Thoughts from a Yellow Dog Democrat living in Olympia, in the great BLUE state of Washington

I am a liberal because it is the political philosophy of freedom and equality. And I am a progressive because it is the political path to a better future. And I am a Democrat because it is the political party that believes in freedom, equality and progress. -- Digby

Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Chutzpah is Breathtaking

The brilliant Digby points us to this article in the WSJ by Laura Saunders. Digby is more polite than me and says she doesn't know what to say. I guess my momma didn't bring me up right because this kind of noblesse oblige sickens me.

Here's some of Saunders wisdom:
Nothing's certain except death and taxes -- but a temporary lapse in the estate tax is causing a few wealthy Americans to try to bend those rules.

Starting Jan. 1, the estate tax -- which can erase nearly half of a wealthy person's estate -- goes away for a year. For families facing end-of-life decisions in the immediate future, the change is making one of life's most trying episodes only more complex.

On Jan. 1, the one-year halt to the estate tax begins. And never before has so much money hinged on the time of death, WSJ's Laura Saunders reports in a News Hub extra.
"I have two clients on life support, and the families are struggling with whether to continue heroic measures for a few more days," says Joshua Rubenstein, a lawyer with Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP in New York. "Do they want to live for the rest of their lives having made serious medical decisions based on estate-tax law?"

Currently, the tax applies to about 5,500 taxpayers a year. So, on average, at least 15 people die every day whose estates would benefit from the the tax's lapse.

The macabre situation stems from 2001, when Congress raised estate-tax exemptions, culminating with the tax's disappearance next year. However, due to budget constraints, lawmakers didn't make the change permanent. So the estate tax is due to come back to life in 2011 -- at a higher rate and lower exemption.

To make it easier on their heirs, some clients are putting provisions into their health-care proxies allowing whoever makes end-of-life medical decisions to consider changes in estate-tax law.

So what she's saying is these folks would rather die than pay taxes. Where's the equal concern for those folks at the bottom of the economic ladder, without estates to pay for their end of life care?

Here's some more:
Under current laws in effect until the end of this year, the size of the exemption is $3.5 million per individual or up to $7 million per couple. The tax is slated to disappear entirely on Jan 1.

But estate planning in 2010 will be complicated by a new twist: a complex tax on capital gains that will affect a broader swath of taxpayers. The estate tax is scheduled to return in 2011 at a 55% rate with an exemption of slightly more than $1 million.

The looming lapse of the estate tax is presenting some families with unprecedented ethical quandaries.

Ethical quandary!?? Do I have a right to be in an ethical quandary about my income taxes? The chutzpah of this entitled bunch is breathtaking. Am I supposed to feel sorry for a bunch of rich people who can't figure out any other way to avoid taxes other than killing themselves? I should pay more tax so these entitled posers can avoid taxes?!!

GAWD! It's enough to make me join Billionaires for Wealthcare just so I can do end-of-life counseling for these poor Ritchie Riches!


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Where's the Dixie Chick Outrage??

Ted Nugent goes off to a foreign country and makes the following statement:
"I think that Barack Hussein Obama should be put in jail. It is clear that Barack Hussein Obama is a communist. (Former Chinese leader) Mao Tse Tung lives and his name is Barack Hussein Obama. This country should be ashamed. I wanna throw up."

Wasn't this the same mortal sin that caused the Dixie Chicks to be pilloried? Where's the foaming at the mouth? CD smashing events? Play list blacklist? Concert demonstrations? Death threats?

Doesn't the right ever see their own hypocrisy?


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Democrats Roll in the Pork Mud

When President Obama urged Congress earlier this year to cancel a series of major weapons programs deemed no longer needed, he specifically cited the effort to build a backup engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The Obama administration has signaled for months that funding for a second F-35 engine in the fiscal 2010 defense bill could become veto bait. Gates spent months, most recently at the beginning of September, making the case that the Pentagon does not need or want the alternative engine.

But the smell of pork was too irresistible for John Kerry.
But while Congress was ultimately persuaded to adopt most of Obama’s proposed weapons cuts - including canceling the F-22 fighter program - the GE program was rescued with the aid of several Massachusetts lawmakers who lobbied behind the scenes. It marked the fourth year in a row that Bay State lawmakers joined other lawmakers with GE jobs in their states to save the project from the Pentagon’s budget ax.

Senator John F. Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, said that GE officials had told his office that 1,000 jobs in Massachusetts will be saved or maintained once full production begins on the backup engine.

Crooks & Liars says it best:
What utter bullshit. This is just unjustified crap, and it doesn't smell any better coming from a Democratic politician than a Republican. In talking about defense acquisition with a colleague, he said that he might believe in Santa Claus, but he didn't believe in acquisition reform. With clowns like this in the Senate and White House, it's no wonder that the Defense Department can't get clear of its huge funding bills and massively overpriced, behind schedule programs.

This is what causes the public not trust ANY politician. Shame on John Kerry.

Labels: ,

Monday, December 21, 2009

Men Protecting Us Little Women AGAIN

My fantasy Sunday morning show is Rachel Maddow hosting a panel made up of Ana Marie Cox, Arianna Huffington, Jessica Valenti, Digby, and Donna Brazile discussing the merits of the public money paying for prostrate exams and Viagra. Maybe then David Gregory and NBC will get a clue as to why it is so insulting for him to use a panel of men to discuss abortion.

Taylor Marsh covered it well:
Well, as with the late Tim Russert, once again with David Gregory on “Meet the Press,” women are not seen or heard at a time when abortion politics has been at the center of the healthcare debate. (I’ve been covering this reality for years.) That women also pay more for health insurance evidently doesn’t meet the “Meet the Press” standards for being included in the debate. That says it all, not only about the continuing If It’s Sunday, It’s Misogyny . . .

Silly me, why would the opinion of a woman be useful when talking about abortion rights anyway? We're so lucky to have the menfolk talking for us silly women!

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Kill Lieberman's Bill

We Democrats stand on the verge of ushering in a world of nearly unregulated mandates, in which we're all forced by the state to hand over our money to failed private monopolies, with no cost control in return. Without a public option and no hope of expanding Medicare coverage, this bill is not worth supporting.

Please encourage your Senators to vote against the Lieberman insurance company welfare act.

We'll have to live another day to try to correct the injustice, waste, inefficiency, and unfairness of our current health care system. Nine months wasted. What a shame.

Labels: ,

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Romney is Playing with Statistics Again

Mitt Romney just said on Meet the Press that the average Government worker makes approximately $30,000 more that private workers. Idiot. Yes, the average occupational wage of Civil Service occupations is about $65,000 but that is by occupation, not worker. There are far more entry level Civil Servants and blue collar workers than judges and Agency heads. This statistics also ignores the military service members which would further drive this number down. But even at that, Romney failed to compare the average occupational wage from the private sector to the Civil Service wage. Instead he seems to have compared it to the median individual wage. In 2007 the average household income in the United States was over $50,000 -- still a far way from $30,000 less than Civil Servants. What he must have been referring to is the median of people, not occupations, which was $26,000 in 2006.

Romney is mixing apples and oranges and NO ONE on Meet the Press challenged Mitt. Idiots!


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

When Did Being an Adulteress Become Not Shameful?

I'm not a prude. I understand the thrill of a little thing on the side. I may or may not have indulged myself. But it used to be shameful. It used to be secret. If anyone ever asked the standard was to deny, deny, deny. It seems like now these adultresses cannot wait to hire Gloria Allred and a publicist and make sure we all know about it. They save stained dresses, voicemail recordings, and run to TMZ to brag. What is wrong with these women? Do they dally because they were attracted to the person or did they do it for the money TMZ will pay? If so there is a word for a woman that dallies for money.

It trace this 'fucking without shame' back to Donna Rice. She was able to parlay her notoriety into a gig selling jeans aptly names "No Excuses." Meanwhile the rest of us ended up with Ronald Reagan.

This new fucking for publicity, money and "fame" might be as big of a turn off for men who might otherwise want to dally as Fatal Attraction was.

I'd worry about the supply of men for afternoon delights drying up, but then again . . .