Wednesday, February 28, 2007

one good thing about an asian supremacist

Self-proclaimed "Asian supremacist" Kenneth Eng, has gotten some criticism over his opinion piece at Asian Week. You know, the one titled "Why I Hate Blacks." Among other things, Eng said blacks were "weak-willed" because they were the only race that allowed themselves to be enslaved for 300 years. Guess Eng's historical knowledge is right up there with his sense of tact, since slavery has been part of the human condition for a long, long time. There were plenty of Chinese and Russians and Greeks, to just name a few, who were also slaves for hundreds of years. Not all, sure -- but hey, the percentage of blacks who were enslaved was also very small since most of them lived in Africa and weren't enslaved in the Americas.

Surprisingly, that column can not be found at Asia Week's website. But this jerk has written a couple of other similarly enlightened pieces, including one on "Why I Hate Asians." The main reason, apparently, was that Asians are too quick to suck up to whites, and are too quick to adopt British and "Negro" accents and language.

A charming person, this Eng, who has written a couple of science fiction books. But I'm kinda glad to hear about this guy. Always glad to confirm that racism isn't the exclusive domain of whites. He must be pining for the Japan of the 1930s with their notions of racial superiority.

But wait -- Eng is a CHINESE name. And the Chinese were clearly inferior to the Japanese because they, after all, had lost a bunch of wars and a bunch of land and allowed their country to be dominated by a bunch of foreigners, including the Japanese.

Sorry about that Eng, guess your ancestors weren't so superior after all.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

a bit late for regrets, isn't it?

Richard Cohen today gives Al Gore his personal approval and an Oscar for his "second act," that of a former (?) politician. Cohen also admits that when you compare the Al Gore of February 2007 with that of de facto fratboy-in-chief George W. Bush, that maybe just maybe we should have elected HIM President in 2000.

Of course, we did. But never mind that. Cohen ignores the fact that a major reason Gore didn't win going away in 2000 was the savage treatment of Al Gore by the major media, hacks like Maureen Dowd, everybody on Fox News, CNN, New York Times, and the Washington Post -- not to mention Richard Cohen himself.

Savage treatment based on lies. Cohen today even repeats the canards about Gore claiming to have invented the Internet -- GORE DID NOT MAKE THAT CLAIM -- and about Gore claiming to have been the model for the movie "Love Story" -- AGAIN, GORE DID NOT SAY THAT. Don't believe me? Go to The Daily Howler and search for "Gore Cohen" and read some of Cohen's columns from 2000, or even from 2002-03 when Gore was speaking out against Bush's impending invasion of Iraq. They called him crazy, now they realize he was sane.

So Cohen, ask yourself. If yourself and the rest of the major mainstream media had treated Gore honestly in 2000, and hadn't given that dry-drunk Bush a free ride, there's little doubt that Gore would have won the popular vote by an even bigger margin than he did in 2000, and would have been able to overcome poor ballot design and GOP vote suppression tactics in Florida to win that state. Gore would have been President.

Could he have prevented 9/11? Maybe, maybe not -- but he wouldn't have ignored the CIA and State when they were screaming warnings in summer 2001. He would probably have invaded Afghanistan (if 9/11 still happened) which would have been an appropriate response, but would NOT have ignored the necessary war in favor of a trumped up war of choice. Gore of course would have tried to get movement on climate change (although a Republican Congress would probably have blocked much action), would not have ignored New Orleans, wouldn't have taken intellectually dishonest stabs at the Social Security system, and would not have brought the approval ratings of the US in the Middle East to levels below Osama Bin Laden. He also wouldn't have appointed Roberts and Alito to the Supreme Court; we're probably stuck with THEM for 30 years.

So go ahead and give Gore his Oscar for his second act, Cohen and company. But just know it is due to your intellectual dishonesty in 2000 that Gore was winning a real Oscar this week, rather than sitting in the White House instead of that clown Bush.


Monday, February 26, 2007

al and strom

This is quite a story - a geneologist at approaches New York preacher/politician Al Sharpton and asks permission to trace his ancestry. Reverend Al agrees. Turns out his family were slaves, not a terribly big surprise for a black American. But to find out that your ancestors were owned by Strom Thurmond himself must have been a shock.

Oh wait, as I re-read this I realize Strom wasn't actually alive at the time of the Civil War -- it was Strom's ancestors who owned Sharpton's. It's a natural mistake.

Next steps -- DNA testing to see if Sharpton is related to Thurmond?

Sunday, February 25, 2007

calling all theocons

Are you firmly convinced that man and this planet and all the animals on it from the colossal squid to the nasty things that live on our eyelids were created by God in six days (with God putting his feet up and watching some NFL on the 7th day because there is nothing more American than watching pro football on Sunday)?

Do you believe a woman should be barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen? Hate gays and secretly believe AIDS is part of God's plan to kill 'em all? Think it is important to have balanced budgets comprised of 90% defense spending and 10% money to faith-based initiatives? Want to execute doctors that perform abortions, and the women that have them too, because you firmly believe all life is sacred? Think it is important to keep guns legal because they are good things, and want to ban the cervical cancer vaccine because it will encourage young women to become sluts and sleep around?

If you believe all the above, are a native-born American citizen, white male (of course) over age 35, and never received a Purple Heart in Vietnam, YOU could be the Republican Party candidate.

That's because the Council for National Policy, a right-wing Christianist cabal with such luminaries as James Dobson, good old Jerry Falwell, and Reagan-worshipping anti-federal government (unless the Republicans control it) tool Grover Norquist are looking for a candidate to follow in the stellar footsteps of their 1999 choice, de facto President George W. Bush, who lost the 2000 election but won the Supreme Court referendum, ignored warnings of impending terrorist attacks, invaded the wrong country and got us into a quagmire (which is the antonym of cakewalk, y'all), continues to ignore climate change and New Orleans, and generally has lowered the level of esteem for America abroad to that of Pol Pot. You know, somebody who can keep to those same high standards of performance and godliness.

Seems the GOP Christianists ain't too sure about the current crop of GOPsters begging for cash to become their party's nominee. Mitt Romney has three disadvantages -- first, he is named after a baseball glove, second he once out-liberaled Teddy Kennedy on gay rights, and finally he's a Mormon and the Christian Right pretty much despise Mormons.

John McCain isn't reliably subservient to the Christianist agenda. Plus, he's cranky and who wants that? Rudy Giulani is a twice-divorced cross-dresser from New York who has gays and actors for friends.

Mike Huckabee lost a lot of weight, which makes him an object of suspicion because you know, losing weight is sort of a liberal thing to do. Duncan Hunter is a whacko.

Maybe the Senator from the currently-officially-pro-Darwin-but-once-pro-Creationism state of Kansas, Sam "Not Rick Santorum" Brownback will fit the bill... But hey, the Christianists are so unhappy with these guys that they tried to get South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford to run at their recent meeting.

So, if you fit the bill above, and are willing to take direction from a dweeb called Grover, call the Council for National Policy toute de suite.*

*Um, that's frog-talk for now.


Saturday, February 24, 2007

don't let your babies watch tv

Today's Washington Post runs an article about various TV channels aimed at the under-2 "demographic." BabyFirst, BabyTV, those stupid Baby Einstein videos, the whole lot are increasingly popular despite the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics NOT to let kids under 2 watch any TV at all.

I wonder what this does (apart from lining the pockets of Disney and other companies)...

Friday, February 23, 2007

bill and hillary, no longer broke

There will undoubtedly be a lot of b.s. about how the Clintons are getting rich and how terrible it all is. But a few facts.
1. Unlike Bush and Bush and Reagan and many other Presidents, the Clintons weren't rich BEFORE entering the White House (Bill made $50,000 a year as Governor of Arkansas; Hillary gave up a good job when they moved to Washington in 1993). And they left the White House even poorer, with $12 million in legal fees run up during the various bogus witch-hunts perpetrated against them by Ken Starr, the Arkansas Project, etc.
2. Bill is getting rich giving speeches, paid by organizations who think they will get good value by having him speak at their events.
3. Some 80% of Bill's speaking engagements are for CHARITY -- for example, when he volunteered to speak on behalf of people raising money for a memorial to victims of the Columbine school shooting. Much of the money he is paid is actually paid to his charitable foundation.
4. It isn't just Bill Clinton. Papa Bush makes big bucks giving speeches, too. But since Barbara Bush isn't in the Senate, George Sr. doesn't have to disclose his income to anybody but the IRS. Good old Jerry Ford was infamous for refusing to say a word or swing a golf club in public without being paid for it. And remember Reagan making $2 million in one tour of Japan immediately after leaving the White House (and $2 million was a lot more in 1989 than in 2006). He would have made a ton more if Alzheimer's hadn't kept him off the road. After all, he was one hell of a speaker.
5. Hillary's books have sold very well. She has earned her advances.

So who the hell cares?


Thursday, February 22, 2007

what does dick cheney believe?

Only one of the following statements is true. Can you guess which one?

A) Dick Cheney believes energy conservation is important.

B) Dick Cheney believes it is prudent to place limits on Presidential power.

C) Dick Cheney believes Don Rumsfeld did a superb job as Secretary of Defense.

Yes, the answer is C. Cheney also believes that shooting old men in the face is always the fault of the guy who gets peppered, not the shooter. And in his heart of hearts, he believes lesbians are hot, but wishes his gay daughter was straight.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

no wikipedia, please

Middlebury College has banned using Wikipedia (or any similar website) as a source. This after a Japanese history prof noticed several students all making the same mistake, and discovering the same error on the Wikipedia entry on the same topic.

Good move. Wikipedia is useful. I used it today to find a link showing where Juventus stand in Italy's Serie B soccer league, and spent a few pleasant hours last weekend reading some articles about rock bands from the 1970s. But you gotta be careful using it because there is no requirement that you know what the hell you're writing about, or any reliable check to prevent an author from trying to mislead others with intentionally incorrect entries.


Monday, February 19, 2007

yes, create a paper trail

It looks like the Democratic Congress may move to require paper trails to be able to confirm votes in federal elections. (And Florida Governor Charlie Crist, a Republican, wants his state to switch to optical-scan ballots to count paper ballots. Good.)

In practice, any such Congressional move would probably create paper trails for state elections as well, since I doubt most states would not use the same equipment in the same way for both.

Good. Some law professor at Ohio State complains that there could be legal and administrative problems in counting paper computer read-outs. True. But is it better to allow a gross error -- for example, the 18,000 uncounted votes in a heavily Democratic Sarasota, Florida that almost certainly cost Democrat candidate Christine Jennings a seat in Congress last November?


Sunday, February 18, 2007

post-iraq neglect

Roaches and rats in the rooms. Mentally depressed soldiers keeping watch over suicidal colleagues. Inadequate care. No support for the often impoverished family members.

This is the state of outpatient care for the troops injured in Iraq and Afghanistan at the Army's Walter Reed Hospital.

The de facto Bush Administration and its political civilian leadership at the Pentagon like to accuse opponents of the war of failing to support the troops. How do they explain THIS lack of support for those who have been badly injured in service to the United States?

Well, they're hypocrites. These troops deserve top-notch treatment and support for the families. Instead, they're shunted into a bureaucratic system that is underfunded and swamped.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

a rebuke

The House voted thumbs down on de facto President George W. Bush's escalation in Iraq. All well and good but where were these votes in 2002? Still, better than nothing. Heck, even 17 Republicans crossed the aisle to support the vote.

Let's see how Congress reacts when Bush launches his attack on Iran.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

do you believe it?

Dana Milbank pointed out how often de facto President George W. Bush said he "believed" things in his odd little press conference. Milbank came up with 18 beliefs, ranging from believing NATO helps relations with Russia to believing Iran is a vital nation. Vital stuff.

Bush also said he believes Iranian government agencies are aiding insurgents in Iraq with weapons that are used to kill American troops (never mind the point that it is Iraqi Sunnis killing Americans, NOT a group enjoying any support from Shiite Iran), but refused to say that this was a pretext for war with Iran.

Do you believe him? I don't.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

an accurate diagnosis from a dubious source

Some Al Qaeda leader said in a videotape that de facto President George W. "Iraq then Iran" Bush is addicted to "lying and gambling."

Occasionally even bloodthirsty lunatic dirtbags get things right. This is one example. If there is anything Bush is, it is an inveterate gambler. And he is about to go double or nothing on his Middle East bet by bombing Iran.

I doubt it will work any better than the invasion of Iraq has. All it will do is revive the flagging support in Iran for Ahmedinejad's regime and revive ebbing anti-Americanism in that country. Oh, and probably get some more Americans killed, in Iraq and elsewhere.

a true republican dies

Georgia Republican Congressman Charles Norwood died Tuesday. He was a member of the Republican class of '94.

He wasn't the Republican with the longest seniority, but he learned quickly how the Gingrich/DeLay Republican Congressional majority treated bipartisanship. For example, in 2006 a Democrat complained when Norwood cut off questioning at a mine safety hearing. Norwood's reply? "When you get in charge, you get to run the damn thing. Right now, you're not."

A true Republican.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

putin ain't entirely wrong

Russian President Vladimir Putin let the US have it at an international conference in Germany. Specifically, he criticized the US for being unilateralist and for insisting on having its way all the time.

Much negative reaction, from punditry and US politicians. But you know, Putin isn't wrong. The US is unilateralist -- just watch our upcoming unilateral attack on Iran, part of a pattern of unilateralism that dates back to the pre-9/11 days of the de facto Bush presidency, when Bush renounced the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia and quit the Kyoto climate change agreement (which admittedly, we hadn't ratified).

And our national security strategy is explicitly designed to allow the US to remain unilateralist. We want to maintain complete military superiority. In the days of empire, the British Navy wanted to be equal to the second and third biggest navies in the world. The US military's position is that it should be more powerful than every other military on the planet. And we are, and we pay for it -- we spend more on defense than every other military on earth.

Putin was wrong on one count, though. He said Bush "is a decent man."


one more step on the road away from everything mccain said he stands for

John McCain has sucked up to the religious right. He has decided to out-Bush de facto President Bush in his support for a surge. And now this advocate of campaign finance reform is hiring some of the "527" groups to work on his behalf.

So much for the Straight Talk Express. The guy will be 73 years old in 2009, and he's reverting to his hard-right political positions. NOT somebody Democrats should be prepared to support for President.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

changing climate on climate change -- exxon and virgin

Exxon Mobil says, "oh lord, please don't let me be misunderstood" when it comes to climate change. A company flack said it was "flat wrong" to say Exxon Mobil was in denial. Although the oil giant insists its position hasn't changed, it has apparently stopped giving money to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the people who brought you the TV advertisement a year or so ago calling carbon dioxide "life".

We'll see if Exxon Mobil has really changed its spots.

Meanwhile, Al Gore joined Richard Branson to announce the Virgin Earth Challenge. Basically, if you can find a way to remove a billion tons of carbon from the atmosphere, Branson will give you a cool $25 million. Lots of credible judges involved, people like NASA climate expert James Hanson, James "Gaia" Lovelock, and Tim "The Weather Makers" Flannery.

Branson and Gore are hoping the US, British and other governments will kick in. What the hell, can't hurt.


Friday, February 09, 2007

of dead blondes and retired gays

I didn't really pay much attention to Anna Nicole Smith. Of course, I heard about her -- it is difficult in celebrity-obsessed America to avoid such figures, and no pun intended, she was a larger-than-life figure.

But I feel bad for her. She was harassed over the recent drug-induced death of her son, and she was harassed over the paternity of her daughter, born just a few weeks ago. And now she'll be harassed in death, as people do stupid stuff like vandalize her entry at Wikipedia and speculate over whether her dead husband's rich family offed her.

Former NBA player John Amaechi is coming out with a book in which he is, well, coming out as gay. Some day, an active-duty gay man in a team sport will reveal his sexuality before retirement. He'll have a tough time of it, although not as bad as it would have been 20 years ago. Michael Wilbon's column about Amaechi and some of the responses is worth a read.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

doctors inflicting their beliefs on patients

Significant numbers of doctors -- mostly males who consider themselves capital-C Christian -- don't believe they have an obligation to inform us about certain legal medical options, or to perform certain legal medical procedures, if those medical options conflict with THEIR beliefs. Many of them won't even make a referral to another doctor who IS willing to perform whatever allegedly dastardly, immoral, unChristian but LEGAL medical procedure the patient needs, if it conflicts with the doctor's religious convictions.

Here's my religious conviction. You, Doctor, have a professional, moral and legal obligation to provide the best care possible for a patient, within the constraints of the laws and regulations of the state you practice in. You do NOT have the right to inflict your beliefs on patients by refusing treatment any more than an accountant has the right to refuse to enter my gambling losses into my tax return as a legal deduction because he or she disapproves of gambling.

If there are treatments that offend you, go into orthodontics, become a veterinarian, or get a law degree. Or become a friggin' minister for pete's sake, where you are paid and expected to inflict your religious beliefs on your customers, who are listening to you just for that purpose.

Leave room in med school for people who are willing to treat patients, not judge them.

Meanwhile, I'd think there has to be an interesting medical malpractice test case out there for a patient who has suffered pain or worse because of a holier-than-thou doctor's refusal to use or recommend a legal medical procedure... Trial lawyers, are you listening?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

so, what's wrong with this article?

A nice article in the Washington Post today about how a thicket of blogs has appeared centered around baseball's Washington Nationals. An interesting article, noting some of the rivalries, sense of community, the fact that the Nats have an unusual quantity of blogs dedicated to them despite the team only being two years old and finishing in last place each season, and the fact that Stan Kasten is apparently aware of them too.

But there's something wrong with the article, at least with the on-line version: NO LINKS!!! Come on, WaPo, when you publish an article about a blog or any other kind of website, you should include the link, too. Like this, or even like this:

republicans on iraq: blocking debate, buying ownership

Good to see Senate Republicans blocking debate on a resolution opposing the surge in Iraq. Harry Reid had it exactly right: "What you just saw was Republicans giving the president the green light to escalate in Iraq."

Bush is gone in two years (unless he tries for a military coup or something), so the Democrats should do their damnedest to make it clear that Iraq isn't just "Mr. Bush's War" (as nice a ring as that phrase has), but is a REPUBLICAN War. Bob Dole used to complain about Democratic wars (he actually said "Democrat"), and there's no reason not to return the favor.

Monday, February 05, 2007

two bush projections

Here are two possible projections by de facto President George W. Bush. Determine whether you believe one, both, or neither of them are true and check below for the answer. No peaking.

A) Bush projects that his budget plan will produce a surplus by 2012 based on strong economic growth, diminishing costs of the war in Iraq, and slashing domestic spending, all while keeping his tax cuts.

B) Bush projects that under his plans for NASA, humans will live in giant banana-shaped pleasure domes on the moon by 2014, where the rich and famous will be served low-gravity boilermakers by seleniums, the race of small, polite and vaguely squirrel-shaped residents of the moon that science has yet to discover.

So which one is right? Or maybe both?

The answer is of course, "neither."


a manning wins one

I'm glad the Indianapolis Colts beat the Chicago Bears in the Super Bowl. It's great that Tony Dungy became the first black coach to achieve this -- but of course, if the Bears had won, that honor would have fallen to Lovy Smith.

Less socially important, the win also lets Peyton Manning get that "not a winner" monkey off his back. It's absurd that American sports has become so obsessed with the idea that a player in a team sport has to win at least one championship before he can be validated as really great. John Elway is held in the highest regard, but before his two late-career championships with the Broncos, there were people muttering about how he "couldn't win the big one." Former New York Yankee firstbaseman Don Mattingly (grossly over-rated by the way, but that's a different question) is sometimes dismissed for never having won a World Series.

That's just stupid. Elway didn't play defense or block or kick the football for the Broncos, he was one (albeit the most important) player on a team of 40-something guys. He couldn't win it all. Mattingly (again, over-rated) had the misfortune of playing on the truly bad Yankee teams of the mid/late 1980s and early 1990s. He couldn't pitch, couldn't cover the entire field on defense, and could only bat once per every 9 hitters -- he couldn't win it all either.

There is no dishonor in never playing for a team that wins the whole shebang. Charles Barkley never won a championship in his NBA career, but he was still a fine fine player -- better than many that DID play for a "winner." Greg Maddux is one of the top ten pitchers in baseball's long history and I'm sorry, but the fact that no team he has played for won the World Series does NOT lessen him.

So, congratulations to Peyton Manning. Unlike his dad Archie, unlike greats like Maddux and Barkley and Mattingly (again, over-rated), Manning won't have to listen to the stupid whispers that he couldn't win the big one.


don't fear the movie

How is the US of 2007 similar to Britain? Both are lead by leaders who imagined that a war in Iraq would turn out to be a good thing.

How are we different from Britain? Britain has an environment minister who has directed ALL schools to show Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" to their students. We have school districts afraid to show the movie for fear of lawsuits or for fear that corporate sponsors (how did we ever get to the point where public schools had to sell themselves to companies for a few bucks?) would cut off funding.


Sunday, February 04, 2007

biden's inarticulate comments

Lynette Clemetson in today's New York Times reviews some of the loaded history of the word "articulate" when applied to a black person, following in the wake of Joe Biden's mangled, inarticulate, and inartful attempt to praise Barack Obama.

As Clemetson advises, don't use "articulate" to praise a black person if you wouldn't use that word about a similar white (or presumably, other ethnic) person.

And as for Biden, this is his biggest screw-up since he was caught plagiarizing British Labour Party Leader Neil Kinnock. Maybe he shouldn't run for President again after all...

Saturday, February 03, 2007

and now, iran?

There has been all sorts of new "trash-talking" by de facto President George W. Bush aimed at Iran since his forgettable State of the Union makes you wonder whether an attack really is impending.

Being a fair-minded sort of person, I shouldn't immediately disparage the idea. I know, let's look at the most recent example of essentially unprovoked attacks against a large, oil-rich Middle Eastern state, conveniently located right next door to Iran. Yes, I mean Iraq.

So, how's THAT situation going? Umm, maybe not so good. A National Intelligence Estimate, just released this week, from the Bush Administration's intelligence people, was pretty god-damn pessimistic. You know, sectarian civil war, over 3000 US military personnel killed (not to mention hundreds of contractors, and various "coalition" members, plus at least 60,000 and perhaps several hundred thousand Iraqis), the erosion of our military capacity to act elsewhere in an emergency, diminished international respect for the US, all-round gloom and doom.

Oh, and all this is costing us bazillions. Mostly the de facto Bush Administration has hidden these numbers by NOT including operations in Iraq and Afghanistan in their budget requests for the Pentagon. Quite dishonestly, given the centrality of these conflicts to the neocon agenda. Anyhow, the Administration will ask the Democratic Congress for over $700 billion dollars in total defense spending for the next fiscal year, including something like $250 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan.

Remember when the Iraq war and reconstruction were going to be self-funding?

All this has failed to produce anything remotely like a stable Iraq. Our Shiite allies in Iraq are the ones cooperating with Iran, while Iran's enemies -- the Sunnis -- are the ones causing the overwhelming majority of American casualties.

But Iran would be different, right? Oh, sure. Here are a few ways it would be different.
Iran has over twice as many people as Iraq. Oops.

Iran has a military that wasn't badly pummeled in 1991, and a military that hasn't been crippled by sanctions since 1991. Oops.

Iran has a regime that was legitimately elected and could probably expect a rallying-around effect from Iranians should an attack come. Oops.

Iraq was isolated and friendless by spring 2003. Iran has powerful friends overseas, and terrorist organizations that are not currently conducting anti-American operations, but could do so. Oops.

A US attack on Iran would probably draw essentially zero international support. Lackeys like Tony Blair in Britain and John Howard in Australia would say positive things, but I doubt ANY country would actually participate.
All this to bring a regime to the negotiating table on nuclear weapons, when the predecessor to current nut-job President Ahmedinejad was very interested to negotiate with the US in 2003, only to have us reject any idea of talks because our President and Vice-President have the absurd, infantile, playground idea that you DON'T talk to your enemies? By not talking to Iran then, we assured the election of the current idiot and weakened pro-American sentiment that has been increasing in Iran over the years (especially in the aftermath of 9/11).

So ... do I think an attack on Iran would be a wise idea?

No. It would be a terrible idea, even worse than the attack on Iraq in the first place.

Do I think it will happen?

Yes. And I don't think Congressional Democrats or Republicans will have the guts to try to stop it.

Friday, February 02, 2007

in case of flu, don't panic

Steel yourselves. The Center for Disease Control says that in case of a serious flu epidemic, states should prepare to close schools for up to three months. Yes, 90 days at home with the kids!

Now you understand the potential enormity of a major epidemic.

Don't Panic.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

the president on income inequality

I nearly dropped my Cap'n Crunch reading that de facto President/oiligarch George W. "The Elite Is My Base" Bush addressed income inequality Wednesday in a speech at WALL STREET of all places. I doubt Bush's base will care for that much, although some wiser rich heads like Warren Buffet recognize that growing income inequality is unfair and poses a risk to our economic prosperity.

Princeton economist Alan Blinder notes that Bush's tax cuts have grossly favored the very top group of income earners, people who have seen their share of the pie grow much, much larger over the past 30 years, while wages for middle- and lower-level employees stagnate. But as Blinder notes, tax cuts for the rich are just gravy, not the source of the real disparities.

Bush is right* that income inequality is a problem. Now, whether he actually proposes any meaningful policies that might help reverse the trend to greater income inequality or not is another thing.

*Wow, not sure I've ever used that phrase before.

so long, molly ivins

Liberal Texas journalist/columnist Molly Ivins died of cancer yesterday. She was funny, hard-hitting, loved Texas but recognized its shortcomings, and was appalled that her warning that the de facto Bush Administration would "texanize" the country appeared to be coming true.