Monday, November 24, 2014

Tax Meat Now

This will be a plank in my platform when I make my run for Congress in 2016. Meat should absolutely be taxed. Can't believe I found this in Bloomberg.

Meat has always been part of the human diet. Few dishes are as wonderful as a bolognese sauce made with a combination of pork, lamb, and beef. But taxing pigs, sheep, and cows is essential to contain the spiraling costs associated with massive meat eating.

Excessive consumption of meat is harmful to human health and the health of the planet. I'll be eating some turkey on Thursday and I consume it several times a month on non-holidays. It's necessary that the costs associated with its consumption are raised in order to discourage it. 

Paul Krugman Judges Obama

Paul Krugman writes about the president here in Rolling Stone.

Obama faces trash talk left, right and center – literally – and doesn't deserve it. Despite bitter opposition, despite having come close to self-inflicted disaster, Obama has emerged as one of the most consequential and, yes, successful presidents in American history. His health reform is imperfect but still a huge step forward – and it's working better than anyone expected. Financial reform fell far short of what should have happened, but it's much more effective than you'd think. Economic management has been half-crippled by Republican obstruction, but has nonetheless been much better than in other advanced countries. And environmental policy is starting to look like it could be a major legacy.

I'm really just putting this up here to bookmark it, a primary use of my blog. But, here is a bit for Matt Funiello.

It's worth pointing out that some criticisms of Obamacare from the left are also looking foolish. Obamacare is a system partly run through private insurance companies (although expansion of Medicaid is also a very important piece). And some on the left were outraged, arguing that the program would do more to raise profits in the medical-industrial complex than it would to protect American families.

You can still argue that single-payer would have covered more people at lower cost – in fact, I would. But that option wasn't on the table; only a system that appeased insurers and reassured the public that not too much would change was politically feasible. And it's working reasonably well: Competition among insurers who can no longer deny insurance to those who need it most is turning out to be pretty effective. This isn't the health care system you would have designed from scratch, or if you could ignore special-interest politics, but it's doing the job.

Yes, the politics of reality.

Marion Barry Memorium Monday Edition

RIP Mayor Barry. It's a shame he'll be remembered only for being set up in a crack bust and not for the good he did.

Former Harvard professor and civil rights leader Cornell West said on CNN on Sunday that Barry "had his flaws" but was a "great freedom fighter" for the poor and disenfranchised.

The Washington Post noted that he "plowed hundreds of millions of tax dollars into job training and employment programs, senior centers and social-welfare endeavors. Rank-and-file workers were hired by the thousands to serve under Mr. Barry's newly-appointed supervisory corps of African American middle and top level managers."

He ardently promoted African-American-owned enterprises.

In happier news, Americans are good with Emperor O and the flooding of the country with illegals.

By a 39-point margin--67 percent compared with 28 percent--likely 2016 voters view favorably the plan Obama announced last week, according to a Hart Executive Research Associates survey conducted for Americans United for Change, a pro-Democratic group.  

And some news on a guy looking to be our next emperor, Rand Paul, on dealing with ISIS.

The Kentucky senator, seeking to define himself as a foreign-policy heavyweight ahead of 2016, will introduce a measure in the Senate next month declaring war on the terror group. 

That doesn't sound very Libertarian-like. Like this did:

In an interview with The Daily Beast in September, Paul said he was against the idea of U.S. forces on Middle East soil. “I don’t think there needs to be any American soldiers over there on the ground,” he said.

It's not a flip-flop, it's apparently just Libertarian-lite. Don't know how that's gonna play with his dad's followers, though.

Doug Stafford, a senior aide to Paul, said the senator has not flip-flopped: “He doesn’t believe we should send a bunch of troops in to start a ground war. But he has always said we have an obligation to defend people in the region. The declaration is tailored to allow for this.”

And good news on the Benghazi front. It's apparently gone on hiatus until Hillary Clinton announces her candidacy. We can be pretty sure how she feels about troops to fight ISIS. 

A two-year investigation by the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee has found that the CIA and the military acted properly in responding to the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and asserted no wrongdoing by Obama administration appointees.

Debunking a series of persistent allegations hinting at dark conspiracies, the investigation of the politically charged incident determined that there was no intelligence failure, no delay in sending a CIA rescue team, no missed opportunity for a military rescue, and no evidence the CIA was covertly shipping arms from Libya to Syria.

That is the version you will see them present, with helpful highlighting by Tbogg. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Alright, Let's Hear It For Civil Wars

Here's a great clip to watch anytime you're feeling blue because you think Ebola is coming to wipe us all out, and if it doesn't ISIS will finish off the survivors.

And I should point out to Matt Funiello that corporations are much kinder than those cruel colonialists. Took the advice of the great people at Patreon who made this and looked up King Leopold II. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more evil person in charge of a country today. As bad as you want to make out your least liked, most hated world leader to be, he is not in a league with this guy. 

Leopold’s actual work in the Congo was enslaving the population and using its labor to cart off resources. He lined his pockets with the profits and financed Belgian public works, bought real estate, built a fabulous villa in the south of France, and achieved what he regarded as greatness.
His regime forced Africans, at gunpoint, to work brutally hard at the tasks of empire: collecting ivory, tapping rubber, mining copper, building railroads, and carrying raw materials on their backs along narrow paths for miles. People who tried to avoid slavery were whipped, starved, and shot. Families were held hostage. People were raped and held as sex slaves. Crops were burned. Villages were leveled.

That's just a small sample. I implore you to read it all.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

One More On The Election

I really did want to have done with the election, already. This past week saw the arrival of the post-election Chronicle with comments by my two favorite MFer's, though. Mark Frost stayed relatively inoffensive toward Aaron Woolf and Dems in general. He calls the Woolf campaign a "wet noodle" and proves that he's no comedian. Not much to disagree with there. If Metroland covered GF, I wouldn't have to bother picking up the Chronicle. Hey, I'm joking! About Funiello, he says:

If he were serious about winning, he might actually seek to line up support in the Democratic hierarchy. Matt as the Democratic and Green Party candidate is at a whole other level than Matt as Green Party candidate.

First, because they say start with a compliment; good use of the adjectival form of Democrat. Now. Hierarchy? I'm just a run-of-the-mill, lowly Democratic voter and I don't want him anywhere near my party. I wouldn't vote for him or give him a dime's worth of support. He wasn't and isn't a candidate for anything. He's performance art.

As for the Green Party candidate himself, he is now Matt Funiello. It's easier to write and say. And it's a reminder that it's not the Democrat Party. If he was looking for my support, he wouldn't be mouthing right-wing stupidity. Consider my goat gotten, Mr. Funiello. Here he is on running as a Dem:

"I'm planting the seed right now, If they really want me to run as a Democrat and like what I say and they think I'd be a good candidate but I can't win without Democrat support, I would say, then don't run somebody next time."

That's Democratic support and I don't think you want it very badly. And I would say "don't run anybody," but then, I speak English. Not wingnutese.

"Just don't run anybody, and we don't have a problem."

Overlooking the fact that it sounds like extortion, I'd have to say, I'd be voting for Elise Stefanik because she would be the lesser of the crazies, if not the evils.

I don't know how plausible that is, but the more I think about it what does the Democrat Party stand to lose by not running somebody in CD21?

Once again, that's the fuckin' Democratic Party, you fuckin' schmuck. And, if I thought he'd honor it, I'd suggest a deal. He goes mano a mano in 2016. After he gets his ass handed to him with a 60 point loss, he goes away.

Special Hometown thank you to Lynne Boecher for pointing out that we don't have openings for conspiracy theorists in the Democratic Party. He's a birther and a truther and a gun nut. Three strikes! From the February interview:

"If you don't feel we need guns to defend ourselves against tyranny, then you're not paying attention."

I pay enough attention to spot a wingnut when I see one. Just gotta ask, since the Warren County sheriff's have an MRAP now; how much firepower do you have? I think there's a good chance they're working for the tyrant.

Jen Sorensen:

Low-information Nation: Midterm Elections Edition

Friday, November 14, 2014

Kansas: Poster Child for Republican Economic Policy

Beyond courses in micro and macro long ago, I don't have a great knowledge of economics. That may still be more than Arthur Laffer has.

Gov. Sam Brownback and his celebrity tax policy consultant, Arthur Laffer, said Tuesday that the income tax cuts Kansas lawmakers approved earlier this year will drive growth and make Kansas more competitive with surrounding states.

That was in August of 2012. And also:

Laffer said his studies show states with lower tax rates outperform high-tax states — a notion several other tax policy analysts say is misleading. Laffer said lower taxes may not work every day of every week, but he said economic growth is consistently driven by low-tax, low-regulation policies.

Ensconced here in the high tax, high regulation state of New York, it's interesting to see how this experiment in supply side progresses. 

Kansas will face a $279 million budget shortfall by July, far worse than state officials had thought before a new revenue forecast Monday that will force Gov. Sam Brownback and legislators to consider spending cuts.

The state will also be required to close an even bigger additional gap — $436 million — during the following 12 months, according to the new forecast.

What to do moving forward?

Brownback and many Republicans in the GOP-dominated Legislature are not publicly rethinking aggressive cuts in personal income taxes enacted in 2012 and 2013 to stimulate the economy. The state cut its top rate 26 percent and exempted the owners of 191,000 businesses from income taxes altogether, and further reductions are promised, including a decrease in the top rate next year.

Double down! Not sure it works at casinos (not being a gambler), but maybe it works with state budgets. Nothing to do but stay tuned.

Just wanted to throw in this bit of apostasy:

A board of medical professionals appointed by Gov. Rick Perry said Wednesday that the state should provide health coverage to low-income Texans under the Affordable Care Act — a move the Republican-led Legislature has opposed. 

Say it ain't so, Rick!

Read more here:

Read more here:

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Photos From Paradise

Tuesday was a beautiful day here in Andrew Cuomo's Northern Kingdom. Everything else (nearly) about the election pissed me off so much, I was actually glad he won. Nearly is because Carrie Woerner was a bright, shining light. Anyway, had to harvest my leaves that are finally dropping. When Baal gives you leaves, make compost.


And Tuesday was baking day, since I was home all day raking and piling leaves. BTW, I did not rake all those leaves on Tuesday. Anyway, since I haven't posted any bread porn in awhile:

That's a wild yeast sourdough, a levain if you will. And it's a good thing I got those leaves up on Tuesday because the weather is changeable here in Utopia.

Actually, that was on my camera. It's from last winter. A chilling reminder of what's ahead. The Kindle and my pantry are loaded, though.