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Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

This morning George Will warns that New New Deal policies might work no better than the Old New Deal policies. And David Broder points out something we brought up here the other day: States and localities (is that the word I want?) are getting hammered by the recession and are cutting back services dramatically. When I was in Seattle the newspapers had banner headlines about a $5 billion state budget shortfall. Unlike the federal government, a state government usually has to balance the books year by year, and a deficit means real people losing their jobs, real services ending, real students suddenly no longer getting financial aid, and so on.

See this story today in the Seattle Times:

'OLYMPIA -- Gov. Christine Gregoire's office is considering vast cuts in state spending that Democratic leaders once would have considered unthinkable, including more than $1 billion in funding for public schools.

' ... "If we were to cut every single dime that we give to higher education -- all the money to the community colleges, all the money to the universities, everything we spend on financial aid -- we still have a $2 billion problem," said state Sen. Craig Pridemore, D-Vancouver, vice-chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. "The kinds of things we'll talk about cutting are going to shock a lot of people," he said. '

Broder says Obama is meeting with the governors Tuesday and that he'll likely sign on to some kind of plan to funnel federal dollars to the states. But where does that money come from? Is the federal government on the hook now for state and local deficits, as well as for (potentially) the American car industry's problems, the eroding housing market and the collective pain of our inventive friends on Wall Street?

Although the free market has shown itself to have a weakness for hallucinogens, at some point you have to let the free market sober up and identify the rational price of goods, services, investments, risk-taking, etc. The financial crisis has an irrational element to it -- panic, basically -- but some of the downward momentum is a very rational correction of a bubble economy.

There is no earthly way that the government can pick winners and losers in an economy as complicated as the one we have.

We will be on the road to recovery when the newspaper no longer has any stories about multi-billion-dollar bail-outs. But that's going to be many months, as the first priority of the new administration will be passing a very large stimulus package, money that will be eyed hungrily by powerful interests in both the private and public sectors.

We're in trouble if the guy Will quotes is correct: "By acting without rhyme or reason, politicians have destroyed the rules of the game. There is no reason to invest, no reason to take risk, no reason to be prudent, no reason to look for buyers if your firm is failing. Everything is up in the air and as a result, the only prudent policy is to wait and see what the government will do next."

--

Obama is right, we need a college football playoff. Either Oklahoma or Texas will be left in the cold this year (though I guess, technically, they could finish 1-2 in the BCS and leave the SEC champ on the outside looking in -- the computers in their absurdity keep ranking Utah ahead of my Gators, the software apparently unable to grasp the obvious fact that the Gators wouldt paste 42 points on the Utes [is that what they're called??] by halftime. And USC, with a single loss, and a history of winning titles, appears to be out of luck. Can Obama create a football playoff by executive order?

--

From The Onion:

PENSACOLA, FL--Harold Enderby's friends say that when he first saw the Navy's televised announcement that the Flight Demonstration Squadron, better known as the Blue Angels, would be holding open tryouts for the first time in its history, the lifelong aviation buff turned to his fellow sanitation workers at Doug's Dugout Bar-N-Grill and said, "Mark my words--I'm going to be a Blue Angel if it's the last thing I do."

And this Sunday, that dream came true for an incredible 43 seconds, as Enderby got the chance to fly the famed Blue Angels' F/A-18 Hornet directly into the tarmac during the first day of the Navy's most dramatic--and colorful--audition program ever....

By Joel Achenbach  |  November 30, 2008; 8:38 AM ET
 
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Next: Future of Journalism

Comments

playoffs!playoffs?don't mention playoffs

Posted by: greenwithenvy | November 30, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Actually I think the more appropiate term would be Payoff!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | November 30, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I think that people look at governing and governance in the same way they look at housework -- nobody actually does it; it's just done "automatically." It is the epitome of invisibility (and the bane of "housewives" everywhere). So long as people have the services which their tax money provides (theoretically), no probs, eh? There seems to be the disconnect of cognitive dissonance -- that we still have the right to everything we want, just so long as we don't have to pay for them.

There was a fascinating Bill Moyers program on Friday night all about food and the politics thereof. Several years ago I started relying more on my farmers market down the road for my fruit and veggies (which is much of my diet). No longer do I get these commodities in a supermarket (except for bananas for my morning Wheat Chex). Local is better and is healthier and much more important to the health of the world. The agrobusiness which has the longest and strongest lobbying arm, has a very strong hold on the politics of food, and it will be difficult for Obama to pry their fingers off the Dept. of Agriculture. It will be interesting who he picks.

And on that note, and following the directive of my rumbling stomach, I'm gonna go feed it now.

As you were. . . .

Oh, yeah -- GO REDSKINS!!!!

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | November 30, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon all...

I'm finally almost feeling human again. That darned flu bug has a big bite, so beware.

Talk of cutting state services is rampant here too. The scariest news though is that the food banks are really running low and the shelters are at or beyond capacity and not just "crying wolf". Thankfully me and the M clan have been holding our own, but the safety nets we hope we never have to rely on are quickly falling apart. On a cold and rainy day like today, I'm just glad we have food in the fridge and a reasonably good roof over our heads. And heat. Heat is good.

I've been up and down ladders all day trying to please our Little Bean by hanging up the lights and trimmings and wrestling with Things from the Attic, which don't come down willingly. Or even grudgingly. Let's just say I've been practicing my "sailor talk" today and it's a good thing none of my neighbors have been within earshot (or Bean). I think I even invented a new cuss word while trying to get a section of lights to light up. It was something like "scurvyflarglinbluehole" and really felt good rolling off the tongue at the time. I really should carry a tape recorder with me.

Anyway... peace out and all that :-)

Posted by: martooni | November 30, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for that e-mail, TBG.

Frank Caliendo and terry Bradshaw BOTH just picked the Skins to upset the Giants! Would that it come true...

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | November 30, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

morning boodle. Just a quick note before I pack up to head north, and away from the snow. Ended up laying plain white subway tile in a running bond as the kitchen back splash-made for a very long Saturday. Grout will have to wait until the week after Christmas.

Our fair city doesn't rely on sales taxes for income, and our city levy won't decrease even if property values have because it is a set amount, not a percentage. However, most of our budget comes from the state and MN is going to be struggling with a massive budget shortfall come January when the legislative session opens. I don't even want to think about what this means for our community nonprofit. Grant making foundations haven't been doing much better with their investments than the rest of us. We are ready to catch some of the hard times waves though-growing a row for the hungry in the children's garden and opening a consignment shop as a social enterprise.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | November 30, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

The anti-tax folks seem to think the services they rely on come from the air I think.

And the I-don't-have-kids-so-I-shouldn't-have-to-pay-taxes-for-good-schools folks forget their houses are worth what they are BECAUSE of the schools in their areas--high or low.

Posted by: -TBG- | November 30, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I have two brothers in Washington State. The younger one is employed (for now) by Washington Mutual. The other one is employed by the Washington State Department of Fisheries. I'm thinking I might need to expand my guest room just to be on the safe side.

I've been reading a book called "The Worst Hard Time" by Timothy Egan. It's about the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. In addition to making me really, really, really glad I didn't have to live through that horror, I am learning more about the New Deal and the difficult choices Roosevelt and his people had to make. It's interesting to compare those choices with what is going on now. The big lesson is that when it comes to economics, making it up as you go along is nothing new.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | November 30, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Frosti -- that would be my pick. Despite the charm of colors, i learned from my Scandi inlaws, both sides, the charm of white infrastructure and the use of textiles for color -- thrift and permits seasonal changes.

I am very worried about us all: the states and localities here are bracing for cruel and hard times. Library Dot was told to expect the axe soon. AND, they have a weeks-worth of no-pay days that they MUST work on. Told to expect two weeks by summer. Read today's front page WaPo about how unprepared my county is about poverty generally; not easy what is coming down the pike.

I overheard campus economists trying to quantify on a napkin the drag on the economy of about 25 years of average salaries in the financial services industries of about 12 million/year for middling managers.

12 MILLION! Lots of drag, I say. Pirates in drag who did not even fully know that they were signing up as brigands, theives, skullduggers, etc.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | November 30, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

detroit (have to pick one loser a week
callas cowgirls' cheerleaders
iggles (of course
and all the home teams

Oh wait,, is it too late???

tanks

Posted by: omnigood | November 30, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

CqP... did I just spontaneously say "scurvyflarglinbluehole" again?

I'm very sorry if I did. I try to keep a civil tongue here, but sonofafeakin12millionscurvytoesinabuckettosayyessirihavenospine? I am definitely in the wrong line of work.

Back to freezin' my arse off for peanuts...

How's that song go? "Nice work if you can get it?"

Mudge... would your department happen to be hiring short furry folk with many years of print advertising, copywriting and copyediting, graphic design, hi-res scanning and color separation (old skool Agfa/Compugraphic and Heidelberg drum scanner setups), fluent in Unix, Mac, Linux, Micro$oft, databases of every flavor, not to mention programming in several languages and tons of web development experience, to boot?

Or anyone else?

Have brain, will travel. Not quite desperate, but getting there.

Posted by: martooni | November 30, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Ah jeepers martooni. I hear you. I know you are walking a fine line. Hope something comes up. You are clearly scary smart and talented.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | November 30, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I wish we did have such an opening, martooni. If there's anything the feral gummint needs, it's a couple of furry troublemaking gnomes to shake things up. It'd be great to have you in our department. (I'm not sure either my boss and/or the gummint could handle the pair of us, but jeez, it'd be a hoot to see them try.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | November 30, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

BTW, I highly recommend Marie Arana's piece on Obama's "real" racial identity, at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/28/AR2008112802219.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

This subject is one of my wife's favorite rants as well.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | November 30, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I got your picks in time, omni.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | November 30, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

My daughter just called, and she wants me to meet her somewhere between here and Raleigh, NC. I'm close to riding on fumes, and no money to gas up. I'm going to drive slow, maybe the gas will last until I can get her. I love my daughter, but she is from one disaster to another.

Happy Birthday, Kerric. Thanks, dr.

Martooni, I know exactly what you mean. I hope you find something soon. Perhaps the pickings are better where you are. They're lousy here. Never been real good, but really bad now.

I know all about robbing Peter to pay Paul,been doing that most of my life. I could probably write the definitive work on that experience. NC, is talking cuts, and the county is talking the word "freeze". And somebody needs to give George Wills a calendar, and tell him to go sit in the corner. Isn't this a mess?

The newly elected President has his work cut out for him. He's going to need our help and our prayers.

Everytime I read something about the economy, I want to ask the question, raise your hand if you voted for Bush?

Posted by: cmyth4u | November 30, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... we could be Pinky and the Brain.

You can be Brain, of course, since you'd have seniority and I'm a natural at being the "foil". I'd just be happy to tag along and get a paycheck w/benefits.

Just think, we could invent new ways to take over the world every day. Brilliant plans to make Rube Goldberg proud. Of course, there would be terrible errors of execution and we'd fall on our arses a lot, but we'd get up and have a few brews (and a shot or five for me), then do it all again the next day!

As they say on slashdot...

1. Take over gubmint print ops.

2. Inject "fun", "creativity", "grammar", "spelling", "meaning", "purpose" (and a few other things)

3. ????

4. PROFIT!

;-)

Posted by: martooni | November 30, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, sent that to CPBro2: his child is tri-racial on the face of it but more even. They refuse to check any box ever, ever, ever.

He voted for Bama principally because he said quietly. "Reasonable polices and it is time for this situation to be ordinary yet at the fore-front."

Like Maria Arana's book stuff too, but not as much as Michael Dirda.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | November 30, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, I sang "Amazing Grace" this morning at church, but not to the tune of Gilligan's Island. Our pastor did not show up this morning, and I was thinking about him. "Amazing Grace" is his favorite song. We know our pastor is up in age, and we realize that none of us come here to stay, but it's hard to let go. Fifty years is a long time to pastor a church.

Posted by: cmyth4u | November 30, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I read Maria Arana's article. I'm thinking the English language contains words that cover race, but perhaps they are outdated? I've always thought if one used the words available, people might be offended. Her assessment is right on point. Obama is considered African-American because his father was Black, and that's the only consideration. We still have a long way to go in this country concerning race. Race still impacts everything, and much of it not in a good way. Most of you having met me, would not believe the rest of my family on my father's side. Of course, you would be in good company, they don't believe either.

Posted by: cmyth4u | November 30, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I've killed the boodle. Oh, well, let me see if I can find my child. Will check back in later.

Posted by: cmyth4u | November 30, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

um, except for Detroit and the Iggles, you know I'm just kidding, right?

Posted by: omnigood | November 30, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Kidding? You better hope so, omni. In the seven early games, the home teams just lost 6 out of 7. Adding in T-day, your record so far is 3-7.

In the race for this week's tiara, I'm leading, 8-2, bc is 7-3, and LiT is 6-4. But it ain't over: either one of them could catch me and whup me in the next six games.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | November 30, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Mudge-- Marie Arana wrote this:

"Mutts are seldom divisible by two."

Eeeps.

Who's going around dividing up mutts? I'm locking all the doors and doing watchdog duty RIGHT NOW. Don't knock on the door unless you know the password.

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 30, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Okay... so I've got two wire-mesh-lighted-up reindeer, an inflatable lighted-up Santa with a snowman riding on his back, a lone unlighted Santa out by the tree at the end of the yard (keeping vigil for what?), and several strings of those icicle lights draped over the gutters on the front of our house. Except for that one section that *STILL* *WILL* *NOT* *LIGHT*.

There are also two large plastic candles on either side of our front door, but I will not speak of how they were electrified.

I'm still trying to figure out how to rig a "mooning Santa" on our roof (I have the tools, if not the thyme). I've also proposed to Mrs. M. that we stage a "Santa proudly holding dead Easter Bunny" as a doubly ironic protest against commercialism, but so far all I've got are dirty looks and a "Don't you dare".

I do have a light-up plastic bunny and some rope. I just don't want to spend the next six months sleeping in my workshop.

Posted by: martooni | November 30, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, a good subject to do a rant about. I'm fairly convinced I have the one-drop rule for more than one race, but so does everybody, even those who can "prove" they're of a pure cultural heritage.

I knew a guy from Nambia who looked part-Chinese and indeed, chinese traders had plied the coastline of Africa centuries ago-- and we all know what sailors do when they're in port-- any port.

(Er, maybe not your wife. Don't tell her.)
http://www.migrationinformation.org/Feature/display.cfm?id=690

And when they're actually shipwrecked, well...



Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 30, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Happy and Sad
Happy my boys crushed the bengals
Sad your boys lost to the giants

Sets up a nice showdown next week in Balmer. A Must win for the skins I would think,but we may have something to say about that,it will be fun.

Also sports related(you know me) sports, sports, sports,heading out to watch G-town play Maryland in hoops,why these two teams so close don't play every year is beyond my realm of thought.But it is nice they are playing tonight......

Posted by: greenwithenvy | November 30, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

so i get to wear my Tiara upside down.


Hahahaha.

laughing all the way to the bank

Posted by: omnigood | November 30, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

The bank can dissolve and disintegrate like the rest of them.

I'm just glad I got to keep my underpants and the parts they keep in place.

And I didn't even place a bet.

Posted by: martooni | November 30, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

The Arana article is one of the better ones I have seen on that topic. I have boodled about this several times before. I see Obama and certain celebrities such as Tiger Woods, Halle Berry and Maria Carey as trans-racial.

My son has dated both White and Asian girls and I have no idea and don't care who he eventually settles down with. Much of racial identity politics deals with the fear of The Other. If there is nothing to fear, there is no need to obsess.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 30, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

West of town this morning, boxes of bright orange oranges were being loaded onto flatbed trailers.

Ripe oranges really are orange. Maybe not quite as bright as persimmons, but enough to make a grove look festive.

Not much progress on kitchen refurbishment--had to do an emergency run to the Big Blue Box to obtain a replacement kitchen cabinet. Shoulda put it off till Tuesday. Rotten weather, rotten traffic.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | November 30, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... one friend of mine pointed out that if you only have $500,000, you're not a millionaire.

Posted by: -TBG- | November 30, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Hi, all! I'm too lazy to go back and see who was talking about cardamom bread yesterday (Badsneakers maybe?) but it sounded so good I made some today from recipes.com. Verdict - good, but not great. In defense of the recipe I must point out I didn't use the raisins because my kids don't like them. We think it will be really good sliced, toasted and buttered for breakfast.

CollegeParkian, I wanted to ask you where your Library Dot works - in generalities, of course. I hadn't heard of any municipalities except in Alabama being that short of cash yet. It's alarming.

Here in the Midwest at Thanksgiving almost everyone in my family confessed to being broke and begged all at the table for a "presents for kids only" pact. Been hearing a lot of that lately. It's strange because house prices haven't fallen much here. Very slow sales, though, which means asking prices haven't fallen enough yet. My "rich" in-laws in Ohio are feeling very poor, teetering on the brink of retirement but not able to retire because their nest egg is more than decimated.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | November 30, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Dave of the CountiKitchen:

This site will allow you to see colors that are similar across many pain manufacturers.
http://www.myperfectcolor.com/

This Sherwin W site allows you to paint rooms:

http://www.sherwin.com/visualizer/

Major time suck, though.

Set your screen, however, to a designer color set, which will appear a bit buff to you, but the color samples will render a bit truer...then, of course, go to the store and bring back chips....then, if you are Martha, buy ten pints in colors and put them in swaths on the wall....

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | November 30, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

BTW Dave, I painted this summer one room with BM Eco Spec --- almost no odor. The eggshell went on fine.

However, I am a Pratt and Lambert gal: spend money on paint, I say. Not sure how the Eco spec will hold up My PL Blancmange Auru Velvet eggshell looks fab after ten years....two coast of the good stuff long ago. AND, I had children with sticky fingers during that time. Still have children, but sticky fingers, not so much now.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | November 30, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Yes Wheezy, it was I. Here’s the recipe. I go heavy on the cardamom, sort of mound the teaspoons full.


SWEDISH BREAD
2 pkgs. yeast
2 C milk
1 C butter
2 eggs
2 t cardamom
1 C sugar
1/2 t salt
6-8 C flour

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 C warm milk with a teaspoon of sugar til it foams.

Heat 1 1/2 C milk, butter, salt and cardamom with 1 C sugar.

In large bowl, add 2 eggs and 2 C flour to milk mixture and add yeast mixture. Gradually add the rest of the flour and knead. Dough should be soft but not stiff.

Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place til doubled.

Punch down and divide into 3 or 4 pieces. Can now braid or mound into loaves.
Let rise again for one hour.

Bake in 350 oven about 20-25 min or until done.

Posted by: badsneakers | November 30, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Wheezy, she works here in the DC METRO area. We are the wealthiest African-American zip code, which reflects two rel. small places in our geographically large county. The rest of the county is poor, some incredibly poor.

But our troubles are also due to some hideous mismanagement and patronage politics that rival Chicago in the 70s. Our county exec. had a SECRET meeting about two weeks ago about how bad things were.

So, we are in triple doo doo doo.


Posted by: CollegequaParkian | November 30, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Let me make clear, Wheezy, the economic doo doo doo:

!) already very poor (covered in today's WaPo)
2) horrid mismanagement for two terms; WaPo editorializes about our corruption about every three months
3) National doo doo from the voo doo of Greed = a kind or shining virtue x about thirty years.

Let's have that cardamom bread now, with some hot tea.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | November 30, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

With honey!

Posted by: RD_Padouk | November 30, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

RDP! Was the ceremonial scrapple secured and eaten in splendor?

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | November 30, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the recipe, BadSneakers. Yours sounds more reasonable - recipe I used called for ***1-1/2 cups*** of butter - too much! Yours has twice the yeast and milk, too, so I think we will have that next weekend.

CP, I'm well aware that things financial are getting bad, especially for states, counties and towns. Just didn't know it had gotten so bad so fast where you are. This is a municipal library then, not a county one?

Illinois is closing many of its state parks starting tomorrow, to save on upkeep. Methinks there's a little bit of grandstanding to make the case for federal help going on - how much can they save by closing parks, for *&@)'s sake?

Posted by: Wheezy11 | November 30, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Yikes, 1 1/2 cups of butter sounds yucky. This recipe makes a nice moist but not too moist bread that is great toasted or plain. I'll be making it twice so I can give some as gifts.

I can't believe the weekend is over. I have so much to do to get ready for Christmas. I've just been informed that Christmas Eve, the major holiday in our family, will be at my house this year. I'm glad, but it adds a bit more stress to the next 3 weeks. Oh well, better than being bored.

Posted by: badsneakers | November 30, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

I was reading too fast... I thought RD wanted honey with the doo doo.

Posted by: -TBG- | November 30, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

triple doo doo doo cp?
May I ask what that is?

Posted by: greenwithenvy | November 30, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. I am deeply impressed by Mudge and Martooni's industry. The Ivansclan loaded our shopping gun, sallied forth and bagged our Christmas cards for the year. This is no mean feat, since we send out a bunch, try not to repeat, but are somewhat picky about what goes out under our name. This year the Boy picked out some of his own to send. Now to write the breezy, clever letter, filled with wit and occasional news, which we are assured recipients actually enjoy. This is always more difficult than one thinks. I draft it, then Ivansdad reviews, revises and edits. I think I'll put it off for awhile.

RD, I greatly admired "The Last Hard Time". It is kind of a cult book here; my folks, like many others, outlasted the depression and Dust Bowl without leaving and turning into Okies. After the farming depredations leading to the Dust Bowl, we actually learned something, instituted serious farming conservation measures, and have weathered at least one drought as bad without the ill effects. I hope we can do as well with financial troubles.

As Joel says, this is hard times for state and municipal gummints. There just isn't much money. Given the funding structure in Oklahoma and restrictions on municipality and county revenue streams, it isn't going to get any better. My job is secure, however, as long as there's crime. We may, in fact, be entering a boom. Would that I could feel better about that.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 30, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

And RD, if you like the Egan, when you're finished you might consider "Waltzing With the Ghost of Tom Joad" by Robert Lee Meril. It is subtitled "poverty, myth and low-wage labor in Oklahoma" and discusses some of the economic issues which arose after the Depression and how they played out. The focus on Oklahoma is intended as a microcosm for the rest of the country. But it is also pretty depressing, so go find something happy to read in between.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 30, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

See Wheezy, I speak of doo doo doo and look what happens!

GWE: this is what it means. Let doo stand for economic tough times:

1)My county is poor = doo No. 1;
2)My county is mismanaged with corruption and greed = doo No. 2;
3) Our country is in deep sh!t, which = doo No. 3.

So, adding you get

doo + doo + doo = 3doo

3doo is very bad. We need paddles, etc Start bailing.

I semi-expect semi-adult children to return home semi-soonish, but will be glad to have them. (worry = 3semi, then) I think my job is OK for say two years. People are desperate to keep children in school during bad times.....health insurance being one criteria....but our scenario planning looks very grim at year three...

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | November 30, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, I think my son has the same flu as you...totally body consuming and not helped by antibiotics. The poor guy had to drive back to Ft. Collins, CO (CSU) this afternoon sick as a dog, and a big snowstorm here (we have more than a foot and still snowing) turned a 2 hour trip into a 6 hour trip. One never stops worrying about their children.

I bought a quart of "Gecko" green paint (I like Pratt and Lambert paint, too, CP, but settled for Sherwin Williams since not sure where to buy the former out here). But I will hold off on the actual painting til next weekend.

I'm off to Sacramento tomorrow--never been there.

I will always have faith that our country will overcome these obstacles. It will be helpful when Obama is actually in office and the wheels can begin to spin...forward.

Sorry about "them Redskins" but happy for the Denver Broncos.

Posted by: Windy3 | November 30, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm finally back. Traffic was not good, and there were two wrecks on the way up, but it was worth every minute because I got a chance to see my grandsons! Oh, I just kissed and hugged them. I was so happy to see them, and their mother. They're getting so tall. It won't be long before they're staring at the top of my head. I also saw the report cards. As always they could stand some improvement, but not too bad. A lot of folks on the road.

The g-girl and her mother are back at their abode. I'm going to bed.

Night, boodle. Sweet dreams.

Posted by: cmyth4u | November 30, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

So glad you had that joy, Cassandra. Have a good sleep.

Posted by: Yoki | November 30, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

cp, I have one paddle,for one boat.

And when I paddle upstream or downstream it doesn't seem to matter, I am just away from all the doo.

I feel despite the deep doo doo we are in,the choice has been made,up away from all the doo doo.

It is a good choice.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | November 30, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

I worry, a bit, about all the hopes being pinned on Obama. This financial melt-down is world wide (no matter what the Chinese say), and he's not going to have a magic bullet.

I'm still inspired by his acceptance speech asking ever single one of us to do the heavy lifting and sacrifice and look out for each other. It will get better, but it's a long-term project to get us there.

Posted by: Yoki | November 30, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Whew, the end of a very busy weekend--no time to do more than just skim the boodle, I'll have to catch up tomorrow.

But I had to stop in and comment briefly on the Bloggingheads experience--I really enjoyed it and I vow to comment in depth. Really. Just don't know when. Certainly, not now.

Anyway, for anyone who has problems with the video because of a slow internet connection, or with the audio for whatever reason, here's a transcript of the Bloggingheads.tv "Especial Thanksgiving Edition" starring Robert Wright and Joel Achenbach:

http://attachments.wetpaintserv.us/Rkqn6GXmCW3WHYTPw4Aemg%3D%3D142066

Good night all and best wishes -- or God bless, take your pick.

Posted by: kbertocci | November 30, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

omni, no offense, but I gotta say, your football picks today were actually breath-taking. I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it. There were 11 games so far today, and you picked all the home teams. Today, the record of the home teams was a breath-taking, a gasp-inducing, a 10-plagues-of-Egypt-imitating 1-10. In the entire history of the NFL, I doubt there was ever a day when the home teams went 1-10. But you picked the day for that to happen.

Meanwhile, LiT must be kicking up the heels of her legendary FMPs. She and I are tied at 9-5, and we both have the Vikings tonight, so that won't matter. It'll all come down to tomorrow night's game, when she has the Jags and I have Houston. If I win, LiT is tied with bc. If LiT wins, bc comes in third. So bc, you've got about 27 hours of tiara-wearing time left, so enjoy. (bc is probably curled up in bed with a water bottle and cold medicines, etc., after sitting out in that mess today.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | November 30, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, glad you got to see your grandsons, and that the trip went ok. Kerric, happy birthday! You and my son were born in the same year. I'm missing my kid now - put him on a plane to San Francisco yesterday. He won't be back here for a while, so I suppose that's why I feel a bit sad. Also that I have to work until Christmas Eve, with no break in sight, and then comes January (shudder).

Posted by: seasea | November 30, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Studs Terkel Hard times.
http://www.studsterkel.org/htimes.php
valuable

Posted by: Jumper1 | November 30, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

thanks for that link, Jumper. Studs was a good man, I think.

Posted by: Yoki | November 30, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

I meant to mention that I watched "I'm Not There", the movie about Bob Dylan, or aspects of Bob Dylan, with various actors playing him. It's really interesting - the DVD set would make a nice gift for Dylan aficianados.

Posted by: seasea | November 30, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I agree with you re the global economy plight. I just must keep a positive attitude. BTW, thanks for being you!

Seasea, I too get wistful when my boys say goodbye for a while....the harder part of having kids.

Posted by: Windy3 | November 30, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I agree, and I was happy to see the Barbara Walters interview where Obama answered that question-- as long as there IS progress in how the government handles the economy, then he's meeting expectations, in his opinion.

When we consider what has gone before in terms of economic effort, he can do better with some smart advisors and people willing to work on the issue.

As for George Will, he should take a look at what WAS happening in Germany at the same time the Great Depression occured. We really got off lucky in comparsion.

I notice that he has never mentioned WHY the Great Depression occured. This is because nobody's completely sure yet.

http://economics.about.com/od/recessions/a/greatdepression_2.htm

Some of the factors are similar today, including natural devastion (Dust Bowl, Hurricane Katrina & Rita)...

Not entirely, though. Perhaps this time around, we have the advantage of having more data... and past experience.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 30, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Hi all.

Still warming up from a cold wet afternoon -- my foul weather gear gave up the ghost just as the 4th quarter started, but we stayed to the bitter end (well, perhaps more sour than bitter, actually) anyway.

Hot coffee and tea are helping a bit, too.

Watching the Bears at the Vikes, and - yow! a 99-yard pass play from Ferotte to Berrian for a TD. That was pretty cool.

It's been a fine week with the Tiara, so I'm happy to turn it over to whoever wins it next.

Here's an interesting question: I wonder how the Government would react if media corporations - or the newspaper industry as a whole - asked them for money?

I suppose it depends on the conditions, but still...

bc

Posted by: -bc- | November 30, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Bc, in that case, I think we'd have to coin a new term-- "blackmail journalism."

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 30, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

*Grover-waves to Windy3 and Wilbrod and Wilbrodog*

(and RD and GWE and Curmudgeon and CP and TBG and kbertocci, and Jumper and dgG and dmd and engellman and dr and Wheezy and frostbitten and slyness and bc and Scotty and Ivansmom and bobsewell and lostintought and Cassandra and Achenbach and omni and firsttimeblogger and...thoughts for nani and annie and nelson, and Error in '08!)

I've not really forgotten anyone, my fingers are simply tired.

Be happy and content, Boodle, as I am, because we have this circle of friends.

Posted by: Yoki | November 30, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

It is a special circle Yoki, and I need the warmth tonight, nasty outside, rain, sleet, ice pellets, snow and wind - driving to work tomorrow will be a joy.

Posted by: dmd2 | November 30, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

*hugging dmd with all my heart, my friend*

Posted by: Yoki | November 30, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Wave all you want, Yoki.

Unless you know the password you ain't getting past this here door. Did you hear about the mutt-chopper on the loose?

Scary.

Oh, and hi back to you too, Yoki.

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 30, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Liver?

Posted by: Yoki | November 30, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

....the password is, "Wilbrodog, open this door right now, or you'll be fur mittens!"

Sorry all, he's actually making excuses not to come out.

He had a little cross-dressing incident with some toenail polish. A most becoming gold, I must say, actually, but now he's complaining he'll be mistaken for a poodle.

... I hate to break it to him, but...

(get out here pronto, buster)

Excuse me while we have a little talk about the facts of life.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 30, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Liver works! Pass it through the mailslot, and ignore the wailing gnome out there-- must be an escapee from the neighbor's lawn, I swear.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 30, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Don't be too hard on him, Wilbrod.

Hint: purple toenails are very becoming with black fur (Libby).

Posted by: Yoki | November 30, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Er, the last entry was me.

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 30, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Quite. We know the truth.

Yokisdogs

Posted by: Yoki | November 30, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Here is the cold, clinical evidence of the crime done to my noble mongrel heritage (although not as high-gloss as it really looks. I feel like Liberace or Michael Flathery.)

http://wilbrodog.blogspot.com/

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 30, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

somebody has been reading my mind again......

Posted by: greenwithenvy | November 30, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

*snort*

Posted by: Yoki | November 30, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

* Goes off to listen to some Johnny Cash. That gnome ain't allowed in for another hour.*


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 30, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

I'll be seeing you
In all the old familar places
That this heart of mine embraces
All day through

In that small cafe
The park across the way
The children's carousel
The chestnut trees, the wishing well

I'll be seeing you
In every lovely summer's day
In everything that's light and gay
I'll always think of that way

I'll find you in the mornin' sun
And when the night is new
I'll be looking at the moon
But I'll be seeing you

I'll be seeing you
In every lovely summer's day
In everything that's light and gay
I'll always think of that way

I'll find you in the mornin' sun
And when the night is new
I'll be looking at the moon
But I'll be seeing you

Er...

I meant to just type "see you, and good night!" Honest.

Those nails REALLY throw my groove off. I keep wanting to play this keyboard instead of type. See, those really are the toenails of DOOM.

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | November 30, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

But, but, but... they're perfect for a bass-playing rock-star-dog, Wilbrodog!

- Libby, batting her girlish eyelashes -

Posted by: Yoki | November 30, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Good night, Wilbrodog.

- Libby -

Posted by: Yoki | November 30, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

CqP-backboodled to your query about healthy res diets. Most of what we see are programs to prevent Type II Diabetes, and they are mostly failing. No matter what their cultural heritage, people must have access to enough $ to buy high quality calories or enough time (and knowledge) to hunt, grow and harvest, or gather, high quality calories. e-mail with more background on what your student needs and perhaps I can help find something useful.

Back to the grind tomorrow, and I do mean grind. Major, major, major grant evaluation and other paperwork due on Dec. 15th and just a major, major, event (regional robotics tournament) to run on the 13th. Glad Mr. F can pick up all the holiday preparation duties.

Slightly on-kit. Every time someone says "the New Deal did not work" I find myself wondering how many people would have starved to death without it. Is it ok to throw a few (hundred, or hundred thousand, million?) more working families off a precipice into abject poverty to have the "economy" recover faster for us all? I think not, mostly.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | November 30, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me that the evidence is that the New Deal did work, and rather well. Worked for decades, in fact. The major long-term failing is in the design of things like the food-stamps program, and the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program -- food stamps were built around the assumption of poor people subsistence-farming so they needed fattening luxury foods, not staples, resulting today in cheap access to fatty foods vs. costly lean foods; AFDC assumed that if a man were available, a family wouldn't need support, as a result requiring that poor families must have no man in the house, encouraging households headed by unmarried mothers. These are problems of execution, not fundamental concept. The deficiencies could have been fixed. Even so, it took a fairly long time for these well-meant programs to reveal their defects. That sounds to me like more success than you generally could expect from any government program.

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 1, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

The Swedish bread sounds real good. badsneakers, what is the weight of 1 pkg of yeast?

Posted by: rainforest1 | December 1, 2008 3:41 AM | Report abuse

If I were an economist I’d be among a group called “deficit worriers.” It’s good to read that a very large fiscal expansion might not be a bad thing.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/01/opinion/01krugman.html?ref=opinion

Posted by: rainforest1 | December 1, 2008 3:52 AM | Report abuse

I like these new stock market terms :-

CEO --Chief Embezzlement Officer.

CFO-- Corporate Fraud Officer.

BULL MARKET -- A random market movement causing an investor to mistake himself for a financial genius.

BEAR MARKET -- A 6 to 18 month period when the kids get no allowance, the wife gets no jewelry.

VALUE INVESTING -- The art of buying low and selling lower.

P/E RATIO -- The percentage of investors wetting their pants as the market keeps crashing.

BROKER -- What my broker has made me.

STANDARD & POOR -- Your life in a nutshell.

STOCK ANALYST -- Idiot who just downgraded your stock.

STOCK SPLIT -- When your ex-wife and her lawyer split your assets equally between themselves.

FINANCIAL PLANNER -- A guy whose phone has been disconnected.

MARKET CORRECTION -- The day after you buy stocks.

CASH FLOW-- The movement your money makes as it disappears down the toilet.

YAHOO -- What you yell after selling it to some poor sucker for $240 per share.

WINDOWS -- What you jump out of when you're the sucker who bought Yahoo @ $240 per share.

INSTITUTIONAL INVESTOR -- Past year investor who's now locked up in a nuthouse.

PROFIT -- An archaic word no longer in use

Posted by: rainforest1 | December 1, 2008 3:55 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the Rolling Stones "Heartbreaker" tune cootie, CquaP & Co. :-)

Well, the tree's up, with no loss of limbs (arboreal or otherwise). Probably because it's a one-piece artifical fiber-optic affair with a stunning color palate once plugged in, but anyway... Apart from that, not a terribly satisfying Sunday, due to dingy weather and entirely uninspiring football results.

And would someone please remind Dan Snyder that the reason to have radio broadcasts of football games is NOT to run commercial breaks that are so long so that you come back to the game hear Larry Michael saying, "...great run to start this series." Oh, and listening to Sam and Sonny argue about whether or not the spot of the ball was fair is the kind of color commentary we can do at home, TYVM. *fuming*

Ah well, another fun-filled work week awaits. Off to the runway!!

*wondering-what-wonders-await-us-all-while-also-wondering-where-in-the-world-2008-went-while-we-weren't-looking-and-have-I-used-up-my-"w"-allowance-yet Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 1, 2008 5:01 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

Bush is as lame as a lame duck can get, but he still thinks he can create a domestic army of 20,000 troops, thereby violating posse comitatus? I don't think so, and I wonder what Obama's gonna say about it.

Great definitions, rainforest. bc, glad you're recovering.

Gotta clear up a few things. There's no mystery why the Great Depression happened. The basic facts have been known for decades. There's a wee bit of debate around the far edges, but it isn't serious. To say we "don't know why it happened" is like the global warming deniers saying we don't know why it happens.

And on the other side, those who have been saying for a while that "the New Deal didn't solve the Depression" are mainly a bunch of rightwing ideologues who have many axes to grind. Their claim is that the New Deal didn't 'end" the Depression [and here you have to note carefully the use of the word "end," meaning to conclude or terminate], because it was WWII that "ended" the Depression. Technically, this may be correct -- WWII did indeed "end" the Depression. But the ideologues use this "fact" to then claim that all the generally leftish plans and programs Roosevelt installed were "failures" (because the idealogues want to abolish said programs, therefore they need to claim those programs "didn't work"). But the fact is, those programs did work, and were working. Part of it is the fact that the clock ran out on Roosevelt's efforts when the war intervened. No one will ever know what might have happened if WWII hadn't come along; would Roosevelt's programs eventually have "ended" the Depression? Suppose somebody had shot Hitler in 1938? That kind of speculation may be interesting to some [alternative history has never been among my interests; I find the real history more than challenging enough as it is].

But no: the claim that Roosevelt's New Deal didn't help fix the Depression is crap. Creating work programs and soup kitchens and a hundred other measures by and large did a great deal to ameliorate what was [yet again] Wall Street and "the Market's" greed, moral corruption and failure. So don't buy into the argument. It is just semantic nit-picking by people who have their heads up their butts (largely Conservatives) and who have agendas. Did Roosevelt "cure" the Depression? No. Was he taking many positive steps to help solve it? Without quest6ion, yes. And did all this help lay the foundation of the modern "Welfare State" (which is at the heart of the argument) with its entitlements and safety nets? Yes. And therein lies the rub.

OK, gotta run.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 1, 2008 6:22 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and the anti-New Dealers who argue the war ended the Depression will never admit what that means: the depression was ended by massive, massive government spending (only the spending was diverted into the war effort).

So they want it both ways: the massive govt. spending of the New Deal didn't work, but the massive govt. spending on war materiel did work, only they're against massive govt. spending...unless it is for the military.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | December 1, 2008 6:30 AM | Report abuse

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Morning, friends. Science Tim, I guess your point has some merit because there is abuse of government programs in most circles of the populace. Yet, having been a single parent myself, I don't think that argument includes everybody. Many families using food stamps now have a "man" as you put in the home, but still qualify for the help. Why? No jobs. I never received food stamps for my children. I worked. Perhaps I might have been eligible for the help, but did not apply because my first experience with that program, and I wasn't working and did not have an income, was a nightmare. I left the office crying. When rich people abuse government programs it's never reported with such disdain, but when poor people get bread, it's dispised and uttered with the most contempt.

Every opponent of the New Deal that I ever talked to laid the blame of our present situation on it. That's all they talk about. I believe it to be a little more complicated and not fair to go that route.

I read Samuelson this morning, and I don't know where his head is, unless it's on the other end. President-elect Obama will inherit a nightmare, and all this criticism before he gets into office is slightly premature?

All I can say is, raise your hand if you voted for Bush.

Time to face the music, and that would be the walking music. I like a little light on the subject.

Mudge, Scotty, Martooni, Slyness, Yoki, good morning to all.*waving*

Have a great day, folks. Time to walk.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 1, 2008 6:53 AM | Report abuse

Rainforest, a package of yeast weighs 1/4 oz.

Posted by: badsneakers | December 1, 2008 6:54 AM | Report abuse

Joel has got a whale of a tale to tell ya.
A whale of a tale or two.
A whale of a tale to tell ya, lad
And it's all true.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/30/AR2008113001902.html

Posted by: yellojkt | December 1, 2008 7:05 AM | Report abuse

Maybe it's just my lack of sleep, but how did you get Wilbrodog and/or Libby to sit there and let you paint nails?

It took me a small bowl filled with fresh turkey to bribe mine so I could cut their nails yesterday. In the end, Cutter endured it, Emma constantly re-evaluated the bargain as she'd get up and walk away then return to verify the only turkey leaving the bowl was for allowing a nail to be clipped.

I'd hoped last weekend was the end of mega-overtime, but it looks like this week, at least, will continue in the same vein.

Posted by: -dbG- | December 1, 2008 7:05 AM | Report abuse

Morning, all. I haven't read Samuelson, should I bother, Cassandra? Normally I do, but the headline didn't draw me in.

Fifty more days of the Bush administration. I hope we survive.

Wilbrodog, you crack me up. Gold toenails for the holidays? Sounds beautiful to me!

There's a story in the morning paper that we had the coldest November in 32 years. You know, I'm okay with that. I rather hope the whole winter is cold. Not that I like cold (I don't) but I do prefer the weather to be seasonal.

I hope everyone has a pleasant day!

Posted by: slyness | December 1, 2008 7:08 AM | Report abuse

George Will cheats on his definition of recovery as being the point where the stock market beats its previous high. That is a mighty tall bar for a bubble as irrational as the one that caused the Crash of '29.

My telling tale of the Depression is that two European countries fell into dictatorship while our democracy survived. That is the most important take away point. We did recover, some countries didn't.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 1, 2008 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Slyness

You might find it interesting. For me, it seems he was trying to give advice, and the advice given was demeaning in my view. It was as though he was giving advice to a stupid man. I've never met President-elect Obama, but I don't perceive him to be a stupid man.

Rainforest

Love the list, and the definitions too.

This morning God used the sky for a canvas, and it was just beautiful. There were so many colors, and all of them from one, each a different hue. There were strands of clouds that were a light gray/blue, and then huge puffy clouds that were a darker blue,almost threatening, and just beneath that, a sliver of, for lack of a better word,Carolina Blue, and a brightness, so much light, that was beyond awesome. Humanity, on its best day, cannot equal the wonder and beauty that is found in God and his creations.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 1, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Most disingenuous line in the Samuelson column:

"The hallmark of this economic crisis has been its capacity to surprise"

Yeah, absolutely nobody anywhere saw the American automakers in trouble. In the words of Captain Renault, I'm just shocked.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 1, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

I'm thankful that many of us were able to enjoy time with families and friends this past Thanksgiving weekend.

Now that I'm nearly warmed up, I'm somewhat amused by the arguments and discussion over whether the New Deal worked or not. As usual, it seems like the answer depends on one's perspective (bolstered by any possible ax-grinding oppotunites one may be looking for). I'm not an economist, I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn recently, and am not in contact with the PROFIT!-seeking Underwear Gnomes, so what do I know?

I found Joel's Whale Tale interesting, though I wonder if there's any relation or crossover research on Manatee/vessel co-spatial events or the recent news events regarding Naval sonar and whale beachings here in the US and around the world.

Cassandra, dear - a question: why would you want anyone who voted for GW Bush to raise their hand?

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 1, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

LOL, Yello.

The last line got me: "Obama's first job is to avert an economic freefall."

Excuse me? The Bush administration still has seven weeks to go. What are they going to do in the meantime? Can THEY not start the process to avert freefall? Why not?

Posted by: slyness | December 1, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Presumably, no one bothers to suggest that the Bush Administration act to avoid an economic freefall because they have already screwed the pooch and cannot be expected to (a) come up with a sound strategic conception; (b) come up with a coherent plan to enact that strategy; and (c) to execute that plan competently. I think that ignoring the Bush Administration at this time constitutes a fair assessment of the situation. I couldn't help noticing that every plan to do anything during the Bush Administration always was based on the notion that success would come "with a little luck"; that effective outcomes always were predicted based on the assumption of optimistic outcomes; that military and diplomatic success always was based on the actions of others (either opponents or allies). In every area, the Bush Administration ceded decisive action to someone else and took an exclusively reactive approach to events. They're always two steps behind what's happening. Would you really WANT them to try to do something expansive before Obama comes into office?

Posted by: ScienceTim | December 1, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Actually, slyness, I think the Bush Admin *has* been trying to avert an economic freefall.

Certainly they worked to help the GOP on the lead-up to the November Elections. I think they're doing what they can on the basis of General Welfare, and I believe there's a GW Bush Legacy aspect to it as well, though any thought in the WH that he can avoid being on the "Worst Presidents in History" list would seem to be delusional at this point. Still, who's going to break the news to the Big Guy at this point?

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 1, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Samuelson's column was full of crap: it was an economic pundit just trying for something to say to fill space. He sets up a false dichotomy: that Obama can either solve the financial crisis, or he can implement his agenda and platform (but unspoken is the notion that he can't do both). Having set up this false choice, Samuelson proceeds to say the financial crisis is more important and should be dealt with first, while his agenda should be put on hold.

Lemme see, how many reasons can we find to suggest Obama's agenda should be put on hold. It's funny how people who oppose his agenda can think of such reasons.

As if his agenda was an all-or-nothing proposition, or that working on the economy was all-or-nothing.

As for G. Will's column, he, too, commits various and sundry logical blunders-- and (unusual for Will) also commits a major math error. Will says the height of the Depression came with the industrial collapse of 1937, "five years" after the New Deal started. However, Roosevelt was elected in November 1932 -- and didn't take office until March 4, 1933 (that was the "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself" inaugural speech).

The fact is, the economy grew 58% from 1932 to 1940, thanks to Roosevelt and his programs. Now, maybe someone can try to argue that it still wasn't "enough" -- and that's as may be. But that isn't the argument you are hearing.

Look, peeps, all this stuff about the "failure" of the New Deal, yadda yadda, is coming out of a new book by a woman named Amity Shales (Will cites the book). It is a major Conservative, revisionist piece of crap. Just because there's a new book about the New Deal -- one which supposrts Conservative idealogy -- DOESN'T MAKE IT TRUE. This is all just part of the Conserv/GOP playbook, setting up the argument on their terms and framing the questions the way they want, and citing the facts that are convenient to their side. But it is NOT what it masks itself as being: a free-flowing debate among historians and economists, etc., freely debating issues and ideas. It isn't that at all.

What ticks me off is that no one is "calling" them on it, and the media, as usual, is just reporting it as the usual horse race, without any fact-checking going on. This isn't a free, open discussion, it is partisan rightwing ideology masking itself as such.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 1, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Krugman has been blasting Shlaes as being a complete idiot on a regular basis.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/11/29/changes-in-money-wages-and-amity-shlaes/

She has become the darling of the reactionary set.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 1, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Krugman is absolutely right. And Shales' book is behind all this nonsense.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 1, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I know I've said this before, so feel free to throw money and other valuables at me so I'll go away, but if they want to do a New New Deal, I have three words for them (or possibly four, depending on how you split them): free universal healthcare

First of all, take Medicare/Medicaid and give it to everyone.

The cost per person would be greatly reduced with more people in the pool. Yes, it will cost more overall, but nowhere near the cost of failure we're getting now.

And think of the benefits...

1. Employers would no longer need to provide (or try to provide, or go broke providing) healthcare benefits for employees. How many machines and computers and other carp will that buy? What's the biggest cost to auto makers? It sure ain't steel.

2. With everyone on the same plan, confusion is practically eliminated (do you have this that or the other or something else? Go fish!), making the entire system even more streamlined and cost effective. Easy navigation makes everyone happy.

3. Preventive medicine would be available to all, not just those lucky enough to be old enough, poor enough, or rich enough, or have a job that still offers real benefits. The old saw about a penny of prevention is worth a pound of cure pretty well sums this one up.

4. The addition of 45 million or so previously uninsured people into the system would mean that hospitals and emergency rooms would be *paid* for taking care of a lot of people they currently lose money on. I don't know about your business, but I think converting 45M customers who used to bleed you to death into paid-for customers would be a good thing. In fact, I'd bet my pants that they'd hire more nurses.

5. The insurance companies who would lose revenue from insurance premiums could easily make it up by bidding on claims processing and other administrative functions. Or they could sell more car insurance. Or homeowners insurance. WTF? We just pumped how many billions into their pockets to bail them out. They can't find a good salesperson?

6. Since Walmart and MainStreetMart will have the same healthcare benefits, maybe Walmart will STFU about unions and MainStreetMart might have a fighting chance to stay in business.

I could go on and on, but I'll spare you.

My point, if the 2x4 I just whirled around didn't get you, is that *free* universal healthcare benefits would save this country a heck of a lot quicker (and make it healthier, just ask Canada) than giving yet more billions to Wall Street or Elm Street or any other Street than the one *I* live on.

Mr. Obama... I'm ready to pound sense into whoever you want me to, including myself.

btw... this flu bug I got is a "Barry Manilow". Just when you think it's finished making your life miserable, it comes back with a new cootie that's even more detestable and stomach-churning than the last.

Peace out ;-)

Posted by: martooni | December 1, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

bc

I don't know, bc. I get kind of tickle when I think about how some folks are already critiquing President-elect Obama, yet some of these same folks more than likely voted for Bush. And if they raised their hands I can't see anyway. It's kind of like, if I could see them do that, would they do it.

One of my sisters has been dead for some years now, but before she died, she told me that George Bush would be our next President. And this was way before the election. I asked her why did she think this. She said because they(Conservatives) don't have anybody else. I've often thought about her answer.


I think I mentioned the fact that a lady here in the county wrote a letter to the editor of the local paper denouncing Mexicans. The letter was really offensive and wasn't based on anything that made sense other than fear and hate. I was surprised the paper published the letter. On any of these letters, one can comment, and there were quite a few comments, including my own.

One particular comment that struck me was one that stated the writer did not state the case well, but there were people that agreed with the basics of the letter. In other words this person was actually saying what, although crude and hateful as the letter was, many people agreed with the underlying premise. And that same situation applies to other issues facing our country. Some Republicans here feel that the country belongs to them, and they feel robbed of "their" country. That may be the underlying concept for others, but would never be spoken out loud.

The woman that wrote the lady probably votes Republican, and the lawyer that knows the language up and down, sideways, and backwards, probably votes Republican too. They have something in common, yet placed in the same room, would not be caught dead together.

My neighbor and I talked about Black Friday and the gun sells in SC. I asked her, who are these folks buying guns for? She said to kill us. Now we know that when people buy weapons they have an idea of what the weapon will be used for. I was slightly shocked when my neighbor said that, and I must have appeared to look shocked, because she changed her answer. She said the folks that bought the guns are going to use them to protect their houses and keep people from stealing from them.

Can you see the far reaching impact of a bad economy? It's a nightmare people.

Raise your hands if you want to change places with me.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 1, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

First Time!

Great show on Moyers. I am really glad they developed that whole idea for places like NY and DC. Much to think about. I second your recommendation and suggest that everyone grab a 1/2 hour to catch the show. I am not at all equating the mega-agricompanies to the mafia, but one has to wonder how the mafia can be pursued for decades even as they fulfill "our needs" at the same time as we subsidize the industry that, as the guest, Michael Pollan, alludes, brings us these highly subsidized and petroleum requiring "twinkies."

ALSO ... thanks for this, mr. P!

I've been reading a book called "The Worst Hard Time" by Timothy Egan.

I have a hard time conceiving of what a current age massive public works program would look like.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 1, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

btw2... I have to *walk*, yes *walk* about a mile each way (as in there and back) to pay for new tags on the car I pay for which Mrs. M. has in her possession today and I don't.

And it's cold and raining.

And I've got the "Barry Manilow" flu.

I am not a happy gnome and losing my "ironic" sign isn't making matters any better.

Posted by: martooni | December 1, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Martooni


I like your plan.
You think the insurance companies would like that? My understanding is that the insurance companies have enough money to start their own country. And buy their own President.

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 1, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Martooni!

I've got your back man! My theory is, and since I have worked within both the Govt and the insurance industry, we already PAY FOR HEALTH CARE for everyone, we just don't support preventative medicine for those same people that really should be getting it.

We are a STOOPID nation. We are the same people who buy into the stat, without a question, that union auto workers in "greater Detroit" get paid $70 an hour with benefits.

The truth remains that the most efficient insurance programs are run by the Federal Government.

By the time that you unwind all the inefficiencies of the current system that, in turn, produce our lame health system, we are paying more that what we would pay... that's my summary.

If the rich fear that they won't be able to get the treatment that they want or "deserve," then let them know that every industry will take more money for better treatment.

May I also point out one other important factor for those of us over 45 or 50... try to find a job these days with a company that provides health care as a benefit. You will get a bunch of rationale as to why you weren't hired, but one key factor is the added cost to the company in insurance premium.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 1, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

All this talk about economics is depressing. No wonder they call it "the dismal science" (the "science" part of it being a horrible misnomer anyway). I'm even depressing myself.

C'mon, Boodle, we need to snap out of it. We need some whimsy here. First off, what's for virtual lunch today? Who is hosting it?

Second, we need an alternative topic, a whimsical thread, something to take our minds off reality (let me go on record as saying I was never muich of a fan of reality, anyway, although it still beats so-called Reality Television). So what'll it be, folks? What's today's threadwhimsy?

There's been a lot of talk lately here about paint and color schemes and colors. How about we come up with new lists of colors the paint manufacturers ought to consider adding to their repertoires?

Cottage cheese mold blue
Irridescent driveway oil leak shimmery rainbow
Deep bruise green
Used french fry oil brown
Your zipper's open blush red
Barry Manilow's cheeks orange
George Hamilton IV suntan mahogany pre-melanoma brown
Irish freckle red
Under bra strap off-white
Seasick yellow
Burnt tofu
Peaches-and-skim-milk
Impetigo (crusty red-brown)
Pinkeye
Blue funk blue
Donald Trump's hair orange

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 1, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Mudge

I love the colors, and they made me laugh, even Trump's orange hair and under bra strap off-white. Can you see Martha using those colors?

Posted by: cmyth4u | December 1, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

You forgot Gang Green, mudge.

I have some leftover lamburgers from the other night; I'd be happy to bring them, along with the sesame rolls and kettle chips. If y'all don't mind me stopping to pick up some hummus, I'll be there in about 15 minutes.

Are we meeting at the usual place?

Posted by: -TBG- | December 1, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I'm in! Fortunately, I still have some goat cheese and I bought crackers this morning. Anybody for leftover turkey and dressing? These are from Saturday, not Thursday, and the cajun rub is really good, even if I do say so myself.

Mudge, you didn't mention puke green, that's one of my favorite colors.

Posted by: slyness | December 1, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Gang green and puke green are good; inspires me to add baby poop green. But I fear we are overloading the green palette at the expense of other hues.

Well, today looks like Leftovers Day at virtual lunch. I can bring half a pumpkin pie, two pieces of lagsagna, and a turkey wing. Also some pasta salad.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | December 1, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

baby diaper brown
nursing home hair blue
rotten banana speckle

Posted by: yellojkt | December 1, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Ty-D-Bol blue
foyer-carpet-in-winter gray

I have turkey soup and leftover apple pie--more than enough to share.


Posted by: Raysmom | December 1, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I'll call in a take-out tray of S'mac Cajun mac-n-cheese if I can sit with the cool kids.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 1, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Good morning. When the Boy was an infant we identified a particular color we referred to as baby-s*** brown.

My mother, who usually had excellent taste, always wanted green walls. When she had the house to herself she hired a decorator who sold her on Moldy Avocado Green. I'm sure the decorator was necessary to find the exact type of paint which, over time, produced a rich patina of mold spots. It was good that Ivansdad and I were young and strong when we moved in, since we had to use steel wool, strong cleaners, and Kilz on every wall and ceiling before we could repaint. We'd never have been able to afford the labor had we hired someone.

Lunch? Leftover ginger molasses cake from here.

I like your idea, martooni (and russianthinstle). And Cassandra, bless you for your comments.

Posted by: Ivansmom | December 1, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

In my experience, under bra strap off white is actually a rather dull gray. YMMV.

Yello, if we aren't the cool kids, who are?

Everybody has to bring at least one canned good for the food pantry in Cassandra's neighborhood.

Posted by: slyness | December 1, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Matooni,
Did you see this in today's NYT OpEd section?

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/01/opinion/01opart.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

Among the various types of hoboes during the depression are "... boodlers, whom welcomed being imprisoned during the colder months;..."

Posted by: rickoshea0 | December 1, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

toe cheese (sort of like ecru, only it also smells

calamine pink
submarine yellow
aquaman marine
princely purple
mood ring chameleon
black black (it's the new black
orange you glad I didn't say banana again orange
striptease violet
running out of ideas gray

Posted by: omnigood | December 1, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Back from my trip, where a good time was had by all. Ya gotta love it when you're pulling a one-armed bandit every now and again so that you and a sister can drink for free while catching up, and hit for $750.

About colors...I once renovated a house where the bathroom colors (prior to my getting a hold of it) were Bazooka Bubble Gum Pink and a shade of blue that the only other thing I ever saw in that color was cotton candy *after* a kid touched it with wet sticky fingers. To make the bathroom even worse, the sink and shower were seafoam green. And there was a peach floral border paper separating the blue and pink. Truly horrendous. (This was the same house where the previous owner had painted around the headboard. Prior to that, I thought the height of laziness was not taking off the switchplates before painting.)

I hope everyone had a happy holiday.

Posted by: LostInThought | December 1, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

holding my breath to avoid popping off at a coworker who really needs to keep opinions private alternating red-and-blue

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 1, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

NEW KIT! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | December 1, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

russianthistle... I got your back, too.

And even yello's, even with that stinger of his. ;-)

I'm back from my trek to the Department of All Things Automotive which I had to go to on foot. Of course, they don't accept credit/bank cards -- they wants their cash -- so I had to trek a few doors down to get cash out of a machine and trek back so I could pay their ransom and keep "driving" my car. Y'know... the one in my name that I pay for every month, but hardly get to see, let alone drive. Mrs. M owes me a foot massage. Or the car keys. Or something.

But back to Martooni's Solution to Save the World...

During my trek I had some good Thinking Time. (You may now throw money or valuables at me to shut me up).

And during that Time, I came to believe even stronger that FREE universal health care would really really really save our arses and our economy.

Think about it... if companies didn't have to worry about the costs of keeping their employees alive and generally happy, we could compete on a semi-level playing field with Canada. And England. And Finland. And -- dare I say it -- France!

Just think how competitive US companies could be on a global scale if our government would simply take the money they're supposedly spending on border walls and shipping container scanning and use that money to help people hurt less and feel better without having to sell their children?

Just think how competitive we could be if they would just take the obvious and inevitable path that must be trodden?

How many tree trunks must our leaders pull from their eyes before they can see the forest?

If Mrs. M would give me the dang car keys, I'd hop in the car and drive to D.C. in a New York minute and just start slappin' Senators and Whoever Else is In Charge until they realize that a healthy economy starts with a healthy workforce that's not staying up all night wondering whether they can afford a freakin' prescription or whether their ankles may be broken or simply sprained or if... or if... or if...

This is just beyond stupid.

Are we going to give GM and Ford and Chrysler billions so they can try to prop up their failing companies? Or are we going to address their biggest cost factor, which is employee (current and retired) health costs?

They made promises to their employees that "we'll take care of you, don't worry". Now they're spending billions to carry out those promises and hoping an arse-backwards teats-over-ankles system will do the trick.

I don't even have a "press pass" to stick in my hat, but I got some real news for that crew.

And now I will step down from my soap box and be quiet for a while. :-)

Posted by: martooni | December 1, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, dear.

I also think it's far too soon to critique President-Elect Obama seriously, but I also think it's fair to comment on what he's said and done so far. Just as I think it'f fair for us to comment on those pundits.

Seems to me that part of the reason this country is great is because of the rights of free speech and freedom of the press. But those rights are not without responsibility, as we can be held accountable for what we say, even as we might be utilizing our freedoms to hold our government accountable for what they do.

As wonderful as I personally think the November elections went, I remember many stones tossed at me after I made clear my displeasure at the results of the 2000 and 2004 General elections, and how alienated I felt as so much of the country - and people in my community - turned in a direction I disageed with. I was treated badly at times - sometimes publicly, sometimes privately - by people who felt empowered by the country's embrace of conservative values and overall tilt to the right. I vowed to myself that if things ever turned around, I would not do the same thing to them, but that I'd engage them fairly, and try to treat them with the respect and compassion that I was not. And that's what I've been trying to do. Perhaps they'll see that being inclusive rather than exclusive as we reboot this country, that they'll be more inclined to being receptive and participatory in civic and cultural change and maybe - four years from now - they'll more more part of the solution, than part of a problem. Honey and vinegar, you know? Or at least the golden rule, anyway.

Frankly, the way I was treated after the '00 and '04 elections *was* part of the GOP's problems this time. At least in terms of my criticisms and certainly of my votes.

I'd add here that we have anonymous elections for reasons - one of the reasons I treasure the word 'Unaffiliated' on my voter registration card.

And that's all I have to say about that for the moment.

And as far as a color goes, how about Bloodshot Red?

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 1, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

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