Lou Dobbs math: $8 million is greater than $4 billion


$8 million is greater than $4 billion according to Lou Dobbs.

Source: sandandglass

TGIF morning’s 4 sort of interesting things


Here’s a slip you’d NEVER make unless you’re thinking the word, or unless you use the word a lot in private conversations…



Because why should the wealthy have to pay the same rates as the rest of us? Romney Campaign Gripes About The ‘Tax Problem’ Created By Romney’s $100 Million IRA — Wall Street Journal the “tax problem” created by Romney’s massive $100 million retirement account: In any case, swelling the IRA to the size Mr. Romney’s reached has “created a tax problem” for the former Massachusetts governor, said a Romney campaign official. Tax-law changes since Mr. Romney’s Bain tenure mean that long-term capital gains in regular accounts now are taxed at 15%. But IRA gains are taxed at ordinary-income rates upon withdrawal, which for Mr. Romney, under current law, would be 35%. “Who wants to have $100 million in an IRA?” said the campaign official. || NOTE: Romney’s own tax plan would alleviate his “problem” by implementing a 20 percent reduction in the top income tax rate. Even before he rolled out the second version of his tax plan, which took his absurd tax cuts for the rich even further, Romney’s tax plan would have cut his own taxes nearly in half.

Exclusive: Paul Ryan Will Endorse Romney — Ryan is appearing on the show of top Wisconsin talk radio host, Charlie Sykes, Friday morning, and Republicans speculated after BuzzFeed reported the endorsement Thursday night that the formal announcement could come Friday morning. The move is also timed to end the Republican contest, coming after another major conservative leader, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, backed Romney. It badly undercuts Santorum’s case that he can rally a conservative opposition to the moderate frontrunner, and is likely to further squeeze the money and political support Santorum has sought to command. The apparent cost of Ryan’s endorsement was Romney’s backing earlier this month for Ryan’s 2013 budget plan, which would cut the top marginal tax rate while reducing spending on Medicare and Medicaid, and shifting the federal health program for the elderly to a private voucher system.

Romney endorsements – FEEL the excitement! — Florida Senator Marco Rubio endorsed Mitt Romney for president yesterday, but you wouldn’t know it if you were listening to him today wherein he said this: “There are a lot of other people out there that some of us wish had run for president — but they didn’t… I think Mitt Romney would be a fine president, and he’d be way better than the guy who’s there right now.” That’s quite a non-endorsement endorsement. “I wish someone else would have run, but they didn’t, so I guess I’m stuck endorsing this guy.” || NOTE: in case anyone dreams that Marco Rubio is proof that the GOP loves, loves, loves (!) Hispanics / Latinos, and Rubio’ll bring those voters into the ‘big’ tent, never forget what the rightwing base-nuts actually THINK about Hispanics / Latinos: Breitbart.com: If You’re Hispanic, You’re Definitely Not ‘White’


GOP Thwarts Repeal Of Big Oil Subsidies — Even though the major oil companies are turning in world record quarterly profits, today the GOP members of the Senate thwarted a bill to repeal their massive multi-billion dollar tax subsidies. Senate Republicans, including Scott Brown of Massachusetts, today foiled President Obama’s plan to strip $24 billion in tax subsidies from the country’s largest oil companies, potentially fueling an election-year issue among voters disgruntled by escalating gas prices. The 51-47 vote was mostly along party lines. Most Democrats, including Senator John Kerry, voted in favor of eliminating the subsidies but fell far short of the 60 votes needed to withstand a filibuster. […] It’s a win-win for the GOP. They get to pocket millions in Super PAC campaign dough via Big Oil donations AND they get to scream about the high price of gasoline. UPDATE: Think Progress points out: “The 47 senators voting against the bill have received $23,582,500 in career contributions from oil and gas.”

“Republicans could have easily taken the stand of defending the Stand Your Ground laws. They could have said they welcomed an investigation and believed that the investigation would show the truth. But they didn’t do that. Instead, the went after the victim and portrayed him as someone who probably had it coming. This is all we need to know about Republicans and how they approach matters of race. When given an opportunity, they didn’t hesitate for a second to smear a dead kid.” A comment on the article How The Right Deals With A Problem Like Trayvon Martin [image: liberalsarecool]

Missouri Republicans Embrace Birtherism, Pass Bill Requiring Proof Of Citizenship — HB 1046 was introduced by state Rep. Lyle Rowland (R). He explained why he felt the bill was necessary to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Rowland, a Republican from Cedarcreek, said he sponsored the bill because he doesn’t think there is enough vetting in the current process, which primarily relies on political parties to verify whether candidates meet all requirements. “This would just provide us with the verifying evidence,” Rowland said. Rowland and other Republicans deny that the bill is in response to charges that President Obama is not a citizen, but state Democrats are unconvinced, calling the timing questionable. “There is a large amount of people out there who don’t think our president if a U.S. citizen,” said Rep. Jacob Hummel (D).


Ezra Klein: Forecast: Republicans to take Senate in 2012 — Alan Abramowitz projects Republicans will keep the House and win back the Senate in 2012. More on his model here. If Obama is reelected, I’m not sure how much this matters: As Republicans are likely to control the House either way, anything that passes will require their agreement whether or not they also control the Senate. The real takeaway is that if Mitt Romney wins, he’s very likely to have a Republican House and a Republican Senate. And you can make major changes to the tax code, not to mention Medicare and Medicaid, through the 51-vote budget reconciliation process. || NOTE: IMAGINE THIS DEBACLE PASSING AS LAW:

  • House Republicans Pass Paul Ryan’s Radical Budget – The House of Representatives today passed the radical Republican 2013 budget, authored by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), by a vote of 228-191. The budget would gut the social safety net, but give so much in tax cuts to the rich and corporations that it would still increase the national debt. 10 Republicans joined all the Democrats in voting no.

03/18: Sunday morning’s more or less interesting things


  • President Obama repeats call to end subsidies for Big Oil - “… at a time when big oil companies are making more money than ever before, we’re still giving them $4 billion of your tax dollars in subsidies every year. Your member of Congress should be fighting for you. Not for big financial firms. Not for big oil companies. In the next few weeks, I expect Congress to vote on ending these subsidies. And when they do, we’re going to put every single Member of Congress on record: They can either stand up for oil companies, or they can stand up for the American people. They can either place their bets on a fossil fuel from the last century, or they can place their bets on America’s future. So make your voice heard. Send your representative an email. Give them a call. Tell them to stand with you.” 
  • Medicare fight is not over yet – Rep. Steve Israel - This Republican Congress of Chronic Chaos is dusting off last year’s same failed playbook — where seniors would lose their Medicare while Republicans give more tax breaks to millionaires and Big Oil companies. I have one response: Bring it on. Tone-deaf House Republicans are preparing a budget that will — again — protect millionaires over Medicare. As with their last budget, House Republicans are giving Americans a window into their souls. And the American people don’t like what they’re seeing: Republicans’ relentless, reckless promise to protect the ultrawealthy at the expense of the middle class and seniors. Republicans might stand for those failed priorities, but middle-class families and seniors won’t. Medicare is a sacred bond with seniors that cannot be broken.


  • Rick Santorum: If I win the Illinois primary, I win the nomination – “This is a primary, and turnout is everything. You do your job, you do your job, then this is the pledge,” Santorum said. “If we’re able to come out of Illinois with a huge or surprise win, I guarantee you, I guarantee you that we will win this nomination.” Illinois has largely been predicted to favor Mitt Romney for Tuesday’s primary. The vote is expected to be driven by Chicago and its surrounding suburbs, pegged as unfavorable territory for the former Pennsylvania senator’s brand of conservatism. But in areas like Effingham, hours south of the Windy City, Santorum hopes to fire up a Republican base that is often overshadowed by its Democratic counterparts to the north.

  • Ahead of Ill. primary, Romney blasts Obama on gas prices, defends his own wealth -  Romney accused three administration officials—Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson— of working to push up energy prices. He said they should either resign their offices or be fired by the president. [...] He ended the event with a defense of his business success, which has helped him amass a huge personal fortune. “I am not in this race to make money,” he said to rising cheers from the audience. “I’ve already made enough… I’m not embarrassed about being successful, but I’m embarrassed for people who think there’s something wrong with that.”


  • Why Conservatives Are Still Crazy After All These Years – But are right-wingers scarier now than in the past? They certainly seem stranger and fiercer. I’d argue, however, that they’ve been this crazy for a long time. Over the last sixty years or so, I see far more continuities than discontinuities in what the rightward twenty or thirty percent of Americans believe about the world. The crazy things they believed and wanted were obscured by their lack of power, but they were always there – if you knew where to look. What’s changed is that loony conservatives are now the Republican mainstream, the dominant force in the GOP. [...] conservatism continues to thrive. That’s because power begets power: Democrats can be counted on to compromise with conservative nuttiness, and the media can be counted on to normalize it. And it’s because there will always be millions of Americans who are terrified of social progress and of dispossession from whatever slight purchase on psychological security they’ve been able to maintain in a frightening world. And because there will always be powerful economic actors for whom exploiting such fear, uncertainty and doubt pays (and pays, and pays).
  • San Diego Tea Party activist Michael Kobulnicky. Screenshot via Vimeo.Tea party leader suspected of sexual assault - San Diego tea party spokesperson Michael Kobulincky was placed into custody and accused of abduction and sexual assault on a 56-year-old woman in February. Authorities say the woman was pulled into a car and assaulted before she was dropped off. Surveillance cameras and a picture released to the public led to Kobulincky being identified as a suspect. The San Diego Tea Party released a statement, citing that Kobulincky has been relieved of his spokesperson’s role and has been inactive since January. He is facing a myriad of felony charges, including kidnapping, sexual assault and sex with a foreign object.


  • Breaking: “First Degree Homicide Of The Unborn Child Bill” Passes CO House On Second Reading –  Horrible news for women’s rights from the state House tonight. From State Rep Daniel Kagan (D): “…we were unable to prevent the Republican majority in the House from passing on second reading the First Degree Homicide of the Unborn Child bill. Under some circumstances, it makes both termination of pregnancy and the use of the morning after pill a homicide. It also confers personhood on a newly fertilized egg.” Kos readers may believe this bill will be stopped in the Senate. Tea Party legislators have been successful in passing 135 bills nationwide to limit women’s reproductive rights this year. To assume it cannot happen in Colorado is a dangerous assumption…
  • Violence Against Women Act Divides Senate - But Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the senior Republican on the Judiciary Committee, found multiple reasons to oppose the bill when it came up for a formal consideration last month. The legislation “creates so many new programs for underserved populations that it risks losing the focus on helping victims, period,” Mr. Grassley said when the committee took up the measure. After his alternative version was voted down on party lines, the original passed without a Republican vote. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, one of two women on the judiciary panel, said the partisan opposition came as a “real surprise,” but she put it into a broader picture. “This is part of a larger effort, candidly, to cut back on rights and services to women,” she said. “We’ve seen it go from discussions on Roe v. Wade, to partial birth abortion, to contraception, to preventive services for women. This seems to be one more thing.” [image: leftish]


  • Yet another income redistribution scheme. Notice the GOP never recommends more revenue with a tax increase to the one percent? Medicare bill would hike costs to federal workers – Four Republican senators have introduced legislation designed to improve Medicare, but with federal employees paying a price. Under the Congressional Health Care for Seniors Act, Medicare recipients would enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program (FEHBP). Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ken.), the main sponsor of the bill, said it would save taxpayers $1 trillion over 10 years. He acknowledged, however, that the legislation would result in higher premiums for federal employees… An organization that represents older Americans on Medicare and federal employees does have arguments against the legislation. “This is a kill-two-birds-with-one-stone kind of proposal that would both bring down Medicare as we know it and threaten the stability of the FEHBP,” said Joseph A. Beaudoin, president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association.
  • A Senate Republican plan to replace Medicare – For years, Republicans have insisted that they would not end Medicare as we know it and that any changes to the program would not affect those in or near retirement. In the span of 20 minutes Thursday, they jettisoned both promises. [...] But DeMint and his colleagues think the time to end Medicare is now — with a cold-turkey conversion to a private program, effective in 2014. … Paul says his plan would cut funding of Medicare by $1 trillion over 10 years and reduce Medicare’s liabilities by $16 trillion. It would do that by enrolling Medicare recipients in the health plan now used by federal workers. The government would pay 75 percent of the insurance premium on average but 30 percent or less for those who earned more than $100,000 a year. The eligibility age would gradually be raised to 70 from 65. If seniors can’t afford their share of the premium, they can apply for Medicaid, the health program for the poor. || The GOP has always been against Medicare — remember THIS?
  • Ryan Budget to Include Firewall of Defense Sequester – President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta have stated they want defense spending to be part of a larger budget deal on taxes and spending. The sequester mandates that both defense and discretionary spending will take a hit beginning next January. Defense spending would account for $600 billion of all mandated cuts over 10 years. Some Republicans not wanting to flirt with national security have said they want to keep defense out of the negotiations surrounding the sequester, which are expected to last until after the November elections. Panetta has stated any further cuts could be “devastating,” but has insisted Congress should negotiate on taxes and spending in a comprehensive way without pulling defense. [...] But by firewalling defense from further cuts, House Republicans would need to pay for those expected cuts another way. At a House Budget Committee hearing, Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told Panetta he felt entitlement spending should be on the table. [chart: MotherJones « click for larger image]


  • Mossad ‘agrees with U.S.’ on Iran nuclear goals - Israel’s intelligence service Mossad agrees with US assessments there is no hard evidence that Iran has decided to build a nuclear bomb, even though Israeli leaders have talked about Tehran’s plans to acquire nuclear weapons, The New York Times reported. “Their people ask very hard questions, but Mossad does not disagree with the US on the weapons program,” the newspaper quoted an unnamed former senior US intelligence official as saying. “There is not a lot of dispute between the US and Israeli intelligence communities on the facts,” the former official said. The Times reported last month that the latest assessments by US spy agencies are broadly consistent with a 2007 intelligence finding that concluded that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program.
  • BUT THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE! Record highs set Wednesday. Open circles indicate records were tied, circles with an x indicate records were broken. (National Climatic Data Center) Temperatures more characteristic of June have broken hundreds of temperature records over the last several days and promise to continue into the next week in many areas. In some places, temperatures have been an eye-popping 30-40 degrees above normal, nearing or surpassing the warmest temperatures ever recorded so early in the season. Since Sunday, an amazing 943 new record highs have been broken or tied across the U.S. compared to just 9 record lows On Wednesday alone, an incredible 400 new record highs were were broken (307) or tied (93). Record heat spanned from Florida to Montana.  [...] The backdrop for these warm weather records is an atmosphere that’s bulking up. Levels of carbon dioxide and methane (two key greenhouse gases) are higher than they’ve been in at least 800,000 years, and global temperatures over the last decade are unsurpassed in the modern climate record. All 11 years of the 21st century rank among the 13 warmest globally since 1880 according to NOAA. 

Big Oil and the Teaparty

Source: lilmaj132

Rick “Secede With Me” Perry: Big Money donors and job creation in Texas

RICK PERRY HAS RECEIVED A LOT OF MONEY FROM THE RICH AND POWERFUL — and he’ll likely receive even more during his presidential campaign. What’s interesting is that if top donors like the wealthy and oil companies pay his way, which do you think Perry would be more likely to do away with for budgeting purposes: 1) tax breaks for the rich, 2) tax subsidies and loopholes for profitable corporations, or 3) Medicare and other services and programs for everyone else?

Perry has received a total of $37 million over the last decade from just 150 individuals and couples, who are likely to form the backbone of his new effort to win the Republican presidential nomination. The tally represented more than a third of the $102 million he had raised as governor through December, according to data compiled by the watchdog group Texans for Public Justice. Nearly half of those mega-donors received hefty business contracts, tax breaks or appointments under Perry… (via Los Angeles Times)

Think Progress reports on how much Perry has been funded by Big Oil:

Just Like former President George W. Bush, Rick Perry is heavily funded by the oil and gas industry. In fact, it has been Rick Perry’s very top source of funding:


Top oil company contributions include $189,188 from Exxon Mobil, $147,895 from Valero Energy, and $116,000 from Koch Industries.

But the big money rolling into Perry’s campaign coffers has ultimately been good for Texas, right? Isn’t there a ‘miracle’ going on with employment in Texas — don’t those tax cuts for the wealthy create jobs for everyone else? Marie Diamond comments on the employment situation in Texas:

Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) is taking issue with the “Texas miracle” myth that Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) is selling. This morning, Rangel told reporters that Perry’s record of job creation is nothing to be proud of because the jobs pay such low wages that “it’s one stage away from slavery.” Today, a New York Times review of Perry’s track record concluded, “Texas has one of the highest percentages of workers who are paid the minimum wage and receive no medical benefits.” Perry has also presided over a steady, decade-long decline in his state’s employment to population ratio. He inherited a ratio of more than 47 percent from George W. Bush, but now only 43.5 percent of Texans have a job, compared to 44.7 percent of the total U.S. population.

Who benefits from paying minimum wage without benefits do you suppose? Good bye, middle-class! Pat Garofalo points out unemployment numbers in Texas vs. the entire United States — Texas is worse:

Reuters’ Felix Salmon today highlighted data showing that Texas employment-to-population ratio — the percentage of the population that has a job — has plummeted under 2012 presidential contender Gov. Rick Perry’s (R-TX) watch:

THE LAST THING AMERICA NEEDS RIGHT NOW is Perry’s preferential treatment for Big Money donors combined with his ‘Texas miracle’ for our nation’s unemployment problem. Or as Paul Krugman says,

What Texas shows is that a state offering cheap labor and, less important, weak regulation can attract jobs from other states. I believe that the appropriate response to this insight is “Well, duh.” The point is that arguing from this experience that depressing wages and dismantling regulation in America as a whole would create more jobs — which is, whatever Mr. Perry may say, what Perrynomics amounts to in practice — involves a fallacy of composition: every state can’t lure jobs away from every other state.

In fact, at a national level lower wages would almost certainly lead to fewer jobs — because they would leave working Americans even less able to cope with the overhang of debt left behind by the housing bubble, an overhang that is at the heart of our economic problem.

So when Mr. Perry presents himself as the candidate who knows how to create jobs, don’t believe him. His prescriptions for job creation would work about as well in practice as his prayer-based attempt to end Texas’s crippling drought.

Would you like to tell the House Republicans to keep their hands off Medicare?

As part of their radical Tea Party budget, House Republicans voted to end Medicare but protect tax breaks for millionaires, billionaires, and Big Oil.

If that bothers you at all, go sign this DCCC petition which will be delivered to John Boehner when 250,000 signatures are collected. The information required: email, name, zip.

Oil subsidies illustrated


The Teaparty is the best astroturf movement the Koch brothers could buy

The Guardian reports:

“…organisations tracking money in politics say the Kochs’ biggest impact in the midterm elections will be from funding and providing logistical support to such groups as Americans for Prosperity (AFP), one of the biggest Tea Party groups.

[...] Obama’s election, and the prospect that the new president would reverse nearly two decades of reduced government oversight of industry, put the Kochs and their footsoldiers in Americans for Prosperity on high alert.

“They were very afraid of the Obama administration and a return to a pro-regulatory environment after the Bush years, and probably ramped it up a bit to make sure nothing new was going to inhibit their business,” Davies said.

A day after CNBC’s Rick Santelli launched his on-air howl against Obama’s mortgage bailout plan, AFP and Freedom Works put up Facebook pages and began organising events around the country. The Tea Party was under way.”

Watch video:

A clip from new documentary, (Astro) Turf Wars: How Corporate America Faked a Grassroots Revolution, ties oil billionaire David Koch closely to the Tea Party movement Link to this video

This is how Republicans would govern: BP 114*

Regarding Joe Barton’s apology to BP this week,  this morning White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel told Jake Tapper on ABC’s This Week:



That’s not a political gaffe. Those were prepared remarks. That is a philosophy,” said Emanuel.

“That is an approach — they see the aggrieved party here as BP, not the fishermen. Remember, this is not just one person. Rand Paul running for Senate in Kentucky. What did he say?


He said, the way BP was being treated was un-American. Other members of the Republican leadership have come to the defense of BP and attacked the administration for forcing them to set up an escrow account and fund it to the level of $20 billion. These aren’t political gaffes,” Emanuel continued.

“I think what Joe Barton did is remind the American people, in case they forgot, this is how Republicans would govern,” he said.

*BP 114 = 114 members of the Republican Study Committee opposed to the president’s $20-billion escrow fund for oil spill victims.


Tell Republicans “Stop Apologizing to Big Oil”