Real Cost of the Afghan and Iraq Wars

Below is an article from Yahoo that talks about the real costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I’m too lazy to paraphrase right now, so I just posted the whole article. I have also provided the links given in the article at the bottom on the post. A new report out of Brown University estimates that the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq–together with the counterinsurgency efforts in Pakistan–will, all told, cost $4 trillion and leave 225,000 dead, both civilians Read More

Greenland is Melting

There is further evidence that our planet is warming at an accelerated rate, as U.S. government scientists said Tuesday that Greenland’s ice melted the most in a half-a-century last year. In addition, in the annual climate survey, which includes work from scientists in 45 different countries, stated that “Arctic sea ice shrank to its third smallest area on record, while the world’s alpine glaciers shrank for the 20th straight year.” As has been reported by several studies, 2010 was either tied for Read More

Lower Top Marginal Tax Rate=Weaker Economic Growth

The chart below from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and Tax Policy Center shows that–despite what has been said by some–a lower top marginal tax rate actually leads to weaker economic growth, not stronger economic growth. According to Michael Linden, Director of Tax and Budget Policy at the Center for American Progress, “growth was actually fastest in years with relatively high top marginal tax rates.” Back in the 1950s, when the top marginal tax rate was more than 90 percent, real annual Read More

UN Approves New Gay Rights Resolution

The UN has passed a new resolution “calling for no discrimination and violence on people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.” This is the first time the United Nations has supported the rights of gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual people. The study requests that the High Commissioner for Human Rights prepare a study on violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation, and called for a panel discussion to be held at the Human Rights Council to discuss the findings of the Read More

Proof that Writing to Your Representatives is Effective

My Aunt Sue sent me this email she received from Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) regarding the issue of oil subsidies. It is an important issue, especially considering the tough economic times. The email is informative and thoughtful and it proves that our congressional representatives do listen to us. A couple of weeks ago I blogged about the day I lobbied Senator Barbara Mikulski’s (D-MD) office for support of the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act and her aide told us that Read More

On Weinergate and What it Means for Future Millennial Political Candidates

Anthony Weiner recently lived up to his name when it was revealed that he tweeted pictures of his wiener to a woman other than his wife. And at the same time that this story broke, some actress named Blake Lively had nude photos she had taken of herself on her iphone a few years earlier plastered all over the internet. Lucky for these two, they are the first to do such things. Of course, most people never intend to have these photos Read More

Iowa State Senator Tells Student Activists to “Go Home”

So I got this email from Campus Progress telling me about an Iowa State Senator named Shawn Hamerlinck (R-District 42) who told five student government leaders to “go home” from a budget meeting last Monday because he doesn’t like it when students “actually come here and lobby me for funds.” Yes, that is an actual quote. Go here to listen to the exchange or to read the transcript. It is only about 40 seconds long and you only hear Hamerlinck’s remarks, not Read More

What Constitutes Our Debt?

Below is a chart from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), based off of analysis from Congressional Budget Office estimates, showing what accounts for the public debt as a share of GDP (Gross Domestic Product). As you can see, the Bush tax cuts, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the economic crisis account for the large majority of the debt. And the CBPP notes that “without the economic downturn and the fiscal policies of the Bush administration, the budget Read More