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Posted at 8:28 AM ET, 03/ 4/2011

The Morning Plum

By Greg Sargent

* Lefty groups expand advertising in Wisconsin: Over $400,000 has now flowed in from around the country to support the airing of that ad featuring ordinary Wisconsinites making the case against Governor Scott Walker. And the Progressive Change Campaign Committee's Adam Green emails that the group will be significantly the buy behind it and expanding to new Wisconsin media markets.

"Walker and the Republican Party's poll numbers are in the tank as a result of their class warfare against working families that's reflected in our ad," Green says. "W'e're going to stay on offense and drive the Republicans' popularity even lower until they cave or get recalled from office."

What to watch for: With Walker threatening to start sending out layoff notices today, labor and lefty groups are likely to try turning that to their advantage by relentlessly citing the call with the fake Koch. Walker vowed to use layoff threats as political leverage: "We might ratchet that up a little bit, you know."

* Some media figures incapable of imagining Americans support public unions: As Joe Conason notes, there seems to be a concerted effort under way in some quarters to pretend that public opinion polls showing strong support for public employees simply doesn't exist.

* Boehner vows Republicans will take the plunge on "entitlements": The House Speaker is promising in a new interview that Republicans will soon offer concrete proposals on Social Security and Medicare.

*Tomorrow's GOP Social Security talking point today: Also key in the above link: Well aware of the popularity of these programs, Boehner is arguing that the public only opposes cuts to them because Americans are unaware of how bad our fiscal situation is:

"Once they understand how big the problem is, I think people will be more receptive to what the possible solutions may be."

* The Dem strategy to trip up Republicans on "entitlements": Aaron Blake and Chris Cillizza explain it: Dems are banking on the fact that the Tea Party Caucus will force House GOP leaders to overreach on "entitlement" cuts in a way that will damage Republicans in the 2012 elections.

* Boehner also asking Obama to make first move on "entitlements"? This, if true, is pretty fascinating, and would seem to confirm that Republicans really, really want Obama to go first:

Speaker John Boehner has privately assured President Obama that House Republicans will not attack him if he makes a proposal to reform entitlement spending, according to sources familiar with the offer.

Obama has reportedly not accepted this offer yet.

* Monthly jobs report to show improving economy? The Labor Department's report out this morning is expected to show that the economy created at least 200,000 jobs last month, but the unemployment rate is also expected to edge up.

* White House, Dems offer Republicans more cuts: Heading into bruising budget negotiations with Republicans, Dems put $6.5 billion more in cuts on the table, which were immediately dismissed by the GOP as "more of the status quo."

Steve Benen asks: Why are Democrats already the side that's making all the concessions?

* Dems struggle to find unified message on budget: Same old story.

* Hoping the "Confidence Fairy" makes everything okay: Paul Krugman argues that budget-slashing conservatives are betting that the "Confidence Fairy" will fix the economy, meaning that the cuts will inspire business confidence that will more than offset the resulting job loss. As this debate unfolds, it's going to be interesting to see if any "centrist" Dems endorse this world-view.

* Gay marriage hits snag in Maryland: If you need to get caught up on the brewing controversy over Maryland House Del. Sam Arora's wavering on the state gay marriage bill, which is lighting up the internet, Jonathan Capehart has the full rundown.

* Poor Fox News smeared by unfair lefties: Daily Kos's Jed Lewison apologizes to Fox for unfairly criticizing their "Wisconsin" palm tree protest footage, admitting that there are palm trees in Wisconsin, after all.

* Latinos about to transform America's political demographics? National Journal reports that half a million Latinos under age 18 living in the United States "will reach the legal voting age each year for the next 20 years." Half a million new Latino voters each year for the next two decades.

Which might explain why some forward-looking Republicans are warning that their party might want to start rethinking their approach to immigration.

* And your Friday comic relief: It looks like Sue "chickens for checkups" Lowden, who is very wealthy, is is now claiming she can't pay off her campaign debts.

Maybe she should ask angry creditors if they'd be willing to accept payment in chicken currency.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | March 4, 2011; 8:28 AM ET
Categories:  House GOPers, Labor, Morning Plum, Political media, Senate Dems, Social Security, budget  
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Next: Krauthammer and the "Bush freedom agenda" fallacy

Comments

Walker's layoff threat sounds like nothing less than extortion.

NYT popup: unemployment drops to 8.9%, 190,000 new jobs. Quick, Republicans, do something!

Posted by: caothien9 | March 4, 2011 8:41 AM | Report abuse

If the U.S. debt is at such a crisis point, then why did House GOP Vote to approve Corporate Welfare Subsidies for five Big Oil Corporations -- And on the other hand, Vote down legislation to Recoup $53 Billion Dollars of taxpayers' funds! Funds sorely needed to stimulate the economy. It is a well known fact by Legilators and not the mass public, however, that these Big Oil Corporations pay little to no taxes at all. So what could be the reason that GOP find it necessary to subsidisize wealthy oil corporations and at the same time defunding Medicare, Medicaid, educational and WIC benefits for everyday Americans. This they do while steadfastly refusing to fund infrastructure projects which will create jobs, jobs, jobs? Oh! -- That's right, the GOP's policy of giving tax breaks and tax cuts to the rich creates jobs, but there don't seem to be many around!

And why are GOP Governors accross the United States trying to eliminate and abolish unions? Could this be the Reason?

"Big Oil & Pharmaceutical's Goal for America: From Democracy to Dictatorship"...

http://tinyurl.com/4sjdrpx

Wake up America!

And why is this not relevant news information but the sad breakdown of Charlie Sheen is?

Posted by: wdsoulplane | March 4, 2011 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' Greg.

230k thousand private sector jobs just this month.

Well, Obama has now created more private sector jobs than Bush when both the Senate and the House, and lets face it, The Supreme Court, were run by Republicans.

What does that mean?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 4, 2011 8:43 AM | Report abuse

If American labor isn't desperate enough to work for calories alone, employers may e forced to offshore a lot more work.

Someone please make some snotty remark about "Econ 101"

Posted by: caothien9 | March 4, 2011 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm, maybe the Mormons are right, I mean about the lost tribe coming to America...could this bring Mitt past his Romneycare success disaster?

"As I have published and said before, there were probably many different migrations and many different migration routes overland and along the coastal ways, and this evidence is pointing in that direction too."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12646364

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Romney has to run from his *successes*

Kafka couldn't make this up.

Posted by: caothien9 | March 4, 2011 8:58 AM | Report abuse

A quarter of a million private sector jobs just this month.

Keep that pace up and you've got 3 million private sector jobs a year.

These Republican Governors, no matter how hard they are trying, can't fire public teachers and firefighters fast enough to overcome Obama's pro-business, pro-jobs economy his team laid the framework for.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 4, 2011 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Employed people pay taxes. Taxes contribute revenue. Revenue lowers deficits.

You can bet the Republicans are in secret emergency sessions frying to figure out how to keep up the fear.

Posted by: caothien9 | March 4, 2011 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Employed people pay taxes. Taxes contribute revenue. Revenue lowers deficits.
-------------------------------------

This was sort of the snarky reply that always popped in my head when I heard about laying off teachers or cutting their benefits. Walker's budget also included cuts to corporate tax rates (this is true in Michigan, too) which we are told will lead to more businesses coming to the state and more tax revenues for states. If tax revenues will be increasing shortly, then we shouldn't be have to fire teachers and destroy unions.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | March 4, 2011 9:10 AM | Report abuse

MikefromA, the best is when you get these psychopath Republicans who grumble that the job growth we've seen is in SPITE of Obama policies, not because of them. As if policies that he and the Dems passed into law mysteriously had no effect on the economy, but somehow the areas that they addressed in law and with stimulus spending magically added jobs in spite of that. Pretty hilarious:

"...factories, professional and business services, education and health care among those expanding employment."

And in all the talk of soshalism:

"State and local government, wrestling with budget shortfalls, slashed 30,000 jobs, the most since November. Federal government hiring was flat."

Posted by: ronnieandrush | March 4, 2011 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Richard Trumka was on the NewsHour last night being interviewed by Judy Woodruff. He was really strong and eloquent in the interview--much better than when I've seen him before. Woodruff kept pushing the usual Beltway line of questioning about deficits woes and state budget crises and private sector workers not faring as well and taxpayer resentments.

Trumka responded to everything with facts and then ended beautifully, saying he wanted to make a last point: public workers are taxpayers too.

Bingo. Woodruff was so flummoxed she hardly knew what to say.

Posted by: AllButCertain | March 4, 2011 9:12 AM | Report abuse

This guy's been getting some attention lately.

""We take you now to the official data for important news. Federal tax revenues in 2010 were much smaller than in 2000. Total individual income tax receipts fell 30 percent in real terms. Because the population kept growing, income taxes per capita plummeted.

Individual income taxes came to just $2,900 per capita in 2010, down 36 percent from more than $4,500 in 2000. Total income taxes and income taxes per capita declined even though the economy grew 16 percent overall and 6 percent per capita from 2000 through 2010.

Corporate income tax receipts fell 27 percent and declined 34 percent per capita, even though profits boomed, rising 60 percent.

Payroll taxes increased slightly overall, but slipped per capita because the nation's population grew five times faster than the number of people with any work. The average wage also declined slightly.

You read it here first. Lowered tax rates did not result in increased tax revenues as promised by politician after pundit after professional economist. And even though this harsh truth has been obvious from the official data for some time, the same politicians and pundits keep prevaricating. Some of them even say it is irrelevant that as a share of GDP, income tax revenues are at their lowest level since 1951, when Harry S. Truman was president.""

http://www.tax.com/taxcom/taxblog.nsf/Permalink/UBEN-8EL2Y8?OpenDocument

Posted by: lmsinca | March 4, 2011 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Hrmm..why did Newt make his announcement about his new web site with Cindy McCain yesterday?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 4, 2011 9:19 AM | Report abuse

"Speaker John Boehner has privately assured President Obama that House Republicans will not attack him"

This is fodder for Saturday Night Live..they could have somebody playing Boehner make that absurd statement while in the backroom Sen Jim Demented...(Will Forte would be great is this role) could be maniacally plotting with his teabagger caucus on ways how to turn WHATEVER Obama says or does into Obama's Waterloo.
Trust a Republican...yeah that's the ticket! LMAO

@lmsinca

Again thanks ever so much for the link. This simply continues to amplify the fact that the R's are not really that interested in the deficit! They are interested in allowing the wealthiest 1% keep every last penny.

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 4, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

"It is a well known fact by Legilators and not the mass public, however, that these Big Oil Corporations pay little to no taxes at all"

That's quite the claim. Care to provide any evidence for that? you can't. because it's pure, unadulterated BS.

Exxon Mobile alone paid $7 billion last year.

http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2010/news/1004/gallery.top_5_tax_bills/2.html

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 4, 2011 9:23 AM | Report abuse

NoVa, did you even read that link you posted, LOL.

U.S. federal: -$156 million
U.S. state and local: $110 million
International: $15.2 billion

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 4, 2011 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Obamacrats bragging and cheering an UNemployment rate of 8.9%.

Hahaha! That's rich.

Considering that Obama has made 10% UNemployment the new norm, in America, I guess they have to have something to lift their mental depression.

Better try drugs. That's a surer fix.

Posted by: battleground51 | March 4, 2011 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Riddle me this conservatives..if you dare..

Rick Scott has a net worth of approximately a half billion $. His "reported" annual income for the past three years was 10 million $. He paid 15% of that 10 million in taxes according to docs he released at election time.

My wife and I have a net worth approximately 1/500th of Scott's...and annual income approximately 1/100th of Scott's. We pay 25% in taxes on that income.

How is it even remotely fair. Scott's liability..the amount he has at risk if our nation were invaded is 500X mine...why should I be forced to subsidize this bald headed robber baron's defense. Why should I subsidize his police protection..his companies use of the highways? I'll hold my breath waiting for some idiot like claw or skippy or bsimon to explain that one for me...I can't wait to hear their definition of FAIR!

When American's realize EXACTLY what the wealthy are doing to us in this country then we'll get some change we can believe in...until American's get the head's out of their backsides we'll keep letting the know nothing tea baggers wreck our nation!

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 4, 2011 9:30 AM | Report abuse

mike -- yes -- bottom of the paragraph:

Exxon recorded $7.7 billion in U.S. tax costs last year. the tax man got his share. maybe not through income taxes, but he's clever that way.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 4, 2011 9:31 AM | Report abuse

as if we needed any more proof that wisconsin's governor is merely a corporate shill and NOT about the people of wisconsin - now comes this despicable revelation of another giveaway in his "budget repair bill". this time, it's to the insurance industry: -

http://host.madison.com/ct/news/opinion/column/dave_zweifel/article_5b9c269c-45cd-11e0-bcf3-001cc4c002e0.html

Posted by: ebproducer | March 4, 2011 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Obamacrats bragging and cheering an UNemployment rate of 8.9%.

Hahaha! That's rich.

Considering that Obama has made 10% UNemployment the new norm, in America, I guess they have to have something to lift their mental depression.

Better try drugs. That's a surer fix.

Posted by: battleground51 | March 4, 2011 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Ummm...NoVa. It's pretty obvious people are implying Federal Taxes.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 4, 2011 9:33 AM | Report abuse

battle, saying Obama made 10% the new norm twice doesn't make it anymore true.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 4, 2011 9:35 AM | Report abuse

mike -- i don't see that from the comment above. but you can't have it both ways.

when cons talk about half of the country paying no income taxes, the refrain is always "excise taxes and payroll taxes, and fees, etc." the the criticism is right. tax is tax. and it's just as disingenuous to discount the billions the oil industry paid to the federal government in one form or another as it is to somehow say that 50% of the country isn't paying their fair share b/c of the credits and the like on the bottom end of the tax brackets.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 4, 2011 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Obama seems to be looking after his pals in BIG OIL.

Gas prices are headed to the $5.00 mark.

Obama will have big, full, oily coffers in 2012.

Posted by: battleground51 | March 4, 2011 9:42 AM | Report abuse

battle thinks Obama and his magic wand control global oil prices. Either battle is just playing dumb or ...

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 4, 2011 9:46 AM | Report abuse

@NoVa

Perhaps you'd like to respond to this editorial in today's St. Pete Times about taxes including the Corps.

"At least on paper, the United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world, discouraging international businesses from locating here. Whether the U.S. Treasury actually collects those taxes is another story. Often, it doesn't, thanks to teams of business lobbyists who write loopholes into the tax code, and company accountants and lawyers who dig for every tax credit, deduction and exemption.

In the United States, the top tax rate for large corporations is 35 percent. But that's not even close to the effective rate paid by companies as diverse as General Electric and Google. In fact, according to a recent analysis commissioned by the New York Times, 115 of the 500 big companies in the Standard & Poor's stock index paid an effective corporate tax rate of less than 20 percent over the last five years. A tax rate of less than 10 percent was paid by 39 of those companies.

As New York Times Columnist David Leonhardt points out, the Carnival Corp. takes advantage of an array of government services from the Coast Guard protecting the seas, to states and localities building roads and bridges to the ports where its ships dock. But over the last five years the company has paid a tax rate of only about 1.1 percent on its $11.3 billion in profits. And that includes federal, state, local and foreign corporate taxes combined.

That's because a tax provision allows some shipping companies incorporated overseas to avoid most taxes. Carnival is incorporated in Panama, where it pays little in taxes, while its executives work from the United States and the company does much of its business here. Other specialized tax breaks help NASCAR racetrack owners and movie production companies."

http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/article1155096.ece

We are in a period of one of the lowest taxes in over 50 years! We've gone from a norm of 18% of GDP to just 15% and again we've had a prosperous economy during times of taxes at 20% of GDP.

Between 2000 and 2005, U.S. corporate taxes amounted to 2.2% of the GDP. The average for the 30 mostly rich member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development was 3.4%.

http://www.smartmoney.com/investing/economy/high-corporate-tax-rate-is-misleading-22463/

The Corps have gamed the system and are not paying their fair share. None of these Corps with BILLION $ profits paid even the same tax % as ME!!!

Any talk of the deficit without FIRST mentioning our historically low tax burden is simply BS!!! Again as Warren Buffett said...

“There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

IT'S TIME TO WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE!

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 4, 2011 9:52 AM | Report abuse

@NoVa

Perhaps you'd like to respond to this editorial in today's St. Pete Times about taxes including the Corps.

"At least on paper, the United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world, discouraging international businesses from locating here. Whether the U.S. Treasury actually collects those taxes is another story. Often, it doesn't, thanks to teams of business lobbyists who write loopholes into the tax code, and company accountants and lawyers who dig for every tax credit, deduction and exemption.

In the United States, the top tax rate for large corporations is 35 percent. But that's not even close to the effective rate paid by companies as diverse as General Electric and Google. In fact, according to a recent analysis commissioned by the New York Times, 115 of the 500 big companies in the Standard & Poor's stock index paid an effective corporate tax rate of less than 20 percent over the last five years. A tax rate of less than 10 percent was paid by 39 of those companies.

As New York Times Columnist David Leonhardt points out, the Carnival Corp. takes advantage of an array of government services from the Coast Guard protecting the seas, to states and localities building roads and bridges to the ports where its ships dock. But over the last five years the company has paid a tax rate of only about 1.1 percent on its $11.3 billion in profits. And that includes federal, state, local and foreign corporate taxes combined.

That's because a tax provision allows some shipping companies incorporated overseas to avoid most taxes. Carnival is incorporated in Panama, where it pays little in taxes, while its executives work from the United States and the company does much of its business here. Other specialized tax breaks help NASCAR racetrack owners and movie production companies."

http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/article1155096.ece

We are in a period of one of the lowest taxes in over 50 years! We've gone from a norm of 18% of GDP to just 15% and again we've had a prosperous economy during times of taxes at 20% of GDP.

Between 2000 and 2005, U.S. corporate taxes amounted to 2.2% of the GDP. The average for the 30 mostly rich member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development was 3.4%.

http://www.smartmoney.com/investing/economy/high-corporate-tax-rate-is-misleading-22463/

The Corps have gamed the system and are not paying their fair share. None of these Corps with BILLION $ profits paid even the same tax % as ME!!!

Any talk of the deficit without FIRST mentioning our historically low tax burden is simply BS!!! Again as Warren Buffett said...

“There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

IT'S TIME TO WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE!

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 4, 2011 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Here Nova, we'll help you some more from your link:

"Exxon paid the most taxes last year of any U.S. company, by far -- but not a cent went to the IRS for income taxes. "

"Exxon doled out more than $15 billion in income tax payments to foreign countries last year. U.S. tax codes allow companies to take massive deductions in light of those international charges, which knocked Exxon's federal income-tax bill down into negative territory."


Posted by: suekzoo1 | March 4, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Sorry for the double post...sometimes this site goes a little wacko...

Can we look at taxes one more time and try to place the idea of a “progressive” tax structure in its’ proper perspective?

I get that numbers in the billions and trillions are daunting and also that people have been conflating the % of the total U.S. income tax paid by the top 2% versus the % of their income the top 2% are paying, but what is at issue here is fairness. So let’s uncouple the two and provide an example which while extreme, illustrates where the U.S. is leaning tax wise.

10 people live on an island nation. Governmental expense to defend, operate, and educate the island are $25,000 annually. 2 citizens earn $10,000 annually 6 citizens earn $25,000 annually, 1 earns $50,000 a year, 1 citizen earns $1,000,000 a year. Only the millionaire pays all the taxes. Statistically it could then be said that 100% of the taxes of this island nation are paid by one person. It could also be said he is paying at a tax rate of a whopping 2.5%. Would this be objectionable? Of course if my metaphorical island operated like the U.S., the wealthy person would be paying $10,000 annually, the person earning $50,000 would pay $5,000 or 10% of his income versus the 1% tax rate of the wealthy person, and the remaining $10,000 would be borrowed from a neighboring island. It’s the American way!

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 4, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

How are we talking about the amount of money Exxon is paying without discussing how much revenue they brought in?
$7 Billion is obviously a lot of money, but if their revenue is around 350 billion based on wikipedia, then it's not exactly an oppressive amount.

They have had dwindling profits though:http://www.marketwatch.com/story/exxon-mobil-profit-falls-23-revenue-rises-2010-02-01

Posted by: ashotinthedark | March 4, 2011 10:00 AM | Report abuse

John Sununu, thanks for throwing another tire on Republican fire. He sure does not like Huntsman,

"Huntsman won't play well here. Huntsman won't play well anywhere, because Huntsman's only barely a Republican,"

nor Newt, Newt is a RINO too I guess,

"I think Gingrich forgets the impact of him sitting on the couch with Nancy Pelosi talking about justifying a carbon tax," he said. "There's no way he's going to win a Republican primary with that hanging around his neck, and he's going to learn that pretty quickly,"

Sununu just as nasty as ever. He seems to think Mitt can beat Obama. Heh, heh, what a jerk.


Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Battleground...

Your posts make no genuine sense other than defining YOUR hatred of Obama. It's pretty hard to not assume you hate Obama far more existentially than ANYTHING based on real issues.

One can only conclude you are a loon or a racist...I'll let you continue posting..we'll figure out which in short enough time...if we read them.

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 4, 2011 10:04 AM | Report abuse

It's come to this:

It looks real bad for Obama in 2012.

Five Democrat senators have already bailed out.

Some of B.O.s deep-blue states are fading and turning red.

The November revolution of 2010 sets the stage for 2012.

Obamacrats are hoping that Republicans will nominate a dud to go up against Obama to boost his chances.


It seems to be Obama's only hope.

So sad it's come to that for THE ONE.

Posted by: battleground51 | March 4, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

"The Corps have gamed the system and are not paying their fair share."

You forgot to add -- with the willing and eager assistance of government. you can't game the system unless you have a partner who wants to play ball.

"takes advantage of an array of government services from the Coast Guard protecting the seas, to states and localities building roads and bridges to the ports where its ships dock." I see that and don't think "they need to pay more taxes" but "they can pay for their own security" and build their own ports. "None of these Corps with BILLION $ profits paid even the same tax % as ME!!!"

Agreed -- you are paying too much in taxes.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 4, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

* Boehner also asking Obama to make first move on "entitlements"? This, if true, is pretty fascinating, and would seem to confirm that Republicans really, really want Obama to go first:

Speaker John Boehner has privately assured President Obama that House Republicans will not attack him if he makes a proposal to reform entitlement spending, according to sources familiar with the offer.
.....................

If President Obama takes that bait, he will not get reelected. Retirees and those nearing retirement, who saw their pensions wiped out in 2008, will attack him, so of course Boehner would not have to.

If the move were good for Obama, does anyone in their right mind think that Boehner would be urging President Obama to do so.

In A Nutshell;

Boehner to Obama; you go first, so that it will provide cover for me to go ahead with the Slash and Burn assault, that my Tea Party Caucus is pushing for.

Posted by: Liam-still | March 4, 2011 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Republicans (except on the PL) are not as angry as they used to be according to PEW. That is a bad thing for the TP.

But I suppose they need to keep their powder dry. 2016 is a long way off. As well, that many years from now, a significant chunk of Republican voters will have aged out.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 10:09 AM | Report abuse

"In a letter released Thursday, 42 Republican senators asked" President Obama "to withdraw the nomination of Dr. Donald Berwick as Medicare administrator, saying his experience isn't broad enough and past statements raise fundamental questions about his views on policy." Notably, "Republicans would need 41 votes to block Berwick's confirmation by the full Senate, and the letter indicates they have more than enough."

The battle to reform health care continues on several fronts.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | March 4, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Lefty groups expand advertising in Wisconsin: Over $400,000 has now flowed in from around the country to support the airing of that ad featuring ordinary Wisconsinites making the case against Governor Scott Walker. And the Progressive Change Campaign Committee's Adam Green emails that the group will be significantly the buy behind it and expanding to new Wisconsin media markets.
......................

The Koch front group, Americans For Progress, and The Republican Governors Association are dominating the TV ad campaigns. There has been almost no pro union ads run in the major markets on a sustained level, to compete with those backing Gov. Scot Kochdafi's Regime.

AFP has a pro Gov. Hochdaffi bus load, touring the state. They even have Joe The Plunger along for the ride.

While this is all going on, some one should make sure that the Potted Plant, AKA Tim Kaine, is watered regularly.

Posted by: Liam-still | March 4, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

battlecrap's posts are proof that good news for Americans is bad news for Republicans.

Posted by: Observer691 | March 4, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

@NoVA

"You forgot to add -- with the willing and eager assistance of government. you can't game the system unless you have a partner who wants to play ball."

This is where we are in agreement. And I'm even willing to go bi-partisan with you here...the Dems are also guilty...but not nearly in the flagrant IGMGFY sense as R's. But I do take your point NoVa..I have nobody to vote for except against R's which is not really all that satisfying for me...I'd much rather be FOR someone than simply voting AGAINST someone..but alas it seems I have little choice..unless all this Wisconsin/Ohio/Indiana stuff makes Dems revert back to being DEMS!

"Agreed -- you are paying too much in taxes."

Actually I'm not sure I am paying too much in taxes. I DO believe we need to address the deficit and taxes is where we should start..it's time for us to PAY for all these goodies..including the right to murder...oops there's that word again..I mean have collateral damage in foreign countries whose citizens we disrespect.

Perhaps I am paying my fair share..I don't really know...but I am CERTAIN..the Corps and wealthy amongst us are not paying theirs.

My point is really quite simple...if it's an economic emergency then any simpleton should easily understand that returning taxes to HISTORIC levels would be a good place to start. Again though I haven't seen any R's rise to a level above being simpleton's..so as long as they and the teabaggers hold so much influence the country is scr#wed.

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 4, 2011 10:17 AM | Report abuse

It appears the good job numbers are causing battle to not make any sense.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 4, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Oh My! A real bone fide case of voter fraud complete with an indictment and everything!

"Indiana Secretary Of State Indicted On Voter Fraud Charges"

Secretary of State Charlie White, the top election official in Indianapolis, is facing seven felony counts, including voter fraud, perjury and theft, all connected to what a prosecutor said was an attempt to hold on to his seat on the town council even though he was living outside of his designated district.

White was indicted by a grand jury in Hamilton County on three counts of voter fraud for allegedly lying about his address when he voted in last year's Republican primary, the Courier-Journal reports. In addition he's facing charges of perjury, fraud on a financial institution (for lying about his address) and theft for keeping the salary he received as a member of his town council after he moved out of his designated district.

A special prosecutor announced the indictment on Thursday and White turned himself in at the Hamilton County Jail this afternoon, the Indianapolis Star reports. He was released after he posted $10,000 bond. The probe has been in the works since at least October.

White has already admitted that he voted in a district where he no longer lived. His registered address was a home he and his now ex-wife had shared on and off until 2009.

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/03/indiana_secretary_of_state_indicted_on_voter_fraud.php?ref=fpb

Posted by: suekzoo1 | March 4, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

It is long past time that the liberals were honest, at least with themselves if no one else.

the fact is the left constantly demands that more of the money earned in the private sector be confiscated by the government. They look for one target after another in their insatiable greed for other people's money.

Today's silly assault on the oil companies is just another sad example of how liberalism in reduced to nothing more than out right theft.

The nitpicky argument seems to be that "sure, Exxon paid a lot of taxes, but they didn't pay INCOME tax." The other deeply insightful argument is "Exxon's revenue is huge, let's take more of their money!"

Earlier this week one of the liberals here whined about "subsidies" for oil companies. No proof that cash was taken from the treasury and given to the oil companies was forthcoming.

What's wrong with the left? Have they lost their nerve? Why be coy? Why not just stand up and say it: "We want it all. We want to spend every nickle produced by the economy. Period. Now shut up and get to work, the state needs the fundage."

Posted by: skipsailing28 | March 4, 2011 10:22 AM | Report abuse

ruk: "Battleground...Your posts make no genuine sense other than defining YOUR hatred of Obama. "

Sorry ruk, no offense intended, but this just begs the question: Why bother reading them? Scroll button or Troll Hunter... :o)

Posted by: suekzoo1 | March 4, 2011 10:23 AM | Report abuse

States across the country, including Georgia and Oklahoma, where the legislatures debated immigration bills this week, have been mulling controversial Arizona-style immigration laws.Thirty-seven states are considering tougher immigration bills, with multiple bills pending in some states.

America is an occupied nation today.

Occupied by legions of outlaw "immigrants" from south of our border.

There are now 20,000,000 to 30,000,000 of these illegal squatters roaming across America and actually taking some areas over by sheer force of numbers.

Are we going to stand by and let whole sections of America be absorbed by Mexico??

If the Obamanation and it's media enablers has it's way, that is what will happen.

Obama has allied himself with foreign governments and has waged political war on Americans.

And some wonder why Obama is not appreciated by most Americans.

This one reason is tantamount to treason in an American patriot's book.

Posted by: battleground51 | March 4, 2011 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Since we've been chatting about taxes and specifically the Corps share of such..

Can one of my Dem friends explain this to me...

In one of the Presidential Debates Grandpa McCain trotted out the old R canard about how our 35% Corporate tax rate is strangling business....I thought...wow old man you stepped in it now...let him have it B.O.

I was waiting for one SIMPLE question..
Senator McCain are you suggesting to the audience that you don't know the difference in "nominal" tax rates and "effective" tax rates.

Bumble..stumble from McCain..

Followup from B.O.

Senator can you tell us the EFFECTIVE rate Corporations are paying??

More stumble bumble from Mr. Senility

Followup from B.O.
Simply state some of these facts that posters have brought forth this morning...can the Pres not begin to educate the American Public?

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 4, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"And some wonder why Obama is not appreciated by most Americans."

Do you EVER deal in facts?

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_obama_job_approval-1044.html

Half the country approves...half do not..

That's hardly not being appreciated by MOST Americans..

One thing we have figured out about you Battleground is the color of your eyes.
They must be brown because you are so full of manure!

I don't know about other posters here but I ofen wonder if KDE is not simply a sock puppet for Bilgey while battleground is just another Jake. Such blind hatred is truly pathetic.


Posted by: rukidding7 | March 4, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

skip, the oil companies are looking for you. They want the knee pads you borrowed from them back.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 4, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse

skip, I don't think I was whining, I thought we were having a discussion, my bad.

Here's an interesting post from Chris Hayes. He discusses the disconnect between the educated elites/Washington employed and the middle class/working class/poor.

""This disconnect between the jobs crisis in the country and the blithe dismissal thereof in Washington is the most incomprehensible aspect of the political moment. But I think there are two numbers that go a long way toward explaining it.

The first is 4.2. That’s the percentage of Americans with a four-year college degree who are unemployed. It’s less than half the official unemployment rate of 9 percent for the labor force as a whole and one-fourth the underemployment rate (which counts those who have given up looking for work or are working part time but want full-time work) of 16.1 percent. So while the overall economy continues to suffer through the worst labor market since the Great Depression, the elite centers of power have recovered. For those of us fortunate enough to have graduated from college—and to have escaped foreclosure or an underwater mortgage—normalcy has returned.

The other number is 5.7 percent. That’s the unemployment rate for the Washington/Arlington/Alexandria metro area and just so happens to be lowest among large metropolitan areas in the entire country. In 2010 the DC metro area added 57,000 jobs, more than any in the nation, and now boasts the hottest market for commercial office space. In other words: DC is booming. You can see it in the restaurants opening all over North West, the high prices that condos fetch in the real estate market and the general placid sense of bourgeois comfort that suffuses the affluent upper- and upper-middle-class pockets of the region.""

http://www.thenation.com/article/158992/what-social-network

Posted by: lmsinca | March 4, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

@Sue

"Sorry ruk, no offense intended, but this just begs the question: Why bother reading them? Scroll button or Troll Hunter... :o)"

I take your point and you are of course correct. Trying to be rational with an irrational person...well that makes me irrational as well. :-)

It won't happen again. Thanks Sue.

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 4, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

The full, frontal attack on America by the radical, homosexual lobby, aided and abetted by the Obama regime is being noticed by the folks out in the heartland and it is giving them heartburn. They suffer in silence until election day. Then they unload on the offending party.

It will happen in 2012 just as in the past.

Obama may be doing his homosexual partners some favors but the Democrat party will suffer later on. A heap more Obamacrats will become "dead enders" as their careers are destroyed as in 2010.

Posted by: battleground51 | March 4, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure how I feel about this...

"Obama and [Jeb] Bush, Florida's popular ex-governor, are to speak today at Miami Central Senior High School, one of hundreds of low-performing schools across the nation that have received money from the Education Department to help turn the school around. Obama aides said Bush recommended the school as an example of how gains can be made through reform."

Bipartisanship is a charade and exposing Jeb Bush even in the limelight of The One is a mistake. But! Unless! Obama is exposing Jeb for the RINO that he is, imagine posing alongside the "man" Republicans consider the universal source of all that is evil in America. Maybe Sununu will give Jeb the Huntsman treatment now.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

It makes sense that Boehner and his Republicans want (and will) makes cuts to SSN and Medicare because their constituency are corporations and the rich, who do not need these programs.

Posted by: dozas | March 4, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

"I'd much rather be FOR someone than simply voting AGAINST someone..but alas it seems I have little choice..unless all this Wisconsin/Ohio/Indiana stuff makes Dems revert back to being DEMS!"

I probably will either vote third party or not at all. But my congressional district is a safe D, so it's really not a big deal.

In my view (which granted is a minority within a minority) if the problem is politicians, the solution in my view isn't to try to find better ones, but to strip away their power. we've politicized everything in the country, which is a shame for a number of reasons. chief among them is that it puts the onus on legislators to "solve" the nation's many issues. no wonder people are scared and have little faith in government. Harry Reid is going to lead us to a better tomorrow? Boehner? that's disconcerting.

Take schools for example. we've politicized the education system and the results are under-appreciated teachers, poor academic results, some sort of circus in WI, and zero-tolerance policies. all the while, politicians do what they do. they talk a lot and protect their various interest groups.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 4, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the heartland should be worrying about themselves battle and figure out why they are becoming the meth factories of America.

The heartland is so busy worrying about everyone else they've forgotten to keep an eye on their own back yard. Or maybe its more of blaming other people for their own shortcomings.

You know battle, I'm from the heartland and I sure as heck don't remember them being such whiners back a few decades ago. When did the can do, to each his own attitude get overtaken by such an intrusive attitude into other peoples lifestyles?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 4, 2011 10:45 AM | Report abuse

The bottom line, in Wisconsin and other states, is that they are out of money.

They can't pay the bill.

Many states have way too many bureaucrats with fat salaries, fat benefits, and fatter pensions.

It's like trying to float a lead balloon.

No matter what the lefty polls indicate, a meat ax is going to have to be used to cut budgets, all around.

It's best to start now and Republicans are the only ones willing to do that.

I hope enough Americans are intelligent enough to realize this. If not, the Obamacrats will drive them into the ground and grind them up.

The government, gravy train has gone off the rails and the union band is still playing "Happy Days".

From here they look like blithering fools.

Posted by: battleground51 | March 4, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

"I'm from the heartland and I sure as heck don't remember them being such whiners back a few decades ago."

I blame farm subsidies.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

@mikefromarlington: ""Well, Obama has now created more private sector jobs than Bush when both the Senate and the House, and lets face it, The Supreme Court, were run by Republicans.

What does that mean?""

It means that Bush couldn't find the "Create Jobs" button in the Oval Office?

I understand government policies can help or hinder the over all, but the president doesn't create jobs. Unless it's for czars. Or conservative bloggers.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | March 4, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

The Brits just grabbed The Guide's payroll for his Taureg mercenaries, who get $10,000 to join and $1000 a day for combat.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12648464

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"imagine posing alongside the "man" Republicans consider the universal source of all that is evil in America."

Shrink

Actually here in Florida we don't have to imagine it...it's the single biggest reason a shoe in for the U.S. Senate was unseated by a relatively unknown standard R crook Marco Rubio. Crist NEVER lived down the pic of him smiling and embracing "the evil one".

Posted by: rukidding7 | March 4, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

LOL

"Indiana House GOP Will Fine AWOL Dems $250 A Day"

"Starting Monday, the Democrats will face a fine of $250 for each day they stay away from the legislature.

The Democratic response? Meh.

In 1991, Democrats levied fines against Republicans for walking out, shutting down passage of a budget and new legislative district maps. Republicans at that time argued that the fines were partisan gamesmanship and questioned their constitutionality.

"It's nothing more than political posturing," said then-Republican House Leader Paul Mannweiler. "It certainly does not bring an agreement any closer."

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/03/indiana-house-gop-fines-awol-dems-250-a-day.php?ref=fpblg

Posted by: suekzoo1 | March 4, 2011 10:56 AM | Report abuse

The nitpicky argument seems to be that "sure, Exxon paid a lot of taxes, but they didn't pay INCOME tax."
-------------------------------------
You mean like nitpicky arguments from Republicans, "sure poor people paid a lot of sales tax, gas tax, state taxes, property taxes etc, but they didn't pay federal INCOME tax"

Weird that when middle class americans don't pay income tax they are non-contributors/freeloaders, but when corporations don't, it's just nitpicky to point it out.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | March 4, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Well Kevin, I hear you but for the rest of American voters, if this economy were still shedding jobs, Obama's approval would be down to Ronnie Reagan levels at this point during his Presidency regardless of how fair it is or not.

But.....considering Dems held the House/Senate for the last few years and truly had an impact on business rules and this administration pushed through the Congress numerous legislation that had direct impact on jobs, stimulus, health care reform, small business tax breaks, I'd say, yes, the decisions of those around the President and his ultimate decision on their suggestions have been responsible. The Feds monetary policy has helped to stimulate manufacturing also.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 4, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Some say I am full of hate.

Untrue!

I do not hate Obama. The guy is not evil.
I actually liked Clinton but not as president. Bored with Gore. Snickered at Lurch.


I'm full of love, for America and Obama is a misfit for America. He is rubbing the fur the wrong way. It's obvious.

Obama is a Eurocrat wannabe.

He might do OK in Canada.

Not America.

Obama is faultfinder-in-chief.

He does not like America, especially heartland America.

He spent too many years studying Marx and listening to Rev. Wright GDing America.

These are impressions Obama has freely given to patriots across America.

If he tried to hide these things, he failed.

Posted by: battleground51 | March 4, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

battleground, maybe its the teabagging heartlanders that hate Obama and they find it easier to justify their hatred if they think he hates them back.

I mean, how can you continue to hate someone if all they do is continue to be a decent and respectful person?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 4, 2011 11:07 AM | Report abuse

@ash -- scroll up to one of my earlier comments re: that point.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 4, 2011 11:08 AM | Report abuse

"As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the resolution passed by
the state Senate orders the Sergeant at Arms, if the Dems don't show
up by 4 p.m., to "take any and all necessary steps, with or without
force, and with or without the assistance of law enforcement
officers, by warrant or other legal process, as he may deem necessary
in order to bring that senator to the Senate chambers so that the
Senate may convene with a quorum of no less than 20 senators."

I think if Walker decides to have thse folks dragged out of
their houses by cops and clubbed or whatever, it probably is not
going to be as generally popular as he might think. The visuals are quite fascist.And then there's this -- Walker has already proven he is way over his head:

"Madison -- Security is so restrictive at the state Capitol that firefighters were denied access to the building during an emergency call Tuesday, one of the firefighters said Thursday.

Dave Trainor, a Madison firefighter, said he was part of a crew dispatched to the Capitol on a call that someone was trapped in an elevator. Firefighters were denied access at one of the building's entrances that is being guarded by police.

Firefighters then had to make their way through a crowd of protesters outside the building and drive their 100-foot ladder truck to the other side of the Capitol to get inside.

As it turned out, a police officer was trapped in an elevator. But at the time of the call, firefighters did not know if there was a medical emergency, Trainor said.

"We lost crucial time on a call we didn't know anything about," he said."

Posted by: fiona5 | March 4, 2011 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Too bad for people who donated money to the Palestine Investment Bank, it went to Hamas. Doncha just love Hamas? Robbing their own territory's bank. So far, the price Arabs have had to pay for Democracy is this: you only get to vote once

"All banks in the Gaza Strip temporarily shut down on Thursday after men affiliated with the ruling group Hamas forced a local branch to cash some $500,000 in checks. Gaza bankers said Hamas sent the police to confiscate the money from a branch of the Palestine Investment Bank. They said the police were accompanied by members of a committee Hamas had appointed in 2009 to oversee the Palestine Investment Fund, which is run by the rival Palestinian government in the West Bank. The men confiscated checks from the fund, then ordered bank tellers to cash them, though the account did not contain enough money."

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse


"
It appears the good job numbers are causing battle to not make any sense."

I stopped reading Skippy and Battle after one or two posts. Their level of ignorance and bile is not worth wasting your time on. Better to do something more constructive, like picking your nose or taking a dump.

Posted by: fiona5 | March 4, 2011 11:15 AM | Report abuse

ashot: "Weird that when middle class americans don't pay income tax they are non-contributors/freeloaders, but when corporations don't, it's just nitpicky to point it out. "

Let's look at those tax amounts for Exxon again:

U.S. federal: -$156 million
U.S. state and local: $110 million
International: $15.2 billion

So, in US taxes, Exxon paid negative $46 million. Their entire federal tax burden, NEGATIVE $156m, wiped out all the state and local taxes they paid, and then some. THEY GOT AN OVERALL REFUND from US taxpayers.

Talk about corporate welfare.

Tell me again why they need subsidies?

Seems like they need to hire better foreign lobbyists.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | March 4, 2011 11:15 AM | Report abuse

is wasn't you lms to whom I was referring. Accept my apology for being less than clear.

As a matter of fact, let me state here that you're comment was a direct and helpful answer to my question. I was a good discussion and I thank you.

@battleground: did you hear the story today about the Border Patrol agent who was killed by smugglers? He and a few others were engaged in a fire fight, on American soil, with the smugglers. The smugglers were armed with AK's and used them. The border patrol agent's weapons were loaded with bean bag rounds.

It is soooo important to us that the illegals not be treated badly that we won't even use lethal force when they refuse orders to drop weapons.

Now imagine how the family of the slaim man must think. The government wasted that agent's life, and needlessly risks the lives of all the others.

I just don't think that we Americans are serious people. We've sunk into some PC nightmare where we believe it is somehow wrong to stem the tide of illegals, many of whom are criminals.

Senseless.

Here is a link:
http://azstarnet.com/news/local/crime/article_681d29cf-845a-5aea-9f34-3837d70b8a31.html

Posted by: skipsailing28 | March 4, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

All, great stuff from Adam Serwer skewering Charles Krauthammer's efforts to say Mideast protests vindicate Bush:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/03/the_middle_east_is_not_rising.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | March 4, 2011 11:19 AM | Report abuse

ashot, you are ducking the issue, as I'm sure you know.

My point is simple: if you want the oil companies to pay more tax, just say so.

Rather than make that admission you respond with what amounts to "yeah, but".

Won't work. The issue raised was the amount of income tax the oil companies pay. It was noted that they pay significant TAX, but that's not enough apparently.

Should everyone pay income tax? I certainly think so. It seems to me that we're heading for a re do of what destroyed Rome. The tax eaters consume the dying carcass of the tax payers and then wonder what happened to their society.

WI is a perfect example of this.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | March 4, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

@ash -- scroll up to one of my earlier comments re: that point.

Posted by: NoVAHockey
----------------------------------------

Yes, I agree that as with most other issues, both sides are hypocrites on this point.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | March 4, 2011 11:21 AM | Report abuse

sue, I will repeat my statement: if you think oil companies should pay more tax, just say so.

Did exxon do anything illegal ma'am? I hardly think so. The tax code was enacted by our congress. If you think that it doesn't extract enough money, have the courage of your convictions and demand that ever greater amounts of our earnings be turned over to the government.

If you can prove that exxon violated law in the way they filed and paid taxes, by all means prove it. If you can't prove it, they clarity demands that you simply state your desired result: more money to the government, less money to the citizens.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | March 4, 2011 11:27 AM | Report abuse

What the governors are beginning to figure out is we like and trust our teachers, firemen and policemen a lot more than we do politicians.

They are a committed part of our community, and we respect them a lot more than we do overreaching ambitious governors with their corporate masters.

Posted by: Beeliever | March 4, 2011 11:29 AM | Report abuse

"Once they understand how big the problem is, I think people will be more receptive to what the possible solutions may be."

Just once, I wish someone would ask Boehner why he and the rest of the R Caucus maxed out the credit card when it was their turn. I have never heard this question asked of any republican. Everyone treats looking backwards as taboo, yet Republicans are working hard to roll us all the way back to 1928.

Posted by: bcinaz | March 4, 2011 11:39 AM | Report abuse

skip- "My point is simple: if you want the oil companies to pay more tax, just say so."

Well, that's the issue you want to talk about. I don't know nearly enough about the oil industry, how much they pay in taxes, how the taxes impact our costs etc to know whether or not they should pay more. I do think that given the fact that we are requiring others to sacrifice than asking corporations to do the same should be on the table.

There I answered your question. Now since you are one of the most oustpoken critics of the freeloading poor in on country for their failure to pay federal income tax, care to explain why it's nitpicking to raise the same issue with respect to corporations?

Posted by: ashotinthedark | March 4, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

time to deal with the daily dose of liberal myths.

@beeliever:
you wrote:
===========
What the governors are beginning to figure out is we like and trust our teachers, firemen and policemen a lot more than we do politicians.

They are a committed part of our community, and we respect them a lot more than we do overreaching ambitious governors with their corporate masters.
============================

What the public finally figured out is that teachers unions are running a racket at taxpayer expense. The words of the union for your general font of information. Here is Albert Shanker, former head of the NEA:
When school children start paying union dues, that 's when I'll
start representing the interests of school children.

How about the former general counsel for the NEA Mr Chanin:
Despite what some among us would like to believe it is not because of our creative ideas; it is not because of the merit of our positions; it is not because we care about children; and it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child.
The NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power. And we have power because there are more than 3.2 million people who are willing to pay us hundreds of million of dollars in dues each year because they believe that we are the unions that can most effectively represent them; the union that can protect their rights and advance their interests as education employees.


It isn't altruism. Its just plain greed. We know that and we're changing the deal.

@bcinaz:
Two points. First look at the election results in 06. You'll see that the Republicans lost big time. Conservatives withdrew support for the Republicans because they were spending too much. The same happened in 08. We were watching then, and we're watching now. The old guard republicans in congress are getting an earful from the freshman. The smart guys know the party was fired for spending too much.

next, the real question is "so what?" What difference does it make which "party" caused this problem? We are a democracy of sorts and thus we the people allowed this crisis to occur. Now we have to fix it.

it is just that simple.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | March 4, 2011 11:53 AM | Report abuse

*Pelosi-Obama-Reid (POR) Economy Update*

Federal Work Force up 11.7%
Private Sector Down 6.6%
http://blog.heritage.org/2011/02/22/federal-workforce-continues-to-grow-under-obama-budget/

*very POR*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | March 4, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

We just added 200,000 private sector jobs and heritage is up in arms that Obama's budget proposes adding 15,000 new government jobs.

Using percentages is so misleading because of the incredible disparity in the number of federal employees and private sector employees. The federal number increased 7% while adding 144,000 jobs. Wherease the private sector only went down 2.6% despite losing nearly 3 million jobs.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | March 4, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

@rukidding7 "Riddle me this conservatives..if you dare..

Rick Scott has a net worth of approximately a half billion $. His "reported" annual income for the past three years was 10 million $. He paid 15% of that 10 million in taxes according to docs he released at election time.

My wife and I have a net worth approximately 1/500th of Scott's...and annual income approximately 1/100th of Scott's. We pay 25% in taxes on that income.

How is it even remotely fair. Scott's liability..the amount he has at risk if our nation were invaded is 500X mine...why should I be forced to subsidize this bald headed robber baron's defense. Why should I subsidize his police protection..his companies use of the highways? I'll hold my breath waiting for some idiot like claw or skippy or bsimon to explain that one for me...I can't wait to hear their definition of FAIR!

When American's realize EXACTLY what the wealthy are doing to us in this country then we'll get some change we can believe in...until American's get the head's out of their backsides we'll keep letting the know nothing tea baggers wreck our nation!"

It's not fair. If we are going to have a tax system based on income taxes, then you should both pay the same percentage of your income as taxes.

The ideal tax code would treat all income the same: earned income, dividends, capital gains (both long and short term), carried interest and corporate income all taxed at the same, single rate. No differences based on corporate structure (individual, LLC, C Corp or S Corp), no gaming the system.

Posted by: jnc4p | March 4, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Even though I like PBS, this is the best argument I've heard so far about ending the Federal subsidies for it:

"When presidents of government-funded broadcasting are making more than the president of the United States, it's time to get the government out of public broadcasting."

"PBS President Paula Kerger even recorded a personal television appeal that told viewers exactly how to contact members of Congress in order to "let your representative know how you feel about the elimination of funding for public broadcasting." But if PBS can pay Ms. Kerger $632,233 in annual compensation—as reported on the 990 tax forms all nonprofits are required to file—surely it can operate without tax dollars."

"Meanwhile, highly successful, brand-name public programs like Sesame Street make millions on their own. "Sesame Street," for example, made more than $211 million from toy and consumer product sales from 2003-2006. Sesame Workshop President and CEO Gary Knell received $956,513 in compensation in 2008. With earnings like that, Big Bird doesn't need the taxpayers to help him compete against the Nickleodeon cable channel's Dora the Explorer."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703559604576176663789314074.html?mod=WSJ_newsreel_opinion

Posted by: jnc4p | March 4, 2011 12:30 PM | Report abuse

okay jnc4p -- where do I send a campaign contribution?

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 4, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

A governor (Chrtistie) who puts more emphasis on making his temporary stay in power in New Jersey look like a monarchy or tyranny, only shows he's not equipped to govern. There are 3 branches of government at federal and state level. Anyone who thinks the buck stops with him (Christie) and muscles others to fear him is an idiot, and that is several notches above Christie's intellectual level. Even GW Bush has more people's skills than governor Fat Elvis of NJ does.


Christie is refusing to tax the rich and demanding poorly paid teachers give up part of their income so the mismanaged NJ economy could get back on track is really the retarded GOP way. Question, did anyone in New Jersey elect that overweight ugly idiot to screw the poor and pamper the rich as every Republican ever does? Christie is hoping that he gets picked for the Veep position on the failed 2012 GOP presidential ticket, he knows he has no chance whatsoever at winning reelection as NJ governor.

Posted by: DrainYou | March 5, 2011 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Gable is a partisan nutjob who never has and never will listen to people who don't agree with his whacky political views. Sycamore can do better than settling on ideologues like Gable as an alderman.

Posted by: DrainYou | March 5, 2011 11:42 PM | Report abuse

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