Deficit Continues to Drop But Low Corporate Tax Rates Threaten Outlook

Los Angeles Times:

The federal deficit continues to decline thanks to budget cuts and slower growth in Medicare costs, but lower than expected corporate tax revenues dimmed some of the improved outlook, according to a report Wednesday from the Congressional Budget Office…

Declining corporate tax revenues are largely to blame for a $26 billion dip in overall revenue projections from the non-partisan budget office’s April forecast, and the budget director called the change not particularly large, but “notable.”

What’s a Benjamin Worth In Your State?

The Tax Foundation has created a map of the United States that shows the relative value of $100 in each state. As might be expected, a C-note gets less mileage in New York and California, and goes farther in Missouri and North Dakota.

President Obama’s Statement on the Murder of James Foley


President Obama delivered the following remarks in Martha’s Vineyard on the beheading of American journalist James Foley by the militant group Islamic State. Transcript courtesy of Federal News Service.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Good afternoon, everybody.

Today, the entire world is appalled by the brutal murder of Jim Foley by the terrorist group ISIL. Jim was a journalist, a son, a brother and a friend. He reported from difficult and dangerous places, bearing witness to the lives of people a world away.

He was taken hostage nearly two years ago in Syria, and he was courageously reporting at the time on the conflict there. Jim was taken from us in an act of violence that shocked the conscience of the entire world. He was 40 years old, one of five siblings, the son of a mom and dad who worked tirelessly for his release. Earlier today, I spoke to the Foleys and told them that we are all heartbroken at their loss and join them in honoring Jim and all that he did.

A Great Video We Wish Had Never Been Made

This video is moving and beautiful, and we wish it had never been made because we wish what preceded it had never happened.

Lauren Bacall, Actress and Liberal Icon, 1924-2014

March on Washington: Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart lead a contingent of actors, writers and directors from Hollywood to a hearing of the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947

Lauren Bacall, who died yesterday just a month shy of her 90th birthday, will rightly be remembered for her A-list acting career and her marriage to movie legend Humphrey Bogart. But Bacall also had a record as a stalwart liberal. As she put it, “I’m a total Democrat. I’m anti-Republican.”

“Being a liberal is the best thing on earth you can be. You are welcoming to everyone when you’re a liberal. You do not have a small mind.”
– Lauren Bacall

Her performance with Bogart in “To Have and Have Not” catapulted her to stardom overnight in 1944. A few months after the film came out, she made her political debut at an event for World War II service members in Washington, D.C., when she was boosted atop an upright piano and photographed lounging there as then-Vice Pres. Harry Truman played for the crowd.

After the war, Bacall, Bogart, director John Huston and others formed the Committee for the First Amendment in opposition to the Republican Party’s anti-communist witch hunts, which were championed by Hollywood figures like Ronald Reagan, Walt Disney and Hollywood Reporter publisher Billy Wilkerson. In 1947, Bacall and Bogart led a contingent of the organization’s members to Washington in protest of the right-wing pogrom and in support of Hollywood witnesses called by the committee who had refused to testify.

That was just the beginning of Lauren Bacall’s decades-long political activity and support for the Democratic Party. Michael Tomasky pays tribute to Bacall as “deeply liberal and deeply anti-communist” in a eulogy at the Daily Beast:

Dr. Democrat On the Florida Governor’s Race

doctordemocratDear Dr. Democrat:

Question for you — who should I vote for in the upcoming Florida Democratic primary? I’m inclined to vote for state Sen. Nan Rich, but I’m not sure I should or if that would just be a wasted protest vote, as Charlie Crist looks to beat her in the primary. I think I should maybe vote for Crist except that Charlie has become this weird, über-repellent candidate who is, as media increasingly point out, almost as reprehensible as our incumbent governor, lower-than-a-snake’s-belly Rick Scott.

So, should I lodge a protest vote for Rich, assuming Crist will win the primary (though with a projected ultra-low turnout, it might could go either way) and then hold my nose and vote for Crist in the general? But what if Rich wins the primary (unlikely as it seems) and then gets steamrolled by Scott’s money-driven bulldozer?

The possibility of a second term for old Tales from the Crypt is truly frightening.

What’s a dedicated Florida Democrat to do?

Yours truly,

Cogitating in Coconut Grove

FOX’s Shepard Smith: Robin Williams Was a Coward Who Committed Suicide in a “Fit” of Depression

We were already not fans of FOX News but this is a new low, even for them. Watch to the end for an appalling display by Shepard Smith.

Oh yeah, and he had smoked pot before too. Who says this stuff?

Pres. Obama’s Statement on Robin Williams

In full:

Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between. But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit. He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most – from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets. The Obama family offers our condolences to Robin’s family, his friends, and everyone who found their voice and verse thanks to Robin Williams.

May we just add, nice use of the word, “bangarang,” Mr. President.

GOP Congressman Claims Democratic Party Is Waging a War on White People – Ignores the Fact That a Majority of Democrats Are White

Republican Rep. Mo Brooks from Alabama has been on a tear recently. Last week, he told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes that he advocated deporting all 11 million undocumented residents of the United States. (Hayes’ interview with Brooks begins at 04:55 in the video above.) According to estimates by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, the cost to deport on person is about $12,500, which puts the cost to taxpayers of the mass deportation scheme advocated by big-government Republicans like Rep. Brooks at $137.5 billion.

A few days later, in an interview on right-wing radio, Rep. Brooks claimed the Democratic Party is waging a war on white people:

Boehner, Limbaugh Try to Rewrite History of GOP Push to Impeach Obama
Here's a list of more than 40 calls for impeachment by Republicans since 2009

Republicans have been beating the drum for the impeachment of Pres. Obama since the first year of his first term. Now that it appears voters will remove the GOP’s main obstacle — Democratic control of the Senate — in the November midterms, the reality is sinking in among Democrats and independents that if Republicans keep the House and take the Senate, as appears likely, they will spend the last two years of Obama’s term impeaching him.

Last week, the House laid the groundwork for impeachment when Republicans voted to give Speaker Boehner the authority to sue the president on grounds that he delayed Obamacare’s employer mandate by executive order. House Republicans hope voters have forgotten that they voted to delay the employer mandate one year earlier.

The Democrat Party has base has taken notice. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has raised $7.6 million online since Boehner announced he was suing the president. This includes 74,000 donations averaging just $19 each from 74,000 new donors. On the last Monday in July, the DCCC reported that it had raised $1 million online in 24 hours. The uptick in new donors is cause for alarm in Republican establishment circles, and by the end of last week Boehner, Rush Limbaugh and other Republican leaders were backpedaling away from impeachment as fast as they could.

Enumerati

  • 23.9%

    Of those surveyed said they were strongly or provisionally inclined to have their states secede from the United States, a new Reuters poll found.

  • $63 million

    Amount of dark-money spent so far in the 2014 cycle — just shy of the $69 million in dark money spent during the ENTIRE 2008 presidential election, according to Mother Jones. This was a new record and seven times the amount of dark money spent by the same point on House and Senate elections in 2010.

  • 45% to 39%

    Republicans’ edge in the generic congressional ballot among likely voters, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll.

Poetic Justice

They’re off to the polls — all kilted and frisky,
Though many think Scottish independence is risky.
David Cameron’s sweating it,
The bookies are betting it,
But I worry what it means for the price of scotch whiskey.

“Poetic Justice, Volume I: The 2012 Presidential Campaign” is Buck Banks' wickedly funny collection of satirical political limericks that were originally published on Pensito Review. While having a decidedly progressive bent, Volume 1 is an equal-opportunity dispenser of poetic justice to both Democrats and Republicans.

»  Download the Ebook

Verbatim

  • Let’s see if you can write this whole story without mentioning how fat I’ve gotten.

    — Former “American Idol” star and North Carolina congressional candidate Clay Aiken (D), quoted by the Washington Post.

  • The fact that we do not have positive themes and positive issues is going to cost us seats this fall because moderates and independents aren’t going to turn out. It’s an enormous mistake. … You have to sound like you’re more than anti-Obama, and you’re more than some … politician whose primary role in life is to raise money for your consultant to buy attack ads. It’s pathetic … and it’s turning people off.

    — Newt Gingrich, who is not thrilled by the current state of the Republican party, Roll Call reports.

  • I have to say that after the events I’ve been facing over the past few days, assassination would be a welcome release.

    — British Prime Minister David Cameron, quoted by National Review, commenting on today’s Scottish independence vote, which could push him out of office.

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