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December 1, 2010 / Candice

Obama’s Fiscal Commission suggests TAX CUTS FOR RICH PEOPLE!! *gasp*

The Fiscal Commission published it’s report today and while it’s full of all kinds of suggestions, I feel the most important thing to look at is how it proposes we handle tax reform. Congress is set to vote on the “Bush Tax Cuts” later this month, and the public is freaking the hell out over these “tax cuts for fat cat richies” and I think it’s time to highlight who is calling for the real cuts.

First things first, these “Bush Tax Cuts” for the rich, aren’t cuts. The GOP proposal is just extending the current tax rates. They’re not cutting rates. In fact, they’re even keeping them quite high, at 35% for the top bracket. The current 2010 brackets (Remember: these are the Bush tax cuts) are 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33% and 35%. If the cuts expire and nothing replaces it there will be 1 less bracket and the poor jump from a 10% rate to a 15% tax rate. The rest of the expired rates will be as follows: 28%, 31%, 36% and 39.6%. Basically a tax INCREASE for everyone, not just the rich.

The Commission that Obama appointed (meaning, it was hand picked, so the deck was stacked) is not only proposing tax cuts but DEEP cuts for the rich. The report suggests that the top rate not exceed 29%. The Obama commission is suggesting simplifying the tax rates to 12%, 22% and 28%, with 28% being the MAX rate for the rich.

Aside from the tax rate cuts, the commission is also suggesting to eliminate itemized deductions and forcing everyone to take the standard deduction. They also want capital gains and dividends taxed as regular income, not with a special rate, which is currently, under the Bush Tax Cuts, at 15%.

It also suggests decreasing the corporate tax rates currently at 35% (Bush Tax Cut rate), suggesting 23% be the lowest with the top bracket not exceeding 29%. It even suggests ending tax subsidies to corporations:

2.2.2 Eliminate all tax expenditures for businesses. Corporate tax reform should eliminate special subsidies for different industries. By eliminating business tax expenditures – currently more than 75 – the corporate tax rate can be significantly reduced while contributing to deficit reduction. A lower overall tax rate will improve American business competitiveness. Abolishing special subsidies will also create an even playing field for all businesses instead of artificially picking winners and losers.

The commission is even suggesting a 2011 payroll tax holiday. Oh my! (Slight sarcasm there folks.)

But don’t worry my dear friends, I haven’t lost my mind. I’m still not fully on board with this Commission’s report, but to be honest with you guys, I have NO problem with the simplification of our god forsaken tax code and I do believe the drastic cuts are necessary. But the suggestions in the report leave me feeling a little uneasy, like there’s a report part 2 that they forgot to publish and the other shoe will fall. The other thing is, these are simply suggestions, it takes congress to act. And given the partisan divide in D.C. I’m not going to hold my breath that we’ll see a 28% top tax rate. I highly doubt Obama will suddenly do a 180-degree turn and suddenly start loving the rich and being supportive of such a massive tax cut. But who knows, stranger things have happened I guess.

November 30, 2010 / Candice

SHOCK (not really): Mark Ritchie Has Commie Homies!

I have to admit, when I first saw the story I thought, “How convenient.” Since stuff like this always comes out, but usually I just laugh at Glenn Beck and his town criers. But this one hits a little too close to home, if ya know what I mean. Since Mark Ritchie is my Secretary of State, I feel it’s important information to pass along.

Now, as with most “BREAKING!!!!” blog stories, I usually take it with a grain of salt, but this story shows some pretty interesting evidence that goes beyond the usual “Commie party donates to DLF’ers campaign” stuff we usually hear. I’m fairly certain that Mr. Ritchie probably isn’t too happy his commie ties have been exposed, but you can bet your sweet ass he’s glad it came out after the election.

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is regarded as a “non-party friend” by the Communist Party USA.

So highly does the Communist Party regard Mr. Ritchie, that he has been allowed to attend an high level “not to be publicized” Party meeting in Minneapolis.

Some of the Communist Party members at this meeting, later supported Ritchie in his Secretary of State election campaigns. One of them, labor leader Mark Froemke, went on to support two of Ritchie’s Democratic – Farmer – Labor – Party colleagues – Al Franken and Mark Dayton in their respective election campaigns.

Read the rest and see the evidence at The New Zeal

November 29, 2010 / Candice

YAY!! RECOUNTS!! (And other things that suck in MN politics.)

Shoot me. I know, I know, we need to make sure every vote is counted. Blah blah blah…. I GET IT!! What I don’t get is why Minnesota has to suck so bad at electing public officials. Mark Dayton? REALLY?! We’re a state of terrible human beings and don’t deserve to be part of the United States any longer. As our punishment, we should join Canada until we get our crap together. Maybe that’ll teach us a lesson.

We push for Mondale over Reagan, we elected Mr. Conspiracy Theory himself, Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura to be our Governor, we elected Al ‘I Write Jokes For Playboy’ Franken to the US freaking Senate. What’s next? Vince Vaughn for MN Secretary of State? C’mon people!! The scary thing is, we almost make California look sane. At least the Golden State is consistent in their crazy. Minnesota gives us a few years of “Oh thank god!” then we’re back on the “W.T.F?!” train again.

I wish I understood it fully. I wish I knew why Minnesotans are so apolitical yet they consistently show up to vote only to pick a name based on nothing more than name recognition. Who cares that Mark Dayton is going to try to raise our taxes and inflate government? I guess the only good thing is that we have a GOP controlled legislature, so they’ll slow down Mark Dayton’s “Happy Time With Other People’s Money” events. But I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if the GOP didn’t win so many seats? That thought alone freaks me out.

Sure, it’s great-ish that our state government is divided. It’ll be just like the last few years only reversed. GOP’ers will be crying foul because Mark Dayton “is being a jerk just because he can!!” DFL’ers will be cheering him on saying “YEAH MARK! YOU ROCK MY SOCKS!” The newspapers will be oh so confused. And bloggers will grow tired of the constant bullshit coming out of St. Paul. (That last one is just wishful thinking. We all know bloggers need there to be boat loads of bullshit otherwise there wouldn’t be anything to write about. Plus, lets be realistic for a minute, Dayton as Governor is like Biden as Vice President, I can’t wait for the Fail to start falling out of his mouth.)

Oh but of course, all of the above scenarios are dependent on the fact that Mark Dayton wins the recount. I’m here to call it, he will. Emmer might gain a few more votes, but not enough to overcome his 8,000+ vote deficit. I guess we’ll find out in a couple weeks. I plan to ignore most of the recount crap. The gang of MN bloggers have that covered and to be honest, I was tired of recount talk on November 3rd, so I’ve gotten to the point where I just don’t care.

Maybe one day Minnesota won’t suck, but I feel like this state is locked in some sort of Fail Destiny. Destined to be the laughing stock of American politics, well…after California and New York. But they’re both much more sad than funny.

November 18, 2010 / Candice

They first came for the raw food producers…

and I did not speak up because I was not a raw food producer.

This is just fucking disgusting. The government is totally overstepping it’s boundaries when it comes to regulating the food we choose to put into our bodies. If I choose to go to McDonalds and eat 5 cheeseburgers, knowing good and well that it could be harmful to my heath, that’s my choice. If I choose to drink unpasteurized milk, knowing the potential risks, that too, is my fucking choice. Same with smoking, alcohol, salt, trans fat, donuts, the list continues.

The government is severely limited our choices these days, that’s not freedom, that’s oppression. And even though I do not partake in the whole “raw foods” thing, these people, in fact all people, should be allowed the freedom to choose what goes into their bodies without the government taxing the hell out of it or raiding a private hippie market with guns, GUNS, drawn to shut it down simply because the FDA is drunk with power!

Dear FDA: Get the fuck out of my fridge!!

Also, San Francisco, give me my damn happy meal toys, you anti-American heathens!!

(h/t @StickeeNotes and @NickGillespie)

November 18, 2010 / Candice

Penn Jillette to TSA: Finish up, and then call the police please.

(h/t: It’s Only Words.)

Last Thursday I was flying to LA on the Midnight flight. I went through security my usual sour stuff. I beeped, of course, and was shuttled to the “toss-em” line. A security guy came over. I assumed the position. I had a button up shirt on that was untucked. He reached around while he was behind me and grabbed around my front pocket. I guess he was going for my flashlight, but the area could have loosely been called “crotch.” I said, “You have to ask me before you touch me or it’s assault.”

He said, “Once you cross that line, I can do whatever I want.”

I said that wasn’t true. I say that I have the option of saying no and not flying. He said, “Are you going to let me search you, or do I just throw you out?”

I said, “Finish up, and then call the police please.”

When he was finished with my shoes, he said, “Okay, you can go.”

I said, “I’d like to see your supervisor and I’d like LVPD to come here as well. I was assaulted by you.”

He said, “You’re free to go, there’s no problem.”

I said, “I have a problem, please send someone over.”

It gets even better so you should read all of it!!

Like Paula (It’s Only Words), my favorite line in the whole story is easily:

“…freedom is kind of a hobby with me, and I have disposable income that I’ll spend to find out how to get people more of it.”

This is my second most favorite line:

The cop says, “Your guy grabbed his crank. That ain’t right.”

God bless Penn. May he never stop being a hilarious champion of freedom.

November 13, 2010 / Candice

Quantitative Easing Explained, or in other words: “The Fed is fucking awful!!”

This. Is. Awesome!! And also scary. Thank God they used the cute cuddly bears and not the weird looking robot people.

Now “I want to bang my head against the wall.”

November 3, 2010 / Candice

Upset of the decade!! Cravaack beats Oberstar!

When I went to bed last night at 2:00am, Chip Cravaack had a 400 vote lead. When I woke up, I had a text message from 4:30 in the morning telling me that Chip Cravaack had won. I flew out of bed, turned on the news and sure enough, CHIP CRAVAACK WON! I sat there…in shock.

Words just cannot express how excited and proud I feel this morning. (Aside from the ‘recount’ business, but I’ll get to that in another post.) This is one of the biggest upsets in MN election history! The fact that an unknown, stay-at-home-dad, retired navy captain and pilot beat 18-term, 50 year Washington insider, “political icon” Jim Oberstar is just….AMAZING. A true David and Goliath story.

I really don’t have much to say here folks. I still feel like I’m dreaming. All the volunteers who put in thousands of hours and Chip’s staff all deserve a round of applause and probably a beer or two. (I’ll buy if we’re ever in the same bar.) They earned it folks. These guys busted their ass and fought an uphill battle the entire way!!

Congrats Congressman Chip Cravaack!!!!! And a CONGRATS STAFF/VOLUNTEERS!!!!!!! You guys don’t get enough credit!! You are awesome!!!!!!

(Ok, I’m done with the excessive use of exclamation marks.)

If you want to read more on this amazing upset, the Star Tribune has a great story. Oberstar ousted after nearly four decades