Thursday, September 27, 2012

Conan, Obama and The View

To be honest, I've never really thought much of Conan O'Brien and never really understood all the people who seem to be such devoted followers of his, but I never actively DISliked him until today when I saw this clip:

SUCH complete distortion!!!  Here I naively thought it was really only the Rmoney campaign that was busy editing tape to make things seem to be different than they actually ARE to suit their own purposes, but apparently not!   The FACT is that the President DID fully answer that question, frankly he answered with a rather long-winded response.  The "Happy Birthday, Barbara" was a comment he made RIGHT at the beginning of the show before giving her a basket of birthday gifts.  When Elizabeth asked her question, the President ACTUALLY said the following in response:

"Well, look, we've gone though the toughest economy, the worst financial crisis and the worst recession since the Great Depression, and that's not a surprise to anybody...we've been living it for the last four years.  And everything that we've done has been designed to deal with, not only the immediate crisis, but make sure that the middle class, which had been struggling for a decade before THAT, is feeling more secure.   

"So, because of the actions that we took, we've got an auto industry that is back on top, we've created, now 30 consecutive months of private sector job growth, the unemployment rate has dropped, although it is way still too high.  And the question now for the American people is how are we going to move forward in a way that assures that if you work hard in this country and if you take responsibility for yourself and your family, you can get ahead.  And what this campaign is really going to end up being about is a choice between two fundamentally different visions about how you do that.  

"Governor Romney, I think, is a good man and means well, but the policies he is putting forward are precisely those policies that got us into this mess.  Tax cuts skewed towards the very top, rolling back regulations, for example, that we've placed on Wall street to assure that we don't have another taxpayer funded bail out.  And what I've been trying to do is put forward an agenda that says, let's bring manufacturing back to our shores, let's make sure that everybody is getting a good education, and kids can afford to go to collage.  Let's develop all of our sources of energy, not only oil and gas but also wind and solar. Let's reduce our deficit in a balanced way, so that we make sure that we're not sticking it to the middle class as we reduce the deficit, but we ask all of us to do a little bit more, including folks like us who can afford to pay the same tax rates that we paid under Bill Clinton when we created 23 million new jobs. So you've got two different visions and I think that the American people are weighing what's going on.   

"But the one thing I do want to say, Elizabeth, is that we all understand that folks are going through tough times out there and what's been amazing over the last four years is to see the resilience of the American people and their ability to bounce back and fight back and, you know, the problems that were created are not going to be solved overnight."
~ transcript typed by me from the actual recording of the show

I am getting SO sick of people putting together badly edited snippets of tape and trying to pretend they are somehow "reality".  I'm sick to death that people nowadays apparently have to research EVERY SINGLE THING they see, because apparently NOTHING can be trusted unless every single person goes through the trouble to searching out at least two different sources before we can allow ourselves to believe our own eyes. 

When people are doing "satire" and have edited tape they should have to make it clear that it has been altered...not just let stupid, uninformed fools believe it to be true.  I wonder how many of the viewers of Conan's show actually ridiculously believe that the President got away with not answering that question?

Everyone really needs to STOP THE DISTORTIONS!!!

But unfortunately, they keep putting out absolute swill like this:

My response to which is this...President Obama is a Christian, as their side knew VERY clearly when they were busy thoroughly excoriating him back in 2008 for attending the CHRISTIAN Church of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright... SERIOUSLY...these people really need to MAKE UP THEIR MINDS!!  The man is NOT a damn Muslim, NOT that it would matter that much to me if he was.  But the fact is that this country tends to elect Christians and consistently tries to pretend that we were founded as a "Christian nation" (contrary to what the founders had to say on the issue). Personally, I'm not really all that comfortable with all these Christians either as I tend to see SO much hypocrisy among them (although President Obama really does seem to "walk the walk"), but as the chances of getting a non-Christian elected to public office in this country is pretty much non-existent...I'll just have to settle for the (rare) actually decent Christians until we become enlightened enough to elect the first atheist. 

Monday, August 27, 2012


Lately with all the talk from the Right about how the Left is engaging in “Class Warfare” because we are saying that millionaires should pay AT LEAST the same PERCENTAGE in taxes as the average worker pays, it has gotten me thinking a great deal about the way that *I* believe the tax table should be structured in this country...

I hear a lot of people, mostly Right-wingers, talk about wanting to “take their country back” to a happier and more pleasant time, like the 1950’s…well, I would like to remind them that during that “idyllic” time, when we were able to start the space program and build the interstate highway system and make a LOT of the other advances we have made in this great country...the tax rate for the wealthiest Americans was over 90%.  Now, even *I* can admit that paying 90% of one’s income to the government is outrageous and obscene.   

As much as I may despise the likes of the Koch Brothers (, Ira Rennert (, Peter G. Peterson (, and their ilk (incidentally, I just learned recently about Joe Ricketts…this guy is a real piece of work -- )…I don’t believe they should have to pay NINETY PERCENT of their income to the government!  However, there is a HUGE chasm between that admittedly obscene 90% and the pathetically low 13% that the Republican candidate for the Presidency (whom I NOT-so-affectionately call “Mint (R)money”) paid last year. 

So I decided to sit down and write up what *I* believe would be the perfect tax table/structure for this country and I’ve now completed it.  It’s a table that *I* believe to be reasonable and fair…it’s the amount that I would be MORE than willing to pay were I to be in that income bracket. 

Now I am asking for input from others, to see what they think of my ideas on this subject.  I am the first to admit that I am FAR from an economist (in fact, I consider myself to be “mathematically challenged”) so I acknowledge that there could be problems with this tax proposal  that I am not seeing, so please…point them out if you see them. 

So, now…the Arielle NaMara Tax Plan... 

FIRST, it should be noted that in my perfect world, ALL income is just “income”.  I don't CARE by what METHOD you made your money, either by simple investment or actual WORK.  All income received, either via labor, investment returns or other “capital gains” would be combined and the result is the figure upon which one’s tax rate is based.  The amount you made would be the ONLY factor to determine the rate on the following table...

If you earned:                         Your tax rate is:
Under $20,000                                              0
$20,000 - $25,000                                        5%
$25,000 - $50,000                                        10%
$50,000 - $75,000                                        15%
$75,000 - $100,000                                      20%
$100,000 - $125,000                                   25%
$125,000 - $150,000                                   30%
$150,000 - $250,000                                   35%
$250,000 - $500,000                                   36%
$500,000 - $750,000                                   37%
$750,000 - $1,000,000                                38%
$1,000,000 - $2,000,000                             39%
$2,000,000 - $10,000,000                           40%
$10,000,000 - $100,000,000                      45%
$100,000,000 - $1,000,000,000                 50%
$1,000,000,000 - $10,000,000,000           55%
$10,000,000,000+                                        60%

I'm sure that something like this would never be allowed by the oligarchic, theocratic, bigoted, environment-hating, Koch-whore party that the modern GOP has become, but I honestly do believe that those who benefit the most from our great society should be the ones to bear the bulk of the cost for the proper maintenance OF that society.  I also have to admit that I honestly don't understand billionaires that balk at paying the VERY reasonable Clinton-era tax rates that were in place when the ENTIRE COUNTRY (not JUST the super-rich) was doing well.  In my not so humble opinion, the One-Percenters should be more like the famous Oliver Wendell Holmes, who once said..."I like to pay taxes. With them I buy civilization."

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Blind Trusts and Tax Returns

I have been letting this blog go quiet for quite some time as I've been very involved in numerous other projects, but there is a current issue that I feel compelled to write about, so here goes...

The Republican nominee for the presidency...whom I call Mint (R)money...has recently made much of the fact that his MASSIVE wealth is currently being held in a "blind trust", as if that means he has absolutely no control over it.
"With regard to any foreign investments, I understand, and you understand of course, that my investments have been held by a blind trust, have been managed by a trustee.  I don't manage them.  I don't even know where they are."

Well...that's all well and good, but the FACT is that back in 1994, when he was running in Massachusetts against Senator Kennedy, he said THIS about blind trusts:
"The blind trust is an age old ruse, if you will, which is to say you can always tell the blind trust what it can and cannot do.  You give a blind trust rules."  
So...obviously back then, he was able to tell the TRUTH about the supposed "blind trusts"...but clearly we cannot expect that same truth from him now.  

On the other hand, President Obama is also a very wealthy man, although his wealth came primarily from book sales, not from raiding and destroying companies like Mint (R)money did with his vulture capitalist buddies at Bain. 

President Obama also initially put his wealth into a "blind trust" as well, but quickly realized that there was still potential conflicts of interest, so he removed the funds from that "blind trust" and put the bulk of his money into U.S. Treasury bonds and diversified funds.  That way what is good for the COUNTRY is good for him, and vice-versa.  I have to say that, personally I think that is what should always be done with the investments of ALL elected officials.  But, of course, (R)money and the other GOPers wouldn't like THAT one bit...because right now they really do WANT the country to do badly because it suits their political interests, so they wouldn't want THEIR precious lucre invested in it...because THAT really would be a TRUE "conflict of interests" for them...'I really, really  WANT the country to fail so that we can trick the people into blaming the hated Obama so that he loses the election, but then I'd lose my own MONEY...I can't have that...oh dear...what to do?  What do do??"  

I found this Vanity Fair article on the subject of "blind trusts" to be very informative on this matter.

And then there is Mr. (R)money's refusal to submit more than one year of his tax returns (link), which also completely infuriates me...especially since his own FATHER (who I understand was actually a man of true integrity, unlike his son, apparently) released 12 years of tax returns when he unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination back in 1968 admitting that "one year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show," 

Yes, Mr. can be "for show", like what your monstrous son is likely doing.  I don't know how a man who supposedly was truly decent, like George supposedly was, could raise a son that would wind up like Willard "Mitt" Romney is...someone with absolutely no honor who just hides the filthy lucre (that he received by destroying the lives of regular people in order to help the already rich become even richer) and invests it in foreign countries while his party of dangerous, dishonest, misogynistic, oligarchic, theocratic, bigoted, environment-hating, selfish, greedy, hateful Koch-whore BA$TURDS work as hard as possible to keep the economy of OUR country in shambles because it is politically expedient for them.  

Well, I do want those tax returns released...and the more determined he seems to NOT want them released (link), the more I want them...and I don't find it at ALL likely that I'm going to "get over it" (link). I am FAR more interested in seeing the tax returns for this multimillionaire vulture capitalist with substantial holdings in foreign tax havens than I EVER was in mistrusting the word of the state of Hawaii and demanding to see a "long form birth certificate" for our President, and it seems to me that the folks who demanded THAT should be demanding these returns just as loudly...but they're not.  In fact, SENATOR Lindsey Graham even had the nerve to say that "it's really American to avoid paying taxes, legally" (link).  See...and here I thought it was really American to PAY YOUR TAXES, not try to find any way possible (including foreign tax havens) to get out of your obligations to your country.  And these BA$TURDS have the nerve to call themselves "patriotic".'s what the modern GOP is best at. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I'm baaaaaccck...

I know that it has been quite some time since I posted anything here.  I really have no excuse other than that I've been involved in other projects and basically slacked off on this.  But today I came across a couple of stories that made me yearn to make a post about here goes.

The Koch brothers (and others of their ilk) are, in my humble opinion, one of the biggest sources of the problems in this country.  These twisted men, who have more money than God and Oprah combined, act as if they somehow just deserve to have every possible advantage that the world has to offer while they do all they can to deny those same opportunities to others and work hard to ensure that they will not ever have to pay back the country from which they have taken SO damn much!  These two men, and so many others like them (like Romney, for example) were just born on third base, then were able to exploit that position to simply steal home, yet they still strut around as if they actually knocked a homer out of the park themselves. 

They consistently fight to prevent themselves (or others of their monied class) from being appropriately taxed, yet they are now spending massive amounts (likely more than the actual tax increase would have been) of  their VAST resources to try to buy their little pet governor, Scott Walker, out of the trouble he is (rightfully) in for doing their evil anti-worker bidding here in Wisconsin.

In addition to massively financing Republican campaigns (as the warped "Citizens United" ruling allows them to), today I learned that they are also working to artificially drive up gas prices in order to attempt to hurt the re-election campaign of President Obama.  

Although the right-wingers try to pretend that President Obama is "anti-energy", the fact of the matter is that U.S. domestic oil production in this country has increased by 11% since President Obama took office.  Additionally, U.S. demand for oil and refined products, including gasoline, is down sharply from last year...down SO much, in fact, that the United States has become a net exporter of gasoline, as we are unable to consume all that we produce. 

Yet even with that simple reality, the price of gas is spiraling up out of control.  Why?  Because really rich people are using using "oil speculation" to make themselves even richer, to the detriment of everyone else in the country.