- There have been 1,449 casualties in the war in Afghanistan, with 2010 being the most deadly year for U.S. Troops (as of Jan. 8, 2011)
- The "Bush Tax Cuts" account for 14% of the swing from surplus to deficit between 2001 and 2010 (see below, 1) but account for 25% of the deficit "this year." (see below, 2).
- In 2007 the U.S. Census Bureau reported that women were making 78 cents for every dollar earned by their male co-workers.
- Many Minnesotan religious congregations have decided that until same-sex couples have the same legal rights as other couples, they will not legalize a union. Instead, they will perform the religious ceremony but will require the legal portion of the union be entered into through another official. For a discussion of the subject (and to learn the names of the congregations) please read this: http://southwestminneapolis.patch.com/articles/shir-tikvah-rabbis-refuse-to-sign-marriage-licenses-until-same-sex-couples-can-legally-wed
- 61% of Americans under the age of 50 believe that “gays and lesbians should have a constitutional right to get married and have their marriage recognized by law as valid.”
- Conversely, only 41% of those Americans “50 and older” believe that gays and lesbians should have a right to marry under the Constitution.
- For a discussion of some myths and facts of "Obamacare" please read: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2011/01/health_care_myths.html
- Repealing the federal health care bill (as US House Republicans have vowed to do) would cause the deficit to increase by $320 billion over ten years and leave 32 million people uninsured, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The Republican response? The CBO is entitled to ts opinion.
- There have been 4, 432 casualties in the Iraq war, with 2007 being the deadliest year for U.S. troops (as of January 8, 2011).
MINNESOTA'S REPUBLICAN-LED LEGISLATURE
- Within ten bills the House Republicans have shown themselves to be as pro-business we expected them to be. Here is a list of the first ten, read January 10, 2011 (see http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/cco/intros.asp?dateofintro=1/10/2011&session_year=2011&ls_year=87&session=0):
- A bill modifying "environmental review requirements"
- A bill for an act relating to the state budget; creating priority-based budget process*; establishing a sunset process for state agencies
- A bill to establish alternative teacher licensing
- A bill requiring a "reduction in the state workforce"
- A bill establishing a wage and benefit freeze for state employees
- A bill increasing the penalty for sexual criminal misconduct in the first degree (administrator note: why not all criminal sexual misconduct?)
- A bill abolishing certain local government mandates**
- A bill requiring the formation of a plan to redesign service delivery for lower-income MinnesotaCare enrollees
- A bill abolishing prohibition on issuing certificate of need for new nuclear power plant***
- A bill which reduces the tax burden of corporations
* see http://neighborhoodeffects.mercatus.org/2010/06/17/priority-based-budgeting-or-shoot-shoot-the-cocker-spaniel/
** repealing the requirement that school districts reserve revenue for staff in-service education; repealing the requirement that districts enter into a collective bargaining agreement on or before January 15 of even-numbered calendar years; repealing the law requiring a certain amount of revenue be used to reduce class sizes; etc. (administrator note: much of this is union-busting legislation aimed at Education Minnesota)
*** This is more commonly known as "lifting the moratorium" on nuclear power
"WAR ON DRUGS"
- "Past Month" use statistics for the population 18+: Any illicit drug ~ 11.8%; Marijuana ~ 9.4%; Non-medical use of a prescription drug ~ 3.7%; Alcohol use ~ 58.9%; BINGE ALCOHOL USE ~ 31%; HEAVY ALCOHOL USE ~ 9.8%; CIGARETTES ~ 31.4% (U.S. Census Bureau 2005)
- According to the FBI's Uniform Crime Report, 12.2% of the arrests made in 2008 were for "drug abuse violations." Of those, 89% were for possession, 44% for possession of marijuana.