Thursday, June 30, 2011

Snyder’s First Six Months: Killing Michigan Jobs

I needz to be recall

From Michigan Democratic Party

LANSING – Six months into his tenure, Governor Rick Snyder has failed to sign one piece of legislation that helps to create jobs. After promising on the campaign trail and in his inaugural address to create jobs, Snyder’s policies have actually cost Michigan jobs.
“We’ve seen nothing from this Governor in six months except the elimination of jobs in Michigan.” Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer said. “Whether it’s the repeal of item pricing, the cuts to film incentives, or his budget which is causing the layoffs of thousands of teachers, police, firefighters, and other public employees – Snyder has proven that all he knows how to do in office is kill jobs.”
“Just this past week we’ve seen even more jobs leave the state,” added Brewer. “A solar technology company in Brighton is leaving Michigan and taking jobs to Indiana. It joins several other companies who have left Michigan or created jobs elsewhere since Snyder became Governor. In six months, Snyder has broken his promise to create jobs. That’s not ‘reinventing’ Michigan. That’s ruining Michigan.”
Motor City Liberal Comment: What's that sound coming from the Michigan right wing blog sphere? It's the sound of crickets because they can't defend ONE damn thing this governor and that corrupt Republican super majority in Lansing are doing. 

Cantor could rake in windfall if debt ceiling isn’t raised

By David Edwards

Economists have said that failing to raise the debt ceiling could be catastrophic for the U.S. economy, but at least one lawmaker stands to gain financially if the country defaults on its debts.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's (R-VA) latest financial disclosure statement indicates that he owns up to $15,000 of ProShares Trust Ultrashort 20+ Year Treasury EFT, a fund that will likely skyrocket as U.S. debt becomes less desirable.
"If the debt ceiling isn’t raised, investors would start fleeing U.S. Treasuries," Motley Fool's Matt Koppenheffer told Salon. "Yields would rise, prices would fall, and the Proshares ETF should do very well. It would spike."
"Cantor's involvement in the fund and negotiations is not ideal," he added. "I don’t think someone negotiating the debt ceiling should be invested in this kind of an ultra-short... It looks pretty bad."
Cantor pulled out of negotiations to raise the debt limit last week saying, "Now is the time for these talks to go into abeyance."
Since that time, ProShares ETF is up 3.3 percent.
"Cantor's office claims the investment is simply part of a balanced portfolio," noted Washington Monthly's Steve Benen. "It's hardly a stretch, though, to suggest prominent officials should avoid these kinds of conflicts of interest."

Mark Halperin calls Obama a ‘dick’ on live TV

By David Edwards

After Time’s Mark Halperin referred to the President of the United States as a “dick” Thursday, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough made it clear that he helped orchestrate the incident.
Scarborough set Halperin up by asking him about yesterday’s press conference where President Barack Obama scolded Republicans for not raising the debt ceiling.
“Are we on the seven-second delay?” Halperin asked.
“Yeah, sure,” Scarborough said. “Come on. Take a chance.”
“I thought he was kind of a dick yesterday,” Halperin announced with smile.
Following the commercial break, Scarborough admitted he was complicit in the stunt.
“I’m sorry. It was a joke,” he confessed. “We made the joke before the show about the seven-second delay and we were going to try it out.”
“Joking aside, this is not a pro forma apology, it’s an absolute apology, heartfelt to the president and the viewers,” Halperin said. “I became part of the joke, but that’s no excuse. I made a mistake and I’m sorry and I shouldn’t have said it. As I said, I apologize to the president and to the viewers who heard me say that.”
Washington Monthly‘s Steve Benen noted that the Morning Joe crew was probably upset that Obama didn’t appear “docile and conciliatory” towards Republicans in Congress.
“Halperin’s credibility as an objective observer of political events has long been dubious, at best, but this morning’s little stunt should remove all doubt,” Benen wrote.
Update: MSNBC has suspended Halperin indefinitely.
“Mark Halperin’s comments this morning were completely inappropriate and unacceptable,” MSNBC said in a statement. “We apologize to the president, the White House and all of our views. We strive for a high level of discourse and comments like these have no place on our air. Therefore, Mark will be suspended indefinitely from his role as an analyst.”
Watch this video from MSNBC’s Morning Joe, broadcast June 30, 2011.
Motor City Liberal Comments: I remember  jokers like this were scared  to air their slightest of criticism of George W.Bush.and if they did they waited until Bush became the political version of a nuclear reactor meltdown so there was no blacklash from his flying monkeys in the right wing media and their followers.
Before the right wing lurkers say well you guys said the same about Bush, well no one called Bush a dick on national tv and let me remind you Bush critics almost saw their careers ruined check out the Dixie Chicks and vocal Bush critic Danny Glover who lost a phone endorsement deal.

Major Karl Rove Donor Ken Langone On Debt Negotiations: ‘I Should Pay More Taxes’

By Lee Fang/Think Progress

In Feb. 2010, Karl Rove and operatives from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce convened a meeting of mostly Wall Street titans to fund a set of Republican groups designed to run attacks on Democrats. Ken Langone, a wealthy Wall Street investor and controversial former head of the New York Stock Exchange, was one of the very first majordonors to the Rove campaign groups, which now include American Action Network, American Action Forum, American Crossroads, and American Crossroads GPS.
Yesterday on the Fox Business Network, Langone was asked by host Lou Dobbs about how to kickstart the economy. Langone repeatedly said high unemployment is the greatest problem, but conceded that corporations are doing better than ever. To get things going, Langone explained, everyone would have to feel “pain.” In a sharp contrast with his friend Karl Rove, Langone said wealthy guys like him “should pay more taxes”:
LANGONE: Well I say this as a devout Republican. I think in these negotiations, I think number one guys like me, I’ve said this before, there’s a caveat. I shouldn’t get Social Security. I should pay more taxes.
Watch it:
Langone says higher taxes on wealthy individuals like himself should go “entirely to paying down the debt.”
As President Obama and Democrats have pushed to include modest tax increases on the wealthy as part of the debt negotiations, as well as a repeal on tax subsidies to big oil companies (deemed a tax hike by some conservatives and those in the media), Rove’s front groups have hit back with nasty attack ads claiming any tax increase would hurt the economy. Perhaps Rove should listen more to his own wealthy donors.


 From Think Progress

Former GOP Sen. Alan Simpson blasted his intransigent GOP colleagues on the hill today for failing to reach a deal on the deficit. The expletive-prone co-chairman of President Obama’s bipartisan fiscal reform commission slammed Republicans for kowtowing to American for Tax Reform head Grover Norquist (“Republicans can’t be in thrall to him”) and pushed Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to stand fast on the August 2 deadline. Surveying the lay of the current fiscal land, Simpson said “We’re at 15 percent revenue, and historically it’s been closer to 20 percent.” “We’ve never had a war without a tax, and now we’ve got two,” he added. “Absolute bullshit.”

Republican Senators Defend Corporate Jet Tax Loophole

By Alex Seitz-Wald/Think Progress

President Obama’s call during a press conference yesterday to end a tax breaks for private jet owners has been met with derision and confusion by many the right, with most Republicans lawmakersdismissing it out of hand as just another tax hike. “Republicans weren’t having it,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
On MSNBC this afternoon, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) dismissed ending the tax break as just “code for much broader, large tax increases,” saying that the jet tax break is “not the issue we’re debating here.” Watch it:
Sen. Marco Rubo (R-FL) meanwhile, told the National Review that Obama was suggesting corporate jet owners earn too much money. “[D]on’t go around telling people that the reason you are not doing well is because some rich guy is in a corporate jet or some oil company ismaking too much money,” he said. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) spokesperson defended the tax break without really addressing the issue on its merits, quipping to reporters, “Interesting that he keeps pointing to corporate planes and oil/gas.”
Conservative media outlets took up the same line, dismissing Obama’s call as an empty “metaphor” and the “latest class warfare catchphrase.” The Wall Street Journal wrote a gleefully condescending blog post yesterday called, “Note To Obama: $250,000-a-Year Earners Can’t Afford Jets,” in which it sought to educate Obama about taxes. The only problem? The author assumed Obama was referring to the Bush cuts — he was not and the esteemed paper was forced to run a correction at the bottom of the story
But not only are Rubio, Crapo and the rest defending a tax loophole for the most fortunate Americans, they’re completely misunderstanding it. As hard as it to believe, the private jet tax break is no “metaphor” or “code” for people making too much money — it is an actual loophole in the tax code that applies to private jets and not commercial ones. The provision, created in 1987, allows corporate jets to be depreciated over a five-year period rather than the seven-year period required for commercial ones. It has been defended and supported by Republicans since.
The more sophisticated conservative defense of special tax breaks private corporate jets, advanced by the Hertiage Foundation, among others, is that it was created by the stimulus package. As ThinkProgress’ Matt Yglesias explained, this myth too is bunk.
While closing the loophole wouldn’t raise enough money to solve the deficit problem by any means, it points to the absurdity of much of the spending in the tax code and would surely be a step in the right direction. The conservative response to ending it, meanwhile, speaks to the priorities of their tax cut “theology” — fewer taxes for the wealthy above all else.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fox's Eric Bolling Cheers His Outranking Of Deceased Anchor

by Eric Hananoki

Fox News has an Eric Bolling problem. As Media Matters has documented, the Fox host has cast doubt on the legitimacy of President Obama's long-form birth certificate; has repeatedly made racially charged remarks to attack Obama; and routinely bungles facts in both Fox's so-called "opinion" and"news" hours.
Today, Bolling is drawing fire again for crass comments he made in regard to recently deceased anchor Mark Haines. As TVNewser noted, Bolling tweeted last night:
TVNewser's Chris Ariens accurately responded to Bolling's insensitive remarks by writing: "Really? To claim you've outranked a man who died a month ago ... on a list Mark Haines probably never knew existed? That's some serious class. Wonder what Roger Ailes -- who was among those paying respects after Haines' sudden death last month -- thinks about this."
Bolling also posted the same comments on his Facebook page and added in his comments section, "now if I could just get past the retired hosts! : )" After a Facebook fan remarked that Beck is leaving his Fox News program, Bolling wrote: "Tell me about it... the man is a visionary. I'll miss him a lot."
That Bolling is describing Beck as a "visionary" isn't surprising, given that Bolling has copied some ofBeck's shtick and has served as one of Beck's guest hosts. Bolling has been mentioned by several media outlets as a potential replacement for Beck's 5pm ET slot.  
Bolling previously worked at CNBC with Haines. In an interview with Media Matters, former CNBC anchor Ted David questioned whether Bolling had the experience to be a cable host, adding, "I never thought he was especially bright or especially skilled or astute."

Poll show voters aren't happy with Michigan Republicans

By Charles Crumm/Daily Tribune

Michigan's Republican-controlled Legislature may have passed a state budget in record time, but what they passed isn't popular with voters.

A poll shows 61 percent of voters say they're less likely to vote for Republicans in 2012 because of the budget that cuts funding to public schools but gives tax breaks to corporations.

Commissioned by the Perricone Group and Lambert, Edwards & Associates, the poll from June 16 and 17 surveyed 600 registered voters who said they would vote in the November 2012 general election.

“We’re seeing significant buyer’s remorse on the part of voters who elected Republicans into office,” said Chuck Perricone, CEO of the Perricone Group, in a statement. “While certainly there is time to right the ship before the 2012 elections, GOP leaders should take these results seriously – cutting public schools across the state is accompanied with consequences at the local level.”

The poll also asked about Michigan's economic recovery and a number of candidates who will likely appear on the 2012 ballot.

On the economy, 51 percent disagreed with the statement that Michigan's economy is starting to turn around while 41.2 percent agreed. Younger voters aged 18-34 were more likely at 51 percent to believe the economy was turning the corner while 54 percent aged 50-64 disagreed.

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder's approval ratings are kind of in the middle. While 28 percent gave the governor high marks, 31 percent gave him a medium rating and 30 percent gave him a low rating.

By comparison, 38 percent of Michigan voters gave President Barack Obama high ratings, 27 percent medium ratings and 33 percent low ratings.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, up for re-election in 2012, received high ratings from 34 percent, medium ratings from 28 percent and low ratings from 22 percent. But 37 percent were unsure of her overall performance.

Voters were also asked if they would vote for a Republican or Democrat in a state House race, and respondents gave a slight nod to Democrats over Republicans 32 percent to 29 percent.

Michigan native and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is seeking the Republican nomination for president in 2012. If Republicans hold a primary, 29 percent say they would support Romney compared to 5 percent for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and 2 percent for U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter of Livonia, whose district includes west Oakland County.

“All of McCotter’s votes came from metro Detroit while Romney’s votes were evenly spread throughout the state,” said Dennis Denno, CEO of Denno Research.

The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.

Sen. Harry Reid: Republicans living in a fantasy world

By Eric W. Dolan

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters on Tuesday that his Republican friends seem to be living in a fantasy world because of their views on deficit-reduction.
“Republicans should start accepting the hard truths we face and work with us to do the right thing for the middle class instead of protecting millionaires and big corporations at all costs,” he said.
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube by SenateDemocrats, below:

Bachmann Calls The Minimum Wage An ‘Expansion Of Government’ That Needs To Be Eliminated

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) formally kicked off her presidential campaign yesterday, painting herself as a Tea Party candidate who is ready to lead the country back to prosperity (even if her former chief of staff doesn’t think so).
Today, in classic Tea Party form, Bachmann reiterated her long-held belief that a federally mandated minimum wage is a job-killing federal regulation that may need to be abolished.
In 2005, Bachmann told the Minnesota state Senate that abolishing the minimum wage could “wipe out unemployment completely.” When Good Morning America‘s George Stephanopoulos asked her for evidence to back up that claim today, Bachmann struggled to find an answer, initially dodging the question before finally referring to the minimum wage as a regulation that is “inhibiting job growth” and saying it needed to be examined:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me try this one more time. So you’re saying the minimum wage is one of those regulations you’d take a look at? You’d try to eliminate it?
BACHMANN: Well, what I’m saying is I think we need to look at all regulations.Whatever ones are inhibiting job growth, that’s what we need to look at.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And the minimum wage is one of them?
BACHMANN: All regulations, George. I think every department, we have just too much expansion of government, and what we need to do is tamp that down so the American people can keep more of what they make.
Watch it:
Paul Krugman has rebutted conservative arguments about the minimum wage, saying, “In reality, reducing wages would at best do nothing for employment; more likely it would actually be contractionary.” As Pat Garofalo found in 2009, almost all of the economic research shows that the minimum wage has little or no effect on unemployment.
Recent statistics show that wages are stagnant and the majority of jobs that are being added arelow-wage jobs. But the workers in those jobs making the minimum wage would actually need an increase in the wage to match the buying power of the minimum wage in 1968.
Another recent study in Michigan showed that the current federal minimum wage — a paltry $7.25 per hour — would need to be doubled to cover basic expenses for a single adult worker and more than tripled to cover the same expenses for an adult worker with children.

CHART: Lower Taxes On The Rich Don’t Lead To Job Growth

Congressional Republicans — during both last year’s debate over the pending expiration of the Bush tax cuts and the current negotiations regarding raising the nation’s debt ceiling — refused to consider tax increases on even the very richest Americans. In fact, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) blew up debt ceiling negotiations last week due to his insistence that those making more than $500,000 annually be shielded from any tax increase.
The GOP justification for its position — even with income inequality at its worst level since the 1920s — is that raising taxes on the rich will destroy jobs. “What some are suggesting is that we take this money from people who would invest in our economy and create jobs and give it to the government. The fact is you can’t tax the very people that we expect to invest in the economy and create jobs,” said Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH).
However, history doesn’t back up the GOP’s claim. In fact, as Center for American Progress Director of Tax and Budget Policy Michael Linden found, “in the past 60 years, job growth has actually been greater in years when the top income tax rate was much higher than it is now”:
For instance, in years when the top marginal rate was more than 90 percent, the average annual growth in total payroll employment was 2 percent. In years when the top marginal rate was 35 percent or less — which it is now — employment grew by an average of just 0.4 percent.
And there’s no cherry-picking here. Pick any threshold. When the marginal tax rate was 50 percent or above, annual employment growth averaged 2.3 percent, and when the rate was under 50, growth was half that.
In fact, if you ranked each year since 1950 by overall job growth, the top five years would all boast marginal tax rates at 70 percent or higher. The top 10 years would share marginal tax rates at 50 percent or higher. The two worst years, on the other hand, were 2008 and 2009, when the top marginal tax rate was 35 percent. In the 13 years that the top marginal tax rate has been at its current level or lower, only one year even cracks the top 20 in overall job creation.
Contrary to Republican claims, lower taxes on the rich don’t lead to higher economic growth either.