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Archive for August 8th, 2011

Please enjoy your zombie economic apocalypse

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 8th, 2011 4:45 am by HL

Please enjoy your zombie economic apocalypse
Well another fine week of depression in all its metaphorical, psychological and literal forms.

A mission fit for James Inhofe with the Asian markets. Or not.

I just hope now that S&P has downgraded our economy we can all step back take a breath and realize it’s time to do what the Village requires and make fun of Paul Krugman and once again consider the worth of the timeless pornstache wisdom of Robert Samuelsononce again.


Late, Late Night FDL: Jesus Hits Like an Atom Bomb
Jesus Hits Like An Atom Bomb: Lowell Blanchard and the Valley Trio, and, A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall–Bob Dylan

Jesus Hits Like An Atom Bomb: Lowell Blanchard and the Valley Trio

Keeping with the Atomic Bomb theme…

A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall–Bob Dylan

What’s on your mind tonite…?


Blame THEM for the Crash

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 8th, 2011 4:44 am by HL

Blame THEM for the Crash

By Brian Fairrington, Cagle Cartoons

Mr. Fish's Cartoon

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‘I’ve Changed My Mind’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 8th, 2011 4:42 am by HL

‘I’ve Changed My Mind’
Ed Lee will announce today that he is running for a full four-year term as San Francisco mayor, vaulting himself to the top of a…

Arne Duncan: Schools Will Get Testing Waivers
Education Secretary Arne Duncan says he will announce a new waiver system Monday to give schools a break from student testing mandates in the federal…

Larry Hirsch: Why Dems Should Go Left On Debt Committee
Fight fire with fire, Democrats. The right is not likely to compromise with you; they are not rational. Bring a good offense in and force them to meet you halfway.

Jeff Danziger: Rick Perry Rally


British MPs Call On Piers Morgan To Respond To Heather Mills Phone Hacking Claims

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 8th, 2011 4:41 am by HL

British MPs Call On Piers Morgan To Respond To Heather Mills Phone Hacking Claims
Though members of the British Parliament say they have no plans to call Piers Morgan to testify before them just yet, two lawmakers have called on the celebrity CNN host to answer questions about his connection to Heather Mills’ allegations about phone hacking at Trinity Mirror.

Wisconsin Expanding DMV Services For Voter-ID, After Complaints About Closures
The state of Wisconsin’s recently passed Voter ID law will now result in an increased cost to the state, as Department of Motor Vehicles offices are expanded in order to accommodate the increased demand for photo identification cards.

IRS Revokes Tax-Exempt Status For Group That Calls Gay Rights ‘Demonic Manipulation’
The IRS has revoked the tax-exempt status of Americans for the Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH), a group whose leader once said that gay rights is “Satan’s point of attack on the United States of America.”


Visions of Kesey

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 8th, 2011 4:39 am by HL

Visions of Kesey
Is the Tea Bag movement the political equivalent of LSD for conservatives?


The Transformation of Michele Bachmann

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 8th, 2011 4:38 am by HL

The Transformation of Michele Bachmann
Today’s must-read piece: Ryan Lizza profiles Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN).

“Bachmann belongs to a generation of Christian conservatives whose views have been shaped by institutions, tracts, and leaders not commonly known to secular Americans, or even to most Christians. Her campaign is going to be a conversation about a set of beliefs more extreme than those of any American politician of her stature, including Sarah Palin, to whom she is inevitably compared.”

Voters Don’t Choose Divided Government
Hendrick Hertzberg disputes the notes that American voters “choose” divided government noting that someone wishing for divided government “would split his or her ticket in Presidential years. Ticket-splitters are a small minority and always have been–fewer than twenty per cent throughout most of American history, including during the past couple of decades.”

“Voters don’t choose divided government. It’s chosen for them by a system, unique in the democratic world, of multiple overlapping elections held at different intervals in which different electorates fill different offices, none of whose occupants have ultimate responsibility. The electorate of 2008 chose Obama and the Democrats. The electorate of 2010–consisting mainly of McCain voters, and smaller by forty-five million–chose the Republicans. Hardly anybody voted as they did out of a desire for ‘divided government,’ as opposed to a desire for a government that would embody their own political and ideological leanings.”


US Debt Deal: How Washington Lost the Plot

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 8th, 2011 4:37 am by HL

US Debt Deal: How Washington Lost the Plot
President Obama and the Republicans in Congress have finally worked out a deal over the debt ceiling. It appears as though the Republicans got most of what they wanted: big cuts to domestic spending and no tax increases. On the…

Ransom Paid
Anyone who characterizes the deal between the President, Democratic, and Republican leaders as a victory for the American people over partisanship understands neither economics nor politics. The deal does not raise taxes on America’s wealthy and most fortunate — who…


Palestinians will soon come full circle
The Palestinian national liberation movement has reached its end. As the Palestinian leadership – if there is such a legitimate body today – prepares to bring the issue of statehood to the UN this September, the weeks and months ahead…


18th Century Fiscal Policy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 8th, 2011 4:36 am by HL

18th Century Fiscal Policy
From Christopher Clark’s Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947, a window into the fiscal policy dilemmas of a large north German state in the early 18th century: Waldburg focused above all on the iniquities of the existing tax system, which tended to operate to the disadvantage of the smallholding peasants. Under the […]

From Christopher Clark’s Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947, a window into the fiscal policy dilemmas of a large north German state in the early 18th century:

Waldburg focused above all on the iniquities of the existing tax system, which tended to operate to the disadvantage of the smallholding peasants. Under the traditional arrangements in the province, every landowner paid a flat rate of tax for every Hufe of land in his possession (the Hufe was one of the basic contemporary units of land; the English equivalent was ‘hide’). But since the tax-collecting agencies of the administration were still largely in the hands of the corporate nobility, the authorities tended to turn a blind eye when noble landowners understated their taxable landholdings. The returns of peasant households, by contrast, were subjected to the most pedantic scrutiny, so that not a single hide was missed. Further iniquities arose from the fact that no account was taken of the quality and yield of the land in question, so that smallholders, who tended in general to occupy the less fertile land, were subject to proportionally greater burdens than the major landowners. The problem, in Frederick William’s eyes, was not the fact of inequality as such, which was accepted as inherent in all social order, but the depression of revenues that resulted from the operation of this particular system.

At the time, tax systems throughout Europe tended to be regressive since the nature of an Estates General (or a House of Lords) was to sharply overrepresent a given area’s wealthiest residents. At the same time, public expenditures went overwhelmingly to finance either the instruments of war or else the rituals of court. Consequently, Enlightenment-era calls for low taxes and “small government” were essentially left-wing political movements. The alternative was to tax the poor in order to finance the whims of dynastic politics. Today is a very different situation. But it’s a reminder that the questions of what’s the taxes are and what the money is spent on are more important than simple questions about how high or low the tax rate is.


Featured Advertiser

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 8th, 2011 4:35 am by HL

Featured Advertiser

Mark Hatfield dies: Former Oregon senator was 89

Former senator Mark O. Hatfield of Oregon, whose liberal Republican politics during five terms in Congress made him an increasingly rare breed within his party, and who used his chairmanship of the Appropriations Committee to denounce what he considered the “madness” of excessive defense spending, died Sunday evening in Portland, said Gerry Frank, a longtime friend and former aide. He was 89.

As a young Navy officer during World War II, Mr. Hatfield saw the devastation wrought by atomic warfare in the Japanese city of Hiroshima. That experience, coupled with his Baptist faith, were defining forces in shaping Mr. Hatfield’s political views during nearly half a century in elected office.

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U.S., European officials scramble to calm financial anxiety

Top economic officials from around the world scrambled Sunday to contain the fallout from an unprecedented downgrade of the U.S. credit rating and a serious worsening of Europe’s economy.

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke joined counterparts from six of the world’s largest economies in an emergency conference call Sunday evening to discuss how world markets would respond to the Standard & Poor’s downgrade and the escalating European debt crisis. Afterward the officials released a statement pledging to support financial stability.

Read full article >>

Democrats ready to wage state Senate recall war in Wisconsin

After months of partisan turmoil solved not all that much in Washington, the political world will turn its attention to Wisconsin this week in search of some clarity.

The Badger State will hold six recall elections for state senators on Tuesday, the final battle of a war between Gov. Scott Walker (R) and organized labor that began months ago. Walker’s decision to strip public-sector unions of their collective-bargaining right set off a national firestorm — with the labor movement promising retribution for legislators who voted in favor of the proposal.

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Rick Perry’s positive ‘Response’

The religious gathering spearheaded by Texas Gov. Rick Perry this past weekend in Houston amounted to a major political gamble that paid off for the Texas Republican, who is widely expected to run for president in 2012.

Perry had begun organizing “The Response” — as the event was known — long before he started to entertain the possibility of running for president.

But with Perry now widely assumed to be a candidate in the not-too-distant future, a small(ish) crowd or a weak — or too heavily political — performance by the governor would assuredly have subjected him to criticism.

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Capitalist Society Can’t Support a Welfare State

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 8th, 2011 4:31 am by HL

Capitalist Society Can’t Support a Welfare State
Janet Daley, Telegraph
Which of these is the most important question to ask in the present economic crisis: how can we promote growth? Should we pay off government debt more or less quickly? Is the US in worse trouble than Europe? Answer: none of the above.The truly fundamental question that is at the heart of the disaster toward which we are racing is being debated only in America: is it possible for a free market economy to support a democratic socialist society? 

Crash Adds to Growing Doubts About Afghan Policy
Yochi Dreazen, NJ
The deadly crash of a U.S. helicopter in eastern Afghanistan earlier today will fuel the growing questions about the Obama administration’s handling of the long war—and the public’s nagging sense, evident in recent polls, that the conflict is simply not worth its enormous human and financial cost.Military officials believe that the Taliban shot down an American Chinook helicopter in eastern Afghanistan’s volatile Wardak Province early Saturday, killing at least 31 U.S. troops—including 25 Navy SEALs—in the largest single-day loss of…

Their Ways on the Airways
Debra Saunders, San Francisco Chronicle
On Wednesday, congressional Democrats were doing everything in their power not to end the legislative stalemate that shut down the Federal Aviation Administration, but to make sure everyone blamed Republicans. So they did what they always do; they held a news conference to denounce Republicans' “my way or the highway” approach when they wanted their way for the airways.But the Democrats' usual tap dance didn't click. The news conference backfired. The next day, the Senate announced a deal to keep the FAA in business temporarily.The stalemate began July 20, when the…

Obama’s No Good Horrible Week
George Condon, National Journal
The downing of a NATO Chinook helicopter and the deaths of at least 31 Americans, the single deadliest day for the United States in Afghanistan, provide a tragic coda to what may be a seminal moment in the Obama presidency.Should Obama lose reelection, this week might one day be considered an inflection point. First, the White House and Congress failed to reach a “grand bargain” on deficit reduction while barely meeting a self-imposed deadline to lift the nation’s debt limit.