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Member since: Thu Sep 18, 2008, 02:11 PM
Number of posts: 406

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True...but lets face it...

...if not Obama, who? You won't see a better "speaker", as he's governed center-right. Same with Bill Clinton, who while I like very much, also repealed Glass Stegel, created NAFTA, signed brutal welfare reform, and much more. Why? To be popular, because to the point of my thread, Republican talking points win. This is why outside of social issues mainly advancing progressively, economically we have had hard right policies since Reagan.

Corporate Killers

If you haven't heard, a building being prepared for demolition collapsed onto another building yesterday in Philadelphia, killing at least 6 people and wounding 14.

However, since this story doesn't have to do with Muslims, gays, the word "Benghazi" or the IRS acting like a lawless modern day Nazi SS by scrutinizing the applications of political organizations applying for tax-exempt status, my guess is the media will spend more time discussing Paris Jackson's alleged suicide attempt then investigating what actually happened here.

This is both typical and tragic, because while these 6 people didn't die at the hands of any evil brown people, and so far even Matt Drudge can't find a way to link this to President Obama, all early indications are that these people died solely because the company hired to demolish a building in a major city refused to follow the federal regulations to do so. In fact their work was so shoddy that most eye witnesses stated they could plainly see a collapse was bound to happen, and that the demolition company was using all the precaution of a toddler in a ball pit.

Granted, all the facts are not yet known, and I realize there is no 10 second video of the event the media can play on an endless loop with some ominous apocalyptic backdrop. Still, it's disturbing that while a couple of nutcases with firecrackers and a pressure cooker can shut down a major city and dominate the national media for days on end, what appears to be a blatant case of corporate criminal negligence leading directly to the the horrific death of 6 people (TWICE the number of Boston Marathon fatalities) garnishes little more then a yawn.

If only people understood that the real threat to their everyday lives and the lives of their children is not terrorism, but lawless corporations choosing to ignore regulations because of toothless regulatory agencies and our refusal to imprison corporate killers.

Dispatches from the Bubble

Driving in this morning a prominent right wing radio host was talking about some "bombshell" letter with regards to the IRS "Scandal". Apparently, according to the host, Al Frankin and some other Senate Democrats had actually sent a letter directly to the IRS "demanding that they target conservative non profit groups".

Wow!!!!! That would be quite the bombshell wouldn't it!!!!

So, when I got to work I took the 90 seconds necessary to verify if this was true (knowing damn well it couldn't be), and sure enough it was a complete lie. The truth is that the letter signed by half a dozen senators back in 2012 simply requested that the IRS address the deeply flawed requirements for groups applying for non-profit status by claiming to be "social welfare organizations" when they are really just political groups. The letter makes no mention of conservative or liberal groups, and is completely non-partisan. I pasted the letter below.

There is nothing special about this mind you, it occurs across right wing media every single hour of every single day. Still, it's a good example of how the right wing "bubble" works. The right bases it's propaganda on the Nazi big lie theory - the bigger the lie the more believable, and the more you repeat it the more true it will seem.

So in this case, an article titled, "Schumer, Franken urged IRS to target tea party in 2012" appeared in the popular right wing website, "The Daily Caller", a totally credible "news" website frequently quoted on radio & Fox News. Obviously, the headline itself was an absurd lie. Still, within minutes its picked up by the entire right wing media establishment, false headline and all. Check out this quick google search to watch the bs spread like a cancer...


And voila!.....It's now a fact in the bubble that Senate Democrats conspired to target conservative groups and there is hard core evidence of it. Anyone denying this is either brainwashed by Obama or part of the liberal conspiracy.

Here is the actual letter to the IRS....

Hon. Douglas H. Shulman
Internal Revenue Service
Room 3000 IR
1111 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Dear Commissioner Shulman:

We write to ask the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) to immediately change the administrative framework for enforcement of the tax code as it applies to groups designated as “social welfare” organizations. These groups receive tax and other advantages under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code (hereinafter, “IRC” or the “Code”), but some of them also are engaged in a substantial amount of political campaign activity. As you know, we sent a letter last month expressing concerns about the 501(c)(4) issue; an investigation this week by the New York Times has uncovered new, specific problems on how c)4)s conduct business. We wanted to address those new concerns in this letter.

IRS regulations have long maintained that political campaign activity by a 501(c)(4) entity must not be the “primary purpose” of the organization. These regulations are intended to implement the statute, which requires that such organizations be operated exclusively for the public welfare. But we think the existing IRS regulations run afoul of the law since they only require social welfare activities to be the 'primary purpose' of a nonprofit when the Code says this must be its 'exclusive' purpose. In recent years, this daylight between the law and the IRS regulations has been exploited by groups devoted chiefly to political election activities who operate behind a facade of charity work.

A related concern, raised in a March 7th New York Times article, concerns whether certain nonprofits may be soliciting corporate contributions that are then treated by the company as a business expense eligible for a tax deduction. The Times wrote: “Under current law, there is little to no way to tell whether contributions are being deducted, especially because many of the most political companies are privately held.” This potential abuse distorts the objectives of vital revenue mechanisms and undermines the faith that we ask citizens to place in their electoral system.

We propose that the IRS make three administrative changes to curtail these questionable practices and bring IRS tax regulations back into alignment with the letter and spirit intended by those who crafted the Code:

· First, we urge the IRS to adopt a bright line test in applying its “primary purpose” regulation that is consistent with the Code’s 501(c)(4) exclusivity language. The IRS currently only requires that the purpose of these non-profits be “primarily” related to social welfare activities, without defining what “primarily” means. This standard should be spelled out more fully by the IRS. Some have suggested 51 percent as an appropriate threshold for establishing that a nonprofit is adhering to its mission, but even this number would seem to allow for more political election activity than should be permitted under the law. In the absence of clarity in the administration of section 501(c)(4), organizations are tempted to abuse its vagueness, or worse, to organize under section 501(c)(4) so that they may avail themselves of its advantages even though they are not legitimate social welfare organizations. If the IRS does not adopt a bright line test, or if it adopts one that is inconsistent with the Code’s exclusivity language, then we plan to pursue legislation codifying such a test.

· Second, such organizations should be further obligated to document in their 990 IRS form the exact percentage of their undertakings dedicated to “social welfare.” Organizations should be required to “show their math” to demonstrate that political election activities and other statutorily limited or prohibited activities do not violate the “primary purpose” regulation.

· Third, 501(c)(4) organizations should be required to state forthrightly to potential donors what percentage of a donation, if any, may be taken as a business expense deduction. As the New York Times reported in its March 7tharticle, some of these organizations do not currently inform donors whether a contribution is tax deductible as a business expense at all.

The IRS should already possess the authority to issue immediate guidance on this matter. We urge the IRS to take these steps immediately to prevent abuse of the tax code by political groups focused on federal election activities. But if the IRS is unable to issue administrative guidance in this area then we plan to introduce legislation to accomplish these important changes.


Senators Charles E. Schumer, Michael Bennet, Sheldon Whitehouse, Jeff Merkley, Tom Udall, Jeanne Shaheen and Al Franken

The Bubble Lives On

This is the top story on Townhall.com, as mainstream as mainstream gets for conservative media;

"Obama Administration Partners With the UN to Attack the Second Amendment"

Sound ridiculous? That's because you have a functioning brain.

The link to the story is below, but here's what you need to know - There is a treaty that's been in the works at the UN for years to crack down on international gun trafficking and illegal arms sales (that end up in the hands of terrorists and so on). It is literally supported by almost every single country in the world.

Well, apparently this may hurt the profits of American gun and arms makers, so the NRA got its puppets in the right wing media to attack, and somehow turn it into a hilarious story about how Obama is going to use this to erase the 2nd amendment and take your guns. Not only will this help to pressure Congress to not support the treaty, it also lends itself to the ongoing fear campaign that has led to record gun sales since President Blackenstein took office.

Anyway, the story ends with yet another giant, monstrous lie that while it can be disproven in 10 seconds and an Internet connection, has been believed as gospel in the bubble for 4 years;

"Barack Obama is no doubt the most anti-gun president in the history of the United States and his pandering to the corrupt UN should be alarming to anyone who wants to keep their Second Amendment freedoms."

It's pretty clear that the right didn't learn a thing from the election, and will continue to use lies and fear to build their zombie voting base. This bodes well for progressives.


Divine Intervention - Hilarious Pic!!!

The Cult of Conservatism

So I'm in day 3 of no electric. Gave the baby a bath this morning by heating water in our fireplace. We have some downed trees in the neighborhood, but nothing too serious. Others haven't been so lucky. As we all know, large portions of New Jersey and lower Manhatten literally lay in waste.

Thousands have lost everything they own, many are still stranded in flooded towns - cold, hungry and scared. Some have been killed, some are still missing.

I haven't had a television, and have had to conserve my cell phone power for an emergency. So my only news has come by way of a little battery operated radio tuned into our local 24/7 news station.

I was very pleased to hear how focused and on top of everything the President has been, and was even happier to hear Chris Christie, who I am no fan of, not only handling the situation in our neighbor state so well, but doing so in such welcoming and thankful coordination with Obama and FEMA.

As my wife, kids and I finally fell asleep last night, all of us cuddled on the floor in front of the fire, I was very comforted to know that President Obama was going to do everything possible for those who needed it, and even allowed myself to ponder that perhaps out of this tragedy will come some bipartisan good will from our friends on the right.

Well, it took all of 10 minutes back in the real world, by way of getting in my car and leaving the house for the first time in 4 days, for me to realize that once again I was only kidding myself.

A few minutes into my drive, I turned on the radio, and out of curiousity flipped to the most popular am radio talk station in Philly, which of course is 100% conservative.

The host, whose audience includes the millions of people in Philadelphia and Jersey Shore who are still dealing with the aftermath of the most devastating storm in history, wasn't talking about how to help, wasnt giving vital data about food drop offs or red cross locations, wasn't pulling the people together with inspiring stories about our incredible first responsers and brave neighbors all working together....he was furiously ripping into President Obama over Benghazi. That's right...Benghazi.

Specifically, he was saying that the president is only stepping up to the plate with Sandy because it's good PR before the election, but he had no problem letting our people die in Benghazi.

Next, he railed about Chris Christie, openly stating how deplorable it was that he lavished praise on Obama and FEMA, going off on the damage that does to their message and even potential presidential election chances.

And conservative caller after conservative caller agreed whole-heatedly. My heart sunk.

I remember the days after 9-11 all too well, when Republicans were in charge and the democrats in the minority. I remember the potential "politics" of such an event not even crossing my mind for many months. I remember being proud of Bush, a man I despised, and standing behind him when he stood on that pile of rubble with the bullhorn. We were all Americans for a good long while.

Yet the right couldn't wait for the Benghazzi bodies to be cold before blaming the President. They couldn't wait for Sandy's waters to recede, or the missing people to be found before politicizing the catastrophe and attacking the president with full force.

I generally try to give my political opponents the benefit of the doubt, that they care about people and the country just like me, only disagree with how to address our problems.

But it's becoming undeniable that conservatism is more a cult then political philosophy, a disease of the mind that removes one's humanity, placing hatred of others and the desire for power above all else.

I shudder to think what the right would have done if Obama were in office for 9-11. If Obama lied us into Iraq. If Obama sanctioned torture and illegal detentions. If Obama shred the Bill of Rights with the Patriot Act. If Obama sat on his hands during Katrina. If Obama sank our economy the way Bush did...

The fact is, it's unthinkable, Obama would have been drug out and hung on the White House lawn if any one of those things happened, and everyone knows it. Hell, the guy passed a republican healthcare plan and they are ready to do so.

All I know is these are the people who will take charge, with a perceived mandate, if Obama loses. I can't think of anything more terrifying.

Isn't it funny...

That when a black presidential candidate has a black Christian pastor who, as an ex-military man himself, at times would question America's destructive policies in the Middle East, it's a massive 24/7 media orchestrated SCANDAL for an entire year that nearly costs the candidate the presidency...

...but when a rich white presidential candidate is a freaking bishop in a blatantly misogynistic, racist, comically absurd cult that allows polygamy (what happened to sanctity of marriage?)...it's met with a collective yawn from the media.

Or how when a black candidate is raised poor, discriminated against his whole life from both whites and blacks, yet still manages to overcome the odds and all that adversity to eventually be the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review, a Constitutional Law Professor, a 6 year Illinois State Senator and a US Senator for 2 years....he's an "unknown" who "doesn't understand America" and is probably a secret Kenyan Muslim with an agenda to destroy America...

...but when a white guy is born with a silver spoon up his ass, attends prestigious prep schools his entire life, uses daddy's connections to start a consulting business where he makes hundreds of millions of dollars by maximizing the profits of management at the expense of workers, refuses to release his financial documents to the public including the secret bank accounts he owns all around the world, and has probably never pumped his own gas or worn the same pair of socks twice...well he's a real American and "one of us"...

I tell you, it's good to be white...

Todd Akin on Hurricane Sandy...

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