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Archive for July 10th, 2010

GOP Rep: GOP Led by Demagogues

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 10th, 2010 4:49 am by HL

GOP Rep: GOP Led by Demagogues
Too many Republican leaders are acquiescing to a poisonous “demagoguery” that threatens the party’s long-term credibility, said Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.), a 12-year incumbent defeated in a GOP primary last month. “I think we have a lot of leaders that are following those (television and talk radio) personalities and not leading,” he said.


Late Late Night FDL: Who Put The Bomp

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 10th, 2010 4:48 am by HL

Late Late Night FDL: Who Put The Bomp
Geri and The AtricsWho Put The Bomp, from The Muppet Show.

Geri and The AtricsWho Put The Bomp, from The Muppet Show.

What’s on your mind?


BART Cop Convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 10th, 2010 4:47 am by HL

BART Cop Convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter
The Los Angeles jury hearing the case of the BART cop who killed an unarmed Oakland man on New Year’s Day 2009 went with the least serious of three possible charges, convicting the former officer of involuntary manslaughter. He faces two to four years in prison. —JCL Colorlines: Ex-BART cop Johannes Mehserle, charged with murder for shooting and killing the unarmed Oscar Grant on New Year’s Day 2009, has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. It is the least serious of the three charges against him and comes with a sentence of 2-4 years, though he can now petition for probation alone. Mehserle, a 28-year-old two-year vet with the BART police force, shot the 22-year-old Grant in the back while he lay face down on an outdoor BART train platform in Oakland. The shooting was caught on cell phone video that was widely distributed that night, igniting several nights of protests in Oakland. City officials have been frantically preparing for months for large scale protests that are now expected in the city tonight. Merhserle maintained throughout his trial that the shooting was a tragic accident, and that he meant to pull and fire his Taser, rather than his gun. Mehserle claimed that he confused the two weapons and that Grant and several friends who were also detained with him that night presented a dangerous threat to the police as they resisted arrest. The prosecution argued that it’s inconceivable that Mehserle could have accidentally fired his gun and that Grant had been fully complaint with police orders, thus presenting no threat. Read more

The Los Angeles jury hearing the case of the BART cop who killed an unarmed Oakland man on New Year’s Day 2009 went with the least serious of three possible charges, convicting the former officer of involuntary manslaughter. He faces two to four years in prison. —JCL

Colorlines:

Ex-BART cop Johannes Mehserle, charged with murder for shooting and killing the unarmed Oscar Grant on New Year’s Day 2009, has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. It is the least serious of the three charges against him and comes with a sentence of 2-4 years, though he can now petition for probation alone.

Mehserle, a 28-year-old two-year vet with the BART police force, shot the 22-year-old Grant in the back while he lay face down on an outdoor BART train platform in Oakland. The shooting was caught on cell phone video that was widely distributed that night, igniting several nights of protests in Oakland. City officials have been frantically preparing for months for large scale protests that are now expected in the city tonight.

Merhserle maintained throughout his trial that the shooting was a tragic accident, and that he meant to pull and fire his Taser, rather than his gun. Mehserle claimed that he confused the two weapons and that Grant and several friends who were also detained with him that night presented a dangerous threat to the police as they resisted arrest. The prosecution argued that it’s inconceivable that Mehserle could have accidentally fired his gun and that Grant had been fully complaint with police orders, thus presenting no threat.

Read more

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Iran Backs Away From Stoning Case
International support rallied around an Iranian woman, Sakineh Mohammadi Astiani, as she inched closer to death by stoning for her dubious conviction under anti-adultery laws. Now the Iranian government has announced Astiani will not be stoned, though they were unclear if her death sentence had been lifted. While this case holds a glimmer of hope for the regime’s treatment of women, 12 women and three men still face death by stoning in the country. —JCL The BBC: The authorities in Iran have announced that a woman convicted of adultery will not be stoned to death. But it is not clear whether they have lifted the death sentence against Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who has been in prison in Tabriz since 2006. The 43-year-old had already been punished with flogging for an “illicit relationship” outside marriage when another court tried her for adultery. There has been an international campaign to prevent her being stoned. Read more

International support rallied around an Iranian woman, Sakineh Mohammadi Astiani, as she inched closer to death by stoning for her dubious conviction under anti-adultery laws. Now the Iranian government has announced Astiani will not be stoned, though they were unclear if her death sentence had been lifted.

While this case holds a glimmer of hope for the regime’s treatment of women, 12 women and three men still face death by stoning in the country. —JCL

The BBC:

The authorities in Iran have announced that a woman convicted of adultery will not be stoned to death.

But it is not clear whether they have lifted the death sentence against Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who has been in prison in Tabriz since 2006.

The 43-year-old had already been punished with flogging for an “illicit relationship” outside marriage when another court tried her for adultery.

There has been an international campaign to prevent her being stoned.

Read more

Related Entries



Stephanie Schriock: Women Voters Will Choose Progress, Not Palin, This Election Cycle

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 10th, 2010 4:46 am by HL

Stephanie Schriock: Women Voters Will Choose Progress, Not Palin, This Election Cycle
Apparently Palin hopes that a sentimental video full of images of herself will be enough to make women rise up and support the team of backwards-looking, radical Republican women running this election cycle.

Jonathan Wilkins, Baptist Tabernacle Minister, Files Lawsuit To Overturn Georgia Church Gun Ban
ATLANTA — A minister in Georgia is challenging the state’s ban on guns in churches after the U.S. Supreme Court recently issued a decision supporting…

Richard (RJ) Eskow: Obama’s Vegas Blueprint: Create Jobs, Fight Banks, and Help Real Businesses
President Obama gave a major talk on the economic crisis today. While the choice of Las Vegas for its location might be considered ironic, given…

Michael Rugnetta: New Milestone in Genetic Testing
Here is my latest article on the first study published by a Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing company: Defining the Boundaries of Genetic Testing New Direct-to-Consumer Genetic…

America Needs A Nancy Pelosi-John Boehner Debate Like It Needs A Gaping Head Wound
If you get Pelosi and Boehner on television for a Presidential-style debate, the media will have a chance to pull out their dial ratings and after-action snap polls assessing things like “Who wore it best,” and “Who had the good zinger” — all the while studiously avoiding making the sort of coherent, substantive judgments of the the two competing governing philosophies and the actual merits of the policies on offer, which would be useful to actual humans. By all means, what the voters need right now is some sort of superfluous television event that will allow the media to indulge themselves in an orgiastic display of their worst instincts.


“Premier business newspaper” confuses “revenue” and “taxable income” to overstate scope of Superfund tax

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 10th, 2010 4:45 am by HL

“Premier business newspaper” confuses “revenue” and “taxable income” to overstate scope of Superfund tax

The Wall Street Journal editorial board falsely claimed that the Superfund tax on oil and chemical companies would target businesses “with over $2 million in revenue.” In fact, the tax would be applied to “the amount of a corporation’s modified alternative minimum taxable income that exceeds $2 million,” which is a measure of a corporation’s profits, not revenue.

Journal editorial claims Superfund tax targets businesses “with over $2 million in revenue”

From a July 8 Wall Street Journal editorial:

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has taken the highly unusual step of lobbying Congress to reinstate the Superfund tax that was imposed after a previous environmental disaster. The fund emerged in 1980 from the backwash of the Love Canal as the EPA’s pot of cash for decontaminating toxic waste sites. Ms. Jackson wants Congress to renew certain corporate taxes that lapsed in 1995, to the tune of about $19 billion over 10 years.

The Superfund tax targets oil, gas and chemical companies, but also any business with over $2 million in revenue, and it was never an Administration priority until the spill. Oregon Democrat Earl Blumenauer has a Superfund bill that will probably be folded into whatever spill response Congress passes later this summer.

In fact, the tax affects profits that exceed $2 million

“Superfund” taxes previously supported “cleanup trust fund” for hazardous waste sites.  As The Washington Post reported, the Superfund program was “first established 30 years ago to clean up sites around the country contaminated with hazardous waste.” The fund has been “facing a budget crunch,” in part because the taxes imposed ”on oil and chemical companies and certain other corporations” to support the “cleanup trust fund” expired in 1995. The Superfund program has been funded by general revenues in recent years, but this “has slowed the rate of cleanup,” according to the Post. In 2009, President Obama’s budget proposed reinstating the Superfund taxes, and this year the administration is again seeking to do so.

Proposal includes tax on “the amount of a corporation’s modified alternative minimum taxable income that exceeds $2 million.” Legislation proposed by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) would reinstate Superfund taxes including “a corporate income tax of 0.12 percent on the amount of a corporation’s modified alternative minimum taxable income that exceeds $2 million”:

Before 1995, the Superfund was financed by excise taxes of 9.7 cents per barrel on crude oil or refined oil products, excise taxes of $0.22 to $4.87 per ton on certain chemicals, and a corporate income tax of 0.12 percent on the amount of a corporation’s modified alternative minimum taxable income that exceeds $2 million.

The Superfund Reinvestment Act would reinstate the Superfund taxes on polluters to their previous levels. The revenue garnered from these taxes would be about $1.7 billion per year and $18.9 billion over 10 years

Tax applied to corporations’ “taxable profits,” not “revenue,” as the Journal claimed. As Dr. Eric Toder of the Tax Policy Center explained via email, the amount a corporation would pay for the Superfund tax is calculated from a “measure of a corporation’s taxable profits … less a $2 million exemption”:

Revenue is the gross sales receipts of the corporations.

Taxable income is based on profits, which is receipts less costs.  Cost includes wages, cost of goods sold (what is paid for inventory that has been sold), depreciation and interest.  The corporate income tax is calculated by multiplying the corporate tax rate by taxable income.

In 1986, Congress enacted a corporate alternative minimum tax (AMT).  Under the AMT, corporate profits tax liability is equal to the product of a lower tax rate and a broader measure of taxable income (alternative minimum taxable income or AMTI).  AMTI is calculated by adding back certain items of tax preference to taxable income.

So effectively the superfund tax is calculated by multiplying the superfund tax rate by a somewhat broader measure of a corporation’s taxable profits than is used for calculate the corporate income tax, less a $2 million exemption.

Wall Street Journal claim echoes Inhofe. In a June 22 hearing of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) stated that businesses “with over $2 million in revenue” would have to pay the tax. Later in the hearing, Inhofe was corrected by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ):

SEN. INHOFE: [M]any forget how broadly the Superfund tax applies. If you own a business with over 2 million in revenue, regardless of what you manufacture you would pay the tax. In other words, the Superfund tax is also a small business tax affecting thousands of such businesses across the country and their employees.

[…]

SEN. LAUTENBERG: Thanks. Just one correction, if I might, to my friend from Oklahoma, and that is that it wasn’t $2 million worth of revenue, it was $2 million worth of taxable income so that the revenue had to be substantially higher than that before a tax was imposed. (accessed via Nexis)


Two More Suspects Charged For Targeting CA Police In Connection With Booby Trapping Incidents

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 10th, 2010 4:43 am by HL

Two More Suspects Charged For Targeting CA Police In Connection With Booby Trapping Incidents
Two more suspects where charged today in connection with a series of booby trapping incidents over the past few months that have targeted police in Hemet, California.



PoliceLawLaw EnforcementUnited StatesCalifornia

Greer Suing Florida Republicans For $120K Severance Package
Former Florida GOP chair Jim Greer is, as you know, in legal hot water for allegedly using a shell company to skim money from the party, charges he pleaded not guilty to last week. But he’s also suing the Republican Party of Florida, demanding the severance package he says was promised to him when the party ousted him in January.


Florida RepublicansFloridaRepublicanJim GreerVictory Strategies


In This Article, I Show How Easy It Is For Peaceful People to Violate the Patriot Act and Face 15 Years in Jail

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 10th, 2010 4:40 am by HL

In This Article, I Show How Easy It Is For Peaceful People to Violate the Patriot Act and Face 15 Years in Jail
Give some advice to Hamas or al Qaeda about how they can peacefully achieve their objectives — and the Supreme Court might call it material aid.

Give some advice to Hamas or al Qaeda about how they can peacefully achieve their objectives — and the Supreme Court might call it material aid.

Wealthy Are Cashing in Huge, While Workers’ Salaries Keep Shrinking
Times are tough for workers in the U.S. where a recession has a stranglehold on much of the economy, but life is perfectly rosy for those at the top.

Times are tough for workers in the U.S. where a recession has a stranglehold on much of the economy, but life is perfectly rosy for those at the top.

Pfizer: The Drug Giant That Makes Bank from Drugs That Can Kill You
To say that Pfizer has been accused of wrongdoing is like saying BP had an oil spill.

To say that Pfizer has been accused of wrongdoing is like saying BP had an oil spill.


Another Twist in the Russian Spy Story

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 10th, 2010 4:39 am by HL

Another Twist in the Russian Spy Story
As I wrote a few days ago, I was informed that alleged Russian spy Mikhail Semenko had my business card. Turns out I had his information as well in my personal lap top and had hoped to meet him before…


RussiaEspionageMikhail SemenkoUnited StatesBusiness

Liberal-Libertarian Breakthrough
I’ve been writing for a while on the possibility of a Liberal-Libertarian coalition on issues like our imperial overstretch, This morning Reps. Barney Frank and Ron Paul have written a very strong piece in the Huffington Post on this very…


Ron PaulBarney FrankHuffington PostUnited StatesPolitics


The LiberalOasis Radio Show: Actual Scott Brown Sighting Edition

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 10th, 2010 4:38 am by HL

The LiberalOasis Radio Show: Actual Scott Brown Sighting Edition

The latest LiberalOasis Radio Show podcast is up, with myself, Traci Olsen discussing the week ahead in jobs and climate, if the Tea Party will die out, and the new Liz Phair download-only album. Plus, Sen. Scott Brown meets Traci’s daughter.

You can download the podcast at these links: (iTunes / XML feed / MP3).


Rep. Steve King has not participated in a formal debate since he was elected.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 10th, 2010 4:37 am by HL

Rep. Steve King has not participated in a formal debate since he was elected.
Right wing leader Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has built a policy platform on unfounded and radical assertions. On immigration: Deport a liberal. On health care reform: Maybe opponents should secede. On employment discrimination: Stop wearing your sexuality on your sleeve. Despite the outlandishness of his policy solutions, King himself has never had to answer for […]

king-debateRight wing leader Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has built a policy platform on unfounded and radical assertions. On immigration: Deport a liberal. On health care reform: Maybe opponents should secede. On employment discrimination: Stop wearing your sexuality on your sleeve. Despite the outlandishness of his policy solutions, King himself has never had to answer for them in a formal debate since his election in 2003. But his 2010 challenger Matt Campbell (D) called out the incumbent yesterday and invited him to an “issue-oriented debate.” Citing debate as a “lynchpin” of democracy and an “obligation” of elected officials, Campbell says King’s participation is “long overdue”:

King has never formally debated an opponent since he’s been elected, and Campbell says it’s long overdue for King to respect the American democratic process.

“It’s long overdue for King to respect the American democratic process,” Campbell says.

Campbell elaborates, “The 5th District Congressional race should contain issue-oriented debate as a discussion of the issues between candidates is a lynchpin of healthy American democracy. It’s an obligation of those that hold or seek elected office, and Americans expect it.

“My grandfathers both served in World War II and while they both were Republicans they would find it appalling that King has disrespected the process and not formally debated an opponent since he’s been elected to Congress. This is America, not Russia,” Campbell says.

Campbell has issued a formal debate prospectus to King and requested a response date of August 10th so the debates and venues could be determined.