Sunday, August 28, 2011
Wikileaks : WikiLeaks cables expose Washington’s close ties to Gaddafi.
From the headline I would think US pols are good buddies with Gaddafi but reading the one cable that WSWS linked to doesn't prove the headline. And of course WSWS makes accusation without proof. (i.e. Libyan terrorist group merged with al-queda are now active leaders in the so-called "rebels". Although that may be true as one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter, etc.)
And what would a progressive piece be without the usual accusation of oil, "Cables from 2008 and 2009 raise concerns about US corporations not getting in on billions of dollars in opportunities for infrastructure contracts ..."
Fact is, there are dozens of international oil and gas companies in Libya which are not US. Considering that Russia, China, Iran, Germany, Italy, India, Indonesia, Austria, Canada, Algeria, Great Britain, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Brazil have a stake. Even the US companies that are in Libya today are not the largest producers.
Is the US not supposed to compete for Libyan contracts?
The "left" will not be happy until Joe Blow pays $10/gallon and pulls the thermostat off the wall. Some day Joe Blows will all be closely hogtied in the anti-US whitey doing business propaganda, willingly or not, knowingly or not, all the while demanding the US government stop doing anything but taking care of him. So many so disappointed that Barry is not their Obamao. Give it time. Rome wasn't felled in a day.
If you want to talk about close ties - remember when Billy Carter was a registered agent for Gaddafi? And the $220,000 loan (700,000 in 2010 dollars) to Billy in 1979? Also known as influence peddling and/or billygate.
WSWS also says "Those like Obama, Sarkozy, Cameron and Berlusconi who have branded Gaddafi a criminal to be hunted down and murdered were all his accomplices. All of them collaborated with, armed and supported the Gaddafi regime, as US and European corporations reaped vast profits from Libya’s oil wealth."
Is that why the Libyan "rebels" recently, when they took over areas held by Gaddafi, discovered weapons that were from N. Korea, packed in crates labeled bulldozer parts? Gaddafi also secured arms via Iran. (Though WS may be close to the truth about Sarkozy/France. There's more reason than perfume for the term "french whore".)
In what parallel world did the US collaborate, arm, and support Gaddafi? For decades the US and UN had embargoes against Libya of one sort or another, arms embargo, trade embargo, diplomatic embargo. The US isolated Libya and Gaddafi for a long time. In 1974 Gaddafi nationalized US oil companies and announced an oil embargo.
Sometime post-9/11 Libya/Gaddafi became a potential US friend. But it hasn't worked out. While wiki linkers insinuate US reps chatted warmly with Gaddafi, I would bet behind closed D.C. doors the talk was Muammar is still the fruitcake a-hole he's always been. One or more of the fruitcake's sons might become US new BFF - you just never know when the world's ruling class will throw an entire bloodline under the bus, or oil rig.
But the only "close ties" or accomplice Gaddafi ever had in the US was when Billy was his friend.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:06 AM
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Buffett at it again. He wants to pay more taxes. Heh heh heh. Sure he does. Then he should pay himself more than the $100,000 a year income he gets as CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.
However, his billions are tied up in long-term investments, generated through capital gains and dividends, and the capital gains tax is only around 15%. Is Buffett calling for higher capital gains?
Clinton lowered capital gains tax from 28% to 20% and Bush dropped it to 15%. Taxes on capital gains and dividends are really double taxation. The corporation pays taxes, and then the stockholder pays taxes again when he sells his shares.
Berkshire doesn't pay out dividends so no tax on that for Warren. No tax if he doesn't sell the shares, and Warren doesn't sell his shares - he gives them away to his 5 favorite charitable foundations (Gates Foundation and his own kids' foundations). And while Buffett argued to keep the "estate tax" - why not, since the best way to avoid the death tax was give it away before you're dead, which Buffet and others are doing.
Buffett is a smart man. His true income is not his "taxable" income because of his investment and income generating methods. He invests in stocks on a long-term basis, avoids realization of capital gains, avoids taxes on capital gains by giving to charity the appreciated assets, and holds tax-free municipal bonds.
An increase in capital gains tax or income tax will change little for the rich as they have advisors who know how to manipulate loopholes so the tax they pay is not on their true income. How many times do I have to say that.
If Warren really wants to be fair he should demand a tax on assets, as they do in Switzerland. Probably wouldn't hurt Buffett as he owns a simple life in Omaha - but many super rich hold mega assets.
Remember Donald Trump's 2000 proposal of a one-time 14.25% wealth tax on the net worth of individuals and trusts worth $10 million or more. Trump claimed that this would generate $5.7 trillion in new taxes, which could be used to eliminate the national debt. Kinda makes me wonder, how would tax advisors get their clients assets out of that tax. Nonprofit foundation anyone?
Posted by Kate-A at 9:06 PM
Saturday, August 20, 2011
After decades and decades of life experience it has dawned on me that there really is nothing much that can be done by the "common" folks to effect change, if for no other reason than Average Joe gets his opinion from media outlets who delight in screwing his head on for him. Once, yes, Joe might have had an honest effect, when the nation was younger, less bureaucracy, fewer bureaucrats, smaller government. But with population growth, and it's only getting worse, the common folk have little to no say in either how they are governed or by whom. In 2000 the US population was predicted to be 1 billion by 2100 but the same guesstimators predicted 300 million by 2050, way off their guesstimate. At the current rate of breeding and immigration, expect 1 billion Americans by 2050. But by then government control will be so tight that all knothead Americans will accept their place in the order of the universe.
Just take a look at Google headlines a few minutes ago to see what interests Joe:
* Top Stories
West Memphis 3
Gaddafi - US messing around where we don't belong, again, Obama's war of liberation.
Kardashian - please stop the worship of this heifer and her family. Her stepdaddy Bruce Jenner is one procedure away from being a male Joan Rivers. When will folks tire of phony people on reality t.v.
Manning - footballer with a bad neck, oh woe are the Colts but no scandal, such as electrocuting and hanging dogs. Or behaving like college players accepting money, prostitutes, and paying for abortions.
Mobile Industry - the hottest cell phone! I'm still trying to understand how millions of Americans living in poverty continue to afford cell phones. Have they figured out a scheme where the government pays the monthly bill that I don't know about?
Faison - black t.v. celebrity engaged to a white girl named Cacee who once was an assistant to Jessica Simpson. Isn't it cute how white folks now mimic Sheani'quisha when naming their kids - creative trailer-ish spellings are everywhere. Free to be Sheelee or Caylee or Madysen. Oh well, at least white folks can still pronounce their names.
Palin - will she or won't she run (does anyone really care?). Palin is to liberated conservatives what Kardashian is to ... to ... moral liberals? Lol.
West Memphis 3 - see how Johnny Deppstick and publicity can free 3 child killers by insisting that 2 hairs "consistent" with someone else means the 3 didn't do it. Even though the hairs were family members and could easily have transferred to the victims clothing innocently enough. We've reached the point that unless a perp leaves a truck load of DNA on the victim, perps will go free. Never mind a mountain of circumstantial evidence and even confessions (just recant later). Or if your name is Casey Anthony, then a hair with a death band has no significance because daddy George did something. Americans becoming so addle brained they can no longer serve justice. The progressive dream of no prisons may come true - no guilty, no inmates. Shangri la la land. Ohhmmmmmmmmm.
Armstrong - reality celeb hangs himself with extension cord. Reality t.v. made him crazy. Or was it his overspending, monstrous grinning plastic wife Taylor (Barbie)? Was it the $50,000 birthday party for their 5-year-old daughter? Is it further proof that even the rich have money problems and when the government redistributes the wealth we can all hang ourselves.
Steinem - too late to duct tape her mouth. Steinem interview with bloggers : "Reese Witherspoon, whom I don't know very well, told me she did Legally Blonde because of me. I said, 'No kidding. How come?' And she said, 'Because I heard you say you should be able to dress any way you f--ing well please and be safe.'' A concussion wave went through the room. The bloggers, momentarily distracted from their laptops, realized they had just been part of a moment."
What? What moment? The writer's hyperbole moment? In Legally Blonde Witherspoon never wore anything that showed everything. These days men have so little respect for the "fairer sex" that a female isn't safe in ankle length burlap bags and hijab. The only concussion felt was by those women who believed it's okay to have abortions, okay to have babies alone, and okay to be "liberated" and do whatever the celebrifakes do. Steinem did nothing more than enlarge the work pool of uneducated, single struggling mommas for corporations needing cheap labor. Women are more sex object today than ever. A few more female CEOs and female pols have done nothing to improve anything for women - unless you believe subsided housing and childcare and foodstamps are liberating. By the way, Gloria wants to boycott the Playboy Club. I'm sure her fans will do that - after their shopping spree at Victoria's Secret. ;)
Israel - 80 rockets fired into southern Israel from Gaza. Well, if the Jews would leave, the Palestinians would not have to bomb them, right? Can't Palestine just accept the Jews were only looking for a better life for their families when they displaced Palestinian workers ... oops, no, that's the US border problem.
I saw nothing about the economy - even when I do it's either "the sky is falling" or "things are looking up" depending on which outlet and which political party is in the oval office.
Speaking of the oval office, tell Obama to water the yard. Just look at that pic I took a couple of weeks ago.
Posted by Kate-A at 11:03 PM