Thursday, 11/29/12, Public Square



Filed under The Public Square

43 responses to “Thursday, 11/29/12, Public Square

  1. (from the link): Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini is another entry into the fray of employers in the USA that are threatening layoffs should they get any tax increases. In addition, if there are not spending cuts that they, Aetna, a corporation, approve of. Since when are we to be held hostage by corporations dictating what social programs this country will and will not fund? Since we decided that The Corporation = A Person.

    Employers Exposed! – Aetna

  2. A blogger who disagrees with President Obama and, like PrairiePond has warned, thinks “the options that Obama is allowing to be considered range from utterly dreadful to merely awful.”

    (from the link): “In fact, NOT getting a deal done is far better for everyone except the uber rich. As Paul Krugman has stressed, going into 2013 with no deal in place is not a dramatic event, and would substantially weaken the Republican’s bargaining position as far as preserving tax breaks for the wealthy are concerned. And if the Administration wanted to preserve middle cut tax relief, like lower payroll taxes, it can make that retroactive to the start of 2013.

    Letting the negotiations go into 2013 also increases the odds of preserving Social Security and Medicare in their current form, since they will not be affected at all by the automatic budget cuts that would kick in in the absence of a deal.”

  3. So why do they do this? Because fear benefits the wealthy and fear is a proven Republican strategy.

    (from the link): “At the outset, the arguments made by “deficit hawks” as to the necessity of spending cuts, a core piece of the “fiscal cliff,” is entirely fictitious. Public finances are not a current concern among investors. If they were, interest rates for government securities would not now be trending at historic lows.”

    Fiscal Cliff 2013: There is No Debt Doomsday, the Rich Just Want More Money

  4. (from the link): If the authorities want to rummage through your house or tap your phone, they need a warrant. But law enforcement agencies currently enjoy easy access to the most intimate aspects of your online life—everything from emails to pictures to chat logs. Law enforcement officials would like to keep it that way, but on Thursday the Senate Judiciary Committee will take up a plan that would require the government to meet the same legal standard to rifle through your inbox as it would to search your underwear drawer.

    At issue is the the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the 1986 law that outlines the government’s authority to access digital communications. The ECPA never anticipated the advent of Gmail or Facebook and the extent to which Americans conduct their lives online; it considered electronic communications older than six months as “storage,” and set a lower standard for the authorities to access that information. But now that kind of online “storage” includes not just emails, but photo albums, calendars, and even the unsent messages in your draft folder. If you think that only criminals need privacy, consider that former CIA Director David Petraeus recently resigned in disgrace because an FBI investigation exposed his extramarital affair but found no criminal wrongdoing on his part.

    Will Congress Protect Your Inbox From Warrantless Snooping?

  5. (from the link): Currently at 18.4 cents a gallon, the federal gas tax is used primarily to build and repair roads, bridges and other transportation infrastructure. The tax raises about $32 billion a year.

    But that’s not enough. The government hands out about $50 billion a year to states and towns to help with road costs. The difference comes out of general funds or has to be borrowed. Meanwhile, the gas tax hasn’t been raised since 1993.

    Raising the gas tax was one of the recommendations of the Simpson-Bowles debt reduction plan in 2010. The plan called for a 15 cent-a-gallon hike to the gas tax, a level that would basically cover the current shortfall in the transportation budget.

  6. This is an interesting blog post! Read the comments too, you’ll enjoy them.


    • prairie pond

      From the link:

      “…nominating Obama in ’08, rather than Hillary Clinton, helped push the Democratic Party to become the party of the new America, and inspired the GOP to become even more the party of the past than it already was.

      I don’t think things would have happened in quite the same way if Obama had never challenged Hillary, or if she’d beaten him in ’08. Hillary went into primary season with strong support among non-white voters, but it’s really unlikely that she’d have worked to build the coalition Obama built — focusing especially on non-whites and young voters — if she’d won the nomination. I think she’d have tried to run a New Democrat campaign aimed at the kinds of voters who liked the V-chip and school uniforms in the ’90s. Non-white voters would have been a significant part of her coalition, but not as much as they are Obama’s.”

      As much as it pains me, 🙂 I have to agree. But I do think 2016 could be Hillary’s year to solidify that Obama coalition and solidify the role of women in the coalition and in the nation.

      Hillary 2016!

      • indypendent

        Do you really think Hillary will run in 2016 – or are you like me – I am hoping Hillary decides to run in 2016.

        Maybe that is why she is stepping down as SOS – to get a much-needed rest and to sit back and watch as the political theatre unfolds?

        And from the looks of the Republicans – these buffoons intend to continue on their quest for irrelevancy..

      • prairie pond

        Right now, Indy, I guess it’s just wishful thinking on my part. I do think she’s angling for a rest and, as she has said, paying more attention to her health and doing some travel for fun. She’d probably like to spend more time with Chelsea, too, and maybe do some other charitable things.

        I suspect she will be evaluating her options. She can do anything she wants and the world, literally, is her oyster. I gotta wonder WHY she would want to be POTUS, knowing what that would bring. But then, she may also want to go for broke and put her stamp on the presidency. Who knows.

        I hope she runs, But maybe she’ll get a better offer. And, maybe, the Democrats will come up with a great candidate and she can leave feeling as though her work was well finished.

      • I think she would make a great Supreme Court Justice.

        She would do any job better than anyone else could!

      • I agree……Hillary does deserve a much needed rest and private time.

        But I still think that deep down, she might just feel the tug of making history…..But alot depends on what happens in the next two years – and how the midterm elections turn out.

  7. (from the link): Republicans no longer refer to this fairy-tale by its original name, the discredited “supply-side economics.” Instead it is now called “dynamic scoring.”

    Since 1944, the United States has only raised taxes on the rich twice—in 1992 and 1994. What followed those tax increases was one of the greatest economic booms in American history.

    • prairie pond

      Keynes LIVES!!!!

      As many of us on this blog have been saying, supply side economics is the biggest hoax ever perpetrated on the American taxpayer. It also spawned the second biggest hoax, which is “economic development” as practiced with public funds. Hogwash. Both of them.

      Reagan should be dug up, shot, buried again, and the earth salted both under and over him to finally put a stake through the heart of supply side economics. And Arthur Laffer, Pastor Sam’s economic guru, should be put there with Reagan. I can’t believe the damage supply side bullshit has inflicted on the American people over the past thirty years. And I can’t believe it has take thirty years for average people to wise up. The plutocracy has always known it was bullshit, but it was THEIR bullshit, so they winked at each other and nodded gravely at the rest of us when the supply side gospel was preached.

      I further can’t believe that thirty years later, supply side still has so many true believers when it has been thoroughly debunked in both theory and practice.

      And wouldn’t ya know it, Kansas, true to form, is so behind the times, and willfully ignorant of the truth, that the Mecca of supply side worship is in Topeka.

      jesus wept

      • I think I would pay to see that happen…..

        Cue the dream sequence music please… Ronald Reagan being awakened from his eternity slumber to be offered another chance at this life. And you know Republicans – if they can double dip anything, they’re on that first taxpayer-funded bus to Double Dip Town.

        But I digress…..

        Reagan is awakened only to learn that he has to meet the criteria for his second chance at life – to atone for his sins he committed in his first life.

        Oh, oh……that’s where it gets tricky. That whole decimation of the middle class by pushing that supply-side economics is a killer…….

        But, it would be nice to see any Republican finally have to pay for their political disasters.

  8. indypendent

    President Obama is having lunch today with Mitt Romney. Boy, would I like to be a fly on that wall.

    BTW – I think Romney needs to apologize to Obama for saying that he sided with the terrorists when the Mitttanic held that press conference when the Benghazi attack was actually happening.

    My feelings on the Benghazi is this: questions need to be asked – but go after the CIA with most of those questions, because I sure don’t hear these sore loser Republicans demonizing Petraeus – do you?

    Susan Rice was reading what the CIA gave her – if that was wrong, then find out why it was wrong.

    Or – was Petraeus too busy with his personal life playing footsies to be held accountable?

    But more than that – what did that Jill Kelley have to do with anything? Remember, this is the woman who proudly took the title of an honorary consul for South Korea (not an official title) – but it was also reported that this Jill person would act as a liason between the generals and Middle East people.

    Oh, really???

    So…..Bengahzi is in the Middle East, isn’t it? Drag Ms. Jill up to the Capitol Hill and drill her with questions as to what her part in all this was…..

    Or – would that be actually caring about what happened?

    • indypendent

      Well, well, well……I just found this.

      Seems our Ms. Jill has lost her much-ballyhooed honorary consul title….

      But….do pay close attention to the section of the article when it talks about how Ms. Jill would drop off the word ‘honorary’ when she introduced herself as ‘ambassador’.

      Again, I say, Hmm……..

      Why don’t McCain, Graham, Ayotte and Collins (all Senate Republicans) question why this woman – who was obviously very close to Petraeus – why she is putting herself into an ambassador’s position?

      Rather than demonize a real ambassador – Susan Rice – these Senate Republican Klowns need to go interrogate Ms. Jill and her Merry Band of Military Men that she obviously had full and free access to…

      • indypendent

        This is where I read that Jill Kelley acted as a liason between the military and Middle East people. It’s about half-way into the article.

        In light of everything happening in Middle East – I think the American People deserves to know exactly who did this party planner sociliate talk to on behalf of our military generals?

        And – besides that – if Susan Rice is not qualified to be Secretary of State – then who the hell gave Jill Kelley the right to act as a self-appointed liason to Lebanese and Middle East officials?

        Where is the outrage and where is the demand for an investigation into that part of this Petraeus sex scandal?

        I could care less where Petraeus or that other general was dipping their particular pens into a forbidden inkwell..

        But I DO care if both of these men knew that their party planner socialite was acting as a liason between them and Middle East Officials. Just exactly who were these Middle East Officials? I want names…

      • indypendent

        And ….as was frequently said by Republicans when defending GWB’s Patriot Act -if you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to worry about.

        Funny, how that shoe is now on the other foot – huh?

        Just tell the frickin truth….

        But – I just read where our Ms. Jill has retained a lawyer – and a P.R. representative.

        Again…..I say…..Hmmmm………..

        All for a party planner?

      • prairie pond

        Iran Contra anyone? Middle men, or women, make me nervous.

        All this crap about Susan Rice is just hypocritical crap. Hell, they’d have her on death row if she had done what Condi and Colin did. Or John Bolton.

        As Rachel has said, this is all about the senate seat in Massachusetts. They want John Kerry out and Scott Brown back in.

        Phuckers. Hypocritical phuckers.

    • prairie pond

      Actually, Bengahzi is in Africa even though Islam is the religion of choice for the majority.

      • I realized that after I posted it……but failed to come back and correct myself.

        Thanks for correcting me.

        But – when Muslims are involved – and I do think the Middle East players are all supplying weapons to their preferred side in this war – isn’t Benghazi just another peg in the Middle East Crisis?

        After all – Libya has its own very horrific and terrorist history – doesn’t it?

    • prairie pond

      I still don’t trust Obama to not phuck with Social Security and Medicare, or to do the right thing economically without giving away too much to the repukes. Especially since Tim Geitner has been named “chief negotiator.” WTF? Why not bring back Lawrence Summers as well? Argggggggg.

      So.. I hope this lunch with the mittster is just a courtesy and not the start of something more evil. Like adopting any of his dumb assed proposals.

      Obama with an olive branch in hand is, for average folks, never a good thing…

      Let’s hope this lunch is just a civil “na na na I won” statement and nothing more.

      • Obama did say in his speech that he would like to meet with Romney and try to find ways in which they could work together.

        But….hey…Romney also said in his concession speech that he wants Obama to succeed. – But then Romney goes right out and calls Obama the black Santa Claus that just promised ‘gifts’ to his certain voters.

        Hey – I’m still waiting for my gift…….have you gotten yours?

    • I heard a news pundit suggest that President Obama make negotiating drug prices part of the cost cutting included in the fiscal cliff talks. Then he should ask Romney to negotiate those savings with the drug companies. Here’s your spread sheet, go talk to Pfizer et al and get us a great deal…

  9. indypendent

    Here we go again….. demanding bonuses to be paid to those who drove the company into bankruptcy.

    Oh…..and the reason given is such a laugh…….they need to pay these bonuses in order to retain those employees to make liquidation go smoothly?

    Damn…..sounds like a CON game to me……how about you?

  10. Grins and giggles. 🙂

  11. prairie pond

    As usual, the Rude One has the definitive take on the whole Susan Rice dust-up. Bad language warning, but dead-on correct and funny to boot!

  12. PP posted:
    Iran Contra anyone? Middle men, or women, make me nervous..

    Can we all remember who was a major player in that Iran Contra deal – Ollie North – a military guy with partisan politics.

    There is one Benghazi story that needs to be looked into – it was when that Broadwell woman mentioned the fact that the CIA were holding those Libyan soldiers and were interrogating them. And that was the reason the CIA thought the Benghazi consulate was attacked.

    Duh, do you think?

    Just round up the whole bunch of military and their girlfriends and interrogate these folks – stop picking on Susan Rice that had nothing to do with what was really going on at Benghazi.

    BTW – were those LIbyans soliders being held – did the Presdient know about this or was this something the CIA just decided to do on its own?

    There are many, many questions for alot of people – but McCain, Graham, Ayotte and Collins are too busy playing partisan politics to actually care to find out the truth.

    • I agree with Rachel Maddow on the Four Republicans’ motive – they are out to help their good buddy Scott Brown.

      Let’s not forget – McCain, Collins and Ayotte all made personal appearances with Scott Brown before he was beaten by Elizabeth Warren adn in the area of 8 points (I think?) that was a definite win for Elizabeth.

      Brown is just another has-been Republican..

    • Walmart used to be a good company – but since money became the only focus, this company has gone downhill and it’s getting even further with each passing year.

      But why should Sam’s kids care? They get their money and all those other problems – isn’t that what the taxpayers are for? Well, the 98% of taxpayers, that is.

  13. Are we getting a Costco in Wichita? I heard the rumor…..but is it true?

    • I heard that rumor, but can’t remember when or where I heard it. I hope so!

      I’ve been reading that Costco actually caps their CEO’s salary. I think that is smart business at its finest!

      • There are some very good corporations – I suspect we just don’t hear about them. Only the ones with the biggest mouths and can bitch and moan the best are heard.

  14. I also read that if minimum wage had kept pace with executive salaries since 1990, the lowest paid worker would be making more than $23 an hour.

    • You know – what always infuriates me about Republicans is their constant yammering about how people should be able to pay for their own health care insurance.

      But one factor is the high cost of health insurance. When Republicans actively work to decrease the wages – then how the hell can someone afford to pay for health insurance that costs a week or two weeks of their gross pay?

      And then to top that off – these same Republicns expect women to stay at home, birth those babies and rely on their husband to provide enough income to pay for all the costs of just living?

      On what planet are these Republicans living?

      Oh – and one more thing – the above scenario is even more laughable when anyone in a family has a pre-existing condition and cannot even get health insurance – at any price.

      Again – on what planet are these Republicans living?

      • I call it Foxland — a place where they make up their own facts and reality is far removed. 🙂 They do provide the opportunity to laugh! It’s impossible to take their bullshit seriously so I take it as a joke.

  15. Just saw this and thought I should post it….since this issue has been raised earlier this morning.

    I just wonder how many people actually knew that such an amendment was needed?

  16. I just spotted this while surfing the Internet …..

    All I can say is – Wow – this 25-yr-old policeman is a role model our society should be holding up on a pedestal.

    I truly beleive there are more good people in this world than the bad people. But – like I said about my Grandpa – the good people are the glue in our society.

    And glue just does not get all that much attention – does it?

    But without it, the entire structure falls apart.

  17. (from the link): For those of a progressive bent, the fiscal cliff has many attractions. First, it spreads cuts evenly across all ‘discretionary’ spending — including the half that goes to the Pentagon. Second, it protects Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — the linchpins of the United States’ threadbare welfare state — from any cuts whatsoever. In so doing, it refuses to balance the budget on the backs of the poor.

    Finally, and most importantly, it closes 80% of the deficit through higher taxation, and only 20% through spending cuts. That’s a sensible approach in a country where income tax rates — on the middle class as well as on the rich — have grown unfeasibly low.

    The fiscal cliff, then, is a tough budget package that leans firmly to the left. How did a right-leaning Congress get there? Well, lawmakers never thought it would get enacted.

    After all, the ‘cliff’ isn’t a cliff at all. It is simply a new baseline, with proper taxes paid, spending reduced and the poor protected. Once it is set, the path may be open for selective spending boosts — including, perhaps, in research — as well as tax reductions. That’s why people such as Peter Orszag, a member of the Institute of Medicine and President Barack Obama’s first budget director, and anti-austerity economist Paul Krugman say that going over the cliff may be the best path to a reasonable budget settlement.

    But the president shouldn’t give an inch, and, if need be, he should be ready to jump off that cliff. As he smiles for the television cameras and joshes with House Speaker John Boehner, I hope that Obama will quote an old enemy to his new friend. “Go ahead,” should be his whispered message, “make my day.”

    • What’s up with these Republicans now saying that Obama and Democrats need to show specific spending cuts before they can agree to a deal for more revenue?

      On what planet have these Republicans been living on? Obama and Democrats have offered several things.

      In fact -during the debt ceiling fiasco – wasn’t it Obama and Boehner thah had an agreement until Boehner had to meet with his Tea Party Mad Hatters and they were were the buffoons that said – NO compromise…No way?

      Let the damn Republican buffoons jump off that cliff – and Obama should make that a focal poiint in his taking it to the American people in the next couple of weeks.

      IF there is no compromised agreement by year’s end – blame a Republican.

  18. What will this developmen bring – except more tax-free money going into these Fundy Christian preachers and televangelists’ pockets?

    I swear, if I hear one more of these damn fundies using the boogeyman of Muslims takine over the world or how Israel has been the victim of everything – I’m going to scream.

    I swear – these must be the buffoons that keep this religious S.H.I.T. going just to make more money.

    What a sad, sad commentary.