culture, politics, commentary, criticism

Tuesday, July 31, 2007
The rich are not so different after all. As long as they have to live on the same planet as everyone else, they will have to pay their fair share (
Robert Frank in the WSJ):
There’s a growing chorus of rich people making a surprising demand: “Raise our taxes!”

Warren Buffett sounded off last month at a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton, saying the rich should pay a more-fair share of taxes. He said that he surveyed his employees at Berkshire headquarters and found that all of them — down to the secretaries — paid a higher share of their income to taxes in 2006 than he did. And Mr. Buffett is the second-richest man in America. He told the group he uses no tax shelters, employs no tax planner and pays a mere 17.7%.

Now comes an even more passionate argument from Bill Gross, the billionaire bond king at Pimco. In a post on the Pimco site, Mr. Gross says today’s rich didn’t get rich simply through pluck and smarts — they got there by “taking risks with other people’s money” and through “low taxes.” The rich are sailing off into their own world of privilege because “it is in fact society’s wind and its current willingness to nurture the rich that fills their sails.”

Mr. Gross acknowledges that American capitalism and free markets have brought great benefits to society: They have “fostered and encouraged innovation and globalization which are the fundamental building blocks of wealth.” (And he should know, having made a bundle when Pimco was sold to Allianz.) But today’s rich, he says, have gone too far.

Mr. Gross writes that “now is the time, long overdue in fact, to admit that for the rich, for the mega-rich of this country, that enough is never enough, and it is therefore incumbent upon government to rectify today’s imbalances.”
My previous criticism of Robert Frank may have been premature because I have to admit I am enjoying his blog.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Greatest moments in Republican business. "PepsiCo Inc. will spell out that its Aquafina bottled water is made with
tap water."

Former Pepsico CEO Steve Reinemund, who stepped down in August 2006, was a generous contributor to the RNC and to Bush.

It's easier to fool people than to support a viable product, as both Reinemund's professional career and his political contributions have amply demonstrated.

Thursday, July 26, 2007
War is obsolete. "The strategy of trying to pacify a population by killing those that don't agree with you may have worked for millennia but has now become plainly
Monday, July 23, 2007
Meanwhile, in Houston/Dubai, while we distracted with Harry Potter there was a bit of
news (WSJ, sub. req'd):
Halliburton Co.'s second-quarter net income more than doubled due to gains from its April spinoff of KBR Inc.

The provider of products and services to the petroleum and energy industries reported net income of $1.53 billion, or $1.62 a share, compared with $591 million, or 55 cents a share, a year earlier. [...]

Total operating income at the company, formerly headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, rose 18% to $893 million on increased customer activity and new international contracts. Also helping was a $31 million investment gain.
Dramatic increases in net income and the fact that Halliburton used to be headed by Cheney are mentioned as if they were mere coincidences.

But there was a causal relationship: one started a war to benefit the other. Why? Few people know for sure, but my hunch is that it was karmic payback by Cheney for saddling Halliburton with the acquisition of Dresser Industries, a company laden with asbestos liabilities.
Friday, July 20, 2007
More evil than Montgomery "Monty" Burns.

Make your own avatars at the Simpsons Movie website.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Our funny war. I was cleaning out my email inbox and found this mass-forwarded joke from about a year ago:
When Donald Rumsfeld briefed the President this morning, he told Bush that 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed in Iraq.

To everyone's amazement, all of the color ran from Bush's face.

Then he collapsed onto his desk, head in hands, visibly shaken, almost whimpering.

Finally, he composed himself and asked, "Just exactly how many is a brazillion?"
Not funny-ha-ha, more like funny-peculiar in a fake-stupidity-combined-with-deliberate-war-crimes sort of way.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
We're hard-working, taxpaying people like you.

Via Chuck Sudo at
Friday, July 13, 2007

Republicans will blow you in the men's room for twenty bucks. Now that's what you call public service:
A tearful Florida Rep. Bob Allen (R-Merritt Island) said Thursday that he is not guilty of soliciting an undercover male officer for sex and had no intention of resigning his House seat. [...]

Police arrested Allen Wednesday afternoon at a Titusville park bathroom after officials said he offered to perform oral sex on an undercover officer and to pay the officer $20 for the opportunity.
Rep. Bob Allen is John McCain's Florida campaign co-chair.

Looks like McCain's "Straight Talk Express" just got a little gayer.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
How to be pre-Reagan in 2007. Start with your city
The Chicago Sun-Times is turning left.

The tabloid that shifted toward political conservatism under the brief ownership of Rupert Murdoch more than two decades ago now says that it is "rethinking our stance on several issues, including the most pressing issue facing Americans today: Bush's war in Iraq."

Under marching orders from Publisher John Cruickshank and Editor in Chief Michael Cooke, new Editorial Page Editor Cheryl L. Reed introduced a new Commentary section Tuesday with a promise to turn the tabloid back into the liberal-leaning paper it was for decades before the Reagan administration.

"We are returning to our liberal, working-class roots, a position that pits us squarely opposite the Chicago Tribune -- that Republican, George Bush-touting paper over on moneyed Michigan Avenue," Reed wrote. "We're rethinking our stance on several issues, including the most pressing issue facing Americans today: Bush's war in Iraq."
"Bush's war in Iraq" is exactly the right phrase — not "war in Iraq." Though Cheney was its chief architect and enabler, it's really Bush's war, and it should define his historical legacy as a witless serial killer.

Greatest Hits · Alternatives to First Command Financial Planning · First Command, last resort, Part 3 · Part 2 · Part 1 · Stealing $50K from a widow: Wells Real Estate · Leo Wells, REITs and divine wealth · Sex-crazed Red State teenagers · What I hate: a manifesto · Spawn of Darleen Druyun · All-American high school sex party · Why is Ken Lay smiling? · Poppy's Enron birthday party · The Saudi money laundry and the president's uncle · The sentence of Enron's John Forney · The holiness of Neil Bush's marriage · The Silence of Cheney: a poem · South Park Christians · Capitalist against Bush: Warren Buffett · Fastow childen vs. Enron children · Give your prescription money to your old boss · Neil Bush, hard-working matchmaker · Republicans against fetuses and pregnant women · Emboldened Ken Lay · Faith-based jails · Please die for me so I can skip your funeral · A brief illustrated history of the Republican Party · Nancy Victory · Soldiers become accountants · Beware the Merrill Lynch mob · Darleen Druyun's $5.7 billion surprise · First responder funding · Hoovering the country · First Command fifty percent load · Ken Lay and the Atkins diet · Halliburton WMD · Leave no CEO behind · August in Crawford · Elaine Pagels · Profitable slave labor at Halliburton · Tom Hanks + Mujahideen · Sharon & Neilsie Bush · One weekend a month, or eternity · Is the US pumping Iraqi oil to Kuwait? · Cheney's war · Seth Glickenhaus: Capitalist against Bush · Martha's blow job · Mark Belnick: Tyco Catholic nut · Cheney's deferred Halliburton compensation · Jeb sucks sugar cane · Poindexter & LifeLog · American Family Association panic · Riley Bechtel and the crony economy · The Book of Sharon (Bush) · The Art of Enron · Plunder convention · Waiting in Kuwait: Jay Garner · What's an Army private worth? · Barbara Bodine, Queen of Baghdad · Sneaky bastards at Halliburton · Golf course and barbecue military strategy · Enron at large · Recent astroturf · Cracker Chic 2 · No business like war business · Big Brother · Martha Stewart vs. Thomas White · Roger Kimball, disappointed Republican poetry fan · Cheney, Lay, Afghanistan · Terry Lynn Barton, crimes of burning · Feasting at the Cheney trough · Who would Jesus indict? · Return of the Carlyle Group · Duct tape is for little people · GOP and bad medicine · Sears Tower vs Mt Rushmore · Scared Christians · Crooked playing field · John O'Neill: The man who knew · Back to the top

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