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Archive for August 19th, 2011


These are my links for August 19th from 12:31 to 16:37:

  • Shocker: California State board finds very few pay tax on out-of-state goods – As gathers signatures to reverse a new online tax collection law, the state Board of Equalization said Friday that a mere 0.42 percent of personal income tax filers paid use tax on their 2009 out-of-state purchases.

    The board, which administers sales and use tax collection in California, issued a new four-page review of use tax behavior in 2009. The state collected $10.4 million in use tax payments from personal-income tax returns that year.

    Under long-standing California law, taxpayers are supposed to self-report use tax on remote purchases from out-of-state businesses, though very few do so. Democrats passed a different law in June that attempted to force out-of-state retailers like to collect those taxes.

    BOE researchers found that wealthier taxpayers participated in greater frequency and paid more use tax to the state. Their report showed that 1.12 percent of households making more than $100,000 in adjusted gross income paid use tax, compared to 0.15 percent of those reporting between $0 and $30,000. It also showed that those above $100,000 paid on average $311 in use tax, compared to $76 for those making between $0 and $30,000.


    What a shocker!

  • Jerry Brown removing GOP appointees from key water panel – In his latest move to reverse GOP appointments, Gov. Jerry Brown will replace former Sen. Dave Cogdill and water agency leader Paul Kelley on a key panel that will shape decisions on water storage and a possible Delta canal, the governor's spokesman confirmed Friday.

    Cogdill was the chief GOP legislative negotiator on the historic 2009 water deal that placed an $11 billion bond on a future statewide ballot and reconstituted the California Water Commission. His subsequent appointment by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to the nine-member commission was considered part of the bipartisan deal struck that year by lawmakers and the former Republican governor.

    Kelley is a former Sonoma County supervisor and former director of the Sonoma County Water Agency. A Republican, he serves as president of the Association of California Water Agencies, a key player in the 2009 water talks.

    Brown and Republican lawmakers have been at odds, particularly since talks broke down over a state budget deal in June. Republicans have accused Brown of rescinding past promises made by Democrats in bipartisan agreements and see the Cogdill move as the latest example.


    So, what else is new?

    Jerry Brown is a cry-baby partisan who failed as Governor the forst time and is failing today.

  • Flap’s Links and Comments for August 18th through August 19th | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Links and Comments for August 18th through August 19th #tcot #catcot
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Immigrant rights groups and community members call in Los Angeles Monday, Aug. 15, 2011, for an end to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Secure Communities program, which was created in 2008 and calls for police to submit suspects’ fingerprints to DHS so they can be cross-checked with federal deportation orders

In a blatant display of pandering to Hispanic voters, President Obama has used his executive authority to thwart the will of Congress and federal law.

Bowing to pressure from immigrant rights activists, the Obama administration said Thursday that it will halt deportation proceedings on a case-by-case basis against illegal immigrants who meet certain criteria, such as attending school, having family in the military or having primary responsible for other family members care.

The move marks a major step for President Obama, who for months has said he does not have broad categorical authority to halt deportations and said he must follow the laws as Congress has written them.

But in letters to Congress on Thursday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said she does have discretion to focus on priorities and that her department and the Justice Department will review all ongoing cases to see who meets the new criteria.

This case-by-case approach will enhance public safety, she said. Immigration judges will be able to more swiftly adjudicate high-priority cases, such as those involving convicted felons.

The move won immediate praise from Hispanic activists and Democrats who had strenuously argued with the administration that it did have authority to take these actions, and said as long as Congress is deadlocked on the issue, it was up to Mr. Obama to act.

Sounds like a revised “Dream Act” to me. Remember this was the law that was denied passage last December.

The Obama administration announced Thursday that undocumented students and other low-priority immigration offenders would not be targeted for deportation under enforcement programs.

The announcement marks further steps to stop the deportation of people it considers “low-priority” immigrants like so-called Dream Act-eligible students and those with long-standing family ties in the country. These eligible students are those who were illegally brought to the U.S. as children by their parents.

The move means that those who are in deportation proceedings will have their cases reviewed and, if they are set aside as low-priority, could possibly be given work permits. Low-priority individuals will also be less likely to end up in deportation proceedings in the first place, officials said.

In a way this is a backdoor illegal alien amnesty by executive “triage.”

The top House Republican on the Judiciary Committee said the move is part of a White House plan to grant backdoor amnesty to illegal immigrants.

The Obama administration should enforce immigration laws, not look for ways to ignore them, said Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican. The Obama administration should not pick and choose which laws to enforce. Administration officials should remember the oath of office they took to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the land.

There will probably be some lawsuits over this matter, but in the end the courts will decide this is within the discretion of the Homeland Security Department which is under the executive control of the President.

But, now, the political heat and fall out will be a different story.

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President Barack Obama, with his daughters Malia Obama and Sasha Obama, not seen, waves as they leave the Bunch of Grapes book store in Vineyard Haven, Mass., Friday, Aug. 19, 2011, during a family vacation

Well, the President will have to make up his mind soon. Berating a do-nothing congress or blaming President George W. Bush will NOT work.
Here we come to Barack’s dilemma.

The nation he leads is facing a deficit-debt crisis that comes of an inescapable truth: Whether we are talking about commitments to go to war to defend scores of nations or commitments to entitlement and Great Society programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, earned income tax credits, food stamps and Pell grants, we Americans have handed out promissory notes we no longer have the means to meet.

We can no longer deliver what we have promised.

We are running deficits of 10 percent of gross domestic product with a national debt over 100 percent. We are on the path that Italy is following, which is the path that Greece pursued.

We are an overextended empire and commonwealth facing strategic and fiscal bankruptcy. If Obama is to lead the nation out of the crisis it confronts, he has to preside over a downsizing of the welfare-warfare state – the same state that sustains his base.

Not to worry, we are told. When the lazy days of summer are over, Obama will present Congress with his big plan for resurrecting the economy and ensuring the long-term solvency of the nation.

Obama’s September program – indeed, any credible plan to revive the economy and bring our books into balance – has to include a rollback of U.S. commitments at home and abroad.

Yet, domestically, this cannot be done without reducing future Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits, and cutting and capping the social programs of the Great Society. Moreover, half the nation cannot freeload forever, as is the case today, contributing nary a dime in federal income taxes.

And such reforms must adversely impact most Obama’s political and personal base.

If he proposes new taxes, tea-party Republicans fix bayonets.

If he proposes downsizing the government and cutting and capping social programs, his most loyal constituents rise up against him.

Enjoy the Vineyard, Mr. President.

I think Obama will continue to vote “present” while blaming the GOP House. And, Obama will propose more spending and taxes on Warren Buffett and the rich.

The same ol’, same ol’.

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Former Democratic Wisconsin U.S. Senator Russ Feingold

The prospects for a GOP pick up of retiring Wisconsin Senator Herb Kohl’s seat are looking better all of the time.
Democrat Russ Feingold has decided he will not be a candidate for political office next year, taking himself out of the running in 2012 for either U.S. senator or for governor in the event Democrats force a recall election against Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

In an email going out to supporters early Friday morning, Feingold called it a difficult decision but said he wanted to devote his time to teaching full time at Marquette Law School, finishing the book he is writing on the U.S. response to the Sept. 11 attacks and leading the political committee he founded, Progressives United.

“While I may seek elective office again someday, I have decided not to run for public office during 2012,” Feingold said in the email.

Some Democrats were looking to Feingold as perhaps their leading candidate against Walker next year in the event of a successful recall drive. His announcement ends that scenario.

eingold’s lack of interest in running for Senate is not a big surprise.

Since he was defeated in 2010 in his bid for a fourth term, he has sent no obvious signals about a quick return to the legislative body where he served for 18 years.

“After twenty-eight continuous years as an elected official?.?.?.?I have found the past eight months to be an opportunity to look at things from a different perspective,” Feingold said in the email, saying he was “thoroughly enjoying the life of a private citizen.”

His decision leaves the Democratic Senate field wide open, though many Wisconsin Democrats will now regard U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, with her political base in vote-rich Dane County, as the early favorite for the party nomination.

The latest polling is here and Republican Tommy Thompson who is a former Wisconsin Governor has to be viewed as a front-runner in this race.

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