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Posted on December 18 at 1:50 p.m.

Adding to this fallacy are the assumptions surrounding Mitt Romney’s now infamous comments about the indolent “47 percent” of Americans who regard themselves as victims and therefore pay no taxes. As the American Conservative magazine (no less) pointed out recently, nine of those 10 states are in the red-as-ruby Old Confederacy.*

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_reckon...

First, if you live in the United States, you're a Taker. It's not the 47%. It's the 100%. Government provides services and benefits that are impossible not to take, from national defense, to infrastructure, to food and drug safety. We're all beneficiaries of not getting invaded, having roads, and not getting poisoned by our dinner and over-the-counter medication.

Second, if you work in the United States, you're a Maker. It's not the 15 million -- that 10% households who owe most federal income taxes. It's the 155 million -- the labor force, not counting the millions of people who want but cannot find a job. It's true that richer people pay more. But they also earn more. The top 1% pays more federal taxes than the bottom 60% combined. That sounds outrageous. But the top 1% also makes more than the bottom 40% combined.

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/a...

I really hope the stir over Romney’s political snuff film will help end the slur that half the country pays no taxes. As many political reporters who never bothered to correct that nonsense when it wasn’t part of a “gaffe” are finally pointing out, the 47% of Americans who don’t pay something imprecisely called income taxes do cough up payroll taxes on their income as well as state and local taxes, gas taxes, sales taxes and other taxes. And most of us cough up more than the 13% of Romney’s (unearned!) income that he paid in 2011 while running for President. It’s hard to say if we pay more than Romney did before that, because, well, you know.
http://swampland.time.com/2012/09/18/...

There are more articles debunking the 47%, including the fact that the Bush tax cuts moved some who were paying income taxes to not paying income taxes.

In fact it has been so thoroughly debunked, that anyone who continues to parrot it is a sheep.

At the end of that, thanks and appreciation to IV. Many countries are taking steps to end homelessness, because people who are housed are more likely to be able to find a job - even if they earn too little to pay income tax on lousy pay - that has flatlined since RR.

On Homeless Move into New Isla Vista Digs

Posted on December 16 at 3:58 a.m.

There is not enough money to repair existing infrastructure, thanks to the great recession. But if any Montecitans feel that strongly, then fund away.

As for the constant, basically deceptive, misleading harping on unfunded liabilities, please see the following excerpt and link.

Public Pension Unfunded Liability: Fact Versus Fiction

CalPERS and CalSTRS funding levels simply are not as weak as many critics claim.

• CalPERS and CalSTRS each have reported a funded status is about 70 percent funded based on market value of assets, which is regarded by many experts as acceptable. Fitch Rating Agency recently stated that a 70 Percent funded status or above is adequate and under 60 percent is weak. http://www.calpersresponds.com/downlo...

California’s public retirement systems are better off than they were during Gov. Jerry Brown’s first term in office.

• CalPERS was about 55 percent funded In the early 1980s, the final years of Gov. Brown’s first term and following another severe recession. As the economy rebounded, so did CalPERS funding status. By 2000, the system was 130 percent funded. CalSTRS was about 29 percent funded when Gov. Brown was first elected in 1975, and it increased to 57 percent in his last year in office. As the economy rebounded, so did CalSTRS funding status. By 2000, the system was 110 percent funded. A pension plan's funded status or unfunded liability is a snapshot in time that can change significantly over the course of a few years, depending on whether the economy and financial markets are strong (better funding) or weak (poorer funding). (http://calpensions.com/2013/02/07/cal...)

Simply citing unfunded liability tends to promote fear mongering and misleads about the health of pension plans.

http://www.letstalkpensions.com/newsr...

"Simply citing unfunded liability tends to promote fear mongering and misleads about the health of pension plans. "

JJ, you are a blindly repetitive, misleading fear-monger.

On Bucolic Route 1

Posted on December 13 at 4:46 p.m.

I bet most Dems have heard of Gruber. And most of them have heard of Issa. I would put the two of them together as gentleman who hype and obfuscate and often do not know what they are talking about.

Obamacare = Romneycare = right wing Heritage-Foundation-opposition-plan-to-Hillarycare. Most of the people who wrote Romneycare wrote Obamacare, and last I looked 95% of people in MA had signed up for Romneycare.

quote
"Gruber, an economist and health care adviser, apologized for his infamous “stupid voters” riff about Obamacare, got scolded by one committee member after another, said he wasn’t really the “architect” of Obamacare and even came away facing a subpoena threat.

But in four hours of questioning, Issa and his fellow committee members failed to get clear proof that anyone, including Gruber and Tavenner, was intentionally trying to fool the American people in passing Obamacare.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/12...

Issa is the person who hyped Benghazi into something it wasn't - the IRS "scandal" into something it was not, and so on and so on. He released what he wanted to that was detrimental to the WH and concealed that which supported the WH.

You scream Gruber - I scream Issa, and am glad to see the end of his chairmanship.

And as for the atrocities of old wars - they should not excuse the atrocities of today. It is a good that the atrocities are getting less bad - and the lessening should continue until they stop. Just like witches are not burned at the stake anymore, and lynching has stopped. We should become more civilized.

On Reaction to CIA torture report?

Posted on December 10 at 11:47 p.m.

Re: Raiding Native Sacred Places in a Defense Authorization: Everything Wrong with Congress
Terry Rambler
12/10/14

The San Carlos Apache Tribe (Tribe) has worked for the past decade to shine light on the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange that would transfer Oak Flat and nearby lands in the Tonto National Forest – lands held sacred by my Tribe and many other Native Americans – to a foreign-owned mining corporation for certain destruction. Sadly, this Land Exchange has been airdropped into the FY15 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) at the eleventh hour, as Congress prepares to bring the 113th Session to close.

Read more at https://indiancountrytodaymedianetwor...

Tut-tut and condemn the behavior of some young Blacks, but how about the White crimes that are not so noticeable because there is no blood and gore, but there is destruction of families - either by financial malfeasance, or by blatant theft of others' private property.

On Justice Demands Accountability

Posted on December 10 at 11:41 p.m.

Talking about rip-offs, and also with reference to the "pass the bill to read it" myth, is anyone aware of what is going on with the current budget bill that is supposed to prevent a government shutdown.

At the last minute, our friends on the right snuck in a provision to undo part of Dodd-Frank - the part that stops banks from using customer money to gamble with, and then when they fail, those same customers and other taxpayers have to bail them out.

Most in the house had no idea until today - this was snuck in late. Talking about deliberately preventing congress critters from reading it, yet alone discussing it, before passing it - and the public being blissfully ignorant as lobbyists try pass legislation to use their money for risky investments. (Citigroup wrote the provision.)

With the ACA, there was a committee of 3 repubs and 3 dems that oversaw the discussion, and writing of the ACA. For the Dodd-Frank abuse, there is nothing - nada.

And another sneaky part of the bill - to give Native American land to Rio Tinto for copper mining, without their permission.

Love it when the pseudo Dem issues are ranted about with apoplexy, and all the while worse stuff is going on behind closed doors.

My fears and trepidation about what is to be unleashed on the unwitting public after Nov 4, is beginning to happen even before the change-over.

Justice for the moneyed and their lobbyists. That is all.

On Justice Demands Accountability

Posted on December 8 at 11:33 a.m.

One can find crime and immoral behavior on both sides of the aisle.

--- Ninety percent of the corporations that were criminally convicted between 1989 and 2000 donated overwhelmingly to the Republican Party in 2012.

A study by the Corporate Crime Reporter, Russell Mokhiber, found that, “Ten out of the current top 100 donors to the 2012 political campaign have ple[a]d guilty to crimes.” The criminal-convictions file that was considered in his study included convictions during the ten years between 1989 and 2000.

An examination of this list, by the present reporter, indicates that nine of these ten big-donating criminal firms gave far more to Republican political campaigns than to Democratic ones. Only one firm, Pfizer, donated more to Democrats; and they contributed only slightly more to Democrats than to Republicans.

At least according to this measure, criminal firms prefer Republican politicians overwhelmingly. It is rare, almost unheard of, to find a population that is so lopsidedly favorable to one Party over the other, as this one is: 90% vs. 10%. ---

Newt Gingrich, a wife-cheater, voted to impeach Clinton. McCain's treatment of his first wife was so bad, that it fractured his relationship with Reagan. Both of these people have been supported by the Republican party.

On When Accusations of Rape Disturb the "Natural Order of Things"

Posted on December 8 at 3:48 a.m.

Unfortunately, booze is an entrenched world-wide problem.

I once went on a business trip to France, and had lunch with the workers, and each table had a flagon wine. Booze at lunch? I could not believe it. How was their post-luncheon work performance?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...

Many people tout the benefits of red wine - most of those benefits can be had from decent grape juice without the alcohol.

On TV Santa Barbara Airs Raymond Morua PSAs

Posted on December 6 at 6:32 a.m.

The fact that we are the wealthiest country, also means that we have the highest responsibility to curb climate change, because we are the best equipped to do so.

As for the China/US deal, there are obviously differences between how the left and right view it, and since the right has been the biggest brake on taking steps to reduce carbon emissions, I give scant credibility to their opinion.

quotes: "There are no obvious technical barriers but considerable political ones. Some parties are already rumbling that the United States is giving away the store for nothing much in return. We’ll see, however, that if anything it is China that is getting the short end of the stick—and a good thing, too, because the climate cares about CO2, not fairness, and if we are to have any hope of keeping warming from much exceeding 2 degrees Celsius, China will need to do more than its fair share.

The United States, European Union, and China together produce more than half of the world’s annual CO2 emissions, and with the new agreement, all three have made a public undertaking limiting future emissions. (Europe has been doing its part for decades, having made its first binding commitments at the time of the Kyoto Protocol.) That by itself makes the deal a big deal, but we need to look at the nature of the commitment to see whether it is big enough to significantly improve our chances of keeping global warming below 2 C ....

.... So yes, getting China off the exponential curve is a very, very big deal indeed.

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_...

quotes: The agreement between the two countries that together emit more than 40 percent of global CO2 pollution suggests a strong deal will be signed by the world's nations in Paris in 2015, under the terms of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, unlike Copenhagen in 2009. Prior to that meeting China and the U.S. pledged to cooperate but made no firm commitments to reduce pollution, resulting in the last-minute hullabaloo to salvage international efforts known as the Copenhagen Accord.

As a result, the U.S. and China have now begun to show that it just might be possible for the nations of the world to stop global warming for the first time since the Kyoto Protocol was signed in the 1990s. As Obama also said in his joint press conference with Xi: "When we work together, it's good for the United States, it's good for China and it is good for the world."

http://www.scientificamerican.com/art...

On Climate Change Talks Drag On in Lima

Posted on December 6 at 6:06 a.m.

And as for "sovereign" - when it comes to climate change, there are no borders. In fact some of the least polluting countries are affected by the higher pollution of other countries, more than those countries themselves. Some countries have thought of suing the worst polluters for the climate change effects they have to contend with, that are not of their making.

It behooves everyone on the planet to do the best they can for the entire planet - for not only the country they live in, but other countries that often supply the raw materials for the furnishings and food of their homes (and also provide vacation destinations). We are all in this together, as just one planet.

On Climate Change Talks Drag On in Lima

Posted on December 6 at 6:03 a.m.

Well, written article, Emily.

China is the #1 polluter, US is the #2 polluter in total numbers. But on a per capita basis, US is 17.56 and China is 6.195. There is a lot more that the US can do - we are not using the technology that is currently available to the fullest extent, for reasons explained below.

Europe is setting higher emission standards than the US - why?

As for undeveloped or developing countries, many of then can skip over the use of petroleum products where those functions can be more cleanly performed by solar.

quote: "Solar power is being increasingly explored as an option for energy development in Africa, largely because the lack of energy infrastructure in some countries allows for fresh technology implementation. Similarly to mobile networks looking to make progress in Africa, solar power initiatives are aided by the absence of legacy structures that would otherwise need to be revamped or overhauled at great cost. Meaning new technology can skip over expensive and time-consuming upgrades." :end.

With solar, they will be able to power their homes for all the appliances needed.

As for cars, this is where developing countries can skip over the investment developed countries have put into gas cars - as is being done in India, were people can go from no car to a solar-powered car and skip the gas car.

quote: "A partially electric car that can run on the sun's power is coming to India in March. (2013)
The e2O is the latest offering from the Mahindra Group, which says it will meet its "5 Cs" framework: clean, convenient, connective, clever, and cost effective." :end.

It is a matter of where there is a will, there is a way - and developed countries already heavily invested in petroleum, are probably going to be the slower movers. But, lots of companies and people, particularly youngsters are getting involved and doing innovative things. And hopefully that will snowball to overcome the reluctance of already petroleum-entrenched countries.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/6f8ce63a-7b...

Innovation in plastics productions is also finding means that do not use petroleum.

quote: "Washington State University, in collaboration with Iowa State University, is establishing the first industry and university cooperative research center devoted to the development of biologically based plastics.

“The field of plastics is not new, but making them from renewable materials rather than from petroleum is a growing area of interest in research and in industry,’’ said Michael Kessler, Berry Family Professor and center co-director.

“There are advantages of bioplastics from an environmental, economic and even performance standpoint, and the field is growing exponentially,” he said. “I am confident that this center will address many of the critical issues in biobased polymers and composites and will lead to a more sustainable future.’:end.

On Climate Change Talks Drag On in Lima

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