged his listeners to act on an individual basis.

“The one missing ingredient may well be you, no kidding,” he said.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2014/02/22/4843012/al-gore-brings-climate-change.html#storylink=cpy

Flake says he hopes Brewer vetoes same-sex service denial bill

PHOENIX, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said Saturday he hopes Gov. Jan Brewer vetoes a bill allowing businesses to refuse service to gays and lesbians.

Private sector leaders are urging Brewer to veto SB 1062 -- allowing businesses to refuse service to gays and lesbians, and possibly others -- on grounds of religious objection, the Arizona Daily Star reported.


Flake announced his opposition to the bill in a Twitter post Saturday.

"I hope Governor Brewer vetoes SB 1062," he said

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2014/02/22/Flake-says-he-hopes-Brewer-vetoes-same-sex-service-denial-bill/UPI-59691393121044/#ixzz2u9lk44jJ

Scott Walker Emails Show Staffers At Work On Illegal Voter Caging

Scott Walker Emails Show Staffers At Work On Illegal Voter Caging
By Susie Madrak February 22, 2014 9:00 am

And you can be sure that, just like Chris Christie, he had "no idea" his staffers were up to such illegal activities!

Emails released this week appear to show Governor Scott Walker's top aides engaging in an illegal scheme to "cage" Wisconsin voters in the weeks ahead of the 2010 gubernatorial election.

Voter caging is an illegal campaign practice used to purge voters from the rolls. Neighborhoods with large minority concentrations are most typically targeted by caging operations.

On page 15,037 of WalkerDocs 1, an email exchange between Walker staffers Kelly Rindfleisch and Nicole Simmons spells it out pretty plainly."If you come this Saturday I can show you how to cage," Simmons writes. "That will be priority on the weekend."

Another email, on page 1,321 of WalkerDocs 2, shows Walker's chief of staff Keith Gilkes ordering Rindfleisch, Fran McLaughlin and Dorothy Moore to bring friends who can help with the caging effort.

Here's a screenshot.

"We need cagers for this Saturday, we will have plenty to get caught up on," he wrote in an email sent Oct. 21, 2010. "Please bring friends that are detail oriented and can put in some solid hours."

Walker's aides were also following news about the voter caging efforts, illustrated on pages 14,565 and 14,936 of WalkerDocs 1. They shared one article in particular: The Milwaukee Courier's Oct. 2, 2010 article titled, "GOP joins with Tea Party in illegal effort to steal election.


WOW: Guns to surpass car accidents as leading cause of deaths among young people

Guns kill a lot of young people in the United States. Not just in school shootings or horrific “accidents” between toddlers that tend to garner the most media attention, but in every day shootings in communities around the country that result in the deaths of thousands of children and teenagers.

In 2010, 6,201 young people between the ages of 15 and 24 died by gunfire. Guns were a close second to the leading cause of death among this age group, car accidents, which took the lives of 7,024 young people that year. But, while car accident deaths among young people have been steadily declining over the past decade, gun deaths have remained relatively unchanged. And, as described in a new Center for American Progress report released Friday, if current trends continue, gun deaths will surpass car accident deaths among young people sometime in 2015:


Maybe Facebook Would Let Photographer Spencer Tunick Post Naked Pics If He Worked for Sports Illustr

Maybe Facebook Would Let Photographer Spencer Tunick Post Naked Pics If He Worked for Sports Illustrated
By Anna Merlan Thu., Feb. 20 2014 at 7:00 AM

Photo by Spencer Tunick

"Dead Sea 3," 2011

...........Photographer Spencer Tunick's ongoing struggles with Facebook : Tunick takes non-sexual, not particularly explicit photos of nude people, typically large groups of them. Then Facebook takes some of those photos down, freezes his account, and occasionally threatens him with the deletion of his page . It's a vicious cycle, and not fun for anybody, particularly Spencer Tunick.

A spokesperson from Facebook told us at the time that with few exceptions, the company doesn't just pull photos down of their own volition. (Those exceptions, he said, involved extreme and graphic images involving things like child pornography.) First, someone has to flag the photo as objectionable; if a content monitor employed by Facebook agrees, the photo comes down. And Chris Park, a representative from the company, told Tunick that if he had any questions about whether a specific photo might violate Facebook's nudity guidelines, he could email said photo to Park, and he'd let him know where it stood.

Tunick was slightly uncomfortable with that plan, telling us he was ambivalent about the idea that "someone in an office in the middle of wherever - Nebraska, San Francisco - that one person decides what's OK or not when it comes to the body in art." But he was game to give it a try. On Valentine's Day, Tunick sent over six photos, which Park told him he'd forwarded to the company's "policy folks." Four days later, Tunick got his answer.

.............a quick look at a few of the photos Tunick sent over. One of them is at the top of this post, part of a series Tunick shot at the Dead Sea. Here are 2 others:

All photos by Spencer Tunick. Images courtesy of the artist.
"Desert Spirits," 2013

"San Miguel de Allende 2 (El Charco de Ingenio Botanical Gardens)," 2011

You can see where this is going. Park wrote back to Tunick and told him that every single one of the photos would be unacceptable for the Facebook-viewing public: "I'm told the images below would violate our community standards on displays of nudity," he wrote, in an email Tunick shared with the Voice. "Pixelation may make a difference. Let me know if you need anything else."


But in a wonderful coincidence, this month is also when Sports Illustrated releases its annual Swimsuit Issue. This year is the 50th anniversary! Fun! Naturally, the Facebook page for the swimsuit issue (yep, it has its own page), is celebrating in a manner befitting the modesty police at Facebook HQ. Tunick says he was particularly taken with this image:

more here:

The Stock Market Loves Obamacare

Bloomberg Businessweek: “A new online broker, Motif Investing, is offering Obamacare’s friends and foes alike a chance to put their money where their mouth is. Co-founded by a former Microsoft executive, Hardeep Walia, and backed by Goldman Sachs and other investors, Motif allows customers to bet on narrowly tailored concepts.”

“Two of the hottest motifs right now are Obamacare and repeal Obamacare.”

“What’s most striking isn’t the performance of the two funds, but where investors are choosing to place their money … One is clearly more popular: … Motif investors have bet 45 times more money on Obamacare’s success than on its failure.”

“Since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law’s constitutionality in June 2012, investment in the health-care sector has soared.”

Bloomberg analyst Eric Balchunas: “Clearly Obamacare has provided a major catalyst to the investment case for this red-hot sector.”


Navistar to shift production from Alabama to UAW plant in Melrose Park, Illinois.

FRI FEB 21, 2014 AT 10:02 AM PST
Navistar to shift production from Alabama to UAW plant
by Short Bus

Wasn't someone saying something recently about unions scaring businesses that are operating down South.

Navistar just announced that they will be shifting production of their mid-range engines from their non-union Huntsville, Alabama plant to their UAW plant in Melrose Park, Illinois.

Commercial truck maker Navistar International Corp. NAV -0.30% will close an engine plant in Alabama this summer as it moves to eliminate excess production capacity and consolidate its engine lineup for medium-size trucks.

The closure of the plant in Huntsville will result in the loss of about 280 jobs and generate savings of about $22 million a year. Production at that plant will be shifted to an engine plant near Chicago, which will add about 75 workers.

Of course, neither the WSJ article cited, or other sources I checked, mentioned the union status of the facilities. Probably because labor costs aren't the driving factor in many business decisions and wasn't related to the issue being discussed. However, if the story was about production being shifted to the South, we know what the headlines would be screaming, relevent or not.


more plus interesting comments:

Clarence Thomas's Silence-Every schoolteacher knows this look. It’s called “not paying attention.”

FEBRUARY 21, 2014

As of this Saturday, February 22nd, eight years will have passed since Clarence Thomas last asked a question during a Supreme Court oral argument. His behavior on the bench has gone from curious to bizarre to downright embarrassing, for himself and for the institution he represents.

As for Thomas, he is physically transformed from his infamous confirmation hearings, in 1991—a great deal grayer and heavier today, at the age of sixty-five. He also projects a different kind of silence than he did earlier in his tenure. In his first years on the Court, Thomas would rock forward, whisper comments about the lawyers to his neighbors Breyer and Kennedy, and generally look like he was acknowledging where he was. These days, Thomas only reclines; his leather chair is pitched so that he can stare at the ceiling, which he does at length. He strokes his chin. His eyelids look heavy. Every schoolteacher knows this look. It’s called “not paying attention.”

the rest:

Nugent: “I do apologize (But) not necessarily to the president..."

February 21, 2014, 12:16 pm
Nugent apologizes for calling Obama 'subhuman mongrel'

Singer Ted Nugent apologized on Friday for calling President Obama a “subhuman mongrel” last month.

“I do apologize, not necessarily to the president, but on behalf of much better men than myself,” Nugent said in a radio interview on the "Ben Ferguson Show."

The rocker said he was sorry for using “street fighter terminology of subhuman mongrel,’ ” and admitted, "I did cross the line.”

Nugent said he should have used a term such as “violator of his oath, the Constitution” instead.

The apology came just a day after Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) urged Nugent to apologize for the remark.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/198916-nugent-apologizes-for-calling-obama-a-subhuman-mongrel#ixzz2tyqCovec
Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook
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