(Photo by joanneleon. October, 2012)
First, is there a looming crisis of debt or deficits, such that sacrifices in general are necessary? No, there is not. Not in the short run – as almost everyone agrees. But also: not in the long run. What we have are computer projections, based on arbitrary – and in fact capricious – assumptions. But even the computer projections no longer show much of a crisis. CBO has adjusted its interest rate forecast, and even under its “alternative fiscal scenario” the debt/GDP ratio now stabilizes after a few years.
-- James K. Galbraith
|Cliffs of Insanity
||Drop in any time
day or night
to say hello, to post news, art, music, etc.
and feel free to promote your own work,
no matter where it lives.
News and Opinion
'Fiscal Cliff' Threatens Holiday Spending, White House SaysSo let them expire and create exactly the tax cuts that you want the very next day, the Obama tax cuts. This would remove the pressure to cave on entitlements. Oh, can't do that!
WASHINGTON—The White House warned in a new report that going off the so-called "fiscal cliff" could slow the growth of real gross domestic product by 1.4% and limit consumer spending during the holiday season.
The report comes as lawmakers are returning to Washington with just weeks left to find an agreement to prevent taxes from going up on millions and spending cuts from kicking in. It will likely provide fodder for both political parties as they seek to find a compromise.
The report says consumer confidence is at its highest point in five years and "The hard-earned rise in consumer confidence will be at risk if the middle-class tax cuts are not soon extended with a minimum of political drama."
Obama team warns of fiscal cliff
Should all the tax cuts expire -- a de facto tax hike for all Americans -- it would hurt the economy, says the new report from Obama's Council of Economic Advisers.
Economic Prosperity and the Fiscal 'Speed Bump'
by Thom Hartmann
To make the most of this opportunity, Democrats need to have legislation in place now, this week or next, that addresses these three issues. It should be three separate bills, in fact, that will break out each of these issues. The first cuts taxes on middle and lower income people, while leaving rich people’s taxes the same as they were during the Clinton years. The second ratifies cuts to the Pentagon budget, but in a way that’s rational and reflects the reality that our biggest current and future threats are not nuclear war but cyberwar, not so much nation states as non-state actors angry that our drones killed their families. The legislation should, incidentally, put some serious limits on presidential power to be judge, jury, and executioner via drone strikes – particularly when the target is an American citizen.
If the Democrats put this legislation on the table now – with the promise of a vote on it the week after the New Year – it’ll sooth the fears of those who believe in the uncertainty fairy. And, if it’s decent legislation, it’ll give progressives a rallying point to pressure their members of Congress.
Help Obama Find His Shoes
Progressives need to pressure Obama to stick up for workers as promised.
Such coalitions must evaluate elected officials on whether or not they understand that their success in pushing legislation forward is directly linked to the strength of social movements. As Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) told me earlier this year in an interview for The American Prospect, “Sympathetic members of Congress have the power to draft, introduce and vote on legislation. But leaders in the progressive community … have the ability to mobilize, educate and organize all across America. We need each other to be successful.” We can no longer afford to invest in politicians who do not understand this.
Military suicides ‘out of control’
According to a Veterans Affairs report this spring, a veteran commits suicide every 80 minutes. More than 6,500 suicides have occurred since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began. For every service member who dies in battle, 25 veterans die by their own hands.
According to a Pentagon report, more American active service members have killed themselves in the first six months of 2012 than in the first six months of any of the previous 11 years, The Associated Press reported.
Blog Posts and Tweets of Interest
To Shell Oil: "The World is Watching You." by Agathena
What do you call a fake noodle? An impasta!— Bad Joke Cat (@BadJokeCat) November 25, 2012
US troops land in Sinai next week dlvr.it/2X1GnD f— DEBKAfile News (@debkafile) November 23, 2012
Polling stations open Sunday morning for Likud primary dlvr.it/2XMfDj— DEBKAfile News (@debkafile) November 25, 2012
@jameeljaffer Shorter Scott Shane: Drone Rule Book exists for NYT A1, but not for ACLU's grubby little FOIAs.— emptywheel (@emptywheel) November 25, 2012
WalMart apologists point to unsupported claims abt saved $ on food. We've got record hunger AND obesity. If food=measure, it's not working.— emptywheel (@emptywheel) November 25, 2012
What happens when you persecute whistleblowers: we learn about govt only from self-serving govt leaks (i.e. propaganda) is.gd/ajCblj— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) November 25, 2012
Reporters Without Borders called the Israeli attacks on journalists in Gaza “deliberate”is.gd/aVGgXa— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) November 25, 2012
"It will be easier to moderate the Democratic Party than to fix the California Republican Party." -GOP strategist articles.latimes.com/2012/nov/23/lo…— Robert Cruickshank (@cruickshank) November 26, 2012
Abyan residents don't but some AAS members do : MT @gregorydjohnsen: to be clear I don't think you should separate AQAP and Ansar al-Shariah— Iona Craig ايونـا(@ionacraig) November 25, 2012
How replacing Geithner at Treasury with one of the excellent women candidates could change everything. huff.to/S3RJqw— Dan Froomkin (@froomkin) November 25, 2012
Done Somebody Wrong - The Allman Brother Band Live at Fillmore East
Remember when progressive debate was about our values and not about a "progressive" candidate? Remember when progressive websites championed progressive values and didn't tell progressives to shut up about values so that "progressive" candidates can get elected?
Come to where the debate is not constrained by oaths of fealty to persons or parties.
Come to where the pie is served in a variety of flavors.
"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum." ~ Noam Chomsky