Congress Critters at Work: Senate Stimulus Amendments….Hollywood Money is Stripped…

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MM monitoring the Senate Amendment votes on their stimulus plan..

Here are two of interest:

The ‘Hollywood Stimulus’ Funding Stripped:

The vote just wrapped up on GOP Sen. Tom Coburn’s amendment striking $246 million in special tax breaks for the film industry.

The amendment passed 52-45.

The money Hollywood just lost:

via HA:

The Senate bill includes a tax break worth up to $246 million over 11 years for investors in bigger-budget movie projects that don’t necessarily qualify for incentives currently. The provision is backed by firms like the Walt Disney Co., and the industry trade group the Motion Picture Association of America, according to aides and lobbyists.

Broadly speaking, the Senate bill includes a one-year extension through 2009 of a provision enabling companies to write off 50 percent of the cost of equipment placed in service during that year, same as in the House Ways and Means version. But the Senate bill amends the definition of “qualified property” to include “certain motion picture film or videotape,” bringing the cost of the Senate provision to $5.32 billion, up from the House’s $5.07 billion version.

Companies that use the tax break would then forfeit the right to use the existing incentive, which allows companies to deduct 100 percent of production costs up to $15 million. That provision is backed by groups such as the Directors Guild of America and is aimed at keeping smaller productions from relocating to foreign countries; it was extended as part of the $700 billion financial rescue plan in October.

The Mikulski Amendment to incentivize car purchases:

MM:

Update 4:02pm Eastern. Good to see Democrat Sen. Max Baucus opposing Mikulski’s amendment, supported by GOP Sen. Kit Bond (ugh!), based on the cost. He says it would cost $11 billion.

Update 5:02pm Eastern. Mikulski amendment passes 71-26. Tack on another $11 billion to the spendulus price tag.

Under the bill she plans to introduce in a coming lame-duck session, interest payments on car loans, and sales and excise taxes would be tax-deductible, Mikulski said. The program, which would apply to new vehicles purchased through the end of 2009, would be part of legislation designed to stimulate the economy.

…Mikulski estimated that under her proposal, buyers of a $25,000 Dodge minivan would save $1,553. The incentives would apply to loans of up to $49,500. Households with incomes above $250,000 would not be eligible.

The estimated the cost of the proposal would be between $2 billion and $3 billion, she said.

I will buy a car if they make it cheap enough but I am pretty sure they won’t get on their feet selling at what I consider cheap enough, but the government is the spender of last resort and I do believe we need some stimulus and this will keep dealerships in business and that is a good thing, it is better than the Hollywood money.
If Hollywood is so into the need to come together, frankly, they can afford the hit, they should NOT let it roll down to the labor on film sets. THEY should take the hit., The big shots who spend millions campaigning against the people campaigning against things…spend the money keeping people in your own industry employed as we all pull together..I don’t think any film star or studio can justify millions in taxpayer money for a film in this environment anymore than Wall St CEOs can…
Housing Amendment by GOP -(McConnell/Graham): I like it, of course I at this point I like ANY housing plan, and am by now certifiably pro HOLC :0)

I just want the govt to set a floor under it, frak private enterprise handling it, the banks got $350 Billion and didn’t modify the mortgages, let Uncle Sam make them do it then frak ’em) It HAS to be done a floor HAS to be put under these assets that are the underlying cause of the deflationary cycle..(IMO):

MM (who does NOT support the Amendment):

…”Graham is working on legislation to give all homeowners the chance to refinance their mortgages at 4 percent interest.

That would cost the government nearly $200 billion, he said, but would stabilize the housing market when combined with a larger tax credit for first-time homebuyers.”…

Update 2:39pm Eastern. Reid asked about GOP mortgage entitlement. States at press conference just now: “We’re willing to look at it.” Estimated cost, he says, is “between $300 million and $1 trillion.”

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February 3, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Big 3, Economy, FDIC, Finance, Foreclosures, Housing, Obama Administration, Politics, TARP, Unemployment Statistics. Comments off.

Nevermore 2009: Bicentennial celebration of Edgar Allan Poe in Baltimore…

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Totally Awesome!!! :0)

The man remembered for mystery, darkness, macabre acts and his poetry and short stories turns 200 this year. And in his adopted city, he will be celebrated with festivals, tours, wine tastings, art exhibitions and theatrical performances.

(more…)

February 3, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Art, Entertainment, Fantasy, Film, Horror, Popular Culture, Sci Fi. Comments off.

Geithner: “Fiscal Policy is about to Get Very Aggressive…”

That quote sounds pretty intense for a Treasury Secretary :0) , from the WSJ, stocks are rallying off the news, to the tune of a DOW now up 150…

With its new plan, the administration is “going to do our best” to apply the Japanese lesson, Mr. Geithner said. “Certainly monetary policy has been very aggressive, and fiscal policy is about to get very aggressive.”

Still, he noted, pain is inevitable. “Japan had a huge bubble beforehand,” he said. “And it was going to be a wrenching, protracted adjustment process no matter what.”

Mr. Geithner is expected to lay out the framework of the administration’s approach for addressing the crisis early next week. His speech is likely to run the waterfront, from a revamped bank bailout, to a foreclosure-prevention plan to a redo of the financial regulatory system. Coupled with the stimulus package, the Obama administration is set to commit trillions of taxpayer dollars to jumpstarting the economy.

Geithner is to come forward next week with the plan to repair our faltering financial system, see yesterday’s Call of the Wild -CNBC video here

Jamie Dimon doesn’t sound too excited about the new tough love the Administration has been showing Wall St (who can blame him, JPM was FORCED to take TARP One):

Chairman and Chief Executive Jamie Dimon thinks outrage over bonuses being paid to executives of firms involved in the financial crisis and now receiving federal assistance is not entirely justified.

In his keynote speech to the “Future Of New York” conference sponsored by Crain’s New York, Dimon said some bank compensation has indeed been exorbitant, but President Obama should not paint all banks with the same brush when it comes to bonuses and the way they have been paid out.

-snip-

Although he suggested the president should not be pointing a finger at the financial community, Dimon said he has great faith in Obama and acknowledged that banks are to blame for the crisis, with too much leverage, too many products, and bad underwriting…

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TRADE: Geithner also tried to make nice with China, whom he called a currency mainulator during his confirmation hearings:

CNBC: U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner held talks with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan by telephone late on Monday and agreed to consult closely on the troubled global economy, the Treasury said on Tuesday. “Both officials emphasized the need to maintain close consultations during this difficult period for the global economy and agreed on the need for a continued high-level dialogue on bilateral economic issues,” Treasury said.

-snip-

…relations with China are particularly sensitive, especially since President Barack Obama charged during the presidential campaign that Beijing manipulates its currency’s value. Geithner also reiterated that view during his Senate confirmation hearing, causing unhappiness in Beijing.

On Protectionism:

Canada, which sends the bulk of its exports to U.S. markets, is specially sensitive over proposals from American industry groups and some lawmakers to promote a “buy America” stance in any economic stimulus programs. Obama is due to travel to the Canadian capital, Ottawa, later this month on his first foreign trip as president.

February 3, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Cabinet, CITI, citigroup, Economy, FDIC, Finance, Foreclosures, Housing, Labor Department, Obama Administration, Politics, TARP, Unemployment Statistics, Wall St. Comments off.

BREAKING: DASCHLE WITHDRAWS…EXCELLENT!!

WOOHOO!!! Breaking LIVE on FOX

I feel like Mister Burns…:0)

CBS 13 has it

om Daschle has withdrawn his nomination to be Health and Human Services secretary.

That’s according to a joint White House statement from President Barack Obama and his former nominee.

Obama said Tuesday he accepted the withdrawal “with sadness and regret.”

Daschle has been battling for his nomination since it was disclosed he failed to pay more than $120,000 in taxes.

He said he’s withdrawing because he’s not a leader who has the full faith of Congress and will be a distraction.

Thank you for everyone who made calls, it really is good to communicate with your legislators and media outlets it may not always work but it adds pressure and that is all we have in a representative form of govt like we have, what with incumbents and Lordly Senatorial Tradition, IMO it is more important than evah to give feedback to your legislators local state and federal…despite the see no evil hear no evil speak no evil ‘tude of some Obots…….

if they didnt want to live by these staandards on lobbying relationships they shouldnt have made it the centerpiece of their campaign, live by the CHANGE .tm, die by the CHANGE, tm

Hey this really harshes the buzz for the one on one interviews Obama is giving to news anchors tonight to push the stimulus huh?

IMO it is damn impressive after last night’s marker they laid down, when Rockefeller, Kerry and assorted DEMS stood with Daschle at that lecturn saying the idea of health care without Daschle was ‘inconceivable’, what a difference a day makes…

I feel like Braveheart, LOL!!! This was a good victory to throw to the people by T.O. (Team Obama), I feel less wild eyed and bushy tailed about the stimulus right now..and more like getting my w2s and 1099s together to drop off at my accountant, it IS tax time starting after all…aww the pundits are SO UPSET, oh noes, wahhhh wahhhhh, BWAAAAHAAAAA!!!!

I guess the 55 page vetting questionairre missed some things, lol

okay now who can we get, NOT HOWARD DEAN, SURELY there is someone who is as qualified for this as our Hillary was before she was pushed aside by Daschle and Reid and denied any chance to work on this issue, she is working on a global level to help people get access to health care, now who can we get to help Americans get access?

DONNA SHALALA? I lurvs her…

PostScript, I have been on the warpath on Daschle, but let me say I have worked in health insurance my whole life and I have fought for UHC since 92, but Daschle was IMO a huge obstruction to the Universal mandate and Baucus felt the same way, and he should know he is drafting legislation..

the thing that really did it for me aside form the basic policy argument which is foremost;, was the interview Daschle gave Politico a few weeks ago in which they lauded his wonderful approach to health care which he and his staff described as the ABCs, Anything But Clinton.

That makes me mad enough to spit. and the CAPPER he goes to the hearing sits down and thanks BOB DOLE who is not there, BOB DOLE who blocked UHC. arrrrgggglle DASCHLES INCOMPETENCE AND COZYING UP TO DOLE and the OBSTRUCTION OF DEMS LIKE BOB KERREY KILLED UHC…and I wasn’t there but don’t tell me those Congressmen didn’t get INCREDIBLY PISSED AND ARROGANT with the VERY IDEA that a FIRST LADY was going to run policy and tell them what would be in the bill..yeah that had a LOT to do with it I am sure…..I remember the environment in the media and more in DC via the media filter then VERRRY well, it was verrry anti Hillary, they didn’t think she was classy enough, her dinner parties were too redneck, she thought she was something with her WORK in LAW, she was ‘abrasive, assertive, aggressive’ (the nicest words they used), in other words she wasn’t the old model for First Ladies…okay now I’m going all primary mode ..someone get me off this crazy segway!!!

yeah we could have done it differently,as Gibby would say,  “nobody’s perfect” BWAAAHAAAA! anyway, my Clintons (yes they are mine but I share them with America and the world) approached it as they had at the state level..but anyway Hillary has done more to promote UHC than Daschle has had free rides in limos, m’kay?

So now that the backstabbing-universal-mandate -blocking-limo-ride-taking-international -lobbying-tax-evading Hillary-bashing pinhead is gone, let’s move forward :0)/rationalization rant off

February 3, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Cabinet, Healthcare, Hillary Clinton, Obama Administration, Politics, Popular Culture. Comments off.

WOW! Springsteen Plagiarizes KISS…

The KISS song ROCKS as it always has, SINCE 1997!!!!!!!  and the Springsteen ripoff totally sucks BTW…

the real thing: ROCK OUT!!!

Since the Boss apologized for selling the album at Walmart maybe now he could apologize to KISS with a few million for plagiarism….gee think that whole Obama plagiarized Deval Patrick but it’s no big deal had an impact? I know Bruce hasnt had a hit in 20 years but stealing old KISS songs is NOT the way to go Boss..

February 3, 2009. Tags: , . Entertainment, Music, Politics, Popular Culture. Comments off.

Update: Senator breaks ranks… DeMint says Daschle should withdraw…and Daschle’s Campaign Ad: he must have traded in his Pontiac for a Limo..

A previous Tom Daschle campaign ad showcased how Daschle drove to work daily for 15 years in an old Pontiac.

h/t to  RightWingSparkle

UPDATE: And FINALLY a Senator has stepped up to say STEP DOWN DASCHLE..and it is Jim DeMint, R-SC:

DeMint told FOX News that Daschle’s failure to pay $134,000 in federal taxes reflects a “problem with integrity” that the government cannot afford to tolerate. DeMint spoke out against Daschle as a number of prominent newspapers, including The New York Times, called for the South Dakota Democrat to drop his bid.

“It’s very unfortunate with Tom Daschle that this has occurred, but the president needs to lead. He needs to step in here and he needs to withdraw this nomination,” the South Carolina Republican said.

DeMint said he came to that conclusion after it became “obvious” that Daschle knew about the tax problems long before his nomination and did nothing to make it right.

“The average American would likely face criminal charges with tax evasion of this size, yet he did not address the issue until he was nominated,” he said.

February 3, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , . Politics. Comments off.

Another Obama Nominee withdraws due to Tax Troubles…sadly it isn’t Daschle..(yet)

Oh this is just too much..hey Ice Miser even looks like Daschle wot?  He’s Mr Tax Miser…..he earns too much….

(The Original Miser Brothers, Courtesy of Giulibear)

Tapper has it again:

The informal battle between members of the Obama Administration and the Taxman resulted in a casualty Tuesday, with news that President Obama’s nominee to be chief performance officer, Nancy Killefer, will withdraw her nomination following the revelation that she had a $946.69 lien on her property in 2005 for failure to pay taxes.

Killefer, who was announced to much fanfare by President Obama on Jan. 7 to serve in the new position to make the U.S. government “more effective, more efficient, and more transparent,” is the third high-level Obama Administration official whose failure to pay taxes in recent years was disclosed in the past month.

To be PERFECTLY CLEAR, Nancy owed less than $1000.00 and withdrew, Daschle owed over $100,000 and has not withdrawn, and Team Obama says they still back him…

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

It could not be more clear that Daschle is getting the Royal Treatment from his fellow Lordlings in the Senate…

…wake up and smell the frustration and simmering anger in the country Senators, Daschle needs to STEP DOWN….

This just adds another layer of hypocrisy to it, that the woman who wasnt a former Senator is out for less than 1/100th of the tax evasion Daschle pulled….

February 3, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Cabinet, Economy, Entertainment, Fantasy, Music, Obama Administration, Politics, Popular Culture. Comments off.

UPDATE 5 Newspapers want him out!!NYT Calls for the Tactless and ‘Taxless’ Tom Daschle to Withdraw…

WooHoo!!! Get the lobbyist OUT!!!!! Fox says 5 major newspapers now calling for Daschle to withdraw!

(They couldn’t find a way to put the blame on HRC for the first time in 2 years over at the Times, heh)

Tom is IMO Tactless b/c he should just withdraw his name, he is hurting UHC and the Administration he purports to support AND his rushed ‘apology’ in front of cameras yesterday (where he wouldn’t take questions) failed to include the UNDECLARED INCOME OF over $80,000, (he apologized for misunderstanding the need to declare the car and driver as if that were the only issue….)

Well coincidentally (NOT!) for the first time in 2 yrs I agree with the NYT OpEd (do I need a vaccine of some sort?!) , lol, via Ed @ HA:

NYT OpEd (kooties blocked for your safety):

…new facts have come to light — involving his failure to pay substantial taxes that were owed and his sizable income from health-related companies while he worked in the private sector — that call into question his suitability for the job. We believe that Mr. Daschle ought to step aside and let the president choose a less-blemished successor.

-snip-

But Mr. Daschle is one oversight case too many. The American tax system depends heavily on voluntary compliance. It would send a terrible message to the public if we ignore the failure of yet another high-level nominee to comply with the tax laws.

Gee ya think?

…hundreds of thousands of dollars for speeches to interest groups, including those representing health insurance plans, medical equipment distributors and pharmacy boards.

Although Mr. Daschle was not a registered lobbyist, he offered policy advice to the UnitedHealth Group, a huge insurance conglomerate. He was also a trustee of the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, on whose behalf he voiced opposition to a federal loan for a freight rail line near the clinic’s headquarters in Rochester, Minn. The loan was subsequently denied by the Federal Railroad Administration.

Mr. Daschle is another in a long line of politicians who move cozily between government and industry. We don’t know that his industry ties would influence his judgments on health issues, but they could potentially throw a cloud over health care reform. Mr. Daschle could clear the atmosphere by withdrawing his name….

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February 3, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , . Cabinet, Film, Healthcare, Music, Obama Administration, Politics, Popular Culture. Comments off.

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