Posted by at 16:09  Politics
Apr 302006

GOP tax rebate plan called costly, ineffective

For a nation “addicted to oil,” as President Bush put it, Senate Republicans have a proposal that can only be described as enabling: Put $100 back into the pocket of every taxpayer.

The proposal, unveiled Thursday, has been roundly criticized not only by Democrats but also by fiscal conservatives who warn it will widen the deficit while doing little to encourage energy conservation.

“It could be one of the dumbest ideas of the year,” said Jerry Taylor, a senior fellow at the conservative Cato Institute. “I haven’t looked at all of the ideas yet, but it’s got to be right up there.”

Taylor pointed out that as proposed, the rebate would go only to people who paid federal income tax last year, meaning it would be no help at all to the millions of low-income Americans who pay no income taxes but arguably suffer the most in times of rising fuel prices. About 100 million taxpayers would qualify for the rebate, which would be limited to filers with incomes under $150,000 for couples or about $100,000 for singles. It would cost more than $10 billion.

Not only that, but the same tax rebate would go to the Wall Street trader who takes the subway to work every day and to the rural Wisconsin farmer who uses thousands of gallons of fuel in his business, Taylor noted.

“It’s not really a compensation for higher gas prices,” Taylor said. “It’s simply a please-vote-for-me-in-November payment.”

Update: This really is one of the stupidest ideas the Rethuglicans have come up with, and they’ve come up with some real winners…

Sharp Reaction to G.O.P. Plan on Gas Rebate

WASHINGTON, April 30 — The Senate Republican plan to mail $100 checks to voters to ease the burden of high gasoline prices is eliciting more scorn than gratitude from the very people it was intended to help.

Aides for several Republican senators reported a surge of calls and e-mail messages from constituents ridiculing the rebate as a paltry and transparent effort to pander to voters before the midterm elections in November.

I hope they come up with a few more of these great ideas between now and November.

Above the law

 Posted by at 14:23  Politics
Apr 302006

Bush challenges hundreds of laws

President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.

Among the laws Bush said he can ignore are military rules and regulations, affirmative-action provisions, requirements that Congress be told about immigration services problems, ”whistle-blower” protections for nuclear regulatory officials, and safeguards against political interference in federally funded research.

Legal scholars say the scope and aggression of Bush’s assertions that he can bypass laws represent a concerted effort to expand his power at the expense of Congress, upsetting the balance between the branches of government. The Constitution is clear in assigning to Congress the power to write the laws and to the president a duty ”to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” Bush, however, has repeatedly declared that he does not need to ”execute” a law he believes is unconstitutional.

Click headline to continue reading.

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English, por favor

 Posted by at 13:10  Politics
Apr 292006

Bush: Sing National Anthem In English

A Spanish-language version of the “Star-Spangled Banner?”

“I think the national anthem ought to be sung in English,” President Bush told reporters Friday, “and I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English, and they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English,” he said.

Mr. Bush’s statement might carry a little more weight if he himself would learn to speak English. I am not sure most of the time which language he is speaking, but I’m pretty sure it is not English.

I know this will come as a shock to some people, but for once I agree with The Doofus. Our national anthem should be sung in English, and people who want to become citizens of the United States really should learn to speak English.

This may be the last time I ever agree with George, so savor it while you may.

Getting gas?

 Posted by at 08:27  Politics
Apr 272006

Will you be filling up today? Just remember all the Bush/Cheney oil buddies whose pockets you are lining as you do so. That should make you feel better as you empty out your wallet.

Exxon Mobil profit rises on soaring prices

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Exxon Mobil Corp., the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, on Thursday reported quarterly profit surged, driven by rising oil prices.

Net income in the first quarter was $8.4 billion, or $1.37 a share, up from $7.86 billion, or $1.22 a share, a year earlier.

Revenue jumped to $88.98 billion from $82.05 billion.

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The Republican Health Plan

 Posted by at 11:09  Politics
Apr 262006

Many middle-income Americans lack insurance

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – More than 40 percent of Americans making between $20,000 and $40,000 a year went without insurance for at least part of the year last year, according to a study published on Tuesday.

The research by The Commonwealth Fund also found that 20 percent of working adults are paying off medical debt — often $2,000 or more — and 60 percent of uninsured adults with chronic illnesses such as heart disease skip pills to save money.

The Commonwealth Fund researchers called the 40 percent figure a “dramatic and rapid increase from 2001,” when 28 percent of people in this moderate income bracket were uninsured.

The group, which does the survey every other year, also found that 67 percent of the 48 million going without insurance were in families where at least one person worked full-time.

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Snow to Press

 Posted by at 22:29  Politics
Apr 252006

Fox Host to Be Named White House Spokesman

WASHINGTON (AP) – Conservative pundit Tony Snow will be named White House press secretary, Republican officials said Tuesday night, in the latest move in President Bush’s effort to remake his troubled White House.

Snow is expected to be named on Wednesday.

“George [W.] Bush has become something of an embarrassment.”Tony Snow, November 11, 2005 (Click on Mr. Snow’s name… there’s more.)

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Cartoon of the week

 Posted by at 16:03  General
Apr 252006

I can vaguely recall those times. I also remember when people would have to get up off their butts to change the channel on the television set. Ah, yes… the good old days.

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