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Here's the idea.

1.  The sequester requires mandatory cuts to most government programs without giving the executive any discretion to triage the victims.

2.  As I understand it, the FAA will be forced to reduce the headcount of air traffic controllers regardless of need.

    That will reduce the number of flights that can be controlled by ATC.  
    That is unavoidable under the sequester.  
    Everyone will likely be running late.

3.  The sequester does not say how the executive will allocate government resources among users.

In the case of ATC, here's an idea to make the 1% howl loudly for an end to the sequester.

Simply allocate air traffic slots as follows:

First in line - Existing certificated air carriers operating scheduled flights (no private charters)only. In other words planes full of the flying public - folks who bought tickets.  

No new certificated air carriers until the sequester is over, otherwise the Goldman Sachs of the world will incorporate certificated air carriers which will offer to sell ridiculously priced tickets as a sham.  (Remember, Goldman Sachs became a bank to get bailout money.)

Last in line - Private/Corporate jets, ranked in order of the tax rate paid by the corp/owner over the last five years. If you paid low/no tax you are last in line and
effectively grounded.  

Hey GE, Facebook, Google, etc. -- you get what you pay for!  

No taxes means no ATC free lunches.

Let them fly coach.

Let them endure the reduced staffing at TSA security lines.

Their howling will be the whine heard 'round the congress.


$10,000 says that Romney files an amended return taking all his charitable deductions the day after the election.

One other observation - PWC tax has Romney as a client.  There is no assurance whatsoever that the letter summarizing 20 years tax rates that they write (at the behest of the client paying them) will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

 PWC tax is not part of the attest function.  They are not independent auditors.

They don't want to lose Brain and its investee companies as clients.

They are preparing 'something' for their client.  We don't know exactly what that will be.

For example, will PWC disclose changes/challenges on audit to the returns as filed?

I am professionally skeptical of this work product.  

There is no chance they will be caught if they lie and if they do so what - what is the downside?

Color me skeptical of anything other than the full returns.



You allegedly pay no income tax.

That makes YOU a parasite . . . a $20MM per annum parasite on the American economy.  

Enjoying all the benefits thereof and paying nothing.  You are proud of that.

You are a charter member of the 47% you despise

You have met the enemy.

It is you . . . . along with the others you characterize as parasites.


Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 11:45 AM PDT

America Inc.? Joe Soptic is us.

by windje

Rmoney referred to America as a business enterprise today.  

Joe Soptic worked for a company that was taken over by Rmoney/Bain in a levered transaction.  His employment was terminated, he lost healthcare insurance and his wife died 22 days after a diagnosis of cancer five years later.

If we don't watch out, we'll all be subject to much the same treatment as Joe Soptic if Romney is elected. Why?

Here's how a leveraged buyout works.

1.  Take control of a business.

2.  Refinance with a lot of debt.

3.  Cut costs by

    a.  Reducing the number of employees

    b.  Outsourcing

    c.  Reducing the benefits of the employees who remain.

    d.  Not reinvesting in the business, its equipment and associated infrastructure

4.  Pay big dividends to the new owners.

Follow me over the squiggle to apply this to America . . . . . The 'slow motion' leveraged buyout of America  

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Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:09 AM PDT

If you want free stuff . . .

by windje

Lost . . .

in the discussion of the inconsistencies between Mitts assertion that he left Bain in February 1999 and the incontrovertible fact that he was representing something different to multiple state and federal government agencies when it suited him . . .

is the unbelievable statement that

'if you want free stuff, vote for the other guy.'

Mitt Romney is among the most fortunate individuals on the planet.  This guy pays a lower tax rate than many because his income is characterized as capital gain.  He goes even further to make every effort to reduce that rate with cross border tax avoidance schemes.

But this comment about free stuff is just over the top.  Who's getting the free stuff here?  Follow me over the squiggle

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The right wing is distracting everyone from Mitt's taxes by complaining that poor people pay no federal income taxes.  LINK

One recent diarist made comparisons of Mitt's tax rate to his/her own rates.  LINK

The outcome:  Mitt's tax rate is a little less than that of the diarist,  after considering payroll taxes.  

Well, that's one way to analyze the tax rates.  Compare your actual rate to Mitt's actual rate.  But that's apples and oranges because Mitt makes so much more money than most.

There's another way to look at this question.  It leads to a very different result.  We'll put you in Mitt's bracket and calculate the tax outcome.  Follow me over the apples and oranges squiggle.

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Recent articles about Mitt's tax return disclosure make it clear that their is some posturing going on with respect to:

     1.  what they will release,  and

     2.  when.

So what do we know about Mitt's tax returns?  Not much, there's only one out there.

2010 - Released  It indicated a 13.9% rate on about $23 million of income, most of which was income from carried interests taxed at preferential capital gains rates.  Nice for him.

2011 - Not yet  He filed for an extension for 2011, not unusual for someone having a complicated financial position.

Romney has stated he will release that return . . . sometime later.

All prior years?  Fuggedaboutit.    

Two years simply does not pass the giggle test.  Romney and his advisors know full well that he cannot possibly get away with releasing only two years of tax returns.  Most if not all past presidential candidates have released many more years.

Yet they are absolutely stonewalling.  Romney has recently falsely accused John Kerry of only releasing two years of income tax data.  The number of years in that lie was no accident. They are approaching this like a negotiation.  They're opening offer is two years.  I am guessing their goal is to settle for a total of five or six.  But no more.

Why?  Follow me over the fold.

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Sat Aug 13, 2011 at 08:26 AM PDT

A note on Corporate "Personhood"

by windje

Its a little like "truthiness" when applied to a corporation.  To wit

Corporations are people, my friend

Speaking to an occasionally rowdy crowd two days before the Ames Straw poll, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made what seems likely to become a much-discussed flub, declaring to a group of Iowans that "corporations are people."

Speaking at the Des Moines Register soapbox, Romney was also interrupted by a heckler who asked if if he supported "scrapping the Social Security payroll cap so that rich people pay their fair share into the trust fund?"

Romney responded, "There was a time in this country where we didn't celebrate attacking people based on their success. We didn't go after people because they were successful. I've watched this president go across the country attacking people, and I... and I am... if you want to speak, you can speak. But right now it's my turn, so let me continue."

The presidential contender went on to underscore his bottom line. "If you don't like my answer, you can vote for someone else," he said.  (Caribou Barbie  chimed in the next day to add her informed opinion on Romney's position.)

Well Mitt, you're no friend of mine.  If corporations are people . . .

Can a corporation sign its own name?

Can a corporation smile?  

Can a corporation cry?

Can a corporation taste?

Can a corporation smell?

Can a corporation touch?

Can a corporation see?  

Can a corporation get a high school diploma?

Can a corporation go to a movie?

Can a corporation be a US citizen?

Can a corporation obtain a passport?

Can a corporation be drafted into the armed forces?

Can a corporation obtain a driver's license?

Can a corporation register as a member of a political party?

Can a corporation register to vote and cast a ballot?

Does a corporation have DNA?

Can a corporation be incarcerated?

Does a corporation have gender?  

What gender is a corporation?  M,F,G,L,B,T?

Can a corporation contract and/or be immunized against diseases, e.g. polio?

Can a corporation obtain an abortion?

What size suit or dress does a corp wear?

Can a physician write a prescription for a corp?

Can a pharmacist fill a prescription for a corp?

Can a corp collect social security?

Can a corp qualify for Medicare/Medicaid?

Can you think of any more? - put em in the comments


The tea party is in favor of voting down an increase to the debt ceiling, which would place the US in technical default on its debt obligations.  The right wing is licking its chops, waiting to chop all those social programs for all those nasty liberals.  And Dick Armey is opposed to that?  

Actually, the folks that would probably be hurt the most are the banksters.  Why?  After the fold.

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and the third time is enemy action.  

So writes Ian Fleming in Goldfinger.  

From ABC News - OSHA statistics show BP ran up 760 "egregious, willful" safety violations, while Sunoco and Conoco-Phillips each had eight, Citgo had two and Exxon had one comparable citation.


So Mr. Hayward and the rest of BP management - what should we call 760 egregious willful safety violations, as compared with Exxon Mobil which had just one?

I wonder what Ian Fleming would consider 760 instances.  Certainly something beyond enemy action.

More after the fold

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Mon May 24, 2010 at 08:27 AM PDT

The One Percent Doctrine

by windje

Dick Cheney's operating philosophy was to consider an event with a one percent probability of occurring as certainty when evaluating the policy/response of the administration.  

The one place we need that kind of thinking is when we drill for oil, especially underwater.

Wonder why this happened? I did.

The more I read the more I realize this was no accident.  

More below the fold.

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So closes the appendix authored by Richard Feynman in the report of the commission on the Challenger disaster, and like BP, NASA was criticized for its lack of openness with the press.

The Challenger accident (and subsequent commission) parallel the current BP disaster in many ways, not the least of which is the failure of the rubber seal in the blowout protector.

The Challenger accident has frequently been used as a case study in the study of subjects such as engineering safety, the ethics of whistle-blowing, communications, group decision-making, and the dangers of groupthink.

Ronald Reagan appointed Richard Feynman to the Challenger Commission. His televised experiment dunking a section of O-Ring into ice water led to the truth of what caused that accident.  Less well known is his criticism of the engineering process at NASA.

President Obama - Who on the BP Commission will be your Richard Feynman?

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