Saturday, December 31, 2011
Sunday, December 25, 2011
|A Real Manger|
It might be better to work backwards. Imagine there's a God who cares about us. Now, imagine that this God wants to communicate a certain message to us. Finally, imagine that the message is one of humility and love for the least among us. How would God communicate that message?
Saturday, December 24, 2011
But here's the key passage;
The temporary deal extended a tax cut many freshmen believe had been embraced by President Obama and Republican leaders merely because it was popular. Opponents argued that it would not stimulate the economy as Obama had maintained. They also said it could harm Social Security funding over time.That is not an argument for a one year deal. That is an argument for no payroll tax cut, at all. But you won't hear them arguing for no tax cut. They may be dumb, but they're not stupid. They want to block the cut without paying the political price, which would be enormous.
Of course, those who outwardly support the cut are hypocrites, as well. When the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy came up for renewal, we were told that there shouldn't be offsets, that it was irresponsible to find a way to "pay" for them because we are just giving people their own money back. But now, when the renewal of a tax cut is for the middle income and poor, we must pay for it.
It's enough to make your head spin. I hope and pray that the voters are getting all this. Given the high visibility of this fight, I think they are. And, for anyone who's missed it, the tea partiers vow to renew the fight next year.
Bring it on!
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Monday, December 05, 2011
Her research is extraordinary. The book recounts day by day, even minute by minute accounts of events that took place 70 years ago and does so in ways that take your breath away. Buy this book and set aside some time. It's a long book, but you'll want to read it in one sitting.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
If you want to give your class-based moral indignation a big boost, read today's front page story on Ronald Lauder, heir to the Estee Lauder fortune. The lengths to which the Lauder family goes to avoid taxes is extraordinary. Clearly, this family believes that its wealth is divinely granted and it owes nothing to the country that has treated it so well.
Here's just one example. A ten year fight over a piddling $90 million for a family sitting on billions:
When Mr. Lauder’s father, Joseph, died in 1983, family members fought the I.R.S. for more than a decade to reduce their estate tax. The dispute involved a block of shares bequeathed to the family — the estate valued it at $29 million, while the I.R.S. placed it at $89.5 million. A panel of judges ultimately decided on $50 million, a decision that saved the estate more than $20 million in taxes.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Here are some of the amazing documented facts:
- The maid entered the room at 12:07. At 12:13 pm DSK was on the phone with his daughter making lunch plans.
- The maid made frequent visits, before and after the incident to a nearby room on the same floor. The hotel won't reveal who was in that room.
- DSK was warned that somebody was monitoring his cell phone calls, which caused him to have his blackberry checked for bugs. He left his blackberry in the room and it was mysteriously disabled.
- There a a video of two security guards "high fiving" and doing a 3 minute celebratory dance after DSK was arrested.
- The head of security for the holding company that owns Sofitel Hotels was at a soccer game with Sarkozy when the incident occurred.
Friday, November 25, 2011
Given this history, why do Republicans advocate further tax cuts for the very rich even as they warn about deficits and demand drastic cuts in social insurance programs?
Well, aside from shouts of “class warfare!” whenever such questions are raised, the usual answer is that the super-elite are “job creators” — that is, that they make a special contribution to the economy. So what you need to know is that this is bad economics. In fact, it would be bad economics even if America had the idealized, perfect market economy of conservative fantasies.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Saturday, October 15, 2011
The familiar lament of a disfunctional Washington without explanation.
-- Post From My iPhone
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
But Paul Thomasch in his article about the book starts in piece this way:
In "The Price of Civilization" he contends that as Democrats and Republicans bicker over how to reignite the faltering U.S. jobs market, both sides have it wrong and that what is needed is greater investment in education, better health care, more civility and fewer Gulfstream jets.Helloooooo?? What about that indicts "both sides?" He says both sides get it wrong and then lays out the Democratic prescription. What is up with that? It looks to me like the familiar technique by pundits, writers and other commentators whereby they have to declare "both sides" wrong so they can establish themselves above and apart from these bickering politicians. But when they do that they effective absolve the true perpetrators of any blame, i.e. the Republicans.
I will grant to Mr. Thomasch the possibility that Sachs book is the offender, not he. But I wish people like him would simply call it like it is and not try to rise above it all.
Technorati Tags: politics, republicans
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
I was very tempted to go to see Martin Sheen and his son Emilio Estevez discuss their new movie, The Way. It's a spiritual film that reflects Sheen's pretty devout Catholicism. I admire him, even if his acting is occasionally over the top and self righteous. I think his heart is in the right place.
Here's an account of the event I missed at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. I didn't go because they were not going to show the movie, but rather show a trailer and discuss the movie. I didn't think that would be particularly fruitful unless and until I had seen the movie, which I plan to do. Still, it sounds like it was a good event.
But imagine my surprise to learn this about him:
Sheen also gave the audience a brief history of his own spiritual growth. He explained that he was born Ramón Estévez. When he moved to New York to pursue acting, he found himself faced with racial discrimination and decided that he needed a stage name.
He chose the last name “Sheen” after Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, whom he described as having an “extraordinary presence” in his household when he was young.
“I grew up watching him,” Sheen said.
“I thought of him as this magnificent actor,” he explained, recalling the archbishop’s sharp sense of humor.
“He had this fire in his eyes that was a reflection of his passion.”
Anybody reading this who is younger than about 50 probably doesn't know who Fulton Sheen was, but he was a phenomenon in the 1950's and 1060's, a Catholic bishop with a prime TV show that was top in its time slot, even beating out comedian Milton Berle (someone else you probably don't know). My parents watched him religiously, so to speak.
I'm sure Bishop Sheen would be flattered to have Martin choose his name. Not sure he'd be as happy has having Charlie also share his name.