Tune in a Dem prez debate and prepare to get the glummies about the economy. Where would the Democrankies be without their charges of the rich getting richer, the jobs going overseas and the economy of the verge of tanking?
Bulletin to Hil et. al.: Do not read Thomas C. Reeves' The Terrible State of our Economy? that's up on History News Network. In the piece, Reeves makes enough points to make Hil look like a giant stack at Waffle House, including:
- "In the first place, it now seems certain that the Bush tax cuts of 2003 stimulated the economy. Individual income tax receipts, according to the Congressional Budget Office, have soared by 46.3% in four years. In 2007, the IRS collected a total of $2.568 trillion, 6.7% more than the year before."
- "The wealthy paid much of the bill; in 2005, the richest 1% paid 39% of all income taxes, up from 37% in 2000. (At the same time, the bottom 50% of families enjoyed an average tax rate that fell by a third to 3%.)"
- "For fiscal 2007, the CBO predicts a federal budget deficit of $158 billion, a $96 billion decline from 2006."
- "Federal spending (despite Iraq and the continued impact of Katrina) is growing at a lower rate, up just 2.8% last year, comfortably below the 7.3% average over the previous five years."
- "The U.S. Treasury Department reports that in September, 110,000 new jobs were created, “the 49th straight month of job gains.” The nation has added 8.4 million jobs since August, 2003."
Who Started al-Qaeda Anyway?
You may have thought our blood enemy got its hatching in the mind of bin Laden, as he toiled away as a rich young mujahadeen against the Soviets in Afghanistan ... but you'd be wrong, half a world away wrong.
Here, from that pillar of truth, Iran's Fars News Agency, is what really happened:
"The Untied States has deployed its military troops in 8 different countries in the region in a bid to control oil reserves and secure free flow of oil," representative of Tehran at the Islamic Consultative Assembly Hossein Sheikhol Eslam said while addressing a meeting dubbed "A World without US Intervention" in the northern city of Behshahr Saturday night. ...See, we created al-Qaeda all because of our lust for oil and power. It's nice to know there's someone more paranoid and anti-American than the American left.
"But after it failed in attaining [Saddam's victory over Iran], the White House leaders thought of new plots to maintain their domination over regional reserves, including the formation of such terrorist groups as the al-Qaeda," he said.
Image credit here.
Maria Shriver for President?
I don't think so, and neither does Arnie. He told a group of Silicon Valey business leaders Friday that Shriver has no interest in the job because of her upbringing:
"She grew up and was a victim, where she was always thrown into events and photographs, and Sunday nights there were always 100 people in the house ... and she was at the factories telling people, 'Vote for my daddy, vote for my daddy,"' Schwarzenegger said.
"When she was 21 years old, she went out and decided she would find a man who had no desire to be in politics. She bumped into a man who was from an Austrian farm, a bodybuilder who was only interested in oiling up ... and wearing tight pants ... and then going into Hollywood," he said to more laughs. (OC Register via Flash Report)
First Take Out The Media
Pervez Musharraf is following classic coup procedures. On day one, he took out television and his main enemy, Pakistan's supreme court.On day two:
Hundreds of political activists, senior judges and human-rights leaders were rounded up by police. The country's deposed chief justice, Iftikhar Chaudhry, was confined to his cordoned-off home, with no one allowed to approach. ...It occurred to me this morning that The Lives of Others, which I reviewed yesterday, would be reviewed quite differently by the Kos Krowd. They would see East Germany's repression not as a window into places like Pakistan and NoKo, and a cry for the need for democracy, but as a warning of what Bush would like to do to our country.
Some of the country's most venerable jurists and human-rights activists were among those rounded up and roughly bundled into police vans.
They included Munir Malik, a senior attorney who has been at the forefront of a pro-democracy movement that swelled in recent months, and Asma Jehangir, a distinguished lawyer who leads the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
Up to 200 policemen stormed the office of the rights commission in the eastern city of Lahore, arresting all the group's senior staff. (LA Times)
I'm sure that as they read of Musharraf's closing down of Pakistan's tenuous Democracy, they're thinking in their negative little minds that Bush will be following his puppet shortly. What a waste of creative brainpower.
"Gen. Musharref, Saakashvili's on the Phone"
One person looking enviously at Musharref is President Michael Saakashvili of Georgia. How he must long for tough martial law and the jailing of dissidents.
Up to 10,000 Georgians demonstrated for a third day against Presidential Mikhail Saakashvili on Sunday, accusing him of authoritarian rule and demanding his resignation.Saakashvili came to power backed but just such demonstrations, dethroning Eduard Shevardnadze in 2003's Rose Revolution. But revolutions can be demanding things, and Georgians are fed up with the economy and allegations of human rights abuses.
Some 70,000 had rallied in front of Georgia's parliament building on Friday, calling for a parliamentary election to be brought forward to early 2008 as a step to abolishing the presidency. By Saturday, opposition activists were mounting pressure for Saakashvili to step down. (Reuters)
Georgia should be, as our president has called it, "a beacon of democracy," and it can be again if Saakashvili simply calls early Parliamentary elections.
Judge Mukasey is not Alberto R. Gonzales
So writes Diane Feinstein in today's LAT, in saying that Mukasey's got her vote. She goes in the face of Leahy, Schumer et. al. and says Mukasey has answered the questions, especially the questions on waterboarding, sufficiently and should be confirmed.
Go Di. I disagree with her often, but have to admit she shows an independence from the Dem goose-steppers frequently enough to still earn my grudging respect.
Shakin' Things Up
How bad is it when the ground shaking is so strong the seismological instruments can't even measure it? I don't want to know; and I don't want to be anywhere close to Mt. Kelut in Indonesia.
A day after a false alarm on Indonesia's Mount Kelut led to panic among residents on its slopes, the volcano is showing signs of an imminent eruption, a scientist said Sunday.
"An eruption is now very, very much possible, although so far it has not yet happened," said Agus Budianto, a geologist monitoring the activities of the volcano in the densely populated East Java province.
On Saturday, continuous tremors beneath the volcano became so strong that they could no longer be read on seismological instruments, leading scientists to evacuate their posts and warn an eruption appeared to have occurred.
They could not confirm it visually as the top of the historically deadly mountain was shrouded by clouds but their warning led residents still in the danger zone to flee in fear for their lives.
Maybe It's The Unintelligible Docs
A recent survey has found that more Americans are discontent with the state of our medical care system than are residents of Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand or the United Kingdom, with theirs. According to the survey, one-third of Americans say the whole system needs an overhaul.
In addition to cost concerns, U.S. patients report more fragmented and inefficient care, including medical record and test delays, perceptions of waste and more time spent on paperwork, compared to patients in other countries.The study was conducted by The Commonwealth Fund, a group that advocates fundamental shifts in health policy, including a shift from pay-for-services to a system that would pay for each health episode, thereby incentivizing the medical profession to seek more efficient cures.
One third is not 50%, and dissatisfaction with status quo is not a demand for a national health insurance program a la Hillarycare.
Some parts of the survey's conclusions seem questionable, like the finding that Americans say they receive more erroneous test results than patients in the other countries. How do they know the tests are wrong? Do the patients in other countries even have access to their results? The survey reports that the highest number of US patients claiming bad test results are those seeking multiple opinions -- a luxury that may not be afford the citizens under national health care systems.
All in all, the survey shows that the Canadian system is the worst of the bunch and the European systems offer access levels similar to ours. No wonder the GOP always rushes to compare Hillarycare to Canada, and Dems always gaze fondly at Europe.