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The risk of the 'nutbaiting' strategy

Adam Serwer of the American Prospect is guest blogging on The Plum Line this week, while Greg Sargent's on vacation.

Last week, Democratic insiders told Greg Sargent that the Glenn Beck rally offered "an opportunity to push the line that the GOP is hostage to intolerants and extremists." Whatever your opinion on the crowd estimates of the event, it's not a stretch to say that doesn't seem to have worked out very well.

While the timing and pseudo-religious nature of the gathering irritated some liberals, there was nothing that was outwardly "extremist" and "intolerant" about the event. There were no incidents like the ones that took place during the anti-Affordable Care Act protests that could be characterized as showing that the Tea Party is made up of angry people. As Ross Douthat points out today, it was mostly a big feel-good session for conservatives. Perhaps a little odd-seeming to most liberals, but hardly the stuff of serious political ammunition.

That's one obvious hole in the Democrats' "nutbaiting" strategy that Dave Wiegel alluded to last week -- people have to actually act like nuts for it to work. It's sort of odd that in an election where Democrats are doing badly because they failed to do more to revive the economy, they're foundering for a message while facing opponents who are promising to do even less. Not that a strong message would override the underlying fundamentals.

Here are some end-of-the-day links highlighting stuff we didn't get to over here:

The Libertarian Party has rejected allowing Lisa Murkowski to run on their ticket.

Justin Elliot reports on the relative lack of outrage surrounding the proposed construction of a Church near Ground Zero by a birther-friendly, Islamophobic, anti-Mormon preacher.

Related: "Man Already Knows Everything He Needs To Know About Muslims."

Dave Weigel on a rare "anti-Democratic doom" polling report from New Mexico.

Obama comments on the "Muslim" rumors.

Some Republicans are starting to line up behind the "Ryan Roadmap."

Dahlia Lithwick on whether having three women on the court will change it.

Consider this the end of the day open thread.

By Adam Serwer  |  August 30, 2010; 4:35 PM ET
 
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Comments

I agree 100% that "nutbaiting" does not sound like a very intelligent strategy. Sounds rather risky and potentially painful, actually.

Posted by: sbj3 | August 30, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of Beck's sudden embrace of love or whatever the f that was on Saturday, he's still regarded by even in conservative circles as unhinged.

Why do you think the established and office holding GOP steered clear of him? Because they know people think he doesn't have it all up there.

He seemed to be running for God or something on Saturday.

It's just another chapter of Beck's mood swings. One day he's calm, the next he's a raging maniac. No doubt if MLK were still around, he would have ended up on one of Beck's chalkboards.

Anyways...cheers.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 30, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

We know that Weigel was part of journ-O-list (and fired for it), but were Justin Elliot and Dahlia Lithwick?

Posted by: JakeD2 | August 30, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Well, John Hagey was featured at the Rally, so I think that defiantly was a Giant Nutbag, who got invited to the affair.

Recall that John McCain ended up, rejecting Hagee's endorsement, because the guy is such an extreme hate monger.

When you bring John Hagee on stage, and give him microphone, you have already exceeded your daily requirement of Nutbaggery.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 30, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm confused.

Pretty much anything Beck and Palin accused the current "government" of doing to be dishonorable could be said about the Bush Administration and all of the GOPs in, yes, government. So, why now? What's the SUBSTANCE of these accusations/comments that were "just" spouted during a feel-good GOP rally?

And so then we've just leapt ahead to "at least no one did anything crazy, violent, or overtly racist"?

Wow, low bar. If the Beckists just want to celebrate their gathering as a peaceful love-in to conservative Christian values, the STOP claiming significance for it.

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 30, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

BG,

How are you. Is Manny going to get The SOX into the playoffs?

Posted by: Liam-still | August 30, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

"It's sort of odd that in an election where Democrats are doing badly because they failed to do more to revive the economy, they're foundering for a message while facing opponents who are promising to do even less."

It's not that they "failed to do more to revive the economy," it's that what they did do is precisely what is pre-empting a recovery.

Posted by: tao9 | August 30, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

RE: Murkowski

While not directly related to that story itself, it brings to light something that's been bugging me about this ongoing 'libertarian uprising' or whatever you may wish to call it. The plain fact about it is that at most 10% of these folks, are actually Libertarians. The reasoning- they're making such a big deal defending/promoting classical socially conservative messages and ideals. And beyond that, the neoconservativism that still runs rampant in the GOP's foreign policy stances- another decidedly non-libertarian stance (true Libertarians would be for watered-down isolationism, at least at the governmental level).

Neither of these attitudes mesh at all with the views held by true libertarians, many of whom (out of the libertarians that I know, such as one of my younger brothers), hold social and civil libertarianism as more important than fiscal libertarianism- basically arguing that freedom starts with your person, not with your wallet (although my brother will go on to argue vigorously about libertarian fiscal policy as well).

In summation, it is my view that self-described Libertarians, even party members, are hypocrites and charlatans. Okay, I exaggerate, but that for all their talk of freedom, all that really matters to them is their wallets, as they time and time again ally themselves with people who stand in direct opposition to boiler plate Libertarian social, civil, and foreign policy positions.

I don't want to see that word used in any context about people who don't subscribe to it whole-heartedly anymore. Not that I'll be seeing that wish fulfilled though.

Posted by: holyhandgrenaid | August 30, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Marginalize, without ridiculing, the Far Right and work on the middle. Obama needs to finally take the gloves off, and risk Fox News calling him an "angry black man." Stop taking the Harvard law professor high road and making nice/nice with the GOP, and give them a bit of Harry Truman. The middle of the road public respects a politician with conviction, even if they don't always agree with him on everything, e.g., the old Reagan Democrats.
It shouldn't be too hard for him on a daily basis from now to November to attack the GOP as the party of the 2% who don't care about "you." The Right can call it "class warfare", but who cares?

Posted by: filmnoia | August 30, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Too soon to say that they are foundering. Up until now, all the heat and attention has been in the Republican primary fights, because of the civil war between the Sanes and The Insanes, for control of the party.

Traditionally, voters do not focus on midterm elections, until after labor day. That is when the battle real commences.

We Democrats are going to remind the voters of what McConnell and Boehner have wrought, in the past.

We will not surrender a damn thing to those Destroyers of the Economy and the Middle Class.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 30, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Interesting read on Koch's busing in people for Beck's little rally and speaking at his event the night before along with George Will.

http://www.alternet.org/teaparty/148014/billionaire_who_denies_connection_to_tea_parties_bankrolls_tea-partying_glenn_beck_fans/?page=1

Yeah, nothing political about Koch!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 30, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

"What's the SUBSTANCE of these accusations/comments that were "just" spouted during a feel-good GOP rally?"

See the comments in the psycho thread?

The festival certainly had nothing to do with Honor or Civil Rights.

I think the entire event was a giant F-U to black people and I think the "substance" of it all was basically that it gave license to conservatives to openly attack African-American people.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 30, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, yes I did, and I noticed that it was all vague and plenty malicious. As for arguments? I guess the right just doesn't do them anymore.

Liam, I don't think Manny will make many people convert to liking him, but I'll put it on the line and say that he's gonna hit the ball for the Sox. When Manny is bored, Manny doesn't play well. New team and new expectations means he'll hit.

tao, specifics? Surely you don't think the poor rich bankers are getting a raw deal and it's wrecking the economy, do you?

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 30, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I thought "nutbaiting" was going through a blog's comment section and picking out the most wacked commenter’s comment and ascribing those comments to the writer of the blog.

I was totally against THAT kind of nuttbaiting.

But waiting for someone to act nutty at a rally? That seems well within the bounds to me.

I was strongly anti-Iraq war before the war started, but I didn't do any of the protest marchs because that isn't my thing and because I think all the giant puppets are plain stupid.

If I had the dubious honor of watching people that sort-of, kinda, in-a-way agree with me politically act like total dumb@sses why do people whose values I don't share get a free ride?

Posted by: nisleib | August 30, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

FYI - Hitchens has an article on the Beck rally:

http://www.slate.com/id/2265515/

Posted by: nisleib | August 30, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

OK "nutbaiting" is an intriguing concept - especially as a political strategy.


I will go out and say that Obama's strategy on his BIRTH CERTIFICATE is "nutbaiting" as well.


Obama could EASILY sign a release opening up the file in Hawaii which would show more documents - WHAT is Obama trying to hide?


Few people would spend MILLIONS of dollars in legal fees defending cases - when opening the files is a simple, free solution.


Instead, Obama seems to be trying to be making political HAY out of the whole dispute - why not ACT to settle the issue instead?


That is the very definition of "nutbaiting."


Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | August 30, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Expanding upon my post from 5:33 I'd like to make an example.

If someone were to come to this blog and pick out SaveTheRainforest post from 5:41, and ascribe it to Greg Sargent, it would make this blog look like the home of a moronic birther. And that is the problem with "nutpicking" blogs.

Just because this blog has the occasional halfwit troll (see STR from 5:41) doesn't mean that is what this blog is about.

Posted by: nisleib | August 30, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Nutbaiting - interesting - and this deserves some discussion.


This all makes sense - and it appears to be the strategy that the democrats are trying to characterize the Republicans.

The problem with this strategy is CLEAR - somehow for anything the democrats try to work, the democrats have to CONVINCE a majority of Americans that their view is true.


While many democrats may want to believe that many Republicans are nuts, it is not really true.

So, you have a situation in which the democrats - their "nutbaiting" is really an attempt at a smear campaign - to take a few people who are crazy, of which there are many in all groups - and use them to SMEAR MILLIONS of people.

This was precisely the problem with the rally on Capitol Hill during the health care debate - Nancy Pelosi and her crew purposely WALKED THROUGH THE CROWD - TRYING TO PROVOKE THEM.


Well - in that case, who is creating the confrontation - the anti-health care people - or the elected officials who should be acting with more dignity ???

Clearly - the attempts at "nutbaiting" come down to a smear campaign - dirty tricks.


If "nutbaiting" is really a smear campaign - and it seeks to unfairly label innocent people - then it REALLY is NOT the truth -

So the democrats are attempting to push a bunch of lies.


The democrats do not have a message - their policies have been REJECTED by the country. These kinds of strategies are not going to work.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | August 30, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Tom Coburn: Newt Gingrich 'The Last Person' I'd Support For President

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich would be "the last person" he'd vote for in a presidential election when speaking at a town hall meeting in his home state last week, the Tusla World reports.

"[Gingrich] "is a super-smart man, but he doesn't know anything about commitment to marriage," explained the conservative Senator. "He's the last person I'd vote for for president of the United States. His life indicates he does not have a commitment to the character traits necessary to be a great president."

The criticism comes in the wake of reports that Gingrich is strongly considering making a bid for the White House in 2012.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/30/tom-coburn-newt-gingrich-_n_699386.html

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 30, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

The trend continues:

Most Think Palin Wouldn't Be An Effective President (POLL)

In a new survey released Monday, most respondents said that they do not think Sarah Palin would have the ability to be an effective president.

In the 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll, conducted Aug. 3-5 by CBS News among 847 adult respondents, 59% responded that they thought Palin could not be an effective president compared to only 26% who said that she could be.

Eighty percent of liberals and 70% of moderates said Palin could not be an effective president. Only 41% of conservatives said that she could be, while 40% said that she could not be. However, somewhat more Republicans said that Palin could be effective - 47% said she could be while 40% said she could not.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/30/most-think-palin-wouldnt-_n_698887.html

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 30, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Ethan2010 at 5:10

You are 100% incorrect in your racial characterization of the Glen Beck rally.


I would like to call to your attention the attitude of the Sharpton rally - the attitude was - "these white people should not be rallying today."


Sharpton's rally was ALL about race -


Sharpton's attitude was "these white people are doing something wrong - their motives are suspect - because they are WHITE."

Yes - and your comment at 5:10 falls into that racist category.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | August 30, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

STR, making the return button relevant after all these year.

Eejit.

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 30, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

suekzoo1:

Too bad that CBS never did a poll in 2006 as to how "effective" Obama could be as President, because it would have been more than 59% who either said "No" or "Obama, who?"

Posted by: JakeD2 | August 30, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Ethan2010 at 5:10


Why can't the democrats handle having a black President WITHOUT making racist charges all over the place?

It appears that the democrats believe that having a black President means that is is OPEN SEASON ON ALL WHITE PEOPLE TO CALL THEM RACIST.


Today, you can be called a racist for having a policy position on health care, which has nothing to do with race.

The democratic party is not mature enough to handle a black President.

Your comment at 5:10 is certainly NOT post-racial. The country certainly EXPECTED the democrats to put aside the racist charges when Obama was running - the country was PROMISED A POST RACIAL ATMOSPHERE.

Instead, the democrats have INSISTED ON A HYPER-RACIAL ATMOSPHERE.

All this amounts to the fact that the democratic party has become racist against whites - whites who express their own Freedom of Speech.

The truth hurts, I know -.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | August 30, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Do 59% TODAY think he's effective?

LOL!!!

Posted by: JakeD2 | August 30, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Ethan2010 - your comment at 5:10


The topic is the "nutbaiting" strategy of the democrats


But WHO came out - YOU - your comment at 5:10 tries to make a racial controversy out of the rally - and is racist.


Sharpton ended up getting CALLED OUT - his statements were all RACIAL in character as well - focused in on Sharpton's opinion that WHITE PEOPLE WERE DOING SOMETHING WRONG - BECAUSE, WELL, UMM, BECAUSE THEY WERE WHITE.

That is pretty much the situation - you are trying to tell the white people what they can do, can't do, shouldn't do - and the TRUTH IS THAT ATTITUDE IS RACIST.


Thank you for your thoughts - you showed us what happens when the nuts get baited.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | August 30, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

P.S. to BGinCHI:

When did GWB / GOP pass healthcare reform?

Posted by: JakeD2 | August 30, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

It certainly won't be enough for the Dems to try to scare people about the GOP nutpobs who are running. It largely comes down to the economy and how things are going next month. With the GOP deliberately blocking anything that might help, the outlook isn't too good. And Obama has let himself be sidetracked on issues like the deficit and solvency of Social Security in 2037, a real loser for the Dems, instead of what is happening in the here and now.

He's got to find a new voice, and the Dems have to run on a more positive agenda that appeals to the 70% of people who aren't devotees of Glen Beck and Sarah Palin. And we should talk about that agenda instead of GB and SP.

Posted by: Mimikatz | August 30, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

I totally agree that nutbaiting is a mistake, but I do think that people are overlooking something positive for liberals about this rally... Overall, it was an extremely boring event that barely made a single statement about ANYTHING. I have a hunch that conservatives are possibly even a little embarrassed about the tone/nature of the event as well, which is why they aren't mentioning it more. A lot of the tea-party energy that has been fueling right wingers I think got poorly spent on such a rally. How many more events will people have the time/energy/resources to come out to?

Maybe I'm wrong, but I think there were a lot of people who attended that event, whether they'll admit it or not, who were quite disappointed in what they got. I watched the event, listened to and watched crowd responses, and it was only the few times people got a little fiery on stage (as opposed to the feel-good come to Christ nature of most speeches) that I heard the crowd REALLY respond. That says to me people came there looking for something to energize, mobilize, and direct them. Instead they heard a poorly stitched patchwork of platitudes, cliches, and quotations delivering them a message they could have heard in a church and/or on Glenn Beck's television show. Then consider how much money was donated to the event and the charity. Again, a huge exhaustion of a political resource.

If this event did make the attendees feel good then that's great for them I guess. On a personal note, as a Jew, the messages make me feel uncomfortable and unwelcome in the eyes of many of those people. But regardless of that, I think it's gonna be good for liberals politically and we shouldn't be worrying about exploiting their "nuttiness." We should focus on how lame and unhelpful such a rally was for anyone.

Posted by: misaltzman | August 30, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Jake, so is it HCR that's "ruining the economy"?

That's hilarious. I'll wait for your fact-filled post.

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 30, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

JakeD2

Where have you been? I haven't seen you at the Fix


The Fix has turned into Texas Roadkill.


What happened to everyone ?

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | August 30, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Teabaggers and nutbaiting. Tied up in straitjackets. These are a few of my favorite things.

Posted by: Patriot3 | August 30, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

JakeD2


All the crazy liberals from the Fix disappeared all at once.


Do you think they were all working together - and actually employed by the democratic party or OFA - and they were transferred out to the field recently?


Or did the Washington Post catch up with them, and tell them to stop it ???


They are all working together - they do too many things in unison.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | August 30, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Rainforest,

I'm glad you agree that the Beck festival had nothing to do with Honor or Civil Rights.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 30, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

"OPEN SEASON ON ALL WHITE PEOPLE TO CALL THEM RACIST"

Nope, just racists.

Which explain why you're so upset.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 30, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

STR, do you own any other dvds besides The Matrix?

Seriously, if we were 1% as organized as you fear, you'd have a Karl Marx beard and waiting at your mailbox for In These Times to show up.

Oh, and you'd be gay, of course.

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 30, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Ethan2010

I never said that - so please feel free to state what you agree with - and I will say what I agree with.


Your comment at 5:10 was the nut coming out.


Ethan - do you really think that was a rally of 500,000 racists???

And why won't you talk about the racial characterizations of what Al Sharpton was saying - his attitude that "THOSE WHITE PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE HAVING THAT RALLY - BECAUSE, ERR, UMM, THEY ARE WHITE."

Sharpton was on MSNBC this morning, - and ouch - Mika had prepared a breakfast of crow for him - and he just sat there and ate it.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | August 30, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

You like it when Black People are forced to eat Jim Crow, don't you?

Posted by: Liam-still | August 30, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Ethan2010 and your pal BGinChi


The democrats have taken on a strategy - to try to use Obama's SKIN COLOR - to attack white people. The facts are there, this is true.


The democrats have decided to attempt to push through policy decisions - by intimidating white people based on Obama's skin color.

This is a POLICY OF INTIMIDATION OF WHITE PEOPLE. Plain and simple.

Isn't that racist ???


For the party that created the Jim Crow laws, aligned itself with the KKK, spent decades intimidating blacks, and filibustering civil rights legislation, this all is PAR FOR THE COURSE.

These tactics are unAmerican - and they have no place in our political system.

Ethan2010 Thank you for your comment at 5:10 because it PROVES all my points - and proves the democratic party is UNQUALIFIED TO GOVERN.

How do you feel about Glen Beck getting MORE people than Martin Luther Kind did ? Quite remarkable - you have to give him credit - all with little technology, just a chalkboard.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | August 30, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse


Hi Adam, how do you like being addressed as "Mr. Sargent" in the comments? My take on nutpicking or nutbaiting is simply that what's happening now with Glen Beck's followers and Fox News is eerily reminiscent of the plot of a Philip K. Dick novel. Who knew we'd be living in the dysfunctional dystopia so soon? Obviously, Democrats need to run on real accomplishments and a coherent vision of how to proceed (ie. create more jobs, renovate our infrastructure for the 'green' future, etc.)

Posted by: nancycadet | August 30, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

37th&O:

Is that you?!

Posted by: JakeD2 | August 30, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

There is nothing wrong with being a muslim.


Apparently much of the country believes that its not that big a deal that Obama is a muslim.


It is the democrats who went into crazy-mode - who immediately started saying that the poll respondents were saying something critical of Obama - that somehow there is something WRONG with those people.

There is nothing wrong with Obama being a muslim - and he should just go join his local mosque - and have the cameras follow him in holding a Koran.


And just get it over with.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | August 30, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

JakeD2

What happened to everyone else ?

The blog just died -


Did they make some sort of statement that I missed ? -

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | August 30, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

STR, you are a parody genius.

Seriously, no one could be that delusional.

OK, grown-ups, can we get back to talking about how the Dems can get something done about the economy and get us out of this mess? GOP mess, btw.

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 30, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

BGinChi

Genius yes


Parody - not really.


This is all true - the democratic party has become the Party of False Charges of Racism - and it is destroying the democratic party.

Did you see the rally on the Mall - more people than Martin Luther King - all protesting the Democrats Making False Charges of Racism.

And what does Sharpton do? Plays RIGHT into their hands with more False Charges of Racism.


The democrats have IMPLODED.

Your pal - Ethan2010 - even with the topic "nutbaiting" still doesn't get it - at 5:10 he turns into the nut making insane False Charges against 500,000 people.

What a laugh. The history books on Obama are going to say he was a complete fool.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | August 30, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

I left "The Fix" because it's boring. It was fun hounding journ-O-lister Dave Weigel to death, and now journ-O-lister Greg Sargent (or fellow journ-O-lister Adam Serwer ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | August 30, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

If they write them in Texas, you'll probably be right.

I could care less what Al Sharpton says. I don't remember voting for him. But I do remember it only taking 2 minutes to figure out that Beck is an idiot. Seriously, you think he makes arguments that make sense? And that he knows about history?

Take a class or something. Adult education is a wonderful thing.

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 30, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

JakeD2


Do you have any thoughts on what happened at the Fix

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | August 30, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

nothing wrong with exploiting the nuttery for political gain when it happens but to rely on it as the mail message of the fall in front of the elections would be a huge mistake. But I'm not sure anyone is actually proposing such a strategy.

Making the case that the Dems action to date are better than what Repos would have done or will do, is a little bit better but not much.

The winning approach is to actually have an economic plan that serious people would look at and nod their heads and say, "yes, that has the best chance of working; we should do it."

Absent that, the Dems are in for a very difficult election night.

Posted by: matt_ahrens | August 30, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

The lack of traffic could not have happened to a nicer guy (I'm glad that Chris Fox is gone at least ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | August 30, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

"The Libertarian Party has rejected allowing Lisa Murkowski to run on their ticket."
----------------------------------------------

This really wouldn't seem like a very sensible move for her on the face of it. I have a hard time buying that she would even ask. She's already one of the best known politicians in the state and frankly, not very many people vote Libertarian even in Alaska. I don't know if Alaska is a fusion voting state or not but for her to want to appear ~just~ on the Libertarian ballot line would make no sense to me at all.

Posted by: CalD | August 30, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

JakeD2

That whole group of liberals - they all dropped out at once -


The whole boycott crew - the whole thing took a strange turn when they put in the new comments section.


Perhaps their comments were getting deleted one-by-one and they didnt like it


I don;t know - something happened -


They were all an organized group in any event - it was all obvious.

But it's a ghosttown over there now

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | August 30, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

JakeD2

That whole group of liberals - they all dropped out at once -


The whole boycott crew - the whole thing took a strange turn when they put in the new comments section.


Perhaps their comments were getting deleted one-by-one and they didnt like it


I don;t know - something happened -


They were all an organized group in any event - it was all obvious.

But it's a ghosttown over there now

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | August 30, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

JakeD2

That whole group of liberals - they all dropped out at once -


The whole boycott crew - the whole thing took a strange turn when they put in the new comments section.


Perhaps their comments were getting deleted one-by-one and they didnt like it


I don;t know - something happened -


They were all an organized group in any event - it was all obvious.

But it's a ghosttown over there now

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | August 30, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

It was obvious that they were loosely "organized" (ala journ-O-list) and coordinated their attacks, but I doubt if many of them actually got paid to post. If they did, I'd take that gig ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | August 30, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

CalD: "This really wouldn't seem like a very sensible move for her on the face of it. I have a hard time buying that she would even ask. She's already one of the best known politicians in the state and frankly, not very many people vote Libertarian even in Alaska."

And contrary to popular assumptions, Alaska isn't ruby red, either.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 30, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

My guess is that the Lim- er, that is, ~Beck~ event likely would have drawn more attention if it had drawn more people. The fact that the organizers banned all signs of meant no live shots with Obama-in-blackface signs. Between that and the fact that the crowd it drew wasn't particularly impressive in size, it really wasn't a terribly telegenic event in any way.

From excerpts I've seen, Beck's speech did seem to have delivered well enough on expected kookiness. But it likely would have drawn more media of a media reaction than it has so far if the rally had drawn enough of a crowd for crazy talk to be perceived as a threat to anyone. As it is though, the general reaction seems to be a pretty resounding, "meh."

If the left didn't benefit from it significantly, it doesn't appear that anyone else did either. The hyper-inflated claims about attendance from the radical right are still pretty entertaining of course, but if no one else is paying attention that's kind of inside baseball.

Posted by: CalD | August 30, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

@jaked & strf....never been to the fix but if it's a place you two wackjobs hungout it's easy to understand why EVERYBODY else left. LMAO

Guys we all have scroll wheels over here as well so save your typing. We give everybody the benefit of the doubt but as soon as they reveal themselves to be birthers...or believe Obama is a Muslim....we realize where you're coming from...a place of profound..almost indescribable ignorance. Have either of you ever had an ORIGINAL thought?

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 30, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Seen this? Generic GOP lead now the biggest ever.

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/08/gallup-republican-congressional-ballot-lead-highest-ever.php?ref=fpblg

I hope this gets LOTS of press. The election is over 2 months away and I want people to start imagining an "inevitable" GOP victory and what it will mean for our governance.

Then, in horror, people will pull back and either vote Dem or stay home.

The next 2 months are going to be crucial in so many ways (understatement of the day, I know).

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 30, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Back on topic....I've never been a big fan of nutbaiting. There is no upside with plenty of downside.

The nuts are obvious to everyone..and calling them out and making fun of them simply engenders sympathy from a segment of the population who justifiably feels sorry for these poor deluded folks. I mean seriously...and I do mean SERIOUSLY...consider for a moment what it's like to live inside of JakeD or strf's heads. Think what it must be like to be one of their relatives at family get togethers..having to listen to all the wack job consipiracies...picking on these two would be cruel and I don't think the public at large has much stomach for nut bashing. Besides as SBJ has suggested it might be painful. :-)

The Wasilla Hillbilly is taking care of everything on her own...she needs no bashing...she just needs to keep on talking, twittering and posting on facebook.

Again since her book launch..and Fox gig..the more people have gotten to know her the LESS they like her. Her unfavorables are now DOUBLE her favorables.
She has made herself unelectable in a general election. We should simply let their own mouths do our work for us.

As for Glen's prayer meeting...er...rally...the normally shrewd conman made one glaring mistake...he was so obsessed about gaining attention by doing a speech on the site and anniversary of MLK that the Bozo forgot it was also the weekend marking the 5th anniversary of Katrina. Katrina and the efforts to restore New Orleans and the rest of our Gulf Coast are ACTUAL stories and Beck kind of got lost in all the Katrina coverage. Too bad huh...a REAL news story actually grabbed the lead...except perhaps on Faux News...I don't watch so wouldn't know...but they are irrelevant anyway because they are preaching to the choir not independents or Dems.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 30, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

@ BGinCHI | August 30, 2010 7:55 PM:

That's a point. On closer inspection (unless you can think of a credible explanation for a seven point swing in the net margin in one week) it's almost certainly a blooper. And they're about due for one. But I'll admit the hair stood up on the back of my neck for a second when I first saw it.

Posted by: CalD | August 30, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7

There is nothing wrong with being a muslim


Why are you saying that as it is a negative thing???


24% of American thinks Obama is a muslim - maybe they are right - Obama has yet to choose a Church since he left the Black Liberation Theology-fest of Rev. Wright.


Who would realy care if Obama went back to being a muslim now ?


Obama was born a muslim


Obama was raised a muslim in Indonesia -


Obama went to muslim school at an age when you were learning how to throw a baseball. Obama doesn't know how to throw a baseball, but he thinks there are 57 states - he meant to say 57 States of Islam.

Obama says he can sing muslim songs with a perfect Indonesian accent - and that the Muslim Call to Prayer is a the most beautiful sound he has ever heard.

Obama can go back to being a Muslim - I could care less.


But I draw the line at giving lawyers to terrorists.


And dropping cases against illegal aliens without deporting them first.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | August 30, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Sacrilegious questions of the day:

Last night, in responding to a comment by Jennofark, I noted that the top 1% of income earners in the US pay roughly 40% of all income taxes collected, and that last year nearly 50% of all people who filed a tax return ended up paying no income taxes at all. Which got me to wondering about some things.

Is it desirable/sustainable/moral to have the burdens of financing an ever bigger and more active government falling on an ever shrinking subset of the population?

In a democracy where the burden for paying for government increasingly falls on a smaller and smaller demographic, what is to stop a majority of voters from voting themselves more and more benefits at the expense of a minority? Should they be stopped?

If income taxes are going to be used as the primary method of financing government, shouldn't everyone who earns an income, no matter how small, be obligated to contribute something towards the financing of government? If not, why not?

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 30, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

CalD: "...Between that and the fact that the crowd it drew wasn't particularly impressive in size, it really wasn't a terribly telegenic event in any way."

What would have been an impressive size crowd just out of curiosity? Is there a size that would have made you say "whoa"?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 30, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

I'd also ask what were (collective) your expectations of the size of the crowd prior to the event?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 30, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

ScottC3,

If you're earning wages than money is withheld even if you get it back at tax time in the form of a refund and/or tax credit, so there is the opportunity cost of that money until you actually get it back. Plus you do not get interest. so that is, in effect, a tax.

I do think that Bush's lowering of the rate to the extent that some wage earners pay no income taxes at all was a bad idea. Even if you rate is say, 1%, because your income is low, you would still theoretically n have an interest in how the government is run, from an efficiency standpoint. (obviously 1% is an arbitrary number. I'm using it to represent a rate at which most wage earners would be interested in governance because they "feel" like they're paying for some of it. Maybe that number is 5% or 10%. I don't know.)

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 30, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

ScottC3

You have a valid point - it is something that should be discussed.

I am 100% against a value added tax which would widen that gap - but provide a new revenue stream that would only be spent.

Not sure how to alleviate the condition that you are talking about - Not sure about the merits of the solutions.


However, it is becoming abundantly clear that the democrats regard the federal budget as a means to transfer wealth - and they are looking for ways to expand this movement of money.


The democrats also have an EVIL MOTIVE. They are seeking to alter the flow of money - and lock in a larger share of the electorate - in this way the democrats are seeking to have a portion of the electorate vote in EVERY election to keep the flow of money going to them - and thereby vote democratic.


This democratic idea depends on this: every election become some sort of class warfare in which the democrats SCARE a portion of the population into believing that if they do not vote democratic, some government program and flow of money will STOP.


So the democrats ARE seeking to gain advantages in elections by taking from one group and giving to another.


This is UnAmerican and should be rejected.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | August 30, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

How Charles Darwin got so many Colorado teens pregnant... (from a FOX interview)

ENYART: That -- the major reason for that is that our school curriculum today all over the country is officially godless. Kids are told that they're animals, that they've evolved from animals and then we shouldn't be shocked when they behave like animals. We need to teach kids that they're special. Girls are worth waiting for. They're worth waiting until marriage. They're not there to be used by boys and this policy --

HUDDY: Lori [Casillas (COLORADO YOUTH MATTER)] -- go ahead, real quick, "this policy" - Ok, Lori, I I want to get your side. I'm sorry, I'm sorry Bob, to cut you off. I need to get to Lori, though.
http://mediamatters.org/blog/201008300051

When your patter is too much even for FOX producers (likely yelling into this interviewer's ear "Cut him now!") then you are really into the crazy.

Gadzooks.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 30, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

James Taranto, on BL fave Steve Benen:

"It's all in this vein. They can't be for American liberties, because they are offended by the Ground Zero mosque. They can't be for opportunity, because they oppose ObamaCare. They can't be for "the values of the Founding Fathers," because they lack a "steadfast commitment to the separation of church and state." They can't be for sacrifice, because they oppose the Bush tax increase. They can't be for truth, because they do not accept doctrinal liberal positions on global warming, ObamaCare, Social Security and judicial philosophy.

"The folks who gathered in D.C. today were awfully excited about something," Benen concludes. "The fact that it's not altogether obvious what that might be probably isn't a good sign."

Not a good sign for Benen, we'd say, because it shows him to be so doctrinaire and intellectually lazy that he cannot even conceive of a reasoned point of view that differs from his own, whether over a longstanding philosophical question like the role of the judiciary or a transitory controversy like the Ground Zero mosque."

Heh.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703369704575461510794200570.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLETopOpinion

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 30, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Scott: "I noted that the top 1% of income earners in the US pay roughly 40% of all income taxes collected."

What percentage of the income does the top 1% generate? In 2007, about 34%. So really, if they are making a significant amount of the income, how is it unfair that they pay a related amount of the tax?

In 2007, the top 1% also owned over 50% of stocks.


http://www.businessinsider.com/15-charts-about-wealth-and-inequality-in-america-2010-4

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 30, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Benen's article must have hit a nerve.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 30, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Even if this rally was more tame that the usual Tea Party gathering, that doesn't mean there isn't plenty of other material for the Dems to work with.

Seizing an opportunity to point out the glaring extremism of people like Michele Bachmann or Sharron Angle or Glenn Beck when he isn't on his best behavior is a no-brainer for the Dems.

And pointing out the offensiveness of the usual Tea Party signage and language is also a no-brainer. In fact, Dems would be remiss if they didn't and would probably be criticized for letting the most extreme elements of the GOP get away with their ugliness.

Beck may have been toning it down on Saturday, partly, I believe, to try to make it seem as though the Tea Party is more mainstream that it actually is. But it didn't last for long, did it? Today, he's back to his usual lunacy, with his off-the-wall description of the President's religious beliefs.

The little voices in Beck's head can't stay silent for long. ;)

Posted by: elscott | August 30, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Sue...you are wasting your time with Scott or Q.B. they are blind ideologues who never really respond to facts.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 30, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

@Adam - The engineering of this rally was pretty simple - coincident with the calls to conservatives to attend were injunctions against visible demonstrations that might forward the Dem narrative. It's obvious and what you or I would have done.

But less easy to paper-over are the recorded statements and ideas from Paul, Angle et al. Not only are they valid targets for illumination as seriously extreme, it would seem to me to be something of a dereliction of civic duty in failing to illuminate these folks.

More fundamentally, failing to fill the media-space with our message leaves the right more free to fill it with theirs. And as the last two decades ought to make obvious, they'll fill it with any sort of sludge their sludge-rich souls extrude by the gallon.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 30, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

I agree, this is depressing...

"Nobody

Via Atrios, this depressing item:

Asked if the stimulus bill was too small, [White House press secretary Robert] Gibbs says: “I think it makes sense to step back just for a second. … Nobody had, in January of 2009, a sufficient grasp of … what we were facing.” He adds that any stimulus was “unlikely to fill” the hole the financial meltdown created.

“What the Recovery Act did was prevent us from sliding even into a deeper recession with greater economic contraction, with greater job loss than we have experienced because of it,” he says.
The truth is that some of us were practically screaming back in January 2009 that the administration was proposing too small a program. Start with this post and work forward. And no, the point isn’t that I’m so smart — it is that given the forecasts we had at the time, and given historical experience of recessions after financial crises, it wasn’t at all hard to see that the plan was too small. Things have been worse than expected — but not that much worse." http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/30/nobody/

Posted by: bernielatham | August 30, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Sludge-rich souls?

Extrude?

You really hate these folks, B.

Posted by: tao9 | August 30, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

You know. I was thinking.

It's accepted that WWII was the final straw that pulled the U.S. out of the extended recession/depression. Some say it was deficit spending on steroids that lifted us out.

I think it was because the large industrial nations in the world were decimated and we were the only ones left to produce goods for the world.

Maybe we should instigate a fight between China and Europe?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 30, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

On tax cuts to the rich and how spiffy they are for job creation (courtesy of the WSJ)

"The current President Bush, once taking account how long he’s been in office, shows the worst track record for job creation since the government began keeping records. –Sudeep Reddy"

h/t to C and L in post titled:

"Rubio: The American Dream is Threatened by Deficit Spending -- and Don't Get Rid of Those Bush Tax Cuts" http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/rubio-american-dream-threatened-deficit-sp

Posted by: bernielatham | August 30, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

I have posted this link before. I believe it accurately depicts Obama's real attitude toward religion. IMO he believes that government should be the omnipotent power that we must all kowtow to and since he's in charge of the government...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ali-a-rizvi/barack-obama-closeted-non_b_692751.html

Posted by: actuator | August 30, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

ruk,

OTOH...suezoo's petals, I mean percentages: top 1% @ 40% total tax recpts & 34% total income, leaves 6% of the total tax recpts pulled on their dime.

That's a pretty big nut in itself.

The top 5th (again OTOH $100K plus) pay 70%.

No matter what you think of the numbers, the breaks are the result of W's policy, so y'all can hate it just on general principles. ;>)

Posted by: tao9 | August 30, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

sue:

"So really, if they are making a significant amount of the income, how is it unfair that they pay a related amount of the tax?"

I didn't say it was unfair, although 1) 40% is "related" to 34% only in the sense that they are both double digits and 2) whether or not it is "fair" is certainly not a no-brainer. I mean, if you went to a grocery store and the cost of a given product was a function of your income rather than a fixed price, would that be "fair"? The funding of government has very little to do with what is "fair" and a lot to do with what is possible.

But in any event my questions were aimed primarily at highlighting the fact that an increasing number of people bear none of the burden of the cost of government. If, instead of having the convoluted, progressive tax system that we have now, with deductions and credits which allow some people to avoid paying any income taxes at all, we had instead an absolute flat tax on all income with no deductions, then everyone would be bearing the same burden relative to their income, and everyone would have a stake in what the government does rather than having a significant population voting on what to do with OPM.

And, BTW, an absolute flat tax would mean that if the top 1% of income earners were earning 35%, or 40%, or 70% of all the income earned, they would also necessarily be paying 35%, or 40%, or 70% of all income taxes collected. So your (seeming) sense of "fairness" ought not be offended by such a system.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 30, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Mike,

The Chinese have an expression for that scenario:

"Monkey watches two tigers fight."

Now that I think of it it's kinda like the AL East.

Posted by: tao9 | August 30, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

tao:

"You really hate these folks, B."

Bernie is a first class hater. The racists and Islamophobes have nothing on him.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 30, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

I get really tired of people saying the bottom 45% of income earners don't pay any income tax. They may not make enough after all is said and done to be subjected to a 12%-15% income tax, but along the way they pay FICA for SS, they pay into Medicare, they may, if they're extremely lucky, pay property taxes, and they put the rest of their earnings into the economy in the form of consumer spending and sales tax.

If you want more tax revenue from the bottom rungs of the economic ladder there are investment opportunities there in education, training, and wage standards.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 30, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

"I didn't say it was unfair, although 1) 40% is "related" to 34% only in the sense that they are both double digits"

What year is your 40% from? My 34% is from 2007.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 30, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Tax Rate for Richest 400 Taxpayers Plummeted in Recent Decades, Even as Their Pre-Tax Incomes Skyrocketed

By Avi Feller and Chuck Marr

February 23, 2010
Related Areas of Research

* Poverty and Income
o Trends
* Tax — Federal
o 2001/2003 Tax Cuts
o Individuals and Families
o Taxes and the Economy

The effective federal income tax rate for the 400 taxpayers with the very highest incomes has declined by nearly half over the past two decades, even as their pre-tax incomes have grown five times larger, new IRS data show.[1]

The top 400 households paid 16.6 percent of their income in federal individual income taxes in 2007, down from 30 percent in 1995. This decline works out to a tax cut of $46 million per filer in 2007, or a total of $18 billion in tax cuts for these households per year.
...

The decline in effective tax rates at the very top is due in large part to the capital gains tax cuts enacted in 1997 and 2003. The top marginal tax rate on capital gains is now 15 percent, less than half the top tax rate on wages and salaries. The top 400 taxpayers derived two-thirds of their income from capital gains and qualified dividends in 2007.

Over roughly the same period, the top 400 filers enjoyed huge gains in pre-tax incomes. The average pre-tax income of this group rose by over 400 percent between 1992 and 2007, equivalent to a $275 million increase per person, after adjusting for inflation. In 2007 alone, average pre-tax incomes rose by 31 percent among these individuals.

In short, the top 400 filers now pay much lower effective tax rates on vastly larger incomes.

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3090

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 30, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

lms,

In the UpstateNY NorthCountry counties I've seen the EIC work as one of the more effective benies for working families. I begrudge those folks none of it.

Posted by: tao9 | August 30, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

sue:

"What year is your 40% from? My 34% is from 2007. "

The same.

http://www.ntu.org/tax-basics/who-pays-income-taxes.html

In a progressive tax system, the top income earners will necessarily end up contributing a higher % to all taxes collected than the % of all income they receive, while the lowest income earners will necessarily pay a lower % of all taxes collected than the % of all income they earn. Only in a flat tax system does % of taxes paid equal the % of income earned.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 30, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

suekzoo1: "Tax Rate for Richest 400 Taxpayers Plummeted in Recent Decades, Even as Their Pre-Tax Incomes Skyrocketed"

Isn't this article saying that the income that skyrocketed did so because of the resulting tax cuts? Therefore, the tax revenue generated from the lowered tax rates would not have been realized because the income would have not been generated at the higher rates?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 30, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

To clarify, the top 400 garnered more income because they knew the tax rate was lower. As in, I will allow my pay to increase and/or sell these capital items for a gain because I can keep a higher percentage of it?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 30, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Jeebus: As in, I will allow my pay to increase and/or sell these capital items for a gain because I can keep a higher percentage of it?

Scratch the question mark. It's a statement not a question.

Sorry.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 30, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

sue:

"The effective federal income tax rate for the 400 taxpayers with the very highest incomes has declined by nearly half over the past two decades, even as their pre-tax incomes have grown five times larger, new IRS data show.[1]"

So what? This is written (not by you, I understand) as if there is something odd or contradictory about tax rates falling as incomes rise. There is nothing odd about it at all.

There is nothing about rising incomes of the top 400 that implies that the cost of government must rise at the same rate. Indeed, why should it? If the cost of government remains static, or increases by a lower % than the increase in incomes, then of course a lower tax rate will still generate enough revenue to cover the cost of government (or at least the same % of the cost as it used to).

BTW...a tax rate of .5X on an income of 5Y will generate more revenue (2.5 times more revenue, to be exact) than a tax rate of X on an income of Y. So all this talk about the "rate" going down ignores the fact that the people are actually paying way more in taxes than they used to.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 30, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Troll, I'm not sure it matters. Why do you think it does?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 30, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

I think it matters, if I'm getting your reference, because incomes and taxes are not static. Tax rates alter peoples behavior and trying to score a income tax increase by assuming all parties will maintain the same income level often results in incorrect results.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 30, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Troll, I'm not certain I understand your observation...

What I think it says is that because of the effect of the lowering capital gains tax, the most wealthy pay an effective rate of income tax less than most of the middle class. It that "Warren Buffet" observation from a few years ago that he pays a lesser % of tax than his secretary does.

"Buffett cited himself, the third-richest person in the world, as an example. Last year, Buffett said, he was taxed at 17.7 percent on his taxable income of more than $46 million. His receptionist was taxed at about 30 percent."

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 30, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

lms:

"I get really tired of people saying the bottom 45% of income earners don't pay any income tax."

And yet it remains true.

"...but along the way they pay FICA for SS, they pay into Medicare, they may, if they're extremely lucky, pay property taxes, and they put the rest of their earnings into the economy in the form of consumer spending and sales tax."

This is all true too. But SS payments are calculated and intended to cover a specific, individual benefit, not generic government costs. Property taxes are local or state taxes, as are sales taxes. Neither goes to the federal government. So they are all really irrelevant to the topic of who pays for the cost of the federal government and how.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 30, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Poor rich people! Life is SO unfair.

Keep carrying their water, ScottC3. I'm sure you'll earn some sort of reward in the afterlife.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | August 30, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

sue:

"It that "Warren Buffet" observation from a few years ago that he pays a lesser % of tax than his secretary does."

Two words will solve this anomoly...flat tax.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 30, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

But Scott, you can't get blood out of a turnip. People demonize the low wagers consistently, but there is very little effort to admit the fact that we might need some of these people, who do work by the way, to do the work that the more educated workers would not consider.

I work with a lot of seniors on very limited fixed incomes who literally worked since they were teenagers but never really made it into the middle class. Whether it's because of lack of education, life choices, lack of family support, or in some cases lack of the mental acumen to achieve a certain level of success, it doesn't mean they haven't contributed to the general welfare of our society at large.

There are more ways to contribute to the well-being of our country than to make enough money to pay for the benefits some of these folks will never enjoy.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 30, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

It really doesn't matter how many people attended Beck's rally, because the event fundamentally failed to make any point at all. It was a fizzle rather than a bang.

King's " I Have a Dream" speech validated the civil rights movement, showed that it attracted a broad spectrum of Americans, and framed it in the basic values that all Americans espouse. King showed himself to be a stirring speaker who could address all of America, and not just black Baptists.

I don't think Beck began to delude himself that he could capture that sort of impact until his critics expressed concerns that he was trying to hijack King's legacy -- perhaps an unexpressed fear that he would succeed.

Well, the critics can rest in peace. Beck

1. only attracted relatively well-off white folks (other than the "diversity" people he paid to appear on stage), many of whom seemed to think it was a political rally.

2. Instead, Beck tried to cast his rally as a religious one -- expressly a Christian one, which by definition is not inclusive to all Americans.

2. He ultimately ruined his "religious event" by running off at the mouth on Sunday doubting Obama's Christianity, thereby turning the attention instead on his own rather confusing religious history.

Posted by: thmas | August 30, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

It rally doesn't matter how many people attended Beck's rally, because the event fundamentally failed to make any point at all. It was a fizzle rather than a bang.

King's " I Have a Dream" speech validated the civil rights movement, showed that it attracted a broad spectrum of Americans, and framed it in the basic values that all Americans espouse. King showed himself to be a stirring speaker who could address all of America, and not just black Baptists.

I don't think Beck began to delude himself that he could capture that sort of impact until his critics expressed concerns that he was trying to hijack King's legacy -- perhaps an unexpressed fear that he would succeed.

Well, the critics can rest in peace. Beck

1. only attracted relatively well-off white folks (other than the "diversity" people he paid to appear on stage), many of whom seemed to think it was a political rally.

2. Instead, Beck tried to cast his rally as a religious one -- expressly a Christian one, which by definition is not inclusive to all Americans.

2. He ultimately ruined his "religious event" by running off at the mouth on Sunday doubting Obama's Christianity, thereby turning the attention instead on his own rather confusing religious history.

Posted by: thmas | August 30, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

"you are wasting your time with Scott or Q.B. they are blind ideologues who never really respond to facts."

I'm reminded of an old saying by George Bernard Shaw about England and America being separated by a common language. You use words that I know, but you obviously mean something by them that is entirely alien to me...and indeed any dictionary I am aware of.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 30, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Not sure what the point is in this tax conversation -


Taxes have to be lower. Government spending has to be lower.


There should be tax cuts targeted for job creation.


Outsourcing should have a tax-code incentive against - not for.

Anyway Obama is the worse President in American history since Buchanan.

It is sad - Obama was elected to be BIPARTISAN AND COMPROMISE - that is what the American People voted for.


Instead Obama has delivered the MOST divisive time in America in decades. On that issue Obama has FAILED.

Obama has FAILED on the economy.


Obama has FAILED to put together a proper health care bill - one that everyone AGREES on - and one that is NOT a drag on hiring.


The whole health care bill is a FAILURE - and it has to be re-done.

So Obama, what good is he??? Nothing good is coming out of this.

Obama has repaid the good-will of the American People with arrogance - which is quite appalling. Obama was elected to represent the WILL of the People - not go off on his own with his own ARROGANT IDEAS.

It is terrible - Obama has left the nation WITHOUT A LEADER - because Obama refuses to be the leader.


Quite simple.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | August 30, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

suekzoo1,

My fault, I was not addressing the point of the article but merely observing that an analysis of tax revenue lost due to lower tax rates is suspect because tax rates effect behavior. For some, I'm guessing the mega wealthy, a lower tax rate might result in a person deciding to take a higher income and/or sell capital goods they otherwise might not have sold. So trying to divine future tax revenue without allowing for changes in behavior does not produce reliable data.

So, if their income increases, the percent of that income paid to taxes, if the tax rate stays the same or is lowered, would decrease. The converse is also true, in that a higher tax rate would result in a higher percentage of income paid to taxes. It also tends to influence behavior in that these 400 may decide to take less income and/or not sell capital items to avoid the higher tax rate.

Warren Buffet may pay a lower percent in income tax rates than his secretary but he probably pays more net dollars than his secretary. Also, the Federal government tends to tax income, and he may be getting a significant percent of his income from, for example, tax free municipal bonds

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 30, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it amazing how Glen Beck can control the message by having everyone say "What is Glen Beck saying?"

,

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | August 30, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

lms:

"People demonize the low wagers consistently..."

Who does? I don't.

"...it doesn't mean they haven't contributed to the general welfare of our society at large."

Who says it does mean that? All I have said is that they, along with nearly 50% of all tax filers (which is the real issue), bear none of the burden of paying for the cost of government. I think that is a problem.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 30, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

McWing, those of us who have choices in buying, selling or earning based upon a given tax are the lucky ones. Most people just work, pay their taxes and buy whatever they may need to support their families. If they're lucky they are able to find deductions to offset some of their tax liability. The worker bees in the economy may not pay as much in income tax but they generate a lot of spending in said economy.

It seems to me since the crash of the housing bubble and rise in unemployment because of the 2008 banking and Wall Street scandal, since more people are now relying on the safety net of welfare, food stamps, unemployment insurance, and charity, it would be a more targeted use of the money to put all these people back to work.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 30, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

"..it doesn't mean they haven't contributed to the general welfare of our society at large."

Who says it does mean that? All I have said is that they, along with nearly 50% of all tax filers (which is the real issue), bear none of the burden of paying for the cost of government. I think that is a problem."

Scott, it is only a problem in that you seem to prefer the counter-intuitive fact that while they may not pay a punitive amount of taxes on a limited income, you assume they do not contribute in spending ALL of their money in the economy.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 30, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Obama has got himself into a thicket with his speech tomorrow.


If Obama tries to take any credit for taking the troops out of Iraq, he will look like a complete fool.

The only way Obama can look good, is to praise Bush, praise the War objectives - praise the Surge - and state clearly that the war objectives were met.


In essence, Obama can look good by putting aside his partisan positions - and be the statesman.

Betting is heavy that Obama is unable to do that.

This speech also comes at a bad time for Obama - because Obama and the democrats are looking to "bash Bush" again for the Fall elections - (which is silly) - but if Obama does go the Statesman Route, he really can't bash Bush this Fall.

Bashing former Presidents in the past has been considered improper - and not polite - the nation can see why.


Obama has decided to set aside the previous rules of conduct - and now he is paying the price - Obama is about to look like a fool for the sake of being partisan.

Obama just doesn't get it - Obama doesn't understand how to be a President.

From the Brian Williams interview this weekend, it is clear that Obama made himself look like a fool on at least three issues - and Obama is about to do it again tomorrow.


It appears Obama can not resist the urge to be partisan - another way he is just going to hurt himself.

Oh well - we will have to see.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | August 30, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

STR, I really hope you find a new home soon, your opinions, while you may truly believe them, have no basis in fact or reality. Some of us are trying to figure out how to move the country forward through policy. Meanwhile you're focused on personality differences, sorry it's just not that persuasive.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 31, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

It is impossible for Obama to try to take credit for the drawdown in Iraq in his speech tomorrow without looking like a complete fool.


Such a time - the closing of a war - is not the time for any partisan antics.


Harry Reid REALLY hurt Obama by declaring the war lost.


If Obama gets himself into one logical contradiction, his polls numbers will drop.


Obama's HYPER-partisan activity has got him in some more trouble - at just the moment Obama can look good by praising Bush and his policies, Obama and the democrats are getting ready to "Bash Bush" in the Fall campaign.

The wisdom of never criticizing former Presidents CAN NOT BE MORE CLEAR THAN TONIGHT BEFORE OBAMA'S SPEECH.


It is improper to bash Bush two years out - and guess what? Obama will look like a fool tomorrow night if he disses the war, the national security objectives of the war, the troops or the loss of life.

Obama really has a major problem in front of him - and he is just not up to the task, is he ?

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | August 31, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

lmsinca,

Were not going to agree on the causes of our current predicament, nor are we going to agree on the solutions.

I'm curious as to what people in this forum think. I generally try and avoid "first principals" argument (though not always successfully), and I don't think we're going to change each others minds. I'm interested in what you and the regulars think about, for example: How much Keynesian stimulus does the economy need, in your opinion? What do you think are there risks to either borrowing, monetizing or taxing that money for the stimulus, if any? What is success and what is failure? What's the point where you say stop? Can there be principled disagreement? What in your opinion are the edges of the debate?

Anyway, not sure where I was going. I hope your daughter's Masters(?) work is going well. I think you said she will be going to Houston. It's a neat town, with a very rich diversity and I think she will enjoy it. As will you when you visit!

O.k, I also like to poke at what I perceive as hypocricy.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 31, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

I've seen video's of interviews with the people in that crowd, there was no need to bait those nuts, they were there in all their nuttiness. Just minus the t-shirts and signs.

Posted by: AverageJane | August 31, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

"O.k, I also like to poke at what I perceive as hypocricy."

McWing, am I being hypocritical in some way? My general hypothesis is that the middle, working and poor class generate most of the spending in this country and how we can put them back to work is more important than just about any other issue in the economy.

I actually don't have a clear vision of how to do that given the political climate but I sort of thought our tax dollars would somehow employ the best and brightest to figure it out without partisan pandering and bickering. My BAD.

And thanks for asking about my daughter, she's immersed in geo-morphology at the Colorado School of Mines and hoping she's up to the challenge. Apparently, they only took one student this year for the advanced degree, all expenses paid, so she's feeling the heat.

Texas will be in the future if she goes for it (OIL) or water, it's her decision.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 31, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

On Saturday Glenn Beck insulted over 90 % of Americans. You see Glenn Beck is God's messenger and America has failed and we have no honor. He brought along nut case Palin to profile his insanity.

I must have dropped the honor of American ,when I wore the military uniform during the Vietnam war. My buddies that have their name on the Vietnam Memorial Wall did't meet Becks expectation.

Beck is a obsessive compulsive drug addict converted Mormon. The man is an idiot.

Posted by: COWENS99 | August 31, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

lmsinca,

No, I do not sense any hypocrisy in anything you write. I included that line not to impugn your motives, but as an observation on my occasionally snarky comments (that are not directed at you!). I admire your dedication in thinking about policies that would improve our current condition. I'm generally in disagreement with them but not with your, or most of the other "regulars" sincerity.

Sorry to impugn you. That was not my intent.

Again, your daughter picked a hell of a good field of study considering how important both are to our very existence!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 31, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Scott: "Two words will solve this anomoly...flat tax."

Define "income" under the flat tax that you advocate.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 31, 2010 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Adam, You must have woken up with a headache the morning after your restoring Honor crowd estimate blog. Take a look at reflecting pool rallies from pervious years and compare them to the 28th picture, and ask yourself the Sesame Street question, "Which one is bigger?"

Your commentary could be a bit more incisive Adam. "Glenn Beck is a poo poo head!" just doesn't cut it.

Posted by: ctjholland | August 31, 2010 1:20 AM | Report abuse

This is kind of interesting....

Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" Rally - Interviews With Participants

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ht8PmEjxUfg&feature=player_embedded

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 31, 2010 1:32 AM | Report abuse

Hi lmsinca
I hope you're doing well. I am trying to follow your back and forth with mctroll but it's hard for me to keep up especially when John Maynard Keynes is the topic.

I do think you are right... if we hadn't had so much pandering and bickering a whole lot more could have been accomplished. Sure Dems can be partially blamed but the GOP has no excuse for their behavior and WILL pay the price in the midterms.

Posted by: Andy94 | August 31, 2010 1:37 AM | Report abuse

@ TrollMcWingnut | August 30, 2010 8:46 PM:

"What would have been an impressive size crowd just out of curiosity? Is there a size that would have made you say "whoa"?"

Well they said they were expecting 300-500k people. If they had gotten anywhere near the bottom of that range I would have been been pretty darned impressed myself. Maybe not Million Man March or Obama inauguration impressive, but pretty impressive for sure.

But to say you're expecting half a million and end up actually drawing 80-90k people, that's less impressive. They just should claim that 500k estimate was a just a misprint and they really only expected 30,000 - 50,000. Then 87k would seem more impressive.

Posted by: CalD | August 31, 2010 1:39 AM | Report abuse

Hi Andy, happy to see you check in. Yeah, I'm vigorously advocating for an improved situation for the middle, working and working poor class. I seriously have no clue how to get there, other than some sort of government program, but if anyone has a good idea of how to put people back to work I'm listening.

Somehow, tax cuts and tax policy just don't seem to cut it. Just my opinion.

How was your summer btw, and how are your girls?

Posted by: lmsinca | August 31, 2010 1:57 AM | Report abuse

While we're attacking the top 1% and trying to decide whether they deserve to have their money or whether we deserve their money let's keep in mind a couple of points:

1. The top 1% changes by 50% each year. If you're in the top 1% you have a 50% chance of NOT being there next year. (Thomas Sowell)
2. You could be an entrepreneur making bupkas three years in a row and then wind up in the top 1% this year. You get hit hard this year, even though the average of three years might just be reasonable income.
3. We want to reduce the taxes on the "rich" not because it's fair, but because of what they do with their money. a. Spend it on things that others make b. save it in a bank which invests it in businesses that grow and make jobs (or invest it themselves in businesses that grow) PS much of what they invest in fails, losing them money (we don't help them with their losses, why penalize them for their wins?) At any rate, we are reducing the taxes on them FOR US and the economy.

lmsinca - you asked the $50,000 question. How much is enough in a Keynesian economic model? The answer we seem to hear is "if it fails to stimulate the economy, NOT ENOUGH!" Not a satisfying answer. The other question is "which economic model works best in recovering from a depression / recession? Keynesian or Austrian / Chicago School (von Meses, von Hyak, Milton Friedman) Which one has worked the best throughout history (not which one will make us feel the most charitable and kind?) I think the latter wins out when you do the research. (great book: FDR's Folly - an economic look at FDR's 30's economic policies and their impact on unemployment and economic growth.

To avoid anyone thinking I'd sacrifice "the poor" for a good economic growth curve I will point out that all levels of income do better in a good economy (this should not simply be measured in cash income but in real wealth (homes, food, TV's, running water, cars, phones, electricity etc.) - Another great book by Alvin Toffler, Uncommon Wealth. (The poor in a good economy are not the same as the poor in a bad economy)

Also, the poor are not what they seem to be either. In the lowest 5% or so of the poorest in terms of income, 75% are out of that economic group within 3-5 years - again Thomas Sowell.

In short, the Top 1% and the bottom 5% and the middle, etc. are not consistently the same people from year to year. People move around for the most part especially in a good growing economy. The poor are also overrepresented by the young (early wage earners) while higher income levels are overrepresented by older more senior workers.. So, this whole argument about the top 1% et al is flawed. A very small percent never move at all. I think that's why we invented charity.

Posted by: ctjholland | August 31, 2010 2:00 AM | Report abuse

Imsinca
WOW after reading some of STR's posts mctroll seems pretty reasonable.

I love this post above from STR, "It is impossible for Obama to try to take credit for the drawdown in Iraq in his speech tomorrow without looking like a complete fool."

Really? This is from the President tonight and I don't think he comes off as a fool.

Tomorrow evening at 8 p.m. EDT, I will address the nation from the Oval Office about the end of the war in Iraq.

We are at a truly historic moment in our nation’s history. After more than seven years, our combat mission in Iraq will end tomorrow.

As both a candidate and President, I promised to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end. Now, we are taking an important step forward in delivering on that promise. Since I took office, we’ve brought nearly 100,000 U.S. troops home from Iraq, millions of pieces of equipment have been removed, and hundreds of bases have been closed or transferred to Iraqi Security Forces.

Our combat mission in Iraq is ending, but our commitment to an Iraq that is sovereign, stable and self-reliant continues. As our mission in Iraq changes, 50,000 U.S. troops will remain in Iraq to advise and assist the Iraqi Security Forces as they assume full responsibility for the security of their country on September 1. We will forge a strong partnership with an Iraq that still faces enduring challenges.

For nearly a decade, we have been a nation at war. The war in Iraq has at times divided us. But one thing I think all Americans can agree on is that our brave men and women in uniform are truly America’s finest. They have put their lives on the line and endured long separations from their family and loved ones.

All Americans owe our troops, veterans and military families a debt of gratitude for their outstanding service to our nation. "

Posted by: Andy94 | August 31, 2010 2:00 AM | Report abuse

lmsinca
Ok, I have one last post in me before I am off.
I really had hoped the President would be able to work on reducing the deficit next year through tax increases and spending cuts. Now I am not sure he will be able to do that. He doesn't have the votes to pass any legislation that would end the Bush tack cuts for the top tax brackets. So, unless we can mobilize a lot dem voters for the mid-terms we're sure to be facing major gridlock.

Posted by: Andy94 | August 31, 2010 2:13 AM | Report abuse

Hi all,

Just so you know, Savetherainforest was until recently known as 37thandOStreet. Until banned from the Fix. Repeatedly.

Greg - Your comments section is about to be spammed. Continuously. I'd recommend a chat with Chris Cillizza sometime. Now that this individual has found a new home, he/she/it will make a mission of filling up the comments section and drowning out other discussions.

Good luck.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | August 31, 2010 2:27 AM | Report abuse

Yes, we all know that anyone who opposes Obama is a "nut." Only a nut would be against massive deficits, rampant unemployment, backroom deals with unions, amnesty for ILLEGAL invaders, and neverending debt for our children and grandchildren.

Posted by: Chippewa | August 31, 2010 3:40 AM | Report abuse

sue:

"Define "income" under the flat tax that you advocate. "

All of it, however derived.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 31, 2010 5:29 AM | Report abuse

It is very hypocritical for the left to even think about "nut-baiting" conservatives, especially when none of the so-called "nuts" on the right come even close to the nuttiness of the much larger radical left's nuts such as Code Pink. Before you try to pull the splinter out of our eye, you better deal with that huge log in your own.

Posted by: honorswar26 | August 31, 2010 5:36 AM | Report abuse

Gallup Generic Ballot Poll:

GOP up +10%

---------------------------

Historically, even if the GOP broke even on this poll, it was going to be a good day at the ballot box.

Liberals can toss around all the strategic thoughts they want from nut-baiting to blaming Bush to blaming FOX and talk-show hosts to calling the Conservatives biggots, Islamaphobes, homophobes, et al but it won't work. Unemployment is getting worse. Housing market is getting worse. GDP revised downward. Debt going up. Libs can wax eloquently all they want now but their policies (enacted by a clear majority in Congress and owning the WH I might add) have failed.

Libs were never going to convince the Conservatives of the quality of their governance. Now, given Liberal overreach (health care) and broken promises (GITMO) they've lost the Independents too.

It's over.

...oh and don't think the GOP will allow any slack in the rope between now and 2 NOV. The Conservatives aren't going to stay home and let other vote; they're anxious to send a crushing message to DC to clean up its act.

Posted by: pararanger22 | August 31, 2010 6:14 AM | Report abuse


How about relaxing WAPO's utter fixation on Beck and reporting instead on both the poor attendance and undisguised racism of the sharpton rally. Why not cover how the Education Secretary called on employees to attend sharpton's hate-fest.

Posted by: wmpowellfan | August 31, 2010 6:51 AM | Report abuse

Sorta like when I nut baited sargent last week.

His inflamatory rhetoric made it sound like the new mosque was 30 miles away....

I corrected him, he insulted me on his on board....

Then, I posted some facts... and sarg had no response for the rest of the day.

Yet, watch out you might be baiting a scholar or something.

Posted by: docwhocuts | August 31, 2010 7:14 AM | Report abuse

The Post tried nutbaiting yesterday with their story about some Tea Partiers who were outraged by the 5 cent bag tax. Only problems:

-- The story was pulled from the GWU Student Newspaper

-- No sources were mentioned (i.e., it was a rumor)

-- There was no confirmation that the people involved were even linked to the Tea Party.

The Post's "story" is a sad reminder of how much the quality of the Washington Post has dropped in recent years.

Posted by: diehardlib | August 31, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Sheesh. Looks like the Al Unser Brigades are out in force this morning.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 31, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

When all else fails, go git them gypsies

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/30/AR2010083002968.html?hpid=sec-world

Posted by: bernielatham | August 31, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Most of this won't land happily in US rightwingland...

"The world's most high-profile climate change sceptic is to declare that global warming is "undoubtedly one of the chief concerns facing the world today" and "a challenge humanity must confront", in an apparent U-turn that will give a huge boost to the embattled environmental lobby.

Bjørn Lomborg, the self-styled "sceptical environmentalist" once compared to Adolf Hitler by the UN's climate chief, is famous for attacking climate scientists, campaigners, the media and others for exaggerating the rate of global warming and its effects on humans, and the costly waste of policies to stop the problem.

But in a new book to be published next month, Lomborg will call for tens of billions of dollars a year to be invested in tackling climate change. "Investing $100bn annually would mean that we could essentially resolve the climate change problem by the end of this century," the book concludes.

Examining eight methods to reduce or stop global warming, Lomborg and his fellow economists recommend pouring money into researching and developing clean energy sources such as wind, wave, solar and nuclear power, and more work on climate engineering ideas such as "cloud whitening" to reflect the sun's heat back into the outer atmosphere...."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/aug/30/bjorn-lomborg-climate-change-u-turn

Posted by: bernielatham | August 31, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

sue:
"Define "income" under the flat tax that you advocate. "

Scott:
All of it, however derived.
-----------

Well, okay. And I'd agree that's what it should be if we were ever going to go in this direction. (I'd also want a large exemption for the working poor, because as Imsinca rightly points out, 100% of their income is already committed to the economy.)

But, here's the thing. I don't see a political possibility in flat taxing all income however derived. I can hear the lobbyists already...can't you?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 31, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

@lmsinca: "I actually don't have a clear vision of how to do that given the political climate but I sort of thought our tax dollars would somehow employ the best and brightest to figure it out without partisan pandering and bickering."

Yeah, um, that never happens. Even if you thought it happened once, it really didn't. When people get together over a pot of money, they fight about it. When we're short on money, we fight about it. We get to whatever solutions we arrive at with a combination of fighting, compromise, and eventually one side losing the argument. The partisan pandering and bickering is part of that fight. Alas.

That would be nice, though. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 31, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, but I disagree. Anyone who would travel half-way across the country to hear Beck and Palin are merely cultists following their leaders' orders. They were good boys and girls and left their ugly signs at home just as they were told to do. But the mere fact that they find Palin and Beck's vitriol constructive, intelligent, informed or coherent, makes them part of the lunatic fringe.

Posted by: MNUSA | August 31, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

You can't shame insane psychopaths.

Posted by: aartmann112004 | August 31, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to point to an illuminating bit in this piece from Israel's Ha'aretz by Carlo Strenger...

"Netanyahu’s worldview has consistently been that Israel, the West’s foothold in the Middle East, is likely to face threats for a very long time to come, and that any peace agreement must address all realistic threats." http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/strenger-than-fiction/strenger-than-fiction-peace-talks-are-sure-to-fail-but-what-will-be-the-consequences-1.311276

"the West's foothold in the Middle East" is the bit.

The obvious question (it is, isn't it?) which follows is, Hmmm, well just how much would America actually care if Israel happened to sit in a region of Canada or Upper Nowhereistan that didn't rest above the world's major reserves of crude oil?

Posted by: bernielatham | August 31, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

@bernielatham: "Lomborg denies he has performed a volte face, pointing out that even in his first book he accepted the existence of man-made global warming"

Which is true. He had some significant complaints about the research and certain conclusions, especially regarding the overall condition of the environment, but he was never a denier, so the attacks on him (the UN Climate Chief compared him to Hitler) always seemed, to me, to be way over the top.

Apparently, since he is now advocating for 100 of billions in new taxes and spending (the only place he's really performed an about face), his been deemed ideologically pure enough to once again be accepted into the fold. What a coincidence that he was wrong about climate science when he didn't think we needed to be spending huge amount of money on man-made global warming, and now he's right . . . when the fundamental change is that he's now on board with spending huge amounts of money to combat global warming.

As always, follow the money. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 31, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Serwer: "It's sort of odd that in an election where Democrats are doing badly because they failed to do more to revive the economy, they're foundering for a message while facing opponents who are promising to do even less."

Nothing odd about it. When the powers that be are hellbent on digging the hole deeper and deeper, "just stop digging" is a compelling message.

Posted by: thebump | August 31, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

@me: I quoted the article that Bernie pointed to in a way that made it sound like I was quoting Bernie. Which was an error on my part.

That being said, what is cloud whitening? Sounds like tooth whitening. That can't actually be good for the environment, can it?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 31, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Well, Kevin, tooth whitening isn't all that beneficial for tooth enamel.... ;o)

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 31, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

I was scrolling to the end to make this comment and I see the Blade has already done it. re: the Corner, under the new nom-de-keyboard, SaveTheRainforest. Save the Plum Line!!! bar the Corner now!!! he was also seen on the Fix as NowPostThis, or some such name. He's easily recognizable by the double spacing and the insults, and the constant "I'm going to tell the washingtonpost" on you, kinda comments. DO NOT ENGAGE, the easiest way is to ignore his posts. the Blade, myself and several others dealt with him a long time before CC finally rid the comments section of him.

Posted by: katem1 | August 31, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

The problem with "nutbaiting", as much fun as it is, is that you only wind up setting an even lower standard for the behavior of morons. They actually compete among themselves to see who can say and do the stupidest things, and each downward lurch becomes the new normal. This only benefits the Republican party, which has specialized in exploiting the ignorant.

Posted by: DaveHarris | August 31, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

"Apparently, since he is now advocating for 100 of billions in new taxes and spending (the only place he's really performed an about face), his been deemed ideologically pure enough to once again be accepted into the fold. What a coincidence that he was wrong about climate science when he didn't think we needed to be spending huge amount of money on man-made global warming, and now he's right . . . when the fundamental change is that he's now on board with spending huge amounts of money to combat global warming."

What the heck does that even mean? Do you think climate change is going to fix itself? You must realize that addressing global warming means renouncing fossil fuels and conserving, both of which will require sacrifice. And if there is one thing that Americans hate it's sacrifice. Which is precisely why we are in decline. We have come to equate profligacy with freedom. Notwithstanding our Manifest Destiny we are still subject to reality. It is going to cost a ton of money to combat climate change. But it is going to cost magnitudes more if we don't.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 31, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

And, Kevin, your "follow the money" jibe is ironic to say the least. It is the nation's plutocratic compulsion for oil that has caused nearly all of our nation's current problems. And none of it could have happened without the GOP's War on Science being underwritten by Big Oil.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 31, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

@Kevin - re cloud whitening...obviously, you don't live in the Pacific Northwest. We'd like our clouds much whiter, please.

Lomborg has acknowledged, as you say, the reality of global warming but had contested how severe warming might be. And there's the other controversies re his methodology.

But, follow the money, as you say. Lomborg has been feted and used by the petroleum industry (and other potentially effected commercial interests) for two decades as a PR tool to cast GW science as uncertain or discredited. Billions of dollars have gone into this PR campaign (you don't disagree with my contention here, I assume). Further, as with the precedent PR strategy utilized by the tobacco industry (cast doubt on the science and delay legislation that hurts our bottom line), the intent of the was very singularly to avoid damage to bottom lines (no serious moral component here at all).

As a consequence of the above, millions of people have been purposefully mis-educated via (mainly) conservative think tanks and media entities which function as PR agents for the industries and interests in question (as they had been re nicotine/cancer etc).

Further, Lomborg's position ("too costly to change" and "advantages will accrue") has been used by these same institutions to lead what one might term the second wave of PR strategy (after, for example, even GW Bush acknowledge the reality of GW and the man-made component).

Thus, from my perspective, any move this man makes towards a position that is at odds with these financial interests and their contemporary PR narratives (an amoral self-interest) is a very good thing indeed.

This Independent UK piece lays out a picture of what could be up the pike if we, as a species, don't get it together...
http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/why-failure--of-climate-summit-would-herald-global-catastrophe-35-2066127.html

Even if one doesn't give much of a damn for people in other parts of the world we've never met and their suffering, the changes we look likely to experience worldwide will have enormous and enormously dangerous consequences for us even in our relatively protected big island of North America.

The potential consequences are so dire that we must assume them likely. Folks on the right can utilize, if they need to do so for cognitive ease, Cheney's One Per Cent Doctrine.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 31, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

I've got a pretty clear picture of who the Republicans hate, and what they want to Fox News audience to fear, but what I don't see is what they plan to do in office if elected. Do they plan to do more than hop up and down and shriek "I hate Obama!"? You'd never now from their rhetoric.

Posted by: Miss_Fedelm | August 31, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Here is my bone to pick this morning...not with ALL righties...but far too many amongst you. Can you give the word "socialist" a rest. Really!!! Most of the people hurling this word around could not identify socialism on a multiple guess test much less accurately understand it.

I was upset with those on the far left who hurled "fascist" at G.W. Can the sane who remain amongst us agree on something here.
George Bush was NOT a fascist
Barrack Obama is NOT a socialist
These statements are true by definition.

Furthermore get a life losers. While you conflate socialism and communism your probably cashing your SOCIAL SECURITY checks...or maybe you or a relative is using the VA...a very high successful system of SOCIALIZED MEDICINE.

Again for all of the whining and carping our taxes are now at their LOWEST rate since 1950. It requires a lot more to be a patriotic American than waving a flag or wearing a lapel pin...you people have no difficulty asking young men and women to go risk their lives for our country but chafe at asking millionaires and billionaires to simply accept a tax rate that is literally less than HALF of what if was under that great Republic President and war hero Dwight David Eisenhour.

Please bring some facts to the table and leave moronic name calling aside. We do have some thoughtful people from the right represented on the blog...Kevin W...and Troll McWingnut after reading your exchange with lmsinca props to you as well..I don't agree with you..:-) but at least you make an effort to remain civil and to use your brain. Thanks to all righties who contribute to this blog with thoughtful commentary free of the word "socialist".

BTW not that will interest the brainwashed among you but when you google surveys for the "happiest" countries in the world you will find most of them are....yooowwww...SOCIALIST!

I personally am not a socialist...nor am I a capitalist...that is to say I believe most societies function best on a proper mix of the two systems...each has it's place...and REALITY is that we have a mix already in our nation. What we are arguing here is the nature of that blend...it's not freaking socialism!
And for JakeD...strf...and other mindless idiots...just for your education..
SOCIALISM IS NOT THE SAME AS COMMUNISM.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 31, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Well said, Bernie. And if Hurricane Earl smashes the East Coast of the U.S. we will get a taste of what's in store for us.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 31, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

rukidding7:

Well-regulated capitalism is the way forward. And the term "well-regulated" is right there in the Constitution as applied to the militia among other things. The Founders knew that government regulation was essential to a successful republic. Otherwise, why bother with the whole thing?

Posted by: wbgonne | August 31, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

The GoP is betting it all that there are more than 25% of Americans who aren't offended and can't see through Beck exploiting his Personal Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as another hateful Atwater/Rove wedge issue.

Posted by: areyousaying | August 31, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Incidentally, if socialism and communism are so horrible how do we explain that China is the major economic force in the world today? Or that China practically owns the United States?

Posted by: wbgonne | August 31, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Well said, Bernie. And if Hurricane Earl smashes the East Coast of the U.S. we will get a taste of what's in store for us.

Posted by: wbgonne
-------------------------------------

And it will be the wrathful vengeance of Beck's small and shallow god who lives on the nearby planet Kolob.

Posted by: areyousaying | August 31, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Later, Dudes and Dudettes.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 31, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

A really classic example of propaganda and obfuscation from NRO.

From Mona Charen bemoaning all the talk of race and racism that his administration and the left are so guilty of, we get this line...

"The Beck rally happened to fall on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “Dream” speech."

"Happened to". Mere coincidence. The anniversary of the speech in the same physical spot. With a black President.

And, as everyone knows, Obama had earlier made the statement on some network that, and I'll quote, "He [Beck] has exposed himself as a guy who has a deep-seated hatred for black people...or for black culture".

Thus, obviously, Obama inserted race into the national conversation where it hadn't otherwise been in such profile.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 31, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

It worth keeping in mind that the "nutbaiting" was kept to a minimum because Beck's event organizers made a strong point of asking attendees to leave their signs and slogans and political wackiness at home.

Precisely because they knew the "liberal" media would be on the look out for such nonsense.

Posted by: burtonpaul | August 31, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

areyousaying...that was some seriously funny snark there.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 31, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

For sheer desperation and irrationality, nothing can match a liberal who sees the agenda sliding off the table. You folks need a hug!

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | August 31, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

@bernielatham: "Billions of dollars have gone into this PR campaign (you don't disagree with my contention here, I assume)"

No, indeed, there's a great deal of money at stake on both sides. But especially for energy companies that have not positioned themselves to take advantage of renewable energy funding and carbon pricing.

"This Independent UK piece lays out a picture of what could be up the pike if we, as a species, don't get it together... "

Ack! I know this makes me a denier, but I swear it feels like either a dude with a long white beard wearing a sandwich board proclaiming that "the end is near" wrote that, or someone in their basement, surrounded by computers from the 1980s, wearing a specially constructed aluminum composite head covering to protect his brain stem from excess cell phone radiation . . .

Seriously. "Repent! Or the end is nigh!"

However, if anything is going to put an end to our species (other than a giant meteor), then something like anthropogenic global warming will be it. People will always resist it, no matter what the scientific consensus is, because there is not a lot of visceral evidence that the end is near. The fact is, the summer is very hot this year. Almost as hot as the summer in 1980. How come the world wasn't ending back then? That is not a rational argument, but it's an objection that's entirely human.

Sure, you have fancy numbers and charts that say the world is ending, but it looks pretty much the same to me. You want my car to cost how much? My gas bill to be what? To same us from the world ending when my day-to-day experience says no such thing is happening? Uh, no.

But let's say global warming is imminent, end of the world is nigh, only it's kind of hard to tell, but draconian measures are put in place, carbon output is slashed, and the world is saved. The problem then is, it sure seems like all those global warming folks were making much ado about nothing. Everything is fine! And they said all the glaciers would have melted by now. Scrap those carbon laws, and drill baby drill!

I think we had better hope that anthropogenic global warming turns out not to be the case, because otherwise, we're doomed.


Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 31, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

"one obvious hole in the Democrats' "nutbaiting" strategy -- people have to actually act like nuts for it to work."

Not so. They could steal a page from the Republican playbook and just keep repeating that Beck's flock is crazy until everyone believes it. Like the whole "Pres is Muslim" thing

Posted by: dt776 | August 31, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

"I think we had better hope that anthropogenic global warming turns out not to be the case, because otherwise, we're doomed."

What a pathetic statement. As citizens it is our responsibility to address problems like this rather than leaving them to torment our children. Personal responsibility grounded in rationality and evidence. How about we give that a try? As a start, why don't you call upon your political kinsmen to end their War on Science?

Posted by: wbgonne | August 31, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Dept of Education secretary urged his employees to attend Sharpton's rally

Had it not been for efforts like this, Sharton's race baiting exercise would have been even more poorly attended

Liberals had total control for 2 years and totally screwed up all they touched.....lol....bye bye leftists

November is when the left gets unemployed

Posted by: georgedixon1 | August 31, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

The "nuts" are the antiAmerican lily white liberal democrats.....reality is going to gut them in November

Posted by: georgedixon1 | August 31, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

sue:

"I'd also want a large exemption for the working poor, because as Imsinca rightly points out, 100% of their income is already committed to the economy."

An exemption for some small % of people in truly dire straights would be reasonable, I suppose, but why is the fact that their income is 100% committed to the economy relevant? If a person makes $100k per year but spends it all rather than saving some, should he be exempt from paying any taxes just because his income is "100% committed to the economy"?

The issue here is one of moral hazard, not economic activity. I think it is desireable to avoid a situation in which a majority is able to continuously vote into existence benefits for themselves at no cost to themselves. We are all, rich and poor and everyone in between, a part of "the people" and if "the people" want the government to provide a service or benefit, then "the people" need to pay for it. It seems to me perfectly fair and reasonable to require all people to contribute X% of their income towards the upkeep of the government they benefit from.

BTW, a flat tax also rids us of the tedious debates about taxcutsfortherich or soakingtherich or this guys tax cut is bigger than that guy's tax cut (even though that guy doesn't actually pay taxes). Cut taxes by X% and everyone benefits by X%. You want a new government program that is going to require a tax increase of Y%? Fine, everyone's taxes will rise by Y%.

"I don't see a political possibility in flat taxing all income however derived. I can hear the lobbyists already...can't you?

Sure. The biggest problem lobby would be tax attorneys and accountants, whose livelihood depends on the complex and convoluted nature of income tax laws. A flat tax would almost certainly raise the unemployment rate in that sector.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 31, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

@wbgonne: "What a pathetic statement."

Indeed. But 99.9% pure truth.

"As citizens it is our responsibility to address problems like this rather than leaving them to torment our children."

It would certainly seem so, wouldn't it?

"Personal responsibility grounded in rationality and evidence. How about we give that a try?"

I'm game. I try to leave as modest a carbon footprint as a I can. ;)

"As a start, why don't you call upon your political kinsmen to end their War on Science?"

Well, as soon as I'm convinced that's a fair characterization of my political kinsmen, I'll be sure to do that. My prediction is that they probably aren't going to listen, because, for some reason, they might be offended when I suggest they're waging a war on science because they don't agree with me.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 31, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Beck, Palin and the Tea Party, none of which are running for any office, are living 24 X 7 RENT FREE in the Neocommie psyche. And all the Neocommies have to offer is a “nubaiting” strategy that has only had the exact opposite effect of revealing just how base, intolerant and extreme the Neocommie horde actually are. Saul Alinski’s guide to Communist Nirvana is not working for the troll class this cycle.
U – F – B!
The Republicans couldn’t buy this kind of advertising even if it were available.
And this “article” reads like code instruction to mind-numbed robots.
Why??!!! Because that is exactly what it is!
U – F – B!
The important crowd count will be the one released November 3rd and you Neocommies will not like that one at all.

Posted by: MDDem1 | August 31, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

tao9 wrote:

"It's not that they [Democrats] "failed to do more to revive the economy," it's that what they did do is precisely what is pre-empting a recovery."

*****

That's right tao, stimulating an economy in a deep recession by means of public money IS wrong, notwithstanding the opinions of EVERY CREDIBLE ECONOMIST IN THE WORLD. Next time, we'll take your advice instead.

Also given high marks for insane nuttery: GeorgeDixon. His contribution? "Liberals had total control for 2 years and totally screwed up all they touched.....lol....bye bye leftists."

*****
The preceding eight years which brought the country to this pass is okay with Brilliant George, you see. And he wants to go back to those halcyon days. There is not question that most, if not all right-wingers are lying, insane, ultra-religious nutcases, but come on: back to the GWB days???? That's taking craziness to a whole new level.


Posted by: chert | August 31, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Labor Day is Monday. And then the grownups will be back.

Posted by: mattintx | August 31, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

"wbgonne wrote: As a start, why don't you call upon your political kinsmen to end their War on Science?.."

Well, there is science and there is the cabal of fear-mongers (Al Gore being the tribes witch-doctor in Chief) who hide contradicting data, puposefully skew data, publish predictions that are but professional scare tactics, predict gloom and doom for grant monies, conspire to do the same with their cronies, and soldier on as if nothing has canged when caught (they have un-flinching enabler's like you, wbgonne).

These people sold their "scientist soul" for a political cause and grant monies which has evaporated around them like flatulance in a hurricaine.

Twist in the wind, you trolls. You're reaping the seeds sown by your own hands.

Posted by: MDDem1 | August 31, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

It is incorrect to accuse the Dems of Nutbaiting. If for example Ben Jealous (head of the NAACP) went to Jackson Mississippi and delivered a public speech attacking the KKK that would be nutbaiting. Simply observing a rally and commenting on the Teabagger anti-Obama signs is not nutbaiting.

Just like your kids when going out in public, the Teabaggers were warned to be on their best behavior. Observe them in the not so public events or watch Beck, Hannity, and crew over the next two months and we will see how they really think.

Understand, Teabaggers and Repugs call Dems Racist or Nazis because they are vulnerable in this area. It is a tactic of deflection. “If I call you a racist first, and it’s not true, then it can’t be true if you call me one later.” Don’t fall for it. It is undeniable that those who dress up in sheets and pointy hats, or those who where jack books with red suspenders and go around spouting “Hiel Hitler” would vote Repug if they choose to vote at all.

Dems left the Fix because it became useless to debate with close minded a@@holes who’s only response to questions such as “What is the Repug plan” with name calling, hate and anger. But now it seems they have slithered over here in greater numbers. What I don’t understand is if they hate liberals, hate Dems, and hate the WAPO, why are they still here? There are many Klan, or Nazi or other Right Wing sites where they can post their poison and get stroked daily.

Posted by: GabsDaD | August 31, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

It is incorrect to accuse the Dems of Nutbaiting. If for example Ben Jealous (head of the NAACP) went to Jackson Mississippi and delivered a public speech attacking the KKK that would be nutbaiting. Simply observing a rally and commenting on the Teabagger anti-Obama signs is not nutbaiting.

Just like your kids when going out in public, the Teabaggers were warned to be on their best behavior. Observe them in the not so public events or watch Beck, Hannity, and crew over the next two months and we will see how they really think.

Understand, Teabaggers and Repugs call Dems Racist or Nazis because they are vulnerable in this area. It is a tactic of deflection. “If I call you a racist first, and it’s not true, then it can’t be true if you call me one later.” Don’t fall for it. It is undeniable that those who dress up in sheets and pointy hats, or those who where jack books with red suspenders and go around spouting “Hiel Hitler” would vote Repug if they choose to vote at all.

Dems left the Fix because it became useless to debate with close minded a@@holes who’s only response to questions such as “What is the Repug plan” with name calling, hate and anger. But now it seems they have slithered over here in greater numbers. What I don’t understand is if they hate liberals, hate Dems, and hate the WAPO, why are they still here? There are many Klan, or Nazi or other Right Wing sites where they can post their poison and get stroked daily.

Posted by: GabsDaD | August 31, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

so Beck wants a new job as a tele-vangelists - don't blame him they make lots of money off the religious rubes. But, who cares?

Posted by: sux123 | August 31, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

"As a start, why don't you call upon your political kinsmen to end their War on Science?"

"Well, as soon as I'm convinced that's a fair characterization of my political kinsmen, I'll be sure to do that. My prediction is that they probably aren't going to listen, because, for some reason, they might be offended when I suggest they're waging a war on science because they don't agree with me."

That's when you call them liars.

BTW: Your position, so I'm clear, is that climate change is occurring, that we are causing it, that it is a serious problem so you are limiting your personal carbon footprint. Yet you object to the American people working cooperatively through their government to address the problem comprehensively.

That about right?

Posted by: wbgonne | August 31, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

It is incorrect to accuse the Dems of Nutbaiting. If for example Ben Jealous (head of the NAACP) went to Jackson Mississippi and delivered a public speech attacking the KKK that would be nutbaiting. Simply observing a rally and commenting on the Teabagger anti-Obama signs is not nutbaiting.

Just like your kids when going out in public, the Teabaggers were warned to be on their best behavior. Observe them in the not so public events or watch Beck, Hannity, and crew over the next two months and we will see how they really think.

Understand, Teabaggers and Repugs call Dems Racist or Nazis because they are vulnerable in this area. It is a tactic of deflection. “If I call you a racist first, and it’s not true, then it can’t be true if you call me one later.” Don’t fall for it. It is undeniable that those who dress up in sheets and pointy hats, or those who where jack books with red suspenders and go around spouting “Hiel Hitler” would vote Repug if they choose to vote at all.

Dems left the Fix because it became useless to debate with close minded a@@holes who’s only response to questions such as “What is the Repug plan” with name calling, hate and anger. But now it seems they have slithered over here in greater numbers. What I don’t understand is if they hate liberals, hate Dems, and hate the WAPO, why are they still here? There are many Klan, or Nazi or other Right Wing sites where they can post their poison and get stroked daily.

Posted by: GabsDaD | August 31, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

O.k wingnuts, let’s suppose you are right. Let’s assume the GOP takes the Senate and House in November. What are you going to do? What are your plans to fix the economy, the infrastructure, the debt problem, anything? Let’s see if you have more courage than your leaders and tell us one workable, passable, solution you have to any of our nation’s problems. Hey, I’ll even stoop to your childish level and dare you to answer. I double dare you!!

Posted by: GabsDaD | August 31, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7:

I never said that SOCIALISM is the same as COMMUNISM.

Posted by: JakeD2 | August 31, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

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