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Sunday Open Thread

Where did Democrats get off thinking that one-party Dem rule should be anything but an occasional two-year historical aberration? Only 23 days until House Speaker-to-be John Boehner and senators-elect Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell set about restoring the rightful order of things.

Okay, so I'm in a bad mood. Which is probably why I should turn the floor over to you guys.

By Greg Sargent  | October 10, 2010; 9:37 AM ET
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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Comments

Let me go out on a limb and propose that Bill Kristol's job #1 is propaganda.

Here's the first graph in his Weekly Standard piece up today...

"Now we know who constitutes the real Israel lobby: the American public. Especially the Republican-leaning part of it."

Well, ok then. That's all settled. AIPAC? Never heard of it. Bill notes the Committee for Israel (link actually goes to Emergency Committee for Israel). It's board is Bill himself, Rachel Abrams (wife of Elliot, daughter of Midge Decter and Norman Podhoretz) and Gary Bauer - the nexus of neoconservative/evangelical/Republican we-are-as-oneness.

Norman Podhoretz, for those not up on the fellows, had a long stint as edior at Commentary. What's his politics? For starters, he thought the Bush we-love-war crowd rather wimpy and that "the United States needed to prepare for military assaults on Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Libya. Today he believes Sarah Palin would make a perfectly fine president."
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/01/books/review/Linker-t.html (lots more on Norman there).

How does Billy get to his happy thesis? Survey of a thousand folks via McLaughlin and Associates (who appear to do all the WS's polling).

Bill writes, "What the survey shows is this: The American people strongly support the state of Israel, and want their elected representatives to do so as well."

Incisive digging down question, ain't it? They've asked a set of questions designed to get a set of answers which are essentially meaningless (do you support the nation of Canada?) except as a propaganda line.

What's really going on here is, of course, the continuing attempt to draw Jewish American voters away from Dems/liberals (who American Jews continue to vote for overwhelmingly) and to carry forward the 'Israel is in a state of existential danger and wouldn't big bombs on arabs/muslims be just jimdandy) and to minimize the influence of the real Israel (read extremist rightwing Likud) lobby.

If anyone sees further commentary on Kristol's column or on this polling, please let me know.

His column, The Real Israel Lobby, is here
http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/real-israel-lobby_501178.html

Posted by: bernielatham | October 10, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Elliot at Salon makes a good observation... in this election cycle, quite in contrast to Bill Clinton's high profile activism, George W Bush has kept himself (or been encouraged to keep himself) invisible.
http://www.salon.com/news/politics/george_w_bush/index.html?story=/news/feature/2010/10/09/us_whither_bush

Don't want to go reminding people of the last eight years of Republican disasters, now do we?

Posted by: bernielatham | October 10, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

We already knew but Rich Lowry at NRO makes clear why the constant racist dog whistles emerging from the right since Obama made his candidacy known...

"In the 2008 Democratic primaries, Hillary Clinton had persistent appeal among working-class whites, loosely defined as whites without college educations. As Henry Olsen of the American Enterprise Institute notes, 94 percent of West Virginians are white, and only 17 percent of them have a bachelor’s degree or higher. In the 2008 primary, Clinton beat Barack Obama in West Virginia by 67 percent to 26 percent. Today, Obama’s approval rating in the state is . . . 29 percent.

The continued disaffection of the white working class is the backdrop for the growing Democratic debacle in the heartland."
http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/249135/revenge-hillary-voters-rich-lowry

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

Bernie one-trick-pony Latham:

"Let me go out on a limb and propose that Bill Kristol's job #1 is propaganda."

Still waiting for you to explain the difference between what Kristol does and what Greg does.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 10, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

"Only 23 days until House Speaker-to-be John Boehner and senators-elect Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell set about restoring the rightful order of things."

Sounds good to me (except that Christine O'Donnell is running in a special election, who like Scott Brown, would actually be sworn in as full Senator and get a jump start on seniority as soon as that result is certified).

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 10, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

The editors at NRO figured they ought to stand up for the unfairly set-upon Karl Rove.
http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/249235/demonizing-karl-rove-editors

"Demonizing Karl Rove
The Left brings back a Bush-era hate figure.

They can’t run against Bush, but the Democrats seem desperate to try the next best thing. How else to explain their sudden resurrection of Karl Rove as a political hate figure?"

Just off the top, look at the dishonesty here. Where Bush has kept himself pretty much totally out of this election and out of the strategems of the Republicans for this cycle, Rove has probably been more central and omnipresent than any other individual in the Republican establishment (Armey and Gingrich not withstanding). Further, what Rove is up to is unprecedented in fundamental and fundamentally dangerous ways (to a real democracy) this cycle.

I don't know what Rove's polling is but it must be somewhere between spiders and cancer, so in that sense, the editors understand another reason why Rove is a big fat target here.

Rove and Gillespie have been working hard for a few weeks to suggest that they really aren't involved or important in this American Crossroads thing. Partly this is to muddy up the obvious connections between the Republican machine today and the one that sent America into the toilet along with an attempt to carry forward the pretense that the Republican world right now is a new, fresh-faced, grassroots creature which just hates the DC establish all to heck boy darn it!

Posted by: bernielatham | October 10, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

ScottC3:

Kristol is more effective, influencing many more voters.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 10, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

It should go without saying that Kristol is more effective at it than Bernie too.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 10, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"What's really going on here is, of course, the continuing attempt to draw Jewish American voters away from Dems/liberals..."

Wow...that is some real insightful analysis, Bernie. Who would have guessed that a conservative pundit might be trying to convince people not to vote for liberals? How fiendishly sneaky of Kristol.

Too bad no liberal pundits have ever had the similar idea of trying to convince a certain demographic, say blacks, not to vote for conservatives.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 10, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Here's a rather intriguing idea from Yglesias...

"Understanding Ayn Rand
I don’t have a ton to say on the subject of Ayn Rand, but I think the right answer to the question Kevin Drum asks here is that you have to understand Rand primarily as part of the intellectual backlash to 1950s comformism. Even though her specific political views were quite different, she should be seen as a peer of the beatniks and similar movements. That’s part of the reason why if you look at the fact that the main way her intellectual influence works is as a writer who appeals to young people. I know very few people who are Randians today, but a great many people who loved Rand as a teenager and for whom she served as a “gateway drug” to the much more sophisticated arguments of Nozick, Hayek, Friedman, etc.

Anyone who’s sitting around as an adult and actually taking their political cues from Atlas Shrugged is being ridiculous (and there are indeed a lot of ridiculous people out there adhering to all kinds of political viewpoints) but I think you need to see at first and foremost as part of the literature of youth rebellion."
http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/

Posted by: bernielatham | October 10, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

claw:

"It should go without saying that Kristol is more effective at it than Bernie too. "

Heh.

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

Did anyone watch "This Week" with Christiane Amanpour?

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 10, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Wondering whether in the discussion on the previous thread the righties were really advocating that the federal government should eliminate all programs other than the Department of Defense and whether they were really advocating that the Department of Defense budget should not be limited in any way, even to the extent that Congress is funding projects that the Pentagon indicates it neither wants or needs?

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 10, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Bernie (quoting the "intriguing" thoughts of Yglesias):

"you have to understand Rand primarily as part of the intellectual backlash to 1950s comformism."

What makes this particularly intriguing is that Rand first began expressing her ideas in the 30's and 40's, and indeed began writing Atlas Shrugged in 1946, which is quite some trick coming as a backlash against 1950's conformism.

Intriguing indeed.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 10, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

pragmatic:

"Wondering whether in the discussion on the previous thread the righties were really advocating that the federal government should eliminate all programs other than the Department of Defense and whether they were really advocating that the Department of Defense budget should not be limited in any way..."

I wasn't.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 10, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Scott C asked: "Still waiting for you to explain the difference between what Kristol does and what Greg does."

And a heck of a good question/comparison it is, too. Could you hold off on asking it for just a bit though?

I'll need Greg to author a conservative movement strategy like this one...
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/forum/may96/background/health_debate_page2.html

And to set up a propaganda enterprise like this one...
http://www.keepamericasafe.com/

Or like this one...
http://www.committeeforisrael.com/

Or to co-author a document/strategy like this one...
http://www.newamericancentury.org/

Or to appear daily on a hyper partisan cable network or or or

But like I said, hell of a good comparison you suggest there, Scott.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 10, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Glenn Beck spreads more peace and love across this great nation...
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/08/AR2010100805640.html

Is there anyone presently walking the earth who is closer in heart and temperament and righteousness and charity of soul to Jesus than Glenn? I don't think so.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 10, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Scott. Does that mean you believe that the budget for the Department of Defense should be limited and/or that you think that the federal government should fund programs in addition to the Department of Defense?

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 10, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"I'll need Greg to..."

I see. So Kristol's column at WS is propaganda not because of anything he actually says in it, but because of his history of political activism. Very interesting.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 10, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Serious moral proscriptions. They are for individuals. Corporations? Not so much.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-october-7-2010/mortgage-bankers-association-strategic-default

Posted by: bernielatham | October 10, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Scott. Goebbels did "political activism".

"When Rossi appeared on the scene up north of here in Washington State, I suggested that Rove and Gillespie's new operation was going to target this race with the big bucks.

WASHINGTON — A group founded by Republican political operative Karl Rove has dropped $800,000 on television advertising opposing Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, just part of the independent expenditures that have flooded into the Washington state Senate race in the past week."

Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/10/10/101819/outside-money-flooding-into-washington.html#ixzz11y8RyEIa

Posted by: bernielatham | October 10, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

No mention of Blumenthal lying about serving in Vietnam of course (his hands sure were shaking at that debate though). Amanpour sure went after the WWE.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 10, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

pragmatic:

"Does that mean you believe that the budget for the Department of Defense should be limited..."

Of course the DoD budget should be limited. The American economy does not produce unlimited funds, Americans are not willing to spend every last penny they own on defense, and it seems to me that the nation can be properly defended without spending all of our wealth on defense.

"...and/or that you think that the federal government should fund programs in addition to the Department of Defense?"

Clearly the federal government needs to spend money on things other than just defense. Legislators need to be paid, judges need to be paid, courts need to be maintained, foreign embassies need to be staffed and maintained, etc.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 10, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Thanks again Scott. What about social programs? Should they all be eliminated? Social Security? Medicare?

How about the SEC?

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 10, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"The continued disaffection of the white working class is the backdrop for the growing Democratic debacle in the heartland"

Unfortunately, I think this is true. Aside from the obvious issue with a black president, this phenomenon is a throwback to Reagan Democrats, a problem the Democratic Party has not resolved. The classic Culture War issues that the GOP used to fool the White Working Class into voting against its economic interests have lost potency but they have been largely replaced with Immigration and Islamic terrorism. That is not really the Dems' problem, however. To regain the support of the WWC -- especially with a black president -- the Dems must (again) become economic populists. But the Republicrats make that impossible so the Dems are stuck.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 10, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

"Okay, so I'm in a bad mood'

On the bright side, Greg, tomorrow is a holiday!

Posted by: wbgonne | October 10, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Yes, Scott. Goebbels did "political activism"."

Please be explicit....are you implying that Kristol is comparable to Goebbels? If so, that pretty much tells us all we need to know about how seriously to take you and your monomaniacal obsession with portraying conservative thought as "propaganda". If not, why in the world would you bring up Goebbels?

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 10, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

ScottC3:

You were asking yesterday about who in the world hates America, the Pew Global Attitudes Project (7/29/10) has the answer. Only 17% of those in Pakistan, for instance, have a favorable view of the United States and (despite the billions of dollars in aid) a whopping 59% see the U.S. more as an enemy than a partner. Pervez Musharraf agreed those are the "on-the-ground realities."

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 10, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

pragmatic:

"What about social programs? Should they all be eliminated? Social Security? Medicare? How about the SEC?"

Ideally, the federal government would not be sponsoring most "social programs". However, that does not mean that I advocate the immediate elimination of them. I have had this discussion here in the past, specifically relating to SS. The government has enticed whole generations of Americans to come to rely on SS, and so it would be unjust to simply pull the rug out from under them, no matter how foolish it was for the government to establish it in the first place. In my ideal future people would to be weened off of it (and other programs) over time, with an eye towards eventually eliminating it.

Oh, and regarding the SEC, I would say that funding for it is justified.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 10, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone see "This Week" and think that Amy Walter just came in from the rain? All of a sudden, candidate vetting is hugely important. George Will defended Christine O'Donnell and the Tea Party ("an enormous net benefit to the Republican because it's brought out an energy that the Democrats can only at this point envy"). Tavis Smiley, of course, disagreed.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 10, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Fair enough, thanks again Scott. If Social Security were to be eliminated over time as you propose, would you suggest any sort of program for elderly people that have no savings or pension?

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 10, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

claw:

"You were asking yesterday about who in the world hates America..."

Actually I was just taking issue with the notion that "the world" hates the US. Clearly there are plenty of people around the world who dislike the US to the point of wishing us harm. But there are also plenty of people who think enough of the US that they would move here in a NY minute if they could. And I suspect that for most people across the world, thinking about the US at all is pretty low on their list of priorities.

Besides, as it regards our defense spending priorities (which is what prompted the question), I think what we need to worry about is not so much what people across the world think, but rather what those in control of their governments (or other conceivably threatening institutions like AQ) think. The people of North Korea could love the US, but that's not going to stop Kim Jong Il from establishing policies that threaten us.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 10, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

That's true (or his son, Kim Jung In, if you believe that power switch propaganda). The fact that most would move here in a New York minute, but can't, is part of the love-hate relationship too. I just don't want you to underestimate that level of animosity as we get into debates about cutting the defense budget and power across the world dramatically. I happen to agree with SaveTheRainforest that is Obama's end goal.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 10, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

"Besides, as it regards our defense spending priorities (which is what prompted the question), I think what we need to worry about is not so much what people across the world think, but rather what those in control of their governments (or other conceivably threatening institutions like AQ) think."

We've tried Imperialism and we s*ck at it. What matters is what the people think -- especially in Islamic terrorism -- not whether we can install puppet governments. At some point, the U.S. should learn this lesson.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 10, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

"If Social Security were to be eliminated over time as you propose, would you suggest any sort of program for elderly people that have no savings or pension?"

Yup. Let them die in the gutter when their economic utility has ended. That's the plan.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 10, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

pragmatic:

"would you suggest any sort of program for elderly people that have no savings or pension?"

I don't have a specific program in mind. But I am a lot more amenable to the establishment of programs at the state or local level. This provides two benefits. First, it allows different ideas to be implemented in different places, rather than imposing a one-size fits all solution on everyone. Second, it gives people who may object to the implementation of one program or another for whatever reason the freedom to remove themselves from it by moving to a different jurisdiction that they find more amenable. National policies prevent such freedom (which is, regrettably, oftentimes the very purpose of making the policy a national one).

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 10, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

"Republican gains in U.S. elections next month, rather than spelling gridlock, could in fact yield more bipartisan cooperation with the Obama administration, a top White House official said on Sunday. "I'm hoping that with more seats, the Republicans will feel a greater responsibility to work with us to solve some of these problems," David Axelrod, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama, told CBS's "Face the Nation.""

Clueless. Absolutely clueless. How did these Bozos ever win the election? Maybe Axe can be Alderman Rhambo's COC.

Enjoy the holiday!

Posted by: wbgonne | October 10, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

David Axelrod over on "Face the Nation" wants the Chamber of Commerce and others to "simply disclose where this money is coming from and then all of these questions will be answered."

Good idea. Why doesn't Barack Obama release his LONG FORM birth certificate and all of those questions will be answered?

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 10, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Scott C says: "I think what we need to worry about is not so much what people across the world think, but rather what those in control of their governments (or other conceivably threatening institutions like AQ) think."

wbgonne responds: "We've tried Imperialism and we s*ck at it."

This exchange reminds me of an old joke.

Q: How many surrealist painters does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Fish.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 10, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Ed Gillespie slammed Axelrod as a liar.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 10, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

States Rights has forever been a mask for vicious policies in this country. It is no different today as the Radical Right attempts to make American citizens slaves to Big Business.

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

Don't want to go reminding people of the last eight years of Republican disasters, now do we?

Posted by: bernielatham | October 10, 2010 10:08 AM
----

Not when people are so much more focused on the Democratic disasters of more recent vintage.

Posted by: Brigade | October 10, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone watch "This Week" with Christiane Amanpour?

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 10, 2010 10:43 AM
----

No one with any common sense.

Posted by: Brigade | October 10, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

greg,

how hard is it to blog on the weekends? i miss your usually substantial thoughts on sat & sun, and open threads are not as interesting.

i wouldn't comolain, except that most major bloggers also take the weekend off, making my perusual of the net for news &opinion quite short these two days.

what, are all the computers in dc locked up for the weekend? nowadays it's tantamount to as if newspapers take two days off.

i manage to fill my blog with posts on sat & sun.

Posted by: skippybkroo | October 10, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

bernie cut-and-pasted,
"In the 2008 Democratic primaries, Hillary Clinton had persistent appeal among working-class whites, loosely defined as whites without college educations."

How does one loosely define working-class blacks? Couldn't we just loosely define Democrats as people (some of whom may work) without college educations. I know
there are a few exceptions, but we're speaking loosely here.
-------

"As Henry Olsen of the American Enterprise Institute notes, 94 percent of West Virginians are white, and only 17 percent of them have a bachelor’s degree or higher."

Robert Byrd must be turning in his grave. He could have kept his leadership position in the Klan AND remained U.S. Senator.

Posted by: Brigade | October 10, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Glenn Beck spreads more peace and love across this great nation...
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/08/AR2010100805640.html

Is there anyone presently walking the earth who is closer in heart and temperament and righteousness and charity of soul to Jesus than Glenn? I don't think so.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 10, 2010 11:00 AM
-------

Better you just cut and paste. Or maybe occasionally come up with something original. Very few people are going to chase down these links. Why don't you make your own points instead of expecting others to research source and origins of your derangement?

Posted by: Brigade | October 10, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Here's an idea from a talk show caller for ideas to save money in the government. I've never heard anyone propose this, so thought I'd throw it out there for the group.

Hold on, here it is: eliminate paid vacations and paid sick leave. In other words, government employees can go on vacation, but they would be unpaid. Same with sick leave.

The caller said that paid vac/sick is a "luxury that we can no longer afford".

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 10, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

"Why don't you make your own points instead of expecting others to research source and origins of your derangement?"

I don't think Bernie's expecting you to do anything.

There's a long tradition at this blog of posting links to articles that others may find interesting. If you're not interested, don't click the links. Better yet - maybe you should just start scrolling past Bernie's posts since you find him so "deranged".

Posted by: schrodingerscat | October 10, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Brigade said: "Very few people are going to chase down these links."

I have no problem with that. Either there won't be a shared interest(which is fine) or someone will be too lazy to do a couple of simple steps more than a click (and I have no interest in conversation with anyone that lazy, so that's fine too).

Posted by: bernielatham | October 10, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

If you don't like the election results this year, you can sue Obama for malpractice in his management of the democratic party.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 10, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

The American People like CHECKS AND BALANCES - they like balanced government.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 10, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne wrote,
" . . .the obvious issue with a black president . . ."

It's obvious that people like wbgonne are beginning to realize that Obama is wholly incompetent. The false charge of racism is the fallback position of scoundrels who have nothing left to use. Even though Obama won a national election, expect to see claims that America is still a racist country if Obama's prospects for re-election diminish. If you're a liberal who has problems with logic (do you know one who doesn't?), what other explanation would there possibly be?
-----

"The classic Culture War issues that the GOP used to fool the White Working Class into voting against its economic interests have lost potency but they have been largely replaced with Immigration and Islamic terrorism."

Exhibit one in the failure (or absence) of liberal logic. Liberals can't understand why anyone would care about any issues other than which party will promise to put a few more crumbs on the table---usually in the form of some government handout.

If you actually care about the moral decay of the country, the lives of unborn infants who are being murdered by the millions, a strong national defense, building an economy by means other than tax and spend, controlling illegal immigration, giving an enemy encountered on the battle field a bullet in the brainpan instead of a lawyer---well, you're obviously voting against your own self-interest. You see, the very people who continually lambaste conservatives as being heartless and selfish expect you to be, uh, heartless and selfish when you go the polls. Vote on nothing but your own economic self-interest which, according to liberals, necessarily involves income redistribution, government control of the economy, and handouts for those too shiftless to take care of themselves.
-------

"That is not really the Dems' problem, however. To regain the support of the WWC -- especially with a black president -- the Dems must (again) become economic populists. But the Republicrats make that impossible so the Dems are stuck."

The problem with Dems is that Dems don't even know that they have a problem, much less can they understand what it is. If they did, they might fix it, but then the Dem party would cease to exist, except for a few blue dogs. They think their only problem is that Americans, mostly "working class whites" are stupid. But never on any account will you hear a liberal suggest that somehow, somewhere, there may be an individual "with brown skin" who is either stupid, lazy, or bigoted. Such people do not exist in the liberal universe.

Posted by: Brigade | October 10, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Greg

The easy answer to the one-party rule question is that every time the democrats get in, they start jamming through a bunch of massive programs - which the country is ambivalent about.

Massive programs should have widespread support from both parties - there should be a measure of agreement.


It is ironic that that is exactly what Obama promised - but lets' not get into that.

Obama's majorities right now ARE temporary - but you seem to forget they are based on Obama's $700 Million money advantage in 2008 - so from that point of view the majorites are out of equilibrium.


The truth is the democrats make people nervous - there are serious questions of fiscal responsibility - which instead of answering - the democrats perfer to sidestep.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 10, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

But never on any account will you hear a liberal suggest that somehow, somewhere, there may be an individual "with brown skin" who is either stupid, lazy, or bigoted. Such people do not exist in the liberal universe.
-----------------------------
Come on, brigade. I'm pretty liberal and I will say there are people with brown skin who are stupid, lazy or bigoted, and some are all three.

Wouldn't you say that generalizations are not conducive to civil conversation?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 10, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Let's be realistic.

The massive social programs put in in the 60s and 70s are in - with the exception of welfare reform they have been in place.

People forget that many of those progams were put in by Nixon.

ANYWAY - the question is whether the government should EXPAND FROM THERE.


The Tea Party thoughts about limited government - and what the Constitution says - you can TRANSLATE that into "We have already gone too far - we should NOT go further"


The Tea Party isn't really talking about rolling anything back - they are saying STOP.


The democratic party - at least in this cycle - has the attitude LETS PUT IN PERMANENT CHANGES IN TWO YEARS BASED ON OUR TWO YEARS OF TEMPORARY MAJORITY.


Isn't that reasoning flawed? If a democratic program is good, it should be good ALL THE TIME - it shouldn't just be good for a temporary two year period.

When McConnell and McCain both said they would agree to 80% of the health care plan - Obama should have said WHICH 80% - and let the Republicans come up with that 80% plan.


Instead, everything with Obama became a PR game of one-upsmanship - which SHUT DOWN negotiations instead of actually made substantial negotiations.


The televisized summit on health care was a lecture by Obama - not a DIALOGUE


Obama's attitude was RIDICULOUS, SILLY, CHILDISH - AND UNWORTHY OF A LEADER OF ANYTHING - MUCH LESS A SUPERPOWER.


The democrats can blame Obama - he did all this to the democratic party. The Republicans were right to just stand and watch Obama implode - because he IMPLODED more dramatically than anyone thought he would.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 10, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

schrodingerscat wrote,
"There's a long tradition at this blog of posting links to articles that others may find interesting. If you're not interested, don't click the links. Better yet - maybe you should just start scrolling past Bernie's posts since you find him so "deranged"."

I don't click the links, and I doubt many others do for the most part. Surely some of the people here must have something else to do with their lives other than take suggestions for reading from Bernie---or you.

As for scrolling past his posts, I think many of the people here, me among them, relish commenting on posts with which they do not agree. People who want only to interact with like-minded individuals have probably come to the wrong place. Better find an echo chamber.

You must not be one of them or you wouldn't have posted a response to me---unless you think Bernie is helpless to defend himself without your assistance.

As you say, if you want to post links as opposed to actual comments, that's your business. If I don't waste time chasing your links, that's my business. If anyone responds to a comment from me by posting a link that I have not requested, they might as well save their time.

Posted by: Brigade | October 10, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm in a bad mood as well... I'm already, ACTIVELY, looking for a different continent to move onto...

Posted by: rbaldwin2 | October 10, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Come on, brigade. I'm pretty liberal and I will say there are people with brown skin who are stupid, lazy or bigoted, and some are all three.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 10, 2010 1:35 PM
------

You may be the first. Don't expect many to co-sign your position. Don't you ever get a wee bit tired of hearing white liberals continually berating "working class whites" as some uneducated, misguided, bigoted underclass?

Posted by: Brigade | October 10, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

The last time the democrats had one-party rule was 93 - 94

Before that it was the Carter years.

Jimmy Carter was hurt badly by the economic policies of Nixon and the Vietnam War costs which took years to filter through the economy. The price controls in the early 70s really is what dragged Carter down - more than anything else including the hostage crisis.


Everyone wants to jump for joy and try to draw some analogy between Reagan and Obama - (God, did I type that?) - well that simply does not work.

Greg - you put your finger on it - Reagan NEVER had one-party rule - he ALWAYS had to negotiate with Tip O'Neil -

That gave the nation a degree of comfort with Reagan - no one feels that the nation is on run-away spending roller coaster.

Reagan's policies also did not create a sense of unease in the nation - Obama's policies do.


The bottom line is that Tip O'Neill was in there - and giving the democrats a sense that the democrats had a VOICE in policy.

Did Obama EVER give the Republicans a VOICE? A defining moment of Obama's term is the health care summit - with a 2,000 page bill on the table - and Obama says "If you have any ideas, we will throw them in."


That is a laugh - it is a complete joke - Those are the words of a liar - "let's throw a few of your ideas in, so we can call this bill BIPARTISAN."


That is not bipartisanship, that is not agreement on CENTRIST POLICIES - that is not a 50-50 deal.


That day - Obama lost this year's election


Then Obama followed the whole thing up with False Charges of Racism - which caused the nation to vow THAT THEY WILL NEVER EVER RECONSIDER SUPPORTING OBAMA.


So Obama DID all this to the democratic party and to himself.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 10, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

If just HALF of you liberals who threaten to move would actually keep your promise, then America could finally recover.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 10, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

. Don't you ever get a wee bit tired of hearing white liberals continually berating "working class whites" as some uneducated, misguided, bigoted underclass?
-------------------------------
You know, I don't hear a lot of that. It may be because I avoid ideologues whenever I can. It also may be because when I hear partisans, their words go through my "partisan bs meter" which means I pay little attention to people who speak in hyperbole, generalizations, and lack of nuance.

Just as there are brown people who are, what was that?, stupid, lazy and bigoted, there are white people who are stupid, lazy and bigoted.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 10, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

SaveTheRainforest, I truely hope that most Obama voters realize what a mistake they made.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 10, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I want everyone to understand something -

I am pretty consistent with the things I say

When I blame Bill Clinton for the economy of today - and I talk about the Glass Steagall Act, and deregulation of derviatives - and allowing the internet bubble to inflate. AND the Free Trade deals.


I apply the SAME PRINCIPLE to Jimmy Carter - the inflation of Carter should be blamed on the Vietnam War policies - and the Nixon price controls. Jimmy Carter didn't have a chance.


A thought which just came to mind - that inflation was a result of expanding social programs in a wartime -


ECCKKSSSSS doesn't that sound like Obama - expanding social programs in a wartime?


This health care bill MUST BE STOPPED - IT WILL CAUSE MASSIVE INFLATION.


Would you like to know why gold keeps going up up up up up - because people are afraid THAT OBAMA IS SPARKING INFLATION


Yes, inflation can be delayed a few years, but the underlying forces will still be there and the inflation will come.


NOW - we have a FREE TRADE ECONOMY NOW - if you try to stimulate the economy, you will stimulate CHINA INSTEAD.

Those inflation forces may become muted across the world economy - but don't let that fool you.


Anyway, at this point most of you should be paying me for giving you such great information.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 10, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

12Bar:

"which means I pay little attention to people who speak in hyperbole, generalizations, and lack of nuance."

You spent a lot of time yesterday paying attention to someone who was insistent that Republicans don't want to pay for the defense that we have now. If that isn't hypoerbole, generalization, and a lack of nuance, what is?

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 10, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I want everyone to understand something -

I am pretty consistent with the things I say

When I blame Bill Clinton for the economy of today - and I talk about the Glass Steagall Act, and deregulation of derviatives - and allowing the internet bubble to inflate. AND the Free Trade deals.


I apply the SAME PRINCIPLE to Jimmy Carter - the inflation of Carter should be blamed on the Vietnam War policies - and the Nixon price controls. Jimmy Carter didn't have a chance.


A thought which just came to mind - that inflation was a result of expanding social programs in a wartime -


ECCKKSSSSS doesn't that sound like Obama - expanding social programs in a wartime?


This health care bill MUST BE STOPPED - IT WILL CAUSE MASSIVE INFLATION.


Would you like to know why gold keeps going up up up up up - because people are afraid THAT OBAMA IS SPARKING INFLATION


Yes, inflation can be delayed a few years, but the underlying forces will still be there and the inflation will come.


NOW - we have a FREE TRADE ECONOMY NOW - if you try to stimulate the economy, you will stimulate CHINA INSTEAD.

Those inflation forces may become muted across the world economy - but don't let that fool you.


Anyway, at this point most of you should be paying me for giving you such great information.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 10, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

You spent a lot of time yesterday paying attention to someone who was insistent that Republicans don't want to pay for the defense that we have now. If that isn't hypoerbole, generalization, and a lack of nuance, what is?

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 10, 2010 2:18 PM
---------------------------------
I disagree. I found ceflynline to be that poster who is rarer than diamonds--someone who knows what he is talking about, which he amply proved. If anyone else had the depth of knowledge he had, they would have engaged him on whether 28 divisions, as he listed them were necessary. No one did. That says a lot.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 10, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

STRF -- thank you for writing the "Democratic" party. The Right has been trying to change the nomenclature for years now, and it makes them look small and uneducated.

clawrence -- I believe the reason we have one size fits all social programs, especially Social Security is to not have states get into a war of attrition by 1) giving as little as possible 2) driving people off to and overwhelming other states with better benefits (that happens enough already with welfare, etc.) and 3) allow people the core American values of freedom and mobility Americans--so they can move to Florida, say, or stay in their communities among their family and friend support structures, if they so desire.

Even a so-called libertarian like Rand Paul wants to preserve Medicare because otherwise it would play havoc with his income. Poor thing.

Some people have no choice but to leave high-cost states, but at least they have a number they can count on, and it remains the same wherever they go.

And even then, it's not much. Here's a quote from today's NY Times article about on-the-ground politicking in Levittown, PA:

I called Marge Reed the next day. She had worked for the Spiegel catalog company at a store in Levittown where people picked up their orders. She said she had lost much of her retirement nest egg in the stock market and was living on $13,750 a year and having a hard time paying for her prescriptions.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/10/weekinreview/10sokolove.html?scp=1&sq=levittown&st=cse


Not everybody can have a brilliant career or make a killing in the market. Even people of modest means who've worked hard and saved and invested for years can get truly screwed by the market.

I think different standards for Social Security or Medicare is a terrible idea. And I wish Democrats would vociferously stand up for that.

If we want to play it that way, then lets start returning federal tax money dollar for dollar to the states.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | October 10, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

clawrence12 at 2:11 PM

As you are aware, I am with you.


Obama got 53% of the vote - so if a majority of the people who voted for him started to think clearly, that would be 27% swing in voters.


WHY won't they realize what is true?


The democrats seem to be operating on the notion that FOOLING THE AMERICAN PUBLIC is the "new normal" -

And somehow the democrats can continue indefitely FOOLING AMERICA -


It appears that the democrats WILL ONLY BE HAPPY if they are fooling MILLIONS OF AMERICANS.


The whole thing has already SHATTERED.


There is no putting Obama back together again.


Where I come from, there is a phrase "If you talk the talk, you gotta walk the walk"

Well Obama talked the talk - and he didn't walk the walk -

Obama is a FRAUD.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 10, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

@scott,

May I also remind you that I did not engage in whether or not conservatives do or do not support the military.

What I was interested in, and in fact identified as valuable, was the actual problem ceflynline identified: what level of force he thought was necessary to achieve our objectives. That was the takeaway for me: we have about 14 divisions, and ceflynline says we need about 28 divisions. I don't know if he's right, but talking about specifics is the only way to discuss the problem.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 10, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

12Bar

You like talking about racism - like it is the only issue out there - and somehow one that you think you can always win - because if you start to lose the discussion you can always go to your name-calling of bigots and racists - and then you can walk away thinking you won.


However - that is all to mask what you are really upset about.


Your real anger is at people who don't like gays and lesbians - the anti-gay people.


HOWEVER

All that is to mask the fact that you are bigotted against breeders - you are upset about straight people.


So when you take about racism - it is just a mask for your bigotted feelings toward breeders.

You really like twisting the conversation in that way - because you are MASKING WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT


You are masking your own bigotted feelings toward breeders.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 10, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

12Bar:

"I disagree."

With what? That ceflynline continuously asserted that conservatives are not willing to pay for the defense we already have? Or that doing so is hyperbolic, a generalization, and lacking in nuance? The former is demonstrably true, and if the latter is not true, I go back to my original question...what is?

"I don't know if he's right..."

I don't know if he is right about his facts either. But regardless of the depth of his knowledge about a given topic, I'm not likely to trust the judgment (and ultimately that is what he was forwarding, a judgment, not a fact) of someone who continuously asserts as fact such hyperbolic, un-nuanced (and, indeed, easily falsifiable) generalizations as that conservatives don't want to pay for the defense that we already have. And I wonder why you seem to, especially since you claim that you don't pay attention to such people.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 10, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Scott

There is a rotation strain on the military - however pulling out of Iraq will alleviate much of that.

In addition, Obama is pushing a pull-out from Afghanistan.


The Arabs should go into Afghanistan -


The only question remaining


How many troops do we now have to send to Texas and MEXICO ???

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 10, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

And I wonder why you seem to, especially since you claim that you don't pay attention to such people.
--------------------------------
If is obvious that ceflynline knew what he was talking about. If your feelings were hurt about his characterizations that conservatives want a robust force, but don't want to pay for it, I'm sorry. I'm not interested in following that rabbit trail. IMO, none of us are willing to pay more for defense which might be because none of us know too much about it.

But, what we "feel" is not that important. What is important is whether or not we have an underresourced military. When I run across someone who actually knows a subject in depth, I am not so quick to just throw away that opportunity to learn something.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 10, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Scott,

You do know that knowledge is not dangerous, don't you? Just because someone knows a subject in depth does not mean he's right. But at least it's worth having a conversation with him. It's pointless to talk with someone who doesn't know much about it.

I was just grateful that ceflynline was willing to answer my "idiot level" questions.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 10, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

12Bar:

"If your feelings were hurt about his characterizations that conservatives want a robust force, but don't want to pay for it, I'm sorry."

Not sure what would make you say that. I have been pretty specific about what I objected to regarding ceflynline's comments, and not once did I mention hurt feelings about his characterizations regarding conservatives who want a "robust force". I objected to his hyperbole, generalizations, and lack of nuance when he insisted, over and over again, against all evidence and logic, that conservatives aren't willing to pay for the defense we already have.

You can, I suppose, spin that as "hurt feelings" about something entirely different if you want, although I'm not at all sure why you would.

"You do know that knowledge is not dangerous, don't you?"

Really? I had no idea. (Why you would pose such a question is beyond me.)

"Just because someone knows a subject in depth does not mean he's right."

I agree.

"But at least it's worth having a conversation with him."

It might be, sure. But if I know that a person is not willing to fairly and honestly portray a subject about which I actually do know about, I am a whole lot less likely to trust his pontifications (and especially his judgments) about a subject I don't know that much about.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 10, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

The "NEW NORMAL" FOR THE DEMOCRATS


Fooling America


Somehow, if the democrats aren't fooling people, they seem to THINK SOMETHING IS WRONG.


That is what 2008 did to the democrats - an UNFAIR ADVANTAGE FROM FOOLING PEOPLE, AND AN UNFAIR ADVANTAGE FROM THE MONEY.


So, now the democrats think it is the "new normal" - and the democrats think something is WRONG IF THEY DON'T HAVE THOSE TWO UNFAIR ADVANTAGES.

The rest of the country thinks its a joke.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 10, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

But if I know that a person is not willing to fairly and honestly portray a subject about which I actually do know about, I am a whole lot less likely to trust his pontifications (and especially his judgments) about a subject I don't know that much about.
------------------------------------
Aren't you the person who has 20 years experience trading fixed income derivatives?

I don't always agree with your partisan political comments. However, when you are in your area of expertise, I pay a lot more attention. Professionals tend to be truthful in their expertise area, even when it may not serve them politically. I would give you the benefit of the doubt that, in your expertise area, you also would be more honest than biased. Again, you might not be "correct" about your judgments in your expertise area, but your views are worth respect and consideration.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 10, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Bernie said "Yes, Scott. Goebbels did "political activism"."

Scott said: "Please be explicit....are you implying that Kristol is comparable to Goebbels? If so, that pretty much tells us all we need to know about how seriously to take you and your monomaniacal obsession with portraying conservative thought as "propaganda". If not, why in the world would you bring up Goebbels?"

I could have used Pravda, of course. But in either case, the example would be made as a reminder that the term "propaganda" actually means something distinctive, discernible and identifiable; that it is something other than PR or marketing; that it doesn't mean just spin or partisan speech; and that it has a deeply negative connotation for good reason.

But I'm not going to have a debate with you on the matter because I have no confidence at all that you'll approach such a question here carefully or objectively. I don't think you'd be able to reach a conclusion that Kristol is a propagandist in a manner quite unlike Greg regardless of how the conversation might proceed.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 10, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

12Bar:

"Aren't you the person who has 20 years experience trading fixed income derivatives? "

Yes.

In any event, we've dragged this out beyond any possible utility. I just thought it was notable that you said you ignore hyperbolic partisans one day after paying a great deal of attention to someone who has demonstrated that he is nothing if not that. If you had your reasons, then you had your reasons.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 10, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Is it your thinking then, Scott, that all social programs should be state level programs? How would you account for elderly people that live and work in many different states over their lifetimes? Do you think it would be more efficient to have separate bureaucracies in each state? And how should the federal government respond if certain states made no provision for a safety net, elderly or otherwise?

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 10, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

What about education Scott? Should the federal government have no role whatsoever? The environment? Civil rights?

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 10, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Interesting interview on TAP. It would appear that Simon Rosenberg basically has the same take on the state of play that I have. (Hopefully we're both right.)

Here's a taste, but definitely read the whole thing. It's a pretty short article.

-------------------------------------------
"Now the wave model has to be rejected and something else is happening. ... I'm not arguing that the Democrats are going to pick up seats. But this notion that the Democratic Party would have made a six- to seven-point gain in September defies so many historical understandings of what was going to happen in this election that the dramatic nature of what just took place, I think, is being incredibly understated by the media."

...

"The closer we get to the election, the more {Republicans'} numbers are dropping. And I don't think they know why, because I think they were already measuring the drapes. The Republican Party was psychologically unprepared for what's going on right now. It's amazing how silent the national Republicans are right now in the face of it, and the reason why is because every time Boehner or [Senate Minority Leader Mitch] McConnell go on television, it hurts them."
-------------------------------------------

http://prospect.org/cs/articles?article=democratic_upswing

(h/t: DemFromCT @ dailykos)

Posted by: CalD | October 10, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"I could have used Pravda, of course."

Or you could have simply answered my question in a straightforward manner, something you seem preternaturally incapable of doing. Again:

Are you implying that Kristol is comparable to Goebbels (and now, apparently, Pravda)?

You can explain (or not) all you wish, but really a simple yes or no is not too much to ask for. Your reluctance to provide such a straightforward answer is both typical of you and telling.

"But I'm not going to have a debate with you on the matter because I have no confidence at all that you'll approach such a question here carefully or objectively."

Rubbish. You obviously have no problem responding to me when you think you can put me in my place with a snappy comeback. It's only when I persist in focusing on points you are reluctant to actually focus on that you walk away, variously citing my style, or my honesty, or now my willingness to be objective, as your excuse.

I think it fair to question just which one of us has an inability to be objective and honest. Ask me a question and at least I will answer it. It is quite apparent we can't say the same of you.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 10, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Weigel reports on good old Gary Aldrich makeing an appearance at the Virginia Tea Party Patriots convention...

"This is a typical liberal," said Aldrich at his morning session, pointing to a slide of Hannibal Lecter. "They're some of the nastiest people you could possibly imagine." He switched up the Lecter photo with photos of enemy reporters, like Chris Matthews, "perky"Katie Couric, and Rachel Maddow, pausing briefly to make fun of Maddow's haircut."

And just to make sure everyone is properly clued in on appropriate parallels...

"The second activist, David Donis, didn't have more tips, but attempted to get people in the right frame of mind.
"This is a war as real as the Cold War was," he said."
http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/weigel/archive/2010/10/09/virginia-tea-party-patriots-convention-somebody-s-watching-me.aspx


Posted by: bernielatham | October 10, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

CalD, I hope you're both right as well. I've certainly noticed a great deal of premature gloating here.

Anyone who read the "Pledge" may not have been overly impressed and I think extending the Bush Tax Cuts for the top earners rings a little hollow to even some conservatives, considering their new found interest in deficit reduction.

In addition, some of the candidates are really over the top in wanting to gut the safety net programs, AFAIK, these programs aren't only for the benefit of Dems, I'm pretty sure there's some unemployed or Seniors on their voter lists.

We'll see.

Posted by: lmsinca | October 10, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

pragmatic:

Must go out for a while. I will check back in probably around 9 est tonight, and will answer your questions then.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 10, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

pragmatic:

I have to go out for a while. I will be back around 9pm est tonight, and will answer your questions then.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 10, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

And more on Aldrich from Digby...

"I thought he had finally been vanquished, but I turned over another rock recently and found Aldrich slithering underneath as a member of the Council for Nation Policy:

[O]over the weekend, TPP [Tea party Patriots] leaders met with members of the Council for National Policy to try to raise some money. CNP is a secretive and powerful club that has worked to make the Republican Party more socially conservative. Founded in 1981 by Tim LaHaye, the evangelical minister, political organizer, and author of the Left Behind books about the coming apocalypse, CNP's board reads like a who's who of the GOP's evangelical wing.

According to the group's 2008 IRS filings, board members include Elsa Prince, a wealthy contributor to religious right causes, particularly anti-gay marriage efforts. (She is perhaps better known as the mother of Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater.) Joining her is the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins, Phyllis Schlafly, direct mail king Richard Viguerie, and Becky Norton Dunlop, the vice president for external relations at the conservative Heritage Foundation. By-invitation-only members of the group have included: Sarah Palin; the American Family Association's Don Wildmon; former FBI agent Gary Aldrich (now a TPP board member) who's famous for writing a book claiming that the Clintons hung sex toys on the White House Christmas tree; and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, the chairman of FreedomWorks."
http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/zombies-love-tea-clutching-dirty.html

Quite a crowd.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 10, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Scott ... I look forward to your response.

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 10, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Scott said: "Ask me a question and at least I will answer it"

OK. Using either Goebbels or Pravada as examples, can you define "propaganda" such that your definition differentiates it from other sorts of political speech or political enterprises?

Posted by: bernielatham | October 10, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

"Here's a quote from today's NY Times"

which is another way of saying, skip on down.

Posted by: Brigade | October 10, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

What the Republican "Tea Party" right, the Republican "religious right, the Angles, Palins, Demints and the like want is what France saw after it capitulated to the Germans--Vichy France, which brought out the worst in the French people, to the point where most deny that period existed in their history. This current crop of Republicans, who are using foreign money to get elected/re-elected, want to castrate/eliminate the Education Dept, privatize Veterans medical care, privatize social security and medicare, deport all undocumented immigrants (=remember how the Vichy French collaborated with the Nazis and purged the Jews from their soil...), deny religious rights to Muslims, deregulate banks, corporations, and campaign financing, eliminate the middle class and accelerate climate change through their legislative agenda, eliminate the minimum wage, unemployment insurance, head start, etc., etc. Sounds like "Vichy America," to me.

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

I disagree. I found ceflynline to be that poster who is rarer than diamonds--someone who knows what he is talking about, which he amply proved. If anyone else had the depth of knowledge he had, they would have engaged him on whether 28 divisions, as he listed them were necessary. No one did. That says a lot.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 10, 2010 2:24 PM
----

I liked ceflynline's posts on military organization and, as someone who spent some time in the military, I did think he knew what he was talking about. However, since no one engaged him on that particular issue, how could you possibly know if he knew what he was talking about or was just blowing hot air?

There have been other issues raised where it didn't appear that ceflynline had all that much depth of knowledge. And, believe it or not, there are actually people in the know who don't necessarily agree with his ideas of optimum military size or organization. But you'd really have to get in the weeds to debate the issue with someone like ceflynline. My point is only that you should not take someone's opinion on something as the last word simply because it is a subject on which he has more expertise than you.

Rarer than diamonds? Were you implying that Scott never knows what he's talking about? Since you and I are such old friends, I know you'd never say such a hideous thing about me. :)

Posted by: Brigade | October 10, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

dozas wrote,
"What the Republican "Tea Party" right, the Republican "religious right, the Angles, Palins, Demints and the like want is what France saw after it capitulated to the Germans--Vichy France, which brought out the worst in the French people, to the point where most deny that period existed in their history."
----

Ever get carried away? Do you ever see the similarity between Obama and Joe Stalin?

Posted by: Brigade | October 10, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

You may be the first. Don't expect many to co-sign your position. Don't you ever get a wee bit tired of hearing white liberals continually berating "working class whites" as some uneducated, misguided, bigoted underclass?


huh?obviously you missed the RNC West Va ad
cynically calling out for hickey actors to tell W Virginians how to vote. How respectful to working class W Va white voters. I am sure as a R apologist you think that commercial and Iott's nazi garb is exactly what white middle class voters are wanting to hear from the GOP.

Posted by: leichtman1 | October 10, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Now here's something I didn't know. James Fallows informs that Christine O'Donnell (who isn't a witch) made her claim to possession of classified knowledge of a Chinese plan to take over America, she made it in a particular context...

"I mentioned recently Christine O'Donnell's claim to have secret documents exposing China's master plan to take over America -- and the nice little touch that she delivered this accusation to her (successful) opponent in the 2006 Republican primary for the Senatorial nomination, a Chinese-American professor named Jan C. Ting."

more here... http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/10/more-on-odonnell-and-the-chinese-peril/64192/

Given the the assortment of comments from the gamma quadrant coming out of this lady's brain one wishes that she was really just a simple witch.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 10, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

how could you possibly know if he knew what he was talking about or was just blowing hot air?
------------------------------
I didn't know. I said that several times: "I don't know if he's right..."

What I do know is that no one was willing to engage him on the specifics. So far, he's batting way ahead of anyone else here.

But I didn't fall off the hay wagon last night. He's a data point who can make valuable contributions to my understanding, but a data point is not the whole argument. One sparrow does not make a spring.

Rarer than diamonds? Read it and weep, my friend. I find most posters are more than willing to opine profusely on subjects they know barely enough to construct a readable sentence. When someone comes along who actually knows about something deeper than Wikipedia, that person stands out like he has a neon sign around his neck.

Scott knows about derivatives, so he says. I'll take him at his word, although he has not posted enough on that subject to demonstrate his expertise. I don't know your area of expertise, since you haven't revealed it to me. But, I'd bet you have expertise on something.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 10, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Just me or is this kind of creepy?

"The Israeli cabinet approved on Sunday the submission of a controversial bill to parliament that would require new citizens to pledge loyalty to Israel as a "Jewish and democratic state.""

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/10/AR2010101003040.html

Posted by: wbgonne | October 10, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

From Jeff Goldberg...

"Thank You, Avigdor Lieberman
OCT 10 2010, 5:29 PM ET

The Israeli cabinet has given its approval to a bill that would require new citizens to swear a loyalty oath to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. The bill was pushed through by Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli foreign minister, who is doing everything in his power to alienate Israel's friends, and to make Israel appear to be a country run by idiots..."
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2010/10/thank-you-avigdor-lieberman/64348/

Posted by: bernielatham | October 10, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

And another from Jeff...

"Pamela Geller: An Embarrassment to Judaism
OCT 10 2010, 8:51 AM ET

Really, how did American Judaism produce this vile, racist creature? I wait for the same rabbis who condemned the racism of Meir Kahane to condemn her."

Posted by: bernielatham | October 10, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

leichtman1 wrote,
"cynically calling out for hickey actors to tell W Virginians how to vote. How respectful to working class W Va white voters."
----

How respectful was it to African-Americans in 2000 to assume they might be swayed by an ad suggesting that the three killers of James Byrd got off easy with two death penalties and one life sentence? And that it was George W. Bush letting them off the hook? Remember? Was that ad designed to appeal to our better natures?

With two chief competing political philosophies in this country, have you ever wondered why African-Americans support Democrats, the party of segregation and Jim Crow, in such overwhelming numbers---usually 90 to 95% in Presidential elections? Do you think it might be because certain leaders who believe the astronauts left flags on Mars and that Guam is about to capsize have convinced them that mean ole Republicans are out to get them? Maybe you should get out and actually meet some Republicans once in awhile. I have. I've yet to see one with a white sheet or a noose or one who was concerned with depriving anyone of their constitutional rights. That is unless you believe enemy combatants on the battlefields of foreign countries have constitutional rights and are entitled to relief in American courts.

But don't tell the Democrats or the NAACP (but I repeat myself) that the Republican party isn't all about racism. That's obviously why they didn't all vote for Obama, right? Who's playing who?

Posted by: Brigade | October 10, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

With two chief competing political philosophies in this country, have you ever wondered why African-Americans support Democrats, the party of segregation and Jim Crow, in such overwhelming numbers---usually 90 to 95% in Presidential elections? Do you think it might be because certain leaders who believe the astronauts left flags on Mars and that Guam is about to capsize have convinced them that mean ole Republicans are out to get them?
-------------------------------
This is your premise? That AA have been duped into voted Democratic? Really? Just my opinion, but that sounds kind of thin.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 10, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Brigade, he was batting way ahead of anyone here because no one on our side was willing to fall for the bait of utterly bankrupting ourselves by doubling or tripling the military (short of another Pearl Harbor type threat). I even doubt that he really wants to see American military strength increased. Obviously, many true military professionals (including Secretary Rumsfeld whom he just dismissed as some run of the mill carrier pilot) do not necessarily agree with his ideas of optimum military size or organization. But just because they don't post here does not make ceflyinline right.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 10, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

12BarBlues,
One of my areas of expertise is human nature. :) Notice in leichtman1's thoughtful response to the disparagement of the "white working class", he was quick to go straight to West Virginia whites---but not a peep about a single person "with brown skin." What did I tell you? Don't you ever wonder where all these southern white Democrats were when African-Americans really needed their support? Buying their sheets from the same place as Al Gore Sr. and Robert Byrd?

Posted by: Brigade | October 10, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

A Tomasky essay in the NYRB...

"How bad are things for the Democrats? It is generally assumed in Washington these days that in the November 2 elections the party will lose control of the House of Representatives, and possibly the Senate (although this is less likely). If the Republicans take control of one or both chambers, they and conservative commentators will proclaim that the voters have rejected “socialism” and will begin planting in earnest the idea that Barack Obama will be a one-term president.

The most damaging actual effect of such an outcome, one few people have focused on yet, is that once Republicans gain the chairmanships of House committees, they will begin launching investigation after investigation into the Obama administration, for example on charges that the Justice Department has shown racial favoritism in refusing to prosecute the New Black Panther Party of Philadelphia for alleged electoral irregularities. These will have little or no meaningful basis in fact but will attempt to distract the administration from its policy objectives, make it look dirty, and with any luck catch a big fish on the hook of perjury or obstruction of justice. (Look for the theme of “Chicago-style thuggery,” which was bandied about here and there earlier but never quite caught on outside the right-wing echo chamber, to reemerge.) The Republicans play to win..."

full piece here... http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/oct/28/elections-how-bad-democrats/

Posted by: bernielatham | October 10, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Brigade, he was batting way ahead of anyone here because no one on our side was willing to fall for the bait of utterly bankrupting ourselves by doubling or tripling the military (short of another Pearl Harbor type threat).
---------------------------
Mr. Clawrence,

You aren't fooling anyone. You couldn't engage with ceflynline on the detailed level he could. Bait? Bwahahaha!!!!!!!!! You were outclassed. Ceflynline could have been totally full of sh*t, but he knew way more than any of us. That.was.clear.

If we have to wait for someone from the Pentagon's military planning to refute ceflynline, you do realize what that says?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 10, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

curious what that has to do with US elections or is it just another excuse to bash Israel? How about the GOP candidate dressing up as an SS member, I find that form of exremism right here at home is more than frightening. I am sure there are GOP apologists here who have no problem with that.

Posted by: leichtman1 | October 10, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

12Bar

It really is amazing how much you are having a conversation with yourself -

You are throwing this stuff out - and no one is talking about that topic

It's find - but then you get into this whole defense of the entire conversation.

Everyone is waiting for you to become unhinged and start a fight when one person says something with which you do not agree.

That's the way it is.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 10, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

This is your premise? That AA have been duped into voted Democratic? Really? Just my opinion, but that sounds kind of thin.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 10, 2010 6:28 PM
----

You tell me. Why is the country at large pretty evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats? Why are there more Americans who identify as conservative than who identify as liberal? Why do the numbers not hold among African-Americans?
What are they getting out of their bargain with the Democrat party? What is the unemployment rate in the black community? What is the incarceration rate? How many black babies are born out of wedlock? I suppose this is all because a Republican occasionally wins the White House.
----

"Of the two great societal goals—freedom and "the good"—freedom requires a conservatism, a discipline of principles over the good, limited government, and so on. No way to grandiosity here. But today's liberalism is focused on "the good" more than on freedom. And ideas of "the good" are often a license to transgress democratic principles in order to reach social justice or to achieve more equality or to lessen suffering. The great political advantage of modern liberalism is its offer of license on the one hand and moral innocence—if not superiority—on the other. Liberalism lets you force people to buy health insurance and feel morally superior as you do it. Power and innocence at the same time.

This is an old formula for power, last used effectively on the presidential level by Lyndon Johnson. But Johnson's Great Society was grasping for moral authority after the civil rights movement. I doubt any white president could use it effectively today, and even ObamaCare passed by only a three vote margin in the House and with no Republican support at all. Worse, in the end, it passed not to bring the nation better health care but to pull a flailing Democratic presidency back from the brink." --- Shelby Steele, WSJ 03/10/10

What does Shelby Steele know that 95% of the black community doesn't know? Or maybe you think he's a fool or a house boy---that's what Harry Belafonte said about Colin Powell. Do you suppose Shelby Steele worries about Guam capsizing? Do you suppose he thinks astronauts left flags on Mars? I've posted ad nauseum that the African-American community is ill served by total devotion to one particular party. It doesn't work. But the current black political class has a vested interest in keeping things as they are, as does the party that calls the tune to which they dance and throws them their bones.

Posted by: Brigade | October 10, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm thinking that invocation of the 60's racist Democrats should just be a Godwin's Law sort of situation. Clearly the Republican, as a political party, have a racist platform. And if someone's only counter is to reference figures from 60 years in the past, that is pretty much an admission of the racist platform. Why bother responding to it? It's nothing more than an admission of guilt.

If Republicans think blatant racism is ok because Democrats did it a lifetime ago, that's their right. But they're delusional if they think that line is going to get any votes.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 10, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

@lmsinca | October 10, 2010 4:08 PM:

Indeed we will. And it won't be long now.

But I actually think the "wave" may have crested a few months ago. Republicans were going great guns in Q4 of '09 on into Q1 of this year and then seemed to kind of hit a wall midway through Q2. Not to understate that people were and are feeling pretty sour on Democrats, including a lot of Democrats -- I also think Rosenberg's point about Stockholm Syndrome on the left was well taken, BTW. But I haven't actually seen much in the way of evidence to support the widespread assumption that sourness on Democrats automatically translates into hard support for Republicans.

I tend not to put much stock in candidate preference polling in general more than a month or two out from the election. 8 out of 10 American can't actually name their congressman, let alone know who's running against them in June or July and yes, that matters in November. So I just kept looking at things like favorability for the political parties, job approval for each party's membership and leadership in congress and trust on big issues by party for signs of a Republican tsunami in the making, and all summer long I kept not seeing it. Now of course, if you look at the last WP poll for example, it's Democrats who seem to be making gains again or at least still holding their own on all of the above.

But now is also the point when I start taking candidate preference polls seriously and on that front, even the good news still ain't all that great. I certainly would not argue that the Democrats are unlikely to take a beating in both houses of congress but at this moment, I personally still tend to regard a takeover of either house as more the outside chance than the inside one. And I can't help remembering that at this point in 1998, the "smart" money was still almost universally on Republicans taking over the senate and attaining a supermajority in the House. So I know that strange things do happen sometimes.

Posted by: CalD | October 10, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

What are they getting out of their bargain with the Democrat party?
--------------------------
You want me to tell you? I don't really know, not being black. I suggest we ask black Democrats. They are the experts on their voting patterns, I would say. It seems strange (to me) for a bunch of whites to speculate why blacks vote Democratic.

One thing black Democrats are unlikely to say is that they've been collectively duped into voting Democratic. Just my opinion.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 10, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

"Clearly the Republican, as a political party, have a racist platform."

Goes without saying.

Everyone knows this.

Clearly.

Posted by: tao9 | October 10, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Anyone have any data on reasons for black voting patterns? Something like the work Pew does for Hispanic voting attitudes? If we're going to ascribe motives to black voters, why not use the research.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 10, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

brigade maybe you didn't get the message. Robert Byrd is dead. What you refer to happened over 50 years ago which he then spent the rest of his life working to change.
You have posted today that Obama is like Stalin and Ds hate blacks and Hispanics. Didn't know you had fallen that much into the right wing talking points. Durn straight I went to the W Va ad. Rs claim they love the lower and middle class anglo but rail against food stamps and the ITC using it as code. Last week you posted you were shocked that AAs vote 90%+ D but when I mentioned Rand Paul's questioning the constitutionality of Open Houising and Civil Rights you seemed absolutely shocked that AAs still care about silly things like Civil Rights laws.
And the GOP cares about lower income whites?
That is fascinating since Joe Miller, Sharon Angle and Linda McMahon have all questioned the constitutionality of the minimum wage. You think that there might be a few lower income anglos in the country that might think differently. By the way I am sure that you know about Dixicrats, Strom Thurmund and other Ds in the 1950s who became the mouthpiece for the GOP after changing parties in the 1960s. Lyndon said it best when he warned us that his signing of Civil Rights laws would turn the south into R hands for a generation.

The following Gingrich quote in Jan shows exactly why AAs won't support the GOP:

“‘They will have destroyed their party much as Lyndon Johnson shattered the Democratic Party for 40 years’ with the enactment of civil rights legislation in the 1960s"

Posted by: leichtman1 | October 10, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD wrote,
"I'm thinking that invocation of the 60's racist Democrats should just be a Godwin's Law sort of situation. Clearly the Republican, as a political party, have a racist platform. And if someone's only counter is to reference figures from 60 years in the past, that is pretty much an admission of the racist platform. Why bother responding to it? It's nothing more than an admission of guilt."

Really? Silly me. And I was so hoping you'd focus more explicitly on the Republican's "racist platform." You know, instead of just making the statement. There are a few black Republicans who'd probably be interested in hearing about it. You could start by educating your own governor Jindal.

But what do I know? I'm just a bigoted working-class white guy, educated but obviously still stupid, carping from the sidelines. Republicans passed Johnson's CRA, but that was a long time ago. Nixon was the affirmative action guy but wait, he iniated a "southern strategy", and that was also a long time ago, too. If today's Republicans are racist, maybe we can at least agree that they don't seem to be quite as good at it as the Democrats used to be.

I always say: if something's working, stick with it. If African-Americans are satisfied with the plight of their communities, they should just keep on keepin' on---doing what they've been doing. The rest of us, however, are getting a little weary of the last four years of the Democrats controlling Congress. We may opt for something different.

Posted by: Brigade | October 10, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Brigade

Yet another way of saying skip on down

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | October 10, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

leichtman1 at 6:52 PM

Im not sure anyone is really bashing Israel.

After ALL the money the US has given Israel and all the loan guarantees, discussions on various topics, like the settlements on the West Bank can hardly be characterized as "bashing"


HOWEVER - the issues are clear: the liberals want to pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq.

The American People have a right to ask: AND LEAVE WHAT IN THE MIDDLE EAST ???


The initial problem is Obama and the democrats have not been HONEST to the American People about their intentions - witness ALL these discussion taking place in 2009 over Afghanistan - AND the whole time the public NOT really knowing what Obama's true stance is/was.


Obama appears to want to pull out as soon as practical - practical I supposed could mean two sets of things - one military and one political from a US domestic point of view.


_____________________________

ALL this the American People deserve to ASK where does that leave Israel ?


Is Obama trying to leave Israel on its own - regardless of the Iran situation?


I already said yesterday that I am not in favor of these rapid pull-outs - which may leave the regional security situation unstable.


But Obama and the democrats seem to be pointing to some polls - and running head-strong into pull-outs - NO MATTER what might happen down the road.


WHAT IS WORSE - there seems to be little public debate on these issues - in part because Obama won't tell anyone what is real thinking is -

we have to wait for a Woodward book to find out that Obama has overruled his Generals and FORCED THEM TO AGREE with him.


Obama is one massive UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCE -


Obama causes unintended consequences


AND Obama himself IS an unintended consequence

Someday - all this will be clear - half the nation will be asking themselves "What were we thinking?"

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 10, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

leichtman1 wrote,
"You have posted today that Obama is like Stalin and Ds hate blacks and Hispanics."

You sometimes chide people for an inability to recognize satire. If you check the post about Obama, you'll see it was a one-line response to someone raving about the Republican party and Vichy France. I don't recall saying anything about Ds hating blacks and Hispanics. Please provide the quote or, failing that, imbibe a little less of the who-hit-John.

Posted by: Brigade | October 10, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

yea Brigae delude yourself into thinking that Edward Brook, Nelson Rockefeller, Charles Mathias, Charles Percy and Edward Dirkson would all be welcomed in today's GOP.
Heck they won't even tolerate Richard Lugar, Orrin Hatch or Bob Corker, obviously all left wing radicals in today's GOP.

Posted by: leichtman1 | October 10, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Leichtman, I proposed that invocation of 1950s Democrats should result in Godwin's Law. Brigade knows damn well that the GOP have a racist platform. That's why he is trying to set up an equivalence.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 10, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

interesting I have been called a liberal repeatedly her and I have continually been one of the biggest supporters of our brave soldiers efforts in Afghanistan. Unless I am mistaken it is brigade who has called our efforts in Afghan misguided(are you calling brigade our resident liberal now?) not me, so you might ask yourseelf if you have any idea where that is coming from. And it is Hillary and Obama trying to bring peace to Israel, should we now credit that effort to the GOP?

Posted by: leichtman1 | October 10, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Brigade knows damn well that the GOP have a racist platform. That's why he is trying to set up an equivalence.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 10, 2010 7:34 PM
----

How can I know it if you can't even point it out?

Posted by: Brigade | October 10, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

The loyalty oath stuff has to do with the rights of Arabs who are citizens within Israel


The whole question goes to whether there is still a viable one-state solution out there.


Yes, everyone is talking two-state solution however there are so many issues.


A one-state solution would have to guarantee rights of the minorities -


WHAT is WRONG with Jews and Arabs living on the same block - together.


AND why can't there be laws which apply to the jews - and laws with apply to the Arabs - if that is what the two groups want.


Both Jews and Arabs could live together.


At this point - a one-state solution has to be looked at - with rights granted to all citizens.


Yes, we are all aware that Arabs may become a majority of the population of a one-state Israel


Well that is the demographics.


This whole thing with Isreal since the 1920s has been mishandled -


Rights for all parties should have been guaranteed since day one -


ANYWAY - Im not fighting about this - however it sure seems like Obama is ready to leave Israel on its own.


AND a military strike against Iran will not work - everyone agrees about that - Iran is too prepared, and Iran's retaliation is too much of a wild-card.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 10, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

And it is Hillary and Obama trying to bring peace to Israel, should we now credit that effort to the GOP?

Posted by: leichtman1 | October 10, 2010 7:38 PM
----

LOL. I don't think the GOP has any interest in taking credit for the current effort.

Posted by: Brigade | October 10, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

the following Newt Gingrich Jan 2010 quote shows exactly why AAs won't support the GOP:

‘They will have destroyed their party much as Lyndon Johnson shattered the Democratic Party for 40 years’ with the enactment of civil rights legislation"

I call that statement by Newt as close to race baiting as it gets.


Posted by: leichtman1 | October 10, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Brigade

Yet another way of saying pay close and careful attention.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine October 10, 2010
-------

Thank you. That's what leichtman1 and DDAWD always say.

Posted by: Brigade | October 10, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

I will guarantee brigade that IF an Israeli Peace Accord is signed under Obama that the GOP will find a way to take credit for it in some preverse way. But to post that they currently have no interest in the current peace initiative tells us a lot about the GOP.

Posted by: leichtman1 | October 10, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

ddawd

The GOP is NOT racist


YOU are a racist for saying that

You constantly ignore black racism - but every little thing that whites do you have to call racist.


Please stop this crap


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 10, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

leichtman1 wrote,
"yea Brigae delude yourself into thinking that Edward Brook, Nelson Rockefeller, Charles Mathias, Charles Percy and Edward Dirkson would all be welcomed in today's GOP."
-----

That's leichtman1's way of saying the only good Republican is a dead Republican. John McCain was an okay-guy until he challenged Obama, then he was just another right-wing racist nut. He just lived too long.

You can bet your sweet Patootie that a Nelson Rockefeller running in 2012 against Barack Obama would be painted as a radical wingnut racist by the left before the ink was dry on his paperwork. How's Zell Miller doing these days?

Posted by: Brigade | October 10, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

"call that statement by Newt as close to race baiting as it gets."

Posted by: leichtman1 | October 10, 2010 7:43 PM
---

Still waiting for your comment about the 2000 NAACP ad regarding James Byrd. Race-baiting? Yes? No? Maybe?

Posted by: Brigade | October 10, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

leichtman1 at 7:47 PM

How is the GOP supposed to have "interest" in the "peace" initiative ?

The democrats are in control the negotiations.


You should be more concerned that Israel is showing they have no "interest" in peace - How can a nation show they have an interest in peace when they continue to break international law by building settlements ???


The Arab claim to half of the pre-1947 borders is still good. Nothing has changed that.


When Israel starts to abide by international law, that would show it has an interest in peace. Living in accordance with international law should be the BARE MINIMUM.

Instead, breaking international law is just like ACTS OF WAR.


So Israel is continuing to make WAR on the Arabs - which is it war or peace?


Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 10, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Just how frigging nuts is the modern american conservative right? This frigging nuts...

"In a Harris Poll from March, 24 percent of Republicans even agreed that Obama “may be the Antichrist." (from the Tomasky piece above)

One quarter of the current crowd self-identifying as Republicans are over the edge. They live in a mental universe crowded with invisible demons hungering to deceive them into eternal hellfire.

What would 'democracy' in an insane asylum look like?

Posted by: bernielatham | October 10, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

will guarantee brigade that IF an Israeli Peace Accord is signed under Obama that the GOP will find a way to take credit for it in some preverse way. But to post that they currently have no interest in the current peace initiative tells us a lot about the GOP.

Posted by: leichtman1 | October 10, 2010 7:47 PM |
----

Not as much as it tells us about the Palestinians. It takes two willing participants to have a workable peace accord; right now we have only one. Notice I said a "workable" peace accord. Words on paper can be like talk---cheap.
Surprising to see that you're such a partisan you can't see what is in Israel's best interests.

Posted by: Brigade | October 10, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

ddawd

At this point it is fair to ask

AT WHAT POINT DO YOU STOP CALLING PEOPLE RACIST?


You have had benefits of affirmative action -

- you have gotten admission to college (perhaps ahead of whites with better grades)

- you have gotten admission to grad school
(perhaps ahead of whites with better grades)

- you have gotten extra money to pay for college

- you have gotten extram money to pay for grad school


SO AT WHAT POINT DO YOU STOP CALLING PEOPLE RACIST???

AT what point does what happened NOT TO YOU - BUT TO YOUR ANCESTORS - IS OVER ???


AT WHAT POINT DO YOU STOP CALLING PEOPLE RACIST ?


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 10, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

One quarter of the current crowd self-identifying as Republicans are over the edge. They live in a mental universe crowded with invisible demons hungering to deceive them into eternal hellfire.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 10, 2010 8:01 PM |
----

What percentage of Democrats believe Republicans are racists or that Guam is about to capsize? Or that we have 57 states?

Posted by: Brigade | October 10, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

"What would 'democracy' in an insane asylum look like?"

There must still be some daylight out West. Walk out your front door and take a look.

Posted by: tao9 | October 10, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm too scared to do that.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 10, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Leichtman

In American, people of different ethnic groups live on the same block - and they get along


WHY is it so important in Israel not to have Jews live all along on a block - Arabs can't live there too?


Why can't there be a mix on every block?


In American there is no question.

And yet - the one-state solution might be the only viable one.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 10, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

"yea Brigae delude yourself into thinking that Edward Brook, Nelson Rockefeller, Charles Mathias, Charles Percy and Edward Dirkson would all be welcomed in today's GOP."


as you know brigade I was an early McCain supporter in 2008 even had his sign on my front yard. He USED TO be a principled guy until he was whacked out by Sarah. By the way I have posted complimentary things about Senator Graham, last time I checked Sen Graham is alive and well, but since you obviously pine for the good old days of the 1960s GOP Senators I am waiting to hear from you about how they would be welcomed by the GOP of 2010. Your suggesting that Rockefeller could be today's GOP POTUS nominee is hilarious.

Posted by: leichtman1 | October 10, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

"I'm too scared to do that."

Democracy can give certain folks quite a start.

Posted by: tao9 | October 10, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

12BarBlues, yes I could but it does not say anything (silence does not equate consent).

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 10, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

It's not the democracy. It's the demons.

Anyone object if I hang some garlic cloves above this thread?

Posted by: bernielatham | October 10, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

"How can I know it if you can't even point it out?

Posted by: Brigade "

First you need to provide some evidence that pointing something out to you will have an effect on what you post here. If all you want to do is be right-wing white paper, then it's pretty pointless.

And given how everyone else on here can point out ten instances of GOP race baiting in the last two years in about ten seconds, it's pretty unnecessary.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 10, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

"What would 'democracy' in an insane asylum look like? "

I've been reading comments here for over a year, so I have a pretty good idea.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 10, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

"And given how everyone else on here can point out ten instances of GOP race baiting in the last two years in about ten seconds, it's pretty unnecessary."

I've got the Spirit of Missouri...Show Me.

And make it ten in ten.

9...8...7...6...

Posted by: tao9 | October 10, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

This was published in World Net Daily to explain why blacks vote Democratic.

"Clearly then, it is not Democratic Party positions that explain why so many Jews and blacks vote Democrat. Something deeper must be at work."

"The black memory in question is of white racism. It seems obvious that many African-Americans carry a residual anger against whites and against America as a result of centuries of slavery and racism. They therefore vote for the party most associated with policies (such as affirmative action) ostensibly designed to fight racism (meaning, always, white racism), and which frequently condemns alleged ongoing white racism. And blacks vote against the party they perceive as denying that America continues to be racist, the party that opposes race-based policies, and the party that celebrates America as if it isn't a racist country. "
---------------------------
Not exactly based on research, but an interesting take from a white columnist (if one can believe the photo, on a conservative web site. I think WND is saying that blacks vote Democratic because they perceive the GOP as unsympathetic to civil rights. Isn't that what ddawd has been saying?


http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=30592

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 10, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

"It's the demons."

I know a Man who can cast them out. Want his e-mail?

Posted by: tao9 | October 10, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

leichtman1 wrote,
"as you know brigade I was an early McCain supporter in 2008 even had his sign on my front yard."
-------

Sorry. I don't recall that. I recall that you worked hard for Hillary Clinton and would presumably have supported her had she won the nomination. So you voted for Obama. Hard to see where McCain figures in.

Posted by: Brigade | October 10, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

This explains when blacks began identifying themselves as Democrats in much greater numbers.

"It wasn't until Harry Truman garnered 77 percent of the black vote in 1948 that a majority of blacks reported that they thought of themselves as Democrats. Earlier that year Truman had issued an order desegregating the armed services and an executive order setting up regulations against racial bias in federal employment. "
----------------------------
Even after that, Republican nominees continued to get a large slice of the black vote for several elections. Dwight D. Eisenhower got 39 percent in 1956, and Richard Nixon got 32 percent in his narrow loss to John F. Kennedy in 1960.
--------------------------------
But then President Lyndon B. Johnson pushed through the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 (outlawing segregation in public places) and his eventual Republican opponent, Sen. Barry Goldwater, opposed it. Johnson got 94 percent of the black vote that year, still a record for any presidential election.

http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/when_did_blacks_start_voting_democratic.html

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 10, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

pragmatic:

“Is it your thinking then, Scott, that all social programs should be state level programs?”

As I said, the more local the level, the better, yes.

“How would you account for elderly people that live and work in many different states over their lifetimes?”

Again, as I said, I do not have a specific program in mind. One of the very advantages of decentralizing authority for this kind of thing is the ability to establish different ideas in different places.

“Do you think it would be more efficient to have separate bureaucracies in each state?”

Possibly, but efficiency isn’t the point.

“And how should the federal government respond if certain states made no provision for a safety net, elderly or otherwise?”

It shouldn’t be up to the federal government to respond. Authority should rest with states or local governments.

“What about education Scott? Should the federal government have no role whatsoever?”

No, I don’t think it should.

“The environment?”

Depends.

“Civil rights?”

Sure. The federal government should certainly enforce the constitution.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 10, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Thanks tao, that's very kind. What sort of warranty does the fellow (bound to be a fellow) offer? Is he bonded and licenced? Who licences him? A bureaucrat? I'm I just going to have to call him back next week again if there's a new infestation? Does the protection apply just to the original contractee or does it extend to immediate family? Do we have to get the house done too? Garage? Will I/we/it end up smelling odd? Will costs be covered by my present private insurer or ought I to hope for government help up the road? Do Republicans have a policy in place to protect the souls of patriots? If not, why not? Will someone with a southern accent have to hit me in the head while yelling something? How hard? How do I differentiate between a concussion and a fat demon?

Posted by: bernielatham | October 10, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

You must be your own warranty, my brother. But the service is absolutely free, and if you stick to the maintenance plan it is guaranteed for life, actually eternally.

Oh, you're going to have to have some faith. The exact amount of faith is about as big as a mustard seed.

Posted by: tao9 | October 10, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

brigade I supported McCain when Hillary lost was not thrilled how that went down until Palin.

Like most HC supporters in my precicnct we came to our senses.

I don t believe as Americans we should dictate domestic policies to Israel, its for their voters to decide.

Curious why all WP blogs seem to degrade into a food fights over race.

I guess by your silence that Rockefeller, Mathias and Dirskson would all be welcome by the GOP/TeaParty crowd in 2010.

Posted by: leichtman1 | October 10, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"They live in a mental universe crowded with invisible demons hungering to deceive them into eternal hellfire."

So, pretty much the same role that Karl Rove and Bill Kristol play in your mental universe, right?

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 10, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

leichtman,

Compared even to Rocky: Collins, Snowe, Chaffee, Jeffords, et.al. look like Eastern Bloc nomenklatura.

Don't see a problem w/your above examples in today's GOP, esp. Dirkson.

Posted by: tao9 | October 10, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Why is the degree to which the GOP would "welcome" big government liberals supposed to be a test of its legitimacy?

And why do liberals always expect conservatives to take their instruction about genuine or legitimate conservatism? you folks really don't know beans about conservatism.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 10, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Using either Goebbels or Pravada as examples, can you define "propaganda" such that your definition differentiates it from other sorts of political speech or political enterprises?"

See, I knew you weren't being honest with your excuse as to why you wouldn't answer my questions. You are obviously quite happy to pursue the discussion as long as you get to dictate the terms. It's only when I question you and your premises that suddenly your "interest" wanes.

What a fraud.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 10, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

"And why do liberals always expect conservatives to take their instruction about genuine or legitimate conservatism? you folks really don't know beans about conservatism.

Posted by: quarterback1"

Explain what it means, then.

Then we can debate whether Republicans actually make an attempt to adhere to this. SHould be fun.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 10, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Brigade

Leichtman was an early HILLARY supporter

Let's be honest here


I have a good memory - you can't fool me.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 10, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

quarerback you are completely missing the point. Brigade and others were lecturing us on how it was Rs who were really responsible for the 1964 Civil Rights legislation that LBJ signed and brilliantly predicted would drive southerners into the hands of the GOP for decades. He was right. Everyone knows that folks like Mathias, Brooke, Dirkson and others would not be given the time of day by the current GOP/TeaParty crowd. Heck when they call Orrin and Corker dangerous liberals, we know how whacked out the GOP has become.

Posted by: leichtman1 | October 10, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

JOE MANCHIN THINKS WEST VIRGINIANS ARE STUPID


Joe Manchin is out saying that "John Raese think's we're hicks"

But isn't it Joe Manchin who is talking down to West Virginians?


Joe Manchin THINKS PEOPLE IN HIS STATE CAN NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT AN INDEPEDENT EXPENDITURE IS ??


Seriously - by making that statement Joe Manchin is the one talking down to West Virginians - NOT anyone else

.

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

still am a HC supporter, she has been a great SOS, and a great team player, on the verge of a historic Israeli/Palestinian accord her husband came so very close to achieving in 2000. I hope I have the strength to help her win in 2016. She may never be a POTUS but such an accord will surely win her the Nobel Peace Prize and a special place in our nation's history.

Posted by: leichtman1 | October 10, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA KNEW ABOUT IMPROPER FORECLOSURES


According to an article in the Washington Post, Obama officials "acknowledged they had been aware of flaws in how the mortgage industry pursues foreclosures.


REALLY?


Obama KNEW that big banks were foreclosing on people - improperly - with forged documents ...

LET'S GET ALL THE ANSWERS THIS TIME - WHAT DID OBAMA KNOW AND WHEN DID HE KNOW IT ????

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 10, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

l-man,

Has anyone of standing in the GOP leadership or even the TP called Hatch or Corker "dangerous liberals?" If so, I missed the reportage on that revealing internecine controversy.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DDAWD,

tickticktick

5...4...3...

Posted by: tao9 | October 10, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

independent expenditure-shorthand for NRSC

Posted by: leichtman1 | October 10, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Why are you asking me about Corker or Hatch?

Posted by: DDAWD | October 10, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

tao9 word is out that the TeaPrty plans to run Corker, Snowe, Hatch, and Lugar out of the GOP in 2012 unless they fall on their face in three weeks. What else can we conclude other than that these GOP Senators are out of their mainstream likely Graham as well. I doubt I am the first to post that story.

Posted by: leichtman1 | October 10, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Leichtman

Independent Expenditures have to be just that - INDEPENDENT


Joe Manchin just made a serious mistake - he is talking DOWN to his own electorate - and seeking to deceive them.


Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 10, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

leichtman, I heard something similar about Lindsey Graham.

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

"You are obviously quite happy to pursue the discussion as long as you get to dictate the terms."

Yes, if by "terms" you mean defining the term itself, you bet. And I'm going to have you do it to a standard worth my time. Bud.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 10, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

right an NRSC ad attacking Mancin is Independent and issue oriented only, what have you been smokin today? The only thing independent in that stupid ad is that it didn't conclude by saying and please vote for Raese. The NRSC advertises for hicky actors and that is a manchin problem? Like Obama said today to the GOP when he says the sky is blue they say you are wrong. And a GOPer dressing up as a nazi should be ok with jewish Ohio voters.

Posted by: leichtman1 | October 10, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

l-man,

You're right!

Found this: "Tea Party Targets GOP Senators...10.7.2010 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703298504575534431246487468.html

All other commentary was from the usual dramaturges TPM, Mother Jones, The Fix, and drama queens @ Salon.

No "dangerous liberals" but this pull quote brought a wee smile:

"The tea party is right," said Ms. Snowe, who is campaigning for a tea-party-backed gubernatorial candidate in Maine this fall. "We've lost our way on fiscal issues."

heh

Posted by: tao9 | October 10, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Why are you asking me about Corker or Hatch?

Posted by: DDAWD | October 10, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Upthread:

"And given how everyone else on here can point out ten instances of GOP race baiting in the last two years in about ten seconds, it's pretty unnecessary."

I've got the Spirit of Missouri...Show Me.

And make it ten in ten.

9...8...7...6...

Posted by: tao9 | October 10, 2010 8:57 PM

{{{Two hours & counting....ya'll must have missed it so if you're up for it: Restart the Clock, Vanna!}}}

Posted by: tao9 | October 10, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

"One quarter of the current crowd self-identifying as Republicans are over the edge. They live in a mental universe crowded with invisible demons hungering to deceive them into eternal hellfire.

What would 'democracy' in an insane asylum look like?"

I bet Bernie'd like to see a little "State Re-education" for some folks.

He's in very rare form tonight.

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

Oh, ok. No, I didn't miss it. I thought you wanted me to answer the Corker thing too.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 10, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD said:

"Explain what it means, then."

No thanks. I've bothered in my life to study ideas and perspectives with which I disagree. You should do the same, and I'm not interested in spending my time or words trying to remedy your failure to have done so.

You could do worse than starting with Russell Kirk, Burke, George Will, Hayek, Friedman, Sowell, and even Whittacre Chambers as representative of several strands of conservative thought. NRO, Heritage, even the Conservative Book Club are all sources of further reading.

"Then we can debate whether Republicans actually make an attempt to adhere to this. SHould be fun."

Not much of a debate. They do a mediocre job.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 10, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD,

I wont hold you to it. I know some folks at rally's have said some crazy stuff and deployed some nasty signs.

But, there's always a but ;>), I don't think they're writing policy up on the Hill, or staff people at Freedom Works.

The whole racism/SouthernStrategy thing is past it's sell by date.

Posted by: tao9 | October 10, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

QB, I certainly haven't read all those books, but I am certainly aware of what conservative principles are supposed to be. I'm going to go with smaller, less intrusive government and fiscal responsibility.

And saying Republicans have done a mediocre job at upholding these principles is extremely generous.

And if I'm wrong about what conservatism stands for, then enlighten me.

Or keep whining. I don't care.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 10, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Phillies advance!

Posted by: tao9 | October 10, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Well, I've been watching football all day and there's an ad by a sitting US Senator that ranks as one of the most racist ads I've ever seen.

But whatever. I'm not arguing this. My original point is that bringing up 1950's Democrats is a trigger for Godwin's Law.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 10, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

DDAWG,

"Then enlighten me."

Open your mind, padawan, trust your feelings...see with eyes that see...

"But there is one thing that I have never from my youth up been able to understand. I have never been able to understand where people got the idea that democracy was in some way opposed to tradition. It is obvious that tradition is only democracy extended through time. It is trusting to a consensus of common human voices rather than to some isolated or arbitrary record. The man who quotes some German historian against the tradition of the Catholic Church, for instance, is strictly appealing to aristocracy. He is appealing to the superiority of one expert against the awful authority of a mob. It is quite easy to see why a legend is treated, and ought to be treated, more respectfully than a book of history. The legend is generally made by the majority of people in the village, who are sane. The book is generally written by the one man in the village who is mad. Those who urge against tradition that men in the past were ignorant may go and urge it at the Carlton Club, along with the statement that voters in the slums are ignorant. It will not do for us. If we attach great importance to the opinion of ordinary men in great unanimity when we are dealing with daily matters, there is no reason why we should disregard it when we are dealing with history or fable. Tradition may be defined as an extension of the franchise. Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death. Democracy tells us not to neglect a good man's opinion, even if he is our groom; tradition asks us not to neglect a good man's opinion, even if he is our father. I, at any rate, cannot separate the two ideas of democracy and tradition; it seems evident to me that they are the same idea. We will have the dead at our councils. The ancient Greeks voted by stones; these shall vote by tombstones. It is all quite regular and official, for most tombstones, like most ballot papers, are marked with a cross."
(GK Chesterton, 1908)

Posted by: tao9 | October 10, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

I thought this was interesting. A couple of big economic meetings in the past week, one at the Roosevelt Institute (I know) but the other at the AEI with all the bankers etc. Looks like some are beginning to wonder if there are any conservative ideas which could right the economy and that the Dem half measures (thank-you Blue Dogs) aren't doing enough. They're beginning to think maybe the big bad Government may need to do more. A couple of suggestions, break up the big banks and cram down mortgages, WOW.

I've been wondering for awhile how bad things would have to get before everyone realized how important both the mortgage crisis and the deterioration of the middle class was in order to work together, no more tax cuts please, to change the trajectory. Maybe we're getting closer.

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

"This isn’t the first time Roubini has issued that warning. He said the same basic thing when I interviewed him in May. The trick is, back in May, none of the bank analysts and traders who attended yesterday’s AEI event really took him seriously. Now even those elites believe that the economy is in deep trouble and in need of a major shot in the arm from the federal government.

Perversely, all of this bad news gives me some cause for optimism. Wall Street’s lobbyists are as powerful as ever, but the intellectual debate over the economic path forward is getting more reasonable as the economy deteriorates and people realize that conservative policies and liberal half-measures are simply not working."

http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasy/2010/10/08/want-to-create-jobs-break-up-the-banks/

Posted by: lmsinca | October 10, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Would somebody put a leash on 37th?

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 10, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA KNEW ABOUT IMPROPER FORECLOSURES


According to an article in the Washington Post, Obama officials "acknowledged they had been aware of flaws in how the mortgage industry pursues foreclosures."

REALLY?

Obama KNEW that big banks were foreclosing on people - improperly - with forged documents ...


LET'S GET ALL THE ANSWERS THIS TIME - WHAT DID OBAMA KNOW AND WHEN DID HE KNOW IT ????

__________________________

This is going to bring up a great deal of questions about Obama's ability to handle anything.

Apparently the word is that when Obama was pressing for the Mortgage Modifications Policy, the administration was told MULTIPLE TIMES of the problems with the foreclosures.


But Obama has ALLOWED THE FAULTY FORECLOSURES TO CONTINUE.


Forging documents and submitting them to a Court is illegal - what did Obama know and when did he know it?

Obviously Obama was pushing his financial regulation bill earlier in the spring.


Well WHAT DID OBAMA KNOW ABOUT the foreclosures ???


The deeper problem is that Obama has been told numerous times that the incentives in the mortgage industry are toward quick foreclosures - NOT modifications -

And Obama has been siting on a FAILED POLICY WHICH HE KNOWS IS A FAILED POLICY - and again DOING NOTHING ABOUT IT.


Obama has been "doing nothing" about glaring problems.

.


Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 11, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

From a comment on another article:


"The Washington Post" - "Obama Accepting Untraceable Donations
Contributions Reviewed After Deposits" By Matthew Mosk Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 29, 2008:

"Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is allowing donors to use largely untraceable prepaid credit cards that could potentially be used to evade limits on how much an individual is legally allowed to give or to mask a contributor’s identity, campaign officials confirmed. Faced with a huge influx of donations over the Internet, the campaign has also chosen not to use basic security measures to prevent potentially illegal or anonymous contributions from flowing into its accounts, aides acknowledged.”

So what is it that Mr. Obama accuses the Chamber of Commerce of that he has not already done himself?

If you think the reading public has no memory, you are wrong.

_________________________________

The American people deserve an investigation into Obama's credit card operations in 2008 - AND to see if there was foreign money.


There is software controls to stop foreign money - the allegation is that the controls were PURPOSELY TURNED OFF.


Call the banks - get the information of where the credit cards were from - foreign or domestic AND LET THE PROSECUTIONS BEGIN.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 11, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade, no one is forcing you to read here. Why don't you just go back to The Fix?

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 11, 2010 12:55 AM | Report abuse

ABUSE OF POWER


What is going on here? This is a severe character flaw, if not more.


CBS News said today that it had looked into allegations of foreign money at the Chamber of Commerce - and found nothing.


From today's Post: "Legal experts from both parties say the prohibition against foreign funding in U.S. elections is clear, and noted that Democrats have turned up no hard evidence that the chamber is violating that ban. "


____________________________

I find it to be EXTREMELY SERIOUS when a government official (Obama) ACCUSES private individuals of illegal activity - and there is no evidence.


Obama is ABUSING HIS POSITION.


If Obama has evidence, call the Justice Dept and let the proper offices in the Justice Dept deal with it.


INSTEAD - perhaps without evidence - Obama IS ACCUSING PEOPLE OF ILLEGAL ACTIVITY.


How is that proper ???


I have NEVER heard of such a thing - EVER.


I don't think a public official can go out there and say such things - without having the evidence.


Investigate Obama for HIS credit card operations - let's get that straight.


Obama has a serious character flaw.

The wheels are coming off of Obama - something is seriously wrong.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 11, 2010 12:56 AM | Report abuse

You guys should stop complaining because, one the health care we have now isnt as good as it was supposed to be. also the law has just been signed so give it some time. so if u want to say u have the right to choose tell that to ur congress men or state official. If you do not have insurance and need one You can find full medical coverage at the lowest price by calling 877-882-4740 or check http://bit.ly/9EwL4G If you have health insurance and do not care about cost just be happy about it and trust me you are not going to loose anything!


Posted by: melgibson11 | October 11, 2010 1:47 AM | Report abuse

@ wbgonne | October 10, 2010 6:05 PM:

As Americans, the notion of a state religion is pretty much going to seem creepy and foreign to us. Not having one ourselves is obviously one of our country's most cherished founding principles. It runs pretty deeply in our veins.

Posted by: CalD | October 11, 2010 2:05 AM | Report abuse

Let's all be clear about the money issue


Obama in 2008 took in $700 MILLION v. $87 Million for McCain


Obama used that UNFAIR ADVANTAGE IN money to buy commercials in markets in which democratic Presidential candidates would NEVER have otherwise.


This UNFAIR ADVANTAGE brought Obama majorities in Congress with which Obama IMPOSED his massive health care plan on America.


NOW Obama is complaining about $50 Million that the Chamber of Commerce has - compared to the over $600 Million in UNFAIR ADVANTAGE that Obama had last time.


Is Obama kidding?


The American People are going to see through this pack of DECEPTIONS AND LIES. This is basically more of the same from Obama.


Why doesn't Obama concentrate on STICKING TO HIS WORD - concentrate on bringing health care premiums down - like he said.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 11, 2010 6:35 AM | Report abuse

At a bare minimum, the American People deserve a President who isn't making public charges of illegal activity without evidence.

This is an abuse of power UNPRECEDENTED in American History.

The Liberal bastion of CBS Bob Shaeffer says to David Axelrod - "Do you have any evidence is this any more than peanuts?"


Then CBS responds "Is that the best you can do"


The bottom line: making such charges without evidence is an impeachable offense - Obama is a public official who is held to a higher standard. OBAMA MUST RESIGN NOW - THIS IS A DISGRACE TO AMERICA.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 11, 2010 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Yes, if by "terms" you mean defining the term itself..."

No, that is not what I meant. "Dictate" does not mean "define". And in any event, you haven't provided a definition of "propaganda", you've asked me to define it.

"And I'm going to have you do it..."

Get over yourself, Bernie. You aren't going to "have" me do anything. As I've mentioned before, this is not your classroom and I am not a naive and wide-eyed freshmen that you can bully around.

Feel free to define "propaganda" as you use it, and I will be happy to carry forward under that assumption.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 11, 2010 7:18 AM | Report abuse

looks like 37th is having another meltdown

Posted by: leichtman1 | October 11, 2010 7:19 AM | Report abuse

The ECONOMIC DATA does NOT support Obama's assertions yesterday in Philadelphia.


The SOLID Economic Data proves that the recession ended in June 2009 - a time when NOTHING that Obama did with the stimulus could have filtered through to help the economy AT ALL. Remember the stimulus dollars had to be assigned to projects - and that money had to be spent.

So the economic data PROVES that Obams did NOT "stop the free-fall" and Obama did NOT "prevent another depression."

These are LIES - and Obama's people must have told him such.

Obama did not save anything. If anything is true, the Obama's health care bill has place a DRAG ON HIRING - and held back the economy. In addition, Obama's people now admit that they were told numerous times of the fraudulent documents being used in foreclosures - a situation which will further DELAY a recovery. Obama AGAIN IS AT FAULT.


Obama keeps up with the deceptions and lies.


The American People deserve better than all these lies from Obama. Obama has become a National Disgrace.


The only way the nation can begin to heal is for Obama to resign. Immediately. As soon as possible.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 11, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

@BB:
"Would somebody put a leash on 37th?"

There was recently a discussion about it. The ayes had it. WaPo says no. So, no leash. Erring on the side of "free speech", including shouting "LET ME BE PERFECTLY CLEAR" at the top of your lungs in a crowded theatre. With lots of white space.


Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 11, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Kevin Willis


LET's be clear about the vote.

Several liberals were also voted off the island -

The conservatives were allowed to stay - but they have to spend half their days in a cave - thinking about what they typed.

In addition, it was discovered that the trolls were really in the branches of trees.


YES, the same trees in which the Keebler elves have their cookie ovens. The trolls are up in branches - all with mini-keyboards. The computers are all wired to the internet through a complex set of connections which allow the cookie production to be maximized.


Apparently the trolls like to play with the squirrels.


At certain times during the day, the trolls come out of the branches and start throwing spools of thread at the squirrels below.

This has become a favorite activity - especially after the Keebler elves have given the trolls some cookies.


This is the origin of the phrase "thread-bombing trolls."

But so much for etymology.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 11, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Recently, I've been reading all the weekend threads, though I haven't participated (I can't stand trying to quote stuff, or typing, on an iPhone, though I do do it, sometimes), so I miss out on some of the end-of-week contretemps. Also, as much as I'd like to contribute something to, say, an extended junior highschool slapfight between Bernie and Scott, I'm not sure that I got anything productive to add to that particular pot.

That being said, I wanted to respond to something 12Bar said in a previous thread:

"Do any of your arguments change the minds of even ONE voter?"

No. Everything that changes my mind on an issue treats my objections (even if not that well thought out, yet) seriously. And engages as if they have some vested interest in changing my mind, which, of course, they don't, really. Most of the things we express opinion on in a forum like this are things on which most of us won't have much influence.

One of the reasons I think there is a lot of gotchas! and invective in this sort of forum is that the stakes are so low. If any of us had to convince somebody else about our point of view in order to feed their family or pay the rent bill, I guarantee you, almost all of us (except STRF, and probably Ethan /snark) would approach these debates differently. The relatively low stakes of the outcome allow us to operate without the sometimes repressive social filters we may chafe funder. It can be liberating to just call people we think are foolish for disagreeing with us "dunderheads" and let that be our part of the conversation.

Do we do it (and not just one epithet, but the constant abrasiveness and insults) with the parent, child or spouse we disagree with on issues? Not if we want to keep stay engaged in their life, we don't.

"Can anyone here say honestly that he used these arguments, and most importantly the angry tone and name calling, to change ONE person to vote differently."

Actually, it can encourage folks to show up and vote in the opposite manner, as they intended to in the first place. In a election period where I, as someone who generally votes Republican, finds the Republican party especially weak (esp. given all the talk of the "Republican Wave"), I'm not terribly excited about voting--but then, I come some place where folks like Bernie, wbgonne, Ethan and others stoke my fires with a wide array trash talk, and the idea of the insult-hurlers taking it on the chin in November re-motivates me.

I imagine it works similarly (or can) in the opposite direction. In any case, I know any argument that attacks someone's intelligence, motivations, moral character, etc., don't convince anybody of anything, and therefor cannot be thusly intended.

(cont)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 11, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Kevin & BB

If we could get him to sleep for more than 3 or 4 hours a night and take a nap during the day we'd have a little more freedom to pursue adult interests.

Posted by: lmsinca | October 11, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

@12Bar: "Recently, I have influenced two people to vote differently. If I had harangued and insulted either of them, it would not have happened. What I did was listen. I listened to what the person was ALREADY feeling and leaning, and just suggested one or two things that played into THEIR concern. The person made up his own mind, in his own time, without me telling him what an @#$% he is to think the way he does."

That's crazy talk! I'm doing people a favor when I tell them how stupid they are, and how the people the support politically are evil! /snark

"I wonder why people come onto these political blogs. Is this just a venue to blow off anger, in a way that polite people cannot do in person?"

Yes, and to reinforce some of the negative stereotypes we have about "the other side" as mean and judgemental and intolerant. And, occasionally, see who we can win over socially. It's fun to make friends in the lions den!

"Sometimes, I think the whole purpose of these blogs is to slam each other without having to face each other."

I often ask, would you talk to somebody like this in person, or would some kind of internal filter step in an say, "What's the point of ticking this person off? Can't I express my opinion without calling him an idiot?"

I came up with just the challenge to Ethan, who claims he routinely calls FRAUDS and LIARS out, face-to-face. I can't imagine he gets invited to a lot of parties. ;)

"If we treated our friends and neighbors this way, they would turn and run in the other direction every time they saw us coming. Can you imagine wanting to have dinner with someone who tells you you are a stupid %$#@ because you voted for [fill in the blank]. That would be the LAST time I'd be around that person."

Yup. Yet, clearly, we must want to do just that. So, now the internet makes it possible. Yay, technology!

BTW, I just enjoyed that post, thought it was very thoughtful, and admired how much it resembled my thinking. ;)

I figured someone so close to my own thinking on the issue must be not only unusually attractive, but extremely intelligent to boot. So, kudos!

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 11, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

@STRF: "Kevin Willis"

I'm sorry, Rain Forest, but with all the double- and triple-spacing between paragraphs, I can't hear you. Maybe if you start formatting your posts in a normal manner, I'll be able to make out your cleverness. A few less ALL CAPs wouldn't hurt, either.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 11, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

DDAWD,
There may well be a Republican somewhere who's a racist; there may also be just such a Democrat. However, your original assetion was that the "Republican platform" was racist. Nice to see you've climbed down.

Posted by: Brigade | October 11, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Kevin

A blog is a blog - it is a forum for expression -


This person says this - that person says that


Sometimes a discussion comes about - however it is more rare than people would like. I personally see the liberals constantly making snide and rude comments - on a daily basis.

That is not conductive to better conversation.

I think you are complaining about the overall atmosphere - which I have little to do with. However, I have to point out - you have one or two or three liberals making rude remarks, THAT ruins the conversation.


For years, the Washington Post has allowed all sorts of obnoxinous and rude tactics from the liberals- all designed to silence people.


AND isn't that the idea - make some rude comments and try to STOP a point of view. Instead of engaging the issue -

Well - Let's hear you Kevin engage the issues - then you will get a response.

But if all the liberals do is be rude- you really can't complain about the people who being subjected to the rude behavior.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 11, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

@Brigade: He didn't just assert that the Republican platform was racists, he said: "Clearly the Republican, as a political party, have a racist platform. "

It was "clearly" racist. As if the first plank was, "And we, as a political party, assert that people with dark colored skin pigmentation are morally and genetically inferior to the fairer race." or some such rotgut.

But then, we're talking about folks (Democrats, the left, speaking generally, some of them) who seriously called advocacy for tax cuts "racist". So, when you characterize a belief in small government and letting people keep more of their money as "racist", then everything the other side does can be racist, in that belief system.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 11, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

SaveTheRainforest wrote:
"When McConnell and McCain both said they would agree to 80% of the health care plan - Obama should have said WHICH 80% - and let the Republicans come up with that 80% plan."

Well, he did. And you know what? They were lying! They refused to come up with anything in response to his invitation. Don't you remember six months, then nine months, of Max Baucus "negotiating" with the Gang of Six? The thing is, despite their claims that they were "shut out of the negotiating process," the Republicans used the negotiations to stall. As it is, Obama got a bill through that is basically the same bill the Republicans proposed in 1994. It was written by a vice president of Wellpoint, for heaven's sake!

Posted by: Acharn | October 11, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

"DDAWD,
There may well be a Republican somewhere who's a racist; there may also be just such a Democrat. However, your original assetion was that the "Republican platform" was racist. Nice to see you've climbed down.

Posted by: Brigade"

Well, yeah. You and I both know this to be true. Hence your bringing up the 50's Dems. And anyone who thinks this isn't the case is simply not paying attention.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 11, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

@STRF: "Kevin - A blog is a blog - it is a forum for expression -"

Sorry, STRF, but I stopped reading after that. Not sure what else you said. I got lost in the white space.

Indeed, express yourself any way you please, I'm just not going to read it.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 11, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Kevin:

"Also, as much as I'd like to contribute something to, say, an extended junior highschool slapfight between Bernie and Scott..."

That must have been some junior high you went to. Most junior high fights that I recall revolved around either a girl or sports, not defining one's terms in a debate.

"...I'm not sure that I got anything productive to add to that particular pot."

It's interesting, then, that you just decided to add to it. ;)

"It can be liberating to just call people we think are foolish for disagreeing with us..."

Don't you think it is possible to think someone is foolish for more substantive reasons?

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 11, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

leicthman1,
The Republicans you mentioned--- Rockefeller, Brook, et al.---would do fine in today's GOP. They were good fits for their constituencies, like Snowe, Collins, and Scott Brown. Would they win in Mississippi? Maybe not. So what? I can't think of a single current Republican who could have defeated Huey Long in Louisiana, but most of the current crop of Democrats seem to have inherited their ideas about populism and wealth redistribution from the same tutors. And if Republicans had not backed Johnson's CRA over Democrat filibusters, I'm sure the Dixiecrats would still be alive and well as a source of inspiration in leftwing politics.

Posted by: Brigade | October 11, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Brigade

Engaging these guys on "racism" is exactly what they have been asking for - for years.


However, instead of "discussing race" - it seems all they want to do is call people "racist" - and shut down all conversation.

The question is: at What point is all this productive??


Right now, we are talking about "historical racism" - Jim Crow and Slavery -


The government has come up with affirmative action and all sorts of programs to help minorities.


So AT WHAT POINT do they STOP calling people racist?


Let's take a person who gained admission to college through Affirmative action - (above a white who had better grades)

- That person got money from the government

- that person then got admission to grad school (above a white person who had better grades)

- that person got money from the government for grad school


So AT what point does that person STOP calling people RACIST?


And if the False Charges of Racism are NOT going to stop, what is the POINT of affirmative action?


It appears that affirmative action has spurred a "CONSTANT VICTIMIZATION" - in which more FALSE CHARGES OF RACISM LEAD TO MORE PROGRAMS AND MORE BENEFITS.


However, that is not the point of those programs - and in fact the conduct of those people is actually running counter to the PURPOSE of the programs.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 11, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Acharn at 8:31 AM

I followed the Max Baucus committee very closely - and I have to say that what you said is pretty much a mischaracterization.

There were little party leader to party leader negotiations - there were efforts to "pick off" one or two votes.

That is not bipartisanship - if you have to define what bipartisanship is - then Obama isn't doing it.


I will not get into all the details.

However I seriously doubt that in 1994 the Republicans were proposing

- a system of subsidies which would result in a massive transfer of wealth

- requiring all health plans in the country to meet some high uniform standards

- taking $500 Billion OUT of Medicare

- pushing such high costs onto the STATES

So, to say that the 1994 Republicans were supporting all that - I don't see that - I NEVER saw that in 1994.

If you have evidence to the contrary - let's see it.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 11, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Kevin_Willis at 8:32 AM

Quite ironic - because if you had read the comment, you wouldn't have made the comment you did.

A closed mind is a terrible thing to open.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 11, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Kevin Willis

How can you expect anyone to engage you in discussion if you have already shown a pre-disposition to make rude comments?


This is your circular logic - which is nothing less than nonsense.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 11, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Hey Scott, thanks for continuing to respond to my questions with ... you know ... actual answers. Just because we disagree doesn't mean we can't go through the exercise.

With respect to disagreement, how is it that you find that civil rights are guaranteed by the Constitution but you don't believe that the federal government should be involved in education? Wasn't "separate but equal" a civil rights issue? Or do you think separate but equal was good policy?

And your response that the feds should not respond if the states provide no safety net, doesn't that conflict with the "general welfare" clause of the Constitution?

Finally, on what does federal environmental policy depend?

Again, thank you for your reasoned and thoughtful responses.

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 11, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

All, Morning Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/10/the_morning_plum_108.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 11, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

@ScottC3: "That must have been some junior high you went to."

Alas. no.

"Most junior high fights that I recall revolved around either a girl or sports, not defining one's terms in a debate"

I was characterizing the style of fighting with an unflattering metaphor, not comparing the topics. Although, most of the fights were about in my junior high, and high school (and all the fights I ever got in) were all about trash-talking, and "disrespecting" and not, when it came down to it, actually about any _thing_ at all.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 11, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Kevin:

"...and not, when it came down to it, actually about any _thing_ at all."

So is that your assessment of the dispute(s) between Bernie and I...not about anything at all?

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 11, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

@ScottC3: "Don't you think it is possible to think someone is foolish for more substantive reasons?"

Well, yes, but . . . I have yet to see an example of calling people "foolish" or "stupid" or "crazy" to be anything other than spleen-venting. There can be a good reason to think somebody is ugly--i.e., they are physically repulsive--but rarely a good reason to actually call them "ugly".

My experience has been that people have good reasons to think the things they do, even if they are (to me) transparently wrong, so I'm not sure what I can possible accomplish by calling people stupid. Or foolish. Which is not to say I've never done it, but, even when I do it, I don't think it adds anything to the conversation. That I disagree will be clear when I give logical reasons or cite anecdotes. It doesn't need to be embellished with attacks on the motivations or intelligence of the person I'm talking to, even if they've exactly that, to me. In my opinion. Which might be entirely wrong.

"It's interesting, then, that you just decided to add to it. ;)"

Dam*! You got me. To quote Syndrome from the Incredibles: "You caught me dialoging, you sly dog!"

I did indeed, didn't I?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 11, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

@ScottC3: "So is that your assessment of the dispute(s) between Bernie and I...not about anything at all?"

No, and, just so you know (for future reference) if that was the case (that I was trying to make that statement), I would state it more explicitly.

What I meant (I thought I was being clear, but perhaps I wasn't), what that I was making an unflattering comparison in debating technique, not on substance.

But, your comment amount what junior high school fights used to be about reminded me about what all the fights that I experience/knew about where about, and they were about who felt insulted by whom. Which, it seems, when you think about it, is what a lot of fights are about. Not about girls, cars, or foreign policy, but who feels insulted by whom.

For an example of what I was talking about, I refer you to Bernie's reply to your request as to what the difference was between Greg and Kristol. Instead of just stating the case that Greg has never authored a document like A New American Century, he put up his elbows and started slapping (imho). I think Bernie raised a good point, substantively, and you made a good point in return, on substance, but I think stuff like that is kind slap-fighty. Which, you know, if that tweaks your melon, it's all good. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 11, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Greg provides a comment feature, on all his threads. Does Mr. Kristol provide a similar chance for people to challenge his positions and claims?

Posted by: Liam-still | October 11, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Pragmatic:

“Just because we disagree doesn't mean we can't go through the exercise.”

I am with you.

“With respect to disagreement, how is it that you find that civil rights are guaranteed by the Constitution but you don't believe that the federal government should be involved in education? Wasn't "separate but equal" a civil rights issue?”

Yes, separate but equal was a civil rights issue, but it was not specific to education. It was a much larger policy which was applied to education in addition to other areas. (If I am not mistaken, the original Supreme Court case which established separate but equal as a policy involved trains). I have no problem with the federal government attempting to ensure that education systems within the states are not discriminating on a racial basis. But that is different than having the federal government establish education policy for all within the states.

“And your response that the feds should not respond if the states provide no safety net, doesn't that conflict with the "general welfare" clause of the Constitution? “

As a general principle, no, I don’t think so. The specific welfare of person X, which is what such social programs are aimed at, is not the “general welfare”. It seems to me that something like, say, the interstate highway system is designed to provide for the general welfare. Transfer payments from taxpayers to person X are designed to provide for the welfare of person X, not the general welfare.

“Finally, on what does federal environmental policy depend?”

Well, I’ll have to think about that a bit. Certainly a federal policy would be necessary to arbitrate disputes between two states, much on the order of regulating interstate commerce. Beyond that, I am not sure.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 11, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Greg provides a comment feature, on all his threads. Does Mr. Kristol provide a similar chance for people to challenge his positions and claims?

Posted by: Liam-still | October 11, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Once more, Scott, thanks. This has been enlightening for me. I still doubt that we will agree on much but having a better understanding of your approach to the issues certainly provides a basis for discussion.

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 11, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

For example, on the general welfare issue, what percentage of the populace must be directly affected for you to consider the term "general" to have been satisfied? You speak of the Interstate Highway System, which certainly I agree meets the threshold, but what if I don't drive or if I only drive locally? Sure, the transport of goods via truck still provides benefit to most everyone but I also think a social safety net at least POTENTIALLY provides a benefit to everyone, no?

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 11, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

What about people who do not have any children, who pay taxes to support the public schools?. Where does it stop, where we no longer remain a cohesive nation of people who support each other, and turn into the dog eat dog world, that the greediest hogs keep pushing for?

Posted by: Liam-still | October 11, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Kevin:

"Well, yes, but . . . I have yet to see an example of calling people "foolish" or "stupid" or "crazy" to be anything other than spleen-venting."

Sometimes a spleen needs to be vented.

I think there is a substantial difference between engaging in such name-calling as a standard method of argumentation (which some people here do) and determining, after a significant and substantive back and forth, that someone is being foolish or stupid, and letting them know. True, this is not likely to win a convert, but at some point and with some people you have to admit that such a goal is itself foolish.

BTW, I'm not at all sure it makes a lot of sense to compare interaction here to person-to-person interaction in real life. Too many differences to make the comparison useful. For instance, in real life, how often do you have 25 different people all talking at once, and you can choose to be involved (or not) in any number of them all at the same time? You can't walk into a party 2 hours after it started and replay all of the conversations so as to get caught up, and then insert yourself into it. Also, in real life interactions, is it any less rude to completely ignore someone who is talking to you than to call them a fool? Yet ignoring someone who is being foolish is oftentimes the most sensible approach here, even if they continue to try to engage you directly.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 11, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

pragmatic:

"For example, on the general welfare issue, what percentage of the populace must be directly affected for you to consider the term "general" to have been satisfied?"

It's not really a question of a percentage of the population. In my mind the general welfare is promoted through public goods, which are goods the benefits of which are not limited to the person making use of it at a given moment. My benefiting from the interstate highway system does not prevent you from also benefiting from it at the same time. A dollar spent on building the road does not go into my pocket to the exclusion of all others, even if I get a dollar's worth of benefit out of it.

However, an older person benefiting from a social security check does benefit him to the exclusion of all others. A dollar spent on SS does go into one person's pocket and not anyone else's. It is not a public good and does not promote the "general welfare", except perhaps in the most indirect, vague sense by which virtually anything that benefits one person could be claimed to promote the "general welfare".

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

@SCottC3: "but at some point and with some people you have to admit that such a goal is itself foolish."

Fair enough. But, then it's best to bail, rather than start with the name-calling. All I'm saying. Pointing no fingers, just making that as an abstract point (just to be clear). ;)

"BTW, I'm not at all sure it makes a lot of sense to compare interaction here to person-to-person interaction in real life."

Well, no, but it's interesting (and sometimes telling) to note the differences. I would argue that this kind of "abstraction" is no different than what used to happen in, perhaps, letter writing, but something you could certainly observe in editorials and in letters-to-the-editor. I.e., people would feel more comfortable questioning the editor's intelligence and parentage in written form than they would face-to-face.

Yet, perhaps there are good reasons we don't do it face to face that ought at least be considered for our more impersonal interactions.

"lso, in real life interactions, is it any less rude to completely ignore someone who is talking to you than to call them a fool?"

Depends on how you ignore them. ;) But, yes, there are plenty of three and four-way conversations in real life where the interjections of one person are ignored, and the topics moves on to other things, and they guy who didn't really have the conversation respond to him might be a little off-put (certainly, it's happened to me), it's a much different thing than if someone had turned to him or her (or me) and said, "That's a stupid thing to say. What are you, insane? Anyway . . . "

::grin::

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 11, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

@Liam: "What about people who do not have any children, who pay taxes to support the public schools?"

They should have some children, in order to get their money's worth.

That being said, most of those taxes are paid at the local level, and I may have missed something, but I understand Scott (and others) to be arguing about the size of government at the national, rather than local, level.

Andy everyone who lives in a community has an interest in those children getting an education, and being kept of the street. So, again, it's not really a fee-for-service model (the same sort of reason you prefer to have everyone pay for fire prevention for everyone, rather than the fee-for-service model -- a house burning down is bad for the neighbors, and for the neighborhood, but just the guy who didn't pay his $75 to keep his house safe).

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 11, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Privatization is one one the biggest looming dangers to future of the nation.


Take a look at what happened in Chicago, after Mayor Daley sold the parking meters revenue collections to a private company. The new private owners raised the rates through the roof.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 11, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

However, an older person benefiting from a social security check does benefit him to the exclusion of all others. A dollar spent on SS does go into one person's pocket and not anyone else's.

Spending the money doesn't count? I know that sounds a bit snarky and I am in a rush to get to a meeting but it would seem that having people able to go to the grocery store to buy food that is presumably grown by a farmer, etc etc, still goes to the common good even by your definition, no?

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 11, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

pragmatic:

"Spending the money doesn't count?"

No, I don't think so. That is what I meant by "except perhaps in the most indirect, vague sense by which virtually anything that benefits one person could be claimed to promote the "general welfare"."

If the government transferring money from person A to person B is justified under the "general welfare" clause of the constitution because of the potentially ancillary benefits that others might derive from B spending the money, then there is literally no type of government spending, or perhaps even any activity, that could not be justified under the clause.

BTW, if giving money to B so he can spend it is a promotion of the general welfare, then isn't taking money from A, thus preventing him from spending it (or better yet investing it), a detraction from the general welfare?

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 11, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

@tao - re faith, only the size of a mustard seed.

One mustard seed here. Another there. Pretty soon there's mustard all over your face.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 11, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

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