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Bill USA

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Member since: Wed Mar 3, 2010, 04:25 PM
Number of posts: 3,430

About Me

Quotes I like: "Prediction is very difficult, especially concerning the future." "There are some things so serious that you have to laugh at them.” __ Niels Bohr Given his contribution to the establishment of quantum mechanics, I guess it's not surprising he had such a quirky of sense of humor. ......................."Deliberate misinterpretation and misrepresentation of another's position is a basic technique of (dis)information processing" __ I said that

Journal Archives

Family Member Of Benghazi Victim Opposes GOP Select Committee



At a news conference denouncing the committee’s formation on Friday, however, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters that family members of two of the four Americans who died the night of the attack had reached out to oppose the formation of the committee. “(They) have called us and said: Please don’t take us down this path again,” the former Speaker said. She did not offer further details on which of the families had contacted Congress.

One of those, ThinkProgress has learned, is the family of former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods. “A family member from the maternal side of Tyrone Woods’ family called Rep. Slaughter yesterday while she was on the floor to express support for the Congresswoman’s position,” a member of Rep. Louise Slaughter’s office confirmed to ThinkProgress. Slaughter’s office declined to offer more details out of respect for the family. Woods was present the night of the attack in the Central Intelligence Agency’s annex in Benghazi and was one of the security forces that responded to the original attack against the diplomatic outpost. Woods, along with fellow CIA security contractor Glen Doherty, died under mortar fire the night of the attack.

The speech that was Woods’ relative supported was delivered on the House floor on Thursday, when the New York Democrat said that Congress has “bottomed-out on Benghazi.” In lamenting the Republican politicizing of the issue, and recent fundraising initiatives, Slaughter asked why more wasn’t being done to prevent the next tragedy on Benghazi’s scale. “What the families of the victims and Americans want is to ensure it never happens again,” she said. “But we’re doing nothing in to ensure that.”

That it was the maternal side of Woods’ family who reached out is notable as Woods’ father has been active in speaking out on conservative media outlets about the administration’s handling of the attack since the days after his son was killed. Charles Woods early on repeated the claim that “the White House Situation Room was watching our people die in real time, as this was happening,” which he first heard on right-wing media and has since been debunked.

Pelosi To Boehner: Benghazi Panel Is 'Fundamentally Unfair'


House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) wrote a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) Friday calling the GOP's select committee on Benghazi "fundamentally unfair."

She lamented to Boehner that he didn't fulfill her request to give Democrats have an equal voice in terms of issuing subpoenas and other procedural matters on the committee.

"Regrettably, the proposal does not prevent the unacceptable and repeated abuses committed by Chairman Issa in any meaningful way, and we find it fundamentally unfair," Pelosi wrote.

The Democratic leader is juggling several different goals when determining whether or not her party will boycott the panel. She's facing internal dissent from some members who want to participate, while leadership prefers to boycott. And she wants her party to appear reasonable in order to persuade the public that Republicans have ulterior motives in setting up the panel -- namely to attack the Obama administration and tarnish Hillary Clinton ahead of a possible 2016 presidential run.

Pelosi letter to Boehner - 5/9/2014


I wish she just would have included in the letter the following: "The conclusions of this committee are already known by anybody who is familiar with the Republican war on Obama and now former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton and your penchant for character assassination and creating pseudo scandals. You could make the announcement this committee's conclusion of guilt of.. whatever right now, since as we all know, that decision has already been made regardless of the facts that do not support any such conclusion. But you won't do that, as that would deny you the benefit of creating sound bites for broadcast on the evening newscasts - and large hoped for contributions from the GOP's 'anti anything constructive' faithful."

Appeals Court Puts Brakes On Judge Who Shut Down Scott Walker Investigation


One day after a federal judge dramatically shut down the secret "John Doe" probe investigating Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's (R) 2012 recall election, a federal appeals court on Wednesday stayed the lower judge's ruling.

As The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported, the ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit provides a way for District Judge Rudolph Randa to reissue his preliminary injunction halting the investigation. But the higher court said the part of Randa's ruling that ordered state prosecutors to destroy or return all material obtained during the investigation will remain stayed "as long as proceedings continue in this court."

The John Doe investigation, a type of proceeding prosecutors in Wisconsin use to determine whether or not to charge a criminal offense, was focused on campaign coordination between Walker's campaign and outside conservative groups. One of the groups targeted by the investigation, Wisconsin Club for Growth, filed a lawsuit to stop the probe -- and Randa ruled heavily in the group's favor on Tuesday.

The 1 Chart That Reveals Just How Grossly Unfair The U.S. Tax System Has Become


Apple CEO Tim Cook waved a magic wand in front of America on Tuesday, vanishing our outrage over how shamelessly companies avoid paying taxes, leaving the rest of us to foot the bill. As a public service to you, here is a chart that should enrage you about corporate tax rates all over again! (Story continues below chart of RAGE.)

federal revenue

Notice the beige stripe that is shrinking steadily? That stripe is the percentage corporate taxes contribute to total federal revenue. And notice the olive-green stripe that has swollen to be larger than the beige stripe used to be? That is the contribution of payroll taxes to federal revenue.

What this shows is how dramatically corporate tax contributions have shrunk in the past several decades, and how our personal taxes have risen to fill the gap. Payroll taxes now make up 35 percent of all federal government tax receipts, up from 11 percent in 1950. Corporate income taxes, meanwhile, now make up less than 10 percent of federal revenue, down from about 26 percent in 1950.

To 'splain those numbers a little more clearly: We who are on the payrolls of companies now bear way more of a tax burden than those companies bore decades ago. Those companies, meanwhile, bear less of a burden than we ever did.

And this doesn't include individual income tax, which accounts for about 46 percent of total federal tax receipts, roughly the same as 60 years ago.

Where Do Federal Tax Revenues Come From? Indiv Inc tx: 47%, Payroll txs: 34%, Corp Inc tx: 10%


In fiscal year 2013, the federal government spent $3.5 trillion on the services it provides, such as national defense, health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security benefits for the elderly and disabled, and investments in infrastructure and education, in addition to interest on the debt (see our related Policy Basics: Where Do Our Federal Tax Dollars Go?). Federal revenues financed close to $2.8 trillion of that $3.5 trillion. Borrowing financed the remaining amount ($680 billion); future taxpayers will ultimately pay this deficit.

The three main sources of federal tax revenue are individual income taxes, payroll taxes, and corporate income taxes; other sources of tax revenue include excise taxes, the estate tax, and other taxes and fees.

Almost half of all federal revenue (47 percent) comes from individual income taxes. The income tax is generally progressive: higher-income households pay a larger share of their income in income taxes than lower-income households do.

Another 34 percent of revenue comes from payroll taxes, which are assessed on the wage or salary paychecks of almost all workers and used to fund Social Security, Medicare Hospital Insurance, and unemployment insurance. By law, employers and employees split the cost of payroll taxes, but research has shown that employers pass their portion of the cost on to workers in the form of lower wages.


The Truth About The U.S. Corporate Tax Rate The Right-Wing Media Doesn't Want You To Know


Krugman Responds To Claim That Corporate Taxes Are The Highest In The World: "Nothing You Said About Business Taxes Is Actually True." On the April 29 edition of This Week with George Stephanopoulos, former Republican senatorial candidate and former Hewlett-Packard CEO claimed that the United States has "the single highest business tax rate the in the world," and that high taxes cause job losses and stalls economic growth. Krugman responded that none of Fiorina's claims was "actually true":

KRUGMAN: Nothing you said about business taxes is actually true.

FIORINA: Everything I said about business taxes is true.

KRUGMAN: We can have that discussion in one place, but it's not true.

FIORINA: This isn't an academic discussion, it's clear here.

KRUGMAN: If you look at the actual tax collections in the United States on business, they're lower than other advanced countries. And if you look at the alleged finding that high business taxes cause job losses in states, it goes way on even the -- kick the tires even slightly and the whole thing falls apart. It's just not true.

Studies Support Krugman: U.S. Corporate Tax Rates Are Similar To Other Countries

CRS: U.S. Has A Slightly Lower "GDP Weighted Average" Corporate Tax Rate Than Other OECD Countries. A March 31, 2011, Congressional Research Service (CRS) report titled "International Corporate Tax Rate Comparisons and Policy Implications," compared the weighted average of corporate tax rates in the United States and in other countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It found that the United States has an effective corporate tax rate of 27.1%, compared to the OECD (excluding the United States) average of 27.7%. From the report:

If tax rates are not weighted, then a small economy, such as Iceland, can have the same effect on the average of international rates as a large economy, such as Germany or Japan. In general, smaller countries tend to have lower tax rates and thus unweighted averages are lower than weighted averages in most cases. In the results presented in this report, both weighted and unweighted averages are reported, but weighted averages are more relevant to making comparisons of measures of the tax burden on capital deployed around the world.



Repugnants set up "Obama and Hillary are guilty of somthin re Benghazi" 'investigation' commitee

Benghazi panel to have 7 GOP-ers, 5 Dems

The select committee that will probe the attacks in Benghazi will have seven Republicans and five Democrats, according to the resolution creating the panel.

The resolution — posted to the House Rules Committee website on Tuesday night — will come to the floor Thursday and is expected to pass by a wide margin. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has tapped South Carolina GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy to chair the panel.

The Gowdy committee, as it’s being informally called among House aides, will “conduct a full and complete investigation and study and issue a final report” to the House on “all policies, decisions an activities that contributed to the attacks on United States facilities in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012, as well as those that affected the ability of the United States to prepare for the attacks. …”

Also under consideration will be “all policies, decisions and activities to respond and repel the attacks” on the Consulate in Benghazi.

Rep Adam Schiff calls Repug Benghazi Committee a "Collosal Waste of Time"


WASHINGTON (AP) — A Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee says it makes no sense to participate in the select committee that Republicans want to create to investigate the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California says he'd recommend that Democratic leaders not appoint any Democrats to the committee that Speaker John Boehner is moving to set up.

Schiff tells "Fox News Sunday" that there have been multiple investigations into Benghazi and that the new committee is "a colossal waste of time."

Schiff calls the committee "a tremendous red herring" and a waste of money and believes Boehner is bowing to the GOP's far-right faction.

.. SUGGESTION: E-mail Democratic Congressmen and tell them to boycott the committee and tell the Repugnants:

"Why don't you just save the Government time and money and just render you verdict now and be done with it."

Media Omit Crucial Detail In Reporting On Retired General's Benghazi Testimony


Media Ignore Lovell's Crucial Clarification, Seize On "We Should Have Tried" Comment

Lovell Says "We Should Have Tried" To Rescue Victims, Clarifies He Did Not Mean The Response Was Insufficient. On May 1, Lovell, who served as deputy intelligence director at the U.S. Africa Command in Germany (AFRICOM) during the September 11, 2012 attack, testified that "we should have tried" to rescue the victims of the attack. Later, Lovell clarified his remark in an exchange with Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA):

CONNOLLY: I want to read to you the conclusion of the chairman of the Committee, the Republican chairman Buck McKeon, who conducted formal briefings and oversaw that report. He said, quote, "I'm pretty well satisfied that given where the troops were, how quickly the thing all happened, and how quickly it dissipated we probably couldn't have done much more than we did." Do you take issue with the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee? In that conclusion?

LOVELL: His conclusion that he couldn't have done much more than they did with the capability and the way they executed it?

CONNOLLY: Given the timeframe.

LOVELL: That's a fact.


LOVELL: The way it is right now. The way he stated it.

CONNOLLY: All right, because I'm sure you can appreciate, general, there might be some who, for various and sundry reasons would like to distort your testimony and suggest that you're testifying that we could have, should have done a lot more than we did because we had capabilities we simply didn't utilize. That is not your testimony?

LOVELL: That is not my testimony.

CONNOLLY: I thank you very much.

ABC News' Sawyer: Lovell "Testified Before Congress That The U.S. Military Should Have Tried To Do More To Fend Off That Attack." In a May 1 report on Lovell's Benghazi testimony, ABC World News host Diane Sawyer said Lovell "testified before Congress that the U.S. military should have tried to do more to fend off that attack." The segment never mentioned that Lovell later clarified the remark and agreed that the military could not have done more.

NBC News: "Official: 'We Should Have Tried' to Help During Benghazi Attack." NBCNews.com published a report on Lovell's testimony under the headline, "Official: 'We Should Have Tried' to Help During Benghazi Attack." The report omitted Lovell's clarification with Rep. Connolly in which he explained that it was "a fact" that there was nothing more the military could have done.

Fox's Perino: Lovell "Said That Our Military Should Have At Least Tried" To Save Benghazi Victims. On the May 1 edition of Fox News' The Five, co-host Dana Perino claimed that during testimony of the military's response to Benghazi, Lovell "said that our military should have at least tried, but it was never even ordered." The rest of the show made no mention of Lovell's later clarification of those remarks.

House GOP Basically Admits Its Obamacare Survey Was Bogus


House Republicans have come as close as they likely will to admitting that their much-touted Obamacare survey was bogus.

An industry source shared with TPM an email sent Thursday by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which said it plans to ask for new data from insurers that it hopes will "accurately capture" the number of HealthCare.gov enrollees who have paid their premiums.

The same source described a previous survey from the committee as "incredibly rigged" to reach a conclusion that only 67 percent of enrollees had paid their premiums, by ignoring the fact that the due date for some of those payments was still weeks out from the committee's deadline.

"After discussions with many of you, the Committee believes that gathering data through May 20, 2014 should accurately capture the number of individuals who have completed their enrollments through (HealthCare.gov) by paying their premium," the email, sent by a committee staffer, said. It was accompanied by a formal letter from committee leadership.

Lindsey Graham Coordinated With Lara Logan On Benghazi Smear Piece (cross post)

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