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Posted at 12:00 AM ET, 02/16/2011

Blind Spot

By Tom Toles

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Budget summary

Republicans and Democrats are engaged in a great game of Budget Chicken. Chicken is the game where two cars race toward the edge of a cliff and the first one to hit the brakes loses. In this instance, both parties have won. Both cars sailed over the cliff edge some time ago, and now we, the passengers, are in that special quiet moment when the cars are sailing silently downward through the red-hued twilight air before the ground spoils everything.

Democrats think the government has a role in spending money on people and have this crazy idea that people should pay for it, except they won't. Republicans think the government should not expect people to pay for this spending, because they are against the spending in the first place, except the vast majority of it, which they pretend isn't there because all they really care about is not paying for it, especially if you are rich because the rich are deserving and everybody else is a leech.

So use this quiet time to do some serious texting to find out if you can file a last will and testament on-line somewhere. For a diversion, you can look at the driver of whichever car you're in and check out the crazed look in the driver's eyes and listen to the frenzied incoherent explanations of what the hell they have just done. --Tom Toles

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By Tom Toles  | February 16, 2011; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  Economy and jobs  
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Comments

The real discussion is about how to change from our current energy consumption approach to an improved but similar approach or completely new approach or some hybrid of the two. This is a very big topic that many are ready discuss believer or nonbeliever. So lets talk about solutions instead of divisions.

Posted by: dalyplanet | February 16, 2011 7:28 PM
-------------------------------------------------
Yes, it appears to me that NASA/OCO made an error in wording, and should apologize (to YOU), and should modify the text. AS written, that text gives AGW deniers ammunition with which to spread disinformation. But CO2 emissions thru human activity seem to be increasing by about 1%, with roughly 43% of that retained in the atmosphere. I really wonder why you did not say that the 1% was correct and the 485 ppmv atmospheric concentration was therefore correct! Why accept 389 ppmv? I get it--it's the lower number.

OK, OK. You've surrendered on GW (we have about 0.8˚C increase in T since 1880). And CO2 is the primary cause of that temperature increase (there's a strong correlation that implies causality). You can't go back and claim that GW or AGW is not happening now. Now we can discuss solutions, although I admit I'm not up-to-date on this issue. Changing to fluorescent bulbs will not solve the problem. Energy conservation is a start, but will not solve the problem completely. I have concerns about some carbon sequestration strategies. Nuclear (i.e. nuclear) energy can help, but it has issues. There are many partial solutions; I doubt that there is any single solution to our problem. Nonetheless, I'm thrilled that you now onboard with the AGW crowd, and that you are willing to find solutions to the problem.

Posted by: ptgrunner | February 16, 2011 8:30 PM | Report abuse

LOL ranger!!!!

Posted by: dalyplanet | February 16, 2011 8:08 PM | Report abuse

So please stop whipping out Reagan every time you need a savior. He wasn't really what you think you remember him as being. He was actually quite bad for the working folks of this country. If Republicans really want to raise up one of their own presidents that actually did good for the working folks, try Eisenhower. I'd agree with you there.

Posted by: PrairieDog60 | February 16, 2011 6:39 PM

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

What a dumb post.

I write one line about Reagan compromising with the Democrats (taxes) and you make it out like my whole post was some slobbery tribute to him. You really get worked up over silly stuff. You set up these straw-man arguments on a Word document just waiting for the guy's name to be put on a post.

That being said, most of your 'facts' are baloney anyway. Reagan owned you and the rest of your diaspora for eight years (and I mean 'owned'); you just can't get over it. Liberals were in hiding. Couldn't even get anyone to even say 'Liberal.' Johnson was a liar and an awful President. Carter was a complete joke. Clinton was morally bankrupt. And now the current POTUS's party suffered one of the worst mid term election shellackings of all time because of his pi__ poor leadership, management, and staff. Great record there PDOG; gotta love those Liberal leaders.

Wish away history all you want but you've lost the narrative. Reagan will be on Mt. Rushmore one day with his characteristic smile, wondering about the next great thing America will accomplish. Carter on the other hand will have his face on a milk carton with a caption that says 'have you seen my legacy?'.

No one with common sense wants to be a Liberal.

No one likes Liberals.

No one believes Liberals.

And Conservative women are WAY better looking than Liberal women (can you say Janeane Garafolo).

You have nothing to live for, actually. But stick around - we would miss you here in Toles' fantasy blog-land.

Posted by: pararanger22 | February 16, 2011 7:50 PM | Report abuse

PTG

Are you saying NASA should correct their website and issue a retraction for saying,

http://oco.jpl.nasa.gov/science/

~~~"Natural sources of CO2 emit approximately 300 Gigatons of CO2 each year, while human activities are responsible for about 6 Gigatons, just under 2% of that total. Measurements from a global network of surface stations indicate that atmospheric CO2 increased by 1% annually over the past 40 years -- i.e., from 326 ppmv in 1970 to 389 ppmv in 2010." ~~~

When in fact atmospheric CO2 increased .44% annually over the period stated meaning NASA's website is overstating the annual increase by 227%, then I will agree.

As to the AP press release, a few guys cherry picked some years 1951 to 1999 and 'found' a little increase in moisture of the "biggest" storms in later years compared to earlier. And the cheerleader press jumps on it so the mm deep believers will now have another BS study to quote.

This stuff is like arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

The real discussion is about how to change from our current energy consumption approach to an improved but similar approach or completely new approach or some hybrid of the two. This is a very big topic that many are ready discuss believer or nonbeliever. So lets talk about solutions instead of divisions.

Posted by: dalyplanet | February 16, 2011 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Ah, there he is again. He always pops up when the debate begins. He is the "shining example", the savior, and the...umm...actor. And a great actor he was. Oh not in movies, but his "role" as savior of the nation and world sure has convinced a lot of people that it was real. Yes, Ronald Reagan is foisted upon us almost hourly these days by someone in the Republican party, as they try to tell us what a president "should" be. How short their memories are.

Did RR lower taxes? Yes...his first year in office. Then, as his deficit spending (the largest in America's history up to that point) began to sink in, he was forced to raise taxes the next 6 years (but deficits only seem to matter when a Democrat is in the White House, right?). Oh, and his ratings about two years into his first term? They were lower than Obama's are right now. When he left office, they weren't much better. Stubborn things these facts.

And the poor blue collar folks that idolize him? Here's some news for them. Average income (from 1980 to 1990) for the top 1% went from $427,000 to $661,000. That's an increase of 55%. For the bottom 90% (most of the rest of us), average income went from $30,900 to $30,800. A decrease of 0.3%. Yay trickle down!

And let's not forget Iran/Contra, in which several of RR's deputies, including Defense Secretary Cap Weinberger, were convicted of crimes (and yes, subsequently pardoned...what a surprise!). Of course, RR knew nothing of this operation. *rme*

I don't have any soft spot for many of our recent presidents. Most have been beholden to the wealthy, and most have had a part in deregulation of various sectors of the business world, which led to our conglomerized food/ag system, and "too big to fail" banks and investment companies; and yes, Bush II's wonderful recession that is still eating at this country. God knows Clinton screwed up many a golden opportunity to do some real good. Instead he became quite the center-right president, who disppointed me on many fronts. NAFTA was one of the worst Republican ideas ever to be stolen by Clinton and implemented. Obama is becoming Clinton-light, and is disappointing me in many similar ways. And people still want to call him a socialist! What is there, a dictionary shortage among Republicans?

So please stop whipping out Reagan every time you need a savior. He wasn't really what you think you remember him as being. He was actually quite bad for the working folks of this country. If Republicans really want to raise up one of their own presidents that actually did good for the working folks, try Eisenhower. I'd agree with you there.

Posted by: PrairieDog60 | February 16, 2011 6:39 PM | Report abuse

@pararanger22 | February 16, 2011 2:00 PM

Save it. I've heard it all before. I've been hearing this nonsense since 1979. There is no one more dependent on the guvmint than your garden variety, out-of-work, don't-want-to-work, blame Democrats, Mexicans and Chinese Tea Partier. Some people in the U.S. have always needed help, life has been and always will be a struggle. In the past, people didn't often get help--they lived badly and died young. We can afford to help those who need help. You just have to pay taxes. Right now, taxes are at historically low levels, historically low since WWII. And Tea Partyers, those great patriots, refuse to pay even these quite low taxes. Maybe you want to go back to the good old days, the days of our founding fathers when slavery as legal and people had an average life span of 35 years (1776). But I do not. Pay back any guvmint benefits you have received and do not accept any benefits you might receive in the future.

Your "we'll compromise if you do" attitude is heartwarming. But all I've been hearing from the GOP and Tea Party is that they will NOT compromise. Do you want to deny that????? You conservatives compromise on one issue--then we can talk.

Posted by: ptgrunner | February 16, 2011 5:11 PM

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

Save it?

The take-no-prisoners approach is getting old, PTG.

1 - Your description of typical Tea Party members is just plain bull. If you've gone to some of their gatherings, you would know that. Mostly middle class; mostly Christian. Dependent on government for security more than welfare.
2 - We all pay taxes we just disagree on how to spend those taxes. You complain all the time about we don't pay enough. You throw tax-money at every problem. Why isn't there an argument to spend less, spend more wisely?
3 - Compromise? Plenty of compromises over the years on budgets, social security, No Child Left Behind, defense budgets, creation of Homeland Security, taxes (look at the Reagan & Bush I years), and more. Bush II looked for a compromise to fix Social Security - the Dems excoriated him for it yet the problems remain. Where was there any compromise on the Democrat side?
4 - Sure - we can afford to help folks but you can't seriously make the argument that we don't spend a LOT of money in this regard.
5 - The Democrats wanted to keep slavery; a Republican (Lincoln) changed all that.

Conservatives aren't in the mood to compromise at the moment after getting 'stuffed' on just about everything from 08-10, this is true. Your team held all the cards and frittered away their moment in the sun. The GOP didn't really have to do much to pound the Dems last November - the Administration and Congress performed poorly and paid for it at the ballot box.

I've been voting since 1980 so your 'experience' doesn't impress me that much. You d__ well know how bad things were at the end of the Carter years unless you are just completely myopic.


Posted by: pararanger22 | February 16, 2011 5:31 PM | Report abuse

@dalyplanet

Another gift for you:

"Scientists connect global warming to extreme rain" (SETH BORENSTEIN)
From Associated Press February 16, 2011 3:24 PM EST

BTW, the NASA link [ http://oco.jpl.nasa.gov/science/ ] you provided is quite accurate if poorly worded. No, NASA rocket scientists did not lie. The annual increase in CO2 released into the atmosphere is about 3.3 ppmv/year (about 1%). But only about 43% [ I verified this with real-world MLO data ] of that is retained in the atmosphere, the remained being absorbed by ocean and land sinks. We all know what 326*(1.43**40) equals. I think you: were wrong about the OCO/NASA WEb site, should issue a retraction, and should issue an apology.

Don't forget to pay your taxes this year.

Posted by: ptgrunner | February 16, 2011 5:25 PM | Report abuse

@pararanger22 | February 16, 2011 2:00 PM

Save it. I've heard it all before. I've been hearing this nonsense since 1979. There is no one more dependent on the guvmint than your garden variety, out-of-work, don't-want-to-work, blame Democrats, Mexicans and Chinese Tea Partier. Some people in the U.S. have always needed help, life has been and always will be a struggle. In the past, people didn't often get help--they lived badly and died young. We can afford to help those who need help. You just have to pay taxes. Right now, taxes are at historically low levels, historically low since WWII. And Tea Partyers, those great patriots, refuse to pay even these quite low taxes. Maybe you want to go back to the good old days, the days of our founding fathers when slavery as legal and people had an average life span of 35 years (1776). But I do not. Pay back any guvmint benefits you have received and do not accept any benefits you might receive in the future.

Your "we'll compromise if you do" attitude is heartwarming. But all I've been hearing from the GOP and Tea Party is that they will NOT compromise. Do you want to deny that????? You conservatives compromise on one issue--then we can talk.

Posted by: ptgrunner | February 16, 2011 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Tom, playing chicken is actually two cars racing toward each other, on a collision course, at full throttle. The person who actually swerves around the other is the loser.

But then being the typical liberal you are, don't let the facts confuse your point.

Posted by: ATrueChristian

I've seen some petty posts in my day but this may be the worst.

I have seen both versions of the game referred to as "chicken."

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | February 16, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

The text has it about right. I'm a "tax and spend" liberal in that I believe in taxing so can spend to meet the nation's needs. Modern Republicans have shown themselves willing to borrow and spend to the point that we can't or won't deal with the nation's problems when they arise, because deficits and debt is already too high. OF course, money can be pried out of their hands for TARP, etc.--those things help their corporate buddies.


Posted by: ptgrunner

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

Predictable. Liberals (when in power) establish programs to create mass dependencies to cement constituencies (read: Democrat voters). These far-reaching social programs require more and more taxes to pay for them. When the books are out of balance, of course, it's only the Conservatives that created all the red ink. Then, I always love this one, Liberals want to tax us more for the good of the 'Nation'.

I've always been willing to allow for GOP fiscal mistakes but Liberals like you, PTG, never admit to your own vast contribution to the deficit. Heck, you can't even admit that you were wrong on the job issues last month - instead you just sling mud at the GOP. Name a topic - you and the rest of the Liberal diaspora are fanatically glued to your talking points, thus, Conservatives aren't going to budge much on their agenda.

The polarization of the two parties isn't the healthiest atmosphere for the Nation but so be it. I believe the GOP has the right agenda for bringing back fiscal sanity to the Federal government. In Nov 2012 we'll see who Americans truly believe in.

Posted by: pararanger22 | February 16, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

What's the difference between communists, socialists and democrats?

A communist takes your freedom at the beginning, a socialist takes your freedom at the end and democrats take your freedom one step at a time.


Posted by: jornolibist | February 15, 2011 8:23 PM
_______________________________
What's the difference between a facist and a Republican?

Nothing. They both take your freedom as quickly as they can.

Posted by: luridone | February 16, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Much like they did in the Bush years, Republicans are overreaching again. WI Governor Scott Walker (see one of the editorials in the Post today), in a "budget repair" bill designed to fix some spending issues for the remainder of the state fiscal year that ends June 30th, has included in that bill the nearly complete removal of collective bargaining rights for state and local government employees. This has NOTHING to do with patching some holes in the remaining year's budget. It is merely a power grab to try to end over 5 decades of public sector unions in WI. The bill also contains some pretty severe cuts to state employees' wages which will be going toward increased contributions to the state's retirement fund, and health insurance. This will immediatly take tens of millions of dollars out of just my local community alone in terms of available consumer dollars. I wonder how many jobs Walker will "create" in my community when that money is no longer available to spend in the private sector.

Introduced last Friday night, the bill will be voted on this Friday morning...less than a week to consider. To top it off, Walker said to the press that he's talked to the National Guard to let them know he may need them to put down any unrest. There's only one reason to even say something so stupid...it's to use that tried-and-true Fox News tool of demonizing public employees; in this case making them sound like they're going to take to the streets and destroy government buildings, or some such ridiculousness.

Bipartisan city councils around the state are organizing quickly and passing resolutions condemning this bill. Most of them know it will make relations with city employees much more difficult in a time when budgets will be cut and relations will be strained anyway. The problem is, it won't do much good. Walker has a compliant, tea-bagger-elected Republican legislature who is willing to go along with just about any sort of lunacy this college-drop-out governor throws at them.

Other Republican governors around the country are watching this to see if they too can get away with busting public sector unions that have existed for decades.

I can't believe the degree to which one party is going to destroy things Americans have fought hard for over nearly a century. It's disheartening and quite frightening. And worst of all, the ones getting the shaft in all this, the blue-collar working folks, are mostly buying this BS and thinking it actually helps them, thanks to the fear-inducing propaganda daily coming out of the Limbaughs and O'Riellys and Hannitys.

Sickening.

Posted by: PrairieDog60 | February 16, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Tom, playing chicken is actually two cars racing toward each other, on a collision course, at full throttle. The person who actually swerves around the other is the loser.

But then being the typical liberal you are, don't let the facts confuse your point.

Posted by: ATrueChristian | February 16, 2011 12:39 PM | Report abuse

The text has it about right. I'm a "tax and spend" liberal in that I believe in taxing so can spend to meet the nation's needs. Modern Republicans have shown themselves willing to borrow and spend to the point that we can't or won't deal with the nation's problems when they arise, because deficits and debt is already too high. OF course, money can be pried out of their hands for TARP, etc.--those things help their corporate buddies.

Posted by: ptgrunner | February 16, 2011 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Well said Tom. Love your work. Yep, we are all going off the cliff but what the heck "America Idle" (sic) is on tonight and we haven't hit the ground yet. Yet.

Posted by: caseyb1 | February 16, 2011 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Re: Cartoon Contest

My entry:

"No Caption Required."

Posted by: billh39 | February 16, 2011 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Tom, do you think George Allen should sue everyone in the Washington Post who had anything to do with exploiting the word macaca to defame him?

Posted by: billybeer6 | February 16, 2011 6:43 AM | Report abuse

Ranger

Tip of the hat to you regarding the Chatham House link. So much stuff there !!! It probably can't be cited here though as it is not peer reviewed LOL

Posted by: dalyplanet

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

'Chatham House Rules' means that anything you say cannot be attributed to a specific speaker outside the house. It's a common phrase here in all schools. Allows for free-flowing debate without fear of repercussions. The CH members are outstanding speakers; very nimble in their skill and willing to take on hard questions from nit-wits like me. I've learned a lot over here the past 26 months. It is difficult to stand up in a room of 100 very well educated folks and ask a question that makes sense, that demonstrates you've read-up on the subject; and deliver it in a way that you don't embarrass yourself completely. I've improved in that area but I recognize my limitations :)

Blogging is all fire-and-forget with too much ready-fire-aim tactics. That said, it is useful to lay out what you know here and find out what others can add to your knowledge. And...I try and have some humor with it. Mr. Toles drives me batty but he has a firm point of view and I respect that. I don't always have the time to visit every web-site; research every speck of info, but I do spend some time on it. PawnTakesQueen has a no prisoner MO to his blogs; I find a lot of that on other WP blogs - it's a very American, alley-brawl style but it's not particularly enlightening stuff.

Keep up the nice work, dalyplanet.

rgr

Posted by: pararanger22 | February 16, 2011 3:44 AM | Report abuse

"Playing chicken" is a bad idea even if it is with a goose. If he had hit the windshield I might not be here to post to the net.
There are probably some posters that would be happy with that thought.
"Playing Chicken" while ignoring the danger to other people's lives has become a Republican trade mark.
Their game play breaks all the rules of human decency and needs to stop before this nation is totally totaled.
Dave

Posted by: OchamsRazor

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

We're happy you weren't 'goosed' Dave! But in regard to the budget debate going on, the WH and the Democrats have lost their spine. The WH budget submission was pretty feckless; at least the GOP is laying out their cuts now and not pushing them to the right on the calendar.

It's a big political chess match, I'll grant you that. But the Dem team seems to be the ones more worthy of your criticism of late.

Posted by: pararanger22 | February 16, 2011 3:34 AM | Report abuse

To Tom Toles...
On the subject of "playing chicken".
I was tooling up Mile Hill Road at fourty five miles per hour which is the speed limit when over the horizon right in front of me comming at me in my lane was a very large goose. He was flying just off the road about level with the windshield of my S10 Chevy Truck. I could not believe I was "playing chicken" with a goose. I thought he would just fly over the top of my truck but instead he tried to go around me and hit my right turn signal cover. When I looked in my rear view mirror, he was standing at the side of the road watching me drive away. I thought I was imagining things until I stopped and checked out my turn signal cover and it was pushed under my front bumper on the right corner and the bumper cowl was cracked.
"Playing chicken" is a bad idea even if it is with a goose. If he had hit the windshield I might not be here to post to the net.
There are probably some posters that would be happy with that thought.
"Playing Chicken" while ignoring the danger to other people's lives has become a Republican trade mark.
Their game play breaks all the rules of human decency and needs to stop before this nation is totally totaled.
Dave

Posted by: OchamsRazor | February 15, 2011 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Ranger

Tip of the hat to you regarding the Chatham House link. So much stuff there !!! It probably can't be cited here though as it is not peer reviewed LOL

Posted by: dalyplanet | February 15, 2011 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Let's play: "Be Like Toles!!"

Okay kids, let's describe our favorite cartoonist! What do you think he thinks?!

1 - All Conservatives are rich!
2 - The money we pay in taxes, the Democrats own it all - it's their money! Give it away - yay!
3 - Mondale rules, Reagan drools!
4 - At least Obama is trying!
5 - Obamacare will 'make' money for the country!
6 - Conservatives created climate change!

Ahh...so much material, so little time.

Posted by: pararanger22 | February 15, 2011 9:16 PM | Report abuse

If Thelma & Louise are in one of those cars, I'm there !!!!

Posted by: PlumHunter | February 15, 2011 8:32 PM | Report abuse

What's the difference between communists, socialists and democrats?

A communist takes your freedom at the beginning, a socialist takes your freedom at the end and democrats take your freedom one step at a time.


Posted by: jornolibist | February 15, 2011 8:23 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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