Santelli the shill
[More posts daily at The Detroit News]
Blogging to the highest common denominator
The Republican governors of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas, along with Alaska and Idaho, have raised protests, saying that expansion could eventually require them to raise taxes.This, of course, is not true. There is nothing that prevents the states from sunseting the benefits once the federal money runs out. Who would have expected that unemployed people have more time to fact check and figure this out?
Put another way, Republicans thrive as the party of normal Americans — the people in the middle culturally and economically. This is true of our leadership as well — we have a history of nominating figures who came first from outside politics. Our base is the common-sense voter in the middle who bought a house she could afford and didn’t lavishly overspend in good times and who is now subsidizing the person who didn’t.As I said in my comment over there, I'm a bit put off by the notion that the GOP's base is the "normal" person in the middle. Judging by the pure numbers in 08, and the Democratic party gain, that would not seem to be the case.
Harborside is charged an 8.75 percent tax. With revenue of around $1 million per month, its annual sales-tax bill comes in at something like $875,000 per year. And that's just one shop. Betty Yee, chairwoman of the State Board of Equalization, which oversees tax collection, told me that there's no way to break out exactly how much money the state is getting from pot clubs because it doesn't require them to state on their tax forms what product they sell. ("Regardless of legal status, anyone can get a seller's permit," she explained.) However, she did release the tax records of some clubs that had been raided by the federal government, noting that because they employed sizable numbers of people, they also paid state and federal income and payroll taxes. The Compassion Center, licensed by Alameda County, paid $3 million before being shuttered in October 2007 by the DEA. Nature's Medicinal, licensed by Kern Country, paid close to $1 million in 2007, which included $203,000 in state and federal income taxes, $365,000 in payroll taxes, and $427,000 in sales taxes. The Compassion Center employed and provided health benefits to fifty people; Nature's Medicinal twenty-five.Additionally, marijuana legalization advocates estimate, if the plant was made legal for recreational use as well, the tax revenue in California alone would be in the range of $2 billion. At a time when our economy is tettering on the brink of collapse, our legislators would do well to listen to public opinion -- a majority of Americans support full legalization -- and consider ending the war on marijuana altogether. Our society has survived well with a thriving underground industry. It's about time we allowed the consumers to step out of the shadows and contribute to our economic health in the full light of day.
Joe says he plans to work in construction (hello, stimulus package!) once his gig doing commentary for a conservative Web site runs out at the end of March.Guess PJM decided to let their rising star, Joe the War Correspondent, flame out. Good thing he has a back up plan, because Joe the Author probably isn't going to make him rich enough to pay those socialist taxes either. He only sold 5 books. [photo James M. Thresher - WaPo]
At this stage, I joked, I’d be just as happy with them just saying, “We have a strategy, we will continue to inject capital to prop up zombie banks indefinitely. That’s pretty much the whole plan and we’re counting on it bringing the financial sector back to life someday, somehow”. Is it just me or is that pretty much what Ben Bernanke said yesterday?Sadly, Bernanke's zombie policy is murdering my retirement account just when I really need it to bail myself out
"It's been incredibly stressful for me," said Neil Welsh, 27, the guy in the suit, who until last year was marketing director for a booming real estate company. "I was so used to using my financial situation to leverage my dating."Leverage his dating? It sounds more like a hedge fund transaction than a relationship. As Phila explained, "What he means is that he used best practices to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of his strategic plan to offer world-class, customer-centric interactions with female stakeholders."
Which do you think should be a higher priority for Barack Obama right now — working in a bipartisan way with Republicans in Congress or sticking to the policies he promised he would during the campaign:And the GOPers may be winning the news cycle, but they're not winning in the court of public opinion.
Working bipartisan way: 39%
Sticking to policies: 56%
Which do you think should be a higher priority for Republicans in Congress right now — working in a bipartisan way with Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress or sticking to Republican policies?Meanwhile, Santelli's stockholder revolt doesn't seem to be inspiring very many people either. Maybe someone should alert the media.
Working bipartisan way: 79%
Sticking to policies: 17%
Labels: George Bush
As Sheriff, it's been Joe Arpaio's job to keep Maricopa County safe from crime. But Joe Arpaio has 40,000 outstanding felony warrants rotting on his desk , and violent crimes have soared under his watch. For years he's sought publicity by ridiculing inmates. Now, he's rounding up immigrant detainees and marching them through town to a separate "tent city," complete with electric fences, to allegedly "make room for more."Arpaio is the kind of sadistic thug that needs to be removed from any position of authority. I don't know what good it does to sign if you don't live in Arizona, but it couldn't hurt and it only takes a few seconds to do it. Sign if only to let Holder know that we want people like this to be held accountable.
Instead of prosecuting felons, Joe spends his time racking up publicity and recruiting "posses" to sweep low-crime, Latino neighborhoods. He stops people for "driving while brown."
That's why we're calling on the Department of Justice to investigate Joe Arpaio's dangerous, racist antics. Watch our new video exposing Sheriff Joe - then sign this petition to the Department of Justice.
For his first annual budget next week, President Obama has banned four accounting gimmicks that President George W. Bush used to make deficit projections look smaller. The price of more honest bookkeeping: A budget that is $2.7 trillion deeper in the red over the next decade than it would otherwise appear, according to administration officials.And this part makes me a little nervous. "The new accounting involves spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Medicare reimbursements to physicians and the cost of disaster responses." I really hope that the strategy here is to use the numbers to sell a national health care plan and ending the occupations rather than a plan to further downgrade reimbursements to doctors that are already too artificially low.
End of dayMuch more at the link.
Other than the sub running out of the building screaming "I don't get paid enough to take this shit" it wasn't so bad...
Montana Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer ribbed Alaska Republican Gov. Sarah Palin Friday for announcing at the last minute that she will not be attending a Sunday discussion of energy policy that the two governors were scheduled to lead at this weekend's meeting of the National Governors Association (NGA) in Washington.This following her ducking out of the starring role at the upcoming wingnut convention, CPAC. Maybe it's just that the guys at NGA aren't very nice to her. Or could it be that the bigwigs she partied with when she attended the Alfalfa Dinner in DC told her to sit this out lest she say something stupid in public about energy policy, which was to be the topic of the panel she was to moderate for the NGA? Whatever the reason, Schweitzer's putdowns were rather amusing.
Rather than setting this up as Democrats versus Republicans, Obama has a chance to recast the political scene as a battle between those who want the status quo for the elite few versus those who want progress and problem-solving for the many, namely Main Street. Membership in the second group knows no party ID, and both the White House and these GOP governors should not shy away from touting the perils of being held hostage to an extremist do-nothing cabal bent on destroying the village.I think that nails it. Bipartisan deal making still ends up as a tug of war over party power. Maybe if change was framed as a non-partisan effort, everybody could win. Well, except for movement conservatives of either party.
The great challenge that this White House is dealing with is the 24/7 nature of the Twittering media that no other president has ever dealt with on the policy front. It's the natural evolution, considering that campaigns have gotten this kind of coverage for years. Still, this environment of incremental up-down rulings by the punditocracy (most notably business pundits, see yesterday) on Obama's first month of policy, is quite the message handling challenge for this White House. Right now, it’s chosen to deal with it by flooding the zone; instead of pushing one storyline a week, they go ahead and try and sell multiple messages. Can they keep up the pace?Guess they didn't notice they're not the gatekeepers anymore. A little surprising that people who live and breathe polls didn't see all the ones that show public opinion isn't lining up with the media twitters. As Greg Sargent puts it, "It’s Our Legislative Accomplishments, Stupid."
Republican governors Mark Sanford of South Carolina, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Rick Perry of Texas expressed reservations this week about accepting their states' shares of the stimulus package because they are worried that the federal government will impose conditions on how it can be spent. Opposing the plan "doesn't preclude taking the money," said Mr. Sanford.Really. Because banks never ask for conditions when they give you money. And charitable endowments never come with strings. Oh wait....
Her goal is not truth.The pairing is almost poetic don't you think? Sort of wingnut haiku.
Her goal is the destruction of the United States.
I pity her, and weep for those condemned to live in the society she and her friends think they can design.
Labels: war on drugs
Fast forward to today, and our family is now composed of Alan, Eric, Leslie, Amber, and myself, plus our children: Todd, Steve, Jennifer, Lisa, and Amber is currently pregnant. Eric and Leslie are legally married, and we've added a few rooms to the house. We have two family meetings a week, one of which is for adults only, both of which can get lively and loud. We've had our arguments over money, people monopolizing other people's time, dealing with children's issues, and so forth — like any other family — but we just have more voices in the discussion.Not clear on how they establish paternity of the children. Maybe they don't care.
The "cabin" in Deer Valley, Utah, which overlooks a reservoir and mountains, comes fully furnished with custom-made light fixtures, specially sculpted fireplace screens, and eight full bathrooms. Called the "perfect retreat," it is 9,500 square feet on 11 acres. The asking price: $5,250,000.He's also selling his mansion in Massachusetts but not to worry. The Romneys won't be homeless. "[A]fter Romney suspended his bid for president last year, he paid $12 million for an oceanfront home in La Jolla, Calif." And he still has the $10 million estate on Lake Winnipesaukee. Rumor has it his dog is hoping they don't plan on driving between the two estates. [Via buzzflash]
What Bozell may not realize is how true a different dynamic is: when some left the Bush administration, what was the natural landing spot? Major media outlets. I know of at least seven prominent examples -- Michael Gerson joined the Washington Post; Sara Taylor became a pundit for MSNBC; Tony Snow joined CNN; Frances Fragos Townsend also joined CNN; Nicole Wallace was hired by CBS News; Dan Bartlett was also hired CBS News; and Karl Rove became a Fox News "analyst," a columnist for Newsweek, and a columnist for the Wall Street Journal.Oddly, Calderone seems to have forgotten all this in the space of only a few weeks, since a Democrat was sworn in as POTUS. One might think such an unbalanced piece is the textbook definition of partisan bias.
LYNCH: Now, it looks like the tone is changing. Obama has long wanted to repeal the 1988 ban on federal funding for needle exchange programs inside the United States, but he needs Congress to go along to make that domestic change. So he’s shifting his gaze outward. In a significant break from both Mr. Bush and Bill Clinton before him, Barack Obama is making his support for needle exchange programs official, at least abroad. Today, Laura Tischler of the State Department confirmed the US is giving its negotiators new guidelines.They're not going so far as to embrace some of the other sensible harm reduction programs such as legalized dispensaries for addicts but still it's a welcome change from the zero tolerance policy of the Bush regime. Nora also has a petition that calls for restoring earned early release parole to federal prisoners. Take a minute and sign it. This would be a big step to restoring some sanity to our sentencing structure and could alleviate prison overcrowding.
Labels: World politics
This G.O.P., a largely white Southern male party with talking points instead of ideas and talking heads instead of leaders, is not unlike those “zombie banks” that we’re being asked to bail out. It is in too much denial to acknowledge its own insolvency and toxic assets. Given the mess the country is in, it would be helpful to have an adult opposition that could pull its weight, but that’s not the hand America has been dealt.He's right about that. Building on yesterday's post, it's too bad that the GOPers don't see what they're doing wrong. It worries me a little to see them slitting their own throats. The two party system we have now is already too incestuous and we can look to history to see that one party control breeds more corruption than it does good works. This "changing the way DC works" thing, isn't going to be easy.
The filibuster has tremendously increased in frequency of use since the 1960s. In the 1960s, no Senate term had more than seven filibusters. One of the filibusters of the 1960s, was when southern Democratic Senators attempted to block the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by making a filibuster that lasted for 75 hours.It was used 104 times in 2008 and that's just through October.
I don't have a problem with Republicans who, on balance, wanted the bill to pass but still voted against it. I don't really think it's “cowardice” or whatever, they're simply making it clear that they're the opposition party. And that's a good thing!I don't think it's cowardice either. It takes balls to be that tone deaf and wilfully vote against a bill that polls with majority support. But I don't think it's a good thing they voted against it simply to express party unity.
In 2008, the U.S life expectancy at birth was 78.1 years, while the corresponding figures in Canada and the U.K. were 81.2 and 78.9 years respectively. Infant mortality rates (measured as deaths per 1,000 live births in a calendar year, and usually regarded as valid measures of care quality) show a similar pattern that year: The U.S. rate was 6.3, the Canadian, 5.1 and the British, 4.9.Read the whole thing. She makes a compelling argument that real cost control is impossible to obtain via measures that try to increase competition in the private health care markets. It's simply not an industry that lends itself to efficiency via free market competition.
And what did we pay to get those not-so-impressive results? A lot. In 2005, the latest year for which cost data is available on all three countries, the U.S. spent 15.3 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on health care, while the health care systems of Canada and the U.K. managed to get by with 9.8 percent and 8.3 percent of their GDPs.
To put these numbers into an even starker perspective, note that the Canadian and British systems covered everyone, but the U.S. system spent a lot more while leaving around 16 percent of Americans uninsured.
Labels: health care