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Tuesday Morning News Roundup

I’m traveling for the next couple days and I’m not sure what kind of Internet connection I’ll have.

By the way, the changes to my website that I promised a couple of months ago should be happening now. Hopefully the process should be relatively seamless.

A new national database of cell phone numbers should significantly decrease the the selling or, better stated, reselling of stolen cell phones.

Minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee meeting back in January of 2007 have just been released. Remember, this was right at the cusp of our financial meltdown. If anyone in the country should’ve known where the economy was going and what needed to be done, it was the people in this meeting. The transcript is over 500 pages. It is highly redacted. Let me know what you think.

I continue to be flabbergasted by the Secret Service scandal. Hookers? Really?

Continued drone strikes in Yemen.

The girl in the Pulitzer-prize winning photo continues to be haunted by nightmares.

Let me reiterate, the devastating storms from a couple days ago could’ve been much, much worse. The early warning detection systems that we, the American people, have invested in actually worked. These detection systems were able to give weatherman increased information and they in turn passed that on to the American people. More people had more time.

Trial in the Netherlands.

Where do our tax dollars go?

By | 2013-11-03T17:15:57+00:00 April 17th, 2012|Budget, Domestic Issues|2 Comments


I saw this on the Daily Kos yesterday. It was too good for me not to republish.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Other than references to then-contemporary politicians and election dates, this JFK speech is just as relevant today as it was in 1960.

A snippet:

I believe in human dignity as the source of national purpose, in human liberty as the source of national action, in the human heart as the source of national compassion, and in the human mind as the source of our invention and our ideas. It is, I believe, the faith in our fellow citizens as individuals and as people that lies at the heart of the liberal faith. For liberalism is not so much a party creed or set of fixed platform promises as it is an attitude of mind and heart, a faith in man’s ability through the experiences of his reason and judgment to increase for himself and his fellow men the amount of justice and freedom and brotherhood which all human life deserves.I believe also in the United States of America, in the promise that it contains and has contained throughout our history of producing a society so abundant and creative and so free and responsible that it cannot only fulfill the aspirations of its citizens, but serve equally well as a beacon for all mankind. I do not believe in a superstate. I see no magic in tax dollars which are sent to Washington and then returned. I abhor the waste and incompetence of large-scale federal bureaucracies in this administration as well as in others. I do not favor state compulsion when voluntary individual effort can do the job and do it well. But I believe in a government which acts, which exercises its full powers and full responsibilities. Government is an art and a precious obligation; and when it has a job to do, I believe it should do it. And this requires not only great ends but that we propose concrete means of achieving them.

Our responsibility is not discharged by announcement of virtuous ends. Our responsibility is to achieve these objectives with social invention, with political skill, and executive vigor. I believe for these reasons that liberalism is our best and only hope in the world today. For the liberal society is a free society, and it is at the same time and for that reason a strong society. Its strength is drawn from the will of free people committed to great ends and peacefully striving to meet them. Only liberalism, in short, can repair our national power, restore our national purpose, and liberate our national energies. And the only basic issue in the 1960 campaign is whether our government will fall in a conservative rut and die there, or whether we will move ahead in the liberal spirit of daring, of breaking new ground, of doing in our generation what Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman and Adlai Stevenson did in their time of influence and responsibility.

By | 2011-09-24T06:20:07+00:00 September 24th, 2011|Other Political Thoughts|Comments Off on Liberalism

MaxTax is good for Wal-Mart

Congress Economy StimulusAs usual, Marcy Wheeler is able to dig into reports and bills find gold. Max Baucus’ latest bill appears to be a windfall for large corporations.  I think that it is nice and sweet that Senator Baucus thinks of big corporations.  If it wasn’t for him who would stand up for Wal-Mart (Republicans).

From EmptyWheel:

I made this point in this post, but I’m going to repeat it over and over and over until it sinks MaxTax, the Baucus health care plan.

MaxTax is a plan that will use your and my tax dollars to reward companies like Wal-Mart for keeping its workers in poverty. Here’s why.

In most cases, the MaxTax fines employers up to $400 per employee if it doesn’t provide its employees with health care. The fine is absurdly small (less than half of what individuals, themselves, would be fined if they didn’t get insurance), but it could mean a company like Wal-Mart would have to pay up to $560 million if it refused to provide insurance to any of its employees.

The other option is to provide crap insurance for your employees. MaxTax gives very few requirements for this insurance (and it allows you to charge employees up to 13% of their income in premiums). But assume Wal-Mart decided to provide incredibly crappy insurance at a cost of $2,500 an employee. It would then pay $3.5 billion a year to meet its obligations under MaxTax.

So Wal-Mart chooses between paying $560 million or $3.5 billion right?

There is another option.

The MaxTax offers this one, giant, out for corporations.

A Medicaid-eligible individual can always choose to leave the employer’s coverage and enroll in Medicaid. In this circumstance, the employer is not required to pay a fee. (more…)

By | 2009-09-11T20:56:09+00:00 September 11th, 2009|Healthcare, Senate|Comments Off on MaxTax is good for Wal-Mart