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I think Kennedy misssed the point
According to at least one source, Kennedy may be leaning toward upholding ACA. Certainly that's good news, but I really dislike his reason. From The Hil Kennedy warned that a decision siding with ...
marking time 03/04/2015 14 5 - -
looking forward to 2016
2016 scares me today. Yesterday's election seems to demonstrate that all the worst republican strategies work just fine - so we'll see them again in spades for the next 2 years. Destroy a state ...
marking time 11/05/2014 5 2 - -
What an uninspiring ballot
So I voted today - not sure why. Choices for Governor were Cuomo or Astorino. There were 3 offices with no Democratic candidate. I really didn't want to complete & mail the ballot.
marking time 10/29/2014 6 - - -
so now "both sides do it" again
According to, Priebus: Billionaire climate activist trying to suppress GOP votes What he really meant was Priebus points to a September memo that Steyer's group, NextGen Climate, sent ...
marking time 10/14/2014 5 7 - -
More GOP policies that kill people
There was a diary yesterday about how GOP policies kill. That was echoed in a Bloomberg article today: Death Roils Texas as State Leads U.S. in Road Fatalities Some highlights: While speeding and ...
marking time 10/14/2014 11 2 - -
Ferguson Prosecutor Says No Charge Decision Until October
It's going to be a long, long summer. From Bloomberg The Clayton, Missouri grand jury was empaneled in May, said Edward Magee, spokesman for prosecutor Bob McCulloch. He said that the process of ...
marking time 08/20/2014 26 13 - -
Small bit of good court news
Vacancies on the federal bench are down from 94 before the filibuster was reformed to 61 current vacancies. 58 federal judges have been confirmed in the past 8 months. source It doesn't fix SCOTUS,
marking time 07/02/2014 2 13 1 -
another sign the recession hasn't ended
Early Tap of 401(k) Replaces Homes as American Piggy Bank According to Bloomberg, early withdrawals from 401(K) accounts is at a record high. The Internal Revenue Service collected $5.7 billion ...
marking time 05/06/2014 9 4 - -
The GOP prepares to own the Senate
According to The Hill , The GOP has their plans in place for how to make use of their new Senate majority after the mid-terms - and it's ugly: Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) has ...
marking time 04/03/2014 21 24 - -
A Biblical theory of LGBT tolerance
Our church had a presentation on same sex marriage a few weeks ago - I was pleasantly surprised that the general tone was in favor of same sex marriage, not opposed as I expected it to be. During ...
marking time 04/02/2014 13 16 - -
Judicial Vacancies
Lest we forget - the efforts to fill the federal bench didn't end when the filibuster ended. According to there are currently 96 vacancies with 59 nominees pending. President Obama - ...
marking time 02/24/2014 6 2 - -
GOP Immigration policy explained
Yesterday in church, one of the readings was from Exodus: Exodus 1:8-14 New International Version (NIV) 8 Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt. 9 “Look,” he said ...
marking time 02/03/2014 1 1 - -
Senate filibuster is not just a few high profile names
150 nominations awaiting committee action This document identifies civilian nominations submitted by the President to the Senate for confirmation during the current congress and that are currently ...
marking time 11/12/2013 5 10 - -
Sobering thoughts from Salem, MA
During a vacation last week I spent a day in Salem, MA. It's a very interesting place, especially as Halloween approaches. Two exhibits were especially thought-provoking - a dramatization of the ...
marking time 10/13/2013 14 3 - -
A unilateral Democratic solution?
What if the Democrats decide to unilaterally reopen the government and ignore the debt ceiling? Could the President simply issue an executive order that until Congress passes new legislation, ...
marking time 10/08/2013 9 1 - -
This is wrong in so many ways
So I guess I knew this was happening - the Bloomberg article I read today points out just how bad it is. We apparently have a law that mandates the imprisonment of 34,000 undocumented aliens every ...
marking time 09/28/2013 3 7 1 -
More unintended consequences of ACA
From Bloomberg this morning: The law now is giving businesses cover to loosen the decades-old link between jobs and health insurance The Bloomberg article treats this as a negative - and it may be ...
marking time 09/19/2013 24 7 - -
U.S. Banks Legal Bills Exceed $100 Billion
From Bloomberg The six biggest U.S. banks, led by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Bank of America Corp., have piled up $103 billion in legal costs since the financial crisis, more than all dividends ...
marking time 08/28/2013 9 5 - -
More executive pay fixes everything at Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) is turning up the pressure to keep its shelves adequately stocked by proposing to tie executive compensation to the issue -- and has asked an outside auditor to alert ...
marking time 05/24/2013 12 12 - -
Now the rich get smarter and
to poor get shafted. It seems college finanacial aid is being directed to the well off through "merit" awards instead of need based awards - Colleges Soak Poor U.S. Students While Funneling Aid to ...
marking time 05/08/2013 16 1 - -
CNN Gets It Wrong
The CNN headline this afternoon is Obama calls on House to pass tax hikes for wealthy In the news conference I heard, the President called on the House to pass a middle class tax cut. The Bush tax ...
marking time 11/09/2012 21 31 - -
if disaster relief had been privitized ...
This is not intended to make light of the devastation from Sandy in any way. I sincerely hope that all the people involved get all the assistance they need, as quickly as they need it. But if ...
marking time 10/30/2012 5 3 - -
"I know how to do that"
There's lots of debate coverage - but I'll throw in my bit too. The phrase that struck me was "I know how to do that" - with absolutely nothing to back it up. Not on taxes, not on immigration, not ...
marking time 10/17/2012 11 10 - -
/snark tags
Can we have /snark diaries marked in the title somehow? Maybe color coded? I like to come here for the news & discussion. Sometimes I have time for the /snark, but sometimes I don't - and would ...
marking time 10/08/2012 32 5 1 119
One More Romney money story
I know it's an old story - Romney pays little or no taxes, while "scrupulously observing" every requirement of the tax law. Here's a story from Bloomburg about his estate planning and the huge ...
marking time 09/27/2012 1 6 - 78
Obama talks about Ryan
Not much of a diary - but this morning, I heard Obama's remarks about Ryan. Two things struck me - First, the President was respectful and recognized Ryan's credentials. He was very clear that hye ...
marking time 08/13/2012 4 3 - 68
Condi Rice as VP candidate?
Because of the speculation about Romney's VP, I wanted to read more about Ms. Rice. The best line in Wikipedia: Early political views: Rice was a Democrat until 1982, when she changed her political ...
marking time 07/13/2012 17 3 - 120
Questions for Mitt Romney
I heard a lot on the news today about Obama's failure to pass something or other, even when he had a Democratic majority in both the House & Senate. One reason, of course, is the Senate procedural ...
marking time 05/08/2012 1 1 - 18
Road trips and the budget
I just came back from a 2 week vacation - we drove some 3500 miles to visit family and see some of the country we haven't been to before. Along the way I thought about the highway system. In my ...
marking time 04/28/2012 11 5 - 41
Unemployment May Be Down, But So Are Wages and Benefits
The recession may be over but we're not out of the woods yet, and the 99% are not seeing the benefits of the recovery. Some key quotes from the article: Unemployment May Be Down, But So Are Wages ...
marking time 04/02/2012 20 15 - 82
One of these statements is not like the other
As the audience roared with applause, the former Pennsylvania senator called on the country to build a foundation that will "defend the church, Rick Santorum Congress shall make no law respecting ...
marking time 02/20/2012 4 5 - 55
tax reform - lower rates & fewer deductions?
I have to admit it - I thought I was generally in favor of tax reform that would simplify the tax code, lower rates, reduce deductions and loopholes and still increase total tax revenue. Then I ...
marking time 02/17/2012 16 3 - 42
More abuse of for-profit health care market
By all means, let's let the for-profit health care market manage America's health care. We don't need regulations or a one payer system. Lois Armstrong and David Daucher closed their for-
marking time 02/03/2012 1 3 - 35
Romney, Gingrich, Obama & Buffett tax rates
IRS tax stats link So Romney paid (...
marking time 01/26/2012 4 11 - 84
Mormon tithes not deductible?
I saw on CNN this morning that Mormons who do not tithe are not "members in good standing" and cannot use the temple for things like baptisms and other sacraments. I don't know if this is true or ...
marking time 01/25/2012 40 6 - 313
Millionaires Back Buffett Tax - If They’re Exempt
From Bloomberg Millionaires support Warren Buffett’s view ...
marking time 01/17/2012 5 3 - 70
Americans Elect sounds sketchy
I don't know much about Americans Elect. There was an article in Time about them. On ...
marking time 12/21/2011 12 3 1 82
Job creators talk about the 99%
If successful businesspeople don’t go public to share their stories and talk about their troubles, “they deserve what they’re going to get,” said Marcus, 82, a founding member of ...
marking time 12/20/2011 7 1 - 54
Pelosi vs Gingrich
Nancy Pelosi claims to have relevant information about Newt Gingrich's ethics investigation from the 1990's. Mr. Gingrich's response was that any such information cannot be revealed. On CNN this ...
marking time 12/06/2011 9 5 - 93
No, the problem is not Grover Norquist.
CNN this morning is blaming Grover Norquist for the "failure" of the Supercommittee. I disagree. Mr. Norquist is doing exactly what he should be doing. He has an issue and is pushing it with ...
marking time 11/21/2011 2 4 - 65
USA Today puts it all together on one page
I picked up today's USA Today (October 26,2011). The three front page headlines provide a compelling view of the US economy: COMPANY DIRECTORS SEE PAY CATAPULT - Part time job ..
marking time 10/26/2011 16 12 - 177
"Texas Miracle" indeed!
Some prisons in Texas have stopped serving lunch to inmates in Texas to try to shave off $2.8 million in food expenses. "About 23,000 inmates in 36 prisons are eating two meals a day on ...
marking time 10/21/2011 7 3 - 54
If you like the president's proposals
Then you should tell him. I haven't hesitated to write to the President and my Senators / representatives when I don't like something. Now I think that the President is finally on the right side ...
marking time 09/20/2011 7 8 - 42
Slowest recovery since the depression? Not quite
Politifact has a good piece on how slow the recovery has been compared to other post-...
marking time 06/17/2011 13 8 - 79
A town hall call with Ann Buerkle
I just finished listening to a very frustrating town hall telephone forum with Ann Buerkle. I tried to ask a question but my call didn't get answered. She talked about Medicare - "the current plan ...
marking time 06/03/2011 3 2 - 37
Government subsidies - Oil or HSR?
I saw this headline in the news today: "GOP pushes private rail investment" Of course, the assumptions behind this policy are 1) that private development is more efficient than government funded ...
marking time 05/24/2011 3 2 - 29
More BS from the Speaker
There was a nice article on CNN today about the production of the M1A2 Abrams tank. Apparantly, the Army ...
marking time 04/29/2011 3 7 - 76
Where is the budget problem?
I put a few trend charts together today from the OMB budget history data . My conclusions: The magnitude of the deficit is a recent, ...
marking time 04/28/2011 16 3 - 69
Another open letter to the President for 2012
It will go in the mail tomorrow - to the President, my Senators & Representative, and the majority & minority leaders in both the House & the Senate.
marking time 04/10/2011 4 5 - 61
What happens to premiums when we privatize Medicare
Republicans want to privatize Medicare. Sure, they'll give out vouchers to help with the cost, but their basic approach to medical insurance is for everyone to buy it in the "free market". So what ...
marking time 04/05/2011 1 2 - 32
My response to the DNC 2012 Poll
I got a copy of the DNC 2012 Election poll in the mail yesterday. I filled out the poll, even though it seemed like it was really a fund raising letter disguised as a poll. I turned down their ...
marking time 04/05/2011 3 5 - 45
Why would we even discuss $4T in budget cuts?
President Obama Senator Reid Senator Schumer Senator Gillibrand Representative Pelosi I know you are on the verge of finally completing the 2011 budget and it would be nice to have some time ...
marking time 04/04/2011 24 8 - 92
I'm not very impressed with the compromise
(And I doubt if anyone else here is either). If I have my numbers right, the various positions on the budget compared to 2010 spending were: Tea Party -100 House bill -...
marking time 03/31/2011 18 3 - 109
Can the President reinvigorate the population
Mr. President, I saw this on the news today: Obama acknowledged the challenge last week in Boston. "Somebody asked me, how do we reinvigorate the population, the voter, after two very ...
marking time 03/15/2011 12 1 - 30
Jack London "The Law of Life"
I saw this headline today: States kick grandma to the curb NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- For the elderly, state budget cuts could mean no more daily hot meals and exercise ...
marking time 03/14/2011 2 2 - 26
A question more than a diary
Does anyone have a good, unbiased analysis of public pay, pensions and benefits? Don't get me wrong - I am absolutely not in favor of the actions in WI, OH and elsewhere to kill unions and ...
marking time 02/18/2011 9 - - 38
We need a good budget compromise
Mr. President, Although I don't agree with everything proposed in your 2012 budget, I think you made a reasonable approach to a budget that balances many different priorities - deficit control, ...
marking time 02/15/2011 1 - - 9
One more letter to my Senators on the filibuster
I doubt that it helps much, but I am still writing to my Senators (with copies to Senators Reid and McConnell) and asking for Senate rules reform:
marking time 01/19/2011 11 2 - 40
Gift taxes - I missed this item.
Another part of the Obama-McConnell tax bill: The law's $5 million per person gift tax exemption, raised from $1 million, gives high-net-worth people an unprecedented opportunity to ...
marking time 01/10/2011 7 - - 30
Cooperation, Compromise and Bipartisanship
How then shall the government function for the next two years, with power and responsibility divided between a Republican House, a Democratic Senate and a Democratic White House? Obviously, with ...
marking time 01/05/2011 7 - - 57
Another appeal for the President
to stand up to the Boehner House when the debt ceiling debate begins. I sent this to the President and my congressmen today.
marking time 01/02/2011 8 2 - 65
More on the House rules
I saw a few more items in the proposed House rules that I thought are interesting:
marking time 12/28/2010 3 - - 44
The final version is available at
I spent most of today looking for data on taxes. I think it is clear that taxes are too low and we need a tax increase much more than we need spending reductions. I drafted the letter below for ...
marking time 12/20/2010 15 10 1 113
Was the funding bill supposed to be part of the deal?
The tax cut bill passed - and Senate Republicans immediately went back on their commitment to pass the funding bill. It didn't even take 24 hours. How can we pass a $1T spending bill (Obama ...
marking time 12/17/2010 8 4 - 43
I just listened to Barton's speech on taxes
NPR just reported their summary of the tax bill debate. They played a sound bite from Rep. Barton that it is a bad deal for Republicans because "the tax cuts should be permanent and the spending ...
marking time 12/16/2010 7 2 - 52
Van Hollen on NPR
I listened to Representative Van Hollen on NPR this morning. I don't know anything about him, but it sounds like he is one of the Representatives leading the House opposition to the tax cuts. ...
marking time 12/14/2010 13 - - 38
One more plea to kill the tax compromise
From the weekend news, it sounds like the Senate will pass the Obama-McConnell tax plan. For the umpteenth time, I contacted my Senators and representative to ask them not to. Seems like a waste ...
marking time 12/13/2010 15 13 - 55
Kill the filibuster, even if it hurts.
The first order of business in the new Congress has to be filibuster reform. We cannot have a government where the will of the majority is constantly and methodically thwarted by the minority.
marking time 12/10/2010 13 7 1 44
Letter to my Congressmen
I've written to my Senators and Representative every day this week asking them to vote no o this tax compromise. Today's letter:
marking time 12/09/2010 1 - - 29
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