It was another one of those weeks, B&E readers, when I got a tad busy, and many things went through my notice without comment. In most cases, people with more time (and, let's face it, more talent) have made more insightful comments in better prose stylings than I probably would have even if I'd had the time.
So here's a quick roundup of just a few things...Cuts to the Military Budget
Early in the week, I got all excited because I heard that Obama was making cuts to the military, a logical place to look for extra money to help pay for spending that actually promotes the common good. Turns out, I was believing headlines.TPM
seemed to be the first place to state outright that in no way does a 4% increase in military spending constitute a cut. The Daily Show mocked this thinking, too. As did Rachel Maddow.
And yet, Obama-is-gutting-the-military remains standard coverage, and it's certainly what the pundits and politicians of the right continue to state/lie.
But it's sort of brilliant. The left is now in a position to explain that it's not a cut. "It's an increase! We're stronger AND smarter about defense!"
Instead, it seems to me that the left should be saying, "Hey, if they're gonna accuse us of gutting the military anyway, maybe we should actually cut defense spending." Where the fuck are those voices?
We pay way more on the military than any other country and way more than we ever need to. We're building out-dated bullshit equipment that'll never see the light of day, and good goddamn if that fucking money shouldn't be helping to build a windmill somewhere.Lefty watchdog cheerleaders
During the years of the Bush administration, I would often rely on lefty advocacy groups to keep me informed of various nefarious dealings in the White House. Many of these groups were understandably thrilled with the election of Barack Obama. But I'm not a big fan of these groups just becoming cheerleaders for the people in power.
It's perhaps unfair to pick on one of these groups, but I'm going to anyway. TrueMajority
is an advocacy group with a fairly broad left-ish agenda. They were founded by Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. Here's a quote from their website:
The central objective of TrueMajority is to increase America's investment in programs that benefit our children (like schools, health care, HeadStart) by cutting Cold War weapons systems and shifting the savings. That's just 15% of the Pentagon budget but would make $60 billion available every year to meet children's basic needs.
OK, that sounds fine.
But in their latest email blast, they state that, "under President Obama's budget, instead of paying billions in missile defense and useless Cold War weapons, your taxes will buy schools, healthcare and green-collar jobs."
It's just not true. Although there may be a shift away from spending money on useless Cold War weapons, money from those weapons programs are staying in the military. Remember? Obama has proposed a 4% increase in military spending. I guess we're going from useless weapons to useful ones. That doesn't sound so terrific to me. At least the useless ones won't kill anyone.
Look, TrueMajority, it's totally fine if you want to support the Obama budget. He is actually spending a lot more on schools, healthcare, and green-collar jobs. But don't spread misinformation and pretend it's being paid for by a cut military budget. I expect more out of my lefty watchdog groups.Taxes
Once again, B&E readers, it's tax season! I'm from the left. I don't mind taxes. I don't particularly like owing
taxes, but I certainly have no problem with the pay-as-you-go approach to taxes.
Some people hate taxes. And some of those people are complete idiots. You may have heard about "tea party" protests. The Boston Tea Party was about "taxation without representation." So unless every one of these people lives in Washington DC, they're fucking stupid.
Not only that, but they seem to be completely unaware of what, exactly, "teabagging" means. This is not a family blog, so let me explain for readers who may not know. It's very simple. Teabagging is dipping one's balls into someone else's mouth. Get the image?
Now watch this
. Rachel Maddow and Ana Marie Cox clearly know the definition of teabagging.
And finally, just to end on a cleaner note... One of my colleagues is a creator of "information visualizations." That's "info-graphics" if you want to insult her intelligence. She will occasionally send around a particularly interesting info-viz, and this week's was tax-related
Labels: economy, link, politics, taxes