May 102014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and am feeling a bit groggy from the extensive cat napping required to recover from volunteer paperwork.  The good Lord knows I am not qualified to be the Treasurer of a nonprofit corporation, but I’m the closest to qualified that we have, and the rigors of financial reporting give me fits!!  Day 19.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:01 (average 4:29).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy:

Ronald Reagan popularized the idea that people on welfare are a drain on the economy. Fox News carries that mantle today, making regular blanket characterizations of the country’s poorest families as big spending welfare frauds. Here’s why they’re wrong — but don’t expect them to admit it.

0510atlantic-chart

Families receiving public assistance spend on average less than half as much as families that don’t receive public assistance. Considering those very moderate figures, it’s safe to say that most of the folks represented by the red bars aren’t on welfare for selfish personal gain, but because they actually need the support.

These numbers also prompt important questions about opportunity in the U.S. For example, families that don’t receive public assistance spend an average 382% more on insurance and retirement than families that rely on public assistance. How might a family’s ability, or lack thereof, to invest in the future impact economic mobility for their future generations?

America has devolved from a meritocracy to an oligopoly featuring Republican class warfare against the poor and middle classes. If Republicans have their way, the US will further devolve into a rigid caste system.

From NY Times: Institutional Investor’s latest “rich list” in its Alpha magazine, its survey of the 25 highest-paid hedge fund managers, is out — and it turns out that these guys make a lot of money. Surprise!

Yet before we dismiss the report as nothing new, let’s think about what it means that these 25 men (yes, they’re all men) made a combined $21 billion in 2013. In particular, let’s think about how their good fortune refutes several popular myths about income inequality in America.

All pay taxes at a lower rate than middle-class Americans. Click through for an excellent Paul Krugman editorial.

From Crooks and Liars: Why are these people Democrats? Really. They want a select committee, yes another committee to look into Benghazi. It is nothing more than a political witch hunt

…Here are the Republicans Democrats who voted to keep this charade going; Reps. John Barrow (D-GA-pictured), Patrick Murphy (D-FL), Ron Barber (D-AZ), Mike McIntyre (D-NC), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Nick Rahall (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). [emphasis added]

If one of these DINO cowards is your representative, would you please ask them how the view is with their heads so far up the elephant’s ass.

Cartoon:

0510Cartoon

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  17 Responses to “Open Thread–5/10/2012”

  1. Crooks and Liars: Witch Hunt

    RACHEL MADDOW 05/09/14
    Benghazi ‘witch hunt’ role tests Democrats
    Rachel Maddow explains the challenging question Democrats are facing with the formation of the new Benghazi select committee: boycott the hearings to protest a partisan witch hunt, participate to ensure having a voice, or something in the middle?

    RACHEL MADDOW 05/09/14
    Skip Benghazi ‘witch hunt’? Democrats ponder
    Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee, talks with Rachel Maddow about how Democrats can give voice to the minority in the new Benghazi select committee without dignifying what they see as a partisan stunt.

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/watch/benghazi-witch-hunt-role-tests-democrats-251750979847?cid=eml_mra_20140510

    Why There Is No Cure for the GOP's Benghazi Fever

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/05/gop-benghazi-fever-issa-boehner-ben-rhodes

    .

    • I would have used Rachel's segment if I have been able to find the clip in internationally vieweable format.  Thanks.

  2. 4:59  Every turtle deserves the right to stick its neck out.  (Average up to 4:56)

    Upworthy – I would say that you are preaching to the converted, but the fact is that the converted need all the evidence we can get.  Incidentally, even families NOT on public assistance don't put enough into retirement.  I'll bet what the families receiving are spending is minimum car insurance required by law and that is it.

    NY Times – "People have a right to keep what they earn" – These guys may MAKE a lot of money but I don't see how they can possibly even believe themselves that they EARN it.

    Crooks and Liars – I am certainly not saying these Representative shouldn't be called on this, but, to talk about one, Ron Barber "inherited" Gabi Giffords' district.  It's an extremely tough district for Democrats and he is under heavy ad fire from the Koch brothers.  I can't help suspecting that a vote on a highly visible issue is a campaign ploy only.  Particularly a vote that didn't make a rat's patoot worth of difference.  (If all seven had voted no, the vote would have been 225-193.  Only a simple majority was required.)  I don't know the other districts well but even if you just look at the states they are in the same scenario is certainly a possibility.  I just hope it doesn't backfire as I'm sure their Republican opponenets are far worse.  (After looking at Care2 it appears JL A feels the same.)

    Cartoon – You mean Jews wrote the Koran?

    • In some places the only choice is a plain Republican or a DINO Republican that still counts twoard a Democratic  majority.  In such cases, a vote for the DINO is a getter choice than not vopting or wasting the vote on a 3rd party candidate that helps the plain Republican win.

  3. 4:27 I lost this race.

  4. Upworthy ~ I would have liked to see "Investments" on that chart. The poor would have $0.

    NY Times ~ None are worth that amount of money. All they do is ship it into ofshore accounts to watch it grow.

    Crooks & Liars ~ I, too, wonder how the view is where their heads are stuck.

    Cartoon ~ The Koran isn't the only book they would like to see burned. How about nasty science text books?

     

     

  5. Thanks TC I agree with everything you say but can't comment further – kidney stones again – argh!

  6. TC, I totally understand your difficulty with the rigors of financial reporting.  It has somehow fallen to me to do both our taxes as well as my Mom's.   April 15 almost took me under.

    Upworthy:  The welfare queen image that Reagan invoked is alive and well, thanks to faux news.  I spent all my working years in programs that benefited the poor and middle class, first in Food Stamps and then in the Unemployment Insurance program.  I cannot recall a single person I helped being glad they were on either.  Most were either embarassed or so desperate to leave the program that I felt sorry for them.  I get sick of hearing politicians opine about these programs when none of them have and never willhave  need of them.  My greatest wish would be for all of Congress to be on minimum wage with no health insurance, no pension, and no job security.  They might work harder for their money then. 

    NY Times:  I wish Krugman's articles were required reading in high schools and colleges, maybe the younger generations would have a clue about what has been happening in our country. I am still steamed that my 85 year old mother paid a higher tax rate on her piddling pension than Mitt Romney did on is millions in profits.

    Crooks and Liars:  I am surprised that Nick Rahall was one of these Dinos.  The Kochs are after his job, though, so maybe he is just covering his butt.  He is from WV, though, so you never know. Manchin is usually a dino, too.

    Cartoon:  The Koran is not the only book the Repubs want burned.  I read a list recently, can't remember the source, but "To Kill A Mockingbird" was at the top of their list.

  7. Puzzle — 3:32  Slow and steady gets to the finish line, just not ahead of that puddy tat!

    Upworthy — I would have thought that the healthcare costs for non recipients would have been higher because of healthcare premiums.  I know the ACA has helped bring that down, but it still seems low.  Nonetheless, no cadillac driving welfare queens there.

    NY Times — "…if it would really be a terrible thing if they [the rich] paid more in taxes."  I have always believed that the rich paid too little in taxes.  I don't know any rich person that says "If I have to pay that much in taxes, I'd rather be poor."

    Crooks and Liars — One thing I notice is that for 5 of these congress critters, they represent red states.  They are more likely, IMO, to be more conservative Democrats.  The other 2, Minnesota and West Virginia, represent blue states.  Those are the ones that don't make any sense at all.  What also confound me is why anyone, Democrat or Republicanus/Teabagger, can't understand that there are more pressing matters to deal with like employment, infrastructure, and the like.  Heads up their asses, indeed!

    Cartoon — They probably did include the Qur'an.  There were several southern pastors who burned Qur'ans which I think is inflammatory.  So much for freedom of speech and religion as the founding fathers envisaged them when they wrote the Constitution. 

    • Because it takes some time to collect and compile the data, I bet that id from a few months ago before ObamaCare had fully taken effect.  Also for the poor, healt care costs are often zero.  No healthcare at all.

  8. Thankls all.  Since misery loves company, I'm glad I'm not the only one that hates paperwork. :twisted: