الاثنين، يناير 10، 2011

Proud

هناك 137 تعليقًا:

Freddie Starr يقول...

Freddie Starr ate my hamster.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Zeyad,

er...mmm...I assume you meant this when you left the link in that picture? Others have slipped in after.

Shroogy يقول...

وآني الاكثر اخرووووووويه

Thesis Writing يقول...

Excellent Blog! I really admire your thinking and the way you have put these information in this post. Thanks for sharing an informative post.

Petes يقول...

Hedge fund manager bets on China bubble popping.

Bruno يقول...

NEWS:

No surprise that American commitments to withdrawing from Iraq in 2011 were lies:

"Fresh off a contentious visit to Pakistan, Vice President Joe Biden has arrived in Iraq on the latest unannounced visit of his tour with an eye towards serious talks about the continuation of the US war beyond the December deadline specified in the Status of Forces Agreement. Iraqi officials have confirmed that Biden’s talks will center around the possibility of keeping American troops in the nation in 2012 and beyond, with meetings planned with President Talabani, Prime Minister Maliki and Kurdish President Barzani.Just weeks ago Prime Minister Maliki insisted that the US would absolutely have to leave on time, but whether such comments will stand up to a meeting with US officials, a number of whom have expressed determination to remain in Iraq for years to come, remains to be seen."

http://news.antiwar.com/2011/01/12/bidens-iraq-visit-to-focus-on-extending-war-beyond-2011/

Bruno يقول...

The Iraqi news we don't hear, from Azzaman:

The Iraqi parliament is debating the role secret intelligence agents play in the current Iraqi political scene. These agents are euphemistically called informers, the appellation the former regime of Saddam Hussein also used. The issue of secret intelligence agents has become a stigma of disgrace in the forehead of the current political system in Iraq. The governments that have come to rule the country in the aftermath of the 2003-U.S. invasion have nurtured these informers and even bragged about their pervasive presence. Iraqis had thought that the U.S. would ‘liberate’ them from Saddam Hussein’s secret intelligence agents whose reports and presence almost everybody feared to death. Little did they know that the post-Saddam era would replicate the same experience and in cases in ways that surpass in their oppression the pre-U.S. invasion epoch.

http://www.azzaman.com/english/index.asp?fname=news\2011-01-09\kurd.htm

Attacks, mainly by silencer guns and explosive devices targeting Iraqi army officers, have surged recently and more than 2,000 officers are reported to have been killed in the past few months. Intelligence sources, refusing to be named, said in the face of the “new form of terror,” Iraqi security forces have intensified their searches of individuals and vehicles particularly in Baghdad. The intelligence sources said there were organized “assassination groups” whose main target was killing Iraqi army officers.

http://www.azzaman.com/english/index.asp?fname=news\2011-01-05\kurd.htm

Hussein Kamal, Interior Ministry Undersecretary, said “we have placed some of Baghdad’s neighborhoods under our firm control in order to put a halt to the assassinations.” He said 17 new “armed cells” have entered Baghdad recently with the specific aim of “assassinating army officers.”

http://www.azzaman.com/english/index.asp?fname=news\2011-01-11\kurd.htm

Afghanistan:

NATO predictions that the usual winter lull would not come to pass this year in Afghanistan appear to be well supported tonight, following a day of violence across the nation which left at least six NATO troops dead.

http://news.antiwar.com/2011/01/12/six-nato-soldiers-killed-across-afghanistan/

The American way of Torture:

http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn01072011.html

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       يقول...

 
      "NEWS:"

Nope, no news; stale rhetoric; overused and stale rhetorical flourishes.  Long wait and this is all the better Bruno can do when he comes out of hiding?

I find this rather a disappointment performance.

Bruno يقول...

LOL @ the ape!

Bruno يقول...

More NEWS:

"Despite reports that Muqtada al-Sadr, the rebellious clergyman who returned to Iraq this week after four years in Iran, has adopted a “moderate stance,” his speech at a mosque in Najaf on Saturday proved quite otherwise. He is, still, militantly anti-American, and he’s served notice on Prime Minister Maliki’s government that any deal with the United States to extend the American troop deployment in Iraq past the end of 2011 is out of the question. [...] More important, Sadr’s clout derives–to an unknown extent–from the backing he receives from Iran. The Sadr-Maliki pact was assembled late last year in Tehran and Qom, where the two men met for the first time since the attack on the Sadrists ordered by Maliki in 2007."

http://www.thenation.com/blog/157604/muqtada-al-sadrs-fiery-call-us-out-iraq

Despite Iraqi leaders' insistence that the United States meet its deadline of withdrawing all troops by the end of 2011, the contours of a large and lasting American presence here are starting to take shape. [...] Instead, planning is underway to turn over to the State Department some of the most prominent symbols of the U.S. role in the war - including several major bases and a significant portion of the Green Zone. The department would use the bases to house a force of private security contractors and support staff that it expects to triple in size, to between 7,000 and 8,000, U.S. officials said.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/13/AR2011011305883.html

Seems we are headed for 'interesting times'. We all know how much the US likes closing its OTHER bases:

"Japanese government efforts to get the US to end its military domination of the island of Okinawa has been a major political problem that has only been exasperated by angry US rebukes for the notion that they should leave, or even pare down their massive presence."

http://news.antiwar.com/2011/01/13/gates-us-will-be-patient-on-okinawa-base/

Iraq and Kuwait agreed on Wednesday to step up efforts to resolve issues dating from Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait, as Kuwait’s premier visited Baghdad for the first time since before that conflict.

http://www.arabtimesonline.com/NewsDetails/tabid/96/smid/414/ArticleID/164258/t/PM-in-first-visit-to-Iraq-since-war/Default.aspx

American torture:

"A US rights group Thursday appealed to a court in the case of former prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan who accuse ex-defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld of being to blame for their torture. The case, which dates back to December 2006, was thrown out by a federal court in March 2007 which found that Rumsfeld and other senior military figures have immunity from such charges."

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5ilZ0ia7I801i0uiZYt3vIPL3TH-A?docId=CNG.1c57202696bf2f7700f8d32ba6a5b370.7a1

Maronite يقول...

Who am I?

Bruno يقول...

A Catholic.

Maronite يقول...

Really? I met a furry thing claiming I wasn't.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Deflation?

Hmmm...that doesn't seem to bode well for gold investments.

I don't know, a China implosion (should it happen) may not be as bad as Hendry thinks if the US continues to pick up. We are a major end user of their exports. Of course, our recovery is rather slow.

Snowed here again. It's getting hard even for the snow blower to get it above the banks alongside the driveway.

Um Ayad يقول...

Baghdad gets less than one hour of electricity a day

Iraq’s capital, Baghdad, home to more than six million people, hardly gets one hour of non-interrupted electricity supplies every 24 hours.
The city has plunged into darkness with the country’s national grid still unable to increase supplies despite billions of dollars in investments.

Seven years after the 2003-U.S. invasion, power production in the country is still below levels reached under former leader Saddam Hussein.

http://www.azzaman.com/english/index.asp?fname=news\2011-01-15\kurd.htm

Um Ayad يقول...

Jordanians protest against soaring food prices

Protesters angry over high food costs and unemployment call for the prime minister to step down, in an echo of Tunisian demonstrations.

More than 5,000 people staged protests across Jordan in "a day of rage" to protest against escalating food prices and unemployment on the same day as, in another part of the Arab world, Tunisia's president fled the north African state after weeks of violent demonstrations.

Amman, Jordan's capital is 1,500 miles (2,500km) from Tunis, but the reason for the protesters' anger was the same, and so too were the calls for the leader to resign.
"We are protesting the policies of the government, high prices and repeated taxation that made the Jordanian people revolt," Tawfiq al-Batoush, a former head of Karak municipality, told Reuters.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/15/jordanians-protest-over-food-prices

Um Ayad يقول...

Fined for Helping Iraqi Kids

Terrorism is endlessly in our news. But three areas of U.S. involvement with terrorism are almost never mentioned — from 20 years ago, 10 years ago, and today. They need to be known and discussed.

I begin with the story of a U.S. fine against me for not asking permission to bring medicine to Iraq.

The Oil-for-Food program began six years after the end of the 1991 Gulf War. It supplied food, safe water, medicine, electricity, transportation, education — with an allowance of about 50 cents per Iraqi per day. “Woefully inadequate,” I was told, by Hans von Sponeck, one of the two UN Assistant Secretaries General who headed the program and resigned to protest this U.S.-enforced limit. Fifty cents a day for each Iraqi — from their own oil wealth — that is the real Oil-for-Food scandal!

In her new book Invisible War: the United States and Iraq Sanctions, Professor Joy Gordon writes: “What is clear is that, left to its own, there was simply no limit to how much harm the U.S. government was willing to do to Iraq.” After 200 pages of devastating documentation, Joy Gordon has earned the right to make this accusation!

The UK journalist Robert Fisk wrote: “In other words, the United States and Britain and other members of the Security Council were well aware that the principal result of the bombing campaign – and of sanctions – would be the physical degradation and sickening and deaths of Iraqi civilians. Biological warfare might prove to be a better description. The ultimate nature of the 1991 Gulf War for Iraqi civilians now became clear. Bomb now: die later.”

http://www.iraqikids.org/

Um Ayad يقول...

Iraqi soldier guns down two US troops in Mosul drill

Two US soldiers have been killed when an Iraqi soldier opened fire on them during a training exercise in northern Iraq, US and Iraqi officials say.

The officials - speaking on condition of anonymity - said the incident happened at al-Ghazlani training camp in the city of Mosul.
It was the final drill to showcase US efforts in training Iraqis before next week's visit by US and Iraqi generals.

Separately, a US soldier was killed in central Iraq.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12199578

Um Ayad يقول...

Fined for Helping Iraqi Kids

Terrorism is endlessly in our news. But three areas of U.S. involvement with terrorism are almost never mentioned — from 20 years ago, 10 years ago, and today. They need to be known and discussed.

I begin with the story of a U.S. fine against me for not asking permission to bring medicine to Iraq....

The Oil-for-Food program began six years after the end of the 1991 Gulf War. It supplied food, safe water, medicine, electricity, transportation, education — with an allowance of about 50 cents per Iraqi per day. “Woefully inadequate,” I was told, by Hans von Sponeck, one of the two UN Assistant Secretaries General who headed the program and resigned to protest this U.S.-enforced limit. Fifty cents a day for each Iraqi — from their own oil wealth — that is the real Oil-for-Food scandal!

In her new book Invisible War: the United States and Iraq Sanctions, Professor Joy Gordon writes: “What is clear is that, left to its own, there was simply no limit to how much harm the U.S. government was willing to do to Iraq.” After 200 pages of devastating documentation, Joy Gordon has earned the right to make this accusation!

The UK journalist Robert Fisk wrote: “In other words, the United States and Britain and other members of the Security Council were well aware that the principal result of the bombing campaign – and of sanctions – would be the physical degradation and sickening and deaths of Iraqi civilians. Biological warfare might prove to be a better description. The ultimate nature of the 1991 Gulf War for Iraqi civilians now became clear. Bomb now: die later.”

http://www.iraqikids.org/

Petes يقول...

[Lynnette]: "I don't know, a China implosion (should it happen) may not be as bad as Hendry thinks if the US continues to pick up. We are a major end user of their exports. Of course, our recovery is rather slow."

Unfortunately I think your recovery is going to go into reverse when QE2 ends. Or maybe QE will never end, in which case get ready to start heating your house with bundles of dollars. Anyway, with or without you China's going to have a nasty property crash entirely independent of its export performance.

"Snowed here again. It's getting hard even for the snow blower to get it above the banks alongside the driveway."

Snow is a distant bad memory here. It's grey and miserable and twelve degrees centigrade ... AND I LOVE IT! Just ordered new golf clubs to get the new season under way. (Because clearly the equipment is to blame for my utter lack of talent).

Um Ayad يقول...

What about the Iraqis "unexplained illnesses"? No mention in this report about the Iraqis!!

Two decades on, battle goes on over 'Gulf War Syndrome'
Twenty years ago this weekend, coalition forces began the air campaign to force Saddam Hussein's Iraqi troops out of Kuwait.

Unexplained illnesses
There is little doubt that some veterans developed unexplained illnesses following their service in the Gulf two decades ago.
Reported symptoms range from chronic fatigue, headaches and sleep disturbances to joint pains, irritable bowel, stomach and respiratory disorders and psychological problems.

Left behind'
"The MoD is afraid of being accountable," says Shaun Rusling from the National Gulf Veterans and Families Association.
"If they admitted there was such a thing as Gulf War Syndrome they could be open to compensation claims for medical negligence.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12195884

NGVFA: National Gulf Veterans and families association

http://www.ngvfa.org.uk/

Don Cox يقول...

"Seven years after the 2003-U.S. invasion, power production in the country is still below levels reached under former leader Saddam Hussein."

Below the levels reached before the first war (over Kuwait), but above the levels it fell to after the second war.

I see a Turkish company has signed a contract to build a large power station at Karbala over the next two years.

One problem is that the electricity is nearly free to the consumers, so people tend to be wasteful. Another problem (world wide) is cable theft.

Petes يقول...

Now HERE'S an interesting upcoming Wikileak. A Swiss banker will leak the names of 2,000 high net worth individuals and companies with secret Cayman bank accounts, including British and American nationals, and politicians:

"According to the Guardian, tomorrow Elmer will hand over details of 2,000 "high net worth individuals and corporations" to WikiLeaks which will make him "the most important and boldest whistleblower in Swiss banking history." And since among those exposed will be "approximately 40 politicians" expect all hell to break loose as photos of Assange having an underage orgy with Al Qaeda members are suddenly made public to diffuse what is bound to be another huge (if brief - after all human kind cannot bear very much reality)."

P.S. Got the year's first golf in today. Glorious sunshine and only a few degrees short of a balmy summer day. A bit boggy underfoot, but we don't get to be the Emerald Isle without the odd bit of damp.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

[PeteS] Unfortunately I think your recovery is going to go into reverse when QE2 ends. Or maybe QE will never end,...

I'm starting to wonder about that myself. It's amazing the sneaky ways they are coming up with to prod the economy along. In their last act in extending the Bush tax cuts they also, in their infinite wisdom, decided to cut the Social Security payroll tax from 6.2% to 4.2%. Granted, I believe it only lasts for this year, but it's just one more way to hasten the insolvency of the Social Security fund. What was wrong with just extending the Bush tax cuts for heaven's sake?

...in which case get ready to start heating your house with bundles of dollars.

I try not to think about that too much.

Anyway, with or without you China's going to have a nasty property crash entirely independent of its export performance.

Probably so. But at least exports would give some people there some income to weather the storm. Indeed, we wouldn't mind ramping up our exports some more. :D

It's grey and miserable and twelve degrees centigrade ... AND I LOVE IT!

Oh for a respite from the continual white! *sigh*

Any excuse to get new golf clubs is understandable. Even a non-golfer like me understands the feeling. Of course, with me it's books. Speaking of...I'm off to snuggle up with a good book for the afternoon. If nothing else, the cold white frozen outside encourages it. :)

John يقول...

@ Mucous

Nouveau proverbe suédois : "Qui va à la chasse pendant une révolution risque de se faire traiter de gros con!"

Petes يقول...

Bah. Posted a link earlier about a new upcoming Wikileak -- 2,000 names from a Swiss banker/whistleblower including British and American nationals and 40 politicians who hold secret offshore bank accounts. Blogger deleted it. I might dig out the link again later.

P.S. Played the first golf of the year today in glorious sunshine. It was only a few degrees short of a balmy summer's day (which is not all that balmy in the Emerald Isle). Also was a bit boggy underfoot... I guess those emeralds need plenty of watering.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       يقول...

 
      "What was wrong with just extending the
      Bush tax cuts for heaven's sake?
"

General inefficiency as far as economic stimulus effect goes.  The majority of the ‘Bush tax cuts’ go to those people who are currently sitting on piles of cash.  (Waiting to invest it in the next fast bubble, I suspect. They don't want to have their money already tied up in the economy when the next bubble begins.)

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Ahh, yes. I never thought of that. And it's probably more likely that a little bit in a check every week or two will be spent rather than saved.

Um Ayad يقول...

Pete,

Is this what you wanted to post?

Wikileaks given data on Swiss bank accounts

A former Swiss banker has passed on data containing account details of 2,000 prominent people to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
The data - which is not yet available on the Wikileaks website - was held on two discs handed over by Rudolf Elmer at a press conference in London.

The data covers multinationals, financial firms and wealthy individuals from many countries, including the UK, US and Germany, and covers the period 1990-2009, according to a report in Swiss newspaper Der Sonntag.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12205690

Um Ayad يقول...

Goldsmith: Blair did not reflect legal advice on Iraq war

Ex-attorney general's revelation breathes new life into inquiry.

Tony Blair was placed under further pressure ahead of his second appearance before the Iraq Inquiry after his most senior legal adviser said last night that the former prime minister's public statements about the invasion contradicted the legal advice he had been given.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/goldsmith-blair-did-not-reflect-legal-advice-on-iraq-war-2187031.html

JG يقول...

Here's an interesting piece from our old friend Bassam:

Al Jazeera Delivers Lesson in Journalism to U.S.

Bridget يقول...

"The majority of the ‘Bush tax cuts’ go to those people who are currently sitting on piles of cash"

Not so much. $700 billion to them sitting on piles of cash. $3 trillion to everybody else, including many of the near 50% who pay no income taxes. Which is why Obama had to eat his words on the so called "Bush tax cuts for the wealthy"....turns out they were for everybody. Whodda thunk? They should have all been allowed to expire.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       يقول...

 
      "Not so much."

Just so much.  $700 Bn to the top 2%; $300 Bn to the remaing 98$.  Wanna work through that math with me?
Furthermore, the set (think math terminology there) of folks sitting on piles of cash doesn't make a clean break at the 2% taxable level that the politicians have made the break mark for this particular fight.  The majority of the ‘Bush tax cuts’ go to folks currently sitting on cash.  Giving those folks more cash to sit on won't have any stimulative effect if they continue to sit on the cash.  (And the Republicans have absolutely no plan for getting them to actually invest in the production of new wealth instead of simply continuing to accumulate.)
You really want to get into this in detail?  Before you decide that you do that, remember, I know better than to let people rope me into letting partisan political definitions control economic calculations,  I have no polltical philosophy to defend.  Gives me an advantage.    Neither am I naive enough to have bought into the notion that the named ‘income tax’ actually is an income tax in that it actually taxes income; it taxes only ‘taxable’ income.  (I been sayin’ fer years that we need to redo our tax code top to bottom; the one we got is the result of political calculations, not economic calculations.)

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       يقول...

Post Script:
 
There are, basically, three ways to tax.  (Leaving out minor exotics like ‘sin’ taxes and etc. which have no real economic effect in the greater scheme of things.)

  1.  There are head taxes, a per capita tax.
  2.  There are property taxes; tax the folks on what they own.
  3.  There are transaction taxes; tax the folks for a percentage of their financial transactions.
  4.  Ain't no fourth way.

The upshot of this is that you're not going to be able to confuse me into believing that (U.S) payroll taxes and capital gains taxes aren't income taxes; of course they're income taxes; they're just named something else, and taxed differently.  Named something else just so they can be taxed differently and the difference can be sold politically  But those are politically inspired distinctions; that's n politics not economics.

Bruno يقول...

Soon, LEE will explain to us why we should turn to the teachings of Marx ...

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       يقول...

 
Perhaps I shall instead teach you something simple, something befitting your limited intellect.
Most Americans think that taxes have increased since Obama took office; that happens to not be true; taxes have actually declined.  (Talking overall tax rates here not gross income to the feds, which is down, but that's because there's less total income to be taxed.)  Call those changes since Obama took office the ‘Obama tax cuts’.  Most Americans are unaware of these tax cuts and mistakenly believe that tax rates have increased; call that the success of Glenn Hannibaugh on the bullhorn.

The major significant difference between the ‘Obama tax cuts’, which he proposed to continue, and the ‘Bush tax cuts’ which he eventually agreed to continue; in fact the only significant difference between the two, was that $700 Bn in tax cuts for the top 2% of those paying the nominal ‘income tax’. 

(Some folks will argue that the inheritance taxes are significant, but they're only significant politically.  They have little macro-economic impact.)

Marcus يقول...

And we working Swedes shall all get another 200 kronor in tax reduction per month regardless of the size of our paycheck if our newly elected government gets its way. That´s almost $30!!!

Of course we have our equivalents of Canadian John bawling their eyes out and screaming at the top of their lungs that it is so unfair, so UNFAIR!!!, that people who already have more (because they actually work) get more still.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       يقول...

 
      "…it is so unfair, so UNFAIR!!!,…"

Again with the political arguments.  ‘Fairness’, what is, what isn't ‘fair’ is a political argument, not an economic one.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       يقول...

   
Oops; typo.  Correction here.

      "$3 Tn to the remaing 98%."

Petes يقول...

[Lee C]: "The upshot of this is that you're not going to be able to confuse me into believing that (U.S) payroll taxes and capital gains taxes aren't income taxes; of course they're income taxes; they're just named something else, and taxed differently. Named something else just so they can be taxed differently and the difference can be sold politically But those are politically inspired distinctions; that's n politics not economics."

What a load of cat's malacky. Payroll taxes and capital gains taxes are certainly income taxes, but they are taxes on income from different types of activities. The stimulus/braking effect of adjusting each is entirely a matter of economics.

Petes يقول...

[Lee C]: "I have no polltical (sic) philosophy to defend"

Bwahahaha.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       يقول...

 
Petes,
I gotta go see a man about a dog.  Will return to cast some light on your darkness later.

John يقول...

As shameless as Sweden's government is in their efforts to increase the profit taking of their richest members, it doesn't stop there. Over the last three years Sweden has forced over 800 Iraqi asylum seekers to return to Baghdad.

Sweden's Minister for Migration and Asylum Policy sees no reason to stop these deportations regardless of how many lives are put in harms way. They are forced onto chartered planes (some shackled) and unceremoniously dumped back into a country that remains in a state of ruin (still controlled by an unpredictable and malevolent occupier).

The latest Iraqi victims waiting to be thrown to the lions by their Swedish wardens are Selam Albear Alsousi and Vivyan Hikmat and their three children. A Catholic family facing an uncertain future, Vivyan says they would almost certainly be killed if they are not granted asylum in Sweden.

Mind you the Swedish government could give a shit. Their members are as committed to maintaining ethnic purity in Sweden as they are to lining their pockets on the backs of the Swedish proletariat.

It's not difficult to speculate on where Mucous (the oil stock profiteering hypocrite) stands on any of these issues.

His motto, let the rich get richer and fuck everyone else!

Luckily there remains some semblance of sanity outside Sweden. The European Court of Justice has intervened. Since then, the deportation was temporarily suspended subject to a determination as to whether or not Sweden's government (aside from being right wing capitalist profiteers) are blatantly racist as well?

Red Avenger يقول...

Blatantly racist, Hoser John?

Your arrogance is horrifying.

Die screaming, wothless Canadian scum.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

[JG] Here's an interesting piece from our old friend Bassam:

Not very well researched I'm afraid. The Tunisia news was carried on our TV stations here. Granted, I don't know where they got their feed from, as they may not have had a reporter on site, but it was covered. And given the cutbacks in funding for some stations it isn't possible to have their own reporters everywhere.

I also heard via my local station that some people were crediting the WikiLeaks document leak regarding the lifestyle of the Tunisian President as a catalyst for this revolt. However, our people who wrote the cables pointed out that the Tunisian people were well aware of this before the cable leak.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       يقول...

    
      "Payroll taxes and capital gains taxes are
      certainly income taxes…
"

So, we're in agreement so far…

      "…but they are taxes on income from different
      types of activities.
"

Agreed.

      "The stimulus/braking effect of adjusting each is
      entirely a matter of economics.
"

Again, agreed.

Remember, my argument was this:

      "Named something else just so they can be
      taxed differently and the difference can be sold
      politically.
"

Democratic politicians have a vested interest in not having Joe Sixpack, good union man for 25 years in the factory, voted faithful Democrat every time, brooding ‘bout the fact that ‘rich folks’ (i.e. capital investment) get taxed at a lower rate than poor workin’ stiffs like Joe his own self.  If he thinks ‘bout that too much it'll just upset him.  We'll hear again the refrain we heard from Marcus ‘bout how:

      "…it is so unfair, so UNFAIR!!!,…"

They don't want to have to tell Joe the truth, which is:  ‘Be that as it may, don't make a shit's worth of difference how unfair it may be.  The economics of the situation are what they are and ain't nothin’ to be done ‘bout it.’  So, the Democrats cooperate in the pretense that capital gains taxes aren't really income taxes.
Adding to the insult to Joe, the payroll tax is horribly regressive.  Best not to have Joe broodin’ ‘bout that one either.  Both political parties have conspired together in the pretense that payroll taxes don't just get dumped into the general revenues like the rest of the income taxes, and now they both find it hard to admit their complicity in the fraud.  It is what it is, and what it is is a done deal.  Best to not have Joe broodin’ ‘bout that one either.

Now, the Republicans have an additional hustle goin’ on that has to do with them ‘taking “their” country back‘, and supposedly restoring America to some imaginary Norman Rockwell type of condition that's never existed outside of their imaginations.  It's not an economic argument but rather a socio-political one.  (I'm not going to get into where they're goin’ with that one; my description would be unsympathetic which might prompt some Republican to start typing dogma and slogans at a furious pace, and we don't need that.  If they want to explain where they're goin’ with this; I'll let ‘em have the first crack at it.) 
And, they've got the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute and a couple of other ‘think tanks’ dedicated to the proposition that there is no such thing as an economic or scientific issue that cannot be obfuscated by the dedicated application of fraudulent labeling.  They've decided to sell their socio-political agenda based on the proposition that half of America doesn't pay income taxes, which is true only if you count only the income taxes that are actually called ‘income taxes’ and exclude the income taxes that go by another name.  They appear to think they need that fraudulent premise included to buck up their position and make the rest of that socio-political agenda palatable across a broader range of voters.

Bridget يقول...

One thing you gotta remember about payroll taxes is the benefit side. Definitely skewed in favor of the low earners. Those who argue that it gets Joe off the hook for not paying income taxes and how regressive it is like to ignore the benefits side of the equation. Joe's payroll taxes are buying his right to social security benefits. 'course, now that we are running deficits in the neighborhood of one and a half trillion a year, and have extended the Bush / Obama tax cuts, Joe's rights to his benefits may be worth the paper the dollar is printed on. If that becomes the case, then I will agree that Joe was paying income taxes just like the top 50%.


According to my math, out of 3.7 trillion, 700 billion is not a majority. Dividing it on a per capita basis still doesn't make it a majority. Neither does recharacterizing the 3 trillion you like as the Obama tax cuts and pretending like the only part that counts is the 700billion you don't.

Petes يقول...

@Lee C: I mostly agree with all that, apart from a quibble about "the truth" that: ‘Be that as it may, don't make a shit's worth of difference how unfair it may be; The economics of the situation are what they are and ain't nothin’ to be done ‘bout it.’

I rather think that the "velocity" of the investor's money is greater than that of Joe Sixpack's income, so it is of greater advantage to the economy to leave it in circulation rather than to swipe it in tax. Or, leastways, that's the assumption -- nowadays Richie Rich is less likely to invest it in building widgets than to stick it in some hedge fund or buy some derivative that is of zero use to man nor beast and benefits the economy not at all.

There's a few other Amerocentric things you mentioned that I am not well up on. In what way is your payroll tax regressive? A progressive tax is one where the tax on your next dollar is pretty much the same as the tax on your last dollar, right? So I guess you mean it's the opposite of that, but how?

I still argue that the independent adjustment of capital gains versus payroll tax is something an economist would be interested in, but I take your general point about the word games the politicians tend to play also.

On a related anecdote, I saw Sean Hannity interview some Democratic congressman recently, during which Hannity started his usual haranguing about stealing people's hard earned wealth for socialistic/demonic wealth redistribution. The congressman out-badgered Hannity, forcing him to admit that an argument for no tax at all would be stupid, and that Hannity's Socialist bogeyman was really just an argument about degree. In other words, the "fraudulent labeling" that you describe.

On the other hand, I find it very hard to accept that fraudulent labeling is the purview only of Republicans and conservatives. I put that down to your blinkered notion of your own political neutrality. I admit that my own sympathies lie to the right of the political spectrum, although my excuse for watching Fox News is that a) it's one of the American channels I happen to have, b) I like to remind myself that there are frightening looney tunes on my side of the political fence, no less than on yours. At the bottom of it all, I have no very strong political views on how the economy is managed (other than some basics such as the right to private ownership of property). Most of the rest is just down to what best fits the economic circumstances, and being dogmatic about it is a sign of a sick mind. My conservative leanings are more on the social issues.

Petes يقول...

@Bridget: Which elements of payroll deductions are ringfenced in the US, at least in theory? Social Security is one (allegedly), right? Anything else?

I'm guessing if Joe Sixpack does not see that his taxes are going on specific things, he's more likely to fret that the gubmint is "wasting" them (which would probably be true). I was impressed with some US State property taxes I took a look at, on the basis that the State government appeared to be accounting for each and every service it went to pay for, as a fraction of the tax. I guess your income taxes are not similarly accounted for?

Bridget يقول...

PeteS, everybody pays the same payroll tax on income up to, I believe, $185,000. No payroll tax on income above that. It's considered regressive in many circles because it takes a larger chunk out of the paycheck of lower wage earners. But as I mentioned earlier, the benefits side of the equation is ignored.

Not sure what you mean by ring fenced, but if you mean sacrosanct, then Medicare is the other main element of payroll taxes once considered sacrosanct. The Democrats purported to raid $500 billion of Medicare in order to fund Obamacare, and were promptly thrown out on their
arses. It remains to be seen what happens to the $500 billion, but in my opinion it was all a big lie used to conceal the true price tag of the healthcare legislation.

Bridget يقول...

Just googles ring fenced. Actually, neither social security nor Medicare are truly ring fenced. That is the crux of Lee's argument that Joe is paying income taxes. The great maw of our government spends every penny of payroll taxes every year and gives Joe an IOU for his future benefits in return. So, Joe's payroll taxes are funding the general budget. However, Joe is getting that IOU in return, which those of us who pay income taxes do not get. Which led to my agreement with Lee that if the government defaults on Joe's benefits, he will be in the same category of income tax payer as those whose income taxes fund the general budget with no IOU.

Bridget يقول...

That bit about payroll tax "regressivity" wasn't very precise. We don't all pay the same amount, we pay the same rate. But it is nevertheless referred to as regressive because the burden of paying that rate falls higher on those who earn less.

Petes يقول...

Is the any lower income threshold below which tax is not paid? Is there any banding, with income in different bands taxed at different rates?

Also, am I right in remembering that there is separate State (depending on State) and Federal income tax?

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       يقول...

 
      "According to my math, out of 3.7 trillion, 700
      billion is not a majority.
"

You're still stuck on making the break at that 2% mark aren't you.  I guess I'm not surprised.  That's the wholly partisan political demarcation selected for this particular fight over which side wins and which side loses.

      "Neither does recharacterizing the 3 trillion
      you like as the Obama tax cuts…
"

Ah yes, a fairly predictable defense of the manufactured definitions; should have seen that one coming. Obama campaigned on just this distinction and won (been seriously out-politicked on the issue since though).  You're real intense on this one, ain't ya; how ‘bout we skip ahead then, and you can tell us all why it's so damn important that Joe's payroll taxes.not be acknowledged as taxes on income.  You guys are figurin’ to take that one somewhere; tell ‘em where you're going with it (I'll tell ‘em to start out with; it's a socio-political agenda, a way of getting in first with a definition for who's a ‘real’ American and who's not; it's not a matter of economics.)

             ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
      "I rather think that the ‘velocity’ of the
      investor's money is greater than that of Joe
      Sixpack's income
"

‘The notion of ‘velocity’ of money is applicable mostly to speculators and financiers, not to investors, not to people in it to actually build something up, not applicable to people engaged in the actual creation of real-world new wealth.  ‘Velocity’ helps people who are getting in and getting out fairly quickly; speculators and financiers, not capitalists.  (I happen to think the capital gains tax is applied way over broadly over here.  I'm not against preferential treatment for capital gains, but I want them to be real-world, real capital gains--I ain't so hot on giving capital gains treatment to speculators who compete with real capitalists for the available capital.)

      "A progressive tax is one where the tax on
      your next dollar is pretty much the same as the
      tax on your last dollar, right?


Not right; work on that one, and maybe we'll get back to it later.  But that's not right and that means there's too much to explain--work on it later maybe.  You can work on it now with Bridgette.

      "I find it very hard to accept that fraudulent
      labeling is the purview only of Republicans and
      conservatives.
"

I would not try to suggest such a thing.  But, like the Senate filibuster; they have recently turned it into an art form, practiced sometimes it seems solely for the sake of perfecting their art, and a newly standard instrument of their political maneuvering.  It's a brave new world out there on the American political scene these days.. 

(I still expect to see the collapse of the national Republican Party in my lifetime.  These guys are in over-the-top mode, not just sometimes, but all the time; it's workin’ for ‘em this year, but they can only keep that up so long.  Like a candle reaching it's end; the flame jumps up just before it gutters and goes out.  Either a full-on party schism; or the Tea Party people take over irrevocably, and it fades into being a regional party centered in the American "Old South".)

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       يقول...

 
MIsspelled Bridget; sorry ‘bout that.  No excusej for that.

Bruno يقول...

Maybe LEE should leave his 'excusej' at home and tell us instead why he thinks that Marx is a great economist.

Come, sonny, we're waiting.

Bruno يقول...

Meanwhile, here's the NEWS:

At least 65 people were killed today and 160 others were wounded when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive vest at a police recruitment center in Tikrit, in the northern province of Salaheddin.

http://news.antiwar.com/2011/01/18/at-least-65-slain-in-iraq-recruitment-center-bombing/

'Reconstruction':

Iraq’s capital, Baghdad, home to more than six million people, hardly gets one hour of non-interrupted electricity supplies every 24 hours. The city has plunged into darkness with the country’s national grid still unable to increase supplies despite billions of dollars in investments. Seven years after the 2003-U.S. invasion, power production in the country is still below levels reached under former leader Saddam Hussein. Prior to his downfall, Baghdad used to have up to 18 hours of electricity supplies a day.

http://www.azzaman.com/english/index.asp?fname=news\2011-01-15\kurd.htm

US Ambassador Cable Proves Torture at Turkish Military Base

According to cables from 2006 published on WikiLeaks, Turkey issued permission to the USA to use the Incirlik Military Base for illegal interrogations of alleged "terror suspects" since 2002. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had previously denied such accusations. [...] The USA apparently brought alleged "terror suspects" from different parts of the world to the base and interrogated them under torture.

http://www.bianet.org/english/media/127238-us-ambassador-cable-proves-torture-at-turkish-military-base

Kurds vs the rest of Iraqis:

"Iraq's northern Kirkuk province said it had stopped supplying electricity to the national grid on Tuesday, in a bold move to force the central government's hand in a dispute over power rationing. "Kirkuk province has decided to cut the power going out from its electricity stations to other provinces and to keep the power for the province until the ministry of electricity does something about our power cuts," provincial governor Abdulrahman Mustafa said Monday."

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5h-PLERSLfr8zvocS-LqJ6uFMQJ_A?docId=CNG.90d48f3f7f6373f113594eccca64a80e.c11

Marcus يقول...

Well, John, it seems The European Court of Justice indeed was as blatantly racist as the Swedish government. They decided our governments interpretation of asylum rights are correct.

And, since you moan about individual cases where the asylum seeker "fears death" if they are returned, let me assure you they all say that. In many cases it might be true, in many it's not. And I believe our authorities, having tested these cases in three different settings, are better qualified to decide than a drunk canuck who read about it on polpotwasright.com.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       يقول...

 
      "On a related anecdote, I saw Sean Hannity
      interview some Democratic congressman
      recently, during which Hannity started his usual
      haranguing….  The congressman out-badgered
      Hannity,
"

He does three hours of right-winger radio, five days a week; on the radio he has an answer for anybody getting the better of him; he just kills their microphone.  He runs like a 40 second delay, which gives him time to make up a story for how come the other guy got squelched; he makes up the 40 second lag again during the next commercial break (which conviently comes real soon after he's killed somebody's mic.)
Unfortunately for him (and Beck too) this trick doesn't work so well on TV ‘cause the viewing audience can see the guy sitting there talking into a dead microphone.  So, sometimes they get tagged on their own show.
Limbaugh used to have a TV show, but Limbaugh is way rich now and don't have to do TV and don't get tagged on his own show.

Marcus يقول...

Lee, a question (purely out of interest so don't get all defensive and argumentative on me):

The revenue the US government collects in taxes, what are the main contributors and what are the relative proportions, ballpark figures.

In Sweden the two biggest contributors are the income taxes a company pays for their employers and then the income taxes the employee pays on his income. The former is deducted before the employee even sees any money and is not labeled an income tax, precisely for those political reasons you mention. Together it means that if an employee (figure a median earner) costs the company 100 kronor the company might pay 30% in taxes (some of it earmarked for later entitlements, but as Bridget mentions it tends to be spent in advance anyway), sending 70 kronor as gross salary to the employee who pays 35% income tax and is left with about 45 kronor to spend. (Then there are various deductions that might leave you with a few more kronor)

When our Joe Vodka-bottle spends his 45 kronor the VAT on most products are 25% so in effect his purchasing power is only 34 kronor, about a third of what he cost the company that bought his labour* (Food has a VAT of 6% though).

Company paid income tax is and the employee paid income tax generate almost the exact amounts of revenue. VAT generate about half off either of them. Those three account for the vast majority of all tax revenue. "Luxury taxes" on booze, cigarettes, etc. I believe is a distant fourth earner.



(*People like our resident anarchist loser John naturally think it's outrageous that someone who works get to keep a third of their actual wages if it means he then gets more than some black-clad fucker with a palestine-scarf wrapped around his head and blue hair and a kilo of metal junk enbedded in his face and tatooed eyelids who sits in a dingy basement and smokes hash and drinks cheap red wine and spends his free time smashing bank's windows and throwing rocks at the police. They must get the same, thinks John.)

Bruno يقول...

[marcus] "so don't get all defensive and argumentative on me"

LOL!

Marcus is an optimist, I'll give him that.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       يقول...

 
      "…what are the main contributors and what are
      the relative proportions, ballpark figures.
"

Individual income taxes (including those taxed as capital gains instead of as ‘ordinary’ income) and the payroll taxes make up 75-80% of the total income to the federal Treasury; corporate income taxes make up 10-12%.  For all our right-wingers squealin’ ‘bout us having the highest nominal corporate tax rate in the industrial world, it's also true that we have a corporate tax law shot through with more loopholes, exemptions, credits and deductions then are available anywhere else.  Our ‘effective’ corporate tax rate is lower than the European average, and lower than Japan's. 
The trend since the 1950s, year after year, has been that the individual income taxes (broadly defined) keep getting to be a larger share of the total, and corporate income taxes keep getting to be a smaller share of the total.

Income sources for the various state and local governments vary widely, usually including some combination of an income tax, property taxes, and sales taxes. 

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       يقول...

 
Post Script:

Seven states have no income taxes; very few local governments have an income taxes, relying on property and sales taxes instead.

Bridget يقول...

2% is indeed a wholly partisan political construct, and is the sort of demarcation line that allows you to make 3trillion dollars disappear and argue that the majority of the Bush tax cuts went to those sitting on piles of cash. In reality, the majority of the bush tax cuts went and in the next two years will go to middle and lower income earners.

If Joe knows what's good for him, he'll accept the expiration of all of the Bush tax cuts 2years hence and happily pay pay the few hundred a year in income taxes because that 3.7 trillion in revenue will be needed to pay his benefits. Otherwise, Joe is screwed. But neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are going to tell him that.

غير معرف يقول...

IMO property taxes absolutely suck. To pay a fraction of earnings, whether it be from work or from capital gains, in taxes is one thing. But to be forced to pay taxes on a property that just sits there and doesn't generate a revenue stream for the owner is akin to being robbed.

Here in Sweden, the Social Demopcrats have had a firm grip on the power for long stretches of time only intrrupted by one-term governments on the "right"*. This last election was the first time ever the Social Democrats lost a second election in a row and polls now have them down at 25%. A disastrous leadership was one reason. A formal alliance with the leftist party that used to have the word Communist in the party name and whose leader confessed to weeping when the Berlin wall came down was another. But for sure the threat to re-instate a property tax that our sitting government got rid of cost the Social Democrat, and their Commie friends, dearly.

It's like glee mixed with utter horror when you see the political alliance you hope will lose take such a stance. On the one hand you know they are shooting themselves in both feet. On the other you fear the complete disaster it would mean if they were to win in spite of their politics being f*cked up.

Marcus يقول...

Me above^

Bridget يقول...

I have no problem saying that Joe's payroll taxes are a tax on income. But they are not income taxes as that term is commonly understood and used. And, in view of the fact that Joe stands to receive every bit of his payroll taxes back plus interest, I do have a problem with lines of argument that Joe's payroll taxes ought to count in the debate over how to fairly allocate the burden of paying for this Frankenstein of a government we've got.

Bridget يقول...

Marcus, I know that glee\horror feeling exactly. It's really, really bad when they win.

John يقول...

Bride: "I know that glee/horror feeling...It's really, really bad."

It's like when she returns to feed on the rotting flesh of one of her most recent victims (which she took so much glee in dispatching) but now finds, to her horror, that their once robust and spongy flesh is now sloppy and maggot filled! It's really, really bad but she devours it nevertheless.

Mucous: "I believe our authorities, having tested these cases in three different settings, are better qualified to decide..."

No doubt, after all, why would anyone ever assume that Iraqi Catholics would be in any danger? Just because someone might suggest that their church is under attack doesn't make it true for this limp wristed, bedwetting, incontinent Swedish apologist?

Mucous: "than some black-clad fucker with a palestine-scarf wrapped around his head"?

Interesting portrayal of an anarchist there Mucous. So the fact that they're not blue-eyed blondes would mean that they're the personification of pure evil in your view?

Marcus يقول...

John, our anarchists are typically precisely Swedish by nationality and "ethnicity" if you will. Few immigrants buy that crap ideology. However, they DO tend to identify with the palestinian cause. I'm not so sure most palestinians identify with them though.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Bridget,

PeteS, everybody pays the same payroll tax on income up to, I believe, $185,000.

Confused. When you say "payroll tax" are you referring to Social Security and Medicare? For 2011 everyone pays 4.2% for Social Security up to a wage limit of $106,800 and 1.45% for Medicare with no wage limit. The Social Security tax will rise back up to 6.2% in 2012.

JG يقول...

Hi Lynnette.

Strange how the financially strapped networks devoted so many resources to a few post-election demonstrations in Iran that led nowhere, and were quite obviously leading nowhere. But then when there's an actual popular revolution going on in Tunisia, to topple a Saddam-style dictator (and US ally *cough*) they fall almost silent.

This is the point Bassam is driving at.

I think you underestimate the extent to which the corporate media set the agenda.

Bridget يقول...

Thanks, Lynnette. That is no doubt correct. I couldn't remember off the top of my head.

John يقول...

Mucous: "John, our anarchists are typically precisely Swedish."

I guess it's somewhat ironic then, that the population you consider most unwelcome in your country are the Iraqi Catholics who (presumably) might be black-clad and wear scarves (Palestinian or otherwise) but surely don't have blue hair or a kilo of metal junk (at least not imbedded) in their face.

And the likelihood is they wouldn't be big red wine drinkers (except at mass and in insignificant quantities: perhaps cheap quality though) or hash smokers, although I understand that this act in and of itself may lean more towards spirituality than nihilism.

As for dingy basements, that could simply be a function of their recent state of poverty having spent every spare American/Iraqi dollar to get out of a country where life expectancy was reduced by well over 50% (compared to pre-invasion numbers). Consider the fact that even a drive down to your local store might find you getting a bullit in your head courtesy of your benevolent yet frisky occupiers.

I could never see them smashing windows unless their desperation at being cuffed and forced onto one of your courtesy charter flights back to Iraq might motivate them to kick out any glass that presents itself...similar to a desperate man lashing out before being sent to the gallows.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       يقول...

 
      "…and is the sort of demarcation line that allows
      you to make 3trillion dollars disappear and …
"
      And etc. and etc. and then back to the ‘income
      tax
’ thing…

      "But they are not income taxes as that term
      is commonly understood and used.
"

So the term is commonly misunderstood and misused and you guys are seriously committed to making sure things stay that way.  This is the part I found interesting.  I've offered to let you, even urged you to, explain where you're actually going with that one and you're being way coy 'bout that.  Too soon for you to play that card?  And that was the only part I was really interested in seeing..
As far as the rest of it goes…  I'm sure that all this trottin’ out of stock talking points is meant to be in the best spirit of good partisan fun, but, truth is, I'm not much interested in pretending to be a Democrat for you to play against.  Suffice it to say they've got their retorts for your points, and I've heard their retorts, and their retorts are at least as good as your points (although that's not a ridiculously high bar to clear)
The Republicans and Democrats have been squabblin’ ‘bout this for decades now, and it's been needin’ fixin’ instead of squabblin’ for at least the last 30 of those years.
And the general citizenry, including me and even the aforementioned Joe Sixpack, are fully justified in calling down a pox on both your houses.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       يقول...

 
Lynnette,
You need to double those numbers you were givin’ out.  The employer pays the other half before you get to see it, and is forbidden to mark it on your paycheck (the fiction is that the employer pays half--he (she?) does not pay half; the employer simply figures that cost into calculating how much they're gonna pay you directly instead of indirectly by covering half your payroll tax, and you get paid less accordingly.)  The self-employed pay both halves; the fiction is removed for them, ‘cause they see and sign both sides of every paycheck anyway, so there's no real point in tryin’ to run that scam on them.

Petes يقول...

Ahh! Good ole' Lee reverts to type.

[Me]: "A progressive tax is one where the tax on your next dollar is pretty much the same as the tax on your last dollar, right?"

[Lee Pernickety C]: "Not right; work on that one, and maybe we'll get back to it later. But that's not right and that means there's too much to explain--work on it later maybe. You can work on it now with Bridgette."

As it happens, I was directly quoting an economist. And if you want to get technical, the greatest progressivity is where the marginal rate of tax -- defined as the change in tax liability divided by change in taxable income, m=Δt/Δi -- increases smoothly. In other words, what I said. So check you know what you're talking about before you put your grumpy boots on.

[Lee Pernickety C]: "‘The notion of ‘velocity’ of money is applicable mostly to speculators and financiers, not to investors, not to people in it to actually build something up, not applicable to people engaged in the actual creation of real-world new wealth. ‘Velocity’ helps people who are getting in and getting out fairly quickly; speculators and financiers, not capitalists."

Looks like you Googled "velocity of money" and came across one of the many quack investment advisors who have hijacked the term. Utterly wide of the mark. Looks like you're the one needin' the education, but seein' as how your bein' so gracious an' all, I'm happy to let you sing for it.

Petes يقول...

I'm going to see if I can emulate that Lee C style :)
Here goes ...

"…and is the sort of demarcation line that allows you to make 3 trillion dollars disappear and …" And etc. and etc. and then back to the ‘income tax’ thing…

No, not right. Work on that one. Tut tut.

Ya see, y'all can say "etc." ...
... or y'all can say "et cetera" ...
... or y'all can even say "&c" ...
... but y'all can never say "and etc".
Y'all's Latin is deficient. Work on it later maybe.


How'd I do?

Bruno يقول...

LOL

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       يقول...

 
      "How'd I do?"

You did standard Petes stuff.  Somebody (that would be me) didn't think your question immediately important enough to stop and run off on that sidetrack when they were already progressing on another track, goin’ somewhere else.  So, you got pissy in response to bein’ blown off.  If standard Petes pissy is what you were shootin’ for then you did fine.
You got at least a couple of things wrong, but none of it important enough to fuss ‘bout.  (Well, not important enough to me anyway; may be central to wherever you think you're going with this.   If that's the case, those points will come back up again in due course.  We shall see ‘bout that going forward I reckon.  Although, I strongly suspect you weren't actually going anywhere, other than just bein’ generally pissy that anybody could blow off a question posed by the great and wonderful Petes.  Couldn't find any spelling corrections to make in response, so you went with your next best thing.)

Marcus يقول...

John, quit drinking.

Those Iraqi asylum seekers may, or may not, have been Christians in reality (funny how many of them are named after Muhammed, is that really that common among Iraqi christians? Perhaps Zeyad could tell us, or maybe Um Ayad knows?) and who may, or may not, have been gay or queer or whatever reason they gave for being persecuted.

Fact is, there are detailed descriptions available online on the topic of seeking asylum in Sweden. If you come from, say, Jordan and is a married Muslim man, then say you're a gay Christian from Basra.

"Children arriving alone" is another growing trend. Typically from Afghanistan and Somalia but also from Iraq these "children" are always male, never have any idea about where any relatives are, never have any identification papers always claim to be 15-17 years old, because under 18 you're considered a child and get asylum rights real easy.

In Norway they got fed up with obvious fairy tales and started doing medical checks to determine age, among other things hand-Xray betrays the real age, and 90% were found to have been claiming to be younger than they were. They also did language tests to determine if the stated country of origin was in fact correct.

Sometimes it gets so crazy it's hilarious. Like the guy who claimed to be a 17 years old Somali kid but was a 36 years old man from Ethiopia.

We had our most recent "terror-swede" who was captured by police in Uganda on his way to carry out a terror bombing. He had two passports with him. A Swedish one where he was born in 1992 and a Kenyan one in which he was born in 1983.

You see, the guy came to Sweden in 2008 and claimed to be a lonely child from Somalia and 16 years old. He promptly got asylum granted and got a Swedish passport with 1992 as birth date. In fact he's not a Somali but from Kenya. And he wasn't 17 but 25. He was completely without any asylum rights whatsoever and still he got accepted, got his expenses paid and got Swedish identification papers. Those he used to go to Uganda on behalf of Al Shabaab and try to blow up an embassy.

Some here in Sweden are not real keen on this new development. We are a bit annoyed with it. We do not particularly like to pay for it. And we feel that it's a shame that the previously high value of having a Swedish passport is deteriorating rapidly because we hand 'em out like candy.

But say one word about it and some fucking freeloader bitch like John the drunk canuck comes along and calls you a racist. A maggot who cannot only support himself and who feed on the society he despises like a fat parasite draining blood from his host, he's ever eager to hand over more and more of other peoples money and accomplishments. It is never enough for these guys.



But here in Sweden we do not do such tests at all. Not any tests. Grey hair at the temples? Not a problem, dear child, if you say you're 15 then you're 15.

Marcus يقول...

Blogger moved my sections around a bit it seems. Oh, well, you get the idea. I don't take everything any asylum seeker says at face value and I really dislike guys like John.

John يقول...

Mucous, as I had always assumed, it doesn't require much of a scratch on any one of your duplicitous surfaces to reveal your reptilian scales.

Your empathy for Iraq clearly only extends to the local bar where you can be found drooling over one of the more attractive anti-war demonstrators you've been trying to coerce into bed.

As a parasite, I'd likely be disinclined to seek you out for blood draining. The smell of your success has the same aroma as garbage left exposed too long in the sun.

Pizza shop owners (such as yourself) driving a Mercedes don't offer much appeal given the limited nature of their accomplishments; far more enticing are the Kamprad types with their iron clad tax shelters.

Marcus يقول...

My true colors are finally showing, eh?

Yours have been evident for as long as you've been spewing your toxin here John. No surfaces to scratch. No duplicity. Just evident nastiness with more than a touch of self loathing.

Petes يقول...

LOL. Ever further down the rabbit hole with Lee. Won't be followin' you down there, I'm afraid. It was, after all, just an innocent question which Bridget kindly answered in three simple sentences at 9:57 above. Over and out.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       يقول...

 
      "…three simple sentences at 9:57 above."

Yeah well, ahe actually got that slightly wrong.  (Close ‘nuff for government work, close ‘nuff for our current purposes, but not quite right.)  What she (and you) were describing is textbook flat tax; neither regressive nor progressive on its face.  And I have no intention of standing behind that as the definition for a regressive tax.  I'll let Bridget stand behind that one.

(Anybody out there understand what Petes was intending to get at with the ‘rabbit hole’ comment?  I didn't get that one.  What ‘rabbit hole’ is he talkin’ ‘bout?  I get the reference to the Lewis Carroll books, but I can't figure what he thinks he's sayin’ there.)

Petes يقول...

"Yeah well, ahe (sic) actually got that slightly wrong."

Which is why she quite rightly mentioned the imprecision of the usage, which I entirely understood without any clarification from y'all's good self. No point in gettin' all sniffy now that the question has been perfectly adequately answered and there's nobody lookin' to follow you down those rabbit holes. :)

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       يقول...

 
      "Which is why she quite rightly mentioned the
      imprecision of the usage, which I entirely
      understood without any clarification
"

Wrong again on both counts.  The payroll tax is regressive on its face; my usage was correct and not imprecise.  (Some confusion may arise because it's abruptly regressive instead of progressively regressive, but we don't need ot go there right now.)
So you entirely understood incorrectly.  Ya'll were describing a flat tax, which taxes are often considered regressive in application, and often are intended to work out just so. 

Had ‘nuff yet?  Or you gonna continue on your pissy campaign here?

(The ‘rabbit hole’ question still stands for anybody out there thinks they may have actually understood that.)

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

JG,

Strange how the financially strapped networks devoted so many resources to a few post-election demonstrations in Iran that led nowhere, and were quite obviously leading nowhere. But then when there's an actual popular revolution going on in Tunisia, to topple a Saddam-style dictator (and US ally *cough*) they fall almost silent.

I think that the demonstrations in Iran were just as popular as any we have seen in Tunisia. As to where the media moguls choose to allocate their resources, I'm doubtful that they are influenced as much by our government as your statement implies.

Lee,

I gotta run now, but I'll reply later.

Petes يقول...

@Lee C .... ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Bruno يقول...

Y'all's gonna be plumb crazy ta foller the ol' ape down them thar holes 'cause ya never knows w're they might lead ta ya hear?

Bruno يقول...

Yeah, I'm a be thinkin' ta 'void the ape's holes, ya knows whattamean?

Bruno يقول...

NEWS:

Tony Blair said today he disregarded his top legal adviser's warning that attacking Iraq would be illegal without further United Nations backing because the guidance was "provisional". The former prime minister "held to the position" that another UN Security Council resolution explicitly supporting military action was unnecessary despite being told the opposite by attorney general Lord Goldsmith."

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/i-disregarded-iraq-advice-says-blair-2190548.html

Here are the latest images from yesterday's bloodshed in Iraq where at least 32 people were killed and 150 others were wounded in two explosions targeting Shiite pilgrims in Karbala, about 60 miles (100 km) south of Baghdad. The attack in Karbala came as tens of thousands of Shiite pilgrims are making their way to the city for Arbaeen, a religious observation.

http://insidethemiddleeast.blogs.cnn.com/2011/01/21/images-from-karbala-attacks-on-shiite-pilgrims/

I certainly hope so:

The United States is on track to complete withdrawal of its troops by the end of 2011, despite recent violent attacks which seem calculated to disrupt that timetable, a Pentagon spokesman said Thursday.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5g2L21xfxReox-3daFUpmaOz7kRpw?docId=CNG.368dd86b8036db4006b87e3438898d63.661

Vampires exist, after all:

Former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice has said that she does not regret the Iraq war but admitted 'the mistake...was to put a spotlight simply on the weapons of mass destruction'.

http://www.sify.com/news/i-don-t-regret-iraq-war-says-condoleezza-rice-news-international-lbvoEghigff.html

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Lee,

You need to double those numbers you were givin’ out.

Except in 2011. While the Feds lowered the Social Security tax to 4.20% for the deduction taken out of an employee's check, they did not lower the matching amount the employer pays. That is still 6.2%.

The employer pays the other half before you get to see it, and is forbidden to mark it on your paycheck (the fiction is that the employer pays half--he (she?) does not pay half; the employer simply figures that cost into calculating how much they're gonna pay you directly instead of indirectly by covering half your payroll tax, and you get paid less accordingly.)

Hmmm...are you suuuuurrree you're not a closet Republican? :)

There are all sorts of things that factor into the "cost" of an employee, FICA match(Social Security & Medicare tax combined for those who are unfamiliar with the term) is only one. You also have unemployment insurance, both Federal and State, and any other benefits the employer chooses to provide, such as a retirement plan match. While federal unemployment insurance has stayed the same for eons (.8% on the first $7,000 of wages) the states will fluctuate depending on the economic winds for the employer and the economy as a whole. For instance, in Minnesota they slapped on an extra 2% of taxes due to cover for the loan they needed to get from the Feds when so many people filed for benefits during the economic downturn. This year our unemployment taxes are collected on wages of up to $27,000.

Of course, an employer will pass on all costs to the consumer if possible. If not...then things, and people, start to get cut.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Zeyad,

I have a confession. I kinda guessed. :) Stay away from Mexico.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Bridget,

No problem. I had to double check too.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Marcus,

I don't take everything any asylum seeker says at face value and I really dislike guys like John.

You thought he was trying to be likable?

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       يقول...

 
      "There are all sorts of things that factor into the
       ‘cost’ of an employee….
"

You left out Worker's Comp.  And here I thought that maybe I was gonna havta be explainin’ how that works to you.  I guess not.

Bridget يقول...

So the term is commonly misunderstood and misused and you guys are seriously committed to making sure things stay that way.

I don't know you "you guys" are, but pretty it's pretty universally understood what is meant by the term "income tax".

This is the part I found interesting. I've offered to let you, even urged you to, explain where you're actually going with that one and you're being way coy 'bout that. Too soon for you to play that card? And that was the only part I was really interested in seeing..

I'm not going anywhere with it. I'm using the term "income tax" as pretty much everybody does. For curiousity's sake, what taxes did you have in mind when to referred to "individual income taxes" at 6:42 above?


"As far as the rest of it goes… I'm sure that all this trottin’ out of stock talking points is meant to be in the best spirit of good partisan fun" etc.

If I'm such a partisan ideologue, then why am I in the tiny minority who thought the Bush tax cuts ought to expire in their entirety?

Petes, the bit that Lee is holding up his sleeve on the payroll tax is the argument that since it's capped at $106,000 of income, or whatever figure it was that Lynnette dug up, it's regressive because those with incomes under $106,000 end up paying a larger portion of their total income. But again, he's ignoring the benefits side of the equation. There are moves afoot amongst the Democrats to eliminate the connection between the payroll tax and benefits calculations. It's become a most inconvenient fiction, seeing as how it severely hampers their ability to tax higher income earners to provide, not only for their own retirement but also for the retirement of others. Or their healthcare. Or whatever else they think of on which to spend other people's money in the future.

Bridget يقول...

Petes, I see that your government has fallen. May that be the fate of all governments that foist private debt onto their citizens.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       يقول...

   
      "I'm not going anywhere with it."

Well, then, you'll have to forgive me my suspicion ‘bout that.  It's becoming a standard on the Glenn Hannibaugh radio circuit, especially among the second tier personalities, trying to break into top the top tier Glenn Hannibaugh club.  And I know where they're going with it.  (Still, for somebody who claims not to have something riding on it, seems you're fairly strongly committed to maintaining the fiction.)

      "Petes, the bit that Lee is holding up his
      sleeve on the payroll tax is…
"

Holding a bit up mysleeve? 
I'm not the one who decided to take the time to explain it to him and then conveniently left out the part where it drops to zero on the next dollar.  Nor am I the one who's arguing both sides of the argument as the moment finds it convenient, i.e. that it's the basis for future benefits, and potentially worthless.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       يقول...

 
Typos in the above remind me.  ‘Incrementally regressive’ would probably have been a better descriptive than ‘progressively regressive’.  Ya'll just have to deal with the typos in the above; I'm not worried ‘bout ‘em, but that other thought had plagued me.

Bridget يقول...

Conveniently left out the part? You're the one who claims the tax is regressive and then gets "coy" about explaining precisely what you mean. Excuse me for not explaining your argument to your satisfaction, but I don't keep a running tab on all the various reasons given in support of the notion that the payroll tax is regressive.

"And I know where they're going with it."

So why don't you just come out and say where that is? Because I have no idea what you're talking about.

I'm not arguing both sides of the argument. See my comment at 8:55

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       يقول...

      "…then gets ‘coy’ about explaining precisely
      what you mean. Excuse me for not explaining your
      argument to your satisfaction…
"

Not being ‘coy’ at all here.  I thought the term accurate, and it is.  And I'm the one who explained that it was ‘abruptly regressive’ rather than ‘incrementally regressive’ as regressive taxes are usually thought to be, and that distinctiveness sometimes confuses people.  But, it's still a regressive tax.  I's out in the open the whole way along.  Instead of trying to explain my arguments, maybe you should just read them.

      "So why don't you just come out and say
      where that is?
"

I explained that too; to wit:

      "It's not an economic argument but rather a
      socio-political one. (I'm not going to get into
      where they're goin’ with that one; my description
      would be unsympathetic which might prompt
      some Republican to start typing dogma and
      slogans at a furious pace, and we don't need
      that. If they want to explain where they're goin’
      with this; I'll let ‘em have the first crack at it.)
"
      Lee C. @ 6:36 PM, supra

      "Because I have no idea what you're talking
      about.
"

And yet, you appear fiercely committed to maintaining the fiction; curious.  Especially curious in light of this passing comment:

      "There are moves afoot amongst the
      Democrats to eliminate the connection between
      the payroll tax and benefits calculations. It's
      become a most inconvenient fiction, seeing as
      how it severely hampers their ability to tax higher
      income earners to provide, not only for their own
      retirement but also for the retirement of others.
      Or their healthcare. Or whatever else they think
      of on which to spend other people's money in the
      future.
"
      Bridget @ 4:04 PM

And yet you claim to have no idea what the socio-political argument behind maintaining the fiction might be about.  Most curious indeed.

             ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
Look,  I been trying fairly hard to not have this argument with you.  When you left off the fact that payroll tax zeroed out and then accused me of an imprecision in terminology on the designation of the tax as ‘regressive’, I just blew on past and blew it off.  When Petes started extolling you as the one who had the answer there, and I had to explain that ‘no, actually, she was wrong ‘bout that’, I strove to minimize the disagreement and allowed as how your characterization was ‘good ‘nuff’.

And yet, you just will not let it go. 

Let me try this again.
I don't want to pretend to be a Democrat for you to play against here!!  I'm not interested in your ongoing partisan fight.  I'm worried ‘bout the economics of the situation and what we might actually do to get our economy moving again--leaving out the Republican sloganeering ‘bout the gubmint ‘spending other people's money’.
And I'm more than ready to call down a pox on both your houses.

Petes يقول...

"Petes, I see that your government has fallen. May that be the fate of all governments that foist private debt onto their citizens."

Not so fast a Bhríd -- níor maraíodh an ollphéíst fós! The beast hasn't been killed quite yet! Their slimy Green coalition partners have refused to sink them. I know it looked like our government was gone yesterday, but actually they were "just having tea and bikkies" and didn't show up for work. But don't adjust your sets folks -- the fiasco continues today. However we DO have a date for an election: March 11th. Just in time for some new gombeen to make the Paddy's Day trek to the White House to give Obama the customary bowl of shamrock at Oirish expense.

Um Ayad يقول...

Some good comments to read after this article:-

Chilcot inquiry: The bare facts on Iraq are there for all to see, Mr Blair

The questions sent by the Chilcot Inquiry to Tony Blair make crystal clear the key issues on which the report will focus.

In the run up to the war these include: the timing, nature and extent of commitments given to President Bush; the preparation and presentation of intelligence; the circumstances of the decision to return to the United Nations; the role of the attorney general and the effect of his legal advice at various stages; the role of the cabinet; and the presentation of information to parliament and the public.

Mr Blair's responses to those questions are, to put it charitably, elusive and less than complete. But once the fluff is stripped away, today's defensive testimony, the written answers and the totality of the evidence before the tribunal points to a simple story: the prime minister took an early decision to support President Bush in the quest to remove Saddam, assured him repeatedly of his unequivocal statement of support, ignored the law, and deprived the cabinet and parliament of key information.
In short, Mr Blair managed to skilfully lead the entire machinery of government — attorney general, cabinet, parliament — into a place from which British involvement in the war became inevitable.

Mr Blair has paid a big price for delivering his commitment to President Bush: his legacy is an unlawful and disastrous conflict that continues to cause misery and claim lives, shredding public trust in government, diminishing Britain's role in the world, and undermining the rule of law. To the Chilcot inquiry falls the task of picking up the pieces.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/21/chilcot-inquiry-iraq-tony-blair?showallcomments=true#comment-fold

Petes يقول...

Stop press! The Taoiseach (a.k.a. prime minister) has just resigned as head of his own party, but not as head of government. So our dear leader for the next seven weeks won't even be the leader of the governing party! Not that there'll be many of them left either, come the election -- the party that has been in power for more than 60% of the history of the state is likely to become the smallest party in the Dáil (lower house of our bicameral legislature). Unfortunately the party most likely to form the majority of the next government has no plans to repudiate bank debt either. :(

Um Ayad يقول...

Some strong comments from readers after this article....

Chilcot inquiry: The bare facts on Iraq are there for all to see, Mr Blair

The questions sent by the Chilcot Inquiry to Tony Blair make crystal clear the key issues on which the report will focus.
In the run up to the war these include: the timing, nature and extent of commitments given to President Bush; the preparation and presentation of intelligence; the circumstances of the decision to return to the United Nations; the role of the attorney general and the effect of his legal advice at various stages; the role of the cabinet; and the presentation of information to parliament and the public.Mr Blair's responses to those questions are, to put it charitably, elusive and less than complete. But once the fluff is stripped away, today's defensive testimony, the written answers and the totality of the evidence before the tribunal points to a simple story: the prime minister took an early decision to support President Bush in the quest to remove Saddam, assured him repeatedly of his unequivocal statement of support, ignored the law, and deprived the cabinet and parliament of key information.

In short, Mr Blair managed to skilfully lead the entire machinery of government — attorney general, cabinet, parliament — into a place from which British involvement in the war became inevitable.

Mr Blair has paid a big price for delivering his commitment to President Bush: his legacy is an unlawful and disastrous conflict that continues to cause misery and claim lives, shredding public trust in government, diminishing Britain's role in the world, and undermining the rule of law. To the Chilcot inquiry falls the task of picking up the pieces.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/21/chilcot-inquiry-iraq-tony-blair

Um Ayad يقول...

The folly of a gung-ho prime minister

Two charges were put to Tony Blair in his second appearance before the Iraq inquiry yesterday.

The first was that he was supine in relations with George Bush, recklessly promising British support to remove Saddam Hussein before the case for war was made. The second is that he cavalierly disregarded the legal advice of his Attorney General. Both are serious accusations. And on neither count did the former Prime Minister defend himself convincingly.

The inquiry also released a note from Mr Blair to his chief of staff, Jonathan Powell, dated April 2002, in which the then prime minister argued: "A political philosophy that does care about other nations and is prepared to change regimes on the merits should be gung-ho on Saddam." That sentence encapsulates the folly of Mr Blair's own position on Iraq perfectly. He was gung-ho when he should have been cautious. And the disastrous consequences remain clear for all to see.

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/leading-articles/leading-article-the-folly-of-a-gungho-prime-minister-2191284.html

Petes يقول...

The latest BP Energy Outlook has been published. There is a sombre outlook for Iraq, compared to the previous report:

In this regard it should be noted that a year ago BP were anticipating that Iraq might be producing 10 mbd by 2020 – the current more realistic target is 5.5 mbd by 2030. And while Iraq has stated it may be able to reach 12.5 mbd by 2017, the condition of the infrastructure in the country, among other issues, would suggest that BP are now more likely correct.

At that rate, Iraq will only be producing about 2 billion barrels annually -- not much more than one percent of its stated reserves. Which is why I still fancy my bet with Marcus -- Iraq will never produce all its recoverable reserves; the world will have lost interest, since there is no way we will be meeting a significant amount of global energy needs from fossil oil a century hence.

While I am "slabbering" I might as well check with Bruno what the latest is on how the noble unions (et al) are standing up to the imperialists regarding the Iraqi oil law. The Kurds have gotten Shahristani replaced 'cos they don't like the cut of his jib, or his oil law, but it's still all about the Americans ... right? LOL

RhusLancia يقول...

Marxus, pardon the question, or the observation really. I mean no offense... but... it really does seem like your gubmint taxes the cr*p out of you. I mean, I know your streets are paved with gubmint cheese and all, but gosh darnit! They really seem to have you by the boy-parts.

RhusLancia يقول...

I'm really looking forward to this:

Sasha Baron Cohen to bring Saddam novel to big screen

Baron Cohen's version "tells the heroic story of a dictator who risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed," according to Paramount Pictures...

:+: :+: :LOL: :LOL:

Petes يقول...

STOP PRESS AGAIN! Oirish Green Party pulls the plug on government, citing desire to save their own electoral skins. Biffo* makes like the Black Knight and continues on apace.

(*Widely used term of endearment for our Dear Leader, Brian Cowen. Biffo = "Big Ignorant Fucker From Offaly")

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Lee C.,

You left out Worker's Comp.

You're right, I did. I also left out any health, dental or disability insurance the employer may offer to pick up for the employee. Although those benefits may be a thing of the past for many employers to offer. I was fortunate in my former employer in that they picked up all of the health insurance premiums for me.

Bridget,

Persanally, I think they should lift the cap on wages for Social Security, just as they have for Medicare. It would go a long way to solving the insolvency problem for that program.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

I haven't even seen Borat and Bruno yet!

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Just a small aside...

I caught the tail end of the Fareed Zakaria show on CNN this morning. Apparently he had been doing a piece on the current events in the Middle East surrounding the demonstrations for the removal of various dictators in the region. What was rather interesting was that he actually gave credit to George W. for believing that self-rule for the people of the Middle East was certainly possible, whereas others have preferred to maintain the status quo.

:)

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       يقول...

   
      "I also left out any health, dental or disability
      insurance the employer may offer to pick up…
"

I had assumed those fell under your prior classification of ‘any other benefits the employer chooses to provide".  (emphasis added)

Um Ayad يقول...

A series of bomb blasts killed eight people and wounded 33 across Baghdad this morning.

The three-hour drumbeat of explosions began in rush hour at the start of the working week. An Iraqi intelligence official said the attacks were an attempt to undermine security before a meeting of Arab heads of state in the city in late March.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/23/iraq-bombs-deaths

Thursday 20 January: Twin bombings killed more than 45 Shia pilgrims today, taking the number of suicide attacks across Iraq in the past four days to seven with a collective death toll of more than 110.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/20/iraq-bombings-kill-shia-pilgrims

Um Ayad يقول...

Secret papers reveal slow death of Middle East peace process

The biggest leak of confidential documents in the history of the Middle East conflict has revealed that Palestinian negotiators secretly agreed to accept Israel's annexation of all but one of the settlements built illegally in occupied East Jerusalem. This unprecedented proposal was one of a string of concessions that will cause shockwaves among Palestinians and in the wider Arab world.

A cache of thousands of pages of confidential Palestinian records covering more than a decade of negotiations with Israel and the US has been obtained by al-Jazeera TV and shared exclusively with the Guardian. The papers provide an extraordinary and vivid insight into the disintegration of the 20-year peace process, which is now regarded as all but dead.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/23/palestine-papers-expose-peace-concession

Petes يقول...

STOP PRESS YET AGAIN! Government party agrees to move Oirish election forward, possibly to Feb 25th. These guys are in such disarray they don't know what day of the week it is.

Bruno يقول...

Meanwhile, in Iraq:

"It seems that Maliki, who is current the Prime Minister, Defense Minister, Security Affairs Minister and Interior Minister, was keen to centralize even more power under his control, and the supreme court was only too happy to oblige. The new rulings give him virtual control over the Central Bank, the Independent Higher Electoral Commission, the human rights commission and the corruption watchdog.

The ruling has raised new concerns amongst his rivals and analysts that Maliki’s ambitions to turn Iraq into a virtual autocracy, which seemingly failed when his party lost the March election, have ended up moving forward anyhow."

http://news.antiwar.com/2011/01/23/rivals-slam-malikis-centralization-moves-in-iraq/

Bruno يقول...

Wikileaks : US military in Iraq to protect Israel:

US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice reassured Israel that the US military presence in Iraq should calm any Israeli security concerns "from the east," minutes from a 2008 trilateral meeting between Rice and the Israeli and Palestinian negotiation teams reveal.

Discussing the needs of Israel regarding Palestinian security forces in a future-Palestinian state, former foreign minister Tzipi Livni expressed concern over a third-party military force protecting a Palestinian state's external borders. Secretary Rice inserted, "At this time there is no threat from the east because our forces are in Iraq and will stay there for a long time." Chief Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat added, "For a very, very long time."

http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=204986

RhusLancia يقول...

Petes, I'm surprised it's anywhere near feasible to hold an election with only about a month to prepare.

Petes يقول...

It'd normally be longer, but we're quite anxious to be rid of the current lot. (At the same time, I don't know if there's anywhere on the planet outside the US where it takes two years and the next one starts as soon as the last one finishes :-)

escalante blogger يقول...

two thumbs up!

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

I had assumed those fell under your prior classification of ‘any other benefits the employer chooses to provide". (emphasis added)

Mmmm...indeed. Workers Comp is required to be paid by the employer and the others are not. I have no clue as to how it is calculated though.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       يقول...

 
      "I have no clue as to how it is calculated though."


It's a state function, not federal.  Method of calculation varies by state but usually includes a minimum assessment per dollar of payroll paid, increases for extra ‘risk’ associated with the type of business, and increases for a particular business history of claims made.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Thanks, Lee.

Which would explain why classifying someone as a "supervisor" would work out better than classifying someone as a "carpenter", for example. Lower rate. :)

Bridget يقول...

      "…then gets ‘coy’ about explaining precisely
      what you mean. Excuse me for not explaining your
      argument to your satisfaction…"

Not being ‘coy’ at all here.  I thought the term accurate, and it is.  And I'm the one who explained that it was ‘abruptly regressive’ rather than ‘incrementally regressive’ as regressive taxes are usually thought to be, and that distinctiveness sometimes confuses people.  But, it's still a regressive tax.  I's out in the open the whole way along.  Instead of trying to explain my arguments, maybe you should just read them.

      "So why don't you just come out and say
      where that is?"

I explained that too; to wit:

      "It's not an economic argument but rather a
      socio-political one. (I'm not going to get into
      where they're goin’ with that one; my description
      would be unsympathetic which might prompt
      some Republican to start typing dogma and
      slogans at a furious pace, and we don't need
      that. If they want to explain where they're goin’
      with this; I'll let ‘em have the first crack at it.)"
      Lee C. @ 6:36 PM, supra

      "Because I have no idea what you're talking
      about."

And yet, you appear fiercely committed to maintaining the fiction; curious.  Especially curious in light of this passing comment:

      "There are moves afoot amongst the
      Democrats to eliminate the connection between
      the payroll tax and benefits calculations. It's
      become a most inconvenient fiction, seeing as
      how it severely hampers their ability to tax higher
      income earners to provide, not only for their own
      retirement but also for the retirement of others.
      Or their healthcare. Or whatever else they think
      of on which to spend other people's money in the
      future."
      Bridget @ 4:04 PM

And yet you claim to have no idea what the socio-political argument behind maintaining the fiction might be about.  Most curious indeed.

             ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
Oh, I know perfectly well what the socio political argument behind maintaining the fiction is. What I didn't know was what YOU were talking about. Now I do.

Bridget يقول...

Post Script, I did not leave out the fact that the payroll tax zeroed out. As a matter of fact, anyone who read my comments would have understood quite clearly that that we all pay the same tax rate on a level of income that is capped. Pretty much everything else was quibbling over definitions of "regressive".

And by the way, you continue to avoid 'splaining your comment at 6:42, in which you specifically differentiate between individual income taxes and payroll taxes, while excoriating me for doing the same.

India Pictures يقول...

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