Posts tagged ‘End Social Security’

The Economic Case For Immigration Reform


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  • 16 Nov 2012 06:09 PM

    The Economic Case For Immigration Reform


    At this week’s presser, Obama said he wanted to introduce immigration reform “very soon after [his] inauguration.” Julia Preston sums up the president’s plan:

    Mr. Obama made clear he intends to push for broad-scope legislation that would include a program to give legal status to an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the country…. Mr. Obama said he also wanted to strengthen border security, punish employers who systematically hire unauthorized workers, and make visas available for farm workers and immigrants working in science and technology. 

    The above chart is from a 2010 Center for American Progress report (pdf) that projects immigration reform could add a potential $1.5 trillion to the US GDP over 10 years. Jordan Weissmann unpacks it:

    [The report's] calculations are based partly on the impact of the Reagan administration’s 1986 immigration reforms, which gave legal status to about 3 million undocumented individuals. That, in turn, gave those workers leverage to bargain with their employers for higher paychecks, while giving them an incentive to learn English so they could advance in the workplace. … Extrapolating from that history, CAP believes that giving today’s 11.3 million undocumented immigrants a route to citizenship could increase their collective earning power by as much $36 billion a year.

    Free Exchange highlights similar findings:

    Even a modest … easing of restrictions could be very rewarding. Lant Pritchett of Harvard University estimates that just a 3% rise in the rich-world labour force through migration would yield annual benefits bigger than those from eliminating remaining trade barriers. The incorporation of women into the rich-world workforce provides an analogy: this expanded the labour supply and the scope for specialisation without displacing the “native” male workforce.

Would tea party accept a Bill Clinton-brokered deal with Obama?



Would tea party accept a Bill Clinton-brokered deal with Obama? (via The Christian Science Monitor)

Following the decisive victory by the man they vowed three-and-a-half years ago to pry out of the White House, the antigovernment tea party movement found itself reassessing its role within a fractured Republican Party that faced broad electoral disappointments on Election Day. President Obama’s…

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WASHINGTON (AFP) Wed Nov 14 2012 16:38:04 GMT-0700 (US Mountain Standard Time) Jim Watson/AFP US President Barack Obama speaks during a press conference at the White House in Washington, DC. Obama told opposition Republicans they would have to accept tax increases for the rich if the country was to avoid going over the fiscal cliff. US President Barack Obama told opposition Republicans on Wednesday they would have to AFP (http://s.tt/1trIO)



Obama stands firm on taxes in fiscal cliff showdown (via AFP)

US President Barack Obama told opposition Republicans on Wednesday they would have to accept tax increases for the rich if the country was to avoid going over the fiscal cliff. Obama said he wanted to extend tax cuts set to expire at year-end for 98 percent of Americans to mitigate the impact of the…

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Harris-Perry on poverty: ‘Those aren’t numbers. Those are people’



Harris-Perry on poverty: ‘Those aren’t numbers. Those are people’ (via Raw Story )

MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry debut a new regular segment Sunday focusing on poverty, which she noted many people did not want to touch, even as the national poverty rate remained at 15 percent of the population last year, or just over 46 million people, with 21.9 percent of them being minors. “…

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Inspite GOP Big Donors They Were Beat Down



Deluge of Republican money made little difference (via AFP)

Despite their funding deluge from wealthy donors, Republicans failed to overwhelm President Barack Obama and Democrats at the ballot box. So was throwing all that money at the 2012 election worth it? Obama was handily re-elected, Democrats added two more seats to their majority in the Senate, and they…

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Sheldon Adelson and Newt Gingrich: One gained clout from friendship, the other funding – The Washington Post


The way casino magnate Sheldon Adelson remembers it, he and his wife, Miriam, met then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich in 1995 in the majestic Capitol Rotunda as they made their way through the building while lobbying for a bill to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Nearly two decades later, Gingrich, on the campaign trail, has promised that his first executive order as president would be the embassy move, long a priority of ardent Israel supporters such as the Adelsons.

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The former House speaker is seeking the Republican presidential nomination.

It would also be a sweet jackpot for the Adelsons, who are the biggest patrons of Gingrich’s political career.

Perhaps no other major presidential candidate in recent times has had his fortunes based so squarely on the contributions of a single donor, as Gingrich has on Adelson, who has spent millions in support of Gingrich and his causes over the past five years. In a primary season dominated by the mega-spending of super PACs, Adelson’s efforts on Gingrich’s behalf provide a window into the expanding influence of the super-rich on American politics.

After putting up the seed money and ultimately $7.7 million between 2006 and 2010 for a nonprofit group that served as a precursor to Gingrich’s presidential campaign, Adelson, 78, an irascible Las Vegas billionaire, doubled down this month, giving $5 million to a political action committee run by former close aides to Gingrich.

“My motivation for helping Newt is simple and should not be mistaken for anything other than the fact that my wife Miriam and I hold our friendship with him very dear and are doing what we can as private citizens to support his candidacy,” Adelson, who is listed by Forbes as the eighth-wealthiest American, with a net worth of $21.5 billion, said in a prepared statement e-mailed to The Washington Post. He declined interview requests.

The most recent donation to Winning Our Future, a Gingrich-linked super PAC, fueled Gingrich’s resurgence before Saturday’s primary in South Carolina and bankrolled ads and a half-hour film painting rival Mitt Romney as a job-killing corporate raider. Adelson told associates that he will consider more donations if Gingrich fares well Saturday.

For Gingrich, the check links him even more closely to Adelson (pronounced ADD-el-son), an outspoken businessman known for aggressive tactics. His net worth has increased at least ninefold in the last decade. (The FBI and Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating his company, Las Vegas Sands, in connection with allegations that Adelson ordered an executive to bribe Chinese officials by putting them on the payroll. Adelson and company officials deny the allegations, which they say were first made by a disgruntled former employee.)

Adelson said the check to Gingrich was about fidelity. “Our means of support might be more than others are able to offer,” he said, “but like most Americans, words such as friendship and loyalty still mean something to us.”

Friends said Adelson and Gingrich share views on Israel, labor and free enterprise. In December, when Gingrich was riding atop the national GOP polls, Adelson was delighted.

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ramseytuell

1/27/2012 2:11 PM MST

At present we are sending 33% of our work to other countries. If we were to keep 18% of that here it would put most of that 14 million back to work. It is very important that we do it now. Workers feed our money Supply, pay taxes, and pay the wages of all those that have jobs in our government.
The President, in his state of The Union speech, addressed the fact that we are losing our skilled workers such as engineers, die makers, machinists, etc and along with them goes our ability to manufacture and build wealth in our country.
If I see any of the contenders for the Presidency, or the President and any of his staff, smiling and talking about rearranging the government offices to safe money, or shuffling papers and laws to improve the economy, I’m going to puke.

banicki

1/20/2012 1:33 PM MST

One dollar one vote.
Here is biggest problem of this years election. and no one is discussing it including the Times.
American politics is one of the few jobs where you are allowed to hunt for another job during 98% of normal working hours and continue to be paid for your present position. WE CANNOT LET THIS HAPPEN THIS TIME!
“Republicans hope Mr. Obama’s pronouncement that a full-year extension of the payroll tax cut was the last “must-do” piece of legislation for the White House will work in their favor, making them look as though they are trying to create jobs while Mr. Obama is busy campaigning.” Boehner Faces a Restive G.O.P. and New White House Attacks, Jennifer Steinhaurer, New York Times, January 14, 2011
In 2012 we have the following items that demand national attention: the presidential and congressional elections, the Afghan war, Iran building a nuclear weapon, high unemployment, a teetering economy and a national debt with no plan in place to solve it. These are just the items on the top shelf. Morehttp://goo.gl/mIWYc

Provincial

1/20/2012 9:13 AM MST

What is not mentioned in this article is the fact that Newt Gingrich did a 180 on his Israel v. Palestinians positions immediately after receiving the $1 million.
Newt sold himself to Adelson, he has been bought and paid for.

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Sheldon Adelson and Newt Gingrich: One gained clout from friendship, the other funding – The Washington Post

GOP Declares National Victory in Wisconsin | The Nation


 

Before the Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election had even been called Tuesday night by the news networks, conservatives and Republicans were gleefully celebrating Governor Scott Walker’s impending victory. If you were watching Fox News, you were informed that the hastily organized June race in one state is a near-certain predictor of the presidential election results November. Moreover, unions that opposed Walker had not only been defeated in this one specific race; they had been exposed as out of touch with their own members and decisively crushed throughout the nation from today to the End of Times.

Here’s a sampling of what conservative pundits and Republican politicians had to say:

“If I’m Barack Obama I think, ‘Do I need to defend Wisconsin now?’”
—Sean Hannity, Fox News host

“With tonight’s victory, I think this is a state, not only can we win in Wisconsin, but Mitt Romney can also be very competitive, can win Michigan, Pennsylvania.”
—Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

“As Reagan followed Thatcher, Mitt Romney will follow Scott Walker.”
—Hugh Hewitt, radio host

“This shows the irrelevance of the unions.”
—Denny Strigl, former Verizon CEO

“Pack it in, Unions. It’s over.”
Tweet from Brett Doster, Florida senior adviser to Romney for President.

“Perhaps it’s those union leaders, those thugs… who need to be recalled…. Obviously [Obama’s] message has been defeated here in Wisconsin.”
—Sarah Palin, Fox News contributor

“TONIGHT’S RESULTS WILL ECHO BEYOND THE BORDERS OF WISCONSIN”
—Press release headline from Mitt Romney

The National Republican Campaign Committee asserted that the recall election results mean trouble for Democrats in unrelated Wisconsin congressional elections. “By rejecting [Democratic nominee] Tom Barrett [Wisconsin voters] also sent a message that they are ready to stay on a fiscally responsible, pro-jobs track and that means trouble ahead for Madison liberal Tammy Baldwin,” they declared.

There are a few inconvenient facts being ignored by all these chest-beating proclamations. Democrats were at a distinct disadvantage in this particular race. They had only a few weeks between the primary, when Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett was selected, and the election, while Walker had months to organize. They were wildly outspent by Republicans, who brought in massive infusions of cash from corporations and wealthy donors. In total, the GOP side spent $45.6 million to $17.9 million on the left. And the exit polls showed that this very same electorate that favored Walker 54-45, favors President Obama over Mitt Romney, 52 to 43. Voters from families with a union member chose Barrett 62–37. (There was no breakout available for just union members themselves, but they tend to be even more Democratic than all voters from union households.)

Before the votes were even cast, sharper minds cautioned against overestimating their national significance. Here’s Slate’s Will Oremus listing the reasons this race is not a test-run for the presidential election:

1) It’s a recall. 2) It’s happening in June. 3) The incumbent is a Republican. 4) Neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney is running. 5) A significant number of states (49 by my count) will not be participating. 6) Need I go on?

Drawing inferences about a national election on the basis of a state election is almost always tenuous, but it’s particularly so in the case of a gubernatorial recall, where the main issue is not the U.S. economy, health care, or national security, but the character and specific track record of the individual in office.

And, as The New Republic’s Alec MacGillis notes, an uptick in the economy will help all incumbents regardless of party. That means both endangered Republican governors such as Ohio John Kasich and President Obama.

Make no mistake, this is bad news for progressives and Democrats. But it does not prove what conservatives say it does. Rather, it merely shows that the unlimited spending unleashed by the Republican appointees on the Supreme Court has given Republicans a tremendous spending advantage and that does make a difference. Whether or not President Obama and other Democrats can overcome that is an open question.

Related Topics: Barack Obama | Election 2012 | US Politics | Gubernatorial Campaigns and Elections | Campaign Finance | Citizens United v. FEC | Campaigns and Elections | Sarah Palin | States | Conservatives and the American Right | Electoral Politics | Political Action Committees | Presidential Campaigns and Elections

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Showing 20 of 106 comments

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  • ronj1955 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    Corporate money has run the electoral process for decades.

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  • cashhuge.com 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    like Dennis replied I am amazed that some one able to earn $5841 in one month on the internet. have you read that web page

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  • RDDavis 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    And NOW, demos want people to reject Romney cause they say he had low job creation numbers, BUT what they dont tell you is, Romney averaged just slightly over 5% unemployment during his time as gubner of Mass.

    It is IMPOSSIBLE to create new jobs, when there is no one to take them, EVERYONE who wanted a job, had one already!!

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  • RDDavis 2 comments collapsed CollapseExpand

    THIS is what we had in
    ’06 when Republicans held both houses of congress and the WH, and dem0s were
    running for control of congress promising “CHANGE.” How’re yall
    liking the “CHANGE?”

    2006 unemployment #s
    4.7…jan.
    4.8…feb.
    4.7…march
    4.7…april
    4.7…may
    4.6…june
    4.7…july
    4.7…aug.
    4.5…sep.
    4.4…oct.
    4.5…nov.
    4.4…dec.

    http://data.bls.gov/PDQ/servle…

    When Republicans had
    both houses and the WH…………………….http://www.icmarc.org/xp/rc/marketvie… … oduct.html

    The 1st quarter of ’06 saw 4.8% growth in GDP. Then came demos running for
    control of congress promising “CHANGE.” They won, and after 2 years
    in power, things HAVE “CHANGED” GDP growth dropped to negative 6%.
    Happy with your “CHANGE?”

    12,600

    12,621.77

    January 24, 2007

    DOW open and close

    Deficit in january
    ‘07, 1.2%

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  • Stephen_Carver1 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    I don’t know if you remember this, cause your stats from 2006 are really beautiful, but in 2008, the bottom fell out of the economy and the financial sector almost collapsed, the auto industry almost collapsed and we went into the worst recession since the Great Depression.  The collapse was a direct cause of 30 years of continued government deregulation in all sorts of financial sectors, brought about by a misplaced understanding of what the long term effects of supply-side economics would be.

    In simpler words:  Ronald Reagan’s “trickle-down” economy (aka “voodoo economics” as stated by George HW Bush) FAILED ON A MASSIVE SCALE.

    So, your statistics, while beautiful, are…well…pointless.

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  • RDDavis 2 comments collapsed CollapseExpand

    ·

    Just like in EVERY CASE , when

    Republicans pick up power, the economy does better. When
    dim-0s pick up power,

    the economy falters.

    It happened when carter gained the WH, the economy got
    WORSE.

    It happened when Reagan gained the WH, the economy got
    BETTER.

    It happened when clinton gained the WH, economic growth
    dropped from over 4%,

    to about 2% 2 years later.

    It happened in jan ’95, when Republicans took over congress,
    the economy caught

    fire and sported some of the best times in our history,
    including balanced

    budgets and even a PROJECTED surplus.

    It happened in jan ’00 when W. gained the WH. He inherited a
    recession, a crashing market and 9-11 with terrorists in our country planning
    and training. He turned that into the longest running jobs expansion in our
    history with an average 5.2% unemployment number.

    It happened AGAIN in jan ’07, when dim-0 gained control of
    congress promising

    “CHANGE” from the 4.4% unemployment, mid 4%
    economic growth, and the

    longest running jobs expansion in the history of the nation.

    “CHANGED” to depression.

    Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.c…

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  • Stephen_Carver1 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    You are truly clueless, aren’t you?

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  • LaFayette75 2 comments collapsed CollapseExpand

    DEMOCRACY – USE IT OR LOSE IT

    From WikiP here:

    The right to collectively bargain is recognized through international human rights conventions. Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights identifies the ability to organize trade unions as a fundamental human right

    What a bunch sub-human life forms are those quoted in BA’s article above. How low have we descended?

    The right of collective bargaining is included in the UN Charter of Human Rights – see article 23 here. The charter was formulated at the UN in 1947 and sponsored by Eleanor Roosevelt.

    The US is signatory to that charter but never, never, never adopted Article 23 into national legislation – because we are seriously behind the advance of human-rights. Like some old-fashioned country existing on a planet at the opposite end of our galaxy.

    If ignorance is bliss, than we are a very, very Happy People. And if we are not a Happy People, then no one else is to blame other than We, the Sheeple who continue to vote for politicians under the influence of plutocrats. The choice is ours – always has been, always will be.

    Democracy – Use It or Lose It. (Look for and vote into office a Progressive Candidate. Show the bastards that “I am mad as hell and I aint gonna take it anymore!!!”)

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  • LaFayette75 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    BIG-DADDY

    I’m not kidding. Where are the courageous politicians who are willing to bring Uncle Sam, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century by instituting in law certain basic human-rights as regards unionizing?

    Or do you want to be led by the nose as is the case today – by plutocrats and their crony Supreme Court.

    We have a Bill of Rights – and the freedom to gather together into a union to bargain collectively is a basic human-right which we, as a civilized nation, deserve to have stated there.

    Your fate is at stake and that, perhaps, of your family – and almost certainly your children. So decide. You think we don’t need unions to represent us against the forces of capitalism amassed against us?

    Then you have not lost your job often enough.

    In the Supply and Demand equation of the Labor Market, both sides must be of equal strength and significance. Any damn fool should be able to understand that basic premise.

    From WikiP:

    In the mid-1950s, 36% of the United States labor force was unionized. At America’s union peak in the 1950s, union membership was lower in the United States than in most comparable countries. By 1989, that figure had dropped to about 16%, the lowest percentage of any developed democracy, except France.

    Other union membership for other developed democracies, in 1990, were:
    - 95% in Sweden and Denmark;
    - 85% in Finland;
    - over 60% in Norway and Austria;
    - over 60% in Australia, Ireland and the United Kingdom;
    - over 30% in West Germany and Italy.

    You’re being screwed if you think BigDaddy is going to look out for you.

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  • gorak 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    The issue was the presumed universal impossibility of abolishing teachers union rights. The idea wasn’t that you would occasionally get thrown out of office for this, but that you would always be defeated over it. This presumption only took one contrary example to blow it apart all over the country. The impossible has become merely difficult and the change is irreversible.

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  • DaveOlson 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    Don’t believe your own PR.  This was a serious loss and will affect the fall.

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  • TomGenin 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    Fact: The Exit Poll in Wisconsin was worthless.
    Fact: The “Exit Poll” said the Walker/Barrett race was Tie.
    Fact: Walker won by 8%.
    Fact: Exit Poll said voters still favored Obama over Romney by 7%
    Fact: Only an idiot would rely on an Exit Poll that was off by 8% for the opposing party when your guy is up 7%.
    The exit polling was worthless, whereas the victory was priceless.

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  • michiganruth 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    “If you were watching Fox News, you were informed that the hastily
    organized June race in one state is a near-certain predictor of the
    presidential election results November….”

    actually, Ben, I WAS watching Fox News, and what you wrote is simply not true, even tho it was a really cool-sounding sentence. (you’ll get over loving the sound of your own copy when you’re older.)

    now that I think about this tho:

    I am absolutely in favor of liberals continuing to think there’s nothing wrong with their policies.  you’re right Ben: the Wisconsin election means bupkes, and Democrats have nothing to learn from the results. the 7-point differential was a “razor-thin” margin, and the whole thing was a Koch Brothers-funded setup anyway.

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  • J_Stuart_Mill 2 comments collapsed CollapseExpand

    Testy, testy…!   Are a MAJORITY of Right-Wing Mouth-Foaming Animal-Devils gloating up and down the Promenade…?  No.

    So take it easy.  If Walker had lost, a portion of Left-Wing folks would have popped off themselves.  True or False…?

    BTW on a tactical front, this is thin gruel.  Frankly, the End Zone Dance (and the Anniversary End Zone Dance) on bin Laden was somewhat … unbecoming a President.  Kinda “Mission Accomplished” thing there … I mean, in both cases the CIC should have seen the sign/plans and maybe said, “No, this is more serious than that, this is an apolitical role of a President.”

    If only….

    Anyway, back to Reality.  The Whisky results really matter ONLY in the context of a close election this Fall.  If Romney takes Pennsylvania, the context of conditions (economy, etc) that would make that happen mean it would be OVER.

    If Obama takes Florida, in context that would mean it’s OVER.

    If, however, it’s close, then Romney needs / Obama must hold:  Florida, Ohio, Virginia … and ONE MORE.  That could be Whisky.

    That’s it!  Can we do analysis, even if we have a position? Sure! Even if we have a collection of dog whistles, in my case … I’m from Ohio … I’ll be working down South looking for the demographic that voted 42% against Obama in WV and KY Dem Primaries … and turn out that vote.  Ground Game.  Part of life. Can’t say I’m happy it’s come to this….

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  • TomGenin 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    I think you mean “pooped” themselves. If they would have “popped” themselves, well… a Walker loss would have had a plus side.

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  • Democracy_of_One 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    Ben – You are an original.   “Rather, it merely shows that the unlimited spending unleashed by the
    Republican appointees on the Supreme Court has given Republicans a
    tremendous spending advantage and that does make a difference.”

    Supreme Court – ” Selected not Elected.”  -Do I read an entendre in there.

    When the SC declares Obamacare illegal, what are you going to say?

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  • porchhound 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    The leftist wackos like this “journalist” are having grand mal seizures at their keyboards attempting to twist the Wisconsin union recall debacle into something other than what it is…ABJECT FAILURE and a sign of things to come in November.  What do you people GAIN by lying to one another?  Can you WISH a different outcome?  Grow UP and smell the sound of public union contracts going through the shredder!

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  • bflat879 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    Ben, Are you serious here?  IN 2010, the Democrats were given a wake-up call, they hit the snooze button.  They’ve been in denial ever since.  This election is the alarm going off again.  I’m betting they hit the snooze button again and I’m basing it on reading your comments.

    If you don’t know there’s something happening out here you’re just not too observant.

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  • SteveThomas39 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    It’s so funny to read this site. It’s like traveling to an alternate universe where common sense is against the law. Oh wait, I forgot, that’s the idea of progressivism. But it sure was a vitally important election to “progressives” before they lost.

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  • Ranting Loons 1 comment collapsed CollapseExpand

    Democrats were all about this being a national election a month ago. How they were going to dump walker and how “the people” of Wisconsin were behind them – it seems they were off a bit.

    As for your exit poll comparisons – they were “off” – remember how they were predicting a neck and neck race, so they should be taken with a grain of salt.

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  • RT @thenation: A few inconvenient facts being ignored by all the chest-beating conservative proclamations: http://t.co/pr5pWHs7 #WIrecall

    14 hours ago

    @laurenismyfav

  • National victory by state election hmmm GOP Declares National Victory in Wisconsin | The Nation http://t.co/r5jVNwx7

    16 hours ago

    @capitaloffensiv

  • GOP Declares National Victory in Wisconsin | The Nation http://t.co/kiwHaNJl

    16 hours ago

    @FLakesDems

  • GOP Declares National Victory in Wisconsin | The Nation http://t.co/ooCYlUOw

    16 hours ago

    @Fieryreddragon

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GOP Declares National Victory in Wisconsin | The Nation

Top music lobbyist urges corporations to voluntarily censor the Internet | The Raw Story


 

Topics: Cary Shermanrecording industry association of americaRIAA

In prepared remarks delivered to Congress (PDF) on Wednesday, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) CEO Cary Sherman said that the movie and music industries are working behind the scenes to encourage major Internet companies to voluntarily censor the Internet in an effort to better protect intellectual property rights.

Sherman’s testimony came amid a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on “The Future of Audio,” during which members of Congress were considering allowing FM receivers be inserted into next generation smartphones, which would see radio stations paying more in performance rights. Sherman, however, decided to talk about piracy, saying that despite the growing popularity of legitimate online music streaming services, illegal downloading is still essentially killing the industry and more must be done to fight it.

“We hope other intermediaries like search engines will… [negotiate] voluntary marketplace best practices to prevent directing users to sites that are dedicated to violating property rights,” he told the committee.

Despite Sherman’s hopes, that’s not likely to happen.

Search giant Google has been an ardent defender of the same cloud-based storage websites the RIAA calls “rogue,” and even filed an amicus brief on behalf of one so-called “cyber locker” website earlier this year in a prosecution brought by the movie and music industries, accusing the site of a copyright infringement conspiracy. Their attorneys argued that the movie and music industries fundamentally misunderstand the law and are trying to use it in an abusive manner, to the point where they are actually threatening the very existence of the social Internet.

The same groups were behind an enforcement action carried out against user-upload site MegaUpload.com, which Sherman hailed as a landmark achievement for the industry. “The indictment of MegaUpload has had a tremendous impact on other such rogue cyberlocker sites,” he said. “The government’s action sends a signal that the UnitedStates will not tolerate the use of the Internet for criminal activity that violates our laws.”

But where they cannot achieve their goals through government action, the RIAA and counterparts at the Motion Picture Association of American (MPAA) have sought to achieve voluntary compliance. One of their most recent successes in this arena will see America’s largest Internet service providers launching a copyright spying scheme on July 1 of this year that will monitor Internet users’ traffic and interrupt them with messages of possible legal sanctions if infringing activities are detected.

“Just last year, we announced a voluntary program with ISPs that will be implemented later this year to address illegal downloads on P2P networks,” Sherman told members of Congress. “We also helped craft an agreement with major credit card companies and payment processors on voluntary best practices to reduce sales of counterfeit and pirated goods. And just last month, major advertisers and ad agencies announced a series of voluntary best practices so that their valuable brands are not associated with rogue Internet sites that offerillegal goods, and advertisers don’t inadvertently enrich rogue website operators.”

One example of a voluntary industry “best practice” formulated in recent years are the shared blacklists used by Google, Facebook, Microsoft and other major Internet corporations to track sites that are known to host malicious software. While these companies usually just insert a warning page cautioning users that a given site may be harmful, they do not completely block users from accessing them.

Microsoft, however, inadvertently demonstrated earlier this year what a more advanced “best practice” might look like, when it began censoring links to The Promo Bay, a legal media sharing website spun off by the creators of The Pirate Bay, one of the Internet’s leading hubs for illegal downloaders.

Despite that site’s purported legitimacy, it landed on the “SmartScreen” blacklist used by Microsoft, likely due to a report by a copyright holder, and the company suddenly began actively preventing users of its Windows Live Messenger program from sharing links to it. Other sites that were offering identical content could be shared through the service, but Microsoft’s chat client simply explained to users that The Promo Bay “was blocked because it was reported as unsafe,” with users on the other end left unaware the communication ever took place.

“These voluntary programs are not a panacea. No program ever will be,” Sherman told Congress. “And sometimes, the Congress must step in to assure that our property rights, and U.S. economic interests, are being protected. Especially against sites overseas whose business model is the theft of U.S. works. But collectively, we think these collaborative efforts will make a difference. They are the product of outreach, and a lot of conversation over several years — not only with these intermediaries, but also with public interest groups who want to figure out how to address online problems while ensuring the reasonable preservation of a free and open Internet.

“We need to engage in the same sort of outreach directly with the tech and Internet communities, and I am committed to doing that — because, in the end, we all have an interest in an Internet that is open and accessible, but not lawless.”
——

Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.

Top music lobbyist urges corporations to voluntarily censor the Internet | The Raw Story

Revised Obama Tax Plan: Higher Dividend Tax On The Wealthy | True Tax Facts | Digg Mynews


It seems out of nowhere, President Obama has made a significant change in his tax plan proposal. Obama’s 2013 budget year now calls for more taxes on the wealthy, specifically a higher tax on dividends.

His new tax plan calls for an increase of the dividend tax to a maximum of 40% for households earning $250,000 a year. Coincidentally, that is equal to the higher maximum income tax rate set to go into effect in 2013.

According to the Obama administration, the increase in the dividend tax rate is needed to pay down the federal deficit and to make the tax code more progressive.

“Choices had to be made,” a senior Obama administration told reporters, explaining the bid to raise more than $200 billion over a decade with the steeper dividend taxes on the wealthy.

In addition to an increase in the dividend tax rate, the Obama administration is proposing to raise the current 15% long-term capital gains tax to 20% for the wealthiest Americans.

If you look closely, the Obama tax plan to tax the rich seems like an election year campaign ploy to win the lower and middle class vote. Fortunately for the wealthy and big corporations, it is extremely unlikely that Obama’s tax provisions will be become law, including his dividend tax increase.

“This is a reversal of what was a very specific policy feature of the first three budgets to keep dividends and capital gains taxed at the same rate,” said Michael Mundaca, a former top Treasury tax official under Obama, now at the accounting firm Ernst & Young.

“Companies may be more likely to retain earnings or seek alternatives ways to distribute their earnings such as by buying back stock,” Mundaca said.

Tax experts believe that big corporations may accelerate 2013 dividend payments into 2012 to dodge tax hikes.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if we see moving all their 2013 dividends into 2012,” Kies said. “A lot of U.S. companies are sitting on cash.”

source: reuters.com

Tags: budget deficit, dividend tax, dividend tax increase, Income Tax, obama administration, obama tax, obama tax plan, Tax Experts, tax increase, tax plan

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February 13, 2012
Obama Tax Plan Calls For Buffet Rule

After four consecutive years of one trillion dollar-plus deficits, the U.S. administration predicts a budget deficit drop below 1 trillion. That’s what President Obama’s budget plan calls for based on his proposed tax and spending policies.

One of the biggest contributors to reducing the deficit calls for a raise in the income tax rate on the wealthy. The so-called “Buffett Rule” would guarantee that households making more than $1 million a year pay at least 30% of their income in taxes.

This proposal was actually presented by America’s wealthiest businessman, Warren Buffett. To support this tax proposal, he used the real life example that it’s unfair that he (being a billionaire) pay a lower tax rate than his secretary.

The implementation of the Buffet Tax would raise approximately $1.5 trillion dollars. Additional sources of revenue to reduce the deficit would come from a tax reform plan that includes the expiration of the Bush Tax and the elimination of various tax preferences.

Will Obama’s tax plan work, or will it backfire?

Maybe the focus of cutting the deficit should be on creating jobs. New jobs mean more tax revenue and less expenditures to pay the unemployed.

Tags: budget deficit, buffet rule, buffet tax, obama tax, obama tax plan, tax plan, tax proposal, Tax Rate, tax revenue

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February 10, 2012
Free Tax Help For Preparing Your Return

The IRS has a new online tax tool to help low and middle income taxpayers find local sites to get free tax help. The free tax help is made available by individuals in the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs.

The tool, available 24 hours a day, makes it easier for qualified individuals to find free tax help directly from the Internal Revenue Service. Taxpayers with incomes of $50,000 or less can get their taxes done for free by IRS volunteers. Senior citizens aged 60 and older can get free tax help from volunteers in the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program.

Taxpayers can access the application by clicking on this free tax help tool link or by going to irs.gov and entering the letters “VITA” in the search box. Next, click on the “Free Tax Return Preparation For You by Volunteers” option, then select the “Find a VITA site near you” option.

Once there, an easy-to-use locator prompts users to enter a zip code to search thousands of free tax preparation sites, narrowing the results to a selected radius. VITA sites are listed by location name, address, phone number, days and hours of operation, and the language-assistance options offered. Finally, taxpayers select a specific tax preparation site to get a map to provide step-by-step directions.

More than three million tax returns were prepared by VITA and TCE volunteers in during the 2011 tax season.

The IRS is continually improving its website to provide the latest tax information to taxpayers.

source:irs.gov

Tags: free tax help, irs tax help, irs volunteers, Tax Help, Tax Preparation, VITA

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Revised Obama Tax Plan: Higher Dividend Tax On The Wealthy | True Tax Facts | Digg Mynews.

The Story Behind “The Battle Of Oakland”


The Battle of Oakland from brandon jourdan on Vimeo.

 

 

The Battle of Oakland by Brandon Jourdan and David Martinez:
Read the Rules

[-] 3 points by proudofOKC (193) 11 hours ago

There was a really good comment near the end of the video, about coming together as a community and taking care of ourselves. Let’s each community work to create and support working conditions that respect our human dignity. I should be able to buy everything I need locally, and have those products made by processes that do not destroy the environment. It’s so simple.

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[-] 2 points by hvncb (10) 3 hours ago

Ok, police said they were there “in the name of the people….” the occupiers answered they “are the people”…why did the police not back down and protect the people?

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[-] 2 points by marga (62) 9 hours ago

Congratulation OWS you are fixing to get the back up that our government cannot ignore. Our best scientists who enriched our lives. http://youtu.be/4UwRDzf2vBE

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[-] 2 points by ohmygoodness (129) 10 hours ago

Force against the face of justice is barbaric

Conscientious protest against this face of force is civilized

If the purpose of legislation is to maintain a civil society

Then this provocative violence is not only illegitimate but ILLEGAL.

People of Oakland Shine On !!

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[-] 2 points by Toynbee (346) from Savannah, GA 11 hours ago

So you are free to petition for redress of grievances, but you may not have any public space to assemble, plan, discuss or meet about those issues. Sad day for America’s sham democracy . . . or should I say DEMOCRA$Y.

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[-] 1 points by JenLynn (302) 3 hours ago

This one was over private property, not public. Let’s be honest about the assembly thing too. The woman in the video said that they are taking property to build a community, that’s very different from assembling for redress of grievances.

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[-] 1 points by Odin (442) 1 hour ago

If ‘they’ had went after the people that caused the untold human misery to so many other people…..and incarcerated them…and then set up a system so that it could never happen again…it is doubtful than any of us would even be here today. Trying to occupy a vacant building to provide for the community…and fix this perverted system ….. THAT does not even rate on the right and wrong Richter Scale.

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[-] 1 points by Danrealist (0) 55 minutes ago

You can’t just do whatever you want their idea is socialist, these people just want to be taken care of, it just pathetic.

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[-] 1 points by Muaddib (6) from Nashua, NH 1 hour ago

i think america is done with you guys. The “Battle” for Oakland? Seriously? All you actions are now armed police confrontations. that is lame.

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[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (3574) 3 hours ago

Local governments need to start providing public space for peaceful protests 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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[-] 1 points by mediablitz (0) 6 hours ago

this is brandon jourdan, can david martinez be added into the credits on the site? thanks for the post!

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[-] 1 points by DonQuixot (180) 8 hours ago

The solution to evictions is just leave and return the following day. The police will run out of money sooner or later if people continue the occupations after evictions. They have other work to do, or the US will stop working if the only thing the police can do is evict people.

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[-] 1 points by Odin (442) 11 hours ago

That was a real eye opener.

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[-] 1 points by Bayraba (17) 11 hours ago

Considering that May 1 is a public holiday in most of Europe, a strike that day won’t be terribly effective. But keep it up!

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[-] 1 points by Bayraba (17) 11 hours ago

GREAT that you are telling the story!

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