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Medicare vs. Britney- angry man Matt Taibbi highlights the class warfare in Bush’s new national budget by giving examples of the wealth transfer from important social programs to artistocratic billionaire families. For example, Taibbi points out that the Walton family (owners of Wal-Mart) stands to gain $32.7 billion over the next ten years, thanks to Bush’s tax cuts. At the same time, Bush’s budget plans to cut the Medicaid budget by $28 billion over the next ten years. Likewise, a former ExxonMobil CEO will get $164 million in tax breaks, while Bush eliminates a $108 million program that sends groceries to the elderly and mothers with newborn children.
Big Brother Is Watching You II- summary of a recent PBS news report about domestic spying by the federal government. A summary of the summary:
- The government is intercepting most emails sent domestically.
- AT&T is collecting most emails and sharing them with the government, specifically the NSA (this is backed up by Klein’s documents).
- The NSA spy room at AT&T’s San Francisco facility is only accessible to the NSA and AT&T employees cleared by the NSA
- The NSA’s interest seems to be in MAE WEST, *the* major hub of American and international internet traffic on the West Coast
- The device installed in San Francisco is capable of intercepting 10 GIGBYTES of data per second. In layman’s terms, that means it could go through all the information in all the books in the Library of Congress in 15 minutes.
Making Martial Law Easier- sneaky bill inserted into the latest defense spending bill makes it easier for the president to declare martial law. Whee. In a rare positive development, a bipartisan bill has been introduced into Congress to erase this fascism.
Terror Officials See Al Qaeda Chiefs Regaining Power- Goodness, 5+ years of war on terrorism and bin Laden & Al Qaeda seem to be going strong. Heckuva job, Bushie.
The article says what many have suspected for years, that bin Laden has been hiding out in the mountainous Waziristan region of northern Pakistan. Unfortunately for the US, the people of Waziristan are not really under the control of the Pakistani government. They also place a high value on hospitality; so if they have accepted bin Laden into their land, they would likely take on any military force that tried to take him away. This makes for a very precarious situation; if Pakistan or the US go in to get bin Laden, it could lead to Pakistani unrest, in which the unpopular President Musharraf could possibly be ousted by Islamic fundamentalists. So even if the US successfully destroyed the Islamic fundamentalists of Al Qaeda, they’d do so at the risk of putting a different group of Islamic fundamentalists in charge of a country with a nuclear arsenal. Rock, hard place, holy cleansing fire…
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