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cal04

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Member since: Tue Jan 6, 2004, 12:46 PM
Number of posts: 38,117

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Biden blasts Romney in Iowa newspaper

Vice President Biden attacked Mitt Romney, the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, in an op-ed published in the Des Moines Register on Friday.
http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011312230020

"How can anyone forget the economic catastrophe brought about by the same policies Mr. Romney’s proposing? His are the same policies that deregulated Wall Street and turned it into a casino that gambled recklessly with hardworking Americans’ money. As a consequence, Americans saw the equity in their homes evaporate and their 401(k)s plummet in value. Millions of jobs were lost," Biden wrote.

(snip)
"Romney appears satisfied to settle for an economy in which fewer people succeed, while the majority of Americans are left to tread water or fall behind. His proposal would actually double down on the policies that caused the greatest economic calamity since the Great Depression and accelerated a decades-long assault on the middle class," Biden wrote.

"Romney also misleadingly suggests that the president and I are creating an 'Entitlement Society,' whereby government provides everything for its people without regard to merit, as opposed to what he calls an “Opportunity Society,” where everything is merit-based and every man is left to fend for himself. The only entitlement we believe in is an America where if you work hard, you can get ahead."

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/gop-presidential-primary/201127-biden-blasts-romney-in-op-ed-piece

Occupy protesters take aim at Rose Parade

Pasadena police and Tournament of Roses officials have been negotiating with Occupy leaders for several weeks to prevent problems. Protesters will be allowed to march after all the floats have gone.
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-occupy-rose-parade-20111222,0,7810364.story

(snip)
"It's Occupy 2.0 and why not start on New Year's Day in Pasadena?" said Daniel Niwander, an activist with Occupy Pasadena.

Pasadena police and Tournament of Roses officials have been negotiating with Occupy forces for several weeks on a plan that they hope will prevent any disruptions to the parade. Pasadena officials are allowing the Occupy group to march the route at the end of the parade, after all the floats have passed.

(snip)
Protesters intend to march with large banners that decry wealth inequality in the United States and to unveil a few colorful "floats" of their own, including a giant people-powered octopus, said Pete Thottam, an Occupy spokesman. The octopus will be made out of recycled bags, stretching 40 feet from tentacle to tentacle, and is designed to represent the stranglehold that Wall Street has on the political process, he said.

Others will carry large blow-ups of the Constitution, one with the words "We the People" and the other "We the Corporations," he said. Planned speakers include Cindy Sheehan, an antiwar activist who lost her son in the Iraq war, local Occupy activists and possibly leftist documentarian Michael Moore.

Boehner's new excuse for opposing payroll tax cut is biggest whopper yet

http://democrats.senate.gov/2011/12/19/gop-spin-meter/

After Months of Opposing Tax Cut Altogether, House GOP Now Claims Extension Is Too Short

The GOP’s latest excuse for opposing a middle-class tax cut is the most desperate one yet.

After spending months opposing any extension of the tax cut, Speaker John Boehner and other top Republicans now say the Senate’s bipartisan compromise doesn’t extend it for long enough.

Republicans will say anything to disguise their opposition to tax relief for middle-class families.


more at link

Senators trade jabs one day after reaching compromise

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/12/18/senators-trade-jabs-one-day-after-reaching-compromise/

One day after the Senate voted 89-10 in favor of a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut, two senators argued Sunday about whether the House of Representatives wanted to move forward on the legislation.

On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, accused House Republicans of playing politics and “itching for a fight with Democrats in the White House” while they undermined tax relief provided in the Senate measure.

(snip)
“In the House version, they take money from middle class families in Medicare, they take money from middle class families in health care, they take money from middle class civil servants,” he said in reference to provisions in the measure.

Menendez added that he’d “love to see a year” of tax cut extensions, but insisted Republicans had to “stop fighting for millionaires and billionaires” so that both the House and Senate could come to an agreement.

Supporting ‘All-American Muslim’ Advertisers

http://thinkprogress.org/alyssa/2011/12/16/391197/supporting-all-american-muslim-advertisers/

The Florida Family Association has managed to do a lot of damage with its All-American Muslim boycott over the last week and a half, whether by convincing companies like Lowe’s and Kayak to absolutely humiliate themselves, or by stirring up anti-Muslim sentiment against the cast of a touching and totally uncontroversial reality show. But fortunately one thing sanctimonious moralizers do well is make lists, and they’ve kept track of advertisers who stuck to their guns and either continued to advertise on the show after the FFA started its campaign.

So if you’re withdrawing your business from Lowe’s and Kayak and, during the holiday season, looking for new places to spend some money, you can use their list against them. Those advertisers include:

– Big Lots
– Conagra’s Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes
– Discover Card
– Disney for The Muppets
– GeicoHonda North America, for the Accord and Odyssey
– Resolve Clean
– Drano
– Glade
– Scrubbing Bubbles
– Kay Jewelers
(more at link)

Rick Perry’s ‘Early Retirement’ Allows Him To Boost His Income By 60 Percent

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/12/16/391244/perry-early-retirement/

Texas’s longest-serving Governor, Rick Perry (R), is retiring at the end of his term in 2015, promising to walk away from his $150,000 annual salary. But by “officially” retiring early, the Texas Tribune reports that the 61-year-old has been taking home not only that salary, but also “lucrative pension benefits” that, altogether, ad up to a 60 percent boost in compensation:

Perry officially retired in January so he could start collecting his lucrative pension benefits early, but he still gets to collect his salary — and has in turn dramatically boosted his take-home pay.


Perry makes a $150,000 annual gross salary as Texas govenor. Now, thanks to his early retirement, Perry, 61, gets a monthly retirement annuity of $7,698 before taxes, or $6,588 net. That raises his gross annual salary to more than $240,000.

The GOP candidate who demanded sweeping changes to the “Ponzi scheme” that is Social Security and slammed public workers for their special “perks” is also eligible for Social Security and “lifetime, state-provided health care.” Perry’s windfall is “consistent with Texas state law and Employee Retirement System rules,” said Perry’s spokesman Ray Sullivan. The Texas Tribune’s Jay Root discovered this “early retirement manuever” via new ethics disclosures from the Federal Election Commission which requires candidates to detail exactly how they make their money.

Perry "Retires" to Boost Pension Pay
http://www.texastribune.org/texas-politics/2012-presidential-election/perry-retires-boost-pension-pay/

Statewide Budget Cuts Force Ohio Town To Turn Off Street Lights

Statewide Budget Cuts Force Ohio Town To Turn Off Street Lights To Save Money
http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/12/15/390562/ohio-lights-off-budget-cuts/

(snip)
Officials say the village’s funding from the state has been slashed by 25-percent and another 25-percent will be cut next year.

So to try to make ends meet, the village is preparing to end its contract with Dayton Power and Light at the end of the month.

That would save more than $17,000, but leaders fear it could also cost villagers in safety.

Towns and cities across Ohio have felt the crunch from Gov. John Kasich’s (R) budget cuts, and decisions like the one New Paris made could have been avoided had Kasich and his Republican colleagues not preserved millions in benefits for the rich and corporations. Ohio Republicans cut the state’s estate tax, lowered its income tax in a way that benefited those with incomes over $200,000, and preserved multiple special interest tax breaks to benefit corporations.

Homeland Security limits ties with Arizona's Sheriff Joe Arpaio

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/nationnow/2011/12/sheriff-joe-arpaio-arizona-maricopa.html

(snip)
In a statement, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said her department was ending one agreement with Arpaio’s Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and restricting the office’s access to another Homeland Security program.

“Discrimination undermines law enforcement and erodes the public trust,” Napolitano said. “DHS will not be a party to such practices. Accordingly, and effective immediately, DHS is terminating MCSO's 287(g) jail model agreement and is restricting the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office access to the Secure Communities program.”

(snip)
U.S. Rep. Raul M. Grijalva, who represents part of Maricopa County, praised Homeland Security for terminating Maricopa County's participation in the 287(g) jail program, saying it underscored how serious the Justice Department’s findings were.

“It's been used wrongly and in a very abusive way,” Grijalva, longtime critic of the sheriff, said in an interview.

'Dismal' prospects: 1 in 2 Americans are now poor or low income

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/12/15/9461848-dismal-prospects-1-in-2-americans-are-now-poor-or-low-income

Squeezed by rising living costs, a record number of Americans — nearly 1 in 2 — have fallen into poverty or are scraping by on earnings that classify them as low income.

The latest census data depict a middle class that's shrinking as unemployment stays high and the government's safety net frays. The new numbers follow years of stagnating wages for the middle class that have hurt millions of workers and families.

"Safety net programs such as food stamps and tax credits kept poverty from rising even higher in 2010, but for many low-income families with work-related and medical expenses, they are considered too 'rich' to qualify," said Sheldon Danziger, a University of Michigan public policy professor who specializes in poverty.

"The reality is that prospects for the poor and the near poor are dismal," he said. "If Congress and the states make further cuts, we can expect the number of poor and low-income families to rise for the next several years."

Robert Reich on Countdown with Keith Olbermann

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