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Red Ink Getting Redder

Reported by Eleanor - August 12, 2004 -

Studio B with Shepard Smith (Aug. 12, 3:00 p.m.) covered a number of topics of interest.

Najaf - Al Sadr's militia is the target. U.S. forces are "being led" by Iraqi forces. Men are firing mortars from inside the Mosque. Later, Bob McGinnis mentioned a "booby trapped facility." (Probably the Mosque). The political implications of damaging the Mosque are "terrible." Iraqis are leading the way. We don't want another Fallujah. Al Sadr's men are referred to as "a little clique of thugs."

Same sex marriage licenses were voided by the California Supreme Court saying that the mayor overstepped his authority. So the 4,000 marriages are void - "including Rosie O'Donnell." The mayor said he's proud of the people "who had the courage to stand up on principle." One couple is quoted as saying "it's the vows that mattered, and not the piece of paper." The issue will be addressed by the State Superior Court.

A headline about a threat to our drug supply was covered quickly with Shep saying, "Ah ha" when he quotes a government entity (FDA I think) as saying that's why importing from Canada makes us so nervous. But no information is provided about an actual threat.

Income Tax vs Sales Tax - Jeff Birnbaum reported that Bush mentioned in Florida yesterday that he might consider a national sales tax. This is a tax on spending and would encourage savings. The republicans are backing off from this since it puts the tax burden on consumers who are mostly middle class and poor people. (Another example of Bush not being able to think without a script. It was a Q & A session.) The republicans favor overhauling the income tax system, and Bush is urged to propose tax reform at the Convention that encourages savings. A flat rate and lower rates on income and stock dividends are being discussed. Shep said "lower - that would be nice."

The impending press conference by Bob McGreevy, Governor of New Jersey, was anticipated. He is expected to resign due to some personal matter. (That is probably no one's business except his own and his family's. I just heard him say he's gay, and resigning.)

Comment: Bush's tax proposal at the Convention should be interesting. Whether it's a sales tax, a flat tax, a lower rate, or lower taxes on dividends, when we are borrowing from foreign countries to fund basic obligations of the government; spending the Social Security fund as soon as the money comes in; have millions of baby boomers retiring soon, who expect to get their money; and have red ink as far as the eye can see; it seems really odd to cut revenue. Another example of upside down and backwards politics; and worse, destruction of the national treasury.