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(Photo by joanneleon. October, 2012)
First, is there a looming crisis of debt or deficits, such that sacrifices in general are necessary?  No, there is not.  Not in the short run – as almost everyone agrees.  But also: not in the long run.  What we have are computer projections, based on arbitrary – and in fact capricious – assumptions.  But even the computer projections no longer show much of a crisis. CBO has adjusted its interest rate forecast, and even under its “alternative fiscal scenario” the debt/GDP ratio now stabilizes after a few years.

-- James K. Galbraith





Cliffs of Insanity
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News and Opinion



ZOMG!
'Fiscal Cliff' Threatens Holiday Spending, White House Says

WASHINGTON—The White House warned in a new report that going off the so-called "fiscal cliff" could slow the growth of real gross domestic product by 1.4% and limit consumer spending during the holiday season.

The report comes as lawmakers are returning to Washington with just weeks left to find an agreement to prevent taxes from going up on millions and spending cuts from kicking in. It will likely provide fodder for both political parties as they seek to find a compromise.

The report says consumer confidence is at its highest point in five years and "The hard-earned rise in consumer confidence will be at risk if the middle-class tax cuts are not soon extended with a minimum of political drama."

So let them expire and create exactly the tax cuts that you want the very next day, the Obama tax cuts.  This would remove the pressure to cave on entitlements.  Oh, can't do that!
Obama team warns of fiscal cliff

Should all the tax cuts expire -- a de facto tax hike for all Americans -- it would hurt the economy, says the new report from Obama's Council of Economic Advisers.

Economic Prosperity and the Fiscal 'Speed Bump'
by Thom Hartmann

To make the most of this opportunity, Democrats need to have legislation in place now, this week or next, that addresses these three issues. It should be three separate bills, in fact, that will break out each of these issues. The first cuts taxes on middle and lower income people, while leaving rich people’s taxes the same as they were during the Clinton years. The second ratifies cuts to the Pentagon budget, but in a way that’s rational and reflects the reality that our biggest current and future threats are not nuclear war but cyberwar, not so much nation states as non-state actors angry that our drones killed their families. The legislation should, incidentally, put some serious limits on presidential power to be judge, jury, and executioner via drone strikes – particularly when the target is an American citizen.

If the Democrats put this legislation on the table now – with the promise of a vote on it the week after the New Year – it’ll sooth the fears of those who believe in the uncertainty fairy. And, if it’s decent legislation, it’ll give progressives a rallying point to pressure their members of Congress.

Help Obama Find His Shoes
Progressives need to pressure Obama to stick up for workers as promised.

Such coalitions must evaluate elected officials on whether or not they understand that their success in pushing legislation forward is directly linked to the strength of social movements. As Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) told me earlier this year in an interview for The American Prospect, “Sympathetic members of Congress have the power to draft, introduce and vote on legislation. But leaders in the progressive community … have the ability to mobilize, educate and organize all across America. We need each other to be successful.” We can no longer afford to invest in politicians who do not understand this.

Military suicides ‘out of control’

According to a Veterans Affairs report this spring, a veteran commits suicide every 80 minutes. More than 6,500 suicides have occurred since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began. For every service member who dies in battle, 25 veterans die by their own hands.

According to a Pentagon report, more American active service members have killed themselves in the first six months of 2012 than in the first six months of any of the previous 11 years, The Associated Press reported.





Blog Posts and Tweets of Interest


To Shell Oil: "The World is Watching You." by Agathena

Why President Obama's drone assassination program must be made accountable by joe shikspack






Done Somebody Wrong - The Allman Brother Band Live at Fillmore East






Debate

Remember when progressive debate was about our values and not about a "progressive" candidate? Remember when progressive websites championed progressive values and didn't tell progressives to shut up about values so that "progressive" candidates can get elected?

Come to where the debate is not constrained by oaths of fealty to persons or parties.

Come to where the pie is served in a variety of flavors.

"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum."  ~ Noam Chomsky

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