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The L-Curve, and what 99% means, and what 1% means

    Watch the video ... Actually it's worse, when you look at it the right way

    The L-Curve graph represents income, not wealth. The distribution of wealth is even more skewed. Quoting from a recently-published book by political philosopher David Schweickart,

      If we divided the income of the US into thirds, we find that the top ten percent of the population gets a third, the next thirty percent gets another third, and the bottom sixty percent get the last third. If we divide the wealth of the US into thirds, we find that the top one percent own a third, the next nine percent own another third, and the bottom ninety percent claim the rest. (Actually, these percentages, true a decade ago, are now out of date. The top one percent are now estimated to own between forty and fifty percent of the nation's wealth, more than the combined wealth of the bottom 95%.)

California Billionaires Want to Shift More of the Tax Burden to the Middle Class

Billionaire Wants To Shift Tax Burden to Middle Class

by: Robert Cruickshank
Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 08:00:00 AM PST

    If you look up "tone deaf" in the dictionary right now, you might find a photo of Nicholas Berggruen. He's the billionaire investor who founded the "Think Long Committee for California" last fall to revive corporate friendly "reform" policies. In news that should shock nobody at all, their tax proposals involve shifting the burden away from the rich and corporations and onto what's left of the middle class.


    In short: corporate taxes go down, income taxes go down for everyone but especially for the rich, and the sales tax goes up (in fact if not in rate). The middle class - what's left of it, at least - would shoulder the burden of taxation in California even more than they already do.


    Under the Think Long plan, all the rates would go down, but the rich would see a big drop from 9.3% to 7.5%. And yet as the article notes, with the sales tax changes the overall impact would mean that everyone else pays more. Because the income tax would only kick in at $45,000 for joint filers, it's the middle class that gets hit hardest.

The Story of Broke: Why There's Still Plenty of Money to Build a Better Future

The United States isn’t broke; we’re the richest country on the planet and a country in which the richest among us are doing exceptionally well. But the truth is, our economy is broken, producing more pollution, greenhouse gasses and garbage than any other country. In these and so many other ways, it just isn’t working. But rather than invest in something better, we continue to keep this ‘dinosaur economy’ on life support with hundreds of billions of dollars of our tax money. The Story of Broke calls for a shift in government spending toward investments in clean, green solutions—renewable energy, safer chemicals and materials, zero waste and more—that can deliver jobs AND a healthier environment. It’s time to rebuild the American Dream; but this time, let’s build it better.

Elizabeth Warren on Debt Crisis, Fair Taxation

Why can't all Democrats talk like this? If they want to win, they better start learning...and fast.

As Obama Administration Negotiates Away Democratic Party Principles - Time for a 2012 Primary Challenge?

Karen Bernal photoOriginally published in the California Progress Report
By Karen Bernal
Progressive Caucus of the CA Democratic Party

We've had enough. The country has had enough.

As elated as we were when President Obama was elected in 2008, after a disastrous eight years under the repressive and war-mongering Bush Administration, the Obama Administration has been a major disappointment to the working class and Progressives of this country.

So much so that on July 30, the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party adopted a resolution criticizing President Obama for negotiating away Democratic Party principles to extremist Republicans, and suggesting that we may explore steps to "effect necessary change, including a possible primary challenge to President Obama." The resolution, overwhelmingly adopted at a meeting of the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party July 30, did not say President Obama would not be that candidate.

The officers and members of the caucus are willing to meet with the President if he wishes to discuss our concerns. In fact, we would welcome the opportunity. Our Caucus leadership wishes HOPE BEYOND HOPE that President Obama will rework his priorities to respond to the needs of working class Americans in order to get progressive support in 2012.

You Should Not Write on US Currency, But If You Do ….

Defacing US currency is illegal.

Nevertheless, an organization called HUG PAC (a/k/a "Hippies United Globally P.A.C.") wants to register their outrage over the inappropriate corporate US tax policies with a $1 Bill Protest. They are advocating that fed-up citizens write along the edge of their dollar bills the following:

"This is $1 more than GE, Exxon or Bank of America paid in taxes in 2010".

They also suggest you might add the word RECALL and then plug in the name of a betraying representative or two. Then let that dollar and its message circulate.

They go on:

It's time to start educating people. It's time to get people talking when they read this note. It's time to shine light on what's REALLY going on with our tax dollars and it's time to send a LOUD message throughout the nation (without using violence or encouraging hate) that WE, THE PEOPLE say enough is enough!

RSVP to America's $1 Bill Protest on Facebook and let your voice be heard. It's a guaranteed fast way to get the message out. When you do participate, be sure to spend the money at local stores or garage sales, as a tip at a restaurant...places where you know the money will travel through hands before it reaches a bank.

What Happened to Obama?

A lengthy article, but worth the read. If you don't have time to read the whole article right now, at least read the final paragraph - "But the arc of history does not bend toward justice through capitulation cast as compromise."

What Happened to Obama?

Drew Westen is a professor of psychology at Emory University and the author of “The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation.”


IT was a blustery day in Washington on Jan. 20, 2009, as it often seems to be on the day of a presidential inauguration. As I stood with my 8-year-old daughter, watching the president deliver his inaugural address, I had a feeling of unease. It wasn’t just that the man who could be so eloquent had seemingly chosen not to be on this auspicious occasion, although that turned out to be a troubling harbinger of things to come. It was that there was a story the American people were waiting to hear — and needed to hear — but he didn’t tell it. And in the ensuing months he continued not to tell it, no matter how outrageous the slings and arrows his opponents threw at him.

The stories our leaders tell us matter, probably almost as much as the stories our parents tell us as children, because they orient us to what is, what could be, and what should be; to the worldviews they hold and to the values they hold sacred. Our brains evolved to “expect” stories with a particular structure, with protagonists and villains, a hill to be climbed or a battle to be fought. Our species existed for more than 100,000 years before the earliest signs of literacy, and another 5,000 years would pass before the majority of humans would know how to read and write.

President Zero Has No Clue

Related: 24 Stats Explaining Why Neo-liberal (Reaganomics) Policies have Destroyed America as We've Known It. And how about this, Dan Lungren is a lying two-faced hypocrite, which you already knew ... but here's proof. Or Clueless

    From today’s radio address:

      Government has to start living within its means, just like families do. We have to cut the spending we can’t afford so we can put the economy on sounder footing, and give our businesses the confidence they need to grow and create jobs.

Why Tax-On-Millionaires Is a Slam Dunk

This article is from awhile ago, but the info is still very much relevant. And again, if you have any question of the income disparity between the 1% and the rest of us, watch the accompanying video

Why Tax-On-Millionaires Measure Is a Slam Dunk


    The case in California: Since our last discourse on the subject, the massive gap between the wealthiest 1% and everyone else in the population has gained more traction as a political issue in California.

    Paradoxically, the recent idiocy of Capitol Republicans, who blocked a popular vote on whether to extend a few modest taxes and fees

Four Republican State Senators Go Public with their Extortion Demands

Government: California GOP senators go public with their budget demands

    Gov. Jerry Brown broke off budget talks with five Republicans in the state Senate in March after complaining that the GOP's demands kept expanding. In particular, he pointed to a seven-page list of items Republicans told him they wanted in any budget deal, many of which had nothing to do with the budget.

    Today, four of those senators -- Tom Berryhill of Modesto, Anthony Cannella of Ceres, Bill Emmerson of Hemet and Tom Harman of Huntington Beach -- released details of four proposed reforms that are "necessary components" of any budget deal. It's not clear from their statement that they'll support the Democrats' budget proposal if they prevail on these four issues, though.

    The four reforms are:

The New Jim Crow: American Social Justice Tour

"The New Jim Crow: American Social Justice Tour" Featuring Professor Michelle Alexander

Wednesday, May 25, 2011, 6:30PM-8:00PM

Women's Civic Improvement Center, 3555 3rd Avenue, Sacramento, CA

A longtime civil rights advocate and litigator, Michelle Alexander won a 2005 Soros Justice Fellowship and now holds a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University. Alexander served for several years as director of the Racial Justice Project at the ACLU of Northern California, and subsequently directed the Civil Rights Clinics at Stanford Law School, where she was an associate professor. Alexander is a former law clerk for Justice Harry Blackmun on the US Supreme Court and has appeared as a commentator on CNN, MSNBC, and NPR. The New Jim Crow is her first book. [The following event is free admission to the public.]

March 11, 2010 DemocracyNow interview below

The New Jim Crow

Protest Like an Egyptian: Dozens of students, teachers arrested during state of emergency campaign

    SACRAMENTO, CA - Calling it a "state of emergency campaign," teachers from across the state gathered in Sacramento to begin a series of sit-ins at the State Capitol.

Join California Teachers and 'Protest Like an Egyptian' this Week at the State Capitol

    Show your support for public education and other key public services the Week of Action, May 9 - 13. During that week, we want everyone to talk about two things: the need for the state Legislature to pass Governor Jerry Brown's proposal to extend current taxes in order to save thousands of jobs and the services they provide in schools, colleges and universities, public safety, and public health; and the need to restore fair tax policies on the richest Californians and large corporations, so that we will have the resources to invest in a bright future for our state. A recent opinion poll shows strong support for restoring fair tax policies instead of cutting education and services.

    Your Week of Action Toolkit

Sac State Students continue sit in to protest budget cuts


    More than 100 students at California State University, Sacramento are occupying a campus building for a second day to protest state budget cuts to higher education.