Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for January 2nd, 2011

More great news from the front

Posted by Charles II on January 2, 2011

Great news if you’re the Taliban, that is. Not so great for US soldiers in Afghanistan, among whom will soon be a member of my family. Saeed Shah, the Guardian:

Pakistan was thrown into political turmoil tonight after a partner in the ruling coalition quit the government, leaving a minority administration that will struggle to survive.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) pulled out of President Asif Zardari’s government, leaving it 12 seats short of a majority in the national assembly or lower house of parliament. The MQM cited a rise in petrol prices and new taxation as the reason for leaving the government…

Many in Pakistan will see the hand of the country’s powerful military behind the crisis. The MQM, whose leader Altaf Hussain has lived in self-imposed exile in London for almost two decades, is reputedly close to the military establishment.

The loss of a parliamentary majority does not automatically trigger elections….

Sharif’s party, the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) appeared to suggest that it would not gang up against the government in any vote of no confidence, removing the immediate threat to the administration’s survival.

And the military is the Taliban’s patron saint.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on More great news from the front

Gulf War I all for Bush I re-election?

Posted by Charles II on January 2, 2011

Aftenposten, a Norwegian newspaper, is issuing Wikileak cables other sources aren't

(from BoingBoing)

The Wikileaked cables start to provide the framework to understand why Saddam Hussein made the decision to invade Kuwait in the first Gulf War. From Ambassador April Glaspie, in which she said the “US takes no position” on Arab boundary disputes, 7/25/1990. Glaspie fails to register or discuss Saddam Hussein’s complaint that the Kuwaitis are stealing oil, as indicated on this timeline, an allegation that the US should have at least been aware of, and she does not in any way address Saddam Hussein’s primary complaint, i.e., that due to the costs of the proxy war against Iran that Iraq fought with US encouragement, Iraq is broke, unable to pay its basic obligations because the price of oil is so low. The Bush Administration, of course, wishes to keep the price of oil low to end the recession and help George Herbert’s re-election chances:

¶4. SADDAM, WHOSE MANNER WAS CORDIAL, REASONABLE AND EVEN WARM THROUGHOUT THE ENSUING TWO HOURS, SAID HE WISHED THE AMBASSADOR TO CONVEY A MESSAGE TO PRESIDENT BUSH. SADDAM THEN RECALLED IN DETAIL THE HISTORY OF IRAQ’S DECISION TO REESTABLISH DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS AND ITS POSTPONING IMPLEMENTATION OF THAT DECISION AT THE BEGINNING OF THE WAR, RATHER THAN BE THOUGHT WEAK AND NEEDY. HE THEN SPOKE ABOUT THE MANY “BLOWS” OUR RELATIONS HAVE BEEN SUBJECTED TO SINCE 1984, CHIEF AMONG THEM IRANGATE. IT WAS AFTER THE FAW VICTORY, SADDAM SAID, THAT IRAQI MISAPPREHENSIONS ABOUT USG PURPOSES BEGAN TO SURFACE AGAIN, I.E., SUSPICIONS THAT THE U.S. WAS NOT HAPPY TO SEE THE WAR END.

¶5. PICKING HIS WORDS WITH CARE, SADDAM SAID THAT THERE ARE “SOME CIRCLES” IN THE USG,
INCLUDING IN CIA AND THE STATE DEPARTMENT, BUT EMPHATICALLY EXCLUDING THE PRESIDENT AND
SECRETARY BAKER, WHO ARE NOT FRIENDLY TOWARD IRAQ-U.S. RELATIONS. HE THEN LISTED WHAT HE
SEEMED TO REGARD AS FACTS TO SUPPORT THIS CONCLUSION: “SOME CIRCLES ARE GATHERING
INFORMATION ON WHO MIGHT BE SADDAM HUSAYN’S SUCCESSOR;” THEY KEPT UP CONTACTS IN THE GULF
WARNING AGAINST IRAQ; THEY WORKED TO ENSURE NO HELP WOULD GO TO IRAQ (READ EXIM AND CCC).

Continues below the fold
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bush, BushCo malfeasance, Busheviks, history, Iraq war | 7 Comments »

Budget Arsonist Posing As Fireman: Greg Mankiw Spews Nonsense, Again

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 2, 2011

If anyone to the left of Ben Nelson was this stupid in print, they’d be keelhauled. But since it’s Greggie Mancow, and since (like Lindsey Graham) he advocates starving Grandma so he can get an even bigger house in Wellesley, he’s welcomed in the pension-hating NYT with open arms so he can spew his Obama-must-be-even-more-of-a-pushover spiel:

STOP TRYING TO SPREAD THE WEALTH Ever since your famous exchange with Joe the Plumber, it has been clear that you believe that the redistribution of income is a crucial function of government. A long philosophical tradition supports your view. It includes John Rawls’s treatise “A Theory of Justice,” which concludes that the main goal of public policy should be to transfer resources to those at the bottom of the economic ladder.

Many Republicans, however, reject this view of the state. From their perspective, it is not the proper role of government to fix the income distribution in an attempt to achieve some utopian vision of fairness. They believe, instead, that in a free society, people make money when they produce goods and services that others value, and that, as a result, what they earn is rightfully theirs.

First of all, Mancow is lying when he accuses Obama of “trying to spread the wealth”. If anything, Obama has bent over backwards to appease the people in Mancow’s tax bracket so they’ll donate to him in 2012 — even though we’ve already seen the big-bucks folks at Big Health betray Obama after he’d killed the public option for them.

Secondly, as Blue Texan points out, Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt had this to say about the kind of taxation that makes Mancow’s lazy Randroid ass pucker in disdain and fear:

A heavy progressive tax upon a very large fortune is in no way such a tax upon thrift or industry as a like would be on a small fortune. No advantage comes either to the country as a whole or to the individuals inheriting the money by permitting the transmission in their entirety of the enormous fortunes which would be affected by such a tax; and as an incident to its function of revenue raising, such a tax would help to preserve a measurable equality of opportunity for the people of the generations growing to manhood.

As BT says:

But the worst part of Mankiw’s suggestion that Obama embrace a flat tax is that we’re living in a time of record inequality — the top 1% have a greater net worth than the bottom 90%. That inequality is having a corrosive effect on our democracy and our society. And to suggest that we exacerbate this further by cutting taxes even more for billionaires is just disgusting, offensive, morally repugnant.

Remember: Mankiw is not some wingnut radio host in Tuscaloosa. He’s a Harvard professor and a former advisor to George W. Bush, and he’s looking at the deficit and massive wealth inequality and saying, “more please.” This is where the right is in 2011.

Furthermore, Brad DeLong notes that Mancow’s track record on budgets is horrible:

Let the record show that when Greg Mankiw was chair of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers he worked for a president, George W. Bush, who took less than zero regard for the long-term fiscal stability of the United States. And let the record show that Mankiw did not put his or his staff’s credibility on the line in an attempt to reverse either of the five big budget-busting decisions–the 2001 abandonment of congressional PAYGO, the 2003 shift of taxes from the present into the future, the 2003 decision not to raise taxes to pay for any portion of the war in Iraq, and the 2003 decision not to find a revenue source to cover any part of the expense of Medicare Part D–of the George W. Bush administration.

[…]

And let the record show that there have been four big moves on the long-term budget in the past year: (1) the inclusion in the Affordable Care Act of the IPAB to slow the growth rate of Medicare spending (good for long-run fiscal stability, and which the Republicans have sworn to repeal), (2) the inclusion in the Affordable Care Act of the tax on high-cost health plans (good for fiscal stability, and which the Republicans have sworn to repeal), (3) the late 2010 Obama-McConnell deal on extending the shift of taxes from the present to the future (bad for fiscal stability, which the Republicans supported), and (4) the abandonment of PAYGO by the Republican House majority (bad for fiscal stability). Let the record show that Greg Mankiw has not endorsed (1) or (2), and has not lamented (3) or (4).

DeLong likens Mancow to an arsonist wearing a fire chief’s hat. Sounds about right.

Posted in 'starving the beast', (Rich) Taxpayers League, 2010, 2012 | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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