Monday, December 26, 2011

Weekly Roundup, December 19-25, 2011

By Blueberry T
Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Nomad explores the roots of supply-side/trickle down economics. I wonder how it would play among anti-Islamic conservatives to learn that one of the roots of Reaganomics was Ibn Khaldun, a 14th Century Islamic philosopher who wrote in favor of minimal taxation (along with minimizing expenditures on the military and on bureaucracy). When Reagan selectively quoted Khaldun’s work, he omitted the part about minimizing military expenditures and also left out a key reference to the Islamic obligations to pay a charity tax, land tax and poll tax. The Islamic Zakāt is a tax of up to 20% on those with the means to help support the poor; Reagan and all the “supply-siders” since him have omitted that part. Reaganomics assumed that tax cuts would lead to economic growth, but increased consumerism based on credit was likely a more important factor. Increased spending on the military, as well as deregulation, were the other pillars of Reaganomics that, together, led to many problems that we are dealing with today. The stunning facts that Nomad includes about the growth of the bureaucracy, government spending and taxation under Reagan should be sufficient to debunk the Reagan myths.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tim Pool has quickly become one of the pre-eminent journalists covering the Occupy movement. In this video, he documents police breaking up an OWS march in New York on December 17th. An elderly woman, who has seen protests going back for many decades, puts it so well: “It’s the beginning of something really bad when the police behave this way. It’s very important what you’re doing; otherwise, they wouldn’t try to stop you.” Here is a link to Tim Pool’s Occupy TVNY site.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dusty warms us up for the holidays with a look at the current cream of the Republican crop (or is it the flavor of the week?). Michele Bachmann once again gets the lead, for her remark impugning President Obama’s character and suggesting that she, whose pants are ALWAYS on fire, is an authentic woman of integrity whose word is her bond. Well, that right there should win the Lie of the Year Award! (PolitiFact, are you paying attention?) John Boehner wins the Weasel of the Year Award, for obvious reasons. Not to be outdone, Sarah Palin wins Dusty’s “Hater” award with a mean-spirited remark about the Obama family’s Christmas card – oh, my, how irrelevant she has become! Kathleen reminded us of Palin’s own 2008 Christmas card, in which she displayed her “special” little gift, Trig, amidst an opulent display of Christmas materialism. The irony of Palin criticizing the Obamas’ Christmas card and then lecturing everyone via Facebook about showing goodwill and not being divisive at Christmastime was not lost on any of us…

Friday, December 23, 2011

Nomad concludes his series on Reaganomics with an outstanding post tying the Reagan myth to the positions of the current Republican candidates and our current econo-political morass. He first shows how the myth of Reaganomics was built. Even supposedly “fair and balanced” newsmen like Tom Brokaw were beholden to GE, Reagan’s former employer and a major architect of the dismantling of American industry’s symbiotic relationship with labor, as GE moved jobs out of the US and played labor markets against each other. Nomad also shows that, instead of Reaganomics, it was Paul Volcker’s anti-inflationary policies that set the stage for economic growth in the later part of Reagan’s presidency. Now, regardless of Reagan’s actions on the economy and taxes, all the Republican presidential wannabes invoke his name and build the Reagan mythology. But people like David Stockman, Reagan’s first budget director, are increasingly outspoken in giving lie to the Reagan myth. Great series, Nomad!

Sunday, December 26, 2011

Patrick treated us to a feast of beautiful music to celebrate the holiday...
Some Comments and Links:
JCos: What irony! Many of Kim Jong Il's subjects died too early, from an excess of poverty and hunger.
Kim Jong Il died too early, from an excess of wealth and fine dining.
Zane1: I've been thinking recently about all this greed & you look at people from the Koch brothers to Boehner to Palin & what you see are some very mean spirited unhappy people. Whatever they are doing does not seem to be working for them.
ProChoiceGrandma: In Sarah's rush to find a solution to the dilemma of her pregnant daughter and save her political career, it never occurred to Sarah that pretending to be pregnant with a Down syndrome child was not a temporary solution. Tri-G was a final sale, non-refundable. She thought short-term that he would get her near the White House, close enough that she could even become POTUS if John McCain's cancer returned or his 72 year old ticker stopped ticking. In the long-term, she has cast Tri-G aside like many articles purchased on a whim.
SLQ: She can't even say "Merry Christmas" and "Peace on Earth" without being divisive.
Maelewis (on Boehner): Now this would be a really good time for him to be crying.
The Last Word: Ironically, given Nomad’s series, I choose Ronald Reagan (with h/t KatieAnnieOakley):

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