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@macbeth we are also in a federal "RFG" zone which only includes the metro Chicago area. As I mentioned below, this is an expense that we are fairly unique in having to deal with.
5 hours, 47 minutes ago on Gas taxes punishing
"We're going to have to find ways where the public has an assurance that there are checks and balances in place ... " That's not possible. You have a secret court presided over by an appointed Federal judge who can only be approached by government lawyers vetted by the very agency that is seeking the writ. All of the proceedings are secret and so are the outcomes. There is no way to assure anyone as to what is going on as every statement must be considered self-serving. The claim that it is unobtrusive is specious. The government knows who made the call, who received the call, the length of the call and the locations of both parties. You could just as easily put a GPS on every vehicle, monitor the location and path of that vehicle noting all stops and claim the same thing since you didn't hear any conversations going on inside the vehicle. The Supreme Court has already ruled that such an action, absent a warrant directed at a specific person, is illegal (US v Jones). I don't think the government is fooling anyone.
9 hours, 25 minutes ago on NSA director says plot against Wall Street foiled
@AlanP If by "Cons" you are referring to the neocon wing of the Republican party, you are correct. If you are referring to conservatives in general, you couldn't be more wrong and that is why I say we have to stop this lumping together of everyone into one of two camps. If you want a sampling of the conservative view point, try The American Conservative magazine. You are talking an ideology that spans the Republican Liberty Caucus, libertarians (small L), objectivists and any number of other groups. Stop lumping everyone to the right of Joe Biden as "the enemy".
11 hours, 54 minutes ago on Obama says NSA data gathering ‘transparent’
@snarkysnob There was very little outrage from *either* side and that is how we got here. To call those of us who fought against the abuses of the Bush administration "hypocrites" is to define the problem we face. This is not an Obama v Bush issue. It is an Obama *and* Bush *and* those members of Congress from both sides who support outrageous conduct against the American people. Attacking those that may support your position because it is easier to lump them all together as "them" is to lose the battle.
13 hours, 9 minutes ago on Obama says NSA data gathering ‘transparent’
@AlanP I think if you look around a bit you'll find people from across the political spectrum trying to do just that. The problem is not "righties". Perhaps "lefties" should be castigated based on Sen. Feinstein's position, which is pro-surveilance. I think that if you looked for people that support your position on this issue rather than trying to figure out on which side of an arbitrary line they fall, you would do better. We could spend more time building a consensus and getting something done and less time name calling. That goes for the "righties" that populate these comments as well.
13 hours, 48 minutes ago on Obama says NSA data gathering ‘transparent’
We are also hit with the problem of the special blend mandated for our area. It is unique in the U.S. and is only produced by three refineries. If there is a hiccup at any of them our prices go off the chart since we may not import gasoline from any other refinery. it is a double whammy of ridiculous taxes and mandated supply constraints.
14 hours, 17 minutes ago on Gas taxes punishing
Why are taxpayers footing *any* of that bill? Crop insurance doesn't affect production, it protects farm profits. Farmers are free to find private insurance and pay for it themselves or self-insure. It is a business expense. If taxpayers were footing the majority of any other industry's insurance expense you would never hear the end of it. It is time for our government to quit trying to be everyone's sugar daddy while pandering for votes and make every business stand on their own two feet.
15 hours, 8 minutes ago on Our View: Farm Bill still flawed
@AlanP I sorry, what was done? And what "investor class" are we referring to, the vast majority of the market is owned by mutual funds. Those handle retirement funds for workers trying to put aside a nest egg. They are getting slaughtered every time the Fed loses control and the market takes a 50% header. Stocks have returned a screaming 0.74% annually since 2000. Which class is benefiting by that?
1 day, 7 hours ago on World looks to Bernanke to clarify stimulus plans
If anyone still believes we have a free market in this country, articles like this should put those beliefs to rest. The economy can't function without checking with the Fed, agencies like Fannie and Freddie or the latest pronouncements from Congress. The day before a Bernanke speech the stock and bond markets will almost completely cease to trade. Fundamentals mean nothing. The only thing that matters now is "What will Washington do next?" The consumer, who should be the driving economic force, is now a minor consideration in making a business decision. Business combats the interference by placing highly paid lobbyists in Washington to try to influence the decisions. Those with the best lobbyists win. Crony-capitalism is the new normal. This is Atlas Shrugged in real life. It needs to stop.
1 day, 9 hours ago on World looks to Bernanke to clarify stimulus plans
@snarkysnob Actually, that's not true. Dozens of mainstream books and articles were published during the Bush administration about the outrages being perpetrated, many by well known conservatives. Since the guiding principle for BOTH sides was "We are at war, we have to do this", nothing happened and the commentators were branded as either traitors or deranged. This is NOT a new debate.
1 day, 9 hours ago on Current, former officials back secret surveillance
Classics Illustrated published classic novels in comic book form from 1941 to 1971, I think. Teachers and parents used them extensively to supplement the texts that were being studied in class. I don't recall hearing that those decades (40s, 50s and 60s) produced a lot of illiterate students. This should actually be helpful in bringing students closer to the originals.
1 day, 13 hours ago on Graphic novels are being used as educational tools
So it was all just gross incompetence? Whew, that's a relief. Move along, nothing to see here.
1 day, 14 hours ago on IRS supervisor in D.C. scrutinized tea party cases
@howmuchwasthat Nice, start by name calling. I never ignored trillions that went to unnecessary wars. That's part of the problem and it is exactly the kind of waste that cripples an economy. Every penny of that tax money was voted on by our representatives. None of it would have gone anywhere absent that. Further, only 18% of the budget (which is far too much) went to defense in total. That includes payments to contractors. Lastly, here is a homework assignment. Find Exxon's net and their taxes then come back. I need to comment that every thing you have posted so far has been inaccurate. Please, check your facts.
2 days, 4 hours ago on Walsh decries state of GOP at Huntley Tea Party meeting
@howmuchwasthat The numbers come from the Feds. You can believe it or not but those are the real, reported numbers from the SEC. I don't recall ever saying I was an accountant. And what does being a lawyer have to do with anything? More seriously, if you believe that private production depends on government spending you prove you have never cracked an economics book in your life. That is just scary. So, because Halliburton made a profit, we can just give the government a pass on a nearly $16 Trillion debt? Did I get that right. Speaking of which, source your statement, please. Exon and Pfizer should have paid more than what? I thought you said they paid nothing. Look up their gross and look up their tax bill. Do the math.
2 days, 6 hours ago on Walsh decries state of GOP at Huntley Tea Party meeting
The easiest thing to do is contact their opposite numbers in loose carry states like Tennessee and New Mexico. See how they handle the issue. They have been doing it for years with no problem. The police in both states are supportive of the law.
2 days, 7 hours ago on Area leaders weigh concealed-carry bill's impact
@SafeShooter Worse, it means you won't be able to own them.
@howmuchwasthat Exxon paid $22Billion in taxes last quarter. Pfizer paid over $1 billion. Both have tax rates over 25%. Finally, what percentage of private production can be lost to government spending and be acceptable to you. PS. How are you doing on that debt issue? Find the numbers OK?
2 days, 8 hours ago on Walsh decries state of GOP at Huntley Tea Party meeting
@katzenliebhaber But do you believe in his views on how horrible the GOP has become? That is the subject of the column.
@katzenliebhaber Thank you for making my point. I read your response carefully and was trying to point out where your comments go wrong. You didn't address *any* of the issues Walsh brings up. You dodged them in in favor of character criticism.
2 days, 9 hours ago on Walsh decries state of GOP at Huntley Tea Party meeting
@katzenliebhaber So runaway debt is OK as long as you pay yours? Is that your take on this? Or is it that no one can fight to balance the Federal budget unless they have a pristine history themselves. You confuse issues with personalities. How about saying "Yes, lowering the deficit and the debt is a great idea, Joe. We agree. How are you handling your personal debts?" I don't hear that anywhere in your statement.