Michael Jordan's one-year contract value - $33 million. Total payroll for all 96 players in the Women's National Basketball Assoc. - $9 million.
"If the court please, I wish to use the words of Justice Brandeis...to speak for me. He wrote, 'Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or ill, it teaches the whole people by its example'". Timothy McVeigh at his sentencing hearing. Out of the mouths of mass murderers.
President Clinton, the president who signed the bill which began the eventual destruction of the safety nets for America's poorest children, "Children are not rugged individuals. They depend upon us to give them love and guidance". This columnist's reaction? Way too little, way too late!
Adjusted for inflation, since 1975 the income of the top 5% of Americans exploded by 54.1%. The bottom 20% saw only a 1.5% increase. Don't you just love to be "trickled down" on?
Newt Gingrich, telling about a conversation he had at a breakfast meeting with Pres. Clinton, "We talked about mostly where we're going...Towards the future - he and I are both into that, you know."
With few real jobs that pay above the poverty line being created, the Republicans have instead produced a 17 page guide on how to put a "positive spin" on their new welfare laws. It explains how to hold "Oprah style" town meetings where they can showcase their few success stories and even hold "photo-ops" with a "disabled child who will continue to receive benefits". Since over 135,000 disabled infants and children are losing their benefits due to his party's draconian attack on welfare, the author, Rep. E. Clay Shaw (R-FL), fears the "doomsday people" in the press will give the Republican's latest and greatest offensive against the poor a "negative spin". Can't have those nasty facts getting in the way of hateful policies, now can we?
The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 declared, "It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment or death". After the lawyers from the Dept. of the Interior got through with that simple and straightforward sentence, however, ranchers are now able to "adopt" these creatures and then, since the animals are no longer wild once adopted, sell them to be slaughtered.
Two quotes from Jeffery Skilling, CEO of Enron, one of the world's largest producers of natural gas and electricity - "The success of Enron lies not only in our products and services but also within each member of our team". When speaking to his fellow Corporate America executives, though, his dark side shines through with, "You must cut costs ruthlessly by 50 or 60 percent. Depopulate. Get rid of people. They gum up the works." Ah, words for the 90's CEO to live by.
Percentage of all 1996 IRS audits conducted on large corporations - 0.2% (two out of every thousand audits)
Percentage of all underpayments found in U.S. that was from auditing large corporations - 58.2%
Of the thousands of fully documented cases of torture and murder (including the murder of nuns, priests, American tourists and personnel from anti-violence organizations) committed by the 60,000 Latin American military officers who attended the U.S. Defense Department's School of the Americas, number that the Defense Dept. will continue to investigate or work towards imprisoning - zero. The reason? According to a spokesperson, "further investigation to assess individual responsibility is not required." Why not? "No deliberate and orchestrated attempt was made to violate Defense Dept. or U.S. Army policies." Ah, so these wondrous departments of the American government have no policies regarding murder or torture or rape?!? Glad we could clear that up.
Defending the GOP's Team 100 weekend retreat in Palm Beach, Florida, where Republicans paid for the first class accommodations of donors to their party of $100,000 or more while his party was producing the made for TV Congressional investigations of Democratic fund raising abuses, "I think for them to have the opportunity to do that is the American way." Later, he had no comment on the report that $15,000 would, according to a fundraising letter, buy "an unprecedented level of dialogue with House Republican and party leaders."
That's about it for this time. We'll do some more very soon.
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