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The Morning Plum

* Dems not backing off secret money push: The DNC is going up with a new spot on national cable hammering Republicans over the millions in secret money funding anti-Dem ads, another sign Dems won't back off this attack line, despite commentators who have decreed that voters have no interest whatsoever in the issue:

The key is that the ad tries to link the secret money (a process-y campaign finance issue) to the economy, which is the overriding concern of voters.

"If Republicans win, they are going to reward this special interest backing by returning to the economic policies of the Bush era that cost eight million Americans their jobs," DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse emails.

It remains to be seen whether voters will see the secret money as an econonomic issue and whether this attack line can do anything to limit Dem losses. But no matter what you hear to the contrary, polls clearly show the secret ads are a resonant issue, so Dems are absolutely right to give it a shot. And besides: Dems would be remiss if they were not hitting back at the multi-million-dollar Rove/Chamber ad onslaught, which continues to unfold in states and districts across the country, with some kind of concerted national response.

* Breaking: The lack of Dem enthusiasm is all about the economy! Finally: A new CBS News poll confirms what many of us have been saying: The economy is the primary reason for that much-discussed lack of enthusiasm among Democrats:

The primary cause of disappointment? The economy. One in two Obama voters who are disappointed with the Obama presidency pick that as their reason, easily outpacing health care reform (17 percent), the budget deficit (13 percent), the war in Afghanistan (8 percent), immigration policy (6 percent) and energy policy (1 percent).

No mystery here!

* Harry Reid tries going on offense: Harry Reid, who was criticized for not targeting Sharron Angle more aggressively during their debate, is going after her hard over her gaffes about Latino students, a story that's burning up the Nevada media and could help usher more Latino votes into Reid's camp. His money quote:

"Her mouth does not have the ability to speak the truth."

The Reid camp has been frustrated with what Jon Ralston has called Angle's "pathological" willingness to revise history with abandon and claim she never said things she plainly did say.

* Joe Sestak assuming familiar role as closer? A new Allentown Morning Call poll finds Sestak has edged into a lead over Pat Toomey, 44-41, which has Dems wondering whether Sestak can pull off yet another come-from-behind win, though other polls have found Sestak trailing and this is the first to show Sestak ahead.

* Super-rich GOP donors plot to prevent Obama from destroying "America as we know it": Koch Industries is plotting a secret getaway for Republican donors who want to help fortify the GOP infrastructure in hopes of restoring the prosperous and free America that existed before Dems passed Wall Street and health care reform.

* Tea Partyers unwittingly aiding and abetting plutocrats? Dana Milbank unmasks the Chamber and other well-funded right wing groups that are egging on the Tea Party rubes, for their own self-interested purposes, as "a movement of the plutocrats, by the political professionals and for the powerful."

* Gettin' in the Chamber's face: Dem Rep. Henry Waxman, in a speech at the U.S. Chamber itself, tells them to fess up about who's funding their ads.

* Chamber wants to educate your kids about energy regulations: Not sure what to make of this yet, but the Chamber is distributing a "teaching guide to 100,000 middle school classrooms across the country, urging kids to imagine what would happen "if one of our energy sources was suddenly unavailable" due to a "government curb on production."

* America's Next Great Pundit: If you like this kind of stuff, check out the blogging round of this year's installment of The Post's annual pundit contest. I'm a judge!

* Here's today's installment in the Christine O'Donnell chronicles: Her campaign confirms to Chris Moody that she thinks the borders should be closed to immigration, not merely tightened up.

* And the history lesson of the day: Steve Benen explains why Constitutional scholars like O'Donnell and Rush Limbaugh are deeply confused.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | October 20, 2010; 8:27 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: Obama's Prop. 8?

Comments

Reasonable People


Reasonable People have to start asking themselves what is going on with Obama.

The nation has gone from False Charges of Racism to a Witch Hunt concerning Foreign Money to insistence about disclosure.

Obama and his people know perfectly well what the democrats and their outside groups have been up to in the past election cycles.

There is something deeper going on here.


This is NIXON-TYPE PARANOIA going on here - this is the constant search for enemies that aren't really there. Then we hear the administration insisting for weeks that they are correct - when everyone knows otherwise. There is a psychological issue here - the wheels are off - there is something to this of a THIRD WORLD DICTATORSHIP - creating an issue that does not exist, just to fight about something. But something is seriously wrong in all of this.

Posted by: LeafofLife | October 20, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Greg;

Re; the NY Times article (of which we need much much more):

The Radical Right Wing is one big cesspool of propaganda and greed: the Koch Boys, the Chamber of Con Artists (h/t Liam), Beck the Rodeo Clown, Amway, Home Depot, hedge funds.

The Plutocrat Propagandists at work:

"The goals for the twice-yearly meetings, the brochure says, include attracting more investors to the cause, but also building institutions “to identify, educate and mobilize citizens” and “fashioning the message and building the education channels to re-establish widespread belief in the benefits of a free and prosperous society.”"

And they really want the suckers on board to give them cover:

"the Koch network of the ultrawealthy and the politically well-connected, its far-reaching agenda to enlist ordinary Americans to its cause, and its desire for the utmost secrecy"

And how pathetic is this?

"A brochure with the invitation underscores that to the Koch network, “freedom” means freedom from taxes and government regulation. Mr. Koch warns of policies that “threaten to erode our economic freedom and transfer vast sums of money to the state.”

That is what American freedom means to the Radical Right Wing. They are disgusting, selfish, greedy pigs.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 20, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

"Chamber wants to educate your kids about energy regulations: Not sure what to make of this yet, but the Chamber is distributing a "teaching guide to 100,000 middle school classrooms across the country, urging kids to imagine what would happen "if one of our energy sources was suddenly available" due to a "government curb on production.""

This is exactly the kind of propaganda that the Right has always accused Communists of engaging in. Can you even imagine the outcry if the Obama Administration required a global warming class for all school kids? And that class would tell the truth! These Radical Right Wingers are staging a coup, orchestrating a hostile takeover of America.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 20, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

And I see that Justice Thomas' wife left a voicemail message for Anita Thomas asking Hill to apologize for being sexually harassed by her husband.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/20/AR2010102001551_2.html

Since we're all coming clean, how about Mrs. Thomas discloses who is funding her Radical Right Wing propaganda group Liberty Central. Then we'll know why Justice Thomas ought to be recusing himself in half the Supreme Court's cases.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 20, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Steve Benen is the one who is confused about the words "our Lord" or "separation of church and state" being in the Constitution.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 20, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Before I add a new link this morning may I finish up some thoughts that posters left on yesterday's Morning roundup...

@skipsailing...I enjoyed our conversation on our health care dilemma. You and I have certainly had our differences and we may not disagree on HCR but you presented rational points and I do respect your decades of experience in the industry. I'm only saddened that you were not on this blog during the actual debate over HCR. That was before Greg moved to this WaPo site and we had some knock down dragouts..mostly among ourselves(ourselves being the progressives on this blog...before WaPo we didn't have very many righties and only ONE troll who was eventually given the boot)
At any rate Skip I wish we had some input from a "thoughtful" person on the right...call me partisan or whatever but the right never really engaged in any genuine manner during HCR..."death panels" "pulling the plug on granny" hardly engage in a "real" discussion about the rationing that is currently going on and what kind of rationing we might wish to engage in the future. Given that we can't afford EVERYTHING...we should at least try to grapple with rationing issues in a sane non demagogic fashion..."death panels" and "Obamas Waterloo" hardly produce a good debate on the ISSUES. Too bad you weren't here to give us an HONEST perspective from the right.

@FBlade....I loved your posts yesterday about taxes, spending and the deficit. Again we have a few pedantic posters who engage almost exclusively in demagogic partisan posts...your final post yesterday morning was an excellent takedown of those who refuse to engage in honest debate....

"What you fundamentally fail to understand is that I'm not a fiscal liberal. A dollar of deficit spending is far worse than a dollar of taxes (or a dollar less spent) due to that magical thing called compound interest.

Here's the adult thing to do. Decide how many services we want provided by the government. I don't care. 20% of the economy or 40% of the economy. Then design the tax structure with the fewest distortions that raises the needed revenue. Spare all of us the BS about liberal economics. Pay for it or shut up."


Speaking of the "adult" thing to do...does anybody have a clue as to whether STRF..CoC..leaf...fill in the sock puppets...is actually an adult? Hopefully not since the posts are incredibly juvenile.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 20, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Imsinca:

I just donated to Sestak and Feingold. I urge everyone to support their favored progressive candidates. The Radical Right Wing is trying to buy our country and the United States is NOT for sale. Fight back!

Later.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 20, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Since his wife is active in Partisan Politics, Justice Thomas violated his oath, by not recusing himself in the Citizens United case.

The case must be reopened, without Justice Thomas being allowed to participate.

How many other cases has his vote been compromised in? It might be time to consider impeaching him, and removing him from the bench.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 20, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Pennsylvanians are learning that Toxic Pat Toomey actually helped to CAUSE the financial collapse and we do not want to allow him back in congress to do it again.

Toxic Toomey, on the floor of the House Nov. 4, 1999 defending S-900 that empowered "too big to fail", expanded use by banks of TOXIC DERIVATIVES and shackled the Community Reinvestment Act that could have mitigated the repeal of Glass-Steagall.

"The repeal of Glass-Steagall is necessary so that consumers can get the products and services they desire and American financial firms can compete in the global marketplace.

Madam Speaker, I would like to highlight just one small part of this sweeping legislation. I am particularly pleased that this bill includes an important provision regarding certain derivative transactions, especially credit and equity swaps. These somewhat obscure products are actually very important tools used by businesses, including financial service firms, to manage a variety of risks that they face. This bill reaffirms that swap contracts are legitimate bank products that can be executed and booked in banks and are adequately regulated by and will continue to be regulated by banking supervisors."

Other, still sitting, members of congress who actually caused the collapse of the U.S. economy:
The Congress that Collapsed America
http://home.ptd.net/~aahpat/aandc/congcrash.html

Posted by: aahpat | October 20, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Wow..imagine...it's the economy stupid. I, Ethan and most of the other posters have been saying this since before the blog moved to the WaPo site.

Ethan has done the best job of posting links with economic news...he has done so on a regular basis and I for one appreciate it.

I offer this morning the view from the Commercial Real Estate Industry and their economists. In a nutshell...this recovery has actually been pretty strong, but the hole left by this crisis was so deep that a strong recovery cannot make up for what was literally a DISASTER in economic terms.
I don't wish to start the partisan ranting again...don't blame it on Bush...don't blame it on Obama...but for God's sake at least admit we are struggling to get out of the WORST economic disaster since the Great Depression...a strong recovery is simply not enough...nothing short of a MIRACULOUS recovery (by historical standards) can get us out of the huge ditch in which we find ourselves.

http://www.globest.com/news/1772_1772/newyork/303599-1.html?ET=globest:e23923:326688a:&st=email

"Here in the US, “The story of the recovery so far, and it’s now about 15 months old, is that it’s better than the past two recoveries but not as strong as one would hope, given the depth of the downturn,” says Ken McCarthy, managing director of US research services"

"McCarthy says, the characteristics of this recovery are somewhat different than in the past. “Overall, we’ve been adding about 100,000 private sector jobs per month during 2010,” he says. “While this sounds decent, it’s not very strong. It’s barely enough to reduce the unemployment rate.” If the present rate were maintained, the US would not surpass its pre-recession employment rate until 2016."

"The progress that the US and other Americas markets have made is comparable to that seen in Europe, where forecasts for 2010 overall have been upgraded lately, although there’s an increasing disparity between individual countries. Both regions, though, have been left in the dust by the Asia Pacific countries, according to C&W’s Economic Pulse reports for the three global regions, issued Tuesday."

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 20, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

As usual, the Republican Tea Party is the first to defend Christian Sharia Law in the USA. The utter disregard for the historical meaning of the Establishment Clause is par for the course for the Christian Fundamentalist Taliban in America.

Also, all, pay attention to voter intimidation and harassment going on right now in TX. The story is up at TPM. And exactly WHO are they intimidating illegally?

AFRICAN-AMERICANS and LATINOS.

Republican Tea Party and their corporatist plutocrat funders are a clear and present danger to this country.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 20, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

As usual, the Republican Tea Party is the first to defend Christian Sharia Law in the USA. The utter disregard for the historical meaning of the Establishment Clause is par for the course for the Christian Fundamentalist Taliban in America.

Also, all, pay attention to voter intimidation and harassment going on right now in TX. The story is up at TPM. And exactly WHO are they intimidating illegally?

AFRICAN-AMERICANS and LATINOS.

Republican Tea Party and their corporatist plutocrat funders are a clear and present danger to this country.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 20, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

In Illinois Sheriff Tom Dart is refusing to foreclose on houses without certainty that the banks' paperwork is in order.
http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/2818044,CST-NWS-foreclose20.article

Posted by: Daniel41 | October 20, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

In memory of Redd Foxx

Christine, you big dummy!

Rush, you big dummy!

Posted by: Liam-still | October 20, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Looks like the NAACP is trying to stir up some more FALSE CHARGES OF RACISM

Apparently they want to release a report - which includes anti-semitism.


Everyone knew that Obama and his crew might try to get some RACIAL CONTROVERSY going before the election - in an effort to motivate up the base.

Clearly that is what they are going for.

The NAACP should lose its tax status - they are clearly getting involved with politics here - and releasing a report right before an election only confirms that political activity.

Posted by: LeafofLife | October 20, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

I have a simple question for the liberals -- the crowd who is terrified of the burgeoning conspiracy of plutocrats and hillbillies taking over "your" America.

Let's say you are personally in charge starting tomorrow. What should our income tax rates be?

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 20, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

rukidding7

Are you kidding? After all the silly things you have said?

One day recently you were so drunk - blogging - that you actually told us that you were drinking.

Now, I'm not sure if you started drinking yet today - however the ridiculous childish insults have already started from you - which is not reflective of sober behavior.

Try to be civil.

Try to act like an adult.

Posted by: LeafofLife | October 20, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Quarterback -

Income taxes should be 10% - and the states should not have income taxes on top of that.

Thank you.

Posted by: LeafofLife | October 20, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Joe Miller's East German Border Guards.


Miller bodyguards at forum included active-duty soldiers

http://www.adn.com/2010/10/18/1507982/questions-surround-use-of-security.html

"the Army says that two of the guards who assisted in the arrest of the journalist and who tried to prevent two other reporters from filming the detention were active-duty soldiers moonlighting for Miller's security contractor, the Drop Zone, a Spenard surplus store and protection service.

The soldiers, Spc. Tyler Ellingboe, 22, and Sgt. Alexander Valdez, 31, are assigned to the 3rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade at Fort Richardson. Maj. Bill Coppernoll, the public affairs officer for the Army in Alaska, said the two soldiers did not have permission from their current chain of command to work for the Drop Zone, but the Army was still researching whether previous company or brigade commanders authorized their employment.

The Army allows off-duty soldiers to take outside employment if the job doesn't interfere with their readiness, doesn't risk their own injury and doesn't negatively affect the "good order" and discipline of their unit, Coppernoll said.

"They've got to be up front with the chain of command," Coppernoll said. "The chain of command needs to agree they can do that without affecting the readiness and the whole slew of things that are part of being a soldier that they need to do first."

Miller's chief guard at the Middle School event, Drop Zone owner William Fulton, said it wasn't his job to ensure soldiers complied with the regulations, though he said he informs them of their duty.

"They're adults -- they are responsible for themselves," Fulton said.

He said the two soldiers called him Monday and said they may be in trouble."

Posted by: Liam-still | October 20, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

In Illinois Sheriff Tom Dart is refusing to foreclose on houses without certainty that the banks' paperwork is in order.
http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/2818044,CST-NWS-foreclose20.article

Posted by: Daniel41 | October 20, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

People not Plutocrats!

Posted by: wbgonne | October 20, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Okay QB, I'll bite:

Clinton-era levels at all income brackets.

There, I said it. Its the only actual fiscally responsible position, the only one that has any hope of fixing the deficit, as the amount of actual 'cuttable' spending is a pittance.

Sadly, I stand well to the left of the Democratic Party on this one, and as far as I've been able to tell, retiring Senator George Voinovich is the only politician who has even hinted that this is the best policy.

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

I'm a little Tea Potty
Short on Clout.
Here is my anger.
Here is my pout.
When I get all steamed up
Bile comes out.
Disagree with me
and hear me shout.

Posted by: aahpat | October 20, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Joe Miller's East German Border Guards.


Miller bodyguards at forum included active-duty soldiers

http://www.adn.com/2010/10/18/1507982/questions-surround-use-of-security.html

"Was Joe Miller required to bring a security detail to his town hall meeting Sunday at Central Middle School?

That's what Miller, the Republican Senate candidate, told two national cable news networks Monday in the wake of the arrest by his security squad of an online journalist at his public event.

But the school district said there was no such requirement made of Miller -- he only had to provide a hall and parking lot monitor, and advise participants of school district courtesy and food rules."

" Miller gave interviews to Fox and CNN on Monday. He told Fox, "I might also note that the middle school itself required us by a contract for a campaign, required us to have a security team." He told CNN, "There was a -- a private security team that was required. We had to hire them because the school required that as a term in their lease."

But district spokeswoman Heidi Embley said that wasn't true.

"We do not require users to hire security," she said. Renters must only have a security plan to protect users and the school itself, she said, and can resolve the issues with "monitors."

The contract the district has renters sign requires groups to make an "expectation speech" at the beginning of an event reminding people to be respectful, to park properly, and to remain only in permitted areas. That did not happen Sunday."

Posted by: Liam-still | October 20, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Quarterback

I just had a thought - we all know that half of all taxpayers pay no income tax. ONLY the top half pay income taxes.

If one takes out social security - and factors out the deductions - at what point does one's income tax actually reach 10% ?


The deductions and all reduce taxable income - I'm just wondering at what income level is OVERALL a 10% number actually paid?

AND what would be the corresponding percentage of the population which pays 10% or more, overall - averaged overall without the deductions?

The whole debate on the tax brackets showed clearly that there is widespread misunderstandings about how the tax code works - and what percentages of the population are affected by what. People just do not know. So when they give an opinion on one part of the tax codes - one must really supply additional information to get a real reading of what people think

Posted by: LeafofLife | October 20, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Q.B. Are you serious? You want us to answer one of your questions. Why should we do that. You never engage seriously.

I took the time a couple evenings ago to present why I consider myself a fiscally responsible progressive. You simply derided any attempt at cutting defense expenditures as being irrelevant because all the money is in entitlements. Why bother with you, you are unable to engage thoughtfully.

But I'll bite once again...call me stupid...I call myself that for even trying with you...

How about the NOMINAL tax rates that existed under Clinton. That would be a whopping 3% increase in the marginal rates of the top 2% in our country. It would represent less than HALF the rate during the Republican administration of Eisenhower when the economy fared fine thank you.

But you whole premise is irrelevant. NOMINAL tax rates don't matter anyway.
AGAIN..Rick Scott our R nominee for Governor in Florida earned 10 million annually the past three years and paid 15%....get that..15% in taxes. His NOMINAL rate might be 35%...his EFFECTIVE rate was 15%. Why argue over NOMINAL rates when the wealthy have all manner of tax attorneys to dodge paying anyway. But then you're an attorney Q.B. and so you probably like that.

Perhaps you think Scott is the exception not the rule....as 12Bar might post bwaahaahaa.
Corporations are no better now that they've discovered the magic of offshore...

http://money.cnn.com/2008/08/12/news/economy/corporate_taxes/

Last Updated: August 12, 2008: 4:38 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Nearly two-thirds of U.S. companies and 68% of foreign corporations do not pay federal income taxes, according to a congressional report released Tuesday.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) examined samples of corporate tax returns filed between 1998 and 2005. In that time period, an annual average of 1.3 million U.S. companies and 39,000 foreign companies doing business in the United States paid no income taxes - despite having a combined $2.5 trillion in revenue.

http://www.offshorelegal.org/offshore-banking/panama-offshore-banking/fortune-500-companies-incorporated-offshore-in-panama.html

So the short answer to your question Q.B. Talking about nominal rates is a waste of time...

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 20, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

The East German kerfuffle is amusing. Miller and Obama would get along well. Miller can run the Grenztruppen, while Obama's Stasi handles the wiretapping operations.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | October 20, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Some of the Senate races are beginning to tighten up - but that is to be expected.

Many times, when the negative ads start to air, the poll numbers move - only to go back to where they were when the initial effects of the ads wear off.

Clearly, the democrats are throwing their money into the races.

But the democrats are hurting themselves.

There has been some discussion that the Republicans really do not want control of the Senate - they see far more advantage to being in the minority versus having the responsibility of being the majority.

Posted by: LeafofLife | October 20, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

"Koch Industries is plotting a secret getaway...."

EXACTLY the sort of people President Eisenhower dismissed as "stupid".

He was right.

Posted by: akaoddjob | October 20, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

@akaoddjob Like you I am a progressive who is to the left of the current administration on several issues...HCR...War...and like you our tax code.

Having said that...Republican Ike was and remains one of my favorite Presidents. Alas today he would be viewed like another General...Colin Powell...as a RINO. I find it amazing that Powell was on the CORRECT side of the Iraq War issue...while Bush, Cheney, Rummy and the rest were absolute buffoons on this issue yet look who the R's still defend.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 20, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne, you, Ethan and Kathleen have really been heating up the actblue page. Thanks so much on behalf of our chosen candidates.

Greg, our little actblue PL community organizers page has raised $1245 for progressive candidates this cycle. We've really pushed Feingold and Sestak this week, hope it helps.

We can't compete with the CofC but we've still got our fighting spirit. Too bad the big boys didn't invest some of that money in jobs instead. And Meg Whitman should have used her money to start up a new company and employ people, then run for Governor, she'd have something to run on then. Do something for your state first.

http://www.actblue.com/page/plcommunity

Posted by: lmsinca | October 20, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

ruk was speaking of demogogic partisan posts, leaving off the first paragraph of fblade's post:

"Oh, please. Reagan got his tax cuts and the deficit went over $100B for the first time. There were some modest tax rises in the first Clinton budget and oh, shock, horror, a budget surplus. Bush enacted tax cuts and set new records for deficits. Handing Pres. Obama a nice bit fat deficit exceeding $1T."

Reagan got tax cuts, but he could not get spending cuts promised by Dems. They lied. What a surprise. Revenues nevertheless increased, but spending increased more.

Bush I raised taxes first, then Clinton. Clinton admitted he raised them too much. But he had a GOP congress after 1994, which killed Hillarycare and imposed welfare reform and spending control. We also benefited from the tech boom and the "peace dividend." Revenues increased because of an expanding economy, not tax rate increases. There never was a true surplus, although nearly so at the end. But The tech boom collapsed and Clinton left Bush II a recession, followed by 9/11. Bush responded to the former by cutting taxes, but the GOP unfortunately played Dem-lite and let domestic spending continue to run wild.

So now liberals like fblade and ruk defend Obama to the hilt for wild spending and tax cuts, because recession made it necessary, at the same time they condemn Bush for having cut taxes during a recession. They condemn Bush and the GOP for spending too much, but in the next breath condemn them for not spending enough. Nothing partisan or demogogic to see here.

The bottom line, though, is that fblade can spin the chronology of 1980 to present all he wants, but the fact is as I said previously: a lower tax rate structure was accompanied by strong long-term growth of the economy AND tax revenue. So history proves the liberal dogma on taxes, revenue, and the economy false. The rest is quibbling about details.

I don't disagree at all with fblade's final prescription: decide what the government should really do, and then pay for it with the most distortion-free (and just) tax system. It should be doing and costing a lot less, and the tax system should be much flatter and fairer and simpler.

But that ain't the approach of liberalism. The default for liberalism is that no matter how much government interferes and spreads the wealth around, it can't be enough, because that is the life blood of liberal political power. And liberalism can never stop finding new ways to use the tax system to interfere and reengineer and "plan" the economy. Because liberals believe they can plan the economy and make it more just than free markets.

This battle is not going to end. There isn't common ground between big government and small government.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 20, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I find it amazing that Powell was on the CORRECT side of the Iraq War issue...while Bush, Cheney, Rummy and the rest were absolute buffoons on this issue yet look who the R's still defend.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 20, 2010 9:37 AM
.............

Powell was not on the correct side of the Iraq Invasion issue. Bush asked him if he was on board, and he said he was. He then went to the UN and put on that farcical WMD demonstration. Remember when the French tried to warn him, that the Intel was rubbish, and he got mad at them instead.

He also shredded his very own Powell Doctrine.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 20, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

The Koch strategy/coalition bit ought to be a heads-up. The next cycle will see corporate funding for campaigns/ads at a much greater level than even this cycle presently.

But the organizational initiatives the brochure notes are going to be very important too. Disruptions of townhalls, misinformation, vote suppression, fake "news" stories that smear... it is going to get worse, likely much worse.

One thing the left MUST do is to keep pointing at precisely these very powerful financial elites who are behind this propaganda. Not only is this framing helped by being precisely true but it also accurately frames the real nature of this fight - it is class warfare and it is about an authoritarian/plutocratic attempt to subvert democracy.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 20, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

@lmsinca Thanks for all your efforts. I wish I could be of more help with actblue...

Alas I'm making donation after donation to Alex Sink. The spectre of having R crook Rick Scott run our state is just too too frightening.

Speaking of Republican crooks and Florida.
We have a Hillsborough County Commissioner (Tampa) running for the State Senate. A judge has just tossed him off the ballot because he failed to disclose a half million dollar bribe...errr...gift from a wealthy Tampa developer who appeared before the very Commission his stooge Norman served. Now the R's have to make a decision....they get to name Norman's replacement...it could be Kevin Ambler another R crook who lost to Norman in the primary...OR NORMAN HIMSELF. Let's see if the R's are so upfront they actually endorse bribery!!!!!

http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/will-republicans-make-jim-norman-their-man-with-a-straight-face/1129080http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/will-republicans-make-jim-norman-their-man-with-a-straight-face/1129080

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 20, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse


1. The Democrats better not push too hard with accusations against the Chamber of Commerce.

This will open up a can of worms for the Dems and they will end up with egg on their progressive faces.

2. It's the economy, stupid! Usually this works to the Democratic Party's favor, but not this election cycle. Obama and the Dems have exascerbated the economic downturn by their disastrous programs. And the voters know it.

3. Sharon Angles has grandchildren who are half-Hispanic. She was taken out-of-context. But the Democrats can try and spin it.

4. O'Donnell was asking Coons where in the 1st Amendment does it say "separation of church and state." No where. It says "can establish no religion." Founders were referencing the Church of England as England's mandated religious entity.

What isn't being reported is that a few minutes later O'Donnell asked Coons to name the five freedoms in the 1st Amendment and he could only name one. Coons became flustered and asked the moderator to ask the questions.

My, oh my. Now who is it that doesn't know what's in the 1st Amendment?

5. Sestak leading? It depends on the polls and who is being polled.

6. In NC there are first hand reports where in the 7th District voters voted for Republican Pantano and the vote came up registered to Democrat McIntyre when the voter pressed the final button. People are urged to ask for paper ballots. Hmmmm, I wonder how those machines were rigged and how many across the state or country are having similar result?

7. Tea Party unwittingly aiding and abetting Plutocrats? There are thousands of individual Tea Party organizations around the country who are not aiding or abetting plutocrats or any other entity of that nature. The TP movement is a true grassroots movement who, for the most part, are independent of one another. The basic issues they agree on are fiscal restraint, limited nat'l government's powers to only those enumerated by the Constitution and weeding out candidates of both parties who have not adhered to those issues.

Posted by: janet8 | October 20, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Bernie,

Someone with technical know how, and the money to afford it, needs to set up a site where Whistle Blowers can send information, on where the Secret Big Donations are coming from.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 20, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the comment, rukidding.

I'd be for a small number of broad brackets with a total limit on taxes paid to about 1/3 of income. Progressive taxation isn't a bad thing. It simply acknowledges that a 20% tax on income hits those with a low income much more heavily than those with a high income.

Supporters of the flat tax implicitly acknowledge this as it isn't flat, but rather mildly progressive due to exemptions. It'd need to be around 25% to 30% because of this. In essence, it would reduce the marginal rates on high earners (roughly $200k+) and transfer the amounts owed to middle and upper middle class ($50k - $200k).

All of this is, of course, ignoring half the puzzle. Because I'm married to a freelancer, we pay the full FICA contributions and see the effect of the tax. We've paid some whopping bills come January 15. Those like 37thandTroll want to whine about individuals who don't pay income tax, ignoring that they pay an effective 14% rate due to FICA and another 5% - 10% due to excise and property taxes. The base rate of taxation is probably around 20% in the country.

Well, unless you're Warren Buffett.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 20, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Alaska GOP Senate candidate and Tea Partier Joe Miller, who is already under fire for breaking ethics rules while working as an attorney in 2008, had a rocky tenure at an earlier job at a top Anchorage law firm, his former supervisor tells Salon.

After graduating from Yale Law School in 1995, Miller moved to Anchorage to take a job as an associate at the firm then known as Condon Partnow & Sharrock. Attorney David Shoup was Miller's supervisor during the end of Miller's three-year tenure at the firm, and he tells Salon of Miller's departure: "We at this firm were not eager to have him stay, and so when he announced he was leaving, we were relieved."

http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/10/20/joe_miller_employment/index.html

Posted by: PaciolisRevenge | October 20, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

ruk, no problem, I certainly agree the Sink/Scott contest. It's unbelievable he's gotten this far, crook that he is. Fraud seems to be a way of life for some of these guys. I was reading an article re the Pharmaceutical industry this morning. Some of them are being sued by their own employees for forcing them to promote drugs for an FDA unapproved use that may have unintended consequences. They pay the fine and move on.

Posted by: lmsinca | October 20, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

janet8 pasted: "The TP movement is a true grassroots movement"

Sorry, ma'm, but the folks here are rather more educated on the matter.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 20, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

It's pathetic when a reactionary ideologue tries to define what HE considers his opposition. Just read the hyperbole...

"The default for liberalism is that no matter how much government interferes and spreads the wealth around, it can't be enough, because that is the life blood of liberal political power. And liberalism can never stop finding new ways to use the tax system to interfere and reengineer and "plan" the economy. Because liberals believe they can plan the economy and make it more just than free markets."

I'm not sure who died and left Q.B. to define liberalism from on high...what a total crock of hyperbole. Q.B. you're pathetic and there is no discussion with you because you come from such crackpot positions. All this in response to raising the NOMINAL tax rate 3% on the top 2%. Way to go Q.B. always stick up for those who are most powerful and least need your support. Your posts reflect a sick greedy miserable human being!!! That last statement about your character or should I say lack of character was no more hyperbolic that YOUR definition of what it means to be liberal. Q.B. will never be satisfied until the rich possess ALL the wealth.
FACT: Wealth distribution has not been this concentrated among the wealthy since 1929 and the trend is for even greater concentration. What is Q.B.'s solution...MORE GREED!

You asked a question Q.B. now our turn.

Name ONE SINGLE time you've advocated ANY policy that had even a scintilla of compassion. Let me guess you go to church every Sunday and pray, all the while ignoring the teachings of Christ.

Put up Q.B. what is your solution to helping the middle class or the poor...we already know you want the rich to get richer. But you are a Republican and so that explains everything.

REPUBLICAN=HYPOCRITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 20, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Obviously, the WP memo on staff responding to reader/user comments is going to gain some attention today. I'll leave it for now as I need to get my head around the issues.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 20, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

anet8 pasted: "The TP movement is a true grassroots movement"

Sorry, ma'm, but the folks here are rather more educated on the matter.

Posted by: bernielatham | October 20, 2010 10:03 AM

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

A grassroots movement that has had tons of artificial fertilizer spread on it.

Koch Industries Miracle Grow, can jump start your grassroots too.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 20, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

@Liam....I grant your point that Powell certainly didn't have the courage of his convictions. But by all accounts he was the solitary member of Bush's cabinet who kept trying to reign in the warmongers. He did eventually resign.

However I accept your point that it would have been more noble had he resigned BEFORE the runup to War and gone very public with his feelings.

Alas I have to also accept that Ike waited until his final day in office to deliver his now famous warning about the M.I.C. It would have been nice if Ike has used his popularity to take on war complex a little sooner.

But this is a common shortcoming amongst politicians of both parties and even my favorite President of all time Lincoln did some unsavory things while in office.

But I accept your point Liam and will stand corrected.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 20, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

"Q.B. Are you serious? You want us to answer one of your questions. Why should we do that. You never engage seriously."

I don't care whether you answer. I just asked. Serious engagement is something I've never seen you do.

"I took the time a couple evenings ago to present why I consider myself a fiscally responsible progressive. You simply derided any attempt at cutting defense expenditures as being irrelevant because all the money is in entitlements. Why bother with you, you are unable to engage thoughtfully."

What you did was descend into your usual strident name calling, and assert that the budget should be balanced by cutting defense, because "that's where the money is." All I did was point out that this is utterly incorrect as a factual matter, because the entire defense budget is only half of the deficit. You used an ingenious statistic to say that defense is something like 30% of all tax revenue (horrors!) while conveniently overlooking that non-defense is on the order of 130% of revenue. And for my pointing this out you again melted down into name calling.

So spare us the sermon.

"How about the NOMINAL tax rates that existed under Clinton. That would be a whopping 3% increase in the marginal rates of the top 2% in our country. It would represent less than HALF the rate during the Republican administration of Eisenhower when the economy fared fine thank you."

So you don't want to give a straight answer. Fine. I can see why.

"Why argue over NOMINAL rates when the wealthy have all manner of tax attorneys to dodge paying anyway. But then you're an attorney Q.B. and so you probably like that.'

I favor a much simpler and flatter system. The kinds of complexities you decry are generally products of liberalism, which loves to use the tax code to engineer society and the economy.

You seem to be obsessed with Rick Scott's taxes. I'm not going to bother becoming an expert on his taxes, but, generally speaking, you are talking about his gross income. He apparently uses the same deductions and tax reduction strategies available to everyone. Sorry that outrages you. I happen not to make a habit of wallowing in envy and resentment.

What you can't argue with is that "the wealthy" pay an immensely outsized proportion of the taxes. No matter out disproportionate it was, it obviously wouldn't suit you, but the objective facts are that it is wildly disproportionate, and almost half the country doesn't pay any income tax at all.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 20, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

As usual, the Republican Tea Party is the first to defend Christian Sharia Law in the USA. The utter disregard for the historical meaning of the Establishment Clause is par for the course for the Christian Fundamentalist Taliban in America.
______________

Ethan,
What liberals (at least generally) and specifically the author of the article Greg linked to ignore from history is the context of why the seperation language was put into the constitution. We had just broken away from a country where the King of England was also the head of the Church of England. What many people take the first amendment to mean is that the US Government will not establish a regligion, nor can the President be the head of an organized religion. Laurie Gaylor's wacky group and their claims aside, there is ample proof that our laws are derived from religious law. The 10 commandments are the basis for our legal system.
Ignoring the historical facts of the importance of religion in the formation of our country is silly. And trying to pretend that the founders meant that government and those in it needed to build and absolute wall between the two is just ignorant of history.

Posted by: Bailers | October 20, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

"I'm not sure who died and left Q.B. to define liberalism from on high...what a total crock of hyperbole. Q.B. you're pathetic and there is no discussion with you because you come from such crackpot positions."

This, coming on a blog where ruk and his friends on a daily basis smear conservatives as fascist plutocrats and all the other epithets I was again just reading this morning. Really, I couldn't make up such comedy hypocrisy if I tried.

"All this in response to raising the NOMINAL tax rate 3% on the top 2%."

No, it wasn't in response to that; our comments crossed in the ether. That was just my general assessment of liberalism. I note that you don't have much of an argument against it. Just another strident expression of outrage.

Ever notice who does all the yelling and screaming here, ruk?

"Put up Q.B. what is your solution to helping the middle class or the poor...we already know you want the rich to get richer. But you are a Republican and so that explains everything."

Well, since you have already read my every thought and know the darkness of my wicked heart, there doesn't appear to be any question for me to answer. Besides, you didn't answer mine anyway. Not that I care, mind you, because I did find out what I wanted to know.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 20, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

But this is a common shortcoming amongst politicians of both parties and even my favorite President of all time Lincoln did some unsavory things while in office.

But I accept your point Liam and will stand corrected.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 20, 2010 10:12 AM |
....................

Cyrus Vance did the honorable thing and resigned, because he did not agree with Carter's absurd plan to land a small helicopter force in the Iranian desert, and then head into Tehran to rescue the hostages.

The current Iranian Theocracy can be laid right at Ike's feet. He was the one who sent in the Marines to over throw the elected government, and install the Shah, just because the Brits wanted to get their hands back on the Iranian Oil. He also used the CIA, to foment protests, so that he could have a lame excuse for deposing the government. The Brits had previously tried to get Truman to do it, but he turned them down flat.


Posted by: Liam-still | October 20, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

LOL!!!

From: Raju Narisetti
Sent: 10/15/2010 12:25 PM EDT
To: NEWS - All Newsroom@WashPostMain
Subject: Responding to readers via social media

This week, some Post staffers responded to outside critics via our main
Twitter account. At issue was a controversial piece we'd published online.
The intent in replying was to defend the decision to publish the piece, but
it was misguided both in describing our rationale for publishing the piece
and as a matter of practice. It shouldn't have been sent.

Even as we encourage everyone in the newsroom to embrace social media and relevant tools, it is absolutely vital to remember that the purpose of these Post branded accounts is to use them as a platform to promote news, bring in user generated content and increase audience engagement with Post content. No branded Post accounts should be used to answer critics and speak on behalf of the Post, just as you should follow our normal journalistic guidelines in not using your personal social media accounts to speak on behalf of the Post.

Perhaps it would be useful to think of the issue this way: when we write a
story, our readers are free to respond and we provide them a venue to do
so. We sometimes engage them in a private verbal conversation, but once
we enter a debate personally through social media, this would be equivalent to allowing a reader to write a letter to the editor--and then publishing a rebuttal by the reporter. It's something we don't do.

Please feel free to flag Marcus, Liz and me when you see something out
there that you think deserves a response from the Post. As we routinely do, we will work with Kris Coratti [Director, Communications] and her team to respond when appropriate.

Raju

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 20, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

There's a significant story the Brit press is taking up today and the very deep cuts there that the new PM is drawing up. I'll let Yglesias fill you in, if you're interested...
http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/10/no-more-large-scale-long-range-deployment-for-the-new-united-kingdom/

Posted by: bernielatham | October 20, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

"Calculations by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and other independent fiscal experts show that the $1.1 trillion cost over the next 10 years of the Medicare prescription drug program, which the Republican-controlled Congress adopted in 2003, by itself would add more to the deficit than the combined costs of the bailout, the stimulus and the health care law." And here's Bloomberg: The TARP bailout "provided taxpayers with higher returns than they could have made buying 30-year Treasury bonds -- enough money to fund the Securities and Exchange Commission for the next two decades. The government has earned $25.2 billion on its investment of $309 billion in banks and insurance companies, an 8.2 percent return over two years."

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2010/10/20/5321876-first-thoughts-category-4-at-least

Posted by: PaciolisRevenge | October 20, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

"All of this is, of course, ignoring half the puzzle. Because I'm married to a freelancer, we pay the full FICA contributions and see the effect of the tax. We've paid some whopping bills come January 15. Those like 37thandTroll want to whine about individuals who don't pay income tax, ignoring that they pay an effective 14% rate due to FICA and another 5% - 10% due to excise and property taxes. The base rate of taxation is probably around 20% in the country."

A tax system in which nearly half of income earners pay no income tax may sound good, but, in addition to any arguments about fairness, it creates a very dangerous political dynamic. And it seems apparent that this dynamic is precisely what it many of its supporters seek -- when I can bribe half the populace with living off the other half, I can have perpetual power. Until I have killed the goose that lays the golden eggs too dead.

I am well aware of FICA and every other tax out there. I am self employed (actually, my partnership pays taxes, and then I am socked with taxes of every kind on what is left for me). It is chilling and astounding to calculate how much of our gross income is taken.

But FICA isn't supposed to be income tax, and most people who pay it likely will get back much more than they paid in (barring collapse, which is likely).

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 20, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

bernielatham wrote:

Janet8 pasted: "The TP movement is a true grassroots movement"

Sorry, ma'm, but the folks here are rather more educated on the matter.

-----------------------------

Evidently not.


Posted by: janet8 | October 20, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Bernie,

I just read a report on those British Cuts, in The Irish Times.

"Osborne unveils £83 billion in public spending cutbacks"

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/1020/breaking4.html

"The Liberal Democrats, the junior coalition partners, have seen their support plummet in most polls as they have become party to policies they did not support before May's election."

Posted by: Liam-still | October 20, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

All, new Adam Serwer post: "Obama's Prop 8?"

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/10/obamas_prop_8.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 20, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

@ FBlade...Excellent point about FICA.
My wife is a dentist and I serve as her business manager and do payroll weekly. We have a couple of employees who pay more in FICA than Income Withholding.

This is what amazes me...in terms of compassion or lack of generosity. I've posted a link and can come up with many more showing 2/3 of our Corporations paid ZERO...ZERO taxes on 2.5 TRILLION in income. Yet who do Leaf/37th whatever he's calling himself today..and Q.B. worry about...the individuals paying no income tax.

Let's look and see how that can be. Let's say a person gets a job and earns DOUBLE...YES DOUBLE the minimum wage. Think now...that person earns TWICE what we in America have determined is the minimum value for folks who are laboring.
That means he/she earns $600/week. Say they are married with a child. Two deductions. Rent for a single BR in my area is $600..2BR $750. And so a week and half of his pay go to rent...food?...there is NO WAY to afford medical insurance so perhaps they get some help through medicaid...well you get the drift.

Because this person...who may be busting their butt in backbreaking work taking care of Rick Scott's yard...or his car..whatever...because they are not gifted intellectually...remember they are not lazy...just not gifted intellectually...what? Sc*w them. Pick on them because they do not pay income tax...even though as F.B. mentions they are still stuck with FICA. Rick Scott..and I use him because his tax returns have been made public..but he represents many wealthy people..is smart enough...and in his case IMMORAL enough to earn 10 million he uses an attorney like Q.B. to pay 15% of his gross earnings...and his FICA represents .000765% of his income while the working stiff is paying as FBlade pointed out 7.65%
...well I'm sorry the more I type the more amazed I am by the incredibly SELFISH viewpoint of folks like Q.B. and 37th..
2/3 of Corporations paid NO TAXES on 2.5 TRILLION of income...yet these pathetic hateful losers are worried about people who earn so little they can't pay more than the 7.65% the Gov't takes off the top in FICA. These people literally blow my mind. When did America become so stupid...and so mind numblingly SELFISH?

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 20, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

There's a significant story the Brit press is taking up today and the very deep cuts there that the new PM is drawing up. I'll let Yglesias fill you in, if you're interested...
http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/10/no-more-large-scale-long-range-deployment-for-the-new-united-kingdom/

Posted by: bernielatham
____________________________

It's not much of a surprise. Most of Europe already made these kinds of cuts after the fall of the Soviet Union and the reunification of Germany. I guess I am surprised that it took this long.

Posted by: Bailers | October 20, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of uneducated, janet, above you claimed that the sole issue in the Delaware debate was O'Donnell's correct claim that the term "separation of church and state" does not appear in the constitution.

If you were smart, or even if you watched the portion in question, you would realize that this was not the end of it. Coons followed up by quoting the non-establishment clause, with O'Donnell questioning "that's in the first amendment?" And yes, it is.

So who are we to believe, janet, you - or our lyin' eyes and ears? We've all seen the clip; we know what was said. And yet here you are trying to claim it didn't happen.

This is why it's impossible to have a reasonable discussion with people like you, janet. Because you can look and listen to the same thing the rest of us have seen and heard, and claim that things that were said weren't said, or things that weren't said were said.

Making up your own reality might make you feel good, but it doesn't make you smarter than anyone else - it simply makes you delusional. It doesn't solve anything. You can't solve a problem if you're unwilling to acknowledge that one exists or if you choose to ignore the pertinent facts in need of consideration in order to solve it.

Posted by: JennOfArk | October 20, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Carter's Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance, did resign but only because he was not informed of the decision to use force beforehand -- most importantly Vance did NOT comment publically and even waited to announce his resignation until after the first rescue was attempted -- while he was prepared to accept the necessity of resigning, he was not prepared to torpedo the President's action.

http://www.shafr.org/newsletter/2002/dec/vance.htm

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 20, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

The Ginni Thomas stuff is BIZARRE:

Now, Virginia Thomas, the justice's wife, has rekindled the controversy by leaving a voice mail message at Hill's Brandeis University office seeking an apology.

"Good morning Anita Hill, it's Ginni Thomas," said the message left this month, according to a transcript provided by ABC News. "I just want to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometimes and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband."

"I certainly thought the call was inappropriate," Hill, who worked for Clarence Thomas at the Department of Education and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions, said in a statement released by Brandeis, where she is a professor.

"I have no intention of apologizing because I testified truthfully about my experience and I stand by that testimony," she added.

[...]

In her Senate testimony, Hill said that Thomas would make sexual comments to her at work, including references to scenes in hard-core pornographic films. Thomas angrily denied the allegations, memorably saying they amounted to a "high-tech lynching."

But Lillian McEwen, a former Senate Judiciary Committee lawyer who said she dated Clarence Thomas from 1979 through the mid-1980s, told The Washington Post in an interview that Hill's long-ago description of Thomas's behavior resonated with her.

"The Clarence I know was certainly capable not only of doing the things that Anita Hill said he did, but it would be totally consistent with the way he lived his personal life then," said McEwen, who is writing her own memoir but has never before publicly discussed her relationship with Clarence Thomas.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/19/AR2010101907062.html

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 20, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

That means he/she earns $600/week. Say they are married with a child. Two deductions. Rent for a single BR in my area is $600..2BR $750. And so a week and half of his pay go to rent...food?...there is NO WAY to afford medical insurance so perhaps they get some help through medicaid...well you get the drift.
__________________

RUK,
I know someone like this. They are not lazy, or stupid, but have had bad luck in their life. But the problem with the current system isn't just that corporations pay nothing in tax. The person who makes $31,000 a year is close to the cutoff where they also get nothing in government assistance. We now have a perverse system where people are in many cases better off earning nothing and getting SS, WIC, healthcare, housing, etc. But the person who is trying to do the right thing and work is almost being punished for being productive.
I agree with some of your complaints. It is selfish of individuals and corporations, to a point, to complain about taxes when clearly they can afford it. The guy from the University of Chicago is a good example. Where you and I would disagree is to what extent the government (and by extension, the two of us) are responsible for supporting others in this country. My belief is that I would rather support a family through a donation to United Way or Habitat for Humanity than more government taxes.

Posted by: Bailers | October 20, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

ruk:

"Too bad you weren't here to give us an HONEST perspective from the right."

Right. Because the points that Skip made yesterday were obviously dishonest when I (and qb) were making them last year.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 20, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

A tax system in which nearly half of income earners pay no income tax may sound good, but, in addition to any arguments about fairness, it creates a very dangerous political dynamic.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 20, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

--

Exactly so. As long as you define the debate as HALF THE POPULATION DOESN'T PAY income TAXES, it's easy to win. You also totally ignored excise and property taxes, which hit low earners much harder than high earners.

There seems to be a rule of thumb. Taxes paid by high earners (capital gains, progressive income) are BAD. Taxes paid by low earners (flat tax, excise tax, fees) are GOOD. Cover it up with as much sophistry as you like.

Note to ruk: QB just learned the rules from Rush. It's pretty easy to attack a straw man.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 20, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

"What liberals (at least generally) and specifically the author of the article Greg linked to ignore from history is the context of why the seperation language was put into the constitution"

In other words, shorter Bailers:

Screw the Constitution, screw the separation of church and state, insert Christian Sharia Law.

Thanks for clarifying that you are an extremist bent on destroying America as we've known it since the country's founding.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 20, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Since his wife is heavily involved in Partisan Right Wing Politics, Justice Thomas should have not participated in the Citizens United case.

His wife is also actively campaigning to overturn Roe V. Wade, so Thomas must not be allowed to participate in any reproductive rights cases either. If he does not recuse himself, he must be impeached and removed from the bench.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 20, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

There is nothing that Jake The Snake will not lie about.

"Finally, when Carter ordered a secret military rescue - Operation Eagle Claw - Vance resigned in opposition after the rescue attempt failed. Vance had doubts that the rescue would work and thought it would undermine diplomacy, but he waited to announce his resignation until after the first rescue was attempted. The second rescue was planned but never carried out."

Posted by: Liam-still | October 20, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

David Dayen has a pretty good round up of this week's events so far in the securitization/underwriting/foreclosure/fraud "technical snafu" news.

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

"Moreover, the overriding question that goes beyond robo-signers or document fraud – whether the servicers have possession of the mortgage note and standing to foreclose – has come to the surface. This could be a focus of the 50 state AG investigation. And it already looms large in courtroom proceedings. Just take a look at this case in New York, just decided Monday, where the lender failed to establish that it had standing to bring the foreclosure.

The standing issue is much bigger because it goes to the flaws in both the underwriting and securitization of the mortgage loans, which investors have used to charge that the banks improperly violated the pooling and servicing agreements and now should take back the toxic mortgages. This is what big institutional players like the NY Fed, as well as major investment bond funds Pimco and BlackRock, argued yesterday, calling on BofA to take back $47 billion dollars in Countrywide loans. What’s more, the dam has broken on the put-back surge, as bottom feeders in the market sense weakness."

He comes to a pretty scathing conclusion.

"I don’t teach at Georgia State or anything, but I know enough to see that the banks caused the housing bubble, caused the over-speculation and securitization on Wall Street, sought relief in the bailout, never fundamentally changed their business, gave bonuses to everyone on the payroll, resisted lending because they wanted to keep reserve funds for future self-generated crises and basically ruined the entire housing market with unethical and downright criminal practices. The problem with the economy is the banks, at this point."

http://news.firedoglake.com/2010/10/20/mega-banks-confidence-in-shutting-down-foreclosure-fraud-scandal-undermined-by-reality/

Posted by: lmsinca | October 20, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Good luck impeaching Justice Thomas (since we'll be holding impeachment hearings on "President" Obama instead ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 20, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

"These people literally blow my mind. When did America become so stupid...and so mind numblingly SELFISH?"

If you'd stop and try to manage a rational thought or two every now and then, you might not blow a gasket every minute or two.

Corporate income taxes are paid on profits. Do you know how many make profits? And what is the rationale for corporate income taxes in the first place? Really, not some glib answer, but what is the rationale? If you want shareholders to pay income taxes on dividends, which I assume you do, why the double taxation?

"Pick on them because they do not pay income tax...even though as F.B. mentions they are still stuck with FICA."

It has nothing to do with picking on anyone. It has to do with (a) the pernicious nature of a political system that excludes half the income earners from income taxes, and (b) the falsity of your portrayal of the tax system as favoring the rich.

FICA is the core of the liberal welfare state. Right? The system of funding and benefits was designed by liberals, the greatest of compassionate humanitarians, as the great expression of liberalism. And it has always been defended as being separate from the income tax system.

So the only thing that is mind boggling is the double mindedness of liberals who claim it is outrageously unjust or use it as an excuse for the lopsided income tax system.

"and in his case IMMORAL enough to earn 10 million he uses an attorney like Q.B. to pay 15% of his gross earnings"

So now it is immoral to earn investment income. Brilliant.

But, no, he wouldn't use an attorney, least of all one like me, to reduce his taxable income. That's all done by accountants, according to the complex tax code primarily created by Democrats over the past 80 years.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 20, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Chief Justice Roberts is also too compromised, by his wife's activities, to be allowed to participate in any future Reproductive Rights cases.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 20, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

A tax system in which nearly half of income earners pay no income tax may sound good, but, in addition to any arguments about fairness, it creates a very dangerous political dynamic.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 20, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

And so the solution is to continue down our present path where the income becomes increasingly concentrated in the hands of the wealthy?

You make my very point Q.B. I'm not for some "central committee" directing our economy. I am FOR tax and regulatory policies that encourage a vibrant middle class. Again the middle class grew from post WWII until the late 1970's and began to shrink from 1980 on. This is an undeniable economic FACT!!!!

Perhaps if we hadn't starting shifting the wealth distribution so dramatically through tax policy and lax financial regs the bottom half would actually have enough money to pay taxes.

I do agree Q.B. that "A tax system in which nearly half of income earners pay no income tax creates a very dangerous political dynamic."

So while I advocate tax policies opposite of Bush and his cronies(80% of the Bush tax cuts went to the wealthiest in our society...those who needed it least)but rather similar to those when our society WAS creating a growing middle class...YOUR solution is to embrace tax policies that have concentrated our wealth and shrunk our middle class. You are concerned with the top 2% getting their share...I am concerned with the MAJORITY of my American neighbors!

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 20, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Screw the Constitution, screw the separation of church and state, insert Christian Sharia Law.

Thanks for clarifying that you are an extremist bent on destroying America as we've known it since the country's founding.

Posted by: Ethan2010
_________________________

I never thought it was possible to so misread what I had written. Thank you for correcting me.

I do not think that there should be collaberation between church and state. But to say that church doesn't play a role doesn't make sense either. No, I don't want "Christian Sharia Law". I don't say screw the constitution either. But there has to be a balance where we can admit that the purpose of Government and church intersect in their underlying purpose which is to improve the lives of everyone in this country.

I'd be curious to see what laws you think I would support that would install a defacto Church led government or legal system.

Posted by: Bailers | October 20, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

As for the statutory basis for recusal [28 U.S.C. sec. 455(a)], which provides that any judge “shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” Justice Scalia issued a twenty-one page memo covering the subject, back when the Sierra Club’s filed a motion that he recuse himself because he spent two days in Louisiana hunting ducks with a party that included Cheney. Scalia also refers to two instances in which Justices did not recuse themselves from cases in which high government officials with whom they had close social contacts had a significant concern. As Scalia points out, Byron White did not recuse himself from two 1963 deportation cases in which Attorney General Robert Kennedy was a party or from a major 1963 reapportionment case, Gray v. Sanders, even though White had gone on a Colorado skiing vacation with Kennedy early in 1963.

Bottom line, other non-Supreme Court judges can recuse themselves at will, knowing that some other judge will take up the slack. That's how the system is designed. Supreme Court Justices have to carefully weigh that decision becuase they are the court of last resort.

P.S. (I, of course, am not the one "lying" about anything ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 20, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

"But there has to be a balance where we can admit that the purpose of Government and church intersect in their underlying purpose which is to improve the lives of everyone in this country."

There IS a balance.

It's called the SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE.

THAT is the balance.

Christian fundamentalist Taliban want to upend that balance, that has allowed free society to flourish over our hundreds of years of American history, and turn this country into a Christian theocracy under the thumb of Christian Sharia Law.

No way. No how. Forget it.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 20, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

"Exactly so. As long as you define the debate as HALF THE POPULATION DOESN'T PAY income TAXES, it's easy to win. You also totally ignored excise and property taxes, which hit low earners much harder than high earners.

There seems to be a rule of thumb. Taxes paid by high earners (capital gains, progressive income) are BAD. Taxes paid by low earners (flat tax, excise tax, fees) are GOOD. Cover it up with as much sophistry as you like."

Your intellectual honesty sure lasted a long time.

I suppose you'll have to lay out the ground rules for everyone about when it is OKAY and when it isn't to discuss income taxes without discussing all other forms of taxes. That will certainly make for meaningful policy discussions.

"Note to ruk: QB just learned the rules from Rush. It's pretty easy to attack a straw man."

I doubt I've ever learned anything from Rush. I was a conservative long before anyone heard of him and long before I ever paid more than the lowest tax rate.

But at least we've now seen your true colors. Just another rukidding clone without the diarrhetic caps and punctuation.


Posted by: quarterback1 | October 20, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

The GOP Mission Statement.

Trillions For Billionaires.

Nothing For The Poor.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 20, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Jim Brady(R) candidate for Ill. Governor. Is a millionaire, who gets paid 75K as a part time state rep. He has voted for several state bills, that benefited his own business. For the past two years, he has paid no federal income taxes, but he is a big backer of a strong military. Just not enough to contribute to paying for it.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 20, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Scott:

"Right. Because the points that Skip made yesterday were obviously dishonest when I (and qb) were making them last year."

Ha. This is quite a pattern, isn't it. Skip will have his short morning in the sun, but will fall out of favor when ruk sadly finds he is conservative after all. Can't have that. Skip will have to admit he is a heartless moron and idiot or face the wrath.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 20, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

quartback1:

FairlingtonBlade is WORSE than the others because he tries so hard to pretend he is reasonable.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 20, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

@Bailers..."My belief is that I would rather support a family through a donation to United Way or Habitat for Humanity than more government taxes."

I accept your point in theory but the reality is we have created a tax code and an economic system where money is power and so the system continually tilts in favor of the wealthy. I do also accept your point about "cutoffs" for assistance. Some of them do end up with perverse incentives.

Again...contrary to Q.B.'s claims about "liberals" and "progressives"...I am not some wild eyed radical out to turn our nation into a socialist democracy. However I do not worship at the altar of free enterprise either. Any rational person can look at both systems and see their positives and their excesses. In their "purest" forms BOTH have real problems.

Again...I'm simply advocating balancing the budget by taking on the M.I.C. and the huge bloated defense budget. Thanks to two unbudgeted wars defense now consumes 50 cents of every dollar. Iraq was obviously a huge TRILLION + $ blunder..and Afghanistan continues to waste money and lives and NEITHER have made us one bit safer. We spend more on defense than the rest of the world combined...The Chinese are kicking our butts economically (where real world power will be decided in the future) because they spend a tenth of what we spend on defense.

Then look at the entitlements. I'm not opposed to means testing them for savings.
I'm certainly for spending a proper amount to investigate scum like Rick Scott who bilked taxpayers out of billions of $ with Medicare/Medicaid fraud.

Simply yelling shrink the Gov't is not effective IMHO. Let's improve the Gov't, root out the waste and re prioritize our spending.

I'm not even talking about SOAKING the rich...but how about getting them to pay what they paid back in the 50's and 60's.
Were the wealthy so downtrodden back then?

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 20, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

RUK,

QB just baits you with his pseudo-intellectual babble, but his main goal is to cast aspersions on your character.

He is cold, evil, and mean-spirited and that's pretty much the bottom line. His anti-intellectual spew is more a cover for his personal attacks on us than it is a coherent, rational position.

Best to just ignore him at all costs and instead keep posting great info about good Dem campaigns like Sink's in FL. She's doing great and I'm so glad you are there on the ground giving her your support. Keep up the good work, but don't let the village idiots drag you into a food fight!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 20, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

@bailers

"But there has to be a balance where we can admit that the purpose of Government and church intersect in their underlying purpose"

No snark or disrespect intended here...WHICH church's underlying purpose are you referring to here? Perhaps the Scientologists? Muslims? Jews? Christians because they are in the majority? Where do Secular Humanists, Atheists, or Deists like myself fit in? How about Buddhists, Daoists...which religion gets precedence?

That's why we have the First Amendment.
Christians are obviously in the majority and exert tremendous influence. Isn't it enough to simply have the largest number of houses of worship...several TV networks like CBN...multiple syndicated shows like Joel Osteen....WHY do we even have to mention ANY religion when it comes to campaigns and politics? Certainly this was not something the Founding Fathers appreciated.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 20, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Check this out

-GOP's Medicare Part D Has a Bigger Impact on Deficit than TARP, Stimulus, HCR COMBINED-

Calculations by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and other independent fiscal experts show that the $1.1 trillion cost over the next 10 years of the Medicare prescription drug program, which the Republican-controlled Congress adopted in 2003, by itself would add more to the deficit than the combined costs of the bailout, the stimulus and the health care law.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/20/us/politics/20spend.html

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 20, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Did you know that the founding fathers wanted to create a set of laws that would "comport" with Clawrence's(AKA JakeD2) religious beliefs.

Every law they contemplated establishing, they first put through the: Hey will it "comport" with Clawrence's religious beliefs, test. He was the founding fathers' Mikey.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 20, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

qb:

"This is quite a pattern, isn't it."

Just as sure as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 20, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

@Ethan...."but don't let the village idiots drag you into a food fight!"

Great advice indeed. Don't know if you caught a chance to see my earlier post on our economic recovery.

I'm conflicted about how Obama's team handled this. They were damned if they did and damned if they didn't in terms of the face they presented. If they had told the absolute truth during a time of crisis they may have been perceived as negative.
However in trying to be positive to buck up the nation during very dark times indeed I'm afraid they raised artificial expectation. The R's have certainly beaten them over the head with the 8% UE figures.

My wife has a great saying however....It will work out in the end...it always does.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 20, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

"Calculations by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and other independent fiscal experts show that the $1.1 trillion cost over the next 10 years of the Medicare prescription drug program, which the Republican-controlled Congress adopted in 2003, by itself would add more to the deficit than the combined costs of the bailout, the stimulus and the health care law."

Are you suggesting that the Medicare prescription drug benefit be eliminated?


Posted by: NoVAHockey | October 20, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

RUK,

For you! Spread it around! Damning video of Rick Scott being deposed!

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/content/watch-rick-scott-get-deposed

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 20, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

"Are you suggesting that the Medicare prescription drug benefit be eliminated?"

Medicare, Medicaid, the VA, and our grotesque and broken for-profit health care system should all be eliminated and replaced with single-payer health care for all Americans.

The Republican Medicare Part D drug benefit is a perfect example -- just one of many -- of Republican Tea Party hypocrisy on the deficit.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 20, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

"single-payer health care for all Americans"

Single payer, meaning the gov employees all the docs, nurses and owns the facilities ... or single payer, Medicare-for-all type program where the gov just pays the bills in a fee-for-service style arrangement?

Posted by: NoVAHockey | October 20, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Single payer option, where people can opt to join or not. Much like Medicare operates. The gov. does not employ the Medical personnel or own any hospitals. That is what was being proposed, while the reform bill was being shaped.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 20, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

"I'm not even talking about SOAKING the rich...but how about getting them to pay what they paid back in the 50's and 60's."

LOL, no soaking the rich, I just want the top rate to be 90%!

How is that soakng anyone!!!!!?????

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 20, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade is WORSE than the others because he tries so hard to pretend he is reasonable.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 20, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

---

He shoots, he score!

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 20, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Be like Jake The Snake. Just try harder to always be completely unreasonable, like he does.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 20, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

"That is what was being proposed, while the reform bill was being shaped."

Got it -- the plan that Obama opted not to endorse.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | October 20, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan Thanks for the Scott link.

The entire state is beginning to rise up against Scott...except of course for the teatards.

Virtually EVERY major newspaper in the state has come out in support of Sink. Folks here in St. Pete who love Scott like to suggest it's because the Times is a liberal newspaper...fair enough...but across the bay the Tampa Tribune is to the right of Q.B. and Scott and they too have endorsed Sink...the Jacksonville and Orlando papers also normally endorse the conservatives and they too have come out for Sink!

My wife attended a dental convention two weeks ago in Orlando. The dental crowd is incredibly conservative...they like Palin for heaven's sake...but when asked about Scott they said are you kidding? Elect a crook to the Governors mansion. NO!!!!

And so it's left to the teatards who suffer from Obama derangement syndrome to push the crook over the top. Many of Scott's ads talk about Obama...although Obama is not running for Governor of Florida...and the Governor should be concerned about State policy without obsessing so much on the Feds.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 20, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

@NoVaHockey "Single payer, meaning the gov employees all the docs, nurses and owns the facilities ... "

This is a huge part of the problem. Many of you who weigh in on HCR don't even know what you're talking about. What you've described is called Socialized Medicine..BY DEFINTION.
Single payer would resemble Medicare for all.
Resemble is the key word however since Medicare doesn't cover everything and every person I know, admittedly all middle class and not poor, have to purchase additional supplemental insurance.

BTW WE have Socialized Medicine in this country already...it's called the V.A. and gets the highest marks of our three systems.

Knowing Ethan as I do I suspect he means some form of Medicare for all, not a socialized system like the V.A.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 20, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

"That is what was being proposed, while the reform bill was being shaped."

Got it -- the plan that Obama opted not to endorse.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | October 20, 2010 12:09 PM
...............

So you already knew about it, but you had to ask the question anyway. Imbecile.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 20, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

"So you already knew about it, but you had to ask the question anyway. Imbecile."

I knew what the plan was, not what the other poster was proposing/suggesting -- and I asked for clarification. As RUK notes, there are a couple of definitions out there on what single payer actually means.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | October 20, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

"Knowing Ethan as I do I suspect he means some form of Medicare for all, not a socialized system like the V.A."

Actually, I would prefer a totally socialized system, but given the economic repercussions of transitioning to such a system, it's far more likely that a medicare-for-all buy-in will be the way to go.

@RUK: "Elect a crook to the Governors mansion. NO!!!!"

Yeah, only the most delusional idiot would support Rick Scott. It's nice to see how many in FL are rejecting him. I think the movement against him, while right in the pocket of the Democratic Party, is really coming from Independents. Their rejection of Scott adds legitimacy to Democratic opposition (which might otherwise be perceived as solely political in nature)... But the relentless denial of reality by Scott in the depositions is, or should be, totally damning for pretty much anyone who isn't a radical right ideologue.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 20, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Christian fundamentalist Taliban want to upend that balance, that has allowed free society to flourish over our hundreds of years of American history, and turn this country into a Christian theocracy under the thumb of Christian Sharia Law.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 20, 2010
-------

Another in the long line of lies that Ethan assures he never tells.

Posted by: Brigade | October 20, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

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