Friday, August 26, 2011

No Public Prayer at New York 9/11 Ceremony


New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has ruled out public prayer at the upcoming ceremonies to mark the 10th anniversary on America's greatest tragedy.

Many believe his edict is a way of getting around having to include Muslims in the mix. Others say that religion was the cause of the attack and should not be the focus of the remembrance.

What do you believe?

9/11 Ceremony won't include clergy or formal prayers – CNN Belief Blog - Blogs:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Perry Theory : Too Many Middle Income Americans Don't Pay Enough Income Taxes

Forbes Magazine Contributor Len Burman's 
Answer GOP Candidate Perry's  Tax Position

GOP Presidential candidate Rick Perry has indicated that too many non working and middle class Americans do not pay enough taxes and, as such, should not have access to so-called "entitlement" programs.

Forbes contributing columnist Len Burman breaks down the rhetoric and puts the issue in perspective.

The link is below, but check out portions of the column as well.

"Of the 46% of households who don’t pay income tax, nearly 2/3 pay payroll taxes.

Of the 18% who pay neither income nor payroll taxes, more than half are elderly.

More than 1/3 have incomes below $20,000. (Note: Ronald Reagan made the decision in 1986 to exempt people with incomes below the poverty line from federal income tax. Twenty-five years later, that still seems like a good call.)

Only 1% of nontaxpaying households are nonelderly with incomes over $20,000. I’m dismayed about them too, governor. Maybe we should close some of the loopholes that allowed almost 1,500 millionaires to escape income tax in 2009."

He shares the following regarding a few of the GOP whipping posts...Social Security and Medicaid/Medicare:

"We’re apparently not dismayed that more than half of all Americans have been in a 30-year recession with little or no income growth.  

We’re apparently willing to write off Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes, which are the big federal taxes for low- and middle-income Americans.  

A family of four earning $30,000 may pay no federal income tax, but it pays $4,590 in payroll taxes (including the employer’s share, which economists believe is ultimately paid by the employee in the form of lower wages).  Payroll taxes are much bigger than income taxes for most families."

Sometimes it pays to examine generic political pablum!

Rick Perry: Middle Income Americans Don't Pay Enough Income Taxes - Forbes:

Come back after the jump and weigh in!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tricky Rick To The Rescue!


Please check out this is one of the most interesting columns to-date regarding Texas Governor Rick Perry's bid for the GOP presidential nomination...

Do you think he will select Palin as his running mate?

Let us know what you think.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Snyder, GOP Send Message To Brewer and Bruley: Back Atcha!

Governor Snyder signed redistricting legislation on August 8, 2011.

Snyder is accused of doing what Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer allowed Macomb County Democratic Chairman Ed Bruley to do here in Macomb County.

Amongst other complaints, state and local Democratic Party officials maintain that the GOP-designed redistricting plan dis-enfranchises minorities and is oddly configured.

Seems like the Republicans (and Michigan Republican Party Majority Whip Pete Lund) borrowed heavily from Bruley's local playbook.   The shoe is on the other foot and Democrats are crying foul.

Bruley split Eastpointe, Centerline, Roseville, and Warren in such a way to deny minorities a strongly emerging political footprint in the districts affecting those cities, much as he did with the district covering Clinton Township and Mount Clemens since 2001.

It is ludicrous for Brewer and Bruley to whine about what they allow in their own backyard.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Congressman calls Obama a "tar baby"

Despite numerous incidents, there are folk out there that refuse to acknowledge that race is America's number one subliminal internal terrorist threat.

"Tar Baby"?

Apologies don't get it. It's as plain as the pimple on your face.

His remark fits a pattern: say what you mean, but deny. deny, deny, and then outright lie.

Let's not talk about a "post-racial" America until we actually get past the skin barrier.

Click on the link if you dare!

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Republican Apology for the so-called "Debt Crisis"

Forgive the formatting, but Republican David Frum's take on the debt crisis debate is a stark contrast to the tea party talking points.  Check this out...

Wake up GOP: Smashing system doesn't fix it -

Editor's note: David Frum writes a weekly column for A special assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2002, he is the author of six books, including "Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again," and is the editor of FrumForum.
(CNN) -- I'm a Republican. Always have been. I believe in free markets, low taxes, reasonable regulation and limited government. But as I look back at the weeks of rancor leading up to Sunday night's last-minute budget deal, I see some things I don't believe in:
Forcing the United States to the verge of default.
Shrugging off the needs and concerns of millions of unemployed.
Protecting every single loophole, giveaway and boondoggle in the tax code as a matter of fundamental conservative principle.
Massive government budget cuts in the midst of the worst recession since World War II.
I am not alone.
Only about one-third of Republicans agree that cutting government spending should be the country's top priority. Only about one-quarter of Republicans insist the budget be balanced without any tax increases.
Yet that one-third and that one-quarter have come to dominate my party. That one-third and that one-quarter forced a debt standoff that could have ended in default and a second Great Recession. That one-third and that one-quarter have effectively written the "no new taxes pledge" into national law.
There was another way. There still is.
Give me a hammer and a church-house door, and I'd post these theses for modern Republicans:
1) Unemployment is a more urgent problem than debt.
The U.S. can borrow money for 10 years at less than 3%. It can borrow money for two years at less than one-half a percent. Yes, the burden of debt is worrying. Yet lenders seem undaunted by those worries.
Meanwhile, more than 14 million Americans are out of work, more than 6 million for longer than six months. The United States has not seen so many people out of work for so long since the 1930s.
2) The deficit is a symptom of America's economic problems, not a cause.
When the economy slumps, government revenues decline and government spending surges.
Federal revenues have collapsed since 2007, down from more than 18% of national income to a little more than 14%. To put that in perspective: That's the equivalent of losing enough revenue to support the entire defense budget.
Federal spending has jumped to pay for unemployment insurance, food stamps and Medicaid benefits.
Fix the economy first, and the deficit will improve on its own.
Cut the deficit first, and the economy will get even sicker.
3) The time to cut is after the economy recovers.
Businesses are hoarding cash. Consumers are repaying debt. State and local governments are slashing jobs. (Since 2009, the number of Americans working for government has shrunk by half a million, the biggest reduction in civilian government employment since the Great Depression.) Right now, there's only one big customer out there: the federal government. How does it help anybody if the feds suddenly stop buying things and paying people?
4) The place to cut is health care, not assistance to the unemployed and poor.
The United States provides less assistance to the unemployed and the poor than almost any other democracy. It spends 60% more per person on health care than almost any other democracy -- and gets worse results. The problem is not that Americans use too much medicine. People in other countries use more. The problem is that Americans pay too much for the medicine they use. Go where the money is, cut where the waste is grossest.
5) We can collect more revenue without raising tax rates.
Republicans stand for low taxes to encourage people to work, save and invest. But how would it discourage work if we reduced the mortgage-interest deduction again? Did it hurt the economy when we reduced the maximum eligible loan to $1 million back in 1986? Do Canadians and Brits -- who lack the deduction -- work less hard than Americans?
Why are state and local taxes deductible from federally taxable income? Wouldn't higher taxes on energy encourage conservation?Who decided to allow inflation to corrode federal alcohol taxes by 80% over the past 50 years?
6) Passion does not substitute for judgment.
Republicans and conservatives have worked themselves into a frenzy of rage and contempt for President Barack Obama. House Speaker John Boehner's post-deal PowerPoint for Republican House members was actually labeled "Two Step Approach to Hold President Obama Accountable" (PDF) -- as if the supreme goal of policy in this time of economic hardship were to fix the blame for all problems on the president. This exercise in finger-pointing satisfies the emotions of the Republican base. It does not accurately explain the causes of the crisis or offer plausible remedies.
7) You can't save the system by destroying the system.
In their passion, Republicans convinced themselves that the constitutional republic and the free-enterprise system were threatened as never before. Their response? To threaten to blow up the free-enterprise system and wreck the republic unless they gained their point.
Republicans have become so gripped by pessimism and panic that they feel they have nothing to lose by rushing into a catastrophe now. But there is a lot to lose, and in these past weeks America nearly lost it. Let's hope that as America steps back from the brink, Republicans remember that it's their job to protect the system, not to smash the system in hopes of building something better from the ruins.
That's how student radicals think -- not conservatives.

Obama Capitulates

I could not agree more...unless Obama has an election year work-around, this debt ceiling "hail mary" is full of political landmines that will blow up in the personal budgets of Americans who can least afford to fall through the already too-large holes in the American safety net.

By Pulitzer Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman

A deal to raise the federal debt ceiling is in the works. If it goes through, many commentators will declare that disaster was avoided. But they will be wrong.

For the deal itself, given the available information, is a disaster, and not just for President Obama and his party. It will damage an already depressed economy; it will probably make America’s long-run deficit problem worse, not better; and most important, by demonstrating that raw extortion works and carries no political cost, it will take America a long way down the road to banana-republic status.
Start with the economics. We currently have a deeply depressed economy. We will almost certainly continue to have a depressed economy all through next year. And we will probably have a depressed economy through 2013 as well, if not beyond.
The worst thing you can do in these circumstances is slash government spending, since that will depress the economy even further. Pay no attention to those who invoke the confidence fairy, claiming that tough action on the budget will reassure businesses and consumers, leading them to spend more. It doesn’t work that way, a fact confirmed by many studies of the historical record.
Indeed, slashing spending while the economy is depressed won’t even help the budget situation much, and might well make it worse. On one side, interest rates on federal borrowing are currently very low, so spending cuts now will do little to reduce future interest costs. On the other side, making the economy weaker now will also hurt its long-run prospects, which will in turn reduce future revenue. So those demanding spending cuts now are like medieval doctors who treated the sick by bleeding them, and thereby made them even sicker.
And then there are the reported terms of the deal, which amount to an abject surrender on the part of the president. First, there will be big spending cuts, with no increase in revenue. Then a panel will make recommendations for further deficit reduction — and if these recommendations aren’t accepted, there will be more spending cuts.
Republicans will supposedly have an incentive to make concessions the next time around, because defense spending will be among the areas cut. But the G.O.P. has just demonstrated its willingness to risk financial collapse unless it gets everything its most extreme members want. Why expect it to be more reasonable in the next round?
In fact, Republicans will surely be emboldened by the way Mr. Obama keeps folding in the face of their threats. He surrendered last December, extending all the Bush tax cuts; he surrendered in the spring when they threatened to shut down the government; and he has now surrendered on a grand scale to raw extortion over the debt ceiling. Maybe it’s just me, but I see a pattern here.
Did the president have any alternative this time around? Yes.
First of all, he could and should have demanded an increase in the debt ceiling back in December. When asked why he didn’t, he replied that he was sure that Republicans would act responsibly. Great call.
And even now, the Obama administration could have resorted to legal maneuvering to sidestep the debt ceiling, using any of several options. In ordinary circumstances, this might have been an extreme step. But faced with the reality of what is happening, namely raw extortion on the part of a party that, after all, only controls one house of Congress, it would have been totally justifiable.
At the very least, Mr. Obama could have used the possibility of a legal end run to strengthen his bargaining position. Instead, however, he ruled all such options out from the beginning.
But wouldn’t taking a tough stance have worried markets? Probably not. In fact, if I were an investor I would be reassured, not dismayed, by a demonstration that the president is willing and able to stand up to blackmail on the part of right-wing extremists. Instead, he has chosen to demonstrate the opposite.
Make no mistake about it, what we’re witnessing here is a catastrophe on multiple levels.
It is, of course, a political catastrophe for Democrats, who just a few weeks ago seemed to have Republicans on the run over their plan to dismantle Medicare; now Mr. Obama has thrown all that away. And the damage isn’t over: there will be more choke points where Republicans can threaten to create a crisis unless the president surrenders, and they can now act with the confident expectation that he will.
In the long run, however, Democrats won’t be the only losers. What Republicans have just gotten away with calls our whole system of government into question. After all, how can American democracy work if whichever party is most prepared to be ruthless, to threaten the nation’s economic security, gets to dictate policy? And the answer is, maybe it can’t.