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Happy Hour Roundup

* Whoops! The right had a grand old time mocking Russ Feingold's claim that he wasn't campaigning with Obama in Wisconsin today because he had to vote, but now Feingold is, in fact, campaigning with Obama -- because his votes finished early.

* Obama turns up the volume, claiming it would be "inexcusable" and "irresponsible" for Dems to sit out the midterms, given the stakes.

"If people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren't serious in the first place," the president said.

* Atrios makes an important point that keeps getting lost amid all the White House handwringing about the "professional left": All their criticism is not going to have any real impact on November in any case. It's the economy.

* And: Sam Stein ferrets out a fascinating nugget from Ari Berman's new book: Howard Dean accused Rahm of having "contempt" for the liberal base that put Obama in the White House.

* A TPM reader argues provocatively that Obama, Joe Biden and other Beltway Dems are "using progressives and the left as their scapegoat for the enthusiasm gap: a problem that they and not the left, created!"

* Jane Hamsher makes a similar case.

* Concession of the day: David Kurtz catches "neocon rabble rouser" Frank Gaffney holding forth on the dangers mosques and sharia law pose to America -- while admitting he's not exactly an expert on the topic.

* Eric Cantor blasts Dems' "dereliction of duty" in putting off the vote on the Bush tax cuts. No one could have predicted that punting on the middle class tax cut vote would result in more GOP criticism, not less!

* National Republicans keep saying Rand Paul is safe, but Jack Conway is going on offense in a new ad ripping Paul on Medicare.

* Shocker of the day: The Dems only hope is to "dash back to the center," offer to change health reform, and pull a Clinton on social issues like teen pregnancy and deadbeat dads, according to Mark Penn.

* Ezra Klein reads Noam Scheiber's profile of David Axelrod and makes some interesting points about Axelrod's disillusionment and his agreement with some of the left's critique of the Obama administration.

* Mike Tomasky wonders whether Christine O'Donnell's interest in "postmodernism in the new millenium" has something to do with her dabbling into witchcraft.

* Sharron Angle's campaign acknowledges that she and her husband receive health care from the Federal government, and Steve Benen calls on her to renounce it in the name of freedom.

I'd only add that given Angle's belief that Big Government policies risk violating the First Commandment, perhaps she should renounce it in the interest of saving her soul!

What else is happening?


By Greg Sargent  | September 28, 2010; 6:13 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, Happy Hour Roundup, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party, economy  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: It's Obama's fault people want to believe he's Muslim
Next: The Morning Plum

Comments

Hamsher and Mark Penn in the same roundup!!

Run for your lives!

(F Mark Penn)

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 28, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Read that article about the Rand Paul ad. Just was reading about that at TPM.

Paul says in a video that the best way to make Medicare solvent is to charge seniors a $2,000 deductible!

He says:

"The real answer to Medicare would be a $2,000 deductible -- but try selling that one in an election year."

We may have a good shot at that seat.

It's possible the reason the GOP pulled their ads there is that they knew Conway has a bunch of videos ready to dribble out every other day until election day and by spending money there they risk losing other closer contests.

Here is the article at TPM:

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/09/rand-paul-freaks-out-old-people-in-new-conway-spot-video.php

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 28, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Just in @tpm:

* Appeals court agrees to allow stem cell funding *

A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday agreed to permit federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research to continue pending a full appeal, lifting an injunction issued by a federal judge and handing the Obama administration a victory.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed to stay an injunction set by a district court judge who found the administration's policy on the research violated the law.

The Obama administration has appealed that judge's ruling.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 28, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, that's a bombshell.

These people need to keep telling us what they believe.

Come on, Conway!

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 28, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Ethan -- it really is odd that NRSC would pull ads now when Conway seems to be on the offensive.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 28, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

* Wind energy can power much of East Coast, study says *

The strong winds off the Atlantic Ocean could become a cost-effective way to power much of the East Coast — especially North and South Carolina, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Virginia, a new study released Tuesday says.

The report by the conservation advocacy group Oceana argues that offshore wind could generate 30 percent more electricity on the East Coast than could be generated by the region's untapped oil and gas. It predicts that wind from the ocean could be cost competitive with nuclear power and natural gas to produce electricity.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/09/28/101206/wind-energy-can-power-much-of.html

Good detailed article. Worth a read. Good evenin' ya'll.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 28, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

"it really is odd that NRSC would pull ads now when Conway seems to be on the offensive."

I think they see the writing on the wall.

Hotline OnCall has been tracking this issue as well:

* Conway's New Attack On Paul: Cutting Medicare *

It also shows that Kentucky is yet another state where Democrats believe they can run on Medicare - a hot-button issue in a state with a high concentration of seniors.

Paul's remarks don't appear to be taken out of context. The Conway campaign also released the unedited footage, and the remarks jive with a recent interview he gave. Paul said last week that "nobody wants" higher premiums but that they may be necessary.

"I don't want higher premiums. But I also don't want the system to be bankrupt where we can't pay for Medicare at all," Paul said. "So I think we need to be adults and talk about the fact that we're short of money."

On Monday, the NRSC cancelled a week of ads in the state, claiming they were doing so because they are confident in Paul's position.

http://hotlineoncall.nationaljournal.com/archives/2010/09/conways_new_att.php

Definitely one to watch. I bet Conway has some real aces up his sleeve.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 28, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

What else is happening?

"Feds' BP response mocked: Public bewildered by early low leak estimates, panel says"

"WASHINGTON - The Obama administration's repeated low estimates of the BP oil spill undermined public confidence in the government's entire cleanup effort, leaders of a White House-appointed commission declared.

"... Eventually, U.S. officials said the spill was about 60 times bigger than originally estimated.

"... It's a lot like Custer," said panel co-chairman Bob Graham, a former Florida senator and governor. "He underestimated the number of Indians on the other side of the hill and paid the ultimate price."

"And who was in charge? ... "It became a joke," ... "The Houma command was the Wizard of Oz, some guy behind the curtain."

"Mistakes in the information being given out sapped confidence in the government... William Reilly said... former chief of the Environmental Protection Agency.

"Florida State University's Ian MacDonald said it took eight attempts by the government to arrive at the correct estimate.

"... A senior government scientist, Bill Lehr of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said that once NOAA realized that the spill was much larger, things changed tremendously. Vacations were canceled, retirees were called in and the oil-response staff was "given a blank check," he said.

"Allen acknowledged that the public and even political leaders were confused about who was in charge."

http://www.dispatchpolitics.com/live/content/national_world/stories/2010/09/28/copy/feds-bp-response-mocked.html?adsec=politics&sid=101

Posted by: sbj3 | September 28, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

What else is happening?

"Contessa Brewer Goes After Grayson For ‘Taliban Dan’ Ad"

http://www.mediaite.com/online/contessa-brewer-goes-after-grayson-for-taliban-dan-ad/

"Brewer wanted to know why Grayson was not content to focus on Webster’s dismal record on women’s issues but instead felt the need to inaccurately edit them and tack on a Taliban comparison. Grayson wanted to know how come Contessa wanted to talk about the ad instead of women’s issues (read: you are a bad feminist!)."

Posted by: sbj3 | September 28, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Linking to Jane now. That's sad.

She's too busy throwing a hissy fit non stop that she didn't get her way now she's falling back on her comfortable anti-establishment position and all her followers are merrily following behind calling for impeachment and for him to resign.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 28, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Russ Feingold apparently thinks that his last chance is to be SEEN with Obama.


LOL>

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 28, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the Dems are just planning on letting all the tax cuts expire? That would definitely be the most fiscally responsible option.

Posted by: DDAWD | September 28, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

The NRSC is just getting some new ads together - targeting the women demographic.


Paul is ahead.


You aren't going to see Ohio where it is, and have Kentucky even - it's just not going to happen


The democrats should worry about Washington State and California.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 28, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

The president is in town speaking right now. He's doing a great job. He is fired up Like I have not seen him since the last days of the '08 election. It will be interesting to see how this plays in the media tomorrow.

Feingold did a great job of taking the National press to task about reporting the BS that he didn't want to appear with the prez.

It's on!

Posted by: Andy94 | September 28, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Roger Simon that idiot from Politico just got his behind handed to him for trying to say Obama threw his family under the bus or some ridiculous thing. Simon is a scumbag. Politico has turned into one of the worse spin sites on the internet. They moderated it for some time. Now they are trying to spin more preferable towards Republicans most likely to get more access to what may be the majority.

What a sorry organization.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 28, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

The President is doing a great job connecting with the audience (he's speaking on the UW-Madison, WI campus). He asked for a show of hands for all those under the age of 26, then he reminded them about the new HCR that will allow them to get on their parents insurance. He then covered the changes made to the student loan program. He got a huge applause.

Posted by: Andy94 | September 28, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Andy

It's ON

After wasting $800 Billion in stimulus money

And passing a jobs-killing health care bill


Exactly what is ON ???


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 28, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Christine O'Donnell's Linked-In page also indicates that The Savior's Alliance for Lifting the Truth (The SALT), has between 51 and 200 employees. That seems like a claim worth investigating. She has gotten a lot of mileage out of being the "President and Founder" of that organization, but I haven't found solid evidence that the organization ever consisted of much more than Christine O'Donnell and her ego. (There is a story on Truth Out about an "ex-gay" she worked with as a spokesperson, and rejected when he could no longer deny his sexual orientation, but again no indication that this was an organization with, at a minimum, several dozen employees). She was really the "President and Founder" of a nonprofit with 51-200 employees, yet she had to take work with other organizations in order to have a roof over her head?

It seems like the paperwork trail for a nonprofit should tell some interesting stories.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | September 28, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

I really hope that the president's speech tonight will become the only playbook for dems going forward. Every dem around the country needs to repeat what the president said tonight. It's a very strong, smart, and correct approach.

Posted by: Andy94 | September 28, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Greg, How can we get bumper stickers and signs made that say, "Republican's can't drive"?

Posted by: soapm | September 28, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

hots1 wrote,
"I am a professor of comparative religion course. According to the teachings of the holy Quran, any child born of a Muslim father is forever a Muslim."
-------
Nisleib wrote,
"Jake - You realize Dubya rarely went to church too, right?"
-------

So, was Dubya a Muslim, too? :)

Posted by: Brigade | September 28, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

The president just wrapped it up. Wow, if he keeps up that kind of energy watch out.

Posted by: Andy94 | September 28, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

"Contessa Brewer Goes After Grayson For ‘Taliban Dan’ Ad"

----

Someone refresh my memory. Isn't this Grayson the same nutjob who said the Republican healthcare plan was "die quickly" and wanted the Justice Department to bring charges against someone who had mocked him with a web site called 'Mycongressmanisanidiot.whatever' or something to that effect? LOL.

Posted by: Brigade | September 28, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

I think Grayson should drop the ad. No need sink as low as conservatives do.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 28, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

"* Wind energy can power much of East Coast, study says *"

But no turbines within view of the Kennedy Compound or other Democrat Royalty holdings.

And only until it is discovered that all those windmills are aborbing too much wind energy and leading to atmospheric stagnation and catastrophic climate change.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 28, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the Dems are just planning on letting all the tax cuts expire? That would definitely be the most fiscally responsible option.

Posted by: DDAWD | September 28, 2010 7:06 PM
----

That definitely appears to be their intention, although they lack the intestinal fortitude to say so---as Liam says, they're yellow.

Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with fiscal responsibility or reducing the debt. Just more tax and spend---and to blazes with the economy.

Posted by: Brigade | September 28, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Andy94 wrote,
"The president is in town speaking right now. He's doing a great job. He is fired up Like I have not seen him since the last days of the '08 election . . ."

We all know he can campaign. Too bad that's about ALL he can do.

-------

"He got a huge applause."

At a Democratic campaign event? Big news. Sarah Palin gets huge applause at her events, too. Your point . . . ?

-------

"The president just wrapped it up. Wow, if he keeps up that kind of energy watch out."

Just keep drinking the koolaid, Andy. You've got yourself convinced. Just keep away from the shoelaces and sharp objects the day after election 2010.

Posted by: Brigade | September 28, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

I think Grayson should drop the ad. No need sink as low as conservatives do.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 28, 2010 7:56 PM
----

LOL. He'd have to jump up to get that low.

Posted by: Brigade | September 28, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

"Eric Cantor blasts Dems' "dereliction of duty" in putting off the vote on the Bush tax cuts. No one could have predicted that punting on the middle class tax cut vote would result in more GOP criticism, not less!"

Uh Greg, if you go back and look at the comments I wrote exactly that on several threads as soon as they announced they weren't going to vote. It was EASILY predictable, which is why it was such a stupid decision!

Posted by: 54465446 | September 28, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

She (O'Donnell) was really the "President and Founder" of a nonprofit with 51-200 employees, yet she had to take work with other organizations in order to have a roof over her head?

It seems like the paperwork trail for a nonprofit should tell some interesting stories.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | September 28, 2010 7:33 PM
-------

Did she ever say anything about dodging bullets in Bosnia or falsely claim to be a Viet Nam war veteran?

Posted by: Brigade | September 28, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

qb, your concern about the effects of climate change is touching.

Andy, what's the prevailing sentiment up in WI right now? Feingold really hurting that bad?

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 28, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

A TPM reader argues provocatively that Obama, Joe Biden and other Beltway Dems are "using progressives and the left as their scapegoat for the enthusiasm gap: a problem that they and not the left, created!"
============================

I made that argument earlier right here on your blog, Greg.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | September 28, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

What else is happening?
===========================

Tom Tomorrow has a cartoon just for sbj3 and JakeD2:

http://www.credoaction.com/comics/2010/09/conservative-jones-and-the-mystery-of-sharia-law/
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | September 28, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Fine, Brigade. I'll bite. Name me one thing in the past ten years the Republicans have done to reduce the deficit. One thing.

Posted by: DDAWD | September 28, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse


Fine, Brigade. I'll bite. Name me one thing in the past ten years the Republicans have done to reduce the deficit. One thing.

Posted by: DDAWD | September 28, 2010 8:42 PM
=================================

Why not go back the last 30 years?

"Reagan proved deficits don't matter." - Dick Cheney
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | September 28, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

QB, thanks for mentioning that article on wind power. As you well know, renewable energy is a growth industry that will create thousands of well-paying jobs for hard-working Americans. At the same time we will create a whole new industry for American workers; we will be using clean energy with ZERO pollutants, we will reduce our demand on oil and fossil fuels, we will help minimize the risks of severe climate change, and we will help secure our country's energy supply.

Obviously, QB has America's best interest in mind when he discusses clean domestic energy. Because we all know what a patriot QB is! Always full of great ideas to move the country forward and never cynical, partisan, or disingenuous!

QB, here is that link again so you can pass it around to your friends and family who, like you, support American growth industries like wind power.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/09/28/101206/wind-energy-can-power-much-of.html

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 28, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Fine, Brigade. I'll bite. Name me one thing in the past ten years the Republicans have done to reduce the deficit. One thing.

Posted by: DDAWD | September 28, 2010 8:42 PM |
-----

Changing the subject are we? The Republicans spent like drunken sailors. So what does that have to do with plans of the tax-and-spenders to let the tax cuts expire at they same time they continue escalating the debt?

Posted by: Brigade | September 28, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

We found out today that our children, who are graduate students, are being placed back on our health insurance plan. Thank you Democrats and President Obama/Vice President Biden! You found a way to get it passed in spite of the Republican's partisan obstructionism, and our family is so grateful and relieved.

Posted by: Beeliever | September 28, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

What do you mean by a "growth industry," Ethan?

And why do you say first that it "will create thousands of well-paying jobs," and then separately that "[a]t the same time we will create a whole new industry for American workers"?

How many industries are there here, and who is creating them?

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 28, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Bad news for leichtman1 from sodahead.com:

"What’s worse than having Fox News and Bill O’Reilly beating the pants off of the liberal competition?
When no one knows who the top liberal commentators are!

"In a funny little survey conducted by the POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground, 1,000 people were polled and 42 percent said that Fox News was their favorite news network, while 30 percent enjoyed CNN and a measly 12 percent depend on MSNBC for their news coverage. . .

"Fox's O’Reilly received a 49 percent positive rating and a 32 percent negative one . . .

"70 percent claim they have never even heard of Ed Schultz, 55 percent didn’t know who Rachel Maddow is and 42 percent drew a blank at the mere mention of Keith Olbermann."

----

Liberals getting short shrift in the marketplace of ideas. Maybe tax increases will help.

Posted by: Brigade | September 28, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

We found out today that our children, who are graduate students, are being placed back on our health insurance plan. Thank you Democrats and President Obama/Vice President Biden!

Posted by: Beeliever | September 28, 2010 9:04 PM
-----

Maybe you should be able to keep them on there until their 35. Don't thank Obama/Biden; thank the people who will be paying for it. You can start by thanking me.

Posted by: Brigade | September 28, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Tax increases and more WH attacks on Fox.

More yelling at the public for being lazy and stupid. That seems to be working.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 28, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

@politicalwire:

Enthusiasm Gap Closing

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll "shows that the battle for control of Congress has tightened, as key Democratic-leaning demographic groups are expressing more enthusiasm about the upcoming midterms."

Among likely voters, Republicans now hold a three-point lead in the generic-ballot test for control of Congress, 46% to 43%, down from their nine-point lead last month. Among registered voters are split evenly, 44% to 44%.

The pollsters "attribute the tightening to increased enthusiasm for the upcoming midterms by African Americans (who saw a six-point gain in high interest) and Hispanics (who saw an 11-point gain). But young voters, who helped fuel Obama's presidential victory in 2008, are now sitting on the sidelines. Just 35 percent of those ages 18-34 are enthusiastic about the election in November, versus 65 percent of seniors who say that."

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 28, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Serious sdvice to all Obamacrats:

Don't stand in the way of those big wheels flying off the Obama bus. They can kill.

Newsflash:

Jimmy Carter is ailing. America may soon need a replacement for him. Maybe Obama is destined to be that replacement.

Posted by: battleground51 | September 28, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

We found out today that our children, who are graduate students, are being placed back on our health insurance plan. Thank you Democrats and President Obama/Vice President Biden!

Posted by: Beeliever | September 28, 2010 9:04 PM

Such a perfect example of the Democrat scheme -- buy A's votes with B's money and take credit for the free money. The sheep fall right in line.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 28, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

QB, a growth industry is an industry destined for future growth because it provides a valuable service or product which has longevity on the marketplace.

I know that you, like me, support American public and private investment in cleantech growth industries like wind power, solar power, hybrid and electric vehicles, and energy efficiency components like batteries; not to mention other green industries like green building, sustainable agriculture, and a whole host of sustainable products.

All of these growth industries are domestic, environmentally-sound, and creating jobs as we speak!

There's nothing like good old-fashioned American ingenuity, hard work, and business savvy to transform the marketplace of ideas.

Right QB?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 28, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Changing the subject are we? The Republicans spent like drunken sailors. So what does that have to do with plans of the tax-and-spenders to let the tax cuts expire at they same time they continue escalating the debt?

Posted by: Brigade | September 28, 2010 9:04 PM |
========================================

Your response is incoherent, Brigade.

1) The Bush tax cuts were designed to expire. Mainly because of how much they increased the debt.

2) There are zero indications that the Republican party would be any different than it has been, if it were to return to power. And that would be the party mainly responsible for our national debt.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | September 28, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Ethan
As the president said this evening in Madison, the conventional pundit wisdom in D.C. is were going to see a democratic blood letting in Nov in large part because younger voters and minorities won't come out to vote.

Looks like the polls are showing that minorities are getting more engaged. And what I saw in Madison today the same is happening with younger voters.

What I saw tonight was a president determined to do the job he was elected to do with or without help from the minority party.

Posted by: Andy94 | September 28, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Nice Beeliever, you must be so relieved that your children have health coverage. I know that when I was unemployed a couple of years ago, that weighed heavily on my parents' minds.

There is nothing so unsettling as the thought that one false move or unexpected illness could wipe out your life savings, which you probably worked your entire career to build.

The Republican commenters here must not have any children or loved ones to worry about, or maybe they've never thought about their financial liabilities. You can't possibly be a Middle Class parent and not think about your children's health care. I'm glad to hear, Beeliever, that you only need be concerned about their care and not any potential catastrophic financial implications.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 28, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Nice Beeliever, you must be so relieved that your children have health coverage. I know that when I was unemployed a couple of years ago, that weighed heavily on my parents' minds.

There is nothing so unsettling as the thought that one false move or unexpected illness could wipe out your life savings, which you probably worked your entire career to build.

The Republican commenters here must not have any children or loved ones to worry about, or maybe they've never thought about their financial liabilities. You can't possibly be a Middle Class parent and not think about your children's health care. I'm glad to hear, Beeliever, that you only need be concerned about their care and not any potential catastrophic financial implications.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 28, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

"I know that you, like me, support American public and private investment in cleantech growth industries"

Private investors should invest their money in whatever industries they think are good investments. The government has no proper role in that.

If these are indeed "growth industries," government "investment" (of money not its own) won't be necessary to make them so.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 28, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the Dems are just planning on letting all the tax cuts expire? That would definitely be the most fiscally responsible option.

Posted by: DDAWD | September 28, 2010 7:06 PM


_______________________________

Unbelievable that someone would even think this.


It has to be one of the dumbest statements ever.


Clearly, if the tax cuts were allowed to expire, the economy would plunge - AND that would REDUCE tax revenues.


State and local governments would be hit hard.


The Federal government might not even come out ahead - the loss of economic activity might cause the tax revenues to come down more than the projected revenue increase.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 28, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Andy, great to hear. I only saw bits of the speech in Madison but it was AWESOME. I am totally biased because I have never gotten tired of seeing that amazing man in the White House.

I am excited for more change to come in 2011, and I am certainly excited for FOUR MORE YEARS!!!

We gotta get out there and Make It Happen -- every one of us -- in 2010 and 2012 just like we did in 2006 and 2008.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 28, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Andy, great to hear. I only saw bits of the speech in Madison but it was AWESOME. I am totally biased because I have never gotten tired of seeing that amazing man in the White House.

I am excited for more change to come in 2011, and I am certainly excited for FOUR MORE YEARS!!!

We gotta get out there and Make It Happen -- every one of us -- in 2010 and 2012 just like we did in 2006 and 2008.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 28, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

"The Republican commenters here must not have any children or loved ones to worry about, or maybe they've never thought about their financial liabilities."

You think that's really likely?

"You can't possibly be a Middle Class parent and not think about your children's health care."

It's very possible to think about how rapacious taxes and Big Government interfere with our ability to care for our children (and parents). That is, if you aren't locked inside the thought prison of Big Government liberalism and think Big Daddy Barack is your provider.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 28, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Fine, Brigade. I'll bite. Name me one thing in the past ten years the Republicans have done to reduce the deficit. One thing.

Posted by: DDAWD | September 28, 2010 8:42 PM


__________________________________


If you are going to make a partisan point on deficits, might as well pick the time which started with the bursting of the internet bubble - resulting in the loss of tax revenue.


Then you might as well pick a WARTIME as well - when the nation had to fight terrorism - and had all those extra expenses - domestically and two wars abroad.

Of course you didn't say "last fifteen years" because the Republican majorities in Congress forced Bill Clinton into budgets which led to balanced budgets.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 28, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

"Private investors should invest their money in whatever industries they think are good investments. The government has no proper role in that.

If these are indeed "growth industries," government "investment" (of money not its own) won't be necessary to make them so.

Posted by: quarterback1"

Look, China has decided to pump billions into clean energy tech. They are running away with it while you teatards over here are crying about free enterprise which doesn't exist in this global economy any longer.

Either we start having some public/private partnerships in energy creation or we get left behind and while we stay hooked on fossil fuels.

Personally, I don't want to be left in the dust.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 28, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

"Private investors should invest their money in whatever industries they think are good investments. The government has no proper role in that."

Good, that means it's finally time for the government to quit subsidizing the oil industry right?

The people paying for the dependent policies of kids through 26 are the same people who pay for policies now, employers and employees. Just like the high risk pool, they're not subsidized by the government. Some people actually just want the chance to you know, purchase insurance.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 28, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Ethan2010 at 10:17


Did you actually have POM-POMs and jump in the air when you made that comment?


OR did you did it without the POM-POMs ???

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 28, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

It's always great when the Party of Big Government blames the other party for the deficit, even now, when the Obamacrats are exploding government and spending wildly beyond all previous levels.

Takes real brass.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 28, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

I see a bunch of little health care stories popping up lately.


The timing of these stories - and the fact that all of a sudden they are all coming at once - indicates that some democratic talking points via email is encouraging people to make these comments - sort of personalizing the health care bill.


However, if this is a co-ordinated campaign, how personal is that?


These stories become REALLY ineffective though.


Because NOW the nation has the PREMIUM INCREASES of $460 BILLION DOLLARS to compare against these benefit increases that are scattered across the nation.


Some people are getting increases of 10%.


There are many reports of premium increases of 20 - 24%. WHY? The reason is the health insurance companies have to PAY for all these INCREASES IN BENEFITS THAT OBAMA FORCED ON EVERYONE.


So, instead of a STRAIGHT OBAMA TAX INCREASE, Obama is ending up making the health insurance companies raise their rates.


This decreases hiring - because now employees find it more expensive to hire people.

NEXT YEAR, the premiums are projected to RISE another 10 %.


ALSO HIDDEN in Obama's bill is a bunch of costs being pushed onto STATES - which will result in OBAMA TAX INCREASES ON THE STATE LEVEL.


Get the picture? Obama has BILLED YOU. But you are getting hit in the form of higher premiums, higher state taxes - and later higher Federal taxes.


Thank you


By the way, you still have to PAY for your graduate students' health insurance, right? Or is the bill just getting shifted somewhere else?


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 28, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

mikefromArlington at 10:21 PM


You are already in the dust fact


You will stay in the dust fact


If you think about opposing views, you might have a chance to get yourself out of the dust fact fact fact.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 28, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

"Good, that means it's finally time for the government to quit subsidizing the oil industry right?"

I don't support subsidies, which you know. Of course, what you consider subsidies often aren't.

"The people paying for the dependent policies of kids through 26 are the same people who pay for policies now, employers and employees. Just like the high risk pool, they're not subsidized by the government. Some people actually just want the chance to you know, purchase insurance."

It's not the chance to purchase insurance that you wanted. In a free market, you would have that chance. You wanted and got a legal prohibition against selling insurance that does not provide coverage for adult children to the arbitrary age of 26. So what you wanted was actually to prevent other people from buying insurance that is more tailored to their needs.

Economically, it would appear there are only two basic possibilities. If providing that coverage at the prices offered were profitable, then it seems unlikely it wouldn't have been offered before. If it is not profitable, then it is being subsidized by someone else.

So, no, it isn't just the chance to buy insurance. That chance would be a free market. This is strict market regulation and restriction of choices.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 28, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Takes real brass.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 28, 2010 10:27 PM |
======================

It takes real ignorance of the facts to pretend that the G.O.P. isn't responsible for most all of our 13 trillion dollar national debt.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | September 28, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

"Personally, I don't want to be left in the dust."

daylate...$short

A nuclear Hoover would availeth thee naught.

(((giggle}}}

Posted by: tao9 | September 28, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Ok, fine, Brigade, let's look to the future.

What are Republicans proposing that will reduce the deficit?

The only two concrete proposals I'm aware of are to extend the Bush tax cuts and to repeal the affordable care act. Both deficit increasing measures.

Posted by: DDAWD | September 28, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

QB, I'm so glad you agree that you can't possibly be a Middle Class parent and not think about your children's health care.

Because as you well know, QB, education and learning job skills really happens best when children and young adults are well-nourished and healthy. I'm sure you agree, QB, that being sick and unhealthy in mind and body is no way to be either happy or successful in the long-term.

I think both the wellness initiatives in President Obama's Health Care Reform bill and the anti-obesity initiative of First Lady Michelle Obama are exemplary of the kind of public initiatives that people of all walks of life, all socioeconomic demographics, and all political persuasions can approve of.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 28, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

QB, I'm so glad you agree that you can't possibly be a Middle Class parent and not think about your children's health care.

Because as you well know, QB, education and learning job skills really happens best when children and young adults are well-nourished and healthy. I'm sure you agree, QB, that being sick and unhealthy in mind and body is no way to be either happy or successful in the long-term.

I think both the wellness initiatives in President Obama's Health Care Reform bill and the anti-obesity initiative of First Lady Michelle Obama are exemplary of the kind of public initiatives that people of all walks of life, all socioeconomic demographics, and all political persuasions can approve of.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 28, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

ifthethunderdontgetya at 10:41 PM writes


It takes real ignorance of the facts to pretend that the G.O.P. isn't responsible for most all of our 13 trillion dollar national debt.


_______________________________


Your comment is pretty silly.


The Federal budget is filled with massive democratic programs, democratic pet projects AND democratic union contracts.


In addition, Bill Clinton is the one who repealled Glass Steagall - and deregulated derivatives - which CAUSED the Wall Street crash.


AND Bill Clinton did the Free Trade deals - which is hurting our economy MORE than the Wall Street situation.

Your statement is not just incorrect - it is completely silly.


All the democrats do is fill budgets with expensive union contracts, and democratic massive government programs.


STATES - for the most part Red states are much better off than Blue States - The Blue States of California, New York, Illinois and New Jersey have the WORST budget situations.


Again, your statement is ridiculous.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 28, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Not too late nor a dollar short. Solar/wind technology along with the technologies in the grid to support and distribute the energy is being developed now. Now is the time to jump in. If that report stating the east coast could be powered by wind doesn't sound like a great idea, I'm not sure what to tell ya then.

I don't understand why investing in our countries future energy needs has become a partisan issue. When Pickens started getting into the debate I thought the partisan divide on this was broken. I guess Koch and other fossil fuel powerhouses have another agenda.

The time is now, our Congress just needs to wake the f up and stop acting in this countries least best interest.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 28, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

mikefrom Arlington at 10:50


Did you read the report that said that birds get caught in the windmills???


Something about the hissing sound attracts the birds.


The animal-rights activists are after you - all of them.


Watch out !

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 28, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

The pushback against Michelle's anti obesity campaign are the same ignorant arguments you'd get when you'd point out gas guzzling massive SUV's are a bad idea for our society.

What I'm hoping is the ignoramuses push back against Michelle and eat themselves to death. That would accelerate the Darwinist process a bit.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 28, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

The bird issue is with Condors. Not sure there are many of them in the Atlantic....next.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 28, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Ladies


This is where we are RIGHT NOW at this moment in time - $460 BILLION IN HIGHER HEALTH PREMIUMS SUCKED OUT OF THE ECONOMY.


We are on the verge of a $700 Billion Tax INCREASE if Obama gets his way.


For all the democrats who are mathmatically challenged - that is $1.16 TRILLION DOLLARS THAT OBAMA IS TAKING OUT OF THE ECONOMY.


What kind of recovery is that?


IS THAT AN ECONOMIC POLICY OR A CLIFF ???

Seriously folks, this guy Obama has NO IDEA what he is doing.


The nation is in DANGER from the inexperience and lack of qualifications


Obama is weak on terrorism.

Obama seems willing to adopt Afghan war strategies which increase the risk of attacks in US cities.

Obama's team is leaving his staff.

It is horrible.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 28, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

"I don't support subsidies, which you know. Of course, what you consider subsidies often aren't."

So it's not a subsidy if an oil company gets it?

And you may think you know what I wanted from HCR but you really have no clue. There were thousands and thousands of people denied access because of the free market system and profit. Again, you're advocating survival of the fittest. On a human level the free market hasn't worked for health care delivery.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Exxon has over the past couple years paid a U.S. federal income tax that is about 10 percent lower than its non-U.S. effective tax rate. Other oil companies also pay less, and in some years this difference has approached 50 percentage points.*

Oil companies pay less in U.S. taxes in part because they receive generous tax subsidies. These subsidies will cost the U.S. government about $3 billion next year in lost revenue and nearly $20 billion over the next five years.

Tax expenditures are government spending through the tax code. They are distributed through deductions, exclusions, credits, exemptions, preferential tax rates, and deferrals. What makes them look different from grants or checks is that they are delivered through the tax code as part of tax expenditure spending programs.

These tax expenditures can amount to a significant portion of federal subsidies for oil and gas. The cost of tax expenditure programs for oil and gas companies made up about 88 percent of total federal subsidies in 2006."

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/04/oil_subsidies.html

Posted by: lmsinca | September 28, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

It's like trying to have a conversation with a patient with extreme ADHD.

g'nite all

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 28, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

I love to watch obese teabaggers complain about the rising cost of health care. They need to take a walk (away from the frig).

Posted by: Beeliever | September 28, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Mike from Arlington

Let's face it - you hate birds.


You are a birdist.


A birdophobe.

Clearly, you don't care how many birds die during migration.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 28, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Hasta manana.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 28, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Again, your statement is ridiculous.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 28, 2010 10:50 PM
=====================

You are ignorant.

1) You have zero knowledge of our budget history.

2) "STATES - for the most part Red states are much better off than Blue States - The Blue States of California, New York, Illinois and New Jersey have the WORST budget situations."

LMAO. Which states take more in federal dollars than they send in via taxes? Yes, that's right. Your Red states. Kick 'em off the dole, we agree.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | September 28, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse


To the democrats who are complaining about the deficit:


Woodward is reporting that Obama is giving Pakistan $2 Billion a year

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 28, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Mike, did you read the article? My favorite part is that there are a few states that can actually generate an energy SURPLUS! I love the idea of wind powering 100% of the energy in the state, with excess energy to share with neighboring states. Tell me that you wouldn't love that if you were Governor!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 28, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

ifthethunderdontgetya at 11:17 PM

THAT is your come-back ???


HA HA HA HA HAAAAAAAAAAA

There is no sense even giving you a reasoned response - my original posting stands as correct.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 28, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Ethan2010 at 11:28 PM


Do you have any idea how much the wind power you are proposing COSTS - compared to other forms of energy ???


I think you are talking about electricity which is 5 - 7 TIMES more expensive than other means of generation.

Keep trying though.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 28, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone reading Woodward's articles???


A STUNNING picture of Obama and his soft policies on terrorism.

Absolutely amazing how Obama spent almost all of 2009 trying to get the Generals to accept less troops for Afghanistan - against all warnings that such a policy would reduce our readiness against terrorist attacks in US Cities.


Then in April - while Obama is telling jokes at the Washington Hilton - someone puts a bomb in Times Square in New York - a bomb which could have killed 3,000 people.

Woodward's article today tells of the meeting of Obama's National Security official and the CIA director Panetta going to Pakistan - to WARN PAKISTAN that Obama would attack up to 150 training bases IN PAKISTAN IF ANOTHER BOMB ENDS UP GOING OFF IN THE US.

So, let's get this straight - Obama wants less troops, he wants to run the risk, but a few months later Obama is sending people to Pakistan TO TRY TO GET THEM TO GET SERIOUS WITH TERRORISM ???

And Obama is threatening to bomb them AFTER a bomb goes off in the US?

Why NOT BOMB THEM NOW??? IF OBAMA KNOWS WHERE 150 TERRORIST TRAINING CAMPS ARE, BOMB THEM NOW.


What is going on here ???


Are the liberals reading these articles, or is it just too painful to see how Obama is actually governing?

It is one thing to vote for someone so inexperienced and unqualified, but to actually read about how BAD IT IS, it is too much to handle, right ?


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 28, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

I think maybe she was educated in Oxfords.

Posted by: majorteddy | September 29, 2010 2:44 AM | Report abuse

Looking for job? Local Companies are Recruiting for the Fall Season http://bit.ly/bEZp1g

Posted by: kirkleo29 | September 29, 2010 6:08 AM | Report abuse

I seem to recall some Rand Paul comments about Iran's nuclear program (he's cool with it) that might bear further, fruitful examination.

Posted by: rhallnj | September 29, 2010 6:19 AM | Report abuse

Of course you didn't say "last fifteen years" because the Republican majorities in Congress forced Bill Clinton into budgets which led to balanced budgets.
Nonsense. And what happened when the Repubs gained control of both Congress and the Presidency in 2000 ? Bye, Bye surplus. It would seem that Clinton coerced Congress into a balanced budget.
Rainforest it would be nice if you would stop making absurd comments and treating them as facts. But then again who even bothers with your tripe.

Posted by: Falmouth1 | September 29, 2010 6:27 AM | Report abuse

Falmouth1 wrote,
"And what happened when the Repubs gained control of both Congress and the Presidency in 2000 ?"
----

And what happened when Dems gained control of both Congress and the Presidency in 2008? How's the unemployment rate? Maybe we can try a little more of that divided government starting in 2010---you liked the results so well when Clinton was Prez.

Posted by: Brigade | September 29, 2010 6:41 AM | Report abuse

Your response is incoherent, Brigade.

1) The Bush tax cuts were designed to expire. Mainly because of how much they increased the debt.

2) There are zero indications that the Republican party would be any different than it has been, if it were to return to power. And that would be the party mainly responsible for our national debt.

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | September 28, 2010 9:43 PM
------

Your comprehension is the only thing that's incoherent. Spaghetti logic.

We do not have to LET the tax cuts expire. And if the Dems thought that would provide such a wonderful boost to the economy, they wouldn't be running around talking about EXTENDING them for 97% of the American taxpayers---even though its doubtful they have any intention of actually doing that. Dems cut taxes? LOL.

The Republicans SAY they would be different next time around, and there's only one way to find out. We KNOW what the Democrats are doing---and voters don't like it at all.

Speaking of gimmicks on increasing the debt. Interesting how the Dem's HCR need ten years of revenue for every six years of benefits to ostensibly "reduce the debt." Fuzzy math for lowbrainers. But understandable when no one in the administration has ever run a business. Too bad voters like you don't know any better.

Posted by: Brigade | September 29, 2010 6:53 AM | Report abuse

"It takes real ignorance of the facts to pretend that the G.O.P. isn't responsible for most all of our 13 trillion dollar national debt."

We simply can't afford -- those of us who are asked to pay the bill -- the enormous Big Government Welfare and Planning State that you Democrats have foisted and forced on us. That is the source of the deficit, but your party protects it and demands its further growth to the death, because it is your key to political power. You bribe A with B's money.

And during no period of time would Democrats not spent even more on the BGWPS had there been no GOP standing in their way. It's as simple as that. We can't afford your Welfare State.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 29, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse

"1) The Bush tax cuts were designed to expire. Mainly because of how much they increased the debt."

The thing is that the Bush tax cuts were jammed down the throats of America through a simple majority vote. Or as we know it now, reconciliation. The thing is that reconciliation was intended to be a deficit reducing measure. This was the first time in history that reconciliation was ever used to pass a measure to increase the deficit. But the rule of reconciliation is that it can't be used to increase the deficit past a ten year window. So the Republicans put in the sunset. That's why we're talking about it today.

By contrast, the most recent use of reconciliation was to pass the sidecar to the Affordable Care Act. There's no sunset in the law. Why? Because it's a deficit reducing measure and so it can last indefinitely. (The Affordable Care Act itself was rammed down America's throats through a 60 vote supermajority.)

Posted by: DDAWD | September 29, 2010 7:14 AM | Report abuse

"So it's not a subsidy if an oil company gets it?"

I thought you were all about serious conversation?
Tax expenditures are government spending through the tax code. They are distributed through deductions, exclusions, credits, exemptions, preferential tax rates, and deferrals. What makes them look different from grants or checks is that they are delivered through the tax code as part of tax expenditure spending programs."

I'm well aware of the concept of "tax expenditures." But by definition they aren't "spending." In some cases they can be economically viewed as "subsidies" if they are actually special exceptions for A to taxes that would ordinarily be imposed on A, B, C, and D. I don't favor a system of such exceptions designed to distort free markets. But you obviously have a much more encompassing view of what you can call "subsidies."


"And you may think you know what I wanted from HCR but you really have no clue. There were thousands and thousands of people denied access because of the free market system and profit. Again, you're advocating survival of the fittest. On a human level the free market hasn't worked for health care delivery."

I have more than a clue. You might have wanted a more PO or single payer system, but short of that you wanted insurance companies to be required by law to sell you the insurance you wanted, as you want it, and you necessarily wanted the cost to you to be regulated and/or subsidized, because there is no other way for that to happen.

I accurately characterized what you wanted, which was not just a "chance to purchase insurance," but a prohibition against selling insurance on which you could include grown children. You didn't contradict a word I said. It is now illegal not to cover adult children to 26, right? That means no policy can be sold or purchased that doesn't do that? And that is part of what you wanted.

We had no free market for insurance, and access to insurance is not the same as access to health care. The system was dysfunctional primarily because of regulation that restricted competition, tax policy that favored employer-based insurance, and the fact that "insurance" is primarily used not for risks but for known and routine care. That wasn't a free market.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 29, 2010 7:21 AM | Report abuse

"tax cuts were jammed down the throats of America"

Does anyone even need to point out the absurdity of this notion?

Can you even begin to realize the deep state of delusion this thinking evidences?

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 29, 2010 7:26 AM | Report abuse

"And what happened when the Repubs gained control of both Congress and the Presidency in 2000 ? Bye, Bye surplus. It would seem that Clinton coerced Congress into a balanced budget."

Rubbish. Clinton's spending was restrained by the 1994 GOP takeover of Congress. Historicl fact. Remember his conceding to the electoral rebuke that "the era of big government is over"? That was 1994, not 1992. He also said in 1994 he shouldn't have raised taxes as much as he did.

The 90s saw the tech boom and continued GDP and revenue growth -- thanks to a lower tax rate structure given by the GOP -- but ended in recession in 2000. And there never was a surplus. Please stop peddling that urban legend. The deficit shrank, but no surplus ever existed. Look it up.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 29, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

And budgets of the 1990s also benefited from the end of the Cold War and the "peace dividend." That sort of went out the window around 2001 when we realized there actually were some people at war with us.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 29, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

lms:

"Exxon has over the past couple years paid a U.S. federal income tax that is about 10 percent lower than its non-U.S. effective tax rate."

Why would a comparison to what oil companies pay in taxes to other countries be relevant at all?

Seems to me that, to see if oil companies are getting a "subsidy", one would need to compare the deductions, exclusions, credits, etc. that oil companies get to those granted corporations in other industries. If they are significantly different, then it makes sense to argue that oil companies are getting a "subsidy" of sorts.

Of course, like qb, I too oppose any such disparate tax treatment of different industries.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 29, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

"And what happened when Dems gained control of both Congress and the Presidency in 2008?"

Actually they gained control of Congress in 2006. So they've actually been in primary control of the budget for 4 years.

Apparently Dems think the proper response to the Clinton recession would have been to raise taxes. And of course they wanted to increase domestic spending, as they always do.

Dem "fiscal responsibility" = spend as much as you want and then some, tax successful people as steeply as you can get away with, and don't worry, because all the people addicted to Big Government will keep voting for you.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 29, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

QB1, when the Democrats passed the Affordable Care act with a 60 vote supermajority, the press said it was rammed down America's throats.

How many votes should the Senate pass the bill with in order for it not to be deemed to have been rammed down America's throats?

If the ACA was rammed down with 60, then surely the Bush cuts were rammed down having gotten far fewer votes.

Posted by: DDAWD | September 29, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Edit:

"but a prohibition against selling insurance on which you could NOT include grown children."

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 29, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

DDAWD:

"...rammed down the throats..."

The difference, obviously, is that any taxpayer who didn't want a tax cut was (and is) free to pay a higher rate. They are not forced to keep their money.

But anyone opposed to ACA, either its cost or its mandates, is indeed forced to pay for and abide by it.

Hence the phrase is far more appropriate to ACA than to tax cuts.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 29, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 29, 2010 7:01 AM
=======================

"Reagan proved deficits don't matter." - Dick Cheney.

Stop trying to rewrite history, qb1. The Republicans have shown time and again that they simply don't care about the national debt. Most recently, with the hypocrisy over the Bush tax cuts.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | September 29, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Um, Scott, the Bush tax cuts have a mandate. They weren't dropped to zero.

Posted by: DDAWD | September 29, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

"Stop trying to rewrite history, qb1. The Republicans have shown time and again that they simply don't care about the national debt. Most recently, with the hypocrisy over the Bush tax cuts.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya"

Cheney's point isn't that deficits don't have economic repercussions. His point was that running up massive deficits didn't prevent Reagan from getting reelected.

Posted by: DDAWD | September 29, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

He was referring to the Bush tax cuts when he made those remarks, DDAWD.

My point is Republicans don't care about deficits or the debt, they only pretend to when it suits their purposes.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | September 29, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

DDAWD,

First, the very concept of "tax cuts rammed down America's throat" is an absurdity, without need of further detail, and comparison to Obamacare being entirely beside the point. A reduction in my taxes cannot in any sense be considered to be "rammed down" my throat or yours.

Second, you can work as hard as you want to try to paint the passage of Obamacare as being within the normal, accepted, legitimate course of our constitutional system, but history will rightly record that Democrats bent and probably broke the rules and used a series of gimmicks, unconstitutional bribes, and shortcuts that had never before been used to pass such radically "transformative" legislation.

They did so defiantly in the face of strong public opposition to what they were doing. History will remember it as one of the most arrogant and anti-democratic legislative power grabs in our history, because it was. Pointing to the 60-vote passage of the Senate bill in isolation is never going to change that. That is part of why it remains so unpopular.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 29, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

History will remember it as one of the most arrogant and anti-democratic legislative power grabs in our history, because it was.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 29, 2010 8:19 AM
======================================

Bookmark this page, liberals!
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | September 29, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

"My point is Republicans don't care about deficits or the debt, they only pretend to when it suits their purposes."

Aside from the dubious accuracy of that claim itself, you always ignore the comparative profligacy of the Democrats. Obamacrats are adding trillions of new debt, of their own design and choosing. Trillions. They carped to spend more, not less under Bush. They attack every suggestion of even slowing down domestic spending growth. They always have. I won't ask you when that wasn't true, because we both know it always has been true.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 29, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Scott, worldwide, subsidies in the form of tax breaks to oil companies are 10X what are given to renewable energy development.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

* Tax subsidies for oil companies don’t decrease our reliance on foreign oil. Oil companies often argue that without subsidies, domestic production will decline and our reliance on foreign oil will increase. Yet U.S. production has steadily declined since its 1970s peak. We produce about the same amount of oil now that we produced in the 1950s despite billions in subsidies over the past 30 years, as seen in this graph.

Subsidies do little to change the fact that limited domestic supplies contribute to the United States importing about 60 percent of its oil. In fact, the Treasury Department estimates that ending subsidies will affect domestic production by less than one half of 1 percent. If we’re serious about ending oil imports we need to transition away from oil as a fuel supply.

President George W. Bush himself noted in 2005 that the profit potential in the oil industry drives company behaviors and not the subsidies. “With $55 oil we don’t need incentives to the oil and gas companies to explore. There are plenty of incentives.”

* Oil subsidies don’t save jobs. Oil companies and lobbyists also argue that ending subsidies will kill jobs. But this doesn’t make sense since eliminating oil subsidies minimally impacts domestic production (as explained above).

It’s also important to note that the oil and gas industry is about 10 times more capital intensive than the U.S. economy as a whole. Consequently, subsidizing oil industry production to create jobs isn’t a good use of taxpayer dollars. Any decrease in production will likely affect capital investment in machinery, not the number of jobs created.

* Oil subsidies don’t help consumers at the pump. Finally, oil companies are fond of saying that ending tax subsidies will cause disastrous price hikes. But the tax subsidies Sanders, the president’s budget, and other lawmakers propose for elimination pay companies to find and produce oil. Eliminating them will have little, if any, effect on consumer prices.

A Joint Economic Committee report states, “the removal or modification of [one of these subsidies] is unlikely to have any effect on consumer prices for oil and gas.” The committee found that subsidies do not affect production decisions in the near term. And in the long term the Energy Information Administration explains that the major factors affecting oil prices include the production limits set by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and global disruptions in supply. Moreover, the minimal impact of tax subsidies on domestic production (as discussed above) underscores that eliminating tax subsidies will have little, if any, effect on oil prices."

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/07/big_oil_spigot.htm

Posted by: lmsinca | September 29, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

All, Morning Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/09/the_morning_plum_100.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 29, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

"Um, Scott, the Bush tax cuts have a mandate. They weren't dropped to zero."

You're kidding, right? This might be the most illogical statement I've ever seen on PL.

Just look at the grammatical structure of your two sentence and the illogical claim they make. "They" = "tax cuts." But you really meant "They" to refer to tax RATES.

The "cuts" have no "mandate." The "cuts" were not "dropped" to anything. The tax RATES were what was "dropped," hence the term "cuts."

A "cut" in one's taxes cannot sensibly be described as being "rammed down America's throat." And the fact that my RATE was not cut to 0 does not mean that the reduction in my rate involves "a mandate."

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 29, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Some here like to quibble over the word "subsidy" but no matter how you look at it, fossil fuels hold the advantage. And yet at the same time they expect renewable energy to compete without the same advantages. Free market rules.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For instance, the U.S. government has generally propped the industry up with:

* Construction bonds at low interest rates or tax-free
* Research-and-development programs at low or no cost
* Assuming the legal risks of exploration and development in a company's stead
* Below-cost loans with lenient repayment conditions
* Income tax breaks, especially featuring obscure provisions in tax laws designed to receive little congressional oversight when they expire
* Sales tax breaks - taxes on petroleum products are lower than average sales tax rates for other goods
* Giving money to international financial institutions (the U.S. has given tens of billions of dollars to the World Bank and U.S. Export-Import Bank to encourage oil production internationally, according to Friends of the Earth)
* The U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve
* Construction and protection of the nation's highway system
* Allowing the industry to pollute - what would oil cost if the industry had to pay to protect its shipments, and clean up its spills? If the environmental impact of burning petroleum were considered a cost? Or if it were held responsible for the particulate matter in people's lungs, in liability similar to that being asserted in the tobacco industry?
* Relaxing the amount of royalties to be paid.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 29, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

lms:

"Scott, worldwide..."

Why do you care what other countries do? My concern is what our country does.

Like I said, I am opposed to all tax breaks specific to the oil industry. In fact, I am opposed in principle to the government using tax incentives/disincentives to alter behavior, whether for individuals or corporations.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 29, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Scott, you're kidding right? Oil isn't an international issue? And the disadvantage exists here as well, it's estimated to be somewhere between 2 and 3 times favoring fossil fuels. I just think it's funny "subsidies" are okay in some cases but not others. One of the things HCR did was give the same incentives, taxes and pooling purchase power, to small businesses and individuals that large corporations already enjoyed. But those are the "bad" subsidies.

Have a subsidy free day you two.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 29, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

"Some here like to quibble over the word "subsidy" but no matter how you look at it, fossil fuels hold the advantage. And yet at the same time they expect renewable energy to compete without the same advantages. Free market rules."

I guess you just prefer to ignore what anyone actually says and put opposite words in their mouths instead.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 29, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

"I just think it's funny "subsidies" are okay in some cases but not others."

I think it's funny that you can't help misrepresenting what opponents have very clearly said.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 29, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

lms:

"Scott, you're kidding right?"

No.

"Oil isn't an international issue?"

We were talking about US tax policy with regard to the oil industry. And no, that is not an international issue.

"I just think it's funny "subsidies" are okay in some cases but not others."

Why are you ignoring what I said? I have twice now reiterated that I am opposed to special tax treatment for corporations in the oil industry. How else can I say it? Or are you going to insist I think one thing despite what I actually tell you?

"One of the things HCR did was give the same incentives, taxes and pooling purchase power, to small businesses and individuals that large corporations already enjoyed."

If you recall our debates last year about HCR, it was I, not you, who consistently opposed the disparate tax treatment given to insurance provided by employers.

That being said, in what way was (is) the tax treatment of insurance provided by "small businesses" different to the tax treatment of that provided by "large corporations"?

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 29, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

"Why are you ignoring what I said? I have twice now reiterated that I am opposed to special tax treatment for corporations in the oil industry. How else can I say it? Or are you going to insist I think one thing despite what I actually tell you?"

Good, then you must support that portion of the Obama budget for 2011 that attempts to end SOME of those "subsidies" to the fossil fuel industry. Fantastic.

qb, since you have a habit of thinking you can read my mind, I'm simply attempting to read yours. So you also look forward to ending the "subsidies" that aren't really subsidies for the oil industry? Fantastic.

Now we're getting somewhere.

And Scott, last time we debated taxes and HCR, we didn't even know what was in the bill yet. That was ages ago. The purchasing power given to small businesses and individuals in the marketplace is helpful, although it's not as good as a PO or medicare buy-in.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 29, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

lms:

"we didn't even know what was in the bill yet."

But we did know what current tax policy was, which gave a tax advantage to employee provided insurance. I argued to end that advantage.

And you are now claiming that HCR gave "the same incentives, taxes and pooling purchase power, to small businesses and individuals that large corporations already enjoyed."

How were taxes or tax incentives with regard to insurance (or health care in general) for "small businesses" different than those for "large corporations", and how has that changed with Obamacare?

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 29, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Scott, once the legislation completely kicks in in 2014, the new marketplace for coverage will afford individuals and small businesses the same buying power as large businesses. Right now small businesses pay much higher premiums, but the new 35% tax break effective this year will level that playing field in the meantime. And individuals essentially have almost no buying power and suffer the Pre-existing condition syndrome that neither small or large business pools suffer from. The interim PCIP's managed by states address that issue in the interim.

If you think it's a good idea to end the tax breaks on the large group employers coverage of employees then be prepared to see employee's contributions rise substantially.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 29, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Scott, you didn't answer my question yet. Are you prepared to support ending the tax advantages (subsidies) that fossil fuels enjoy in the President's 2011 budget, hypothetically, of course?

Posted by: lmsinca | September 29, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

"qb, since you have a habit of thinking you can read my mind, I'm simply attempting to read yours. So you also look forward to ending the "subsidies" that aren't really subsidies for the oil industry? Fantastic."

I don't do mind reading. I simply try to evaluate what you are explicitly saying. On health insurance, you have a way of saying "I just want X" while assuming away the necessary corollaries and preconditions of X. I just tried to bring out and state what they are. Since you didn't contradict any of what I said, so far I take that to be an indication that you don't deny it.

On energy, I think I've said in every response that, like Scott, I don't support subsidies of oil or any of the competing industries (real or hypothetical). I would only part ways with you over what is and isn't a subsidy.

Some of the 'subsidies' you list (from far left advocacy groups) clearly aren't, like "reductions in royalties." Since there is no level of royalties that can be viewed as "natural" or "baseline" level from some objective source, there is no way sensibly to categorically declare "reductions in royalties" a "subsidy." Maybe they were "too high" to begin with, whatever that might mean.

And there is no way to compare oil or gas roylaties with treatment of "renewable energy" industries, since they don't involve oil or gas extraction. I suspect that no royalty would ever be high enough for someone like you to consider it equitable, but there isn't any way to analyze that question. It's essentially meaningless.

Similarly, economics has no way reliably to determine the costs of "externalities" like pollution. You can try, but at the end of the day, it's pretty much guess work. So someone like you will always be able to argue, and probably will argue, that industries you disfavor are not being taxed or fined enough, constituting a "subsidy."

Other "subsidies" probably are subsidies. And I don't favor them. But this is what Scott and I both said repeatedly. There isn't any need for mind reading. There's only a need not to distort what we both said.

By all means, let's end oil and gas -- and "renewable" alternative -- subsidies. No more special subsidies given only to oil, and no more government investment in Obama Battery Corp. But I'm not going to rely on Friends of the Earth or Greenpeace to decide what is a subsidy.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 29, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

"If you think it's a good idea to end the tax breaks on the large group employers coverage of employees then be prepared to see employee's contributions rise substantially."

I think you are overlooking the full scope and effects of actual free market reform, under which overall rates could be expected to fall and wages to rise, once tax and regulatory distortions were removed.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 29, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

qb, aren't subsidies a favorable way to incentivize an emerging industry short term? And I will concede some of the advantages listed aren't technically subsidies but an advantage nonetheless. Most of my links and quotes came from the Joint Economic Committee (Dem controlled Congressional committee) and Energy Information Administration (independent analysis). I also found quotes from the Financial Times, would that be better?

Posted by: lmsinca | September 29, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

lms:

"Right now small businesses pay much higher premiums, but the new 35% tax break effective this year will level that playing field in the meantime."

You mean a 35% tax break for "small businesses"? So, in other words, when you say "same incentives, taxes" what you really mean is different incentives and taxes. Giving a tax break to "small businesses" that is not granted to "large corporations" does not represent equal tax treatment...it is disparate tax treatment.

"And individuals essentially have almost no buying power and suffer the Pre-existing condition syndrome that neither small or large business pools suffer from."

Yes...this derives entirely from the disparate tax treatment that I have opposed. If individuals were granted the same pre-tax benefit on purchasing insurance that employees enjoy, then large insurance pools could and would be created outside of employers that would then have the same type of purchasing and coverage design power that employers now have.

"If you think it's a good idea to end the tax breaks on the large group employers coverage of employees then be prepared to see employee's contributions rise substantially."

I am perfectly happy to see the tax breaks granted to everyone rather than being withheld from everyone, thus avoiding any rise in contributions.

"Scott, you didn't answer my question yet. Are you prepared to support ending the tax advantages (subsidies) that fossil fuels enjoy in the President's 2011 budget, hypothetically, of course?"

I have answered you twice already. Yes, I oppose disparate tax treatment (what you call "subsidies") for the oil industry, adn I am happy to see them eliminated in Obama's budget, along with all other such "subsidies" for other industries, such as "green" technology businesses.

I stated clearly that I oppose in principle using tax incentives/disincentives to alter behavior. Do you?

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 29, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Here's a link to the Energy Information Administration that clearly shows the rebound of the oil and gas producers with lots of links to other reports if you're interested. I couldn't find any reference to Greenpeace.

http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/perfpro/news_i/index.html

Posted by: lmsinca | September 29, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Scott

"Do you?"

I believe there are instances when the government should use tax policy or incentives to support both the well-being of the community at large and the emergence of new and valuable industries or temporary support. There is a bill coming up before Congress that is designed to track the effectiveness of these so-called energy subsidies for the entire industry to see if they're actually working as they're designed to or not. So far, the only ones to sign on to the legislation are Dems. In other words, R's appear to be hypocritical in their support of some subsidies but not others and don't really seem to care whether they work or not. Since you're neither a Dem or a Rep I'm just curious sometimes how you reconcile some of this stuff but apparently purity of philosophy trumps governing.

If we take your philosophy to the limits, we shouldn't have propped up the banks, which I believe you supported. Are there any politicians running for office that adhere to your strict libertarian, flat tax, free market philosophy? Just curious.

And where does National Defense play into your philosophy? How much is too much investment and when is it too little?

Anyway, I'll leave you with those questions but I need to get to work here. Later.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 29, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

lms:

"If we take your philosophy to the limits, we shouldn't have propped up the banks..."

That is true. But it makes no sense to critique a philosophy as applied to a single circumstance within a context in which the philosophy is otherwise entirely ignored. The government interferes with free markets all the time, in ways that cause all kinds of distortions and crises, including the meltdown in '08. Should the government have stepped in to alleviate the crisis it, in very large part, helped to create? That is an entirely different question than asking whether and how the government should be interfering with the market as a general principle.

"...which I believe you supported."

Not really. I was, and remain, quite uncertain about the appropriateness of the government injecting capital into the banks when and how they did.

"Are there any politicians running for office that adhere to your strict libertarian, flat tax, free market philosophy?"

No. Ron Paul is close, I suppose.

"And where does National Defense play into your philosophy? How much is too much investment and when is it too little?"

First, I do not consider defense spending to be an "investment" any more than I consider my expenditures on food to be an "investment". They are both necessary expenditures in order to ensure survival in the world. They are not designed to produce "returns" at some date in the future.

Secondly, I consider national defense to be the primary function of the federal government. We should spend enough to make sure the US has overwhleming military superiority over any other nation. Obviously people may have differing opinions on just when such superiority is achieved, but that is the principle that should be sought.

BTW, I wanted to add that it is kind of nice being able to have a conversation like this in the absence of the infantile noise created by the likes of STRF, ruk, ethan, etc. Perhaps we (you, me, and QB) should hang out on dead threads more often. You can invite one more from "your" side to even things up, just as long as it isn't a noisemaker.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 29, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

"in the absence of the infantile noise"

What, you don't find being called heartless and uncompassionate "bright boy" or "buford" or "dummy" constructive? : )

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 29, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

qb:

Indeed.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 29, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

"Perhaps we (you, me, and QB) should hang out on dead threads more often. You can invite one more from "your" side to even things up, just as long as it isn't a noisemaker."

Maybe. I prefer debating more substantial issues, like you guys, and it gets pretty frustrating trying to weed through some of the garbage threads for nuggets of possibilities. Not sure if qb would be that interested though, he and I tend to rub each other the wrong way. We'll see.

I've been busy (less time for blogging) helping my husband transform to a more streamlined business model to get us through the next few years. We're definitely retiring in about 2.5. We'll be keeping our small internet sales to keep us busy during retirement but unwinding the wholesale end, so I'm working on adding products and testing the market for what seems to work the best. I have a little spare time in the mornings and evenings.

12BarBlues seems to be able to keep the name calling down, when she isn't taking on STRF, she might be interested. Hmmmmmm, boys against girls?

And yeah I guessed that Ron Paul was probably the closest to you in philosophy. He seems to be the most able to cut through the BS and remain true to his principles. I actually respect him for that although I don't very often agree with him. What did he get in 2008, a million votes or something? I think a lot of libertarians mistakenly want to turn back the clock and deny the global aspect of our economy, it's a tough sell.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 29, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

lms:

"Hmmmmmm, boys against girls?"

Sounds good. A little 2 on 2. Maybe you can prevail upon Greg to create a private room for us. Uh...chat room, of course.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 29, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"National Republicans keep saying Rand Paul is safe," but they no perfectly well that no one who proposes a $2000 deductable for Medicare (on video) is safe.

Also Paul is digging deeper, claiming that Conway's demonstrably true claim is a lie.

Posted by: rjw88 | September 29, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Scott, you might be interested in the Rolling Stone article re the Tea Party. He covers the co-opting of the original Ron Paul Tea Party by Dick Armey et al and how they've gotten away from the original libertarian bent. He also discusses the caving of Rand Paul to the standard GOP, McConnell Kentucky brand of politics. I'm sure you won't agree with all of it or even some of it, but it's interesting nonetheless.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"The world is changing all around the Tea Party. The country is becoming more black and more Hispanic by the day. The economy is becoming more and more complex, access to capital for ordinary individuals more and more remote, the ability to live simply and own a business without worrying about Chinese labor or the depreciating dollar vanished more or less for good. They want to pick up their ball and go home, but they can't; thus, the difficulties and the rancor with those of us who are resigned to life on this planet.

Of course, the fact that we're even sitting here two years after Bush talking about a GOP comeback is a profound testament to two things: One, the American voter's unmatched ability to forget what happened to him 10 seconds ago, and two, the Republican Party's incredible recuperative skill and bureaucratic ingenuity."

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/210904?RS_show_page=3

Posted by: lmsinca | September 29, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

"qb, aren't subsidies a favorable way to incentivize an emerging industry short term? "

I guess I didn't answer this. Sure, I guess it is a kind of truism. But I thought the bigger question is whether and why we should subsidize.

I can imagine that there could be overarching, strategic/national security reasons, for example, why we might want to do that in rare cases, although I'm not sure I can think of any. I would not support it in the terms you seem to be suggesting, which I interpret as having the government identify (how?) "emerging" industries and subsidize them. That's just a state-planned economy imo.

I am not aware of any empirical record or reason for believing that the government can "pick the winners and losers," and, even if it could, it doesn't make any economic sense for the government to try to push ther process of economic progress faster than its natural pace.

This seems to be an area of very large disagreement between liberals and conservatives today. I see folks like Ethan who just take as an unquestionable given that everyone would prosper if the government just took the lead in identifying "growth industries" and funding them. It is pretty much contrary to all the basic premises of free market economics.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 29, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

LOL, Greg can't even seem to get html or live links going so I wouldn't count on a private chat room. I suggest we just keep the evening round up going throughout the next day, from one to the next, and see how it goes. The previous evening's last thread usually dies a natural death once the new day begins.

BTW, I admit to being surprised both you and qb came back after the "banishment".

Posted by: lmsinca | September 29, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

lms:

" I admit to being surprised both you and qb came back after the "banishment". "

qb implied that he would probably be back. I recall him saying specifically that he wasn't promising never to return. As for me, well, I can't remember what the event was, but something happened in the world that made me wonder what the PLers would be saying about it, so I checked in. And my natural inability to hold my tongue took over from there. I am simply incapable of being a lurker. If I am to stay away, I have to refrain entirely from reading what anyone is saying.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 29, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

qb, I guess my point was really if we're going to subsidize through tax policy, fossil fuels, then we should also commensurately incentivize emerging 21st century industry. By that I don't mean indefinitely and not if they can't be taken off the dole in the near future. The same way we invest in scientific research, in better times than this, we should also invest in the application of said research.

If neither of you believe in subsidies for almost any reason it's difficult for me to come to grips with how our country both competes with the rest of the world and also re-establishes some kind of manufacturing base. I don't think all our problems can be solved by a green economy, but there are definitely a whole host of reasons for giving it a boost, both economically and environmentally.

Here in CA we have a number of new companies emerging because of our emission rules and continued push for less reliance on fossil fuels. Of course, that's one of the issues with our Prop. 23. Luckily, right now it appears the voters are not buying the so called "job loss" shenanigans of the big oil lobbyists. Our new industries are creating new jobs but of course the real test is can they survive the free market? I think they can if it's truly free, but right now the advantage still rests with fossil fuels.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 29, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

"BTW, I admit to being surprised both you and qb came back after the "banishment"."

I blame Scott. : )

I think I popped in once to say something snarky (shame on me, I know) and got sucked back in. I suppose I am inveterately opinionated and unable to shut up, too.

Now that I think about it, I think my snarky comment was something along the lines of how boring PL looked without us. Vanity.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 29, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Scott

"And my natural inability to hold my tongue took over from there. I am simply incapable of being a lurker. If I am to stay away, I have to refrain entirely from reading what anyone is saying."

Yeah, I have the same problem. I swear I'm going to leave and then just peak in to see what's being said and can't help but chime in. I have no problem at other blogs, although I have one more where I comment, but for some reason the PL draws me in. For you it was probably Bernie, LOL.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 29, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

qb:

"I blame Scott. : )"

I almost blamed you! I confess that seeing you commenting when I checked back in gave me encouragement and made me feel less guilty about returning.

lms:

"For you it was probably Bernie, LOL."

I have to admit that I do see Bernie as a particularly interesting challenge, although his condescending professor routine is pretty insufferable. To be honest, I think he treats even those who agree with him as sort of his "star" pupils rather than as intellectual equals. But enough, I suppose, of picking on a guy who's not around to defend himself.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 29, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Honestly Scott, I don't think you or qb think anyone else here is an intellectual equal either, except for maybe each other. I've noticed a bit of an elitist attitude at work, not to be critical, it doesn't particularly bother me.

I have a State University education, but I paid for it myself while being a single mom, so I'm proud of it. I think it's mostly natural for better educated minds to speak down a little to others with less academic prowess. As long as they don't believe they're actually better than others, which I'm not accusing you of, it is what it is.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 29, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

lms:

"I don't think you or qb think anyone else here is an intellectual equal either"

I can't speak for qb, but there are several people here, you among them, above whom I wouldn't place my brain power. And with those people I try my best to treat them respect. There are, of course, others, who deserve no such treatment.

BTW, I am about as far from an educational snob as one can get. That's one reason I get a kick out of people on this board denigrating the likes of Palin for her educational background.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 29, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Okay Scott,

I'll take you at your word re intellectualism. I actually agree with you re Palin and her education. However, I have very little respect for her leadership qualities, intellectual curiosity, knowledge of policy or familiarity with the English language. I guess you can tell, she's definitely not my cup of tea. She sure has an adoring fan base though, I'll give her that.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 29, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

"Honestly Scott, I don't think you or qb think anyone else here is an intellectual equal either, except for maybe each other. I've noticed a bit of an elitist attitude at work, not to be critical, it doesn't particularly bother me."

Actually, I think I am about where Scott is. I had an "elite" law school education and a fairly elite college education, but only after and through a lot of hard scrabble digging and clawing.

I certainly don't think of myself as intellectually superior to everyone here, including you. There are some very smart folks here, and some who . . . aren't, even though they can put sentences togethre. I might seem that way for several reasons to feel superior, though, for a couple of reasons.

One,. I argue for a living, and I'm just plain argumentative. My favorite friend in law school was a far-left woman, and we would just argue endlessly. Still one of my favorite friends of all time. And, while I try to be civil and courteous, as a lawyer, especially in writing, you try to develop a sort of inexorable and irresistable quality to your arguments, if that makes sense. You have to take some care not to be too absolutist, but you learn to be pit-bull tenacious (or maybe we self-select for it, who knows). So that can drive people nuts. I just don't have it in me to be pliant all the time like Kevin or tao.

Two, I do think training as a lawyer can make one frustrating to nonlawyers. For example, I at least try to take a lot more care with any claims I make and think through the implications and basis. I'm not perfect, but this is my trainging, while a lot of commenters shoot from the hip, get caught saying something they can't support or that has implicati"ons they didn't think of, and then a scene can ensue. I also try to be more careful since this is a lefty forum for the most part. So I think it frustrates some people that it is hard to "pin me down" in easy mistakes. Also I'm a stickler for clarity, and I find many people just aren't. Or maybe that's all vanity, too.

I do envy Scott's lucidity, though. I type too quickly and don't edit very well, so my comments aren't always that well stated. Yours are typically among the best written, too, so it's usually a pleasure to read them (well, aside from the terrible substance of course : ).

Bernie to me is someone smart and (sometimes well read) but as completely unselfaware and closed minded as smart. A really strange case.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 29, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

"(well, aside from the terrible substance of course : )."

Funny.

Wow, here I hesitantly accused you both of hubris and you're nice back. Way to make me a liar. Anyway, I don't hate arguing with either one of you, it's interesting. My fascination with this blog and the comments is at least partially driven by the personality of each poster, I love human puzzles. Even the crazies fascinate me, although I skip quite a bit of that now. Repetition is not their friend.

Anyway, now that we've all patted each other on the back and decided that we're just average Joes and not smarter than everyone else, let's get back to the argument.

Here's what I don't understand about Libertarians. The ideology feels lacking in humanity, and I'm not suggesting it's on a personal level. I'm sure you're both nice men and loving husbands and fathers and would do anything possible to help out a friend. But the ideology itself IMO leaves too much to the survival side of human nature, which isn't always beneficial to society.

Where is the sense of community or recognition that some people just don't have either the fortitude, intelligence, or even lucky breaks to succeed without a little outside assistance? It seems like everyone who isn't able to move up the success ladder, which isn't always monetary BTW, is a moocher to you guys. Am I wrong?

I guess the huge and growing divide between conservative/libertarians and liberals became much more apparent to me in the health care debate, which is also what drove me to Greg's blog. I must have been running in the wrong circles for the last 40 years, but I've never seen anything like this before. Quite frankly, I was shocked at first and I've been involved in politics for a long time. I'm still trying to figure it out.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 29, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

lms:

"Anyway, now that we've all patted each other on the back and decided that we're just average Joes and not smarter than everyone else..."

Oh, I'm smarter than most people, just not you. ;)

"The ideology feels lacking in humanity, and I'm not suggesting it's on a personal level. I'm sure you're both nice men and loving husbands and fathers and would do anything possible to help out a friend."

But that is just it. Humanity, compassion, empathy...those exist entirely on a personal level. Liberals attempt to institutionalize them, command them, write them into law. But you can't. As I have said many times on this board, commanding Peter to help out Paul is not an act of compassion, it is an act of coercion. If you want to help out Paul, then help him. Donate your money, donate your time, donate your efforts, organize help, whatever. All of those things, which conservatives and libertarians do all the time, are acts of humanity and compassion. Passing laws forcing others to help him most decidedly is not.

BTW, I haven't brought this up on the board because I don't generally like to get into personal stuff, but I am very well acquainted with a couple of very, very wealthy people, and I assure you that they have done more to help real people in difficult circumstances than any self-proclaimed compassionate liberal on this board, probably more than all of them put together. And they are decidedly conservatives/libertarians who hate paying more taxes. Frankly it disgusts me the way that the likes of ruk, ethan, liam, and even Bernie generalize about and denigrate people of wealth. Theirs is an ignorant bigotry no better than a redneck racist railing about blacks.

"It seems like everyone who isn't able to move up the success ladder, which isn't always monetary BTW, is a moocher to you guys. Am I wrong?"

Yes. I don't think you have ever seen me (or qb) use the word "moocher" or anything like it. I am not opposed to helping people and I am not contemptuous of people who need help. I am opposed to people who command me to help the people they want me to help in the way that they want me to help when they want me to help. As I mentioned above, I am opposed to people who think compassion is forcing other people to do what they cannot or will not do themselves.

One last thing, on community. Real community has little or nothing to do with government. In fact, the more responsibility the government takes on for doing what the community ought to do, and the further up the government chain that responsibility is pushed (from local to state to federal) the less community there actually is. The rise of the welfare state has not increased a sense of community, it has destroyed it.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 29, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

lms/qb:

FYI...I will be in and out from now until Monday. Away for a long weekend. Will probably check in, but less than usual.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 29, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

"Donate your money, donate your time, donate your efforts, organize help, whatever. All of those things, which conservatives and libertarians do all the time, are acts of humanity and compassion."

You seem to believe that liberals want to foist the disadvantaged onto the government only and not take any personal responsibility themselves. That is simply not true. The same way you know conservative/libertarians who give time and money to charity I know liberals who do the same. It's true, I don't know any really wealthy people, but I work with people in the trenches every day who are every bit as compassionate and giving.

Charity is something that Americans are known for and it's one of the things I am most proud of but it just isn't always well directed or even enough.

One personal example I can give. I volunteer for both the Red Cross and Hospice as a grief counselor, I'm going out on a limb here by sharing more of my personal bio. I worked in the Riverside office during the aftermath of Katrina. For some reason the Inland Empire in CA received hundreds of victims and we worked day and night for weeks to set up housing, Fema applications, emergency funding, food, clothing and reuniting families. We received more food and clothing donations than we could ever use, enough money to set up temporary housing and funds for travel and other essentials. But it was the government that came to the rescue through FEMA that gave them a more permanent solution to their horrible circumstances.

People cannot rely on charity and while I will agree that the "government" doesn't always get everything right, there is a certainty that brings security for many people.

I'll have to find the link again but earlier this week I posted a link to an article re poverty and reliance on welfare. There were great inroads made during the Clinton Administration in reducing both and it was shot to hell during the Bush Administration. I don't think that is coincidental.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 29, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Have a nice long weekend Scott, we'll resume our debate next week or whenever you check in. Have you guys checked out tonight's roundup? OMG

Posted by: lmsinca | September 29, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

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