Apr 152015

The True Cost of Gun Violence in America | Mother Jones by Mark Follman, Senior Editor, et al.

gun violence costs charts

Jennifer Longdon was one of at least 750,000 Americans injured by gunshots over the last decade, and she was lucky not to be one of the more than 320,000 killed. Each year more than 11,000 people are murdered with a firearm, and more than 20,000 others commit suicide using one. Hundreds of children die annually in gun homicides, and each week seems to bring news of another toddler accidentally shooting himself or a sibling with an unsecured gun. And perhaps most disturbingly, even as violent crime overall has declined steadily in recent years, rates of gun injury and death are climbing (up 11 and 4 percent since 2011) and mass shootings have been on the rise.

Yet, there is no definitive assessment of the costs for victims, their families, their employers, and the rest of us—including the major sums associated with criminal justice, long-term health care, and security and prevention. Our media is saturated with gun carnage practically 24/7. So why is the question of what we all pay for it barely part of the conversation?

The True Cost of Gun Violence in America | Mother Jones

Because the Gun Industry and its proxies, the Gun-nuts, shout it down and shoot it down.

 Posted by at 6:27 pm on Wed 04/15/15
Apr 142015

The relentless effort of Republicans to relieve the rich of any and all taxation has caused the dramatic shift in disparity between the OBSCENELY Rich and the rest of us. The grotesquely rich already buy anything they want from government. Eliminating estate taxes assures that every subsequent generation of rich will have even more power because the Supreme Court Council of Cardinals equates money with speech.

Republicans push for a permanent aristocracy – The Washington Post by Dana Milbank

This is the ultimate perversion of the tea party movement, which began as a populist revolt in 2009 but has since been hijacked by wealthy and corporate interests. The estate tax has been part of American law in some form since 1797, according to the advocacy group Americans for Tax Fairness, a shield against the sort of permanent aristocracy our founders fought to rid themselves of.

It had long been a conservative ideal, and the essence of the American Dream, to believe that everybody should have an equal shot at success. But in their current bid to end the estate tax, Republicans could create a permanent elite of trust-fund babies.

The estate tax was a meaningful check on a permanent aristocracy as recently as 2001, when there were taxes on the portion of estates above $675,000; even then there were plenty of ways for the rich to shelter money for their heirs. …

“It sounds to me like there’s a lot of wealth envy in this country,” Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) complained while serving as chairwoman of the Rules Committee debate Tuesday. The bill abolishing the estate tax, she said, “will draw a line in the sand.”

Yes, it will: between the wealthiest two-tenths of 1 percent — and everybody else.

Republicans push for a permanent aristocracy – The Washington Post

 Posted by at 7:59 pm on Tue 04/14/15
Apr 132015

Gun nuts note: You won. You’re wacky interpretation of the 2nd Amendment is the law. Just try to control your weapons, OK?

Will the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre Ever Stop Lying? – The Daily Beast by Dean Obeidallah

In 2008, the NRA honcho said Obama was going to confiscate guns. Now, Hillary wants to. The lies will never end.

“They are coming to take your guns away!” That was the message from this past weekend’s annual NRA Convention. In fact, it’s the same message we have heard for years from the NRA. And just as it has been in the past, as it was this weekend, that message is a lie.

Will the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre Ever Stop Lying? – The Daily Beast

 Posted by at 10:18 am on Mon 04/13/15
Apr 132015

Gun owners face much higher murder risks, researchers said. Then the NRA silenced them. Amber Hall, The Takeaway

Back in the early 1990s, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control provided funding for studies on gun violence. The NRA was not pleased.

“[Our research] underwent peer review and was thought to be very solid and worthwhile research,” says Dr. Fred Rivara, who was part of the team that researched gun violence. “The CDC stood by our research — they had funded it and they stood by it. Unfortunately, it raised the attention of the National Rifle Association, who then worked with pro-gun members of Congress to essentially stop funding firearm research.” …

And that wasn’t all. “More importantly, however, was that they put a clause for the appropriations of the CDC that essentially blocked all gun research for the next two decades,” Rivara says.

The CDC budget cuts all but ended federal gun research.

Gun owners face much higher murder risks, researchers said. Then the NRA silenced them.

 Posted by at 9:08 am on Mon 04/13/15
Apr 102015

I know decent people own guns – some of them are my friends. But the NRA is an industry organization and the Gun Industry, like all of AmeriCo, puts profits ahead of EVERYTHING. The Gun Industry grows rich and fat on blood and death and hides behind the flag and the 2nd Amendment.

You want to hunt? Hunt. You need a gun to feel safe? You have my sympathy but go ahead and hope it isn’t used to kill you or someone you love. You need armor-piercing ammo, an elephant gun, one hundred guns, laser-sighting, ad nauseum, you’re sick and a patsy of the Gun Industry which will feed your emptiness until you die. You sell guns and ammo: you sell death and destruction. Nothing noble about it.

NRA members size up Republican hopefuls

More than 3,000 NRA members on Friday heard from a slate of the Republican Party’s most likely candidates at the NRA’s annual meeting at Music City Center in Nashville. …

At 10-minutes a speech, attendees heard abbreviated stump speeches from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Dr. Ben Carson, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., and billionaire businessman Donald Trump, among others. …

“They were very good at saying what we wanted to hear, but really not strong on details,” said Morrow, a registered dietitian. “They’re talking about what’s wrong with government, but not talking about what they were doing to fix it.” [mjh: Which is nothing at all.]

NRA members size up Republican hopefuls

The Very First Thing Gov. Scott Walker Did Before Delivering Big Speech at NRA’s Annual Meeting | Video | TheBlaze.com

Walker, a possible 2016 GOP presidential candidate, then touted his A+ NRA rating, calling it a “badge of honor” even if the left considers it a “Scarlet Letter.”

The Very First Thing Gov. Scott Walker Did Before Delivering Big Speech at NRA’s Annual Meeting | Video | TheBlaze.com

Ted Cruz to NRA: I’ve fought the conservative battles

Cruz, a first-term senator and a Tea Party favorite, boasted about the Senate’s defeat of several gun restrictions in recent years.

Ted Cruz to NRA: I’ve fought the conservative battles

 Posted by at 8:19 pm on Fri 04/10/15
Apr 082015

My blood boils when I hear someone talk about “taking our country back.” From what? Take it back from democracy? When the Idiot King DUHbya was appointed by a conservative Supreme Court stacked by his cronies, I didn’t say we have to “take our country back.” I swallowed bile daily for 8 years and voted for change.

This dumb mantra is all the worse coming from the mouth of an elected official. PUH-lease. It is the rhetoric of scoundrels that have driven the public away from the polls (that is, when those scoundrels aren’t actively suppressing the vote).

If you want to “take our country back,” take control of campaign financing, which that same conservative court has equated to free speech. The rich have more free speech than you or I. We’re free to listen to bullshit.

Paul announces White House bid | Albuquerque Journal News

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Sen. Rand Paul launched his 2016 presidential campaign Tuesday with a combative challenge both to Washington and his fellow Republicans, cataloguing a lengthy list of what ails America and pledging to “take our country back.”

Paul’s fiery message, delivered in his home state of Kentucky before he flew to four early-nominating states, was designed to broaden his appeal outside of the typical GOP coalition as well as motivate supporters of his father’s two unsuccessful bids for the Republican presidential nomination.

In a 26-minute speech that eviscerated “the Washington machine,” he spared neither Republican nor Democrat as he attempted to tap into Americans’ deep frustrations with their government.

“I worry that the opportunity and hope are slipping away for our sons and daughters,” the tea party favorite said. “As I watch our once-great economy collapse under mounting spending and debt, I think, ‘What kind of America will our grandchildren see?’”

He added: “It seems to me that both parties and the entire political system are to blame.”

Paul announces White House bid | Albuquerque Journal News

 Posted by at 11:55 am on Wed 04/08/15
Apr 082015

If this braying ass can’t afford filet mignon, there are 1000 lobbyists ready to send him a case. What a tool!

The rush to humiliate the poor – The Washington Post By Dana Milbank Opinion writer April 7 at 6:12 PM

Rick Brattin, a young Republican state representative in Missouri, has come up with an innovative new way to humiliate the poor in his state. Call it the surf-and-turf law.

Brattin has introduced House Bill 813, making it illegal for food-stamp recipients to use their benefits “to purchase cookies, chips, energy drinks, soft drinks, seafood, or steak.”

“I have seen people purchasing filet mignons and crab legs” with electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards, the legislator explained, according to The Post’s Roberto A. Ferdman. “When I can’t afford it on my pay, I don’t want people on the taxpayer’s dime to afford those kinds of foods either.

Never mind that few can afford filet mignon on a less-than-$7/day food-stamp allotment; they’re more likely to be buying chuck steak or canned tuna. This is less about public policy than about demeaning public-benefit recipients.

The rush to humiliate the poor – The Washington Post

 Posted by at 7:38 am on Wed 04/08/15