Bren-man

(no subject)

Marty Peretz, you are a racist jackass. The cops have already ruled out your paranoid fantasies, so going ahead with them at this point exposes your political and racial agenda. Remember when TNR was worth anything at all? OK, it requires a selective memory, but you could piece together some good issues.

It's been a real wake-up call in the past week -- not the event as much, but reading blog comments about it. Racism … not prejudice, not systemic racism, but real, pervasive racism that twists one's soul … is all over the place.
Bren-man

(no subject)

OK, it may seem odd for me to say these two things:

1. I still find Jon Stewart funny.

2. I agree with the column "Jon Stewart isn't funny anymore."

Specifically, I agree with the bigger premise -- politics is too disheartening these days. I can't have a gentlemen's agreement to disagree about torture or unlimited executive power. It's not something that I can look beyond as someone merely having a different outlook on life. If you believe torture should be legal, I don't want to talk to you -- I don't care if you're a friend or family member. So I don't bring it up. It feels like that sometimes with the body politic, too -- that we can't fix ourselves by polite means, and I don't really want to go there.
Bren-man

(no subject)

Years ago, I worried that the constant political pandering to the South meant that the Northeast was sliding into irrelevancy, and that all of our candidates would have to fake riding around in pickup trucks, like Fred Thompson. If the presidential race ends up being Clinton vs. Giuliani vs. Bloomberg, though, I'll admit I was quite wrong.

It would be tough for Giuliani to run on his competency when he's not even the most competent mayor of NYC in the race.
Bren-man

The coming storm

A lot of things, you have may noticed, piss me off. Well, the coming fight over the expiration of the insane Bush Tax plans has pissed me off for six years already, so it's hard to write elegantly about. Basically, when they passed the tax plan in 2001, they realized that the government's own numbers, even favoring the conservative plan, basically said that the tax plans would have absolutely ludicrous effects after 2010 or so -- squeezing out the middle class, giving extra yachts to the rich, and absolutely decimating the government. The numbers were so ridiculous that the Republicans themselves had to say "Well, the plan stops in 2010 and goes back to the old way." Stops abruptly. Meaning, among other things, if you're old and rich the day before the estate tax goes back into effect, don't let your kids near sharp objects or guns.

Of course, at the time they knew full well that they would just lie their heads off and pretend that the Democrats were raising taxes by not amending their own legislation, and depend on the public to be stupid. We predicted it back in '01; it was obvious.

Well, surprise, surprise -- it's happening.

Read the article. It tries to be objective, but it's obvious that one side is just lying. THEY SAY THEY'RE LYING.

JD Foster, a tax policy expert at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington, said such distinctions will be lost on most Americans when they do their taxes in 2011.

"The American people aren't going to care about how the situation came about," Foster said. "What they're going to care about is who is going to solve the problem."


I want to repeat this -- the man FEELS FREE TO TELL A REPORTER ON THE RECORD THAT HE IS LYING, AND THAT HE THINKS THE AMERICAN PUBLIC IS STUPID WHEN IT COMES TO TAX ISSUES.

Why am I yelling? Because he's probably right -- or at least the Democrats are too afraid that he is to do the right thing. The smart thing is to let them lapse but meet it with a series of progressive tax cuts aimed at the working and middle classes. The insane thing is to play into the Republicans' hands … so read to the end and weep.