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Member since: Fri Jul 24, 2015, 12:17 AM
Number of posts: 3,649

Journal Archives

The Sanders Campaign releases MASSIVE Climate Change plan

This thing is too big to copy and paste and it's on multiple pages. Anyone interested should take the time to read it, and if all you want to do is criticize Bernie then at least educate yourself before doing so.


HuffPo: The Sanders Corporate Tax Reform Plan


Sanders' "Corporate Tax Dodging Prevention Act"

Senator Bernie Sanders Corporate Tax Dodging Prevention Act is summarized in an April 14 Senate Budget Committee blog post (Sanders is the ranking member of that committee.)

1) Ending the rule allowing American corporations to defer paying federal income taxes on profits of their offshore subsidiaries.

This would immediately bring in up to $620 billion of federal tax revenue currently owed on "offshore" profits but deferred. (It would also make available in the US more than $2 trillion of corporate profits that have been kept offshore, which could be reinvested or distributed to shareholders.)

Additionally, this would increase federal tax revenue by as much as $90+ billion each year thereafter.

These amounts are based on a report from Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) and the U.S. PIRG Education Fund, titled "Offshore Shell Games."

A second look at the amounts owed by these companies , detailed in a letter to Congress titled, 24 International Tax Experts Address Current Tax Reform Efforts in Congress sets the amount this would bring in at " about $900 billion over 10 years."

2) Closing loopholes allowing American corporations to artificially inflate or accelerate their foreign tax credits.

A current loophole allows corporations to claim foreign tax credits for taxes paid on foreign income even if that income is not subject to current U.S. tax. This closes that loophole.

3) Preventing American corporations from claiming to be foreign by using a tax-haven post office box as their address.

This would stop American corporations from avoiding U.S. taxes by claiming to be a foreign company because they have a post office box in a tax haven country. Sanders' bill says a corporation could not claim to be from another country if their management and control operations are primarily located in the U.S. (See last month's post, "Pfizer Buying Allergan So It Can Pretend To Be Irish In Tax Scam." The resulting company would still be based in NY/NJ.)

4) Preventing American corporations from avoiding U.S. taxes by "inverting."

In an inversion, an American corporation acquires or merges with a (usually much smaller) foreign company and then claims that the newly merged company is a foreign one for tax purposes -- even though the majority of the ownership is unchanged and little or no personnel or operations have actually moved offshore.

Under Sanders' bill the U.S. would continue to tax such a company as an American corporation so long as it is still majority owned by the owners of the American party to the merger or acquisition.

5) Prevent foreign-owned corporations from stripping earnings out of the U.S. by manipulating debt expenses.

This stops multinational corporations from loading up their U.S.-based corporation with debt to companies they own outside of the US as a way to shift profits out of the U.S. company. They make interest payments to the foreign companies, deduct it, and this reduces or wipes out their U.S. income for tax purposes.

6) Preventing large oil companies from disguising royalty payments to foreign governments as foreign taxes.

U.S. oil and gas companies have been disguising royalty payments to foreign governments as foreign taxes in order to claim foreign tax credits. Sanders' bill would stop this.

I know this is a bit much to copy and paste from the article, but this part lists off the major highlights from the plan so I wanted to include all of it. There's more detailed links in the actual article and a brief comparison with Clinton's infrastructure proposal.
Posted by HerbChestnut | Sat Dec 5, 2015, 08:58 PM (2 replies)

Ipsos/Reuters polling with Independents included shows Bernie within 8 points of the lead


Hillary 43.6
Bernie 35.5
Martin 4.5
Undecided 16.4

Obviously this poll tends to swing, but this is the closest it's been for some time.
Posted by HerbChestnut | Fri Dec 4, 2015, 12:32 PM (7 replies)

New Ipsos/Reuters National Poll: Hillary 51, Bernie 36, Martin 4


All results are close to the margin of error from other recent polls, but it is noteworthy that 36% is the highest Bernie has achieved nationally so far.

EDIT: I should add that Bernie's also winning with Independents 30-28-5 vs. 38% undecided.
Posted by HerbChestnut | Fri Dec 4, 2015, 01:02 AM (4 replies)

It's time for Bernie to release a strong statement on gun control

It would carry more weight coming from him considering his history on the issue, and would negate a talking point from the other candidates.

Ipsos/Reuters Poll w/ Filters Cleared: Bernie 34%, Hillary 32%, O'M 6%


Has basically the same number of responses as the other poll recently posted. Let's not overreact to polls...

AP: Clinton Opened State Department Office to Dozens of Corporate Donors, Dem Fundraisers


WASHINGTON (AP) — As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton opened her office to dozens of influential Democratic party fundraisers, former Clinton administration and campaign loyalists, and corporate donors to her family's global charity, according to State Department calendars obtained by The Associated Press.

The woman who would become a 2016 presidential candidate met or spoke by phone with nearly 100 corporate executives, Clinton charity donors and political supporters during her four years at the State Department between 2009 and 2013, records show. Many of those meetings and calls, formally scheduled by her aides, involved heads of companies and organizations that were pursuing business or private interests with the Obama administration at the time, including with the State Department while Clinton was in charge.

In addition, at least 60 of those who met with Clinton have donated or pledged program commitments to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation. A dozen have been among Hillary Clinton's most reliable political fundraisers, bundling more than $100,000 in donations during her failed 2008 presidential campaign or providing larger amounts to Clinton-allied super political action committees this time. And at least six entities represented in the meetings paid former President Bill Clinton lucrative fees for speeches.

The AP found no evidence of legal or ethical conflicts in Clinton's meetings, in its examination of 1,294 pages from the calendars. Her sit-downs with business leaders were not unique among recent secretaries of state, who sometimes called on corporate executives to aid in international affairs, according to archived documents.

But the difference with Clinton's meetings was that she was a 2008 presidential contender who was widely expected to try again in 2016. Her availability to luminaries from politics, business and charity shows the extent to which her office became a sounding board for their interests. And her ties with so many familiar faces from those intersecting worlds were complicated by their lucrative financial largess and political support over the years — even during her State Department tenure — for her campaigns and her husband's, and for her family's foundation.

This epitomizes Clinton and her campaign. Does she do things that are illegal? No. Are they shady? Absolutely. To her credit, she met with some influential people striving to better educational opportunities for kids around the world, which is great. But then she turns around and talks to folks from Pepsi Co. and others about international trade deals. And of course, all of these people are major donors to either her campaign or the Clinton Foundation. This includes heads of unions, at least one of which endorsed her candidacy in July.

I bolded the opening sentences of the last two paragraphs in the excerpt because they highlight what's wrong with this situation. It is an absolute conflict of interest to be dealing with so many influential and powerful people, and having them donate to your charitable organization, while gearing up a Presidential campaign. This is why Hillary Clinton comes off as untrustworthy.

How a small dose of depression-era Democratic Socialism is paying off today


This is from a University website, so I don't think they'll mind if I copy and paste the whole thing here. Enjoy.

UMaine tests Norway spruce to see if it makes the cut for construction

November 30, 2015 Advanced Materials for Infrastructure and Energy, Alumni, Economic Development, Signature and Emerging Areas

University of Maine scientists are testing wood from some of the 3 billion trees the Civilian Conservation Corps planted during the Great Depression.

Staff and students at the UMaine Advanced Structures and Composites Center are evaluating strength values (including bending and tension) of about 1,200 pieces of lumber milled from Norway spruce that grew in Maine, Vermont, three regions of New York and Wisconsin.

Seedlings of Norway spruce — a species not native to the U.S. — were planted in the 1930s and 1940s during President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s CCC program that put unemployed men to work and promoted conservation.

Stephen Shaler, director of the School of Forest Resources and associate director of the Advanced Structures and Composites Center, is the project’s principal investigator.

He and colleagues are testing Norway spruce to determine if it meets industry standards and thus can be included in the Spruce-Pine-Fir South grouping of wood species for construction-grade dimensional lumber.

Preliminary results, he says, look promising.

Norway spruce adapted to various soil conditions and grew relatively quickly and well in the cold Northeast climate, says Russell Edgar, wood composites manager at the UMaine Composites Center.

And its inclusion in the SPF South grouping would mean that some of those 3 billion trees could enter the North American lumber economy for the first time in history.

Edgar says it’s great to see renewed focus on wood products from the state being tested at the Advanced Structures and Composites Center that could have a positive effect locally and nationally.

“We’re very excited to do this type of work and assist industry in the state, region, country and beyond. It’s right in our wheelhouse,” says Edgar.

Jeff Easterling, president of Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association (NELMA), says the potential to introduce Norway spruce into the lumber market represents what’s close to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“It’s a big deal. This is the first new U.S. species to be tested in over 80 years. There’s not a lot of new species available for construction material, so historically … it’s very significant on a lot of fronts,” he says.

“The excitement level they (UMaine researchers) have for this project has been incredible … It just leads to a lot of good relationships with our organization and the industry itself.”

While Norway spruce has long been approved and is used regularly for construction in Europe, it needs to be tested here because of differences in U.S and European climate and soil.

UMaine’s ISO 17025 accredited testing laboratory is a valuable resource to NELMA and the industry, says Easterling.

Easterling and Edgar say it’s prime time to harvest Norway spruce that were seedlings in the ’30s and ’40s. Those trees are now 80–100 feet in height and their diameter at breast height ranges from about 16 to 26 inches.

It’s gratifying that efforts undertaken in the Depression-era could prove to be a boost for today’s economy, says Easterling.

“We’re reaping benefits of what they (CCC) did,” he says. “It opens up a broader wood basket for mills in the Northeast.” There’s a significant volume of this material that will immediately be available as a wood resource once the strength values are approved.”

Edgar says landowners with merchantable-sized Norway spruce trees could sell their large Norway spruce trees to mills.

Jethro Poulin, sales manager at Milan Lumber Company in New Hampshire, says procuring more lumber translates into added hours for workers, increased lumber production and potentially more jobs.

Alan Orcutt, mill manager at J.D. Irving’s Dixfield Sawmill in Maine, agrees.

And extra lumber volume could enhance East Coast mill operations’ ability to compete, says Orcutt, a UMaine graduate who majored in history.

The project also benefits students.

Benjamin Farber, a UMaine undergraduate from Danbury, Connecticut, says being a research assistant on the project has been one of his best academic experiences.

“I’m learning a lot about the mechanical properties of wood — this is basically my entire field put into this one trial and I’m able to learn step-by-step what’s going on and why it is important to my field,” says the forest operations, bioproducts and bioenergy major who’s concentrating in wood science.

“Not only that, but it is helping me get a head start for what I want to do at graduate school here at UMaine.”

In addition to training the next generation of wood scientists, Shaler says the project is positive for a number of stakeholders — UMaine, landowners, the lumber industry, the economy and state and federal government.

“The university is really important in its support of the forest products industry in the sense that we combine with industry, we combine with the federal government, we combine with the state government to be able to answer some of those questions that aren’t proprietary for a single mill or single company … they’re more industrywide,” he says.

The forest industry is one of many that works with UMaine, says Habib Dagher, director of the UMaine Composites Center.

“In addition to the exciting Norway spruce testing project, the Advanced Structures and Composites Center is currently working on nearly 200 research and development programs with companies across Maine, the U.S. and the world,” says Dagher.

“Our students interact with these companies and get paid to work on cutting-edge products and concepts.”

Hillary Supporters' strategy becomes clear

Over these last couple of weeks the tone from some of the Hillary camp has changed. Sure, they've always been a bit condescending and superior, but lately they've employed new tactics to distract from the real issues.

1. Distort Bernie's positions, which includes telling half truths. An example is the current healthcare debate. Bernie wants to install a universal healthcare system based on Medicare, but all you hear from the Hillary camp is, "Bernie wants to raise taxes on the middle class!!" Well, I suppose this is true, but it doesn't tell the whole story. Bernie's healthcare legislation would impose a 2.2% tax on people earning <$250,000, and the tax would scale from there in a progressive fashion. However, the tax increase would be more than offset by eliminating private insurance payments and end up *saving* tax payers money overall. Funny how that last bit never seems to get mentioned.

2. Claim Bernie won't be able to get anything passed in Congress and that he's being dishonest to the American people. This one is just sad because it's a self fulfilling prophecy and partially explains why we don't have a more progressive government. If you aren't willing to vote for the candidate that wants a progressive agenda, how do you ever expect to get one passed through Congress? It's not that complicated.

3. Cite poll after poll after poll claiming Bernie can't win and his supporters are just wasting their time. First of all, it's never a waste of time to support a candidate you sincerely believe in. I know enthusiasm is something lacking from the Clinton campaign, but some people believe that we can make this country a better place. Electing Bernie is a big step toward achieving that goal. Secondly, it would be foolish to give up 2 months out from the first votes being cast. The race is tighter than anybody thought it would be, and there's still a long ways to go.

4. Ignore facts at the convenience of their own beliefs. It's called cognitive dissonance, and boy is it ripe these days. Never mind the fact that Clinton's agenda and tone these last few weeks has echoed Republicans (Invoking 9/11 during the debate, campaigning against Universal Healthcare because it "raises taxes on the middle class", but they pretend that Bernie doesn't offer any concrete policy proposals and that even if he did he doesn't offer a way to pay for them. Look, we're all adults here. We can all do our own research. The fact is, Bernie has offered detailed policy plans on a number of issues and ways to pay for them. I posted a handful on this very board about a month ago, all of which came directly from his website. If you were really concerned about what Bernie is proposing and how he intends to pay for it then you'd be out there looking up the information. It is readily available.

5. Turn anything Bernie related into something negative. There was a post yesterday about Bernie eating lunch, and a Hillary supporter came in just to post something derogatory. Seriously.

Bernie's new TV ad: Works for Us All


EDIT: Thanks, Cal
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