Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for November 12th, 2010

School of hard knocks

Posted by Charles II on November 12, 2010

The people who so carelessly and glibly accuse those who are critical of some of the actions of the state of Israel of being anti-Semitic are being offered a free lesson by the school of hard knocks.

You see, even though real anti-Semitism is not as prevalent as it was two generations ago, it still exists, still needs to be treated as something evil and shocking, still needs allies who may not be Likudniks but are committed to fighting real anti-Semitism, because it really could blossom once again into the horror that it once was.

And anti-Semitism is being injected into the bloodstream of this nation’s politics by very, very powerful people. This week, Glenn Beck accused George Soros of being a Nazi collaborator who sent other Jews to the gas chambers. Is Simon Maloy of Media Matters really this naive:

After seeing Glenn Beck’s ugly series of attacks on George Soros this week, one question keeps bouncing around my head: What are we to think?

Back in June, after Beck used his radio program to promote Elizabeth Dilling’s anti-communist, and wildly anti-Semitic, harangue The Red Network, I wrote that Beck’s promotion of the book didn’t mean that he was an anti-Semite, just that he’s lazy and irresponsible. A serious person, I argued, would have read the whole book before promoting it and done a little research into the author. Beck, it seemed, had not done that, and as a consequence he exposed his listeners to the contemptible ideology of one of the most prominent American Nazis — something for which he should have apologized, but refused to do so.

But then it happened again. And again. And in the back of your mind you start wondering what the hell is going on here, because things like this just don’t happen in America. This isn’t a country where people go on TV and national radio and talk up bigots who blame Jews for collapsing economies or fomenting communism in the United States. You continue to give the benefit of the doubt, because if you don’t, what does that say about America?…

I’m still giving him the benefit of the doubt, and I still don’t think Beck is, at heart, an anti-Semite.

Michelle Goldberg documented Beck’s harangue here.

Glenn Beck isn’t particularly powerful.

But he works for someone who is.

Why are Maloy and Goldberg so slow to understand that whether Glenn Beck is or is not an anti-Semite hardly matters? Beck would be ranting on a street corner were it not for the ill-gotten wealth and power of his puppet master.

Posted in anti-Semitism, anti-truth, evil, Rupert Murdoch | 8 Comments »

Eric Magnuson Jumps Into The Slime Pool

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 12, 2010

Remember how I was talking about the slimy move that Tony the Toddler Sutton and the Minnesota Republican Party had planned for today?

Well, here it is: file thousands of data requests in St. Louis and Pine counties, then sue when the already-insanely-busy clerks can’t process your insanely-huge fishing expedition of a request scam right away.

The saddest part: Eric Magnuson, who everyone had hoped would hold himself to the same high standards he followed when he was a judge, has allowed himself to be named the attorney of record for this abomination. With one brutal stroke, he’s besmirched himself almost beyond repair. No amount of money can be worth this loss of reputation.

It would almost be worth it, though, if the fishing expedition managed to invalidate Chip Cravaack’s slim 4,200-vote lead. I suspect that shenanigans went on in the Eighth District, especially when MCCL, which had endorsed Oberstar for years, suddenly switched to Cravaack using the bogus pretext that the new health-care reform bill was pro-choice when in fact it was a big fat giveaway to the anti-choice movement.

Posted in 2010 | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

The Republicans phony love affair with “small business”

Posted by Charles II on November 12, 2010

If you don’t feel like reading it, basically the Republicans are willing to bankrupt the country to line the pockets of a very few lobbying firms, hedge funds, etc. which, because their partners pay income tax on their personal return are lumped in with genuine small businesses. What hypocrites.


Of the business owners who would pay higher taxes under Obama’s plan, those with the highest incomes cannot be called “small” business owners.

Republicans in Congress echo NFIB’s talking points by arguing that the very wealthiest business taxpayers are the ones who truly matter in the debate over taxes. Former CBO director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, while testifying before the Senate Finance Committee, said that he thought the relevant figure was the amount of business income going to those few taxpayers rich enough to pay higher income taxes under the President’s plan. The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) projects that next year taxpayers will report a trillion dollars of active business income, and about half of that will go to taxpayers who are in the top two brackets (the brackets for which President Obama and Democratic leaders propose to
allow rates to go back up to pre-Bush levels).

But the business taxpayers who are rich enough to pay higher taxes under Obama’s plan (3 or 5 percent, depending on which figure you use) can’t all be called “small” business owners. They are merely people whose business profits are reported on their personal income tax forms. (This distinguishes these businesses from corporations that pay the corporate income tax.) But the businesses can be huge hedge funds, law firms, newspaper companies or even best-selling authors. They’re not necessarily struggling and they are not necessarily the sort of business people who create very many jobs.

This becomes obvious when one considers data on total receipts of these “flow-through” businesses (so-called because the income is not taxed at the corporate level but at the individual level under the personal income tax), including S corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies. Most of the total receipts from these businesses are generated by the small minority that have more than $10 million in receipts. This is not to say that large companies are not an important consideration for policymakers. But it’s important to note
those business owners who actually would pay higher taxes under the President’s proposal are not likely to be of the “mom and pop shop” variety.

In 2007 over 14,600 S corporations reported gross receipts in excess of $50 million, and their 81,700 shareholders would report income from the S corporations on their individual returns. Surely, no one would reasonably think of these taxpayers as “small” business owners. For the same year, in the technical and professional category, 567 S corporation returns showed more than $50 million in gross receipts, with the average gross receipts in that group being $135 million. Six of the top ten lobbying firms are organized as partnerships (and three of the other four are private corporations that may be S corporations for tax purposes), as are most law, accounting, and engineering practices. Hedge fund and private equity firms are, too. This income is reported on the returns on individual taxpayers, but no serious person would call them “small”
business owners.

Posted in hypocrites, Republicans acting badly, taxes | 1 Comment »

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on November 12, 2010

Alexander sleeps very cute

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

How Boehner Bought Off Bachmann’s Buddies

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 12, 2010

The man who forced the Air Force to buy more F-35 engines than it can possibly use has once again demonstrated how to use his control of the perks barrel to his political advantage.

See, all that lovely lip service they paid to Teabagger Queen Michele Bachmann and her loyal subjects during the election went away once the ballots were cast. A key factor shortening the post-election honeymoon to being measureable in nanoseconds was the fact that the Tea Party wing of the GOP is something akin to electoral leprosy, but really, John Boehner and the GOP Old Boys’ Network wouldn’t have given Bachmann and her cohort anything even if they’d won all their races.

How did they stop her? By buying off those few freshmen Tea Partiers that actually won their races, that’s how:

Cantor immediately endorsed Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling as the appropriate conservative choice over Bachmann in the leadership race. More quietly, Boehner’s office did not look with “disfavor,” as one aide put it, on Hensarling’s candidacy — despite tensions between Boehner and Cantor over the years. Their tacit approval of Hensarling, rated as one of the House’s most conservative lawmakers, was seen as a nod toward the more conservative faction of the party.

To make it clear that Hensarling was also a favorite of tea partiers, his staff blasted out endorsement after endorsement from movement favorites such as Reps. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Mike Pence of Indiana and Ron Paul of Texas. Blogger Erick Erickson of RedState threw his heft behind Hensarling, as did tea party hero and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey. On Tuesday afternoon, Hensarling’s staff alerted reporters to a story that showed that Hensarling had won “support from tea party Republicans.”


Once they gained the majority, Boehner and his lieutenants started deploying traditional Washington sweeteners.

Cantor continues to push for reform-minded conservatives on committees such as Appropriations, Energy and Commerce, and Rules — known colloquially as “exclusive committees.” Reps. Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Jeff Flake of Ariz. are the leading conservatives who have shown interest in seats on the spending panel. And in a sign of the shifting dynamics of conservative politics, Boehner and Cantor are signaling that they are unafraid to cross longtime Reps. Jerry Lewis of California and Joe Barton of Texas as they seek to circumvent term limit rules to regain chairmanships.

What does it tell you when Cantor, Boehner and Hensarling — three men who can barely stand the sight of one another — quickly close ranks to make sure Michele Bachmann doesn’t get anywhere near the levers of power in the House GOP caucus?

It tells me that they fear what would happen if she was so much as given a minor committee gavel, much less a leadership post. “Siddown and shaddup, Shelly!” is their message to her.

Posted in 2010 | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Tony The Toddler Breaks Out Of His Pen

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 12, 2010

Well, well, well. It looks as if Tony Sutton, who we last saw talking trash about Minnesota Supreme Court judges such as former Chief Justice Eric Magnuson, and who went oddly silent once Magnuson was hired for the recount by Tom Emmer’s legal team, has managed to get away from his handlers again and is babbling something about planned legal action to end the week:

“We are exploring filing some papers tomorrow and we will talk more about the specifics tomorrow,” Party chairman Tony Sutton said Thursday night.

Ooooh, he’s “exploring filing some papers”! Quick, get the smelling salts!

The scuttlebutt is that the alleged legal filing Sutton threatens may exist only as a way for him to control the news cycle heading into the weekend — there’s nothing going on as yet to rate any sort of filing, much less one that justifies having all of the Minnesota media camped breathlessly outside the Toddler’s playpen office waiting for him to throw them some scraps. My legal contacts are scratching their heads over this — and wondering how long somebody as stand-up as Eric Magnuson will tolerate being associated with what looks to be silly grandstanding and frivolity.

My own guess is that this is, along with an attempt to dominate the news cycle, an effort to distract the local media from other, more pressing issues and actions. I’m wondering what sort of hanky-panky is going on that this trick of the Toddler’s is meant to distract us from noticing?

Posted in 2010 | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

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