Archive for the “Politics” Category

The $7 trillion secret loan program: The government and big banks should be punished for deceiving the public about their hush-hush bailout scheme. – Slate Magazine.

We really do need to give the banks and the bankers ( and their aiders and abettors) a fair trial. Except they seem to be fighting it tooth and nail all the way.

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First thing – DO NOT RE-ELECT any incumbents. It doesn’t matter if they are the best public servant you have ever had. Sweep the table clean and let a new mind-set in to office.  And don’t vote for an incumbent until the system rights itself.

  • If you are party-bound, do not re-nominate any incumbent in the primary.

Second thing – get another political party going. Enough of these Republican/Mini-Republican electoral choices. A choice between the greater and the lesser evil isn’t much of a choice.

 

We the People of the United States, in Order to

  • form a more perfect Union,
  • establish Justice,
  • insure domestic Tranquility,
  • provide for the common defence,
  • promote the general Welfare, and
  • secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,

do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

 

 

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There are a number of items I would like Congress to implement to start the economic justice pendulum heading back to sanity.

  • Restore Glass-Steagall at a minimum.  Keep Commercial and Investment Banks separate. Keep both of them out of the Insurance business. There may be some more regulatory restrictions that have a demonstrated need since the 1930′s but get us back to the 1990′s first.
  • Review and reset SEC regulations every 7 years. All those smart guys on Wall Street like to game the system and it would behoove us to reset the games parameters as they stretch the limits.
  • Prohibit Federal employees and contractors from working in the financial industry for at least 7 years after they leave their Federal job or contract.
  • Un-recognize all Nationally Recognized Statistical Reporting Organizations (NRSRO). Reinstate recognition only to those organizations that are not paid by the parties they are reporting on.
  • Pass a law that explicitly states that corporations are not “People”.
  • Pass a law that only citizens can contribute to political campaigns and that all donations must be made available to a readily search-able database, maintained by the FEC, within 48 hours. I would like to extend this even further and say that only registered voters can donate to political campaigns but I will settle for citizens to start with.  I don’t know that any contribution caps are needed  if there is transparency about who is buying the candidate but we should not preclude that option if needed.
  • Any corporate compensation in excess of the President’s annual salary shall be counted as corporate profit and taxed as such.  No deductions.

I believe this agenda falls under the mandate of the United States:

We the People of the United States, in Order to

  • form a more perfect Union,
  • establish Justice,
  • insure domestic Tranquility,
  • provide for the common defence,
  • promote the general Welfare, and
  • secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,

do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

 

 

 

 

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Hume: The Surge Made The Iraq War Worth It | ThinkProgress.

As I have heard it, the luck of the Irish is that if you fall into a septic tank you will come out with a rose. You still fell into a septic tank, something that most reasonable people would agree is a bad thing, but at least you have a rose!

In the case of Iraq, we jumped into the septic tank. And I’m not sure that that is a rose…

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Bloomberg’s Awful Comment; What Can We Say For Certain Regarding the GSEs? | Rortybomb.

 

Rule of Thumb: Whenever a politician opens their mouth – verify what they are lying about. And whose lie are they repeating?

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I would like to propose a few taxing proposals.

First is to take federal social insurance (Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid) off the books and let them be funded by a straight 20% payroll tax. Those payroll taxes go straight through to the trust funds and don’t go through the Congress. Congress can oversee the Trustees. I would also suggest that Medicare/Medicaid will provide universal coverage.

Let’s get rid of the itemized deductions, give every household a flat deduction of $75,000, calculate the non-social insurance expenses for the government and figure out how much revenue we need to collect to cover the difference.  Then calculate what we need to tax everyone to meet our goals.

As an example: We have $13T income in the US. With the 20% payroll tax the Social Insurance Funds are collecting $5.2T (employer matching). That should cover the annual medical costs and retirement funding with no problem.We have ~$9T in flat deductions, leaving about $4T to cover the federal budget. Taking the Social Insurance costs out of the picture we have about $2T to cover. So a 50% tax on everyone’s income over $75,000 will cover the budget with no deficit. And the Corporations don’t have to pay any taxes!

Or we could arrange for the personal income tax to cover 3/4 of the budget and Corporations to cover 1/4 of the budget. Then we have $0.5T coming from Corps and $1.5T coming from the people with a 37.5% tax rate.

I am sure there are some tweaks that need to be accounted for. What about folks whose income doesn’t come from payrolls? They need to contribute to the Social Insurance funds. And what about 1 person households and 2 person households and 10 person households, etc? Do they all get the same $75,00 deduction? Some more pondering is needed.

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I was thinking about my idea of setting up the House of Representatives to have one representative per 100 000 citizens. While that would increase the House from 435 to ~3100  right now, it would leave the Senate at 100, 2 Senators per State.

Let’s also increase the Senate to have 6 Senators per state. The Senators continue to serve 6 year terms and they continue to be elected on their current schedule. But three Senators would be elected in each election and the three top vote-getters would get the office. So the result will end up with each state probably having a Republican, a Democrat and a Third Party type – or a second Rep. or Dem. depending on the vote totals.   I think this would give popular 3rd party candidates a chance to be heard on the national stage as well as providing a moderating influence on the two-party duocracy we have today.

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In my previous Post I remarked that I didn’t consider FDR’s Second Bill of Rights to be rights. Rather, I consider them to be responsibilities a society owes its members.

Just to clarify the matter, I believe Rights are what individuals holds within themselves. To say someone has a right to health care immediately implies that the health care giver is obligated and does not have the right to refuse. This violates the rights of the health care giver.The same may be said for housing, employment, education, etc.

But a Society does have the Responsibility to provide to its members health care access (even basic health care), basic housing, basic education, competitive opportunities in business,  equal employment opportunities, and a social assurance to the elderly, disabled, unemployed and young. I think FDR’s Bill of Rights baselines a good deal of society’s responsibilities to its members.

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Second Bill of Rights – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

I have just been watching Michael Moore’s Capitalism -A Love Storyand he ends with a recap of FDR 2nd Bill Of Rights.

Roosevelt’s remedy was to declare an “economic bill of rights” which would guarantee:

I don’t believe these qualify as rights, but they are definitely components of the directive to promote the general welfare and we should incorporate them into our way of life.

This reminds me of a Love Story much as Romeo and Juliet does.

Moore ends the film with his wrapping of Wall Street with a Crime Scene tape and saying he can’t do this anymore. Do we want to join him? I think he has his answer two years later.

( He interviewed Wallace Shawn early in the film and I kept expecting an ‘inconceivable ‘.)

 

 

 

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American Spectator Editor Admits to Being Agent Provocateur at D.C. Museum | MyFDL.

 

At the very least  I hope this asshole is convicted.

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