Nov 6, 2006
||Texas, United States|
|Is Bush Lying About Taxes and the Democrats Non-Existent Plan for Iraq? 10:36 PM |
Proof that Bush lies every day about Dems lack of security plan
The same Republicans who killed the Democratic plan now walk around saying the Democrats have no plan.
If there's one thing you can count on right along with death and taxes, it's that every day between now and November 7 -- and probably multiple times a day -- George W. Bush will grab a microphone before a large crowd and lie about the lack of ideas coming from Democrats on national security.
Here's Bush just today in Missouri: "If you listen carefully to what the Democrats say about Iraq, you think about what they're saying about their plan for success, there isn't one. This is a major political party that has no plan for success in Iraq."
But unlike some of the half-truths and distortions that come out of the White House and the Republican National Committee, where the sheer slipperiness of them makes getting the truth out kind of a dicey proposition, this one is as easy and clear-cut as it can be.
It was just two months ago that Democrats rolled out the Real Security Act of 2006, a plan whose legislative description left no doubt that Democrats had a plan, saying that it was designed "to provide real national security, restore United States leadership, and implement tough and smart policies to win the war on terror."
"The Real Security Act of 2006 marks a major change from status quo Bush Republican policies that have left America less safe than it must be," said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) in introducing the plan. "Unveiled against the backdrop of a new White House media offensive, the legislation spells out the tough and smart path to make America more secure and to deal more effectively with threats that confront America at home and abroad."
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These days, you would never know that such a plan exists for two reasons. The first it that it was killed by the Senate GOP leadership on September 13, 2006 on a roll-call vote that went almost straight down party lines. The same Republicans who killed the Democratic plan now walk around saying the Democrats have no plan.
The second reason that the Democratic strategy is so hard to find is that the corporate media continues to let the no-plan nonsense go unchallenged because, I suppose, it would be too much like real work to read the 528-page piece of security legislation that the Democrats tried to pass.
The key points of the Real Security Act of 2006 include the following:
- Begin a new era of sensibly dealing with the quagmire that is the U.S.'s occupation of Iraq. Democrats would begin redeployment of U.S. troops out of Iraq to face terrorist threats around the world, including the new countries hosting Al-Qaeda since the Iraq war began. It also provides for real Congressional oversight to avoid further big-money losses to crooked defense contractors, accustomed to no-bid contracts and a tolerance for fraud and abuse.
- Refocus America on the real war on terror by making sure the U.S. continues to pursue Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice and increase levels of Special Operations forces to kill and capture the terrorists where they are and to better protect Americans at home.
- Provide updated tools, consistent with true American values, so we can bring terrorists to justice, while also following the law and the Constitution and work to revise the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act as needed to ensure intelligence agencies have the tools needed to defeat the terrorists.
- Implement all 41 recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, including providing adequate resources for first responders, distributing homeland security funding based on risk, improving intelligence oversight, bolstering Congressional oversight of homeland security, strengthening public diplomacy and improving tracking of nuclear weapons material.
- Equip the intelligence community to fight against terrorists by passing the Intelligence authorization bill, giving the CIA the resources to conduct aggressive and effective intelligence gathering. For the first time in 28 years, the Republican-controlled Congress has failed to pass the bill providing these desperately-needed resources.
- Invest additional money to secure America's ports, rails, roads, airports, chemical and nuclear plants and mass transit systems by improving and increasing screenings and increasing security of containers and radiation screenings.
The first time you've heard about this stuff? I thought so. But the facts and the Congressional Record don't lie.
You can get the entire text of the Real Security Act of 2006 here -- but be warned, it's a 1.1 megabyte PDF file of ideas Democrats allegedly don’t have -- and you can see the video of Harry Reid describing the plan here.
So if you've always sensed that Bush, Cheney and the Republicans were lying about the Democratic stance on national security, here's your proof -- please spread it around.
|Is Bush Lying About Tax Cuts to Everybody? 10:42 PM |
Candidates Ignore $1.35 Trillion Minimum Tax `Bomb' (Update1)
By Ryan J. Donmoyer
Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Congressional candidates this fall are furiously debating Iraq, Medicare and extending tax cuts. Most are staying quiet about an imminent legislative challenge: how to stop a tax increase that will hit more than 20 million households next year, some with incomes as low as $50,000.
Unless Congress acts, the alternative minimum tax will gradually impose $1.35 trillion in additional taxes over the next 10 years. Yet only six candidates in the 28 most-competitive House and Senate races across the country even mention it on their campaign Web sites.
Most candidates are avoiding the subject because the cost of stopping the tax increase would obstruct key elements of their agendas, such as the expansion of prescription-drug benefits for the elderly planned by Democrats, or Republicans' plan to make permanent President George W. Bush's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.
``It's a ticking time bomb,'' said former Senator John Breaux, a Louisiana Democrat who was vice chairman last year of a presidential panel that recommended abolishing the minimum tax. ``No one wants to recognize it. No one wants to pay for it.''
In many of this year's most closely contested races, discussion on the AMT is absent. In Pennsylvania, for example, incumbent Republican Senator Rick Santorum calls for making Bush's tax cuts permanent, while his Democratic challenger, State Treasurer Bob Casey, vows to ``fight for middle-class families.'' Neither addresses the AMT.
In the race for Missouri's Senate seat, neither Republican incumbent Jim Talent, nor his Democratic challenger, Claire McCaskill, mentions the tax on their Web sites.
The opponents in the race for the House seat in central Ohio, Republican incumbent Deborah Pryce and Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy, are sparring over Iraq, college tuition costs and energy policy. Neither candidate mentions the minimum tax, though about 120,000 Ohioans paid it in 2004, according to IRS data.
In the southwestern Indiana House race, neither the Republican incumbent, John Hostettler, nor his Democratic challenger, Brad Ellsworth, has raised the issue.
``I can't think of any race where that's a relevant issue of focus,'' said Ed Patru, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee in Washington. None of the party's advertising mentions the tax, he said.
The minimum tax was created as a parallel tax system in 1969 to prevent 155 wealthy people from reducing their liability through excessive exemptions, credits, and other deductions. Because it wasn't indexed for inflation, the tax increasingly affects people with modest incomes by denying deductions such as personal exemptions, property taxes, and medical expenses.
45 Million Households
The tax affected 3.8 million households this year; that number will grow almost six-fold in 2007. By 2016, about 45 million American households face higher bills if changes aren't made, according to an estimate this month by the nonpartisan staff of the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.
Still, the issue has played little role in this year's campaigns. Only a few Republicans, such as Senate candidate Tom Kean Jr. in New Jersey and Representatives Tom Reynolds of New York and Chris Shays and Rob Simmons of Connecticut, discuss the minimum tax on their campaign Web sites.
Priority for Pelosi
Among Democrats, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California said this month that fixing the AMT was a priority for her party. Yet only a few Democratic candidates, including Representatives Charles Rangel of New York, Tammy Duckworth in Illinois, John Barrow of Georgia and Melissa Bean of Illinois, emphasize the issue.
``I don't know why it hasn't caught fire,'' said Phil Singer, a spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Those candidates who do mention the minimum tax offer few specifics for fixing it. Reynolds, for example, says he will ``fight for middle-class relief'' from the tax. Duckworth calls for ``permanent reform.'' Neither says how they would pay for any changes to the tax.
Congress has limited the impact of the minimum tax over the past five years through a series of temporary measures intended to keep the number of affected households under 4 million. Lawmakers passed such temporary ``patches'' in 2001, 2004 and this year, at a cost to the government of $66.5 billion in tax revenue over the five-year period.
``They're just pushing the day of reckoning down the road, but the day of reckoning is going to be here one day,'' said Breaux, 62, now a senior counsel for Patton Boggs LLP, Washington's biggest lobbying firm by revenue.
Congress isn't slated to consider the AMT during a lame-duck session next month after the elections.
Breaux's panel, led by former Republican Senator Connie Mack of Florida, recommended abolishing the AMT last year as part of an overhaul of the tax code. To pay for it, the panel recommended repealing or reducing popular tax breaks such as a deduction for mortgage interest and for state and local taxes.
Those recommendations are being evaluated by the Treasury Department. Ed Lazear, chairman of the White House Council of Economic advisers, said in an interview last week that Bush may take up tax overhaul next year.
Rangel, who is in line to become chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee if Democrats win control of the House, has said fixing the minimum tax is Congress's ``responsibility.'' Some of Bush's tax cuts, especially those for investors and multimillion dollar estates, would have to be pared or abolished to pay for a permanent fix without worsening the budget deficit, he said. [ send green star] [ flag for review]
|CONTINUED 10:44 PM |
``Clearly we're going to have to raise the money within the system,'' Rangel, 76, said in an interview last month.
Bush and other Republicans have responded that Rangel and other Democrats are planning tax increases if they take power.
`Taxes Are Going Up'
``If the tax cuts we pass are not made permanent and they are left to expire, your taxes are going up,'' Bush said at an Oct. 26 fund-raiser for Republican House candidate Jeff Lamberti in Iowa.
John Buckley, chief tax counsel for the Democratic staff of the House Ways and Means Committee, said the minimum tax reclaims many of the benefits provided by Bush's tax cuts. That is because the tax cuts lowered rates under the normal system, without altering the alternative minimum tax rates. By law, taxpayers must calculate their liability under both systems and pay whichever is higher.
As a result, twice as many households will pay the minimum tax if Bush's tax cuts are made permanent than if the cuts are allowed to expire.
For now, Congress may continue to postpone confronting a permanent fix for the AMT, though the yearly patches will become an escalating burden on the federal budget starting next year. Limiting the reach of the AMT in 2007 would cost $49.2 billion, a 59 percent increase from this year, according to the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation. Extending the patch in 2008 would cost $60.4 billion.
``It becomes a catastrophe next year,'' Buckley said.
To contact the reporter of this story: Ryan J. Donmoyer in Washington at email@example.com
Last Updated: October 31, 2006 13:42 EST
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601070&sid=ajJYxC6TAiBE&refer=politics [ send green star] [ flag for review]
|BUSH'S STUMPING FOR GOP CANDIDATES IS BECOMING NAUCEATING 10:52 PM |
Bush has been traveling the country on Air Force One, spending the taxpayers money, I might add, strumping for the Do Nothing GOP-controlled Congress. How can he lie to the people about national security and taxes, while spending our hardearned tax money on shuffling from state to state campaigning for people who are notorious for working a two-day week when they are in session?
His quotes today have gone something like this: Democrats want to tax you for breathing, moving, working, eating, blah, blah, blah. If you vote for Democrats, "your taxes will go up." Does this man not know what the federal budget deficit looks like now? Has he seen an actual graph of the largest federal deficit in history, created by him and his Do-Nothing Congress? Iraq, to date, will become a 2 trillion dollar war. It is shameful to think that he can speak so rudely about people who have been oppressed and repressed to stomach these unreasonable demands, while giving him unprecedented power over all three branches of our government, a free reign to convert our democracy to an autocracy. How STUPID does he really think that we are?
Jun 25, 2006
TAKE ACTION TO HOLD CALIFORNIA'S 50TH DISTRICT ACCOUNTABLE TO HANDCOUNT BALLOTS TABULATED BY DIEBOLD MACHINES. THE VACATED SEAT OF DUKE CUNNINGHAM MAY NOT HAVE BEEN TAKEN BY THE REPUBLICANS. HELP PDA BY TAKING ACTION TO SEE THAT DISTRICT 50 IS HELD ACCOUNTABLE TO THE ELECTION INTEGRITY LAWS FOR ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES WITH NO PAPER TRAILS:
Dear fellow PDA Activists,
I've been working, like thousands of you, on Election Protection for a year and a half.
PDA Advisory Board members Rep. John Conyers and his Sr. Legislative Asst. Joel Segal helped hold the first federal hearings on voter suppression and machine anomalies in Ohio that resulted in the historic challenge to the Ohio electors in the House of Representatives, backed by Senator Barbara Boxer.
PDA Board Member and Constitutional lawyer John Bonifaz appeared at those hearings on behalf of election integrity and understood the peril to democracy so deeply he is now seeking office as Massachusetts' top election official, Secretary of State.
Our two founding issues were opposing the war in Iraq and re-establishing honest elections in the U.S, because the elections that brought us this war had decisive anomalies that were never addressed.
Election integrity is under the microscope in San Diego County. The 50th U.S. Congressional seat was given there, in special election, to Brian Bilbray (R) over Francine Busy (D) by three percentage points. The vote was counted on Diebold software, widely publicized to be technically vulnerable to tampering. The machines, both opti-scanner and DREs, were not kept in proper custody before the election.
PDA insists the paper in this election - paper ballots and Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail --be counted to determine the accuracy of the machine count in this race. For this reason, we have issued the statement below. Please read below and take action!
Chair Progressive Democrats of America
Progressive Democrats of America declares No Confidence in the machine tally results of California's 50th district June 6 Congressional special election.
PDA calls for a full hand-count of both the paper ballots and the Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail to determine the level of accuracy or error in the Diebold voting system used in this election.
The reason for this statement is that the Diebold machines, which have memory cards, were not kept in proper custody as prescribed in guidelines issued March 22, 2006, by Sandra Steinbach, Chair of Voting Systems Board of the National Association of State Elections Directors (NASED): "Every memory card requires at least the same level of protection as the ballot boxes and ballots used in the election. To prevent corruption of memory cards NASED hereby adopts an official addendum to the qualification of all voting systems that include a memory card that functions to store and transfer ballot images or tabulation data: 1. Throughout the life of the voting system, the election official shall maintain control of all memory cards and keep a perpetual chain of custody record for all of the memory cards used with the system.
Programmed memory cards shall be stored securely at all times with logged accesses and transfers.
The concluding statement of Steinbach's letter is this: "Failure to comply with this addendum negates the voting system's status as a NASED-qualified voting system."
This election had national significance to both major parties bitterly contesting balance in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The margin of difference in the unofficial results, with many votes still uncounted, is within 5 percent.
The San Diego Registrar followed practices, established before the arrival of computer voting, that create broad security risks now. Pollworkers were allowed to take home machines; were stored in unsecured locations such as cars and garages, for days and weeks prior to the election.
The machines are the easily-tampered-with Diebold systems which were publicly shown (by Harri Hursti, Dec. 13, 2006, and others) to be completely hackable in less than two minutes time, with no password required. San Diego's breach in security is in direct defiance of regulations both by the CA Secretary of State and the Federal oversight board who had warned against precisely such a breach.
Security risks are amplified by hidden programming errors. In Pottawattamie County, Iowa, on the same day as the CA-50 election, two Republican elections were counted on opti-scan systems and the results looked suspicious to the elections director. Were two popular incumbents really losing to two little-known challengers? The opti-scan was stopped and all the ballots were hand-counted. In a case of healthy suspicion serving democracy, the voters' intent was read by human eyes and the apparent "losers" were victors. Subsequently, technicians determined that the opti-scanner had not been programmed correctly for the ballots for those races, and was "reading" those ballots wrong.
We call on the candidates in CA's 50th to strengthen American democracy and support a hand-count of paper ballots and paper trail in this election.
The outcome of the hand-count, whatever it is, will reflect the voters' intent and verify the degree of machine accuracy or error, at least in this one election.
Let's honor the voters. The hasty swearing-in of the Republican candidate dishonored them. As the ceremony went forward, thousands of votes were not yet counted and the Secretary of State had not certified the election results. No wonder participation in democracy is at an all-time low: this haste sends a signal that, for many of our officials, a large percentage of voters are superfluous, unnecessary, and more or less a bureaucratic burden. Nobody likes to be a burden. So nice people - increasingly - not only don't engage in political debate - they don't vote!
ACTION: SIGN THE PETITION FOR A HAND-COUNT: http://www.velvetrevolution.us/content/busby-bilbray/busby-bilbray.php
PDA calls for a hand-count of the paper ballots and paper trails in California's 50th district before recognizing the legitimacy of any announced winner. We make this statement for the sake of democracy at a time of technological transition more than for the sake of a particular candidate, party, or outcome. The outcome we wish is a determination of true voter intent, which, because of the custody breaches and well-publicized security vulnerabilities of the voting system used, cannot be determined by the machine tally in this race.
The full text of NASED Chair Sandra Steinbach's letter:
March 22, 2006 National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) Voting System Board Voting System Memory Card Issues Memory card security is an important issue that requires some additional attention. They are used in many voting systems, both optical scan and direct recording electronic. Among the systems using memory cards is the Diebold AccuVote optical scan system. On December 23, 2005, the Chairperson of the NASED Voting Systems Standards Board contacted representatives of CIBER, Inc.; Wyle Laboratories and Diebold Election Systems, Inc. with a request for additional information regarding the qualification testing of the Diebold voting equipment and the memory cards associated with those systems. The letter read, in part: It is clear the memory card and ABasic component of the Diebold voting system should have been tested, but were not. From Ciber and Wyle labs, NASED independent test authorities, I request a full, written explanation of how this happened and why. Please respond by January 3,
2006. I expect to make this report public and anticipate Diebold's cooperation.
In the intervening weeks NASED has received general responses from Wyle and CIBER, as well as detailed reports of security analysis of the Diebold memory card's ABasic Code by CIBER and one issued by the California Secretary of State in conjunction with its certification documentation. Both of these studies were performed in response to requests from the State of California to Diebold Election Systems.
Both the California and CIBER reports arrive at the same core conclusion:
Diebold voting systems which include the ABasic code on the memory card can be safely used in elections. Physical security measures should be used to mitigate risks to the system; but these security measures are practical procedures already in place in many election jurisdictions. Even without the additional explicit security measures, corruption of the election results in an official election would require the active participation of the election officials and a person with a detailed working knowledge of the voting system programs.
Memory cards are used in many NASED-qualified voting systems. The memory card function is to store and transfer ballot images or tabulation data. It is sealed inside the voting device and its presence is necessary for the operation of the equipment. Corruption of the memory card with the intent to change vote totals can only occur after the device has been set for election and before the first vote is cast.
March 22, 2006 Every memory card requires at least the same level of protection as the ballot boxes and ballots used in the election. To prevent corruption of memory cards NASED hereby adopts an official addendum to the qualification of all voting systems that include a memory card that functions to store and transfer ballot images or tabulation data:
1. Throughout the life of the voting system, the election official shall maintain control of all memory cards and keep a perpetual chain of custody record for all of the memory cards used with the system. Programmed memory cards shall be stored securely at all times with logged accesses and transfers.
2. Immediately after the memory card is installed in the voting station, the card shall be sealed against unauthorized access. The voting station shall not be set into election mode until after the memory card is sealed inside.
3. Use controlled serialized seals that are tamper resistant and resistant to inadvertent breakage along with verifiable seal logs.
4. In post-election mode, print the results report prior to removing the memory card from the optical scanner. If additional reports other than the results report are available, print these as well.
Failure to comply with this addendum negates the voting system's status as a NASED-qualified voting system.
Sandra J. Steinbach Chairperson NASED Voting Systems Board
THIS IS VERY, VERY IMPORTANT, SO PLEASE SIGN AND PASS ALONG THE NETWORK TO GIVE YOUR SUPPORT FOR ELECTION INTEGRITY LAWS TO BE FOLLOWED IN ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES
Mar 12, 2006
||Visit - in person|
||Texas, United States|
I URGE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU TO HELP US TO ENSURE FAIR AND ACCURATE VOTER COUNTS BY HELPING THE I COUNT COALITION DISTRIBUTE MATERIALS TO COUNTY ELECTION OFFICIALS IN YOUR COUNTIES AND TO PARTICIPATE IN ACTION ALERTS AND DISTRIBUTION OF INFORMATION REGARDING VOTER MACHINE IRREGULARITIES. IT IS ESSENTIAL TO OUR DEMOCRACY AND OUR FUTURE IN OUR COUNTRY. PLEASE HELP TO RESTORE DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS!!!!!!
Ask Congress to Make Our Voting Machines Secure!
Come to Washington, D.C. on April 6 & 7
to Advocate for H.R. 550 and Voter Verified Paper Records!
Click Here to Sign Up! H.R. 550, a bill introduced by Rep. Holt of New Jersey, would protect the integrity of our elections by requiring a voter verified paper record of every vote, requiring mandatory random hand counted audits to verify the accuracy of electronic tallies, and prohibiting the use of secret software and wireless communication devices in voting machines.
The recent change in leadership of the Committee on House Administration has created a new opportunity for passage of this vital election integrity measure. Previous constituent meetings in June and August of 2005 were a huge success, generating 24 new co-sponsors of the bill from both parties. Please join us in Washington, D.C. on April 6 and 7 to build even greater bipartisan support for this critical bill.
If you can't make it to Washington, D.C., you may still be able to help out in your home state.
Click here to find out what you can do to help at home!
The HR 550 "I Count!" Lobby Days Coalition -- Common Cause, Electronic Frontier Foundation, VerifiedVoting.org, VotersUnite.org, VoteTrustUSA, and Working Assets -- looks forward to seeing you in Washington DC in April!
Read the Myth Breakers PDF below:
One very interesting fact about voting machines in Travis County, Texas, or Austin, Texas:
WHEN? The 2004 Election:
Strange Phenomenon, huh?
1) Election officials provide a default presidential candidate:
Travis County, Texas, October 2004
"A default selection is a selection automatically preset by the software. It remains selected unless the user specifically chooses to change it. To provide a default selection on a DRE voting machine is to give a voter a ballot with a candidate already marked.
Yet election officials in Austin set up the eSlate DREs with Bush/Cheney as the default choice for president/vice-president. Voters who voted a straight party Democratic ticket watched their presidential votes changed to Bush on the review screen. Officials said voters caused this by pressing the wrong button on the second screen of the eSlate machine.
Gail Fisher, manager of the county's election division, theorizes that after selecting their straight-party vote, some voters are going to the next page on the electronic ballot and pressing "enter," perhaps thinking that they are pressing "cast ballot" or "next page." Since the Bush/Cheney ticket is the first thing on the page, it is highlighted when the page comes up, and, thus, pressing "enter" at that moment causes the Kerry/Edwards vote to be changed to Bush/Cheney."
This irregularity was reported on the mainstream television news on election night, and the number of people who was supposed to be affected by this was said to be about 60 people. I'm speculating that it was probably a lot more than that, because people voting a straight-party ticket were finding themselves voting for Bush for president. Doesn't make sense to me. What was it then, Bush by DEFAULT?
Please urge your Congress people to vote for HR 550.
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.
1, 2 children
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