Archive for July, 2012

Mitt Romney simply paid $0 in taxes for many years

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has what he says is an informed explanation for why Mitt Romney refuses to release additional tax returns. According a Bain investor, Reid charged, Romney didn’t pay any taxes for 10 years.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Huffington Post from his office on Capitol Hill, Reid saved some of his toughest words for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. Romney couldn’t make it through a Senate confirmation process as a mere Cabinet nominee, the majority leader insisted, owing to the opaqueness of his personal finances.

“His poor father must be so embarrassed about his son,” Reid said, in reference to George Romney’s standard-setting decision to turn over 12 years of tax returns when he ran for president in the late 1960s.

Saying he had “no problem with somebody being really, really wealthy,” Reid sat up in his chair a bit before stirring the pot further. A month or so ago, he said, a person who had invested with Bain Capital called his office.

“Harry, he didn’t pay any taxes for 10 years,” Reid recounted the person as saying.

“He didn’t pay taxes for 10 years! Now, do I know that that’s true? Well, I’m not certain,” said Reid. “But obviously he can’t release those tax returns. How would it look?

“You guys have said his wealth is $250 million,” Reid went on. “Not a chance in the world. It’s a lot more than that. I mean, you do pretty well if you don’t pay taxes for 10 years when you’re making millions and millions of dollars.”

The highest ranked Democrat in Congress, Reid is known more as a back room brawler than a public flamethrower. So his willingness to throw this private conversation into the media frenzy over Romney’s taxes underscores the low opinion he has of the Republican candidate.

Tellingly, neither Reid nor his office would reveal who the investor was, making it impossible to verify if the accusation is true. And as his quote makes clear, he’s uncertain if the information is accurate. The Romney campaign’s press secretary, Andrea Saul, has previously denied rumors that Romney didn’t pay “any taxes at all.”

But there is limited political downside to the type of open speculation that Reid is making, so long as Romney refuses to budge on the issue of his tax returns. Increasingly, other Democrats are growing more assertive in their goading. In an appearance at the Center for American Progress on Tuesday, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland argued that he could openly speculate as to whether Romney “is a tax avoider” or “cheat” because “his behavior invites such speculation.”

Romney recently told ABC News that he couldn’t recall if there were years when he paid below the 13.9 percent tax rate that he paid in 2010. Although he said he was “happy to go back and look,” his campaign declined to do just that.

Asked for a response to Reid’s latest comments, Romney campaign adviser Kevin Madden said his candidate had “gone above and beyond the disclosure requirements by releasing two years of personal tax returns in addition to the hundreds of pages of personal financial disclosure documents he has provided to the FEC and made public.”

Madden added that it was “troubling and disappointing that Senator Reid would cite Governor Romney’s father, George, as part of a personal attack against the governor. We have many substantive disagreements with the senator and his policies, but using insults about a father-son relationship is a step too far.”

Reid has jabbed at Romney before. Indeed, during the HuffPost interview, he seemed to revel in the headlines and fallout his attacks have caused.

“It’s interesting, my guy from Vegas wrote this. He’s a snarky guy, [Las Vegas Sun political reporter] Jon Ralston. He’s a center guy. I like Jon just fine, but he’s cynical, and I guess that’s what serves him well. So he criticizes me for saying that Romney couldn’t be elected dogcatcher,” Reid recalled.

“My wife said to me — we don’t talk politics very often — she said, like, ‘You shouldn’t have said that.’ So Stephanie Cutter [President Barack Obama’s deputy campaign manager] comes down to talk about politics and outsourcing at my caucus. She said, ‘I’m so grateful for Senator Reid, the best remark during the last week, was saying that he couldn’t qualify to be dogcatcher.’ I could hardly wait to get home to tell my wife.”

Reid’s assessment about the state of the political landscape didn’t end at the borders of the presidential campaign. He spoke optimistically about the prospects of maintaining his role as Senate majority leader, offering up private polling data that he said showed four Democratic senatorial candidates ahead — Rep. Mazie Hirono up 19 points in Hawaii, Sen. Jon Tester ahead by 5 points in Montana, Rep. Tammy Baldwin up 3 points in Wisconsin, and Elizabeth Warren leading by 4 points in Massachusetts.

“We feel comfortable in the Senate,” he said. “Where the problem is, is this: Because of the Citizens United decision, Karl Rove and the Republicans are looking forward to a breakfast the day after the election. They are going to assemble 17 angry old white men for breakfast, some of them will slobber in their food, some will have scrambled eggs, some will have oatmeal, their teeth are gone. But these 17 angry old white men will say, ‘Hey, we just bought America. Wasn’t so bad. We still have a whole lot of money left.'”

“So that’s the only problem we have with our candidates,” Reid concluded, suggesting that virtually everything, his leadership position included, could be swept away by outside cash.

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Colorado businesses saying ‘We did build that’ also got government loans

Monday, July 30th, 2012

“We’ve got a group of business people here – including myself – who really take offense to the idea that government builds businesses,” said Dave Leinweber, the owner of Angler’s Covey, at Monday morning’s press event. “We create the jobs. We’ve doubled our work force here because of our hard work, not because of some program or anything like that. We’ve just worked hard.”

But, in an interview with FOX31 Denver, Leinweber also acknowledged that, as much as he was frustrated by government regulation, he was only able to finance his business’s expansion to a new, larger location with a loan backed by a government program that enabled him to get a small business loan.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) loan enabled Angler’s Covey to leave its old 2,500 square foot home and build a new 6,500 square foot facility along Highway 24 adjacent to two casting ponds right outside its front door where customers can cast and compare rods before buying.

“I got the loan from Chase Bank, but I do appreciate the government standing behind that loan so that Chase and other banks are more willing to invest in businesses,” Leinweber told FOX31 Denver. “But I still had to come up with 20 percent and go into debt on this just to make my business happen.”

SBA loans are made through banks, credit unions and other lenders who partner with the SBA. The SBA provides a government-backed guarantee on part of the loan, but the borrower is responsible if they default.

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Ehud Barak sings praises of Obama administration

Monday, July 30th, 2012

(CNN) – Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak said the Obama White House has been the most supportive administration throughout the two countries’ diplomatic relations on matters of Israeli security, in an interview to air Monday on “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.”

Barak -also a former prime minister of Israel – said that though historically administrations from both political parties have supported the Jewish state President Obama’s support, security-wise, is unparalleled.

Story is located here

Polish Solidarity Union says NO to Romney

Monday, July 30th, 2012

The jokes just write themselves!

Solidarity, the trade union movement which led the Polish struggle against communist rule, distanced itself on Monday from a visit to Poland by U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney, saying he supported attacks on unions in his own country.

Romney was in Poland on the third and final leg of a tour aimed at burnishing his foreign policy credentials and demonstrating that he would be a viable alternative to President Barack Obama on the world stage.

Romney visited the Baltic port of Gdansk, cradle of Solidarity which toppled Poland’s communist government in the late 1980s, where he met Lech Walesa, the shipyard electrician who led the union movement during the struggle seen as the start of the end of Soviet domination of eastern Europe.

“Regretfully, we were informed by our friends from the American headquarters of (trade union federation) AFL-CIO, which represents more than 12 million employees … that Mitt Romney supported attacks on trade unions and employees’ rights,” Solidarity said in a statement.

“Solidarity was not involved in organizing Romney’s meeting with Walesa and did not invite him to visit Poland.”

Romney has in the past complained about “union bosses” who he said have donated large sums of money to Obama’s re-election campaign.

Story is located here

Romney praises health care in Israel, where research says ‘strong government influence’ has driven down costs

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had some very kind things to say about the Israeli health care system at a fundraiser there Monday. He praised Israel for spending just 8 percent of its GDP on health care and still remaining a “pretty healthy nation:”

When our health care costs are completely out of control. Do you realize what health care spending is as a percentage of the GDP in Israel? 8 percent. You spend 8 percent of GDP on health care. And you’re a pretty healthy nation. We spend 18 percent of our GDP on health care. 10 percentage points more. That gap, that 10 percent cost, let me compare that with the size of our military. Our military budget is 4 percent. Our gap with Israel is 10 points of GDP. We have to find ways, not just to provide health care to more people, but to find ways to finally manage our health care costs.

Romney’s point about Israel’s success in controlling health care costs is spot on: Its health care system has seen health care costs grow much slower than other industrialized nations.

How it has gotten there, however, may not be to the Republican candidate’s liking: Israel regulates its health care system aggressively, requiring all residents to carry insurance and capping revenue for various parts of the country’s health care system.

Israel created a national health care system in 1995, largely funded through payroll and general tax revenue. The government provides all citizens with health insurance: They get to pick from one of four competing, nonprofit plans. Those insurance plans have to accept all customers—including people with pre-existing conditions—and provide residents with a broad set of government-mandated benefits.

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Mormons Still Baptizing Dead Jews Despite Agreements to End Practice

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Romney’s next stop is Israel.


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Even Republicans said there were almost 0 cases of Voter Fraud

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Five years after the Bush administration began a crackdown on voter fraud, the Justice Department has turned up virtually no evidence of any organized effort to skew federal elections, according to court records and interviews

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FEMA Concentration Camps across the USA? The lies that liars lie about

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012
Earlier this week, PM editor-in-chief James Meigs appeared on Glenn Beck’s FOX news program twice to debunk conspiracy theories regarding supposed “concentration camps” being built by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. You can read transcripts from those appearances here and here. But PM’s research went beyond what could fit in the short segments. Below are more details regarding some of the most prevalent claims, and facts, uncovered through PM’s independent investigation.

Read more: FEMA Camps – Debunking FEMA Camp Myths – Popular Mechanics

Story is located here

Wealth does not trickle down and Reaganomics is killing the world

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

The world’s super-rich have taken advantage of lax tax rules to siphon off at least $21 trillion, and possibly as much as $32tn, from their home countries and hide it abroad – a sum larger than the entire American economy.

James Henry, a former chief economist at consultancy McKinsey and an expert on tax havens, has conducted groundbreaking new research for the Tax Justice Network campaign group – sifting through data from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and private sector analysts to construct an alarming picture that shows capital flooding out of countries across the world and disappearing into the cracks in the financial system.

Comedian Jimmy Carr became the public face of tax-dodging in the UK earlier this year when it emerged that he had made use of a Cayman Islands-based trust to slash his income tax bill.

But the kind of scheme Carr took part in is the tip of the iceberg, according to Henry’s report, entitled The Price of Offshore Revisited. Despite the professed determination of the G20 group of leading economies to tackle tax secrecy, investors in scores of countries – including the US and the UK – are still able to hide some or all of their assets from the taxman.

“This offshore economy is large enough to have a major impact on estimates of inequality of wealth and income; on estimates of national income and debt ratios; and – most importantly – to have very significant negative impacts on the domestic tax bases of ‘source’ countries,” Henry says.

Story is located here

Pathos of the Plutocrat. Romney truly believes he is better than us and is mad that he is being called on the carpet

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

“Clearly, Mr. Romney believed that he could run for president while remaining safe inside the plutocratic bubble and is both shocked and angry at the discovery that the rules that apply to others also apply to people like him. Fitzgerald again, about the very rich: ‘They think, deep down, that they are better than we are.’

“O.K., let’s take a deep breath. The truth is that many, and probably most, of the very rich don’t fit Fitzgerald’s description. There are plenty of very rich Americans who have a sense of perspective, who take pride in their achievements without believing that their success entitles them to live by different rules.

“But Mitt Romney, it seems, isn’t one of those people. And that discovery may be an even bigger issue than whatever is hidden in those tax returns he won’t release.”

— Paul Krugman, The New York Times

Story is located here

Mitt Romney has to buy friends on Twitter

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

It Looks Like Mitt Romney Is Having To Buy His Friends On Twitter.
It appears that the Romney campaign thought that the Colorado shooting was the perfect time to go on a Twitter follower buying spree. With the media all covering the horrible shooting, they assumed no one would notice if they added 100,000 new Twitter followers in a day, but they were wrong.

No explanation can be found in the news cycle for why a candidate that is not even campaigning has seen such a dramatic spike in his number of Twitter followers.

It is possible that 100,000 people woke up yesterday and today, and decided that now would be a great time to start following Mitt Romney.

But the likely truth is just like the awkward and unpopular rich kid that he is, it looks like Mitt Romney is having to buy his friends on Twitter.

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How will ObamaCareS affect small businesses? Learn about it

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

This fact sheet summarizes key provisions in the Affordable Care Act that may affect small businesses and their employees. The fact sheet explains the law’s small business tax credits and the Small Business Health Options Program exchanges to be established in each state by 2014, both of which are designed to make it easier for small businesses to purchase insurance for their workers. The fact sheet also describes the penalties employers who employ more than 50 full-time workers would face if they do not offer affordable coverage starting in 2014; smaller employers are exempt from that requirement and would not face any penalties.

Report is located here

There is a geography to gun violence and Liberal states see less

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

The map below, by my colleague Zara Matheson at the Martin Prosperity Institute, charts the geography of gun violence across the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [PDF]. The data (from 2008, the most recent year available) include accidental shootings, suicides, even acts of self-defense, as well as crimes.

We did find several factors that are associated with firearm deaths at the state level. On the economic front, gun violence was higher in states with lower average incomes. Similarly, gun violence was less likely in states with more college graduates and stronger knowledge-based economies. Gun violence was also higher in states that tend to vote Republican.

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Mass shootings in America since 2005 is a 62 page report

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Mass shootings are the norm in America.  Here is a list of shootings since 2005 and it is a 62 page report.

Report is located here

Even “average guy” in Romney ad clearly and simply explains how ad he was star in was a pile of crap.

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Lawrence O’Donnell, Krystal Ball and John Heilemann take a look at the latest hack job by team Romney in the political ad wars for the presidential election.

Ed Schultz went after Romney and Fox Wednesday evening for distorting President Obama’s comments about small businesses. This Thursday, it was more of the same on Fox, with Neil Cavuto even bringing on one of the people featured in Romney’s latest attack ad, small business owner Jack Gilchrist.

The trouble for Mitt Romney is that even Jack Gilchrist actually agreed with the points President Obama was making in during his speech. And the Obama campaign has released a new ad of their own showing that Mitt Romney does as well. As I said in the post on Ed’s show and as the panel members agreed on O’Donnell’s show, it’s pretty pathetic when the Romney campaign has to resort to making things up and taking words out of context, but that’s all they’ve done from day one, so it’s nothing new for them to lie continually.

I have to wonder when the public is going to finally start punishing him for it in the polls.

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Republicans want to VOUCHERIZE Medicare and this is a nightmare for older people

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

VOUCHER – you are given a lump sum of cash for something. Voucherizing Medicare is the Republican budget plan. FIRST elderly people will SHOP FOR INSURANCE….good DOG this sounds awful. NEXT…they will pay for it with a VOUCHER which Paul Ryan the author of the Republican Budget Plan ADMITS will come up as only a small fraction of the cost of that insurance elderly are shopping for. An independent agency says it will cost seniors (you) about $7,000 per year MORE for basic coverage. Could you imagine if this were enacted and watching elderly people SHOPPING for something like insurance and then be paying many thousands MORE? Seniors will be dying off much quicker as they choose between their most basic of care and food.
Video is located here

Why do ‘experts’ always lowball clean-energy projections?

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Last month, Michael Noble of Fresh Energy put up a fascinating list of projections made by energy experts around 2000 or so. (I got there via Brad Plumer.) Suffice to say, the projections did not fare well. They were badly wrong, and all in the same direction — they underestimated the growth of renewable energy. It’s worth quoting the whole list:

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Here’s the reality of what Conservatives have ACTUALLY done to this nation in it’s 230-year plus history. From a reader in my local paper.

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Excellent overview of what Conservatives have stood for over history.  Much of the comment below is from this video  located here

” According to a recent poll by the Pew Research Center – “Conservative” was the second most positively viewed political term in America – right behind “Progressive.”

PEW Research poll results are located here

 Heck – Republicans love the label so much – their biggest political conference of the year is CPAC – The CONSERVATIVE Political Action Conference. But – I’m trying to figure out why exactly that is. I’m trying to figure out why anyone – given our nation’s history – would want to call themselves a Conservative today in America. They say that “Conservative” means someone who embraces traditional values, limited government, moderate change, and fiscal restraint. But those are just weasel words, the velvet glove over the brutal fist of an autocratic, authoritarian, and oligarchic form of governance. Here’s the reality of what Conservatives have ACTUALLY done to this nation in it’s 230-year plus history.

First off, it was Conservatives who opposed the American Revolution, and many of them joined the British in fighting against George Washington’s army. Then, conservatives, at the birth of our nation, pushed to restrict voting rights at the federal level to only white men who owned property – although progressives like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison blocked those efforts – so conservatives at the state level picked up that cause.

It was Conservatives who wanted to keep the “traditional American value” of slavery and fought progressive Abraham Lincoln so fiercely it led to an incredibly bloody and horrific Civil War. In the aftermath of the Civil War – Conservatives supported Jim Crow laws to keep freed slaves as second-class citizens.

Conservatives opposed women’s suffrage all the way up until the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920 – and some still to this day – oppose it.

Wealthy Conservative elites opposed every advancement made by average working people – from the forty-hour work week – to child labor laws – to workplace safety laws.

During the 1950’s – Conservatives embraced McCarthyism and the witchhunts that ruined the lives of thousands of Americans.

In the 1960’s – Conservatives opposed the Civil Rights Act – which finally ended legal discrimination in America.

Every single advancement our nation has made – came DESPITE Conservative efforts to block it. As famed Conservative think William F. Buckley said: “A conservative is someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so.” At each turning point to give more rights to more Americans, to give more economic opportunity to more Americans, to make the workplace safer for more Americans – you name it – Conservatives have tried to stop it – while Progressives have fought, bled, and died to make sure it happens. And today – nothing has changed. Today – Conservatives are yelling “stop” when it comes to marriage equality.

They’re yelling “stop” when it comes to climate change legislation.

They’re yelling “stop” when it comes to equal pay for equal work for women.

They’re yelling “stop” when it comes to critical, life-saving stem-cell research.

They’re yelling “stop” when it comes to providing health insurance at an affordable cost to all Americans.

They’re yelling “stop” when it comes to immigration reform.

They’re yelling “stop” when it comes to ending the failed drug war.

And not only are they yelling “stop” – but they’re actively trying to undo most of the progressive victories over the last century that they opposed from the start.

That includes undoing a women’s right to choose – or even have access to contraceptives.

It includes forcing women to submit to mandatory ultrasounds – like they’re children or wards of the state.

It includes passing more and more right-to-work FOR LESS laws – further eroding the rights of working people in America.

It includes gutting food safety programs, unemployment benefits, and food stamps.

And it even includes sabotaging our economy recovery to achieve their ultimate political goal – kicking a black man out of the White House.

This is what Conservativism has been all about in America – and continues to be about: fear, discrimination, and corporate domination.

The Conservative principles of limited government and more freedom might sound good – but in practice it means less government to protect Americans from corporate abuses – and more freedom for people like the Koch brothers to pollute. It means less government to provide social services – and more freedom to die like a dog in the gutter without health insurance. That’s been the message of the Conservative movement since the onset of the nation – always taking us backward when we should be moving forward.

So I’ll ask the question again…why the hell would anyone proudly call themselves a Conservative? “

Romney Doubles Down On ‘You Didn’t Build That’ — Then Affirms Obama’s Point

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

In short, Romney: Yes, “a lot of people” help business owners, among them government, but in the end, “you build your business.” Obama: “We succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.”

The lack of distinction helps explain why the Romney campaign has aggressively tried to limit Obama’s remarks to just a single cherry-picked sentence, even releasing video with the “you didn’t build that” line on loop, devoid of any context. Without the misleading idea that Obama was telling business owners they don’t deserve any credit for their success, it’s just two guys touting the benefits of the federal highway system.

Story is located here

The original FOX News brooadcast that started this is located here

A quick explanation from Elizabeth Warren that Teaparty got it wrong.  Video is located here

Romney’s Bain Yielded Private Gains, Socialized Losses. Mitt Romney-HUGE Socialist

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Mitt Romney touts his business acumen and job-creation record as a key qualification for being the next U.S. president.

What’s clear from a review of the public record during his management of the private-equity firm Bain Capital from 1985 to 1999 is that Romney was fabulously successful in generating high returns for its investors. He did so, in large part, through heavy use of tax-deductible debt, usually to finance outsized dividends for the firm’s partners and investors. When some of the investments went bad, workers and creditors felt most of the pain. Romney privatized the gains and socialized the losses.

What’s less clear is how his skills are relevant to the job of overseeing the U.S. economy, strengthening competitiveness and looking out for the welfare of the general public, especially the middle class.

Thanks to leverage, 10 of roughly 67 major deals by Bain Capital during Romney’s watch produced about 70 percent of the firm’s profits. Four of those 10 deals, as well as others, later wound up in bankruptcy. It’s worth examining some of them to understand Romney’s investment style at Bain Capital.

Story is located here

Impact of Republican plan to voucherize Medicare and cut Medicaid, district by district

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012
Rep. Henry A. Waxman, Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr., Ranking Member of the Health Subcommittee, have released new analyses detailing the impact of the Republican Medicare and Medicaid proposals on each congressional district.

Click here to view the full text of the letter sent by Reps. Waxman and Pallone to their colleagues to assist them in understanding the ramifications of the Republican Medicare and Medicaid proposals.

Story is located here

REPORT: Biggest Donor To Romney And GOP Did Business With Chinese Mob

Monday, July 16th, 2012

IF Adelson did do this he could lose his business license in America. It could be that Adelson wants Romney in office so the investigation into Adelson’s operations is stopped. 

Things are getting awkward for Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate who pledged to spend a “limitless” amount of money to get Mitt Romney elected. Adelson’s latest woes stem from business practices surrounding his lucrative casino in Macau, the only Chinese city with legalized gambling.


The Macau operation has long been under scrutiny but a new in-depth investigation from ProPublica and PBS focused on allegations of improper, and perhaps in some cases illegal, business dealings by Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands company in China. While focusing on the possibility that Sands violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act with a $700,000 payment to a Chinese associate, PBS also released documents that bolstered accusations of business ties between Adelson’s shop and Chinese organized crime figures.

PBS reports that Sands was clear that, in order to drive business from mainland China to their Macau casino, they would need to use “junkets” — trips arranged by private companies to ferry high-stakes gamblers to Macau:

Story is located here

Corporations sitting on $5Trillion in CASH

Monday, July 16th, 2012

As David Kay Johnston from Reuters says in the video – that’s nearly $13,000 per man, woman and child in America. He makes the case that these corporations are hoarding cash … which they are of course. Very easy to understand video. And corporations are either giving that money to shareholders which is mostly just rich Americans or mostly just sitting on it.

But as long as these corporations hoard their cash … that means it doesn’t flow through to middle America which has the effect of diminishing consumer demand. And as consumer demand diminishes … corporations hold back more. It’s a downward spiral. This is rational behavior by corporations but just one more reason to tax corporations that are already sitting on profits that are simply obscene.

You can find the Federal Reserve “Flow of Funds” report HERE.

Corporate profits are at an all time high which you can see HERE.

Story is located here

Privatization of Food Stamp administration costs billions per year

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Republicans often complain about the cost of food subsidization for the poor, but the reality is some of their biggest and most powerful constituents are profiting from SNAP, aka Foodstamps, in several sinister ways. The total budget for The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is $72 billion a year.

A bombshell report by tells the not so difficult to believe tale of how big businesses lobby heavily in Washington, D.C. to keep the food that can be bought through food assistance programs unhealthy and cheap, while mega banks like J.P. Morgan literally skim billions off the top by forming payment processing agreements for all now electronic transactions.

In total there are three sectors of big business which profit immensely from the general poverty of society. They are food retailers like Walmart, food manufacturing corporations like Kraft, and Coca-Cola and the most dubious of all — big banks like J.P. Morgan which profit from every sale paid for with government subsidized money.

Indeed, mega bankers have figured out a way to make money off of those who don’t have enough to feed themselves. Is there anymore of a disgraceful scenario that you could envision? Is there anything as lowly and despicable as using the weakest in society for financial gain? Alas, these are questions for others than a lowly journalist such as myself.

How much did these colossal entities each profit from the poor? It is difficult to say with exact certainty the dollar amounts because it is not Congressionally mandated for such records to be kept. Who do you think made that a rule, by the way? However, for example, nine Walmarts in Massachusetts received over $33 million in revenue from SNAP sales. In Oklahoma Walmart received $500 million in sales over two years.

Coca-Cola, Kraft, and other companies are privately owned and not legally obligated to disclose how many products they specifically sell, or where. Nor are stores obligated to release what consumers bought which items with their SNAP funds. It is however known that Coca-Cola, Kraft, and the Corn Refiners of America all banded together to kill a bill in Florida that proposed to disallow SNAP purchases for so-called “junk food.” As is expected, big business triumphed again.

The real story here is J.P. Morgan and their multi-billion dollar scheme of money funneling.

Story is located here

Rush Limbaugh’s Mom- Rush flunked out of everything

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Below is a quote from

Limbaugh graduated from high school in 1969 and enrolled at Southeast Missouri State University. He dropped out after two semesters and one summer after “he flunked everything,” his mother said. “He just didn’t seem interested in anything except radio.”

Author: CBS News Staff

Story is located here

Forbes Magazine looks at Billionaires and what they do with their dollars

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

It is easy to see that the #2 Conservative billionaires funded PAC is way bigger than all the Liberal billionaires groups together….and then there is American Crossroads which is bigger than EVERYTHING else combined.  Make no mistake that Oligarchy is the concentration of power and money.  Which is why generally billionaires want concentration of money and power which is contrary to the dispersal of money or power to average people like you.  Billionaires who give to Conservative groups are not fighting for you at all however the billionaires giving to Liberal groups are fighting for the spreading of power and money.

Story is located here

The GOP Can’t Run Government; A Virtual Road Map of Republican Incompetence

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

The Republicans have just demonstrated absolute incompetence when it comes to running government. If you doubt that, all you have to do is look at their record when it comes to running the states. When you examine the record, it’s difficult to make a case that Republicans are better at running things than Democrats.

Take their record on economy. Now, they’ll tell you all about how wonderful they are when it comes to the economy, but there’s no record of it. I think all can agree that the six years during which George W Bush and the GOP ran the whole show was a major screw up. But that’s not all of it. Look at the states they run for a clue.

Before I continue, please note that I will not be including the District of Columbia in any of these stats, because they aren’t a state, either technically or otherwise. Plus, most of their population is transient, and while they technically have “home rule,” most decisions are made by Congress.

As of 2010. statistics show that the ten states with the lowest per capita income were: 50. Mississippi; 49. Idaho; 48. Utah; 47. West Virginia; 46. Arkansas; 45. South Carolina; 44. Kentucky; 43. South Dakota 42. New Mexico and 41. Alabama.

The ten states with the highest per-capita income were: 1. Connecticut; 2. Massachusetts; 3. New Jersey; 4. Maryland; 5. New York; 6. Wyoming; 7. Virginia; 8. Alaska; 9. New Hampshire; 10. Washington. Source

All of the states with the lowest incomes are reliably red, except perhaps West Virginia, which can be purplish at times, depending on its mood. The only red states in the top ten are Alaska, which uses high wages and oil company subsidies to attract workers, and Virginia, whose income figures are inflated because the northern part of the state is essentially a Washington, DC suburb, and Wyoming.

Interestingly, the chart goes all the way back to 1980, and you’ll note that the red states show little to no improvement since Republicans took over the government. If Republican policies were so good, shouldn’t red states improve?

Story is located here

Who Is The Smallest Government Spender Since Eisenhower? Would You Believe It’s Barack Obama?

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Amidst all the cries of Barack Obama being the most prolific big government spender the nation has ever suffered, Marketwatch is reporting that our president has actually been tighter with a buck than any United States president since Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Story is located here

Debunking an historian who is trying to re-write history according to right wing religious lies

Friday, July 13th, 2012

A lie can be told in a few words. Debunking that lie can take pages. That is why my book (which is only the first volume of what will be a three volume series) is five hundred pages long. Nobody is going to be able to adequately prove to any audience that Barton’s lies are lies in an interview like Jon Stewart did last night, and David Barton is never going to agree to debate anyone that he knows can defeat him.

A few hours ago, I was about to sit down at my computer to do my usual thing — write about the Daily Show interview, and debunk the specific lies that Barton was able to get in. But instead I found myself staring at the big Ben Franklin poster on my wall, and changed my mind. Sure, I could write about the particular snippets of disinformation and dishonesty that spewed forth from Barton during this particular interview, but what good would that do? Been there; done that. Then, staring up at the face of Ben Franklin, it was his words, “Do well by doing good,” that suddenly popped into my head.

“Do well by doing good.” The words of a man who could have become outrageously wealthy by patenting his inventions, but decided to just let everybody have them for the public good have now been stuck in my head for hours, and aren’t going to leave until I do what I’m about to do: give my book away for free.

Can I afford to do this? No. Do I need to do this? Yes! Will lots of people download it and read it? I have no freakin’ idea. It’s just what I need to do to be able to look Ben Franklin in the eye on that poster on my wall.

If you haven’t seen it already, please watch the Daily Show interview, particularly the online extended interview. Then download my book and read it, or watch the videos on my website. I’ll be outside on this beautiful spring day playing with my dog, knowing that I’ve now done everything I possibly can to fight the scourge of David Barton.

Story is located here

E Pluribus Unum. The national motto as given to the United States by the Founding Fathers completely contradicts the Teaparty view of the nation and themselves

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

E Pluribus Unum completely contradicts anything that the Teabaggers say about the beginning of the nation or why we are what we are.  Teabaggers want to claim a rugged individualism and the contrary to No Man is an Island concept.  When in fact the Founding Father’s national motto says WE and US and FROM US is a RESULT TO US and FOR US.  The definition of the phrase is simple.  Which is why Teabaggers got it wrong because their view of the nation and themselves is simply wrong.

Story is located here

E pluribus unum (/?i? ?pl??r?b?s ?u?n?m/; Latin [?e? ?plu?r?b?s ?u?n??]) — Latin for “Out of many, one[1][2] (alternatively translated as “One from many“)[3] — is a phrase on the Seal of the United States, along with Annuit cœptis and Novus ordo seclorum, and adopted by an Act of Congress in 1782.[2] Never codified by law, E pluribus unum was considered a de facto motto of the United States[citation needed] until 1956 when the United States Congress passed an act (H.J. Resolution 396), adopting “In God We Trust” as the official motto.[4]

The motto was suggested in 1776 by Pierre Eugene du Simitiere to the committee responsible for developing the seal. At the time of the American Revolution, the exact phrase appeared prominently on the title page of a popular periodical, The Gentleman’s Magazine,[5][6][7] which collected articles from many sources into one “magazine”. The phrase is similar to a Latin translation of a variation of Heraclitus‘s 10th fragment, “The one is made up of all things, and all things issue from the one.” A variant of the phrase was used in Moretum, a poem attributed to Virgil but with the actual author unknown. In the poem text, color est e pluribus unus describes the blending of colors into one. St Augustine used a variant of the phrase, ex pluribus unum, in his Confessions.

The first coins with E pluribus unum were dated 1786 and struck under the authorization of the State of New Jersey by Thomas Goadsby and Albion Cox in Rahway, New Jersey.[8] The motto had no New Jersey linkage but was likely an available die that had been created by Walter Mould the previous year for a failed federal coinage proposal.[9] Walter Mould was also authorized by New Jersey to strike state coppers with this motto and did so beginning in early 1787 in Morristown, New Jersey. Lt. Col. Seth Reed of Uxbridge, Massachusetts was said to have been instrumental in having E Pluribus Unum placed on US coins[10] Seth Read and his brother Joseph Read had been authorized by the Massachusetts General Court to mint coppers in 1786. In March 1786, Seth Reed petitioned the Massachusetts General Court, both the House and the Senate, for a franchise to mint coins, both copper and silver, and “it was concurred”.[11][12] E pluribus unum, written in capital letters, is included on most U.S. currency, with some exceptions to the letter spacing (such as the reverse of the dime). It is also embossed on the edge of the dollar coin. (See United States coinage and paper bills in circulation).

While Annuit cœptis and Novus ordo seclorum appear on the reverse side of the great seal, E pluribus unum appears on the obverse side of the seal (Designed by Charles Thomson), the image of which is used as the national emblem of the United States, and appears on official documents such as passports. It also appears on the seal of the President and in the seals of the Vice President of the United States, of the United States Congress, of the United States House of Representatives, of the United States Senate and on the seal of the United States Supreme Court.

Originally suggesting that out of many colonies or states emerge a single nation, in recent years it has come to suggest that out of many peoples, races, religions and ancestries has emerged a single people and nation—illustrating the concept of the melting pot.[13]

A look at health care in the time of Teddy Roosevelt and how Ron Paul people want to turn back time to TR’s day.

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Health care was cheaper back then inthe time of Teddy Roosevelt  but of course leeches and Mustard Compresses were advanced treatments.  People live longer because of more complicated medical care today.  If we want to go back to the Teaparty way we sure can go back to leeches but people will die from simple infections.  This is what Ron Paul people want to do when they screech THEY WANT THEIR COUNTRY BACK.  They say we USED to be able to just pay for treatment.  Yes…we USED TO….back then with Vicks and sawing off limbs in people’s bedrooms….but time has CHANGED and the methods of treatments are saving lives.  We can go back to a time when leeches and mustard compresses were the technology or we can be here in the modern era.  Going to the doctor for an earache is not that expensive….basically $70 for the doctor visit and about $50 for pills and you are done.  This is today’s leech treatment.  Not too bad out of pocket.  More advanced sickness can be treated easily but it simply costs more.  Ron Paul people WANT the FREE MARKET to be in control but when the FREE MARKET controls the cost of medicine they yearn for the days of paying for care with a pie.  

We cannot have both ways which Ron Paul people want.  Either we spend the money to save people or we don’t spend money and people die from simple diseases.  The choice is clear.  This is why people who want to pay for health care with chickens should THEMSELVES be limited to leeches and mustard compresses and we will see them clamour for the expensive care ONLY WHEN IT AFFECTS THEM.  Typical Teaparty look at others and the world. 

Here is Teddy Roosevelt looking at health care in his time….leeches and all…story is located here

Roosevelt’s Bull Moose campaign coincided with a health care revolution, when medical capabilities and costs were expanding rapidly. In 1870, there were only 112 hospitals in the United States, probably because doctors couldn’t do much to help patients other than hacking off limbs or sedating them with morphine. (Morphine was available over the counter until 1914, anyway.) Hospital patients were mostly poor people who couldn’t work and had no one to care for them. The wealthy, meanwhile, paid for home-based care. Even amputations were frequently performed in a patient’s home. But starting in the 1890s, hospitals became much more useful. Doctors could treat diphtheria and see inside the body with radiography. Surgeons began working in aseptic operating rooms, enabling them to open the chest cavity and remove diseased organs. In the 1900s, new diagnostic tools like the Wasserman syphilis test became available. Medical schools moved from two-year curricula—with the second largely repeating the first—to four-year, science-based programs that included practice sessions at hospitals. By 1920, there were 6,000 hospitals nationwide.

When the working class began to clamor for access to the new technologies, Roosevelt’s Progressives were the first major American party to pick up the baton of health care reform. (Germany had a compulsory health-insurance program since 1883, and the British National Insurance Act passed in 1911.) While the party platform offered a vague endorsement of a socialized insurance system, Progressives pushed a much more specific program in state legislatures in 1915. Participants and their families would be guaranteed all medical and hospitalization expenses, income replacement for up to six months, $50 for funeral expenses, and complete coverage of labor and delivery costs with an eight-week maternity benefit. The plan would cost about $2 per worker, with the expense split between employers ($1.20), workers (40 cents), and the state (40 cents). All workers earning less than $100 per month would be required to participate, and the burden on the employer would increase for particularly low-wage laborers.

Another look at what Obama has accomplished.

Monday, July 9th, 2012

There have been many looks at Obama Accomplishments and this is one with a ton more attributions and links that back it up.

Story is located here

He Returned The Executive Branch To Fiscal Responsibility After the Bush Debacle

1. Within his first week, he signed an Executive Order ordering an audit of government contracts, and combating waste and abuse.

2. Created the post of Chief Performance Officer, whose job it is to make operations more efficient to save the federal government money.

3. On his first full day, he froze White House salaries.

4. He appointed the first Federal Chief Information Officer to oversee federal IT spending.

5. He committed to phasing out unnecessary and outdated weapons systems. To that end, he also signed the Democratic-sponsored Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act, which attempted to put a stop to waste, fraud and abuse in the defense procurement and contracting system.

6. Through an executive order, he created the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

He Improved the Economy, Preventing a Bush Depression

7. Pushed through and signed the Democratic-sponsored American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, otherwise known as “the stimulus package.” The bill passed, even though only three Republicans voted for it. In a major departure from the previous administration, he launched, a website that allows taxpayers to track spending from the Act.

8. The Bush-led Great Recession was costing the economy nearly 800,000 jobs per month by the time President Obama took office. But by the end of his first year, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act created and sustained 2.1 million jobs and stimulated the economyby 3.5%.

9. Not only did he completed the massive TARP financial and banking rescue plan, he also leaned on the banks and others, and recovered virtually all of the bail-out money.

10. He created the Making Home Affordable home refinancing plan.

11. Oversaw the creation of more jobs in 2010 alone than Bush did in eight years.

12. Along with Democrats, and almost no Republicans, implemented an auto industry rescue plan, and saved as many as 1 million jobs. Many are of the opinion that he saved the entire auto industry, and even the economy of the entire Midwest. This resulted in GM returning to its place as the top car company in the world. Willard Romney, on the other hand, advocated for the entire industry to go belly-up.

13. Doubled funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which is designed to improve manufacturing efficiency.

14. Signed the Democratic-sponsored Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act giving the federal government more tools to investigate and prosecute fraud in every corner of the financial system, and create a bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to investigate the financial fraud that led to the economic meltdown.

15. Signed the Democratic-sponsored Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act, which was designed to to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive credit card practices.

16. Increased infrastructure spending after years of neglect.

17. Signed the Democratic-sponsored and passed Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, expanding on the Making Home Affordable Program to help millions of Americans avoid preventable foreclosures. The bill also provided $2.2 billion to help combat homelessness, and to stabilize the housing market.

18. Through the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009, he and Congressional Democrats provided tax credits to first-time home buyers, which helped the U.S. housing market recovery.

19. Initiated a $15 billion plan designed to encourage increased lending to small businesses.

20. Created, which allows for online collaboration between small businesses and experts re managing a business. (The program has since merged with

21. Played a lead role in getting the G-20 Summit to commit to a $1.1 trillion deal to combat the global financial crisis.

22. Took steps to improve minority access to capital.

23. Created a $60 billion bank to fund infrastructure improvements such as roads and bridges.

24. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, saved at least 300,000 education jobs, such as teachers, principals, librarians, and counselors that would have otherwise been lost.

25. Dismantled the Minerals Management Service, thereby cutting ties between energy companies and the government.

26. Along with Congressional Democrats, provided funding to states and the Department of Homeland Security to save thousands of police and firefighter jobs from being cut during the recession.

27. Used recovered TARP money to fund programs at local housing finance agencies in California, Florida, Nevada, Arizona and Michigan.

28. Crafted an Executive order establishing the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability to assist in financial education for all Americans.

CreatedGreater Transparency and Better Government, After the Excesses of the Bush Years

29. Signed an order banning gifts from lobbyists to anyone in the Executive Branch.

30. Signed an order banning anyone from working in an agency they had lobbied in previous years, and put strict limits on lobbyists’ access to the White House.

31. Held the first-ever first online town hall from the White House, and took questions from the public.

32. Became the first to stream every White House event, live.

33. Established a central portal for Americans to find service opportunities.

34. Provided the first voluntary disclosure of the White House Visitors Log in history.

35. Crafted an Executive Order on Presidential Records, which restored the 30-day time frame for former presidents to review records, and eliminated the right for the vice president or family members of former presidents to do the reviews. Provides the public with greater access to historic White House documents, and severely curtails the ability to use executive privilege to shield them.

36. Improved aspects of the Freedom of Information Act, and issued new guidelines to make FOIA more open and transparent when processing FOIA requests.

Wall Street Reforms and Consumer Protection

37. Ordered 65 executives who took bailout money to cut their own pay until they paid back all bailout money.

38. Along with Congressional Democrats, pushed through and got passed Dodd-Frank, one of the largest and most comprehensive Wall Street reforms since the Great Depression.

39. Through Dodd-Frank legislation, created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

40. Through Dodd-Frank, the Executive Branch fashioned rules that reduce the influence of speculators in the oil market.

41. Fashioned rules so that banks can no longer use YOUR money to invest in high-risk financial instruments that work against their own customers’ interests.

42. Supported the concept of allowing stockholders to vote on executive compensation.

43. Endorsed and supported the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act of 2009 that would close offshore tax avoidance loopholes.

44. Negotiated a deal with Swiss banks that now permits the US government to gain access to the records of criminals and tax evaders.

45. Established a Consumer Protection Financial Bureau designed to protect consumers from financial sector excesses.

46. Oversaw and then signed a Democratic bill constituting the most sweeping food safety legislation since the Great Depression.

Civil Rights and Anti-Discrimination

47. Along with Congressional Democrats, advocated for and signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which made it a federal crime to assault anyone based on his or her sexual orientation or gender identity.

48. Pushed through, signed and demanded the Pentagon enact a repeal of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy that forced soldiers to lie in order to be eligible to fight for their country, and put our troops at risk by disqualifying many qualified soldiers from helping.

49. Appointed Kareem Dale as the first ever Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy.

50. Helped Democrats in Congress pass and signed the Civil Rights History Act.

51. Extended benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.

52. Appointed more openly gay officials than anyone in history.

53. Changed his mind and publicly expressed support for the right to enter into a same-sex marriage.

54. Issued a Presidential Memorandum reaffirming the rights of gay couples to make medical decisions for each other.

55. Wrote and signed an Executive Order establishing a White House Council on Women and Girls to ensure that all Cabinet and Cabinet-level agencies evaluate the effect of their policies and programs on women and families.

56. Signed the Democratic-sponsored Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which restored basic protections against pay discrimination for women and other workers. This was after the GOP blocked the bill in 2007. Only 5 Republican Senators voted for the bill.

57. Expanded funding for the Violence Against Women Act.

58. Under his guidance, National Labor Relations Board issued final rules that require all employers to prominently post employees’ rights where all employees or prospective employees can see it, including websites and intranets, beginning November 2011.

Improved Foreign Relations and American Status Abroad

59. Visited more countries and met with more world leaders than any previous president during his first six months in office.

60. As he promised, he gave a speech at a major Islamic forum in Cairo early in his administration.

61. Helped to restore America’s reputation around the world as a global leader that does the “right thing” in world affairs, at least according to the rest of the world.

62. Re-established and reinforced our partnership with NATO and other allies on strategic international issues.

63. Closed a number of secret detention facilities.

64. Improved relations with Middle East countries by appointing special envoys.

65. Pushed for military to emphasize devlopment of foreign language skills.

66. Offered $400 million to the people living in Gaza, called on both Israel and the Palestinians to stop inciting violence.

67. Refused to give Israel the green light to attack Iran over their possible nuclear program, and thus avoid another war that Republicans wanted.

68. Worked with Democratic Congress to make donations to Haiti tax deductible in 2009.

69. Established a new U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.

70. Issued Executive Order blocking interference and helping to stabilize Somalia.

71. Established new, more reasonable policies in our relations with Cuba, such as allowing Cuban-Americans to visit their families and send money to support them.

72. Ordered the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay. It was Republicans (and, unfortunately, progressive Democrats) who prevented follow through.

73. Ordered a review of our detention and interrogation policy, and prohibited the use of torture, or what Bush called “enhanced interrogation.” He ordered interrogators to limit their actions to the Army Field manual.

74. Ordered all secret detention facilities in Eastern Europe and elsewhere to be closed.

75. Released the Bush torture memos.

76. On his second day in office, he signed a detailed Executive Order that banned torture, reversed all Bush torture policies, and put the United States in compliance with the Geneva Convention.

77. In response to the emerging “Arab Spring,” he created a Rapid Response fund, to assist emerging democracies with foreign aid, debt relief, technical assistance and investment packages in order to show that the United States stands with them.

78. Passed the Iran Sanctions Act, to prevent war, and to encourage Iran to give up their nuclear program.

79. Ended the Iraq War.

80. Authorized and oversaw a secret mission by SEAL Team Six to rescue two hostages held by Somali pirates.

Began a Push Toward a More Realistic Approach to “Defense”

81. Created a comprehensive new strategy for dealing with the international nuclear threat.

82. Authorized a $1.4 billion reduction in Star Wars program in 2010.

83. Restarted nuclear nonproliferation talks and built up the nuclear inspection infrastructure/protocols to where they had been before Bush.

84. Signed and pushed through ratification a new SALT Treaty.

85. Negotiated and signed a new START Treaty that will lst until at least 2021.

86. Through the Defense Authorization Act, reversed the Bush Administration and committed to no permanent military bases in Iraq.

87. Developed first comprehensive strategy with regard to Afghanistan and Pakistan designed to facilitate the defeat of al Qaeda and the withdrawal of most troops, as well as the rebuilding of Afghanistan.

88. Returned our focus to Afghanistan, stabilized the country, and began the process of withdrawing our troops from the country.

89. Negotiated a deal with Afghan govenment, to withdraw troops and military support, while assisting in rebuilding and modernizing of the country.

90. Took steps to severely weaken al Qaeda and limited their ability to terrorize the world.

91. Negotiated and signed a nuclear nonproliferation treaty with India.

92. Took decisive action to use NATO to limit the slaughter of innocents in Libya, so that the Libyan people could topple a despotic government and determine their own fate.

Treating Soldiers and Veterans with Respect

93. Along with Congressional Democrats, not only reauthorized families of fallen soldiers to be able to visit when the body arrives at Dover AFB, but also provided funding for it. Ended the media blackout on coverage of the return of fallen soldiers.

94. Funded Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with an extra $1.4 billion to improve veterans’ services.

95. Provided active combat troops with better body armor.

96. Created Joint Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record program for military personnel, in order to improve the quality of their medical care.

97. Put an end to the Bush-era stop-loss policy that kept soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan beyond their enlistment date. (personal note: my son will be in harm’s way for six fewer months with Obama as president, so you know I love this one.)

98. Along with Congressional Democrats, supported and signed Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act, which made more money available to enable better medical care for veterans.

99. Along with Congressional Democrats, ushered through largest spending increase in 30 years for Department of Veterans Affairs, with money to go to improved medical facilities, and to assist states in acquiring or constructing state nursing homes and extended care facilities.

100. Created the Green Vet Initiative, which provided special funding to the Labor Department to provide veterans with training in green jobs.

101. Oversaw a $4.6 billion expansion of the Veterans Administration budget to pay for more mental health professionals.

Refocused he Government on Education

102. Repeatedly increased funding for student financial aid, and at the same time cut the banks completely out of the process.

103. Reformed student loan program, to make it possible for students to refinance at a lower rate.

104. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act , invested heavily in elementary, secondary and post-secondary education.

105. Oversaw major expansion of broadband availability in K-12 schools nationwide ,

106. Oversaw major expansion in school construction.

107. Also through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, he put $5 billion into early education, including Head Start.

108. Signed the Democratic-sponsored Post-9/11 GI Bill, also known as GI Bill 2.0

109. Oversaw expansion of the Pell Grants program, to expand opportunity for low income students to go to college.

110. Along with Democratic Congress, passed and signed Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which provided an extra $12.2 billion in funds.

National Safety and Security

111. Restored federal agencies such as FEMA to the point that they have been able to manage a huge number of natural disasters successfully.

112. Authorized Navy SEALS to successfully secure the release of a US captain held by Somali pirates and increased patrols off the Somali coast.

113. Has repeatedly beefed up border security

114. Ordered and oversaw the Navy SEALS operation that killed Osama bin Laden.

Science, Technology and Health Care

115. Created a Presidential Memorandum to restore scientific integrity in government decision-making.

116. Opened up process for fast-tracking patent approval for green energy projects.

117. Eliminated Bush-era restrictions on embryonic stem cell research, and provided increased federal support for biomedical and stem cell research.

118. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, committed more federal funding, about $18 billion, to support non-defense science and research labs.

119. Signed Democratic-sponsored Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act, the first comprehensive attempt to improve the lives of Americans living with paralysis.

120. Expanded the Nurse-Family Partnership program, which provides home visits by trained registered nurses to low-income expectant mothers and their families, to cover more first-time mothers.

121. Obama EPA reveresed research ethics standards which allowed humands to be used as “guinea pigs” in tests of the effects of chemicals, to comply with numerous codes of medical ethics.

122. Conducted a cyberspace policy review.

123. Provided financial support for private sector space programs.

124. Oversaw enhanced earth mapping, to provide valuable data for agricultural, educational, scientific, and government use.

125. Along with Democrats in Congress, ushered through and signed a bill authorizing FDA to regulate tobacco. As a result, the FDA has Ordered Tobacco Companies to Disclose Cigarette Ingredients and banned sale of cigarettes falsely labeled as “light.”

126. Through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, provided $500 million for Health Professions Training Programs.

127. Increased funding for community-based prevention programs.

128. Oversaw a 50% decrease in cost of prescription drugs for seniors.

129. Eliminated the Bush-era practice of forbidding Medicare from negotiating with drug companies on price.

130. Two weeks after taking office, signed Democratic-sponsored Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act, which increased the number of children covered by health insurance by 4 million.

131. Urged Congress to investigate Anthem Blue Cross for raising premiums 39% without explanation. Democratic Rep. Waxman responded by launching a probe, and Anthem Blue Cross put increase on hold for two months.

132. Ushered through and signed Affordable Care Act, which expanded health insurance coverage to at least 30 million more people, ended many common insurance company practices that are often detrimental to those with coverage. He also established, so that taxpayers could keep up with developments.

133. Through ACA, allowed children to be covered under their parents’ policy until they turned 26.

134. Through the ACA, provided tax breaks to allow 3.5 million small business to provide health insurance to their employees, and 29 million people will receive tax breaks to help them afford health insurance.

135. Through the ACA, expanded Medicaid to those making up to 133% of the federal poverty level.

136. Through the ACA, health insurance companies now have to disclose how much of your premium actually goes to pay for patient care.

137. Provisions in theACAhave already resulted in Medicare costs actually declining slightly this fiscal year, for the first time in many years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The increase in 2011 was 4%, which is very low compared to the average 12% annual inflation rate during previous 40 years.

Strengthening the Middle Class and Families

138. Worked to provide affordable, high-quality child care to working families.

139. Cracked down on companies that were previously denying sick pay, vacation and health insurance, and Social Security and Medicare tax payments through abuse of the employee classification of independent contractor.

140. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act , cut taxes for 95% of America’s working families.

141. Tax rates for average working families are the lowest since 1950.

142. Extended and fully funded the patch for the Alternative Minimum Tax for 10 years.

143. Extended discounted COBRA health coverage for the unemployed from 9 months to 15 months, and he’s extended unemployment benefits several times.

Fighting Poverty

144. Provided a $20 billion increase for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps).

145. Signed an Executive Order that established the White House Office of Urban Affairs.

Environment and Energy

146. Fast-tracked regulations to allow states to enact fuel efficiency standards that exceeded federal standards.

147. Fast-tracked increased fuel economy standards for vehicles beginning with the 2011 model year. It was the first time such standards had been increased in a decade.

148. Oversaw establishment of an Energy Partnership for the Americas, to create more markets for American-made biofuels and green energy technologies.

149. Obama EPA reversed a Bush-era decision to allow the largest mountaintop removal project in US history.

150. Ordered the Department of Energy to implement more aggressive efficiency standards for common household appliances.

151. Ordered energy plants to prepare to produce at least 15% of all energy through renewable resources like wind and solar, by 2021. (As you can see, Republicans are trying hard to kill it.)

152. Oversaw the creation of an initiative that converts old factories and manufacturing centers into new clean technology centers.

153. Bypassed Republican opposition in Congress and ordered EPA to begin regulating and measuring carbon emissions.

154. Obama EPA ruled that CO2 is a pollutant.

155. Oversaw doubling federal spending on clean energy research.

156. Pushed through a tax credit to help people buy plug-in hybrid cars.

157. Created a program to develop renewable energy projects on the waters of our Outer Continental Shelf that will produce electricity from wind, wave, and ocean currents.

158. Reengaged in the climate change and greenhouse gas emissions agreements talks, and proposed one himself. He also addressed the U.N. Climate Change Conference, officially reversing the Bush era stance that climate change was a “hoax.”

159. Fully supported the initial phase of the creation of a legally-binding treaty to reduce mercury emissions worldwide.

160. Required states to provide incentives to utilities to reduce their energy consumption.

161. Following the neglect of Bush’s eight year reign, he reengaged in a number of treaties and agreements designed to protect the Antarctic.

162. Created tax write-offs for purchases of hybrid automobiles, and later he and Democrats morphed that program into one that includes electric cars.

163. Mandated that federal government fleet purchases be for fuel-efficient American vehicles, and encouraged that federal agencies support experimental, fuel-efficient vehicles.

164. Oversaw and pushed through amendment to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 authorizing advances from Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

165. Actively tried to amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to eliminate the liability limits for those companies responsible for large oil spills.

166. Initiated Criminal and Civil inquiries into the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

167. Through his EPA, he asserted federal legal supremacy, and barred Texas from authorizing new refinery permits on its own.

168. Strengthened the Endangered Species Act.

169. Obama EPA improved boiler safety standards to improve air quality, and save 6500 lives per year.

170. Through the EPA, attemped to take steps to severely limit the use of antibiotics in livestock feed, to increase their efficacy in humans.

171. Increased funding for National Parks and Forests by 10%

172. Announced greatly improved commercial fuel efficiency standards.

173. Announced a huge increase in average fuel economy standards from 27.5mpg in 2010 to 35.5mpg starting in 2016 and 54.5 starting in 2025

That’s Not All…

174. Expanded trade agreements to include stricter labor and environmental agreements such as NAFTA.

175. Oversaw funding of the design of a new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History, which is scheduled to open on the National Mall in 2015. He protected the funding during the recent budget negotiations.

176. Oversaw and passed increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.

177. Nominated Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. Sotomayor is the first Hispanic Justice in the court’s history, and the women represent only the third and fourth women to serve on the court, out of a total of 112 justices.

178. Appointed the most diverse Cabinet in history, including more women than any other incoming president.

179. Eliminated federal funding for abstinence-only education, and rescinded the global gag rule.

180. Loosened the rules and allowed the 14 states that legalized medical marijuana to regulate themselves without federal interference.

181. Signed national service legislation, increasing funding for national service groups, including triple the size of the Americorps program.

Legislative Prowess

182. Despite the characterizations of some, Obama’s success rate in winning congressional votes on issues was an unprecedented 96.7% for his first year in office. Though he is often cited as superior to Obama, President Lyndon Johnson’s success rate in 1965 was only 93%.

Story is located here

Fact checking Mitch McConnell appearance on CNN that CNN could not be bothered to do

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

Senate Minority Leader – Mitch McConnell (R-KY) went on CNN today and was interviewed by Candy Crowley. As the most senior member of the Republican party … he has been the chief political tactician in the Senate to block as much of President Obama’s agenda as possible. And everything that Mitch McConnell says in this interview is in lock step with the conservative worldview. So – we’re doing some actual fact checking here.

Story is located here

The Sky is Pink

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

Fracking is poisoning our water.   This video is a followup to the documentary GasLand.

18 minutes could save New York.

PINK LINKS: Selected Compiled Research

The Sky Is Pink- Annotated industry documents featured in the film:

Affirming GASLAND- Our responses to industry charges against GASLAND

Flaming Faucets,2933,509857,00.html

Well Failures/Gas Leaks

Well Construction/Integrity

Climate Change

Breast Cancer

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Who benefited from the Bush Tax Cuts?

Friday, July 6th, 2012

This can’t be said enough. The top 2 percent of income earners benefited overwhelmingly from the Bush tax cuts, which you should remind yourself every day, were WRITTEN BY REPUBLICANS, TO EXPIRE at the end of this year. Now that John Boehner has grabbed a full day’s headlines with a bait and switch call for President Obama to fire his economic team, which was really just a ruse to get oxygen for the resuscitated corpse that is the GOP tax cuts and corporate welfare economic plan, it might be a good time to review “the math,” as Karl Rove might say. The chart below was produced by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. It shows who benefited most from the Bush tax cuts of 2003 and 2004, in terms of the average benefit families in various income groups would receive next year if the tax cuts were to be extended:

Story is located here

Teaparty economic indicators are PERFECT reflection of Ron Paul desires for America

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Corporate profits are their highest EVER

Worker pay is its lowest EVER

This is a PERFECT Teaparty economic outcome.  EXACTLY what they want.  If they want workers to have more pay the only ways to do it would be-

Instill MARXIST redistribution of income policies or

have government Socialistically redistribute income.

Otherwise this is the outcome of the Teaparty economy  93% of all new income since the economic downturn has been to the top 1%.  This is NO Income Redistribution and this is the result of Teaparty economic concepts.

Charts are located here

Romney’s Bain Capital company oursourcing jobs to China NOW

Friday, July 6th, 2012

In response to more than 170 impending layoffs at Sensata Technologies, a Bain Capital-owned plant slated to be outsourced, a collection of community, religious, and labor leaders have promised to ban together and fight back to save the Freeport jobs.

“When I found out that my job was going to be shipped overseas to China … at first I was angry, now just five or six months away from unemployment, I’m scared,” said Cheryl Randecker, a Sensata employee who has worked at the plant for 33 years. “As a single mother, I don’t just worry about myself, I actually worry about my daughter.”

 In early 2011, Sensata, a maker of sensors and controls that are used in aircraft, automobiles, and electric motors, announced it would be relocating the jobs in Freeport to China and closing the local plant. Normal operations have continued following the announcement, but hundreds of jobs are being phased out gradually and final layoffs are set to occur just before the holidays in December.

Story is located here

Cheney ADMITS Bush Tax Cuts FAILED to create jobs

Friday, July 6th, 2012

September 2003 – In an interview with Tim Russert, VP Dick Cheney admitted that Bush Tax Cuts do NOT create jobs. In fact, Cheney admitted that 2.6 Million jobs were LOST between 2001-2003 under the “W” Tax Cuts.

Vice President Dick Cheney also admitted that the Bush Tax Cuts created:

* Dow Jones down 11%. * Unemployme­­nt rate up 49%. * $281 billion surplus now a $500 billion deficit. * Jobs, Net Loss of 2.6 Million. 

Dick Cheney also admitted that the “W” Tax Cuts “account for 25% of the deficit.

Here is the transcript:

RUSSERT: Inaugurati­­on Day as compared to now. * Dow Jones down 11%. * Unemployme­­nt rate up 49%. * $281 Billion Surplus now a $500 Billion Deficit.* Jobs, Net Loss of 2.6 Million.

CHENEY: “…The president’s policies in terms of the tax-cut package does offer very bright prospects for the future. The forecast by nearly everybody I’ve talked with for the last half of this year is we’re looking at 4% to 5% real growth”

RUSSERT: If you froze the tax cut for the Top 1% of Americans, it would generate enough money to pay $87 Billion for the war, if you did it for just ONE year.

CHENEY: I think it’d be a mistake … An awful lot of the returns in that top bracket are small businesses­­, and they provide a lot of the job growth in this economy.

RUSSERT: The president [Bush] said in 2002 the Tax Cut would generate 800,000 jobs;
In 2003, he said—be another Million jobs.
None of that has happened.
What has happened is the deficit is skyrocketing, over $500 Billion.
You used to be a real deficit hawk.

CHENEY: I am a deficit hawk. The fact of the matter is, we’ve always made exceptions [regarding the deficit] for recession, national emergency, time of war.

RUSSERT: What about the tax cuts.

CHENEY: Tax cuts accounted for only about 25% of the deficit.

— end of transcript —-

My Brief Analogy:

  1. 25% of the Deficit (in 2003) were the Bush Tax Cuts – Bush & Cheney had to borrow money from Communist China, and pay interest, for the Top 1% to get JOB-KILLING Tax Cuts.
  1. In just 2 years (2001-2003) 2.6 MILLION jobs LOST & USA being beholden to China so the Top 1% can get JOB-KILLING Tax Cuts.
  1. China is a business partner with Iran.
  1. Tea Party people claim to hate Iran, Communist China AND Deficit – yet they support Bush Tax Cuts knowing that doing such will increase the deficit, make us dependent and beholden to China – who are friends with Iran.
  1. I suppose that means, the Tea Party People SUPPORT Communist China and Iran?

Story is located here

PolitiFact: Health care law is the largest tax increase ever – PANTS ON FIRE LIE

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

The federal Joint Committee on Taxation, a nonpartisan committee of Congress with a professional staff of economists, attorneys and accountants, provided Congress a detailed breakdown of the tax impact of the health care law from 2010-2019.

• Starting in 2013, Medicare payroll taxes increase 0.9 percentage points for people with incomes over $200,000 ($250,000 for couples filing jointly). Also, people at this income level would pay a new 3.8 percent tax on investment income. The 10-year cost: $210.2 billion.

• Starting in 2018, a new 40 percent excise tax on high-cost health plans, so-called Cadillac plans (over $10,200 for individuals, $27,500 for families), kicks in. That’s expected to bring the government a total of $32 billion in 2018 and 2019.

• Starting in 2011, a new fee for pharmaceutical manufacturers and importers began. It is expected to raise $27 billion over 10 years.

• Starting in 2013, a 2.3 percent excise tax on manufacturers and importers of certain medical devices starts. The 10-year total: $20 billion.

• Starting in 2014, a new annual fee on health insurance providers begins. Total estimated 10-year revenue: $60.1 billion.

• Starting in 2013, the floor on medical expense deductions on itemized income tax returns will be raised from 7.5 percent to 10 percent of income. That’s expected to bring in $15.2 billion over the next 10 years.

• Starting in 2011, a 10 percent excise tax on indoor tanning services kicked in. It is expected to bring in $2.7 billion over the next 10 years.

There also is money in the law going the other way.

The plan includes government money, in the form of tax credits, to subsidize the cost of health insurance for lower-income people who don’t get insurance through their employer. And there is a tax cut for some very small businesses that allows them to write off a portion of the cost of providing insurance to their employees.

Combined with various other revenue-generating provisions, the Joint Committee on Taxation estimates the health law will bring in more than $437.8 billion by 2019. (The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated $525 billion.)

Measuring tax hikes

There are many ways to define or measure the size of a tax increase, and not all tax increases have been measured the same way over time.

The health care tax provisions, for instance, take effect between 2011 and 2018, meaning the full effect of the legislation won’t be felt until near the end of the decade. Also, it wouldn’t make sense to compare 2019 dollars to 1985 dollars. You have to adjust for inflation, or express the amount as a total of Gross Domestic Product at the time, which is a way to measure the relative impact of a tax provision at the time it was enacted.

For our comparison, we used a method perfected by Jerry Tempalski, an analyst in the Office of Tax Analysis with the U.S. Department of the Treasury. In 2006, Tempalski tried to determine the relative impact of major tax revenue bills from 1940-2006. He used revenue estimates from Treasury and the Joint Committee on Taxation and calculated the impact as a percentage of GDP.

Tempalski’s calculations do not include the 2010 health law, so we mimicked his work.

We used 2019 as our baseline because that’s when all of the tax provisions of the law will be in effect. In 2019, the CBO estimates, the government will see increased revenues of $104 billion, which translates to a tax increase totalling .49 percent of projected GDP.

How does that stack up?

Depending on your rounding, the tax increases from the health care law are projected to be about the size of tax increases proposed and passed in 1980 by President Jimmy Carter, in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush and in 1993 by President Bill Clinton.

They would, however, be smaller than tax increases signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1982 and a temporary tax signed into law in 1968 by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

They also would be significantly smaller than two tax increases passed during World War II and a tax increase in 1961.

That’s at least five tax increases in the United States that are larger — just since 1940 — than the one proposed in the health care law. And there are another three that are roughly equivalent.

Limbaugh’s inflated rhetoric takes a wrong claim and puts it into the realm of the ridiculous. We rate it Pants on Fire.

Story is located here

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg comments on why Healthcare For All is necessary

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

“Unlike markets for most products, the inability to pay for care does not mean that an uninsured individual will receive no care. Federal and state law, as well as professional obligations and embedded social norms, require hospitals and physicians to provide care when it is most needed, regardless of the patient’s ability to pay. As a consequence, medical-care providers deliver significant amounts of care to the uninsured for which the providers receive no payment.
Health-care providers do not absorb these bad debts. Instead, they raise their prices, passing along the cost of uncompensated care to those who do pay. In response, private insurers increase their premiums, shifting the cost onto those who carry insurance. The net result: Those with health insurance subsidize the medical care of those without it.
The size of this subsidy is considerable. Congress found that the cost-shifting just described ‘increases family [insurance] premiums by on average over $1,000 a year.’ Higher premiums, in turn, render health insurance less affordable, forcing more people to go without insurance and leading to further cost-shifting. Congress therefore passed the individual mandate provision of the ACA to address an economic and social problem that has plagued the nation for decades.” – Justice Ginsburg