Christian Lopez was one of over 48,000 fans who entered Yankee Stadium yesterday hoping to witness history in the making. Several hours later, the young cell phone salesman who many were hailing as both a hero and ‘the luckiest man in New York’ went home with an overwhelming income tax burden – compliments of Yankees management.
His pending nightmare began in the third inning when Yankee captain Derek Jeter connected for his 3000th career hit, a home run that somehow found the unsuspecting Lopez in the left field bleachers, crippling – perhaps permanently – his financial future.
Not realizing the extent of the damage, Lopez exacerbated his injuries by telling Yankee officials that he wanted nothing in return for the ball that caused the damage. Yankee brass, however, nonetheless ‘rewarded’ the erstwhile good Samaritan with valuable collectibles such as autographed baseballs, bats, and jerseys – and as though enough damage had not already been done – they then fired a final coup de grace by presenting the man who is perhaps their most loyal, selfless fan free tickets with an estimated value of $50,000 or more.
Among those watching this tragedy unfold on live television was Shitonia Moment, a veteran IRS agent who immediately leapt into action, sacrificing part of her weekend to calculate the taxes on Mr. Lopez’s alleged windfall and begin the process of making sure to hold him accountable for every dime.
Ms. Moment, speaking to reporters outside the W. 44th St., Manhattan office of the Internal Revenue Service casually dressed in shorts, a Boston Red Sox jersey and a Mets baseball cap, commented that, “Irresponsible actions such as those we have witnessed today are just one example of how the New York Yankees have been ruining innocent lives for over 100 years. How do they expect a young, responsible man like Mr. Lopez to pay the roughly $20,000 or higher tax bill on what they mockingly portray to the public as a generous gift?” Continue reading Yankees Give Loyal Fan Huge Tax Problem
The silly season has come early to Washington, it seems. The root cause is a simple fact of American politics these days — sometimes, there just can’t be transparency. That’s a fairly provocative statement, so allow me to explain my reasoning in detail. Then, later on (in the talking points section of our program), we’ll get into the option of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, and how Obama should be using it right about now. But for now, it’s time for a sober assessment of where Washington currently stands.
Once again, national politicians are in negotiations over a key piece of legislation which, if it does not pass, will cause doom and gloom across the land. Once again, “journalists” are reduced to mere purveyors of increasingly wild and rampant speculation, for weeks on end. The key underlying fact is ignored by virtually everyone, in the midst of this frenzy: this is not some sort of aberration, this is how Washington gets anything done. At least, these days.
The term “silly season,” in Washington, usually refers to the August congressional vacation… oh, excuse me, “district work period.” See, right there, the actual label is inherently silly. To say nothing of what this period normally contains. When politicians go home, less news happens. Since they’re not in town legislating, nothing official happens outside of the White House. Since political reporters, for the most part, don’t have the will (or in some cases the resources) to get out beyond the Beltway to report what non-Washington-dwelling Americans are thinking about politics elsewhere in the country, the whole month is seen as the slowest news period of the year in the political world.
But politics, like Nature, abhors a vacuum. Here’s easy proof of this notion: when did the initial Tea Party town halls happen? Did they make the news? The answers, of course, are: “August,” and “Yes, indeedy.” Political reporters love this sort of thing during the silly season, as it fills column inches and television minutes when there’s a dearth of actual political news.
This year, however, everyone faces a deadline of August the second to produce a very complex piece of legislation. Serious negotiations are taking place at the White House. Because the deadline is looming (the actual deadline, the White House points out, is going to come even earlier — because getting a bill written, scored, and through Congress takes some time), the politicians are now holding serious negotiations behind closed doors. Very little of the substance of these negotiations has leaked out to the press, which is obviously something the negotiators themselves agreed to before they began. Continue reading Friday Talking Points  — Obama’s Fourteenth Option
I’m sure most of you remember reading the story of Chicken Little from when you yourself were a child. The basic line of the story is that an acorn fell on Chicken Little’s head while he walked through the woods, which scared him so much he shook half his feathers off. He immediately started running, yelling “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”
Along the way, he meets Henny Penny, Ducky Lucky, Goosey Loosey, and Turkey Lurkey. They all in turn ask how Chicken Little knows the sky is falling, and he tells each of them, “I saw it with my own eyes and heard it with my own ears, and part of it fell on my head!” Each character jumps on the “The sky is falling!” bandwagon, and together, they go off to see the king. Along the way, of course, they meet Foxy Loxy, who also asks where they’re going. They tell hm, and he offers to lead them to the king. He doesn’t do that, of course; he leads them to his den and ultimately none of them make it to see the king.
I thought of this story over the past couple of days when the “news” that Obama had put Social Security and Medicare “on the table” in the debt ceiling talks came out. Or more precisely, when I saw the reaction by the Professional Left and their followers. “OMG OMG OMG!!! Obama has sold us out!!! Obama has turned his back on us!!! Obama is letting the Republicans have their way!!! Obama has betrayed us!!! Whaaaaaaaaa!!!”
Sigh. There they go again, running around in circles, claiming that they know for certain that Obama has done something, when the only “proof” they have is that some anonymous source told The Washington Post that that is what happened. Really?
Let me ask you a few questions, dear PL, if you could just stop for a minute. Only a minute. First, how do you know this “anonymous source” actually exists? If they do exist, how do you know they were actually in the room where the talks were taking place? How do you know that person is reliable? How do you know it wasn’t some Republican insider who decided to give a “tip” to the Post, just for the shits and giggles of seeing you all do your Chicken Little dance? How. Do. You. Know? Continue reading The Professional Left and Chicken Little
July 8, 1776: The Liberty Bell rings
“Proclaim liberty throughout all the Land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” ~ engraved on the Liberty Bell
On July 4, the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the . . . → Read More: History Teaches – July 8
Less than 24 hours after canceling former New York governor Eliot Spitzer’s prime time talk show, ‘In the Arena’, CNN today announced the latest addition to its lineup – and at the same time shocked industry analysts by signaling that they are ready to make a radical departure from the staid, no-nonsense style that has been their hallmark since founding the 24-hour cable news industry some 31 years ago.
And if they raised eyebrows when they hired Spitzer less than two years after he left office in disgrace as the result of a prostitution scandal, they just might raise the roof with this one.
Beginning this fall, CNN will launch the first-ever adult oriented, interactive late-night political talk show. Loosely modeled on their show ‘Crossfire’, which aired from 1982 to 2005, ‘Tit-for-Tat/Tweet-for-Twat’, starring John Ensign and Anthony Weiner will also feature a large graphic display showing live (subject to a 7 second delay) Facebook and Twitter feeds allowing viewers to participate in the conversation.
The show’s stars – Ensign, the Nevada Republican who recently resigned from the Senate rather than face expulsion over illegal acts committed in an effort to cover up his affair with a staffer, and Weiner, the New York Democrat who recently gave up his House seat amidst a sexless ‘sex scandal’ after it was discovered that he had been using social networking sites for nonpolitical social networking – will draw on their experience in the political, social, and networking arenas to, “bring CNN’s viewers a frank, straightforward, adult conversation with the emphasis on adult” according to Newton Toomey, a network executive who spoke on condition of anonymity. “And you may have noticed, I didn’t use the words ‘no-nonsense’ to describe our hosts.” Continue reading CNN Set to Compromise Reputation for Ratings
July 7, 1930: Construction begins on the Hoover Dam
“This morning I came, I saw, and I was conquered, as everyone would be who sees for the first time this great feat of mankind. . . . . → Read More: History Teaches – July 7
July 5, 1921: Chicago “Black Sox”
“Say it ain’t so, Joe.” ~ small boy to Shoeless Joe Jackson
On July 5, 1921, Judge Hugo Friend denied a motion to quash (meaning to void or set . . . → Read More: History Teaches – July 5
We’ve all noticed that there are pundits and bloggers on the left who attack Obama non-stop, even when he does things that the left has wanted for decades. Why can’t Obama get a fair shake from so many left bloggers who should be helping to make more progress happen?
Chris Hedges did everyone a favor by admitting his true agenda at truthdig. We now understand why he, and those of similar ilk, are just as fair and balanced about Obama as Fox News. The reason they spread so much cynicism is to convince people that elections are a waste of time and that the Democratic Party must be destroyed.
If elections were that effective, as the anti-war activist Phil Berrigan used to say, they would be illegal. We must follow the path Nader forged, attempting to sway enough people with conscience to sever themselves permanently and unequivocally from the mainstream and especially the Democratic Party.
This is different than working on progress toward progressive issues. Progress is happening on many issues, and often without the help of ankle-biting pundits who have done nothing but attack.
In the mind of Hedges, Progress = destroying the Democratic Party.
Therefore, spreading cynicism against Obama and Democrats = Progress.
But, what if a Democratic President does something very positive that liberals like? Well, that would disprove Hedges’ core belief system so Obama’s progressive accomplishments must always be ignored or downplayed as inadequate. And that’s what we’ve seen from a sizable chunk of left pundits. They spread disingenuous cynicism about Obama because admitting his accomplishments would invalidate their belief that destroying the Democratic Party is a necessary precursor to making progress.
One consequence of this is that the left blogosphere doesn’t get an accurate picture of what Obama and Congress are doing. And if the left blogosphere isn’t writing about something progressive Obama does, then I can guarantee the corporate-owned press won’t either. Continue reading Chris Hedges admits the motivation behind cynical left punditry
Buffalo Springfield’s Bonnaroo performance of Keep on Rockin in the Free World is in my head this Independence Day. The videos I found of that show were all pretty poor so here’s Neil doing it with Pearl Jam. It brings to mind Obama’s speech in Cairo delivered about seven months before Egypt’s democratic rebellion. I remember pundits asking when Obama would have his Reagan-esque “tear down this wall” moment. If cable news networks covered actual news they might have realized that he already did in this speech. . . . → Read More: Keep on Rockin in the Free World