Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Republicans and Tax-mongering: A Spent Force?

I used to have a poster that was put out decades ago by the British Labour Party that proclaimed, "Workers, Vote Your Interests." That's basic politics. And I'm surprised that wealthy Americans--at least of the GOP stripe--are not following that golden rule. A Washington Post front-page article today notes that many big-money Republican funders have so far sat out the 2008 race, in that they have not opened their wallets to any of the Republican presidential wannabes. Don't they know that if Hillary Clinton or any other Democrat wins the White House, their taxes are likely to go up (at least to those terribly repressive rates of the Reagan era)? Aren't they moved by the dire warnings of all the leading Republican contenders who decry the big-spending and tax-raising ways of the Democrats? Don't they realize--as Rudy, Mitt, Fred, John and the others predict--that the economy will crash and burn if a Democrat manages to make it to the White House?

Apparently not. Now, it's certainly possible that once the race is clear--when the Dems have picked their man or woman and the Republicans have picked their fiscal fearmonger--Republican fat cats will come late to the party and shower the GOP nominee with dino-dollars. But it's interesting that the scare tactics being used by the Republican contenders have not yet motivated the financial heart of the party. While the Democratic presidential aspirants have drawn $223 million in contributions, the poor GOPers have taken in but a measly $150 million. The gap of $73 million is, of course, not insignificant. But given historical trends, one could expect the Republicans in a race with no incumbent on either side to draw 50 to 100 percent more than the Democrats, not one-third less.

From the Post piece:

"The Republican brand is not selling very well," said Christine Todd Whitman, a former New Jersey governor, Bush Cabinet member and 2004 Ranger. "There are a lot of frustrated people. They are not seeing anybody who has sent them over the top."

Alvin R. "Pete" Carpenter, a former chief executive of CSX Transportation and a Bush Pioneer in 2000, said it was a combination of the Iraq war and the free spending of Republicans when they controlled Congress that slowly drained his enthusiasm for the party. Carpenter, 65, said he has been a lifelong Republican and was a "Goldwater kid." But this year he sent a contribution to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

"I have opted out for all the well-documented reasons that disaffected Republicans use," Carpenter said. "I'm not sure which primary I'll vote in. At the moment I will say I'm keeping my powder dry. It's the first time I'm really a bit confused about what I should be doing, or where the country should be headed."

Poor guy. It's so confusing.

For years--decades, actually--the Republicans have used the tax club to whack Democrats. But it's pretty clear these days that--despite what McRomsoniani says--the Democrats are not looking to add to the tax burdens of most Americans and that the rich in America (who are doing better than ever) do not need relief and can perhaps even afford to pay more of the nation's bill. (After all, aren't we at war and facing other fundamental challenges?) Still, the GOP contestants--in the debates and on the stump--keep deploying the same-old/same-old tax issue in their tired-sounding attempts to bash the Dems. (At one recent debate, Giuliani accused Hillary Clinton of purposefully wanting to limit the nation's economic growth.) But if the traditional GOP funders aren't buying this junk, who will?

Posted by David Corn at October 17, 2007 11:00 AM


capt said...

Times, they are a changin'

capt said...

Giuliani: Preparedness key, even if aliens attack

EXETER, N.H. --Presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani on Sunday said preparedness will be key for all crises, even an attack from outer space.

During a town hall meeting in Exeter, a young questioner asked the former New York mayor about his plan to protect Earth.

"If (there's) something living on another planet and it's bad and it comes over here, what would you do?" the boy asked.

Giuliani, grin on his face, said it was the first time he's been asked about an intergalactic attack.

"Of all the things that can happen in this world, we'll be prepared for that, yes we will. We'll be prepared for anything that happens," said Giuliani, who spent the day campaigning in key early voting state.

Being prepared is a theme that runs through the campaign of Giuliani, the mayor during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York.

The boy's question let Giuliani take a lighthearted turn as he wrapped up his answer on emergency preparedness.

"This could be the new Steven Spielberg," he said. "You want to be a science fiction writer or a scientist?"

The boy replied he wants to be a sculptor.

Then Giuliani asked the audience for another question: "Shall we take one question about this planet?"


*****end of clip*****

Rudy is a cartoon version of Rudy.


capt said...

House Debates Condemnation of Administration’s Withholding of Information on Iraqi Corruption

UPDATE: The House has passed the resolution by a vote of 395-21.

On October 4th, the Oversight Committee held a hearing, “Assessing the State of Iraqi Corruption.” Judge Radhi Hamza al-Radhi, who recently resigned as Iraq’s chief anti-corruption officer under political pressure and feeling his work was stifled at all levels of Iraq’s government, explained the stakes of addressing corruption by stating that “I believe that it has stopped the process of reconstruction in Iraq.” Despite the importance of this problem, Chairman Henry Waxman noted staggering efforts by the State Department to stonewall the Committee’s investigation:


capt said...

House Easily Passes Shield Law -- Bush Promises Veto

WASHINGTON Saying the free flow of information must not be choked off, the House on Tuesday took up a media shield bill to protect the confidentiality of reporters' sources in most federal court cases. The White House, warning that the bill would encourage leaks of classified information, threatened a veto.

The House overwhelmingly approved the bill Tuesday. The measure was passed on a bipartisan vote, 398-21, with 176 Republicans joining virtually all Democrats to support the bill.

The White House issued a statement Tuesday afternoon saying President Bush's advisers would recommend he veto the legislation unless it's changed, claiming the bill is too broad and could harm national security.

"It is likely that the legislation will encourage more leaks of classified information by giving leakers such a formidable shield behind which they can hide," the statement read.

Under the bill, reporters could still be forced to disclose information on sources if that information is needed to prevent acts of terrorism or harm to the national security.

That wasn't enough for the White House, which said the privileges given to reporters "could severely frustrate — an in some cases completely eviscerate — the ability to investigate acts of terrorism or threats to national security."

Advocates of press freedom have pushed the issue this year in the wake of several high-profile cases, including subpoenas for reporters to testify in a probe into the leak of a CIA operative's identity.

Supporters pointed to press reports on Abu Ghraib, clandestine CIA prisons and shoddy conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as examples where source confidentiality was crucial.

More than 50 news outlets, including The AP, support the bill, which faces an uncertain future in the Senate.

Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., a conservative who cosponsored the bill with Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., said he promoted the bill because "I believe the only check on government power in real time is a free and independent press." The act, he said, "is not about protecting reporters, it's about protecting the public's right to know."

The Justice Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence are on record as opposing the legislation, saying it would make it nearly impossible to enforce federal laws pertaining to the unauthorized release of classified information. Justice also said the bill's definition of who is a journalist is too broad.

But backers said the bill was crafted to strike a balance between the need to protect a reporters' sources and the need for courts to see critical pieces of information.

Exceptions to the reporter shield are allowed to prevent an act of terrorism, apprehend the source of a past terrorist attack or stop harm to national security. Disclosures can also be ordered to prevent imminent death or significant bodily harm, or to identify a person who has revealed trade secrets or information involving personal medical or financial records.

The final bill consists of "a lot of compromising," said Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. "This has required enormous amounts of time and money and effort" by media and nonprofit groups. Pushing a legislative agenda, she said, "does not come natural to us."

The impetus, she said, was more than 40 cases in the past three years where reporters have been asked to identify sources or testify in federal criminal and civil cases.

"America is not a country where journalists should be jailed," said Clint Brown, national president of the Society of Professional Journalists. "This bill will allow the working press and those acting as journalists to serve society without fear of reprisal or intrusion from overzealous prosecutors."

Former New York Times reporter Judith Miller was jailed for 85 days in 2005 for refusing to identify which Bush administration officials had talked with her about CIA agent Valerie Plame.

The Justice Department, in questioning the need for the legislation, said it had approved the issuances of subpoenas to reporters seeking confidential source information in only 19 cases between 1992 and 2006.

The Supreme Court in 1972 ruled that journalist-source relationships were not protected under the Constitution, and currently reporters have no privileges to refuse to appear and testify in federal legal proceedings. The situation is different in state courts, with 33 states having media shield statutes and 16 others with judicial precedents protecting reporters.

A similar bill, sponsored by Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month, but it's uncertain if the full Senate will take it up in the final legislative weeks of this year.


*****end of clip*****

"The Press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of the government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people." : Justice Hugo L. Black - (1886-1971) US Supreme Court Justice - Source: New York Times v. Unites States (Pentagon Papers) 1971


capt said...

Blackwater cleaning up loose ends?

capt said...

Media ignore British judge's conclusion that An Inconvenient Truth is "substantially founded upon scientific research and fact"

Reporting on a recent ruling by a British judge about the documentary An Inconvenient Truth (Paramount Classics, May 2006), featuring former Vice President Al Gore, numerous media outlets -- including the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Boston Globe , CNN, and Fox News -- routinely reported that the judge found that the film contained nine "errors" without mentioning that he also stated in the ruling that the film is "substantially founded upon scientific research and fact." The judge also said he had "no doubt" that the defendant's expert was "right when he says that: 'Al Gore's presentation of the causes and likely effects of climate change in the film was broadly accurate.' "

On the October 15 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends , co-host Brian Kilmeade claimed there was a "British study that said [there were] nine major flaws in Al Gore's theory." In fact, the High Court ruling was not a "study," and the ruling did not find any "major flaws in Al Gore's theory" that humans have significantly contributed to global warming. In addition to Kilmeade's claim, numerous media outlets reported that the judge found nine errors in the film but ignored the judge's finding that An Inconvenient Truth is "broadly accurate" and "substantially founded upon scientific research and fact."


*****end of clip*****

I wonder how Al’s electric bill compares to other Nobel Prize winners?


capt said...

The buzz on Gore's Nobel Peace Prize

While it ruffles the feathers of his detractors, studies continue to support Gore's position.

That sound of grinding teeth you hear this week is coming from global-warming skeptics and their fans in the blogosphere.

The reason? Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize, awarded for his work on climate change.

Mr. Gore's detractors have spent recent days fulminating about the former vice president's award, renewing their dare that he should "debate" prominent skeptics Dennis Avery and Fred Singer. They've also gleefully noted that a British court finds that the Academy Award-winning film "An Inconvenient Truth," which features Gore, contains several scientific errors.


*****end of clip*****

Talk a bout blinded by hatred.

One would be tempted (in a perfect world) to assume some of the global warming deniers could just get past the lies they offer and surrender to the truth?

They were so strong in their beliefs that there came a time when it hardly mattered what exactly those beliefs were; they all fused into a single stubbornness.
~ Louise Erdrich


capt said...

New Thread