Sunday, April 29, 2012

Apple and tax avoidance

The Home Team
Ever wonder why local, state and the federal government are so much in debt?

Well, take a look at the this story from the New York Times.

It details how Apple avoids paying billions in taxes, just like most multinational corporations based in the U.S.

Apple currently has an estimated $74 billion in offshore accounts that it wants to bring back to America, but it has joined with other tech companies in hiring lobbyists to allow these companies to repatriate billions without paying anything in taxes.

Woohoo, another holiday!

What's the upshot for all these corporate tax holidays?

"When America’s most profitable companies pay less, the general public has to pay more,” according to a former Treasury Dept. economist in the Times' story.

Consumers of Apple products already pay a premium over similar products from other companies.

Now, those consumers get the "double Apple," when they have to pay more in taxes because Apple pays less.

There is enough money made by corporations and the wealthy in this country to keep the U.S. from sliding downward in education, health care and overall quality of life.

Apparently, these companies and economic elites would rather see the U.S. decline than pay another dime in taxes.

Corporations believe they shouldn't have to pay any taxes because their employees pay income taxes. However, since the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are people (my friend), it follows that corporations should pay taxes like people.

The other big problem with the tax avoidance schemes practiced by the riches companies in the world is that it sets a bad example to its employees and everyone else.

Employees get their cue from their overlords and then view local and state governments as not worthy of their hard-earned tax dollars and avoid paying them at all costs.

When that happens we have a fundamental breakdown in how a society functions.

Not that anyone cares. 

The Apple honchos, though, may care someday when they can't use our court system to enforce their patents or a military to keep the oceans and skies free for their commerce. 

That won't happen for a long time, but a corporation forfeits protection from our courts and our military when it chooses not to support those institutions through taxes. 

As Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, "Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society."

Friday, April 27, 2012

Just follow the money

"You're missing the overall"
Coming up on the 40-year anniversary of the Watergate scandal and one thing that hasn't changed is this: Money still rules.

And, the more money you have, the more you rule.

Money may not buy happiness, but it sure buys political influence.

In the 1990s, the oil and gas industry donated more to Republicans than Democrats by a 4-to-1 ration.

So far in 2012, oil companies, like Exxon Mobil and Chevron, are pumping millions more at Republicans by a 7-to-1 ratio.

Obviously, the oil companies are ticked off that President Obama has urged ending government subsidies for  big oil.

Poor babies. Exxon Mobil's first-quarter profit fell a staggering 11 percent to only $9.45 billion.

But big oil is not the only area where big money rains on Republicans.

Since the Supreme Court ruled money is speech and corporations are people, about 25 "sugar daddies" are dumping mega-millions into Super PACs to fund Republican causes and candidates, notably the Mitt-wit.

In New York Magazine, Frank Rich has a great analysis of rich, old, white guys who are determined, with their huge assets, to take down Obama.

You would think that the teabagging crowd would distrust the very people who destroyed our economy and side with Democrats. But no, teabaggers are the core of the Republican party.

For decades now, the GOP has been brilliant in convincing working-class Americans to vote against their own interests in favor of the interests of the ultra-rich.

This election could be a defining one in the sense that Americans finally wake up and tell those "sugar daddies" that they just wasted their millions on Mitt.

Wouldn't that be sweet?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Why Mitt's unfit for presidency

There are plenty of reasons why Mitt Romney should NOT be the next president of the United States.

Below is a partial list. It'll need updating anytime the Mitt-wit speaks.

No. 13: Mitt has been running for president for about 5 years now and most Americans have no idea who he really is. It's not sure even Mitt knows.

No. 12: He's completely out of touch with the average American. Putting a car elevator in your massively upsized home in tony La Jolla, Calif., during this Great Recession is a perverse way of saying, "I feel your pain."

No. 11: Mitt wants to shut down Planned Parenthood. Really? Why close a health clinic that doesn't rely on the federal government? And this from a guy who was pro-choice.

No. 10: Mitt changes his positions so often, from immigration to student loans, that his followers have been treated for whiplash. You've heard the joke: A liberal, a conservative and an independent walk into a bar. The bartender says, "Hi, Mitt."

No. 9: Mitt wants to kill the Affordable Care Act even though it is patterned after a health care plan that Mitt championed while governor of liberal Massachusetts. In fact, the individual mandate that everyone buy health insurance is a Republican brainstorm that emanated from conservative "think" tanks.

No. 8: Evidently a fan of Etch-A-Sketch, Mitt is now shaking the mechanical drawing toy so hard that all his ridiculously reactionary positions he adopted during the GOP primaries can be redrawn as centrist doodles. Extra credit: Etch-A-Sketch was invented by a Frenchman.

No. 7: Mitt 's background at Bain Capital is representative of all those swindlers who destroyed the worldwide economy and stole our retirement money. Then they laughed all the way to the Federal Reserve's vaults as they stuffed their pockets with our bailouts.

No. 6: He likes to "fire people." What he means is that he likes to fire American workers, who he thinks make too much money, and replace them with low-wage Chinese and Mexican workers.

No. 5: The Mitt-wit believes $370,000 is chump change, even though it is seven times the national median household income, because it's all he made in speaking fees in 2010 when his overall income was $42 million.

No. 4: "Corporations are people, my friend." In fact, Mitt is merely a walking, talking corporation, which makes him unlike other people. Unfortunately, he's not a job creator.

No. 3: "I'm not concerned about the very poor," Romney said in a Feb. 1 interview. "We have a safety net there." Of course, that safety net was stolen by the wizards of Wall Street. Mitt says so many stupid things that his loose lips could actually sink ships if he were commander in chief.

No. 2: "Let Detroit go bankrupt," was the headline of Mitt's op-ed piece in the New York Times.
Evidently, bailing out the auto companies and saving an estimated 1.4 million jobs was a bad idea. Who knew?

No. 1: Mitt doesn't really believe in America. His financial worth is estimated at $250 million, yet the artful tax dodger stashes money around the world, including the Cayman Islands, in order to avoid paying his fair share of taxes to pay for our military that protects the Mitt-wit's ability to make millions while most Americans struggle. "I pay all the taxes that are legally required and not a dollar more,” Mitt said during a GOP debate. It's one thing for the garden-variety multi-millionaire to conceal his wealth in off-shore tax havens, but it's disgusting when a would-be president essentially says, "I hide my money and so can you." That is not a leader, that is a sleaze-bag.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Vote Telfer, Bagley in primary

It's hard to recommend any Republican for a government job because they don't believe in government.

That being said, it's important for Bend that Republican Chris Telfer be re-elected to the state Senate.

She knows that compromise is not a four-letter word. It's actually 10 letters, but wing-nut Republicans still see it as the dirtiest four-letter word in government, after taxes, of course.

Telfer worked with Democrats to fashion a reasonable redistricting plan, which drew the ire of her primary opponent, and one-time state House representative, Tim Knopp.

Of course, the real issues in the GOP primary, as always, are social issues, essentially abortion and gay rights.

Telfer is not opposed to them, but Knopp is stridently against them.

Knopp will likely win the nomination because of his stances on these social issues.

It was instructive that the local daily came out today and endorsed Knopp, who works for the local builders' association/union, and it also endorsed for county commissioner Tom Greene, a Realtor who once ran the local Realtor's association/union.

The daily paper knows how it's bread is buttered: through ads from Realtors and developers.

Those two entities, as speculators, are responsible for the housing crash that devastated Central Oregon worse than any other region in the state. It even bankrupt Greene, who desperately needs a high-paying government job with health benefits even though he's opposed to government in general.

We don't need Knopp and Greene, and the groups that support them, anywhere near government.

The local Circuit Court Judge race is interesting because four lawyers are vying for the spot.

I don't know any of them, but Beth Bagley gets the nod because, she's smart, young, energetic and is the only woman in the race. She also has a diverse cross-section of the community endorsing her.

We simply need more women in government, particularly in the court system. No, not the Sarah Palin-type who considers ignorance an attribute.

Bagley, a Deschutes County prosecutor, earned her Phi Beta Kappa key and appears more than capable of being a good judge.

Most of the other races in the May 15 primary are uncontested or nominally contested.

Three judges, though, are vying for the same position on the state Supreme Court. Again, don't know them but am partial to the only woman in the race, Nena Cook.

Until women are fully represented in the courts, according to their percentage of the population, we will never be a truly fair and democratic society.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Comparing apples to oranges

Or Republicans to Democrats.

Don't they both say and do outrageous things?

Aren't they just opposite sides of the same coin?

It's common for TV talking heads to claim, and for TV news shows to air, that whenever there is an outrageous statement or action done by a Republican there is an equivalent outrage committed by a Democrat.

But, it's a false equivalency because oftentimes, there is no sense of proportionality to the actions.

Bill Maher took note of the logical fallacy of comparing his trash talk of Sarah Palin with Rush Limbaugh's offensive remarks about a law student.

Everything is equal, according to TV, even when it's most obviously not.

The power of unions equals the power of corporations, TV blares, even though less than 12 percent of the workforce is unionized. Uh, they can't be equal, but journalists are notoriously bad at math.

The "war on women," the GOP tried to assert, is being waged by Democrats because one pundit said, "Ann Romney hasn't worked a day in her life."

But, from March 2011 to March 2012, Republican legislators around the country introduced, and oftentimes enacted, 916 measures that limit women's reproductive freedoms, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

Republicans believe that this can't possibly be called a "war on women" until they get to at least 1,000 bills.

The late Sen. Daniel Moynihan said it best: "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."

But, conservatives have vast troves of their own facts stored at their "think tanks."

Republicans call it "class warfare" when Democrats want to raise taxes on the 1 percent, but they claim fiscal responsibility when they want to raise taxes on the the rest of us.

Republicans have long complained that the media is biased against conservatives.

Mitt-wit Romney recently said "There will be an effort by the, quote, vast left-wing conspiracy to work together to put out their message and attack me."

Of course, he said this on the Breibart News website, which is one of the top right-wing pit-bulls chomping at liberals and Democrats, and is one the more popular sites on the web.

Naturally, facts debunk this "vast left-wing conspiracy."

A recent study notes that the guests on Sunday morning TV political talk shows favor Republicans, almost always white and male, by 70 percent.

To conservatives, this proves a media bias because 70 percent is not 100 percent and to them it should be 100 percent Republicans because they are the only true Americans.

This whole left-wing media claim is bogus.

The top 13 news shows on cable TV in 2011 were all on Fox News, which is a mouthpiece for the GOP. Last year, Fox News was the overall No. 1 cable "news" network for the 10th consecutive.

The top radio talk show host is the GOP's Godfather, Rush Limbaugh, with or without advertisers.

The newspaper with the largest daily circulation in the country is the Wall Street Journal, whose infamous arch-conservative editorial pages now taint regular news coverage since Rupert Murdoch took control of the paper.

Yes, there is left-wing MSNBC, which has limited viewership, and the New York Times, easily the most informative newspaper in the world. The New York Times' weekday circulation is less than half of the Wall Street Journal's.

Again, conservatives point to the fact that there is one left-wing "major" cable TV outlet as proof that the media is biased. You can't mention the New York Times around Republicans because they might stand their ground.

Republicans bark the loudest about bias because they are usually the ones demonstrating it.

Conservatives dominate the message because, by and large, they control the media.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

How to read the presidential polls

National polls either show President Obama slightly ahead, or behind, Mitt Romney.

Yes, pollsters like it that way so they can say they were half right.

In fairness, some pollsters, like Rasmussen, lean right and some, like PPP, lean left.

Actually, national polls, particularly this early in the election cycle, are essentially meaningless.

In fact, they'll be mostly meaningless all the way up to election day.

The only polls that matter are for these states, all in the Eastern time zone: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Virginia and North Carolina.

They are the battleground swing states because Obama and Mitt will focus most of their attention, and withering assaults through TV ads, on those five states.

It'll be 5 p.m. PST on Nov. 6 when those polls close in the five battleground states.

By 6 p.m. PST, the presidential race will be decided. No need to wait for the TV talking heads to tell you.

At seven months out, though, here's what we know so far: Mitt will lose his "home" states of Michigan, Massachusetts, California and, perhaps, New Hampshire. It's safe to say he'll carry his onetime "home" state of Mormon Utah and its six Electoral votes.

Check out this Electoral map for some insight. Right now, it's estimated that Obama has 227 likely Electoral votes, while Mitt has 170. There are 140 Electoral votes up for grabs and only 270 needed to be elected president.

As we learned from the 2000 election, the popular vote means nothing. It's all dependent on the undemocratic Electoral College.

If Obama were to carry Florida (29 EV) and Pennsylvania (20 EV), then he'll be re-elected. Should he lose those two states, but carry Ohio (18 EV), Virginia (13 EV) and North Carolina (15 EV), he'll still win.

If he wins all five of those states, it will be another emphatic victory for Obama.

The average of the polls right now for the battleground states looks like this:

Florida: Obama, +5.0
Ohio: Obama, +8.6
Virginia: Obama, +4.0
North Carolina: Mitt, +2.0
Florida: Obama, +4.2

Of course, much can change in seven months. Mitt could Twitter his way to a lead in those states, but it's more likely that he'll be the Mitt-wit and lose most of them.

Still, voter-suppressing efforts by Republicans could be a factor in the swing states, which could lead to some disturbances at the polls. Whenever Republicans see African-Americans or Hispanics in a voting line they see "voter fraud," which is a non-existent problem ginned up by the GOP.

If you want to follow the most reliable poll guru out there you can read Nate Silver's blog on the New York Times website. Nate was so accurate in 2008 that the Times gobbled up his blog.

You can also check out what the gamblers think at Intrade. Right now, that market is showing a 60 percent chance that Obama will win a second term. Mitt is trading at 38.1 percent.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Buffett rule is new 'trickle-down' theory

While it is true that taxing millionaires at a higher rate will have a minuscule effect on our federal deficit, critics of the so-called Warren "Buffett Rule" miss the most important element of the rule.

It is this: Once the 99 percenters see that the 1 percenters are paying their fair share, commensurate with their wealth, then the rest of us become less resistant to paying our fair share.

It's called leadership.

If you want everyone to pay taxes for the greater good then those with the most should pay more than those who have far less.

And most Americans believe this to be true.

One of the great travesties of the "Reagan Doctrine" is that it promoted the idea that the collective good is someone else's problem, not mine.

We've had more than 30 years of this paradigm, which promotes the fallacy that we can have it all and not have to pay for it.

The "Buffett Rule" is a way to smash that fallacy and to force the filthy rich to invest, through higher taxes, in the country that protected them, through military might and legal means, while they achieved those riches.

American corporations and the uber-rich, such as Mitt Romney, have an estimated 1 trillion in off-shore accounts because they don't want to pay more taxes to their country, for whom young men and women die everyday to protect these elites.

Even former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan said that the Bush tax cuts, which he supported, should expire.

"I am in favor, for the first time in my memory, of raising taxes," Greenspan told an audience last week at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

Communities are coming apart across the country because shared interests are not supported by shared sacrifice.

The poor and the middle class are asked to subsidize the rich when it should be the other way around.

Consequently, the income gap is so wide that not even Donald Trump's hairpiece can cover it.

No one said that being rich meant you were somehow an automatic leader.

But being wealthy demands that 1 percent show more leadership by investing in the country that made those riches possible. That attitude will "trickle down" far more than their charity ever would.

The 1 percent need to step up to the plate and drive home, by example, the idea that we're all in this together.

One nation. Rich and poor.

Work more, earn less!

The guy on the couch in the cartoon could be anyone, but more than likely he is a reporter.

Not that journalists have the worst job in the country.

Out of a list of 200 occupations, the job of a reporter came in at No. 196.

The rankings, from, were based on five criteria: physical demands, work environment, income, stress and hiring outlook. The supporting data came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other government agencies.

What's worse than being a reporter?

Well, they are:

197: Oil rig worker
198: Enlisted military soldier
199: Dairy farmer
200: Lumberjack

The role of a janitor came in at 151.

As you can imagine, software engineer came in No. 1, considering that Apple, Google and Facebook make "casual Friday" look horribly restrictive and punitive.

The hiring outlook for journalists, though, couldn't be worse.

There are stories daily about the cutbacks at media outlets.

Here's hoping that the journalism school at the University of Oregon takes note.

Studying to be a journalist is as relevant to today's job market as being a blacksmith was 50 years ago.

Better fields for would-be journalists include public relations or marketing. The pay is better and there will always be some company out there willing to pay money for someone to buff their public image.

Besides, much of what passes for journalism is really just P.R. for some company or entity. Might as well get a better paying job with real benefits than settle for less with a struggling newspaper.

Or, you can dream on.

Friday, April 13, 2012

A question of priorities

According to Politifact, Oregon spends more on tax breaks for businesses and individuals than on public safety, health and education -- combined.

Even with all the tax breaks we dole out, our unemployment is still higher than the national average. Our business climate is tepid, at best.

These facts became more pertinent this week when Prineville and Crook County approved the 15-year exemption from property taxes for a new Apple data center there.

In exchange, Apple may create --- drum roll please --- 35 jobs in the coming years.

In the meantime, Apple's first data building will employ no one.

As Apple maintains, the iPhone/iPad company has no obligation to create any jobs in America.

And they're right.

Conversely, no American has to buy an Apple product.

Facebook has a large data center up and running near the future Apple project.

Two of the richest companies in the world needed tax breaks from one of the poorest counties in Oregon in order to build there.

Meanwhile, cuts to government services such as education, health care and public safety across the state continue apace.

There is always this whining from the tax-cut crowd in Oregon that we desperately need to invest more in higher education.

Obviously, these folks didn't get much of an education.

When you subtract money from higher education, not to mention all other government services, then you have less money to spend on those "vital" services.

Or, maybe those services aren't vital afterall.

What really matters to Oregonians, anyway?

Is there an app for that?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Post-racial America? Uh, not really

A white/Hispanic man kills a black youth in Florida and does not get arrested, for at least for a month and a half.

Fox News commenters put it all into racist perspective.

A white columnist wrote a racist column for the National Review and, shockingly, lost his job.

But, polling shows that white America isn't paying that much attention to the Florida case.

Apparently, we don't care much about the Tulsa, Okla., case where three blacks were killed and two wounded in random shootings. A white man and a Native American, who considers himself white, were arrested.

And we obviously didn't hear about the case in Georgia in 2005, when a black man stood his ground by shooting and killing a white man who threatened his son and himself at their home with a knife. Naturally, the black man is serving a life sentence. There was little cry of a miscarriage of justice.

Our national obsession with guns, of course, grew even more heated when President Obama won the election in 2008. Gun purchases skyrocketed then and they're picking up now because these paranoid Americans believe Obama will get re-elected and take away their guns like he did last time. Of course, no one took away anyone's guns, but it's hard to convince the NRA and gun-nuts of that fact.

Guns and Obama apparently go hand in hand. Foster Friess, a wealthy Republican who backed Rick Santorum and now backs Mitt Romney, had this to say: “Now that they have trained their barrels on President Obama, I hope his teleprompters are bullet-proof.”

Last month, when Santorum visited a shooting range in Louisiana, a woman screamed that he ought to pretend Obama was his target.

Post-racial America? No, it looks and sounds like racism is alive and well.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Update: Inside the belly of the beast

Well, it didn't take long for Fox News to fire the "mole" who penned some inside dirt for the website Gawker.

It was fun while it lasted.

It looks the blog Gawker has a new contributor who happens to work for Fox News.

Yes, that's a right, a mole.

He, or is it she, provides a little insight into the deceptive practices of this "news" channel.

Here's a sample:

"The (Fox) Nation aggregates news stories, gives them provocative headlines, and invites commenters to weigh in. The comments are fascinating actually, if you can detach yourself enough to view them as sort of the id of the conservative movement. Of course, if you can't detach yourself, then you're going to come away with a diminished view of human decency, because HOLY MOLY THESE PEOPLE DO NOT LIKE THE BLACK PRESIDENT. I'm not saying they dislike him BECAUSE he's black, but a lot of the comments, unprompted, mention the fact that he is black, so what would you say, Dr. Freud?
"The Fox Nation moderators, realizing that they had a problem on their hands, did the absolute bare minimum, hiring one or two college kids to comb the comments for the most egregiously racist postings, and putting in automatic text filters that blocked various key words. Of course the intrepid commenters quickly found ways around these filters using letter substitutions and spacings, which is why many comments complain about our "n@gger president" and the "M u s l i m in the White House."
Here's another nugget:
"So here I am. And I come bearing gifts. The video above is of Mitt Romney and Sean Hannity bantering before the taping of an interview for the "Hannity Vegas Forum" in February. Of note: Romney professes his and his wife Ann's well-known love of horseriding, praising the qualities of the "Austrian Warmbloods" that his wife rides—the are "dressage" horses, he notes—while maintaining his own preference for the "smoother gait" of his own "Missouri foxtrotter."
Now there's nothing wrong with Mitt and his wife loving horseback riding. But remember this video next time Romney attacks Obama for golfing. The inherent elitism and snootiness of golf is NOTHING compared to competitive horseback riding. And I think Mitt loses points with the GOP base for his correct pronunciation of dressage. To GOP-voter ears it sounds not only gay, but even worse, French."

But, you already knew all this about Fox News.
Still, it's reassuring to read about it from someone who actually has the temerity to work at Fox News.

Corporate tax rate is how high?

American corporations want every American to know that they have the highest tax rate in the world at 39.2 percent.

Yet, that isn't what American corporations actually pay in taxes. The real number: 12.1 percent of profits are taxed.

How could that be?

Well, check out this report from last fall.

In fact, tax dodging is so effective that 26 major corporations have negative tax bills.

Yes, that's right, taxpayers pay them billions to make even more money. As as added "bonus," they ship American jobs overseas or south of the border.

It's no wonder, then, that federal tax revenues have plunged to levels not seen since the 1940s.

Oh, and by the way, we have a huge federal deficit.

Can anyone connect the dots?

Monday, April 9, 2012

News you can use

Some noteworthy stories appeared on the web today.

They include:

1) Oregon's Crater Lake is considered one of the 10 most sacred spots on earth along with Mount Sinai in Egypt and Uluru/Ayers Rock in the Australian Outback.

Here's an excerpt from the MSNBC story:

"The Native American Klamath tribe has long considered the lake a sacred site: Their legends say a battle here between the Chief of the Above World and the Chief of the Below World led to the destruction of Mount Mazama (which formed Crater Lake)."

I tend to believe that most natural wonders like Crater Lake are sacred places and should be preserved as long as possible.

2) Birther craziness takes root in New Jersey as 400 turn out in Morris County to hear an author of a book titled, "Where's the Birth Certificate."

From the news item: "Morris Republican chairman John Sette (said) ... 'There’s lots of people who might have outlandish views in every spectrum in politics. We’re open to everybody and we believe in freedom of speech.' "

Okay. Move over Arizona, birthers live on the East Coast, too.

3) Also on the East Coast, in the wake of the Trayvon Martin killing, a Fox affiliate in Florida referred to a neo-Nazi organization as a "another civil rights group."

4) Which leads to a new study pointing out that "low-effort thinking" is linked to conservative politics.

Ya think?

I mean if you watch Fox News, listen to Rush Limbaugh and pore over the Wall Street Journal editorial page, then you have all the information you ever need.

Still, the study's author, Dr. Scott Eidelman noted on The Huffington Post, "Our research shows that low-effort thought promotes political conservatism, not that political conservatives use low-effort thinking."

5) Which leads to the GOP's "war on women" campaign:

After killing an Equal Pay law in Wisconsin, recall-targeted Gov. Scott Walker signed three more bills that restrict abortion and access to contraceptives. As Republicans say, "nothing to see here. There is no war on women."

6) If your blood isn't percolating yet, there is always executive pay to rail against as this New York Times story shows.

Here's an excerpt:

• Among the 100 top-paid C.E.O.s, overall pay last year rose a scant 2 percent from 2010.
• The median chief executive in this group took home $14.4 million — compared with the average annual American salary of $45,230.
• In all, the combined compensation of these 100 C.E.O.s totaled $2.1 billion, the rough equivalent of the estimated annual economic output of Sierra Leone.
7) After item No. 6, it's best to leave on a comedic note provided, of course, by Stephen Colbert. Take particular note of the hilarious bit on Mitt Romney's task of appealing to (Hispanic) voters.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Not much difference between local GOP candidates

Except one.

And it's the only issue that Republican primary voters care about: abortion.

State Sen. Chris Telfer believes existing state abortion laws are fine, according to a report in the local daily about the recent debate between Telfer and her challenger Tim Knopp.

But, she's also quoted in the paper as saying "the choices of others 'may not be my choices.' "

That quote will likely cost her the primary election next month as the diehards will see her as a RINO, Republican in Name Only, instead of the party's real mascot: a big, fat elephant.

That's too bad because Knopp, a former state legislator, believes government should further intrude on people's lives and he supports all kinds of abortion restrictions that have already been rejected by voters and lawmakers.

So much for creating jobs, which Knopp says Telfer has failed to do.

It's a crazy argument because conservatives complain constantly that government can't do anything right and should leave all economic issues to the private sector and the hallowed "invisible hand of the market."

Except when the well-to-do want government handouts and bailouts.

When Republicans say they want to cut government spending, they mean they want less money going to the less fortunate and more money to flow to the well-heeled.

Knopp works for the local builders association/union and they're funding his counter-productive campaign.

Telfer, meanwhile, has been reasonably effective as any state senator in the minority party.

Yes, she voted for the long overdue hike in the gas tax, which is the only thing that has created jobs in  this area during the recession aside from school construction bond measures passed by voters.

Knopp is delusional in thinking that he could create a single job in Central Oregon.

Should he win the primary, which is more than probable, he'll easily win the general election in November because Republican voters enjoy as substantial lead in the district over registered Democrats.

And then, the economy, which is already on the upswing, will improve on its own and Knopp will take all the credit.

It's all garbage.

Telfer is no saint, but she is infinitely more qualified to represent Central Oregon than Knopp, who represents religious extremists and the very industries, such as buildiers and Realtors, that made the recession in the region much worse than it should have been.

It is much better to have Telfer in Salem than Knopp and I urge all  GOP voters to choose Telfer as the Republican candidate in the primary.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

GOP pushing 'social eugenics'

President Obama came out firing today at Republican budget plans for the government calling them "social Darwinism," and a "Trojan Horse" that will impose a "radical vision on our country."

I wouldn't disagree with the president's comments because the GOP budget transfers even more money from the poor, through deep cuts to healthcare and education, to the wealthiest, through huge tax cuts.

Naturally, Republicans claim President Obama is engaging in "class warfare" while they pillage the poor, sack the seniors and trample on the middle class.

Republican contempt for 99 percent of Americans can be read in their own words in this posting.

It was amusing, though, to see the president refer to Darwinism, implying survival of the fittest, because it does not resonate at all with Republicans since most of them don't believe in evolution by natural selection.

In fact, over the past few decades more Republicans, particularly the more educated ones, have a greater distrust of science than ever.

Go figure. There is no way the GOP can be the "education" party when it doesn't even believe one of the basic tenets of modern biology.

Anyway, Obama was being kind by invoking Darwin, who most Americans equate with the "monkey" theory of how we became who we are.

But, Republicans are actually promoting "social eugenics," to improve the genetic makeup of the rich by making life impossible for the poor.

Actually, conservatives just want the problems of the underprivileged to just go away. They want to do this by removing safety nets and financial incentives that would benefit the less fortunate.

And then, Republicans want to brand America as a "Christian nation."

How does increasing the military budget to further obscene levels while slashing taxes even more for the wealthy makes us worthy of being equated with Jesus Christ?

Well, it doesn't.

Republicans prefer class divisions where privileged white males can rub elbows with each other and not have to encounter African-Americans, Hispanics, gays and, even women.

It's an America that never really existed except in the fantasies of a breed of Americans that is slowly, but surely, dying away.

We can only hope.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

All hail the 'job creators!' April Fool's

Couple of articles worth noting that shed light of the richest 1 percent of Americans and all they do for our country.

The first is by Nicholas Kristof that links Wall Street financiers, including Goldman Sachs, with sex trafficking.

Evidently, sex trafficking is job creation to some 1 percenters.

The other is a long piece in Salon titled "How billionaires destroy democracy."

The article's subtitle is: "Wealthy Wall Streeters have rigged the economy and the government against the people."

 So, the next time you hear someone babble on about all the jobs these "heroic capitalists" create by having more money than you can ever imagine, just refer them to these two articles.

It won't change their minds, but, like the ads say, pass it on and help make this a better life.