background preloader

Politics

Facebook Twitter

The Myth of the Clinton Surplus. Time and time again, anyone reading the mainstream news or reading articles on the Internet will read the claim that President Clinton not only balanced the budget, but had a surplus. This is then used as an argument to further highlight the fiscal irresponsibility of the federal government under the Bush administration. The claim is generally made that Clinton had a surplus of $69 billion in FY1998, $123 billion in FY1999 and $230 billion in FY2000 . In that same link, Clinton claimed that the national debt had been reduced by $360 billion in the last three years, presumably FY1998, FY1999, and FY2000--though, interestingly, $360 billion is not the sum of the alleged surpluses of the three years in question ($69B + $123B + $230B = $422B, not $360B). While not defending the increase of the federal debt under President Bush, it's curious to see Clinton's record promoted as having generated a surplus.

Verifying this is as simple as accessing the U.S. . So why do they say he had a surplus? Essence of Political Science. Study1-big.jpg (JPEG Image, 2832 × 1716 pixels) Presidents who kill people are popular. David Henderson and Zachary Gouchenour have a paper on the topic of presidential ratings. The finding is simple. War casualties, as a fraction of the population, positively correlate with how historians rate presidents. More death = better presidents. The regression model includes some controls, like economic growth. Here’s the chart: This is consistent with sociological research on state building, which has traditionally linked wars, bureaucratic growth, and tax collection.

Henderson and Gouchenour then spin out the policy implication. Adverts: From Black Power/Grad Skool Rulz Like this: Like Loading... The True Cost Of Military Spending | The Sad Story Of The Privately Owned Federal Reserve Bank. Deaths In Other Nations Since WW II Due To Us Interventions By James A. Lucas. Rise of the Religious Right in the Republican Party. Study Finds That Having Power Can Make You Stupid. Dean Baker: The Terrible Tale of the TARP Two Years Later. Two years ago, the top honchos at the Fed, Treasury and the Wall Street banks were running around like Chicken Little warning that the world was about to end. This fear mongering, together with a big assist from the elite media (i.e. NPR, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, etc.), earned the banks their $700 billion TARP blank check bailout. This money, along with even more valuable loans and loan guarantees from the Fed and FDIC, enabled them to survive the crisis they had created. As a result, the big banks are bigger and more profitable than ever.

Now, the same crew that tapped our pockets two years ago is eagerly pitching the line that their bailout was good for us. It may be the case the history books are written by the winners, but that doesn't prevent the rest of us from telling the truth. Let's step back to where we were two years ago. This was when the Wall Street boys made their mad rush for the public trough. Strange how isolationist stance can ruin a politician's reputation. NEW YORK – Perhaps because it’s a round number, the 70th anniversary of Japan’s assault on Pearl Harbor has given me the impression that more articles on it saw print than in the past, except for, as I recall, the 50th anniversary of the same.

Back in 1991, Japan’s financial bubble had burst, but there was as yet little sense that its economy had lost its “juggernaut” momentum and the Japanese were anxious that the U.S. might grab the half-century anniversary of the “sneak attack” as another occasion to inflame the fear of Japan. That sense of Japan’s unstoppable economic power is long gone now, on both sides of the Pacific. But “70 years have not dimmed the meaning and memory of that day,” Dec. 7, 1941, as The N.Y. Times editorial put it. Among the articles I read this time around, two stood out. Toll, the author of a book published earlier this year, “Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942,” attempts to exonerate, as it were, Adm.

Scan0011.pdf (application/pdf Object) Institutionalizing Extra-Judicial Execution: Obama is a Mass Murderer. Featured in our news section, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has published an important new investigation into America’s drone war in Pakistan, finding that many strikes have deliberately launched follow-up attacks, killing people “who had gone to help rescue victims or were attending funerals.” As Glenn Greenwald points out (again) the Bureau’s methodology for tallying civilian deaths is very rigid and “virtually guarantees significant under-counting of civilian deaths,” but nonetheless the report finds that “at least 50 civilians were killed in follow-up strikes when they had gone to help victims” and “more than 20 civilians have also been attacked in deliberate strikes on funerals and mourners.” The high-end estimate for total casualties in the U.S. drone war, according to the Bureau, is 3,019, including up to 815 civilians (175 of them children).

Here’s what I think is the most important passage of the report:

Legal

Full transcript of Sabrosky interview. (my deepest gratitude to R for sending me this important text! VS) Mark Glenn: Dr. Sabrosky, welcome to the programme. Dr. Alan Sabrosky: Thank you very much, Mark. MG: Well, believe me, the pleasure is ours. AS: Mark, we had talked about this earlier and, you know, my feelings are that I'm perfectly willing to debate issues with anyone on any subject. On the subject that I wrote this time, it caught my attention as well because if there is anything that is more significant it is loyalty: loyalty to country, loyalty to people, loyalty to constitution. Some of my [American] relatives are German, some are Irish, and all of them have a measure of allegiance to those cultures, but it's not a political allegiance.

MG: It would be one thing if they had allegiance to this foreign country, and this foreign country's national interests mimicked ours - but this isn't the case. AS: But it's even more than that, Mark. That's treason. Now, not only that - Dr. AS: That's correct. Dr. AS: Exactly. NDAA Nullification Bill Passes Another Step in Virginia. On Friday, February 10th, the Committee of Courts of Justice in the Virginia House of Delegates voted in favor of House Bill 1160 (HB1160) – unanimously. The final vote was 16-0 with 2 abstaining.

The legislative goal of HB1160 is to codify in Virginia law noncompliance with what many are referring to as the “kidnapping provisions” of section 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA). The official summary of 1160: “A BILL to prevent any agency, political subdivision, employee, or member of the military of Virginia from assisting an agency of the armed forces of the United States in the investigation, prosecution, or detention of a citizen in violation of the United States Constitution, the Constitution of Virginia, or any Virginia law or regulation.”

HB1160 is sponsored by Delegate Bob Marshall and was introduced on 01-16-12. Marshall previously reported that Governor Bob McDonnell is opposing this legislation. If you live in Virginia – act NOW. 1. 3. 4. 5. Progressives and the Ron Paul fallacies - Glenn Greenwald. As I’ve written about before, America’s election season degrades mainstream political discourse even beyond its usual lowly state.

The worst attributes of our political culture — obsession with trivialities, the dominance of horserace “reporting,” and mindless partisan loyalties — become more pronounced than ever. Meanwhile, the actually consequential acts of the U.S. Government and the permanent power factions that control it — covert endless wars, consolidation of unchecked power, the rapid growth of the Surveillance State and the secrecy regime, massive inequalities in the legal system, continuous transfers of wealth from the disappearing middle class to large corporate conglomerates — drone on with even less attention paid than usual.

Because most of those policies are fully bipartisan in nature, the election season — in which only issues that bestow partisan advantage receive attention — places them even further outside the realm of mainstream debate and scrutiny. Due Process. David Sirota: Ron Paul and Our Selective Definition of Bigotry. Ron Paul and Our Selective Definition of Bigotry Posted on Jan 20, 2012 By David Sirota If they have any value at all anymore, presidential election campaigns at least remain larger-than-life mirrors reflecting back painful truths about our society. As evidence, ponder the two-sided debate over Republican candidate Ron Paul and bigotry.

One camp cites Paul’s hate-filled newsletters and his libertarian opposition to civil rights regulations as evidence that he aligns with racists. The other camp tends to acknowledge those ugly truths about Paul but then points out that the Texas congressman has been one of the only politicians 1) fighting surveillance, indefinite detention and due-process-free assassination policies almost exclusively aimed at minorities; 2) opposing wars that often seem motivated by rank Islamophobia; and 3) railing against the bigotry of a drug war that disproportionately targets people of color.

So which side is right? © 2011 Creators.com New and Improved Comments. Dear Andrew Sullivan: Why Focus on Obama's Dumbest Critics? - Conor Friedersdorf - Politics. A major defense of the president exaggerates Obama's accomplishments and misses the point: his scandalous transgressions against rule of law.

After reading Andrew Sullivan's Newsweek essay about President Obama, his critics, and his re-election bid, I implore him to ponder just one question. How would you have reacted in 2008 if any Republican ran promising to do the following? I submit that had Palin or Cheney or Rumsfeld or Rice or Jeb Bush or John Bolton or Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney proposed doing even half of those things in 2008, you'd have declared them unfit for the presidency and expressed alarm at the prospect of America doubling down on the excesses of the post-September 11 era.

You'd have championed an alternative candidate who avowed that America doesn't have to choose between our values and our safety. Yet President Obama has done all of the aforementioned things. I submit that you would not. Back to the present. No, Obama isn't a radical Kenyan anti-colonialist. He may yet. yKUOc.jpg (JPEG Image, 800x600 pixels) Bush 2.0: 100 Ways Barack Obama Is Just Like George W. Bush. Bush 2.0: 100 Ways Barack Obama Is Just Like George W. Bush The election of President Obama was in no small part, a referendum on the administration of George W. Bush, and his victory was interpreted as a sound rebuke to eight years of open ended warfare, a vast and growing police state, the destruction of civil liberties, disregard for the Constitution, unchecked executive power, lies and broken promises, hypocrisy and arrogance, a lack of transparency in government, out-of-control federal spending, fever-pitch fearmongering, rampant corruption, and some really stupid gaffes.

More of the same. Open Ended Warfare One of the most disastrous and destructive aspects of the Bush Administration was a ramping up of the military-industrial complex to a level unprecedented in U.S. history. The antiwar movement in America reached a fever pitch under President Bush, and rightly so, but has Obama put an end to this tragic era in American history? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

Revolving_door.pdf (application/pdf Object) Program Information - Truth and Justice Radio: CIA complicity in the global drug trade|A-Infos Radio Project. OpenCongress - 112th Congress - Track bills, votes, senators, and representatives in the U.S. Congress. Regulatory Capture: What the Experts Have Found. Everything Our Government Really Does. An Investment Manager's View on the Top 1% This article was written by an investment manager who works with very wealthy clients. him from decades ago, but in 2011 he e-mailed me with some concerns he had about what was happening with the economy. What he had to say was informative enough that I asked if he might fashion what he had told me into a document for the Who Rules America Web site.

He agreed to do so, but only on the condition that the document be anonymous, because he does not want to jeopardize his relationships with his clients or other investment professionals. Make no assumptions about the investment manager with respect to race, ethnicity, political perspective, or views on government economic policy; he may or may not fit readers' preconceptions concerning some of these categories. NOTE: The investment manager has also written an update for 2014. — G. William Domhoff I sit in an interesting chair in the financial services industry. The Lower Half of the Top 1% The Upper Half of the Top 1% Addendum, January 2012. Influence Explorer. New details on Visa's attempt to influence Pelosi -

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks during a "Women's Economic Forum - A Discussion on Jobs" at Metro State College in Denver on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011. Kristy Schloss, right, president of Schloss Engineered Equipment, one of the panelist for the event, is pictured at right. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski) Ed Andrieski Following a report on CBS' "60 Minutes" regarding the way members of Congress profit off of insider information, new details are emerging about the way Visa tried to wield influence over former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. As CBS reported, current insider trading laws do not apply to nonpublic information about current or upcoming congressional activity. In other words, lawmakers can go into confidential meetings with corporate leaders, understanding new legislation is going to come out next week, and are free to trade on that information. The former speaker maintains she wasn't influenced by Visa's lobbying efforts or her husband's stock purchases.

American's Crazed Corn Habit - Justin Rohrlich. According to a recent Congressional Budget Office report, the increased use of ethanol is responsible for a rise in food prices of approximately 10 to 15 percent. Why? We're turning corn into fuel — a highly inefficient one, at that — instead of food. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy points out that "mixing food and fuel markets for political reasons has done American consumers no discernable good, while producing measurable harm. " However, perhaps summing up the issue most succinctly is Mark J.

Perry, professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan-Flint: But Brazil seems to have made it work. So, what's Brazil doing right? The answer is simple. It seems so obvious. What's stopping us is a decision made 36 years ago by a man named Rusty Butz, before ethanol was even a blip on anyone's radar. In 1973, Earl "Rusty" Butz, President Nixon's USDA chief, did away with the agricultural price supports introduced by the Roosevelt administration.

He continues, Nope. And C. Florida school official calls police on kissing 12-year-olds. By Stephen C. WebsterTuesday, November 22, 2011 10:22 EDT Some people just aren’t cut out to work around kids. Take, for example, the recent experience of a hapless administrator at Orange River Elementary School in Fort Myers, Florida. This individual recently witnessed two 12-year-old kids kissing on the playground — a girl kissing a boy, specifically.

Instead of simply separating the two, the assistant principal — not named in media reports — decided to call to the Florida Department of Children and Families, which recommended the police be notified of a possible attempted battery. Though an officer did file a report, no arrests or other disciplinary actions were taken against the students, both of whom apparently consented to the kiss. It’s not clear if any disciplinary or corrective actions were taken against the administrator. Photo: Flickr user MikeCrane83. Copyright 2011 The Raw Story Stephen C. Stephen C. Obama Fact Sheet. Bush, Obama, Same Old Drama! Chronological listing of Obama's dealings. Top 10 Reasons Why the Mafia is Better than the State. 5-Year-Old Handcuffed, Charged With Battery On Officer. Maybe Ron Paul Was Right.

Education is Ignorance, by Noam Chomsky (Excerpted from Class Warfare) Project On Government Oversight. America and the World. Beekeeper Who Leaked EPA Documents: "I Don't Think We Can Survive This Winter" Vices are Not Crimes by Lysander Spooner. Banks.jpg (JPEG Image, 912x590 pixels) The World’s Biggest Debtor Nations. Forbidden Knowledge TV. NATO's Secret Ground War in Libya. Think Tanks Directory - Harvard Kennedy School Library. No Treason, no. 1 - Lysander Spooner. Transparency.png (PNG Image, 2000x1000 pixels) The Philip K. Dick / Punk Rock Connection.

Farage to EU: "Who the Hell Do You Think You Are?" // Current. Cost of War to the United States | COSTOFWAR.COM. Court Decisions (by Chapter) More on Minarchism as Evil | Strike-The-Root: A Journal Of Liberty. Secretdetentionmap.jpg (JPEG Image, 800x541 pixels) Top All-Time Donors, 1989-2010.

Dogs

Vote With Your Dollars | Company Political Contributions from GoodGuide. Media Cover-up. A N T I - P O L I T I C S . w s. The Liberty Amendment. Police. Drug War. Humor. Peaceful Revolution Through Education. Anti-Ron Paul Host Claims ‘Honest Mistake’ Ron Paul on J. Stewart. Politics and Government. Militant Libertarian. Ron Paul: The Next U.S. Crash Will Be Comparable to the Collapse of the Soviet Union. Tea Party Crashes: The Most Unpatriotic Act by Susan Lindauer. Politics. Corporatocracy: Living in the UCA (United Corps. of America) LIBERTY. Classical liberal. Woodrow Wilson: America’s Worst and First Fascist President « Conservative Colloquium. Judge Napolitano : FreedomWatch. Ron Paul. Libritarian / Conservative. Wikileaks. LewRockwell.com.

Ludwig von Mises Institute - Homepage.