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January 23, 2009

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Secretary: "The Dean is furious. He's waxing wroth."
Quincy Adams Wagstaf [Groucho]: "Is Roth out there too? Tell Roth to wax the Dean for a while."
["Horse Feathers," 1932]

Blogroll updates / fixing dead links (***cough Yglesias cough***)?

Obama -- great president or best president ever?

National Right to Life Day was earlier this week. We haven't had an abortion thread in an age and they're always so productive! (ducks, runs)

Recession dining. Turn low-cost cuts of meat into fabulous dinners. What's new with brisket?

What's new with brisket?

Mmmm, brisket.

Here's a piece about Blair, alleging that documents prove he was lying about what he knew regarding massacres occurring in East Timor in 1999.

Link

Not the guy one wants running US intelligence, I would think.

I read this on brisket not long ago.

Who else is collecting Action Figure Obama?

And no matter that you've never played a computer/video game in your life, check out this video.

On the series side, I still want Admiral Dennis Blair questioned at considerable length, damn it.

And that's the links-per-post limit.

And I mentioned in another thread Supreme Court revokes ban on Arab parties from national elections.

Thanks, Donald. I'll add that link to my last post.

Actually, those documents, Donald, seem to be the same ones I and others have been concerned about from the start, but what the hell.

No, wait, it's apparently that Allan Nairn buried his lede.

Can anyone recommend a not-horrible small pair of USB powered speakers? I was thinking something around the size of one inch width/depth and no more than three inches high. Sound quality need not be great.

Yeah, at the end he claims there are new documents. Though glancing at your website, it seems like you already have the main point there--that Blair surely knew that massacres were being committed by Wiranto's men.

Who else is collecting Action Figure Obama?

I'm waiting for the one with Kung Fu Grip.


Global gag rule overturn.

Gary,

I read your post on Blair and see that there is the customary difference of opinion. Tell us what you think about getting an admitted thief and lawbreaker confirmed to be in charge of the bank.

Which bank?

Uh, US Treasury. When I was there, no one would stand a chance of employment at the Treasury with Geithner's tax evasions.

Uh, US Treasury. When I was there, no one would stand a chance of employment at the Treasury with Geithner's tax evasions.

I doubt that very much.

Heh:

President Obama listened to Republican gripes about his stimulus package during a meeting with congressional leaders Friday morning - but he also left no doubt about who's in charge of these negotiations. "I won," Obama noted matter-of-factly, according to sources familiar with the conversation.
Geithner:
Others argue that Geithner's errors are evidence that the tax code is impossibly complex. Honest people can't do their taxes properly, and cheats find places to hide.
I thought that was a Republican position? Anyway, I'm agnostic on Geithner.

Anyone other than Gary think one can get a job at Treasury after committing and admitting to tax evasions?

"an admitted thief"

I should say I missed that: do you have a cite, please?

"Anyone other than Gary think one can get a job at Treasury after committing and admitting to tax evasions?"

Um, what? Are you reading some other blog? Or are you just making up quotes?

Couple of points:

Gary, the reference in my last post should have been to gwangung, not you

I agree that the code is complicated and results in many honest mistakes. This does not wash with Geithner, however, because the IMF has very elaborate processes in place to convey that they are not withholding payroll taxes nor paying the employer's portion (they go through these processes on a quarterly basis with each employee affected) and they made special payments to Geithner so that he could make the payments. He failed to make these tax payments for four years 2001-2004 I believe. An audit apparently caught him and he had to pay up, but he only paid up for those years 2003-2004 for which the statute of limitations had not run out. This says, to me at least, that he was willing to live with the crime committed in 2001-2002 since no criminal charges could be brought. Of course, once he realized he might be working at the Treasury, he paid the rest. This two step tells a lot.

Not being a mind-reader, I don't know what it tells us.

Meanwhile, anyone want to design a steam-punk Cylon?

I'm getting a nice confirmation of my sense that most of the histrionics here only come into play when the perceived crimes are in the human rights arena (terror detainees, immigrants, etc) but elicit only agnosticism for crimes against property, likes stealing. Am I to take that posters here are only interested in seeing enforcement of some of our laws?

"Am I to take that posters here are only interested in seeing enforcement of some of our laws?"

Possibly, but I'm doubtful many people are agnostic about theft. I certainly amn't; I'm simply not knowledgeable about tax laws, and not inclined to believe I know the motivations behind an act that could be accidental carelessnes, or could be something worse. Presumably the inspector general and other officials at the Treasury Department are competent to make rulings on cases including the SecTreasury.

I'm neither declaring him innocent, or guilty. On the other hand, your conviction that he must be guilty seems to indicate either greater knowledge, or greater mind-reading ability, than mine.

Your suspicions that people don't care about property theft incline one towards particular doubts about your mind-reading capabilities.

To be sure, maybe we have some hidden Proudhonites among us.

We haven't had an abortion thread in an age and they're always so productive!

No abortion thread?!?!

Then we will have to discuss donuts.

h/t DougJ at Balloon Juice.

And no, I'm not weighing in on crullers vs honey glazed.

Here's my concern, Gary. We just had our economy taken down by people on Wall St and bankers, lenders, and elected officials around the country acting in a manner comparable to that displayed by Geithner. I know he is making excuses, but payroll tax is the most regressive of all our taxes, and his inattention to this indicates he may not be very much in touch with the man on the street. Now he is going to be in charge of doling out trillions while we and our descendants will pay the bill. He will no doubt be confirmed. We could have had Larry Summers, probably a better appointment but he once offended some women, so he would have had big trouble with confirmation.

"...and his inattention to this indicates he may not be very much in touch with the man on the street."

Maybe. Or not. As I said, I really don't believe I know enough to have an opinion here. That's not a cop-out: I try to speak up only on matters where I'm reasonably sure I know what I'm talking about. I'm not vouching for Geithner; I'm just saying I don't know enough.

Before you do too much damage to your straw man, G.O.B., you might take a look at the threads discussing Larry Summers here before the Treasury and other economic policy appointments got made.

Larry Summers, who didn't exactly get shut out of the inner circle -- he's in a very influential position -- is no more in touch with regular workers than Geithner or any of the other high rollers in Obama's circle of economic advisers. He's a principal architect of our hollowed-out, service-and-import-consumption economy.

The major objections to him have and had eff-all to do with his sexism.

"Recession dining. Turn low-cost cuts of meat into fabulous dinners."

M.F.K Fisher, How to Cook a Wolf:

"Author MFK Fisher wrote "How to Cook a Wolf" in 1942, in the midst of World War II, just as food rationing programs were kicking into gear in the United States. Strict limits were put on basics like sugar, butter, meat, and coffee, and war-time slogans encouraged American households to "make do, or do without." . . . Afraid that well-meaning nutritionists would turn cooking and eating in to little more than a balance sheet of calcium and riboflavin, Fisher wrote "How to Cook a Wolf." It was a reminder of the pleasure--the rapture--you could still find in food, even under a tight budget or war-time rationing.

"How to Cook a Wolf" reads like an issue of Lady's Home Journal, if the editorial staff were taken over by a philosopher with an empty stomach, a slightly tipsy poet and your mischievous, foxy godmother who once kept many lovers.

Some of my favorite lines: "Probably one of the most private things in the world is an egg, until it is broken."

On cooking during a war-time black-out: "Use as many fresh things as you can, always, and then trust to luck and your blackout cupboard and what you have decided, inside yourself, about the dignity of man." . . .

"How to Cook a Wolf" is part cookbook, part essay collection. Fisher shares practical recipes that can be made cheaply: how to make your own toothpaste; a recipe for fried calves' brains, since that cut of meat was cheaper and more readily available under rationing programs; instructions for a good, low-cost sherry cocktail . . ."

Obama repealed the Global Gag Rule. Tomorrow, I plan to celebrate with doughnuts.

Nell,

I don't imagine I would see anything I haven't seen before about Summers. Thanks for the additional confirmation.

Geithner: he eligibility for employment by the IRS due to his payroll tax deficiency would definitely be in question. As for employment in the rest of the Treasury Department, I don't know. Certainly if he's appointed by Obama and confirmed by the senate, it doesn't matter if he sauteed baby kittens at a PETA rally (or whatever the appropriate Treasury Dept. analog is), he's SecTreas.

Well, yeah. A boss with cred.

Obama repealed the Global Gag Rule. Tomorrow, I plan to celebrate with doughnuts.

I hear the crow-flavored ones are especially tasty.

For crow-substitute, I prefer tofu.

Mmm, tofu doughnuts.

Now, about DOMA and DADT...

We could have had Larry Summers, probably a better appointment but he once offended some women, so he would have had big trouble with confirmation.

Yeah, Larry Summers has been totally shut out of the inner circle. I mean, google his name! It's not like "top economic advisor" shows up in the first link... oh wait.

Stoopid bitches.

Ten years of Dr. Manhattan went by by so quickly.

The president has no power to repeal law; we don't have a parliamentary system; DOMA can only be repealed by legislation. Ditto Don't Ask, Don't Tell, which is Pub.L. 103-160 (10 U.S.C. § 654). Neither was done by Executive Order, nor can be repealed by executive order.

To be sure, maybe we have some hidden Proudhonites among us.

Non-practicing ATM.

[shifts about guiltily]

[stares at feet]

This says, to me at least, that he was willing to live with the crime committed in 2001-2002 since no criminal charges could be brought.

The statute of limitations on tax evasion is six years, so criminal charges certainly could have been brought. Criminal charges were not brought because the IRS didn't think that a crime had been committed.

As long as this thread is open, I'd like to point out that M.F.K. Fisher, like President Obama and Terry Gilliam (of Monty Python), attended my alma mater, Occidental College.

Io Triumphe!

Doubtless "GoodOleBoy" will deduce from these "histrionics" something about my attitude toward law enforcement that will confirm his prejudices toward whatever he believes I represent.

As long as it gets him through the night . . .

Ten years of Dr. Manhattan went by by so quickly.

That sent chills up my spine. I can't believe its coming.

Kenneth Almquist seriously understates the case. GOB, of course, is just talking nonsense.

When the IRS found that Geithner's professional tax preparer had failed to work up the self-employment tax on Geithner's income from not-self-employment, it hit him up for the back taxes, which he paid.

They were so shocked at this Cheating, this TAX EVASION, this THEFT!!!! -- that they didn't so much as charge him a penalty.

Have you ever had a little problem, a five-digit problem, with the IRS and wound up not paying penalties on it? I mean, when you turned out to be in the wrong.

The IRS, in fact, is by and large a competent and decent organization, which treats people justly much of the time, even sometimes people who are really at fault. After all, use every man after his desert, and who shall 'scape whipping? (And I am not speaking here from third-hand accounts, or second-hand.) They still collect their penalties unless you can make some really good case; but no one knows better than they do what an hopeless mess is the law they must administer. So their judgment of what is not worth assessing a penalty for is likely to be worth more than GoodOleBoy's.

The IRS, in fact, is by and large a competent and decent organization, which treats people justly much of the time

I like the way you kept a straight face when you said that. You could totally be a salesperson.

@G.O.B.: I've engaged you on a couple of recent threads, doing my best to meet your assertions with substantive and civil responses.

Your response here -- attributing a position to me and other posters that we don't hold, declining to make the slightest effort to examine evidence that we don't hold that position, and then asserting that my response only reinforces your false attribution -- frees me from any obligation to respond to you on this or any other thread.

This unwillingness to listen to what people are actually saying in favor of the stereotypes in your head makes clear that the ignorance you display here is willed and invincible.

"When the IRS found that Geithner's professional tax preparer had failed to work up the self-employment tax on Geithner's income from not-self-employment, it hit him up for the back taxes, which he paid."

Professional tax preparer?

Geithner said in his testimony the other day that he used Turbo Tax.

Everything Timothy Geithner does as Treasury Secretary would be funded by taxpayers.

Hopefully, we won't forget to pay. Or pay late. Or not pay enough.

And if we do, I imagine the IRS will show the soft side porlockjr outlined when we use the Timothy "I Forgot" Geithner Defense.

Geithner's mistake was so common that the IRS actually set up a special settlement initiative for people in his position, though Geithner didn't take part in it because it appears his error was discovered on audit prior to the initiative being issued.

And it's possible to use both TurboTax and an accountant to do your taxes.

Coffee Linked to Lower Dementia Risk. I'm sure I could use 65% less dementia.

Sinse this is an open thread: Bedtimeforbonzo, I thought you might be interested in how things have worked out for Lassie.

Her new family is great. The woman used to volunteeer at the humane shelter and very much believes that pet adoption is a lifelong commitment. The husband is a dog person who grew up with dogs who died of old age in the family home. Really I couldn't ask for nicer people for her. She has become "daddy's girl" and follows the man around the house, sleeping at his feet, hanging about the door awaiting his return whenever he leaves. They are planning to take her to agility classes because she is so smart.

So happy ending. She has her bum in the butter now!

I admit to jealousy; I wanted to be the one she loved, the one who gave her a happy home. I miss her. It will be awhile before I will be able to love a another dog as much as I love her. But the most important thing is that right now she is on the couch in a nice warm house with two people who think she is the most loving, the smartest, the sweetest, the best dog they could have in their home(which she is). So I am happy for her.

"Bedtimeforbonzo, I thought you might be interested in how things have worked out for Lassie."

So might others of us! Thanks!

Yes, Gary, thanks, I'm sorry if I seemed dismissive of others. BTB just seemed especially interested--I know that I can be a complete bore on the subject of dogs so I try to restrain my effusiveness about them.

Open threads are utterly appropriate for one's enthusiasms and effusiveness. If others aren't interested, that's what scroll keys are for.

(Appropriate for, y'know, a few hundred words, anyway.)

How long has it been since I've mentioned that Rush Limbaugh is a moronic f*cktard? It's never too soon.

Goodnight, Gary! It's nine over here so it must be...twelve? One? I forget how many time zones there are between here and the east coast. Anyway past my bedtime since I work tomorrow, so goodnight!

"I forget how many time zones there are between here and the east coast."

Three hours later than the west coast. Good night, unless as is likely you're reading this in the morning or afternoon of Sunday, in which case appropriate salutory wishes of the appropriate time of day. :-)

Argh, I've been raising my blood pressure for the last hour by listening to a Diane Rehm Show segment on torture. Apparently they couldn't find anyone willing to take the pro-torture side other than a Bush speechwriter. Why exactly should anyone care what a Bush speechwriter says on any subject other than Bush's speeches?

And there were the expected number of morons calling in about how we shouldn't pamper terrorists, some of whom used the word "torture" to describe what they were approving of, so that the torture apologist had to "correct" them by saying that the enhanced interrogation techniques are not torture.

wonkie: Sounds like Lassie found a perfect home -- and she's a Daddy's Girl already. You'll always be a great part of her.

While we were open for business on a rare Sunday, Olga and Danny went to see "Hotel for Dogs" and Olga admitted getting misty-eyed.

---

Last night on cable, Olga and I watched a 2007 movie: "Gone Baby Gone," Ben Afleck's strong directorial debut, a grim missing-children's tale. The lead character has to make a stark choice at the end -- Olga sided with the one he made; surprising myself, I went the other way. Don't want to give the ending away, so I'm staying vague -- and would recommend the film.

Apparently it's Torture Apologist Day on NPR. Alberto Gonzales himself is now spewing his spin from my radio, explaining that Eric Holder must not understand how important fighting terrorism is if he's calling waterboarding torture. The host didn't bother to ask him to clarify how the motive of the torturer makes the torture into something else.

I doubt Von is reading this, but that went well.

Rabbit at Rest.

R.I.P. John Updike.

It seems like just the other day I was watching Charlie Rose interview him.

As it's an open thread, I'm adding a link to the new Savage word campaign: saddleback. If you thought you knew what this meant last week, just imagine what you'll know tomorrow. (Warning: possibly NSFW.)

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