FM newswire for July 11, interesting articles about geopolitics

Today’s links to interesting news and analysis.   If you find this useful, please pass it to friends and colleagues.

  1. Highly Recommended:  “Aliens cause global warming”, speech by Michael Crichton at the California Institute of Technology, 17 January 2003 — Important and prophetic.
  2. Recommended:  “Le Hameau de la Potomac“, digby, Hullabaloo, 26 October 2009 — About the relationship of the “village” to Versailles-on-the-Potomac; two sides of the same coin.
  3. Potentially very bad news:  “Swimming Through the Spill“, Susan Shaw (marine toxicologist; Director of the Marine Environmental Research Institute), op-ed in the New York Times, 28 May 2010
  4. Recommended:  “A Time to Appease“, Paul Kennedy (Prof History, Yale), The National Interest, 22 June 2010 — It’s not always 1940; not every rival is Hitler.  A one-note strategy is a losing strategy.
  5. Important:  “In This Article, I Show How Easy It Is For Peaceful People to Violate the Patriot Act and Face 15 Years in Jail“, Joshua Holland (Editor), AlterNet, 10 July 2010 — “Give some advice to Hamas or al Qaeda about how they can peacefully achieve their objectives — and the Supreme Court might call it material aid.”
  6. Another IPCC screw-up.  Fact-checking met with the usual indignant denial and citing of imaginary and  non-peer reviewed sources:  “Amazongate proven. IPCC based their claim of rainforest sensitivity on a ‘probably’ sentence in a now defunct activist website“, Anthony Watts, 10 July 2010 — Due to obfucation and false defenses, this has become a needlessly complex story.  That’s the point, of course, as their fog hides the truth.

Today’s feature article

This isn’t rocket science, and many independent analysts have shown this data.  But Republicans want to believe it’s Obama’s fault, and facts be damned.

Critics Still Wrong on What’s Driving Deficits in Coming Years“, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 28 June 2010 — “Economic Downturn, Financial Rescues, and Bush-Era Policies Drive the Numbers” — Excerpt:

“Some critics continue to assert that President George W. Bush’s policies bear little responsibility for the deficits the nation faces over the coming decade — that, instead, the new policies of President Barack Obama and the 111th Congress are to blame. Most recently, a Heritage Foundation paper downplayed the role of Bush-era policies (for more on that paper, see p. 4). Nevertheless, the fact remains: Together with the economic downturn, the Bush tax cuts and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq explain virtually the entire deficit over the next ten years (see Figure 1).

“… The events and policies that have pushed deficits to these high levels in the near term, however, were largely outside the new Administration’s control. If not for the tax cuts enacted during the presidency of George W. Bush that Congress did not pay for, the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that were initiated during that period, and the effects of the worst economic slump since the Great Depression (including the cost of steps necessary to combat it), we would not be facing these huge deficits in the near term.

“While President Obama inherited a dismal fiscal legacy, that does not diminish his responsibility to propose policies to address our fiscal imbalance and put the weight of his office behind them. Although policymakers should not tighten fiscal policy in the near term while the economy remains fragile, they and the nation at large must come to grips with the nation’s long-term deficit problem. But we should not mistake the causes of our predicament.”

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