JohnGreenberg | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Member since Dec 28, 2012


Recent Comments

Re: “Walters: Bernie Sanders Gets the Rock-Star Treatment

Arleen Henton:

FYI. The highest statutory corporate tax rate in the US was 52.8% in the late 1960s. The rate was above 50% only in the 1950s and 1960s. You're quite right to state that the EFFECTIVE rate has always been (and still is) MUCH lower than the statutory rate.

The PERSONAL income tax rate was over 90% in the 1950s, and was lowered to 70% under JFK.

Posted by JohnGreenberg on 03/20/2017 at 11:15 AM

Re: “Walters: Scott’s Customer-First Environmental Stewardship

The article says that "An annual membership costs a breathtaking $84,500." The Club's website says that a LIFETIME membership costs $85,000 for a family, with annual dues of $8,500 and for singles, $80,000 and $4,250.…

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by JohnGreenberg on 02/24/2017 at 12:12 PM

Re: “Montpeculiar: On Bill Markup Day, We Ate Cake

Terje Anderson:

All 501(c)(3) organizations are non-profit, but not all non-profit organizations are 501(c)(3). See for lots of other types, many of which CAN make political contributions.

In addition, there are more than a few (c)(3) organizations which have legally separate organizations closely associated with them. During the last campaign, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund ran ads attacking Phil Scott, for example. It is legally and technically NOT the same organization as Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by JohnGreenberg on 01/27/2017 at 10:52 AM

Re: “Walters: Slouching Toward Transparency

To second Doug Hoffer's comment, Jeff Bezos owns 17.6% of Amazon. Who do you think "controls" the company?

13 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by JohnGreenberg on 01/20/2017 at 12:16 PM

Re: “Vermont Supreme Court Blocks Shumlin From Picking New Justice

Heat doesnt really concern me, especially from pseudonymous sources, but I do appreciate real thoughtful dialogue, so thanks again for the reply, Senator.

Only two possibilities make sense to me. Either the incumbent governor can make an appointment, he does so before the terms of the existing senators expire, and the senate is able to consent before all the relevant terms expire. Or the governor does not make the appointment before his term expires, or the senators terms have expired by the time it is able to consent, then the new governor and the new senate appoint a new JNB, which then makes a new set of recommendations, and then the new governor appoints and the new senate confirms. Unlike you, in that circumstance, I assume the old recommendations would expire with the old JNB.

Why should a new governor and/or a new senate be bound by recommendations from a JNB whose terms have expired?

You seem to believe that the JNBs job is to make the recommendations because the statute so commands. But that doesnt make much sense to me unless this is some kind of make work program for appointees.

The statute orders them to do so in order that the governor can make a (legally acceptable) appointment and for no other reason.

In effect, I see this as ONE job, of which there are 3 coordinated parts: the JNB recommends so that the governor can appoint so that the Senate can confirm. Take out any one of the three parts and the job is not complete.

It will, indeed, be interesting to see what the Supreme Court has to say. Theres a lot more here than first meets the eye.

4 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by JohnGreenberg on 12/26/2016 at 7:24 PM

Re: “Vermont Supreme Court Blocks Shumlin From Picking New Justice

Citizen claims that I said that a governor is not allowed to act on issues after their term is up. I didnt say anything resembling that, although if citizen means that governors may act as governors only while theyre serving as governors and not afterwards, it would certainly appear to be correct.

In any case, none of this is at issue here. The current governor was planning to make the appointment DURING his term, not after. Representative Turner has raised the issue of whether the appointment can be made when a justice declares that he does not wish to be reappointed, or only after he actually vacates his position and the Supreme Court of Vermont will now hear and decide the case.

In the face of Senator Bennings argument for Rep. Turners position, Ive tried to show that there is a reasonable legal argument to be made for the governors plan, and indeed, that the latter position is MORE reasonable legally because it gives full meaning and force to both the statute AND to the constitution, while Bennings interpretation puts them in conflict.

In any case, no one is trying to change the rules. There is a legitimate question here as to what the rules really are.

Finally, again, I would suggest that someone should take a look at the preceding two centuries of Vermont history to see if this situation has arisen previously and how it was handled. It seems improbable that no similar situation has arisen in all that time.

2 likes, 17 dislikes
Posted by JohnGreenberg on 12/25/2016 at 11:42 PM

Re: “Vermont Supreme Court Blocks Shumlin From Picking New Justice

Senator Benning:

A few quick additional points.

First, word count limits precluded my thanking your for your response. So thank you.

Second, your example is poorly chosen: Let's suppose Justice Eaton suddenly announced an intent to leave the Court in 2025. Its 2016. Terms are 6 years, so Justice Eatons decision about 2025 is irrelevant. To be pertinent, the announcement would have to pertain to the expiration of a Justices term, so no later than 2022.

I realize youre trying to propose reductio ad absurdum argument to make your point, but the question you raise is a perfectly real one: How far into the future should [a[ Governor be able to bind a future governor? When SHOULD a justice make a declaration that he or she intends to leave, and how soon before an actual vacancy a governor should make appointments? I find it hard to believe there is no precedent about this when this occurs within a governors term.

What makes this situation perhaps unique (Has anyone researched the question historically to see if it has arisen in the past?) is that it is occurring just at the end of the term of a governor who will not succeed himself.

Im glad the Supreme Court will make this decision and not me. Frankly, what Governor Shumlin is doing appears to me to be legally correct, but democratically wrong, so Im actually rather torn. But as I say, its not my decision to make!

3 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by JohnGreenberg on 12/25/2016 at 4:15 PM

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