Wednesday, December 08, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: I Love a Man in Uniform

Recent Reports Indicate That The Sky Is Not, In Fact, Falling Paul Krugman, like Jay-Z with rap, can't leave column-writing alone; the game needs him. So he came out of hiatus to pen this excellent rejoinder to the Bush-pushed delusion that the Social Security system, under its current arrangement, is in danger of "bankruptcy." Actually, the problem is a revenue shortfall (equivalent to about a missing 20 percent of what's needed) sometime around 2052. That shortfall could be made up by government expenditures equivalent to 25 percent of the Bush tax cuts; these expenditures would keep the system solvent until the 22nd century. Mark my words, though: If we let Bush privatize Social Security, it truly will go bankrupt.

Blair: We're Not Going to Be Doing That Tony Blair has rejected a call for an independent inquiry into the number of civilians killed thus far in the Iraq war. Blair says that the numbers from the Iraqi Health Ministry are the most reliable (they put the figure at just over 3,500, by the way), thereby marking the first time in history that the words "Iraqi Health Ministry" and "reliable" have been used in the same sentence.

Very Bad Things A U.S. Marine seeking asylum in Canada has testified before that country's immigration board that he is responsible for the deaths of at least 30 civilians over a single 48-hour period in Iraq. Sgt. Jimmy Massey is the second Marine to publicly make the claim that he had orders to shoot on sight, and the third to seek political asylum in Canada. Yeah, but, you know, we had to liberate those people, and sometimes liberation means shooting unarmed women and children.

Are You Still Here? I Thought We Fired Your Ass In the midst of all the ship-jumping at the Bush Administration, it's easy to forget that there are some people who don't want to go, like Donald Rumsfeld. It's also easy to forget that there are some people who don't want to go but who the administration is trying to push out the door, like Donald Rumsfeld. To that august category, add the name John Snow. Snow was hired to replace Paul O'Neill as Treasury Secretary because unlike O'Neill, Snow was willing to unblinkingly tell people that day was night. For example: This is how Snow explained, to a group of powerful bankers and investors in Zurich, the administration's policy of promoting a "strong dollar" while pushing trade deficits that ensure a weak dollar: "Because that's the policy." For some reason, though, the Bush administration has determined that this dull-witted hack is too dull-witted to sell their insane new economic plan, so they're looking at replacing him with either White House Chief of Staff Andy Card (who once typed, in an Internet forum, this phrase: "We need the biggest tax cut possible!!!!!!!" Yes, he used all those exclamation points) or former Senator Phil Gramm. Gramm would be a hilarious choice for two reasons: One, his wife was on Enron's Board of Directors and he was one of the few people in the country willing to publicly oppose the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate reform bill that Bush signed into law in 2002. Second, Gramm will forever be linked with the Gramm-Rudman Act of 1985, which was a historic first step on the road to the balanced budgets of the Clinton administration. A longtime deficit hawk, Gramm, as Treasury Sec'y, would essentially be in charge of shitting on himself. Oh, and he also produced porno movies in the 1970s (true!).

President or Bartender on "Love Boat"? You Make the Call

-Consider Arms