October 19, 2004

nothing frightens me more, than religion at my door

* From the November 2004 Harper's Index:

-- Ratio of Americans killed by lightning since January 2002 to those killed by terrorism: 7:2

-- Days after the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that Dick Cheney married, securing a draft deferment: 22

-- Minimum number of customers trampled to death in September at the opening of a Saudi Arabian Ikea: 2

-- Estimated chance that a classified document is "over-classified," according to a Pentagon official this year: 1 in 2

-- Price charged n Amazon.com this year for Lynne Cheney's out-of-print lesbian historical novel, sisters: $1,000

* Cool picture of Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and Pink Nasty.

* Derrick Z. Jackson on Bush's Bad News On Black Wealth. [via americasblog] excerpt:

"Bush probably does not really want America to judge him. The small positive hides a huge negative. According to Census Data, 48.1 percent of African-American households own their own home. That is only a slight statistical improvement over the 44.4 percent a quarter century ago. Worse, there has been no closing of the gap between black and white households. In 1979, black home ownership was 24 percentage points behind white households. Today, it is still 24 percentage points behind white households.

"Worse still, the wealth of African-American households is actually in decline, according to a new Pew Charitable Trusts study. Despite the recent recession, white household wealth has increased by 17 percent since 1996, to $88,651. Black household wealth dropped by 16 percent, to $5,988. Latino household wealth increased by 14 percent, but only to $7,932, not even 10 percent of white household wealth.

"Even though white household wealth has gone up, there is plenty to think about, meaning that black folks might be more a warning sign for all Americans than an aberration. In a speech this weekend, Bush said, 'To help families and to get this economy going again, I pledged to reduce taxes. I kept my word. Because we acted, the recession was one of the shallowest in American history. Over the last three years, our economy has grown at the fastest rate of any major industrialized nation.'

"What Bush really meant was that the economy for CEOs has grown at the fastest rate of any major industrialized nation. The average CEO compensation has risen to $8.1 million a year according to Business Week, creating a CEO-to-worker pay ratio of 301-1, according to United for a Fair Economy and the Institute for Policy Studies."
...
"On the stump, Bush says, 'To create jobs, we've got to be wise about how we spend your money and keep your taxes low.' The Century Foundation's review says, 'The lurch into massive deficits represents a profound reduction in potential American-owned private investment.' In two weeks, Americans will lean into the voting booth to accept or reject the rhetoric that promises average Americans the equivalent of a free school lunch, while the rich unfold their napkins for a five-star tax dinner."

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