AT&T promises new jobs, gets tax break — cuts thousands of jobs!

AT&T Liar-in-ChiefBloomberg/Getty

❝ AT&T in November 2017 pushed for the corporate tax cut by promising to invest an additional $1 billion in 2018, with CEO Randall Stephenson saying that “every billion dollars AT&T invests is 7,000 hard-hat jobs. These are not entry-level jobs. These are 7,000 jobs of people putting fiber in ground, hard-hat jobs that make $70,000 to $80,000 per year.”

❝ The corporate tax cut was subsequently passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump on December 22, 2017. The tax cut reportedly gave AT&T an extra $3 billion in cash in 2018.

But AT&T cut capital spending and kept laying people off after the tax cut. A union analysis of AT&T’s publicly available financial statements “shows the telecom company eliminated 23,328 jobs since the Tax Cut and Jobs Act passed in late 2017, including nearly 6,000 in the first quarter of 2019,” the Communications Workers of America (CWA) said…

AT&T’s only expansion in total workforce came from acquisition of Time-Warner and two smaller companies. The existing workforce was cut.

2012 Presidential Debate Drinking Game

The Mitt Romney/Barack Obama debates are finally here – which means it’s time for the 2012 Presidential Debate Drinking Games! So stock up on your favorite beverages, follow us on Twitter and check back here before each debate to drink along with us.

These were the rules for last night – Debate #1

Select a candidate to drink to:

It doesn’t have to be the person you plan to vote for – in fact it’s often more fun if it isn’t. If you are at a party, try assigning candidates randomly to the guests.

Take a drink* every time your candidate says anything on his list

If you are drinking to Barack Obama: the words may include millionaires, let me be clear, General Motors, middle class

If you are drinking to Mitt Romney: the words may include unemployment, ObamaCare, job creators, private sector

You can participate and socialize on Twitter with other players…and check back in a couple days for details on the Biden/Ryan – Vice Presidential Debate Drinking Game!

What TV pundits could possibly offer this much chemical aid to survive American politics.

Thanks, Ursarodinia

Abbas wants more than U.S. slogans about statehood

Israelis continue demolition of Palestinian homes in the West Bank
Daylife/Demotix Images used by permission

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday U.S. support for Palestinian statehood had yet to move beyond “slogans.”

Abbas said views in the United States and Europe had started to shift in favor of the Palestinians but expressed frustration at recent U.S. opposition to the idea of taking the quest for statehood to the U.N. Security Council.

“The world has started to change. Europe has started to change and America has started to change,” said Abbas, whose administration depends on political and financial backing from the United States and the European Union.

“True, it is still at the stage of slogans, such as ‘We support the two-state solution’ and ‘the establishment of a Palestinian state is in the vital national security interest of the United States’,” he added in a speech to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat…

Abbas, while reiterating his commitment to negotiations, has said the Palestinians are studying alternatives to the two-decade “peace process” if it fails.

One idea is to go to the U.N. Security Council to secure international recognition for a Palestinian state. The United States, Abbas said, had described such a move as a unilateral action — a view echoed in Israel…

Obama, in an address to the U.N. General Assembly in September, said success could lead to an agreement that would allow a sovereign state of Palestine to join the United Nations next year. The remark was widely covered by Arab media.

Abbas, talking about Obama’s remark, said: “I hope this is not just a slogan and when the time comes he says ‘We are sorry we could not (do it). Leave it for next year.’

All the while you said this in the United Nations, this is a promise and a debt around your neck and it must be realized so that Palestine becomes a full member state of the United Nations,” he said.

I fear that this debt of Obama’s has about as much chance of being paid as his debts to American workers, the gay community, parents, children and educators. Half-measures and tactics more appropriate to Harvard tea party conflicts.

His essential framework remains locked with within the cowardly strictures of a Democratic Party that hasn’t changed foreign policy anywhere in the world since the days of Harry Truman and Golda Meir.

Berlusconi needs 6 lapdancers to “perform” during visit to Brazil

One of Berlusconi’s favorite hookers, Patrizia D’Addario. Handcuffs?
Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, invited six lapdancers to entertain him in his hotel during an official visit to Brazil, according to reports.

The 73-year-old Italian leader reportedly watched a private exhibition of lap and pole dancing…during a trip which included meetings with Brazilian businessmen and the country’s president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

The women were reportedly paid around £900 and promised jobs as showgirls and starlets on Italian television channels owned by Mr Berlusconi…

But one of the dancers, Alexandra Valenca, 28, said her performance in front of the billionaire prime minister included an erotic lap dance…

Miss Valenca, whose website promotes her as a “pole dancing pioneer” in Brazil and shows numerous photos of her performing in a bikini, said she danced for about 12 minutes and then left the dinner.

But the party with the other women continued, she said, with dining tables loaded with bottles of wine, sparkling Spumante and plates of Italian cheese, ham and salami…

“It was in this setting that a brief folklore spectacle was organised, with the participation of some Brazilian artists.”

If you have a problem with erectile dysfunction, I imagine it could take six beautiful showgirls lapdancing before you might be up for that old Italian folklore spectacle – called “hide the salami”.

In practice, you actually get what you voted for

If you think candidates never keep their promises and will say anything to get elected, you’re certainly not alone. And you’re not right, either.

The perception is largely untrue, says Tracy Sulkin, a University of Illinois political scientist, who has conducted an extensive study, apparently the first of its kind, comparing the campaign ads and legislative records of recent congressional officeholders.

Candidates’ words generally match their deeds, according to Sulkin. The issues candidates say are priorities in their commercials are likely ones they care about and will take action on through the introduction and co-sponsoring of legislation, she said.

Whether they are vague or specific on an issue doesn’t matter, Sulkin found. “There turn out to be no differences in subsequent activity among people who just say they care about an issue and people who lay out a specific plan. … Specificity, which we seem overly concerned about, isn’t actually a signal that you care more about the issue,” she said.

My problem is the schmucks I didn’t vote for – who were elected, anyway – always deliver the misery they promised.