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28 February 2008 @ 01:39 pm
many good reads today  
"Sageman has collected [data] on more than 500 Islamic terrorists - to understand who they are, why they attack and how to stop them."

Joe Klein with today in Iraq, and with 'McCain's Iraq Fantasia.'

Good read: Robin D. Laws on news stories that impact childhood.

THURSDAY NEWS:
* Gas prices shoot up, compounding financial woes for consumers.
* Interesting. On NATO and Afghanistan.
* Angelina Jolie on a reason to stay in Iraq.
* Dana Milbank covers Exxon's day at the Supreme Court.
* A blackout in Florida as a sign of worse times to come?
* Doesn't sound like the Ark of the Covenant to me.
* Turns out Prince Harry has been stationed in Afghanistan.
* Making more video games that women want to play.
* EW.com answers your post-Oscars questions.
* Dark Horse takes the lead in publishing webcomics, including Perry Bible Fellowship and more.

Sesquipedalian!

Inside Skywalker Ranch.

Details on the new Terminator movie starring Christian Bale.

 
 
 
PMMJ: Newscheetahmaster on February 28th, 2008 06:59 pm (UTC)
"So to recap: Both campaigns employ former lobbyists. Both campaigns have unpaid advisers who work in the lobbying business. Both campaigns have lobbyists who help raise money... Both campaigns say they think they can win a debate on lobbyists... Who will be a better money-in-politics reformer in office? It's a healthy debate to have, one I will discuss in a later blog post. Suffice it to say, if Obama and McCain get the nominations, there will be two candidates with clear records of fighting to limit the power of lobbyists in Washington."
PMMJ: Newscheetahmaster on February 28th, 2008 08:31 pm (UTC)
from today's press conference with the President
Q. "What's your advice to the average American who is hurting now -- facing the prospect of $4 a gallon gasoline. Beyond your concern that you stated here and your expectations for these stimulus checks, what kind of hope can you offer to people who are in dire straits?"

Bush: "Permanent -- keep the tax cuts permanent, for starters. There's a lot economic uncertainty. You just said that. You just said the price of gasoline may be up to $4 a gallon, or some expert told you that. And that creates a lot of uncertainty. If you're out there wondering whether or not - you know, what your life is going to be like and you're looking at $4 a gallon, that's uncertain.

"And when you couple that with the idea that their taxes may be going up in a couple years, that's double uncertainty."
MsCongeniality: Future!mscongeniality on February 28th, 2008 09:11 pm (UTC)
Re: from today's press conference with the President
Wat?

Good lord, January 20 can't come soon enough.
Tarsus: metarsus4 on February 29th, 2008 10:15 am (UTC)
Re: from today's press conference with the President
Bush is the worst spokesperson for economic conservatism, at least by speaking skill, but I think there's a point there to be made. A consistent tax environment makes businesses more able to long-range plan, which puts our economy on a more solid growth platform than the usual "maximize our quarterly net" thinking. You could ask whether businesses would use this kind of foresight given such an environment, and how much the Bush tax cuts actually change the game for businesses, but I think it's an argument that needs to be considered.

But seriously speaking, I'm much more worried about Bernanke, who's consistently given outright gifts to Wall St that promote short term stability in exchange for long-term inflation. He even recognized that bailing out the sub-primes was bad, but excused it by saying individual investors need secure retirement funds (the Wall St. version of "think of the children"). You'll notice that oil has remained much more constant in other currencies than our own. This is a bad spiral: the dollar is tanking, so business costs go up, so Wall St gets antsy, so the Fed overreacts, which makes the dollar tank more. This is IMO the number 1 threat to the economy at the moment.
PMMJ: Newscheetahmaster on February 29th, 2008 12:43 pm (UTC)
Re: from today's press conference with the President
a.) I'm suspicious on cutting taxes while increasing government spending, but that's just me.

b.) He really, really, really didn't answer the question on 'advice to the average American who is hurting now.'

c.) Agreed on the spiraling dollar.
Strange Detractor: pipeprofessorbooty on March 1st, 2008 12:21 am (UTC)
Re: from today's press conference with the President
He really, really, really didn't answer the question on 'advice to the average American who is hurting now.'

Are you saying that the Bush tax cuts didn't give a lot of extra spending money to the average American who might be worried about $4 gas?
PMMJ: Newscheetahmaster on March 1st, 2008 09:11 pm (UTC)
Re: from today's press conference with the President
As it turns out, no.
Strange Detractor: moonprofessorbooty on March 3rd, 2008 03:05 pm (UTC)
Re: from today's press conference with the President
Heavens to Betsy!
Tarsustarsus4 on March 1st, 2008 04:21 pm (UTC)
Re: from today's press conference with the President
a.) I'm suspicious on cutting taxes while increasing government spending, but that's just me.

Cutting taxes *is* government spending. It's just a question of how much debt is healthy for the government to have. Between the heightened need from the military and for economic stimulus, I can't think of a more appropriate time to borrow.

All that notwithstanding, I just heard a really intelligent exchange on Larry King Live between Ben Stein (McCain supporter) and Bradley Whitford (Clinton supporter). Don't ask me to repeat it, but it did tilt my opinion away from the tax cuts a little. The sentiment was that there were more targeted ways for the government to spend than a broad tax cut, and that (like you stated) now may be an especially bad time.
Strange Detractor: bottleprofessorbooty on March 3rd, 2008 03:06 pm (UTC)
Re: from today's press conference with the President
Between the heightened need from the military and for economic stimulus, I can't think of a more appropriate time to borrow.

"Need" is an interesting choice of words there.  It's almost like there were no decisions made to take military action halfway around the world, it was just one of those things that happen without human decision.
Tarsustarsus4 on March 3rd, 2008 04:13 pm (UTC)
Re: from today's press conference with the President
I think it's an apt word. Cost, while an important factor, isn't the only factor or even most important factor going into military decisions. And regardless of that, even if one disagrees of the decision to continue to be in Iraq (as I haven't stated I do or do not), I would prefer to have properly armored troops than unarmored ones using equipment their mom sends from home.
PMMJ: Adult Swim terroristcheetahmaster on March 3rd, 2008 04:41 pm (UTC)
Re: from today's press conference with the President
Plus, we have always been at war with Oceania.