Antique Globe wallpaper, Jesus and the Recovery Act

Antique Globe wallpaper. Actually one of those globes made to look like an antique since most of us couldn’t afford a real antique.

Jesus and the Stimulus? American Issues Project Slams Stimulus Bill As Large

When the economy enters a recession, you lower interest rates. When monetary policy’s gone as low as it can, you try fiscal expansion. That means you need a deficit that’s large relative to the size of your economy. The US economy is about $13 trillion a year. Which is a very big number. Which means that to be a sizeable fraction of that number, you need another big number. Enter the American Issues Project to try to slam the stimulus as big:

After watching liberal allies of President Barack Obama flood the airwaves in support of the stimulus bill, a conservative third-party group is countering with a provocative new commercial using Jesus Christ to emphasize the scale of the $787 billion package.

The American Issues Project, which briefly aired a TV spot in last year’s presidential race, will go up on Friday with a TV spot that marks the dollars spent with the passage of time.

“Suppose you spent $1 million every single day starting from the day Jesus was born — and kept spending through today,” says the announcer as an image of the three wise men flashes on the screen. “A million dollars a day for more than 2,000 years. You would still have spent less money than Congress just did.”

Trying to check the math, 2,000 years times 365 days in a year = 730,000 days times $1 million a day equals $730,000,000,000. That is, indeed, a smaller number than the $787 billion size of the stimulus plan. Of course the actual spending in the package is worth hundreds of billions of dollars less than that since about a third of the total package is tax cuts. It’s been strange to see the GOP rail against the need for fiscal stimulus amidst an economic emergency, but their newfound habit of deciding that tax cuts are the same as new spending is genuinely weird. But be that as it may, Steve Benen observes that costing a lot is the purpose of the stimulus so it’s not clear what kind of sense this makes.

As matthew rightly points out, the neocons thought that by investing $1 trillion dollars on the invasion of Iraq, we would all this this huge benefit in something, national security they claimed. Now the U.S. economy poses a real threat to many Americans, a less then $1 trillion dollar ( including a huge tax cut) investment in our nation’s future is a poor investment. To paraphrase Hemingway, none of us are an island. We all rely on each other to work, make and spend money. If too many of us start not to be able to do that because business is cutting back to the bone we’ll never get out of this sink hole we’re all in together.

Why are extreme Right conservatives like the American Issues Project ignoring the tax cuts portion of the stimulus. Maybe its because unlike Bush’s cuts, most of it doesn’t go to the top %10 of the wealth pyramid that AIP worships.

Republicans suddenly think that archiving e-mails is very important, Rep. Darrell Issa (R–Lemmingstan)

Issa, easily a #2 seed on my bracket for Most Ridiculous Member of Congress competition, also asked the White House to respond to a series of additional questions about the administration’s email archiving. He said the answers are due in two weeks.

The irony, of course, is that Issa couldn’t care less about an actual scandal regarding White House emailing archiving. Bushies lost untold thousands of emails, with no archive or backups. Indeed, the former president’s team deliberately created a “primitive” email system that created a high risk that data would be lost — there was “no automatic system to ensure that e-mails were archived and preserved.”

Steve supplys this link, White House E-Mail Battle Heats Up – March 18, 2008

Already, e-mails between March and October 2003 appear to have been lost, Judge John M. Facciola noted, because they were improperly archived and no backup copies exist. That period includes the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

E-mails by White House staff are considered part of the nation’s historical record, and federal law requires they be preserved. The White House has admitted that potentially millions of e-mails from the past eight years have been erased, although it has provided conflicting accounts on how many may still exist on backup tapes, though it has since said it believes “all or substantially all” e-mails are available on backup tapes.

The order, issued Tuesday morning by a federal magistrate judge in Washington, D.C., comes in a case brought against the Bush administration by the National Security Archive, a nonpartisan group affiliated with George Washington University.

The group filed suit in September 2007, seeking to force the White House to restore missing e-mails and institute an adequate archiving system.

That would be the same e-mail system that worked fine during the Clinton years.

War Criminals, Including Their Lawyers, Must Be Prosecuted

The smoking gun that may incriminate George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, et al., is the email traffic that passed between the lawyers and the White House. Isikoff revealed the existence of these emails on The Rachel Maddow Show. Some maintain that Bush officials are innocent because they relied in good faith on legal advice from their lawyers. But if the president and vice president told the lawyers to manipulate the law to allow them to commit torture, then that defense won’t fly.

A bipartisan report of the Senate Armed Services Committee found that “senior officials in the United States government solicited information on how to use aggressive techniques, redefined the law to create the appearance of their legality, and authorized their use against detainees.”

President Obama is off to a promising start. It would be a shame is he ends up using lots of time and resources of the DOJ to defend the Bush administration from prosecution purely for the sake of letting by- gones be by-gones.

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