Thursday, 8/16/12, Public Square

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19 responses to “Thursday, 8/16/12, Public Square

  1. According to The Votemaster —

    Why Did Pennsylvania Judge Uphold Voter ID Law

    When a Pennsylvania judge upheld the state’s new voter ID law yesterday, he gave an explanation of his ruling. The long and the short of it is that the law does not violate the federal or state constitution or any federal law. Under those conditions, the state legislature is free to pass whatever laws it likes. The fact that it might affect some voters more than others is not sufficient reason to curtail the legislature’s powers. He also noted that the state was prepared to issue ID cards to voters for free and any voter showing up without ID could cast a provisional ballot. If large numbers of voters end up casting provisional ballots and the their number exceeds the margin between the candidates, we will have a situation like the Franken-Coleman Senate race in Minnesota, with hand-to-hand combat over every ballot, possibly hundreds of thousands of them. It won’t be pretty.

    Provisional ballots are one of those areas where one thinks of Yogi Berra’s comment that in theory, theory and practice are the same, but in practice they aren’t. If a voter is disqualified from voting, he or she may cast a provisional ballot. This right is guaranteed by federal law. However, the 80-something volunteers who staff the polling places in many states, frequently do not understand this, or in the worst case, intentionally block people they suspect of voting the wrong way from getting one. Since both parties expect problems, it is possible that the parties will send monitors to some polling places to keep an eye on things.

    If you really want to get into the details of the Pennsylvania decision, Rick Hasen’s Election Law Blog has a number of stories on the ruling.

    http://electoral-vote.com/

  2. This is the best article I’ve ever read about the stimulus — what it did, what it didn’t do… It is a bit long, but so worth the time spent!

    The New New Deal
    President Obama’s stimulus has been an astonishing, and unrecognized, success, argues Michael Grunwald.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/interrogation/2012/08/the_new_new_deal_a_book_argues_that_president_obama_s_stimulus_has_been_an_astonishing_success.single.html

  3. By turning the conversation to Medicare with the Ryan addition to the ticket, they have put in play a group that prior to this was going to vote more republican. Senior citizen voters have been among the republicans’ most reliable supporters in recent elections

    Ryan/Romney (as it should properly be named) can’t tell the truth and have any hope of being elected! The Ryan Plan and Obamacare cut the same amount and the effects are drastically different. This link explains the differences.

    REMEMBER: Medicare Advantage is not Medicare, it only uses the name! It’s a supplemental insurance plan. Don’t be one of those who are easily fooled!

    Ryan/Romney take away from everyone else so they can give even greater tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires!

    ————————————-

    (from the link): GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s new promise to restore the Medicare cuts made by President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law could backfire if he’s elected.

    The reason: Obama’s cuts also extended the life of Medicare’s giant trust fund, and by repealing them Romney would move the insolvency date of the program closer, toward the end of what would be his first term in office.

    Instead of running out of money in 2024, Medicare says its trust fund for inpatient care would go broke in 2016 without the cuts. That could leave a President Romney little political breathing room to finalize his own Medicare plan.

    continue reading —
    http://www.boston.com/news/politics/articles/2012/08/16/undoing_obama_medicare_cuts_may_backfire_on_romney/

  4. Asked by Hume when the Romney plan would balance the budget, Ryan said he didn’t know because “we haven’t run the numbers on that specific plan.”

    There are NO numbers to run! And there is NO specific plan. All Romney has ever said is how much he will cut and everyone who can add 2 + 2 easily understands his drastic cuts will have an effect on the entire scope of government — well, except defense. Romney will pour more money into defense. Especially since he plans to be a war president.

    Does anyone else see this Ryan/Romney campaign as the most inept you’ve witnessed? They have no plans, they just have secrets — lots of secrets! They have no answers — at least none they can share and still have any chances of winning even a single state’s electoral votes.

  5. Did you hear about the shooting at the Family Research Council yesterday? The suspect had some Chick-Fil-A promotional materials on him and before he shot the security guard, this guy reportedly said that he did not agree with the positions the FRC has taken.

    On CBN this morning (Pat Robertson’s money-bg0a-thojn show – they were yammering on and on about how the anti-Christian groups should take responsbility for this violence.

    WTF…….I guess all those anti-gay Christian groups and anti-abortion Christians who are killing abortion doctors are okay and they do not need to take responsbiility for the violence they create?

    Just give us a frickin break.

    I am not saying I think this shooter was in the right by shooting at FRC – but if these Christians want to start playing the blame game – then their side has alot more violence being done in the name of their God than the other side.

  6. Seven Tax Return Questions Mitt Romney Left Unanswered Today

    1) What kind of taxes? Does that 13 percent cover income taxes, capital gains taxes, or some combination? By Romney’s own admission, nearly all of his income comes from investments (so the low capital gains tax rate helps him drive his overall rate far below that of many middle-class families).

    2) What sort of deductions did Romney employ? In addition to the deduction they receive for classifying Ann Romney’s horse as a business, what other deductions are the Romneys using to lower their tax rate?

    3) How did Romney’s IRA grow so large? Romney’s retirement account contains more than $100 million, despite annual limits on contributions. How did that happen?

    4) What sort of offshore tax strategies does Romney use? While Romney was on the executive committee of Marriott, the company employed complex strategies known as “Son of Boss” to dodge taxes, prompting consequences with the IRS. Did Romney use a similar strategy for his own taxes?

    5) Was Romney’s Swiss bank account disclosed on all tax returns for all years? Did he file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) as required by the deadline for each year he had the account?

    6) Did Romney participate in the IRS’s settlement initiative for undeclared offshore financial accounts (the amnesty)? In 2009, the IRS gave American citizens a window to declare their Swiss bank accounts and avoid prosecution for tax dodging, before it launched a crackdown on foreign accounts. As Slate’s Matt Yglesias wrote, “Romney might well have thought in 2007 and 2008 that there was nothing to fear about a non-disclosed offshore account he’d set up years earlier precisely because it wasn’t disclosed. But then came the settlement and the rush of non-disclosers to apply for the amnesty.”

    7) Why did Romney invest in Houston rental real estate that was explicitly marketed as a tax shelter? As The New York Times reported, Romney was an investor in a real estate scheme in which the organizers “played up the tax shelter benefits.” The deal turned out to be a lousy investment.

    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/08/16/700611/romney-seve-tax-return-questions/

    • Generally, things that are marketed for their ‘tax shelter benefits’ are lousy investments. They are not designed to be good investments. Was this shelter identified as abusive? If so, penalties abound. I’ve a feeling the investment is close to the line, but does not cross the line.

  7. For 2 years, Paul Ryan ‘forgot’ about his trust estimated between $1 and $5 million, according to the amended filings made on June 6, 2012. And he’s the numbers guy!

    http://pfds.opensecrets.org/N00004357_2011_a.pdf