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Quick Notes

March 30th, 2004

Check out Kevin Drum’s analysis of Richard Clarke’s book. It’s a good one; brief, concise, to the point.

To those who said that Spain is “appeasing” the terrorists (a shameless attempt to paint them as Chamberlains) by their likely pull out of Iraq, please note that they are doubling their presence in Afghanistan. If they are appeasing al Qaeda, then why are they intensifying their hunt for him? Don’t make no sense, do it? Unless they aren’t appeasers, and simply disagree with the war in Iraq, separate from terrorism.

“President Bush said Saturday his tax cuts helped fuel the recent surge in home sales that has helped push homeownership to record levels in the United States,” or so CNN reports. Of course, that’s kind of predictable. If any good economic news, even meager portions of it, comes out, Bush assigns credit to his tax cuts; if any bad news comes out, then it’s Clinton or 9/11. Let’s face it–if his tax cuts, now three years on, were to have a clear-cut effect, we’d have noticed it by now. The pittance of good news about the economy now is not due to them, except perhaps in a secondary or tertiary way–but there a lot of negative stuff happening that they could easily be responsible for.

Rice’s excuse for not appearing in public, under oath, before the 9/11 commission, is “separation of powers,” based on executive privilege, a shaky concept at best. NSA’s and their staff have testified before, and the idea of privilege was something mostly invented by Nixon to keep them from having to testify before Congress. Also, the privilege could easily be protected by claiming that it was their choice to testify–just do that and everything would be hunky-dory. But still Rice is hiding behind the flimsy skirts of this artificial “principle.”

And how come the commission is a “congressional” body when it was hand-picked by President Bush?

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  1. March 31st, 2004 at 05:28 | #1

    I watched a video of Clinton talking to an American University class the other day, and he said the tax cuts were “too small in the short term, and way too big in the long term to do any good.” Plus he mentioned that this was a tax cut for everyone — children getting thrown out of afterschool, firemen losing their jobs, etc. — and whatever meager amount that middle class families got (~$250, if that) would be lost very quickly when interest rates shot through the roof.

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