There's been a lot of talk in the US media about the "Fiscal Cliff" and the "Grand Bargain
" What are they?
The "fiscal cliff" is a confluence of three legal changes taking effect Jan. 1: the expiration of a payroll-tax cut, the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts, and the advent of mandatory spending cuts known as "sequestration." Fiscal Cliff 101: 5 Basic Questions Answered
. What's Happening: Fiscal Cliff Explained [more inside]
Demand Question Time
is a cross-partisan attempt
in the US to make sessions like the remarkable give and take between President Obama and House Republicans of January 29th
, which DQT calls "riveting and educational... substantive, civil and candid" a regular feature of American political discourse, like its parliamentary counterpart
. As the petition's profile grows, signer David Corn explains "Why Question Time Is Right for Obama, House GOPers and Washington
," and Peggy Noonan counters that "Question Time Isn't the Answer
The University of Washington has put a collection
of Vietnam War era printed ephemera (posters, flyers, pamphlets, magazines, mostly cheap mimeographs or photocopies) online. The browsable
collection ranges from Defend the Black Panthers
to How to Make a Revolution in the U.S.
to the Planetary Citizen Human Manifesto
to plain old Do Something
. The collection offers a fascinating insight into the passion, energy and graphic sensibilities of grassroots, home-front politics in late 1960s and early 1970s Seattle. [more inside]
A new poll finds that the American public would significantly alter the Bush administration’s recently proposed federal budget. Presented a breakdown of the major areas of the proposed discretionary budget and given the opportunity to redistribute it, respondents made major changes. The most dramatic changes were deep cuts in defense spending, a significant reallocation toward deficit reduction, and increases in spending on education, job training, reducing reliance on oil, and veterans. These changes were favored by both Republicans and Democrats, though the changes were generally greater for Democrats. What America Gets Right
) via The Gadflyer
Frank Luntz GOP Playbook Now Online: No Downloads, Searchable Text
I can't stress enough the importance of reading this document. It is absolutely amazing how politicos co-opted so much of our language and led us down the path to THEIR agenda.
Unfortunately, the monstrous PDF file previously available for download made that a 'challenging' endeavor. Thus, I thought it was very important to bring to everybody's attention the existence of an online, readable, searchable, text version of Frank Luntz’s Playbook. It is a masterpiece of manipulation and an historic political document.
Has the US promised Kashmir to Pakistan?
During his recent visit, Colin Powell named Pakistan a US ally. This move has people in India concerned about what the US is willing to give Pakistan to fight Al-Qaeda. [The site has pop-ups. Sorry.]
George W Bush and the real state of the Union.
Today the President gives his annual address. As the election battle begins, how does his first term add up? It's all been said before but it's good (?) to see it all nicely put together.
Picture Hunt time!
How many women are in this picture? (more inside)
To protest the U.S.' agriculture policy, hundreds of farmers in Thailand have cursed George W. Bush with black magic
. The commander-in-chief's soul now rests forever in a pot at the bottom of the Ping River. General William Boykin
has volunteered to free the soul for the forces of righteousness. If only.
Democrats finally speaking out? "Today the Republican majority leader in the House of Representatives announced that -- and I quote -- 'Nothing is more important in the face of war than cutting taxes.' Let me make this clear: Never in its history has the United States passed a big tax cut in a time of war. We have always believed in shared sacrifice. "
Sen. John Kerry's speech at the Jefferson Jackson Dinner April 3 in Georgia.
(Salon article, click the free day pass to view)
Gore questions timing of Iraq concern
Is it proper to invade Iraq? This would be an unprecedented move for the US military as Iraq has not attacked the US anyone the US has defense treaties with.
"Republican National Committee spokesman Jim Dyke called Gore's comments "irresponsible."
"This is no time to attack the president or Republicans for their handling of the war for political gain," he said."
Hmmm..so he admits the Iraqi attack IS for partisan political gain, eh? I would have never suspected it.
The We-Did-It-Our-Way Tax Relief Anti-Massacre Page
one guy describes how he spent the tax rebate check, and invites you to tell him how you did. (the title's a bit of a nod to Alice's Restaurant, fyi)
California shuts down Nader-Gore vote trading site.
This is absolutely ridiculous. "William Wood, chief counsel for the office of the secretary of state, said yesterday morning that trading for anything valuable is illegal. "
Yay! The flag burning amendment is dead
, at least for another year. What offends me most is: why did 63 Senators vote for this? Second most: do these people actually believe themselves when they preach that people have fought and died for the flag? I *hope* that no soldiers have fought for the flag, per se; I would hope that our military fights for the ideals of which the flag is a nice, abstract representation.
I've put up a short page with links
to the official Congressional Record transcripts of the debate, for those who are interested. (It gives me reading for my plane ride tomorrow, if I can avoid the calling of my Sims family.)