September 2011

By Wink

Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad loves conspiracies. Like many bigots, he says the Holocaust never happened.

He has also purported that 9/11 was not really an Al-Qaeda plan, but that the U.S. government orchestrated it.

This view has really ticked off some people. Among them, Al-Qaeda.

Yep, Al-Qaeda is mad at Iran, and they are demanding that Ahmadinejad stop his efforts to discredit 9/11. The exact quote from Al-Qaeda:

“So we may ask the question: Why would Iran ascribe to such a ridiculous belief that stands in the face of all logic and evidence?”

Al-Qaeda vs Iran. I don’t even know where to begin. Do I laugh at the lunacy of this? I guess I will leave all analysis to you…

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By Wink

High school is over. Your child has now grown wings and is headed off to college. This is a sad, necessary step in life.

Letting your metaphorical butterfly go free is never easy. It is even less easy because said butterfly will need stuff. Lots of stuff.

Don’t forget to send all of the following:

Bike
Towels & linens
Chairs
Table
TV
Gaming system
Games
Clothes
Weather-related clothes
School-related clothes (go team!)
Food (especially pizza and, for variety, pizza rolls)
Basketball
Tennis racket
Frisbee
Printer paper (loads)
Ironic t-shirts
Laundry basket
Lifetime supply of ramen noodles
Ipod
Gator Aid (really?)
Car (not)
Books?

Cleaning supplies (don’t worry, these will be returned at end of the year – unused)

And finally, the things that go with them, whether you like it or not…..

Childhood
Youthful optimism
Innocence

Good luck parent. This will be harder for you than for your child…

 

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By Wink

Do you think I am full of it? It is okay if you do. Conservatives who read Winkest Link will point out how I am always railing about how the GOP seems to be off base on a number of issues. Maybe I am just a liberal wacko.

I don’t think of myself as a liberal wacko. I don’t even think of myself as especially liberal at all. I believe in the free market and a strong military. I believe America is a uniquely outstanding country.

I am liberal on some things, conservative on others. I try to let facts and logic dictate which views I take. I try (really) to leave emotion out of my decision-making.

Regular liberal readers might be disappointed in how conservative I can be on certain issues.

I don’t ‘like’ taxes. In that way I am conservative. I do, however, understand why tax is necessary: To maintain an orderly society, we need a strong central government, which requires tax. We need good roads and bridges. We need to educate our children. We need military and police and firefighters to protect us.

So we need tax.

In a pure economic sense there are times to lower corporate tax rates, and there are times to raise them.

Many conservatives, and especially teabaggers, hate tax. They don’t believe there is EVER a good time to raise tax. Naturally they accept the fallacy that all corporate tax just falls back on to the consumer.

The GOP, as it is currently constituted, preaches only one tax theory: Lower taxes create more jobs. The more money corporations have, the more they share!

Nope. Sometimes corporations just have more money than they know what to do with. Let us test the theory…

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, in the second quarter of 2011 American Corporations made $1.94 trillion in profits. Record profits.

That number is not operating expense. It is not gross income. It is profit. And that amount is after tax. (It is also after unimaginable executive salaries, and after those ‘horrible’ union wages.)

I repeat: $1.94 trillion profit after tax. Record profits. So apparently the tax they pay is not such a horrible drain.

BUT, the unemployment rate did not improve. Why? Because ‘More jobs’ is not a corporate goal. ‘More money’ is the only goal. And they already have more money than they know what to do with.

If making profits created jobs, we would be swimming in jobs right now.

So, if the corporations refuse to hire, now is the time for the government to do it. Private industry is sitting on trillions of dollars. (Remember, the $1.94 trillion profit mentioned above is for ONE QUARTER.)

Time to raise the corporate tax rate and/or remove loopholes.

This will help our whole economy. Bridges and roads are in desperate need of repair. We need more teachers and more police. Jobs. Jobs. Jobs. These are jobs that will create more jobs.

Notably, this will also help the industries that are being taxed. People with jobs will buy the products/services they produce. More jobs help everybody, even the wealthy!

————————

But let us, for a moment, take the Republican technique, and apply it to the 2nd quarter. Instead of $1.94 trillion profit, let’s say taxes were lower and these companies netted $2.5 trillion profit. Would that have created more jobs?

Rhetorical Answer: Why didn’t $1.94 trillion profit create more jobs? What difference would another half a trillion make?

It just becomes more and more profit, not more and more jobs.

Obviously more profit does NOT equal more jobs. These companies already have MORE PROFIT. More than ever. Ever.

Republicans (except for the stupider among them) know this. They just use the phrase ‘more jobs’ to convince you to give more money to the already wealthy.

———————–

When companies are struggling, taxes should be lowered. When companies are robust (and ‘robust’ does not begin to describe $1.94 trillion profit in three months time) we have to look at the big picture.

Big-picture circumstances have now converged to swing to pro-tax.

  • Companies are flush
  • Unemployment is high
  • Infrastructure has aged to a dangerous point

Lowering tax will fix none of America’s problems.

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By Wink

Do you care about government waste? Republicans do. Or they say they do. Are they screaming about $31 billion to $60 billion disappearing?

The bipartisan Wartime Contraction Commission is asking Congress to quickly enact recommendations to overhaul the contracting process and increase accountability.

Why? According to the commission, the Iraq / Afghanistan wars are rife with…

  • Lax oversight of contractors
  • Poor planning
  • Inadequate competition
  • Corruption

The total cost of the wars now approaches $1 trillion. In waste alone, the U.S. has lost between $31 billion and $60 billion.

The GOP will scream about a $100,000 research grant. They will rail that a $45,000 teacher is grossly overpaid. Anything that goes to public broadcasting or to protect the environment or student loans – all waste, all killing America.

But when $31 billion to $60 billion disappears? Do you hear the crickets?

Remember, sometimes what one man sees as ‘government waste’ is really just luxurious retirement packages for hundreds of corporate execs.

I bet Halliburton knows where a good chunk of that went.

Does the name “Halliburton’ mean anything to you? That is where Dick Cheney worked before he became Vice President.

It was Cheney who orchestrated us getting into a war in Iraq. It was Cheney who orchestrated Halliburton getting no-bid, name-your-price contracts to provide services in Iraq.

‘No-bid, name-your-price’ is an invitation to insane pricing, and a good way to throw away $31 billion and $60 billion in taxpayer money.

Now you know why Dick Cheney has that big, albeit crooked, smile on his face. Surely Halliburton is rewarding him handsomely for his fealty.

(I still don’t understand why he likes torturing people so much, since there is no money in it. Maybe the idea of torture just humors him.)

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