At this point, there should be little doubt that there is a concerted attempt underway to use the war in Afghanistan as a justification for punitively taxing high earners.
Last weekend (noted at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), the New York Times discovered that wars cost money. It cited Wisconsin Democratic Congressman David Obey's concern that funding the Afghanistan effort at the level requested months ago by General Stanley A. McChrystal would "devour virtually any other priorities that the president or anyone in Congress had."
Thursday, as reported by AFP (noted last night at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), House Democratic heavy-hitters Barney Frank, John Murtha, and (no surprise) Obey announced the "Share The Sacrifice Act of 2010," an income-tax surcharge that overwhelmingly targets high-income earners.
Now Michigan Democratic Senator Carl Levin has weighed in. Bloomberg dutifully carried his water, as seen in this graphic containing the first four paragraphs of the report:
You've got to hand it to the propagandists at the AFP. When heavy-hitting members of the party they favor announce an idea whose main purpose is, as the New York Times suddenly "discovered" last weekend, to remind people that wars cost money and distract from supposedly more important priorities, the wire service leaps into action.
Even AFP acknowledges that the tax proposal by several top-tier Democrats has no chance of becoming law. But again, that's not the point. Their proposal's purpose is to remind people that spending money on wars supposedly takes money out of the mouths of children and other living things, even those in non-existent congressional districts, and to attempt to make the climate for increasing taxes in the near future more favorable.
Here are key paragraphs of the unbylined report (bolds are mine):
Disclaimer: we're talking politics here, not personal stuff . . .
If there's a bigger sourpuss in Congress than Barney Frank, I wouldn't want to meet him. On MSNBC this evening, the dyspeptic Member from Massachusetts got into it with, of all people, Ed Schultz. You might think the two libs would make beautiful progressive music together, but what made this spat especially entertaining was that Barney found himself being attacked . . . from the left.
The topic was the billions in bonuses awarded by Wall Street firms that had received TARP money. Schultz's beef was that Congress blew it by awarding TARP dough without obtaining advance agreement limiting bonus payouts.
View video here if flash player not visible.
It is bad when an anchor from a sister network feels compelled to call out a colleague about the lack of ideological balance, but that's just what CNBC's Larry Kudlow did on his Oct. 27 program.
In a time when some of CNBC's critics demand the network be held to a high standard when it comes to balance, a different standard is applied to MSNBC. And a lack of balance is something Kudlow pointed out.
Kudlow, referring to the Oct. 26 broadcast of MSNBC's "The Ed Show," which featured Rep. Barney Frank, perennial presidential candidate Ralph Nader and the host Ed Schultz, noted all the participants were left-of-center. And in the appearance, Frank made a pitch for the expanded role of government and argued the only reason people opposed it was because they were disillusioned by the government for its failures during the Bush administration, specifically dealing with Hurricane Katrina.
Is it possible for a sitting president to ignore a war his own country is waging?
According to the Boston Globe, it depends on who that president is.
The war in Afghanistan has presented a rare look at two different presidents faced with the same situation in the same theatre.
Following initial Allied success, 2003 saw the Taliban regroup for a long-term fight, and by late 2007 Bush had begun to draw up plans for a troop surge. Two years later, generals on the ground say our presence is still not enough.
Now, with President Obama in charge, those in the mainstream media portray his leadership in a starkly different light than that of former President Bush.
The Boston Globe is a prime example of the double standard (continued).
Interviewing Barney Frank this morning on proposals to regulate the financial markets, MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan seemed set on appeasing the notoriously rude representative. Ratigan had surely seen the video of Mark Haines' CNBC interview of Frank back in June, and was determined not to suffer the same fate, in which Frank ripped off his earpiece and ended the segment short.
Even before posing his first question to Frank, Ratigan began by laying a sop at the great man's feet: "I know you're working very hard on this legislation. And before we begin, I had a lot of folks come to me and say listen, make sure you thank the representative for his efforts to try to deal with this. You are dealing with an incredibly complicated problem with a variety of issues. So I wanted to pass along the appreciation of your efforts before we begin this conversation."
His tribute to Frank didn't spare Ratigan a reprimand when later on he dared to get in a word edgewise. So Ratigan naturally concluded the interview . . . by apologizing to Frank for having interrupted him.
Though ABC showed a picture of the poster with “LaRouche PAC.com” visible at the bottom, neither Gibson nor CBS's Nancy Cordes (who did not show the LaRouche credit) noted the posters were created and distributed by the group affiliated with Lyndon LaRouche, a seven-time far-left Democratic presidential candidate who spent many years as a Trotsky-ite and is best-known as a propagator of wild conspiracy theories. The New Bedford Standard Times identified the woman as “with the LaRouche Political Action Committee.”
On the NBC Nightly News, fill-in anchor Lester Holt referred to “more rowdy town hall meetings” which led Frank to decide “he'd had enough and faced off against a woman holding a picture of President Obama that was doctored to make him look like Hitler.” After video of the exchange Tuesday night in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, Holt benignly described the source: “That anti-Obama image is being disseminated by supporters of perennial presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche who are campaigning against health care reform.”
As President Obama repeatedly tells America that his plan for healthcare reform will not lead to the elimination of private health insurance, statements he made in 2007 and 2003 tell a different story altogether.
In shocking video uncovered by our good friends at Naked Emperor News, Obama, speaking at SEIU's New Leadership Health Care Forum on March 24, 2007, said, "My commitment is to make sure that we have universal healthcare for all Americans by the end of my first term as President."
Later in the discussion, he elaborated (video embedded below the fold):
It's a conversation, Barney, not a soliloquy . . .
Discussing the regulation of executive pay with CNBC's Mark Haines today, the testy liberal Dem from Massachusetts was affronted when Haines tried to get in a word edgewise.
Before long, Barney announced that the interview was over, and ripped off his earpiece. Unruffled, Haines got off a good last line: "Fine, goodbye sir. We'll manage without you." [Hat tip reader Chuck S.]
View video at right.
Is it okay to call them socialists yet? (/sarc)
And to think we were "only" worried about having a known Tax Cheat overseeing everyone's taxes.
With Barney Frank's help, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is trying to expand his power (and by inference that of his Dear Leader boss) well beyond that. The "Pay for Performance Act," which has already gotten out of committee, would give him veto power over salaries at every company into which the government has inserted its intrusive claws.
Besides the utter outrageousness of the news itself, the story leads to the question of how the establishment media will handle it. Whitewash it? Minimize its significance? Ignore it? Given the fact that the news is over a week old, I vote for a continuation of Door Number Three.
Byron York reports the following in the DC Examiner:
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) chats with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner before a hearing on AIG chaired by Frank on March 24, 2009.
At the top of Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez interviewed Democratic Congressman Barney Frank about upcoming hearings on bonuses AIG gave to top executives after receiving government bailout money: "And who in the government didn't vet this company well enough before it gave the money to address the issue of bonuses...So who's responsible here in government? You said the Federal Reserve did this." Frank replied: "In September, Mr. Bernanke, as the head of the Federal Reserve, came to us and said 'we think we have a terrible problem here, we are going to provide $85 billion to AIG. That's -- that was the decision it wasn't anything that Congress had any say over."
Rodriguez did not challenge Frank’s assertion that the Democratic Congress was not involved, failing to ask the Massachusetts Congressman about the role his Senate colleague, Connecticut Democrat Chris Dodd, played in allowing AIG executives to keep their bonus money. On Tuesday, Fox Business reported: "While the Senate was constructing the $787 billion stimulus last month, Dodd added an executive-compensation restriction to the bill. The provision, now called ‘the Dodd Amendment’ by the Obama Administration provides an 'exception for contractually obligated bonuses agreed on before Feb. 11, 2009' -- which exempts the very AIG bonuses Dodd and others are now seeking to tax."