December 16, 2010 archive

Tax Vote: House Blinks Before Leaping Off Cliff With Obama on SocSecurity Plunder

Notice the curious case of passivity and resignation coming from the so – called “progressive” and “liberal” caucuses in the House of Congress lately on this Republican Wet Dream of extending the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthiest segment of our society during a Depression ?  And unfunded foreign occupation/wars causing an immense deficit?

There are a few faint sparks of realization in the Democratic caucus, that the President’s trade he cut with Republican Senators to gut Social Security (and hope nobody notices)  by decreasing the payroll tax for it 2%, in exchange for extending some unemployment benefits for millions, for a year,  maybe is going to get them in even bigger trouble down the road.     Even if their own President is willing to call them a bunch of “purist”  poopyheads in public, to get what he wants.  

The House Rules Committee vote on the rule to let this abomination go through was supposed to be this evening, and now it’s delayed.   Speaker Pelosi has decided on a curious tact of allowing a scootch of dissent on the whopping Estate Tax giveaway, while ignoring the rest of the Senate’s version of the tax bill as being worthy.  Extending the Bush – era tax cuts is going to add another trillion dollar hole to the deficit.  This pathetic Congress can’t even get it together to at least come up with a coherent narrative as to why the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthiest were part of a national policy disaster which caused our current problems, and should be repealed.…

The House was set to vote on the rule governing debate on the broad tax bill, but the measure was withdrawn at the last minute when leaders realized it was likely to be rejected. Liberals opposed to the deal Obama struck with Republicans were upset that the procedure approved by the House Rules Committee on Wednesday did not allow them a clean opportunity to vote on the legislation the Senate passed on Wednesday. A final vote on the tax deal had been planned for Thursday evening.

Under the rule approved Wednesday, lawmakers would first vote on an amendment to the estate tax provision of the tax bill, which Democratic leaders want raised to a higher level. If that measure passed, the entire tax bill would return to the Senate, meaning lawmakers would have, in effect, approved the underlying measure with the single change to the estate tax. Liberals objected to that procedure, saying they wanted an opportunity to reject the entire bill, not just the estate tax provision.

If the estate tax amendment failed – which is expected – then the House would vote on the underlying Senate bill.

Notice how the above Hill story says they expect the estate tax amendment to fail also.    Yes, this is such a crappy deal that President Obama cut with the Senate Republicans, that we also are going to watch them make sure billionaires  like the Walton Family can pass on larger estates, while millions of regular Americans continue to lose their life savings and meager retirement funds to foreclosures, job losses, and medical bill bankruptcies, because that Health Care Bill has mostly NOT been implemented.

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D, NY 28, Rochester, Buffalo, Erie)  of the so – called Progressive Caucus, one of the most “Liberal” members of the House,  is the current head of the Rules committee that is working this charade.………

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said some Democrats criticized procedures that would only allow lawmakers to introduce one amendment to the bill, and which, if passed, would send the amended package immediately back to the Senate. The current rule allows each party one amendment and an hour and a half of debate time, with 45 minutes of the Democrats’ time being granted to those in opposition to the bill. The likely amendment would be a change to the bill’s estate-tax provision, presented by Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.).

“A lot of members are saying ‘I’d like to amend it, but I’d like to vote against it,’ ” Waxman said.

Catch 22 !  You vote against the Estate tax in the House, and this POS tax giveaway goes directly back to the Senate who then  gives it gift wrapped to the President to sign !  

Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), who led the charge against the tax deal, said he wants Democrats to be given a chance to make additional amendments to the bill, including changes to tax cuts that could threaten revenue for Social Security.

The leadership is not allowing debate over Social Security because “they don’t have the time,” Welch said. He said Democratic leaders were not “twisting arms” on the matter and would allow dissenting members to state their case.

Still, he said the momentum from the Senate would make it difficult to block the bill.

“I think the die was cast basically in the Senate,” Welch said. “Where we had an opportunity … was by making senators who were going to hold the middle-class tax cuts hostage to the tax cuts at the high end, make them debate that and vote that over and over again.”

They don’t have the time ?

Then why the **** is the Senate going to blow all that non existent time, taking 50 hours reading the budget bill in the Senate ?

12/16/10  GOP will paralyze Senate Floor with reading of 1,924 page spending bill.…

Republicans will paralyze the Senate floor for 50 hours by forcing clerks to read every single paragraph of the 1,924-page, $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill.

Senate clerks are expected to read the massive bill in rotating shifts around the clock – taking breaks to drink water and pop throat lozenges  – to keep legislative business on track, according to a Democratic leadership aide.

If Republicans follow through on their threat, legislative business couldn’t resume until late Saturday in order to give the staff enough time to read the bill aloud, according to a Democratic leadership estimate.

Sen. DeMint (R, SC)  :  “Again, We’re trying to run out the clock.”

Sen. Kyl (R, AZ)  :  “”To suggest that we can dual-track an issue as important as the funding of the government with this almost 2,000-page, $1 trillion-plus bill at the same time that we are seriously debating the START treaty is a fantasy.”

So called Liberal bloggers, paraphrased: “We’re trying to ignore this latest betrayal because it makes it awkward on the Holiday Cocktail Circuit.”

My personal interactions with my real friends –  I don’t know of anyone who actually supports this continued capitulation routine, nor the crappy Republican policies being put forth as “compromises,” with a Dem supermajority which refuses to govern with it.    

Pvt. Brad Manning: Seven Months of Solitary So Far

Private Manning has never been tried for a crime.  He has never been convicted of a crime.  Yet he has spent the past five months in solitary confinement at the Marine brig in Quantico, VA, and the preceding two months in prison in Kuwait.

There are no sheets or a  pillow on his bed.  He is not permitted to exercise in his cell, and closed circuit television monitors him to make sure he doesn’t sneak in a prohibited push-up or sit-up.  

For one hour a day he is allowed out of his cell, perhaps to exercise or watch television, though whether or not he is allowed to watch the news is in dispute.

He is being given anti-depressants to offset the effects of solitary confinement.  It must be that the folks manning the brig at Quantico are aware that the facts are in concerning the cruel torment that solitary confinement is, and the long-term mental health problems it induces: it drives people mad.

We’ll Be Fighting In The Streets

With our children at our feet

And the morals that they worship will be gone

And the men who spurred us on

Sit in judgment of all wrong

They decide and the shotgun sings the song

stage presence 😉

Open Snow Leopard


Violent Ends Require Non-Violent Beginnings

As we move towards becoming a more empathetic society, certain regrettable characteristics must be directly addressed.  The eye for an eye sorts would have us believe that we are opting for weakness, regardless of our efforts to establish fairness and equality.  The paradoxical ferocity of our impulse for justice would seem to belie these fears, but they still remain in the minds of many.  Unless we honestly take stock of how each of us is negatively impacted by a noxious undercurrent of violence, we will only be treating secondary symptoms of a larger disease.  In the end, it doesn’t really matter how many degrees separate our complicity.        

Bail For Julian Assange Upheld By British High Court

Following yesterdays report from the UK Guardian that “The decision to have Julian Assange sent to a London jail and kept there was taken by the British authorities and not by prosecutors in Sweden, as previously thought.” and that Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service would go to the high court today to seek the reversal of the City of Westminster magistrates court decision to free the WikiLeaks founder on bail…

The Guardian reports this morning that:

Britain’s high court today decided to grant bail to Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder who is wanted in Sweden for questioning over allegations of rape.

Justice Duncan Ouseley agreed with a decision by the City of Westminister earlier in the week to release Assange on strict conditions: £200,000 cash deposit, with a further £40,000 guaranteed in two sureties of £20,000 and strict conditions on his movement.

Bail conditions set by Riddle stipulate that Assange must stay at a country house in Suffolk owned by Vaughan Smith, the founder of the Frontline club in west London, report to police daily and wear an electronic tag.

There is no mention in the Guardian’s piece this morning as to whether Assange has actually been physically released yet.

Meanwhile, as Daniel Tencer notes this morning at RawStory, the US witch hunt continues as  “The Justice Department is looking at contact between WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and the alleged source of the leaked State Department cables, PFC Bradley Manning, in order to build a criminal conspiracy case against Assange, a news report says.”

Tenacatita for Christmas? Only for Some

(An update to my continuing report on the Tenacatita Beach story.)

On August 14th, when wealthy businessman Jose Villalobos siezed Tenacatita with armed policemen, this is what he stole. Homes. Palapas. (Open air thatch roofed structures that residents build to sell their wares – grilled fish over open wood fires, etc) HOMES.

He bulldozed 90% of it before the displaced population could attempt legal redress.


Again, this is what it looks like now. Sickening, really. Do not think for a moment that all those quaint family-owned businesses were torn down to restore the beach to a barren state; they were torn down so one man with a dubious deed could build a mega resort / yacht club for wealthy gringos. The legal residents, with deeds signed by the president, the families and descendants of the original settlers of the land, the communal-held ejido of the public beach have been left homeless, and with no way to make a living.

They have offered a “compromise deal” that still disenfranchises the homeless true-owners of the land.

There is breaking news on this story, please click through for the Update.

Is Now a Citizen

One has wondered where all those ‘citizen kombat keyboarders’ have been this whole past decade! We know they certainly, nor their spin meisters, haven’t been demanding ‘Sacrifice’ by the Country, instead quite the opposite, their representatives as well.

We also know all the names and phrases used against any who didn’t walk in lockstep with their hollow words of support while they waved that flag of what they call ‘patriotism’, their definition of patriotism. Like this beck recently calling out Special Ops soldiers for god knows what twisted reason sits in that chubby head.

Docudharma Times Thursday December 16

Thursday’s Headlines:

Arctic’s vanishing sea ice presents polar bear with a new danger – grizzlies


U.S. Tries to Build Case for Conspiracy by WikiLeaks

Administration’s next big Afghan battle: How many troops to withdraw


EU strategy in defence of euro risky for markets

Bulgarian row over diplomats with Soviet past

Middle East

Qatar Has High Hopes for 2022 World Cup

Middle East peace process: Dead but not buried


The tragedy that shames Australia

US double talk on Myanmar nukes


Call for calm as senior politicians accused of crimes against humanity

Human rights council: ‘Scars of apartheid remain’

Latin America

Chavez foes, US condemn plan for decree powers

U.S. rethinks strategy for an unthinkable attack

Administration’s problem: How to spread advice without causing alarm?


Suppose the unthinkable happened, and terrorists struck New York or another big city with an atom bomb. What should people there do? The government has a surprising new message: Do not flee. Get inside any stable building and don’t come out till officials say it’s safe.

The advice is based on recent scientific analyses indicating that a nuclear attack is much more survivable if you immediately shield yourself from the lethal radiation that follows a blast, a simple tactic seen as saving hundreds of thousands of lives. Even staying in a car, the studies show, would reduce casualties by more than 50 percent; hunkering down in a basement would be better by far.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

Time for a break from poetry…in order to create some art.

They will say that you are on the wrong road, if it is your own.

–Antonio Porchia

Glyph 6

On Honoring A Legacy, Or John Edwards, We Need To Talk

So it has come to pass that Elizabeth Edwards has died.

Despite having more things thrown at her than anyone I’ve ever had the chance to support in my entire political life, she managed to represent, in her very presence, a sense of grace and kindness and concern for those who were looking to have a better life than the one they had now, and I don’t know that I could ever live up to the quiet courage she showed as her life came to an end.

And, bless her heart, it appears that she took the time to make sure that her kids knew her, and that she helped them put away enough “past” to, hopefully, ease some of the pain of the future.

But now the time has come to look beyond death, and, John…that’s why I want to talk to you today.

From Bala Murghab to Nowhere

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