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REHM, 10:18:46
Phyllis Schlafly, founder and president of the Eagle Forum, thanks for joining us.

SCHLAFLY, 10:18:53
Thank you, Diane. Love your show.
You bet Phyllis love's Diane's show---it gives her wingnut crazy viewpoint a national forum.
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Dog Food Photo by Mark Turnauckas - Creative Commons
A chained CPI is based on the idea that if one product becomes more expensive -- steak, for instance -- consumers will switch to a cheaper substitute -- say, chicken -- thereby spending the same amount for food. The chained CPI would make the same switch, dropping steak from its measure of inflation and replacing it with chicken, resulting in a lower tally of inflation and, if linked to Social Security, lower payments to seniors.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

Why stop with chicken?  

When that gets too expensive, The "Grans" can eat Kibble.  When that gets too expensive, give Palin's "Death Panels" a ringie dingie.  

The Soylent Green factory won't pay much for Granny if she's too skinny.

Discuss

Yes!

The powerful U.S. gun rights lobby called on Friday for armed police in all U.S. schools within weeks as Americans remembered the victims of the Newtown, Connecticut, school massacre with a moment of silence.

National Rifle Association Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre said attempts to keep guns out of schools were ineffective

http://www.reuters.com/...

There's currently more than 132,000 K-12 schools (public and private) in the United States.

Most don't have armed security guards.

So let's hire 'em.  Just like the NRA demands.

Inventing a number, let's hypothecate we need to hire, train, and equip only 100,000 new security officers since many schools do already have armed guards.

Of course, that won't be enough.  We'd really need 200,000 As anyone who's seen a cop show knows, we're really need 200,000

The cop without backup is "OFFICER DOWN!"  

And there's normal sick days.  Sure wouldn't want to leave the kids at risk cuz' Officer Down has a cold.  Or his car broke down on the way to school.

Oh, never mind.  The math is staggering at just 100,000 new officers.

$60,000 a year each, including benefits.

$6,000,000,000

That string of zeroes is $6 Billion, just for salaries, of not nearly enough officers.  Hundreds of millions more for training, uniforms, radios, and, yes, GUNS!

Surely we Democrats can get behind such an employment stimulus?  And our new corps of "Officer Downs" can go on duty in troubled neighborhoods when school isn't in session.

Now how to pay for it?

SIMPLE.

About 11,000,000 firearms were sold in the US in 2011.

Taxing the sale of a new firearm $6,011 each will the $6 Billion needed for salaries

The NRA!  Leading the way to a safer America.

They asked for it.  Let's give it to 'em

Discuss

Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 06:49 AM PST

Kabuki - The Cliff, The Meme

by rablrouzer

Oniji Ōtani III (Nakazō Nakamura II) as Edobee in the May 1794 production of Koi Nyōbo Somewake Tazuna
I am really tired of how "Kabuki" has become the pundit-preferred "meme" used to describe "cliff" posturing.

I am really tired of "cliff."

In fact, I'm tired of the meme meme, but sparing you that rant for after the Mayan Apocalypse.

Just sayin '

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Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 09:58 AM PST

Familiarity Breeds Contempt

by rablrouzer

This was a great picture.

The first time.

The second time.

The third time.

But it's been around the track too many times . . .

Boehner isn't sitting in his luxurious Speaker's office crying.  He's plotting Repugnant strategy.

So save this picture for when Boehner stops plotting and starts acting like a Statesman.

or, more likely, when Hell hath frozen over

Discuss
Screen grab from the official IRS site.
Corporate executives are paid differently than the rest of us.  

There's a large industry dedicated to "Executive Compensation."  How to pay Top Executives More.  How to "design" Top Executive Pay so it isn't taxed.

Consider just stock options.

If you are granted a statutory stock option (1) you generally do not include any amount in your gross income when you are granted or exercise the option. However, you may be subject to Alternative Minimum Tax in the year you exercise an ISO. . . .  You have taxable income or deductible loss when (2) you sell the stock you received by exercising the option. You generally treat this amount as a capital gain or loss.

http://www.irs.gov/...

-

Note the important parts:

1. No tax on the grant;
2. Capital gain on the sale.

Executive stock options often just allow Top Executives to "exercise the option" by without buying the stock.  When the Top Executive wants money the corporation "cashes" out the option by handing the Top Executive a check for the difference between the "offer price" and the "current price."

BUT WHAT IF THE PRICE GOES DOWN?  

No problemo.

Top Executives get the Board to ask shareholders to vote to reprice older option plans lower.  Voilà.  Ignorant shareholders always vote YES, and Top Executives get their "stock option bonuses" even if their own mismanagement was what whacked the stock price.

Then there's that $70 million Gulfstream.  Would be compensation to take it for a joy ride to the Caymans, except "for security reasons" the Board REQUIRES the Top Top Executive to "fly only" on the corporate jet.  Even joy rides then cost the Exec just the equivalent, which is "First Class Fare."

Yeah, right.  

Didn't easily find how just how expensive it is to own, crew, fuel, hanger, and maintain a nice $70 million 800 mph Gulfstream VI.  

But, hey, an "outmoded" Gulfstream IV can fly you to the Caymans for a mere $5,700 an hour.

http://www.executivejetmanagement.com/...

Discuss

Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 07:17 AM PST

SS not SUSTAINABLE !!!!!!

by rablrouzer

The dollar symbol. Generated by me with MS Office WordArt.
Medicare, not SUSTAINABLE !!!!

It is not sustainable only if we let the Republicans stick us with Grover Norquist's goal of starving the government of revenue.

How about some simple changes?  Like ending the exemption for FICA which is now at about $110,000?  How about collecting tax on those deferred compensation plans and stock options corporate executives get?

How about a tax on all those billions in profits Apple and Google have stashed overseas and won't bring home because they can avoid paying income tax?

What do the "rich" get from being taxed more?

The Zombie Horde won't riot and loot their mansions!

For a chilling take on "not sustainable, visit Mika on Morning Joe, courtesy of Think Progress.

http://thinkprogress.org/...

Discuss

Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 03:14 PM PST

Remind Obama: NO to MEDICARE @ 67

by rablrouzer

IF AGREEING TO RAISE MEDICARE ELIGIBILITY TO 67 is a TRIAL BALLOON, SHOOT IT DOWN !

Ezra Klein substituting for Rachael Maddow raise the horrible and unacceptable prospect the White House will give in to the Repugs and agree to raise Medicare eligibility to 67.  Klein goes into detail why this is bad social and economic policy.

It is also bad politics.

Tell the White House NO.  

If the Repugs whack two years out of Medicare this year, they'll be back for two more next.

Tell the White House NO.

Here's the link to the White House "contact" page.  Write your message in an offline text editor so the "CAPTCHA" fail doesn't erase it.  

There's three TABs on the LINKED PAGE.

1. President
2. Vice-President
3. Office of Public Engagement

Send your message of protest to all three !!!!

http://www.whitehouse.gov/...

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Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 08:34 PM PST

PAP SMEAR

by rablrouzer

"Mom" is an LPN who holds multiple part-time jobs, from caregiver to janitorial.

I mentioned to "Mom" that I had something in common with President Obama, and first showed her my "White House Christmas" card with "First Dog" Bo cavorting in the snow.

SNARKY COMMENT from MOM, "Aren't you special?"

Even so, I showed her the picture of my own Schnazuer taken the day before on Santa's lap, before answering her snark with, "I'm sure millions who donated to his campaign received the same card."

"You donated to Obama?  What on earth for?  I can't stand that man, and would never vote for him."

"I voted for Obama because his healthcare reform enabled me to get my son covered, and even though he's very healthy, you know he had a childhood diagnosis which made him an automatic denial.  Twice."

Pause.

"And I know you're counting on Social Security, which the Republicans want to kill or put in the stock market.  I'm counting on it, too.  With Medicare."

Pause.

Then she asked, "So what's the deal with what that Obama law does?"

"The deal," I said, "is that low income Americans will receive subsidized health insurance.  Everyone's eligible, no denials, no lifetime maximums.  Of course, we live in OkieHoma where our stupid Republican Governor and Legislature has decided to leave 675,000 people uninsured when they could cover many if not most for free with Federal Medicaid subsidies."

Pause.

"My daughter's just had her second abnormal pap smear.  (Daughter's In her late twenties)."

"Seems too early to me for her to be in real danger?"

"Should be, but cancer runs through my family like water."

"Does she have health insurance?"

"Can't afford it.  Only had the pap smears because she was being evaluated as a kidney donor for a very close friend."

"That's scary," said I, thinking the conversation was about to wrap up.

But it wasn't.

"Mom" then continued, "And my son just lost his job.  He's trying to pay the $800 a month COBRA until he or his wife can get a job, and he needs shoulder surgery."

Back to the daughter, briefly.

"She probably can't get health insurance because of those pap smears, can she?"

"Probably not, that is under the old law, but a big Obamacare reform is that she she can't be denied because of a pre-existing condition.

Maybe "Mom" will never leave behind the anti-Obama anti-Democrat Redneck hostility she first snarked, but at least she's thinking . . .

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Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 07:59 AM PST

"Zombie" OFA vs. DEMOCRATIC PARTY ??

by rablrouzer

zizi posted: Why OFA cannot just hand over data to Dem Candidates:FACTS about the Obama "Database"

Link below.

I'm not just adding a comment at the bottom of zizis post, but I do hope you'll read the original.  zizi makes good points about privacy, rogue Democrats, and more.

BUT OFA IS A ZOMBIE

Oh, I know it is still thrashing about, trying to influence national policy, to keep Obama supporters active.  But it essentially "belongs" to a President who is not running for re-election.  And the function of activating Democrats can be fulfilled by our Party.  Long-term, the Party is here "forever," and OFA isn't.

I ask you this: Who will you support for President in 2016?  

Not Barack Obama.  

You'll devote your time and money to your favorite's nomination, then hopefully to the DEMOCRATIC PARTY'S NOMINEE.

As the next national campaign gears up, you may remember OFA with fond memories, but when you're logged into PayPal or ActBlue, it will be to send money to your preferred candidate, not the retiring President's election organization.

I call again for the managers of OFA to intelligently merge what you safely and legally can into the Democratic Party.  Right now the President's appointees control the Party.

As to the "Project Narwhal" voter database / data mine, clearly the Repigs will learn from Romney's Orca Whale-Fail and do better in 2016.

"Narwhal" was superb.  Let's not force the 2016 Democratic Nominee to re-invent it.

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Toilet
Am I delusional to remember Diane Rehm's NPR show once offered thoughtful consideration of important issues?  That Diane's "conservative" guests didn't, or weren't allowed, to bluster, bully, yell, intimidate, and, lie?

I do remember protesting via email that Diane had been "Foxed,"  since both Diane and the show were dominated by her all too frequent right wing, not conservative, but right wing, guests from the American Enterprise Institute, Heritage Foundation, and Wall Street Journal.

As the frequency of such right wing guests increased, and their behavior became ever less civil, I just stopped listening.

Today I wondered if Diane's show might have changed post-election, and tuned to our NPR "news" station on my drive to work.

To be greeted immediately by WSJ Editor Stephen Moore loudly interrupting another guest with the discredited lie that Obama had eviscerated the work for welfare / food stamp requirement.

Sigh.

Where, oh where, is the journalistic integrity and strength of character necessary to call out deceit, propaganda, and outright lies?

Where is Candy Crowley?

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Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 11:40 AM PST

Libs & Dems: Don't Take Fox's Call

by rablrouzer

Old telephone
Fox is taking time from 24/7 Benghazi obsession to rile up its viewers about the atheisitc liberal "War on Christmas."

As in the incredible segment when "Judas O'Reilly" denies Christianity is a religion.  

Jesus Christ!  

Remember Him?  The God whose human incarnation is celebrated at Christ's Mass?

Here's "Judas O'Reilly" to David Silverman, President of American Atheists, "It is a fact that Christianity is not a religion, it is a philosophy."

"Judas O'Reilly" then continues, "If the government were saying that the Methodist religion deserves a special place in the public square, I would be on your side."

Unfortunately, as Silverman learns, discussing theology, in fact, discussing ANYTHING with "Judas O'Reilly" is counter-productive.

That's because Fox thrives on controversy.  Its viewer tune in, not for news, not to learn, but to watch Fox "hosts" bully liberals, progressives, moderates, gays, blacks, feminists, professors.

Anyone "important" enough to be invited to guest on Fox must have be confident enough to presume they can "handle" the interviewer and at least  coherently express their views on air.

Not a chance.

Guests who aren't satisfactorily browbeaten and humiliated are jerked off-air at the speed of light.

Fox calling?  Don't take the call.

Don't submit to on-air humiliation.  Don't be chum tossed to Fox's viewers.

Decline the interview.  Let Fox's hosts start debating themselves and their wingnut supporters.  Without "liberals" to crucify, Fox will have to start disemboweling its own own to feed its audience's blood lust.

It's all about the thirty pieces of silver.

"Just say no."

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