Democrats & Liberals Archives

Crisis and Opportunity

Republicans are attacking Obama. They say he is trying to do too much. The newspapers and the cable networks daily feature conservative talking heads bellowing about Obama working on other problems instead of the economic meltdown. They want him to focus like a laser on fixing the economy. They accuse him of using the terrible financial crisis in order to advance his agenda.

The latest is Jonah Goldberg, who begins his article, Obama's Fear Mongering, with this:

Imagine a child falls down a well. Now imagine I offer to lend the parents my ladder to save her, but only if they promise to paint my house. Would you applaud me for not letting a crisis go to waste? Or would you think I'm a jerk?

He goes on to say that Democrats are taking advantage of the crisis in order to get the Democratic program enacted. And Obama is using fear mongering, just as Bush did, to take advantage of the situation.

He makes me sick with his analogies. If you want an analogy it is that a child falls down a very deep well for which a ladder will not work. We need some fancy life-saving devices to save the child - and we do not have them. We need first to get these devices to bring the child up in a safe manner.

In the case of our economy, in addition to various stimuli, the life-saving devices are a money-efficient healthcare system, job-creating infrastructure projects, an American-economy-strengthening green energy program and an economically potent education system. These are the things that will get the child - our economy - out of the hole.

Of course, Obama is taking advantage of the crisis. He'd be a fool not to. The economy is broken and he does not merely want to patch it up and then patch it again in a few years. He wants to build a new and better economy, one that will be good for all of us, not merely for the wealthy. This is the Obama agenda that conservatives are criticizing.

Focus like a laser on the economy? How can you do that without the rest of Obama's agenda? Yes, indeed, he is using the crisis as an opportunity to build a better economy and a better future for America.

Posted by Paul Siegel at March 10, 2009 10:48 PM
Comments
Comment #277348

Paul
Exactly! For days now the reactionaries have been pointing to a depressing stock market as evidence of BHO failure. Today it is up 379 points. Do you think the same people will be saying it is evidence of BHO success?

Posted by: bills at March 10, 2009 11:42 PM
Comment #277356

Paul,

While I’m not anyway ready to defend those that are attacking Obama as not doing enough. This statement deserves some criticism, “He wants to build a new and better economy…”

What government has ever built a successful economy? The federal government as the largest single player in the economy has a key role as a steward to help solve the current financial crisis. It also plays a unique role in the economy to look for ways to prevent future collapes. It also has the ability to shape the economy through it’s purchasing power.

But to believe the economy can be “built” by the government is to believe that an economy can be designed or “managed”. That’s as intellectually dishonest as beliveing that the universe was designed.

Posted by: Rob at March 11, 2009 12:19 AM
Comment #277359

Rob,
Why I respect your right to believe that government does not design or manage the economy History tells us a different story. For even today you would not have the Bling-Bling you have without the Blessing of the Idiots in Charge. For how did you get elecricity to run your home? Or the gasoline to drive your Car? How about the food you had for supper?

Do yuo believe that all this came together because others wanted to be nice? No, government has, is, and will design and manage the Economy and Market so folks like me cannot exploit the Human Race. And why they have yet to build an Economy and a Market that cannot be screwed up, I do believe that the World would be without oil today if the Government had not forced the Commerce to build the Consumer cars that get better than 10 miles to the gallon.

Paul,
Why some on the Right may believe that they can obstruct their way back into power and others believe President Obama wants to exploit the crisis. I do believe that Newt Gingrich put his finger on the problem sunday when on Meet the Press he called for a 3rd Genrational Discussion now instead of 2012.

For if President Obama really wanted to screw the Republicans than all he would have to do is sign an EO declaring Americas’ Independence from Foreigh Oil in the next 10 years. Since than the Conservatives would not have a leg to stand on in any debate of building a Better World.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at March 11, 2009 12:52 AM
Comment #277360

Actually the Republicans think he Obama should emulate them…he should stand there looking down at the child in the well, and say, “if we wait for the next rain the kid’l float to the top and walk out of the well”…

Posted by: Marysdude at March 11, 2009 2:13 AM
Comment #277364
For how did you get elecricity to run your home? Or the gasoline to drive your Car? How about the food you had for supper?

I got them by the free exchange of the fruits of my labor for the fruits of another. (especially for the food part, I trade some of the property I own to a neighbor who raises cows, they use it to plant and harvest the hay to feed the cows and in return I get beef in my freezer. I don’t have to go to the government in any way for this transaction to occur).

Groups of people invested time and money into harnessing power and food and making available to me to trade my time/money to them in a manner that is equitable and agreed upon by both parties. The government did not create this transaction, did not participate it in and was not necessary for it to occur. Other than, of course, trying to take part of the transaction.

However, the government does ensure that both sides live up to their sides of the agreement. THAT is the role of government, to ensure that those transactions are enacted free from fraud or force.

Our government, since it is not in control of our bodies and our minds, cannot force these transctions to occur. Other countries who do not allow their citizens to have this free choice in their lives, have to manage these transactions. I think we are better off for allowing the citizens to be free. Apparently most Democrats disagree with that view.

Do yuo believe that all this came together because others wanted to be nice?

Basically, yes. Though not because of being nice but through self-interest.

No, government has, is, and will design and manage the Economy and Market so folks like me cannot exploit the Human Race.

What a load of crap. In what way did the government design and manage the free exchange of my property (about 4 acres in this case) with my neighbor for the food that he provides back to me? I didn’t fill out any forms, call a government agency, vote for a law, etc…

I do believe that the World would be without oil today if the Government had not forced the Commerce to build the Consumer cars that get better than 10 miles to the gallon.

You realize it is directly BECAUSE of the government that we don’t have this already? In the 1970s, the American citizenry SCREAMED for more fuel efficient cars. So much so that when the US car companies did not provide them, we bought them from Japan who did. Instead of working to make even more fuel efficient cars, which is what would have happened in a true free market, the car companies claimed that they were ‘too big to fail’ and instead of letting them fail and allowing others who understood what the market really wanted to rise up in their ashes, the government stepped in and protected them. There was no need for the big 3 to make more fuel efficient cars anymore thanks to government intervention through tarrifs, loans and protection.

And even among all of that, we are still building totally electric cars (Tesla, ZAP, etc) and more fuel efficient cars (the days of the 10 MPG cars being the norm have been over for a while). All without government, a tool of politics and getting it wrong for power over poeple, managing it all from the throne in Washington, DC.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 11, 2009 3:37 AM
Comment #277377

RH
And some damned fine beef too, I imagine. I am living in the PI now and miss good beef.
There are many examples of government influence on the economy. Some good,some bad. The internet, that fueled the dot-com boom was a government creation. The GI bill had a lot to do with the post war boom. The Clinton expansion shows,to make your point, that when government debt is reduced,even through higher taxes, the results can be good for the economy. That being said, these are not normal times. The government is the only institution left with the potential to keep the economy going.Its not going to be pretty. Its not going to be efficient. Hopfully it is a situation that will not last too long,5-10 years or so.

Posted by: bills at March 11, 2009 8:12 AM
Comment #277379

It’s a famous maxim that money can be usefully spent hiring people to dig holes in the ground during a recession, if only to get people working again and put money into the system. However, wouldn’t that money be better spent on something we might actually appreciate later? That’s the opportunity.

Posted by: Max at March 11, 2009 9:20 AM
Comment #277381

Paul,

I disagree with your premise. I see attacks on Obama’s policies, sure. I’m happy to go after these myself. What I don’t see is anyone calling Obama the equivalent of “shrub” or “chimpy” or any of a thousand other savaging insult the like of which were applied to G.W.B. Just look at Remer’s comments to my article from yesterday. They are streams of direct insults, not policy criticisms.

No one says Obama is not smart. No one says he is not presidential. There is no evidence he is disrespecting the office he holds. We don’t have to think any of those things to vehemently disagree with his policy choices and fight for policy choices we sincerely believe will be better for the country.

That is not “attacking” Obama.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at March 11, 2009 11:35 AM
Comment #277383

Paul writes; “In the case of our economy, in addition to various stimuli, the life-saving devices are a money-efficient healthcare system…”

I wonder how Paul would explain this efficiency when one considers that nearly 50% of our nations health care is already delivered by government and the result has been ever increasing costs? Are we to believe that magically, when government provides 100% we will then, and only then, begin to see the benefits in reduced costs?

The efficiency Paul yearns for is already on display in some European countries as I pointed out in a recent post. In Sweden, the waiting time for cataract surgery is already between 6 to 13 weeks. Their own health care advisory notes that within a few years mammography for women will no longer be available.

What Paul envisions as efficiency is accomplished thru government rationing of health care. If NHC is so desirable, efficient and necessary Paul, I would like to see you become an advocate for public housing for everyone as well. Just imagine the efficiency in that?

Henry wrote; “…government has, is, and will design and manage the Economy and Market so folks like me cannot exploit the Human Race.”

This is just so sad it is difficult to comment without getting booted out of Watchblog. I will merely say that I am sad for Henry that he now believes that government is our salvation and that we American’s, as individuals, are not competent to manage our own affairs without the heavy hand of government.

To think that all good flows from government and not the individual is diametrically opposed to our founding documents. Those documents clearly prohibit what Henry would advocate.

Posted by: Jim M at March 11, 2009 11:51 AM
Comment #277391
Focus like a laser on the economy?

Perhaps they want to burn a hole through it? :)

Government does not create markets, per se, (although they often, in fact, do) They moderate markets and, as Rhinehold pointed out, enforce contracts. Sometimes.

When Rhinehold’s neighbor refuses to give him food,and decides to homestead his land, who does he turn to? His shot gun? Without a stable government with reasonably fair enforcement of justice, that would be his only choice.

The only real issue here is what is fair? It was lack of fair enforcement and lack of justice that led to the outright theft involved in this economic collapse. Annie, get your guns, or maybe elect a leader who applies greater fairness.


Bills, Where or what is PI that you are living in or on?

Posted by: gergle at March 11, 2009 12:23 PM
Comment #277403

Lee,

Right after November of ‘00, Democrats worried that the election had been stolen in Florida. But you remember a great deal more than I do about the ‘chimpy’. In my recollection, it was long after he was in office that insults were slung his way…perhaps the ‘deer in the headlights’ came a little earlier, but most of the ill will toward Cheney/Bush came after the lies that got us into the war were exposed, the ineffectual way Katrina was handled, the outing of one of our more effective spies, the K Street scandals, etc., and it was then that the real insults began.

Obama has barely 50 days in office and the retched crap has started. Bah! Rovian politics carry into administrations. They are no longer just used to Swiftboat those running for office. Conservative politics at it’s very best…

Posted by: Marysdude at March 11, 2009 1:20 PM
Comment #277407

MD That was a knucklehead Cartoonist who did that Awful chimp thing , Bush was More of a grassroots thing that came out later I recall seeing Bumper stickers around 2002 -2003 with the college set. I was working in a big mall when Bush was elected or :) There was a lot of protesting mostly young folks bussed in blowing whistles and blocking crosswalks .I’d wave at them or honk back.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at March 11, 2009 1:41 PM
Comment #277412

Marysdude writes; “…the outing of one of our more effective spies”

How silly. Could Marysdude please provide one iota of evidence that this lady was “effective” or a “spy”?

Posted by: Jim M at March 11, 2009 2:03 PM
Comment #277414

Lee Jamison-
No, you guys don’t attack him, you just accuse him of wanting to promote an economic system that will destroy freedom and capitalism, and oppose him at every turn. What’s an attack about that?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 11, 2009 2:20 PM
Comment #277417

Paul,

Socialism doesn’t work. It is dependent on capitalism to survive - as a parasitic system. This is called a ‘mixed economy’. If you want to transition to a fully progressive, i.e. socialist society, you will by necessity get economic failure.

Obama’s radical transformation will push our economic system to the brink of complete failure. If I didn’t care about what would happen at that point I would just sit back and watch. But I have three children who will have to live through whatever Obama and his congress creates.

This is not the time for radical social experimentation. Just look at what Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro have done to their nations. Hardly the examples we want to follow.

Even Vladimir Putin is a little worried about us. Former Soviets are warning us that socialism doesn’t work!

Posted by: eric simonson at March 11, 2009 2:43 PM
Comment #277422
No, you guys don’t attack him, you just accuse him of wanting to promote an economic system that will destroy freedom and capitalism, and oppose him at every turn. What’s an attack about that?

It’s not. It is attacking his policies, not him personally, and it can be argued to be true…

Are you saying that people shouldn’t be doing that? Are you saying that it is no different to attack someone personally and to attack their actions and views? Because, that’s kind of what this site is based upon…

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 11, 2009 3:00 PM
Comment #277425

Rhinehold,
Hate to tell you this, but if it was not for the government you would have nothing because without Law and Order (if you can call it that) I could take whatever you have. In fact, history even in America shows where people have done just that. Yes, you may make a deal with someone else for whatever you want, yet without warning I can come take it away from both of you if it was not for the government. And why it may not be seen as Civilized to do so, again without government to make and enforce the Law you do not stand a chance against those citizens who believe “What yours is Mine and What’s Mine is Mine.”

Now sure groups can band together to provide each other with Goods and Services, but again without Government establishing the Rules of Conduct and enforcing the Law you are not protected. For why I cannot recall the exact case that was brought to the Government over Water Rights in the 1800’s I do believe that we have stopped people from plugging up a river or creek that runs though their property in an effect to control it. So why you can claim to have a deal with your neighbor, are you aware that your other neighbor could stop it simple by going to the Local Authority and banning such activity if it was not for the Government.

However, Rhinehold to say that “Our government, since it is not in control of our bodies and our minds, cannot force these transactions to occur” shows a fundamental fault in your thinking. For with simple Eminent Domain I can prove that to be wrong. In fact, the government can and has made it so you have to buy their water simple by making it unlawful to drill a well on your property. And we are not going to get into the debate of wearing seat belts or the million other rules and regulations that we are forced to live with or without.

Rhinehold and Jim M.,
Not being stupid enough to explain to you and others how to exploit the Law I do believe that Madoff and a whole list of Blue and White Collar Criminals could tell you have they gained the system to take away from you what you thought was yours. In fact, the Con Man which walked the streets at will in the Late 60’s and Early 70’s may have been put out of business due to the Government educating their Citizens.

So why you may believe, think, or even wish that the government does not work to protect you from the likes of me allow me to show you a scam that they outlawed a long time ago and is now used by the Establishment to teach their citizens how easy it is to get over on Human Nature. For walk up to the local cashier and ask them to change a $20.00 bill. Simple transaction correct, well that depends on the timing, because if you ask for a ten, two fives, and five ones you will be surprised at how many times the cashier will go to hand you the money even after they are warned. However, in all fairness I need to tell you that why it is not illegal to ask for the change that way. It is Unlawful to accept the change from the cashier thanks to the government.

In fact, why I am almost certain that the Lawyers of America would find away to stop me are you aware how easy it would be to turn your home from an asset to a liability? For if I was to walk up to the County Commissioners and ask them to explain to me how they can add value to a piece of property for someone building a house on it when it costs the Taxpayer more money in the way of water, roads, and other services over the property remaining vacant. How can they defend their position except through the Argument of Domain? Because why it may not add value, it does increase the value of needing to raise taxes. So can I make you home a liability instead of an Asset? With or Without the Government I do believe that it has to remain an Argument of Logic and Reason.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at March 11, 2009 3:27 PM
Comment #277426

Henry,

I’ll point you to http://www.watchblog.com/democrats/archives/006465.html#277420 where I explain to Stephen that I am not an ‘anarcho-capitalist’ as you suggest I am.

If you want to debate what I believe, not what you think I believe, I’m all for it. But your rant bears little resemblence to what real Libertarians believe and more what anarchsts and anarcho-capitalists believe.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-capitalist
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_liberalism

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 11, 2009 3:48 PM
Comment #277434

Henry, I would respond but I have absolutely no idea what you’re accusing me of. Could you possibly restate so I can respond?

Posted by: Jim M at March 11, 2009 4:17 PM
Comment #277439
In my recollection, it was long after he was in office that insults were slung his way…perhaps the ‘deer in the headlights’ came a little earlier, but most of the ill will toward Cheney/Bush came after the lies that got us into the war were exposed, the ineffectual way Katrina was handled, the outing of one of our more effective spies, the K Street scandals, etc., and it was then that the real insults began.

That would be incorrect. Let’s look at the wayback machine, shall we?

http://web.archive.org/web/20010623101142/http://www.democrats.com/

This is what democrats.com looked like on July 23, 2001.

Bush is a liar, translators needed to understand Bush, etc…

If you want to suggest that Democrats were nice people towards Bush, just wanting to discuss policies, until sometime after Iraq, you are going to have to eliminate the Wayback Machine first…

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 11, 2009 4:37 PM
Comment #277440

PO, described by VPB as one who has a “spine of steel”, today has revealed the spine of a jellyfish instead. As reported in the NY Times,

“The spending measure now goes to President Obama, who will sign it on Wednesday despite criticism from some Republicans that doing so would violate a campaign pledge to curtail spending on home-state projects known as earmarks. The White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, said the president would make an announcement on plans to curb earmarks in the future.”

Notice the “plans to curb earmarks in the future.” Yeah…and I have plans to win the Texas lottery. Both have about the same chance of coming true as one has of being eaten alive by a wild animal. On a scale of one to ten on the “promises kept” scale, PO just scored a big fat zero. His lack of guts now joins his lack of wisdom and leadership.

Posted by: Jim M at March 11, 2009 4:39 PM
Comment #277446

Paul writes; “If you want an analogy it is that a child falls down a very deep well for which a ladder will not work. We need some fancy life-saving devices to save the child - and we do not have them. We need first to get these devices to bring the child up in a safe manner.”

In keeping with Paul’s analogy and applying it to public education I present the following written by Michael Medved.

Michelle Rhee, Chancellor of the struggling public school system in the District of Columbia, has already won bi-partisan admiration for her energetic and innovative efforts to shake up one of the most troubled educational establishments in the country. Now she deserves further plaudits for her courageous clarity on the issue of vouchers. Most public education bureaucrats reflexively oppose vouchers as a threat to their monopoly, denouncing any use of government funds to allow poor children to choose parochial or private school alternatives to failing neighborhood schools. Ms. Rhee, however, fearlessly spoke up against efforts by Congressional Democrats to kill a promising vouchers program in the nation’s capital. “Part of my job is to make sure that all kids get a great education,” she told the New York Times, “and it doesn’t matter whether it’s charter, parochial or public schools. I don’t think vouchers are going to solve all the ills of public education, but parents who are zoned to schools that are failing kids should have options to do better by their kids.”

Her clarity on this issue should embarrass the Obama administration to halt the efforts by its allies to undermine the vouchers program in the nation’s capital. Currently, the Opportunity Scholarships Program provides $7,500 annually to cover tuition, fees and transportation expenses for 1,700 poor children to attend private school. A recent study showed that the parents of these students overwhelming preferred the religious and private alternatives they chose in large part because they considered the environments safer than the D.C. public schools. Of the children who currently participate in the program, 90% are African-American, and 9% Hispanic – with less than 1% white or Asian.

Nevertheless, Congressional Democrats have urged Ms. Rhee to prepare to re-enroll the vouchers kids in public schools after they succeed in terminating the Opportunity Scholarships. If they do return to the D.C. system, taxpayers will spend far more – twice as much, in fact —- for each of them than the cost of the current $7,500 a year scholarships.

The brain-dead Democrats who support this idiotic teachers union priority ought to explain why they want to waste public funds and to take away choice from 1,700 black and Latino kids, in order to force them into a school system whose heroic chancellor doesn’t even want them back. Why should purportedly compassionate liberals impose their own partisan values not only on a group of impoverished but loving parents who support and depend on the vouchers program, but on Michelle Rhee, one of the most courageous and clear-thinking school administrators in the country?

Posted by: Jim M at March 11, 2009 5:02 PM
Comment #277450

Jim M said: “Notice the “plans to curb earmarks in the future.” Yeah…and I have plans to win the Texas lottery.”

Man, are you going to end up eating those words. I have filed this gem of yours away in case you are still around Watchblog bashing Obama in 3 years.

Your comment presumes Obama is an idiot, to so cavalierly violate one of his most important campaign promises to the American people. I can assure you, Obama is no idiot. And you will end up eating those words because Obama has already drafted some serious rules to constrict earmarks going forward. Not an action of someone with no intention of curtailing wasteful earmark spending.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 11, 2009 5:18 PM
Comment #277453

I would ask Mr. Remer what he is prepared to eat in “3 years” if PO fails to keep this promise. To avoid parsing about what constitutes “Pork and Earmarks” when the fessin’ up commences, I ask Remer to set the boundaries.

Posted by: Jim M at March 11, 2009 5:31 PM
Comment #277454

Rhinehold used the term: “real Libertarians”. Who decides who are the Real libertarians as opposed to the fake libertarians? You, Rhinehold? Just curious. Because it sounds like Republicans distinguishing between Real Republicans and RINO’s, which of course, is an entirely illogical distinction, as Republicans are defined by those who support the GOP and vote for their candidates.

Likewise, the only Real Libertarians are those who support the Libertarian Party and vote Libertarian, and that group is a very diverse one indeed with enormous gulfs between factions within the Party on various issues, as the Anarchist Libertarians and the disenchanted former Republican fundamentalist Christian Libertarians attest.

If you give me a definition of a real Libertarian, all your are giving me is a definition according to one Libertarian, yourself. And when does one person get to decide on the definition that would be used to define some group of people from another, all belonging to the same group?

Real Libertarians indeed. The only valid definition of ‘Real Libertarians’ is the group of people who support the Libertarian Party, and the Libertarian Party is defined in some measure by the collective of its supporters, if the democratic process is at all evident in the inner-workings of the party.

One can talk about what constitutes a real Whig today, but, since there is no Whig Party anymore, it is a conversation without meaning. I hope you can appreciate the logic, here.

If not, I understand an ego’s need to be the definer of what is real and what is not, especially in the labeling of other people as a short hand for prejudging how to respond to them. One of those things one learns in the field of psychology or sociology.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 11, 2009 5:34 PM
Comment #277456

Remer also states; “Obama has already drafted some serious rules to constrict earmarks going forward.”

Has the draft been signed by Pelosi and Reid? I doubt it! And, does anyone actually expect those two to be leading their respective bodies in 3 years?

That PO is spineless when it comes to spending pork or signing onto earmarks is evident. He can make all the excuses he wants today for signing the bill…and tomorrow will find some other excuses just as important in his cloudy mind.

Mr. Remer has, on occasion, described the greatest challenge to his champion as being the democrat congress. I wonder why Remer believes that will change. For Remer to be correct about pork and earmarks PO must be in charge of writing the budget. Does he really believe this will happen? What threats or tradeoffs does he believe PO will use to get these loonies in line with his thinking? Is Remer hoping for a conservative recapture of congress in 2010 to help PO fight wasteful spending?

Posted by: Jim M at March 11, 2009 5:46 PM
Comment #277457

Jim M:

A new policy on earmarks is meaningless. There is already a policy it’s called a VETO!!

Posted by: Craig holmes at March 11, 2009 5:53 PM
Comment #277458

Remer writes; “…the labeling of other people as a short hand for prejudging how to respond to them. One of those things one learns in the field of psychology or sociology.”

Let’s see if I can find an example of labeling he could concur with in his psychologist mind. How about “greedy rich”, “homophobes”, “Christian Right”, and “gun lovers” to name a few?

Posted by: Jim M at March 11, 2009 5:55 PM
Comment #277459

Craig,

Actually, that’s the only policy on earmarks that the President constitutionally has. I am not sure what will change between now and then, other than just living up to your own promises.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 11, 2009 5:57 PM
Comment #277461

Craig writes; “There is already a policy it’s called a VETO!!”

Yes indeed, and PO is about as likely to use it against pork and earmarks as PB was. Both of them have no spine. For them the word VETO stands for “Very Excruciating To Oppose”

Posted by: Jim M at March 11, 2009 6:00 PM
Comment #277466

I got an interresting E-Mail today,it was titled the Best Political Sign of the Year
I’ll Keep My Money, My Freedom, and My Guns,and “YOU CAN KEEP THE CHANGE.”

Posted by: KAP at March 11, 2009 6:45 PM
Comment #277481

Marysdude,

Right after November of ‘00, Democrats worried that the election had been stolen in Florida. But you remember a great deal more than I do about the ‘chimpy’. In my recollection, it was long after he was in office that insults were slung his way…perhaps the ‘deer in the headlights’ came a little earlier, but most of the ill will toward Cheney/Bush came after the lies that got us into the war were exposed, the ineffectual way Katrina was handled, the outing of one of our more effective spies, the K Street scandals, etc., and it was then that the real insults began.
Living in Arkansas you may not have been privy to the stream of insults going back to Bush’s days as Texas Governor. “Shrub”, for example, was a Molly Ivins invention dating from around 1995. today we have been hearing of James Carville “wanting Bush to fail” on the morning of 9/11 /2001, and gleefully pushing a then new poll suggesting he was in trouble in some areas. Yes this was prior to the attacks, and yes, he changed his tune immediately (and appropriately) after the attacks, but the fact was we knew there was rabid Bush hatred at that time.

And, by the way, Gore could have saved all you people the trouble of feeling bad by simply winning his own state, the people who knew him best.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at March 11, 2009 10:02 PM
Comment #277492

RH
I understand that McCain is pushing for a bill that would require a vote on a presidential recission bill. Currently if the president offers a bill to cut or modify a budget it rountinely becomes so much useless paper and is never acted upon. BHO supports McCains proposal.It is also within the framework of the Constitution.
All
“Earmarks” are an important way for representitives to fund specific projects in their districts. The total amount in this years budget is around %1 of the total budget.Many of these projects are important and worthy. BHO and others have proposed some reform measures like competitive bidding on funds going to private businesses that should help curb the potential for abuse. BHO never said it was his goal to eliminate earmarks but only to control them and make them transparent.

Posted by: bills at March 12, 2009 7:40 AM
Comment #277501

Umm Lee,

If I recollect “Shrub” WAS in office, the Governor’s office, and some of us knew he was a loser waaayyy back then. Some still haven’t figured that out. Damn, I miss Molly.

I don’t think I had found Watchblog back then, however.

Posted by: gergle at March 12, 2009 12:14 PM
Comment #277502

bills writes; “Earmarks” are an important way for representitives to fund specific projects in their districts. The total amount in this years budget is around %1 of the total budget.”

Actually bills, earmarks account for 2% of the budget. If earmarks are important, they should be part of the budgeting process and not inserted by politicians to curry favor with the folks at home. Since taxpayers in every state pay for these earmarks and pork, all the peoples reps should have an opportunity to vote on them.

Posted by: Jim M at March 12, 2009 12:15 PM
Comment #277503

Rhinehold,

He also holds the bully pulpit. He has made his position clear. He may cause legislation to be introduced. That is also Constitutional.

Posted by: gergle at March 12, 2009 12:17 PM
Comment #277506

Gergle,

If I recollect “Shrub” WAS in office, the Governor’s office, and some of us knew he was a loser waaayyy back then. Some still haven’t figured that out. Damn, I miss Molly.
I was referring to a portion of Marysdude’s comment that said: “In my recollection, it was long after he was in office that insults were slung his way…perhaps the ‘deer in the headlights’ came a little earlier, but most of the ill will toward Cheney/Bush came after the lies that got us into the war.”
The “office” to which he is referring clearly is the presidency, in as much as Cheney held no office in Texas during Bush’s terms as governor.

I miss Ivins, too.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at March 12, 2009 1:04 PM
Comment #277518

Who is Running the Shoe around here I’d Think this would Be Obamas Call.Hey wait cleaver of her she got the Pork and beans and is Trying to look Clean. http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090312/pl_nm/us_usa_stimulus_pelosi

Posted by: Rodney Brown at March 12, 2009 2:52 PM
Comment #277519

“Actually bills, earmarks account for 2% of the budget. If earmarks are important, they should be part of the budgeting process and not inserted by politicians to curry favor with the folks at home. Since taxpayers in every state pay for these earmarks and pork, all the peoples reps should have an opportunity to vote on them.
Posted by: Jim M at March 12, 2009 12:15 PM”

According to Steny Hoyer significant headway has been made in the previous secession of Congress.

http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2009/03/opposing-view-p.html#more

“While in control, Republicans reveled in earmarks, quadrupling the number. When Democrats took back Congress in 2007, we imposed strict accountability rules. Now, lawmakers must disclose their earmarks, certify that they have no personal financial stake in them and identify any private entity that might benefit. The public can track every dime, and we are in the process of adopting further transparency measures this year.

Democrats have also significantly cut earmarks, reducing them by more than 40% last year and cutting them further this year. Now, they make up less than 2% of the most recent spending bill.”

Posted by: j2t2 at March 12, 2009 2:53 PM
Comment #277534

j2t2 writes; “Now, lawmakers must disclose their earmarks, certify that they have no personal financial stake in them and identify any private entity that might benefit. The public can track every dime, and we are in the process of adopting further transparency measures this year.”

Thanks for the post, please provide the link to track “every dime” as I would be most interested.

Posted by: Jim M at March 12, 2009 7:27 PM
Comment #277542

Jim M. the quote you attributed to me is a comment from Steny Hoyer as noted in my previous post. However here is the OMB site.

http://earmarks.omb.gov/2008_appropriations_home.html

Posted by: j2t2 at March 12, 2009 11:08 PM
Comment #277543

I can’t separate the two, so I refer to him, meaning Bush as Cheney/Bush. It is because I get confused by which made the decisions and which was the decider. It was an administration of one, i.e., Cheney/Bush. I’m not from Texas, so knew little of Chimpy when he was there, but before that he was in the news when he muffed his oil business, and when he suckered the tax payers out of about seventeen million for his personal aggrandizement. But, I rarely think of him except as the lying sack-o-crap he turned out to be as President.

Cheney/Bush besmirched this nation’s honor. We may never clean it up, but my money is on Obama for that. To me it is far more important for the United States government to work on honor as the leader of nations, than to work on the economy. Obama thinks he can do both…well, he IS a multitasker…

Posted by: Marysdude at March 12, 2009 11:18 PM
Comment #277544

I think Steny Hoyer may be talking about this site where you can track government spending, or this site, which allows taxpayers to review the programs on which their monies are spent.

Posted by: Warped Reality at March 12, 2009 11:41 PM
Comment #277549

Transparency in government activity and government spending…who’d a thunk it??? Oh, yeah, that’s what ‘O’ promised…damn, another promise fulfilled…gotta love it…

Posted by: Marysdude at March 13, 2009 6:37 AM
Comment #277552

Jim M and Rhinehold,
Sorry for the delay, but I couldn’t stay on line long enough to post.

Now, without stepping on toes I do not care what your Political Ideology; however, to say that the Government is wrong is like saying that as parents you are wrong. And why I am sure that I can get every teenager in America to agree with that satatement. Without getting into a 3td Generational Discussion on the subject, do you really care to explain to your children why you tell them just because?

Yes, individual and state rights are important; nevertheless, they cannot over ride the need for Americas’ Federal Government to hold Authority unless you want to go back to the Boss Hoggs of Society to take over Main Street. Or are you to young to remember those days?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at March 13, 2009 8:26 AM
Comment #277554

Jim M
The nunbers I am getting are less than %2. I also am wondering about definition of earmark. In the past a good deal of our forign commitments were met with earmarks, including support for Isreal. Is that still the case and are those earmarks included in assigning the percentage?
All told the number of earmarks are far lower than they were under the Reps and there is much more transparency. As a partisan you may find that galling but as a taxpayer you might find it hopeful. As a partisan issue it is just another dog that won’t hunt.

Posted by: bills at March 13, 2009 8:42 AM
Comment #277557

And so it starts, desperation.

GOP Targets Obama on Spending, Budget, Taxes

Still looking for a narrative that voters will buy, the GOP is planning a drawn-out campaign to attack President Obama’s budget as heavy on taxes, spending, and borrowing. The Republicans also look to expand their assault on the White House as a proponent of big-government, leftist programs.
Posted by: womanmarine at March 13, 2009 9:14 AM
Comment #277559

Say it loud enough, long enough and often enough…maybe a few who feel the pinch the most or who know the least will begin to listen. Good tactic, but bad strategy…even if they win they lose. What a bunch of charmers this bunch on the right…

Posted by: Marysdude at March 13, 2009 10:14 AM
Comment #277565

My thanks to j2t2 and warped for the links.

Posted by: Jim M at March 13, 2009 11:48 AM
Comment #277580

Marysdude:

Your own party says it doesn’t have the votes to pass Obama’s budget.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at March 13, 2009 2:24 PM
Comment #277597

>Your own party says it doesn’t have the votes to pass Obama’s budget.
Posted by: Craig Holmes at March 13, 2009 02:24 PM

Craig,

We can expect no less…the mossbacks are circling, loking for a way to maintain the status quo. They don’t want to lose the lucrative packages they’ve been receiving from ‘K’ Street. As soon as they take off their blinders and look ahead, things will level out. I just hope ‘O’ can show them the way before it is too late. I’m a Democrat, but I’m not naive…I know what’s been going on in DC. That is one reason for voting for Obama. That is the ‘change’ I’ve been hoping for…and, am still hoping for.

Posted by: Marysdude at March 13, 2009 6:23 PM
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