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Class warfare

You should read all this for the next time you’re stuck somewhere, listening to a wingnut spout off about “the lower 51% who don’t pay any taxes.” Krugman:

The budget office’s numbers show that the federal tax burden has fallen for all income classes, which itself runs counter to the rhetoric you hear from the usual suspects. But that burden has fallen much more, as a percentage of income, for the wealthy. Partly this reflects big cuts in top income tax rates, but, beyond that, there has been a major shift of taxation away from wealth and toward work: tax rates on corporate profits, capital gains and dividends have all fallen, while the payroll tax — the main tax paid by most workers — has gone up.

And one consequence of the shift of taxation away from wealth and toward work is the creation of many situations in which — just as Warren Buffett and Mr. Obama say — people with multimillion-dollar incomes, who typically derive much of that income from capital gains and other sources that face low taxes, end up paying a lower overall tax rate than middle-class workers. And we’re not talking about a few exceptional cases.
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Oh look

Canadians are racist, too:

LONDON, Ontario – Often as the only black player on his team, growing up in Scarborough, Ontario, Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds dealt with his fair share of racial slurs on the ice as he climbed the hockey ladder.

Few experiences could have prepared him for what happened on Thursday night, as a fan in the John Labatt Centre threw a banana peel at Simmonds as he skated in alone on a shootout attempt during a 4-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings.

“I caught it from the side of my eye,” Simmonds said. “It was a banana. Hopefully, that wasn’t directed towards me being black.

“Because if it was, that’s just somebody being ignorant.”
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Charter schools

It’s been one scandal after another here in Philadelphia. It’s just another bastion of play-for-pay politics:

ALTHOUGH John Porter may not have found a horse’s head in his bed, it was clear that former School Reform Commission Chairman Robert Archie and state Rep. Dwight Evans wanted his charter-school company to disappear, according to a long-awaited report released yesterday.

Joan Markman, the city’s chief integrity officer, found that Archie’s public recusals were “meaningless” and that he worked behind the scenes with Evans to keep Martin Luther King High School under the control of Foundations Inc.

Markman’s report, which includes information gathered from interviews with more than 30 people, details how Evans refused to engage with a parent-led School Advisory Council and”mounted a sustained back-channel effort” for Foundations.

The saga began in March when Evans began to lobby officials, including Archie, a longtime friend, and former Superintendent Arlene Ackerman.

He wanted Foundations to keep the school, despite almost a decade of poor academic results, instead of giving it to Mosaica, a Georgia-based company that was the first choice of parents and the SRC to run the school as a charter this year. Foundations has made thousands in campaign contributions to Evans.
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Another pending government shutdown. Let them do it. Let them be the ones to explain to the American voters why.

Two-year-olds need discipline. Give it to them.

Back in the closet

From tonight’s Republican presidential debate:

Soldier: In 2010 when I was deployed to Iraq I had to lie about who I was, because I’m a gay soldier. I didn’t want to lose my job. My question is, under one of your president sees do you intend to circumvent the progress made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military?

[ Booing ]

Santorum: What we are doing is playing social experimentation with our military right now. That’s tragic. I would just say that going forward we would reinstitute that policy if rick santorum was president. That policy would be reinstituted as far as people in I would not throw them out that would be unfair to them because of the policy of this administration. But we would move forward in conformity with what was happening in the past. Which was sex is not an issue. It should not be an issue. Leave it alone. Keep it to yourself whether you are heterosexual or homosexual.

Also, this.


So last night, after I listened to the recording of my session with the hypnotist, I took deep breaths and told myself to stay calm and undistracted. “Relax!” I said, as I looked in the mirror and brushed my teeth. “Deep breath,” I told myself as I filled a glass of water and swallowed my allergy pills.

Then I sat down on the toilet. Immediately the hinge snapped, the seat went flying and I landed on the floor, right on my butt.

Which, I have to tell you, really fucking harshed my mellow. So much for hypnosis!

Why did the towers collapse?

If this is true, it answers one of the biggest questions about 9-11.

Beck’s subversive little joke is that he’s not singing “My summer girl” on the chorus. “Sun-eyed,” maybe. It sounds like “summer” because that’s the word his melody has set us up to expect…

I’m a lot more interested in cleaning up the environmental toxins that trigger all kinds of cancer than in wearing a pink ribbon:

Yet what many in the breast cancer community are loathe to admit, despite all these lifesaving developments, is that, in fact, we are really no closer to a cure today than we were two decades ago. In 1991, 119 women in the U.S. died of breast cancer every day. Today, that figure is 110 — a victory no one is bragging about. Breast cancer remains the leading cancer killer among women ages 20 to 59; more than 1.4 million new cases are diagnosed annually worldwide. Roughly 5 percent, or 70,000, breast cancer patients are diagnosed at a late stage, after the cancer has metastasized — that rate hasn’t budged since 1975, despite all the medical advances and awareness campaigns. For these women, the prognosis remains grim: Only 1 in 5 will survive five years out. Fundamental questions still elude researchers: Why do a third of all women considered cured by their doctors suffer recurrences? Why are breast cancer rates rising in Asia, where they’ve been historically low? Is it even possible to prevent breast cancer, and if so, how?

A popular gripe among advocates is that too much is spent on awareness campaigns — walks, races, rallies — at the expense of research. (And really, when Snuggies go pink, haven’t we hit our awareness saturation point?) There’s a case to be made for that, of course, but there’s another explanation, one that exposes an ugly, even blasphemous truth of the movement: Breast cancer has made a lot of people very wealthy. The fact is, thousands of people earn a handsome living extending their proverbial pink tin cups, baiting their benefactors with the promise of a cure, as if one were realistically in sight. They divert press, volunteers, and public interest away from other, more legitimate organizations, to say nothing of the money they raise, which, despite the best intentions of donors, doesn’t always go where it’s supposed to.

If you really want savings

End the damned wars.

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