LOL! This is great! Seriously, though… this woman is a candidate for the President of the United States? If she wins – which will never happen – I’m leaving the country and hiding in shame.
Over the past several days, people have been rioting in the streets of London, looting, injuring others, and creating complete mayhem. Why? Apparently this was incited by the shooting and death of Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old resident of Tottenham. Who is Mark Duggan? In searching various news stories, blog postings, and the like on the internet, who he is depends upon which site you read. Those in defense of his shooting portray him as a thug. Those defending Mark describe him as “a good man. He was a family man.” His fiancee has, according to Guardian.co.uk website, admitted he is “known to the police and said he had spent some time on remand, but denied he was ever imprisoned.” What actually occurred to bring on this shooting? I doubt we will ever know the true, actual facts. The police will tell one story, and the witnesses will state another. Or possibly somewhere in between. This may have been a justifiable shooting, or it may not have been… I do not know. I was not there.
Many articles are portraying him as a “gangsta.” But then, I honestly do not trust a lot of the media. The images of him online do show a gangster persona, but where are other pictures of him? Surely he has not had just three or four pictures taken of him in his life. When possible I prefer to read facts from various viewpoints and usually determine that the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. A significant percentage of mainstream news sites and channels only tell you what they want you to know, not what is actual. Or tell you what they think will bring the views, the hits, the attention, and the money. More…
Sarah Palin is busy on her foreign policy credential tour this year, which means touching down in a foreign country she’s never been to before and knows nothing about, just long enough for a photo op that is good enough to pass for foreign policy experience in the modern day Republican Party. Well, guess what? Not every conservative movement is that cravenly empty. In England, Margaret Thatcher says thanks but no thanks to the hopeful Sarah Palin for a visit and an ally of Thatcher added the scalding truth,
“Lady Thatcher will not be seeing Sarah Palin. That would be belittling for Margaret. Sarah Palin is nuts.”
Here in America, we have to pretend nuts is smart in order not to offend the willfully misinformed who have for some unknown reason identified with nuts, perhaps because they were not warned by those bells of European history about the warning shots of an imperial nutter.
The Independent reports:
There is a brief pause before the bus tour starts again in Iowa, where the first crucial test for would-be Republican runners is to be held – giving Mrs Palin her opportunity to take a glimpse of old England, part of the world outside the USA of which her knowledge is notoriously thin. “I am going to Sudan in July and hope to stop in England on the way,” she said. “I am just hoping Mrs Thatcher is well enough to see me as I so admire her.”
Tim Montgomerie, of the ConservativeHome website, said: “When the idea was first discussed nine months ago, it was thought that David Cameron might agree for them to appear at a function at the same time so that they could be photographed, but since then her star has fallen so far that I don’t think even that would be thought necessary. She is an embarrassment for mainstream Conservatives.
“She wants to come to see Margaret Thatcher. She doesn’t want to see Cameron or anyone, because it’s Margaret Thatcher who has resonance with the Republican right.
Yes, because for Sarah Palin, everything is about surface and opportunity. We note that her whirlwind “educational” tour through the Northeast barely left time for more than a 20 minute “visit” of all historical sites, and certainly no room for long strolls through museums and other normal activities for educational tours. “She is an embarrassment for mainstream Conservatives.” You don’t say.
The Guardian UK was a bit more brutal with its “close ally” reporting:
This is what Palin told Christina Lamb in the Sunday Times:
I am going to Sudan in July and hope to stop in England on the way. I am just hoping Mrs Thatcher is well enough to see me as I so admire her.
It appears that the former prime minister has no intention of meeting the darling of the Tea Party movement. Andy McSmith reported in the Independent this morning that Palin is likely to be “thwarted” on the grounds that Thatcher, 86, rarely makes public appearances.
It would appear that the reasons go deeper than Thatcher’s frail health. Her allies believe that Palin is a frivolous figure who is unworthy of an audience with the Iron Lady. This is what one ally tells me: Lady Thatcher will not be seeing Sarah Palin. That would be belittling for Margaret. Sarah Palin is nuts. Thatcher will show the level she punches at when she attends the unveiling of a statue of Ronald Reagan outside the US embassy in Grosvenor Square on Independence day on 4 July. This is what her ally told me:
Margaret is focusing on Ronald Reagan and will attend the unveiling of the statue. That is her level.
Sarah Palin frivolous? Oh, how could you Ms Thatcher! Here in America, when Sarah Palin wants to co-opt Ronald Reagan’s steel spine even though she quit office, we nod and ask, “how high?” and then our press asks tough questions like, “What did you enjoy seeing today?” To which Palin responds by going on a week long screaming tour about “gotcha questions” and our press reports this, lips twitching with contempt but still not daring to say the obvious, leaving the Fox Ministry of Truth’s revisionism mostly unchecked and thereby putting yet another dent in Americas willingness to deal with real problems.
The Palin cult might take a break from their Orwellian attempts to alter reality in order to suit Sarah Palin’s crazy ramblings (that went something like this, “He who there again did seek to say no, you won’t be taking our freedom and he there did ride to say hey, you second amendment ballot fighters, rise up and reload and don’t retreat, say hello!”) to yell unspeakable threats at Margaret Thatcher’s people for her failure to pretend a silly, classless thing is really a sparkling gem, but I’ve a feeling the British can handle the Palin cult.
Queue up for the crazy, the British want none of our cast-offs and they think Sarah Palin is an embarrassment. Once again, a foreign country says what ours will not, but this time it’s not the press, it’s the conservatives. Only in America is Sarah Palin legitimized at any cost.
Rep. Waxman is seeking answers from the Kochs, after a SolveClimate News article first exposed the brothers’ deep involvement in the oil sands industry.
By Elizabeth McGowan, SolveClimate News
WASHINGTON—Rep. Henry Waxman’s attempts to find out if a proposed controversial Canada-to-U.S. Gulf Coast oil sands pipeline will benefit Koch Industries appears to have hit a dead end.
Myself, being an armchair politic, have watched the world of politics from home either via the internet or television. I see our “leaders” in government do things that, in my opinion, are completely insane and irrational. Yet, I see many people support and follow their favorite politician and/or political party faithfully. I have to scratch my head and wonder in complete amazement how and why people can actually believe what I’m seeing before my eyes. Then today, I stumbled across a video about the Asch Experiment, and this helps explain perfectly what is occurring.
The Asche Experiment, according to Wikipedia, were a series of studies published in the 1950s that demonstrated the power of conformity in groups. These are also known as the “Asch Paradigm”.
In the basic Asch paradigm, the participants — the real subjects and the confederates — were all seated in a classroom. They were asked a variety of questions about the lines such as how long is A, compare the length of A to an everyday object, which line was longer than the other, which lines were the same length, etc. The group was told to announce their answers to each question out loud. The confederates always provided their answers before the study participant, and always gave the same answer as each other. They answered a few questions correctly but eventually began providing incorrect responses.
In a control group, with no pressure to conform to an erroneous view, only one subject out of 35 ever gave an incorrect answer. Solomon Asch hypothesized that the majority of people would not conform to something obviously wrong; however, when surrounded by individuals all voicing an incorrect answer, participants provided incorrect responses on a high proportion of the questions (32%). Seventy-five percent of the participants gave an incorrect answer to at least one question.
Therefore, I have come to conclude that the future of this country, and myself of a citizen of the US, is being built on one fact (although out of many others) that people conform to those around them. People, being social creatures, are in essence followers, and we are often following those who really do not have any business in the lead position. And who knows who our leaders are actually following? “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…” Should they really be leading? Or are they merely puppets for a stronger, more powerful force behind the curtain?
Activists see this and stand up for what they believe. Isn’t it time that we stop following based upon what those who we consider our peers believe, and start asking our own questions and making our own decisions?
Additionally, my opinion here is not based purely upon this video – but it did help pull things together in my mind. I have always been a people-watcher… forever watching, studying, and learning about the behavior of people. I have watched my friends in larger social circles conform to those who hold a more leadership position – and on occassion, what goes through my head is, “wtf…”
I know that I, myself, have fallen into this following pattern simply due to the fact that I have always been led to believe that if it’s in the media, it must be true. Now, especially in this incredible age of the internet, I see that the news often will only give you the information they want you to know… and the general public follows along like sheep believing everything they’ve been fed.
I implore you to seek out other channels of news, media… gather information, and come to your own conclusions. Stop following, but rather, become more of a participant – standing up for what you believe, and not always believing everything you hear.
According to the latest poll by Public Policy Polling, Trump, the not-so-bashful candidate in waiting, has had one of the quickest rises — and now falls — in presidential politics. The Democratic polling company once had Trump leading the more than a dozen possible GOP contenders with 26%, but now the reality show host and businessman is down to 8%, in a tie for fifth place with Texas Rep. Ron Paul.
Honestly, I find the GOP potential presidential candidates gene pools to be very frightening. I can only shudder at the thought of Trump-Bachmann ticket, with the Koch Brothers in the background with all the funding….
The Affordable Care Act provides Americans economic and health security with protections against exorbitant premium hikes, better health benefits, and slower growth in health care costs. Conservatives in the Congress are intent on taking these benefits away
(1) While the United States of America spends on average nearly twice as much per capita on health care services as the next most costly nation, the United States ranks 32nd among all nations on life expectancy, and 41st on infant mortality.
(2) The number of uninsured Americans rose by more than 4,000,000 between 2008 and 2009 to a total of 51,000,000, or more than 1 of every 6 Americans.
(3) This rise in the number of uninsured Americans was the largest single-year increase since 1987 and was the result of a continued decline in private health coverage, primarily in employer-sponsored insurance.
(4) Small businesses around the country cannot afford to reinvest in their companies and create new jobs because their health care bills are going up 10 or 15 percent every year.
(5) American businesses are at an economic disadvantage, because their health care costs are so much higher than in other countries. Notably, auto- mobile manufacturers spend more on health care per automobile than on steel.
Though Republicans control the U.S. House and Democrats’ hold on the Senate took a hit in the 2010 election, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is trying once more to pass a Medicare-for-all single payer health care bill — something he tried to do in 2009 as an amendment to his party’s health care overhaul before Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) used a procedural move to force the progressive senator to withdraw his proposal.
The bill proposed by Sanders and McDermott is unlikely to pass; House Republicans have offered a spate of bills aimed at repealing parts of health reform that were viewed as mostly symbolic votes, since Democrats control the Senate and Oval Office.
Newt Gingrich is running for president.
So far, the possible GOP candidates are Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, and Sarah Palin. And now, Newt. The GOP is making it much easier for Obama to be re-elected in 2012.
The former House speaker disclosed his bid on Twitter and Facebook on Monday and urged followers to tune into Fox News on Wednesday.
Gingrich, 67, enters a Republican field that’s far from fully formed; no less than a dozen Republicans are weighing bids and only a few have taken steps toward candidacies. It’s a crop of candidates that has many in the Republican Party yearning for more options as they seek the strongest candidate to take on President Barack Obama in 2012.
His entry into the race marks a comeback attempt more than a decade after leaving political office.
Once at the top of the House, he challenged the first-term Democratic president, Bill Clinton, at every turn. A spending fight between Gingrich and Clinton led to federal government shutdowns in 1995 and 1996, and Gingrich watched his popularity fall.
He faced charges of hypocrisy after revelations that he was carrying on an affair with a congressional aide at the same time he was criticizing Clinton’s relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. He divorced his second wife and married the aide, Callista Bisek; she now goes by her husband’s surname.
Ethics questions also dogged him as speaker.
Gingrich faced some 84 ethics complaints; they were leveled mostly by House Democrats who were in the minority and focused on what critics called his blurring of the lines between politics and his personal life. All but one of those complaints was dismissed with no penalty.
He paid $300,000 for the cost of investigating the final complaint – whether Gingrich’s college course had violated federal tax law – as part of an agreement with House ethics investigators. Led by Republicans, the ethics committee never reached a conclusion about that allegation. And the IRS cleared the organizations connected with the course of any tax violations.
He stepped down from the House in 1999.
Former regular Tina Fey returned to host Saturday Night Live for the third time Saturday and, in one of the evening’s highlights, brought back her Emmy-winning Sarah Palin impersonation during a sketch titled “GOP Debate.”
In the segment, Fey, dressed in Palin’s iconic red suit, squares off against other undeclared 2012 Republican presidential candidates, including Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Jimmy McMillan and Donald Trump. The debate is hosted by Fox News personality Shepard Smith, played cheekily by Bill Hader.
At the opening of her speech, Fey announces, “First I want to acknowledge that this week we finally vanquished one of the world’s great villains, and I for one am thrilled to say good riddance to Katie Couric!”
When asked if she has anything new to offer the American people, Fey responds winningly that she plans to film a cameo in Hangover 3 in the Middle East and has purchased Rosetta Stone English.
Fellow former SNL cast member Darrell Hammond also drew laughs for his impression of the embattled Trump, which included a reference to Osama bin Laden’s recent death: “Osama, boom! You’re fired!”
Edited version below. Click on title for full version.
April 13th, 2011 DAVID CAY JOHNSTON | Cover Story
As millions of Americans prepare to file their annual taxes, they do so in an environment of media-perpetuated tax myths. Here are a few points about taxes and the economy that you may not know, to consider as you prepare to file your taxes. (All figures are inflation-adjusted.)
1. Poor Americans do pay taxes.
Gretchen Carlson, the Fox News host, said last year “47 percent of Americans don’t pay any taxes.” John McCain and Sarah Palin both said similar things during the 2008 campaign about the bottom half of Americans.
When it comes to state and local taxes, the poor bear a heavier burden than the rich in every state except Vermont, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy calculated from official data. In Alabama, for example, the burden on the poor is more than twice that of the top 1 percent. The one-fifth of Alabama families making less than $13,000 pay almost 11 percent of their income in state and local taxes, compared with less than 4 percent for those who make $229,000 or more.
2. The wealthiest Americans don’t carry the burden.
It’s true that the top 1 percent of wage earners paid 38 percent of the federal income taxes in 2008 (the most recent year for which data is available). But people forget that the income tax is less than half of federal taxes and only one-fifth of taxes at all levels of government.
Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance taxes (known as payroll taxes) are paid mostly by the bottom 90 percent of wage earners. That’s because, once you reach $106,800 of income, you pay no more for Social Security, though the much smaller Medicare tax applies to all wages. Warren Buffett pays the exact same amount of Social Security taxes as someone who earns $106,800.
3. In fact, the wealthy are paying less taxes.
Despite skyrocketing incomes, the federal tax burden on the richest 400 has been slashed, thanks to a variety of loopholes, allowable deductions and other tools. The actual share of their income paid in taxes, according to the IRS, is 16.6 percent. Adding payroll taxes barely nudges that number.
4. Many of the very richest pay no current income taxes at all.
Lots of other people live tax-free, too. I have Donald Trump’s tax records for four years early in his career. He paid no taxes for two of those years. Big real-estate investors enjoy tax-free living under a 1993 law President Clinton signed. It lets “professional” real-estate investors use paper losses like depreciation on their buildings against any cash income, even if they end up with negative incomes like Trump.
In Wisconsin, Terrence Wall, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2010, paid no income taxes on as much as $14 million of recent income, his disclosure forms showed. Asked about his living tax-free while working people pay taxes, he had a simple response: Everyone should pay less.
5. And (surprise!) since Reagan, only the wealthy have gained significant income.
Those at the top did better. The top 1 percent’s average income more than doubled to $1.1 million, according to an analysis of tax data by economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez. The really rich, the top one-tenth of 1 percent, each enjoyed almost $4 in 2008 for each dollar in 1980.
The top 300,000 Americans now enjoy almost as much income as the bottom 150 million, the data show.
6. When it comes to corporations, the story is much the same—less taxes.
Corporate profits in 2008, the latest year for which data are available, were $1,830 billion, up almost 12 percent from $1,638.7 billion in 2000. Yet, even though corporate tax rates have not been cut, corporate income-tax revenues fell to $230 billion from $249 billion—an 8 percent decline, thanks to a number of loopholes. The official 2010 profit numbers are not added up and released by the government, but the amount paid in corporate taxes is: In 2010 they fell further, to $191 billion—a decline of more than 23 percent compared with 2000.
7. Some corporate tax breaks destroy jobs.
Despite all the noise that America has the world’s second-highest corporate tax rate, the actual taxes paid by corporations are falling because of the growing number of loopholes and companies shifting profits to tax havens like the Cayman Islands.
And right now America’s corporations are sitting on close to $2 trillion in cash that is not being used to build factories, create jobs or anything else, but acts as an insurance policy for managers unwilling to take the risk of actually building the businesses they are paid so well to run. That cash hoard, by the way, works out to nearly $13,000 per taxpaying household.
8. Republicans like taxes too.
President Reagan signed into law 11 tax increases, targeted at people down the income ladder. His administration and the Washington press corps called the increases “revenue enhancers.” Reagan raised Social Security taxes so high that by the end of 2008, the government had collected more than $2 trillion in surplus tax.
George W. Bush signed a tax increase, too, in 2006, despite his written ironclad pledge never to raise taxes on anyone. It raised taxes on teenagers by requiring kids up to age 17, who earned money, to pay taxes at their parents’ tax rate, which would almost always be higher than the rate they would otherwise pay. It was a story that ran buried inside The New York Times one Sunday, but nowhere else.
In fact, thanks to Republicans, one in three Americans will pay higher taxes this year than they did last year.
9. Other countries do it better.
Compare this to Germany, one of many countries with a smarter tax system and smarter spending policies.
Germans work less, make more per hour and get much better parental leave than Americans, many of whom get no fringe benefits such as health care, pensions or even a retirement savings plan. By many measures the vast majority live better in Germany than in America.
To achieve this, unmarried Germans on average pay 52 percent of their income in taxes. Americans average 30 percent, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
David Cay Johnston is a columnist for tax.com and teaches the tax, property and regulatory law of the ancient world at Syracuse University College of Law and Whitman School of Management. He has also been called the “de facto chief tax enforcement officer of the United States” because his reporting in The New York Times shut down many tax dodges and schemes, just two of them valued by Congress at $260 billion. Johnston received a 2001 Pulitzer Prize for exposing tax loopholes and inequities. He wrote two bestsellers on taxes, Perfectly Legal and Free Lunch. Later this year, Johnston will be out with a new book, The Fine Print, revealing how big business, with help from politicians, abuses plain English to rob you blind.
“We got Bin Laden but at what cost and who’s next. Can the president send the Navy Seals to kill the likes of Qaddafi, Hugo Chavez, Kim Jong Il…” quoted from FOX Business “Who Will the President Kill Next?”
Seriously… is FOX really comparing what Bin Laden has done to this country, on US soil, to the likes of Gaddafi? Chavez? Kim Jong Il? Mind you, they are all far from being saints, but relative to what each has done directly to the US, there is no comparison.
Yes, there are several conspiracy theories which point the destruction of the Twin Towers at other parties other than Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. However, for the sake of this blog post, let’s go with the predominant theory that the Twin Towers were the victims of a terrorism attack by OBL and his groupies from Al-Qaeda in order to make a point here.
Since 9/11/2001, Bush, the FBI, the government, and especially the families of those who perished on that most devastating day have been hunting for OBL. On May 1st, 2011, they all finally got what they wanted. At first, praises were sung for President Obama, but now the likes of FOX News and their lack-of-common-sense cohorts are now criticizing Obama for sending in the Seals and killing OBL.
I mean, SERIOUSLY! Did this man not kill nearly 3,000 innocent people? And on American soil! Brought down three buildings – two of which were architectural phenomenons. And these fools want to berate the shooting of an unarmed mass murderer of thousands of innocent people? The pain that these families of the 911 victims must now be going through by listening to this crap. I can only imagine that the majority of them would have loved to have been the Navy Seal that took down Osama.
And now, FOX Business is comparing OBL to the infamous deeds of Gaddafi… Chavez… Kim Jong Il…. That’s comparing apples to oranges. Or Trump to Lincoln. Or the Happy Hooker to Mother Theresa… I think you get my point.
If FOX, Glenn Beck, and their other idiotic whiners and criers did not like the way this all went down… then why didn’t they do it themselves…..
Please, for the sake of the families of 911… muster up a small amout of respect and put a lid on it.