Happy Tax Freedom Day–And Don’t Forget To Blame Bill Clinton

Today has been proclaimed Tax Freedom Day, the day on which Americans have earned enough to pay their federal, state, and local taxes and we can start keeping the money. I wonder if Hallmark sells a card.

Does this mean I don’t have to pay those second, third, and fourth quarterly estimates that my accountant set up? Ok, I realize that’s now how it works–after all I did keep some of the profits from the first quarter. It only feels like I sent it all to the government this soon after April 15.

It’s not hard to understand that this is purely a symbolic holiday with no real signficance. Even on this day I found a blog which follows the Republican 12th Commandment–Blame Bill Clinton For Everything as Tax Freedom Day is described as being based upon “misleading figures whose significance is cloaked in Clintonian wording.”

Bill Richardson, An Honest Man

Bill Richardson has risked criticism for naming Justice ‘Whizzer’ White when asked to name his “model Supreme Court justice” during the Democratic debate. White was one of two dissenting votes in Roe v. Wade, with Richardson apparently unaware of this. When asked about this answer, Richardson responded:

Mr. Richardson said he chose Justice White as his first answer because he was an all-America football player who was nominated by President Kennedy, who was Mr. Richardson’s hero.

“I was thinking really fast — I didn’t know, was he dead or alive,” Mr. Richardson said yesterday. “I don’t regret what I said. I make mistakes.”

After six years of George Bush denying all his mistakes, I find this honest response rather refreshing. I can understand how a candidate could have difficulty answering a question such as this when they have little time to think during a debate. I would expect him to do better if he had time to research and consider his answer, and consider his actual views on abortion rights to be far more important than how he answered this question during the debate. Still, after this and a couple other minor gaffes during the debates, Richardson is going to have to do better if he expects to mount a competitive campaign.

Carl Bernstein Attacks Clinton To The Excitement of Conservatives

Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame has written a biography which is being reported as being critical of Hillary Clinton:

Drawing on a trove of private papers from Hillary Clinton’s best friend, the legendary Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein is to publish a hard-hitting and intimate portrait of the 2008 presidential candidate, which will reveal a number of “discrepancies” in her official story.

Bernstein, who was played by Dustin Hoffman in the film All the President’s Men, has spent eight years researching the unauthorised 640-page biography, A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“Bernstein reaches conclusions that stand in opposition to what Senator Clinton has said in the past and has written in the past,” said Paul Bogaards, a spokesman for Knopf, which publishes the book on June 19.

With the thoroughness for which he is famous, Bernstein spoke to more than 200 of Clinton’s friends, colleagues and adversaries. He stops short of accusing the New York senator of blatantly lying about her past, but has unearthed examples of where she has played fast and loose with the facts about her “personal and political life”, according to Knopf.

The book could revive the explosive charge, made earlier this year by David Geffen, a former Clinton donor and Hollywood mogul, that “the Clintons lie with such ease, it’s troubling”.

Carl Bernstein is doing the Democrats a favor in releasing this now, while Democrats still have a chance to reconsider whether they really want Hillary Clinton heading their party. It is far better for this to come out while there is still a chance to chose a better candidate.
As Ed Morrissey notes, having such a book come from Carl Bernstein, and not Regency Press, will make it difficult for Hillary to blame this one on the “vast right-wing conspiracy.”

I sure can’t blame the conservatives for being excited by this news, but the excitement might have knocked a few screws loose in John Hawkins. He comments on his story with a theory as absurd as his his recent list of the differences between liberals and conservatives which I recently responded to.

Hawkins believes that all the “scandalous claims” about George Bush “were accepted as conventional wisdom, not because they’re true…but because they were repeated over and over again without being refuted.” He claims that George Bush never fought back, and the conventional wisdom about George Bush represents  “a case study that shows you why nice guys finish last in politics.” I’m not surprised that a conservative writer such as this is oblivious to Bush’s record and actions which caused him to be repudiated by the bulk of the country, but could anyone really be so oblivious to the operations of the Bush White House to claim they did not fight back. Bush has run a dishonest, excessively partisan White House on the level of Richard Nixon’s, which has fought both hard and dirty in attacking their enemies and presenting a false view of George Bush. At least, while they failed to convince the bulk of the country, they sure have conned John Hawkins.

Clinton and Obama Gain Support From Former GOP Businessmen Who Reject Bush Policies

The New York Sun reports that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars from people who contributed to George Bush in the past. There are several possible explanations. Many who run businesses which are affected by government actions routinely contribute to both parties or now see the Democrats as the probable winners. Some might even be contributing to a Democrat that they think would make a weaker candidate and improve the chances for a Republican victory. Others are actually rejecting the GOP as a sign of how the parties have been realigning in recent years:

One donor to Mr. Obama professing sincere disillusionment with Mr. Bush is an investment banker from Chicago, John Canning of Madison Dearborn Partners. “It’s not an isolated trend. It appears to be a significant wave,” he said. “I know lots of my friends in this business are disenchanted and are definitely looking for something different.”

In 2004, Mr. Canning was a Bush Pioneer, meaning he pledged to raise $100,000 for the president’s re-election. However, he told the Sun that his support for Mr. Bush was already fading at that time. “I was probably unenthusiastic, but not as strongly as I am now,” Mr. Canning said. He said he ended up not voting at all. “It wasn’t like I thought Kerry was a good deal.”

Mr. Canning, whose defection to Mr. Obama was reported by Bloomberg News, said he was a big fan of Mr. Bush in 2000. However, he said he later fell out with the president and other Republicans over a dispute involving a brain-injured Florida woman, Terry Schiavo, as well as subjects like global warming, stem cell research and diplomatic relations with Iran and Syria. “A lot of these issues didn’t exist when Bush first ran,” the banker said. “How do you support a guy when he shows the door to everything you believe in?”

The Republican move to the far right is causing a realignment in the parties as an increasing number of former Republicans are voting Democratic in opposition to recent GOP policies. Businessmen typically have voted Republican primarily because of GOP promises of lower taxes. While some, such as Dick DeVos of Amway, who ran for Governor of Michigan in 2004, have been long-time advocates of the agenda of the religious right, many long-time Republican businessmen are not advocates of the conservative social agenda. Others are turning away from the Republicans after seeing their inability to govern effectively. A growing number recognize that Republican economic policies are bad for the economy, and in the long term decrease their wealth. Even traditional Democratic policies such as universal heath care are gaining interest among businessmen, as they see the cost of health care as a major problem when competing internationally.

Just over two years after Republicans were speaking of a permanent majority, Democrats are in a position to develop their own majority. This depends upon whether they can maintain the support of professionals and businessmen who are disenchanted with Republican policies. Republicans will continue to attempt to get our votes by painting Democrats as “socialists” who are hostile to the affluent, and who will raise taxes to confiscatory levels. To keep the Republicans from returning to power, Democrats must prove that this is not true in the policies they promote.

Mars Warming; Right Wing Still Hostile to Science

The Times of London reports that Mars is getting warmer. As is noted in the report, the mechanism is different from the causes of climate change on the earth. The story is of interest to those interested in science, but it is irrelevant to the question of climate change on earth. Of course that won’t change how the right wing responds, with Memeorandum showing that several right wing blogs are latching on to this story. Using these climate changes on Mars to dispute theories of climate change on earth is comparable to those who spent the winter arguing against global warming because it was cold outside.

Science works by objectively analyzing the data to devise theories based upon the evidence. Those who follow the scientific method have determined that the mechanisms for warming on Mars and the earth are entirely different, and global warming represents the consensus of scientific thought. Conservatives, who reject the scientific consensus on global warming practice science backwards. They devise their conclusion first, and then search out evidence which can be twisted to verify their views.

These tend to be the same people who claim that intelligent design is a valid alternative to evolution, that abstinence-based education is of effective, that the Swift Boat Liars are anything more than partisans inventing smears, and that Saddam threatened us with WMD before the war. The right wing will not be able to make meaningful intellectual contributions, and will not be able to govern effectively, as long as they practice their flat earth philosophy. (more…)