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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 44,713

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If you earn a billion dollars a year, do you get your own tax exemption? Take a guess.

Happy tax day. Here's why do the richest 1% pay a much lower tax rate than the rest, and what can you do about it:


The Hedge Fund Managers Tax Break: Because Wall Streeters Want Your Money

This rules your world
This rules your world. Want some? Too bad.

The coming of tax day provides a great opportunity for everyone to focus on their favorite tax break, and there are many from which to choose. However for all the sneaky and squirrelly ways that the rich use to escape their tax liability, none can beat the hedge fund managers’ tax break. This is the way the rich tell the rest of us, because they are rich and powerful, the law doesn’t apply to them.

The hedge fund managers’ tax break, which is also known as the carried interest tax deduction, is different from other tax breaks in that it has no economic rationale. With most other tax breaks there is at least an argument as to how it serves some socially useful purpose. That is not the case with the hedge fund managers’ tax break. This is simply a case where the rich don’t feel like paying taxes and are saying to the rest of us, “what are you going to do about it?”

If their earnings were taxed as normal income they would pay a 39.6 percent tax rate, compared to just a 20 percent capital gains tax rate. For a successful manager earning $10 million, the savings come to $1,960,000. If they earned $100 million, the savings would be equal to $19,600,000.


O'Reilly And Hume Talk About How Much Obama Has Benefited From Being Black

"You know, it's -- this is a tough question to pose. But if Barack Obama had been a young white senator from Illinois, I think probably Hillary Clinton would have defeated him. Is that unfair to say?" O'Reilly asked.

Hume agreed and said that Obama has received the "benefit of the doubt" more than he would have if he were white. And he said that the march toward equality produced an unfortunate trend.

"Look, one of the effects the great success of the Civil Rights movement, which was certainly a just cause, was that overwhelmingly Americans agree that blacks and other minorities should be treated equally in this country, they want to see blacks get ahead, and the effect of that is that being called a racist or labeled a racist, particularly if it's successful, is one of the worst things that can happen to you in America," Hume said.

"So it places a real weapon in the hands of those who would use it, particularly of those who would use it unscrupulously, which I think we've seen in the cases of some."

VIDEO & more:

'I wish we hadn't tagged it #Obamacare .....'


"If you have a Boehner lasting more than 23 years, seek immediate medical attention."

ok, the guy is a wing nut
But this is funny

"If you have a Boehner lasting more than 23 years, seek immediate medical attention."

-- A new ad from J.D. Winteregg (R), who is challenging Speaker John Boehner in next month's Ohio congressional primary.


Texting driver on cyclist she struck: "I just don't care"

Texting driver on cyclist she struck: "I just don't care"
Rob Beschizza at 6:48 am Tue, Apr 15, 2014 • 2 •

A woman in Australia was fined $4500 and lost her driver's license for 9 months after pleading guilty to dangerous driving Monday. According to The Standard, she struck the cyclist at 7:20 p.m. near Koroit, Victoria, having used her phone 44 times during the short drive from Warrnambool. Most striking, though, is what Kimberly Davis told investigators.

“I just don’t care because I’ve already been through a lot of bullshit and my car is like pretty expensive and now I have to fix it,” she told a police officer. “I’m kind of pissed off that the cyclist has hit the side of my car. I don’t agree that people texting and driving could hit a cyclist.”

The cyclist suffered a spinal fracture which required surgery and placement in a spinal cage at Melbourne’s Austin Hospital. He was originally told he could be left a paraplegic and spent three months recovering.


CHRIS HEDGES: Humans Have Been On A 500-Year-Long Planetwide Rampage Of Looting The Earth

Chris Hedges
The Myth of Human Progress and the Collapse of Complex Societies

Our financial system—like our participatory democracy—is a mirage. The Federal Reserve purchases $85 billion in U.S. Treasury bonds—much of it worthless subprime mortgages—each month. It has been artificially propping up the government and Wall Street like this for five years. It has loaned trillions of dollars at virtually no interest to banks and firms that make money—because wages are kept low—by lending it to us at staggering interest rates that can climb to as high as 30 percent. ... Or our corporate oligarchs hoard the money or gamble with it in an overinflated stock market. Estimates put the looting by banks and investment firms of the U.S. Treasury at between $15 trillion and $20 trillion. But none of us know. The figures are not public. And the reason this systematic looting will continue until collapse is that our economy (would) go into a tailspin without this giddy infusion of free cash.

The ecosystem is at the same time disintegrating. Scientists from the International Programme on the State of the Ocean, a few days ago, issued a new report that warned that the oceans are changing faster than anticipated and increasingly becoming inhospitable to life. The oceans, of course, have absorbed much of the excess CO2 and heat from the atmosphere. This absorption is rapidly warming and acidifying ocean waters. This is compounded, the report noted, by increased levels of deoxygenation from nutrient runoffs from farming and climate change. The scientists called these effects a “deadly trio” that when combined is creating changes in the seas that are unprecedented in the planet’s history. This is their language, not mine. The scientists wrote that each of the earth’s five known mass extinctions was preceded by at least one of the “deadly trio”—acidification, warming and deoxygenation. They warned that “the next mass extinction” of sea life is already under way, the first in some 55 million years. Or look at the recent research from the University of Hawaii that says global warming is now inevitable, it cannot be stopped but at best slowed, and that over the next 50 years the earth will heat up to levels that will make whole parts of the planet uninhabitable. Tens of millions of people will be displaced and millions of species will be threatened with extinction. The report casts doubt that (cities on or near a coast) such as New York or London will endure.

Yet we, like Ahab and his crew, rationalize our collective madness. All calls for prudence, for halting the march toward economic, political and environmental catastrophe, for sane limits on carbon emissions, are ignored or ridiculed. Even with the flashing red lights before us, the increased droughts, rapid melting of glaciers and Arctic ice, monster tornadoes, vast hurricanes, crop failures, floods, raging wildfires and soaring temperatures, we bow slavishly before hedonism and greed and the enticing illusion of limitless power, intelligence and prowess.


The human species, led by white Europeans and Euro-Americans, has been on a 500-year-long planetwide rampage of conquering, plundering, looting, exploiting and polluting the earth—as well as killing the indigenous communities that stood in the way. But the game is up. The technical and scientific forces that created a life of unparalleled luxury—as well as unrivaled military and economic power for a small, global elite—are the forces that now doom us. The mania for ceaseless economic expansion and exploitation has become a curse, a death sentence. But even as our economic and environmental systems unravel, after the hottest year (2012) in the contiguous 48 states since record keeping began 107 years ago, we lack the emotional and intellectual creativity to shut down the engine of global capitalism. We have bound ourselves to a doomsday machine that grinds forward.

much, much, much more:

Greenwald, Poitras: ‘This Award Is for Snowden’

“Democracy Now!” reports:

Over the past 10 months, Poitras and Greenwald have played key roles in reporting the massive trove of documents leaked by Edward Snowden. They were joined by colleagues Ewen MacAskill of The Guardian and Barton Gellman of The Washington Post, with whom they shared the award. In their acceptance speeches, Poitras and Greenwald paid tribute to their source. “Each one of these awards just provides further vindication that what did in coming forward was absolutely the right thing to do and merits gratitude, and not indictments and decades in prison,” Greenwald said. “None of us would be here … without the fact that someone decided to sacrifice their life to make this information available,” Poitras said. “And so this award is really for Edward Snowden.”


I can just imagine George Washington hiding behind Martha's skirts

These militias are so like our Founding Fathers. I can just imagine George Washington hiding behind Martha's skirts.

Bundy Ranch 'Militia' Considered Using Women As Human Shield

“We were actually strategizing to put all the women up at the front. If they are going to start shooting, it’s going to be women that are going to be televised all across the world getting shot by these rogue federal officers.”


Christie Disussed Wildstein Claims About Bridge Tie-Ups

Source: Bloomberg

Christie Disussed Wildstein Claims About Bridge Tie-Ups
By David Voreacos, Elise Young and Terrence Dopp Apr 14, 2014 9:01 PM PT 0 Comments Email Print

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s former ally David Wildstein told colleagues that he got clearance from the “front office” for the George Washington Bridge lane closings, Christie told investigators.

Wildstein, once a top official at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, which runs the bridge, told someone that he got permission to shut down the lanes from Sept. 9 to 12, Christie told lawyers from Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP. A summary of Christie’s interviews with the firm was released yesterday, along with those of 74 other people who spoke to Gibson Dunn.

An investigation commissioned by Christie concluded on March 27 that he had no advance knowledge of a plot to close the lanes. Wildstein and former Christie deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly sought to punish the mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey, for unknown political reasons through the tie-ups, according to the report, prepared by Gibson Dunn.

“The governor recalled someone (though he does not recollect who), relaying that Wildstein had said something along the lines of, ‘I’m not stupid; I got this cleared by the front office,’” according to a 12-page summary of three Christie interviews.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-14/christie-disussed-wildstein-claims-about-bridge-tie-ups.html

US Press once again Declines to Call White Terrorism in Kansas, Nevada, White Terrorism

US Press once again Declines to Call White Terrorism in Kansas, Nevada, White Terrorism
By Juan Cole | Apr. 14, 2014 |
(By Juan Cole)


Thus, we had the horrible day-before-Passover attack on two Jewish community facilities outside Kansas City, KS allegedly committed by a Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, which left 3 people dead. My heart goes out to the innocent victims of hate. I put “Kansas” and “terrorism” in a search of Google News and did not get a single hit on this incident, which tells me that no US news services are describing it that way. Heck, the LA Times said authorities are cautioning that it is too soon even to call the shootings a “hate crime.” Since the shooter is said to have shouted “Heil Hitler,” I’m going to go out on a limb and say it was a hate crime. And I’m also pretty sure it was a form of terrorism.


But a where a lone gunman committing a hate crime is a Muslim, there’s a demand to use the T-word. Moreover, there is the peculiar American practice of laying collective guilt on all Muslims for what any one wacko amongst them does. White people get a pass on having violent and destructive wackos among them. (In fact, almost all American Muslims are normal law-abiding and productive citizens– many are physicians and other professionals, business people, etc.; it isn’t their fault if West Asia is going through some turmoil these days; Europe went through a lot of turmoil and violence 1914-1945 and we don’t think Europeans in general are weird.)

Or then you have the stand-off between armed far right wing extremists in Nevada and the Bureau of Land Management.................. They openly admit to being armed private militias with names like “Praetorian Guard,” and they are breaking the law and trying to intimidate government officials. But Federal authorities are treating them with kid gloves. Even though they are certainly organized and deploying terror to make a political point, no one is calling them “terrorists.” (The Oklahoma City bombings caused LE to be cautious in confronting the far right extremists; maybe that’s why they are monitoring millions of innocent people instead, who they know won’t push back.)

This is the way the US Federal Code defines domestic terrorism:
” the term “domestic terrorism” means activities that—

(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
(B) appear to be intended—
(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States. ”

Note that the Federal Code doesn’t mention anything about the terrorism having to be committed by an organization (though the KKK and the “Patriot” militia movement are organizations). And it doesn’t say anything about the definition not applying to white people.

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