McCain’s Tax Plan: Super Big Tax Cuts For the Super-Rich; Poor People Get $19 – According to the Tax Policy Center’s findings, under McCain tax proposal, the average taxpayer in every income group would see a lower tax bill, but high-income taxpayers would benefit more (make that much, much more) than everyone else. Under McCain’s plan, a person with an income of $603,000 would see a decrease in taxes equal to 7.5% of their income, whereas a person making $19,000 would only see a decrease equal to 0.1% of their income (only $19). That’s small change the poor can’t believe in.
|Income||McCain’s Tax Change||Obama’s Tax Change|
|Over $29,000,000||-$269,364||+ $701,885|
|$603,000 and up||-$45,361||+ $115,974|
|$227,000 to $603,000||-$7,871||+ $12|
|$161,000 to $227,000||-$4,380||-$2,789|
|$112,000 to $161,000||-$2,614||-$2,204|
|$66,000 to $112,000||-$1,009||-$1,290|
|$38,000 to $66,000||-$319||-$1,042|
|$19,000 to $38,000||-$113||-$892|
Compare that to Obama’s plan where people making below $66,000 get a much larger decrease in their taxes. For middle income people, both plans provide about the same tax decrease. Obama’s plan only increases taxes for those with incomes over $227,000, and then it’s only by $12 a year, until you make well over a half-million per year.
Obama would also introduce new tax breaks for lower and middle-income groups. Such breaks include expanding the earned income tax credit, giving those making less than $150,000 a $500 tax credit per person on the first $8,100 in income, giving those making under $75,000 a 50% federal match on the first $1,000 of savings, and exempting seniors making less than $50,000 from having to pay income tax. Hey, that’s dollars I can believe in.
McCain Says Bringing Troops Home From Iraq Not Too Important – Sen. John McCain appeared on the Today Show this morning and continued to promote his idea of a long occupation in Iraq. But whatever merits there may be for his message, his delivery is once again promising to get him into trouble. When asked if he knew when American troops could start to return home, McCain responded, “No, but that’s not too important. What’s important is the casualties in Iraq.”
McCain Admits He Doesn’t Know How to Use a Computer – McCain doesn’t know Sunni from Shia, doesn’t know what group in Iraq the Iranians are helping, admits he doesn’t know much about economics, and now tells us he can’t use a computer. Is this the guy for the 21st century? But I bet he’s great with a mule team!
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Supports Reopening Polluting Copper Smelting Operation – The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality recently voted to overrule a 2005 finding by two administrative law judges who, after lengthy hearings, recommended denying a permit by mining company Asarco to reopen a copper smelting operation in El Paso that has been mothballed since 1992. The judges ruled the smelter would pollute the air. El Paso city government is against it, as is the environmental agency of neighboring New Mexico.
$23 Billion in War Profiteering in Iraq – For the first time, the extent to which some private contractors have profited from the conflict and rebuilding has been researched by the BBC’s Panorama using US and Iraqi government sources. A US gagging order is preventing discussion of the allegations. The order applies to 70 court cases against some of the top US companies. While George Bush remains in the White House, it is unlikely the gagging orders will be lifted.
To date, no major US contractor faces trial for fraud or mismanagement in Iraq. Henry Waxman who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform said: “The money that’s gone into waste, fraud and abuse under these contracts is just so outrageous, its egregious. It may well turn out to be the largest war profiteering in history.”
More Right-Wing Talkers on Fox News – Struggling to hold on to viewers in an early-evening time slot, Fox News has decided to give controversial right-wing radio host Laura Ingraham a trial run hosting a new show. Ingraham has had her fair share of foot-in-mouth fiascoes. Press watchdog Media Matters for America has called out Ingraham more than two dozen times. In one of her most famous incidents, on Election Day 2006, Ingraham encouraged listeners to jam the phone line of a toll-free Democratic Party service for reporting voting problems.
Bill O’Reilly Claims Media Reform Proponents Are Fascists, Loons, and a Danger to the Country – Black is white. Up is down. And it’s those calling for media reform who are “fascists” and “pose a danger” to this country according to Fox “News” entertainer clown Bill O’Reilly. Yes, that’s what he claimed during the coverage of last weekend’s National Conference for Media Reform in Minneapolis. O’Reilly was able to find two “Fair and Balanced” guests, rightwing pawn Mary Katherine Hamm and Fox’s own “non-Rightwinger” Juan Williams (who has, clearly, enjoyed his fill of delicious Republicanist-flavored Fox “News” kool-aid over the years) to agree with him.
And what do these dangerous media reformers want? “Diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications.” They are asking for journalism — a craft the founders saw fit to put in the Constitution. That aspiration stands squarely in the best tradition of American freedom.
As Expected, O’Reilly Only Shows Heavily Edited Footage of O’Reilly’s Ambush of Bill Moyers – Remember Bill Moyers’ deft handling of Bill O’Reilly ambush producer Porter Barry? I couldn’t wait to see how Billo would use the footage, knowing full well that he’d never allow the unedited version on his show to prove how superior Bill Moyers is–professionally, morally, graciousness, and in all other ways–to the whole of the FOXNews empire. In fact, for fun, look at the comparison of coverage of this tête-à-tête between Billo and Olbermann:
Tell Bill O’Reilly: Stop Pretending to be a Journalist
Fox News’ John Gibson Tells Black Caller, “You just like [Obama] because he’s like you” – On his Fox News Radio show Friday, John Gibson told a caller — who had not identified himself as an African American — that he only liked Barack Obama “because he’s like you and you want to see one of you up there.” This is just another in a long-series of inflammatory remarks by Gibson, who lost his Fox News TV show earlier this year. Last month, he mocked Rachel Maddow’s sexuality on air and in January mocked the death of actor Heath Ledger.
FEMA Gave Away $85 Million of Supplies Meant for Katrina Victims – FEMA gave away about $85 million in household goods meant for Hurricane Katrina victims. The material, from basic kitchen goods to sleeping necessities, sat in warehouses for two years before the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s giveaway to federal and state agencies this year. Photos from one of the facilities in Fort Worth, Texas, show pallet after pallet of cots, cleansers, first-aid kits, coffee makers, camp stoves and other items stacked to the ceiling. Martha Kegel, the head of a New Orleans nonprofit agency that helps find homes for those still displaced by the storm, said she was shocked to learn about the existence of the goods and the government giveaway. “These are exactly the items that we are desperately seeking donations of right now: basic kitchen household supplies,” said Kegel, executive director of Unity of Greater New Orleans.
James McIntyre, FEMA’s acting press secretary, said that FEMA was spending more than $1 million a year to store the material and that another agency wanted the warehouses torn down, so “we needed to vacate them.” He declined a request for an on-camera interview, telling CNN the giveaway was “not news.” (How much of those supplies could be needed this hurricane season? – JLV)
Member of Obama’s Campaign Team Got a Good Deal on His Mortgage Because of Friendship with Lender CEO – A key member of Sen. Barack Obama’s vice presidential search team, Jim Johnson, is stepping down after criticism over a mortgage he received, the Obama campaign said Wednesday. Johnson received a good deal on a mortgage from Countrywide because of his friendship with Angelo Mozilo, the company’s CEO. Obama has criticized Countrywide in connection with the subprime mortgage crisis.
97-Year-Old Woman Becomes Casualty in the Voter ID Battle – In 2004, Arizona passed one of the nation’s strictest voter ID laws, requiring proof of citizenship to vote. Now a 97 year old woman who recently moved to the Phoenix area finds she is no longer eligible to cast a ballot. “It’s my constitutional right to be able to vote,” insists Shirley Preiss. Decked out in a US flag hat and shirt, Preiss told News 5, “I’m a legal American. I’m born here.”
She was born at home in Clinton, Kentucky in 1910, before women had the right to vote, and never had a birth certificate. Shirley has voted in every presidential election since FDR first ran in 1932, and proudly describes herself as a ‘died-in-the-wool Democrat.’ After living in Arizona for two years, she was eagerly looking forward to casting her ballot in the February primary for the first major woman candidate for President, Hillary Clinton. But lacking a birth certificate or even elementary school records to prove she’s a native-born American citizen, the state of Arizona’s bureaucrats determined that this former school-teacher who taught generations of Americans shouldn’t be allowed to vote.
After Indiana Voter ID Ruling, Missouri Rushes to Pass Worst Voting Law – Missouri’s Republican-controlled legislature is rushing to pass one of the country’s most draconian voter ID requirements less than two weeks after the Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s similarly restrictive photo ID law — a law that’s best known for serving as a vital bulwark against nuns voting. There’s a good reason that the Republicans are moving so quickly to pass a proposed constitutional amendment that could thwart at least 240,000 Missouri citizens from voting in November. The state is a presidential battleground state where recent gubernatorial and Senate races have been decided by margins as little as 21,000 votes.
There hasn’t been a single proven case of voter impersonation at the polls in the state’s history. And based on the experience of Arizona, between seven and 30 percent of citizens lack the citizenship documentation needed to register to vote.
Dick Cheney in Transition for New Job – Look under “Services” section.