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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 50,359

Journal Archives

Dear Administrators

I accidentally hit:
Don't ask me again
for DU Jury...

as much as I don't like deciding on the appropriateness of posts,
I did not mean to say NEVER.

can I hit a reset button?

peace and thanks,

Billionaire Blasts Companies That Jump Overseas To Duck Taxes: ‘I’m Selling Your Stock’

Billionaire Blasts Companies That Jump Overseas To Duck Taxes: ‘I’m Selling Your Stock’

As more and more American corporations have used mergers and shell companies to shift profits and shrink their U.S. tax liabilities over the past few years, there has generally been a sharp divide between populists who decry the maneuvers and investors who celebrate them.

Friday morning saw a high-profile defection from the economic elites’ camp, however, as outspoken billionaire investor Mark Cuban pledged to sell off his holdings in companies that move offshore for tax reasons. “If I own stock in your company and you move offshore for tax reasons I’m selling your stock,” Cuban tweeted.

Mark Cuban ✔ @mcuban
If I own stock in your company and you move offshore for tax reasons I'm selling your stock. There are enough investment choices here
4:45 AM - 25 Jul 2014



House Republican Hearing On The Harmful Impact of Obamacare Completely Backfires

A House Republican hearing on the harmful impact of Obamacare on Medicare Advantage completely backfired when the expert witnesses that Republicans invited disagreed with them.


The Republicans quickly crashed and burned when their own witnesses disagreed with them.

Chris Wing of SCAN Health Plan said, “The MA program continues to grow in popularity. It gives seniors and other eligible individuals what they want: choice, coordination of care, affordability. It has begun to put the incentives in place for constant quality improvement by rewarding collaboration between providers and plans. Congress should have a strong interest in seeing the continued advancement of Medicare Advantage.”

Joe Baker of the Medicare Rights Center testified, “Many predicted that ACA changes to MA payment methods would lead to widespread disruption of the MA market. However, there is little evidence that this has occurred. In fact, it is important to note that MA enrollment is at an all-time high, with nearly 16 million beneficiaries now enrolled in an MA plan, representing a steadily growing percentage of beneficiaries. In addition, premium costs, benefit levels, and the availability of MA plans remain relatively stable across the country.”

Robert Book of Health Systems Innovation Network told the committee, “Since its inception, Medicare Advantage has proved to be one of the most popular and successful components of Medicare, with enrollment steadily increasing over time.”


the rest:

Good Lord! Look At The Mess...

NSA Got Into Bed with the Saudis Just Before Our Technical Cooperation Agreement Expanded

DOC HERE: http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1236112-saudi-arabia-information-paper.html

Between January 14 and 16, 2013 MbN traveled to Washington and met with just about every top National Security person (many of whom, including Brennan, were just assuming new jobs). On January 16, MbN and Hillary Clinton renewed and expanded the Technical Cooperation Agreement initiated in 2008. The TCA was modeled on the JECOR program used from the late 1970s until 2000 to recycle US dollars into development programs in Saudi Arabia; in this more recent incarnation, the Saudis recycle dollars into things like a 30,000 mercenary army and other military toys for internal stability and border control. Last year’s renewal — signed just over a month after Clapper made the Saudis full Third Person partners – added cybersecurity to the portfolio. The TCA — both the existing security resources and its expansion under close ally MbN — shored up the power base of one of our closest partners (and at a time when we were already panicking about Saudi succession).

In other words, in addition to expanding Saudi capabilities at a time when it has been cracking down on peaceful dissent, which is what the Intercept story on this document discusses, by giving the Saudi MOI Third Party status, we added to the power of a key ally within the royal family, and did so at a time when the TCA was already shoring up his power base.

We did so, the Information Paper makes clear, in part because MOI has access to internal Saudi telecommunications. While the Information paper talks about AQAP and Iran’s Republican Guard, they are also targeting Saudi targets.

And these new capabilities? They get coordinated through Chief of Station in Riyadh, the CIA. John Brennan’s agency.

It’s all very tidy, don’t you think?


Naomi Wolf Read The Bible & It "Blew Her Mind" - But Not For The Usual Stated Reasons...

Okay, so I was challenged below: "Read the Bible! God gave the land of Israel to the Jewish people."

So....I may get crucified for this but I have started to say it -- most recently (terrified, trembling) to warm welcome in a synagogue in LA: Actually if you read Genesis Exodus and Deuteronomy in Hebrew -- as I do -- you see that God did not "give" Israel to the Jews/Israelites. We as Jews are raised with the creed that "God gave us the land of Israel" in Genesis -- and that ethnically 'we are the chosen people." But actually -- and I could not believe my eyes when I saw this, I checked my reading with major scholars and they confirmed it -- actually God's "covenant" in Genesis, exodus and Deuteronomy with the Jewish people is NOT ABOUT AN ETHNICITY AND NOT ABOUT A CONTRACT. IT IS ABOUT A WAY OF BEHAVING.

Again and again in the "covenant" language He never says: "I will give you, ethnic Israelites, the land of Israel." Rather He says something far more radical - far more subversive -- far more Godlike in my view. He says: IF you visit those imprisoned...act mercifully to the widow and the orphan...welcome the stranger in your midst...tend the sick...do justice and love mercy ....and perform various other tasks...THEN YOU WILL BE MY PEOPLE AND THIS LAND WILL BE YOUR LAND. So "my people" is not ethnic -- it is transactional. We are God's people not by birth but by a way of behaving, that is ethical, kind and just. And we STOP being "God's people" when we are not ethical, kind and just. And ANYONE who is ethical, kind and just is, according to God in Genesis, "God's people." And the "contract" to "give" us Israel is conditional -- we can live in God's land IF we are "God's people" in this way -- just, merciful, compassionate. AND -- it never ever says, it is ONLY your land. Even when passages spell out geographical "boundaries" as if God does such a thing, it never says this is exclusively your land. It never says I will give this land JUST to you. Remember these were homeless nomads who had left slavery in Egypt and were wandering around in the desert; at most these passages say, settle here, but they do not say, settle here exclusively. Indeed again and again it talks about welcoming "zarim" -- translated as "strangers" but can also be translated as "people/tribes who are not you" -- in your midst. Blew my mind, hope it blows yours.


"I love your country": Rep Clawson Mistakes U.S. Officials For Indian Nationals, Awkwardness Ensues

Nisha Biswal and Arun Kumar are Indian-Americans who serve as assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs and assistant secretary and director general of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service, respectively.

Clawson, who succeeded former Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.), continued on by heaping praise upon India while addressing Biswal and Kumar, apparently unaware of his confusion.

"I'm familiar with your country; I love your country," the freshman congressman said. "Anything I can do to make the relationship with India better, I'm willing and enthusiastic about doing so."

"Just as your capital is welcome here to produce good-paying jobs in the U.S., I'd like our capital to be welcome there," he added. "I ask cooperation and commitment and priority from your government in so doing. Can I have that?"

Video & More:

The Inspiring Work Being Done To Show What Jesus Would Do At The Border

The Inspiring Work Being Done To Show What Jesus Would Do At The Border

Children’s clothing set aside for young immigrants. Donations come a range of sources, but especially from faith groups.

“We helped 200 people that first night,” Pimentel said. “They are our brothers and sisters that are in need. They come into our country, and they find themselves in a terrible state. They need to take a shower and they need time to eat. The children are very dehydrated. You cannot help but help them.
They need care, and they need love.”

You cannot help but help them. They need care, and they need love.

The operation has grown significantly over the past month, due in part to increased media coverage of the crisis. The county pitched in and provided mobile tents to the church, so they can offer temporary shelter for immigrants who want to sleep. Massive donations of supplies from outside groups have started pouring in. Other worshipping communities from a variety of religious traditions are also sending workers to help, and now dozens of volunteers scuttle back and forth across the busy space at any given time, each sporting sea-green vests with “Catholic Charities” scrawled across the back.

Their work is ultimately about providing simple hospitality. Families arrive at Sacred Heart in waves — two groups in the morning, two or three more in the afternoon. Each family is assigned a sponsor who accompanies them throughout their stay. They are given a hot meal — usually soup, water, and Pedialyte for nutrients — while their sponsor searches through the piles of clothes and shoes to find things that fit them. The raw number of immigrants varies per day, reaching as high as 277 on “big days” and bottoming out just below 100 on “little days.” More than 3,500 people have been helped since the station was erected last month, 1,000 more were assisted by a sister operation set up in nearby Brownsville, Texas. Depending on when their bus leaves, families stay at the center for anywhere between half an hour and half a day, just long enough to shower, rest, and process what they’ve been through.

“You can see the fatigue on their faces,” a volunteer working the front desk said. “But they also just seem grateful that someone is actually welcoming them. Sometimes they break down in tears because no one has welcomed them like that before.”


Cartoon: The Gaza grip


KS Repub state legislators NOT happy with Gov. Brownback - Endorse Democrat For Governor

A Strange Political Dustup Clouds Kansas Governor's Future
July 24, 2014 6:05 AM ET

Paul Davis, third from left, the presumed Democratic nominee for Kansas governor, receives the endorsements of more than 100 current and former Republican politicians on July 15, 2014, in Topeka, Kan.

Kansas's Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is locked in an unexpectedly tough re-election battle for doing exactly what he said he would do – cut taxes.

Citing mounting evidence that those tax cuts are creating a budget crisis – not stimulating the Kansas economy as promised – some in the state's moderate Republican establishment recently did the unthinkable: endorse a Democrat for governor.

That's not only endangering Brownback's re-election hopes, it's also tarnishing his plans to turn one of the reddest of red states into a national model.

Sam Brownback left the U.S. Senate to run for governor intending to demonstrate he could use conservative policies to reverse decades of population and economic decline in his home state. He easily won the 2010 race, and immediately began implementing and promoting what he calls his red-state model.

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