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« October 2010 | Main | December 2010 »

Front Page » Monthly Archives » November 2010

By Ken Poland on November 28, 2010

We are at a stalemate in congress over the extension of the Bush era tax cuts. The, supposed, conflict is over whether to extend the tax cuts for the wealthy. It has been indicated that the 'wealthy tax cuts' benefit anywhere from 1% to 5% of the total tax payors.

It is reported that somewhere in the vicinity of 10% to 12% of the potential tax payers are unemployed. Those 10 or 12% people are not paying any income tax, neither are they making mortgage payments or paying utility bills or buying Christmas presents or paying medical bills or etc. etc.

Read more from this post here ...

By Ken Poland on November 27, 2010

The Republicans hold hands and say no! But it is the Democrats that refuse to compromise? A nearly 2/3 majority doesn't give much credence to the cry of the minority for compromise. Compromise, to the minority, has translated into; give me/us what I want, or I'll sit in the middle of the road and hold up traffic until you do!

The conservative far right and radical religionists have been beating the drums about patriotism and honorable service. But, that all sounds rather hollow to me, when they circle their wagons and refuse to allow honoring those volunteers, as well as civil servants, just compensation and health care for ailments as a result of their heroic efforts in the 9-11 disaster.

Most of the 'compromises' to allow advancing bills in the Senate, over the last two years, have resulted in the hodgepodge confusing health care bill. The minority has been allowed to broadcast half truths and outright misrepresentation of many of the bills before congress in the last two years. They have been allowed to blame the 'new' administration for continuing some of the bailout and economic policies that were initiated by the past administration. Can't you imagine the outcry if the Obama administration had immediately taken steps to repeal the previous 2 years work of the congress and Bush administration? Yet, that is exactly what they are promising to do, now.

Read more from this post here ...

By Jamie Sanderson on November 25, 2010

Senator DeMint,

Enough of your BS. Your politics hasn't done anything to benefit South Carolina. I urge you - as a servant of the people - to stop pandering to the fringe and do what you were sent to do, get our state the funds it deserves for projects and investments...

Read more from this post here ...

By Weeden Nichols on November 25, 2010

To begin, I must state that what I believe cannot be separated from what I do not believe. If I were writing this on a different day, I might say it differently, but the message would be essentially the same. I should define belief as I understand it. Belief is what one sees as probably “so” – as how things are. This view of what one sees as probably so is the accumulated total of what one has experienced, what one has observed, what one has learned from his studies and readings, and how he has learned to think and approach problems. Mere assent to a proposition or set of propositions for various reasons (such as making a profession of faith to join a congregation for social, or business, or political, or prestige reasons) is not belief. Psyching oneself into believing that one believes certain things because of a promise of Heaven or threat of Hell, is not belief. In short, deciding to believe, agreeing to believe, or being forced to believe, do not produce belief but another state entirely. Once a year, I see Thomas J. McGreevy, a fellow retiree from Army criminal investigations and a devout Catholic, whom I admire greatly and heed somewhat. When I bring up the topics of faith and belief, his response is, “Faith is a gift.” Perhaps it is both as simple, and as difficult to understand, as that.

Read more from this post here ...

By Angelo Lopez on November 24, 2010

For the past few years, I've been bothered by the strong influence that corporations and their lobbyists have had in our political system. It seems that these corporations are able to spend large amounts of money to insure that only their voices are heard in the halls of government. While many Tea Party members are worried about an encroaching big government, I share with many progressives a different worry about the growing power of corporations over our politics and personal choices. So last Summer I decided to attend a rally to limit corporate lobbying and sponsorship of politicians in Washington D.C. and to advocate the public financing of elections in front of San Jose's City Hall. Along with this blog are photos I took of the event.

Read more from this post here ...

By Pamela Jean on November 23, 2010

"My name is Wendell Potter and for 20 years I worked as a senior executive at health insurance companies, and I saw how they confuse their customers and dump the sick -- all so they can satisfy their Wall Street investors."

That's how he introduced himself to a Senate committee.

As a senior vice president of CIGNA, Potter had access to the inner workings of major insurance companies.

He had walked away from a six-figure salary and two decades as an insurance executive because he could no longer abide the routine practices of an industry where the needs of sick and suffering Americans take a backseat to the bottom line. The last straw: when he visited a rural health clinic and saw hundreds of Americans standing in line in the rain to receive treatment in stalls built for livestock.

Now, Wendell Potter is the insurance industry's worst nightmare.

Read more from this post here ...

By Diane Wahto on November 21, 2010

As November nears its end, people are showing signs of the joy that comes with the beginning of the holiday season. They are making plans to be with family for Thanksgiving and houses are decked out in their Christmas finery. This holiday season, however, is marred by the ongoing plight of those who have lost their jobs and their homes. Every Thanksgiving, for me, brings with the joy a sense of sadness evoked by memories of a bygone time.

On Nov. 22, 1963, I was getting ready to go grocery shopping. My husband was home for lunch and I could leave our three kids at home with him to shop unimpeded by their demands for Capt. Crunch, plastic toys, and the candy we encountered in the checkout line.

Read more from this post here ...

By Ken Poland on November 20, 2010

In the last 50 days, we've had only 11 contributors. They have only submitted 19 posts. That isn't even a new post every other day. With 55 registered contributors, that isn't a very good showing. That's not enough to attract and keep visitors coming in.

We have some very talented and interesting authors with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Let us hear from you!

By Ken Poland on November 20, 2010

What is driving the agenda for these last two months of our legislative bodies?

“We will do everything in our power to stop President Obama and Speaker Pelosi from raising taxes on working families, small-business people and investors,” said Representative Eric Cantor, Republican of Virginia and incoming majority leader.
This also means that they will allow expiration of all tax reforms passed during the Bush administration, if they don't get their way now. If the Democrats decide to become the party of 'NO' in the next legislative session, you will definitely see an increase in your income tax liability, regardless of where you are on the economic scale.

How many of you folks who consider yourselves 'working class' people make more than $200,000 or if you are a two earner family exceed $250,000? And, how many of you have not done a little math equation and figured out that the 'Bush tax cuts' put a higher percentage of the Federal budget expenditures on your backs? You never received the same percentage decrease in your total IRS tax bill as the high end tax payers. The top rates were reduced by a higher percent than the lower brackets. Go look at the tax brackets before the Bush era tax reforms and then compare them with the present tax brackets.

Read more from this post here ...

By Danielle Lee on November 17, 2010

The United States is ranked 35th in Math and 29th in Science. Other nations such as China, Finland, Australia, and Japan outrank us. Think about it, what are the things we love in this society? Our technologies - tech gadgets, televisions, high performing cars, digital communication, digital music, green technologies, convenience foods, all the conveniences of life. Have you ever stop to think about the minds that go into making these technologies? These industries are beyond lucrative. Those who work in those industries, whether on the creative side, innovation and improvement side, manufacturing and distribution side, or marketing and selling side - individuals who work in these industries earn good livings. Our society is moving ever-more rapidly to innovation. So if you wanted to be on board this very fast moving train, you would have to be ready for it.

Read more from this post here ...

By James Bordonaro on November 12, 2010

Long time ABC newscaster, Ted Koppel, is out with an Op-Ed in the Washington Post in which he bemoans the left/right divide in cable news.

As much as I respect Ted Koppel, I think he's got it wrong. There is a big difference between the anchors and reporters of FOX News and those of MSNBC. Keith Olbermann began as a sportscaster. He was one of the few mainstream media TV broadcasters who was willing to challenge the Bush administration's justifications for war with Iraq. FOX's gig is and always has been partisan attacks, MSNBC's weeknight lineup is ostensibly designed to rebut FOX's hyperbole. MSNBC does occasionally cross the line (their election coverage being a prime example) into one-sided infotainment. But, you didn't hear Olbermann or Rachel Maddow declare President Bush was a racist even before he was sworn in like Glenn Beck did. Furthermore, where is the current "balance" on FOX? Admittedly, FOX used to have Alan Combs but since his departure they haven't taken much effort (perhaps Juan Williams but he's not really what one would consider a thinker) to put forward alternative viewpoints. Contrast that with MSNBC's Morning Joe program hosted by former Florida, Republican congressman, Joe Scarborough. So, I'd argue that there is a qualitative difference that Koppel glosses over. Additionally, there is no mention of CNN's role in the devolution of TV news. Are we supposed to believe that Koppel thinks Anderson Cooper to be unbiased. Or does Ted Turner get a free pass because he was cable TV's first news network? Perhaps if Mr. Koppel's generation of newscasters had been better investigative journalists they would have held the public's attention longer. I seem to recall they "missed the boat" on that whole Gulf of Tonkin thing.

What Koppel fails to inform his readership is that the Republican Party has moved far right.

By Angelo Lopez on November 10, 2010

Many people have been exasperated by the Obama administration's appeal of a recent court case that repeals DADT and I understand that frustration. During the 2008 campaign and in his State of the Union earlier this year, Obama promised to repeal the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy that has been in effect since the Clinton Administration in the 1990s. Many worthy soldiers have been dismissed from the military because of this unjust policy and many gay rights activists rightly see this military policy as discriminatory practice. Many of my gay friends have been disillusioned at Obama's slowness on this and other gay rights issues. I share their frustration, but I also like Obama, and wanted to learn more about what Obama's strategy is on repealing the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. So I did some research on the web and I asked around some knowledgeably people and this is what I found.

Read more from this post here ...

By James Bordonaro on November 3, 2010

The former president is out with his memoir (Decision Points) of his years in office and notes that his lowest personal point was when rap singer, Kanye West, said he didn't care about black people during a live fund-raising telethon because of the manner in which he responded to Hurricane Katrina's destruction of New Orleans. (See this for a full description of the story.)

He says it was even worse than all the criticism he received over the Iraq War and putting forward the false rationale that Saddam Hussein was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction.

So, coupled with the lack of introspection he exhibited in a 2004 press conference when asked to identify any mistakes he might have made during his time in office, I guess that's all we really need to know.

Kanye was wrong. The President does care about black people - just self-absorbed Hollywood, elitist, rap stars with gold chains around their necks. A bigger question still exists as to whether he cares about his own legacy.

By Angelo Lopez on November 2, 2010

Lately I've been hearing a lot of people express disillusionment with voting, and I don't blame them. With all that we hear about gridlock in government, the bad economy and the extreme slow pace of change, it seems to a lot of people like voting doesn't make any difference. In spite of that, I do think voting matters. The Founding Fathers, the various women suffragists, civil rights workers, and the many activists risked their lives for our right to vote. I'm a Democrat, but I think Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Green Party members, everyone should go vote and express their opinions. I think if you're a true American, you'd want all American to vote, whether they agree with you or not.

Read more from this post here ...

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