All Things Democrat http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com Sun, 20 Apr 2014 00:36:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9 OSHA – Over 40 Years And Still Saving Lives http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/2014/04/osha-over-40-years-and-still-saving-lives/ http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/2014/04/osha-over-40-years-and-still-saving-lives/#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 00:36:53 +0000 http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/?p=22959 Continue reading ]]>

Republican President Richard Nixon signed the Occupational Safety and Health Act into law in 1970. As Dr. David Michaels, head of OSHA, says:

OSHA doesn’t kill jobs; it helps prevent jobs from killing workers.

This week, the UFCW International Union released this video on the 40+ years of OSHA:

Click here to view the embedded video.

Today’s Republicans attack OSHA, as well as the EPA, because “safety” cuts into their profits. The GOP was successful in cutting funding to OSHA during the Clinton years and, if they somehow win the House in November, you can bet OSHA’s funding will be cut again. That’s just one more reason to register to vote, today, and vote Democrat.

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Americans Subsidize Walmart Greed http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/2014/04/americans-subsidize-walmart-greed/ http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/2014/04/americans-subsidize-walmart-greed/#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 00:11:47 +0000 http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/?p=22955

Tiffany’s story, a full-time Customer Service Manager at Walmart.

Click here to view the embedded video.

How many conservatives do you think are trying to locate Tiffany’s Walmart so they can have her fired for speaking out in this video?

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Fighting Redmap Update http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/2014/04/fighting-redmap-update/ http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/2014/04/fighting-redmap-update/#comments Sat, 19 Apr 2014 21:57:34 +0000 http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/?p=22945 Continue reading ]]>

Previous posts about the National Popular Vote Initiative can be found here, here and here.

The National Popular Vote Initiative is a proposal that would give the electoral votes of participating states to the winner of the popular vote in presidential elections. The states that pass the initiative legally bind their electoral votes to the popular vote winner. The initiative takes effect when enough states have entered the compact that their combined electoral vote total would win the election.

The State of New York is the latest to sign the initiative into law. With the addition of New York’s 29 votes, 11 states with 165 of the needed 270 electoral votes are committed to the National Popular Vote Initiative. The number of electoral votes committed when I wrote the 1st post in this series was 127. All 50 states have at least introduced legislation to consider the initiative.

While my previous posts have focused on the efforts of blue state Republicans to split the vote in their respective states based upon house districts, there are other reasons to go to a popular vote system than the parties finding ways to game the current system.

In the 2012 general election only 12 states were selected to hold campaign events following the party conventions. Of those, Michigan and Minnesota were visited once each by Paul Ryan. 29% of post-convention campaign events were held in Ohio. 69% of events were held in one of four states Ohio, Florida, Virginia and Iowa. 4 in 5 Americans live in states that were totally ignored in the 2012 election.

This effect is especially felt in states that are considered to be reliably red or blue. With the current system what is the use in the Democratic candidate putting any resources into Texas? Why would a Republican pay any attention to California or New York? Under the current system the entire campaign is fought over a few battleground states while the rest of the nation follows along by watching television coverage of the horserace.

That is one of the reasons that Republican lawmakers are as supportive of the initiative as Democrats. Jan Brewer is about as wingnutty as can be imagined, and she supports the initiative, saying that more states should get attention during the general campaign.

Reverse mortgage for old folks huckster Fred Thompson is another well-known Republican who supports the initiative, out of a fear of a repeat of the 2000 Bush selection:

“We live in a time when the American people are increasingly cynical about their government’s ability to deal with our most pressing problems,” said Thompson. “This means that there is a need for bold, effective presidential leadership as never before. Therefore, we simply can no longer afford to run the risk of having a president who is handicapped by not having won the most popular votes. The National Popular Vote approach offers the states a way to deal with this issue in a way that is totally consistent with our constitutional principles.”

Brewer, Thompson and a slew of other righty endorsements for the initiative may simply prove the old saw that a broken clock is right twice daily. To which I say, preach it Republicans. Even though I cannot help but feel a bit nervous at finding myself in full support of an issue they agree upon as well, for some odd reason it feels good to listen to them pontificate and be able to pipe up in like support from my little lefty corner of the interwebs.

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Friday Feminism: Abortion, Equality and Sexual Assault http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/2014/04/friday-feminism-abortion-equality-and-sexual-assault/ http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/2014/04/friday-feminism-abortion-equality-and-sexual-assault/#comments Sat, 19 Apr 2014 02:04:40 +0000 http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/?p=22933 Continue reading ]]>

Federal Judge Daniel Hovland struck down North Dakota’s six week abortion ban, known as the “fetal heartbeat” measure, permanently on Wednesday calling the law “invalid and unconstitutional” and that it “cannot withstand a constitutional challenge.” The law had immediately been challenged by the Red River Women’s Clinic as an “undue burden on women seeking to obtain an abortion.” Kansas was able to avoid attaching a similar fetal heartbeat rider on a bill that would criminalize abortion once  the heartbeat was detected.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer

On Tuesday, however, Republican Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed the bill that would allow state agencies to make surprise, warrant-less inspections on abortion clinics into law. While over in Nevada, the GOP voted to remove its opposition to gay marriage and its pro-life stance from the party platform. And the State party Chairman, Michael McDonald is happy about that!

Well, ladies, we now have the answer to why we do and should get paid less than men. The answer was provided by Phyllis Schafly. In her article for Christianity Today, she wrote:

“Another fact is the influence of hypergamy, which means that women typically choose a mate (husband or boyfriend) who earns more than she does. While women prefer to HAVE a higher earning partner, men generally prefer to BE the higher-earning partner in a relationship. The simple but profound difference between the sexes has powerful consequences for the so-called pay gap.”

Never mind the fact that as a lawyer, she made more money than her late husband. Hypocrisy, isn’t it wonderful?

The New York Times decided not to hold back when it reported that Florida State University and the Tallahassee Police Department “botched” the sexual assault investigation of NFL player Jameis Winston. The Times pointed out that police didn’t follow obvious leads, including a witness who had videotaped part of the assault.

Victor Barnard

Victor Barnard

Minnesota is searching for a man, Victor Barnard, who is facing 59 counts of first-degree sexual assault. Barnard is a former minister of a community known as “Shepherd’s Camp”, where he would regularly rape girls as young as 13. He referred to them as “Maidens” and told them that because of “God’s word” the rape was normal.

A new study which will be released in the next issue of Gender & Society states that young women think that being harassed is normal and because of this thought process decide not to report it.

Hop on over to Tennessee to watch in awe as they became the first state to subject pregnant women to criminal assault charges if they use drugs while pregnant.

If you are not happy in your marriage stay out of Arizona, Louisiana, and Utah. The Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage have been busy trying to make it harder to get a divorce. “In recent years, lawmakers in more than a dozen states have introduced bills imposing longer waiting periods before a divorce is granted, mandating counseling courses or limiting the reasons a couple can formally split.” I’d side-step Alabama and Oklahoma as they are making moves to incorporate similar laws.

Alaska caused a bit of confusion when a couple of representatives promoting the “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding” program referred to the activity as being “smart and sexy”. It caused political blogger Amanda Coyne to wonder:

“It’s also unclear for whom breastfeeding is supposed to be sexy: The baby? The mother? The viewer?”

Richard Mack

Richard Mack

The Whack-a-doodle of the Week Award goes to former Arizona sheriff Richard Mack who happily told Fox News:

“We were actually strategizing to put all the women up at the front. If they are going to start shooting, it’s going to be women that are going to be televised all across the world getting shot by these rogue federal officers.”

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Fun with Teabaggers http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/2014/04/fun-with-teabaggers/ http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/2014/04/fun-with-teabaggers/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 19:16:14 +0000 http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/?p=22929

The all-time best video compilation of teabaggers using the nickname “teabagger”.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Read more about how teabaggers came up with their own nickname, but today claim its a liberal creation.

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Election Reports – Eastern States – 4/18/14 http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/2014/04/election-reports-eastern-states-41814/ http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/2014/04/election-reports-eastern-states-41814/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:00:43 +0000 http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/?p=22920 Continue reading ]]>

New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen is scheduled to lead a Shaheen-021109-18432- 0009roundtable discussion today to talk about the importance of environmental conservation, namely the Land and Water Conservation Fund. She will be meeting with conservation, outdoor industry and timber sector representatives. This follows her recent role in pushing for investment in the environment in order to protect public lands. This effort is also to protect the jobs of those who work in outdoor industries. The roundtable will be held at NEMO Equipment in Dover.

John Barrow, Democratic Congressman representing Georgia’s 12th District, led an effort to urge the Federal Communications Commission to implement the provisions of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. The letter was signed by 76 members of the House. More information on the letter and the provisions they are pushing to implement is available here.

Congressman John Tierney, Representative of the 6th District of Massachusetts, has released a statement for the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. The Congressman said

We solemnly remember the senseless violence that struck the Boston Marathon one year ago. My thoughts remain with the victims who are still recovering from this tragedy and with the families of those who lost their lives in this terrible attack…

Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu is pushing for the fate of Medicaid expansion to be left to the Louisiana voters after Republican Governor Bobby Jindal rejected the Medicaid expansion provision of the Affordable Care Act. Landrieu is pushing for the expansion in order to protect the health of workers in her state and to bring thousands of health care-related jobs.

Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey has introduced the Hate Crime Reporting Act of 2014. The purpose of the legislation is to examine hate crimes and hate speech on the Internet, television, and radio. Speaking of the legislation, Markey said

We have recently seen in Kansas the deadly destruction and loss of life that hate speech can fuel in the United States, which is why it is critical to ensure the Internet, television and radio are not encouraging hate crimes or hate speech that is not outside the protection of the First Amendment. Over 20 years have passed since I first directed the NTIA to review the role that telecommunications play in encouraging hate crimes. My legislation would require the agency to update this critical report for the 21st century.

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Election Reports – Central States – 4/16/14 http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/2014/04/election-reports-central-states-41614/ http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/2014/04/election-reports-central-states-41614/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:24:33 +0000 http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/?p=22905 Continue reading ]]>

allison grimesIn Kentucky, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is challenging Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell for his Senate seat. In the first quarter of 2014 Grimes managed to out-raise McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader. Her campaign has been boosted by grassroots support, having received contributions from nearly 45,000 individual supporters, with a median contribution of $25. However, McConnell’s campaign has more than twice as much cash on hand, thanks to having a head start. While Grimes has received smaller contributions from numerous individual backers, McConnell has received more money from lobbyists than any other candidate thus far in 2014. The Bluegrass Poll found Grimes with a 4-point lead over McConnell in February, with 12% of poll respondents undecided.

Wendy_DavisTexas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis addressed the Texas State Teachers Association on Saturday. She called for universal, full-day pre-kindergarten for all 4 year-olds. Her Republican opponent, Attorney General Greg Abbott, has provided a plan for expanding pre-kindergarten access only for school districts that implement a so-called “gold standard” program. Davis condemned Abbott’s plan, which she said “picks and chooses which of our students succeed and which do not.”

Mark Schauer, Democratic candidate for governor of Michigan, criticized Governor Rick Snyder’s administration for increasing tax breaks to oil companies. In a statement, he said:

398px-Mark_Schauer

Giving more tax breaks to big oil companies just shows that this administration is out of touch… At a time when dozens of Michigan school districts are in deficit because of Snyder’s education cuts, the last thing we should be doing is giving more handouts to big oil companies.

As an alternative, he called for investment in renewable energy sources, which would create jobs in Michigan and reduce dependence on foreign oil. A recent poll by the Marketing Resource Group found Snyder in the lead, but losing ground. The poll found Snyder with an 8-point lead, down from 14 points in October.

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Cowardice of the Racist Right http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/2014/04/cowardice-of-the-racist-right/ http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/2014/04/cowardice-of-the-racist-right/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 02:49:38 +0000 http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/?p=22896 Continue reading ]]>

I’ve come to the conclusion that most Republicans are simply cowards. We read, and hear on hate radio, the viciously racist statements and images made by right-wing racists nearly every, stinkin’ day (many of which we’ve compiled at http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/not-racist/). That’s usually followed by online trolls spreading misinformation, denials, and my favorite, reaching back decades to find racists statements by old, southern Democrats who became Republicans when they were pissed-off by the civil rights movement (as if a few racists in the old, pre-civil rights era Democratic Party equals the millions of present-day racists in the Republican Party).

I used to think the right wing talking heads were fully aware of this, and above this, but as loyal Republicans were forced to do everything possible to dodge questions and avoid having to denounce the racist behavior on the right. At times, I even felt sorry for those talking heads who were confronted on live television when you know they’d love to say, “If I had it my way, I’d kick all of those racists out of the Republican Party. But if I said that, I’d be primaried by some racist teabagger.” I mean, there must be a good Republican out there somewhere, right? Right?

But in the face of overwhelming evidence, its clear to me that the denials and misinformation of today’s Republicans are simply cowardice. Sure, there are a few die-hard bigots who refuse to back-down and even “double-down” on the racist crap (crying “you’re intolerant of my [racist] beliefs!”). But the talking-heads, the right wing trolls online, and the Republicans in our work and personal lives are fully-invested in the misinformation of the Republican propaganda machine. They eagerly join the racist right in confusing and misinforming the only Americans who matter to them going forward; the independents they need to win (they can no longer do it alone; their base is down to 25%). They must convince enough independents that there is no racism in the Republican Party. But they are all cowards. Even the bigots who make the racist statements will only stand by their bigotry when surrounded by other members of the racist, Republican 25%. Outside of that group, they know they would be ridiculed and ostracized as racists who don’t belong in a civilized society. They would be hated, and deservedly so. So they lie, like cowards.

Thankfully, their chances of leading this country are slim-to-none. Between the changing demographics that will shrink the percentage of the “angry white man” vote and what I’m sure will be a shockingly sexist, anti-Clinton campaign in 2016 that sends independent women running toward the Democratic Party, the racist Republican Party will get smaller … and smaller … and smaller.

louie gohmert obama stirring up racial tensions by focusing on our racist actions

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The GOP Blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act Because . . . http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/2014/04/the-gop-blocked-the-paycheck-fairness-act-because/ http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/2014/04/the-gop-blocked-the-paycheck-fairness-act-because/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 22:37:57 +0000 http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/?p=22882 Continue reading ]]>

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) asserts that the Paycheck Fairness Act “was going to be helpful to trial lawyers.” I developed a small headache as I tried to unravel the web of contradiction while she spoke about how pro-women’s equality the Republicans were while at the same time lamenting that she has dealt with said inequality repeatedly.

Monday afternoon I received an email from Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) in response to me asking him to support the Paycheck Fairness Act. Here is what it said:

Dear Ms. Sheppard,

Thank you for taking the time to contact me about the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 2199).  I understand this is an important issue, and I appreciate hearing your thoughts.  This legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) on April 1, 2014 and is intended to amend a portion of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 known as the Equal Pay Act.

Under the Equal Pay Act, once employees have provided evidence of discrimination in compensation based on sex, the employer must prove that the difference in wages is a result of “any other factor than sex.”  The Paycheck Fairness Act seeks to eliminate the “any other factor than sex” defense and replace it with “bona fide factor other than sex.”  The Paycheck Fairness Act would also remove the Equal Pay Act’s limits on punitive and compensatory damages in cases of sex discrimination in compensation, in addition to facilitating class-action lawsuits in such cases.

Under the Paycheck Fairness Act, government and the courts would essentially dictate business practices to employers in areas which the courts have no business expertise.  The Paycheck Fairness Act would provide millions of dollars for trial lawyers who initiate class-action suits, while bankrupting businesses throughout our country.  This legislation would mean fewer jobs for Americans as a result of heightened legal risks for small business owners and a reduction in business competitiveness, and for this reason, I do not support the Paycheck Fairness Act.  I voted against the motion to proceed to the Paycheck Fairness Act in the 113thCongress on April 9, 2014.

Again, thank you for contacting me about this issue.  I look forward to any thoughts or input you wish to share in the future.

Sincerely,

Marco Rubio
United States Senator

Senate Republicans Address The Press After Weekly Policy Luncheon

Mitch McConnell

Senate Whiney Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said prior to the vote, “At a time when the Obama economy is already hurting women so much, this legislation would double down on job loss, all while lining the pockets of trial lawyers. In other words, it’s just another Democratic idea that threatens to hurt the very people that it claims to help.”

And this is nothing. As I was researching this article, I found myself getting more and more pissed.

Lynn-Jenkins-Pictures3

Lynn Jenkins

Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) claimed the measure was “condescending” because women have gotten to where they are in the workforce on “merit, not because the government mandated it.”

Ok, Lynn – can I call you Lynn? So you think it is okay for women to make an average of 77 cents for every dollar a man makes (according to U.S. Census Bureau data) doing the same job because we fought our way to that point and we don’t want any of your pussy handouts? And, by God, if we can’t fight our way to equality then we don’t deserve it? ‘Cause that kinda sounds like what you’re saying.

Meanwhile charming-as-jock-itch Eric Cantor (R-VA) pointed fingers at the White House saying that there are reports of women who work in the White House earning 88 cents for every dollar a man makes. Sigh, I know math is hard for Republicans, but that happens to be more than the average. But, the school yard taunt is pitiful at best. So (pointing a finger) you’re not doing anything about it, why should we? I weep for this country.

Eric Cantor

Eric Cantor

Oh, what was Cantor’s solution, you ask? So glad you did! He suggested repealing part of Obamacare and passing a GOP sponsored bill that would raise the definition of full-time to 40 hours instead of 30.  How is this supposed to help? Oh, right, math impaired.

The only sanity came from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) when he said, “I’m at a loss as to why anyone would decline to debate this important issue.”

Thank you, Harry!

Thank you, Harry!

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It’s April 15th, Time For Conservatives to Start Bashing Their Base http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/2014/04/its-april-15th-time-for-conservatives-to-start-bashing-their-base/ http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/2014/04/its-april-15th-time-for-conservatives-to-start-bashing-their-base/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 05:14:43 +0000 http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/?p=22856 Continue reading ]]>

indexIt’s tax time folks, the most festive season next to Christmas for Conservatives; a time for them to revel in smearing those less fortunate, while ignoring the obscene tax breaks given to Corporate America, and failed presidential candidates.

This year, before Conservatives call out the dogs to perpetuate their “47% of Americans don’t pay taxes” rallying cry, and get the lemmings hatin’ on Grandma, our disabled veterans, and the poor, let’s put some  facts out there. A 2012 Business Insider report shed some light on tax dodgers for us:

  • 7,000 people made more than $1 million but paid no income tax.
  • 22,000 people made between $500,000 and $1 million but paid no income tax.
  • 81,000 people made between $200,000 and $500,000 but paid no income tax.
  • 381,000 people made between $100,000 and $200,000 but paid no income tax.

wpid-facebook_-1598318897Then there are the corporations that Conservatives love to call “job creators”, who hold their hands out for more tax breaks while shipping jobs overseas and hiding profits in the Cayman Islands. According to the report “Corporate Taxpayers and Corporate Tax Dodgers, 2008-10”:

“…corporate tax loopholes are so out of control that most Americans can rightfully complain, “I pay more federal income taxes than General Electric, Boeing, DuPont, Wells Fargo, Verizon, etc., etc., all put together…

Twenty-five years ago, President Ronald Reagan was horrified by a similar epidemic of corporate tax dodging. “I just didn’t realize that things had gotten that far out of line” … Reagan solved the problem, by sweeping away corporate tax loopholes with the Tax Reform Act of 1986. But over time, Reagan’s 1986 decision to get rid of corporate tax subsidies and make our big corporations pay their fair share has been reversed.

Ironically, that reversal has been led in large part by politicians who claim to be Reagan’s disciples and to oppose government subsidies that interfere with market incentives. Indeed, many of these purported fans of Reagan want to expand corporate subsidies and tilt public policy even further in favor of corporate tax avoidance.”

Here’s a small sample of the worst offenders:

Boeing: “Over the past dozen years, during which Boeing reported to its shareholders a total profit of more than $43 billion, the company’s net cumulative refund of federal tax is more than $1.6 billion… Taking all the federal taxes paid, or not paid, since 2002, Boeing’s average federal tax rate is minus 3.8 percent.” (Seattle Times, March 1, 2014)

“With $20 billion in sales to the federal government in fiscal 2013, Boeing was the nation’s second largest contractor… When any large corporation makes tens of billions of profits and pays nothing in taxes, it is scandalous. When a company that draws its lifeblood from taxpayer-funded contracts pays nothing to support the government it claims to serve, it is time to change the rules that allow such behavior to continue unchecked.” (Center For Effective Government, Feb. 19, 2014)

FedEx: “Between 2008 and 2012, FedEx reported $9.381 billion in US pretax income, and paid just $395 million in current federal income taxes. This computes to a 4.2 percent effective tax rate over this period. In two years during this period, 2008 and 2011, the company actually didn’t pay a dime in federal income taxes, instead enjoying tax rebates of $38 million in 2008 and $135 million in 2011.” (Citizens for Tax Justice, Sept. 2013)

IBM: “…International Business Machines (IBM) has paid U.S. corporate income taxes equal to just 5.8 percent of its $45.3 billion in U.S. profits over a five year period from 2008 through 2012… IBM engages in gimmicks to make its U.S. profits appear (to the IRS) to be earned in low-tax or no-tax countries, in order to avoid federal corporate income taxes.

The real problem with the U.S. corporate tax is that it allows a corporation like IBM to “defer” paying U.S. taxes on profits that it earns (or claims to earn) offshore until those profits are officially brought back to the U.S. (which may never happen). This provides an incentive for corporations to use accounting gimmicks to make their U.S. profits appear to be earned in offshore tax havens…” (Citizens for Tax Justice, February 7, 2014)

Microsoft: “…used transactions with subsidiaries in Puerto Rico, Ireland, Singapore and Bermuda to save at least $6.5 billion in taxes. Microsoft was a member of the WinAmerica coalition that pushed Congress for a temporary holiday from the tax corporations pay when they bring overseas profits back to the U.S.” (Think Progress, Sep 20, 2012)

Apple: “Months after reporting the second highest quarterly profits in U.S. history, America’s favorite company is refusing to bring home more than $60 billion of offshore funds in protest of the taxes it would have to pay… Though more than two-thirds of its retail stores are in the United States and Apple sells more product in the U.S. than in any other nation, it reports to shareholders that it made 24 cents in pre-tax profit for every dollar of sales in the United States, compared to 36 cents profit on every dollar of sales abroad.

… Apple’s accounting and tax staff is as clever as its engineers and product designers. They take some of their profits earned in the United States and through accounting hocus pocus transform them into foreign profits that are not taxed in the U.S. until they are returned here.” (Scott Klinger, Op-Ed, Baltimore Sun, April 9, 2012)

During the 2012 presidential debates, Romney spoke about a small business owner who allegedly pays 50% of what he makes in taxes; the taxes he cited were:

“…federal income tax, federal payroll tax, state income tax, state sales tax, state property tax, gasoline tax.”

Republicans will include these taxes when discussing a business’s “unfair” tax liability, but refuse to include these very same taxes when discussing what the average American citizen pays in taxes. The fact is, if we take all taxes together, distribution looks something like this graph from Ezra Klein’s Wonkblog:

Liberals, economists and tax policy wonks have long argued that “the 47%” pay other taxes which contribute to the economy, something Republicans refuse to acknowledge because disparaging half of America plays well to their base. Ironically, it is largely their base that makes up the so-called “47%”, as this map from The Martin Prosperity Institute via The Atlantic Cities shows:

Nonpayers_StateWEB“Three states had more than 40 percent nonpayers — Mississippi (44.5 percent), followed by Georgia (42.5 percent), and Alabama (40.3 percent) — and all three were solidly for McCain in 2008. The remaining top ten were largely in the Sunbelt: Florida (39.0 percent), Arkansas (38.8 percent), South Carolina (38.8 percent), New Mexico (38.7 percent), Idaho (38.6 percent), Texas (38.5 percent), and Utah (38.3 percent).”

It’s not the corporate behemoth that demands millions in tax credits, or the wealthy woman who gets a tax break for her $100,000. prancing pony that the Right refers to as the “Takers”, it’s the American worker. Conservatives would rather the poor and middle class end up living in the streets than close one single tax loophole for the rich, and bite the hand that feeds them. Besides, ganging up on those less fortunate has always been such fun for them.

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Mike Huckabee Successfully Trolls For Publicity http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/2014/04/mike-huckabee-successfully-trolls-for-publicity/ http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/2014/04/mike-huckabee-successfully-trolls-for-publicity/#comments Sun, 13 Apr 2014 22:28:32 +0000 http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/?p=22841 Continue reading ]]>

Searching the Google for items related to Mike Huckabee today yields thousands of results related to his speech at a summit of conservatives in New Hampshire. Many of those links are to reputable news and opinion sites with massive audiences. While the bulk of reaction to Huckabee’s speech is negative for one reason in particular, which we shall examine directly, let us recognize the astounding success of the tactic he used to get the publicity.

Here is what Huckabee said:

My gosh, I’m beginning to think that there’s more freedom in North Korea sometimes than there is in the United States,” he said in his remarks. “When I go to the airport, I have to get in the surrender position, people put hands all over me, and I have to provide photo ID and a couple of different forms and prove that I really am not going to terrorize the airplane – but if I want to go vote I don’t need a thing.”

Before we examine the tactic Huckabee employed to get all this attention, let us deconstruct what he said. I find it the height of irony that Huckabee seems to complain about the ease of voting in America at the same time he wonders if North Korea has more freedom than we do.

North Korea just held a national vote that had precisely one candidate on the ballot for supreme poo-bah. Believe it or not, Kim Jung-un won that election with 100% of the vote. Not only did he win, but in his home district there was 100% turnout. Amazing!

Isn’t it just too bad that America does not mirror North Korea’s example of freedom by allowing one choice on the ballot and forcing everyone who can vote to vote… or face the consequences? Which consequences in the case of North Korea are severe. Not voting or abstaining is treated as an act of treason. Checking the voting rolls is one way the government finds out about defectors. Some defectors actually return to North Korea for elections just to cast a ballot so their family will not be persecuted in retaliation for the defection.

By the way, Huckabee and his conservative followers would be thrilled to add restrictions and tests for Americans to vote, so why is he questioning the freedom of America compared to North Korea? He wants to take freedoms away when it comes to the ballot box.

As for the comparison of the rigmarole experienced while boarding an airplane compared to voting, the last time I checked no one has ever flown voting booths into buildings causing the deaths of about 3000 Americans. The first time that happens I will guarantee a much more stringent test for entering the voting booth than is currently the case. I mean, why is there airport security but not polling place security? Freaking duh.

We should recognize the success of Huckabee in throwing a rhetorical bomb that brought him all sorts of attention when it exploded. Clearly Huckabee is a believer in the maxim that any publicity is good publicity. Especially while he is considering tossing his hat into the ring in the upcoming Republican presidential nomination process.

The Republican nomination will be decided by folks who literally cheer putting people to death by the hundreds, boo American soldiers who do not lust after women, boo contraception, which is used by 99% of women in their lifetimes and are largely informed by Fox News. Yes, being primarily informed by Fox News is pejorative, as study after study proves that their audience is the least informed, to the point that those who watch no news at all are more informed about current events than the Fox News audience.

The throwbacks that make up the pool of Republican primary voters love the kind of red meat rhetoric Huckabee used.  While the overall tone of opinion over the speech is against Huckabee, he still benefits from the publicity generated by all the opinions.  Here I am bashing out a post on Huckabee, and I have no doubt that any right wing loon who stumbles over this post will be more inclined to support him after reading it, just based on the principle of the matter.

Oh well, if Huckabee is successful in winning the nomination by veering to the right and sounding crazy in order to be more popular with Republicans, he’ll lose the general election to Hillary in a landslide.

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Over/Under: Years Before Republicans Start to Claim Credit For Obamacare http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/2014/04/overunder-years-before-republicans-start-to-claim-credit-for-obamacare/ http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/2014/04/overunder-years-before-republicans-start-to-claim-credit-for-obamacare/#comments Sat, 12 Apr 2014 22:06:52 +0000 http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/?p=22832 Continue reading ]]>

The Heritage Plan: 1989.

All citizens should be guaranteed universal access to affordable health care.

Many states now require passengers in automobiles to wear seatbelts for their own protection. Many others require anybody driving a car to have liability insurance. But neither the federal government nor any state requires all households to protect themselves from the potentially catastrophic costs of a serious accident or illness. Under the Heritage plan, there would be such a requirement.

Romneycare and Obamacare architect Jonathon Gruber.

[W]hat about when Romney says his law is different from Obamacare? “The problem is there is no way to say that, because they’re the same f***ing bill. He just can’t have his cake and eat it too. Basically, you know, it’s the same bill. He can try to draw distinctions and stuff, but he’s just lying. The only big difference is he didn’t have to pay for his. Because the federal government paid for it. Where at the federal level, we have to pay for it, so we have to raise taxes.”

Ezra Klein’s new website Vox was the subject of much ridicule from the right following publication of an article titled Kathleen Sebelius is resigning because Obamacare has won.

The Obamacare victory declaration by Vox was not intended as a statement on the success of the law for perpetuity, or even to say that the law was a political winner for Democrats going into the midterm elections. The victory of Obamacare as described by the article is in it’s very survival.

From the initial debate over health care reform right up until this moment the law has been fought tooth and nail by Republicans. The Vox article declares, correctly, that Obamacare has won simply by not being strangled to death in the crib. With 7.5 million Americans now enrolled in the program there is no viable path allowing Republicans to repeal the law.

The Vox article was not so bold as to predict that the law would prove to be a political benefit for its supporters going forward, but I don’t mind going there. There is a reason Republican strategists are counseling their party to not put all their eggs in the Obamacare opposition basket for the 2014 midterms. Rabid opposition to Obamacare may have been a great tactic to rile up the base in 2010, but it did not have the same effect in 2012. As the law gains in popularity, running against it will return less rewards and eventually prove to be a liability.

Understanding the fundamentally dishonest approach of Republicans to the political process, I predict they will try to claim credit for the passage of Obamacare, and we will see the opening moves on the switch sooner than later. I would put the over/under line on the number of years until Republicans start trying to claim credit for Obamacare at 3 years. On that line, they won’t try it during the 2016 general election, but the 2018 midterms could show the 1st signs of an amazing attempt at Republican/Obamacare jujitsu.

I expect this would be shown as Republicans maintaining opposition to the law in general terms, but claiming credit for the laws effects on covering local constituencies and other positive outcomes in the local markets due to Obamacare. Eventually any opposition to the law from the right will be extremely vague in nature while maintaining steadfast support for the fundamental components that will become more and more popular as time passes. Over time any semblance of opposition to the law will be long forgotten.

Further, Republicans will have a kernel of truth to their claims. President Obama and Democrats did base Obamacare on conservative ideas which were championed by Republicans for decades prior to Obama’s election and first enacted into law by a Republican governor. The individual mandate is the conservative answer to the liberal proposal of a single payer system.  With a kernal of truth to the claim, massive amounts of cash on hand to spread the word, and being past masters at message manipulation to their under informed audience, the Republicans flip on Obamacare could actually prove very effective. 

It may seem laughable to imagine Republicans claiming to be the champions of Obamacare as of the writing of this post. Before laughing too hard just consider that one does not need a very long memory to recall that Republicans universally claimed to be vehemently opposed to passage of a recent initiative, while taking credit for the implementation of said policy.

Remember the heat and fury over the stimulus program in 2009? Even as Republicans yammered and howled about the supposed failure of the program, they went to their districts and had photo ops holding the symbolic checks, and cut the ribbons on the construction projects funded by the stimulus. They loudly protest, claiming that not one job could be created by the federal government, even as behind the scenes they send letters to the administration pleading for federal funds to be sent to their districts with the express intent of creating jobs for their constituents.

I believe the likelihood that Republicans maintain their current position is inversely related to the popularity of the law. Considering the manipulation of facts and history to comport to the conservative point of view, do not be surprised if decades from now they fondly recall the good old days when Obamacare was passed despite the fierce opposition of the Democratic congress and a president who was dead set against the health care reforms that past generations of conservatives struggled to implement for the good of the nation.

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