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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Daily Drift

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Bernie Sanders Puts A Bull’s Eye On The Billionaires With Bill To Raise Taxes On The Wealthy

bernie sanders tax billionaires
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has introduced a bold new bill to combat income inequality by increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
Sanders said, “Our nation cannot survive morally or economically when so few have so much while so many have so little. We need a tax system that asks the billionaire class to pay its fair share of taxes and which reduces the obscene degree of wealth inequality in America….The fairest way to reduce wealth inequality, rebuild the disappearing middle class, and preserve our democracy is to enact a progressive estate tax on multi-millionaires and billionaires.”
The Sanders tax plan would only impact the nation’s wealthiest millionaires and billionaires. 99.75% of all Americans would not pay a penny more in estate taxes.
Here is what the Sanders bill does:
– Lowers the estate tax exemption level from $5.4 million to $3.5 billion for individuals and from about $11 million to $7 million for couples.

– Increases the marginal tax rate to 45 percent on estates between $3.5 million to $10 million, 50 percent on estates between $10 million and $50 million, and 55 percent on estates over $50 million.
– Creates a new billionaire surtax of 10 percent that would only impact 530 billionaires who are worth a combined $2.6 trillion.
– Ends loopholes allowing billionaire families to set up dynasty trusts to avoid taxes.
– Closes loopholes used by the wealthy to avoid estate taxes.

– Protects family farms and conservation easements.
The Sanders legislation addresses every excuse that Republicans use to oppose raising the estate taxes. The tax policies of the last thirty years have played a major role in widening the gap between the rich and the poor.
What Sen. Sanders is proposing is the future of tax policy. There is widespread support across party lines for making corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share. For Republicans, trickle-down economics is an ideological belief. For the rest of the country, taxes have become a moral issue.
Liberals and Democrats have successfully made the argument that the getting the wealthy to pay their fair share is a matter of fairness. Those who make the most money should have a higher tax burden than everyone else.
Bernie Sanders knows exactly what to do to address income inequality, and it begins by making the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share.

Filing for moral bankruptcy

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reminded us that “budgets are moral documents.” If you believe that, as I do, then our state lawmakers are not only leading us toward financial bankruptcy, but moral bankruptcy as well.
For the past two years, we have watched our state gamble with our tax code as if were chips at a roulette wheel. And just like a casino, the odds are stacked against us.
As in the past, legislators have doubled-down on proven losers such as corporate and personal income tax cuts that have benefitted those at the very top, siphoned resources out of the economy, and weakened the building blocks of a strong economy like schools, community colleges and courts.
What exactly does this budget propose to do (and more importantly, not do)?
  • Eliminating over 8,500 teaching assistants
    North Carolina already has 7,000 fewer teaching assistants than before the recession, but the Senate budget would decimate the remaining TA numbers. Slashing 8,500 TA jobs would amount to the largest layoff in North Carolina history.
  • Eliminating over 500 pre-kindergarten spots
    North Carolina was once the national model for early childhood education. Unfortunately, the further cuts this budget would make to pre-kindergarten programs would further erode North Carolina’s legacy. This budget would fund almost 7,000 fewer pre-K slots than in FY09.

  • Ignoring veteran teachers once again
    Despite promises of a 4% average raise, teachers with over 25 years of experience would get absolutely nothing. This is the second year in a row that lawmakers have left veteran teachers out in the cold, with many receiving raises as low as 0.29 percent last year.
  • Forcing community colleges to raise tuition
    Lawmakers are forcing community colleges to raise tuition to make up for cuts to higher education, placing more of a financial burden on students -- increasing their student loan debts and reducing their options once they graduate.
  • Failing to end tax hikes on small business owners
    Many small business owners were hit with huge tax hikes this year thanks to lawmakers’ decision to eliminate deductions on the first $50,000 of small business income. The Senate budget fails to restore these deductions, which means small business owners will continue to struggle under the added burden.
  • Betraying promises to voters on the Education Lottery
    This budget would replace $350 million in permanent education funding with lottery money, violating the entire purpose of the education lottery. Lottery money was always meant to supplement the education budget by funding school construction and tuition for pre-school and college. Lottery money was never meant to replace state revenue. Lawmakers have gone back on their promise to voters.
  • Eliminating nearly a billion dollars in revenue
    Lawmakers’ reckless tax handouts to big corporations and wealthy individuals have already cost the state billions in lost revenue. By doubling down on their failed tax scheme and throwing more good money after bad, lawmakers are setting up even more cuts to needed services -- and making it even harder for working-class North Carolinians to recover from the recession.
  • Failing to return textbook funding to pre-recession levels
    The proposed $59.6 million in textbook funding is still a far cry from the $101 million funding level before the recession. Students will still have to share textbooks in classrooms while lawmakers continue tax breaks for purchases of big boats and planes.
  • Failing to save the Teaching Fellows program
    This budget ensures that this year’s graduating class of Teaching Fellows will be the last. This program has been a model of how to recruit and retain the best and the brightest teachers for our schools. Eliminating it is short-sighted.
  • No change in North Carolina’s ranking for per-student education funding
    North Carolina’s per-student education funding currently ranks 46th in the nation. This budget would do very little to change those figures, which means North Carolina would still rank dead last in the Southeast for what we spend to invest in our children’s education.
  • Still no plan to raise teacher pay to the national average
    This budget fails to take a comprehensive approach to the teacher pay crisis in North Carolina. The Senate offers no long-term plan to raise teacher pay to the national average. Under this plan many of our best teachers will continue to leave the profession, leave the state, or take second jobs to make ends meet.
A race to the bottom on taxes is a race to the bottom in quality of life. Unfortunately, both the Senate and House budget proposals include loss of revenue for these critical areas to provide more corporate income tax cuts.
It’s time to our lawmakers that we’ve had enough of their games.  Please sign this petition from our friends at the NC Budget and Tax Center demanding state legislators and the Governor to reject proposals to cut income taxes further that put core public services at risk.
North Carolina’s exceptionalism in the South and the country has always come from our commitment to each other. A commitment that meant asking each of us to contribute to building something bigger than ourselves. Now is the time to make sound public investments that will put North Carolina on solid ground for the future.
We are better than this. Let’s show it.

Donald Trump refuses to release birth certificate and passport records

Hypocrisy Much?
The Republican pretender candidate had called Barack Obama the country’s ‘least transparent president’ for refusing to release the same documentation.

Scott Walker: Clinton Using Equal Pay To 'Pit One Group Of Americans Versus Another'

In an interview with Boston Herald Radio, Wisconsin's own idiot Scott Walker attacked Hillary Clinton for her advocacy for equal pay legislation, saying that she was just following in the footsteps of President Obama in trying to “pit one group of Americans versus another.”  
Let's see - Equal Pay For Equal Work ... that's about as American as it gets. 
No wonder wingnuts hate the idea

Here Is The Stunning Utter Failure Of The Republican Misled Congress In One Chart

The first 170 days: Republicans passed zero jobs bills but raised the deficit by $610.7 billion dollars by passing more permanent tax cuts for the rich/corporations …
mcconnell-boehnerDemocratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office put out a statement about the first 170 days of the Republican Congress that is basically telling the story of utter fail.
Worse yet, it’s not just Democratic spin. This stuff is real. Republicans did nothing for 18 days, zero jobs bills passed but raised the deficit by $610.7 billion dollars by passing more permanent tax cuts for the rich/corporations while voting to raise taxes on middle class families with children, voted against training resources for veterans, voted 7 times to repeal Obamacare, ignored student loan debt bills, wouldn’t even allow a vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act…
This is a Congress that only functions for the top 2%.
Here’s the breakdown from Pelosi’s office:
170:  June 24th was the 170th day of the 114th Congress
87:   Days the GOP House has been in session, including 18 pro-forma days in which the House gaveled in & out in a matter of minutes & no legislative business was completed
1.5 million:  Number of private-sector jobs created or sustained by Export-Import Bank since 2007
4:   Times House Republicans voted against renewing the job-creating Export-Import Bank charter before it expires on June 30 (2015 Vote #1162015 Vote #1262015 Vote #3712015 Vote #379)
ZERO:  GOP jobs bills passed in the 114th Congress
Just 25:  Bills signed into law by President, including 2 that were unfinished business from the 113th Congress and 15 noncontroversial modest suspension bills
 $610.7 billion:  Amount the deficit is increased by the 11 GOP permanent tax cut bills the GOP has already passed in the 114th Congress so far
100:  Percent of House Republicans who voted against bringing up the student loan refinancing bill
7:   Additional times the House GOP has voted in the past 170 days to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act (2015 Vote #142015 Vote #452015 Vote #582015 Vote #142, 2015 Vote #1832015 Vote #3752015 Vote #376)
60:  Times House Republicans have voted to repeal or undermine the ACA since 2011
241:  Republicans voted against bringing the Help Hire Our Heroes Act – a bill to provide training resources for veterans seeking good-paying jobs – to the floor for a vote.
99: Percent of House Republicans who voted to allow predatory lenders on military bases
$251 million: Cut to Amtrak funding passed by House Republican members of the Appropriations Committee one day after a deadly train accident in Philadelphia.
 100: Percent of Republicans twice voted against authorizing & funding the Positive Train Control Program which would have prevented the Amtrak derailment, one week after the accident.
 6:  Times GOP voted against bringing a clean bill to fund DHS to a vote even as a shutdown loomed (2015 Vote #342015 Vote #712015 Vote #772015 Vote #862015 Vote #922015 Vote #100)
 2:   Times GOP has blocked bigger paychecks and better infrastructure so far in the 114th Congress (2015 Vote #42015 Vote #5)
2.9 million:  Number of jobs that would be destroyed under the House GOP FY 2016 Budget
$2,000: More in taxes for middle-class American families with children greenlighted by the final FY 2016 Republican Budget
 $200,000:  Average tax break for the wealthiest Americans making $1,000,000 or more greenlighted by the final FY 2016 Republican Budget
 $269 billion:  Tax breaks House Republicans have passed for the wealthiest 5,400 estates - 0.2 percent of Americans - in the country.
99: Percent of House Republicans who voted against allowing a vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act – a bill to ensure equal pay for equal work

You can’t make this stuff up. This is a big old middle finger to everyone but the top 2%. It’s a middle finger to families with kids, veterans, students, women… It’s a middle finger to America.
It used to be just the House that was dysfunctional, now it’s the entire Congress, thanks to the Republican takeover of the Senate. And this is what a Republican-controlled Congress looks like. If anyone asks you what Republicans believe in, show them this. Policy is king.

Typical Republicans

US climate deniers call Paris summit 'a threat' to the world

US climate deniers call Paris summit 'a threat' to the world
The thing is ... the deniers ARE a definite threat to the world not those trying to alleviate some of Climate Change's already devastating effects. 

Lowest Water Levels EVER In Lake Mead May Trigger Rationing

Lowest Water Levels EVER In Lake Mead May Trigger Rationing: Still Think Climate Change Is A Hoax? (IMAGES)
Still Think Climate Change Is A Hoax? 
Lake Mead, the reservoir behind Hoover Dam, is at its lowest level ever. People in Las Vegas may be looking at rationing if this continues.

Wingnuts Introduce Bill Based On The Insanely Idiotic Idea That Environmentalists Caused California’s Drought

Scientists have linked California's drought to climate change -- not environmentalists.

ALEC Plans Corporate Control and Privatization Of Every City In America

It is true the Koch's are poised to spend nearly a billion dollars to put a Koch surrogate in the White House, and to completely take over …
alec-acceThe idea of absolute control means exerting one’s will over every aspect of an organization from the very top down to the lowliest position. In their drive to control America from the top down, it is insufficient for the Koch brothers to control Congress and the Supreme Court without owning the occupant of the White House any more than controlling every Republican state legislature without control over those state’s city and county governments. It is true the Koch’s are poised to spend nearly a billion dollars to put a Koch surrogate in the White House, and to completely take over the entire nation they are paying an American Legislative Exchange Council subsidiary to impose their corporate agenda on every town, village, city, and county in America.
Many Americans have never heard of the Koch brothers much less their legislative arm in Congress and, more importantly, state legislatures across the country. What the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) does is allow corporations to write legislation for Republicans to introduce and then pass into law. Corporations pay the Koch brothers’ ALEC for the privilege of allowing their operatives to write corporate legislation for Republicans and it makes ALEC, and now a subsidiary, more powerful than any special interest, lobbyist, state legislator, and in the majority of cases informs how and why corporations control Republican state governments. Apparently, though, controlling state legislatures is not enough for the Kochs and their corporate cabal so they set their sights on local jurisdictions like city councils, mayors, school districts, and county supervisory boards to round out their sphere of corporate influence on America from the federal government down to the local village council.
The American City County Exchange (ACCE) is an offshoot of (ALEC) that describes itself as “America’s only free market forum for village, town, city and county policymakers.” Beginning in 2015, ACCE became an ALEC-operated project and not a separate Koch-funded social welfare 501(c)(3} charitable non-profit organization. Like its mother organization ALEC, ACCE is wholly funded by corporations whose operatives write and vote for “model legislation and measures” for city and county governments to give the Koch brothers and corporations complete control of every jurisdiction in the nation regardless of size.
The only difference between ALEC and ACCE is that where ALEC (the Kochs) exerts complete control over the United States Congress and state legislatures, ACCE will seize control of all city and county governments in the nation. As the Guardian accurately reports, with Koch and corporations funding their operations, ALEC and its subsidiary ACCE have effectively handed “corporate America a direct conduit to control the policy making process of city councils and municipalities” in every state in America. It is a bloodless coup d’├ętat, but bloodless or not, it is still a complete takeover of every legislative body in America with absolutely no opposition or outrage; that is the effect and consequence of a nation with an incredibly ill-informed and stupid population.
Despite controlling most of America’s government, the Kochs just were not getting the results they wanted fast enough using ALEC as its legislative arm in Congress and state legislatures along with ALEC’s sister organization, the State Policy Network (SPN), SPN is tasked with abolishing public pensions, unions, minimum wage, and employee benefits like sick leave, overtime pay, and worker’s compensation in state legislatures, but they have not succeeded fast enough for the Kochs and it is not for lack of trying. So the Koch’s decided to create and use ACCE to impose corporate control of city and county governments with the goal of imposing corporate control over school districts, banning city and county-level union representation, privatizing local public school districts, eliminating prevailing wage laws, abolishing commercial zoning regulations, and eliminating local environmental provisions their corporate funders and churches claim are either communist intrusions on the ‘free market’ or a vicious liberal government attack on religious liberty.
The American City County Exchange held its organizational meeting last month in Dallas to help its corporate operatives push policies important to advancing the Koch corporate libertarian vision on all Americans. According to Jon Russell, ACCE’s national director and  town (not city) council member in Culpeper, Virginia,  “There are some really good ideas out there that are percolating, and those are the kinds of out-of-the-box thinking that we are really pushing hard.” The “out-of-the-box thinking” Russell wets his knickers over includes pushing corporate  operation of city and county services like garbage pickup and providing water and sewer services, eliminating collective bargaining and unions, banning prevailing wage and overtime laws, and imposing corporate control of public schools. ACCE’s goals are imposing ALEC’s state-level corporate control over every municipality in America under the guise of free markets and fiscal responsibility.
As a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles who specializes in campaign finance, Jessica Levinson, noted, like ALEC, ACCE’s mission is not fiscal responsibility, helping municipalities, or improving conditions for Americans. Levinson is completely correct in saying that “There’s a lot of money to be made in local government,” and that for the Koch brothers “privatization makes perfect sense, working hand in glove with corporations makes perfect sense, and expanding (ALEC’S) corporate agenda to county and city governments makes perfect sense.” A research analyst at Common Cause, Jay Riestenberg, echoed Professor Levinson and said that ACCE opens the door for corporate influence over local governments and profit from that control. Riestenberg said, “This’ll ease the way for corporations to take over all local services. The public sector is a $6 trillion enterprise, and this is a huge money-making opportunity for them.”
It is true there is an inordinate amount of public money corporations and the Kochs want to steal, but absolute control of every aspect of American government is much more important to the Kochs. As Professor Levinson said, everything about using an ALEC subsidiary to impose corporate control of government and pillage town, city, and county coffers makes perfect sense to the Koch brothers. Because they will never be satisfied until they have imposed corporate-ownership libertarian-style on all aspects of American government. The new ALEC subsidiary, the American City County Exchange (ACCE) will give the Koch’s the control they so desperately lust, and the Koch cabal’s corporations running local governments will profit handsomely from all American taxpayers.

Fruit Company Will Pay $330,000 To Farmworkers Who Got Fired After Reporting Sexual Abuse

Four victims -- both male and female -- and other farmworkers reported the harassment "on several different occasions."

Whole Foods Under Investigation After Hugely Overcharging Customers For Food

Whole Foods Under Investigation After Hugely Overcharging Customers For Food. “The potential number of violations that Whole Foods faces for all pre-packaged goods in the NYC stores is in the thousands,” the DCA states.

Clarence "Absolute Moron" Thomas: We Don’t Need The Fair Housing Act Because The NBA Is Mostly Black

Justice Thomas: We Don’t Need The Fair Housing Act Because The NBA Is Mostly Black
Because life is just like the N.B.A.
Read more 
Hey, he is not called 'Slappy' for nothing you know. 
He's an idiot of the highest (lowest) order. 

3 Black Cults burnt in North Carolina, Georgia and S.Carolina in 5 days

It is currently 5 cults by post time ...
Following the Attack on Emanuel AME, Two Recent Fires at Black Cults Strike at the Heart of Black America
In Charlotte, N.C., authorities say a June 24 fire at Briar Creek Baptist Cult was the result of arson and is being investigated as a possible hate crime. NBC News reported that more than 75 firefighters were needed to extinguish the three-alarm fire, and an hour passed before the blaze was under control. Two firefighters received medical treatment for heat-related injuries. The cult sustained $250,000 in damage, including a collapsed ceiling and significant damage to a space used for a children’s summer camp. The sanctuary was spared, sustaining smoke damage along with the gymnasium. A June 23 fire at dog’s Power Cult of christ, a predominantly Black cult in Macon, Ga., has been ruled as arson, although there is no indication it was a hate crime. As was reported in the Macon Telegraph, the front doors of the cult were locked and wired shut when authorities arrived, but a side door was unlocked. The Federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives was called, as is the case with cult fires, and authorities also noted that electronics and other air conditioning equipment had been stolen from the cult in two burglaries. A $10,000 reward is available through the Georgia Arson Hotline for information leading to the arrest of an arsonist.
According to this report at Raw Story 'hate crime' has yet to be suggested to determined
Macon-Bibb County fire Sergeant Ben Glea­ton told the newspaper that while the investigation into Tuesday’s fire at the dog’s Power Cult of christ continues, enough evidence had been discovered to rule the blaze had been deliberately set. The arson ruling came a day after North Carolina authorities said a predominantly black cult in Charlotte was purposefully burned, and roughly a week after a gunman opened fire in an African-American cult in Charleston, South Carolina, killing nine people.
 - - - -
Gleaton told the Telegraph newspaper there was nothing yet to suggest that the fire at the Macon cult was a hate crime.
Early Morning Fire Destroys Tallahassee Cult
June 26, 2015 TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- An early morning fire has destroyed a Tallahassee church.
Firefighters responded to the blaze around 5:20 a.m. at Greater Miracle Apostolic Holiness cult near the intersection of Wakulla Street and Campbell Street.
No one is believed to have been in the cult at the time of the fire. Power lines were also down in the area.
The cult was described as completely destroyed on the inside. South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida*.
*Florida fire, per an update is that the fire was electrical, caused by a limb falling on power lines.
Just a bunch of coincidences?
FYI: the word CULT is the proper term for ALL religions and their institutions both metaphysical and physical. The term however has been appropriated by those same religions to denigrate and degenerate ALL OTHER religions and thus over time the term received a negative connotation in the warped deluded minds of those who blindly follow religion. Get over it. The term is used by all sane and normal people and will be for all time foreseeable.

Here’s The Insane Conspiracy Theory Wingnuts Are Blaming SCOTUS Obamacare Ruling On

Here’s The Insane Conspiracy Theory Conservatives Are Blaming SCOTUS Obamacare Ruling OnUnable to cope with losing their last shot at destroying Obamacare, conservatives are diving head first into laughably crazy conspiracy theories.

Alabama's idiot Roy Moore vows to block ‘illegitimate’ marriage equality ruling at state level

Alabama’s grandstanding wingnut 'christian' idiot Roy Moore has vowed that he and his religio-wingnut cabal will defy the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality at the state level.
Texas; idiot AG echoed this moron's lunacy by declaring that county clerks could deny marriage licenses to 'gay' couples. Trouble is they can't, they HAVE to issue licenses - it's the law.

Here’s what wingnuts promised would happen if gays got marriage equality

Horned Devil with tract (Shutterstock)
Now that the Supreme Court has ended the discriminatory ban on marriage rights for gay people, we're curious to see the relative accuracy of various prophesies wingnuts have advanced in recent months surrounding legal gay marriage’s impact on the country.

Wingnuts Freak Out And Call For The Abolition Of All Civil Marriage After Same-Sex Legalization

steve-king-marriageRepublican morons like Steve King (R-IA) have responded to the legalization of same-sex marriage by calling on the states to abolish civil marriage.
King said, “Now, there’s no point to having civil marriage in this country whatsoever. So I’m calling upon the states, just abolish civil marriage. Let’s go back to holy matrimony. Do that alone. By the way, I want to send a message to the Supreme Court, a good strong message, and in the next few days or weeks, I’ll be introducing legislation to do just that.”
Texas' idiot Greg Abbott thinks that Texas has the power to ignore the Supreme Court, “Despite the Supreme Court’s rulings, Texans’ fundamental right to religious liberty remains protected. No Texan is required by the Supreme Court’s decision to act contrary to his or her religious beliefs regarding marriage. The Texas Constitution guarantees that ‘[n]o human authority ought, in any case whatsoever, to control or interfere with the rights of conscience in matters of religion.’ The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion; and the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act, combined with the newly enacted Pastor Protection Act, provide robust legal protections to Texans whose faith commands them to adhere to the traditional understanding of marriage.”
Meanwhile, in Louisiana, insane Bobby Jindal, thinks wingnut 'christians' have the constitutional right to discriminate against gays, “The government should not force those who have sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage to participate in these ceremonies. That would be a clear violation of America’s long-held commitment to religious liberty as protected in the First Amendment.”
The idea that Republicans could abolish all civil marriage if same-sex marriage ever became legal in all fifty states has been floating around for years in bigoted circles of social wingnuts. The notion that Republican governors can nullify the Supreme Court ruling was echoed by Abbott. This path is also very likely to be pursued by some Republican leadership in red states.
The three statements listed above demonstrate the freakout that is occurring within the Republican Cabal. Social wingnuttery is declining in the United States, but Republicans feel compelled to appeal to this extremist segment of American society.
An abolition of marriage would be the equivalent of Republicans taking their ball and going home. It would be the spiteful and petty move from a party that has shown itself to be incapable of more than the spiteful and cynical politics of hate that the Republican Cabal has fully embraced.

Glenn Beck Warns That His Hate Speech Radio Program Could Be Shut Down Because Of Gay Marriage Ruling

And now, from the land of utter delusion ...
Glenn Beck reacted to the Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage today by declaring that he will now begin to look for different ways to broadcast his message in case the FCC attempts to strip him of his broadcasting license because his mormon cult will not perform same-sex marriages.... 
Hey moron, when the FCC strips (there will be no 'attempt' they will DO it) you of your license it will because of your hate and fear mongering. Both of which are illegal, but lax enforcement has given you and your ilk the delusion it is your 'right to free speech' to spew vitriol and bile and not face the consequences of said 'free speech'.
However when you are subjected to the same 'free speech' you demand censorship of those handing you your comeuppance.