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Archive for March 10th, 2010

Late Late Night FDL: While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 10th, 2010 5:52 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: While My Guitar Gently Weeps
George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Phil Collins and Elton JohnWhile My Guitar Gently Weeps at the Prince’s Trust Concert, 1986.

George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Phil Collins and Elton JohnWhile My Guitar Gently Weeps at the Prince’s Trust Concert, 1986.

What’s on your mind?

Tags: Elton John, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, late late nite firedoglake, live music, phil collins, prince’s trust concert, ringo starr, while my guitar gently weeps, YouTube

That’s not going to help you get into Costa Rica
Limbaugh had more than just health care to be pinheaded and ridiculous about yesterday…no he had to add his special touch of racism.

Rush JigglesWell, apparently, Rush Limbaugh is getting ticked off he’s no longer the only worm-filled apple in the right-wing paranoid’s eye. No, it’s time to say some stupid sh*t that at least gets you in the news and allows your greek chorus of listeners to shriek “dittos” through their sheets in glee.

Not content to threaten (promise) to leave America if it enacts slightly less profitable health care, he threatens to leave for a country with a single-payer system. Well, that’s just stupid and pointless, i.e. par for the restricted-golf course.

But that’s not stupid enough, nor racist enough, for ol’ Flatulence. He’s determined to crank up the stupidity. And who better to take out his frustrations on than a black guy? Speculating about New York Governor David Patterson…

David Paterson will become the massa…who gets to appoint whoever gets to take Massa’s place. So, for the first time in his life, Paterson’s gonna be a massa. Interesting, interesting.

“Massa”? Wow, real subtle. KKKlassy even.

That tripe won’t play well on your immigration paperwork.

(Gif from here)

Early Morning Swim: Special Glenn Beck Humiliated on National Teevee Edition

Tags: Early Morning Swim, Glenn Beck



Liz Cheney Edition

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 10th, 2010 5:51 am by HL

Liz Cheney Edition
Today on the list: Why Liz Cheney’s fear mongering is blowing up in her face, how Florida plans to de-gay Hollywood and why books are overrated. On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies. The links below open in a new window. Newer ones are on top. Calling All Rebels Brace yourself. The American empire is over. And the descent is going to be horrifying. What Are They Waiting for? Whither Financial Reforms? Fears of A Second Crash Are Real but Congress Lacks “Appetite” for Action… Shows with gay characters could lose Florida tax credits Florida lawmakers are considering a “family friendly” bill that would deny tax credits to films and television shows with gay characters in favor of those promoting traditional values. Liz Cheney’s Fearmongering Campaign Against Terror Trial Lawyers Blows up in Her Face Conservatives are criticizing Liz Cheney’s ugly ad portraying Obama’s DOJ as an extension of al Qaeda. Is it partly because the DOJ has given them little to complain about? ON BOOK DESIGN, KINDLE, ETC. As the publishing industry wobbles and Kindle sales jump, book romanticists cry themselves to sleep. But really, what are we shedding tears over? Economics Is on the Verge of a Golden Age Progress in any science depends on a combination of improved observation, measurement, and techniques. On Going Viral at the (Virtual) MLA Recently, I’ve had to come to grips with the fact that I’ve quite likely peaked. The paper that I was supposed to read at the 2009 Modern Language Association’s convention went viral. … Are bloggers more ethical than magazines in correcting errors? The new CJR survey on the practices of magazine Web sites (read it here!) contains lots of interesting information, but one of the most striking nuggets relates to online correction policies. … Variety Will Kill a Bad Review of Your ‘Mediocre’ Movie For Just $400,000 Joshua Newton, the director of Iron Cross, forced Variety to spike a critical review of his film from the web because he’d purchased a $400,000 Oscar campaign in the paper. But that wasn’t enough—now he’s considering suing.

Today on the list: Why Liz Cheney’s fear mongering is blowing up in her face, how Florida plans to de-gay Hollywood and why books are overrated.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

The links below open in a new window. Newer ones are on top.


Calling All Rebels
Brace yourself. The American empire is over. And the descent is going to be horrifying.

What Are They Waiting for?
Whither Financial Reforms? Fears of A Second Crash Are Real but Congress Lacks “Appetite” for Action…

Shows with gay characters could lose Florida tax credits
Florida lawmakers are considering a “family friendly” bill that would deny tax credits to films and television shows with gay characters in favor of those promoting traditional values.

Liz Cheney’s Fearmongering Campaign Against Terror Trial Lawyers Blows up in Her Face
Conservatives are criticizing Liz Cheney’s ugly ad portraying Obama’s DOJ as an extension of al Qaeda. Is it partly because the DOJ has given them little to complain about?

ON BOOK DESIGN, KINDLE, ETC.
As the publishing industry wobbles and Kindle sales jump, book romanticists cry themselves to sleep. But really, what are we shedding tears over?

Economics Is on the Verge of a Golden Age
Progress in any science depends on a combination of improved observation, measurement, and techniques.

On Going Viral at the (Virtual) MLA
Recently, I’ve had to come to grips with the fact that I’ve quite likely peaked. The paper that I was supposed to read at the 2009 Modern Language Association’s convention went viral. …

Are bloggers more ethical than magazines in correcting errors?
The new CJR survey on the practices of magazine Web sites (read it here!) contains lots of interesting information, but one of the most striking nuggets relates to online correction policies. …

Variety Will Kill a Bad Review of Your ‘Mediocre’ Movie For Just $400,000
Joshua Newton, the director of Iron Cross, forced Variety to spike a critical review of his film from the web because he’d purchased a $400,000 Oscar campaign in the paper. But that wasn’t enough—now he’s considering suing.

Related Entries



Obama More Popular Than Congress, According To Ap-GfK Poll

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 10th, 2010 5:50 am by HL

Obama More Popular Than Congress, According To Ap-GfK Poll
WASHINGTON — Americans have come to detest Congress ever more deeply as it nears the end of a nasty fight over health care. But more…

Dave Johnson: Cost Of Tax Cuts Catching Up To Us
The consequences of decades of cutbacks are arriving. The rest of the world leaps ahead of us. It’s not going to get any better until we start asking corporations and the wealthy to pitch in and pay back

Grayson Offers Medicare Buy-In Bill, Makes Impassioned Speech (VIDEO)
When Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) first became a father, his health insurance company refused to pay for the birth of the child, and Grayson had…

Obama: ‘Bounty Hunters’ Will Help Fight Health Care Fraud With Computer Audits
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama said Tuesday he’ll bring in high-tech bounty hunters to help root out health care fraud, grabbing a populist idea with…

‘Granny D’ Dead: Doris Haddock, Campaign Finance Reform Activist, Dies At 100
DUBLIN, N.H. (AP)– A New Hampshire woman who was known as Granny D and walked across the country a decade ago to publicize the need…


O’Reilly, Dobbs wrong that undocumented immigrants don’t pay taxes

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 10th, 2010 5:49 am by HL

O’Reilly, Dobbs wrong that undocumented immigrants don’t pay taxes

On the March 9 edition of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, host Bill O’Reilly and former CNN host Lou Dobbs suggested that undocumented immigrants “dodge taxes,” with O’Reilly asserting that the notion that they pay taxes is “crap.” In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office and the Social Security Administration, undocumented immigrants pay all kinds of taxes, including individual income, sales, property, and social security taxes.

O’Reilly: “You know it’s crap” that undocumented immigrants pay taxes

From the March 9 edition of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor:

DOBBS: I think people have to understand clearly and unequivocally that this is not a substitute for border security, nor port security. We still have to survey what is happening with cargo being brought into this country. We still have responsibility for the security of our borders.

O’REILLY: Right. But it’s getting better down on the southern border. I mean, that fence is working, and partially due to the economy, there are much fewer aliens. But, look, here’s the big deal on this ID card: the money that would come in to the U.S. Treasury would be enormous because you can’t dodge taxes anymore. You can’t get paid off the books anymore —

DOBBS: Bill, what are you talking about?

O’REILLY: — you know.

DOBBS: All of the open borders advocates — all of the unconditional amnesty advocates say that illegal immigrants are already paying taxes.

O’REILLY: No, that’s all talk. You know it’s crap.

In fact, undocumented immigrants do pay taxes

CBO: “[I]mmigrants pay individual income, sales, and property taxes.” In a December 2007 report detailing the impact of undocumented immigrants on the budgets of local and state governments, CBO found that “[a]ccording to available estimates,” there were about “12 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States” at the time and “those immigrants pay individual income, sales, and property taxes.” CBO further reported that “the IRS estimates that about 6 million unauthorized immigrants file individual income tax returns each year. Other researchers estimate that between 50 percent and 75 percent of unauthorized immigrants pay federal, state, and local taxes.”

From the CBO report [footnotes omitted]:

According to available estimates, there are about 12 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States. Federal, state, and local governments spend public funds that benefit those immigrants, and those immigrants pay individual income, sales, and property taxes. Most available studies conclude that the unauthorized population pays less in state and local taxes than it costs state and local governments to provide services to that population. However, those estimates have significant limitations; they are not a suitable basis for developing an aggregate national effect across all states.

CBO also stated:

Data from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) suggest that some unauthorized immigrants use false or fraudulently obtained Social Security numbers (SSNs) to satisfy paperwork requirements during the hiring process and that employers use those numbers to withhold federal, state, and local income and payroll taxes for employees. Workers who do not qualify for SSNs can use Individual Tax Identification Numbers issued by the IRS to file tax returns, make payments, and apply for refunds. Although there are no reliable data on unauthorized immigrants’ rate of compliance with tax laws, the IRS estimates that about 6 million unauthorized immigrants file individual income tax returns each year. Other researchers estimate that between 50 percent and 75 percent of unauthorized immigrants pay federal, state, and local taxes. For example:

The SSA assumes that about half of unauthorized immigrants pay Social Security taxes.

Several of the states whose estimates CBO reviewed used a model developed by the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) to determine state and local taxes paid by unauthorized immigrants. ITEP assumes a 50 percent compliance rate for income and payroll taxes.

Researchers from the Urban Institute, the Migration Policy Institute, the Pew Hispanic Center, and the Center for Immigration Studies have assumed a 55 percent compliance rate for income, Social Security, and Medicare taxes.

As part of a larger study on migration, the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California at San Diego conducted a survey of unauthorized immigrants and found that, in 2006, 75 percent had taxes withheld from their paychecks, filed tax returns, or both.

SSA: “Among illegal immigrants, SSA actuaries currently assume that about half actually pay social security taxes.” In a December 2005 brief by the Social Security Advisory Board on immigration, the section examining the impact of immigration effects on social security finances stated that “[a]mong illegal immigrants, SSA actuaries currently assume that about half actually pay social security taxes although they are very unlikely to collect benefits.”

CBPP: “[U]nauthorized immigrants paid as much as $13 billion in Social Security payroll taxes in 2007.” In a November 2008 piece summarizing a report on immigration by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, senior fellow Paul N. Van de Water wrote that, according to Stephen Goss, Social Security’s chief actuary, “unauthorized immigrants paid as much as $13 billion in Social Security payroll taxes in 2007. About $1 billion in benefit payments were made based on unauthorized work.”

From Van de Water’s November 20, 2008, post:

The presence of unauthorized (undocumented) workers in the United States also has a positive effect on the financial status of Social Security. The earnings of unauthorized workers are less likely to be reported for tax purposes than the earnings of the rest of the population and even less likely to result in future benefits, according to Social Security’s chief actuary.  Although the magnitudes cannot be precisely determined, the actuary has estimated that unauthorized immigrants paid as much as $13 billion in Social Security payroll taxes in 2007.  About $1 billion in benefit payments were made based on unauthorized work (for example, survivor benefits paid to U.S. citizens who were dependents of deceased individuals who had made payments into the Social Security system while performing unauthorized work).  Thus, undocumented immigrants improved Social Security’s cash flow by an estimated $12 billion in 2007.

The New York Times also reported in an April 2005 article: ” ‘Our assumption is that about three-quarters of other-than-legal immigrants pay payroll taxes,’ said Stephen C. Goss, Social Security’s chief actuary, using the agency’s term for illegal immigration.”

Dobbs’ long history of immigration misinformation

Dobbs has a long history of spreading immigration information and conspiracy theories. He has routinely discussed the North American Union conspiracy theory, incorrectly claimed that undocumented immigrants drain social services and don’t pay taxes, and repeatedly amplified the falsehood that undocumented immigrants are disproportionately violent. He has been an unrepentant purveyor of hateful attacks, fraudulently claiming, for example, that immigrants are spreading leprosy and seek to reconquer the southwestern United States. And in 2009, he legitimized the thoroughly debunked birther conspiracy theory concerning the authenticity of President Obama’s birth certificate.


Presented By:

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 10th, 2010 5:48 am by HL

Presented By:

Gibbs Calmly Takes Down Massa Over Allegations Of Dem Plot (VIDEO)
With former Rep. Eric Massa appearing on Glenn Beck tonight and slinging charges of a Democratic conspiracy to force him out of Congress, Robert Gibbs blasted Massa this morning for making “crazy allegations.”

All The Tea In China: Conservative Activists Gather At Hunan Dynasty For Anti-Reform Press Conference
A coalition of Tea Party groups will gather in a Chinese restaurant on Capitol Hill tonight to announce plans for one final Washington showdown over health-care reform.



Palin’s Hand Jive

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 10th, 2010 5:43 am by HL

Palin’s Hand Jive


Paterson Plunge Levels Off

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 10th, 2010 5:42 am by HL

Paterson Plunge Levels Off
A new Quinnipiac poll finds New York Gov. David Paterson’s (D) plunge in approval rating has bottomed out as voters now disapprove by a 61% to 21% margin of the job he is doing, identical to results from last Friday.

Voters say 50% to 39% that Paterson should serve until the end of his term on December 31 rather than resign.

Said pollster Maurice Carroll: “It’s hardly a vote of confidence, but the should-he-stay or should-he-go number edged up a trifle in the Governor’s favor.”

Huckabee Holds Very Early Lead in Iowa
A Right Way Marketing survey in Iowa found Mike Huckabee leading among Republican presidential hopefuls with 21%, followed by Mitt Romney at 14% and Sarah Palin at 12%.

However, 52% of Republican voters are still undecided.


Billionaires and Mega-Corporations Behind Immense Land Grab in Africa

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 10th, 2010 5:41 am by HL

Billionaires and Mega-Corporations Behind Immense Land Grab in Africa
20+ African countries are selling or leasing land for intensive agriculture on a shocking scale in what may be the greatest change of ownership since the colonial era.

20+ African countries are selling or leasing land for intensive agriculture on a shocking scale in what may be the greatest change of ownership since the colonial era.

Is There Really a Backlash Against Casual Sex?
According to a spate of recent articles, a new sexual conservatism is on the rise. But is it really that simple?

According to a spate of recent articles, a new sexual conservatism is on the rise. But is it really that simple?

"Diary of a Disgraced Soldier": Can Art Save the Life of a Veteran Battling PTSD?
Martin Webster was arrested after he filmed fellow soldiers beating up Iraqis. A new film reveals how he went from being "designed to kill" to saving his humanity.

Martin Webster was arrested after he filmed fellow soldiers beating up Iraqis. A new film reveals how he went from being "designed to kill" to saving his humanity.


The Real Hope Of Economic Peace

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 10th, 2010 5:40 am by HL

The Real Hope Of Economic Peace
Everybody knows the core issues between Israelis and Palestinians, except for the one that will matter the most and can be acted on immediately, before any comprehensive deal; the one where Israel’s concessions will not compromise its security but enhance…


IsraelMiddle EastWest BankEast JerusalemGaza Strip

Amtrak Censors Research on Racist Attacks on Government Elites
So I’m riding on the train taking advantage of Amtrak’s wifi service. I’m doing some googling searches and get the following response: Oops! You can’t visit this site because it contains content belonging to the category of: Intolerance & Hate…


AmtrakUnited StatesGovernmentAgenciesIndependent

Election Sneak Preview
Barack Obama took off the gloves yesterday and gave Republicans and wavering Democrats a sneak preview of the fall election campaign. Appearing before 1,800 students and other members of the public at Arcadia University, just outside Philadelphia, Mr. Obama cast…



Barack ObamaArcadia UniversityUnited StatesPresidentPhiladelphia


34 Of 41 Senate Republicans Supported Passing Major Domestic Policy Legislation Through Reconciliation

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 10th, 2010 5:39 am by HL

34 Of 41 Senate Republicans Supported Passing Major Domestic Policy Legislation Through Reconciliation
As the outlook on passage of health reform improves, Republicans have shifted to a new obstructionist strategy: attacking the process of reconciliation. Republicans claim that reconciliation was only intended to be used for bills dealing closely with the budget. In fact, when Republicans were in power, GOP lawmakers used reconciliation numerous times to pass major […]

As the outlook on passage of health reform improves, Republicans have shifted to a new obstructionist strategy: attacking the process of reconciliation. Republicans claim that reconciliation was only intended to be used for bills dealing closely with the budget. In fact, when Republicans were in power, GOP lawmakers used reconciliation numerous times to pass major domestic policy legislation, including the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 and important changes to health care policy. In fact, 34 of the 41 Senate Republicans have used reconciliation in the past to pass major pieces of domestic policy.

In 2005, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) famously defended reconciliation as “majority rules.” Think Progress has compiled a video of some of these 34 senators who have, in the past, defended reconciliation and railed against the filibuster. Some highlights:

– “If you’ve got 51 votes for your position, you win.” — Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH), 3/15/05

– “For some time, I hoped that my colleagues who oppose reform would allow a majority in both bodies to prevail and do what the vast majority of the American public desires.” — Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), 10/15/99

– “It [the filibuster] is the product of a rule of the Senate passed many years after the ratification of the Constitution. This rule does not derive from the authority of the Constitution.” — Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO), 5/19/05

– “Filibusters are neither an idea of the founding fathers nor a historical tradition of the Senate.” — Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), 4/27/05

Watch it:

The full list of Senate Republicans who have used reconciliation to pass major domestic policy, as well as a list of those pieces of legislation can be found after the jump:

Major domestic policy legislation that these 34 Senators have voted for through reconciliation in the past 20 years: Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989, Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990, Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, Balanced Budget Act of 1995, Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, Balanced Budget Act of 1997, Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, Taxpayer Refund and Relief Act of 1999, Marriage Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2000, Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003, Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005, College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007



Senator State Senator State
Lamar Alexander Tennessee Judd Gregg New Hampshire
John Barrasso Wyoming Orrin Hatch Utah
Robert Bennett Utah Kay Bailey Hutchison Texas
Christopher Bond Montana James Inhofe Oklahoma
Sam Brownback Kansas Johnny Isakson Georgia
Jim Bunning Kentucky Jon Kyl Arizona
Richard Burr North Carolina Richard Lugar Indiana
Tom Coburn Oklahoma John McCain Arizona
Susan Collins Maine Mitch McConnell Kentucky
Bob Corker Tennessee Lisa Murkowski Alaska
John Cornyn Texas Pat Roberts Kansas
Mike Crapo Idaho Jeff Sessions Alabama
James DeMint Sourth Carolina Richard Shelby Alabama
John Ensign Nevada Olympia Snowe Maine
Mike Enzi Wyoming John Thune South Dakota
Lindsey Graham South Carolina David Vitter Louisiana
Chuck Grassley Iowa George Voinovich Ohio