Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

The Morning Plum

* Dems experiencing a modest uptick in their fortunes? That's the upshot of the new Washington Post/ABC poll, which finds the climate remains almost as bad for Dems as it has been throughout the summer, but there have been slight improvements.

The poll finds the voters trust Dems over Republicans on the major issues: On the economy (44-37), health care (46-38) and helping the middle class (50-34), but not on taxes (40-43) or the deficit (39-40). And the GOP lead among likely voters in the generic ballot matchup has shrunk, but it still remains at six points (49-43).

* The Dem argument about Bush is not resonating: Also key in the Post poll: Forty-nine percent think the GOP would lead the country in a "new direction," versus only 42 percent who think the GOP would return to Bush policies.

Apologies for repeating this, but the simple fact is that the GOP may have already achieved separation from the party of Bush that ran the economy into the ground. Voters may not be buying a core Dem message in the numbers Dems need.

* The Dem argument about "extremist" GOPers isn't resonating: One other finding that has to be frustrating for Dems: Only 35 percent say GOP candidates are "too conservative," versus 40 percent who say they're about right -- meaning the public may not be listening to another core Dem message, that the party has been hijacked by Tea Party whackjob extremists.

Overall, though, Dems have to be cheered by the slight tightening in this poll, though the fact that these findings constitute good news for Dems is yet another reminder of how awful the environment is for them.

* Still more right wing cash flooding the midterms: Mike Allen reports that Karl Rove's group is pumping another $4 million into Senate races across the country. And, remarkably, we still have no idea who is funding them, even though it's not out of the realm of possibility that they could help decide key high-profile races.

* Random question: I wonder how many principled conservatives are on board with the idea that powerful special interests are permitted to flood our elections with millions upon millions of dollars' worth of pro-GOP advertising, even as they remain anonymous.

STOP OBAMA!!! This remarkable new NRSC ad hammering Joe Manchin, the Dem candidate in the suddenly-tight race for Robert Byrd's seat in West Virginia, mentions Obama no less than five times.

* The insurance industry places its bets -- on the GOP: Big Insurance has given three times as much cash to Republicans, in the apparent hope that a GOP-controlled Congress will repeal parts of the new health reform law while keeping the mandate that you buy coverage intact.

* Conserva-Dems to wield more power in House? Even if Dems do hold the House, the shrunken majority is likely to empower a handful of Blue Dog Dems and turn them into preening, insufferable, egomaniacal House versions of Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson.

* Feingold: Don't write me off just yet! In another sign of how suddenly Russ Feingold has found himself contemplating the real possibility of defeat, Feingold's new spot urges Republicans not to dance in the end zone just yet.

* Question of the day: Josh Dorner of Think Progress fleshes out the question I posed here last week: How many GOP/Tea Party candidates agree with Jim DeMint claim that homosexuals and unmarried sexually-active women shouldn't teach in public schools?

* Say hello to Senate-elect Marco Rubio: A new Florida poll finds that Kendrick Meek is losing ground, with Rubio holding the 39 percent lead he needs to win in a three-way.

* And Christine O'Donnell's new ad is deeply reassuring: "I'm not a witch," she says in her new spot. "I'm nothing you've heard. I'm you.":

That the ad's core assertion -- O'Donnell is not a witch -- is delivered in a matter-of-fact tone, with almost no discernable humor, is as good an indication as any of how rocky her general election rollout has been. Talk about damage control!

What else is going on?

By Greg Sargent  | October 5, 2010; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, Campaign finance, House Dems, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Happy Hour Roundup
Next: AUDIO of Christine O'Donnell claiming secret Chinese plot to take over U.S.

Comments

Random answer - "Principled Conservatives" are called "Blue Dogs"

Posted by: cintibud | October 5, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

I told you she is not a witch.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 5, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

"I wonder how many principled conservatives are on board with the idea that powerful special interests are permitted to flood our elections with millions upon millions of dollars' worth of pro-GOP advertising, even as they remain anonymous."

We have a Democratic government that is 100% representitive of "powerful special interests" that are destroying the country.

But in any event what matter of conservative principle is it that you believe is affronted by advertising, anonymous or not? What part of conservatism favors giving the government power to censor and regulate who can speak how much and when?

We have a guarantee in our Constitution of freedom of speech, which is part of our unalienable rights. Why would conservatives oppose this?

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

"Apologies for repeating this, but the simple fact is that the GOP may have already achieved separation from the party of Bush that ran the economy into the ground."

And apologies for repeating this, but the TP was/is about rebranding (correctly perceived very early as a necessity by GOP strategists) and they are very good at putting professional marketing operations into the field and utilizing their marketing knowledge and experience.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 5, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I overheard the big boss at the big meeting at the big media, corporate headquarters sponsored by the big Democrat machine the other day. He was giving out big media, marching orders and this is what he said:

"Start talking the Democrats UP now! Quit obsessing on their November, doomsday scenario. We are depressing our base. We must start shoveling out positive news for Democrats. Maybe we can salvage something."

Posted by: battleground51 | October 5, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Joe Scarborough had a great point - if she is not a witch, why is she dressed in black,

And the whole commercial is black - and that music is unbelievable.

I know there was a broom in the corner behind her, but that doesn't mean anything, right?

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

I would like to take this opportunity to clarify something with the conservatives here on Greg's board.

I'm not a Stalinist. I'm you.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 5, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/248708/how-much-trouble-are-we-veronique-de-rugy

At what point on the drunken joy ride to big government economic catastrophe do we finally admit we can NO LONGER afford big government and start to slash spending, programs, and taxes, restore some semblance of economic freedom and get things back on a sustainable course toward prosperity?

We simply cannot afford big government, Democratic, Obamanomics. The Rs need to grab Obama's stupid "car in the ditch" line and shove it right down the Ds' throats: they aren't rescuing you from a car in the ditch. Big government shoved it in the ditch, and now these drunks have grabbed the keys and are speeding all of us down the highway, out of control, toward a fatal crash.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

The consequences of a campaign of hate...

"Only about one-third of those surveyed said they considered same-sex couples without children to be a family. And in 2006, when asked if gay couples and pets count as family, 30 percent said pets count but not gay couples."

http://www.religiondispatches.org/dispatches/candacechellew-hodge/3457/gay_families_score_lower_than_dogs/
h/t C and L

Posted by: bernielatham | October 5, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

"I'm not a witch" is a hilarious line and may be spoofed on SNL.

Posted by: maritza1 | October 5, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

The fact of the matter is this:

By voting for any Democrat, anywhere, a person is voting for the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barack Obama, Barney Frank, Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, and ultra-liberal, Supreme Court justices.

There are no truly, regional elections.

Posted by: battleground51 | October 5, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

" I wonder how many principled conservatives are on board with the idea that powerful special interests are permitted to flood our elections with millions upon millions of dollars' worth of pro-GOP advertising"

Yes.

"even as they remain anonymous."

No.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 5, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

On the money

Where did Obama get the $700 MILLION DOLLARS that he ran for President on in 2008?

And where are those people now?

I find this whining from the democrats a little unusual. The only part of the campaign finance system that was generally agreed to be working was the Presidential fund - which Obama refused to take part in.

If the democrats wanted any realistic chance of expanding on campaign finance reform - KEEPING THAT ONE PIECE IN PLACE would have been wise. Realistic reform would have built off of that one part that was working well.


So Obama and the democrats have no credibility on this issue.


_______________________________


To illustrate, between October 1 and October 15, 2008, Obama spent $105 Million Dollars - compared to $9 Million for McCain.


By the hour, Obama was spending in that period $293,000 per hour.


That is compared to $26,000 per hour for McCain.


EXACTLY WHAT are the democrats complaining about???


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

@bernie: "The consequences of a campaign of hate..."

Which campaign is that?

I'm assuming there are numbers from similar surveys taking place in the 90s, 80s, 70s, etc., that suggest people were more open-minded about same-sex families in the past?

Otherwise, it may just as well be the result of a "campaign of love" being really half-@ssed or counter-productive. /snark

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 5, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

The fact of the matter is, by voting for a Republican, in any district in any state, you are voting for Jim Demint, Sharron Angle, Rand Paul, Christine O'Donnell, Joe Miller.

You are voting to eliminate Social Security, eliminate Unemployment Insurance, eliminate Medicare.

You are voting to add at least $4 trillion to the national debt.

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 5, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

"I'm not a witch," she says in her new spot. "I'm nothing you've heard. I'm your creepy ex-girlfriend."

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 5, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

A vote for the GOP is a vote to put a government bureaucrat in your bedroom to make sure that teachers are not having sex (gay or straight) out of wedlock, to make sure that every fetus, no matter how conceived, is carried to full term, to make sure no one masturbates.

Oh yeah, did I mention the GOP will also add at least $4 trillion to the national debt?

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 5, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

@bernie: "I'm not a Stalinist. I'm you."

Well, I'm convinced. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 5, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

The democrats want to complain about the money -

But WHERE did Obama get $700 Million dollars from in 2008 ???


The country is supposed to believe that Obama just put up a website - and $700 Million Dollars in small donations just came in while Obama was smoking on the street outside.


It didn't happen that way.


Only after the election did it come out that much of the money was was larger contributions. There were rumors of foreign money coming in through credit cards - the software which was available to prevent such violations of Federal law were turned off.


At some point Obama's far left agenda has to be called a "powerful special interest"

There are serious questions about what happened with this $700 MILLION DOLLARS in 2008 -

The Republicans can not be blamed for trying to catch up.

.

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

@Greg - Eugene's column this morning hedges on the connection between Rove/Gillespie and American Crossroads (I sent in a query to him on this). Now I see that Martin at Politico inserts a different hedge...

“Angle’s strategy seems to be: Let the [mainstream press] do what it wants — I have Fox, conservative radio, my ads and Karl Rove,” Ralston said, alluding to the former Bush adviser’s independent group, American Crossroads."
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1010/43121_Page2.html#ixzz11UQUNabL

Of course, to describe AC as "independent" is to grossly mislead (independence from Michael Steele's operation is meaningless).

I gather that the language is being massaged recently by these people to try and portray all this money and political action as non-DC/Republican establishment.

And all of that is a lie.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 5, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

@pragmaticstill: "A vote for the GOP is a vote to put a government bureaucrat in your bedroom to make sure that teachers are not having sex (gay or straight) out of wedlock, to make sure that every fetus, no matter how conceived, is carried to full term, to make sure no one masturbates."

Um, no it's not. If that's the kind of arguments the still-faithful are making on the ground, it may indeed be a bloodbath in November.

"Oh yeah, did I mention the GOP will also add at least $4 trillion to the national debt?"

The one credible accusation. Alas, the Democrats are no less spendy than the Republicans at the end of the day (or vice-versa), so neither party offers any real discipline in terms of managing the deficit.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 5, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

pragmaticstill at 9:17 AM


The Republicans put out a plan -

is the elimination of Social Security in there ? NO


is the elimination of Medicare in there ? NO (in fact, Obama took $500 BILLION OUT of Medicare)


is the elimination of unemployment insurance in there ? NO

LIES LIES LIES


IS THAT ALL YOU AND OBAMA HAVE TO OFFER THE NATION? BECAUSE UP TO NOW, THAT IS ALL WE HAVE SEEN.


.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

that is truly the worst political commercial I have ever seen. Wondering what she is doing with those millions she has raised, obviously not hiring competent advertising consultants. Great message: Vote for me I am not a witch.

Posted by: leichtman1 | October 5, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Kevin asks: "Which campaign is that?"

We both know. As does everyone else.

Changes in cultural notions here are irrelevant to the factual charge that the Christian right (mainly) has been engaged in a decades-long campaign to keep homosexuals marginalized and to portray them as perverted, dangerous, evil etc. Please, don't play coy.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 5, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

@pragmatic: "The fact of the matter is, by voting for a Republican, in any district in any state, you are voting for Jim Demint, Sharron Angle, Rand Paul, Christine O'Donnell, Joe Miller."

I disagree with this on both sides. A vote for or against my local representative is a vote for or against that person. Even if I'm voting a party line, it's those people I'm voting to send (or not send) to DC (or a local elected office). A vote for my senator, Bob Corker, is in no, way, shape or form a vote for Christine O'Donnell, anymore than a vote for Barney Frank is a vote for Lyndon Larouche.

"You are voting to eliminate Social Security, eliminate Unemployment Insurance, eliminate Medicare."

That's not even remotely plausible. If that's the tact the front-line troops are going to take to battle the Republican juggernaut, not only is it more likely Democrats will lose--and lose big--but they will thoroughly deserve the drubbing. In my opinion, anyway.

The only difference between that, and the secret Chinese invasion plans that Christine O'Donnell is privy to, is that, at least in O'Donnell's case, she has the decency to blame the Chinese for the ultimate destruction of America in her particular paranoid fantasy.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 5, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

So, KW, we shouldn't take the candidates at their word? You don't believe Jim Demint, the new leader of the GOP, when he says that every abortion, in every situation, should be illegal? When he says that teachers having s&x out of wedlock must be removed from the classroom? You don't believe Jim Demint when gives over $130,000 to get O'Donnell elected so she can end m@sturbation for the good of mankind?

You don't believe Jim Demint, the new leader of the Republican Party?

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 5, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Obama wants more time - but for WHAT?

Obama has turned his 2008 campaign into the largest collection of deceptions and lies in American History -

An Unprecedented Collection of Deceptions and Lies.


This is Obama's basic problem.


There are even those in the black community who are privately wondering if Obama has really set blacks back - and not represented a step forward.

The blacks are saying that Obama had to stick to his word, and be perceived as much more COMPETENT in order to help the black community as a whole.

At this point, Obama is just playing into the sterotype of affirmative action candidates who just completely fail to measure up when they finally have to perform.

Black political candidates are now thought to face a new challenge - people are reluctant to vote for these candidates now because people feel they can not freely disagree with the black candidates when elected - the concern of False Charges of Racism has now hurt black candidates nationwide.

In the workplace, Obama's poor performance has hurt the prospects for blacks as well.


Let's face it - Obama is no Maggie Thatcher - a strong individual who projected a solid message that she could handle the job. There was no question at all that Maggie Thatcher could handle the job - and that helped the prospects of women all over the world.

IN SHARP contrast, Obama is the anti-Thatcher. Obama could be in the midst of destroying the potential advancement of the black community for a generation.


First, just putting the word "post-partisan" out there means the end to affirmative action - have everyone stand on their own.

Although it now appears that Obama meant just the opposite, the public views "post-partisan" as signalling the end of affirmative action.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, about that WAPO poll, let's look into the demograpic make - up of said poll shall we-And how did the Democrats manage this rather remarkable comeback? Well, the WaPo/ABC pollster managed to find their usual sample gap. They went from a 31/25/39 D/R/I split in September in the general sample and 31/26/37 among registered voters, to 33/23/29 in the general sample and 34/25/37 among registered voters. That nine-point advantage to Democrats among RVs is almost twice what it was in the previous sample.A ten point sample swing? C'mon people, this is a push poll and even with a badly skewed sample they STILL weren't able to swing it towards the democrats. People need to face facts the house WILL be republican after 11/02 and the senate may likely tip that way too. I've heard tea party people saY SPECIFICALLY THAT THEY DO NOT WANT to win the senate, only pick up about 5 seats. They are specifically strategizing that scenario, they want divided government so Obama can't use it as an excuse in 2012. I keep reading on blogs and in papers that " well, the repubs gave up their shot at the senate" THAT WAS ALWAYS THE GOAL and democrats are falling for it, they are spending much,much more money in senate races and pretty much writing the house off. In quite a few states, early voting already started. EVERYONE I know has already voted, now they are working on a massive GOTV effort. The dems waited far too long to get their message going and any October surprise will have minimal damage because of early voting. I believe that the pundits and political who's who are playing by an old playbook that is no longer even remotely competitive. This is not a normal election year, imagine after watching the events in races and primaries over the last year and STILL waiting until OCTOBER to start putting out narrative stories and using push polls. The current crop of democrats in office are pathetic,spineless and deserve to be defeated. I am a former democrat myself, I changed my opinion and outlook within the last year. I voted as an independent and voted for the republican in every slot I deemed necessary as a protest to my disgraceful representatives, senator and thankfully on the way out governor. I was accompanied by lots of co-workers,family members,friends and neighbors who did the same thing.

Posted by: sayoung809132001 | October 5, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Obama wants more time - but for WHAT?

Obama has turned his 2008 campaign into the largest collection of deceptions and lies in American History -

An Unprecedented Collection of Deceptions and Lies.


This is Obama's basic problem.


There are even those in the black community who are privately wondering if Obama has really set blacks back - and not represented a step forward.

The blacks are saying that Obama had to stick to his word, and be perceived as much more COMPETENT in order to help the black community as a whole.

At this point, Obama is just playing into the sterotype of affirmative action candidates who just completely fail to measure up when they finally have to perform.

Black political candidates are now thought to face a new challenge - people are reluctant to vote for these candidates now because people feel they can not freely disagree with the black candidates when elected - the concern of False Charges of Racism has now hurt black candidates nationwide.

In the workplace, Obama's poor performance has hurt the prospects for blacks as well.


Let's face it - Obama is no Maggie Thatcher - a strong individual who projected a solid message that she could handle the job. There was no question at all that Maggie Thatcher could handle the job - and that helped the prospects of women all over the world.

IN SHARP contrast, Obama is the anti-Thatcher. Obama could be in the midst of destroying the potential advancement of the black community for a generation.


First, just putting the word "post-partisan" out there means the end to affirmative action - have everyone stand on their own.

Although it now appears that Obama meant just the opposite, the public views "post-partisan" as signalling the end of affirmative action.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

So then you also don't believe Paul Ryan, the GOP budget master, when he puts out a plan that will eliminate social security and medicare. It's easier for you, KW, to just say, "that's not even remotely plausible" despite the fact that his plan does exactly that.

So, KW, is Paul Ryan lying or just fantasizing (doesn't Christine O'Donnell think that should be illegal?)

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 5, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

TP lays out some of the comments at NRO on the Tennessee fire. Other than the original comment - sickening.

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/10/04/national-review-firefighters/

But let's note that this story has gained profile there because it, or any story like it, poses a real danger to the NRO crush-government project.

One area of marketing/propaganda the right has been very smart about (arising from professional marketing expertise) is the value of personalizing issues (put a face on it). This story does exactly that - fire truck watches as family house burns because of a non-payment of a $75 dollar 'fee'.

And this raises into high relief the real consequences of the modern conservative movement's drive to stop social arrangements which we have developed over the last century to protect all of us.

"Big government" is an abstraction. Your family house burning down is not.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 5, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Lies Lies Lies: Do you have any idea what
Medicare ADVANTAGE IS, since you and your whacked out friends have spread that lie for a year.
Don't believe Joe Miller wants to end Medicare? Should we believe him or his lying eyes?

Posted by: leichtman1 | October 5, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Mike Pense continues the hate campaign against gay people. How important is keeping gay people from legally entitled to marry? More important than the economy.

"Pence said although economic issues are important for the country right now, its a lack of morality that pains the nation most. Everything that is great about America, he said, could come crashing down because of the lack of values in Washington.

“We will not restore this nation with public policy alone,” he said. “It will require public virtue and that emanates from the traditional institutions of family and religion.”

He continued by shooting down sentiments that moral issues must wait until the failing economic climate passes. Moral issues, he argued, are the bedrock of the American nation.

“To those who say that marriage doesn’t matter, I say, ‘you would not be able to print enough money in 1,000 years to pay for the government you would need if the traditional family continues to collapse.’”

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/10/04/pences-priorities-stopping-marriage-equality-is-as-important-as-fixing-the-economy/

Posted by: bernielatham | October 5, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

@pragmaticstill: "So, KW, we shouldn't take the candidates at their word?"

Given that they are politicians, no.

But even if you do, they do not speak for all other candidates (and will not get broad cooperation for their most "extreme" plans, even within their own party). Bob Corker and Christine O'Donnell are as far apart as Bob Corker and Barney Frank. Is a vote for Barney Frank a vote for Bob Corker?

"You don't believe Jim Demint, the new leader of the GOP, when he says that every abortion, in every situation, should be illegal?"

He may, and probably does, feel that way. It's not going to happen. There isn't broad support for that, even within the GOP. But I'll grant you that, if all the stars aligned, and God came down from the Heavens and gave the GOP dictatorial control of the planet, it might could happen. So it's not entirely a paranoid fantasy. Just almost entirely.

"When he says that teachers having s&x out of wedlock must be removed from the classroom? "

Jim DeMint is one guy. Not allowing teachers to date (no heavy petting either, one assumes) is not part of the GOP platform. Plus I'm pretty sure that's not a litmus test one can legally have. In any case, it's not going to happen. We can barely keep teachers from kanoodling with their students.

"You don't believe Jim Demint when gives over $130,000 to get O'Donnell elected so she can end m@sturbation for the good of mankind?"

I'm pretty sure there's not going to be anything about onanism in the GOP platform, or in the campaign, or even in O'Donnell's campaigns, as I don't think she's been crusading against m@sterbation as part of her senate campaign. In fact, it's a complete, and utterly transparent, strawman.

If this is the level liberals want to conduct the argument at--which, lets be honest, there is so much to attack the GOP on that's legitimate--then they deserve the decidedly possible (and some might even say likely) drubbing they could receive in November.

"You don't believe Jim Demint, the new leader of the Republican Party?"

Jim DeMint isn't the leader of the Republican party and, even if he was, he still wouldn't be setting policy, platform, or priorities in a vacuum.

But, for fun, lets assume everything you said was true. How horrible must the Democrats be, and what a pitiful job they are doing, if such hayseeds and rubes are likely to oust them in November. If the Republicans are that bad, how tragically flawed must the Democrats be?

Maybe their arguments are filled with strawmen and lack substance?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 5, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

FarlingtonBlade, I seem to recall that Obama had to give a speech to dispell rumors he was a Muslim.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 5, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

@bernie: "Kevin asks: 'Which campaign is that?' We both know. As does everyone else."

Does it cause you physical pain to answer a question directly?

I'm assuming it's some amorphous campaign by a cabal of Republicans and Evangelicals. I just missed the specific campaign. There are regular commercials for it, like the ones that are always telling me that America's Strength is It's Diversity? Or the ones on TV I see urging me to recycle, save electricity, or conform to any number of multicultural, eco-conscious, politically correct contemporary mores.

Because I've been subjected to a number of campaigns, but I have yet to see the one where I'm told that gay people are less than dogs. Not saying it's not out there, but I've missed it. And, since it's apparently so self-evident, I figured there must have been commercials. Like the ones telling me that anyone who isn't on board with the eco-activist agenda should be blown up . . . . including school children. Now, that's a hate campaign I've actually seen the commercial for.

Otherwise, a request for greater specificity is not unreasonable.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 5, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

@bernie: “We will not restore this nation with public policy alone,” he said. “It will require public virtue and that emanates from the traditional institutions of family and religion.”

That's a "campaign of hate"?

In the words of Inigo Montoya, I'm not sure the word means what you think it means. :)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 5, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

@leichtman1 -

I'm going to ask you again. Please do not feed the trolls.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 5, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Obama and the democrats appear to have made a mistake spending part of the summer saying that the Republicans didn't have a plan.

Because the Republicans than came out with a plan.

The American People then watched as the democrats tried to tear apart the Republicans' plan. Well, the people saw through that right away, and no one wanted to hear the democrats first complain about not having a plan, and then complain about the plan - the democrats got what they asked for.

WHAT the public wants is Obama's plan - what is Obama's plan for the economy?

At this point, what Obama has tried has not worked - and instead of Obama stating that clearly, we hear Obama blame Bush - yea the guy who has been on his Ranch for like a decade.

Pelosi came in in 2006 - Obama should blame her.


Just recounting all this highlights how poor Obama's message is.

Obama has created a unique problem for himself - because so much of his 2008 plan has been deceptions, the ONLY thing that will work now is ACTION.

AND not action on Obama's far-left wing agenda - but ACTION on what the American People want.

Obama has ironically backed himself into a higher standard.

I keep on being amazed at how much of this stuff is directly related to what Obama has done to himself - it is almost as if Obama does not have the ability to think ahead - that he is not thinking a few moves ahead.

Obama seems almost shocked that people actually want him to do what he said he would do.


Obama seems so distracted by his own left-wing agenda, he is unable or unwilling to do anything else.


It is tone-deaf - and then when the public responds, the nation gets a half-hearted re-trenchment - ONLY to find out later that Obama never really did re-trench in deed. Gitmo is one example, and so is the mosque at Ground Zero. We heard a change in policy, but later there really wasn't one.


And the American People turn away and say to themselves: "just another set of deceptions and lies"


NOW Obama has backed himself into a situation in which ONLY ACTION will work.

/

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

Thankfully, the Dem argument about "extremist" GOPers isn't resonating. Keep it up though.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 5, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I Am Not A Witch,
But I Would Have Been A Hari Krishna, If Only I Had Been Able To Kick My Addiction To Italian Meatballs!

This message is brought to you by Christine O'Donnell.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 5, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

@leichtman: "Don't believe Joe Miller wants to end Medicare"

He might want to put such things under the purview of the state, rather than federal, level (a tragedy of Biblical proportions, I know), but then, I want to win the lottery.

Our respective goals are each about as likely. You should be glad of this (nay, celebrating it), because Joe Miller is almost certainly going to win.

"Lies Lies Lies: Do you have any idea what
Medicare ADVANTAGE IS, since you and your whacked out friends have spread that lie for a year"

Who are you talking to there? I know what Medicare Advantage is. You don't like it?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 5, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I don't see how a democracy is supposed to function when you can buy your politicians in secret. The Supreme Court really has radically changed American politics, shifting power away from individual voters and toward the anonymous rich. The placing of corporate rights on a level high high above individual ones is a radical shift, the opposite of conservative.

Posted by: Bullsmith1 | October 5, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

leichtman

I specifically mentioned the comment at 9:17 - it was a response to the comment at 9:17.

Those candidates DO NOT speak for ALL the Republicans - or the entire party -

They speak for themselves.


However, the Republicans have a plan out there - and what that person at 9:17 was NOT in the plan

It is a mischaracterization.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

"Mike Pense continues the hate campaign against gay people. How important is keeping gay people from legally entitled to marry? More important than the economy.

"Pence said although economic issues are important for the country right now, its a lack of morality that pains the nation most. Everything that is great about America, he said, could come crashing down because of the lack of values in Washington.

“We will not restore this nation with public policy alone,” he said. “It will require public virtue and that emanates from the traditional institutions of family and religion.”"

Wonderful distortions by bernie and the "reporter" of what Pense actually said.

He's yet another GOP psycho-kook who is sounding way too much like one of the Founders.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

@Kevin - "I think it would be better if no Jews were allowed to buy property on my street here in Berlin."

Come on Kevin. And there's no significance to Pense bunking at C Street and the C Street empowerment of a Ugandan leader out to execute anyone gay.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 5, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Bernie

Link below is to an alternet piece you may have missed, although it may have been cross-posted at the Nation. Interesting analysis of the far right GOP women and why moderate and liberal women are turned off by their rhetoric. Also, too why they appeal to men, which is of course fairly obvious.

http://www.alternet.org/reproductivejustice/148383/sex_and_the_gop%3A_why_right-wing_women_like_sarah_palin_will_never_attract_a_majority_of_women_voters/?page=1

Posted by: lmsinca | October 5, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

What is the democrats' message?

What is it? They don't have focus groups and they couldn't come up with anything until now?

With 4 weeks left, it is difficult to imagine Obama and the democrats coming up with anything now.


Has Obama given up on the House - deciding he would rather have someone to BLAME, rather than try to win the election.

WHAT is the message?

Everything Obama has done has been REJECTED BY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

Everything that Obama has done on the economic side has SERIOUS PROBLEMS - any reasonable person has to agree.

Obama's economic team is leaving - Obama is going into this election WITHOUT EVEN AN ECONOMIC TEAM IN PLACE.

Is there another definition for DRIFT?

_______________________________

The democrats ran around for years saying Bush Lied - then it turns out that Bill Clinton said the same thing - so did over 20 democratic Senators.

Is the transition to governing SO DIFFICULT for the democrats - that they just CAN NOT get out of blame mode?


Are the democrats just simply UNABLE TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY?

These are serious questions - the American People are asking themselves these questions - and Obama comes out and does something that just confirms the doubts - never answering anything.


,

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

""Big government" is an abstraction. Your family house burning down is not. "

And as everyone knows abolishing local fire departments is first on the small-government, conservative priority list.

Really, you expect anyone not already a left-wing ideologue to take this stuff seriously? My tax bill is not an abstraction. The debt big government is piling on my children is not an abstraction. Obamacare is not an abstraction. The EPA's jihad against decent showers is not an abstraction. Barack Obama's record-smashing budgets and deficits are not an abstraction.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I'm new here so pardon me if this has been discussed. Does STR just print the latest GOP chain e-mail over and over? QB seems to at least come up with his own rants and Willis seems to have usually have actual honest opinions, but STR could just be a BOT.

Posted by: Scipio_Africanus | October 5, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

It was a stated policy of Chucky Schumer and some of his cronies to put conservative Democrats up against Republicans back from 2004-2008 in their attempt to break the Republicans' grip on the House of Representatives.

Guess what?? It worked. But how about those unintended consequences??

Now the dopey Dems have a mess of indepenedent minded, "blue-dog Democrats", who are conservative and will probabaly side with Republicans on many issues when they become an oppressed minority after November creating an even bigger disadvantage for Obama & Co.

Thanks Chucky!

Posted by: battleground51 | October 5, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

@bernie: "This story does exactly that - fire truck watches as family house burns because of a non-payment of a $75 dollar 'fee'."

Actually, the story should be "idiot who preferred to risk his house burning down than pay a $75 annual fee had his house burn down".

"And this raises into high relief the real consequences of the modern conservative movement's drive to stop social arrangements which we have developed over the last century to protect all of us."

What sort of Orwellian newspeak is that? The fire department *was* observing the social arrangements (as a public utility) to the letter. That's precisely why it didn't put out the fire!

The guy didn't pay the fee, and was outside of the municipality covered by the fire department. Should the proprietor of a local mom-and-pop in Tennessee, who were tragically robbed, be morally entitled to the services of New York's finest? For that matter, what did the FDNY do to stop that fire? Because the house was no more under the jurisdiction of the fire department now getting pilloried for not putting out the fire as it was under the purview of the FDNY.

To be clear, since they were there, they should have put the house out, and issued the guy a bill. But, in my experience, they were thinking like any government bureaucracy. Don't have the right forms? Didn't go through proper channels? Then it ain't happening. Done and done.

To quote myself from the previous thread:

@bernie: "As Tomasky says in a piece titled 'John Gault joins the fire brigade':"

Really? Fire departments aren't private corporations, are they? Or small businesses? Doesn't this, in fact, sound a little bit more like the government--which, it in fact, is (at the very local level)?

Reminds me more of the government duct workers in "Brazil" than anything in "Atlas Shrugged".

"Sorry, guv, can't put your house out. You didn't file your 10-11/B."

That being said, if it had been me, I still would have put the idiot's house out.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 5, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Christine O'Donnell says that she is me. Fair enough Christine; that means that I am you, Christine.

Therefore; I, Christine Liam O'Donnell, urge you all to vote for my opponent, or vote straight Democratic tickets, all you hundreds of millions of Christine O'Donnells, from sea to shining sea.

Italian Meatball Power to all of you.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 5, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

The EPA's jihad against decent showers is not an abstraction. .

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 10:22 AM |
.....................

Good for you QB. It is about time that someone spoke out against the EPA's waging of A Dirty Holy War!

Posted by: Liam-still | October 5, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

@qb: "And as everyone knows abolishing local fire departments is first on the small-government, conservative priority list."

And replacing the meals of the elderly with pet food. Don't forget. Priorities, man. Priorities!

@Bullsmith: "I don't see how a democracy is supposed to function when you can buy your politicians in secret."

Well, it apparently did all right for most of the 19th and 20th centuries.

I agree that full disclosure is the way to go.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 5, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

You mean this Bob Corker:

He tried to cut their pay and then he voted against saving their industry. So Sen. Bob Corker is drawing plenty of richly deserved flak, beginning with boos from auto workers, for having the audacity to go to Spring Hill to celebrate the revival of that GM plant. He didn't help himself by uttering this shameless sentence:

"I contributed to strengthening the auto industry in this country."
Contrast that comment with Corker's statement on March 30, 2009, when the auto industry bailout was before Congress:

"This administration has decided they know better than our courts and our free market process how to deal with these companies....This is a major power grab."
Sen. Lamar Alexander and Rep. Marsha Blackburn, two more outspoken bailout foes, also went to Spring Hill to pretend they care about this country's auto industry. Today, Blackburn's election opponent, Greg Rabidoux, mocked her in a press release:

“They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, in this case Blackburn showing up for the ceremony to have her picture taken at Spring Hill is worth one very fitting word…hypocrite.”

http://www.nashvillescene.com/pitw/archives/2010/09/22/bob-corker-incapable-of-embarrassment

I love the headline: Bob Corker - Incapable of Embarrassment

He's your first line of defense against Jim Demint, the new leader of the GOP?

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 5, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I am not a bot. What are you ?


Anyway.


Obama has failed to come up with a message for the democrats this fall. This has to be viewed as just another confirmation of Obama's incompetence.

Obama is not qualified to govern - apparently Obama is not qualified to run the democratic party either.

The current complaints from the democrats - and there are alot -


The American People are watching the democrats - and they see how unqualied Obama is in running the democratic party - and they are HORRIFIED to realize that Obama is running the country this way too.


It is drift - it is a lack of message. It is lack of listening. It is people in office who should not be in the offices they are.


Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

"Alas, the Democrats are no less spendy than the Republicans at the end of the day (or vice-versa), so neither party offers any real discipline in terms of managing the deficit."

Kevin, the GOP under Bush was not exactly courageous in cutting off the addiction to big government, but GOP no less spend-happy than Dems? That isn't empirically supportable.

It isn't possible to tax and spend our way out of the mess we're in. That is the one undeniable fact. Our only hope lies in the other direction -- cutting taxes, cutting spending and programs even more, and getting big government's strangling claws off of the economy. That's the only way we are ever going to see rapid growth again, and that is our only hope.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

"I am not a bot. What are you ? "

No, no, no. You've got it all wrong.

It's:

I am not a bot. I am you.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 5, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

It isn't possible to spend and not tax our way out of the deep fiscal hole that Bush/Cheney/McConnell/Boehner have dug, but Mitch McConnell promises to keep digging a deeper hole.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 5, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

"that is our only hope."

It's our only hope!!!

Ohhh nooeezzz!!111111111111111111!!!!!!!1

Hilarious.

I'm starting a new fan club, "Anarchists for a Free Market"

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 5, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

And the point -- one party still clearly stands for more and still more big spending and big taxes. The other doesn't.

Now that the public has watched for two years in horror at the reality of "transformation" of our country by the radical big-government, Democrats, the Ds are heading for a major repudiation and banishment to the wilderness.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Assuming that the right wing revision of history concludes that the New Deal didn't work, how is it that WWII brought prosperity? Was it something more than the spending necessary to fuel the war effort?

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 5, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

@pragmatic: "He's your first line of defense against Jim Demint, the new leader of the GOP"

Nope. And, um, thus far, DeMint is not the new leader of the GOP. Why stop with DeMint? Why not just anoint Christine O'Donnell as the new ruler of the GOP?

BTW, the "bail out" of GM that Corker voted against was the "government takeover" that led directly to the end of the Saturn line (not adjustment, or retooling, but arbitrary killing of--I own as a Saturn, so I was not pleased). Which led directly to all those folks getting laid off.

Fortunately, those folks mostly got their jobs back. Because the government bailout of General Motors worked, or at least didn't do as much permanent damage as it kinda looked like it would when the government was autocratically shutting killing the Saturn line and shutting down dealerships across the country.

However, I'm not sure it's a cut-and-dried: "Oh, Bob Corker voted against saving those jobs" when, arguably, he voted against those folks getting laid off in Spring Hill in the first place.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 5, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Mitch Kevorkian McConnell, and John Kevorkian Boehner, are not willing to spell out any specific spending cuts, but they are willing to add four trillion dollars more to the national debt, to provide tax cuts for their Fat Cat pets.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 5, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

3 good articles at McClatchy:

* Tidal wave of outside money swamping 2010 elections *

Further, never have so many donors been unidentified before elections; so far only about one-third of donors have been identified, the Center for Public Integrity study says.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/10/04/101589/tidal-wave-of-outside-money-swamping.html


* Rand Paul claims Medicaid causes 'intergenerational welfare' *

He contended that lenient eligibility standards have led to "intergenerational welfare."

Conway's campaign press secretary, John Collins, said Paul's comments were "troubling and show how far out of touch he is with life in Kentucky."

Sheila Schuster, who works with organizations that advocate for disabled Kentuckians, said the state does not have the most liberal eligibility standards for Medicaid and disputed that it has become a welfare system.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/10/05/101599/rand-paul-claims-medicaid-causes.html


* Deportations of immigrants with criminal convictions have increased, fed says *

Of the 350,000 people deported this year, more than half had criminal convictions, a 55 percent increase since 2008, ICE data show.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/10/05/101595/deportations-of-immigrants-with.html

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 5, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Jim Demint is sure sounding more and more like the new leader of the GOP. Demint and Dick Armey are leading the charge, with the help of FOX, and their candidates, so far, are winning. They have been waging war against the GOP, and they have warned against any negotiation on any issue.

And they want to add $4 trillion to the national debt.

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 5, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

* Times Square attempted bomber gets life sentence *

The man who plotted to kill Americans by driving a homemade car bomb into Times Square and leaving it to explode has been sentenced to life in prison.

A federal judge gave Faisal Shahzad (FY'-sul shah-ZAHD') a mandatory life prison term at his sentencing Tuesday in Manhattan federal court. The bomb he had packed into the back of an SUV sputtered, injuring no one in a Times Square packed with tourists.

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/news/2010/10/times_square_attempted_bomber_gets_life_sentence.php

A terrorist! Sentenced IN NEW YORK CITY!

*** GASP ***

So that's what that was this morning... I thought it was just the subway rumbling under my feet, but it was actually the whole world crumbling around me.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 5, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

@qb: "Kevin, the GOP under Bush was not exactly courageous in cutting off the addiction to big government, but GOP no less spend-happy than Dems? That isn't empirically supportable."

It certainly is, if you remove the Obama administration from the equation. Compare both growth of government (which has long term spending consequences) and spending generally between George W. Bush and Richard M. Nixon, and you get some of the largest growth of both government and spending, historically.

Bush nationalized the TSA and created the redundant Department of Homeland Security. Medicare Part D. Increasing the encroachment of the federal government into state education with No Child Left Behind. And the list goes on.

As I have oft pointed out, Richard Nixon may have been a blueblood Rockefeller Republican, but he was still in the GOP. He gaves us COLAs for Social Security, the EPA, OSHA, Affirmative Action Quotas, and more. Lefties will argue, but at least Reagan worked to prioritize the budget. George H. W. worked to keep it under control. But were either better in terms of spending than Bill Clinton?

Obama is the first Democrat president since Roosevelt to submit, and sign off on, spending that would embarrass LBJ. But unless it's a Republican majority attempting to starve out a Democratic president, I don't believe the Republicans will become any less intoxicated with the possibility of spending other people's money than any other previous congress.

And I'm sure the Democrats will be fine with that, as all that spending will be "stimulative". ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 5, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

"Assuming that the right wing revision of history concludes that the New Deal didn't work, how is it that WWII brought prosperity? Was it something more than the spending necessary to fuel the war effort?"

In what sense did WWII bring prosperity? Are you suggesting that we go to war or start building more planes and tanks? Why not instead just have the government start sending more checks to everyone?

Imo, no the New Deal obviously did not even end the Depression, let alone create prosperity. The best economic history I've seen says "WWII war spending" didn't do that either. In fact, some of the worst abuses of the New Deal were scaled back right after the war. Not enough, but some, and that was when the economy actually began to take off.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Assuming that the right wing revision of history concludes that the New Deal didn't work, how is it that WWII brought prosperity? Was it something more than the spending necessary to fuel the war effort?
____________________________________________

The New Deal was an attempt to deal with a 3 year old recession. 6 years after the New Deal was implemented, unemployment was still high teens. Calling that a success is like calling Matt Millen's tenure with the Detroit Lions a success.

WWII did help get us out of the Great Depression, but probably the biggest reason we got out was time. Booms don't last forever, and neither do busts. Eventually the bad debt gets worked off and the economy recovers.

P.S. just to be clear - I think the government SHOULD be the employer of last resort and give people jobs in times of economic crisis when the private sector won't. It is the humanitarian thing to do. BUT, it is a lie to claim it is an economic elixir that will shorten the recession - if anything, it makes it last longer.

If you put the following choice to the voters: (a) an extrememly painful recession that lasts perhaps 5 years, or (b) a period of little to no growth that lasts a generation, I wonder what they would choose. At least it is laying out the choices honestly.

Posted by: sold2u | October 5, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

kevinwiliis wrote:

"BTW, the "bail out" of GM that Corker voted against was the "government takeover" that led directly to the end of the Saturn line (not adjustment, or retooling, but arbitrary killing of--I own as a Saturn, so I was not pleased). Which led directly to all those folks getting laid off."

I'm having trouble getting agitated about anything this morning, but I'll take on this minor note. Saturn was a dead man walking before the government ever stepped in. GM had already run it into the ground. The original reason for it's success had been innvoation. It was made on a totally separate platform, sold on a no haggle basis, and was just a small car company. GM eliminated all that, made it on a common platform and added all sorts of products to the line that looked like every other GM car. Blame the government for what they've done, but killing Saturn was another GM murder.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 5, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

And Paul Ryan, leading the charge to end Social Security as we know it:

In coming months, winning over new GOP members, and providing them with reams of economic data and an idea of the federal government’s long-term fiscal outlook, is high on Ryan’s to-do list. To help the cause, Ryan intends to pen version 3.0 of the “Roadmap” early next year. “What we need to do is quickly bring them up to speed,” he says. Some, of course, are already well-versed on the “Roadmap” and its principles. “Dozens” of House candidates, Ryan confides, have reached out to him to offer their support for his budget plan, which, for the moment, has only 13 co-sponsors. “Reinforcements are coming,” he assures us.

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/122383-rep-ryan-says-he-will-publish-new-roadmap

This is the new GOP, led by Jim Demint, Dick Armey and Paul Ryan.

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 5, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

@pragmatic: "Demint and Dick Armey are leading the charge"

Dick Armey? You do know this is 2010, right? /snark

We'll see. Jim DeMint might end up leading the Republicans, but I kind of doubt it.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 5, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

"And I'm sure the Democrats will be fine with that, as all that spending will be "stimulative". ;)"

Why do you hate good governance?

That stimulative spending saved the economy you profess to love. As did the other "Big Evil Government" emergency solutions (TARP, Auto Industry Bailout).

The hatred of the American government by the Right is not only dangerous, it is just completely idiotic.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 5, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

http://www.salon.com/technology/how_the_world_works/2010/09/20/bob_corker_booed_at_spring_hill

"Bob Corker's chickens come home to roost
The senator voted against the auto-bailout, but attended a GM plant reopening ceremony. The workers were not amused "


"The UAW employees in attendance booed lustily, saving their strongest scorn for Corker, who made no friends in union ranks two years ago when he argued that no federal aid should go to American car companies until and unless worker wages and benefits were reduced to levels "competitive" with foreign labor.

GM's employees did end up taking a hit in the managed bankruptcy organized by the Obama administration. But it wasn't as brutal a blow as southern Republicans representing work-for-hire states like Tennessee would have preferred. And since it was a Democratic administration that ultimately came to the rescue of the auto industry, the auto-bailout immediately had to be dubbed "a major power grab." Socialism! Or Fascism! Whatever -- it was bad, bad, bad!

The Economist magazine even published an article in late August apologizing to Obama for assuming that the government rescue would go "horribly wrong."

Funny how it has all worked out, huh? But there's a level of irony there that goes much deeper here than the boos on the factory floor directed at hypocritical politicians. If you want to be critical of government involvement in the auto industry, I don't think Spring Hill, Tennessee is the place to do it.

Back in the mid-1980s, when GM was looking for a location for a new state-of-the-art manufacturing plant that would supposedly pump out Saturn cars that could compete on price and performance with Japanese imports, state and local governments fell over themselves offering incentives. Tennessee ended up victorious, in part through the efforts of none other than then-governor Lamar Alexander, who orchestrated a juicy package of tax breaks and infrastructural improvements. Tennessee also offered to pay for water quality and regional impact studies and $20 million worth of job training. (Meanwhile, GM and the UAW cut a deal that kept the plant unionized, but set wages and benefits at about 80 percent the level of normal rates.)

Not to put too fine a point on it, but Tennessee did exactly to Michigan and the rest of the Rust Belt what so many American lawmakers now claim China is doing to the United States. With the help of government incentives and guaranteed cheap(er) labor GM offshored production of the Saturn to Tennessee. You sure don't need to look across the Pacific to understand 14.5 percent unemployment in the Rust Belt. This is how American capitalism works.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 5, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Gotta run, but...

Ims - had not seen that piece. Thanks. I'll get to it today.

Scipio - welcome! The fellow you mention is a particularly egregious troll who will soon not longer be with us.

Kevin - Briefly, your position is morally and logically untenable even though you hold that the FD ought to have put out the "idiot's" housefire. Ought it to do so in every such situation? Your moral position would seem to hold that it ought to but then what use the arrangment at all?

Your use of "idiot" doesn't help you. Is a person who dies from lack of medical care an idiot because he/she didn't have med insurance? You avoid the realities of poverty in America and that's where your moral position is vacuous or certainly with little empathy for those in destitute situations. Many can't afford the various insurance requirements that prudence along with comfortable incomes permit. And that's one critical area where the move to crush government or social arrangements of a communitarian nature are deeply immoral.

From the viewpoint of a Canadian (or a European, and I speak with several of them every week in my store) is that the US medical insurance regime is almost inconceivably cruel in its consequences. This apprehension of the US situation is almost entirely without exception in those nations where med insurance is universal or close to it.

The further moves towards social arrangments of the sort pushed by modern conservativism and which are demonstrated in this incident (or every death or bankrupcy arising from your med insurance regime) denote an ideology that is bereft of the most fundamental Christian sentiment. I find it loathsome.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 5, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

@Ethan Stop posting links and arguing with facts will you. Many of these posters simply do not wish to acknowledge facts.

Today's political debate..especially from the tea party loons is largely fact free.

HCR is a perfect example. They keep shouting Obamacare...gov't takeover..socialism..communism.

That is such a absurdly ignorant argument to make..

Socialized Medicine in the U.S.= The V.A. medical system. Did Obama advocate V.A. medicine for all. NO!

Single payer ala Canada = Medicare for all
Did Obama advocate for Medicare for all...did he even offer tepid support for the OPTION of buying in...did he offer support for EARLY buyin at 55 NO!

What Obama did craft was nothing more than INSURANCE REFORM with some subsidies added for poor folks. Private companies still do the insuring...when these morons scream gov't takeover..socialism..death panels it's enough to make one scream.

There are many shortcomings of the HCR that can be debated from the left and right but tea party loons destroy any hope of a GENUINE discussion of issues.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 5, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Remember how Justice Alito assured us that Citizens United wouldn't lead to a flood of foreign money in campaigns?

Previously, it has been reported that foreign firms like BP, Shell Oil, and Siemens are active members of the Chamber. But on a larger scale, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce appears to rely heavily on fundraising from firms all over the world, including China, India, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Russia, and many other places. Of course, because the Chamber successfully lobbied to kill campaign finance reforms aimed at establishing transparency, the Chamber does not have to reveal any of the funding for its ad campaigns. Dues-paying members of the Chamber could potentially be sending additional funds this year to help air more attack ads against Democrats.

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/10/05/foreign-chamber-commerce/

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 5, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

one must read Mr Sargent's words carefully. I recognize that Mr Sargent believes this to be a misplaced priority, but in my opinion the denizens of the media are not to be trusted.

So I followed up on this:
=====================
The insurance industry places its bets -- on the GOP: Big Insurance has given three times as much cash to Republicans, in the apparent hope that a GOP-controlled Congress will repeal parts of the new health reform law while keeping the mandate that you buy coverage intact.
================

the link which Mr Sargent so graciously provided takes one to an article by that paragon of objectivity, the LA times.

Of particular concern to me was the attribution of motive to the insurance industry. Any time we speak of motivation we exit the behavioral, that is things we can see and measure, and enter the attitudinal, that is things that speak to mental state, far harder to measure and observe.

What I did observe was the absence of a direct quote from anyone actually in the insurance business. There were quotes from financial analysts, but not one quote from industry leaders or industry lobbyists that prove Mr Sargent (and in fairness the LATimes) contention as to motivation.

the finance industry analysts no doubt know the industry well, but can they reliably speak to motivation? what proof is there that the insurance industry specifically asked the republicans to trash everything BUT the mandate? there is certainly none in the linked-to article. But that didn't stop Mr Sargent from echoing the unfounded accusation made by the LA Times.

Just like yesterday. Take some circumstances, imagine what YOU would do in those and then project that onto the opposition. If that what keeps the followers happy, we're in a sorry state.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 5, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Kevin,

Why would we not consider Obama and crew as the most representive Democrats of . . . current Democrats? Why remove him from the equation?

I was just as critical and am just as critical of Bush and his big spending. He never was and isn't a conservative Republican. But it also is unfair to hold him up -- or the 2000-2006 razor-thin GOP majorities -- as representative of the likely GOP future, especially when you are arbitrarily "removing" Obama from the equation. Even while spending like drunken sailors, the GOP was constantly ripped by the Ds for not spending drunkenly enough, for for thinking dirty secret thoughts about not spending drunkenly enough.

Aren't you forgetting that it was the GOP that reined in Clinton? "The era of big government is over" -- WJC, 1994.

I'm aware Nixon and Rockefellor were Republicans. They also are completely unrepresentative of the post-Reagan GOP. "As I recall, this is what our "friend" bernie finds so tragic about the GOP."

Reagan himself made his ill-fated deal with Tip O'Neill to cut $2 of spending for each $1 of taxes. You can fault Reagan and the GOP for not fighting to hold Congress to it, but at least we know in which directions the two sides were pushing.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010: "Why do you hate good governance?"

Well, Ethan, I don't. Phew. Glad we got that cleared up.

"The hatred of the American government by the Right is not only dangerous, it is just completely idiotic."

Well, that does sound foolish. Fortunately, I don't hate "the government". I work for (local) government. I think government is a net positive.

What about you, qb? Do you "hate government". And, especially, hate "good governance"? I didn't realize that was a common position on the right, to hate government.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 5, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

"Remember how Justice Alito assured us that Citizens United wouldn't lead to a flood of foreign money in campaigns?"

Citation please.

If you are talking about his silent "not true" in response to Obama's outrageously unpresidential attack, he was responding to Obama's patent misrepresentation of what the case held. And it was that, a patent misrepresentation, aka a lie.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

@pragmatic "Remember how Justice Alito assured us that Citizens United wouldn't lead to a flood of foreign money in campaigns?"

What you have just pointed out is what a pinhead Alito must be. There are some on this blog who are not worried about all the SECRET $ flowing into our electoral process.
If they are not worried and state their position I am in total disagreement but accept that they are at least up front.

Alito has shown either a remarkable lack of intellect or perhaps simply a remarkable lack of conscience...with many of today's conservatives it really is hard to know which is operative.

And of course while we have bedwetters worrying about those hundreds of terrorists camps in Afghanistan...who amongst us hasn't seen that clip of men in sheets doing the monkey bars..that same piece of tape has been looped over and over again...these same bedwetters don't seem to be the least concerned that tens of millions of SECRET $ have now flooded our political system.

Is there anybody out there prepared to say definitively that some of this money did NOT come from Al Qaeda...or the Bin Laden family...maybe Osama himself? NO! Because you don't know and I don't know.
But nobody can rule out the possibility thanks to pinheads like Alito. How did this mental midget ever get to the highest court in the land to begin with? Couldn't they have found someone like Gonzo...or that Evangel educated babe who was such a high ranking figure in the justice dept?

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 5, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

this is a typical canard from liberals:
===================
The further moves towards social arrangments of the sort pushed by modern conservativism and which are demonstrated in this incident (or every death or bankrupcy arising from your med insurance regime) denote an ideology that is bereft of the most fundamental Christian sentiment. I find it loathsome.


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

the left attempted to use bankruptcy as reason to abandon the health care system we have and replace it with the socialized system they prefer.

But is there proof that the American health care delivery system actually causes more bankruptcies than others?

To answer this question the Fraser institute compared the rates in Canada (where they are located btw) with the US. Here's a quote:
"In a recent update to a previous study, Himmelstein et al (2009) concluded that in 2007, uninsured medical expenses or loss of income due to illness "caused" nearly two-thirds (62.1 percent) of all non-business bankruptcies in the United States. The authors blame this on America's pluralistic health insurance system. Himmelstein and co-author Woolhandler are well-known proponents of Canada's government-run, single-payer medical insurance system. The implicit assumption of their study is that a single-payer system would have prevented or significantly reduced the number of bankruptcies observed in the United States. Following this logic, we should expect to observe a lower rate of bankruptcy in Canada compared to the United States, all else being equal. Yet the most recent data shows that the non-business bankruptcy rate in Canada is statistically the same as it is in the United States. "

Here's the addy:
http://www.fraserinstitute.org/publicationdisplay.aspx?id=13085&terms=medical+bankruptcy

the evidence doesn't support the contention so frequently made by the proponents of single payer. the study on which they rely was widely discredited. Yet the myth remains.

Perhaps this is one of those things that "seems" to be true, that even "ought" to be true. But isn't.

Another commenter here noted a lack of facts. Sorry to disappoint that individual by providing evidence and links.

No doubt the Ethan comment calling me a fool will arrive here shortly. There's something to anticipate, no?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 5, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

McConnell and Boehner were the ones who led the charge to pass the Bush Deficit budgets. They refused to pay for the enormous costs of the Two Wars, and passed all that spending off budget.

They also passed the huge prescription drug bill, without providing any offset way to pay for it.

Without the leadership of McConnell and Boehner, Bush would not have been able to enact his massive budget busting borrow and spend programs, and unfunded wars.

When Clinton left office, the nation was enjoying an annual budget surplus, which was going to pay down the national debt.

Bush/McConnell and Boehner worked together to turn that annual budget surplus into a massive annual deficit, and they ended up delivering the worst economic conditions since The Great Depression.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 5, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

"What about you, qb? Do you "hate government". And, especially, hate "good governance"?"

Not government. Not sure I could say about "good governance," because I'm not sure I've ever lived under any.

What I do know I hate is reading Ethan's sophomoric rants. You could write what he knows about conservativism -- or anything outside his dogma -- on . . . well, you wouldn't actually need the head of a pin, since there would be nothing to write.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

file this under:Hoisted by their own petard.
================
* Random question: I wonder how many principled conservatives are on board with the idea that powerful special interests are permitted to flood our elections with millions upon millions of dollars' worth of pro-GOP advertising, even as they remain anonymous.

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

Which group was it that flatly denied taking Soros money only to be proven wrong shortly after making the assertion? Oh, yeah, Jstreet.

This is from their web site:
"J Street has said it doesn’t receive money from George Soros, but now news reports indicate that he has in fact contributed."

soooo, the left is now complaining about the sauce for their goose. How startling. How refreshing. Once again "do as I say, not as I do" is the subtext to Mr Sargent's whining.

How much did the unions spend to put Obama in office? Is America to somehow believe that the unions are not "special interests"?

How silly.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 5, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Liamstill wrote:

"GM's employees did end up taking a hit in the managed bankruptcy organized by the Obama administration. But it wasn't as brutal a blow as southern Republicans representing work-for-hire states like Tennessee would have preferred"

You are about 1000% wrong on this statement. GM workers own about 35% of the company which will go public again in 2011. This is far far more than the 0 they would have had in an out of business GM. This is also more than the 0 they would have had if the government had not strong armed the secured creditors out of the way.

I'm not saying that it wasn't necessary or a good thing to do, that is a philosophical question. However your characterization of the deal is wholly inaccurate.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 5, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"When Clinton left office, the nation was enjoying an annual budget surplus, which was going to pay down the national debt."

False. There was never a surplus.

"and they ended up delivering the worst economic conditions since The Great Depression."

False. The economy was worse 30 years ago. And this recession was not caused by fiscal policy.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

"Alito has shown either a remarkable lack of intellect or perhaps simply a remarkable lack of conscience...with many of today's conservatives it really is hard to know which is operative."

Where did he say what is attributed above?

Are you suggesting that Scotus should have ruled based on what it thought good policy would be rather than on the legal question in Citizens United? (Do you even know what that question was?)

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I'm not saying that it wasn't necessary or a good thing to do, that is a philosophical question. However your characterization of the deal is wholly inaccurate.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 5, 2010 11:23 AM |
..................

I provided a link to the article, and I merely posted that excerpt. I did not make the claim. You appear to not understand, the point that they were making; that Obama did the right thing, by both the manufacturers and the workers, and Corker was the one, who wanted to let it all go under.

Use the link and read the full article.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 5, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, you're right nickel, SCOTUS had an obligation to pursue issues that weren't even presented in the Citizens United case in order to overturn longstanding legal precedent the result of which was terrible policy and the opening of floodgates funding from, at least through the Chamber of Commerce, undisclosed foreign entities.

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 5, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

"The further moves towards social arrangments of the sort pushed by modern conservativism and which are demonstrated in this incident (or every death or bankrupcy arising from your med insurance regime) denote an ideology that is bereft of the most fundamental Christian sentiment. I find it loathsome."

Wasn't someone just warning of theocracy?

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

What is the position of the Obama proponents relative to the hammering they gave the white collar employees of Delphi?

I don't see much written here about that fiasco and I should think that if the Obama crowd is proud of what he did with GM, they ought to be at least aware of what happened to some of the non union folks imbroiled in that sad opera.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 5, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

liam still wrote:

"You appear to not understand, the point that they were making; that Obama did the right thing, by both the manufacturers and the workers, and Corker was the one, who wanted to let it all go under."

Again, whether or not Obama did the right thing is a philosophical question. there is no right and wrong in this. The workers and dealers won, but nearly everybody else lost. I'm not sure why it was wrong for Tennessee to go after new plants using government incentives. Why do you equate that with outsourcing, or have I overstated your position?

Posted by: 54465446 | October 5, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

@qb: "Why would we not consider Obama and crew as the most representive Democrats of . . . current Democrats? Why remove him from the equation?"

Fair enough. Just saying, "reigned in" or not, Democrats have had no worse (and arguably better) record regarding spending than recent Republicans, up until Obama (and the current folks in charge). Specifically, I know which party claims to be for smaller government and less spending, but they do very little to deliver.

This is not inexplicable--when Newt Gingrich suggested that since much of Medicare was spent not on medical care, but antiquated administration of benefits, it would make sense to remove the over-the-top administrative costs and let the administration "die on the vine", he was characterized as wanting Medicare itself to die on the vine (my, that sounds familiar) and being the Gingrich that Stole Christmas. As if the government should be in charge of providing Christmas. But, I digress . . .

Point being, there is a tremendous amount of pressure on smaller-government Republicans to not, in fact, do much to support smaller government, and, in the end, they probably won't. So, we shouldn't be too disappointed.

Which is not an argument for supporting Democrats in the current cycle--or any cycle, for that matter. Just to be clear.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 5, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Pragmatic had it right. Dick Armey isn't in Congress, but he is leading up Freedom Works. One of those SCOTUS-sanctioned "independent" groups.

The cost of fire insurance would have been $75. The cost of stopping the fire some thousands of dollars. The cost of doing nothing is the total loss of the fire, not to mention possible ancilliary damage to neighboring property. What if there had been someone in the house? Let that person die because of the unpaid fee?

A well-written law would simply have the home owner liable for the costs associated with putting out the fire.

That's what some folks on either side of the divide fail to realize. It's not big government vs. little government. It's a question of effective government when appropriate. Republicans were punished for incompetence and covering for it.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 5, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

McConnell and Boehner were the ones who led the charge to pass the Bush Deficit budgets. They refused to pay for the enormous costs of the Two Wars, and passed all that spending off budget.

They also passed the huge prescription drug bill, without providing any offset way to pay for it.

Without the leadership of McConnell and Boehner, Bush would not have been able to enact his massive budget busting borrow and spend programs, and unfunded wars.

When Clinton left office, the nation was enjoying an annual budget surplus, which was going to pay down the national debt.

Bush/McConnell and Boehner worked together to turn that annual budget surplus into a massive annual deficit, and they ended up delivering the worst economic conditions since The Great Depression.

This is all factual, and yes; when Clinton left office we were running an annual budget surplus.

22 million jobs had been added, and unemployment was very low.

Eight years later; Bush/McConnell/Boehner had destroyed the economy. Had not added one net job, and had added trillions more to the national debt.

Anyone who votes to let McConnell and Boehner, the two congressional leaders who almost euthanized our economy, return to finish the job, must have a death wish.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 5, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

quarterback:

The question raised in Citizens United was whether a provision of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (McCain-Feingold) prohibiting DOMESTIC unions, corporations and not-for-profit organizations from broadcasting electioneering communications within 60 days of a general election or 30 days of a primary election violated the free speech clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Such a prohibition on FOREIGN corporations was not before the Court and is, as of this writing, still legal.

rukidding7:

Your post last night on Happy Hour Roundup accusing us of being "racists" has been deleted. Better watch your step ; )

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/10/happy_hour_roundup_101.html

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 5, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I love some of the revisionist history and statistical bs going on this morning.

FACT: UE dropped from 25% to 15% when FDR took office. His New Deal was probably just a "coincidence" to some posters here who wish to remain in denial. 15% is still horrible but to the TEN PERCENT who did get employment FDR was a hero. Again I am an old dude...my parents lived through the depression...they don't speak in terms of statistics...they speak in terms of REAL LIFE EXPERIENCE. They were thrilled with the New Deal!

While heartless folks wish to argue about bankruptcy statistics...in my very office we have a woman whose husband's job was threatened...the corp that employs him reorganized and said..we're saving your job but you have to take a pay cut and Ohhh no more health insurance. These folks are not STATISTICS to me but real live people. They are one serious illness away from bankruptcy. They are one undiagnosed mole away from a horrible death from melanoma. They have ZERO preventative medicine. There is no way to argue around this.

There are many posters here who are arguing for the minority...the top 2% while the majority is suffering. A society that rewards paper pushers and scam creators like hedge fund managers with BILLION $ annual salaries (what the top 25 managers made last year) and yes toss in athletes, movie stars and whatever...while sitting on their hands as folks who work 2 jobs...with their spouses also working do not have health care is simply a disgusting lack of morality by that society. There is no way to freakin sugar coat it with statistics and it is certainly not the CHRISTIAN thing to do.
Again I'm a Deist not a Christian. I'm not trying to force Christianity down anybody's throat. But some folks on this very blog claim to be Christians without exhibiting anything that remotely resembles what Christ taught. One of these supposed "Christians" even wanted me to post my address so he could come to St. Pete and teach me a lesson.

Let's be honest. The R's should simply dump their Elephant logo and simply replace it with the word HYPOCRITE!!!

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 5, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

rukidding7:

Your post last night on Happy Hour Roundup accusing us of being "racists" has been deleted. Better watch your step ; )

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/10/happy_hour_roundup_101.html

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 5, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

In other vastly more important news . . . the Bank of Japan dropped interest rates over night, causing today's stock market rally. This almost assures another round of quantitative easing by the Fed, because no debtor nation wants to wind up last in the race to kill their own currency.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 5, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"Yeah, you're right nickel, SCOTUS had an obligation to pursue issues that weren't even presented in the Citizens United case in order to overturn longstanding legal precedent the result of which was terrible policy and the opening of floodgates funding from, at least through the Chamber of Commerce, undisclosed foreign entities."

Spin much?

Your claim that it pursued "issues that weren't even presented" is absurd. The Court considered each of the narrow challenges and found them deficient, thus leaving the facial 1st Am issue. It was perfectly consistent with precedent and the Court's duty to address the remaining issue, which was addressed below and which was unwaivable in any event. If you've read the opinion and aren't persuaded, it's because your mind is closed to the matter.

Longstanding precedent -- going all the way back 20 years, and which had itself contradicted prior precedent.

Liberals really hate freedom of speech. But that isn't anything new.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Let's be honest. The R's should simply dump their Elephant logo and simply replace it with the word HYPOCRITE!!!

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 5, 2010 11:45 AM |

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

Actually they should replace the Elephant Logo, with an extremely Fat Cat logo.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 5, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Bernie says:

"And that's one critical area where the move to crush government or social arrangements of a communitarian nature are deeply immoral."

Bernie...could you please explain the source of the moral code by which you make this judgement, and point out how/why it applies to anyone other than you?

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 5, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

skip

Just so you know the Frazer study isn't exactly the last word in medical bankruptcy comparisons between Canada and the U.S. They neglected to include previous years, prior to our new bankruptcy laws and 2008, although the figures were available to them.

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

"For both 2006 and 2007, the Fraser Institute study reports a Canadian bankruptcy filing rate of 0.30% of total population or 3.0 for every 1,000 persons. As the table to the right verifies, the Canadian bankruptcy rate for those two years is lower than in the United States, hardly a surprising result given the draconian 2005 U.S. bankruptcy law and the artificial dip in U.S. bankruptcy filings at that time. Here is the thing: for any other year in the past ten years, the U.S. bankruptcy rate is higher than 3.0. Examining the most recent data, as the Fraser Institute study purported to do, would have shown a higher 2008 rate for the United States. For 2009, my projection (approx 1.45 million bankruptcy filings) suggest a U.S. bankruptcy filing rate of about 4.7 per 1,000 total population."

http://www.creditslips.org/creditslips/2009/07/highly-questionable-medical-bankruptcy-figures-from-fraser-institute.html

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

@Liam You are correct...a very very fat cat logo would be more appropriate.

@Scott...I'm not Bernie and he may not appreciate me coming to his defense but could I make a stab at it...

"could you please explain the source of the moral code by which you make this judgement, and point out how/why it applies to anyone other than you?"

Again like many of the Founding Fathers I am a Deist not a Christian and so I'm not proselytizing for any particular faith.

Having said that Scott the answer to your question is obvious and you seem disingenuous or perhaps simply motivated by a fever to score a "gotcha" at Bernie's expense.

I don't know which country you grew up in but I have always been taught that by and large the U.S. respects the Judeo Christian code of morality. I'm not saying whether that is right or wrong...simply making an observation.
42% of our citizens claim to go to a Christian Church regularly..I don't really know the stat for those who claim Christianity but do not attend regularly.
Jim Demented is certainly pushing for a Theocracy as is Mike Huckabee who claims the Bible should trump the Constitution.
But I don't mean to be partisan here...Obama also wears his Christianity on his coat sleeve. And so if you wish to ask which moral code Bernie refers to it's probably the moral code claimed by the majority of our citizens. See if you can learn anything from the most important sermon ever delivered by the Founder of this religion. Who knows Scott perhaps you could enlighten us as to your moral code...IF you have one. Meanwhile this is the moral code to which most of our citizens "supposedly" subscribe.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Gospel of St. Matthew 5:3-10

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 5, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7:

Your post last night on Happy Hour Roundup accusing us of being "racists" has been deleted. Better watch your step ; )

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/10/happy_hour_roundup_101.html

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 5, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

@ruk: "Let's be honest. The R's should simply dump their Elephant logo and simply replace it with the word HYPOCRITE!!!"

Well, I have to admit, I didn't think it was possible, but you've won me over with your nuance. ;)

I no longer want poor people to die in order than the richest 1% of our country could line their pockets with billions that rightfully belong to the working poor. ;)

"Blessed are the meek"

Well, that excludes you, Ruk. /snark

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 5, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

thank you for the update lmsinca.

The credentials of the blogger you mentioned are impressive indeed. Essentially he had two problems with the Fraser report:
(1) he doubted that the proponents of single payer were making a case about bankruptcy. His words:
"First, I'm not sure that is an assumption made by advocates of a single-payor system "

but they are, and they do so routinely. I don't about Bob Lawless, but I've seen the canard endlessly. I wonder in what circles he travels.

next, he says that there was more recent data. Frasier itself responds to that by saying that the need was for data that is "comparable". Obviously there are other factors, such as legal changes that could impact BK rates. MOre from Fraser in a comment to follow immediately.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 5, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

ruk,

Since you are answering Scott in lieu of Bernie, allow me to follow up.

Whether or not you are a Christian, how is your appeal to the Bible as moral authority for socialized medicine or "communitarian arrangements" not theocratic under the usage current on this blog?

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Here's the Fraser institute:
"There are plenty of other myths - like Mr. Rae’s argument that large numbers of Americans file for bankruptcy due to uninsured medical expenses. In 2006 Dranove and Millenson published a critique of this argument in the journal Health Affairs showing that uninsured medical expenses were cited in only 17 per cent of bankruptcy filings. Further, they found that medical expenses were only one of several reasons for bankruptcy cited in these cases. In fact, medical expenses accounted for only 12 to 13 per cent of unsecured debts among the small percentage of bankruptcy filers who cited medical expenses as one of several other reasons for their bankruptcy claim.

The implication of the medical bankruptcy myth in the U.S. is that it would not occur under a government-run health insurance system. But research commissioned by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy in 2006 showed that 15 per cent of bankrupt seniors in Canada cited medical reasons, including uninsured medical expenses, as the primary cause of bankruptcy. Furthermore, recent research published by the Fraser Institute shows that in 2006 and 2007, the only two comparable years on record, personal bankruptcy rates were actually higher in Canada than in the U.S."

I understand the criticism from the blog you mentioned. but apparently Fraser is standing behind its findings. The additional insight provided above further erodes the contention that the single payer system will be one step closer to financial nirvannah

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 5, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps RUK could explain what the sermon has to do with the liberal agenda.

It used to be said that patriotism was the last refuge of the scoundrel. Now it seems that piety is the last refuge of the liberal.

so I'm curious. How do the words of the Lord, quoted above, relate in any way to the liberal agenda?

I'll be here waiting for this answer. It should be quite illuminating.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 5, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

First of all, the ban on corporate money in federal elections was a 63 year old precedent. And as Justice John Paul Stevens wrote for the dissenters:

(the) decision is backwards in many senses. It elevates the majority’s agenda over the litigants’ submissions, facial attacks over as-applied claims, broad constitutional theories over narrow statutory grounds, individual dissenting opinions over precedential holdings, assertion over tradition, absolutism over empiricism, rhetoric over reality. Our colleagues have arrived at the conclusion that Austin must be overruled and that §203 is facially unconstitutional only after mischaracterizing both the reach and rationale of those authorities, and after bypassing or ignoring rules of judicial restraint used to cabin the Court’s lawmaking power. … At bottom, the Court’s opinion is thus a rejection of the common sense of the American people, who have recognized a need to prevent corporations from undermining self government since the founding, and who have fought against the distinctive corrupting potential of corporate electioneering since the days of Theodore Roosevelt. It is a strange time to repudiate that common sense. While American democracy is imperfect, few outside the majority of this Court would have thought its flaws included a dearth of corporate money in politics.

Finally, the Court, after the case had already been argued on different, more limited, issues, decided that it wanted to expand its consideration and ordered further argument so it could open the floodgates of corporate money.

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 5, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

"Having said that Scott the answer to your question is obvious..."

Don't be so sure. I am pretty sure that Bernie rejects outright the notion that morality springs for any deity. And I am positive that Bernie explicitly rejects the notion of a universal, objective morality, which is the cornerstone of Christian (and indeed most religious) morality.

Of course, Bernie's constant declarations on the immorality of people with whom he disagrees obviously belies his self-proclaimed moral relativism. Making that apparent was the point of my question in the first place.

"......IF you have one."

Please.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 5, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

skip

"The additional insight provided above further erodes the contention that the single payer system will be one step closer to financial nirvannah"

Well since this is actually nothing I've ever asserted especially since financial nirvannah has, and always will be out of reach for me, I guess I'll just have to try to realistically evaluate the various arguments such as they are.

Perhaps a combination of both single payer and medical debt forgiveness will need to find a compromised playing field in the future.

This argument sort of reminds me of the rescission debate last year. I don't remember the exact numbers but the insurance industry was arguing that they only rescind somewhere around 5% of insurance policies overall. Of course when you take into account the people who are seriously ill, 50% of their policies were rescinded.

Life has been reduced to a numbers/profit game. I personally find it discouraging.

Posted by: lmsinca | October 5, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

"First of all, the ban on corporate money in federal elections was a 63 year old precedent."

Wrong. The statutory ban had roots going back decades, but there was no precedent affirming it. A precedent is a court ruling. Prior to Austin, the Court had never held that corporate expenditures couuld be prohibited, and in fact had held that they could not in Belotti. It was Austin that upset precedent.

Justice Stevens lost the vote. It happens he isn't God, and his criticisms are flimsy and, as is obvious if you read his opinion, entirely result driven.

But then, he also believes that limits on individual expenditures are constitutional. Funny how your side is never agitating to limit George Soros' "distorting" and disproportionate speech through his many mouthpieces.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

These complaints by liberals about the Roberts court and Citizens United resurface another of their amusing inconsistencies. They not only have a double standard for ovurruling precedent (conservative ones, yes, always, liberal ones, no, never!) but adopt contradictory objections to overruling the ones they like.

Recent liberal rulings may not be overruled, because they are recent, and old ones can't be, because they are old. So it leaves one to wonder where that "sweet spot" is when liberal precedents are just old enough but not too old that they can properly be overruled without engaging in "reactionary right wing extremism."

But the answer, unfortunately, is known, and it is of course that there is no "age" at which liberals will allow that it is proper. Whether it is two (McConnell), 20 (Austin), 38 (Roe) or 75, (e.g., Wickard), there is never a time when liberal precedents are allowed to be overruled.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

But in your world, nickel, the only activist judges are liberal. And only Democrats are hypocrites.

Can we at least agree that neither of those statements are accurate?

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 5, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

@Scott ""......IF you have one."

Please.

Apology offered. We simply disagree on what constitutes a moral society. The capitalized IF was a cheap shot which I regret. However the sentiment and question actually still apply. As John Stewart's sign's go...I may disagree with you Scott but I'm pretty sure you're not Hitler..or Pol Pot...and I do get that you believe that "rising tide lifts all boats" and than in your economic model we wouldn't need to have these discussions about the poor.

So the snark free question(s) should have
been
1.) Do you not see any problem in the wealthiest society in the world creating a system (taxation and regulation) where folks who are not lazy...who literally do back breaking work, are not even provided with health care.

I guess what I'm asking Scott is that your posts..again IMHO...come across as completely "laissez faire" "caveat emptor" kind of thinking. I get the intellectual stimulus behind that, but honestly I don't get the morality...whether that morality be Christian,Jewish, Muslim or even the morality most of us like to associate with simple humanity...even for Atheists.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 5, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

in response to this:
================
skip

"The additional insight provided above further erodes the contention that the single payer system will be one step closer to financial nirvannah"

Well since this is actually nothing I've ever asserted especially since financial nirvannah has, and always will be out of reach for me, I guess I'll just have to try to realistically evaluate the various arguments such as they are.

Perhaps a combination of both single payer and medical debt forgiveness will need to find a compromised playing field in the future.

This argument sort of reminds me of the rescission debate last year. I don't remember the exact numbers but the insurance industry was arguing that they only rescind somewhere around 5% of insurance policies overall. Of course when you take into account the people who are seriously ill, 50% of their policies were rescinded.

Life has been reduced to a numbers/profit game. I personally find it discouragin
=========

I didn't mean you personally and I apologize if I left that impression. My impression, having been involved in many arguments about the relative merits of each system, is that those who advocate on behalf of single payer are convinced that it will solve a multitude of problems. My experience though says were it enacted it would simply substitute one set of problems for another set of problems.

Our current system faces at least two pretty good sized structural flaws. I believe that these could easily be addressed by reforms that are well short of the trojan horse of government take over that is Obamacare.

First, we really don't deal well with chronic illness. I know the debate was couched in terms of "pre existing conditions" but what it amounts to is the fact that people who face life with chronic diseases face numerous hurdles that others do not. In many cases the techonology exists to extend the life of folks with these illnesses but at a pretty steep cost. How we confront that should change as the current model doesn't handle it well.

next is the fact that the costs just never seem to decline. In a recent report the Provincial government of Ontario determined that the cost of health care in their region was actually growing faster than inflation. Thus even government control could not contain costs.

but consumers can. We driven down cost and raised quality in every competitive market place and we can do so in healthcare The issue is that when we buy a TV we're spending OUR money. When we access health care services we believe that we're spending some one elses, and in many cases we are. Drive the decisions back to the citizens and cost will go down. The markets work.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 5, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

@Skip "so I'm curious. How do the words of the Lord, quoted above, relate in any way to the liberal agenda?"

Skip dare I disagree or point to the folly of your question. Before I know it you'll be asking for my address again so you can teach me a lesson. :-)

But since I'm not in the least bit intimidated by bullies let me give your question a shot.

YOU...not I said the 8 Beatitudes relate to a liberal agenda. In fact my post was pretty simple and pointed and had nothing to do with agendas..other than pointing out what Christ would claim as HIS agenda.
The fact that YOU brought up liberal agenda speaks volume about how YOU view Christ's most celebrated sermon.

My point was to question how anybody who called them self a Christian could argue for SOME of the policies the right advances. Do we think for example that letting people who bend over all day picking fruits and veggies..or in the specific case I mentioned..a man who installs window protection for hurricanes and his wife who is a full time dental assistant go without health care is "merciful" or "righteous"?

Do we suppose people who are so afraid of some terrorists camping out in a third world country that they engage in not one but two wars, spending half of our annual budget on the military as "peacemakers"

I said nothing about "the liberal agenda" Skippy...I find it amusing that YOU read the 8 beatitudes and came up with "liberal agenda." Caring for the poor, the sick, the less fortunate amongst us is part of the liberal agenda? And if it is are you saying that is a bad thing?

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 5, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

@QB "Whether or not you are a Christian, how is your appeal to the Bible as moral authority for socialized medicine or "communitarian arrangements" not theocratic under the usage current on this blog?"

I am not appealing to the Bible as moral authority. I am a Deist remember. I'm pointing to the folks who claim the Bible is their moral authority to simply ACT on their beliefs. I'm pointing out the hypocrisy of saying one thing and then doing another. BTW I would point out to Islamic terrorists that they are hypocrites since THEIR holy book the Koran clearly states suicide is forbidden and immoral. I suspect the terrorists get to their rationalization of killing and murdering innocents in much the same way right wing Christians can avoid Christ's admonitions like..."Matthew 25:40 And the King will make answer and say to them, Truly I say to you, Because you did it to the least of these my brothers, you did it to me."

I am quoting these teachings because it is the language and the teachings...in other words "supposedly" the intellectual and faith based currency that a huge % of our society deals in.

As for that calling for a Theocracy...I understand your question but disagree with your premise. Again I am not a Christian.
But I do respect everybody's personal faith and because of my upbringing I certainly have a great deal of respect for the "teachings" of Jesus Christ. I am against murder for example. So are the Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, probably every organized religion in the world. In addition to the religious...the vast majority of Agnostics and Atheists are also against murder. Therefore I do not believe laws against murder have been lifted directly from the 10 Commandments even though I acknowledge..That shalt not kill..is certainly motivation for many Christians to support our murder laws.
You can see where I'm going with this...
asking people to simply be consistent with their "professed" beliefs is not calling for a Theocracy. Morality is not simply the purview of Christianity or any religion. There are many secular humanists who would claim their own morality. If our society was dominated by secular humanists who claimed they believe in taking care of the less fortunate in our society then I'd be chiding them as well.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 5, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

@ss28: Drive the decisions back to the citizens and cost will go down. The markets work.

Right, because markets work. The market working in this case would mean that doctors, hospitals, and big pharma will concentrate on diseases of the rich even more than they do now.

After all, it is far more lucrative to be a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon to rich people in Beverly Hills than to be a GP working in Watts. If market forces were more dominant in health care, rational actors would do the kind of work that paid the most money for the least effort. Treating millionaires for hangnails is a more "rational" market decision than treating poor people for basically anything because millionaires will pay handsomely for elective procedures while poor people will have to choose between food, rent, etc. and medical care.

Markets work when everyone has something that other people want. Poor people, or even people at the median income (~$50k for a family) don't have the kind of disposable income to pay for anything more than a checkup. Even a standard colonoscopy costs over $1100 dollars. If market forces are the driving force for.. health care providers, they will service those that have the money to pay for those services, and those who don't will die from easily preventable or treatable diseases at greater rates than they do now...Even though the denizens of rightwingnutistan, prostrate themselves at the sacred altar of the all powerful, all knowing MARKET FORCES, back in the big universe we all share, market forces don't solve all oi even most problems related to health care.

Posted by: srw3 | October 5, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Well I will admit one thing RUK, you've stopped much of the name calling. I have no problem with some snark or even the well placed sarcastic barb. But between RUK, Ethan and Liam-still the volume of name calling is generally in inverse proportion to the validity of the argument. Witness the name calling by Liam and Ethan yesterday when I had the temerity to object to Liam attributing words to me that I never wrote or said. It is egregious. After all the righteous indignation about STRF being banned it is the paradigm of hypocrisy to engage in such childishness.

Now to your use of the scriptures. Here's how I read it. The left in America seeks to prove that Americans have an obligation to others and that the best or only way to discharge this obligation is via government intervention. Any one who disagrees with the contention that an obligation exists is castigated as heartless. Liberals refuse to countenance any thought that a person's life may just be the result of that person's choices.

The other problem is that anyone who objects to the process chosen by the left is also castigated as heartless. That's simply not true and in fact quite offensive.

The bigotry of the left is hard to overstate. Because conservatives don't agree on the means, we're the reciepients of all manner of slander. Where, oh where, did Jesus say that we should slander those with whom we disagree?

but if we're going to quote scripture, here's a snippet from my morning reading: Matthew 11:19 "But wisdom is shown to be right by its results."

And that's among my principal objections to liberalism. The method fails, every time. The government is generally inadequate as a means to discharge our obligations to each other. The facts are plain and obvious. After decades of the great society's legacy our treasury is empty and our prisons are full. Lofty words cannot compensate for failure and the government has failed us. continuing to place our belief in the mechanisms of government in the face of the clear evidence of failure makes little sense. If the programs actually achieved their objectives garnering support for them would be simple.

Instead we see a situation where a group of people insist that we continue to rob from peter to pay paul. Why? Because paul needs it and besides, he's also in agreement that we should rob Peter. So we convince ourselves that peter doesn't need the fruits of his labor and if he won't surrender it voluntarily, the government will confiscate it (in the name of the lord?)

If we are to judge wisdom by its results, liberalism's focus on government intervention fails.

the fact is, I live in the 'hood and have for much of my life. I've watched liberalism destroy the foundations of our society. Enough is enough.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 5, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

skip

I appreciate your thoughts on health care and agree that both chronic illness and rising costs have contributed to our broken system. The challenges are huge and AFAIC neither party has been able to either find or promote solutions that will solve the underlying issues.

I wish I believed the market and consumers of health care would be able to drive the market but I just don't think it's possible. We need a system where everyone participates that is not employer driven where a basic standard of care can be purchased by all, but also allows that those in less than ideal situations either financially or health wise are able to access care. I can't imagine any market driven scenario that could meet these goals.

Dems had some good ideas but then they sold their souls to the pharmaceutical, insurance and medical (hospital) industries in the bargain. The entrenched interests are so deep that I believe we will need to be in much more of a health care crisis in this country to get all of the stake holders to one table.

The only idea I've seen from the conservative side that has some merit and could remain workable if slightly tweaked are the HSA's. Right now they only work for people in better financial situations who are younger and healthier, which leave a sizable portion of the population out of the benefits of these types of plans. I do think they give people a better idea of the actual costs of care but I also think they discourage all but the wealthiest among us to attend to their health care needs which can be a recipe for disaster in the long run.

I don't believe a single payer system is some sort of panacea but I do believe we will eventually get there, whether we all like it or not. It's the only way to control both access and prices for the benefit of all, but I'm sure it will still cost us all a small fortune.

BTW, my youngest daughter had an employer funded HSA for about 10 months before going back to school and hated it. I realize it wasn't long enough to realize any of the benefits but it sure turned her off to the entire idea.

Posted by: lmsinca | October 5, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

"Do you not see any problem in the wealthiest society in the world creating a system (taxation and regulation) where folks who are not lazy...who literally do back breaking work, are not even provided with health care. "

No such "system" has been "created" by us or anyone else. It is the natural state of existence that human beings must work to ensure their own survival. No one is naturally "provided" with anything. The "system" is not denying anyone anything that they would otherwise have outside of it. The "system" that has been created, and even moreso the one you seem to want to create, attempts to "provide" something that otherwise would not exist in order to ameliorate the harsh realities of nature, but doing so has moral and practical consequences that must be considered.

You attempt to depersonalize what you advocate which allows you to avoid the moral implications of it. You talk about a "system" that "provides" health care. But the "system" doesn't provide anything. Individual people do. Who is going to provide the service you demand? What if they do not wish to provide it? Will you force them to do so against their will? Is forcing people to act against their own will moral? I certainly don't think so. Is it really possible for one person to have an inherent "right" to a service provided by another. Again, not under any coherent conception of rights of which I am aware.

"I get the intellectual stimulus behind that, but honestly I don't get the morality..."

It's not that complicated. It is the morality of rights and freedom. Generally speaking, individuals have the right to pursue their own happiness however they see fit provided that by doing so they are not impinging on the right of others to do the same. To impinge on another's rights is immoral.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 5, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

srw3 makes some huge assumptions. Shame, shame, shame.

First the assumption is that everyone in America is focuses solely on the their own personal gain. What an insult. I suppose this allows liberals to "come to the rescue" because they aren't focused on their own money. Oh no, they are focused on everyone elses. yeah right.

next, a significant underlying assumption is that all of health care would instantly go "retail". Why? In an environment where I could buy catastrophic coverage at a reasonable price and pay for the occassional trip to the doctah out of my MSA, why wouldn't I? Especially if I can keep the balance of the MSA at the end of the year.

will industries seek profit by focusing on certain illnesses and not others? yeah, right. If that were the case a cure for gout, a disease with a reputation for striking the scions of the wealthy, would have been cured a generation ago. Please recall that Viagara was an accident.

What srw3 misses is the fact that each service provided by the healthcare industry must be paid for by somebody. srw3 would prefer, apparently, that this payment come from tax payers who have no say in how their money is spent rather than consumers, who do. How, exactly does that make sense?
As to the concerns about the underserved ghetto, well I live in a swing district and I can tell you from first hand experience that the ghetto dwellers are a huge part of the problem. Ask a provider about appointment cancellation rates by type of payer. What you'll find is that medicaid patients are several times more likely to simply not show for an appointment than others with company funded insurance. Poor in spirit is poor in spirit. No massive influx of other people's money has changed that.

next, the ghetto is also underserved because medicaid itself is fundamentally broken. To make ends meet states hammer the rates paid to providers. The net result, fewer providers. Wouldn't it be easier to simply blow up the current system and go back to the old fashioned public health model? It worked far better than this nightmare and the costs were far lower. How is it that a so called progressive is demanding a strict adherence to the status quo?

and do you actually KNOW how much a colonoscopy COSTS? or are you quoting retail price? what's the APC reimbursement for an OP colie?

so spare me the stupid name calling. It destroys what little credibility you've got left. If you want a debate, act like an adult. Other POV's are allowed in this world doncha know.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 5, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

"Liberals refuse to countenance any thought that a person's life may just be the result of that person's choices."

I don't think this is true skip.

The First Lady has been roundly criticized from the right for beginning a battle against childhood obesity. There are definitely people who abuse their health, but for the most part we're all just one illness away, healthy or not, from devastation. For those who can afford health care, they may have a chance to beat whatever disease is visited upon them, for the rest it can be a death sentence, whether you took good care of yourself or not.

Posted by: lmsinca | October 5, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

@Skip Ok if you're going to make an honest attempt to respond I'll do likewise.

"And that's among my principal objections to liberalism. The method fails, every time"

That is simply hyperbolic opinion. SS has kept our seniors from hanging out on the street begging. Medicare has kept our seniors healthy. Medicaid has provided some minimum amounts of healthcare for the poor.

The Government has continually done a far better job of taking care of our citizens than has free enterprise. Your example of healthcare absolutely runs counter to your point, as was so correctly pointed out by SRW3.

Again I am not a socialist, nor am I a capitalist..I believe the proper argument about taxes and regs etc should revolve around what BLEND of these two we should establish.

History runs against you Skip which is why I am so optimistic. Over the course of time by definition the "progressive" views always win out over the "conservative" views. This is why we no longer have slavery. It's why we now have equal rights for blacks...you do realize Skip that progressives not conservatives were for civil rights. This is also why eventually like every other Army in the civilized world our military will end DADT.
The grand tide of history has always flowed with progressive thought not reactionary thought.

I ask you a final question Skip. You conflated the 8 Beatitudes with a "liberal agenda" You post liberal likes it's the worst thing one could become. Are caring for the sick amongst us...the less fortunate..or as your religion teaches
"the least of these my brothers" really a bad thing. Even if you believe churches should do this and not government (although historically that didn't work hence the need for UE insurance, SS, Medicare etc) wouldn't you at least approach the dreaded liberals with a little more respect?

Your hyperbole is not only offensive it detracts from any genuine arguments you might make. Taxes are not someone ROBBING someone else...it's what we all pay in a shared societal covenant to make our nation a great nation. You see the person abusing government programs as wrong...so do I Skip! But you concentrate on the poorest amongst us who are getting over on the system while letting the Billionaires who almost wrecked our nation and got a huge bailout (WELFARE SKIP) get a free pass. You are hardly expressing Christian priorities. WJJD? Would Jesus really worry if a millionaire had to pay an additional 3% on their MARGINAL rate when there is so much suffering in the land among the middle class. REALLY SKIP?

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 5, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Today's blog is an indication why the Dems, of which I ma one< are struggling into the mid-terms. While you were debating on a higher plane health care and campaign finance, as if we were all still in college, the Bank of Japan lowered it's discount rate effectively to zero.

What this means is that the Fed is guaranteed to being another round of quantitative easing. Effectively speaking all the debtor nations of the world are now in a race to see who can debase their currency the fastest.

Sorry for the real world interlude. We now send you back to your regularly scheduled programmed discussion.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 5, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Meant to say today's comments, not blog.

Wouldn't want anyone disparaging my writing, calling me names and hurting my feelings.

Snif, Snif.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 5, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

to lmsinca.

Just a couple of points. Why must everyone participate? Aren't you making an assumption that everyone cares as much about their health as you do? Or as they should? As a community we certainly must act to contain virulent communicable diseases, but if a group of people simply won't obtain preventive care, what is that to the rest of us?

I agree that access should be available and to that end I suggest either a return to the old public health model or a move to voucherize medicaid into managed care programs. In the midst of all Obama's railing against medicare advantage what he neglected to mention was that these firms delivered quality care for far less that Medicare would have paid had the benes stayed on the traditional program.

I sincerely doubt that single payer will acheive either objective you mention. The recent Castonguay report noted that costs in one Canadian province were growing faster than inflation and had for years.

As to access, well many in Canada do not now have ready access to primary care. here is the Fraser institute's take on it:
"Meanwhile, Statistics Canada reports that about three per cent of the Canadian population surveyed in 2007 (excluding northern Territories and aboriginal reserves) were without access to a regular primary care physician except through ER admission at a hospital, or other non-regular means during the previous year. An additional three per cent had no access at all to a primary care physician – by any means. Without access to primary care, patients cannot get diagnosis, referrals for specialist treatment or prescription drugs. In other words, they are in practical terms, no better off than uninsured Americans."

Again, when the government pays little, there is no incentive to do more. Fewer providers will automatically result access gaps.

Ultimately the facts cannot be altered. We will pay 80% of our healthcare costs during the last 20% of our lives. How to rationalize that process is the crux of this.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 5, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

54465446

Ethan brought that to our attention earlier. Sometimes we hang back on dead threads to get away from the usual banter of name calling and hyperbolic nonsense.

Maybe to you, HCR is a dead issue but I believe we've only just begun addressing it and it is one of the things that is driving our debt as a nation.

Posted by: lmsinca | October 5, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

insinica wrote:

"Ethan brought that to our attention earlier. Sometimes we hang back on dead threads to get away from the usual banter of name calling and hyperbolic nonsense.

Maybe to you, HCR is a dead issue but I believe we've only just begun addressing it and it is one of the things that is driving our debt as a nation."

No it was me that mentioned it earlier, but
since it was theoretical you know what, it was ignored. Not that I mind being ignored, but it is typical of why things are screwed up. During the greatest economic crisis since the Depression the administration wasted more than a year on legislation that was not of central importance to the problem.

When they finally DID turn their attention to financial legislation they found that all the anger had dissipated and that the banks and financial companies had time to marshall their forces to produce the weakest regulation possible. They had also dissipated their capital in producing financially unsound health care legislation so that the Reps had stolen a march and wound up in their rear.

If you don't know that debasing the dollar is far more important than health care, you should do research to find out why. Today's move all but guaranteed that your home heating bill and gasoline bill will go up MORE this year than you will pay for your healthcare. But please go back to what you were chatting about, and thank you for replying!

Posted by: 54465446 | October 5, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

First, let's talk about SS and medicare. Both will be broke soon. IIRC SS will take in less than it pays out in 2010 for the first time. How, exactly is that success?

ditto medicare. It has run through an enormous amount of money. Your assumption is that citizens left to their own devices wouldn't have devised a better approach. there is no reason to believe your POV at all. After all many hospitals are named after saints and benefactors. This is clear proof that we were more than willing to take care of ourselves well before LBJ started the great society.

If the government's approach had worked, why are there now more people in poverty than ever before? Will you blame Bush for this?

and yeah, let's talk about civil rights. The problem I have with the so called progressive position is that it ultimately failed the American blacks. Sure MLK said lofty words and many of us understood the message and acted accordingly. meanwhile, thanks to the incentives contained in welfare black illegitimacy has skyrocketed from few percent in the sixties to 70% now. the very fabric of our society was torn assunder so that liberals could assuage their consciences about the plight of blacks. We've created a permanent underclass while we spend a fortune paying for the rearing of sons who will ultimately be wards of the state in some prison. And you'd call this success? by what measure?

Rspect from me is earned, not given. Just like the marine Mameluke. I see no reason to respect the people who rely on sneering cyncism to mask over an inability to defend, or even explain the results of their demands.

the road to hell is paved with good intentions. the liberal agenda destroyed the city in which I live and countless others around the country. And the constant drumbeat to do more with taxpayer funding is sickening. wisdom is judged by its result. Intentions notwithstanding. Why should I respect someone who advocates for an approach that has clearly failed?

As I said, wisdom is judged by its results. I've seen the results. I live with them. If this is success that I'd hate to see failure.

And spare me the shared society covenant bubulum stercus. That's just lipstick on a pig. The gloating over Obama's desire to hammer the rich is ugly. The basis for this is offensive. And it is robbery. Folks like you blithely assume that you can take what ever you want from whomever you want because you're so darned righteous. Lincoln described it accurately: I work, you eat. No thanks.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 5, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

skip

"but if a group of people simply won't obtain preventive care, what is that to the rest of us?"

This is not a legitimate argument IMO. Many people will say hey, if I get sick, it's my tough luck, until they actually get sick and show up at an emergency room without insurance. The will to live is strong in all of us and when you're in pain or fearing the worst, our natural survival instincts kick in and we seek help. We all end up paying for that.

And regarding the 3% without access in Canada, we've moved well beyond that threshold. We're easily over 10% and it's been climbing every year. Many of these people are either sick already or simply can't afford health care. This is unsustainable as well.

Voucherizing medicaid is a government solution, yet you approve of that one? Then why not open up medicare and let people purchase it or voucherize it for those with little means.

"Ultimately the facts cannot be altered. We will pay 80% of our healthcare costs during the last 20% of our lives. How to rationalize that process is the crux of this."

I agree. And this is one of the issues Obama tried to raise and was vilified for it. Remember the death panels? I went through this process with my folks and there are difficult decisions that need to be made and the most prudent thing is to seek advice and counsel from all quarters and then make the best call for everyone concerned. There truly are times when the best thing to do is let go. I'm a big proponent of Hospice, but I volunteer for them so I admit to being prejudiced.

Nice talking to you, now I need to get back to work.

Posted by: lmsinca | October 5, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

oh one last thing RUK. You have provided an excellent proof for my contention about government failure.

Let's talk about the financial melt down. First, I believe that there will always be greedy crooks among us. next, the government was paid handsomely to protect us from them. It failed. And why?

(1) The government was part of the problem. The stupidity of the social engineering around home ownership has cost me tens of thousands of dollars. The malfeasance of organizations like Fannie and Freddie contributed to the bubble in home prices. Now I could not sell my house for even half what I owe. Thank you Barney Frank and the Congressional Black Caucus. You're desire to protect Frank Raines and continue the stupid lending practices hurt millions of Americans.

(2) The greedy crooks co opted the legislators. I never hear a liberal bemoan the fact that Chris Dodd was in bed with Country wide. So the people we paid to help us ward off the crooks were in the pay of the crooks. And we're supposed to believe that the government is the answer to our problems? the government is the problem.

(3) obama hired a man as sec treas who cheated on his taxes. It is that simple We were told that he's the smartest guy around. Yeah right. Even I can make turbo tax work and when I screw up, the feds hammered me. Double standard anyone? How is anyone supposed to respect a government that hires the inept to lead us?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 5, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

@Scott Thanks for taking the time for a thoughtful response. However....

"To impinge on another's rights is immoral."

IMHO that is pure Ayn Rand pablum...might sound great in theory but it has nothing to do with reality.

In REALITY we have created a "system"..an economic "system" based on free enterprise with a mix of socialism to round off the coarse edges of capitalism. We have created a "system" of government and we have chosen representative democracy.

What you describe is a fairy tale. In a nation of 300 million it is impossible for one person's rights not to impinge on anothers requiring some arbitration. I like my music loud...perhaps you prefer peace and quiet...whose "right" prevails?
We agree on defending ourselves but whose "rights" prevail..the person who is a pacifist or the person who is an absolutely aggressive warmonger. We hope to work these issues out with our "system" of governance.

Economically when we tried your Randian model we saw the rise of robber barons and the big "trusts" the monopolies that gave rise to the oligarchs. A Republican President T. Roosevelt saw that this was not good for the majority of the nation and so he broke them up. You do believe in a country of majority rules don't you?
Should a person who is of superior intelligence be allowed to exploit those of lesser intellectual gifts. If so then why not let a physically superior person do the same thing?

Well we could debate this forever I suppose but you are a smart man and surely you see that your view is close to being antithetical to that of the average American. It's never going to happen!
Your views worked for Jeremiah Johnson and the old mountain men..and certainly our first pioneers...and perhaps to some degree out west even today..although Ruby Ridge kind of put a dent in that as well. (BTW even I think the Gov't overstepped it's authority at Ruby Ridge) Maybe if you moved to the wilds of Alaska, grew your own food, hunted and fished for the rest, built your own cabin with your own bare hands...lived like Thorough with just your efforts..you could still realize that Randian fantasy...but it ain't happenin in modern America. Again as I shared with Skip..history has not been kind to reactionaries...I use the term respectfully and literally not as a pejorative...progressive thought ALWAYS wins out over time.

I've come across an interesting survey I wish to share with you later to get your reaction. Hopefully you will find it interesting and a springboard to further discussion...I'll post it later..maybe on the Evening roundup. Thanks for at least explaining your viewpoint.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 5, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

54465446

I'm on my way out the door but will research your claims. I saw a few brief posts regarding the BOJ move but didn't see any of the dire predictions you indicated yet. Do you have a link I could look at later? Neither WSJ or FT seemed overly concerned, one of them, I believe the FT called it a bold move. Not saying you're not right though.

And I will admit to being obsessed with HCR for personal reasons.

Posted by: lmsinca | October 5, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

Scott says: "To impinge on another's rights is immoral."

ruk says: "What you describe is a fairy tale."

So, in your mind, it is not immoral to impinge on another's right? What in the world do you mean by the term "right" if you think a violation of rights is not immoral?

"Economically when we tried your Randian model..."

My model is not "Randian", but in any event, Rand's model has never been "tried".

"You do believe in a country of majority rules don't you?"

No, and neither did the founders. The whole reason we have a constitution and a bill of rights which limits the ability of a majority to rule to certain select areas of life is because the founders understood the dangers of it just as much as I do.

Back later to finish.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 5, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

imsinca wrote:

"I'm on my way out the door but will research your claims. I saw a few brief posts regarding the BOJ move but didn't see any of the dire predictions you indicated yet. Do you have a link I could look at later? Neither WSJ or FT seemed overly concerned, one of them, I believe the FT called it a bold move. Not saying you're not right though.

And I will admit to being obsessed with HCR for personal reasons."

Understand, the world isn't coming to an end, we're talking about inflation, maybe big inflation. The people who are best able to meet that will be the investing class because they will continue to buy the assets that appreciate in value faster than inflation.

This isn't a new idea in any way. Beranake has been trying to inflate our way out of the deficit since he the crisis first hit. In the minutes of the latest FOMC meeting, he said very specifically that there is not enough inflation in the economy and that the Fed quantitative easing is a distinct possibility. He's not doing a conspiracy. BUT these are very important ideas to every person, not just financial people.

The way those who understand business fight inflation is by buying things like commoditites and shorting things of fixed return like Treasuries. Currently the government is paying record low-yields on all Treasuries, but that will not continue.

Economists will differ on whether on not devaluing the currency is a bad or a necessary idea. The would ALL agree however that the value of the dollar is of tremendous importance, much more so than anything we usually discuss on these threads. For whatever reason (conspiracy of the rich, or ignorance of the people who set the educational agends) we learn next to nothing about finance in our K-12 schools. You really have to do it on your own.

That's why the people who DO understand what's going on caused the market to boom today, while everyone else was worryiing about where Obama was born, or why Rick Sanchez was fired.

Thanks for your reply!

Posted by: 54465446 | October 5, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company