Friday, June 11, 2010

2 US service members killed in Iraq

Mohammed Tawfeeq and Jomana Karadsheh (CNN) report a Diyala Province bombing which has claimed the lives of 2 US soldiers with six more left injured, 6 Iraqis left dead and twenty more left injured. Leila Fadel (Washington Post) adds, "Jalawla lies in the restive Diyala province, a mixed region of Shiite Arabs, Sunni Arabs and Kurds that once was one of the most dangerous places in Iraq."

The dead get buried. But where? The Arlington Cemetery scandal is the focus of Catherine Philp's commentary for the Times of London:

The lawns and glistening white headstones of Arlington National Cemetery are America’s most tended monument. Not for nothing is it known as America’s sacred ground. The US takes its duty to its war dead deeply seriously, even exploiting that reverence to keep away cameras from the flag-draped coffins arriving at Dover Air Force Base in the first years of President Bush’s War on Terror.
No country has invested as much money and effort in bringing its war dead home, dating back to the Second World War. A massive American operation continues in Indochina in search of the 1,700 American servicemen still missing in action since the end of the Vietnam War. The Department of Defence boasts on its website of its pride in having returned the remains of more than 700 Vietnam-era soldiers to their families.
The news of the careless treatment parcelled out to dead soldiers on their hallowed home ground will shock to the core the military, the dead soldiers’ families and the American public.

Richard Sisk (New York Daily News) sums it up very well in two sentences, "They didn't arrive at Arlington National Cemetery as unknown soldiers. The Army just treated them that way." Julian E. Barnes (Los Angeles Times) offers this overview, "The inspector general, Lt. Gen. R. Steven Whitcomb, found one case involving personnel killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. In that instance, two grave markers had been switched. Other cases involved areas of the cemetery used to inter personnel from earlier conflicts. [. . .] The extent of the problems at one of the nation's most venerated memorials was not entirely clear. In some cases, grave markers had been knocked over and not properly replaced, the report said. Other reported cases involved poor record-keeping. Whitcomb said there was no indication of mistakes at the point of burial." Michael E. Ruane (Washington Post) adds, "The investigators found that these and other blunders were the result of a "dysfunctional" and chaotic management system at the cemetery, which was poisoned by bitterness among top supervisors and hobbled by antiquated record-keeping."

Shane Nault was serving in Iraq when his Humveee was hit by an IED. He continued serving and another IED (May 2007) left him further wounded (the first IED reduced his hearing by 60%) with shrapnel in his brain and multiple injuries. We noted his parents have been accused of stealing his money. Sarah Netter (ABC News) reports on the court filings today, with both parents "charged with stealing more than $100,000 meant to finance his care and rehabilitation."

We'll note this from World Can't Wait:

Friday, June 11 we will be at the Mid-Atlantic Women's Studies Conference in Maryland, showing the film, "Abortion, Morality, and the Liberation of Women," and presenting a workshop.

June 22-26 World Can't Wait will be at the United States Social Forum in Detroit where thousands of activists from all over the country will be converging to discuss how to make a better world. We'll present workshops with Iraq veterans on the We Are Not Your Soldiers Tour and Standing up for Abortion Rights, and joining in the anti-war events. World Can't Wait will be connecting the issues in a way that very few organizations there will be doing.

July 23-25 we'll be at the National Assembly to End the Occupations of Iraq & Afghanistan in Albany, NY where Debra Sweet will be speaking.

July 17-24 World Can't Wait is calling for people to converge on Charlotte, NC to defend women's reproductive rights, and oppose Operation Save America's threats against the clinic there.

August 23-25 Portland, Maine at the Veterans For Peace Conference. World Can't Wait will be conducting a workshop on the We Are Not Your Soldiers Tour "Bringing Reality and Resistance into Classrooms with Anti-War Veterans" and on the "The Tea Party and the Anti-War Movement."

World Can't Wait will be at Warped Tour organizing for the We are Not Your Soldiers Tour. Warped Tour is a nationwide music festival tour which brings hundreds of thousands of young people (mostly high-school students) together for rebellious music - and will bring thousands into contact with our message that we can stand with our brothers and sisters around the world instead of pointing guns at them.

We'll be exposing and protesting the war criminals in our midst through War Criminals Watch all summer long.

If you want to see people in the streets stopping the wars, torture, the spying, the lying, the brutal destruction of the environment, the attacks on women's basic right to abortion, and the demonization of immigrants fund THE movement that is organizing that.

Make a one-time tax-deductible donation to help pay for:
* the production of educational materials & organizer kits for students,
* travel & lodging for volunteers,
* tabling equipment in order to have the most compelling set up at conferences and concerts.

How much can you give to get resistance going nationwide, especially among young people?

Donate $100 or more by June 14 and you will receive a copy a book of your choosing either This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Provider by Susan Wicklund or In the Name of Democracy: American War Crimes In Iraq & Beyond Edited by Jeremy Brecher, Jill Cutler, & Brendan Smith.

Join the movement by becoming a monthly sustainer at any amount of your choosing. For as little as $4 a month you can help deliver exposure like no else. Become a sustainer of $100 a month or more by June 14 and receive a copy of above book along with a T-shirt.

The following community sites updated last night:

We'll close with this from the Senate Democratic Policy Committee:

U.S.-based multinational companies should be subject to fair and balanced tax laws, just like hard-working American families. These big corporations should not be rewarded for shipping millions of jobs overseas. The American Jobs Act would close existing tax loopholes that allow big corporations to abuse the tax credit system and would put an end to tax breaks for companies that eliminate American jobs. All told, it would close over $14 billion of foreign tax loopholes, most of which relate to foreign tax credits. The bill would also give tax incentives to small businesses so they could create jobs in the United States and cut taxes for middle-class families.

Instead of helping families and small businesses, Republicans are blocking passage of this critical job-creating legislation. They are protecting big corporate interests and rewarding companies for shipping American jobs overseas.

The American Jobs Act would create jobs, protect middle-class families, and close tax loopholes for big corporations.

Tax Cuts for American Families and Workers

· Tax Cut for College Tuition - This bill extends a tax deduction for qualified education expenses including college tuition and fees, so Americans can get the world-class education they deserve without going bankrupt in the process.

· Property Tax Deduction - This bill extends the additional standard deduction for state and local property taxes to save families money on their federal tax returns. This deduction allows taxpayers who do not itemize their tax deductions to receive property tax relief as a standard deduction of $500 for single filers and $1,000 for joint filers.

· Tax Cut for School Teachers - This bill extends a $250 tax deduction for teachers who buy classroom supplies out of their own pockets, so teachers can continue to provide a quality education for tomorrow’s workforce.

· Sales Tax Deduction - This bill extends the option for taxpayers to deduct state and local sales tax on their federal tax returns, so families can continue to save money with the tax deductions they count on.

· Tax Cut to Improve Home Energy Efficiency - This bill updates the eligibility for tax credits for energy-efficient windows, so even more families across the country can take advantage of this tax cut.

Tax Cuts for American Business to Create Jobs

· Tax Cut for Payments to Activated Military Reservists - The bill extends a tax cut for small businesses that continue to pay employees who have been called to active duty, so these businesses can continue to support these jobs.

· Research and Development Tax Credit - The bill extends a tax cut for research and development to help American businesses spur innovation and grow.

· Tax Credit for Equipment Investments - The legislation allows companies to receive tax refunds on a portion of their Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) credits if they invest in capital equipment for use in the United States .

· Tax Benefits for Capital Investments - The legislation extends a tax cut to allow restaurant owners to depreciate new construction and improvements and retail store owners to depreciate improvements over 15 years rather than 39.5 years, supporting construction jobs, encouraging economic development and saving these businesses money they can use to reinvest in their companies and hire new workers.

· Tax Cut for Investing in Low-Income Communities - The bill extends the New Markets Tax Credit, a tax cut for private investment in low-income communities, bolstering local economies and creating jobs where they are needed the most.

· Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Tax Credits - The bill extends a tax cut for businesses that produce biodiesel and renewable diesel, which supports energy independence and creates jobs.

Closing Foreign Tax Loopholes

The American Jobs Act includes a package of provisions developed jointly by the Treasury Department, the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Finance Committee to curtail various loopholes, mostly abuses of the U.S. foreign tax credit system. The $14 billion of foreign loopholes the bill eliminates includes:

· Splitting Foreign Tax Credits From Income - This bill implements a matching rule that would suspend the recognition of foreign tax credits until the related foreign income is taken into account for U.S. tax purposes. The bill targets abusive techniques and does not affect timing differences that result from normal tax accounting differences. It is estimated that the proposal would raise over $6 billion over 10 years.

· Covered Asset Acquisitions - The bill prevents taxpayers from claiming the foreign tax credit with respect to foreign income that is never subject to U.S. taxation because of a covered asset acquisition. It is estimated that the proposal would raise over $4 billion over 10 years.

· Tax Treaties - The bill prevents taxpayers from using U.S. treaties to artificially inflate their foreign sources of income and reduce their taxes beyond what is needed to avoid double taxation. It is estimated that the proposal would raise over $250 million over 10 years.

· Redemptions by Foreign Subsidiaries - The American Jobs Act ensures that earnings from the sales of stock between U.S. companies and their foreign subsidiaries would remain subject to U.S. tax when repatriated to a foreign parent corporation as a dividend. It is estimated that the proposal would raise over $250 million over 10 years.

DPC Fact Sheet | Democrats Are On Your Side: Creating Jobs, Protecting the Middle Class, and Closing Tax Loopholes

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leila fadel

thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends