That's the ugly reality in the US, that only the poor pay taxes. We don't have a fair system and those who reap millions -- don't call it earning, don't insult us that way -- get to stuff their pockets while the government grabs all the money it can from the poor. Rick Baum (CounterPunch) reports:
Recently, the two wealthiest people on earth engaged in transactions that received attention from the press. Bezos donated $100 million to the Obama Foundation and Musk sold some $5 billion of his Tesla stock. The consequences of these two transactions show some of what is wrong with our tax system.
By donating $100 million, Bezos will presumably take a charitable deduction on his tax return and reduce his taxable income, saving him as much as $37 million in federal taxes. In other words, his “charitable” donation will likely be heavily subsidized by taxpayers. The government is deprived of money it might otherwise be receiving. Bezos presumably gets the blessings of the Obamas and some good PR over his “generosity.” I have seen no reports about him thanking Amazon employees and customers for making his donation possible as he did after his space flight.
The tax break for making donations is a regressive deduction since it generally reduces the taxes of those with the biggest taxable incomes the most. Those with incomes below $50,000 donating $100, at most, save $12 while people with a $1 million dollar income, who can easily afford to donate $100, could save $37 in their federal income taxes. Donations should be made for their own sake, and not be subsidized by the government.
Musk’s Sale of Tesla Stock
Musk is reported to have sold some $5 billion of his Tesla stock. Assuming it is all subject to taxation, poor Elon might end up paying as much as $2.04 billion in taxes on this transaction. If the entire $5 billion is considered long term capital gain, he could pay much less, $1.19 billion. Then there may be loopholes he can take advantage of such as donating money and wiping out at least part of the tax.
Additionally, Musk’s $5 billion transaction occurred after he moved from California to Texas, a state that does not impose individual incomes taxes. With this move, he will presumably avoid having to pay what could have been over $660 million in state income taxes to California.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Wednesday:
December 1, 2021. A final election tally is finally announced in Iraq and we look at the corrupt media system which devours its own in order to protect itself.
Starting with the media. This site has not called for Chris Cuomo to be fired. Rebecca's made that call and it's a solid call (see "it's time for cnn to fire chris cuomo" and :"suspended isn't fired"). There are also solid reasons to argue against it. But those e-mailing the public account -- and noting that it was this site -- need to check their eye sight. (I can give you the numbers of several wonderful doctors.) I have not made that call nor am I closely following that story. It takes a lot to get me to call for someone to lose their livelihood. I have no idea what's going to happen to Chris.
He is now expendable. To CNN, he is now expendable. They're trying to rebrand. He is the face of so much that people do not like about CNN -- and CNN executives made him that face and encouraged him to be it -- so it is very likely that he will be fired. I'm not saying he should be. I'm not sying he shouldn't. But I have not made the call for him to be fired.
But, and this brings us to our second topic of e-mails to the public account, Lara Logan.
Lara appeared on some FOX NEWS program. She did not -- as the people e-mailing claim -- say Anthony Fauci was Josef Mengel.
She stated that she had encountered many people who saw him as that. So get your facts straight. Second, if that was shocking to you -- the way a number of people see Fauci -- you really are in a bubble. He is inept and he is hated. The White House wasted too much time and energy on him. Had they done what they wree supposed to do -- push Joe Biden's administration wish list -- they'd be more successful -- and Joe would be higher in the polls. Months ago, I pointed out here that they were expending too much enery on protecting Fauci. That was their first clue that he had to go.
And he should go. What's the difference between a Trump administration and a Biden administration? Not a whole lot apparently. He has cost the administration a great deal -- both in terms of defining itself in opposition to Donald's policies and in terms of being able to stay on message and focused.
Does no one have a brain in the administration?
He should have been told long ago, "Thank you for your work, we're going to be making some changes so we'd like your resignation." And that Fauci didn't grasp that he was an anchor for the administration, dragging them down, and leave on his own goes to Fauci's stupidity and his vanity.
Stupidity? Lara Logna was stupid and foolish. For what she said regarding Fauci? No. It is a view that many hold of Fauci. Her job isn't to censor what someone -- Ruth Bader Ginsberg? -- says, her jon is to address what is being said. If you're that offended by her, I don't understand how you watch television. Does a nanny come in and watch it with you, hug you after each broadcast?
Lara was stupid with regards to CBS.
'Lara Logan lied and CBS fired her!'
She didn't get fired. She got put on a suspension and, when it was up, CBS eased her out by making it clear that there would be no real duties again. That's probably the road that CNN will try to tke. Get them to express their desire to leave and you don't have to honor the contract. Lara was made the face of problems and Chris will likely be as well.
Chris did not take an axe to the wall of professional boundaries while CNN execs objected and told him to stop. He did what he did in full view of everyone. He should not have been covering his own brother. Things like that happen but they shouldn't. When Chris Hayes was with THE NATION, he shouldn't have been allowed to cover the Obama administration since his wife was an attorney for that administration.
Whether Chris gets terminated or not, he did not create the problem. Nor is he, honestly, the problem. The problem is the culture at CNN that allowed it to happen.
Lara Logan? I went to CRAPAPEDIA when Martha told me about the e-mails because there was so much stupidity in the e-mails, I knew it had to be coming from somewhere besides outrage junkies. Sure enough, the lies are intact at CRAPAPEDIA.
To hear CRAPAPEDIA tell it, Lara Logn did a 60 MINUTES segement that had backlash and she apologized for the inacuracies and was suspended.
Really? That's what we're going to pretend happened?
Dylan Davies' name is in the entry, but that's about all. Here are three significant words that are missing: THE EMBASSY HOUSE.
That's the 2013 book that Dylan Davies wrote, the book that THRESHOLD EDITIONS published -- THRESHOLD is a CBS imprint.
Claims were made -- I didn't watch the segment. Lara apologized for them. That was part of her stupidity.
Lara did end up losing a promising career. Who else, though?
Louise Burke was the publisher at THRESHOLD. Did she lose her job? Well, kind of. She got promoted.They moved her up the chaing to publisher of Gallery Books Group. And she stayed there, part of the CBS corporate family, until 2017. She went on to co-found another outlet (ALL SEASONS PRESS).
Set aside what was true or fale about the book for a moment (we'll come back to that) but CBS published a book. Publishers are supposed to employ fact checkers. CBS published a book that made claims that, when repeated on TV, cost Lara Logan a promising career. But no one involved in publishing the book suffered.
Lara was stupid to have promoted the book. She should have said that an on air disclosure was needed regarding CBS' involvement in the publishing of the book. She also should have said that this feels like book promotion and not reporting. She didn't. If she had, she might have been ignored, but she should have said that.
Her stupidity continued after the segment aired. "We're going to let this blow over." She was told that -- I know from the man who told her those words that she was told that. I shook my head in real time and said, "You're going to hang her out to dry." No, no, no, he insisted.
Yes, yes, yes.
And any reporter is an idiot when they believe that garbage.
No matter what you think your value is -- again, think Chris Cuomo today -- it isn't. You're product and the minute you threaten the brand, you're on your way out.
Karmicallyt Dan Rather got what he deserved when Bully Biy Bush's AWOL story blew up in his face. It was a long time coming for Dan who was a professional liar and it's sad to watch some uninformed lefties rush to defend him to this day. Or worse, celebrate him as a hero.
Dan lied for CBS over and over. And he was rewarded for that. And he thought he was untouchable and certainly indisposable. Nope. When there was embarrassment and CBS could protect itself by cutting him out, they did so. They removed him like a tumor.
Mary Mapes? I feel sorry for her. But she was stupid as well because she bought the b.s. that CBS was handing her. Don't. They have no loyalty to anything but their brand. She should have learned from what CNN did to April Oliver. You do not matter to them, their corporate bottom line does. The dumbest mistake you can make is to go silent. You need to be talking to the media and your employers needs to see the coverage. It's the only thing that can save you. When CBS wanted to dump Daniel Schorr, it was the publicity he was taking part in that kept them from doing so. Because Schorr was a liar, the attitude was, "Let him keep talking, he'll trip himself up." And he did. (Yet when he died, many tried to rewrite history and pretend that he was brave and wonderful.)
If youre silent, you're an idiot. Because they're using your silence by filling the void with whispers about you and they're damaging your credibility to protect their brand.
CBS airs a questionable report based on a CBS book that is also questionable. And Lara's the only one punished? No one at the publishing house is punished. Just Lara.
Was the book true or false?
I'd argue we don't know. I know the argument that THRESHOLD made -- which had CBS back off from punishing them. Davies was a contractor. Not a merc, but an intellignece conttractor. Benghazi was a CIA outpost (the embassy -- that came out in the first hearing we attended, US House Rep Jason Chaffetz was having a meltdown in the hearing as different thing were being said and his mike caught enough comments (asides he was making) to make clear that he felt too much was being aired publicly.
So Davies was contracted by the US government as some form of intelligence. Probably, he was to carry out activities that are crimes for the CIA to carry out. Probably he, like many others, was just there in case the whole thing blew up -- a patsy.
Daveis was 'exposed' by journalists with CIA ties as having stated that he was not present in an FBI interview. And? Did he say it? You have no idea, I don't either. If he said it, was he ordered to say it because of the nature of the mission? Ibid. They also trotted out an incident report which Davies denied having completed.
THRESHOLD didn't say, "Sure, thanks, guys, I know we can work this out." Lara Logan did. THRESHOLD said, "If you come for us, we're coming for you."
And if you don't get how many work to brand these contractors as liars, you missed Senator Idiot Supreme Dianne Feinstein in her attacks on Ed Snowden which included her claims -- presented as facts -- that he was never employed by the CIA or the NSA. "High school drop out" was her line of ridicule, for those who missed it.
The outrage junkies are after Lara Logan again.
Are they lying or just so addicted to their outrage high that they can't make sense of what was said? Lara did not say she considered Fauci to be a Nazi War Criminal. She said she encounted many people who did. If that's a shock to you, as Demi Moore says in THE BUTCHER'S WIFE, "Well you ought to get out more."
October 10th, Iraq held elecgtions. They finally have official results. ALJAZEERA notes:
The political bloc led by Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr was confirmed the winner of the October parliamentary election.
Iraq’s independent election commission announced the final results on Tuesday following weeks of recounting and intensified rejection from the losing parties.
Five seats changed as a result of the appeals and recounting process in the capital; Baghdad, Nineveh, Erbil, Kirkuk and Basra.
[. . .]
The number for the Taqadum, or Progress Party-led by current Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi, a Sunni – remained the same, 37 seats. Former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law party lost two seats and will have 33 in parliament.
The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) captured 31 seats, and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) received 18.
Some issues have been turned over to the judiciary so there may be changes to come (or not) but those are the 'final' results as issued by the electoral commission.
I love some of the spin, by the way, like this Tweet:
Really? Just five seats. Just? If five seats flipped in the House, Democrats would not be the majority party.
Those announced results do not build trust in the system -- nor does the laughable claim of 44% participating -- but as we noted repeatedly ahead of the election, anticipating an extremely low turnout, they changed the way they counted participation.
The following sites updated: