DC … I got the news about Dad the moment I walked in the door at Cloud Acre after returning from the annual National Association of Counties (NACo) Legislative Conference at the Hilton Towers, where Reagan was shot. Colorado Counties, Inc., our state commissioner association, pays the way for eight of us from public land counties in the state to attend NACo’s Public Lands Steering Committee. And I’m currently also serving as Chair of the Public Lands Platform Rewrite Task Force – a task that required me going a day early for an all-day task force meeting. Amazingly, we accomplished a draft rewrite in that one face-to-face, a complicated bit of listening, discussion and compromise that had repeatedly eluded us in multiple phone conferences … Most of the time was spent meeting with several members of the Colorado delegation to Congress and their aides. It’s always good to have a personal relationship with folks in those offices, especially when it comes time to lobby on particular bills, like the Farm Bill, Payment-In-Lieu-of-Taxes and other federal legislation.
PHTHALATES … The European Union has banned those unpronounceable esters (compounds that make hard plastic more flexible) from toys because of suspicion these estrogen-mimicking chemicals in plastics suppress testosterone production in young boys … The U.S. government refuses to act on the subject. Consequently, Chinese factories have one production line which produces plastic toys without pthalates for export to Europe, and another production line producing plastic toys with pthalates for export to the U.S.
IN HARM’S WAY … A special enquiry by the International News Safety Institute (INSI), chaired by BBC Global News Director Richard Sambrook, reveals that 1,000 news media personnel around the world have been killed trying to report the news during the past ten years – almost two deaths per week. “The figures show that killing a journalist is virtually risk free,” said Sambrook. “Nine out of ten murderers in the past decade have never been prosecuted. This encourages more of the same. This is the most shocking fact at the heart of the inquiry. “Ongoing impunity for the killers of journalists, who put themselves in harm's way to keep world society informed, shames not only the governments who are responsible for their own lack of action but also the democracies that stand aside in silence. Following this inquiry, the most comprehensive ever in its field, they can no longer plead ignorance of the scale and nature of the problem.” The survey found that of the news media personnel who have died in the past ten years: only one in four journalists died in war or armed conflicts; at least 657 men and women were murdered in peacetime -- reporting the news in their own countries; and in two-thirds of cases the killers were not even identified, and probably never will be.
WEEKLY QUOTA … “If there be a principle that ought not to be questioned within the United States, it is that every man has a right to abolish an old government and establish a new one. This principle is not only recorded in every public archive, written in every American heart, and sealed with the blood of American martyrs, but is the only lawful tenure by which the United States hold their existence as a nation.” – James Madison (1751-1836), the “father” of the Constitution
INCOME TAXES … A column by Rich Lowry clarified for me why some Republicans are proposing a tax cut for the wealthy. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the top 40 percent of taxpayers paid 99.1 percent of federal income taxes in 2004, leaving the other 60 percent to pay 0.9 percent. The wealthiest 1 percent of taxpayers – the focus of so much Democratic ire -- pay nearly 40 percent of federal income taxes, and about as much as the bottom 95 percent. However you cut it, that’s a pretty startling figure … The crux of the matter? The top 1 percent earn a little more than 20 percent of the national income, while paying almost 40 percent of federal taxes … Also, the top 20 percent of income-earners paid more than 44 percent of all payroll taxes [social security] collected in 2004, according to the Congressional Budget Office … Further facts – 40 million income-tax filers have no income-tax liability, and 20 million families pay no tax to the federal treasury, while getting a check from the Treasury for the Earned Income Tax Credit. The lowest 20 percent of households enjoyed $8.21 in spending for every dollar paid in taxes in 2004. The top 40 percent paid more in taxes than they received in spending, according to the Tax Foundation. (thanks to Lance Christie of Moab for this item).
(© 2008 Art Goodtimes)
THE TALKING GOURD
“What You Mean”
I find it quite
When someone says,
I see what you mean.