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Turns Out Most of the 53% are Victims Too

6:01 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

Mitt Romney thinks almost half the nation is a bunch of crybaby, irresponsible victims living on the public dole rather than paying their own way. To his way of thinking, asking the wealthy to pay taxes to carry their freight is at the center of a class war that persecutes the rich.

Mitt, consider yourself lucky, there is a move afoot in France to up the tax rate on the wealthy to 75%. If you want persecution, move yourself and your money out of the U.S. and into that cute little winery in Provence you’ve had your eye on.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, the states with the highest taxes on the wealthy also have the highest per capita number of millionaires. As Mitt knows first-hand, apparently hiding your money in the Caymans is preferable to actually moving there.

This statistic seems odd when the conventional Republican wisdom is that higher taxes on the wealthy will lead to a mass exodus to escape the unfairness of it all.

California, with the second highest “millionaire tax” in the nation at 10.3%, has a statewide proposition pending to raise the tax rate on the wealthy to an outrageous 13.3%. The bulk of the money would go to schools that benefit the wealthy by training workers they now import from overseas because they claim they can’t get them here. I believe you call this “growing jobs”. Some of the money would go to fixing Third World style roads on which you drive your limos and cutting the debt you so decry.

As a point of reference, I ain’t no millionaire and 13.3% is considerably less than what I pay.

Unlike Mitt, I can’t throw a few extra dollars the Mormon Church’s way to lower my “burden”. I don’t make enough. Still, I throw plenty at places where it goes to feeding and housing ultra-low end 47 Percenters rather than casting big-ass, tax-free gold statues of the angel Moroni.

I can’t move my vast financial empire to the Caymans or into Swiss bank accounts. I don’t make enough. My wife does own two horses, one of which is permanently lame and the other for sale. Neither is an Olympic dancing horse.

I do take a miniscule deduction on my almost paid off mortgage. I’d guess that Mitt’s write off on, say, a Malibu Barbie Ann beach house, financed by a below market, low-interest loan from Bain, would be considerably larger than mine.

So California wealthy people, stop carpet-bombing the rest of us with ads foretelling financial Armageddon if you pay a 3% tax increase which, because of your available tax dodges, will amount to an actual increase of almost zero. If you haven’t run away from such a dastardly and onerous imposition already, I’d guess you wouldn’t now.

BTW, don’t worry about skipping out on your share. I’m sure my higher taxes will make up the difference. I wouldn’t want you to lose sleep over it.

It looks like most of the 53% are victims too.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks! More than politics, more than pop culture & humor.

‘All We Need is the Air That We Breathe’

3:43 pm in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

Here in Northern California we often look jealously at fuel prices in the rest of the nation. The rest of the nation looks at ours slack-jawed at the enormity of them. Even in a “normal” market, the Bay Area and Los Angeles usually trade places with the highest costs in all 50 states. When they don’t lead, they are almost always in the Top 3.

This week, the “normal” market disappeared. Monday a gallon of regular cost $3.89 at the local Fossil Fuelery and Fatty Snack Emporium. This morning I filled up for $4.09. It is surely higher in Oakland and The City.

A massive fire at a 110-year old Chevron refinery in the Bay Area earlier this week caused the spike. A 20-drop per hour leak turned into a gush while workers tried to figure out how to fix it while keeping the production line running. The fire sent thousands of nearby residents inside with orders to duct tape around windows and not come out to play until they got the all clear. The air was befouled by thick, black, acrid smoke blown inland and residents far beyond the immediate area rushed off to hospitals with breathing and skin irritations. Air quality authorities still don’t know exactly what was in the smoke.

Buying Mitt Romney’s LunchThe toasted refinery is in knot of refineries that catch fire or have other accidents with disturbing regularity. The area’s reverse 911 system that warns residents to cower inside gets a thorough workout. Each string of accident investigations – 5 so far in the latest case – show a continuous pattern of incompetence in running these massive chemical crap factories. Fines, if any, are generally low and for global outfits like Chevron, almost enough to buy Mitt Romney’s lunch.

The Chevron refinery produces about 15% of California’s gas – the burning kind, not the gassy assy kind. So why, one might ask, don’t they just bring some relatively cheap and currently abundant fuel from somewhere else to keep things going?

Because they can’t.

California has a closed gasoline market. Golden Staters use a specially-formulated gasoline, unavailable elsewhere, to cut down on the number of Spare the Air days – days, like today, when pollution and temperatures are high and the state strongly encourages public transportation or telecommuting, significantly reduced air conditioning and lighting, and sharply curtailed barbecuing, grass mowing, dish washing, or any other fuel burning activities.

Without the special gas, California’s urban areas would drown in a Beijing-like primordial soup of stale air. Worse, air in California’s sparsely populated Central Valley would be unbreathable on all but the clearest days. Luckily for urbanites – but not so much for Central Valleyans – dozens of micro-climates and the topography generally push the pollution out to Stockton, Fresno, and other more rural towns leaving the Bay Area with some of the cleanest big city air in the nation.

Chevron originally estimated $4.00 per gallon gas by month’s end. Not surprisingly, given Chevron’s math skills and that we are already 10-cents ahead of the curve; it looks more like $4.75. Shocking for some, not all that unusual for Californians. It is the price we pay to defeat global warming, but most of all; it is the price we pay to breathe (now if we could only figure out how to manufacture water so we could drink, we’d be golden).

The Drill Baby Drill CrowdThe drill baby drill crowd and global warming deniers who claim the globe is merely comfy would do away with the gas and safety regulations and offer oil companies bigger incentives and tax breaks than the entire German economy. They would giddily dismantle anything allowing breathing without a respirator. Of course, this isn’t surprising for a group of knot heads who believe Obamacare and socialists are causing global comforting, aided by birth certificates burning by the bale. BTW, the Feds already sued California because its gas and air pollution standards are too stringent.

Yes, $4.09 is eye-popping, but not so much as the rest of the world pays. Yes, high gas prices, especially in America’s primary vegetable and fruit-growing areas will make food more expensive. The pricey gas will drive up the cost of everything from PCs to Heinz ketchup to cheese (Wisconsin isn’t America’s premier dairy land anymore) – but it will still be worth – and not just because Californians need air to live.

Absent some seriousness work on our energy and environmental pickles, worse problems than $4.09 per gallon gas are ahead. Without some rationality and seriousness, California and much of America will be burning cow dung as fuel and lounging on their Wichita beachfront property.

America has already rounded Third World and is headed for broken home. It is time to get serious about the serious and step up to pay their $4.09 – or more.

It’s a cheap price for the air we all breathe.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks! More than politics, more than pop culture & humor

Politically Correct History is the History of Our Times

6:00 am in Uncategorized by Omnipotent Poobah

When is history not history? When it’s written by legislative fiat.

California Sen. Mark Leno (D)  has sponsored legislation requiring schools to include historical contributions by gays and lesbians. It passed on a party line vote and went to Gov. Jerry Brown (D) for signature this week.

Foot in Mouth DiseaseGays and lesbians are only another in a long line of groups California requires its texts. It already requires history about women, African-Americans, Mexican Americans, entrepreneurs, Asian Americans, European Americans, American Indians, and labor. But in fairness they aren’t alone in writing history by legislative order. Other states, most notably Texas, have legislated a pantload of changes too – albeit at the other end of the political spectrum.

Assemblyman Tom Ammiono (D) reasons gays and lesbians are under-represented in current history books. True enough, but then he goes on to explain CA needs the legislation, “because of the bullying that happens to gay students.”

For their part, Republicans called it a well-intentioned, but ill-conceived bill. That’s fair too, but Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R) was offended as a Christian that the bill would promote a “homosexual agenda” in public schools.

“I think it’s one thing to say that we should be tolerant,” Donnelly said. (STOP TALKING BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE TIMMY!) “It is something else altogether to say that my children are going to be taught that this lifestyle is good.” (DUH’O!)

Practically speaking, neither argument holds much water.

I have no problem with teaching kids that former UN Secretary Dag Hammarskjöld was gay, but I don’t think a schoolyard bully is going to let that get in the way of pounding the crap out of a gay kid nor will the gay kid yell, “Hey! Dag Hammarskjöld is one of MY people!” when the bully steals his lunch money.

Hammarskjöld is a legitimate historical figure and should be discussed in the relevent historical context. However, I don’t see how that “promotes the homosexual agenda”. “Martha, did you know that Dog Hammarwhatisname was Swedish? I don’t want Timmy to be exposed to that Swedish agenda!”

History is history. Sometimes Christians make it. Sometimes homosexuals make it. There are contributions from every community. Labor’s there too, as is business and hundreds of other history making groups. Even this enforced historical polemic is history. It highlights the absurd twists we’ll go through to stamp our ideological prejudices on the next generation. It is, unfortunately, the history of our time.

Oddly, perhaps the only good sign in all this idiocy is that kids do poorly in history.

If we’re lucky, the next generation won’t remember any more history than the current pack of loons learned back in their day.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

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