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Morning Fix: An Olympic Boom or Bust?



Update, 12:20 PM: Chicago has lost out on its bid for the Olympics despite the full-court press by the Administration in the last 48 hours. The Windy City, along with Tokyo, was eliminated in the first round of voting, a shocking result given that handicappers had expected the choice to come down to Chicago and Rio de Janeiro.

Original Post
President Barack Obama's last-minute decision to head to Copenhagen today to make the case for his native Chicago to host the 2016 Olympics is a trip fraught with political possibility and peril.

On the one hand, if Chicago is awarded the games Obama winds up looking like the Yankees' Mariano Rivera -- the ultimate closer whose presence sealed the deal for his home city. (And who said the Fix couldn't get a "Mo" reference into the column? Take that!)

On the other, Republicans have already made the case that Obama's trip to Copenhagen is a needless distraction from the problems affecting the country on the home front, and that argument is sure to grow louder if Chicago loses out.

(Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele previewed the GOP line of attack regarding the Olympics on a conference call with reporters earlier this week; "It does not instill confidence in the American people that the focus is on jobs and wealth creation," he said of the trip.)

In truth, Obama is in what amounts to a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation with the Chicago Olympic bid. Had he stuck with his original plan to stay away -- allowing First Lady Michelle Obama to make the case to the International Olympic Committee alone -- he would have almost certainly been dogged by critics wondering why he hadn't done everything that he could to bring the games stateside in 2016.

Now that Obama has put some of his credibility on the line with the trip, he opens himself up to looking ineffectual on the world stage if the Windy City loses out.

And, as Fix colleague Peter Slevin has noted, it's not even clear that should Obama secure the Olympics for Chicago that the city's residents will be particularly pleased. Less than half of the Windy City's residents said they want the city to host the Olympics, according to a recent WGN survey.

Given everything that is going on domestically and internationally, it's a safe bet that the White House would have preferred to avoid the Olympic issue altogether. But, such are the challenges of the presidency where many of the biggest hurdles are the ones you never see coming.

Friday's Fix Picks:

1. A health care bill (finally)?
2. The Ensign morass gets even uglier.
3. Obama to raise cash in Connecticut for Dodd.
4. More evidence why politics in New Jersey is just so darn good.
5. Tom Toles is a genius

Weaver, Yobs Huddled with Tpaw: Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) announced the core of his 2012 political team on Thursday but there are other operatives he is courting who are not yet publicly supportive. For instance, Tpaw met with John Weaver, former senior adviser to Sen. John McCain's (Ariz.) presidential bids, and Chuck and John Yob, the father and son Michigan consultants who worked for McCain, during his visit last week to the Mackinac leadership conference. Weaver, who was widely regarded as McCain's top political operative for the better part of the last decade, was expected to play a similar role in the assumed presidential campaign of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. (R). But, Huntsman accepted a post as the Ambassador to China in the Obama Administration, leaving Weaver without a candidate.

Specter Calls on Sestak to Resign....: Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter (D) sent a letter to his primary rival, Rep. Joe Sestak, on Thursday asking the Congressman to either stop missing votes or resign from office. "You are asking the voters for a promotion but are failing to perform the most basic duty of any Congressman, which is to vote on the floor of the House of Representatives," wrote Specter. Sestak, who has held the 7th district since 2006, has missed 122 votes this year -- the ninth-worst attendance record in the country, according to tabulations done by Specter's campaign.

...Loses Ground in New Poll: Anew Quinnipiac poll showed Specter leading Sestak 44 percent to 25 percent, a far cry from the 30-plus point edge the incumbent had in Q polling earlier this summer. The narrowing of the gap is solely due to voters jumping off the Specter ship; he had 55 percent support in late July while Sestak stood at 23 percent. There's more bad news in the poll for Specter whose numbers have faded across the board since spring. For example, now more voters view him unfavorably (46 percent) than favorably (42 percent); back in May, Specter's fav/unfav sat at a far more robust 52 percent/34 percent.

Click It!: Sign up to receive the "Morning Fix" in your inbox. Do it! Today!

Ditka, Not for Kirk: Legendary Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka, himself an oft-mentioned GOP candidate for Senate in Illinois, has endorsed real estate developer Patrick Hughes in the state's open seat race -- spurning establishment pick Rep. Mark Kirk in the process. "Patrick Hughes stands for the same mainstream values that Mike Ditka stands for," said Ditka in a classic referring-to-oneself-in-the-third-person moment. Kirk is seen as the clear favorite in the Illinois primary although his vote earlier this year for President Obama's cap and trade legislation has caused him considerable trouble with the conservative base of the party. (Also, this; "He's a merciful Ditka".)

Chat Time: If it's Friday, it's the Live Fix chat. Starting today at 11 a.m., we'll take your questions -- for an entire hour. Don't have time to follow along in real time? Submit your questions in advance.

Comstock Feted by Prominent Democrat: Barbara Comstock, a Republican consultant turned candidate for state Delegate in Virginia, will be the guest of honor at a fundraiser next week at the house of Cynthia Alksne, a legal expert and prominent Democrat who was recently appointed to the state Board of Corrections by Gov. Tim Kaine (D). "Barbara and Cynthia have been friends and sparring partners for year," said Steve McMahon, a Democratic media consultant and Alksne's husband. "Her kids babysat our kids -- so this is personal. It's not partisan, it's not political." Comstock is challenging state Del. Margaret Vanderhye (D) in what is seen as one of the most competitive races in the Commonwealth this fall.

Say What?: "I definitely would not have left that podium, that's for sure." -- Former New York Rep. Rick Lazio (R) reflects back on the now-famous podium approach in 2000.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 2, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Short Takes: RGA Plays Hole Card Against Deeds
Next: The Live Fix: Of the 2016 Olympics, Virginia Governor, Tpaw and VIA Coffee

Comments

I wouldn't nomrally respond to a post this late but if GoldAndTanzanite is reading I would like to clarify what I meant in my comment about having some understanding of where anti-americanism coems from. So what I meant was while finding much of your governments actions over the previous administration highly objectionable. I am plesently supprised by President Obama (by which I mean he has not been as far to the right as I expected, remember I live in Scandinavia), the 'royal' visit would have been the same with any american president I think.

What I mean is that the president of Brazil, the King of Spain were also in Copenhagen that day, they did not however, requier the closing of a very busy commuter route. The bridge from Sweden carries a lot of traffic and the cancelling of 3 trains (they run every 20 mins) gets in a lot of people's way. While I understad the need for greater security for the President of the USA given that I do live in the real world and know he is more important and therefore a bigger target. What I mean is that the feeling of being exposed to american power like this makes people feel insignificant and pushed out of the way. Thus I can understand why in many areas of the world american actions which are intended to be good, create such a negative reaction because there is a failure of communication.

Basically my reason for writting, even after so much time, is that I object to the tone of your orriginal post, much of the problem with debate on these boards is that people respond emotionally, don't ignore the loonies and are too quick to respond with personal attacks. I certainly don't hate the USA, i took a quiet pleasure in Chicago not winning the games, yes I will admit that, however schadenfreude is far from anti americanism. My point was meant to be meerly a comment on the possibility of miss communication and the way american power is experinced arround the world.

Posted by: dhg1 | October 5, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

We lost because South America has never hosted the olympics in the past and because our President is not the Rock Star he tries to be......9.8% unemployment and climbing!!! Where are all those Green Jobs you promised ad nauseum during the debates President Obama? ....NO jobs created in first THREE hundred days (One wasted flying to Copenhagen)

Posted by: thecannula | October 3, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

we lost because we torture and detain people forever, with no hope of even explaining to a court.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | October 3, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

emmet1, a lot of good posts. Sorry if I sound obnoxious from time to time. Cheers.

Posted by: nodebris | October 3, 2009 2:03 AM | Report abuse

"You say Bill Gates had more money than the bottom 40% of the US economy."

The argument is about income taxes, and thus about income, not wealth. If you want to argue about wealth, you are on far, far weaker ground than you imagine.

Please, take direction on arguing from Glenn Beck. It saves your opponents the trouble of sticking a "kick me" sign on your back.

Posted by: nodebris | October 3, 2009 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Trust me emmet I'm not starry-eyed about the place. The government is really thin-skinned, I know one of the opera stars whom I met in Saigon in 1998 who can't go back there because she said something critical of the government on VN-American TV. My partner's father was in jail for years because he shot his mouth off all the time. It's not a free country.

But it's not a place where people fear the cops or the government, hell one of the people we travel with is a cop, we took him and his family to Ha Long Bay earlier this year. Nice guy. Knows how to open doors for us.

I felt a lot more endangered in Malaysia, frankly. Not particularly mind you but I've never had reason to be nervous in VN.

Good-on with your daughter there, that rocks, working in a Chinese orphanage.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 3, 2009 12:59 AM | Report abuse

I think I'll order a copy of Glenn Beck's new book, Arguing With Idiots, and then go to bed. Good night, all.

Posted by: emmet1 | October 3, 2009 12:58 AM | Report abuse

GAndT, If you want to argue that the bottom 40% of Americans have a net worth of less than $800 per person, then the burden is on you to prove it. We have a $14,000 billion a year economy. Bill Gates, whose net worth never topped $100 billion, or about three days worth of American GDP, could not possibly have been worth more than the bottom forty percent of the US economy. That makes no sense. Where did you hear it? Hanoi?

Posted by: emmet1 | October 3, 2009 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Ummm, how much do you think people manage to save living paycheck to paycheck?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 3, 2009 12:45 AM | Report abuse

GAndT, I'm glad they've liberalized their economy and become less harsh. I've been to China, and it gave me the creeps despite the prosperity and nice people. The air was nasty and our guide would always look around before spilling the dirt on the party. They still venerate Mao who ranks with Hitler and Stalin as a mass murderer.

I like Vietnamese food, too, and hope to visit there someday. My seventeen year-old daughter wanted to go there this past summer and work in an orphanage, but I made her go to Beijing instead, which she loved.

Posted by: emmet1 | October 3, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse

GAndT, you're not too good with numbers, are you? You say Bill Gates had more money than the bottom 40% of the US economy. I don't know what Gates's peak net worth was, but I know it was well under $100 billion. Forty percent of Americans is 120 million people. Your statement can only be true if their average net worth was about $800. Maybe you're thinking of Vietnam.

Posted by: emmet1 | October 3, 2009 12:34 AM | Report abuse

GAndT, I don't know anything about today's Vietnam except that it's still run by the party

==

Well I do know about it because I was just there last March, and the March before that, and the February before that ...

Around 1982 things had deteriorated pretty bad and the reformulated the whole agrarian communism idea, opened some areas to tourists, allowed some capitalism, and when things got better they kept on in that direction. It's the kind of place where people don't get in a lot of trouble unless they're determined to. I hang with people all day and nobody looks around anxiously like things were in East Germany.

The food there is to die for good, the countryside is beautiful, it's a really incredible country.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 3, 2009 12:33 AM | Report abuse

nondebris, I support a progressive tax structure. I don't have any qualms about the top 1% paying 40% of all income taxes, or the top 5% paying 60%

==

Again you dodge the fact that the wealthiest citizens control so very much of the money in America, and get such a disproportionate share of it.

At the peak of his fortune Bill Gates personally had more money than the entire bottom 40% of our economy. Think he paid anything like his fair share of taxes on that? Think he paid anywhere near what that bottom 40% paid, they who needed it so much more than he?

And when you get up to the 0.1% you have a few hundred families controlling ridiculous amounts of wealth, so very much more than they did thirty years ago, and still they clamor for more tax relief.

The top 1% should probably be paying a hell of a lot more than 40% of taxes.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 3, 2009 12:28 AM | Report abuse

GAndT, I don't know anything about today's Vietnam except that it's still run by the party that ran the re-education camps and caused the exodus of boat people. I've heard the stories first-hand, but Google can inform you of what I'm talking about. Anyone who worked with the Americans or served in the South Vietnamese army was "re-educated", even dishwashers and such. The conditions were brutal and well-documented by the survivors.

Posted by: emmet1 | October 3, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

@nodebris: exceptionally fine post, thund'rous applause, panning left and right.

But I think the last paragraph is a color to the blind moment. Yes, but.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 3, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse

nondebris, I support a progressive tax structure. I don't have any qualms about the top 1% paying 40% of all income taxes, or the top 5% paying 60%, even though I'm sometimes in those percentiles. I've never objected to paying taxes when I sold a business or had some other success.

But if I went to a restaurant with 99 of my closest friends and one of them paid forty percent of the total tab and four others paid another twenty percent, I wouldn't tell them they hadn't paid their fair share. Especially if I were one of the fifty diners who paid a total of 3%.

Posted by: emmet1 | October 3, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse

GAndT, I hope they don't decide you're a class enemy and send you to a re-education camp. I know a family of boat people that survived the gulag and escaped the land you're retiring to.

==

Where do you get this crap?!?

Let me shine a little light into the darkness of your sharp-penciled soul.

The middle class in Viet Nam is growing where ours is shrinking. I personally know people who were born in villages and are now worth millions of our dollars. Upward mobility is unimpeded by any entrenched financial elite. And it's a command economy with taxes on business the only taxes there are.

As for your re-education camp paranoia, geez, dude, wake up. You're living in some duck-and-cover fantasyland.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 3, 2009 12:13 AM | Report abuse

GAndT, I hope they don't decide you're a class enemy and send you to a re-education camp. I know a family of boat people that survived the gulag and escaped the land you're retiring to.

Re incentives, in economics important changes in behavior are always at the margin. Sure, some will invest if the tax rate is anything less than 100%, and some won't invest if it's 0%. What matters for the economy is the guy who will invest at, say, a 30% marginal tax rate, but play it safe at 40%. Believe me, the calculation looks different when you can keep 70% of your earnings versus only 60%. With state and local taxes, many people today pay around 50% and it's going way up. If they're my age, they might think: why bother working long hours or investing in that venture capital fund, I'll just put my money in munis or overseas and play out the string.

Posted by: emmet1 | October 3, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

emmet1: you didn't address your post to me, but you said, "What I resent are the demagogues and misinformed who claim that the top earners aren't paying their fair share of income taxes."

Fair enough. I agree. I think the progressive tax structure should be described as it is: not as a punishment on achievement, but as an unspoken appeal to the sentiments of fairness, national pride, and enlightened self-interest of those who most benefit from being American.

Our founders, without anyone begging, pledged "our lives, or fortunes, and our sacred honor" to the cause of America. Today, with two wars and a huge financial crisis of the severest risk, far fewer rich men pledge their lives, or their children's lives. They grumble about their fortunes. And their sacred honor?

Posted by: nodebris | October 2, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Emmitt. You are his newest and only friend. You and the birds are the only ones who can stand him. He roughly is about as smart as a bird.

He hates hunting except boys. He will be staring at the screen all night waiting for a sign.

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Emmitt. You are his newest and only friend. You and the birds are the only ones who can stand him. He roughly is about as smart as a bird.

He hates hunting except boys. He will be staring at the screen all night waiting for a sign.

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 11:50 PM | Report abuse

You liberals are so over your heads. The default retort of you lie is no longer hiding your inadequecies.

==

you don't say!

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

The hammer and sickle was responsible for the slaughter of hundreds of millions of innocent human beings.

==

Damn I better be careful walking under it!

No, I'm not a Communist but I'm retiring to a Communist country. You should see the place. You'd be driven to madness by a government that looks out for the people, all of them, instead of protecting power and privilege alone.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

The lonely loser trudges on.

You liberals are so over your heads. The default retort of you lie is no longer hiding your inadequecies.

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

All these sorts of tax discussions get loaded up with pronouncements about how changes in the tax code affect human behavior. Not only affect it, but affect it in precisely deterministic and predictable ways.

And this is SUCH nonsense. Yes if taxes are really high people will try to find ways to avoid paying them, but small changes in the tax code don't lead to precisely mirroring changes in how people use their money, that's just nonsense. There will be hedge funds and tax shelters and any other names and guises no matter what the tax rates are.

People will use money to speculate in hopes of making more of it no matter how much tax they will have to pay on it.

And the idea that people need the possibility of vast fortunes before they're motivated to work (especially in an executive capacity) speaks not of any science of human behavior but of a certain sort of mental illness. Anyone who needs hundreds of millions dangled before him to find the energy to get out of bed probably has a screw loose somewhere.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Geez, are you a Communist, GAndT?! What's with "the hammer and sickle flies unapologetically and proudly"? The hammer and sickle was responsible for the slaughter of hundreds of millions of innocent human beings. An apology would be in order. I can't believe I've been wasting time talking to a Communist.

Posted by: emmet1 | October 2, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

your birds, gat, what kind? I have friends with the most remarkably gifted grey african parrots... they amaze me with their language and comprehension and mimicry abilities.

but i am also aware that the trade in these lovely birds may endanger their survival in the wild.

==

I had a Congo Grey once, the only bird I ever had who died. Wheezing late one afternoon, dead a few hours later. That's how it is with birds, they mask their illnesses until it's too late to save them. VERY smart bird, actually composed sentences. You should probably know about Irene Pepperberg and her Grey Alex, the book is "Alex and Me" and I had the honor of meeting her at a signing.

I have three macaws (Harlequin, Scarlet, Hyacinth), two cockatoos (both hybrids), two Caiques (google them), a Meyer's Parrot and a small conure. One of the cockatoos exhibits the intelligence of a four-year-old child, he's with me at the moment, refuses to talk but, well, I have less complicated relationships with most humans.

Import of parrots has been illegal since 1990, I think, the CITES treaty that gives me such headaches taking my parrots abroad. Last time I was there we headed straight to Hanoi to talk to the CITES administrator for the whole country, nice guy, scrupulously honest. Anyway wild-caught parrots aren't pets.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, the SPIE doesn't hold conferences in Vietnam. Then again, I had an invited talk at a conference in India that I couldn't attend due to security concerns. [Not that I do anything classified.] I have a feeling Vietnam would merit chuckles, if not guffaws.

==

Well a certain veracity-challenged subcontingent of The Fix would suffer the French fits over there, the hammer and sickle flies unapologetically and proudly everywhere.

I love it there. Hotter'n hell and the men smoke like chimneys but now I have my own house.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD, Before the Reagan tax cuts there was a booming tax shelter industry. Dentists and such were investing in crappy economic investments like barges to get accelerated depreciation and thus a tax loss. Eventually, their ordinary income would be converted into capital gain, taxed at a lower rate.

The actual rich had lawyers and accountants devising far more sophisticated schemes. All this brainpower and capital was going into crap, rather than into exciting new businesses and technologies.

I'm old enough to remember this era. When the tax cuts passed, this tax shelter industry all but disappeared. If tax rates aren't excessive, people will think more about making money and less about protecting it from the tax man. Why do you think capital gains tax payments went up when the rates were reduced during the Clinton administration?

Posted by: emmet1 | October 2, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

This is EXACTLY why both the Bush and the Obama administration decided to give billions of dollars to the banks in the TARP program. It's not out of some love for bankers. It's so that bankers can supply credit to people so that they have money to invest in things like construction, home buying, business starting, and so forth.

I do think this needed to be done. People, of course, are going to make political hay over this since it's unpopular. There needed to be some strings attached. Obama is slightly better than Bush with this, but not by a lot. Furthermore, you need to adjust the system so that this doesn't happen again.

Not going to happen. You think insurance companies have a lot of sway with legislators? It's nothing compared to the pull banks have.

Posted by: DDAWD
--------------
I agree with you. The problem with the government being all-powerful and spending trillions of dollars is that those who get those dollars or who benefit from regulation at the expense of competitors or consumers end up controlling policy. That's why cap-and-trade bought off utilities and Obamacare bought off drug companies, the AMA, AARP, hospitals and insurers. It's called "rent-seeking" by economists. It makes the economy inefficient and unfair, like in the third world.

It's also called the Chicago Way, where everybody gets a cut -- even the Republicans who play ball with the machine -- at the taxpayers expense. Crony capitalism is not much better than socialism. The honest and talented can't win a rigged game.

Posted by: emmet1 | October 2, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

"But tax shelters and favors tilted in favor of the rich ensure that this will not happen."

I've never understood people who say that higher taxes will make people seek out these tax shelters. You think they'll stop looking if you lower them?

Posted by: DDAWD | October 2, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Did those of you complaining about the fact that the rich were paying an ever growing share of taxes ever stop to think that may that's because the rich were taking in an ever bigger share of the pie? The top 1% had their share of the national income more then double since Regan took office. The top .01% quadrupled their cut.

If it is true that Regan and Co didn't favor the rich and didn't make the tax code less effective, then they're shares of the tax burden should have shot up with their shares of the income. But they didn't, their share of the tax burden is about the same.

We are living in a society where the top .1% are taxed at a lower rate then the top 1% because they have rigged the tax code in their favor. We say there is not enough money for health, for poverty, for education, for the public good but we refuse to demand that those this country has given a hell of a lot to give back more.

Posted by: theamazingjex | October 2, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

drindl, I don't claim to have waded through Keynes's "The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money", though I did start it in an earlier, more serious life. I was merely referring to his concept of "animal spirits", which is just another term for the optimism, energy and risk-taking that makes capitalism the best economic system for creating wealth and economic dynamism.

The left wants to re-distribute wealth but fails to understand that first someone must take the risks and start and grow the businesses that create the wealth.

Look at my posts below if you're one of the willfully blind who think the rich don't pay taxes. You must be thinking of the rich in Obama's cabinet.

Posted by: emmet1 | October 2, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

And I have to say, like many others here, that the aggregate cost of income tax paid by the top earners, who have tremendous amounts of DISCRETIONARY income, has nothing whatever to do with the percentage of income paid by folks who are just struggling to survive -- to just exist and get by.

If we all paid the same PERCENTAGE of our income, we would not be having any financial problems in this country. But tax shelters and favors tilted in favor of the rich ensure that this will not happen.

Posted by: drindl | October 2, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

"I don't understand economists who say the problem is demand. Consumers are rationally scared and are trying to restore their personal balance sheets. They should be paying down debt. It's the smart move."

It's the smart move, but when consumers are paying down debt, they aren't spending money on small businesses. Thus, no demand. Demand isn't just about whether you want or not want something. It's about how willing you are to spend money on what you want. Now when disposable income is gone, you just don't have the money to dispose on non-essentials. That's where the demand has gone.

"DDAWD, I was talking to a large developer last night. His customers are builders who build maybe twenty houses a year. Or used to. He said none of them can get bank credit even when their houses are pre-sold."

This is EXACTLY why both the Bush and the Obama administration decided to give billions of dollars to the banks in the TARP program. It's not out of some love for bankers. It's so that bankers can supply credit to people so that they have money to invest in things like construction, home buying, business starting, and so forth.

I do think this needed to be done. People, of course, are going to make political hay over this since it's unpopular. There needed to be some strings attached. Obama is slightly better than Bush with this, but not by a lot. Furthermore, you need to adjust the system so that this doesn't happen again.

Not going to happen. You think insurance companies have a lot of sway with legislators? It's nothing compared to the pull banks have.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 2, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

"What we need is a tax and investment climate that sets off what Keynes called our "animal spirits". Let people think they have a chance to get rich without the class warriors plundering them, and they will get to work building the post-bubble economy"

You are deliberately misreading Keynes. Let people think, falsely, that they have a chance to get rich quick with no risk is precisely what caused all of our current problems. And the 'class warriors'-- hmm, who would these be? Rich republicans deadbeats who don't want to pay their taxes?

Posted by: drindl | October 2, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

GAndT, look at the tables I linked to yourself.

Total income taxes paid by the top 1% of taxpayers increased from $367 billion in 2000 to $451 billion in 2007. I'm not claiming revenues would not have been even higher without the rate cuts, but the growth in revenue was strong by any measure. For the top 5% the increase was from $555B to $676B.

For the top 50% income taxes paid increased from $942B to $1,083B. For those below the top 25% but above the bottom 50% (the second quartile from the top) income taxes paid decreased from $118B to $117B. For the bottom 50%, it decreased from $38B to only $32B.

No doubt it's this last cohort that thinks the "rich" don't pay enough taxes. The top one percent, if you'll look at these numbers, is the cohort responsible for most of the increase in income tax receipts from 2000 to 2007. $84B out of a $135B revenue increase, to be exact.

Of course, all these revenue numbers seem puny compared to the almost $2,000 billion dollar deficit we're going to run this yeaar and the $1,000+ billion deficits projected as far as the eye can see.

Posted by: emmet1 | October 2, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

your birds, gat, what kind? I have friends with the most remarkably gifted grey african parrots... they amaze me with their language and comprehension and mimicry abilities.

but i am also aware that the trade in these lovely birds may endanger their survival in the wild.

Posted by: drindl | October 2, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, the SPIE doesn't hold conferences in Vietnam. Then again, I had an invited talk at a conference in India that I couldn't attend due to security concerns. [Not that I do anything classified.] I have a feeling Vietnam would merit chuckles, if not guffaws.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 2, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

@DDAWD - I'm figuring it was from a Windows developer.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 2, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

The whole "cutting taxes increases revenue" claim has been debunked many many times and is about as interesting as another creationism debate. The figure that comes out time and time again is that only 9% of the revenue lost by cutting taxes was regained as new revenue.

Analytically: the economy needs to grow by order n² to compensate for an order n decrease in the tax rate. So about to the extent that sin x = x, very tiny values.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

As for the Blade, his annual San Diego trip is on the verge of being redirected to Valencia, Spain or Honolulu, Hawaii. I'm leaning towards Valecia, even though I'll miss a chance to view the long form birth certificate.

==

My annual trip is to Việt Nam. Always around their New Year, Februrary or March. Probably April next year because my house will be finished then. I'm planning to retire there but have reservations about my birds, I don't want to lose them but they will outlive me by decades and I have much less assurance of passing them to loving homes in Asia than I would have here.

I lived two years in Spain, no real interest in seeing it again, nor any in going to Hawaii.

My next visit will be the first time I will be able to talk with my hosts .. earlier this year I could speak only haltingly and not understand at all, now I'm progressing toward fluency.

No place on earth interests me like Asia.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what optimum income tax rates would be, but I do know that the Reagan and Bush II tax cuts produced gushers of new federal revenues.

==

No, they didn't.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD, I was talking to a large developer last night. His customers are builders who build maybe twenty houses a year. Or used to. He said none of them can get bank credit even when their houses are pre-sold.

I don't understand economists who say the problem is demand. Consumers are rationally scared and are trying to restore their personal balance sheets. They should be paying down debt. It's the smart move.

As a society, we don't need another credit bubble any more than an addict needs another fix. What we need is a tax and investment climate that sets off what Keynes called our "animal spirits". Let people think they have a chance to get rich without the class warriors plundering them, and they will get to work building the post-bubble economy. Instead, we see government metastasizing and the private sector that creates wealth being squeezed to death.

Posted by: emmet1 | October 2, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

"Beware of the Leopard."

Something to do with thumbs and the Milky Way?

Posted by: DDAWD | October 2, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

GAndT, you're right that tax rates on the top income earners were sky-high during the Eisenhower administration, a legacy of WWII. But there were ways to avoid them, such as company-paid fringe benefits and tax shelters. Also, this was not a particularly dynamic era economically, with one major recession and sometimes sluggish growth. The growth was largely due to pent up domestic demand and strong exports. Then Kennedy cut taxes and unleashed a boom that lasted until Great Society and Vietnam War spending brought it to an end.

Of course incentives matter in economics. That's why liberals want to tax things that they want less of, such as smoking, soft drinks and cheese burgers. The same principle applies to work and investment. The more you tax it, the less you get.

I don't know what optimum income tax rates would be, but I do know that the Reagan and Bush II tax cuts produced gushers of new federal revenues. You can see it in the tables I linked.

When individuals believe there is an opportunity to build a business, to make a lot of money, and to keep a fair share of it, they will take economic risks. Some will succeed, workers will be hired and the government will collect taxes.

Posted by: emmet1 | October 2, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

"Don't even get me started on small business. They're getting totally hosed from all directions. Taxes, minimum wage, no benefit from porkulus, and no credit from Obama's banks."

If you knew a single small business owner, you'd know that the biggest problem is that there is no one to buy their stuff.

And cut it out with the stupid buzzwords if you're honestly interested in having a real discussion. Porkulus? ("pork" and "stim" don't rhyme. Just ask your new master wordsmith, Sarah Palin.)

Posted by: DDAWD | October 2, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

"Why should we resent them and want to confiscate their wealth?"

From he to whom much is given, much is expected. -Jesus

Posted by: nodebris
--------
The key word is "much". He didn't say "everything is expected". I think when governments -- federal, state and local -- take more than 50% of what a person earns, that's too much. It's also counter-productive from a tax efficiency standpoint, as the tax payer will modify his behavior to minimize taxes. He or she will either work less, take fewer risks, find tax shelters, or send his capital overseas. History proves this is true.

I have a high-income neighbor who has never complained about paying taxes or sought out dodgy tax schemes. But he told me that when the rates go up, he is going to grant an environmental easement on his property which won't affect his enjoyment of the property, but which will save him hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes. Normally, he wouldn't be doing this.

I can remember before the Reagan tax cuts when rich people spent much of their time and energy finding economically inefficient tax shelters. We'd be crazy to go back to those days by having confiscatory tax rates.

Posted by: emmet1 | October 2, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

A complete reading of taxes would include FICA contributions as well as state taxes (including sales and property taxes). Restricting the calculation to income tax skews the calculation. As I said earlier, liars and figures.

As for Jake, I assumed he went golfing, because there was good weather in San Diego. OK, I kid, when is there not good weather in San Diego. As for the Blade, his annual San Diego trip is on the verge of being redirected to Valencia, Spain or Honolulu, Hawaii. I'm leaning towards Valecia, even though I'll miss a chance to view the long form birth certificate. My guess is that it is on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying Beware of the Leopard. [Bonus points to anyone who gets the reference.] Tapas, Jamón Serrano, Paella, and the elusive chance for a reservation at Et Bullí are calling...

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 2, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

And oh by the way when it comes to the use of the word "incentive" in a debate like this about taxation, I don't believe a bloody word of it.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

That seems fair and reasonable to me. Taxes on the more successful are high enough to provide vast revenues for the government, but not so high as to take away the incentives for hard work and risk-taking.

==

You claim to know where that threshhold lies.

So why did people still invest during Eisenhower?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

GAndT, I have no problem with the top 1% earning 22.83% of personal income and paying 40.42% of individual income taxes in 2007. The top 5% earned 37.44% and paid 60.63%. The top 50% earned 87.74% and paid 97.11% of all income taxes.

That seems fair and reasonable to me. Taxes on the more successful are high enough to provide vast revenues for the government, but not so high as to take away the incentives for hard work and risk-taking.

What I resent are the demagogues and misinformed who claim that the top earners aren't paying their fair share of income taxes. That's absurd.

Posted by: emmet1 | October 2, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Skyrocketing national debt, threatened insane environmental and energy policies, threatened government takeover of health care, expected huge tax increases, and increasingly onerous regulation give any rational investor pause.

==

Yeah "insane environmental policy" like trying to prevent our own extinction.

Insane energy policies like using renewable fuels instead of depending on a dwindling supply of undesirable petroleum.

Government takeover of health ... insurance.

Expected huge tax increases ... where?

What is it with you guys and the lies?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

I think it is useful to recall that the federal budget must favor the wealthy and the powerful by reason of its constraints. The big checks go to interest on the national debt [which is not paid primarily to savings bond holders], to defense and highway contractors, to giant agribiz - you get my point. Five F22s = the entire Head Start budget. The entitlements were primarily funded by a regressive tax that excluded incomes above various numbers that coincided with the upper middle class. Having spent entitlement trust fund money on wars we soon will borrow to pay the entitlements.

So the progressive tax structure barely mirrors the regressive expenditure structure. I am not criticizing the federal priorities that put national security and interest payments at the top. I am only saying that those priorities require a progressive tax structure to be equitable.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 2, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Righties are always standing up for the rich and always writing that the percentage of taxes they pay should not exceed the percentage of their income from the national total. That's just nuts.

I don't get their motivation first of all .. maybe it's because liberals tend to favor a progressive tax, or because the flat tax is a dumb panacea that won't go away, or maybe they really are hoping for attaboys.

But it's stupid. People making under $40K really haven't a penny to spare, why should they pay anything?

The wealthy have gotten a disporportionate amount of the benefit, making money from the education and health of the workforce without which they would not be wealthy, why should they not also pay a disproportionate amount to support it?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD, investors are scared to death. They're relieved that the economy didn't completely melt down and the stock markets have recovered, but they expect a very slow recovery. They know they are the golden goose that the left in Congress and the White House plan to cut open to find all the golden eggs. Skyrocketing national debt, threatened insane environmental and energy policies, threatened government takeover of health care, expected huge tax increases, and increasingly onerous regulation give any rational investor pause.

Don't even get me started on small business. They're getting totally hosed from all directions. Taxes, minimum wage, no benefit from porkulus, and no credit from Obama's banks.

Also, a clueless president whose performance today is resurrecting memories of the Jamaican bobsled team. Anyone who's optimistic isn't paying attention.

Posted by: emmet1 | October 2, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

"Why should we resent them and want to confiscate their wealth?"

From he to whom much is given, much is expected. -Jesus

Posted by: nodebris | October 2, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

And oh, yeah, the illiterate author

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin is a wonderful gift to the Democrats, the personal embodiment of all the right's nuttiest delusions. The smart idiot, the experienced novice, the patriotic divisionist, the outdoorswoman who doesn't know how to shoot, the great candidate who doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell.

Please let her be the nominee.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

'And I am the "blog clog"?!'

Ask the people over on the Sarah Palin thread. No, threads, two of them. Give us your count over there, eh? Poor people suffering the same lavish attention you usually direct here . . . my heart goes out to them. It was nice over here, though.

Posted by: nodebris | October 2, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

The shares of income earned by the various percentiles of earners are shown in the tables I linked earlier. Check them out if you wish.
http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/250.html

As you can see, the share of national income earned by the top earners has been increasing for decades in all administrations and tax policies. It increased from 14.23% to 20.81% during the Clinton administration and from 20.81% to 22.83% during Bush II through 2007.

The growing income inequality is a function of the modern information economy where intellectual property, not plant and equipment, is where the big money is. Look at Google. They're putting the newspapers out of business but adding great value to the economy. Why should we resent them and want to confiscate their wealth? Then there won't be any more Googles and we'll all be worse off. If you take away incentives, you don't get economic dynamism and job growth.

Posted by: emmet1 | October 2, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

"Post count for the day:"

No jaked! He was busy defending Sarah Palin against republican charges of being a "Catastrophe" for the party. It took a lot of work. Love hurts.

==

he lu-u-u-u-u-vs that stupid harpy with all his .. uh .. hmmm, no mind, no heart, no soul .. all his .. OK, "might" .. doesn't have that either ... hmmm.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

LOL!!! Post count for the day (UPDATED):

34 GoldAndTanzanite
33 snowbama
17 mikeinmidIand
16 drindl
14 shrink2
11 emmet1
10 DDAWD
9 nodebris
6 dognabbit
3 Gator-ron
3 margaretmeyers
3 scrivener50
3 sltiowa
3 JakeD
2 or 1 - not given

And I am the "blog clog"?!

Posted by: JakeD | October 2, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

"No, nodebris, I was busy golfing this morning. Defending Gov. Palin against libs is like shooting fish in a barrel."

You are such a liar. Your posts on the Palin Catastrophe story started at about 9:00 AM California time and continued all day, certainly all of your morning. And it sure did take a lot of posts for such an easy endeavor.

It's ok; you're in love; we understand.

Posted by: nodebris | October 2, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

I see that none of them want to defend Obama's Olympic Bust though ; )

Posted by: JakeD | October 2, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

"The creative, industrious people who make the economy go"

Like Silicone Valley, that supported Obama enthusiastically.

Or was he referring to illegal immigrants?

He should go Galt, already.

Posted by: nodebris | October 2, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

No, nodebris, I was busy golfing this morning. Defending Gov. Palin against libs is like shooting fish in a barrel.

Posted by: JakeD | October 2, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

"Post count for the day:"

No jaked! He was busy defending Sarah Palin against republican charges of being a "Catastrophe" for the party. It took a lot of work. Love hurts.

Posted by: nodebris | October 2, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

The creative, industrious people who make the economy go

==

Nonsense. It's consumption by the middle class that makes the economy go and you want to choke that off.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Today we have a highly negative investment climate.

==

You're an ignorant idiot.

Go look up the Eisenhower years. Top marginal rates of 91%, strong regulation, high taxes on investment. According to your beliefs that should have been a time of economic calamity, but it wasn't, it was a very prosperous time.

You don't know what the hell you're talking about. I guess you're hoping for an "attaboy" from your corporate masters or something. What a lickspittle.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

"The smart people I've talked with are putting their money overseas or in munis; they're not starting or expanding businesses."

This is the equivalent of people saying they're moving to Canada if Bush or McCain gets elected. They said the same thing when Clinton was prez-elect. That they would stop hiring people and just throw everyone on the streets and not invest in the US and whatnot. It never happened and the redistributed tax bracket led to upward mobility for all and guess what, we had a balanced budget too! You want to know who DIDN'T have a balanced budget? Those same three guys who also didn't have an economic system that benefited the middle and lower class.

Investors are going to invest. You think a few percentage points of tax increase are going to stop that?

Posted by: DDAWD | October 2, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

"The left thinks of the top 1% or 5% of earners as looters"

That explains why Bill Gates and Warren Buffet both think that the rich pay too little?

Posted by: nodebris | October 2, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry Fairlington there's probably another purge coming, and once again it'll spare the real blog-clogger.

I may go find another proxy server, I may not. This place is starting to get old, and most of the good people have left already.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD, people don't get rich by being saps. They are smart and work hard. They take risks when the odds make sense, but they pull in their horns when the risk/reward ratio is unfavorable.

Today we have a highly negative investment climate. The fiscal situation is dire -- someone is going to have to pay off all the debt being run up by the pols. Taxes are already scheduled to go up sharply on the highest earners, including capital gains and estate rates. The smart people I've talked with are putting their money overseas or in munis; they're not starting or expanding businesses.

The left thinks of the top 1% or 5% of earners as looters and wants to soak them. It probably won't work, and if it does we'll all be much poorer. The creative, industrious people who make the economy go will, as you say they won't, "throw up their hands". At least at the margin, which makes the difference between growth and stagnation.

Posted by: emmet1 | October 2, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

@ emmet1 - A good case of liars and figures. One could (and many have) examine the share of income by the top 1% over these periods. If the top share of income has gone up by 50% and their share of taxes have gone up by 10%, one could argue that they've made out very well. Just a hypothetical, but it is an illustration how you've chosen to selectively mention data that bolsters your thesis.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 2, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

emmet, like many in the rightwing base, are deeply impressed with ignorance and incompetence.

the idea that palin is admirable, when she just basically walked awa y from her job as governor because it was too hard, is beyond laughable.

==

Inexperience is the new experience.

Ignorance is the new knowledge.

But calling hunting a "wholesome outdoor activity" was a troll too far. He needs work.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Again, emmet1, unless your contention is that the top 1% should pay 1% of taxes, as should the bottom 1% (i.e., the exact same amount regardless of income), these statistics mean nothing without referencing the amount of income the top 1% had. In fact, by themselves, they imply that during the Reagan years the top 1% greatly increased their share of income, and thus paid more taxes.

Think: if their tax rate went down, but they paid more taxes, that means . . .

Posted by: nodebris | October 2, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

emmet, like many in the rightwing base, are deeply impressed with ignorance and incompetence.

the idea that palin is admirable, when she just basically walked awa y from her job as governor because it was too hard, is beyond laughable.

Posted by: drindl | October 2, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

"DDAWD, the left has their quasi-religious beliefs and narratives that are impervious to facts. For instance, the myth that the Reagan and Bush tax cuts mostly benefited the rich. In fact, during the Reagan administration the share of total income taxes paid by the top 1% increased from 19.05% to 27.58%. During GWB's administration, the share paid by the top 1% increased from 37.42% to 40.42% (in 2007)."

If you look at it in terms of rate of income increase for each of the tax brackets, the wealthy did slightly better under the Reagan-Bush-Bush years. However, the middle and lower class incomes were completely stagnant. During the Clinton years, the middle and lower classes faced strong upward mobility along with the upper class.

This is simply fact. You can't debate that. You can debate the CAUSES of what I'm describing, but it's just the truth that you saw all boats being lifted during the Clinton years.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 2, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Post count for the day:

33 snowbama
29 GoldAndTanzanite
17 mikeinmidIand
14 shrink2
13 drindl
10 emmet1
8 DDAWD
6 dognabbit
6 nodebris
3 Gator-ron
3 margaretmeyers
3 scrivener50
3 sltiowa
2 or 1 - not given

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 2, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

For instance, the myth that the Reagan and Bush tax cuts mostly benefited the rich.

==

Oh so the fact that the wealthy ended up holding so much more of the nation's wealth than they had before was just "one of those things," right?

Why do ALL you guys lie? It's like your most defining characteristic.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

"Obama has a deep contempt for grassroots America and for American history;"

Man, I know you don't like Obama and all, but I don't know I know of anyone who is more studied on American history than Obama. During the campaign, a lot of his old radio interviews came out from when he was a US and an Illinois Senator and it just amazed me the random historical facts he could pull out to illustrate his point.

I know people like emmitt have this deep hatred for educated people (hence his claim of feigned erudition), but stuff like that impresses the hell out of me.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 2, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD, the left has their quasi-religious beliefs and narratives that are impervious to facts. For instance, the myth that the Reagan and Bush tax cuts mostly benefited the rich. In fact, during the Reagan administration the share of total income taxes paid by the top 1% increased from 19.05% to 27.58%. During GWB's administration, the share paid by the top 1% increased from 37.42% to 40.42% (in 2007).
http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/250.html

Posted by: emmet1 | October 2, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

"the top one percent of taxpayers kicked in 40% of all income tax payments"

This "percent of income tax paid" statistic is very popular with conservatives, but make very little sense absent a matching "percent of income earned" statistic, if you're trying to make a point about equity.

Forty percent sounds high. From CBO, I know that in 2005 the top 1% by income had 17% of pretax income and paid about 28% of federal income taxes. The top 10% by income had 40% of all pretax income and paid 54.8% of federal taxes. The bottom 60% had 26% of all income and paid 14% of all taxes.

I guess we could make everyone pay the same tax rate, rich man or pauper alike.

SOURCE: http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/98xx/doc9884/12-23-EffectiveTaxRates_Letter.pdf


Posted by: nodebris | October 2, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

"GAndT, Rasmussen was right on the money in the last presidential election "

I think Nate Silver also rated it as one of the best pollsters for the primaries.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 2, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

"And Sarah Palin may top them all.

In a feat usually reserved for the likes of J.K. Rowling and Dan Brown, Palin's book was No. 1 on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com just two days after Harper announced it had moved up the release date from the spring to Nov. 17 and that the memoir's title was "Going Rogue."

teee heeeee

Posted by: snowbama"

I wouldn't have thought that Palin would top the list of fiction writers, but I guess I'm not THAT surprised.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 2, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Delineating the exact extent of your delusion is a task far beyond my competency or interest. It's high and wide, I'll leave it at that.

==

he's trolling

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

"Goldetc, the top one percent of taxpayers kicked in 40% of all income tax payments in 2007, the highest percentage on record. Look for that to decline during the "soak the rich" Obama administration, as the wealthy shelter income in stuff like municipal bonds and avoid the sort of high risk investments that create economic progress and job growth."

Actually, we had a similar tax structure under the Clinton years. During that time, the richest people did about as well as they do at any other time. However, we had increase in standard of living for the middle and lower classes that Reagan and the Bushes did not come close to reaching.

The "soak the rich" plan is actually one of the best tax structures. It's just not the most politically viable since the rich have the loudest voice and the most support among the press.

Trust me, the rich aren't going to just throw their hands up in the air and stop trying to make money just because of a few percentage points of income tax increase.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 2, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Spot on Emmett.

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

"Was I too hard on Palin or too easy on Obama?"

Delineating the exact extent of your delusion is a task far beyond my competency or interest. It's high and wide, I'll leave it at that.

Posted by: nodebris | October 2, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Shooting a moose -- good

Clubbing an honors student to death with a railroad tie with help from bystanders -- bad

Posted by: emmet1 | October 2, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Palin stands for rural America and wholesome outdoor activities like hunting.

==

you're sick

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

wow, emmet1, that's a pretty impressive pile of self-delusion you've stacked up there.

Posted by: nodebris
-------
Was I too hard on Palin or too easy on Obama?

Posted by: emmet1 | October 2, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

wow, emmet1, that's a pretty impressive pile of self-delusion you've stacked up there.

Posted by: nodebris | October 2, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

GAndT, I'm not for Palin for President because in a way she reminds me of Obama. Both are charismatic figures who make inspiring speeches but lack great achievement or intellectual heft. Both are narcissists and drama queens.

Of course, there are differences: Obama has a better education; Palin has more executive experience (who doesn't?). Obama can fake erudition with the Charlie Roses of the world; Palin gets pawned by dimwit journalists like Couric and Gibson. Obama was a do-nothing senator; Palin was an effective mayor and governor. Obama has a deep contempt for grassroots America and for American history; Palin is a patriot who's always been proud of her country. Obama represents urban America and the Chicago Way; Palin stands for rural America and wholesome outdoor activities like hunting. Obama personifies the cynical, negative views and attitudes of the left; Palin has traditional American values.

Palin would make a far superior president than Obama, but we can do much better.

Posted by: emmet1 | October 2, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Saw a pickup yesterday, one of those behemoths driven by inner-city rednecks who never actually haul anything, polished to mirror finish and elevated about eight feet over the tires. And F250 IHaveAReallyBigProblemMobile. Prominent in the rear window:

"100% Anti-Obama"

I just love it when the world matches my expectations so perfectly.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

@drindl: amazing, Frist is one of the last people I would have expected honesty from

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

I need to wipe the moisture off my monitor

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite


Awwww, you found a friend. how sweet. and it's date night too. purrrfect.

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

In an interview today with Time’s Karen Tumulty, former Republican Senate Majority Leader Dr. Bill Frist dismissed the GOP’s balking over health care legislation. Underscoring how much Republicans have become the “party of no” and how much the Senate Finance Committee legislation has been watered-down, Frist said that if he were still in office, he would vote for the bill. “I would end up voting for it,” he said. “As leader, I would take heat for it. … That’s what leadership is all about.”

Frist has already come out for the individual mandate and has said that Democrats would be well within legal and ethical guidelines using the reconciliation process to pass health reform. In his interview with Tumulty, Frist also took issue with his party’s fearmongering, saying that “death panels and public plan arguments have been overblown.”

Posted by: drindl | October 2, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

the WSJ, glenn beck, Mark Levin, Michele Malkin and Sarah Palin should be your models for success.

==

(*guffaw*)

Palin a model of success. I need to wipe the moisture off my monitor

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

When it is shown a stuffed suit has no clothes, what is left?

all that remains is the gullibility of the liberal base. no fact will alter their warped view. but I bet a grand speech full of rosy promises would encourage them. It always worked before. now where did I put those Greek columns? I knew I was going to need them again.

CC - it occurs to me that your liberal base of loons retreats from posting when the news is bad for Obama and the Democrats. but these same loons have run off all the centrist and conservative bloggers. so as the administration goes down the drain, you will not get an uptick in traffic, as you did when Bush stumbled, but instead, your blog will be a ghosttown.

Better stick to reporting the facts. fox news, the WSJ, glenn beck, Mark Levin, Michele Malkin and Sarah Palin should be your models for success.

you should avoid anything that looks or feels like the NYTimes, NBC, MSNBC, Olbermann, Maddoxx, Mathews, or any of the other effette stream media if you wish to survive the coming calamity of liberal failure.

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

the Governor, on the other hand has just had 1.5 million books printed.

==

... for an audience that doesn't read books.

We already have one hoot-hoot over "Palin's" book.

And who *esteems* Sarah Palin? Angry racists ... and mental patients.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

To believe that markets are clairvoyant or oblivious to the future flies in the face of recent experience. The market started its downward coordinated tumble for stocks, corporate bonds and gold in August of last year. That was a month ahead of the Lehman bankruptcy that precipitated the panic. That panic was a predictor of an unprecedented collapse of a post WW II American economy.

True corporate bonds fell to levels that were suggestive of deflation which never occurred but that was only because of the steps that the government took to alleviate the situation.

I think the market was somewhat of a predictor but not a very good one since it did not reject the behavior of the leaders of the financial institutions that were plundering the unwitting investors for several years.

The idea that the investor class caused the plight of the working class is a formulation that may have been true in the previous century but the system has really run amuck since the Reagan years. The Club for Growth does not represent investors interest any more than it does workers.

Posted by: Gator-ron | October 2, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

GAndT, Rasmussen was right on the money in the last presidential election and its nightly poll had less volatility than the others. Unlike WaPo,they poll likely voters rather than all adults and use a party weighting that is adjusted every month. WaPo sometimes has 70 or 80 percent more Dems than Republicans in their sample. Anyway, Obama is diving in ALL the polls. The emperor has no clothes.

Posted by: emmet1 | October 2, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Carter was an awful president in every respect, and when people started laughing at him it was over.

>>>>>>>>>>>>

Remember the cardigans?

mmm mmm mmmmm

If we simply inflate our tires, we won't have to wear them again. Oh and be sure to turn off that Christmas tree.

that is what you call Dem energy policy.

but if we just switch off every factory in
America, maybe, by golly, the Russians, Chinese and Indians will follow suit. If we ask real nice. then living in sub Saharan Africa won't seem so bad and the world will be fair.

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Er, ah, more to the point he knows Palin personally and up close and he has a *really* low opinion of her.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite


you don't know her at all and feel the same way. so what. the common thread is you're both losers.

the Governor, on the other hand has just had 1.5 million books printed.

what did you do today?

wait, I can simply scroll down for a list of your accomplishments. how neat.

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Maybe there needs to be a parallel Bizarro The Fix for people who take Rasmussen polls and the WSJ editorial page seriously.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

As someone who has never understood anti-americanism, I think I am getting some idea now where it comes from....

Posted by: dhg1


Interesting. survived the entire bush presidency liking america. one visit by the messiah and his "do you know who I am" arrogance, and the tables have turned.

and I know from personal experience that the Danes and Swedes generally are very agreeable, generous and like Americans (not like the French). And I certainly like them, especially the stunningly beautiful girls.

Perhaps the entire schtick we were fed by the effette media is not based in reality. Like maybe books bought are not read. Or economics is pretend. or saving jobs counts. or barry is not a spender. Also, I see dead people and death rays. why does this blog collect loons?

don't feel bad sweden and denmark. Barry went on a date night to Manahattan, spent millions of our money, closed down the streets and pretty much annoyed everyone. but after all, he is the annointed one. He should have just walked across from Red Hook.

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

snowbama, I like your comparison between Barry at the IOC and Carter fighting off the bunny rabbit. Carter was an awful president in every respect, and when people started laughing at him it was over. Obama is so ridiculously grandiose for a man with no accomplishments other than giving speeches and being elected. His fecklessness and cluelessness rival Carters, and don't look now but people are starting to laugh.

The personality cult thing is becoming an easy punchline. Mmm, mmm, mmm. Barack Hussein Obama. Mmm, mmm, mmm. Barack Hussein Obama. When people stop laughing, they ask themselves, "What the **** were we thinking". According to the latest Rasmussen poll, independents have already turned against Obama 2-to-1.

Posted by: emmet1 | October 2, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like Steve Schmidt is on the filth's Scheiße-list since he says the GOP should stop harassing gays and he thinks Palin is an idiot.

That list is a good place to be.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

and that is supposed to impress us with sagacity. seems more like he knows a lot about losing

==

Er, ah, more to the point he knows Palin personally and up close and he has a *really* low opinion of her.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Well speaking as a resdient of the Copenhagen area, I am rather pleased that the Chicago bid failed, for no reason other than Obama wasted your tax money and came over here and caused chaos on our public transport. I live in Sweden and the bridge was closed for 2 hours today so he could come and go. Basically it felt like we were being treated to a 'royal' visit and had to bow and scrape. As someone who has never understood anti-americanism, I think I am getting some idea now where it comes from....

==

Who should I hate because there's construction going on near my workplace?

If a closed bridge inspires you to hate a whole country, don't expect anyone over here to be wringing any handkerchiefs over your disgruntlement. You sound like one of the GOP jerks over here who hate the federal government because they have to wait in line in state offices to renew a driver's license.

Iraqis, now THEY have some solid reasons. You don't.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

"" top political strategist for ...John McCain ""

and that is supposed to impress us with sagacity. seems more like he knows a lot about losing and would like to find a scapegoat. kind of like bob beckel.

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Just imagine if McCain had won and tried to forestall a Depression by acting on his Republican reflexes .. cutting taxes and cutting spending. The DoL unemployment would be around 15% or higher and McCain wouldn't allow himself to realize that cutting taxes and spending weren't helping. Like any committed ideologue he would double down, cutting both even more.

"Earmarks!"

And of course

".. the .. the bridge to nowhere ..."

9.8% is pretty grim. You have to remember who set up this mess and how very much worse it would be had we "stayed the course."

And despite several sextillion pastes from right-wing hate sites here, the voters don't seem to have forgotten.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Nine months in and Obama has nothing to show for his presidency. The IOC—despite the combined charisma of Barack and Michelle Obama and Oprah—just nixed Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Olympics. That's what direct, presidential diplomacy will get you. But we see the same woeful failure across the world.

North Korea, Iran, Israel--there has been zero progress on any of these fronts despite all the White House spin to the contrary.

In Washington, cap and trade has gone nowhere, health care reform has become health insurance reform and even that looks like it's in trouble.

Oh and then there's the stimulus. The one great accomplishment of the Obama presidency: So many jobs created and saved and saved again that we only lost 263,000 more this month.

mmmmmm, mmmm, mmmm

carter had his bunny, barry will always have Copenhagen, the event where he jumped the shark. that was quick.

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Well speaking as a resdient of the Copenhagen area, I am rather pleased that the Chicago bid failed, for no reason other than Obama wasted your tax money and came over here and caused chaos on our public transport. I live in Sweden and the bridge was closed for 2 hours today so he could come and go. Basically it felt like we were being treated to a 'royal' visit and had to bow and scrape. As someone who has never understood anti-americanism, I think I am getting some idea now where it comes from....

Posted by: dhg1 | October 2, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

fun, huh?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Obama received a nasty rebuff and a stern reminder that the rest of the world doesn’t necessarily care what he thinks. Chicago is out of the Olympics bidding process–in the first round. Why did Obama invest so much personal capital and time for this? Well, he simply can’t help himself. It’s the same force of ego that drives him on to those TV talk shows again and again and that imagines that a grand speech with no content and no appeal outside his base will be a game changer on health-care reform.

It’s also another reminder that, apparently, there isn’t anyone influential enough in the White House to keep the president from embarrassing himself. No one to say, “Enough with the talk shows.” No one to explain that presidents should not invest their personal credibility and standing to beg the IOC on behalf of his hometown. No one, unfortunately, to direct him back to the job of making timely, forceful decisions to defend America’s real interests. Not an interest in getting the Olympics, but the interests in defanging Iran, in maintaining robust alliances with friendly democracies, in executing a winning strategy in Afghanistan, and in readjusting domestic policy away from job-killing measures and toward job-creating ones.

Obama didn’t get the Olympics. He did get a slap in the face. Maybe he will learn something about multilateral institutions. At the very least, he may want to consider finding some advisers who will tell him to stop doing such silly things

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

The Obama lobbying speeches were counterproductive. The world has its own inspirational narratives and is not impressed that much by the Obamas’ Chicago sagas. It was accidental but unfortunate that the global viewers had seen some horrific YouTube clips of street fighting in the Windy City, and then were told by Michelle that her father had taught her how to land a right hook, and that it was a sacrifice for her to fly to Denmark to make the case for Chicago.


The Chicago bit was overdone. Obama should remember that there is a perfect storm brewing: The more we hear about Valerie Jarrett, Rahm Emanuel, Bill Ayers, and all his old Chicago friends, along with rumors about Tony Rezko–style backroom deals to cash in on Chicago real estate involving the Olympics, and continuing stories about Chicago’s street violence and corruption — the more it hurts the president to be identified as a “Chicago politician” who tries in heavy-handed fashion to implement change through the “Chicago way.” To a younger Obama, Chicago was the romantic can-do town of Reverend Wright, Michael Jordan, Oprah, and the Daley machine; to the world at large, it is something quite different, and far more unappealing.

Obama’s messianic appeal is wearing thin, both at home and abroad. I think that once Sarkozy essentially said to the world, “The emperor has no clothes,” the Obama facade crumbled. And here we are.


VDH

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

But when people bought Harry Potter books someone usually read them. Nobody's going to read Palin's cheesy whine, they'll just leave it prominently displayed on their desks to troll their coworkers, then it'll end up under the car seat.

Nobody reads gooper books, they just buy them out of loyalty. Without that guarantee she wouldn't have "written" it.

That's why she resigned her post. To make buck boo-hooing about liberals bein' mean to her and the job being too hard.

Please by all means nominate her.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

And Sarah Palin may top them all.

In a feat usually reserved for the likes of J.K. Rowling and Dan Brown, Palin's book was No. 1 on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com just two days after Harper announced it had moved up the release date from the spring to Nov. 17 and that the memoir's title was "Going Rogue."

teee heeeee

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Schmidt is quite right.

"Today at The Atlantic’s First Draft of History conference, Steve Schmidt, who served as the top political strategist for both John McCain and Arnold Schwarzenegger, spoke candidly about the state of the Republican Party. On health care, Schmidt noted that some individual Republicans, like Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), were “advancing ideas” on health care legislation, but that “the party holistically is bereft of ideas.”

Asked about Sarah Palin’s future political prospects, Schmidt argued that she could conceivably win the GOP nomination because of her popularity with the base conservative electorate. However, if that were to happen, Schmidt said that such a turn of events would be “catastrophic” because Palin has alienated mainstream America:

SCHMIDT: I think that she has talents. But my honest view is that she would not be a winning candidate for the Republican Party in 2012, and in fact, were she the nominee, we could have a catastrophic election result."

Posted by: drindl | October 2, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

(West Coast Feed:)

MEMO TO POTUS, WH STAFF:

When you get back from Copenhagen, please check into this:

STRONG EVIDENCE THAT WARRANTLESS SURVEILLANCE OF U.S. CITIZENS IS A PRETEXT TO HARASS AND CENSOR VIA TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Please click on this "ACLU Freedom Blog" link, scroll to the bottom and read up.

http://blog.aclu.org/2009/01/26/internet-filters-voluntary-ok-not-government-mandate

Is Team Obama naive, misinformed, or complicit in the continuing censorship/prior restraint of telecommunications in America?

Or, is a silent coup underway, emboldening government employees to ignore direct orders from Washington?

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america OR http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 2, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON – A two-week deadline set by world powers for Iran to open a newly-revealed nuclear site to inspectors is not "written in stone," the US State Department said on Friday. "I don't think it was a hard deadline.

and if they don't comply, terrible consequences will ensue. another deadline perhaps. Or if needed, the most impotent speech of all time.

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

A) multiplication - hard
B) reading speeches - easy

I'll take reading speeches Alex. that's what I do.

Love Barry

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Koko3, Bush wasted three days at the Olympics because he was a lame duck president during a campaign to elect his successor. What else was he to do? Obama has an urgent decision to make on Afghanistan that he's been ignoring except for one meeting, and an economy that's still hemorrhaging jobs despite, or because of, his porkulus bill. To go to Copenhagen and get only 18 votes makes him look even more ridiculous than his inane Security Council appearance last week.

Posted by: emmet1 | October 2, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

mikeinmidIand,

“sitiowa: You're confusing Limbaugh's interpretation with what Obama actually said. He never said it wouldn't go above 8%; he said it would likely get to 8% and perhaps higher.”

You are wrong for Obama did predict he would create or save X amount of jobs with the stimulus bill. And please do not blame Limbaugh for Obama’s mistake of putting a metric on his stimulus bill (I would note that it was actually the D congress stimulus bill). The problem is that he was following a formula that said X dollars spent would create Y amount of jobs. However, those formula’s work when it’s a “normal” economy not during a severe recession.

Posted by: sltiowa | October 2, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Comments like this make me well aware of your lack of economic knowledge as well.

==

I only study useful things.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

there's that useful "Blame bush" chanting again. Beats thinking or doing I suppose.

Meanwhile, Obimbo dithers.

I don't think pointing out the utter ignorance of any liberal on all things economic is all that earth shaking. It's like saying Rosie is fat and stupid. the foreign relation thing is also pretty obvious now too. surrender and apology is not really a path to victory in any task.

that is two down. Why was it we elected the total neophyte again???

Oh, the speeches. I forgot.

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

How quickly we forget, that Bush spent three full days at the Olympics, along with the months per year he spent in Crawford or Camp David vacationing from his slacking. At this point the GOP would blame Obama for the weather if they could, forgetting that he inherited many of the policies they now disdain. They're not only bad winners, but piss poor losers.

Posted by: Koko3 | October 2, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

ModerateVoter,

“Funny unemployment was 8.5% back in January”

So exactly which country do you live in that the unemployment rate was 8.5% in January since the country I live had the “Labor Department” reporting U.S. monthly unemployment rate hit 7.6% in January.

Chrisfox8,

“The problem is that the people Obama chose for advice are acolytes of that faith and it would never occur to them that ordinary people matter too. Their whole fixation is on bankers and the stock casino.”

Comments like this make me well aware of your lack of economic knowledge as well. Most economists I read at the time admitted they didn’t know how to turn around an economy as large as the USA. It was Obama who laid down the metric for his stimulus program and acted as if he knew what he was doing (i.e., “Mission Accomplished’). Much of the stimulus money was pent-up Democratic pet programs not geared to stimulating the economy.

mikeinmidIand,

“Since we agree economics is not a science, not sure how Obama taking more science classes would help. He has gotten good advice from the experts and knows who to listen to.”

I see that my sarcastic comment has been wasted on you. My point was to show you that Obama has not predicted his handling of the economy as you say he has. I note you speak highly of the TARP program, which I would note Obama has also spoken highly of in the past, yet it was not Obama who came up with the program and it was rather the previous administration program to keep banking system solvent. It’s ironic that Obama blames the previous administration for much of the current budget deficits, and he is justified in doing that as well, yet he includes the TARP program with those projected deficits and then claims credit to its success (kind of talking out of both sides of his mouth).

Posted by: sltiowa | October 2, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

everytime Obimbo gives a speech on health care, the approval ratings go down.

Obimbo jets off to seal the deal on chicago Olympics where it is already favored.

Obambi extends his hand to Iran.

I am beginning to see a pattern.

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

The latest Fox News/Opinion Dymanic poll is chock-full of bad news for the president.

==

SAY IT AIN'T SO

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

face-in-pillow advocates sweet surrender.

Obambi complies.

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

The latest Fox News/Opinion Dymanic poll is chock-full of bad news for the president. But on foreign policy, the results are nothing short of stunning. On who they trust more to decide the next steps in Afghanistan. 66 percent say military commanders, while only 20 percent say the president. Even Democrats have more faith in the military commanders (by a 45 to 37 percent margin). On Iran, 69 percent say Obama has not been tough enough, including 55 percent of Democrats. Sixty-one percent favor a U.S. military action, if needed, to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons. Fifty-one percent think Obama apologizes for American too much.

Less than a year into his presidency, this is a remarkable and widespread loss of confidence in the president’s handling of national security.

In short, Obama has already achieved what it took Jimmy Carter an entire term to attain: the conviction of a large majority of the American people that he is not protecting our interests or performing adequately as commander in chief. He can either stiffen his resolve to confront America’s foes or continue his decline. World events are unlikely to help him–they will only highlight his shoddy performance as our adversaries, seeing exactly what Americans do, begin to test and challenge the U.S. at every turn.

He is now branded Carter 2.

Once and future headline:

More Mush from the Wimp!

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone imagine his now giving the order to take out Iran's nuclear facilities?

==

Oooooooh, "take out" the "facilities" jackjackjackjackjackjack.

No, I can't imagine that and I would expect a president to be an adult to whom military forces aren't playthings to be used for gestures e.g. coming out onto an aircraft carrier in a flightsuit and declaring mission accomplished only a few weeks into a war slated to go on for years and years and years more.

Go ahead, make some cooool machine gun noises with your lips.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

This still new, not to say green, American president used to call the conflict in Afghanistan a "war of necessity," but now his administration quails at committing the kind of force there that success might require. Can anyone imagine his now giving the order to take out Iran's nuclear facilities? At this point he seems mainly indecisive; overwhelmed comes later. Which is how Jimmy Carter's presidency wound up.

no not Abe and not FDR and NOT JFK even.

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Brazil got it 'cause they have that cooooool flag. And endless variety of h0tties

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Back on topic, sort of, here were the votes for the 2016 Olympics.

Round 1
Madrid: 28 votes
Rio de Janeiro: 26 votes
Tokyo: 22 votes
Chicago: 18 votes

Round 2
Tokyo: 20 votes
Rio de Janeiro: 46 votes
Madrid: 29 votes

Round 3
Rio de Janeiro: 66 votes
Madrid: 32 votes

You can see that basically everyone who voted for Chicago changed their vote to Rio. Then it got almost all of Tokyo's votes. This is all about regionalism, not loving or hating America.

Posted by: mikeinmidIand | October 2, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

He explained: "President Obama has even said, 'I dream of a world without (nuclear weapons).' Yet before our very eyes, two countries are currently doing the exact opposite."

Sarkozy's unspoken words? "And yet, sacre bleu, he's sitting on Qom!"

At the time, we had no idea what Sarkozy was fuming about. Now we do. Although he could hardly have been surprised by Obama's fecklessness. After all, just a day earlier in addressing the General Assembly, Obama actually said, "No one nation can ... dominate another nation." That adolescent mindlessness was followed with the declaration that "alignments of nations rooted in the cleavages of a long-gone Cold War" in fact "make no sense in an interconnected world." NATO, our alliances with Japan and South Korea, our umbrella over Taiwan, are senseless? What do our allies think when they hear such nonsense?

Bismarck is said to have said: "There is a providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children, and the United States of America." Bismarck never saw Obama at the U.N. Sarkozy did.


Obambi has done in a short six months what it took Carter a whole term to fumble.

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Don't take it from me. Take it from Sarkozy, who could not conceal his astonishment at Obama's naivete. On Sept. 24, Obama ostentatiously presided over the Security Council. With 14 heads of state (or government) at the table, with an American president at the chair for the first time ever, with every news camera in the world trained on the meeting, it would garner unprecedented worldwide attention.

Unknown to the world, Obama had in his pocket explosive revelations about an illegal uranium enrichment facility that the Iranians had been hiding near Qom. The French and the British were urging him to use this most dramatic of settings to stun the world with the revelation and to call for immediate action.

Obama refused. Not only did he say nothing about it, but, reports Le Monde, Sarkozy was forced to scrap the Qom section of his speech. Obama held the news until a day later -- in Pittsburgh. I've got nothing against Pittsburgh (site of the G-20 summit), but a stacked-with-world-leaders Security Council chamber, it is not.

Why forgo the opportunity? Because Obama wanted the Security Council meeting to be about his own dream of a nuclear-free world. The president, reports The New York Times citing "White House officials," did not want to "dilute" his disarmament resolution "by diverting to Iran."


Dr KRauthammer speaks

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

It is overly simplistic to say that what is good for the invester class is not good for America.

==

Simplistic perhaps, but the investor caste seems to cheer high unemployment. The explanations I'm given for this seem predicated on believing that "markets" are clairvoyant and infallible, neither of which I believe. I think things are exactly as they appear: the investor caste likes the idea of a helpless labor force that has no bargaining power and has to take what it can get.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"President Obama, I support the Americans' outstretched hand. But what did the international community gain from these offers of dialogue? Nothing." -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Sept. 24

WASHINGTON -- When France chides you for appeasement, you know you're scraping bottom. Just how low we've sunk was demonstrated by the Obama administration's satisfaction when Russia's president said of Iran, after meeting President Obama at the U.N., that "sanctions are seldom productive, but they are sometimes inevitable."

You see? The Obama magic. Engagement works. Russia is on board. Except that, as The Washington Post inconveniently pointed out, President Dmitry Medvedev said the same thing a week earlier, and the real power in Russia, Vladimir Putin, had changed not at all in his opposition to additional sanctions. And just to make things clear, when Iran then brazenly test-fired offensive missiles, Russia reacted by declaring that this newest provocation did not warrant the imposition of tougher sanctions.

Perhaps another speech??????

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

If by "creating wealth" you mean increasing "GDP, I agree. If you mean Wall Street "creating wealth" on paper, I think that is worse than useless in the long run."

I agree, exactly. So how do we get the gdp going, that is the question.

__________________


"The only ones that will loose out are the CEO's and the traders..."

In my dreams, but can dreams come true?
Meanwhile, the daily battle has joined, so gotta go.

Posted by: shrink2 | October 2, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Goldetc, the top one percent of taxpayers kicked in 40% of all income tax payments in 2007, the highest percentage on record. Look for that to decline during the "soak the rich" Obama administration, as the wealthy shelter income in stuff like municipal bonds and avoid the sort of high risk investments that create economic progress and job growth.

I know a lot of rich people and most are hunkered down trying just to preserve what they already have. None are starting new businesses or investing in venture capital funds, as most were a few years ago. Welcome back to the 1970s.

Posted by: emmet1 | October 2, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Vice President Biden tried to project optimism today while discussing the worse than expected unemployment numbers announced today by the Labor Department, but in doing so he repeatedly stressed that the state of the economy is ''bad.''

Let us pray!

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

The competitive part of me is sorry we lost the Olympic bid. The rational part reminds me that the country will be better off. I hope that speaking to McChrystal was a bigger portion of the reason for going there, It will be years before we find out about this trip, if ever.

Posted by: Gator-ron | October 2, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

If by "creating wealth" you mean increasing GDP, I agree. If you mean Wall Street "creating wealth" on paper, I think that is worse than useless in the long run.

Posted by: mikeinmidIand | October 2, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

It is overly simplistic to say that what is good for the invester class is not good for America. I think that Obama represents a position that what we need is for the needs of both to be met. Health care reform will advantage America and investors. I am not as knowledgeable about energy policy but believe that Obama's approach will advantage both. I think that the confusion has arisen because The Republicans have been favoring the corporate executives in the past eight years and that has been confused with the investor class. During the Bush administration the S&P went down 40% and the only incomes that were rising were of the top 1% and particularly the top .1%.

It is a mistake to think that financial reform will effect the investor class adversely. The only ones that will loose out are the CEO's and the traders and neither of them are investors. They are self serving opportunists.

Posted by: Gator-ron | October 2, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

A prominent big mouth unfunny know-nothing liberal uses his position of power to bag chicks that work for him.

==

Letterman an elected politician? No wonder you're in there. You belong there.

SO much better to send the nation to war to get some luxy contracts, no?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite


I think face-in-pillow has finally flipped her lid. does this make sense to anyone?
1 - no mention of elected official in original post
2 - no connection to war
3- luxy contracts - is this even English?

Must have been a late night staring at the screen, waiting for a friend. Or maybe all those angry red punctuation marks today. Maybe you could buy a life on ebay.

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

well THIS liberal's approach to finance would be much like the Bolsheviks' if this liberal had his way.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Uh, we haven't had prosperity since Clinton. Eight years of Republicans favoring the ridiculously wealthy didn't benefit anyone else at all.

And disbelieving in global warming .. well, you're where you belong.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

A prominent big mouth unfunny know-nothing liberal :

"Economics isn't a science. It's an animistic faith. At best it's descriptive"

Ignorance is bliss. You have no idea how much you don't know. Enjoy.

But that view would explain a lot about liberal approaches to finance. Let us pray.

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Wealth creation is necessary when you have borrowed a lot of money. You have to make something, so people want to exchange what you have for the wealth they had, the wealth you borrowed from them.

Today, we are printing money to give to the people who make the stuff we use. That is one more way of borrowing. Incredibly, they are still letting us do that. The dollar is stable, energy prices remain low.

But this is truly borrowed time.

Ceflynline says this is ok. Our banker and bond rater (Asia, for short) needs us to service our debt to them just as much as we need them to supply it.

But, they don't care if we have lots of living wage jobs. Go down to the "bargain district" on the Bowery. Trust me. They just want their money back, with interest.
We are consuming wealth, so we sure better care whether we are creating it.


Posted by: shrink2 | October 2, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

another liberal myth hits the dustpile:

Obama will ride in at the last minute, read a grand speech from a teleprompter and save the day.

It is soooo last year.

Kinda like global warming
stimulus
8% unemployment
prosperity
close gitmo
health care reform
winning wars
low taxes
experience doesn't matter

It took 6 years for the voters to sour on Bush. Only 6 months for the Dems.

Finally something they are good at.

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

A prominent big mouth unfunny know-nothing liberal uses his position of power to bag chicks that work for him.

==

Letterman an elected politician? No wonder you're in there. You belong there.

SO much better to send the nation to war to get some luxy contracts, no?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

here's a surprise:

A prominent big mouth unfunny know-nothing liberal uses his position of power to bag chicks that work for him.

Yeah, you're right. It would have been a surprise if he didn't.

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Don't know where you're coming from with this "Goldman buddies" business. The TARP was necessary (started badly under Bush/Paulson) and we are getting returns on the money invested to date. Financial regulation is coming in some form, and will be in place before Wall Street gets too creative.

I'll be happy if the market performs modestly with sound fundamentals, instead of overleveraging and complex derivatives. I don't care about "wealth creation" as long as most Americans have a living wage and decent health care.

Posted by: mikeinmidIand | October 2, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I cannot help but wonder how things would have been different if not one dollar of bailout or stimulus money was spent.

Sure unemployemnt may hit 20% but the outrage would ensure meaningful financial reform would occur.

With so many Americans unemployed, I wonder if passing "real" healthcare reform would be easier with so many not having health insurance.

All water under the bridge now

Posted by: ModerateVoter | October 2, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I mean, a strong stock market does not require or even necessarily like a healthy middle class.

==

Quite the contrary .. as long as I've been watching it the stock market has a gonzo day on grim employment news, and it unapologetically rewards companies that cut staff. What's good for the investment caste is NOT good for America.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

"He has gotten good advice from the experts and knows who to listen to."

Everything depends upon whether or not this is true.

Meanwhile, I blame Michelle's stylist for the Olympic loss. Her hair looked like the scene in Something about Mary, when Cameron used the hair 'gel' hanging from Ben Stiller's ear.

Posted by: shrink2 | October 2, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

No, Obama didn't say that unemployment would likely get to 8% and "perhaps higher". It's almost 13% out here in California!

Posted by: JakeD | October 2, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

sitiowa: You're confusing Limbaugh's interpretation with what Obama actually said. He never said it wouldn't go above 8%; he said it would likely get to 8% and perhaps higher. The recession was worse than anyone predicted, and the stimulus has softened the blow.

Since we agree economics is not a science, not sure how Obama taking more science classes would help. He has gotten good advice from the experts and knows who to listen to.

Posted by: mikeinmidIand | October 2, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Mike, I am patient, there is not really any other choice.

But, the transmission between the return of capital/liquidity and the growth of living wage jobs, do people think that is automatic? It is not.

There is no doubt Obama is now way out there in the blue. He has made choices with regard to the people he trusts and where he has stuffed all the borrowed money that I consider terribly wrong. But he gets his four years.

He is either extraordinary, a true genius, or he is all the haters say he is and more. There is no muddle through. We are all in.

Of course, the Republicans have nothing at all to offer, nothing, they set us on this track. So we better hope Obama has the "trickle down" theory figured out. I still can't fathom his Goldman buddies declaring: mission accomplished.

Tell you what, if this health care bill weren't so stuffed with money, I would have no idea from where the living wage jobs were supposed to appear. I mean, a strong stock market does not require or even necessarily like a healthy middle class.

Where does the wealth come from next?
How exactly does the debt get serviced even as it is paid down? Inquiring minds want to know.

Posted by: shrink2 | October 2, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

mikeinmidIand

“It's not science, but its pretty predictable. Patience, people.”

That’s right…spend close to $800 billion and stop unemployment at 8% (those were Obama’s “predictions”). But last I checked unemployment is 9.8%, so I guess Obama should have taken more science classes when in college.

Funny unemployment was 8.5% back in January. Most predictions I seem to recall said 10% unemployment was not out of the question.

Posted by: ModerateVoter | October 2, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

But last I checked unemployment is 9.8%, so I guess Obama should have taken more science classes when in college.

==

Economics isn't a science. It's an animistic faith. At best it's descriptive.

The problem is that the people Obama chose for advice are acolytes of that faith and it would never occur to them that ordinary people matter too. Their whole fixation is on bankers and the stock casino.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Rio got the Olympics in 2016. There is no silver or bronze. What earthly difference would it make if Chicago had gotten a couple more votes in the first round? I didn't hear Michelle complain about going, and if the IOC members heard it, I'm sure it didn't sway them as much as what she said while she was there.

Posted by: mikeinmidIand | October 2, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

mikeinmidIand

“It's not science, but its pretty predictable. Patience, people.”

That’s right…spend close to $800 billion and stop unemployment at 8% (those were Obama’s “predictions”). But last I checked unemployment is 9.8%, so I guess Obama should have taken more science classes when in college.

Posted by: sltiowa | October 2, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

TARP money is being paid back folks. We may not get it all back, but it was in the form of loans, not just giving money away--that's why I hate the term "bailout." That makes it sound like a gift.

2009 is the time for getting health care done, and possibly climate change, for the base. Then in 2010 you pivot to financial reforms more popular with the wider electorate, to give congress something to run on in swing districts.

Posted by: mikeinmidIand | October 2, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps if Michelle hadn't publicly complained about the "sacrifice" she was making by going to Copenhagen, Chicago could have beaten out Tokyo for the bronze.

Posted by: emmet1 | October 2, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Read the latest Froomkin? On the lack of political will to do anything about the job situation in Washington.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/02/washington-doesnt-get-it_n_307882.html

And yeah, it's because of the attention being focused on Wall Street.

During Obama's Letterman interview, Obama mentioned the smart people that foresaw the housing bubble burst and stock market collapse. I wish Letterman had asked him if any of these smart people have a job in the Obama administration. Right now, it seems like these guys are being shut out in favor of the Geitners of the world.

Now I don't necessarily disagree with TARP. You gotta put out the fire before installing sprinklers, but where are these safeguards? What's being done to prevent this situation from recurring?

It's a tough situation. The reason that we can't get a good stimulus is because of the Republican obstructionism. However, it seems like these people will be rewarded for further damaging the country.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 2, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Not just us anymore who are sick of the arrogance from the TelePrompTer

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Now poor Barry had to head home, his tail between his legs.

==

Why? It's a sporting event. Who cares?

Win a few, lose a few. But I guess when you're a Republican you get outraged if just once the fix isn't in for you, huh?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile the financial parasites are toasting their great fortune of taxpayer dollars and back to providing bonus incentives to take the same risks that got us into this mess. The money poured in at the top would have done a lot more benefit poured in at the bottom.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

6 months for the market to recover. Check.
6 months for GDP to go up. That should be soon.
THEN another 6 months for unemployment to start going down. That's why they said "18 months," 10 months ago.

It's not science, but its pretty predictable. Patience, people.

Posted by: mikeinmidIand | October 2, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Now poor Barry had to head home, his tail between his legs. Got to meet with generals. Talk to congress. Work out budgets. You know, presidential stuff. Going to be a steep learning curve. No teleprompters. No adoring crowds. No network coverage. Nothing Barry knows a thing about.

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

"As for the Olympics I don't see it politically hurting Obama."

Nah. The Republicans will do what they always do. They will make a lot of noise about nothing. The press will eat it up. The public won't pay attention. Republicans will come off as petulant. Democrats will continue to be judged for what they do. (which is not looking good. Unemployment is up again)

Posted by: DDAWD | October 2, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Mmm, mmm, mmm. Barack Hussein Obama. Mmm, mmm, mmm. Barack Hussein Obama.

==

Mmmm, mmm, mmm. Permanent Republican minority.

Bush used a teleprompter too, you know.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Oh, good grief, carabis. Fortunately for the world, Oprah is not as mean and vindictive as you appear to be.

Posted by: mikeinmidIand | October 2, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I hope TPAW wasn't counting on Wisconsin as a win if he somehow secures the Republican nomination. It seems he just decided to unilaterally end income tax withholding reciprocity with Wisconsin. There are two parts of Wisconsin that are predominately Republican the Fox River valley and the border area with Minnesota. He has just managed to create a negative local issue with the latter.

As for the Olympics I don't see it politically hurting Obama. Oprah, on the other hand, needs to retaliate. Not because Chicago lost, but because they were eliminated on the first ballot. When the syndication renewals for her show come up, she should make the individual TV stations agree that they will not show any Olympic coverage. The Olympics mean more to the networks than the individual affiliates, and it would basically mean a reshuffling of Oprah to non-NBC stations. Then when the Olympics want to offer American TV rights, NBC can say one dollar knowing their competitors are contractually prohibited. That would blow a couple billion dollar hole in the IOC's budget.

Posted by: caribis | October 2, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Chicago was considered by all observers to be one of the two favorites until Obama showed up with his ridiculous ego and teleprompter and made it all about him. He couldn't even win the Bronze medal. What a disaster!

I guess this interferes with the legacy media's narrative about Obama's international "rock star power". But you guys will think of something.

Mmm, mmm, mmm. Barack Hussein Obama. Mmm, mmm, mmm. Barack Hussein Obama.

Posted by: emmet1 | October 2, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

One can only wonder what might have happened had Obama not spent the last 9 months insulting his own country and apologizing on our behalf to other nations

==

Oh give it a rest. Obama has neither insulted nor groveled. The previous administration ran roughshod, Obama is conciliatory. That's a good policy should we ever need allies.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

How did I not see it coming? It's bushs fault, of course.

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

There are a lot of Obama cronies in Chicago who won't be raking it in. Now maybe they won't make an effort to buy him another term.

Posted by: CubsFan | October 2, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

MEMO TO POTUS, WH STAFF:

When you get back from Copenhagen, please check into this:

STRONG EVIDENCE THAT WARRANTLESS SURVEILLANCE OF U.S. CITIZENS IS A PRETEXT TO HARASS AND CENSOR VIA TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Please click on this "ACLU Freedom Blog" link, scroll to the bottom and read up.

http://blog.aclu.org/2009/01/26/internet-filters-voluntary-ok-not-government-mandate

Is Team Obama naive, misinformed, or complicit in the continuing censorship/prior restraint of telecommunications in America?

Or, is a silent coup underway, emboldening government employees to ignore direct orders from Washington?

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america OR http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 2, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

"What is the over-under for Republicans to demand that Obama apologize to Joe Wilson or face an impeachment resolution from the loyal congressional minority?"

ROFLOL. where do these lunatics come from?

'loyal' is especially hilarious.

Posted by: drindl | October 2, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

As a citizen of this country, I can say that I have never once felt insulted by anything Obama said about it. He speaks the truth, especially about some of the things this country has done wrong in the last 8 years.

Our popularity is definitely higher in the world than it has been since the Iraq invasion. The IOC is not "the world," it is a very peculiar little bureaucracy of its own, which very well may have voted out Chicago in order to proclaim its independence.

Posted by: mikeinmidIand | October 2, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

One can only wonder what might have happened had Obama not spent the last 9 months insulting his own country and apologizing on our behalf to other nations. If you go around claiming America -- one of the freest, most diverse, and wealthiest nations on earth -- is some sort of racist, uneducated hellhole, then don't be surprised if nobody wants to come here.

And before I forget, congratulations to Rio! Great city, great people, and hopefully a great 2016 Olympics. Too bad you'll be branded racists by the dwindling stock of glassy-eyed Obamanots hereabouts, but it happens to everyone eventually.

Posted by: zippyspeed | October 2, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Uh oh. Two more Palin/Pawlenty voters go down. I love the last sentence here.

[edited for brevity]

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- A New Hampshire woman sentenced to 35 years in prison Friday for plotting to kill federal agents said she will continue to fight government corruption from behind bars.

At her sentencing hearing, Elaine Brown said the judge's decision mattered little to her given her age and beliefs.

''I'm 68 years old. I don't have much time left on this Earth. But I have no doubt I will spend eternity with my husband and a myriad of others who have fought tyranny and oppression,'' she said.

Brown insisted that she and her husband were being punished for nothing more than civil disobedience and ''daring to challenge and question this massive government.''

''Our state motto is 'Live free or Die,' which is what we proclaimed over and over during our resistance,'' she said. ''I will always resist.''

Judge George Singal rejected Brown's civil disobedience argument, saying she was not engaged in principled dissent to laws she believed to be unjust.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Arnold Huftalen countered that the only reason no one got hurt was because the U.S. Marshal Service was so patient, ignoring requests from him and others to end the standoff earlier.

''To stand before you now and say 'Please be compassionate because I didn't get the opportunity to kill anyone,' is a statement I think should cause the court to look in the opposite direction,'' he said.

The prosecutor described the weapons strewn about the couple's home -- 22 pipe bombs and a 50 caliber rifle in the bedroom alongside Elaine Brown's stuffed animal collection. Bulletproof vests and ammunition in the closet with the jigsaw puzzles. An explosive device on the jelly cupboard in the kitchen.

The handgun Brown carried was capable of killing 17 people without reloading, Huftalen said, and there was a fanny pack full of extra bullets on the kitchen table.

During the couple's second trial, Ed Brown testified that the weapons were for self defense and that explosives in the woods around the home were to scare intruders, not harm them. But in a radio interview during the standoff, he said if authorities came in to kill him or arrest him ''the chief of police in this town, the sheriff, the sheriff himself will die. This is war now, folks.''

His sentencing has been delayed while he undergoes a psychiatric evaluation to determine his competency.

Posted by: shrink2 | October 2, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Who would of thought there were so many racists on the IOC.

Posted by: mbjohnson | October 2, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Still waiting for that first success. That one accomplishment that shows you belong. That you didn't weasle your way in with zero to show in life. Still waiting.

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Rio was always the odds-on favorite. So think of the voting as if it were a "Survivor" tribal council. Strategic voting: just because Chicago was voted off first doesn't mean they had the worst bid.

Posted by: mikeinmidIand | October 2, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Glad Rio won. Kind of makes me wish I was an Olympic caliber athlete.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 2, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Rio. You nailed it, mike.

Posted by: dognabbit | October 2, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Another day. Another unfulfilled errand by the promiser in chief. But I am sure that charm will work on Iran.

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Who would of thought there were so many racists on the IOC.

Posted by: mbjohnson | October 2, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

toldya

Posted by: mikeinmidIand | October 2, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Obama's enem-- er, critics, need to jump on anything they can find to try to make a point.

Meanwhile Obama's predecessor barely dabbled at the Presidency.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Rio!

Posted by: shrink2 | October 2, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"Update, 12:20 PM: Chicago has lost out on its bid for the Olympics."

What is the over-under for Republicans to demand that Obama apologize to Joe Wilson or face an impeachment resolution from the loyal congressional minority?

Posted by: Patriot3 | October 2, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, the GOP is claiming that for the President to advocate on behalf of millions in business and acclaim for a major US city is a frivolity.

This is the same GOP that convened and emergency session of Congress because of the urgency of Terry Shiavo's feeding tube, isn't it?

Ri-i-i-i-i-ght.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Once again our President is just not listening.
1. The majority of the population according to all the polls are against his health care reform.
2. Again the polls tells use that the majority of the population is against cap and trade.
3. The polls tell us to get out of Afganistan
4. And the polls told us that the majority of Chicagoians didn't want the Olympics.
HELLO!!!!
Nothing like being told by our president, "Screw you"

Posted by: mgoodwin1 | October 2, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

The media establishment is displaying its typical, inside the beltway idiocy. Can you imagine their reaction if Obama, by staying home, had "lost the Olympics for America"? He deserves credit for taking his best shot, as all other world leaders do, to win this for the US and Chicago. Gloating by the right wing fringe only reveals the depth of their sickness. And language like "fraught with political peril for the President" overstates how much Americans will care at all about this, now or later.

Posted by: arture2000 | October 2, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

kohnfjerry: I've met with my boss all of 5 minutes since April. The rest is one-line emails. It was good to meet with McChrystal in person, but he's read the reports and gets the briefings--it's not like he can't run the war without flying into Kabul.

Posted by: mikeinmidIand | October 2, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I think the rejection of Chicago is directly related to the world's disdain for the last 8 years of Bush and it's pay back. Bush so completely destroyed the USA's stature in the world.

Posted by: mdargo | October 2, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Come on...

This egotistic rock star would never go to Copenhagen if he didn't know the results in advance....

Chicago money buys anything and everything.

Posted by: Keeptrying | October 2, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

announcement pushed back to 1250 EST

Posted by: shrink2 | October 2, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Obama's a genius! He wants to make it look like the "effete" espresso-sipping Europeans don't like him. He asked the committee NOT to pick Chicago.

It's America against the World! Just like our right wingers like it.

(Man, I am super sarcastic today. If I were taking any meds, I'd probably be off them.)

Posted by: dognabbit | October 2, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

CBS employee Robert "Joe" Halderman charged for blackmailing Letterman?

And we thought it might be a slow news day.


Posted by: shrink2 | October 2, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

"Where was the criticism of Bush attending the Olympics while the Russians where invading an ally? How dumb do the Republicans think we are? Please give us a break.

Posted by: bradcpa"

There was plenty of criticism.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 2, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Where was the criticism of Bush attending the Olympics while the Russians where invading an ally? How dumb do the Republicans think we are? Please give us a break.

Posted by: bradcpa | October 2, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I agree, mike. The right trying to make a big deal out of this just shows they got nothing. They get their knickers in a knot over what kind of mustard obama uses, for god's sake!

Thanks, shrink -- this is one of the best columns Brooks has done. He's one of the few in his party who understands what's going on.

Chris Cilizza -- I suggest you read it!

"The rise of Beck, Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and the rest has correlated almost perfectly with the decline of the G.O.P. But it’s not because the talk jocks have real power. It’s because they have illusory power, because Republicans hear the media mythology and fall for it every time."

Posted by: drindl | October 2, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

mikeinmidIand wrote: We did Salt Lake. Atlanta. Lake Placid. Los Angeles twice

That's the problem. If Chicago had gotten it, it would have been the 5th games (winter and summer) for us since 1980. Five games in 36 years is overkill. Either Obama was to dense to realize this or believes his own American press clippings and thought he could persuade them anyway. Isn't Obama about showing some humility? Are the Olympics only for wealthy countries? Let the rest of the world have a chance. Especially since South America has never held them. I hope it's Rio. It's by far the funnest city of the four finalists, if not the world. Still, it's got to be humiliating to put his prestige on the line and be the first city eliminated. Obama and his Chicago thugs couldn't strong arm the thugs at the IOC. Also, Obama met with McChrystal for twenty five minutes. He spent more time speechifying and smoozing for his Chicago cronies. All for naught.Tony Blair pulled it off when London beat Paris. Obama's pitch results in a last place finish.

Posted by: kohnfjerry | October 2, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Oops, my bad. I thought Tokyo was out in the first round as well. I'm surprized they got more votes than Chicago, since Asia just had the summer games.

No chance for Madrid, since London has 2012. It's Rio. At least we'll be in a similar time zone for prime time.

Posted by: mikeinmidIand | October 2, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

No, they're upset than an uppity hAwaiian is presideNt.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 2, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

BBC says the winner has already been chosen, tba @1630 (GMT). I'll bet its Madrid since Rio has the World Cup coming up. But I wouldn't bet more than $5.

Posted by: shrink2 | October 2, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

drindl, yes, this is why Obama's dwindling approval numbers are not particularly scary, not this year anyway.

The opposition is decomposing before our eyes. Pawlenty reassembling the Bush/Cheney team is the latest example.

From David Brooks, NYT:

"So the myth returns. Just months after the election and the humiliation, everyone is again convinced that Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity and the rest possess real power. And the saddest thing is that even Republican politicians come to believe it. They mistake media for reality. They pre-emptively surrender to armies that don’t exist.
They pay more attention to Rush’s imaginary millions than to the real voters down the street. The Republican Party is unpopular because it’s more interested in pleasing Rush’s ghosts than actual people. The party is leaderless right now because nobody has the guts to step outside the rigid parameters enforced by the radio jocks and create a new party identity. The party is losing because it has adopted a radio entertainer’s niche-building strategy, while abandoning the politician’s coalition-building strategy."

Posted by: shrink2 | October 2, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Chicago AND Tokyo were eliminated--no point in them playing a Bronze round. Since it was in Europe (Greece) in 2004 and Asia (China) in 2008, the frontrunner has to be Rio at this point.

Yes, this is disappointing, but in reality the US has gotten more than its share of Games in the last 100 years. I mean, count them back: Beijing, Athens, Sydney, ATLANTA, Barcelona, Seoul, LOS ANGELES. And that's forgetting the Winter Games in Salt Lake in 2002.

Posted by: mikeinmidIand | October 2, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Wow, that doesn't match up at all with the handicapping that preceded the vote. Chicago and Rio were supposed to be the top two. It will be interesting to hear the later analysis.

Posted by: nodebris | October 2, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

It is what it is. Not everyone can win and most of us will be the losers. I hope we need not talk on and on about this for weeks, tho.

Posted by: carolo43 | October 2, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

As Kurtz says in today's Media Notes, when you're complaining about the cost of jet fuel for Air Force One, that's all you've got.

Let's get real. These people don't care about the cost of the flight. They're mad that an uppity Hawaiian is President, and doubly mad that he does what other presidents have done.

It is actually unfortunate that the bid is from Chicago. That bid got started before Obama was running for president. We did Salt Lake. Atlanta. Lake Placid. Los Angeles twice. Chicago is our bid this time around, and the president is right to champion it.

I mean, c'mon, he had a meeting with McChrystal in Denmark before he left, doesn't that make you happy?

Posted by: mikeinmidIand | October 2, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Chicago's out. 1st city to be eliminated. Obama, Michelle and Oprah and they didn't even get the bronze. What an embarrassment.

Posted by: kohnfjerry | October 2, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

For those of you who saw Chris's post yesterday about NY-23 -- he missed the point. This is the real story:

Fred Thompson has gotten involved in the special election in NY-23:

"With the NRCC posting stories that are more anti-Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava than anything, one has to wonder if there are Republicans who are quietly trying to sabotage Scozzafava and get behind Conservative Party candidate (and registered Republican) Doug Hoffman.

That theory might not be so far fetched.

The conservative Club For Growth endorsed Hoffman over Scozzafava today. You might remember that it was the Club For Growth that released a poll last week showing a very close race for Hoffman, Democratic candidate Bill Owens and Scozzafava.

Also on the conservative front, former Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson endorsed Hoffman as well.

Fred even throws in some teabag rhetoric in his endorsement:

“Doug is a conservative, who understands that our freedom is our greatest strength, that life is a precious gift, and that getting back to our founding principles will ensure our nation’s security and prosperity for us and for our children and grandchildren.”

And now a new Sienna poll shows teabagger Doug Hoffman polling at 16%.

If I were a Republican, a third-party teabagger screwing up what would otherwise be an easy win (Scozzafava is well-known in the district and her politics are close to dead center for upstate New York) would scare the hell out of me. But instead they’ve got Fred Thompson, and to some extent the NRCC itself, giving the bagger a hand.

Very strange, and possibly a harbinger of things to come."

http://www.balloon-juice.com/

Let the circular firing squad commence!

Balloon-juice is an excellent site, by the way, I highly recommend.

Posted by: drindl | October 2, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

mike, that's funny. I'm not one to use "lol" but, I ... no, I'm not going to use "lol".

Thinking about it, though, if Obama *were* to hold Max Baucus' hand, and if Obama *were* to bring donuts to the Senate Conference Room, there'd be a lot of press coverage. Could show he means business.

Could also push sandy right over the edge. (Pun on the word "right" intended.)

Posted by: dognabbit | October 2, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

First it's nancy pelosi, now it's oprah winfrey. what is it with these whiny gutless nutless rightwingers and their obsession with these women?

Posted by: drindl | October 2, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

How many mistakes and misperceptions can you put in one post?

1)Copenhagen is in Denmark, not Switzerland.
2)Obama will be gone for less than 24 hours, not 48. And he can get a lot done on AF1.
3) Yes, unemployment is high. If you don't think having the Olympics in Chicago will create jobs, you just aren't thinking.
4) What exactly do you want him to do about healthcare *today*? Hold Baucus' hand? Bring donuts to the Senate Conference Room?

Posted by: mikeinmidIand | October 2, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

When Obama flies off to Copenhagen, it doesn't mean he's not in touch with what's going on in the White House. Get this: he can STILL focus on domestic issues like healthcare and the economy WHILE he's in Europe!

You wouldn't believe it, folks, they got these new-fangled electronic devices -- Blue Berries, or something like that -- that allow Obama to READ and to TALK with his staff from long-distance.

It's AMAZING! We really are in the 21st Century now! (I'm picking up my personal jet-powered back pack next week!)

Posted by: dognabbit | October 2, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I would feel so much better about Obama's expensive flight to Switzerland to stay for 48 hours (Airforce One costs $50,000 an hour), if I didn't see clearly that it is because Oprah Winfrey, his generous campaign contributor, wanted it. Payback is wonderful, but we really need a President who is not a permanent campaigner. Unemployment is l0%, the recession is only over for the Wall Street Crowd and Timothy Gethner, and then there's that healthcare bill thing.

Posted by: drzimmern1 | October 2, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Hmm... interesting and something we're unlikely to read on this blog:

"That famous infighting of the core McCain campaign versus Sarah Palin is still continuing, with former McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt openly saying at the Atlantic's "First Draft of History" symposium that it would be "catastrophic" if Palin were to win the Republican nomination in 2012.

Schmidt said:"My honest view is that she would not be a winning candidate for president and if she was the results would be...catastrophic. It's fairly inconceivable she could be elected."

Posted by: drindl | October 2, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

As John Lennon would say, "Imagine if we had a president who just did the right thing."

The safe approach for the president would have been to stay home. But the right thing was to go and do hisbest. If Chicago wins, great. If not, he tried. No one dies.

The Republicans, of course, snivel that he should stay at home and work on the important issues...then try to obstruct anything he does about those issues. Give me a break.

Posted by: amaikovich | October 2, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

You're right, shrink. I insult mentally ill people by comparing them to the righwingers who post on this board.

Posted by: drindl | October 2, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I don't know, I though sandy5274's post was an interesting example of free verse poetry. Stick the title Bitter Conservative Heart above it and you could probably publish it somewhere.

Posted by: nodebris | October 2, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

castanea is breaking my Cubs loving heart.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | October 2, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

"...refugees from the mental hospital, off their meds."

I know you know this already, but when we discharge people, we don't normally refer to them as refugees. More important, I have never met a seriously mentally ill person who "thinks" like, let alone "writes" like this Sandy creature. I think Sandy is just all that is left of the Republican base. Every day Barak Hussein Obama is POTUS just destroys them. If WaPo reprted he and Michelle had a cup of coffee together one morning, they would bust a gasket over that.

Im with ceflynline and tobetv. The President is right where he needs to be.

The opposition from the Right is decomposing.

All the poll numbers involving sentient people will rebound beautifully...once the jobs numbers improve.

Posted by: shrink2 | October 2, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

sandy5274, I'm worried about you. Your heart may be racing a little too fast. Are you hyperventilating? Are you getting a migraine?

Perhaps you missed your Anger Anonymous meeting this week?

Posted by: dognabbit | October 2, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps, should Chicago get the Olympics and if baseball is a medal sport, the gold medal game can be played in the Cubs' park on the north side of town.

That way at least one world champion can be crowned at Wrigley Field before the end of time.

Posted by: castanea | October 2, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

If Chicago had it in the bag without Barack, he wouldn't have gone. It would have looked better to pull it off without a personal appearance. I bet the thinking was that a personal appearance was the clincher. So, yeah, I think we'll get it.

This will be a big money-maker for the US and for Chicago, revitalize the lakefront, lots of construction jobs before and good for the economy during the games. Let's hope it's cooler than Atlanta!

For those who don't remember, Salt Lake City hosted the Winter Games in 2002, less than 6 months after 9/11 (thanks, Mitt!). With 7 years to work on security, I think we can handle it at least as well as China.

Posted by: mikeinmidIand | October 2, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

It's a little "damned if you do, damned if you don't" for Obama.

IF he goes to Copenhagen, right wing critics bellow, "Jeez, shouldn't he be working on more important things?" (Or, as John Boehner said, "He's the President of the United States, not the Mayor of Chicago.")

IF he doesn't go, right wing critics say, "Obama is un-American. Why wouldn't he do whatever he can to help America win?"

What would those same right-wing critics say if Bush had tried to win one for America?

Posted by: dognabbit | October 2, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

"This is another skim to open the door to illegal immigrants to enter the USA"

there must be a link to drudge today. too many idiots...

Posted by: drindl | October 2, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

bsimon -- ddid you watch lazio at that debate? he was a complete rude jerk.

sure, nowadays he wouldn't have left because it has become an imperative to be a rude jerk if you are a republican, something to be proud of.

Posted by: drindl | October 2, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

This is another skim to open the door to illegal immigrants to enter the USA and for some more competitor to defect here and become USA citizens. We need to maintain and support more illegal immigrants that is for sure!! We do not have enough problems yet to cope with....

Posted by: amapola11 | October 2, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

You post crap like this chris, and you get crap like this:

"the Obama White House,instead of pretending
to be a real newspaper these days,as there
sure as Hell is other news then you stupid
Endless Mindless Obama Fluff Crapola,and
that means WAPO Or Say OP Needs Fire Fubar
Foolish Fred Hiatt and the USA needs to
IMPEACH Barack Hussein Obama here snd now.
Obama Most Pathetic President Ever!"

is this the pathetic caliber of poster you want? refugees from the mental hospital, off their meds?

Posted by: drindl | October 2, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

I hope it is a complete bust. The inhabitants of Chicago do not want it and neither does the rest of the country. We do not need more tax increase so that they can put a few millions of dollars in their pockets! What is Obama trying to do? Have enough money for his retirement? On top that we are already bankrupt as a country he is planning on pushing us further down with the help of a few show talk hosts that know much about nothing. How much longer are we going to tolerate this man polluting the air that he pledge on cleaning up and the scams that he has pulled so far.
Michelle Obama is being payed for going to Copenhage. How much may I ask? And she has the nerve of saying it's a sacrifice? I would like to sacrifice that way rubbing elbows with the elite of the world and traveling first class. Why don't they stick their hand further in the American people's throat since sticking it in their mouth isn't enough!!

Posted by: amapola11 | October 2, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I don't have a problem with the President, any President, pushing for the Olympics. My problem is it going to Chicago, which remains America's most politically corrupt city. Given the billions of dollars involved, I cannot comprehend the degree that such corruption will go down. In fact, for every dollar spent on the Olympics, at least two will go into the pockets of politicians. And when you bring the construction industry into play, you could add an extra two dollars.

Posted by: CubsFan | October 2, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

The article about train drivers getting PTSD from smashing people is so sad, now I'm traumatized!

Whenever a train comes to the platform now I'll think about the spread eagle woman splatted on the glass "like a bird" a foot away from the driver's face, or the driver sitting on a bench watching "the remains" being "extracted", the young woman who "didn't make it", trying to run away...thanks for that WaPo.

Posted by: shrink2 | October 2, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

The Washington Post needs to formally go change its damn worthless name to the Obama Post,since your pathetic reporters and writers may as well be working over at
the Obama White House,instead of pretending
to be a real newspaper these days,as there
sure as Hell is other news then you stupid
Endless Mindless Obama Fluff Crapola,and
that means WAPO Or Say OP Needs Fire Fubar
Foolish Fred Hiatt and the USA needs to
IMPEACH Barack Hussein Obama here snd now.
Obama Most Pathetic President Ever!

Posted by: sandy5274 | October 2, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

"I definitely would not have left that podium, that's for sure." -- Former New York Rep. Rick Lazio (R) reflects back on the now-famous podium approach in 2000.


You sure that wasn't Gore(acle)?


Apparently that fad died young. What were these guys thinking that getting literally in their opponents' faces made sense in a political debate? Idiots.

Posted by: bsimon1 | October 2, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I think Michelle is a beautiful woman in desperate need of a new stylist.

Posted by: shrink2 | October 2, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

You have sunk so low you are even repeating idiotic statements as if they meant something, like Steele's:

"(Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele previewed the GOP line of attack regarding the Olympics on a conference call with reporters earlier this week; "It does not instill confidence in the American people that the focus is on jobs and wealth creation," he said of the trip.)"

This is a line of attack?" It does not instill confidence that the focus is on jobs and wealth creation?""

Whaaaaat? That's incoherent. What should be focus be on right now, if not JOBS?

I thought you were smarter than this. You are sinking into Republican dumbassness.


Posted by: drindl | October 2, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Chris, this is just more pathetic pandering to the right. Do you just simply repeat republican press releases here now? Do you just parrot Sean Hannity? I really thought you could do better than this.

All you are doing is inciting more mindless hatred of Obama and brainless racist bashing like this:

"Oh come on,the Absentee President and Liar
in Chief Playboy of the USA Barack Obama,
only made the trip to Denmark so that Obama
could have another fancy date night with
his pathetic wife Michelle Obama snd the
third in this unwholesome threesome Oprah
Winfrey"

You really ought to know better than encourage these sick people, unless you want your column to be a sewer.

Posted by: drindl | October 2, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I think tobetv is right on this. When the average voter sees the Chicago Olympics being spun as a political issue by the daily media grind, they're probably going to roll their eyes. That's a win for Obama because the more petty political discourse seems, the more people like feeling hope-y and change-y.

Chris, please take out the trash. This are is for discussion of the articles, not a soap box for trolls.

Posted by: theamazingjex | October 2, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Chris,

This is just more evidence of the irrational hatred of President Obama. Whatever he says, whatever he does, is a source for criticism.

One would imagine that in a sane environment, people would be grateful that the President is attempting something that would potentially bring billions of dollars into the economy, create a great many jobs.

Why is it that he isn't being praised for this attempt? Because the extreme Right hate machine would spew near-insane criticism no matter what he did.

Posted by: sverigegrabb | October 2, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Please much ado - if Chicago get it fine if not it was worth the effort.

Posted by: rlj1 | October 2, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Oh come on,the Absentee President and Liar
in Chief Playboy of the USA Barack Obama,
only made the trip to Denmark so that Obama
could have another fancy date night with
his pathetic wife Michelle Obama snd the
third in this unwholesome threesome Oprah
Winfrey and pretend the IOC would fall all
over him and give Chicago the 2016 Games.
So,maybe with 9.8% Unemployment and still climbing,two bloody wars going on in Iraq and Afghanistan,a failed economy all the POS Washiongton Post can report on is what
color dress Michelle Obama wore to it or
show endless pictures of the wind up toy
mechanical smile loser Obamafreaks. Impeach
Obama and Washington Post Go Back To Acting
Like A REAL Newspaper Again!

Posted by: sandy5274 | October 2, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

(Off-topic -- but certainly relevant to today's news and the current political climate:)

IS DAVID LETTERMAN THE REAL TARGET -- OF A POLITICALLY-MOTIVATED CELEBRITY TAKE-DOWN?

Think about it. An award-winning producer for a network investigative journalism program doesn't know better than to engage in blatant face-to-face blackmail and extortion of a famous celebrity?

Come on, people. There's got to be more to this story. Here's an alternative -- and arguably, more plausible -- theory:

Someone or some entity who's got it out for Letterman -- perhaps, an entity ideologically opposed to his politics and angered by his frequent barbs at the expense of political figures such as Sarah Palin and earlier, Bush and Cheney -- receives word that Letterman employees have been pressured into having sex with the boss.

The victims of this alleged sexual harassment let their complaints become known to certain authorities, but don't go public for fear of losing their jobs. Or perhaps Letterman's employee sexual partners are themselves blackmailed into betraying their lecherous boss.

The instigating party finds a TV journalist/producer they can compromise. Perhaps the producer was himself the victim of blackmail or other pressure intended to secure his cooperation.

The producer becomes the "patsy" who is tasked with setting up a sting on Letterman.

Letterman naively (and egotistically) considers himself the victim, dutifully reports the "crime" against him to the local authorities, goes down to the grand jury, and confesses to what amounts to employer sexual harassment. (Letterman is a principal in the company that produces his program.)

CBS then has no choice but to fire Letterman and replace him with the wildly popular, up-and-coming Craig Ferguson, Dave's own anointed successor (and, ironically, also an employee of Letterman's production company).

Thus David Letterman is taken down for years of scathing comedic attacks on political figures who may or may not have used their personal and official contacts to set into motion the events that will end David Letterman's long and tumultuous on-air career. Perhaps Dave's company is permitted by CBS to produce the new Craig Ferguson Late Show, avoiding a legal battle between the network and its deposed star.

Again, all of the above is just a theory...

...a plausible theory, given the odd and incredulous circumstances which have thus far come to light.

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 2, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Today's random GOP topic of criticism.

Is there ever a "cry wolf" effect to such criticism, where people discount and stop listening to monotonous and predictable nattering? Or is a slow steady accretion of petty nit-picking effective? Beyond the base, I mean.

Posted by: nodebris | October 2, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Obama has shown that he is willing to risk his own poularity, and spend his political currency, in support of programs he believes in -- he wouldn't have tackled all that he has this year if he didn't see the huge number of messes left by the previous administration for him to clean up. He could have just laid back and enjoyed last Spring's popularity, but he sees that political currency can die on the shelf, and it is accrued for times like now -- when we have to act to save a desperate situation.

I was surprised by Obama's trip to promote Chicago's chances for the Olympics, too. But, I think he sees the financial benefits Chicago can gain from the Olympics, and the jobs and the raised profile for the city, and he *wants* those things for Chicago. So he goes to Copenhagen in the hopes that spending a little of his political currency will make it happen.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | October 2, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

What Obama really got is a win win proposition. He demonstrates that he can multitask, he gets friendly press that makes him look presidential, and he might even get to see the Olympics in Chicago.

He also gets grumpy Republicans complaining about it. Should Chicago get the Olympics those grumpy Republicans look like sore losers, and should Chicago not get the Olympics everyone knows that Rio or Madrid or Tokyo had a fix in.

All that for a quick night out with Michelle in Copenhagen.

And the process of legislation moves apace, the Baucus bill coming out of committee in repairable condition, the Afghanistan deliberations seen to be going as they should, and for the capper employment figures beat the really pessimistic predictions held for them.

His predecessor couldn't walk and say nukulur at the same time.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 2, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

It's an Obama "rope-a-dope." Irrelevant in the big scheme of things. A four day PR blip. If he loses, talking points for weekend political talk show nattering nabobs. If he wins, talking points for weekend political talk show nattering nabobs. Regardless, next week back to health care. Unless some part of the world blows up.

Posted by: tobetv | October 2, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Oh PLEASE. "Last-minute decision" to go to Copenhagen? This thing is already in the bag. There is no way Obama would risk his cachet and ambition to be President of the World if it weren't a done deal.

Now, if he would just spend as much time talking with his generals in Afghanistan as he is lobbying for the Olympics, we'd be getting somewhere.

Posted by: Darlene_Jr | October 2, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

My coworker and I both think that Obama had an inside track from someone in Copenhagan that if he came Chicago would get the Olympics. I personally think that the IOC is waiting to see how the South African World Cup turns out and then make a decision about Rio and other developing nations. If they don't get it for 2016 I would suspect they will be the frontrunner for 2020.

Posted by: AndyR3 | October 2, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Looks like making money, and personal merit matter more than "homeland security" all of a sudden. How many millions of visitors will come in? How to know their real intentions? What about the Pig-Flu? Every thing is a joke ultimately.

Posted by: ElMugroso | October 2, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Mark,

True, Maria's amendment is good for a number of reasons. But our Senator to the South says he hates the bill and Ron is no Blue Dog.

"We have stripped this bill of choice and competition."

http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2009/10/wyden_withdraws_amendment_as_s.html

Though I have to say I would not be proud to have Ensign as a booster.

Bottom line? As I said, this bill will force feed the medical industrial complex and it will be funded by everybody. A major increase in medical costs as a % of gdp is going to happen now. There are no serious cost containment measures and there is nothing that will force the industry on a track that leads away from is current business model.

Will (almost) universal coverage be worth this price? Stay tuned.



Posted by: shrink2 | October 2, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Cc. You have allowed the kooky liberal mutual admiration society to run off every thinking sensible regular poster. Go back and look at the difference before the previously banned lunatic showed up. I think you will see how the quality and diversity has sunk since then. I don't have an answer for your dilemma.

He took the drivl approach and nuclearized it.

How about a free for all thread where the lonely stalker could vent and his admirers and fellow travelers could spout their well worn dogma.

The rest of us would simply ignore them with no loss.

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Poor Barry. So desperate for Anything he could call a success. Has to hang his hopes on the Danes.

Btw- cf8 ruins every thread with his "troll" behavior. Don't blame the messenger.

Posted by: snowbama | October 2, 2009 7:15 AM | Report abuse

This would have been no issue if the Prez had not previously said he could not afford the luxury of going to Copenhagen while there were so many problems to deal with at home. It is not much of an issue anyway.
---------------------------------------------
Fix Pick #1 is a quick update that is worth your time. I liked Sen. Cantwell's amendment. A few states have programs of their own and her amendment encourages states to continue and expand their efforts rather than abandon them to DC.
---------------------------------------------
reason5, if you see this, pls email me at mark_in_austin@operamail.com
---------------------------------------------
The previous thread was destroyed by the flame war between KOZ and CF8.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 2, 2009 6:44 AM | Report abuse

re a merciful Ditka.

Thanks for the video. Was there ever a better looking athlete than Michael Jordan? I know, those Brazilian Beach Volley Ball girls are hawt, but still, Jordan. His mamma knew what she was doing when she made him. I'm gonna smile at work ALL DAY today.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | October 2, 2009 6:30 AM | Report abuse

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