My hero, Jon Stewart takes on the
Republicans politicians who are claiming that the way for states and the fed to recover from major deficits is to take on public unions rather than increasing corporate taxes.
He talks about how GE paid 0 in federal taxes this year while these folks are talking about the corporate tax rate being too high and how that’s preventing companies from wanting to do business in the US. He talks about how NBC News (coincidentally owned by GE) neglected to report on this.
Of course, he does it in a humorous way, which makes it more palatable. But it’s incredibly frustrating.
Here’s what the New York Times had to say about GE’s tax strategy. Here are some choice quotes from that article:
Such strategies, as well as changes in tax laws that encouraged some businesses and professionals to file as individuals, have pushed down the corporate share of the nation’s tax receipts — from 30 percent of all federal revenue in the mid-1950s to 6.6 percent in 2009.
Yet many companies say the current level is so high it hobbles them in competing with foreign rivals. Even as the government faces a mounting budget deficit, the talk in Washington is about lower rates. President Obama has said he is considering an overhaul of the corporate tax system, with an eye to lowering the top rate, ending some tax subsidies and loopholes and generating the same amount of revenue. He has designated G.E.’s chief executive, Jeffrey R. Immelt, as his liaison to the business community and as the chairman of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, and it is expected to discuss corporate taxes.
But critics say the use of so many shelters amounts to corporate welfare, allowing G.E. not just to avoid taxes on profitable overseas lending but also to amass tax credits and write-offs that can be used to reduce taxes on billions of dollars of profit from domestic manufacturing. They say that the assertive tax avoidance of multinationals like G.E. not only shortchanges the Treasury, but also harms the economy by discouraging investment and hiring in the United States.
“In a rational system, a corporation’s tax department would be there to make sure a company complied with the law,” said Len Burman, a former Treasury official who now is a scholar at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. “But in our system, there are corporations that view their tax departments as a profit center, and the effects on public policy can be negative.”
Obviously, I’m a socialist for wanting corporations to pay at least as much taxes as I do. There is no other logical explanation. But wait – the patron saint of the Republican party felt the same way I do:
In the mid-1980s, President Ronald Reagan overhauled the tax system after learning that G.E. — a company for which he had once worked as a commercial pitchman — was among dozens of corporations that had used accounting gamesmanship to avoid paying any taxes.
“I didn’t realize things had gotten that far out of line,” Mr. Reagan told the Treasury secretary, Donald T. Regan, according to Mr. Regan’s 1988 memoir. The president supported a change that closed loopholes and required G.E. to pay a far higher effective rate, up to 32.5 percent.
Ahhh…Ronnie Raygun – socialist.
Just read a really great Forbes article about smiling and how it is advantageous: it is universal; people all over the world understand and respond when you smile, it makes you feel better, it makes the people around you feel better and apparently, makes you appear to be more competent. So get to it people – smile!
A few choice clips:
Surprisingly, we’re actually born smiling. 3-D ultrasound technology now shows that developing babies appear to smile even in the womb. After they’re born, babies continue to smile (initially mostly in their sleep) and even blind babies smile in response to the sound of the human voice.
In a 2009 study, scientists there used fMRI (Functional MRI) imaging to measure brain activity in regions of emotional processing in the brain before and after injecting Botox to suppress smiling muscles. The findings showed that facial feedback (such as imitating a smile) actually modifies the neural processing of emotional content in the brain, and concluded that our brain’s circuitry of emotion and happiness is activated when we smile!
Smiling stimulates our brain’s reward mechanisms in a way that even chocolate, a well-regarded pleasure-inducer, cannot match. In a study conducted in the UK (using an electromagnetic brain scan machine and heart-rate monitor to create “mood-boosting values” for various stimuli), British researchers found that one smile can provide the same level of brain stimulation as up to 2,000 chocolate bars; they also found that smiling can be as stimulating as receiving up to 16,000 Pounds Sterling in cash.
If that’s not enough, smiling also makes us look good in the eyes of others. A recent Penn State University study confirmed that when we smile we not only appear more likeable and courteous, but we’re actually perceived to be more competent.
Anthony Weiner on the floor of the House of Representatives congratulating Republicans for voting to pull NPR funding and saving us all from Click & Clack of “Car Talk”. I don’t care at all about cars, but I’m a huge fan of theirs. They’re hysterical and occasionally I learn something useful like how to parallel park. But mostly they make me laugh.
I’m sure they’re going to have a field day with this on the show this weekend. Definitely find it on your local NPR station. & give them (NPR) some dough if you can.
You did see that even a Glenn Beck website (?!!?!?!) said that the video that made NPR look bad was manipulated to do so…ridiculous.
Earlier today on Fox News' Your World With Neil Cavuto, this map popped up detailing the locations of Japan's nuclear power plants:
One name seems out of place on the graphic -- that of "Shibuyaeggman."
It doesn't show up on the International Atomic Energy Agency's list of Japanese nuclear power stations, and this map of Japanese nuclear installations from the Department of Energy's International Nuclear Safety Center doesn't have any listing for "Shibuyaeggman," and doesn't show a nuclear power plant anywhere near the location on the Fox News map. So I did a little research.
A quick Googling of "shibuyaeggman" turned up no meaningful results. A Nexis search was also fruitless. However, further inquiries revealed that Eggman is the name of a dance club in a trendy neighborhood of Tokyo called... Shibuya. And, it just so happens, the Fox graphic appears to place the alleged reactor in Tokyo. Here's a photo of Eggman -- as you can see, it's right below The @ Super Suits Store. And Johnny Hi-Fi played there in 2006.
Sounds like a fun place. But it doesn't sound like a nuclear power plant.
intern having fun or punked?
My friend’s niece in Japan has been found!
Here’s the story from msnbc:
The world watched in horror as the scene was replayed over and over: A 30-foot wall of water ripping through Japanese villages such as Minamisanriku, leaving 10,000 of its 17,000 residents missing. But few felt the terror more deeply and personally than the family of 25-year-old Canon Purdy, who arrived in Japan the day the earth turned upside down.
“My sister … is missing,” Purdy’s sister, Megan Walsh, wrote in a desperate Twitter message to TODAY’s Ann Curry, who arrived in Japan Saturday to cover the disastrous effect of the earthquake and resulting tsunami. “Please help with any news of evacuees.”
“I will do my best,” Curry tweeted back.
Formerly a teacher of English in Japan, where she was highly popular with her students, Purdy had left the country, but returned just before the quake to see her former students graduate. Like thousands of others, including two fellow American teachers among them, she was quickly sent fleeing by the nightmare of the March 11 quake and the tsunami that followed.
On Monday, moved by Purdy’s family’s plea and armed with a photograph of the teacher, Curry made her way to the middle school in what was left of Minamisanriku, which had been turned into a makeshift evacuation center.
The good news came a few moments later: “She’s OK” and “somewhere outside,” other survivors told Curry. Taken to another refugee center, Curry found Purdy, along with the two other American teachers. All three were safe and sound.
Within minutes, Purdy used Curry’s phone to call her frantic family in San Francisco. “I’m totally OK,” she told her sister.
“It was a great relief,” Purdy told TODAY’s Matt Lauer. With no cell phone service after the tsunami and no hope of getting any “any time soon,” Purdy knew that there was no chance that she could reach her loved ones back in the United States to let them know that she had survived. “I had to tuck it away, and hope for the best” she said. “And hope that they weren’t too worried, and try and do what I could here.”
Love this. Makes me teary.
A dear friend of mine is waiting to hear from her niece who was in the area near the epicenter when the earthquake and tsunami hit. Specifically, she was believed to be in the town that is now said to be missing 10,000 people. However, I did read an article today saying that very few people been able to get into the area and that they are discovering batches of people, so I'm still holding out hope. Although I don't know her niece, being connected to her through my friend has made this horrible situation much more personal to me. I cannot imagine having to sit and wait to find out if your family member or loved one has survived and not being able to do anything. I feel lost enough trying to support my friend. Mostly I call her every day and tell her I love her and we sigh and say goodbye. It's horrible.
The actual shake was a very very big shake. It began softly but just kept building and building in intensity. It seemed to last for several minutes. Shortly after the quake people were panicked. An elderly couple crashed their car in front of my office and I had to pull the old lady out of the back seat. She had a broken shoulder and could not speak from shock. It took several hours for the ambulance to come.
I live in Shinjuku, Tokyo and work in Meguro ward. I had to walk several kms across the city on Friday night home and witnessed the packed streets, massive traffic jams, the emergency centres full of people wrapped in silver foil blankets, salarymen with company-issued hard hats walking home, and the empty convenience stores and supermarkets, as food quickly disappeared from shelves. The general mood on Friday afternoon was panic and uncertainty—while Friday night, in spite of the crowded city, was a surreal melancholic calm.
The next 24 hours were pretty tense with public transportation suspended, communications down, food supplies limited, and the threat of a nuclear meltdown at a nearby power plant. We were also being constantly shaken by powerful aftershocks. I imagine very few people slept on Friday night, as they were constantly on edge to run outside with pre-packed survival bags at any moment. We were also tormented by the media images of the devastation just north of us that we couldn't do anything to help. All that being said, though I am safe. My friends are safe and my house has very little damage. Tokyo was mostly left unscathed, with just a few areas where buildings collapsed and fires started. The injuries and deaths in Tokyo were few. The biggest problem here had been countering the panic and rumours that have spread so quickly and made people feel insecure. I spent most of yesterday on FB and in front of Japanese television trying to counter the rumour mill, which was going crazy as people, often non-Japanese-speaking foreigners, were caught up in a web of mis-information and fear.
I had been organizing a charity event for the Christchurch Earthquake appeal for this evening, but unfortunately had to postpone it, as things are still critical here.
My thoughts are entirely with the people up north now. Am looking forward to seeing what we can do to help in the coming days, weeks and months ahead.
CNN:An explosion at an earthquake-damaged nuclear plant was not caused by damage to the nuclear reactor but by a pumping system that failed as crews tried to bring the reactor's temperature down, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Saturday.This is the BP of 2011. Listen to Golob and take your vitamins:
The next step for workers at the Fukushima Daiichi plant will be to flood the reactor containment structure with sea water to bring the reactor's temperature down to safe levels, he said. The effort is expected to take two days.If you are in the nearby region, including in the Pacific West or Oceana—right now you should consider taking a multivitamin—better yet, a potassium iodide supplement. Radioactive cesium and iodine, if released in significant quantities into the environment, can replace non-radioactive potassium and iodine in the body.
The colonists based the American Revolution on their cry against taxation without representation. Now, a new survey shows that Americans are very clear about how they want their tax dollars spent.
By a notable margin, education and http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/health-care-reform-not-understood-by-busines...">health care were the top two spending priorities of Americans. And Americans are consistent in that: Those two categories have finished in the top two in each of the ten surveys since 1990, according to the http://www.norc.uchicago.edu/GSS Website/">General Social Survey (GSS), conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago.
The information comes as politicians in Washington wrangle over the budget and face a standoff over which areas of federal funding to cut. Interestingly, http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/business-copes-gas-prices-1069/">Americans don’t seem terribly upset about how much they are paying in taxes.
The top 10 highest priorities are:
1. Health care
3. Assistance to the poor
4. Halting crime
5. Social Security
7. Dealing with drug addiction
9. Drug rehabilitation
10. Law enforcement
The study involved interviews with 2,044 Americans asking them about spending on 22 items. Finishing lowest in priority, as it has in every survey since 1973, is foreign assistance. The study surveyed public preferences on 22 spending categories.
The findings have additional significance in that they are derived from the first GSS to be conducted since the 2008 economic meltdown. Despite the poor economy and despite the pinch of taxes for a majority, (in 2010, 53 percent said their federal taxes were too high, 46 percent about right, and 2 percent too low) Americans back more spending in about three-quarters of the areas and less spending only in the bottom quarter.
The GSS is supported by the National Science Foundation and it is the second most-referenced survey in America after the U.S. Census.
This article was provided by http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/">BusinessNewsDaily, a sister site to LiveScience.
Updated 3/8/11 1:00 p.m. --
When has Gawker's Nick Denton ever had anything in common with former first lady Barbara Bush? Or director Oliver Stone with Senator Lisa Murkowski?
The answer: When Sarah Palin has feuded with them.
Palin has monetized micro-blog bomb-throwing. She attacks people via her one-way Internet communication -- the "lamestream" media reports it and she stays topical. It's catnip. It's a Real Housewives level of guilty pleasure voyeurism. She's tapped into our love of shamelessness. The more we reward her with attention, the more she keeps giving ... and giving.
To quantify this point, I've assembled a list of her media feuds since she was tapped to be veep. Call it a supplemental: A hyperlink to her hyper-sensitivity.
The list is made up of people and groups she has personally, by name, gone after in the press. Left out are people who criticize her and she ignores, like Meghan McCain. Those are rare. Also excluded are people who've only been harassed on her behalf, but not actually by her, like California State Senator Leland Yee. Plus, no dead people who can't defend themselves. Sorry, Shakespeare. What's left are people who have participated in a back and forth with Sarah Palin.
Some have observed the flames died down in the wake of Gabriele Gifford's attempted assassination; the national tragedy Palin strangely made about herself.
According to the (crowd sourced and obviously unscientific) list, even with a slow January her overall numbers are steady.
When I first compiled this list last November, Palin had been on the national scene for less than 30 months. There were over 60 entries. Palin's average? Two new tiffs a month. Every month.
In the last 90 days, by my count, she has waged seven new feuds (Julian Assange, Aaron Sorkin, Charles Krauthammer, Rick Santorum, TIME Magazine, Westboro Baptist Church and Michael Moore). That's still a solid two brawls each month, not counting any repeats, as with the president of the United States and his wife.
So, yes, for being a mavericky rogue, she's actually stalwartly consistent. Which is just what we look for in a president.
- David Letterman
- Wall Street Journal/Sudeep Reddy
- Senator Lisa Murkowski (R)
- Levi Johnston
- Shannyn Moore
- Katie Couric
- Nicolle Wallace
- Steve Schmidt
- Kate Gosselin
- The Fed/Ben Bernanke
- Pete Rouse
- Joe McGinniss
- Peggy Noonan
- Ashley Judd
- Congressman Spencer Bachus (R)
- Alaska State Trooper Mike Wooten
- Joe Miller
- Karl Rove
- State Department (Ahmadinejad's birthday)
- Rahm Emanuel
- Family Guy/Seth MacFarlane
- Michelle Obama
- President Barack Obama
- Kathleen Gustafson
- Brian Williams
- Emily's List
- Ed Gillespie
- Mayor Michael Bloomberg
- Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R)
- Michael J. Gross
- Vice President Al Gore
- Charlie Gibson
- Maureen Dowd
- Rachel Maddow
- 60 Minutes
- Mark Halperin
- John Heilemann
- Nick Denton/Gawker
- Barbara Bush
- U.S. Export Import Bank
- Blogger Jesse Griffin
- Blogger Dennis Zaki
- Andrew Sullivan
- Keith Olbermann
- CSU students AKA "Dumpster Divers" Ashley Briggs and Alicia Lewis
- Blogger Jeanne Devon
- Linda Kellen Biegel AKA Celtic Diva
- Oliver Stone
- John Bitney
- Senator Scott Brown (R)
- Alaska State Senate President Lyda Green
- Andree McLeod
- AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka
- Bill Ayers
- Secretary Madeleine Albright
- Sen. John Kerry (D)
- Jonathan Martin
- Rep. Alan Grayson (D)
- Stephen Colbert
- Helen Thomas
- Anchorage Daily News
- Tina Fey
- Andrew Halcro
- Kim Chatman
- Julian Assange
- Frank Gwartney
- Aaron Sorkin
- Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan
- Charles Krauthammer
- Rick Santorum
- TIME Magazine
- Westboro Baptist Church
- Michael Moore
- Blogger Taegan Goddard
- Kathy Griffin
- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
This list started as an overflow of names that couldn't fit into my fall column: America's Full-Time Professional Duelist
Know of a feud I missed? Send me an e-mail.Image credit: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton.
Drop-down image credit: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton.
Love it. Amazing that she's feuded with this many people.
$250,000 dollars is not rich – for a family of four sending kids to college
when talking about the Bush tax cuts.
Teachers don’t work as much as Wall Street bankers. So they’re obviously overpaid at $50,000 a day.
Here’s what Jon had to say in response:
See the difference? Regardless of the greed-based, almost slightly sociopathic job bankers did wrecking our economy, those people were there every single day, 12 months a year. Not that nine month bullsh*t!
You need to pay CEOs of Wall Street banks excessive amounts because otherwise you can’t attract the top talent. Ummmmm…. these are the people teaching your children and building up the next generation of Americans.
And Jon’s response:
"Absolutely, we have got to pay those bailed-out firm CEOs top dollar! Otherwise, those companies could wind up being run by a couple of jacka**es who f**k things up so royally, it torpedoes the entire global economy!"
And there’s so much more in the clip below. He’s (still) my hero:
This is video from a fundraising event thrown by a Muslim group in Southern California. They’re raising money for women’s shelters. The event is surrounded by horrible Americans telling them to “go home” and other hideous comments. They believe that all Muslims are terrorists and make that clear.
The most appalling part is the video of politicians speaking about their support of the protestors.
Updated at 2pm cause I just saw that Glenn Greenwald wrote about this on his blog: (just a brief excerpt below. Here’s the whole thing he wrote.)
I think what was most striking about that video is that the presence of small children didn't give these anti-Muslim protesters even momentary pause; they just continued screeching their ugly invective while staring at 4-year-olds walking with their parents. People like that are so overflowing with hatred and resentments that the place where their humanity -- their soul -- is supposed to be has been drowned.
This is not something I ever wondered about. But as I saw this article come up in my blog reader today, I got sucked in. It’s really well written and sorta amusing and very interesting, especially when she talks about how the clinic where she’s working dealt with a pro-life woman who came in for an abortion and announced “ you should die”.
Here’s some choice clips, but I recommend your read the whole thing:
I can pretty safely assume you have not socially encountered one of us before. No, not because I think you’re not cool enough! Let me explain. I went into healthcare in general because of a bunch of shitty gynecologists growing up who told me, for instance, that “when you” (me) “have sex with so many people” (I, like, halved the real number) “so young” (18) that “none of them care about you” (me). I figured the most direct way to ensure that there wasn’t a total asshole at the bottom of the table was to do it myself.
I can confidently say that not a single one of my patients wants to be there. If we somehow removed the emotional content and just looked at everything else, abortion is an experience that is at least a little physically painful, and expensive both financially and in time investment. The process of obtaining one is full of bullshit even under the best of circumstances. Please see hilarious Onion articles “I’m Totally Psyched About this Abortion!” and “New Law Requires Women to Name Baby, Paint Nursery Before Getting Abortion.”
Nobody wants a fucking abortion or at any point in their lives thought, “Oh, who cares, I’ll just take care of it.”
…65% of women who get abortions in this country are already moms! Smile, there’s a 65% chance your mother chose abortion because she wanted to make sure she could take care of her already-existing children, i.e., you.
This is an interesting article from the NY Times about how giving yourself a hard time and being self-critical is harmful.
The research suggests that giving ourselves a break and accepting our imperfections may be the first step toward better health. People who score high on tests of self-compassion have less depression and anxiety, and tend to be happier and more optimistic. Preliminary data suggest that self-compassion can even influence how much we eat and may help some people lose weight.
I know I’ve caught myself sometimes where I’ve literally had to walk myself through thinking “I would never say that to a friend.” I’m much harsher and have much higher expectations of myself than I would ever have on anyone else (which is not to say that all my expectations of others are reasonable – I am human, after all). I tend to be extremely compassionate with others and while I work on being compassionate with myself, it is definitely not my first response, although I am soooooo much better at it than I was years ago.
The first part of addressing this (for me) was to simply become aware of how I talk to myself. I didn’t do anything – I just observed my self-dialog.
I find that self-awareness is extremely painful. When I’m just stumbling around in pain, I suffer, but I don’t really know why. Once I realize that I am contributing to my pain, suddenly I know that I have the option to do something different. But of course, change is scary and painful. My experience is that most people will not change until the change seems less painful than what they’re going through. As someone used to say to me (frequently) “do it till it hurts”. Sigh. But true.
Once I became aware of how I speak to myself, I noticed it more frequently. And each time I judge myself harshly, I have the opportunity to talk myself through it in a different way. Or not. It’s my choice. But it’s definitely changed me and made me softer and more compassionate to myself. I still have a lot of work to do in this area (I don’t think this is one I’ll ever complete) but it has helped me significantly.
Dr. Neff suggests a set of exercises — like writing yourself a letter of support, just as you might to a friend you are concerned about. Listing your best and worst traits, reminding yourself that nobody is perfect and thinking of steps you might take to help you feel better about yourself are also recommended.
Dr. Neff says that the field is still new and that she is just starting a controlled study to determine whether teaching self-compassion actually leads to lower stress, depression and anxiety and more happiness and life satisfaction.
“The problem is that it’s hard to unlearn habits of a lifetime,” she said. “People have to actively and consciously develop the habit of self-compassion.”
If you’re a civilian, move on. This is not going to interest you at all.
Now, for the pointy headed ones amongst us, this is a video of installing every version of Windows, starting at 1.0 and documenting and discussing the changes. Interesting, if you’re one of us.