Apr 172014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and am feeling quite tired.  Store to Door delivered groceries, and I’m still not recovered from my schedule.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:45 (average 5:14).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Special Events:

0417Lynn

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: TeaParty Militia Leader, Richard Mack has been pretending he’s a bad ass for years. But when he and his TeaParty brethren went to help millionare rancher, Cliven Bundy violently violate a Court order, they proved they are nothing but a bunch of gun-toting, wimpy-ass loud mouths who planned to use women as human shields against any potential gun battle they initiated with the Federal government.

 

What craven cowards these seditious Republicans are to hide behind the skirts of their women.

From MoveOn: Check out this Tax Day message from Robert Reich:

 

As usual, the Reich on the left is right, and the Reich on the right is Republican. Sign the petition to tax the bastards!!

From Crooks and Liars: The next frontier in corrupt election politics: Is it permissible for candidates to run ads that are outright lies?

Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in another election law case. This one concerns an ad run by Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-birth organization, against Rep. Steven Driehaus. In the ad, SBA List accuses Driehaus of voting to allow taxpayer funds to be used to fund abortions, despite the last-minute protections built in to ensure that didn’t happen.

 

Sadly, I’m pretty sure about how the fascist five Injustices at SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD) will rule: IOKIYAR

Cartoon:

0417Cartoon

Share
Apr 092014
 

I had been planning on running errands today, but last night I found a note taped to my door that the building managers are working on the elevator all day today, effectively making me a shut-in for the day.  So I cooked and ate a hearty breakfast, prepared and did my grocery order, dug in the deepest part of my kitty box and prepared to face Infernal Revenue.  I prepared and filed online, as always, and that a far sight easier than paper forms.  Nevertheless, the process is thoroughly exhausting.  I’m happy to report that I owed nothing.  Poor as I am, I would happy to pay taxes, if most of the money was not welfare for greedy billionaires, while less than 1% goes to helping needy people.  Now I have two choices.  Either I can start my early morning research now, in the late afternoon, or I can… Good NIGHT!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:07 (average 4:40).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

0409TaxCat

Share
Mar 182014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, and this will be the only article, because I spent the day working on volunteer training.  I may stay scarce, because I have errands to run tomorrow, and both an appointment and grocery delivery on Wednesday.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:59 (average 5:33).   To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: “Out of work? Nowhere to live? Nowhere to go? Nothing to eat?” the online ad reads. “Come to Fukushima.”

That grim posting targeting the destitute, by a company seeking laborers for the ravaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, is one of the starkest indications yet of an increasingly troubled search for workers willing to carry out the hazardous decommissioning at the site.

The plant’s operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, known as Tepco, has been shifting its attention away, leaving the complex cleanup to an often badly managed, poorly trained, demoralized and sometimes unskilled work force that has made some dangerous missteps. At the same time, the company is pouring its resources into another plant, Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, that it hopes to restart this year as part of the government’s push to return to nuclear energy three years after the world’s second-worst nuclear disaster.

Given the level of disregard Tepco is showing for their workers, the environment, and those of us to whom the Japan Current will bring the contamination from mistakes, I’m surprised that they aren’t a US energy company. I guess Japan has Republicans too. :-(

From Alternet: Purchases of American products generally come with a sales tax, and often an excise tax, and possibly state and local add-on taxes. A consumer can avoid all this by limiting purchases to  food and prescription drugs, or by shopping  online. There’s one more way — by visiting a nearby financial exchange and buying a million dollars worth of derivatives.

There is currently no U.S. tax on the purchase of stocks, derivatives, and other financial instruments. The rest of us pay up to a 10 percent sales tax on the necessities of daily life. A tiny  financial transaction tax  of perhaps a tenth of a percent on the trading of financial securities would begin to correct this inequity, while generating billions of dollars of revenue.

There are at least  five good reasons  why our country is ready for such a  financial transaction tax (FTT) .

This is obscene, but Republican welfare for the super-rich always is. Click through for the excellent list of reasons.

From Crooks and Liars: Crimeans voted overwhelmingly Sunday to join former political master Russia as tensions soared in the east of the splintered ex-Soviet nation, the epicentre of the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War.

Partial results with more than half the ballots counted showed 95.5 percent of voters were in favour of leaving Ukraine, in the most radical redrawing of Europe’s map since Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia.

I can certainly understand the desire of Crimeans to rejoin Russia, since Crimea is a Russian area, included in Ukraine when Ukraine was still part of the Soviet Union. If that’s what Crimeans want, an inter4nationally supervised referendum should be organized to facilitate that end. A referendum conducted under Russian guns is no more valid that one in a Red state, where Republicans control e-voting machines with no paper trail. Therefore, I continue in opposition to the Republican militarism of Vladimir Putin (R-RU).

Cartoon:

0318Cartoon

Subsequent unconstitutional decisions have rendered this one all but moot.

Share
Mar 132014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and am feeling tired, because it’s been a busy day.  My stovetop percolator arrived, and I must say, even though it’s not yet “broken in”, brewed coffee is far better than dripped.  I’ll need to get more tubing, though, because running an IV from the stovetop is further than from the countertop.  Store to Door delivered groceries, so I had to clean first.  It’s a beautiful 62° day, so I took an hour to go out and cat-bask in the sunshine.  I should probably go lazy, but the tomorrow’s lead article just needs doing too much.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:01 (average 4:40).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: FL-13: After an intensely hard-fought special election where total spending likely topped $13 million, Republican David Jolly defeated Democrat Alex Sink by a margin of 48.4 percent to 46.6 percent in Florida’s 13th Congressional District on Tuesday night, holding the seat for the GOP. Libertarian Lucas Overby ended up with 4.8 percent of the vote. Even though Barack Obama narrowly carried the district in 2012 by about 1.5 points, it appears Sink couldn’t overcome the troubling tendency for key chunks of the Democratic electorate to stay home during non-presidential elections.

Republicans will crow that unhappiness with Obamacare, which was the focus of much of their advertising, led to Sink’s undoing, and it’s possible those attacks provided Jolly’s winning margin—but of course, with such a tight outcome, anything could have been responsible, such as Sink’s personal flaws as a candidate. And importantly, the November electorate will likely be less Republican, on a relative basis, than you’d find in a March special election, so Democrats should likewise exercise caution before panicking that the Affordable Care Act spells doom.

Of course, a win is still a win, but there’s a constant Beltway temptation to read far too much into a single special election. Close races also make for poor object lessons, as luck tends to play an outsize role, much like in a baseball game decided by a single run. But at the same time, even if this election augurs nothing for November, this was still very much the sort of district that Democrats need to capture in order to have a shot at some day taking back the House.

Voters, if you vote for the Democrat, you’re voting for the Democrat. If you vote for the Republican, you’re voting for the Republican. If you vote for a third party, you’re voting for the Republican. If you do not vote, you’re voting for the Republican. All the people of FL – 13 will now be punished for the stupidity, apathy, and laziness of their district. The ones who stayed home deserve it most of all.

From The New Yorker: In a preview of what promises to be a heated race for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2016, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) head-butted his rival Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on the floor of the United States Senate this morning.

The melee “came without warning,” one observer said, as Sen. Paul took to the well of the Senate to give a speech recommending a strong but measured response to the crisis in Ukraine.

Almost immediately, a furious and beet-red Sen. Cruz began heckling Sen. Paul, calling him a “Kentucky-fried Communist” and demanding that he “apologize to Ronald Reagan this very instant.”

Sen. Paul seemed to ignore the heckling at first, but as Sen. Cruz’s taunts descended into a stream of profane name-calling, the Kentuckian leapt from the well of the Senate and began throttling Sen. Cruz before administering the decisive head-butt.

Andy has reminded me of Mad Magazine’s scenes we’d love to see.

From Think Progress: The largest American multinational companies parked an additional $206 billion of profits in offshore accounts last year, according to Bloomberg, bringing the total amount of profits stashed where U.S. tax officials can’t touch them up to about two trillion dollars.

The 307 companies that Bloomberg examined now hold a combined $1.95 trillion offshore, allowing them to avoid paying U.S. taxes on those earnings. The majority of the total is concentrated in just a few corporate hands. The largest 22 of those companies hold more offshore than the other 285 combined.

General Electric leads the pack, with $110 billion held offshore. Tech companies like Microsoft ($76.4 billion), Apple ($54.4 billion), IBM ($52.3 billion), and Google ($38.9 billion) also dominate, along with drug companies like Pfizer ($69 billion) and Merck ($57.1). The tech giants have drastically accelerated their offshore holdings in recent years, with Microsoft and Google more than doubling and Apple more than quadrupling offshore profit holdings from 2010 to 2013.

I’d say it’s time for an offshore profits penalty of 90%. That would move those funds onshore in VERY short order!!

Cartoon:

0313Cartoon

Share
Jan 142014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and am sad to report That I still feel so horrid, that I dozed during the Broncos game.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:36 (average 5:47).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Alternet:

A recent  New York Times article by economist Laurence J. Kotlikoff suggested that we "Abolish the Corporate Income Tax." His case for doing so, he explains, "requires constructing a large-scale computer simulation model of the United States economy as it interacts over time with other nations’ economies." The computer determined that the tax cut would be "self-financing to a significant extent."

Big business hints at serious  consequences if we don’t comply with this lower tax demand. But abolishing the corporate income tax is not likely to reverse the long history of harmful corporate behavior. There are several good reasons why.

1. Corporations Have a Proven Record of Spending Tax Breaks on Themselves

The evidence comes from 2004, when a "repatriation holiday" allowed corporations to bring their profits home at a much-reduced tax rate. But they used over  90% of the money to "enrich shareholders and executives" by paying dividends and  buying back their own stock. At the same time, they  cut jobs and research spending. A Senate subcommittee called the whole affair a  "failed tax policy" that shouldn’t be repeated.

The increasing level of stock buybacks epitomizes the transition from corporate responsibility to corporate self-indulgence. Stock buybacks are a means by which major corporations seek to  manipulate the market prices of their own shares, thereby enriching executives with plentiful stock options. The buyback surge is dramatic.  In 1981, 292 major corporations spent less than 3 percent of their combined net income on buybacks, but by 2007 the very same 292 corporations were spending over 82 percent of their net income repurchasing their own stock.

This is just one of four major reasons why corporate tax rates should be increased, not decreased. Click through for the other three.

From McClatchy DC: Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, frustrated in recent weeks as Democrats have wielded unusual power, Monday urged more dialogue and cooperation–"simple give and take," he called it.

RepubliSpeak DictionarySimple Give and Take: Democrats simply give. Republicans simply take.

From Think Progress: The Office of the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has opened a federal investigation into whether New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) improperly used Hurricane Sandy relief funds to produce commercials starring himself and his family ahead of his re-election campaign. Auditors will examine how the Christie administration used $25 million set aside for “a marketing campaign to promote the Jersey Shore and encourage tourism,” focusing on the bidding process to award a $4.7 million to a politically connected firm that cast Christie and his family in the Sandy ads, while “a comparable firm proposed billing the state $2.5 million for similar work” but did not include Christie in the commercials.

The ads produced by the company, MWW, attracted significant criticism. The New Jersey Star Ledger accused Christie of siphoning off “money that was intended for victims of Sandy to promote himself in a series of TV ads,” and described the move as “offensive” and a ” new low.”… [emphasis added]

 

Even if estimated in price per pound, this Republican criminal is not worth an extra $2.7 million.  Click through for the rest of what you need to know about this scandal. ADghazi!!

Cartoon:

0114Cartoon

We can do amazing things with science when not using it to kill each other.

Share
Jul 312013
 

Republicans always bellow jobs, jobs, jobs, when running for office.  They also keep crying out for tax cuts for small businesses.  Barack Obama has proposed a deal that would both create jobs and cut taxes for small businesses, but Republicans want nothing to do with it.  Here’s the real reason.

31vulture-chartPresident Obama on Tuesday will offer Republicans a “grand bargain for middle-class jobs” that couples corporate tax cuts with spending on job creation programs.

House Republicans quickly said they don’t see much of a deal as long as the president does nothing to lower taxes on small businesses and families.

Obama will announce his proposal in an address on the economy Tuesday at an Amazon.com warehouse in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The president will offer to cut taxes on most corporations from 35 percent to 28 percent, with a preferred rate of 25 percent for manufacturers.

The plan will also permanently increase the small business tax threshold to $1 million.

Obama is also seeking new spending on investment projects he says will benefit the middle class, such as infrastructure repair, aid to community colleges, and investment in manufacturing hubs.

To pay for the infrastructure investments and other spending, Obama is proposing a one-time tax on the hundreds of billions of dollars in income that multinational corporations have stashed offshore… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <The Hill>

Infrastructure spending and preferred tax rates for manufacturers would certainly create jobs and help families, but when it comes to jobs, the only openings that concern Republicans are lady parts.  Increasing the small business threshold to $1 million certainly helps small businesses and families, but the only small businesses Republicans care about are ones like BP, Halliburton and Bain Capital.

The real reason is simple.  Republicans want to protect the 1% vulture capitalists who have evaded paying taxes by stashing their wealth offshore.  Those are the ones that both Obama and the American people want to pay their fair share.  Those are the ones Republicans truly represent.

Share
Jun 172013
 

I’m writing early, as usual.  Day two is proving more difficult.  In spite of the Chantix and a 21 mg. patch, I’m Jonesing big time.  nevertheless, I remain committed.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:20 (average 4:47).  To do it. click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Alternet: Military contractor Booz Allen Hamilton of McLean, Virginia, has shot into the news recently over two of its former employees:  Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who has just revealed the extent of  US global spying on electronic data of ordinary citizens around the world, and James Clapper, US director of national intelligence.

Clapper has  come out vocally to condemn Snowden as a traitor to the public interest and the country, yet a review of Booz Allen’s own history suggests that the government should be investigating his former employer, rather than the whistleblower.

Clapper worked as vice-president at Booz Allen from 1997 to 1998, while Snowden  did a three-month stint at their offices in Hawaii in spring 2013 as a low-level contract employee. Both worked on intelligence contracts, which are estimated to make up almost a quarter of the company’s $5.86bn in annual income. This past weekend, Clapper condemned Snowden’s leak…

I’m going to disagree with this author, in part. Because Snowden, by his own admission has leaked US sources and methods to China regarding electronic surveillance of that nation, he should certainly be investigated, and in all probability prosecuted. However, I agree with the author that Booze Allen Hamilton should be investigated for criminal negligence, and Clapper should be fired and criminally investigated for corruption.

From Common Dreams: An interactive database allowing users to search more than 100,000 secret companies, trusts and funds created in offshore tax havens including the British Virgin Islands has gone online.

The data, part of a cache of 2.5m leaked files that has already led to a series of exposes of the offshore financial sector by the Guardian and other global media organisations, has been launched by the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

The ICIJ, a non-profit organisation that has analysed the files with more than 100 journalists in dozens of countries and is continuing to do so, hopes the Offshore Leaks web app will trigger further investigations and revelations by making the information more widely available.

 

This resource may be difficult to use, but I consider it an extremely valuable tool to ferret out the 1% vulture capitalists that the Republican Party represent exclusively.  Major kudos to the ICIJ!!

From Huffington Post: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) criticized President Barack Obama while speaking at the annual meeting of the Faith and Freedom Coalition Saturday, saying the United States should not intervene in Syria while he’s in office.

“Until we have a commander in chief who knows what he is doing… let Allah sort it out!” Palin told the conservative crowd, according to The Hill.

 

God forbid that I I should ever be perceived as agreeing with Blood Libel Barbie, aka Drill Baby Dingbat, aka Mooseolini. I think intervention in Syria is a mistake for different reasons, and it should be noted, the ones who are pushing hardest for it are Republicans, but Obama painted himself into a corner when he threatened increased US involvement if Assad was proven to have used chemical weapons.

Cartoon:

17Cartoon

Don’t tell Republicans it’s from France, or they’ll send it back!!

Share