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How Dems should talk about stimulus: Localize!

With polls showing that the public has concluded that the Obama/Dem stimulus is mostly a bust, how should House Dem incumbents and candidates talk about it, if at all?

DCCC chair Chris Van Hollen thinks he has a solution: He says in an interview that House Democrats are being urged to undertake a hard push in the homestretch of the elections to localize the Recovery Act. Candidates, he says, should stress that if Republicans are elected to Congress, stimulus projects in specific districts -- and all the jobs they would create -- might get scrapped before they ever get off the ground.

Van Hollen says incumbents and candidates are being advised to seize on a recent speech by John Boehner, in which the House GOP leader suggested that canceling "unspent" stimulus funds would be one good way to :put the brakes on Washington's out-of-control spending spree."

"It is important to localize it," Van Hollen told me, referring to the stimulus. "Because it's important to show people what the impact will be in specific communities when you yank a contract. It will get people's attention. They will see in a very real way what the consequences of Republican policies will be."

Van Hollen added that candidates were being encouraged to use this messaging in paid media. "It could take the form of ads, it could take other forms of communication by mail, radio, or TV," he said. "This is a way that a message [about the stimulus] can be carried by individual members of Congress in their own districts. This will allow people to provide some very specific local examples."

Dems have compiled a long list of local projects that would risk losing funds if GOP plans to revoke unspent funds became a reality.

The game plan behind the strategy is two-fold. National Dems don't want their candidates to get into a debate about the overall stimulus, which Republicans have successfully messaged against. Dems think their candidates have been successful in recasting the debate in their districts by focusing on the Recovery Act's local benefits. And they hope to put the GOP on defense by forcing them to say whether they agree that stimulus projects on tap in individual districts should be cancelled.

The push to localize the stimulus highlights the core challenge Dems face: The number one problem on voters' minds is the sluggish economy, but according to polls, the central solution Dems advanced is viewed by majorities with skepticism. So this solution allows individual Dems in tough races to take the debate off the national level and put a local face on the stimulus, making the consequences of the GOP's anti-stimulus rhetoric local, personal and immediate to voters.

By Greg Sargent  | September 22, 2010; 11:08 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, economy  
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Comments

I think that in general it is well past time for the Democrats to stand behind their agenda and accomplishments. Further, they should define their agenda and accomplishments of the last two years and stop letting the GOP demonize it.

Democrats need to stop allowing themselves to be drowned in a sea of Republican lies. They can fight back, and their best weapon is the truth.

Posted by: nisleib | September 22, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Don't think qb is here, but wanted to post something in response to his comments from last night's thread. I don't accept the premise that I don't understand the conservative viewpoint. There is a difference between understanding it and allowing it to frame a debate. Often I simply don't agree sufficiently with a premise from the right to give it credence; if I just did this to be "fair," I'd waste hours and hours dignifying, in some cases, points that I find completely misguided or based on nothing coherent.

If there is anything I'll cop to, blame-wise, it's that I don't write posts that take the time to deconstruct an opposing viewpoint by first meticulously restating it then picking it apart. If I was incarcerated or otherwise had nothing but time I'd do that with relish. But I don't. I have things that take up time and so I do the best I can here. Mea Culpa.

I should probably give an example of something that I wouldn't dignify with a detailed counter-argument, but it will probably not convince. Suffice to say for now that the accumulation of wealth as the motive force for the structuring of a system of capital is NOT something I'm interested in granting as a premise. It's not even really conservative, since it has no positive or necessary relationship to culture. But of course we'd need to argue about what "culture" is and how we conceive of producing, supporting, and protecting it. Not, I repeat, NOT, by discriminating against gay people, and people of color, and ignoring the needs of the weakest among us.

After this I'm going to post a Krugman column in its entirety that makes this point better than I'm making it.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 22, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Krugman:

"Who You Gonna Believe?

I went through my mail today, and got the usual batch of letters declaring that I’m wrong about everything, and that we should do the opposite of anything I say. Hey, it’s a free country.

But I found myself wondering, as I often do, about the determination with which people believe pundits who please them ideologically, no matter how wrong they have repeatedly been — wrong in ways that, if you believed them, cost you money.

Suppose you had spent the last five years actually believing what you read from the usual suspects — the WSJ opinion pages, National Review, right-wing economists, etc.. Here’s what would have happened:

In 2006 you would have believed that there was no housing bubble.

In 2007 you would have believed that the troubles of subprime couldn’t possibly spread to the financial system as a whole.

In 2008 you would have believed that we weren’t in a recession — and that the failure of Lehman was unlikely to have bad consequences for the real economy.

In 2009 you would have believed that high inflation was just around the corner.

At the beginning of 2010 you would have believed that sky-high interest rates were just around the corner.

Now, we all make mistakes and get things wrong — although it’s striking how often the trolls on this blog feel the need to accuse yours truly of saying things I didn’t. But after this string of errors, wouldn’t you at least begin to suspect that the people you find congenial have a fundamentally wrong-headed view of how the world works?

Guess not."

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 22, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Link to the Krugman piece:

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/21/who-you-gonna-believe/

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 22, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

thanks BG. that was a great Krugman post.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 22, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

what a yawner. This idea is just the return of the sun of pork barrel spending.

yeah, like that will resonate with an angry electorate.

by standing up and touting local projects, the Democrat candidate will loudly proclaim that he or she is just part of the ear mark/pork barrel/cronyism that resulted in the demise of the Republicans in 2006 and 2008.

so, by all means Democrats, run with this idea. It should move some of the still undecided races right into the Republican win column.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 22, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Read that last night, BG, and thought about the myriad other issues that fall into the same category. Did you notice that there were very few comments from trolls trying to dispute Krugman's premise?

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 22, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Skip doesn't understand the concept of investment. We went over this in excruciating detail a few days ago.

By all means, Skippy, we will run with this. Because helping American communities thrive and prosper is what governing is all about.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 22, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Great response BG. I'll make another point regarding my conversations with a few of the right leaning posters here. Whenever I link to or mention actual numerical evidence that they are wrong, I literally get no numerical counter evidence that they are correct. It seems to be as much a matter of faith with them as they accuse us of.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 22, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

cm, because they can't, except for ideological wankings that pass for thinking and pose as facts.

You know, being smart isn't just something that falls out of the sky. You have to work at it and challenge yourself and spend a lot of time doing things (like reading, writing, arguing, being wrong and learning to be more careful) that most people, or at least many people, won't commit themselves to.

I think there is a fundamental laziness in ideological, dogmatic thinking from the right and the left. It takes the place of argument and thoughtful consideration.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 22, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

lmsinca, BG, you're both absolutely correct. We see it everyday both here and in the larger political world. People on the right are inherently UNABLE to grasp the concepts that motivate us. They simply cannot do due diligence to take a policy forward to its logical conclusion. They see spending as the end-game with no output. They see the tax rate as the be-all-end-all of their own personal financial health without contemplating the benefit THEY receive from their own tax contributions.

The vast majority of conservatives CANNOT think like we do. A minority of them can and are of such a contemptible personality that they willingly, knowingly abuse members in their own ideological camp.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 22, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Re Krugman,

I think Krugman is clutching at strawmen.

The WSJ quotes opinions from a variety of sources - money managers to pundits. Of course there will be differing opinions - that's what makes a market - and that is why investors subscribe. If they wanted cheerleading, they would subscribe to People's Momentum Daily (Investor's Business Daily). If the WSJ is interviewing a guy who manages a precious metal fund, of course he will have a view that inflation is just around the corner.

I suspect he is mainly referring to Larry Kudlow. Well, Kudlow is a perma-bull on pretty much everything, so having him downplay the financial crisis in the beginning is pretty much par for the course. FWIW, Kudlow loves the market right now.

Posted by: sold2u | September 22, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

@BG...OT but you are the man to straighten us out here.

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2020705,00.html?xid=huffpo-direct

"Emanuel, Eying Chicago Run, Could Leave the White House in October"

With all due and well earned respect for the great city of Chicago...why is everyone so desirous to become your next Mayor?

I kinda get Rahm's reasoning...his current jobs s#cks and anything would be an improvement. :-)

But if you read that article...why Luis Guitierrez? Is his House seat not safe?

I mean seriously BG...what is so intriguing about being the Mayor...of even a great city like Chicago that would lure someone to give up W.H. Chief of Staff or a cushy job as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

I guess you Windy City guys must REALLY love your fair 'berg. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 22, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

@Ethan...skippy doesn't understand much of anything...other than threatening violence.

There is not much that I think should result in a poster being banned...but when a poster asks another for his address so they can..what...that's a seriously deranged person doing the posting. Be careful of skippy he's not really that balanced.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 22, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

BGinCH - The comment section from that Krugman entry had the following:

"If you took $10,000 to invest 50 years ago, and followed the pattern of investing in the S&P 500 during GOP presidencies, and at 5% in bonds & bank accounts during Democratic presidencies, you'd have about $60,000 today.

"If you took the same $10,000 and reversed this, investing in the S&P only during Democratic presidencies, and keeping it in bonds & accounst earning 5% during GOP presidencies, you'd have about $350,000 today.

"So conservatives should again ask themselves; 'What works?'"

Posted by: nisleib | September 22, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

ruk, I'm not sure either. The financial situation is challenging, to say the least.

My guess is that it's a job that has a direct impact on a specific place. You pretty much run the city. And so you can move the pieces on the board and implement policy and so on in very direct ways.

Daley did a lot of this stuff as the head of a very powerful machine, and that has its advantages. The good things really get done. The bad news is the stuff he didn't care about got the shaft, and there was no changing it.

The thing to watch as this unfold is how the racial fractures in the city are going to start showing more than they have in the past. It's still early days.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 22, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

To All Mike, Liam, Nslieb - All you who think you are so smart and morally superior:


All your words, all your defenses of Obama will be MEANINGLESS if - as Obama is anticipating - this country "ABSORBS" ANOTHER TERRORIST ATTACK as a result of Obama's policies.


Obama WANTS TO TAKE THE RISK.


I don't - the country doesn't.


This isn't what Obama promised during the campaign - it represents another set of DECEPTIONS AND LIES FROM OBAMA.


Please don't tell it to me - Please don't type anything to me - JUST THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU WILL SAY TO THE FAMILIES OF THE DEAD AFTER OBAMA'S POLICIES LEAD TO A FEW MORE THOUSAND TERRORIST DEATHS.


What are you going to tell them Liam?


What are you going to tell them Mike in Arlington?


What are you going to tell them Ethan ?


What are you going to tell them nsleib??


What are you going to tell them rukidding?


Seriously folks - if the terrorist in Chicago had built his own bomb -


OR if the terrorist in Chicago had decided to team up with someone else who would be giving him a real bomb...


We would be having a few thousand funerals right now, THIS WEEK.


What are you going to tell the families ???

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 22, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

The Stimulus


Well the democrats need an economic plan to get the country out of the GREAT OBAMA STAGNATION, as the history books will call this period of American history.

ON the stimulus, $800 Billion Dollars was wasted.

So, is the idea being presented here - Break down the $800 Billion into smaller pieces - so it seems like LESS money was wasted ????

Sure, have the democrats say "We only wasted this amount of money here - and ONLY that much money was wasted there"

Small wastes of money - so people don't realize that the entire $800 Billion did little for JOBS CREATION.

Anyway - carry on.


I'm sure that Obama has a new six-page orders on military strategy which he will hand out to the Generals - and demand that they "agree" with it.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 22, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I don't follow, sold2u. If Krugman was talking only about Kudlow, why did he say "the WSJ opinion pages, National Review, right-wing economists, etc.." and not even mention Kudlow? Further, he didn't mention WSJ reporting, only its opinion pages. Where is the straw man?

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 22, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

@sold2u May I respectfully disagree. I don't believe Krugman is tilting at windmills or strawmen.

As a real estate investor I HATED Krugman in the mid 90's. He kept throwing cold water on our wonderful white hot bonfire. He continually pointed to the bubble in real estate...and he was one of the very few to do so. Like most people in the state of denial I resented Krugman's observations.

Hindsight being 20/20 I now realize he was right and the vast majority of ALL of us...not just economic pundits like Kudlow...but everyday Americans, mortage brokers, realtors, real estate attorneys were all very mistaken. IMHO the first step to correcting a mistake is to recognize the mistake. MOST of us made mistakes.

At least personally I DID see through the toxic derivatives. I had a real estate attorney touting a derivative package of subprime mortgages. He talked about the wonderful rate of return...when I queried about the fact that by definition weren't subprime mortgages more risky...he waved my concern away with the simple retort that they are backed by real estate...you don't have to worry if the borrowers fail.
Right! I didn't fall for that line of BS..thank heavens. But if he had someone there to sell me a Credit Default Swap from the largest insurer in the world..AIG..presumably a "reputable" company...I might have taken a completely different position. Thank heavens I'm small potatoes and didn't get offered any CDS opportunities or my finances might truly be in the sh%tter.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 22, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

What nonsense.

RUK you crossed the line. now you want to ban people with whom you disagree. Poor baby. Are those pesky conservatives saying things that make you feel all bad inside boy? Is that what's troubling you bunkie?

You declined the opportunity to call me a moron to my face. How so very manly of you. Now you what to whine about the form and content of other posters contributions here. Kettle, meet pot.


Feel free to appeal to the powers that be in reference to having me banned. I'm sure that will do wonders for your fragile childish ego.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 22, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Greg - Once again, please ban the Spam-a-lot the wingnut troll (aka STRF) before he drives away those of us with brains.

Posted by: nisleib | September 22, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

nisleib, great point from the Krugman comments. Wow.

Makes me wonder whether money is really the key to right-wing machinations, or whether it's always money+power. No wonder Mad Men is so popular....

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 22, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

skip I'm not lobbying to get you banned.

But one thing is CERTAIN. You are not manly you are simply arrogant. You wouldn't know MANLY if it slapped you in your wimpy face!!!

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 22, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

skip, moron is as moron does.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 22, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Obama just LIED again


The tarp stabilized the financial markets BEFORE Obama got in office.


Obama did the stimulus - which just wasted money on democratic pet projects - after he took office.

So - let's at least get straight WHO did what program.

Obama LOVES to blame people - but for Obama to give someone else credit - that is not something this guy does.

Obama continues to lie about the economy.

Where is Obame economic policy to get the nation out of the GREAT OBAMA STAGNATION ?

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 22, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

@ccmmauley

I was mainly referring to the WSJ, and I don't recall them saying housing was not in a bubble, or that we were not in a recession, or that subprime was not a big deal. Maybe a columnist on the editorial page did, but sticking their neck out and saying housing is not a bubble, or that we currently are or are not in a recession is not something the WSJ typically does (and I have subscribed for at least 15 years).

The right-wing economist everyone thinks about is Kudlow. That's why I assumed it was him Krugman was talking about.

Look, I used to like Krugman a lot before he became such an ideologue. I still love his academic stuff, but he has become too shrill for my tastes at the NYT.

Posted by: sold2u | September 22, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Was Skip the chucklehead who "Wasn't considering assassinating Obama... yet?"

Posted by: nisleib | September 22, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

"You know, being smart isn't just something that falls out of the sky."

I love this BG. After putting five through college we really drummed this into them.

Got my first email from France yesterday. Here is the first sentence out of her mouth.

mamacita, OMG I'm learning so much.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 22, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

@BG "The thing to watch as this unfold is how the racial fractures in the city are going to start showing more than they have in the past. It's still early days."

Thanks for the insight. I was wondering how race/ethnicity would play out. You have a successful Jewish person, a successful Hispanice, and some successful African Americans in J.J. Jr. and Carole Mosely Braun...I shall be interested to see how all of that plays out.

Here in St. Pete we went from a City Manager strong City Council form of governance about a dozen years ago to a strong Mayor...weak City Council..no City Manager. We are now on our third Mayor in that system and I do take your point that in a strong Mayor form of Municipal Government the Mayor has tremendous powers to move his agenda.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 22, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Skip, you're a moron. You don't get basic concepts. You don't understand facts. It's really easy. Get lost. Go crying back to Fox News, pathetic fool, I'm sure they really "care" about you there. They'll "take care" of you (while they're picking your pockets).

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 22, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Ethan2010 11:45 AM writes:


The vast majority of conservatives CANNOT think like we do.


_________________________________

Translation: NOT only are liberals morally superior - but their BRAINS are on a higher plane of evolution.


I think somehow the point is that liberals think about investment - but conservatives do not understand investment.

Wow - interesting concept - you guys just keep on talking to yourselves to convince yourselves you are right and superior, right?

This has nothing to do with reality right?


You do realize that you have no idea what you are talking about, right?

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 22, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

now to respond to another misguided liberal:
===========================
Skip doesn't understand the concept of investment. We went over this in excruciating detail a few days ago.

By all means, Skippy, we will run with this. Because helping American communities thrive and prosper is what governing is all about.

======================

And you were wrong then too Ethan.

In the la la land that is ethan's gestalt we are supposed to believe that by changing the words we use to describe things we somehow improve them.

Sooooo, pork barrel spending isn't actually pork barrel spending. Oh No, if we call it "investment" then it is somehow less wasteful and pernicious.

yeah, right. How much kool aid must one consume to go along with that singular studpity?
Here's an example of what Democrats have to run against: their own record. Lest you object to the source of this story, I will advise that this is from that bastion of right wing propaganda NYT:
"TOLEDO, Ohio — Just one day after leaders of the House of Representatives announced a ban on earmarks to profit-making companies, Victoria Kurtz, the vice president for marketing of a small Ohio defense contracting firm, hit on a creative way around it.

To keep the taxpayer money flowing, Ms. Kurtz incorporated what she called the Great Lakes Research Center, a nonprofit organization that just happened to specialize in the same kind of work performed by her own company — and at the same address.

Now, the center — which intends to sell the Pentagon small hollow metal spheres for body armor that the Defense Department has so far declined to buy in large quantities and may never use — has $10.4 million in new earmark requests from Representative Marcy Kaptur, Democrat of Ohio.

The congresswoman, who has received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Ms. Kurtz’s family and her business’s lobbyists, thought the quickly hatched nonprofit organization was a convenient solution.[...]"

so yeah, Ethan, call it what you will, the American people see right through you.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 22, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

"Look, I used to like Krugman a lot before he became such an ideologue. I still love his academic stuff, but he has become too shrill for my tastes at the NYT"

I agree with that. I think Krugman is highly intelligent, but I think his forays into partisanship take away from that. It isn't so much that I disagree with him, although at times I do, it is that there are SO many partisan hacks (pundits) on both sides that are compulsively intellectually dishonest that ALL pundits are starting to lose credibility in my eyes.

Posted by: nisleib | September 22, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

"mamacita, OMG I'm learning so much."

Aw! Good egg, that one. I know you're proud, lmsinca, you should be. You're a great parent, I can tell.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 22, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

@ ruk,

I don't think credit default swaps are inherently bad - we have options on stocks, why not on bonds?

I believe what AIG (and a ton of others) were doing was using CDS's as a way around Reg T, which limits the amount of leverage an investor can have on a position. If you buy a bond, you have to put up a minimum of 50%, but if you sell protection, it is completely up to the counterparty to decide how much you have to put up. In most cases, it was around 10%.

We could have prevented A LOT of the problems caused by CDSs if the SEC simply recognized that they were an end-around Reg T and demanded sellers of protection be require to put up 50%.

Hell, a simple conference call to the compliance officers of the biggest banks would have done the job.

If Krugman was bearish on real estate in the 90s, he sounds more like a perma-bear similar to Alan Abelson who hated the stock market from late 83 onward.

Posted by: sold2u | September 22, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

@lmsinca

"After putting five through college"

It seems my admiration for you grows with each passing day lmsinca. In a very genuine sense it is AMERICANS like you who restore my faith in country and alleviate some of my distress caused from the right wing reactionaries.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 22, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

"Absorp" a terrorist Attack ???


The House of Representatives - I don't care what party each one is from - should IMMEDIATELY ACT TO IMPEACH OBAMA

THIS IS A DISGRACE TO THE COUNTRY.

ANY PERSON WHO IS WILLING TO NEEDLESSLY RISK AMERICAN LIVES SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE IMMEDIATELY.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 22, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

@BGinChi: "In 2006 you would have believed that there was no housing bubble."

Unless you were listening to Glenn Beck. Or any of the folks in the Bush admin trying to call Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to task. Or any number of conservative to quasi-conservative economists who talked about the housing bubble. I don't read the WSJ, so I may have missed them pimping subprime mortgages as great investments and good for the economy.

"In 2007 you would have believed that the troubles of subprime couldn’t possibly spread to the financial system as a whole."

Unless you were actually reading some of the folks in NRO (not all them, no doubt). Or Glenn Beck who repeatedly did shows on the subject of the coming economic doom. If anything, Glenn Beck was more on the money about the coming economic calamity. Should we be listening to him about everything?

"In 2008 you would have believed that we weren’t in a recession"

Look, if you're not going to serious, Paul . . . "

"In 2009 you would have believed that high inflation was just around the corner." From who, specifically?

"At the beginning of 2010 you would have believed that sky-high interest rates were just around the corner." From who? Everybody? Only right wingers?

Boy, I sure do miss a lot.


In 2007 you would have believed that the troubles of subprime couldn’t possibly spread to the financial system as a whole.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 22, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

@sold2u

"We could have prevented A LOT of the problems caused by CDSs if the SEC simply recognized that they were an end-around Reg T and demanded sellers of protection be require to put up 50%."

I am 100% in agreement with you. Since you sound like a person who is very knowledgeable about the subject I have a question for you. I'm almost afraid of the answer.

Do you believe this problem has TRULY been addressed in our financial reform legislation? And I'm not just referring to CDS's because like you I don't find them in and of themselves troubling...insurance is insurance...but it is as you accurately point out...the LEVERAGE that caused the problem.

I guess in general sold2u I'm asking does our nation's financial system really have a grip on leverage yet?

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 22, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Skippy, what's wrong with that? It's a non-profit whose mission is to "facilitate scientific research in Northwest Ohio." It is not only legal and ethical, it sounds like a great idea to have a non-profit business that contributes back to the development of the region.

Again, you don't understand BASIC concepts. You just proved my point perfectly. Thanks moron.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 22, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Ethan at 11:45


You sound exactly like Rev. Wright - who said the brains of white children are different from the brains of black children.

What is wrong with you???

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 22, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

lms, that's a great kid you got there.

If there's a saint on this blog it's probably you.

tao is like a saint, but meaner. And ruk just has too, too many sins to qualify......

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 22, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse


The calumny that the left continually relies upon is a chicken coming home to roost. The American people are tired of the lying and name calling. The weakness of the left's position was exposed. when the best argument in support of Obama's policies is the racist slur it is clear that even the left finds its positions indefensible.

I attribute the vitriol from the left here to the denial in which many liberals now dwell. The Democrats misread the American people and the fact that the liberal agenda is still not popular has been made crystal clear. It is tough to face such massive rejection. So venting in the general direction of a handy conservative is probably more politically correct than kicking the family dog. Besides, PETA wouldn't like it if you maltreated a pet, right?

So carry on with the name calling I need the practice in considering the source.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 22, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

All, it's looking like HOuse Dems may not hold that vote on middle class tax cuts:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 22, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

SaveTheRainforest at 12:20

You sound exactly like someone who supports clear-cutting rainforests.

What's wrong with you?

Why do you never talk about the rainforests? Do you want to save the rainforests or not? How should we go about saving the rainforests, SaveTheRainforest?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 22, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

@sold2u...BTW you caught an important error in my earlier post. I should have said Krugman pointed out the bubble in the mid oughts not the mid 90's. Bad mistake on my part.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 22, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan....."Again, you don't understand BASIC concepts. You just proved my point perfectly. Thanks moron."

Uh oh. Moron? Those are fightin' words.
Now skippy will be asking for YOUR address. LMAO

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 22, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

First of all, Kevin, the Fannie/Freddie canard has been thoroughly debunked.

During the peak of the housing bubble, Fannie and Freddie basically stopped providing net lending for home purchases, while private securitizers rushed in. Yes, very late in the game FF increased their share of subprime financing, as they tried to play catchup; but that’s really off point.* The real question is, who was financing the bubble — and it wasn’t GSEs.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/21/fannie-freddie-further/

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 22, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

@BG Ohh thanks guy...for outing me on all my sins. Didn't anyone ever tell you the truth hurts. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 22, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

RUK, LOL! I'll be on the lookout for a deranged lunatic wearing a dirty Obamao t-shirt.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 22, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

This is about the crappiest political advice I have seen. Localize the porkulus? Okay, in L.A. 55 jobs created. THAT'LL energize voters!

Tea Party voters.

Posted by: illogicbuster | September 22, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

@ ruk

No, I don't believe the financial reform legislation fixed the problem.

What I truly wanted in my heart of hearts was for the legislation to mandate that CDSs become exchange traded similar to the way we trade options. By doing this, you remove the cascading counterparty risk problem, you allow closing transactions (an overlooked, but huge step in decreasing the notional amount of swaps out there), you have position limits, contract limits, open interest disclosure - all good things that would have gone a long way in ensuring something like 2008 couldn't happen again.

As far as the prop trading goes, I believe there will be exemptions for market making, which means OTC derivative books are still allowed. In any case, I am sure the banks will drive a truck through the market maker exemption rule. Also, it is looking more and more like the banks WILL keep their proprietary trading operations, but won't be funding it with their own balance sheets. Big private equity firms are now writing checks to the big investment banks to fund prop trading efforts. So prop trading will still go on, but it will be funded by outside investors. What happens if the prop desk loses so much it becomes a liability? Don't know.

Last, the investment banking business is changing rapidly. Prop trading and OTC derivatives funded a lot of loss-leader businesses like research. Commissions are so low now (half a cent a share or less) that sales and trading revenues can't support much anymore. I think research will go the way of the dodo. I also think the banking business will dry up as big hedge funds approach borrowers and offer to write a check and cut out the middleman. In short, I think the old wall street model is dead, and that banks and hedge funds will become more and more similar.

So what happens when the big hedge funds and the big banks are in the same businesses but operate under completely different rules? Dunno.

Posted by: sold2u | September 22, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

none so blind as he who will not see:
===================
Skippy, what's wrong with that? It's a non-profit whose mission is to "facilitate scientific research in Northwest Ohio." It is not only legal and ethical, it sounds like a great idea to have a non-profit business that contributes back to the development of the region.

Again, you don't understand BASIC concepts. You just proved my point perfectly. Thanks moron.

==========================

How sad to be so blinded by ideology. Its a scam Ethan. The Democrats said "no more earmarks for profit making firms" So Kaptur and one of her largest campaign contributors devised a scam to circumvent this. the not for profit was created exclusively to grab federal cash as a return for support to Kaptur.

the taxpayers are getting screwed. A private firm gets millions to develop something to sell to the government. Just plain wrong. Glad guys like you are on the way out. America can only afford so much abject stupidity and you're clearly endowed with more than most.

Kaptur is struggling against this right now. She's facing a self funder who, unlike prior opponents, is able to insure that shenanigans such as this are made very public.

Once again, I ask that Democrats run on the stimulus. It should do wonders for the Republicans this year.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 22, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

"the not for profit was created exclusively to grab federal cash as a return for support to Kaptur."

Are you saying there is illegal activity going on with the non-profit?

Because if that's what you're saying, where's your proof, moron?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 22, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

@sold2u

Wow! Thanks for a very informative answer.
Alas as I feared you're not providing me with much comfort or security.

But I do respect that you are knowledgeable about how our financial markets work and you express your knowledge without heavy ideological overtones....always welcome on a blog where the partisan rancor sometimes obscures the truth.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 22, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

oh, one other thing. Ms Kaptur is clearly desperate. she recently ran a hit ad against her opponent. The problem is, even the union leader whose support of a democrat should be beyond question, stated that the ad was a lie.

It has been a long time since Ms Kaptur faced a serious opponent. Yes, she has a lot of money. Money that, as I noted above, was given in the expectation of favors.
she rattled and I'm ecstatic. As I recall she was part of the stupak group that sold out on abortion. I wonder how that's selling in Toledo these days.

So again, by all means Democrats, run on your record!

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 22, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Ah! Nice proof, moron. That's what I thought.

You raise questions that you can't answer intelligently.

You are a disingenuous freak, lying fool.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 22, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

BG (quoting Krugman):

"In 2006 you would have believed that there was no housing bubble."

Interesting. Well, if you listened to Krugman himself, in 2002 you would have believed that a housing bubble was just what we needed.

"To fight this recession the Fed needs more than a snapback; it needs soaring household spending to offset moribund business investment. And to do that, as Paul McCulley of Pimco put it, Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble."

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/02/opinion/dubya-s-double-dip.html?scp=4&sq=krugman%20mcculley%20bubble&st=cse

And if you were listening to Krugman just last year, you would believe that the creation of a new economic bubble is just what we need now. From an interview in Spain last year:

"To be honest, a new bubble now would help us out a lot even if we paid for it later. This is a really good time for a bubble...There was a headline in a satirical newspaper in the US last summer that said: "The nation demands a new bubble to invest in" And that’s pretty much right."

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/17/and-i-was-on-the-grassy-knoll-too/?apage=5#comment-187725

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 22, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

ScottC,

How will a flat tax -- that hikes taxes on the poor and gives the wealthy a MASSIVE tax cut -- benefit the economy?

You have provided NO evidence to back up your ludicrous, oppressive ideology.

Let's see it. Put up or shut up. Hard evidence, not opinion. Let's go. Enough of your BS games.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 22, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Ethan:

"How will a flat tax...benefit the economy?"

It would, of course, depend entirely on the level implemented.

And, as you surely are aware (unless you are even more obtuse than I've already surmised), economic benefit is not the sole consideration. A 0% tax would be spectacular for the economy, but the government would need to find aother funding mechanism. A 100% tax would be disastrous for the economy, but it would certainly get rid of the wealth disparities that you lament.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 22, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

why would dems want to remind people of something the people think failed miserably? it also forces them to face the fact that unemployment has been over 9.0% for the past 16 months and will stay there up to election day.

Posted by: dummypants | September 22, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

ScottC,

Thanks for admitting you have no factual defense to your indefensible oppressive disgusting position.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 22, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

scott, why waste time with Ethan? At this point all I see from him is rants and name calling. You make good points, he demonstrates immaturity.

Heckling can be fun for a while, but Ethan seems like a waste of 02

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 22, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

STRF: all Obama said was that we are strong enough to absorb another attack, not that he wasn't doing everything in his power to prevent one. do you disagree?

as for the democrat strategy, it makes sense. republicans, for good or ill, have sold the baloney that the stimulus was reckless spending, never mind that they know better and would have done it themselves. that leaves pointing to the road project the average commuter is eagerly awaiting completion of to ease the commute, which has a "funded by ARRA" sign on it, and saying Republicans want to cut this and the jobs it brings.

works for me. I see one of those signs everywhere I travel.

Posted by: JoeT1 | September 22, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Where's your EVIDENCE Skippy?

Where's your EVIDENCE ScottC?

Oh right. YOU HAVE NONE!

HAHA!

Pathetic.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 22, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I really hope that the Democrats will run on the stimulus. It should do wonders for the election chances of the republicans.

I say this because if we're going to use the stimulus as part of the campaign, then the Republicans can use ALL of it, every aspect.

sure the dems can point to the same old fashioned pork barrell that used to work, but I can't imagine an incensed american population settling for a few miles of new paving VS the enormous gift to over paid state employees for example.

And then we can talk about how slow joe was supposed to be monitoring it. Seen a report lately? Or we can recall all the truly stupid projects upon which hard earned money was wasted.

yeah. bring it. It will work wonders for the new congressional majority starting in 2011

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 22, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

"Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 22, 2010 5:21 PM"

Having fun talking to yourself?

Freakin looney tunes.

If you want to present evidence of the illegal wrongdoing you implied earlier, I'd love to see it.

Oh wait. YOU DON'T HAVE ANY!

Skip = C-r-A-z-Y

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 22, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

This is what must happen to "Stimulate" the
economy:

When you are the owner of a small business or an executive in a large corporation and have P&L responsibility you must develop and implement long and short range business plans. That includes cost to produce factors. You must consider such factors as Labor Rates, Employee Benefits, Taxes at all levels and meteriel required to manufacture your products. The Government has been talking about actions that would add to those costs, such as cap and trade, health care and allowing the Bush Tax Cuts to expire. They have not made decisions (Obama) and it it creates a major problem. To detail a major business plan, you must identify future costs. If you are waiting for the Federal Government, Obamma & Co, to make decisions that will affect your cost to produce factors, you will not invest, hire or develop new procucts. Here is what would help us move off this point of stagnation and build the economy:

1. Continue the Bush Tax cuts for everybody.

2. Reduce or eliminate capital gains tax.

3. Eliminate the Obama Health Care Plan

4. Move away from Cap and Trade

5. Stop this erratic concern about Climate Change, Climate Disruption.

ANNOUNCE THESE CHANGES AND THE ECONOMY WILL REALIZE ROBUST GROWTH OVERNIGHT.


THAT IS WHY MAJOR AND EVEN SMALL BUSINESSES ARE NOT INVESTING. THEy WANT TO MAINTAIN A VIABLE CASH POSITION!!

Posted by: veritas7 | September 22, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

skip:

"scott, why waste time with Ethan?"

Boredom, I suppose. Plus even though he isn't really interested in (or, it seems, even capable of) understanding my points, others might be.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 22, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Most of the stimulus money went to fulfill the contracted pay raises and bonuses for civil workers. You think telling people that have been laid off from their own jobs that they should be happy that their local bureaucrat was able to afford their 4-week vacation this year will win Democrats votes?

Posted by: cprferry | September 22, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

It will be a hard sell considering most of the stimulus went to state governments so they could hand it out to loyal Democrat trade unionists.

Consider CA. Boxer has to explain to the people how all this stimulus was responsible for an unemployment rate of nearly 13% and no hope in the near future.

I'd love to hear her talking points on this issue.

Traveling throughout the Bay Area I can't recall seeing one project that put thousands of people to work.

Instead the money went to ensure that public employees could retire at 50 with a huge pension.

Put quite simply the fraud and the Ponzi scheme has been exposed and People are angry with the Democratic Party.

And righteously so!

Posted by: krankyman | September 22, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

ScottC,

Is that why every time I ask you to provide evidence for your oppressive tax regime you RUN FOR THE HILLS?

It's pretty easy to get bored from a debate you're too chickens__t to have.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 22, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

"DCCC chair Chris Van Hollen thinks he has a solution: He says in an interview that House Democrats are being urged to undertake a hard push in the homestretch of the elections to localize the Recovery Act. Candidates, he says, should stress that if Republicans are elected to Congress, stimulus projects in specific districts -- and all the jobs they would create -- might get scrapped before they ever get off the ground.

Van Hollen says incumbents and candidates are being advised to seize on a recent speech by John Boehner, in which the House GOP leader suggested that canceling "unspent" stimulus funds would be one good way to :put the brakes on Washington's out-of-control spending spree."

This makes no sense on a logical basis. If the money is unspent and no jobs have been created, how can the Dems take credit for creating jobs with the stimulus money? Please don't ever have Van Hollen defend me on trial for my life! I'm a Dem , and we're supposed to be teliing people that the stimulus has either created jobs or saved them ALREADY. Otherwise, how can you defend the billions involved? Now he wants to say "and all the jobs they would create -- might get scrapped before they ever get off the ground." Hey Chris, THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO BE ONGOING BY NOW, REMEMBER SHOVEL READY? So do you think since Mehlman is gay he might want to switch teams. He's got to be better than this guy!

Posted by: 54465446 | September 22, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

sold2u:

You have some intersting theories. On average more buildings are set on fire in Detroit every day than the number of Americans who understood your first paragraph though.

I try to explain that the collapse of the worldwide economy was either Bush nor Obama's fault, but if it falls on any one person more than others, that would be Phil Gramm, (ably assisted by his charming wife Wendy in her CFTC days) They usually walk away shaking their heads at that point.

Posted by: 54465446 | September 22, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

last post should have read "neither Bush nor Obama's fault"

Posted by: 54465446 | September 22, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

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