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Archive for December 19, 2010

Tammy Brown Presentation, The Homeless

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Lost Worlds: The Knights Templar (5 part playlist)

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Engineering an Empire – The Byzantine Greeks (5 part playlist)

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The Aztec Massacre (5 part playlist)

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Egyptian Warfare (4 part playlist))

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The Rebellion of Boudicca (6 part playlist))

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Violence: An American Tradition (6 part playlist)

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Aztecs: Inside the hidden empire (5 part playlist)

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CBO Director’s Blog – Federal Debt and Interest Costs

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From the CBO Director’s Blog:

Federal Debt and Interest Costs

December 14th, 2010 by Douglas Elmendorf

Recently, the federal government has been recording the largest budget deficits, as a share of gross domestic product (GDP), since the end of World War II. As a result of those deficits, the amount of federal debt held by the public has soared—surpassing $9.0 trillion at the end of fiscal year 2010 and equal to 62 percent of GDP. The interest the government pays on that debt is currently low by historical standards as a percentage of GDP but is expected to grow rapidly over the next several years as interest rates rise. In response to a request from the Senate Budget Committee, CBO prepared a study providing background material on federal debt and interest costs.

Debt held by the public

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Alexander Cockburn – Nowhere to Go But Up

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From CounterPunch:

Nowhere to Go But Up

By Alexander Cockburn

Can anything be more dismal than prospects for any decent resolution of the Israel/Palestine issue? Seemingly not. The hopes of January, 2009, at the dawn of Obama’s presidency, are dead. Washington has now given up all efforts to restart the direct Israeli-Palestinian talks and has wearily begun a new round of mediated talks instead.

Across the past two months Obama inscribed one solid achievement in history’s ledger, where all said the feat would be impossible. He actually raised the bar for Presidential acts of craven ass-kissing towards Israel. In mid-November he was offering the Israelis $3 billion to pretend for 90 days that they’d stopped settlement construction. The Israelis would be paid $33 million per day for every day they agree to back the lie he is suggesting.

There has been no limit to the servility of Washington to Tel Aviv. On July 8 the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz revealed that the Obama Administration was planning to start transferring nuclear fuel to Israel in order to build up Tel Aviv’s nuclear stockpile. In other words, amid an unrelenting campaign against Iran — the Wikileaks files reveal it to be the US’ prime diplomatic obsession – for enriching uranium and planning to make a nuclear bomb, Washington is flouting the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) by aiding Israel’s nuclear weapons program.

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AMERICAblog – New tax law will hurt 51 million Americans

December 19, 2010 Leave a comment

From AMERICAblog:

New tax law will hurt 51 million Americans

by Chris in Paris on 12/19/2010 12:09:00 AM

Unless the working poor want to step up their campaign contributions they’re going to have to move aside. This is the new Democratic Party that has different priorities than in the past.

Why is the payroll-tax cut not as beneficial to those workers? Because at lower income levels, a 2-percent decline doesn’t add up to much.The Tax Policy Center, a non-profit, non-partisan research organization, estimates that 51 million households, including many making $40,000 or less, would do worse under the new law. (On the Tax Policy Center’s table illustrating that point, see the fourth column from the right, in the row labeled “All,” for the total number of households benefiting more from Making Work Pay than from the Social Security payroll tax cut; the number is in thousands, so add three zeros to it.)

With the Making Work Pay tax credit, individuals between $6,452 and $75,000, have been eligible for up to $400 a year. Couples making between $12,903 and $150,000 have recieved up to $800. But, as Roberton Williams, a senior fellow with the Tax Policy Center, points out, the 2-percent drop in the payroll tax doesn’t yield $400 until a worker makes $20,000. So workers making less won’t get as much under the new system.

To confirm the TPC’s assertions, I checked with both Barbara Weltman, a tax attorney and author of J.K. Lasser’s 1001 Deductions and Tax Breaks, and John W. Roth, a senior tax analyst with CCH Wolters Kluwer, publisher of tax information and software. Both agreed with the TPC’s assertion. “The net will be a negative for the lower working class,” Roth said.

Lumber jack song

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Veterans for Peace White House Civil Disobedience to End War

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