Warm Southern Breeze

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Posts Tagged ‘wealth’

A Family First: Joe Kennedy III first in the clan to lose a Massachusetts election

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, September 2, 2020

To which I say,

GOOD!

It’s about damn time!

Joe Kennedy III, who is the 40-year old grandson of slain Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, challenged incumbent Ed Markey for the state’s upcoming U.S. Senate seat in the Democratic primary.

Kennedy lost.

It was a landmark, a high water mark, an event of immensely significant importance.

Perhaps it even intoned cataclysmic changes ahead.

Good ones, of course.

Just like “good trouble.”

The Boston Globe characterized Kennedy’s campaign style as an “increasingly bare-knuckled offensive,” while the headlines across the world were interesting… if not telling.

Let’s examine a few of the headlines from throughout the nation, and then, we’ll move along to WHY it’s a good thing that not-so-poor little Joe P. Kennedy III lost.

• The Boston Globe had a straight-forward “Ed Markey beats Joe Kennedy in Senate primary.

• While the Boston Herald wrote a more colorful, “Joe Kennedy, others lose out to the old geezer incumbents.”

• The Daily Mail of the United Kingdom, however, had a more telling, embarrassing, and detailed pronouncement, “The end of a dynasty: RFK’s grandson Joe Kennedy III becomes the first member of his family to lose a Massachusetts election as he is defeated in Senate primary in JFK’s old seat.

• New York’s venerable “Gray Lady” wrote semi-wishful we-wish-it-was-almost-a-contest type of headline as, “Markey Holds Off Joseph Kennedy in Massachusetts Senate Race.”

• The Rupert Murdoch-owned right-leaning tabloid-type New York Post wrote, “Joe Kennedy III suffers stinging defeat to Ed Markey in Mass. Senate primary.

• The Daily Beast wrote an unvarnished sobriquet, “Sen. Ed Markey Fends Off Challenge From Rep. Joe Kennedy III-Camelot Lost.”

• NPR wrote a steady-as-she-goes observation that, “Markey Fends Off Kennedy Challenge In High Profile Mass. Senate Primary.

• The Los Angeles Times wrote a semi-obituary with, “A Kennedy loses in Massachusetts and a storied dynasty fades.

• The Hill composed a  bare bones headline with, “Markey defeats Kennedy in Massachusetts.

• POLITICO wrote a blame-game headline with, “The Unlikely Kennedy Who Ended the Kennedy Dynasty.

• Ever the standard, the Associated Press wrote, “Markey defeats Kennedy III in Massachusetts’ Senate primary.”

• Business Insider wrote a more opinionated headline with, “Ed Markey defeats primary challenger Rep. Joe Kennedy, in a major victory for the left.

• Bloomberg wrote a fact-based, plain-Jane headline with, “Ed Markey Wins Massachusetts Democratic Primary, Defeating Joe Kennedy.

• The Chicago Tribune similarly wrote a fact-based headline with, “Sen. Edward Markey defeats Rep. Joe Kennedy III in Massachusetts’ Senate primary.”

• CNN had a different historical name recognition perspective with, “Sen. Ed Markey defeats a Kennedy in Massachusetts.

• CQ RollCall wrote, “A Massachusetts first: Kennedy loses Senate primary to Markey.”

• The Guardian wrote a fact-based, “Edward Markey defeats Joe Kennedy in Massachusetts Democratic primary.

• United Press International wrote a no-frills, straight-forward, “Ed Markey defeats Joe Kennedy III in Massachusetts primary race.”

Here’s also a wee bit of background to aid understanding.

Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Sr. (wearing glasses) family portrait

The Kennedy name, of course, is renown in American politics. And for perspective, Joe P. III is the grandson of the slain Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968). And Joe P. III is named for the family progenitor, Joseph Patrick Kennedy (1888-1969) – long rumored by numerous sources to have been a bootlegger during Prohibition, which, if the sources were lying, and the claim not true, would question their motives, since the senior Kennedy has long been dead.

That piddling matter aside, however, suffice it to say that the Kennedy family is wealthy… VERY wealthy. Maybe not Bill Gates, or Warren Buffet wealthy, but wealthy nonetheless. Forbes magazine writer Carl O’Donnell in the July 8, 2014 online edition, wrote about the Kennedy family wealth as follows:

“If America had an aristocracy, the most titled bloodline would certainly be the Kennedys. In the past half century, one Kennedy after another has occupied nearly every political position America has to offer, including the roles of congressman, senator, ambassador, mayor, SEC chairman, state representative, city councilman, and, of course, President.

“The sustaining force behind the Kennedys reign is hardly a secret. Thanks to Joseph P. Kennedy, who made a fortune from insider trading only to later chair the SEC, the family is fabulously rich. But exactly how much is America’s first family worth? Forbes pegs the extended family’s fortune at $1 billion.

“Protected by a labyrinth of trusts, as well as tax strategies that would make Joseph P. Kennedy proud, the Kennedy fortune now spans approximately 30 family members, and includes the surnames Shriver, Lawford and the Smith. At nearly $175 million as of 2013, Caroline Kennedy is the richest descendant by far, but more modestly endowed relatives, such as Robert Shriver, who is running for Los Angeles County Supervisor, still possess assets in the tens of millions, according to public financial disclosures required of government officials.

“The bulk of the family’s wealth is held in dozens of trusts, which range in value from tens of thousands to as much as $25 million. Nearly all are managed by Joseph P. Kennedy Enterprises, a family office located in New York City with assets dating back to 1927, according to Christopher Kennedy, a member of the Kennedy family who sits on the office’s board.

“Joseph P. Kennedy’s choice to place his fortune in trusts is possibly the single most critical reason why the family wealth is still around today. The most obvious benefit was to protect the fortune from the prying fingers of ne’er-do-well heirs, said Laurence Leamer, who wrote three Kennedy biographies. Trusts often prevent beneficiaries from tapping more than 10 percent of principal, said Rick Kruse, principal at Kruse and Crawford, which offers estate management advice.

“The trusts also protect the family assets from another set of prying fingers: Uncle Sam’s. By holding assets in so called “dynasty trusts,” which are passed from heir to heir for decades, if not longer, the Kennedy family fortune is largely insulated from the estate tax, Kruse said. Handled correctly, a dynasty trust could potentially maintain an un-taxable fortune indefinitely. The oldest Kennedy trust on record dates back to 1936.

“Like politics, tax savvy seems to run in the Kennedy family. The most recent example is Read the rest of this entry »

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All The Gold In California

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, July 6, 2020

Y’know… one thing which I appreciate about the Bloomberg site, is that they don’t seem to be exclusively limited to interests of business, per se.

That is, matters of business MUST, and do, involve people – as employees, and customers – and without either of those two groups of people, no business would exist.

For many years – I don’t know how many, but for a very L – O – N – G time – I have taken exception to, and disagreed with the statement that “the customer is the most important person in any business.”

From my perch in the catbird seat, I demurred, and stated that the EMPLOYEE is the most important person in any business, because a disgruntled employee can cost beaucoup bucks in lost sales/revenues. And many disgruntled employees will sink a company – regardless of who is at the helm. That’s because the adage is true, that the sailors run the ship, not the captain. And they allow the captain to do so (to lead them) by their consent – the consent of the governed. A mutiny is a very serious matter.

Point being, is that happy employees make happy customers, and happy customers buy things, and say good things about the company, and the employees.

It was only relatively recently that I learned that Sir Richard Branson – Founder of the Virgin Group, a privately-held multinational venture capitol conglomerate – says the same thing, that employees are the most important people in any business.

The irony of ironies is that despite the political differences in the many seemingly disparate voices today, is that Republicans, Democrats, and all others, want the same thing: A good job, a decent place to live, secure transportation, ability to feed themselves and their family, education for their children, and to be healthy enough to enjoy it all. Food, clothing, and shelter… those are not hard things to understand. Neither are they difficult to obtain. They’re not like the mythical “unobtainium.”

But we the people, despite what some may say otherwise, are not in a good place in this nation for the long-haul. What has happened, is that within our lifetimes, we the people have been sold a bill of false goods that somehow less is more, that the larger and more populous our nation becomes (we’re right at 330,000,000 – the third most populous on Earth, behind China and India, respectively each with over 1 BILLION more than us), the smaller the government will become, that somehow, mysteriously or magically, at some point, it will eventually disappear – because we’ll all be able to self-govern and therefore do not need external governance.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

And yet, that’s PRECISELY what “the Great Communicator” Ronald Reagan said in his first Inaugural Address immediately after he proclaimed that “government is the problem.”

“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price.”

Now, my point is NOT to “bash Regan” per se, but to point out the obvious – which is that Read the rest of this entry »

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Arrogant Kelly Loeffler

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, May 22, 2020

Loeffler: “Not dropping out” of Georgia US Senate race after stock trade controversy law violation

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/499116-loeffler-says-she-wont-drop-out-of-georgia-senate-race-after-stock-trade

Kelly Loeffler was appointed by narrow-margin-of-victory Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp to fill the unexpired term of three-term Georgia Republican US Senator Johnny Isakson who resigned from office at the end of 2019 due to Parkinson’s disease.

The gubernatorially-appointed temporary fill-in “Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler told Politico she is not dropping out of the Georgia Senate special election despite facing scrutiny over $20 million in stock sales she made following a closed-door Senate briefing in January about the coronavirus.

“Not only am I not dropping out, but I’m gonna win,” Loeffler told the news outlet Thursday.

“Loeffler, who is married to New York Stock Exchange CEO Jeff Sprecher, has said she does not control her own stock portfolio and that she was unaware of the exchanges. She has submitted documents to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission, both of which are investigating trading action among senators around the coronavirus pandemic.”

Loeffloer’s net worth is reportedly well over $500,000,000, and is being investigted by the FBI and the Senate for suspicious stock sales timing in response to insider knowledge of the coronavirus obtained in the Senate.

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Greedy Corrupt U.S. Senators

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 20, 2020

The United States Senate is controlled by a corrupt cabal of Republicans, none of whom are racial/ethnic minority. It’s LITERALLY (at least on the GOP side) an all-White enclave.

Yesterday at his incessant bully pulpit coronavirus harping press conference, the Liar in Chief claimed to not have known about her insider trades. That, coming from a man who prides himself, and publicly boasts about having all sorts of knowledge, and whom is well-attuned to media (especially television, and Twitter) of all kinds.

Senator Kelly Loeffler, R-GA

Q Mr. President, why on that task force did you include Senator Kelly Loeffler? There’s some questions about whether she may have —

THE PRESIDENT: Well, because she’s the senator from a great state, a state that I love: Georgia.

Q But there’s some insider trading issues with her.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I — that, I don’t know. I really don’t know about that. But she’s a senator from Georgia, and she was included in the list, absolutely.

Go ahead. A couple of more. Go ahead, please. Yeah.

Most folks want to talk about Richard Burr, the first known case of Insider Trading on coronavirus information in the Senate..

But when we’re talking about Insider Trading, let’s not forget the gubernatorially-appointed Georgia Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, whom $old million$ of dollar$ of $tock THE VERY DAY (January 24) she attended a private, Senators-only meeting about coronavirus, and Tweeted about it. The Daily Beast was the first news outlet to report her nefarious deed.

But, let’s take a look at who’s shafting the American public by NOT playing fair and square and abusing their insider knowledge:

• Richard Burr, Republican North Carolina Senator – Net Worth $3M+

• Kelly Loeffler, Republican Georgia Senator – Net Worth $500M+

• James M. Inhofe, Republican Oklahoma Senator – Net Worth $9M+

• Ron Johnson, Republican Wisconsin Senator – Net Worth $30M+

Senator Richard Burr, R-NC

• Diane Feinstein, Democrat, California Senator – Net Worth $90M+

Nope, no trend or common denominators at all. Totally random. /sarcasm

All Senators,
80% Republican,
60% Male,
100% White,
100% Multi-Millionaires

• When he retires from the Senate in 2022, Burr will have been in Congress (House & Senate) a TOTAL of 27 years

• Loeffler is married to the CEO of the company that owns the New York Stock Exchange, and others, is a political “newbie” appointed by Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp to temporarily fill the unexpired 2016 term of Johnny Isakson who resigned 31 December 2019 to care for his Parkinson’s disease. Loeffler intends to campaign for the office during a Special Election.

• Inhofe has been in Congress 33 years, and 17 years in Oklahoma State & Local politics TOTAL POLITICAL TIME=50 years

• Johnson is a political newcomer, and was first elected in 2010 to the US Senate
TOTAL POLITICAL TIME=10 years

• Feinstein was first elected to the Senate in 1992, before that she was 18 years in California Local politics
TOTAL POLITICAL TIME=46 years

Here’s a very simple solution:

Require all such financial assets (stocks, bonds, securities, including real estate, etc.) to be placed into a Blind Trust for the duration of their term of office.

Problem solved.

Insider trading by Congress? It’s time to fix the law

By Patrick Augustin, Francis Cong and Marti G. Subrahmanyam, Opinion Contributors — 04/19/20 01:30 PM EDT


Is trading by Congress illegal? Should members of Congress be allowed to trade financial securities that are sensitive to private information? The “coronavirus trades” made by Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and his wife just prior to the March ’20 market crash raise these questions and signal the need for changes to the law. Some proposals go as far as banning stock trading by members of congress outright. The other extreme is to allow full discretion. The right solution is in between: Only allowing public officials to trade securities based on broad market indices.

The concern over insider trading by members of Congress is not new. Academic research shows that investment strategies that mimic trades by members of thU.S. Senate and thHouse of Representatives outperform the market by more than Read the rest of this entry »

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Billionaire Explains Why and How Capitalism Needs to Be Reformed

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, April 18, 2020

linkedin.com

Why and How Capitalism Needs to Be Reformed (Parts 1 & 2)


By Ray Dalio

Co-Chief Investment Officer & Co-Chairman of Bridgewater Associates, L.P.

Summary

I was fortunate enough to be raised in a middle-class family by parents who took good care of me, to go to good public schools, and to come into a job market that offered me equal opportunity. I was raised with the belief that having equal opportunity to have basic care, good education, and employment is what is fair and best for our collective well-being. To have these things and use them to build a great life is what was meant by living the American Dream.

At age 12 one might say that I became a capitalist because that’s when I took the money I earned doing various jobs, like delivering newspapers, mowing lawns, and caddying and put it in the stock market when the stock market was hot. That got me hooked on the economic investing game which I’ve played for most of the last 50 years. To succeed at this game I needed to gain a practical understanding of how economies and markets work. My exposure to most economic systems in most countries over many years taught me that the ability to make money, save it, and put it into capital (i.e., capitalism) is the most effective motivator of people and allocator of resources to raise people’s living standards. Over these many years I have also seen capitalism evolve in a way that it is not working well for the majority of Americans because it’s producing self-reinforcing spirals up for the haves and down for the have-nots. This is creating widening income/wealth/opportunity gaps that pose existential threats to the United States because these gaps are bringing about damaging domestic and international conflicts and weakening America’s condition.

I think that most capitalists don’t know how to divide the economic pie well and most socialists don’t know how to grow it well, yet we are now at a juncture in which either a) people of different ideological inclinations will work together to skillfully re-engineer the system so that the pie is both divided and grown well or b) we will have great conflict and some form of revolution that will hurt most everyone and will shrink the pie.

I believe that all good things taken to an extreme can be self-destructive and that everything must evolve or die. This is now true for capitalism. In this report I show why I believe that capitalism is now not working for the majority of Americans, I diagnose why it is producing these inadequate results, and I offer some suggestions for what can be done to reform it. Because this report is rather long, I will present it in two parts: part one outlining the problem and part two offering my diagnosis of it and some suggestions for reform.

Why and How Capitalism Needs to Be Reformed

Before I explain why I believe that capitalism needs to be reformed, I will explain where I’m coming from, which has shaped my perspective. I will then show the indicators that make it clear to me that the outcomes capitalism is producing are inconsistent with what I believe our goals are. Then I will give my diagnosis of why capitalism is producing these inadequate outcomes and conclude by offering some thoughts about how it can be reformed to produce better outcomes.

Part 1

Where I’m Coming From

I was lucky enough to Read the rest of this entry »

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For The People -or- For The Billionaires?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, February 23, 2020

Bernie Sanders is the man to beat. He is gathering a full head of steam, and when he selects Elizabeth Warren as his Vice Presidential running mate, together, they will be UNSTOPPABLE!

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders addresses an ecstatic crowd in El Paso, Texas following his Nevada Caucus win.

The irony of ironies, is that they more his opponents within and without the party castigate him, they make the case for him EVEN STRONGER!

After Sander’s Nevada Caucus win, Bloomberg’s campaign manager claimed that Sanders’ campaign “appeals to a small base,” however, as Senator Sanders – and others – have pointed out, he won the Nevada Caucuses precisely because of the diversity of people to which he appealed: Latino, African-American, White, Native American, Asian American, gay, straight, religious & non-religious, young, old, male, female, those with and without college education, single, married, working class, middle class, and more. And when he makes a good showing in South Carolina – where Joe Biden is the projected winner with a significant African-American population – Bernie could topple Biden, but even if he won 2nd place, it would reinforce his status as Democratic front-runner.

Edward-Isaac Dovere, writer for The Atlantic, authored a brief article titled “The Democratic Establishment Is Broken” which was published February 22, 2020. Its banner read “After the Nevada caucus, Democratic Party leaders have never looked more uncertain about their future.” In it, he makes the point that, like Sanders and others have been saying – including Warren, Buttigieg, and other former candidates – which is that Sanders’ grassroots supporters acknowledge that so-called establishment Democrats -and- Republicans bear significant responsibility for the corrupting influence of money in which American public policy and law have caused, and because in turn, party bosses and others perceive their BIG MONEY funding sources could be jeopardized, has caused consternation among them. Yet ironically, by their very remarks, those same party bosses are making the very case about which the grassroots supporters are complaining.

Multi-billionaire Mike Bloomberg, entrepreneur and former New York City Mayor who left the GOP in 2007, and won a 3rd term as an Independent candidate, is campaigning as a new-comer Democrat, insofar as he decided to cast his hat in the ring very late in the game, long, long after most candidates’ ground game had been in effect. In fact, he affiliated with the Democratic party only recently, in October 2018, and launched his candidacy November 24. Bloomberg, whose net worth is an estimated $62 BILLION, has self-funded his candidacy, and according to records from the Federal Election Commission, has spent well in excess of $350 million, and counting in advertisements. That accounts for 0.564516129032258% (about 1/2 of 1%) of his vast fortune. And then, there’s the costs of his campaign team members, most whom are reportedly paid very handsomely in comparison to standard accepted rates for such work – at least twice, or more – and given iPhones and iPads to keep for themselves after their work for him is done.

That, of course, is not begrudging well-paid people, nor his largess. But it does cast a somber and sobering pall over the very matter, of the system now in effect, when to numerous causal observers it appears, for all practical purposes, as if he’s attempting to buy the nomination. And it certainly raises questions about his motives, or of others who may have encouraged him. Altogether, “the optics” as some say, don’t look good.

And then, there’s the other matter in which party members are Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Should Churches Should Be Taxed?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Ownership of these churches in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe was transferred to the parishes. As a result, the churches are excluded from the bankruptcy estate available to clergy abuse victims. [Photographer: William LeGoullon for Bloomberg Businessweek]

Tax churches because they’re businesses, plain and simple. The product or service they provide is religion and/or spirituality.

Bloomberg Business News published the findings of their most recent financial investigation, which showed that – as expected – like any nominally competent business organization, or conglomerated international corporation, the Catholic Church in the United States has moved to protect its assets from being considered part of any potential judgments/settlements arising from individual or Class Action lawsuits initiated by individuals (plaintiffs) who as children were abused by priests, and now are adults.

From a business perspective, one could think of it as the Church opposing members who may be potential or prospective “creditors” in any liability arising from sex abuse cases.

The Federal Government needs to RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) them, because they’re clearly corrupt as evidenced by:
• Perpetrating, and perpetuating, sexual abuse, by;
• Deliberately hiding and shuffling perpetrator priests, and by;
• Deliberately shifting and hiding assets in response to lawsuits.

Catholic Church Shields $2 Billion in Assets to Limit Abuse Payouts

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2020-01-08/the-catholic-church-s-strategy-to-limit-payouts-to-abuse-victims

“In many cases, churches precede bankruptcy by transferring and reclassifying assets.

The effect is to shrink the pot of money available to clergy abuse victims.

“That and Chapter 11’s [bankruptcy] universal settle­ments and protections from further claims have been an effective Read the rest of this entry »

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Wall Street Pete Buttigieg’s Wine Cave Fundraiser

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, December 20, 2019

Imagine… being seated at an exclusively small underground club, with a polished onyx table, reflecting a chandelier with 1500 Swarovski crystals, and being served some of the finest cabernet sauvignon wine which sells for $900 a bottle, with only your closest 20 to 30 billionaire and multi-millionaire friends present.

If that sounds too far-fetched, think again.

That was a recent closed-door Pete Buttigieg fundraiser in Napa Valley, California.

No, it’s not a joke.

Here are a couple screenshot images of an Instagram posting which has now been removed which shows the South Bend, Indiana Mayor rubbing elbows with the filthy rich and powerful.

THIS was the reason “wine caves, $900-dollar-per-bottle wine, and $5000 selfies” were mentioned in the Democrat’s December debate.

And, no, it’s NOT a joke when he’s called “Wall Street Pete.”

Turns out, there’s a good reason for it.

According to Fortune magazine’s October 4, 2019 article entitled Pete Buttigieg Takes Lead as Big Business Candidate in 2020 Field,” “Buttigieg caused controversy this week when Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that he had emailed the mayor and his team resumes for campaign positions. The pair overlapped during their time at Harvard and have a number of mutual friends.

“In Silicon Valley, the former McKinsey consultant has attended fundraisers hosted on his behalf by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Nest Labs co-founder Matt Rogers, and Chelsea Kohler, director of product communications at Uber.

“Buttigieg has also racked up donations from a number of top Facebook executives, as well as Scott Belsky, chief product officer at Adobe, and Wendy Schmidt, the wife of former Google CEO Eric Schmidt. He leads the 2020 field in the amount of online donations he’s received online from California tech employees. Biden, meanwhile, didn’t crack the top five.

“Buttigieg, meanwhile, has been making himself known to the Wall Street set. The combat veteran out-raised all of his political rivals in Connecticut during the third quarter of this year, according to Federal Elections Commission filings. Connecticut is the wealthiest state in the U.S., largely because of its large concentration of Wall Street and Hedge Fund luminaries.”

At the Democrats’ December debate, which Read the rest of this entry »

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Even MORE Famous Last Words

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, December 7, 2019

“You all just got a lot richer.”

– POTUS Donald Trump, to friends Friday night, December 22, 2017 at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, FL, after signing his tax cut bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (P.L. 115-97)

In response, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders Tweeted that “At least Trump is finally telling the truth about his tax bill.”

The Congressional Research Service, a non-partisan, objective investigative branch of Congress, reported that the Trump tax cuts did not benefit the average American worker. Only $28 Read the rest of this entry »

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Re-Examining Personal Income Taxes

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, November 18, 2019

Those who encourage tax cuts on the wealthy & corporations are misguided.

Here’s why:
They mistakenly believe that by reducing taxes upon the wealthy, it will increase their consumption – or, that in their benevolence, they’ll “create jobs” for the masses. (Which is also why they’re treated like “sacred cow job-creators.”)

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The wealthy already consume more. They consume more conspicuously, and they consume more governmental services.

No one “hates” the wealthy.

At least I don’t.

But, we ALL expect them to pull their fair share, not shirk their responsibilities, and we expect them NOT push their fair share onto others who are less capable.

I continue to analogize the matter this way:

There are THREE people who MUST move an 800-pound boulder:
1.) A Strongman body builder;
2.) An 80-year old, 80-pound Granny, and;
3.) An Average man.

Should we tell Read the rest of this entry »

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How did we ever get into the mess we’re now in?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Democratic Presidential nominee candidates Senators Bernie Sanders (VT) and Elizabeth Warren (MA) continue to make the case that corporate America has harmed, and continues harming, the very field upon which they sow the seeds of their profit.

They further make the case that such governmentally-approved behavior is not merely injurious, but is unsustainable – if not fatal – to those same corporations, and ultimately, to the American economy upon which it feeds.

Citing examples of such greed and rapacious corporate profiteering by their über-wealthy owners and Wall Street overlords (to whom they are fiscally accountable and must share profits), and in conjunction with misguided Federal tax policy (led almost in whole part by Republicans), Senators Warren and Sanders show how overseas and foreign “outsourcing” – all in the name of increased corporate profits – have damaged average American families, including the cities, towns, and states wherein they reside, whom have all witnessed and suffered from wholesale corporate abandonment to foreign soil.

Slow learners are discovering that America’s narsicisstic wealthy “businessman” president – whom they elected, hoping he would be their knight in shining armor coming to their economic rescue – has also sold them out for his own self interests, exactly like his party’s predecessors. They were merely expendable pawns whom he deceived in his egocentric reality show/chess game. They’re merely the red-capped collateral damage in his monkey-business trade war.

Nowhere are the result of such policies more
plainly and painfully evident than in middle America,
where once-thriving factories have become hollowed-out shells

the veritable rotting skeletal corporate detritus which has
fostered and driven
the Opioid Epidemic in many states.

Once-renown industrial cities like Detroit, where the Big Three of the automobile industry – Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors – reigned since the early 1900’s, and supplied high-paying Labor Union wages with genuine, and significant healthcare and retirement benefits to generations of families. Children attended well-funded public schools, states and cities prospered, thrived and expanded exponentially. Teens who chose to attend college or university did so without incurring debt, and training for technically-skilled jobs and labor was supported by almost all secondary schools.

Then, as if seemingly unnoticed, small things began to change. It was if America’s hard-working men and women, and middle-class families had become the proverbial frogs in a pot of water, never noticing the water temperature was increasing, until they were boiled to death… while yet alive.

Life-saving medications like insulin for diabetics, antibiotics to treat and cure once-deadly infections, blood pressure medications which reduced strokes and many other hypertension-associated health problems, even the plastic bags which contained Normal Saline – typically given as adjunctive intravenous therapy in hospitals – began to be manufactured overseas, and along with it, came precipitous price hikes. So-called “pharma bros” took shockingly unjust and unimaginably avaricious pecuniary advantage of old-line medications – which had for years been off-patent – and jacked up their prices 5000%, or more, which placed them out of reach for many whose very lives depended upon them.

The giant, sloppy, wet kiss given to the Pharmaceutical Industry by Republicans under President George W. Bush in Medicare Part D didn’t help. Pharmaceutical companies were allowed to, and did, raise their prices, and Medicare – the single largest purchaser of medications in the world – was forbidden from negotiating for better, lower prices by that same law, which in turn, passed the price increases along to the insured, most of whom live on nominal, and fixed incomes.

Exorbitant pharmaceuticals hold patients hostage to disease,
as hapless physicians and feckless regulators are
paralyzed to become
Wall Street extortionists’ socioeconomic ransom.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/southernbreeze/4611472833/

The Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in “Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission” which solidified corporate personhood, and essentially said that “money is free speech” has neither helped. For if money was free speech, then the poor man would have none (thus violating the Constitution’s Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment, and the First Amendment which guarantees Freedom of Speech), and our laws were, and are, written for all equally.

Neither has the subsequent 2014 Alabama case McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission which “struck down Read the rest of this entry »

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Dying Skills

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, August 25, 2019

America is a wealthy nation.

There’s no question about it.

Even with the scourges of poverty, and homelessness affecting it, the United States is, per capita, among the wealthiest nations in the world.

The United States Census Bureau reports that “The official poverty rate in 2017 was 12.3 percent, down 0.4 percentage points from 12.7 percent in 2016. This is the third consecutive annual decline in poverty. Since 2014, the pov­erty rate has fallen 2.5 percent­age points, from 14.8 percent to 12.3 percent.”

The 2018 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report to Congress (AHAR) by the Department of Housing and Urban Development found that “On a single night in 2018, roughly 553,000 people were experiencing homelessness in the United States. About two-thirds (65%) were staying in sheltered locations—emergency shelters or transitional housing programs—and about one-third (35%) were in unsheltered locations such as on the street, in abandoned buildings, or in other places not suitable for human habitation. Homelessness increased (though modestly) for the second year in a row. The number of homeless people on a single night increased by 0.3 percent between 2017 and 2018.”

According to various census measures internationally, there are very nearly 7.6 BILLION people in the world today. The United States ranks third globally in population with very nearly 330 Million. Only China and India respectively, are more populous, each with over 1.3 BILLION residents.

Indonesia, Pakistan, Brazil, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Russia, and Mexico, in order, round out the Top 10 most populous nations.

Extrapolating from the population, that’s nearly 1 out of every 597 people who are homeless in the United States. Expressed as a percentage, that’s 0.16757575% – a little over 1/10th of 1%… well UNDER 1%.

The International Monetary Fund in 2018 ranked the United States as the 10th wealthiest nation globally. The World Bank in 2017 ranked the United States as 11th wealthiest, and the Central Intelligence Agency from 1993-2017 ranked the United States as the 13th wealthiest nation as measured by Gross Domestic Product per capita.

When measured by adult median wealth, the United States ranks 21st, according to a 2018 Credit Suisse report.

That’s among a ranking of 170-190 nations for all four measures.

And when a ranking of total wealth is considered, the United States ranks first globally – again, according to the Global Wealth Report 2018 by Credit Suisse.

Using the Gini Index – a measure of the overall equality of life – the United States ranks Read the rest of this entry »

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“Paid for by Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, August 15, 2019

Self dealing.

You’d think it was a crime, eh?

But, did you know that it is NOT illegal to shift campaign money into your private account?

Actually, directly, it is.

On their website, the Federal Election Commission states in part that, “Using campaign funds for personal use is prohibited.” (https://www.fec.gov/help-candidates-and-committees/making-disbursements/personal-use/)

They state further that, “Commission regulations provide a test, called the “irrespective test,” to differentiate legitimate campaign and officeholder expenses from personal expenses. Under the “irrespective test,” personal use is any use of funds in a campaign account of a candidate (or former candidate) to fulfill a commitment, obligation or expense of any person that would exist irrespective of the candidate’s campaign or responsibilities as a federal officeholder.”

But indirectly?

That’s a horse of an entirely different color.

In the white-collar criminal underground, that’s called “money laundering,” which is the practice of shifting money through legitimate business enterprises in order to make it appear as if the money was obtained legitimately.

And that is but one reason why the FBI encourages accounting majors in university to consider joining their service – because scouring the financial books of businesses and other entities takes a well-trained eye to discern criminal wrong-doing.

On June 16, 2015, Donald Trump stood in Trump Tower, New York City, and said, “I’m using my own money. I’m not using the lobbyists. I’m not using donors. I don’t care. I’m really rich.” (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/transcript-donald-trump-announces-his-presidential-candidacy/)

With that remark in part, he announced his candidacy to be the GOP’s nominee for President.

Of note, that was also when he’d made his now-infamous remark that, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people. But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we’re getting. And it only makes common sense. It only makes common sense. They’re sending us not the right people. It’s coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all over South and Latin America, and it’s coming probably — probably — from the Middle East. But we don’t know. Because we have no protection and we have no competence, we don’t know what’s happening. And it’s got to stop and it’s got to stop fast.”

But earlier – 5 years earlier, in fact – he’d said to Fortune magazine in April 3, 2000, that, “It’s very possible that I could be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it.” (https://fortune.com/2000/04/03/what-does-donald-trump-really-want/)

In December 2018, Forbes magazine reported that Read the rest of this entry »

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The GOP Hopes That You Keep Sleeping

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, July 31, 2019

America has become like the proverbial frog in a pot of water, which has slowly, but steadily, increased in temperature to the point that it is boiled alive without realizing it.

As the story goes, if the frog were dumped into boiling water, it would immediately jump out.

But, since the water’s temperature was initially comfortable, even pleasant, and only slowly increased, the frog gradually became acclimated to it, and therefore was, in effect, desensitized to the inevitable, impending danger, and died slowly.

For the past nearly 50 years or so, and more specifically, within the last 38, America has swooned under the siren song led by the GOP, which in part started off with the not-so-oblique condemnation that, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” (As Brian Gurney, a private citizen from California, noted: “You can’t govern if you don’t believe in government.” But set up a straw man, and beat it to a pulp – demonize the Constitutional effigy.) And to sweeten the deal, and help matters along, a little bit of “They’re individuals and families whose taxes support the government and whose voluntary gifts support church, charity, culture, art, and education. Their patriotism is quiet, but deep. Their values sustain our national life,” was thrown in for good measure (“a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down,” you know).

In order to facilitate that destruction, first was an appetizer of dessert – across-the-board personal income tax rates were cut 23%, which made the majority of working-class Americans and families very happy.

But then, calling them “job creators,” (veritable sacred cows which should be left alone to wander about in traffic and poop anywhere they desire) another round of personal income tax cuts came around, this time for the elites, and personal income tax rates upon the very wealthiest Americans was dramatically slashed to less than half the former rate – from 70% to 28%.

And then, there came cries and demands for liberty, and freedom from the tyranny of genuine governmental slavery in the form of, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” And truly, who could disagree? But that was quickly transformed into efforts to squelch personal liberty as healthcare decision-making in the most intimate of, and deeply personal matters involving reproduction, by providing opportunity for nosy neighbors (government) to tell others how they ought to run their lives according to the dictates of others’ religious convictions, all under the auspices of government.

Dissatisfied with that aspect of control, they sought to again meddle into the private lives of others – despite the fact that their private liberties were not encroached upon – and the sanction of committed legal relationships in the civil sector were forbidden to select individuals… just like it once was with ethnic minorities. And when in indignation they invited the SCOTUS to step in and rule (hopefully to their advantage, though contrary to their own religious writings), which ruled against their religiously-motivated (no religious test), publicly-sanctioned governmental discrimination (equal protection under law), they loudly cried ‘FOUL!’

And then, when more of their hand-picked, fair-haired children ruled against them, that rights were not absolute (D.C. v Heller), that not just anyone had a right to own, possess, or brandish any firearm, anywhere, at any time, they couldn’t stand it any more, and falsely accused the SCOTUS of partiality and of siding with their opponents whom they continuously maligned, despite the fact that they were ruled against by one of their own most staunch hard-liners.

Feeling emboldened, their most powerful, yet little-known instigator went public and said in part that, Read the rest of this entry »

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America Is Under Attack

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, March 28, 2018

FaceBook criticism is nothing new. In fact, there’s an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to it, which began, interestingly enough, in 2007 – a mere two years after the company, under CEO Mark Zuckerberg, settled a lawsuit with brothers Cameron, and Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra claiming that he had stolen the idea for the company, which at the time was valued at US$10 Billion. It’s now worth more than 40 times that.

FaceBook’s IPO was May 21, 2012, opened selling at $26.21 per share, and now trades around the $150 mark. The last time it was near that price was June 12, 2017, while the highest it’s ever been was $190.28 on January 29, this year. So this momentary decline is a mere hiccough, or passing fancy of algorithmic computer-based trading, from which humans are largely excluded. FaceBook’s market capitalization, aka 
“market cap” is very nearly $450 billion, which is the total dollar market value of a company’s outstanding shares.

Less than a year later, in 2013, FaceBook was resoundingly publicly criticized for not having protections in place to guard against online stalking, child sexual predators, and bullies after loosening restrictions on Read the rest of this entry »

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Members of Congress: Virtual American Royalty… At Taxpayer Expense

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, December 21, 2017

Members of Congress as virtual royalty,
have raised their pay 9 times over 9 years,
but raised Minimum Wage only 3 times in 18 years.
While Congress now pays themselves almost
3x the Median Household Income,
since 2000,
Inflation has totaled 37.4%.
And with 72% subsidies, Employer Contributions,
and other
luxurious perks unavailable to the Average Citizen,
including full Retirement Vestment after 5 years,
and 72% subsidy for Healthcare Insurance in Retirement,
their Healthcare is practically free.
And you’re paying for it.
But yours is not.
And you’re paying for it, too!

Members first received $6 a day in 1789, today they get $174,000 annually, in addition to phenomenal perks, health insurance, and retirement… all at taxpayer expense.

Presently, Congress also gets: Read the rest of this entry »

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Citizens United Ruling Violates Equal Protection Clause

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, February 6, 2017

Nick Hanauer, a multi-billionaire about whom few have likely heard, authored a highly publicized article not too long ago warning about wealth inequity. Increasingly, the wealthy are realizing that a strategy of cutting taxes upon the wealthy and their corporations is not a recipe for American success, precisely for the reason that it adversely affects economic infrastructure, and jobs, among other damages.

However, one needn’t be wealthy to realize and understand that money, and the unreasonable desire for it known as avarice (an extreme form of greed), and the unwieldy power that accompanies it, are corrupting influences in any nation, and particularly in our United States because of SCOTUS ruling in the 2010 Citizens United v Federal Election Commission decision which Read the rest of this entry »

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How TRUE is “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command”? You’d be surprised… or, maybe not.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, November 3, 2016

Remember how ANGRY some folks got when Michael Weisskopf (b.1946) of the Washington Post wrote on February 1, 1993 (link to original article with the WaPo’s editorial addendum) that the simple-minded evangelical groupies of Jerry Falwell (who himself died in 2007), Pat Robertson (b.1930), et al, that:
The gospel lobby evolved with the explosion of satellite and cable television, hitting its national political peak in the presidential election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.

“Unlike other powerful interests, it does not lavish campaign funds on candidates for Congress nor does it entertain them. The strength of fundamentalist leaders lies in their flocks. Corporations pay public relations firms millions of dollars to contrive the kind of grass-roots response that Falwell or Pat Robertson can galvanize in a televised sermon. Their followers are largely poor, uneducated and easy to command.

“”The thing that makes them powerful is they’re mobilizable,” said Seymour Martin Lipset (d.2006), professor of public policy at George Mason University. “You can activate them to vote, and that’s particularly important in congressional primaries where the turnout is usually low.”

“Some studies put the number of evangelical Americans as high as 40 million, with the vast majority considered politically conservative.”

[ed. note: The excerpt, which has frequently been distilled to “largely poor, uneducated and easy to command,” is provided here in full proper context with leading and following sentences, not merely excerpted, in order to thoroughly show proper context.]

It’s true.

Folks don’t get mad because of falsehoods.

They get mad because of truth.

It’s true.

According to the United States Census Bureau (USCB), in 2015 (22 years AFTER that was written), 32.5% of the American public aged 25, or older, have a Bachelor’s Degree (Table 1.), which is CLEARLY a minority. Thus, we see automatically the “largely” part of “uneducated.”

The USCB has also performed research on income, which is similarly delineated and categorized by education. For the year 2011 (18 years AFTER the remarks were made), and those aged 25+ with at least a Bachelor’s Degree, the average income was Read the rest of this entry »

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On Executive Compensation

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Mosaic Scriptural principle (which is also referenced in the New Testament) that “you should not muzzle the ox that treads out the grain” is certainly a principle with and by which we should compensate people for their labor. However, there is little disagreement that the committees that set the rewards far too often overcompensate those whom are charged with organizational oversight.

There is something to be said for fair and just compensation according to the terms of a contract, and the wishes and desires of those whom issue them. 

Why then, is it that when Read the rest of this entry »

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Strain A Gnat, Swallow A Camel: How the Church has ignored Christian Principles to their peril

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, August 20, 2015

In 9 Sins the Church Is Okay With, Frank Powell asks “Are we changing the Bible to fit our culture or are we changing our culture to fit the Bible?”

“What if the big sins, you know the ones you try hardest to avoid, aren’t the greatest threat to your joy and the church’s mission?

“Maybe it’s the sins lying underneath, the ones considered normal or acceptable, the ones going undetected, that are affecting the church the most.”

His questions are, of course, spot on.

In fact, one could hardly argue with the evidence which consists of vast, tax-free empires built upon the backs of the faithful by the likes of:
Joel Osteen (USA) Net Worth $40 Million;
Robert Tilton (USA) Net Worth $830 Million;
Benny Hinn (USA) Net Worth $42 Million;
Joyce Meyer (USA) Net Worth $8 Million;
Kenneth Copeland (USA) Net Worth UNKNOWN (has claimed he’s a billionaire, no such public records exist documenting his claim);
Creflo Dollar (USA) Net Worth $27 Million;
Eddie Long (USA) Net Worth $5 Million;
Randy & Paula White (USA) Net Worth $2 Million;
Joseph Prince (Singapore) Net Worth $5 Million;
Chris Okotie (Nigeria) Net Worth $10 Million;
Matthew Ashimolowo of Nigeria Net Worth $10 Million;
T.B. Joshua (Nigeria) Net Worth $15 Million;
T. D. Jakes (USA) Net Worth $18 Million;
Paul (late) & Jan Crouch (USA) Net Worth (estimated TBN $1 Billion+);
Chris Oyakhilome (Nigeria) Net Worth $50 Million;
David Oyedepo (Nigeria) Net worth: $150 Million.

Obviously, their “prosperity gospel” message is working quite well for them.

For others, no so much.

And that’d probably cover Avarice, Hubris, and Boasting – or, if you prefer, Greed, Extravagance, and Pride.

But there again, our nation’s laws actually encourage greed through religion by not taxing churches. In fact, John Oliver recently pointed out that “U.S. tax law allows television preachers to get away with Read the rest of this entry »

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Sodomy: A prime example of what’s wrong with #ALpolitics

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, July 12, 2015

A dear friend who is a long-time retiree, aged 78 years, entire subsistence is from a meager pension (earned from a lifetime of work in a unionized organization), supplemented with a paltry Social Security check.

She’s lived through breast cancer surgery (mastectomy) & reconstruction, other major surgeries (knee replacements) and procedures, and lives in a trailer which she owns, situated upon a lot which she rents. She has resided there many, many years.

To save money, she recently Read the rest of this entry »

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Examining Right Wing Rhetoric in Memes

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 27, 2015

How accurate, or true are Right Wing statements?

How accurate, or true are Right Wing memes?

Regardless of one’s political beliefs, party affiliation, or ideological inclination, it’s always good to consider the truth of statements in memes that – like flotsam and jetsam – are dispersed throughout the Internet… particularly upon Social Media sites such as FaceBook, and Twitter. And unfortunately, in many cases, they are the veritable garbage, the effluent detritus of communication.

So… let’s examine some of the argument in the meme seen here, and see if it still holds water.

Government has necessary services, and provides the same.

Consider road construction as one example.

To create & build roads (which themselves increase opportunity) government must purchase things – raw materials, and manpower, among them.

Now… exactly where is any “government factory” for that, eh?

That’s correct – there is NONE.

EVERYTHING “we the people” by and through our government – at ALL LEVELS, Federal, State, and Local – purchase comes from the Private Sector!

EVERYTHING!

Consider also what may be the greatest example of Read the rest of this entry »

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The U.S. Economy In 6 Simple Pictures

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Picture #1:

It’s fairly explanatory. American corporations are making profits hand over fist. They’re making more profit now, than before the “Great Recession.” In fact, they’re making more than DOUBLE from their lowest during that time.

Corporate Profits After Tax

Corporate Profits After Tax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read the rest of this entry »

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To What Extent is the American Economy Propped Up by Arms Sales?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What should one expect when the whole damn defense industry has been whored out to arm the krazees of the world?

In a very prophetic manner, in his Farewell Address to the nation, January 17, 1961, then-President Dwight David Eisenhower warned about the “military industrial complex,” saying:

“We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United State corporations.

“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence-economic, political, even spiritual-is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

“We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

US sells $11 BILLION worth of arms to Qatar

Published time: July 15, 2014 09:46
Edited time: July 16, 2014 12:55

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (L) and Qatar's Minister of State for Defense Affairs Hamad bin Ali al-Atiyah (C) arrive for a weapons sales signing ceremony at the Pentagon on July 14, 2014 in Washington, DC. (AFP Photo / Mandel Ngan)

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (L) and Qatar’s Minister of State for Defense Affairs Hamad bin Ali al-Atiyah (C) arrive for a weapons sales signing ceremony at the Pentagon on July 14, 2014 in Washington, DC. (AFP Photo / Mandel Ngan)

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (L) and Qatar’s Minister of State for Defense Affairs Hamad bin Ali al-Atiyah (C) arrive for a weapons sales signing ceremony at the Pentagon on July 14, 2014 in Washington, DC. (AFP Photo / Mandel Ngan)

Washington and Doha have signed the largest arms deal of the year, preparing to enhance Qatar’s military capabilities with $11 billion-worth of Apache assault helicopters, PAC-2 missile defense complexes and Javelin man-portable anti-tank missiles.

The deal has been signed on Monday in Pentagon by US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Qatari Defense Minister Hamad bin Ali al-Attiyah. Altogether Qatar is buying 10 batteries of Patriot missile defense systems and 500 Javelin anti-tank missiles manufactured by US defense industry giants Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, and 24 Apache helicopters made by Boeing, an anonymous US official told the AFP.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Pitchfork in the Road: America’s Economic Future – Poverty & Insurrection, or Abundance & Peace?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, June 28, 2014

“How much is enough?” is a qood question to ask many folks, especially some among the Wall $treet crowd.

And to be certain, the two principles of “the worker is worthy of their hire,” and “You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain” are equally compelling ethics.

As those two ethics concern our nation’s economy, we can point to times in history where various nations suffered revolution, and the most common causes of revolution.

In fact, I wrote at length about it in this blog in 2011, and observed in part that, “…it’s not as if uproars have never happened before. They happen with great regularity and frequency. In fact, they’re quite predictable. Yes, predictable. It’s called “history.” The maxim goes something like this: “Those who forget the lessons of history are condemned to repeat them.” And so, any reasonable or prudent person should ask, “What are the lessons of history?””

Just remember this: Food, Clothing, Shelter. If you can’t get them with what you have, you’ll fight, kill, go to war, or civil insurrection, to obtain the basic necessities of life.

The Pitchforks Are Coming… For Us Plutocrats

By NICK HANAUER
Nick Hanauer is a Seattle-based entrepreneur.

July/August 2014

Memo: From Nick Hanauer
To: My Fellow Zillionaires

You probably don’t know me, but like you I am one of those .01%ers, a proud and unapologetic capitalist. I have founded, co-founded and funded more than 30 companies across a range of industries—from itsy-bitsy ones like the night club I started in my 20s to giant ones like Amazon.com, for which I was the first nonfamily investor. Then I founded aQuantive, an Internet advertising company that was sold to Microsoft in 2007 for $6.4 billion. In cash. My friends and I own a bank. I tell you all this to demonstrate that in many ways I’m no different from you. Like you, I have a broad perspective on business and capitalism. And also like you, I have been rewarded obscenely for my success, with a life that the other 99.99 percent of Americans can’t even imagine. Multiple homes, my own plane, etc., etc. You know what I’m talking about. In 1992, I was selling pillows made by my family’s business, Pacific Coast Feather Co., to retail stores across the country, and the Internet was a clunky novelty to which one hooked up with a loud squawk at 300 baud. But I saw pretty quickly, even back then, that many of my customers, the big department store chains, were already doomed. I knew that as soon as the Internet became fast and trustworthy enough—and that time wasn’t far off—people were going to shop online like crazy. Goodbye, Caldor. And Filene’s. And Borders. And on and on.

Nick Hanauer

Nick Hanauer
With over 30 years of experience across a broad range of industries including manufacturing, retailing, e-commerce, digital media and advertising, software, aerospace, health care, and finance. Hanauer’s experience and perspective have produced an unusual record of serial successes. Hanauer has managed, founded or financed over 30 companies, creating aggregate market value of tens of billions of dollars. Some notable companies Include Amazon.com, Aquantive Inc., (purchased by Microsoft in 2007 for $6.4 billion), Insitu group (purchased by Boeing for $400 million), Market Leader (purchased by Trulia in 2013 for $350 million). Some other companies include Marchex, Newsvine, Qliance, Seattle Bank and Pacific Coast Feather Company. – Photo by Robbie McClaran

Realizing that, seeing over the horizon a little faster than the next guy, was the strategic part of my success. The lucky part was that I had two friends, both immensely talented, who also saw a lot of potential in the web. One was a guy you’ve probably never heard of named Jeff Tauber, and the other was a fellow named Jeff Bezos. I was so excited by the potential of the web that I told both Jeffs that I wanted to invest in whatever they launched, big time. It just happened that the second Jeff—Bezos—called me back first to take up my investment offer. So I helped underwrite his tiny start-up bookseller. The other Jeff started a web department store called Cybershop, but at a time when trust in Internet sales was still low, it was too early for his high-end online idea; people just weren’t yet ready to buy expensive goods without personally checking them out (unlike a basic commodity like books, which don’t vary in quality—Bezos’ great insight). Cybershop didn’t make it, just another dot-com bust. Amazon did somewhat better. Now I own a very large yacht.

But let’s speak frankly to each other. I’m not the smartest guy you’ve ever met, or the hardest-working. I was a mediocre student. I’m not technical at all—I can’t write a word of code. What sets me apart, I think, is a tolerance for risk and an intuition about what will happen in the future. Seeing where things are headed is the essence of entrepreneurship. And what do I see in our future now?

I see pitchforks.

At the same time that people like you and me are Read the rest of this entry »

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Who Pays Unskilled Labor US $80,000/year?!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 22, 2014

“For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.”
-1Tim5:18

Lately, much has been made of raising the Minimum Wage, which does nothing more than establish a minimum standard.

But who cares about minimums?

We should strive to exceed!

Some well-known, publicly-traded, highly profitable firms, however, revel in greed, and wallow in the slop, when they can do far better for the employees who operate their businesses.

The question is often asked “why pay unskilled workers $10 or even more per hour?”

It’s a valid question, and deserves a genuinely thoughtful response.

So, let’s pose that question to BIG OIL COMPANIES in Williston, North Dakota, where…

“oilfield companies pay unskilled 19 year-olds $80,000 a year.”

 

http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/mall-middle-what-used-be-nowhere

by Dan Weissmann
Monday, June 16, 2014 – 15:21

Williston, North Dakota, has the nation’s highest rents. Thanks to the fracking boom, a basic apartment in Williston costs more than something similar in New York or San Francisco. And it comes with a lot fewer amenities.

For instance, shopping. If Walmart doesn’t have it, the nearest outlet is at least two hours away. Now, a Swiss investment firm has announced plans to Read the rest of this entry »

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BIG OIL’s Corrupting Influence in American Politics: Propping up Corrupt Regimes to Prop Up Profits

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, March 7, 2014

Report

Slick Moves

The SEC could help tackle corruption in resource-rich countries around the world — but the oil industry is getting in the way.

Angola, Africa’s second-largest oil producer, is regarded as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. And American oil lobbyists are only making the situation worse: They are exploiting Angola by seeking to delay and weaken the implementation of a crucial U.S. transparency law.

That law, Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act, also known as the Cardin-Lugar amendment, promises a breakthrough in preventing dirty deals and illicit payments being made for natural resources around the world, similar to the shady transaction recently uncovered by Foreign Policy. If implemented fully, the law would make U.S. oil and mining companies disclose the payments they make to governments across the world, including in Angola. However, oil lobbyists have been making misguided arguments that laws in Angola and three other countries prevent the required disclosures.

Off Shore Oil Drilling Rig

Off Shore Oil Drilling Rig – MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images

Angolan officials secretly profiting from the country’s oil riches is not a surprise. It is only the latest episode in a sad history that goes back for decades. Global Witness, where we work, began exposing the complicity of the international oil and banking industries in the plundering of state assets during Angola’s 40-year civil war in our 1999 report A Crude Awakening. This was followed by our 2002 report All the Presidents’ Men, which called on the oil companies operating in Angola to “Publish What You Pay” (PWYP). Under this rallying call, Global Witness co-launched the PWYP campaign, which is now an international coalition of more than 790 civil society organizations in over 60 countries, including Angola, advocating for transparency laws such as Section 1504.

These efforts are intended to prevent scandals similar to the Trafigura deal covered in Foreign Policy, which provide a glimpse of the endemic corruption in Angola‘s oil industry. Only a few days before Foreign Policy published its story, media reports about leaked documents relating to other corruption claims caused the share price of SBM Offshore, a Dutch oil services company operating in Angola, to plummet 17.9 percent when markets opened. SBM released a statement challenging the validity of the leaked documents, saying that they are partial, taken out of context, contain outdated information, and are not representative of the facts. SBM had also already disclosed to its investors that it was conducting an internal investigation into questionable payments in Angola. However, the dramatic stock drop suggests that SBM investors had not anticipated the scale of the corruption risk exposure.

Another oil services company active in Angola, Weatherford International, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and headquartered in Switzerland, has recently pleaded guilty to violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), including bribery of the executives of Sonangol, Angola’s state oil company. It has agreed to pay fines of $253 million to settle the case, one of the largest FCPA settlements ever.

These cases illustrate the urgent need for transparency in Angola’s oil sector. The successful implementation of Read the rest of this entry »

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American Entitlement Culture

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, October 10, 2013

Recently, I happened across an item which read “When they analyze the demise of western society due to the entitlement epidemic, it’ll trace back to giving kids awards just for showing up.”

Of course, it can sometimes be difficult to discern sarcasm when reading, and I rather suspect there is at least a smidgen of sarcasm in that brief remark.

Sarcasm, of course, can, and is often used to convey a truth, or truths about numerous subjects, and is a teaching tool, as well.

Because I often use dictionaries to aid my understanding, I chose to look up the definition of the word “entitlement.” Here’s what I found:
As a verb, to “entitle” is to give someone a legal right, or a just claim to receive or do something.

For example, in the United States, the First Amendment is an entitlement to Read the rest of this entry »

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How much is enough? A guide to dissatisfaction & satiety.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 9, 2013

Late Southern humorist & columnist Lewis Grizzard once wrote a book entitled “Elvis is dead, and I don’t feel so good myself.” The title seems apropos, especially since economics is colloquially known as “the dismal science.” 

And then, there’s former Soviet Union premier Nikita Khrushchev who once famously said during the early stages of the Cold War in 1956, “We will bury you!

Either way, it means somebody’s gonna’ die.

Considering the implications, however, I ask these questions:

How many beds can a man sleep in at once? How many meals does he need before he is full? In how many cars can he ride at once? In how many showers can he bathe at once? How many shoes can he wear at once? In how many houses can he live at once?

How much is enough?

A pessimist’s guide to the Great Recession

Review by Ferdinando Giugliano
June 9, 2013 4:36 pm
A provocative critique of policy makers’ response to the economic crisis

When the Money Runs Out: The End of Western Affluence,
by Stephen King, Yale University Press, RRP£20/RRP$30

Academic debates over the right policy response are one of the few abundant commodities during an economic crisis. Just as in the 1930s and 1970s, the financial crisis that began in the late 2000s has divided economists into two camps. The neo-Keynesian troops have Read the rest of this entry »

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Do We Now Know Enough About Mitt Romney’s Taxes?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, September 28, 2012

MAKING SEN$E — September 28, 2012 at 5:04 PM EST

Do We Now Know Enough About Mitt Romney’s Taxes?

By: Paul Solman

US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at a town hall meeting at Central High School in Grand Junction, Colorado, on July 10, 2012, where he said he has ‘nothing hidden’ in his taxes. Photo by: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

It’s hard enough to figure out my own taxes every year without having to worry about Mitt Romney’s. But because the issue of Romney’s taxes has come to loom so large, I thought I’d better get some professional advice. So I sought out a friend, estate planning lawyer Matthew Berlin, who has modest clients like me as well as the high and well-heeled, some of them with assets abroad. I asked him if we now knew all we need to know, at least with respect to the tax returns Mitt Romney has disclosed publicly.

No, said Matthew. There are a host of questions that any inquiring tax attorney or journalist might ask. Without them, a true picture of Romney’s finances would be impossible. So I asked Matthew if he wouldn’t share the questions with us. Here they are: Read the rest of this entry »

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IRS pays whistleblower $104 Million for exposing wealthy tax cheats

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, September 11, 2012

English: United States Internal Revenue Servic...

United States Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Special Agent badge

To know the truth is good, even though what may be revealed might not be good.

The über-wealthy & super-rich can run, but they cannot hide.

If anything, this perfectly illustrates the need for strong regulation.

IRS pays whistleblower $104 million

By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER

— Sep. 11 10:58 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawyers for a whistleblower say the Internal Revenue Service has awarded their client $104 million for providing information about overseas tax cheats — the largest amount ever awarded by the agency.

Ex-Swiss banker Bradley Birkenfeld is credited with exposing widespread tax evasion at Swiss bank UBS AG. Birkenfeld himself Read the rest of this entry »

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Wall Street Journal on @MittRomney policy plan & R’ObamaCare Mitt-Flop

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, September 10, 2012

Do tell.

WSJ chides Romney for too few policy details

By MAGGIE HABERMAN|

9/10/12 10:11 PM EDT

The WSJ editorial page weighs in on Mitt Romney‘s Obamacare response on Meet the Press, and the subsequent clean-up:

When Mitt Romney ventures into health care, political trouble usually follows. So it went this weekend, as the GOP standard-bearer made his own policy sound worse than it is.

On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the Republican was asked what he would do about people with pre-existing medical conditions who would supposedly “no longer be guaranteed health care” if he repeals the Affordable Care Act. “I say we’re going to replace ObamaCare,” Mr. Romney replied. “And I’m replacing it with my own plan,” without defining the substance of his own agenda.

When pressed, Mr. Romney said that “I’m not getting rid of all of health-care reform. (That would be the liberal euphemism for ObamaCare.) Of course, there are a number of things that I like in health-care reform Read the rest of this entry »

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Pharmaceutical Firms Lie, Cheat & Steal from America’s Elderly, Orphans, Poor and Helpless

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, September 8, 2012

A few points for the reader to consider:
This fraud was national in scope, involving a $3 BILLION settlement, of which the North Carolina Attorney General was able to recoup $31.8M. Pfizer, Abbott, Johnson & Johnson, Forest Labs, Eli Lilly, Astrazeneca have also all plead guilty to deceptive and fraudulent marketing. It’s very likely a drop in the bucket in comparison with the greater scope.

The four most expensive Pharmacy frauds in the United States history have occurred since George W. Bush oversaw the rewriting of the Medicare Part D drug benefit in 2003. In order of their value, they are:
GlaxoSmithKline – $3 Billion, 2012
Pfizer – $2.3 Billion, 2009
Abbott Laboratories – $1.5 Billion, 2012
Eli Lilly – $1.4 Billion, 2009

The so-called “doughnut hole” in the Medicare prescription Part D drug plan was closed by President Obama. That “doughnut hole” was created under the George W. Bush administration, who caved in to lobbyists from BIG PHARMA, and allowed them to write much of that aspect of the 2003 revision of the Medicare Part D law (also known as the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (MMA), and refused to allow Medicaid the opportunity to bargain for prices with pharmaceutical firms.

Advertising is expensive. Advertising for medications on television, radio, Internet, magazines, billboards, buses, and any other place where advertising is sold, is illegal in some nations. It was once illegal in the United States, until the 1980’s when the FDA OK’d it under pressure from the Reagan administration.

IMS Health, a medical data firm, calculates that drug companies’ business in the United States alone earns more than $300 billion a year.

Last year, GSK had $20 Billion gross profits on $27 Billion in revenue. So don’t let anyone EVER fool you into believing that drug companies don’t make enough money, don’t have enough profits, or enough profit margin.

Pharmaceutical companies spent Read the rest of this entry »

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Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, September 2, 2012

Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital

How the GOP presidential candidate and his private equity firm staged an epic wealth grab, destroyed jobs – and stuck others with the bill

by: Matt Taibbi

Rolling Stone 20120827-mitt-romney-x306-1346104394

Mitt Romney illustration / Illustration by Robert Grossman

The great criticism of Mitt Romney, from both sides of the aisle, has always been that he doesn’t stand for anything. He’s a flip-flopper, they say, a lightweight, a cardboard opportunist who’ll say anything to get elected.

The critics couldn’t be more wrong. Mitt Romney is no tissue-paper man. He’s closer to being a revolutionary, a backward-world version of Che or Trotsky, with tweezed nostrils instead of a beard, a half-Windsor instead of a leather jerkin. His legendary flip-flops aren’t the lies of a bumbling opportunist – they’re the confident prevarications of a man untroubled by misleading the nonbeliever in pursuit of a single, all-consuming goal. Romney has a vision, and he’s trying for something big: We’ve just been too slow to sort out what it is, just as we’ve been slow to grasp the roots of the radical economic changes that have swept the country in the last generation.

The incredible untold story of the 2012 election so far is that Romney’s run has been a shimmering pearl of perfect political hypocrisy, which he’s somehow managed to keep hidden, even with thousands of cameras following his every move. And the drama of this rhetorical high-wire act was ratcheted up even further when Romney chose his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin – like himself, a self-righteously anal, thin-lipped, Whitest Kids U Know penny pincher who’d be honored to tell Oliver Twist there’s no more soup left. By selecting Ryan, Romney, the hard-charging, chameleonic champion of a disgraced-yet-defiant Wall Street, officially succeeded in moving the battle lines in the 2012 presidential race.

Like John McCain four years before, Romney desperately needed a vice-presidential pick that would change the game. But where McCain bet on a combustive mix of clueless novelty and suburban sexual tension named Sarah Palin, Romney bet on an idea. He said as much when he unveiled his choice of Ryan, the author of a hair-raising budget-cutting plan best known for its willingness to slash the sacred cows of Medicare and Medicaid. “Paul Ryan has become an intellectual leader of the Republican Party,” Romney told frenzied Republican supporters in Norfolk, Virginia, standing before the reliably jingoistic backdrop of a floating warship. “He understands the fiscal challenges facing America: our exploding deficits and crushing debt.”

Debt, debt, debt. If the Republican Party had a James Carville, this is what he would have said to win Mitt over, in whatever late-night war room session led to the Ryan pick: “It’s the debt, stupid.” This is the way to defeat Barack Obama: to recast the race as a jeremiad against debt, something just about everybody who’s ever gotten a bill in the mail hates on a primal level.

Last May, in a much-touted speech in Iowa, Romney Read the rest of this entry »

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Bain Capital among firms subpoenaed by NY AG – suspected of tax evasion

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, September 2, 2012

The noose tightens.

UPDATE 2-New York probes private equity tax strategy – source

Sun Sep 2, 2012 8:00am IST

* NY AG subpoenas at least 12 private equity firms
* AG probing conversion of fees into fund investments
* Bain, Romney’s former firm, among those subpoenaed
* KKR, Apollo, Silver Lake, TPG also get subpoenas

By Karen Freifeld and Greg Roumeliotis

Sept 1 (Reuters) – At least a dozen U.S. private equity firms have been subpoenaed by the New York state attorney general as part of a probe into whether a widely used tax strategy that saved these firms hundreds of millions of dollars is proper, a source familiar with the situation said on Saturday.

Among the firms that were subpoenaed are Bain Capital LLC, KKR & Co LP, TPG Capital LP, Apollo Global Management LLC and Silver Lake Partners LP, the source said.

Bain was once headed by Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate who hopes to unseat President Barack Obama in the Nov. 6 election.

The subpoenas, which were sent out in July, seek documents related to Read the rest of this entry »

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Secret Swiss Bank accounts, Cayman Island Bank accounts, Bermuda Tax Haven Bank accounts… what does Mitt Romney have to hide?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, July 15, 2012

What does Mitt Romney have to hide?

Why won’t he live up to his late father’s example, and voluntarily and openly reveal all his tax records?

Where the Money Lives

August 2012, 2012-08-08 T11:00:24.000-04:00

By Nicholas Shaxson

For all Mitt Romney’s touting of his business record, when it comes to his own money the Republican nominee is remarkably shy about disclosing numbers and investments. Nicholas Shaxson delves into the murky world of offshore finance, revealing loopholes that allow the very wealthy to skirt tax laws, and investigating just how much of Romney’s fortune (with $30 million in Bain Capital funds in the Cayman Islands alone?) looks pretty strange for a presidential candidate.

Mitt Romney Cayman Islands banking

BURIED TREASURE Grand Cayman, where Bain Capital maintains at least 138 funds. Inset, Mitt Romney tries to spot his La Jolla home from the campaign plane. ©Ruth Tomlinson/Robert Harding World Imagery/Corbis (beach); by Justin Sullivan/Getty images (inset).

A person who worked for Mitt Romney at the consulting firm Bain and Co. in 1977 remembers him with mixed feelings. “Mitt was … a really wonderful boss,” the former employee says. “He was nice, he was fair, he was logical, he said what he wanted … he was really encouraging.” But Bain and Co., the person recalls, pushed employees to find out secret revenue and sales data on its clients’ competitors. Romney, the person says, suggested “falsifying” who they were to get such information, by pretending to be a graduate student working on a proj­ect at Harvard. (The person, in fact, was a Harvard student, at Bain for the summer, but not working on any such proj­ects.) “Mitt said to me something like ‘We won’t ask you to lie. I am not going to tell you to do this, but [it is] a really good way to get the information.’ … I would not have had anything in my analysis if I had not pretended.

“It was a strange atmosphere. It did leave a bad taste in your mouth,” the former employee recalls.

This unsettling account suggests the young Romney—at that point only two years out of Harvard Business School—was willing to push into gray areas when it came to business. More than three dec­ades later, as he tried to Read the rest of this entry »

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Stay-at-home-mom Ann Romney’s tax deductions for her dressage horse exceeded the average American Median Income

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, June 18, 2012

Ann Romney's horse deductions

Is this not a prime example of how “We the People…” should require higher tax rates of the über wealthy?

I mean, really… they get a deduction of $77,000 for their f*ing horse?!

C’mon, people!

What’s wrong with this picture!?!

Out of touch with reality, or out of touch with reality?

Hey!

I know!

Mitt says “job one is creating jobs in America.”

Since Mitt & Ann get those rich-folk tax breaks, that makes him a “job creator.”

So maybe you can work in one of Mitt’s horse barns!

You plebian slob.

Romney Horse Wins Spot on Olympic Dressage Team

June 16, 2012
By

GLADSTONE, N.J. — Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, who plan to attend the opening of the Olympic Games in London this summer, now have a personal rooting interest in the event.

Jan Ebeling, Mrs. Romney’s longtime riding tutor, and his horse Rafalca, co-owned by Mrs. Romney, Read the rest of this entry »

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What does a tax-free, worldwide fraud… er, religious media empire look like?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, May 20, 2012

Recall the words to this song?

Oh, how I love Jesus… Oh, how I love Jesus… Oh, how I love Jesus…

Well, some folk don’t “love” Him because He first loved them, but because He “gives me power to get wealth.” And THAT, my brothers and sisters, is where it’s at! Money, money, money! Pass the cash! I want more! More! More! More!

Is this abuse?

You decide.

Perhaps the greater question is this: How can this be prevented?

And, this is ALL tax free.

Free.

Remember that word.

(And be sure to watch the hilarious video following the story below!)

Private jets, 13 mansions and a $100,000 mobile home just for the dogs: Televangelists ‘defrauded tens of million of dollars from Christian network’

By Nina Golgowski

PUBLISHED: 16:21 EST, 23 March 2012 | UPDATED: 16:22 EST, 23 March 2012

Two former employees of the world’s largest Christian television channel Trinity Broadcasting Network are accusing the non-profit of spending $50 million of its funding on extravagant personal expenses.

Among purchases, the network founded by Televangelists Paul and Jan Crouch, is accused of misappropriating its ‘charitable assets’ toward a $50 million jet, 13 mansions and a $100,000-mobile home for Mrs Crouch’s dogs.

Accused: Brittany Koper, center, recently filed a suit accusing the Trinity Broadcasting Network, its founders Janice Crouch (left) and Paul Crouch Sr (far right), in squandering $50 million of its funding

Their granddaughter, Brittany Koper, 26, recently filed her allegations in court after Read the rest of this entry »

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Scrutinizing the Mitt Romney jobs claim record

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, December 5, 2011

Mitt Romney, former  governor of Massachusetts, and GOP wannabe presidential nominee, has made many assertions claiming a record of creating private sector jobs before he became governor.

However, Marc B. Walpow, a former managing partner at Bain Capital who worked closely with Mitt Romney during his time there had this to say:

I never thought of what I do for a living as job creation. The primary goal of private equity is to create wealth for your investors.

Let’s examine Mr. Romney’s job creations claims more closely.

A closer look at Mitt Romney’s job creation record

The Republican presidential contender says he learned about expanding employment during his time heading a private equity firm. But under his leadership, Bain Capital often maximized profits in part by firing workers.

By Tom Hamburger, Melanie Mason and Matea Gold, Washington Bureau December 3, 2011, 7:23 p.m.
Reporting from Washington—

Shortly after Mitt Romney resigned from Bain Capital in 1999 to run the Olympics in Salt Lake City, potential investors received a prospectus touting the extraordinary profits earned by the private equity firm that Romney controlled for 15 years.

During that time, Boston-based Bain acquired more than 115 companies, according to the prospectus. Bain’s estimated annual returns were more than five times that of the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the same period.

Now a front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, Romney says his Bain experience shows he knows how to create jobs. He often cites Bain’s investment in a little-known office supply store called Staples, which now employs more than 90,000 worldwide.

DOCUMENT: Read the Bain Capital prospectus

But a closer examination of the prospectus paints a different picture of Bain’s operation. Under Romney’s leadership, Read the rest of this entry »

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Wall Street Executives Drink Champagne during Occupy Wall Street Protest

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

Is this not the height of arrogance?

Wall Street executives, tell show us how you ~REALLY~ feel!

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Riches, Wealth, Avarice, Power, Abuse and Vice: An Occupy Wall Street redux

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, October 1, 2011

John Adams: "the man who at certain point...

John Adams, 1823–24, Second President of the US. Painting by Gilbert Stuart (1755–1828).

Perhaps you’ve read the previous entry in this blog. If not, I encourage you do so.

Why?

For several reasons, not the least of which are that what you’ll read in the conclusion of this entry speak overwhelmingly to the issue addressed by the protestors.

Following is an entry I made in another forum, the content of which – as I considered it – was worthy of a separate post.

Your thoughtful commentary is encouraged.

I particularly like your earlier remark, and found it quite erudite. To wit, and to clarify, it is this one: “I believe in capitalism, 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)
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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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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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“Lady Gaga” goes gaga over “Baby Gaga” Breast Milk Ice Cream

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, March 6, 2011

Earlier I’d posted about “Baby Gaga” human breast milk ice cream which was being marketed in England.

Now, the denizen attorney hoards hired by Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, aka “Lady Gaga,” have threatened an entrepreneur in England who has hit upon a rather unique idea which has – legality & ethics issues aside – provided a nominal source of income for the donors and for the marketer.

We don’t read of the “Goo Goo Dolls” suing “Goo Goo Cluster” candy in Nashville, TN. Nor do we read of either of them suing “Goo Gone” of Cleveland, OH for their citrus-based cleaning product. Perhaps her insatiably greedy attorneys will file suit against anyone whom uses the word “gaga” in conversation.

Standard Candy Company, makers of the Goo Goo Cluster indicate that 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 »

Posted in - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Hog Wild in Alabama

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, July 26, 2010

“This bill helps somebody – and it’s not consumers in this state… particularly rural residents.”

What FURTHER PROOF do Alabamians need? I’m surprised they continue to elect those INCOMPETENT BOOBS year-after-year. Note to the pols: Just kiss ’em… ’cause you’ve already screwed ’em.

To whom will you turn if you have a disagreement with your bill, or if they fail to provide service, but still charge you?

Another word for “regulation” is “rules.” Ever play ANY game without them?

Ref.: Alabama legislators deregulate land line phone service in AL: The end game begins.

Alabama Phone Deregulation End Game Begins in House. Will Legislators Sell Us Out to AT&T? by: countrycat, Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 08:17:38 AM CDT

“The Alabama Senate passed a bill that Read the rest of this entry »

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Taxed Enough Already? Not hardly, says new report.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, April 8, 2010

So-called “tea” partiers may be disappointed

The Tax Policy Center (TPC), a non-partisan policy analysis and collaborative effort of the Brookings Institution and Urban Institute, both Washington, D.C. think-tanks, recently reported that 47% of all Americans will not pay income tax for the 2009 tax year.

President Obama’s “Making Work Pay” tax credits, and his American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5) have further reduced income tax burdens on Americans.

Because of his initiatives, more than half of all elderly households, families with children, and other Americans will pay no income tax this year. More than 75% of married couples and single heads of households with income between $30,000 – 40,000 will pay no income tax. And more than 90% of all households with children will have no tax liability this year.

The Tax Policy Center estimated President Obama’s policies significantly lowered the tax burden on average Americans, …Continue…

Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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