Karl Rove Claims…Well…Just Read It…I Couldn’t Believe this B.S. Either

Conservatives Invoke NAACP Case In Fight For Secret Donors : It’s All Politics : NPR http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2012/12/30/168216783/conservatives-invoke-naacp-case-in-fight-for-secret-donors?ft=1&f=1014≻=tw Yea…you read that right. Rove is claiming to be like Rosa Parks is his struggle to keep the donor list for his PAC secret.

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French Court Sides with Gerard, Strikes Down “Eat The Rich to Pay Ze Germans” Tax Law

AFP: France’s 75% tax rate on rich struck down http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5j9pOLylcARXMDbqijaDNwepJJDAQ?docId=CNG.0f3a2edaebcff4cb89d6d051bc5e3728.1d1

PARIS — France’s top constitutional body on Saturday struck down a 75-percent upper income tax rate, dealing a major blow to Socialist President Francois Hollande, who had made it his centrepiece tax measure. The government vowed to push ahead with the tax rate, which would apply to incomes over a million euros ($1.3 million) a year, and propose a new measure that would conform with the constitution. The tax rate had angered business leaders and prompted some wealthy French citizens to seek tax exile abroad, including actor Gerard Depardieu who recently took up residency in Belgium. The Constitutional Council said in its ruling that the temporary two-year tax rate, due to take effect next year, was unconstitutional because unlike other forms of income tax it applied to individuals instead of whole households. As a result, the council said, the tax rate “failed to recognise equality before public burdens”.

In my personal opinion, personal tax rates that far north of 50% do indeed stifle growth. To put it in a local perspective, in the U.S. we could TRIPLE the effective tax rate on top earners (like Romney) and STILL be short of that 50% threshhold I just noted.

In Putin’s Russia, K ids Pay for the Misdeeds of Their Rulers

Washington Post http://m.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/russia-set-to-ban-us-adoptions/2012/12/27/fd49c542-504f-11e2-8b49-64675006147f_story.html

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill Friday that bars Americans from adopting Russian children, provoking anguish among U.S. families that have been waiting months, and in some cases years, to complete the process. The legislation caps a year of increasing Russian hostility toward the United States, stoked by Putin but taken up with unexpected gusto by members of parliament. A series of measures has taken aim at what is perceived to be —or characterized as —American interference in Russian concerns, from political organizing to the defense of human rights. The adoption bill is seen as retaliation against a U.S. law that targets corrupt Russian officials.

Hate to see needy kids used as political pawns. But at least W looked into his soul and saw good things.

And the Countdown Until a Student is Killed by Their Own Teacher’s Gun in School Just Got Faster

Utah teachers get free gun training in response to Newtown shooting http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE8BR02N20121228?irpc=932

(Reuters) – Kasey Hansen, a special education teacher from Salt Lake City, Utah, says she would take a bullet for any of her students, but if faced with a gunman threatening her class, she would rather be able to shoot back. On Thursday, she was one of 200 Utah teachers who flocked to an indoor sports arena for free instruction in the handling of firearms by gun activists who say armed educators might have a chance at thwarting deadly shooting rampages in their schools. The event was organized by the Utah Shooting Sports Council in response to the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, this month that killed 20 children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The council said it has typically attracted about 16 teachers each year to its concealed carry training courses.

We’ll see what happens first…on overworked, underpaid and armed employee surrounded by kids loses it and kills someone by accident, or an overworked and underpaid armed employee surrounded gets to blow away someone else who lost it. We’ll see.

What Real Class Warfare Looks Like

Hundreds of tea estate workers surrounded the plantation owners home in India’s northeastern state of Assam and set it on fire over a labor dispute, killing him and his wife, police said on Thursday.

Police recovered the charred bodies of the couple, Mridul Kumar Bhattacharyya and his wife, Rita, from the burned remains of their house in Tinsukhia district, police Superintendent PP Singh said.

The plantation had been rocked by labor trouble over the past few weeks and some workers had been suspended two weeks ago.

On Wednesday, around 700 workers armed with bows and poison-tipped arrows surrounded the house and set it on fire, trapping the couple. The house had burned down by the time police reached the remote region in Tinsukhia.

via Tea workers burn boss to death – World News | IOL News | IOL.co.za.

I think it quite hilarious to see some folks call raising the tax rate on the wealthy by 4% “class warfare”.   If there ain’t charred bodies, it ain’t warfare.

Boehner offers “Compromise” to Avert Fiscal Cliff. Bonus Fun Point: It’s Everything Republicans Want

US House Speaker Boehner urges Senate to act on ‘fiscal cliff’ http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSL1E8NQ7TJ20121226?irpc=932

The House Republican leaders argued that it was the Senate’s turn to come up with a legislative solution because the House had produced two bills earlier this year to avert the “fiscal cliff.” One would have continued the Bush-era’s low income tax rates for another year, despite strong Democratic opposition to continuing the tax break for household incomes above $250,000. Another bill would have replaced $109 billion in automatic spending cuts due to begin next month by stopping all of the planned military cuts and placing the entire burden on domestic activities, including some social safety net programs funded by the federal government.

I don’t think that word means what I’d thinks it means. My feelings at this point is that we go over the ‘cliff’, and then quickly pass a new retroactive ‘tax cut’ that Republicans can then say they fought for (and looks like what Obama is proposing now), thus allowing taxes to go up as everyone rational knows they need to, and Grover’s Bitches get to claim they kept their word about never voting for a tax increase.

Old, White, Racist Republicans go on Cruise, lament fact that everyone thinks Republicans are Old, White and Racists

A Dispatch From the ‘National Review’s Post-Election Cruise — New York Magazine http://nymag.com/news/features/republican-caribbean-cruise-2012-12/

As we drained the Pinot Noir, Hassett gave his audience the insider’s view of the Romney campaign, describing how its election-monitoring software crashed on November 6 and Obama was probably behind it, “because those guys are so evil.” The table grumbled in assent. “The thing we have to understand is, these are people who don’t have any morals,” said Hassett. “They’ll do anything. I’m one of their No. 1 targets. I mean, they really want me bad.” “Well, you’re safe on this ship!” said Bobbie boldly. Then Hassett pivoted to the liberal media. “I actually think that Goebbels was more critical of Hitler than the New York Times is of Obama,” said Hassett, tucking into a piece of strudel. “I was in the middle of the fight against the propaganda, and I have stories like you wouldn’t believe. These people are so evil. They’re basically Fascists. It’s unbelievable.”

It’s a good long read. A bit schadenfruede to be sure, but there ya go. And yes, that’s a bit of German under a direct Hitler comparison. Felt appropriate somehow.

Another Week, Another Nutjob Killing People with Assault Weapons

USA TODAY http://m.usatoday.com/article/news/1790293

The remains found the home were taken to the Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy. The cause of death was not immediately known, Pickering said. Armed with a Bushmaster .223 semi-automatic rifle — the same weapon used in the Dec. 14 school massacre in Newtown, Conn. — a Mossberg 12 gauge shotgun and a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver and a stockpile of ammunition, Spengler Jr. set a “clear ambush on first responders,” Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering said at a news conference Tuesday.

My bet, the NRA comes out and wonders why firefighters don’t pack flamethrowers.

The conservative case for an assault weapons ban

The conservative case for an assault weapons ban – latimes.com.

A good read, one complaint about the reasoning…

I say all of this as a gun owner. I say it as a conservative who was appointed to the federal bench by a Republican president. I say it as someone who prefersFox NewstoMSNBC, and National Review Online to the Daily Kos. I say it as someone who thinks the Supreme Court got it right in District of Columbia vs. Heller, when it held that the 2nd Amendment gives us the right to possess guns for self-defense. (That’s why I have mine.) I say it as someone who, generally speaking, is not a big fan of the regulatory state.

I even say it as someone whose feelings about the NRA mirror the left’s feelings about Planned Parenthood: It has a useful advocacy function in our deliberative democracy, and much of what it does should not be controversial at all.

Note: this was posted before the NRA’s latest episode of shooting themselves in the foot and then eating that foot.

My only issue with this article was this bit here.  PP mostly is a service organization, helping poor women (and not so poor women) gain some control over their health and reproductive lives.  The NRA is a different style of organization.  They aren’t providing services, they mostly tend to directly pressure politicians.  They are a lobbying organization and public advocacy group, not primarily a service organization as PP is (and my judgement here about the nature of said organizations is simply based on where their money is spent..that’s it…no feeling involved.)

So other than that quibble, it’s a good read.   As I’ve said before and will repeat, these types of “assault wepaons” are made for one primary purpose, to kill lots of people quickly.  There is no reason for a regular, lawful citizen to own one.

There are many, many other very valid reasons for owning a great many other types of firearms, but I’ve yet to find a good one for this class of weapon.  Much like weaponized germs, or radioactive explosives, regular folks just don’t need access to full and possible lethal arsenal of our species.  We’ve become, on some level, too dangerous for ourselves.

Please don’t focus on that last sentence (those who disagree) and instead try to come up with some reason regular people need weapons designed to kills lots of regular people quickly.  As said, and now repeated, I’ve yet to hear a good one.

Bigger Guns Mean Bigger Profits (more Carnage! I love it!)

National Shooting Sports Foundation, Newtown Gun Lobby, Keeps Military-Style Guns Legal – The Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/2012/12/22/national-shooting-sports-foundation-newtown_n_2348465.html

In order for gun manufacturers to keep growing, Sugarmann said, “they’ve got to do two things. First, find new markets, which is what they’re doing with their womens’ and childrens’ programs. The other option is to find something new to sell the guys who already have guns. The answer for that is increasingly militarized weapons.”

The simple fact of the matter is that these assault weapons are made for one thing…killing lots of humans quickly. That’s the long and short of the issue, in my mind. For others it is more complicated, especially those in the linked story, whose livelihood, in you will, depends of selling more and more deadly (and expensive) weapons to folks who’s paranoia knows no bounds.

Kitna Does the Good Work

He sat with his team in a pregame study hall one fall day and told the players to close their books. Something was missing. What was it? He could sense they wanted to learn. He could see them working in school. They tried hard at football practice. And yet simple homework assignments went unfinished. Grades that had improved then mysteriously dropped. For every step forward there was a stumble.

“What is the disconnect?” he asked.

For several moments no one said anything. Then slowly the stories spilled out. Terrible stories. Heartbreaking stories. The players told of homes without parents. They said nobody in the house asked to see their homework. They talked of barely existing at all. They said the only place anyone seemed to care was at school.

And they told him that even then he was the only one to whom they could relate.

“It was eye-opening,” Kitna says. “It was tearful to hear kids say: ‘My parents when I am doing my homework tell me to stop doing my homework and go sell drugs.’ Or to hear a kid say: ‘I don’t ever eat because I want my mom to eat and only one of us can eat.’ ”

via Former NFL QB Jon Kitna finds ‘gold mine’ at his troubled old high school – Yahoo! Sports.

Republican only count Interest as Spending when Obama Does It…and even then it’s a case by case basis

In ‘fiscal cliff’ debate, Boehner condemns accounting gimmicks he once embraced http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/boehner-condemns-accounting-gimmicks-once-embraced-232025016–politics.html?oldbustedhotness

“We are about to vote on a trillion-dollar spending package,” Ryan warned in a January 27, 2009, speech. “Yes, a trillion dollars, because the Congressional Budget Office just told us today (that) just to pay for the interest on this bill is another $350 billion.” So why don’t Congressional Republicans apply the same rule to Obama’s fiscal cliff offer? “Interest savings from higher taxes is not a spending cut,” Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said by email. “I wish the folks at the White House would work as hard to actually cut spending as they do trying [to] look like they are.” It’s not an idle inside-the-Beltway debate. Obama counts the interest costs on the way to claiming that his latest offer to Boehner includes $1.22 trillion in spending cuts–roughly in line with the president’s proposed $1.2 trillion in new tax revenues.