Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tzipi Livni: Pay No Attention to These Settlements Behind the Curtain!

Let's hope this is a mis-translation because this is pretty disappointing:
Ms. Livni said that settlement building should not influence the negotiations because the goal should be “not to let any kind of noises that relate to the situation on the ground these days enter the negotiation room.”
Reality, like, totally bites.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Moving Images Projected onto a Big Screen

VCB is hands down Woody Allen's best picture (of those I have seen) of the last twenty years. What's particularly remarkable is that, unlike the also impressive 'Match Point,' it isn't simply a rehashing of one of his previous movies in a non-New York setting. In other news, I'm a partisan of 'Tropic Thunder' over 'Pineapple Express' but would be willing to entertain alternative interpretations.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

OMG Have You Heard McCain Has Like a Gazillion Houses!

Note to liberal bloggers: please talk more about the quantity of John (or Cindy) McCain's real estate hold estate holdings. This topic is totally awesome and substantive! It's not like McCain will be able to muster a defensive narrative having to do with Obama not being so poor himself and not having been imprisoned and tortured for a good while. It's not like the two most renowned Democratic presidents of the 20th century were, like, inheritors of a lot of money and real estate. I am quite confident that the GOP will be as docile as was Kerry when similar attacks were made against the latter in 2004, despite Kerry having served his country honorably. Carry on you nervous Democrats!


Monday, August 18, 2008

Corporate taxation blues

This New York Times editorial is trying to formulate some kind of response to the recent report from the Government Accountability Office that two thirds of corporations manage to evade corporate taxes altogether, as do 25% of "large corporations" ($50m sales, $250m assets). It's hard to know how much revenue exactly the US is missing out on through the various loopholes and evasions. However, as this Economic Policy Institute "snapshot" shows, corporate tax revenues, which used to account for 1 in 4 tax dollars collected, are now closer to 1 in 10.

This is to be coupled with the paradoxical fact that US corporate tax rates are pretty high -- 35 percent. Like healthcare, we seem to be asking for more but delivering comparatively little. Of course, what the NYT calls a "free ride," and what the World Socialist Web Site calls "no means of redistributing social wealth from the corporate oligarchic to the majority," the WSJ op-ed page decries as "uncompetitive." (It's probably the case that all are true, according to each side's standards.) The WSJ does interestingly note that Ireland manages to bring in more of a percentage of its GDP in corporate taxes (3.4%) than does the US (2.5%). That example of potential effectiveness is probably why they say that "abolishing the U.S. corporate income tax should be on the table." I have looked into it and cannot get a good idea of why this state of affairs -- high taxation but low revenues -- has come about. Does anyone know?

My favorite bit, though, was this figure from the original NYT news article:
Joshua Barro, a staff economist at the Tax Foundation, a conservative research group, said that the largest corporations represented only 1 percent of the total number of corporations but more than 90 percent of all corporate assets.
As John McCain says, choice and competition are the key to success in modern America!

Thursday, August 07, 2008


For taking down powerful criminals. I trust/hope this will be a continuing trend.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Got your attention?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Reading the Previews

This article sums it up pretty nicely, and also just happens to be my favorite Onion article of all time.

What's remarkable about this one is how profoundly American it is. Nevermind the massive and purposeful destruction unleashed by American automakers on consumers, transportation infrastructure, and the environment. Nevermind the logic of big business vis-a-vis the little man. Here, finally, is the movie we've all been waiting for, about how the tenured professor doesn't get recognition for the one thing the public actually cares about professors doing: inventing useful stuff. I'm sure it's a good story, and I'm sure it nicely distinguishes between good and evil, but I'll be mighty disappointed if the string of reasonably good, big-budget anti-corporate movies of the last ten years (The Insider, Michael Clayton, Erin Brockovich, etc.) turn to these even more atomized and distracting portraits of individual injustice.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Return of the GOP Remembering Countries

First it was the Democracy's utter amnesia in 2004, crystallized by John Kerry's sickening failure to mention Poland as part of the proud international coalition that unseated Saddam Hussein. Fast-forward now to 2008, where the newest Alzheimers-ridden Democratic candidate fails to acknowledge not only a single Latin American country, but hundreds of other countries around the world. Even Canada! Just watch!

Friday, August 01, 2008