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Archive for March 8th, 2011

Keeping it classy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 8th, 2011 5:47 am by HL

Keeping it classy
I guess the idea of bombing people is a real knee slapper for the “serious” people.

pic via iasfmedia at flickr.com

You’d think a few days after having to apologize for bombing nine young boys to death, and after a decade of dealing death from the skies we’d have acquired the ability to not be so glib about such things:

“Welcome back, sir,” Petraeus said to Gates. This is Gates’ 13th trip to Afghanistan as Secretary of Defense.

The two men began walking.

“You returning to normal, you gonna launch some attacks on Libya or something?” Petreaus joked to Gates.

“Yeah, exactly,” Gates joked back.

But then there’s no real price to be paid for laughing about the deaths of others so a few Americans can feel better about themselves.


The American Inquisition of 2011

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 8th, 2011 5:46 am by HL

The American Inquisition of 2011
Rep. Peter King is about to convene hearings whose premise offends our nation’s founding ideals and whose targets are law-abiding members of a religious minority. King has decided to investigate Islam. By Eugene Robinson

Rep. Peter King is about to convene hearings whose premise offends our nation’s founding ideals and whose targets are law-abiding members of a religious minority. King has decided to investigate Islam.


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Child Killed In Arizona Shooting Honored With Charity Baseball Game

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 8th, 2011 5:45 am by HL

Child Killed In Arizona Shooting Honored With Charity Baseball Game
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O’Reilly’s Gas Price Conspiracy Theory Is Just Hot Air

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 8th, 2011 5:44 am by HL

O’Reilly’s Gas Price Conspiracy Theory Is Just Hot Air

Bill O’Reilly pushed speculation that President Obama may be conspiring to keep the price of oil high in order to receive more federal revenue from “taxes at the pump.” In fact, the federal fuel tax is assessed at a per-gallon rate regardless of the price at the pump.

O’Reilly Suggests Federal Government Receives More “Taxes At The Pump” When Prices Increase

O’Reilly: Obama May Want High Gas Prices In Order To Receive More Revenue From “Taxes At The Pump.” From the March 7 edition of The O’Reilly Factor:

O’REILLY: The higher gas at the pump is, the more federal dollars, yeah, the more money the feds get. So I mean they’re — so I mean some cynical people are going, look Obama doesn’t want the price to go down because Washington is getting more money from the taxes at the pump. [Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor3/07/11]

In Fact, Federal Taxes At The Pump Do Not Increase When Prices Rise

EIA: Federal Motor Fuel Tax Is 18.4 “Cents Per Gallon” For Motor Gasoline. The Energy Information Administration’s chart on current “Federal and State Motor Fuels Taxes (Cents per Gallon)” lists the Federal tax rate for “Motor Gasoline” as 18.40 Cents per Gallon. [U.S. Energy Information Administration, March 2011]

Federal Excise Tax Is The Same “No Matter The Price At The Pump.” From FactCheck.org:

Federal taxes are a flat 18.4 cents per gallon of regular gasoline, no matter the price at the pump. [FactCheck.org, 4/11/08]


TPM Investigates: Army Tries To Rein In Rampant Afghan Fuel Theft

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 8th, 2011 5:43 am by HL

TPM Investigates: Army Tries To Rein In Rampant Afghan Fuel Theft
The U.S. Army is getting rid of its “pen and paper” and “string and stick” method of tracking fuel use in Afghanistan after nearly a decade of mismanagement, theft and fraud resulting in what is likely hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars in lost fuel, some of which is sold on the black market and has ended up in Taliban hands. The highest levels of the U.S. military have deep concerns about the rampant robbery, and the U.S. Army this week is beginning to implement, base by base in Afghanistan, a computerized accounting system aimed at making it easier to track the disappearing fuel.

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Boycott Koch Products

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 8th, 2011 5:40 am by HL

Boycott Koch Products
As the Koch brothers cheesy little autocrat Scott Walker sinks in the polls, taking the GOP with him, and the Koch astroturf group Americans For Prosperity shows their contempt for the average Wisconsinite, and desperation, by dragging in dimbulb Joe the Plumber to call the Madison protestors commies (who pays attention to this idiot anyway?), […]


Barbour Staffs Up

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 8th, 2011 5:38 am by HL

Barbour Staffs Up
Former RNC communications director Jim Dyke has signed on with Mississippi Gov.Haley Barbour’s (R) political action committee, “a major signing in the below-the-radar fight for staff talent in advance of the 2012 GOP presidential primary fight,” the Washington Post reports.

“Dyke’s hiring is the clearest signal yet that Barbour will run for president in 2012. He has said he plans no formal decision until the Mississippi legislature adjourns in April.”


Whose ‘Solidarity’?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 8th, 2011 5:37 am by HL

Whose ‘Solidarity’?
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VIDEO: Rep. Louie Gohmert Enthusiastically Defends Corporate Tax Cheats

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 8th, 2011 5:36 am by HL

VIDEO: Rep. Louie Gohmert Enthusiastically Defends Corporate Tax Cheats

At the Tea Party Patriots Policy Summit in Phoenix last Saturday, ThinkProgress spoke to several Republicans about their views behind efforts by US-UnCut to make tax-dodging corporations pay their fair share. As we have reported, Bank of America, CitiGroup, ExxonMobil, GE, Boeing, and other highly profitable American companies have found ways to avoid paying a single dime in corporate income taxes.

One of the lawmakers we spoke to, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), gave a robust defense of corporate tax dodgers. Asked why so many corporations avoid paying any taxes, Gohmert refused to believe the well-documented phenomenon. He later said that some businesses gain favorable tax treatment using political donations. We pressed Gohmert on that point, asking if he would open a congressional inquiry into the subject. He demurred, and repeatedly explained that he would “rather” just “get rid” of corporate income taxes altogether:

FANG: This weekend is actually the start of what some liberals are calling the progressive Tea Party […] one of their key concerns is that corporations, in this time of austerity, aren’t paying their fair share. What they’re saying is, ExxonMobil, Bank of America, CitiGroup, GE, they aren’t paying any corporate income taxes. They’re using offshore bank accounts. Like for example, Bank of America in 2009 paid nothing in corporate income taxes. What do you think of that?

GOHMERT: Well I think when it comes to corporate income tax, people have been misled into thinking that corporations actually pay those. If you find a corporation paying income tax, they either pass those onto their consumers, whoever buys their service or product. If a corporation doesn’t pass that cost onto people like us, they can’t stay in business. So one of the things I’ve been advocating is completely doing away with the income tax […]

FANG: ExxonMobil isnt very friendly to Obama, but they paid nothing in corporate income taxes in 2009. Do you think that’s too much?

GOHMERT: Well I think it’d be fair if all corporations didn’t have to pay that. […] So I haven’t looked at Exxon’s income tax. If they aren’t paying what they’re supposed to, then I’m sure Eric Holder, who doesn’t mind avoiding enforcing the law if it helps his people support him, then he goes after people tooth and nail who don’t, he’d go after them.

FANG: Would you call for inquiry into some of these corporations that are paying nothing, like GE, like Bank of America, like ExxonMobil, using loopholes–

GOHMERT: The Justice Department will do anything they can to help GE–

FANG: Can’t you counter that? Your party is in power in Congress, can’t you force […] Well at least in the House, can you call for hearings to force these corporations, GE, Bank of America, ExxonMobil, to pay their taxes, to pay their fair share?

GOHMERT: What I’d rather do is get rid of corporate income tax so that we can bring back all those manufacturing, steel, rubber, all these things that have gone to other countries because of a 35% corporate income tax.

Watch it:

Approached with a similar line of questioning by ThinkProgress, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) echoed Gohmert and called for less corporate taxes. However, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), a staunch conservative attending the same event, said that CitiGroup “broke the law” by refusing to pay corporate income taxes.

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Scott Brown Begs David Koch For Money

At the public dedication of MIT’s David H. Koch Integrative Cancer Institute last Friday, Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) effusively thanked conservative billionaire David Koch for supporting his election in 2010 and made a plea for help in his re-election campaign next year. David Koch directly gave the National Republican Senatorial Committee $30,400 in November 2009, and the Koch Industries PAC threw in $15,000 to NRSC plus $5,000 more directly to Brown right before Brown’s special election. In the following exchange, Brown thanks Koch and his wife Julia (off-camera) for their support, saying “I can certainly use it again”:

BROWN: Your support during the election, it meant a ton. It made a difference and I can certainly use it again. Obviously, the –

KOCH: When are you running for the next term?

BROWN: ’12.

KOCH: Oh, okay.

BROWN: I’m in the cycle right now. We’re already banging away.

Watch it:

Brown then lavished praise on the Kochs and MIT president Susan Hockfield for establishing the research center with $100 million, about 0.5 percent of Koch’s toxic petrochemical fortune. Koch’s Tea Party politicians in the House are working to negate his contribution by cutting $1.6 billion in federal funding for the National Instititues of Health.

Brown has been a good Koch foot soldier, voting to protect Koch’s carbon pollution and complaining about the “onerous” estate tax.

Transcript:

BROWN: Your support during the election, it meant a, it meant a ton. It made a, it made a difference and I can certainly use it again. Obviously, the uh . . .

KOCH: When are you running, uh, for the next term?

BROWN: ’12.

KOCH: Oh, okay.

BROWN: I’m in the cycle, I’m in the cycle right now. We’re already banging away. But you guys should all be very proud. I mean this is amazing. I’ve actually taken the tour and uh just the things you aim to attack this issue is, is huge.

SUSAN HOCKFIELD, MIT PRESIDENT: Thank you, Senator.

BROWN: Thank you, for your leadership.

KOCH: Susan was the main uh uh person who created the idea of combining the uh the bioengineers with the cancer researchers and then uh, so she’s a brilliant lady and a leader here.

HOCKFIELD: Hi, David. David’s enthusiasm, Tyler’s [Jacks, Koch Institute director] genius, and I just said, sure, let’s do it.

KOCH: Ha ha ha!


Right Turn: Will Libya matter in 2012?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 8th, 2011 5:35 am by HL

Right Turn: Will Libya matter in 2012?
A reader e-mailed me over the weekend asking whether “the situation in Libya may affect the 2012 presidential campaigns.” He mused: “Depending on how bad it gets in Libya, I envision a whole slew of political ads showing Obama shaking Gaddafi’s hand back in 2009.”


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