For The Trees
Who is our economy FOR, anyway?
About the Authors:
BEST OF STF:
Articles not at STF:
The ATLA Speech on building a progressive infrastructure
Lowering the Bar
The Attack on Trial Lawyers and Tort Law
Who's Behind the Attack on Liberal Professors
On the Right and their communications infrastructure:
Why Republicans Win
Win or Lose
The "Conventional Wisdom" Machine
Some History of the Conservative Movement
HOW TO FIGHT BACK
An Amplifier Of Our Own
Don't Blame the Democrats
How They Do It 1 2 3 4
You're Gonna Get Drafted
Scalia and Self-Government
Who is Our Economy For?
Voting Machine Story Link Collection
What's Wrong with this Picture? (Voting Machines)
Like Meat in the Supermarket
Thin Line 1 2 3
Fixing Social Security
Seeing the Forest I, II, III
"Incredibly Positive News"
The Breadth of It
The Republican Crony Club
Ralph Nader is a Scab
John's Best Of:
Kerry Smear Page
9/11 Commission Report Damages Bush -- if you read it
Florida Goon Squad Intimidated the Supreme Court
The Use and Abuse of George Orwell
Zizka's Archives (John's previous identity)
Information Clearing House
What REALLY Happened
Links to Other Weblogs:
Dean Interview at Liberal Oasis
Liberal Oasis has an interview with Presidential Candidate Governor Howard Dean,
Republic and Empire
Gary Hart just posted Republic and Empire.
Help Me Understand
Read this, then tell me what the "endgame" of currency rebalancing will be? If the dollar plunges, which our massive current-account deficit demands, what happens to our economy? If that forces Europe and Japan into recession and deflation, then how much boost will the lower dollar give us, since they'll have trouble buying things from us? It WILL stop our deflation, which is good, but what else does it do for us? Help me out.
And how much effect is the widening gap between rich and poor having on all of this? If the general public has no savings, lots of debt, and less and less of the overall wealth, then how can "stimulus" do much good? It seems that most of the "stimulus" winds up going to fewer and fewer rich people. Seems to me that the rest of us gotta get rid of some of that debt and get a bigger share of the wealth before we can increase their consumption.
Help me out, leave a comment.
Senate Democrats Tricked Again
Do you remember when the DEMOCRATS in the Senate voted for a $350 billion tax cut? At the time I wrote, "The country has massive deficits, we are at war, programs that help the public are being slashed - and Democrats vote for another tax cut!"
But this was portrayed as a "victory" - the Democrats blocking an even bigger tax cut. Some "victory," huh?
Well guess what? The Senate today passed a mix of gimmicks designed to get around this $350 billion limit. For one thing, they eliminate taxes on dividends, but only until 2007. This trick keeps the bill within the already-agreed-to $350 limit, which means that it cannot be filibustered. So even though only three Democrats voted for this today, their previous "victory" means they can do nothing to block this sham that will further bankrupt the country. (Actually, the bill lowers taxes on the rich by $420 billion, but makes up for it by increasing taxes on middle-class workers, for example, increasing taxes on Americans working overseas.)
Meanwhile, Bush started today working to get all these limiting gimmicks made permanent. The Democrats, with their "victory," fell RIGHT into this trap. They should have had the integrity to simply vote against ANY tax cut at a time of massive deficits. I wonder if they ever heard the expression, "too clever by half?"
Update - It's much worse than it looks!
Vowing to tax income only once, Bush had said dividends should be tax-free only if they were paid out of fully taxed corporate profits. But for the sake of simplicity, the Senate bill breaks from that principle. Investors who own shares in corporations that pay little or no federal taxes would pay no taxes at the corporate or individual level.Got that? You own a million shares in a company that moves to a mailbox in Bermuda to avoid paying ANY U.S. taxes. They company sends you a dividend and you never pay taxes on that either. The money is NEVER taxed. How long will it take for all the rich fucks to buy a zillion shares of these companies, or move their companies to Bermuda, and never again pay ANY taxes. This is a HUGE incentive to pull all money out of any company that pays any U.S. taxes, or to get your company to stop paying U.S. taxes. AND it is a huge incentive to pull your money out of any investment of any kind that does not pay dividends, and out of any company that reinvests profits in things like research, employee benefits, pensions, etc. The ONLY thing that matters now will be dividends. NO taxes at all!
Update - Certain companies that have been sitting on huge, huge hoards of cash can issue dividends now, and get it out of the way before 2007. I think this could save Gates about $8 billion in taxes.
Zizka has a new URL. Always, always worth reading! Go read his twelve reasons why he isn't much fun anymore.
Molly Ivins: "If it makes no difference whether the government lied, why is Friedman a journalist? Why does journalism exist at all?"
Electronic Voting Machines Story in NY Times
This story, To Register Doubts, Press Here in the NY Times today.
But not everyone likes the switch to electronic balloting. Some of the loudest opposition, in fact, is coming from computer experts who say the new technology could prove more troublesome than its predecessors. They warn of equipment malfunction, unchecked tampering and the lack of secure proof for each vote.I'll tell you what. If you think I'm going to go into a voting booth and touch a screen and leave the booth without some way of knowing what that machine recorded as my vote, then you've got another think coming. If I don't see for myself where that machine put down that I did not vote for Bush, then I do not believe that the machine didn't and that's all there is to it. You can substitute Hillary Clinton's name there and pretend you're hearing this on the Rush Limbaugh show, because there's no reason for them to trust this, either. It's suspicious that they aren't complaining.
Here is my question. Why are the voting machine companies working so hard to defend what they are selling? They would MAKE MORE MONEY if they sold systems that also printed out a voter-verifiable ballot that could be used as a backup and for recounts! So it doesn't make sense that they aren't pushing for that. Unless...
Note - I am quoting more extensively than I usually would because of the NY Times new policy of making readers pay to see stories after a month or so.
Domestic Political Espionage By Dept. Of Homeland Security
The first documented use of the Department of Homeland Security by the Republican Party for domestic political espionage against Democrats. The first, but surely not the last.
Are you surprised? Shocked? WHY? That's what the Department of Homeland Security is FOR! Remember how it was formed? Remember the fight over allowing unions or not? This is an entirely political operation from its very founding. Along with the FBI it is the political espionage arm of the Republican Party. Don't any of you remember Richard Nixon? This is what Republicans DO.
Are you also going to be surprised if John Poindexter's Office of Information Awareness is used for political espionage? Why do you think they put convicted criminal John Poindexter in charge of it?
Stop the FCC
As a blog reader you are probably already aware of the issue of media consolidation. This is one of the most important issues there is right now and you should be active. Here's a brief explanation from MoveOn:
On June 2, the Federal Communications Commission intends to lift restrictions on media ownership that could allow your local newspaper, cable provider, radio stations, and TV channels all to be owned by one company. The result could be the disappearance of the checks and balances provided by a competitive media marketplace -- and huge cutbacks in local news and reporting. Good, balanced information is the basis for our democracy.Be sure to sign MoveOn's petition!
What's The Point?
Why do so many bloggers from "the left" write about what Andrew Sullivan says? Why should anyone care what he says? Why should anyone be reading him, to know what he says? Why promote him by using his name? When you write about what he says, you're telling your readers that what he says matters. It doesn't.
This is the first and hopefully last time I ever use his name here. I don't read him. I wrote this about this issue once before:
Blog readers may have noticed that there are certain popular blog topics that I have avoided. I have specifically avoided ever mentioning a certain writer whose initials, if you add an 'S', would be "ASS."The piece was titled Journalistic Integrity.
There were only 62 spams in the e-mail this morning. Something's up! Yes, I know I'll get approx. 300 more during the day but usually there's usually more than 62 in the morning.
The Next Corner After That
This at CNN: Poll: Consumer confidence is fading.
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Consumer confidence continued to fade last week, following a brief spike during the war in Iraq.Remember when Bush said his tax cuts would make the economy recover? This time the public was told that the war would restore the economy. It didn't. It has been one promise after another. My feeling is that this was about the last time the public is going to listen to a "prosperity is just around the corner" message.
I suspect that THIS time they aren't going to be so easily led around by the nose by the ever-optimistic business press. We'll see.
The stock market is up HOW much since the war started?
My blogroll has gotten out of hand. I'm going to do something about it, just not sure what. I hate to divide it into "daily reads" and "other blogs", or something like that -- I don't want people to know whether I read them daily or not. But it is just too long - just too many good blogs. Any suggestions?
TomPaine.com has an interview with George Lakoff. If you read nothing else today, please read this. I think Lakoff's view of how people use family metaphors as a basis for their political thinking is very important for understanding what is going on in the minds of conservatives and liberals. It boils down to "Strict Father" and "Nurturing Parent" viewpoints. (Which are you?)
Update - Here is part 2 of the interview.
Please go to Ruminate This and read everything on the FCC and media consolidation. Ruminate has been following this story and agitating with some suggestions for actions.
Copyright © 2002-05.
Blogger's RSS feed
Please help Seeing the Forest meet expenses. You can contribute using Paypal or Amazon by clicking either of the following buttons. Thanks!
I took out the Amazon "donate button" because they are a red company, helping fund the right.
7/14/02 - 7/21/02 7/21/02 - 7/28/02 7/28/02 - 8/4/02 8/4/02 - 8/11/02 8/11/02 - 8/18/02 8/18/02 - 8/25/02 8/25/02 - 9/1/02 9/1/02 - 9/8/02 9/8/02 - 9/15/02 9/15/02 - 9/22/02 9/22/02 - 9/29/02 9/29/02 - 10/6/02 10/6/02 - 10/13/02 10/13/02 - 10/20/02 10/20/02 - 10/27/02 10/27/02 - 11/3/02 11/3/02 - 11/10/02 11/10/02 - 11/17/02 11/17/02 - 11/24/02 11/24/02 - 12/1/02 12/1/02 - 12/8/02 12/8/02 - 12/15/02 12/15/02 - 12/22/02 12/22/02 - 12/29/02 12/29/02 - 1/5/03 1/5/03 - 1/12/03 1/12/03 - 1/19/03 1/19/03 - 1/26/03 1/26/03 - 2/2/03 2/2/03 - 2/9/03 2/9/03 - 2/16/03 2/16/03 - 2/23/03 2/23/03 - 3/2/03 3/2/03 - 3/9/03 3/9/03 - 3/16/03 3/16/03 - 3/23/03 3/23/03 - 3/30/03 3/30/03 - 4/6/03 4/6/03 - 4/13/03 4/13/03 - 4/20/03 4/20/03 - 4/27/03 4/27/03 - 5/4/03 5/4/03 - 5/11/03 5/11/03 - 5/18/03 5/18/03 - 5/25/03 5/25/03 - 6/1/03 6/1/03 - 6/8/03 6/8/03 - 6/15/03 6/15/03 - 6/22/03 6/22/03 - 6/29/03 6/29/03 - 7/6/03 7/6/03 - 7/13/03 7/13/03 - 7/20/03 7/20/03 - 7/27/03 7/27/03 - 8/3/03 8/3/03 - 8/10/03 8/10/03 - 8/17/03 8/17/03 - 8/24/03 8/24/03 - 8/31/03 8/31/03 - 9/7/03 9/7/03 - 9/14/03 9/14/03 - 9/21/03 9/21/03 - 9/28/03 9/28/03 - 10/5/03 10/5/03 - 10/12/03 10/12/03 - 10/19/03 10/19/03 - 10/26/03 10/26/03 - 11/2/03 11/2/03 - 11/9/03 11/9/03 - 11/16/03 11/16/03 - 11/23/03 11/23/03 - 11/30/03 11/30/03 - 12/7/03 12/7/03 - 12/14/03 12/14/03 - 12/21/03 12/21/03 - 12/28/03 12/28/03 - 1/4/04 1/4/04 - 1/11/04 1/11/04 - 1/18/04 1/18/04 - 1/25/04 1/25/04 - 2/1/04 2/1/04 - 2/8/04 2/8/04 - 2/15/04 2/15/04 - 2/22/04 2/22/04 - 2/29/04 2/29/04 - 3/7/04 3/7/04 - 3/14/04 3/14/04 - 3/21/04 3/21/04 - 3/28/04 3/28/04 - 4/4/04 4/4/04 - 4/11/04 4/11/04 - 4/18/04 4/18/04 - 4/25/04 4/25/04 - 5/2/04 5/2/04 - 5/9/04 5/9/04 - 5/16/04 5/16/04 - 5/23/04 5/23/04 - 5/30/04 5/30/04 - 6/6/04 6/6/04 - 6/13/04 6/13/04 - 6/20/04 6/20/04 - 6/27/04 6/27/04 - 7/4/04 7/4/04 - 7/11/04 7/11/04 - 7/18/04 7/18/04 - 7/25/04 7/25/04 - 8/1/04 8/1/04 - 8/8/04 8/8/04 - 8/15/04 8/15/04 - 8/22/04 8/22/04 - 8/29/04 8/29/04 - 9/5/04 9/5/04 - 9/12/04 9/12/04 - 9/19/04 9/19/04 - 9/26/04 9/26/04 - 10/3/04 10/3/04 - 10/10/04 10/10/04 - 10/17/04 10/17/04 - 10/24/04 10/24/04 - 10/31/04 10/31/04 - 11/7/04 11/7/04 - 11/14/04 11/14/04 - 11/21/04 11/21/04 - 11/28/04 11/28/04 - 12/5/04 12/5/04 - 12/12/04 12/12/04 - 12/19/04 12/19/04 - 12/26/04 12/26/04 - 1/2/05 1/2/05 - 1/9/05 1/9/05 - 1/16/05 1/16/05 - 1/23/05 1/23/05 - 1/30/05 1/30/05 - 2/6/05 2/6/05 - 2/13/05 2/13/05 - 2/20/05 2/20/05 - 2/27/05 2/27/05 - 3/6/05 3/6/05 - 3/13/05 3/13/05 - 3/20/05 3/20/05 - 3/27/05 3/27/05 - 4/3/05 4/1/12 - 4/8/12