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JHB

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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 19,547

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Is "Obamacare collapse" Obama's Katrina... or the Right's Fitzmas?

Many may remember back around this time in 2005, when Partick Fitzgerald was investigating the the exposure of Valerie Plame as a covert CIA operative, and many people in our virtual neighborhood were eagerly anticipating "Fitzmas", the indictment of Karl Rove and others in Club Shrub.

Nicked Scooter Libby, kinda, but all the biggest bad guys walked away unscathed.

The fizzle of Fitzmas left a lot of people with egg on their face, and a few with a whole truckload of eggs in the face-omlette.

I'm reminded of that anticipatory glee these days by what comes out of the infoxicated world.

I think the Fitzmas is on the other foot now.

Speaking of Déja Vu...

I like to use this (conservative) political cartoon from 1860. The characterization of Lincoln and his supporters would be at home at any Tea Party rally -- where it'd be used to describe Democrats.

“People who just want stuff”: 1860

See if you recognize the playbook:

http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2003674590/

"The Republican Party Going to the Right House"

Lincoln rides in on a (fence) rail, carried by Horace Greely (anti-slavery editor of the New York Tribune), leading his followers into a lunatic asylum.
GREELY: "Hold on to me Abe, and we'll go in here by the unanimous consent of the people."
LINCOLN: "Now my friends I'm almost in, and the millennium is going to begin, so ask what you will and it shall be granted."

Younger Woman: "Oh! what a beautiful man he is, I feel a passionate attraction' every time I see his lovely face."
Bearded Man: "I represent the free love element, and expect to have free license to carry out its principles."
Man with trim beard and hat: "I want religion abolished and the book of Mormon made the standard of morality."
Caricatured black man: "De white man hab no rights dat cullud pussons am bound to spect' I want dat understood."
Older woman: "I want womans rights enforced, and man reduced in subjection to her authority."
Scruffy man with bottle: "I want everybody to have a share of everybody elses property."
Barefoot man: "I want a hotel established by government, where people that aint inclined to work, can board free of expense, and be found in rum and tobacco."
Seedy top-hat man: " I want guaranteed to every Citizen the right to examine every other citizen's pockets without interruption by Policemen."
Man at the end: "I want all the stations houses burned up, and the M.P.s killed, so that the bohoys can run with the machine and have a muss when they please."
Let’s go down the list, shall we?:
Supported by "liberal media": Check
Liberals will embark on profligate giveaways to THOSE PEOPLE? Check.
Flighty, emotional, entranced by charisma/celebrity? Check.
People conservatives consider sexual deviants? Check.
People conservatives consider religious deviants? Check (and how ironic, this particular turn).
Grasping minorities after special rights? Check.
"Feminazis"? Check.
There's a vast army of layabouts, terrorists, and outright thieves who want to take your hard-earned stuff? Check, check, check, and check.

A hundred and fifty years later, and they're playing the same tune.

55 minus 10

Below is an image of the US Federal income tax rates for 1955 adjusted for inflation.

Lop 10% off the rate in each bracket: 20% becomes 10%, 22% becomes 12%, all the way up.

The biggest reason for directly basing it off the 50s tax rates (and lower than what was in effect then) is to fire a shot across the bow of everyone these days throwing around the term "socialist" for policies that used to be considered "right wing".

Simon & Schuster pulling Benghazi book

Source: Politic

By HADAS GOLD |
11/8/13 2:53 PM EST

The publisher for Dylan Davies, the source of "60 Minutes" controversial Benghazi report, announced on Friday that they are pulling his book "in light of information" brought to their attention since it's publication.

Threshold Editions, a subsidiary of Simon & Schuster, which is owned by CBS, said on Friday they are notifying stores that copies of the book, titled "The Embassy House," can be returned to the publisher, New York Times' Julie Bosman tweeted.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2013/11/simon-schuster-pulling-benghazi-book-177108.html



Beaking

What he describes is at best "salvaged", not "won"

Here's the money quote:

At the highest level, President Bush's decision to conduct the surge was exceedingly courageous. His advisers were split on the decision, with many favoring other approaches that in my view would have failed. And as the going did get tougher over the early months of the surge, President Bush's steadfast leadership and his personal commitment to seeing the war through to a successful conclusion (albeit one that might take many years to unfold) took on enormous significance.

***
President Bush's commitment had an enormous psychological effect on our men and women in Iraq, as well as on the Iraqi people. Our troopers recognized that we had a chance to do what was needed to reverse the terrible cycle of violence that had gripped Iraq in the throes of civil war. And the citizens of the Land of the Two Rivers realized that there was still hope that the new Iraq could realize the potential that so many had hoped for in the wake of the ousting of Saddam Hussein and the collapse of the Ba'athist regime in 2003.

Nowhere does he mention that everything he writes about was due to the complete, double-barreled failures of Bush: first and foremost for launching the war under false pretenses, and second -- having launched the war -- the absolute and complete failure to maintain order and provide the public with basic security and other needs. Everything in Petraeus's article is about cleaning up the mess that took root because Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and the rest of the neocon PNAC gallery bet the lives of soldiers and civilians that their pet power play could be done on the cheap. And what would they care if it didn't? They got rid of Saddam like they wanted to, and the rest didn't cost them anything, did it? What price did they pay?

Iraq is not a "win", certainly not on the alleged (and now obviously false to anyone not infoxicated) reasons for launching the invasion, nor even on "oust Saddam and let Iraqis move on" grounds. Accepted counterinsurgency doctrine would have required at least twice the number of troops Rumsfeld sent in, with three- or four-times the number more likely to be effective. Of course, troop levels that high would have made it impossible to keep claiming that the war could be done quickly and cheaply, which would have changed the political calculations of those who voted for the AUMF. So the Bushies said whatever would get their foot in the door, and to hell with whoever paid the actual price for it.

That observation is glaringly absent from Petraeus' talk about his "win".

If Boehner needs to save face, here's a compromise we can make...

If he passes a clean continuing resolution and a clean bill to raise the debt ceiling, we agree to restore the income tax rates in effect when Ronald Reagan was overwhelmingly re-elected in 1984. And we'll throw in adjusting for inflation.

Don't Be a Sucker - 1947 anti-facist film...

...produced by the US military after WW2 when a lot of demilitarized soldiers could have been ripe prey for demagogues (and some were).

Something that needs to be reposted periodically, especially these days.

Over 100 long-lost Doctor Who episodes found by dedicated fans - in Ethiopia

http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/106-doctor-who-episodes-uncovered-2343474

A group of dedicated Doctor Who fans tracked down at least 100 long-lost episodes of the show gathering dust more than 3,000 miles away in Ethiopia.

It was feared the BBC ­programmes from the 1960s – featuring the first two doctors William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton – had vanished for all time after the Beeb flogged off a load of old footage.

But after months of ­detective work the tapes have been unearthed at the Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency.

A television insider said: “It is a triumph and fans ­everywhere will be thrilled.

The Tea-Belly Sneeches

From 2010, by Driftglass: http://driftglass.blogspot.com/2010/09/now-bush-belly-sneetches.html

Current events make it apropo

Even more than the rate, it was the distribution

Borrowing this from a post I made back in March:
Most discussion of tax history mentions the top marginal rates of the past (91% in the 50s, 70% in the 60s and 70s, 50% through most of Reagan's presidency, etc.)

I like to highlight a different aspect: leaving aside what the rates were, where did they kick in? We live in times where people argue "are couples who make $250K 'rich'?" "Should we raise taxes on people who make over $250K? Over $500K?"

Where did these sorts of things lie in the past?

Using the inflation adjusted historical tax bracket tables from The Tax Foundation for married couples filing jointly, let's break it down a little and find out the equivalents in 2012 dollars:

1945:
Total number of brackets: 24
# of brackets only affecting income over $250K: 14
# of brackets only affecting income over $500K: 9
Top bracket affects income over: $2,551,044

1955:
Total number of brackets: 24
# of brackets only affecting income over $250K: 16
# of brackets only affecting income over $500K: 11
Top bracket affects income over: $3,426,776

1965:
Total number of brackets: 25
# of brackets only affecting income over $250K: 13
# of brackets only affecting income over $500K: 8
Top bracket affects income over: $1,457,740

1975:
Total number of brackets: 25
# of brackets only affecting income over $250K: 9
# of brackets only affecting income over $500K: 5
Top bracket affects income over: $853,509

1985:
Total number of brackets: 15
# of brackets only affecting income over $250K: 1
# of brackets only affecting income over $500K: 0
Top bracket affects income over: $360,650

1995:
Total number of brackets: 5
# of brackets only affecting income over $250K: 1
# of brackets only affecting income over $500K: 0
Top bracket affects income over: $386,423

2005:
Total number of brackets: 6
# of brackets only affecting income over $250K: 1
# of brackets only affecting income over $500K: 0
Top bracket affects income over: $383,773

2013:
Total number of brackets: 7
# of brackets only affecting income over $250K: 2
# of brackets only affecting income over $500K: 0
Top bracket affects income over: $440,876

Special Bonus Gipper edition numbers:
1988:
Total number of brackets: 2 (No, not a typo. Two brackets)
# of brackets only affecting income over $250K: 0
# of brackets only affecting income over $500K: 0
Top bracket affects income over: $57,738
(There was a reason why Poppy Bush had to go back on his 'Read My Lips' line -- this rate was so low it was unsustainable (naturally, they crucified him for it). And every RWNJ wants to go back to this, or lower...)

ALL income tax progressivity for very high incomes was eliminated under Reagan, and has stayed that way ever since.


Let me repeat that last part:
ALL income tax progressivity for very high incomes was eliminated under Reagan, and has stayed that way ever since.

Brackets reached up into the equivalent of millions today. (heck, between 1936 and 1941 the top bracket kicked in at (inflation-adjusted) incomes in the ballpark of $80 million). That had been eroded by inflation, but it was cut off at the ankles under Reagan.

There are plenty of details that can be argued, but the basic structure worked for people trying to get ahead. Now it works for those who already are.

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