Thank you, Heather for this masterpiece!

It is so clear that the GOP have changed these magnificent words "that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth” to that government of the rich, by the rich, for the rich, shall not perish from the earth! What an abomination!

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I'm in the UK at the moment, so coming at this in the morning. And while listening to the news about anger that the Tories are raising taxes in order to run the National Health Service. They are raising taxes on the working poor as well as on the rich--at an equal rate of about 1.4%--which is why the anger is pretty extreme. Some of the changes won't take place for 6 months for people making less than £35,000 a year, but I can tell you that this limit is pretty risible: the cost of living, especially for housing, in the UK is far more consistently high than in the USA. And the population density also far higher. The Tories are masters at regressive taxation--VAT, "across the board" tax hikes, and so on. The Ghastly Oligarch-loving Party in the USA is simply taking a page from Boris's playbook. VAT is indeed one of the issues, because when you demand that a person making £12,000 a year pay 21% in sales tax, it is a huge chunk of their income; when a person making £200,000 a year pays it there is not much pain. This system is what is being proposed in Republican-led states, where the demand is to raise sales taxes, especially on food, in order to pay for essential services. This is a very common practice because it is a hidden tax that has an outsized negative impact on poor people and rich people don't blink. and yet, the same administrations want to cut property taxes and income taxes. Because that will make the rich richer, of course.

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From Merrick Garland today…

“Our message to those who continue to enable the Russian regime through their criminal conduct is this: It does not matter how far you sail your yacht. It does not matter how well you conceal your assets. It does not matter how cleverly you write your malware or hide your online activity,” Garland said. “The Justice Department will use every available tool to find you, disrupt your plots, and hold you accountable.”

In addition, the Justice Department is assisting with the collection of evidence for potential war crimes prosecutions related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

You go Merrick!!!

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Old expression. Don’t piss on me and tell me it’s raining. So tired of the lies.

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It is impossible to get one's head around anything that comes from the republicans. They simply make no sense. The fact they actually say it out loud and/or put it in writing and some people actually agree with them, is downright frightening. The intellectual laziness that has become the norm for a sub sector of the electorate is a huge hit to democracy.

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The tragedy of this, of course, is that supply-side economics doesn't work. Yes, it feeds the wealthy for a season, but it destroys the productivity that enables them to keep it, and eventually leads to revolution and death for the rich. I can only conclude that their attitude is, "Won't come in my lifetime. Party on!"

I've long felt that there was a reason that vampires became so insanely popular in film and fiction about the time supply-side started taking hold. Because that is what the rich are: bloodsuckers.

Vampires are passé. Much darker beasts walk the pages of fiction. Creatures of pure might and destruction, mindless creatures that smash and destroy, met with desperate violence by the "good guys." Zombies. Ancient gods. Apocalyptic natural disasters. Things you can't work out a deal with, because they don't think, they only destroy. That is the Republican Cult and its cultists.

Fiction always reflects the society it comes from, and far more honestly.

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So glad someone in the world makes sense. Agree with Rowshan Nemazee that the concept of government by the people for the people not the rich and and famous only has disappeared. When will all people of all sexes and races finally be equal. Will it be in my lifetime (I am 71) or will my younger relatives be the recipients of this greater good! I am from Vermont home of Bernie Sanders & Patrick Leahy two people one can honestly call patriots.

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I'm wondering about the difference between ideology as principle and ideology as rhetoric. Republicans are operating on the basis of principle of what is best for the country? Or on the basis of what is best in their own self-interests to expand their power and wealth by tending to the interest groups that finance them? And then coming up with rhetoric when questioned about their actions.

Frank Luntz was the brain and New Gingrich was the coach teaching prescribed rhetoric to Republican members of Congress as the game plan for the past 32 years. This tactic of responding with the rhetoric, the buzz words, no matter the content of the question, with no regard for logic, has grown into the Republican Party's nihilistic obstructionism against Democrat sponsored legislation and office holders.

Why does their base vote for them? Principle? Or in response to some combination of (A) aspirations to the glittery American dream, that they, too, can have a piece of a life of luxury and privilege, plus (B) lack of critical thinking skills. Here we see commonalities between the Republican base and Putin's base.

Once upon a time, Democrats and Republicans were on the same side of defending democracy against fascism. No more.

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Apr 7, 2022·edited Apr 7, 2022

Just for clarification, the interest (and dividends) on stocks and bonds held in non retirement accounts is subject to tax. It is capital gains on stocks and bonds that is not taxed until sold (realized). Not to drift too far into the weeds, but incentive stock options (ISO's) and executive stock options (ESO's) often provide havens for deferment of taxes. The alternative minimum tax (AMT) was aimed at the wealthy to pay their fair share in taxes but over the years, when not adjusted for inflation, it caught many not-so-wealthy taxpayers in its web.

"It would also tax the interest on stocks and bonds, which currently is not taxed until those assets are sold, which means that their owners can accumulate large sums of money without ever being taxed on it, while wage workers pay full freight on their income".

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Zelensky to Putin: F OFF!

It is time for President Zelensky to say NYET to Putin’s existential ‘peace’ negotiations, while Putin continues:

1) killing countless thousands of Ukrainians—including executing many civilians in Russian-occupied areas;

2) destroying major urban areas including core infrastructure such as factories, apartment buildings, oil depots, and grain silos;

3) ‘redeploying’ troops in Belarusian and Russian safe havens, while threatening new attacks;

4) focusing on eastern Ukraine, including the ‘unoccupied’ portion of Donbas, while virtually destroying the large city of Mariupol, where thousands of civilians have already been killed.

Putin’s bloodthirsty obsession is to continue to kill many, many more Ukrainians and to destroy even more of Ukraine’s metropolitan areas until Zelensky screams uncle’ and agrees to some sham ‘peace’ agreement

Putin, like Hitler, can never be trusted. To claim ‘victory’ after his disastrous invasion of independent Ukraine, Putin seeks some sort of ‘neutrality’ commitment from Zelensky, while Russia expands its occupation of eastern Ukraine, including a land bridge from Crimea to Russia.

Zelensky, given the undisguised intentions of Putin, should realize by now that Ukraine’s independence requires the full withdrawal of Russian troops, preservation of those Ukrainian areas that were part of the government of Ukraine before February 24th, and a claim for reparations for all the killings and destruction that Putin has inflicted and is inflicting on Ukraine.

After the systematic Russian executions of defenseless civilians, courageous Ukrainians should accept nothing less.

As Churchill insisted, during May 25th-28th 1940 top-level British government discussions, a ‘peace’ agreement with Hitler would, over the longer term, endanger both the existence of Great Britain and of the Western world.

With Putin, that is where President Zelensky and the West are. We are engaged in a prolonged war, which Putin must unequivocally lose.

The alternative is a rescued rat looking for cheese elsewhere in Eastern Europe.

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I'm curious as to how Sen. Rick Scott, of Medicare fraud fame, thinks he can sell the imposition of new taxes on poor Americans. What is the justification? The rich are just paying too much? The corporations are being gouged? It seems that he and his party are a prominent example of the type of internal enemy he pretends to see in the Democratic party.

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Why is Rick Scott raising his I-can-be-a-wing-nut-too voice? Eyeing bigger office? He personifies the GOP’s intensifying quest to take away our safety-net programs. Scott and others will feel no shame in hurting people.

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‘Trickle down economics’ is the hallmark of Republicans who claim that lower taxes for truly rich Americans and major corporations is the best way to jump start our economy. As Nobel Prize economist Paul Krugman has underscored, this was totally false with Reagan’s 1981 tax cuts and with Trump’s tax giveaways to the wealthy in 2017. Indeed, America’s best, recent economic run came under President Clinton, who raised taxes during his administration.

In 2021 President Biden sought to raise taxes on the wealthy and on large corporations to fund essential enhancements of America’s infrastructure and of the social fabric for a great majority of the American people. Republicans and their lobbyists were lock step opposed to more taxes on their undertaxed clientele. Without the votes of Malevolent Manchin and Sophomoric Sinema, Biden’s tax initiative died.

Once again, President Biden is seeking to have these fat cats pay a ‘fairer share’ of their income to invest in a 21st century United States. I fear that, once again, this will be scuttled by Republicans and the Manchin/Sinema duo.

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"Meanwhile, Senator Rick Scott’s “11-Point Plan to Rescue America” promises to put income taxes on the 50% of Americans who currently don’t make enough to be taxed."

Easy for me to believe that there are enough party operatives who want this, but hard to believe that there are a majority of rank and file Republican voters who understand what this means and still want it.

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I first heard of Eric Boehlert from Dr. Richard's Letters From an American. I'm sure many people on this blog know his work. This is the saddest news:

Eric Boehlert, celebrated journalist who founded Press Run Media, has died. He was 57.

Fellow journalist Soledad O'Brien confirmed Wednesday that Boehlert died in a bike accident. "He fought to rescue journalism and democracy, which need saving. Worked at Rolling Stone, Billboard, founded Media Matters and Salon, Pressrun on Substack," she wrote in a subsequent tweet. "Brutal to bad media on twitter, sweetest guy in real life".

My sincere condolences to Mr. Boehlert's family, friends and readers.

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Morning, all!! Morning, Dr. R!! I do not wish to deflect from today's whopper of a Letter, but did want to give a nod to President Biden's signing of the Postal Service Reform Act of 2022. While it does not address our concern about securing a majority electric fleet for the USPS (which I posted about yesterday), it does pump life back into one of Benjamin Franklin's greatest inventions. In short, the Post Office will live on!


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