Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Move Over Simpson-Bowles…There’s a New Plan in Town

Move Over Simpson-Bowles…There’s a New Plan in Town

A very Clinton like plan not very complicated.  Current policy is current taxes, current law is what happens after the temporary Bush tax cuts go away.

From The Center for American Progress which drew upon some of the Clinton policy experts. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Naomi Klien seems radical to many in the US, she's just from Canada

"I actually had a child five months ago in a public hospital and never got a bill. Seems pretty amazing."

Friday, November 09, 2012

Move to Facebook going well

More and more followers. Ran an advertising campaign for Obama in swing states in what seemed like persuadable demographics with 98,000 favorable impressions the last week.

Just wrote a comment on Ace of Spades blog where he is shocked, shocked that The Romney campaign is lying and saying their untested GOTV day of the election campaign didn't totally fail.

Might as well add it here.

Imagine that, a campaign known for unprecedented lying is still lying. Meanwhile I had the loosest* connection to the Obama campaign and received email and Facebook messages election day about contacting particular friends on Facebook in battleground states and see if they had voted yet.
* I was running my own Facebook adv. impression campaign in toss-up states to likely women persuadable voters using the photo of Obama hugging a women standing beside Christie (Real Bipartisanship) or the granddaughter of Ike and her intelligent reasons she couldn't vote Republican this year. Don't know if I motivated anyone to get out and vote but 98,000 favorable impressions couldn't hurt.
Those of us who listened, watched and read from the reality based community were not surprised at all by the election results.
Far from the mainstream media being biased it was the "Fair and Balanced" media that were severely biased and did not inform their viewers but kept them riled up with propaganda instead of facts.
If you were surprised, it seems you were very surprised, please reflect on your choice of media and add some balance and perhaps you won't be fooled again.
We actually would like rational opponents with real facts to debate how to solve problems, not those we have to contact when the real world finally unmistakably intrudes to just say "We told you so."

Go to my Facebook page for frequent news and comments for liberals and anti-authoritarians.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Alternate Universes

For most polls this election has a simple story. Obama lead from the beginning, had a bad first debate where suddenly Romney seemed credible and they were tied, and Obama has been inching and trying to claw his way back up and now leads by less then a point.

This is shown by all nearly all polls. I am only going to exclude two pollsters out of dozens to show this.

There are two pollsters who have strong Republican leanings and were not very accurate in the 2008 and 2010 elections compared to others. Rasmussen is known as a Republican lean poll and is the only one who excludes cell phones and weights its polls according to what it thinks the turnout by party will be. Gallup has a long history but has become very conservative and has been criticized for recently overweighting the South on national polls, some wrong methodology, and using a likely voter model that induces big swings that makes sure that Gallup polls are often talked about. Unfortunately because of their conservative bias and frequency these are the pollsters Republicans and conservatives almost exclusively use, when they aren't criticizing all polls and not recognizing the science behind polling.

Here is the conservative poll story using just Gallup and Rasmussen. The polls varied often after Romney got the nomination with both sides having leads until early summer where Obama got the lead and kept it until the first debate. After the first debate Romney took the lead has been increasing his lead almost daily until it is now four points.

Because of their methodologies and recent history I go with the average of all the other pollsters and think the Gallup and Rasmussen polls have it wrong.

Surprise! A Romney adviser is lying about ObamaCare

Run Everybody! Avik Roy is Coming!

Someone paid by the Romney campaign promotes himself as a healthcare expert and goes on popular website to write articles about how expensive Obama is going to make insurance.  Just carefully reading his latest articles, coincidentally aimed at very close swing states, should reveal to anyone his blatant lies.

This link at a non-profit goes into a bit more detail on how Avik Roy transforms a 1 to 3% cost increase into a 55 to 85% increase.

Please hurry and let Romney's Lying Express be over.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

More Texas Republican Voter Fraud

I am turning over my post today to Jacob Limon of the TDP.

True the Vote and the King Street Patriots Get Caught With Their Pants Down - Confirm They Are Only Concerned With One Kind of "Voter Fraud"

The Republican candidate for County Commissioner in Fort Bend County voted in the general elections in both Texas and Pennsylvania in 2006, 2008, and 2010. In all three cases, he voted by mail in Pennsylvania and then fraudulently voted in person in Texas.

Bruce J. Fleming of Sugar Land, age 60, is the Republican nominee for County Commissioner in Precinct 1 in Fort Bend County. His financial disclosure records show that he owns a homesteaded property in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, along with his homesteaded property in Sugar Land, Texas. Records from Bucks County show that a Bruce J Fleming with the same birth date and property address as the Bruce Fleming in Fort Bend County voted in Bucks County in the last three general elections with a mail ballot. He also voted in person in Fort Bend County in those same three elections.

Bruce Fleming is running against Fort Bend County Democratic incumbent county commissioner Richard Morrison. Fleming remains on the voter rolls in Pennsylvania although he registered in Texas in July of 2006. It also appears that Fleming’s wife, Nancy, voted in both elections in 2010.

Ironically, Catherine Renee Engelbrecht, President of the radical rightwing True The Vote and King Street Patriots lives and votes in the commissioner precinct in which Fleming is running. Fort Bend County records show that Engelbrecht voted in the Republican primary and in the runoff election that gave Fleming the Republican nomination. Obviously, Engelbrecht and True the Vote are unconcerned about the most common form of voter fraud – ballot by mail.

Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said, “Here is Ms. Engelbrecht gallivanting around the country drawing attention to herself about imaginary voter fraud while her own Republican county commissioner candidate is a serial fraudulent voter. This is not voter fraud in her backyard. This is voter fraud in her living room.”

Why should we take True the Vote seriously when they are not at all concerned about real voter fraud? They simply want to deny voting rights to Democrats. Ms. Engelbrecht needs to true the vote in her own house before she attempts to deny votes to honest voters across America,” Hinojosa continued. “We do, however, take True the Vote seriously. We believe they are seriously dangerous to democracy.”

“Additionally, I call on Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to quit wasting taxpayer money on wild eyed conspiracy theories about voter identification and pay attention to real voter fraud in Texas by Republicans. This is a third degree felony, and would be a second degree felony under current Texas law. Let’s see if Greg Abbott has any money left after his losing battle in Texas courts to restrict honest voters. I challenge Abbott to prosecute this crime against the decency of the State of Texas,” Hinojosa concluded.

Unfortunately we know by now that Abbott is not interested in voter fraud. Abbott is only interested in suppressing the voter of students, the elderly and minorities.

The Texas Democratic Party sued King Street Patriots after the 2008 election for their illegal tactics and won. The case is on appeal now before the Austin Court of Appeals. It is a shame that only one political party, the Texas Democratic Party, will stand up for all voters in Texas no matter how they want to vote. Nevertheless, TDP will continue to pursue vote suppressers in public and at the courthouse until we leadership in state government that believes in democracy.


Jacob Limon

I see that Juanita Jean's first broke the story.

UPDATE - Flemming confesses to committing a felony - voter fraud. He didn't mention the tax fraud of claiming two homestead exemptions

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Without Paul Ryan Medicare ax, GOP budget still in red

Without Paul Ryan Medicare ax, GOP budget still in red - David Rogers This confirms my prior post about the Ryan plan but adds one detail: compared to his first plan he cut thousands more from senior's Medicare vouchers/rebates to cut taxes further for millionaires. 

The other statesments I made about the Romney-Ryan plan below still apply.  It has trillions in unsupported assumptions about economic growth, the magic "fairy dust" sprinkled in heaps; asserts Republicans will raise taxes in unspecified eliminations of popular deductions; asserts they will also make further drastic cuts in popular programs in addition to the steep cuts already in the proposal; and still runs deficits until 2040.  It has been revised by Romney on the campaign trail to not cut $700 billion from Medicare in the early years -- which means the balanced budget by 2040 no longer applies.

The conclusion I reached in my prior post applies even more - the entire buget proposal is massive cuts for millionair's taxes and hang everything else which is just busy work to call it a budget.  "The real Romney-Ryan tax and budget plan is simple - reduce Romney's taxes and hang everything else. That is the plan, all the other words and goals and statements about the deficit and everything else don't matter - the plan is to cut taxes for the 1%."


Sunday, August 19, 2012

What is the Romney-Ryan Plan - Explained

It actually has changed over time due to Romney flip-flops but I'll get to that later.

Te best nonpartisan analysis is the CBO report on the first version (pdf). Some details change, but the general idea remains the same.

For the first ten years Romney-Ryan (1) converts Medicaid into a block grant program, with much lower funding than projected under current law and (2) sharp cuts in top tax rates and corporate taxes. Note this doesn't reduce the deficit, it’s a tradeoff of reduced aid to the poor for reduced taxes on the rich with much higher tax reductions than savings.

How do they claim a big deficit reduction? The answer is two big “magic asterisks”. The first is Congress, with Republican control, will increase taxes in a broadening but unspecified way. Remember, these are GOP Congresspeople who never vote for tax increases and sign pledges to never do so but somehow they will. Expert opinion is that this will never happen especially with the magnitude of the tax increases this plan needs. The second "magic asterisk" is discretionary spending being cut in half as a percentage of GDP with details not specified. No proposals are specified on the massive cuts to popular programs needed.

After ten years Medicare is transformed into a mainly private insurance plan scheme with the government providing money, in the first plan vouchers, for people to buy this insurance. However, this second phase doesn't count on Medicare savings for deficit reduction but instead on further unspecified cuts in government programs that were already reduced 50% in the first ten years. Discretionary spending, which includes the military currently at 4% of GDP, is supposed to fall to 3.75% from the current 12.5%.

Nobel prize winning economist Paul Krugman summarizes:
Ryan basically proposes three big things: slashing Medicaid, cutting taxes on corporations and high-income people, and replacing Medicare with a drastically less well funded voucher system. These concrete proposals would, taken together, actually increase the deficit for the first decade and beyond.

All the claims of major deficit reduction therefore rest on the magic asterisks. In that sense, this isn’t even a plan, it’s just a set of assertions.

Putting some numbers on this fantasy wish list - tax cuts for millionaires and corporations $4.3 trillion. Off set that with cutting Medicaid $0.8 trillion, add somewhat less than $1.0 trillion in cuts to education, food stamps, job training, everything else, and lastly in this first version cut $0.7 trillion in Medicare. That's it, there isn't nothing more except for the "magic asterisks" that say the Republicans in the House will raise taxes and find more cuts. So $2.6 trillion INCREASE in the deficit in the first ten years as no one expects the Republicans to pull the magic unicorns out of their asses and raise taxes and cut the military and cut all programs even more than the $1.0 trillion already assumed.

For the second version of the plan released in 2012 replace vouchers for Medicare with another form of payments to individuals to pay for private insurance that are just like vouchers, but not vouchers because people don't like vouchers, instead it is called premium support. The savings from Medicare come from the government payments being less than what the plans cost and that gap increases each year. That is the basis of Democratic advertisements, you pay more for Medicare under the Romney endorsed Ryan plan and that quickly mounts to many thousands of dollars each year.

Ryan budget two moved balancing the budget back to 2040, 28 years of deficits!, because no one liked the cuts proposed. There were some specifics - all deductions and credits on the income tax form eliminated, hope you didn't need any of them, in favor of somewhat lower rates. Reduce the top corporate rate to 25% from 35%, part of why corporate giving of hundreds of millions has swung to Romney. The military budget is held constant with inflation, there goes the only real spot to cut hundreds of billions but it does preserve the Republican campaign donation stream. Ryan 2 reduces discretionary spending 2% in 2013 from prior budget by another cut by fiat with no details. Overall, except for what I just mentioned, more vagueness in cuts and taxes. Here is a chart of the Republican fantasy federal budget.

The Romney plan based on the Ryan plan expanded the vagueness but set five tax goals and added sweeteners for billionaire and big business, must keep those contributions coming. The five goals dooming the mathematics of the Romney tax plan are: 1. Tax reform must be revenue neutral but 2.) must reduce income rates by 20% and 3.) must preserve or increase deductions for investments. 4.) Eliminate the Estate Tax. 5.) Get rid of the Alternate Minimum Tax.

A problem: just using those assumptions independent analysts that Romney had praised in getting the nomination found the plan would greatly reduce tax rates for millionaires and increase income taxes for everyone else. The Republicans cried foul for injecting facts into the debate. After consulting with the Romney camp and other conservative Republicans the analysts issued another report sticking by their conclusions: voting for Romney will increase your taxes for the great majority of people. Even ending the tax exmption for government bonds and insurance investments, violating plank 3 but a Republican suggestion, and even allowing for increased growth because of the magic fairies who love small government, your taxes will go up.

After being hammered by the media and Democrats about the Medicare cuts Romney flip-flopped last Sunday to say he would not cut Medicare by $0.7 trillion. That increases the deficit under the Romney plan by $0.7 trillion to $3.3 trillion in the first ten years. I should point out that Obama's $0.7 trillion in Medicare SAVINGS expanded and provided more Medicare and health care benefits and also that overall ObamaCare reduced the deficit according to the CBO but that the same savings in the Ryan plan did not expand health care. Now the repeal of Ryan's cuts by Romney just adds to the deficit. Romney says he will use the $0.7 trillion to extend Medicare's life until it is fixed. But Romney has flipped-flopped on so many issues, in this case Medicare in just a few days, so often can anyone trust him? Originally Romney-Ryan plans just took the $0.7 trillion out of Medicare causing it to run out of money in 2016 so this flip improves that at the cost of the budget deficit.

The fact that Romney's plan is mathematically impossible is not the worst problem. The fact that Republicans repeatedly and routinely lie about what they will do (it just came out that the GOP has issued a directive to candidates to not use the words "entitlement reform" or "privatization") is not the worst problem. The problem is that Republicans will say and do anything to get elected and then sprinkle magic pixie dust on their policies claiming one thing while actually doing what they have done for decades - reduce taxes on the rich and hang everything else. Romney is just a more obvious example of that.

The real Romney-Ryan tax and budget plan is simple - reduce Romney's taxes and hang everything else. That is the plan, all the other words and goals and statements about the deficit and everything else don't matter - the plan is to cut taxes for the 1%.

Monday, August 13, 2012

New Location - Facebook

For the last several years I have been posting most liberal news on my Facebook page - Gary Denton.

They will now be posted on the Facebook Easter Lemming Liberal News Page.

See you there.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Economy is based on Demand

The Economy is based on Demand for Goods and Services.
Additional demand is what tells Business to go out and Hire New Employees.
No Additional Demand, No New Jobs.
Give a million dollar tax break to someone that makes 10 million a Year.
That extra million ends up in a stock portfolio of some other investment.
The Velocity of that million dollars is Zero.
New Demand is Zero.
Give that same Million to the People at the bottom.
That Million dollars goes BACK into the Economy at the Speed of Light.
It gets spent on Food, Housing, Gas, utilities.
The Velocity of that Million is Very High.
Every place that money is spent sees New Demand.
The New Demand At the BOTTOM creates NEW Jobs.
Tax Cuts for the Wealthy do NOT.


Friday, May 18, 2012

The Texas Progressive Alliance reminds everyone that early voting has begun as it brings you this week's blog roundup.

Off the Kuff finished his interview tour of Texas with a conversation with Domingo Garcia in CD33.

BossKitty at TruthHugger will not weigh in, whether or not the truth was actually served in court, when a black lady fired a warning shot into a wall. Firing a gun in irresponsible ways is natural in Texas. But, Florida has contradictory laws that allow courts to pick and choose who gets punished for similar irresponsible behavior. You can decide for yourself how good a job of it they do.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry came to Williamson County this week, he endorsed John Bradley for DA. WCNews at Eye On Williamson has the rest of the story, Birds of a feather.

It was a good week to be gay if you were Barack Obama and John Carona, and a bad week to be gay if you were Mitt Romney and Dan Patrick. And if you think that's confusing, wait until you read what PDiddie at Brains and Eggs said about Greg Abbott's rose petals and Joe Arpaio's pink panties.

Lewisville Texan Journal looks at Republican candidate for HD 106, Pat Fallon's residence, and addresses whether he committed voter fraud by voting from an address where he apparently did not live.

At TexasKaos, lightseeker asks Could the Education Cuts be the beginning of the End for Texas Republican? Check out the details.

Neil at Texas Liberal endorsed Sean Hubbard in the Democratic primary for the open U.S. Senate seat.

Friday, March 09, 2012

A New Democrat Cheers Me Up

I was feeling depressed by a friend of a friend writing that he thought it was "scary Fascism" the criticism Rush Limbaugh was getting and all the sponsors dropping his show over his hours of insults to a young women who testified why contraception is a health issue that should be covered by insurance. I looked up where the friend of a friend was coming from and as far as I could tell he was only getting information from a far right collection of media sites, both written and broadcast. Then I have someone else who says he has an open mind but apparently relaxes by listening to crazy right-wing media clowns. But then I read something on my friends Facebook page that made me happier.

To my first mentor,

I've finally done it. I just wanted you to know that. After a decade since first meeting you and having my eyes opened to the world, I finally caved in.

Today, the 9th of March, 2012, I donated money to the Democratic Party. I'm part of the family now. It's Facebook official.

Just thought you ought to know.


Really it wasn't that hard to make the switch. I've been irritated with the Republican Party for quite some time. They touted conservatism and freedom and liberty, all the while serving as this unholy alliance between big businesses who pay zero dollars in taxes and evangelical diehards who want to institute private ideology into public policy.

The tipping point however, came from Rush Limbaugh and his 60+ comments about the "slutty" young woman who bravely stood in front of the national headlights.

When the Republicans only lukewarmly moved away from the radio host, I was appalled. No one should treat another American citizen like that. And especially not when they made it abundantly clear that they didn't bother to read her testimony or base their arguments in facts.

The glaring truth stood there. The more I read, the more I disagree with them on almost every issue. Not only this, but they as a group wish to destroy all my rights and privileges, all under a guise of freedom. It's disgusting. That sir, was the tipping point.

Congratulations for opening your eyes, new Democrat. Maybe there is hope yet.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Stocks better than Social Security? Think Again.

What if you could have followed the GOP advice and pulled all of your Social Security money into the stock market in 2000. How much money, in both nominal and real terms would you have now?

At the end of Bush's eight disastrous years you would have lost half of your money, more if inflation adjusted.

Since Obama's policies went into effect you would have doubled your money since that low point.

Republicans, bad for the stock market, bad advice, bad for everyone.

From Three U.S. Indexes Since 2000.

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Conservative Book

I have a reasonably frequent commenter and blogger who has written a book.

I confess I more often find his observations and questions clueless and questionable despite his claims of centrism. In looking at his book via the free link I see one explanation. He watches and listens to Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck to get historical context! I think that is about as useful as reading Karl Marx to get the thinking of the University of Chicago economists or using the false histories of theocrats to understand the Constitution.

Where to begin... I have to confess my own failures to persuade conservatives after giving them what I thought were very informative books that start from where they are coming from. A case in point is giving my ex-father-in-law Blinded By the Right which is the story of how one of the Republicans biggest propagandists suddenly couldn't do it any more that was also influenced by his coming out as gay. My ex-father-in-law thought he was a mixed-up confused man, ignoring the story I saw of a powerful well-financed group using media propaganda to pursue their economic self interests.

Some of the people I read and listen to most started as hard-core Republicans and left the Party. I find them much more coherent than those who were Marxists when young, both those who moved to the opposite extreme and those who stayed. I think there are habits of thinking that continue to influence you as you get older and I am very interested in those studying the differences in morals of liberals and conservatives where it is clear to me those are still appropriate and convenient terms.


The man who drew this cover:

Objected to this family cover.

More here on David Dorman controversy.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The shame of being a conservative has never been greater.

We've been doing the Reaganomics thing for thirty years now, more or less, and if it had all worked the way they were selling it to us, we'd be in economic Nirvana by now, not facing the prospect of one out of every two Americans in or near poverty. It's a real world study: cutting taxes, destroying the social safety net, and deregulating industry have all been tried, repeatedly, and failed utterly. Time for a new economic paradigm, or rather, time to return to FDR's New Deal.