Virtual Front Page, Thursday, September 30, 2010

It’s been a busy week, so I’ve been remiss in not doing these until now. But you haven’t missed much. The Dog Days of August seem to have stretched all the way through September — even though we had a busy day on Columbia City Council yesterday. Here’s what we have at this point:

  1. NATO Strike Inside Pakistan Fuels Tension (WSJ) — The significance is that we’re getting more aggressive with these, and Pakistan’s not liking it.
  2. Ecuador gripped by ‘coup attempt’ (BBC) — Since I actually was present for an actual coup when I lived in Guayaquil — in fact, I was present in the very same house when it was being partly planned (our landlord, an Ecuadorean naval officer, was involved) — I can say, Mr. Correa, I know Ecuadorean coups, and this, sir, was no coup. At least, it certainly wasn’t an effective one. Probably not many paper in this country will put this on their fronts, but I will.
  3. Emanuel departure closes a chapter for Democrats (WashPost) — As the Beltway turns…
  4. Hollywood Legend Tony Curtis Dies At 85 (NPR) — One of those people who pretty much defined “movie star” when I was a kid.
  5. A busy day for Colatown’s council (The State) — The busy day was yesterday, so this is old, but still newsworthy — a new curfew, a new open-container ordinance, cops get to carry more heat, and a bold stroke we were expecting (Sheriff Lott taking over the CPD) suddenly fell through.
  6. How Nikki got that hospital job (The State) — This is even older, stretching back to the Sunday paper, but since this is my first page of the week I’m pointing it out. You’ve got to read this remarkable story of how Nikki got that custom-made $110k job, and how 20 percent of the donations raised by the foundation were spent on her salary. And on and on. Read it, if you haven’t already. I just cannot begin to fathom how anyone could contemplate voting for this woman. Almost nothing we learn passes the smell test.

10 thoughts on “Virtual Front Page, Thursday, September 30, 2010

  1. Kathryn Fenner

    Number 5–the ordinances only got First Reading–there must be a second reading, and there’s many a slip twixt cup and lip, alas. It was incorrectly reported earlier online, but correctly stated in print.

  2. bud

    Sigh. The whole country and especially SC is moving quickly to the right. No matter what the GOP candidates say or do it makes little difference. In CA Meg Whitman was caught red-handed lying about the immigration status of her maid. Will that matter? In this particular year I really doubt it.

    As for Ms. Haley, what can you say. The difference between her and Mr. Sheheen is stunning. If Vince really was a liberal then maybe I could understand how philisophically he might be hard to take in this very conservative state. But he really isn’t. In fact I’d probably get upset with him for being far too conservative if he were to get elected.

    But he seems sensible at least. Sadly it won’t matter. Maybe Ms. Haley will surprise us all and turn out to be a good governor. We can always hope.

  3. Doug Ross

    Here’s a link that shows a breakdown of where federal tax dollars go in the form of a receipt.

    This shows you exactly where our priorities are when it comes to spending tax dollars. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Debt, and Military.

    It’s hard to look at this receipt and not see that the government is all about taking money from person A to give to person B. And even worse, taking from the future earnings of person C to give to person B today.

  4. bud

    Doug, I saw combat operations in Iraq/Afghanistan and military personnel but nothing about weapons procurements, DOD research, military base expenses except for personnel and various other military items. Are these lumped into the personnel category?

  5. j

    Doug, Thanks for giving the link to the article which also has a link to a pdf file that shows the assumptions and end notes which says this is 2009 tax but the historical expenditure assumptions are from the FY 2011 budget submitted. There are some other assumptioms that you maybe making that don’t come thru on your reference.

    “What You Paid For 2009 tax receipt for a taxpayer earning $34,140 and paying
    $5,400 in federal income tax and FICA (selected items)4”

    You should note that the selected items that are listed add to $3,258.51 but taxes withheld and paid in ’09 were $5,400 tax total (including FICA). The chart is misleading in that the FICA portion was not shown which amounts to $2,141.49. This my not be accurate from the chart as this amounts to about 6.3% When you look at the FICA minus the soc security and medicare benefits there is a surplus of $475.28 that supposedily goes into the SS & Medicare trust funds, but these go to the general fund to offset the total budget deficit. That’s how it’s been handled since at least the 1970s. So our excess FICA goes to pay for just a little more than the “combat opperations in Iraq & Afghanistan, for Military personnel and Veteran benefits.” So lets put things into perspective. It’s unfortunate that Bush and Congresss agreed to put the certain unnecessary military expenses on our credit card.

    see end note 4
    “4 Budget calculations are based on budget allocations obtained from the Office of Management and Budget using historical tables from the FY2011 budget submission as well as the Congressional Budget Office website for such items as interest on the debt, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.”

  6. j

    My Federal income taxes for the last few yars went to purchasing bombs which were just exploded in the Middle East. I presume yours went to Person B who didn’t deserve any consideration.

  7. Doug Ross


    You must have confused me with someone who supported George Bush. As bad as I think Obama has been, Bush was worse.

    I don’t support any of the phony Bush wars.

    But I also don’t believe Social Security and Medicare are efficient either. Social Security is unsustainable and Medicare is full of fraud.

  8. Phillip

    Surprised to see National Parks so high on the list, but I don’t mind paying that proportion for that. But this should put all the overblown rhetoric about federal support for the arts (NEA) into perspective. Basically, it’s “buddy, can you spare a quarter?”

  9. j

    Doug, I thought the chart included the national debt right below Medicaid. The congressional legislation that Bush signed on Oct 3, 2008 gave the Fed latitude for TARP so lord knows what happened.

    You may want to Google the comments from a debate recently which echo my view.

    “I do not want my government to be run like a ruthless corporation where people and their needs are tossed around like they are mere commodities. The bottom line in a government is not the profit margin. Government is of the people, by the people and for the people.

    Yes, we have to make difficult decisions, but we do not have to make them on the backs of the workers the way corporate America does.”

    I spent 41 years with a Fortune 100 company and I’ve seen just about everything. We surely don’t want to give person B anything and especially not social security or medical care.

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