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In Virginia, Newt's campaign paid for phony signatures -- GOP voter fraud in action!!!

Let's ask Newt this question about the voter fraud conducted by his campaign in Virginia: What did you know and when did you know it?

We hired somebody who turned in false signatures. We turned in 11,100 – we needed 10,000 – 1,500 of them were by one guy who frankly committed fraud.
Got that?? "We hired somebody who . . . committed fraud."

So, Newt, when did you realize that fraud was involved? Before or after you handed the fraudsters their cash? After all, the back of every petition form you submitted includes this statement:

...I understand that falsely signing this affidavit is a felony punishable by a maximum fine up to $2,500 and/or imprisonment up to ten years...
Surely you or your staff verified that the person(s) you hired signed each and every form submitted?

You didn't by any chance submit unsigned forms???

Would paying for unsigned forms still be a "fraud" or is that just a simple con job?


Shaun Kenney, a blogger and member of the Republican Party of Virginia, reported on his bearingdift.com page that:
...2,000 signatures do not have addresses on them… meaning that they cannot be verified...
Got that? 2,000 SIGNATURES WERE PHONY!!!!

The deadline for submitting petition forms was 5:00pm on Thursday, Dec 22.

On Tuesday, Dec 20, Alexander Burns reported on Politico that the Gingrich campaign had sent his minions an email looking for someone who wanted to pick up some "quick cash" by submitting 2,000 or more petition signatures:

Because the deadline is coming up so quickly, we've got a pretty good budget to work with. We can offer $1 per signature, with a $50 bonus for every 100 signatures (in other words, if you get 100 signatures, you get $150, if you get 300 signatures, you get $450, if you get 1,000 signatures, you get $1,500).

In addition, if you can put together a crew to get signatures, they can get paid the same amount, and you can get a $1,000 bonus for every 2,000 signatures your crew collects.
In other words, the Gingrich campaign told it's minions that they're short of signatures and are willing, at the very last minute, to pay anyone that's willing to step forward, $4,000 to generate 2,000 signatures. Not that someone would copy 2,000 names out of the Richmond, VA, phone book or something like that . . .

On Sunday, Dec 25, the NY Times reported:

Newt Gingrich declared confidently the other day that he would get his name on the ballot for the Republican presidential primary in Virginia. In fact, he said he already had the requisite 10,000 signatures and an additional 2,000 to 3,000 for safety’s sake and would probably collect even more.
But that turned out not to be the case.

In fact, at the deadline Gingrich submitted only 11,050 signatures. So Newt, what happened to the 2,000 to 3,000 extras you claimed you had?

So who's the fraudster here? The person that generates the bogus signatures? Or the ethically-challenged person that boasts that they can gather 2,000 to 3,000 legitimate signatures at the last minute even though there are no plans for any sort of large rallies, or major public appearances, or even book-signings?

Finally, let's point out the obvious: In 31 states, Republicans are introducing legislation they say is aimed at preventing "voter fraud" by implementing various stringent forms of voter registration and identification -- in spite of the fact that attorneys general in every state say that voter fraud is extremely rare. Meanwhile, in Virginia, we have a Republican presidential candidate committing voter fraud openly, and, bragging about it.



Would you like to pay the same tax rate as Mitt?

How would you like to pay federal income taxes at the same rate as Mitt?

If a family of four, making $100,000 a year, paid taxes at Mitt's rate, they'd pay $5,500 per year LESS than they do now.

But, you say, Mitt has a LOT of money -- he's very wealthy -- why does he pay federal income taxes at a special low rate??

Good question. Here's the answer.

The rate derives from something called "carried interest." It's a perfectly legal loophole that ought not to be. It gives partners at private equity firms and hedge funds a tax break from higher rates on income they collect from their part in hammering out corporate buy-outs and other deals. Instead of the top 35 percent the wealthiest Americans pay on income from their salaries and, say, on interest from their money market accounts, the carried interest rate is 15 percent.

Romney co-founded such an equity group in 1984, Bain Capital. Its business? Find struggling companies, break them up and sell the parts. The damage? Thousands of laid-off employees. The human toll, and toll to communities can be large, and the profits to the principals in these enterprises are immense. When Romney left Bain in 1999, he got a 10-year deal by which he continued to draw income from previous deals -- income taxed at 15 percent.

Naturally, Romney thinks this kind of a tax break is good for America (and Americans like himself), and you can bet a month's pay he will work to keep it that way if he winds up in the Oval Office. An incentive, don'cha know. Spurs job creation. Boosts investments that keep the country going. Riiiiiight.

Meanwhile, Yale political science Prof. Jacob S. Hacker, co-author of Winner-Take-All Politics thinks otherwise:

“The idea that private equity managers and hedge fund managers should pay 15 percent, when in fact they’re just getting a cut from the pool of capital under management—it’s completely egregious,’’ Hacker said.

“There’s very little risk that’s being borne by these people,’’ Hacker said. “It’s a big subsidy for a certain kind of financial management.’’

Here's where it really gets interesting: Go to this link, follow the directions, and calculate how much you would save if you paid taxes at the same rate as Mitt.

http://www.whatmittpays.com/

Newt Gingrich's campaign ends

During the GOTP "debate" on Saturday, 12 November, Newt was asked about a $300,000 consulting fee he earned from Freddie Mac. Newt said he was paid as a historian to advise them about the history of mortgage loans.

Turns out Newt was lying -- lying big time -- no surprise there -- Newt's a Republican and they are genetically wired to lie.

Newt's campaign ends with this nuclear blast from Bloomberg:


Newt Gingrich made between $1.6 million and $1.8 million in consulting fees from two contracts with mortgage company Freddie Mac, according to two people familiar with the arrangement.

The total amount is significantly larger than the $300,000 payment from Freddie Mac that Gingrich was asked about during a Republican presidential debate on Nov. 9 sponsored by CNBC, and more than was disclosed in the middle of congressional investigations into the housing industry collapse.

Gingrich’s business relationship with Freddie Mac spanned a period of eight years. When asked at the debate what he did to earn a $300,000 payment in 2006, the former speaker said he “offered them advice on precisely what they didn’t do,” and warned the company that its lending practices were “insane.” Former Freddie Mac executives who worked with Gingrich dispute that account.

Gingrich’s first contract with the mortgage lender was in 1999, five months after he resigned from Congress and as House speaker, according to a Freddie Mac press release.

Here's video of Newt lying to Hannity:

'Bye, Newtie.



Hispanics revitalizing dying small towns -- in traditional GOTP areas!!

Go to this link -- it's a New York Times article. Read the article and check out the maps and graphics.

Briefly, this is what the article points out.

-- In many areas of the US, small towns are dying -- Mom & Pop businesses closing; young people moving away; schools, churches, and every other aspect of community life withering.

-- Now, however, in many of these areas, Hispanics are arriving in numbers large enough to reverse the trends. New Hispanic arrivals are "reopening shuttered storefronts with Mexican groceries, filling schools with children whose first language is Spanish . . . extending the lives of communities that seemed to be staggering toward the grave."

Check out the maps in the NYT article and you'll find that this phenomenon is taking place in traditional Mid-West Republican areas. As we all know, the Republican Party has turned its back on Hispanics and continues to attack anyone with brown skin who speaks with a Spanish accent. Now that the people whom the Republicans loathe are re-invigorating traditional Republican areas, will the GOTP wake up and try to attract Hispanic voters?

Probably not -- they aren't that smart and the GOTP is in the grip of the craziest rightwingers in their membership.

Herman Cain DOES NOT want to play the lawsuit game


The Cain camp and their friends in the bullshit-packed rightwing echo chamber are leaping on Cain's latest accuser, some woman named Bialek, by claiming she has been party to a number of suits.

Cain does NOT want to go down this road.

Cain was a defendant in five lawsuits that ended in $10.5 million in
judgements, related to his tenure on the board of Aquila, Inc., when
he screwed over a whole bunch of employees as a member of the board of
directors by mismanaging retirement accounts and improperly pressuring
employees to fill their retirement accounts with company stock.

In 2004, five federal cases were filed against Harman Cain:

Itteilag v. Aquila, Inc. et al 4:04-cv-00865-DW (named as defendant)

O'Brien v. Aquila, Inc. 4:04-cv-00928-DW (named as defendant)

Wolf et al v. Aquila, Inc. et al 4:04-cv-00934-DW (named as defendant)

Smith v. Aquila, Inc. et al 4:04-cv-00970-DW (named as defendant)

Tylutki et al v. Aquila, Inc. et al, 4:04-cv-01058-SOW (named as
defendant)

Cain was sued five times because as a member of the board of directors
of Aquila, he actively encouraged employees to sink their money into
company stock.

Why was this bad? Aquila was a utility company, a traditionally
conservative investment. But during Cain's tenure, the company was
engaged in riskier and riskier endeavors, transforming this
conservative investment to one far too risky for folks close to
retirement. The stock went from a high price of $37.55 per share to a
crashing low of $6.75 in July of 2002, when the Enron disaster brought
the risky practices of companies like Aquila to light. It devastated
many employees heavily invested in company stock.

Mother Jones covered the story in depth back in May.

The five suits were eventually folded into one class action, and they
had to pay out $10.5 million to the people they screwed.

Right now, Cain is fighting off allegations that resulted in 5-figure
judgements. While it appears Cain routinely engaged in predatory
behavior, and that is a matter of concern, I think we should also be
paying attention to this $10.5 million judgement, in which Cain
engaged in predatory behavior against his employees.

Legal troubles are NOT the can of worms Cain wants to open.

What if land in the US were divided the same as wealth?


The Congressional Budget Office has now confirmed that the top one percent of Americans have tripled their income while the upper middle class has increased its income much more modestly, and the rest of the country has seen only tiny gains.

CBO finds that, between 1979 and 2007, income grew by:

  • 275 percent for the top 1 percent of households,
  • 65 percent for the next 19 percent,
  • Just under 40 percent for the next 60 percent, and
  • 18 percent for the bottom 20 percent.


The numbers reported by the CBO may be somewhat difficult to understand, however, this graphic may help. If the land area of the US were divided the same way as wealth, this is what the country would look like.





This is a link to the full CBO study.

And this is a link to the summary.



GOP response to US withdrawal from Iraq reveals what hypocrites Republicans really are

No one should be surprised by the Republican response to the President's announcement that US troops are coming out of Iraq. Surprised -- no. Disgusted -- yes.

The GOP reaction to the President's withdrawal announcement provides further proof that the GOP is a collection of hypocritical scumbags -- as if there were any doubt.

President Obama announced that all US troops will be out of Iraq by the end of the year.

The rightwing lie machine and every single GOP asshole who can find a microphone or a keyboard is denouncing this move.

What a load of rightwing crap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Let's consider three points.

POINT #1. We have accomplished everything George Bush set out to accomplish.

Bush told us we were going to war in Iraq for three reasons:

(1) Depose Saddam Hussein. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.
(2) Find and destroy Iraq's WMD. NONE THERE; MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.
(3) Break Iraq's support for terrorists. NO SUCH SUPPORT; MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

Thus, we have accomplished everything we set out to accomplish.

POINT #2. But -- but -- but -- the Republicans whine -- Iraq is beset with ethnic violence, internal dissension, unstable politics, dangerous neighbors, and myriad other problems.

Here's a newsflash for you: True, however, WE CAN'T SOLVE THESE PROBLEMS. Only the Iraqis can fix this.

POINT #3. If this announcement were made by President McCain, or, God help us, by President Sarah Failin', every rightwinger in the nation would be lining up on the National Mall to kiss his ass and tell the world what a Great Statesman he is. They are pissing and moaning ONLY because this was done by a Democratic president.

Here ends the lesson.

Want to see what Herman Cain is REALLY like? It's not what he wants you to believe.


Herman Cain doesn't want you to read this article. Read it anyway.


Hermanomics: Let them eat pizza

By Steven Pearlstein, Published: October 15

Don’t blame Wall Street. Don’t blame the big banks. If you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself.
— Herman Cain, from an Oct. 5 video interview with the Wall Street Journal’s Alan Murray

What you have in this statement from the leading Republican candidate to be president of the United States is the purest distillation of the attitude of the New Republican Party toward rising poverty and inequality in the United States.

Normally, Republican politicians are politic enough to dance around questions about poverty and inequality, accusing anyone who brings them up as engaging in “class warfare” or blaming President Obama, conveniently forgetting that these were big problems when Republicans controlled the White House and Congress.

But not the Hermanator. Indeed, one of the things we love about Cain is that there is no filter between the brain and the mouth. He just tells you what he thinks, even if he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

We were first introduced to Cain’s economic world view in 1993, when as chief executive of Godfather’s Pizza he stood up at a nationally televised town meeting and told then-President Bill Clinton that requiring employers to offer health insurance to their workers would force businesses like his to eliminate large numbers of jobs.

Cain apparently enjoyed his moment in the national spotlight so much that he’s been trying to get back in it ever since — as head of the National Restaurant Association, radio talk show host, motivational speaker, director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, U.S. Senate candidate in Georgia and now, according to the latest poll, the leading Republican presidential contender.

Through it all, his views on economic justice have been perfectly consistent: The only thing anyone deserves from society is the opportunity to work hard and succeed, just as he did, the African American son of a chauffeur growing up in the segregated South.

If Cain is the perfect Republican candidate for 2012, then Godfather’s Pizza is the perfect metaphor for the winner-take-all economy envisioned by today’s uncompassionate conservatives: a highly-leveraged management buyout that made fortunes for top executives and big franchise owners by closing stores, hiring mostly minimum-wage employees with no health or retirement benefits, and relying on slick TV ads to peddle an unhealthy and mediocre product.

Much has been made the past week of Cain’s “9-9-9” tax plan, which is nothing more than an 18 percent national sales tax and a flat 9 percent tax on household income. What Cain proposes is nothing less than a massive shift of the current tax from the job-creating rich to the indolent and whiney poor.

Economics, alas, has never been Cain’s best subject, going back to the health-care debate of the 1990s. According to Hermanomics, if he and all his pizza parlor competitors were forced to offer and help pay for health insurance for all their employees, then the only way they could stay in business would be to lay people off.

Really? Are those employees just sitting around playing video games? Because if they are busy taking orders and making and delivering pizza, then laying them off isn’t really a particularly effective business strategy.

In fact, the logical response to an increase in labor cost — such as an increase in cheese or gasoline prices — is to raise the price of the pizza. Cain, like all business leaders, will reflexively argue that raising prices is impossible in the highly competitive pizza market. That is not correct. If all the other pizza companies — in fact, all the other fast-food stores — are hit with the same new requirement, then they can all raise prices without losing market share.

It’s certainly possible that higher prices for pizza might cause some customers to shift business to other restaurants, or eat at home. That might lower sales, profits and employment at Godfather’s, but not for the whole economy. It would just shift those sales, profits and jobs to other businesses.

Cain’s argument against health insurance mandates is the same misleading argument he made against increases in the minimum wage when he assumed the position as the restaurant industry’s top lobbyist in the mid-1990s. That effort brought Cain into almost weekly contact with a rising star in the Republican House leadership, John Boehner of Ohio. When public pressure finally forced Republicans to agree to raise the minimum wage in the spring of 1996, Cain got the House to link the increase to a clever new tax loophole giving restaurant owners a tax credit for the tips received by their delivery drivers.

It requires a peculiarly Republican sense of justice to frame the pizza credit as a “fairness” issue, as Cain apparently did. You might also keep the pizza credit in mind the next time you hear the Hermanator ranting about the loophole-ridden tax code as the justification for his 9-9-9 plan.

When he wasn’t fighting to deny pay raises and health insurance to the working poor, Cain was also busy serving on corporate boards, including Aquilar. Aquilar was once a sleepy electric-power company that, while Cain was on the board, followed Enron into the wholesale energy-trading business. Like Enron, it got nailed for trying to manipulate trading in natural gas and paid a fine of $26.5 million. Curiously, Cain never mentions his experience at Aquilar when demanding repeal of those onerous post-Enron regulations that require directors to adopt better systems for internal control.

I’m certainly open to the idea that a successful business executive might make a good president. But at a time when so many Americans are unemployed and so much of the nation’s income growth is going to so few people at the top, we ought to be able to find an executive who has a better sense of economic justice than the Hermanator.

That thought popped into my mind last week while reading the obituary of Robert Galvin, the former chief executive of Motorola, who took a family-run business making car radios and walkie-talkies and turned it into a global electronics giant. Galvin was one of those genuine business leaders who kept his ego in check and knew how to balance the long-term interests of his shareholders with those of his workers, his customers and the country at large. I doubt Galvin would have had much use for Herman Cain.

One thing I learned from the obituary was that Galvin had introduced a company-wide profit-sharing plan to Motorola. Profit sharing was one of those progressive management ideas back in the 1950s. Companies liked it because it reinforced employee loyalty and commitment and because it transformed something that was a fixed cost — wages and salaries — into a variable cost that would decline along with sales. Labor unions, however, tended to oppose the idea, uncomfortable with any blurring of the line between labor and capital or any reductions in guaranteed pay.

In recent years, however, company-wide profit sharing seems to have fallen out of favor, either replaced by individual incentive plans or stock options or subsumed into 401(k) retirement plans. Even Motorola has dropped its profit-sharing plan.

Two industries in which profit sharing remains alive and well, however, are autos and steel. As part of painful restructurings in recent years, unions have agreed to accept profit sharing instead of higher base wages. And now that those industries have returned to sustained profitability, annual profit-sharing distributions for front-line employees have reached $5,000, $7,000, even $10,000 at some companies.

So here’s a thought: Instead of presidential candidates telling Americans that it is their fault if they don’t have a job, or if their income and economic opportunities are declining, wouldn’t it be refreshing if we had more candidates whose vision for reviving the American economy revolved around positive ideas for ensuring that the benefits of economic growth will be widely shared? We could even call it the 1-1-1 plan: one for you and one for me and one for that struggling soul behind the tree.

Herman Cain's "999 plan" is bullshit

Here's an article copied from the Washington Post that outlines the facts about the Caintax.




Cain’s ‘9-9-9’ tax plan hits poor, helps wealthy, experts say

By Michael A. Fletcher, Published: October 13

The “9-9-9” plan that has helped propel businessman Herman Cain to the front of the GOP presidential field would stick many poor and middle-class people with a hefty tax increase while cutting taxes for those at the top, tax analysts say.

The plan would do away with much of the current tax code and impose a 9 percent personal income tax, a 9 percent business tax and a 9 percent national sales tax, which tax experts say would mean that low- and middle-income Americans would pay more.

“Right now, we have a strongly progressive income tax. High-income people are paying a higher share of income in taxes than lower-income people,” said Alan D. Viard, a former Federal Reserve Bank economist and a resident scholar at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute. “That is a pattern that would be disrupted by adoption of the Cain plan.”

The 9-9-9 plan has helped define Cain’s candidacy. Coupled with his buoyant, plain-spoken style, it has helped transform the former long shot into a front-runner. Cain has touted the proposal’s apparent simplicity and fairness, but he rarely delves into details. His campaign Web site shows that the plan is only a step toward achieving his ultimate goal: to eliminate the Internal Revenue Service after replacing all federal taxes with a national sales tax.

Meanwhile, analysts said the 9-9-9 part of Cain’s vision would place a further burden on those hit hardest by the nation’s economic problems.

Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, is working on an analysis of Cain’s signature policy proposal. Although the plan’s details remain sketchy, Williams said that it would increase taxes for the poor and middle class, despite Cain’s statements to the contrary.

For starters, about 30 million of the poorest households pay neither income taxes nor Social Security or Medicare levies. “So for them, doing away with the payroll tax doesn’t save anything. And you are adding both a 9 percent sales tax and 9 percent income tax. So we know they will be worse off,” Williams said.

At the top end of the income scale, meanwhile, the opposite would occur, he said. The top 1 percent of earners would get a tax cut under Cain’s plan, Williams said.

The nation’s top income earners have reaped the vast majority of the nation’s income growth over the past quarter century, pushing income inequality in the country to levels not seen since the Depression. The tax plan would exacerbate that gap, Williams said.

“People at the top end pay 20 or 21 percent in income and payroll taxes now,” he said. “This plan zeroes out their payroll tax and suddenly their tax is down to 9 percent. Then, like everyone else, they pay 9 percent on what they spend. But the rich don’t spend everything they earn.”

Many conservatives are leery of creating a national sales tax that could be increased in the future.

“[I am] extremely uncomfortable with the idea of letting the crowd in Washington have an extra source of revenue,”wrote Dan Mitchell, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.

Rich Lowrie, an Ohio money manager who is an economic adviser to Cain, said analysts who call the 9-9-9 plan regressive are not privy to details of its provisions to soften the impact of the tax plan on the poor. The critics are“ignoring the empowerment zone piece that we are rolling out next,” Lowrie said in an e-mail. He did not explain how the empowerment zones would work but said details would be forthcoming.

Cain, a onetime director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and a former chief executive of Godfather’s Pizza, has said his plan has the twin virtues of fairness and simplicity while creating incentives to boost economic growth and personal wealth.

“It basically empowers the poor rather than being regressive on the poor,” Cain told reporters earlier this week. “I don’t care about rich people. They’re already rich. I want to make it possible for people who are not rich to get rich.”

Cain said his plan would promote increased saving, investment and growth. When the increased growth is factored in, he said, the plan would be able to bring in as much money to the federal coffers as the current tax system. Tax analysts have mostly agreed with that assertion, although they cautioned that projections about the plan’s revenue potential are imprecise.

“I cannot promise that the plan is wholly revenue neutral compared to current law,” wrote Edward D. Kleinbard, a University of Southern California tax expert. “But in fact it should raise a great deal of revenue.”

The tax plan, which Cain has gleefully touted in GOP debates and his public appearances, has helped catapult the former executive to the front of the Republican presidential field, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, as well as a separate survey by the firm Public Policy Polling.

Experts say that adoption of 9-9-9 would mark the most radical federal tax change since the expansion of the income tax in the 1940s. It would upset the vast array of social policy that has been built into the tax code for years by, for example, removing tax breaks that subsidize home purchases and college tuition.

For that reason, many say that its adoption would be highly unlikely, even if Cain were elected president.

Although Cain talks about 9-9-9 as a concise, easy-to-understand plan to reform the sprawling federal tax code, it actually is envisioned as the middle step in moving the nation to a “fair tax” or national sales tax.

The fair tax, which former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (R) advocated during his 2008 presidential campaign, is viewed by supporters as efficient and transparent and as a way to encourage investment and broaden the tax base while eliminating the need for the IRS.

Opponents say the fair tax would discourage consumer spending, the biggest driver of the nation’s economy.

And the 9-9-9 plan that Cain envisions preceding it would be no better, critics said.

“The absence of current law’s package of a standard deduction, personal exemptions, child credit, child care credit and the earned-income tax credit means a huge tax hike for the working poor and a substantial tax increase on the labor income of the middle class,” Kleinbard said.

Okay, you rightwing sonsabitches want class warfare??


In her book A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century, Barbara Tuchman writes about a peasant revolt in 1358 that began in the village of St. Leu and spread throughout the Oise Valley.

At one estate, the serfs sacked the manor house, killed the knight, and roasted him on a spit in front of his wife and kids. Then, after ten or twelve peasants violated the lady, with the children still watching, they forced her to eat the roasted flesh of he husband and then killed her.

THAT is class warfare.

Arguing over the optimum marginal tax rate for the top one percent is not.

Light the fires.

House GOP Passes "Let Women Die" Bill

The House just passed the "Protect Life (Unless it's a Woman's) Act," 251-172.

H.R. 358, the "Let Women Die" bill, has nothing to do with protecting life. What the bill does do is provide cover to hundreds of Catholic hospitals and other medical providers who think the Bible tells them to save the fetuses and screw everyone else.


If a woman is pregnant, and she has a life-threatening condition that requires the pregnancy to be terminated or she will die, this bill says it's okay for hospitals to let her die.

In the "pro-life" world, protecting life means letting women die.

Question and Answer

When President Obama announced that his economic proposals included tax increases on the wealthiest Americans thereby negating the Bush tax cuts for the same people, the rightwing went ballistic, pronouncing his proposal "Class Warfare."

Of course, it's only class war when we middle-class people protest.

Whatever.

Here's an interesting take on the idea of the wealthy paying taxes at the same rate as the rest of us.


THE QUESTION:

Do you think the millionaire should pay more in taxes than the bus driver, or less?


THE ANSWER:

We're going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that have allowed some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share.

Why? Because: They sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing while a bus driver paid 10 percent of his salary, and that's crazy.



THE SPEAKER:

Ronald Reagan, well-known commie-socialist-class warrior

Rick Perry accepts $1 million bribe to turn Texas into nuclear waste dump

Here's the short version: Over at her blog, Malia Litman lays out the details of:

-- how Rick Perry allowed a nuclear waste dump to be set up near Austin; and,

-- how the guy whose company will operate the dump donated around $1,000,000 to Perry's campaigns; and,

-- how the corporation running the waste dump has NO LIABILITY if anything goes wrong; and,

-- how things already are going wrong.

Read the full story here, highlights follow.

This needs to go viral.

Here are quotes -- lots of quotes -- from Malia Litman's blog piece on Perry's nuke waste dump.
Since Rick Perry announced his decision to run for President, the internet has been filled with multiple examples of corruption and unethical behavior of Mr. Perry. One of the more memorable examples of corruption in the Rick Perry administration is the nuclear waste dump which has been approved by appointees of Perry to the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission. Here are the undisputed facts:

1. The Commission has approved a landfill south of Austin, and right at the border between Texas and New Mexico, which will receive nuclear waste from 36 states.

2. Waste Control Specialists LLC is the company who is building the landfill and will receive millions of dollars in revenue from accepting the nuclear waste.

3. Harold Simmons is a billionaire, and the owner of Waste Control Specialists, LLC.

4. An LLC is a limited liability company, which means in the absence of fraud a court will not find the owners of the company liable. Thus, even if the owners and operators of a LLC are negligent, there may be no legal way to hold them accountable for the damage or harm they cause.

5. Harold Simmons has donated over $1,000,000 to Rick Perry’s campaigns.

I skipped over all the good stuff about how Perry packed the Texas state commission that gave the okay to the nuke waste dump -- go to Litman's blog for the whole story.

And now, for the best part:

8. The implications for Texas get even worse. The nuclear disposal site has earned six violations since 2004. Just last year the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issued a Notice of Violation to Waste Control Specialists for storage of a concrete canister filled with the hottest low-level radioactivity material beyond the 365 days allowed under a waste processing license. Two years ago environmental commissioners signed off on an agreement for two violations and fined the company about $151,000. The site mismanaged hazardous waste near a rail-car unloading area and personnel failed to get authorization before letting radioactive material – including Plutonium 239 and Radium 226 – be released into the septic system inside a laboratory.

In a routine check at the site near Andrews, close to the New Mexico border, state inspectors also found cracks up to an inch wide on a 10-acre asphalt pad near where the canisters of radioactive material sit.

It seems the only thing the Waste Control Specialists LLC specializes in is increasing its wealth, ensuring the election of Rick Perry, and endangering the people of Texas and New Mexico.

And the Texas miracle continues.

Eric Can'r-er and rest of GOP has succeeded in destroying the economy and now they are no longer taking credit for job growth


Not long ago, Eric Can't-er was taking credit for job growth -- see this Tweet by Can't-er:

Eric Cantor Tweet

Now, the GOP is silent, dead silent about the job situation.

Job growth wasn't bad in the first four months of 2011, averaging about 178,500 jobs per month.

But that was before any of the GOP's economic policies had taken effect. Over the last four months, we've seen the impact of April's budget deal compounded by a summer of hostage-taking over the debt ceiling, culminating in a deal that in their own words gave them 98 percent of what they wanted.

And ever since the GOP started getting its way, job growth has declined sharply, averaging just 39,500 jobs over the last four months, a drop of 139,000 jobs per month from the first four months of the year.

So whatever they're doing isn't working. No wonder they've stopped taking credit.

Eric Cantor uses local cops to shut down a peaceful, legal meeting


Last year, during the Congressional summer recess, Virginia Republicans held town hall meetings all over their respective districts so their Teahadist supports could rave about "death panels," "GPS trackers placed in medical devices," and "Obama's secret army" -- it was a sight to behold -- crazy people, foaming at the mouth, their rolls of fat quivering.

Now it's a different scene. Now that the country has seen the Repblican plan to destroy the economy and blame it on Obama, Virginia Republicans are copying the tactics to Mao, Stalin, and Hitler.

Here are two examples.

#1

Here in VA-01, Rob Wittman is nowhere to be seen. If you want to talk with him, you go to his official website and sign up for a "tele-town-hall." You get a date and time, you call in to a conference call and listen to him spout bullshit -- no questions allowed.

#2

But Eric Cantor has taken it to new extremes. First, Cantor has held one town hall -- but it ws advertised ONLY on one website belonging to a local Tea Party mob. And then this happened.

If you think it's extreme that Paul Ryan is now charging constituents $15 admission to his town hall events, now it appears that constituents can't even pay to be in a room next to a public event hosted by Eric Cantor.

Here's the story. This August, Eric Cantor's congressional office did not hold any town hall events for his constituents. Instead, on 31 August his campaign hosted a "Cantor Advisory Council Meeting," which is a quarterly event designed primarily for his supporters. Cantor describes the advisory councils as being "open to the public," but this one was only advertised on a local tea party website. Additionally, media are barred from attending the events.

Sensing an opportunity to confront Eric Cantor over the lack of congressional action on jobs, over 200 local activists led by Progress Virginia and Virginia Organizing rented the ballroom above the one in which the advisory council was being held. However, about an hour before the meeting was scheduled to begin, hotel management appeared with a large police presence and told the activists to leave.

"Hotel management told us we had to leave immediately," saod Anna Scholl of Progress Virginia. Scholl added that about a dozen sheriff's deputies accompanied hotel management to make the demand.

When the protesters asked why they had to leave a ballroom which they had rented, hotel management at first told the protesters that someone in their group had been smoking indoors. "That was not true," according to Scholl. She noted that "someone in our group is pregnant."

When asked for another reason, management then told the protesters that the hotel was not comfortable with competing events. This is even though the activists had rented the ballroom a few days beforehand. Additionally, Scholl pointed out that "Cantor had the only other event" in the hotel that night.

A phone call was placed to the hotel to discuss the matter, but they declined to answer any questions.

Check out the video here:

Yep, ol' Eric has ripped a page right out of Chairman's Mao's Little Red Book Of Dictatorship -- arrest anyone who asks you a question you don't want to answer.

Rick Perry, Christian, invests in company that produces porn movies


Rick Perry, the devout Christian, who led thousands of Texans in prayer at Reliant Stadium in Houston Texas, has profited from pornography. This was not an investment in a mutual fund, or purchase of a bundle of stocks that just happened to have the Movie Gallery as part of their portfolio. This was a specific investment by Rick Perry in a company known for promoting movies like “Teens with Tits,” “Teens Never Say No”, ”Bisexual Barebacking Vol I.,” and “Big Tit Brotha Lovers 6."


Given his history of corruption, it raises the question whether he knew the owners of the company and whether he may have had some involvement in the company other than just holding stock? Regardless of the level of involvement in the Movie Gallery Corporation, it is clear that Rick Perry is not the Boy Scout that he pretends to be.

Republicans don't want anyone feeding off the guvmint teat -- except themselves!!!




He has secured millions of dollars in Congressional earmarks for road work and public works projects that promise improved traffic and other benefits to the many commercial properties he owns here north of San Diego. In one case, more than $800,000 in earmarks he arranged will help widen a busy thoroughfare in front of a medical plaza he bought for $10.3 million. [...] Indeed, more than two dozen of Mr. Issa’s properties are within five miles of projects he has personally earmarked for road work, sanitation and other improvements, an analysis by The Times shows.

His medical complex, for instance, sits directly along West Vista Way, a busy corridor scheduled for widening with $815,000 in funds Mr. Issa earmarked. The congressman bought the complex in 2008, soon after securing the first of two earmarks for the two-mile project and unsuccessfully seeking millions more. The assessor’s office now values the complex at $16 million, a 60 percent appreciation.

Mr. Issa owns a number of commercial properties near the planned $171 million expansion of State Route 76. The project, intended to ease traffic for tens of thousands of commuters, was helped by $245,000 in his earmarks.


So here's a challenge for tea partiers: you love nothing more than claiming that you're not a Republican front group. You say the one and only thing that matters to you is stopping wasteful and crooked spending.

So here's your opportunity to prove it.

Demand that House Republicans remove Darrell Issa from the oversight committee and challenge him in the primary. And if you don't beat him in the primary, support his Democratic opponent.

Of course, none of that's going to happen, because teapartiers are Republicans. And the only kind of spending they want to stop is spending that goes to people that aren't like them.


Michelle Bachmann takes it deep

Back many years ago, Democratic Presidential candidate Mike Dukakis was photographed in an Army tank, wearing an ill-fitting tanker's helmet. The photo was the source of a lot of derision and mocking aimed at Dukakis. As I recall, someone somewhere commented that a politician should never be photographed wearing a funny hat.

Let's add "eating a foot-long corn dog" to the list of things a politician should never be photographed doing. Especially a female politician.

If this crazy woman is the GOP presidential or VP nominee, this photo will be all over the place. And this one is NOT Photoshopped -- it's for real.


Ten things Texas Governor Prick Perry does not want you to know about him



With widespread discontent on the right over their current presidential field, all eyes are trained on a likely new entrant: Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R).

Perry, who has been elected governor three times and served for more than 10 years, enjoys bona fides from social conservatives and Tea Party-types alike. Glenn Beck even described Perry as a man he was so enamored with that he wanted to “French kiss.”

However, as conservatives fawn over their newest presidential hopeful, it’s worth taking a closer examination at his record as governor. On issues across the board, from Perry’s support for dropping out of Social Security and Medicaid to his state’s abysmal pollution levels and his proposal that Texas secede from the United States, the Republican governor has amassed a record of far-right extremism.
ThinkProgress has assembled the top ten hits from Perry’s tenure as governor:

(1) PERRY ALLOWED THE EXECUTION OF A LIKELY INNOCENT MAN, THEN IMPEDED AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE MATTER: In 2004, Cameron Todd Willingham was executed in Huntsville, Texas after being convicted of arson and the murder of his three children. Even after significant evidence emerged showing that arson had not caused the fire (thus exonerating Willingham), Perry refused to grant a stay of execution. Five years after Willingham was executed, a report from a Texas Forensic Science Commission investigator found that the fire could not have been arson. As the commission prepared to hear testimony from the investigator in October 2009, Perry quickly fired and replaced three of its members, forcing an indefinite delay in the hearing.

(2) PERRY WANTS TO REPEAL THE 16th AND 17th AMENDMENTS, ENDING DIRECT ELECTION OF U.S. SENATORS AND THE FEDERAL INCOME TAX: In his 2010 book Fed Up!, Perry called the 16th and 17th Amendments “mistaken” and said they resulted from “a fit of populist rage.” The 16th Amendment allows the federal government to collect income taxes, which is the single biggest source of revenue, accounting for 45 percent of all receipts. The 17th Amendment took electing U.S. senators out of the hands of political insiders and allowed the American public to decide their representation instead. If Perry had his way, the federal government would be stripped of its current ability to fund highway construction projects, food inspectors, and the military, and the American public would not even be permitted to elect their own senators.

(3) PERRY PROPOSED LETTING STATES DROP OUT OF SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICAID: Despite the programs’ importance and popularity, Perry has argued that states like Texas should be allowed to opt out of Social Security and Medicaid. Were Perry to have his way on Social Security, “the entire system would collapse under the weight of too many Social Security beneficiaries who had not paid into the system,” notes Ian Millhiser. On Medicaid, in addition to stripping 3.6 million low-income Texans of their health care, Perry’s proposal would actually hurt, not help, the state’s budget deficit. This is because, as Igor Volsky writes, opting out of Medicaid would take “billions out of the state economy that goes on to support hospitals and other providers,” while forcing hospitals “to swallow the costs of caring for uninsured individuals who will continue to use the emergency room as their primary source of care.”

(4) TEXAS IS THE COUNTRY’S BIGGEST POLLUTER, BUT PERRY SUED THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR DISAPPROVING OF THE STATE’S AIR QUALITY STANDARDS: Texas is the biggest polluter in the country, leading the nation in carbon dioxide emissions. However, when the EPA published its “disapproval” of the state’s air quality standards for falling short of the Clean Air Act’s requirements, Perry sued the federal government to challenge the ruling. Perry’s environmental record doesn’t end there. He is a global warming denier who called the 2010 BP oil spill an “act of God” while speaking at a trade association funded by BP.

(5) PERRY DESIGNATED AS “EMERGENCY LEGISLATION” A BILL REQUIRING ALL WOMEN SEEKING ABORTIONS TO HAVE SONOGRAMS FIRST: In January, Perry proposed requiring all women seeking abortions to have a sonogram at least 24 hours before the procedure. Under the bill, doctors would be required to “tell a woman the size of her fetus’ limbs and organs, even if she does not want to know.” Before a woman is permitted to have an abortion, physicians are also forced to provide an image of the fetus and make the woman listen to the sound of its heartbeat. Perry designated his proposal as “emergency legislation,” allowing the bill to be rushed through the legislature. He signed it into law last month.

(6) PERRY GUTTED CHILDCARE SERVICES EVEN AS TEXAS CHILDHOOD POVERTY HIT 25 PERCENT: Facing a $27 billion budget deficit this year, Perry decided to gut child support services, despite a report from the Center for Public Policy Priorities that found nearly one in four Texas children lived beneath the poverty line. Instead of raising revenue like California, a state facing a similarly sized deficit, Perry scaled back more than $10 billion of child support over two years. As Think Progress’ Pat Garofalo noted, these cuts were proposed despite Texas’ possession of a $8.2 billion rainy day fund.

(7) PERRY WAS A STRONG SUPPORTER OF TEXAS’S ANTI-SODOMY LAWS: Perry was a strong proponent of Texas’s anti-sodomy law that was struck down in 2003 by the Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas. Calling the law “appropriate,” Perry dismissed the Court decision as the result of “nine oligarchs in robes.” Even after being struck down, Perry supported the Texas legislature’s refusal to remove the law from its books.

(8) PERRY IS A STIMULUS HYPOCRITE WHO LOUDLY CRITICIZED FEDERAL RECOVERY MONEY BUT USED IT TO BALANCE HIS STATE’S BUDGET: As the nation struggled to avoid economic collapse in 2009, Perry was a vocal critic of Congress’s recovery package, even advocating that Texas reject the money because “we can take care of ourselves.” Months later, after Perry was able to balance the state’s budget only with the aid of billions in federal stimulus dollars, Perry again repeated that he would reject federal funding, arguing that the government “spends money they don’t have.” Five months later, Perry again took advantage of federal funding to issue $2 billion in bonds for highway improvements in Texas. Even so, the state faces a $27 billion budget
deficit.

(9) PERRY SAID THAT TEXAS MIGHT HAVE TO SECEDE FROM THE UNITED STATES: One hundred and fifty years ago, Texas and other southern states seceded from the Union, resulting in a bloody Civil War. 148 years later, Perry floated the idea that Texas may again have to secede because of a federal government that “continues to thumb their nose at the American people.” Perry was roundly criticized for his proposal, yet he repeated his threat the next month on Fox News, telling host Neil Cavuto, “If Washington continues to force these programs on the states, if Washington continues to disregard the tenth amendment, who knows what happens.”

(10) DESPITE HAVING THE WORST UNINSURED RATE IN THE COUNTRY, PERRY CLAIMS THAT TEXAS HAS “THE BEST HEALTH CARE IN THE COUNTRY” : On Bill Bennett’s radio show last year, Perry claimed that “Texas has the best health care in the country.” In reality, Texas has the highest rate of uninsured residents of any state. More than one in four Texans lack coverage; the national average is just 15.4 percent. As such, there are more uninsured residents in Texas than there are people in 33 states. Despite Texas’s low coverage rates, the state has some of the most restrictive Medicaid eligibility thresholds, and Perry has even proposed dropping out of the program. Texas also has an inordinately high percentage of impoverished children, yet Perry opposed expanding the successful State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

Rick Perry exposed -- lies, lies, and more lies




Texas Republicans started the year promising to make hard choices to solve the largest budget shortfall in the state’s history. They delivered one speech after another about not “kicking the can” down the road. Yet, that is exactly what they did under the direction of Rick Perry.

Gov. Rick Perry signed a budget that was balanced only through accounting maneuvers, rewriting school funding laws, ignoring a growing population and delaying payments on bills coming due in 2013. It accomplishes, however, what the Republican majority wanted most: It did not raise taxes, took little from the Rainy Day Fund and shifted any future deficits onto the next Legislature.

Many Republican lawmakers in Texas have complained privately that Perry worked to ensure during the last budget session that nothing passed that would hurt a potential Presidential campaign.



Not only did Perry accept federal stimulus dollars, but he used that money to plug 97% of the state’s 2010 budget shortfall. Texas was facing an anticipated $6.6 billion shortfall. With the help of the Recovery Act, Perry was able to return the Texas budget to viability.

Thus Rick Perry, as Governor of Texas, found the perfect solution to the deficit …the Federal Government. The Federal Government bailed out Texas, and Rick Perry. Without the Federal support, Texas would be bankrupt. Rick Perry is bankrupt of any honest or ethical standards. He is a fraud to promote himself as a “fiscal conservative.” It’s not just “baloney” of which he is full!


Romney improved Massachusetts' credit rating by RAISING TAXES


Over the past few days, Mitt Romney has been bragging about having gotten credit ratings agencies to upgrade Massachusetts' credit rating when he was governor:

-- quote
The president really ought to personally sit down and meet with S&P. I did that when I was governor; I met with the ratings agencies and talked about our future and tried to instill confidence in our future.
-- end quote

S&P bumped the commonwealth's credit rating from AA- to AA under Romney's tenure, so he's got a talking point to tout, but the interesting thing is how he secured the upgrade. As we learn here, he got it by pointing to increased taxes:

-- quote
Gov. Mitt Romney lobbied the credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s in 2004 to raise his state’s credit rating in part because Massachusetts had raised taxes during an economic downturn two years earlier.

The claim was part of a presentation to the ratings agency obtained by POLITICO under a state freedom of information law from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Administration and Finance.
-- end quote


I'm confused. Has Romney flipped or has he flopped?

Or is he lying?

Bachmann says she's a "doer, not a talker." But -- record shows, she hasn't done a damn thing -- except talk.


Michelle Bachmann says she's a "doer, not a talker."



Waterloo, Ia. — Republican Michele Bachmann on Saturday scoffed at being called extreme, and said she will be “the new sheriff” in Washington, D.C., if elected.

“I pledge to you, I’m not a talker. I’m a doer,” she said, in what seemed to be a response to rival GOP presidential contender Tim Pawlenty’s recent hints that Iowans shouldn’t let themselves be mesmerized by her soaring rhetoric.

Among things she would do: Repeal the federal health care reform law and the Wall Street reform act, “which takes away credit for small businesses in our country,” she said.

Well, okay, let's look at the record.


Now in her third House term, Bachmann has never had a bill or resolution she’s sponsored signed into law, and she’s never wielded a committee gavel, either at the full or subcommittee level. Bachmann’s amendments and bills have rarely been considered by any committee, even with the House under GOP control. In a chamber that rewards substantive policy work and insider maneuvering, Bachmann has shunned the inside game, choosing to be more of a bomb thrower than a legislator.


One thing for certain, she's a liar.

When does Senator Vitter (R, LA) resign??

Now that Rep. Anthony Weiner has admitted he sent lewd photos to young women and had "phone sex" with at least one of them, the howling mobs are demanding his resignation.

Let's go back to a similar admission involving a Republican Senator -- specifically Senator David Vitter (R, LA) who admitted to using the services of D.C. and New Orleans prostitutes. Remember, at the time Vitter was -- and still is -- the married father of four and a U.S. Senator.

After the revelations of his antics, Vitter was selected by the Southern Republican Leadership Conference as the man who "makes our party what it is."



In selecting the individuals who “make our party what it is,” SRLC [Southern Republican Leadership Conference] chose Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) to kick off today’s events. Vitter, of course, is known for frequenting a Washington, D.C. and New Orleans prostitution service. The married father of four has led Senate efforts to pass a “Marriage Protection Amendment” and bring down ACORN. Today, right-wing activists rewarded Vitter with a standing ovation.
...

Former Sen. Rick Santorum, who followed Vitter, lauded the “principled conservative leadership that David Vitter has shown in the United States Senate.”

Now, what was that noise from the right about how Weiner should resign?




This pretty much sums it up

Sarah Palin gets up each day, goes outside, and does a cannonball into a pool of stupid.



Impeach "Justice" Clarence Thomas and do it NOW!!

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas should be impeached immediately. Here are excerpts from other websites with the details.

-----------------------------------------


WASHINGTON, ProtectOurElections.org, a campaign finance watchdog,has asked the FBI and Department of Justice to investigate Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife, Virginia (Ginni) Thomas for financial and judicial corruption partly based on the Justice's newest financial disclosures.

First, the organization alleges, Justice Thomas falsified 20 years of judicial financial disclosure forms by denying that his wife had income sources;

second, he engaged in judicial corruption by receiving $100,000 in support from Citizens United during his nomination and then ruling in favor of Citizens United in 2010 without disclosing that fact or disqualifying himself;

and third, he apparently conspired with his wife in a form of "judicial insider trading" by providing her with information about the result of the Court's decision in Citizens United prior to its issuance, which she then used to launch a new company to take financial advantage of that decision to benefit her and her husband.

On Friday, May 27, 2011 [ding,ding,ding],
Clarence Thomas' [corrected] 2010 Financial Disclosure Forms were released showing that he had invested thousands of dollars in Liberty Consulting Inc. a lobbying and consulting firm founded by his wife to cater to the "tea party." The disclosure also revealed that his wife received "salary and benefits" from Liberty Consulting and Liberty Central.

Today [June 1, 2011], ProtectOurElections.org is calling on the DOJ's Public Integrity Section and the FBI to consider this new information in their investigation of Justice Thomas and his wife.


-----------------------------------------

by Jennifer Epstein, politico.com -- 1/24/11


Like all federal judges, Thomas must file annual disclosure reports on his personal finances, but he had omitted details of his wife’s earnings in what he wrote was a “misunderstanding of the filing instructions.” He also had checked a box marking no spousal income.
[...]

Last week [Jan 2011], watchdog group Common Cause reported that none of the nearly $690,000 the Heritage Foundation said it had paid Ginni Thomas between 2003 and 2007 had been reported on Justice Thomas’s annual financial disclosure forms.

In a statement Monday, the group said did not believe Thomas’s explanation.
[...]

Until 1996, Thomas included his wife’s income on his disclosure forms.

-----------------------------------------


And there you have it, folks. Thomas needs to stop participating in Court business until this matter is settled -- with his removal.