In the news…

Hmmm… CNN praises the heck out of here, citing its innovative political themes that have drawn the dispossessed and the young into politics. Yeah, Bush=Hitler. How innovative and new that is. Gee, wish I’d of thought of that.
Maybe I’ll try floating my own innovative new campaign themes from a new pro-Republican (ahem) non-profit. I’ll call it Like, which was inspired to urge Republicans to leave our Willie alone, and “move on” to the country’s important business, will be named to tell the Deaniacs and other foaming-at-the-mouth Bush haters to just geddafugginlife already. Our first campaign theme will be “Dean is Eeeevil.” We’ll show him as Satan tempting Eve, as Dr. Faust selling his soul, and perhaps the guy at Starbucks who ranks out the poor barista because the cinnamon dispenser is empty.
Moving on…

CNN also reports on this effort to create a giant pressure cooker, to destroy mad cow beef.
Anybody who has ever had boiled beef, or other similar, highly sought after anglo delicacies, can attest to the fact that nothing is better for destroying beef than a pressure cooker.
Now if you wanted to get rid of the beef really fast, I’d recommend a low-temperature smoker, with some dry rub and a tomato-based barbecue sauce.
And no day would be complete without a damning of Paul O’Neill from conservative critics. Here’s Steven Moore of the Club for Growth, a confessed O’Neill disliker and anti-tax leader, talking about a lunch with O’Neill:

One of the most poignant moments of our meeting came when he asked me whether I really believed that any tax changes could impact the economy or the stock market in the short term. I politely said that policy changes, of course, matter in directing the economy in the right direction and that incentives matter — that’s why we’re here. He replied: “You know I hear this talk all the time about the value of this tax cut and that tax cut, but I’ve been in the business world for years and have made major investment decisions, and the idea that these tax changes impact these kinds of real-world decisions is just bulls***. This just isn’t how the real world works.” I nearly fell out of my chair. How could President Bush have put this confused man in this job, I kept asking myself.

So is Moore being a rabid Bush defender here? Or are the grinding axe noises legit?
I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.
Take for example the massive commercial real estate market. Until the mid-80s, commercial mortgage interest was tax deductible. This made commercial real estate an attractive investment. This in turn led to heavy building.
Then, in the mid-80s, we had some ill advised tax-reform that scuttled the commercial mortgage interest deduction. Commercial property was thus less attractive an investment, and ultimately worth less in the real estate market. Rents plummeted, and owners defaulted. Big banks and commercial lenders reclaimed the properties, which they sold. Yes, they took a hit, but they became major landlords and some eventually made some money back.
Smaller banks, however, subject to the lower cash reserve (cash-on-hand) requirements of the Savings & Loan industry regulations, couldn’t take the hit. Heavily leveraged smaller lenders who received loans under the looser savings & loan lending criteria, couldn’t take the hit either. So commercial real estate defaults wiped out thousands of small investors, along with dozens of savings & loans. The depositors – the Customers of the savings & loans – were reimbursed for their losses by the Federal Deposit Insurance Company, which in turn initiated all manner of litigation against savings & loan operators.
Ever heard of the savings & loan bailout? It’s cost you, the taxpayer, around $500 billion, so far. And it’s ongoing, and will be for several more years.
If O’Neill actually said that tax policy decisions have no effect on real world decisions… well, draw your own conclusions. I’d ask that you keep in mind that he’s not an intern at the world bank; rather he’s supposed to be the Administration’s top economist.
And oh, by the way, O’Neill says he was quoted out of context on a lot of the really sensational allegations.
Ron Susskind: any comment, sir?