Tuesday, November 22, 2011

More Al-Qaida in America! David Brooks Dissed (Again) & George Will Continues Phonying It Up on National TV As An Unbiased Professional With Rethug Consultant Wife

Is it real or is it Memorex?

'Al-Qaida Sympathizer' Accused of NYC Bomb Plots

Or just more fear for the masses inspired by the CIA/MI6/Mossad tricksters?

American Spies Outed, CIA Suffers in Lebanon

****UPDATE! Plot Exposed

I adore Dean Baker's wide-ranging knowledge and commentary. Wish he were our Secretary of State or Defense or Labor or . . . .

Times Columnist David Brooks Confuses the United States with Greece

November 20, 2011   ·   Comments
Source: Beat the Press

US and Greece

Dean Baker:

It is easy to get Greece and the United States confused, after all they are both in the northern hemisphere. Okay, this is a case where someone making the comparison puts their ignorance and/or dishonesty in full public view. The three reasons why we are not Greece, in reverse order or importance are:

1) Greece had chronic budget deficits, with a rising debt to GDP ratio even in the upturn. Its government has great difficulty collecting revenue as tax evasion is the major national sport. The United States actually had relatively modest deficits, prior to economic collapse in 2008. The debt to GDP ratio was actually falling. It was the economic collapse that gave us huge budget deficits.

If the economy recovers, ALL projections show that the deficit will return to relatively modest levels. In the longer term we are projected to have serious budget problems, but this is entirely due to our broken health care system. We pay more than twice as much per person as people in other wealthy countries. If we paid a comparable amount for our health care then we would be projecting budget surpluses, not deficits.

2) The United States has a huge diversified economy. If there was a run on the dollar then our goods would suddenly be hyper-competitive in the world economy. For example, if the dollar fell by 20 percent, then it would be equivalent to giving a 20 percent subsidy to all our exports and imposing a 20 percent tariff on all imports. Since the rest of the world would not tolerate this situation, they would have no choice but to support the dollar even in a worst case scenario. (In this respect, our productivity continues to grow by about 2.5 percent annually, so the economy is not going down the drain. We just need demand.)

3) We have our own currency. The ECB could buy Greek bonds and prevent the disaster it is facing. It is choosing not to. In the United States, this decision would be up to us. In a worst case scenario, we could have the Fed buy absolutely as many bonds as we want. There could be problems of inflation at some point, but we are very very far from that world.

In short, the comparison with Greece is utterly baseless. People are making this comparison to advance their agenda for cutting Social Security and Medicare. It absolutely should not be taken seriously.

Remember when TV news people would have never done anything to make their reputation for fairness questionable? I remember when George Will went from being a fairly well-spoken television presence who could be tolerated during news commentary shows to one who was quite obviously in Reagan's rightwingnutters' pockets.

Only people who enjoyed mindless chit-chat about baseball would listen to him afterwards and not think of how he had changed from someone who appeared educated well to someone who appeared indoctrinated well.

Was George Will Influenced By His Wife’s Work For the GOP?

Patrick B. Pexton 

November 18

The Post’s prickly, Pulitzer Prize-winning, conservative columnist George F. Will is one-half of a Washington political power couple. His wife, Mari Maseng Will, is a longtime Republican operative who was President Reagan’s final communications director and performed the same role for Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign.
The couple, over the years, has been splashed by the sometimes stinging but purifying hot waters of transparency and disclosure, especially as those waters flow by their two careers and their closeness to senior Republicans.
Hence, Will, a longtime friend of Nancy Reagan, got flak in 1980 for not disclosing until later that he helped Ronald Reagan with debate preparation. And although a consistent free-trader, Will was zinged in 1995 for his defense of free trade in automobiles without disclosing at the time that Maseng Will’s company was lobbying for Japanese car manufacturers.
So it was not surprising that Politico revealed in three stories Nov. 11 that Maseng Will worked for Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) early this year, flirted with Mitt Romney’s campaign in June and was hired full time by Texas Gov. Rick Perry early this month.
Should Will have disclosed it, and did he give favorable treatment to these GOP candidates?
First, let’s look at Maseng Will’s time with Bachmann, which ran from February through much of May. The congresswoman formally declared for the presidency on June 27. Will told me Thursday, “Bachmann asked my wife late last winter to set up a speech-writing operation in Bachmann’s shop. When it became clear that Bachmann was going to announce for the presidency, Mari gave them two weeks’ notice. She has since had no connection with Bachmann’s presidential campaign.”
According to my check of Post and Nexis archives, Will didn’t mention Bachmann once in his column during that time. He did mention Bachmann, however, on March 11 in his regular Sunday appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” saying, “Now, full disclosure, my wife, Mari, occasionally advises Michele Bachmann.”
Now to Romney. Maseng Will went to the candidate’s Boston headquarters on June 28. According to Will, it was to help the Romney team strategize on its approach to the Tea Party movement, and it was at the invitation of Romney aides. “Mari did not ask them for a job,” Will said, and no job was offered.
Did Will go easy on Romney, before, during, or after that time?
All of Will’s columns in the past year and all the “This Week” transcripts reveal that Will has been complimentary about almost all of the GOP candidates in the race, and about those who were considering entering, including Bachmann and Perry. In his TV comments, he criticized only three: He savaged Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin repeatedly and with glee, and he delivered glancing blows to Romney all year.
Will’s substantive critique of Romney was consistent, too: He said on television that the former Massachusetts governor lacks a core ideological compass, and because of that, GOP voters have no passion for him. That’s why, Will said on “This Week,” Romney has never been able to get above 25 percent in any poll.
Will got more caustic in a widely cited October column when he took Romney to task for being all over the map on ethanol subsidies. “Who expects difficult reforms from Romney, whose twists on ethanol make a policy pretzel?” Will wrote. “A straddle is not a political philosophy; it is what you do when you do not have one.”
But was Will suddenly nastier to Romney because his wife went to work for Rick Perry? The timeline doesn’t match. The pretzel column ran online on Oct. 28 and in print on Oct. 30. Furthermore, Will generally writes his columns days in advance. According to Will and Alan Shearer, editorial director of The Washington Post Writers Group, which syndicates Will’s columns, the first contact Maseng Will had with the Perry camp was Nov. 3, and she was hired Nov. 7.
Will told Shearer and Fred Hiatt, The Post’s editorial page editor, the next morning, Nov. 8, and he disclosed his wife’s employment at his next “This Week” appearance, on Nov. 13. Will will also disclose the fact of his wife’s employment in his columns, Hiatt said, just as he did in 1996 when he wrote about Dole.
I think disclosure is always the better part of valor. It should be prompt and complete, especially for someone so in the public eye as Will. Readers need to be able to judge for themselves if any conflict of interest could bias a journalist, even an opinion columnist.
Will should have mentioned his wife’s work with Bachmann a bit earlier than he did, even if he wasn’t writing about her, and when Maseng Will was hired by Perry, it would have been very easy to put out a statement to that effect almost immediately. But I don’t see that he changed his tune, in his columns or TV commentary, because of his wife’s work.

Sure. We all believe that.


TONY said...

If the AQ man in NYC was a 'lone wolf' as they are saying, does that make him a wolf in the city? :)

Suzan said...

Two wolves in the city?

Fits my "howling" motif perfectly.

May I join the group?