BREAKING: Obama May Declare Bankruptcy

August 13, 2012

IRS officials are said to be poised to slap President Obama with a huge tax bill, so large the Democrat may have to declare bankruptcy.

At issue is the Gift Tax, and Mitt Romney’s announcement today that Paul Ryan will be his running mate.

“This announcement is a huge gift to Obama.  In fact it is the largest gift I have seen in my career,” said one IRS official.  “We have appraisers working right now to try to assess the value of this gift, but so far the closest to a valuation we have gotten is ‘Priceless'”.  Once we have a better handle on the dollar value of this gift, we’ll be presenting the President with a bill.”

Independent experts say the value is so high that the tax bill will likely cause Obama to have to declare bankruptcy.


Parsing Romney’s Speech

July 12, 2012

Romney’s Speech at the NAACP, with clarifications.

The opposition charges that I and people in my party are running for office to help the rich. Nonsense. The rich will do just fine whether I am elected or not…I am running for president because I know that my policies and vision will help hundreds of millions of middle class Americans of all races, will lift people from poverty, and will help prevent people from becoming poor. My campaign is about helping the people who need help.

True for the following value definitions:

Rich = People who have more money than Mitt Romney

Middle class  = People who have about the same amount of money as Mitt Romney

Poverty/Poor = Having less money than Mitt Romney, but more money than you.

You = Mitt doesn’t care.  Your cookies suck.

Get Rid of Job-Killing Regulations

July 11, 2012

The solution to the economic mess is to get rid of those job-killing regulations.  Obviously.

That way we can get back to freely killing what really needs to be killed.

See, despite the fact that we, the top 1%, are richer than we have ever been, despite the fact that our earnings have skyrocketed while your wages have dropped; despite that,  because of regulatory capture (our guys are now running the show at the agencies that are supposed to be regulating us) and budget cuts made at the behest of our lobbyists, the rules aren’t being enforced and fines aren’t being collected; despite the fact that you no longer matter in the process of making laws; despite all this, we need to get rid of those job-killing regulations.

For example… Black Lung is on the rise again.  Remember Black Lung?  The disease miners used to get by breathing coal-dust choked air in the mines, before those job-killing regulations were enacted that tied our hands, saved thousands of lives, and made us unprofitable ? (Well, not so unprofitable that we, the top 1%, were unable to enrich ourselves to the point that we now own the lawmaking and regulatory processes.)  No, you don’t remember?  Good, then our cuts to the educational system have worked.

So as I was saying, Black Lung is on the rise again, because we have re-written the regulations to make sure we don’t have to obey the law.  When our cheating on air quality tests (by sealing off the testing equipment from the air that the workers actually breathe) is insufficient to fool mine safety inspectors (like, when the quantity of dust becomes so bad that the mine blows up, and it is OBVIOUS that we haven’t been actually and honestly performing the tests) and the inspectors find that the air in the mines is toxic to the miners and unsafe to work in, we have to retest the air five times ourselves before we can eliminate the piddly fine that we would have been assessed.   (One reporter said it is like getting pulled over for speeding, but instead of getting a ticket, the officer gives you a pad of paper and a pen, and says he wants you to write down the speed you are going the next five times you drive at that location, and if what you write down is less than the speed limit, you don’t have to pay the ticket.)

Five times!  What a hassle!

And the fact of the matter is that, while Black Lung is on the rise again, and workers are dying again, the death rate is still not what it was before those job-killing regulations, which means there are still safety measures in place that weren’t there before those job-killing regulations were enacted.  Which means expense, which comes out of MY earnings.  I shouldn’t have to pay for those safety measures.  They are job-killers.

We need to get back to freely killing what really needs to be killed…


Oh, crap!. No, wait, Oh WOW! No, wait, Oh crap….

June 28, 2012

CNN reported initially that the court had struck the mandate provisions.

The mandate provision was a large part of what made the Affordable Care Act actually affordable for everyone, and made the prospect of covering anyone regardless of their existing health problems palatable to insurance companies.

But then CNN issued a correction, stating that Roberts voted with the 5-4 majority to uphold the mandate (as well as the other provisions).   Wow!  I still don’t believe it!

But then the “Oh crap” moment settled back in…

First, the ACA (or ObamaCare, if you prefer), is and was the Conservative solution to the health care crisis – give the insurance companies a LOT of money and keep them profitable, rather than chasing the moneychangers from the temple and providing inexpensive healthcare by doing it without a profit margin (horrors!) by choosing a single payer system  ( has a terrific write-up of the conservative pedigree of ObamaCare).  Not the best solution to the problem, the Conservative solution (because the pragmatic Obama thought that would be his best shot at getting something passed… little did he realize how deeply the hatred for him would cause the conservatives to back away from their own plan and vilify it as worse than communism.  Communism! Radical Islamic Communism!  Ahhhh!  Hair on fire!).  So, yay, we’ve managed to preserve a watered-down half-solution giveaway to big business.  Yay for us!

Second, yes, their hair is now totally on fire.  The Tea Party (with their imaginary friends and dainty little plastic pink teacups) are going to be spinning themselves into a frenzy to get rid of Obama so they can overturn the law.  Obama, on the other hand, is drawing lukewarm support because his pragmatism has caused him to give away the cow for some “magic beans”… and since this isn’t a fairy tale, the beans aren’t magic.  The Conservatives will never love Obama, they will never like him, and they will never accept anything he does as anything other than utter Radical Islamic Communism, even when what he is doing is the Conservatives’ own plan, lock, stock and barrel.  He is Obama, he is the ENEMY and no amount of compromise will ever satisfy them.  The Liberals aren’t so hot for him either, because Obama isn’t actually very Liberal (“public opinion [is against the ACA] by roughly 15%, although 15% of the people who oppose it do so because they want a Canadian-style single-payer system”).  So yay, we just got handed a much more difficult election.  Yay for us!

Well, crap.

June 6, 2012

So Walker survived the recall election.  Damn.

Well, at least there is a good chance he’ll end his term in jail.

Voter Fraud Allowed In Texas (If You Are A White Republican)

June 1, 2012

Texas’ new voter ID law was in effect for the primary on Tuesday.

Unless you were white, and voting in the Republican Primary.

How do I know this?  I’m white, and I voted in the Republican Primary.  I was not asked to show an ID.  My voter registration card was not signed (I deliberately handed it to them with the unsigned line facing the poll worker) and was not asked to sign the card (as I had been in the Democratic Primary I voted in during a previous year). 

The signature is required in order to vote.  The ID is required in order to vote.  I’m not even a Republican.

And I wasn’t asked to sign the card.  I wasn’t asked for my ID.

And I was allowed to vote in the Republican Primary.

To be clear, I was not trying to vote more than once, not even to vote in both parties’ primary.  I was not trying to pretend to be someone I am not.  I am eligible to vote, and I am registered to vote.  So my complaints are about technicalities rather than on substance or allowance of actual criminal behavior.  But those technicalities will be used (and I am sure were used Tuesday) to disenfranchise eligible, registered voters in Texas, or at least hassle them and make voting more difficult for them.

Because they aren’t white.

As an aside – I voted in the Republican Primary because none of the Democratic races in my district were competitive (only one candidate per race), I have no real preference for the Democratic candidate for the Senate race, and I wanted an opportunity to vote against my current Representative (in an attempt to effect the winner in a district where the Republican will always win), and to have a voice in what Republican will get elected in the Senate race (same problem).  The last time I voted for a Republican, I was in 7th grade.  I was young, and naive enough to buy into Reagan’s “Morning In America”, so I voted for him in my school’s mock election.  An embarassing fact I shall never be able to live down.

Not-Romney Takes 31% in Texas

May 31, 2012

While the “big news” varied between Romney’s cuddle in front of the fireplace with the Birther movement, and the fact that he has essentially clinched the nomination, I think the bigger news is that Not-Romney is still showing considerable ability to get votes.

Or, to put it another way, Romney is still showing his ability to not get votes – just over 31% put in protest votes against a candidate they dislike, even though he’s already won. 

My personal expectation is that this percentage is going to grow now that Romney has clinched the nomination.  Romney voters have little incentive to go to the polls, while many of the Not-Romney voters are likely to still be dissatisfied enough to make it to the polls, despite the fact that their votes “won’t count”.

The question still remains about November, though.

Not that any Not-Romney voter is the least bit likely to vote for Obama.  No, the question is if they are die-hard enough to turn around and vote for the guy they were die-hard enough to vote against when their vote didn’t even count, just to try and make sure Obama isn’t re-elected, or if instead they are dissatisfied enough with Romney that voting against him when their vote doesn’t count will have spent their ability to care.

Part of this will hinge on how close the election appears to be.  I suspect the Not-Romney sentiment won’t hold in swing states, but in Red states you’ll see lower than expected support for Romney if the election looks to be a clear win for Obama.  Of course, the same may hold true for Obama supporters in Red states if the election looks easily winnable for Obama…

Excellent Election Resources:

Daily Kos Election coverage (with a nice, clean, new look!)

Regulations Kill Jobs

May 24, 2012

Regulations are bad! They hold people back, prevent economic progress… toward doom!

Ever wonder how to create conditions for a crash? Now you know.

(Thanks again to American Progress for the funny daily cartoons, like this one! You can see their archive and sign up for the daily funny in your inbox here.)

Family Budget Redux

May 23, 2012

The conservatives just love to talk about the family budget when talking about the government’s budget, about how the family has to cut back on its expenses when the money isn’t coming in.

But when the money isn’t coming in, real families frequently can’t cut back on their expenses.  They have commitments – they need gas to get to work, the children need to be fed, the bills have to be paid, their parents’ bills at the rest home need to be paid too.

When real families need money to meet their commitments, if you need more money, what you do, what other real people do, is go out and get another job, bring in more income.

We, as a nation, have commitments we must keep, so the choice is simple and obvious:  we must bring in more revenue.  With taxes the lowest as a share of GDP in decades, there is plenty of room to bring in more revenue, if done right.

Taxes ARE eating up a larger share of YOUR budget, it is true, since your wages have been flat for decades.  But there are some whose income have increased by 20x over the last fifty years while your income has been stagnant (all adjusted for inflation, of course).

Oh, and their taxes have dropped by about 2/3 over the same period.

Gee, where can we get more money to make up the difference?

That word….

May 22, 2012

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. – Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride


The Tea Party just loves that word.

To them it is the epitome of democracy.  To them it means being allowed to do any damn thing they want to, with no one to tell them “No you can’t”.

Except… that isn’t what Liberty is. That is instead the definition of Anarchy.

Totally different thing…. Read the rest of this entry »

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