Wednesday, July 20, 2011

20 July 2011

This is old, and the language is arguably a bit hyperbolic. All the same, I couldn't help but remember this essay when I heard of the "Gang of Six" and Obama's fondness for their plan, because it sounds like it could be discussing BHO as easily as it's about GWB:

Clear-cutting the middle class, By H.N. Arendt, 2003

The Gang of Six plan supposedly reforms the tax code by removing one or two token tax breaks intended for wealthy executive types, while it lowers the top tax rate from 35% to 29%, or even less, and does away with the AMT. And, oh yeah, it cuts social security. On the news on TV they're saying it will raise an extra trillion in revenue over 10 years.

This is garbage of course, as the raging deficit they've made so much fuss about will only get worse, under such a scheme and there will be less revenue, not more. But for the sake of a breezy narrative on a 30 minute nightly newscast with commercials, the networks just need to compare it to the "Cut, cap, and balance" plan to make it seem like they're covering the story fairly. One imagines at least some of the reporters realize this is a crock, and that both plans are designed to head the US towards a fate like Greece's. I wonder, because the human tendency to believe what you are compelled to promote is also strong.

(Some of these are from June; I'm catching up.)
Man Robs Bank for $1 To Get Health Care in Jail

Pelosi's wealth grows by 62 percent

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) saw her net worth rise 62 percent last year, cementing her status as one of the wealthiest members of Congress. Pelosi was worth at least $35.2 million in the 2010 calendar year, according to a financial disclosure report released Wednesday. She reported a minimum of $43.4 million in assets and about $8.2 milion in liabilities. Budget cuts leave UK ‘unable to hold Falklands’

Guardian: Secret US and Afghanistan talks could see troops stay for decades

Robert Bonomo, "Who's Afraid of Ron Paul?"

Ben Doherty, The Age, "Fasting becomes weapon of choice for the disaffected"

Apparently hunger strikes by dissidents are 'aggressive', and they upset Mr. Doherty, who writes:

Ninety years on, the realpolitik of hunger is forefront in India. Fasts are common practice. They are effective, they draw public attention and force opponents to act. But also, they leave governments paralysed. Affairs of state and social reform are held hostage to one person's caprice.

And,From earlier today: Ian Welsh asks, “will I crawl on my belly, will I fight, or will I try to make a separate peace?

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