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September 02, 2010 03:46 PM UTC

Thursday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“Men never plan to be failures; they simply fail to plan to be successful.”

–William Arthur Ward


61 thoughts on “Thursday Open Thread

  1. from McClatchy

    Democrats in Congress are poised to play a leading role this month in thwarting their party’s effort to raise income tax rates on the wealthy.

    However, a small but growing number of moderate Democrats are balking at boosting taxes on the rich.

    What makes this even more interesting is there is talk of reducing social security because “we can’t afford it.” Yet, from CBPP – h/t DailyKOS:

    The revenue loss over the next 75 years just from extending the tax cuts for people making over $250,000 – the top 2 percent of Americans – would be about as large as the entire Social Security shortfall over this period (see Figure 1). Members of Congress cannot simultaneously claim that the tax cuts for people at the top are affordable while the Social Security shortfall constitutes a dire fiscal threat.

    I wonder where our two Senators will come down on this. As “moderates” I worry that they’ll put lower taxes for the rich ahead of reducing the deficit. I know Ken Buck puts reduced taxes on the rich before reducing the deficit.

  2. from the WSJ

    The Obama administration is considering a range of new measures to boost economic growth, including tax cuts and a new nationwide infrastructure program, according to people familiar with the discussions.

    The White House is struggling with whether to propose ideas that would appeal to Republicans, and thus get support on Capitol Hill-such as tax cuts-or whether to promote ideas that officials believe could have more economic impact but might hit political resistance, such as more aid for states and more infrastructure funding.

    Look guys, first off you could propose nothing but eliminating taxes for people with incomes over 100 million and the Republicans will still oppose you right now. So there’s no benefit in the “appeal to Republicans” approach.

    Second, speaking as a small business owner, tax cuts for small business, payroll tax cuts, etc. will make no difference in how many people we hire. What small business needs is a growing economy.

    1. Lower taxes or more customers?  I have a small business (microscopic, in fact), and I would dearly love more customers.  If I don’t get more customers, my tax rate won’t much matter.

      1. Hey, we’ve been “enjoying” big tax breaks for years now.  The kind you get when you have so much less income from your business to tax! Would love a return to Clinton era taxes and Clinton era profit and income.

  3. …but ‘tad, GOPWarrior and H-man are invited to read along as well. BLAM!

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Milwaukee

    MILWAUKEE – Congress has made historic progress in the last four years expanding education and health care benefits for veterans and military families, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday.

    Speaking to the American Legion national convention in Milwaukee, Pelosi made the case that the Democratic-controlled house she has led – and that is trying to hang on to power in November – has delivered for veterans and will keep doing so.

    She said she took the reins as speaker in 2006 with a “to-do list” on veterans legislation, and Congress worked with the American Legion and other veterans groups to take action.

    “As a result, together we made more progress over the last four years for our veterans and military families than has been made since the passage of the original GI Bill in 1944,” she said.

    She said those accomplishments include the new GI Bill for those who have served on active duty since Sept. 11, 2001. The program, which promises four years worth of college benefits, has already helped more than 300,000 veterans and their family members seek college degrees, she said.

    She noted that Congress extended the benefits to the children of those killed in action. She told the story of Marine Gunnery Sgt. John David Fry, who was killed by a bomb in Iraq after defusing nearly 100 others. She said his three children “will now be able to go to college because of their father’s service and sacrifice.”

    ( I even got it from a FOX website so you can’t claim “librul bias.”)

    So, how come the (supposedly) most liberal member of Congress, and part of the evil Obama socialist agenda, was invited to speak at the NATIONAL convention of the biggest of the three Veteran Service Organizations?

    Is it perhaps that Democrats have spent the last 4 years taking care of the troops and veterans, while Repubs still use them a photo props?

    1. If the Dems were spending their own money, and not mine, I might be impressed.  The current Democratic contest of how much taxpayer money can we spend before the economy tanks is over.  

      The economy tanked. It’s now time for the children to grow up or be replaced by grown ups.

      1. It’s my fault that a M2 MG fell off an M113 and crushed both of my feet? I should just stop whining and pay for an Aetna healthcare policy and pay for my surgery, rehab, meds and physical therapy?

        You’re right, H-Man. I was on border patrol  in West Germany, on USAREUR war alert while the Wall was coming down JUST so I could get hurt and (eventually) wait 6 years to get treatment and disability payments from the guvmit.

        Y’know, if Al Simpson needs someone to write some other dumbass statements, you should give him a call.

        1. What is cut is left in the hands of the people that earned it who might use it for purposes that they see fit, instead of what the government will see fit.

          The money does not belong to the government. It merely stays in the hands of a productive citizen and is not taken from him under penalty of law.

          1. when $250 billion of it was tax cuts? Is it just Republicans being dicks? Because I’ve never heard a Republican talk about the “cost” of Bush’s tax cuts, and that’s kind of incongruous unless Republicans are dicks.

      2. that the economy tanked due to excessive government spending (it didn’t), and we should return government to the “grownups” whose belief in the “free market” (lack of oversight) was the cause.

        Epic fail!

    2. Of course she’s going to do more ribbon cuttings, graduation speeches, etc.

      You don’t see Republicans touting Bush’s presence at a convention as evidence of his pro-military record.

      This isn’t extraordinary.  Barbara Boxer there would have been extraordinary.

      1. ….ALL of Dubya’s appearances in from of the troops or in front of veterans were ruthlessly pimped by Repubs. That’s esp true of his last appearance at the VFW National Convention in 2008.

        It was proof that the military and all veterans are all 100% Republican, and that no Dem would ever appear at such an event.

        Rep Pelosi was invited by the AmLegion to appear and speak. She wasn’t booed, and she gave compelling, tangible proof that Democrats have passed significant legislation to help the Military and Veterans.  

        1. that troops were assholes.  Of course they wouldn’t boo her.  Is that really your proof that the troops like her?

          Bush went to hundreds of those things (although in fairness he was Pres).

          But it’s telling when Pelosi gets invited to one and she wants to hang her at all over it.

          1. She came to deliver a message – after years of GOP lip-service, when the Dems took power they started passing legislation that took care of the Troops and Veterans.

            Let’s contrast that with “Dr Death” Sen Bill Frist who went into a vets convention in 2001 and told vets that they would have to make sacrifices for the new tax cuts Dubya had proposed.

            What’s telling is that she was INVITED to speak. After doing the DAV National Conv in Denver last year, they don’t hand those out to anyone who wants it. The Nat’l convention committee decides who they invite.

            If they wanted to hear how bad Democrats are, why did they invite Rep Pelosi to talk about vets issues? Is it perhaps that Repubs have been screwing over veterans for so long that they couldn’t find anyone to talk?

    1. Coast Guard Petty Officer Casey Ranel said the blast was reported by a commercial helicopter company about 9:30 a.m.

      Seven helicopters, two airplanes and four boats are en route to the site, about 80 miles south of Vermilion Bay along the central Louisiana coast.

      Ranel said it hasn’t been determined whether the structure is a production platform or a drilling rig or whether workers were aboard. Ranel says smoke was reported but it is unclear whether the rig is still burning.

      Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer John Edwards said crews were responding to reports of people in the water. It is believed there were 13 people on the rig; one was reportedly injured and 12 were OK but not rescued yet, Edwards said.

      1. You guys are starting to sound incredibly like the great Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf.  

        We need a poll:  do the quotes below come from Ralphie, et. al. in last few months -or the Iraqi Information Minister as US tanks were rolling into Baghdad in early 2003?

        “I can assure you that those villains will recognize, will discover in appropriate time in the future, how stupid they are and how they are pretending things which have never taken place”

        “In a few days, you will all witness something that can only be considered very beautiful against the Coalition forces. That, I assure you.”

        “we managed to chop off their rotten heads”

        “There are only two American tanks in the city.”

        “We are winning!”

    1. …from your own link:

      “Now, before we get into each poll, it’s worth keeping in mind that this is a poll conducted for a conservative organization.”

        1. which was the most biased poll I have ever received. Actually, all the polls I’ve got from conservative orgs have been straight forward, automated, “do you support this guy or that one” polls. Of course, liberal desperation is beginning to set in as it becomes clear that Republicans will take over congress. Let the rationalizing begin! (This is the fun part for me to watch.)

    1. With an opening statement like that, no way is anyone going to ask you anything requiring thought — and — you’ve got nowhere to go but up.

      Having said that, after watching that, if I’m an Arizonan I’m thinking that Basil Sr. might just be my write-in.

      1. As a GOP RightWinger, I do believe in God!


        That said – when you promote racist legislation, negative energy will surround and hurt your performance

        Campaigning on hatred messes up a person’s soul (my apologies for sounding so ‘new-wavey’ but it’s true)

        Nonetheless – we’ll see what the ballots say in November – kudos to her opponent for hammering at the “beheading” claims which are seeming to be false?

        1. But, while I’ve got your ear — although it’s not on topic, I guess this is an open thread, and I have been meaning to ask (but don’t want it to sound like I’m trying to be a complete jerk, because honestly I’m not) —

          Now with all the above disclaimers out of the way — have you heard anything by way of a statement from a formerly courageous former President regarding the NYC community center controversy?

          No salt to any wounds here, I have just been wondering.

  4. Thanks for continuing to fight the good fight, Ali. I’m not sure how you’re able to keep a straight face the whole time.

    Based on your conversation with him, I’d like to ask O’Reilly a hypothetical. I’d like to know if he believes we should investigate all religious institutions for ties to known extremist groups. I can make plausible assumptions that a white supremacy group has in some way funded a church. Should we delay all community centers and places of worship until we are able to determine from who’s hand each penny came?

    I wish someone would “verify” Bill O’Reilly.

    1.   We disagree on a lot of things, including your dreams of destroying Colorado finances with the Dr. Evil initiatives.  But you stood tall in defense of the freedom of religion that is the foundation stone of America and rightly denounced guilt by association.

        Next time you’re in town, I’ll buy a beer or, if your religion forbids that, I’ll buy you a cup of that wonderful Arab coffee I learned jto love in Nablus.

        Well done Sir.  If 72 percent of a poll wants to trash the Bill of Rights, then the 28 percent of us who love this country must fight all the harder to defend our flag, our freedoms and our way of life.  

    2.   We disagree on a lot of things, including your dreams of destroying Colorado finances with the Dr. Evil initiatives.  But you stood tall in defense of the freedom of religion that is the foundation stone of America and rightly denounced guilt by association.

        Next time you’re in town, I’ll buy a beer or, if your religion forbids that, I’ll buy you a cup of that wonderful Arab coffee I learned jto love in Nablus.

        Well done Sir.  If 72 percent of a poll wants to trash the Bill of Rights, then the 28 percent of us who love this country must fight all the harder to defend our flag, our freedoms and our way of life.  

    3.   We disagree on a lot of things, including your dreams of destroying Colorado finances with the Dr. Evil initiatives.  But you stood tall in defense of the freedom of religion that is the foundation stone of America and rightly denounced guilt by association.

        Next time you’re in town, I’ll buy a beer or, if your religion forbids that, I’ll buy you a cup of that wonderful Arab coffee I learned jto love in Nablus.

        Well done Sir.  If 72 percent of a poll wants to trash the Bill of Rights, then the 28 percent of us who love this country must fight all the harder to defend our flag, our freedoms and our way of life.  

      1. And I will take you up on that beer/arab coffee!

        Drinking-wise, the Quran says you can’t get drunk (basically) – but nothing about drinking, to my best research

        That said – I don’t drink, but you can’t run for HD56 without ‘somewhat’ enjoying beer (seriously, every restaurant in HD56 has a microbrewery, and if you’re gonna run, you better damn well drink the microbrews)

        I’ll let you know – thank you for your kind words!

    4. But we already knew that.

      Nice job staying strong.

      501(c)3 law, or whatever governs religious charities, governs so donors must be disclosed by law.  Clearly we don’t need an investigation.

      Fear-mongering rules.  Be afraid.  Be very, very afraid.

  5. ….AMD is going to stop making laptops look like frakkin’ RACE CARS:

    AMD may scrap annoying Windows notebook logo

    AMD may finally end a chronic problem with logos on Windows notebooks using its hardware, the chip maker commented today. Having discovered that most buyers don’t like the stickers advertising processors, graphics and other parts, AMD hopes to now make the stickers easily removable sometime in 2011. It added to the New York Times that it was considering eliminating its share of stickers entirely, although it wouldn’t say how likely that was.

    The stickers have been symbolic of one of the chronic problems of Windows notebooks as they have reflected the frequently intricate relationships between PC builders and their component suppliers. Dell, HP, Sony and most others usually agree to the deliberately hard-to-remove logos in return for subsidies that artificially lower the prices of the systems. Decisions like these have sometime posed a problem with luxury systems where maintaining the aesthetic was important. For the Adamo, Dell went so far as to etch logos, sometimes in hard-to-find places, to avoid ruining the upscale metal look but keep Microsoft’s desires and requirements intact.

  6. ….starting packing your bags, former LTC. You’re on the way to beautiful Fort Leavenworth, Kansas!

    Judge removes ‘birther’ elements from Army doc’s court martial

    A judge on Thursday denied a request for President Barack Obama to testify at a court martial for a U.S. Army flight surgeon who refused to deploy to Afghanistan until he saw proof that Obama was born in the United States.

    The judge, Army Col. Denise Lind, said any evidence or witnesses related to Obama’s citizenship is irrelevant to the charges against Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, who has 17 years of service in the U.S. military.

    And it’s OVER, birther nuts. The equivalent of a Federal Judge has ruled on the case, and some dumbass with less than two years before retirement is going to get busted down so low he’ll be saluting civilians around the Disciplinary Barracks.  

  7. We’d had a small discussion in a thread this week about a mutual love for Hitchens’ writing style.

    This is a fantastic piece.  I hope some of you dig it.

    The Danish physicist and Nobelist Niels Bohr once hung a horseshoe over his doorway. Appalled friends exclaimed that surely he didn’t put any trust in such pathetic superstition. “No, I don’t,” he replied with composure, “but apparently it works whether you believe in it or not.” That might be the safest conclusion. The most comprehensive investigation of the subject ever conducted-the “Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer,” of 2006-could find no correlation at all between the number and regularity of prayers offered and the likelihood that the person being prayed for would have improved chances. But it did find a small but interesting negative correlation, in that some patients suffered slight additional woe when they failed to manifest any improvement. They felt that they had disappointed their devoted supporters. And morale is another unquantifiable factor in survival. I now understand this better than I did when I first read it. An enormous number of secular and atheist friends have told me encouraging and flattering things like: “If anyone can beat this, you can”; “Cancer has no chance against someone like you”; “We know you can vanquish this.” On bad days, and even on better ones, such exhortations can have a vaguely depressing effect. If I check out, I’ll be letting all these comrades down. A different secular problem also occurs to me: what if I pulled through and the pious faction contentedly claimed that their prayers had been answered? That would somehow be irritating.

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