Friday, October 12, 2007

Carter’s Baby Clothes

Ex-president Jimmy Carter was recently interviewed on the BBC. Besides piously accusing (on foreign soil no less) the Bush administration of torturing prisoners, he charged Vice President Dick Chaney of being “a disaster for our country. I think he’s been overly persuasive on President George Bush [and] they all seem to be outdoing each other in who wants to go to war first with Iran.” Now, I may be wrong but who was the last American president to actually invade Iran? You’re right! It was this very same Jimmy Carter (with disastrous consequences to boot)!!

This toothsome one also has accused George W. Bush numerous times of “being the worst President in U.S. history” even though, in poll after poll, he himself usually brings up the rear in such voting. He obviously has no shame and sense of proportion or decorum. I kinda think he may be vying to be also voted the worst ex-President in U.S. history.

This then is a convenient segue way into the subject of the Nobel Peace Prize … which Jimmy Carter won a few years back. Today, Al “the planet has a fever” Gore also won this dynamite award (which, hopefully, will impel him to run for president in 2008.) Gore-ba-chef joins such other august recent winners of this prize as Mohamed ElBaradei, Yasser Arafat, Kofi Atta Annan, and Le Duc Tho. There is clearly enough prestige in this group to make Jimmy Carter and Al Gore look like a pair of mongooses in a pit of vipers.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Summers Time

As all my readers should know by now, I am a conservative. However, there is one liberal I tolerate … and even like … Larry Summers (the former Clinton Treasury Secretary and erstwhile tarred-and-feathered President of Harvard). Mr. Summers was on "KIudlow and Company" (CNBC) the other night and was asked lots of economic questions, most of which answers Larry Kudlow (a conservative) agreed with. The one that caused him some consternation was whether Larry Summers favored the lower (15%) capital gains rate currently in place. He said no, primarily because this lower rate is being corrupted by such things as hedge-fund managers using this lower rate to pay taxes on their multi-million compensation packages (as much as $500 million per year). They claim (and the IRS and most Republican presidential candidates agree) that these pay packages are "return of capital" and not ordinary income. This, of course, is bullshit.

So, the fact that the lower capital gains rate is being so grossly abused, may be the reason that it is killed by the next (Democratic) administration. Why do so many Republicans close ranks around this hedge fund manager capital-gains tax abuse? Could there be such a thing as "knee-jerk" righties?

I have a suggestion -- when President Wright is booted out of Dartmouth for incompetence and alienating the majority of Dartmouth alums, the job should be offered to Larry Summers.