So much to talk about
1. The Senate and House together have many to come up with a tax bill that is palatable to the Bush administration. Ergo, it must screw the poor and enrich the rich, yes? Yes. With the change in Roth IRA rules allowing those with incomes over $100,000 to convert their conventional IRAs to Roth IRAs, rich folks get to pay a little now and save a bundle later. It's the usual trickle down Republican blather: boost economic growth by giving rich people more money and poor people less.
Hillary says, "The average millionaire will receive an additional $42,000 tax cut while middle-income Americans will see an average of $20." There's a rather meaty discussion of why else this tax bill is bad for the US here, giving tidbits such as "(a)bout 87 percent of the benefits of the tax cuts in the final package would flow to households with incomes above $100,000, and 55% would flow to those with incomes above $200,000."
2. More about dying babies and our nation's priorities. Not only do we place a low priority on family-friendly governmental policies like paid family leave and maternity leave, but we apparently place a low priority on infant welfare. Like keeping them alive. The US has one of the highest death rates for newborns among developed nations. In the link about this, there's a lovely gem: "Researchers noted that the United States is more racially diverse and has a greater degree of economic disparity than many other developed countries, making it more challenging to provide culturally appropriate health care."
Excuse me. Does that sound like a copout to anyone else? Racial and cultural diversity makes it harder for us to provide the funds and programs necessary to produce healthy mothers and healthy babies? With all the brains in the US, we can't figure out how to promote breastfeeding and prenatal care to African-Americans and Hispanics? What, their cultures are so much different from the predominant white culture that they don't care about keeping their babies alive? How insulting.
3. Hey. Here's an idea. Let's solve our oil crisis by opening up the Arctic to oil drilling. It's perfectly safe and will leave our pristine wilderness intact. Really. Oh. Don't read this article, though. The one that talks about Shell oil spills being up 50% in 2005, and it's not all from Katrina, either.
4. Alligator Kills Jogger In Florida. Told you jogging was bad for you.
5. Two thirds of Americans surveyed think it's just fine and dandy that George Dubya and friends spy on our phone records. Are there stupid chemicals in our water supply or something? Barring that notion, Daily Kos gives us some helpful tips about how to bring those we rub elbows with back to reality, including remembering that data mining is inefficient and costly and possibly illegal. And can we trust the government to use this information as they claim they will, rather than to further invade our privacy, blackmail us, or sell the info to others so they can use it in some nefarious fashion, given that they keep lying to us?