Another NEW YORKER article -
The Republican schtick this week is "demonize Obama as a 'socialist.'"
Once again, reaching out to the lowest common denominator - even when it directly contradicts McCain's more nuanced view of progressive taxes back in 2000.
From the article:
During the 2000 campaign, on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” a young woman asked him why her father, a doctor, should be “penalized” by being “in a huge tax bracket.”
McCain replied that “wealthy people can afford more” and that “the very wealthy, because they can afford tax lawyers and all kinds of loopholes, really don’t pay nearly as much as you think they do.”
The exchange continued:
YOUNG WOMAN: Are we getting closer and closer to, like, socialism and stuff?. . .
McCAIN: Here’s what I really believe: That when you reach a certain level of comfort, there’s nothing wrong with paying somewhat more.
Funniest part of McCain's answer: "Here's what I really believe."
For her part, imagine what Sarah Palin's "paint 'em Socialist" speechwriters would do with - - Governor Sarah Palin:
The state that she
governs has no income or sales tax. Instead, it imposes huge levies on
the oil companies that lease its oil fields. The proceeds finance the
government’s activities and enable it to issue a four-figure annual
check to every man, woman, and child in the state. One of the reasons
Palin has been a popular governor is that she added an extra twelve
hundred dollars to this year’s check, bringing the per-person total to
$3,269. A few weeks before she was nominated for Vice-President, she
told a visiting journalist—Philip Gourevitch, of this magazine—that
“we’re set up, unlike other states in the union, where it’s
collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when
the development of these resources occurs.” Perhaps there is some
meaningful distinction between spreading the wealth and sharing it
(“collectively,” no less), but finding it would require the analytic
skills of Karl the Marxist.
Most of the people that you hear quoting Adam Smith and his book "Wealth of Nations" (the Bible of capitalism) have not actually READ Adam Smith beyond the pithy quotes they've seen in right wing blogs or heard on John Stossel's muddle-headed reports.
If they bothered to actually read the writings of their patron saint, they'd learn that Adam Smith advocated progressive taxation.
Adam Smith wrote:
The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. . . . The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. . . . It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
But, as the linked NEW YORKER article says, "Smith’s notion of reasonableness did not anticipate the Fox News Channel." Nor did he anticipate a Republican party that revels in appealing to greed, fear, and outright hatred as a matter of policy.
If you've been to Southridge Mall lately, you can't help but notice its downward slide (how many years will go by with Greendale neighborhoods facing the blank facade that used to be Younkers?) Enclosed malls in general are in decline.
A friend of mine recently bought a house in the neighborhood just east of the Southridge. He'll be in a very, very nice spot if something like the overhaul described below occurs.
During the symposium, panelists discussed the pros and cons of improving the public transportation system in Milwaukee. Featuring Rob Henken, president of the Public Policy Forum and Anita Connelly, CEO of the Milwaukee Co. Transit System, as panelists, the symposium is now available to you in full, exclusively on AmericanCity.org.
Traffic-related presidential campaign hijinx don’t get any better than Joe McCain’s much-celebrated call to 911 to register the following: “Well, it’s not an emergency, but do you know why on one side at the damn drawbridge of 95 traffic is stopped for 15 minutes and yet traffic’s coming the other way?”
Well, at least it wasn’t a bridge to nowhere. I couldn’t help noticing, via the always penetrating Jonathan Raban in the London Review of Books, this chestnut: “[Palin] redecorated the mayor’s office at a reported cost of $50,000 salvaged from the highways budget.” That included red-flock wallpaper.
One of the main differences between a walkable, amenity-rich environment such as the one being created for Station Park Green and automobile-dependent sprawl is that workers have to drive to lunch unless they bring it in from home. This can be the case even when a place to eat is within what would be walking distance if the roadways, parking lots and entrances were not configured in a way that is dangerous or not welcoming to pedestrians.
My friend Constance Beaumont used to have a couple of slides in her presentation that showed two suburban retail stores right next to each other, but separated by a chain-link fence that precluded walking from one to the other.
The result is not only inconvenience for customers and hungry office workers but also extra air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and traffic congestion. Constance's photos were taken, naturally, in Tysons Corner, Virginia, subject of previous blog entries. Part of me resists picking on Tysons so much because it is such an easy target, and because at least Fairfax County's planners are doing something about it.
But, meanwhile, an easy target it remains. Writing in The Washington Post, Eric Weiss reports that "so many workers drive to lunch in Tysons Corner that it has created a third rush hour during the middle of the day that actually exceeds the morning rush.." Weiss continues:
"Having so many of the approximately 115,000 Tysons workers on the road, often driving less than a mile to grab a sandwich, is complicating construction plans for a Metrorail extension and Capital Beltway toll lanes that will rip up the streets around the area. An analysis of traffic counts shows more than 23,000 vehicles on the major Tysons thoroughfares, routes 7 and 123, between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., surpassing the morning rush by 24 percent."
This, of course, is occurring despite the fact that Tysons is Virginia's most concentrated jobs and shopping hub, with literally hundreds of eating places within a short distance of its 110,000 workers.
Here is an ACTUAL BLOG ENTRY on the local squawk radio blog of right wing talker Jeff Wagner (WTMJ Radio in Milwaukee). I added boldface, though I doubt such emphasis is needed:
18-year-old Marc Monfort lives in Oconto Falls. For Halloween, Monfort has hung three plywood mannequins outfitted as scarecrows from a tree in the yard of his home. The figures have black faces and are hanging from branches by their necks with rope.
Monfort says the display isn't racist and that he's not taking it down. He says that he made the scarecrows when he was eight years old and has hung them outside his home in prior years.
The Mayor of Oconto Falls says that the display is "disgusting". A resident of the community says that she's "horrified" by the display and the fact that no action is being taken to remove it.
For what it's worth, a confederate flag also flies in the yard.
Later today, we'll talk about whether this is a legitimate Halloween display or an example of racism?
What a quandary. Do you think the inquisitive Mr. Wagner will get to the bottom of this?
"Hmmm.... I guess it could be legit..."
Tomorrow's topic on Mr. Wagner's show: Paint Thinner - Should We Drink It?
The selective morality of a hypocritical dogmatist.
Incredible. Absolutely astounding. Evidently, Ms. Palin believes some innocent people deserve to die and be maimed.
See more at Daily Kos, where I got this transcription of the appalling exchange:
Brian Williams: Is an abortion clinic bomber a terrorist under this definition?
Sarah Palin: (Exasperated sigh.) There’s no question that Bill Ayers by his own admittance was one who thought to destroy our U.S. Capitol and our Pentagon. That is a domestic terrorist. There is no question there. Now others who would want to engage in harming innocent Americans or facilities that it would be unacceptable to, I don’t know if you’re gonna use the word "terrorist" there.