“Lazy” Friends

I want to thank my friend Rick Cooper for nudging me to fix the subscription options on this blog. There are two options that have tested OK. One is email notification when a new story is posted (don’t worry my infrequent posts will not overwhelm your email). Two is an RSS feed of my posts.

My curiosity has resulted in me taking on the larger challenge of linking my primary (this blog) to my Facebook page. This post is the first test of the feature. Hopefully it works, then I can go back and be lazy.

BTW Rick is one half of the highly entertaining music duo Cooper & Kenneally. I recommend you go see them.

Approaching the Moment of Truth

Do you remember the Simpson-Bowles report commissioned by President Obama and delivered in December 2010. The final title is “The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform” subtitle, “The Moment of Truth”. You can find the pdf here.

I’ve read the document and the Moment of Truth is filled with non sequitur’s and undefined statements. Such as “cut all excess spending” and “avoid excessive taxation”. What determines excess and excessive? It goes on like this with broad statements lacking any specifics.

I’m in agreement with reporter Michael Hiltzik who writes in the Los Angeles Times that the Moment of Truth is a tool for a deficit debate driven by the wealthy.

As I see it the problem is that both political parties have agreed this is the starting point for ‘FIXING’ the US economy. If this is where the new fiscal agenda starts then it will be done on backs of the elderly, the infirm, the low wage workers, and the shrinking middle class. Altogether now: Wrong Wrong Wrong, No F***ing Way

There’s many ways to fix our broken system outside of the Simpson-Bowles report. I could take the report apart point by point if there was adequate $$$ for my time but for now I’ll give you a few points.

1. Unregulated capitalism has allowed greedy liars and thieves to raid our Treasury and rape our democracy. As it appears our government is not going to prosecute the perpetrators (emphasis on traitors) I call for a separation of the gamblers from the banks by re-installment of the Glass-Steagall law. Agree #1. Agree #2.

2. “Goldman Sachs after securing a bailout of tens of billions of taxpayer dollars the bank moved its money around so that most of its earnings took place in foreign countries with low tax rates. Thanks to our corporate tax system, companies like Goldman can ship their revenues offshore and defer taxes on those revenues indefinitely, even while they claim deductions upfront on that same untaxed income. This is why any corporation with an at least occasionally sober accountant can usually find a way to zero out its taxes. A GAO report, in fact, found that between 1998 and 2005, roughly two-thirds of all corporations operating in the U.S. paid no taxes at all.” http://www.gao.gov/assets/280/278569.pdf

I call for a minimum tax of 20% on all corporate gross receipts by all companies, domestic and foreign doing business in the US. No exceptions.

The above quote by Matt Taibbi was gratefully snatched from one of his finest reports titled The Great American Bubble Machine

3. The interlocked dealings of the worlds existing financial companies has created a crap load of huge deals with highly leveraged assets many times based on false financial reports. Trust is no longer part of the equation because the companies making the deals never loose. Why? Because they are too big to fail. That has to stop. If they want to do a deal, OK, only with verified assets and insurance backing the deal. No more bailouts ever. If the deal goes bad, no do overs. After awhile the deal makers will come to know who is trustworthy.

This is a good article by Paul Davidson: Restoring Trust in the American Economy: The Real World v. The Confidence Fairy

Here is one definition: One Dollar Of Capital – A Definition And Challenge

S. 3412 (Middle Class Tax Cut Act ) PASSED!

What this is: A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide tax relief to middle-class families.

Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) said he would vote against the Democrats’ tax plan Wednesday. (And he did vote NO)

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) also said Wednesday that he wouldn’t support the Middle Class Tax Cut. (And he did vote NO)

Vote Position on S. 3412
YEAs —51
Akaka (D-HI)
Baucus (D-MT)
Begich (D-AK)
Bennet (D-CO)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Conrad (D-ND)
Coons (D-DE)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Hagan (D-NC)
Harkin (D-IA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kerry (D-MA)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Kohl (D-WI)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Manchin (D-WV)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Warner (D-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)

NAYs —48
Alexander (R-TN)
Ayotte (R-NH)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Brown (R-MA)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coats (R-IN)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heller (R-NV)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lee (R-UT)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lugar (R-IN)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Moran (R-KS)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Paul (R-KY)
Portman (R-OH)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rubio (R-FL)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Snowe (R-ME)
Thune (R-SD)
Toomey (R-PA)
Vitter (R-LA)
Webb (D-VA)
Wicker (R-MS)

Not Voting —1
Kirk (R-IL)

Statement from President Obama on the Senate vote:

With the Senate’s vote, the House Republicans are now the only people left in Washington holding hostage the middle-class tax cuts for 98% of Americans and nearly every small business owner. The last thing a typical middle class family can afford is a $2,200 tax hike at the beginning of next year. It’s time for House Republicans to drop their demand for another $1 trillion giveaway to the wealthiest Americans and give our families and small businesses the financial security and certainty that they need. Our economy isn’t built from the top-down, it’s built from a strong and growing middle class, and that’s who we should be fighting for.

Rainy Day

On Wednesday afternoon we had a tornado watch as violent thunder storms with hail rolled through here. Some local areas had microburst’s (a vertical column of cold rapidly descending air that shears horizontal after reaching the ground) that toppled many trees, caused substantial property damage, and power outage.

Today the air has the nice smell of after storm freshness. The sound of working chainsaws nearby is not as nice so let’s listen to some music…

10 Rainy Day, Dream Away.m4a

Romney on “ROMNEY”

Mitt Romney, speaking to the Salt Lake Tribune about Bain Capital and his political career in February of 1999, just after he decided to take the job turning around the 2002 Winter Olympics:

I’m not a powder puff…. By that I mean that it’s not that I would never consider laying off workers or closing down a plant to save a company. Unfortunately in the business world I know, the world of troubled companies, many businesses can get better with medicine. But many others require painful, wrenching surgery. I have been involved with companies that concluded they had to close a plant in order to survive. And that’s an awful, awful thing to have happen. And it’s death for a politician to be associated with that.

Gratefully lifted from The New Yorker

So you see now why Robo-Romney is such a stiff. He thinks of himself as a Dead Man Walking, and he is. He is also very dangerous because of the deals and decisions he will support if elected. I know this to be true as I lived in Massachusetts during his governorship.

Chris Isaak at Indian Ranch

Below you’ll find six audience made videos. The dancing on #6 is a hoot!

Isaak Sizzles at Indian Ranch

Rousing perfomance salute to
Memphis’ Sun Studio

Read the review by Craig S. Semon