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Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for July 1st, 2008

Flood exposes threadbare American underside

Posted by Charles II on July 1, 2008

Andrew Stern, Reuters (via t/o):

The worst Midwest flooding since 1993 has generated images of swamped towns, cracked roads, washed-out bridges, overwhelmed dams, failed levees, broken sewage systems, stunted crops and water-logged refugees. The losses are in the billions of dollars and still mounting, as the costs of crop losses alone send shocks through the inflation-wracked world food system and threaten insurers.

The disaster has reminded policymakers of the decrepit state of U.S. infrastructure…

Even before the latest flooding, a group representing engineers said the United States needed to spend about $1 trillion more than it does now to bring infrastructure up to par with modern needs and standards.

Will we hear about this or about Barack Obama’s bowling score?


Posted in infrastructure | 3 Comments »

McCain’s Tax Problem

Posted by MEC on July 1, 2008

John McCain has a problem with taxes, and it’s not just that Cindy McCain neglected to pay property taxes for the last four years on a California condo.

The IRS is going after suspected tax evaders at the Swiss bank UBS AG. McCain’s economic adviser Phil Gramm is the vice chairman of the bank’s U.S. division.

Republicans are trying to divert attention by pointing out that one of Barack Obama’s fundraisers is CEO of UBS Americas. But raising money for a candidate is not in the same category as being an official member of the campaign to advise the candidate on economic issues. And this isn’t the first financial scandal in which Phil Gramm is embroiled.

When will John McCain fire the scandal-tainted Phil Gramm from his campaign? Or at least disavow the rumors that he’d make Gramm his Secretary of the Treasury?

Posted in John McCain, McCain lobbyist scandal | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

More Media And Religion Silliness

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 1, 2008

Barack Obama made a major announcement about the role of faith-based groups in the Federal government’s social-welfare efforts. The AP muffed it, making it sound as if Obama was going to follow Bush’s policy in this regard — and that set off a fresh feeding frenzy among those already inclined to see Obama as Bush with a suntan.

Meanwhile, all but unnoticed, Steve Benen posted an article at Salon that the feeding-frenzy folk have yet to see, being that it only has ten letter responses, which is one-tenth of what the frenzy folk have dropped over at Greenwald’s Salon shop. The article of Benen’s sets forth the following facts:

1) Prior to Bush, religious organizations and local, state and Federal governments had worked together for a very long time without much incident, largely because of the heavy-duty strictures and safeguards that existed.

2) Bush ripped out or ignored those safeguards.

3) Obama intends to restore them.

4) The AP botched the reporting to make it sound as if he wasn’t.

I also want to mention another fact: Since we’re not likely going to soon get a tax structure of the sort that obtained during Eisenhower’s presidency, then the only way that Obama can start to restore major portions of the frayed social-programs safety net (a net frayed because of Republican tax cuts for the rich and Grover-Norquist-prescribed deficits that he advocated “curing” by destroying the safety net) is with the aid of religious charities.

Posted in 2008, Barack Obama, BushCo malfeasance, safety net, WTF? | 1 Comment »

When Religion And Media Mix…

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 1, 2008

…the end results are seldom very pretty.

Charles links to James Wolcott’s disbelieving takedown of the scandal surrounding Sally Quinn’s bizarre near-blasphemy centered around an apparent effort to start Tim Russert on the path to canonization. There have been some odd ducks rushing to Quinn’s defense, too. Who needs The Onion when you have The Anchoress?

Ah, but The Mighty Quinn has some competition in the Misuse of Christianity Department. A longtime local repeat offender in that category has been none other than the StarTribune‘s very own sop to the Republican Party of Minnesota, Katherine Kersten.

Spotty over at The Cucking Stool does chapter and verse on Miss Gulch’s latest abomination, and does it quite well. I’m going to discuss it too, though only a small fragment thereof. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Professional Christians, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples, WTF? | 1 Comment »

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