Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for December 5th, 2007

“Blessed are the warmakers, for they shall be called powerful among men.” –some other Jesus

Posted by Charles II on December 5, 2007

Libby Spencer over at Cernig’s Newshoggers has a piece worthy of your attention about the reaction to a young person’s peace group.

 PS: Of course this is Florida. Where else?

Posted in evil, Florida (where magical things happen), Good Things, GOP bullying | 2 Comments »

Dance to the music!

Posted by Charles II on December 5, 2007

Via Barry Ritholtz:

Posted in economy, Just for fun | 2 Comments »

Voices For Budget And Tax Sanity

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 5, 2007


Marlowe Hamerston points out the need for property tax reform, particularly in Minnesota:

According to the 2007 Department of Revenue Tax Incidence Study, the bottom 10 percent of income earners ($32,471 and under) pay, on average, 2.73 percent of their incomes in property taxes to support local government and schools — relatively speaking, six times the share paid by the top 10 percent of income earners ($700,501 and over), who support these services with only 0.41 percent of their incomes.

A 2007 survey by the Minnesota Senior Federation found that some seniors pay 20 percent or more of their incomes in property taxes even after participating in all of the state rebate programs available to them. At the same time, the top 1 percent of income earners paid, on average, 0.04 percent of their incomes to support local government. Such senior citizens are paying a share 500 times greater to support local government than Minnesota’s most-affluent citizens are.

Dave Bishop, former Republican state representative for Rochester (which historically has been among the most Republican areas of the state), shows us who’s been standing in the way of making the top one-percenters pay a realistic share of the tax burden:

In his Nov. 21 attack on Lori Sturdevant’s Nov. 11 column, Michael Wigley has done our state a service. For years he has served as Captain Nemo on his subsurface Nautilus — actually using the misleading pseudonym “Taxpayers League.” As such he has led the viral attack on rational state tax policy — even going to the extent of a 2002 power play at the state Republican convention that led to the famous “No tax increase” pledge by the gubernatorial candidate in return for a shift of support by Wigley’s colleague, Brian Sullivan.What has been the true tax policy of this small group of heavy hitters who call themselves True Conservatives instead of Republicans? To starve government services. To eliminate the effect of inflation on all funding for schools, for local government aid, and for roads and bridges. Their legislative lackeys have supported using inflation to pump up state tax income in budgets while at the same time refusing to use the same inflation standard for budgeting adjustments to state spending.

What have the Taxpayers League lobbyists told legislators to justify this schizophrenic tax policy? They have called it simply “bad tax policy” to budget for inflation in spending. Also they have marshaled the Republican members of the House of Representatives to oppose the indexing of the gas tax for inflation.Does anyone in Minnesota not see what inflation has done to our gas tax? In 1988 (19 years ago) we raised it to 20 cents. As a Republican House member, I voted for it. Wisconsin also raised its gas tax that year to 20 cents, but added indexing to keep the purchasing power the same after adjusting for inflation. In 19 years, Wisconsin has had to add over 12 cents to its gas tax to keep up with inflation. Minnesota’s gas tax of 20 cents is really now worth less than 8 cents.


And what has been the real result of this illogical and extreme tax policy? Galloping property taxes, excess levy referendums for school costs that can’t keep up with inflation. Also deteriorating roads, declining support for higher education — in fact, a total of declining quality of our life in Minnesota.

It’s amazing, what the current crop of Republicans have done. They starve government, both state and national, of revenue with tax cuts whose main benefits go to the one-percenters who don’t need them, then when the starved infrastructure starts failing, they work to set seniors against minorities and children so they don’t see who’s really screwing them.

Posted in 'starving the beast', (Rich) Taxpayers League, infrastructure, Minnesota, speaking truth to power, taxes, Tim Pawlenty | 3 Comments »

A Victory for the Rule of Law

Posted by MEC on December 5, 2007

Part of George W. Bush’s executive order that effectively nullified the Presidential Records Act has been invalidated by a judicial ruling.

This week, the Bush administration decided not to appeal a federal district court judge’s decision that invalidated a crucial section of Executive Order (EO) 13233, which broadened the rights of presidents and former-presidents to withhold federal records from the public for indefinite periods of time.

On October 1, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly gave historians and researchers a partial, but significant victory in a lawsuit questioning the legality of the Executive Order. The judge struck down the section of the EO that allows a former president to indefinitely delay the release of their records.

…She declined to rule on the legality of the sections of the Executive Order allowing heirs and designees of former presidents, and former vice presidents, the authority to control the release of documents, calling them “unripe” since no records have yet been withheld pursuant to those provisions. However, the judge left open the right for the plaintiffs to challenge these provisions in the future if the release of records were denied as a result of them.

The House has passed, by a veto-proof margin, a bill to overturn the entire executive order. In the Senate, however, Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona is blocking a similar bill.

Arizonans, do you have a good candidate to run against Senator Kyl? Somebody who believes that we are government is based on law, not on personal power?

Posted in dope slaps for Dubya | 3 Comments »

John Aravosis Says It So I Don’t Have To

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 5, 2007

The most evil Republican candidate for President is not Ron Paul or Rudy Giuliani, believe it or not. 

The most evil Republican candidate for President, cloven hoofs down, would be everybody’s favorite hypocritical Baptist minister, Mike Huckabee.

John Aravosis details the mainstream national press’ belated discovery of Huckabee’s most despicable act.  Go and read.

Posted in abuse of power, Bill Clinton, Clenis, corruption, Democrat-bashing, eedjits, evil, Fundies, GOP bullying, GOP/Media Complex, government malfeasance, half-vast rightwing conspiracy, hypocrites, liars, media, Media machine, mediawhores, Mike Huckabee, mythmaking, Professional Christians, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples, Silly Republicans, The smear industry | 1 Comment »

Wednesday Morning Heroine Blogging

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 5, 2007


Naomi Klein, author of “The Shock Doctrine.” (Photo by Andrew Stern)

Naomi Klein of Shock Doctrine fame is going to be on the Minnesota Public Radio program “Mid-Morning” today at 10:06 am Central Time.

Thanks to Melody Maker for the tip!

Posted in big money, economy, education, gravy train, greed, half-vast rightwing conspiracy, heroines, infrastructure, international, neocons, neoliberals, privatization | Comments Off on Wednesday Morning Heroine Blogging

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