Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bark For Sark


Washington 19  Nebraska 7

Way to go, Dawgs!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Thanks For The Jobs...NOT!

US corporations had the best 3rd quarter earnings since the government started keeping track over 60 years ago.  And you know what?  They are hiring again.  Yes folks, they are hiring.  They are creating jobs.  BUT, the jobs are overseas.
The Economic Policy Institute, a Washington think tank, says American companies have created 1.4 million jobs overseas this year, compared with less than 1 million in the U.S. The additional 1.4 million jobs would have lowered the U.S. unemployment rate to 8.9 percent, says Robert Scott, the institute's senior international economist.
 From here

And republicans want to cut their taxes more.  Why, so they can help the Chinese economy?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas to all you Critter Crappers!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Want To Save $160 BILLION Per Year

GET THE HELL OUT OF AFGHANISTAN!


From Thom Hartmann

Why the Media isn't Talking about the War...
You need to know this. A new study by the Pew Research Center may explain why outrage isn't growing around the country over the unpopular war in Afghanistan. Simply - the media is not talking about it. This year - Afghanistan surpassed Vietnam as the longest military engagement in American history. It was also the bloodiest year on record in the 9-year war. In great detail - a release of wikileaks cables illuminated the conflict for Americans to see the brutality clearer. And - a strategy review released by President Obama stated the US military will likely be involved in the country for at least another 4 years. Yet - according to the new Pew study - the American media has only devoted 4% of it's coverage to Afghanistan. The war costs taxpayers more than $160 billion a year - but it's not even talked about in the public sphere - even in terms of deficit reduction - which has been a hot-button topic all year. Media outlets claim the story of the war simply doesn't interest people - so they don't cover it. And therein lies the problem with our news media - instead of reporting the news we NEED to know - they report what we WANT to know like partisan politics - or the royal wedding - or bed bugs. Ending this war is one of the greatest challenges facing all of us right now. Unfortunately - Americans can't take a stand against the war if corporations who own our news media - and have interlocking boards of directors or company divisions in the defense industry - won't cover it.
 
There is a hell of a lot of things that could be done with $160 billion dollars per year.  That's  $1.6 TRILLION DOLLARS over 10 years.  And people bitch about extending unemployment benefit which are a fraction of the $160 billion a year that this war is costing us, not to mention the lives of thousands of people.

It is disgusting and we should get out, NOW!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Poor Will Pay More

Why is it that the poor have to pay more and the rich have to pay less?

In 2009 and 2010 lower income people were eligible for a "Making Work Pay Tax Credit".  It provided a tax credit of up to $400 per person and $800 per couple.  So what happened to it?  It has been replaced by a "temporary" 2% reduction in Social Security withholding.

So, what's so bad about that?

Making Work Pay gives the most help to those that need it the most.  SS withholding reduction gives help to those that need it the least.  Once again the higher wage earner wins out over the lower wage earner.

David Dayden over at FDL shows a chart by Nancy Altman of Social Security Works that compares the two programs.  Here is the chart.


Again, we see things weighted to the top while the people who need the help are at the bottom.

The 2% reduction in SS withholding is being touted as a benefit for the poor.  Where is the benefit?  People making under $20,000 per year will get an effective tax INCREASE, while people earning over $106,800 will get an additional $2136 per year.  

For republicans, this is normal.  For Democrats, this is disgrace. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sometimes A BJ Makes A Lot Of Sense

The BJ in this case is BJ from DemWit with her post titled Bad week for the little guy: a chronology.

Here is what people are angry at with extending the Bush tax cuts for everyone.  Take a look at this figure:


All the benefit of extending the Bush tax cuts go to people making over one million dollars per year.   According to the figure, the rest of us get practically nothing.

This figure, while true, is somewhat misleading because of the scale of the numbers and the number of people involved at each income level.  For example, with the Bush tax cuts, the bottom tax percentile is 10%.  If the Bush tax cuts were to expire, their rate will go up to 15%.  That is a 50% increase, but the actual amount of money is so small compared to the $100,000 that the millionaire plus's get, that it gets lost in this figure.

But a 50% increase in taxes is NOT nothing to the person that is paying it.  Want to hear people scream?  Try raising the millioniares taxes by 50%.  It's the same increase, but millionaires have a bigger voice...and owned part of Congress.

BJ has gone to a lot of trouble to describe what has happened over the past week or so, and how the tax compromise benefits the majority of Americans.  She also shows how the Democrats have worked hard to the benefit of the majority of Americans and the economy, and how the republicans have repeatedly been willing to sacrifice the welfare of the majority of the American people and the American economy so that the top 2% of people can continue getting their Bush Bonus Tax Cuts.

Whether you agree with the tax cut compromise or disagree with it, go to DemWit and read BJ's post.  It is well worth the time and clearly delineates the differences between the what the Democrats want to accomplish for all the American people and what the republicans want to accomplish for only 2% of the American people.

BJ, job well done!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Another Example of Failed Republican Economic Policy

From ThinkProgress.org
During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) praised the Irish economy for its low corporate tax rate and said that if the U.S. would just follow suit, companies would “be able to create jobs, increase your business, make more investment.”

 He was not the only one.  Many conservatives over the last several years have been touting the great Irish economy.  They have held up the Irish economy as an example of what we should do, of what economic policies we should be following.

Well, how has that worked out for the Irish?

Again, from the above referenced article, 
Now, Ireland is undertaking draconian austerity measures, including raising personal income taxes by €1.9 billion and cutting the minimum wage, in order to receive an €85 billion bailout.

And the republicans are shutting down our damn government until they get more tax cuts from the wealthy.

What a bunch of
















 S

(SHITHEADS -- for the visually impaired)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Groping For Money


Why am I not surprised?

Guess who is making a ton of money off the x-ray scanners? My friend and yours, Michael Chertoff, ex-Homeland Security Chief who is a big supporter of naked scanning and happens to be making a ton of money from one of the main x-ray scanner manufacturers, Rapiscan, made by OSI, a client of Chertoff's consulting firm.

H/T to worldwide hippies

Thursday, November 18, 2010

GOP Christmas Present To The Unemployed

The republicans are showing their true colors.  Today they blocked extension of unemployment benefits.  Merry Christmas unemployed.  The republicans don't give a shit about you.  They don't care if you lose your home, if you are homeless on Christmas, if your kids don't get any presents, if you can't feed your kids. if you can't pay your expenses.  They don't care about you at all.  They have just given you a big Fuck You.  How very Christian of them.

But if you are rich, don't worry.  They have your back.  They want to extend your tax cuts, tax cuts that will cost an average of $70 Billion dollars for each of the next 10 years.  That is more important than the $12.5 Billion dollars the unemployment extension would have cost.

Oh, and what about all their big talk about the economy.  Expenditures on unemployment benefits returns $1.63 to the economy for every dollar spent.  Making the Bush tax cuts permanent returns $0.31 for every dollar.

So much for fiscal responsibility.  They are willing to spend $70 Billion dollars for a return of $0.31 for each dollar, but not spend $12.5 Billion for a return of $1.63 for each dollar.

Can you feel the stupid coming out of the GOP?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What Are Republicans Really Good At? Creating DEBT

Yes, I will admit that there is something that the republicans are better at than the Democrats, something that they are MUCH better at.  While they talk about being fiscally responsible, while they talk about the problems with the national debt, while they talk about reducing the budget deficit, they DO exactly the OPPOSITE.  They are world-class debt CREATORS.

Take a look at this table that I found over at Angry Bear.


In particular, look at the fourth column, "annualilzed growth rate".  This column is the growth rate of the deficit during the president's term.  Here is what it says:

Leading the charge with an annualized deficit growth rate of 11.83%  is GW Bush, the Number 1 debt creator.  What is Bush?  He is a republican.

Coming in at Number 2, with an annualized deficit growth rate of 9.50% is the GOP GOD Reagan.  What is Reagan?  He is a republican.

Number 3 greatest annualized deficit creator with a growth rate of 8.76% is Ford.  What is Ford?  He is a republican.

OK, what about Number 4.  Number 4 best annualized deficit creator with a growth rate of 7.74% is Obama.  What is Obama.  He is a Democrat.  But remember, Obama has been president for less than two years and he inherited a massive budget deficit from Bush which he has reduced, and he inherited an economy is collapse.  Even given these two facts, he is only number 4.  There are three republicans who did much better than he has done in creating debt.

Let's move on to Number 5.  Number 5 on the list with an annualized deficit growth rate of 7.22%  is GHW Bush, father of GW Bush.  What is GHW Bush?  He is a republican.  At least Bush Jr. was able to beat his father at something.  He was a better deficit creator than the old man, and he did it for twice as long.   Let's give him a rousing raspberry. 

These are the five champions.  Four republicans and one Democrat.  The republicans have a total of 23 years in the presidency.  The Democrat less than 2 years.  The republicans clearly beat the Democrats on deficit creation.

And one other thing to note.  Who did the best job in reducing the deficit?  Jimmy Carter, the president that the republicans love to malign.  Well, I guess when you are the greatest deficit creators in the nation, you are going to try to disparage anyone who reduces the deficit at an annualized rate of 1.02%.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Businesses Do Not Create Jobs

Republicans want us to believe that the wealthy and businesses need tax cuts so that they will have more money and therefore create jobs.  Give them enough money and they will hire us.  I say

Businesses do not create jobs.  DEMAND CREATES JOBS

Here is a great article about it.  They explain it better than I can.

Check out a couple of excerpts:

A job is created when demand for goods or services is greater than the existing ability to provide them. When there is a demand, people will see the need and fill it. Either someone will start filling the demand alone, or form a new business to fill it or an existing provider of the good or service will add employees as needed.
Many people wrongly think that businesses create jobs. They see that a job is usually at a business, so they think that therefore the business "created" the job. This thinking leads to wrongheaded ideas like the current one that giving tax cuts to businesses will create jobs, because the businesses will have more money. But an efficiently-run business will already have the right number of employees. When a business sees that more people are coming in the door (demand) than there are employees to serve them, they hire people to serve the customers.
Businesses in our economy exist to create profits, not jobs. This means the incentive is for a business to create as few jobs as possible at the lowest possible cost. They also constantly strive to reduce the number of people they employ by bringing in machines, outsourcing or finding other ways to reduce the payroll.
 Actually, an argument can be made for taxing them more, not less.  If they have less profit, they will work harder to create demand which, in turn, will create jobs.  So, lets tax the shit out of them so that they will work harder to create a demand for their products.

More demand, more jobs, more profits.  Everyone wins.

Republicans Will Protect And Defend Israel Interests Over US Interests


Soon-to-be GOP House Majority Leader Eric Cantor met on Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu -- the same day when the actual U.S. Secretary of State met with Netanyahu -- and vowed that he and his GOP colleagues would protect and defend Israeli interests against his own Government

Read more here.

Sounds like TREASON to me.

The article also points out:

"Cantor wants American citizens to sacrifice in the extreme, to lose all sorts of benefits and security in the name of austerity, but wants to shield Israel -- with a higher standard of living -- from those cuts. "

So, the republican not only want to undermine American foreign policy, they want to Americans to lose benefits and security so that they can continue to send money to Israel. 

Just whose government are these assholes working for?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Watch This Video!

RealityZone linked this video in a comment to my previous post.  I think it is too important to be left in the comments.

It is a speech that Kennedy gave on April 27, 1961 to the American Newspaper Publishers Association.  He was killed about two and a half years later on November 22, 1963.  It has been said that it was, in part, because of this speech.

Listen to it.  Or, if you prefer, I have included the text of the speech below the video.




     The very word "secrecy" is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.
     But I do ask every publisher, every editor, and every newsman in the nation to reexamine his own standards, and to recognize the nature of our country's peril. In time of war, the government and the press have customarily joined in an effort based largely on self-discipline, to prevent unauthorized disclosures to the enemy. In time of "clear and present danger," the courts have held that even the privileged rights of the First Amendment must yield to the public's need for national security.
     Today no war has been declared--and however fierce the struggle may be, it may never be declared in the traditional fashion. Our way of life is under attack. Those who make themselves our enemy are advancing around the globe. The survival of our friends is in danger. And yet no war has been declared, no borders have been crossed by marching troops, no missiles have been fired.
     If the press is awaiting a declaration of war before it imposes the self-discipline of combat conditions, then I can only say that no war ever posed a greater threat to our security. If you are awaiting a finding of "clear and present danger," then I can only say that the danger has never been more clear and its presence has never been more imminent.
     It requires a change in outlook, a change in tactics, a change in missions--by the government, by the people, by every businessman or labor leader, and by every newspaper. For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence--on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.
     Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match.
     Nevertheless, every democracy recognizes the necessary restraints of national security--and the question remains whether those restraints need to be more strictly observed if we are to oppose this kind of attack as well as outright invasion.
     For the facts of the matter are that this nation's foes have openly boasted of acquiring through our newspapers information they would otherwise hire agents to acquire through theft, bribery or espionage; that details of this nation's covert preparations to counter the enemy's covert operations have been available to every newspaper reader, friend and foe alike; that the size, the strength, the location and the nature of our forces and weapons, and our plans and strategy for their use, have all been pinpointed in the press and other news media to a degree sufficient to satisfy any foreign power; and that, in at least in one case, the publication of details concerning a secret mechanism whereby satellites were followed required its alteration at the expense of considerable time and money.
     The newspapers which printed these stories were loyal, patriotic, responsible and well-meaning. Had we been engaged in open warfare, they undoubtedly would not have published such items. But in the absence of open warfare, they recognized only the tests of journalism and not the tests of national security. And my question tonight is whether additional tests should not now be adopted.
     The question is for you alone to answer. No public official should answer it for you. No governmental plan should impose its restraints against your will. But I would be failing in my duty to the nation, in considering all of the responsibilities that we now bear and all of the means at hand to meet those responsibilities, if I did not commend this problem to your attention, and urge its thoughtful consideration.
     On many earlier occasions, I have said--and your newspapers have constantly said--that these are times that appeal to every citizen's sense of sacrifice and self-discipline. They call out to every citizen to weigh his rights and comforts against his obligations to the common good. I cannot now believe that those citizens who serve in the newspaper business consider themselves exempt from that appeal.
     I have no intention of establishing a new Office of War Information to govern the flow of news. I am not suggesting any new forms of censorship or any new types of security classifications. I have no easy answer to the dilemma that I have posed, and would not seek to impose it if I had one. But I am asking the members of the newspaper profession and the industry in this country to reexamine their own responsibilities, to consider the degree and the nature of the present danger, and to heed the duty of self-restraint which that danger imposes upon us all.
     Every newspaper now asks itself, with respect to every story: "Is it news?" All I suggest is that you add the question: "Is it in the interest of the national security?" And I hope that every group in America--unions and businessmen and public officials at every level-- will ask the same question of their endeavors, and subject their actions to the same exacting tests.
     And should the press of America consider and recommend the voluntary assumption of specific new steps or machinery, I can assure you that we will cooperate whole-heartedly with those recommendations.
     Perhaps there will be no recommendations. Perhaps there is no answer to the dilemma faced by a free and open society in a cold and secret war. In times of peace, any discussion of this subject, and any action that results, are both painful and without precedent. But this is a time of peace and peril which knows no precedent in history.
II
     It is the unprecedented nature of this challenge that also gives rise to your second obligation--an obligation which I share. And that is our obligation to inform and alert the American people--to make certain that they possess all the facts that they need, and understand them as well--the perils, the prospects, the purposes of our program and the choices that we face.
     No President should fear public scrutiny of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding; and from that understanding comes support or opposition. And both are necessary. I am not asking your newspapers to support the Administration, but I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people. For I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens whenever they are fully informed.
     I not only could not stifle controversy among your readers--I welcome it. This Administration intends to be candid about its errors; for as a wise man once said: "An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it." We intend to accept full responsibility for our errors; and we expect you to point them out when we miss them.
     Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed--and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment-- the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution- -not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply "give the public what it wants"--but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion.
     This means greater coverage and analysis of international news--for it is no longer far away and foreign but close at hand and local. It means greater attention to improved understanding of the news as well as improved transmission. And it means, finally, that government at all levels, must meet its obligation to provide you with the fullest possible information outside the narrowest limits of national security--and we intend to do it.
III
     It was early in the Seventeenth Century that Francis Bacon remarked on three recent inventions already transforming the world: the compass, gunpowder and the printing press. Now the links between the nations first forged by the compass have made us all citizens of the world, the hopes and threats of one becoming the hopes and threats of us all. In that one world's efforts to live together, the evolution of gunpowder to its ultimate limit has warned mankind of the terrible consequences of failure.
     And so it is to the printing press--to the recorder of man's deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news--that we look for strength and assistance, confident that with your help man will be what he was born to be: free and independent.

Is The Discussion About The Bush Tax Cuts Just A Diversion?


The argument over the Bush tax cuts has come down to whether or not the top 3% of wage earners should continue to have their taxable income over $250,000 taxed at 35% or should it go to 39%.

This statement is really an oversimplification.  Actually the two top tax bracket will be increased under the Democrats plan.  Here are the tax brackets from 1992 through 2007.

The brackets for 2008 - 2010 are the same as 2007.  The Democrat plan is to roll back the two highest brackets to the 1993-2000 level while keeping the bottom four brackets at their current levels.

The next table shows the taxable income levels that these tax bracket are applied.

These levels are for 2009.  Both of these tables are from here.  Check here if you want to see the 2010 income levels.  They are very similar.

So, essentially it looks like we are talking about having the highest 3% of income earners, not necessarily the top 3% wealthiest people, paying about 10% more in federal income tax on taxable income over $250,000.  There is total agreement on federal taxes below $250,000 taxable income
 
But for many people, the additional amount will be substantially less than 10%.  Let's use the 2009 taxable income level for this example.  Let's say you have a $250,000  taxable income. (Remember, this is taxable income.  You may have earned $400,000 but have $150,000 in deductions and exemptions.)  Your first $208,850 will be taxed at the new lower level under the Democratic plan, so the increase from 33% to 36% will only apply to income above $208,850.  In other words, the 3% increase in apply to only $41,150.  Your tax increase will be $1235 or about 0.5% of your taxable, not total, income.

Not exactly a budget buster!

Why is so much effort being put into this effort to extend the Bush tax cut for everyone?    We are not talking huge sums of money here.  They are amounts that can easily be paid. 

That's not the whole story.  There is something that people are not talking about.  Capital Gains and Dividends.  The majority of people, the poor and middle class, don't get much of their annual income from capital gains and dividends.  They don't have much invested in the stock market.

Right now, capital gains and dividends are taxed at 15%.  That is the primary reason the top 400 wage earners in the US pay only about 15% - 20% federal income tax while the rate on earned income is over 30%.  The top 10 hedge fund managers earned an average of 2 Billion dollars last year.  They paid 15%.

Well, if the Bush tax cuts are not extended, capital gains will increase to 20% and dividends will increase to 39.6%.  Obama has proposed increasing dividend to 20% rather than 39.6%.  Republicans want them both to stay at 15%.  So, the republican are not only trying to keep the wealthy from paying more on earned income, they are trying to keep the wealthy from paying more on capital gains and dividends.

There is one other thing that we never hear about.  It is call PAYGO.  PAYGO was reinstated earlier this year.  It compels new spending or tax changes not to add to the federal deficit.  Parts of the Bush tax cuts are exempt from PAYGO.  In other words, they can be extended without having to be paid for.

Guess what parts are required to be paid for?
  • Tax cuts on the top two brackets (not allowing them to go up to 36% and 39.6%)
  • A dividend tax rate less than 39.6%
 Republicans are saying that tax cuts for the wealthy don't have to be paid for.  Sorry.  Wrong.  PAYGO says them must be paid for.  We already know that the tax cut for the wealthy will cost about $700,000,000,000 over 10 years.  Setting the dividend rate at 20% rather than 39.6 will cost about another $100,000,000,000. 

So, is the republican plan not only to give the wealthy a $800,000,000,000 gift in payment for a few million dollars in contributions, but also force the Democrats into making severe federal budget cuts which will hurt working Americans and further stall the economic recovery?

Remember, they are looking ahead to 2012 with only one goal in mind -- takeover of the White House.  They are willing to sacrifice you and me in the process.  They will do anything to piss off the average American as long as they can blame it on the Democrats.

It could get interesting. 


Reference dividend  paygo taxcuts

Monday, November 8, 2010

Obama Should Work As Hard At Getting US Jobs As He Does Getting India Jobs

From Thom Hartmann:


3 millions jobs in India - not the US!!
You need to know this about President Obama's trip to Southeast Asia. He says it's an effort to open up markets to India - the world's largest democracy - and for the Wal-Mart executives with him, that's true. They want to sell more stuff made in China in India in their retail stores, and are frustrated that Indian law only allows one company to own two retail stores. They're using Obama's prestige to get that law blown up. Additionally, Obama is there selling the only things we still make in the US - military hardware and airplanes. He says that will create as many as 54,000 jobs in the US, because, he says, the Indian consumer market is so large. But we no longer make consumer goods in the US! Meanwhile, the President is also bringing with him more than 200 business leaders - including leaders from Wal Mart. As Wal Mart CEO Michael Duke points - more than 3 million jobs can be created in India if he can get their laws changed. That's 3 millions jobs in India - not the US. Likewise, Honeywell already operates a facility in India employing 11,000 low wage engineers and scientists. Honeywell CEO David Cote says his company has moved American engineering jobs to India because India has "superior engineering". What they really have is cheap labor. Obama's simply continuing the insane free trade policies of Reagan, both Bushes, and Clinton. And, as long as they continue - your jobs will continue to vanish overseas.

-Thom

Monday, November 1, 2010

SEX AND PORN

Now that I got your attention,















GO VOTE in you have not already.

Unless you are a billionaire, or at least a multi-millionaire, it is the only way you can really influence how our local and federal governments are run.  I know it is only one vote, but it is as big a vote as everyone else's.  So, just go and do it.

Plus, you will get bitching rights until the next election.

Don't vote?  Then shut the fuck up and go away.  I don't want to hear from you.  If I know you didn't vote, your comments will be deleted.  I know.  It is not much of a threat, but it is all I have at the moment.

I decided to use this title because I put the word "porn" in a title over one and a half years ago and I still get about 10 hits a day on it.  I figured "sex" would boost the hits even more.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Remind Me Again






Yes! Remind me again...why we allow Americans to be killed in Afghanistan.  Why are we STILL there?  After all, they are getting millions of dollars from Iran.  Both Karzai and Iran confirm it.  What do they need us for?

Oh, know what else he says?

Karzai said Monday he receives millions of dollars in cash from Iran, adding that Washington gives him "bags of money" too because his office lacks funds.

I guess they need our money too.  But the lives of our people.  Why do they need that too?

Hey!  I lack some money too.  How about sending one of those bags my way?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Willful Ignorance

This video is what every Teabagger campaign ad REALLY says.  It covers most republicans too.  Is this really the kind of people you want running YOUR government?



H/T to Libertas and Latte via a comment at RealityZone

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Public Doesn't Know S**t





Great article by Dave Johnson.


It is amazing that these eight items that the public doesn't know are republican talking points.  The spread of mis-information is alive and well.  Here they are:


1) President Obama tripled the deficit.
Reality: Bush's last budget had a $1.416 trillion deficit. Obama's first reduced that to $1.29 trillion. 2) President Obama raised taxes, which hurt the economy.
Reality: Obama cut taxes. 40% of the "stimulus" was wasted on tax cuts which only create debt, which is why it was so much less effective than it could have been.
3) President Obama bailed out the banks.
Reality: While many people conflate the "stimulus" with the bank bailouts, the bank bailouts were requested by President Bush and his Treasury Secretary, former Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson. (Paulson also wanted the bailouts to be "non-reviewable by any court or any agency.") The bailouts passed and began before the 2008 election of President Obama.
4) The stimulus didn't work.
Reality: The stimulus worked, but was not enough. In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the stimulus raised employment by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million jobs.
5) Businesses will hire if they get tax cuts.
Reality: A business hires the right number of employees to meet demand. Having extra cash does not cause a business to hire, but a business that has a demand for what it does will find the money to hire. Businesses want customers, not tax cuts.
6) Health care reform costs $1 trillion.
Reality: The health care reform reduces government deficits by $138 billion.
7) Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, is "going broke," people live longer, fewer workers per retiree, etc.
Reality: Social Security has run a surplus since it began, has a trust fund in the trillions, is completely sound for at least 25 more years and cannot legally borrow so cannot contribute to the deficit (compare that to the military budget!) Life expectancy is only longer because fewer babies die; people who reach 65 live about the same number of years as they used to.
8) Government spending takes money out of the economy.
Reality: Government is We, the People and the money it spends is on We, the People. Many people do not know that it is government that builds the roads, airports, ports, courts, schools and other things that are the soil in which business thrives. Many people think that all government spending is on "welfare" and "foreign aid" when that is only a small part of the government's budget.

Know the facts before you vote, or suffer the consequences after you vote.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I Am Now Officially Impressed ...

...by my dog.  Here she is.


I was upstairs in my office.  Mrs. Critter was in the living room.  She wanted me for something so she told Nikki to go and get me.  Nikki came up stairs, stood at my office door, and barked.  I thought she wanted to go outside.  I said, "Do you want to go outside?"  She turned around and went down the stairs.  I followed.  However, instead of going to the door to go into the backyard, she went into the living room.

I started giving Nikki a hard time about going to the living room instead of the back door at which point Mrs. Critter piped up and said, "That is because I told her to go and get you".

I'm impressed!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

You Might Be A Republican If...


You have got to check out this list of reasons you might be a republican over at Cosmic Navel Lint.  It is not to be missed.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Where Is Heaven?


Maybe heaven is created by the mind of others.  We live in heaven through the remembrances and dreams of our loved ones. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ten Pennies Versus Two Dollars And Fifty-five Cents


Why does on pill cost $0.10 and the other cost $2.55?

Mrs. Critter has been taking a medication for high blood pressure and chest pains.  It cost about $2.55 per pill.  She takes one pill per day.  We get 90 pills at a time, a 3 month supply.  We have been buying the brand name drug.  She prefers that over the generic brand.

It is time for another 90 pills.  I decided to check with our pharmacy to see what it would cost if we switched to the generic.  They told me it would cost a little less than $9.00 for 90 pills. 

WTF?!?

I said, "Are you sure"?  They said "Yes".  I said, "You are telling me my choices are paying $230 or paying $9"?  They said, "Yes".

I find this price difference mind-boggling.  How can one pharmaceutical company charge $230 and another one charge $9 for the same drug?  I don't care what their "research and development" costs are.  Hell, most of it was probably funded by the government anyway.  The pharmaceutical companies are spending all their money annoying me in the evening with drug commercials, but that is a whole other rant!

I will let you  guess which one I bought today.

Witches, Homophobes, And Playacting Nazis -- Welcome To The Tea Party

Last night Keith Olbermann did a segment with Eugene Robinson from the Washington Post about the candidate running in Ohio's ninth congressional district, Rich Iott, a weekend Nazi reenactor.

Olberman asked, "[At] any other time in our history, wouldn't the press, left, right, and middle, just for the sake of the story, be screaming for the rooftops, hey, look, alot of crazy people running for office?"

Here is Robinson's answer.



I love his first line.

"You've got a witch,...a raging homophobe,...a guy who dresses up like a nazi for fun..."

There's the Tea Party for you.  And people seriously want these wackos running the country?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Teabagging Dummies

This video covers the teabaggers' political positions perfectly and does it with great humor.  After all, what is funnier than teabaggers explaining their beliefs. 



Thanks to Tim over at Scared Stiff for this video that I stole from him.

Monday, October 4, 2010

We Don't Need No Stinking Government Services


Here is what Teabagger (republican) rule will get you.  What you didn't pay?  Well, tough shit!  Got any marshmallows?

Turn Raising Sea Levels Into Business Opportunities

No wonder republicans are denying climate change.  They want to use it to make money.  Here is their plan for New York.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Why Are We Arguing Over Tax Cuts For The Rich?

Let's get our priorities straight.  So says the Center For American Progress in this article.

There is agreement between Democrats and republicans that the Bush tax cuts should be extended to the poor and middle class, essentially everyone earning $250,000 per year.  That covers 98% of the American people.  The Democrats and republicans AGREE (will wonders never cease!) on tax policy for 98% of the people.  Yet republicans are willing to let the republican Bush tax cuts expire and result in a republican tax increase for everyone if the cuts are not extended for the top 2% also.

Let's see who has been hurt by the recent recession.  Here is a figure from the above referenced article.

Well, look at that!  The top 1/5 of people were hurt the least in 2007 - 2008 and have recovered the most in 200-2009.  In fact, their income is going up again, while everyone else's is still declining.

So here is what we are arguing about -- extending tax cuts for people who have already recovered from the negative effects of the recession.  We are arguing about tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of the population.  These are people earning over $250,000 per year.

Extending tax cuts to these people will cost ALL of us about $800,000,000,000 (800 billion) dollars over 10 years.  Eighty percent of that benefit ($640,000,000,000) will go to people earning over $1,000,000 per year and their average tax cut will be more than $100,000. That’s almost twice what the median American household makes in a year. 

Where is the sense in that?  We are arguing about going almost 1 TRILLION DOLLARS IN DEBT in order to give people who have already recovered from the recession more money.

How much money is that?  It is the cost of the healthcare bill over 10 years.  And healthcare is paid for.  That was a big issue.  This is a giveaway to people who do not need it.  It is NOT paid for.  They will get it only because they are rich and powerful.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Which Is It?


The republicans say they will reduce the size of government and the size of the deficit.  Yet, republicans are responsible for the majority of the debt and the majority of the government growth.  That means that either:
  • The republicans are lying.
  • The republicans are inept at governing.
Take you pick.  Either way, lying or inept, do you really want them in power again?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Why I Don't Listen To Republicans

Republicans Protect BP...AGAIN!


Republicans have blocked a bill giving supeona power to the commission investigating the BP oil spill in the Gulf.  This measure passed the House 420 to 1, yet Senate republicans are blocking even discussion of it. 

Here is a video of it that I picked up over at Scared Stiff.  Thanks, Tim.



The republicans, once again, are showing where their loyalties are.  Again, they are protecting the interests of BIG OIL over the interests of truth and the American people.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Money Is More Important Than Kids


From the LA Times:

Children face an unfortunate side effect of health reform

Anthem Blue Cross and Aetna have announced that they will no longer "offer individual policies in California to any children who don't already have coverage."  This is in response to the requirement that health insurance companies may not deny individual policies to children with preexisting conditions.

Rather than comply with the law, they will stop offering individual policies for children -- all children.

Money, or better yet, profits, are more important to these insurance companies that the health care of our children.  

Tell me again why we don't need health care regulations?

Tell me again why we don't need a public, government run health care option?

Tell me again why we don't need Medicare For All?

Tell me again why we allow these parasitic health insurance companies to exist?

Tell me again.

 And the LA Times calls it UNFORTUNATE.  Unfortunate my ass. I call it CRIMINAL!


Monday, September 20, 2010

The Republican National Debt

I picked this figure up over at Tim's Scared Stiff.


Over 40% of the national debt is due to Bush and over 65% due to Republicans.  Obama is doing pretty well himself, but he is coming off of Bush's extraordinary deficit spending and destruction of the economy so it will take some time to turn things around.

And the republicans want to add close to another trillion dollars to the debt by extending the tax cuts for the top 2% earners.

Crazy!

She Must Be A Republican


You who worry about Democrats versus Republicans--relax, here is our real problem:

In a Purdue University classroom, they were discussing the qualifications to be President of the United States . It was pretty simple the candidate must be a natural born citizen of at least 35 years of age. 

However, one girl in the class immediately started in on how unfair was the requirement to be a natural born citizen. In short, her opinion was that this requirement prevented many capable individuals from becoming president.

The class was taking it in and letting her rant, and not many jaws hit the floor when she wrapped up her argument by stating: 

"What makes a natural born citizen any more qualified to lead this country than one born by C-section?"

Yep, these are the same kind of 18-year-olds that just voted in our last election! 

They breed and they walk among us...how scary is that? 
 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

For Your Entertainment -- Sometimes We Need To Laugh


Puns for Educated Minds: 
 1. The fattest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi. 

2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.
 
3. She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.
 
4. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption.
 
5. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.
6. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering. 
 
7. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.
 
8. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
 
9. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

10. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
 
11. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other: 'You stay here; I'll go on a head.'

12. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

13. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: 'Keep off the Grass.'
 
14. A backward poet writes inverse.

15. In a democracy it's your vote that counts.  In feudalism it's your count that votes.

16. If you jumped off the bridge in Paris, you'd be in Seine.

17. A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, 'I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.'

18. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. One turns to the other and says 'Dam!'

19. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. It sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

20. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, 'I've lost my electron.' The other says, 'Are you sure?' The first replies, 'Yes, I'm positive.'

21. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal?  His goal: transcend dental medication.

22. There was the person who sent ten puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Economy Does Better Under Democratic Presidents

The economy does BETTER under Democratic presidents.  This is not opinion.  This is fact.  This is truth.  Here is the data covering the years 1948 to 2005.

From HERE

There are a couple of interesting aspects to this figure.

1.  All groups did BETTER under Democratic presidents than republican presidents.

2.  All groups did about equally well under Democratic presidents.

3.  The 95th percentile group did well under both groups.  Lobbying works.

4.  The 95th percentile group did about 5 times as well as the 20th percentile group under republican presidents.

5.  It is possible to have prosperity (high growth) and equality between income groups...at least with a Democratic president.

Here is Rachel Maddow discussing this figure.


In the following clip Rachel discusses the implications of this figure with Ezra Klein.  It is a little long, but very interesting.



But let's give credit where credit is due.  The republicans are good at something.  They are good at building wealth.  Not so good at building the economy, but good at building wealth.  The rich are certainly getting richer.  But look at how they do it.  They do it by creating debt.  Lately it has been the Bush tax cuts coupled with two unending wars, all debt creators, not economy builders.  Neither the tax cuts nor the wars were paid for.  Instead, the money was given to the wealth.  Now they want to add another $700 billion in gifts to the wealthy.

It is time for the Democrats to say NO!

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Rich And Powerful Are Held To A Different Standard

I picked up this video of David Vitter over at TMP.



Just another fine "family value" republican running for reelection.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Prejudice


Here is an amazing poll from the LA Times in 1963.  It is from Lawyers, Guns & Money.  I found it via Applesauce.


For me, 1963 is not that long ago.  I graduated from high school in 1963.  I am flabbergasted that so many people had that opinion.  

But wait, we seeing the same type of thing today.  The hate and prejudice is still there.  We have just changed the targets. 

Have we grown as a people?  No, I don't think so.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

CEOs Profit While Laying Off Employees

Think Progress has a good article about the just-released  annual report from the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) on executive compensation.  Here are some of the highlights, or maybe they should be called lowlights
CEOs of the 50 firms that have laid off the most workers since the onset of the economic crisis took home nearly $12 million on average in 2009....while at the same time, their companies eliminated 531,363 jobs despite reporting a 44 percent average profit increase for 2009.
After adjusting for inflation, CEO pay in 2009 more than doubled the CEO pay average for the decade of the 1990s, more than quadrupled the CEO pay average for the 1980s, and ran approximately eight times the CEO average for all the decades of the mid-20th century.

American workers, by contrast, are taking home less in real weekly wages than they too home in the 1970s.
Fred Hassan, former CEO of Schering-Plough, presided over announced layoffs affecting 16,000 workers after a 2009 merger with Merck. He resigned after the merger, receiving “golden parachute” compensation in 2009 of more than $49.6 million to rank as the highest-paid layoff leader.
The top five companies announcing the most layoffs for the study period were General Motors (75,733); Citigroup (52,175); Bank of America (35,000); Caterpillar (27,499) and Verizon (21,308). Among those top five, the biggest compensation package — nearly $17.5 million — went to Ivan Seidenberg, CEO of Verizon.
According to IPS, American CEOs make 263 times the average compensation for American workers, up from the 30 to 1 ratio in the 1970s.
Here is what corporate America has been doing:
...squeezing of worker jobs, pay and benefits to boost corporate earnings and maintain corporate executive paychecks at their recent bloated levels.
And these are the very people that republicans support.  These are the very people that republicans say we must give tax breaks to, we must let them keep all their money.  After all, they "earned" it. Yeah, they "earned" it on the backs of the American worker.

The facts are that the only jobs that corporate america is interested in is their top executives jobs and that they will sacrifice worker jobs for executive pay, bonuses, and perks

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Republican Tax Increase