The AP wants to know.
Casey Sheehan’s unnamed “grandparents, aunts, uncles and numerous cousins” have apparently just released a letter claiming that they “do not agree with the political motivations and publicity tactics of Cindy Sheehan.”
And being non-political, non-publicity-seeking people, they chose to send the letter to… Matt Drudge? — a guy whose entire career is built upon inflammatory slime campaigns against John Kerry, Air America Radio, Sen. Hillary Clinton, Ted Koppel and others on behalf of the right-wing.
Apparently President Bush isn’t the only one in the White House who just skims the headlines.
Armed men entered Baghdad’s municipal building during a blinding dust storm on Monday, deposed the city’s mayor and installed a member of Iraq’s most powerful Shiite militia. …
“This is the new Iraq,” said [Alaa al-Tamimi, the deposed mayor], a secular engineer with no party affiliation. “They use force to achieve their goal.” …
The man the group installed, Hussein al-Tahaan, is a member of the Badr Organization, the armed militia of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq [the political party of Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari].
Q: Trent, the mayor of Baghdad says he’s been deposed by armed gunmen and replaced by a member of a Shiite militia. Is the President aware of that? Is it a point of concern for the administration, in terms of how Baghdad is being run?
MR. DUFFY: I don’t have anything for you on that, Bill. I can check into it.
Conservatives have picked this week to declare all-out war on the estate tax. On Tuesday, President Bush urged that it be “repealed forever” (for the somewhat mystifying reason that it would increase “certainty in the tax code”–whatever that means). And, just this morning, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal lambasting the estate tax (or “death tax” as he is fond of calling it). His central argument:
Imagine working your entire life to build a family business — a farm, store, motel or restaurant. Every hour you work and every decision you make is with the express goal of growing your business, so you can provide for your family and pass something on to your children. Dutifully, you pay your taxes owed, you weather the droughts, survive the downturns, and, in the end, you come out ahead.
Now enter the death tax. The reality is that the business you’ve worked so hard to pass on to your family may have to be sold. This may be the only recourse for your loved ones to pay the burdensome taxes on your estate.
You can imagine Senator Frist’s eyes getting a bit misty as he weaves this tragic, touching tale. And quite a few people must find this convincing, because it seems be to the Right’s central talking point in the debate — that the estate tax hurts small businesses, especially family farms. (Bush has made the same claim elsewhere.)
Unfortunately, this is a profoundly misleading argument. Fortunately, a study released last month by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office flattens it. Contrary to what conservatives have been saying, the CBO found that almost no farms and small businesses are unreasonably burdened. In 2000, only 300 farms would have had to pay the tax under current exemptions (which cover estates valued at less than 1.5 million dollars). And of those 300, only 27 would have been taxed in excess of their liquid assets. Repealing the tax, on the other hand, would cost our nation almost 1 trillion dollars over the first ten years.
But still, according to Frist, the tax that produces trillions in revenue and harms 27 people is the “cruelest, most unfair tax our government imposes.” (Current U.S. population: 295,734,134) Interesting.
Bush Administration Budget, 2003:
Across the spectrum of transportation programs, congressional earmarks undercut the [Transportation] Department’s ability to fund projects that have successfully proved their merits
Washington Post, 8/11/05:
[Bush] signed into law a $286 billion transportation measure that contains a record 6,371 pet projects inserted by members of Congress from both parties… Reagan vetoed a transportation bill in 1987 because there were 152 such special requests, known in the parlance of congressional budgeting as “earmarks.”
The right-wing may be on the attack, but Cindy Sheehan’s voice won’t be silenced. She appeared on the Bill Press Show (with Christy Harvey) this morning to continue speaking truth to power. Here’s Cindy Sheehan, in her own words —
One of the more underhanded smears launched by the right wing came when Michelle Malkin said she didn’t think Casey Sheehan, Cindy’s son killed in Iraq, would approve of what his mom was doing. This morning Sheehan responded:
“I didn’t know Casey knew Michelle Malkin…I’m Casey’s mother and I knew him better than anybody else in the world…I can’t bring Casey back, but I wonder how often Michelle Malkin sobbed on his grave. Did she go to his funeral? Did she sit up with him when he was sick when he was a baby?” LISTEN TO CINDY
Cindy also is standing tough against the rest of the radical right mouthpieces, calling Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Matt Drudge “despicable”:
“[They don’t have skin in the game. They don’t have anybody over there. They don’t have sleepless nights worried about their loved ones.” LISTEN TO CINDY
Note to White House: Cindy Sheehan’s not giving up. You can listen to the rest of this morning’s interview HERE.
(You can support Cindy Sheehan by visiting her website, www.meetwithcindy.org.)