“There are many things we could do to level the playing field which is currently tilted in favor of the wealthy (and influential). A good starting point would be to eliminate the carried interest tax break for financial portfolio managers, described in an earlier HP article as follows: "The loophole allows these firms to treat the fees they charge to manage a client's portfolio -- typically, a one-fifth share of any profits -- as investment income, subject to a lower 20 percent capital gains tax rate than the top 39.6 percent marginal rate". This is a sweet deal that allows portfolio managers to be taxed at the lower capital gains tax rate for managing other peoples' portfolios WITHOUT RISKING THEIR OWN MONEY, even though the idea of the lower capital gains rate is to reward personal risk-takers.”
“His disclosure of NSA data mining of phone calls and emails within the U.S. could be construed as legitimate whistleblowing, and a public service leading to a healthy internal debate.
On the other hand, his (and Manning's) disclosure of U.S. intelligence operations overseas is unforgivable. I don't even know what point they were trying to make - that we shouldn't have intelligence operations?”
“My guess is that President Obama, like every President before him since the inception of the NSA, was briefed on the general outline of NSA operations. I would guess that that the briefing did not get into the weeds of individual targets, so he can truthfully say, for example, that he was not specifically aware that Foreign Leader X (Merkel or whoever) was targeted. But it doesn't take much imagination to figure out that we are targeting all major foreign leaders, just as they are targeting us. People may feel morally outraged about it - oh, the humanity and all that - but how can any sentient being be surprised?”
“All this hyperventilation is puzzling to me. What do people think our intelligence agencies have been doing all this time? And do you really think we would voluntarily refrain from trying to obtain information because it's unbecoming? All major nations understand we are spying on each other, and we all take the necessary counter-measures. When it comes out in the open, there are the obligatory expressions of outrage and protestations of innocence.”
supersajin on Oct 28, 2013 at 08:44:43
“Hello paid shill. 9/11 did not give us the authority to violate our allies sovereignty”
Dan J S on Oct 28, 2013 at 08:38:58
“So why is Obama distancing himself from it, saying he didn't know?”
“Each day, Greenwald releases the name of another country we've spied on, and right on cue some underemployed journalist hyperventilates. We could save ourselves a lot of journalistic angst by stipulating, up front, that we spy on every major country. Incidentally, they all spy on us to. That's what intelligence agencies do. This is a non-story.”
Kald on Oct 27, 2013 at 22:05:53
“Try asking the Spanish :p”
RonPaulWins2012 on Oct 27, 2013 at 21:59:16
“Cool attempted apology story, bro. You get that from the thrift store? Donation?”
KeithTexas on Oct 27, 2013 at 21:49:47
“NO, this is a major story or the other countries would not be so upset about it. It isn't' some flunky journalist that it getting upset, it is the people that thought they were our friends.”
Grammy3 on Oct 27, 2013 at 21:47:28
“I believe you are correct and I'm wondering why we aren't seeing more comments on how Snowden is such a "hero." All countries understand that we spy on them...if they are allies, we are probably trading intelligence to prevent futureattacks on their country. Of course, for their own citizens, they have to publicly cry that they are "shocked, shocked, I tell you."
If Snowden wanted to cause the US trouble, he's accomplished it. I hope Russia has a particularly harsh winter this year.”
YYSyd on Oct 27, 2013 at 21:44:03
“All countries do not spy on other countries, nor do all major countries spy on other countries, and no other country has the capacity/will to waste resources and energy on vacuuming up data on citizens of other countries. The argument that nothing is going on and nothing is new fails immediately if one accurately describes that some countries spy on other countries some of the time. It is not a non-story nor is it a case where we all knew this was happening or could have guessed. The normalization of aberrant behavior as if it were not news is idiotic defense of the indefensible.”
“"True Americans" are older white people in certain parts of the country that want the government to keep its dirty mitts off their Social Security and Medicare. They also think all other people with a different mentality are "hatful".”
treshm on Oct 22, 2013 at 08:56:09
“True Americans, Dearie, are those who understand American history, values and culture, are better informed and educated - as best exemplified by the Tea Party patriots who fight so hard for American families. They come in all ages and skin colors, by the way, unlike the frail and venomous Reid and his cohorts.”
“The Vitter proposal would not have treated Congressional staff as average people. Average people receive an employer contribution towards the cost of health insurance. The Vitter proposal would have taken that away from Congressional staff.”
“You're missing the larger point. The Republicans refused repeated invitations to negotiate responsibly on the budget through the conference process. They deliberately waited until they could use the threat of a government shutdown as leverage. Next they'll try doing the same thing with the debt ceiling. It would be foolish for any party, Democrat or Republican, to be drawn into negotiations - on anything - with a gun at their head. Let it happen now, and it will happen again and again. The Republicans made a bet that the Democrats would make this fatal error, and they seem to be losing their bet.”
“Thank you too for your courtesy. But I have some questions:
1. Can we be sure that all our fellow Americans who face the predicament of not being able to afford health care premiums are guilty of personal irresponsibility?
2. Are you suggesting that State and local governments could take care of this problem without help from the federal government? Would they be willing to raise State and local taxes to do so?
3. If help from the federal government is necessary, is it not reasonable for the federal government to set standards regarding minimum health insurance coverage, etc.?
4. Charitable organizations come and go. Can we depend on them to pick up the slack?”
rob000000 on Sep 28, 2013 at 23:16:09
“1. No, of course not.
2. Yes. Yes...with qualifications. Without the burden of paying for Federal largese, States and localities would have the 'space' to raise such taxes. The degree to which they did or didn't reflects the freedom for states to serve as laboratories of what works best.
3. Yes...if it were necessary. I maintain it isn't.
4. Yes. They have been doing so for milennia.”
“The problem with that is that there will always be a significant portion of the population that won't be able to afford the premiums on their own. That's just a fact. And we can't just ignore them, or go back to the days when they get their medical care from emergency rooms - which ends up being much more expensive for everyone.”
rob000000 on Sep 28, 2013 at 17:33:50
“I appreciate the thoughtful reply.
My answer is that the Federal government's involvement actually distorts this market (and most markets)--making things more expensive than need be. The are other, lower levels of government that can still play--as can charitable organizations. Most importantly, the faster we get back to personal responsibility in this and all things, the quicker this nation will bounce back from the doldrums.”
“This seems like a reasonable move by Trader Joe's. If the employees can get a better deal on the exchanges, why not nudge them in that direction? And if they can't, it sounds like TJ is offering an extra subsidy to cover the difference. As an ACA supporter, I believe one of the benefits of the program will be, over time, to delink health insurance from employment - which would be a good thing, in my opinion. People will no longer have to cling to a job they don't like just to keep their insurance, and companies will gradually free themselves from the burden of an open-ended commitment to health insurance costs.”
rob000000 on Sep 28, 2013 at 17:10:26
“Now, if we could just de-link medical care from the Federal government....”
“I think the issue is not how lovable they can be towards their owners, but whether instincts beyond their control can make them dangerous towards strangers.”
Seiena Cyrus on Sep 22, 2013 at 13:06:17
“If they have instincts beyond their control then they are like humans, mentally disabled, and you'd have them put down, would you have me put down? I've owned a wide variety of dogs including pitbulls, none of them have ever chased down and murdered a child or pet.”
Gasparilla on Sep 22, 2013 at 12:56:55
“Exactly. Little snookums may like you, but he may go after the neighbors kid or pets. And when they do they do a lot more damage. But you will never get the cult to admit that.”
“I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think Sarah's got this one right. Let Allah sort it out. I love it when other nations, and our own home-grown chicken hawks, preach to us about American "resolve" and "credibility". What they really mean is it would suit them fine for 0.5 pct of Americans to shed blood so they can pick up the pieces.”
PrunellaC on Sep 1, 2013 at 23:21:00
“She will change her tune when she realizes this is what liberals want.”