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Archive for September 20th, 2011

Behold the Republican Secret

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 20th, 2011 4:47 am by HL

Behold the Republican Secret
Liza/Reagan Impersonator Paul Ryan has now cried havoc and ‘Class War’ on Obama’s plan to make the rich pay taxes (he likes slavery well-enough though). OMG, a modest tax increase on millionaires that reduces the “greatest evil of all time” the deficit…why it’s …it’s….it’s still class warfare. In which case bring it, because it hasn’t […]

pic via monkey_bob99x

Liza/Reagan Impersonator Paul Ryan has now cried havoc and ‘Class War’ on Obama’s plan to make the rich pay taxes (he likes slavery well-enough though). OMG, a modest tax increase on millionaires that reduces the “greatest evil of all time” the deficit…why it’s …it’s….it’s still class warfare. In which case bring it, because it hasn’t been much of a war so far, just panzers driving over us proles.

?

But within Ryan’s generations old playbook lies a deeper truth in how Republicans get away with it…and not just the unstated one that the talking heads on TV are more than eligible to have their taxes raised…no it is also this:

Who believes they’ll be a millionaire?

About two in 10 Americans do

In reality only 1 in 20 households are millionaires and that is simply in total assets, not income; the latter number is microscopic, but not so small that Jack Welch isn’t considered by cable news to be a “common man”. And as long as there are enough “suckers” buying and “manipulators” selling the Horatio Alger story that will never be, the GOP can keep this Randian myth going.


Obama Does the Math on Deficit Reduction

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 20th, 2011 4:46 am by HL

Obama Does the Math on Deficit Reduction
President Obama rolled out a plan on Monday to reduce the federal deficit by $3 trillion over the next decade by combining cuts to benefit rights and war savings with tax increases. He vowed to veto any bill that relies solely on spending reductions to address the deficit. Tax increases for wealthy Americans and corporations make up $1.5 trillion of the package, part of which will come from an expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts. Reductions in health and benefit rights programs amount to $580 billion, with $248 billion coming from Medicare and $72 billion from Medicaid. The Obama administration said the change to Medicare would not result in any increase in the program’s eligibility age. It is virtually impossible to imagine Republicans agreeing to increase taxes on the rich. Anti-tax conservatives are already attacking the plan as socially divisive. The president anticipated as much: “This is not class warfare,” he said. “It’s math.” —ARK The New York Times: Mr. Obama is seeking $1.5 trillion in tax increases, primarily on the wealthy and corporations, through a combination of letting Bush-era income tax cuts expire on wealthier taxpayers, limiting the value of deductions taken by high earners and closing corporate loopholes. The proposal also includes $580 billion in adjustments to health and entitlement programs, including $248 billion to Medicare and $72 billion to Medicaid. In a briefing previewing the plan, administration officials said on Sunday that the Medicare savings would not come from an increase in the Medicare eligibility age. … $800 billion of the $1.5 trillion in tax increases would come from allowing the Bush-era tax cuts to expire as scheduled for wealthier taxpayers, while extending them for individuals making less than $200,000 a year and families making less than $250,000. Read more

President Obama rolled out a plan on Monday to reduce the federal deficit by $3 trillion over the next decade by combining cuts to benefit rights and war savings with tax increases. He vowed to veto any bill that relies solely on spending reductions to address the deficit.

Tax increases for wealthy Americans and corporations make up $1.5 trillion of the package, part of which will come from an expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts. Reductions in health and benefit rights programs amount to $580 billion, with $248 billion coming from Medicare and $72 billion from Medicaid. The Obama administration said the change to Medicare would not result in any increase in the program’s eligibility age.

It is virtually impossible to imagine Republicans agreeing to increase taxes on the rich. Anti-tax conservatives are already attacking the plan as socially divisive. The president anticipated as much: “This is not class warfare,” he said. “It’s math.” —ARK

The New York Times:

Mr. Obama is seeking $1.5 trillion in tax increases, primarily on the wealthy and corporations, through a combination of letting Bush-era income tax cuts expire on wealthier taxpayers, limiting the value of deductions taken by high earners and closing corporate loopholes. The proposal also includes $580 billion in adjustments to health and entitlement programs, including $248 billion to Medicare and $72 billion to Medicaid. In a briefing previewing the plan, administration officials said on Sunday that the Medicare savings would not come from an increase in the Medicare eligibility age.

… $800 billion of the $1.5 trillion in tax increases would come from allowing the Bush-era tax cuts to expire as scheduled for wealthier taxpayers, while extending them for individuals making less than $200,000 a year and families making less than $250,000.

Read more

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Andrea Lyon: The Clock Is Ticking

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 20th, 2011 4:45 am by HL

Andrea Lyon: The Clock Is Ticking
It is hard to know what the board will do. After all, the appeals have all been ultimately unsuccessful, and most review boards defer to the courts on legal questions as well as questions of innocence.

WATCH: Gay Officer Says DADT Repeal Will ‘Take Some Getting Used To’
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Pentagon’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy barring gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military officially ended at 12:01 a.m….

Rick Perry’s Lesser-Known First Book Is A Conservative Culture War Jeremiad
WASHINGTON — Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has taken plenty of heat for making dubious assertions about modern medicine and health, but she’s not the only…


Fox Again Cries “Class Warfare”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 20th, 2011 4:44 am by HL

Fox Again Cries “Class Warfare”

Fox has once again accused President Obama of engaging in “class warfare,” this time in response to Obama’s deficit-reduction plan, which reportedly calls for increasing taxes on the wealthy.

Fox Figures Claim Obama’s Deficit-Reduction Plan Is “Class Warfare”

Doocy: “The President Is Talking About Raising Taxes, And, You Know, Effectively Class Warfare.” On the September 19 broadcast of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy claimed Obama’s deficit-reduction plan is “effectively class warfare.” From the broadcast:

GRETCHEN CARLSON (co-host): The analogy that Warren Buffett always makes is that why should my secretary pay more taxes than I do? But that’s not really a fair comparison, because he’s talking about what he pays — the tax on his capital gains. He makes most of his money on investment income. Right now that’s at 15 percent. So really it’s comparing apples and oranges, not the income that you’re going out and making on a daily basis when you go to work.

DOOCY: You know, so many people say ‘is it really a good idea to raise taxes during what sure seems or feels like a double-dip recession?’ And then what the president will unveil later today as well is that these taxes will go on to the shoulders of the job creators and the most successful people in this country. But ultimately, if the president is talking about raising taxes and, you know, effectively class warfare, wouldn’t it make more sense to be talking about total tax reform, or like Herman Cain’s plan — the 9, 9, 9 — just make it simple going forward. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/19/11, via Media Matters]

Malkin: Deficit-Reduction Plan “Absolutely” Class Warfare. Later on the September 19 broadcast of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, Doocy asked Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin if Obama’s deficit-reduction plan is class warfare. Malkin replied, “Absolutely.” From the broadcast:

MALKIN: And not only that, of course, the whole idea of a millionaire’s tax is a misnomer. Because under the Democrat definition we’re talking about non-wealthy people who are earning, say, $250,000 or more. And — and of course this all comes at a time when people outside of Washington understand that if you’re going to encourage more capital, encourage more risk-taking, encourage more investment, this is exactly the wrong way to do it.

DOOCY: Paul Ryan was on Fox News Sunday yesterday with our friend Chris Wallace, and he was talking about what this is and that is class warfare. Watch.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI) : Class warfare, Chris, may make for really good politics, but it makes for rotten economics. If you tax something more, Chris, you get less of it. If you tax job [creators] more, you get less job creation. If you tax investment more, you get less investment.

DOOCY: Class warfare?

MALKIN: Absolutely. Like I said, if you — if you want to talk about millionaires and billionaires, let’s talk about all those Obama bundlers who have been siphoning off all the stimulus money for bankrupt companies. And in any case, if Warren Buffett wants to pay more taxes, there is nothing stopping him. There’s a Treasury Department website for people who want to voluntarily give money. It’s not doing very well. And on top of that, of course, Berkshire-Hathaway, his company, owes at least a billion dollars in back taxes. Why don’t we start there? [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/19/11]

Doocy: Obama’s Deficit-Reduction Plan “Is Class Warfare.” In a later segment during the September 19 Fox & Friends, Doocy said that Obama’s plan is “absolutely” “class warfare.” From the broadcast:

DOOCY: It’s been great having you. Real quickly, the lightning round right now. It sounds like the president is going to propose some gigantic tax hikes.

JIM PINKERTON (Fox News contributor): And I thought he was trying to offer a stimulus to the economy and he wants to offer a couple of trillion dollars of tax increases. I don’t get it. And I don’t think the Democrats will pass it.

ELLEN RATNER (Fox News contributor): I think the Democrats will pass it. I don’t think your Republicans are going to pass it. They’ll put a stick right in the mud there; but I think honestly, it’s the best thing to happen. Very wealthy people can afford to pay more taxes.

DOOCY: But Ellen, it is class warfare.

RATNER: It is not class warfare.

DOOCY: It absolutely is. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/19/11]

Camerota: “Is The White House Inciting Class Warfare?” On the September 18 broadcast of Fox News’ Fox & Friends Sunday, co-host Alisyn Camerota asked if the White House is “inciting class warfare.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends Sunday, 9/18/11, via Media Matters]

Fox Nation: “Obama Declares Class Warfare.” From a September 18 Fox Nation post:

Fox Nation class warfare

[Fox Nation, 9/18/11]

Fox Often Accuses Obama Of Engaging in Class Warfare …

Fox Figures Call Obama’s Jobs Bill “Class Warfare.” Earlier this month, Fox figures responded to Obama’s jobs bill by claiming that Obama is engaged in “class warfare … one of those soak the rich things” and that Obama “could not help but resort to using the same kind of class warfare.”  [Media Matters, 9/13/11]

Fox Called Obama’s Call For A “Balanced Approach” To Deficit Reduction “Class Warfare.” In August, Fox figures accused Obama of “conducting what is clearly class warfare” by calling for a “balanced approach” to deficit reduction. [Media Matters, 8/4/11]

… While Routinely Engaging In It

Fox Cited Ownership Of Appliances To Downplay Hardship Of Poverty In America. In July, Fox News figures cited a Heritage Foundation report about the ownership of appliances among the poor in America to ask, in Bill O’Reilly’s words: “So how can you be so poor and have all this stuff?” [Media Matters7/22/11]

Fox’s Charles Payne Complained That The Poor “Aren’t Embarrassed” That They Need Anti-Poverty Programs. Fox Business’ Charles Payne complained that people “aren’t embarrassed” that they need anti-poverty programs including food stamps and unemployment insurance. [Fox Business, Varney & Co., 5/19/11, via Media Matters]

Fox Business Pitted The “Takers” Of “Government Handouts” Against The “Makers.” After a National Bureau of Economic Research study concluded that social safety net programs, including Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, were highly effective at keeping people out of poverty, Fox Business launched a weeklong series pitting the “takers” of “government handouts” against the “makers” in the economy. [Media Matters5/24/11]

Fox Business Hosts Warned That Increased Use Of Food Stamps During A Recession Could Lead To “Economic Dependence.” Fox Business’ John Stossel and Chris Cotter warned that an increase in food stamps usage during the recession could lead to “economic dependence.” [Media Matters8/17/11]

Fox’s Byrnes: “What’s Unfair” About The Tax Code Is The Earned Income Tax Credit. Fox Business’ Cheryl Casone suggested that subjecting the poor to heavier taxation was “a way to solve America’s debt crisis,” while Fox’s Tracy Byrnes said that “what’s unfair” about the tax code is the Earned Income Tax Credit for low- and middle-income Americans. [Media Matters6/26/10]

Fox’s Varney: The Earned Income Tax Credit Is A “Welfare Scheme.” On the June 15 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, Fox Business host Stuart Varney said:

VARNEY: Whenever you’ve got a cash welfare system you are going to have people gaming that system. What you have not got on the screen is the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is by far the biggest cash — I’m going to call it a welfare scheme. That is known as the most corrupt government program. [Fox News, Fox & Friends6/15/11 via Media Matters]


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Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 20th, 2011 4:43 am by HL

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Would You Like A High Capacity Magazine With That? FL Co Gives Away AK-47s To New Customers
A Florida company called Merchant Service is offering potential clients a voucher for a free AK-47 for opening an account with them, as part of their “No Merchant Victims” campaign.


News International Reportedly Offers $3M Phone Hacking Settlement To Family Of Murdered Teen
Rupert Murdoch’s News International has reportedly offered upwards of 2 million pounds (over $3 million) as a settlement to the family of Milly Dowler, a 13-year old murder victim whose voice messages were hacked by journalists working for News Of The World.


Latest Hairstyles for Republican Women (and Men)

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 20th, 2011 4:41 am by HL

Latest Hairstyles for Republican Women (and Men)


Cuomo Riding Sky High Approval Rate

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 20th, 2011 4:40 am by HL

Cuomo Riding Sky High Approval Rate
A new Quinnipiac poll in New York finds Gov. Andrew Cuomo with a 66% to 17% approval rating, among the highest for any New York governor.

Notes pollster Maurice Carroll: “There’s NO gender gap in Cuomo’s approval. That’s a polling rarity.”

How Important is Ohio?
If you need more evidence of just how crucial Ohio is to the 2012 presidential race, CNN reports Vice President Joe Biden heads there again today — the fourth visit by either Biden or President Obama since Labor Day. And Obama will be there again on Thursday.

“Ohio — and its 18 electoral votes — is a major battleground state. President George W. Bush narrowly won it in 2004, sealing his re-election victory over Democratic Sen. John Kerry. In 2008, Obama and Biden took the state by 5 points over Sen. John McCain and then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin… Top strategists from both parties believe that Ohio will be just as crucial in next year’s presidential election.”

“Hostile Workplace” Quote Verified on Tape
One of the most striking quotes in Ron Suskind’s Confidence Men comes from former White House communications director Anita Dunn who was quoted as saying that, “this place would be in court for a hostile workplace… Because it actually fit all of the classic legal requirements for a genuinely hostile workplace to women.”

Dunn insisted to the Washington Post she was quoted out of context and said that she told the author “point blank” that the White House was not a hostile work environment.

However, Suskind allowed a reporter to review a recorded excerpt of the original interview, which shows Dunn saying exactly the same thing quoted in the book.


Are Western Conservation Efforts Causing Famine In Africa?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 20th, 2011 4:39 am by HL

Are Western Conservation Efforts Causing Famine In Africa?
To save the African wilderness, industrialized countries are wrecking indigenous cultures and contributing to starvation. There is a better way.


Mr. President: Play Jujitsu With The U.N. Vote

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 20th, 2011 4:37 am by HL

Mr. President: Play Jujitsu With The U.N. Vote
The most frustrating thing about Gershom Gorenberg’s smart letter to President Obama in The American Prospect is that there is nothing in it that its recipient does not already know: Abbas is going to the U.N. Security Council because bilateral…

The Capitalist Crack-Up
Fitzgerald, by then deep into an inglorious relationship with Gin Rickeys, was lucid enough, in 1936, to explain that “all life is a process of breaking down, but the blows that do the dramatic side of the work – the…

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South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley Admits There?s No Evidence Supporting Her Claim About Drug Testing The Unemployed

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 20th, 2011 4:36 am by HL

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley Admits There?s No Evidence Supporting Her Claim About Drug Testing The Unemployed
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) admitted today that she was wrong in asserting that half the people who applied to work at a nuclear facility in the state had failed drug tests, yet said she will still push to drug test the unemployed. Haley has been advancing a plan to force jobless South Carolinians […]

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) admitted today that she was wrong in asserting that half the people who applied to work at a nuclear facility in the state had failed drug tests, yet said she will still push to drug test the unemployed.

Haley has been advancing a plan to force jobless South Carolinians to pass a drug test before they can receive unemployment insurance, claiming an epidemic of substance abuse. The problem was so unbelievable, Haley said last month, that at the Savannah River nuclear site, “[of] everybody they interviewed, half of them failed a drug test.”

So unbelievable, in fact, that a spokesman for the Department of Energy, which owns the site, told the Huffington Post’s Arthur Delaney “he had no idea what Haley was talking about.” The site doesn’t even test applicants, just people who have already been accepted, and the rate of those who fail drug tests is less than 1 percent.

At first, Haley’s office doubled down on the claim, blaming others for faulty numbers, but in an interview with the AP today, Haley said she’ll be more careful before blindly repeating things people tell her without checking them:

I’ve never felt like I had to back up what people tell me. You assume that you’re given good information,” Haley said. “And now I’m learning through you guys that I have to be careful before I say something.”

Haley said she’d probably repeated “a million times” the story that about the test failures before being questioned about the assertions after a Lexington Rotary Club on Sept. 8.

The Savannah River Site story has been central to Haley’s drug testing push. “It’s the reason you hear me focus so much on job training,” Haley told the AP.

“I’m not going to say it anymore,” Haley said, but nonetheless said that she’ll continue her push for drug testing, even though the basis for it is entirely incorrect. As ThinkProgress has noted, mandatory drug testing for unemployment benefits is likely unconstitutional. It’s also just bad policy. The purpose of these laws is to save money, but in Florida, one of the first states to implement drug testing for unemployment benefits, the law is actually costing rather than saving the state money. Ohio is also considering a similar law.