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Bill USA

Profile Information

Member since: Wed Mar 3, 2010, 04:25 PM
Number of posts: 6,436

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

PBS NewsHour offers interview of frmr Pres Clinton as balance to Pawlenty's campaign speech

On Thursday PBS Newshour didn't dissappoint in its effort to be Fox News' most ardent imitator. On Thursday's show they hosted Tim Pawlenty's astonishing litany of bald faced lies and are 'selling' their interview of Pres. Clinton the previous night as 'balance' to Pawlenty's harrangue. Pawlenty is the co-chair of the Romney campaign. Clinton isn't even associated with the Obama campaign. They should have someone who is at least associated with the Obama campaign to speak for them.

Pawlenty's speech - it wasn't an interview since he didn't really answer any questions put to him by Judy Woodruff (a couple were actually pretty good questions too). After she asked a question, Pawlenty obfuscated a bit and then just picked up with his speech where he left off and continued with the torrent of Big Lies.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/politics/jan-june12/pawlenty_06-07.html


Here's one example about regulations being the reason for businesses not hiring more:

Pawlenty said the number one reason why small businesses aren't hiring and expanding is government being 'on their backs', i.e. regulations. Actually, a survey by the National Federation of Small Businesses polled small businessmen (Aug 2011) and the number one reason for businesses not hiring and expanding was "poor sales" --- Duh!!. The number two reason was 'taxes' but as Lawrence Mishel of indicates businesses always say taxes are too high and that in the latest survey the number of small businesses identifying taxes as the first cause for not expanding was not that much greater than their historical rate for that response and it was lower than the number identifying that as the number one cause during the George HW Bush and Clinton administrations. Regulations came in third, but again the number identifying this cause was less than had identified it during the George H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations.




In another bizarre comment, Pawlenty said "If you look at the over $800 billion stimulus that was chockful of infrastructure projects and giveaways to sub-units of government, and that didn't work."

First of all, in order to stop or delay the stimulus being enacted by filibustering, Obama had to reduce the stimulus by more than a third by converting that much of the stimulus to tax cuts. Now, anybody knows tax cuts offered at the beginning of a recession when every working person is worried about whether they will have a job in six months - won't produce stimulus. People won't spend a tax cut. They will save it or use it to pay down their debt. Which is exactly what they did. That's good personal finance, but it doesn't produce stimulus for the economy. So the stimulus was more like $560 million. That is, much less than it needed to be. But the Republicans knew they had to reduce the size of the stimulus as much as possible by threatening to filibuster.

But when Pawlenty says it didn't work, that's just blatant bullshit. The Council of Economic Advisors, the Congressional Budget Office, Moody's Analytics all concluded that the stimulus created or saved from 1.5 to 4.1 million job. USA Today surveyed 50 economists and they said the Stimulus helped the economy by preventing the unemployment rate from going lower. 70% of the economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal said the stimulus helped the economy deal with the greatest economic disaster this county has seen since the first first Great Depression - that is, the Trickle Down - Deregulation Disaster.
(see: http://mediamatters.org/research/201006070015 )

Regulatory uncertainty not to blame for our jobs problem



Negative 15.8% Tax Rate Not Low Enough for GE: CEO Immelt Calls for Amnestyfor Corporate Tax Dodgers

This is from July of 2011 but I thought it is still a good read:

http://www.ctj.org/taxjusticedigest/archive/2011/07/negative_158_tax_rate_not_low.php

Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of the company famous for making profits of $26 billion from 2006 through 2010 and receiving tax benefits from the IRS of $4.1 billion over that period, has endorsed the recently proposed amnesty for corporate tax dodgers, called a "repatriation holiday" by its proponents.

Immelt was selected by President Barack Obama in February of 2009 to chair his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, which is to advise the White House on economic policy. He has been CEO of General Electric since 2000.

In March, the New York Times reported GE's federal corporate income tax bill of negative $4.1 billion over the five-year period in which it earned $26 billion in profits, which is an effective tax rate of negative 15.8 percent. A recent report from CTJ focuses on the three-year period 2008-2010 and finds that GE earned $7.7 billion in profits during this period and had a federal corporate income tax bill of negative $4.7 billion over this period.

Following the New York Times revelations, progressive activists spearheaded a call for Immelt's resignation from the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

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Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem - Ornstein & Mann (Brookings Inst)


Why you won't see Norman Ornstein or Thomas Mann on the Charlie Rose show anytime soon (DEFINITELY NOT before the election)
.. in their OpEd in WaPo and their book: "IT's Even Worse than it Looks" they come out and call the GOP an "insurgent outlier". PBS Newshour even had them on but you can be sure good ol' Fascist Toadie, Charlie Rose won't have them on his show.


Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem - OpEd in WaPo

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/lets-just-say-it-the-republicans-are-the-problem/2012/04/27/gIQAxCVUlT_print.html

Rep. Allen West, a Florida Republican, was recently captured on video asserting that there are “78 to 81” Democrats in Congress who are members of the Communist Party. Of course, it’s not unusual for some renegade lawmaker from either side of the aisle to say something outrageous. What made West’s comment — right out of the McCarthyite playbook of the 1950s — so striking was the almost complete lack of condemnation from Republican congressional leaders or other major party figures, including the remaining presidential candidates.

It’s not that the GOP leadership agrees with West; it is that such extreme remarks and views are now taken for granted.

We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.

The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.
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Give ’em hell, Barry - E.J. Dionne, WaPo

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/give-em-hell-barry/2012/05/27/gJQASckGvU_story.html


Progressives have yearned for President Obama to follow Harry Truman’s strategy from the 1948 campaign by giving his Republican opponents hell. Now that Obama is doing just that, his critics say he’s not looking presidential.

As a longtime advocate of the Truman approach (and a fan of Give ’Em Hell Harry and his way of doing politics), I think Obama is doing the right thing. Critics of the battling style miss what Obama needs to get done in this campaign and also ignore the extent to which so many of his foes refuse to treat him in a presidential way. Far better for him to be a fully engaged fighter with passion for what he’s saying than a distant, regal figure pretending that the other side is playing by a dainty set of rules.

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To the extent that Romney can be tied to an unpopular Republican House and an obstructionist minority in the Senate, their unpopularity will rub off on him. But unlike Dewey, Romney has largely endorsed his congressional colleagues’ agenda. Obama’s task is to argue that whatever moderate sounds Romney made during his career in Massachusetts politics, these are irrelevant to how he would govern with the GOP likely to be in the congressional saddle. ...

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.....What Truman taught is that Americans would rather see a president with the strength to fight than a politician with such sensitive sensibilities that he leaves all the tough stuff to others.



Glad to see this article by Dionne. Obama hasn't seemed to grasp that there are millions of voters out there who he has confused in that they wonder if he's willing to fight for what rational people recognize as the correct policies against a 'strike force' (Orenstein and Mann of Brookings Inst. have designated the GOP as the "insurgent outlier" which has turned our political scene into a battlefield, and who's only political strategy is to sabotage anything he tries to do to help our nation recover from this Republican Trickle Down-Deregulation Disaster. Delivering speeches that sound like seminars for Harvard graduate students is not the way to convince people you are ready and willing to fight for what is right ...and for THEM. We need a fighter Mr. President.

I remember the words of FDR when asked about the implacable hatred the Repulblicans had for him. His answer: "I welcome their hatred."

here's a more complete extract of FDR's comment. Notice how relevant the comments are to todays REPUBLICAN DYSTOPIA (all emphases my own):


http://docs.fdrlibrary.marist.edu/od2ndst.html
...

[font size="3"]For twelve years this Nation was afflicted with hear-nothing, see-nothing, do-nothing Government.* The Nation looked to Government but the Government looked away. Nine mocking years with the golden calf and three long years of the scourge! [font color="red"]Nine crazy years at the ticker and three long years in the breadlines! Nine mad years of mirage and three long years of despair! Powerful influences strive today to restore that kind of government with its doctrine that that Government is best which is most indifferent. [/font]

For nearly four years you have had an Administration which instead of twirling its thumbs has rolled up its sleeves. We will keep our sleeves rolled up.

We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace--business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. [font color="red"]We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob. [/font]

Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me--[font size="4"]and I welcome their hatred.[/font]

I should like to have it said of my first Administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match. I should like to have it said of my second Administration that in it these forces met their master.



* FDR refers here tothe Hoover administration. Today we had the Bush administration, which created the largest U.S. public debt in history .... BEFORE the TRICKLE DOWN - DEREGULATION DISASTER.. and ignored pleas to tighten credit and rein in Predatory Lenders and Wall Street Banksters. The GOP answer to concerns raised by Democrats overthe exploding public debt was: "Deficits Don't Matter." Alan (Mr. Magoo) Greenspan fought efforts to regulate Wall Street and to rein in Predatory Lendrs (see Predatory Lenders Partner in Crime.)

FDR was a leader who could be a diplomat, but was not afraid to fight the forces of ignorance in our society on the political battlefield. Please take note Mr. President, sometimes you can't get something worthwhile done, without offending some people.
But take heart, Mr. President. If you fight for what's right. The people will be with you. We will man your army.



Companies sitting on $1.24 Trillion cash hoard, but won't hire. They don't need investors they need


customers.


http://blogs.barrons.com/incomeinvesting/2012/03/14/u-s-companies-sitting-on-1-24-trillion-cash-hoard/

The GOP's reliance on hysterical talk is an admission that they have no ideas or solutions to offer

The GOP by their repetitive use of hysterical rhetoric hope (not without reason, - it does work) to get the ignorant and easily manipulated to start running fearfully to their promised deliverance from the arch evil Democrats. It seems their only tactic to win an election is to depict Obama as some sort of incarnate evil. This works when dealing with mental dwarfs and more average type people during times of confusion, dissappointment and frustration (even when the condition is the result of Corporate Lobbyist party policies). And of course, an important principle is REPETITION, repetition, ... repetition.

A brief sampling of GOP demagoguery:

John Boehner: "It will be armaggedon, if HCR passes."

Boehner: "...he's a dead man when he goes back to his district." - referring to a Democratic representative from Ohio who voted for HCR.

Sharon Angle on the possibility of the relection of Harry Reid: "...we may have to resort to second amendment solutions"

Palin: "Don't retreat, RELOAD!"


When the subject comes up of the toxic atmosphere of the political debate the Republicans (and their Corporate Media Disinforming Obfuscating Operatives) are quick to claim that "Well, the Dems do it too!".

Here is a good article from the Hill that addresses that fraudulent argument/excuse.

Second Amendment solutions

There is no parity between "the right and the left" in the politics of hate in the America of 2011. Yes, some on the left say things I do not agree with, or approve of, and they should be criticized when they do. But the politics of hate, which I have been warning about for over a year, are heard far more from the right than the left these days.

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I do not recall anyone from the left going to town meetings of members of Congress and shouting down elected officials to prevent them from talking to constituents.

I do not recall anyone from the left going to town meetings brandishing guns. I do not recall anyone from the left suggesting that guns are a solution to political differences in any way, by any person, for any reason, as Angle did in Nevada.

America does not need right-wing ideologues or political haters questioning our president's faith in Christianity, or his Americanism, or comparing him to Adolf Hitler, and it is profoundly wrong and unwise when some party leaders refuse to unequivocally condemn these things.
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THis is a good article to bookmark for use and reference in 'discussions' on or off the internet. Anybody who has other articles along this line which they can reference (& provide links to) I would certainly like to be made aware of them.

20 Experts Who Say Drilling Won't Lower Gas Prices

http://mediamatters.org/blog/201203220011

In a pretty impressive act of journalism, the Associated Press recently conducted a "statistical analysis of 36 years of monthly, inflation-adjusted gasoline prices and U.S. domestic oil production." The result: "No statistical correlation between how much oil comes out of U.S. wells and the price at the pump." It's neat to see math cut through the talking points and get straight to the truth of the matter -- which is that expanding drilling is a fundamentally ineffectual response to gas price spikes.

Given that changes in U.S. oil production don't move gasoline prices, it should be clear that U.S. government policies related to drilling are of even smaller consequence. Indeed, 92 percent of economists surveyed by the Chicago Booth School of Business agreed this week that "changes in U.S. gasoline prices over the past 10 years have predominantly been due to market factors rather than U.S. federal economic or energy policies."

Still not convinced? How about another 20 economists and analysts from across the political spectrum who will tell you the same thing:
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The Affordable Care Act Is Getting Results, With Much More to Come

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2012/03/aca_anniversary.html

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Millions of Americans can now get the health insurance coverage they need thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

The act’s provision allowing young adults to remain on their parents’ insurance until age 26 has been particularly important to American families as the economy struggles to get back on its feet. Because of the law 2.5 million additional young adults including 1.3 million minorities—many of them new college graduates—had access to coverage even if they were unable to find a job right away. Notably, this demographic’s coverage gains are wholly attributable to increases in private coverage with no change to Medicaid coverage. Now, 73 percent of young adults have insurance coverage as a result of the dependent provision, and their families benefit from this economic security, too.


Meanwhile, many Americans with a pre-existing medical condition—including asthma, heart disease, previous injuries, and cancer—would not have access to necessary, affordable care without health reform. The health law prohibits insurance companies from charging higher premiums, limiting benefits, or denying coverage to those who need it starting in 2014. But to ensure those with pre-existing conditions can access the care they need immediately, the Affordable Care Act created the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan, which includes coverage for primary and specialty care, hospital services, and prescription drugs. To date, more than 50,000 Americans have enrolled in PCIP, a nearly 400 percent increase in enrollment since November 2010.

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Health care reform requires insurance plans to cover important preventive services, including critical immunizations, numerous health screenings, and counseling services, with no cost-sharing by women. In 2011 alone more than 85 million people—32.5 million Medicare beneficiaries and 54 million Americans with private insurance—including seniors, women, and persons with disabilities, accessed these critical preventive services for free. Millions of women will take advantage of more comprehensive preventive care beginning in August 2012, including free mammograms, well-woman visits, contraception, and breast-feeding support and counseling.

Seniors and persons with disabilities enrolled in Medicare saw significant savings thanks to the law. The Affordable Care Act works to close the Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage gap, also known as the “donut hole.” In 2011 alone, nearly 4 million seniors saved more than $2.1 billion on prescription drugs—an average of $604 per person—and will save even more in the years ahead. The average Medicare patient will save $4,200 from 2011 to 2021 while those with higher prescription drug costs will save as much as $16,000 over the same period.

<much more>


Here's an answer to a question on FactCheck.org that debunks a load of lies from a bit of GOP disinformation circulated via emails and on conservative psycho's internet sites. Again, all emphases are my own._Bill USA

Premium Nonsense On Medicare - FactCheck.org

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This widely circulating message is similar to a falsehood-filled screed that went around last year, urging "retribution" against members of Congress in the 2010 midterm elections. This message makes somewhat different accusations — also false — and urges voters to "remember" in November 2012.

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■ It claims that "those of you who are on Medicare" can thank "Obamacare" for increases in the per-person monthly Medicare premium — "to a wonderful $247.00 in 2014." This is also false. The basic premium for Medicare Part B (which covers physician services) was indeed $96.40 in 2009. But the other numbers are all wrong. It was $110.50 last year, for example, and not $104.20 as claimed. And it is $115.40 this year, not $120.20 as claimed.

Actually, only 27 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are paying the basic rate. [font color="blue"]The rest — 73 percent — are paying less[/font] under a "hold harmless" provision triggered by the lack of a cost-of-living increase in Social Security this year or last year. Most are still paying $96.40.

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Republicans exaggerate the increase in private health insurance premiums caused by the new law.

http://www.factcheck.org/2011/10/factchecking-health-insurance-premiums/

( all emphases are my own_Bill USA)

Health insurance premiums for employer-sponsored family plans jumped a startling 9 percent from 2010 to 2011, and Republicans have blamed the federal health care law. But they exaggerate. [font color="blue"]The law — the bulk of which has yet to be implemented — has caused only about a 1 percent to 3 percent increase in premiums, according to several independent experts.[/font] The rest of the 9 percent rise is due to rising health care costs, as usual.

Furthermore, the increase caused by the law is a result of the increased benefits it requires, a factor Republicans generally ignore. So far, insurance companies have been required to do the following:

■ Cover preventive care without copays or deductibles.
■ Allow adult children to stay on parents’ policies until age 26.
■ Increase annual coverage limits.
■ Cover children without regard for preexisting conditions.

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...experts we spoke with weren’t too surprised by this year’s findings. They point out that the 3 percent growth from 2009 to 2010 was unusually low. While it’s tough to discern a clear, long-term trend in the growth rates, the annual increase was holding steady at around 5 percent or 5.5 percent from 2007 to 2009. The growth rates had been at 10 percent and higher from 2000 to 2004. (See our chart below, which uses Kaiser’s employer survey numbers.) So, the 3 percent growth rate was “abnormally low,” says John Sheils, senior vice president of The Lewin Group, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group that operates independently of the health care company. He says it “would stand to reason that we’d get a boost” this year, possibly due to recovering losses or catching up on the cost of new equipment. A health policy analyst with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners agreed, saying that it was “not surprising to see it rebound like that.”

[center][/center]

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... the insurance companies went along with Obama's compromise approach because they knew without it they would be going out of business as a larger and larger segment of the population would not be able to afford health insurance which would have meant these people would have, out of necessity, been added to Medicare regardless of age.


Health Insurers: We’ll Deny Coverage For Pre-Existing Conditions If Health Mandate Is Repealed

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/03/19/447157/health-insurers-well-deny-coverage-for-pre-existing-conditions-if-health-mandate-is-repealed/



Health insurers and supporters of the Obama administration’s health-care reform law are currently in the midst of drawing up possible contingency plans in case the Supreme Court overturns the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.

The insurance industry argues that premiums are likely to skyrocket without the individual mandate in place to aid in pushing millions of new enrollees into the marketplace, as healthy people will be less likely to buy insurance, while insurers will still be required to sell policies to all applicants. In fact, a repeal of the individual mandate would increase insurance premiums by 25 percent, according to a study released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

“The insurance reforms would have to change if the mandate were struck,” said Justine Handelman, vice president of legislative and regulatory policy for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association trade group.

Health-insurance officials say that if the mandate is repealed, “their first priority would be persuading members of Congress to repeal two of the law’s major insurance changes: a requirement to cover everyone regardless of his or her medical history, and limits on how much insurers can vary premiums based on age.” Their next step would be to “set rewards for people who purchase insurance voluntarily and sanction those who don’t.”

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