Morning Must Reads: January 21

In the News: Obama Facing Pressure over State of the Union Address, Report Points Fingers at Assad in Syria, Why Hillary Might not Be a 2016 Shoe-in, and Wendy Davis' Biography

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Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

  • Obama Under Pressure From Divided Democrats on Economic Message of State of the Union [National Journal]
  • Hillary’s No Slam Dunk in 2016 [Politico Magazine]
  • ‘Systematic Torture and Killing’—New Report Points Fingers at Syria’s Assad [TIME]
  • Is D.C. the next Silicon Valley? [Washington Post]
  • Blackberry Surges thanks to Pentagon boost [Bloomberg]
  • How Chris Christie is Trying to Turn Bridge-gate into a Partisan Scrum (And How It’s Working) [Washington Post]
  • Parties Seize on Abortions Issues in Midterm Race [NYTimes]
  • The Imago Dei Campaign: Evangelical Groups Say Gays Made in God’s Image [TIME]
  • The Radical Gospel of Martin Luther King [Al Jazeera]
  • Wendy Davis Clarifies Biography [Dallas Morning News]
  • Going the Distance: On and Off the Road with Barack Obama [New Yorker]
672 comments
fitty_three
fitty_three

Well, today was my first Flip The Effing Flu The Effing Bird Day!

Got my isometrics done, that was today's last thing. Yah!

outsider
outsider

Your agreement will be respected, Rusty. Whether by your choice or our enforcement, it will be respected.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Legal problems in the Taliban Republic of North Carolina

Judge strikes down North Carolina's forced ultrasound law for violating the First Amendment http://thkpr.gs/1dQDhOy

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

The logical result of NRA efforts to remove all oversight on guns


Florida Man Claims Self-Defense After Hopping A Fence To Shoot, Kill 21-Year-Old In A Hoodie

Claudius Smith said he believed the victim was armed “because his pants were falling down" and his hands were in his hoodie pockets. 

 On Thursday, an Orlando man shot and killed a 21-year-old who was fleeing his yard. He didn’t appear to be stealing anything, according to witness accounts. He didn’t appear to be threatening anybody. But Claudius Smith said he feared he was a burglar, followed him over the fence to a neighboring apartment complex, where he shot him after he said he felt threatened, according to a confession documented in an Orlando Police Department report. Smith even said he feared victim Ricardo Sanes was armed “because his pants were falling down” and his hands were in his hoodie pockets, according to a report obtained by the Orlando Sentinel.

fitty_three
fitty_three

Now that the NRA nuts have managed to twaddle teh numblys and twerk with stats, let's see how they can handle a much more fundamental question.  This is what you nuts have managed to bring home to the table:


"With more guns than ever in public hands without oversight whatsoever, the country should be safer."

Okaaaaay, I've heard this enough, four of five years and more.  So:

When are we gonna start seeing some of this safe stuff?  You know, like gun violence numbers go down?

You know, like this:

 |

 |

V

Yup.  Simple is that. When do we see the results of your claims? No weaseling, no butt twerking of stats, no nostrums. Eff that. Answer this:

When are we going to see gun crime and violence go down?

Shinji_Hirako
Shinji_Hirako

@mantisdragon91 But if NC doesn't have this law, how will they do the slut shaming? 

Sparrow55
Sparrow55

@mantisdragon91  Was Ricardo Sanes armed with Skittles?

Irony
Irony

@mantisdragon91I'm waiting for the first case of the Stand Your Ground law being used as a defense against the murder of someone who previously used the Stand Your Ground law, on the grounds that their ability and willingness to murder without consequences constitutes a clear threat to the lives of those around them.

hivemaster
hivemaster

@fitty_three I like the Seinfeld tactic, myself.


"I'm a little busy now,  Can I get your home number and call you back?  What, you don't want to be called at home?  Neither do I."  CLICK

Sparrow55
Sparrow55

@forgottenlord  I keep thinking that someday we are all going to find out Rob Ford was just an actor punking everybody, like Sasha Baron Cohen did in the movie Borat. 

Sparrow55
Sparrow55

@fitty_three  I think the only response you will get from them is the usual  "SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED, SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED, SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED." 

Diecash1
Diecash1

More tax cuts, I say! Pass the grey poupon while you're at it.

curt3rd
curt3rd

@La_Randy A yet, under Obama, the gap between rich and poor has grown to the likes not seen since 1928 

TerryClifton02
TerryClifton02

@La_Randy 

I would argue if you take a hard look at the tax burden in this country, it would be a great place to start. 

Sparrow55
Sparrow55

@La_Randy  In the case of the 54% of Republicans, they will keep voting for the same people who are perpetuating the problem. 

fitty_three
fitty_three

@forgottenlord

I don't know what happened, but it seems like your head was a bit too close to the center of poffage.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@Sparrow55

Tero lives through the nightmare that is Rob Ford.  He can tell you how much acting is going on there.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@Sparrow55 

You're probably right.  They're fringies, anyway, at that, or would be, if sanity were to rule.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@curt3rd

Honestly, I don't think you think that gap is a problem.

You do, however want to hang it around Obama's neck. But then, you, collie, and terry generally love the thought of putting the metaphorical rope around Obama's neck;~)

MrObvious
MrObvious

@curt3rd @La_Randy 

Ah yes, everything starts and ends with Obama.

Yet it's GOP who scream bloody murder when we try to increase the artificially low tax rate and GOP are the ones who always argue for lowering it even more. In other words - the chief reason why the gap grows is Obamas fault, even if he and the dems argue for fixing just that.

Of course, curdle only sees Obama. Not the time period between Reagan and now when all this took place.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@TerryClifton02 @La_Randy 

And you would be wrong; despite our in general lower tax rate than most other western democratic nations - they live in more equal societies. You could lower the poors tax rate to 1 percent and it wouldn't change the fact that GOP argue for no minimum wage or keep all wages stagnant while the wolf class of our society gets all the resources.

curt3rd
curt3rd

@fitty_three @curt3rd Once again, you manage to make it about race.   You should really see somebody about that.  Seems like you have some deep seeded issues to work out

MementoMori
MementoMori

@collioure @curt3rd @La_Randy  

"Proving once again that with collie it's always "Barry 0"'s fault."

FTFY

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

@curt3rd @MrObvious Obviously your comment doesn't take into account that tax bills must originate in the asylum called the US House and not the president and they have restructured their districts that only about 45 are even up for possible challenges. I think that only way to get ahead of the stupidity would be for an administration to cut the Defense spending to far below the budgeted amount and you know that the MIC would be all over their representatives like flies of s---!

curt3rd
curt3rd

@MrObvious I only bring up Obama because he is the one that is currently president and he is the one that has  constantly given speeches about the income gap since 2008. Hell, it was part of his platform while running for POTUS.  Sorry, if Im trying to hold the Obama accountable for his words and his non actions. 

fitty_three
fitty_three

@forgottenlord

I kinda got caught up in them, but he was calling Obama and all of us corporatists.  Like we favord corporations that were cheating.  He was wailing about how unfair it was. Wailing!

And now, he present's their abilities as a cynical fait accompli we shoud just go along with because it would be better*.

*the "better" is the dystopic utopia Libertarianism promises.  Bad movie.   A bunch of poor people die and a commercial super society emerges where only the economically fit survive! To convert from Soviet propaganda, just replace the little red tractors with Benzes and the Hammer & Sickle with corporate logos.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@fitty_three 

I did not read the earlier fights today.  I would've ignored the thread entirely if I didn't see the "cut corporate taxes to zero to address tax dodging" argument.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@TerryClifton02 

Sorry, I have one more point to add.

This entire debate started because two out of three Americans are dissatisfied with the wealth distribution in this country.  Now, to move to a flat tax, one of two things has to happen:

1) Taxes come down to a common level - eg: 15 - and a severe reduction in services is made so that you remain deficit neutral.

2) Taxes for the poor go up and for the rich come down to a common point with the current services levels maintained.  For the numbers to work, everyone not in the top tax bracket (which is 95%) will have their rates go up.

Both of those solutions result in either less services or more costs for the vast majority of Americans.  Explain to me how that solves the problem of dissatisfaction with wealth distribution.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@forgottenlord 

He is completely blind to any reasoning that isn't Libertarian.  Completely.  Did you see how shamelessly he tossed the sword of "corporatism" he was waving downthread to attack us with aside to pick up a new one in corporatism's defense?

That kind of shamelessness only comes with slavishness.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@forgottenlord 

He is a Libertarian. He does not believe in safety nets, any thing, anything at all for the poor.

They're fodder in his mills.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@TerryClifton02 

Also, if they're dodging the system and paying zero instead of 35, it's because there's a loophole - and generally, it's a loophole on where you live.  I, a Canadian living in Canada, should not be paying 35% on my income to the US government so that loophole has to exist in some form.  That isn't fixed by a flat tax, and a flat tax means they have to choose between 15 and 0.  If you're a Capitalist, are you going to pay the 15 or the 0?

fitty_three
fitty_three

@TerryClifton02

Fundamentally Terry, you believe what you believe.  I know that you don't like the poor, you don't like social safety nets, and you don't think the rich should be fettered in their efforts to enrich themselves further, it's called "personal initiative". We call it "greed".

I'm not interested in Libertarianism.  It's as dystopic a scam as Communism is and you need to do real economics with real people in a real country instead of trying to foist a malformed ideology by some Russian woman on us.

Again, 

{NO SALE}

Maybe Vlad will listen.  After all, that's where Ayn comes from ; ~)

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@TerryClifton02

It should be noted, I believe in government funded schools, roads, universities, medicine, social security, environmental regulations, bank regulations, etc, etc, etc.  I believe those are good things and should be strengthened and given MORE money than they already are.  You cannot fund those with a flat tax.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@TerryClifton02

Honest to God, I'm not worried about the rich who are paying zero, I'm worried about the rich who are paying 15 instead of 35.  The rich paying zero right now are not numerous enough to actually impact the system as it's currently structured and the system will lose *far* more trying to drop their expected contribution to 15%.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@TerryClifton02 

Terry, stop it. I understand the mechanics of progressive vs flat taxes already. 

The point is that a progressive tax on (income - basic needs) is a must.

But you don't believe in safety nets, either, or health care, or for that matter.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@TerryClifton02 

Also, you don't say "oh, there's too many murderers so we should legalize murder" just as you don't say "oh, there's too many tax cheats so we should get rid of the taxes".  Fix the loopholes to stop the tax cheats, and make your decisions about reform under the assumption that people are actually following the law and analyzing the benefits at that point.

TerryClifton02
TerryClifton02

@forgottenlord@TerryClifton02 

The rich will still have to pay their flat tax rate, without deductions. They can't write off anything..They will pay 15% on every dollar they make. Instead of zero. 

fitty_three
fitty_three

@TerryClifton02 

These may be your opinions, Terry, but they certainly aren't a way to solve our countries ills.  I know all the stuff that you lightly skipped over.  I know the stuff your stands are made on.  I know your belief system, but it's as dystopic a utopia as it's polar opposite: Communism.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@TerryClifton02

NIce tear jerker, but you're still not talking economics. You're talking some sort of emotional appeal to a cynical side I don't have.

Sorry.

{NO SALE}

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@TerryClifton02

They're ALREADY in the States.  They're already being invested.  And if they aren't, the companies are getting sued by their investors (Apple) wondering why you aren't distributing your massive windfall that you aren't using to your owners.

There is ZERO BENEFIT to your system.  There will be ZERO investment by dropping corporate tax rates to zero for the ones dodging corporate tax rates.  The only advantage, other than giving the rich yet another tax cut that they don't need, is that small business owners get to keep some more money which is a strong argument for reforming the corporate tax levels but looking at the guys who are dodging is being incredibly blind to why they can dodge - because you will never be able to get a dime from them until they can't dodge.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@forgottenlord

He thought it through, all right, forgotten.  Believe me.  I know where he stands right now, and it's showing in every way I said it would.

On top of that, he is a corporatist.

TerryClifton02
TerryClifton02

@fitty_three@TerryClifton02 

The corporate flight happens every day, and our government is so full of their cronies, we will never get a chance to see anything from it. Google's Eric Schmidt sits on Obama's job creation panel, and he's one of the largest tax schemers on the planet, to the tune of over 2 billion dollars. 

fitty_three
fitty_three

@TerryClifton02

There are ways we can get at corporations.

I'm not interested in your defeatist cynical attitude. You're not doing economics, your doing Libertarianism.

Forget it.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@TerryClifton02

Flat tax on income?  On personal income?  So your idea is "let's drop taxes on the rich and raise taxes on the poor to cover the cost of making corporate taxes go to zero (though, really, I don't think you could even afford a tax cut for the rich under those circumstances)?

You don't really think this one through, do you?

fitty_three
fitty_three

@TerryClifton02 

NO flat tax.  Progressive, most certainly. Those who bear the lightest load by income - essentials should pay most.

TerryClifton02
TerryClifton02

@fitty_three@TerryClifton02 

They're skating now..They also hiding huge amounts of dollars that our government can't touch, so what's your point? Also, that means those dollars can't be used for investment. 

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@TerryClifton02

Revenue Neutral?  For who?  The company who doesn't pay anything?  No s*** it's revenue neutral.  How about the government?  Oh wait, they don't get anything in taxes from this so there's no benefit for them and they still are expected to provide the same services.  Oh look, there's a massive deficit already.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@TerryClifton02 

So you've become a corporatist because since you believe you can't beat 'em, you'll join 'em?

There are ways to get at corporations.  And corporate flight won't happen. That much history has made clear.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@TerryClifton02

Um....false.  They aren't hiding the money, they're hiding the profit.  What's the difference?  Where the books are registered - nothing more, nothing less.  The money isn't sitting in some Irish bank account, the books are sitting with an Irish government.  As such, the money can freely be reinvested - and stupidly, they can get a tax credit on the reinvestment of the money they never paid taxes on.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@TerryClifton02 

So I was right? You are a corporatist after all, despite your faux offense and stands downthread.  

If we tax them, we can use the revenues to help make this a greater nation.  Infrastructure and a sefety net for those in need, plus healthcare.  There are ample economic examples to make it clear that your idea that letting 'em skate is pretty much worthless.

TerryClifton02
TerryClifton02

@forgottenlord@TerryClifton02 

It's actually revenue neutral. I run my own business, and when I buy products for resale, if my costs go up, I don't eat the higher costs, I charge more the product. 

TerryClifton02
TerryClifton02

@forgottenlord@TerryClifton02 

Exactly, by eliminating their reason to hid it in the first place. If you don't have to pay corporate tax, then there is no reason to hide your money. You can operate in the open, and invest your profits to grow your business, which means more people with good paying jobs. Now the accountants are the ones getting paid to hide it. 

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@TerryClifton02 

Let's put it this way: tax loopholes mean they don't have to pay taxes if they abuse the loophole.  So here's the problem - we can either close the loophole or we can get rid of the taxes.  But the latter problem doesn't solve anything.  They're already operating in the US so it's not encouraging them to reinvest into the US and no matter what you do, you can't beat *free* so there's no way you will ever make money off of them.  Either you make free illegal or you just deal with the fact that they're abusing the system, but cutting corporate taxes to zero just means that you never make money off of any companies anywhere.  Unless I'm missing something, I see no way this turns into revenue.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@TerryClifton02 

Look Terry, stop trying to convince me.  I'm not a Libertarian and I don't like your reasoning.  Do it because they already cheat?  Nah not a reason for me, and that's certainly not economics.

We have scads of history where the is prosperity during incredibly high tax times and they show that even under those conditions that you're entire meme is suspect.

TerryClifton02
TerryClifton02

@fitty_three@deconstructiva 

They already skate..They pass along their taxes to their customers. You think corporations are just going to eat that cost? You must be stupid to think otherwise..

fitty_three
fitty_three

@TerryClifton02 

I'm not a Libertarian. I'm pretty decent at economics, but I don't like what's left out of the equation.  Not buying any of it.

And you said Obama was a corporatist....

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@TerryClifton02

Hang on....

Companies like Google, GE and Facebook hide their taxes by sticking their money overseas.  So your argument is to cut the corporate taxes - which are still pulling in a decent chunk of change - to encourage those companies to come back so America benefits.....how?

TerryClifton02
TerryClifton02

@fitty_three@TerryClifton02 

Facts are facts. Poor people vote democrat. It's just the way it is, and the repubs know this, to make more people poor would only drive more into the democrats pool of potential voters. 

TerryClifton02
TerryClifton02

@fitty_three@TerryClifton02 

It's apparent you never spent much time in Economics. Corporations do not pay taxes, any taxes they pay is built into the products or services they provide to the consumer. So by eliminating corporate tax, our country becomes a tax haven for countries all over the planet. Also, products become cheaper for the consumer, thus allowing them to keep more of their money. I know you're not that dense, right?  

fitty_three
fitty_three

@deconstructiva 

Terry was getting all offended and was calling everyone corporatists including Obama and everyone under the sun here on Swampland.

And then, lo and behold, he's the one who thinks corporations should skate!

deconstructiva
deconstructiva

@fitty_three @TerryClifton02 

If the righties want to eliminate corporate taxes then eliminate corporations' Citizens U. personhood status too. And how would they secure our borders? That's impossible.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@MementoMori 

King County already has a 9% sales tax.  

Nah, that's the territory of local governments.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@TerryClifton02 

"The less someone makes and the poor almost always votes Democrat, so having people starving doesn't work out to well for them, I would argue."

So you're letting that dark side you don't like me pointing out for a little trot, are we?

I was questioning you on this, and well, you got "faux offended".  Now you're letting your Social Darwinist leanings hang hairy balls down, huh?

fitty_three
fitty_three

@TerryClifton02

And number 7 stands out like a sore hypocritical chancre, Terry, considering your faux stands down thread.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@TerryClifton02 

More for the rich, less for everyone else.

No go.

The rest is just you trying to sell Libertarianism to Libruls, whom you hate, anyway.

TerryClifton02
TerryClifton02

@MrObvious 

The less someone makes and the poor almost always votes Democrat, so having people starving doesn't work out to well for them, I would argue. 

TerryClifton02
TerryClifton02

@MrObvious 

Minimum wage does very little in the way of stimulating our economy, and by no means was it ever designed as a living wage.  I would add that the government lacks the appetite to go after corporations that hide billions in tax revenues overseas, and yet enjoys the trappings of our society. It's because our corporate taxes are some of the highest in the world, and companies pay millions to save billions. My solutions are pretty simple:


1. Eliminate the Federal Income Tax, institute the flat tax or fair tax plan

2. Close all foreign military bases

3. No more war, unless we are attacked by another sovereign nation

4. Secure our borders

5. Create a broad range approach to trade with the rest of the world

6. Repeal NAFTA, GAT, and any other trade agreement that has taken away American jobs. 

7. Eliminate all corporate taxes, remember they don't pay taxes anyway.

8. Reinvest in our nations infrastructure, jobs, jobs, jobs..

9. Release non-violent drug offenders from prision. 

10. Make all appropriations bills public. Stop the waste


 

All these ideas will not only save billions of dollars but it will also lead to our resurgence as a nation.