Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Remember the Economic Reform we need is Tax Reform and the Sadism of Capitalists

"How much more money do we want to steal from the American people to fund more government? I'm for no more." Speaker of the House John Boehner, tells America that the "People's House" will impose taxes on Real People which they'll give to Corporate "Persons".
 Capitalism is more correctly understood as Neo-Feudalism. Great Houses and Barons have morphed into Corporations and CEOs. And for Neo-Feudalism to flourish there needs to be a vast majority of workers for whom there is no future other than toil and labor and who'll give birth to the next generation of labor.

The Economic Reform we need is Tax Reform. 1 in 4 Corporations pays no Income Taxes. Companies involved in the Military-Industrial-Complex fraudulently overcharge the military Hundreds of Billions of dollars, Oil Companies receive government subsidies and transfer the clean-up costs on their disasterous oil spills onto the American taxpayers.

Procter & Gamble, the Cincinnati-based company behind Pampers diapers and Tide detergent, reported a federal tax burden in 1969 that was 40 percent of its total profits, a typical rate in those days. More than four decades later, P&G is a very different company, with operations that span the globe. It also reports paying a very different portion of its profits in federal taxes: 15 percent.

Apple is the current in the spotlight for their Tax Dodging schemes. Apple in 1980 created a shell company in Ireland, "Waldwill Limited". Now, Apple doesn't make anything in Ireland these days, it's Cork Office is in charge of European distrubtion and product support. But, it is a handy dandy country to funnel the $30,000,000,000 USC in profits in order to pay $0 US Income Taxes.

Proctor and Gamble and Apple aren't the only ones. Most of the 30 companies listed on the country’s most famous stock index, the Dow Jones industrial average, have seen a dramatically smaller percentage of their profits go to U.S. coffers over time, even as their share prices have driven the Dow to an all-time high.

That is what is going on here. Corporations and Rich Thieves have made the US Tax Laws a Byzantine Mess of contradictions and loopholes which they know how to navigate in order to steal Trillions and hide their filthy lucre in off-shore accounts, just waiting to be repatriated tax free when the properly bought politican makes it possible.

But, while these Rich Thieves engage in artful dodging of tax laws and self-congratulatory back slaps for their "Capitalist Ingenuity" there is a strain of Sadism in methods. Because Taxes are what the Poor pay because if the Poor where blessed and virtuous they'd pay No Taxes.

An article by the noted Austerity Sadist Michael Kinsley illuminates how Austerity isn't about Deficit Reduction but an ardent and fervent desire to punish the Wicked Poor as a happy by-product of enforcing a noble Neo-Feudalist State.

Austerity is designed to Cut Government Spending not the Deficit. Because that Government spending goes to The Wicked (i.e. the Poor) it is not right that the Rich Man who is synonymous with Righteousness suffer.

And there can be no Greater Good than Lower Taxes as a reward to the Noble and Virtuous.

But, if the problem where merely one of Effective Tax Rates, simply highlighting the Massive Income Inequality that exists in America would show how the Goal of the Piss Down Your Back and Tell You It's Raining Reaganomics and Bush Tax Cuts were designed and implemented for no other reason than to create a society in which the Richest One Percent live better than the Pharoahs of Ancient Egypt.

The Plutocracy gets a Sadistic thrill when Americans vote away their birthrights. The Koch Brothers Propaganda Machine Americans For Prosperity released an email when the Sequester went into effect lauding Speaker Boehner and the House Republicans, 
[T]oday Americans for Prosperity thanks Speaker John Boehner and House Republicans for standing up to President Obama and making sure the $85 billion in much-needed sequester spending cuts took effect. 
As an example, I was out at a leadership event in Portland, Oregon this week where Beth, one of our dedicated Americans For Prosperity activists, told me how she had sent personal messages to each of her 243 Facebook friends asking them to contact their member of Congress to tell him to"keep the cuts" so we can "get our economy moving again." 
The Koch Brothers, Banksters, Tax Dodging CEO's and Sadistic Economists aren't interested in the US EConomy but in transferring as much money upwards as possible and creating a GovernmentApparatus  which will enforce and perpetuate their Noble Neo-Feudalist Utopia.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Are you gonna pay Derrick Rose's Rent?

Everyone's your brother until the rent comes due. - Ronin 1998
The Chicago Bulls season ended last week with a trouncing by the LeFlop James led Miami Heat. Derrick Rose the erstwhile Bulls Superstar did not play a single minute during the Regular Season or Playoffs while rehabbing his knee. Rose suffered a torn ACL during the 2012 playoffs .

Now, the injury rehabilation became a sticking point for Rose, his family, the Bulls Organization and Fans. According to the post-operation schedule, the Doctor who performed the ACL reconstruction suggested Rose would be ready to play by early April and that a month of games in the regular season would be the final step in the healing process.

Starting in late March, Derrick Rose through his brother Reggie and his own Twitter account let it be known that he was listening to his family and while he might come back it was only when he could "dunk of his left foot" and his knee 'felt comfortable'.

This caused much confusion and consternation in Chicago Sports scene. As the regular season dragged on and various other players gutted through injuries or missed games themselves. Luol Deng missed the entire playoff series with the Heat because of a vicious flu strain which Doctors were worried was Viral Meningitis.

As the Bulls struggled the confusion morphed into mild displeasure and then grumbling anger towards Rose. Chicago "Fans" questioned his toughness, mental and physical. They accused him of malingering.

I don't know what the collective bargaining agreement betweeen Players and Owners in the NBA stipulates. I do know that the Bulls through insurance recovered 40% of Rose's salary for the Season, roughly $6.5 million of $16.4 million, with whomever, his contract is indemnified.
The story of Hunter Hillenmeyer of the Chicago Bears is illustrative:
On August 28 2010, Hillenmeyer suffered a concussion during a pre-season game. He was placed on injured reserve before the season and has never played again. The Bears terminated his contract Feb. 28, 2011, one month after the team's concussion consultant, Dr. Elizabeth Pieroth, a board certified clinical neuropsychologist, examined him and recommended he no longer play. The Bears cut him with one year and $1.8 million remaining on his contract. According to the union, Article 45 of the collective bargaining agreement stipulates Hillenmeyer is eligible for an injury protection benefit of 50 percent of his base salary up to $1 million.
The Chicago Bears have not paid the 50% of Hillenmeyer's final contract. In the modern world of Sports you're earning a million dollars one day and out of work the next. Careers, most often, end in men's early 30's. Derrick Rose doesn't owe Bulls Fans anything. When his career is over no one in Chicago is going to help him out.

But, this is where the narrative gets most muddled. Through his actions it appears Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf is one of the few sports franchise owners who goes out of his way to help up and look out for his former employees.

Several Bulls players hit upon hard times after their playing careers have ended.
Randy Brown, a fringe player, who averaged 5ppg over his career of 655 games was part of the Bulls Second 3-Peat. Brown had to file for Bankruptcy and auction off his 3 rings. Reinsdorf simply created a "special assistant" job for Brown and hired him in 2009.

Scottie Pippen who made several bad contracts and was outspokenly truculent with the Bulls about his perceived contractual slights also reportedly fell into bankruptcy after his career ended. In 2010, Pippen rejoined the Bulls as an "ambassador".  
“Jerry has been very warm towards me over the years and has never turned me down for anything,” said Pippen.
In 2003, another Bulls Point Guard, Jay Williams injured himself. This time it wasn't on the court but a motorcycle accident during the off-season, which almost resulted in Williams losing his leg and requiring Williams to undoe multiple surgeries, extended hospital time and an arduous long recovery. 

Even though the accident could have been prima facie evidence of a contract violation because the Bulls had written into Williams contract that he was not to ride motorcycles, the Bulls organization helped pay his medical bills and a portion of the second season salary. Williams never played an NBA game again.

Jerry Reinsdorf has a clear track record of being loyal and compassionate towards his former athlete  employees which goes beyond what is normally seen in the cut-throat world of Sports Capitalism.

So, I think Rose has reached an incorrect conclusion about his post playing career but I don't fault him for reaching it.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Surprise! Republicans crafted fake Benghazi emails to mislead the American people.

"An Act of Terror is different than a Terrorist Attack," Darrell Issa a Car Thief is not different than a Congressman.

So, the Republicans lied. Republicans released altered and false "quotes" from the White House/CIA/State Department emails concerning Benghazi to the Media.

What did the Republicans gain in purposefully misleading the American people? They gained exactly what they wanted. By releasing their lie-laden chum to the gullible Media the Republicans succeeded in getting their duped and battered followers into an Impeachment Fury and the DC Media into faux scandal frenzy.

Lying Republicans have been smearing President Obama for years now. One of core Right-Wing beliefs is that President Obama isn't really an American and he sides with terrorists.

After the initial murders in Libya, the Republicans sought to use the bodies of the dead to advance their party. Republicans place Party over the American People every time.

With Benghazi, Republicans believed they had just enough to tease out that belief in the country. Because Benghazi is the Biggest Scandal in American History:
 "I believe that it's a lot bigger than Watergate, and if you link Watergate and Iran-Contra together and multiply it times maybe ten or so, you're going to get in the zone where Benghazi is," Conrgessman Steve King 
Benghazi "is going to go down as the most serious, most egregious coverup in American History. We may be starting to use the I-word before too long," Senator James Inhofe 
"I watched the Benghazi thing with great interest, Sean. I think it’s one of the worst incidences, frankly, that I can recall in my career," Former Vice President Dick Cheney.
The Republicans thought they had it. Benghazi would be the October Surprise. But, it didn't work. To their frustration their hatred of President Obama didn't blossom and Barack easily won re-election.

First off, the consulate was a CIA Base conducting dangerous field activity. Republican Congressman Lincoln Chafetz began the Republican crimes by outing the CIA and exposing covert assets, field agents and Intelligent techniques.

Next, came all the keyboard commando chicken hawk conservative Military Ops; 'We should have flown some F-16's overhead to scare them. Or sent an AC-130 to light'em up. Or sent in the SEALS or Marines (to the shores of Tripoli) to take out the extremists, errr I mean terrorists.'

Well, Robert M. Gates former Defense Secretary to both George W. Bush and President Obama called out the right-wing morons and these scenarios as a "Cartoonish impression of military capabilities and military forces." And Gates laid out why:
“Well, given the number of surface to air missiles that have disappeared from Gaddafi’s arsenals, I would not have approved sending an aircraft, a single aircraft – over Benghazi under those circumstances. [T]o send some small number of Special Forces or other troops in without knowing what the environment is, without knowing what the threat is, without having any intelligence in terms of what is actually going on on the ground, I think, would have been very dangerous."
But, why was the Media talking about Benghazi again after Faux News had spent countless hours of programming and after multiple Congressional Hearings?

The phony scandal had floundered Republicans decided the next step was too take matters into their own hands by lying. If the evidence doesn't fit just make it up; Republican Mantra.

Which Republicans knowingly doctored these emails? What Republican released these doctored emails to the Media? What did the Republicans receive in compensation? Which Republicans knew the emails released were phony and full of lies?

What's clear is Republicans long ago convicted President Obama for certain unforgivable sins and when one is convinced of guilt it's very easy to manufacture "evidence" to bolster your conclusions.

So Speaker John Boehner "Who's going to jail for this?" Which of the Republicans who deliberately mislead the American People and released falsified evidence is going to jail?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Conservative Chickenhawks Scream about Marines and Umbrellas (Update: Photo Evidence)

Conservatives are sack less wonders. Despite not having the moral or physical courage to serve the country in Uniform, Right-Wing nutjobs believe they understand the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Military Dress Codes.

Conservative racists are in a frenzy because Marines held umbrellas above the heads of President Obama and the Turkish Prime Minister during a rainy press conference.

M. Joseph Sheppard wrote an article for the Daily Caller about Umbrella-Gate which Free Republic and the Right-Wing Fart Bubble duly sucked in and regurgitated amongst themselves. 'Obama is demeaning and Demoralizing the Marine Corps!'

Of course, they don't understand JJ Did Tie Buckle because their cousin JJ can't even tie his shoes.

They pulled the same unhinged 'President Obama is demeaning the Office of the President' garbage when official White House photos showed Barack with his suit jacket off or with his feet propped up on the desk. Because Ronald Reagan never was in the Oval Office with his jacket off! And could you imagine the furor from Liberals if George W. Bush desecrated the Office by propping his feet up?!?

This is a consistent theme from the Right during Obama's Presidency. Republicans and conservatives have taken it upon themselves to destroy Barack Obama. And they see a successful way of doing this by causing as much turmoil and anger so that in years to come they can state 'Remember all the problems when Obama was President?' Hoping, most likely correctly, that people won't recall that conservative liars were the cause of all the fuss in the first place.

Conservatives have the mind set of Domestic Abusers, in that they blame the person they are attacking as being to blame for their attacks.

Despite all their proclamations, much of the vitriol directed at Obama is for the unforgivable sin of Presidenting While Black.

What is obvious, however, is that conservatives loathe President Obama but lack the moral fiber to proclaim it themselves, which is why they hide behind their thin sheens of 'Obama is demeaning the Office of the President' or 'Obama is demeaning the Marines'.

Conservative Cowards lack the stones to come out and say it themselves and, in this case, have to pretend they speak for the USMC.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Surprise. The IRS "Scandal" is George W. Bush's and the Republicans Fault

First off, if your Organization Name incorporates Taxed Enough Already, you are one step behind the Sovereign Citizen Movements which declare themselves immune to local, state and federal laws. It shouldn't come as a surprise when the IRS investigates you.

It's possible and, most likely, probable that the Tea Party Organized Groups who applied for all these 501(c)(4) statuses are nothing more than thinly veiled Tax Shelters and Political Action Committees designed to improperly funnel and shelter monies. A 501(c)(4) has to be set up as Social Welfare Organization and can not engage in Partisan Politics.

But, here's the kick to the teeth of the Right-Wing cry babies, the Commissioner of the IRS while these investigations were conducted, Douglas Shulman, was appointed by George W. Bush and served until November 9, 2012. Prior to that Shulman worked with Grover Norquist as the Chief of Staff for the National Commission on Restructuring the Internal Revenue Service. President Obama does not have a nominee at the IRS because the Senate Republicans policy of filibustering all nominees put forth by Obama for  any position.

Now, of course, there is a huge component of IOKIYAR for the IRS under George W. Bush to investigate Liberal Churches, the NAACP and the ALCU. Because... Duh! They're "Liberal". However, that's when Republicans were declaring if you have nothing to hide you shouldn't mind and if you do complain it's because you've obviously broken the law.

But, more importantly what this IRS snafu shows is Tax Reform is a key part of the Economic Reform we need today.

Now, I'm not supporting Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan's version of Tax Reform, i.e. eliminating Taxes on the 1% and Corporate Behemoths and raising taxes on the Middle Class and "The Lucky Duckies", or as Mitt Romney stated during the 2012 Presidential Election, "I'm not concerned about the very poor."

No, I mean real Tax Reform which gets the Ultra-Rich and Corporations to pay their fair share of the Country's Tax Burden. It's been very clear that beginning in 1981 with Reagan's shifting of the tax burden onto the backs of the Middle Class the Rich have been inventing more ways and crafting more loop holes with which to steal Trillions of Dollars which belongs to the American People.

Once Piss Down Your Back Reaganomics became the Governing principle in Washington we suddenly grew a 15 Trillion Dollar Debt. And it simply is because the Rich Plutocrats and Corporations are not shouldering their share of the burden. 

The entire Debt is the result of the greedy rich scheming to transfer the burden of Government onto the backs of the Middle Class in the hopes it would grind them into penury whilst at the same time making their Government puppets eliminate the meager assistance provided to actual Americans.

In April, a hacked cache of millions of documents revealed the amount of Theft committed by Tax Frauds
The anonymity of the offshore world makes it difficult to track the flow of money. A study by James S. Henry, former chief economist at McKinsey & Company, estimates that wealthy individuals have $21 trillion to $32 trillion in private financial wealth tucked away in offshore havens — roughly equivalent to the size of the U.S. and Japanese economies combined. 
The report said the money being sheltered included proceeds of Ponzi schemes as well as money drained from national coffers, adding that studies estimate that cross-border flows of global proceeds of financial crimes total between $1 trillion and $1.6 trillion a year.
So, remember when right-wingers and Republicans talk of shared sacrifices they mean for you to sacrifice your pension and your health care insurance,
"They can tell their unions that they have to accept cuts now or face a much more dire fate in bankruptcy court.” - Grover Norquist
"Now, pain will be inflicted when we change that. People are going to do with less. People who are used to having entitlement at a certain level will not have them at that level anymore. That's the story." NJ Governor Chris Christie. 
Shared Sacrifice means the realization of the Republican Goal of Neo-Feudalism, Wage Slavery and cutthroat Capitalism for the Poor and Socialism for the Rich and their undying Corporate monsters. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Rich Never Had It So Good

Yet they still complain. And about whom do they complain? The Poor who have nothing.
"[W]e're not going to give up on destroying the health care system for the American people." Paul Ryan.  
"It just keeps getting worse. I am scheduling a vote for next week on the full repeal of #Obamacare." Eric Cantor 
The Republican Party, lapdogs of the Rich are eager to oppress the Poor at every opportunity. The Republicans and their Rich Masters absolutely loathe healthcare for the poor, sick and old. Republican Healthcare is predicated on the Rich sucking every single dollar from you and letting you die quickly after they've drained you of all your money.

But, the Plutocracy won't stop at merely stealing your life savings at the end of your life; they want you to be a pauper before that.

David Simon was on Real Time with Bill Maher last year and stated,
"What we need is a political culture where somebody plants a fuckin’ olive tree, which doesn’t even give you an olive for seven years. That’s how you fix an economy…When that olive tree becomes an orchard."
What Simon doesn't understand is the Republicans in 1980 did plant Olive Trees, except it was a privatized, deregulated, deferred income, out-scoured grove designed to provide Billions of Olives to the very, very rich while they told Us a few olives would trickle down. But, in fact, all we got were the pits.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average topped 15,000 this month an all time high, while at the same time half the jobs in the country pay less than $35,000.

Everything the Republicans do is predicated on expanding Income Inequality. Since, the Republican Recession, the economy's recovery has meant a recovery for the Very Rich.

From 1966 to 2011, the bottom 90 percent of Americans’ average income, as reported on tax returns, went up by $59 showing complete stagnation. If that $59 increase for the majority of Americans equals one inch, then on the same scale, the incomes of those in the top 10 percent went up by 168 feet. The top one percent, 888 feet. The Plutocrats income, the top one percent of the top one percent, rose by almost five miles relative to that one inch.

The Bush Presidency and Tax Cuts were nothing more than the destruction of the Middle Class and an acceleration of the Wealth Transfer Upwards.

According to research published by Emmanuel SaezProfessor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley:
From 2009 to 2011, average real income per family grew modestly by 1.7% but the gains were very uneven. Top 1% incomes grew by 11.2% while bottom 99% incomes shrunk by 0.4%. Hence, the top 1% captured 121% of the income gains in the first two years of the recovery. From 2009 to 2010, top 1% grew fast and then stagnated from 2010 to 2011. Bottom 99% stagnated both from 2009 to 2010 and from 2010 to 2011. In 2012, top 1% income will likely surge, due to booming stock-prices, as well as re-timing of income to avoid the higher 2013 top tax rates. Bottom 99% will likely grow much more modestly than top 1% incomes from 2011 to 2012.
This is precisely the desired effect of the Republican Crafted and Conservative Inspired Recession. The Rich are prepared to lose money in the short-term knowing that their wholly owned and operated Republican Party will attempt to jam through Austerity Legislation to dismantle the Social Safety Net and designed to permanently solidify the Rigidly enforced Class System we have in this Country.

Every fiscal crisis is an opportunity for the Republican Party and their Right-Wing Stooges to advance the Plutocracy's schemes of deregulation of financial markets, selling off public lands for private exploitation, diminishing the power of Unions and Collective Bargaining and providing Hundreds of Billions in tax payer dollars extorted from the middle and working class as welfare to the Very Rich.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Gun Homicides are Down Because...

The latest Pew Research shows that Gun Homicides have been on a downward trajectory and are down nearly 50% since 1993.

The Question is: Why?

Gun Nuts and Shills for Weapon Manufactures claim it is because of the massive upsurge in weapons in the Country.

Of course, this is fallacious.

The number of laptops, PCs, Macs, Android devices, IPods, gaming systems has dramatically spiked since the 1970's, as well. The number of Micro-Breweries making craft beers has exploded in the last 20 years. The rate of church attendance and religious self-identification has dropped dramatically in the last 20 years.

I could argue the number of Internet diversions has allowed people to vent on-line and the ability to get their murderous rages out in first person shooter games has led to the decrease.

Or that because Americans now have a choice of finely crafted, tasty and quirky beers their soporific effect has stopped shootings.

Or that the abandonment of Christianity and adoption of Atheism is responsible for the drop in violence.

Because A, Therefore B.

Gun Maniacs also choose to base all comparisons against 1993 because 1993 had the highest number of recorded Gun Murders at 18,253. The figure in 2011 was 11,101.

Now, as a corollary let's simply not call the killing of a 2 year old by her 5 year old brother using a weapon specifically made for children and called "My First Rifle" a homicide.

Let's call the shooting of a 6 year old by her 13 year old brother a game of hide and seek and simply quote a neighbor, "I don't know how it went down but he shot his sister." See? Not Gun Violence.

Or let's call the Halloween Party shooting of a 9 year old dressed as a skunk by her adult cousin "an accident" and classify it simple assault and another gun violence data point vanishes and the downward trend continues.

Thus, by reclassifying these as Accidents or Negligent Discharges we can skew the numbers even more. Each shooting or killing is transferred allowing the "homicide rate" to drop 49%!!!!

When the total number of firearm fatalities is compared for 1993 and 2011 we see: 39,595 and 32,163. Recall that 1993 was the Peak Year with the highest recorded year for Gun Murders and suddenly that 49% drop trumpeted by Unrestricted Gun Violence Supporters is placed in the proper context.

The Pew Research paper also states that while the number of guns has increased to 310 Million the percentage of households owing weapons is the same (43%) as 1972. And importantly (according to data from a 2007 U.N. study) the U.S. firearm homicide rate and overall homicide rate are higher than those in Canada, Australia, Japan and in Western European and Scandinavian nations.

Thus, when put into context we see that Gun Deaths are cycling upwards from a low point in 1999.

The fact is what the NRA and Gun Owners of America apparently want is This.