|23 May 2001|
"Well, there was that thing with the Cheese Whiz, but I'm feeling MUCH better now!"
-- John Astin, Night Court
A week or two ago there was a little row between The New Republic and National Review.
TNR: Bush is misrepresenting his tax cut plan in the following ways...
NR: HA ha! TNR are such losers, accusing Bush of lying just because Clinton got caught lying!
TNR: We notice NR didn't actually dispute (or even mention) any of our findings of fact. Did they read the article or just our cover?
NR: ... [I never found a further response. Did I miss it?]
Here with more straightforward, checkable factual claims is the New York Times editorial board. I haven't seen any rebuttals from conservatives yet...
- The $4 Trillion Tax Cut [NY Times]
[Some] provisions are phased in slowly, with most of them not fully enacted until 2009, 2010 and 2011. This means that although the tax cut technically costs $1.35 trillion in the first decade, its cost in the second decade -- when the baby boomers will all be retired -- is more than $4 trillion. The tax cut cannot be paid for except by raiding the Social Security and Medicare trust funds. It is a scheme that seems deliberately aimed at wrecking the basic American retirement programs, perhaps to force their dismantling or privatization.
Take the argument that this tax cut is geared to the economy, and to the middle class hit by credit-card debt and energy bills. If that is the argument, why is only a pittance to be distributed in the next year?
Paul Krugman wrote a fascinating piece on the new energy "plan" which will address the energy "crisis" and how some of it sounds awfully familiar... the whole thing's worth a read, but here are the highlights:
- Burn, Baby, Burn [NY Times]
Topping the list [of conservation measures] was a tax credit for -- get this -- people who purchase hybrid gas-electric cars.
In case you don't quite get the joke: during the campaign one of George W. Bush's favorite gag lines involved making fun of Al Gore's proposal for -- you guessed it -- a tax credit for purchase of hybrid cars. It got big laughs because it symbolized his opponent's supposed preoccupation with trivialities. Now, in a fine satirical gesture, Mr. Cheney has made the very same proposal his lead conservation measure.
If you're a low-paid worker, or an energy consumer, the free market is sacrosanct -- it would be a terrible thing if government provided you with any assistance. But energy producers apparently need special encouragement to do their regular job.
Odds & Ends:
Want to know the basics of the latest Internet hoax, where a girl who wrote about her leukemia and eventually died of it never actually existed? Read The Kaycee Nicole (Swenson) FAQ [Rootnode.org]
Mercy me, there is hope for CNN yet: CNN Cancels 'Spin Room' [Washington Post]
Thomas L. Friedman in the NY Times: "The Bush Doctrine says that rogue states are so crazy that they would launch a missile at us, even knowing that it would mean their certain destruction in return. But if we build a scarecrow missile shield that doesn't fully work, these rogue states are so rational that they would never launch one of their missiles against it, because they would realize that there was a chance it might not penetrate. In short, our perfect missiles that will destroy any rogue state with 100 percent accuracy won't deter them, but our imperfect missile shield, which may have as many holes as a Swiss cheese, will deter them. I get it!"
Clay Idols - At home with Wallace and Gromit [Slate]
Let's see, after Jeffords leaves the Republicans they've still got the White House, the House of Representatives, and the Supreme Court, which is more than most recent Presidents have had... so cry me a river, eh.
Rocky Mountain Media Watch accuses Denver "news" shows of false advertising, saying the shows aren't actually news. [TomPaine.com] I'm very curious how that'll turn out. Here's the petition to the FTC itself.
A president and vice president holding fundraisers on government property? Wasn't that offensive to Republicans just a couple of years ago? Michael Kelly is actually criticizing his own party about it; pretty unusual in a pundit.