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Turborama

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Member since: Fri Sep 12, 2008, 12:43 PM
Number of posts: 21,209

Journal Archives

The Idea That Some Lives Matter Less...

Atheist group sues over tax code

Source: AP

By SCOTT BAUER
11/16/2012 02:29:23 PM PST

MADISON, Wis. — A federal lawsuit filed by a Wisconsin-based group representing atheists and agnostics argues that the Internal Revenue Service is violating the U.S. Constitution by allowing tax-exempt churches and religious organizations to get involved in political campaigns.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation argues that churches and other religious organizations have become increasingly more involved in political campaigns, "blatantly and deliberately flaunting the electioneering restrictions."

Its lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Madison argues that the IRS is not enforcing the federal tax code, which prohibits tax-exempt religious organizations from electioneering. Not enforcing it is a violation of the establishment clause of the First Amendment and a violation of equal protection rights because the same preferential treatment is not provided to other tax-exempt organizations such as the Freedom from Religion Foundation, the lawsuit contends.

The lawsuit, which was filed against IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman, asks that the court order Shulman to initiate enforcement of the electioneering restrictions against churches and religious organizations.

Read more: http://www.montereyherald.com/religion/ci_22012284/atheist-group-sues-over-tax-code



Tax the churches! Wouldn't this be a simple and effective way to make a massive dent in the debt?

Meet Uruguay's President - who's chosen to live on a ramshackle farm and gives away most of his pay

Jose Mujica: The world's 'poorest' president

By Vladimir Hernandez
BBC Mundo, Montevideo

November 15 2012 Last updated at 00:29



It's a common grumble that politicians' lifestyles are far removed from those of their electorate. Not so in Uruguay. Meet the president - who lives on a ramshackle farm and gives away most of his pay.

Laundry is strung outside the house. The water comes from a well in a yard, overgrown with weeds. Only two police officers and Manuela, a three-legged dog, keep watch outside.

This is the residence of the president of Uruguay, Jose Mujica, whose lifestyle clearly differs sharply from that of most other world leaders.

President Mujica has shunned the luxurious house that the Uruguayan state provides for its leaders and opted to stay at his wife's farmhouse, off a dirt road outside the capital, Montevideo.

The president and his wife work the land themselves, growing flowers.

This austere lifestyle - and the fact that Mujica donates about 90% of his monthly salary, equivalent to $12,000 (£7,500), to charity - has led him to be labelled the poorest president in the world.

"I've lived like this most of my life," he says, sitting on an old chair in his garden, using a cushion favoured by Manuela the dog.

"I can live well with what I have."

His charitable donations - which benefit poor people and small entrepreneurs - mean his salary is roughly in line with the average Uruguayan income of $775 (£485) a month.

In 2010, his annual personal wealth declaration - mandatory for officials in Uruguay - was $1,800 (£1,100), the value of his 1987 Volkswagen Beetle.



This year, he added half of his wife's assets - land, tractors and a house - reaching $215,000 (£135,000).

That's still only about two-thirds of Vice-President Danilo Astori's declared wealth, and a third of the figure declared by Mujica's predecessor as president, Tabare Vasquez.

Elected in 2009, Mujica spent the 1960s and 1970s as part of the Uruguayan guerrilla Tupamaros, a leftist armed group inspired by the Cuban revolution.

He was shot six times and spent 14 years in jail. Most of his detention was spent in harsh conditions and isolation, until he was freed in 1985 when Uruguay returned to democracy.

Those years in jail, Mujica says, helped shape his outlook on life.

"I'm called 'the poorest president', but I don't feel poor. Poor people are those who only work to try to keep an expensive lifestyle, and always want more and more," he says.

"This is a matter of freedom. If you don't have many possessions then you don't need to work all your life like a slave to sustain them, and therefore you have more time for yourself," he says.

"I may appear to be an eccentric old man... But this is a free choice."


Mujica could have followed his predecessors into a grand official residence

The Uruguayan leader made a similar point when he addressed the Rio+20 summit in June this year: "We've been talking all afternoon about sustainable development. To get the masses out of poverty.

"But what are we thinking? Do we want the model of development and consumption of the rich countries? I ask you now: what would happen to this planet if Indians would have the same proportion of cars per household than Germans? How much oxygen would we have left?


Instead, he chose to stay on his wife's farm

"Does this planet have enough resources so seven or eight billion can have the same level of consumption and waste that today is seen in rich societies? It is this level of hyper-consumption that is harming our planet."

Mujica accuses most world leaders of having a "blind obsession to achieve growth with consumption, as if the contrary would mean the end of the world".

More: http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20243493

While everyone's getting distracted by the Petreaus/Benghazi/etc shiny objects...

THIS is something to get really excited about and should be front page news in the US.

However, while the US mainstream media focus on salacious stories about affairs and what's the biggest concern of the losers of the election, the best/most informative article on what the President had to say during his 1st post-election press conference has to come from the UK...



Obama vows to take personal charge of climate change in second term

Barack Obama claimed climate change as a personal mission of his second term on Wednesday, offering for the first time to take charge of the effort to find a bipartisan solution to the existential crisis.

Obama, speaking in the first White House press conference since his re-election, acknowledged his first term had made only limited progress on climate change. But he promised to remain personally engaged in getting Republicans and Democrats to agree on a course of action.

"So what I am going to be doing over the next several weeks, the next several months, is having a conversation – a wide-ranging conversation – with scientists, engineers and elected officials to find out what more we can do to make short term progress," he said. "You can expect that you will hear more from me in the coming months and years about how we can shape an agenda that garners bipartisan support and help moves this agenda forward."

The comments were Obama's most expansive in years on the dangers of climate change and his strategy for addressing the problem. It was also the first time Obama said he would take personal charge of climate change.

Full article well worth reading in full: http://www.guardian.co.uk//environment/2012/nov/14/obama-climate-change-second-term

Surely something we can all get behind supporting President Obama on?

Obama vows to take personal charge of climate change in second term

Source: The Guardian

Barack Obama claimed climate change as a personal mission of his second term on Wednesday, offering for the first time to take charge of the effort to find a bipartisan solution to the existential crisis.

Obama, speaking in the first White House press conference since his re-election, acknowledged his first term had made only limited progress on climate change. But he promised to remain personally engaged in getting Republicans and Democrats to agree on a course of action.

"So what I am going to be doing over the next several weeks, the next several months, is having a conversation – a wide-ranging conversation – with scientists, engineers and elected officials to find out what more we can do to make short term progress," he said. "You can expect that you will hear more from me in the coming months and years about how we can shape an agenda that garners bipartisan support and help moves this agenda forward."

The comments were Obama's most expansive in years on the dangers of climate change and his strategy for addressing the problem. It was also the first time Obama said he would take personal charge of climate change.



Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk//environment/2012/nov/14/obama-climate-change-second-term



Ho-hum, minimal reporting on this in US mainstream media.

This excellent Guardian article, however, is well worth reading in full.

Holy SHIT! Here's an Image of the 1st Millisecond of a Nuclear Explosion



From I fucking love science: https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=498343196853363&id=367116489976035&set=a.456449604376056.98921.367116489976035&relevant_count=1&refid=20&_ft_=fbid.498498290171187




Cutting the U.S. nuclear arsenal can help cut the deficit

By Walter Pincus,  

Published: NOVEMBER 12, 9:59 PM ET
   
One way President Obama could help reduce the deficit is to trim funds planned for the next 10 years for building, maintaining and operating the U.S. nuclear weapons program.

That could save up to $100 billion over that period. Would it solve our deficit problem? No, but it would help. Such savings add up.

More than three years ago in Prague, Obama said that he wanted “to put an end to Cold War thinking . . . (and) reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy.” He and Russian President Vladimir Putin took a first step when they signed the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty on April 8, 2010, in Prague. The Senate approved it that December.

It called for reducing, by 2018, the number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550, and the number of deployed and non-deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and bombers to 800. It did not limit the number of non-deployed nuclear warheads or bombs; the United States has more than 2,500. Nor did it deal with shorter-range tactical nuclear weapons or cruise missiles.

More: http://washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/cutting-the-us-nuclear-arsenal-can-help-cut-the-deficit/2012/11/12/350ddd1e-2ac2-11e2-b4e0-346287b7e56c_story.html


Something I think we can all get behind putting pressure on making this part of President Obama's legacy...

PRICELESS Pic. Of Rmoney Losing The Election




From these guys: https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=469015426484324&id=360781383974396&set=a.362561537129714.96045.360781383974396&relevant_count=1&refid=17&_ft_=fbid.469015453150988

Perhaps THIS Is What Turd Blossom Is Really Afraid Of?



Please make this so during your last term, Mister President...



Ohio Poised To Save Us From RomneyWorld

By Larry Durstin
The Cleveland Leader

Published on 10/31/2012 - 4:48pm

It shouldn’t take the return of Howard Beale, The Mad Prophet of the Airwaves from the apocalyptic 1970s movie “Network,” to tell us that if Mitt Romney wins the election, America is in a lot of trouble.

That’s why the task of laying out what the landscape of RomneyWorld would be like falls to your humble servant: Oh, what a plutocratic paradise it would be, one with just enough theocratic lunacy mixed in to give the embattled masses, at best, a terminal case of the willies, and at worst, a one-way ticket to Dickensian squalor via the town square of 17th Century Salem.

For those unfamiliar with the litany of potential dangers of a Romney presidency, here’s a short list that should make lower- and middle-class folks as nervous as, well, a Mormon in a Black Liberation church: more tax cuts for the rich and more deregulation of corporations and Wall Street; a death sentence for unions and workers’ rights in general; the criminalizing of abortion and certain types of contraception; “papers please” and self-deportation of immigrants; the gutting of Medicare, Medicaid and the so-called safety net; the privatization of Social Security; at least one or two reactionary Supreme Court appointments eager to don powdered periwigs; the defunding of public education and the slashing of Pell Grants for college students; the debunking of science, replacing it with disjointed ruminations on what role God’s will plays in rapes and how the female body can actually stop conception with some kind of magic juice; upscale downsizing and a pipeline of American jobs to China; the return of neocon foreign policy with its blind support of the Israeli hawks; health care reform replaced by a dependence on the kindness of strangers; less consumer protection and more laissez-faire; and – maybe just maybe – in line with LDS teaching, administrative mandates declaring magic underwear must be worn and Missouri must be recognized as the site of the Garden of Eden.

In RomneyWorld, the ideal man would be John Galt, the hero of Goddess-of-Greed Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” a super-genius who invented a machine that makes electricity out of air, but when the government attempts to have it used for the good of others, Galt creates his own city where elites don’t have to bother with catering to working-class bottom feeders. The ideal woman, of course, would be Ann Romney herself, a spookily devoted stay-at-home mom who dutifully raises a well-scrubbed brood of automatons and who, like Inflatable Amy, never has a headache.

But have no fear, my fellow Americans, for standing between you and this nightmarish scenario is the at-times maligned yet unfailingly noble state of Ohio, the heart of it all. That’s right, the Buckeye State is poised to save America and, by most accounts, appears to be up to the task And no, this readiness has not sprung from some Facebook flash-mob, Tweet-of-the-day happenstance. Uh, uh. What we’re talking about here is true Midwestern grit – blood, sweat and organization.

Full article: http://www.clevelandleader.com/node/19286

Has The Background Story Behind Myth Romney's Phony "Relief" Debacle Been Reported By Any MSM Yet?

After a quick search, I can only see it's on Salon, Think Progress, Daily Kos and, of course, here.

If it was reported by the likes of ABC, NBC, CBS et al, the real contrast between the Conman in Chief:




And the Comforter in Chief:

Would be so stark and obvious that we could be talking a 1936 style landslide this time next week.
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