Archive for May, 2012

Jon Stewart Skewers Fox News, Roger Ailes Over Socialism Accusations

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Jon Stewart explains to Roger ailes that America is a left-leaning nation.  So much so that right wingers support programs that are solidly left-leaning.

Oh, Jon! Did I ever tell you that I, Roger Ailes, plan to undermine the role of an independent press by constantly whining at any reportage that deviates from a staunch conservative narrative is biased, while at the same time filling the editorial vacuum that that creates by building a Conservative propaganda juggernaut in the guise of a news organization… Jon, I’m gonna call the organization Fox News, and its tagline will be — you’re gonna love this: ‘A Fanatically Micro-Managed Media Fiefdom Where My Own Far-Right Agenda And Personal Sense of Victomhood Drive Every Aspect of the Operation… and Balanced.’


Video is located here

Obama birth conspiracies debunked

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

The State Attorney for Hawaii has this official press release on the Hawaiian government site

Document is linked here

Tons of debunked conspirary theories are located here

Thom Hartmann speaks with Paul Krugman

Monday, May 28th, 2012

Thom talks with economist Paul Krugman in tonight’s “Conversations with Great Minds.” Tonight’s “Big Picture Rumble” panel discusses Romney’s “bold” call for 6% unemployment by 2016, the end of conservative populism and how it would take the average worker 244 years to match a CEO’s annual salary. In tonight’s “Daily Take” Thom wonders why poor white Americans favor Romney over Obama.

Video is located here

Gemany serious about getting rid of nuclear power and now their solar industry is booming

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

German solar power plants produced a world record 22 gigawatts of electricity per hour – equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity – through the midday hours on Friday and Saturday, the head of a renewable energy think tank said.

The German government decided to abandon nuclear power after the Fukushima nuclear disaster last year, closing eight plants immediately and shutting down the remaining nine by 2022.

Story is located here

Paul Krugman Destroys Every Republican Argument for Austerity

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

We are in a depression. We are actually in a classic depression. A depression is when nobody wants to spend. Everybody wants to pay down their debt at the same time. Everybody is trying to pull back, either because they got too far into debt, or because if they’re a corporation, they can’t sell because consumers are pulling back. The thing about an economy is that it fits together. My spending is your income. Your spending is my income, so if we all pull back at the same time, we’re in a depression. The way to get out of it is for somebody to spend so that people can pay down their debt, so that we don’t have a depression. So that we have a chance to work out of whatever excesses we had in the past, and that somebody has to be the government.

We ended the Great Depression with a great program of government spending for an unfortunate reason. It was known as World War II…but when the war broke out in Europe, and we began our buildup that Great Depression that had been going on for ten years. People thought it would go on forever. Learned people stroked their chins and said there are no quick answers. In two years, employment rose 20%. That’s the equivalent of 26 million jobs today, the depression was over. We had full employment, and it never came back, or it didn’t come back until 2008, because people managed to pay down those debts, and we had a durable recovery.

Arthur Laffer delivered the conservative plan to fix the economy. Laffer agreed with Krugman that we are in a depression, and said, “I don’t think we have to do it by government spending. My view is I’ve never heard of a poor person spending himself into prosperity. The government doesn’t create resources. The government redistributes them, and it redistributes them from workers and producers to people they get the resources based on some characteristic of the work effort. So what you really need to do is I think you need to incentivize producers, and what you need to go along, and my way of going would be Simpson-Bowles. Something to lower the tax rates, broaden the base, get rid of the loopholes. I mean really get a production base that officially starts, and that’s the way you really get out of this depression. The way we did in the Eighties to be honest with you.”
Krugman countered the right wing theory with reality, “We have long run budget problems, and I don’t like Simpson-Bowles, but okay it was a good faith effort, but those don’t solve our short run problems. If you tell me we have a plan to balance the U.S. budget in 2030, great. That is not going to make a corporation that can’t sell its products now, produce more now. Do you think all the households in America are sitting around thinking, hmmm, I’m worried about the state of Medicare in 2030.”

Video is located here

Bill Maher – What Exactly Has Obama Done That Has Made Conservatives So Angry?

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

Much has been made of comments made in some corners that Obama is the most radical president in this nation’s history. Maher observed, “How can the same guy… make these people think that America’s changed so completely, and yet make me think like it’s barely changed at all?” He said he’s noticed no real significant change in our nation’s freedoms since Obama was sworn in.

Maher shot down claims that Obama has been racking up the government spending with statistics showing that of every president since Ronald Reagan, Obama has had the smallest annualized growth of federal spending. Or, in Maher’s words, “the black man’s is the shortest.” He pointed to Obama’s concessions and moderate actions on the financial crisis, oil drilling, and other big issues. Once again, Maher asked conservatives exactly what they mean when they claim Obama is the most radical president of all time. “How can you guys be so unhappy with Obama when I’m so unhappy with Obama? You think you got coal in your stocking? I wanted single-payer health care, a carbon emissions bill, gun control, and legalized pot. If you get to carry around all this outrage over me getting that shit, shouldn’t I have gotten it?”

Maher also made a not-so-subtle Trayvon Martin reference by joking that Obama “could not be less threatening if he was walking home with iced tea and Skittles.”

Video is located here

Romney says cuts will send the nation into recession. Teaparty says cuts will lead to prosperity. HAHAHA!

Friday, May 25th, 2012
Ooops…Romney contradicts Teaparty and Boehner on cuts and their ability to help the economy.
The story has an update having Boehner admitting long term cuts are the way to go and using weasel words explaining how cuts today may not be the way to go…maybe. However the Teaparty held the nation hostage over paying the bills (the debt ceiling downgrade of course) therefore their denial of cutting spending leading to a lower GDP in the short term…is contradicted.
They are completely contradictory at every direction regardless which stand they take on cuts. The lowering of the credit rating costs us billions every year. They have been saying for years that cuts lead to progress…now Boehner is contradicting it and Romney full out said it would sink the GDP significantly and send us into a recession if not a Depression.
The fact is when you cut spending…you cut GDP. When you cut GDP you cut the total economic activity of the nation which is technically the definition of a recession. The time NOT to cut spending is now as we teeter on a Depression.
I say….bravo Teabaggers! Anyone who can put the dots together realizes the Teabaggers are simply trying to sink the economy and lie to the world about it. The problem is that half of the nation thinks the Teabaggers are correct in thinking cuts lead to progress and now the Republican leadership is calling that half that agreed with them….stupid…as GOP leaders completely disavow Austerity.

Businesses and the meme they are leaving California

Friday, May 25th, 2012

You hear it all the time -typically from corporately-backed Republican candidates running for office: “California’s regulations are a job killer. Companies are leaving California to do business elsewhere.” This is the argument that Texas oil companies are using to promote Prop 23, which would basically kill California’s sole prospering business sector right now: clean tech. But here’s another important question: are there more of them than there are new companies coming in or starting up locally?

Turns out, there actually have been studies on this issue like this recent one from the Public Policy Institute of California. In fact, they historically have demonstrated that the vast vast majority of businesses aren’t leaving California after all. Sure there are some companies that leave, and some people decide not to start a business in California, but the percentage is negligible, so much so that California suffers less from this problem than other states:

Gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman and other Republicans contend that California’s poor business climate is driving employers and their jobs out of the state, but an updated study by the Public Policy Institute of California found otherwise.
Relocations account for a tiny percentage of the state’s job losses, the PPIC study found – just 1.7 percent from 1992 to 2006 and never more than 2.3 percent in any one year.
“Few businesses move into or out of California,” says the report, written by PPIC’s Jed Kolko. “From 1992 through 2006, about 16,000 jobs annually moved into California and about 25,000 jobs annually moved out of California. The annual net employment change in California due to relocation – a loss of about 9,000 jobs – represents only .05 percent of California’s 18 million jobs.”
Furthermore, Kolko’s research found, California’s losses from employer movement are well below the national average of the states. Washington, D.C., suffers the biggest such loss, 6.9 percent of its total employment decrease.
“In California,” Kolko continues, “74 percent of job gains and 68 percent of job losses are homegrown. Most job gains are due to the births and expansions of locally owned businesses; most job losses are due to the contractions and deaths of locally owned businesses.
Gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman and other Republicans contend that California’s poor business climate is driving employers and their jobs out of the state, but an updated study by the Public Policy Institute of California found otherwise.
Relocations account for a tiny percentage of the state’s job losses, the PPIC study found – just 1.7 percent from 1992 to 2006 and never more than 2.3 percent in any one year.
“Few businesses move into or out of California,” says the report, written by PPIC’s Jed Kolko. “From 1992 through 2006, about 16,000 jobs annually moved into California and about 25,000 jobs annually moved out of California. The annual net employment change in California due to relocation – a loss of about 9,000 jobs – represents only .05 percent of California’s 18 million jobs.”
Furthermore, Kolko’s research found, California’s losses from employer movement are well below the national average of the states. Washington, D.C., suffers the biggest such loss, 6.9 percent of its total employment decrease.
“In California,” Kolko continues, “74 percent of job gains and 68 percent of job losses are homegrown. Most job gains are due to the births and expansions of locally owned businesses; most job losses are due to the contractions and deaths of locally owned businesses.
Gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman and other Republicans contend that California’s poor business climate is driving employers and their jobs out of the state, but an updated study by the Public Policy Institute of California found otherwise.
Relocations account for a tiny percentage of the state’s job losses, the PPIC study found – just 1.7 percent from 1992 to 2006 and never more than 2.3 percent in any one year.
“Few businesses move into or out of California,” says the report, written by PPIC’s Jed Kolko. “From 1992 through 2006, about 16,000 jobs annually moved into California and about 25,000 jobs annually moved out of California. The annual net employment change in California due to relocation – a loss of about 9,000 jobs – represents only .05 percent of California’s 18 million jobs.”
Furthermore, Kolko’s research found, California’s losses from employer movement are well below the national average of the states. Washington, D.C., suffers the biggest such loss, 6.9 percent of its total employment decrease.
“In California,” Kolko continues, “74 percent of job gains and 68 percent of job losses are homegrown. Most job gains are due to the births and expansions of locally owned businesses; most job losses are due to the contractions and deaths of locally owned businesses.

Now, once every few years, you’ll see these studies reported, but they all fall on deaf ears because the emotional fairy tales that pro-polluter groups like the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Society and the Chamber of Commerce like to tell make more memorable stories that they repeat over and over again.

The thing is, as the SacBee notes:

What Kolko’s research does not – and cannot – show, however, is whether the state’s business climate is a significant deterrent to new job-creating investment. There’s no objective way to determine why investments are made inside or outside the state, since investors don’t reveal their reasons for such decisions.

There’s the rub. Without a way to determine for sure that the state is truly over-regulated or if they’re just making stuff up, these polluters and large corporations make unfounded claims that fit the message they want because they can’t be supported or denied. Like their philosophy on toxic chemicals, they put the burden on you to prove them wrong instead of demonstrating they’re right. In fact, it’s not even worth them trying to find a way to prove their claims are true because spending money to figure out something that might prove them wrong just isn’t going to make them money -and really, that’s what it’s always about.

Story is located here

FOX News really is not news

Friday, May 25th, 2012

“The study showed that the effects of ideologically-pitched media, like Fox News, MSNBC and talk radio, depend on who is listening or watching. On the whole, MSNBC, for instance, had no impact on political knowledge one way or the other. However, liberals who watched MSNBC did better on the knowledge questions, answering correctly 1.89 of the domestic questions and 1.64 of the international questions correctly. Similarly, while moderates and liberals who watch Fox News do worse at answering the questions than others, conservatives who watch Fox do worse than people who watch no news at all.”

Story is located here

Private Equity does not make jobs in America is robs America as it concentrates wealth with special deals for the rich

Friday, May 25th, 2012
The bottom line when you look at the general numbers and paint it with a broad brush-
It is a tremendously weak argument to say that Private Equity really makes jobs becuase the charts surely do not show it….HOWEVER their taxes that are slashed and the perks that the see are absolutely never recouped. And the thing that sticks out the most to me is that these Private Equity deals have been 70% leveraged through the past decade. OF course Romney did just this. He would go in with $2million…buy a $100 million company using the comany as collateral…he would take his fees up front as part of the debt and if the company crashed that would be a writeoff. They would demand special tax breaks for the company and they would get the breaks meanwhile as part of cutting costs people would be fired or fired and REHIRED at less than they were making before plus loss of their pension. This is not Capitalism it is Croneyism or Kleptocracy or simply a FELONY. Mitt and his friends made theirs…meanwhile we paid for it and when it came to their time to pay taxes they basically paid $0….which is the EXACT REASON he will not release any more tax returns. How would it look as he made his $5-$10million and paid quite possibly less in taxes than you paid? 
Which is why Tony Soprano’s explanation of his concept of Capitalism fits perfectly here.  Video is located here
And also many of the big corporations are either offshoring jobs or doing away with people entirely which once again proves the top are NOT job creators.  In the case of the Koch Brothers they are making money…firing people….and using profits to buy legislators who make them swetheart deals that make them more money.  They LAUNDER money basically.  Chart is located here
And anyone who contradicts this is anti-Capitalism?  Why do these people hate average Americans making a buck?  Who do they think buys their garbage if not average Americans and that buck they made…so in effect the corporations and Equity people are killing their market.

Tony Soprano explains Bain and Mitt Romney

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

The national debate over private equity so far has hinged on the question of whether experience in the field qualifies Mitt Romney, the former Bain Capital executive, for the presidency. But a more vexing, and largely unanswered, question lies just beneath the surface: How is it, exactly, that an investment company can make millions even as the company it’s ostensibly trying to turn around goes bust?

For that answer, we turned to what may seem like a less-than-reliable source: Tony Soprano.

The investors profit, it turns out, not despite the failure of the company, but in fact because of it.

In the organized crime world, the business practice is known as a bust out. A group of investors — in Soprano’s case, an entire family — looks for companies that have a strong underlying business but are in distress thanks to heavy debt burdens. The investors then take over the company. In the mob’s case, the family presents the business with a very high-interest loan — an offer which, under the financial circumstances, is difficult to refuse — and effectively takes control of the company with the threat of physical violence. Private equity investors, by contrast, buy control of the company’s board by purchasing the firm’s stock. But for both private equity firms and the mafia, investors use their control of the firm to take on more debt, while at the same time cutting costs by laying off workers.

Cash from the loans and cost savings are funneled back to the investors. This looting continues until the company can’t pay its debts. When it finally collapses, the company files for bankruptcy to extinguish the debt — but private equity investors, as well as mobsters, get to keep the gains they’ve already reaped.

Mark Galeotti, one of the leading experts in transnational organized crime, said it’s a familiar tactic above ground and below it. “It’s one of the classic tactics of organized crime,” Galeotti, a New York University professor, told HuffPost. “You exploit it as far as you can and when you have essentially squeezed every possible bit of value out of it, you burn it. In organized crime’s case, I mean that literally, whereas with private equity, it’s planned bankruptcy. But essentially you dispose of it in as convenient a way as possible, and then you walk away.”

Private equity isn’t always this rapacious. Investors often oversee healthy restructurings that re-set struggling firms on stronger footing. But mafia-esque looting of productive enterprises has always been a part of the private equity business that has a terrible reputation, a stain that the industry has repeatedly attempted to remove with creative marketing efforts. Today, the industry is trying to replace common pejorative terms for its business, such as “corporate raider” and “vulture funds,” with new phrases, such as “growth capital.”

The difference between a “Sopranos”-style buyout and one executed by Bain Capital, Galeotti said, has to do with the mob’s willingness to use illicit capital and unregulated violence to accomplish its goal. “Private equity firms, in the main, while there are exceptions, basically operate within the letter of the law, if not the spirit. What they do is legal. It can’t be challenged in the courts even if it runs against, sort of, the notion of the social contract,” Galeotti said. “Whereas organized crime, if they have to kill someone, or if they have to use dirty money to do it, they’ll do it. So it’s the methodology that is different. But if you actually think about, Well, what are they doing? How are they doing it? And what’s the end result? There, it’s strikingly similar.”

Story is located here

Bigfoot, Yeti Hair Samples Requested for DNA Analysis at Oxford

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Researchers at Oxford University in England are taking on a big challenge with their latest DNA investigation: Bigfoot.

Scientists at the university’s Wolfson College have begun a study that sets out to identify the types of animals and species that hikers and mountaineers around the world have identified as Bigfoot, Yeti, and Sasquatch, according to the Associated Press.

Geneticist Bryan Sykes, who is leading the study, is asking anyone with evidence of Bigfoot or a Yeti to send in their evidence and help scientists figure out what the mythical creature actually could be. The scientists will perform DNA analysis on hair or other samples to try and identify the species of animal, according to the report.

Story is located here

Reagan’s Budget Director says Romney did NOT learn how to make jobs at Bain

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

ASMAN: But hold on David, he had so many new jobs created for all the jobs that were lost, it was a net gain, no?

STOCKMAN: I don’t think so. All the jobs that he talks about came from Staples. That was a very early venture stage deal that, you know, they got out of long before it got to its current size. You know, the LBO business is legitimate, free enterprise business, just like, you know, running a brothel if that’s what you want to do, or a house of gambling.

Story is located here

5 Ways The Facebook IPO Teaches Us About How Wall Street Games The System

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

So basically Facebook told secrets to some people which is illegal.They hid actual numbers from everybody which is illegal.  Wall Street took their fees up front so they absolutely made their huge fees and now Facebook will buy politicians with their ill gotten gains. And some people STILL say deregulation is a good thing? Un-be-lievable!
Story is located here

Interesting discussion about cable news

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

If you fast forward to about 50 minutes you see the discussion about cable news. 

Chris Matthews had some tense moments during a panel appearance at a cable convention on Tuesday. Matthews argued heatedly with CNN’s John King and bristled when the panel moderator brought up one of his most infamous statements.

Matthews’ joust with King came when co-panelist Maria Elena Salinas from Univision suggested that “it’s not clear” anymore when people are offering news or commentary.

“I think it’s very clear,” Matthews shot back.

King said that the answer depended on each network’s brand. “You know if you’re watching Fox in primetime or MSNBC in primetime, you know what you’re watching,” he said. “I do think for those of us who want to be in the middle and have all sides, we have a challenge too to make those conversations more provocative.”

“There’s no amen corner,” Matthews responded. “You’re left and far left, they’re right and far right,” King said. “That’s not true,” Matthews replied. “How is that not true?” King asked.

Their back-and-forth continued, with audible sighs and groans from Matthews.

Later, moderator Steve Scully somewhat cheekily brought up Matthews’ statement in 2008 that he “felt this thrill going up my leg” when hearing then-candidate Barack Obama speak.

Scully asked Matthews if the “thrill” is still there. Matthews proceeded to issue a very sharp response.

Video is located here

Where did the Universe come from?

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

The universe came from…nothing.

Video is located here

OMG…OMG…Romney is going to use Dick Cheney as a very very close consultant if not even more

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

This is just too much to process.  Romney is admitting that his Administration is going to be Bush3.  And this time Cheney will be even more up front.  You need to watch thins to the end.  It is very disturbing.

Video is located here

Moody’s and Bloomberg both say clearly- Obama a shoe in

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012


Bloombergdetails this morning how the improving economy in swing states is playing to Barack Obama’s favor for re-election this fall.

Bloomberg breaks it down to these eight states, with 101 electoral votes: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. Of those, it projects that Romney will need to win 79 to capture the election.

Moody’s doesn’t think that will happen. We put together their electoral college projection on, which has Obama eventually prevailing rather easily, 303 to 235. Obama wins Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio and Virginia. Romney wins just Florida and North Carolina.
Read more:

ObamaCare set to save billions

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

The government plans to announce today that the 2010 health care law will save Medicare beneficiaries $208 billion through 2020, and save Medicare itself $200 billion through 2016, based on a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services actuary report.

Story is located here

Obama Truth Team disassembles Karl Rove Crossroads GPS ad on several topics

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Stephanie Cutter shares the facts against the latest ad put out by Karl Rove and his Super PAC: Crossroads.

“Hi, I’m Stephanie Cutter, Deputy Campaign Manager at Obama for America.

Well, here we are again. Karl Rove’s group, Crossroads, is spending $25 million from secret donors to tear down the president in a new ad out today.

Time to tear this thing apart.

First up — the attack ad says the president has not helped people who face foreclosure. That is flat out wrong.

Because of President Obama’s policies and the efforts he set in motion, over 5.9 million homeowners were able to modify their mortgages, avoid foreclosure, and stay in their homes. And the president is fighting to get Congress to go further — to let responsible homeowners who pay their mortgages on time to refinance and save on their monthly payments, even if they are underwater. The president is doing this because he believes homeownership is critical to helping middle class families build for their future.

And don’t forget: Mitt Romney’s plan on this? Well I’ll just let him speak for himself:

ROMNEY: ‘Don’t try and stop the foreclosure process, let it run its course and hit the bottom.’

I’d like to say that’s unbelievable, but with Mitt Romney, it’s really not.

Second, the ad says the president broke a promise to cut taxes on middle class Americans. They’re wrong again. President Obama has cut taxes for all working Americans — in fact tax levels are nearly the lowest they’ve been since the 1950s. So, when Karl Rove says the president broke his promise on middle class tax cuts, he’s not telling you the truth.

But, If Mitt Romney wants to have this argument, we are happy to have it. Because when he ran for governor of Massachusetts, he promised to cut taxes too. But unlike the President, he actually did break that promise — he hiked taxes and fees by $750 million per year on Massachusetts families and Massachusetts small businesses.

Third, the ads talks about health care. And you’ll like this one because we’ve heard it before. It says that you won’t be able to keep the insurance plan that you have. Now that’s just flat out wrong. If you like your plan if you want to keep it — you can. In fact, the president made that plan stronger.

You know what Mitt Romney says about Obamacare?

ROMNEY: ‘If I’m President, I will repeal Obamacare and I’ll kill it dead on it’s first day.’

‘Kill it dead’ Affordable coverage? Gone. Protections against insurance companies? Gone. Kids with preexisting conditions getting coverage? Not anymore. Not under Mitt Romney.

Fourth up is an attack on the president’s plan to cut the deficit. The President has already enacted $1 trillion in spending cuts to help reduce our deficit—and has a balanced plan to cut the deficit by $4 trillion over the next 10 years.

Under Mitt Romney? The deficit would not just go up, it would go way up. Just like in Massachusetts, where he promised to reduce the debt, but actually increased it by 16 percent. As President, he’d add $5 trillion to the deficit because of a $250,000 tax cut for every millionaire and billionaire in this country that he’s not paying for.

So — another special interest attack ad, another set of outright distortions, and another time when I need to ask you to do what you do best: get the president’s back. Karl Rove is relying on you doing nothing to call out his BS — and I know you’ll prove him wrong. Tweet this video to your friends, Facebook it so people you know see it, post it on your Tumblr — and let’s make sure people get the truth.

Thanks for helping us fight back.”

Story is located here

Viral Facebook post says Barack Obama has lowest spending record of any recent president

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Says Mitt Romney is wrong to claim that spending under Obama has “accelerated at a pace without precedent in recent history,” because it’s actually risen “slower than at any time in nearly 60 years.”

Obama has indeed presided over the slowest growth in spending of any president using raw dollars, and it was the second-slowest if you adjust for inflation. The math simultaneously backs up Nutting’s calculations and demolishes Romney’s contention. The only significant shortcoming of the graphic is that it fails to note that some of the restraint in spending was fueled by demands from congressional Republicans. On balance, we rate the claim Mostly True.

Story is located here

Romney and Right Wing said Obama apologized around the world. This is a PANTS ON FIRE lie.

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Some of the Obama speeches that Romney cited in his book certainly laid out Obama’s foreign policy ideas, and it seems fair to say that a less confrontational approach was among Obama’s goals. Obama had made no secret during the campaign that he intended to set a different course on foreign policy than Bush — a committed unilateralist — had pursued.

Still, we think it’s incorrect for Romney to portray these early speeches as part of a global apology tour. Using Romney’s standard, you could argue that any change in foreign policy that’s undertaken after a presidential transition and announced to the world would constitute an “apology” for the previous policy.

On the substance of Romney’s charge, we believe that what we wrote in March 2010 still stands. While Obama’s speeches contained some criticisms of past U.S. actions, those passages were typically leavened by praise for the United States and its ideals, and he frequently mentioned how other countries have erred as well. We found not a single, full-throated apology in the bunch. And on the new angle Romney has added — that the trips were intended to offer the president a forum to apologize to other countries — we think it’s a ridiculous charge. There’s a clear difference between changing policies and apologizing, and Obama didn’t do the latter. So we rate Romney’s statement Pants on Fire

Story is located here

JudyCare: Focusing on Fighting Cancer, Without Fear of Lifetime Insurance Caps

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Judy Lamb from Colorado is an inspiration. Despite fighting breast cancer that has spread to her bones and liver and undergoing weekly chemotherapy, she has a positive outlook on life.

“I have three children, I’m married, and I cook dinner every night. It’s not really exciting, but it’s a wonderful life. I’m so glad I’m here, because without my treatments I wouldn’t be here,” she says.

She is able to maintain her positive attitude partly because the Affordable Care Act has removed a tremendous burden: the fear that her health plan would stop paying for her treatments.

Story is located here

How Mitt Romney gets away with his lying

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Yesterday, Mitt Romney gave a big speech in which he accused Obama of lighting a “prairie fire of debt.” It’s a good line, and it has received widespread media coverage.

Romney’s speech has already been dissected by Jonathan Chait and Steve Benen. They note that it’s entirely at odds with conventional understanding of how deficits work, and utterly disconnected from context, rendering it almost unquantifiably misleading.

But I wanted to make another point. If you scan through all the media attention Romney’s speech received, you are hard-pressed to find any news accounts that tell readers the following rather relevant points:

1) Nonpartisan experts believe Romney’s plans would increase the deficit far more than Obama’s would.

2) George W. Bush’s policies arguably are more responsible for increasing the deficit than Obama’s are.

Oh, sure, many of the news accounts contain the Obama campaign’s response to Romney’s speech; the Obama campaign put out a widely-reprinted statement arguing that Romney’s plans would increase the deficit and that he’d return to policies that created it in the first place.

But this shouldn’t be a matter of partisan opinion. On the first point, independent experts think an actual set of facts exists that can be used to determine what the impact of Romney’s policies on the deficit would be. And according to those experts, based on what we know now, Romney’s policies would explode the deficit far more than Obama’s would.

The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has taken a close look at this question. It has determined that relative to current policy — that is, if you keep the Bush tax cuts in place, as Romney wants to do — Romney’s tax cutting plans would increase the deficit by nearly $5 trillion over 10 years. That’s on top of keeping the Bush tax cuts for the rich. Romney has promised to close various loopholes to pay for his tax cuts, but he hasn’t specified which ones. Until he does, the Tax Policy Center concludes, his plan would cost $5 trillion — which would be added, yes, to the deficit.

By contrast, Obama’s plans would not increase the deficit by anything close to that amount. Relative to current policy, the Tax Policy Center has found, Obama’s plan would reduce the deficit by approximately $2 trillion over the next decade. Now, under Obama, the deficit would still increase. That’s because current policy means we’re forgoing the $4.5 trillion in revenues we’d gain if we let all the Bush tax cuts expire. But neither candidate is going to do that. Obama, however, would end the Bush tax cuts for the rich and bring in revenues through a variety of other tax increases. Bottom line: relative to current policy, Obama’s plan would reduce the deficit by bringing in $180 billion or more in revenues a year, or approximately $2 trillion over 10 years; Romeny’s plan would increase the deficit by nearly $500 billion a year — $5 trillion over ten years.

The Tax Policy Center’s Roberton Williams summed it up perfectly in a quote to me:

“The bottom line is that whatever baseline you use, until Romney makes good on his promise to pay for his tax cuts, he would increase the deficit far more than Obama would.”

On the second point, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has determined that the policies put in place under Bush are the main driver of the deficits that are projected over the next decade.

The two bullet points above could not be more central to the debate over the debt that Romney’s big speech set in motion yesterday. Yet the vast majority of news consumers who now know that Romney has accused Obama of lighting a “prairie fire of debt” that threatens to engulf our children and our future haven’t been told about either of them.

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Obama speaks on Romney Bain Capital claims

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

President Obama responds to questions during a press conference at the 2012 Chicago NATO Summit.

President Obama:
“Well, first of all I think Cory Booker is an outstanding mayor. He’s doing great work in Newark and obviously helping to turn that city around. And I think it’s important to recognize that this issue is not a, quote, distraction. This is part of the debate that we’re going to be having in this election campaign about how do we create an economy where everybody from top to bottom, folks on Wall Street and folks on Main Street, have a shot at success, and if they’re working hard and they’re acting responsibly, that they’re able to live out the American dream.

Now, I think my view of private equity is that it is — it is set up to maximize profits and that’s a healthy part of the free market. That’s – that’s part of the role of a lot of business people. That’s not unique to private equity, and as I think my representatives have said repeatedly, and I will say today, I think there are folks who do good work in that area, and there are times where they identify the capacity for the economy to create new jobs or new industries. But understand that their priority is to maximize profits. And that’s not always going to be good for communities or businesses or workers.

And the reason this is relevant to the campaign is because my opponent, Governor Romney, his main calling card for why he thinks he should be president is his business experience. He’s not going out there touting his experience in Massachusetts. He’s saying,’ I’m a business guy and I know how to fix it,’ and this is his business.

And when you’re president, as opposed to the head of a private equity firm, then your job is not simply to maximize profits. Your job is to figure out how everybody in the country has a fair shot. Your job is to think about those workers who get laid off and how are we paying them for their retraining? Your job is to think about how those communities can start creating new clusters so that they can attract new businesses. Your job as president is to think about how do we set up a equitable tax system so that everybody’s paying their fair share that allows us then to invest in science and technology and infrastructure, all of which are going to help us grow.

And so, if your main argument for how to grow the economy is, ‘I knew how to make a lot of money for investors,’ then you’re missing what this job is about. It doesn’t – it doesn’t mean you weren’t good at private equity, but that’s not what my job is as president.

My job is to take into account everybody, not just some. My job is to make sure that the country is growing not just now, but ten years from now and twenty years from now. And so, to repeat, this is not a distraction. This is what this campaign’s going to be about, is: what is a strategy for us to move this country forward, in a way where everybody can succeed? And that means I’ve got to think about those workers in that video just as much as I’m thinking about folks who have been much more successful.”

Reporter: [inaudible]

President Obama:
“What I would say is, is that Mr. Romney is responsible for the proposals he’s putting forward for how he says he’s going to fix the economy, and if the main basis for him suggesting he can do a better job, is his track record as the head of a private equity firm, then both the upsides and the downsides are worth examining.”

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Federal spending under Obama flatlined

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

In the 2009 fiscal year — the last of George W. Bush’s presidency — federal spending rose by 17.9% from $2.98 trillion to $3.52 trillion. Check the official numbers at the Office of Management and Budget.

In fiscal 2010 — the first budget under Obama — spending fell 1.8% to $3.46 trillion.

In fiscal 2011, spending rose 4.3% to $3.60 trillion.

In fiscal 2012, spending is set to rise 0.7% to $3.63 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate of the budget that was agreed to last August.

Finally in fiscal 2013 — the final budget of Obama’s term — spending is scheduled to fall 1.3% to $3.58 trillion. Read the CBO’s latest budget outlook.

Obama’s four budget years, federal spending is on track to rise from $3.52 trillion to $3.58 trillion, an annualized increase of just 0.4%.

There has been no huge increase in spending under the current president, despite what you hear.

Why do people think Obama has spent like a drunken sailor? It’s in part because of a fundamental misunderstanding of the federal budget.

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10 Things Mitt Romney’s Republican Primary Opponents Said About Bain

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Romney has placed his record at Bain at the center of his campaign. In April for example, Romney said, “You might have heard that I was successful in business. And that rumor is true…And after 25 years, I know how to lead us out of this stagnant Obama economy and into a job-creating recovery!” (Multiple independent fact checkers have concluded that Romney’s claims on job creation at Bain are simply false.)

On Monday, President Obama took Romney at his word and noted that the former Massachusetts governor’s record at Bain Capital is “not a distraction” but “what this campaign is going to be about.” Romney’s Republican primary opponents agreed, and in the last six months offered criticism of his tenure at Bain that make Obama’s remarks sound tame by comparison.

Here are the top 10 comments about Bain from Romney’s Republican rivals:

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Cory Booker on Meet The Press-

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Yesterday on NBC’s Meet The Press, Booker, an Obama surrogate, surprised a lot of people by criticizing last week’s attack ad on Romney’s Bain record at GST Steel, calling it “nauseating.”  The discarding of people from the workplace is the truly nauseating issue that Booker swept under the rug.

Video is located here

Congressman John Lewis says what MLK would say about Civil rights for all and regarding the insanity of restricting voter rights

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Civil rights leader and Georgia Congressman, John Lewis, tells us what his friend, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., would say about these divisive times if he was still alive today.

Video is located here

So they call me a Liberal…

Monday, May 21st, 2012

The more they talk, the more being called a liberal sounds like a compliment.

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“Born Rich” and “The One Percent” – Two thought-provoking documentaries by Jamie Johnson, heir to the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical fortune

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

Videos are located here

A good overview of the videos is located here

David Corn on Obama’s Grand Bargain in Retrospect

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

I was just browsing Corn’s “Showdown: The Inside Story of How Obama Fought Back Against Boehner. Cantor, and the Tea Party.”

In it we learn what Laurence O’Donnell has said at the time-and I had tended to believe-but that many liberal Obama haters refused to accept-that Obama actually played a masterful hand of poker. Only now is it really clear that he did win that faceoff entirely.
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Jim Cramer: Bain Capital “fired a lot of people and that’s how they got prosperity for the rich”

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

Story is located here

Dear President Obama: I’m Sorry.

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

Dear Mr. President,

I owe you an apology, and I sincerely hope that after reading this letter (if it somehow makes its way to you), you will find it in your heart to forgive me.

During the 2008 election, you inspired me to a level of unprecedented political engagement in American politics. I canvassed door-to-door and on college campuses – as well as in online political and not-so-political chat rooms (oh, the adventures) – registering voters with one goal in mind: to secure your place in the White House.

I believed in you, despite my natural-born cynicism and grounded understanding of our political system’s current dysfunction. I believed in you not because of your campaign rhetoric, but because of the deep sincerity I intuited in that rhetoric.

That sincerity is rare.

And then something changed after you assumed the presidency. Over time, I became somewhat disillusioned, reverting to my former, cynical self. Over the last three years, I have done little to praise you.

The truth is, I have mainly critiqued you.

I critiqued your administration’s reticence to pursue legal action against the Bush administration. I critiqued your signing an Affordable Care Act that didn’t contain a public option. I critiqued your administration’s bailing out of the financial sector, and then critiqued your administration’s reticence to investigate and prosecute those in the financial sector who brought our country to its knees.

I’ve critiqued your penchant for compromise with those Republicans in our country who do nothing but carry water for the richest among us, and your willingness to work with those in the GOP who would – if given the chance – deny basic civil and human rights to the least among us.

I’ve critiqued your Israel policy and your actions with regard to the Palestinians. I critiqued your signing of NDAA, and your administration’s killing of Americans abroad in the “war on terror.”

I have done so much critiquing, Mr. President.

And while I still stand by some of my critiques, after looking at the socially-prehistoric and dishonest candidates being offered by the GOP, and after looking more closely and honestly at your own presidency, I have come to realize the following:

Not only must I praise you, but I must praise you
for being the greatest President of my lifetime.

More than praise you, what I really must say is thank you.

+ Thank you for preventing drug companies from blocking access to generic drugs so that a loved one can have access to life-preserving medication.

+ Thank you for requiring that health plans cover those with preexisting conditions so my brother can receive cancer treatment if he once again needs it.

+ Thank you for repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

+ Thank you for pushing the Matthew Shepard Act, which expanded sexual orientation into hate crime legislation.

+Thank you for beginning the removal of our our troops from Iraq.

+ Thank you for expanding Pell Grants for low-income students and for adding protections for student borrowers.

+ Thank you for pushing for funding of The Violence Against Women Act.

+ Thank you for expanding both Early Head Start and Head Start.

+ Thank you for working to expand coverage via the State Children’s Health Insurance Fund (SCHIP).

+ Thank you for creative a ‘Green Vet Initiative’ that seeks to promote environmental jobs for our veterans.

+ Thank you for extending unemployment insurance benefits and child tax credits.

Thank you, President Obama, for all those things listed and those things I’ve failed to list that you have done.

I’m sorry I have not given you the proper credit you deserve, and I pledge, from now on, to not just focus on my critiques of you in my writing, but also on those things for which you deserve praise.

Please forgive me.


David Harris-Gershon (@David_EHG)
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‘Small-Goverment’ Schilling’s Biz Goes Bad, Asks Rhode Island For More Taxpayer Cash

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Typical “small government” Teaparty person.  He wants the government small enough to bail him out but no bigger. 


“Schilling spent no small amount of time in his career preaching the Republican mantra of smaller government and personal responsibility. He did this fresh off the historic Red Sox World Series win when he backed George W. Bush in the 2004 campaign. He did it on the stump on behalf of John McCain in 2008,” McGrory wrote. “Smaller government? Call me crazy, but I’m betting that wasn’t exactly what Schilling was extolling when he sat behind closed doors on Wednesday pleading with the members of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp. to put more public money behind his fantasy video game venture.”

Story is located here

Republicans ADMIT there are many great parts to ObamaCare

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Their gripe? Republicans would try to replicate popular parts of Obama’s health care law if the Supreme Court overturns the law this summer.

Rather than sending out news releases or rushing to cable TV for a rant, conservatives blasted House Republican leadership on a private Google email group called The Repeal Coalition. The group is chock- full of think tank types, some Republican leadership staffers, health care policy staffers and conservative activists, according to sources in the group.

The behind-the-scenes fight among Republicans richly illustrates why House GOP leadership is so cautious, sensitive and calculating when it comes to dealing with the conservative right. POLITICO obtained the email chain, the contents of which show that health care reform remains just as emotional an issue as ever.

Wesley Denton, an aide to Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), questioned whether the “GOP now against full repeal?”

Story is located here

Read more:

The Republicans created a FAKE Obama budget document and lied in saying it was his

Thursday, May 17th, 2012
The Republicans are real jerks.
The overview is this-
The GOP took Obama’s topline….non specific numbers and put them in a very thin document. Then they paraded that this WAS Obama’s budget. Next they put it up for a vote and EVERYONE VOTED AGAINST IT. Of course they did…because it was NOT Obama’s budget at all. There were no specifics and it was not an approved document from Obama in any way shape or form. It is like a child putting on daddy’s huge shoes and baggy pants and then walking around wanting to boink mommy. Um….THAT aint daddy..and mommy knows it.
Good Lord is there no depth they will NOT sink to?
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Discredited anti-gay crusader is….what…take a guess….

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
He is gay.
What a shocker!!!!
A pathologically anti-gay Don Quixote is gay. Not a shock to anyone.
There are so many on the Right that are wildly anti-gay and they are creeping out from the rocks they normally creep around under following Obama’s accepting of gay marriage statement. These people should be branded with the word FREUD across their foreheads. They are so textbook and so easily seen through. Some are even calling Obama gay.
This announcement by Obama is truly kicking off a huge Civil Rights movement that the nation has needed for a while which is ANOTHER great action by him for society at large. Would this happen or anything happen like this with a Teabagger Congress or President? No. THERE…that is CHANGE you can believe in.
FREEDOM…like those horrible Teabaggers hollowly screech…but this action and statement by Obama and eventual movement for society actually fulfills the word FREEDOM. This is a BFD to ironically quote Vice President Joe Biden.
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MIT economist: Wall Street created worst recession since WWII

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

MIT economics professor Simon Johnson said on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show on Wednesday night that Wall Street “blew itself up,” which lead to the “most severe recession since World War II.” The former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund added that the enormous economic damage was “a direct consequence of what the biggest banks did and were allowed to get away with.”

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What ‘President Romney’ Would Mean for Women

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

American women earn on average 23 percent less than men – which adds up to an average loss of $383,000 in income over a working lifetime. Romney’s campaign couldn’t say recently whether their man would have signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act making it easier for women to file pay discrimination lawsuits (a law made necessary, by the way, because the conservative Roberts Supreme Court had eviscerated equal pay protection for women in its 2007 Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co ruling). All Romney himself could muster, eventually, was a grudging commitment to not repeal it. Democrats are pushing the Paycheck Fairness Act, which directly addresses the male-female pay disparity by putting teeth into the half-century old Equal Pay Act. Republicans oppose it and even deny the facts about wage inequality. Romney remains mum about his position on the bill.

It’s a safe bet that Romney won’t buck his party or its corporate sponsors for the sake of working women. He’ll undoubtedly say we should trust the “job creators” to fix whatever’s wrong.

Romney famously declared,”I like being able to fire people,” and certainly he got a lot of practice during his tenure at the private equity firm Bain Capital (where women made up only 10 percent of 95 vice-presidents when Romney was in charge). And a President Romney will be issuing plenty of pink slips to at least one large group of working women: public employees. He proposes to cut government jobs as part of his plan to reduce the deficit and rein in Washington, jobs disproportionately held by women. (Of the 601,000 government workers thrown out of work since June 2009 due to budget cuts, two out three were women.)

A Romney presidency would inflict particular pain on women already struggling on the economic edge. The GOP nominee has warmly embraced the “marvelous” Ryan budget which ends Medicare in any recognizable form and would throw between 14 million and 27 million people off of Medicaid, around two thirds of them women. And then, if Romney and a Republican Congress succeed in repealing “Obamacare” – assuming it survives next month’s ruling at the hands of the Roberts Court – 17 million women due to get health coverage under the law will remain uninsured.

President Obama proposed a budget this year that protects the social safety net and includes a number of women-friendly measures, such as increased funding for child care, early education, and enforcement of labor laws barring gender discrimination. Romney lauded a budget passed by the Republican House that cuts childcare and reduces food and health care assistance for roughly 20 million children as “responsible.”

All of which is to say: Under a President Romney, expect economic progress for women to grind to a halt. And what about women’s sexual freedom and reproductive rights? On those issues, be prepared for a warp-speed ride in reverse.


“Do I believe the Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade? Yes, I do,” Romney said during one debate, talking about the 1973 Supreme Court decision that affirmed a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion. He also has called the decision “one of the darkest moments in Supreme Court history.”

The next president will almost certainly have the power to determine whether Roe stands or falls. There is currently a 5-4 pro-Roe majority on the Supreme Court. Yet Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Court’s most eloquent defender of women’s rights, including abortion rights, is 83 and in failing health, and likely to retire during the next presidency.

When asked what he will look for in a Supreme Court nominee, Romney name-checks the four anti-abortion conservatives on the Court: John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito. And he has picked up endorsements from antiabortion PACs, such as the National Right to Life Committee, that impose an antiabortion litmus test on judicial nominees.

Take Romney at his word: If he wins, Roe v. Wade will be overturned, leaving it up to the states to decide whether abortion remains legal.

Story is located here

And Now JP Morgan’s $2 Billion Trading Loss Is Already $3 Billion (And Counting)

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Jamie Dimon said it could get worse… and it is.  

The JP Morgan trading loss that was $2 billion four days ago is now $3 billion, report Nelson Schwartz and Jessica Silver-Greenberg in the New York Times.


Because every hedge fund in the world knows JP Morgan is stuck in a position so big that it can’t unwind it… and they’re taking the other side of the trade.

Can JP Morgan fire those risk managers and traders all over again? Nope.

Can it claw back the massive bonuses it paid to those risk managers and traders in prior years? Nope.

The good news is that JP Morgan was expected to earn $6 billion this quarter. So it has only wiped out half of that profit so far. Another $3 billion to go…

Story is located here

Past 12 months and first third of the year were warmest nation has experienced

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Several warm periods across the contiguous U.S. during April brought the national average temperature to 55°F, 3.6°F above average, marking the third warmest April on record. These temperatures, when added with the first quarter and previous 11 months, calculate to the warmest year-to-date and 12-month periods since recordkeeping began in 1895.

The 12-month period of May 2011-April 2012 has a nationally-averaged temperature 2.8°F above the 1901-2000 long-term average, while the January-April 2012 months were 45.4°F, 5.4°F above the long-term average.

On the heels of the warmest March for the U.S., warmer and drier than average temperatures continued for much of the nation with some states in the Ohio Valley having a small, but still above average, dip in temperatures.

Note: The April 2012 Monthly Climate Report for the United States has several pages of supplemental information and data regarding the unprecedented early 2012 temperatures.

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Facts show Democrats are job creators

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

If Republican tax cuts create more jobs than Democratic investment, by all means let’s cut taxes! If Republican financial deregulation creates more jobs than Democratic consumer protection, then go ahead, deregulate away!

Which is exactly why the data from Bloomberg’s BGOV Barometer last week will shock many people. Bloomberg studied the past 50 years of U.S. job creation, under Democratic and Republican presidents. The facts: For the near half-century following the Kennedy administration, Democrats created nearly twice as many private-sector jobs as Republicans. Even though Democrats held the presidency for only 23 years compared with 28 years of Republican rule.

Private-sector payrolls increased by 42 million jobs under Democratic administrations, and 24 million under Republican ones. That’s an average of 150,000 new paychecks a month under Democrats and 71,000 per month under Republicans.

Let’s look at some other indicators. How about investing in the stock market? Again, Bloomberg analyzed the data. Investing $1,000 in a hypothetical fund that tracks the Standard & Poor’s 500 index over the past 50 years would have returned $10,920 when Democrats held the White House. The return when Republicans were in power? $2,087.

Annualized returns were 11 percent for the Democrats, 2.7 percent for the Republicans.

What about gross domestic product growth? Through 2008, real GDP grew faster under Democratic administrations — 4.1 percent to 2.7 percent for the GOP.

Income growth? Under Democrats, the real median income over the past 50 years grew at 2.2 percent. Republicans? 0.6 percent.

Number of Americans in poverty? By now you see the pattern. The poverty rate declined under President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society programs from 22.2 percent to 12.6 percent by 1970.

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The Romney Record at Bain: Bankruptcies, Bailouts, & Mass Layoffs

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Long list of Bain Capital CEO Romney leading businesses into bankruptcy and people out of jobs.

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TED Venture Capitalist explains why Reaganomics has failed the nation

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

“We’ve had it backward for the last 30 years,” [Hanauer] said. “Rich businesspeople like me don’t create jobs. Rather they are a consequence of an ecosystemic feedback loop animated by middle-class consumers, and when they thrive, businesses grow and hire, and owners profit. That’s why taxing the rich to pay for investments that benefit all is a great deal for both the middle class and the rich.”

You can’t find that speech online. TED officials told Hanauer initially they were eager to distribute it. “I want to put this talk out into the world!” one of them wrote him in an e-mail in late April. But early this month they changed course, telling Hanauer that his remarks were too “political” and too controversial for posting.

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The Abortion That Mitt Romney Doesn’t Talk About Anymore

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

David Pakman with a video roundup of the abortion Mitt Romney does not want to talk about but is a STELLAR reason as to why abortion should stay legal.

Video is located here

This is the Salon article that David is pulling from.

Story is located here

The unimaginably rich really are different from the rest of us.

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Next year Mark Zuckerberg’s base salary will receive a dramatic pay cut—going from a base salary of $600,000 to just one dollar.

Which raises the question: will he ever pay taxes again?

Zuckerberg’s salary cut is being compared to similar moves by other tech titans. Google’s Eric Schmidt and Larry Page are paid just $1 annual salaries. Steve Jobs took just $1 in salary from 1997 until his death last year. Other members of the one-percent/one-dollar club include Oracle’s Larry Ellison and Hewlett-Packard’s Meg Whitman.

Zuckerberg was paid a base salary of $500,000 in 2011 and is set to be paid a base of $600,000 this year. He got a cash bonus of $250,000 for the first half of 2011 and will likely receive a similar bonus for the second half.

Interestingly, he was alone among the top executives at Facebook who got no stock awards for 2011. The board—which is controlled by Zuckerberg himself—decided that he had enough stock to align his interests with the other shareholders. With 28.2 percent of the company, you would hope so.

Zuckerberg’s pay cut could reduce his income tax burden to nothing.

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The Unions are not the reason for the debt

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

“We are told that the massive burden driving Detroit under is pension obligations. Yet the Detroit Financial Review Team’s report says pension payments in 2011 were $110 million, while the city pays $600 million a year in debt service. Debt service is interest, not principal. Not one nickel goes to reducing the city’s debt.”

Why are promises to pay the banks more sacred than promises to pay people who worked their whole lives to earn pensions? Unlike the cutting of pensions, cutting debt service to the banks will give Detroit a budget surplus. Unlike the banks, people who earned these pensions did not commit fraud on the American people, did not sink the economy, did not steal trillions of our money, and did not kick people out of their homes.

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Mitt Romney Debt Speech: ‘Inferno’ Oversimplified

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

When Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney decried the “prairie fire” of U.S. debt Tuesday, he ignored some of the sparks that set it ablaze.

One was the Great Recession that took hold before Barack Obama became president. That landmark event went unmentioned in Romney’s speech. Another was a series of Bush-era tax cuts that Romney wants to follow with even lower rates.

Instead he laid the blame on Obama, a president who has certainly increased the nation’s eye-popping debt — but not, as Romney claimed, by nearly as much as all other presidents combined.

A look at some of Romney’s assertions and how they compare with the facts:

Story is located here

Another chart showing the effect of Bush policies on the debt today

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

It is the group of several Bush policies that cannot be turned off that are giving us nearly 100% of the debt we see today.

Chart is located here