Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

Alabama Commissioner Encourages “Free Trade Agreement”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, September 8, 2011

John McMillan, Commissioner for the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, recently wrote President Obama and encouraged him “to submit to Congress the Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea,” which he asserted “would create thousands of jobs for Alabama workers and farmers and gain new markets access for Alabama products.

Typically, I don’t “rant and rave” about issues, even if they greatly disturb me. That’s just my “style.” Rather, I endeavor to share understanding with others, and to seek and consider others’ thoughts in the process.

This is one such rare exception.

And yet, that rant is saved for last. Being last, and the fact that it is a rant doesn’t necessarily make it the best part of this entry, however. So bear that in mind as you continue to read.

With all due respect for the issue of “free trade,” I think we Americans have been Read the rest of this entry »

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Warren Buffet tells Congress, “Stop coddling the Super-Rich.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, August 15, 2011

Op-Ed Contributor

Stop Coddling the Super-Rich

By WARREN E. BUFFETT
Published: August 14, 2011

Omaha

OUR leaders have asked for “shared sacrifice.” But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched.

While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks. Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily labors but are allowed to classify our income as “carried interest,” thereby getting a bargain 15 percent tax rate. Others own stock index futures for 10 minutes and have 60 percent of their gain taxed at 15 percent, as if they’d been long-term investors.

These and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species. It’s nice to have friends in high places.

Last year my federal tax bill — the income tax I paid, as well as payroll taxes paid by me and on my behalf — was Read the rest of this entry »

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CEO pay soars while employee pay falters

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, April 1, 2011

Those “poor, poor” rich men. We shouldn’t tax those poor, poor souls because they, in their mercy, give jobs to us, the genuinely wealthy slobs who do not need them. No, Congress should cut their taxes, and should not tax multi-national corporations such as General Electric which makes billions in profits and does not pay any income tax. In fact, Congress should eliminate all taxes upon the über-wealthy and should tax the poor! (sarcasm ends here)
•••

CEO pay soars while workers’ pay stalls

By Matt Krantz and Barbara Hansen, USA TODAY
Updated: 04/01/2011 9:20am

CEOs didn’t have to cry poor for long.

The heads of the nation’s top companies got the biggest raises in recent memory last year after taking a hiatus during the recession.

At a time most employees can barely remember their last substantial raise, median CEO pay jumped 27% in 2010 as the executives’ compensation started working its way back to prerecession levels, a USA TODAY analysis of data from GovernanceMetrics International found. Workers in private industry, meanwhile, Read the rest of this entry »

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Continuing Stubborn Ignorance

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Having recently read this Op/Ed columnist’s article, I found the author’s remarks spot-on… so much so, that I am sharing them here for your benefit. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Within the past decade, I’ve written three columns titled “Deception 101,” “Stubborn Ignorance,” and “Exploiting Public Ignorance,” all explaining which branch of the federal government has taxing and spending authority. How can academics, politicians, news media people and ordinary citizens get away with statements such as “Reagan’s budget deficits,” “Clinton’s budget surplus,” “Bush’s budget deficits and tax cuts” or “Obama’s tax increases”? Which branch of government has taxing and spending authority is not a matter of rocket science, but people continue to make these statements. The only explanation that I come up with is incurable ignorance, willful deception or just plain stupidity; if there’s another answer, I would like to hear it.

Let’s look at the facts. Article I, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution reads: Read the rest of this entry »

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How to fix this ROTTEN economy

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, March 11, 2011

Here are a few “quick” points, and anecdotal observations, followed by solutions.

According to published reports, unemployment has ranged, on national average, between 9-12%. However, some suggest that the real unemployment rate may be much higher, in some cases, up to twice – or more – of the reported figure. Adding strength to that argument is the fact that 1.) the government reports Read the rest of this entry »

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The Impact of the Flat Tax Reform on Inequality

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Some assert that everyone should pay the same rate of taxes, claiming that one “flat rate” would solve many problems.

I beg to differ.

The inequality of the so-called “flat tax” is quite simply, self-evident, because given that the cost of living is indexed similarly, the one whom has more income and wealth does not use as much to live, whereas the less fortunate and less wealthy use a greater percentage of their income to make ends meet.

Put another way, if it costs $500 annually to live, and you make $1000, that’s 50% of your income.

If it costs $500 annually to live and you make $10,000 that’s 5% of your income.

Who, then, does a flat tax benefit? Read the rest of this entry »

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Congress Passes Socialized Medicine and Mandates Health Insurance

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, January 20, 2011

Does history repeat itself?

Before this article was published, I was engaged in conversation with a friend on a subject wholly unrelated to this topic. As I listened to him he remarked, “Heck, when you join the Army, if your teeth need fixing, they’ll fix ’em. If you need glasses, they’ll put glasses on you. If you need any kind of healthcare, they’ll fix you up. The reason the Army provides healthcare is because they understand they’ll get a better quality soldier.

Interestingly, neither my friend nor his family have a military background.

By extension, I wonder… how much more productive could the American worker be if they didn’t have to be concerned about their and their family’s health and healthcare? And then, if we completely ignore “lifestyle” related health issues. i.e., those associated with smoking or obesity, there are other chronic conditions, including heart disease, hypertension, COPD, etc., that significantly adversely affect the lives of families.

Congress Passes Socialized Medicine and Mandates Health Insurance -In 1798
Jan. 17 2011 – 9:08 pm

Rick Ungar
The Policy Page

http://blogs.forbes.com/rickungar/2011/01/17/congress-passes-socialized-medicine-and-mandates-health-insurance-in-1798/

The ink was barely dry on the PPACA when the first of many lawsuits to block the mandated health insurance provisions of the law was filed in a Florida District Court.

The pleadings, in part, read –

“The Constitution nowhere authorizes the United States to mandate, either directly or under threat of penalty, that all citizens and legal residents have qualifying health care coverage.”

State of Florida, et al. vs. HHS – http://www.scribd.com/doc/39344827/State-of-Florida-v-United-States-Dept-of-HHS

It turns out, the Founding Fathers would beg to disagree.

In July of 1798, Congress passed – and President John Adams signed Read the rest of this entry »

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House Republicans move to repeal Obama health insurance reforms

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The alternate title to this entry is rather lengthy.

“I’ll take ‘How to re-elect the President for $1000, Alex.'”

“Answer: House Republicans move to repeal Obama healthcare.”

But before we continue, enjoy a little-known presidential history fact:

Renown presidential historian Michael Beschloss appeared on an episode of The Comedy Channel’s “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart,  shortly after the November 2010 General Election.

There were many Republicans seats gained in the House of Representatives, leading some pundits to question President Obama’s effectiveness after such a loss.

Mr. Beschloss remarked that “The three presidents in recent times who have had midterm loss like this have been Truman, Eisenhower, Bill Clinton. Every single one of them got reelected.

Let’s examine elements of so-called “ObamaCare” they want to repeal. Read the rest of this entry »

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U.S. Military Deaths: A Perspective

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, December 20, 2010

I am a U.S. Army veteran. Read the rest of this entry »

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Insurance costs and health-care reform: Are health insurers making huge profits?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, December 3, 2010

Are health insurers making huge profits?

Mar 5th 2010, 14:15 by M.S.

Warhol dollarYESTERDAY Barack Obama dropped in on Kathleen Sibelius‘s meeting with executives of America’s top five health insurers and read a letter from a constituent. Natoma Canfield, a self-employed house cleaner, had carcinoma 16 years ago; it has been in remission for 11 years. Last year Anthem Blue Cross, who provide her with a high-deductible ($2,500) individual plan, raised her premiums 25%, to $6,075. This year they’re raising them another 40%, to $8,500. Ms Canfield  closes her letter, “Please stay focused in your reform attempts as I and many others are in desperate need of your help.”

There’s no doubt that the Obama health-care reform bill would …Continue…

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BMW Tapped $3.6 Billion in Federal Reserve Funds During Financial Crisis

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, December 3, 2010

BMW Head Quarters in Munich Germany.

BMW Headquarters, Munich, Germany - Image via Wikipedia

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, the world’s largest maker of luxury cars, secured funds from the U.S. Federal Reserve during the financial crisis to boost liquidity as other sources dried up.

BMW’s largest transaction under the Fed’s Commercial Paper Funding Facility was for $3.62 billion on Jan. 30, 2009, according to data released yesterday. BMW made “intermittent” use of the Fed program for refinancing at a time when other forms of credit were frozen, Mathias Schmidt, a spokesman for the Munich-based automaker, said today.

“We tapped into this program in 2008 and 2009 during the financial crisis …Continue…

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The Important Purpose of Veterans Day

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, November 11, 2010

Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France, wait for the end of hostilities. This photo was taken at 10:58 a.m., on November 11, 1918, two minutes before the armistice ending World War I went into effect.

Today is Veterans Day.

The important purpose of Veterans Day is a celebration to honor America‘s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

Annually, since November 11, 1918 – the day an armistice, or temporary cessation of World War I hostilities between Allied nations and Germany became effective, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month – America has celebrated what is now known as Veterans Day. …Continue…

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A note on Illegal Immigration

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, May 7, 2010

An old Social Security card with the "NOT...

Image via Wikipedia

The following is one of the typical e-mail “you must do something now!” kind of messages that so many of us receive in our e-mail in boxes.

In such typical fashion, they are either contain a type of ‘the world is going to end’ (and soon, if you don’t act now!), or either “the sky is falling!,” type of message.

While the motivation for the message, or the idea behind them may – at times – be worthwhile, often the delivery is suspect.

Following is the message, and – NOT TO BE MISSED – is …Continue…

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Parker Griffith suggests Mo Brooks has adultery with Nancy Pelosi

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 12, 2010

“I’m having trouble picturing Mo and Nancy Pelosi in the same bed. How about you all?”
– Parker Griffith, MD, (R), Congressman 5th Congressional District, AL

After Griffith made that unseemly remark Monday night, 13 April 2010 at a political forum hosted at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Mo Brooks’ wife got out of her seat and walked out of the auditorium.

Griffith was gleeful in his negative repartee. After Brooks’ wife walked out, he said, …Continue…

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American Medical Association, AARP OKs Obama Health Reform Bill

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, March 22, 2010

Saying “We cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” J. James Rohack, MD, President of the American Medical Association, reiterated organizational support last Friday for the Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962/H.R. 3961),  which is often referred to as President Obama’s healthcare overhaul bill.

Dr. Rohack said the AMA Board of Trustees voted unanimous approval after reviewing the House of Representatives’ reconciliation bill, added that the bill wasn’t perfect saying, “This is certainly not the bill we would have written.” [ed. note: Nothing in this world is perfect.]

Joining Dr. Rohack, senior staff and board certified cardiologist at Scott & White Clinic in Temple, Texas, whom became the 164th president of the American Medical Association (AMA) in June 2009, was the non-partisan, 40 Million member strong, American Association of Retired Persons.

The Scott & White Clinic is a 636-bed not-for-profit, Level I trauma center and teaching hospital, which also operates …Continue…

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Woud you pass the Amy Bishop buck, please?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Remember the old teevee commercial for Polaner All Fruit?

Folks attired in formal wear – tuxedos and evening gowns – were seated around a dining room table enjoying their prim and proper meal, when the camera focused on one fellow whom said with a distinctly hick-sounding country-twang, “Would you pass the jelly, please?” Whereupon, the gentlemen appeared shocked while the ladies seemed to faint.

The announcer then said, “Don’t dare call it ‘jelly’!

William Delahunt, the Congressional Representative for Massachusetts’ 10th District, was the Norfolk District Attorney when Amy Bishop …Continue…

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Congress’ 7 Deadly Sins

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, January 28, 2010

The general sense of discontent with the Obama administration seems to be a hangover from his predecessor’s days.

I must confess some sense of dissatisfaction as well, at the pace with which I perceive his campaign promises have yet to be fulfilled. I bear in mind also, that perception is often believed as reality.

And yet, in some regard I can appreciate his well-spoken and even-keeled tenor – one his most remarkable attributes –  a striking dissimilarity …Continue…

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Parker Griffith-ing

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, January 15, 2010

Liar… thief…

Those terms just seem to gravitate toward AL 5th Congressional District Rep. Parker Griffith, MD (R) who recently, halfway through his first two-year term,  jumped Democratic ship for the Republican party.

Perhaps it’s not as much his secretive “I’m going to switch parties half-way in my first two-year term,” attitude that bothers people as much as it is his now-broken promises – essentially lies – such as the one to return campaign contributions to disgruntled donors.

I suppose a good analogy would be his sex change. Griffith married a woman, representing himself to be a man. After the birth and rearing of their children (halfway through his life), he announces to his wife and family he’s a woman and will be having a sex change – which in turn, of course, would make her a lesbian – which she is not – and consequently call into question the validity of their marriage.

In that light, two other words seem apropos for Griffith – mentally defective.

Family’s more strident words might include traitor… asshole.

Of course, ultimately, the one to be pitied is Griffith, and secondarily the people he injured (his family representing his constituency) along his selfish and misguided way. And in this case, divorce would only add insult to injury. What is genuinely needed is intensive psychotherapy for Griffith.

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Politics, Politics, Politics…

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, January 11, 2010

North Alabama’s 5th Congressional Representative, Parker Griffith, MD, continues damaging his constituency.

News reports shortly after his decision to switch rather than fight, indicated that his staff resigned.

Parker Griff-switch – without consulting anyone – up and decided that he needed to be a Republican, instead of a Democrat, the party under which he was elected to office.

With one year remaining in his first – and likely only – two year term, his decision to switch to the Republican party rather than fight for his constituents as the Democratic party member for he was elected will likely be damaging to North Alabamians for years to come. It would be no different if he were to have switched from the Republican to Democratic party.

How ineffective… er, effective can a congressman be without a staff?

Oh… I forgot.

That’s Parker Griff-switch, MD.

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“I am a Blue Dog Democrat. I must align myself with the Republican Party.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I am a Blue Dog Democrat. I must align myself with the Republican Party.” – Parker Griffith, M.D., Representative, Alabama 5th congressional district

By now, the news of Alabama Congressional Representative Parker Griffith’s decision to divorce himself from the party that elected him and adulterate with Republicans, is all over the Internet. Doubtless, it will be mentioned on teevee talk shows, and their even more mindless radio counterparts. The Tennessee Valley is definitely abuzz with the news.

But, it will be in passing.

That’s “passing, ” as in “passing gas,” or “passing stool.”

And that’s exactly what it is – Parker Griffith’s passing.

He will pass from this life, into political oblivion. Having made his move, he has damaged the 5th Congressional District and effectively put a knife into the aorta – the main blood vessel – of everything in the district for which he previously worked, including most notably, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and the Army’s Redstone Arsenal.

The local newspaper in the seat of his district, Read the rest of this entry »

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Two Numbers – ONE BIG, one small

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, December 17, 2009

$9,100,000,000,000

Nine TRILLION, one hundred BILLION…

Remember another number.

Two.

During the reign of King George W. Bush, just TWO of his failed policies have cost Americans $9,100,000,000,000.

What two failed policies are those?

The Bu$h tax cuts, and the creation of a Rx (prescription drug “benefit” written wholly by Big Pharmaceutical industry cronies.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s most current estimation of the population of the United States places 308,171,505 people in the United States as of December 17, 2009.

Put another way, that’s a cost of $29, 529 per person.

As a result of deregulation of the financial industries – banks, insurance and stock brokerages – thus creating one giant incestuous financial orgy, Americans have directly suffered under the thumbs of bankers and insurance companies, while their Wall Street cohorts, in conjunction with imaginative thieves, have twiddled and fiddled to create “investment derivatives” – essentially a Ponzi schemed fiscal fraud – out of thin air. That house of cards having collapsed, has revealed what was suspected all along. Outside the transparent dressing room of his glass house, the king had no clothes.

Driven by greed and an insatiable lust for more, …Continue…

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