Saturday, May 31, 2008

More Good News from Iraq

Here's some very good news, but don't expect the Keith Olbermanns of the world to dish out any high fives:

The U.S. military said Sunday that the number of attacks by militants in the last week dropped to a level not seen in Iraq since March 2004.

About 300 violent incidents were recorded in the seven-day period that ended Friday, down from a weekly high of nearly 1,600 in mid-June last year, according to a chart provided by the military.

The Iraqi forces are slowly taking over more of the combat operations and are becoming much more proficient in handling them. As this trend continues American infantry and Marines forces will be needed less and less, except as advisors, and will start coming home, possibly by mid-summer.

If so, the war will be a difficult issue for the Democrats to run on. They certainly won't want to remind the voters that they were all for pulling out when pulling out meant almost certain defeat. Unless something very surprising happens, and that's always a possibility in Iraq, the Democrats are going to look just plain wrong on the war to all but a relatively tiny group of pacifists, and McCain, compared to Obama, is going to look more and more presidential.


Empty Promises

For those readers looking for good reasons to vote for John McCain, here's one:

Susan Sarandon, who appeared in three films last year and won kudos for her TV movie "Bernard and Doris," is still not a contented soul. She says if John McCain gets elected, she will move to Italy or Canada. She adds, "It's a critical time, but I have faith in the American people."

Please, don't go, Susan. How will we ever get on without you?


Auto Repairs

This article has some good information about independent automotive service shops and dealership service departments. Unfortunately, the conclusion of the comparison is unhelpful, but the article itself is informative.


Your Taxes

The Tax Foundation has an interesting chart that shows a comparison of what your federal tax bill would be, assuming no children and standard deduction, without the Bush tax cuts. It's surprising to me that both Democrat candidates for president have promised to rescind Bush's tax cuts, and a lot of people who complain about not being able to make ends meet are still going to vote for whichever of the two wins the nomination.

Here's your homework assignment: Go to the chart and see the difference between how much you'd be paying if the cuts were not in effect and how much you pay as a result of the cuts. Multiply your answer by four and that's what a Democrat in the White House for the next four years is going to cost you - at a minimum.

Speaking of taxes here's an interesting factoid: The share of federal income tax needed to fund Social Security and Medicare in 2010 will be 8.6%. By 2050, however, largely because the Democrats have blocked all attempts to reform the system, it will grow to 76%.