Sunday, 11/20/11, Public Square

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Filed under The Public Square

73 responses to “Sunday, 11/20/11, Public Square

  1. Newtie got millions for selling himself! Money is what he’s all about and he’ll prostitute himself overandover.

    • Freebird1971

      No different than ANY other politician

      • But Newtie is the Master at this particular game.

        But, that’s okay, he converted to Catholicism in his attempt to be all Christian-like – IMHO.

        I wonder – did Newtie take the route of getting his previous multiple marriages annulled through the Church so he can be a ‘good Catholic’?

        I know of two men who have done this same thing and both men were the same type – horn dogs. But yet the holier-than-thou Church can somehow magically make these men ‘good’ Catholics by shoveling out some money and make the marriages magically disappear.

        But what does that make the children that were born during those marriages – illegitimate?

        Wow – the holier-than-thou Church would rather see illegitimate kids than to make these men account for their horn dogging..

        Wow – then people ask me why I hate organized religion.

      • Freebird1971

        He is NO different from ANY other politician,religion doesn’t have a damn thing to do with it.

      • Then take religion out of politics.

        Those who scream that the Constitution says nothing about separation of church and state are the ones who want to put religion in our government.

  2. Democrats’ ‘Satan sandwich’ starts tasting pretty good

    The bipartisan debt-limit deal, famously called a “Satan sandwich” by a prominent Democrat this summer, is looking more heavenly to the left.

    Republicans crowed after striking the agreement with President Obama, while congressional Democrats cried foul. Despite the White House’s endorsement of the bill, 95 House Democrats voted against it.

    Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), chairman of the Budget Committee, subsequently said Republicans called Obama’s bluff. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he got 98 percent of what he wanted in the deal.
    Three months later, members of both parties are looking at the deal much differently.

    A GOP lawmaker who requested anonymity told The Hill that “it’s the 2 percent that’s killing [Boehner] … I’ve never understood why we thought 12 people could come up with a solution any better than we could.”

    With the supercommittee deadlocked, the sequestration cuts of $1.2 trillion are now likely to be triggered. Those reductions would hit national security programs, but not call for structural reforms to Medicare, Medicaid and/or Social Security.

    Republicans on the House and Senate Armed Services committees were wary of putting defense cuts in the trigger, but Democrats essentially said the GOP would have to choose between tax increases or cuts to the military. Republicans opted for the latter, despite major concerns expressed by House Armed Service Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.).

    continue reading —
    http://thehill.com/homenews/house/194473-dems-satan-sandwich-starts-tasting-pretty-good-

    • No one wins when this super committee fails. No one won when the entire Congress proved so dysfunctional the super committee was formed.

      It’s hard to grasp how ineffective our Congress is.

      I’ve been reading they’ll need to fight over jobless benefits and expiring payroll tax breaks before the calendar year ends. But somehow I think they’ll just go home for the holidays and not even pretend to do their jobs. Why perpetuate the sham? Everyone already chose sides and will blame the other side. Even if we give lip service to how corrupt they all are, it’s just lip service.

      So who is ineffective and dysfunctional? Seems it’s the voters — me and you.

      • It is interesting to watch the Republicans scrambling to try to NOT have the military defense budget cuts as a part of the Super Committee’s mandate.

        Let’s remember – we need more military funding when the Republicans get in control and take us all to their next dog and pony show – the Iran War.

        THESE people can have their war – but one catch, they all have one-way tickets and they can choose whatever desert in the Middle East they want.

        How about in Israel’s backyard? After all, Israel has been getting alot of foreign aid from us (and alot of military warrplanes, etc) – so let them do their own fighting this time.

  3. I read an interesting op-ed piece this morning. It wove a story perfect for this time of year when we’re thinking about turkey dinners but our thoughts are never far away from the 99%. The story used our national bird, the bald eagle, as an example of the 1%, and asked, “Are Turkeys better Americans than Eagles?”

    — snips —

    Benjamin Franklin disliked the choice of the bald eagle as the national bird, and it was in a letter to his daughter, in 1784, that he proposed putting the turkey in its place. The eagle, Franklin points out, is “a bird of bad moral character. He does not get his living honestly. . . . He watches the labor of the fishing hawk; and when that diligent bird has at length taken a fish, and is bearing it to his nest for the support of his mate and young ones, the bald eagle pursues him, and takes it from him.”

    Truly, a one-per-cent kind of bird.

    The turkey, however, represented to Franklin the best of bourgeois Philadelphia values. The turkey is not only a native; “He is besides, though a little vain and silly, a bird of courage, and would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British guards who should presume to invade his farm yard with a red coat on.”

    Earlier in the turkey letter, Franklin is arguing hard about whether there ought to be hereditary legacies in American life, and he makes the keen point that there are two kinds of honor in the world: the Old World’s “descending honor,” in which people pass on their goods and their status to their children, and the New World’s “ascending honor,” in which children strive to impress their parents by moving up in society on their own. For Franklin, ascending honor—what we would now call meritocratic advancement -— is the American goal, and descending honor the American danger. The eagle is to him an avian example of descending honor in action: looking classy but swooping down to feed on the helpless. The turkey is the bird of ascending honor: silly and vain, pluming itself too much on the small stuff but sharing the feed with the other birds in the yard and ready to give hell to anyone who tries to make trouble.

    The whole op-ed is worth a read!
    http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2011/11/21/111121taco_talk_gopnik

    • Ah, but the bald eagle does describe our corrupt political system and their corporate sponsors.

      Hey, the bald eagle also describes alot of these Evangelical Christian mega preachers and televangelists.

      Ah, but the bald eagle is so macho and manly – the way he gets in there and just takes what he wants.

      Now what Evangelical Christian Republican Male does not envy the bald eagle? Wow – to think – this bird can do what he pleases, the way he pleases, to whom he pleases and still get the applause.

      I’m`still of the opinion that the Republican Party has been made toxic by Reagan’s invitiation to Jerry Falwell (Moral Majority) to join the inner sanctum of the GOP.

      Ever since that time – the GOP has gone down hill – and these morally-bankrupt buffoons are going faster and faster down into their cesspool of hate, greed and corruption.

      • Freebird1971

        The Eagle is the symbol of this country and has nothing to do with evangelicals,Republicans, or any other group for that matter.

      • Freebird, IN GOD WE TRUST does not stand for me.

        The 1950s showed a shift in this country, where religious groups forced changes to our money, our country’s motto, and our Pledge of Allegiance. It was wrong then, it’s wrong now. And if you were of another faith or religion other than Christian, you would understand that.

      • Freebird1971

        I don’t have a problem with it. As I have stated before I do not identify with any religious group but I put my faith in God.,if you knew my story you would understand why. I respect your point of view even though I don’t agree and from what I gather from what you have posted here you have valid reasons. Once again I guess we will just have to agree to disagree.

      • Freebird, you miss the point completely. Why do you think the word “Creator” was used in the Declaration? Why did the first paragraph use ‘Law of Nature’ and of ‘Nature’s God?’ Not ‘Christian God.’

        The people who came to this country and settled it came mainly because of religious persecution. They weren’t allowed to practice their faith in the way they chose. Yet almost 180 years later, a group of Christians (Catholics, to be precise) decided to add the words “under God” to the Pledge. Because they were afraid of Communisim? I call b.s. on that.

        U.S. Constitution, First Amendment
        Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

        By using the words “under God” and “In God We Trust” there is the promise of an establishment of religion–the Christian Religion–and any other that uses the name “God” as their deity. Trying to deny that it is not meant as the Christian God would be more than foolish.

        Because you aren’t the one whose rights are trampled on, you don’t care.

        My “Past” has nothing to do with it. Your “Past” has nothing to do with. You are free–I am free–to worship–or not worship–whatever and whomever we choose. We are not free to expect others to accept our beliefs.

      • Freebird1971

        My past has everything to do with what I believe and for you to say otherwise is both offensive and wrong!

      • And here I thought you had a brain.

        Nowhere–nowhere–did I say that you couldn’t have your faith or practice your chosen religion. For you to infer that I did is a lie.

        Have a nice life.

      • Freebird1971

        And here I thought you were tolerant

      • And here I thought you were intelligent.

  4. Campus police said the officers had been surrounded by protesters and commanders have defended their actions. So did university Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi — which led to a call from the school’s faculty association for her resignation. Katehi has since said she wants an outside, independent panel to review what happened and that she doesn’t plan to step down.

    There’s a second video related to this story that we want to share. In some ways it’s more powerful than the one that’s been going viral.

    On Friday, after a news conference she held, Katehi remained inside one of the university’s buildings for a couple hours. Outside, protesters regrouped. And when she emerged, there was one of the most amazing scenes so far related to the Occupy movement. As Katehi and another woman walked three blocks to an SUV, they passed through a gauntlet of several hundred students — who remained silent in a powerful show of their disdain.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/11/20/142562402/video-after-pepper-spraying-a-powerfully-silent-protest-at-uc-davis?sc=fb&cc=fp

    • Ya gotta give it to these kids. This was a perfectly executed protest. This should be used by all as an example. I haven’t seen anything like that pepper-spraying incident since the Vietnam protests, and I think these kids probably learned something from them. Kudos!

      BTW, the students were protesting the increase in fees.

    • Freebird1971

      Yep,if they were not there. No one is innocent in these confrontations,to blame one side or the other is wrong.

      • No one is innocent in these confrontations?

        So the Tea Party rabble rousers who disrupted those numerous town halls were also not innocent?

      • While I support the OWS Movement, there are some actions of some protesters that I do not condone.

        Kinda like those certain so-called Christians that live like the Devil while preaching DOWN to others. These are the kind of Christians that give Christianity a bad name.

      • Freebird1971

        No they were not.

  5. The 99%’s Deficit Proposal: How to create jobs, reduce the wealth divide and control spending

    Prepared by Occupy Washington DC
    Freedom Plaza, November 2011

    http://october2011.org/blogs/kevin-zeese/99-s-deficit-proposal-how-create-jobs-reduce-wealth-divide-and-control-spending

    • This grabbed me immediately, and I’m barely into the article/statement.

      “We seek an end to the rule of concentrated wealth and corporate power by shifting control, wealth and ownership to the people.”

      No shit? Does the U.S. Constitution say, “We the government and corporations, in order to form a more perfect union…”?

      Both the Constitution and the Declaration should be read and taught to Congress, because obviously they either forgot what those papers say or they never learned. Or maybe they simply have absolutely no reading comprehension. Power has gone to their heads. They are not this country. They are our representatives, and nothing more.

      We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

      Somehow I don’t think that pepper-spraying peaceful demonstrators was what the Founding Fathers had in mind to “insure domestic Tranquility,” nor is stealing the taxpayers money to make 1% more wealthy than God the intention of “promote the general Welfare”.

      Silent Revolution?

      • But, but ….the good little patriotic Republicans all carry their pocket-sized Constitution in their coat pockets.

        Haven’t you seen them whip that out whenever there is a photo-op for them to spew their rhetoric?

        It’s too bad these same folks apparently have not read the Constitution.

        But, then again, alot of these same folks are Evangelical Christians who have not read the Bible but yet keep thumping it at those people with whom they disagree.

        God – please save us from your fakes….

  6. Occupy the Agenda

    YOU have to wonder: Could Mayor Michael Bloomberg and police chiefs around the country be secretly backing the Occupy Wall Street movement?

    The Occupy protests might have died in infancy if a senior police official had not pepper-sprayed young women on video. Harsh police measures in other cities, including a clash in Oakland that put a veteran in intensive care and the pepper-spraying of an 84-year-old woman in Seattle, built popular support.

    Just in the last few days, Bloomberg — who in other respects has been an excellent mayor — rescued the movement from one of its biggest conundrums. It was stuck in a squalid encampment in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park: antagonizing local residents, scaring off would-be supporters, and facing months of debilitating snow and rain. Then the mayor helped save the demonstrators by clearing them out, thus solving their real estate problem and re-establishing their narrative of billionaires bullying the disenfranchised. Thanks to the mayor, the protests grew bigger than ever.

    Yet in a larger sense, the furor over the eviction of protesters in New York, Oakland, Portland and other cities is a sideshow. Occupy Wall Street isn’t about real estate, and its signal achievement was not assembling shivering sleepers in a park.

    The high ground that the protesters seized is not an archipelago of parks in America, but the national agenda. The movement has planted economic inequality on the nation’s consciousness, and it will be difficult for any mayor or police force to dislodge it.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/opinion/sunday/kristof-occupy-the-agenda.html?_r=2&src=tp&smid=fb-share

  7. I think the ‘communication’ I’ll include will read:

    If they enforced BANK REGULATIONS like they do PARK RULES, we wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place. #OWS

    • fnord, love your “communication.”

      I have a vision of a (union) postal worker, his/her bag loaded down with wood shiv filled envelopes, delivering to the credit card companies. But now that I think of it, the USPS could use the business. I don’t have a problem with helping them. My mom was a letter carrier for many years.

      I have several of these types of junk mailings in a pile near my desk to be shredded. Maybe I won’t shred them, after all. 😉

      • I try to comment whenever I see this action posted. I just want to remind people to make sure that their name and address are no where on any of the papers they return unless they really DO want the companies contacting them. 🙂

      • Good information, Moonshadow!

        OK, I’ll make sure I’m not identified to those I prefer not to hear from. Right now I can’t think of a single one I want to hear from so that makes it easy!

  8. Police brutality isn’t new

    • Of course it isn’t. These types of images are burned into our mind, our hearts, and our souls. I remember. I think anyone who was alive, conscious and thinking during those times does, too. That’s not to say that there are those who will rabidly deny it. There’s always those, somewhere.

      Our generation has seen far too many horrors.

  9. One comment about that cartoon……I wonder if the cartoonist had to stop himself from laughing while drawing Perfesser Newt.

  10. This fallacy was posted by FB friend:

    You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot build character and courage by taking away people’s initiative and independence. You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.
    ~ Abraham Lincoln ~

    I posted snopes in return:
    http://www.snopes.com/quotes/lincoln/prosperity.asp

    Then another friend commented and my retort:

    MKH: I like it too, because no matter who said it, it is just common sense!
    59 minutes ago · Like · 1.

    L S: You can not help the poor by kicking them down. You do not strengthen the weak through oppression. Reducing spending kills prosperity to all that aren’t already prosperous. When the “wage payers” are cutting wages and increasing their own income it becomes a totally different statement. The rest is not altogether untrue. Most of the unemployed want jobs, but when working 2 jobs with no benefits doesn’t pay the bills you’ve heartless if think they should just “get a better job”. None exist. When 500 people apply for 1 opening “just get a better job” is like playing the lottery. HEY! Just win the lottery! Then you’ll be set for life.

    Anybody else have some good comebacks that I could add?

    • What is right about someone having 7 houses and 11 cars, when people are losing their homes daily, when there are homeless people who don’t even have a car to sleep in? Why does someone need or even have 7 houses and 11 cars?

      • Freebird1971

        If they earned the money to buy those 7 houses and 11 cars I see nothing wrong at all.

      • How about if they chose the ‘right’ parents? How about if the parents ‘earned’ that money through corruption?

      • Freebird1971

        I did not put the word earned in quotes.

      • I am in complete agreement that anyone can spend what they earned any way they choose!

      • I personally can’t imagine why a person of great wealth would want extra special tax laws and preferential treatment. I can’t imagine why a person of great wealth — more than could be spent in several lifetimes if they hired a staff to spend it — would want to make more. But the truth is that it’s very difficult NOT to make money when you have excessive wealth. You could put it all under your mattress, in jars and bury it in the backyard, and there would still be people begging to pay you. There are people who think because you have great wealth you also have something of merit worth paying for — whether you do or not.

    • Greed (avarice) is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. When you have more money and things in your life than you can ever spend or use, or your children and grandchildren could spend, Isn’t that greed?

      A&E has a show called HOARDERS. It’s an illness. The 1% who are hoarding money aren’t any different. Trash or cash. When it comes down too it, when there’s too much, there’s too much.

    • I don’t even understand who wants to do any of those things. Have you ever heard any person say they want to strengthen the weak through oppression, help the poor by destroying the rich or any of that other nonsense?

      It has been proven that our country’s tax structures allow the wealthiest to take loopholes and deductions that can reduce their taxes to as low as zero. These are only available to those who have the most. Those who need it the least are given the greatest protections against paying taxes. No one I know wants anything more than a fair shake. No one I know wants to hurt anyone.

      Who buys the ‘widgets’? Certainly not those who are less than wealthy in today’s economy. Most of us feel extremely blessed if we’re able to pay for the roof over our heads, the food our family eats. We no longer have discretionary funds. We no longer can dream of getting a new ‘widget.’ We would actually help the wage payers if and when we’re able to afford to buy the ‘widgets’ their companies sell.

    • Update:
      KG: L S……this is the land of free enterprise……the land of opportunity……if the job doesn’t exist we can create the job……we can risk to serve humanity by creating a business that we can then employ others with. The sad part is that we then become what OWS is protesting. Vicious cycle that, but if any OWS people choose this path, maybe they can show the world how to run a company that is focused giving the employees everything they want and not focusing on creating profits. I find it strange that they only speak of jobs and never speak of running their own business. I say let them risk to become the business owner they demand from society! I believe they would have a new perspective.

      L S: K G, you and people like you really don’t have a clue what OWS is all about. They are NOT anti-profit, they are NOT anti-rich or any of the other talking points I hear made about them by the anti-OWS media. OWS is anti-corruption. They are against the top 1% lining their already bulging overseas bank accounts on the backs of the struggling middle class and poor. They do not advocate employees getting everything they want over employers not getting a profit. Where do you get that? But go ahead and start a business, who’s going to buy from you? You can’t get profits if you have no one to buy from you. OWS is NOT looking for a handout, never have. Have people donated to the cause? YES! But OWS has never asked people to donate. Did they set up a site where you could donate if you wanted to? YES! Because people asked them to make this available. Has the poor and homeless taken advantage of the free food and services that OWS provide? Absolutely! and why not? Who did it hurt?

      • I’m still surprised at the numbers of people who don’t understand anything about OWS. Is it possible they’ve decided what to believe about the movement and are obsessed with their idea to the point they’ve stopped listening if it doesn’t agree?

      • Moonshadow, good response about who will buy the products. Here’s a little more to add. Who is going to provide the start-up money needed to start a small business? Banks are not loaning. Those same banks that we bailed out. These people should ask themselves where the money is that the banks are now making and who is that money going to? Because it isn’t going to help the people who helped them, i.e. the taxpayers.

      • UPDATE!
        KG:
        LS, it takes about 350k to enter the 1%, so we’re not talking about just multi millionaires. These are small business owners that have put themselves at risk to create what they have. If you can buy a lawn mower and trimmer you can start a small business that in a few years will bring in good income if you work it right. Hard work, but honest. Once it gets big enough you hire a crew, then you hire a second crew. You don’t have to start JC Pennys, you just have to have a goal and a plan and work your plan. Opportunity still exists in the great United States, but it will take risk and belief. I believe that everyone is entitles to whatever the market will pay them. Even the top .05% in Hollywood who earn more in one picture than most will in a lifetime. Finally, the top 5% pay over 50% of all income taxes. The bottom 47% pay none. It’s always been this way. I believe the middle class is over taxed, but not because the top 1 to 5% pay too little, I believe we are spending money that the fed doesn’t have the authority to spend. Cut the illegal spending and you can cut the taxes for everyone.

        LS: You’re kidding me, right? How many lawn mower/trimmers will your town support? Who is making enough money to hire yard care? I don’t care how honest you are or how hard you work, you’re not going to make money if there aren’t people that can afford to pay you for whatever it is that you do/sell. It doesn’t matter how many people want what you’re hawking if they don’t have the money to buy it. Finally…. the top 5% should be paying 50% of the taxes, they make 50% of the income!!! Let’s see… this guy over here is sitting on a three foot pile of gold coins, this other guy has a handful. Time to pay the dues. The guy with the handfull pays over half of what he has and the guy on the pile pays three times that much but it doesn’t noticably lower his 3 foot pile. And you want me to feel sorry for the rich guy? The bottom 47% don’t make enough money to be taxed. They have even less than the guy with a handful.

      • Where do those figures of what it takes to be in the 1% come from? 350k to be in the top 1% of earners?

        I’m in awe, Moonshadow. Your responses are polite, and accurate. Mostly, I admire your patience!

      • Yes, government spends too much and isn’t as efficient as it should be. But taxes are at the lowest point since 1955 — that’s almost six decades ago. Have prices risen? Even if our government was spending wisely and efficiently we don’t have enough revenue for today’s costs! We’ve ‘untaxed’ ourselves into deficit spending even if we only spend on necessities.

      • The biggest tax breaks have gone to the top earners! Most tax breaks and loopholes are only available to those who make the most. They’ve had preferential treatment since Reagan! Look at the tax rates for the last three decades — it’s clear, it’s simple to understand, it’s UNFAIR!

  11. Who thinks about the six cents extra (sales tax) on the loaf of bread that sells for $1 at the thrift store? The person who doesn’t have the extra six cents.

    Someone will always bring up percentages and show the fact that those who do pay income taxes on larger amounts of income actually are responsible for the greater percent of income taxes collected.

    Yes, that’s true.

    Any percent of a greater amount is more than that same percent of a lesser amount.

    Oh, that I could earn enough to have a larger tax bill! Wouldn’t that be neat? I’d feel lucky! Just like now I feel lucky to have an income that I owe income taxes on. I know some who don’t. I try to help them in every way I can.

  12. Beneath all of the Republican and Tea Party grumbling about taxes, one key fact continues to be ignored. According to the Tax Policy Center, Federal taxes are lower than at any time since 1955. Obama has now reduced taxes by more than any president since Dwight D. Eisenhower.

  13. According to IRS statistics —

    In 2009 (latest figures I found available), 1,470 households filed tax returns with incomes above $1 million yet paid no federal income tax. But that was less than 1 percent of returns with incomes above $1 million.

    On average, taxpayers who made $1 million annually (or more) paid 24.4 percent of their income in federal income taxes; those making $100,000 to $125,000 paid 9.9 percent; those making $50,000 to $60,000 paid 6.3 percent.

    When payroll taxes (F.I.C.A.) — paid only on the first $106,800 of wages — are factored in, more middle class workers wind up with a higher tax rate than millionaires. You earn $50,00 and you pay F.I.C.A. on every penny of those earnings. You earn $150,000 and you only pay F.I.C.A. on $106,800 of those earnings.

    So when people begin arguing over the costs of Social Security and Medicare, please remember these numbers.

  14. One more fact:

    Do not believe Republican lies that a tax increase on those who earn more than $250,000 annually will hurt small businesses.

    It won’t.

    97% of the 20 million small businesses in America will not be affected. Relatively few small business owners earn $250,000 — in fact, fewer than 3 percent of the 20 million people who file business income on their personal tax forms (the 1040s) earn that much.

    And always remember the proposed tax increase is only applied to those earnings in excess of $250,000. If the annual earnings are $275,000 the tax increase would only be paid on the last $25,000.

    • It might help for some to check on the definition of a small business.

      My bff and one of my daughters works for a man who owns restaurant franchises in another state. He considers himself a “small” business owner, when in fact he isn’t. Why? At least part of the determination is based on the number of employees, and he doesn’t qualify as such, because he has far more than that number.

      It’s a great little trick to try to say that the 1% is made up of people who make $350K a year, or that small business owners earn $250K. As a small business, I’d be very happy to earn that kind of money, and I wouldn’t whine (too much) about paying taxes on it.

  15. The Republicans would have us believe that countries that have universal healthcare are hell holes. The longest running universal system began in 1912 in Norway. Yeah, what a hell hole. The list of countries includes:

    Norway
    New Zealand
    Japan
    Germany
    Belgium
    UK
    Kuwait
    Sweden
    Bahrain
    Brunei
    Canada
    Netherlands
    Austria
    UAE
    Finland
    Slovenia
    Denmark
    Luxembourg
    France
    Australia
    Ireland
    Italy
    Cyprus
    South Korea
    Iceland
    Hong Kong
    Singapore
    Switzerland
    Israel

  16. If the Democrats keep the Republicans on the defensive about protecting the wealthy for the coming year—if neighbors discussing the election next Nov. 5 are saying to each other, “I just think the Republicans are too concerned about the rich; Obama has messed up this and that, but at least he’s trying to help the middle class”—then Obama wins, and the Democrats hold the Senate and maybe even take back the House.

  17. “This country does in fact have a serious deficit problem. But the reality is that the deficit was caused by two wars — unpaid for. It was caused by huge tax breaks for the wealthiest people in this country. It was caused by a recession as result of the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street. And if those are the causes of the deficit, I will be damned if we’re going to balance the budget on backs of the elderly, the sick, the children, and the poor. That’s wrong.”

  18. You know how republicans are always saying democrats want to keep spending money we don’t have? The truth is no one — not democrats and not republicans — got to this economic crisis just by spending, we ‘detaxed’ our way into it too. A great deal of the reason behind this crisis is decreased revenue. Decreased revenue while paying increased costs for everything we were already paying for plus the cost of two wars. Too much spending? Yes! Excessive tax cuts? Yes! The cost of the wars alone put our country in need of more revenue!

    Remember when the Bush tax cuts were to expire at the end of ten years because they would cause illegal deficits?

    Here’s a site with so much valuable information. It tells the true story of how President Bush’s tax cuts and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq explain virtually the entire deficit over the next ten years (see Figure below):

    • What bothers me most is that tax cuts and wars caused our deficit and Republicans want to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, all social programs to get our economic house in order. The people who pay aren’t those who can afford to pay! It’s you and me. What did we do that causes us to be responsible and to be the ones to pay the costs?

  19. Americans pay because none of the congress critters is able to do their job!

    Lawmakers Concede Budget Talks Are Close to Failure

    Super-committee co-chairs each blame the other party:

    Jeb Hensarling, Republican of Texas said it was inflexibility on the part of the Democrats that had caused the impasse, particularly when it came to agreeing to major money-saving changes in social programs like Medicare and Social Security.

    Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, speaking of the Grover Norquist No Tax Pledge said, “As long as we have some Republican lawmakers who feel more enthralled with a pledge they took to a Republican lobbyist than they do to a pledge to the country to solve the problems, this is going to be hard to do.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/21/us/politics/lawmakers-concede-budget-talks-are-close-to-failure.html?_r=3&src=tp&smid=fb-share

  20. (from the article) By design, the U.S. military has always been under civilian control. While the president acts as the military’s civilian commander-in-chief, Congress has the Constitutionally-mandated authority to apportion military funding and approve any declaration of war. The military’s nuclear weapons, meanwhile, are owned and controlled by the civilian Department of Energy (which Perry, incidentally, wants to abolish).

    The civilian structure of the military Perry has no use for wasn’t an accident — it is the norm in liberal democracies and what America’s Founding Fathers wanted. As Samuel Adams wrote in 1768, “Even when there is a necessity of the military power, within a land, a wise and prudent people will always have a watchful and jealous eye over it.” The founders feared giving too much power to military could lead to an oppressive federal government, the specter of which Perry has built his entire political ideology against.

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) has staked his presidential hopes on a radical revamping of Washington’s political structure, reshaping the tax code, making the legislature part-time, enacting term limits on the Supreme Court, and closing multiple government agencies.

    Perry took his radical new vision for America to a new level last night at the Iowa FAMiLY Leader presidential forum. Going against the Constitution, centuries of American history, and the wishes of our nation’s founders, Perry claimed that the United States military should not be “micromanaged” by civilians and needed military commanders to be “truly in charge.”

  21. He watches the labor of the fishing hawk; and when that diligent bird has at length taken a fish, and is bearing it to his nest for the support of his mate and young ones, the bald eagle pursues him, and takes it from him.”

    —–

    Freebird – this is what I was referring to when I compared the bald eagle to Evangelical Christian Republicans and their corporate masters.

    What part of my comment made you so defensive?

    I am a Christian but I do not see my Christian faith as telling me to take from others after they have done all the work (refer to top paragraph). In fact, quite the opposite is true – the Bible tells us to take care of our neighbor and that it is very hard for a rich man to get into Heaven.

    The current Evangelical Christian Republicans have hijacked Christianity – IMHO – and they have turned off alot of people.

    And – in my opinion – this is EXACTLY what these Evangelical Christian Republicans do and they are demanding that the 99% allow them to do it.

    But, let’s just keep on thinking that the 1% really even care about the Evangelical Christians – that’s the truly ironic part. Reagan only gave Jerry Falwell the secret GOP handshake in order to get these buffoons’ votes.

    The saddest part is – Jimmy Carter was the true Christian – IMHO – and these Evangelicals all demonize him as Satan himself.

    Sad – truly sad.