Michigan’s GOP Gov. Slashes Corporate Tax Rate by 86 Percent, Hikes Taxes for Working Poor

From Think Progress: http://thinkprogress.org/2011/03/14/rick-snyder-corporate-taxes/

By Pat Garofalo
Mar 14th, 2011

As we’ve been documenting, several conservative governors have proposed placing the brunt of deficit reduction onto the backs of their state’s public employees, students, and middle-class taxpayers, while simultaneously trying to enact corporate tax cuts and giveaways. Govs. Rick Scott (R-FL), Tom Corbett (R-PA), and Jan Brewer (R-AZ) have all gone down this road.

Following suit, Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI) has proposed ending his state’s Earned Income Tax Credit, cutting a $600 per child tax credit, and reducing credits for seniors, while also cutting funding for school districts by eight to ten percent. At the same time, as the Michigan League for Human Services found, the state’s business taxes would be reduced by nearly $2 billion, or 86 percent, under Snyder’s plan:

Business taxes would be cut by 86 percent from an estimated $2.1 billion in FY 2011 to $292.7 million in FY 2013, the first full year of the proposed tax changes…Taxes on individuals from the state income tax would rise by $1.7 billion or nearly 31 percent, from an estimated $5.75 billion in FY 2011 to $7.5 billion in FY 2013, the first full year of the tax changes.

As the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found, the practical upshot of Snyder’s tax increases is to place even more of a burden on Michigan’s poorest residents, who will see a bigger hike than those at the upper end of the income scale:

Continue reading at:  http://thinkprogress.org/2011/03/14/rick-snyder-corporate-taxes/

Maybe it is time for working people to engage in some serious class warfare too.  For too long class war has been only for the rich.

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Lautenberg bill would end federal funds for ‘ineffective’ abstinence til marriage programs

From NJ.Com: http://www.nj.com/gloucester-county/index.ssf/2011/03/lautenberg_bill_would_end_fede.html

By Jessica Beym/Gloucester County Times
March 15, 2011

Today, U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA-9) introduced legislation to cut off federal funding what they believe are ineffective, abstinence-only-until-marriage education programs.

Despite spending more than $1.5 billion in federal funds for abstinence-only education over the last 15 years, the United States maintains one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the developed world and one-third of all new HIV infections in the United States occur among those under the age of 29, according to the legislators.

A Congressionally-mandated study found that abstinence-only programs fail to effectively teach teens how to prevent unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.  The Lautenberg-Lee bill, introduced in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, would reallocate the abstinence-only funding to comprehensive sex education programs.

“Abstinence-only education doesn’t work and is a poor use of federal funding.  Our nation’s young adults deserve access to information that helps them take on real life situations and make smart decisions,” Lautenberg said.  “This legislation would make smart investments in programs that prevent teen pregnancy and stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.”

The “Repealing Ineffective and Incomplete Abstinence-Only Program Funding Act” would strike Title V, Section 510 from the Social Security Act.  That provision has been the funding mechanism for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs for nearly 15 years.  The bill would reprogram $50 million annually to evidence-based, comprehensive sex education programs funded through the Personal Responsibility Education (PREP) program.  PREP funds comprehensive sex education programs that provide both abstinence and contraception information to teens and educates them about preventing sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, and unintended pregnancy, as well as life skills that help youth make healthy decisions.

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Inequality Maryland’s Witch-Hunt Against Trans/Queer People

Amplify Your Voice is a site that caters to young activists.  That there are sites like this gives me hope.

From  Amplify Your Voice: http://www.amplifyyourvoice.org/u/Jordan/2011/3/16/Inequality-Marylands-WitchHunt-Against-TransQueer-People

by:  Jordan

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Equality Maryland is an organization that is supposed to help advance LGBT rights. But of course, the T is being censored, the B is being ignored, and the L is being tokenized, thus leaving the only beneficiaries of Equality Maryland’s policies to be (for the most part) financially secure able-bodied cisgender gay males.

From Planet Transgender:

Equality Maryland accuses transgender and equality advocate allies of making threatening calls to their staff and making threats of physical violence against delegates to the Maryland House of representatives!

These self destructive blanket accusations were made by EQMD to justify its censoring of dissension by deleting comments and banning former members. These unsubstantiated accusation are libellous and sure to disenfranchise even more of its membership who have become increasingly aware of EQMD’s oppression.

And I have reason to believe them. I have had an Amplify Post “First Anti-Discrimination, Then Marriage Equality” deleted from their wall whenever I posted it, simply because they disagree with my belief that:

Continue reading at:  http://www.amplifyyourvoice.org/u/Jordan/2011/3/16/Inequality-Marylands-WitchHunt-Against-TransQueer-People

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Transsexual Activists Rally At Supreme Court to Demand Protections in MD

From She Wired:  http://www.shewired.com/Article.cfm?ID=26901

by SheWired Editors

A controversial bill has been proposed in Maryland, HB 235, which protects against discrimination concerning gender identity and gender expression. The bill originally included protections in housing, employment and public accommodations. Unfortunately, the alarming compromise was recently made to remove protections for public accommodations, which will legalize second class citizenship to transsexual and transgender Marylanders. The community has mobilized to counter this unconstitutional agenda, and to oppose Equality Maryland and the elected officials who support the fractional bill.

Maryland State Senator Rich Madaleno stare, “Providing transgender individuals with basic protections against discrimination is long overdue. Although much of the media attention this legislative session has centered on marriage equality, we cannot let that debate overshadow efforts to enact these essential protections. Protection against discrimination, including gender identity discrimination, is a basic human right. Our state laws must reflect the values of equality and equal opportunity – values that are central to who we are as Americans. ..Now is the time…protecting individuals from discrimination on the basis of gender identity.”

Jenna Fischetti, Media Director for Trans Maryland, explains, “Trans Maryland is overwhelmed by the support and solidarity shown by our local and national peers and allies this evening. We wish to thank them all. We marched up 1st Street, past The Cannon House Building, on our way to the Capitol Grounds across from the Supreme Court.The destination was 1st and Maryland. In exercising our 1st Amendment rights, We members of Maryland’s transsexual and transgender communities made a statement that We Own Our Voices, that House Bill 235 in the Maryland House of Delegates needs to be amended, and that going forward, it is OUR community’s responsibly, in conjunction with supportive allies when needed, to educate our legislators and the population as a whole.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.shewired.com/Article.cfm?ID=26901

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Obama Requests Funding For Venezuelan Opposition in 2012 Budget

Hey Obama, why don’t you just do what your hero Reagan did and flood the ghettos with CIA smuggled crack.  Then use the money to fund a new version of the Contras.

Can we get a real Democrat as candidate in 2012 instead of this opportunistic DINO?

Maybe we need a new party that represents the hard working people of America instead of the rich corporate elite.

From Axis of Logic: http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_62316.shtml

Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

By Eva Golinger
The Chávez Code
Thursday, Feb 17, 2011

The US government is setting the terrain for the 2012 presidential elections in Venezuela, soliciting funding to back anti-Chavez groups and help prepare a “candidate” to oppose Chavez. Republicans call for an “embargo” against the oil-producing nation

This week, US President Barack Obama presented Congress with a $3.7 trillion dollar budget for 2012, the most expensive budget in United States history. Within his massive request, which proposes cuts in important social programs and federal jobs throughout the country, is a partition for special funding for anti-Chavez groups in Venezuela.

Included in the whopping $3.7 trillion request is over $670 billion for the Pentagon’s ever-increasing annual budget, nearly $75 billion for the intelligence community and $55.7 billion for the State Department and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

For the first time in recent history, the Foreign Operations Budget (State Department) openly details direct funding of at least $5 million to anti-Chavez groups in Venezuela. Specifically, the budget justification document states, “These funds will help strengthen and support a Venezuelan civil society that will protect democratic space and seek to serve the interests and needs of the Venezuelan people. Funding will enhance citizens’ access to objective information, facilitate peaceful debate on key issues, provide support to democratic institutions and processes, promote citizen participation and encourage democratic leadership”.

While the descriptive language justifying the diversion of millions in US taxpayers dollars to fund political groups in a foreign nation may sound “pretty”, this type of funding has been a principal source of promoting subversion and destabilization in Venezuela against the democratic and majority-supported government of Hugo Chavez during the past eight years. According to public documents, just between the years 2008 to 2011, the US State Department channeled more than $40 million to the Venezuelan opposition, primarily directing those funds to electoral campaigns against President Chavez and propaganda slated to influence Venezuelan public opinion.

Continue reading at:   http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_62316.shtml

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Activists Stand Up for Bradley Manning – and PJ Crowley

From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/16-0

by Medea Benjamin

Published on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 by CommonDreams.org

When we heard on Sunday that P.J. Crowley had resigned as spokesman for the State Department after criticizing the Pentagon’s treatment of suspected whistleblower Army private Bradley Manning, my CODEPINK colleagues and I knew we had to respond. How outrageous that yet another person gets punished for simply telling the truth–Crowley called Manning’s treatment “ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid”–while the war criminals go free. I can think of a lot stronger words to use for the way the Pentagon is holding Manning in solitary confinement for 10 months now, before he has even had a trial or been convicted of anything.

We quickly put out a call for activists to meet us at the State Department at noon and then walk to the White House. About 24 people showed up on short notice, in the middle of a workday. Some donned black and white prison suits, others put on orange Guantanamo jumpsuits, and three brave men–Tighe, Jay and Logan–stripped down to jock straps to symbolize the fact that the prison guards take away Manning’s clothing at night, including his underwear. (They justify this because of sarcastic comments Manning had made about using his underwear to commit suicide, but it’s really to further intimidate and humiliate him.)

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/16-0

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GOP Candidate: Deport Latino Farmworkers, Replace With Inner-City Blacks

Some one needs to tell Massa Jack Davis that we abolished slavery in this country some hundred and fifty years ago.

Any African- American person who votes for or has anything to do with the Republi-Nazi party is a traitor and quisling.

The Republi-Nazi Party is synonymous with the Klu Klux Klan

From Mother Jones: http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/03/gop-candidate-deport-latino-farmworkers-replace-inner-city-blacks

By Suzy Khimm

Tue Mar. 15, 2011

A Republican candidate running for (“Trannie-Chaser”) Rep. Chris “Craigslist” Lee’s seat in upstate New York isn’t doing his scandalized party any favors. Jack Davis, a local businessman vying for the seat, shocked local GOP leaders by suggesting that the area’s Hispanic farmworkers should be deported, and that inner city blacks should be bused in to pick the crops instead, as The Buffalo News reports.

Davis made the comments during a February 20 endorsement interview with local Republican Party leaders—and it’s not the first time he’s floated the idea.  In 2008, Davis told another local paper:  “We have a huge unemployment problem with black youth in our cities. Put them on buses, take them out there [to the farms] and pay them a decent wage; they will work.”

Continue reading at:  http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/03/gop-candidate-deport-latino-farmworkers-replace-inner-city-blacks

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