Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Okay, this is the second time I have heard how the Republicans are interested in a fairer, flatter tax code.

The Republicans NEVER do anything that does not benefit the wealthy. That is a fact. Unless, there is someone bending their arm to the point of unbearable pain, there is absolutely nothing that moves them from benefiting the wealthy.

I am not going to fall into that trap into believing the Republicans in the House and Senate are finally coming over to the President's way of thinking. Ain't no way.

I hate it when the American people think they are hearing 'fairness' by Republicans, when it actually is disguised as a knife in the back. I want people to think about what has happened in recent history. Since, the President won his election there has been a modest tax hike on those earning over half a million per year.


The Bush Tax Cuts ended for the wealthy earning over half a million per year after President Obama was re-elected.

I state a modest tax cut because the fact of the matter is most of the folks earning over half a million per year usually pay the majority of their taxes at 20% on capital gains. Granted capital gains is 5% higher from 15%, but, let's face it, the high earners are not paying 34% or more. They just aren't.

The Middle Class was left alone. Their deductions for Earned Income, Child Tax Credits, Housing Mortgage Deduction was all left intact. 

Starting to the get picture, yet?

A couple of days ago, Speaker Boner came out and stated to avert the Debt Ceiling fight due in a couple of weeks, he thought it was time to pass a bill that would lower the tax rates on EVERYONE and close all the loopholes. 

That was the plan under Simpson-Bowles. It is actually a tax hike.

Now, Lindsey Graham is saying the same thing. He is entertaining a tax hike by closing all the loopholes in the tax code while lowering the tax rate. It would raise more revenue.

The thing is this, the rates on the Middle Class would increase under the plan Boner and Graham want to pass now that it is their advantage to do so. They can sell their constituents on the tax hike because it would be ACROSS THE BOARD. So, the Middle Class and the Low Income Americans would then be held responsible for more of the tax structure while the wealthy was returned to a more equitable status and pay only 20%.

The highest tax rate under the Simpson-Bowles plan was 24%. Hello?

If we are going to continue to grow our economy and RETURN EQUITY to those that work in the USA there is no room for increasing the tax burden on the Middle and Lower Income Earners. I do believe the Republicans have found yet another issue to put forward as a plan that was the President's Economic Committee and the Democrats are rejecting their own plan.

See, the Republicans know the Middle Class is much better off since President Obama has been elected. They have maintained their lower tax structure AND they still have all their deductions, including, the House Mortgage Deduction. If it weren't for that would the housing market be recovering and providing a returned base of wealth to the average American?

This sudden rush of conscience by the Republicans is quite astounding. A surrender even.

But, it isn't really. 

I am convinced more today than ever before that the Republicans completely distain average Americans.

If Boner and Graham want their flatter, fairer tax, I have no problem with it so long as the Middle and Lower Income citizens in the USA aren't set back in their incomes.

There needs to be a higher minimum wage. There needs to recognition of a sundowning of those tax deductions providing added income to the Middle and Lower Income Americans. So, in let's say, ten years after the recovery is well under way, those earning $250,000 and LESS will be incorporated into the NEW flatter and fairer tax code. But, hey, until those incomes are sundowned in 2023, I think everyone else earning above a quarter million per year are PERFECT candidates for a fairer and flatter tax to start beginning 2014.

Now, that sounds like a plan. Ten years of a higher minimum wage, ten years of collective bargaining, ten years of a stable housing market and ten years of returning equity to the Middle and Lower Income Americans that have been forced into poverty sounds like a great plan to me.
President Chavez (click here) was elected into power. He did not see a coupe succeed. 

The people of Venezuela has to elect their next leader in the death of their beloved President. 

He died their President and for that he was honored by them.

We look forward to the honor the people of Venezuela will pay him in the days to come and to the new President they will elect.

President Chavez was very ill. He had cancer. He lived many years from his diagnosis in receiving treatment from those that loved him.

I wish the people of Venezuela well in their time of loss.

There is no scientific doubt that matters regarding Greenhouse Gas emissions. Perhaps there are those that don't 'get it.'

This is called redundancy. Four separate sound scientific agencies have compiled their data to find a common thread to CONFIRM greenhouse gas emissions and the role of those greenhouse gases in driving the warming climate of Earth we are now experiencing.

There is no doubt. 


Greenhouse gases are causing a dangerous increase in Earth's tropospheric temperatures.

Scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) (click here) say 2012 was the ninth warmest year since 1880, continuing a long-term trend of rising global temperatures. The ten warmest years in the 132-year record have all occurred since 1998. The last year that was cooler than average was 1976....

...The line plot above shows yearly temperature anomalies from 1880 to 2011 as recorded by NASA GISS, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center, the Japanese Meteorological Agency, and the Met Office Hadley Centre in the United Kingdom. All four institutions tally temperature data from stations around the world and make independent judgments about whether the year was warm or cool compared to other years. Though there are minor variations from year to year, all four records show peaks and valleys in sync with each other. All show rapid warming in the past few decades, and all show the last decade as the warmest.

Because the Hapless Congress doesn't "Get It" doesn't mean it isn't real. No one expects any member of Congress to run the data and concur. The agencies the citizens / taxpayers have funded for decades already did that.

These are highly qualified scientists that have worked with climate data most of their lives and careers. All the Hapless Congress needs to understand is that Greenhouse gases are increasing in redundancy and it is causing dangerous climate trends of Earth. 

That's all.

Don't need to understand anything else. 

The doubt is over and it is time to get on with it.

Carbon dioxide traps heat and largely controls Earth’s climate. It occurs naturally but is also released by the burning of fossil fuels for energy. The level of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere has been rising consistently for decades, largely driven by increasing man-made emissions.... 

...The carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere was about 285 parts per million in 1880, the first year of the GISS temperature record.... 

...By 1960, the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, measured at NOAA’s Mauna Loa Observatory, was about 315 parts per million

Today, that measurement exceeds 390 parts per million.

It all correlates. No doubt. In redundancy.

Castro brothers? Really? I didn't notice the Communist Manifesto on her resume.

Gina McCarthy, who currently heads the EPA's Office of Air and Radiation, reportedly has the inside track to replace Lisa Jackson, who officially stepped down from the agency last week.

This is an easy confirmation for President Obama.  

To begin with President Obama dismissed communism as an option for the USA.

"...For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias...."

He has made the Climate Crisis a part of his administration's focus. It was mentioned right up front in his Inaugural address. The words about communism are from his inaugural address as well. 

He made a glancing blow at the burgeoning Billionaire Club, too.

For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it.  (Applause.)  We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class.  We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship.  We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American; she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.  (Applause.)

But, enough of that. Why is Ms. McCarthy an easy confirmation for the challenged Senate committees?

This was from the State of the Union address, so addressing the Climate Crisis is important, for many reasons, but, primarily because it is driving the national debt and the nation cannot afford it.

...But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. Now, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods -- all are now more frequent and more intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science -- and act before it’s too late....

Just for a reality check before I finish about the ease of confirming Ms. McCarthy:
by Jackie Weidman
Yesterday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared that his state needs $42 billion to recover from Hurricane Sandy and to protect against future extreme weather events.  Three quarters of this sum is just for damage repair and restoration of homes, businesses, and mass transit.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also announced that Sandy caused $29.5 billion in economic costs there, cautioning that the estimate will likely rise after next summer’s tourism season and real estate values take a hit....
The words are 'economic costs.' Those were just the losses of income to the people of New Jersey before the damage was added up. Superstorm Sandy demanded a grant to New Jersey in amounts exceeding $60 billion. That was one storm.
Then there is this: 

Ms. McCarthy is eminently qualified to be Secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency when the USA is facing huge insults from the Climate Crisis.

The Climate Crisis is due to Greenhouse Gases and their emissions resulting in high levels in the troposphere of Earth. The USA is the largest emitter of Greenhouse Gases of any other nation on Earth. If Earth is going to stop causing massive destruction day after day in the USA, the nation's emissions have to come down and come down drastically. The sooner the better because Earth is caught in a negative feedback loop. But, that isn't all of it.

Greenhouse gases are gas. They are 'the air' we breath and need on a daily basis to survive on Earth. Ms. McCarthy is an Air Quality expert that has already worked within the federal EPA. What is there not to understand about her eminent qualifications. Perhaps the wayward Congress would like to see an EPA Secretary that is specialized in banks or accounting, yes?

The only aspect of Ms. McCarthy's qualifications the Wayward Congress needs to understand is the fact they are lucky to have her ready and WILLING to serve the USA at the very time she is most needed. That's all. That is all the 
Wayward Congress needs to understand. This is an easy one and they need to get on with it.
I congratulate the senior Bush on his new book. I am a bit troubled when he calls himself "...an angry old man." That is not the case. A father has a right to have feelings about his son.

George H. W. Bush has been far more than a father. He was a patriot and to that end he stands on his own for his work and dedication to the country.

I am more than pleased to hear his health is good and getting better everyday. It was a long time in coming. I quite sure he is treasured by his family, as he is by the nation. 

I wish him well and peace.

Is it 2008, yet?

We've here before with Wall Street, so what is going to happen this time?

The rules basically haven't changed. The banks are still playing with fire and their ? sophisticated ? tools of high finance, so, what is to become of the rest of us, again?

We aren't going to bail them out this time. We have begun growing our local economies in successful ways to make them more resilient to Wall Street ups and downs. We have auto industries that have recovered and provided real products to Americans demanding the very vehicles now in production. We are on far better ground than we were, however, the economy is softening in the USA due to lower government spending in ways that sincerely is irresponsible.

The housing market is doing better while our local economies and regional focus is making up a more solid baseline economy.

I don't buy the idea that all government spending, including irresponsible military spending, is good spending. I would much rather see a leaner and meaner military than we have today. We don't need nor do we want to have an ungainly military that can be called up on a whim to invade a country that is not a threat to the USA. There can never be another Iraq.

I find myself melancholy for the Clinton surplus. It would have secured the Earned Benefits of Social Security and Medicare. To that end I do not see a change in Washington, DC to the extremists of the Republican Party. They are real. They have successfully held the USA hostage and "The Sequester" is proof. We can't go there anymore. The extremists have no place in our federal government. They just don't.

We need to establish a new baseline for what is tolerated politically. Any message is not an acceptable message and social agendas for sexual antics has no place in the federal government. Women have rights and need choices. We have children that are vitally important to the future of this nation and I am not talking about under educated working for the military invading countries for their natural resources. 

Which Iraq was, by the way. In case anyone got lost along the way, Iraq was never about WMD, it was about petroleum. Iraq was an oil war. The petroleum industries don't need us, they invade other nations to take natural resources while recruiting national leaders to turn their military against their own people. They really don't need the USA military to do the same. They manage to kill civilians without interruption of profits without our help.

But, what about the political dialogue of the USA? Did the Democrats lie about their national agenda over the past few decades? Did they?

Immigration. Did they lie? 

The Climate Crisis. Did they lie?

The importance of the Middle Class. Did they lie?

The importance of Unions to support the importance of the Middle Class? Did they lie?

Education as a hallmark to the brain trust of the USA? Did the Democrats lie?

Immigration, did the Republicans lie?

The Climate Crisis, did the Republicans lie?

The importance of the Middle Class, did the Republicans lie?

The importance of Unions to support the Middle Class, did the Republicans lie?

Education as a hallmark to the brain trust of the USA, did the Republicans lie?

What the global economic crash of 2008 EXPOSED to the electorate of the USA was the fact the agenda of the Republicans were hostile to the national security of the USA. When a country as important as the USA is humming long because the global economy relies on that reality it is all too easy to have the electorate realize they are 'just fine the way things are.' The 2008 global economic collapsed proved the electorate of the USA cannot sit back and believe they are just fine, therefore nothing should change.

The bedrock of the USA has been and continues to be the controversial agenda of the Democratic Party. Sorry. It is the truth. We have EARNED BENEFITS in the way of SSI and Medicare that protect the elderly in the USA. It has served as a baseline economic support for the USA. So, while everything was falling apart in 2008, our elderly was protected and their spending continued on silly things such as tourism (local economies) and other Wall Street commodities such as utilities. The elderly even supported the real estate market with property taxes and rental incomes. They supported the medical industries, of which, never took a downturn.

The Democrats accept the mantle of the minorities and with President Obama in the White House civil rights continues to be a strong focus for our country. It is a integrity statement to the international community of any country seeking to include it's minorities as an agenda item. When a country addresses all it's problems it is a major delineation to what a responsible country does in it's sovereign state.

The Democrats are always called 'Tax and Spend.' Well, it would seem all too clearly if there is an economy to grow it has to come from the place where the money is printed. I don't see that Americans need to tolerate irresponsible spending and expanding an economy without purpose, but, when it comes to recovery and economic growth, the Democrats seem to understand it far better than the GOP. I mean, hello? The GOP's accomplishments up to 2008 and in holding the USA electorate hostage resulted in 200 more billionaires while the poor grows in leaps and bounds across this nation. That is a model we want the international community to emulate? That is not a national model we want for our own people. It is not an economic model that will secure the nation for the future of our children.

The 99% Generation is the first generation in the USA since the USA Constitution was written that graduated into unemployment. That is serious business. That is reality. That is not simply a dreamscape we can ignore in the elections of the country. It is palpable and we can't simply increase our tips on a dinner table to change that paradigm. Sorry, thing isn't it? To realize if we ask consumer to increase their tipping to waiters and waitresses we don't need to increase the minimum wage. That is like, what? The majority of our children are either Walmart shelf stockers or restaurant personnel or both in working two and three jobs. How did that happen? Where were we when all that occurred?

Is it 2008, yet? Again? Why do want to go back there? We need answers, not rhetoric and the GOP ain't it.

By Chris Dieterich
NEW YORK--U.S. stocks treaded water Monday (click here) after a rough day in the Chinese equity markets, and budget gridlock in Washington gave investors little incentive to buy.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost seven points, or 0.1%, to 14082 in afternoon trading on Monday. The Dow ended Friday less than 100 points below a record peak.
Major indexes pared early losses, pushing the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index into positive territory. The S&P 500 added one point, or less than 0.1%, to 1518 and the Nasdaq Composite Index gained one point, or 0.1%, to 3171.
In focus was China, where the Shanghai Composite slumped 3.7%, the biggest one-day percentage slide since August 2011. Losses came following Chinese government measures to curb rising home prices amid signs that the market is heating up. The new rules include higher down payments and mortgage rates on second homes in some cities, as well as a capital-gains tax on existing homes....

Don't tell me for one minute, Jeb Bush isn't ever bit the corrupt politician his brother has been.

Florida is not a GIVEN to the Jeb Bush for President column either. His policies have failed royally across the state. And where he claims to be The Education President, he can forget it. It is nothing but corruption. His brothers should know that better than anyone.

TAMPA - Lobbyists are not allowed to finance perks like trips for state officials, but, those at the Foundation for Excellence (nice sounding title) in Education get around that ban by being registered to another foundation (the registration fees must be more than interesting) run by Jeb Bush.

Former Gov. Jeb Bush's nonprofit, education reform foundation is taking heat for using donations from for-profit companies to lobby for state education laws that could benefit those companies.
Among the activities of Bush's Foundation for Excellence in Education that have come in for criticism: It pays for state officials and legislators to go to conferences where they meet with the company's donors, including officials of corporations who stand to gain from the policymakers' decisions....
I'll be darn, that is ACCESS. That is more than access, that is twist your arm access.

Among the corporate donors:
  • Pearson, a $9 billion-a-year media conglomerate which has a $250 million, four-year contract to administer the Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test. In the last few years, the company has been fined $14 million by the state for delayed test score results and criticized for its grading of writing tests.
  • Amplify, the education division of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., which sells classroom and curriculum software.
  • Charter Schools USA, a Fort Lauderdale-based for-profit company that manages charter schools under contract.
  • IQity, which sells online learning materials
Online learning materials. Well, that sounds very much like Neil Bush and his educational corporation. I just can't wait to close down the schools, put teachers out of work, close down more unions and have parents oversee the education of their children at home while they work three different jobs.

Add to the list of the #occupy movement, Immigration Reform. We have all had enough of the corruption and knee deep contempt of the Middle Class that demands good pay for their talents.

Even Governor Christi knows better than that. He hasn't destroyed unions, he has solicited their support in reforming the state's budget while building a better educational agenda. 

The two men are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Governor Christi doesn't have leachy family supported through corrupt government structure. Governor Christi also appreciates a healthy economy and the contribution teachers add to that economy. There are incredibly good universities in New Jersey and the brain trust is provided for without a doubt.

If Jeb Bush thinks he doesn't have a track record to be ashamed of, he needs to think again.

Ask me what I care. Americans are tired of being shot and killed by the NRA, having their outcomes dictates by bankrupt banks and having their lives destroyed with Climate Crisis storms produced by the petroleum industry.

If fighting for our rights and lives means fighting fire with fire, then so be it. We should all be grateful President Obama is seeking to be the power broker we have not been able to recruit otherwise.

There is a hostile Supreme Court seeking to leverage power over elections. If anything stinks that does. It stinks as a legacy to the corruption of the Republicans and their court appointments to make the USA an oppressed people under the thumb of Wall Street.

I'll be darn a Republican Governor has reversed his PROMISES to the people of Michigan. Wow, is that a surprise, huh?

“Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan (click here) announced a press conference at which he reversed his long held and very publicly held stance against changing union rights in his state. That was at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday. An hour and a half  later, by 12:30 p.m., the Capitol police had shut down the Capitol building so protesters and members of the public could not get in. By 3:15, bills to strip union rights in the state were taken up in both chambers of the state legislature. By 4:00, there was a court order to reopen the state capitol to let the people in again. But before 5:00, before an hour was up, the house had already voted it through. Then before 8:00, the Senate had voted it through as well, and it was done. It was done, all in one day that didn’t even start until an hour before lunch time. all in one day between 11:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., start to finish. and tomorrow, after a very minor amount of house keeping in the legislature,  Governor Rick Snyder says he is going to sign it. It’s not like this is what the campaign was about. Snyder was against this. This wasn’t what the legislative race was about this year.”...

As if the Republicans has not been ideologues seeking illegitimate money from the very entities that are the enemies of the Middle Class. Michigan has a dictator, when is that going to stop because the voters have already ruled on that!

John Nichols on December 6, 2012 - 6:18 PM ET

In the state where workers sat down in Flint General Motors plants (click here) seventy-five years ago and emboldened the industrial labor movement that would give birth to the American middle class, Republican legislators on Thursday voted to gut basic labor rights. -...

....After Republican leaders announced Thursday morning that they intended to enact so-called “right to work” legislation—which is always better described as “no rights at work” legislation—the Michigan state House voted Thursday afternoon to eliminate basic union organizing and workplace protections that generations of American workers fought to establish. Several hours later, the Michigan state Senate did the same thing, as part of a bold anti-labor initiative launched in coordination with a Koch Brothers–funded Americans for Prosperity project to “pave the way for right to work in states across our nation.”...

I suppose there is another Jack Abramoff waiting in the wings outside the 
Oval Office. I don't think so, because, if there are private entities seeking 
access through a professional political organization there won't be enemies to the Middle Class anymore.

Access works both ways. If others can speak with President Obama he can also speak with them. He can set the record straight and make it clear where they have gone wrong for decades by outsourcing their work and profits. It has been absolutely hideous to watch Wall Street run from country to country to cut costs and find the next CEO bonus. They crashed the global economy in seeking illegitimate profits. 

It is time the Democrats have finally gotten their act together under a President with an agenda to return an economy to the USA to fight poverty and grow a sustainable energy sector without the dangers of dlimate destruction.


...But those contributions will also translate into access, (click here) according to donors courted by the president’s aides. Next month, Organizing for Action will hold a “founders summit” at a hotel near the White House, where donors paying $50,000 each will mingle with Mr. Obama’s former campaign manager, Jim Messina, and Mr. Carson, who previously led the White House Office of Public Engagement.
Giving or raising $500,000 or more puts donors on a national advisory board for Mr. Obama’s group and the privilege of attending quarterly meetings with the president, along with other meetings at the White House. Moreover, the new cash demands on Mr. Obama’s top donors and bundlers come as many of them are angling for appointments to administration jobs or ambassadorships.
“It just smells,” said Bob Edgar, the president of Common Cause, which advocates tighter regulation of campaign money. “The president is setting a very bad model setting up this organization.”
Mr. Obama’s new organization has drawn rebukes in recent days from watchdog groups, which view it as another step away from the tighter campaign regulation Mr. Obama once championed. Over the past two years, he has reversed course on several campaign finance issues, by blessing a super PAC created by former aides and accepting large corporate contributions for his second inauguration....