Seriously impressed with CNN

CNN has been firing on all cylinders recently. While MSNBC openly joins the Commitee to Re-Elect the President 2012 and FoxNews descends into incoherence, the Cable News Network has been acting with remarkably responsibility.

Just today, CNN aired a version of IOUSA, with commentary. IOUSA is a scare-the-hell-out-of-America documentary about long-term debts and obligations. It’s something that one might have heard coming out of the Republican Party circa 1994. Brilliant, and I especially liked how the commentary implied that programs like mandatory savings programs and and cutting future social security payments are the logical complemen to the Obama stimulus package.

Further, I saw that CNN will be airing Fareed Zakaria GPS twice on Sundays, over the noon-hour (as it has been doing) and again in the early evening. Fareed is the smartest person on CNN, and on Sunday talk generally, and his show typically is half-an-hour of divergent (but not left-right) perspectives, followed by a half-hour interview.

I am seriously impressed with CNN.

9 thoughts on “Seriously impressed with CNN”

  1. I saw IOUSA during its theatrical run. A must-see. It’s also on the short-list (15 long) for an Oscar nod. We’ll find out next Thursday.

    And I agree entirely on the networks. I loved MSNBC until about a year ago.

  2. SS originally did not have a Trust Fund. Creating one was a big mistake. In the past Obama proposed ending the SS cap (his proposal had a tax-free gap to lessen the pain on upper-middle taxpayers). Doing that, while at the same time ending the Trust Fund, would be a good idea.

    They should also look at expanding death taxes – progressive rates to the 90th percentile.

  3. Courtesy of Imagethief [1], an example of CNN butchering an interview [2].

    I would suggest reading the Post-American World [3,4] while ignoring the title before watching Fareed Zakaria GPS. It is kind of a more balanced, audiovisual version of Tom’s ‘Director’s commentary’ [5] (they were classmates at Harvard), just weekly and for a full hour.

    Bloomberg has the best morning news show — too bad we don’t get it from Cox cable.

    I’m not sure what ‘progressive rates to the 90th percentile’ means.


  4. The death tax typically has a large exclusion, and one tax rate – around 50%. So an estate is added up, you subtract the exclusion, and the reminder gets taxed at about 50%.

    a simplified example:

    10 million gross
    minus 3 million exclusion
    7 million net
    times 50%
    3.5 million death tax paid.
    6.5 million to beneficiaries

    Say somebody has a 100 billion gross estate. I’m suggesting the death tax on that should approach 90%, leaving the beneficiaries with a net 10 to 15 billion.

  5. Update: YES [1,2]


    Threats in the Age of Obama launches with its Amazon page around the inauguration for maximum impact… don’t worry, I will be self-promoting then. 🙂


    Thank you for the clarification!

    Is it true that the estate tax costs roughly as much to implement as it makes in revenues?


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