Fox Tries To Connect Occupy Wall Street To Violent Anarchist Group

The FBI has broken up a plot to blow up a bridge. Fox’s web site used this as an opportunity for a slur against Occupy Wall Street. The last line of their news story says:

It is unknown if the bridge incident was connected to Occupy Wall Street’s plans for nationwide protests Tuesday.

It is unknown only in the sense that there is no reason to connect Occupy Wall Street with an anarchist group planning a violent act. By the same logic it might be said that it is unknown if the bridge incident is related to anything planned by Fox, the Republican Party or any Tea Party group. However, Fox’s goal is to spread false narratives, such as that Barack Obama is a Muslim socialist and that Occupy Wall Street is a terrorist organization. Neither fair nor balanced. Certainly not true, but discrediting Occupy Wall Street is consistent with the conservative movement’s top priority of redistributing wealth to the ultra-wealthy.

Incidentally, while I wouldn’t try to confuse Fox with a terrorist organization, there is something both uncomplimentary and true which can be said about Rupert Murdoch today In the UK, members of Parliament are saying that Rupert Murdoch “is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company” and showed “willful blindness” to what was going on at News Corporation.

Returning to the bomb threat, MSNBC News  did not mention Occupy Wall Street but the article does say:

The five were “controlled by an undercover FBI employee,” and agents had them under extensive surveillance for a long period of time.

On the one hand I have questions as  to the degree to which the FBI is taking credit for, and utilizing resources for, stopping terrorist threats which might never have been meaningful without FBI involvement. On the other hand, publicity such as this might spread mistrust and paranoia among would-be terrorists, making them afraid to cooperate with others out of fear that they might be FBI undercover FBI agents.

Update:  In light of the reports of violence at some of the demonstrations today, I would add that while I have sometimes been displeased with the tactics of Occupy Wall Street, there is no comparison between demonstrations (even those which do unfortunately become violent) and acts such as bombing a bridge. Occupy Cleveland canceled May Day protest plans following the news of the arrests to avoid  “any implications in this nonsense.”

Republicans Show What They Really Think About Deficit Reduction

Republicans once again show what their top priority is. During the Bush years, Republican such as Dick Cheney claimed that “deficits don’t matter.” Once Obama took office, the Republicans have repeatedly tried to blame the Bush deficit on Democrats and have demanded offsets for the costs of everything from emergency disaster relief to unemployment benefits and tax cuts for the middle class. However, there is now one exception. House Republicans are now saying that they want to continue the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy without any offsets:

While President Obama and congressional Democrats want to extend only the Bush rates for middle-income earners, Republicans have long argued that the entire slate of tax rates should be kept in place until Congress can agree to a complete overhaul of the tax code.

But moving to extend the Bush tax rates without offsetting spending cuts or revenue increases could leave the GOP vulnerable to attacks on the deficit, particularly for a party that has spent years accusing Democrats of bankrupting federal coffers and used their House majority to insist on controlling the exploding debt.

It is Republican Party orthodoxy that tax cuts do not need to be offset because of the additional tax receipts they spur through economic growth. And in interviews, even House Republicans who have broken with the party leadership on taxes told The Hill they do not believe the extension of the Bush-era rates needs to be paid for.

Of course the evidence over the years has been that in most cases lower taxes means decreased government revenue without causing economic growth. This was seen again with the Bush tax cuts. The Laffer Curve shows benefits for tax cuts in situations with high tax rates. On rare occasions, such as when Democrat John Kennedy lowered taxes, economic benefits were seen. Even the Laffer Curve demonstrates that economic stimulus will not  result from tax cuts when tax rates are at historically low levels, such as at the present. Republicans just want to lower taxes for the ultra-wealthy, and do not really care about the deficit or the consequences for the country.