Saturday, August 11, 2007

Liberal bias at urban legend site Snopes?

Does urban legend web site have a liberal bias? Many think so. SR Blog will take a look in a series of posts, of which this is the first.

The first to examine concerns Nancy Pelosi. Snopes' Barbara Mikkelson examines an email claim that that has circulated which accuses the Democrat House majority leader of wanting to raise capital gains taxes to 100%. Snopes determines this is false (an urban legend of sorts).

And indeed it is. But while context is important to Snopes in other matters they look into, here they are content to let a simple FALSE stand as the answer, rather than point out the whole truth, which is that Pelosi supports the repeal of the Bush tax cuts, would raise the capital gains tax rate if she had the votes to override a likely Bush veto (or if a Democrat were to take the White House), and at least some of that money would be resdistributed to the poor and working class. See

Nancy Pelosi Tax Voting Record and Independent Ratings, updated continuously:
Voted NO on retaining reduced taxes on capital gains & dividends. (Dec 2005)
Voted NO on providing tax relief and simplification. (Sep 2004)
Voted NO on making permanent an increase in the child tax credit. (May 2004)
Voted NO on permanently eliminating the marriage penalty. (Apr 2004)
Voted NO on making the Bush tax cuts permanent. (Apr 2002)
Voted NO on $99 B economic stimulus: capital gains & income tax cuts. (Oct 2001)
Voted NO on Tax cut package of $958 B over 10 years. (May 2001)
Voted NO on eliminating the Estate Tax ("death tax"). (Apr 2001)
Voted NO on eliminating the "marriage penalty". (Jul 2000)
Voted NO on $46 billion in tax cuts for small business. (Mar 2000)
American People's Dividend: Give $300 to every person. (Feb 2001)
Rated 21% by NTU [National Taxpayers Union], indicating a "Big Spender" on tax votes. (Dec 2003)
Tax incentives for child care; eliminate marriage penalty. (Jul 1999)
Tax incentives for education, new schools, & families. (Jul 1999)
Edwards' Tax Code Plan Probably A Poor Solution, Tyler Morning Telegraph, 7/30/07

Ready for a Pelosi Tax Hike?, Human Events, 5/15/06

Hedging Your Votes, Stephen Spruiell, National Review, 7/13/07

Monday, August 06, 2007

Democrats Steal House Vote

Forbes/AP 8/3/2007: Republicans Angry Over House Vote:
WASHINGTON - House Democrats apologized Friday for wrestling what appeared to be a winning vote away from Republicans Thursday night, and on Friday evening agreed to an investigation.

Republicans continued to steam, however, over the episode in which they appeared to be the winners by a 215-213 tally on a procedural motion designed to make sure illegal immigrants would not get certain benefits from an agriculture spending bill.

Instead, with the tally clerk registering the final votes, Rep. Michael McNulty, D-N.Y., gaveled the vote to a close, saying the GOP measure had failed on a 214-214 tie.

Republicans erupted, chanting "shame, shame, shame," and then walked out in protest after McNulty permitted further Democrats to switch their votes to prevail 216-212. Despite winning that tally, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., moved for a revote as permitted under the rules, and Democrats prevailed again.

On Friday, Hoyer apologized. "The minority was understandably angry," he said.

Republicans prevailed upon their Democratic rivals to establish a special panel to investigate the manner in which the vote was handled.
Nancy Pelosi's promise to run the most ethical House ever seemed to be falling flat. Note also that the vote Democrats were impassioned about was to give benefits to illegal aliens.

More coverage:

AOL Newsbloggers

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Taxifornia: High Taxes Drive Businesses to Depart State

(Or, The High Cost of Liberalism, Continued...)

Taxifornia, here we come: State ranks among worst for tax burden, Orange County (CA) Register, October 26, 2006:
"California struggles to retain businesses within its borders because Nevada provides a low-tax alternative." The study concludes that "taxes matter to businesses, and those places with the most competitive tax systems will reap the benefits of tax-friendly tax climates."

Friday, April 28, 2006

The High Cost of Liberalism

County by county gas price map shows some interesting correlations between gas prices and liberal voters (due at least in part to higher state and local taxes, and - especially in California - greater environmental regulation).

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Wal-Mart's Wages Too Low?

The New York Times reports today on the latest criticism of Wal-Mart's wages:
Jason Mrkwa, 27, a high school graduate who stocks frozen food at a Wal-Mart in Independence, Kansas, maintains that he is underpaid. "I make $8.53, even though every one of my evaluations has been above standard," he said. "You can't really live on this." ....

With pay that brings him about $20,000 a year, he said he could not afford a decent apartment or a vehicle better than his 1991 Dodge Dakota. "I don't see why Wal-Mart can't pay more," Mr. Mrkwa said. "Unfortunately, in the market we live in [Independence, Kansas] there just aren't many jobs available."

Wal-Mart says its full-time workers average $9.68 an hour, and with many of them working 35 hours a week, their annual pay comes to around $17,600. That is below the $19,157 poverty line for a family of four, but above the $15,219 line for a family of three....

[C]ompany executives dismiss [suggestions that they increase pay], saying they would largely wipe out Wal-Mart's profit or its price advantage over competitors. Wal-Mart had a profit margin on sales last year around 3.5 percent. If "we raised prices substantially to fund above-market wages, as some critics urge," the company argued in a recent two-page ad in The New York Review of Books, "we'd betray our commitment to tens of millions of customers, many of whom struggle to make ends meet."

Here in Bentonville, Mr. Scott pursued that theme. "If you're telling me because you're Wal-Mart and you're going to pay $12 an hour and this other retailer is going to pay $5.15 an hour, the federal minimum wage, and they're not going to provide any benefits at all and somehow the consumer is rewarded in all this, all you're doing is perpetuating the status quo," he said. "You're driving inefficiencies into the system. It doesn't make any sense."

Wal-Mart argues that, as retailing companies go, it treats its workers better than average. It says 74 percent of its employees work full time, compared with fewer than 40 percent at many other retailers. But critics note that a leading competitor, Costco, pays $16 an hour - 65 percent more than the average wage at Wal-Mart stores and 33 percent more than the $12 average at its Sam's Club stores. At Costco, 82 percent of the workers are covered by company health insurance, compared with 48 percent at Wal-Mart.
Fast Company comments:
[T]he article begs several questions. First, to what extent is anyone entitled, per se, to drive something better than a '91 Dakota? As Mrkwa observes, the labor market in Independence doesn't afford him a whole lot of options. So, is Wal-Mart therefore obliged to pay him more--or is it up to him to move someplace where he can find better work?

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Finger in Wendy's Chili Likely a Hoax

Now that it appears the finger tip found recently in a bowl of Wendy's chili in the San Francisco Bay area was planted there to extort money from Wendy's, SRB hopes that any customers nationwide and especially in California who have been avoiding Wendy's will return to the restuarant chain, which (like much of the fast food restaurant industry) has long been a reliable supporter of federal Republican candidates, e.g.:

2004 election cycle
2002 election cycle
1998 election cycle

Update on the case and on the economic damage the finger scare has caused to Wendy's and it employees, some of whom have been laid off as a result of the incident:   Finger Traced to Woman Who Blamed Wendy's  AP via Guardian UK 5/14/05

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Denny's Boycott over Border Patrol Treatment?

DOUGLAS, Ariz. -- Denny's has apologized to the U.S. Border Patrol for an insulting receipt given to an agent here after he had ordered a grilled chicken sandwich to go.

The receipt, meant for the cook and not the customer, was typed into a cash register by the restaurant's shift manager and inadvertently given to the agent when he went to pay for the $7.50 order. The receipt described the order as for the "Border Ass Whole."

The shift manager, who was not identified, has been fired. Officials at Denny's corporate headquarters described the manager as a "rogue" employee, adding that the nationwide restaurant chain "supports and welcomes all Border Patrol personnel and their families."
Denny's slam raises ire of Border Patrol  Washington Times 4/17/05

The Border Patrol union applauded the firing, as does Shop Right Blog. SRB does not presume to endorse or oppose any particular boycott, but the nationwide boycott of Denny's restaurants that Friends of the Border Patrol has called for based on these facts seems to us overbroad because this incident relates to only one franchised unit and perhaps only to one "rogue" employee, as Denny's corporate asserts.

Update 4/20/05:  Friends of the Border Patrol is now involved with an effort to clone the Minuteman Project on the California-Mexico border.  Group plans civilian patrols along border San Diego Union-Tribune 4/19/05