Monday, November 14, 2005
The Logical Implications Of Bush's "We Were All Wrong" Cover Story(3) comments
I would like you to ponder these logical implications of the Bush Administration's "We were all wrong" meme that they are currently using to shift blame and avoid responsibility.1. If the Administration and everyone else were wrong, then why wasn't anyone dismissed or sanctioned for their incompetence?
2. If everyone was WRONG, why would the Administration even now insist it was still RIGHT to invade based on admittedly WRONG information?
3. If the Administration admits they were given WRONG information but still insists that they were RIGHT to invade, then what difference does it make if we have good intelligence or not? It would seem that good intelligence is irrelevant to the Administration's decision making process.
4. If WRONG information is irrelevant in determining policy, why is it so important to TORTURE PEOPLE to get INFORMATION which is irrelevant anyway?
And on torture...If we don't torture as Bush asserts...how did Abu Ghraib happen? How did the deaths of prisoners happen? If we don't torture, why do the Administration spokespeople, such as Stephen Hadley yesterday, bring up hypothetical examples in which they say it might be necessary to torture to avert a disastrous attack in arguing for the CIA exemption?In attempting to determinie honesty here, we must consider the context in which the Administration has sold and prosecuted the war. Paul O'Neill reports that the very first meeting of the National Security Council, LONG BEFORE 9/11, concerned the invasion of Iraq. Richard Clarke has reported that the first thing Bush and Rumsfeld wanted to do after 9/11 was invade Iraq. The Downing Street Memos reveal that a decision to invade Iraq was made by June 2002 and that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."
posted by Oleary 11:32 AM
Sunday, November 13, 2005
posted by Oleary 5:58 AM
Saturday, June 18, 2005
Small Business Failures Responsible For 17% Of Personal Bankruptcies ---Legislation Slated To Take Effect In October Could Unnecessarily Deter Entrepreneurs And Employment(0) comments
When the recent, so-called bankruptcy "reform" legislation was passed in Congress, the data they had in their possession was skewed. The Kansas City Star reports :Flawed data have caused the government to grossly underestimate the number of small businesses and entrepreneurs who file for bankruptcy, a study funded by the Kauffman Foundation has found.The article study points out that small businesses are the backbone of private sector employment:
The result, the study says, is a distorted picture of the nation’s small-business economy, which led to bankruptcy legislation that could deter entrepreneurs from starting new businesses.The study shows that the new law is based on flawed estimates of business failures role in personal bankruptcy:
Small businesses employ more than half of all private-sector employees in the country and represent more than 99.7 percent of all employers, according to the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy.
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation-funded study, titled “The Myth of the Disappearing Business Bankruptcy,” appears in the current issue of California Law Review and was co-written by Robert M. Lawless, a law professor at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas law school.
...as many as 17.4 percent of all current bankruptcy filings involve the failure of a business. Rather than the 37,000 business filings reported by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts in 2003, the authors estimate that there were actually between 260,000 and 315,000 filings that year by entrepreneurs, self-employed individuals and independent contractors.
Lawless and Warren say that the new bankruptcy law, slated to take effect in October, is premised on a “conventional story” that only a small fraction of the 1.6 million bankruptcies filed annually in the United States are business failures.
And the new law, in calculating whether debts will be wiped our or repaid, imposes a means test, appropriate for consumer wage earners but now small businesses.
The new bankruptcy law, passed by Congress earlier this year, imposes a means test to determine whether debtors who make more than their state’s median income are able to repay their debts. Debtors who have $100 more in monthly income than the IRS lets delinquent taxpayers keep — once their “necessary” expenses have been subtracted — must repay their debts over a five-year period rather than have them erased.
Lawless, however, said that the law’s means test presumes that a debtor has a steady income, “which may be true for someone punching a clock and earning a wage but isn’t necessarily true for a small-business owner whose income may go up or down with the season. That calculation doesn’t even make sense for small-business people.”
In a telephone interview Wednesday, Lawless, a former law professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia, said the underlying, and mistaken, assumption of the new law is that the bankruptcy system is clogged with overspending consumers and a handful of large corporate filers.Neither of the authors of the study believe the underestimate has been deliberate:
Rather, they say, the underreporting of business failures was probably a byproduct of the growing popularity of computer-assisted programs for the preparation of bankruptcy forms. Those programs routinely classify all individual debtors as nonbusiness, regardless of evidence to the contrary.
The results, they say, have been “pernicious.”
“An entire class of debtors, those who turn to the bankruptcy system for help when their small businesses are failing, appears to have disappeared from the system, but they are still there,” their study concludes.
posted by Oleary 10:47 AM
Monday, June 13, 2005
In 2004 Film The Assassination of Richard Nixon, Office Furniture Salesman, Jack Jones, Reveals The Key To Understanding George W. Bush(0) commentsJACK JONES: When you believe in what you're selling, you succeed 'cause then you're NOT selling...you're talking from somewhere here (gestures to heart)...Ya gotta believe...It's a gift...I CAN BELIEVE IN ANYTHING...
Bush has the gift of believing what he's saying, even though it's mostly lies...and that's why so many rubes think he's sincere...and has such a "good heart."
And to quote George on Seinfeld, "If you believe it, it's not a lie!"
ADDITIONAL THOUGHT PROVOKING QUOTES (June 14th):SAM BICKE: Certainty is the disease of kings.
SAM BICKE: Slavery never really ended in this country. It just gave it another name. Employee.
posted by Oleary 10:17 AM
Saturday, June 11, 2005
Flat Taxes Do Not Promote Democracy; Progressive Taxes Do(0) comments
David Cay Johnston, on Al Franken's Air America Show said yesterday that the progressive income tax is as old as democracy itself. He also said that in reality, now, when all taxes are taken into account, including FICA, State, Local, Sales, Property and Medicare as well as Federal Income Taxes, we have an essentially flat system of taxation.
In his His book Perfectly Legal, this reviewer says, Johnston lays out this thesis:"...the progressive tax, that is the tax which assesses people on ability to pay, was invented along with democracy in ancient Athens, and that every major economic thinker who has thought about the issue since then has concluded that progressivity ought to be the foundational principle of taxation..."More support for that thesis is found here from Maureen Cavanaugh:"...A common dedication to political equality and freedom characterizes both ancient and modern democracy. By examining Athenian democracy, the most important model (both historically and for the Founders), it becomes clear that there is no necessary link between equal political rights and the obligation to fund a democratic government. On the contrary, a comparison of political systems and their allocation of tax burdens reveals exactly the opposite relationship usually assumed. Equal tax burdens characterize non-democratic political systems. Governments funded through generally applicable, flat taxes are uniformly those least devoted to political equality. Athenian democracy, with its complete commitment to political equality, allocated its tax burden to the wealthy and exempted ordinary citizens from tax, an exemption largely responsible for incorporation of ordinary (i.e., non-wealthy) citizens in democratic government..."
Johnston's article about the Super Rich and income inequality can be found here, as part of a comprehensive New York Times series on class.
UPDATE: This article covers the history of progressive taxation in America and how Bush is trying to destroy the system and what he wants out of it.
posted by Oleary 1:33 PM
Friday, June 10, 2005
If The Establisment Corporatist Dems Keep Bashing Dean They Will Bring The Party Down(0) comments
They may not fully realize that they are playing with fire. The democratic base will not stand for them bashing Dean like republicans and the right wing media do.
They may think they can jettison Dean and still be successful. They are completely delusional if they think that.
They may try to frame Dean with some sort of corruption charge dealing with campaign funds or something like that to take him down cleanly.
Or it could be even worse...shudder...than that...
posted by Oleary 2:50 PM
Joe Watkins, Ex Crossfire Pundit...What Did He Know And When Did He Know It...(1) comments
I have always distrusted Joe Watkins, from the moment I saw his willingness to lie as the representative of "the right" on Crossfire.
He claims to be a Christian and a Minister, but this story shows a disturbing side
posted by Oleary 7:14 AM
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Thought For The Day(0) commentsGeneral Motors is in reality a huge bank that gives away cars for free.It turns out that the only business unit that is making a profit for GM is General Motors Acceptance Corporation which provides financing for loans.
posted by Oleary 11:44 AM