Democrats & Liberals Archives

They Brought This on Themselves...

And we should thank them for it. Why am I saying that? Well, the fact is, we know about Tom Daschle’s back taxes in no small part because Obama’s vetting team did such a thorough job, and because Daschle and his accountant approached the issue with due diligence.

In the former Senator's own words:

Last fall, when I was being considered for this position, the Presidential Transition Team’s vetters reviewed my records. During the course of those reviews, the vetting team flagged charitable contributions they felt were deducted in error. When my accountant realized I would need to file amended returns, he suggested addressing another matter I had raised with him earlier in the year: whether the use of a car service offered to me by a close friend might be a tax issue. In December, my accountant advised me that it should be reported as imputed income in the amended returns.

Rather than try and sweep these things under the rug, these folks took an approach that reflected an abundance of caution. Daschle's accountant, seeing that the mistaken deductions were going to require tax returns brought up a concern that Daschle had brought up earlier and subsequently corrected for it.

This is not a story of deception or irresponsibility, but rather the opposite. But since Obama cabinet members need to be perfect even before they enter office, apparently no good deed goes unpunished.

So what about Geithner? Well, Here are some facts on that issue:

The underpayments all involve Mr. Geithner’s income as a senior official at the International Monetary Fund from 2001 to 2003, including a small payment in 2004 after he had left. Mr. Geithner worked there after leaving the Treasury, where he had risen to under secretary for international affairs in the Clinton administration, and before becoming president of the New York Fed, a post that has put him at the center of the economic crisis.

The I.M.F., as an international organization, does not withhold payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare from its American employees’ paychecks. Those workers are required to pay the roughly 15 percent tax themselves, as if they were self-employed.

However, the I.M.F. does pay its American workers an amount equal to an employer’s half of the payroll taxes, with the expectation that they will use that to pay the I.R.S. The organization also gives them quarterly wage statements that include United States tax liabilities.

Mr. Geithner fully paid his state and federal income taxes. In failing to pay his payroll taxes, he in effect kept the money the I.M.F. had contributed toward his liability. However, Mr. Geithner’s accountant told him he was exempt from self-employment taxes, according to Obama transition officials.

As Obama officials pointed out, and I.R.S. documents attest, the failure to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes is common among Americans who work for international organizations, including foreign embassies. A 2007 I.R.S. notice reported that up to half of such employees incorrectly file their tax returns.

People are right to put folks like Daschle and Geithner under such scrutiny. But if we do that, and just slap generalizations on the targets of our scrutiny, we defeat the purpose of such close observation: not to fuel partisan rhetoric and gleeful charges from political rivals, but instead to give us an idea of what we're getting out of these people. So what are we getting out of them?

In Geithner's case, we're getting somebody who made, literally speaking, a common mistake on his taxes, and did so having been reassured he didn't owe anything by his accountant. Daschle's issues came up because he and Obama's transition team were looking for issues like this to resolve, and because Daschle himself had a concern which his accountant later informed him was legitimate.

And in both cases, these men paid what they owed.

So tell me: where's the scandal here? Scandals by definition spring not from embarrassments like this, but instead from behavior that promotes a bad example. These men demonstrated the willingness to correct mistakes, to even seek out mistakes to correct as they prepared for nomination. Is that a scandal? Or is it a manufactured controversy?

Obama and other Democrats stand behind these people not because they are his choices for these offices, because its politically convenient, and we can get away with it, but because these men did the right thing, took responsibility for their mistakes, and paid what they owed. They knew scrutiny would be on them. But I guess they didn't realize that some folks would be looking to make political hay out of paid-for mistakes.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at February 3, 2009 8:11 AM
Comments
Comment #274850

It’s the double-standard, stupid!

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 3, 2009 10:18 AM
Comment #274853

WW,

Only you people on the right turn these two into a double-standard. Now, if you want a scandal…Nancy Killefer, the guru of ‘Chief Performance Officer’, has withdrawn her nomination because of tax problems. Again one who drops out because of the vetting process, but if you wish to blather, it is better to blather about something with substance…

Posted by: Marysdude at February 3, 2009 11:16 AM
Comment #274856

Weary Willie-
Neither the Obama Administration nor the appointees in question advocated zero tolerance policies for the mistakes of ordinary citizens.

Nor did they argue at any point that they were entitled not to pay these taxes because of their social standing.

Nor did they actively act to evade taxes. In each case, they made mistakes that either involved technicalities of the tax code, or common mistakes in their particular situation.

Apparently, the argument is that Obama appointees are not allowed to make errors that ordinary people make. Geithner’s mistake in particular was very common.

By your logic, then, anybody who makes a mistake on their taxes, runs afoul of the tax code should be mercilessly prosecuted and barred from public office. But that seems to be your logic, but not your position, if I read your other posts correctly.

You were talking about a double standard, right?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 3, 2009 11:23 AM
Comment #274859

Dude-

The NY Times is leading the attack on Daschle; hardly “you people on the right.” From the editorial page:

Mr. Daschle is another in a long line of politicians who move cozily between government and industry. We don’t know that his industry ties would influence his judgments on health issues, but they could potentially throw a cloud over health care reform. Mr. Daschle could clear the atmosphere by withdrawing his name.

Posted by: George at February 3, 2009 11:39 AM
Comment #274862

Stephen,

The implication of your article is that all we conservatives think Daschle was cheating.

Not so. The real lesson of Daschle’s troubles is that it is nearly impossible to fail to violate the law in the odious tax regime under which the nation groans.

We live in fear, both of the cumbersome system and of the manner in which inadvertent violations of law can be used to manipulate us.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 3, 2009 11:50 AM
Comment #274866

Lee Jamison-
No, the implication is not that. However, if an individual Republican were to make the case that Daschle and Geithner were tax cheats, I wouldn’t hesitate to agree that this entry of mine proves them wrong, and takes them to task for that error.

As for this “nation groaning under an odious tax regime”? The only thing making me groan is the tax revolt angst. The tax code does need simplification and streamlining. It does not need more well-intentioned and ne’er do well Republicans piecemeal monkeying with the tax code. If I had a nickel for every time a Republican Congress or president came up with some tax break, I’d need an accountant myself. There’s half your tax code, I’ll bet: all these little sweetheart provisions that the past few Congresses used as stealth subsidies, especially the Republicans.

The Republican pundits painted these guys as scofflaws, as tax cheats, when in reality, they’re the precise opposite. These men got themselves square with the house, and Daschle did so even when he didn’t have to.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 3, 2009 12:11 PM
Comment #274868

Stephen, all this entry of yours proves is:

- That Daschle needs a new accountant. 6-12 months to answer his tax question?
- That Geithner didn’t know how much he was making or that, for some reason, he didn’t question the extra money in his paycheck.
- That you are willing to take them at their word and are upset that others are not.

“These men got themselves square with the house”

I agree. Time to move on to the next of many issues to come and hear those excuses.

Posted by: kctim at February 3, 2009 12:45 PM
Comment #274870

kctim-
Daschle is out. That it’s over something so chickenfeed as this is just sad.

Let’s address some of the issues you bring up. Would something like the driver be an important issue before you get put up for a nomination? If you’re making a few million dollars a year in the private sector, why would it be so important. You hire the accountant to make sure of these things, when your own finances are so complex that its a full time job to take care of it.

Geithner was told that he didn’t need to pay self-employment taxes by his accountant Why would he be concerned about extra money he didn’t realize was extra?

As for taking them at their word, I tend to do that until positive evidence (rather than trenchant partisan rhetoric) makes that problematic. I assume journalists are doing their job, until I hear otherwise.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 3, 2009 1:13 PM
Comment #274871

Stephen,

You keep forgetting that these folks are dropping out up front…BEFORE they hurt the administration. The Republicans forget that all their cheats and thieves were kicked out or jailed AFTER they were in positions of importance. I look to Obama’s commitment to a cleaner, more transparent government for this. There is a huge difference from the recent past.

How many indictments happened during and shortly after Reagan’s bunch were in?

How many indictments during and after Clinton?

How many during and after Cheney/Bush (plenty of time and targets there…)?

I think we are far better off taking care of these things up front and in the open.

The biggest difference though is Reagan and Cheney/Bush had actual miscreants and so far Obama has gotten rid of only one real baddy (Richardson?), these others are clean, comparatively speaking.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 3, 2009 1:37 PM
Comment #274873

Stephen
Re Daschle: The issue of the driver is an important issue from day one…for his accountant to have taken care of. Especially after being asked about it by Daschle earlier in the year.
I agree with you, Daschle hired the accountant to make sure of such things, his accountant dropped the ball and that is why I say he needs a new accountant.

Re Geithner: I know my pay when I take a job and I know how much my checks should be. If there is extra or less than should be, I bring it to the attention of my employer and find out why. It has happened more than once to me, an average joe who knows nothing about taxes.
Are you saying a person such as Geithner does not know what his salary is, so he had no clue that he was paid extra? That seems a little naive to me.
While I don’t believe he wasn’t honest enough to question extra money in his check, I do believe he deserved all the scrutiny he received and will continue to receive.
David Remer had this one right.

I too believe in taking them at their word until factual evidence proves otherwise, that is why I said it is time to move on.

The funny thing about “trenchant partisan rhetoric” is that it is only seen as being problematic when it comes from the “other side.”

Posted by: kctim at February 3, 2009 1:50 PM
Comment #274877

Weary Willie,

Where were you when it came out that Palin deducted her home meals and children’s travel expenses. This was truly grotesque, because the rationale was clearly that it was okay to write off your children as political props.

Stephen is right. We’ve punished these people for being responsible. If only they’d been like Palin and claimed there was nothing wrong with the write offs. If they’d followed the Republican example of having no shame or common sense, Daschle would probably have his job.

Posted by: Max at February 3, 2009 2:26 PM
Comment #274879

So let’s get this straight.

Obama discovered Daschle’s tax problems BEFORE nominating him and nominated him anyway? Daschle pays his back taxes only AFTER getting caught in order to secure a cabinet post and then when the covers get pulled off the whole thing and Daschle chooses/is forced to withdraw, all of this is seen as an example of Obama setting high standards?

Uh… okay.

Perhaps Obama simply expected the media and the public to assume the same supine posture before him that that they have always done. It must be a surprise for him to see his nominees held to a standard that Obama has never been held to himself when it comes to transperancy.

Rezko? Who is that?

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 3, 2009 2:41 PM
Comment #274880

There’s no point in addressing posts to me!
I’ve been banned for paraphrasing a Democratic while criticizing a Democratic.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 3, 2009 2:46 PM
Comment #274884

I still don’t get it. Why do all the nominees have tax problems?

Are they self identifying them?

Why didn’t Bush’s nominees have tax problems?

Are democrats more likely to fudge? Are they more likely to identify the problems?

What does it all mean?

Posted by: Schwamp at February 3, 2009 3:00 PM
Comment #274885

What’s truly hilarious here is that Democratic partisans are trying to give Obama points for high vetting standards AFTER he sends up nominees that crash and burn for ethics violations.

That is NOT vetting by Obama. That is vetting by the media and by a Senate which is controlled by Obama’s own party. It is a clear failure on the part of Obama, as is obvious to all but the most extreme and supine partisans.

We can all look forward to more of such Obama-mania-induced pretzel-logic over the next four (hopefully only four) years.

So far, we can praise Obama for having two of his nominees crash and burn for tax evasion.

We can praise him for getting another guy guilty of tax evasion confirmed anyway—to run the US Treasury!!!

We can praise him for continuing George Bush’s warrantless wiretapping, which used to be reason people said Bush should be impeached.

We can praise him for preserving (and reportedly expanding) renditions. And for promising to “close Gitmo” (yeah, right) some day in the future. Perhaps in a year… how ever long it takes to set up the exact same facility somewhere else. Or perhaps never, if you please. Kool-aid, anyone?

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 3, 2009 3:01 PM
Comment #274894

kctim-
Important? Daschle was responsible for it being brought up? What kind of idiot who’s trying to conceal something goes ahead, admits fault, and pays up? This is what bugs me.

What also bugs me this that this is seen to reflect poorly on Obama’s vetting, which sounds like BS to me, owing to the fact that the vetting team did a lot of pushing for greater detail and transparency, for getting things straight before you accepted an appointment.

I can recall from the Bush Administration one person after another getting into some kind of scandal, and the Bush administration just perseverating on keeping them. But here we had the Obama administration, where such people go before they become problems, rather than stubbornly stay

I guess when you won’t admit to anything, or look too deeply you’ll obviously not find much wrong. I guess it’s better for the Obama Administration to be accountable to a fault than the other way around.

LO-
Let’s get this straight: Daschle himself brought it up. His accountant said, “pay taxes on this”. It seems like he caught himself, turned himself in. And then when it becomes a problem for credibility, Daschle falls on his own sword and removes himself as a problem.

By God, if the Bush administration had had a few episodes like that, what collosal ****-ups we could have avoided. The Bush administration specialized in having these meltdowns, as one commentor mentioned, AFTER they got in office. maybe its better to get the crap out of the way now, rather than wait till later.

You, like many Republican supporters, seem to have a loose way with terms that are not loosely defined. Tax Evasion. Did Geithner deliberately try to avoid those taxes? No evidence suggests this. The accidental failure to pay these taxes is actually quite common. When confronted with his shortfall, Geithner paid. No arguments, no whining about the tyrannies of the IRS, he paid.

That he did not cheat on his other taxes strengthens the case, since its quite unlikely a man would just pick those particular taxes to fail to pay, if that were the case.

Additionally, like I said, about half the people employed like he was made similar mistakes.

So do we have tax evasion? No. To call him guilty of it is just an excess of rhetoric. But hey, what’s new!

Rendition is another word where your folks have a loose interpretation and the term has a more specific meaning. Ironically enough, the term is actually quite innocuous when you get it away from the sort of inhumane policies you Bush supporters love to apologize for.

Rendition, simply put, is extradition. extraordinary rendition, is when we pull an Adolf Eichmann and grab somebody out of a country without the courtesy of involving the local authorities. Extradition without cooperation, in another words.

The latter term has gained some noteriety, thanks to the Bush Administration habit of renditioning prisoners to folks whose interrogation methods feature certain… enchancements.

Obama’s not advocating we deliver people to torture, but rather that we still exercise the option of yanking folks like Bin Laden when extending the courtesy to the hosts governments of the states they’re taking refuge in doesn’t seem like a good idea.

As far as drinking kool-aid? Ask yourself whether eight years ago you would have stood for the stuff Bush did from Bill Clinton, or whether you would have been roasting him on a spit for trampling the constitution. You folks certainly seemed up for defending people who were outting classified agents, who were using their offices for illegal partisan gain, who were firing attorneys for not filing cases they knew they couldn’t win, and so on and so forth. You bought that kool-aid by the gallon.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 3, 2009 5:40 PM
Comment #274896

Stephen
I’m not sure if you are reading my words or reading into them.
I very clearly said that I believe it is his accountants fault, Daschle paid up and that it is time to move on.

I didn’t mention the Obama’s vetting process, but I believe asking why he would put up someone who failed to pay taxes and expect no questions, is a valid point.

And again with the Bush administration? You really need to take your own advice when the clinton admin was brought up.

Posted by: kctim at February 3, 2009 6:01 PM
Comment #274900

That tax code is too freaking complicated, accountants are at fault. But geez who can figure it out nowadays.

Doesn’t everyone remember all the Bush cabinet appointees that had tax issues?

Remember there was? And then there was? And of course there was?

I got nothin.

Posted by: Edge at February 3, 2009 7:13 PM
Comment #274901

Edge-
I remember tax issues were the least of the problems we had with Bush appointees. Things like not being qualified. Or supporting unconstitutional interpretations of the powers of the commander in chief.

Heckuva job Brownie? Donald “I stand up eight hours a day why is it torture” Rumsfeld? John “nakie justice skeeves me” Ashcroft? Alberto “I forgot my cerebral cortex in my other briefcase” Gonzales? John “unitary executive” Yoo?

I could go on. How about those nice people who were using the federal government’s facilities as a base of support for the GOP, in violation of the Hatch act? How about those folks in the Justice Department who hired folks for justice out of a fourth tier law school, which just happened to be attached to Pat Robertson’s school?

Maybe the Republicans out here are just not used to the fact that embarrassments are a fact of life in politics, and that no administration that makes contact with reality avoids them. That is unless they become so overwhelmingly secretive like the Bush administration that folks hardly speak out for fear of annihilation of their careers.

Just thank God you have a president willing to accept somebody’s resignation in a timely fashion.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 3, 2009 7:42 PM
Comment #274903

Stephen, so you make my point. Bush went into office without these issues, twice.

But to me the bigger issues is related to your last line “Just thank God you have a president willing to accept somebody’s resignation in a timely fashion.”

Didn’t Obama promise to change the way things were done? Does he not have major egg on his face here? His processes for researching the background of his nominees is worse than Bush’s was, twice over.

I will agree that he is willing to accept their resignatino. I think this fits with a lot of transparency he is trying to honestly create. But let’s be clear, this is a mistake in his research process and it is now a pattern, not a one time issue.

Hopefully Obama is better than the Democrats at research. Like being able to tell the difference between say STDs and business tax reduction and business incentives.

Posted by: Edge at February 3, 2009 8:21 PM
Comment #274904

Edge,

I think that it is you that missed the point.
Bush allowed his screw-ups to stay in office long after they had been exposed. At least Ashcroft discovered he had scruples, belated though that discovery may have been.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at February 3, 2009 8:53 PM
Comment #274905

No Rocky, you are just making your point. I don’t disagree with Bush’s mistakes in holding cabinet members. Question is, to my point, whether you think Obama is making mistakes or not. Bush is gone. I can type slower if it helps.

Posted by: Edge at February 3, 2009 8:59 PM
Comment #274906

Sorry, my last sentence was not meant to be insulting. Last time I use “Humor for the Masses” book by McCain.

Posted by: Edge at February 3, 2009 9:01 PM
Comment #274909

It is a hard habit to break but it is time to stop useing the Bush regime and its supporters, likely the worst administration ever, as an excuse for BHO. We can and will get better performance and integrity. Bushco will be brought up ,of course. That is unavoidable because it will take years to undo the damage his administarion and its traitorous supporters did to the country but we need to deal with those lingering problems with solutions in mind, not blame beyond criminal prosecution where warranted. It will be tough as the Reps will no doubt cast blame on BHO whenever it takes years to correct a legacy problem.,especially around the mid-terms. Lets save the blame till then and move forward.
For those on the right. You have been had. You were used and made fools of. You were tricked into supporting anti-American ideals and policies. Don’t be to hard on yourselves. The Rep propagandist are experts.Nobody likes to admit that but it is time to turn off Rush and Fox “News” and start thinking for yourselves and help rebuild the country.

Posted by: bills at February 3, 2009 9:51 PM
Comment #274910

Edge,

Change doesn’t happen over night.
There are bound to be hiccups, and I am willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt, at least for the first few weeks.
He appears to have hit the ground running, and at least is willing to own up to the mistakes he has made;

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28994296/

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at February 3, 2009 10:16 PM
Comment #274914

Yes indeed. Obama should be praised for accepting the withdrawals of the tax-cheats he knowingly nominated. Could he have chosen to not “accept” these resignations? No matter. Let’s not think about it too hard. Whatever he chooses to do is even more evidence of his impeccable judgment and worth.

Honestly, if Obama tripped and fell his partisans would praise him for athleticism and grace. I’m determined to be amused by this for a little while… perhaps a year. It is kind of funny to see people denying the clear evidence sitting right in front of them.

You folks certainly seemed up for defending people who were outting classified agents, who were using their offices for illegal partisan gain, who were firing attorneys for not filing cases they knew they couldn’t win, and so on and so forth.

Okay, sure. Let’s compare the REAL scandals of the opening two weeks of Obama’s inept administration to the fake Bush “scandals” that were ginned up on far left blogs and which could never be proven despite massive investigations.

Comparable “scandals” to Bush’s “outing” of an operative would be the faked Moon landing, the second shooter on the grassy knoll, and the aliens at Area 51. Daschle, along with two other recent Obama appointees, are verifiable tax-cheats, however. No mystery or ambiguity about it. Obama’s desire for ethical government is kind of like his rule about not appointing lobbyists… except when he’s appointing lobbyists.

In Obama we have a guy with no qualifications to actually govern (as opposed to giving speeches) falling over himself. It’s only been two weeks, and Obama’s administration is already a laughingstock. Obama’s level of competence makes George W. Bush look like Thomas Jefferson.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 3, 2009 10:51 PM
Comment #274915

LO, the Constitution and the voters define the qualifications for office. NOTHING and NO ONE else.

So, is it the Constitution’s qualifications you have a bone to pick with, or the choice of the majority of voters? Just curious if your claim of no qualifications is illiterate or a minority partisan view.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 3, 2009 11:07 PM
Comment #274919

LO,

You gave the aforementioned Bush the benefit of the doubt for 8 ridiculously long years that nearly destroyed the economy, and the result is the situation America is presently in.
Obama has been in office just over two weeks and had a couple of hiccups that could hardly do lasting harm to the country.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at February 3, 2009 11:48 PM
Comment #274924

David,
Thank you for speaking out loudly. For as an Unlearned Unbridled Anti-Authoritarian Child of the 70’s by Freewill and Self-Nature I do believe hat the Voice of “We the People” have spoke loud and clear about President Obamas’ Nominees.

For as kctm pointed out in posr #274873 that Geithner said ” know my pay when I take a job and I know how much my checks should be” like so many Americans. And thus found out about the mistake later. Former Senator Dashle and his Book Keeper either knows or should on known about the Driver and Free Transportation for with Leadership comes responsibilities does it not?

So unless the Left and Right are willing to discuss Nancy Killefer and the Argumeny of Three. I do believe that “We the People” need to look for a candidate of the Sec. of HHS that is willing to build a Health Care Service that is in the 21st Century and can pay for itself.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 4, 2009 1:49 AM
Comment #274925

andy-
Don’t dirty your hands with the insults. Everybody here should know the policy: the argument gets critiqued, not the contributor.

The problem is, the talking points often get out so fast, most people don’t realize that everybody started saying the same things all at once.

You have to consciously stop yourself, step back. It even took a liberal like me a while to find the information I based my arguments on above.

As for what got that link tossed off, I think it’s a basic Godwin’s law application. I hardly think kids being taught a song qualifies them to be the peers of the Hitler Youth. If you want to be inflammatory, or troll-bait, read the rules for participation.

Besides, if you’ve got good points, you don’t need the personal BS. You can certainly persuade people better when they’re not in a mood to throw objects at the screen.

LO-
Tax cheats. Cheating is a conscious choice. You’re saying he deliberately decided not to pay medicare/social security taxes, that Daschle deliberately underpaid taxes.

Do you have, by any chance, anything more than just your partisan feelings to back up your theory? Don’t play word games with me. Prove they cheated. Prove your charge. Or don’t be so negligent or reckless with your words, so as to put yourself in that spot.

Fake Bush scandals. Right. We have the fricking schedules, the brown bag lunches with your people telling folks how to support Republican causes with their facilities and official offices. I think their may even be audio recording of it. What was her name? Lurita Doan?

The Attorneys firing was an unprecedented act, and there’s plenty of testimony and internal communications to support the politicization that the process represented. You had senators and representatives calling up US Attorneys, asking about politically sensitive cases.

And as for the outing? That was real. Brewster Jennings did collapse as a front company, and Valerie Wilson certainly ended up losing her career. The information came down the line from the Vice President’s office, and somehow, Karl Rove ends up talking to Matt Cooper, for some damn reason about what Valerie really does for a living. In the indictment of Libby, we see several cases where he let this information loose, either indicating a reckless disregard for the secrecy of the information, or a deliberate disregard for it.

The truth of the matter is, we’ve had eight years to decide how incompetent, how lacking in restraint or good judgement. You’ve decided this in two weeks, after what has otherwise been one of the best managed transfers of power in recent history.

But I guess this is your excuse to declare the eight years before as some sort of golden age of competence. You seem rather eager to declare the Obama administration a failure. I wonder why! Trust me, a handful of failed appointments doesn’t constitute Obama’s chances of greatness becoming a grease spot on the sidewall.

Edge-
Are you looking, like LO, to so quickly declare Obama a failure? Out of scores of appointments, he has problems with four, and that’s a pattern of failure?

The fact of the matter is, though Bush’s appointments were uneventful in the beginning, they proved problematic in the aftermath, to say the least. Sometimes, you want enough trouble in the process so that the folks who don’t need to be hanging around get selected out.

As for the last paragraph? 78% of the packages stimulates business in the next two years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

The trouble with tax policy and business incentives is this: if somebody doesn’t earn it, taxing it less doesn’t make things more profitable. Sometimes you just need to cut out the middle man and just get people employed, so there’s some real world room to move the economy around.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 4, 2009 1:50 AM
Comment #274927

andy,
Claiming Self-Ignorance is a Guaranteed Civil and Constitutional Right; however, using it as a political weapon when it no longers matter is another. And why that it to remain an Unanswered Question between the Learned and Unlearned of society. I do believe that those who have served in Power should be held to a Higher Calling of the Law than the Average American Layperson. For something tells me that I am not allowed cross that line, now am I?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 4, 2009 3:15 AM
Comment #274930

Quite frankly, I think President Obama is smarter than anyone gives him credit for…he keeps nominating folks who must pay back taxes they owe…what better way to pump money into the treasury? How better to stimulate the economy? The man is GOOOOD!

Posted by: Marysdude at February 4, 2009 7:06 AM
Comment #274936

andy-
There’s a difference between I Like Ike and Heil Hitler. Charismatic and beloved does not equal Der Fuhrer.

As for your use of the term crooks and all that, let me put it this way: you’re making claims that I and people like me will force you to prove. If you call somebody a tax evader, but don’t have anything but personal sentiment to back your name-calling, its the argumentative equivalent of bringing a knife to a gunfight.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 4, 2009 9:59 AM
Comment #274940

Quite frankly, I think President Obama is smarter than anyone gives him credit for…he keeps nominating folks who must pay back taxes they owe…what better way to pump money into the treasury? How better to stimulate the economy? The man is GOOOOD!
Posted by: Marysdude at February 4, 2009 07:06 AM

Thanks for the post Marysdude, I find your humor refreshing. Sometimes we need a little respite from the serious and humor works just great.

Posted by: Jim M at February 4, 2009 10:38 AM
Comment #274941

My favorite humorous quote of the week is from Maureen Dowd writing in the NY Times;

As Senator Kit Bond, a Republican, put it, there were so many good targets that he felt “like a mosquito in a nudist colony.” He was especially worried about the provision requiring the steel and iron for infrastructure construction to be American-made, and by the time the chastened president talked to Chris Wallace on Fox Tuesday, he agreed that “we can’t send a protectionist message.”

“”Mr. Obama should have taken a red pencil to the $819 billion stimulus bill and slashed all the provisions that looked like caricatures of Democratic drunken-sailor spending.”

Full story; http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/04/opinion/04dowd.html?th&emc=th

Posted by: Jim M at February 4, 2009 11:23 AM
Comment #274943

“There is no disagreement that we need action by our government, a recovery plan that will help to jumpstart the economy.”

Quote from President-Elect Brack Obama, January 9, 2009

Well…not quite true. I recall the MMGW folks proclaiming a consensus of the world’s leading climate scientist making a similar claim while ignoring the many prominent scientific minds that either disagreed or were not convinced.

No disagreement says PO! Last week, the Cato Institute ran a full-page newspaper ad signed by more than 200 economists, including Nobel laureates stating:

“We the undersigned do not believe that more government spending is a way to improve economic performance. More government spending by Hoover and Roosevelt did not pull the United States economy out of the Great Depression in the 1930s. More government spending did not solve Japan’s ‘lost decade’ in the 1990s … Lower tax rates and a reduction in the burden of government are the best ways of using fiscal policy to boost growth.”

To see the ad and the names of those signing it go here: http://www.cato.org/special/stimulus09/cato_stimulus.pdf

Posted by: Jim M at February 4, 2009 11:52 AM
Comment #274946

Ed Feulner writing in Townhall states;

“Every so often Congress gets hold of a bill that simply must pass. A defense spending bill, say, during war time. So lawmakers exploit the situation, tacking on pet projects that have nothing to do with defense.

“If lawmakers had decided to borrow the money for this stimulus plan directly from Americans, the average family would have to fork over $10,520 this year. That’s more than what that same family will spend on food, clothing and health care for the entire year.”

This year’s must-pass bill is a “stimulus” measure.

True to form, Congress has loaded the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 with hundreds of billions in wasteful spending. The bill includes $650 million for digital TV coupons, $140 million to study the atmosphere and $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts.

This bill includes some $140 billion for education — almost twice what the Education Department spent all of last year. It also aims to pump $35 billion extra into the Department of Energy, a stunning sum since DOE’s current annual budget is $23.8 billion.

Once these bureaucracies expand, good luck trimming them back. They’re apt to be as temporary as the New Deal “Rural Development Utilities Programs.” Its mission to electrify rural America was completed decades ago, yet it still exists.

Politicians think they can palm most anything off as “stimulus.” An early version of the bill, for example, included hundreds of millions for contraceptives. “The family planning services reduce cost,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi explained while defending the plan on ABC, “to the states and to the federal government.” That’s arguable at best.”

“Luckily, the contraception spending was axed once people became aware of it. That proves that, when the public pays attention — and complains — lawmakers will do the right thing.

Hopefully it’s the beginning of a trend.”

Posted by: Jim M at February 4, 2009 12:08 PM
Comment #274948

Jim M-
We made a number of modifications to the bill before it passed in the House. Not only did those modifications not get Republican support, but the GOP chose to react with a unanimous no vote. The main hang ups? among them, that there wasn’t more tax cuts for the rich.

You know, the old plan to stimulate the economy. The plan that didn’t work for most Americans, in fact quite the opposite.

You folks complained that much of the bill wasn’t going to take affect in the needed time frame. The CBO comes back and says that 78% of Obama’s programs will take effect within that time. I already, in my previous posts and comments, pointed out that some of what they opposed were things like high energy physics, medical research and the purchase of 600 million dollars worth of new fuel efficient vehicles by the federal government, all of which, it could be argued, would have a stimulative effect, despite not being construction projects.

Are the Republicans setting up a game here where Obama cannot win, where they just are giving themselves excuses to vote no, and do so in an organized fashion? My previous entry brought evidence that indicates explicitly that this is their plan.

It’s one thing to invite you folks to discuss the issue. But it seems that Republicans in Washington will not be happy unless they get their way. Unfortunately, getting their way means things are run like they were during the Bush Administration. It also means the Democrats ignoring the wishes of their constituents, something the Republicans might be comfortable with doing, but not a mistake we plan on repeating.

On the subject of MMGW? Look, let me take apart why your argument sucks.

First, often enough the scientific minds you’re siting aren’t qualified in the Climate field. Lists from groups you would offer as support would include medical doctors, geologists, mathematicians, and others who wouldn’t have the background to judge the research and the evidence properly.

Second, “many” is a vague term. Ten people stuffed in a small closet is many. One Hundred people in a stadium is few. 200 climate scientists in a room is many. 200 climate scientists in a anti-MMGW petition with 17,000 signatories is just a few. Too few in fact.

Science is meant to bring about consensus, but bring it about in a way that reduces the influence of politics to a minimum. One vocal minority cannot simply insist on their theory being judged correct. They must go through the process of answering objections and nailing down problems and put thei hypothesis to the test.

MMGW opponents seem unwilling to do so. They blame it on politics, but that’s not good enough. Many of the objections raised to the public, given out by Republican pundits are either concerns that have been properly addressed by previous research, of which their people are unaware, or suppositions that have not themselves been properly modelled, much less tested. (like the cosmic ray theory of cloud formation)

While I would stipulate that politics can work to the favor of a dominant theory, even in it’s error, the corrective to this is not a counterattack of political nature, but the advancement, even against this headwind, of the theory based on compelling evidence. The process itself plays a part in keeping the politics out of the debate. Either something is true, and its implications can be measured, or its not, which means you won’t find the proof you’re looking for.

As for the CATO institute? Well, CATO is a libertarian outlet which puts forward self-serving research that extolls the benefits of people agreeing with them. Why somebody like me should grant them instant crediblity is beyond me.

Consider your audience. Are you talking to conservatives just like you? No. For the most part, you’re talking to people like me. I don’t have the herd impulse to pull along side you when you whip out a conservative source that some Republicans might have. Opinions are like *******s. Everybody has them. The question is, what leads me, or somebody else to agreement with that opinion in particular.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 4, 2009 12:38 PM
Comment #274950

Jim M-
Apparently, you like the idea of the digital transition turning broadcasts for millions of viewers into static and snow. Is that cost effective? I’m quite sure that broadcasters will just love the idea of losing millions of viewers. Advertisers will also appreciate fewer eyeballs.

Not every stimulus is a job paying a wage. Some stimulus work by catalysis, by synergy. Take High Energy Physics research. You think if America hadn’t invested in that, we would have all this electronic technology? This kind of beancounter mentality, that see only dollars and external realities, is part of why Republicans have failed so miserably to do actual good for the country.

Waste doesn’t have to cost more. It can cost less and underutilize the resources at hand because nobody can afford to do it. It’s call opportunity cost. We might save millions now, and lose more later.

But hey, spending is bad, right?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 4, 2009 12:47 PM
Comment #274959

Stephen-

Since you are complaining about the meaningless Republican abstention (the Democrats don’t need them) on the House Bill, I’m just curious as to how you would have voted had you been the one representing your district. Would you have voted for it as passed by the House? At the macro level, never mind the bickering on the various spending projects, is this the right approach? It’s certainly a departure from Clinton’s approach back in ‘93 (tax rate increases including corporate and capital gains to go with the increased government spending) that has been hailed for years as the reason the Democrats are better with the economy.

Posted by: George at February 4, 2009 1:21 PM
Comment #274963

I’m for tax increases all the way around…just a higher increase progressively by income.

Those who are still working can kick in a little, and those with more can kick in more. This is a hurtful time in our historical saga, and we should all pay to fix it.

Then, when it’s fixed, and we are running half way normal again, we should take the CEOs of the financial institutions that caused this mess, and Gramm/Leach/Bliley, who made it possible, and Clinton who signed Gramm into law, and keel-haul every last one of them…

Posted by: Marysdude at February 4, 2009 2:32 PM
Comment #274966

Stephen

Ummmm…Barry is developing a severe case of shooting himself in the foot,and me thinks that he may be a little overmatched for this job.

I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt here for a while longer, but really, he is beginning to remind me of a snake oil salesman…or at the very least has his head up his arse on very simplistic matters.

Today, Pelosi said that 500 MILLION Americans are losing their jobs every week. With a simpleton like that, I give the market another 2 weeks before it hits zero.

BTW: Is Bernie Made-Off a Democrat? How much did he donate to Barry’s campaing, or is the Mighty Eagle the first to think of this?

BYW: He is and he did.

Posted by: sicilian eagle at February 4, 2009 2:49 PM
Comment #274967

Daugherty writes, “On the subject of MMGW? Look, let me take apart why your argument sucks.”

Daugherty, suck on this and take it apart. Since heat storage and heat transport in the oceans are crucial to the dynamics of the climate system, yet cannot be properly observed or modeled, one has to admit that claims about the predictive performance of climate models are built on quicksand. Climate modelers claiming predictive skill decades into the future operate in a fantasy world, where they have to fiddle with the numerous knobs of the parameterizations to produce results that have some semblance of veracity. Firm footing? Forget it!

Daugherty also writes; “Apparently, you like the idea of the digital transition turning broadcasts for millions of viewers into static and snow.”

These so-called millions of viewers have had plenty of time to switch at government expense. Anyone who hasn’t seen and heard ad nauseum, the government commercials informing the public on how to handle the switch-over probably doesn’t own a TV or lacks the knowledge to turn it on. It reminds me of all those “hanging chads” in Florida ballots. No matter how many times some folks are informed, they still insist upon farting into the wind. It stinks.

Perhaps those 800,000 (at last count) government jobs being promoted by PO will be employed to visit these “millions” of homes and physically install the necessary equipment for these poor unfortunates.

Could Daugherty enlighten us as to what was the involvement by government to instruct the public in the use of the microwave, computer, telephone, automobile, radio, and a host of other inventions that folks somehow understood how to use without the government nanny spending millions of dollars? Perhaps it would be less expensive and more productive to just give these folks new TV’s that didn’t require a fix. And, as a bonus, think of all the employment in manufacturing all these new TV’s.

Posted by: Jim M at February 4, 2009 2:54 PM
Comment #274969

Jim M.,
Why not Daugherty, all one has to do is read the owners manuals and stickers on any device made for sell to the Public. For why it should be Common Knowledge not to put electronics in water I am sure that if you look close enough you will find where our government requires the sticker.

So why you can cry over the fact that millions are spent every year to instruct the public on the safe operations of the devices sold. Think about all the Law Suits that could be leveled against a company because there is no sign on the back of a TV stating that it should only be open by a qualified tech. Know why?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 4, 2009 3:29 PM
Comment #274972

Henry, there is no response I can possibly give to your obvious misunderstanding of what I wrote. Do you personally know anyone who is not ready for the change of the TV signal after being informed for many months? If so, why not save the government some money and go help them?

Perhaps the thought of each of us helping our neighbor is to old fashioned today as we are being told that we must rely upon government.

I would wager a bet that if government would set up a toll-free number for those seeking help setting up their TV to receive the new signal, and asked for volunteers to help those folks, we could handle the conversion for the remaining few who truly need help without spending millions of dollars.

Posted by: Jim M at February 4, 2009 3:51 PM
Comment #274984

Daugherty writes in his original post above…”But since Obama cabinet members need to be perfect even before they enter office, apparently no good deed goes unpunished.

Rudy Gersten writes in Townhall,

The former Senate Majority Leader from South Dakota, who once declared on the Senate floor “tax-cheaters cheat us all,” has been doing a lot explaining this week. In a letter to leaders of the Senate Finance Committee, who will decide his fate, Daschle urged his former colleagues in the Senate to believe his “mistakes were unintentional.”

And yet, when he was on the other side of the Senate confirmation process, Daschle didn’t extend the same courtesy to another cabinet nominee whose nomination hit a bump in the road.

Shortly after my mother Linda Chavez was nominated by President Bush to be Secretary of Labor in January of 2001, ABC News reported that she had given room and board to an undocumented woman from Guatemala. As Chavez stated at the time, she had provided the battered woman with emergency assistance due to the domestic abuse she was facing at the time, got her enrolled in English classes, and helped her find work with a neighbor. In her own defense, Chavez pointed to her long history of taking in those in need, and a long history of paying taxes on household help from legal citizens, as tax records confirmed.

But Chavez’s honest explanation was completely disregarded by Daschle. Less than a week after Bush announced the nomination, the then-Minority Leader declared he had “serious problems” with the illegal alien revelations and threatened to filibuster her nomination, a move that would have been the first in our nation’s history against a cabinet nominee.

Daschle told CBS’ Face the Nation at the time that a cabinet secretary “ought to set the example, ought to be able to enforce all of the laws. If she hasn’t been able to do that in the past, one would have serious questions about whether she’d be able to do it in her capacity as secretary of labor.” But Chavez broke no laws. Shamefully, Daschle was turning what was an act of charity by Chavez into irresponsible accusations.

Though Chavez and her immigrant houseguest—now a U.S. citizen—both insisted that their relationship hadn’t been that of employer/employee, Daschle refused to entertain the explanation. And yet now, hoping to be confirmed by the Senate after much more serious allegations, Daschle wants to be taken at his word that his were honest mistakes.

Chavez eventually withdrew her nomination as Secretary of Labor, expressing regret that her controversy was becoming a distraction for the incoming Bush administration. Daschle applauded the withdrawal, stating without irony that “Ms. Chavez made the right decision…There should be no question that the person who is in charge of enforcing America’s labor laws respects those laws.”

Posted by: Jim M at February 4, 2009 5:11 PM
Comment #274998

Jim M.,
Old enough to know that there are some VCRs today that do not have their clock set bexause “Old Folks” do not know how to set them. I wonder if the 6 million plus who still are not ready to go digital need a 10-year-old child to teach them or still do not trust “We the Corporation” in doing their job.

Like I said before, for those of us who have waited 3 years because our Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders under President Bush feared the change I cannot see how waiting an additional 3-4 months will hurt.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 4, 2009 7:47 PM
Comment #275013

andy-
There’s a difference between I Like Ike and Heil Hitler. Charismatic and beloved does not equal Der Fuhrer.

As for your use of the term crooks and all that, let me put it this way: you’re making claims that I and people like me will force you to prove. If you call somebody a tax evader, but don’t have anything but personal sentiment to back your name-calling, its the argumentative equivalent of bringing a knife to a gunfight.


What the hell. Are you calling me a nazi?

Your right it’s hard to prove seeing that I’m a working guy and only have so much time to give to the situation, but do really you think they didn’t know? Just coincidence and they payed up after the nominations? If we all want common ground, who gives first? Come on guy, why do you have to be the smartest guy in the room, why can’t you turn that costly “education” into some common sense.

Btw, your the nazi…absolute joke.

Posted by: andy at February 5, 2009 12:49 AM
Comment #275021

I expect that most of the ones still not ready are those I call Bark Shooters. They look at the government mandate of changing to HD as a just another tax. After all, they, as individuals were perfectly satisfied with the TV signals coming to their sets, and now the government says that’s gotta go and be replaced with something that is going to cost them money…hmmm…kinda sounds like a tax to me too. But, if you’re Posse Comitatus, or Covenant Sword & the Arm of the Lord, you’d definitely see it as a tax. Hell, they’re like Daschle, they don’t pay no darned taxes…

Posted by: Marysdude at February 5, 2009 6:08 AM
Comment #275026

President Obama’s plan , is not ‘bad’ , but unfortunately lacks any regenerative component that will actually restart the economy. It may be prudent for many to remember, that the US treasury, is not infinite. President Obama did promise to ‘listen’, so I’m calling him out to keep that promise. Time is flying, and people’s lives are at stake , but all politicians can do is bicker, accuse others of fault, and lay blame, when ALL are guilty of being asleep at the switch, right up until this moment.

Do you think being a ‘politician’somehow magically ascends these legislators to a dimension of wisdom that includes ‘solutions’??

The biggest detriment to nations, are leaders that have ears that don’t work.


NEW Concept- World FIRST: The generation of unlimited , daily, clean electricity into the national power grid, in volumes that with implementation, will outstrip the combined power yields of wind and solar energy - Concept currently UNKNOWN as alternate energy source.

Is it emerging that the global meltdown cannot be fixed by any economics team?

In the light of the energy problems being experienced across the globe, I would like to be afforded an opportunity to present a solution to lacking energy policy, under the framework
of a direct governmental agreement. I respectfully request such an arrangement due to the urgency of the global meltdown, avoiding the normal protocols of patents.

I would appreciate the opportunity to tender the concept, to be verified by any governmental team of engineers, planners, architects and scientists to directly present their verified findings to the relevant senate committee.

If interested in the proposal, I can more clearly outline the potential for massive job creation, financial stimulation and stabilization of the stock markets, and all related industry, and markets and ultimately the methodology that can be applied to achieving better energy security, helping wean economies from high oil dependance.

Consideration of this proposal may lead you to conclude that much less can be invested in wind/solar/biofuels, and still have a more positive energy yield. You might also consider the impacts of substantially lowered carbon emissions and the related effects on climate change that can be more directly addressed.

As you see the nations of the globe deteriorate, in spite of every stimulus effort I would urge you to understand that mere liquidity, in this instance, can fix nothing.
Current stimulus only serves to throw taxpayers,and borrowed dollars, on a financial bonfire.

Thank you for any consideration. Perhaps take some time to read the content at the link below…and if you can help me reach the President,please do.

http://sites.google.com/site/newenergyworldfirst/

Posted by: Nevi at February 5, 2009 7:53 AM
Comment #275027

Jim M
I doubt that BHO put the US steel requirment in the bill. Depending on how it is structured I think it should stay in. It is not “protectionist” in that it does not close US markets. The provision only requires that money we spend specifically to stimulate THIS economy and put AMERICANS back to work is more effective.Clearly the rest of the world has a vested interest in the plans success that should outwiegh ther concerns. If we do not use US steel we will use Chinese steel with their refusal to float the yen. Now that IS protectionism.

PS
The Cato Institute is not a credible source. Its a propaganda mill disquised as a think tank. They start with a conclusion and then attempt to support it.

Posted by: bills at February 5, 2009 8:03 AM
Comment #275031

> It is not “protectionist” in that it does not close US markets. The provision only requires that money we spend specifically to stimulate THIS economy and put AMERICANS back to work is more effective.
Posted by: bills at February 5, 2009 08:03 AM

bills,

Truer words were never spoken. We have every right to help ourselves first, as long as the world does not suffer for it.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 5, 2009 9:19 AM
Comment #275036

Henry responds to my by writing; “I cannot see how waiting an additional 3-4 months will hurt.”

Question for Henry. If three years and millions of dollars spent in notification didn’t do the job, why would you believe 3 or 4 more months, and millions more being spent will change anything? Again I ask, do you personally know anyone who hasn’t made the change because they don’t understand the simple installation? If so, why not help them yourself instead of expecting nanny government to do it?

bills writes; “The Cato Institute is not a credible source. Its a propaganda mill disquised as a think tank. They start with a conclusion and then attempt to support it.”

As usual, some will continue to attack the messenger rather then the message. Have you looked at the 200 names that signed the ad? Are they also involved in “propaganda” or might they actually know something that you don’t? I learn very little from those with a closed mind.

Regarding the use of American made steel in any new “spending” programs you may wish to consider the point of view of other nations. Visit a few links with major foreign newspapers and you may have your eyes opened.

The “love fest” between PO and Europeans and others will crash and burn with this provision. I never did expect it to last as PO must now deal with reality rather than hope, but I didn’t expect a confrontation so quickly.

Posted by: Jim M at February 5, 2009 11:36 AM
Comment #275040

George-
We need to kickstart the economy, but where do we kick start it from? The private sector is paralyzed by a credit crunch. Government is the only entity left that can do the job. So of course we need to give it a push from that end.

Clinton’s approach turned out to be both fiscally and financially sound. Bush’s reckless failure to preserve what Clinton left him is part of the reason we’re in this hole. I know Republicans have this notion that taxes are evil, but the truth is, borrowing to finance government is the worse evil.

Under most circumstances, I’d want my government to try and keep a balanced budget. But this isn’t most circumstances. This is approaching the beginning of a bad recession or a worse depression. We don’t need to wait and see. We need to be smart about how we do this, but not stingy.

SE-
I take in all your critical comments secure with the knowledge that during the Bush Administration, you rarely if ever said much critical about his qualifications.

By the way: missing one word does not make one a moron.

And lastly? The Bernie Madoff story broke in December. Before then, he was just another Wall Street investment guru, not notorious or high profile at all. If the Bush administration had bothered doing its job and prosecuted the guy several years ago, then you might be able to blame Obama for accepting his contribution. However, Obama could not have known, even on election day, about Madoff, because the Bush Administration sat on it, and ignored all the warning signs.

If it’s your desire to blame people for accepting the donations of folks who are not notorious because the authorities haven’t properly exposed them yet, be my guest. I guess that kind of philosophy of Responsiblity is why we’re having a tough time of things now.

Jim M-
That’s an extraordinary claim. Heat transport and heat storage can’t be modelled or properly observed? What BS is that? If we couldn’t model or observe heat storage and transport properly, how could we understand El Nino? It’s basic freaking thermodynamics, fluid dynamics. The enthalpy (heat absorption ability) of water is known freaking quantity. The models aren’t perfect, but no model is. The observation isn’t perfect, but none is. Welcome to the real world.

If you were so lucky as to prove your theory, even you, who can declare the impossiblity of observation of BASIC THERMODYNAMICS in our oceans, would be unable to create a perfect model.

No model functions unless people tune it. The test of a model is whether it provides a reasonable approximation of the way the real world works, for what you’re trying to model. Current models, when fed the information we do know from past weather records, have done a good job of replicating the subsequent conditions.

You think scientists are morons? Charlatans? You think they don’t know how to do their jobs? Their firm footing is knowing the difference between the fantasy causes of current apparent changes, and what’s really going on. Yes, they are wrong a lot of the time, but so is any other human being out there. Scientists in this field, though, have the benefit of years of corrected errors and misconceptions, and a system that perpetually tests their assumptions.

As for digital television?

You came to the right place for enlightenment, as this is my degree field.

First, understand the concept of electromagnetic interference. Quantum Physics tells us that light can act like waves or particles (called photons), but for our purposes here, they’re waves.

We broadcast through radio waves, low frequency electromagnetic (EM) waves. Those waves interact with each other, the way different sets of ripples will interact on a pond’s surface.

With radio communication, we encode signals, either in an analog form, or a digital code for clear transmission from source to receiver. If we were to just let people use technology that sent out radio waves willy-nilly, everybody’s signals would be obliterating each other.

To deal with this physical reality, and to make use of our common resource, the radio spectrum, we and nearly every other country on earth set up regulatory agencies to govern radio transmissions.

Our agency is the FCC. By necessity, it has a hand in just about every device that could send out radio waves in significant quantities, from TV’s to radios, to wireless Ham Radios to wireless internet, to even electronics and computers that, by virtue of their components give off radio waves.

For the last half century or so, we have depended upon a broadcast standard called NTSC, or National Television Systems Committee. It’s evolved over the last few decades to permit color and other advancements, but it’s an analog signal, and by now low definition in comparison to just about everything else we have now. Just look at your computer screen, or your TV now. The improvement is significant.

There’s a problem, though: the new standard, the Advanced Televisions Standards Committee, or ATSC is not backwards compatible. That is, you can’t just broadcast one signal and have an inferior set pick it up, like a black and white television could still pick up the new color broadcasts.

The transition between analog NTSC and digital ATSC, therefore, could not be long, and left to the market alone. But it also could not be abrupt, or a market wouldn’t even have a chance to exist. Because of that, since the earlier part of this decade, most stations have been broadcasting more than one channel, with the idea that their other channel would be given back to the government when the transition occured.

The Government has been licensing every broadcaster two stations for every one they own. That will have to end at the deadline.

When it ends, all analog TVs go to static. Newer televisions, even the regular ones, are equipped with tuners capable of picking up the signals. But if you haven’t had the money to buy one, a digital tuner, subsidized by the government, is your only choice.

I would make the case that the Bush Administration has been slow rolling this transition from day one, and underfunding it to boot.

I don’t get the sense that broadcasters felt the government was serious about getting this started. Because they didn’t feel it was serious, both manufacturers and content providers drug their feet, which meant each was the other’s excuse not to make the transition in their technology in a timely manner. No content? No demand for sets. No sets? Little demand for content. And that was the Bush Administration’s excuse, in its wisdom, to push back the transition even further. Having failed to be firm, to plan this out well, the Bush Administration may have pleased those that were looking to feather their interests, but he also made sure that the industry would languish in the no-man’s land of dual standards for much longer than it should have.

The intuitive picture of the standards that people have had for years is simply turning on the set and getting a channel. But now a significant change is coming in the way that signal is sent out, and that kind of transmission difference isn’t intuitive. It should have been planned better, but it wasn’t.

On the subject of Daschle, well, it is a case of being held to your own standards. But you know something? I might be momentarily sorry about what happened to Daschle, but I am not sorry that standards in government are once again being upheld. We have a government now that actually has shame, lets its embarrassment show. The Republicans were able to persevere in their worst mistakes because they fought not to have a sense of shame, fought hard to avoid being held accountable by the other party. Result? When they were held to account, it was much more terrible a reckoning for all the reckonings avoided. Better to hit the snags now and get free of them, then let the snags rip longer tears as we face forward and try to yank ourselves free of our entanglements.

andy-
Am I calling you a Nazi? No, I merely said our people weren’t. You’re the one who posted a video depicting Children singing about Obama, which then compares them to the Hitler Youth.

Is this you being the first to offer common ground?

As for being the smartest person in the room, either I am or I’m not. Whether I am or not, I will use every bit of smarts God gave me to do my best in an argument, and I expect nothing less from my opponents, regardless of what excuses they make for themselves.

I think this contempt for education that folks like you show is just stupid. Have you taken a look at the world recently? Just what makes you think that it’s gotten better for the ignorant, the unskilled? Intelligence is a competitive advantage. If I’m not the smartest person in the room, I at least hope to give that person a run for their money.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 5, 2009 12:19 PM
Comment #275044

>Question for Henry. If three years and millions of dollars spent in notification didn’t do the job, why would you believe 3 or 4 more months, and millions more being spent will change anything?
Posted by: Jim M at February 5, 2009 11:36 AM>

Jim M,

This will be the third or fourth postponement to HD. Each of those delays were for a reason, bad or good, but they did each accomplish one thing…they allowed more of our citizens to get on board. We’ve whittled it down to a few million now, and this delay will whittle that even further. Since there is no real harm, what’s the fuss?

Posted by: Marysdude at February 5, 2009 1:01 PM
Comment #275047

marysdude asks; “Since there is no real harm, what’s the fuss?”

…MONEY… that should and could be spent for much better purpose. I could liken this to elections, why not hold them off till we know for certain that every single voter understood and would comply with the instructions.

A simple toll-free government number could be used to identify those who need help and volunteers could be used to help those folks. Where’s the harm in that?

Posted by: Jim M at February 5, 2009 1:26 PM
Comment #275051

Additional comment to marysdude, The NY Times reports today the following; “The stimulus package before Congress includes up to $650 million in financing for coupons to ease the transition.”

That’s $650 million reasons for the “fuss”.

Posted by: Jim M at February 5, 2009 1:53 PM
Comment #275055

>That’s $650 million reasons for the “fuss”.
Posted by: Jim M at February 5, 2009 01:53 PM

Jim M,

I beg to defer. Since the switch was a government mandate, and since the government knew there would be a price, and agreed to print coupons to help with the transition to HD, but did not print enough…it seems like fulfilling a responsibility to complete the mission. You can fuss if you want, but you should really have a reason for it first.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 5, 2009 1:59 PM
Comment #275056

>A simple toll-free government number could be used to identify those who need help and volunteers could be used to help those folks. Where’s the harm in that?
Posted by: Jim M at February 5, 2009 01:26 PM

Jim M,

Unless those volunteers carry a coupon with them, what good would that do? The government coupon program ran out of coupons, that is why there are more being printed now. There may be a few who can’t or won’t hook the converter up, but they would be a minimum number. The rest either don’t know about the switch or are waiting for a coupon. I understand Republicans have &40.00 laying around, but many Democrats don’t. The coupon may mean the difference in making the switch or not to them.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 5, 2009 2:05 PM
Comment #275062

marysdude writes; “Unless those volunteers carry a coupon with them, what good would that do? The government coupon program ran out of coupons, that is why there are more being printed now.”

Using simple arithmetic, divide $650 million by $40 (average cost of converter box and coupon amount) and the result is 16.25 million coupons for what is estimated to be 6 million people still in need. Hmmm, how would you explain this? The amount of money needed to provide 6 million converters, at $40 each is $240 million. Is the difference of $410 million the cost of informing these folks? If so, a 42 cent stamp on an envelope containing the information to 6 million folks would cost $2.52 million. Add in a little for paper, printing and personnel to handle the mailing and a rough estimate may be $5 million.

I wonder if you understand why there weren’t enough converter boxes reaching those in need. Since they were available just for the asking, many scalpers ordered one and are now selling them on Ebay and other places with prices below $40. Just another example of government ignorance and stupidity in planning. And yes, I do understand that Mr. Bush was president at the time. So, now we have Mr. Obama as president and has anything changed with this new spending? I am sure the scalpers are happy and God knows, they need the employment. It’s a stimulus isn’t it?

Finally, with 3 years to obtain a converter box, even without the coupon, a reasonable person, even at poverty level, could have found $1.11 per month.

Marysdude, this is just another example of why I am a conservative and you are apparently a liberal. I believe in eliminating wasteful spending and individual responsibility. Do you?

Posted by: Jim M at February 5, 2009 3:05 PM
Comment #275068

Let me just say it.

If you can’t afford to pay $40 then there are more important things you should be doing with your time than watching television.

Posted by: Liam at February 5, 2009 3:48 PM
Comment #275069

Let me put it this way, it’s none of your business how I spend my time or my money. The government said the change WAS to be made, not MAYBE would be made. Then the government said since the converters were somewhat costly the government would help by providing coupons, which it ran out of. What part of government mandate and government help don’t you people understand? Individual responsibility? After I’m told I’ll get help, it is not my responsibility, it is the responsibility of he who said he’d help. What part of ‘contract’ don’t you people understand?

High and mighty reaps high and mighty…arrogance reaps arrogance…

Posted by: Marysdude at February 5, 2009 4:07 PM
Comment #275070

Jim M-
To administer this program, you need people to do the mailing, people to oversee the disbursements, people to work with the retailers selling these tuners, and so on and so forth. These people will not work for free. You must include labor costs in the equation. I know you’re eager to prove the program doesn’t make sense, but try not to guess at its expenses without including reasonable additional costs beyond the coupons.

On the subject of the costs of the boxes?

The airwaves are a public resource, licensed by the federal government so they can be used most efficiently. That license means that the government can mandate the manner in which the transmission has been made, and they have: Digital television, this year, and nothing else. Analog is dead in 2010.

But there are millions who aren’t ready yet, or willing to buy new TVs, and they have every bit as much of a right to those airwaves as everybody else, since it is, after all, a public resource.

Why should people, having received TV signals all their lives for free, have to shell out significant money out of pocket to continue to see them now?

Liam-
Plenty of good working class people who have tight budgets and little money to spare like to drop in front of TV after a day at work.

But like I said, that’s not even the point. You see, they’re both taxpayers, and fellow owners of the airwaves these signals are broadcast through. The government’s going to force a change on them which is going to make their old televisions obsolete. On a summer day this year, their televisions, without that tuner, will just show static, and there won’t be anything they can do about it.

I don’t get why you assume the people who don’t earn enough to get new televisions or sign on to cable or satellite services are simply too lazy to earn the money. Is it latent prejudice against the poor? You tell me. But I think Americans should enjoy the use of their public resource, without having to pay full price for the right to see television again.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 5, 2009 4:27 PM
Comment #275077

marysdude unloads at me and writes; “What part of government mandate and government help don’t you people understand? Individual responsibility? After I’m told I’ll get help, it is not my responsibility, it is the responsibility of he who said he’d help. What part of ‘contract’ don’t you people understand? High and mighty reaps high and mighty…arrogance reaps arrogance…”

Ooops marysdude…I must have hit a nerve here…sorry about that. But, you should remember the old Truman saying about the Kitchen and the Heat thing.

I do wish to thank marysdude for really exhibiting what I believe are the characteristics of a classic liberal.

Daugherty follows with this comment; “You must include labor costs in the equation. I know you’re eager to prove the program doesn’t make sense, but try not to guess at its expenses without including reasonable additional costs beyond the coupons.”

I wonder if even Daugherty might consider $410 million is a mite much for labor. Divide $410 million by the 6 million supposedly in need and that is $68 per person. Hell Daugherty, that’s more than the cost of the converter box. Does the coupon come with a gift certificate for lunch and a movie?

Give a liberal one taxpayer dollar and they will find a way spend two, and then hustle the taxpayers for three. It’s all free to them apparently.

Posted by: Jim M at February 5, 2009 5:28 PM
Comment #275080

Okay, enough is enough. I am a proud ‘liberal’, I think like a liberal and I act like a liberal. If you think ‘liberal’ is somehow a bad word, then you have closed all avenues of communication. Your arrogance and holier than thou attitude have done me in. Debate ends when valid points are eschewed in favor of discrimination and belittling…I’m done.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 5, 2009 7:15 PM
Comment #275082

Well, dude, you’re not alone in your feeling of frustration and “fed-up-ness”. It’s just that bullying attitude and better than most mindset that gets old.

Posted by: jane doe at February 5, 2009 7:49 PM
Comment #275083

Jim M.,
Why I may not know of a family who needs a converter box, the fact that others can produce over 6,000 names has to be taken into consideration. Otherwise, as logic follows I know of no citizen who has benefited from the tax cuts of the last 8 years. Thus, should I reason that none of the tax cuts have helped and therefore any future tax cuts should be defeated?

Yes, digital tv should have been brought in line in 2006 regardless of the cry of the opposition. For by deverting some of President Bush tax cuts so consumers could write off the purchase of new tvs and/or convertor boxes we would have saved money and created oversea jobs.

However, being in the minority America elected to put the conversion off for three years and issue coupons instead. The fact that the program ran out of them is not fault of the Individual. So unless you are willing to return all the money lose over the last three years to exclude these 6 million citizens than waiting another 3-4 months to be fair to All is the proper course of action.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 5, 2009 7:52 PM
Comment #275090
But there are millions who aren’t ready yet, or willing to buy new TVs, and they have every bit as much of a right to those airwaves as everybody else, since it is, after all, a public resource.

The roads are public too. Therefore the government should buy us cars. Cars are even more expensive than digital converter boxes—therefore the government has even more of a responsibility to buy them for us.

The skies are public too, but if the government’s too cheap to buy me an airplane, I’m willing to compromise and accept free plane tickets to the Bahamas.

I can remember a number of times even during my own lifetime when old technologies were made obsolete. Did I miss out on the government subsidies to upgrade from my 8-track player and my Atari? Or did those changes just happen before there were enough liberals around to turn Uncle Sam into our mommy?

Why should people, having received TV signals all their lives for free, have to shell out significant money out of pocket to continue to see them now?

Oh, I don’t know. The liberal mindset really does amaze me sometimes. Why should anybody have to pay for something when they want it for free? I’ll have to think about that. Oh, wait—I’ve got it!

It’s because stuff ISN’T free whether people want it to be or not. The better question, Stephen, is why we should be charging future generations the home entertainment bills racked up by today’s couch potatoes. Apparently that question didn’t occur to you as you seem to believe that if the government gives something away, nobody has to pay for it.

And anyway, two of the major problems of America’s “poor” are obesity and a lack of education. There are a lot of poor folks who would benefit greatly from getting out from in front of the boob-tube once in a while. They should try reading a book to improve their minds and getting a little exercise to improve their bodies. With some initiative, who knows? Maybe they’ll figure out ways to get $40 dollars all by their little ol’ selves with no help from Auntie Pelosi and Uncle Obama.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 5, 2009 11:54 PM
Comment #275092

Loyal Opposition,
Why you make a good point about 8 tracks. Seeing that Cars, Roads, and TV are essentail to Commerce and Industry as well as Public Safety. Unless you are willing to say government should not do anything to help Labor and Management than you have a problem.

Yes, we could take America back to the time when a Man had to chop his own wood, hunt his own food, and make his own cloths over the next 30 years; however, good luck selling that idea to your wife and children let along the American Public.

No, what is needed in America is to educate those over the age of 30 on the fact that TODAY “We the People” unlike the Youth of the 60’s and Silver Spoons of the 70’s hold the technology to build a Sustainable Green Civilized Society. And why it will still be up to My Peers to establish limits for Their Children. How and if “We the People” get there over the next 20 years is a whole different question.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 6, 2009 12:41 AM
Comment #275094

andy,
You say teach men to be men, that would be a good start; however, should we teach them to be the Man who can jump the creek or the Man who falls in?

Yes, having a college degree or even a high school diploma does not prove ones intellegence; however, it does shows the willingness to learn and follow directions. Nonetheless, it is the second that one believes that they know it all and their mind cannot be changed even when Logic and Reason dictates otherwise that a True Fool is born.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 6, 2009 1:03 AM
Comment #275099

Jim M-
Well, you’re getting all indignant that the budget doesn’t fit the mere cost of getting the remaining people their coupon. I’m just point out to you, like any good liberal should, that government takes a little more planning than just buying things.

Also, if you’re going to make cracks about liberals and money, then answer me this question: why is it the Republicans in recent times, who without any kind of serious emergency voluntarily spend far more than they take in through taxes?

It’s amazing what Republicans and conservatives expect themselves to be allowed to get away with, because they see themselves as such virtuous people. Meanwhile the Democrats are heavy spenders, and must therefore be stomped on before they corrupt people with endless deficit spending. Well, we’ve shown a better track record of handling money, thank you very much, because we don’t assume that when we cut taxes for the rich, the magic market fairy will come down from on high and give us the money to make up the difference. If you were holding your breath for that, your head would look like a large blueberry by now.

LO-
If we’re talking roads, then this would not be like buying people a new car. It would be as if the law suddenly required that you attach this kit to your car to make it run on a new ultra-green biofuel, and all the fuel stations would be required to pump that, and not gas.

Here we have the federal government making a person’s private investment practically worthless, and an expensive one at that. Even if it is good to make that transition, even necessary, there are still going to be plenty of people who might potentially lose the use of the roads, because they either wanted to hold on to their old cars, rather than spend money that they feel would be better suited elsewhere, or because they simply can’t afford the kit.

This is not the Federal government buying people free televisions. This is the Federal Government helping people to keep their not-free televisions when the federal government is making the transmission standard they rely on illegal for broadcasters.

This is not the government buying people airplanes. This is the government ordering people to install a new kind of flight transponder or sensor if they want to keep on flying, and giving them a tax break for doing it to help defray the costs.

Most old technologies, when they become obsolete, become so because some technology, for some reason, makes them so. VHS made beta obsolete through good marketing and licensing, and not much else (VHS: the crappiest NTSC tape standard on the market) DVD made VHS obsolete. That came about because VHS is genuinely better. It’s so good, in fact, that Blu-Ray’s going to have a tough time pushing it out of the market!

NTSC is going to become obsolete because the Federal Government is going to require all broadcasters, with few exceptions, to stop broadcasting on their analog channels, hand over their frequencies, and transmit only in the new ATSC family of standards.

We’re not buying these people cable. We’re not buying them new televisions. We’re preventing the federally mandated transition from cutting them off from the television broadcasts they bought the equipment for in good faith.

And as for whether people sit on their asses? Well, oh, gee, then. Like that’s your business. Why do you folks always assume that people who can’t afford new things are lazy morons?

Where does all this contempt come from, and just how endearing does this make you to the folks who you seem to think are in greatest need of persuasion to being wrong?

I think many Republicans believe that this manner of addressing the rest of America is about facing them with tough truths, being hard-hitting, and shocking people into considering that they’re right, and eventually dragging them along as your force of personality overcomes their hesitance.

But the reason folks encourage Republicans to think and speak this way, is to encourage Republicans to keep to themselves, and bolster their own confidence in their politics, regardless of what anybody else says.

It’s about reinforcement, not conversion. But as time has gone on, and events have discredited the Republicans, conservatism has become associated with a kind of arrogant unwillingness to either compromise or treat the rest of the country civilly. The walls once meant for defense, now function as the Prison for the party.

andy-
Formal education, I agree, isn’t always the measure of ones abilities or potential. But I don’t think my informal education would have gone as far if I hadn’t had help.

You folks idolize the past, but the past is dead and gone. No system like ours can support itself for long on dreams of agrarian masculinity. The Parents should be teaching the children to be the men and women they should be, but conservatives, as they worship the family, also worship the corporate system that overworks them to the point of being absent, that treats everybody like a cog in a machine.

Those people are willingly singing the praises of Barack Obama. I wouldn’t go so far, but that’s me. They are entitled to worship (though its wrong) a public figure, if that is indeed what they’re actually doing (I think you’re assuming a bit too much love on their part.) But like I said, love of a politician does not instantly lead to fascism.

You folks, of all people, should know the price of excessive loyalty, but then, I don’t think you’ve hung around liberal sites enough to actually see how tentative the regard for Obama’s decisions can be. Conservatives line up behind their authority figures far too easy. Democrats nowadays, though more loyal than we have been, are not so docile.

As for the recognition of ignorance?

I believe that ignorance is the natural state of humanity, but unlike some, I don’t think people are pure for it, or that people don’t naturally fight it. We do. But if we don’t give that wish to fight that ignorance a chance to break out into the larger world, we doom people to learned helplessness.

An elephant, tied with a thin rope as a baby, can be restrained successfully with that rope as an adult, because its been lead to believe that the rope is unbreakable. So too have generations of people been convinced that there are things only geeks and nerds can know or should know. So they accept that, and let themselves become more mediocre than they could otherwise be.

We’ve enshrined teenage rebellion as the ideal stage of life, and made the enjoyment of vices the definition of adulthood. We got to do better than that.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 6, 2009 8:16 AM
Comment #275100

andy,
You might want to keep it that way. For why Americas’ Democratic and Republican Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders with all due respect Stupid. They are above all Politically Unalienable Correct Regardless. So why the Extreme of the Left and Right may be making the loudest noise now. After hearing President Obama speak yesterday, I’ll take a wait and see for a week to see what happens with Americas’ Recovery and Investment Plan.

For it seems to me that if you want spending and tax cuts as a stimulus than doesn’t Logic and Reason aim “We the People” to to spend for tax cuts? For if you want a Consumer to buy a new Energy Efficient Car does it make Common Sense to give that Tax Cut to the Stockholders of the Auto Manufactures or the Human that is going to pay for the car?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 6, 2009 8:21 AM
Comment #275142
Here we have the federal government making a person’s private investment practically worthless, and an expensive one at that.

Well, at least we’re getting somewhere here. A liberal confession that there’s a problem when the federal government makes our investments worthless and otherwise costs us money.

Too bad we can’t extend that thinking to the zillions of other government regulations out there or taxes. On the subject of automobiles, ever taken your car in for an emissions test? Did the government pay for it because they’d mandated it? If you own a business and are forced to install a wheelchair ramp, does the government pay for it because they mandated it? Why, then, should the government pay to update the equipment of people who want to watch tv so badly but are such deadbeats that they can’t even scrape together forty bucks?

As somebody said earlier, if you can’t scrape together forty bucks then you shouldn’t be watching tv to begin with. If you “work all day” and still can’t come up with a couple of Jacksons (slang for twenty dollar bills, if you’re not that hip), then you’d better work all night too. This is America, not Europe. When I was poor, I didn’t sit around pining to be on the dole. I went out there and got some. And now I could dive around in a money bin full of 20 dollar bills like Uncle Scrooge if I wanted to. It’s the American way, and I’m frankly tired of all the deadbeats in this country with their laziness, bad breeding, and sense of entitlement.

Call me hard-hearted, but I frankly don’t care if some lazy dead-beat misses an episode of Jerry Springer.

In 08 I gave almost as much to charity as I paid in taxes, which I was happy to do. If I met a poor person who wanted to take a standardized test like the SAT, LSAT, or civil service exam, I’d probably pull out my checkbook. Hell, I might even chip in for their test prep and personally iron their shirt later on if they went in for a job interview. I’d be glad to give hundreds, perhaps even thousands, to help out a hard-working and sincere person who wants to better themselves. But damned if I’m gonna sit still for the government telling me to give even a nickel to any lazy Obama-voting couch-potato on the dole.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 6, 2009 9:37 PM
Comment #275147

>I’m gonna sit still for the government telling me to give even a nickel to any lazy Obama-voting couch-potato on the dole.
Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 6, 2009 09:37 PM

Wow! Not gonna sit still for—-giving any lazy, Obama-voting, couch-potato, who’s on the dole, a coupon against a government mandated switcheroo…but, you will sit still for Paulson to give the criminally insane, Cheney/Bush-voting, self deluded, narcissistic, jerkwads, of Lehmans and AIG, etc., hundreds of BILLIONS?

Ahem!…many of those who are still not prepared for the switch are isolated country folk who were more likely to have voted for McPain/Palin.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 6, 2009 10:41 PM
Comment #275151

Marysdude, I did NOT sit still for Bush and Paulson’s bail-out. I screamed and yelled about it. I held my breath until I turned purple. I threw my bowl of oatmeal onto the floor.

It’s just fascinating to me that you automatically assume I’d support something because a member of my party was behind it. Is that because that’s what you do? I’m just asking.

How does this whole partisan thing work, anyway?

If we can agree that Bush did something stupid, does it mean that it’s not only okay but desirable for Obama to do something twice as stupid?

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 6, 2009 11:11 PM
Comment #275157

“We’ve enshrined teenage rebellion as the ideal stage of life, and made the enjoyment of vices the definition of adulthood. We got to do better than that.”

I agree completly with this statement, and I’m a huge Cobain fan. I also agree parents should be teaching these virtues. My grades didn’t matter as long as I was not a punk - sorry but I have to take this time to say I love my parents.

You say corporations treat you as a cog. I ask you how will the government treat us when they provide the jobs? Corporations want to make money, if you prove valuable they want to keep you and you are rewarded. How is it going to work in a government run society? I’m sure it will be greener though, so we’ll have that going for us.

It’s a weird time to be alive. I’ll try my best to adapt, whatever the situation.


Posted by: andy at February 7, 2009 2:41 AM
Comment #275158

I wonder what Wal-Mart could have done if we just made them tax-exempt for a few years. Probably better for the economy than giving $1 trillion to the government. That’s a lot of power.

Posted by: andy at February 7, 2009 3:28 AM
Comment #275162

Yep…Lee Scott for President…that way, instead of belonging to China, we could also be subservient to it. Wal-Mart is NOT a friend of America. Wal-Mart may very well be the first line of offense AGAINST America. It is the perfect example of a company that could never have achieved the pinnacle that it has any where BUT America, but shows so little regard for that that it has shunned everything American except the dollar. Now that it has just about ruined the dollar, it has become an enemy of this country.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 7, 2009 9:03 AM
Comment #275174

PS:

Wal-Mart used their profits in the United States (the profits they made buying and selling ‘Made in USA products), to open ,markets in places like Russia and Germany. Then it quit buying American made products and started buying from China. At that point Wal-Mart, the All American Company, was buying Chinese products and selling them to Russia, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, and of course here. Of the bunch, only the Germans woke up to what was going on and put a stop to it. Wal-Mart had to pull out of Germany.

If they used their profits on ‘Made in America’ products to buy ‘Made in China’ products…why do you think being tax exempt in the USA would have helped our economy?

Posted by: Marysdude at February 7, 2009 2:40 PM
Comment #275177

PPS:

Wal-Mart is such a powerful buyer in the market place, that they can and do dictate how products are designed and produced:

1. Electronics…if a particular model contains gold connections for best reception or sound quality, Wal-Mart will tell the vendor the product will not be bought unless they change those connectors to brass for the Wal-Mart model. Wal-Mart, “We Sell For Less”.

2. If a shirt made by a company who wishes to sell through Wal-Mart has a shirt-tail 5” longer than the lowest button on that shirt, and has buttons that have four holes for threading them to the shirt, Wal-Mart will tell the vendor, if you want us to market the shirt, you must raise the length of the shirt-tail to 4” below the lowest button, and you must provide buttons on those shirts that have only two holes for threading the buttons to the shirt. Wal-Mart, “We Sell For Less”.

3. Wal-Mart was so intent on killing union cut meats in the United States, that it began to buy meats from places like Argentina, Brazil, etc. Then it found out that by adding a chemical or water, that it could be shipped to yet another country for paring and ridding fat, but the meat had to be yet further preserved by adding another chemical. Then, because packaging could be done cheaper in yet another locale, that same meat would be sent there, with, of course another chemical addition. Add coloring and more water for heft, and the meat that was being raised, slaughtered, butchered and packaged in the United States, with all the USDA regulations on quality and cut intact, became the foreign sludge Wal-Mart sells to the public, in the pretext that it is still meat. Wal-Mart, “We Sell For Less”.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 7, 2009 2:56 PM
Comment #275412

“”shirt-tail 5” longer “” Md Says, Also watch out for not enough buttons going down they scrimp on them to, On the spacing to save a button.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at February 11, 2009 11:02 PM
Comment #275413

” became the foreign sludge Wal-Mart sells to the public, in the pretext that it is still meat. Wal-Mart, “We Sell For Less”.” says MD, yes remember watching them open up meat that was outdated they sure looked good but wow ! us older folks need reading glasses to read the tiny date print can’t tell by the color anymore.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at February 11, 2009 11:15 PM
Comment #275434

Rodney Brown,

The Wal-Mart slogan should be, “wal-Mart, We Sell Less For Less”, but don’t hold your breath waiting for Wal-Mart to be honest in their efforts…

Posted by: Marysdude at February 12, 2009 1:44 PM
Comment #275439

MD Said , “wal-Mart, We Sell Less For Less”, Remember when good old Les sold a Good Item For Less!

Posted by: Rodney Brown at February 12, 2009 2:27 PM
Comment #275492

Rodney Brown,

That Les guy sounds like a Californian…:)

Posted by: Marysdude at February 13, 2009 8:58 PM
Comment #275545

Say what you want but a corporation can only take your money, the government will also take your money and much more.

Posted by: andy at February 15, 2009 2:00 AM
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