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Bill USA

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Member since: Wed Mar 3, 2010, 05:25 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

Just heard Marko Pejanovic playing Copin's Fantasy Impromptu. He's 12 yrs old. Incredible! Sounds

like a veteran concert pianist. He shows feeling in his playing which, it seems so many young pianists of late don't seem able to do - (maybe it's a style thing).



Vets group says EPA should stand up to Big Oil, stand up for US military


Hundreds of thousands of people are waiting for the US Environmental Protection Agency to issue its final ruling on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Over 110,000 signatures were collected by the group VoteVets.org (often politically active on energy issues), which delivered its petition with Congressman Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. Over 35,000 of those signatures were from veterans and military family members.

VoteVets.org is a veteran group that believes that the US needs more homegrown energy, not dependence on foreign oil. Congressman Braley represents the corn-growing, ethanol-producing state of Iowa, where over 1,000 of these signatures were collected. They've asked the EPA to protect the RFS and not give in to Big Oil, and recently met with EPA senior staff members to voice their concerns.

"The RFS improves our economy and contributes to our energy independence-and the EPA needs to understand that Americans don't support their misguided attempt to alter a law that's working so well," said Braley in the press release available below.

For Jon Soltz, VoteVets.org chairman and an Iraq war veteran, the issue is clear cut – standing up to Big Oil is the same as standing up for US troops. Soltz said that if we're less dependent on oil by using more biofuels, oil prices will decline. And our enemies (his word) like to see high oil prices so they can use petroleum industry profits against US troops. Ethanol is a key part of ensuring that "America's dependence on oil is decreased," according to Soltz. One oil-rich country that the veterans group would like to see blocked is Iran; while the US hasn't gone directly to war with Iran, there's a reference in the press release to a 2007 incident where Iran produced and shipped Explosively Formed Penetrators (EFPs) to Iraqi insurgents, who used them to target US troops.

H.R. 3193— will neuter the CFPB, seriously undermining the bureau’s ability to protect consumers

[font size="3"] from Consumer Reports.org

Do not weaken CFPB consumer watchdog [/font]



Since opening its doors in 2011, the CFPB has gone after companies that cheated their customers, leading to a reported $3 billion in relief for 10 million affected consumers. The bureau has also raised the standards for mortgages, established federal oversight of payday lenders and debt collectors, and handled hundreds of thousands of consumer complaints.

Yet there are still some who fear this watchdog. Last year, powerful financial interests in Washington tried to stop Congress from approving a CFPB director. We joined with other groups to push back and end the stalemate, and we won. But now a new battle is brewing.

A bill in the U.S. House of Representatives—H.R. 3193—would neuter the CFPB, seriously undermining the bureau’s ability to help consumers in a host of ways.

The bill would:

• Weaken the CFPB’s independence by making it easier for other regulators to overturn its rules.

• Attempt to restructure the bureau, which would delay rule makings and enforcement actions already in progress.

• Change the rules for funding the CFPB, which would open the door for industry groups to lobby to deny funds for the bureau whenever it took an action that lobbyists oppose.
(please go to link to read the rest of this article)

Wall Street Banksters have paid the GOP to mug the CFPB. If they succeed, another Deregulation Disaster is assured, followed by another Republican Dystopia of a long slog out of the inevitable Trickle Down Depression. Please email, call your representatives to tell them to stop it.... and President Obama to tell him he must veto this GOP Trick for Wall Street 0.1%ers if it should reach his desk.

ACA horror story: cancer stricken woman says ACA plan was unaffordable - another GOP bald faced LIE

Americans for Prosperity (AFP), attack (on the truth) ad has woman saying:
(emphases my own)

“I was diagnosed with leukemia. I found out I only have a 20 percent chance of surviving. I found this wonderful doctor and a great health care plan. I was doing fairly well fighting the cancer, fighting the leukemia, and then I received a letter. My insurance was canceled because of Obamacare. Now, [font size="3"]the out-of-pocket costs are so high, it’s unaffordable[/font]. If I do not receive my medication, I will die. I believed the president. I believed I could keep my health insurance plan. I feel lied to. It’s heartbreaking for me. Congressman Peters, your decision to vote Obamacare jeopardized my health.”

(emphases my own)

First of all, many viewers might think Boonstra lost her doctor, as she mentions her “wonderful doctor” and then says her plan was canceled. But AFP confirms that she was able to find a plan, via Blue Cross Blue Shield, that had her doctor in its network.


At that news conference, Boonstra said, “I’m paying a higher cost now as far as out of pocket costs and the coverage is just not the same.” But in the new ad she says “the out-of-pocket costs are so high, it’s unaffordable.”

The claim that the costs are now “unaffordable” appeared odd because, under Obamacare, there is an out-of-pocket maximum of $6,350 for covered expenses under an individual plan, after which the insurance plan pays 100 percent of covered benefits. The Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in Michigan that appear to match Boonstra’s plan, as described in local news reports, all have that limit.

Meanwhile, Boonstra told the Detroit News that her monthly premiums were cut in half, from $1,100 a month to $571. That’s a savings of $529 a month. Over the course of a year, the premium savings amounts to $6,348—[font size="3" color="red"]just two dollars shy of the out-of-pocket maximum[/font].

[font size="4"]Perhaps people who believe in truth in advertizing will post this on FB and anywhere else on the web where people will see it. Will you help document that the GOP are serial LIARS. [/font]

Credit Suisse recruited U.S. clients, helped them conceal accounts from IRS - Senate Committee concl

[font size="3"]Panel faults US gov’t over offshore tax evasion[/font]

By Associated Press, Published: February 25

WASHINGTON — Billions of dollars in U.S. taxes are going unpaid because Americans are exploiting Swiss bank accounts, and the U.S. government has failed to aggressively pursue Switzerland’s second-largest bank, a Senate investigation has found.

The bank, Credit Suisse, has provided accounts in Switzerland for more than 22,000 U.S. clients totaling $10 billion to $12 billion, according to a report issued Tuesday by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. The U.S. government has received only 238 names of U.S. citizens with secret accounts at Credit Suisse, or just 1 percent of the estimated total, the investigation concluded.

Credit Suisse recruited U.S. clients to open Swiss accounts from 2001 through 2008, helped them conceal the accounts from the Internal Revenue Service and enabled misconduct by bank employees, the subcommittee asserted.

For five years, the Senate panel has been examining Swiss banks’ use of secrecy laws to enable tax evasion by Americans. The main focus of its latest report was Credit Suisse.

A matter for the President and State Department? We dealt with Barbary Pirates soon after we became an independent nation. We ought to be able to deal with Buckaneer Banksters too. Declare Swiss government aiding and abetting - sponsoring - criminal enterprises. [ /b]

NASCAR hits 5 million miles on 15% Ethanol blend, with 20% less emissions...


"Fuel is fundamental to our sport and our teams demand performance without compromise," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. "With more than five million miles of hard competitive driving across our three national series, Sunoco’s Green E15 renewable fuel stands up to rigorous racing conditions while significantly reducing our impact on the environment."

[font size="3"]
"...20 percent less emissions from the race cars, and just as importantly, a 9 to 12 horsepower increase."[/font]

Shell EcoMarathon Asia, prototype class, won by ethanol vehicle going 2,731 km on 1 Liter of ethanol

Thai students drove the longest distance on a single liter of fuel after three days of competition in fourth edition of Shell Eco-Marathon Asia, sustaining their winning record.

The Asian edition of the challenge to create the most fuel-efficient vehicle was held for the first-time in Manila Feb. 6-9, and in street conditions instead of a racetrack, which makes it more difficult to travel longer distance on a single liter of fuel.


Team 'How Much Ethanol' from Panjavidhya Technological College in Thailand covered a total 2,730.83 kilometers on a liter of ethanol, the distance between Manila and Jakarta. The team was entered in the prototype class, where vehicles are more futuristic-looking, have a single seat and usually have three wheels.

Virgin, a team from Thailand’s Sakonnakhon Technical College, covered 1,796.03 kilometers on a liter of gasoline while the team from Ratanakosin Technological College ran the distance of 263.4 kilometers on a battery with a charge equivalent to one kilowatt-hour.


Increasing the Minimum Wage Can Create Jobs—If It’s Enforced

"Employers routinely violate current minimum wages, federal and state. They pay for fewer hours than employees work, or dip into restaurant workers’ tips. "


Back when I first studied economics, we “proved” in class that a minimum wage causes unemployment. You just draw supply and demand curves for labor, add a horizontal line for a wage above the “market clearing” competitive equilibrium wage, and—bingo!—a gap appears between labor supply and labor demand.

I took this orthodoxy on faith until 1992. That’s when David Card and Alan Krueger’s famous paper “Minimum Wages and Employment” appeared, comparing unemployment among fast food workers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania before and after New Jersey raised the minimum wage.

Card and Krueger found no effect. None. Zip. At first I shared the economics profession’s incredulity. The research was sloppy. The sample was too small. The researchers’ liberal bias skewed the results. Why even waste time testing something obvious? But then more studies came out, some also showing no effect, and some showing a small positive effect.

An explanation also began to emerge, in terms of the “efficiency wage hypothesis,” developed among others by our new Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen. Instead of there being a single “market” wage for unskilled labor, there is a market wage range. The higher the wage an establishment pays relative to other firms, the more diligent and loyal its employees, and the less likely they are to quit. So up to a point, the establishment saves on supervision and training costs what it loses in higher wages. Thus there’s nothing remarkable about the fact that Costco remains profitable while paying substantially higher wages than low-wage super-stores like Walmart. The efficiency wage hypothesis supports a cautious case that setting a minimum wage toward the top of the wage range will benefit workers without harming employers. (Needless to say, conservatives do not buy this argument.)

Grocery Store Worker Fired After Confrontation With North Carolina Governor


A Charlotte grocery store worker is out of a job after he insulted North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) to his face.

The Charlotte Observer reported on a confrontation Sunday between McCrory and Drew Swope, a 45-year-old cook at a gourmet food store.

After realizing he was speaking with the governor, whom he disagrees with politically, Swope said he told McCrory, “Thanks for nothing,” and walked away. Swope said the governor was upset at his comment and began “yelling” at him. He said McCrory said he was a customer and shouldn’t be treated that way. He said the governor and his security team complained to the food store owner, who then fired him.

Acknowledging that he "did speak out of turn,” Swope doesn't begrudge the store owner for firing him. But he does find it "shocking" that McCrory “had me excluded from the workplace because I upset his feelings.”

A spokesman for McCrory told the Observer that the governor never raised his voice and that the fired worker actually made an obscene gesture, an accusation that Swope denied. The spokesman also said Swope has said “things about physically harming the governor as well,” citing a Facebook group for a planned protest where participants discussed burning an effigy of McCrory.

The Koch Brothers plan to expand the 2014 map


Up to eight Senate Democrats could find themselves under attack by Americans for Prosperity this election cycle, as the advocacy group looks to maximize negative reaction to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act ahead of the 2014 midterms.

“We want to hold accountable six to eight senators,” AFP President Tim Phillips said in an interview. “When a senator is facing re-election, it does focus them on their voting record and it does make them more attentive to how each individual vote impacts their political future.”

Phillips's group, backed by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, has already spent the bulk of $30 million this cycle targeting both incumbent House and Senate Democrats in vulnerable seats on their past support for Obamacare.

So far, five incumbent senators have seen ads run in their states that seek to tie them to the president’s signature law: Democrats Kay Hagan (N.C.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Mark Begich (Alaska) and Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.). Phillips said the unpopularity of the Affordable Care Act could put races in Virginia, Colorado and Minnesota in play. AFP has also run ads against Democratic challengers in races for open Senate seats in Michigan and Iowa.

Will you contribute $3 to the Grassroots Victory Project to stop the Koch brothers from buying the Senate?

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