Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 5:39 PM ET, 12/15/2010

Happy Hour Roundup

By Greg Sargent

* Breaking: The House just passed a stand-alone bill repealing don't ask don't tell, 250-175. This ratchets up pressure on Harry Reid to hold a vote on the bill in the Senate. Simply put, the Senate now has the option of deciding whether to send it to President Obama for his signature. Hard to say No to that.

What's more, the stand-alone repeal bill has a better shot at passing the Senate than the defense authorization bill containing repeal that the GOP successfully blocked, for the reasons I laid out right here.

I don't see how Reid could possibly pass up this opportunity. But as Jonathan Capehart notes, Reid has been overly reticent on whether this vote is going to happen. And if it doesn't, DADT repeal will be dead for a good long time.

* Indeed, In a triumphant Tweet, outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi gives Reid a hard push: "time for Senate to act!"

Outstanding questions: How hard will the White House press Reid to hold this vote? Will Obama work GOP moderates behind the scenes? And will Reid resolve the remaining procedural issues in a way that removes the final pretext GOP moderates have for opposing the bill? Prediction: Gay rights groups and leading commentators on the left will expect Reid to make this happen, and will be very reluctant to tolerate any efforts to blame Republican obstructionism if it fails.

* The White House pushed back very hard today on Jim DeMint's demand for a full reading of New START and more Senate debate on it, pointing out that the Senator missed seven of 12 foreign relations hearings on the topic.

* Which prompted the Tweet of the day, from Harry Reid spokesman Jim Manley: "No wonder he needs to have it read to him."

* An unexpected moment of candor from DeMint: "What I'm trying to do is help run out the clock."

* Ezra Klein has a useful primer on the estate tax, the provision that will dominate the final debate today and tomorrow over the obama tax deal.

* You'll be startled to hear that top brass at Fox news appear to have ordered reporters to couple any mention of climate change with climate "skepticism."

* Stephen Stromberg wonders if he would be allowed to utter this simple phrase on the network: "The world is currently warming."

* The four Republicans on the commission investigating the root causes of the financial crisis all reportedly pushed to ban the phrase "Wall Street and "shadow banking" and the term "deregulation" from the commission's final report.

* Which prompts this observation from Paul Krugman:

The right has always understood that the perceptions game is a long game, that you have to rewrite history on a sustained basis to shape the assumptions that govern politics.

* Opposition to Obama's tax cut deal appears to be spreading among self-imagined 2012 GOP hopefuls, such as Mike Pence, another sign the Tea Party could yank the 2012 GOP primary way to the right.

* National Review tells Michael Steele to take a hike: "We admire his pluck, but not his judgment."

* Still another poll finds solid support for the tax cut deal, including majorities of Dems and liberals.

* Markos says Obama's efforts to repair relations with big business leaders are doomed to fail: "The corporatists sense real weakness and they'll be going for the kill in 2012."

Also: One wonders how many hundreds of millions they'll spend to oust him from the White House...

* Mitt Romney believes that the individual mandate in Obamacare that's just like the one in Romneycare is "unconstitutional."

* Andrew Sullivan wonders if independents are starting to come back to Obama.

* And PolitiFact's ruling on Obama's claim that the legal war on health reform is similar to that waged against Social Security: True.

What else is happening?

UPDATE, 6:03 p.m.: Olympia Snowe has now pledged her support for DADT repeal, but folks shouldn't get too excited, because we still don't know whether she will vote for it or whether she'll hide behind procedural objections.

By Greg Sargent  | December 15, 2010; 5:39 PM ET
Categories:  Happy Hour Roundup, Health reform, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights, taxes  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Top House liberal concedes Obama tax deal likely to pass House
Next: The Morning Plum

Comments

Obama needs to drop gas cans all around the Republican tire fire. He won't of course, but it is so obvious, he could blow up the Republican nomination process if he wanted to.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 15, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

"According to Pollster, Palin's unfavorables are now at a record high of 53 percent. But her favorables have ben gliding upwards as well - to around 39 percent from around 35 percent a few months ago. The more the base rallies to her the more the general public flees. Which is a, er, problem for the GOP, no?"

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/12/palins-problem.html

Indeed it is. Power is the prime goal and fundamental necessity so if it is concluded that she cannot win, then the real power in the GOP-aligned coalition will not permit her to muck up their electoral chances. And perhaps folks here have noticed that her profile continues to decline even in rightwing media?

Posted by: bernielatham | December 15, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

I don't agree with Markos. I really believe that business is about themselves and if they believe that Obama is out for their interests then they will support him. Many of those business people and CEOs that met with Obama are actually Democrats.

Posted by: maritza1 | December 15, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

What else is happening?

The Fed is suing BP and others involved in the Gulf spill.

"Feds Sue Nine Companies Over Gulf Oil Spill, Won't Rule Out Criminal Charges"

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/12feds_sue_nine_companies_over_gulf_oil_spill_wont_rule_out_criminal_charges.php?ref=fpa

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 15, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Also, just an interesting note on the DADT measure that passed the house today. Looks like it picked up 16 votes. In the last go-round, attached to the defense bill, it passed 234-194.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 15, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

"I really believe that business is about themselves and if they believe that Obama is out for their interests then they will support him."

Look, I hate to be dreary, but I am going to have to explain something to you people.

The question is no longer state versus corporate.

Corporate won. That was the end of history.

Yoshi Fukuyama determined liberal capitalism will rule forever over humans.

Sure, we'll always have Sam Huntington's clash of civilizations, but everyone knows who will win (hint: corporate will support the winner).

Now, the question of exactly how corporate runs state is still open. In China, corporate is the state, no question. In America, there is still a dynamic tension. China is winning, but it is not clear whether they are winning the battle or the war, Cold War II.

Any questions? No? Good.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 15, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

"Andrew Sullivan wonders if independents are starting to come back to Obama."

Putting a trillion dollars in tax cuts on the national credit card while the GOP nods and winks will make you a pretty popular president for a day or so. Wait until the Tax Capitulation bill is signed and the GOP stops playing nice. Obama is finished. His only hope is Palin and that ain't gonna happen b/c the GOP will CRUSH her before they'd let her get the nomination. President Obama, enjoy your moment of sunshine because the darkness is close behind. And, oh yeah, the country is totally f*cked but that's not what's important, is it? Obama gets his win, that's what matters.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 15, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

DeMint is going to ask to read every book on the shelf before Dont Ask gets a vote.


Time to go home Liberals - the election was last month, and you lost.


Why do you insist on disrespecting the American People in this way ??? Shameful and disgraceful.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 15, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

"According to Pollster, Palin's unfavorables are now at a record high of 53 percent. But her favorables have ben gliding upwards as well - to around 39 percent from around 35 percent a few months ago. The more the base rallies to her the more the general public flees. Which is a, er, problem for the GOP, no?"

Please, by all means. Spend time on Dr. Sullivan OBGYN and his analysis of Palin's GOP Presidential nomination prospects/Uterus occupant conspiracies. He is, without a doubt, an objective and rational source.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 15, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

One positive thing about the stand alone nature of this bill is that it makes it much more difficult for weenies to explain why they refused to vote for it. When it's attached to other things, they can explain earnestly that they're really in favor of repealing DADT, but they couldn't, because it was piggy-backed on other things they didn't support.

Not this time. I look forward to how they'll weasel their way out of voting for it now. And I'm not optimistic, frankly.

Posted by: CTVoter | December 15, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Hi CT!

Re this one...
"You'll be startled to hear that top brass at Fox news appear to have ordered reporters to couple any mention of climate change with climate "skepticism.""

The fresh and interesting thing here is that someone inside FOX is continuing to leak internal communications.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 15, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans and Reid have already made a deal - this vote won't come up in any meaningful way in the Senate


The Republicans are now all going to send out "crocodile tear" press releases - saying how much they are in favor of the repeal - but whatever.


Meanwhile, the gays are going to be upset that Obama and crew didn't do this last year - when they had 60 votes -


The whole thing is a joke.


KABUKI - that is correct. Meanwhile, the American People are looking at this scene and promising themselves that they will never vote for the CLOWN-DEMOCRATS ever again.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 15, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Gohmert in the House today...

"To my friend who said that history would judge us poorly, I would submit if you would look thoroughly at history — and I’m not saying it’s cause and effect — but when militaries throughout history of the greatest nations in the world have adopted the policy that “fine for homosexuality to be overt” — you can keep it private and control your hormones fine, if you can’t, that’s fine too — they’re toward the end of their existence as a great nation."

Specifics (even one) unnecessary, the historical record being so consistent and a matter of common knowledge among historians and everyone else. What a lying jackass. Or is he really this stupid?

Posted by: bernielatham | December 15, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

LOL

----
Virginia Panel Acknowledges Utility Of Individual Mandate, Urges State To Build Off Of Obamacare

Virginia's attorney general may have successfully challenged the president's health care law in court. Its governor may have spent the last few days saying that the same legislation needs to be revamped in its entirety. But on Tuesday, a panel appointed by that same governor to look at the state of health care, determined that the health care system in Virginia is woefully inadequate and that officials would be well served to meet the new law's requirements and even move beyond them.

Without wading into the legal debate, the Advisory Council to the Chairman of the Virginia Health Reform Initiative concluded that having a strong individual mandate -- the very provision that the state's attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, argued is unconstitutional -- is likely needed to prevent people from waiting to get coverage until they are already sick.

...

Headed by Virginia Health and Human Services Secretary Bill Hazel, the advisory council recommended that Virginia implement a series of largely conservative reforms in addition to creating a state marketplace where individuals and small businesses can buy insurance. But while the panel's focus is insular, the report does offer support for the changes being implemented at the federal level -- even proposing, in some cases, swift movement to make those changes.

"Where appropriate," reads one section, "the Commonwealth should leverage federal funding and policy initiatives to advance Virginia initiatives for service delivery and payment reform."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/15/virginia-panel-acknowledg_1_n_797146.html

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 15, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

"What a lying jackass. Or is he really this stupid? "

Stupid.In.Spades.

He also believes in the "terror babies."

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 15, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

In China, corporate is the state, no question. In America, there is still a dynamic tension.
------------------------------------------------------------
I'm beginning to think this is very little *tension*, but a lot of posturing about that fact in the government. And corporate looks away innocently and says "who us? We do God's work...".

We the people better pick sides on who is winning, and I'll place bets and give odds it is corporate.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 15, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

"The right has always understood that the perceptions game is a long game, that you have to rewrite history on a sustained basis to shape the assumptions that govern politics."

Yep. See scandal re FoxNews manipulating climate coverage.

Posted by: Alex3 | December 15, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

There is nothing wrong with stating the facts about global warming - alongside the hysteria of the left.


The truth is the Earth's temperatures have always gone up and down - there is nothing wrong there.


Also, there is nothing to PROVE that the carbon dioxide is causing anything.


Al Gore's Professor - who started this whole thing - stated after studying global warming that it really wasn't happening.

In addition Al Gore's Professor stated clearly that it would be much too expensive to do anything about the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere - compared to any potential benefits.


By the way, it is better to be warm than cold.


The people of the Earth have far more to worry about the Earth getting too cold - rather than too hot.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 15, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

I am glad I asked if there were any questions.

The issue now is only whether the Chinese model of State Capitalism will defeat the American model of State Capitalism. In China, the government owns and operates its major businesses (obviously). But nowadays, unlike Cold War 1.0, they are involved in all aspects of the world's banking/monetary systems.

America on the other hand still has this terribly wasteful tension between people who think government works for them and corporations who think government works for them.

The corporations are teaching the people they are on the losing end of this lesson, the question is whether Americans will understand fast enough.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 15, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Thought for the day:

"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents."--- James Madison

Rolling over in his grave.

Posted by: Brigade | December 15, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Disgraceful. Defend this, Democrats:

"In urging lawmakers to vote for his tax deal, President Obama is using one of his go-to lines from the healthcare debate, according to a Democratic lawmaker. Obama is telling members of Congress that failure to pass the tax-cut legislation could result in the end of his presidency, Rep. Peter DeFazio (Ore.) said. "The White House is putting on tremendous pressure, making phone calls, the president is making phone calls saying this is the end of his presidency if he doesn't get this bad deal," he told CNN's Eliot Spitzer. "

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/133909-obama-tells-lawmakers-not-passing-tax-deal-could-end-presidency-dem-says

Posted by: wbgonne | December 15, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

@shrink,

For a no-good, low down, Communist, never will work command economy, the Chinese ain't doin' bad.

How long it takes for the American people to know they've been sold down the river to corporate interests--a lot have already figured it out. We're way beyond the early adopters stage. Maybe 25% to half already know or are highly suspicious.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 15, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

We've learned today that caothien9 is not a Christian (who'd have guessed?) and does not read the Bible (obviously) because his study of Church history revealed that the Council of Nicea nixed inclusion of the gnostic gospels and other spurious texts in the New Testament canon. For shame.
I think they rejected the works of Simon the Sorcerer as well.

And here I thought cao9 might be one of those vessels of dishonor mentioned in Romans 9:21 and simply not on God's call list. Silly me. I don't know what to make of his uncanny ability to distinguish true Christians from false professors and apostolic doctrine from all the other. Perhaps he's related to Herbert W. Armstrong.

Posted by: Brigade | December 15, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

@sue - Re Gohmert...it's befuddling that even Texans might elect a representative like this. Must be quite a Department of Education in that state.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 15, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Brigade! We agree!

I can not credit Obama though. Bipartisan agreement is not one of his accomplishments.

The ability to borrow more benefits, tax breaks, bags of money...from and on behalf of [Citizens United enfranchised] donors must seem corrupt to the Chinese. But their droll customs seem so to us too.

The Chinese and the Americans are locked now in an intense competition. Once slavery, colonialism and world war are out of the question, it is all about which international statist corporate structure can buy the other. It is a cage match. It is Cold War II.


Posted by: shrink2 | December 15, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

A little something for 12BarBlues from the DM Register, 13 December 2010:
-------

'Pray, and pray often'

Heather Jacobs sat on the basement floor in front of the family’s fire safe, dumbfounded at what she held in her hands: a CD, with an inscription in familiar handwriting. “ERIC’S LAST WORDS,” it read.

Suddenly, the memory rushed back. Early on a summer morning in 2006, she had felt her husband, Eric, climb into bed. She remembered him holding her so tight it hurt, like he never wanted to let go.

Eric told her he’d dreamed that he died. The dream seemed so real, as if the Holy Spirit were telling him something. He’d gone downstairs and made a video. “Are you serious?” she asked him groggily. “Never mind,” he said, and Heather fell back to sleep in his arms.

Four months after that dream, on a chilly evening in November, Eric had been a passenger on a small plane that tumbled out of the sky and into an Indiana cornfield.

That was two days ago. Yesterday, she’d told their four boys, ages 1 through 7, that their father had died. Heather was seven months pregnant. She felt dazed, sick to her stomach, unable to sleep. And now this.

Disc in hand, she walked up from the basement of their Ankeny home. Eric’s two younger brothers had just arrived after a nonstop drive from their home in Arizona. The family sat at the kitchen table.

“You are not going to believe this,” she said.
-------

The video and the rest of the story can be viewed on line.

Posted by: Brigade | December 15, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

12BarBluesAgain:

Excuse me for butting in but we are already seeing rioting around Europe as the competition for resources pits the plutocrats against the Middle Class. Yet we here in the U.S. blithely think we're immune and that we can just award more and more to our oligarchs and take more and more from working people. The McConnell-Obama tax bill sets the U.S. up to make the same kinds of drastic cuts that are precipitating the violence in Europe. At some point, the American people are going to wake up. We are playing with fire.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 15, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

"Must be quite a Department of Education in that state."

And today the TX GOP got a supermajority when some Dem switched parties. You ain't seen nothin yet in Tejas.

Off to chill.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 15, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Europe is rioting -

WHY?


Because the European leftists promised people things which the economy could NOT deliver.


Sound familiar?


Clearly, the astonishing lack of discussion about the COSTS of Obama's health care plan over the past year was extremely telling. NO LIBERAL would even give a number. No one wanted to talk about it.

The Costs are important.

The taxes are important.


The liberals do not want to talk about any potential deficits - they never once stopped to think that the country could not afford Obama's health care plan.


Hopefully this disaster of a health care bill will be repealed before the RIOTS START.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 15, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne,

Butt in all you want. It's an open discussion.

I've been sickened how we have gradually boiled ourselves into high unemployment, fantasies about how giving tax breaks to corporations will persuade to create jobs *here* and not *over there*, and a general lowering of all expectations to those of third world citizens. In my lifetime, which isn't all that long, I've seen us go from the go-go 70's and 80's in technology to the all-gone-to-China job situation today. Startups used to be so plentiful you could go from startup to startup every couple of years. Now, most people will never see a startup, much less have the opportunity to contribute to one.

Now, we have politicians saying we can't afford medical care, we can't afford liver transplants, we can't afford union pay, we can't afford pensions. We can't even afford unemployment compensation. Anyone over 50 who is unemployed today stands a very good chance of never working another day in his life.

What happened to the American dream, in just 30 years?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 15, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

bernie,

If you (somehow) missed Anderson Cooper interviewing Louie Gohmert about the terror babies, take a look:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQVfQCpYocQ

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 15, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

12Bar

The democrats tried to kill the American dream with their insane spending.

Bill Clinton's Free trade deals

Bill Clinton caving into Wall Street with the deregulation of derivatives.

Bill Clinton repealing the Glass Steagall Act


The democrats are the ones who OVERSPENT and ran up all these problems


Which STATES are in trouble? Illinois, New York, California, - all massive democratic states which would not RESTRAIN SPENDING OVER DECADES


The democratic party and the liberals are what are DESTROYING THIS NATION.

We have to get rid of Obama - the faster he resigns, the better off the country will be.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 15, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

@brigade,

Thanks for the inspirational story.

I can't remember what order it is, and this is pretty macabre, but some order of monks regularly lie down in their coffins to remind themselves of their inevitable death. I can just hear posters screaming in laughter at the vampire quality of this (and I agree too), it is a dramatic way to reinforce humility and detachment from earthly concerns, and would help free us to follow our quest for goodness.

On a lighter note, I think it beats self flagellation and hair shirts

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 15, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Bloomberg Interview - Roubini Says India Growth May Beat China’s in 10 Years

By Kartik Goyal

India’s economy may expand more than China’s in the next 10 years if the world’s second- most populous nation lifts curbs on foreign investment in retail and boosts spending on roads and bridges, Nouriel Roubini said.
---------------------------------------------------------
Not only is China gaining on us, India is gaining on China.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 15, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

12 Bar


Some pols regularly do what the American People want - to remind them that they are in office to do the People's work.


The democrats have forgotten that - they are obsessed with their own agenda, not doing the People's work.


The democrats have even forgotten there was an election last month - and they lost.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 15, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Here's how a DADT repeal can pass the Senate:

The House has yet to vote on the Tax bill. If the version they pass is identical to the Senate version, then the bill goes to the President. But if the versions differ EVEN SLIGHTLY, I believe a reconciliation on the tax bill will be in order, followed by a re-vote in both chambers. Now rumor has it that the Senate Republicans will skip town before the DADT repeal can come up--and currently, the reapeal seems the last item on Harry reid's agenda. But if a tax bill re-vote is required, then Harry Reid can bring up the DADT repeal BEFORE that final vote on the tax bill. The Republicans will not skip town before getting their rich-guy tax breaks written into law. And THAT is how we get our DADT repeal.

Posted by: burosh | December 15, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

burosh


When you wake up everyday, do you see flying monkeys?


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 15, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Ironic that after promising the nation in 2008 to be bipartisan and compromise all Obama and the democrats could come up with is :

Repealing the Compromise of Dont Ask

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 15, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Lameduck Dems, defiant against the electoral repudiation they've suffered, are intent on undermining our military to advance their destructive and radical social agenda. It will be a miracle if this country survives the depredations of this malignant party.

"Mitt Romney believes that the individual mandate in Obamacare that's just like the one in Romneycare is "unconstitutional.""

Greg, how many times do you need to have it explained that the constitutional defect with Obamacare doesn't apply to Romneycare? You don't dispute that, do you? Or do you still really not understand? The State of Massachusetts did not need an affirmative grant of power in the U.S. Constitution to enact Romneycare. Congress and Obamacare, on the other hand, do.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 15, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

"What happened to the American dream, in just 30 years?"

==

The Reagan Revolution is what happened.

Small government as a slogan to remove government's ability to enforce its primary charter, the prevention of concentration of power and wealth in the hands of an unscrupulous few.

Conservatives want obedient, helpless, and powerless citizens, and from air traffic conroller union-busting to Citizens United they've gotten what they wanted.

Now we have streetlights being turned off and school years abbreviated, millions who will never work again, despair rules the land, yet bankers refuse to tell anyone what they did with the $12 trillion that was given to them magnanimously when it looked like they might have had to make a few parltry sacrifices.

Anyone think America is going to recover from this? Aside from the Bolsheviks, who were willing to bloody the bankers, what country ever has?

And thesickest part of all is that the people whose lives are most damaged by this consolidation of power are on the side of their slavers. THAT'S the end of democracy right there, the dysfunction of self-interest.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 15, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

"Lameduck Dems, defiant against the electoral repudiation they've suffered, are intent on undermining our military to advance their destructive and radical social agenda."

==

Equality under law isn't a "radical social agenda" and catching up to other nations' maturity isn't "undermining the mlitary."

You are nothing more than a god damned bigot.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 15, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Anyone other than me find the use of "agenda" by the righties to be comically paranoid?

Posted by: caothien9 | December 15, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Anyone besides me think the righies' use of "agenda" to be comically paranoid?

Sounds like secret cabals organizing mayhem.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 15, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Cao


Reagan brought more prosperity in the 80s and 90s than any democrat ever did


How is your communist dreamland?


Hanging upside-down in a pit yet ?


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 15, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

@Chris,

And here we sit, wasting our energy jousting with the right, as if winning that debate would give either left or right a hell of a lot more power. Corporate interests, who actually call the shots, must be laughing their heads off at us, the people thinking we have anything to say about what direction our country is going.

If corporate says medical for all, we'll have it. If they say privatized pensions, we'll have that. Then, they'll convince us that it is we who wanted it all along. And we'll all nod obediently, hoping that corporate doesn't move even more jobs overseas because we have sold our souls and votes to support corporate interests.

The only glimmers of hope that I see is the rage against the bankers and BP for screwing up royally. But, even that anger died and now we are back muddling around trying to figure out how corporate pulled another fast one on us. God, we're dumb.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 15, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

"Small government as a slogan to remove government's ability to enforce its primary charter, the prevention of concentration of power and wealth in the hands of an unscrupulous few."

Where is that written?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 15, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

"The State of Massachusetts did not need an affirmative grant of power in the U.S. Constitution to enact Romneycare. Congress and Obamacare, on the other hand, do."

==

So?

Good for the goose, good for the gander.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 15, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

So when was the last time an editor tried to influence a piece on television or in the paper?

Probably this afternoon or evening


So why are the liberals going nuts over at Bill Sammon on Fox??? Because anything that involves FoxNews causes their heads to explode.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 15, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

@chris,

I found out just how loaded the word agenda is when I innocently used it as in "gay agenda". All I meant was civil rights for gays. The person who responded, who is gay, said something about not supporting the agenda. What?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 15, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Interesting...especially in light of General Amos' - the commandant of the Marine Corps - opposition to repeal of DADT ....

The very first service person wounded in Iraq was a Marine. He lost his leg on the first day of the war, and was awarded a Purple Heart. And he's gay.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 15, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, 12BB, the corporate rich regard the world as rightfully theirs and the Republicans can't cooperate enough to make it so.

It's not just the undoing of the 2008 election, it's the undoing of the New Deal, or the middle class itself, restratifying America back to the historical natural order, a few wealthy families and a lot of helpless serfs fumbling with the rims of their caps, stammering as they stare at the floor and begging to be fed.

Yeah, Americans are dumb (I'm training myself not to speak of America in first person anymore. I may still have a US passport but it stopped being my country long before I left). Like a national plague of politically communicable Stockholm Syndrome, admiring and adoring their captors. Teabaggers assemble in motley vagrant lots and scream themselves red-faced demanding to be lied to, demanding to be robbed, demanding more tax breaks for the rich, demanding the destruction of the very atmosphere.

I keep coming back to this .. when you can persuade people to act against their own self-interest, democracy is finished. As if compromised voting machines weren't already alarming enough.

And look at the liberals .. still hesitant to hold convictions, still wavering and doubtful, still nurturing "inclusivity."

America lasted 204 years.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 15, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Chris Fox

The liberals lost the election - you left the country.


The Conservatives are going to save America from all the things the democrats have done to drag this great nation down.


Obama will be out of office soon - and the Republicans might even have 60 votes in the Senate.


Then the REAL FUN BEGINS.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 15, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Adm. Mullen needs to replace Gen. Amos. The man isn't qualified for the job.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 15, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

America lasted 204 years.
---------------------------------------------------------
At one time, I was the most capitalistic, free market, global economy person you could find. I am a product of the great opportunities of the 70's-80's and 90's where you almost couldn't pull defeat from the jaws of victory. We used to call it an "opportunity rich environment". We moved from one technology company to another, making important contributions and earning great rewards. We were in demand.

For reasons that crept up on us when we weren't looking, opportunities have faded and disappeared. Even getting advanced degrees just guarantees unpayable debt, not necessarily more opportunity. People don't know what to do or where to turn or even who to blame. It's like we all came for the birthday party and just when it got started, the music wound down and the balloons flew away. No one is in demand now, whether you set chips in boards or read Xrays.

My kids and grandkids don't have nearly the future I had. Now, they are told not to expect even Social Security or Medicare because that's all gone. Now, the powers that be tell us not expect to own a home or get a pension, or make any more than some peasants in China, because don't you know, it's a global economy.

My folks would be shocked how the U.S. is heading away from prosperity for the middle class and back to the world of the 1930's. They thought the Great Depression would never happen again and that the Americans were the luckiest people on earth to be born here.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 15, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

"Where is that written?"

Living Constitution, Amendment MMCXLVII

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 15, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman says he has 61 votes for Dont Ask

However, those people are just sending out the press releases because they want a "free play" - thinking they will never have to cast that vote.


DeMint could still target Dont Ask by asking for the Start Treaty and for the Spending bill to be read.


Lieberman is playing games with all this - he is trying to get out there as the one who is pushing this - that serves his interests - but really what does he have?


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 15, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

"when you can persuade people to act against their own self-interest, democracy is finished."

Which mysteriously makes me think of SBJ.

Rachel Maddow just interviewed Patrick Murphy, the congressman from PA, who sponsored the DADT repeal legislation that just passed the house today for the second time. Murphy, an Iraq war vet, worked doggedly to secure votes, which may have, at least in part, caused his defeat in the mid-terms. His GOP opponent was heartily endorsed by the LOG CABIN REPUBS. Figure this out.

Amazingly, Murphy was beaming and proud of what he accomplished, and said that when his two little kids are older, he'll be proud to tell them that he stood up and did what he thought was right.

If DADT really is repealed, SBJ and the Log Cabin folks have Murphy to thank, but they won't. They'll be glad he was voted out.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 15, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

"You are nothing more than a god damned bigot."

The insults of a hare-brained, traitorous, drug-addled, morally corrup advocate of mass murder and slavery hurt so deeply. And lazy, too, I forgot lazy. And vain.

Besides, America and its military are none of your concern or business. Just shut up and go away. Eat your rat sandwich or whatever. No one here cares what you think.

"Now we have streetlights being turned off and school years abbreviated, millions who will never work again, despair rules the land, yet bankers refuse to tell anyone what they did with the $12 trillion that was given to them magnanimously when it looked like they might have had to make a few parltry sacrifices."

I swear, you are also the greatest PL fabulist ever. You must talk to imaginary friends, too.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 15, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

12bar and shrink,

When was the "golden era" of American Democracy, that was not controlled by corporatists? What preceeded it? What caused it's demise?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 15, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

@sue: you would have to be gay and know some gay Republicans to understand this one.

You'll never in your life meet anyone so defensive .. it's no exaggeration to say that a typical gay Republican spends 4-6 hours a day actively justiftying himself. Obsessively reciting his rationalizations over and over.

Guy I was seeing near SeaTac had one for a roommate .. guy had to come home from work early and hyperventilate the day Palin abandoned her post, bought the deluxe slipcase edition of her with-book,and, I am not making this up, has a little cameo picture of George an' Laura that you would swear was a pic of his own parents.

They come no sicker.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 15, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

"The insults of a hare-brained, traitorous, drug-addled, morally corrup advocate of mass murder and slavery hurt so deeply. And lazy, too, I forgot lazy. And vain."

==

Thanks for the privilege of observing your public meltdown. This is hysterical. Keep it coming!

Posted by: caothien9 | December 15, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

@sue - No, hadn't seen that...uh... performance. The guy is not just stupid, he's crazy. He's really very crazy.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 15, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

"Good for the goose, good for the gander."

If I'm not mistaken that's a direct quote from Federalist 46 [Madison], "...An Examination of the Comparative Means of Influence of the Federal & State Governments."

Of course, it's much more elegant in the original Vietnamese.

{{{This guy is obviously an elaborate obverse-sockpuppet/marionette created and stenographed by Rainforest in order to provide an insane foil to the purpose of hurling upper cased, 2X-spaced, somewhat lucid rejoinders. A one-man Pinky/Brain thing. Gad, I think it's actually working.}}}

Posted by: tao9 | December 15, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

"Re Gohmert...it's befuddling that even Texans might elect a representative like this. Must be quite a Department of Education in that state."

Yer right, Republicans have a lock on stupid Congressional Representatives.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bs23CjIWMgA

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 15, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

When was the "golden era" of American Democracy, that was not controlled by corporatists? What preceeded it? What caused it's demise?
------------------------------------------------------
I know one thing for sure. People used to have jobs, futures, pensions, medical care and home investments. Now, they don't have jobs, don't have pensions, can't afford medical care or even insurance, and are told that home ownership isn't for them. The future looks pretty damn bleak for a lot of people and that wasn't the case in the 1970's-80's-90's.

You could work your way through university and owe a repayable amount of money. You could afford to pay for your medical care, with or without insurance. You could get hired on campus for your first professional job. You could spend 2-3 years in each position and either get good promotions or move to another company. You could increase your earnings 25-50% every couple of years. You could afford a home on your salary. That's my story.

All that is passe now. People are unemployed long term and many will never work again. Retraining is silly because their aren't jobs even if you retrain. Degrees are unaffordable and no guarantee of a future anyway.

I'll be damned if I know what happened. It happened gradually, as we lost one industry after another to Japan, then China, now India and others. I actually remember a time when companies were ashamed to have layoffs or outsource offshore. It was considered unAmerican and a sign of poor management. I laugh now at how quaint we were in those days.

Now, everyone lays off and sends jobs overseas as easily as changing a shirt. Carly Fiorina said that no American had a right to a job, and that pretty much sums it up.

Now we have a superclass of people making hundreds of millions of dollars a year. I remember when Wall Street guys made $5m a year and burnt out by 30. Now they make hundreds of millions running money for other members of the superclass wealthy. At the same time, we have millions unemployed because of Wall Street financial engineering. And these millions of unemployed have lost their homes, their savings, their kids education money, while Wall Street and hedge funds are paying bigger bonuses than ever and their party just goes on.

Maybe all this was inevitable when we signed onto the global economy. But this is hardly the promise that was sold to Americans back then. The idea was that blue collar jobs would be lost, but people would go back to school and get paid more. What a joke.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 15, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Why are the liberals so obsessed with Dont Ask???

Why? It makes no sense.


Why are the liberals so obsessed with taxing the rich???


On one level, such emotion makes no sense.


If one reasons it out, taxing the rich more does nothing but makes the government bigger.

It doesn't help the poor, it doesn't really help the middle class.


It is more spite than anything.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 15, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

"When was the "golden era" of American Democracy, that was not controlled by corporatists? What preceeded it? What caused it's demise?"

Who said golden era? I don't know anything about that. I've still got to have dinner, it is only just the late evening, dinner, kids got to bed....

Golden era? I love American history. Ask me anything (not Google details), ask me how America relates to its history. Better yet, ignore me. Study and come back with something.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 15, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

"The State of Massachusetts did not need an affirmative grant of power in the U.S. Constitution to enact Romneycare. Congress and Obamacare, on the other hand, do."

==

So?

Good for the goose, good for the gander.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 15, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse
______________________________________

Apparently the Bolshevik savant who knows everything about early mystics (btw, superb skewering, Brigade) and unrotting virulent corpses under the polar ice caps "don't know much about" the Constitution, and can't follow simple logic either.

Or maybe he'll explain to us how the powers of the legislature of the State of Massachusetts are limited to those in Art I sec. 8.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 15, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

12bar,

As of 2007, we're the world's largest manufacturer. The only one even close is China. Yes, they probably will, or already have, overtake(n) us in manufacturing. But a lot of those industries were fairly polluting. Ever been around a steel mill or a lead acid battery plant?

It's easy to see things very gloom and doom, I do it myself frequently. But I still think it's too soon to say all is lost. Look at the Depression. A decade of suffering. But it ended. I do think it's still ok to count on American ingenuity. It hasn't failed us yet, even if at times it took a while.

http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2009104319/g20-manufacturing-output-capita

Plus, Christmas can suck ;-)

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 15, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

shrink,

your right, no one but me said "golden era" and perhaps using a phrase like that, with scare quotes, is to strong. Maybe it would be better to ask when this country was not a Corporatocracy? What preceded it and what caused it's demise?

And as bernie would testify, I know virtually nothing. I don't even know what I don't know.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 15, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Quarterback


What is 2147 ?

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 15, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

@troll,

I appreciate your optimism. At heart, I am an optimist, although you wouldn't know it from my epistle. But, from my heart, I have been thinking about this for at least ten years and am embarrassed that I fell for the "the global economy is going to be good for America".

I'm sorry to say the results seem to be in. The economy for the middle and working classes is falling apart. The economy for the super rich is completely disconnected from the rest of us, while they make hundreds of millions and think they are worth it. And government has their ear to the hearts of corporations and does their bidding.

I'm sure the economy will improve slowly for everybody, so don't mistake me. But, the bright future that I saw in my professional career seems like an artifact of another age.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 15, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

"Of course, it's much more elegant in the original Vietnamese."

Speaking of which, I don't think our Stalinesque interlocutor is very good with his adoptive tongue. Either that or he had a moment of unguarded candor the other day when he treated me to some Vietnamese that, when plugged into the Google translator, said something like "I am a fool and need mental help."

Secret or subconscious cry for help, perhaps. Or just inept.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 15, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Bill Clinton sold out the country to the corporatist interests


Bill Clinton sold out the country to Wall Street


Bill Clinton sold out the country to the Global Economy


Hillary had enough campaign money to run for the NY Senate.......


.........twice.


Hillary had enough campaign cash to run for President

WANT TO KNOW HOW THE COUNTRY GOT SOLD OUT AND FOR WHAT ?????

Can you add one and one?
.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 15, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

12bar,

Ok. I tend to think globalization is essentially inevitable, technology seems to speed things up. Plus, humans are pretty ingenious anyway, and if history is any guide, the world gets smaller, not bigger. That being said, I'll politely shut up. (And save a tasty spittle flecked tirade for another day)

I think I read on a earlier thread you're getting a new dog in February. My lab is facing her last winter and I'm bracing myself. I went through it a couple of years ago and it sucked, even though I had a back-up (to steal from Dave Barry). I forget now what kind, and I suppose it doesn't matter, I just like dogs. Don't know where I was going.

I'll say it again though, I just like dogs.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 15, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

12BB,

If the future is going to be different in this country than on the downward trajectory we are on, we have to do something about student achievement in math, reading and the sciences.

From usatoday:

"Scores from the 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment to be released Tuesday show 15-year-old students in the U.S. performing about average in reading and science, and below average in math. Out of 34 countries, the U.S. ranked 14th in reading, 17th in science and 25th in math.

Those scores are all higher than those from 2003 and 2006, but far behind the highest scoring countries, including South Korea, Finland and Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai in China and Canada."

http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2010-12-07-us-students-international-ranking_N.htm

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 15, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

"@sue: you would have to be gay and know some gay Republicans to understand this one."

I'll take your word for it, but I find it totally baffling that a group fighting for basic civil rights, not special rights, to just to be treated like everyone else would actively oppose a person who is working diligently on their behalf. You'd think that that would be one race they would just stay out of, just not take a stand for or against anyone....weird.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 15, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Quickly, I'll cut to the chase, the promise of America, the part worth protecting. There was a period when corporate interests and labor interests came together. No slave labor and even the robber barons were relatively benign, encapsulated. People argue about that time bracket, but it did happen.

Now it is hard to even talk about corporate interests and labor interests. You have to agree they are in a permanent dynamic tension, or there is no point in talking.

America's rulers make that discussion off limits, but we are on the internets!

I am saying the only important difference between China and America is the relationship between the employers and the employees. If you want to say I am a [insert insult here]...fine, but America's business owners, America's rich people know it is
true. That is the only difference.

All of the rest of the yakkedy yak about heritage, tradition...values...you have to laugh. I make what I make in America because American doctors won't work for less. Elsewhere, I guess the people would rather die than pay, or have a big TV, I don't know.
But there is a labor market and it is as real as a heart attack.

Money is concentrated when some people figure out how to get other people to make or do stuff they can sell for more than they paid the people who made or did it.

Then of course there are the betting markets, but that has nothing to do with America versus anyone else. The rigging of those systems was exposed recently and no one thinks they are good, no one thinks they create anything...it is just that no one can stop them anymore; those people will decide how they get to bet with your money. They make the rules, they say what's fair.

China dictates terms to America now. Could anyone even imagine that back in the 20th century? Sure. I know one person who had it prefigured in the 19th century. He was a warrior, a killer, he was an imperialist, he knew.

Anyway, the part worth protecting was the upward mobility track. The American promise of honest hard work for a better life, that was it. If that is gone who cares what happens afterward? Every corrupt rich state has a disastrous story about what happened afterward. I've been studying the wonderful history of Venice, for example.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 16, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Gay rights is not the same as the Civil Rights movement.


Many people in the black community are getting increasingly upset with the co-opting of this terminology.


Is there any way the gays and lesbians can come up with their own set of words - to avoid offending the black community???


That would help.


Thank you.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 16, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

I think I read on a earlier thread you're getting a new dog in February. My lab is facing her last winter and I'm bracing myself. I went through it a couple of years ago and it sucked, even though I had a back-up (to steal from Dave Barry). I forget now what kind, and I suppose it doesn't matter, I just like dogs. Don't know where I was going.

I'll say it again though, I just like dogs.
-------------------------------------------------
Me too. I like dogs. I'm so sorry anout your lab. I had 20 months to get used to losing my little guy and it helps some, but I was still grief stricken.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 16, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

"There was a period when corporate interests and labor interests came together. No slave labor and even the robber barons were relatively benign, encapsulated. People argue about that time bracket, but it did happen."

I'm guessing you're referring to post WWII. If so, it certainly helped that the rest of the world's ability to manufacture anything was destroyed. It was always going to be rebuilt, and when rebuilt, had the benefit of starting from scratch and avoiding pitfalls and problems that existed in our own manufacturing base that could not be razed and rebuilt. To me, that "coming together" led to, and I think will always lead to, a rather myopic view that no other entity will ever be able to compete with us. If we're key players in rebuilding things, we're going not going to include obvious faults that exist in our own manufacturing. Also, with strict labor laws in Europe, automation was cheaper and therefore inevitable.

"But there is a labor market and it is as real as a heart attack."

True, but if globalization is inevitable, and as I mentioned to 12bar, I think history had demonstrated that amply, it does not exist in a vacuum.

"Money is concentrated when some people figure out how to get other people to make or do stuff they can sell for more than they paid the people who made or did it."

Well, that's one way. Some people are better at things, that are of value, and are therefore "paid". There is a reason why not everybody is a Doctor, as it does take some intelligence. How we create Dr.'s is certainly terrible, except when you compare it to all the other ways to train Drs. Sure it's a guild and kept artificially scarce so salaries are high, but as you know, not all smart doctors are good, but all good doctors are smart. I don't see a way to protect relatively unskilled labor in a world where cheap transportation is abundant. That means more training, or at least better training for American laborers. However, despite spending the most on education of any industrialized nation, we get less than the best result. Experiments are needed in education, in my opinion.

"Then of course there are the betting markets, but that has nothing to do with America versus anyone else. The rigging of those systems was exposed recently and no one thinks they are good, no one thinks they create anything...it is just that no one can stop them anymore; those people will decide how they get to bet with your money. They make the rules, they say what's fair."

So the solution would be not to bail them out. Yet, essentially, we've never not. TARP, GM and Chrysler being merely the lastest examples.

"China dictates terms to America now."

Well, doesn't every lender? We don't have to borrow. Maybe austerity now is better than counting on the tender mercies of the Chinese. Chairman Mao's obvious compassion notwithstanding. What is the latest estimate, 50 million dead in the various "lean(p) forwards?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 16, 2010 12:50 AM | Report abuse

China knows how to work excess people to death. This is Cold War 2.0.

We are the fellow travelers this time. Americans have no clue, they have one bipartisan agreement, to lose the Cold War 2.0

"I don't see a way to protect relatively unskilled labor in a world where cheap transportation is abundant."

I do, I am sure we would agree, but that is for some other time.

"Maybe austerity now is better than counting on the tender mercies of the Chinese."

It sure is. Austerity is required now, essential. Problem is, who has to be austere?

We don't get to make the poor any more austere; studies show that poorer poor people do not do anything to make the rich richer. Stones have no blood.

The American people who still have jobs are the most productive workers in the world. So now, where can America cut its fat?

Everyone knows, you just have to pretend you don't.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 16, 2010 1:07 AM | Report abuse

That's what you get for using online translators, qb. I speak the language, you use a machine and Vietnamese pronouns aren't fixed in 1st- 2nd- and 3rd-person like European languagesi. The same word can men I, you, or he in the same sentence. It gets confusing.

I called you "em," which is a diminutive, and one would only call oneself "em" inside a relationship.

Anyway. No point trying to educate you, you couldn't learn the language if you had to, you'd never get past the tones.

As for the Constitution, I feel the same about it as I do about freedm and libbiddy. Pulse doesn't go over 75, saliva and bladder under control. I care about the kind of society we end up with, not the omniscience of people over 200 years dead.

But I guess small minds like yours need their hobgoblins.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 16, 2010 1:12 AM | Report abuse


I have posted this already here before You guys should stop complaining because, one the health care we have now isnt as good as it was supposed to be. also the law has just been signed so give it some time. so if u want to say u have the right to choose tell that to ur congress men or state official. If you do not have insurance and need one You can find full medical coverage at the lowest price check search online for "Wise Health Insurance" If you have health insurance and do not care about cost just be happy about it and believe me you are not going to loose anything!

Posted by: robertaviles | December 16, 2010 1:17 AM | Report abuse

"Now we have a superclass of people making hundreds of millions of dollars a year. I remember when Wall Street guys made $5m a year and burnt out by 30. Now they make hundreds of millions running money for other members of the superclass wealthy. At the same time, we have millions unemployed because of Wall Street financial engineering. And these millions of unemployed have lost their homes, their savings, their kids education money, while Wall Street and hedge funds are paying bigger bonuses than ever and their party just goes on.

Maybe all this was inevitable when we signed onto the global economy. "

==

No, shrink, it was made inevitable when we failed to put the breaks on the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the few. The Grover Norquists and the Club for Growth types should have been imprisoned instead of lionized and the tax code should have made honest attainment of billionaire stature out of human reach.

We knew 20 years ago that opportunity was drying up in America and still we did nothing.

I saw it coming during Reagan's victory speech. That room full of rich people wearing flag pins and bunting, how they smiled and cheered every time Gip pronounced "economic growth" with that reserved rising tone, dog-whistle to his audience who knew their ship had come in big time.

Later the whole bunch had a private celebration and roared with laughter at the rubes who actually believed that it would be *money* that "trickled down."

Look at the bright side ... nobody needs to save to send the kids to college anymore, unless it's to, you know, improve their minds. So they can more richly appreciate how savagely they've been gored.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 16, 2010 1:33 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure the economy will improve slowly for everybody, so don't mistake me. But, the bright future that I saw in my professional career seems like an artifact of another age.

==

I'm sure that it won't. It won't get better for the same reason that skipping over cracks in the sidewalk won't improve one's chances of winning at the casino. The loss of American opportunity is a problem that we will never solve because we've allowed ourselves to believe a bunch of junk about the economy.

The same people who ridicule the unrealistic human expectations of agrarian Communism hold beliefs about how the economy should be run that are even more fanciful. I mean, *Democrats* just passed extensions of tax breaks for the wealthy predicated on the belief that doing so would lead to investment and the creation of jobs .. and there isn't the slimmest sliver of evidence that this has ever happened.

Everyone "knows" that cutting taxes increases revenue.

Everyone "knows" that taxation is a drain on the economy.

Everyone "knows" that "the marketplace"has magical powers and, as long as uncorrupted by regulations like minimal wage laws, will produce optimal outcomes for all (in fact, it's infallible).

Everyone "knows" that lawlessness is the resule of too many laws.

Given the preponderance of junk beliefs like this, how the HELL is the economy ever going to get better?

Posted by: caothien9 | December 16, 2010 1:52 AM | Report abuse


If you are looking for freebies like myself the best place online to get is "123 Get Samples" You can qualify easily with out credit card.

Posted by: ninaramey16 | December 16, 2010 5:37 AM | Report abuse

"Money is concentrated when some people figure out how to get other people to make or do stuff they can sell for more than they paid the people who made or did it."

That's pretty much patent nonsense. I suppose you could describe retailers that way, but you are trying to describe employers that way, and the premise that "some people figure out how to get other people to make or do stuff" is a complete fallacy.

Bill Gates didn't get rich that way. He got rich by figuring out how to make something that was worth a lot to other people. He then hired a bunch of other people to distribute and further develop that thing. The "value" of what he sold the world wasn't a result of a bunch of poor, exploited employees whose work he appropriated. It was a result of his ideas (and of his cofounders').

Steve Jobs didn't "figure out" how to get some strangers to build iPods he could sell. He and Wozniak figured out how do make some computer "stuff" (or started with an idea frm Xerox, if you want to go with that explanation) and later hired lots of people to help them develop and sell it. There weren't a bunch of people making iPods that Jobs convinced to sell them to him. iPods came along because of the creative venture he conceived, led, nurtured, etc.

Henry Ford didn't get rich just because he figured out how to get a bunch of people to make cars he could sell. He figured out a way to organize the production of cars that made them more consistent and cheap to produce. And he had a new idea for the kind of car to build.

What "some people" figure out is how to organize creative work, or a new product, or a new process or use for a resource, or a new way to manufacture, etc. You instead seem to have fallen for the Marxian labor theory of value. No wonder you are confused.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 16, 2010 6:11 AM | Report abuse

Btw, you are also perpetuating a fallacy in the notion that wealth just exists and then gets "concentrated." Wealth doesn't just exist. It grows. And sometimes it grows disproportionately. There is nothing wrong or corrupt about that. Yes, sometimes people steal it. But it is built.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 16, 2010 6:16 AM | Report abuse

@cao9.
"restratifying America back to the historical natural order, a few wealthy families and a lot of helpless serfs fumbling with the rims of their caps, stammering as they stare at the floor and begging to be fed."
-------

But then we would be like Vietnam and North Korea. Won't your shanty house a few more of the serfs? Can't have greedy b*stards hogging all the space.

Posted by: Brigade | December 16, 2010 6:28 AM | Report abuse

"Anyway. No point trying to educate you, you couldn't learn the language if you had to, you'd never get past the tones."

Oh, I'm quite familiar with tonal languages. But, no, learning Vietnamese would be pretty far down my list of priorities.

All you've really said here, though, is that what you wrote wasn't an adequate transliteration. So apparently you still have some learnin' to do. As we could deduce from your profane complaint about the difficulty the other day. Who'd have thought you shade the truth to suit your whims.

"As for the Constitution, I feel the same about . . . ."

Yes, we're all aware you are a nihilist when it comes to constitutional government. Only, given that, you probably shouldn't have tried to defend the constitutional equivalency of Romneycare and Obamacare . . . only now to shrug as though it bores you when your error is pointed out.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 16, 2010 6:31 AM | Report abuse

Christ but you're stupid, qb. Let me see if using little words helps.

I don't care about "constitutionality." The people who wrote that were neither infallible nor omniscient (oh dear, big words, sorry, try to track anyway), and they were so far in the past that it may as well have been a foreign country. I don't give a crap.

What I care about is a society that provides the best possible medical care for the greatest number. Got it? Little enough words? Try to not move your lips while you read.

YOU care about the executives and shareholders of healthcare companies realizing the greatest possible profit, and you don't care if that means children suffering and dying from treatable ailments.

And go read up on Vietnamese pronouns, fool, and you'll find that it practically doesn't even have them. The words used most commonly are, in ascending deference, child, young woman, brother/sister, nephew, younger aunt/uncle, older aunt/uncle, grandmother/grandfather. And "friend" is in there somewhere too.

Stick to what you know, whatever that might be. Like how much you adore Sarah Palin.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 16, 2010 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Chevron hearts the Crescent...

"The US energy firm Chevron negotiated with Tehran about developing an Iraq-Iran cross-border oilfield in spite of tight US sanctions, according to the Iraqi prime minister in leaked diplomatic cables.

Nouri al-Maliki's claim, reported in the cables, that Chevron was in discussions with the Iranian government will raise eyebrows in Europe and other parts of the world where international companies have come under significant pressure from Washington to end investments and other financial dealings with Tehran."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/15/wikileaks-chevron-iran-iraq-oilfield-claim

Posted by: bernielatham | December 16, 2010 7:21 AM | Report abuse

"Andrew Sullivan wonders if independents are starting to come back to Obama."

Perhaps because those independents are starting to be reminded of the hypocrisy of the Republicans, and that those Republicans are contemptuous of the independents' desire for the parties to work together?

Posted by: rhallnj | December 16, 2010 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Btw, you are also perpetuating a fallacy in the notion that wealth just exists and then gets "concentrated." Wealth doesn't just exist. It grows. And sometimes it grows disproportionately. There is nothing wrong or corrupt about that. Yes, sometimes people steal it. But it is built.

==

STUpid STUpid STUpid.

Someone becomes wealthy from productive laboe and innovation, fine. It actually happens occasionally.

More often people are born into it, doing nothing to earn it but the right choice of parents, and when the wealth is titanic it can be used to create unfair advantage.

You mentioned Gates and Microsoft, where I worked almost half my career .. were you not aware that there is a law in Washington creating an exemption in unemployment taxes for companies employing over a certain number of workers? It "so happens" that there are only two in the state who qualify: Microsoft and Boeing. They were er ah influential in the drafting of that law. Using their wealth to unlevel the playing field to their advantage.

So much for your "free market," which, as always, is a con game.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 16, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Updates on the on-going Assange bail hearing...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2010/dec/16/wikileaks-latest-julian-assange-bail-appeal

Posted by: bernielatham | December 16, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

"I don't care about "constitutionality." . . .. I don't give a crap."

Which is exactly what I said we all understand. When you've got no point to make, calling the opponent stupid tends to backfire.

"What I care about . . ."

Is your own vanity, and tearing down and destroying other people. You care about others the same way Stalin did.

I'm quite certain I have nothing to learn from you about care for children.

Read up on Vietnamese? No thanks. But it would be great if you confined yourself to your new language and your own country's affairs. Why don't you just post everything in Vietnamese? That would really show everyone how smart you are, and that's your only goal here.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 16, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

It's kinda creepy how you speak in the first-person plural, qb. I doubt that if I turned off the troll filter I would see everyone else on the blog electing you to speak for them. Claiming consensus is such a hackneyed and dishonest tactic, But then, you're a conservative, falsehood is your medium. Anyway.

I regard your constitutional objections to be nothing more than a fig leaf and I'm sure you were somewhat less than vociferous in your objections to Bush's tantrum over being bound by it, when he called it "just a piece of paper." If the Constitution offers a serious obstacle to the feasible alleviating of suffering, then the Constutution is in the wrong, and the alleviating of suffering is more important than scrupulous fidelity to it.

I'll continue to post in this language, most of the time anyway, and if you really think I'm trying to show off my intellect then you must be pretty insecure about your own. Justifiably so.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 16, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

assange granted bail

Posted by: bernielatham | December 16, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

"STUpid STUpid STUpid.

Someone becomes wealthy from productive laboe and innovation, fine. It actually happens occasionally.

More often people are born into it, doing nothing to earn it but the right choice of parents, and when the wealth is titanic it can be used to create unfair advantage."

So let's take a look at your "logic" here. Your premise is that people get wealth in one of two ways -- either the way I described or being "born into it." It follows that those who inherit wealth inherit it from people who built it through innovation and industry, and that all wealth is in fact accumulated -- or, as shrink originally characterized it, becomes "concentrated" -- in precisely that way. The world of the rich is composed of Bill Gates and his children.

So you've just admitted that I was right, which makes it seem rather uncharitable and ignoble for you to call me stupid for saying it.

You apparently have a big problem with inherited wealth. That's just another reflection of your hostility toward human nature and human society, and your perverse sense of "justice."

I don't know anything about our Microsoft/Boeing tale, nor what it has to do with the question. I also have no problem with people using their money and resources to protect their interests. If they didn't bribe anyone or break the law, no problem. The Obamas of the world grasp and retain power by continuously inciting 98% against 2%, and employees against employers, etc. Fair is fair.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 16, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

"It's kinda creepy how you speak in the first-person plural, qb."

Not as creepy as someone who, as you again boast above, has disowned this country but still speaks as though he were part of it.

"I'm sure you were somewhat less than vociferous in your objections to Bush's tantrum over being bound by it, when he called it "just a piece of paper." "

Here's a tip: try to distinguish between reality and myths you read in the leftwing blogosphere.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 16, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

"The decision to have Julian Assange sent to a London jail and kept there was taken by the British authorities and not by prosecutors in Sweden, as previously thought, the Guardian has learned...

It had been widely thought Sweden had made the decision to oppose bail, with the CPS acting merely as its representative. But today the Swedish prosecutor's office told the Guardian it had "not got a view at all on bail" and that Britain had made the decision to oppose bail."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/15/julian-assange-bail-decision-uk

Posted by: bernielatham | December 16, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

All, Morning Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/12/the_morning_plum_152.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 16, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

"Not as creepy as someone who, as you again boast above, has disowned this country but still speaks as though he were part of it."

==

Old habits die hard. I'm working on it. I need to eschew using the first person plural talking about the USA because I've decided its cause is lost, while you need to do learn to stop pretending you speak for everyone here.

So many shabby tactics at play in your writing. Another: the claiming of rhetorical victory by contrivance and embellishment. That may ruffle the nsecure but it finds no purchase with me. Don't let me stop you, though.

Hate the be the bearer though but the whole "Stalinist murderer" thing is getting stale.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 16, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

"Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old U.S. Army Private accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, has never been convicted of that crime, nor of any other crime. Despite that, he has been detained at the U.S. Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia for five months -- and for two months before that in a military jail in Kuwait -- under conditions that constitute cruel and inhumane treatment and, by the standards of many nations, even torture. Interviews with several people directly familiar with the conditions of Manning's detention, ultimately including a Quantico brig official (Lt. Brian Villiard) who confirmed much of what they conveyed, establishes that the accused leaker is subjected to detention conditions likely to create long-term psychological injuries."

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/

I suppose, after murdering a few million people, the Pentagon types aren't much bothered by this sort of thing.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 16, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

What's a few million dead people when there's money to be made / and it's a hundred in the shade / in the backroom?

Posted by: caothien9 | December 16, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Mirror mirror

Sounds like your enjoyment of spreading your irreverent poison is wearing thin.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 16, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Mirror mirror

Sounds like your enjoyment of spreading your irreverent poison is wearing thin.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 16, 2010 9:51 AM | 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