Friday, September 24, 2004

RNC says the Dems want to steal your Bible

The Spinmeister Alert Today Is:
Fiyah Engine Red

We gots three discs on the turntables today, my pretties. First, let us spin you a little yarn about the only thing in life other than death that is absolute. Besides the fact that the Red Sox will never, ever, ever be released from the curse. No, I mean taxes.

The Republican controlled house and senate and our fearless leader are all giving themselves hearty pats on the back for extending the "middle class" tax cut. Personally, we are always suspicious when we hear that the "middle class" is being offered a tax cut. Part of that skepticism comes from the persistent question of how all those no-bid Haliburton contracts are going to get paid. (If you have children, go tell them you voted for the guy that won, so it's not your fault. Otherwise, when they have no social security later in life they might still take you in and not put you on an ice flow heading to Greenland) The other part comes from the curiously amorphous category that is the "middle class tax cut."

So who is the middle class? Well the median income for a family of four in 2002 was $62,732. (Down from $63,278 in 2001). But what does that mean? It means an equal number of people made more and an equal number of people made less than that. That doesn't really explain middle class, so we consulted the census bureau. They had this to say: "The Census Bureau does not have an official definition of the "middle class," but it does derive several measures related to the distribution of income and income inequality." And what is happening to income inequality? "Generally, the long-term trend has been toward increasing income inequality." Well that doesn't sound very good. How bad is it? "Since 1969, the share of aggregate household income controlled by the lowest income quintile has decreased from 4.1 percent to 3.6 percent in 1997, while the share to the highest quintile increased from 43.0 percent to 49.4 percent. Most noticeably, the share of income controlled by the top 5 percent of households has increased from 16.6 percent to 21.7 percent."

In short, the poor are getting poorer, and the rich are getting richer, and the more divided between rich and poor US society is the lower the number of people who could realistically call themselves "middle class" will be. In the meantime, our fearless leaders want you to get a tax break. Maybe. Or not. Maybe they just want you to think that's what they want. Certainly that is the message Dubya seemed to be sending out when he said "I'm going to bring Republicans and Democrats together to make the code more simple and more fair." This could apparently be done by protecting the 'middle class' from the top 1%'s lawyers: "we've heard the rhetoric before, "tax the rich." The rich hire lawyers and accountants so that the middle class gets stuck with the bill." (And he should know! At $400,000 a year plus his investments, he's in the top 1%. Who's your lawyer?)

One might think that a fairer tax code would benefit those who need it the most. But if you think that it's because you looked up "fair" in the commiepinko dictionary, you frigging socialist. Led by Tom Delay, and backed by Bill Thomas and Trent Lott, "Congressional negotiators beat back efforts yesterday to expand and preserve tax refunds for poor families." This is all about the child tax credit, which for poor families was linked to their income over $10,000. Delay and others raised the bar: poor families will have to make more to get the credit. What does this mean? "Of the 11 million families claiming the child tax refund, more than 4 million -- with 9.2 million children -- will see their credit shrink or disappear in 2005." Children living in poverty across the country thank your steadfast commitment to the "fair" tax code, Mr. Delay.

But it's a "middle class" tax cut, so who gives a hoot about those poor people! But wait, what if "the legislation benefits high-income households considerably more than the middle class"? What if "Data from the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center show that the families in the middle of the income scale — those in the middle 20 percent of the income distribution — will receive an average tax cut of $162 in 2005 from this legislation. By contrast, those in the top fifth will get an average tax cut of $1,317, and those in the $200,000 - $500,000 income range will get an average tax cut of $2,390. More than two-thirds of the tax cut — 70 percent of it — will go to those in the top fifth. Some 47 percent of the tax cut will go to those in the top tenth of the income spectrum. But families in the middle 20 percent of the income scale will get only 9 percent of the bill’s tax cuts, a peculiar result for a bill promoted as a middle-class tax relief package."

By the way, for all you "middle class" corporations, it's time to party hardy! Because "the Congressional conference committee that crafted the middle-class extension bill moved $13 billion in largely corporate tax-cut costs out of the corporate tax bill and into the middle-class extension legislation. This may have been done to create room to pack $13 billion more in special-interest tax breaks into the corporate tax legislation, which Congress is expected to take up after the election."

Now that's what we call fair!

A
ll giddy from those tax cuts, Rummy offered his thoughts on problematic elections: ""Well, so be it. Nothing's perfect in life, so you have an election that's not quite perfect. Is it better than not having an election? You bet," he said." Iraqi elections, in case you were wondering. Glad to see we are importing that familiar kind of democracy down to the details. You think Diebold will be supplying the machines?

In a joint statement between Dubya and Pakistan's President Musharraf, "President Musharraf reiterated his commitment to democracy and his intent to strengthen the country's democratic institutions and bring sustainable democracy to Pakistan." And we're sure he means it, even if he wasn't elected. And even if he keeps promising to give up being head of the military and then never does step down. But our fearless leader says it's okay to be a dictator. Unless your name is Saddam. And then you're just evil.

In writing about the Bush/Allawi press conference yesterday we didn't quite make it down to the Q&A section. But we did today!

When asked "Why haven't U.S. forces been able to capture or kill al Zarqawi, who's blamed for much of the violence?" Dubya came back with this answer: "We're looking for him. He hides...." That's right, he hides.

W
hen asked to respond to Kerry's criticism of the "colossal failures of judgement" involved in entering into a war with Iraq, quick as a wounded jackrabbit, our fearless leader shot back "It's hard work in Iraq. Everybody knows that. We see it on our TV. " It's on TV, so that's how we know it's true.

And you know what? That Iraq being a hard place was a little bit of a theme in the Q&A section: " It's tough work, everybody knows that. It's hard work.... It's hard work in Iraq. Everybody knows that... It's hard work. The American people know that... And the times have been hard -- these are hard times... Going from tyranny to democracy is hard work... you can understand it's tough and still be optimistic. You can understand how hard it is and believe we'll succeed... because they have to make the hard choices for freedom..." Yes, Iraq is hard.

But Iraq isn't the only hard place. Sometimes you get hard questions even in a rose garden. Like when a reporter points to a series of misleading and outright inaccurate statements that you made, and then asks "Can you understand why Americans may not believe you?" And when asked a hard question, our fearless leader does not waiver, he just flat out ignores the question. "No. Anybody who says that we are safer with Saddam Hussein in power is wrong. " But sometimes you get a piss-ant reporter who is part bulldog, and he just won't let go. "Sir, may I just follow, because I don't think you're really answering the question. I mean, I think you're responding to Senator Kerry, but there are beheadings regularly, the insurgent violence continues, and there are no weapons of mass destruction. My question is, can you understand that Americans may not believe you when you say that America is actually safer today?" But a 'real man' always stays the course, even when it's pointing you in totally the wrong direction: "Imagine a world in which Saddam Hussein were still in power."

On a different note, if you don't want your hand-picked leader to look too much like a puppet, you might want to let him talk without interruption. And let him pick sometimes:

PRESIDENT BUSH: Hold on for a minute. Hold on for a minute, please, please. We've got other people from -- hold on for a second.

PRIME MINISTER ALLAWI: From the other --

PRESIDENT BUSH: From Iraq. Are you from Iraq?

Q No --

PRESIDENT BUSH: Okay. No, hold on for a second. We need people from Iraq first, please. One journalist from Iraq. You're not from Iraq, Allen. And neither are you, Elisabeth.

PRIME MINISTER ALLAWI: Give Al Arabiya --

PRESIDENT BUSH: Is anybody here from CBS? Roberts, there you are. Please.

It's funny, though, but when he said that thing about how "I saw a poll that said the right track/wrong track in Iraq was better than here in America. (Laughter.) It's pretty darn strong. I mean, the people see a better future." I wondered why he thought that made him look good. I mean, people are getting blown to bits on a daily basis, typhoid has broken out in Sad'r City, and Baghdad is averaging 14 hour black outs, and the Iraqi people are more optimistic about their future than Americans are about theirs? Uhm, that kinda sounds like people here might think you ain't doin' such a good job there, George.

Finally, our fearless leader seems to be sipping from the same mug of Kool-aid as his secretary of defense. Because all of a sudden we noticed that the Afghanis were in Najaf. "Our strategy is to help the Iraqis help themselves. It's important that we train Iraqi troops. There are nearly 100,000 troops trained. The Afghan (sic) national army is a part of the army. By the way -- it's the Afghan [sic] national army that went into Najaf and did the work there." We're thinking the Afghan national army has its own frigging problems back in Kabul. Whose brilliant idea was it to send them to Najaf? Or perhaps certain people have been saying for so long that there is a connection that they can't remember which way is up. Well we certainly feel safer. I'm sure PM Allawi also feels much better knowing that Iraq has a special place in this administration's heart, and that their interests will never be conflated with others'.

And last, but absolutely not least, the RNC admitted it had sent a mailing out in West Virginia and in Arkansas telling people that the Democrats were going to ban the Bible. Completely. Without. Shame. Shouldn't a bolt of lightening come out of the sky and smote these guys?


1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Bushies. This is GOD. Knock it off, already, will ya? If I want someone on Earth to be my spokesman, I will chat with that nice young lady who has the TV show on Friday, NOT you guys! Who do you think invented voting anyway? And what makes you think I'd vote for the likes of you guys?

September 27, 2004 at 5:34 PM

 

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