If anyone had to ‘encourage’ the pie-flinging self-professed comedian at today’s Parlimentary hearing (say by putting a word, or something more negotiable, in the right security bloke’s hand), my money would be on the underregarded third Mrs. Murdoch. The tv evening news reports noticed Rupertdammerung only in the context of the “brave” Wendi Deng Murdoch “intrepidly leaping to defend” her sad old man. Extra points for her stylish and eye-catching coral jacket, and mention of her schoolgirl volleyball career, but no time to spare for explanations of what all those boring politicians were nattering on about. Well played, Grace and Chloe’s Tiger Mother!
P.S. There will, by the smile on Coyote’s face, be a post on When Everything Changed, Chapter 8 (the Equal Rights Amendment, and “a classic example of liberal mother-daughter conflict”) at 8pm EDT tomorrow. (If there is a 7:45pm breakthru in the deficit talks, an alien invasion, or just an electrical blackout in northeastern Massachusetts, you’ll know why.)
Better Than Ezra appears to think the Gang of Six plan (AKA the Return of Simpson-Bowles) actually has some legs:
Course, I got lambasted for suggesting it.
Repeating myself from the previous thread:
Just as a for—what—it’s—worth, Wisconsin Dem Dave Hansen has beaten Tea Partier David Vanderleest, currently by 69% to 31% with 55 of 72 precincts reporting.
That’s one down, 5 to go.
@Poopyman: Five to go is ideal, but don’t we only need two more?
Hey that reminds me. Anybody out there need some shiny looking Obama pom poms? I got a couple here just laying around collecting dust.
The next 48 hours will give us an idea of how serious the media is about covering the scandal, and MPs will probably base their actions around that coverage. Now I’m concerned that a pie-throwing idiot has given the Murdochs a new lease on so-called human/likeable/nice-ness/go-getter/whatever the dumb media wants to call it.
Count me as worried.
You think the UK public is going to put that over his staff deleting those messages leaving the parents to think their kid was alive? Give them some fucking credit, they’re not Americans.
@Poopyman-I thought this was one of the three “holds” for seats that Dems already had, not one of the six that the Dems are trying to flip.
They’re not Americans, and they don’t all read the Telegraph. But here…
That is one freaking hard-core set of 30%ers.
ETA: ChiTrib: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/sns-ap-us-wisconsin-recalls,0,6731203.story
The other day people were talking about how Scotland Yard was the emotional equivalent of the FBI, even thought they’re really just the London rozzers. For Miss Marple fans that may be true. For anybody who went to an antiwar protest in Westminster, the romance isn’t there.
Tiger Mama won’t let the meal ticket go down without a fight. She’d pull a Weekend At Bernie’s if that’s what it takes.
Alas, unfortunately for her amoral extended family, that’s not gonna be enough.
That’s a Maureen Dowd worthy puff piece if I ever read one.
I like Wolcott’s take
This picture of the Murdochs is missing The Bride and Elle Driver.
I listened to NPR while driving around today and all they could talk about was the Gang of Six. I think it’s insane to pass this radical of a measure when we’ve got two fucking weeks before we hit the debt ceiling. That’s why I doubt it will happen.
But Ezra thinks this is a much better deal than some of the ideas proposed by the Teabagger Caucus. I’m beginning to understand why a lot of people hate him.
Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century)
I doubt it will happen because it involves raising a trillion dollars in revenue.
Wow his wife is horrible.
Sleeps her way into a green card ruining the family that helped her only to divorce him almost immediately and bang some other guy. The marriage to Rupert is so obviously political its ridiculous. She is basically his way into China.
Having lived in China for years let me read between the lines of the Wiki article for you.Her family in China is loaded and has tons of government connections. Running a factory does not happen without connections.
I think marrying her is basically Rupert’s way to try to get into China like how a king would marry someone’s daughter because of their family. Now she, a Chinese citizen, runs his China branch, has possible connections through her family and through being his wife has his ear constantly. Suddenly dealing with Murdoch becomes much more palatable to China.
Dream On: 1) See above; 2) They’ve also got the Met with something to prove and, bestides, the political infighting, esp. vis-a-fix Cameron is probably self-sustaining; 3) I think some of this Wendi fixation is the cute little Human Interest story where they interview the cute athletes teddybear. There seems to be a good report coming out tomorrow about the NI blocking the investigation AND Cameron on his see I’m back from Africa and In Control statement. Seriously. It’s ok. The next 48 hours and one damn pie-substitute are not going to be definitive for a case that’s been being assembled since at least the mid-naughties.
Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century)
it’s hard to see how olympia snowe votes to raise taxes by a trillion dollars and survives a primary. So she only votes for this if she switches party.
I gather ole Rupert was looking to get his way into more than China bowchickawowow
Folks might be interested in this Foreign Policy article by Norman Ornstein: Worst. Congress. Ever.
Ornstein, by the way, is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, so he’s not exactly a liberal. Yet the article is, for the most part, pretty straightforward in laying the responsibility for the dysfunction of the current Congress at the feet of the Republicans:
Any bronies here? Perhaps more accurately, any who will admit it?
@joeshabadoo: That is generally thought to be the case.
There was even a book written on the subject. I remember it being flogged on NPR a few years back. Didn’t get the chance to read it.
I like the joke scav, but with enough Viagra and money Rupert can get anyone. I get the feeling sex barely entered the equation, or at least only did in the very beginning. She obviously wasn’t holding out for marriage either because of how she slept her way into America and her green card marriage.
Most old billionaires marry supermodels and wanna-be actresses, not conniving businesswomen who previously used sex and marriage to trick what she wanted out of her previous sucker, I mean husband. Its dangerous. Rupert is not stupid; he would have realized immediately marrying a conniving business woman would necessitate giving her a spot in his business. When I hear about this, his son and his legacy it really looks like a king maneuvering.
That’s why I can’t see it as a coincidence that Rupert marries a well educated Chinese business women when he is trying to enter the Chinese market, a country that often rejects foreign business owners and frankly has a very difficult business culture.
say what you will, but she walloping that pie-throwing dude with the instant reflex of a boxing champion and then cradled Rupie’s bald, age-spotted head in her arms as she wiped the shaving cream off it with the loving tenderness of a new mother changing a diaper. That’s gotta count for something.
eemom: Well, Gadaffi’s gotta be jealous.
Surely it can be no surprise that tabloids like the Telegraph, as well as their domestic counterparts like the NY Post or USA Today, will focus their reporting through the most mawkish lens. I fully expect as well that the morning “news” programs will be all atwitter on the brave and loyal Mrs. Murdoch.
But such distractions will be of consequence only to those who remain confused as to how that nice director of ‘Titanic’ and “Avatar’ became the president of England.
This is the (phone-hacking scandal) story we’ll all be talking about tomorrow:
The first two paragraphs: “Rupert Murdoch’s News International has been found by a parliamentary committee to have ‘deliberately’ tried to block a Scotland Yard criminal investigation at the News of the World.
“The report by MPs from the all-party [tripartisan] Home Affairs committee will be released on Wednesday and tis publication has been moved forward in time for today’s [Wednesday] statement by prime minister David Cameron on the scandal.”
Parliament having concluded its official term on Tuesday, David Cameron has called it back into session to apprise members of details of the judicial inquiry he outlined last week. The Home Affairs report will have been circulated before Cameron’s statement which is expected to highlight his recent conversion as an anti-Murdoch crusader.
And just so for the record, I want to say how proud I was to see former assistant US attorney general and former NYC school chancellor Joel Klein perched behind James Murdoch during the hearings. Klein left the employ of New York emperor Michael Bloomberg last November to go to work for another media tycoon as executive vice president of NewsInternational. Seems it’s not only England where the political and media elites are so cozy.
[Yikes! I see scav (#19) scooped me on the Guardian story! Some people type so darned fast!]
Reading the Gang of Six is like waking up in bed and finding a naked Claire McCaskill next to me, exhausted and smiling. First item: reworking SS COLAs to effect a 10% benefit cut in 20 years. Last item: caps on spending and 67% supermajority vote to overcome the caps.
What on earth is Obama thinking?
Thanks for the recommendation Joel but that book seems a bit too Murdoch slanted for me since the author apparently introduced the future couple.
I’m glad to hear its the concensus since it seems so blaringly obvious to me. I never heard about her before but looking up a few articles, even negative Murdoch articles put her as some ridiculous naive girl living a fairy tale. She is obviously cold, calculating and in a mutual relationship of using with Murdoch. With people like Murdoch and someone like her sleeping her way into whatever she wants it wouldn’t even surprise me if their children are just part of the game for at least one of them.
Re “Tiger Mother”: I suspect that is a reference to the recent controversial guide to child-rearing, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” by Yale Law School professor Amy Chua. Professor Chua advocated updating traditional Chinese parenting techniques to the contemporary American home.
Sample tip: if your child doesn’t practice the piano, burn his/her favorite stuffed animals.
@Dollared: On the latter, I’m thinking he’s thinking (and he might be right) that Congress is much more likely to find 2/3 of its members willing to increase spending than raise taxes, and that the idea of a “cap” is somehow politically appealing. Currently, there aren’t 2/3 of the Congressmen willing to pay for what they’ve agreed to spend, but compared to the past, this current episode has been unusual in many way.
@Suffern: You realize that this is a filibuster for the House, don’t you? Permanently? Health care costs will drive us to the cap, and then every piece of legislation except resolutions of support for freedom fighters and commendations for brave Girl Scouts will require a 2/3 majority.
@handsmile: The Telegraph is not a tabloid. It is more a rival of the Times than the Sun, Daily Mirror,etc.
“Quality” (or Broadhseet) British national papers: the (Sunday) Times, the (Sunday) Telegraph, the Guardian/Observer, the Independent (on Sunday).
“Tabloid” British national papers: the Sun, the Mirror, the Star.
In-betweens: the Express, the Mail
The whole Gang of Six plan reads like a Republican wet dream. Which is what makes me worried it will gain traction – especially with our corporate-controlled media.
The Gang of Six proposal will not get passed. I have to believe this is entirely political.
@Dollared: 2/3rds for anything is not good, so no, I couldn’t support this. That said, since it isn’t written in the constitution, wouldn’t it take a simple majority in the house and 60 in the senate to repeal the 2/3 vote requirement?
I don’t know exactly what the gang of 6 has proposed (Conrad himself has 2 quite different budgets out there, this may differ from both) but if it’s the one that eliminates the AMT, it may pass Republicans even with the revenue increases because it both raises trillions in revenues and cuts taxes by trillions. It’s one of those black is white things that can only exist in DC.
There’s at least two major tricks going on here.
1) For example, if the plan raises $2 by eliminating deductions for every $1 in reductions in tax rates (the proposal is something like that) then the GOP can claim that the $1 in reductions is a tax cut, and that the $2 in deduction savings is a ‘spending cut’. The rational ones know that revenues are fucked but they can’t go back with tax increases, so they treat deductions as taxes paid and then spending back out to taxpayers. Nobody in their right mind thinks of it that way, but in the world of Norquist orthodoxy they’ve so distorted the narrative that this makes some sense. So done just right, the GOP take credit for both sides even though revenues go up quite a lot.
2) There’s numerous ‘baselines’ that they use. The two most common are the CBO and OMB. If the baseline the GOP wants to use to frame the debate is the deficit model that assumes the Bush Tax cuts are eliminated next year, and then they negotiate to not cut them, they’ll call that a tax cut with respect to deficit reduction. The Dems do this as well as $1T in spending cuts in Obamas budget is debt interest not paid from OMBs baseline. It’s not cutting any existing spending, but cutting some assumed future increased spending. That is, OMB assumes we’ll need to pay an additional $1T in interest next decade, Obama’s plan eliminates that and calls it a spending cut. It’s bullshit, but it’s the same kind of bullshit the GOP uses here.
What I read had Cornyn referring to the elimination of the AMT. That’s the Conrad plan that does the tax reform along the lines of what I describe in 1). Basically, top marginal rate comes down a little bit (so the GOP will claim they made the Bush tax cuts permanent) and the AMT goes away completely (another massive tax cut). To make up for that metric ton of lost revenue, the plan suggests eliminating virtually all deductions above a certain income level – say, $75K, and setting the cap gains rate just a bit below the top marginal rate, but above the bracket below it. By eliminating the deductions, quite a bit more than was lost gets made up, and, well, that income is actually taxed rather than routed around by tax attorneys and not paid. So marginal rates go down, effective rates go up, and nobody can avoid paying taxes by buying themselves a bigger house or whatever other bullshit. The GOP takes credit for all of those closed loopholes as ‘spending cuts’, which is crap, but whatever.
Corporate rates go up to a flat rate about 2/3 of the current rate, and moves from a residential to a territorial system. That should help expand what can be taxed, but I haven’t dug into that in detail to know how much it would change things. Can’t get much worse than it is now – corporate taxes raised in the US now barely cover the cost of Afghanistan. Again, the GOP could probably claim a tax cut here even though revenues would increase.
Politically, it might seriously calm down the tax bullshit that flies around this country all the time. One of the bigger problem with the current system is that many people feel cheated because they don’t know how to game the system – and so they feel as though they’re overtaxed, not out of some objective measure but because they don’t know how to get out of the taxes like the hedge fund guys do. A tax system is that much more resistant to manipulation and overall ‘fairer’ may help quite a lot. Not with the 27%ers, but everyone else.
The California State Assembly has a supermajority rule for anything involving revenue and look how well that’s worked out. This is nothing less than a Republican ploy to make certain that they’ll be able to gum up the legislative works in perpetuity even if they only get the votes of their base.
The ‘cap’ is %GDP from what I understand, which isn’t totally outrageous. And the proposal would prevent either defense or non-defense from being overly looted to stay under the cap. I’m not thrilled about this part in general, but unless there’s some provision to insure that adventures like Iraq are put on-budget, the cap is pointless. Bush simply would have claimed that defense and discretionary spending was within the cap and still spent $300B on his little pet project. That shit can’t be tolerated with any kind of budget discipline plan. If that could be insured, then it’d effectively become a 2/3 vote for military efforts. That’s at least got some appeal.
Hi Dennis, that is exactly the plan, so why is any “Democrat” signing on, and why is Obama fluffing it? Every headline on the interwebs says he’s “endorsed” it.
@Dennis SGMM: I was just thinking that this is a way to export the California-style dysfunction to the country as a whole.
@Dollared: What passes the house won’t pass the senate and what passes the senate won’t pass the house. In the time we have left until August 2, I think we’ll see a straight debt ceiling raise without any other restrictions or some house and senate acceptable version of Mitch McConnell’s poison plan to get the president to receive all the “blame” for raising the debt ceiling. Political posturing by all parties at this stage should be seen as just that. Obama can’t *force* the house Democrats to vote for a 2/3 majority plan if they truly don’t want to.
This is somewhat different since it puts the burden in the other direction – it’s easier to raise revenue than spending, which is the opposite of what we have here. Further, it’s different in that CA prevents the state from raising tax *rates*, regardless of whether revenue is increasing or decreasing. That is, it’s there to protect individuals at the expense of the government. By comparison, this would pin spending to GDP, so during economic expansion, the government could fairly freely increase spending so long as spending/GDP doesn’t go over the cap. The parallel in CA would be to require a 2/3 majority in order to raise total tax revenues higher than a certain % state GDP. Shit, if we had that, this would have been smooth sailing all along because taxes can be changed with a simple majority so long as the aggregate of those changes isn’t too large, and it scales relative to the state economy, which the current policy doesn’t allow for.
I don’t think it’s a particularly good policy, but given that this whole proposal is an admission from Congress that they can’t control their own political impulses, I’m not sure something like this can be totally avoided, or else we forever end up with stupid fucking budgets like we have now.
I think support is there for the gang of 6 plan in the Senate, including a majority of Dems. This plan is not as horrible as you guys are making it out to be. It’s not great in many aspects, but I think you’re overstating the bad parts quite significantly.
@Martin: Umm since you blockquoted part of my comment but your point has nothing to do with what I’m saying, I’ll repeat it. The freak-out about Obama endorsing a plan which ultimately both House and Senate members have to agree on is what I was commenting on. I don’t think the House Democrats have the same view of things as the Senate Democrats, and I pointed that out, but you probably know something I don’t.
@Felanius Kootea Sorry, yeah, I did wander off there.
No, I think you’re right for two reasons:
1) The Senate Dems have more to gain by compromising with the GOP because they aren’t so fucking insane over there on other issues – compromise here may gain them support in other things they want to accomplish. That’s just not going to happen in the House – the GOP has nothing to offer in return for Dems giving anything up there.
2) The senate is already sufficiently close to the 2/3 requirement that going from 60 to 66, already having to secure some of the minority, isn’t much of a sea change. It’s a huge change to the House.
@ShadeTail: Yo! Brony here! :)
Steve @ #16:
Katie Couric’s twitter feed:
Spinning, I suspect, from the long-standing argument from the pro-Deng party in the ongoing Murdoch Succession Wars that Wendi is “only trying to ensure that her little daughters have a chance at the same advantages as Rupert’s older children.” Ms. Couric, obviously, not only runs in the same NYC social circles as the Murdochs, she’s got a professional interest in the man running what is usually referred to as The World’s Largest Global Media Network.
Notice that the first response to Couric’s tweet was the one word “staged!”
Wow Martin, are you out of your mind? Are you familiar with the California story? Do you remember what it took to get 60 votes in the health care process? Do you understand the makeup of the senate? 34 votes, representing 17 states with a total of less than 10% of the US population, could block any legislation at all.
Repeat: it would be senators representing less than 30 million people blocking a country of 300 million people from passing any legislation.
This really would be the end of democracy in the US. Period.
And yet we are pissing away valuable time and money with this ridiculous drama when we could be trying to create jobs so desperately needed in this country. I dunno, it would be kinda nice if we could focus on that instead of talking about cutting social programs that are going to help an increasing number of unemployed (through Medicaid, I assume that is also “on the table”, again, although it doesn’t get mentioned much, I guess because it is the only one of the “Big Three” that benefits the poor exclusively. So, you know, fuck ’em. Let ’em all die. Survival of the fittest and all.)
Honestly, I keep hearing this outpouring of sympathy on the teevee towards Murdoch, because he looks like a doddering old man. And, I guess, because he apologized. Look, I have a soft spot for the elderly, too, but geez, come on. He’s evil, through and through. And he’s not sorry, please.
He is a doddering old man. His fake sympathy makes me gag; he didn’t care until a PR firm told him he should pretend he does.
Is the outpouring from shills? My guess. I see an exhumed Sauron.
I’ve thought for some time that Wendi Deng is a Chinese “asset”, as the shop term goes. And with a pretty clear purpose.
iMO, the oddly pro-China talk I’ve been hearing amongst older FOX viewers that I know personally is no coincidence.