Another Friday roundup of random news:
Posts Tagged ‘Iran’
This week we’ll do it Thursday rather than Friday:
The degrees of broke-ness varies: from completely and utterly broke, like Greece or Italy; to wobbly, like the U.K., France, the U.S., or Japan; to getting poorer like Germany. But all of them are going to have to raise the percentage of gross domestic product they collect in tax — and many of them very significantly.
The U.S. deficit is more than 7% of GDP. The U.K.’s deficit is just as high. There is very little sign that spending cuts to close gaps of that magnitude are on the cards, nor is there any sign that growth will be sufficiently strong to make up the difference — certainly not in countries like the U.K. or Japan.
Huge sums of additional revenue will have to be raised.
Willie Sutton once famously remarked that he robbed banks because “that’s where the money is.”
In the same way, governments will look to raise more tax from companies because that’s where the money is.
Or they could, you know, actually cut spending…
Iran has unveiled an advanced new stealth fighter plane.
And by “an advanced new stealth fighter plane,” I mean “a large plastic RC aircraft that’s obviously not suited for combat, stealth, or actually carrying a pilot.”
A few tidbits of analysis:
Maybe they should have left the fakery to their vaunted Al-Aqua Photoshop Martyrs Brigade
Just in case you hadn’t seen it before, here’s Dave Barry’s 2012 year-end roundup, to spread some light and cheer in a very dismal year.
In Europe, the economic crisis continues to worsen as the government of Greece, desperate for revenue, is forced to lease the Parthenon to Hooters. Meanwhile Moody’s Investors Service officially downgrades the credit rating of Spain to “putrid” after an audit reveals that the national treasury consists entirely of Groupons.
Abroad, a closely watched attempt by North Korea to test a long-range rocket capable of carrying a nuclear warhead ends in an embarrassing failure when, moments before the scheduled launch, the rocket is eaten by North Korean citizens.
In finance, Moody’s downgrades Spain’s credit rating from “putrid” to “rancid” when the Spanish government, attempting to write a check, is unable to produce a valid photo ID. Meanwhile the Greek parliament, meeting in an emergency session on the worsening economic crisis, votes to give heroin a try.
Voters in the French presidential election, rejecting the austerity program of incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, choose, as their new leader, Charlie Sheen. In other European economic crisis news, Greece, seeing a way out of its financial woes, invests all of its remaining money in the initial public offering of Facebook stock, which immediately drops faster than Snooki’s underpants.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, having dealt with all of the city’s other concerns – disaster preparation, for example – turns his attention to the lone remaining problem facing New Yorkers: soft drinks. For far too long, these uncontrolled beverages have roamed the city in vicious large-container packs, forcing innocent people to drink them and become obese. Mayor Bloomberg’s plan would prohibit the sale of soft drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces, thereby making it impossible to consume larger quantities, unless of course somebody bought two containers, but the mayor is confident that nobody except him would ever be smart enough to think of that.
Tensions continue to rise in the Middle East when Iran unveils a new surface-to-surface ballistic missile named “Conqueror,” which, according to an Iranian spokesman, will be used for “agriculture.” Elsewhere in the troubled region, an unmanned Predator drone hacks Waziristan’s Twitter account and posts pictures of itself naked.
In the European economic crisis, an increasingly desperate Greece offers to have sex with Germany.
In labor news, Chicago teachers go on strike over controversial proposed contract changes that would allow the school board to terminate teachers who have passed away.
I don’t even need to tell you to read the whole thing, do I?
Once again I will be Livetweeting tonight’s Presidential debate. Drinking words to sip on are “Libya,” “China,”"Iran,” “Russia” and “Nuclear.” Chug for “Jihad” or if Obama calls Benjamin Netanyahu “Bibi.”
The rebels in Syria seem newly emboldened, as they just attacked the ruling Baath Party building in Damascus.
One estimate of the death toll since mid-March of 4,500 Syrains killed, which strikes me as much too low.
Barry Rubin says that Syria is no longer a revolution, it’s a civil war. He also says that the newly formed Syrian National Council is dominated by Islamists. Lovely. Guess who the U.S. is backing?
It is hard to overestimate how disastrous Obama Administration policy has been. Not only has it promoted an Islamist-dominated leadership (which might be pushed into power by monopolizing Western aid) but this mistake has fractured the opposition, ensuring there would be several anti-SNC groups. This strategy has also angered the Kurds and Turkmen minorities who view the SNC as antagonistic to their hopes for some autonomy. As a result, these two groups have reduced their revolutionary activities.
How bad has it gotten for Assad? A pro-Syrian demonstration in Beruit only drew dozens of supporters, where previously Assad count count on his (and Iran’s) puppets in Hezbollah to throng the streets with tens of thousands. Of course, Hezbollah and Amal are still in Assad’s corner. I do wonder if Assad could start importing Hezbollah fighters wholesale, since his own army seems unable to contain the rebellion. I also wouldn’t put it past Iran to send combat troops on to prop him up, though that seems less likely.
In the Weekly Standard, Lee Smith goes so far as to state: “Bashar al-Assad is finished.”
There’s two big senate race shoes waiting to drop over the rest of July: The announcement (whatever it is) Dewhurst is going to make on July 18, and FEC releasing Q2 fundraising results. In the meantime, here’s a smattering of senate race news