Tag Archives: Scott Walker

The Forced Choice Fallacy: Employment and Education

NV Employment by Industry 2015 The Background: There are 1,418,000 Nevada residents in the state’s civilian labor force, and 7% of them are looking for work. The state has 1,254,300 individuals in the non-farm wage and salary category, up 3.4% since last year.  28.11% are employed in a single sector – Leisure and Hospitality. 5.41% are employed in construction related jobs.

Category  % of employment  change YOY
Leisure Hospitality 28.11% +5.1%
Trade, Trans, Utility 18.97% +3.8%
Prof Bus. Services 12.68% +2.8%
Government 12.13% 0%
Education/Health 9.68% +5.2%
Construction 5.41% +8%
Financial Activities 4.59% +0.7%
Manufacturing 3.33% +0.7%
Other Services 2.89% +3.7%
Information 1.12% -5.4%
Mining & Logging 1.08% -5.6%

(Source: Department of Labor, BLS)

The first table shows the situation at the present. Projections from NDETR estimate what employment will look like as of 2022.

Category Number of openings from Growth to 2022
Construction 24,580
Food Preparation/Service 23,100
Office & Admin Support 16,990
Transportation 12,640
Sales Related Occupations 12,120
Personal Care & Service 11,700
Management 8,660
Healthcare Practitioners  & Assts. 7,780 (+3,680 Support positions)
Business Financial Occupations 6,850
Production Occupations 6,530

*There are projected to be another 6,500 jobs in the Installation, Maintenance, and Repair occupations category; and, about 4,840 jobs related to Education, Training, and Library personnel positions. Of the 24,580 jobs in “Construction and Extraction” only 80 openings are projected to be in the “extraction” category related to “growth.”  In short, the Nevada economy of 2022 is projected to be much like the Nevada economy of 2015.

False and Forced Choices

Now that we have some hard data, and some rationally projected data about employment opportunities in Nevada extending to 2022, it’s time to take a gander at some of the policy decisions which need to be made about how to create expansion in the economy.

Here’s a classic example of how NOT to approach the issue:

“The left claims they’re for American workers, and they’ve got lame ideas, things like minimum wage. We need to talk about how we get people skills and qualifications they need to get jobs that go beyond minimum wage.”

Scott Walker, yesterday  [h/t Angry Bear]

First, the most recent entry into the GOP Candidate Bus separates “skills and qualifications” from issues about raising the minimum wage.  This seems to be an artificial forced choice – either one supports the minimum wage increases or one supports more education and training to become qualified for better paying jobs.  (Not that Governor Walker’s slashing of the higher  education budget makes his position comprehensible?)   It is humanly possible to support both increasing the minimum wage AND support additional resources for our post secondary educational institutions.  And, there are some practical reasons this would make sense for Nevada.

Secondly, let’s look at the minimum wage issue as a practical matter in Nevada.   Retail sales worker positions account for 7,450 of the 12,120 projected job openings due to growth in the NDETR estimations for 2022. Food and beverage service positions account for 13,260 of the total 23,100 food preparation and serving jobs estimated to be available by 2022.  What would punch up the economy of Nevada faster? Leaving the minimum wage at current levels for the expected positions in retail and hospitality sectors of the Nevada economy? Or, increasing the minimum wage for those 20,710 jobs?

A person earning $7.25 per hour working 40 hours per week for 50 weeks per year would earn $14,500.  A person earning $10.00 per hour working a 40 hour work week for 50 weeks would earn $20,000 annually.  If you are keeping score with your calculator – that’s a difference of some $113,905,000 available to be pumped into the local economy from those 20,710 jobs.  Since we know from the research that lower income workers spend more on basic household expenses, that’s an additional $114 million for groceries and supermarkets, clothing stores, housing and furnishings, and for transportation.  One more time – The GDP formula:

Gross Domestic Product Formula Remember, that “C” in the formula is Consumer Spending.  And, I can keep hauling out this graphic until it hits home that increasing consumer spending is an essential feature of what drives growth.

Now, about those “qualifications and skills..”

Where does one get additional training for higher paying jobs?  If a person did not intend to stay in a minimally paying food service job, or a low paying construction job, or a low pay office job, then where are the training programs for advancement?

Let’s assume for the first argument that an individual wants to advance in the same field as his or her entry level position.  Nevada has both public and proprietary post secondary educational programs available. [NVps pdf] On the public side, a person wanting to move up in the office might want to consider an associate’s degree in bookkeeping? Management?  The community colleges offer these programs throughout the state.  And, yes, a person earning more than a minimum wage might be better able to take advantage of the post secondary training available from the Nevada system.

How about a move from one occupation category to another?  What if our hypothetical prospective employee wants to move from a retail job into the field of medical or health information technology? There’s a program for that at Southern Nevada College.

In short, the most efficient and cost effective way to provide career pathways for economic improvement is to invest in our community colleges and technical education institutions.  These are also the best ways to assist older workers who are moving from declining fields to those in which some growth is expected.

What did the President have to say about community colleges?

“As the largest part of the nation’s higher education system, community colleges enroll more than 6 million students and are growing rapidly. They feature affordable tuition, open admission policies, flexible course schedules, and convenient locations. Community Colleges are particularly important for students who are older, working, or need remedial classes. Community colleges work with businesses, industry and government to create tailored training programs to meet economic needs like nursing, health information technology, advanced manufacturing, and green jobs.”

So, yes, it makes sense to provide support for post secondary education in Nevada.  Those “qualifications and skills” have to come from somewhere, and what better way than to expand the capacity of our post secondary programs to enroll and instruct those who want to advance in a chosen field or become qualified for employment in a new one.

Meanwhile, we have to acknowledge that a preponderance of the growth in this state is still in occupational categories such as retail sales and food service which are relatively low paying jobs, and from which we could expect much more robust economic growth by requiring if not a living wage of $15.00 per hour then at least an increase to $10.00.

No forced or artificial false choices are required: We really can do two things at once.

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Filed under Economy, education, employment, Nevada economy, nevada education, Nevada politics

News of Note

newspapers 1

  Stay tuned, today’s agenda in the Assembled Wisdom includes a vote on the foundation of Governor Sandoval’s tax and revenue plan.

“The state senate is expected to take a vote on Gov. Brian Sandoval’s Business License Fee bill, the main business tax component of his overall $1.1 billion plan in new and extended taxes.

If the senate fails to pass Gov. Sandoval’s bill, it will be a sign that any tax plan to fund the governor’s proposed $7.3 billion general fund budget will not be completed by the end of the Legislature’s regular session, which is scheduled to end after the first week in June.”  [RGJ]

And, BTW, Attorney General Tea Party (Laxalt) is quick to inform us that his dive into the anti-immigration lawsuit, isn’t anti-immigrant.   Right. It’s just about the “Rule of Law,” and Congress should be acting on immigration reform, not the President.   And, if you believe this I have some lovely (but rather arid) cliff side real estate I’d love to sell you.  We might also note that the comprehensive immigration policy reforms were hammered out in 2013 and the GOP hasn’t seen fit to allow the package to see the floor since.  Or, as AZ Central points out:

Though some Republicans last year argued that a GOP-run U.S. House and U.S. Senate might be inclined to tackle immigration reform early this year — and national Republicans have stressed the need to get the issue off the table before the 2016 presidential election — most observers now say there appears to be little chance for far-reaching legislation along the lines of the 2013 Senate-passed bill negotiated by the bipartisan “Gang of Eight.”

So, it’s 2017 – if then – before the Congressional leadership has any interest in tackling the issue?

Meanwhile, prominent passenger in the GOP Presidential Race Clown Car, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, is hauling out the old canard – the very old canard – that even legal immigration is a threat to American workers.

“In terms of legal immigration, how we need to approach that going forward is saying — the next president and the next Congress need to make decisions about a legal immigration system that’s based on, first and foremost, on protecting American workers and American wages. Because the more I’ve talked to folks, I’ve talked to [Alabama Sen. Jeff] Sessions and others out there — but it is a fundamentally lost issue by many in elected positions today — is what is this doing for American workers looking for jobs, what is this doing to wages. And we need to have that be at the forefront of our discussion going forward,”  [HuffPo]

This one’s been debunked so many times it’s hard to keep track of the volume. but that won’t prevent the GOP from hauling it out once again.  No, they “aren’t taking our jobs,” and calls for full deportation would Negatively Impact our economy, and if you want the best information on the subject – which is not coming from right wing Republicans and their pet media outlets – that’s still the 2013 CBO report (FactCheck) and related reports from the CBO the links for which are HERE.

However, immigration policy reform isn’t the only casualty in this 18 months before the election hysteria from the right.  The propaganda mill is working overtime.  Additionally, some of the same donors who’ve brought us extreme right wing politics are funding the highly questionable “research” by Peter Schweiser’s Government Accountability Institute.   This doesn’t mean the internecine warfare among the occupants of the Clown Car will diminish any time soon.  The Cruz of the Mouth Club is claiming that Rubio and Walker are “wimping out” on Gun Rights.   The 20 week abortion ban seems to be one of the major points for Republicans in the primary season, even though Planned Parenthood notes that nearly 99% of all abortions take place before 21 weeks.

Biggest Losers:  The jerks who vandalized a memorial, including killing a newly planted tree, to Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO.

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Filed under abortion, Gun Issues, Immigration, Nevada legislature, nevada taxation, Republicans, Womens' Rights

Coffee and the Papers

## There are some headlines that just really aren’t all that surprising, for example, “Nevada Ron Paul backers unfazed by RNC warnings.” [Las Vegas Sun] Hmmm, did someone think they would be?

## Should we go back to having a “War Department?”   Maybe we should, considering presidential candidate Willard Mitt Romney’s selection of Neo-Con military and foreign policy advisers.  [Nation] A taste:

“Of Romney’s forty identified foreign policy advisers, more than 70 percent worked for Bush. Many hail from the neoconservative wing of the party, were enthusiastic backers of the Iraq War and are proponents of a US or Israeli attack on Iran. Christopher Preble, a foreign policy expert at the Cato Institute, says, “Romney’s likely to be in the mold of George W. Bush when it comes to foreign policy if he were elected.”

Oh, goody… just what we need.

## Uh huh, we know there are some people who will not vote for President Obam, and we also know why:

“He was like, ‘Here I am, I’m black and I’m proud,’ ” said Lesia Felsoci, a bank employee drinking a beer in an Applebee’s. “To me, he didn’t have a platform. Black people voted him in, that’s why he won. It was black ignorance.” [NYT] [TAWire]

##  Here’s a classic example of why it doesn’t do to sound off too early on foreign policy questions:

“A Chinese dissident has been given a fellowship at a university in the United States and will be allowed to leave China with his wife and two children, providing a possible solution to a diplomatic crisis for President Obama. The Chinese government is expected to arrange travel procedures for Chen Guangcheng, according to Victoria Nuland, a State Department spokeswoman.”  [The Hill]

Some adviser didn’t give candidate Romney a heads-up about speaking too soon, allowing the presumed nominee to say:

“It’s also apparent, according to these reports if they’re accurate, that our embassy failed to put in place the kind of verifiable measures that would assure the safety of Mr. Chen and his family,” Romney said. “If these reports are true, this is a dark day for freedom and it’s a day of shame for the Obama administration. We are a place of freedom, here and around the world, and we should stand up and defend freedom wherever it is under attack.” [BostonHerald]

Whilst candidate Romney was jumping the gun, Chen had not requested asylum, and the Administration and the Chinese government were obviously negotiating a deal that would allow Chen to leave China and not have to go through the asylum permission process.  Win. Win.   From the Department of Unsolicited Advice:  In diplomatic processes it is always better to restrain the lip and not shoot from the hip.

## Austerity never begat prosperity, and the French may be finding that out?  See: “The French Election and Austerity in the Eurozone,” The New Yorker. Local election results in Great Britain weren’t pretty for the Austerity promoting incumbents either.  [NYT]  Meanwhile, “Misery Builds for the EuroZone,” Reuters.

## Employers added 115,000 jobs last month (a number less than some Wall Streeters wanted) therefore we have the Administration chasing “analysts expectations.” [Bloomberg] And when we compare the Obama Administrations efforts with those in the Eurozone Austerity Sphere:

“The improvement in the U.S. contrasts with some of the other major economies. Joblessness in the 17-nation euro area increased to 10.9 percent in March, the highest since April 1997, from 10.8 percent a month earlier, data showed this week.”  [Bloomberg]

## A Citizens United tale if there ever was one.  Check out the chart indicating money flowing into the Scott Walker campaign coffers in Wisconsin. Note the number of $250,000+ donors and their locations.

## Chart of the Day:

This doesn’t have to be complicated.  Higher wages create demand. Demand means sales.  More sales mean more jobs.  Austerity never begat prosperity.

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Filed under 2012 election, Economy, Foreign Policy, Nevada politics, Obama, Romney

Nevada’s Gift to Wisconsin: Sheldon Adelson’s Money

As if the state of Wisconsin doesn’t have enough problems, Nevada gazillionaire extraordinaire Sheldon Adelson is pumping money into the coffers of Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign treasury. [MilJourSent]

Who’s supporting Walker?

Walker received two $250,000 donations in the latest period. One came from Las Vegas Sands president Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire casino mogul who, along with his wife, put $17.5 million into Winning the Future, a super PAC supporting Gingrich.

Also giving $250,000 was Richard DeVos, the co-founder of the parent company of direct marketing firm Amway. DeVos has been active in the school voucher movement, and Walker last year expanded Milwaukee’s voucher program and established a similar one in eastern Racine County.

Five people gave the governor $100,000 each – John Childs of Massachusetts, chairman of private equity firm J.W. Childs Associates; Warren Stephens of Arkansas, chairman of financial services company Stephens Inc.; Robert Kern, founder of Waukesha power-generating firm Generac; his wife, Patricia Kern; and Patrick Ryan of Illinois, CEO of insurance firm Ryan Specialty Group.  [emphasis added]


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Filed under 2012 election, Adelson, Republicans

What War On Women? Repealing Equal Pay Laws

Just in case you happen to be female, or happen to be married to one, or the son or daughter of one, or the father or uncle of one — you might find this Republican assault on women of interest.  It’s not all about sex either.  It’s also about income.  Buried beneath the hoopla of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signing the anti-abortion legislation this past week (Let’s Make Government Small Enough To Insert Into Every Woman’s Vagina?) was news about Walker signing into effect the repeal of the 2009 Equal Pay Enforcement Act. [AYV]

Corporate proponents of repeal had argued the law would encourage “frivolous lawsuits” from a “protected class” of people (that would be women) — however, in the two years the law was in effect there were NO lawsuits filed.  Zero. Zilch.  None.  So, why was repeal so important? What could justify it?  Well, maybe money is “more important to men?”  Huh? Someone is still thinking it’s 1960.  For reference, my calendar says it’s 2012.

In 1960 only 20% of mothers were in the work force.  As of 2010 70% of all children in the U.S. lived in households in which all the adults worked. [AmPro]   Two incomes are now the norm, and are two income families struggling to maintain middle class earnings doing better than the previous generation in the ’60s? No.

“…while those families certainly make more money than a one-income family did a generation ago, by the time they pay for the basics — an average home, a health insurance policy, a second car to get Mom to work, child care, and taxes — that family actually has less money left over at the end of the month to show for it. We tend to assume with two incomes you’re doubly secure. But if you count on every penny of both of those incomes, which most families today do, then you’re in big trouble if either income goes away. And obviously, if you have two people in the workforce, you have double the chance that someone will get laid off, or double the chance that someone could get too sick to work. When that happens, two-income families really get into trouble, and that’s how a lot of families quickly go bankrupt.”  [MJ]

So, we have working families working harder simply to stay afloat financially.  Money, then, is equally important no matter the source, be it the father’s or mother’s contribution.  As of 2010 the median household income in the U.S. was $50,046 annually.  [Census] We can safely assume that at least 70% of those families depended on at least two sources of income to sustain their status as a “median family.”

The notion that having the “little woman” enter the workforce in order to obtain income for “extras,” is as dated as capri pants and pill box hats.

Equally outdated is the idea that women lose money by leaving the workforce to concentrate on child raising:

“A 2007  study by the American Association of University Women found that college-educated women earn only 80 percent as much as similarly educated men a year after graduation. Part of that is attributable to differences in life choices and family circumstances, but not all. “After accounting for college major, occupation, industry, sector, hours worked, workplace flexibility, experience, educational attainment, enrollment status, GPA, institution selectivity, age, race/ethnicity, region, marital status, and number of children, a 5 percent difference in the earnings of male and female college graduates one year after graduation was still unexplained,” it said. After 10 years in the workforce, there’s an unexplained 12 percent gap.”  [TDB]

Again, the “time off” argument might have had some validity in the age of Pill Box Hats, but it’s not a valid contention today — the calendar on the bulletin board still says 2012.  We could venture to explain that gap — women aren’t paid as much as men for the same work.

While corporations may very much want to repeal anything that might potentially affect their profitability (women’s pay, minimum wages, etc.) the hard reality of the 21st century is that two income families are the norm, and most families are one sick child or one pink slip away from serious financial difficulties.

Repealing an equal pay protection act isn’t just another assault on women, it’s an attack on entire families.  Someone might also want to remind these Republican legislators and governors that Hazel and the Donna Reed Show aren’t on the television schedule anymore.

Extra Credit Reading Assignments: “The Three Faces of Work Family Conflict,” Center for American Progress, January 2010.   “Wisconsin’s Repeal of Equal Pay Rights,” The Daily Beast, April 2012.   “Dual Income Parents,” Women and Work,  March 2010.   “Single Income Families account for 7% of the total,” Population Reference Bureau,  March 2003.   “Scott Walker Repeals Equal Pay Act, Amplify Your Voice, April 2012. “Walker Overturns Law to Prevent Pay Discrimination,” Think Progress, April 2012.

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Filed under 2012 election, conservatism, Economy, employment, equal pay, family issues, income inequality, Women's Issues, Womens' Rights

Coffee and the Papers

Oh my, the story concerning Nevada über-lobbyist Harvey Whittemore has all the Big Names — Ensign, Ernaut, Sandoval, Reid, Heller, Berkley — and a flight of campaign donations returned. [full story Las Vegas Sun] Perhaps leading to the conclusion that Hell hath no fury like a business partner scorned?

Someone might want to tell Senator Rubio (R-FL) that he really doesn’t get to have it both ways.  He can’t devote a full paragraph to his family’s flight from Castro’s Cuba [Rubio] in his Congressional biography, which is a little strange since his parents left in 1956* (and then attempted to return, or visited, or something in ’61),  campaign as one who  “always publicly identified with the exile community and has a strong following within it. In a campaign ad last year, he said: “As the son of exiles, I understand what it means to lose the gift of freedom,” [CSM] [WaPo] and then get touchy when Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) calls him out for stonewalling the confirmation of Mari Carmen Aponte as ambassador to El Salvador in order to pressure the Obama Administration into changing policy toward Cuba and Nicaragua. [LV Sun]  *Fidel Castro did not take over until February 16, 1959.

The Yucca Mountain Breakdown. Another slip of the tongue from Mark Amodei (R-NV2) “While nobody wants a nuclear landfill in Nevada, we probably ought to at least talk about it,” Amodei said. “Well if that is breaking ranks, then yes I did.” At which point former Nevada Governor Richard Bryan came down upon the freshman representative like a ton of toxic dirt. [full story Nevada News Bureau]  Just asking, but if nobody in Nevada wants it — what is the point of talking about it?

No matter how many Democrats jump on board, the cleverly named CPU Act is a bad idea.   The bottom line is that enactment of this legislation would cut tech workers’ pay and allow employers to cut overtime pay. [More at Economic Policy Institute]

A bankruptcy is a bankruptcy… Governor Romney is having some difficulty in Michigan with the auto bailout rhetoric.  And, then’s there’s Bain in the mix:

“The managed bankruptcies that Romney had in mind in early 2009 for the two car companies pretty clearly were liquidations that would then allow Bain Capital or other venture capital firms to buy small parts of these companies, eliminate union workers, and … I’m not sure.  A weird, incoherent ad his campaign’s been running on the local news broadcasts actually hints at the elimination-of-union-workers thing, while actually advertising that “liberals” got “Obama” to save the auto industry.  Seriously.” [Angry Bear]

Not. So. Fast.  Senator Pat Toomey (R-Club for Growth) was incensed that anyone would believe his taxation plan would require tax increases for those earning less than $200,000 annually.  Except Senator Toomey’s tax plan would require tax increases for those earning less than $200,000 annually.

“The math is irrefutable.  Senator Toomey told O’Brien that, while reducing their deductions and credits, he also would cut tax rates for people below $200,000 so that they would face no net tax increase.  But that can’t be.  If the tax plan is supposed to produce a net increase in revenues, and if it loses revenue from people making over $200,000, then it simply must raise revenue from people making less than $200,000.”  [CBPP]

Financialist Follies.  John Paulson, he of the Hedge Fund Titans who helped create the Wall Street Casino, is worried about a Greek default:

“We believe a Greek payment default could be a greater shock to the system than Lehman’s failure, immediately causing global economies to contract and markets to decline,” the hedge fund said in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News. The euro is “structurally flawed and will likely eventually unravel,” it said.?  [Bloomberg]

Look carefully at Paulson’s terms.  “Shock to the system” as in a shock to the financial markets.  “Causing global economies to contract” as in investment banks particularly in France and Germany will find themselves in another bind.  “Markets to decline,” at this point Paulson isn’t talking about the market for automobiles, homes, refrigerators, or agricultural products — the only “market” in which he is interested is the Stock Market.

In short, we might want to take a deep breath and contemplate what another self-induced panic by the Wall Street wizards might mean for credit access for American consumers and businesses.   Remember: Those investment banks could have invested in plant expansion, infrastructure projects, manufacturing upgrades, or entrepreneurial enterprises — it was THEIR choice to invest in Greek debt.

Brute Force, that’s how a Citigroup whistle blower described the firm’s attempt to paper over its bad loans. [C&L]

“Instead of reporting the defects to the Federal Housing Administration, the bank saddled the agency with losses by falsely declaring the loans fit for its federal insurance program, according to a complaint filed yesterday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan. Citigroup agreed to pay $158.3 million to settle the claims, and admitted that it certified loans for FHA backing that didn’t qualify.”  [Bloomberg]

And, how was this accomplished?

“Efforts to quash negative quality-control reports about mortgages continued into 2011, according to the complaint. That January, at a quarterly staff meeting that Hunt said 1,000 people attended, CitiMortgage managers gave a “Star Players Award” to workers who had successfully challenged negative reviews during meetings with quality-assurance workers and others, according to the complaint.”  [Bloomberg]

The press release from the Department of Justice, USAO Southern District of NY is available here for those who want more details. (pdf)

The Urban legend of those Terrible Health Care Costs.  Oops, the facts just don’t fit the narrative.

“In fact, the recent trends are mildly favorable. As J. D. Keinke of the American Enterprise Institute writes today in the Wall Street Journal, the idea of runaway health spending is a “myth” because “new data show that health spending over the past several years has been normalizing toward the rate of general inflation, rather than growing higher and higher, as had been the case almost continuously since the 1970s.” … [EconView]

Faux New tries and fails to get the author of the book on the Obama Administration to fill in the blanks with misinformation.  Find the entertaining and illuminating video here.

WalkerGate gets more interesting as investigators are probing into the possibility of real estate bid rigging in Wisconsin while Scott Walker was Milwaukee County Executive. [BlueCheddar] [MJS 1/25] Walker has asked for two more weeks for reviewing recall petitions. [MJS]  This, while a three judge federal panel excoriated Wisconsin Republican lawmakers and told them:

“…to turn over 84 documents to a group of Democrats in a blistering order that said Republicans had engaged in an “all but shameful” effort to keep its efforts hidden from the public.

The court promptly released the documents that showed, among other things, that Republicans who drew new election maps last year largely orchestrated the public testimony given in support of them.

The three federal judges – two of them appointed by Republicans – were unanimous in their decision. It came after a string of orders against the Republicans and just five days be fore the judges will preside over a trial in Milwaukee to determine whether the maps adhere to the U.S. Constitution. [MJS]

But, the saddest feature of the attacks on Wisconsin citizens and their rights is to be found in this article, including:

“Before Sunday’s sermon in many churches in Milwaukee, ministers and religious leaders will ask those sitting in the pews to pull out their photo identification as a step to make sure that their members can vote in Tuesday’s primary election.” [MJS]

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Filed under Amodei, Berkley, Ensign, Health Care, Heller, labor, Reid, Romney, Sandoval, tax revenue, Taxation, Vote Suppression, Yucca Mountain

Coffee, Papers, and Blogs

** The northern Nevada chapter of the Komen Foundation says it’s looking for a new site for the 14th Race for the Cure — but they may be doing more running from their decision to sever ties with Planned Parenthood because of ideological differences over abortion.  The Los Angeles Times reports:

“Over the last five years, Planned Parenthood has provided about 4 million breast exams and referrals for 70,000 mammograms nationwide. Funding from Komen covers about 170,000 of the breast exams and 6,400 mammogram referrals, Richards said. Although mammograms and biopsies are referred out, Planned Parenthood doctors manage their patients’ cases.”

The Komen Foundation said its decision was based on the fact that Planned Parenthood is subject to a Congressional investigation led by Florida Republican Cliff Stearns.  Democrats have charged the Stearns inquiry is specious, and part of a coordinated attack on Planned Parenthood by radical anti-choice advocates.  The Sin City Siren describes Komen’s decision as essentially internal, and its association with Pink Washing.  It will be interesting to see if the move by the Komen Foundation results in people walking away from its Runs.

**  It appears that the abortion issue is “no longer personal” for GOP candidate Romney, who has made yet another gymnastic reversal of position from being an advocate for choice in 1994 to a staunch anti-abortion proponent.

** The Las Vegas Sun has a trip down memory lane concerning the history of Nevada money in national politics, from “Howard Hughes to Sheldon Adelson.”  One CBS writer suggests that Newt Gingrich may be looking for a new game plan since the Adelson Money Pot didn’t seem to be the answer in the Florida primary.

** Newt Gingrich isn’t the only candidate to have dipped into Money Pots.  Willard Mitt Romney’s campaign enjoys the use of some $18 million from just 200 donors in the last half of 2011. Money came in from Bain Capital, Goldman Sachs, Renaissance Tech (Hedge Fund), Elliott Management, and Tiger Management. Other donors included Harlan Crow and the Koch Brothers. [NYT]  Mr. Crow’s past contributions included a $25,000 donation to the infamous Swift Boat Veterans who sponsored a smear campaign against Senator John Kerry in 2004. [MMFA] And, then there’s Crow’s financial connection to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. [ThinkProgress]

** The Romney camp is still silent on a key offshore tax avoidance account. [TPM] Question: If a person isn’t trying to avoid taxation then why put money in offshore accounts in the first place?

** Somehow in the tangled rhetoric of the times there are those who believe that calling out racism is racism.  This is captured in video of Gingrich Super Pac spokesman Rick Tyler.  One of the more interesting bits of the exchange between Tyler and Rev. Al Sharpton comes when Sharpton asks Tyler for specific policies which should appeal to African American voters. All Tyler provides are the three highly generalized pillars of Financialism: Less government (deregulation), less taxation, and more freedom.

** Gee, we never could have guessed. When Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker announced his five appointees to the Small Business Regulatory Review Board it was quickly noticed that four of the five were donors to his campaign. Opponents of Walker may have secured over 1 million signatures for his recall, but Walker is prepared to spend major money (mostly from out of state donors) to maintain his office. [CSMonitor]

** It’s February, it’s Black History Month, and David A. Love has an excellent piece debunking the 10 Biggest Myths about Black History.

** Jared Bernstein provides The Chart of the Day:


Want to ask again if the Stimulus Bill (ARRA) failed?

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Filed under 2012 election, abortion, Adelson, racism, Romney, Women's Issues, Womens' Rights