Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) is speechless.
Enjoy the snow.
Haha. Trump tied for GOP primary lead. If this is a sign of what the Republican primary is going to be like, count me in.
Throwing a sideshow like this into the mix can only make things more entertaining while simultaneously making the GOP less credible. I know he does this often (and with different parties, depending on the climate), but he’s really getting after it. This poll shows just what the effect has been, and I love it.
I guess I should note that it is also horrifying that he placed this high, but let’s just enjoy the insanity for what it is.
Enjoy America’s pastime.
I haven’t been posting as much recently, so I hope you all saw this. G.E. claimed a $14.2 billion profit in 2010, and they claim $5.1 of it came from American operations. They used what the Times calls “innovative accounting.” Oh, and they also claimed a $3.2 billion tax benefit.
Corporations argue that their tax rates are too high, but loopholes like this make that a moot point. It seems like notorious scumbag Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) may have even had a part in making the law so easy to step around. He was going to let a lucrative tax break expire, but changed his mind. And $30 million went to New York schools, $11 million for his district.
Here are some of the results:
Since 2002, the company has eliminated a fifth of its work force in the United States while increasing overseas employment. In that time, G.E.’s accumulated offshore profits have risen to $92 billion from $15 billion.
“That G.E. can almost set its own tax rate shows how very much we need reform,” said Representative Lloyd Doggett, Democrat of Texas, who has proposed closing many corporate tax shelters. “Our tax system should encourage job creation and investment in America and end these tax incentives for exporting jobs and dodging responsibility for the cost of securing our country.”
If we want to get serious about fiscal responsibility, we need to end things like this. Perhaps we should consult Mr. Small Government himself for the solution:
As it has evolved, the company has used, and in some cases pioneered, aggressive strategies to lower its tax bill. In the mid-1980s, President Ronald Reagan overhauled the tax system after learning that G.E. — a company for which he had once worked as a commercial pitchman — was among dozens of corporations that had used accounting gamesmanship to avoid paying any taxes.
“I didn’t realize things had gotten that far out of line,” Mr. Reagan told the Treasury secretary, Donald T. Regan, according to Mr. Regan’s 1988 memoir. The president supported a change that closed loopholes and required G.E. to pay a far higher effective rate, up to 32.5 percent.
Did I mention that Jeffrey Immelt, G.E.’s chief executive, is the leader of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness?
Enjoy wondering how G.E. has the same rights as a U.S. citizen, yet can’t be thrown in jail for this.
Super-conservative Utah has passed and their governor is likely to sign realistic immigration reform. Most other conservatives in the country would probably call it amnesty. I’m just going to pull a few paragraphs from the article that will give you an idea of what the bill is and their logic for it.
Utah’s guest-worker bill doesn’t grant citizenship, of course, but in every other way it’s exactly what national Republicans have derided as “amnesty.” It would grant work permits to undocumented immigrants, and their immediate families, who pay a fine, clear a criminal background check and study English.
The bill’s chief sponsor, state Rep. Bill Wright, is a plain-spoken dairy farmer who describes his politics as “extremely” conservative, likes Sarah Palin and believes he may have once voted for a Democrat – possibly 40 years ago for sheriff. He admires the work ethic of the Hispanic farmhands he’s employed over the years and doesn’t care much for anything the government does, least of all the idea that it might deport millions of immigrant workers and their families.
“That’s not gonna happen,” Wright told me. “They’ve got cars, they’ve got money borrowed, they own property, they are intertwined. Just be real and face facts the way they are.”
[Speaking about Arizona's law]
“They’ve had their 15 minutes in the media and now the adults are going to start talking about how to handle matters,” said Paul Mero, executive director of Utah’s most prominent conservative think tank, the Sutherland Institute, who helped draft the compact. “We’ve been able to break through that political barrier put up by the wing nuts who see every brown person as a criminal.”
The advocates’ genius was to reframe the cause of immigration reform, including the guest-worker program, as fundamentally a conservative project. In the face of sound bites from reform opponents such as “What part of ‘illegal’ don’t you understand?” Utah conservatives shot back with: What part of destroying the economy don’t you understand? And by the way, what part of breaking up families don’t you understand?
The lesson from the “Utah Way” is that pragmatists in search of solutions can initiate a reform movement outside the legislature and build a case and a coalition that appeal to conservatives. By offering ideas that may provide a fix in the absence of federal action, they may trump the tired slogans of opponents of reform.
This is a very interesting development. Hopefully it will spark similar pragmatic solutions elsewhere.
Enjoy knowing it won’t.
After Evan Bayh announced he was retiring, he wrote a scathing critique of Congress. He bemoaned partisan bickering, constant campaigns caused by growing campaign spending, corporate involvement in the process, and constant filibusters, among other things. It was a gripping read. I think the sentiment of his op-ed is summed up by this statement:
What is required from members of Congress and the public alike is a new spirit of devotion to the national welfare beyond party or self-interest.
Most wouldn’t argue Bayh was a great senator, and he didn’t champion the changes he called for in the op-ed piece, but it was refreshing to see such honesty. It was also interesting to see a moderate call for these changes. In hindsight, perhaps we should have wondered why he didn’t just stay in the Senate to work for these changes. He claimed he thought he could make more of a difference teaching at a university or helping a foundation.
Those seemed like honorable ideas, though the idea that you can make more of a difference at either of those places than in the Senate is a disheartening one. But at least you could say Evan Bayh was making a reasonable move. He had had enough of corporate money and corruption and overt partisanship and what it was doing to America, so he chose another path.
Or the exact opposite. Bayh has accepted positions with McGuire Woods law firm, whose principal clients are “national energy companies, foreign countries, international manufacturing companies, trade associations and local and national businesses,” giant public-equity firm Apollo Management Group, and partisan machine Fox News.
So much for the flowery talk of being sick of corporate corruption and greed and hyper partisanship. I guess when he decided he wanted to make a difference he meant the exact opposite of that. He wants to work to maintain the status quo while making a few bucks. So much for a “new spirit of devotion to the national welfare beyond party or self-interest.”
Enjoy how things are.
You know, like how we control the feral hog population. Just have dudes in helicopters shoot them down. Simple right.
This was an idea Kansas Republican Rep. Virgil Peck had.
Peck says he was joking, which, duh, but how would anyone ever think that is funny, or appropriate to say in a House Appropriations Committee? I know he doesn’t think this would be a real policy, but do you think he’d be making the same joke about any other population? Can you imagine someone saying this about meth heads? Wall Street crooks? Illegal gun holders? Computer thieves? Weed dealers? Etc.
I think it demonstrates a problem that currently arises in illegal immigration discourse: it’s dehumanizing. It’s often discussed as an infestation or simply a problem. I guess apparently they’re also considered wild pigs.
How are you supposed to remember they are human beings when they are discussed in this way? When it’s funny to crack jokes about hunting them down? It’s hard to see how a policymaker could possibly think this was acceptable.
Enjoy knowing this will do nothing to improve the discussion.
This is a commentary by George Will. He discusses how things like Huckabee’s verbal garbage are a bad thing for the GOP. It seems like it should be obvious, but it has come to George Will have to remind people that acting like a crazy person is bad.
If pessimism is not creeping on little cat’s feet into Republicans’ thinking about their 2012 presidential prospects, that is another reason for pessimism. This is because it indicates they do not understand that sensible Americans, who pay scant attention to presidential politics at this point in the electoral cycle, must nevertheless be detecting vibrations of weirdness emanating from people associated with the party.
Will then discusses Huckabee and Gingrich still talking about Kenya for some reason.
To the notion that Obama has a “Kenyan, anti-colonial” worldview, the sensible response is: If only. Obama’s natural habitat is as American as the nearest faculty club; he is a distillation of America’s academic mentality; he is as American as the other professor-president, Woodrow Wilson. A question for former history professor Gingrich: Why implicate Kenya?
And I really liked the close:
So the Republican winnowing process is far advanced. But the nominee may emerge much diminished by involvement in a process cluttered with careless, delusional, egomaniacal, spotlight-chasing candidates to whom the sensible American majority would never entrust a lemonade stand, much less nuclear weapons.
Enjoy the insanity.
This is a very entertaining video about whether Justice Thomas should recuse himself from ruling on the legality of health care reform because his wife made money from lobbying against it. The interview is on Fox, so they are obviously trying to push the opposite, even though it’s not an opinion show. It’s fun because Weiner doesn’t take kindly to Megyn Kelly stating her opinions as fact or an interviewer delivering speeches about what she thinks. I’d be more sympathetic if it was one of the “opinion” shows, but this is supposed to be the news portion. Weiner has never been afraid to get chippy.
Enjoy the video.
Bill Ketron wants to make following Islamic law a felony punishable by fifteen years in jail. Let’s get to the first sentence of the bill.
The threat from terrorism continues to plague the United States generally and Tennessee in particular.
I didn’t know Tennessee was such a hotbed for terrorism, unless you’re counting people trying to scare Muslims, in which case, Tennessee does have a problem.
Sharia, as defined and understood by traditional and authoritative sharia scholars and leaders, is a legal-political-military doctrinal system combined with certain religious beliefs; further, sharia is based historically and traditionally on a full corpus of law and jurisprudence termed fiqh and usul al-fiqh, respectively, dealing with all aspects of a sharia-adherent’s personal and social life and political society. Sharia serves as national and local law in several foreign jurisdictions;
I included this portion of the bill because it shows such a blatant disregard for “sharia scholars” that it’s mind blowing. Click here for a good example of a scholar’s take on sharia. (Hint, it isn’t solely for terrorists.)
Senator Ketron obviously has only read about sharia from people who think it is horrible. He doesn’t understand that “Sharia governs every aspect of an observant Muslim’s life.” He’s basically saying Muslims cannot practice their faith.
Here is another choice ditty demonstrating how little he understands:
Jihad and sharia are inextricably linked, with sharia formulating andcommanding jihad, and jihad being waged for the purpose of imposing and instituting sharia
Jihad, as most scholars and Muslims recognize it, refers to the inner struggle of Muslims to maintain faith, or struggling with one’s own soul. It’s ridiculous to judge 1.5 billion people based on the actions and interpretations of a few.
I could go on and on, but it should be clear that this bill is only being introduced to continue spreading fear of Muslims, as Abed Awad puts it, “The only explanation is that they appear to be driven by an agenda infused with hate, ignorance and Islamophobia intent on dehumanizing an entire religious community.”
I have to throw in this video, which seems more realistic by the day:
Enjoy another pointless spectacle.
Moody’s Analytics economist Mark Zandi estimates that the spending bill that passed the house, which cuts $61 billion over seven months, would cost 400,000 jobs this year and 700,000 by the end of 2012.
Republicans are saying this report is meaningless since Zandi supported the stimulus. I guess you know my feelings on the stimulus, so I’m more inclined to listen than Republicans that incessantly call it a failure.
Zandi argues that we should make smaller cuts until the economy is truly expanding so we don’t threaten recovery. He argues the economy could absorb a compromise with fewer cuts in the mean time.
Enjoy the battle.
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