Observations on the world today.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

He Said. She Said. 

Tax Foundation PRESS RELEASE
“Because so many businesses now report their profits on individual tax forms instead of corporate forms,” said Hodge, “recent cuts in the top individual tax rates provided an extra bang for economic growth and hiring.”
Hmmm, so why does the Labor Deaprtment disagree?
U.S. employers added just 32,000 workers to payrolls last month, a surprisingly weak number that led Wall Street to fret about second-half economic growth and to expect a slower pace of interest-rate rises.

The Labor Department on Friday also cut its tally of job growth in May and June by a combined 61,000, adding to the soft tenor of a report that came as unwelcome news for an election-bound President Bush
Two stories, one day apart.



This is What Happens When You Don't Read the Paper 

My Way News
President Bush challenged Democratic rival John Kerry on Friday to give a yes-or-no answer about whether he would have supported the invasion of Iraq "knowing what we know now" about the failure to find weapons of mass destruction.

"I have given my answer," Bush told a cheering crowd. "We did the right thing and the world is better off for it."
What? Why the hell is Bush asking for a yes or no answer to a question we already have an answer to.

The answer, idiot, is "no."

Kerry has given the answer. He's given it numerous times. He's given it in speeches, to the media, in interviews, in his press releases, on his website. Hell, he even gave it when he voted to authorize force. How many times do we need the answer.



Friday, August 06, 2004

Have You Heard The One About The Legacy Who Opposed Legacies? 

CNN.com - Bush opposes?'legacy' college admissions - Aug 6, 2004
President Bush said Friday he opposes the use of a family history at colleges or universities as a factor in determining admission.

Bush stated his position to what's known as "legacy" in response to a question during a Washington forum for minority journalists called Unity 2004.

He was asked, "Colleges should get rid of legacy?"

Bush responded, "Well I think so, yes. I think it ought to be based upon merit."

Under legacy programs, applicants are given an advantage if their parents or grandparents attended the school. Bush, a third-generation graduate of Yale University, joked about his own legacy.

"Well, in my case, I had to knock on a lot of doors to follow the old man's footsteps," he said to laughter.
Knock knock.

Who's there?

The son of George Herbert Walker Bush.

Welcome to Yale.



Current Terror Level 

As a public service, I will be posting updates on the terror advisory level from the Department of Homeland Security.*

The current level is Yellow:

*I stole the idea for this from Maja.



Respectfully, Sibel Edmonds 

Asia Times - Asia's most trusted news source
Dear Chairman Kean:

It has been almost three years since the terrorist attacks on September 11 [2001], during which time we, the people, have been placed under a constant threat of terror and asked to exercise vigilance in our daily lives. Your commission, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, was created by law to investigate "facts and circumstances related to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001" and to "provide recommendations to safeguard against future acts of terrorism", and has now issued its "9-11 Commission Report". You are now asking us to pledge our support for this report, its recommendations, and implementation of these recommendations, with our trust and backing, our tax money, our security, and our lives. Unfortunately, I find your report seriously flawed in its failure to address serious intelligence issues that I am aware of, which have been confirmed, and which as a witness to the commission, I made you aware of. Thus I must assume that other serious issues that I am not aware of were in the same manner omitted from your report. These omissions cast doubt on the validity of your report and therefore on its conclusions and recommendations. Considering what is at stake, our national security, we are entitled to demand answers to unanswered questions, and to ask for clarification of issues that were ignored and/or omitted from the report. I, Sibel Edmonds, a concerned American citizen, a former FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation] translator, a whistleblower, a witness for a United States congressional investigation, a witness and a plaintiff for the Department of Justice inspector general investigation, and a witness for your own 9-11 Commission investigation, request your answers to, and your public acknowledgement of, the following questions and issues:
Seriously, read the whole thing.



Thursday, August 05, 2004

Boortz Outfoxed 

boortz.com: Nealz Nuze Today's Nuze
In this case the stuck pigs are several congressional democrats. They're squealing like babies because they don't like the Fox News Channel. They've written a letter to Rupert Murdoch, the HWMWIC of the corporation that owns Fox News Channel with a demand; to wit:

"The responsibility of the media is to report the news in an unbiased, impartial, and objective manner. It seems clear that the Fox News network has a deliberate bias [that] has the effect of improving the president's standing with the American people on the basis of not news, but disinformation."

Signatories include Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, John Conyers of Michigan and Pete Stark of California, staunch leftists all. We are making phone calls to the offices of Schakowsky, Conyers and Stark to see if they will share with Neal Boortz Show listeners some examples of the Fox News Channel disinformation campaign that causes them so much concern. For well over six months we've presented a challenge to Boortz listeners; a challenge to call the show with just one example of bias in the news reporting of Fox News Channel. Six months, my friends, and not one single valid example has been presented. Perhaps some of these congressional Democrats will rise to the challenge.
Wow, it's been six whole months and not one of Boortz's idiotic sheeplike listeners has taken him up on his challenge to discredit his claim that FoxNews is not biased. I'm shocked. Shocked I tell you!

Hey, Neal, check it out!

What a windbag.



Another Reason to Vote Kerry: Challenging His Promises 

Mr. Kerry's 'plan' - PittsburghLIVE.com
Democrat presidential nominee John Kerry says he has "a plan" to drastically reduce U.S. troop exposure in Iraq in his first term. And, by golly, Mr. Kerry has the assurances of foreign leaders that if he's elected, he can "put a deal together" to accomplish just that.
"I understand how to get us out of Iraq," he told Fox News.

OK, so what's the plan?

Shhhh! Secret!!! Kerry and his acolytes say. " ... I'm not going to negotiate in public today without the presidency," Kerry told ABC News. Added Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, "You don't negotiate a deal until you have a leader who is there to negotiate a deal."

So, who are the foreign leaders? "I'm not going to tell you ... because I'd be breaking (their) confidence ...," Mr. Levin told The Associated Press.
Well then, let's trap him in his lie. Ooo, I know. We can give him the presidency, and then when he fails to accomplish this goal, we can say AHA!

Look, we know Nixon was lying when he claimed to have had a secret plan to end the Viet Nam war. We also know that people will be scrutinizing every move President Kerry makes toward ending the "situation" in Iraq. If Kerry is lying - as the article here suggests - then we'll know it pretty soon after he takes office. And even democrats would call him on the carpet for that. Does anybody really think Kerry is that desperate to win the office, just to squander the legacy in the first quarter?




Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Timeline of an "October Surprise" 

FOXNews.com - U.S. & World - Report: Zarqawi Trying to Get Message to Bin Laden
Jordanian terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, believed responsible for a series of attacks, kidnappings and beheadings in Iraq, has been trying to communicate with Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden, a senior defense official tells FOX News.

Within the past several days, the anonymous defense official said, a courier had been intercepted inside Iraq bearing a message from Zarqawi to bin Laden. The official would not reveal the contents of the message or exactly when and where its bearer had been found.
Wow! What a scoop! /sarcasm

Here is a brief recap of recent history:

Jan. 29, 2004
U.S. Military Sure of Catching Bin Laden

The U.S. military is "sure" it will catch Osama bin Laden this year, perhaps within months, a spokesman declared Thursday, but Pakistan said it would not allow American troops to cross the border in search of the al-Qaida leader.
July 8, 2004
July Surprise?

A third source, an official who works under ISI's director, Lieutenant General Ehsan ul-Haq, informed tnr that the Pakistanis "have been told at every level that apprehension or killing of HVTs [i.e., high-value al Qaida targets] before [the] election is [an] absolute must." What's more, this source claims that Bush administration officials have told their Pakistani counterparts they have a date in mind for announcing this achievement: "The last ten days of July deadline has been given repeatedly by visitors to Islamabad and during [ul-Haq's] meetings in Washington." Says McCormack: "I'm aware of no such comment." But according to this ISI official, a White House aide told ul-Haq last spring that "it would be best if the arrest or killing of [any] HVT were announced on twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July"--the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Boston.
July 29, 2004
Pakistan Arrests Embassy Bombings Suspect

Pakistan has arrested a Tanzanian al-Qaida suspect wanted by the United States in the 1998 bombings at U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the interior minister said Friday. He said the suspect was cooperating and had given authorities "very valuable" information.
Aug. 1, 2004
Big Apple Terror?

ABC News has learned that federal and New York City officials have received credible intelligence that al Qaeda has been plotting to carry out suicide attacks on corporations based in the city.
Aug. 2, 2004

The Foxnews story linked above.

Aug. 3, 2004
Ridge Defends New Terror Threat Warning

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge on Tuesday defended the decision to tighten security in New York and Washington even though the intelligence behind the latest terror warnings was as much as four years old.
This doesn't take a genius. The Foxnews story is a planted story with zero specifics so that they can point to it as where they got the intelligence which leads them to the "capture" of bin Laden or Zarqawi or both.

Do not be surprised if we get reports that Zarqawi is captured or killed just as the Republican National Convention wraps up. And expect news that bin Laden was taken sometime in October.




Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Bill Watterson: Seer of the Ages 

Welcome to uComics Web Site featuring Calvin and Hobbes -- The Best Comic Site In The Universe!

Click here to see the cartoon which originally ran on August 2, 1993. Then click here to see how I have altered it to clarify the relevence. Here's a little taste.

It's like the cartoon was written for today.



Monday, August 02, 2004

Zell Is A Liar 

See Y'All in New York:
Why I skipped the Boston Convention.
Today, it's the Democratic Party that has mastered the art of division and diversion. To run for president as a Democrat these days you have to go from interest group to interest group, cap in hand, asking for the support of liberal kingmakers. Mr. Kerry is no different. After Hollywood elites profaned the president, he didn't have the courage to put them in their place. Instead, he validated their remarks, claiming that they represent "the heart and soul of America."
First, about the subtitle of this article, "Why I skipped the Boston Convention." Zell is a liar.
U.S. Sen. Zell Miller, D-Ga., added to his party’s troubles in Georgia when he endorsed Mr. Bush and agreed to speak at the Republican National Convention in late August. Because of those actions, Sen. Miller was not invited to the Democratic convention as one of Georgia’s 105 delegates.
You can't skip a party you were not invited to, so the whole article could be passed off as sour grapes. But then he writes paragraphs like the one I chose to quote, and it's clear that it's more than sour grapes. This guy is actually trying to convince people that dissent against Bush is Un-American. That's NOT something democrats do. Not now, not when Clinton was president, not ever. And moreover ,Republicans don't do it either. Not real Republicans. Not America-loving, freedom-fighting, defenders of the Constitution in the GOP. Only the worstkind of jingoists and hate-mongers can bring themselves to doing that.

Zell Miller is not a democrat, and he's not a good Rerpublican either. He is a neo-fascist. If he had come to the convention, the Secret Service should have ushered him into the free-speech-zone with the rest of "the nuts at the Democratic National Convention," as Ann Coulter calls them. And the GOP is going to prop this fraud up as a democrat!

He's not a democrat! I don't care what he calls himself.




A domestic centerpiece of the Bush/GOP agenda for a second Bush term is getting rid of the Internal Revenue Service, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

The Speaker of the House will push for replacing the nation's current tax system with a national sales tax or a value added tax, Hill sources tell DRUDGE.

"People ask me if I’m really calling for the elimination of the IRS, and I say I think that’s a great thing to do for future generations of Americans," Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert explains in his new book, to be released on Wednesday.
Hello, we are the Republican Party and we are pathetically desperate.

How far did this idea get Steve Forbes? I want to examine the ideas both Forbes and Bush had back during the last presidential campaign. First Bush:
MS. BROWN: Let me follow up.

As you've indicated, you want to cut the federal income taxes for every American, and you do so on the assumption that there is a budget surplus. So what happens when or if that surplus goes away?

GOV. BUSH: Well, if we elect a Democrat, the surplus will go away, because they'll spend it all.

(Laughs.) I believe that my plan has got reasonable growth numbers. This is a plan that preserves Social Security. It is a plan that meets the basic needs of government, including rebuilding our military.
Now Forbes:
KEYES. How do you abolish the IRS if you don't get rid of the income tax?

FORBES. Well, Alan, whatever tax you have, whether it's the flat tax or national sales tax, you are going to have a collection agency to make sure the money comes in.


KEYES. But I think part of the problem is that -- that folk -- folks would still be subject, under your plan, to an income tax when they wanted to give themselves -- when they wanted a tax cut, they'd still have to beg their politicians. When under a sales tax system, they'd give themselves a tax cut by changing their pattern of consumption.

If we really want to give people control of their money, shouldn't we just abolish the income tax?

FORBES. Well, I think if you abolish it for lower-income Americans, yes, that's absolutely true, and that's what I'd do.

And as for the national sales tax, you know, either a flat tax or national sales tax would be much better that what we have today.

But there are challenges for a national sales tax. Depending on what you choose to exempt, the rate can be 20 to 35 percent. So a kid comes and cuts your lawn, you own a 35-percent tax. You send your kid to college, pay tuition, 35 percent tax. That's real -- that's a real burden on people. You buy a new house, 35 percent tax.

And also, too, you better make sure you repeal the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, which enables the income tax, you're going to have both an income tax and a sales tax.
So according to Bush the surplus should still be there, but instead they are projecting a record deficit after only three years of his "tax cut." And according to Forbes, even with the flat tax we still need the IRS, but Hastert says he wants to abolish the IRS altogether, and Drudge claims this is to be the centerpiece of the GOP platform.

Somebody tell me why we should believe these guys when they contradict themselves from election cycle to election cycle and adopt one another’s policies which they themselves pooh-poohed four years earlier? And this is not the first time. Bush Sr. pooh-poohed Reaganomics and then sold us his son with the very plan he had dubbed Voo-doo Economics.

I don't even think they believe their own nonsense.



Sunday, August 01, 2004

TWA = Traveling While Arab 

Terror in the Skies, Again? - WomensWallStreet
Note from the E-ditors: You are about to read an account of what happened during a domestic flight that one of our writers, Annie Jacobsen, took from Detroit to Los Angeles. The WWS Editorial Team debated long and hard about how to handle this information and ultimately we decided it was something that should be shared. What does it have to do with finances? Nothing, and everything. Here is Annie's story.
Annie's story is that Middle-Eastern men scare her. Whooptidoo.

While this story does draw attention to the fact that Tom Ridge is a miserable failure like his boss, The Miserable Failure in chief, it does not use that as it's main theme. And the theme it does use is moronic.

The article suggests that more efforts need to be expended on profiling men from countries like Syria when they travel. Of course this would mean less resources to also do random screening on - say - South African Women or depressed Hispanic police officers. And this would be a problem as the FBI well knows.



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