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Sunday Open Thread

I hope you're enjoying your holiday, all. The next eight weeks are going to get pretty hectic and crazy.

By Greg Sargent  |  September 5, 2010; 8:09 AM ET
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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Next: Labor Day Roundup

Comments

In honor of Labor Day I think it's a good time to remember how hard Unions, the working and middle class together worked to enact some of the programs we are trying to protect in this election cycle and probably the next. There is a lot of lobbying going on across the US to dismantle some of these protections and safety nets, we need to keep focused on saving and even strengthening them.

Drowning the government in a bathtub is neither a governing philosophy nor the best way to restore a vibrant middle class. If we adopt and vote in the austerity philosophy does anyone really think the burden will be shared across the economic spectrum? Or will the middle class, working class, veterans and seniors carry the burden?

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

"America's corporate chieftains must love poor people, for they're doing all they can to create millions more of them.

They're knocking down wages, offshoring everything from manufacturing jobs to high tech, reducing full-time work to part-time, downsizing our workplaces, busting unions, cutting health care coverage and canceling pensions -- while also lobbying in Washington to privatize Social Security, eliminate job safety protections, restrict unemployment benefits, kill job-creating programs and increase corporate control of our elections.

Social Security, wage AND hour laws, collective bargaining rights, unemployment compensation, the GI Bill, the interstate highway program, civil rights laws, Medicare, Head Start -- and more -- provided the national framework necessary to sustain a middle class for the American Majority."

http://www.alternet.org/economy/148047/hightower%3A_if_you_don%27t_fight_for_the_middle_class%2C_kiss_it_good-bye/?page=1

Posted by: lmsinca | September 5, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Sharon Angle news.

We'll recall that after she won the primary, her prior website (with its awkward extremisms) was taken down and replaced by a new, improved and sanitized site. But to keep those older Angleisms from being disappeared, Dems reposted the old site intact. Angle's handlers were unamused at the continuing transparency and threatened to sue. Their legal position was infringement of copyright (an odd strategy, many thought, but as I pointed out here it is the main strategy that the Church of Scientology uses to disappear embarrassing content being posted on the web).

And today, we get this story:

"A company has sued Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle, claiming she reprinted two Las Vegas Review-Journal articles on her campaign website without permission.

Las Vegas-based Righthaven is seeking unspecified damages in its complaint filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/04/AR2010090403969.html?hpid=politics

As a side note, I don't know how common it is for print or web publications to police copyright in the manner this journal is using (via a third party entity). Does anyone?

Posted by: bernielatham | September 5, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

"America's corporate chieftains must love poor people, for they're doing all they can to create millions more of them."

Dead on, except that the subject of the sentence should be "America's liberal ruling class." Or just "Democrats and the bloated government bureaucracy."

Unions have done wonders for the American auto industry. Heck, they've done wonders for the entire rust belt. But now they've really found the answer: Take over and unionize government.

Government bureaucracy is now the highest paying industry in the country, and the government just keeps growing, and growing. And as long as they can keep their liberal sponsors in power and the populace weak, addicted and needy, they have found the way to live indefinitely off of their hosts.

I can't wait for the union violence and thuggery this election cycle.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 5, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Imagine, if you will, a small village in Wyoming or Florida where the population is nearly all made up of followers of a conservative Sunni sect and signs are posted around the village politely asking visitors to refrain from baring their legs.

A case lesson in selective religious tolerance in America... http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/05/ground-zero-civil-liberties-paul-harris

Posted by: bernielatham | September 5, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

"Union thuggery". Good grief. A proper conception of the history of unions in America must really include those examples of nurses and firemen wading into crowds of corporate boards of directors and beating them senseless (and murdering many) with truncheons.

My dad was a union organizer, as it happens. In the mid to late sixties when I first became politically active working for the young liberals in canada, I ordered up the largest size of "Vote Liberal" lawn sign for the family house. Right beside it on our front lawn was another, "Vote New Democrat" (the further left, pro-union party) that Dad had ordered up. They were both up for several months.

Dad was a thug. Clearly.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 5, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

As usual qb we are on opposite sides of a huge divide. One could also say that with the decline of Unions in this country the prosperity of the middle class has also fallen.

In reality though, it is the rising costs of health care that is affecting businesses large and small as well as the cost of government.

Bush had 8 years to bring about some change to our HC system but it took a Democratic Congress and President to tackle that issue. Is the legislation perfect, obviously not, but it begins to address the problem.

Republicans are already gleefully plotting to hold up the funding of parts of the legislation if they regain control of Congress. Between that, the systematic dismantling of successful safety net programs and bogus investigations forgive me for not being too thrilled with the prospect.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 5, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Yes, lmsinca, yes yes yes. Unions are what made this country what it is, and for that we should ALL be thankful.

Unfortunately, Republicans have a deep hatred for working people and go out of their way to prostrate themselves for the corporate elite - typically Republican - robber barron bosses.

But yes, it is LABOR DAY so we should give thanks and support for all working people. Thank you ALL workers of America, especially union employees!

Maybe Republicans can create their own holiday that better suits their agenda. Perhaps it should be called Rape the American Dream Day. They can bow down in prayer and prostrate themselves on the altar of the Almighty Dollar, they can remember historical figures who ran the monopolies of the 19th century, they can advocate for their favorite policies - ending the minimum wage, cutting taxes for the rich, and redistributing wealth from the middle class to the rich - and they can sit back with a glass of the finest champagne and remember "The Good Old Days" before child labor laws, workplace safety laws, and environmental laws were enacted.

God Bless the Corporate States of America! One nation under profit, with Liberty and Justice for the few who can afford it.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 5, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Yes, lmsinca, yes yes yes. Unions are what made this country what it is, and for that we should ALL be thankful.

Unfortunately, Republicans have a deep hatred for working people and go out of their way to prostrate themselves for the corporate elite - typically Republican - robber barron bosses.

But yes, it is LABOR DAY so we should give thanks and support for all working people. Thank you ALL workers of America, especially union employees!

Maybe Republicans can create their own holiday that better suits their agenda. Perhaps it should be called Rape the American Dream Day. They can bow down in prayer and prostrate themselves on the altar of the Almighty Dollar, they can remember historical figures who ran the monopolies of the 19th century, they can advocate for their favorite policies - ending the minimum wage, cutting taxes for the rich, and redistributing wealth from the middle class to the rich - and they can sit back with a glass of the finest champagne and remember "The Good Old Days" before child labor laws, workplace safety laws, and environmental laws were enacted.

God Bless the Corporate States of America! One nation under profit, with Liberty and Justice for the few who can afford it.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 5, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Regarding the Weekly Standard's Matthew Continetti, let me say right off the top that I will always continue to insist that his walk is more manly than that of Sarah Palin, Anne Coulter or even Margaret Thatcher. I insist this is so. Further, I harbor not the slightest notion that he and Ken Mehlman have had a vital, on again/off again, sexual relationship. I wanted this all clearly understood before I begin.

OK, then.

I just noticed that in his present piece at the WS, Matt (I-Could-Be-A-Marine!) Continetti has sub-headed the piece with this grammatical formulation:

"the Obamacrats..."

It's not a new trick, of course, to suggest High Socialism through this particular formulation (we'll not bother with the "Why does Obama have all those Czars?" thing). But it's just so trite and cliched.

Much better (and certainly more accurate) is Perlstein's formulation to describe the "we don't need no stinking regulations on free enterprise goodness and purity" modern movement as "E Coli Conservativism".

Posted by: bernielatham | September 5, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

That's a pleasant anecdote, Bernie.

Republicans hate working people? No, more like we are working people.

No one in my family had gone past eighth grade before me. Not even aunts or uncles. They were dirt poor. I worked fingers to bone to get an education and scrape together a tenuous middle class life. I have faced a union that fought to keep me unemployed.

My father in law was a uaw member. He could tell first hand how their greed and overreaching strangled GM.

My father

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 5, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

The change in attitudes towards unions over my lifetime has been quite drastic.

But it didn't happen by accident or coincidence. It was a fundamental target of the Chamber of Commerce crowd and associated ideologues. Reagan, Thatcher (and, in Canada, Mulroney) each signed on to the Hayeckian program and worked purposefully to diminish the reputation, the power and the influence of unions.

But there was another strategy in here as well - "defunding the left" as a means to increase electoral opportunities.

Keep your eye on this strategic ploy. One doesn't see a lot of references to it in normal media coverage (though Bachmann used it publicly a few months ago) but a study of Rove or Norquist turns it up quite quickly. It was one of the compelling rationales for Bush's establishment of the Faith-Based Initiatives program (which Marvin Olasky had been pushing for some years earlier) - if funding could be directed away from government agencies with their union memberships which had previously been doing drug rehab or other such tasks and then redirected towards non-union agencies, a whole class of unionized government jobs would disappear. And, of course, there's the added benefit of that funding now going to Evangelical groups who could be counted on to support the GOP (and almost all of this funding went, contrary to assurances made during the program PR and set-up) went to Evangelical groups rather than other faiths or sects.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 5, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

When you pay your property tax bills, remember that those taxes are much higher as a result of union demands and union influence.


Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 5, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

"My father in law was a uaw member. He could tell first hand how their greed and overreaching strangled GM."

No he couldn't. Unless you wish to grant such a level of insight and knowledge to any clerk or bagger at Safeway to tell you why that company is seeing a diminishing share of the retail food business (if it is).

Posted by: bernielatham | September 5, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Ethan2010 9:38 AM


I remember everytime the unions forced a labor agreement with the auto companies - someone would come the television and comment that the agreement was just kicking the real costs down the road - and that someday the whole thing would be unsustainable.

Seriously folks - everyone in American was put on notice time and time again that the unions were asking for too much - but the costs of the strikes would be too much.

Today - union negotiations with towns and counties are conducted in secret - the public is rarely told what is in the contracts - and the COSTS are just added to the budgets.

The Federal budgets, State budgets and local budgets are FILLED with democratic programs - and democratic union contracts - built in debt machines.


The whole thing adds up to a national disgrace.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 5, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

The "conventional wisdom" across the conservative airwaves wants to blame public employees for the rising cost of government and public employee unions for the so-called problem. Here's a report that dispels that myth.

If you want to talk waste in government, we could maybe find some agreement. I believe that Obama already identified a few problem areas and eliminated them to the tune of millions. When I have more time I'll try to find the specific info.

Right now, the kiddies are waking up and waiting for their blueberry pancakes.

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

"In this report we use publicly available data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, along with an established methodology used by researchers since the 1970s, to compare worker earnings across and between private, state, and local sectors."

"The analysis finds that:
Public and private workforces differ in important • ways. For instance, jobs in the public sector require much more education on average than those in the private sector. Employees in state and local sectors are twice as likely as their private sector counterparts to have a college or advanced degree.
Wages and salaries of state and local employees are • lower than those for private sector workers with comparable earnings determinants (e.g., education). State employees typically earn 11 percent less; local workers earn 12 percent less.
Over the last 20 years, the earnings for state and • local employees have generally declined relative to comparable private sector employees.
The pattern of declining relative compensation • remains true in most of the large states we examined, although some state-level variation exists.
Benefits (e.g., pensions) comprise a greater share of • employee compensation in the public sector.
State and local employees have lower total • compensation than their private sector counterparts. On average, total compensation is 6.8 percent lower for state employees and 7.4 percent lower for local workers, compared with comparable private sector employees.
This recession calls for equal sacrifice, but long-term patterns indicate that the average compensation of state and local employees is not excessive. Indeed, if the goal is to compensate public and private workforces in a comparable manner, then the data do not call for reductions in average state and local wages
and benefits."

http://www.slge.org/vertical/Sites/%7BA260E1DF-5AEE-459D-84C4-876EFE1E4032%7D/uploads/%7B03E820E8-F0F9-472F-98E2-F0AE1166D116%7D.PDF

Posted by: lmsinca | September 5, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Greenwald has a piece up that some, I suspect, will have some trouble reading. He offers a perspective on how the Pentagon has used MSNBC, including Olbermann and Maddow, to forward a particular propaganda narrative...
http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/09/03/iraq/index.html

One could surely make the case that these two had their own purposes facilitated in this but the other perspective is, to me, compelling. The Pentagon has put a lot of money and brainpower into understanding how to manipulate broad public opinion and they are far better at this game than most people realize.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 5, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Today's bernie-recommended read...

"An Israeli attack on Iran would almost certainly precipitate a devastating regional war with unforeseeable global consequences."
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/02/opinion/02iht-edaslan.html?_r=1&ref=global&pagewanted=all

ps, it's actually a recommendation from Josh Marshall, but he's right.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 5, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

There are stories out there - some people in Indiana or Ohio - the kids growing up had a choice between going to college or going to work at a union auto plant.


The union guys all had two houses - an extra house at a lake somewhere with a boat - all they did was go drinking on the weekends on their boats in the summer.


At the time, they laughed at the guys who went to college - the guys going to college didn't do as well.

I don't know where the proper points are - but the whole thing was completely out of control.


The US taxpayer has to bail the whole mess out now - the wall street firms and the auto unions got the bail-outs - and the rest of us got the bills.

What a ridiculous solution to this mess - but at some point, Americans have to realize that the "protected classes" of this country were Wall Street bankers and unions.


Go ahead, say whatever you want, but if on is thinking clearly, it is enough to make one vomit.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 5, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

test

Posted by: bernielatham | September 5, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

The DCCC is beginning to set up a plan to cut loose sitting democratic Congressmen.


Quite an outrageous situation.


Obama CAUSED this situation - Obama wouldn't listen to anyone. If Obama had ONE SHRED OF PERSONAL HONOR, he would be resigning and sparing everyone in his party the anger of the voters.

Instead, the DCCC is now deciding WHO ELSE will lose their jobs.


It is not the color of one's skin, but the content of one's character.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 5, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

IRONY

IN the middle of the Iraq speech in which Obama refused to say that he was wrong about the Surge, or give George Bush credit for making the right decision for our national security,


Right in the middle of the speech, Obama says that his primary role is the economy.

So instead of saying he was wrong about the Surge, Obama says he was WRONG about the economy for the past year and a half.

It was stupid to place health care first, because health care is going to get undone.

It just show such a lack of decision-making ability - a lack of judgement. Obama is just not up for the job.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 5, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Not sure what the hell is going on here but I can't paste in (even when modified) Matt Yglesias' post on the revelation from Blairs book that Cheney wanted to initiate wars with everybody [Blair's words here] "...would have worked through the whole lot, Iraq, Syria, Iran, dealing with all their surrogates in the course of it – Hizbollah, Hamas, etc"
http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/09/blair-cheney-wanted-war-with-syria/

Posted by: bernielatham | September 5, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

And under the "Of course they are" category...

"Koch Industries Trying to Kill California Climate Legislation"

http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/09/koch-industries-trying-to-kill-california-climate-legislation/

And Matt makes the important point that these two people probably imagine they are the good guys.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 5, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

SaveTheRainforest,

You're such a racist.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 5, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

The duel in Delaware...

"Indeed, the Delaware GOP doesn’t even list O’Donnell as a candidate on its website.

As Dave Weigel notes, these statements are “some swipe from the GOP.” If O’Donnell wins next Tuesday’s primary, will the Delaware GOP even support a candidate they view as dishonest and unelectable?"
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/09/04/delaware-tea-party/

Posted by: bernielatham | September 5, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

SaveTheRainforest hates black people. This is why he talks about the Presidents race every day. He's obsessed about Obama being black.

Come on SaveTheRainforest, tell everyone how much you hate the fact the President is black and get that burden off your chest.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 5, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Bernie

I will bite on that one -


If the Israelis really believe that their situation is "existential" as the article you cite says - there is another option.

The other option is game-changing concessions to the Palestinians - giving them back ALL of the land seized in 1967 AND a massive chunk of land sized in the 1940s.


People seem to not remember that the UN originally divided up Palestine - giving the Palestinians HALF of the land which Israel had from the 1940s to 1967.


This is the REAL dispute.


If Israel gave back half of Jerusalem - and agreed to the right of return for Palestinians to the pre-1967 land which is given BACK to the Palestinians, then a REAL PEACE DEAL is in the works.

Obviously, security guarantees would have to be put in place - but clearly security concessions on the West Bank could be made by the Palestinians if they were getting generous concessions elsewhere.


Two generations of American diplomats have now given up on a peace in Palestine - the ONLY solution is a generous deal.


This conflict will NOT be settled with the idea that Israeli military superiority should yield a deal tilted far in the Israeli direction.


The reason is that the Arabs are now seeking to even up that balance of power - or put Israel on the weaker end of that military balance of power - and Israel for the past 40 years has set the rules for what happens when one side is stonger.


The Jews have not treated the Palestinians the way they would like to have been treated - and that central truth has prevented a peace agreement up to now.

If the Israelis really want PEACE, make peace right now and do everything which is needed - generous concessions - otherwise who know what will happen.


.
.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 5, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Why, I'm wondering, do people bother to read his posts? Mike?

Posted by: bernielatham | September 5, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

@ bernielatham
RE:Sharron Angle News
"As a side note, I don't know how common it is for print or web publications to police copyright in the manner this journal is using (via a third party entity). Does anyone?"
--------------------------------------
The service doing the "copyright trolling business" is a company called Righthaven. You can read more from the archives @ Techdirt to follow the complete story (it's been going on for a while): http://techdirt.com/search.php?q=Righthaven&eid=&tid=&aid=&searchin=stories

Posted by: craigpost | September 5, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Wow so SaveTheRainforest hates the Jews too.

Not surprised.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 5, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

lmsinca 10:21 AM


This post is completely silly - take a look at ANY government budget in the country - State, County and local - crammed with high-cost union contracts.


That is the truth, you can type until you are blue in the face -


The American taxpayers are paying a MASSIVE BILL.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 5, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

You're right. I'll ignore his race baiting rants from now on. He can enjoy talking to himself.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 5, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse


Hiya, Bernie! Just taking a break from a long hibernation, and the first comment I stumbled on was your Bill Kristol analysis. Great insight and beautifully articulated.

It reminded me there's a downside to operating in hermit mode overlong :-)

FYI, though I included "clickable links to comments" in my Wish List to Greg a while ago, such things actually already exist. It just takes a little work to deduce them -- you've gotta view the source HTML.

E.g., here's a link to the comment I mentioned above:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/09/open_thread_3.html#c5962158

BTW, I might be visiting a friend in the Portland area pretty soon. He and his family live out in Boring. I thought I might also spend some time in the city. Any recommendations for a pub to hang out at?

Posted by: jzap | September 5, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

One thing that strikes me about conservatives an American Labor... They never seek to level the playing field abroad, instead they seek to subjugate American workers so they are working poor. Forget "Free Trade" agreements. We should be negotiating FAIR TRADE agreements with countries that abide by the same age, gender, race, and environmental regulations that we make corporations abide by here.
But no, Republicans attack American workers for having the utter GALL of expecting to be able to achieve the American Dream. HOW DARE THEY!

American workers are not worthy Americans, like the rich. No, the working class must be made to SUFFER in America so the corporate elite can buy a 3rd or 4th yacht and a 3rd or 4th mansion.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 5, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

One thing that strikes me about conservatives an American Labor... They never seek to level the playing field abroad, instead they seek to subjugate American workers so they are working poor. Forget "Free Trade" agreements. We should be negotiating FAIR TRADE agreements with countries that abide by the same age, gender, race, and environmental regulations that we make corporations abide by here.
But no, Republicans attack American workers for having the utter GALL of expecting to be able to achieve the American Dream. HOW DARE THEY!

American workers are not worthy Americans, like the rich. No, the working class must be made to SUFFER in America so the corporate elite can buy a 3rd or 4th yacht and a 3rd or 4th mansion.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 5, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Well, I'm off to enjoy the day. Take care.

SaveTheRainforest, get a life you race baiting loser.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 5, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

mikefromArlington 10:56 AM


Ha ha ha exactly which statement are you referring to ?


There was a day when being a racist actually meant buring crosses, wearing sheets and lynching blacks.

Now one can be a racist for wanting to cut a budget - or disagreeing with a democrat.

That is Obama's and the democrats' version of a Post Racial America.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 5, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Mike from Arlington


That is TWO personal attacks from you today - all against the terms of service.


And both untrue.

I'm half black and half Jewish by the way.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 5, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

The hostile comments from other posters here really should stop.


Everyone should try to have a civil discussion, even if one does not agree.


The hostile comments start fights - and the hostility includes telling everyone to ignore someone - therefore advocating the shutting down of conversation.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 5, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

It is so important for the nation to VOTE OBAMA OUT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 4, 2010 2:01 PM

........................

The most unintentionally funny line, posted by a Short Bus Teabagger, in quite some time.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 5, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

last comment then I'm out the door.

SaveTheRainforest,

You're the race baiting idiot that brings race into every single thread, EVERY SINGLE ONE.

Every time you say Democrats are racist or playing the race card or bring race into their arguments you're making that claim against anyone that votes Democratic, which includes me.

I only made those ridiculous claims about you to make you realize its YOU that brings it up on a daily basis. It's YOU who sees a racial aspect to every political argument.

It is YOU who makes personal racial attacks on Democrats in general every day.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 5, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

And what the hell does half Jewish mean anyways?

That doesn't even make sense.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 5, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

The original Reagan Democrat is (drum roll)

wait for it......................that's right........................none other than......................................

Ronald Reagan.

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

Aside from the sheer pleasure derived from hearing right-winger’s heads exploding all over America, this archived radio broadcast of a liberal Democrat by the name of Ronald Reagan campaigning for President Truman, as well as soon-to-be liberal lion Hubert H. Humphrey, presents an important lesson to Democrats everywhere.

In the radio address, the Gipper is:

- For wage growth

- For Social Security

- For union and fair employment practices

- For school lunch programs

- Against tax cuts for the wealthy

- Against excessive corporate profits

And the money quote? “High prices have not been caused by higher wages.”

http://thedonkeyedge.com/2010/09/03/the-original-reagan-democrat/

h/t Digby

Posted by: lmsinca | September 5, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Mike from Arlington and Ethan


Being half black and half white, just like Obama - I am mainly upset with Obama because his deceptions and lies have made it MORE DIFFICULT for blacks to advance now.


Who is going to vote for any blacks now that Obama has gone through this fiasco ?


After Obama lying his way through 2008, with a deceptive campaign - and then turning so sharply away from his own words, Obama has made it extremely difficult for ANYONE to trust black candidates -


And that goes in the business world as well as the political world.


AND the False Charges of Racism are not only baseless but ridiculous and counter-productive.


Obama has PERSONALLY set back race relations 30 - 40 years - and who knows when there will be a recovery.


It is entirely possible we have to wait another 30 years for race relations to be back where they were in 2007.

And jokers like you are making it worse.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 5, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

QB:

You said: ""My father in law was a uaw member. He could tell first hand how their greed and overreaching strangled GM."

Bernie replied: "No he couldn't."

QB, could you please in the future have the decency to fact-check your familiy's biography with Bernie before posting? He does, afterall, know everything about everyone.

(Although, I have to admit, trusting the assertions of someone who bizarrely seems to believe that UAW and General Motors are in the retail food business may not be a great idea.)

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 5, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

@Q.B. I feel ya brother. Sincerely...kudos to you for working your way to your current position. Forgive me however for reminding you that you really didn't do it alone. While your effort is truly laudable it wouldn't have succeeded without the help of many who have gone before you. These are the people lmsinca, Ethan, Liam, myself and others are talking about.

I'm posting this because Q.B. I do understand where you're coming from. My mother finished the 10th grade...my father the 7th. My dad was a bookie by trade who sometimes gambled in other ways on the side. In 1956 my father won $10,000 in a card game. That was a HUGE amount in 1956 and certainly HUGE by our family's standards. My father was a wife beating, alcoholic neer do well who literally provided me with zero parenting...other than the horrors I've had to deal with, and my shame as that as a five year old I hid under the bed and wet my pants while my father beat my mother's head against the wall and I literally feared for her life. I have volunteered for combat zones, jumped out of airplanes, ridden bulls in a rodeo ring, ridden motorcycles at over 100 mph all in a vain effort to prove my bravery and erase the stigma of cowardice that I have lived under since my youngest days of not defending my mother.

I write this again not for pity...I am one of the most fortunate people in our lovely land...but to illustrate that we do not operate in a vacuum. My mother convinced my father to take the $10,000 and buy a house in a neighboring community. Beginning in the 4th grade I was transported from a school system where the Fonz would have been a hero...making good grades was considered being a pu7ssy and you were unpopular (kind of like acting white in other communities) to a school system where the kids were children of Doctors, Attorneys, Accountants, Architects and other professionals. These kids actually COMPETED to be Valedictorian or Salutatorian. I was fortunate to become a National Merit Finalist (something I'm sure wouldn't have happened in the first school system) and basically it was because my father won $10,000.

I've enjoyed a "relatively" :-) successful career in broadcasting. I could have been far more successful but I have no regrets.
And as much as I would like to boast about all the hours...the 80 hour weeks as a Sports Director...the endless hours in production studios trying to improve my delivery...I realize that I did NONE OF THIS by myself. I deserve "some" credit..but there are far too many others for me to name...and my point is...we shouldn't fall prey to hubris..it's really not simply OUR effort that has us where we are today...and while IMHO the U.S. is the greatest nation on earth...it's certainly far from a pure meritcracy...more in next post..

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 5, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Not sure if it has been mentioned here already so apologies if it has,but, the latest issue of the The New Yorker has an article on the Koch Brothers.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | September 5, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Q.B And so to finish my thoughts...I DO get why you feel the way you do. We have been raised to believe that the poor are simply lazy...that America is the land of opportunity. Yet that "opportunity" at upward mobility is shrinking.

http://www.brookings.edu/press/Books/2009/creatinganopportunitysociety.aspx

"Some might think that America already presents people with lots of opportunity to get ahead. But it turns out that you NEED TO PICK YOUR PARENTS WELL, OR HAVE ONE OF THEM WIN $10,000). True, there is considerable mobility from one generation to the next, but the American economy tends to help those at the top stay there while making it difficult for those at the bottom to move up. Kids from families in the bottom 20 percent of the income distribution are nearly five times as likely to wind up in the bottom 20 percent as kids from families in the top 20 percent. Similarly, CHILDREN FROM OTHER ADVANCED COUNTRIES ARE LESS LIKELY TO BE STUCK AT THE BOTTOM OF THE INCOME DISTRIBUTION THAN CHILDREN IN THE U.S!!"

Cap emphasis is mine. Q.B. you remind me of my mother. She is a nice compassionate lady. But like you Q.B. she is OBSESSED with her perception of fairness. As a practicing Christian she is well aware of the Bible..yet to this day because of that almost blind devotion to HER perception of fairness, she hates Jesus' parable about the "Prodigal Son".

As I assume you do as well Q.B. I am not encouraged when I see a welfare teenage mother have yet another child out of wedlock that she can't possibly afford to raise or parent properly. That is a problem. But it pales in comparison to the problem of very clever people on Wall Street creating monsters like Credit Default Swaps..or bozos like the Koch brothers who INHERIT a billion dollar empire and act as if they are smart or special for being LUCKY enough to do so.

And so Q.B. I'm simply suggesting that we feel your upset at what you perceive as a lack of fairness...that welfare momma should do better...but it's far more egregious at the top end of our society than at the bottom. IMHO the vast majority of American..poor..middle class are very hard working folks. Some were dealt better situations than others. It's simply disingenuous to look at ALL of those less fortunate and blame THEM for their circumstances.

I didn't want to be a coward as a five year old. Those were the circumstances life dealt me. I am one of the very LUCKY ones who escaped my hell...but I have been in that hell and I'll never forget those who I've left behind.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 5, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

ruk, very moving and I thank both you and qb for sharing a little or a lot of personal history. Our perceptions of life and liberty are formed by our experiences and the relationships we have with those around us.

My father was the first in his entire family, his father was the youngest of ten, to receive a college diploma. It changed the lives of every single one of his children, nieces, nephews and grandchildren. The GI Bill paid his tuition and my mom worked on the floor of the Goodyear plant to support us.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 5, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Just to add some facts to our discussions...

plu·toc·ra·cy - a class or group ruling, or exercising power or influence, by virtue of its wealth.

http://www.faireconomy.org/issues/growing_divide?gclid=CLmmuanZ8KMCFQy87Qod6Vh52Q

The gap between the rich and the poor is a better measure of the health of our economy than the S&P 500 or the Dow. Today, the concentration of privately held wealth at the top is at its highest peak since 1929, the year the financial markets crashed and gave rise to the Great Depression of the 1930s. At that time, 25% of the population was out of work.

Despite our economy being mired in the deepest recession since the 1930s, people in the TOP 1% CONTINUE TO OWN AS MUCH WEALTH AS THOSE IN THE BOTTOM 90%, and education is essential to reversing this trend and constructing a strategy for recovery."

If 1% own the same as the bottom 90%..if the Koch brothers are utilizing their INHERITED BILLIONS to found and fund astro turf groups..publish false facts under innocuous headings...they and the others at Faux news manipulating the facts...again if 1% own as much as the remaining 90%..and EVERYONE agrees MONEY is what drives politics and therefore policy...(and now the new phenomenon where an actual crook can take 50 million of his ill gotten gains and literally BUY the R nomination for Governor of Florida)..is it not LITERALLY a fair question to ask if our nation has become a plutocracy?

My purpose however is not to demonize R's or conservatives but simply to point out with facts what most of us would perceive as a problem. We can debate the solutions...supply side versus Keynesian..tax policy etc...but to ignore that this is a problem is simply hiding one's head in the sand!

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 5, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

@lmsinca..."Our perceptions of life and liberty are formed by our experiences and the relationships we have with those around us."

Thanks lmsinca you did a masterful job of editing my long winded post into the essential point I was trying to make.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 5, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, if you're reading this, especially after all of our discussions regarding the HCR bill and my lack of zealous support, my oldest daughter just received her application from the State of CA to enroll in the Pre-existing Insurance Plan. She's bringing it over today so we can go over it together and return it on Tuesday. Relief and joy are two emotions that come to mind. It looks like it's going to cost around $300 per month in her age group, a lot for her with two part-time jobs but doable.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 5, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7


Let me sum up your statement with even more clarity


- you are a socialist, right?

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 5, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Talking about "False Charges of Racism" is NOT a discussion about race.

Making a false charge against an innocent person doesn't help one black in the inner city.


Making a false charge against an innocent person doesn't get one more kid through High School.


Making a false charge has NOTHING TO DO WITH RACE.

The topic of "False Charges of Racism" - is all about whether the democrats have delivered on Obama's pledge of a "post-racial America."


It has everything to do with the election - because this is WHY the American People want to throw the democrats OUT after two years.

Clearly, the democrats are complaining they have only had two years (four years in Congress) - but look at how the democrats have BEHAVED these two years.


It is the BEHAVIOR of the democrats over these past two years which is at issue -

- refusing to listen to the American people,

- refusing to compromise and be bipartisan


- False Charges of Racism

Even on this blog - there are efforts to disrespect Freedom of Speech, because the democrats do not want to see opposing points of view appear on their computer screens. Somehow words on a computer screen are suddenly improper.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 5, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

strf " - you are a socialist, right?"

This is EXACTLY why everyone avoids you like the plague. You are literally ignorant. Apparently you do not understand what socialism means and your tiny narrow mind is totally incapable of understanding nuance.

We enjoy having discussions with intellectual people here...not mental midgets like you who hurl socialism around like it's an epithet. You are pathetic. Can't you go back to the Fix or some other blog. Ohhh no that's right..you and another loser thread bombed that until no one was no longer interested.

I am NOT a socialist. I am also NOT A PLUTOCRAT!!! Pure socialism is not the answer IMHO...nor is pure capitalism. Both systems have pros and cons and what INTELLIGENT THOUGHTFUL (leaves you out) people debate is REALITY. We live in a society that has a mix of both!!! What we really debate is the blend of the two...not whether either exists or should exist by itself.

Your ignorance and lack of nuance are pathetic strf...your lack of compassion is simply disgusting.

If anybody dares to bring compassion for those who are less fortunate to the table your first knee jerk reaction is to smugly toss off the old socialist tag...as if being socialist is the very worst thing in the world and should carry the day in any debate. That works for knee jerk ideologues like you...not for actual thinking people...anymore than a "thinking" progressive believes G.W. was a fascist.

To sum it up..strf..1% possessing the wealth equal to the bottom 90% is an unfair society by definition. I think we can do better in a country as wealthy and great as ours. How we improve is up for debate...whether we improve shouldn't be.

Therefore strf..it's a slow day and so I've wasted time responding to an ignorant, heartless, anti-intellectual who wouldn't understand NUANCE if it bit you in the backside. And so rest assured this is the VERY LAST TIME I shall ever read much less respond to one of your ignorant posts. I've read others today who have encourage Mike to do the same thing. Sooner or later you'll simply have to infect another blog with your ignorance.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 5, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I understand nuance - I understand the difference between Trotsky and Stalin.

I can see you that feel opposing views are inferior to your own - and that somehow you gain a sense of superiority because you hold the view you do.

However, a majority of Americans agree with me.

So you can take all your greek Philospher King stuff and put it on display all you want - no one agrees with you.

I believe in Freedom of Speech - and I am not saying that you should not post. I am just saying you are wrong. That is the difference between you and me.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 5, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

UPDATE: Economist Robert Shapiro looked at Bureau of Labor Statistics data and concluded:

"From December 2007 to July 2009 - the last year of the Bush second term and the first six months of the Obama presidency, before his policies could affect the economy - private sector employment crashed from 115,574,000 jobs to 107,778,000 jobs. Employment continued to fall, however, for the next six months, reaching a low of 107,107,000 jobs in December of 2009. So, out of 8,467,000 private sector jobs lost in this dismal cycle, 7,796,000 of those jobs or 92 percent were lost on the Republicans' watch or under the sway of their policies. Some 671,000 additional jobs were lost as the stimulus and other moves by the administration kicked in, but 630,000 jobs then came back in the following six months. The tally, to date: Mr. Obama can be held accountable for the net loss of 41,000 jobs (671,000 - 630,000), while the Republicans should be held responsible for the net losses of 7,796,000 jobs."

Posted by: lmsinca | September 5, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

@lmsinca...interesting data from Shapiro.

Don't know if you caught MTP this morning...but the round table included Erin Burnett...not somebody who I normally consider liberal..she of course has a business journalism background so she is at least attuned to the mindset on Wall Street and of big business...she is also familiar with statistics....her point this morning...

This has been the most rapid recovery after a recession in the past 25 years...however the incredible amount of jobs lost in the last administration are not going to be replaced quickly...alas she sees it taking years no matter who is in office.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 5, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

lmsinca 1:49 PM


It is SAD that I have to repeat this - because the democrats appear to insist on repeating the same lies - and I will give you one person who AGREES with me - on television just the other day.


ROBERT REICH - he said that much of the unemployment was STRUCTURAL - which means that the unemployment is a result of the Clinton Free-Trade deals.


You tend to forget about that.

Furthermore - how much of the unemployment was caused by the DEREGULATION OF THE DERIVATIVES MARKETS ?

That was Clinton again.

Regulation Q - that is Clinton - How much unemployment was a result of that ???

The repeal of the Glass- Steagall Act ? How much of the unemployment was that ?? Clinton again.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - filled with democratic appointees - causing millions of bad mortgages to be made - and inflating the housing market. Clinton again.


Well..... your analysis has substantial flaws.

The TRUTH IS THE DEMOCRATS ARE RESONSIBLE FOR A NET LOSS OF 10 MILLION JOBS.


The Republicans are reponsible for a NET GAIN of 2,3 million jobs.

That is the truth -


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 5, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

It's SAD that you think I care what you think.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 5, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

@lmsinca...we along with Mike are guilty today. It's time to starve the beast. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 5, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Bernie said:

"No he couldn't. Unless you wish to grant such a level of insight and knowledge to any clerk or bagger at Safeway to tell you why that company is seeing a diminishing share of the retail food business (if it is)."

Here we have the true spirit of liberalism revealed. Just as in this thread, the left claims that only it cares about and respects the working class.

But scratch the surface and this is how the left really views working people: They are ignorant and stupid and need to stay in line and do what their union bosses and liberal betters tell them is best.

That's how Bernie sees it. What could my father in law possibly know? Just because he worked in a GM plant for many years as a card-carrying UAW member, what could this stupid and ignorant worker know? What did he understand about complex markets, international trade, marketing strategies, or high corporate finance? Why, he was just like the stupid and ignorant grocery bagger. What could this riff raff possibly understand? This is what Bernie, champion of the working people is saying.

Well, let me tell you what he could know. It's true, he had no education. He lived in old school bus as a child. But he was (and is) as hard-working and honest a man as there is, and he had common sense. He saw the absurd work rules, he saw two or even three workers overpaid to do jobs one could easily do. He saw people paid handsome wages and benefits to watch other people work. He saw the thousand and one ways the union gave people to freeload. He saw the milking of injuries (real or fake) and sick time. He saw coworkers laugh every day about how they took advantage because the union rules let them.

And he knew enough to know it couldn't last. He might not have known corporate finance, but he knew what he saw with his own eyes made no economic sense. He knew production was grossly inefficient because of absurd union rules. He knew the payroll was hopeless overpadded. He knew the market for cars couldn't pay those wages and benefits forever -- particularly when they were doubled or tripled with overtime, thanks to the union's ability to manipulate productivity.

It didn't take an MBA to see the handwriting on the wall. But to the arrogant and superior left-wing elites, he is just an ignorant worker who needed to do what he was told. To begin to question thir wisdom is either "false consciousness" or just plain ignorance and stupity.

That's how Bernie and the left really see working people.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 5, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

@craigpost - Thanks for the answer up above!

Posted by: bernielatham | September 5, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Scott,

Re Bernie, I think he really just showed liberalism's true stripes.

They love the working class so long as they are treated as ignorant and stupid and do what their union and "community organizer" superiors tell them, and believe what they tell them.

There is a real streak of paleo-Marxism at work in Bernie's dismissal of the gullible blue-collar workers who start trying to think for themselves.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 5, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

"But scratch the surface and this is how the left really views working people: They are ignorant and stupid and need to stay in line and do what their union bosses and liberal betters tell them is best."

qb, I'm sure part of what your father in law says is certainly true. When people in power, whether it's the unions, government or CEO's, pursue their own personal advantages over those of the workers and the over-all health of the business or government entity it is destructive.

There's corruption everywhere we look right now and I think it's incumbent on all of us to bring honesty and value for work back to the table. Unions, CEO's and government.

I can't speak for anyone but myself but I'm an advocate for worker safety, good wages and respect for all workers, union or not. You can believe that or not.

Have a nice day everyone, out to swim and cook a nice dinner for my daughter and her boyfriend. The little guys went home and the big ones are on their way over.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 5, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Scott, btw, in my imagination, I'd love for my FIL to have the chance to meet Bernie and give him a proper thrashing, which he might still be able to do despite being pretty old and frail now.

But he is also a humble man more prone to give others the benefit of the doubt, even if they are offensive to him. The very opposite of those like Bernie who claim to speak for him.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 5, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

@mike - Ignoring (including, if necessary, not succumbing to the temptation to read) is the time-tested path to online salvation.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 5, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

@Q.B. While I accept your point on a personal level...I obviously do not know your father and certainly the Unions have engaged in unproductive behavior..AT TIMES.

Again..as Kevin W might point out...you are treading that dangerous line between reality and hyperbole. To dismiss the entire Union movement because of some bad practices is akin to tossing the baby out with the bath water. This is especially troubling in the specific case you mention...your father the UAW member..because obviously your father would have enjoyed a fraction of the wages/benefits he enjoyed if it HADN'T BEEN FOR THE UAW.

Again there are abuses in every system...in every organization. I certainly don't with to defend featherbedding. I can site big city examples from my own broadcasting background when in Chicago the Musicians Union...no longer employable after records replaced live music on radio...secured a position for a Musicians union to cue records...an I.B.E.W. union member had to run the audio board..while an AFTRA disc jockey was the on air talent. Through my ten year career I performed all three functions quite capably.

So yes featherbedding is bad...however..to throw the entire Union movement under the bus is simply naive. Again your own father would have earned a FRACTION of the pay and benefits he accrued without BRAVE union organizers who faced not only the corporate chieftains, their hired goons, but also police and even the National Guard. 1935 the creation of the NLRB eased some of the violence...but surely Q.B. it's not your contention that G.M, Ford, and Chrysler would have paid decent wages without the Union movement.

Again I do not dispute your valid points at the weaknesses "some" of the time in the Union movement. I'm simply trying to keep you from jumping off a hyperbolic cliff. Again I'm sure your father was a hard working, intelligent, decent man...however the majority of his salary and benefits came not from his PERSONAL skills and efforts but because his fellow workers organized.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 5, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Imsinca


Since you appear to pride yourself on such "thoughtful" discussions - the story changes quickly when you are confronted with opposing viewpoints.

A reasoned response - filled with truth and facts - is met with hostility and snide remarks.


Insinca, rukidding7 and Mike from Arlington - requests have been made to all of you to be tolerant and engage in civil discussion.

Mike - filled with false charges and name-calling.

Very little "thoughtful" discussions - except when you all are agreeing with each other - some sort of liberal echo-chamber.


Does living in a liberal echo-chamber make you feel better about yourself - is it all emotional ???


Well - you can't say that you are defending "thoughful" discussions - because you have repeatedly said you refuse to discuss opposing viewpoints -

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 5, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

"We have been raised to believe that the poor are simply lazy."

Speak for yourself. I certainly haven't been raised to believe such a thing.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 5, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

quarterback writes:


"But scratch the surface and this is how the left really views working people: They are ignorant and stupid and need to stay in line and do what their union bosses and liberal betters tell them is best."


_______________________________


Exactly.


The left would call MOST working people in this country -


First they would call them "rednecks"


Then the left would say they are "clinging to their guns and religion."

Then the left will write books about them - saying that they are not voting according to their economic interests - take Kansas in point. Because they vote and consider other issues besides economic issues.

Then the democrats and Clinton DEREGULATE the derivatives markets, REPEAL Glass Steagall and PASS FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS ALL WHICH HURT THE WORKING CLASS.


THEN Clinton appoints people to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac who end up inflating the housing market, and hurting every home buyer in the country.


The whole democratic party has become nothing but a national disgrace.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 5, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

ScottC3 3:09 PM


I think the rich are lazy -


Especially the rich liberals who push some of the views we have seen on this blog.


They are too lazy to enter into a civil discussion.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 5, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

ruk and liminca, this is a worthwhile and meaningful exchange.

ruk, thanks for the mostly thoughtful (and only a little bombastic!) posts. I appreciate your story. I will share less of mine, because I like my privacy (and of course as a conservative am extremely paranoid), and I don't think our personal stories prove anything other than the fact that humble origins do not dicate right or left views.

"Forgive me however for reminding you that you really didn't do it alone. While your effort is truly laudable it wouldn't have succeeded without the help of many who have gone before you. These are the people lmsinca, Ethan, Liam, myself and others are talking about."

I didn't say I did it alone. I had the help of my wife, who worked and sacrificed just as much. I had a good summer job with an understanding employer.

A significant part of my college was paid for with a merit scholarship left by one of the "robber baron plutocrats" you so vigorously condemn. I don't think that's one of the people you are talking about. Indeed, the college where I was, to the shock of my life, eventually fortunate enough to go, has largely been endowed and funded by these same robber barons you claim are my oppressors.

I didn't have any help from family, but I didn't blame other people for that. My family not only was uneducated but didn't believe in education. There was no real concept of higher education except that my father believed college people were lazy losers who went because they couldn't function in real life.

I was told at 16 that I would be disowned and disinherited if I went to college (not that I had any idea how I would do that in the first place.) (And I secretly thought: You really know how to hurt a guy. I'm going to be disinherited by a father who would never in his life be out of deep debt!?) My father was no alcoholic, but my upbringing also hellish and damaging in other ways I will keep to myself. When I was out on my own, I learned what it was like to be out of work, completely out of money, have no education or prospects or connections, and have no idea what I would do next.

In all of those circumstances, however, I never bought into the idea that this was all someone else's fault, that nameless and faceless robber barons were out to keep me down. I never wanted to take what I had earned from someone else who had. I never saw how it was right to use orgnanized force or government to take what I had not earned or try to bring others down.

And it was always obvious to me that the unions were a racket and nothing more. They wanted to control workers and employers. They wanted to keep me out of work unless I paid and obeyed them. They wanted to extort employers using strikes and legal protections that to me were patently unjust and made no economic sense.

I guess I needed Bernie to tell me I was a stupid ignoramus who should shut up and do what the union and community organizers told me. (more soon)

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 5, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Hi jzap! Great to see you unhermited. Thanks for the kudo. Kristol is, aside from everything else ugly that he is, a smart fellow. I think his analysis of the Beck/Palin rally provides better insights than anything else I've read. But, as I said, those insights involve neoconservativism and it's ready use of deceits and psychological propensities to covertly manipulate the societies they wish to design and manage. And thanks for the techie tip but that stuff doesn't seem to find a home in my skull.

Re your possible trip to these parts, by all means contact me before you come and if it fits in your agenda, the wife and I would love to share a meal or some local beer or whatever.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 5, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

qb:

"I think he really just showed liberalism's true stripes."

I agree. Not sure if you saw my post from yesterday, pointing out Bernie's contempt for the average joe (he made a reference to "the undignified muck of the masses") and how it feeds his conspiratorial fantasies so often on display here, ie his "propaganda" schtick which is really, at its base, a comment on how easily manipulated the simpleton masses are, as opposed to clever and educated progressives like himself.

The hubris is really quite striking.

Also notable was his dishonest (it couldn't possibly have been ignorant) dismissal of your reference to "union thuggery" earlier, as if nurses were the prototypical union members in American history.

BTW, speaking of hubris, did you see the earlier post that began with "Today's bernie-recommended read..."? Talk about self-regard. Jeez.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 5, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

@Q.B. Again I'm happy you overcame some serious obstacles. Alas not everyone was blessed with your intellect, persistence, and can do attitude. Many are simply not bright enough to figure out what you have discerned. It's not about placing blame so much as identifying causes and solutions.

I do not consider all wealthy people as "faceless robber barons" to borrow your phrase...however I would consider the Koch brothers as robber barons...they have fought too many regulations that actually benefit the entire nation at the fractional expense of their empire.

As for "the unions were a racket and nothing more. They wanted to control workers and employers."...that is simply a blanket statement that doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

My point is really this...Power corrupts..and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The pendulum of power swings back and forth...Unions have abused their power...Corporations have abused their power..The Government has abused it's power...it's IMHO fallacious to single out any one of these entities for particular scorn. I'm simply arguing for adjustments in power where needed. The wealthy in our country have created..by definition a plutocracy...I really don't care how you fix it...if I thought supply side would do it I'd immediately convert to Reaganomics...but again I'm happy to debate the HOW...but I can't really accept that a society where the top 1% own as much wealth as the bottom 90% really needs to consider extending tax cuts for the wealthiest amongst us...especially when letting them lapse only returns rates to about HALF of what they've been historically. But again I'm open minded...if the R's came to Obama and said...put politics aside..it's a recession..extend the cuts for the wealthiest for two more years..in exchange for making the middle class cuts permanent...I'm ready for discussion even though IMHO those extending those tax cuts is urinating in the wind of this economic hurricane. At least I'm flexible.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 5, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

@Ims - great piece via Digby on Reagan. But as B Clinton noted the other day, "Republicans are impervious to evidence".

The chances that either Reagan or WF Buckley would be find acceptance within the modern version of conservativism is zero. Nixon would but only because he would ooze into whatever shape was necessary.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 5, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

NEWS FLASH

Thousands of Indonesian Muslims are rallying outside the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta to denounce a Florida church's plan to burn copies of the Quran on Sept. 11.

__________________________________

It would have been nice to see these kinds of protests after the real 9/11 -

And after everytime a terrorist kills an innocent.

After all, the killing of innocents is against their religion, isn't it ???


I guess they have their priorities on what they protest against.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 5, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

It is apparent that liberals have hostility toward Freedom of Speech, the 2nd Amendment and the 10th Amendment.


OH - but they are the holy defenders of putting a mosque at Ground Zero.


The liberals want to go all out to defend the Bill of Rights - but not the parts they are hostile to.

And then we start to hear the standard name-calling routine - this new round is "Islamophobe" - like people are going to run from that one.

People do not have fear of Islam - They just don't want RECRUITING OF TERRORISTS near Ground Zero.


They do not have fear of Islam - They jsut don't want a mosque near ground zero being used as PROPAGANDA TOOL ON THE INTERNET.

Anyway - over the past 15 years the liberals have come up with a whole new set of issues to argue about - you didn't hear about all this socialist stuff or redistribution stuff under Clinton.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 5, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

bernielatham 3:55 PM


So you are saying that Reagan would be a supporter of Obama ???


I don't think so.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 5, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Further to ruk and lms:

"I've enjoyed a "relatively" :-) successful career in broadcasting.'

I know exactly what you mean. But I do wish I could go back a couple of decades with some lessons I've finally learned.

"I realize that I did NONE OF THIS by myself. I deserve "some" credit..but there are far too many others for me to name...and my point is...we shouldn't fall prey to hubris..it's really not simply OUR effort that has us where we are today."

As do I. But I deserve a lot more credit than strangers who had nothing to do with it. And more than all the people who are still back where I was by their own choice.

I fail to see how that is hubris, as opposed to the hubris of Bernie, or the hubris of other liberals who claim to be the proper arbiters of what I "deserve" as a result of my own labors.

And I fail to see how it is hubris as opposed to the condescending claims of Barack Obama and Joe Biden that I one of the greedy "richest Americans" and have been allowed to keep too much, more than my "fair share." I fail to see how it is hubris as opposed to Barack Obama's demands that I give him more of my money supposedly to take care of my elderly mother and thus hindering me from doing so myself. I fail to see how it is hubris as opposed to Barack Obama's claims that my taxes should be raised, so that he can spend more my money instead of me or give it to his political constituencies.

"I DO get why you feel the way you do. We have been raised to believe that the poor are simply lazy...that America is the land of opportunity."

No, I really don't think you understand at all. Like Scott, I would say you speak for yourself on this.

I was poor, and poor people were mostly the only people I knew, save teachers or the church pastor. Many poor people are lazy. Many aren't. As I said, my poor father thought college people were lazy. But, like many poor people, he wasn't poor because he was lazy. Far from it, he worked like a dog from the time he was a child until he died at 73. He just made a lot of terrible decisions and never did the kinds of things that might have let him succeed.

That was his fault. It wasn't J Paul Getty's fault, or Henry Koch's fault. Did I pay a price, and do I still, for his many bad judgments? You bet I do. But I learned lessons different from yours.

(Still more to come)

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 5, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

QB said (I did read this line):
"I guess I needed Bernie to tell me I was a stupid ignoramus who should shut up and do what the union and community organizers told me."

Of course, that isn't what I said. I said that your dad, merely as a consequence of having been a member of a GM union would have no claim to a definitive understanding of the failures of GM. Obviously, one could go down the muffler-assembly line and find another union member with a different idea.

GM, like every other US auto company (and many Brit/European producers as well) failed to meet the challenge that the rising Japanese producers and the smarter European producers) presented. Had the quality of the American product kept up with the competition and had they more smartly designed cars for a changing market, their history would have been much different. BMW remains a heavily unionized enterprise, for example. Had Austin carried forward with the potential of the tranverse-mounted engine and front-wheel drive as the Japanese recognized that potential and then worked to match the Japanese products increasing quality and smartness in design, they'd surely still be around. Blaming unions only or even maninly (which as an institutionalized entity deserves some blame) duplicates the same sort of wrong-targeting which got these companies in the mess they landed in.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 5, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Further (and further!) to ruk and lms:

"Cap emphasis is mine. Q.B. you remind me of my mother. She is a nice compassionate lady. But like you Q.B. she is OBSESSED with her perception of fairness. As a practicing Christian she is well aware of the Bible..yet to this day because of that almost blind devotion to HER perception of fairness, she hates Jesus' parable about the "Prodigal Son".

As I assume you do as well Q.B."

You assume a lot, and wrongly. The Prodigal Son, like many of the parables, is somewhat inscrutable and challenging to many Christians. They were meant to be, I think. But the Prodigal Son is a story of a father and his deserving and undeserving sons, meant to illustrate God and us. I really have no idea what it could have to do with this discussion. Are you suggesting that the government is "father" or God and we are all its children?

As for obssession with my perception with fairness, what is your position but an all-consuming obssession with fairness? Only your sense of fairness always seems to have to do with coveting. It always has to do with take other people down and taking what they have and you find unfair for them to have.

"It's simply disingenuous to look at ALL of those less fortunate and blame THEM for their circumstances."

I guess it's a good thing I've never done that. I also don't blame "plutocrats" and "robber barons."

As for your Brookings link, you would have to do a lot better than a Brookings article to convince me that upward mobility are dying in America. It simply isn't. My wife and I moved from poor to middle class during the very thirty years you claim we have all lost ground. I have numerous cousins who never went to college but either got decent jobs and worked their way up or started small businesses, and their children are all going to college and better careers now.

Soon, they might all find themselves demonized by Obama and Biden as part of the undeserving "richest Americans" as well.


I see I didn't edit myself in some places very well. Sorry about that. Hopefully you can make out my gibberish.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 5, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Scott,

"BTW, speaking of hubris, did you see the earlier post that began with "Today's bernie-recommended read..."? Talk about self-regard. Jeez"

Heh, yes the same thought I had. The teacher is in.


Bernie, of course GM had other problems and failures besides the unions. But the strangling effects of the unions were no mystery even to the uneducated people who were involved.

Had anyone listened to my FIL, they would not have squeezed so hard and abused so freely. But of course there was no chance the unions would hear any such nonsense from the rank and file.

The point is that unions ARE responsible for much of the economic dislocation and decline that the left here blames on "robber barons" and "corporatists," and are undeniably the authors of their own decline. (Except for the government unions, of course, which have found the ultimate job security.)

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 5, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

"The chances that either Reagan or WF Buckley would be find acceptance within the modern version of conservativism is zero. Nixon would but only because he would ooze into whatever shape was necessary."

This tells us all we need to know about this fellow's understanding of conservatism, contemporary or past. Ludicrous is too weak a word. Just think of the fact that National Review remains the center of gravity of conservatism, and is run by persons chosen by WFB.

Why do I even read this bunk.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 5, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

As many others have noted, Jan Brewer can't even be honest without lying.

"That was an error, if I said that."

Posted by: bernielatham | September 5, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Government spending is too high. We must cut out entitlement spending like it was cancer.

Unless, of course, we are talking about the billions going to the war industry and the killing of Muslims and Arabs. Then, there's not nearly enough government spending going on.

You gotta love the war-lust of the neoconservatives and their facilitors at FOX.

"WALLACE: In that speech, to say “my central mission is to restore the economy,” is it unfair to say that this a president whose heart doesn’t seem to be into winning the war on terror, no matter what it costs?

STEPHEN HAYES, WEEKLY STANDARD: No, I don’t think that’s at all unfair"
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/09/05/wallace-obama-terror/

Posted by: bernielatham | September 5, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

@QB - Let's make an agreement. You ignore everything I write and I'll continue ignoring what you write. Remember, self-discipline builds character.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 5, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

This was an interesting discussion.

I am fortunate enough to say that I had an exceptional upbringing and was encouraged to pursue my own interests so long as I completed my formal education. As a child I was an explorer and a naturalist. I was creative and gifted in certain ways. We were solidly in the Middle Class and wanted for nothing. But I was unusual in some respects. I was almost never disciplined because I almost never misbehaved. I was far more interested in making my own entertainment in the woods or at a neighborhood pond than I was in material objects like toys and candy. My favorite TV show was Nature on PBS. I was encouraged to do well in whatever I wanted to do and to be nice to people. I was thoroughly appreciative of these things, and my cultural and religious heritage, even as a young boy. I worked hard in school and was fortunate enough to go to extremely good schools.

My family, myself included, was afforded these opportunities because of the Liberal government of the USA. It was instilled in me from a very early age that I owe my life to America and democracy, and that because of my own good fortune, it would behoove me to support that right for other people as well regardless of their ethnicity and background.

For these reasons it is painful for me to read comments of the Republicans. The ideology and policies they argue for with such veracity are the direct antithesis of what made my Middle Class family, the progeny of immigrants, so successful.

Lastly, if QB and ScottC and any other Republican wants to claim that they support the poor and the Middle Class, they need to rethink their entire ideology and the policies they support.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 5, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

This was an interesting discussion.

I am fortunate enough to say that I had an exceptional upbringing and was encouraged to pursue my own interests so long as I completed my formal education. As a child I was an explorer and a naturalist. I was creative and gifted in certain ways. We were solidly in the Middle Class and wanted for nothing. But I was unusual in some respects. I was almost never disciplined because I almost never misbehaved. I was far more interested in making my own entertainment in the woods or at a neighborhood pond than I was in material objects like toys and candy. My favorite TV show was Nature on PBS. I was encouraged to do well in whatever I wanted to do and to be nice to people. I was thoroughly appreciative of these things, and my cultural and religious heritage, even as a young boy. I worked hard in school and was fortunate enough to go to extremely good schools.

My family, myself included, was afforded these opportunities because of the Liberal government of the USA. It was instilled in me from a very early age that I owe my life to America and democracy, and that because of my own good fortune, it would behoove me to support that right for other people as well regardless of their ethnicity and background.

For these reasons it is painful for me to read comments of the Republicans. The ideology and policies they argue for with such veracity are the direct antithesis of what made my Middle Class family, the progeny of immigrants, so successful.

Lastly, if QB and ScottC and any other Republican wants to claim that they support the poor and the Middle Class, they need to rethink their entire ideology and the policies they support.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 5, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm curious and am hoping the regulars chime in. All recessions (and depressions) eventually bottom out. It's commonly asserted that w/out the stimulus, we'd have continued to lose 700,000 jobs a month. What I haven't seen is any proof that the stimulus stopped the "freefall" versus the natural bottoming out. Is it really logical to say that without the stimulus we'd have continued to lose 700,000 jobs a month until, when, 0% employment?

Also, Romer said at a recent Press Club luncheon that this recession was very different from previous ones. If that's the case, how valid are the governments "saved or created" numbers? If Romersai
Keeling is based on recession data from previuos recessions, and this one is different, why would the modeling used, again based on previous recessions be valid?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | September 5, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

From Yglesias:

"1982
Jim Kessler observes that poor economic conditions don’t per se guarantee gigantic losses for the president’s party in the midterms:

'All in all, the president’s party holds some pretty bad cards — but even so, this year needn’t be like 1994. If Democrats take a close look at what happened that year, they can avoid repeating it. And if they look to another election year, 1982, they might even find inspiration in an unlikely place: President Ronald Reagan’s leadership. In the run-up to that year’s midterm elections, Reagan faced 10.8 percent unemployment, 6 percent inflation, a declining GDP, an approval rating barely above freezing and the indignity of having drastically increased the budget deficit over the previous year after running as a fiscal hawk. You can’t get a hand much worse than that, but Reagan nonetheless managed to hold all 54 GOP Senate seats while losing only 26 House races.'

When I first read that I was genuinely surprised at the loss of zero Senate seats so I looked it up and, indeed, Democrats made no net Senate gains though seats in Virginia and New Mexico did flip..."
http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/09/1982/

Posted by: bernielatham | September 5, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan....While my childhood was dramatically different than yours we have similar personalities. My parents would take me to the bar..my dad was the bookie in the back room..and they could give me a deck of cards..I could entertain myself for hours building houses and boats and things. My poor sister however was the normal child who needed attention and she suffered in comparison to me. In my entire extended family children were to be seen not heard.

@Bernie....."BMW remains a heavily unionized enterprise,"

Don't know if you saw CBS Sunday Morning today Bernie but there was a very interesting feature on BMW. Germany and apparently much of Europe is going through a gray revolution even worse than ours. Their workers are growing older. BMW realized that in 7-9 years the average age of their workforce will be 47 yrs old.

In ADVANCE (wouldn't it be nice if we planned better in our nation and didn't live for instant gratification and instant profit) the BMW execs took one assembly line and started making some fixes. For example...any piece of equipment on the line with a computer screen involved was reworked to have larger print. They placed large magnifying lenses in front of inspection stations and anywhere a worker had to read print on a piece...they placed wooden square floors where workers stand and purchased specially engineered shoes so the workers backs didn't ache...they added stretching stations for workers to loosen up their backs...about 50 other small changes....sick days decreased..productivity increased 9%...and they reached zero defects..the only line to do so..and with older employees.

When the American reporter asked the BMW exec..wouldn't it have just been easier to simply hire younger workers..the BMW leader was dumbstruck....he replied..."we have a social contract with our workers we would never do that to them."

I realize there are a few Silicon valley companies and scattered others in our nation behaving that way...but alas it is the exception not the rule.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 5, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Ezra goes all politically incorrect but thank god Red State is there to alert the townspeople...

Smite Him!

by digby

Somehow I think the Founders would find the fact that Americans are being told they shouldn't criticize them rather alarming.

"[Ezra]Klein also made a statement at the end of his attack on the idea of States Rights that is offensive to those who revere our Founding Fathers. Klein made an offensive comment that he is wiser than men who spilled their own blood to form our union.

At about 1:33 into this clip Klein trashes our Founding Fathers.

"I think our veneration for the Founders is something that occasionally perplexes me."


This is a truly outrageous statement and is evidence of Progressives distain for our Founding Fathers.'


Pass me the smellin' salt's Miss Mellie, why I like to faint! "Distain" for our Foundin' Fathahs? "
http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2010/09/smite-him-he-questions-ancient-ones.html

Posted by: bernielatham | September 5, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

bernielatham 5:35 PM


Do you seek to erect a liberal echo chamber in all your interactions in life - or just that one poster.


I suppose you could surround yourself with Che posters as well.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 5, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

"@QB - Let's make an agreement. You ignore everything I write and I'll continue ignoring what you write. Remember, self-discipline builds character."

Read what you choose, by all means, as I'll continue to do. No agreement needed, right?

It's true I read few of yours, but I find that takes rather less discipline and builds rather less character than reading them.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 5, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

bernielatham wrote,
"Not sure what the hell is going on here but I can't paste in (even when modified) Matt Yglesias' post on the revelation from Blairs book that Cheney wanted to initiate wars with everybody"
-----

Thank God for small miracles.

Posted by: Brigade | September 5, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

SaveTheRainforest hates black people. This is why he talks about the Presidents race every day. He's obsessed about Obama being black.

Come on SaveTheRainforest, tell everyone how much you hate the fact the President is black and get that burden off your chest.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 5, 2010 10:59 AM
----

Why don't you post some more of your idiotic blather about how conservatives oppose Obama's policies because they can't stand the thought of a black man in the White House. I suppose you love having Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court; to feel otherwise would be pure and simple racism.

Posted by: Brigade | September 5, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Troll,

I'd suggest sparing yourself the trouble. The whole "saved or created 2.5 million jobs" campaign is just unadulterated bs. No need to make it fancier than that.

They just assume that government borrowing and spending (or taxing) have no drag effects and that every dollar spent by government produces 1x increase in GDP and produces 1y jobs. None of it has any real empirical basis.

It's incredible that they make these statements as if they are factual. Pure fraud on the public.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 5, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

@ru - Had not seen that item on BMW etc. Thanks for the reference. Imagine hearing "we have a social contract with our workers" over here particularly at this point in time. BMW seems to get just about everything right. We just ended a lease on a 3 series and it was an extraordinary car, by far the best driving vehicle I've ever had. Previously, I've had Japanese or English (the latter, an imprudent soft spot for two-seater top down motoring). One brother, at 66, still races (a Volvo presently) and restores Lotus Elites for fun.

The degrading of prior notions of social contract has had negative consequences beyond how discrete business enterprises function, of course.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 5, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Here's another piece on Bolton's possible run for the WH...
http://www.aolnews.com/politics/article/john-bolton-mulls-run-for-presidency-but-is-he-a-viable-candidate/19619113

One plumb in the piece...

"Bolton's office at the American Enterprise Institute, the think tank where he works next door to his mentor, former Vice President Dick Cheney"

Are we surprised? We are not. No doubt Addington will be installed adjacent. The "we loves killing" wing.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 5, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Audis are even better imo. The Germans just know how to make stuff. Especially cars.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 5, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

I like the awd of audi's but BMW's have some great handling.

I think audi's maintenance might be higher though.

And Bolton reminds me of an angry muppet.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 5, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Can't go too wrong either way. I was sold on Audi when our first one saved our rear ends on sheer ice on a highway ramp. Most amazing handling experience I've ever had. I feel like can hardly drive many American cars now.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 5, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I didn't see anything about this before I got an email today.

THE EMPEROR IN LONDON

"This is an article that appeared in a London Paper. Did anyone see this or hear about this on this side of the pond? I don't think so...

OUCH! What image of Americans does this create?

If you're not sure what "big government" implies, take a look at this . . .."

http://www.scrippsnews.com/node/42183

"But you have already read about this in your local newspaper ...Oh no, you didn't?

OK then, you saw it on CNN... No?... INTERESTING!!!

You and I may never see health care again the way it used to be, but "Emperor Obama"

took six (6) doctors with him for a 3 day visit to London - along with 494 other essential staff.
You just gotta love this spread-the-wealth, hopey-changey thing ...."

The guoted items came with the email. Kennedy's "camelot" has nothing on Emperor Obama's what traveling circus. I bet one doctor per 83 people on the trip is something the new healthcare plan is going to emulate. Yeah, right.



Posted by: actuator | September 5, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

I've been meaning for a while now to write something on the purity of conservative womens' vaginas. But for the time being, I think I'll just note this great piece from Doug J at Balloon Juice.
http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/09/04/sexomatic-venus-freaks/

Posted by: bernielatham | September 5, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Audi (fwd) is our present car. Absolutely fine but it really doesn't match the 3 in precision and nimbleness.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 5, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

If you have an A4 the dealer tells us most folks prefer the more precise handling of the prior version going back to 97 iirc. A few inches shorter. Compromises. I just happen to like where the Audis fall on the spectrum.

And, not even about to touch that link.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 5, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

"I've been meaning for a while now to write something on the...(& so on so forth juvenile misogynist crudity)"

To paraphrase the dispositive line in your case, B:

Rick Blaine: Well, there are certain sections, Major, that I wouldn't advise you to try to invade.

Or perhaps this:

Jedi Master: Do or Do not. There is no try.

Posted by: tao9 | September 5, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Ya know, I can handle the ideological tirades, the trolls, the name-calling, the personal attacks.....but if this thread is going to devolve into talking about CARS......that's it, I'm out of here. A girl can only handle so much! ;o)

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 5, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

"But it's just so trite and cliched." - Bernie L., 9:46 am, speaking of a Matthew Continnetti article in TWS.

"But as B Clinton noted the other day, "Republicans are impervious to evidence"." - Bernie L., 6 hours later, demonstrating Matthew Continnetti is no match for him.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 5, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

schrodi/cat,

LOL

{{{2010 2.5L/Turbo SubieForester, ssshhh}}}

Posted by: tao9 | September 5, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"The chances that either Reagan or WF Buckley would be find acceptance within the modern version of conservativism is zero."

This one really makes me laugh, even apart from Bernie's obvious incompetence as an odds maker. Does anyone seriously doubt that, back when Reagan and Buckley were alive and indisputably represented the "modern version of conservatism" of the day, Bernie himself was condemning them both in precisely the same apocalyptic tones that he uses for today's "modern version of conservatism"?

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 5, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Looks like it was an interesting day at the Plum Line, well until the whole car thing, I agree with SCat on that one. Anyway, here's a little news from Texas, home of the Bluetexan and Rick Perry.

qb, ruk and Ethan, I found it really interesting to read a little more of each of your backgrounds. One of these days maybe I'll share more of mine. I'm really waiting for Scott to give us a little background though, I keep wondering if he majored in math because of all his X,Y scenarios, JK scott.

Below is from Bluetexan:

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

"The Secessionist talks a big game. He loves to prance around playing Jefferson Davis, complains endlessly about the federal government’s “power grabs” — and is constantly bragging about how well the Texas economy is doing. Our tax dollars even pay for a website called “Texas Brags” which begins,

Thanks to Gov. Perry’s work to keep taxes low, provide a pro-growth regulatory structure and implement solid economic development incentives, the Texas economy remains strong in the midst of a national economic cool down.

Uh-huh. We’re doing so well, in fact, we can’t afford to pay for our schools.

Texas has applied for $830 million in federal education dollars intended to help schools through the recession.

The Texas Education Agency submitted the application a day after Gov. Rick Perry sent a letter to school administrators saying restrictions placed on Texas in the federal law “make it unlikely for your school to receive these federal funds this year.”

Hey, at least he’s consistent. He also bragged about Texas’ “balanced budget” while quietly covering his massive shortfall with $12B in stimulus money.

Notes Michael Landauer at the Dallas Morning News,

Rick Perry has increased Texas’ dependence on federal funds and decreased our own ability to cover basic government services. The Lone Star State has become less independent under Perry, not more.

The Secessionist talks like a cowboy but in reality, he’s a big welfare queen. How does he keep getting away with it?"

Posted by: lmsinca | September 5, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Who is it, according to Bernie, who most single-handedly embodies all the sins of contemporary conservatism and has poisoned the country with hatred and political snake oil?

Rush of course. WFB befriended Rush and was a supporter of his. More to the point, Rush was starstruck and idolized WFB (still does) the way countless ordinary conservatives did and still do. Here was Rush the day after WFB passed:

""Opening his top-rated talk show today, Rush Limbaugh called Buckley one of the "most formative forces in my worldview." Limbaugh recalled in his youth being "mesmerized" by Buckley's columns, which "literally created my desire to learn."

"He is indescribable, irreplaceable; there will not be another one like him," Limbaugh said."

Hmm. Seems like acceptance by the leading popular exponent of conservatism these past years. WFB was similarly eulogized by innumerable other prominent conservatives, including the maligned John Boehner and quasi-conservative GW Bush.

WFB hasn't been dead three years, but one would think he lived in a different era. He was and remains a profound influence on virtually all conservatives today.

And then there is Reagan. In what conceivable respect are we to believe "modern" conservatives would reject him? Their program remains the same as his.

No, conservatives don't need to liberals when it comes to authentic conservatism and their feigned pining for the golden days of Buckley and Reagan.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 5, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

QB1, it's kinda funny how the only conservatives worth a darn, to some commentors here, are the ones that are dead and safely removed from any potential for power. Then, and only then can they be appreciated. Not agreed with mind, but appreciated as at least more rational than the current crop of obviously "false motive" insincere conservatives in power.  Using the dead to cudgel the living, to borrow from Jonah Goldberg.  

So, on this board the only sincere conservatives are the one that cannot wield power. I wonder why some impart some sort of "honest dealing" to conservatives once they're dead. Seems kind of hypocritical to me. 

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | September 6, 2010 12:18 AM | Report abuse


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Posted by: lunawolf06 | September 6, 2010 2:57 AM | Report abuse


You guys should stop complaining because, one the health care we have now isnt as good as it was supposed to be. also the law has just been signed so give it some time. so if u want to say u have the right to choose tell that to ur congress men or state official. If you do not have insurance and need one You can find full medical coverage at the lowest price by calling 877-882-4740 or check http://bit.ly/9fDY7U If you have health insurance and do not care about cost just be happy about it and trust me you are not going to loose anything!

Posted by: lunawolf06 | September 6, 2010 4:43 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: lunawolf06 | September 6, 2010 5:44 AM | Report abuse

lms:

"I keep wondering if he majored in math because of all his X,Y scenarios, JK scott."

I majored in economics, which was largely a waste of time. It can't be much of an education in economics if names like Hayek, Von Mises, and Bastiat never come up. I had to learn about those guys on my own.

I use X,Y,Z because I try to think about things analytically rather than emotionally. Substituting an abstract placeholder for something that has a lot of emotion or preconceived notions attached to it allows us to think about it more clearly and logically.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 6, 2010 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Scott

"I use X,Y,Z because I try to think about things analytically rather than emotionally. Substituting an abstract placeholder for something that has a lot of emotion or preconceived notions attached to it allows us to think about it more clearly and logically."

I was sort of teasing you Scott, but I could see your analytical bent in our discussions. I'm sure you respond to emotion in your personal life, but we never see it here. Maybe you're right to approach debate that way, who knows?

I was raised by a very analytical father and have raised an extremely analytical daughter so I'm sort of used to a certain lack of emotion around me. I used to be one too so I can relate.

Over the years I've learned to relate to people on a more personal level and hearing "their" stories can be one of the most fascinating and tolerance building experiences in life.

It's interesting that both you and qb find so much fault with your liberal education and yet you both turned out to be so conservative.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 6, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

qb

"The whole "saved or created 2.5 million jobs" campaign is just unadulterated bs. No need to make it fancier than that."

When you define something that has been argued effective by economists across the spectrum as bs, I think you are ignoring the evidence. If you want to argue that spending tax payer dollars to create or save those jobs was the wrong thing to do then we could have a debate. But to ignore the evidence leaves no room for discussion.

Look, it seems to me that liberals tend to blame the free market for the economic crash and conservatives find the government at fault. But isn't it really a combination of both. The Feds led the way with monetary policy and a few open doors to lax home ownership standards (designed by both R's & D's) and then the free market dealers walked through door X (for you Scott) and reaped the rewards by both lining their personal pockets with easy money and when the door closed being bailed out for their shoddy mis-adventures.

Who suffered the most and who needs help working through the crisis? The people. To deny that the Recovery Act has helped some people, many of whom were innocent victims, weather the storm and just blissfully ignore the evidence is not IMO a very honest position.

I don't think there are absolutes one way or the other but clearly most economists didn't seem to think that just sitting back and letting the free market right the ship was appropriate policy considering the magnitude of the problems.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 6, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

For Labor: on our day.

The words still ring true, to describe what is being done to labor now.

Give it a listen.

The Ballad Of The Ordinary Man.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsmAMKUIXbE

Posted by: Liam-still | September 6, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

All, Labor Day roundup posted:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 6, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

lms:

"It's interesting that both you and qb find so much fault with your liberal education and yet you both turned out to be so conservative."

I'm not sure where you got that I am critical of my education. I would be critical of my college and its cirriculum in some respects. It was (and is) a typical heavily left-wing liberal arts college, stuffed with courses (parody alert) like Shakespeare as Oppression and Gender Constructs in Revolutionary America. The professors I was closest to were a lapsed Marxist turned deconstructionist (he had given up on reason altogether), an avowed feminist socialist married to a union organizer, and your standard Seven Sisters 60s feminist radical. I minored in econ; the professors there were standard Keynesians and union-leaning labor economists for the most part. Conservative perspectives were mentioned mainly as fringe alternatives.

I did see more than one nice Midwestern kids radicalized by the experience. But as you could glean from my bio discussion above, I was a strong (and informed) conservative when I got there. I had already done plenty of reading, starting with National Review and going where WFB led me.

The professors at my college also retained quite a bit of scholarly professionalism. They really didn't jam their beliefs down unwilling throats. In fact, they loved me because I performed well and was so diametrically opposite them. I just never backed down. But, I was very much outside the box. They definitely turned out students they had turned left with great regularity. You know how it is -- starry-eyed students eagerly follow their professors.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 6, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

qb, from comments in the past I thought it sounded like you disparaged the education you received as being too liberal and I was merely commenting on the fact, along with Scott's comments, that you both seemed to survive it unscathed as conservatives.

You seem to presume that others are not as able to defend or sustain their philosophical leanings and if they "switch sides" it was simply because of their weakness in being persuaded rather than critical thought processes.

I'm just curious. I went in a liberal and came out a liberal, so I had a different experience. I tended more toward the sciences until my master's program so I may have been somewhat oblivious to the whole brainwashing experience.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 6, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

lms,

Economists across the spectrum have not argued that the stimulus was effective. Economists on the liberal side have. Still less have economists across the spectrum said it was the right approach.

My understanding of the claims made to have "saved or created 2.5 million jobs," etc., is that they are based on precisely what I said: It is not an empirical measurement at all. They simply use a standard Keynesian model -- which itself lacks any empirical validation -- that attributes assumed GDP and job growth to each dollar spent by government. It's just basically a mathematical equation based on unvalidated assumptions.

In fact, it is really worse than that, because from the reading I have done it seems to be fairly clear empirically there is no >1 multiplier for spending.

Part of that may be because, as I said, the Keynesians basically assume there are no countering effects from borrowing or taxing, and because it is, of course, their core assumption that the government somehow "knows" where and how to spend money better than the private parties they take it from, which is also a false assumption.

Finally, I didn't say the answer was to sit back and do nothing. What should have been done was to begin aggressively reducing taxes and the size and distorting influences of government. With minor exceptions, Obama and crew did exactly the opposite, not just with stimulus spending but with the push toward massive new spending and programs, and a drumbeat for higher taxes, attacks on industries, etc.

I don't find your point of view representative of the business community at all. They are frightened of Obamanomics and what else he is going to do to them. Although the economy has always recovered from recessions before, I don't believe it will really start to recover now unless and until people see some assurance that Obama will change course or be thwarted in continuing to pursue his "progressive" agenda.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 6, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Bruce Bartlett and Mark Zandi both highlighted the stimulus with at least saving us from further disaster. And I know conservatives only seem to believe the CBO when a Republican is in the White House, but they have called it a success. Did every dollar spent earn a dollar in the economy, who knows, but tax cuts don't do that necessarily either. We've seen the effect of tax cuts and they're less than stellar in dollar for dollar creation of jobs.

There are ripple effects throughout the economy by keeping the unemployment rate lower than it would have been otherwise and helping the unemployed through insurance payments and yes even keeping teachers, firefighters etc. on the job.

I personally believe the tax cuts were the least beneficial aspect of the stimulus. A temporary outlay of money for creating or saving jobs kept the economy on life support, the top one percent have recovered nicely, now we'll see where it leaves the middle class.

It looks like the Administration is going for more tax cuts for small businesses so I hope you're right that tax cuts do the trick.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 6, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

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