Friday, August 31, 2007
And more than 500 people were killed just days ago by suicide bombers.
Are you really surprised? They claim violence is down and that U.S. losses are down. Both are simply damned lies.
(Hat tip: Juan Cole, Kevin Drum)
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Strange but true: the distorted vision of media promoted by Fox News lies at the heart of the Republican problem...
Fox will have a segment with an inherently demeaning title implying Democrats are soft on terrorism or unpatriotic. They bring together a partisan and biased right-wing host with the partisan help hired by the Republican right. Then they find the weakest Potemkin Democrat they can, and conduct a pseudo-debate in Putin style that is rigged from the beginning.
For several years, it worked, but it has now become an albatross around their necks...
The more they win their one-sided debates in their unfair and unbalanced echo chamber of delusion, the more they lose touch and the more they lose votes.
Anyone reduced to calling me an über-lefty is out of fighting shape, and I feel her pain. I am glad she enjoys my writing; she would enjoy even more what I privately advise senior Democrats to do, which is consistent with what I write publicly...
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Aw, what the hell, let's look at this one, too! (There is some overlap, of course.)
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Likelihood: High probability.
It gets worse. A 1998 analysis by the William Gale of the Brookings Institute calculates that in reality (to pay all current government expenditures while also compensating for such factors as tax evasion), the national sales tax might have to run as high as 67 percent. AFT disputes that high figure. But they do not dispute that their initial “23 percent” tax rate would actually be achieved by adding 30 percent to the purchase price of goods.
Bruce Bartlett a senior fellow for the National Center for Policy Analysis, slams the 23 percent claim, also, saying it's too low even to cover current government spending. He writes in the National Review:
When Congress' s Joint Committee on Taxation scored the Linder proposal [The “Fair Tax Act”] four years ago it estimated that it would actually require a tax-inclusive rate of 36 percent, not 23 percent, to equal current federal revenues. Calculating the rate in a normal, tax-exclusive manner would mean a 57 percent rate.(2)
Likelihood of the tax actually being more than 23 percent: Certainty.
Inflation will kill you. For decades, the income tax gradually crept up as government-caused inflation pushed Americans into higher and higher tax brackets. This outrage caused horrific hardship before Congress was finally forced to index the income tax to the inflation rate (meaning that if your income goes up with the inflation rate, your tax rate doesn't). There is no indexing with the sales tax. As goods become more expensive, you have only two choices: pay more in taxes or do without the things you need.
Consider just one example. You've been saving to buy a new house. That house now costs $260,000 (which is already 10 times what your parents would have paid for an identical house in 1968). Your “FairTax” on that home will already be a whopping $78,000, for a total purchase price of $338,000. Then government printing presses go into high gear. While you're still saving up for your down-payment, double-digit inflation takes over and the price of your house zooms 20 percent in one year. The house now costs $312,000. Your “FairTax” on that house is now $93,600 for a total purchase price of $405,600. And you have to wait another year to buy it. And if inflation continues to go up, your hopes recede even further. (And all this is without mentioning the increased mortgage interest you'll have to pay over the decades to cover both the government-caused inflation and the government-benefiting tax.)
Likelihood of inflation boosting the sales tax: Certainty
The FairTax is monumentally unfair to retiring Baby Boomers. People who have paid 1/4 or 1/3 of their income in taxes for 40 years will now have to pay an equally high tax on all the after tax income they've managed to put aside for their retirement. Every time Boomers buy anything with their lifelong savings, they'll be double taxed.
The tax will be used to track your entire financial life. While H.R. 25 does not contain any requirement that every purchase be linked to an individual's ID, the trend toward tracking every purchase is growing. We expect that eventually, your “national ID cash card” will be required when you buy anything. Or giant databases will combine the records of your credit cards, store loyalty cards, radio-frequency ID tags on merchandise, government ID, etc. into one vast set of interlinked records, immediately accessible to – and subject to manipulation by – government agencies.
Therefore, the national sales tax will eventually be used to track – and manipulate – what we purchase. Instead of merely being profiled by Wal-Mart or Safeway, your buying habits will be available in detail to the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Health and Human Services, the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, university researchers – you name it.
Although the tax is initially only to apply to services and new items, here's another projection: Swap meets, farmers' markets, gun shows, and garage sales will automatically come to be considered prime places for black market activity. Either the tax will eventually be extended to used items, or all such free markets will eventually be heavily regulated and patrolled – or banned outright as havens for the new anti-sales tax criminals and resisters.
Likelihood: Certainty (of black markets); high probability (of regulating used and private sales)
The national sales tax will give government another reason to make cash purchases illegal. Because buying with cash will make it easier to evade the sales tax, taxing authorities will quickly conclude that buying with cash is a sure indicator of criminal activity. The federal government has already classed all large cash transactions (in some cases, that means amounts as low as $750) as “suspicious.” Expect cash purchases of all sorts eventually to become criminal under the sales tax regime. After all, as government and the media will soon tell us, “It used to be that big drug dealers and crooked businessmen evaded taxes on large purchases. But now millions of Americans are cheating their countrymen every day by evading tax on billions of small, but cumulatively huge, purchases of milk, coffee, CDs, and tee-shirts!”
Cash purchases, of course, will also make it more difficult for government social engineers and corporate marketers to make sure your buying habits meet their standards. Cash purchases make it harder to tell whether you're guilty of eating too much butter, consuming too much beer, or owning too many guns. That will be yet another reason to make all purchases trackable. But the excuse given will be to prevent the terrible crime of sales tax evasion.
Likelihood: High probability.
Absurdly, the article concludes by advocating the abolition of ALL taxes. (Now how in the hell do these people propose funding such activities as defense, infrastructure maintenance, national law enforcement, and all other vital services provided at the Federal level, not to mention Social Security, the abolition of which would be a disaster?) Still, the article makes persuasive arguments, and ones that I think need to be heeded.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
The monstrous double standard in American society still stands: Democrats get crucified as "traitors" for merely criticizing Dear Leader; Republicans get to make death threats against Democratic leaders, and escape scot-free.
Nugent, by the way, is not a fringe figure in right-wing circles. He appears on Fox "News" and this summer got a guest editorial on the Wall Steeet Journal's insane asylum of an op-ed page. He also appeared at Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry's inauguration. Additionally, he is a friend of George W. Bush. All of the people who give him prominence and recognition should be made to answer for this scumbag imbecile and his vile threats.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
And then watch them lose by even more than they were going to anyway.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
Sunday, August 19, 2007
I'm old enough to remember 1968, back when I was a teenage member of the Dark Side. Richard Nixon, facing a split conservative movement (Wallace to his right), won by the narrowest of margins. Hubert Humphrey wasn't the ideal candidate in the eyes of many Democrats, and a lot of them either didn't contribute money to him in the fall or work for him in the general election campaign. Worse, many of them stayed home on election day. Humphrey came within striking distance in New Jersey, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, and California, but he fell short. Think of the terrible consequences that followed: the Cambodian bombing, 25,000 additional dead Americans in Vietnam, Spiro Agnew as Vice President, reactionary Supreme Court judges, and perhaps worst of all, the "Southern Strategy", as Nixon moved to the right to grab the Wallace voters. When George McGovern was destroyed in 1972, we saw the end result of giving Nixon the power to do all this. Ever since '68, the Democrats have faced an uphill struggle, and one that could have been avoided if they all had forgotten their anger and worked for, given money to, and voted for Humphrey. That's the real consequence of "ideological purity."
We saw a similar catastrophe in 2000, as the Nader voters foolishly withheld their support from Gore (97,000 in Florida alone) and made the election close enough for Bush, Cheney, and Rove to steal by way of what can only be called a right-wing coup d'etat. Do I REALLY have to remind you of all the hideous consequences of that coup? I think not.
Now, we have "purists" in the party who declare they will not vote for Hillary if she is nominated. They are willing to let a dangerous fascist like Giuliani or a two-faced liar like Romney seize power other than violate their "principles". They object to this policy of Clinton or that policy of Clinton, and so are prepared to plunge this country into a THIRD BUSH ADMINISTRATION. And such people think of themselves as "good"!! It's enough to make me go nuts.
Let me tell ya, pal, John Kerry wasn't my first choice in 2004, but I worked my heart and soul out for him, and in Wisconsin, a team of fantastically dedicated people (my contribution was very minor compared to many up there) won the state for Kerry. When Democrats put aside their differences, they WIN. When they get in a huff and decide to stay home, they LOSE. And in losing, they allow the radical right wing criminals to drive this country into the abyss. They allow the neocons to stir up insane wars. They allow the Theocons to destroy church-state separation. They allow fanatics to wipe their ass on the Bill of Rights. That's what happens when we fail to pull together.
Hillary is not my choice. I'd love to see Al Gore as our nominee, or failing that, John Edwards. But if Hillary is the nominee, I want to make a few things clear to all of you:
I WILL GIVE MONEY TO HER CAMPAIGN.
I WILL REGISTER PEOPLE TO VOTE WHO ARE FOR HER.
I WILL WRITE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR FOR HER.
I WILL CAMPAIGN FOR HER DOOR TO DOOR, BY PHONE, AND OVER THE INTERNET.
I WILL PASS OUT OR MAIL OUT LITERATURE FOR HER.
I WILL GIVE PEOPLE RIDES TO THE POLLS ON ELECTION DAY.
I WILL VOTE FOR HER AND ROUND UP STRAY VOTERS WHO HAVEN'T VOTED YET.
Because, you see, I fully understand the basic premise here: A Republican victory in 2008 will push our country closer to its death and will have the most terrible consequences for the whole world. It will vindicate Karl Rove. It will mean letting neocon psychotics like William Kristol continue to drive us toward disaster. It will allow the religious fundamentalists to continue to ride roughshod over everyone else. Hillary is not my choice, but she is so much better than ANY Republican that I will have no moral or ethical choice but to go all out for her. If Hillary is our nominee, I will be 100% on her side.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
And no, I don't care if my title seems too blunt. After you look at this, you'll feel the same way.
Friday, August 17, 2007
--Ann Coulter : Barack Obama's Lead in the Polls is "Good for Al-Qeada"
--Townhall : Liberals hate fellow Americans more than terrorists.
--Fox News: Let's find the Happy Insurgents now that Democrats have taken over Congress.
--Bill Kristol : Obama's anti-war stance shows that he would have been pro-slavery.
--Right-Wing Radio Pundit Buzz Patterson : "Democrat politicians, big media, academia, popular culture, and nongovernmental organizations" of forming "a Fifth Column" that is "facilitating defeat against Islamo-fascism" and that Most Liberals are Traitors.
--Radio Host Mike Gallagher on Fox News: the U.S. government should "round up" actor Matt --Damon, "The View" host Joy Behar, and MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann and "put them in a detention camp until this war is over because they’re a bunch of traitors."
--Fox News Host : Wall Street Won’t Let A ‘Puny Little Traitor (who leaked the NSA Story)...Take Down Our Market’
--Bill O'Reilly on Cindy Sheehan : I think Mrs. Sheehan bears some responsibility for this [publicity] and also for the responsibility for the other American families who lost sons and daughters in Iraq who feel this kind of behavior borders on treasonous.
--Tom Delay : Pelosi and Reid are getting "very, very close to treason" by opposing the Iraq war.
--Donald Rumsfeld : War Critics are like Hitler Appeasers
--Neil Cavuto : "Did Americans who took Hugo Chavez’s oil today commit treason?"
--Melanie Morgan : New York Times editor Bill Keller is guilty of treason and that "Keller and his associates" should be thrown "in prison for 20 years.
--Michael Reagan : Howard Dean should be arrested and hung for treason."
--Coulter : It is simply a fact that Democrats like Murtha are encouraging the Iraqi insurgents when they say the war is going badly and it’s time to bring the troops home... They fill the airwaves with treason...These people are not only traitors, they are gutless traitors.
--Dennis Hastert : liberals want to take "the 130 most treacherous people, probably in the world...and release them out in the public eventually."
--CNN host Chuck Roberts: Ned Lamont is the Al Qeada Candidate.
--Cal Thomas : The Taliban wing of the Democratic Party cannot countenance any "heretics" who do not toe their line.
--South Carolina GOP chairman Katon Dawson : "Which one of the Democrat [sic] contenders are going to take [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid [D-NV] to task about giving aid and comfort to the enemies by claiming the global war on terror is lost?"
--Dean Esmay on New York Times reporters: "Exposing such a secret program is not whistle-blowing -- it is high treason. When I say 'treason' I don't mean it in an insulting or hyperbolic way. I mean in a literal way: we need to find these 21st century Julius Rosenbergs, these modern day reincarnations of Alger Hiss, put them on trial before a jury of their peers, with defense counsel. When they are found guilty, we should then hang them by the neck until the [sic] are dead, dead, dead."
--Michael Savage : former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright "should be tried for treason, and when she is found guilty, she should be hung."
--Coulter on the Hamdan Decision : [Y]ou just expect Democrats to side with Al Qaeda." Coulter also stated that she couldn't "imagine that this country could have won World War II if this is the way one of the parties was behaving."
--Rush Limbaugh : "Did (Joe) Wilson lie about Niger? Did Wilson commit treason?"
Count on it.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
The plain fact of the matter is that job creation under Bush has been LOUSY, especially when compared to our last successful president, Bill Clinton. The only thing the Bush tax cuts did was to reward Bush's supporters and cronies. On the job front, they failed miserably.
Just like Bush himself.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Yeah, when the GOP is slumping, you can always whip up the Republican base by bashing the Mexicans. I mean, those Hispanics are so...dark and menacing and hard to understand. No wonder conservatives hate them. They're so different, after all, from... actual people.
Monday, August 13, 2007
People wonder what his future will be and I'd like to think there will be a moment of atonement for Karl but he has not shown a shadow of conscience. He will command great fees for public speaking and is likely to be on retainers to dozens of corporations seeking his influence and insights. Of course, he will write a book and offer his perspective on the Bush administration; he cannot stop himself from spinning. I, however, still believe in the truth and its survivability and am confident history will condemn Rove and view him as a man who divided his own country to win and cared not a scintilla about the consequences of his actions beyond political victory. I have been accused for more than 25 years of overstating Karl's importance and his influence but I am certain history will judge him the most profoundly disturbing political force our country has seen in almost 100 years.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Friday, August 10, 2007
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
“‘I know Senator Brownback converted to Roman Catholicism in 2002,” Mr. Rude wrote. “Frankly, as a recovering Catholic myself, that is all I need to know about his discernment when compared to the Governor’s.” The message struck some as an attempt to highlight Mr. Brownback’s Catholicism in a state with a large Protestant electorate.
The comment interested and even amused me, because on another website, I’ve recently been fielding comments from people who believe that we live in “a Christian nation.” Yet here they were, Catholic and Protestant political figures, quarreling just as they did back in the 16th and 17th centuries-the very reason that a separation was proposed between Church and State.
My correspondents also informed me that the Founders were personally devout and orthodox in their views and that the Constitution was derived from the Bible. No doubt they also believe that the Ten Commandments are the foundation of our legal system (actually, it’s the Code of Justinian.)
It’s hard to figure where in the Bible my correspondents found any discussion of checks and balances, the separation of powers, the regulation of commerce, or impeachment.
What about the influence of John Locke? I asked them. Locke, himself a devout Christian from a Puritan family, inspired Jefferson’s Statute for Religious Freedom written in 1777 and passed, thanks to James Madison, in 1786. Jefferson’s statute is particularly indebted to Locke’s Letter Concerning Toleration (1689), which you can read in its entirety here. In it Locke declared, “Neither Pagan nor Mahometan, nor Jew ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the commonwealth because of his religion. The Gospel commands no such thing.”
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Did they not want America to find out that Pat was a liberal Democrat and a Kerry supporter? That the man whose death Bush was using as a propaganda tool loathed Bush and Cheney and their illegal Iraq war?
I want some f---ing answers.