Defense budget unreality

February 10, 2006

I know we're at war, and I'm actually one who feels that government's primary purpose is to defend its citizenry. It's what government fundamentally does best. I also recognize that it is politically very difficult to call for defense spending cuts while at war and while undere the threat of terrorism. It would be politically crazy for Democrats to call for massive defense cuts. But looking Read the rest of this entry »


The Estate Tax – A pet issue

December 17, 2005

This is admittedly a pet issue for me. It hasn’t even been in the news lately, other than the fact that it’s permanent repeal is always on the Republican agenda. The “Death Tax” they call it, which drives me insane. Despite the adage that the only certainties in life are death and taxes, in this case the latter always precedes the former: Dead people don’t pay taxes. Read the rest of this entry »


Civil Rights and criminal wrongs?

October 7, 2005

I heard on NPR this morning that Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, when a member of the Dallas City Council, supported civil rights for gays but was opposed to repeal of Texas’s sodomy law (later overturned by the Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas). This strikes me as the most inconsistent and untenable position I’ve ever heard. Read the rest of this entry »


Katrina puts the estate tax repeal on hold.

October 3, 2005

If the Republicans cherished goal of repealing the estate tax was considered politically untenable after Hurricane Katrina because we can’t afford it, why wasn’t it politically untenable before? It’s not as though Katrina has pushed us into deficit spending and so we can no longer afford this Paris Hilton inheritence tax cut. We were already deep in debt and couldn’t afford it before. No. The reasons are obvious: its politically untenable to reward the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans this week because of what we have seen happen to some of our poorest.


I thought after Katrina that cronyism was disfavored…

October 3, 2005

Unbelievable. Bush has nominated Julie Myers to head the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, part of the Department of Homeland Security. The Post reports that, now age 36, she was a prosecutor for a couple of years in New York, and for the last four years of the Bush Administration has just been kicking around in “a variety of jobs over the past four years at the White House and at the departments of Commerce, Justice and Treasury, most recently [serving as] a special assistant to President Bush handling personnel issues…”. No mention of any real immigration experience or administrative experience. But wait, here’s the real kicker (again from the Post): “Her uncle is Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, the departing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She married Chertoff’s current chief of staff, John F. Wood, on Saturday.”Hmmm…did she get the job through her uncle or through her husband?


Harriet who?

October 3, 2005

My initial reaction to the news of Bush’s nomination of Harriet Miers to the court is that it was a blunder. At a time when the charge of cronyism has been hurled at Bush nonstop since the Katrina-Brownie debacle, I’m surprised that he picked someone whose premier qualification appears to be her lontime presence in his inner circle. I don’t believe that justices should be picked from the ranks of appellate court judges, as has been the trend for a long while now, or even that they need to have judicial experience. But I do believe they Read the rest of this entry »