Category Archives: coffee muses

In the Senate, Covering Themselves in Old Glory

In the Senate, Covering Themselves in Old Glory: “The Citizens Flag Alliance, a group pushing for the Senate this week to pass a flag-burning amendment to the Constitution, just reported an alarming, 33 percent increase in the number of flag-desecration incidents this year.
The number has increased to four, from three.”
The naive among us may have trouble appreciating how four flag-burning episodes would constitute a constitutional crisis. But the men and women of the Senate, ever alert to emerging threats, are on the case.

And the not so naive will see this as just what it is, a biannual posturing of the GOP. Yes folks it really is an election year…

House Sacrifices Revenue and Earmarks

Washington Post: House Sacrifices Revenue and Earmarks:

“The legislation, which passed 269 to 156, would exempt estates worth as much as $5 million — $10 million for couples — from taxation indefinitely. The tax rate on estates worth more than the exemption level up to $25 million would be set at the same tax rates that apply to capital gains — now 15 percent but scheduled to rise to 20 percent in 2011. The tax for estates worth more than $25 million would be twice the capital gains rate. The bipartisan Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that the estate tax cut would cost the government $279 billion in revenue over the next 10 years.”

I don’t care what anyone says, I am proud that we here in the USA have the most expensive government money can buy…And buy…And buy. Whatever happened to honest politicians? You know, the ones who stayed bought once the money changed hands. Here they are, trying a endrun…Tie the estate tax to the capital gains tax which happens to be the one tax they plan on doing away with if they can keep control of the government…What we can’t read and remember from one day to the next what their stated agenda is?

“But between 2012 and 2021, the first decade the tax would be fully in force, the cost to the Treasury would climb to $602 billion — $762 billion if the costs of additional interest payments are included. And if the 15 percent tax rate on capital gains is extended beyond its 2010 expiration date, the 10-year cost could be as much as $823 billion, according to the joint committee.”

I realize that the stated policy of the folks behind the Republican Party has been the death of big government. So I guess a way to do this is to tie all tax rates to a tax that you intend to deep six…What a way to run a company…oops, country.

The Blog of Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, June 22, 2006
Thoreau’s Journal: 22-Jun-1851
As I walk the railroad causeway, I notice that the fields and meadows have acquired various tinges as the season advances, the sun gradually using all his paints. There is the rosaceous evening red tinge of red clover,—like an evening sky gone down under the grass,—the whiteweed tinge, the white clover tinge, which reminds me how sweet it smells. The tall buttercup stars the meadow on another side, telling of the wealth of dairies. The blue-eyed grass, so beautiful near at hand, imparts a kind of slate or clay blue tinge to the meads.

What a great idea…go be inspired.

Saturday, June 17, 2006
Thoreau’s Journal: 17-Jun-1854
Another remarkably hazy day: our view is confined, the horizon near, no mountains; as you look off only four or five miles, you see a succession of dark wooded ridges and vales filled with mist. It is dry, hazy June weather. We are more of the earth, farther from heaven, these days. We live in a grosser element. We [are] getting deeper into the mists of earth. Even the birds sing with less vigor and vivacity. The season of hope and promise is past; already the season of small fruits has arrived. The Indians marked the midsummer as the season when berries were ripe. We are a little saddened, because we begin to see the interval between our hopes and their fulfillment. The prospect of the heavens is taken away, and we are presented with a few small berries.

Lawmakers’ Profits Are Scrutinized

Lawmakers’ Profits Are Scrutinized: House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) made a $2 million profit last year on the sale of land 5 1/2 miles from a highway project that he helped to finance with targeted federal funds.

A Republican House member from California, meanwhile, received nearly double what he paid for a four-acre parcel near an Air Force base after securing $8 million for a planned freeway interchange 16 miles away. And another California GOP congressman obtained funding in last year’s highway bill for street improvements near a planned residential and commercial development that he co-owns.

In all three cases, Hastert and Reps. Ken Calvert and Gary Miller say that they were securing funds their home districts wanted badly, and that in no way did the earmarks have any impact on the land values of their investments. But for watchdog groups, the cases have opened a fresh avenue for investigation and a new wrinkle in the ongoing controversy over earmarks — home-district projects funded through narrowly written legislative language.

It really makes you wonder where we got off track. Politics has always had the smell of the nefarious, now with campaign funds and earmarks and an attitude that everyone is doing it so it must be ok, but, just in case we wont work the ethics committee too hard in case they do find something. Oh, and while we are at it lets ply with the districts to make sure no one can beat us until we are vested in that retirement fund we set up (you know you can’t count on social security…We’ve been spending the money for years).

What the hell happened to leadership in this country? Since when did vested self interest win out over doing the work of the American People. Come on you guys, you went in to politics to make a difference, where did your ideals go?

I think this is the same mentality in leadership that allows for the minimum wage in this country to be worth 25% less than it was in 1968 and yet bumps their own salary by $30K per year…Almost 3 times the fulltime minimum wage.

America, our leaders suck!

Late addendu…Even Molly Ivins is pissed.