Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tax Cuts — or Tax Increases — for the Rich?

U.S. President Barack Obama declared this week that he is in favor of letting tax cuts for the rich expire; those tax cuts were enacted under George W. Bush.

Letting all the Bush-era tax cuts (for both the wealthy and others) expire would aid the U.S. economy by helping tackle the country’s deficit , MIT Sloan Professor Simon Johnson argues in New York Times commentary.  What’s more, Johnson maintains, “tax cuts are an ineffiicent form of [economic] stimulus.”

However, not everyone agrees. Jeffrey A. Miron, a senior lecturer in economics at Harvard University maintains, also at The New York Times website, that “extending the Bush tax cuts — permanently — is a crucial step in restoring economic growth.”

Professor Thomas A. KochanMeanwhile, MIT Sloan professor Thomas A. Kochan recently took a quite different stand: In an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, Kochan suggested that long-term job creation would benefit if  individuals earning $1 million or more saw their taxes raised  — to 1970 levels of about 70%. 

Thomas A.Kochan

Kochan’s reasoning? Right now,executives at public companies have an incentive to take short-term measures to boost stock price — and their own bonuses linked to stock price — rather than invest in longer-term measures likely to create jobs. So Kochan thinks we should make the lure of additional executive compensation less tempting to decision makers– through substantially higher taxes on high compensation. Kochan does advocate expanding business’s tax credits for job creation — and an emphasis on partnership between workers and management to increase productivity.

For more on Kochan’s ideas about the strategic choices executives face in labor relations, read his essay Taking the High Road,”  which appeared in the Summer 2006 issue of MIT Sloan Management Review.

Marines capture ship held by Somali pirates

A small vessel underway 25 miles off the 
coast...Image via Wikipedia

US Marines have boarded and seized a vessel hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia, navy officials say.

A group of 24 marines swooped on the German-owned M/V Magellan Star and took control of the ship from nine pirates who had captured it on Wednesday.

There were no casualties during the pre-dawn raid, the US Fifth Fleet said.

Control of the vessel has been returned to the crew, who were unhurt after they managed to seal themselves in a safe compartment when the pirates struck.


Nine suspected pirates were taken into custody, Lt. Fage added.

The Marines were able to get tactical surprise and there were no shots fired in the capture. It was a return to one of the original missions of the Marine Corps who first achieved fame fighting pirates on the "shores of Tripoli."


Matt Barnes
Damnit Matthew!!
Sacramento County authorities say Los Angeles Lakers guard Matt Barnes has been arrested on suspicion of domestic violence.
Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Tim Curran says deputies arrested Barnes after responding to what was termed an incomplete 911 call from a home around 4:16 p.m. Wednesday.
Deputies say both Barnes and the woman had visible injuries, but took Barnes into custody after determining he had been the primary aggressor.
The name of the woman was not released, but she was described by authorities as “a woman who lived with him and with whom he had a dating relationship.”
Barnes was booked into the Sacramento County Jail on suspicion of domestic violence and maliciously obstructing the use of a telephone line.
He posted a $50,000 bond and was released. He is scheduled to be arraigned in court Monday. Source
We need you to do good while you’re out here in LA homie. Save all that aggression for the court. Ask Ron Artest to borrow the professional helping him.

Fidel Castro – Socialism doesn’t work

We could have told him that 50 years ago:

Fidel Castro told a visiting American journalist that Cuba’s communist economic model doesn’t work, a rare comment on domestic affairs from a man who has conspicuously steered clear of local issues since stepping down four years ago. [...]
Jeffrey Goldberg, a national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine, asked if Cuba’s economic system was still worth exporting to other countries, and Castro replied: "The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore" Goldberg wrote Wednesday in a post on his Atlantic blog.
The state controls well over 90 percent of the economy, paying workers salaries of about $20 a month in return for free health care and education, and nearly free transportation and housing. At least a portion of every citizen’s food needs are sold to them through ration books at heavily subsidized prices.
Of course the "Cuban model" only “worked” while the USSR existed. It was essentially based in heavy subsidies paid Cuba by the USSR for being its main proxy in the Americas. And the USSR’s woes most firmly underlined the problems with a centralized demand economy run by the state. Even so, Cuba continued on along that vein even after their greatest benefactor and financial supporter collapsed like a wet paper box. Now, finally, after pushing Cuba into poverty, Castro admits socialism is a bust.

China, while still totalitarian, recognized the economic problems soon enough to avert a similar disaster by loosening up economically. Cuba and North Korea, though, have continued to use the disastrous economic model and are basket cases (Cuba has instituted some modest economic changes, but not enough to break the dependency on the state the government of Cuba had ingrained on multiple generations of its population).
Of course Castro’s admission comes to late for the people of Venezuela who’ve been roped into a Cuba-style socialist government by strong man Hugo Chavez. Predictably, the Venezuelan economy is in shambles.

You have to wonder how many more ruined economies it will take before the socialists of the world (or wannabes) recognize that their brand of government and economics is a disaster and has probably ruined more lives than any other economic system in history.
Author: Bruce McQuain

Military bans game that “kills” troops

Picture from Military bans game that “kills” troops
Military bases across the U.S. have banned the sale of a new video game that casts players in the role of a Taliban fighter that attacks US troops in Afghanistan. That game is Medal of Honor.
Gamers worldwide scoff at the decision, and let’s face it folks, it’s the digital age, such bans have no effect since they can’t ban the soldiers and sailors from playing the title, and it can easily be ordered/pre-ordered online for those overseas or at sea. It’s also more than a little silly since it’s become commonplace to let players switch sides and play the bad guy.

AP reports that after public protests, including by British Defense Secretary Liam Fox, U.S. military officials decided not to stock the game in any of the nearly 300 base exchange shops. The game also won’t be sold at any of the 49 GameStop stores located on various military bases. Troops will be allowed to own copies, but they would have to buy them off-base.

What’s next? Are they going to close down the base paintball ranges because they simulate combat against “friendlies”? It’s fiction people! Would they do something like this if the name Tom Clancy were in the title?

The African-American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, Inc.

 Mission Statement

The African-American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, Inc., (AACCNJ) is dedicated to economically empowering and sustaining African-American communities through entrepreneurship and capitalistic activities within the State of New Jersey and via interaction with the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Inc. (NBCC).

The African-American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey has been incorporated as a 501(c)(3) in accordance with the Internal Revenue Code and provides advocacy and support for businesses throughout the State of New Jersey.
John E. Harmon

On behalf of the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (AACCNJ), I would like to invite you to join us as a valuable member of our organization. You are an important asset to our community here in New Jersey, and we are confident that your membership in AACCNJ will be of great benefit to you and your organization. The AACCNJ will be dedicated to the business development and economic empowerment of American society, and particularly the African American communities within the State of New Jersey, via entrepreneurship utilizing educational models, best practices and technical assistance.

Join Our Chamber

Traitorous Gen. Petraeus Criticizes Perfectly Good Plan to Burn Korans on 9/11

General David Petraeus is generally acknowledged to be a pretty smart guy. He's good at what he does, which is why both George W. Bush and Barack Obama have relied on him for leadership and strategic planning during the gruesome duo of pointless wars we're fighting. His many years of experience have given him great insight into the minds of psychotic racist assholes both in the Middle East and right here in the U.S. of A. But his most recent public remarks warning against one pastor's plan to burn Korans on September 11th will surely call his patriotism into question.

Your Paper of Record has more on Petraeus's troubling devotion to common sense…
Burning copies of the Koran, the Muslim holy book, "would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan — and around the world — to inflame public opinion and incite violence," the commander, Gen. David H. Petraeus said in an e-mail message to The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Echoing remarks the general made in an interview with The Wall Street Journal published Tuesday, he said: "It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort. It is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems. Not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community."
What a coward, am I right? I mean, it's not like less hateful desecrations of their culture's sacred symbols has ever led to any serious issues ever before, right?
In 2005, violent and sometimes lethal riots were set off around the world by a mistaken report by Newsweek that a Pentagon investigation had found that military interrogators of detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, tried to flush a Koran down a toilet. The same year, a Danish newspaper printed cartoons portraying the Prophet Muhammad also led to riots across the Muslim world.
Oh, whatEVER. As long as these "violent and sometimes lethal riots" take place outside of America, who gives a fuck, right? It's our right as Americans to burn, piss on, or stab anything or anyone who doesn't fall in line with what the self-appointed human representatives of God tell us.
General Petraeus needs to shut his mouth before we start asking questions about where his REAL loyalty is.

by Sara Benincasa

Investor Report: China Now Winning the Green Energy War

Wind power plants in Xinjiang, China
It's no secret that China is crushing the U.S. in the race to produce clean energy. But Ernst & Young has made it official: China is the most attractive location to invest in renewable energy projects. The U.S. slipped to second place this year on the Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices, which grades countries on a 100 point scale in national renewable energy markets, renewable energy infrastructure, and suitability for individual technology.

The U.S. lost its top spot thanks mostly to China's $11.5 billion in asset-financing for clean technology in the second quarter of this year. That cash injection for China, combined with Washington's failure to enact a Renewable Energy Standard this summer, caused investors to lose faith in the U.S.'s ability to support green projects.

Spain dropped a point due to the destruction of the country's famous solar subsidies. In a bid to save cash, the country slashed subsidies for photovoltaic solar power plants by 45%, for big rooftop solar plants by 25%, and for small rooftop installations by 5%. And Germany dropped a point because of similar cuts to its solar PV tariffs.
But where Europe and the U.S. flounder, other countries continue to gain ground. Japan gained a point because of a 2.6-fold growth in its solar cell market over the past year, and New Zealand scored a point thanks to a carbon emissions trading scheme.
renewables indices
This doesn't mean we should count the U.S. and Europe out of the renewable energy race. It does mean that no country can take for granted that it will stay in favor with clean technology investors.

BY Ariel Schwartz

Iran says to free one detained 'American' on Saturday

TEHRAN — Iran will free an American on Saturday, believed to be one of three hikers detained over a year ago, an official told AFP.

In a brief message, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance said: "Freedom of one of the American detainees on Saturday 20th of (Iranian month of) Shahrivar at 9:00 am (0430 GMT) at Hotel Esteghlal" in the capital Tehran.

A ministry official contacted by AFP refused to reveal the identity of the detainee, only saying that the release ceremony would be overseen by one of the vice presidents of Iran.

Iran is currently holding three US hikers in custody after they strayed into the country from across the border with Iraq more than a year ago.

Full Story

Term Limits: Treating the D.C. Disease

By Howard Rich
As Washington D.C. slips further below the waves of partisan rancor and unprecedented red ink, voters of both parties are overwhelmingly endorsing term limits as a way to right the sinking ship.

In fact as increasing numbers of Americans have begun to recognize the importance of refocusing our nation on its founding principles, none of those principles is garnering more support than term limits.

According to the results of a new FOX News poll, 78 percent of all voters favor term limits — including 84 percent of Republicans and 74 percent of Democrats and Independents. By contrast, only 16 percent of voters oppose term limits. In today’s era of political hyper-partisanship and media-fueled ideological divisiveness, those numbers are positively astounding.
Or are they?

The truth is that support for term limits has always been strong. In 2002 for example voters in states that passed legislative term limits during the previous decade were still supporting them by huge majorities — ranging anywhere from 60 to 78 percent.

Given such strong and consistent public support, it’s not surprising that the only successful attempts to undo legislative term limits in the modern era have come from legislative or judicial actions which overturned the results of popular elections. In fact just last year New York City leaders arbitrarily tossed out the results of two citywide elections to give themselves additional terms in office.

So much for the argument that term limits are “anti-Democratic.”
Get full story here.

SEIU Strikes Against Sodexo at George Mason University

By Adam Bitely
On my way out of class today at George Mason University, I happened to stumble across a labor strike. The strike was spearheaded by none other than the usual suspects: the SEIU.

Once I realized that I had been surrounded by the marching purple shirts I decided to start asking some questions. I spoke with Tanya Aquino who informed me that she was the communications person on-site from the SEIU. She told me that the SEIU does not have a formal relationship with Sodexo but that they are attempting to set up shop inside of Sodexo. Aquino said that they have “been met with retaliation” over their attempts to organize.

The protesters marched from George Mason’s Patriot Center to the Johnson Center. Below is their organized performance outside of the Johnson Center around 2 pm. They obstructed students on their way to class and made quite the commotion
Get full story here.

Pataki: ObamaCare Individual Mandate “Patently Unconstitutional”

By Kevin Mooney
State lawsuits that argue against the constitutionality of ObamaCare under the Commerce Clause have considerable merit and could potentially come before the U.S. Supreme Court former New York Gov. George Pataki told reporters Wednesday during a question and answer period at The National Press Club.

Pataki, who is now chairman of Revere America, held a press conference to announce a new campaign aimed against congressional lawmakers who voted for President Obama’s healthcare bill, which passed earlier this year. Television ads will be aired in concert with other campaign efforts in key districts as part of the “Pledge to Win” campaign.

In response to a question from The American Spectator that asked whether or not the state suits could potentially reach The Supreme Court, Pataki responded “Yes, I do.” But he also said that opponents should not rely on the judiciary alone and work toward the election of a new Congress more responsive to public sentiment.

“I think that there are legitimate constitutional issues when the federal government is imposing new burdens on the states, new burdens that they have to increase their Medicaid eligibility break when the states pay a significant part of that without providing any funding,” he observed.
Get full story here.

The Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight

By Robert Romano
“This is just the gang that couldn’t shoot straight,” remarked Americans for Limited Government (ALG) President Bill Wilson of the White House’s latest plan to spend another $50 billion in fiscal “stimulus” for so-called infrastructure projects.

Almost two years into the Barack Obama’s term of office, Americans are increasingly skeptical about the effectiveness of Keynesian deficit-spending as a means of boosting the flailing U.S. economy. In a recent poll by Rasmussen Reports, 56 percent of likely voters believe that additional government spending will hurt the economy.

It’s little wonder. In the last month, unemployment rose to 9.6 percent, while growth has slowed to 1.6 percent in the second quarter. The people remember that the Obama Administration promised more than 3 percent growth and that unemployment would not rise above 8 percent.

After over $1 trillion in spending and another $2 trillion expansion of the monetary base by the Federal Reserve, nobody can argue that the “stimulus” efforts have not been robust. Unfortunately, more of this failed prescription is all the Obama team has to offer.

In a speech in Ohio on Wednesday, Barack Obama laid out his plans for more of the same. “We want to put more Americans back to work rebuilding America — our roads, railways, and runways,” he said. Really, it’s just more spending, more debt, and more resources taken away from other productive sectors of the economy.
Get full story here.

Picture Of The Day: I Think You’re Going To Need A Bigger Bowl

giant gold fish
Raphael Biagini took ten minutes to reel in this monster during a fishing trip in France.  At 30 pounds, it is believed to be the largest koi carp ever caught.  Once Raphael took some time to catch his breath and take a picture with his catch, he was forced to release the giant gold fish.  Why would he do such a thing you might ask?  Simple.  He didn't have a big enough bowl to keep it in.

Source: Carmelo Anthony wants deal to Bulls, Knicks

Carmelo Anthony still hopes to persuade the Denver Nuggets to trade him, preferably to either the Chicago Bulls or New York Knicks, an NBA source with knowledge of Anthony’s wishes told Yahoo! Sports. The Knicks have limited assets to offer the Nuggets, which makes the Bulls a more appealing potential trade partner. — Yahoo!

Bob Marley’s Daughter, Makeda Jahnesta, Guilty of Drug Charges

Bob Marley’s Daughter, Makeda Jahnesta, Guilty of Drug Charges

The Daily Local News
of West Chester, Pennsylvania, was first to report Bob Marley’s daughter, Makeda Jahnesta has pleaded guilty to drug charges stemming from growing marijuana at her Philadelphia, Pa. home. Jahnesta was in a Philly area court on Tuesday following a February arrest.

Jahnesta, age 29, was nabbed by authorities earlier this year for growing nearly one dozen large marijuana plants within the basement of her home. Officers were at the residence in response to a domestic dispute call and discovered the plant.

Jahnesta is expected to return to court in October for sentencing, as her attorney, Thomas Schindler reported to the Associated Press.

Clinton talks about Mexico's criminal insurgency


Drug-related violence in Mexico increasingly has the hallmarks of an insurgency, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said.

"It's looking more and more like Colombia looked 20 years ago, when the narco-traffickers controlled certain parts of the country," she said.

Her comments were made following a major speech to US foreign policy experts in Washington.

A Mexican government spokesman rejected Mrs Clinton's analogy.

Speaking in Mexico City, Alejandro Poire said the only aspect that the Mexican and Colombian conflicts share is their root cause - a high demand for drugs in the US.

Mr Poire also denied that the presence of drug cartels was tantamount to an insurgency, insisting that "all the efforts of the Mexican state were going into fighting criminals".

He added that "the collaboration with the US is an integral part of our strategy" in tackling drug cartels.

It is not all that unusual for states fighting an insurgency to label the enemy criminals and I would not argue with that description of the Mexican cartels. But, their activity of attempting to control certain real estate, especially leading to corridors within the US is that of an insurgency.

The police are at a disadvantage in dealing with the better armed and bigger organizations. The Mexican army and Marines have been more effective at dealing with the criminal insurgents and they could improve their effectiveness with better counter insurgency tactics that would protect the people and get the intelligence that would flow from their safety.

By recognizing that they are dealing with an insurgency, the Mexican government could also get the training they need to deal with it from US special forces troops.

Don't Bogart Those Poll Numbers: Barbara Boxer's Campaign Is So Depressing, Her Aide Was Caught Smuggling Pot Into the Senate

I'd liken Senator Barbara Boxer's (D-CA) campaign to a train wreck, but that would unfairly impugn train wrecks.

Yesterday word broke that the pint-sized yenta was involved in an ethical scandal involving payoffs to Rep. Maxine Waters (or her crime gang, I forget which).

Today a CNN-Time poll disclosed that GOP contender Carly Fiorina is now tied with Boxer.

But CNN's polling numbers appear to have been *ahem* skewed to make the incumbent Senator look competitive with Fiorina. Jim Geraghty notes that the internals of CNN's polls claimed that 18% of conservatives supported Boxer.


In possibly related news, one of Boxer's aides was just caught smuggling pot into the U.S. Senate.

A senior aide for Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) was arrested Tuesday for attempting to bring marijuana into the Hart Senate Office Building, according to U.S. Capitol Police reports.

Marcus Stanley, who served as a senior economic adviser and at one time worked on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee — chaired by Boxer — was stopped by a police officer Tuesday morning when he allegedly tried to “remove and conceal” a leafy green substance from his pocket during a security screening... Stanley has worked on Capitol Hill since 2007, according to financial disclosure records from Legistorm, and draws a six-figure salary. He has also worked for the Joint Economic Committee.

No word on whether Boxer herself will be drug-tested.

Rich Cronin: LFO Frontman Dead at 35

Rich Cronin, former lead singer of pop group LFO, is dead at 35. He reportedly died today (September 8, 2010) after succumbing to a 5-year battle with leukemia. Read more about his death, and find a biography below.
Fans will dearly miss Rich Cronin and his amazing talent.

You know, sometimes celebrities die because of a self inflicted cause such as drugs, and yes, their deaths are somewhat tragic too, but it is always such a sad thing to see a person pass away at such a young age from an illness. Especially when that person was as magnificent as Rich was. His goal was to make an impact on the fight against cancer, and he did just that as the founder of the Hope Foundation, which informs the public about the importance of donating blood and bone marrow. Find out more about the foundation in the video below.
Former member of the boyband NSYNC, Lance Bass, took to twitter earlier to offer his condolences. He tweeted:
“Sad sad day that Rich Cronin died- was a amazing guy. : (”
As a biography, Rich Cronin was born on August 30, 1975. He was a native of Kingston, Massachusetts. His brother, Mike Cronin, is the manager for the boyband O-Town. Over a decade ago he wrote the smash hit ‘Summer Girls,’ which rapidly climbed its way up the Billboard Hot 100, finally peaking at number three. About three years after their most recognizable single was released LFO broke up. In June of 2009 the band made the announcement that they were getting back together, and about three months later, much to the dismay of fans, they announced that they had broken up again. He died of acute myelogenous leukemia on September 8, 2010.

We offer you our comment section to leave your condolences.

Tom Brady Involved In Car Accident In Boston (PHOTOS)

New England Patriots star Tom Brady, who is happily married to Victoria’s Secret Angel Gisele Bundchen, was involved in a serious car crash, in which one person had to be extricated from the vehicle by Jaws Of Life, around 6:30 am in Boston on Thursday (September 9).

The 33 year-old quarterback was “shaken” by this car crash, but he refused to be taken to the hospital and preferred to be examined by the team’s doctor in the Gillette Stadium. The Patriots announced via Twitter, “Patriots QB Tom Brady was in a car accident this morning. He was not hospitalized and is expected at Gillette Stadium today.”