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The Morning Plum

* Elizabeth Warren speaks: Elizabeth Warren speaks out about her appointment as special adviser to the President and Treasury, tasked with setting up the new consumer financial protection agency. Though Warren doesn't directly address the swirling questions about how much power she'll have, she explains her role and makes it clear she doesn't see it as an issue:

The President and I are committed to the same vision on CFPB, and I am confident that I will have the tools I need to get the job done.

Obama will announce the appointment this afternoon, and presumably will seek to reassure people that Warren will have the independence and clout she needs.

* Or is the White House just kicking the can down the road? CNN reports that White House officials expect her appointment to last months, not years, and that she may not ultimately head the agency, which could anger the left.

* Sage advice that Dems will probably ignore: Paul Krugman argues that Dems need to force the issue on the Bush tax cuts because "this is no time for Democrats to play it safe: if the midterm election were held today, they would lose badly."

* This cycle, no Republican is "unelectable": Indeed, Dems can high-five all they want about how the Tea Party has saddled the GOP with "unelectable" candidates, but until the economy turns around or Dems generate more enthusiasm with the base, that word will continue to have no meaning.

* And: If Ohio is a bellwether for the rest of the nation, Dems are in serious trouble.

* GOP heeding the lessons of history: Unlike Newt in 1994, House Republicans will not invite GOP candidates to attend the unveiling of their nearly-completed contract with America, in order to emphasize that it's a "governing document," and not a political one.

* Give Mitt's speechwriter a raise! Mitt Romney, at the Values Voter Summit today, will roll out some adventurous figures of speech to attack Dems, claiming their "numbers have gone down the chute faster than a Jet Blue flight attendant" and adding that the stimulus was akin to "squirting water from a garden hose" to "put out a forest fire."

Hey, at least Mitt's figure of speech implicitly admits that more stimulus spending would have been more effective...

* Tea Party 2012! In all seriousness, the Values Voter Summit will be interesting to watch as an indication of what the rise of the Tea Party will mean for the 2012 hopefuls and what ignominities they'll be forced to endure in order to remain viable.

* And: Christine O'Donnell is set to speak at today's summit, so watch for that.

* Thomas Jefferson's intellectual heirs: O'Donnell and Sharron Angle? Just as Angle did, O'Donnell is now mangling history to claim herself as a political decendant of Jefferson. Wonder how the two women feel about Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase, perhaps the most aggressive executive power grab in American history...

* And who says O'Donnell will be easy to beat? After all, she came up with some awfully shrewd campaign tactics last time she ran:

As the campaign entered the summer season, staff was instructed to compile a 10-page document examining how the distribution of tens of thousands of two-ounce suntan lotion packets could shake up the race, according to several members of O'Donnell's 2008 team.

Talk about greasing the palms of voters. What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  September 17, 2010; 8:28 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , House Dems , House GOPers , Morning Plum , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Tea Party  
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Next: Dems' next target: Toomey's year in Hong Kong

Comments

Ralph Reed is corrupt and immoral. But he's also very smart and he's one of the people who has a good understanding of the modern conservative movement dynamics. And here, as now and again on rare ocassions, he's speaking honestly so it behooves us to pay attention. Apparently, Tumulty has asked him some question re the Republican presidential candidate in 2012, but his answer speaks not merely to that singular matter but to the future of the movement and of the GOP...

"For the first time in my career, I just literally think all bets are off," said Ralph Reed, the longtime GOP operative who heads the Faith and Freedom Coalition. "The old arguments that used to be made based on pragmatic consideration are no longer selling at the grass roots."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/16/AR2010091607167_2.html?hpid=topnews&sid=ST2010091700062

Like Rove and others in the movement/GOP establishment (see Gerson and Krauthammer today along with Rove and Armey and Norquist, etc) Reed understands that things are veering out of control. The rabid rabble now have a significant amount of control of party machinery. Further, that element, having fully absorbed "government/Washington/establishment is bad" as something like the over-arching patriot-axiom, these long-time DC insiders are themselves now in the crosshairs.

Does anyone imagine that the O'Donnell success (on top of the others) hasn't caused loud echoes in Palin's under-furnished noggin? Does anyone imagine that Rove would have any different notions about the chances of a Palin run than he had of the O'Donnell case? As in that latter case, he can move fast and early (and with enormous resources) behind the scenes but that is no longer determinative.

In meetings with the TP people, Rove could not persuade that pragmatism ought to be the obvious first concern. In his primary-night interview on FOX, he could not persuade Hannity or (as we witnessed) the Limbaugh/Malkin/RedState spinning-eyeball-corps either.

That's Reed's observation. It's likely now gone out of control.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 17, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

I wonder how Angle and O'Donnell feel about Jefferson's philandering ways?

Posted by: raincntry | September 17, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

I wonder how Angle and O'Donnell feel about Jefferson's philandering deist ways?

Posted by: raincntry | September 17, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

I'm gonna go with Simon Johnson on the Warren advisory position. He's got three points that I totally agree with. I think it's great and she's not one to be either steam rolled or star struck. She'll do a terrific job.

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

"First, this form of appointment puts Elizabeth Warren to work right away -- on the issues of consumer protection that are first order both for ordinary families and for the macroeconomy. You really cannot build a sustainable economic recovery on the back of exploitative or abusive behavior by the financial sector. These issues are urgent and need resolution as soon as possible.

Second, the president finally has an adviser who understands the financial sector and who has healthy skepticism about its intentions and actions. As we documented at length in 13 Bankers, too many top policy people -- both in this administration and all its recent predecessors -- have been overly inclined to accommodate the interests of finance, particularly the big banks. In this regard, putting Ms. Warren directly into the White House with the highest possible level of access is exactly the right thing to do -- much better, for example, than making her purely a Treasury appointment.

Third, this step does not avoid a debate in the Senate -- it merely postpones it to a more advantageous moment. Presuming that Ms. Warren is nominated for a five-year term as head of the CFPB, she would go before the Senate Banking Committee with a real track record of achievement as interim head. The debate would not be about what the agency could do, but rather what it has already done -- and what it is set up to do next. These are exactly the right terms on which to bring out into the open all those who think that the financial sector only ever behaves well -- or that enforcing sensible rules on lenders would somehow bring the economy to its knees."

Posted by: lmsinca | September 17, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Morning, Greg:

Senate GOP looks to compromise in tax debate

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/16/AR2010091607352.html


Well, this is it. The GOP is making its move on taxes and, no doubt, the Republicrats will be right behind them. Either Obama and the Dems take control TODAY or they are heading straight for HealthCareClusterf*ckRedux. And, if that happens, Bu-Bye Dems.

Vote on the Obama Middle Class Tax Cuts. DO IT NOW!

Posted by: wbgonne | September 17, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

How can you announce the value voters summit and not announce the rally Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart just announced?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 17, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Gerson, too, reels at the potential prospects that might well arise as a consequence of dynamics which he himself helped initiate and forward...

"Delaware's Republican Senate primary defined one possible future. Voters elevated ideological purity above every other political value, including probity, relevant experience and electability. In the process, Republicans wasted an unusual opportunity to win a Senate seat in a heavily Democratic state. One poll reports that just 31 percent of Delaware voters believe Republican nominee Christine O'Donnell is fit to hold public office." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/16/AR2010091604332.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Read those first two sentences again but, this time, consider that Palin is the subject rather than O'Donnell.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 17, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Ohio is no bellwether this year. In Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), the state's most populous and most Democratic, a ridiculous scandal is coming to a head with the two most prominent and powerful Democrats being indicted in the past two weeks with one of them pleading guilty to over 20 counts of corruption and agreeing to a sentence of over 20 years in prison.

http://www.cleveland.com/countyincrisis/index.ssf/2010/09/former_auditor_frank_russo_adm.html

Certainly this scandal skews any numbers from the great state of Ohio and, unfortunately, bodes not very well for the chances of Dems in the Heart of it All.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 17, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Couple of thoughts on Elizabeth Warren.

1. Good decision by Obama to appoint her in the role that she has in setting up the Consumer Protection Agency. Appointing her directly in the role would have pissed off the Senate or putting her up for confirmation by the Senate would have taken many months for the Senate would drag its feet and filibuster her any ways.

2. Does Elizabeth Warren WANT to be the head of this agency for 5 years? I get the sense that she doesn't want to be in government for 5 years in that capacity. Barnie Frank said no she let it be known that she didn't want the job. If that is the case and the Obama administration is going to select someone else for that full time position down the road, Elizabeth Warren must make it very clear that she doesn't want it so that the liberal base isn't pissed off in the end.

3. Why is Dodd on such a crusade against her? That is the biggest puzzlement that I have.

4. I am absolutely sure that Elizabeth Warren will have the POWER to set up this agency or she would have NEVER taken this job.

Posted by: maritza1 | September 17, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

To be honest, Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart are two of the biggest voices out there to fight against right wing hypocritical propaganda. They are going to putting together a rally 3 days before election day. It could potentially be a huge energizing rally.

And some progressive blogs just ignore it lol.

Washington Monthly, Huffington Post and Ambinder have something on it up.

FDL, TMP, Think Progress, this blog, OpenLeft, Alternet, Wash Independent have nada.

Maybe its cause it's still early and eventually they'll all have something up on it right? Right?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 17, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Krauthammer this morning...

"And this is no ordinary Democratic administration. It is highly ideological and ambitious. It is determined to use whatever historical window it is granted to change the country structurally, irreversibly. It has already done so with Obamacare and has equally lofty ambitions for energy, education, immigration, taxation, industrial policy and the composition of the Supreme Court."

Structural reformulation of the nation fine as regards Reagan, of course, but definitely not as regards a liberal/progressive President.

But note that along with Kristol yesterday and Gerson today, Krauthammer echoes Rovian pragmatism and each seriously disrespect the TP heroine of the day.

What oh what will Limbaugh and Malkin and Erickson do?

Posted by: bernielatham | September 17, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Circular refudiation squad...here's Krauthammer's last two graphs:

"If DeMint and Palin want to show that helping O'Donnell over the top -- she won late and by six points -- wasn't a capricious spreading of fairy dust, perhaps they should go to Delaware now and get her elected to the Senate.

You made it possible. Now make it happen. I would be happy to be proved wrong about O'Donnell's electability -- I want Republicans to win that 51st seat. Stay in Delaware and show us you were right. The beaches are said to be lovely in the fall."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/16/AR2010091604899.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Posted by: bernielatham | September 17, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Bernie (from the Krugman link):

"So, about those tax cuts: back in 2001, the Bush administration bundled huge tax cuts for wealthy Americans with much smaller tax cuts for the middle class, then pretended that it was mainly offering tax breaks to ordinary families."

If the 2001 Bush tax cut "bundle" was "mainly" about offering "huge tax cuts" for the wealthy with ony a pittance thrown in for "ordinary families" as a selling point, then isn't Obama's attempt to "unbundle" the tax cuts "mainly" about "huge tax increases" for the wealthy with only a pittance thrown in for "ordinary families" as a selling point?

"Threats to punish innocent bystanders unless your political rivals give you what you want..."

It is notable that Krugman (and Bernie?) now consider the prospect of higher taxes to be "punishment". The question, then, is why do they want to "punish" people for making more than $250k?

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 17, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

O'Donnell used a quotation popularly attributed to Jefferson but perhaps inauthentic, and that is mangling history? How tedious you folks can be.

Btw, I thought conservatives were all about executive power grabbing. You make it hard to keep up with the slanders, smears and spin.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 17, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne, you'll appreciate what Jon Walker has to say this morning regarding the debate over tax cuts. Where did all the deficit hawks go?

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

"When it comes to cutting benefits for poor and middle-class seniors, or cutting the pay of our military personal while forcing our veterans to pay more of their own health care costs — much of which likely resulted from illness due to their service in two long wars — what we hear from Washington elites is the great need for “shared sacrifice” to bring down the deficit. Yet, when debating the idea of allowing taxes on millionaires (and here it might be good to remember that two-thirds of the members of Congress are themselves millionaires) to return to what they were under Bill Clinton, it is all “damn the deficit we can’t let the wealthy suffer during this economic downturn!”

It is just a reminder that in Washington talk about “reducing the deficit” is almost always nothing more than code for screwing over regular Americans and almost always completely divorced from any actual concern about the size of the federal debt. It is long past time that the media calls out these “deficit hawks” for the hypocrites they are and explain what their fake deficit grandstanding is really about."

Posted by: lmsinca | September 17, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Imsinca:

The arguments are irrefudibly in the Dems' favor. Still they have a nasty habit of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. I'm calling my Dem CongressPeeps to tell them to get it done TODAY. Vote on the Obama Middle Class Tax Cuts NOW. No screwing around!

Posted by: wbgonne | September 17, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Reagan structurally reformulatead the country? Obama ran on "fundamentally transforming" the country. Unfortunately, enough people who don't listen very well or wanted to believe in a political Messiah voted for him.

How about that First Lady, though? First she spent the campaign complaining about how hard it is to get by on half a mil or so, and talking about what a mean and terrible country this is and how hubby's nomination was the first time she was proud of it. Now she finds the White House a living hell and can't stand being first lady. Has there ever been someone in her position more bitter and ungrateful? This woman is a chronic whiner and self pitier. I bet it is okay though when she is vacationing with her entourage.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 17, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Can't believe it took Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart to finally organize something down at the Mall in DC.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 17, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

"O'Donnell is now mangling history to claim herself as a political decendant of Jefferson."

Awesome. Another rightwinger who doesn't know how to use the google.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 17, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

"...adding that the stimulus was akin to 'squirting water from a garden hose' to 'put out a forest fire.'"
-----------------

I understand that this is all Mitt's latest flare of capriciousness -- the latest attempt to out-Palin the originator.

But, I couldn't help but notice that that language sounds very much like an endorsement of the Keynesian approach employed by the Obama administration.

And, indeed, it seems like Mitt has aligned himself with noted liberal economists Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz, and has embraced the idea that the stimulus itself was worth doing, and would have been more impactful had it been larger.

Perhaps, someone can get Mitt to clarify his position on the stimulus measures?

From the prepared remarks, he plans to say, "The question is not whether it helped a little, but rather, did it do the job, or do as well as it could have."

He says, "no." But he does not disavow the Keynesian approach.

Posted by: associate20 | September 17, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Obama nominated warren to an advisory role so that the banking system won't get freaked out and continue to sit in treasuries for another year.

Posted by: sold2u | September 17, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Wow, ScottC are you really that bad at mathematics?

The average tax cut value for the middle class (97% of Americans) is about $2k. The average tax cut value for the rich (3% of Americans) is over $100,000.

Simple math. Any way you view it, whether through your ultra-partisan lens or not, $2k is not much while $100,000 is a lot of money.

Krugman is right. The real meat of the Bush and Obama tax cut plans revolves around the question of giving tax cuts to the rich.

Perhaps, in the interest of being fair to the middle class, we should cut the middle class tax rates even deeper than is being proposed while making the rate for the wealthy even higher, say 41% or 43% instead of 39%. Wouldn't you agree, Scott, that that would be more beneficial to the struggling middle class?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 17, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Wow, ScottC are you really that bad at mathematics?

The average tax cut value for the middle class (97% of Americans) is about $2k. The average tax cut value for the rich (3% of Americans) is over $100,000.

Simple math. Any way you view it, whether through your ultra-partisan lens or not, $2k is not much while $100,000 is a lot of money.

Krugman is right. The real meat of the Bush and Obama tax cut plans revolves around the question of giving tax cuts to the rich.

Perhaps, in the interest of being fair to the middle class, we should cut the middle class tax rates even deeper than is being proposed while making the rate for the wealthy even higher, say 41% or 43% instead of 39%. Wouldn't you agree, Scott, that that would be more beneficial to the struggling middle class?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 17, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

There was some discussion here yesterday about Reid's decision to attach the Dream Act to the defense authorization bill next week. Naturally, McCain did another one of his now famous flip-flops. There used to be bi-partisan support for this bill. Even Carly Fiorina came out in favor of it during her debate with Boxer, it's tough to go too far to the right in a statewide race in CA. Obviously Reid is making a political calculation but so is McCain.

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

"Certainly, Reid made a political calculation when he decided to introduce the DREAM Act this September. However, McCain is in no place to call the kettle black. In Nevada, Reid is facing a tough reelection bid against tea party sweetheart Sharron Angle (R-NV). In Arizona, McCain was also fighting for his political livelihood in his primary election against anti-immigrant zealot J.D. Hayworth, which McCain eventually won just a few weeks ago. However, the major difference is that while Reid has traditionally been a supporter of the immigration measures he is embracing this year, McCain’s election strategy has involved a total flip-flop on the immigration issue in an effort to gain votes.

McCain not only co-sponsored DREAM Act legislation in the not-too-distant past, he was also behind comprehensive immigration reform efforts that included a path to legalization. McCain once insisted that a border crackdown would do nothing to solve the nation’s immigration problem, calling an “enforcement-first” strategy an “ineffective and ill-advised approach.” During his 2008 presidential bid, McCain told Latino voters, “I do ask for your trust that when I say, I remain committed to fair, practical and comprehensive immigration reform, I mean it. I think I have earned that trust.”

http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2010/09/16/mccain-dream-act/

Posted by: lmsinca | September 17, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

denial will not help the liberals this election year:
=============
Ohio is no bellwether this year. In Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), the state's most populous and most Democratic, a ridiculous scandal is coming to a head with the two most prominent and powerful Democrats being indicted in the past two weeks with one of them pleading guilty to over 20 counts of corruption and agreeing to a sentence of over 20 years in prison.

http://www.cleveland.com/countyincrisis/index.ssf/2010/09/former_auditor_frank_russo_adm.html

Certainly this scandal skews any numbers from the great state of Ohio and, unfortunately, bodes not very well for the chances of Dems in the Heart of it All.

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

This is pure nonsense. I live in Ohio, one county over from Cuyahoga. The democrats are in trouble at every level.

will the crimes of these prominent DEMOCRATS in Cuyahoga county tarnish the upper end of the ticket? Who can say? But it doesn't matter a whit. The record of the folks up ticket will seal their doom anyway.

Niether strickland, running for re election as govenor, nor Lee Fisher, running for Voinovich's open senate seat can escape their dismal economic records. the simple fact is that 400,000 jobs left Ohio on their watch and they appear clueless about how to stop this.

In addition, Strickland himself has been hampered by a string of petty scandals that have amounted to a pattern of behavior the voters find offensive.

so to say that Ohio isn't characteristic of the rest of the nation because Jimmy DiMora and Frank Russo were arrested by the FBI is just good old denial.

Here is further proof of my contention: neither Dennis Kuchinich nor Marcia Fudge are expected to lose their re election bids, as Democrats, in the city of Cleveland and the county of Cuyahoga.

Nope, you're kidding yourselves. One more example, one of the biggest and most famous employers in the state, NCR, which was born and raised in Dayton LEFT THE STATE and Strickland was caught flat footed. Did they go overseas? NO, they went to Georgia. Sorry, you're fooling yourself.

BTW, as I mentioned yesterday the Democrats in Ohio have a new slogan, based on these arrests and plea bargains: Hope and Chains.

Frank Russo, the former county auditor, entered into a plea deal that means 22 years in federal prison. The judge yesterday said that it amounted to a death sentence. Hope and chains indeed.

But again, I don't think this harms the rest of the Democrat ticket any more than Jim Trafficant's CONVICTION harmed Strickland's original election chances.

Dwelling denial won't help your cause, but it will sheild you from the difficult to accept reality that liberalism is being rejected by Americans.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 17, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to point to a correspondence between the two columnists I linked this morning who clearly both hold that Rubio is a great hope for the right. And I'll remind that Tomasky, a couple of months ago, wrote a column arguing the same thing.

I think they each have this right. Anyone who emerges on the right now can be, in reality, quite extreme but in the contest of the modern conservative crowd, look sane and reasonable. And that is perhaps an under-appreciated danger to Dems arising from the conservatives moving into crazyland.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 17, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Interesting...

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

Republicans are heavily invested in permanently extending the tax cuts enacted during the George W. Bush administration, all of which expire at the end of this year exactly as the legislation was written in the first place. To hear Republicans, one would think that the Bush tax cuts were the most powerful stimulus to growth ever enacted and only a madman would even think of allowing any of them to expire.

The truth is that there is virtually no evidence in support of the Bush tax cuts as an economic elixir. To the extent that they had any positive effect on growth, it was very, very modest. Their main effect was simply to reduce the government’s revenue, thereby increasing the budget deficit, which all Republicans claim to abhor.

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Issues/Taxes/2010/09/17/Bush-Tax-Cuts-No-Economic-Help.aspx

Posted by: nisleib | September 17, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

bernie, I think it's imperative that Rubio loose at all costs, even if it means Meeks drops out in the end which would all but allow Crist to win and I think....caucus with the Dems.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 17, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Digby makes the same sort of argument re perspective but with Barbour as the subject...

"Things have moved so far to the right that Haley Barbour is a centrist now.

It's true that he's a "Big Tent" Republican, at least to extent that he can get away with it. But it's not because he wants a bunch of lily-livered moderates in the party, but because he knows there aren't enough hardcore nuts in the country (yet) to sustain a far right majority. But that doesn't make someone a "centrist." It makes him a practical power broker.

Haley Barbour is hardc*re conservative and a corporate [word for prostitute]. Unless you define Joe Lieberman as the far left, he most certainly is not a centrist." http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2010/09/haley-in-middle.html

Posted by: bernielatham | September 17, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Sure, skip, and Wall Street Baron John Kasich has some great ideas to rescue Ohio's ailing budget -- eliminate the income tax and put an $8 billion hole in the budget. Pure genius.

Fact is, Dem turnout in Cuyahoga county will suffer because of the scandal. This is undeniable. Another fact is, Bush, with the help of Portman and Kasich, set the wheels in motion for the destruction of what was left of Ohio's manufacturing and without the Democratic rescue of General Motors, the Lordstown assembly plant, Parma stamping plant and many other facilities in Toledo, Dayton and elsewhere would also be dead rather than humming along with new products and an expanding work force.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 17, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

@Mike - yup, that's my wish as well.

Pressure is growing on Harvard to cancel the event honoring Peretz...
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/pressure-grows-on-harvard-to-cancel-peretz-honor.html

Posted by: bernielatham | September 17, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

And a bloody loud cheer on Warren!

Posted by: bernielatham | September 17, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010: "The average tax cut value for the middle class (97% of Americans) is about $2k. The average tax cut value for the rich (3% of Americans) is over $100,000."

This is a good point, although it's certainly fair to point out that the average value of the tax cut for folks making $260k is certainly not $100,000. ;)

That being said, I wish we could speak in real numbers all the time. I notice when it comes to talking about the vanishing middle class or income inequality, it becomes all about percentages and ratios. If we used the same language to discuss the tax cuts that we use to discuss income inequality, then they'd be quite egalitarian, because everyone got a similar (if not identical) percentage tax cut across the board.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 17, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

I really hope no one gets the idea to drop a big bomb on this get-together...

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/09/moralists-unite-values-voter-summit-kicks-off-in-dc-today.php?ref=fpblg

The resulting cloud of virtue-isotopes would spread for perhaps as much as ten or twenty micrometers before the immense gravity of their self-importance would yank them down.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 17, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

OT: Seeing Bill Clinton on the Daily Show from yesterday, I wonder why the DNC isn't listening to this guy and getting him out everywhere. He makes the best case for voting Democrat that I've heard from any Democrat. Seriously.

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

Has anyone else notice that Caribou Barbie only has like 3 outfits she wears? Doesn't Mattel offer adult size clothes like American Doll?

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 17, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Ethan:

"Wow, ScottC are you really that bad at mathematics?"

There was no "mathematics" involved in my post. Are you really that bad at reading comprehension?

"Krugman is right."

The entirety of my post assumed (for the sake of argument) that he was. Again...reading comprehension.

"Perhaps, in the interest of being fair to the middle class...."

This raises, yet again, the question that none of you have answered: What prinicple of justice calls for one citizen to pay an entirely different rate of tax on his income than another citizen in support of general government operations?

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 17, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps that is a discussion worth having, in my opinion, Scott. But it is not the discussion presently taking place with respect to tax policy.

Nevertheless, Scott, let's say we have a flat tax of 10% ... do you think an individual making $10,000 a year can afford to pay such a tax? Do you think it would be reasonable to expect such a person to pay such a tax?

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 17, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

here's a yawn inducing indication that anger management courses might be required in the future:
=======================
Sure, skip, and Wall Street Baron John Kasich has some great ideas to rescue Ohio's ailing budget -- eliminate the income tax and put an $8 billion hole in the budget. Pure genius.

Fact is, Dem turnout in Cuyahoga county will suffer because of the scandal. This is undeniable. Another fact is, Bush, with the help of Portman and Kasich, set the wheels in motion for the destruction of what was left of Ohio's manufacturing and without the Democratic rescue of General Motors, the Lordstown assembly plant, Parma stamping plant and many other facilities in Toledo, Dayton and elsewhere would also be dead rather than humming along with new products and an expanding work force.

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

Yeah, yeah, let's talk Ohio for a while.

Kevin Willis suggests that Clinton show up on the campaign trail. I personally would welcome his appearance in Ohio. Why? Because the idiotic strickland is hammering Kasich about NAFTA, then appearing on the stage WITH THE GUY WHO SIGNED IT INTO LAW.

The effort to label Kasich as a "wall street Baron" is a laughable failure. Kasich leads handily. PPP has publically announced it will no longer poll in Ohio and Marc Ambinger, writing in the Atlantic had this to say:
"With the past few days given over to Democratic triumphalism, the reality is that the big picture remains roughly the same for Democrats. In Ohio, it's getting so bad for Democrats that the Democratic Governors Association, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee are actively weighing their level of commitment.


Public and private polling from the state suggests that Democrats will lose the governor's mansion, currently held by Ted Strickland, the Senate race (for an open seat that was held by a Republican), and at least four House races (OH 01, OH 15, OH 13, OH 16). Strickland's troubles have surprised some Democrats, since he's seemed to defy gravity for much of the year."

clearly you know little about Ohio or manufacturing. Did the feds save GM? For what? So over paid UAW boys, who belong to a union that spent millions putting Mr Obama in office, can hang on to their jobs for another year or so?

I drive past an empty auto factory every day. 5 million square feet of total waste. Kia just built an new American factory. IN GEORGIA. Probably right up the street from where NCR settled.

Ohio's unemployment rate is higher than the nation's. Some counties in the state have close to 20% unemployed. We need jobs and jobs require employers and employers require profitablity and that means production moves to states that have a more salubrious business environment. High taxes, intense regulation and a union stranglehold on the work force are killing us.

the liberal solution is to funnel tax payer money to cronies of Obama and hope for the best.

No sir

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 17, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Bernie says:

"...the immense gravity of their self-importance."

For some reason this brings the terms "pot" and "kettle" to mind. Go figure.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 17, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

All, check this out, the next Dem assault on Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 17, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

"the liberal solution is to funnel tax payer money to cronies of Obama and hope for the best."

No wonder right wingers are so mad. They are mad at imaginary scenarios.

"Nobama is eating babies! Liberals hate middle America!"

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 17, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

How do you suppose Kasich plans to fill the $8 billion hole in the Ohio budget his tax plan will create?

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 17, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"What prinicple of justice calls for one citizen to pay an entirely different rate of tax on his income than another citizen in support of general government operations?"

As a Catholic, I've been taught that progressive taxes is a tenet of the church's doctrine of social justice:

"While urging the redistribution of economic wealth in the U.S., the bishops in 1986 called on the government to use three principles to evaluate the public tax system and its effect on the poor. First, the tax system should raise adequate revenues to pay for society’s needs, especially the obligation to meet the poor’s basic necessities. Second, the system should not require families below the official poverty line to pay income taxes. Third, the tax system should use a progressive structure so that those taxpayers who enjoy relatively greater financial resources pay taxes at a higher rate. The bishops explicitly commented that a progressive tax system would reduce the “severe inequalities of income and wealth” in the United States."

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 17, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Nickel-

Talk about "slander, smears and spin":

How about that First Lady, though? First she spent the campaign complaining about how hard it is to get by on half a mil or so, and talking about what a mean and terrible country this is and how hubby's nomination was the first time she was proud of it. Now she finds the White House a living hell and can't stand being first lady. Has there ever been someone in her position more bitter and ungrateful? This woman is a chronic whiner and self pitier. I bet it is okay though when she is vacationing with her entourage"

You're so full of sh*t, your eyeballs are brown.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | September 17, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

s'cat:

GOP Conservatism is contrary to all Christ's teachings. The GOP, in fact, is anti-Christian. Ironic, huh?

Posted by: wbgonne | September 17, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

"GOP Conservatism is contrary to all Christ's teachings. The GOP, in fact, is anti-Christian. Ironic, huh?"

The hippie-Jesus stuff is just a bit too inconvenient for them.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 17, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

"Now she finds the White House a living hell and can't stand being first lady."

qb, this has been de-bunked already by none other than Sarkozy's beautiful wife whom it was allegedly said to. Manufactured controversy to sell an unauthorized book. Just FYI.

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

"The First Lady never said that," Katie McCormick Lelyveld, Michelle Obama's press secretary, said in a statement.

The French embassy in Washington DC also said the claim was false. "The words attributed to the First Lady of the United States were never said," said the embassy's spokesman Emmanuel Lenain.

"Mrs Bruni-Sarkozy distances herself completely from the content of the book Carla and the Ambitious, which was not authorised and the authors alone are responsible for its contents," Lenain told Politico."

Posted by: lmsinca | September 17, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Kevin,

100% correct on two counts. 1) the debate is not about cuts or hikes or soaking the rich, etc, it is about modest modifications to the tax rates. 2) The Big Dog aka Clinton is the best pitch man in the Dem arsenal. Not even close.

ScottC,

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the implication of your post was that you were turning Krugman's pejorative words against Bush's tax plan as if to say that Krugman should be attacking the Obama plan for the same reason he was attacking the Bush plan. Clearly this was a typical cynical attempt to attack both Krugman and the Obama Middle Class Tax Cut plan.

Now you're suggesting that you assumed, for the sake of argument at least, that Krugman was right. Of course he was. And that also means that Obama's plan must also be right in that the central issue to the tax cut debate is the irresponsibility of giving the richest 3% a tax cut.

You then exposed your true economic ignorance by responding to my point about fairness to the middle class by asking about the principle that allows for progressive taxation. Of course, that principle IS fairness. Your idea of "fairness" is to wage class warfare against 97% of the country on behalf of the 3%. Again, it exemplifies your economic ignorance and your denial of what "fairness" actually means. To you, fairness means giving the wealthy more money while saddling the country with massive debt. That is both definitively unfair and poor economics and once again exposes your true ignorance on economic issues and your lack of understanding about what has made the American economy successful historically.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 17, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

If Jesus had the misfortune to show up in America today what do you think Conservatives and Republicans would do to him? They would DESTROY him. Just like they would have been on King George's side during the American Revolution. Conservatism today is a failed movement that is fueled purely by corruption and deceit.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 17, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

As a devout Catholic myself, I welcome the opportunity to debate this with the bishop's themselves:
================
"While urging the redistribution of economic wealth in the U.S., the bishops in 1986 called on the government to use three principles to evaluate the public tax system and its effect on the poor. First, the tax system should raise adequate revenues to pay for society’s needs, especially the obligation to meet the poor’s basic necessities. Second, the system should not require families below the official poverty line to pay income taxes. Third, the tax system should use a progressive structure so that those taxpayers who enjoy relatively greater financial resources pay taxes at a higher rate. The bishops explicitly commented that a progressive tax system would reduce the “severe inequalities of income and wealth” in the United States."

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

this is over the line for them. Just plain wrong. I left the church in part because they meddled where they did not belong. The catholic church is also big on illegal immigration.

I understand the dynamic, but I disagree with my church elders on the proposed solution.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 17, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

"This woman is a chronic whiner and self pitier."

Simply substitute Q.B. for the word woman and you have an accurate sentence!

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 17, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

permit a translation of this:
============
"Perhaps that is a discussion worth having, in my opinion, Scott. But it is not the discussion presently taking place with respect to tax policy. "
==================

This translates into: "there is no moral or ethical support for progressive taxation."

I've been asking the same question for a while now and no liberal can come up with a cogent, valid answer. The best I've gotten thus far is "the can afford it".

yeah, that'll sell.

Anyone who doesn't see the crony capitalism in the Obama admin is simply ignoring the facts as they stand. The unions have benefited hugely from their investment in candidate Obama. The bailout of GM and Chrysler were sops to the UAW. pure and simple. A glimpse at the gangstah government that Obama will make Obama infamous.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 17, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Skip...and if one reads your posts it's clear you're not only against the Bishops but you are against the teachings of Jesus Christ Himself!

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 17, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Didn't Obama make some statement about "loopholes and fine print" - when he appointed Elizabeth Warren to her position - avoiding the Senate confirmation process - through "loopholes and fine print,?"

I guess you have to fight fire with fire.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 17, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

cmc:

"But it is not the discussion presently taking place with respect to tax policy."

True. But it is the question that is raised by Ethan's comments to me. If one wants to make arguments about what is or is not "fair", then one must be willing to advance principles of justice upon which the arguemnt is based.

"Nevertheless, Scott, let's say we have a flat tax of 10% ... do you think an individual making $10,000 a year can afford to pay such a tax? Do you think it would be reasonable to expect such a person to pay such a tax?"

My short answer to both is yes. A more complex answer (to the underlying implications of your questions) is that I am not opposed to making accomodations for certain, dire individual circumstances, but as a matter of principle, if the functions of government are to be finainced via income taxation, then everyone who earns an income should contribute.

As an aside, do you think it is "reasonable" to have people with an income of $10,000 pay an excise tax on cigarettes? Or a sales tax on clothing?

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 17, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Why does Obama want to raise taxes $700 BILLION DOLLARS during a recession ???

Do the democrats get it?


Whether the taxes go up or not, the democrats have somehow allowed themselves to be suckered into defending RAISING taxes.


Even the people on this blog - they still don't get it.


There is a million polls - agreeing with this minor issue - but this issue is not going to bring any additional votes. However - what will hurt the democrats is all this talk about them wanted to raise taxes during a recessions. It is 250K for double income households, remember that.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 17, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

And now we have Scott on the record as being against a progressive tax code. That makes him by definition and extremist. Scott has revealed himself by his own post to be nothing more than a right wing ideologue.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 17, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I'll throw you guys for one


Religion itself is always under attack.


Anyone who professes any kind of Religious Beliefs is attacks - in the media and everywhere.


Every religious belief is subjected to attack and mocking.

IN contrast, the muslim world prays 5 times a day - when was the last time YOU prayed 5 times a week?

The Muslims have become more religious - and the West less.

A great point was made - the churches in Europe are empty - while the mosques in EUROPE are filled.

In part, it is a response to the Israeli conflict - the muslims feel they have to be more religious in order to win that conflict - and a billion people are committed to winning.


However - I really think that media should look at how they view people who represent religous views.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 17, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

cmc:

"Correct me if I'm wrong, but the implication of your post was that you were turning Krugman's pejorative words against Bush's tax plan as if to say that Krugman should be attacking the Obama plan for the same reason he was attacking the Bush plan."

Consider yourself corrected. I was simply pointing out that if it is accurate to portray Bush's plan as being "mainly" about benefitting "wealthy" people, then it is equally accurate to portray Obama's unwinding of Bush's plan as being "mainly" about punishing "wealthy" people.

"You then exposed your true economic ignorance by responding to my point about fairness to the middle class by asking about the principle that allows for progressive taxation. Of course, that principle IS fairness."

Obviously you are not very well acquainted with either economics or the principles of logic.

"Your idea of "fairness" is to wage class warfare..."

What is it about progressivism that makes its adherents think they are mind readers?

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 17, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Nice response to my post there ScottC.

What's taking you so long?

Here I am saying you don't know anything about economics and you don't understand the principle of "fairness".

So what's your response?

That you favor a flat tax that does even MORE to saddle the 97% with tax burden?

That you would add an additional tax on top of the tax hike to the poor and middle class that levies a tax on consumers, putting the economy at severe risk of a downward spiral into Depression every time the economy hits a soft patch?

That government collection and allocation of funds from a 10% tax on the rich is "fair" and not "redistribution of wealth" but 39% is "unfair" and "redistribution of wealth (buzz word for socialism)"?

That deficits are bad but don't matter if it means the rich gets to keep an extra $100 grand for a new (3rd or 4th who can keep track?) yacht?

Please, do respond and defend your ludicrous foisting of an immense tax burden onto the middle class.

* Gathers popcorn *

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 17, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

sorry...that last should be addressed to Ethan, not cmc.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 17, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

"I was simply pointing out that if it is accurate to portray Bush's plan as being "mainly" about benefitting "wealthy" people, then it is equally accurate to portray Obama's unwinding of Bush's plan as being "mainly" about punishing "wealthy" people."

Haha! By your logic, that's an admission that the Bush plan punishes 97% of Americans. That is not surprising to me, but regardless it is a pretty stark admission that only bolsters my points.

Since you absolutely refused to answer any more of my points, I'll refer you to my post at 12:22 PM. Respond if you want, but by now it's pretty clear that your logical and economic principles are a total failure.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 17, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

and then there is this crock of parrot droppings;
=============
Skip...and if one reads your posts it's clear you're not only against the Bishops but you are against the teachings of Jesus Christ Himself!

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

Really? Why is that? Could it be because I think charity is a personal thing and that using government co ercion to confiscate the fruits of my labor is just not charity?
Could that be it?

I recall the words ru they go like this: render unto Caesar, that which is Caesar's, render unto God, that which is God's. The directive is simple, but it doesn't define each category. We have to decide.

Frankly I believe that paying more in taxes so that the government can misdirect it, waste it and steal it isn't going to help the poor anywhere near as much as self sufficiency and private assitance will.

After decades of the great society programs our treasury is empty and our prisons are full. RU, do you think that this is what jesus had in mind? I certainly don't.

You guys try to cloak yourselves in christianity, seeking to convince folks that confiscatory tax policies and overbearing government regulation are somehow supporting the ideals expounded by Christ. Sorry, the results are in, your way failed. time to try something else.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 17, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I am a cradle Catholic from a long line of Catholics. Every Sunday, every Sunday, we pray for social justice. It is part of the liturgy (formal prayers). I think it is part of the confession of faith, which is a listing of the basic beliefs of Catholics (I believe in one God, the almighty, Maker of heaven and earth...etc.)

Thanks, cat, for finding the Bishops' words about social justice vis-a-vis U.S. tax law.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 17, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

@12BarBlues: "Every Sunday, every Sunday, we pray for social justice."

Sometimes I wonder how many conservative Catholics actually pay attention in Mass. In recent weeks we've included prayers for fair wages, illegal immigrants, and sufferers of torture. Last week the homily was on the Park51 project, tolerance, and how important it was to forgive those who perpetrated 9/11. And trust me.....our parish is not liberal by any standards.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 17, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

@skipsailing,

You don't have to go along with the Council of Bishops. You don't have to believe in social justice. It's up to you and your conscience what you believe in.

But, the Council of Bishops don't have to endorse your ideas either, and they don't. Most Catholics would consider the pastoring of the Bishops to be mainstream, and therefore would consider your views as outside the mainstream.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 17, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

@cat,

To be honest, I truly paid attention to the prayer for social justice when Glenn Beck said he was against social justice. That really shocked me. I thought all good Christians were "for" social justice. Without arguing whether LDS are Christian or not (and believe me I do NOT want to argue that), I know the LDS are particularly interested in social justice. They have a comprehensive network of help for their less well off members.

Of course, Beck is not cradle LDS and doesn't live in Utah, so maybe he doesn't actually know all that.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 17, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

@cat,

I didn't react to your comments about the prayers for fair wages, etc. In my church, too, we pray for those things. In my little parish in Utah, we prayed for those things. And Utah is FAR from liberal, I assure you.

I just assumed that the people standing there in Church, making their profession of faith, actually believed what they were saying and thought about it. When the homily is spoken, how could one not be affected by the values?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 17, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

12BB,

Excellent point about Beck and LDS missionary work.

Totally at odds.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 17, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

now this:
====================
@skipsailing,

You don't have to go along with the Council of Bishops. You don't have to believe in social justice. It's up to you and your conscience what you believe in.

But, the Council of Bishops don't have to endorse your ideas either, and they don't. Most Catholics would consider the pastoring of the Bishops to be mainstream, and therefore would consider your views as outside the mainstream.

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

I asked some questions about "social justice" yesterday and all I got was a dose of snottiness from Ethan (like that's something new!)

so again, why should I support something YOU can't define? Please provide a definition for "social justice". What mechanism exists today to ajudicate "social justice". How will we know when "social justice" has been done?

you guys can't or won't answer these simple questions yet you seem to believe you're some how morally superior because you're "for" it. I'd rather be "for" something I understand, can explain readily and defend when it is attacked.

so, define your terms or shut up about it. If you can't or won't define it, then it is safe for me to conclude that is just doesn't exist.

Oh, and BTW, the bishops certainly did opine in favor of progressive taxation, but they didn't provide any moral or ethical support for their position. This is quoted from section 202 of the 1986 letter:
"Secondly, the tax system should be structured according to the principle of progressivity, so that those with relatively greater financial resources pay a higher rate of taxation. The inclusion of such a principle in tax policies is an important means of reducing the severe inequalities of income and wealth in the nation."

Note that this is NOT a statement of moral or ethical certainty. It is a request for a desired result. The bishops believe that inequality in income is bad, but they don't say why.

As I said, I left the church years ago, in part because of positions like this. I have returned because I am now capable of recognizing the vast difference between faith and religion. Catholicism makes the most demands on its adherents which is why I chose it. But I don't have to agree with the heirarchy in all things and I surely don't agree with the quote above.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 17, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Ethan:

"By your logic, that's an admission that the Bush plan punishes 97% of Americans."

Not by my logic.

In any event, it has been quite some time since you and I have enaged each other, and I had forgotten how incapable you are of either following or putting forward a coherent and rational line of thought. Thanks for reminding me.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 17, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

cmccauley60:

Not that it should matter, but here are 8 different outfits.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/slideshow/ALeqM5i5EJn0jY9w4zPKNB6EDOpQC5dkrgD9I9NH200?index=0

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/sarah-palins-trip-iowa-fuels-speculation-2012-presidential/story?id=11658466

http://www.tmz.com/2010/09/17/sarah-palin-dancing-with-the-stars-appear-appearance-bristol-palin-tea-party/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/17/sarah-palins-advice-to-ch_n_720805.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/sarah-palin/8007653/Sarah-Palin-urges-unity-among-Republicans.html&sa=X&ei=652TTMvtOIKasAO9pt2_Cg&ved=0CC4QpwIwAQ&usg=AFQjCNEmaaK18ybv3GOTv3-WRZoGobUe1g

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 17, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

@ethan,

There is more to the aid network of the LDS. For example, they have food banks, financial aid, local ward aid (they mowed the lawn of my neighbor) and I think a lot more.

From the Mormon Times, in reaction to Beck's call for people to leave their churches if they called for social justice:

The Times also interviewed Kent P. Jackson, associate dean of religion at BYU. "My own experience as a believing Latter-day Saint over the course of 60 years is that I have seen social justice in practice in every LDS congregation I've been in," Jackson said. "People endeavor with all of our frailties and shortcomings to love one another and to lift up other people. So if that's Beck's definition of social justice, he and I are definitely not on the same team."

LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson encouraged members during the church's last general conference to reach out and help others every day.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 17, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Skip:

"Please provide a definition for "social justice". What mechanism exists today to ajudicate "social justice". How will we know when "social justice" has been done?"

I was about to ask thse same questions, but notice that you have done so already. I too await for an answer.

BTW, your analysis of the Bishops statement seems correct to me. They have not offered any moral or ethical principles at all, much less one grounded in Christian theology, to support their call for a progressive tax system. They simply assert that this is the way it "should" be.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 17, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

@skip,

Well, I can follow the pastoring of the Bishops or I can follow you.

As I said I come from a long tradition of Catholics, went to Catholic school for 12 years. I am pro social justice and I am pro life.

I for one do not judge you.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 17, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

We have certainly made progress here. Now the argument about social justice has moved off this blog, and the non-social-justice folks want to take on the Council of Bishops.

There are only about two thousand years of writings sitting at the feet of the Bishops and a video of Glenn Beck sitting at the feet of the non-social-justice folks.

Good luck with that. Let us know when you schedule that debate, so we can all attend.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 17, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

For those who are interested, the Church has an Office for Social Justice.

http://www.osjspm.org/default.aspx

Jesuit, of course, and have lists of documents explaining the Church's views on all sorts of social issues, including why the Church is involved in social issues.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 17, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Programs for social justice from the Jesuit web site:

Sowers of Justice Sowers of Justice is a membership organization for Catholics in the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis who are committed to changing hearts and changing social structures on behalf of justice.

Legislative Advocacy This program helps Catholics become involved in public policy advocacy. The focus is on issues that impact people in situations of poverty or who lack political power.

Parish Social Justice The Office for Social Justice helps parishes develop effective social justice activities and structures. Staff work directly with pastors and parish social action committees to in making the work of justice an integral part of parish life.

Catholic Campaign for Human Development The Office for Social Justice coordinates the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) in the archdiocese. This is a unique and successful anti-poverty program of the U.S. Catholic bishops.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 17, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

More from the Office of Social Justice:

Broad Index of Justice Issues

Africa -- AIDS
Budget -- Federal and State
Campaign Finance Reform
Children and Child Care
Citizenship
Criminal Justice
Death Penalty
Environmental Justice
Health Care
Housing/Homelessness
Hunger
Immigration Reform
Just Wages
Labor Rights
Landmines
Minimum Wage
Poverty
Predatory Lending
Racial Justice
Socially Responsible Investing
Sweatshop Labor
Tax Justice
Third World Debt
War
Welfare

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 17, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

ScottC,

Yes it has been some time.

I forgot how whenever your extremist positions become unavoidably clear, you run and hide and resort to personal attacks while not even bothering to attempt a refutation of my assertions.

If you honestly think that a flat tax plus value-added consumption tax is the way to go, MAKE YOUR CASE!

You never do. You run and hide.

It's as simple as that.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 17, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

still no definition of social justice.

How nice that 12bar blues doesn't judge me.

But he (she?) doesn't provide the requested definitions or answers to my basic questions either.

I'm driving at Skip's first law of life on earth: If you don't know what you want, you'll never know when you've got it.

if you can't define social justice, or describe the process of adjudicating social justice how will you ever know if you've achieved it or if we're on the path to its achievement?

Are there trials with lawyers and judges? How does this work? What's the goal, etc, etc.

Come now, it seems to me that given the amount of blather the term engenders on the left you guys should have ready answers.

Still no definition though.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 17, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"still no definition of social justice."

Seeing as how you are incapable of using the interwebs for yourself:

Social Justice:

Fair and proper administration of laws conforming to the natural law that all persons, irrespective of ethnic origin, gender, possessions, race, religion, etc., are to be treated equally and without prejudice. See also civil rights.

http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/social-justice.html

Was that so hard?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 17, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

The Catholic Church is against abortion too, right?

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 17, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

First, the term “social justice” is in fact defined in several church documents, including Pope Pius XI's 1937 encyclical on communism and Vatican Council II's Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World. The definition of the term in Pius XI's encyclical reads as follows: “It is the function of social justice to require of each individual that which is necessary for the common good. Consider a living organism: The good of the whole is not being properly secured unless arrangements are made for every single member to receive all that it needs to fulfill its own function. The same is true of the constitution and government of a community: The common good of a society cannot be provided for unless each individual member, a human being endowed with the dignity of personality, receives all that he needs to discharge his social function.”

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 17, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, there it is:

http://www.osjspm.org/abortion_and_euthanasia.aspx

Maybe if the "religious" left would pay just a little more attention to that, I'd believe their concern for social justice.

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 17, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

The Catholic Church is against abortion too, right?
----------------------------
Yes, that's right.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 17, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

ok, here we go:
==============
Social Justice:

Fair and proper administration of laws conforming to the natural law that all persons, irrespective of ethnic origin, gender, possessions, race, religion, etc., are to be treated equally and without prejudice. See also civil rights.

http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/social-justice.html

========

what is meant by "natural law"?

What does being "treated equally" mean? does that mean in ALL things? such that everyone must drive a zhighuli because that's "equal"?

If, on the other hand, all you're talking about is equal treatment under the law, how is "social Justice" different from regular "justice"?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 17, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

SOCIAL JUSTICE

The virtue that inclines one to co-operate with others in order to help make the institutions of society better serve the common good. While the obligation of social justice falls upon the individual, that person cannot fulfill the obligation alone, but must work in concert with others, through organized bodies, as a member of a group whose purpose is to identify the needs of society, and, by the use of appropriate means, to meet these needs locally, regionally, nationally, and even globally.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 17, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

in response to this:
===========================
First, the term “social justice” is in fact defined in several church documents, including Pope Pius XI's 1937 encyclical on communism and Vatican Council II's Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World. The definition of the term in Pius XI's encyclical reads as follows: “It is the function of social justice to require of each individual that which is necessary for the common good. Consider a living organism: The good of the whole is not being properly secured unless arrangements are made for every single member to receive all that it needs to fulfill its own function. The same is true of the constitution and government of a community: The common good of a society cannot be provided for unless each individual member, a human being endowed with the dignity of personality, receives all that he needs to discharge his social function.”

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

This sounds great. And no doubt many, many people believe this and act on it. The challenge, it seems to me, is confronting the fact even though the Pope (PBUH) may deem something as "required" surely others may disagree.

then what?

The solution to this, from the liberals anyway, is pretty simple: use the coercive power of the government to extract what the Pope says is required.

OK, but that isn't charity, its taxes. What the church is missing here is the fact that there job is to persuade people to do the right thing, not join in the voices of those who demand that the state override the rights of others in this quest.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 17, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

"I understand the pro choice position, share some of your concerns, acknowledge your 'right to exist' and the legality of abortion ..."

Posted by: 12BarBlues | March 2, 2010 6:26 PM

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/morning-fix/32-perry-hutchison-texas-governor-primary.html?wprss=thefix

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 17, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

skipsailing28:

American Catholics are notorious for "picking and choosing" which social justice to focus on. Why do you think so many of them are PRO-CHOICE?

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 17, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Are you sure you didn't leave anything out of my post that you cited?
-------------------------------

@noa,

Here we are -- you are pro choice, I am pro life, but we're not enemies. I understand the pro choice position, share some of your concerns, acknowledge your "right to exist" and the legality of abortion and yet --- I also honor my own position which is also deeply held. At no time would I pick up a gun to force you to do my will.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | March 2, 2010 6:26 PM

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 17, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Here's a purported CATHOLIC group actually in favor of human embryonic stem-cell research:

http://www.catholicsforchoice.org/news/inthenews/2008/orlandosentinelstemcellresearch.asp

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 17, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

12BarBlues:

I never said that I didn't leave out anything from your post (look up the definition of ELLIPSIS "..." someday). Do you deny that the majority of American Catholics are in favor of human embryonic stem-cell research?

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 17, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

It's pretty bad when someone has to misrepresent my views as pro choice. I have consistently, and repeatedly, stated that I am pro life.

I don't deny or confirm anything. You want to attack the teachings of the Church, go ahead. It's nothing to me. If there are Catholics who don't follow the Bishops, that's hardly a surprise, since that's what skip has been saying. As I say, I don't judge those who follow another path.

As for me, I'll take my pastoring from the Bishops, not from you.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 17, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

"What does being "treated equally" mean? does that mean in ALL things? such that everyone must drive a zhighuli because that's "equal"?"

What a totally ludicrous and patently intellectually dishonest statement.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 17, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

More about social justice from Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy

U.S. Catholic Bishops, 1986

As Catholics, we are heirs of a long tradition of thought and action on the moral dimensions of economic activity. The life and words of Jesus and the teaching of his Church call us to serve those in need and to work actively for social and economic justice. As a community of believers, we know that our faith is tested by the quality of justice among us, that we can best measure our life together by how the poor and the vulnerable are treated. This is not a new concern for us. It is as old as the Hebrew prophets, as compelling as the Sermon on the Mount, and as current as the powerful voice of Pope John Paul II defending the dignity of the human person.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 17, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

12BB,

I don't know about you, but I'm done entertaining people who cheer the loudest for inequality and an unfair, unjust society.

These ignorants will stop at nothing, including outright intellectual dishonesty, to prove their utter disdain for basic concepts of justice.

They can sit join the KKK, neonazis and the Birchers -- if they haven't already -- if they want to associate with peers on their level of hatred for a just society.

They don't get it because they don't want to get it, or, sadly, because they have psychological issues that far exceed my interest in dialog with them about political issues.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 17, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

@ethan,

I'm done too. I'm not interested in jousting on behalf of the Church. The Church is MORE than able to hold their own against the unbelievers. After all, they've had thousands of years of experience.

Social justice is a very plain concept to me. The fact that some Catholics, and others, do not believe in it, is their business. I do not judge them.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 17, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

what nonsense ethan. Your notions are being challenged and your response is childishness.

What does "equal" mean? I am trying to understand, based on your definition how "social justice" is different from regular "justice"

Apparently you've never thought about it or you haven't got an answer and bluster is your basic plan B

which is it Ethan? Can you defend your concept or not?

I used the example of the zhighuli because it seems to me that socialism has as its core a sense of "fairness" that drives everyone to mediocrity. Can you prove that your definition of "social justice" isn't such a dynamic? How can things be "fair" if I drive a ford focus and my neighbor drives a lexus? What does fair mean in this context Ethan? what does natural law mean?

You want others to simply accept that you're "doing good" but I see the failure of the government every day. Tell me how what you want differs from the cold gray socialism that drove eastern Europe into the ground.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 17, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

test

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 17, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Honestly Skip, you are making this much more difficult than it needs to be. You are over-thinking.

"all men are created equal"

As Thomas Jefferson said, that truth is SELF-EVIDENT.

Since I am comfortable with that philosophically, I am more interested in discussing the political assertion of a government based on equality and fairness under the law than I am in discussing the philosophical underpinning of what is to me, and to Thomas Jefferson, a rather basic and, again, self-evident terminology.

Since you are more interested in that philosophical discussion than you are in equality under the law in the practical sense, you will have to have that discussion with someone other than me.

Skip, I mean this in the most genial fashion possible, but it appears in many cases that you are either being obtuse on purpose or your confusion leads to a combative assertion that makes it awfully difficult to have a serious discussion. I feel like you DO try, on occasion, to have a serious discussion, and I appreciate that, but so many times it disintegrates into comments that come off as not sounding serious. It happens so frequently that it seems that you are incapable of BEING serious.

For example, you ask:

"What does being 'treated equally' mean?"

But it is clear from the definition that I supplied that "treated equally" refers to treatment of individuals with respect to the laws of the country.

Equal treatment under the law is where each law applies EQUALLY to EACH PERSON governed by that law; whether they are white, black, Asian, Hispanic, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, poor, rich, middle class, from the South, from the North, and so on and so forth.

Again, that is SELF-EVIDENT from the first phrase of the definition I supplied: "Fair and proper administration of laws."

Your example of the car doesn't apply because it is a material object and NOT A LAW. Your conflation of treatment under the law with ownership of material objects is so obtuse as to be, frankly, irrational.

The attitude with which you present these ideas, whether purposeful or not, comes across as combative and not as a serious intellectually honest dialog. That is a major failing of yours, imho, and often gets in the way of what could be a worthwhile discussion. Either you are out of your depth and cannot grasp basic philosophical concepts -- at which point I don't understand the combativeness -- or you are being intentionally obtuse and you are a person with psychological issues that prevent you from having a serious discussion with people.

Either way, your behavior is highly disconcerting and while I appreciate the fact that you love your country and your ideology, it makes debating you in a serious manner next to impossible.

I hope you understand.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 17, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

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