News & Notes April 15, 2011

Today is the traditional tax day, extended to Monday the 18th for some reason.  GE and ExxonMobil will pay no taxes on the multiple billions they earned last year.  Hedge fund managers will pay a lower tax rate than you on the multiple billions they earned.  It isn’t right to talk about class warfare however, that may sound partisan according to CNN.

Mark Critz voted to defund Planned Parenthood yesterday.  Remember that the next time the DCCC calls you asking for money.  They funded his election campaign last year.  Next year he’ll likely have to face off against Blue Dog Jason Altmire to remain in Congress.

Donald Trump doesn’t know how many Representatives serve in the House, says it doesn’t matter because he wouldn’t need to know it to govern.  How would he know how many votes he needs then?  Even a sixth grader could figure out that dilemma.

Jesse Jackson who was the keynote speaker at this year’s Pennsylvania Progressive Summit is being accused of homophobia by a former employee.

Buyers remorse has hit Pennsylvania voters.  Only 34% of people approve of the job Tom Corbett after only 3 months in office.  44% disapprove.  He hasn’t done anything he didn’t say or show during the campaign so I’m a bit puzzled by this poll.  Who or what did they think they were voting for last November?  Voters need to pay more attention.  The rest of the blame must go to Democrats who chose a poor candidate who ran a poor campaign.

Republicans have yet to introduce or pass one jobs bill in either Washington or Harrisburg.  Instead they are cutting them.

I wrote a piece earlier this week about earned sick time in Philadelphia.  There’s an OpEd in the Daily News about it.

As you prepare to file your tax returns take note of the amount you remitted all year in federal taxes.  Now subtract 100% of the amount and you’ll have the total GE and ExxonMobil paid.

Gas prices have been killing me lately combined with food costs.  Being on a fixed income isn’t easy when gas is $1/gallon higher than a year ago.  It’s cramping my ability to cover events.  I don’t blame Obama as others are however. I blame all the Presidents and Congresses who have done nothing to wean us off oil and expand clean, renewable energy sources.

Republicans have yet to present a single job creation bill in either Harrisburg or Washington.

Sen. Jon Kyl is now backing away from the statement his office released after he said over 90% of what Planned Parenthood does is abortions.  Now he claims that the widely ridiculed explanation “that wasn’t intended to be a factual statement” wasn’t from him but his press spokesperson.  Unfortunately for Kyl this isn’t intended to be a factual statement.  Did you know Jon Kyl has sex with illegal aliens in Area 51?  BTW, that isn’t intended to be a factual statement.

The Birther Republicans running for President are now all fatally flawed national candidates.  None can be taken seriously after embracing this lunacy.  Voters will not elect someone who lives in a fantasy land.

Arizona passed a Birther bill yesterday in which one method of proving your eligibility is to provide proof of circumcision if a male candidate.  Unfortunately for Jon Kyl this means he cannot run for president in his home state because he’s a eunuch.  That isn’t intended to be a factual statement.

Finally, just in case you forgot, GE paid no federal taxes this year.  Happy Tax Day.

Afternoon Update

Its been a busy week with lots happening.  I had two White House calls yesterday about Obama’s fiscal irresponsibility and another today with Mayor Nutter.  I hung up after listening to Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx state that “we can’t spend our way out of this recession.”  Obviously he isn’t an economist.  The White House is using morons like these to support their misguided policy?  No wonder we’re in a mess and sinking deeper.

Sen. Casey announced he has $2.1 million cash on hand after raising $1.1 million the first quarter.  He’s had full time fund raisers working since last fall raising money for 2012.  No wonder the GOP is looking at potted plants for a challenger.

Our own fringe whack job Rep. Daryl Metcalfe introduced a Birther Bill yesterday.  It would require any candidate for president or VP to provide proof of their birth in the U.S.  I say we amend it to say anyone running for the state legislature prove their sanity.  That may be the best method for ridding ourselves of Mr. Metcalfe.

For some reason the major media have been ignoring the biggest story in the country which is the huge wealth gap dividing the 1% top tier from the rest of us.  Meanwhile even networks like NPR are perpetuating myths being spread by lying conservatives.  I was listening to a show this morning (about 8:45 AM) when Congressman Camp repeated the lie that 50% of all the top 2% are small business owners.  His pants should be on fire because it is patently false.  The NPR person failed to call him out on the lie.  Maybe we should defund them since they’re failing to provide real news any longer.

The differences between the top 1% and the rest of the country is a recipe for revolution and no one is talking about this issue.   Nothing else should even be on the agenda until it is addressed and reformed.  The only place you’ll hear about it is on blogs and places like AlterNet and Truthout.  Here’s a piece about how a hedge fund manager can earn more in an hour as middle class households in 47 years.  This is the stuff we should be discussing on TV.

Here’s a snippet from the article:

Just take a look at the latest reports on what the top hedge fund managers haul in. In 2010 John Paulson led the list with a record $4.9 billion in personal earnings. That’s a whopping $2.4 million an HOUR. Here’s a factoid to make you wretch: It would take the median US household over 47 years to earn as much as Paulson pocketed in just 60 minutes. And, every hedge fund manager pays a lower tax rate than the average family.

Rick Santorum’s campaign slogan was borrowed from a poem by Langston Hughes.  The African-American union, civil rights and gay rights supporter coined the term “let America be America again.”  Oops.  I guess Santorum doesn’t use the Google.  Of course considering the results it brings on his own name we cannot blame the guy.

The Yes Men and US Uncut combined to sting GE over its failure to pay any federal taxes.  In fact the huge corporation has earned $27 billion the last five years and paid $0.  The group issued a fake press release saying GE would “do the right thing” and voluntarily pay.  Of course they’ll do no such thing.

Fukushima Update

There is continuing news coming from Japan regarding the situation at the nuclear power plant damaged by the massive earthquake and tsunami.  Plutonium has now been found outside the reactor in the soil.  Reports of radiation 10 million times normal were erroneous and caused by translation problems.  It is merely 100,000 times normal.  17 workers at the plant have been identified as having been exposed to radiation and it does appear that one reactor core has been breached.  The radiation in sea water near the plant is disturbingly serious.  

Radiation in rain falling here in Pennsylvania has been detected but is infinitesimal, no danger exists.  It does show how these accidents can spread around the globe through weather patterns however so power plants anywhere have the potential to effect everyone.

This accident is causing people to rethink nuclear power.  President Obama embraced nuclear as an option to wean us off fossil fuels and now he’s a harsh political position going into 2012.  Should he continue this position it could hurt him with his base, what’s left of it at least.  Interest in renewable energy sources is gathering momentum and that’s good.  The potential for converting geothermal, solar, wind, waves and other possibilities is endless but it may never match what we currently consume in gas, coal and oil.  However when we increase renewables and increase conservation we can drastically reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and possibly save the planet in the process.  This isn’t a matter of how we do it, we HAVE to do it.