Why The Tax Code Is Biased Toward Homeowners

December 5, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Megan explains.





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The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Broward’s ethics code spreading to cities soon

December 5, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

City officials in Broward County still aren’t sure whether the county’s new Code of Ethics applies to them. The confusion will be over soon, though.

Broward County commissioners will decide on Tuesday whether to have the county attorney draft a law applying the ethics code to the cities. It would then need to be approved by the County Commission.

The ethics code, with its strict gift ban and requirements that interactions with lobbyists be publicly revealed, already applies to the nine members of the County Commission. Voters in November said they want the county to be able to regulate ethics in all 31 cities.

Here’s what’s on Tuesday’s County Commission agenda

MOTION TO DIRECT Office of the County Attorney to draft an Ordinance applying, as appropriate, the Broward County Code of Ethics to municipal officials and employees.

More on the jump.




Broward Politics

The New Code Word in Dog-Whistle Politics: “URBAN”

December 2, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Well, they might as well become the KKK; they’ve already elected Rush Limbaugh as their de-facto head of the party, and now they appear to have named Rep. Steve King of Iowa as Grand Wizard.  Peep this, from our friend, Greg Greene at TalkingPointsMemo:

Rep. Steve King (R-IA), who’s been one of the most vocal opponents of the Pigford settlement for black farmers, has taken to cable news and the floor of the House to speak against the settlement. King’s argument is that the bulk of the Pigford II claims are fraudulent because there are fewer black farmers than claimants — a flimsy argument when you consider that many African-Americans lost their farms over the past few decades due, in part, to USDA discrimination that denied them loans — which is the point of the settlement program.On Monday night, he suggested that President Obama, as a senator, may have been prejudiced to help the black farmers.

Wait for the dog-whistle:

“Figure this out, Madame Speaker: We have a very, very urban Senator, Barack Obama, who has decided he’s going to run for president, and what does he do?” King said. “He introduces legislation to create a whole new Pigford claim.”

“Very, very URBAN“?  W-T-H did King mean by “URBAN”?

You might as well said: “Consider, Madame Speaker: we have a Nigger in the White House who used his position as a U. S. Senator to make sure his fellow Niggers got paid for being ripped off and discriminated against by our Government.”

Come on, when you heard “URBAN”, that was but another dog-whistle for calling the POTUS a Nigger.

I’ve already said in a post well over a year ago, these mofos should just go ahead and call the man a Nigger already and get it over with, because I’m getting sick and tired of the “code words” you force yourselves to use in the name of being “politically correct”.

To morons like Steve King, discrimination was a preferred way of life for their asses, until we Negroes started agitating for our Civil Rights which had been due to us from the time Lincoln, their hero, signed the Emancipation Proclaimation and freed us; the people who were BROUGHT HERE AGAINST OUR WILL, to do the labor their asses were too lazy to perform and made them filthy rich.

The Department of Agriculture engaged in known and documented discrimination against African-American farmers and Native Americans who just got run the hell off their land.  The Pigford settlement is but a FRACTION of what’s really owed African-Americans.  I remember when the Japanese Americans got their measely $ 20,000 from the government in reparations for being imprisioned in internment camps  in 1941, when FDR suspended habeas corpus because after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, Americans believed every Japanese-American walking in the continential U. S. was just itching to tell Tojo in Tokyo where to send the next bomb off the West Coast. Hell, the Japanese who were in America (notably the West Coast) were more patriotic than any other ethnicity who were here!

In fact, Fred Korematsu went to court to prove he was an American, whose 14th Amendment rights were being violated - and the Supreme Court told him he was nothing more than a bonified Japanese guy.  Plessy v. Ferguson and Dred Scott decisions, Asian-style.

The GOP’s sainted hero, Ronald Reagan, was one who signed that order paying the remaining Japanese survivors $ 20,000 for the lost wages, businesses, homes and property stolen from them in the name of National Security in 1941 and beyond.  But he signed that order amid protests from other Rethugs, including himself, who stated if the government paid the Japanese, then the Black people would be next in line demanding reparations for slavery, and there were a lot more of Black people who are unargubly, descendants of slaves, and would, therefore, be ENTITLED to a government payout. 

Even Pookie, Ray-Ray and Skillet would be eligible for payouts, even if they were in the joint on lockdown.

Hoo boy, if the government paid one-TENTH of what they would be perceived to owe African-American descendants of slavery, can you say “Permanent Recession”?

Forget reparations - how about paying off those in Tulsa, Oklahoma - then known as “Black Wall Street” until lynch mobs came in and burned down the Black-owned businesses and property in 1921?  Last heard, there’s only one or two plaintiffs left in that case, which the government has conveniently kept buried (while Charles Ogletree of Harvard keeps bringing lawsuits) for damned near 100 years.

So the payout in the Pigford Case is small potatoes compared to what’s Really OWED US, but if they want to play dogwhistle politics and engage in this code-word shyt, I’m more than ready to meet them where they are, cause ignorants like Steve King do not have the cajones, or the political intellect it takes to engage in meaningful debate or, IOW, act like a real grown up.

The plan of the Klan is to stymie, seek, kill and DESTROY.  And if that is not their plan, make them state succintly what it is, in terms of problem-solcing and doing it better than the Democrats, as opposed to simply opposing the POTUS, saying “No” at the top of their lungs and engaging in this dog-whistling shyt, because facts are nuisance things to those who bring no substance to the table, anyway.

So, here’s my dogwhistle:

The Republicans = the KKK

Their leader is Rush Limbaugh

And their brand new Grand Wizard is Rep. Steve King of Iowa.  Repeat, Rinse and Spit.  So, if they don’t like being called bigots, then stop using terms like “Urban” regarding the POTUS or any other elected official who happens to be a Person of Ethnicity.  We will show we can blow dog-whistles as loud as you can, and probably louder.


Jack & Jill Politics

Broward commissioners wrangling with new ethics code

November 30, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

In case you missed this story over the Thanksgiving weekend, here it is again:
Broward County commissioners are struggling to live up to historic ethics reforms, wriggling under the tight restrictions, wrestling for legal interpretations, and worrying they’ll be busted for receiving free magazine subscriptions, eating gratis lunches and dinners, or accepting gifts as tiny as a dinner mint.2010~2011%20BROWARD%20COUNTY%20BOARD%20OF%20COUNTY%20COMMISSIONERS.jpg

E-mails from inside county hall lay out the immediate impact the strict new county Code of Ethics had, and the rampant confusion it brought, after being cemented into law by the Broward County Commission in August.

Voters demanded the reforms after a dizzying parade of public officials in Broward went down on public corruption charges.

In the past three years in Broward, a sheriff, county commissioner, School Board member and two city commissioners went to jail or prison on public corruption charges. Another county commissioner, four city commissioners and a School Board member face corruption charges and are awaiting trial.

While some Broward County commissioners think the regulations are too severe and act as a trap, others say the public will benefit by the increased transparency, and that politicians will get used to living by the rules.




Broward Politics

Human Right Watch: Chechnya’s enforcement of Islamic dress code violates International Covenant on Civil and Political Rightss

November 21, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

In his Cairo address, Obama spoke in defense of the rights of Muslim women who want to wear the hijab if they so choose. Where is he for those who choose not to wear it but are forced, as is happening in Chechnya right now? Those who are suffering under the steady encroachment of Sharia and all of its violations of human rights might not mind a little “outreach” either. But they just don’t seem to be fashionable enough of a cause, just as women’s rights are always a lower priority when demonstrating “respect” for Islam is also at issue.

“Enforcement of Islamic Dress Code for Women in Chechnya,” from Human Rights Watch, November 19 (thanks to Twostellas):

In the past few years the situation of women’s rights in Chechnya has deteriorated significantly, requiring immediate attention from the Russian government and Russia’s international partners.

Chechen women have essentially become the target of a quasi-official “virtue” campaign. For several years, the Chechen authorities have discriminated against women who refuse to wear headscarves, prohibiting them from working in the public sector. Female students are also required to wear headscarves in schools and universities. Though these measures have not been codified into law, they are strictly enforced and vocally supported by the republic’s leader,

Ramzan Kadyrov, who is directly appointed by the Kremlin. This paper describes violence and threats against women to intimidate them into adhering to Islamic dress co des. The documented incidents took place from June through September 2010 in Grozny, Chechnya’s capital.

Russian law guarantees all women, including those in Chechnya, the freedom to choose how they dress as part of their constitutional right to freedom of conscience, but to date the Kremlin has taken no action to put an end to this unwritten but unlawful policy in Chechnya. In the upcoming round of EU-Russia human rights consultations, the EU should urge the Russian government to take action to guarantee the protection of women’s rights in Chechnya and to ensure that the wearing of a headscarf remains a personal choice and that no one will be punished or experience discrimination as a result of her choice.

International and European Standards

The enforcement of an Islamic dress code on women in Chechnya violates their rights to private life, personal autonomy, freedom of expression and to freedom of religion, thought, and conscience. It is also a form of gender-based discrimination prohibited under international law.

That’s Sharia for you. There may be “no compulsion in religion” (Qur’an 2:256) in theory, but in practice, there is layer upon layer of coercion designed to leave no other choice but to submit to Islamic law. And of course, there is the death penalty for apostasy, per Muhammad’s own orders.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) guarantees people’s right to freedom of religion, as reflected in article 18.2, which states that “no one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his [or her] freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his [or her] choice.”….

Jihad Watch

Cracking the ‘Kryptos’ code

November 21, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

A mystery for the ages.
American Thinker Blog

Why Is Bill Gates Writing Code for a Coleco Adam?

November 19, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

By Andrew J. Coulson

Bill Gates is addressing the Council of Chief State School Officers today. According to the NYT, he’ll tell them to bite the bullet and start making sound budgetary decisions like rewarding teachers based on merit instead of time served, and not handing out raises simply for the trappings of higher learning, but rather for demonstrated prowess in the classroom. In principle, that’s good advice.

But it’s an ultimately futile effort, and here’s why:

Bill established himself early on as a pretty sharp computer programmer, and no doubt he still is, but there’s only so much you can do when the hardware you’re writing for is a pile of junk. Public schooling is the Coleco Adam of education systems.

The Adam was a pretty cute looking machine for it’s time (1983), but it had some fundamental flaws. Among other things, turning the power on or off had a habit of sending out electromagnetic pulses that fried the data on its storage tapes. Oops. Now a good programmer might figure how to mitigate the damage caused by that problem (I dunno, treat the two tapes as a RAID 1 array, maybe?), but then the machine also had its power-supply located in the mandatory (and noisy, and slow) printer that came with it. So if the printer had to be serviced, you were left with a paperweight. Hard to fix that one in software.

It’s the same with public schooling. By its very design, it lacks the freedoms and incentives that relentlessly allow and pressure executives to make sound decisions in the free enterprise sector of the economy. Bill’s a sharp corporate executive as well as a sharp programmer. He’ll no doubt give the state superintendents of public instruction some reasonable advice. And ultimately it won’t matter.

If they make great decisions, these execs will at best get a pat on the back. If they make terrible ones, it likely won’t affect their compensation or careers much, because millions of families have little choice but to send their children to the official state-run schools. Given the state-run system’s monopoly on $ 13k / pupil of tax funding, it’s hard for most parents to pay for a better quality education for their kids.

This is a systemic problem. Without the necessary freedoms and incentives, good decisions made today will eventually be supplanted with worse ones in the future because public schooling has no built-in mechanism to consistently encourage the good over the bad.

Bill, it’s a hardware problem.

Why Is Bill Gates Writing Code for a Coleco Adam? is a post from Cato @ Liberty - Cato Institute Blog


Cato @ Liberty

What a clean tax code would look like

November 16, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

In the New York Times today, Glenn Hubbard admits to vandalizing federal property:

When I left my job as the deputy assistant Treasury secretary for tax policy in 1993, I left a message on my office blackboard for my successor. I wrote, “Broaden the base, lower the rates” repeatedly until I filled the entire space. I then had it covered with wax so it could not be erased. (Yes, the government charged me for my bit of vandalism. But it was worth it.)

He goes on to praise the Simpson-Bowles report’s tax section. That’s actually the section I’ve found most disappointing, as it’s simultaneously uncreative (it doesn’t mention a carbon tax even as an option, for instance) and overly ambitious (it tries to cap tax revenues at 21 percent of GDP, which is not a decision that reduces the deficit). But I do really like one part of it: The effort to clarify how much money we spend on deductions, exemptions and assorted other loopholes. This table tells the tale (click for a larger version):

sbtaxtable.jpg

If we cleaned out the code entirely, we could raise the same amount of money by using much lower rates. The same holds true even if we preserve the refundable tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit and the child tax credit, as we should. Most of these loopholes and deductions are regressive and distortive — the mortgage-interest deduction pushes people into bigger homes, for instance, and the exclusion for employer-based health care drives up the cost of health insurance.

The process they advocate — zeroing out the code and then putting things back in one by one after we’ve considered them — makes a lot of sense, and would make even more sense if we did it every 10 years or so. Unlike discretionary spending, the tax code doesn’t get reviewed every time we pass a budget, and so it’s a much safer home for inefficiencies and interest-group politics.







Ezra Klein

‘A Child-lover’s Code of Conduct.’ Shame on you Amazon.

November 11, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Amazon is selling on-line a self-published book on pedophilia, “The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-lover’s Code of Conduct.”

According to the “author,” Philip R. Greaves II:

I wrote the book to establish guidelines so that people would behave in a manner that is non-injurious to each other, for one, and, for two, to communicate the fact that these people who are so different in maturation, etc., that when they develop relationships, they use certain principles that regular people, adults, would be well to attend.

In describing his “product,” the “author” also writes:

This is my attempt to make pedophile situations safer for those juveniles that find themselves involved in them, by establishing certain rules for these adults to follow…I hope to achieve this by appealing to the better nature of pedosexuals, with hope that their doing so will result in less hatred and perhaps liter [sic] sentences should they ever be caught.

How sensitive and thoughtful of you, Mr. Greaves.

Naturally, the book and Amazon’s selling of the book have ignited a fire storm of protest and controversy. People everywhere are asking Amazon to remove the book from its online stores.

Please include me among those.

Many others are also calling for a boycott of Amazon. Please include me here, too.

Amazon has defended its sale of the book by claiming that not selling the book would amount to censorship:

Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable. Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, however, we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions…

Just as I have taken the side of the father of Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder—the memory of whose son and his father’s precious right to mourn his death with dignity were so obscenely violated by members of the Westboro Baptist Church—I take the side of millions of innocent children whose sacred rights are at risk every day at the hands of pedophiles and I paraphrase what I said about the Snyder v. Phelps case:

Of course, the First Amendment is one of our most cherished and inviolable constitutional rights. Of course, all Americans, including Mr. Greaves have the right to free, irreverent, even hateful and obscene speech…But our rights also carry obligations and responsibilities. Most reasonable people do not believe that our free speech rights are diminished or infringed upon when those who misuse them to maliciously and falsely defame others, to publish child pornography, to advise pedophiles on achieving “love and pleasure” at the expense of our most innocent ones, our most cherished ones, are allowed to do so with impunity

I know that many of our readers will have different opinions, I will respect such, but in this particular case I may not necessarily agree with them

CODA:

It has been reported that Amazon has taken the book off its “shelves.”

Thank you, Amazon


The Moderate Voice

Amazon.com Peddling Child Exploitation … “The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure:A Child-Lover’s Code of Conduct”

November 10, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

WTF … ARE YOU FRIGGING KIDDING ME!!!

THIS IS NOT FREE SPEECH … IT IS THE PROPAGATION OF CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN. 

Amazon.com has the audacity to sell a digital book entitled “The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lover’s Code of Conduct”. That is correct. Amazon is peddling a “guide to” book on child exploitation. Isn’t that special. Might I add, Amazon.com is under fire and getting an earful from irate individuals. No one should shop on Amazon until they take this horrid book off their site. Newsflash Amazon … this is the PR you want just in time for the Christmas holidays?

BOYCOTT AMAZON.COM!

Online retail giant Amazon was under fire on Wednesday for selling a self-published digital book called “The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure.”

The reviews page for the book, by a Phillip R. Greaves and available for Amazon’s Kindle electronic reader, was deluged with criticism of the Seattle, Washington-based Amazon for offering it for sale.

Amazon.com should be absolutely ashamed of themselves. It is hard to know where even to begin with the outrage. The digital book,  ”The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lover’s Code of Conduct”, at first sounds like a joke. However, sadly this is deadly serious. Let’s see if we have this correct, “A Child-Lover’s Code of Conduct”? CODE OF CONDUCT???!!!??? The following is what the e-book is supposed to do. RULES FOR SICK PREVERTED PEDOPHILES TO FOLLOW? Did I miss something, isn’t the sexual exploitation of children by an adult illegal?

The e-book, authored by Phillips Greaves, was published late last month, according to product details on Amazon.com. It sells for $ 4.79 on the company’s Kindle Store.

This is my attempt to make pedophile situations safer for those juveniles that find themselves involved in them, by establishing certian [sic] rules for these adults to follow,” a product description reads.“I hope to achieve this by appealing to the better nature of pedosexuals, with hope that their doing so will result in less hatred and perhaps liter sentences should they ever be caught.”

 Go to Amazon.com and let them know just how you feel about them selling a book on the exploitation of children by leaving a review. Here are a few of the outraged individuals reviews.

As a mother of a child who has been molested, shame on Amazon for allowing such garbage to be sold on it’s site. The author of this book is a predator and should never have been allowed to write or promote this trash that is called a book of information. How many children will be assaulted because of this. Amazon-take it off your site.

So what’s next? A do-it-yourself book on how to rape and torture women? This book may be legal but the activity promoted is not only illegal, it’s soul destroying to children. Don’t insult those of us who were molested as children by defending this garbage.

There is no excuse for Amazon to be offering this product. It clearly promotes an illegal activity and it is offensive. I’ve removed my Amazon shop from my website and won’t be doing any Christmas or household shopping through Amazon.com until this product is GONE.

 What can we expect next Amazon.com, “Pedophiles for Dummies”?

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Scared Monkeys

Did Olbermann violate NBC ethics code by contributing to Democrats?

November 5, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Is this really a big deal?


Would it shock anyone to know that Keith Olbermann donated thousands of dollars to three Democrats in the midterms?  Two House incumbents from Arizona and Jack Conway, the Senatorial candidate fro Kentucky who lost after running the notorious “Aqua Buddha” attack ad, received the maximum donation from Olbermann in the final days of the general [...]

Read this post »

Hot Air » Top Picks

Virginia’s Worst University Speech Code?

November 2, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

(Ilya Somin)

Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Barton Hinkle has a column surveying speech codes at Virginia public universities. It turns out that George Mason University may have the worst of a bad lot:

Free speech is one of those values to which everyone gives lip service. Nearly no one considers himself pro-censorship. Yet as FIRE has exhaustively documented, institutions of higher learning — which ought to welcome freewheeling intellectual debate — often are among the most censorious and oppressive places in America. And unfortunately, a few of the worst offenders are right here in Virginia….

Virginia Tech…. continues to flirt with totalitarian impulses. Witness the attempt earlier this year to shut down the student newspaper because of anonymous comments posted on its website….

Yet when it comes to Orwellian regulation of thoughtcrime, Tech remains a rank amateur next to George Mason University. GMU maintains a speech code that prohibits “any form of bigotry . . . . whether verbal, written, psychological, direct, or implied….”

GMU also insists that students get permission before chalking a message on a sidewalk. What’s more: “The sale, distribution, or solicitation of any . . . newspaper by GMU and non-GMU organizations and individuals is subject to prior authorization.” Taken together, such policies give GMU officials a blank slate to control what members of the university community can say and hear on campus.

This, mind you, at a school named after a man who is called “The Father of the Bill of Rights….”

UVa has taken the right step by relaxing its speech codes. It’s time for the rest of Virginia’s public colleges to do the same.

I would make two points about GMU’s speech code. First, like many such codes, it isn’t enforced very aggressively. In practice, both students and faculty often make public remarks that violate the code, yet escape punishment.Second, the code was instituted by the central administration, not the Law School. If it were up to the law school faculty, I have no doubt we would vote overwhelmingly to abolish the code. It is also unlikely that GMU’s extremely vague and broad speech restrictions would survive legal challenge.

That said, Hinkle is absolutely right to point out the egregious flaws in the code and to urge George Mason and other schools to repeal their codes without waiting for a legal challenge to arise. It shouldn’t take a lawsuit for universities to uphold freedom of speech. And the case of UVA shows that repeal is not politically impossible, and won’t draw a massive political backlash.




The Volokh Conspiracy

Keith Olbermann Falsely Claims He Never Called ‘Cocky’ a Racist ‘Code Word’

November 1, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Sometimes Keith Olbermann struggles with reality. But he's apparently found a solution: insist that 2+2=5 and hammer with insults anyone who says otherwise.

That was his strategy today when he flatly denied he had ever claimed that "cocky" was a "code word" for various racist attacks against President Barack Obama. Shown video of him saying just that, he denied it some more, and then started in with the attacks.

In awarding six conservative pundits the coveted "Worst Person in the World" title in January, Olbermann said the following:

read more

NewsBusters.org - Exposing Liberal Media Bias

UVA Repeals its Speech Code

October 28, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

(Todd Zywicki)

I’m pleased to read from FIRE that my law school alma mater UVA has repealed its speech code and now has a Green rating from FIRE.  UVA joins William & Mary, which already had a Green rating.

I’m disappointed that I cannot say the same about George Mason, which still has a Red rating.  But I hope that this will shame us into revoking our speech code here.




The Volokh Conspiracy

John Stewart’s ‘Sanity’ Rally to include Code Pink, Anarchists

October 22, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Does the “Million Molotov March” sound sane to you?
American Thinker Blog

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