Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for November 23rd, 2008

Obama may act to increase inequality

Posted by Charles II on November 23, 2008

Reuters via CNBC:

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama may consider delaying a campaign promise to roll back tax cuts on high-income Americans as he works on a huge stimulus plan to counter the worst economic crisis the world has faced in decades.

Two Obama aides indicated when asked on Sunday TV talk shows that the tax cuts brought in under the current administration of Present George W. Bush may be allowed to run their course until the end of 2010, rather than being rescinded by legislation before then.

Business leaders and economists had expressed concern that raising taxes now would only exacerbate the economy’s woes.

While it’s true that raising taxes tends to slow an economy, if you balance tax cuts for the wealthy with spending and tax cuts for the middle class, that doesn’t happen. What does happen is that the deficit is not as gigantic as it otherwise might be. Granted, there might not be much in the way of capital gains to tax for a while. But this sounds like giving away the store before the negotiations start. At a time of unsteady credit markets, this seems like a very unwise idea to me. And politically, the optics are about as good as GM’s execs flying in on private jets.

And if it’s not what they plan to do, talking is even worse. We are a point of very low trust, and it shouldn’t be squandered on what are basically second-tier issues.

Posted in Obama Administration, wrong way to go about it | 2 Comments »

Our free press leaps to warn us…

Posted by Charles II on November 23, 2008

Why in %$#^ am I learning about this from Al Jazeera (via ICH), rather than from ABC or Newsweek or The San Diego Union-Tribune?

Oh. That’s right. The American free press barely exists. So this comes from the Qatari free press.

US economic and political power is set to decline over the next two decades and the world will grow more dangerous as the battle for scarce resources intensifies, a report by US intelligence agencies has predicted.

The current global financial crisis is the beginning of a weakening of the US dollar to the point where it becomes “first among equals”, said the National Intelligence Council’s (NIC) Global Trends 2025 report published on Thursday.

One of the main conclusions of the report is that “the unipolar world is over, [or] certainly will be by 2025”, said Thomas Fingar, the NIC’s deputy director, at a press conference in Washington DC.

China and India were likely to join the US at the top of a multipolar world and compete for influence, the report added.

Russia’s future was less certain, but Iran, Turkey and Indonesia were also seen by the report as gaining power.

“The world of the near future will be subject to an increased likelihood of conflict over scarce resources, including food and water, and will be haunted by the persistence of rogue states and terrorist groups with greater access to nuclear weapons,” said the report.

Posted in capitalism as cancer, colonial wars, getting a clue, Media machine, mediawhores | Comments Off on Our free press leaps to warn us…

Don’t leave Nome without it

Posted by Charles II on November 23, 2008

The latest bit of gear from Mudflats

The latest bit of gear from Mudflats

Posted in Sarah Palin | Comments Off on Don’t leave Nome without it

But Aren’t Republicans Supposed To Know How To Fill Out Ballots?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 23, 2008

Funny how they could botch so many in Georgia:

A Republican-generated effort to get out the vote for the Dec. 2 runoff election has hit a snag as thousands of requests for absentee ballots have been denied because the applications were not signed.

County elections officials are contacting voters by mail, directing them to print applications from county or state election Web sites and fax them in by Wednesday.

[…]

Cobb County received about 7,075 of the cards from voters that were not signed, about 44 percent of the cards received. “We’ve never seen anything near that ratio,” registration manager Beth Kish said.

DeKalb County election officials have received 5,000 applications from the RNC mailing and rejected 2,800 of them.

Ooopsie!

Posted in 2008, Republicans | 4 Comments »

Water, water, anywhere…

Posted by Charles II on November 23, 2008

Ed Pilkington, The Guardian:

a firm of eco-inventors from Canada [] claim to have found the solution to the world’s worsening water shortages by drawing the liquid of life from an unlimited and untapped source – the air.

The company, Element Four, has developed a machine that it hopes will become the first mainstream household appliance to have been invented since the microwave. Their creation, the WaterMill, uses the electricity of about three light bulbs to condense moisture from the air [update: according to Element Four, 13 L/day] and purify it into clean drinking water.

There’s nothing really new about this idea, but the power consumption is modest. The machine doesn’t work when the humidity is below 30%, so it has to be run most intensively at dawn in dry climes.

Posted in environment, Good Things | 6 Comments »

 
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