Then the realization set in that I had been pickpocketed

No Correlation Between Bush Tax Cuts and Job Creation

The report reviewed administration claims that “tax cuts create jobs” and found the following:

* Tax cuts have no predictable effect on employment, either in job creation or job destruction.
* Since 2003, job creation has fallen millions of jobs short of the administration’s promises.
* The current weakness in job creation during an economic recovery is unprecedented since World War II.

Two New 2006 Tax Cuts Benefit Only Wealthiest Few – PDF file

# In 2006, 97 percent of the tax cuts would go to the wealthiest 1 percent
of Americans. The share going to the top 1 percent would rise slightly thereafter.
# More than 99 percent of Americans would receive nothing at all from these new tax cuts in 2006.
# The scheduled cuts would cost $2.6 billion in 2006 if allowed to take
effect. The annual cost of these cuts would increase rapidly in later years, and would exceed $10 billion in 2010.

The Paris Hilton approach to economics continues, rewarding wealth and punishing work.

Right Smears Veteran Murtha Without A Qualm

David Thibault, editor in chief of Cybercast, made it very clear to the Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz and Shailagh Murray that Murtha was facing accusations about his 1967 service now because “the congressman has really put himself in the forefront of the anti-war movement.” In other words, if Murtha had just shut up and gone along with Bush, nothing would have been said about his service.

As it is, the charges are remarkably flimsy. Former Rep. Don Bailey, D-Pa., whom Murtha defeated in a 1982 congressional race after a redistricting, said that Murtha had told him he did not deserve his Purple Hearts, Kurtz and Murray reported. Bailey, who won a Silver Star and three Bronze Stars in Vietnam, recalled Murtha saying: “Hey, I didn’t do anything like you did. I got a little scratch on the cheek.”

Authentic war heroes (including McCain) often downplay their own heroism. In any event, what we know about Murtha, McCain, Kerry and, yes, Bailey, is that they served in combat in Vietnam. What we know about Bush and Vice President Dick (“I had other priorities in the ’60s than military service”) Cheney is that they didn’t.

What’s maddening here is the unblushing hypocrisy of the right wing and the way it circulates — usually through Web sites or talk radio — personal vilification to abort honest political debate. Murtha’s views on withdrawing troops from Iraq are certainly the object of legitimate contention. Many in Murtha’s party disagree with him. But Murtha’s right-wing critics can’t content themselves with going after his ideas. They have to try to discredit his service.

Moreover, the right has demonstrated that its attitude toward military service is entirely opportunistic. In the 1992 presidential campaign, when the first President Bush confronted Bill Clinton — who, like Cheney, avoided military service entirely — conservatives could hardly speak or write a paragraph about Clinton that didn’t accuse him of being a draft-dodger. In October 1992, Bush assailed Clinton. “A lot of being president is about respect for that office and about telling the truth and serving your country,” Bush told a crowd in New Jersey. “And you are all familiar with Gov. Clinton’s various stories and what he did to evade the draft.”

On Saurday 01-14-06, I posted about this pissing on the fire “pledge” from the righties, An Appeal from Center-Right Bloggers, which includes this passage,

We hope every Congressman who is committed to ethical and transparent conduct supports a reform agenda and a reform candidate.

These bloggers are part of the smear a vet noise machine, so when they talf about “ethics” and a “reform agenda”, how exactly are they going to do that when they are part of the problem. “In other words, if Murtha had just shut up and gone along with Bush, nothing would have been said about his service.”, when it comes to Bush and right-wing bloggers its not just about influence peddling or smearing vets, its about everybody shutting up unless what you have to say supports their narrow extremist agenda. Until they take a long hard look inward and see themselves for what they are, any talk about ethics or reform by so-called center-right bloggers is just athe screeching of blind chickenhawks bouncing off the walls.
Speaking of screeching, some comments from the statement over at Truth Laid Bear

If Republicans continue to preach one set of values, while practicing another, the American public can hardly be blamed for thinking that we are substantively no different from the hypocrites on the opposite side of the aisle. And they will be right.

You have to wonder what cave the guy lived in during the corrupt reign of Ronald Reagan

“By the end of his term, 138 Reagan administration officials had been convicted, had been indicted, or had been the subject of official investigations for official misconduct and/or criminal violations. In terms of number of officials involved, the record of his administration was the worst ever.”

* Lyn Nofziger–Convicted on charges of illegal lobbying of White House in Wedtech scandal.

* Michael Deaver received three years’ probation and was fined one hundred thousand dollars after being convicted for lying to a congressional subcommittee and a federal grand jury about his lobbying activities after leaving the White House. . .

* E. Bob Wallach, close friend and law classmate of Atty General Edwin Meese, was sentenced to six years in prison and fined $250,000 in connection with the Wedtech influence-peddling scandal….[ ]

Then there was:.
* James Watt, Reagan’s Secretary of the Interior was indicted on 41 felony counts for using connections at the Department of Housing and Urban Development to help his private clients seek federal funds for housing projects in Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Watt conceded that he had received $500,000 from clients who were granted very favorable housing contracts after he had intervened on their behalf. In testifying before a House committee Watt said: “That’s what they offered and it sounded like a lot of money to me, and we settled on it.” Watt was eventually sentenced to five years in prison and 500 hours of community service.

* The Iran-Contra scandal. In June, 1984, at a National Security Council meeting, CIA Director Casey urged President Reagan to seek third-party aid for the Nicaraguan contras. Secretary of State Schultz warned that it would be an “impeachable offense” if the U.S. government acted as conduit for such secret funding. But that didn’t stop them. That same day, Oliver North was seeking third-party aid for the contras. But Reagan, the “teflon President” avoided serious charges or impeachment. . .

* Oliver North–Convicted of falsifying and destroying documents, accepting an illegal gratuity, and aiding and abetting the obstruction of Congress. Conviction overturned on appeal due to legal technicalities. . .

* John Poindexter, Reagan’s national security advisor, –guilty of five criminal counts involving conspiracy to mislead Congress, obstructing congressional inquiries, lying to lawmakers, used “high national security” to mask deceit and wrong-doing. . .( Bush II gave Dexie a job in his first term)

* Richard Secord pleaded guilty to a felony charge of lying to Congress over Iran-Contra. . . :

Massive fraud and mismanagement in the Department of Housing and Urban Development throughout Reagan’s eight years. These were finally documented in congressional hearings in spring 1989, after Reagan left office. Cost the taxpayers billions of dollars in losses.

There hasn’t been a Republican in office since Dwight Eisenhower. Eisenhower was a pivotal figure in history because he was the last Republican-Party of Lincoln president who used Richard Nixon to appease the right-wingers that eventaully took control of the party when Nixon became president. I am pro small as possible-competent government, I’m against pork, I’m not thrilled about about paying taxes, but I know they’re necessary in order to have a civilized society ( remember freedom isn’t free). A modern well equipped and trained military is an absolute neccessity, and if you want a strong America you have to be pro labor. No wealth is created in America without labor – which includes a fair compensation and health insured workforce. Look at the record, not the conventional wisdom; liberals, Deomcrats, progressive Americans don’t just say it, they’ve fought for thses ideals in blood and sweat… A long way of saying the TLB rightie commenter believes in the complete and utter fairie tale that is the foundation of conservatism. The conventional wisdom is wrong, the fact is Democrats just have a better record of growing the economy and shrinking government.

Lots of good places to look at corruption within the Bush dynasty. There is such a thing in this world as capitalism, it has promise as a system, but there are lots of kinks to iron out before it works like its suppose to. One is getting people to see the difference between crony capitalism(Republican capitalism) and the working American’s capitalism( Democratic capitalism). Web Masters: Net of Corruption Binds Bushes, Pope, bin Laden and Saddam

At the center of this particular nexus is the unlikely figure of Neil Bush, the feckless, fraudulent brother of the current president. Neilsy – as he’s known in the family – is most famous for costing American taxpayers $1 billion to bail out a savings-and-loan he had ruined with secret insider loans to his own business partners. For this massive fraud, he was fined – by his father’s administration – the princely sum of $50,000: actually paid by one of Pop’s political bagmen, naturally.

For you see, the Bushes are robber barons, not capitalists: they never risk any of their own money in the competition of the marketplace – nor do they ever pay the price when their deals go belly-up. Just ask George W., whose first business was kickstarted with secret cash from the bin Ladens, laundered through their American frontman, James Bath – who was also hired by W.’s dad, then-CIA director George Bush I, to set up offshore companies for shifting CIA money and aircraft between Texas and Saudi Arabia, the Texas Observer reports.

Back to smearing vets for a second, another TLB commenter writes

It is a relatively meaningless exercise so long as scumbags and traitors like John Kerry and Teddy Kennedy continue to foul the halls of Congress. No amount of corruption that any of our people have ever committed is equal to the evil done by these two.

I support what you are doing but everything we try to do to clean up the act of our people only seems to serve to hamstring us in the face of those 2 abominations.:

Nice sack of garbage from the ethics and reform crowd. Neither Kennedy or Kerry are angels that fly on winged chariots, but “scumbags and traitors” seems like the inner juvenile fantasies of the commenter rather then any reality.

Speaking as a focus group of one…I got interested in politics in part by the Contract With America.I did not vote for the Republicans so they could spend like Democrats, be corrupt like the same and do pretty much the same nannyisms as the Democrats but with different taboos…… and I’m still waiting for those term limits.

The Contract on America dreamed up by an earlier generation of Corruption and Politics of Destruction Inc, headed by The Newtonantor

The House ethics committee recommended last night that House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) face an unprecedented reprimand from his colleagues and pay $300,000 in additional sanctions after concluding that his use of tax-deductible money for political purposes and inaccurate information supplied to investigators represented “intentional or . . . reckless” disregard of House rules.

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses [constitutes] an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our government.” — Edward Bernays in ‘Propaganda,’ 1928

If there is one thing that the “center-right” bloggers stand for, its the politics of manipulation and image. They can’t stand up for what’s good, fair, decent – in other words American values, until they learn what those ideals are. They can’t declare war on science, on rationalism and reason and then say they’re against corruption. Where do they think corruption comes from? In part it comes from rejecting any consideration of the consequences of their actions and the power brokers whose posteriors their lips and keybroads are glued to. Yes we’re all sinners, yes we’re all hypocrites, but its also true that some of us fight the good fight most of the time. The issue with the Abramoff scandal, the NSA scandal, the soaring nationnal debt, a bungled unneccessary war isn’t about the facts the “center-right” can’t seem to get straight, its about starting and finishing in a progressive stance for life. To commit to an ethical life, to the notion that our moral development can’t be stunted by an easy buck, that individually and as a nation we strive to achieve better lives for ourselves that is not at the expense of others – social-darwinism is not a foundation for a democracy. Conservative politicians and bloggers can’t begin to start on the path of moral development until they renounce the social-darwinism that Republicanism has become. Think of it as a Twelve Step Program for wingers; the first step is to stop lying about the facts and who and what you are.

. . . . . . . . .

I smiled and took another gulp of my beer; then I put the glass down on the bar, deciding that I’d had enough. I reached into my right pocket to leave a tip for the bartender when I realized my wallet was gone. I felt my other pockets, but the wallet wasn’t there either. I checked all my pockets again, then looked around on the floor near my bar stool.

“What’s wrong?” Eddie asked.

“I can’t find my wallet,” I said.

Eddie started looking around too as I stood up, feeling my pockets again. Then the realization set in that I had been pickpocketed. I suddenly felt hot all over, and I became even more frantic.

One of the Scottish bartenders came over and asked me what was wrong.

“Somebody stole my wallet,” I said.

“You sure?” he asked.

“Yes, I’m sure!” I shouted.

Now other people nearby were looking over, and a couple of college-age guys started searching on the floor. Eddie was still looking around too, and then it hit me what had happened.

“Give me my wallet back,” I said to Eddie.

He gave me a drunken stare, then said, “The fuck you talkin’ about?”

“Come on, I know you took it,” I said, “or you were working with somebody who took it.” I looked around, but there was no one suspicious-looking nearby. I turned back to Eddie and said, “Give me my fucking wallet back.”

Excerpted from Twisted City by Jason Starr