I realize it would be unreasonable to expect a Protein Wisdom contributor to appreciate the subtlety of what I’m about to say here, but comparing the taxation of publicly-funded corporate bonuses to the evolution of Nazism makes you sound like an historically illiterate jagoff. That Martin Niemoller is usually quoted by people who know utterly nothing about his life does not make his poem any less poignant or instructive; one supposes, however, that the pastor would not have wished to see his words used to buttress half-baked slippery-slope arguments drawn up by aspiring pantloaders who define tyranny as the reintroduction of slightly higher marginal tax rates on the wealthiest percentage of earners.
These are people who believe Ayn Rand provided a blueprint for a decent society, and they’re quoting someone who mourned the destruction of trades unions. And that’s the least offensive part of the analogy — it’s worth noting, for example, that this particular meme seems to have begun with someone with an extensive history of arguing that the mass evacuation and detention of racial minorities isn’t such a bad idea.
But at least they aren’t making jokes about the Special Olympics, because that would be a million times worse!
Pain rejects half of Alaska’s stimulus money.
Gov. Sarah Palin just told reporters that she’s accepting only 55 percent of the federal economic stimulus money being offered to Alaska. The governor said that she will accept only about $514 million of the $930 million headed to the state.
“We are not requesting funds intended to just grow government. We are not requesting more money for normal day-to-day operations of government as part of this economic stimulus package. In essence we say no to operating funds for more positions in government,” Palin said.
The biggest single chunk of stimulus money that Palin is turning down is $160 million for education. There’s also $17 million in Department of Labor funds (vocational rehabilitation services, unemployment services, etc.), about $9 million for Health and Social Services and about $7 million for Public Safety. The full list and the specifics aren’t available from the governor’s budget department yet.
The state’s aspiring teachers and state troopers, unemployed ConocoPhilips and FedEx employees will be delighted by the news. Perhaps they can all join the governor at
Galt’s Gulch Wasilla, where the recession-immune crystal meth industry remains a vibrant part of the local economy.
If you’re in the market for a new Zen koan, you might reflect for a moment on the question of whether TIDOS Yankee writing for Pajamas Media is more or less inane than TIDOS Yankee writing for his own site. The fact that Bob Owens is, evidently, illiterate should surprise no one, but his his ability to discover an unseemly link between individual campaign contributions from AIG employees to Barack Obama and a government-sponsored bailout of the AIG corporation that began under his predecessor serves as a reminder of why he remains a Very Special Blogger.
Following TIDOS Yankee logic, AIG’s employees laid the groundwork for a 2008 bailout four years earlier, when they donated to the Bush campaign at a rate three times greater than they did for Kerry. Strangely, however, I don’t recall a similar burst of populist outrage and dot-connecting from Owens in September, when the US actually took an 80% equity share in AIG. Back then, of course, he was worried about more ominous perils to the republic. As John Cole puts it,
if you read Bob Owens during the campaign, you would have thought that Obama’s first priorities as President would have been to institute Sharia law, unionize ACORN and pay them 100 dollars an hour to go door to door taking away shotguns from white people, and then burn down every small business and build a mosque in its place. But, the times have changed, and now Owens informs us that President Obama is looting the treasury to send your tax dollars to companies that were by law forbidden from contributing to his campaign but he is sending them the money anyway, and even better, Obama managed to do it while Bush was President.
Furthermore, I thought that wingnuts were officially supposed to be flipped out that Obama was receiving donations in unscreened, small chunks from Homer Simpson, Osama bin laden, Daffy Duck and Raela Odinga. I’m so confused.
The fact that Richard Cohen lost “some of his (extremely) hard-earned retirement funds in AIG stock” would not, in itself, be enough to cause a soul-less, mean-spirited person such as myself to bellow with glee. But when Cohen manages to work a defense of the corporate media’s gullible cheerleading of the Iraq War into a defense of CNBC’s gullible cheerleading of the late asset bubble — the “sins are blown out of proportion,” he reminds us — then I can’t help but take mild satisfaction in the news. Cohen, who recently described the idea that “torture never works” as being “so counterintuitive as to be an absurdity,” evidently believes that it was equally counterintuitive to assume that financial reporters should do anything more to reassure their readers and viewers than inform them that company chairs and CEO’s haven’t yet dumped their stock. No, seriously.
If these people kept their money in these companies — financial and insurance giants they had built and knew from the inside — how was even Jim Cramer to know these firms were essentially hollow?
Heavens to Betsy! How could anyone have known?
Sadly, the fact that Richard Cohen has lost vast sums of retirement funds means that we’ll be subjected for quite some time to come by the simulacrum of thought that the Post so generously and undeservedly subsidizes.
At a certain point, you might think I’d grow weary of the attention periodically bestowed upon me by Donald Douglas, Pro-Victory Associate Professor of Political Science at Long Beach City College.
But no. As Donald’s latest ode convincingly demonstrates, there’s really no disadvantage to being randomly cited as a “representative of the utter ideological bankruptcy of contemporary academe,” particularly if the vehicle that salvages you from the professional and geographical margins happens to be an unctuous brief on behalf of David Horowitz’s latest book, which the esteemed Professor Douglas has not, in fact, actually read yet. By this point, it would be an insult not to be mentioned.
I’ve always been amazed by bizarre and/or offensive and/or illegal interview behavior, having witnessed an abundance of it over the years during faculty searches. But I’ve never really considered the potential weirdness involved with grad school interviews (and here, I’m not counting the time in 1994 when an aspiring American Studies grad student clogged the toilet in my apartment so ferociously that I was forced to summon building maintenance to clear the offending debris. The fellow eventually opted for film school.)
There’s a great degree of irritating grad school conduct that can be chalked up to some combination of youthful exuberance and insufficient professional socialization. But then again, some people are just assholes.
So there’s a gathering of climate change skeptics taking place in NY. Since there isn’t a plushie convention rivaling for the public’s attention, the Times finds the International Conference on Climate Change to be newsworthy. There’s almost too much to mock, but this seems to capture the essential foolery of the event:
Many participants said that . . . the global recession and a series of years with cooler temperatures [ahem] would help them in combating changes in energy policy in Washington.
“The only place where this alleged climate catastrophe is happening is in the virtual world of computer models, not in the real world,” said Marc Morano, a speaker at the meeting and a spokesman on environmental issues for Senator James M. Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma.
Because really — few attributes establish one’s real world bonafides than the qualifying credentials, “spokesman on environmental issues for Senator James M. Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma.”
Looking further at the list of conference sponsors, bemusement is the appropriate response. Aside from the a roster of lobbying groups that corporate media continue to forgivingly describe as “think tanks,” we’re reminded once more of how pathetic the Congress of Racial Equality has become since Roy Innis decided that ExxonMobil was the greatest corporate friend that people of African descent have ever known. I’ve been thinking about the history of US social movements, and I can’t find a similar example of an organization that descended as far down the well as CORE has over the past 40 years. I realize that it’s a stretch to describe CORE any longer as an organization — unless we define “organization” as “Roy Innis and the crazy people with whom he shares his skull” — but still…..
Henry’s on prozac these days — not so much to curb his gargantuan appetite for mounting stuffed animals so much to deal with his irrepressible urge to piss on our front door. Since we began doping him up 10 days ago, both activities have ceased entirely.
Another internet tradition scotched by Big Pharma.
Steve Benen wonders if Roger Ailes is picking the wrong analogy by comparing Fox News — and Glenn Beck’s program more specifically — to the Alamo. Aside from all the general silliness of the comparison, Ailes and Beck nevertheless represent the exact variety of pathetic, martyr-driven nationalism that has enshrined the battle of the Alamo as the first skirmish in a crusade for yeoman liberty. Indeed, early historians of the battle liked to compare it to the Battle of Thermopylae, which — short of a few yawps of “Sparta!” — would distinguish them as wingnuts avant le lettre. I suppose if Ayn Rand had written her tedious novels in the early 19th century, the Americans in Texas would have been vowing to “go John Galt” rather than submit to the Mexican government’s taxation and anti-slavery policies.
Roger Ailes and Glenn Beck are no more committed to “liberty” than the hundreds of Texans who died, stupidly holed up in a decaying old mission building,
172 173 years ago today. Glenn Beck is essentially a cable-news version of the Rapture Index, so it’s appropriate that either he or his boss (or both) fancy themselves as the heirs to whatever they happen to believe the Alamo represents. As for the rest of us, I think it’s safe to say that Ozzy Osbourne had the right idea.
Named for the grandfathers he’ll never have the good fortune to meet,
John Galt Orrin Corliss Hayes Noon was born this morning at 4:06 a.m. He weighed in at 8 lb., 1 oz., and seems to be in fantastic health. Baby and father were both quite exhausted by the ordeal. The mother also appears to be strangely fatigued and uncomfortable.
So far, the child’s achievements have been mixed. He seems to have discovered an efficient means of acquiring food, yet he appears unable to comprehend simple questions from his two-year-old sister, including “Hey, what are you doing?” or “Would you pull my nose?” All of which means he’d be uniquely suited to cover the tax beat for ABC News if the opportunity presented itself for some reason.
This is quite possibly the silliet thing you’ll read all day. It’s what happens, I suppose, when a reporter who clearly has no idea how marginal tax rates work writes an article that (a) accepts the premise that someone making $249,999 a year would pay less than someone earning $250,000 and (b) derives a possible trend from two people scattered across the country who accept the same premise and are willing to deliberately reduce their incomes (including firing employees) to starve the gummint.
If the goal was to induce Glenn Reynolds to jabber about rich people “going John Galt,” I suppose the article’s not a complete waste of space.