Monday, September 29, 2014

Hooray-It's-a-Sunny Monday Links

The Curmudgeon can officially hoot over two siblings with degrees from the University of Wyoming. One of them could be in for a double-treat, as her Ph.D. is from The Ohio State University. Then there are a brother, two nieces and a nephew with degrees from Maryland...

Non-sports items we've noted on the internet this morning include:

Rick Snyder Town Halls Are Invitation-Only
Invited Mark Schauer to Town Hall, but cancels tickets
of anyone else who might disagree with him
The "tough nerd" apparently isn't very tough, after all. The Governor announced 10 Town Hall meetings where the he would to talk directly with the people. Apparently, he doesn't want to talk with all the people -- just the ones who support him.
In other words, it is a series of staged presentations designed to create an aura of openness when just the opposite is the reality. It is identical to a tactic that was used so effectively by Tricky Dick Nixon way back in 1968.
The campaign claims they are only giving tickets to "undecided" voters. Lonnie Scott of Progress Michigan, whose ticket to the first "town hall" was cancelled, responded:
If the Snyder campaign is only allowing in undecided voters, then I should be considered ‘undecided’. I can’t decide whether Gov. Snyder is totally corrupt or completely incompetent.

Blind Pig Finds Acorn
The usually clueless Nolan Finley, editorial page editor for the Detroit News, is usually so far in right field that he's straddling the foul line (baseball analogy in honor the Tigers' fourth-straight division title).
His latest screed actually contains a suggestion that he occasionally gets it, noting that the tea party has an agenda of tyranny in which a minority controls the agenda. Of course he uses that fact as a reason to attack Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid but, given Finley's track record, we'll excuse that as just "force of habit".

What You Need to Know About Tax Inversions
The latest lobbyist-enabled tax avoidance scheme for corporations is to renounce their U.S. citizenship, officially set up shop in a tax haven, and continue to take in profits from their U.S. operations. It's called "Tax Inversion" and it is more proof that corporations are not people: people can't proclaim another country as their home and then avoid paying taxes on money in the U.S. That option is only available to big multinational corporations.
Burger King is the latest company to take advantage of this scam. The home of the Whopper won't shut down U.S. operations. It will just avoiding paying to support the country where it makes most of its profits.
The White House has put together a fact sheet on tax inversions and how it is screwing the rest of us.
Half of all the inversions have taken place in the last five years and, over the next decade, will divert $20-billion from the U.S. treasury.
President Obama has taken action to stop some of the abuses, but is limited in what he can do through executive action (despite lame claims from Ted Cruz et. al. the President is a dictator, he actually understands the limits of executive power).
It will take Congressional action to close this blatantly unpatriotic corporate tax avoidance scheme. With the billions corporate giants have invested in buying Congress, chances for that happening are slim. And if Republicans take over the Senate, the odds go down to "cold day in Hell".

Kochs Shift from Voter Deception to Voter Suppression
The Kansas bad-boys are renowned in Michigan for their multiple anti-Obamacare ads that fact-checkers found to be mostly fictitious, including one featuring a woman who actually saved a bunch of money and got better coverage when she shifted to an Exchange-listed plan. She was so brainwashed by the Fox News/Koch propaganda machine that, even when she was told the good news by the right-wing Detroit News, she refused to believe it.
Now Chuck and Dave are investing some of their massive bank account in North Carolina in an effort to confuse potential voters over how to register. Turns out the instructions in their "official voter registration" application mailer contains multiple "mistakes" which could delay or derail a person's registration, effectively taking away their right to vote.
In the minds of America's richest brothers, it isn't how you play the game. It's whether you win or lose. And when you have unlimited money to throw at the process and no consciences, anything goes.

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