Archive for September, 2010

September 28, 2010

Republicans are for outsourcing jobs overseas, against helping companies that create jobs here

by Ben Hoffman

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday blocked tax legislation that would have punished U.S. firms that export jobs. But the political symbolism of trying to save American jobs, not passing a bill, was the Democrats’ closing argument on the economy in the waning weeks of the congressional elections.


The bill at issue in the Senate would exempt companies that import jobs from paying the 6.2% Social Security payroll tax for new U.S. employees who replace overseas workers who had been doing similar work.

The two-year exemption would be available for workers hired over the next three years. The tax cut — estimated to cost about $1 billion — would be partially offset by tax increases on companies that move jobs overseas.

The bill would prohibit firms from taking deductions for business expenses associated with expanding operations in other countries. It would increase taxes on U.S. companies that close domestic operations and expand foreign ones to import products to the U.S.

Read more…

Vote for America. Vote Democrat.

September 25, 2010

GOP’s ‘Pledge To America’ Scam

by Ben Hoffman

Republican’s play Americans for fools. Their latest scam is no different. Let’s take a look at their ‘Pledge to America.’

Key Points In The ‘Pledge To America’

Create jobs, end economic uncertainty and increase American competitiveness

* “Permanently” stop tax hikes on families and small businesses.
* Give small businesses a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their income.
* Require congressional approval for any new federal regulation that adds to deficits or makes it harder to create jobs.
* Repeal health care mandates on small businesses.
* “With common-sense exceptions for seniors, veterans, and our troops,” roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels.
* Place caps on government spending.
* Impose a hiring freeze for non-security-related federal positions.
* Cancel the Troubled Asset Relief Program and reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

That will actually increase unemployment and at the same time, increase deficits.

They want a ratchet effect on taxes where taxes can be cut but they can’t be raised. Why not just say you’re going to eliminate taxes for everyone? According to Reaganomics, that should increase revenues! The problem is, Reaganomics has been proven to not work.

Rolling back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels will result in higher unemployment. The spending has created millions of jobs, improved our infrastructure, provided money to small businesses that specialize in renewable energy, prevented layoffs of teachers and other government workers, modernized our electric grid, and other things that are making our country better.

Repeal and replace the health care overhaul

* Enact “real medical liability reform.”
* Allow purchase of health care across state lines.

Same old ideas that won’t help anyone but big corporations.

Tort reform means people are limited as to how much they can sue for if doctors or hospitals are negligent. That’s taking away the rights of Americans. It will also do little to reduce the cost of health care or insurance.

Allowing the purchase of health insurance across state lines takes away the ability of states to regulate insurance companies. It will also result in insurance companies only insuring low risk people. It might make insurance cheaper for young, healthy people, but it will do nothing for the people who need insurance the most.

Reform Congress

* Require that every bill contain a citation of “constitutional authority.”
* Give all representatives and citizens at least three days to read a bill before a vote.

Reform Congress? Republicans are the problem. And they want to “reform” Congress? Why didn’t they do something when they were in power? What’s needed is filibuster reform because Senate Republicans are filibustering EVERYTHING!

And as far as Constitutional authority, what about the Constitutional violations that occurred during the Bush tenure when he lied us into war, spied on Americans, violated the Geneva Conventions, and enabled war profiteering?

Maintain security at home and abroad

* Provide resources, authority, and support to deployed forces.
* Fully fund missile defense.
* Enforce sanctions against Iran.
* Keep enemy combatants in Guantanamo Bay.
* Secure U.S. borders.

The party that didn’t take the threat of terrorism seriously until we were attacked wants to “maintain” security? In reality, they want to keep the money flowing to defense contractors who donate to their coffers. And of course, they want to keep fear and hatred levels high.

September 24, 2010

GOP Pledges To Make Deficits Even Worse!!!

by Ben Hoffman

The “Pledge to America” talks about the need to cut spending. But as far as I can see, there’s only one specific cut proposed — canceling the rest of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which Republicans claim (implausibly) would save $16 billion. That’s less than half of 1 percent of the budget cost of those tax cuts. As for the rest, everything must be cut, in ways not specified — “except for common-sense exceptions for seniors, veterans, and our troops.” In other words, Social Security, Medicare and the defense budget are off-limits.

Howard Gleckman of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has done the math. As he points out, the only way to balance the budget by 2020, while simultaneously (a) making the Bush tax cuts permanent and (b) protecting all the programs Republicans say they won’t cut, is to completely abolish the rest of the federal government: “No more national parks, no more Small Business Administration loans, no more export subsidies, no more N.I.H. No more Medicaid (one-third of its budget pays for long-term care for our parents and others with disabilities). No more child health or child nutrition programs. No more highway construction. No more homeland security. Oh, and no more Congress.”

Read more…

The Republicans have no ideas that will make America better. They just want to run our country even further into the ground.

September 23, 2010

Glenn Beck’s Sponsor Goldline Under Investigation By Los Angeles D.A. For Fraud

by Ben Hoffman

Goldline, more popularly known for its high-profile endorsements from Fox News’ Glenn Beck and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, is under investigation by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office and was the subject of Monday night’s “Nightline” on ABC.

Authorities in Los Angeles began the investigation after receiving over 100 complaints from consumers who claimed to have lost thousands of dollars after investing with Goldline and Superior Gold Group, a company based out of Santa Monica, California.

There are two main types of complaints we’re seeing. One is that customers say that they were lied to and misled in entering into their purchases of gold coins. And the other group is saying that they received something different from what they had ordered.

Once they get people on the phone, they basically steer them into these so-called collectible coins, and that’s where the rip-off becomes really profound.

Read more…

Conservatives, you’re being played for fools! These people are not on your side!

September 23, 2010

Attn: Conservatives – You’re being played for fools!!!

by Ben Hoffman

The Republican Party’s 21-page blueprint, “Pledge to America,” was put together with oversight by a House staffer who, up till April 2010, served as a lobbyist for some of the nation’s most powerful oil, pharmaceutical, and insurance companies.

In a draft version of The Pledge that was being passed around to reporters before the official release, the document properties list “Wild, Brian” as the “Author.” A GOP source said that Wild — who is on House Minority Leader John Boehner’s payroll — did help author the governing platform that the party is unveiling on Thursday. Another aide said that as the executive director of the Republican leadership group American Speaking Out, Wild’s tasks were more on the administrative side of the operations.

Until early this year, Wild was a fairly active lobbyist on behalf of the firm the Nickles Group, the lobbying shop set up by the former Republican Senator from Oklahoma, Don Nickles. During his five years at the firm, Wild, among others, was paid $740,000 in lobbying contracts from AIG, the former insurance company at the heart of the financial collapse; $800,000 from energy giant Andarko Petroleum; more than $1.1 million from Comcast, more than $1.3 million from Exxon Mobil; and $625,000 from the pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc.

Read more…

Republicans don’t care about the American working class. They’re just using you to gain power so they can make the wealthy wealthier, America be damned. If this isn’t clear proof, nothing is. Voting Republican is not in your best interest!

September 23, 2010

Democrats’ Plan For America (If they had a spine)

by Ben Hoffman
  • The Bush tax cuts expire at the end of this year. We want to extend the tax cuts for the middle class but Republicans are blocking it. If Republicans get their way, taxes will go up for everyone!
  • Republicans want to gut government programs such as the Department of Education. You don’t cut government programs during a recession because many people will lose their jobs and unemployment will get even worse.
  • Republicans want even more tax cuts for the wealthy. Our country is running huge deficits and we can’t afford more gifts to the wealthy.
  • The Republicans have been rewarding companies that send jobs overseas. We want to reward companies that create jobs here.
  • Republicans are weak on security. They use money allocated to security to fatten the wallets of foreign owned companies such as Halliburton. And we can never forget how the Republicans didn’t take the threat of terrorism seriously before they allowed us to be attacked on 9/11.
  • The Democrats are making higher education more affordable.
  • The Democrats are ending the failed NCLB (No Child Left Behind) program in which the only people who benefited were corporations that made billions creating tests that should have been created at your local schools. Talk about an un-Constitutional program that intruded into the rights of the states!
September 22, 2010

Stimulus Dollars At Work: Helping Restore American Exceptionalism

by Ben Hoffman
  1. The Defense Department is using $100 million in Recovery Act funds to construct two complexes for the Warrior Transition program, which helps ill and injured soldiers recover and return to duty or to their communities. One of the two stimulus-funded projects is in Fort Bliss, Texas. The $41-million project includes design and construction of a barracks, an administrative building, and a “Soldier and Family Assistance Center.”
  2. The Recovery Act provided $2.4 billion for development of domestic industry to make lighter, more energy-dense lithium-ion batteries designed to power electric vehicles. A123 Systems, a battery-technology innovator that got its start at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, received $249 million in stimulus grants to build battery factories in Livonia, Romulus and Brownstown, Mich. According to the New York Times, the company’s investment in southeast Michigan will total over $600 million, and more than 800 workers are expected to be employed at the two newest plants.
  3. ECOtality in Phoenix, Arizona is helping bring the first public charging stations for electric cars to cities around the country. The company received a $114-million Recovery Act grant, which will help it deploy nearly 15,000 charging stations in 16 cities in six states (Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona, Tennessee and Texas) plus the District of Columbia. More than 8,000 qualifying drivers of the Nissan LEAF and the Chevrolet Volt will be provided with a residential charger for free. has more.
  4. Iberdrola Renewables Inc. received a $170-million tax credit for its Streator Cayuga Ridge wind park in Livingston County, Illinois. The company’s 150 turbines will generate 300 megawatts of clean, renewable energy — enough to power over 86,000 typical American homes. It created 300 jobs during its construction.
  5. Wind farms are great – but what about when all those turbines are made in China? Some stimulus money is going to help states like Michigan establish a new energy economy. Energetx Composites, a Holland, Mich.-based composite manufacturer, received a $3.5-million “Clean Energy Advanced Manufacturing” grant funded by the Recovery Act. The company is using the grant to diversify its product line, developing and manufacturing wind-energy components. To meet its growing needs, the company has teamed up with Grand Rapids Community College — which received over $8.5 million in stimulus grants — to develop a new technician-training curriculum.
  6. Equinox Chemicals of Albany, Georgia, designs, manufactures and distributes chemical products for fragrances, food flavoring and electronics equipment. The falling dollar has helped it boost exports. To meet new demand, the company needed a major plant expansion. It obtained a $3.2-million Small Business Administration loan for additional land, a new building, new equipment and other improvements. In addition, $27,000 in fees were waived because the 20-year loan was made under Recovery Act provisions.
  7. Supported by $24.8 million in Recovery Act tax credits for advanced energy manufacturing, General Electric is investing $600 million in its Louisville, Ky. Appliance Park facility to expand manufacturing. That includes bringing back from China the processing of pedestals used for front-loading washers and dryers — the first time GE has “in-sourced” a product. In a June visit to the plant, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden declared: “We’re laying a new foundation for a new economy with investments like the one we’re highlighting today.”
  8. The New York City Department of Transportation is using $175 million in Recovery Act flex funds to rehabilitate eight vehicular bridges, one pedestrian bridge and one parking field which provide commuter access to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal at the southern tip of Manhattan. The bridges support pedestrian traffic, bus routes and stations, dropoff and pickup taxi service and other passenger vehicle traffic. The rehabilitation of the St. George Ferry Ramps will restore and preserve the structural integrity of these bridges for another 25 years. The terminal hub provides a direct connection to and from Manhattan for 60,000 riders on a daily basis.
  9. The California Department of Transportation is using $197.5 million in stimulus funds to add two lanes to the Caldecott Tunnel, which connects the Contra Costa suburbs to the city of Oakland through the Oakland Hills. Workers began tunneling a fourth bore for the tunnel in early August. It’s expected to relieve a major commuter headache when completed. While digging, the contractors discovered fossils that may be millions of years old, including the remains of a camel.
  10. It’s one of the busiest north-south freeway corridors in Wisconsin, and traffic on certain sections is expected to increase by 38 percent in the next 25 years. Now, thanks to $94 million in Recovery Act funding, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation is widening — from six to eight lanes — a 35-mile section of I-94 that runs from the Mitchell Interchange in Milwaukee to the Illinois state line. The additional lanes also will improve access to General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee and the Port of Milwaukee. Brandon Nesler, a Wisconsin worker rehired for a highway interchange project near Racine, tells his story here.
  11. The New Bedford Harbor Superfund site in Massachusetts encompasses 18,000 acres of urban estuary stretching from the upper Acushnet River into Buzzards Bay. Beginning in the 1800s, the site was polluted with industrial contaminants – primarily highly toxic polychlorinated byphenyls (PCBs), which were discharged from the 1940s until the U.S. banned their use in the 1970s. Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that $25 to 35 million in Recovery Act funding would be used to accelerate the hazardous waste cleanup already underway at the site. The faster pace could more than triple the amount of PCB-contaminated sediment removed annually.

Read more…

September 21, 2010

Nazi Pope Accused of Money Laundering!!!

by Ben Hoffman

VATICAN CITY — Italian authorities seized euro23 million ($30 million) from a Vatican bank account Tuesday and said they have begun investigating top officials of the Vatican bank in connection with a money-laundering probe.

The Vatican said it was “perplexed and surprised” by the investigation.

Italian financial police seized the money as a precaution and prosecutors placed the Vatican bank’s chairman and director general under investigation for alleged mistakes linked to violations of Italy’s anti-laundering laws, news reports said.

The investigation is not the first trouble for the bank – formally known as the Institute for Works of Religion. In the 1980s, it was involved in a major scandal that resulted in a banker, dubbed “God’s Banker” because of his close ties to the Vatican, being found hanging from Blackfriars Bridge in London.

Read more…

September 21, 2010


by Ben Hoffman

(RTTNews) – With the Senate scheduled to hold a key procedural vote on the annual defense authorization bill later on Tuesday, Senate Republicans seem poised to prevent the bill from the coming to the floor in protest of their inability to add amendments to the bill.

In addition to a 1.4 percent pay increase for troops and $725 billion in funding for the Pentagon, the bill also includes a provision that would repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that prevents gays and lesbians from serving openly in the U.S. armed forces.

However, the forty-one Republicans in the Senate have indicated that they will vote against the procedural motion, preventing Democrats from achieving the 60 votes needed to move forward with the bill.

Read more…

We didn’t get out of Vietnam until Congress cut off funding. Let the Republicans cut off funding for the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq. The money could be better spent here at home.

September 21, 2010

Obama Panders To Conservatives — Nominates Deregulator to lead the Office of Management and Budget

by Ben Hoffman

A former top executive at Citigroup who participated in the deregulation of Wall Street during the Clinton administration and recently was tapped by President Barack Obama for [to lead the Office of Management and Budget] told a Senate panel last week that deregulation didn’t lead to the recent financial crisis.


Lew, a former OMB chief for President Bill Clinton, told the panel that “the problems in the financial industry preceded deregulation,” and after discussing those issues, added that he didn’t “personally know the extent to which deregulation drove it, but I don’t believe that deregulation was the proximate cause.”

Experts and policymakers, including U.S. Senators, commissioners at the Securities and Exchange Commission, top leaders in Congress, former financial regulators and even Obama himself have pointed to the deregulatory zeal of the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations as a major cause of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Lew, however, doesn’t appear to agree, putting him at odds with an administration and a party that tout their efforts at re-regulating Wall Street in pitches to voters and cast blame for the crisis in part on the deregulatory policies pursued by Bush and his fellow Republicans in Congress.

Read more…

That’s not exactly the way to get democrats to vote in the mid-term elections. Of course, if Obama nominated someone who favored regulation, Republicans would have filibustered the nomination, but nominating conservatives just so they get confirmed is not the answer, unless the question is: “how do you make democratic voters more apathetic?”

September 20, 2010

Let the tax cuts expire for those making over $250k

by Ben Hoffman

The total deficit for fiscal year 2009 (Bush’s final fiscal year) was 1.4 TRILLION DOLLARS. The deficit for Obama’s first fiscal year is expected to decline to 1.17 TRILLION DOLLARS, which is a rediculous amount of money. We’re paying some 1/2 trillion dollars a year just on interest on the federal debt, which is now almost 13 TRILLION DOLLARS. Something needs to be done.

With unemployment hovering at almost 10%, any cuts in domestic spending will result in additional job loss. The stimulus passed last year boosted GDP by 2.1-2.7% and created 2.7 million jobs. Economists believe unemployment would be 11% without the stimulus.

Obama has proposed extending the Bush tax cuts for those making under $250,000 and letting it expire for the wealthy. That would provide an additional $217 billion in revenues and would have little to no adverse affect on the economy. The wealthy benefited the most from the Bush tax cuts and they are now sitting on cash not helping the recovery. Letting their tax cuts expire will give them incentive to invest in business and hire more people since that would reduce their taxable income and would in effect, stimulate the economy.

There should also be another stimulus bill for our infrastructure — especially transportation including high-speed rail. The U.S. is lagging behind almost every other developed nation in the world. We’re stuck with outdated airlines that are inconvenient, uncomfortable, and often not on time. It’s time to modernize our transportation system and invest in America. The two Bush wars have cost some 3 TRILLION DOLLARS. You never hear right-wingers complain about all that money that has bankrupted our country but they hate investing in our infrastructure. It makes you wonder why they hate our country so much.

September 20, 2010

Obama to the Tea Party: “What would you do?”

by Ben Hoffman

“So the challenge, I think, for the Tea Party movement is to identify, specifically, what would you do?” he added. “It’s not enough just to say get control of spending. I think it’s important for you to say, I’m willing to cut veterans’ benefits or I’m willing to cut Medicare or Social Security benefits or I’m willing to see these taxes go up. What you can’t do, which is what I’ve been hearing a lot from the other side, is we’re going to control government spending, we’re going to propose $4 trillion of additional tax cuts, and that magically somehow things are going to work. Now, some of these are very difficult choices.”

Read more…

The teabaggers have no solutions. They’re just angry because they’re told to be angry, and they probably have a little too much time on their hands and sit around watching Fox “news” all day. What they hear from the Republican propaganda outlet makes them scared and angry. They repeat the lies they hear but they have no solutions because they lack the ability to think pragmatically and they have no intellectual curiosity.

Last year, Obama met with Republicans and asked what they would do to solve the problems facing America. All he got was campaign talking points but no ideas that would help. Teabaggers, when confronted, have no answers, either.

While the Democrats haven’t solved the problems, things would be a lot worse had they not passed the legislation they did. Republican “ideas” would make things even worse.

September 20, 2010

Obama and Family Attend Radical Church Service!

by Ben Hoffman

Obama took his family on Sunday to a religious service where they believe that some guy about 2,000 years ago was born to a virgin mother and rose from the dead three days after he died! They also believe that if you believe that story, you’ll go to some magical place after you die. They also think that by believing in that, all your sins are forgiven because the guy 2,000 years ago died for your sins. It gives these radicals an excuse for doing bad things since they think they’re forgiven by some old guy who lives up in the clouds! Unbelievable! Our president has flipped out!

Read more…
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama and his family attended an hourlong service Sunday morning at a church just across the street from the White House.

Accompanied by his wife, Michelle, and their daughters, Malia and Sasha, Obama strolled across Lafayette Square to attend St. John’s Church. Sasha held her father’s hand as they crossed the park.

Obama has attended the pale yellow Episcopal church three times previously, as well as other churches in the nation’s capital. The Obama family hasn’t settled on a new permanent congregation since coming to Washington.

A pew nine rows back from the altar at St. John’s carries a small brass plaque designating it as “The President’s Pew.” Church history claims that every president since the nation’s fourth chief executive, James Madison, has visited.

September 19, 2010

US soldiers accused of killing Afghans ‘for sport’

by Ben Hoffman

Our military has had to lower its standards dramatically in order to meet recruitment needs. Ex-cons are now welcome as are those with low academic test scores. In 2007, the Army accepted an estimated 8,000 recruits with criminal records, many with felony convictions.

Army Pvt. Steve Green was awarded a waiver for his criminal past and is now on trial for raping and murdering an Iraqi girl, then killing her entire family.

This story appeared in the Washington Post today:

AT JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, WASH. The U.S. soldiers hatched a plan as simple as it was savage: to randomly target and kill an Afghan civilian, and to get away with it.

For weeks, according to Army charging documents, rogue members of a platoon from the 5th Stryker Combat Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, floated the idea. Then, one day last winter, a solitary Afghan man approached them in the village of La Mohammed Kalay. The “kill team” activated the plan.

One soldier created a ruse that they were under attack, tossing a fragmentary grenade on the ground. Then others opened fire.

According to charging documents, the unprovoked, fatal attack on Jan. 15 was the start of a months-long shooting spree against Afghan civilians that resulted in some of the grisliest allegations against American soldiers since the U.S. invasion in 2001. Members of the platoon have been charged with dismembering and photographing corpses, as well as hoarding a skull and other human bones.

The subsequent investigation has raised accusations about whether the military ignored warnings that the out-of-control soldiers were committing atrocities. The father of one soldier said he repeatedly tried to alert the Army after his son told him about the first killing, only to be rebuffed.

Two more slayings would follow. Military documents allege that five members of the unit staged a total of three murders in Kandahar province between January and May. Seven other soldiers have been charged with crimes related to the case, including hashish use, attempts to impede the investigation and a retaliatory gang assault on a private who blew the whistle.

Read more…

Not exactly the way to win the hearts and minds of the Afghani people.

September 19, 2010

The Will of the People: More Stimulus Spending to Create Jobs

by Ben Hoffman

A recent Gallup poll showed that 60% of Americans favor more government spending to create jobs and stimulate the economy. Read more… Right-wing media outlets would have you believe that the majority is against the stimulus, but really it’s just the majority of right-wingers who are against it.

There has been a lot of lying about the Recovery Act passed last year. Some claim that it cost over a trillion dollars and hasn’t created any jobs. Those are both lies.

First of all, the stimulus is a five year $792 billion program. About $223 billion in tax cuts have been issued so far as part of the Recovery Act. About 1/3 of the stimulus was tax cuts — a fact you’ll never hear about in the right-wing media outlets or even the mainstream media. Tax cuts do very little to stimulate the economy as shown by the Bush 2001 and 2003 tax cuts and the Reagan tax cuts.

About $289 billion has been spent on things like infrastructure improvements, renewable energy R&D, improvements to the energy grid, transportation, and money for states to avoid layoffs of teachers and other civic workers.

Read more…

Republicans and right-wingers claim the stimulus was a failure. Of course the stimulus didn’t fix all the problems with our economy, but it has helped. Economists at Goldman Sachs, IHS Global Insight, JPMorgan Chase and Macroeconomic Advisers say the stimulus boosted gross domestic product by 2.1% to 2.7%.

A detailed assessment of the government’s efforts to combat the recession concludes the stimulus created 2.7 million jobs. Unemployment would be 11% without the stimulus and 16.5% if neither the fiscal stimulus nor the banks’ rescue had been enacted. Read more…

There is also the multiplier effect of government spending on infrastructure. When jobs are created for the lower and middle class, people have more money to spend and they spend it. That creates more business for restaurants, stores, and all sectors of the economy. Some of the money is returned to the government when income taxes are paid and sales taxes create more revenue for local governments.

There’s a lot of noise these days for the government to “stop all the spending” because of the huge deficits. Most of it comes from the right who’s only concern is getting more Republicans in office. You never hear them complain about the three trillion dollars the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan have cost the country. They don’t mind that we’re spending 100s of billions to rebuild those countries but they hate that we’re spending money on our country.

America is in bad shape. We’re deep in debt, unemployment is hovering at almost 10%. And Republicans in the Senate are trying to block all attempts to stimulate the economy. Should Republicans gain control of one or both of the Houses of Congress, that will pretty much seal the fate of our country. While many progressives and liberals aren’t happy with Obama’s performance so far, things will be a lot worse if we allow the radical right to regain power.