Archive for February 18th, 2010

Sounds like Dilbert’s tax scam got busted.

Feb 18, 2010 in Straight-up madness, Stupidity, WTF?

When I read this part of Joseph Stack’s rambling farewell letter the alarm bells went off:

Some friends introduced me to a group of people who were having ‘tax code’ readings and discussions. In particular, zeroed in on a section relating to the wonderful “exemptions” that make institutions like the vulgar, corrupt Catholic Church so incredibly wealthy. We carefully studied the law (with the help of some of the “best”, high-paid, experienced tax lawyers in the business), and then began to do exactly what the “big boys” were doing (except that we weren’t steeling from our congregation or lying to the government about our massive profits in the name of God). We took a great deal of care to make it all visible, following all of the rules, exactly the way the law said it was to be done.

I’ve had my share of dodgy friends in the past so I’ve heard dozens of stories that start out with some sort of variation of “all I was trying to do was…” in defense of something that turned out to be at best unscrupulous behavior. At worst it was a recounting of an unhappy run-in with the law. Maybe I’m cynical but the above passage has the right amount of opacity and derision to indicate that there’s more to the story than just Stack getting hosed by the IRS for having innocent ambitions.

Tragically, they always gotta try and take somebody out with them.

Feb 18, 2010 in Politics

Any bets on who will be the first to blame this on Obama and turn this nut into an anti-government hero? I’m guessing Limbaugh since the field of competition for craziest right-wing media crazy is pretty crowded and simply deriding apostates as liberals and liars doesn’t cut the ratings mustard these days. You really gotta go full-metal paranoid to make it into the headlines.

Must be nice.

Feb 18, 2010 in Politics

Having your own cable news network devoted to your party.

Spend Spend Spend

Feb 18, 2010 in Politics

GOP Senators top the list for congressional earmarks.

What Republicans don’t want you to know about your health insurance premiums:

Feb 18, 2010 in Health Care

They’ve skyrocketed in the past ten years and they’re going nuclear soon:

California officials say 700,000 households face increases averaging 25 percent overall and as high as 39 percent for some.

The HHS report found that those numbers are in line with increases sought by insurers in other states – at a time of robust profit growth for the companies and a lack of competition in most states.

For example, Anthem in Maine was denied an 18.5 percent increase last year and is now requesting that state regulators approve a 23 percent rise. Maine is home to Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, Republican moderates whose support Obama would like to have for his health care legislation.

Michigan’s Blue Cross Blue Shield plan requested approval for premium increases of 56 percent in 2009. And in the state of Washington, rates for some individual health plans increased by up to 40 percent until regulators cracked down.

Other states cited in the report were Connecticut, Oregon and Rhode Island.

I don’t know, do you think it could be the Republican plan to try getting back in office so they can pass essentially the same thing as the Democratic health care reform bill and take the credit? That if they actually had the power they crave so much, they’d be able to look at it and say, “Oh, wait, it’s already completely compromised to please us”? It’s already Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts plan with some cost control seed programs, so if he’s elected it shouldn’t be a big maneuver for him, should it?

Any way you come at it, the plane is diving into the mountain, and Republicans are fighting over how to properly fasten our seat belts. It’s already spooked several Democrats, including Diane Feinstein, into supporting the reconciliation deal with the House and getting reform efforts going.

Of course, watch those expected premium increases come along and then tune into BeckPalinLimbaughbots to hear how it’s all Obama’s fault. They got millions to make off the destruction of the middle class.

-hw