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Happy Hour Roundup

* Nice post from Steve Benen supplying historical context and explaining why it's so dispiriting that there's such widespread ignorance about the scope and ambition of this Congress' accomplishments.

* Garance Franke-Ruta explains Howard Kurtz's decision to leave the Post for the Daily Beast, and talks to Kurtz himself.

* Can labor and Dems succeed in using the minimum wage as a Tea Party-GOP wedge issue?

* Think Progress' big story alleging that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce potentially raises foreign money to fund U.S. elections made waves today: DCCC chair Chris Van Hollen just blasted the Chamber on MSNBC, calling for more disclosure.

* But the Chamber adamantly denies that any foreign money is used for their campaign donations.

* Alaska Tea Partyer Joe Miller, fresh from calling Federal minimum wage law unconstitutional, now wants to repeal the direct election of Senators.

* Good government groups want the IRS to investigate Karl Rove's outside group for possible violation of tax laws restricting the political activities of nonprofits.

* The "ad wizard" behind Christine O'Donnell's "witch" spot explains the thinking behind his latest wizardry.

* The Post's resident expert on China digs into O'Donnell's claims about the secret Chinese takeover plot.

* Bob Woodward's sources tell him an Obama-Hillary 2012 ticket is "on the table."

* Andrew Sullivan keeps valiantly pointing out that Reagan was in worse shape than Obama at this point.

* Disillusioned Latino voters may sit out the midterms.

* Grim read: Neil Sheehan, the author of the Vietnam classic "A Bright Shining Lie," details the parallels between 'Nam and Obama's war in Afghanistan.

* Fun read: Steve Kornacki explains why Carl Paladino, that GOP gubernatorial candidate who threatened to "take out" a New York reporter, is the David Duke of New York politics.

* And the GOP ads all about Obama are coming fast and furious now -- the latest being this one from Rand Paul starring an actor impersonating Obama claiming how reliable a supporter Jack Conway will be:

What else is going on?

By Greg Sargent  | October 5, 2010; 5:56 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, Campaign finance, Foreign policy and national security, Happy Hour Roundup, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Only one third of Democrats see this Congress' achievements as historic
Next: The Morning Plum

Comments

It seems as if the WaPo -- and Dems in general -- sure are devoting a lot of resources to destroy a candidate who supposedly has "no chance" of winning ; )

Thank God that Kurtz is gone!

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 5, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Van Hollen may think that the democrats have finally found an issue - the foreign money that may or may not be going to the Chamber of Commerce (to run tourism commericials, mostly)


HOWEVER - does Van Hollen really know what he is talking about?

Bill Clinton is the one who started TAKING CHINESES AND INDONESIAN MONEY INTO DEMOCRATIC GROUPS.


Obama has been doing this kind so stuff too.


CLEARLY THE DEMOCRATS' HANDS ARE NOT CLEAN ON THIS ISSUE.


This has an explosive potential - a bommer-rang explosive potential for the democrats.


Well - it has been said that the Republicans have all the information and evidence on the democrats on this issue -


So don't ask me what Van Hollen thinks he is doing.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Per the "ad wizard" (no pun intended, I'm sure) behind the O'Donnell campaign commercial:

"I wanted people to get to know the real Christine," Davis said in an interview. He said the ad was designed to show "that she was not what everyone thought, that she was an everywoman - with one exception. She was one of us, but was so disappointed in our government that she was moved to action, to try and do something about it."

Davis said he included that line in the script to "once and for all put that behind her, and let people know we're moving on from that to things that really matter today."

O'Donnell's ad bears a resemblance to a recent ad Davis produced for Republican Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive running for the Senate in California. Both feature the candidates, dressed elegantly and speaking directly to the camera in front of dark, foggy backdrops.

But Davis said the O'Donnell background was different, and that Fiorina's was a more elaborate production.

As for O'Donnell's straightened hair and formal attire, Davis said it was not scripted.

"The pearls, etc., are just her," Davis said. "She is literally not what everyone thinks. That's just what she wore."

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 5, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Can you all see the Rand Paul ad embedded at the bottom?

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 5, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

No.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 5, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Well Christine O'Donnell is not a witch - even though she has a broom and a black cat.

Well - Linda McMahon might win in Connecticut - so that is a trade-off.

West Virginia - could be a surprise pick-up for the Republicans.

Wisconsin - Feingold's number are in really bad shape and that doesn't really look good for Feingold.


The QUESTION is this: how could the prospects of the democrats be so bad in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin - and the democrats be competitive in other parts of the country?


The answer is pretty clear - the polling in the other parts of the country are not as detailed in those three states which are competitive - and the various turnout levels of various groups is well known.

In polling in other states, the polling is more generic - the demographic balancing analysis is not nearly as specific - so the polls are not as precise.

This year - I will venture to project - ALL THE STATES really look like Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin - and we are just not getting an accurate picture from the polling in the other states.

Another factor - this cycle of the US Senate is supposed to be in the democrats' favor - so if the cycle was closer to the norm, the democrats would be in WORSE shape.

That factor is going to emergy in 2012 - when the Senate cycle favors the Republicans and when the Republicans have a decent chance of actually getting to 60 votes -

If that happens, liberals will REALLY be convinced that Obama made serious mistakes - the debate in the democratic party will not be what it is today - the debate will be "how could we be so stupid to believe that we could jam a far-left wing agenda down the nation's throats"

Obama is destroying the democratic party for a generation.


YOU think you hear "Do you want to go back to Bush"

JUST WAIT - You are going to hear "Do you want to go back to Obama- high unemployment - democratic polices which lead to economic stagnation - and constant threats that taxes will be raised to pay for massive government programs that no one wants"


YOU WANT TO GO BACK TO OBAMA???

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Here's some political rock that is highly entertaining and needs to be shared:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UtmTALMkU4

Posted by: actuator | October 5, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Weird. Now I can see the ad.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 5, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

It may be true there is an enthusiasm gap in Latino voting versus 2008, but there are only a handful of states where Latino votes make a huge difference. One of those is California. They are energized by the immigration debate, which has been brought into high relief by Meg Whitman's maid-gate. Expect no Latino enthusiasm gap in California.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 5, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

The real question is will Rand Paul become more of the problem in Washington or will he work for bipartisan solutions to the problems this nation face...

Why are we sending more people who are part of the problem then hate congress because they can't get anything done???? We are a strange people...

Posted by: soapm | October 5, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

"Can you all see the Rand Paul ad embedded at the bottom?"

Yes - and that is one good advert!

Posted by: sbj3 | October 5, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

"Andrew Sullivan keeps valiantly pointing out that Reagan was in worse shape than Obama at this point."

Unfortunately for Obama, the difference is that Reagan was leading the country in the right direction, and Obama is "leading" in the wrong direction.

He could eek it out in two years, if the economy gets a little better and the GOP saves him from himself, but does anyone remotely imagine a Morning in America landlide for BO? Yeah, thought not.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

"Alaska Tea Partyer Joe Miller, fresh from calling Federal minimum wage law unconstitutional, now wants to repeal the direct election of Senators."
---------------------------------------------

At the point where we start directly electing people like Joe Miller and Rand Paul to the senate, I think I'd almost have to agree. God knows we could use damned sight more professionalism in the congress in general. But ironically, professionalism seems to be the among the first casualties of efforts to make the election process more open and less subject to cronyism. Every solution it seems, contains the seeds of its own undoing.

Posted by: CalD | October 5, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Halloween is going to be a tough holiday for O'Donnell.

So many choices.

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 5, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Do you think the Republicans have been able to remove themselve from Bush and his economic policies (most people say what economic policies, but leave that aside for a moment.)


Well, do you think the democrats will EVER be able to remove the Obama economic policies from the democratic party?


The democrats are "all in" on Obama.


They are "all in" on the health care plan, all the premium increases, all the drags on hiring in the economy as a result of Obama.

The democrats are "all in" on Obama ignoring the economy in the midst of an economic crisis -

AND the democrats are "all in" in favor of a massive government program with massive, uncertain costs.

The democratic party is in the midst of a MELTDOWN.


DO YOU WANT TO GO BACK TO THE OBAMA ECONOMIC STAGNATION POLICIES ???


Do you?


I don't.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Bob Woodward's sources tell him an Obama-Hillary 2012 ticket is "on the table."
----------------------------------------------

That is quite possibly the most ridiculous thing that I have ever heard.

Posted by: CalD | October 5, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

QB1,

Add to that Several things.  Reagan could run against the House.  Reagan had just cut taxes.  Reagan did not have a massive tax increase set to start January 1 hanging over his well coiffed head.  Reagan did not ram through an immensely unpopular Obamacare bill, Porkulus bill, and union bailout bill. 

Barry has those things around his neck and the Democratic Congress is going to pay the price. 

The question for Democrats is "was it worth it"?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 5, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Reuters/IPSOS is now out with post debate (post maid-gate) poll on CA governors race: Brown +7 (50% vs 43%), 4.7 pt moe.

Let's see how many millions Meg will spend to try to get this trainwreck turned around. She spent $130 million so far and has been done in by her illegal maid.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 5, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Greg

All I see is a video of a black cat.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

They are focusing on Christine O'Donnell because they hope they can make her the face of the GOP in the election cycle, so folks will think a vote for whatever local Democrat is a vote against crazy pleasure-hating witch-dabbler O'Donnell. Not because they think she has any real chance of winning.

She's just so atrocious, they want to see if they can paint every Republican candidate with the same brush.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 5, 2010 3:16 PM
-------

And if Republicans tried this with Alvin Greene what do you suppose the left would be screaming?

Posted by: Brigade | October 5, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

@brigade: "And if Republicans tried this with Alvin Greene what do you suppose the left would be screaming?"

LOL - now that is a *great* point!

Posted by: sbj3 | October 5, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Hey baggers, aren't you glad to see what your campaign contributions are being wasted on?

LOL @ you!

Posted by: Observer691 | October 5, 2010 3:38 PM
----

I nominate Observer691 for the Golden Imbecile Award. Having read several of his posts, I'm sure he'll win hands down.

Posted by: Brigade | October 5, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

And if Republicans tried this with Alvin Greene what do you suppose the left would be screaming?
---------------------
I'm surprised the R's aren't trying it. I wouldn't be screaming...after all, what could one say? Greene should not be the Democratic candidate, and that's the truth. The truth is the truth.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 5, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

hey observer691,
If you'd like to make a real-money wager on the heels of the Dem's apparently improving prospects of keeping the House and the GOP's premature peaking, I'd be happy to take the other side.

Posted by: bzod9999 | October 5, 2010 3:50 PM
----

All observer could wager would be this month's ration of free government cheese.

Posted by: Brigade | October 5, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

I don't see any mention of Rand Paul on the page.

"Weird. Now I can see the ad."

Sounds like witchcraft to me. Hmmmm.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 5, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Brigade writes:

And if Republicans tried this with Alvin Greene what do you suppose the left would be screaming?
_________________________________


This is a fantastic point - again the democrats have fallen into the trap that somehow their sexist behavior is acceptable.


If the Republicans took some quotes from democratic sitting members of Congress they democrats would be screaming foul.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

"Bob Woodward's sources tell him an Obama-Hillary 2012 ticket is "on the table.""

As I said a couple of months back, this would be very smart indeed. The two big advantages (aside from competence) are:
1) setting up for the next eight years
2) effective kidnapping of the whole "mamma grizzly" PR strategy that the GOP has designed and has been pushing since the Palin nomination (hoping to capitalize on Hillary's run and the enthusiasm of women for a woman candidate).

Do this!

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

From Dem Strategist:

"The Tea Party Movement is largely a radicalized cohort of Republican voters who are by no means libertarians or anything else new under the sun. They are just a lot noisier now, and have a new set of props and some rhetoric borrowed from several very old strains of conservative extremism. They aren't going away any time soon, but nor did they come out of nowhere in response to the policies of Barack Obama. We all need to get used to it."
polling at link... http://www.thedemocraticstrategist.org/strategist/2010/10/tea_partychristian_right_overl.php#comments

Posted by: bernielatham | October 5, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

"If you like the plan you have you can keep it."

3M Co. confirmed it would eventually stop offering its health-insurance plan to retirees, citing the federal health overhaul as a factor.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703859204575526953379583836.html

Posted by: sbj3 | October 5, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

@brigade: "And if Republicans tried this with Alvin Greene what do you suppose the left would be screaming?"

LOL - now that is a *great* point!

Posted by: sbj3 | October 5, 2010 7:02 PM
====================================

I'd just chalk it up as yet another example of GOOPer false equivalence.

=>Rove backpedals, insists he has "endorsed" O'Donnell and is "for the Republican in each and every case"<=

http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201009160007

Is anything remotely similiar going on with Alvin Greene?
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | October 5, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

More proof of the retro fetish of the Right: when all else fails, hail "Saint Ronnie".

All the TeaOP has to do is roll back Civil Rights, popular election of Senators, get rid of Medicare, etc. and they will have kept their campaign promises.

I wonder if they want to bring back Plessy?

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | October 5, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Jake

What are the eight most heard words in Connecticut today?

Answer: "I'm Linda McMahon and I approve this message"

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry but, I wasn't politically active until 2000 and I find that most people who claim that they are, are simply ignornat of basic facts. For instance, do independents think that Bush didn't have a Congress when he was President? Do they think he passed all of his awful policies by himself? The problem seems to be that the Dems haven't labeled the current GOP as the same dolts who passed Bush's policies. Now, that sounds a bit obvious to me as I'm sure it does to manhy of you but, for many who are just plain ignorant, the obvious has to be stated. Boehner, Cantor, McConnell, Coburn and all of the other current kooks in that party were equally responsible for Bush's policies and that needs to be driven home to the uninformed!

Posted by: roxsteady | October 5, 2010 1:42 PM
----

This is a pure distillation of liberal thinking. He seems to understand that Congress passes laws and sends them to the President. Bravo! But sometimes the liberal brain just gets stuck.

Quickly now, which party has controlled Congress for the last four years? I don't think Boehner, Cantor, McConnell, or Coburn are members. Follow-up question: is the country better off now than it was four years ago? If you answer "no," then you can vote for change in November. If you answer "yes," then you probably should see if your medicaid will pay for replacing your current brain with one that works.

Ever hear of the housing bubble? Mortgage-backed securities? Do the names Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and Frank Raines ring a bell? Wasn't it just wonderful when even people who couldn't afford a home could buy one anyhow? Liberal utopia!

Posted by: Brigade | October 5, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Troll,

Plus, Reagan was unfailingly positive and likable. He stood for genuine hope.

BO as POTUS is an unpleasant, condescending, snarling, complaining, blaming, nasty partisan and lecturer. He can't go back to the vacant hope and change rhetoric and post-partisan demigod shtick again. The spell wore off a long time ago and won't ever come back.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Expect no Latino enthusiasm gap in California.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 5, 2010 6:23 PM
----

Are they going to pay for getting California out of the ditch?

Posted by: Brigade | October 5, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Hey, everyone here can beat up on Alvin Greene if you want to. No one is stopping you. And I mean NO ONE.

I would be surprised that a single poster on the left would defend Mr. Greene. We all wish he hadn't won his primary.

Go at it -- if you think you can make some mileage out of it.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 5, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Are they going to pay for getting California out of the ditch?
----------------------------
And your question is........

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 5, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

"I'm sorry but, I wasn't politically active until 2000 and I find that most people who claim that they are, are simply ignornat of basic facts. For instance, do independents think that Bush didn't have a Congress when he was President? Do they think he passed all of his awful policies by himself? The problem seems to be that the Dems haven't labeled the current GOP as the same dolts who passed Bush's policies. Now, that sounds a bit obvious to me as I'm sure it does to manhy of you but, for many who are just plain ignorant, the obvious has to be stated. Boehner, Cantor, McConnell, Coburn and all of the other current kooks in that party were equally responsible for Bush's policies and that needs to be driven home to the uninformed!

Posted by: roxsteady"

There was a survey done several months back on people who watch the various networks and how informed they are.

I'm sure I don't have to tell you the viewers of which network did the worst. And it correlated with the amount of time watching the network.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 5, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

"DO YOU WANT TO GO BACK TO THE OBAMA ECONOMIC STAGNATION POLICIES ???"

I am happy to say Save, the facts don't support your assertion. The economy has grown under Obama and shrunk to near depression under Bush... Those are facts...

Posted by: soapm | October 5, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

The real question is will Rand Paul become more of the problem in Washington or will he work for bipartisan solutions to the problems this nation face...

Why are we sending more people who are part of the problem then hate congress because they can't get anything done???? We are a strange people...

Posted by: soapm | October 5, 2010 6:26 PM
---

If Republicans take control of Congress, you can bet they'll work for "bipartisan solutions." Question is, will they get any bipartisan cooperation? I'm sure liberals will all be on board for the Republican agenda. Wouldn't want Dems referred to as the 'Party of No' now would we?

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

Ever hear of the housing bubble? Mortgage-backed securities?

Posted by: Brigade | October 5, 2010 7:19 PM
====================================

I sure have. The housing bubble peaked in early 2005.

You'd like to hang that on the Congress that took office in 2006, but you need an audience with no knowledge of the real estate market.

Since you don't have that here, why don't you tell us what you know about credit default swaps? I bet it won't take long.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | October 5, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Barry has those things around his neck and the Democratic Congress is going to pay the price.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 5, 2010 6:50 P
----

Plus, he doesn't know squat about executive leadership or bipartisanship.

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

I forgot, BO is a loudmouth, too. The yelling, fake black preacher act isn't going to go far. With his base of nutroots and wackos and swooning envrios, maybe, but not with most of the country. He just sounds like a loud bully.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

She spent $130 million so far and has been done in by her illegal maid.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 5, 2010 6:50 PM
---

Well, not quite yet. The media wh0re Allred all but admitted Brown supporters are behind maidgate. Now Whitman's striking back over Brown's coziness with ole brother Fidel. Frankly, with California's finances in the shape they're in, I don't know why Whitman would spend a nickle of her own money. Does she think that wreck can be turned around in a couple of years? Let Brown figure out how to pay all those $100,000+ pensions plus healthcare that have been promised to half the people in the state (yes, I know there's some hyperbole). I guess he could raise taxes more and drive the few remaining businesses out of the state.

Posted by: Brigade | October 5, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

BO as POTUS is an unpleasant, condescending, snarling, complaining, blaming, nasty partisan and lecturer.
-----------------------------------
Hey, what's with all the free-floating hostility, everyone? Is there nothing in the topic that excites anyone. It seems to me that as soon as someone mentions Ronald, Blessed-be-his-holy-name, Reagan, fantasy land starts taking over with each poster starting up with his favorite rants.

What is it about Reagan that incites this kind of fury? I like Reagan myself--he was a very likable guy. He'd be the first one surprised that his supporters are out spitting nails in his image, because Reagan surely never did that.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 5, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

"Dem Strategist" is a pretty funny oxymoron, wish I had thought of it.

BTW, PL-keteers: I'm not a retired (I wish) employee of 3M but co-inkadinkly...my company's (<50 employees) provider, MVPHealth, dropped us yesterday, effective Jan 1!

So we're shopping. There's a real good possibility we'll not be able to keep our present doctors, our new plan will cover less, and it'll cost more.

I recall someone writing here predicting exactly the above as not a consequence of HCR but as the Dems' true intent.

Good times.

Thnx Mr. President, you *@^&%$#&!

Posted by: tao9 | October 5, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

12bb,

I notice you didn't deny the truth of what I said. Just deflected.

It was directly responsive to Greg's post that Obama is in better position than Reagan was. Face it, Obama is a partisan, nasty divider. He's the most divisive Potus imo since at least Johnson, although I'm not old enough to really remember LBJ.

I can't see a repeat of Morning in America for the Chief Blamer and Mocker in 2012.

Where am I wrong?

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

"Hey, what's with all the free-floating hostility, everyone? Is there nothing in the topic that excites anyone. It seems to me that as soon as someone mentions Ronald, Blessed-be-his-holy-name, Reagan, fantasy land starts taking over with each poster starting up with his favorite rants. "

Who knows? But apparently it's become a Sarah Palin winky winky talking point to pretend that Obama is a rank partisan.

I don't remember a single politician who made such an effort to reach across the aisle that Obama did. Maybe Ted Kennedy or John McCain.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 5, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

BO as POTUS is an unpleasant, condescending, snarling, complaining, blaming, nasty partisan and lecturer.
--------------------------------
@qb,

You want me to argue with you about your description? Surely you jest. You do realize this is just your opinion, right? You do realize that this is just partisanship, don't you? I mean you are the partisan.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 5, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Tao9,

I'm sorry to hear that. I hope your able to find something that works for you.  My sympathies.

Not to piggyback on your misery, but the large corporation I work for ( that helped write and "sell" this abomination) is now replacing workers that leave for 1099 contract workers. Like you said, it's a feature not a bug. Bummer. 

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 5, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Tao9,

I'm sorry to hear that. I hope your able to find something that works for you.  My sympathies.

Not to piggyback on your misery, but the large corporation I work for ( that helped write and "sell" this abomination) is now replacing workers that leave for 1099 contract workers. Like you said, it's a feature not a bug. Bummer. 

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 5, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

BO as POTUS is an unpleasant, condescending, snarling, complaining, blaming, nasty partisan and lecturer.
-----------------------------------
I make it a practice not to argue with people over their personal opinions. What's there to argue about? Whether the person is question snarls? It's a matter of personal opinion, it's not factually based. One person's snarl is another person's fangy smile (Cheney comes to mind).

Few things are more stupid--well, getting involved in someone else's barroom brawl is right up there in stupidity.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 5, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

I sure have. The housing bubble peaked in early 2005.

You'd like to hang that on the Congress that took office in 2006, but you need an audience with no knowledge of the real estate market.

Since you don't have that here, why don't you tell us what you know about credit default swaps? I bet it won't take long.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | October 5, 2010 7:33 P
----

No longer than it takes to figure out that you and observer691 both suffer from the same malady. No surprise that high-rollers learned how to make a profit from idiotic liberal socialist policies regarding home ownership. If you want to learn about credit default swaps, you can google it---go ahead, cut and paste. I'm not here to educate you---get a tutor--- but to demonstrate your ignorance. Go ahead and dazzle us with your theories of how the economic house of cards collapsed, and how it was all Bush's fault. Tell us how Chris and Barney did everything they could to stop it. Tell us how it was the Bush tax cuts that wrecked the economy. Document for us how every time the Republican Congress spent money, the Dems rose up in arms and said, No! No!, you're spending too much! Tells us how all the banks and mortgage institutions, no doubt run by Republicans, just begged for the opportunity to make bad loans. Tell us it was all predatory lending. Poor sap.

Check the unemployment rate and then go lay down in corner somewhere until you can think of a better line than, "we need more time! Four years isn't enough!" That line's worn out, and Dems have about three more weeks to show us what they've got. But we already know the answer.

Posted by: Brigade | October 5, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

What else is happening?
Joe "the plumber" has resurfaced and joined some Tea-Party groups to oppose a proposal to regulate puppy mills in Missouri.

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/10/missouri_tea_partiers_joe_the_plumber_join_movemen_1.php

Do any of you here share your home with a dog or just like dogs in general? I don't have any problem with people breeding dogs and selling the puppies, but I think puppy mills are a prime example of animal cruelty and should be regulated (no, I'm not a PETA person). Like banks, they won't regulate themselves, that's for sure. I imagine plenty of people,whatever their political stripe, might wonder at this opposition. Pets are most definitely non-partisan, except maybe for Carl Paladino's pooch, Duke :)

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/05/nyregion/05trailer.html

On the human front, it seems to me that the CT Blumenthal-McMahon debate showed Blumenthal more than holding his own. I especially liked his comment that a senator's job was not to be an entrepreneur, but to help them.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/05/nyregion/05trailer.html

Posted by: carolanne528 | October 5, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Brigade, we went over this before. The CDS collapse was mainly due to crooked ratings due to a lapse in oversight.

Who is responsible for this lapse? Exactly one person.

What is it about Conservatives that love of the title supersedes love of country?

Posted by: DDAWD | October 5, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Tao9 and Troll, from the Wall Street Journal, more people who will be able to keep their current health plan (not):

"Principal Financial Group Inc. said it will leave the medical-insurance business ...
"'The medical business continues to be one that undergoes rapid change, which would mean investing additional capital into the business to be able to offer competitive products,' Mr. (Larry) Zimpleman said. 'For us, that just does not make sense.'

"Principal's decision comes as the health-care industry faces changes because of a sweeping overhaul signed into law by U.S. President Barack Obama earlier this year.

"The company said it will eliminate jobs as it makes the transition, with 150 of its about 1,5000 medical-insurance jobs being cut immediately."

-----

Way to go, Dems! Take this to the voters.

Posted by: Brigade | October 5, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

"Who is responsible for this lapse? Exactly one person."

It's got to be Cthulhu...or Lohan.

Posted by: tao9 | October 5, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

For anybody interested...if you check out the end of the thread of this morning's roundup you will see what can happen when the morons are not around.

Actual discussion who while completely disagreeing did so thoughtfully, attempting to make points and not call names..and not double spacing every sentence and repeatedly telling us what a bad man Obama is..what a concept...people with something to say that is not just a litany of Obama has bad breadth..why are you people not paying attention to me Obama bad...Obama bad...Obama bad..Obama bad. Sometimes when certain losers disappear this blog is terrific..even skipsailing got into the act with a respectful debate with lmsinca...the difference in tone and thought was pretty remarkable.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 5, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

carolanne28 wrote,
"Do any of you here share your home with a dog or just like dogs in general?"
-----

You made me recall this story from earlier today,

"Ogden, Ia. — A woman died over the weekend after she likely jumped into a well in an attempt to save her drowning English Shepherd puppy, Boone County sheriff's office said.

Marcia King-Brink, 54, of rural Ogden went undiscovered for hours after jumping into more than 6 feet of cold water sometime Friday, police said. She was on a walk with an English Shepherd and its puppy, police said.

Police dogs found the woman's body at 7:35 a.m. Saturday in the well, about four hours after she was reported missing by her husband, police said. He told police he last saw her Friday morning before work.

Police said her sweater was lying next to the well, which led them to believe she intentionally jumped in.

King-Brink likely drowned or died of hypothermia, police said. The mother of the puppy did not fall in and survived, family members said.

"She went in after it on her own, and realized when she got down that it was too far up for her to reach, and she couldn't pull herself back out," Boone County Sheriff Ron Fehr said. "It was just a matter of time sitting in that cold water, and she couldn't reach the bottom with her feet."

The state medical examiner's office is performing an autopsy. No foul play is suspected, police said.

King-Brink loved to walk dogs, some of which she rescued, around a pond on an acreage she and her husband owned, said Jan Turpin, King-Brink's sister. She had two grown step-children.

"Her dogs were her babies. Anybody that knew her knew what she would do for them," Turpin said. "You know, she would probably do it over again."

King-Brink headed a research laboratory at Iowa State University's meat science program, Turpin said. She grew up on a farm with chickens, horses and pigs near Rippey, and nurtured a lifelong love of animals, she said." ---DM Register


Posted by: Brigade | October 5, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse


DDAWD wrote,
"Brigade, we went over this before. The CDS collapse was mainly due to crooked ratings due to a lapse in oversight."
---

That too.

Posted by: Brigade | October 5, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

"Who is responsible for this lapse? Exactly one person."

It's got to be Cthulhu...or Lohan.

Posted by: tao9 | October 5, 2010 8:27 PM
----

First the Byrds, now H.P. Lovecraft. And RU posts lyrics from Woody Guthrie songs. I love this place. :)

Posted by: Brigade | October 5, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

@tao9 Sorry for your misfortune but it's truly disingenuous to blame this on HCR.

This has been going on for the past five years at least...you were just fortunate to last this long. My wife and I suffer from the prexisting condition of being in our early 60's...no other health problems but that is actuarial disaster for a small business like ours..as in $23,000 annual premiums...$4,000 deductibles across the board...a simple kidney stone last year added another $4,000 to our expense. We are paying somewhere between $30,000 & $40,000 for health care this year...next year it will get far worse...and yes some of it may be due to the Health care monopoly gouging the best they can before "insurance reform" it certainly wasn't health care reform...or a "government takeover" or socialized medicine...kicks in. And the market forces we are supposed to be able to use...what a freakin joke...we have a broker who has shopped mightily for us...that means a choice of about 4 huge insurers here in Florida with a choice of worse...or worse still. There is no way for us to avoid this by careful market analysis or smart shopping!!!!

The two issues I have researched in depth are health care and the disparity in wealth distribution. EVERY credible bit of information for ALL sources..providers..industry experts points towards a single payer solution. It's the ONLY way to control cost...yes we'll pull the plug on granny...no more pap smears for comatose 85 year old ladies with triple by passes...no more colonoscopies for 93 year old women (somebody actually wanted to inflict this on my mother in law until another Physician mercifully intervened and pronounced that as absurd) yes we'll continue rationing...the only difference will be instead of rationing simply by money and circumstance we'll attempt to ration "rationally" by outcomes. We'll let Physicians and scientists have the largest say in our expenditures...and again it will be the ONLY way to control our runaway health care costs.

Luckily tao9 my wife is only two years from Medicare and I'm only three years away. Hopefully we can hang on financially until then. Good luck to you as well.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 5, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone remember Phil Ochs? No liberal worth his/her salt went through the 1960s without at least one Phil Ochs album.

Posted by: Brigade | October 5, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

I'd like reading this blog if it weren't for all the dumbass nasty trolls. They really ruin it.

Posted by: hellslittlestangel1 | October 5, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Back then it was Journey and the Moody Blues for me. I discovered Kate Bush near the end of the decade. Sorry to disappoint you briggy.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 5, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Tao9,

Would it help if Ethan2010 did an ALL CAPS rant calling for your banning?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 5, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Brigade...I know you're not going to believe this...but in the 60's I was a conservative...I even VOLUNTEERED to go to Vietnam. How freakin stupid was that? LMAO...Well I was young and did a lot of stupid things besides being a conservative. :-) Phil Ochs..I vaguely remember the name...but we were listening to The Lettermen and trying to cop a feel on the couch.

I'm making up for my misspent youth however. I am now proudly progressive and tonight as I pumped some iron in the gym my MP3 player was pounding some Black Eyed Peas...Lady Gaga..and the Bodyrockers...can't get enough of the Bodyrockers pounding bass and drums on "I like the way" when I'm repping out.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 5, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

"DO YOU WANT TO GO BACK TO THE OBAMA ECONOMIC STAGNATION POLICIES ???"


NO WAY - the democratic party is in the midst of destroying itself for a generation.


Who is going to forget Obama ignoring the economy and jamming through a massive expensive government program in the middle of an economic crisis.

The health care plan is a drag on hiring - it is a formula for ECONOMIC STAGNATION.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

I'd like reading this blog if I weren't a dumbass nasty troll.

Posted by: hellslittlestangel1 | October 5, 2010 8:47 PM
----

I feel your pain.

Posted by: Brigade | October 5, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

12BarBlues AT 8:07 PM


You make it it a practice?


You certainly have done the exact opposite on these blogs for a very long time.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

@tao - I recommend a move up north. Or Europe, or Britain or Israel. Good food in all those places, superior medical outcomes and no fiscal worries on event of illness. And prettier flags too.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 5, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7 at 8:41 PM


Too bad you aren't in a union - and billing all that to the taxpayers like many of the other democrats.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

@Bernie...I was with you until the "prettier flags." While I dislike the way the pseudo patriots have turned our flag into something akin to the "Shroud of Turin" I do think the old Red, White, and Blue is a clever, colorful and original flag. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 5, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Phil Ochs..I vaguely remember the name...but we were listening to The Lettermen and trying to cop a feel on the couch.
----

I was introduced in college. Lots of resistence to the war and agitation for civil rights in those days. Bob Dylan was big on campus, too. Folk singers like Joan Baez and Eric Anderson.

Posted by: Brigade | October 5, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

@Brigade...and so what were you listening to on the couch when you were trying to cop a feel? Surely not Bob Dylan or Joan Baez. LOL

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 5, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

This is my image of what has been discussed on this blog for a long time.

Because so many people are watching their weight, the Keebler Elves have less demand for cookies.

The Cookie Ovens are located in the bases of the trees.

Further up in the branches - that's where the computers are. All wired to the internet.

The trolls are there, each with a mini-keyboard.

So the elves are making the cookies - and the trolls are up in the branches - blogging.

Sometimes the trolls get angry - and they take spools of thread - They come out the top of the trees and throw the spools of thread down at the squirrels.


That is the trolls thread-bombing.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Brigade | October 5, 2010 8:08 PM
=========================

Such a lot of hot air!

But you couldn't get around the fact that the housing bubble you want to blame on Democrats in Congress from 2006 on peaked in 2005.

You don't know what you're talking about. The only thing you bring to the table at the Plum Line are lying points written by right-wing propaganda mills.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | October 5, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

CDS -- Having taken a couple of courses in corporate and international finance, I would wager that not one regular commenter here could get close to qualifying as any kind of expert on the world of derivatives and how they work. Me included.

But the roots of the junk mortgage secondary market were the junk mortgages themselves and the goverment programs and regulations that spawned them. Those were works of liberalism, the same planning, engineering, tinkering statism that the Democrats are still dragging us into.

It should no longer surprise anyone that it creates serial crises and disasters, because it isn't possible for the tinkerers and engineers to engineer everything. There are always problems they didn't spot, consequences they didn't anticipate. No one can possibly know enough.

That's not George Bush. That's the inevitable failure of statism.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

@Brigade...and so what were you listening to on the couch when you were trying to cop a feel? Surely not Bob Dylan or Joan Baez. LOL

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 5, 2010 9:08 PM
----

The Righteous Brothers were big back then. Roy Orbison. Jerry Butler. Maybe Neil Diamond. The Beatles and Rolling Stones were popular but not so much for making out.

Posted by: Brigade | October 5, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

@ru - The stars and stripes seems to me the epitomy of rationalist iconography, almost closer to an equation than a poem.

I like Colbert's eagle though.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 5, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

You don't know what you're talking about. The only thing you bring to the table at the Plum Line are lying points written by right-wing propaganda mills.


Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | October 5, 2010 9:18 PM

___________________________

I'm pretty sure that Brigade writes his own material.


As for the housing bubble. Bill Clinton and the democrats started by letting the internet bubble get out of control.


Amazing how Joe Biden thinks it is a credit to Bill Clinton to say that that bubble led to a balanced budget - but caused so much other damage to the ecnomy.


The internet bubble led to the housing bubble - again very poor economic policy

So Bill Clinton - and all his long-term appointees at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are responsible for the Housing bust - and that whole mess.


Thank you for pointing that all out to us.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

QB1,

You have to include unfortunately, a belief among those in the financial market, that the government would/will backstop them so there really is no particular risk.

I don't think we've done anything to disuade that belief.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 5, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

The roots of the junk mortgage market was the need of Wall Street to create high interest bearing investments to sell to hedge funds and other large investors. The challenge was how to create high interest investments in a low interest rate environment. The answer was ingenious. Bundle up these mortgages, tranche them in a way you create different rates and risks, and sell the tranches separately. Get the credit rating agencies on the gravytrain, too, and give the securities the semblance of AAA investments.

That worked so well that the demand for these securities was wild. Every large investor wanted more and more.

The next challenge: where to get more of these mortgages? Well, the American homeowner...could he get ginned up to buy more property and refinance like a whirling dervish? He could? You bet'cha, he could. He could refinance every time he wanted to buy new appliances or a vacation.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 5, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Stars and Stripes > Maple Leaf

. . . and not close.

Great flags -- GB, Scandinavian countries, Iceland. Rest of Europe, not so much.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

"The Righteous Brothers were big back then. Roy Orbison. Jerry Butler. Maybe Neil Diamond. The Beatles and Rolling Stones were popular but not so much for making out."

All great artists Brigade. Jerry Butler had some good makeout music..but you're right..the others...not so much.

To give you an idea of my eclectic taste...my MP3 player not only has Black Eyed Peas...Lady Gaga..and the Bodyrockers..it also has songs from artists you just mentioned...who can get cranking in the gym to the Stones..Start Me Up...Beatles...Get Back..Got to get you into my life...and I even have a Righteous Brothers track..."Little Latin Lupe Lu"..another great tune to work out to...of course now that I'm an old married f#rt I need to spend more time in the gym so I can still make out..rather than on the couch trying to arouse my wife. LMAO

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 5, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Bernie,

You'll never get me out of, Ora Pro Nobis, UpstateNY.

I can deal with the deleterious unintended outcomes of the Leviathan as long as some sallow progg bureaucrat, with my best intentions in his diseased myelencephalon, doesn't make me wear a bike helmet when I snoeshoe Santanoni Peak.

For Heaven's sake, I've made it 30 yrs so far in the twin GroundZeroes of liberal busybodyness and confiscatory altruism...Boston and Albany.

Anyway, the Dems are going away for a long while very soon.

Bogus comparative food, medical choices, and fiscal worries be damned. Those are not what makes a nation, or fire the soul of a citizen, unless your a free-rider.

I'll take my chances where I was born.

(It occurs to me you were being whimsical, if so my apologies, some things escape my lighter side.)

Posted by: tao9 | October 5, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

The Maple Leaf is possibly the silliest flag ever designed, an amazing accomplishment all in all. But then, I don't like flags. I'd like them if they were made from lady's dainties. Subtext.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 5, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the house in Tennessee that was allowed to burn to the ground on owner's failure to pay a $75 fee, it appears that if the city extended fire protection to the entire city the rise in taxes would be...

13 cents.

Oppressive statism!
http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-cohn/78169/so-your-neighbors-house-fire

Posted by: bernielatham | October 5, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

@tao

"Anyway, the Dems are going away for a long while very soon."

Ohhh my Empire State friend that is some seriously WISHFUL thinking. You might score the proverbial midterm win but the demographics and history do not auger well for you.

If you look at the continuum of history the progressive thoughts always overcomes the reactionary thoughts. The examples are simply too numerous to list.

Here is a bit of happy news for you though.
If you google the happiest countries in the world you find that most of them are Scandinavian. I would posit that it's because of their blend of free enterprise and socialism which is weighted far more heavily to the socialist side than the capitalist side when compared to the U.S. Still I drive a Volvo and those Swedes did manage to produce a fine automobile...You I suspect would pronounce their increased happiness is the result of some world class snowshoing...and who could really argue with that? :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 5, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Troll,

I wouldn't discount that at all, although it is mostly speculation.

But it is just part of what I said imo. The self-appointed genius planners will never anticipate all the consequences of their policies. There are always people who look for and find the angles, rent seekers, exploiters of moral hazard.

The left eternally believes that if we just put the right, smartest nannies and bureaucrats in charge, they will be able to regulate everything just so. It's the biggest "just so" story ever. And the story always goes the same. When government creates another mess, the left says it was lack of government, laissez faire, even. It's quite brazen.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

@12Bar....my my my...from a social conscience to a dissertation on tranches?

I'm impressed...that post rivals sold2u who IMHO generally comes up with the best technical comments on our financial system.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 5, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

@tao - I was being whimsical but Israel isn't a nation? Nor Britain? Nor the others? You may be hosting a rather odd definition of the term.

The fire in Tennessee does put certain notions of policy in a clear light. There's a reason why Beck, Limbaugh and the NRO jumped on this one right away. Unnecessary suffering is the weak belly of libertarian/modern conservative ideology.

In a more general sense, it is very difficult to imagine what "community" might mean where self-interest is the prevailing or over-riding "moral" theory.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 5, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Brigade, re your 8:33 PM post...
Well, wow, what a sad story. There are plenty of such stories (maybe not so many resulting in the owner's death, though) about people and animals, aren't there? I just don't understand how anyone could oppose legislation to regulate puppy mills. They are awful things.

Posted by: carolanne528 | October 5, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Maple Leaf = bland flag for nice but bland country ; )

12bb,

You did a nice job of sounding like you really know the intracies, but you're faking it just like everyone else.

More importantly, it wasn't the Wall Street folks who invented the secondary mortgage market. That was the government, principally through Fannie and Freddie. Might have seemed like a good idea at the time, but as usual the planners couldn't anticipate all the consequences down the road. You're not looking at the roots; you're looking at the results.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

If Canada brought back the Red Ensign I would consider them as worthy of possible emigration.

Since that will never happen because, uh, you know, they're modern Canadians, the possibilty is zed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_of_Canada-1868-Red.svg

Posted by: tao9 | October 5, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

@carolanne "I just don't understand how anyone could oppose legislation to regulate puppy mills. They are awful things."

I agree they are awful things...but as far as understanding opposition to regulation it's really pretty simple...$$$

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 5, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I had to go look up the Red Ensign.

Certainly a more worthy banner, but looks a bit like a committee design with that shield floating out there on the field of red.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Bernie,

I don't think you understand Conservatism.

And I know for a fact you don't understand Obion, Tennessee.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

btw: Frosh year: Niel Young--Everybody Knows This is Nowhere (Cinnamon Girl); Van--St Dominic's Preview (Redwood Tree)

over&over&over&over&over...

Posted by: tao9 | October 5, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

@thunder: "Is anything remotely similiar going on with Alvin Greene?"

No, because Greene doesn't even have a slim chance of beating DeMint. If the Democrats had any chance of winning that seat, they would be doing the exact same two-step. O'Donnell could win, even if she is behind. Plus, the RNC short-shrifting a Tea Party candidate would have ramifications in this election cycle that the DNC ignoring Alvin Greene will not.
~

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 5, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

it wasn't the Wall Street folks who invented the secondary mortgage market.
-----------------------------
Oh, yeah, how do you know that?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 5, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

"btw: Frosh year: Niel Young--Everybody Knows This is Nowhere (Cinnamon Girl);"

tao how could you possibly overlook
"Cowgirl in the Sand"?

tao...if one didn't know better one would suspect you inhaled.

I've already admitted I have no political aspirations because I not only inhaled...I DID have sex with that woman. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 5, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Tao9,

Here ya go. Coolest flag. Papua.New.Guinea.

http://www.geographic.org/flags/new3/papua_new_guinea_flags.html

Plus, from a mental health "headshrinking" standpoint, you could do a lot worse.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 5, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

"In a more general sense, it is very difficult to imagine what "community" might mean where self-interest is the prevailing or over-riding "moral" theory."

Of course, you've laid a false premise in imputing conservatism or even conservative libertarianism the "over-riding 'moral' theory" of self interest.

It seems to be not a subject of great dispute that "community" has actually declined as the modern, bureaucratic, centralized state has waxed. Makes your argument rather problematic.

The more of your comments I read, the more I doubt you have ever actually done any serious reading of conservative thought, since it is key critique that the modern, centralized state based on the concepts of entitlement you advocate is antithetical to true community. Burke, Kirk, even Nozick. But when you start with a false premise, of course you are bound to go wrong.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin..it wasn't just that the DNC ignored Greene...S.C. Dems excoriated him and even tried to play the conspiratorial charge saying that Greene was a Republican plant.
Ludicrous of course because as you have mentioned DeMint is untouchable in S.C...perhaps that's why he feels free to utter such stupid stuff as single woman who have premarital sex shouldn't be allowed in the classroom. As you suggest that's never going to happen, the vast majority would never support, but because South Carolinians have been screwing up since the days they fired on Fort Sumter Demented can pretty much say whatever he wants.

Point is...I have yet to read a single post from a progressive on this blog defending Greene or suggesting he was being picked on...when clearly O'Donnell is a loose cannon, a wack job who struggles with veracity and is no more fit for office than that loser Greene.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 5, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

One of the consequences of the income gap, and the concentration of wealth at the top, is the need for the wealthy to invest. Why do you think hedge funds became a $1 trillion industry. It sure isn't because of you and me and pop, down at the grocery store, putting our money into hedge funds. If we called a hedge fund for information, they wouldn't even call us back.

The need of the hedge funds and large institutions to find suitable, and read that to be AAA investment graded securities, has driven Wall Street. What do you think Wall Street does? Do you think they give a damn about the retail investor? You and I, our business goes to the discount brokers. Wall Street, and its financial engineers, the quants, do nothing but devise instruments for the benefit of their wealthy clients, hedge funds and large institutions.

Credit default swaps and tranched mortgage securities definitely fall into those categories. If you see the tail wagging, the home mortgage market, and think that's where it all started, you definitely do not understand Wall Street firms.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 5, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

ruk,

You finally said something right -- Cowgirl. Only took you a year. ; )

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

@12Bar...valid points but you're wasting your time. He understands EVERYTHING!!! Just ask him. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 5, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

More importantly, it wasn't the Wall Street folks who invented the secondary mortgage market. That was the government, principally through Fannie and Freddie. Might have seemed like a good idea at the time, but as usual the planners couldn't anticipate all the consequences down the road. You're not looking at the roots; you're looking at the results.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 10:02 PM |
=============================

Ahh, what?

Could you find one of your glibber 'magic of the free marketeers' glibertarians to explain how deregulation and Wall Street greed weren't to blame for the housing bubble?

You guys are incoherent. A skeptic might be inclined to think you have no idea of what you're typing about.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | October 5, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7,
"I agree they are awful things...but as far as understanding opposition to regulation it's really pretty simple...$$$"

Yep. It's almost always $$$, isn't it? I didn't mean to sound naive. I do understand; I guess I just meant that I don't believe $$$ is a valid excuse for cruelty.

Posted by: carolanne528 | October 5, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

The question is: does the nation want to keep up the nasty wild out-of-control spending of Obama and the democrats.


The answere is no.


The democrats are unbelievable - they complain about wars, but then Blumenthal comes out and complains about fighting in Vietnam.


The democrats can't have it both ways - but they always want it both ways.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

tao how could you possibly overlook
"Cowgirl in the Sand"?

Loved it. But Cinnamon Girl w/Les Paul hurricanepowerfeedback was the thing for me. It was a foreshadowing because "Powderfinger" is my favorite song ever & anon. (Other than Brahms 3rd-Poco Allegretto, of course.)

Posted by: tao9 | October 5, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Tao9,

Didja ever hear the story behind Powderfinger?

Also, Gov't Mule does an awesome cover of Cortez the Killer.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 5, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

@ruk: "Point is...I have yet to read a single post from a progressive on this blog defending Greene or suggesting he was being picked on..."

Nope. And you're not going to. If he had a 30/70 chance of actually beating DeMint? Then, yes, you probably would hear some progressives defending him. Not you or 12Bar, mind you, but I suspect somebody would. But he would also look better, because the DNC would have handlers down there, be prepping ads, he'd have a press person to filter and explain. He'd look better, because he'd be getting a more professional treatment--and some progressives would probably be more willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Just because he might actually win.

Since he can't win, and even a good candidate probably could not win against DeMint in this cycle (I mean, not even present a chance), it's easy to throw him under the bus, and would be foolish to waste money, advertising, or defensive punditry on him.

But nobody is indefensible in politics, if there is an election that can be won.

You don't hear me defending O'Donnell, do you?

There might be a few more folks defending O'Donnell, give the nature of this cycle--Tea Parties, purge the RINOs, yadda yadda--even if she had 0% chance of winning--than Greene. But if she could not possibly win, and if the Tea Parties couldn't make certain movers and shakers in the GOP pay, she wouldn't be enjoying the protection she's getting now.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 5, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

12bb,

You seem really intent on missing the point. Who said the inventors of SCMOs "care about" retail investors? The point is that they just took advantage of the the environment the government deliberately created. They took it to its logical conclusion. The government wanted a thriving mortgage trading market, and later wanted everyone to "own" a home. Monetary policy did its part, too.

Blaming all this on George Bush is laughably ignorant, and blaming regulatory failure is naive at best. Unintended consequences and regulatory failures are inevitable, which is one reason why aggressive government rather than prudent conservatism generally ends in tears.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Bernie said:

"@tao - I recommend a move up north. Or Europe, or Britain or Israel. Good food in all those places, superior medical outcomes..."

Tao...I lived in the UK for over 7 years. I highly recommend that you ignore Bernie, at least with regard to the UK and particularly with regard to the, er, "superior medical outcomes". The health care system in the UK is a nightmare unless you have private insurance. Bernie doesn't know what he is talking about on this one.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 5, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Oh my, Powderfinger! Cortez the Killer (total bunk but great song). You guys are killin me. Love Hurricane, too. Now I'm going to have to listen to them.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

For a long time now I have been an individual investor, trying to understand how Wall Street makes money. The reason that's important, is because Wall Street always seems to come out on top of every fiasco even when they caused it. Today, they are hiring on Wall Street. Did you know that? There is no depression on the Street, bonuses are back, everything is roses again.

If you understand how Wall Street makes money, then you can try to stay on the same side of the table, because it sure doesn't pay to bet against them. They are the smartest guys in the room, doing "God's work" as the Blankfein of Goldman says. Whether you think it is God's work or not, and I don't, I do know that the smart money always follows Wall Street lead.

I will predict this: within a few years, the stock market will be in another bubble, or at least parts of it will be. Then, in parts of the country, the real estate bubble will reinflate. The age of bubbles isn't over yet.

There is too much wealth looking for a home for there not to be bubbles.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 5, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

qb:

"Having taken a couple of courses in corporate and international finance, I would wager that not one regular commenter here could get close to qualifying as any kind of expert on the world of derivatives and how they work. Me included."

I'll take that bet!

(I've been in the fixed income derivatives business for about 20 years now.)

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 5, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Obama is now trying to negotiate with the Taliban


We will have to see how people react to Obama negotiating with terrorists.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

@ruk: "'Anyway, the Dems are going away for a long while very soon.' -- Ohhh my Empire State friend that is some seriously WISHFUL thinking. You might score the proverbial midterm win but the demographics and history do not auger well for you."

I agree, in the sense that "a long while" is always hyperbole. The parties switch back and forth, and will tend to continue to do so. The Democrats are now about to spend 40 years in the wilderness, any more than the Republicans did.

However, the "demographics" not auguring well for Republicans is another issue. Changing demographics may end up with different special interests, but the reality is that folks tend not to vote continuously for single party rule. African-Americas have gone overwhelmingly for the Democrats for a long time, but there's not a lot of evidence that other demographics will be so loyal to the Democrats.

I've been hearing that the demographics have been bad for Republicans for the last 30 years. There's been no consistent evidence of it. Indeed, the latest crop of colorful characters in the RNC is as conservative as they have ever been. If demographics are going to permanently derail Republicans and conservatives, it's going to take a long, long time.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 5, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

TMcW re: Powderfinger

Heard a couple of theories. I just take the song as it is. Relate to "22" defending his home from some outside force that will try to take away his way of life. Always reminded me, in musical form, of "Sometimes a Great Notion." Or even "Heart Of Darkness."

In the end for me it's the guitar work, telling the exact same story as the lyric. The song would have a very same feel even if it was an instrumental.

Posted by: tao9 | October 5, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

"But the roots of the junk mortgage secondary market were the junk mortgages themselves and the goverment programs and regulations that spawned them. Those were works of liberalism, the same planning, engineering, tinkering statism that the Democrats are still dragging us into.

It should no longer surprise anyone that it creates serial crises and disasters, because it isn't possible for the tinkerers and engineers to engineer everything. There are always problems they didn't spot, consequences they didn't anticipate. No one can possibly know enough.

That's not George Bush. That's the inevitable failure of statism.

Posted by: quarterback1 "

Yeah, if an arsonist burns down a house, my first response is to blame the house and to blame people for living in houses. The fact that the house was burned down is an inevitable failure of the house, not the arsonist.

Makes sense to me!

Posted by: DDAWD | October 5, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

@ScottC3: "(I've been in the fixed income derivatives business for about 20 years now.)"

So whose to blame? Mr. Moneybags from the Monopoly game, George W. Bush, or Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and Andrew Cuomo?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 5, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

@me: "The Democrats are now about to spend 40 years in the wilderness, any more than the Republicans did."

The Democrats are _NOT_ about to spend 40 years in the wilderness", I mean to say. Anymore than the Republicans were predicted to.

Predictions of "it's the end of the Republicans/Democrats" always tend to be, um, over-stated.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 5, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

@qb,

You can see the government in the driver's seat, and I'll see Wall Street in the driver's seat. I happen to think Wall Street is so far ahead of the government in crafting the environment they can then exploit--and crafting that environment through the government, that I laugh. Ever wonder why no one, NO ONE, on the Street ever takes the criminal fall for this stuff? Because it ain't criminal, that's why. These guys are not dumb.

I bet my money every day on the market, and I've done well keeping my eyes on the smartest guys in the room, and it ain't the government. They are the handmaidens. You think government is the bride? It's a free country. You watch the government.

BTW, I didn't blame it all on Geo Bush. It started long before Bush. The first really big hedge fund was touted in 1986, and the interest in hedge funds really took off after that. Hedge funds are like really big black boxes that are unregulated and drive a lot of money.

And sometimes, they drive off cliffs.

Just the other day, we find out that it was one firm trading 75,000 emini S&P's that caused the entire 1000 point drop and 20 minute recovery in May of this year. That tells you something about what ONE trader can do.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 5, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Reports are that the wife of a democratic Congressman is set to plead guilty to four counts involving the management in millions of dollars of offshore gambling profits.


Patrice Tierney was allegedly helping her brother manage his illegal gambling profits - and is accused of assisting in the filing false tax returns.


Wow - another set of charges against the democrats.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Tao0,

Supposedly written for Lynyrd Skynyrd as a peace offering because of Southern Man and their response, Sweet Home Alabama.

Unfortunately, the plane crash.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 5, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Bernie said:

"There's a reason why Beck, Limbaugh and the NRO jumped on this one right away."

And by "jumped on this one" Bernie means that one staff writer wrote a single blog post about it, and 3 others responded to his post.

Oh, and let's not forget that the writer for NRO that actually introduced the subject did so by proclaiming that the firefighters had no moral justification for declining to put out the fire, which just happens to be Bernie's own position. How bizarre, then, that he takes NRO to task for "jumping" on this one "right away".

"In a more general sense, it is very difficult to imagine what "community" might mean where self-interest is the prevailing or over-riding "moral" theory."

It is more difficult to imagine large-scale human interaction in which self-interest was not the primary motivating factor. You own a shop, right Bernie? Assuming you actually make people pay for the things they buy in your store, why would that be? Doyou make them pay because you are interested in their welfare, or your own? Do you advocate liberal policies like Obamacare and cap'n trade despite the fact that you think they are against your own self-interest? Or do you do so because you think that ultimately they will prove to be better for you?

The notion that people, even liberals, aren't primarily motivated by self-interest is, to be honest, utterly absurd.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 5, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

12Bar

"I happen to think Wall Street is so far ahead of the government..."

That's only because they're smarter by, uh, several orders of magnitude, exponentially as compared to the present admin.

Posted by: tao9 | October 5, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

I think if one side is already complaining about how the other side got the money it is spending on ads, it is pretty clear that its over.

This year it's over.


Obama hasn't even come up with a viable message beyond: "If you don't agree with me, you are a racist."


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

TMcW,

It's a frontier song, one could almost say, gulp, conservative.

The Skynyrd remnants tour w/Hannity.

heh

Posted by: tao9 | October 5, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Whiskey bottle, brand new car, oak tree you're in my way.

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 5, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Kevin:

"So whose to blame?"

Plenty of blame to go around, but Fannie and Freddie, and the government policies they facilitated, were (and are) pretty key.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 5, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Kevin,

The 40 year swing from con to lib and back, that Schlesinger, Jr. wrote about, seems to have accelerated, perhaps due to the new velocity of info.

It may very well be reduced, this cycle, to 24 months, and then, God Willin'...four years.

Posted by: tao9 | October 5, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

That's only because they're smarter by, uh, several orders of magnitude, exponentially as compared to the present admin.
-------------------------------
They are smarter than every administration.

Take the energy crisis of California in the late 1990's. California, for some reason, decides to deregulate electricity markets under the idea that electricity prices would fall. Of course, there were a smallish number of electricity sellers who helped the legislature come to that idea and guess what, helped them to actually draft the legislation.

And who would have thought that this small detail would be such a money maker: the utilities could ONLY buy electricity at the spot market price and couldn't hedge forward.

Then, this group of sellers, including Enron, proceeded to manipulate the electricity market, going so far as to sell each other supply in order to keep it off the market, so that the spot rate of electricity goes up hundreds of times.

Then, the consumer gets told "oh, it's because there is not enough electricity". Last year there was plenty, but this year, rolling blackouts.

After both big utilities go bankrupt buying electricity at the spot rate, and the state kicks in for a while at the cost of billions, the legislature gets wise.

How about if we change the LAW so we can hedge? So they do. From that DAY, the shortage of electricity completely disappeared and prices declined back to their former levels. No extra supply came on the market, no transmission lines were built. Shortage OVER.

Now, Enron got caught in that game of musical chairs without a chair, since they were playing the market maker, and the rest of the thieves thought "let Enron take the hit. Better them than all of us".

Now who were the handmaids? Government, that's who.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 5, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

"Whiskey bottle, brand new car, oak tree you're in my way."

Different band but same region of the country, Eat a Peach.

If I were in a Southern Rock band, i'd of learned by now to stay away from driving (motorcycle riding).

Was Duane on a Vincent Black Shadow?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 5, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Hey BG,

I just reminded myself above to read Keseys Northwest opus again.

"Big John's been drinkin' since the River took EmmyLou"

Posted by: tao9 | October 5, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Brigade, I thought we were having a Skynyrd convo.

Hence "Whiskey bottle...." Ooh, that smell.

Have you heard the Vincent Black Lightning song done by Del McCoury?

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 5, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

gimme 3 steps gimme 3 steps towards the pillow.

g'day mates

Posted by: tao9 | October 6, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Another democratic scandal is breaking -

The wife of a democratic Congressman is about to plead guilty to assisting to file false tax returns relating to millions of dollars in illegal offshore gambling profits.


Another scandal for Nancy.

But if she was filing JOINTLY with her husband, the Congressman is involved.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 6, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse


Nancy Pelosi now says she wants to do something about the PAPERWORK in the foreclosure filings.


NOTHING ABOUT FANNIE MAE AND FREDDIE MAC AT THE CENTER OF THE SCANDAL-


But Nancy wants an investigation into the paperwork


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 6, 2010 12:18 AM | Report abuse

STR, please shake hands with a drink.

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 6, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

I am beginning to form another line of thought on the reasons for the problems of the democrats.

MSNBC is sinking the democrats.

Their ratings are horrible - that is true. However - I have come to believe that the democrats have LOST CONTROL of their message to MSNBC.

Fox is not the right-wing flag-waving crew that the left makes it out to be.


However, that perception of Fox has MSNBC out there - fighting to be the left counterweight to what they perceive Fox to be.


It is not working - everyone knows MSNBC is not working - especially its evening line-up.


However, that is not my point - people tune into MSNBC to check in on the democratic point of view.

I believe people click away from MSNBC fairly quickly - and their low ratings support that.


HOWEVER, MSNBC is still there - people can check in to hear the democratic side of an issue.


This is proving DISASTEROUS for the democrats.

MSNBC is trying to get ratings - and it is catering to the far left - in order to try to get people to watch the entirety of their shows.

But the people clicking-through - that is destroying the perceptions of the entire democratic party among the American People.


Let's just illustrate for a second - when did MSNBC become like this? A few years ago ? At no other point from then to two decades before that - did the media provide a cable network devoted to the far left point of view.


The public doesn't like it - and it is a cause for the erosion of support for the democrats.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 6, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

MSNBC has become the new mouthpiece for the democratic party

However - MSNBC is trying to get ratings - not come up with an effective message for the democratic party.

There is a conflict here.

It is a mess -

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 6, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

BGinChi

What part of Chicago are you from?

I've been reading the reports - and Rahm really isn't getting a good reception on the streets of Chicago.

It really isn't fair to him - make him be the person from the administration who is up for election in February - in the midst of an economic crisis.


Is there word on where Daley is falling on the race with his organization.


My guess is Daley will be neutral - and allow his people to go where they want, so that might put the unions in a stronger position.

I know Rahm wanted to get out of the White House, but this situation is difficult.


Rahm does have a chance though - he can declare himself a non-resident and save the whole thing.

The whole thing is becoming tortured to watch - I'm not sure who I feel sorrier for, Rahm who sees people who don't want to shake his hand - or the people who don't want to shake Rahm's hand.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 6, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

What is the best way to shop for a mortgage refinance? It is a good idea to contact at least three to five lenders for input on mortgage programs and rates. Also Google "123 Mortgage Refinance" since they provide 3% refinance rates

Posted by: binklee06 | October 6, 2010 2:06 AM | Report abuse

This is sweet major brands do give out samples of their popular health products best place is http://bit.ly/aJWSXv tell your friends

Posted by: melgibson06 | October 6, 2010 3:10 AM | Report abuse

Scott:

"I'll take that bet!

(I've been in the fixed income derivatives business for about 20 years now.)
"

Well I shoulda known! I think 90% of people who spout off about derivatives and swaps probably know 0 about them, probably 9% know just enough to be dangerous (and can toss around the terminology like hedges and tranches), and 1% or less probably know what they are talking about.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 6, 2010 6:08 AM | Report abuse


You know what 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/aVq0Jv If you have health insurance and do not care about cost just be happy it and trust me you are not going to loose anything!

Posted by: rebecatoby05 | October 6, 2010 6:15 AM | Report abuse

12Bar

"I happen to think Wall Street is so far ahead of the government..."

That's only because they're smarter by, uh, several orders of magnitude, exponentially as compared to the present admin.

Posted by: tao9 | October 5, 2010 11:24 PM
----

Good response.

Posted by: Brigade | October 6, 2010 6:43 AM | Report abuse

12bb,

"You can see the government in the driver's seat, and I'll see Wall Street in the driver's seat. I happen to think Wall Street is so far ahead of the government in crafting the environment they can then exploit--and crafting that environment through the government, that I laugh."

You're just making my point again. In the junk mortgage mess, as a simple matter of chronology I don't think you can accurately say that the market was created by the Wall Street masters of the universe. But, whomever you choose to view as "in the driver's seat," the point is that someone always finds a way to exploit the situation, regulators are (and will always be) fallible, and the bigger and more meddling government is the more messes like this will be made.

"Ever wonder why no one, NO ONE, on the Street ever takes the criminal fall for this stuff? Because it ain't criminal, that's why. These guys are not dumb."

No, I don't. For one, it isn't true that no one ever goes to jail. I'm a lawyer who defends companies, banks, etc. So I have some idea. They are also subject to enforcement actions and lawsuits. And, again, you are just making my point.

"I bet my money every day on the market, and I've done well keeping my eyes on the smartest guys in the room, and it ain't the government. They are the handmaidens. You think government is the bride? It's a free country. You watch the government. "

My whole point has been that the government can never be "smart enough" to plug all the holes, anticipate all the consequences, imagine all the opportunities for exploitation, or outthink everyone who wants to take advantage, legally or not. I don't know why you keep mischaracterizing it.

"Hedge funds are like really big black boxes that are unregulated and drive a lot of money.

And sometimes, they drive off cliffs."

I'm well aware, trust me. I don't know why you keep assuming that no one but you knows any of this.

I'm glad that you don't blame Bush; most of your liberal compatriots do. Even more stupidly, they blame "Bush tax cuts" or vague "policies" they can't even identify. That's how the discussion started, again.

The Enron California story, btw, again simply makes my point again. I'm not that familiar with the details of that story, although at one time I was very, very familiar with the larger Enron scandal. Accepting your explanation for the California "crisis" -- pinning the problem on a flaw in the deregulation scheme -- it is just another example of how regulators and lawmakers will never be "smart enough" to anticipate all the problems and opportunities for exploitation regulations and laws will create.

If the problem a rule barring forward hedging, it doesn't matter whether you blame the regulators or the regulated for that flaw. The point is, that's what tends to happen with regulation. While we need some regulation, the more government tinkers, the more opportunities for harm it creates.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 6, 2010 6:46 AM | Report abuse

The Skynyrd remnants tour w/Hannity.

heh

Posted by: tao9 | October 5, 2010 11:36 PM
---

And there's a rumor that Sam Moore of Sam & Dave fame was on with Mike Huckabee a couple of weeks ago.

Posted by: Brigade | October 6, 2010 6:46 AM | Report abuse

Have you heard the Vincent Black Lightning song done by Del McCoury?

Posted by: BGinCHI | October 5, 2010 11:50 PM
----

Nope. I know Skynyrd, but I wasn't in that convo.

Posted by: Brigade | October 6, 2010 6:52 AM | Report abuse

"Yeah, if an arsonist burns down a house, my first response is to blame the house and to blame people for living in houses. The fact that the house was burned down is an inevitable failure of the house, not the arsonist.

Makes sense to me!"

When a dopey liberal makes an inane comment without substance or logic, I blame the dope.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 6, 2010 6:53 AM | Report abuse

I just saw Blumenthal trying to answer McMahon's question how jobs are created. That was really embarrassing for him. He obviously has no idea how business, job creation, or the economy work. He would fit right in with the economically clueless Obama, Pelosi, et al. crew.

After he flopped around seemingly forever, McMahon gave a crystal clear explanation in twenty seconds.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 6, 2010 7:02 AM | Report abuse

I think we need more corporations dropping out of the Chamber of Commerce, as Apple has.

Posted by: rhallnj | October 6, 2010 7:03 AM | Report abuse

12Bar:

"...CA decided to deregulate..."

Actually they decided to only partially deregulate, and it was the "partial" aspect that caused the problems.

"...change the LAW so we can hedge?"

Exactly. It was the existence of a law regulating the way they hedged that cause the problem. Once the market became less regulated, prices dropped.

"handmaidens"

There is no doubt that when people in government are inclined to use their power to interfere with the natural state of free markets, that inclination can be and very often is easily exploited by private actors to gain an advantage over others. That is precisely why we should minimize, not maximize, the amount of regulation government engages in.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 6, 2010 7:09 AM | Report abuse

qb:

"The Enron California story, btw, again simply makes my point again."

Yes, it really does. 12Bar is correct in her description of the problem. The fact that the utilities were prevented by the government from managing their risk in a rational way allowed the likes of Enron to take advantage of them. Regulation was the problem, not the solution.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 6, 2010 7:17 AM | Report abuse

Once again, Scott makes my point about regulation and economics more clearly and succinctly. A library full of "law and economics" literature has investigated and outlined this problem over the past 30 years.

What I really don't get is why the lesson the left draws is always the same, wrong one, that the problem is too little government interference. It's a classic case of throwing gasoline on the fire, bleeding the patient, whatever metaphor one chooses.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 6, 2010 7:23 AM | Report abuse

QB:

"What I really don't get is why the lesson the left draws is always the same, wrong one, that the problem is too little government interference."

I think it has something to do with the fact that liberals always think THEY are the smartest ones in the room. So they believe that they can manage things to a better outcome than the natural state of affairs will produce. (It also explains why they so often seem to have such contempt for the average person.)

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 6, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

@ScottC3:

And don't forget who engineered the actual fraud at Enron: Andy Fastow (not that Jeff Skilling did 100% go along, or that Ken Lay wasn't almost criminally negligent in the management of his leviathan of a company). That's an interesting tidbit, because Andy Fastow was a very liberal guy, who was always supporting progressive causes and holding fundraisers for Democrats.

"The fact that the utilities were prevented by the government from managing their risk in a rational way allowed the likes of Enron to take advantage of them."

But that's only the beginning of Enron's problems. The completely fraudulent accounting, aided and abetted by Arthur Andersen, was another problem. But I've always thought the unsung villain of the piece was the consulting firm, McKinsey.

Although McKinsey (the consulting firm that spawned Tom Peters) did not participate in or advocate for fraud, they certainly encourage the sort of "out of the box" thinking and "tight-loose" management style that led directly to the hyper-focus on stock price, branching out into irrational fields, money-making formulas filled with question marks or that involved booking imaginary profits on projects that might not come to fruition for 30 years, if ever . . . McKinsey's fingerprints were all over Enron. And they're still in business, while Arthur Andersen is not.

But one could argue Enron was a product of too much of the wrong kinds of regulation, and deregulation. Regulated industries tend to be hot-house flowers, and they don't grow right, right off the bat (and maybe not ever) when they go from hyper-regulated to much less regulated.

It's my conviction that the airline industry would be much better, and much more robust, today, had it never been hyper-regulated by the government in the first place. Deregulation after the industry grew up under onerous regulation isn't the same as letting the market develop organically from scratch.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 6, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse

I think we need more corporations dropping out of the Chamber of Commerce, as Apple has.

Posted by: rhallnj | October 6, 2010 7:03 AM | Report abuse

Amen. The Chamber of Commerce is a front group for Republicans and Plutocrats.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 6, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

@ScottC3: "I think it has something to do with the fact that liberals always think THEY are the smartest ones in the room."

With many, this is no doubt true. However, I think it's more generally a case of, to a hammer, everything looks like a nail. And, the fact is, certain standards and practices are good. It's good we all agree which side of the road to drive on, what to do and stop lights, how they should look, that traffic should be thus organized.

In fact, it works so well, we should apply that everything. Make special lanes if you have more than one person in the car. Make another lane if you're driving a Prius or a smart car. And so on.

It's also a case of "if a little is good, then more is better". If building codes are a net good (and they are), then *any amount* of building codes must be good. Because safety is good. And it's not just about the building falling down, either. But what about the climate? So, in addition to mandating an adequate foundation for a two story house, we should also mandate what kind of thermostat and cooling system goes in, and also what it can be set at. After all, we don't just let you add an additional story to a house without licensing and inspection. Why should we just let you pick what you set your thermostat to?

At some point, regulations may be counter productive. Despite CAFE standards, there has been virtually no real improvement in fuel efficiency. Are we 100% sure that the market, if left alone, couldn't have actually done better?

BTW, there's not much evidence that, in a first world society, smarter-than-thou legislators and government regulators do a significantly better job that independent standards bodies, accreditation, etc.

However, there are occasions where I think the nanny-state would probably be a net positive. Loan shark products--like ARMs and balloon payment mortgages, or zero down mortgages--should all be illegal. Capital requirements for banks strike me as very good ideas. And, I am hardly an expert, but open trading and ratings of derivatives and a requirement that any significant financial instrument go through an exchange . . . I'm not sure how you get there without government regulation, but I think transparency would be best for everyone.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 6, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Kevin,

I like the hot-house metaphor and think it has some truth to it.

You are also correct that the larger Enron scandal was quite separate from the California market scandal. In that instance, too, the liberal argument always seems to be a simplistic, "there wasn't enough regulation," at the same time they argue that Enron violated the laws and regulations on the books. Again, 90% of people who freely pass judgment have no clue what actually happened in the Enron scandal, but at the simplest level it is just another historical proof that some people are going to break the rules, even a rule like the one that says you count a liability as a liability and not as an asset. It isn't a story about there being not enough rules.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 6, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

@tao: "The 40 year swing from con to lib and back, that Schlesinger, Jr. wrote about, seems to have accelerated"

Except I don't think it was ever a 40 year swing. The only significant "40" in there was something of an anomaly--the Democrats managed to hold onto the house for 40 years. Heckuva long time. But they lost and retook the senate, and the Whitehouse, regularly.

However, what's new is I think that there are far fewer liberal Republicans, and much more conservative conservatives on the right side of the aisle, and this has been trending upwards. There was a unity of purpose in stopping the Obama agenda that I don't think we've ever seen from the Republicans, even when they had the senate, the house or both.

There were also a few more conservative Democrats in the house, back in the days of the 40 year rule. Ideologically, of course things have change, but maybe not as much as the swing from 40 year rule to out-in-4 would seem to indicate.

Although--and I'm predicting it here--Obama wins in 2012, but has no coat tails (maybe one or two pickups, but I'm betting Dems lose a few seats in the senate). Democrats lose in 2014, but still hold on to enough in the senate to filibuster. History, man. History.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 6, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

"Why should we just let you pick what you set your thermostat to?"

And now they are coming for our shower heads! It is Seinfeld, writ large!

"I'm not sure how you get there without government regulation, but I think transparency would be best for everyone."

Legal rules that foster integrity and transparency but that are neutral. It is usually when government departs from neutrality and tries to shape markets and outcomes that trouble arises.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 6, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

@qb: "at the same time they argue that Enron violated the laws and regulations on the books."

And where they didn't, they violated 50 years of established best practices. It's not like (uber-liberal--like to throw that in there!) Andy Fastow did not know what he was doing.

And there was a prioritization problem at Enron. The elevators had giant plasma screens in them with a real time feed of the stock price. In fact, the stock price was everywhere.

A much better thing to have been looking at, all the time, would have been gross (real) revenues and gross profits.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 6, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Obama's America:

http://blogs.consumerreports.org/.a/6a00d83451e0d569e20120a51cf2c3970b-800wi

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 6, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Hello Scott. You said:

"Bernie said:

"@tao - I recommend a move up north. Or Europe, or Britain or Israel. Good food in all those places, superior medical outcomes..."

Tao...I lived in the UK for over 7 years. I highly recommend that you ignore Bernie, at least with regard to the UK and particularly with regard to the, er, "superior medical outcomes". The health care system in the UK is a nightmare unless you have private insurance. Bernie doesn't know what he is talking about on this one."

Seven years personal experience. That's very compelling.

Of course, I had 55 years of personal experience in Canada (adding family and numerous friends we get up to thousands of years of personal experience) in the Canadian system. But I'm guessing you wouldn't suggest Tao ought to find any of that compelling even in its elephant/mouse ratio. So you advanced it why?

There's lots of good study done on this matter and on medical outcomes of many sorts, the US fares very poorly indeed.

But I'm guessing that wouldn't be evidence you'd suggest to Tao is compelling either.

Not that I'm suggesting certain relationships to ideology can make one impervious to evidence, of course.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 6, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

ruk,

If you are looking, I read your response re theocracy on the morning thread, and I don't think it avoids the problem.

The charge that has been made against conservatives is that they are theocrats for advocating or supporting policy positions based on their religious beliefs. But you are appealing to people to do just that -- support liberal policies based on (what you take to be) their religious beliefs. Analytically, it doesn't make a difference that you are appealing to their religion rather than yours, because you are still advocating that people support policies for religious reasons, and what you are advocating that people do the very same thing you criticize conservatives for doing.

I'm surprised you don't see the "damned if you do, damned if you don't" nature of your position. You think someone like Demint should support liberal policies if he is "truly" a Christian, but you condemn him for supporting conservative positions based on Christianity.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 6, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

All, Morning Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/10/the_morning_plum_105.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 6, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

re Scott's post at 11:23 pm on the Tennessee fire.
"And by "jumped on this one" Bernie means that one staff writer wrote a single blog post about it, and 3 others responded to his post."

Please find the last instance of anyone at NRO (or of Beck or Limbaugh) bringing up a house fire. Find ANY time when all three did. As I said, there's a reason they jumped on this.

" The notion that people, even liberals, aren't primarily motivated by self-interest is, to be honest, utterly absurd."

But I didn't make that claim. That any individual human will be primarily driven by self-interest is an observation about human drives or motivations (and a uniquely uninteresting observation). Moral theories arise out of the need for humans to operate in community - that is, to organize themselves in a manner which will inevitably act, often, as a counter to immediate self-interest. Therefore, we (surely as a consequence of our emotional response to others' suffering) in community reject the arrangements which allowed the owners of the Shirtwaist Building to lock employees into a workspace and then watch and listen as the fire drove the young women employed there to leap five stories - many holding hands - down to the the pavement of the New York street (a reporter there at the time gives an account of the sound of bodies landing).

Posted by: bernielatham | October 6, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

"But I didn't make that claim. That any individual human will be primarily driven by self-interest is an observation about human drives or motivations (and a uniquely uninteresting observation). Moral theories arise out of the need for humans to operate in community - that is, to organize themselves in a manner which will inevitably act, often, as a counter to immediate self-interest."

The claim you made was that self-interest is the moral theory of conservatism. Now you are claiming that self-interested motives are just a universal trait of humanity, and that moral theories arise to counter or channel self-interest in community.

Perhaps you meant to say that conservatism has no "moral theory," but, absurd as that would be, your positions are contradictory.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 6, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

I have a great idea, let's roll back all regulations and consumer protections to bare bones, tithe 10% every Monday morning before opening bell, sell our first born son to the MBA god and sit back and watch the MOTU's do their magic for the good of the community and enjoy the trickle down prosperity for one and all.

Posted by: lmsinca | October 6, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Seven years personal experience. That's very compelling."

Certainly relative to your zero years of experience, yes I imagine it is.

"So you advanced it why?"

Because I figured Tao might appreciate some insight from someone who has actually experienced it, rather than relying on the advice of someone who hasn't.

"There's lots of good study done on this matter and on medical outcomes..."

Yes. For instance, I understand that Americans have better survival rates for most common cancers than Britons. They also wait less time for care, and have more access to preventative screening. It's no wonder, I guess, that they are more generally satisfied with their health care than those in the UK.

All of this, I suppose, would be good for Tao to consider if he were ever to seriously think about taking your advice.

http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba649#_edn10

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 6, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

"I have a great idea . . ."

Cuz like that's exactly what we said.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 6, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"As I said, there's a reason they jumped on this. "

Please do be explicit, then, and state the reason. For it seems readily apparent to me that the reason it was brought up at NRO by Daniel Foster was to condemn the actions of the firefighters. He said:

"But forget the politics: what moral theory allows these firefighters (admittedly acting under orders) to watch this house burn to the ground when 1) they have already responded to the scene; 2) they have the means to stop it ready at hand; 3) they have a reasonable expectation to be compensated for their trouble?...I’m a conservative with fairly libertarian leanings, but this is a kind of government for which I would not sign up."

And yet, despite the fact that he is expressing precisely the moral position that you hold yourself, you seem to be implying that the issue was "jumped on" by NRO as part of some coordinated messaging designed to promote precisely the opposite of what was said. Again, very bizarre.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 6, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

"Again, very bizarre."

Indeed, the NRO folks had an intelligent and vigorous debate about it. Quite unlike what we typically see here, were debate among the lefties is confined to matters of political expediency and tactics.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 6, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

@bernie: re: The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.

You do know that that happened in 1911, correct? And that no one, anywhere, is arguing that we return to the strategy of locking in the factory workers to keep them from stealing the linens?

It doesn't seem to have much bearing on the story, other than the fact they both involved fires. In which case, you could have brought up the WTC instead, as that was much more recent, also involved fires, and ended with many more people dying.

"allowed the owners of the Shirtwaist Building to lock employees into a workspace and then watch and listen"

Are you suggesting that the owners of the Shirtwaist building were chortling while people were burned alive and leapt to their deaths? Because that doesn't sound like you're saying that, due to their short-sited concern over stolen linens, they made a tragic mistake. You're suggesting that almost did it on purpose.

That's an intriguing position, if so.

Re, Daniel Foster: "I’m a conservative with fairly libertarian leanings, but this is a kind of government for which I would not sign up."

Precisely. What happened is the insipid short-sightedness of fastidious governmental bureaucracy, not a result of Randian utilitarianism gone amuck.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 6, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

"Cuz like that's exactly what we said."

I read the thread this morning and it's pretty much what it sounded like. The fact that the 1% of the "smartest people in the world" took a government program and found the loopholes to turn it on it's head and pawn a bunch of garbage loans on the rest of the unsuspecting stupid 99% of the world doesn't give me too much confidence that left unfettered they would do a better job in their sphere of dominance.

Apparently you and Scott understand it much better than the rest of us across the great divide so I thought maybe if we treated all of you like the gods you are we could count on a little benevolence if we just gave you all the power AND all the money.

That's okay, it just makes me want to fight harder for the crumbs.

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

lms:

"The fact that the 1% of the "smartest people in the world" took a government program and found the loopholes to turn it on it's head and pawn a bunch of garbage loans on the rest of the unsuspecting stupid 99% of the world...."

What exactly are you talking about? What government program and what loopholes? You seem to be mixing up your liberal storylines.

We were talking about what happened in California during the energy crisis with regard to Enron. That had nothing at all to do "garbage loans" being "pawned off" on anybody.

"...if we just gave you all the power AND all the money."

Oh no, I don't want the power any more than I want someone else to have it. I oppose much government regulation precisely because I know that neither I nor anyone else is in a position to know the sorts of things that must be known in order to manage an economy to a "better" result than what free markets will produce.

But if you want to give me money instead of taking it away from me, that would be a nice change of pace.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 6, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Scott

I was referring to qb's continued insistence that the gov's CRA was the downfall of the housing market rather than all the crooks who took advantage of the situation while lining their pockets with easy money. Also, the 1% who you guys claim know what they're talking about, the 9% who know just enough to be dangerous and the rest of us know nothings. It gets really old being told we just don't understand finance or business as if it's some sort of an exclusive club we're not allowed entry to.

All the self-congratulations rubbed me the wrong way.

Posted by: lmsinca | October 6, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

lms:

"It gets really old being told we just don't understand finance or business as if it's some sort of an exclusive club we're not allowed entry to. "

You've never seen me tell you that. And I've never seen qb tell you that either, although I admit I may have missed it if he did. (But to be honest, that really doesn't sound like him to me.)

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 6, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't matter Scott. I'm barely reading the comments anymore so maybe I got it wrong.

Posted by: lmsinca | October 6, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

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