Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Things to Know - 3 October

Clay Bennett
1.  This is a researched news story.  It's about how Mitt Romney is able to amass a great amount of wealth via dubiously a nefarious system nicknamed vulture capitalism, and how that wealth is protected from the normal taxes that most others are obliged to pay.  His method of "vulture capitalism" has been exposed through books, interviews, and good hard journalism.   What this story looks at is how the money made from his Bain "management fees" and investments is shunted to off-shore accounts, and how that wealth is fire--walled blocked through various fences of paper corporations to hide, confuse, and legally defraud the compact that US citizens have with their government to pay a fair share of taxes.   This is all legal, because the IRS tax code is purposefully written by the Republican Party accountants who shove through all the gobbledy-gook language into the language of the tax code.   Getting a real understanding on this system will help us to understand what it is that we need to correct to make a fair reform of the IRS tax system.   It's not that Romney is hiding anything he did illegally, it's that it becomes highly visible evidence of what is wrong with our tax code:

2.  As a follow up to #1, this NY Times editorial reveals that it is Mr. Romney and his club of ultra-rich who are the biggest moochers on the US Treasury.  Their operation is just more elegant and camouflaged:

3.  Michelle Bachmann persists in making herself a viable public spectacle.  So, in an attempt to reach out to Conservatives, she makes an appearance at a local Chicago Jewish Synagogue - The Conservative Anshe Emet Synagogue.  She must have thought that this could not have been a better place to mingle with conservatives, right?   Read on:

4.  The 2012 campaign results may reveal a trend that places the internet over the power of TV as far as effectiveness in getting the political message out.  This article points to that.  I would really feel good if Karl Rove is standing all alone in the ashes of defeat and wonder why the Super Pac spending of hundreds of millions of dollars did not work out for him.  Social media and the internet is where more effective person-to-person electioneering and testimonials get paid attention to these days.  As the computer illiterate become more involved or fade off, the new generation of digital users takes over.  However, it is in the less popular and more local political contests, like state propositions or municipal elections where less general interest is given to the issues (than say presidential contests) where TV advertising may be more affected by by Super Pac money:

5.  Going into the debate this evening, the impact of Mitt's what is now being called his "47% speech" is the big elephant in the room.  He can talk policies on various issues all night long, but that Boca Raton event is probably his most-defining moment of the campaign:

6.  Here's a view and opinion on the national presidential debates from one of its formats founders, Newton Minow.   Bear in mind that other countries look to us as the model and the paragon of democracy in these affairs.   I concur with his opinion that money entering the message delivery system should have no part in it.  Why should the public airways be paid for to provide information to the voters who own the airways in the first place?  That is a discussion for another time:

7.  Romney has made everyone think that he would keep in place the deferred action of deporting undocumented young people that Obama has decreed by executive order.  In affirming his agreement, Mittless reveals that he does not know specifics or that he has no idea of what is going on.   This further adds concern that he just does not get details of what the job entails:

8.  If Steve Lopez can stoop to the trashy spectacle of the former Gov. of California (Ahnold Schwartzenpecker), then I can put him in here.   Like many, I saw the story on 60 MInutes this last Sunday, and again on CBS This Morning, the next day.  If there was ever an example of rating something that was already a big ZERO before, his book writing puts him in the minus or less than zero category.  Why make yourself a horrible piece of trash, when you could have settled for just another chauvinist selfish oaf?:


"Human Dignity has gleamed only now and then and here and there, in lonely splendor, throughout the ages, a hope of the better men, never an achievement of the majority." 
       -- James Thurber
"Posterity is as likely to be wrong as anyone else." 
       -- Heywood Broun
"Newspapermen learn to call a murderer 'an alleged murderer' and the King of England 'the alleged King of England' to avoid libel suits." 
       -- Stephen Leacock
"The whole problem can be stated quite simply by asking, 'Is there a meaning to music?' My answer would be, 'Yes.' And 'Can you state in so many words what the meaning is?' My answer to that would be, 'No.'" 
       -- Aaron Copland

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