Archive for February, 2011

According to calculations by Whitehouse’s office — which match our own — when you include Social Security and Medicare taxes, the effective tax rate for the wealthiest 400 Americans would have been 16.72 percent in 2007; the tax rate for a worker earning $29,000 a year would have been 16.79 percent.

PolitiFact Rhode Island | Whitehouse says richest 400 taxpayers are taxed at a lower rate than a $29,000-a-year worker.


Congressional attacks on public media seem to come as regularly as NPR fundraising drives. Every year, as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) pleas for federal funding, some members of Congress denounce public media altogether, while others quietly vote to shave off another sliver of subsidies, rather than eliminate all funding. In the end, the CPB limps away still intact, but wounded.

What You Need to Know About the Assault on NPR and PBS — In These Times.

When it comes to improving public understanding of tax policy, nothing has been more troubling than the deeply flawed coverage of the Wisconsin state employees’ fight over collective bargaining.

Economic nonsense is being reported as fact in most of the news reports on the Wisconsin dispute, the product of a breakdown of skepticism among journalists multiplied by their lack of understanding of basic economic principles. Really Bad Reporting in Wisconsin: Who ‘Contributes’ to Public Workers’ Pensions?.

What is shrinking is the reportorial component of our culture in which people go out and find things and verify things,” he said. Truth has little chance to make itself known in the new narrow and shallow public square.

Why Are Americans So Ill-Informed about Climate Change?: Scientific American.

Let’s be clear what is going on. Only three of the top 10 spenders in the most recent elections were unions. Among the others were organizations representing business interests, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and individual corporations themselves. Both corporations and unions were unleashed by the Citizens United decision.

If unions can be broken in the public sector, this will further tilt the political playing field on behalf of corporate interests and their Republican allies. This will also silence one of the few remaining vehicles that advocate on behalf of ordinary people in this country.

No unions: Government by the rich, for the rich –

White House White Board: OMB Director Jack Lew on the President’s Budget | The White House.

February 11th 2011

 Something great is happening in Egypt.

As Americans, let us not fear the future, theirs or ours.

Fear and paranoia are not what we are made of.

We should not fear Egypt or any other country reaching for their highest Ideas. We just need to keep matching them with our own.

The desire for dignity, respect, freedom and liberty run deep in the human psyche. It is not just a desire; it is a need, it is a necessity.

I do believe if we lived in fear and paranoia when we went through our own revolution we not have our own freedom

Do not fear the future but embrace it.

In Egypt just as in early America:

Will it take hard work? Yes.

Will Democracy come easy? No.

Will it take wrong turns? Yes.

Will the future still happen even if we do nothing? Yes

So we might as well shape it the way we want it.

The Egyptian young generation wants their chance at their freedom.

This new generation, their voice as “one”, was heard.

Today is a Momentous and Significant Day!

 Compliments to the Egyptian people for their long enduring persistent and patients in defeating this dictator.

Human dignity and liberty wins the day.

Global change is coming. It is happening. When our world is becoming more economic interconnected and dependent on each other, we all have a choice to make. To stay with the familiar, afraid and immovable or to reach out with an open mind taking that first major step, asking the question, how can I think about this differently?

The transition we find ourselves in will take time and hard work. And, pulling together as global citizens, we can make this world, better, stronger and safer.

Do not fear the future.

 For Human Freedom wins the day!

We’re in the midst of a global food crisis — the second in three years. World food prices hit a record in January, driven by huge increases in the prices of wheat, corn, sugar and oils. These soaring prices have had only a modest effect on U.S. inflation, which is still low by historical standards, but they’re having a brutal impact on the world’s poor, who spend much if not most of their income on basic foodstuffs.

Droughts, Floods and Food –

For Egypt to have a happy ending, the army has to give up some of its power and set up a fair political transition process that gives the Egyptian center the space to build precisely what Mubarak refused to permit — legitimate, independent, modernizing, secular parties — that can compete in free elections against the Muslim Brotherhood, now the only authentic party.

If that happens, I am not the least bit worried about the Muslim Brotherhoods in Jordan or Egypt hijacking the future. Actually, they should be worried. The Brotherhoods have had it easy in a way. They had no legitimate secular political opponents. The regimes prevented that so they could tell the world it is either “us or the Islamists.” As a result, I think, the Islamists have gotten intellectually lazy. All they had to say was “Islam is the answer” or “Hosni Mubarak is a Zionist” and they could win 20 percent of the vote. Now, if Egypt and Jordan can build a new politics, the Muslim Brotherhood will, for the first time, have real competition from the moderate center in both countries — and they know it.

Newsvine – China, Twitter and 20-Year-Olds vs. the Pyramids –

And for the third straight year, American families and businesses will pay less in federal taxes than they did under former President George W. Bush, thanks to a weak economy and a growing number of tax breaks for the wealthy and poor alike.

Taxes (As A Percentage Of Economy) Drop To Lowest Level In 60 Years.

Rachel Maddow Show.

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