Shannon Williams!!!! You’re the winner of the free dozen roses! Thanks for alll your emails!!!!!!!
Archive for February 12th, 2009
Margaret Cho’s beautiful poem to Miley!
Miley Cyrus made some chinky eyes
Standing behind an Asian guy
I don’t know if this should fly
As if there wasn’t enough to despise
I wasn’t necessarily a fan of
Her, her dad, or Hannah Montana
I tend to prefer the songs of Rihanna
Racism against Asians is simply bananas!
Chinky eyes make you look wily
prejudice isn’t thought of so highly
it doesn’t make us all smiley
Why is there nothing that Asians can do?
To make fun of other races as easily as you
Why isn’t racism against Asians taboo?
Why are we always so racially screwed!
All you have to do is pull at your face
To make your eyelids resemble our race
This kind of joke has no proper place
Miley Cyrus is a disgrace!
1. Your first talk
2. The first kiss
3. When he introduces you as “my girlfriend”
4. The first morning after
5. Finding the nerve to say “I love you”
6. The first time you write “we” in an e-mail to your friends
7. The first time you fight and make up
8. That first trip together
9. The first time you grocery shop together
10. The first time he lets you control his car/remote/iPod
11. The moment you see a future with him
12. When you notice you are no longer primping for him
13. Going to the doctor together for the first time
14. When you care for something together
15. When you commit–we’re talking long-term commit–to each other
The Middle East’s largest automaker has unveiled a four-door sedan, claiming its engine is the world’s most powerful run by natural gas. It’s a significant development in a country that has converted more than 250,000 cars to run on the stuff.
The company, Iran Khodro, says the turbocharged engine in the Samand Soren ELX produces 150 horsepower, 37 more than the CNG-powered Honda Civic GX and just four short of the gasoline-burning four-cylinder Toyota Camry.
Iran Khodro unveiled the car Saturday in Tehran, and the Tehran Times says it was developed “under the intellectual property of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” which explains why there was a picture of the Ayatollah looking over the car.
Company CEO Manouchehr Manteqi says the car meets Euro IV emissions standards and adds, “its nominal power will not decline even at the height of 2,000 meters above sea level.” That’s 6,561 feet for the metrically challenged, and it’s significant because Tehran, like Denver, is located about 5,000 feet above sea level.
Manteqi didn’t offer any other details on the car, but the Samand LX uses a 1.7-liter four-cylinder that produces 100 horsepower. It does 0 to 62 mph in 11.9 seconds and tops out at 115 mph.
Iran Khodro is partially owned by the government, and it has a joint venture with Peugeot to build the Logan econobox (sold in Iran as the Tondar 90) and the 206 compact and 405 sedan. Although the global auto industry is slumping, Iran Khodro plans to ramp up production and ease its dependence on foreign suppliers, according to Reuters.
Tehran, a city of 12 million people, has long been plagued by pollution. That’s changed in recent years as the city has adopted natural gas buses, forced taxis to convert to CNG and taken decrepit old cars off the road. More than 250,000 cars have been converted to natural gas since 2004, according to the Los Angeles Times.
When President Obama outlined on January 8 the rationale for the economic stimulus bill, “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” he clearly identified the men and women most in trouble:
Nearly two million jobs have now been lost, and on Friday we are likely to learn that we lost more jobs last year than at any time since World War II. Just in the past year, another 2.8 million Americans who want and need full-time work have had to settle for part-time jobs.
The House-Senate compromise, however, cuts funds for extended health care coverage for the unemployed; cuts $30 billion in aid to state governments to prevent reductions in social services to the poor and out-of-work; and also cuts a special “Making Work Pay” tax holiday from $500 to $400 for an individual, and from $1,000 to $800 for a couple, for low-to-middle-income workers still hanging on to their jobs
Amid all the cutting, however, one group emerged unscathed: the upper-middle class, the not-quite-super-rich, but certainly not on the ropes. Most of these folks, in terms of income and employment, are what could be called the un-needy, a group clearly distinct from those Obama identified as the core target of the legislation. The “compromise” legislation includes $70 billion, or just under 10 percent of the whole package, to be used expressly to take care of these affluent people.
In fact, these lucky men and women make so much money that they fall into the ever-expanding grasp of the alternative minimum tax (AMT). The AMT was originally designed in 1969 to prevent the nation’s millionaires and billionaires from using tax loopholes to pay zero income tax. That year, 155 very wealthy taxpayers paid no federal tax whatsoever. This year, if the law remains as it is currently crafted, the AMT would, through bracket creep, apply to as many as 25 million taxpayers, including those making in the $85,000 to $250,000 range, depending on how many deductions they claim (the more deductions, the more likely the AMT comes into play).
There is a strong case to be made that the AMT was never intended to apply to people in these income categories – for example two public school teachers married to each other — and Congress in recent years has repeatedly passed temporary one-year “patches” postponing the downward reach of the tax provision.
Some economists argue, however, that patching the AMT is one of the least effective ways for Congress to stimulate the economy and create jobs. As the Huffington Post has reported, the Congressional Budget Office and Brookings-Urban Institute Tax Policy Center have both described the AMT as a poor use of federal dollars.
Why then has Congress added the $70 billion AMT patch to the bill, while cutting other expenditures right and left?
The most obvious answers are 1) the people who make $80,000 to $250,000 are influential and vocal in pressing their complaints to Congress; 2) an AMT-induced tax hike would produce an outcry; 3) and people in this class have become the most contested “swing” voters in elections — running the gamut from presidential to state legislative elections.
Once these upper-middle-class voters were a reliably Republican constituency, but over the past generation, Democrats have made major inroads, evinced in the success of Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry and Barack Obama in the well-to-do suburbs of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and along the entire California coast.
A major consequence is that leaders of both parties are vying intensely for this crucial segment of the electorate — Republicans to staunch the hemorrhaging, Democrats to speed it up. Thus, the $70 billion AMT patch has become inviolable.