Friday, September 21, 2007

Daily Headliners--Giuliani and tax cuts, Giuliani's "surprise" phone call, Bush's AG gets Dems support,

Here is tonight's Daily Headliners to wonder about.

Giuliani: Balance Tax Cut With Tax Cut; This Associated Press story just boggles my mind here;

RESTON, Va. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani said Friday that the alternative minimum tax — which is expected to generate as much as $1 trillion over the next 10 years — could be eliminated over the long term by balancing it out with even more tax cuts.

Giuliani's remarks prompted a bewildered response from his audience of technology executives. Both Republicans and Democrats said they assumed that the candidate must have misspoke as he responded to a question about the tax and its affect the middle class.

But a Giuliani spokeswoman said later that Giuliani meant what he said — tax cuts could replace the lost revenue from the AMT by boosting the overall economy.

"Giuliani is the quintessential supply-sider," said spokeswoman Maria Comella.


Giuliani told the 700-member audience of the Northern Virginia Technology Council that he wants to cap the tax, and perhaps eventually eliminate it altogether.

"Over time we can figure out how to eliminate it. ... If we were going to eliminate it, though, we'd have to balance it with additional tax cuts," Giuliani said, leaving confused expressions on his audience. "That might be by making the Bush tax cuts permanent."

He continued, saying he "wouldn't eliminate it until we had tax reform."

So Giuliani wants to continue the failed supply-sider economic policy of eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax by making the Bush tax cuts permanent--eliminating the ATM with another tax cut? I seriously wonder if Giuliani is pandering to the right in showing that he is a bigger tax cutter than John McCain, Mitt Romney, or even Fred Thompson. And so, we get these delusional fantasies from a GOP presidential candidate of balancing tax cuts with more tax cuts. Do you really believe that Giuliani will correct himself?

Giuliani's "surprise" phone call: I found this story through Carpetbagger Report, and I'm just disgusted by the blatant shamelessness of Rudy Giuliani. The original source story is through TPM Election Cafe;

While delivering his big speech today before the National Rifle Association, Rudy was interrupted by a cell phone call from his wife, Judith Nathan. An apparently surprised Rudy told the crowd, "it's my wife," spoke to her for a moment, and closed the call with a touching, I'm-happily-married moment, saying, "I love you" to her in front of a crowd of gun rights types.

Is it possible that the man forgot to turn off his cell -- or at least stick the thing on vibrate -- while giving a major speech that could be critical to the outcome of his candidacy? Or is it possible that Judi didn't know about the speech?

It turns out, this isn't the first time Giuliani performed this stunt. From YouTube:

I can actually see this insidiously stupid stunt being performed by a local, or even a state candidate, running for office. But a presidential candidate? Does Rudy Giuliani think that the American public is that dumb as to fall for this juvenile stunt? Or maybe it is just the GOP voters who are dumb enough to fall for it. I don't know how much more I can register my disgust against Giuliani here.

Of course, Giuliani's "surprise" phone call speech didn't really convince the members of the NRA that he was pro-gun here.

Bush's pick for attorney general garners widespread support: I should say something about President Bush's pick of former federal judge Michael Mukasey as the new attorney general last Monday. This was a surprise hit into left field here, where I was expecting Bush to select another crony in another confrontation against the congressional Democrats. I was wrong. According to this September 17, 2007 McClatchy News story:

WASHINGTON — President Bush's nomination Monday of former federal judge Michael Mukasey as attorney general won praise from unlikely quarters and possibly averted a contentious Senate confirmation battle.

Leading Democrats, who had vowed to block any nominee who appeared overly partisan, said Mukasey appeared independent enough to be confirmed.

"I'm glad President Bush listened to Congress and put aside his plan to replace Alberto Gonzales with another partisan administration insider," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. "Judge Mukasey has strong professional credentials."

Even so, Senate Democrats cautioned that Mukasey shouldn't expect to coast through the confirmation process and would be questioned closely about his views on controversial issues such as the administration's wiretapping program.


Mukasey, 66, also doesn't have close personal ties to Bush — unlike former Attorney General Gonzales. Gonzales, who served as White House counsel, was criticized for lacking the necessary independence and expertise to serve as the nation's top law enforcement official.

Senate Democrats should really grill Mukasey as to whether he will return independence to the Justice Department, especially after seven years of Bush White House politicalization of the Justice Department in the U.S. attorney firings, and using the Civil Rights Division to discriminate and disenfranchise minority voters for the benefit of the Republican Party. The Democrats are going to need to make sure that Mukasey is not another Bush lackey here. The last thing the Justice Department needs is to have another Bush lackey take control and allow the Bush White House to continue to expand and exert their political control for the final year and a half.

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