The Thread Needler

Quick Hits

  • Lotta truth to this, from Matt Taibbi’s latest: “The brutal campaign process, with its two years of nearly constant media abuse and ‘gotcha’ watch-dogging, serves mainly to select out any candidate who is considered anything like a threat to the corrupt political establishment – and that selection process is the only thing that has kept this race close.”
  • Paul Ryan doesn’t have a problem with Mitt’s 14.1% tax rate, he told an Ohio TV station. Millionaires should pay negligible taxes, because they’re the job-creators! But a glance at recent history shows that there’s no basis for that belief: “The capital gains rate was higher during sustained periods of economic growth in the 1990s, while the 2003 cut to the capital gains rate was followed by weak investment and growth. After the rate dropped in 1997, growth rates hardly changed.” 

New Yorkers are redecorating Islamophobic subway ads that were paid for by a conservative-funded group (see link below).

  • Scott Brown’s campaign remains obsessed with Elizabeth Warren’s racial ancestry. Brown mentioned it in a debate:“Professor Warren claimed she was a Native American, a person of color — And as you can see, she’s not.” His staffers reenacted crude, offensive stereotypes of Native Americans. Creepy and ignorant!
  • The Washington Post documents the Obama administration’s disinformation campaign, designed to obscure the terrorist attack in Libya that killed Ambassador Stevens. The White House and State Department misleadingly conflated the Sept. 11 Libya attack with concurrent protests against depictions of the prophet Muhammad, trying to pass the attack off as an example of irrational “Muslim rage.” That was Islamophobic in itself, in that it perpetuated a negative stereotype about Muslims to serve the narrow interest of the administration. But unlike some commentators, I don’t think this was done for political reasons; I think the U.S. has a policy of downplaying terrorist attacks whenever possible to deny terrorist groups the publicity they may otherwise receive.
  • Inequality like this is inexcusable in the richest nation on Earth: “The bottom fifth of the U.S. income distribution — 24.4 million households — on average earned $10,074 in after-tax annual income and spent $22,001 last year.”

Picture from NYC subway via…Click through for a great post!

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