Saturday, October 15, 2011

NYPD Prepares for Occupy Wall Street Protesters at Times Square

I took this shot today at about 1:30pm on 41st Street between Broadway and 6th Avenue. NYPD officers gathering in preparation for the Occupy Wall Street protesters marching up 6th Avenue headed towards Time Square.

Approximately 300 cops lined up on the sidewalk extending from 6th Avenue and almost reaching Broadway. Blog reader Nowhere Man is participating in today's march and will give me his perspective of today's events along with some photographs of the day.

Better Government Management Through Lame Video Games

Or as it's otherwise known, Herman Cain's 999 Plan.

Long before Cain was running for president and getting attention for his 999 plan, the residents of SimCity 4 -- which was released in 2003 -- were living under a system where the default tax rate was 9 percent for commercial taxes, 9 percent for industrial taxes and 9 percent for residential taxes.
Now this may just be a really, really, really freaky coincidence, but if you can compare Cain's cockamamie tax reform plan to something in an eight year old video game, something is amiss. And this doesn't even touch on the subject of how ridiculous the plan actually is. And when Cain is asked specific questions on aspects of his plan, like how the 100% deduction would work for businesses that buy American designed products but are assembled out of the country and contain parts made elsewhere, he'll give answers like, "I have no idea." No idea? Herman Cain has no idea how his plan would work? He's shouting "9-9-9" from the mountaintops any chance he gets, but he doesn't even know how it works.

When you crunch the numbers, it's just another in a long line of Republican tax reform plans that increase taxes for middle class and working poor families while cutting taxes for the top income earners. And by "top" I don't mean breaking six figures. I mean millionaires.

Must Reads

Kevin Drum: Why Republicans are Flummoxed by 9-9-9

Bob Cesca: Senate Republicans Successfully Filibuster American Jobs

Amanda Terkel: Herman Cain 999 Plan: Did It Come From SimCity?

Suzanne Mettler: Our Hidden Government Benefits

Alex Pareene: The tragic, hilarious “We Are the 53 percent” movement

Eugene Robinson: Raising up Herman Cain

The Rude Pundit: Photos That Point to the Inevitable Action Against the Occupation

Richard Cohen: The GOP Debate as Animal Planet

President Obama's Weekly Address - October 15, 2011

Made in America

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

GOP Obstructionism Means to an Obama End, Economy Be Damned

Today, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) confirmed pretty much what we've known all along. The Republican Party's obstructionism and its latest vote against the American Jobs Act is not because of some philosophical difference about how to govern, but a political tactic to "make President Obama look bad" in order to help defeat him in the 2012 election, and if they have to throw the American economy in the shitter to do so, so be it.

It really isn't a shock, but the fact that a member of Congress would admit that something like this is happening behind closed doors is stunning, as MSNBC host Chris Jansing expressed. So the next time you hear that both parties care for their country but just have a difference of opinion in how to run it, know that it's complete bullshit. The Republican Party would rather destroy the US (and possibly global) economy solely for the purpose of winning the White House in 2012 and then attempt to repeal health care reform.

Dumbass Quote of the Day

"One of the reasons we fought the revolution in the 16th century was to get away from that kind of onerous crown."

~Rick Perry answering questions after last night's New Hampshire debate.
Remember that pivotal moment in history when the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence in 1576? Yeah, me neither. Silly, little gaffe? Okay. Give him a break? Absolutely not. Simpletons should not even be considered for the most powerful position in the world.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Right Wing Pushback to Occupy Wall Street

I came across this today on my Facebook page:

Only in America do minimum wagers fight for the rights of millionaires to keep their collective foot on the throats of the "have-nots."

A new website has cropped up called, "The 53%." This is a response to the Occupy Wall Street protesters, and according to their cute, little pictures with their signs, they seem perfectly happy working multiple jobs to make ends meet, pay for college and don't understand why the OWS protesters, "want something for nothing." (I put that in quotes because I've seen it on multiple signs.) Their failure to understand what the protests are about is painfully obvious.

This isn't about partisan politics. This isn't about Democrat vs. Republican, Liberal vs. Conservative. This isn't about getting something for nothing. This isn't about iPads or smart phones or new cars. This is about a matter of fairness.

These people are protesting the fact that Wall Street has the government's economic policy by the balls, with one party in their pocket while the other party plays along as well. Both parties collect plenty of coin for their campaign coffers from Wall Street.

As former, and hopefully future, Congressman Aman Grayson so elequently described in last Friday's Real Time with Bill Maher, and which I'll paraphrase here, the people standing on the streets day in and day out are there because Wall Street basically wrecked the economy three years ago and no one has been held responsible for it. No one's been indicted. No one's been convicted. Bernie Madoff's ponzi scheme bilked people of $50 billion in investments and retirement savings and that made the front page headlines for months. But $50 billion is a fraction of what Wall Street's games cost the country - 20% OF OUR NATIONAL NET WORTH - you and I as taxpayers bailed them out so we wouldn't fall into a catastrophic collapse. And yet here we sit three years later and absolutely nothing has changed in terms of their practices to avoid flirting with the edge of the financial abyss again. In fact, they received multi-million dollar bonuses for their efforts. Does that seem fair to you? Even GOP candidate Buddy Roemer (yes, a Republican) agrees with and backs the OWS movement.

Does it seem fair that Bank of America has decided to earn an extra $3 BILLION a year simply by charging it's customers $5 a month to use their debit card for purchases? Does it seem fair that Citibank arbitrarily raised credit card interest rates to 29.99% for no reason other than to skim some more of our hard-earned money before credit card legislation stopped (or at least slowed down) their loan sharking ways?

This isn't about hating the rich. I don't have a grudge against rich people. For those who earned their way and clawed their way up the financial ladder, good for them and their fortunes. For those who were born into money, well who am I to moan about it? But if I'm paying 28-33% in federal taxes, they'd better pay the same goddamn rate. What's wrong with that? Why should they pay less? Reinvestment for job creation? Please. Enough with the "job creators" bullshit. How many stock brokers create jobs? Why should a hedge fund manager or a stock broker have a lower tax rate than a teacher or a carpenter or a sanitation worker or a research scientist?

If you think someone playing with other people's money should be entitled to a lesser tax rate than someone who works as hard as the misguided person holding this sign, then it's time to recalibrate your moral compass.

ADDING... Although I assert this is not about right versus left, the title of this post remains relevant as the something-for-nothing-get-a-job-hippies-welfare-queens attitude of the anti-OWS voices screams of right wing memes.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Crazy Quote of the Day

"Now, no matter what you think of the mythical separation between church and state, it is not possible for there ever, in the United States of America, to be a separation between God and government because God is the source of every single right that government has a sacred duty to protect. I submit to you that not a single one of our unalienable rights will be safe in the hands of a president who believes that we evolved from slime and that we are the descendents of apes and baboons.”

~Bryan Fischer, Director of Issues Analysis for the American Family Association at the Value Voters Summit.

This is the same event that every Republican running for their party's nomination attended save one. So... religious rights? No problem, as long as that religion is Christianity. And no, Mormonism doesn't count. Human rights? Of course, as long as you're not gay. Science? What's that?

The more things change...

What Occupy Wall Street Is About

Here's Alan Grayson, former and hopefully future member of the House of Representatives explaining in simple terms what the Occupy Wall Street movement is all about.

PJ O'Roarke can act like the clown and try to divert attention and misdirect in response to the logic that Grayson is espousing, but that's just more proof of Grayson being a serious figure when it comes to important matters concerning the country while O'Roarke just comes across as an asshole.