It turns out that the very people who thought they were getting a big tax break from President Bush’s tax break on dividend income are getting socked with Alternative Minimum Tax instead. Ooops.
Journalists and people with actual degrees in economics sitting in high places like the Boston Fed are noticing what I have told you for well over a year, that the official unemployment number does not tell you the whole story, and there are millions more people out of work — honest, hard working people who would like to have an honest, decent paying job — that don’t show up in the official statistics.
The cost of the War in Iraq, both to the United States and to Iraq. Randi Rhodes will gladly explain to you how all rhodes — I mean roads — lead to Iraq. Bolton, Rove, Plame, Downing Street, the Sixteen Words; it all intersects at one point, the desire to invade Iraq. Support our troops: pray for peace or enlist.
A moment of silence for James Doohan, the man who played “Scotty” on the original Star Trek. He passed away this morning.
And finally, in case you should ever need to ship a hippo, the United States Postal Service has some tips for you.
“But for [talks] to happen, the DPRK (North Korea) must do its part by returning to the table without preconditions and abandoning its pursuit of nuclear weapons,” said Chris Ford, a senior U.S. official and member of the U.S. delegation to the IAEA.
Translation: “We can talk about disarming after you’ve disarmed.”
Anti-Terror Follies: The best commentary about current House of Representatives action to make the FBI get a good old fashioned search warrant before browbeating your local librarian, contrasted with wanting to make your ISP keep records on everything that all their clients do on the off chance there may be an investigation someday — and I guess your ISP will pay for the additional storage space by raising your rates. If that isn’t enough, the Homeland Security Privacy Czar (I bet you didn’t know there was one) is trying to find out if the TSA is expanding the scope of Secure Flight (CAPPS III, if you prefer) and amending documentation after the fact.
Missing Persons: It turns out even the news media has started to notice that cute white girls vanishing get lots of press, but tough luck if a missing person is male or black, as the majority of missing persons happen to be. Of course the very sources covering this could fix the problem by changing their coverage and quitting the “missing white girl of the week club.”
Follow up on the housing bubble: even the New York Times admits that just maybe people are overextending to buy houses, using products like adjustable rate mortgages and interest only mortgages that have the potential to put home”owners” seriously behind the 8 ball a few years from now.
A wise man points out the heretical reality that more education does not translate into higher pay, and until such time as we all have household robots, there will always be a lot of unskilled labor needed in our economy.
A millionaire asks Why is Hollywood paying big money for something that doesn’t work?
And finally, how can it not be a top story plastered across the front page of every newspaper and dominating every newscast that a half-dozen Congressmen — backed by over a hundred more — hand carried a letter with a half million signatories to the White House asking Bush to explain himself regarding the Downing Street Memo?
Follow up on signs of a housing bubble.
Follow up on Real ID, which will make us less secure, create more data about us in large databases that will result in less privacy, and make us more vulnerable to identity theft. This last bit is why it is a big deal that even the best biometrics have a 2% fail rate; if we really give a hoot about “security” and “identification,” then biometric failure means some security guy has to go make sure you are really John Doe, and not some guy with John Doe’s severed thumb.
On education, an interesting way to figure out what is known and how bits of knowledge relate to one another. Also, useful for finding glaring gaps in our understanding.
On jobs, not only does the CEO make more than you, he makes 300 times more than you and the fact that so few jobs have been created means there is intense competition for “entry level” jobs, and in a nation where there are plenty short sticks to go around, the young urban poor get the shortest one of all.
And finally, something for those of you who feel like you’ve been fighting for one entry level job after another for the last few years, a friend of mine has a shirt for you: it says I had a job during the Clinton administration.