We have had a warm snap and a drought, though our drought doesn’t match what is going on with some other areas of the country.
In our case, one month with rainfall at 50 percent above normal followed by a few months of normal rainfall would enable us to catch up.
And, well, thanks to being taken to the play “Hairspray”, I slept for too long (until 6:30!) that got me going on my run a bit late and I gave up 7 miles into it (77 minutes; 42:30 for the first 4) and walked the last mile in.
It was up to 87 when I finished with humidity in the 63 percent range. I was just drenched with sweat; there wasn’t a part of clothing that wasn’t soaking wet. Ironically the hilly sections (two 3 mile out and back sections) weren’t the worst of it since there was shade. In fact if I had to do the workout over again, I would have taken a shortcut to the hilly sections and then did ALL of my running there; the shade made it easier.
Scroll down to this Mediate video of Jon Stewart. Summary: Mitt Romney’s wealth enabled him to get high powered financial assistance that enabled him to avoid much of the tax that the rest of us had to pay. Note also that he used the “hey, my money was in a blind trust” explanation…only to say that the “blind trust” is a “ruse”. Yes…this is Mitt Romney in both instances.
That leads to the problem: our system is rigged so that the wealthy can pay lower effective rates than the rest of us and Mitt Romney is part of that class. You might read how Mitt Romney managed to get 100 million into an IRA.
Yes, the same tax dodges are available for all to use, but it makes sense for a wealthy person to pay tax people thousands of dollars to find every deduction but it wouldn’t make sense for most of us to do so. With wealth comes resources to pay less.
Of course, the counterclaim will be that the wealthy will take their ball and go home if they are taxed at a higher rate than they are now; there is evidence that they shop around for the states with the lowest rates and that some will leave the country for lower tax havens.
I remind people that we are seeking Clinton tax rates, not French tax rates or even British tax rates.
Speaking of the GOP, you can follow Michelle Bachmann’s crusade to rid the US government of radical Muslim infiltration. 🙂
I hope Mr. Romney will pick her as a running mate! 🙂
Workout notes: I was planning on lifting and running, but I ran hard enough to make a good lifting session unlikely.
I ran my 5.1 mile Cornstalk Hill course in 49:38; I was 25:15 at the turn-around (net downhill) and 40:50 with 1.03 to go. The last 1.03 took 8:48 and I’ll admit that it felt “race-effort-ish”. I was happy with the work out but I didn’t have much left for weights; I’ll do it after my swim tomorrow (an early day).
Note: my left calf felt a bit tight and I felt some slight “behind the knee” twinge…lightly. My guess: I am probably with 5 years of getting the other knee operated on.
I can’t complain though: my right knee went from 1984 to 2010; 26 years isn’t bad.
Robert Reich talks about stopping our backward tracking to a New Gilded Age:
Now some of my “rank-and-file” Republican friends are a bit confused as to what people like me want. Yes, I want a higher marginal tax rate (say, Clinton rates) and increased government spending on things like infrastructure, teachers, police and the like. The reason: we are in a liquidity trap: interest rates are so low that it makes sense to sit on money rather than invest, and demand is low so businesses have no reason to hire. Yes, this will ADD to the debt (for now) and high debt is worrisome. And yes, increased taxes on the wealthy won’t close the gap entirely (it will narrow it a bit though).
But that is what I want done NOW is not what I want done at other times. Keynesian economics does NOT say that “debts don’t matter”; it says that one practices austerity during boom times, not during bust times. When the economy is going again and we have more taxpayers on the roll, then we pay down the debt.
Think of it this way: you might be in debt and then the roof of your house starts to leak. If you don’t repair that roof (even while adding debt to do so), your house will be ruined. Note: the “house” analogy isn’t good in that when you go into debt, that money goes to someone else. When the government does deficit spending, the money mostly goes to other Americans and is mostly owed to other Americans.
I don’t know the full story here. But there appears to be some discrepancy in Mr. Romney’s story about his tenure at Bain. The Obama campaign team attacked Mr. Romney for Bain’s putting money in outsourcing to China. Mr. Romney countered that this happened after 1999 and he had left Bain in 1999. But SEC documents say otherwise:
The Boston Globe reported Thursday on SEC filings dated after February 1999 that state that Romney is the firm’s “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president.” A 2003 Massachusetts disclosure form says that he owned 100 percent of the company in 2002, and forms indicate that he earned $100,000 as an “executive” in 2001 and 2002, apart from investments.
A Romney official told the Globe that the SEC filings “do not square with common sense.”
“The article is not accurate,” spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement sent to reporters. “As Bain Capital has said, as Governor Romney has said, and as has been confirmed by independent fact checkers multiple times, Governor Romney left Bain Capital in February of 1999 to run the Olympics and had no input on investments or management of companies after that point.”
The story came out the same day that the Romney campaign released a television ad blasting the Obama campaign for lying about his tenure at Bain Capital. But this tactic may only serve to draw more attention to the substance of Obama’s criticisms. As Romney said Wednesday on Fox News, “I respond to the attacks that come, but they say in politics if you are responding, you are losing,” adding that it was better to call them “completely off base.”
Mother Jones and Talking Points Memo have also highlighted SEC filings that suggest Romney did not leave the company in full in 1999.
The date Romney left the company is important, since he cites it to rebut the charge that Bain invested in firms that outsourced jobs.
“Governor Romney left Bain to lead the Salt Lake City Olympics in February 1999,” reads the campaign’s response to a recent Washington Post story that it unsuccessfully tried to retract.
The Obama campaign has aired ads based on the story, which reported that Bain invested in companies that sent jobs to countries like China and India. The Romney campaign responded that no jobs were moved offshore under his tenure. More recently, Mother Jones’ David Corn reported that Bain invested in a Chinese company before even the campaign says Romney left.
Factcheck.org, which disputed the truthfulness of the Post report and accepted that Romney left the firm in 1999, wrote that were that not the case, Romney “would be guilty of a federal felony by certifying on federal financial disclosure forms that he left active management of Bain Capital in February 1999.”
The SEC filings listed in the Globe article were first flagged in a letter the Obama campaign sent to Factcheck.org, which nevertheless concluded that Romney never returned to active management in the company after 1999, instead shifting his focus to the 2002 Winter Olympics. But in separate SEC filings from 2000 and 2001, Romney listed his “principal occupation” as “Managing Director of Bain Capital, Inc.,” and a 2003 state financial disclosure form said he owned 100 percent of the firm in 2002.
Something is going on here; I don’t know as to what. That a political campaign would selectively illuminate bits of the truth to bolster their case (“lying while remaining factual”) doesn’t surprise me; I have never suspected Mr. Romney of dishonesty of this type. Something tells me that there is more to the story that we aren’t seeing; hopefully this is a sort of sloppiness and not blatant lying.
More from the New York Times:
Updated President Obama’s campaign on Thursday seized on a new report on Mitt Romney’s truthfulness about his tenure at Bain Capital even as the Republican candidate began airing a television commercial calling the president a liar.
The competing character attacks are evidence that a furious, highly-personal phase in the presidential campaign is underway as both sides seek to undercut whatever trust voters might have had in their rivals.
Mr. Romney’s new ad flatly says the president “doesn’t tell the truth,” accusing Mr. Obama of making “ridiculous claims” about Mr. Romney’s record and of citing “discredited” information about his time at the private equity firm he founded.
The ad is a response from Mr. Romney’s strategists to Republican critics who believe he needs to hit back more aggressively to attacks coming from Mr. Obama’s Chicago-based campaign operation.
But a Boston Globe article published on Thursday morning provided a new opportunity for the Democratic campaign to blunt any momentum the Republican might make.[…]
The period in question, from 1999 to 2001, is important because of several Bain Capital investments made during that time in companies which moved workers overseas. Mr. Obama says that is evidence that Mr. Romney would “outsource” American jobs.
On a conference call with reporters, Mr. Obama’s top officials accused Mr. Romney of either violating federal securities laws by falsifying information on the documents, or of misleading the American people by lying about when he left the company. […]
And Bain Capital released a statement saying Mr. Romney was not involved in an operational role at the firm after 1999.
“Mitt Romney left Bain Capital in February 1999 to run the Olympics and has had absolutely no involvement with the management or investment activities of the firm or with any of its portfolio companies since the day of his departure,” the statement said. “Due to the sudden nature of Mr. Romney’s departure, he remained the sole stockholder for a time while formal ownership was being documented and transferred to the group of partners who took over management of the firm in 1999. Accordingly, Mr. Romney was reported in various capacities on SEC filings during this period.” […]
Several news organizations and independent fact-checkers have raised doubts about Mr. Obama’s attacks, noting that the appearance of Mr. Romney’s name on securities and partnership documents does not necessarily prove his active involvement in running the company.
But the Globe story was apparently the first to note that Mr. Romney appears to have retained the title of chief executive and president during the period. The paper said disclosure documents in Massachusetts show that Mr. Romney was paid $100,000 for those services at the time.
That raises questions about why Mr. Romney kept those titles and earned income for services if he was no longer actively involved in making decisions.
So is this another quantum superposition for Mr. Romney:
I remember this:
At the time, I was cheering for Penn State; they represented, to me, “integrity”; doing things the “right” way.
An internal probe into the Penn State child sex abuse scandal found that top university officials, including former president Graham Spanier and then-head football coach Joe Paterno, concealed allegations of abuse by ex-assistant coach Jerry Sandusky to “avoid the consequences of bad publicity.”
Spanier and Paterno, as well as former university vice president Gary Schultz and ex-athletic director Tim Curley, participated in “an active decision to conceal” allegations against Sandusky, the probe’s leader told reporters Thursday. Additionally, the report says the officials failed to inquire about the victims’ well-being, even failing to try to identify a boy who allegedly was sexually assaulted in a Penn State shower in 2001.
Also, Penn State officials were poised to report that February 2001 sex abuse allegation, but they “changed the plan and decided not to make a report to the authorities” after Curley consulted with Paterno, the head of the probe, former FBI Director Louis Freeh, told reporters.
Full CNN report: Penn State leaders showed ‘total disregard’ for victims, review finds
Yes, I’ve been following this. That Mr. Sandusky’s wife “stands by her man” doesn’t surprise me; that is a common course for the spouses of pedophiles. I admit that it would be tough for me to turn against my wife if I had overwhelming evidence that she did wrong. Sure, I am in better position to do it as we didn’t have kids together and I have a job and an existence completely separate from her…and from most other individual people. I lead a compartmentalized existence. That isn’t true for everyone.
But the higher officials at Penn State have no excuse at all; they acted shamefully.
What about elite Republican reaction? They are probably buying hospital stock and grinning ear to ear over the soon to be increasing Fox/talk radio ratings.
Hey, money is money, and that is what the elite Republicans are all about….regardless of the nonsense they sell to
the morons those of lower economic status.
I am the first to ridicule beliefs in miracles. People don’t rise from the dead, are not born of virgins, do not magically decode golden plates with magic stones nor are taken to the heavens in flaming chariots. Snakes and donkeys don’t talk, and the earth is not 6000 years old.
So, when it comes to specific “that’s crazy” beliefs: I accept none of them.
So the specifics of LDS beliefs are NOT the issue here. What are the issues then? Well, you might watch this video (36 minutes)
But the main points:
1. Mr. Romney brings up his religion.
2. He appears to belong to the “wealth is a sign of virtue” crowd and
3. He appears to belong to the “protect my fellow powerful and wealthy people” crowd.
Note how his theological unorthodox beliefs (as well as Mr. Gingrich’s personal life) are embraced by the big figures of the religious right; for them it is about the gospel of corporate power. THAT is the religion that we need to pay attention to and not the quirks.
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