• capecodmercury commented on the blog post “C Street” near Lake Mendota

    2011-03-15 05:37:02View | Delete

    I wonder if this will turn into the next voting fraud scandal too. It appears that he voted using the address of his soon to be ex wife. I think that it can be proven pretty easily that he no longer resided there at the time of the election.

    Wisconsin voting law requires a person to have resided in the election district for at least 10 days prior to the election. Even if Hopper can prove that he did maintain an apartment in Fond Du Lac, the question remains as to whether he voted properly. It seems clear that he did not update his address properly. Did he vote in the proper polling place? Was this new apartment in the same Ward as his former home for local election purposes?

  • capecodmercury commented on the blog post “C Street” near Lake Mendota

    2011-03-15 04:56:31View | Delete

    The list of non candidates is interesting too:

    Republican Party of Tennessee
    Associated Builders and Contractors
    Americans for Job Security
    Susan B. Anthony List
    Wisconsin Coalition for Consumer Choice
    ENOUGH!
    Wisconsin Utility Investors, Inc.
    United States Chamber of Commerce
    Direct Impact
    Cross Link Strategies
    Republican Party of Minnesota
    Republican Party of Wisconsin
    Sporting Heritage, Inc.
    Americans For Prosperity
    Wisconsin Institute for Leadership

    They work for Koch (AFP)& the Chamber of Commerce. I only wonder if the did direct work for Hopper or Walker someewhere along the line, or just via surrogates?

  • I’m glad to see that they Senate Dems are thinking about what is going on and not just blindly rushing back to Madison. I’m not familiar with Wisconsin political rules, but is there any chance that this whole scenario could be just another scheme to get the Senate Dems back into state in order to force the quorum on the entire bill?

    The scenario that I’m envisioning goes something like this:
    1. The Republicans have passed this in a way that is wide open to challenge, including procedural challenges.
    2. The Dems rush back in to denounce the action. (In fact I saw a piece of video on another site where Fox News was already predicting that the Dems were rushing back into the state to stand with the protesters)
    3. As soon as they are back in Madison, the clerk announces that, on further consideration, the passage was flawed for any number of reasons
    4. Senate Republicans reconvene, get their quorum and vote on the original bill without debate.

    So, Senate Dems, stay away until the revised bill is passed by the house and signed by Walker.

  • capecodmercury commented on the diary post Bradley Manning Is Punished for Seeking a More Perfect Union by KevinZeese.

    2011-03-09 08:28:09View | Delete

    I’ll admit to no knowledge of the UCMJ, but I do want to ask a question to those who do have knowledge. Is there any possibility of filing a Writ of Habeas Corpus in Federal Court to challenge the conditions of his confinement. Even if the confinement itself is proper, could the Writ be used [...]

  • I’ve always loved the hypocrysy of how the Republicans insist that everything be on the table and then without a sense of irony refuse to talk about raising revenues.
    Shared sacrifice for Democrats and their programs, not Republicans!

  • So is Texas singing “Camden here we come” yet?

  • True, but the good news is that we in Vermont have a super majority of Democrats/Progressives in both the House and Senate and a Democratic Governor who is a strong supporter of health care reform.
    So far, the biggest question is not whether something will be done, but whether the public option or government run single option are a better choice than a government/private partnership.
    Further,because (with a couple of notable exceptions like IBM) our economy has a strong small business and focus, there is wide spread recognition and debate over the cost savings and stability that this plan will bring to business.
    Vermont will lead the way again.

  • capecodmercury commented on the blog post Christian Compassion, Republican Style

    2011-01-19 06:03:35View | Delete

    His ‘family” is even more limited than Christians. If you look at his speech he used a lot of buzz words from the born again tribe. So, its not even all Christians that he calls brothers, just those who are born again, so its not just Jews, Muslims, and Hindi and Buddhists that he would not call his brother, its also Christians, Mormons, Protestants, Episcopalians, etc etc.

  • A case like this also bring bankruptcy into the equation big time. If any of these homeowners file for bankruptcy, this debt now gets treated as an unsecured debt and the likelihood is that a significant portion of it will end up discharged.
    Something tells me that the Bankruptcy Courts are going to end up playing a big role in the foreclosure mess before everything quiets down. Congress may have denied the Court the power to cram down a mortgage modification, but the Courts do have the authority to rule on contested claims with the added kicker that all property rights in Bankruptcy Court are decided by reference to State law. So, a challenge to whether a claim is secured or not might be a winner take all contest for the banks.

  • With any luck, one result of this will be something that would hurt Clift more than anything. Can we hope that the Renaissance Weekend publically and permanently disnivites her from the event?

    For a Villager, losing access might be the worst punishment available.

  • In the imortal words of the bard,

    “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

    Or in the playground venacular of my youth

    “He who smelt it Dealt it.”

    From the chorus of denial coming from the Right wing talking heads, they know that people are siing what is happening and they are trying to stop a back lash before it begins.

  • This year, the Republicans have an upper hand because of the results of the last election and the way districts are drawn. It is the State legislatures that establish districts. This year, because the Republicans made big advances in State legislatures, particularly in the states that are gaining seats, it is expected that they will draw districts that put Democrats at a disadvantage. Similarly, if they won a majority in a state that lost a seat, they could ensure that the loss comes from a Democratic held seat while protecting the Republican seats.

  • I don’t see how this would work unless the plan also allowed for multistate districts. Otherwise, there is still going to be a wide disparity in District sizes with the potential for the biggest swings happening in smaller states.

    For example, I live in Vermont. We are one of seven states that currently have only one Representative. these seven states range from Montana at 989,000 to Wyoming at 563,000. Vermont is slightly larger than Wyoming but is the second “smallest” state at 625,000.

    So under the Wyoming rule what does this mean? Does it mean that every state except Wyoming gets a second Congresscritter? That Congress would establish a range of acceptable size (ex 110% of lowest state population)before adding a second Rep?

    I think this process might be just as unequal in different ways. For example, If you set “Wyoming population” as max amount per Rep, Vermont (and the other five states beside Wyoming with one Rep.) would gain a second Rep and we would end up with a Rep for every 312,500 people. I like it for Vermont, but it also means that Alaska, Delaware, South Dakota, North Dakota and Montana would get a second Rep too. In fact, Wyoming would be the only State with only one Rep.

    It would almost be like the tax brackets on your tax return; states near the top end of getting another Rep would be scheming to figure out a way to add a few thousand names to their census roll just to gain another seat.

    Another oddity is that it would ensure that Wyoming (or whichever states is found the smallest in a future census) would be guarnateed to have the the absolute largest ratio of citizens per Rep.

    I like the idea of equalizing the allocation process, but the only way to get the numbers to work would be to create “at large” districts that cover more than one state. And this process would have its own gerrymandering problems since you could end up with a small number of people from one state being stuck in a district mostly made up of another state.

  • I suggest that you do read the Brennan Center report. It includes a nice historical section on the evolution of the filibuster and how it differs from cloture.
    The abuse that the report talks about to a large extent are the “stealth filibusters” caused by the changes in the Senate rules in the 60′s and 70′s which essentially allowed a 41 person minority to hold up all Senate business by threatening a filibuster with a cloture proof block. In essence the report talks about how the rules have devolved the Senate into a place where procedure has trumped policy.

  • capecodmercury commented on the blog post Democrats Set Date for Senate Rules Reform

    2010-12-15 13:30:25View | Delete

    So, after two years of unadulterated delay when the Democrats have a majority in both the House and Senate, they finally get sick and tired and willing to change the rules once they lose the House Majority????
    WTF???
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but couldn’t they make this rule change tomorrow? Is there a rule that says that it can only happen at the beginning of a session?

  • capecodmercury commented on the blog post Senate Passes Tax Cut Bill

    2010-12-15 12:30:36View | Delete

    Please, Please Please, If there is a higher being out there somewhere. Please let the House Dems be smart enough to change something in this bill to force it back to the Senate. Preferably an amendment to the payroll tax holiday.
    Once again the Repubs in the Senate have played Lucy to the Senate Dems’s Charlie Brown. They are back to their old tricks of delay & deny to prevent anything else from passing during the lame duck refusing to allow up or down votes on anything including the Omnibus spending & START.
    So please house Dem’s, change it enough to give the Senate Dems one last chance to find a spine. There is far more in this bill that the Republicans want than the Democrats.
    So, since they have demonstrated their bad faith by continuing to refuse to allow stuff to come to the floor (despite the claim that they wanted to do the tax bill first),let’s hold it hostage until the Republicans permit up or down votes on START, DADT, DREAM ACT, a new 9/11 responder bill and the Omnibus spending act.
    Please?

  • Did anyone else notice the weird shadow that spotlighted the middle of Bernie’s forehead around 5:42-5:48 of the clip? It’s almost like there was a laser pointer. Very scary.

  • capecodmercury commented on the blog post Senate Tax Cut Vote Plans Scuttled

    2010-12-03 13:11:43View | Delete

    The capital gains rate is an income tax rate. Gain on investments (ie capital gains) is a class of income as defined in the Internal Revenue Code.

    If you are trying to make an argument equating tax rates, intellectual honesty requires you to look at the rates for all types of income and to determine the marginal rates as to when each and every rate goes into affect. That is the only way you can hope to even begin to compare tax rates between years. And that doesn’t even get into the question of using a dollar adjusted for inflation.

    Truth is, any examination of effective tax rates from year to year is an extremely difficult proposition. Not only that, it could vary from taxpayer to taxpayer depending on the source of the income that was earned or on the amount and nature of the deductions and exemptions changed. There are a lot of factors that change from year to year in the calculation of taxes and they all have to be taken into account.

    My point is that your original blanket statement “By the way, does everyone realize that based on tax brackets today the rich pay more, and everybody else pays less, than was the case in 1992?” is cherry picking one small factor in the calculation of tax to make a broad generalization that is totally unsupported.

    I guess I find it similar to what I dislike about mordern politics. It makes a grat soundbite, but there is no substance behind it.

  • capecodmercury commented on the blog post Senate Tax Cut Vote Plans Scuttled

    2010-12-03 11:21:35View | Delete

    Took at look at THOMAS over at the Library of Congress. It looks like both the votes on Saturday will be in relation to the House amendment. The first vote is a cloture vote on the bill as written by the House (250,000 limit); Shumer’s plan is being presented as a further amendment to this bill (million dollar threshhold). That vote will be a cloture vote too.

  • capecodmercury commented on the blog post Senate Tax Cut Vote Plans Scuttled

    2010-12-03 10:39:39View | Delete

    You are forgetting the Capital Gains Treatment and the disparity in when each rate kicked in.
    In 92, the top rate kicked in at $84,300 for Married filing jointly and the maximum capital gains rate was 28%.
    This year, the maximum rate may be 35%, but it doesn’t kick in until $369,050 with a top marginal capital gains rate of 20%.

    That doesn’t even start to think about the fact that the rates went up in 93 which very likely was one contributing factor to the fact that we actually ran a surplus for a few years?

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