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Washington Post: McCain tax ads “just plain false”

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Sens. Obama and McCain

Sens. Obama and McCain

So the Post blisters Sen. McCain’s most recent ads on tax plans, saying no one “should get to outright lie.” Coming from the Post— more conservative in editorial content than most—it’s an important indictment.

The editorial (“Continuing Deception: Mr. McCain’s ads on taxes are just plain false,” h/t True Conservative) advocates debate on tax policy, then laments: “Instead, the McCain campaign insists on completely misrepresenting Mr. Obama’s plan,” condemning “the phony, misleading and at times outright dishonest debate that the McCain campaign has been waging — most recently with a television ad.”

Perhaps you’ve seen it:

The ad opens with the Obama-as-celebrity theme — “Celebrities don’t have to worry about family budgets, but we sure do,” says the female announcer. “We’re paying more for food and gas, making it harder to save for college, retirement.” Then she sticks it to him: “Obama’s solution? Higher taxes, called ‘a recipe for economic disaster.’ He’s ready to raise your taxes…”

In fact, most of us would pay less under the Obama plan (which the Post calls “the wiser and more fiscally responsible), than with McCain’s.

clipped from www.washingtonpost.com
The facts? The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center found that the Obama plan would give households in the bottom fifth of the income distribution an average tax cut of 5.5 percent of income ($567) in 2009, while those in the middle fifth would get an average cut of 2.6 percent of income ($1,118).”Your taxes” would go up, yes — but not if you’re someone who is sweating higher gas prices.By contrast, Mr. McCain’s tax plan would give those in the bottom fifth of income an average tax cut of $21 in 2009. The middle fifth would get $325 — less than a third of the Obama cut. The wealthiest taxpayers make out terrifically.
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The Post concludes: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

September 8, 2008 at 12:45 pm

Posted in Politics

Why “Islamic terrorism” is more insulting that we realize

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Body by FisherCross-cultural communication is tough. I’m told that when GM first began selling cars in Europe, the then-omnipresent “Body by Fisher” seal in the door sill was mistranslated to read “Corpse by Fisher.” I doubt it helped GM get what it was after.

Juan Cole, U of Michigan’s brilliant Middle East scholar, wrote a valuable Salon article offering cross-cultural insight into the difference between Islamic and Muslim.

clipped from www.commondreams.org
Juan Cole“Islamic” has to do with the religion founded by the prophet Mohammed. We speak of Islamic ethics … or Islamic art, as things that derive from the religion. “Muslim,” on the contrary, describes the believer. It would be perfectly all right to talk about Muslim terrorists, but calling them Islamic terrorists or Islamic fascists implies that the religion of Islam is somehow essentially connected to those extremist movements.
Giuliani complained that during their debates, Democratic rivals “never mentioned the word ‘Islamic terrorist,’
But people are not “Islamic,” they are Muslim. And one most certainly does insult Muslims by tying their religion to movements such as terrorism or fascism. Muslims perceive a double standard in this regard: Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols would never be called “Christian terrorists” even though they were in close contact with the Christian Identity Movement.
Muslims point out that persons of Christian heritage invented fascism, not Muslims
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Get it? Islamic means from the religion. Muslim describes a person.

I’m not too bothered by calling Timothy McVeigh a “Christian terrorist,” given that Christian can describe either the faith or a person. But I would be troubled if McVeigh were labeled a “Biblical terrorist;” that would suggest that terrorism would derive from following Jesus. And I’d want to oppose that idea everywhere it arose.

So it may be, a bit, with Islamic and Muslim.

Now, the argument could be made that it’s a free country and people can say whatever they want. AhmadinejadThat’s true, but it isn’t the point. If we want to seriously communicate with people of languages or faiths other than our own, we have some homework to do. Or we’ll find ourselves saying things we didn’t intend. Our communication won’t work very well. We won’t get what we’re after (indeed, this is part of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s problem: he has not understood what his words mean in western culture; journalists and politicians have failed to work hard at accurately translating the intent behind his words, opting for the simpler route of calling him crazy. Corpse by Fisher).

What do we want, then, from interaction with others? Those of us who see a part of our faith as becoming peace-makers, what do we want from communication?

Can we afford the shallowness of understanding only our own views, or talking in only our own way?  Will it get us what we’re after?


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Written by Monte

February 2, 2008 at 2:03 pm

McCain: 100 years in Iraq “fine with me”

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Here’s what’s wrong with “experienced” candidates on national security:

photo credit samueljscott.files.wordpress.comTruthdig: When asked in a New Hampshire town hall meeting about the possibility of being in Iraq for 50 more years, John McCain says it could be 100 years and that would be “fine with me” so long as American troops aren’t getting killed. Comparing Iraq to South Korea and Japan, McCain suggests it would behoove America to maintain a long-term military presence there.

McCain, Romney, Giulani—maybe even Clinton— just don’t get it that Al Qaeda and its ilk attack Americans because American strike-forces are positioned on Arab lands. Arabs and Iranians and American scholars have labored to make this plain. But the President has put his fingers in his ears and cried “They hate us for our freedom.” That’s what experience gets you.

Americans will not be secure until US presidents stop threatening Arab and Iranian homelands. Americans themselves have moved beyond this cold-war view; American government lags behind.

It isn’t right to force ourselves on other nations, and we are less secure when we do. Let’s elect a president who knows it.


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Written by Monte

January 5, 2008 at 2:24 pm

Newsweek: Bottom line on Candidates

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Newsweek published thoughts on the “win – ability” of each candidate for the Presidency, followed by one-line summaries. Here are the one-liners on the leaders from both parties – click thru on the link for details. (Hint: I found the link to this article in an Obama email)

clipped from www.newsweek.com

Rudy Giuliani
Bottom Line
Unless the United States is attacked again by terrorists close to the election, a risky choice for Republicans.

Mitt Romney
Bottom Line
If anti-Mormon Republicans stay home, it’s hard to see how he makes it in November.

Mike Huckabee
Bottom Line
A big risk, but he’s got potential appeal to Reagan Democrats, which might be the only way for the GOP to hold the White House.

John McCain
Bottom Line
If there’s major news from abroad in 2008, he’s the GOP’s best shot. If not, he’s not.

John Edwards
Bottom Line
Looks safer, but at least as big a risk in general election as Clinton or Obama.

Hillary Clinton
Bottom Line
She can win, but she’ll need to run a near-flawless fall campaign.

Barack Obama
Bottom Line
A roll of the dice, but the only one with a decent chance for a landslide.
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You buying it?


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Written by Monte

December 31, 2007 at 4:05 pm

Posted in Politics

Zogby: Obama would beat all Repubs; All defeat Clinton

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clipped from www.zogby.com
Zogby Poll: Obama, Edwards Strong but Clinton Slips Against GOPers General election match-ups show the New York Senator would lose against every top Republican
UTICA, New York – A new Zogby Interactive survey shows Democrat Hillary Clinton of New York would lose to every one of the top five Republican presidential contenders, representing a reversal of fortune for the national Democratic front–runner who had led against all prospective GOP opponents earlier this year.
Meanwhile, fellow Democrats Barack Obama of Illinois and John Edwards of North Carolina would defeat or tie every one of the Republicans, this latest survey shows.

 

 

11/26/2007

 

7/14/2007

 

5/17/2007

Clinton

 

40%

 

46%

 

43%

Giuliani

 

43%

 

41%

 

48%

 

 

11/26/2007

 

7/14/2007

 

5/17/2007

Clinton

 

40%

 

48%

 

48%

Romney

 

43%

 

38%

 

40%

 

 

11/26/2007

 

7/14/2007

 

5/17/2007

Clinton

 

39%

 

N/A

 

N/A

Huckabee

 

44%

 

N/A

 

N/A

 

 

11/26/2007

 

7/14/2007

 

5/17/2007

Obama

 

46%

 

46%

 

48%

Giuliani

 

41%

 

42%

 

42%

 

 

11/26/2007

 

7/14/2007

 

5/17/2007

Obama

 

46%

 

49%

 

52%

Romney

 

40%

 

35%

 

35%

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Many of us recovering religious-right-oholics thought this would happen. But I have no idea what happens next.


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Written by Monte

November 27, 2007 at 4:51 pm

Posted in Politics