Tuesday, February 20, 2007



I want to recommend the column Matt Taibbi did on Bush's 2008 budget. If your eyes just glazed over at the word "budget," at least read this quick take:

If Bush and the Republicans get their way and the Estate Tax is completely repealed, the estimated savings to just one family-- the Walton family, heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune and major GOP political donors-- would be about $32.7 billion dollars over the next ten years, just slightly more than the $28 billion cut to Medicaid Bush is proposing for the same time period.

If you ever voted for a Republican you deserve this and I hope you get it-- as long as no one who never voted for a Republican doesn't. Read Mark's column; he has all the richest Republican donor families and how much they get out of this-- and what social programs get gutted to pay for the strengthening of an American aristocracy. OK, that'll be the last mention of a budget from me today.

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At 2:03 PM, Blogger phantastikon said...

Frighten a Politician

First, let me say welcome back to the actual Matt Taibbi, the one who's not afraid to call a shitweasel a dirty ole egg-suckin' dawg. Matt, we missed you and only hope you can come out of the closet and admit you're a socialist before your bio-pic is revised and the gray hair is revealed.

Anyway. Politicians of all parties (the two corporatist parties and the others) hate it when they (publicly) don't know the answers, especially when answers could only come from very low level staffers (there is a point coming, trust me).

Every time your elected official comes out of the bunker and confronts citizens, ask:

How much does a gallon of milk cost?

Should I go to the dentist, or pay my rent?

If the dollar is replaced with the Euro as the reserve currency, will my State's National Guard help me or herd me?

I know, I was writing about these embarrassing questions four years ago, but I think they were good questions then and, at least in my life, they're no less important now.

Since we can't recall federal officials and probably shouldn't shoot them; since they have more guns and money than we have, we need to turn them into the kind of media event that Matt, correctly, says Ms. Golddigger and Ms. Suddenly Bald Twatflash are not.

Even Fox would have to cover members of Congress flailing about for kitchen table data, hoping some poor-enough staffer might flip up a flashcard and save the day.

Our elected surrogates are rich or soon-to-be rich people. Their wardrobes and haircuts, their staff budgets, lunches, and perks are greater than millions of our household budgets. They (maybe) comprehend trillions, e.g., debts and deficits, billions, e.g., "earmarks," corporate entitlements, and tax revenue transfers, hundreds of millions, tens of millions, and (sigh) simple millions (their current and future earnings), but they DON'T comprehend thousands (the crumbs that can make, save, enrich the lives of actual citizens).

I dunno, but I think that, in order to get our lives on the evening news, "thousands" needs to become a sexy topic. Since, for tens of millions of us, $3000, as an example, is sexy.... how about a real REALITY show?

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