steroge:

Inauguration Front Pages

Mostly yesterday I was breathing a sigh of relief that this is our next four years, and not the thoroughly dystopian alternative. Let’s make the most of it, okay?

steroge:

Inauguration Front Pages

Mostly yesterday I was breathing a sigh of relief that this is our next four years, and not the thoroughly dystopian alternative. Let’s make the most of it, okay?

Reblog / posted 1 year ago via steroge with 16 notes


Ok, I know before long I’ll be complaining about messed up shit the government is still doing under Obama, but today? I like this dude, ok. 


He did it via a legal loophole that was closed by Congress in 1997:

In 1997, Congress cracked down on a popular tax shelter that allowed rich people to take advantage of the exempt status of charities without actually giving away much money.

Individuals who had already set up these vehicles were allowed to keep them. That included Mitt Romney, then the chief executive officer of Bain Capital, who had just established such an arrangement in June 1996.

In this instance, Romney used the tax-exempt status of a charity — the Mormon Church, according to a 2007 filing — to defer taxes for more than 15 years. At the same time he is benefiting, the trust will probably leave the church with less than what current law requires, according to tax returns obtained by Bloomberg this month through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Here’s the real kicker. The charity will actually get to keep almost none of the money, and everything gets paid back to the Romneys, tax-free.

Romney’s trust was projected to leave to charity an amount with a present value of a little less than 8 percent of the initial contribution, according to an analysis by Friedman. Thus, the specifics of Romney’s trust wouldn’t have passed legal muster if it had been set up 13 months later, he said.

Because the trust’s investments have been earning a return far below its annual payouts to the Romneys, its principal has dwindled rapidly.

Why did he start paying taxes again after 2009? Because he was running for president, and would make his 2010 Tax Returns public (while trying to keep everything before that under wraps until after the election).

Reblog / posted 1 year ago with 3 notes


Top campaign contributors, taken from OpenSecrets.org

Obama on the left, Romney on the right.

Reblog / posted 1 year ago with 34 notes

Fun Fact

Mitt Romney’s father, George W. Romney, also ran for president in 1968, and for awhile was a frontrunner. He lost the Republican nomination to Richard Nixon. He then served in Nixon’s cabinet.

Which is sort of hilarious. And it’s funny that we never talk about Mitt trying to follow in his father’s footsteps (ruthless CEO, governor of an ostensibly liberal state, running for president under a strictly corporate profiteering platform). 

Reblog / posted 1 year ago with 1 note

So Romney “balanced every budget without raising taxes,” did he?

taesangtae:

WOW! How did he accomplish such a feat?

  • Romney’s initial emergency budget proposal for fiscal year 2003 called for $343 million in immediate funding cuts, necessitating layoffs of state employees and cuts in aid to cities and towns for public safety and education.
  • He also proposed cuts in state expenditures for Medicaid, the government program providing health care for the poorest state residents. The cuts included caps in payments to medical providers (one example being through limiting payments for hospital stays to 20 days, no matter how sick the patient), increased stringency of the criteria for Medicaid eligibility, and rationing of access to higher-priced medications for Medicaid patients. Some 36,000 Massachusetts residents lost their Medicaid eligibility.
  • The 2003 emergency budget revision proposal also included funding cuts affecting public colleges and universities, treatment for schizophrenic and other mentally ill patients, and various other social services.
  • Romney’s austerity budget for fiscal year 2004, unveiled just weeks later, included even more substantial cuts in state funding for cities and towns. The final budget passed by the legislature (after overriding Romney’s attempt to make still further cuts using line-item vetoes), cut funding for local aid to many communities by as much as 20 percent. Already struggling to absorb funding cuts from the prior year’s budget, communities across the state were forced to cut services and hike fees, while laying off teachers, police officers, and other municipal workers.
  • To compensate for lost revenue from the state government, communities raised local property tax rates, helping drive up the average residential property tax bill by 22 percent over the course of Romney’s tenure. In response to complaints about the high residential property taxes, Romney supported and signed into law legislation that allowed communities to shift some of the burden of rising property taxes from residential property owners onto business owners.
  • As with the 2003 emergency revision budget, Medicaid funding, which was responsible for more than one-fourth of all state spending and which had been growing rapidly, was targeted for cuts in the 2004 budget. In addition to proposing reductions in payments to hospitals and nursing homes for care of Medicaid patients, and restrictions on Medicaid patients’ access to prescription drugs and eligibility for nursing homes admission, Romney proposed that the low-income Medicaid patients be charged monthly fees for participation in the program, along with co-payments for visits to doctors’ offices.
  • Romney vetoed a funding bill for payment of attorneys representing the poor, declaring that it was more important for the state to balance its books than to pay attorneys, and that the attorneys should provide the services pro bono. The cuts in payments for representation of the indigent provoked outraged attorneys to strike. The plan to remake the court system was unsuccessful.
  • Romney proposed 33 new fees along with increases in 57 existing fees, resulting in higher costs for birth certificates, new car purchases, driver’s learning permits, firearms permits, professional licenses, and billboards advertising, as well as for many state services.
  • Opponents said many of the fees posed a hardship on those who could least afford them, such as fees for the state to provide certification of blindness and a photo identification card for the blind. The proposal also called for a $50 fee for tuberculosis tests and a $400 fee for those who tested positive (the tuberculosis fees were rejected by the legislature).


I urge you to pay attention to all this. As a resident of Massachusetts I have long been critical of his callous attitude towards the people who need help the most. It would be a tragedy if the entire country were to fall into his hands.


When asked about Gun Control, Mitt Romney brings up Single Mothers

That’s very interesting, Mitt.

We’ve had a lot of mass shootings in 2012. Were they caused by single parenting? Were these all young people?

These are just the worst mass public shootings in 2012. 


Let’s notice some things about this: these are not children in single-parent households - with one exception, these are grown men. All but one of them are white men. In the cases I was able to confirm, none of them were raised by single mothers. 


Several of these men were ex-army. Several of them had recently lost their jobs. Several others had recently divorced, broken up, or lost a family member. Some of them had an ongoing history of mental illness.


ALL OF THEM HAD GUNS.
Reblog / posted 1 year ago with 11 notes

The Binder Story Wasn’t Even True

As it turns out, the “binder full of women” was already waiting for him when he became governor. He did not ask for female candidates. A group of women put it together for anyone who took office.

A bipartisan group of women in Massachusetts formed MassGAP to address the problem of few women in senior leadership positions in state government. There were more than 40 organizations involved with the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus (also bipartisan) as the lead sponsor.

They did the research and put together the binder full of women qualified for all the different cabinet positions, agency heads, and authorities and commissions. They presented this binder to Governor Romney when he was elected.

So how DID women fair under Governor Romney?

 First of all, according to MassGAP and MWPC, Romney did appoint 14 women out of his first 33 senior-level appointments, which is a reasonably impressive 42 percent. However, as I have reported before, those were almost all to head departments and agencies that he didn’t care about — and in some cases, that he quite specifically wanted to not really do anything. None of the senior positions Romney cared about — budget, business development, etc. — went to women.

Secondly, a UMass-Boston study found that the percentage of senior-level appointed positions held by women actually declined throughout the Romney administration, from 30.0% prior to his taking office, to 29.7% in July 2004, to 27.6% near the end of his term in November 2006. (It then began rapidly rising when Deval Patrick took office.)

Third, note that in Romney’s story as he tells it, this man who had led and consulted for businesses for 25 years didn’t know any qualified women, or know where to find any qualified women. So what does that say?

Reblog / posted 1 year ago with 44 notes

Why can’t Mitt Romney win his “home” state?

President Obama continues to dominate Mitt Romney in the presidential race in Massachusetts

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Massachusetts Voters shows Obama with 57% support to Romney’s 42%. One percent (1%) is undecided.

Mitt sure loves to point to his tenure as Governor of Massachusetts as an experience that qualifies him for the White House. Yet the state he governed does NOT want him as President, and by a large margin.

Why do you suppose that is?

(As someone who lived under his tenure, I’d say it’s because he was a lousy governor who was just warming the seat on his way to something more lucrative. But that’s just me.)

Reblog / posted 1 year ago with 6 notes

Things Obama has done for me…
  • Bank Overdraft Regulations - Remember how your bank used to manipulate your transactions so that they could hit you with as many overdraft fees as possible if your bank account was overdrawn? I sure as hell do. They’d sit on my power bill payment ($200) until I’d built up enough lunch charges ($4) to overdraw, then blammo - 5 overdraft fees instead of one, which cost me $150. This stuff was KILLING me, and everyone else living paycheck to paycheck. Well, Obama changed the regulations so that now they can only charge you ONE fee when you go over, and your bank card has to decline when you’re overdrawn. This has saved me an untold amount of money over the last year. 
  • Lily Ledbetter Act - This legislation will allow me to sue if I find that my employer has been discriminating against me by paying my male colleagues more for the same work, with no time limit to figure out whether and how much I’m being screwed. Employers will have to think twice before underpaying their female workers thanks to this law. This was the first bill Obama passed back in 2009, and I’m still pretty happy about it. (ps. Paul Ryan voted AGAINST this law)
  • Cut prescription drug costs for Medicare recipients by 50%, which allows my father (a vietnam vet) to buy his diabetes medications after he had to retire earlier than planned for health reasons.
  • Repealed Bush-era restrictions on federal funding for Stem Cell Research, which impacts my entire profession as well as the place that I work and the livelihoods of a number of my coworkers. Not to mention the potential discoveries that are now under development that could impact all of our health in the future!
  • Obama’s Stimulus Package saved my job. About 2% of the funding (something like $18 billion) was directed to non-military scientific research, a good chunk of which went directly to my sector. Before this, we were all afraid for our jobs, and a lot of layoffs were planned. After this, we managed to weather the economic storm with minimal job loss. 

What has Obama done for you?

Reblog / posted 1 year ago with 5 notes

a few reasons why that debate was so depressing
  • the way the media furiously spun Romney’s appearance as though it was some transcendent political performance was a stark reminder of how much the deck is stacked against us. People with money want Romney. People with money own everything. It’s gonna be tough.
  • while it was pretty obvious to me that Romney came off as this lying, fascist bully asshole, apparently a big chunk of America saw this bully asshole and they liked him. It’s incredibly demoralizing to remember that people like bullies, they like power, and they especially like bland white dudes with power. 
  • even as the incumbent President of the United States, Obama is seriously boxed in in terms of how he is able to respond to blatant assholery without getting painted as an Angry Black Man. It’s something we should all know already, but watching it play out it is still fucking depressing.
Reblog / posted 1 year ago with 5 notes

I’m getting pretty close to panicking over the possibility of a President Romney

Is nobody else freaked the fuck out? 

I wasn’t at all worried before, but it’s OCTOBER and the Obama supporters are… asleep? On vacation? In some secluded location planning their next move? What?

WTF you guys. PRESIDENT ROMNEY. Just think about that. The UNMITIGATED DISASTER of that. This guy has no morals or standards whatsoever that I can discern. He’ll do whatever the money tells him to do. The money tells him to bomb Iran, he’ll shrug and inform the Pentagon. 

PRESIDENT ROMNEY. 

We should all be terrified by that possibility.


Just remember - all the media care about is stirring up drama…

And if there isn’t enough drama, they will create some. 

So they are going to act like the election is a lot closer than it really is. All the political media know how to do anymore is the “horse-race” coverage, where you obsess over the polls and the candidates’ strategies. They have to have a competitive contest, otherwise they will have no interest and lose ratings.

Keep it in mind in this last month before the election, because they are going to jump on every little thing as though it will swing the whole election. Obama clinches the election! Now Romney takes the lead! No it’s Obama! Romney’s catching up! No he’s not! 

This is what they do instead of any substantiative coverage of the issues and the candidates. Feel like you just watched a totally different debate than what the newscasters did? That’s because it doesn’t matter what actually happened - they’re shaping a narrative. They are only cherrypicking the parts that will make their narrative more interesting. And when they talk about what “people” are thinking, they cherrypick people who will follow the right script. 

So. Don’t panic. Ignore them for the most part, call them out if they’re blatantly ignoring the facts. They’re nearly obsolete, anyway.

Reblog / posted 1 year ago with 7 notes