Morning Must Reads: April 11

In the news: Senator Rand Paul, the GOP and race, Syria, Obama's approval rating, and the Masters.

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KEVIN LAMARQUE / REUTERS

Cherry trees are in full bloom in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, April 10, 2013.

254 comments
bobell
bobell

I've had to do a lot of skipping over troll droppings today.  Not one response that I could see.  How unwelcome does someone have to feel before he leaves?

Speaking of leaving ... I'm going to make like sacredh and limp outta here.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

 How Obama's budget would hit the rich

The administration estimates the measure would affect the top 3% of filers. Roughly speaking, that means those making more than $200,000 ($250,000 if married).

The proposal would raise an estimated $529 billion over 10 years, making it the single largest revenue raiser in Obama's budget.

In 2011, Obama proposed the "Buffett Rule" as a guiding principle for tax reform.

The idea: to make sure that people earning more than $1 million don't end up paying a lower overall federal tax rate than many middle class taxpayers.

His budget this year proposes the more concrete "Fair Share Tax."

It would impose a minimum 30% effective federal tax rate on people with adjusted gross incomes above $1 million, although it phases in for those making between $1 million and $2 million.

Sounds fair.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

Bieber launches prepaid debit card

The card's issuer, SpendSmart Payments (SSPC), signed Bieber to a $3.75 million endorsement deal late last year, but his campaign on behalf of the card is just kicking off.

Bieber's vast social media empire has a wider reach than some television networks. He has 37.7 million Twitter followers, 2 million subscribers to his YouTube channel and more than 52 million Facebook followers -- and many of them are about to learn about SpendSmart.

In the video, Bieber talks to his teen fans about the importance of responsible spending habits and managing a budget. "Managing your money is important, and there's a great company that can help you do that called SpendSmart," he says.

But SpendSmart and other prepaid debit card companies have been criticized by consumer groups for charging high fees.

The card costs users a flat fee of $3.95 a month, and there are additional charges. Withdrawing money from an ATM is $1.50, while checking your balance at an ATM is another 50 cents.

Adding money to the card can cost parents between 75 cents and $2.95, and if the card isn't used for for 90 days there is an additional charge of $3.

When parents get the bills for these cards, I wonder if they'll have a different kind of "Beiber-fever"?  It's always nauseating to see celebrities endorsing credit card companies and big banks.  I'm looking at you Baldwin.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

Senate overcomes filibuster, clearing the way for debate on gun bill

The U.S. Senate voted on Thursday to overcome a Republican-led filibuster against tougher gun laws, clearing the way for a major congressional debate on a package of proposals sought by President Barack Obama in the aftermath of the Connecticut school massacre.

The procedural vote followed a breakthrough by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, and Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, who reached a compromise on broadening background checks to include private purchases at gun shows and on the Internet.

Because of the bipartisan deal, Senate Democrats backing the legislation received support from enough Republicans to approve the cloture motion, 68-31, setting up debate on the proposals and amendments expected to last for two weeks.

Isn't it wonderful how bought and paid for Republicans that represent gun manufacturers can still bring something that 92% of Americans support nearly to an end?  They should change their name to the Grand Filibuster Party.

MementoMori
MementoMori

What Mitch McConnell's pushback is really about - distracting folks from the fact he was probably breaking the rules.

The ethics rules read explicitly that, “Senate employees are free to engage in campaign activity, as volunteers or for pay, provided they do so on their own time, outside of Senate space, and without using Senate resources.”

“If they are referring to Senate staff working on this, the question is: Were they working on opposition research for the campaign while they were on the Senate payroll, while they were being paid by the Senate?” Noble said.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/04/were-mcconnells-senate-staff-digging-up-dirt-on-ashley-judd/

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

Q&A: Venezuela's presidential election

Nicolas Maduro, 50, is a candidate for the United Socialist Party of Venezuela. Henrique Capriles Radonski, 40, represents a coalition of opposition parties.

Maduro started his career as a bus driver in Caracas, rose through the ranks as a union leader and eventually became part of Chavez's inner circle. He has been the interim leader since Chavez's death, and served as vice president and foreign minister in his administration.

Capriles is the former governor of Miranda state. He lost to Chavez in October's presidential vote, coming within 10 percentage points of the longtime leader. It was a significant gap, but the closest any opposition candidate ever came to defeating Chavez during his rule.

Maduro has pledged to continue Chavez's plan to build "21st century socialism." Capriles says he pushing a more moderate approach, promising to continue social programs and improve the country's economy.

More than likely it will be Maduro.  The corrupt heir to the corrupt keys of the corrupt kingdom.  WHY AIN'T NOBAMA IN THE RUNNING??

sacredh
sacredh

"Speaking of leaving ... I'm going to make like sacredh and limp outta here."

Waves cane at screen. Whippersnapper!



 

Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

@bobell Maybe it will leave when it realizes no one reads its posts or cares what it says.

paulejb
paulejb

@bobell 

I am not going anywhere despite you cultists, bobell. Just keep sucking down that Obama Kool-Aid, scooter.

paulejb
paulejb

@retiredvet 

Why the sudden interest in background checks? You people had no problem putting the nuclear trigger in the hands of a man who was not vetted by the mainstream media.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

From the comments in the article which elaborates more on the budget itself - I should find this WaPo Article he's referencing...

Obama proposed chained CPI, $306 billion in reduced medicare payments to providers, $19 billion from medicaid, $450 million in fees from the insurance exchanges, base closings, .7% reduction in defense spending, 3.5% less to the EPA, and $500 million less to states to help them with the clean water act.

He proposed slightly higher spending to protect teacher's salaries, ensure pre-k programs for almost all children, and 15 various tax credits for manufacturing. Things that will help raise more revenue in the future as it keeps America competitive.

Also an adjustment in Medicare's drug-buying program to raise $136 billion over ten years by making the vouchers available to Medicaid available to the Medicare program as well. A price-control measure which I saw you endorse just this morning on one of the other forums.

Source - Washington Post.

Sounds like a damn smart bi-partisan solution to me. Higher revenues from those that can most afford it, adjustments to the two biggest drivers of the federal deficit, with minor economist-endorsed stimulus in manufacturing and creating an educated workforce of the future.

paulejb
paulejb

@DonQuixotic

The President’s Budget

"That the president has proposed an almost $3.8 trillion budget for next year which offers less deficit reduction than either of the budget resolutions already passed in Congress and effectively reaches what little reduction it does propose entirely through tax increases (as all spending cuts are offset by spending increases elsewhere)."

More snake oil from the Snake Oil Salesman-in-Chief.

paulejb
paulejb

@retiredvet 

Lucky they had a recording device that could record through closed doors.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@retiredvet

But according to WFPL, Reilly and Morrison may not have engaged in eavesdropping if the meeting was audible from the hallway.

Well so much for that wing-nut hysteria about "Watergate style taping".  Now the only question is how many people in that meeting, if any, were McConnell's Congressional aides.

Tero
Tero

@DonQuixotic 

Fights with the paparazzi, pet monkey, selling-out to a bank... this kids career just ticked a little closer to midnight...

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@MementoMori 

The push back was to take attention away from the sleazy tactics they were spitballing.  The ethics rules violation is an unintended consequence of drawing further attention to the whole thing.  Once again McConnell reminds us all how much of an idiot he is.

paulejb
paulejb

@retiredvet 

It's as if Gordon Liddy had filed an ethic complaint against the DNC.

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

@retiredvet I'm sure all those legislative assistants did the work on their own time.

Let's see, 10:00 meeting everyone. I'll be taking 10:00 to 11:00 off. Will make it up on my lunch hour.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@retiredvet 

Oh Mitch, making such a big stink about this only revealed the illegal activities you're engaged with your staff in.  You represent your party proudly.

bobell
bobell

@retiredvet It's a serious problem for the Republicals: Do they attack Obama for not cutting spending enough or for cutting SS and Medicare too much?  I'm sure, after they check signals, that they'll find a way to do both.

paulejb
paulejb

@DonQuixotic @retiredvet 

Wow, bombshell in McConnell bugging case

'“Apparently the gentlemen overheard the conversation and decided to record it with a phone or recording device they had in their pocket. Could’ve been an iPhone, could’ve been a Flip camera or something like that,” Conway say.

If this holds up, it is very, very big time, and on its face appears to be a violation of law.'

paulejb
paulejb

@DonQuixotic @MementoMori 

Playing tapes of Ashley Judd's mindless ramblings is sleazy? That's like saying that playing tapes of Barack Hussein Obama's mindless ramblings is sleazy.

retiredvet
retiredvet

@bobell I get the feeling that Obama is playing the GOP like a fine violin.