Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mitch McConnell to welcome tea partiers in speech

Link
“In my view, the tea party has had an overwhelmingly positive impact on the most important issues of the day,” McConnell, of Kentucky, said, according to prepared remarks. “It’s helped focus the debate. It’s provided a forum for Americans who felt left out of the process to have a voice and make a difference. And it’s already leading to good results.”

Protesters from Tea Party Patriots are set to rally on Capitol Hill at noon Thursday, and McConnell’s praise their efforts. “[T]hanks to ordinary Americans like these speaking their minds and advocating for common sense reforms, I’m increasingly confident we’ll get our fiscal house in order,” he said. “Republicans are determined to do our part.”

Destroying Rich People would buy us one year of budget deficit, what then?

Democrats consider proposing TAX HIKES

Link
Senate Democrats are discussing plans to introduce tax policy changes that they say would raise federal revenues and broaden the budget debate beyond discretionary spending cuts.

Democrats feel they have been boxed by Republicans into a debate over cutting discretionary spending, which accounts for a mere 12 percent of the federal budget.

Democratic senators say they have been fighting on the defensive, scrambling to protect social spending — such as that for the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program, Planned Parenthood and NPR — from GOP-proposed cuts. 
Democrats want to take the offensive and propose higher tax rates for millionaires, companies that move factories overseas and wealthy people who make charitable contributions.

Maria the Goose is in love

Whose Congressional District is UN-healthiest? Michelle Obama's!

Link
The former home congressional district of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama ranks dead last in the United States for “healthy behavior,” according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index released this month.

Out of 436 districts measured by the Well-Being Index—including the 435 U.S. Congressional Districts plus the District of Columbia—the 1st Congressional District of Illinois ranked 436th for the “healthy behavior” of its residents in 2010. That was down from the district’s ranking of 408th for “healthy behavior” in 2009, which was Mrs.Obama’s first year as first lady.

House passed DC School Choice Bill last night-Congrats to them

Here is the vote.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

WOW! Senator Mike Lee to Filibuster Debt Ceiling Increase

WE ARE BROKE!!!! Why isn't every Republican Senator willing to filibuster? Are they going to wait until Treasury debt is worthless along with the dollar?

Link
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) has told supporters in Utah that he will filibuster the legislation to authorize Treasury Department officials to add to the nation’s multitrillion-dollar debt.

“That’s my intention, to filibuster it,” said Lee, a member of the Senate Tea Party Caucus.
Lee said he might be persuaded to back off if Obama and Democratic leaders agreed to a major concession, which GOP strategists consider highly unlikely.

“The concession would [have to] be something very significant, very permanent and very binding, like a balanced-budget amendment — and passage of it, not just a vote,” Lee said.

Lee added he would vote against an increase of the debt limit no matter what scenario unfolded.

HB130, amended, passes Finance Sub with help of Speaker Harwell

HB130 passed out of the House Finance Subcommittee on its way to the full Finance Committee.

The Bill passed because Speaker Beth Harwell took the extraordinary measure of exercising her prerogative to cast a vote even though she is not a regular member of the committee.

Republican Chairman Mike Harrison offered two amendments, both of which failed due to Speaker Harwell's votes. On the final vote for the bill Republican Chairman Mike Harrison passed and Speaker Harwell voted YES and the bill passed 7-Aye 6-No 1-Pass.

The House version of the bill has been amended so that it does not completely abolish collective bargaining for teachers. The Senate version has the original language specifying a complete ban.

TCPR has more on today's proceedings.

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Yikes, Farragut, TN looking at a Property Tax

Just a thought...why not look at reducing spending!!

Link
Even with some expected increases, Smoak said the Board should look at alternative revenue sources including property taxes.

“This one I just want to throw up there so everyone knows. It’s just one of those things to look at,” Smoak said.

“For every one cent of assessed value property in the Town, that would bring in an additional $74,500 in revenue. I just wanted to let you see that,” he added.

The Board didn’t vote on any of the budget workshop items — the workshop was for discussion only.

Other possible revenue sources include business licenses, hotel and motel taxes, stormwater management fees and automobile tags.

Marco Rubio: Why I Won't Vote to Raise the Debt Limit

I hope ALL Senators and Congressman will make the same decision...if not now, when?

Link
Whether they admit it or not, everyone in Washington knows how to solve these problems. What is missing is the political will to do it. I ran for the U.S. Senate because I want my children to inherit what I inherited: the greatest nation in human history. It's not too late. The 21st century can also be the American Century. Our people are ready. Now it's time for their leaders to join them.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Yet another amazing Tsunami video

Palin TV Show gets $1.2 million in tax credits

Link
Under a state subsidy created by the Legislature in 2008 and signed into law by Palin, Alaska allows film and TV producers to recover 30 percent or more of the money they spend on filming in the state.

All told, the Palin show spent $3.6 million in Alaska, the state says.

TV and movie-makers may not have a significant tax liability in Alaska but can sell their credits at a discount to corporations that do. The tax revenue would have otherwise gone into state coffers.

Chuck Schumer: "always use the word extreme" on budget cuts

Link
After thanking his colleagues — Barbara Boxer of California, Ben Cardin of Maryland, Tom Carper of Delaware and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut — for doing the budget bidding for the Senate Democrats, who are facing off against the House Republicans over how spending for the rest of the fiscal year, Mr. Schumer told them to portray John Boehner of Ohio, the Speaker of the House, as painted into a box by the Tea Party, and to decry the spending cuts that he wants as extreme. “I always use the word extreme,” Mr. Schumer said, “That is what the caucus instructed me to use this week.”

A minute or two into the talking-points tutorial, though, someone apparently figured out that reporters were listening, and silence fell.

"I want to kill them, bury them, and piss on their graves."

A description of Fannie Mae tactics toward critics by the former head of lobbying for Fannie Mae.

Link
The Fannie Mae lobbying operation achieved legendary status on Capitol Hill. It was rumored they could cost you a committee assignment, or even your job.

Now, this is the point in the story where you'd expect to hear denials from Fannie Mae, saying the tales about their lobbying have been exaggerated. Not so.

"It was always an us against them," says Bill Maloni, Fannie Mae's chief lobbyist, who left the company in 2004.

Here's how he jokingly describes Fannie's approach to critics: "If you punch my brother I'll burn down your house. I want to kill them, bury them, and piss on their graves."

Gallup: More People concerned about the Federal deficit than ever before

Link

The 44% mentioning the federal budget deficit as an extremely important issue is the highest Gallup has measured, up slightly from 42% in January 2007 and up significantly from an average 31% from 2002-2004.

Wis Progressive Group shows first Recall Republicans ad

Link

69% Still Angry At Government's Current Policies

Ok, let's all chant together a big collective DUH!! We are governed by dysfunctional boobs who are hell bent on bankruptcy, I am very surprised its not 100%.

Link
Midterm elections and a change of power in the U.S. House of Representatives haven't lowered the level of voter discontent with the federal government and the leaders of the two major political parties. 
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 69% of Likely U.S. Voters remain at least somewhat angry with the current policies of the federal government, up slightly from 65% last August. Just 25% don't share that anger. These findings include 38% who are Very Angry versus only 12% who say they are Not At All Angry. (To see survey question wording, click here). 
In surveys since September 2009, those angry at the government have ranged from 66% to 75%. Those who are Very Angry have run from 33% to 46%.

We have achieved a Forrest Gump level Robot!

I sure hope Harry Reid is Right on this one

Link
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev. ) blamed the tea party wing of the Republican-controlled House Monday for troubled budget negotiations, saying fighting within the Republican caucus is stalling a deal.

“On our side of the negotiating table, we made a proposal,” Reid said. “That proposal makes significant cuts that will not hurt our fragile economy. We’re also honest with ourselves and the country. We readily recognize that in the end, we won’t get everything that we want. On the other side, Republicans refuse to negotiate on a final number. That’s because the biggest negotiation isn’t between Republicans and Democrats, it’s between Republicans and Republicans.

Monday, March 28, 2011

TN State Reps Mike Harrison and Bob Ramsey break with Republicans

Bob Ramsey and Mike Harrison were the only Republicans to vote against HB146, a bill that would allow professional teacher organizations other than the TEA to have their members be considered for appointment to certain state boards. Harrison and Ramsey clearly sided with the Tennessee Education Association.

HERE is the vote.

CNBC: Gold replacing the Dollar as World Reserve Currency?

Link
Central banks are shedding dollars [DXC1 76.515 0.03 (+0.04%) ], reducing their holdings by about $9 billion in previous quarter, according to Nomura Securities’ Jens Nordvig, global head of G10 FX Strategy.

What are they buying instead? Gold [GCCV1 1412.90 -13.30 (-0.93%) ].

Hugo Chavez says cut those calories and other evils of capitalism

Link
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- President Hugo Chavez urged Venezuelans on Sunday to cut their calories to avoid obesity - the latest lifestyle recommendation by the self-proclaimed socialist crusader.

Chavez has lobbied in recent weeks against what he calls the evils of capitalism, including alcoholism, breast implants and violent television programs.

Indiana Tea Party Targets Senator Richard Lugar

Link
When Mr. Lugar came to this farming town of 500 people Saturday to build bridges with a local tea-party group, he found mostly skepticism.

"You seem to feel you're somehow indispensable in Washington," Bob Callahan, 65, a retired salesman from Monticello, told the senator at meeting in an elementary-school gym. He compared Mr. Lugar to the professional football quarterback Brett Favre, saying: "There's nothing sadder than an athlete that doesn't know when to get out."

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Third Tea Party rally attracts 5,000 to Indian River County fairgrounds

Link
VERO BEACH — An estimated crowd of 5,000 people gathered at the Indian River County fairgrounds Friday evening as part of the third annual Tea Party rally.

Last year, 4,500 came out to Holman Stadium for a similar event, protesting what they called "fiscal irresponsibility" on the part of federal government.

Speakers at Friday's rally included U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Bill Posey, who represents Florida's 15th Congressional District. Rubio was scheduled to speak last year but was called away to tend to his then-ailing father.

While introducing Rubio and Posey, Indian River Tea Party chairman Toby Hill said that both men support the party's ideals.

"Both of these men are true patriots," said Hill. "They are both fiscally conservative and know that's what made America great."

Two Recent Tea Party Polls

Link

CBS News Poll. March 18-21, 2011. N=1,022 adults nationwide. Margin of error ± 3.
       
"Do you consider yourself to be a supporter of the Tea Party movement, or not?"
 
  YesNoUnsure  
  %%%  
 
3/18-21/11
236413  
 
2/24-27/11
276013  
 
2/11-14/11
206317  
 
11/29 - 12/2/10
226810  
 
10/21-26/10
246313  
 
10/1-5/10
186319  
 
9/10-14/10
196319  


ABC News/Washington Post Poll. March 10-13, 2011. N=1,005 adults nationwide. Margin of error ± 3.5.
       
"Do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of the political movement known as the Tea Party?"
 
  FavorableUnfavorableUnsure  
  %%%  
 364816  
 
1/13-16/11
355213  
 
8/30 - 9/2/10
384518  
 
6/3-6/10
365014  
 
3/23-26/10
413920  
 
2/4-8/10
354025  

Pew says ONLY LARGE spending cuts OR tax hikes will stabilize debt?

That Pew gang doesn't let anything slip past them.

Link
Pew analysts now believe that reducing the national debt to a sustainable level by 2025 through discretionary spending alone would require a 70 percent across-the-board cut in 2016, instead of the 43 percent cut in 2015 cited in the original report. That would mean cutting a total of $995 billion, or the equivalent of permanently eliminating all defense spending, plus cutting an extra $220 billion elsewhere in the federal budget in 2016.

Comedy King D. L. Hughley abdicates Tax Bill

Link
How deep in hock to the IRS is ex-CNN yacker and comedian D.L. Hughley? Hugely.

The feds just hit him with a $752,000 tax lien.

Hughley, 48, was one of "The Original Kings of Comedy," who starred in his own sitcom and from 2008-09 hosted a show on CNN called "D.L. Hughley Breaks the News."

Hughley's bill is puny, however, compared to the $2.1 million damage bill the IRS filed against one of fellow comedy king Steve Harvey's companies.

WaPo: Odds of a Government Shutdown Rise

Link
A breakdown late last week in closed-door negotiations between congressional leaders and the White House on funding the federal government makes it increasingly possible that Congress will not agree on a long-term funding resolution or another temporary measure by an April 8 deadline, aides from both parties said. 
That means that the threat of a government shutdown — which had receded in recent weeks because of congressional approval of several stopgap funding measures — appears to be back on the table.

Republicans hate babies?

Link

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Running out of rich people's money in CA, NY, NJ, CT, IL

Nearly half of California's income taxes before the recession came from the top 1% of earners: households that took in more than $490,000 a year. High earners, it turns out, have especially volatile incomes—their earnings fell by more than twice as much as the rest of the population's during the recession. When they crashed, they took California's finances down with them.

Mr. Williams, a former economic forecaster for the state, spent more than a decade warning state leaders about California's over-dependence on the rich. "We created a revenue cliff," he said. "We built a large part of our government on the state's most unstable income group."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

5 Reasons Why the Federal Budget Is Doomed

Link
Sorry kids, but the Baby Boom generation is about to suck you dry and create havoc for the federal budget. According to a new Government Accountability Office report, boomers are to blame for two of the five upcoming fiscal disasters crashing into the federal budget as they dip into Social Security and Medicare.

"Rising healthcare costs and the aging of the U.S. population have already begun to affect the federal budget, and their effect is expected to increase in coming decades as more members of the baby boom generation continue to retire and more people become eligible for federal health programs," says the new report.

What's more, says the grim GAO report, if the president and Congress don't move swiftly to begin making spending and taxing changes now, the crisis will get much worse. "Policy makers could develop a plan in the short term that could be phased in over time to allow for the economy to fully recover and for people to adjust to the changes. However, with the passage of time, the window to develop and implement such a plan narrows," says GAO.

Images of Elizabeth Taylor, a classic beauty

More HERE.

A Toilet Paper Tax? Yep, a Toilet Paper Tax

This feels like an episode of Tosh.0. How many toilet paper tax jokes can you make in 20 seconds?

Link
Mayor Jim Suttle went to Washington Tuesday flush with ideas for how federal officials could help cities like Omaha pay for multibillion-dollar sewer projects.
Among the items on his brainstorming list: a proposal for a 10-cent federal tax on every roll of toilet paper you buy.

Based on the four-pack price for Charmin double rolls Tuesday at a midtown Hy-Vee, such a tax would add more than 10 percent to the per-roll price, pushing it over a buck.
The idea came from a failed 2009 House measure by an Oregon congressman to help cities and the environment.

“I heard about it and said, ‘Well, this is simple. Let's put it on the table,'” said Suttle. “It doesn't mean I endorse it.” 
The mayor says Omaha needs help with the metro area's $1.7 billion bill for federally mandated sewer improvements. The work must be done by 2024.

Another group asks Congress to stop acting like Congress


Unsustainable budget threatens nation

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Amendment to Ban the Income Tax Forever gets a poison pill attached

Its just like old times, Jimmy Naifeh, the Democrats, and two Republicans, Steve McDaniel and Dennis Roach, attached a poison pill amendment to SJR18. Makes me want to get in the car and honk the horn. Steve Mc Daniel is the only remaining House Republican who voted for the State Income Tax.

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Harvard Economist Jeff Miron on fixing healthcare

Link

Paul Ryan addresses House Republicans on Federal Debt Problem

Link

Good News: This is the far, far left Bad News: this is the far, far left

Link

Yikes, even Dems are pushing back against Govt Unions

Link
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle wants county employees to pay more toward health care costs and pension plans as part of a long-term strategy to rein in spending.

"We're now in a position where public employees are seen as privileged in relation to the rest of the population because we have both decent salaries and very good benefits," Preckwinkle said Wednesday at a news conference marking her first 100 days in office.

She said the 4 percent share employees pay of their health care costs is "just not sustainable." An aide said the administration will research alternatives before negotiating with unions on potential changes.

Joe Biden: Impeachable Offense, War without Congressional Approval

Fed Official says HELLO Insolvency if Congress acts like Congress

Link
"If we continue down on the path on which the fiscal authorities put us, we will become insolvent, the question is when," Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher said in a question and answer session after delivering a speech at the University of Frankfurt. "The short-term negotiations are very important, I look at this as a tipping point."

TX Tea Party Caucus spells out budget cut plans

Link
Freeze state hiring, suspend park renovations and end corporate welfare. Those are just some of the cuts Texas must enact before an adviser to tea party lawmakers would touch an emergency reserve fund.

Tea Party Caucus Advisory Committee member JoAnn Fleming also included combining six state agencies and ending what she called “legal plunder” while outlining a 14-point plan to Gregg County Republicans.

“As long as we have all these things being funded, you cannot convince me that it is prudent or responsible to take money out of the people’s fund, the rainy day fund,” Fleming told the local GOP’s monthly meeting last week.

Is this an Australian Tea Party?

Link
Organized by 2GB broadcaster Chris Smith and the Consumers and Taxpayers Association, the rally was attended by about 3000 protesters include members of 22 community groups, including the Climate Skeptics political party, the right-wing National Civic Council and the Coalition of Law Abiding Sporting Shooters.

The rally's speaker to audience, former rock star Angry Anderson, told the crowd that Gillard was "a Pinocchio puppet manipulated by the Greens".

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Insolvency Looms as States Drain Social Security Disability Fund

Link
CAGUAS, Puerto Rico—This mountainside town is home to a picturesque cathedral, a tobacco museum and a Wal-Mart Supercenter. Another defining feature: Caguas's 00725 zip code has more people who receive a disability check than any other in the U.S.

Puerto Rico has emerged in recent years as one of the easiest places in the U.S. to get payments from the Social Security Disability Insurance program, created during the Eisenhower administration to help people who can't work because of a health problem. In 2010, 63% of applicants there won approval...

Google can implement a simple/effective encryption system..why don't they?

GMAIL can and should have an easy, effective implementation of PGP encryption.

This would be an invaluable tool for people world-wide living under repressive regimes. In fact, it would help anyone who cares about their email privacy.

Why would Google not jump at the chance to offer their customers easy, unbreakable email encryption?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Bob Corker is absolutely correct on the bank card swipe fee issue

It is only a 2 year ban and it is only one of many ridiculous rules encumbering free markets in the financial industry but price fixing is NEVER a solution. Kudos to Bob Corker, Pat Toomey et al for taking a stand.

The retailers are upset because they see it as a short term win for them but as always it is the consumer who should make these choices and price fixing will give the consumer far fewer choices in the long run.

Ruh-Roh: 25 Cent Gas Tax Hike in Obama Budget?

Link HT: Insty
Looks like they’re starting out around +25 cents per gallon in 2012.

Tax Foundation: We Soak the Rich better than any Country

Link

Interestingly, countries with top personal income tax rates that are higher than in the U.S., such as Germany, France, or Sweden, have ratios that are closer to 1 to 1. Meaning, the share of the tax burden paid by the richest decile in those countries is roughly equal to their share of the nation's income. By contrast, we prefer to have the wealthiest households in this country pay a share of the tax burden that is one-third greater than their share of the nation's income.

Table 4.5. Alternative measures of progressivity of taxes in selected OECD countries, mid-2000s





B. Percentage share of richest decile

1. Share of taxes of richest decile
2. Share of market income of richest decile
3. Ratio of shares for richest decile (1/2)
Australia
36.8
28.6
1.29
Austria
28.5
26.1
1.10
Belgium
25.4
27.1
0.94
Canada
35.8
29.3
1.22
Czech Republic
34.3
29.4
1.17
Denmark
26.2
25.7
1.02
Finland
32.3
26.9
1.20
France
28.0
25.5
1.10
Germany
31.2
29.2
1.07
Iceland
21.6
24.0
0.90
Ireland
39.1
30.9
1.26
Italy
42.2
35.8
1.18
Japan
28.5
28.1
1.01
Korea
27.4
23.4
1.17
Luxembourg
30.3
26.4
1.15
Netherlands
35.2
27.5
1.28
New Zealand
35.9
30.3
1.19
Norway
27.4
28.9
0.95
Poland
28.3
33.9
0.84
Slovak Republic
32.0
28.0
1.14
Sweden
26.7
26.6
1.00
Switzerland
20.9
23.5
0.89
United Kingdom
38.6
32.3
1.20
United States
45.1
33.5
1.35




OECD-24
31.6
28.4
1.11




Source: Computations based on OECD income distribution questionnaire.