Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for February 18th, 2011

Obama tax plan is not 100% the Bush plan

Posted by Charles II on February 18, 2011

It’s only 81% identical. And the Republicans, ever willing to split the difference, will settle for 150% of Bush.

Citizens for Tax Justice:

Preliminary Analysis of President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2012 Budget:
Plan Would Make Permanent 81 Percent of the Bush Tax Cuts

The budget outline released by President Obama this week, just like last year’s proposal,
includes about $3.5 trillion in tax cuts over ten years. Most of that cost comes from his $3.1
trillion proposal to make permanent most of the Bush tax cuts, which would cost 81 percent as
much as extending all the Bush tax cuts.

The President’s budget outline does include several laudable provisions to raise revenue, but
not nearly enough to offset the costs of the proposed tax cuts.

The net effect of the tax proposals in the budget plan would be to reduce federal revenue by
$2.8 trillion over ten years, compared to what would happen if the Bush tax cuts simply
expired (as they will under current law if Congress does nothing).

I can’t understand this man. He is killing the Democratic Party. Washington Democrats seem to be cheering him on.

Posted in Barack Obama, Democrats, taxes | 2 Comments »

Is the US stoking the drug war?

Posted by Charles II on February 18, 2011

Bill Conroy, Narconews:

Another series of leaked State Department cables made public this week by WikiLeaks lend credence to investigative reports on gun trafficking and the drug war published by Narco News as far back as 2009.

The big battles in the drug war in Mexico are “not being fought with Saturday night specials, hobby rifles and hunting shotguns,” Narco News reported in March 2009, against the grain, at a time when the mainstream media was pushing a narrative that assigned the blame for the rising tide of weapons flowing into Mexico to U.S. gun stores and gun shows.

Rather, we reported at the time, “the drug trafficking organizations are now in possession of high-powered munitions in vast quantities that can’t be explained by the gun-show loophole.”

Those weapons, found in stashes seized by Mexican law enforcers and military over the past several years, include U.S.-military issued rifles, machine guns, grenade launchers and explosives.

The State Department cables released recently by WikiLeaks support Narco News’ reporting and also confirm that our government is very aware of the fact that U.S military munitions are finding their way into Mexico, and into the hands of narco-trafficking organizations, via a multi-billion dollar stream of private-sector and Pentagon arms exports.

Narco News offered an answer to that question in March 2009, when it reported that the deadliest of the weapons now in the hands of criminal groups in Mexico, particularly along the U.S. border, by any reasonable standard of an analysis of the facts, appear to be getting into that nation through perfectly legal private-sector arms exports, measured in the billions of dollars.

Those exports are approved through the State Department, under a program known as Direct Commercial Sales. A sister program, called Foreign Military Sales, is overseen by the Pentagon and also taps U.S. contractors to manufacture weapons (such as machine guns and grenades) for export to foreign entities, including companies and governments.

Now, the reason I stumbled onto Conroy’s report is that there has been a very odd incident between the US and Argentina. Briefly, an official cargo from the US contained items that the Argentines didn’t like, including a sealed container which they impounded. Eventually the container was opened. Some of the cargo was rejected and a formal protest was filed. The State Department went into the familiar, “Brown people say the darndest things” routine:

More below the fold
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in gun issues, Pentagon, War On Some Drugs | 1 Comment »

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on February 18, 2011

Friday Cat Blogging
Friday Cat Blogging

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Is Wisconsin The US Egypt?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 18, 2011

Is Wisconsin the US Egypt? Rose Aguilar thinks it just might be:

The people power in Wisconsin has become too big for the local and national media to ignore. Just a few weeks ago, Milwaukee Labor Press editor Dominique Paul North told me that workers’ rights rallies receive very little media coverage compared to Tea Party rallies. Last month, over 700 people gathered outside the Wisconsin State Capitol to the hold the state’s first ever anti-inauguration rally, but it got very little coverage in the local media. Numbers clearly matter.

On February 15, an estimated 15,000 citizens, including union and non-union workers, surrounded the state capitol to express opposition to Republican Governor Scott Walker’s plan to strip the state’s 175,000 public employees of almost all of their collective bargaining rights and require them to make larger contributions to their pensions and health insurance plans.

“In Wisconsin we’re smart enough to know the truth. We know what this is all about. It’s about breaking the back of the middle class,” AFSCME International president Gerald McEntee told the crowd. [Watch WBAY-TV’s coverage.]

Mike Imbrogno, a shop steward in AFSCME Local 171, told the Socialist Worker‘s Aongus O’Murchadha how union members surged inside the capital building, chanting their demands.

“I’ve never seen anything like it. It wasn’t just teachers and union members from the University of Wisconsin (UW), where I work. There were Steelworkers, Teamsters, Pipefitters, building trades unions and more–unions I’ve never seen at a rally in 10 years,” he said. “The most amazing thing is when the firefighters came in a delegation. Along with police, Walker has exempted firefighters from the legislation, but they came with signs that said, ‘Firefighters for workers’ rights.’ People were crying.”

Nearly 800 Madison East High School students walked out of class to join the demonstration. “Last time I checked Madison was the new Cairo,” said senior Riley Moore, whose mother is a Madison teacher and father works for UW-Madison.

Mona Eltahawy also seems to think so:

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on Is Wisconsin The US Egypt?