Saturday, February 28, 2009

Pres. Obama's budget proposal is audacious

Two impeccable liberals, Robert Kuttner (the American Prospect co-editor) and NYT's oped economist, Paul Krugman, like the proposals.
President Obama's new budget is, well, audacious -- not just because it includes several big, audacious initiatives (universally affordable health care, and a cap-and-trade system for coping with global warming, for starters) but also because it represents the biggest redistribution of income from the wealthy to the middle class and poor this nation has seen in more than forty years. In order to see the whole, you need to look both at where revenues will come from and at where they’ll go:
Come from: By allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire, the marginal income tax on the highest earners goes back to 39.6 percent (from 35 percent, now), and capital gains rates to 20 percent (from 15, now). The budget also limits the amount highest earners can claim for mortgage-interest and charitable deductions (from 35 percent now down to 28 percent), raising an estimated $318 billion over ten years. Finally, wealthier Medicare beneficiaries will have to pay higher premiums for prescription drugs.
Krugman:Op-Ed ColumnistClimate of Change Published: February 27, 2009
Elections have consequences. President Obama’s new budget represents a huge break, not just with the policies of the past eight years, but with policy trends over the past 30 years. If he can get anything like the plan he announced on Thursday through Congress, he will set America on a fundamentally new course

(President Obama said the end is in sight for the Iraq War)

Our soldiers performed at the highest level in Iraq, and there should be unconditional support for whatever services they need- medical, rehab. or anything else.
The geopolitical question is whether our invasion of Iraq was necessary, proper or legal. I vote NO.
The neo-cons posed the argument that Iraq's Hussein was a threat to the US, Israel and the oil-producing states in the Mideast. And 9/11 was allowed to happen to prepare the public for the invasion of Iraq.
Hussein was not a direct threat to us; posed a hyperthetical, perhaps existential, threat to Israel; and was contained within the Middle East.
The real reason for our Iraq invasion was oil. It was another oil war.Hussein was moving to freeze out the private international oil giants. He was opening oil contracts to French,Russian and other European companies. He was moving to trade oil in euros, instead of petrodollars.He was also a petty, psycho tyrant. The Iraqies deserved better.
It is illegal to go to war to control national resources.
It is now necessary to have Obama go further than his speech/announcement of yesterday. He needs to declare the goal of total separation of oil and the state.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The death penalty, fair trials, and Nancy (witch bitch) Grace

I’m opposed to the death penalty. I’m concerned about media,particularly cable sensationalism.I believe everyone is entitled to a fair trial.These are cosmic issues, and they’re all relevant in the Anthony family tragedy.
CNN’s Headline News Nancy Grace had extensive film coverage of last week’s Caylee Anthony’s memorial service. She also had home movies. I assume CNN bought the rights to these and the money will be used for Caylee’s mother’s (Casey) defense.
I have followed this case, and have posted earlier comments.
Grace has already declared Casey guilty. If there is a mistrial, Grace will be one of the reasons. It will be impossible for Casey to get any semblance of a fair trial. A change of venue will be necessary, but not helpful.
Grace has hammered Casey hard, and comes across as a witchy bitch. She has an obvious anti-Casey bias, and her guests are tilted in the same way
I have followed this case because I’m not convinced Casey murdered her daughter, certainly not intentionally. Mothers are not hardwired to do that. Prosecutors do not have to show a motive, but what would Casey’s motive have been? She doesn’t have a history of violence. She may be immature, but she does have a moral core, although undeveloped. She gave birth to Caylee, rather than aborting.
Her parents are giving Casey unconditional love. Dr. Phil has an interest (although it may be totally opportunistic). The forensic anthropogist for Fox’s Bones has been a member of Casey’s defense team. An opportunistic Texas bounty hunter put up early bail for Casey, but only to get close to her to gather information. At least 150 threats were received leading up to the memorial service, most likely motivated by witchy Grace’s sensationalism. The Casey family is living through a perfect emotional storm.
So many questions; so few answers.