Paul Krugman on why the tax cave is not the best option.
Good thing we're accomplishing so much there. Otherwise, the casualties would be unbearable. "Six US soldiers have been killed in an attack near Kandahar in southern Afghanistan, military sources say. The Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) did not give the nationalities of the dead. Two Afghan soldiers were also killed. A senior Afghan army officer told the BBC a suicide car bomber had targeted a checkpoint outside a base manned by Afghan and US troops in Zhari district. It is at the heart of a months-long Nato offensive against the Taliban."
How willfully ignorant and heartless do you have to be to visit an area stricken with cholera and describe the people that were allowed through your "tightly stage-managed" entourage to greet you as "joyful"?
Shuffle shuffle Miss Daisy. Them people are always smiling and so good at basketball too. Oh, no, I kid. I kid. We're lucky she didn't accuse the Haitians of being limp, impotent and weak as is her wont (see Barbara Walters interview). But, bonus time, she did come bearing every socialist's tool: a push up bra. Double points for morale boosting.
Good news is that Palin now says we are responsible for helping those less fortunate and this is a great turn around. Pretty soon she's really gonna deserve at least a teabag's worth of community organizing cred. It seems like just yesterday that Palin was saying they were supposed to pull themselves up by their bootstraps like Palin did, but without the government cheese and pork because, like, healthcare for everyone was a bad thing….
Since she's only there for a day, and has no plans to get dirty helping out with actual work, bestowing the beauty of her visage upon the deprived and desperate Haitians is all we can expect from the goddess of charity.
Nothing says Presidential like waiting a year to show up in Haiti — a year spent trying to destroy your own country's democratically elected president no less. But no worries, Palin is in Haiti now, getting her picture taken by Fox News to sell herself in 2012 as Someone Who Has Been to Other Countries, also, too. Now, the real question is will the prolific tweeter find time to at least tweet out a call to help the Haitians, or will the miser in her overwhelm any urge of Christmas spirit, knowing as any teabagger does that there's only so much to go around and she's still got loads of books to sell?
Maybe when someone suggested she visit Haiti she thought that a country with "Hate" in its [incorrect] pronunciation was right up her alley.
And just to finish off your weekend on just the right note of hopelessness, John Quiggin projects what a Palin presidency would look like.
I'm kind of astounded by the performance of John Boehner on 60 Minutes that DougJ discussed last night. Besides the fact that it is just odd that the man cries all the time (and no, there is nothing wrong with crying, but doing it all the time), this piece in the Politico just cracked me up:
John Boehner thinks President Barack Obama is "engaging" and "smart" — but the speaker-elect is also still smarting over the president's claim that he took taxpayers hostage to secure a tax break for the rich.
Another place they may find common ground: the golf course. The two are avid players, except Boehner is said to be an accomplished golfer, while Obama may be closer to a duffer. The pair have spoken about playing golf several times, but it has never happened. The Ohio Republican is holding out hope.
"Listen, playing golf with someone is a great way to get to know someone," Boehner said. "You start trying to hit that little white ball, you can't be somebody that you're not, because all of you shows up."
It's pretty precious, isn't it? A couple of months ago, Boehner was stumping for a guy in a Nazi outfit, now he is on national tv in tears 'cuz he has a sad over the way Barack treats him. But a round of golf might cheer him up!
According to TPM, he also claimed that he does not use indoor tanning. Which I find completely believable, because I've always found his skin tone to be a completely natural shade of fluorescent orange:
These folks really think we're stupid, don't they?
Although nominally a Christian holiday, Christmas is also widely celebrated by many non-Christians, and many of its popular celebratory customs have pre-Christian or secular themes and origins. Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift-giving, music, an exchange of greeting cards, church celebrations, a special meal, and the display of various decorations; including Christmas trees, lights, garlands, mistletoe, nativity scenes, and holly. In addition, several similar mythological figures, known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas and Santa Claus among other names, are associated with bringing gifts to children during the Christmas season.
Yes, early church fathers took long-standing winter solstice festivals and just slapped a new name on them.
A winter festival was the most popular festival of the year in many cultures. Reasons included the fact that less agricultural work needs to be done during the winter, as well as an expectation of better weather as spring approached. Modern Christmas customs include: gift-giving and merrymaking from Roman Saturnalia; greenery, lights, and charity from the Roman New Year; and Yule logs and various foods from Germanic feasts. Pagan Scandinavia celebrated a winter festival called Yule, held in the late December to early January period. As Northern Europe was the last part to Christianize, its pagan traditions had a major influence on Christmas.Scandinavians still call Christmas Jul. In English, the word Yule is synonymous with Christmas, a usage first recorded in 900.
The practice of putting up special decorations at Christmas has a long history. From pre-Christian times, people in the Roman Empire brought branches from evergreen plants indoors in the winter. Decorating with greenery was also part of Jewish tradition ...
The Christmas tree is often explained as a Christianisation of pagan tradition and ritual surrounding the Winter Solstice, which included the use of evergreen boughs, and an adaptation of pagan tree worship.
More information here.
The one part of modern Christmas that may be accurately attributed to christianity is the music, although I can't imagine that pagans never sang at Winter Solstice, nor Romans at Saturnalia.
So to all the "war on christmas" whiners, I say you can keep your music. But get your mythological mitts off my Winter Solstice evergreens, lights and decorations; your death-worship wizard away from my Saturnalia gifts and feasting, and your ludicrous "nativity scenes" out of my government buildings.
And so it begins..."Police and fire officials are investigating an arson fire in Sandwich that has a disturbing similarity with a suspicious incident in Barnstable. ... In both cases, the arsonist left a calling card, the message, "(expletive) the rich" at the scene. ... At 3:30 a.m. on Nov. 24, flames engulfed an unoccupied home still under construction at 16 Boulder Brook Road in Sandwich. Only the exterior of the house had been completed. The home, which was valued at $500,000, had a three-car garage and three bedrooms, but no plumbing or electric service, Sandwich Fire Chief George Russell said. ... The heavy damage burned much of the evidence. But the state Fire Marshal's Office was recently able to rule that an arsonist had set the fire, Russell said. ... The following week, on Dec. 2, incendiary devices were found at 43 Trotters Lane in Marstons Mills, law enforcement officials said. ... At Trotters Lane, the message "(expletive) the rich," was clearly spray painted on a fence on the property, Barnstable police Det. John York said. ... York said a similar message had been found at the Sandwich property. Sandwich officials have declined to provide details about that case."
America's single greatest achievement, John Boehner, was interviewed on last night's 60 Minutes, and, thanks to his stage mom standing off camera, yelling at him to cry on cue, he didn't disappoint. "I've never been in a tanning salon in my life, I've never used a tanning product in my life," he said, his tears taking on an orange hue as they flowed down his face. "Burnt Sienna," not "Peach," is the natural skin color of white people, you see, despite what seven-year-olds coloring with a box of crayons will tell you. Other things John Boehner that will make this man cry: walking into a school — something he will never do again because of the tears, so our education crisis is now solved — and Barack Obama saying he is a mean hostage man. http://wonkette.com/432305/crying-john-boehner-wants-you-to-stop-saying-he-tans
In another sign that the policies of the Obama Administration are slowly making a difference, things are looking better for American exports and by extension the trade deficit.
The trade deficit narrowed to $38.7 billion in October, the Commerce Department reported Friday. The figure was 13.2 percent below September's deficit of $44.6 billion.
U.S. exports rose 3.2 percent to $158.7 billion, the highest level since August 2008. Sales of American-made machinery, farm products and autos fueled the growth. Imports dipped 0.5 percent to $197.4 billion, with lower demand for oil and foreign-made cars.
Good thing the president initiated the diabolical socialist takeover of
Government Motors General Motors. We very well could have had a total collapse of the American auto industry. Instead the trade deficit is lowering with partial credit given to stronger auto exports.
Despite the fact that President Obama signed the order to close Guantanamo Bay on the very first day of taking office in 2009, it still hasn't been closed. The fact that Gitmo is still open for business is a common line of attack for those on the very-far left, but they need look no further than Congress for an answer to why it is still open.
Congress previously and overwhelmingly voted no to providing funding for the closure Guantanamo Bay, and now they have done it again by voting no on removing key obstacles to closure.
In a setback for President Barack Obama, Democrats still controlling the House have approved legislation to prevent Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other detainees at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay from being transferred to the U.S. for trials in criminal courts.
The Guantanamo ban was included in a huge catchall spending bill that passed the House Wednesday by a 212-206 vote. The Senate has yet to act on the legislation, which would further imperil Obama's effort to close the detention center for terrorist suspects.
The House approved a bill that bans bringing suspects from Gitmo into the States to prosecute them. If the Senate also approves the bill, then it would require another act of Congress in the future to reverse the decision.
The overwhelming majority of suspects charged with acts of terrorism are found guilty and prosecuting such cases has not been a problem, at all, inside the States. Regardless of that, Congress continues to bow to media hype and fearmongering by Republicans over bringing the
boogeymen terrorists home to prosecute them.
Does anyone think a Republican controlled House will vote for closing it if Democrats wont? No, you can look forward to atleast another two years, or longer, of Gitmo being open.