Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Taxing Negotiation

The Impending Tax Deal

It looks like this: REPUBLICANS GET AN EXTENSION OF CURRENT TAX RATES FOR ALL AMERICANS, on the order of two years (but possibly three, or even five, depending on your source), and IN EXCHANGE DEMOCRATS GET AN EXTENSION OF UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS.

The mechanics of the deal remain unclear though. Will Republicans and Democrats alike let each piece of the compromise go through the regular order without a filibuster, or will each caucus have to cough up the handful of votes necessary to get to 60?

SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP PARTICULARLY (un) HAPPY — Whip Durbin (D., Ill.), expressing resignation on Face the Nation, said “We’re only moving [toward an across-the-board extension] AGAINST MY JUDGMENT and my own particular view of things” — and neither is Speaker Pelosi. Some Democrats are even talking about allowing all the cuts to expire and extending the debate into the next Congress. All of this suggests Republicans might have to carry the weight on the compromise votes.


As John Boehner said we are only a month from the last election and we are 23 months from the next one and already the political posturing has begun. Class warfare is alive in the Democrat far left, but it doesn’t seem to be working in the whole country.

McConnell on Obama: ‘I Hope He Pivots’

Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate GOP leader, tells NBC’s David Gregory that congressional Republicans, Democrats, and the White House MAY SOON AGREE TO EXTEND ALL BUSH-ERA TAX RATES. He remains “optimistic” and “very hopeful” that all parties will be able to “come together.” Since the president will “not sign” a permanent extension, McConnell would like to secure “some kind of extension” for “as long as possible.”

“I think it’s pretty clear NOW TAXES ARE NOT GOING UP ON ANYBODY IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS RECESSION,” McConnell predicts.

McConnell notes that THE PRESIDENT HAS HAD MORE CONVERSATIONS WITH GOP LEADERS IN THE PAST TWO WEEKS THAN HE HAS HAD IN THE PAST TWO YEARS. “I hope he pivots,” McConnell says. “We have different political agendas, but there is some overlap and I hope we can work together . . . . To the extent the president wants to do things that I and my members are comfortable with, we’re ready to do business.”

What I found particularly telling was the comment that the president has had more conversations with the GOP in the last two weeks than in the preceding two years. There wasn’t any bipartisan working together before because the Democrats didn’t NEED the Republicans. Now nothing gets done without working together.

Dems Dig in on Taxes

Despite losing a pair of votes on Saturday, and increasing signals from the White House that President Obama is looking to strike a deal with Republicans, SENATE DEMOCRATS SHOWED NO SIGNS OF BACKING DOWN ON TAXES.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) went so far as to suggest that DEMOCRATS COULD ALLOW ALL OF THE BUSH TAX CUTS TO EXPIRE AT THE END OF THE MONTH IF THEY DON’T GET THEIR WAY. Speaking to reporters following the failed votes, Schumer said his party would continue to resist GOP efforts to extend all of the Bush tax rates, even if it meant prolonging the debate into next year (or longer).

I thought it was the Republicans who were supposed to be the party of no. Hmmm, how times are changing.

Deal Struck on Tax Package


President Barack Obama reached agreement Monday with Republican leaders in Congress on a broad tax package that WOULD EXTEND THE BUSH-ERA INCOME TAX CUTS FOR TWO YEARS, REDUCE WORKER PAYROLL TAXES FOR ONE YEAR and give more favorable treatment to business investments.

Other elements of the deal include a temporary reinstatement of the estate tax at 35%—the level favored by most Republican lawmakers—as well as an extension of jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed.

"We have arrived at a framework for a bipartisan agreement,'' Mr. Obama said on Monday night, capping weeks of negotiations with leaders in Congress.

The outcome of the negotiations is vital, because the current tax levels signed into law by President George W. Bush expire on Dec. 31. Unless Congress acts, tax rates on virtually all Americans who pay income taxes will rise on Jan. 1. That could affect economic growth and even holiday sales


Last night President Obama made the announcement and the pundits began trying to interpret what it means beyond the provisions itself. Liberal commentators seemed chagrined that Obama caved so quickly. Conservative pundits seemed pleased. I guess elections do have consequences.

What Obama Needs to Come Back: Nothing Short of Luck

A survey of the political landscape shows that many groups who were part of the 2008-09 Obama coalition have turned on him. Liberals believe he is an OVERCOMPROMISING WIMP. (See blistering recent columns by progressive icons Paul Krugman and Frank Rich of the New York Times for a taste of what the left thinks of "their" President now.) The business community considers OBAMA IGNORANT ABOUT MARKETS AT BEST, a socialist at worst (O.K., some business people entertain an even harsher assessment). The media, after aiding and abetting his ride to the White House, now see the President as INCOMPETENT AND OVERWHELMED. The independents and Republicans who backed him for office currently feel he is TOO LIBERAL AND TOO WEAK TO DO THE JOB. These trends are all worse in Washington and among opinion leaders than they are in the country at large, but the views of elites are clearly shaping how the President is perceived by the nation in general.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,2035270,00.html#ixzz17LCKcPZM

After being touted as “the One” and the answer to all of America’s woes, Obama finds himself now being castigated as a bumbling amateur. I remember when Jimmy Carter ran for his second term, he tried to convince everyone he had learned from his first term and would do a better job. It’s not a very convincing argument. One worrisome part of this article is the author speaks of a bit of luck that America gets attacked again (like the bombing in Oklahoma City which allowed Bill Clinton to come back from his 1994 defeat). I’m afraid I have a tough time calling that good luck.

Obama Could Get a Serious Primary Challenge in 2012

Appearing on MSNBC's "Jansing & Company," Rather said:

"This is A POLITICAL NIGHTMARE FOR BARACK OBAMA as president. The more-left portion of his party hates this with a passion. And politically, within his own party, if this goes through, Barack Obama will be in a position to have his shirttail on fire, his back to the wall, and the bill collector at the door. Which is metaphorically a way of saying he's almost guaranteed -- if this goes through -- to have a serious challenge in a Democratic primary for president in 2012."

And if this doesn’t go through every tax payer in America will be against Obama and the Democrats.

Hold the brownies! Bill could limit bake sales

Big Sis seems to be intent on intruding on your life, but only for you own good.

A child nutrition bill on its way to President Barack Obama — and championed by the first lady — GIVES THE GOVERNMENT POWER TO LIMIT SCHOOL BAKE SALES AND OTHER FUNDRAISERS that health advocates say sometimes replace wholesome meals in the lunchroom.

Republicans, notably Sarah Palin, and public school organizations decry the bill as an UNNECESSARY INTRUSION ON A COMMON PRACTICE often used to raise money.

"This could be a real train wreck for school districts," Lucy Gettman of the National School Boards Association said Friday, a day after the House cleared the bill. "The FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT BE IN THE BUSINESS OF REGULATING THIS KIND OF ACTIVITY at the local level."

The legislation, part of first lady Michelle Obama's campaign to stem childhood obesity, provides more meals at school for needy kids, including dinner, and directs the Agriculture Department to write guidelines to make those meals healthier. The LEGISLATION WOULD APPLY TO ALL FOODS SOLD IN SCHOOLS DURING REGULAR CLASS HOURS, INCLUDING IN THE CAFETERIA LINE, VENDING MACHINES AND AT FUNDRAISERS.

It wouldn't apply to after-hours events or concession stands at sports events.


Global warming?

Actually, with the exception of 1998 - a 'blip' year when temperatures spiked because of a strong 'El Nino' effect (the cyclical warming of the southern Pacific that affects weather around the world) - the data on the Met Office's and CRU's own websites SHOW THAT GLOBAL TEMPERATURES HAVE BEEN FLAT, NOT FOR TEN, BUT FOR THE PAST 15 YEARS.

They go up a bit, then down a bit, but those small rises and falls amount to less than their measuring system's acknowledged margin of error. They have no statistical significance and REVEAL NO EVIDENCE OF ANY TREND AT ALL.

When the Met Office issued its December 2009 preThere-diction, it was clearly expecting an even bigger El Nino spike than happened in 1998 - one so big that it would have dragged up the decade's average.

But though it was still successfully trying to influence media headlines during Cancun last week by saying that 2010 might yet end up as the warmest year, THE SMALL PRINT REVEALS THE MET OFFICE CLIMBDOWN. LAST YEAR IT PREDICTED THAT THE 2010 AVERAGE WOULD BE 14.58C. LAST WEEK, THIS HAD BEEN REDUCED TO 14.52C.

That may not sound like much. But when one considers that by the Met Office's own account, the total rise in world temperatures since the 1850s has been less than 0.8 degrees, it is quite a big deal. Above all, it means the trend stays flat.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1335798/Global-warming-halted-Thats-happened-warmest-year-record.html#ixzz17LEPkQw4

Global warming as a weapon of mass deception is dead. The elites who are trying to change our world know this and have moved on to the next crisis, Biodiversity.

Obama Made ‘Big Mistake’ on Climate Bill, Turner Says

U.S. President Barack Obama made a “big mistake” in pushing health-care legislation before climate change, billionaire Ted Turner said today.

“We would have an energy climate change bill in the United States if President Obama had made that his top priority and brought that to the American people and Congress first rather than the health-care bill,” Turner, founder of Time Warner Inc.’s CNN, said today at a conference in Cancun, Mexico. “But he didn’t, and I think it was a big mistake.”

Obama, who campaigned on a promise to fight climate change, made the economy, health care, energy and education his top priorities after taking office. Health-care legislation was signed into law earlier this year after contentious debate while a “cap-and-trade” bill to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions stalled in the Senate. Obama now says he doubts such a measure can win passage until 2013 at the earliest.


If Obama had gone after cap and trade first, he might have passed a bill that would insure we would have 10% unemployment for as long as you can imagine and made a lot of Wall Street brokers even richer. AGW is a fool’s errand right now.

Duke Energy, ITOCHU to explore second-life uses for automotive li-ion batteries

Duke Energy and Tokyo-based ITOCHU Corp. have inked an agreement to collaborate on the evaluation and testing of second-life applications for lithium-ion automotive batteries. This deal builds upon the companies' current involvement in Project Plug-IN, a large-scale electric vehicle (EV) testing initiative based in Indianapolis, IN.

Duke Energy and ITOCHU will analyze data, gleaned from Ener1 lithium-ion batteries used in a fleet of 80 Think City plug-ins, to determine the commercial viability of second-life li-ion applications. This includes things like providing supplemental home energy, storing renewable power and powering fast-charging stations.

Some auto industry experts believe EVs batteries that lack the ability to charge to at least 80 percent of their original capacity are prime candidates for replacement. Batteries that can no longer function in vehicles could live on in second-life applications for decades instead of adding to the world's growing piles of discarded trash. In addition, extending


Here’s something most people can support.

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