Saturday, March 29, 2008

The week in review

Random observations...
  • I was in California for parts of last week, just North of Los Angeles. Beautiful area. I can see how living with perfect weather can make the brains go mushy with silly ideas. I found an eerie new age totalitarianism at my accommodations. The ambient music (though not as good as Brian Eno, and with hints of Zamfir) at beyond ambient volumes, the excessive notices such as "this building may contain materials, known to the State of California, to cause cancer..." These notices are the face of the maternal fascism. It explains why businesses are leaving the state in droves for more hospitable locations.

  • Notice the differences between Kwame Fitzpatrick and Eliot Spitzer. Spitzer resigned once all the legal troubles came out. Kwame is still fighting. Eliot couldn't tough it out because he alienated too many people in his own party - the Democratic party in Albany was not going to go to the mat for him. Kwame still has a base, one that does not show up in the polls, and was the basis of the late Detroit mayor Coleman Young's electoral success. Kwame figures he can hang tough and get support by casting himself as a victim of a media inspired "lynching" - playing that card as much as possible. It got him re-elected in a tough campaign against Freeman Hendrix where polls showed Fitzpatrick trailing significantly. Another black mark for the city of Detroit.

  • Obama's stupid tax plan. Where do I start? First - exempting seniors who make under $55,000 from income tax (they'll be responsible for bankrupting Medicare and Social Security and we want to reward them by not having them pay taxes?)!? Second, he wants to raise the capital gains tax to 25% from it's current 15% - that'll kill investment in a downturn. Finally, he wants to raise taxes on the rich, whom he defines as the top 20% of all taxpayers. Grab your wallets, because that top quintile begins at $75,000. I know a lot of people who make $75,000 per year and I would not call them "rich" by any stretch of the imagination. If you live in a high tax/high cost of living area like LA, DC, or New York, seventy five grand barely keeps you afloat. And I haven't even got around about his plans on expanding FICA taxes. If I was to summarize Obama's tax plan in one word, it would be "Canadian".

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