Friday, December 02, 2011

I See Your True Colors Shining Through and That's Why I Dislike You

The proposal was pretty straight forward:  Maintain the payroll tax cut, extend it to new hires and pay for it with a small increase in taxes on millionaires and billionaires.

Everyone agrees that maintaining the payroll tax cut is the best thing for the economy.  It would mean an extra $1,500 in the pockets of people making $50,000 a year.  Not a ton of money, but enough that they can be a bit more active on the consumer side of the economy. 

But the Republicans in the Senate blocked a vote on the measure.  Why?  No matter what you hear the answer is really simple; they don't represent the average American, they represent the richest Americans.

God forbid we actually do things that help the Average Joe, particularly if the richest among us have to pay a little more than the historically low tax rates they now enjoy.

Senate Republicans reject measures to extend payroll tax break - LA Times

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Political Brain Fart - A Painful Stinker to Witness

It's sad really. 

There are all kinds of reasons not to vote for Rick Perry.  His flawed tax plan.  His mean-spirited anti-choice stands.  His smoke and mirrors job creation record as Governor of Texas.  All of these are perfectly good reasons not to vote for Rick Perry.

However, in the end, a gigantic brain fart during the latest Republican debate may end up taking down this undefeated campaigner.  While spouting the old and worn Republican chant for smaller government and calling for the elimination of federal agencies, Perry just plain forgot.  He had a nearly terminal case of tip of the tongue syndrome.  Watching him flounder, watching him scour his brain for the name of the third department he would eliminate is one of the most painful things I've seen during a presidential debate.

Howard Dean had his demented scream, now Rick Perry has his iconic moment, the moment he blew a big, stinky, visible cloud of a brain fart in front of America. 

Of course, one man's stink is another man's perfume.  (Just watch the joy in Ron Paul's eyes  if you doubt me.)

As the pig farmers in Iowa say when they catch a whiff of their operation in action, "Smells like money to me."  That's what the rest of the Republican field is smelling right now, the sweet scent of failure from the former front runner and the robust musk emitting from the pool of Perry campaign donors who will soon become available.

See ya Rick... and enjoy this complimentary years supply of Gingko Biloba as a parting gift just for playing our game.

Friday, October 28, 2011

I'm not anti-rich, I'm pro-fairness

The people who are in the top one percent of income saw their incomes grow by 275 percent between the years of 1979 and 2007.  The middle class saw their incomes go up as well, a whopping 40 percent.

That means that middle class America averaged an annual 1.4 percent raise during that time period.  The top one percent?  An annual raise of just under ten percent.

And what have the top one percent done to repay America for providing them with the right, the freedom and the infrastructure needed to reap such wealth?  They have lobbied for - and gotten - more tax breaks, more loopholes, more opportunities not to reinvest in America, the country that has done so much to make their wealth possible.
"The rules have been changed by the unfair tax policies of the last decade and our tax code is doing less to level the playing field than it was in the past." [said Representative Sander Levin.]
Levin is the top Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives' tax-writing Ways and Means Committee.
As a result of this uneven shift, income was substantially more skewed toward the very top of the income scale in 2007 than it was in 1979, CBO said.
So much so, it said, that in 2005-2007, just before the financial crisis, the top 20 percent of the population received more after-tax income than the entire bottom 80 percent. Income of top 1 percent far outgrew others: report
If this tells us anything, it tells us that that the Reagan "revolution" was an economic failure.  It tells us that the rising tide doesn't raise all boats, it just lifts the yachts and puts the average Joe's mortgage underwater. 

And what does the Republican field of Presidential candidates want to do about it?  Well, Herman Cain and Rick Perry want an even more regressive flat tax.  They want to put even more burden on the poor and middle class.  Isn't that just the opposite of what America needs right now?

Instead, it is time for America to deliver a bill to the wealthiest among us for services rendered.  Republicans are all about accountability, or so they say, so isn't it time for the uber-rich to be held financially accountable. This country helped make them wealthy so it is time for them to do the right thing, the patriotic thing, and start paying their fair share.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cain Tax Plan Benefits the Rich, Hurts the Rest of Us.

See -- I'm not the only one who says so.

9 - 9 - 9 Plan would make 84% of people pay more - CNN

Quick Hits: Now With Catch and Release

"Ewwww, but there are commom people there!"

If I decided to shoplift and got caught, I'd be thrilled with the opportunity to do community service instead of time in the pokey.  Apparently, Lindsay Lohan feels differently.  She got hauled in front of the judge today for failing to come anywhere near to fulfilling her community service obligations.  After reprimanding her, the judge revoked her probation. After two hours and $100,000 dollars in bond, she was back on the street, again doing little for the community.

Why can't they just lock her up and be done?  Not that I'm in favor of throwing petty criminals in the joint but I'm tired of looking at CNN and finding stories about her.  I'm sure I'm not the only one.  I think the best public service that could be done would be for her to turn herself in and just do the time.  Then maybe the rest of us could catch a break from being pummelled with news about the disaster that is Lindsay Lohan.

Lions and Tigers and Bears (and a Corpse)

In Ohio, some dude committed suicide.  Okay, sad but not unheard of.  Before he did it, he let his pets go free.  Again, kinda sad, but not that strange.  Unfortunately, the authorities had to kill a bunch of them.  That's right, kill.  You see, he kept some rather exotic pets.  According to the news report:
As of Wednesday afternoon, authorities had killed 49 animals -- 18 tigers, 17 lions, six black bears, two grizzly bears, three mountain lions, two wolves and a baboon. Another grizzly bear, three leopards and two monkeys had been captured and taken to a zoo.
Oh, and a monkey remains at large.  I think he started the whole thing.
Who the hell keeps that many, and that kind, of animals in Ohio?  And how unhappy do you have to be to set them loose before you dispatch yourself to the Great Beyond?  I saw Zookeeper, if they want to find that monkey, they should stake out the nearest TGIF.

Hey, maybe Lindsay Lohan could go hunting for him, that would be a community service.

Monday, October 17, 2011

New Yorkers Back Protesters

In a new poll, registered voters in New York overwhelmingly support the Wall Street protestors.  The person they blame the most for the situation?  George W. Bush.

If this is the mood of the rest of the country, then Obama is positioned well for reelection.

Chicago Tribune: New Yorkers Firmly Behind Occupy Wall St. Protestors

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Herman Cain: The Wealthiest Mugger Ever

A lot of people seem to be drawn to Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan.  I have some real problems with it and nearly everyone else should as well. Allow me to offer a couple:

1) It is inflationary and could contribute to another recession.  It would automatically increase the price of most goods by nine percent.  That is a huge increase in prices at a time when the consumer is barely contributing anything at all to economic growth.  In order to keep our country on the right path economically, we have to provide the consumer with the ability to participate.  An automatic nine percent increase in prices will only decrease consumer buying and put pressure on employers to reduce overhead in the form of lay-offs. 

2) It benefits the rich and increases the taxes on the poor. The top income tax rate, when they actually pay it, is 35 percent. This would slash that rate to nine percent. 

On the other hand, according to ABC news:

"If you have a family of four with an income of just under $50,000, they could end up paying more under the Cain plan. Currently, they are taxed around $3,850 in income tax. Under Cain’s plan, they would be taxed at 9 percent or pay $4,500.
That’s $650 more.
Although the family would save almost $4,000 in Social Security taxes, it would have to give up the child tax credit worth the same amount. Furthermore, it would pay an additional national sales tax of 9 percent on everything purchased, including groceries and clothes, which totals about $2,000.
That means under the Cain plan that family could end up paying $2,725 more."  ABC News: What Could Cain's 9-9-9 Plan Mean To You

Just so we are clear, what he is proposing is a massive redistribution of wealth. He wants to take the precious few dollars that the poor have left and he wants to use the Federal Government's tax code to do it.  At the same time, he wants to reduce the tax burden of the rich.  We all might as well be writing checks directly to the richest among  us.  Under Cain's plan, the result would be the same.

UPDATE: As if we didn't already know that he was a shill for the rich, but it seems that the infamous Koch brothers are big backers and influencers on Mr. Cain.  Long ties to Koch brothers key to Cain's campaign - Associated Press

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Just Leave the Guns at Ft. Bragg

This was posted on my old high school buddy Kathy's Facebook page this morning.

I guess when we do it abroad, it's national security but when we do it at home, it's Socialism.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Nearly Everyone Agrees: The Economy Stinks

Like a week-old dead fish on a hot August day, the economy pretty much stinks.  Or so say 90 percent of Americans.  (CNN Poll)

And to add insult to the olfactory injury, the folks on Wall Street are back to the same old business, maximizing profits above all other considerations.  Well, at least part of America is mad as hell and isn't going to take it anymore. Protesters have spent the past couple of weeks standing in a park near Wall Street to protest the speculation and greed that have helped push America to the economic brink. ( Wall Street Protesters: Middle Class Issues )

This is why I love America. Because people can speak out and demand change. 

And change is needed. Bank of America just announced that they are going to institute a $5.00 a month charge to use a debit card.  They are going to charge people for the right to spend and access the money that they deposited with Bank of America. 

Sen. Dick Durbin (D) of Illinois responded bluntly to Bank of America's announcement "After years of raking in excess profits off an unfair and anti-competitive interchange system, Bank of America is trying to find new ways to pad their profits by sticking it to its customers," Durbin said Thursday. "It's overt, unfair and I hope their customers have the final say."  (Christian Science Monitor - B of A Debit Fees)

Bank of America took bail out money when they were "too big to fail", don't they owe the taxpayers who saved them something more than another kick in the wallet?

Sunday, May 01, 2011

CNN Just Announced Bin Laden Dead

Now the question  Let's see what the President says.

A Sunday Presidencial Announcement?

My guess....hmmmmm...did we get bin Laden?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Selling Sacks Of Crap

So I'm driving along in my car after dropping my daughter at school when I hear through my radio a conservative talk show host declare that America can't afford to keep Obama in office.  He said that the terrible economy was killing the hopes of hard working Americans and that anyone who loved this country would be working to make sure that Obama doesn't get re-elected.

I think that people who love America seek out the truth, they don't spread lies in an effort to help the rich get richer and keep the poor where they belong -- in someone else's school district.

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Great Recession started in December of 2007.  More than a year before President Obama took the oath of office. So, whose fault is the economic malaise we find ourselves in these days?  Obama? 

Hmmmm.  Not quite.  In the quarter preceding President Obama taking office, the US Gross Domestic Product had shrunk 6.1% and had shrunk three of the four prior quarters.  After taking office, President Obama saw the return of economic growth in just three quarters and we've been growing ever since.

Do we have work to do?  Absolutely, but what we need to do is start making the economy work for the worker.  We have to stop the attacks on the unions and on the social safety net. But what we really don't need is to have people lie to us just to try and win an election that they can't win on the facts.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


It has been a rough couple of months.  My wife lost her mother and we've been working to wrap up her affairs.  So I've been gone, but I know that you'll forgive me.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

State of Diversity

What do I love about America?  For the first time I am watching the State of the Union and I see three different colored people on my screen.  A black President, a white Vice-President and an orange Speaker of the House.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Quick Hits: Because Only The Good Die Young, The Rest Live Way Too Long

The Tin Man

Dick Cheney has had five heart attacks since 1978.  I think it is time for people to quit thinking of his heart issues as an illness when it is clearly an effort on his heart's part to sue for divorce. 

I'm not being glib, I'm just calling it like I see it.  Like a pissed off wife before she gets the guts to walk away for good, Dick Cheney's heart is failing to put out.

His body has been forced to go to some electronic pseudo heart to fill the void.  If his electronic "Terminator" heart was made by Halliburton, it probably cost five times what it should, but 95 percent of it was subsidized by taxpayers which is enough to make a money-grubbing, right-wing hypocrite like Cheney feel 200 percent better.

It also comes with a 20mm cannon and a self destruct button, but it won't open a bottle or take a message. Hey, what do you expect from a defense contract?

The Reaper Finally Catches Jack LaLanne

I might be in the youngest demographic that remembers seeing Jack LaLanne on TV.  I am also one of the youngest people you will ever meet who saw Elvis perform live in concert, but that is another story. 

Jack was the definition of clean living and commitment to exercise.  He is credited with opening the very first health club in Oakland in 1936.  And it was just the beginning,  Working out was a religion for Jack and his followers.  As he put it so clearly - at the age of 92:

"Billy Graham was for the hereafter. I'm for the here and now."

Well, thanks to pneumonia, Jack is no longer with us.  But for all my gym rat friends, I want to say thank you for making working out a fun, cool thing to do.  Go get'em Jack... I assume you'll have the saints up at 4am for that first jog through the Pearly Gates. That's good, they look a little soft in all the pictures, I'm sure they could use your help.


Thursday, January 06, 2011

A quick note to the new Chief of Staff

Dear Bill Daley,

Now that Rahm is off to seek your brother's old gig, it only seems fitting that you should take Rahm's.  Just do the rest of us a favor, forget the corporate tuckuses you had to endlessly kiss as Commerce Secretary and concentrate on kicking some Congressional ass.  Be a progressive, not a DLC, ignore the left, corporate cock-sucking centrist.

How?  Protect health care reform, protect Social Security, fight for middle class tax relief and return the tax rates on the rich to the levels they were at when the middle class prospered - the 1950's and 60's.  (Example - 1954 to 1963.  The top tax rate was 91%. )

Taxing the rich is good for the country, tax breaks for the rich are bad. Check out this chart:

Okay Bill, you are an educated man.  When was the Great Depression?  Oh yeah, the market crash was in October of 1929.  I bet if you look at the top marginal tax rates today, they are at just about the same level.  And we just had the grand baby of the Depression, the Great Recession.  Not scientific evidence perhaps, but it clearly indicates that cutting taxes on the wealthy does not cause the economic growth the conservatives claim it does.

Anyway.  Give the President sound guidance, be his bulldog and stiffen his resolve.  We need change and we need his leadership.  Help him provide it.

Thanks Bill and good luck.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

The Top Five Stories of 2011

For the second year in a row, I am stepping out on to the thin ice.  Unlike the pussies who look back on the previous 12 months and wax poetic as to the best and the worst of the year that was, I look to the year that is coming and tell you what is going to happen before it does. 

You doubt me?  I offer up last year's predictions here.

Okay, not all of them turned out quite the way I said.  What can you expect?  This seer stuff is more of an art than a science. The Cubs didn't win the World Series, Lindsey Lohan didn't O.D. and Amy Winehouse's mole didn't cure cancer.  But the rest of the stuff was pretty spot on.  The economy still sucks, the Dems got their butts kicked in the midterms and health care reform passed and no one was really happy about what they got.

Hindsight may be 20/20, and my foresight was more like 50/50, but at least I had the guts to share what I saw.  So, without further ado, here are my predictions for the Top Stories of 2011.

1) The Economy Improves, But Not For Everyone

The investor class is seeing its profits come back, but the middle class is still struggling as employment only modestly improves, gas prices push $4.00 a gallon by Memorial Day and the Federal government is forced to address its skyrocketing debt.  With the midterm election losses by the Dems, the only fiscal reform bills to be passed will be those that continue to keep the bulk of the tax burden on the middle class while leaving the rich to get richer.  Middle class friendly things like the tax deduction for mortgage interest will be under attack while the income tax rates for the wealthy will remain at their historically low levels.

2) Hannah Montana Gets Naked Pics Leaked on the Net.

As her efforts to break away from the Hannah Montana persona continue, a Sativa stoned Miley Cyrus sends cell phone pictures of herself sans clothing to some older body guard/gigolo she and her friends have been sharing on weekends.  Not being a complete idiot, he sells those photos to some celeb blogging site for $100k. It works out just the way Miley planned when her new album titled "F#ck Mickey" drops two months later and goes platinum. The body guard? He blows the dough on drugs and barely legal girls and eventually lands a gig on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.

3) Sarah Palin runs for Senate in AZ 

In what can only be considered a brilliant political move, Sarah Palin relocates to Arizona where she establishes residency and announces her intention to run for Senate in the only place in the country where she might actually be electable.  She will then parlay that job into a Presidential run a la Obama when his second term is complete. 

She makes the move to AZ under the guise of being closer to Bristol Palin who enrolls at Arizona State University.  While there Bristol runs for Student Senate on a platform of abstinence and a campus wide alcohol ban .  She is soundly defeated.

4) Obama Promotes Openly Gay General

In an effort to solidify his political base prior to the up coming elections in 2012, President Obama announces the promotion of an openly gay general to a position with the Joint Chiefs. The republican party responds by announcing that Liza Minelli, Cher, and Ru Paul will be performing at their National Convention.

5) Pizza Rolls Declared Health Food

In a shocking reversal of prior thought, scientists announce that Pizza Rolls are, in fact, the perfect food for human consumption.  This is particularly true when paired with a domestic lager such as Miller or Budweiser. According to the study, some sort of nutritional alchemy occurs when these two things are combined in a meal.  Unfortunately, the study findings are soon called into question when it is revealed that the study was funded by a strange combination of the Association of Food Industries, the World Association of the Alcohol Beverage Industries, and the American Association of Cardiac Care Centers.

Well, those are my predictions for the coming year.  I also predict that the Chicago Cubs will win the World Series.  I only do this because when it finally happens, one of these years, I can say that I predicted it.  If any of you are seriously dumb enough to put money on it happening this year, don't blame me; you clearly have a gambling problem.

Have a great 2011 everyone, or at least have a better 2011 than 2010.  That certainly doesn't set the bar too high, does it?