Wednesday, 8/31/11, Public Square

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46 responses to “Wednesday, 8/31/11, Public Square

  1. Companies Pay More to CEOs than Taxes

    At least 25 companies paid more to their CEOs last year than they paid in federal taxes, according to the Institute for Policy Studies. These include big corporations like General Electric, Boeing, Verizon, and eBay. The companies paid their executives an average of $16.8 million in 2010. Meanwhile, many of these companies actually receive tax refunds from the federal government valued at hundreds of millions of dollars. Verizon, for example, gave its CEO an $18 million package while reaping a $705 million tax refund.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/31/business/where-pay-for-chief-executives-tops-the-company-tax-burden.html?_r=1&hp

  2. Here are some reality-based charts to help knock down absurd right-wing propaganda about the economy.

    Government spending increased dramatically under Bush. It has not increased much under Obama. Note that this chart does not reflect any spending cuts resulting from deficit-cutting deals.

    The numbers in these two charts come from Budget of the United States Government: Historical Tables Fiscal Year 2012. They are just the amounts that the government spent and borrowed, period, Anyone can go look then up. People who claim that Obama “tripled the deficit” are either misled or are trying to mislead.

    In this chart, the lines on the left side — the ones that keep doing DOWN — show what happened to jobs under the policies of Bush and the Republicans. We were losing lots and lots of jobs every month, and it was getting worse and worse.The BLUE lines — the ones that just go UP — show what happened to jobs when the stimulus was in effect. We stopped losing jobs and started gaining jobs, and it was getting better and better. The leveling off on the right side of the chart shows what happened as the stimulus started to wind down: job creation leveled off at too low a level.

  3. Wealth, Income, and Power

    This document presents details on the wealth and income distributions in the United States, and explains how we use these two distributions as power indicators.

    http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

    • indypendent

      But what I find so disturbing is when these Evangelicals who profess to be followers of Jesus Christ are the main cheerleaders for the very people who are using our tax laws and buying their own Congress Critter for their own personal wealth gain.

      I have never read anything in the Bible where Jesus taught us to go out and make money at any cost – even if it meant destroying people around you. Or to go and buy a govenrment official to do your bidding to make more money off the backs of others.

      In fact, Jesus was the rebel – the Progressive – that was out to shake up the status quo of the govenrment and the Pharisees. Jesus also targeted his rage of temper at the money vendors inside the Temple.

      I don’t think Jesus cared much for money – do you?

  4. I didn’t watch much news yesterday but did catch Dick Cheney pulling his foot out of his mouth to change socks! If you watched any news there he was running off his mouth in his attempt to change history. What a dolt, what an evil man, what a vivid reminder of those eight disastrous years of bushco!

    • indypendent

      Read this about Larry Wilkerson’s assessment of Dick Cheney. I think the man has hit the nail on its head – when it comes to Cheney’s actions.

      Larry Wilkerson was Colin Powell’s aide for many years and has known Cheney for years – so I think we should listen to this guy. Plus, this is the same Larry Wilkerson that has been on record numerous times before as to what really happened during the run-up to the Iraq War. And it’s not that white-washed, American flag-waving, patriotic song-playing, soldiers carrying guns and saluting tale that the Republican Congress Critters want to paint for everyone.

      Don’t miss the bottom of this article to see Dick Cheney’s picture from 1964. And especially note the sentence where it states Dick Cheney returned home to Wyoming after he attended Yale University. It seems our distingushed VP left Yale due to failing grades.

      Perhaps Wilkerson is right when he stated that Cheney might have felt bad since he did not serve in Vietnam and got 5 deferments. But maybe since he also failed out of Yale – perhaps Cheney feels some resentment towards Obama who excelled at Harvard.

      Perhaps this is why Republicans seem to hate educated people so much?

      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44337958/ns/us_news-security/?GT1=43001

      • There is much to blame Cheney for — his part in sending our youth to war after managing five deferments to keep himself safe is only the beginning.

        He should be careful about travel and stay real close to the U.S. because other countries would put him on trial for the war crimes he is guilty of, and now he’s going around the country bragging about breaking the law. Yes, that kind of stupid wouldn’t do well in any school.

        He wants history rewritten, he wants to be respected, he wants to be believed. None of that is going to happen.

      • Cheney is pretty much throwing everyone under the bus in his attempt to sell his book of lies and hope someone / anyone believes his ‘take’ over the truth. Maybe someone should tell him about a book titled, “How to win friends and influence people”?

      • indypendent

        Cheney will always have his supporters – much like Richard Nixon.

        I still remember my mother-in-law staunchly defending Richard Nixon and trying to tell me that Tricky Dick was framed.

        Yeah, sure lady, and you were such a nice Christian lady that you treated your family like a piece of crap but you were in church every time the doors were open to get that pat on your pointy head from the preacher man.

        And when I mean she treated her family like crap – I mean it literally. What kind of grandmother would NEVER acknowledge the grandkids birthdays or even Christmas?

        And all because her son was a preacher when I married him but decided to tell the church where to shove it and became a nursing home administrator instead.

        We figured that God wanted us to help people and there were people in nursing homes that needed more help than the old gossipy, bitching old ladies in some damn church.

        And that was just at his church – my fundamental Baptist church was even worse.

        This is just a glimpse into why I am so cynical about churches. My spiritual faith is still intact – but my love for churches sure did disappear like my money did every week when that Fundamental Baptist preacher came around with his bucket for all the good little church people to fill.

    • indypendent

      I just responded to a comment on the Opinion Line that tried to say it was due to Ronald Reagan’s policies in effect so that Bill Clinton’s years were so good (or something to that effect). The last sentence from this commenter said it all – Bill Clinton was a buffoon.

      If we want to talk about buffoons – let’s talk about Reagan actually tried to get ketchup classified as a vegetable for school lunches.

      When was the last time you enjoyed a bowl of ketchup as your vegetable for lunch?

      Reagan was a Holllywood B-movie actor – nothing more and nothing less.

      Reagan was also a union leader that collectively bargained for health care benefits for his fellow SAG members.

      Imagine that – seems Reagan was a no-good Socialist Union-lover, health-care lover Liberal.

      In the words of Cheney – heads are going to explode in Washington. This might happen if these GOP buffoons would do some research and learn the true facts – instead of just ‘making stuff up’.

  5. indypendent

    Thank God..if this is true. I got away from AT&T and went to T-Mobile about two years ago. I’ve had a wonderful experience with T-Mobile – no dropped calls, my billing statements were always correct, their customer service has been excellent.

    When I first heard the news about AT&T buying T-Mobile – my first thought was Oh Sh_t……now where do I go to get away from those leeches?

    We were with AT&T for years and years – but the final straw came when my husband lost his cell phone and had to get a replacement. I asked the salegirl if this was going to make us have a new contract for 2 years and she said ‘no’ – not since you lost your phone, we will waive that requirement.

    I also asked her if there would be any additional charges of adding new services – and again the reply was ‘no’.

    Well guess what – our bill was sky high and everything the sales girl said no to was on the bill.

    So I called AT&T – and this was when this company had just changed to the New AT&T – and I was transferred 4 times to talk to yet another idiot. And each time the idiot would say – thanks for calling the New AT&T. I finally had my fill of these bufoons and I yelled back – there is nothing new about you – you’re still the same old damn crooks.

    And this is what Republicans want us all to embrace ? More corporations that are treated like a person but can treat other persons like a piece of dirt beneath their feet?

    Thanks – but no thanks..

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/31/att-tmobile-merger-antitrust-complaint_n_943324.html

  6. Asher Bob White

    Let’s see. Where are we? Oh, yes, now back to today’s post. Very scary

    • indypendent

      I don’t know if you’re trying to be clever and funny or if you truly find our blog disappointing?

      But I find our blog a wonderful place to visit and share whatever is on our minds.

      That’s what life is – you never know what is going to come up – huh?

    • I’m more than a little tired of your veiled criticisms and desire to dictate what is and isn’t appropriate to be posted.

      I’m going to tell you ONE LAST TIME — the Public Square is an Open Thread! On the rare occasion we have a thread header about a specific subject and we veer off to post what might be on our mind at that time — it’s OK too.

      Don’t like or want to discuss whatever might be pictured, change the subject to what you would enjoy discussing.

      We welcome your input, whatever you might be thinking, but don’t bring more criticisms of the blog — we get it, we understood the very first time you said it, we know you would prefer this blog stick to your rules. We have rules and they’ve worked for over two years. Want to talk about anything, including what might or might not be pictured or suggested at the top, please feel free to post something / anything that isn’t a criticism of the blog or any blogger.

    • WSClark

      Feel free to add something relevant or even tangentially related to the topics discussed. Hell, start a new topic that is in keeping with our rules. Damn, comment on the weather.

      Comment on the thread photo – I just did – it’s a fake.

      But don’t come here to attack us for our little liberal blog.

  7. indypendent

    Here is an interesting article (even though it has nothing to do with today’s posti).

    I can honestly say that my current Primary Care Physician is wonderful. I have never felt rushed by this man. The same can be said about my currrent oncologist – he is wonderful.

    Now I’ve been to some doctors that are absolutely horrid. It seems the more rushed they are, the more incentive seems to be money-maker than to be health care provider. These tend to be those huge practices that are more like a corporation than a doctor’s office.

    Just my opinion.

    http://health.msn.com/health-topics/slideshow.aspx?cp-documentid=100279644&imageindex=1

    • WSClark

      Years ago, I had a Dr. come in to the exam room, give me a shot and start to walk out, without a word to tell me what he had just done or why. I had to virtually grab him by the coat tails to find out some basics like – what was the diagnosis, what was the treatment, why did you just give me a shot without consulting me, what the Hell are you doing?

      The ‘clinic’ had about fifteen exam rooms and one doctor. From the looks of the operation (pun intended) it was all set up for Worker’s Comp claims and rapid ‘treatment’ to maximize profit.

      • indypendent

        Since following Keith Olbermann to Current TV, I have begun to watch these people from Vanguard do some amazing reporting.

        I remember one episode was about these pain clinics in Florida that literally sell Oxycontin and other narcotics over the counter. Of course, everything is on a cash only basis and there is the mandatory doctor’s office visit and MRI costs – again, all on a cash only basis. The parking lots were filled with people from out of state – as far away as Ohio – to get these narcotics with no questions asked.

        IIRC – isn’t Florida the state where the new governor instituted that drug testing for welfare recipients – but yet these pain clinics seem to be skirting the laws?

        There was a Florida elected official being interviewed and they know about these pain clinics – but yet these clinics still seem to continue. I wonder why???

        I could not find the specific episode about these pain clinics – but I did post the link to the Vanguard website – there are several other interesting episodes.

        Has anybody else seen these people on Current TV?

        http://current.com/shows/vanguard/

  8. WSClark

    The thread picture of Perry is a fake or it is strictly a pose. Perry was in the AF, but he flew C-130’s, a four engine transport plane that had a capacity of 92 passengers, a crew of 4 and weighed 76K pounds empty. In the photo, Cowboy Rick is pictured climbing into a fighter plane.

    Apparently, this photo, which is making the rounds of RW Tea sites, was sexed up for the Perry faithful. I guess a transport plane pilot just isn’t the image that Perry and Co. are trying to convey.

    • indypendent

      I heard recently that Perry’s extent of miltary service was not combat related .
      But when one hears that he flew for the Air Force – one does conjur up the sexy pictures of Top Gun – don’t they?

  9. WSClark

    Just a quick blip…………………..

    Our friend Chas has passed away.

    http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/kansas/obituary.aspx?n=charles-f-fisch&pid=153376673&fhid=10638

    I am not one to deify someone in death – in recent years, Chas led a sad life due to the effects of a stroke. Sometimes his posts on (nameless) were somewhat embarrassing. It is what it is. I wish him well on his journey.

    • indypendent

      Thanks for the info. I remember seeing his nic over on the other side of the fence.

      I never knew him personally and I have not been looking over the fence for a long time (they’re like a soap opera – the plot never changes).

      But I, like you, wish him well on his journey. For we never know when our ticket for our journey is going to be punched.

      We need to make every day count – and at least do one kind thing every day.

      Some days that is harder to do than others – which is why I don’t go over the fence – LMAO

      • WSClark

        Everyday – do just one little thing for someone else – even if it is just a word of reassurance.

        Pay forward.

      • I agree! It is what we do for others that will live on after we’re gone, and it is also what will make us happy in our life!

        “What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.” — Albert Pike

      • indypendent

        One never knows what a kind word or even a kind smile can do for someone else who is having a rotten day.

        There but by the grace of God, go I…..

    • CapnAmerica

      Correct. The SOB who stole our friend’s (Steven) nic and posts under it in mockery at the other site (gee, I wonder who would do that . . . ) posted Chas’s death notice there some four hours after Clark’s post.

      Obviously, that poster lurks here as well.

      Pitiful bastid. Steven always referred to him as a “sad sack” and he sure is . . .

      I’m going to try to make it to Chas’s funeral on Saturday. He was a staunch supporter of boots-on-the-ground protest against injustice and the power elite.

      • indypendent

        I’m sure the nameless blog lurkers have nothing better to do than to mock someone after their death and to continue their looking over the fence because their lives must be that empty.

        Wow – and some of them pretend to be such godly Christian people that just love Jesus so much. If that was really true, the love of Jesus would be seen in their actions and I don’t think Jesus was a lurker that mocked other people for their choice of sports entertainment.

        Whenever I see any of these fake Christians – I am reminded of what Jesus said while dying on the Cross – forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.

        But in some of their cases – the sad and pathetic part is – they do know what they are doing and are arrogant enough to put themselves above God and rewrite their Bible to justify their selfish and hateful agenda.

      • indypendent

        I must confess – I need to do two kind deeds today to make up for my daring to go over into the bully’s play yard and confront him face to face.

        I hope it gave Chas a good chuckle….

    • CapnAmerica

      Barry is a sell-out, isn’t he.

      I knew he couldn’t deliver on all his promises, I knew that people were projecting all their hopes and dreams on to him (which he encouraged) and there’s no way he could fulfill all that . . . but still, he could have TRIED, at least TRIED.

      The first inkling was when the 2 million strong Obama-for-America organization was told to shut up and sit down during health care. Big Pharma got a seat at the table, Big Hospital Incorp. got a seat at the table, Big Insurance got a seat at the table, but average Joe Citizen got carved up as the main course.

      Remember when Obama was gonna close Gitmo and allow the re-importation of drugs and said that any bill he signed MUST have a public health care option? Remember when he was AGAINST mandates forcing people to buy private insurance?

      I do.

      I don’t think I’ve ever been as disappointed in a political candidate. Another chance to capture the White House with a real progressive may not come in my lifetime.

      It didn’t come in time for Steven or Chas . . .

      • The other side of the coin could be this scenario —

        Boehner took the bait!

        Now all the republican candidates talk and President Obama knows what points to refute when he speaks the next night.

        There is usually more than one way to look at any situation.

        The President made a request to speak to a joint session of Congress. His request was denied.

      • indypendent

        From what I’ve seen – this was the first time a president’s request has been denied.

        That is part of the story. But I agree with fnord – I think Obama played this strategically. Now the focus will be on the GOP and what their jobs bill proposal is – or the fact if they even have one?

        Remember one thing – Obama has never been a bully street fighter like the Republicans pride themselves on being. Obama has always won his battles using his brains.

        You doubt that – who got Bin Laden even after GWB vowed with all the macho and bravado he could muster that HE was going to get Bin Laden dead or alive?

      • indypendent

        P.S. Let’s not forget that George W. Bush also publicly stated that he stopped caring to even look for Bin Laden after a few years.

        That was when the entire country – Republicans and Democrats – should have demanded the LIttle Emperor get some clothes on and start acting like a real leader. But that would have left us with Dick Cheney – Ughh.

        Maybe that is why nobody really pushed to impeach GWB during his 8 years – we would have been left with Cheney.

  10. The New Resentment of the Poor

    In a decade of frenzied tax-cutting for the rich, the Republican Party just happened to lower tax rates for the poor, as well. Now several of the party’s most prominent presidential candidates and lawmakers want to correct that oversight and raise taxes on the poor and the working class, while protecting the rich, of course.

    These Republican leaders, who think nothing of widening tax loopholes for corporations and multimillion-dollar estates, are offended by the idea that people making less than $40,000 might benefit from the progressive tax code. They are infuriated by the earned income tax credit (the pride of Ronald Reagan), which has become the biggest and most effective antipoverty program by giving working families thousands of dollars a year in tax refunds. They scoff at continuing President Obama’s payroll tax cut, which is tilted toward low- and middle-income workers and expires in December.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/31/opinion/the-new-resentment-of-the-poor.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha211

    • indypendent

      While I can see the benefits of the EArned Income Credit, I have also seen it abused by people who are knowingly not getting married just so the woman (usually) can claim the EIC and get all the child credits which usually results in no tax being paid by her and she gets thousands in a tax refund check. And the entire time, the man is usually living in the same house but since they are not legally married – they can can file as single.

      Is that really fair to my grown children who chose to get married, then have their kids and they both work – so they never qualify for the EIC?

      I am torn on the EIC issues – because I have seen it abused (I have done tax return preparation for quite a few years).

      I readily admit I do not know what the answer is – but I know it is not our current tax system. Much like the current our health care system – but that is another issue.

  11. Palin Iowa Rally ‘On Hold’

    The bizarre saga just keeps getting weirder: Sarah Palin placed her appearance at a Saturday Tea Party rally in Iowa “on hold” Wednesday after a series of mix-ups over the event’s lineup. On Tuesday, organizers invited Christine O’Donnell to speak at the rally, but rescinded the offer only a few hours later. By Tuesday night, they had reinvited her. Palin’s team had signed off on the original invitation to O’Donnell, but then said Palin was putting her appearance “on hold” because of “continual lying” from event organizers. Organizers said they are working with Palin’s team to correct misunderstandings and work out an appearance.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2011/08/31/sarah-palin-cancels-appearance-at-tea-party-rally-in-iowa/

  12. CapnAmerica

    And then there’s always the problem that the rabid right-wing posters will go to any lengths — tedious cookie-clearing and setting up of the sham e-mail addresses — to construct a work-around when they get banned.

    The rest of us (libs) have actual lives . . .

    • indypendent

      Sometimes I think the most rabid-right-wing posters just need to get laid once and maybe they would stop being so damn hateful and mean.

  13. CapnAmerica

    Hehehe, well said.

  14. CapnAmerica

    Say . . . are we pulling all of T-child’s posts just as general rule these days?

    They didn’t look that bad to me . . .