....LMB: "Money"....

February 04, 2003

The White House released their proposed budget for 2004 today. Looks bad. You can read the whole thing by clicking here, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Here's the uber-quick summary.

- $1.5 trillion in NEW tax cuts over the next 10 years, ON TOP OF last year's $1.35 trillion tax cut.
- a $16.9 billion INCREASE in the military budget which DOES NOT INCLUDE THE COSTS OF A WAR ON IRAQ. Okay, granted, that war will probably take place this year. But the military occupation will likely continue into 2004.
- "overall freeze in domestic spending."

Democrats are actually standing up to mouth harsh words about the budget. They're starting to get good at that, talking tough before utterly caving in.

Well, let me take that back. In the Days of W, people act like the Democrats and Republicans are opposing forces. Remember how Republican Clinton was? And Gore? And Lieberman? Both parties are pro-big business. The Democrats seem to think they can get a little political support by aiding the little people. That's the primary difference. Well, and there seems to be a smaller percentage of Democrats who are batshit crazy.

Then there's the deficit. It's huge. If I may describe it visually:

Interestingly, if you read between the lines, even the Bush administration admits that their 2001 tax cuts helped cause the deficit. Not that that should be anything but obvious, but presidents like to lie about even the most obvious of things.

And our most damning exhibit comes from the Financial Times, that orange-y paper that caters to the world's wealthy investor class:

"It is now clear that Mr Bush's tax cut of 2001 is also too large."

When your tax cut for the wealthy worries the wealthy, you should probably take that as a warning sign.

I don't understand the math (I'm not schooled in economic theory), but the FT claims that the Bush budget will maintain a permanent deficit, and that will lead to "an annual reduction in national income of about $1,000 per person in the US by 2012." Meaning that long-term deficit spending will cost you American readers a thousand dollars a year every year.

So, in conclusion: Buddy, can you spare a dime?

Posted by Jake at 10:39 PM
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Lying Media Bastards is both a radio show and website. The show airs Mondays 2-4pm PST on KillRadio.org, and couples excellent music with angry news commentary. And the website, well, you're looking at it.

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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

Posted by Jake at 04:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
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Mission: Mongolia

Jake's first attempt at homemade Mongolican barbecue:


What went right: correctly guessing several key seasonings- lemon, ginger, soy, garlic, chili.

What went wrong: still missing some ingredients, and possibly had one wrong, rice vinegar. Way too much lemon and chili.

Result: not entirely edible.

Plan for future: try to get people at Great Khan's restaurant to tell me what's in the damn sauce.

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