Archive for the ‘Finance’ Category

Good Afternoon! It’s just one devastating hit to the constitution, civil rights, global stability, science, women, our allies, our citizens of color, our GLBT citizens, journalists, National …

Source: Friday: Will the US ever be the US again?

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For your use. May I say, it was quite good tonight and it was wonderful to view it on free TV on PBS. Thank you, KVIE!

Transcript: The Democratic debate in Milwaukee, annotated

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Below find the transcript for the first 2015 Democratic debate:

The Democratic presidential candidates met in Las Vegas for a primetime debate on CNN.

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Gotta pull the Band-Aid off and let the air get to the entire wound.

When a whole bunch of people stand up for what’s right, things can start to change. Amazing. “Thousands Gather for Peace Event.

The biggest indication yet that the Confederate flag might be on its way to a museum is that Walmart has decided to stop selling items with that divisive logo.

Or, maybe they figured out that since California banned the flag in 2014 there wasn’t enough of a market.

PBS had this to say about the Confederate flag yesterday.

And other news, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia has been sold to these corporate developers(raiders).

Might not hurt to access that recipe you wanted, now.

Looks like Martha will do all right, though.

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From the Speier Website:

Rep Speier Commends District Court Ruling Allowing Fraud Lawsuit Against Lehman Brothers


SAN MATEO, CA – Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo/San Francisco) today commended the decision yesterday by U.S. District judge Lewis Kaplan, Southern District New York, that allows a lawsuit for fraud against the officers and directors of failed Lehman Brothers to move forward.

The suit is led by San Mateo County, joined by Monterey County, the Cities of Burbank, Ventura, Auburn, as well as the Contra Costa Water District, Vallejo Sanitation and Flood Control District, and Zenith Insurance Company in seeking to hold Lehman Brothers’ officers and directors, and accountant liable for false statements Lehman Brothers made prior to selling investments to the public. It is the first decision in the country addressing individual investors’ claims since Lehman’s bankruptcy.

“It is shocking that more than four years later no one at Lehman has been held accountable for the failed—and possibly criminal—actions of its leadership.  State and local governments across the country who invested taxpayer dollars in supposedly safe “investment grade” Lehman securities had to cancel important projects, layoff employees and make other drastic service cuts to make up for their losses.

“San Mateo County alone lost more than $100 million in those “safe” investments. They lost, but others, like former Lehman CEO Richard Fuld, profited handsomely from Lehman’s reckless actions.

“I was particularly gratified that the Court allowed the claim of fraudulent conveyance of millions of dollars of real estate to his wife to proceed, calling the motion to dismiss “frivolous.”

At a House Financial Services Committee hearing in April 2010, I questioned Mr. Fuld about the transfer of his $13 million Florida estate in November 2008 to his wife for $100. His claim that the transfer was not intended to shield his assets immediately following Lehman’s collapse was not just frivolous, it was ludicrous.

“It is about time that those whose greed, arrogance and fraud caused this crisis be held personally responsible.”

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Myths vs Realities of Pentagon Spending | Research | Center for International Policy.

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If you were out chopping wood to heat your house, after the weather we have had, you might have missed the tie-in of the Sandra Fluke story leading up to today’s vote to table the Blunt Bomb otherwise known as S.1467 – Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2011². Last night, while trying to fall asleep, I came upon Nancy Pelosi’s pronouncement condemning Rush Limbaugh’s demented misogyny directed toward Ms. Fluke. I sure hope college student Fluke sues the gizzard out of Limbaugh and Clear Channel Vision and all those 600 stations and Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners.

Keep in mind though, Limbaugh is just the potty-mouth lap dog for those other paternalists who wouldn’t even let her speak at their hearing. I loved that the Pelosi site linked to this Think Progress page posted by Alex Seitz-Wald:

…[ While it¹s probably not even worth engaging with Limbaugh on the facts, Fluke¹s testimony was about a friend who is a lesbian and needed birth control for non-sexual medical reasons, so he¹s only wrong about three times over, and offensive many more times over than that….]

Clear Channel is to be blamed for this tripe. This kind of free speech does not deserve a 400 million dollar reward. That’s 50 million a year, and since his 8 year contract runs till 2016 we are going to be subjected to it for a while, unless we do something. COMPLAIN!!! BOYCOTT THE SERVICE!!

Clear Channel is owned by two groups. The first is Bain Capital which over the years has leveraged buy-outs on a lot of big name companies.

Founders for Bain Capital include:

Mitt Romney

T. Coleman Andrews III

Eric Kriss

Clear Channel’s other group is Thomas H. Lee Partners,(THL) which among other numerous assets, recently bought Warner Music Group. They also leverage big buy-outs.

The top three people for THL are:

Vice Chairman and Managing Director David Harkins
http://www.corporationwiki.com/Massachusetts/Boston/david-v-harkins/30357908 .aspx

Vice Chairman Scott Schoen

Co-President Scott Sperling
http://www.corporationwiki.com/Massachusetts/Boston/scott-sperling-P7833817. aspx

Sex is for two. Contraception is for humans. If there weren’t any men, women wouldn’t need it.

By the way, I hope you noticed who was at the top of the Bain list. No wonder he wasn’t sure how to answer.

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Update – If you want to study the 1986 tax code a little more throughly than that provided in the named link below, try Cornell’s LII / Legal Information Institute’s look at the 1986 tax code HERE, or the IRS page HERE.

Seriously, if the Democrats want any hope of passing Democratic measures and want the public to clearly understand who is representing what, NOW NOW NOW is the time to introduce single item measures. Such action reduces the possibility of hidden pork barrel type additions, and allows adequate time for reflection on the measures both from Congress and from the public. It simplifies all kinds of things, like paper use, reenactment and modifications.  Clear, up and down votes on single measures is THE WAY TO REENGAGE PUBLIC SYMPATHY by showing clearly how the battle is being fought and who is on what side.

Consider the example of our current legislation entitled H.R. 4853 or the “Middle Class Relief Act of 2010” a prime example of negotiation gone wrong.

H.R 4853 is currently an 18-page pdf document. It’s fairly straightforward, however, someone who was familiar with the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, tax code prior to the BushCo era interventions should read it and give us advice. While it substitutes 25% for 28% and 28% for 31% in two tax brackets, for example, it doesn’t’ specify what the brackets are. So, it appears these could be movable. Take a look on the last page of the 2009 Tax Tables HERE ,to see where this might apply.

It discusses rates on capital gains and dividends, but makes no comment on funds derived from 401Ks, or IRAs and pensions. Since this is where most regular folk have actually invested, I think again a review of the 1986 tax code by someone familiar with it, would be helpful.

Update – it appears that funds derived from capital gains and dividends, withdrawn from 401K’s etc, would  continue to be taxed at the taxpayer’s current or retirement rate, rather than some lesser tax as is proposed and has been done for non sheltered capital gains and dividends.  The problem with this set up, as I see it is, pension fund holders cannot as easily opt out and speculative earnings are driven by others outside that can dip in and out. The pension fund canard that suggests the retiree comes out ahead because they withdraw at a lower tax rate simply doesn’t hold for most people. Folks can easily wind up with say a 21-25% percent taxable rate on their withdrawals, while those who just bought and sold stocks pay a 15% or proposed 20% rate.

Its’ truly distressing that in a year when Social Security has to go begging, and the housing market has tanked, the small business proportion of the bill allows for an increase of the phase-out expensing of depreciable assets from $200,000 to $500,000, cost of living adjustments, and rounding of limitations by the $1000s, and $10,000’s.

A little lollipop for the Republicans is at the end of it, wherein it states that the ALT extension is effective in 2010, or anytime after December 31, 2009.

I encourage folks to read the below related bills for a better understanding of how unemployment insurance has anything to do with airplanes and airports. A hint, if  you are a 99er you are screwed and  about to enter the realm of the invisible. If you make it a year however, you might be eligible for Obamacare.

H.R 4853 entrains thirteen different related bills. They are:

H.RES.1745, “Providing for consideration of the Senate amendment to the bill (H.R. 4853) to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend the funding and expenditure authority of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, to amend title 49, United States Code, to extend authorizations for the airport improvement program, and for other purposes, and providing for consideration of motions to suspend the rules.”

H.R.1512, the “Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2009”.  It already became public law re: 111-12.

H.R.3607, the “Fiscal Year 2010 Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act”. It already became public law re” 111-69.

H.R.4217, the “Fiscal Year 2010 Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act, Part II”. It became public law re 111-116.

H.R.4915, the “Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010”.  Referred to the Senate Finance Committee-meaning, I guess, since it’s still in committee, it can’t be voted on. So, I don’t know how it was supposed to be included in today’s vote.

H.R.4957, the “Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010”. It already became public law re: 111-153.

H.R.5147, the “Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2010”. It already became public law re: 111-161.

H.R.5611, the “Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2010, Part II”. It apparently already became public law.  (See 111-972.)

H.R.5900, the “Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010”. It already became public law re: 111-216.

H.R.6190, the “Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2010, Part III”. It already became public law re: 111-249.

H.R.6467, the “Middle Class Tax Relief Act of 2010”.

H.R.6473, the  “Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2010, Part IV”. It was received in the Senate on 12/2/10.

S.3187, the “Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010”. It was returned to the Senate re: H. Res. 1653.

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What Dakinikat said about Stealing Home:

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On this one, I agree with the Prez. Pass the Disclose Act tomorrow, otherwise known as the “Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act, S.3628,(correction) see file “getdoc.cgi“! Don’t let this Supreme Court Decision stand. Corporations should not have personhood, or the right to donate money without disclosure to elections. It was bad enough last election WITH disclosure.

The White House Blog

President Obama on Citizens United: “Imagine the Power This Will Give Special Interests Over Politicians”

Posted by Jesse Lee on July 26, 2010 at 03:07 PM EDT

With a Senate vote tomorrow on legislation to undo some of the damage from the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, the President laid out the stakes in no uncertain terms:

Monday A vote to oppose these reforms is nothing less than a vote to allow corporate and special interest takeovers of our elections. It is damaging to our democracy. It is precisely what led a Republican President named Theodore Roosevelt to tackle this issue a century ago.


As pre-announced last month, Hayward’s head is going to be put on the plate for the BP Gulf debacle. If you will pardon the Cold War chuckle, they are sending him HERE in Siberia. Well not quite, the headquarters of TNK-BP was changed to the British Virgin Islands in 2006. However, if he takes the penitent’s job, I see no reason to believe that he will fail to visit the Irtyish River once or twice. TNK-BP announced in January they were aiming to double production. Hayward sounds like just the guy they need. Who needs a river anyway?

BP’s Hayward to Leave as CEO; Russia Job in Works


Look at that, China doen’t want to  be left out of the story either!

In counterpoint to our health plans, Japan’s keep producing this:

Japan women’s life expectancy world longest for 25th straight year

Posted : Mon, 26 Jul 2010 10:04:50 GMT

By : dpa

Tokyo – Japanese women held the world’s longest life expectancy for the 25th year in row in 2009, with their average life-span hitting a record high of 86.44 years, the government said Monday.

Japanese men’s life expectancy also posted a record high of 79.59 years, but they dropped to fifth in the world from fourth in 2008, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare said in a report.

The extension was attributed to improved treatment of major causes of death among Japanese – cancer, strokes, pneumonia and cardiac disorders.

“If an influenza epidemic does not break out, the life expectancy (of Japanese people) is likely to extend further,” a ministry official was quoted by Kyodo News as saying.

In the men’s list, Qatar topped the men’s list at 81.0 years, followed by Hong Kong at 79.8 years, and Iceland and Switzerland at 79.7 years.

As for women, Japan was followed by Hong Kong at 86.1 years, and France at 84.5 years.


As adjunct to a recent comment about the lack of alternatives in political parties over at the Confluence last night, this news arrives from the Denver Post.  Just in case you didn’t know, there is frustration among Repubs as well as Dems. Upsetting TeaPartiers, Tom Tancredo has decided to openly declare his right wing intentions by running for the American Constitution Party. Frankly I like this kind of transparency; Tancredo hasn’t changed, he’s just come out of the closet.

Tancredo will run for governor as American Constitution Party candidate

By Karen Crummy, Denver Post Staff Writer

POSTED: 07/26/2010 08:48:17 AM MDT

UPDATED: 07/26/2010 11:49:11 AM MDT

Tom Tancredo (Denver Post | 2008 file)

[Former Congressman Tom Tancredo is in the race for Colorado governor, he said this morning. “I will officially announce at noon that I will seek the nomination of the constitution party,” Tancredo told the Post….]


In case you don’ think they are serious, take a look a t the Wiki link and see how many positions they are seeking in the 2010 election. A few can become a voting block pretty quickly.

At the same time, some over at the Black Agenda are advocating ending the sheep stroll for the Democratic party and going Black, Red And Green.

Black American Politics in the 21st Century: Is It Time For A New Plan?

Wed, 07/14/2010 – 09:28 — Bruce A. Dixon

[We all love and respect our ancestor and freedom fighter Frederick Douglass. But in the 21st century, nobody is trying to imitate his haircut or wear his 19th century clothes. So why is 21st century black America still stuck with Frederick Douglass’s political strategy, 140 years later? And how’s that old stuff working out for us, anyway?…]


The Green Party has their own list, and want you to support their local candidates.

Keep a repugnant law on the books, just so the very arrogant and powerful can play God. Then, when the international community calls you on the carpet, blame them and the defenders of the victims.

We have our own problems with the death penalty here in the USA, but for this kind of torture even the Humane Society would have your ass in jail and the key thrown away.

Just who gets to throw these stones anyway? You gotta wonder what it does to the throwers as well. It’s government sponsored Milgrams, only with real consequences:

Attorney of Iranian Condemend(sic. Condemned) to Be Stoned Faces Arrest

Edward Yeranian | Cairo

26 July 2010

Iran has reportedly issued an arrest warrant for the attorney of Sakineh Ashtiani, whose stoning sentence has enraged many in the West.  Iranian authorities apparently detained the wife and brother-in-law of attorney Mohammed Mostafaei, when they were unable to locate him


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