Tuesday, August 30, 2011
theocrat Rick Perry's reading list: A how-to on converting Jews and Muslims to Christianity #p2 #tcot
[O]ne of the books the Texas governor says he's reading lately, Charles Stanley's Turning the Tide, sounds a bit extreme. Although it's described by Politico as "a Baptist pastor's how-to for Christian conservatives who want to change the country's direction," some choice excerpts from the actual words inside reveal "change the country's direction" to be something of a euphemism for "convert all Jews and Muslims because they are heathens."
As Mother Jones notes, the "tide" in the title is actually a "tsunami of death and depravity that we're running out of time to thwart." Then there's this, from Stanley: "Pray for God's protection against terrorism and ask that Muslims throughout the world will come to know Jesus as their Savior."
The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza, who recently detailed Michele Bachmann's own penchant for batty religious writings, tweeted some additional excerpts from the Stanley book, including "pray that Jews worldwide will accept Him as their Savior," and, "May the people of Israel acknowledge their guilt, seek Your face, and accept Your Son -- the Messiah."
So it's essentially a book about how people of all creeds and religions should come together in harmony to worship Jesus Christ as their savior, and if they don't we're going to be buried beneath a sea of depravity and chaos and restaurants that are open on the wrong holidays.
I don't think this is going to hurt Perry in any way: It seems perfectly consistent with his positioning as Head Jesus Guy, the candidate who is most ostentatious in their public prayer and godbothering. The people that like Perry would very much like all the Jews and Muslims to be converted, and have no issues with believing that all those folks are not only going to hell, but dooming the rest of America as well. No doubt many of them even have bumper stickers to that effect.
Among the things that are not extreme these days: banning mosques because we don't trust Muslim Americans (see: Herman Cain), hanging around with people who still believe witchcraft is responsible for misfortunes (see: Sarah Palin), blaming earthquakes and hurricanes on God wanting to send abstract messages to people, but having atrocious aim (see: any number of supposedly serious national preacher-types), and wanting to bring about the Apocalypse, because dooming everyone else on the planet to trials and tribulations and mass destruction and flaming sky ponies is a small price to pay to prove once and for all to those bastards down the street that you really were one of God's chosen ones (ibid). Saying America is doomed if we don't convert all the Jews and Muslims to evangelical Christianity is pretty old-school stuff, all told.
There is a strong tendency to brush this sort of thing off; we've become so inured to religious intolerance, when it's coming from the evangelical Christian side of the fence, that it hardly ever seems worth pointing it out. But maybe we shouldn't be inured to it. It would be a dismal thing indeed, if we elevated religious bigotry on behalf of one particular sub-sect of one particular religion into being a prime duty of the presidency, and there is a large percentage of America that would like nothing less than that. I'm not really sure Rick Perry immersing himself in a good, thorough read of My Pet Heathen is what America needs.
With the summer wedding season still in full swing, the Internal Revenue Service advises the soon-to-be married and the just married to review their changing tax status.
If you recently got married or are planning a wedding, the last thing on your mind is taxes. However, there are some important steps you need to take to avoid stress at tax time.
Here are seven tips for newlyweds:
1. Notify the Social Security Administration. Report any name change to the Social Security Administration so your name and Social Security number will match when you file your next tax return. File a Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card, at your local SSA office. The form is available on Social Security Administration's Web site at ssa.gov, by calling 800-772-1213 or at local offices.
2. Notify the IRS if you move. If you have a new address you should notify the IRS by sending Form 8822, Change of Address. You may download Form 8822 from IRS.gov or order it by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
3. Notify the U.S. Postal Service.You should also notify the U.S. Postal Service when you move so it can forward any IRS correspondence or refunds.
4. Notify your employer. Report any name and address changes to your employer(s) to make sure you receive your Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, after the end of the year.
5. Check your withholding. If both you and your spouse work, your combined income may place you in a higher tax bracket. You can use the IRS Withholding Calculator available on irs.gov to assist you in determining the correct amount of withholding needed for your new filing status. The IRS Withholding Calculator will give you the information you need to complete a new Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate. You can fill it out and print it online and then give the form to your employer(s) so they withhold the correct amount from your pay.
6. Select the right tax form. Choosing the right individual income tax form can help save money. Newly married taxpayers may find that they now have enough deductions to itemize on their tax returns. Itemized deductions must be claimed on a Form 1040, not a 1040A or 1040EZ.
7. Choose the best filing status. A person's marital status on Dec. 31 determines whether the person is considered married for that year. Generally, the tax law allows married couples to choose to file their federal income tax return either jointly or separately in any given year. Figuring the tax both ways can determine which filing status will result in the lowest tax, but usually filing jointly is more beneficial.
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- U.S. District Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn has decided to block Alabama's new immigration law for a month to give herself more time to rule on whether parts or all of the far-reaching laware constitutional.
It was set to go into effect Sept. 1.
The court announced the one-month preliminary injunction at 1:30 p.m. today and said the temporary stay is not based on the merits of the law. The injunction would be lifted prior to Sept. 29 if Blackburn issues her ruling in the case.
The U.S. Department of Justice, an array of civil rights groups and theleaders of Alabama's Catholic, Episcopal and United Methodist churches have all sued to block the law, which offers a host of criminal and civil penalties for illegal immigrants and those who harbor, transport, rent to, employ and enter contracts with them. At a hearing last week in Birmingham, the plaintiffs argued that Blackburn should issue an injunction blocking its implementation.
The Alabama Legislature this spring passed what officials have called the strongest immigration law in the country. Gov. Robert Bentley signed the bill into law in June and has consistently spoken in its defense.
Bentley released a statement saying he looked forward to Blackburn's ruling on the merits of the case, as did Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston.
"Judge Blackburn clearly understands the complexity of this issue and we are encouraged by her willingness to carefully examine all aspects of the case prior to ruling," Marsh said in a statement.
Updated at 2:49 p.m. to include reaction from Gov. Bentley and legislative leaders.
video: if Bush tax cuts were to create jobs why has unemployment increased @gop @tcot #p2 @AnthonyCumia gop rep can't answer
MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
One of the traditional America values that used to be revered as a sign of our national character was common sense.
But no longer. Most of the right-wing slogans and sound bites are based on promoting economic policy that has proven not to work. This is the opposite of common sense: it's doing what repeatedly hasn't shown results and insisting that it will magically be effective the next time around.
GOP Congressman Randy Hultgren of Illinois was confronted with common sense about the Bush tax cuts at a summer recess town hall meeting. Indeed, a constituent asked Hultgren why - if the Bush tax cuts helped create jobs, as the GOP argues - the unemployment rate has gone up around 3 percentage points since they were enacted? Hultgren was flummoxed.
He couldn't answer the question and fumbled his way into talking about "the stimulus" instead of the ineffectiveness of excessive tax cuts for the wealthy. Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks featured a video of the encounter and remarked that Hultgren was "stone cold busted." Uygur noted that we've lost a million jobs over the last ten years.
The constituent also pointed out that the nonwealthy end up paying more in additional government taxes (to cover the interest on the debt, but one could add that additional flat, local and state taxes are borne by the middle and working class), while the rich just get richer.
You can add to that the common sense and prima facie reality that if the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy were repealed, it would go a long way toward reducing the national deficit with which the GOP and the Tea Party are so obsessed.
A revolutionary take on a massive set of problems: Capitalism's failings and today's global economic crisis.
Every Saturday, Economics Professor Richard D. Wolff and guests discuss the current state of the economy, both locally and globally in relation to the economic crisis. They focus on wages, jobs, taxes, and debts - and on interest rates, prices, and profits. The goal is to explain why certain economic changes are happening and other changes get postponed or blocked and they will explore alternative ways to organize enterprises, markets, and government policies.
The show is for people who want to understand and change not only their own financial situation but also the larger economy we all depend on.
LINK TO AUDIO:
@gop @EricCantor Eric Cantor Won't Support Hurricane Disaster Funding Without Massive Cuts to First Responders @AnthonyCumia #P2 #TCOT
In the wake of Hurricane Irene, FEMA is quickly running out of money. Specifically, FEMA's crucial "disaster-relief fund, used to reimburse local governments and individuals for the costs of cleanup and repairs, is running dangerously low." Already payments for some projects are being delayed. Early estimates suggest that damage from Irene could exceed $10 billion.
Eric Cantor and the House GOP leadership appear to agree that more funds are needed, but won't help until President Obama and the Senate agree to more budget cuts. Yesterday on Fox News, Cantor made clear that he would not support any additional funding unless matched with "savings elsewhere."
What cuts, specifically, does Eric Cantor want in exchange for disaster relief funds? On Fox, Cantor said he supported $1 billion in disaster relief funding as part of the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill, which contains massive cuts to FEMA and first responders.
In July, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) detailed the problems with the legislation championed by Cantor:
The House bill slashes funding for grants to equip and train first responders by 40 percent. This is on top of the 19 percent cut in FY 2011. The House defense appropriations bill provides $12.8 billion to train and equip troops and police in Afghanistan — yet the House provides only $2 billion for first responders here at home.
Their proposal also slashes the Federal Emergency Management Agency's operations by 6 percent at a time when the agency has never been busier. Does it really make sense to pay for response and reconstruction costs from past disasters by reducing our capacity to prepare for future disasters?
Cantor's insistence on budget cuts to off-set any expenditures is a recent phenomenon. During the Bush administration, Cantor supported the Bush tax cuts, the Iraq war, and raising the debt limit (five times) without a penny in spending cuts.
asshole: Bachmann suggests drilling in the Everglades, 'responsibly' #p2 #tcot plutocrat / theocrat anything you wont shill for a buck?
The United States needs to be less dependent on foreign sources of energy and more dependent upon American resourcefulness.
Then she kept talking:
Whether that is in the Everglades or whether that is in the eastern Gulf region or whether that is in North Dakota, we need to go where the energy is. But, of course, it needs to be done responsibly. If we can't responsibly access energy in the Everglades, then we shouldn't do it.
To Bachmann, then, American resourcefulness doesn't mean developing new forms of energy or becoming a world leader in existing clean energy technologies that can be accessed here. It certainly doesn't mean finding ways to cut our energy use. No, resourcefulness means doing the same thing we've been doing—drilling for oil—just in more places. Just, you know, responsibly. Whatever that means to Michele Bachmann.
Let's settle this right here and now: We can't responsibly access energy in the Everglades.
There are a few things to stress on that front. Kate Sheppard at Mother Jones points out:
"No one wants to hurt or contaminate the earth," [Bachmann] continued. "We don't want to harm our water, our ecosystems or the air. That is a minimum bar." But Bachmann wants to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency. So it's not entirely clear who would be charged with ensuring that we are protecting the environment in our bid to drill in the Everglades and any other part of the US.
Jerry Karnas, communications director for the Everglades Foundation, says that drilling in the Everglades wouldn't even be economically viable, as there really isn't oil within Everglades proper and the little oil available in surrounding areas is of a very low quality.
"As time has worn on, the Everglades has begun to encompass other areas, including Big Cypress Preserve," says Karnas. "In 1972, there were some historic mineral rights retained by the Barron Collier family, and today, it is nothing more than a very, very small operation where the company drills for meager amounts of oil that are of a very low quality."
It's a delicate balance, going for the hard-right vote while seeming "serious" to the traditional media. Apparently suggesting "responsible" drilling for oil in a place where there's basically no oil and no way to drill responsibly is the balance Bachmann is comfortable with.