Thursday, 3/3/11, Public Square

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49 responses to “Thursday, 3/3/11, Public Square

  1. In an address at the National Association of Religious Broadcasters Sunday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) made a moral case for the deep cuts passed by House Republicans, saying, “t is immoral to rob our children’s future and make them beholden to China.” But Sojourners, a progressive group of Christian leaders, looks at the GOP’s deep slashes to the budget in a different light and bought a full-page ad in Politico yesterday that asks legislators to consider, “what would Jesus cut?”

    The leader of Sojourners, Rev. Jim Wallis, notes that the GOP’s cuts would severely slash spending for the WIC program, which helps women and infants, Head Start and international aid programs, but would leave “military spending untouched“:

    They’re talking about cutting bed nets for malaria and leaving every piece of military spending untouched. Are we saying that every piece of military equipment is more important than bed nets, children’s health and nutrition for low-income families? If so they should be ashamed of themselves.

    If House Republicans get their way, they would cut $210 million from Maternal and Health Block Grants, which give low-income mothers, pregnant women, and their children access to health care. They also want to cut $27 million from the Poison Control Center, essentially eliminating the program, even though poisoning primarily affects children under six years old.

    See full-page ad —
    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=433×620811

    • A friend made a really good point in her blog today, since we’re all suppose to be sharing the burden, what cuts have the politicians made on themselves. Aren’t they to share the burden, too? Or just the working stiff, blue collar workers. Where is their reduction in wages and cuts in health care? They need to learn to share like the rest of us.

    • indypendent

      Now if that Poisoning Center was directed towards the preborn – then would the Republicans want to keep it or maybe even increase the funding?

  2. Back in the Feed! Don’t know what happened to Wednesday, it never showed up. But this post showed up in the Blogger: Dashboard “Blogs I’m Following” this morning. 🙂

    • So just maybe my explanation of the sun went behind the clouds was correct? 🙂 Glad it’s all working again. I did read about something in the atmosphere and something with the sun…

  3. Every time you hear or read about who the GOP is protecting and where they are cutting, you must remember where bushco took our country and recommit to the work ahead! This new batch learned absolutely nothing from the fiasco Americans endured in the Great Recession of 2007. We cannot forget, and we cannot allow them to take us back!

    Corporate Tax Revenues Nearing Historic Lows As A Percentage Of GDP, Report Says

    While the U.S.’s top corporate tax rate of 35 percent is one of the highest in the world, the amount corporations actually end up forking over to the government is much lower, sometime as low as 4 percent. This is due to a dizzying number of deductions, write-offs, and other accounting tricks that allow corporations to legally reduce their tax burden.

    In 2007, the report notes, the Treasury estimated federal government had missed an opportunity to collect $1.2 trillion due to various corporate tax expenditures over the previous decade.

    The report also notes that the current tax code is “industry-specific,” meaning that some industries benefit more than others. Backing up that claim is the Congressional Budget Office, which estimates the effective marginal corporate-level tax rate to range from “29 percent on computer equipment to a negative 2.2 percent on petroleum and natural-gas structures.”

    Finally, the report takes aim at the rapidly growing number of large businesses that are using their status as “S corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, and sole proprietorships” to save on taxes.

    These graphs give a visual of who is “expert at avoiding taxes,” and REMEMBER the GOP plans to help them continue —
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/02/corporate-tax-revenues-ne_n_830361.html

  4. How the Rich Soaked the Rest of Us
    The astonishing story of the last few decades is a massive redistribution of wealth, as the rich have shifted the tax burden

    Over the last half century, the richest Americans have shifted the burden of the federal individual income tax off themselves and onto everybody else.

    Today, the top earners pay a rate of only 35%. Note also how the gap between the rates paid by the richest and the poorest has narrowed. If we take into account the many loopholes the rich can and do use far more than the poor, the gap narrows even more.

    One conclusion is clear and obvious: the richest Americans have dramatically lowered their income tax burden since 1945, both absolutely and relative to the tax burdens of the middle income groups and the poor.

    Consider two further points based on this graph: first, if the highest income earners today were required to pay the same rate that they paid for many years after 1945, the federal government would need far lower deficits to support the private economy through its current crisis; and second, those tax-the-rich years after 1945 experienced far lower unemployment and far faster economic growth than we have had for years.

    The lower taxes the rich got for themselves are one reason why they have become so much richer over the last half century.

    How do the rich justify and excuse this record? They claim that they can invest the money they save from taxes and thereby create jobs, etc. But do they? In fact, cutting rich people’s taxes is often very bad for the rest of us (beyond the worsening inequality and hobbled government it produces).

    Continue reading —
    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/02-2

  5. wicked and moonshadow —

    I thought of you two and your comments about wanting to go back to bed after reading the daily news when I saw this quote:

    “For most folks, no news is good news; for the press, good news is not news.” — Gloria Borger

  6. Daily I become more convinced that the people of the world will need to step up our communication so we can ferret out the truth among us. We could form “a union.” 🙂 Because if we don’t get united on this we’ll get what Rupert Murdock wants us to have. We could be reduced to hearing our ‘news’ from Karl Rove, Huckabee, Palin, Hannity, Beck and others who contribute to the brain rot we see so evident in Faux News watchers.

    ———————————

    Britain Approves News Corp. Takeover of Sky News

    Rupert Murdoch gets his way: The U.K. government has approved News Corporation’s plan to take over Sky News. News Corp. already owns 39 percent of the company, and now it will take over the remaining 61 percent by spinning off Sky News as an independent company with its own chairman and board. Other British media like The Guardian, The Telegraph, and The Daily Mail oppose the takeover.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12631875

  7. A Christian activist had two fetuses called as witnesses—the latest sign of a nationwide attack on abortion rights. Michelle Goldberg on why the religious right’s grip on the GOP is as strong as ever.

    Farcical as it seems, what’s going on in Ohio is actually quite serious. The Heartbeat Bill, or H.B. 125, is a frontal assault on Roe v. Wade, and it’s part of a fusillade of anti-abortion legislation being introduced all around the country. H.B. 125 would ban abortion as soon as a heartbeat can be detected, as early as 18 days after conception, and rarely later than six weeks. It currently has been co-sponsored by 50 members of the Ohio House, more than half the total, and similar bills are being considered in Oklahoma, Texas, and Georgia. It’s just the latest bit of evidence that the Republican Party is as firmly in the grip of the religious right as ever.

    Ever since the Tea Party roared onto the national stage in 2009, the conventional wisdom has been that it’s all about economics. Again and again, we’ve heard that the social issues once dominating right-wing politics have lost their salience, with social conservatives publicly fretting about the ostensibly libertarian bent of the new movement. Yet now that the Tea Party-fueled GOP is in power across the country, it has made curtailing abortion rights and family planning a preeminent goal.

    • indypendent

      I just heard on MSNBC that Ohio is also wanting to pass a bill that makes health insurance companies not have to pay for birth control pills.

      So,it is not even about abortion – it is about birth contro pills too.

      I wonder if this same bunch are throwing in a ban against health insurance companies having to pay for Viagra or Cialis?

      I suspect not…….

      • Yep; that’s the ultimate goal (has been for more than 40 years). My black mood sees a giant conspiracy to create a big money-making adoption industry, concentrating on healthy, white infants. There would be a certain number of “churches” involved, thereby providing a sustainable flock to keep shearing…

      • indypendent

        hey, what a deal……mega churches can provide everything from the selection of your white baby to the day you are given a fancy funeral in their church.

        All, of course, at a good price with which God has certainly endorsed and given his blessing.

        Is that too cynical??

  8. indypendent

    On Chris Matthews yesterday – he called out Huckabee on bearing false witness against Obama by going on and on with that right-wing talk radio guy about Obama growing up in Kenya. Chris then asked why does Huckabee go along with this because he knows the truth, etc.

    One of the guests on his show then said that Huckabee was just pandering to his base because he knew he was on the Tranmssion Belt of Trash.

    I just about laughed myself off my chair.

    What a great moniker – transmission belt of trash.

    But why bother with the truth when so-called morally superior people can deal in innuendos, gossip and just outright lies?

    Just so long as they have some preacher on there speaking for God and telling these fine folks that they are not the problem – it is that guy over there – you know, the one that does not look like them, or talk like them, or come from the same background as them?

    • indypendent

      And God forbid if they have a Muslim sounding name.

      Oh no – we can have alot of Bubbas running for president. But by God, we are not going to have anyone with a funny sounding first name and then a Muslim second name. God will not allow that.

      heavy sarcasm/

  9. If anyone wants me after lunch… I’ll be out working in the yard where the only tweets I hear are from REAL birds. 🙂 The news will still be here when I come back in (I don’t know whether to 🙂 or 😦 with that one).

    • I’m headed out too. Ginger and I are playing in the park a lot these days, and I don’t know which of us is the happiest girl.

    • indypendent

      Isn’t the weather beautiful today? I had some medical tests this morning and came home to watch my two beautiful grandkids. We sat on the porch for a little while and just enjoyed the sunshine.

      I would much rather spend the day with my kids than in some stuffy old clinic.

      and let me tell you – if it was not for Medicare – that clinic would not have any business!!!!

  10. Brown shirts, anyone? This is what’s called freedom? So the democrats are accountable to the republicans? Hmmmm. I always thought they were elected by and accountable to the electorate. This is pretty obviously over the top.

    —————————

    The Wisconsin Senate has passed a resolution calling for police to take 14 Democrats into custody for contempt after they fled to Illinois to avoid voting on a union rights bill, the Associated Press reports.

    The resolution says the absent Democrats are determined to be guilty of contempt and disorderly content.

    It gives the sergeant at arms the authority to take any and all steps, with or without force and assistance from police, to bring the senators back, the AP says.

    Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says today’s action is legally different from an arrest, but “definitely a shift from asking them politely.”

    The vote comes two weeks after the Democrats left the state to delay a vote on Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal taking away most collective bargaining rights from public workers.

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2011/03/wisconsin-senate-oks-arrest-of-absent-dems-for-contempt/1

    • indypendent

      Aren’t these Democrats only accounable to their constituents?

      Who died and left this Governor and his mini-me’s in charge?

  11. This is funny! It’s so much easier for me to listen to him now that he isn’t in charge of diddly squat. I don’t think it will make best picture, but it’s fun!

  12. indypendent

    So I hear Newt has his website up and running for his exploratory presidential campaign?

    what’s all the mystery about??? Everybody and their dog knows Newt is just itching to get in there and run. And I say – let him run. I don’t think even the moderate Republicans or any RINO will go out of there way to vote for Newt again.

    He, was after all, in alot of trouble when he was Speaker of the House – wasn’t he? He left under a very suspcious cloud – or was that a cloud burst??

    On a personal note – what is up with his wife’s hair??? Is that even a true color? Get her hair and Boehner’s tan color combined and talk about psychedllic times coming back…

    LOL

    • I was tured off by that, fnord. It’s me; I know that. The United States is not a democracy, for if it was, there would not be elections for the selection of folks to represent us citizens. Was this a democracy, we citizens would have votes on all issues as necessary, and the majority vote would always win. I think we all see the inherent dangers which lie therein.

      Yes, the Citizens United decision is a threat, but not to “Our Democracy”. Rather, it is a threat to the representative form of government that underlies our country. And, I agree that there needs to be a Constitutional Amendment; good luck in getting that through Congress (which, BTW, is the “safe way”). I know the alternative is a Constitutional Convention, which most scholars agre could not be limited to one specific amendment, e.g. This places the entire Constitution at risk, imho, with the corporations having an even greater upper hand.

      Another gripe: the link speaks to “for profit” corporations. What about the not-for-profit kind, such as labor unions. The case applies to them, too.

  13. indypendent

    I just watched Chris Matthews against tonight. He is not letting Huckabee off the hook for beating this ‘Obama is a Muslim’ line of B.S. to death.

    As Matthews stated simply – what is it with these people that do not want Americans to have any experience or education outside of America?

    when you think about it – these Conservative Republicans (many professing Christians) are against education, people forming unions to protect their rights, minimum wage or even a living-wage, individual choice as to religion and any other so-called liberal thought that pertains to individual choice and freedom.

    And these professing Christians are bearing false witness against our president.

    As Matthews also pointed out – Obama has been the model student while growing up, got into Harvard, turned his back on a Wall Street job that would have made him millions and chose public service. He has a wonderful marriage and great kids.

    By all accounts, Obama should be the ideal politician that Republicans should love – but yet they insist on perpetuating this line of B.S. that Obama is not ‘one of us’.

    I’ve said this before – there is nothing more vicious than a group of self-professing Christians who are hellbent on being ‘right’ and the other guy is ‘wrong’. There comes a point where these folks cross a line of decency and this bunch has crossed that line many, many moons ago.

    May God have mercy on their souls.

    • They yell against government interfering in their lives, and want to control many aspects of everyone’s life. I can’t wrap my mind around that kind of nonsense. I don’t call it freedom when there is only one ‘acceptable’ religion and it’s OK to demean others, when anyone thinks they should make decisions for other law-abiding citizen’s private lives, when all humans aren’t afforded dignity.

      • That’s why Roger Williams founded Rhode Island, escaping the Puritan “my way or the highway” approach found in the Massachusetts Bay Colony; and why the First Amendment guarantee of Freedom of Religion means naught without Freedom from Religion.

      • indypendent

        Amen……

    • CapnAmerica

      Great post.

  14. http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/Firefox-4-RC-to-ship-next-week-1201401.html

    I’ll be taking a look at it, if I’ve the time. Didn’t have time to help w/Beta testing…

    • “So what do you think? Can we use collaboration to solve government’s big problems like healthcare, education, and energy? Is it time for entrepreneurs to get in the government game?”

      Absolutely! Look at what Egypt did!

  15. WSClark

    Virginity’s making a comeback, report says”

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41879879/ns/health-sexual_health/

    Are they talkin’ ’bout me? I have been such a good boy of late – at least six months or so, that the headline could be about me. Back in the day, I was a real wild child, and never really slowed down all that much through the years.

    I have been thinking about that birthday coming up – not the one in June, but the one the year after. You know, the Big Six Zero.

    How the Hell did this happen? Yesterday I was sixteen, working on the night moves, doing what every bad boy from the Sixties was doing, and now I am looking at being Sixty. There is a joke in there somewhere, but I am not quite up for it right now.

    Life has a funny way of happening even when you think it isn’t.

    There is hope, yesterday I saw a photo of a prototype of a VW Microbus – for 2012. Like the “New Beetle,” this vehicle takes it’s styling clues from the old VW Van, with modern engineering. Now, I never did get to do the night moves in the original VW Bus, so maybe there is still time for this old hippie.

    Virginity is making a comeback…………………………. who knew?

    • Its just a umber; trust me, I know (although my brain still operates on the theory I’m 25, my body knows better).

    • That’s been the most surprising part of aging for me — my mind didn’t accept it and refused to budge or go along!

    • indypendent

      I sometimes wonder where the hell did all those years go…..but then I look at my kids who are now 30 and 32 – so unless I was a child bride and had those babies at a very young age, I am the appropriate age. LOL

      but you know what – I like being 57 (soon to be 58). I’ve lived my life the way I thought best and some things worked out, others did not. But I still have a good life and what more can one ask for?

      • indypendent

        My grandkids are the bonus I received for not strangling my two kids when they were teenagers!!!!

        I’m sure all parents of teens can relate to that sentiment….

  16. indypendent

    Well, my oh my, look at this morally superior Republican that was indicted on voter fraud charges.

    Hmmmm……..could this be just the tip of the iceberg of other Republicans who insist there is a rampant problem with voter fraud in their respective states?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/03/charlie-white-indiana-ele_n_831104.html

    • CapnAmerica

      Damn.

      He’ll have to do at least 6 months probation for that . . .

      Meanwhile, Democratic Gov. Don Seigleman is still cleaning toilets in Alabama State Pen.