Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Barry Bonds, Repubes drool over tax breaks, peace activists go to Iran

Hump day. Still a pox day. Let's get to Democracy Now!

Republicans Reach Agreement on Controversial Tax Bill
On Capitol Hill, House and Senate Republicans have agreed on a new tax bill critics say will disproportionately favor the wealthiest Americans. The $70 billion dollar measure would extend the 15 percent tax rate on capital and dividends until the year 2010. According to the Tax Policy Center, households earning more than $1 million dollars would save $42,000 dollars in taxes. Meanwhile, households earning around $45,000 dollars would save $46 dollars.

Okay, but if you earn something else? I think it would go like this:

Those in the top group would see their tax bill cut 4.8 percent, while Americans at the center of the income distribution -- the middle fifth of taxpayers, who will earn an average of $36,000 this year -- could expect a 0.4 percent reduction in their tax bill, or about $20.Those who make less than $75,000 -- which includes about 75 percent of all taxpayers -- would save, at most, $110 each. Those making more than $1 million would save, on average, almost $42,000.

I'm so smart, right? Wrong. That's David Cay Johnston of the New York Times. ("Analysis of Tax Bill Finds More Benefits for the Rich.") When I saw that today (I got to watch it on TV from the sickbed) I remembered that C.I. had noted that thing of Johnston's and asked Nina to look it up for me. I hope everyone who gets screwed (pretty much all of us) reads that, especially the ones who thought "Bully Boy is for the little people like me!" and they have to say, "Woah."

US Peace Activists Travel to Tehran
Twenty-two US citizens have traveled to Iran to promote peace between Washington and Tehran. "(We are here to promote) understanding between our peoples so that our governments don't get us into a situation where we go into a Conflict," said delegate member Dave Robinson, Executive Director Of The National Catholic Peace Movement."We're here to learn about Iran firsthand so that we don't succumb to the enemy building and demonising that's going in the United States at the moment."

I don't know what's going to happen with Iran. C.I. called and we were talking about that and all and how the press is attacking the letter from Iran because Condi and Bully Boy dismissed it. Which reminds me, Barry Bonds got trashed on the front page of the New York Times Sunday. Hold on a second.

That piece of trash rag has been trashing Bonds so much that you'd think he must be Irish-American. This is from Sunday, by an idiot named George Vecsey, "It's Boos, Aches and Bad Karma as Bonds Limps Toward Ruth:"

That the bad vibes are largely Bonds's fault -- he may have lied about using illegal steroids and is generally unpleasant -- is almost irrelevant. This sour exercise would best be performed quickly, and let us all move on to something more becoming than youths' heckling Bonds from the safety of the stands, accusing him of using steroids.

Bonds is reponsible for "bad vibes"? Like the press didn't attack, attack, attack. Where's Mark McGwire? Or like the whole New York Timid doesn't dog pile on Bonds every chance they get? Like Jack Curry did on Monday? Or apparent wino Eric Asimov mocking him today? As Bonds gears to break Babe Ruth's record, I don't think you can say he "fell apart under close scrutiny" but then I'm not drunk off my ass on wine. Nor do I wear lipstick and looking at his photo, I'd say he's wearing lipstick. He also looks like the son of that weird guy on PBS Jacques Pepin. But Pepin probably knows what he's talking about. Where's the "bad vibes" coming from? Fru fru writers who think they're smarter than they are. Go back to writing for Martha Stewart's magazine where no one expects you to make "quips" about Barry Bonds or any other sports star.

Teena e-mailed to ask me why I wasn't talking about WBAI's Wakeup Call and that's cause I'm sick. I did listen this morning, for instance. I know Deepa Fernades interviewed some professor from Puerto Rico and right after, I think it was right after, they did sports (not Dave Zirin, he's on tomorrow). I have no idea what was being discussed. That's not an insult to Deepa who does great interviews. Everybody knows I love sports and I couldn't tell you what he was talking about (though I'd bet it had something to do with the Yankees) and ended up falling asleep. It's a great show.

I got up this morning, still covered in pox, showered thinking I'd feel better and also cool me down because my fever still hasn't broken. Then thought I'd get something to eat. Got half way and turned around, went back to the bedroom and flopped down on the bed. I figured I'd listen a little to Deepa and get my energy back up but I was thinking "Puerto Rico. This should be good." And then a second later, I think I fell asleep, I was like, "Woah, what are they talking about." Then my mind drifted (or I probably fell back asleep) and the next thing I know the sports guy is on and I'm thinking, "Okay, this I can focus on." But next thing I knew, it was noon and I was waking up.

It's a really good show but I'm just sick -- itchy with the pox, waiting for a fever to break, and real tired.

If I'd had the energy, even covered with pox, I probably would have tried to go see Amy Goodman. I wouldn't have cared about looking like Thing from the Fantastic Four. :D
But Dad read C.I.'s thing this morning and goes "I'm quoting: 'If you're noncontagious and in the Boston area, make a point to check out the luncheon (provided they aren't all booked up).'"

Good point. Somebody there might not have had the pox or maybe just a mild case. (Ma has checked and I did have them as a kid but just in one area -- my lower back -- and she thinks that I didn't have enough of them to build up an immunity.)

I'm fading, so let's do C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Iraq snapshot.
Chaos and violence.
But apparently those days over because
Condi Rice is confident and Jalal Talabani (president of Iraq) is issuing statements on the need to stop the killings (1,1000 Iraqis, according to Talabani, in the month of April -- BBC says 1,091). Yeah, that'll end the conflict.
Meanwhile, back on planet earth . . .
RTE updates the death toll on the Tal Afar bombing yesterday, from 17 dead to at least 24 currently with the "US military" saying at least 134 wounded.
Australia's ABC and AFP report that the "coalition-run Fort Suse prison" has seen five Iraqi "terror suspects" break out. On a similar topic, the Iraqi parliment, that's supposed to be on track and moving forward, hit a stumbling block today "over who should head the oil ministry." Now didn't you just know oil was going to be involved?
Though bombs, car bombs or otherwise, are no longer uncommon in Iraq,
CBS and AP report that that a bus was targeted not only by "gunmen" but that the "gunmen" went on to plant "a bomb aboard the vehicle" which killed at least eleven and wounded at least four. The BBC notes that the bus "reportedly" carried "employees of a state-run electricity company." RTE places the death toll at at least 12. The attack on the bus took place near Baquba. In Baquba, Lt. Col. Kanan Hassan and two of his body guards were killed, Reuters notes.
In Baghdad, "
Defense Ministry press office employee" Mohammed Musab Talal al-Amari died when his car when assailants ambused his car and opened fire. Also injured in the gunfire was a pedestrian. The Associated Press notes the killing of "two traffic" police officers, a taxi driver and a civilian. A roadside bomb took the life of one Iraqi soldier. And corpses continued to turn up -- today thirteen were discovered("signs of torture").
A victim of a roadside bombing, US soldier, is
Cal Perry's entry point in a report he does on the conditions army medics face in Iraq.He estimates the American troop wounded at "roughly 17,500." (17,869 is the figure that Iraq Coalition Casualties gives.)
Associated Press notes that road side bombs took the life of at least one and wounded at least three.

Be sure to check out Like Maria Said Paz for Elaine's thoughts. And Kat's done another review,
"Kat's Korner: Need deeper? Check out Josh Ritter's The Animal Years" and Josh Ritter is one of Nina's favorites so read the review. Rebecca wrote "hud run by a liar" and you should check it out. (I put Kat's name with a link because the link goes to her site and the review is at The Common Ills -- and I'm tired.) Cedric's got a new post called "Rove about to be indicted?" and Betty's got a new chapter called "The hopping mad Thomas Friedman."