From the perspective of the board room, the fact that 25 corporations last year paid more money to their CEOs than they did in income taxes to the U.S. government is an achievement deserving applause.But few people outside Wall Street are clapping at this news, which was published by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) in its 18th annual Executive Excess report.Among the 25 companies that rewarded their leadership while dodging the U.S. Treasury were Boeing, Coca Cola, Dow Chemical, eBay, Ford, General Electric, Honeywell, Motorola, Stanley Black & Decker and Verizon. Eighteen of the 25 firms operated subsidiaries in offshore tax haven jurisdictions.The average paid to the 25 leaders was $16.7 million. John Lundgren, the CEO of Stanley Black & Decker, took home $32.6 million while his company claimed a net loss and did not pay corporate income taxes.The IPS report noted that executive compensation has continued to soar. In 2009, the ratio between worker salaries and CEOs was 263-to-1. By last year it was 325-to-1.Of the 25 companies that paid their CEO more than they paid to the government, 20 also spent more on lobbying lawmakers than they paid in corporate taxes. Eighteen gave more to the political campaigns of their favorite candidates than they paid to the IRS in taxes.
“I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?’ Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we’ve got to rein in the spending.” -Michele Bachmann on how she interpreted Hurricane Irene this past weekend.
Doug Mataconis adds some insight:
Of course, I’m not sure how this computes given the fact that the storm largely spared Washington, D.C. and New York, while hammering a red states like North Carolina and a heavily Republican area like Virginia’s Tidewater region.
Bachmann’s press secretary adds some extremely deep insight:
”Obviously she was saying it in jest.”
Mike Huckabee, I suppose, is following his calling. He is not running for president but feeding his sheep/flock on a cruise. This isn’t just any cruise, but an evangelical cruise with hints of insanity:
“It’s the first time I’ve felt the president wasn’t a true American. And that he wants to become a dictator. We didn’t like seeing him get elected because of his race,” - Maggie Benedict, a participant in the Freedom Cruise, a Christian gospel music extravaganza, hosted by Mike Huckabee.
Andrew Sullivan really makes the case for Sarah Palin after her comments on Paul Revere have been used as fact by her followers in attempt to edit the Wikipedia page.
This is pretty brutal stuff.
Many nations who use torture utilize it in a very discreet and clandestine manner. Not Syria. They are broadcasting it so to intimidate people. Here is the news of the 13 year old, Hamza al-Khateeb, who was arrested April 29 and returned to his family a month later:
The child had spent nearly a month in the custody of Syrian security, and when they finally returned his corpse it bore the scars of brutal torture: Lacerations, bruises and burns to his feet, elbows, face and knees, consistent with the use of electric shock devices and of being whipped with cable, both techniques of torture documented by Human Rights Watch as being used in Syrian prisons during the bloody three-month crackdown on protestors.
Hamza’s eyes were swollen and black and there were identical bullet wounds where he had apparently been shot through both arms, the bullets tearing a hole in his sides and lodging in his belly. On Hamza’s chest was a deep, dark burn mark. His neck was broken and his penis cut off.
His father supposedly fainted when he saw his son.
This has then been followed up with protests:
In a revolutionary season that has seen countless “Fridays of Rage” in half a dozen countries, Syrian activists marched on a day that some dubbed “the Saturday of Hamza.” … In the Damascus suburb of Douma, protesters marched through the night chanting “Leave! Leave!” to Mr. Assad while holding signs declaring, “We are all Hamza al-Khateeb,” according to a video posted on YouTube. Video from another suburb, Dereya, showed women and children demonstrating, with a chorus of young voices shouting, “The people want the overthrow of the regime.” They held aloft signs that read, “Did Hamza scare you that much?”
One final note: Syrians across religious, ethnic, geographical, and tribal lines are banding together in support against their government.
Full report and video here:
TMZ spoke with Artest who told us, “Unfortunately there was a situation at the club and some people had too much to drink, and got unruly and aggressive. I tried to diffuse the situation. Some people just don’t think clearly when they’ve had too much to drink — it’s an unfortunate reality. “
The psychiatrist who he has been seeing must have helped him a lot since his days of yore:
In case you were still considering Pat Robertson worth listening to. Keyword, Pat, is some.
“The strange thing is, while the drugs screwed me up in a lot of ways, they improved me in certain others. I’ve never been good with numbers, but when I was on crack I could do math really, really well. I became a fucking whiz at calculus. But I also became kind of psychotic, unfortunately.” –Courtney Love
Barack Obama lead the Memorial Day services at Arlington Cemetery. This was then protested by the Westboro Baptist Church, whose protest was then counter-protested by a group claiming to be part of the KKK.
Well, it did:
As the SWAT team forced its way into his home, [Jose] Guerena, a former Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq, armed himself with his AR-15 rifle and told his wife and son to hide in a closet. As the officers entered, Guerena confronted them from the far end of a long, dark hallway. The police opened fire, releasing more than 70 rounds in about 7 seconds, at least 60 of which struck Guerena. He was pronounced dead a little over an hour later.
The Pima County Sheriff’s Department initially claimed (PDF) Guerena fired his weapon at the SWAT team. They now acknowledge that not only did he not fire, the safety on his gun was still activated when he was killed. Guerena had no prior criminal record, and the police found nothing illegal in his home.
This is insane. Herman Cain offers no clear, original, or seemingly plausible solutions to this war. Are there any?
Pictured: The path of a powerful tornado is seen in Joplin, Missouri, Tuesday, May 24, 2011. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Pictured: Barack and Michelle Obama meet disgraced former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn at a G-20 dinner. (via.), H/T: TDW
“Obama has adopted in these speeches what might be termed the Mafia Gambit: the implied threat to Israel that either it accepts the ’1967 Auschwitz borders’ or runs the gauntlet of UN recognition and further western delegitimisation… The fact is that, for all his ludicrous protestations of friendship towards Israel, Obama believes the Palestinians have a legitimate grievance over the absence of their state. He thus believes their propaganda of historical falsehoods and murderous blood libels. He therefore believes it is a just solution to reward murderous aggression. And that makes Obama a threat not just to Israel but to free societies everywhere,” - Melanie Phillips.
H/T: The Dish
So says the AIPAC chair. Wow:
“In a world which is demonstrably on the side of the Palestinians and Arabs – where Israel stands virtually alone – the United States has a special role to play,” said the AIPAC director. “When the United States is even-handed, Israel is automatically at a disadvantage, tilting the diplomatic playing field overwhelmingly toward the Palestinians and Arabs.”
Obama ran into a little issue at the U.S. Embasy in Dublin, Ireland:
On its way out of the US Embassy in Dublin, President Obama’s heavily armored limo, Cadillac One (AKA “The Beast”), struck a ramp and subsequently got stuck, forcing POTUS to abandon car.
Obama arrived in Ireland this morning to kick off a six-day tour of Europe, which will include stops in the UK, France, and Poland.