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The big empty

By Tom Toles

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***

Get your message out!

People are saying that Obama's big problem is he isn't "getting his message out." This is harder than they seem to appreciate. While some people want to try to portray Obama as having some kind of divine powers, it seems that even ACTUAL divine powers are having messaging problems. Meaning, we down here on earth are experiencing a certain lack of clarity on what the message is from on high. I mean WAY up high.

First there are all those atheists running around, and now some of them are starting to ADMIT IT in public, just like those gay people! They are definitely not getting the message. Then there are those who think they ARE getting the message, and point to sacred texts as the message. But so many different sacred texts are out there! Bad messaging. And the ones we have are so LONG and given to different INTERPRETATIONS! There is a danger that different SECTS might form and ARGUE with each other about what exactly the message is. Would bullet points help? Say, 10? Or even just one? Can we at least agree on not killing each other? Okay, unless those other people think we got the wrong message and we have to kill them before they kill us! That's a bullet point!

Anyway, Obama, surely you can do better than THAT. --Tom Toles

***

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By Tom Toles  | October 27, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  Economy and jobs  
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Comments

Bertzel- No doubt about it. And reciprocal protectionism in the name of legitmate free trade and FAIR trade should not be off the table.

Posted by: jonroesler | October 28, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Two strikes so far Dave and I'm betting you are going for a third.
by the way pulled this one up for you as you did for me. Thought I'd return the 'proper' favor.
Posted by: bertzel

My reply...
My posted reply is on yesterdays Tom Toles cartoon space.
I am basically a warrior level of person and could not begin to put together such a complex set of books on my own. I did the research and took all the University level classes necessary for the task and have a great deal of organizational skills. I was a manufacturing planner, a ship repair designer and a systems coordinator. I have worked at Headquarters Far East Command, GM Tech Center, Ford Engine Development and The Navy Nuclear program. (Where I learned how to glow in the dark). (:-)>
I spent forty years putting my books together and now I need to get them circulated.
I would like to take credit for this daunting task but most of the credit goes to an unseen influence that made it possible.
Personally, I think people are going to self-destruct. My Books may be a plot to ease God's conscience when we snuff ourselves out.
Dave

Posted by: OchamsRazor | October 27, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

It would seem we also agree on one of the solutions as well. Would you not also agree that it is not just "our" corporations undermining our industrial growth but is also foreign companies as well?

Posted by: bertzel | October 27, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Bertzel, I think we agree about the root of the problem. The problem is, how to solve it. what is the problem with having some good, old-fashioned protective tariffs?

I'll tell you what the problem is. The problem is that it is our own corporations, we all know who they are, who have moved the jobs offshore in order to enrich themselves.
It isn't the American worker, and it isn't the unions. It is those who profit from the labor of others, and they profit the most when labor costs are least.

Fine. Tax those profits, and let those who don't like the taxes physically move offshore and pay tariffs. Either way, those of us who are willing to work together for the good of the country will win.

Posted by: jonroesler | October 27, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

guess I'm talking to the hand again.
I never said demand was strong...I said there is a demand and if we, meaning the usa, steps up industrialization and produces quality products the jobs will follow, the money will follow, the taxes paid in will follow....It does, INDEED,matter where the manufacturing is
because THAT IS WHERE THE JOBS ARE.

"An equilibrium of agriculture, manufactures & commerce is certainly become essential to
our independance."
Thomas Jefferson

Posted by: bertzel | October 27, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

By the way, our Founding Fathers solved the problem of protection from what they saw as unfair foreign competition by enforcing high tariffs on imported goods. Read the Federalist Papers for yourself if you don't believe that.

The Founding Fathers, believe it or not, held that the welfare of the American people as a whole was more important than the welfare of a few wealthy traders, even if those few wealthy traders happened to be American citizens. That one very important reason for us to have our own Navy was to be able to control our own shipping commerce, not for the benefit of Wal-Mart shareholders but so people would have someplace to go to buy their goods BESIDES company stores like the corporate-owned trading companies protected by foreign governments.

Corporate control of commerce was one of the most important things we won independence FROM, and what the original Tea Party was all about, but it seems like we are now begging to be able to do business ONLY with the company store.

Ronald Reagan used the line as if the government was our enemy instead of something we created to take care of ourselves, but the new joke on the block is really, "Hi, there. We're Wal-Mart. And we're here to help!"

Posted by: jonroesler | October 27, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

If the demand for goods was strong, then retail sales, which have nothing to do with where the goods are produced, would not be down.

Retail sales are down BECAUSE demand is down. Demand is down because wages are either flat or down, and a depressed economy does an excellent job of keeping wages down. What are you gona do? Quit and get a job elsewhere?

Yeah, well I've got exactly the same thing to say to those who profit by keeping wages down. What if your taxes ARE increased? What are YOU gonna do? Quit and get a job elsewhere? Go for it.
Because, you know what? There will be somebody willing to take YOUR place for less money, too!

Posted by: jonroesler | October 27, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

~~~One very important question is, "How many dollars of tax cuts will it take, seriously, for businesses to finally begin hiring people to produce goods for which there is no demand?"~~~~

There is always a demand for goods...and they are being produced. The problem is the location of the production.
The paper industry just won a battle and hopefully will soon see a positive growth in their future.
The auto industry--Ford---has recently picked up...could be partially due to other dealers having such bad 'luck' with their vehicles.
Again the demand is there it is just a matter of the US returning back to the age of industrialization and producing 'quality' products.

Posted by: bertzel | October 27, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Dear OchamsRazor, that is the same crap that was spewed when Reagan became President. That we would be in a nuclear war, the world would end, and American children would be starving in the streets. What we got was the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Left thinks that every new Government entitlement and every new bit of legislation is crucial to the existance of the Republic. That the Federal Government is the life blood of our existance. Wrong. The lame fears that the Left spouts every time they are rebuffed are as old and tired as the names they call people that don't agree with them. The Left is tired and bankrupt of ideas. All they think of is Government spending and control. Hold on for that shift to the right. I know one thing. Nobody is going to sit in the back for the ride like President Obama said.

Posted by: bobbo2 | October 27, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

1. Time will tell where wisdom lies.
2. A little bravery goes a long way.
3. Connecting to history may be fruitful.
4. Facts matter.
5. Lies matter, but shouldn't.
6. Verify, using 2 unique sources.
7. Time matters.
8. Working people may not have it.
9. Trust sparingly, but verify.
10. Fox, witch, Republican: not good.

Posted by: Tony-KS | October 27, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Ah, yes. I, too, often wonder how much better off we would all be now, if only we had chosen differently in 2008. Really, there's no way to know except to do it.
So, are the Republicans going to actually field candidates next time around? Or just more empty suits with empty heads?

When the debates were going on and the questioner asked how many candidates did NOT believe in evolution, and THREE primary candidates for the presidency of the United States of America who did NOT misunderstand the question RAISED their hands, it began to be driven home to me just how doomed we really are.

Somebody is clearly having fun with us; I suppose we, too, might as well have some fun at somebody else’s expense. I know, let's have a Tea Party. That will fix everything!

One very important question is, "How many dollars of tax cuts will it take, seriously, for businesses to finally begin hiring people to produce goods for which there is no demand?"

And the other question would be, exactly how are we going to cut government services enough to pay for those tax cuts without also eliminating even more jobs… and raising the unemployment rate? We’re not, of course. Job cuts to pay for tax cuts are inevitable.

So, I’m STILL waiting for the honest candidate who says, “You want tax cuts? Okay… but there is only so much money available, so we are going to have to increase net unemployment and/or underemployment in order to pay for your tax cuts. While concurrently reducing services, and reducing them further when the middle-class people who have been downsized are no longer working to pay the taxes to support whatever services remain. But that’s what you want. Right? Right?”

“Because anything else would be ‘Socialism,’ and we cannot have ANY of that sort of thing here! We HATE that word.”

“Also, we do NOT believe in evolution.”

PS- Has it occurred to anyone that, we have been consistently cutting taxes and deregulating businesses (especially big businesses and banks) since the Eisenhower administration in the name of "stimulating the economy," and that the place we are at as a nation may just possibly be the result of the essentially very consistent path we've been taking AWAY FROM any sort of genuine Socialism? Duh-huh!

Posted by: jonroesler | October 27, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Tommy boy your lord and savior's problem is that the message HAS GOTTEN OUT just fine.

And more and more folks are not just saying "no", they're saying "HELL NO"!!!!! Thank God... (that was for all you atheists out there...)

Posted by: Shrimper | October 27, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Two strikes so far dave and I'm betting you are going for a third.
by the way pulled this one up for you as you did for me. Thought I'd return the 'proper' favor.

Posted by: bertzel | October 27, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

that cat was making some weird gutteral noises...thought perhaps a hairball was coming up, when low and behold, some missing thread appeared! Simply miraculous! Do you believe in miracles dave?
here is the ball...I mean thread..

~~~you are a retired English professor that can no longer dissect student’s papers so that they look like they are bleeding to death~~~~~dave

Talk about adding insult to injury. Should I laugh or cry? What to do…

dave,I am not dissecting ‘your paper,’ I am dissecting your mind!

~~~ I have written four books that are an update of Plato's Republic that cover what government should be.~~

“what government should be”…should be according to…you?
Why did you write FOUR books on this topic instead of one if what you wrote was, indeed, just an ‘update’?
Speaking of ‘update’, do you mean you have added your own thoughts and ideals to those of Plato?

I am an avid reader dave and am always interested in a variety of topics especially when it comes to ‘knowledge’ as well as the bizarre. : )
Perhaps you will tell me what your books are titled and where I can purchase them?

From what I have ‘gathered’ so far, would I be correct in suggesting that, you tend to lean towards a global, somewhat socialistic society?
Where do you see yourself in this scenario dave? Would you be one of the farmers or a ruler? I don’t mean to ‘sound harsh’ dave, but it is a valid question… is it not?
I, personally, have a problem with being classified as a person who must ‘join’ a certain group or class of people only to be ‘stuck’ there in that ‘group’ because that is what I am told I was ‘born’ to do, simply, because I am good at it.

See, I would probably start out as a farmer or craftsman but would have to move on to something else…now according to Plato, I wouldn’t be able to do that…just doesn’t seem fair dave!

I am also interested as to how you think this ‘transformation’ could be achieved before we all self- destruct.

Oh and dave, as dude put it so eloquently, I am just a “common tater”
likin' the ‘self portrait’ dave : )


Posted by: bertzel | October 26, 2010 2:53 PM
btw...hope to return the favor : )

Posted by: bertzel | October 27, 2010 12:18 PM

Posted by: bertzel | October 27, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

To Tom Toles
Proper Job To Tom Toles. Good depictures of our present situation.
On the subject of Religion, I have studied all of the major Religions and it is my conclusion that Christianity would be the best religion for the USofA if it were consistent with the teachings of Christ.
Unfortunately, Christianity has been corrupted by materialism and selfishness.
Religion or Atheism should be a personal choice that is not forced on others. Working together without conflict is what civilization is all about.

Posted by Bobbo2
Hold on because in a few days the Country is going to make a sharp lurch to the right. Time to let the air out of the tires of President Obama's big Government car.

My Reply to Bobbo2
If it happens; it will be right over the cliff into the pits of hell. We will have Palin as president in 1212 and a preemptive attack on Russia because they have "Weapons of mass Destruction" and we need a war to support the RepubliCorp War Machine. We will be under "Martial Law" and have a dictatorship. Torture will be applied to anyone who does not follow the Republicorp dictates. Is that what you want?


Posted by: OchamsRazor | October 27, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

"Ronald Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." Dick Cheney

Posted by: schasteve | October 27, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

It would seem that the comments section here has been taken over by frothing-at-the-mouth trolls who have nothing better to do with their time than to read someone they always disagree with. We've established, I think, that you're not persuasive. Why do you keep at it, bobbo & ptgrunner & your colleagues. Are you just flapping your trap because there's a venue for doing so?

Posted by: bigfish2 | October 27, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about economic theories, but I remember being told at a very young age that if you keep digging you can come out on the otherside in China....guess there WAS some TRUTH to that statement.

Posted by: bertzel | October 27, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Economic theory since the '80s would seem to dictate that if you can dig the hole faster than you're falling, you won't hit bottom.

Posted by: Capn0ok | October 27, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Fifteen term, FIFTEEN TERM Congressman Barney Frank said that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were in great shape during the housing bubble. No fault there according to the left. The Left fears returning to the failed policies of the Bush Administration. Last time I checked Bush was enjoying his retirement in Texas. The Democrats in Congress were just as culpable as President Bush and the Republicans for the mess that happened. Now we have added five trillion dollars to the debt in three years thanks to Obama, Pelosi, and Reid. That money could have given a job to everyone in the U.S.. Instead the jobless rate is still almost ten percent. Shovel ready jobs was a scam, the health care bill is a scam, cap and trade is a scam. Hold on because in a few days the Country is going to make a sharp lurch to the right. Time to let the air out of the tires of President Obama's big Government car.

Posted by: bobbo2 | October 27, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

What an utterly incoherent rant. What the hell was that even about?

Toles clearly has gone completely 'round the bend.

This page should be copied and placed in the DSM-IV, under "textbook dementia."

Posted by: etpietro | October 27, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Loose ends?
I will never join the Dark Side!

"Don't confront me with my failure, I'd not forgotten them"

sequencing or context?
Tell Mom,in New York this is not an effective use of power.
send money? one of These Days

Posted by: EarthCraft | October 27, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Bad messages (translation: "gross inaccuracies") have an amazing facility for catching on though, don't they Mister TT? Here's one now: "Obama is not getting out the message." Here's another one: "Bush won the White House fair-and-square." Or one of my favorites: "Full employment comes around by reducing the taxes for the rich." (Need we add one of yours? Oh-key-dough-key: "Climate change is another liberal hoax.")

Posted by: dudeupnorth | October 27, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Bad messages (translation: "gross inaccuracies") have an amazing facility for catching on though, don't they Mister TT? Here's one now: "Obama is not getting out the message." Here's another one: "Bush won the White House fair-and-square." Or one of my favorites: "Full employment comes around by reducing the taxes for the rich." (Need we add one of yours? Oh-key-dough-key: "Climate change is another liberal hoax.")

Posted by: dudeupnorth | October 27, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Bad messages (translation: "grossly inaccurate") have an amazing facility for catching on though, don't they Mister TT? Here's one now: "Obama is not getting out the message." Here's another one: "Bush won the White House fair-and-square." Or one of my favorites: "Full employment comes around by reducing the taxes for the rich." (Need we add "climate change is the liberals' favorite hoax?")

Posted by: dudeupnorth | October 27, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Why is America, no most Repubs confused as to when this problem started. But when MY PRESIDENT Obama came into office, he came into a MESS that was created by MY FORMER President Mr. BUSH! This mess was not created over night and it will surely not be fixed overnight. President Obama is making strides in the right direction and I applaud all efforts, so instead of talking or drawing, put into action your words and make ALL of AMERICA a Better Place!

Posted by: suga29brown | October 27, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Sketch pad?

Mr. Toles, you really do not understand it, do you?

What do you think when someone says "lagging indicator?"

Is it like the teacher is a Peanuts film. Just a mumble of adult sound?

"Waha whaaa wah."

Posted by: GaryEMasters | October 27, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

So China has a new high speed train to make life better for those who need to travel in China. Do you think someone thee is saying that they spend too much? They have it.

There is good spending as well as bad spending.

If we know the difference we can take care of our economic problems and stop acting like spoiled children after a party.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | October 27, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

ptgrunner wrote:

["The incessant rants coming from the far right--there are no moderate Republicans anymore--has poisoned any debate over the accomplishments by Obama and the Congressional Democrats. The TPiers simply shout more reasonable people down. They are too cowardly to engage in real debate. The GOP will probably take the House, possibly take the Senate. If so, they are then responsible. They can no longer "just say NO!" And when they do assume responsibility, their policies, whatever they are, will fail. And the Democrats will return to complete power, albeit with the economy even more trashed than it as after the disastrous Bush 43 years."]

--------------------------
More crack analysis from someone who really, really has all his facts straight. Just ask him!

1 - I debate you every chance I get so you're comment about Conservative are cowardly running away from debate is bull.

2 - The Dems have been in complete power since Jan 09. They were lazy and self-serving in their management, manufacturing, and order of legislative activity, so much so that they're not even running on their accomplishments.

3 - If you are going to label Conservatives as cowards, you should think about number 2 above and the fact Liberals always blame Rush, Fox, Hannity for their own inability to get their message out. I mean seriously, is that a brave stance? Especially when you have your own propaganda network (MSNBC) and so many other Liberally sensitive outlets (ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Huffington Post, MoveOn.org, Newsweek (what's left of it).

I do agree with you (dodging lightning bolts at the moment) that should the GOP win out in both Houses this November yet do zip to turn things around (e.g., follow the Conservative agenda that they ran on), then the Conservatives will stay home in the next election or move to a third party. That much is clear.

Posted by: pararanger22 | October 27, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Awesome!

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Posted by: dfhjadfjsdf | October 27, 2010 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Dear jornolibist, I hear you loud and clear.

Dear ptgrunner, five trillion dollars in added debt in three years is not a useful accomplishment. As jornolibist says, stop the Government from taking money just because someone passes away. Get our foot out of the door to Socialized medicine and shut it, forever. Get us back to a responsible capitalist system and forever away from the Nanny State that you and the rest of the do gooders envision.

Posted by: bobbo2 | October 27, 2010 6:31 AM | Report abuse

Government gridlock equals private sector job growth. Permanize Bush's tax cuts and eliminate the death tax. Repeal the healthcare law. Can you hear me now?

Posted by: jornolibist | October 27, 2010 5:24 AM | Report abuse

The incessant rants coming from the far right--there are no moderate Republicans anymore--has poisoned any debate over the accomplishments by Obama and the Congressional Democrats. The TPiers simply shout more reasonable people down. They are too cowardly to engage in real debate. The GOP will probably take the House, possibly take the Senate. If so, they are then responsible. They can no longer "just say NO!" And when they do assume responsibility, their policies, whatever they are, will fail. And the Democrats will return to complete power, albeit with the economy even more trashed than it as after the disastrous Bush 43 years.

Posted by: ptgrunner | October 26, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Our Fearless Leader and his teleprompter have had all the time in the world to get his message across. Now it is time for the American people to get their message across. President Obama has said that the Republicans can come along for the ride but they have to sit in back. More of President Obama and his bipartisanship? Two years and trillions of dollars later we are no better off. The majority of Americans do not want the health care bill as it stands. Many people are tired of deficit spending and bigger Government pushed by this Administration. Whatever happens in the coming midterms I am sure that the American people will conduct themselves far better than what Mr. Toles predicts in his last paragraph. The Left always predicts violence and anarchy when they are rebuffed. It is as tired and innacurate a prediction as the promises this Administration has heaped upon us about unemployment, bipartisanship, fiscal responsibility, and Guantanamo Bay.

Posted by: bobbo2 | October 26, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

It sure sounds like the Democrat running for Governor in Rhode Island understood the message and said what to do with it which was not very nice.

Democrats always blame the people for not understanding their message when it is just the opposite. The people understand the message and are quietly telling them what to do with it at the ballot box.

Will Democrats change the message or fire the teleprompter?

Posted by: billybeer6 | October 26, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, um, it's called religious diversity.

Posted by: writerebey | October 26, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Sarcasm is bad messaging, Tom :)

Posted by: will12 | October 26, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Your sketch made me laugh really hard, problem is that it is so true. While you have jobs falling from a broken bridge, it is more like jobs falling into a worm hole. No escaping from it. "Middle class" American jobs are vanishing into the worm hole of the free market, and re-appearing in Eastern Europe and in Asia as low paying (by American standards) jobs, and the money saved by exporting the jobs magically appearing in the fat wallets of the CEO and the board.

Posted by: bushidollar | October 26, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

oh, and last but not least, It is REAL diff-i-cult to get SERIOUS about politics...just sayin'

Posted by: bertzel | October 26, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

first of all Toles...your big empty brings a movie to mind...sigh...

Second of all the Golden Rule rules.

Third..you lost me on bullet points.

fourth...as to your sketchpad...Both!

Posted by: bertzel | October 26, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

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