Democrats & Liberals Archives

They're coming to take them away, ha, ha!

No, not really. but it’s a useful talking point for scaring people.

It’s a knock on somebody’s intentions. how do you disprove a claim of bad intentions?

Speaking personally, I just want to make it harder for criminals and crazy people to get guns. But take your guns? Keep them. But don't keep them because there's supposed to be some apocalyptic collapse of democracy in America. Keep them because you like to hunt. Keep them because you want to be able to defend yourself in your home. Keep them because you like the discipline of sharpshooting and maintaining a weapon.

Don't keep it because you feel threatened by the shift to the liberals in today's politics.

These are the breaks of a democracy: you win some and you lose some. If you don't have the good grace to lose well, to recognize that the faults of the party are not merely subjective interpretations from the other side, you will miss the chance to return from the wilderness of political defeat.

One of the things that drove Clinton's popularity, even in the face of the Republican ascendency was the sense that the other side's politicians were not altogether realistic, mature, or on task. All the stuff about the Militia movement and right-wing paranoia didn't help.

Right now, the Republicans are repeating the mistakes they made in the Nineties. This time, though, they repeat them without the cushion of a substantial majority in the house and Senate. This time, the Bush legacy has washed away the soft sand, with hard-edged rocks left underneath.

Am I wrong? Obama's approvals remain at about 60 percent. Congressional Democrats, seen to pass a lot of liberal policies, are above fifty. Republicans remain in the thirties, their leaders remain unpopular.

Republicans have a choice here: remain pure, or remain influential. I'd say, remain influential. Have some influence on the situation, on the legislation. The thirty year Reagan Revolution is over, and with it the hope that Liberals can simply have legislation and initiatives stuffed down their throats. The days when Republicans could simply stick it to Democrats, one way or another, with impunity are over.

Expect more gun control laws. But expect to lose your guns? I wouldn't bet on it. The Democrats are trying to appeal to folks in the west, and they're not going to take such a relentlessly urban perspective on Gun Control. If Republicans want to keep the statutory side of gun control moderated, their best bet is to be in on the negotiations, and present folks with alternatives that are acceptable.

That's the breaks. Why am I this blunt? Why do I not have much sympathy? Because my party dealt with the same obstacles for about a decade and a half, and we survived it just fine. Being in the minority is survivable.

That is, if you don't end up self-destructing in the meantime. The word Republican, because of the folks who have represented the party front and center, has come to mean folks who buy industry lines even in the face of evidence to the contrary. It's come to mean support for the status quo, even when it's intolerable. It's come to mean folks who shoot off their mouth and say patently offensive things, then get mystified, even angry when others get angry. It's come to mean an unwillingness to negotiate, to get something instead of trying to get everything.

It's come to signify, to most people, an unwillingness and inability to deal with America's current reality, a disconnect from the problems of most people, a valuation of political ideals over practical results.

Being a conservative has to become something else than the stubborn defense of a platform. The party needs to become impure. Impurity is not always a bad thing. Pure metals often lack strength, bend and break too easy. The Republicans need to alloy themselves to the political interests of the average American, to the new constituencies that exist across America. It needs to regain the spread and the variety needed to give the Republicans the ability to form new policy, to be helpful. It needs a rebel element that bucks the party hardliners, and doesn't rely on the far-right base that the main party has become hobbled to.

The Republicans do not need to be thinking of ways to defend their houses from the jackbooted thugs of a new Democrat President. They need to be coming back to the real world, and walking away from their own population of jackbooted thugs. They need to stop being the party that takes politics to its absolute extremes.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at April 9, 2009 10:18 AM
Comments
Comment #279875

>They need to be coming back to the real world, and walking away from their own population of jackbooted thugs.
Posted by Stephen Daugherty at April 9, 2009 10:18 AM

Never happen to the current Republican party. That would mean saying that America doesn’t actually NEED jack-booted thugs. Republicans like to BE jack-booted thugs, they just don’t think it is right for others to take on that persona. They are so busy trying to sell America on the idea that Democrats are thugs, they’ve increased their own thuggery…

Posted by: Marysdude at April 9, 2009 11:59 AM
Comment #279876

http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1178/polarized-partisan-gap-in-obama-approval-historic Partisan Gap in Obama Job Approval Widest in Modern Era. That’s not a good poll.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 9, 2009 12:07 PM
Comment #279877

stephen

you have your opinion and i have mine. obama campaigned as a supporter of second amendment rights, even though his track record suggested otherwise. many bought into it, although i’m not one of them. we now see his true colors with his appiontment of eric holder as AG. we also see what the liberal wing of the democrat party is now up to, to the dismay of the blue dogs elected to republican leaning districts who will lose thier seats should they tow the liberal gun ontrol line, or the loss of the support of the parties liberal left leaders if they do not tow thier liberal gun control agenda. it is you who are living in a fantasy world, not those saw who this comming and warned of it.

BTW stephen the purpose of the second amendment is to provide us with a last resort to tyranny in gov’t. no leader in history has ever been able to completely inslave its people without first disarming them.

Posted by: dbs at April 9, 2009 12:10 PM
Comment #279878
Am I wrong?

Pretty much.

Obama’s approvals remain at about 60 percent.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

Right now he is around 55, hovering between 55 and 59 for the past month on any kind of approval. However, taking the trend into account, this is a bit of a drop. And looking closer, those who strongly approve and strongly disapprove are getting closer in number, right now there is a 5% difference. When he took office it was over 20%.

Congressional Democrats, seen to pass a lot of liberal policies, are above fifty. Republicans remain in the thirties, their leaders remain unpopular.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/generic_congressional_vote-901.html

These polls show that dems and reps are neck and neck around 40%, in fact a few weeks ago the reps were above the dems. I’m not sure where you got the greater than 50% and less than 40% figures you did, do you have some sort of link or poll information that would help out here?

As for ‘their leaders remain popular’ are you talking about Rush again? Who are their leaders atm? I think that is the real problem with the reps atm, no clear leader, Steele is being targetted by the left just like they complain the right is targetting Obama…

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 9, 2009 12:10 PM
Comment #279880

Rhinehold-
He’s got job ratings as high as 66.

Gallup’s tracking poll’s got him at sixty.

His favorability ratings are even higher.

More in my next column.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 9, 2009 12:37 PM
Comment #279882

Nobody is after our guns stop the lies please, You are just trying to shift the focus from your own bad policies. Glen Becks ranting about this may have got three police officers killed so STOP THE LIES!!!

Posted by: Jeff at April 9, 2009 12:41 PM
Comment #279883

Jeff

“Nobody is after our guns stop the lies please,”

“Glen Becks ranting about this may have got three police officers killed so STOP THE LIES!!!”


what lies jeff? your going to blame the police shootings on glen beck? open your eyes. all you have to do is look at what is going on in congress, and the remarks of AG holder. obama lied during his campaign about the second amend. all you had to do is look at his voting record. he’s no friend to gun owners.

“You are just trying to shift the focus from your own bad policies.”

earth to jeff… republicans are no longer in control. everybodies attention is on the democrats and thier policies, as they should be. gun control being one of them.

Posted by: dbs at April 9, 2009 12:50 PM
Comment #279885

USA Todayhas Republicans down two to one, just about, even deep into their campaign to drive the other guy’s numbers down.

Obama’s numbers remain stable. Reid and Pelosi Poll in the thirties, but Boehner and McConnell poll in the low twenties. Democrats in Congress have majority approvals, Republicans have stuck in the same basement they’ve been in because of Bush.

As for Steele? We’ve not really launched any kind of active campaign warning of apocalyptic ruin for the country if he’s not opposed. No, we’ve just stood by and let the man embarrass himself and his party, something he’s got a bit of a talent for. We don’t need to trip, much less push over, a guy who stumbles so well on his own.

dbs-
Fantasy worlds are worlds where the government starts kicking down doors to disarm people any time soon. Yet people are stocking up on ammunition and guns as if the apocalypse approaches.

Guns might be a last resort right for people if the government turns evil (Glen Beck only recently thought to debunk the notion that the government was creating FEMA concentration camps for conservatives), but what strikes me as funny is the way many of these same people defended the Bush administration’s rights to unilaterally cancel constitutional privileges on account of Bush’s status as Commander in Chief.

I mean, really. The Second Amendment wasn’t meant to be to be the last line of defense. It was meant to be an interlocking part of the greater defenses that civil liberties and protections afford us.

What good is having a gun if the government can enact prior restrain on political speech? If you can be pulled off the street as a threat, and simply disappeared? If your property and communications can be surveilled without so much as a court order?

Remember: the citizens of Iraq had a right to bear arms under Saddam Hussein. That kept them real free, didn’t it?

Rodney Brown-
I think that same poll, or a poll not unlike it also indicated that most people approved of his performance as President.

The real question is, who’s doing most of the polarizing? Who’s out there talking about socialism and communism, making up wild stories? Who’s less focused on policy-making now, and more focused on driving down the other side’s popularity through a strategy of perpetually siding against the agenda that tries to deal with the practical issues of our time?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 9, 2009 1:06 PM
Comment #279886

I remember When i voted for carter I gave him almost full support until the last one or two years, hell even nixon got good Support from the Dems in the first year. I agree It’s not a good Poll,And we thought polarization was bad in the 1970s!

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 9, 2009 1:24 PM
Comment #279888

I hear a lot about Obama being against gun ownership and disagrees that the second says individuals should be able to bear arms…but, if he’s actually ever voted against guns or spoke in decent of the second, why has it not been cited here? Where are the references? When did he say citizens do not have the right to bear arms? What issue was before Congress that Obama voted against gun ownership? What specific language did he use in what specific speech?

I hear a lot about our President being for re-enactment of a fairness doctrine…where are the cites for such a thing? When did he last vote for the return of that doctrine? What specific words did he use in what specific speech, wherein he claimed America needed a return of the fairness doctrine?

Are we tilting at strawmen again?

Posted by: Marysdude at April 9, 2009 1:36 PM
Comment #279890
I mean, really. The Second Amendment wasn’t meant to be to be the last line of defense. It was meant to be an interlocking part of the greater defenses that civil liberties and protections afford us.

It wasn’t? What was Jefferson talking about then?

“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.-Thomas Jefferson”

BTW, September 2008? *THAT* is your evidence that Obama will not attempt to limit access to guns in his administration? An election promise? Well, it’s not like he hasn’t broken other election promises, has he? I mean, we should just take him at his word and assume that he will never ever do anything of the sort.

What a joke of an article, Stephen. I really expect more from you. Perhaps you are feeling your oats a bit now? Maybe that is why you believe polls from pollsters that have proven in the past to be innacurate. The first one you sent me to listed the DailyKOS poll for god’s sake.

You said that the Democrats in congress were polling at over 50% which isn’t backed up by even your links. They are showing around 40-44% for dems, 35-40% for reps, pretty much what I showed with the more accurate Rasmussen and RealClearPolitics combination/averaging of polling.

You can say that Obama is ‘holding steady’ but even your polling tears that to shreds as well.

Face it, Stephen, the honeymoon is over and the President has been falling in the polling since he took office. He is about where Bush was in his first term at this point and the trend is down, not up. Whether it goes below 50% this soon is to be something we find out in the future, but his solid base is declining and his solid opponents are rising as I detailed earlier.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 9, 2009 1:54 PM
Comment #279891
The real question is, who’s doing most of the polarizing?

People on both ‘sides’ of the country are Stephen. You refuse to accept that Democrats could stoop to such things, but it has been shown over and over again when they do. I listen to left talk radio and read left blogs as much as I do right ones, they are both filled with hate spewing venom, and have been for over a decade now. It’s all about getting and maintaining the power and in that game, anything goes. And this is the result.

Do I *HAVE* to show you the wayback machine again?

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 9, 2009 1:58 PM
Comment #279895

Rodney Brown-
The problem, in my mind, is not so much polarization. I will admit that in the past election, Democrats got pretty aggressive.

But what we got aggressive about was playing the game fair and square. The Republicans would not have tolerated a recount as long as Al Franken’s in Minnesota, but Democrats, though it annoys us to no end that Coleman won’t quit, aren’t averse to letting the process go through to the final decision, because then Norm Coleman’s avenues of legal, legitimate recourse dwindle down to exactly nada.

Republicans, on the other hand, at least the media kind, are stirring up people against the legitimacy of the government, the legitimacy of its authority, and encouraging people to act as if Democrats are going to enact some sort of Nazi-ish order in America.

They’re pushing things in what is a dangerous direction. It’s not for nothing that the worst terrorist attack on American territory before 9/11 was by a right-wing member of the Patriot movement.

I think the Republicans are playing with fire, and everybody’s going to get burned by the result.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 9, 2009 2:37 PM
Comment #279897

Rhinehold-
Well, I stand corrected on the Jefferson Quote. But remember that’s also the guy who encouraged the ratification of the other nine, most of which were aimed at being the first lines of defense.

Do you willingly give up lines of defense, Rhinehold? I don’t think you would. I think you would maintain, as a person of some intelligence and wisdom, your other defenses against tyranny first.

Wouldn’t you do that? I don’t see why not. Like I said, I don’t mine people owning guns.

Besides, thinking that we’ve already come to that last line of defense in America, even after the transgressions of the Bush years, is showing a remarkable lack of faith in America’s resilience. After all, the Federalists pushed the Aliens and Sedition act over two hundred years ago, and it’s just a footnote to history now.

As for the Blogosphere on the Left? So you say its full of hate for the right. Okay, do what the typical left-winger does: quote and link. Then we can a real discussion about the blogger left.

As far as the surveys go, Obama’s Job approval and favorability ratings remain very high, even as high as 66%. Kos’s surveys are not an online poll but are done by a company that is employed to do surveys separate from the site. It’s a good old fashion randomized survey; Democrats are not interested in deluding themselves, creating false senses of security.

If this is the end of the Honeymoon, this is certainly going to be a better than average marriage.

Folks on the Right are going to have to reconsider this position of trying to go negative across the board. It didn’t win the last two elections, nor take Republican Poll numbers out of the drink, nor has it sold the public on Republican policies.

I mean, take the defense budget. Gates cuts some programs, but the defense budget is going up 5%. But are the GOP focusing their debates on the programs? No, they’re claiming Obama’s cutting the defense budget.

They repeat the canard about Cap and Trade costing people 3100 dollars a family, though it’s been countered by the person whose numbers they claim supported them. They repeat this, that and the other thing, trying to allege things that are demonstrably false.

At times, I just feel like screaming. How can we have a well-founded debate in this country when one side is just making up whatever facts it likes to? But you know what? I’ve got no patience for this kind of BS. It’s literally killing our country. People are obscuring critical truths about what’s happening in this country, misleading people for political purposes. Whatever people decide, once they hear the truth, is their prerogative. If we have the debate, Democrats might lose points here and there.

But at least we’ll be talking from a common point of reference, instead of seeming to live in parallel dimensions.

I really do think Americans have the capacity to reason together, and this is the best way to resolve our differences. But we can’t have either of the party’s simply going out in left-field about critical information.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 9, 2009 3:12 PM
Comment #279900

Stephen, you had me fooled there for a minute. I thought you had actually written an article about a political issue instead of just continuing your months long bashing of all things Republican. Well at least there’s a half an article here to comment on.

Your statement that the Obama administration won’t try to take away guns because of the Democratic Party’s desire to appeal to Mid-West voters is illuminating. I think better reasons might be the 2nd Amendment and the recent Supreme Court ruling that protects all voters from such a policy, but you at least you acknowledge that issues like this are politically motivated and have nothing to do with the welfare or security of the American people. I’m sure you are right.

The Brady Bill is a prime example that all of this is just politics. At no time during the 10 years it was in force could you not purchase any of the banned firearms, clips, or ammo. You might have paid more as prices initially rose but then tapered off once the hysteria ended, but the guns remained in every local pawn shop in America. Small business was stimulated, but it didn’t save a single life. It was just politics, or economics, but it wasn’t good legislation.

Although I somewhat enjoy your political bashing, I question who is the intended audience of the posts. Didn’t you write that Republicans don’t read liberal blogs like yours because they are stuck in their cocoon of Fox and Rush?

Posted by: George at April 9, 2009 4:18 PM
Comment #279903

“I hear a lot about Obama being against gun ownership and disagrees that the second says individuals should be able to bear arms…but, if he’s actually ever voted against guns or spoke in decent of the second, why has it not been cited here?”

http://www.ontheissues.org/domestic/Barack_Obama_Gun_Control.htm

“Opposed bill okaying illegal gun use in home invasions
Hale DeMar, a 52-year-old Wilmette resident, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor violations for shooting, in the shoulder and leg, a burglar who broke into his home not once, but twice. Cook County prosecutors dropped all charges against DeMar.”
In March 2004, the Illinois Senate passed Senate Bill 2165, a law introduced in response to DeMar’s case, with provisions designed to assert a right of citizens to protect themselves against home invasions, such that self-defense requirements would be viewed to take precedence over local ordinances against handgun possession. The measure passed the Illinois Senate by a vote of 38-20. Barack Obama was one of the 20 state senators voting against the measure.”

“Governor Rod Blagojevich vetoed the bill. On Nov. 9, 2004, the Illinois Senate voted 40-18 to override Blagojevich’s veto. Again, Obama acted against the bill.”

“On Nov. 17, the Illinois House voted overwhelmingly, 85-30, to override the governor’s veto and Senate Bill 2165 became law. “


“Are we tilting at strawmen again?”

nope don’t think so.


Posted by: dbs at April 9, 2009 4:55 PM
Comment #279905

I have no idea what background or circumstance may have influenced his vote. It may have been political bargaining, such as agreeing to vote against this measure if one of his fellow Congressmen would vote for Obama’s ethics bill…there is mention here of one man’s use of a weapon in a seemingly self defense or home defense situation, but we have no court documentation as to circumstances, background or any other permanent information. At the time of the vote did Obama indicate he thought it a second amendment issue? As a Constitutional scholar, you would think him to be familiar with Constitutional variances if they exist here.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 9, 2009 5:19 PM
Comment #279906

Candace Gingrich wrote an artical about her brother the other day, and in it she mentioned something we talk about here a lot. It describes well the modern Republican party and its quandry…

Obama keeps inviting people into the big tent that has room for all of us—————-and the republican party keeps saying, oh no, we can’t let anybody like you in. They seem to really be stuck on their narrow minded, exclusive path to destruction. Meaghan McCain is right about that; the republican party has been taken over by a bunch of radicals. Obama is inclusive—-gays, blacks, Hispanics, religious, not religious, Arab Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, educated, uneducated, rich, poor and yes, white middle class people like me too. I like being in the tent with all my friends. The republican party has no friends. All they have are ideological rules.
Posted by: Marysdude at April 9, 2009 5:24 PM
Comment #279907

“I have no idea what background or circumstance may have influenced his vote. It may have been political bargaining, such as agreeing to vote against this measure if one of his fellow Congressmen would vote for Obama’s ethics bill…”

thats ok with you that he would vote against someones right to self defense in order to play politics? i’ll see if i can’t locate the original news article. this happened while he was an illinois state senator.

“there is mention here of one man’s use of a weapon in a seemingly self defense or home defense situation, but we have no court documentation as to circumstances, background or any other permanent information.”

here’s what the above statement says:

“a 52-year-old Wilmette resident, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor violations for shooting, in the shoulder and leg, a burglar who broke into his home not once, but twice.”

i’m a bit perplexed here. what is it you don’t understand? there is a law that bans possesion of a handgun ( even in your own home ) in wilmette, and this guy says screw that i need to be able to protect myself, and has one anyway ( i’de do the same thing by the way ). better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6. a burglar breaks in to his home for the second time, and the owner shoots him in self defense. obama voted against a bill that would allow pre emption local ordinances in the event of self defense. not to complicated.

“At the time of the vote did Obama indicate he thought it a second amendment issue?”

common man, are you kidding me? i understand you’re a supporter of obama, but this is just nonsense.

Posted by: dbs at April 9, 2009 5:40 PM
Comment #279911

There was bit of craziness on the freeways in Houston yesterday (not that it is unusual). I’m not saying this argues for either side, but the comments section makes it clear what Houstonians think.

Posted by: gergle at April 9, 2009 6:07 PM
Comment #279912

As to the 2nd admendment being about protecting us from tyranny, does anyone actually believe that a rifle would stop the military from imposing it’s will in this country, if it became so inclined?

Is the proposition to arm our citizens with Abrams tanks and detroyers, and stealth bombers?

Posted by: gergle at April 9, 2009 6:20 PM
Comment #279914

A rifle? It depends on an ability to get behind the tank’s defense and drop a few shots into the ricocheting cabin. Several rifles? It gets much easier to do.

Is your argument that we are already disarmed so we should just hand ‘em in and get it over with? I mean, you think that is a good argument do you?

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 9, 2009 6:47 PM
Comment #279916

Btw, we should be outlawing all swords as well, if we follow the argument to conclusion gergle.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 9, 2009 6:56 PM
Comment #279917

rhinehold, gergle

it also depends on whether US service men, and women could be convinced to slaughter thier own countymen. i’ve got a sneaking suspicion a sizable number of them would not, and instead would defend thier fellow countrymen and thier constitution against a gov’t run amok. thats just my opinion though.

my guess would be that possibly 2 to 3 million armed americans, many who may very well be former marines, and soldiers could put up one hell of a fight. once again just my opinion.

Posted by: dbs at April 9, 2009 6:58 PM
Comment #279929

Dbs,
Why I do not blame Glen Beck for the shooting of the three police officers I do blame him and others for not having their facts striaght and causing the young man to fear the idea that the Government would take his guns away.

Yes, if President Obama and Congress really wanted to disarm America they would not have to challenge the 2nd Amendment. In fact, it would be easy to put into law a limit on the number and type of bullets a person could own and have stored in their home or on their property. For as a public hazard could it not be said that at certain amount of bullets public safety comes into question. Since sending in the fire fighters to put out a fire with 5,000 rounds exposed to the excess heat would be considered unsafe?

No, I’m aware that the issue of guns crossing the border may have freaked out some people, but for those who has the job of reporting the news I wonder if they know that the Laws to handle such a problem alreay exist on the books thanks to the supporters of the NRA.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at April 9, 2009 9:49 PM
Comment #279930

George-

Stephen, you had me fooled there for a minute. I thought you had actually written an article about a political issue instead of just continuing your months long bashing of all things Republican. Well at least there’s a half an article here to comment on.

Can’t I do both at the same time?

I’m not really bashing all things Republican. I’m bashing this behavior of growing intensity that the Republicans are engaged in, whereby they become inflexible roadblocks who are useless on policy at best, and at worst start encouraging the looniest elements to get even loonier.

I mean, I found all the “Left Behind”/John Birch style conspiracy theorizing about the UN to be nutty to start with (I think the UN can be ineffectual somtimes, though), but now these folks are essentially preparing for a government take over what will not come outside of the most lurid of Right-Wing fantasy novels.

A lot of this crap Republicans have been feed about us was untrue to start with. But over time, it’s become even worse as the myths are elaborated and then given “support” by rather biased interpretations of events, which Republicans in the base of the party seem to do their damnedest not to look beyond.

Meanwhile, the rest of us are faced with the real world headaches of what’s happened as a result of their policies. We’re not laughing at this worst of bad jokes.

Your statement that the Obama administration won’t try to take away guns because of the Democratic Party’s desire to appeal to Mid-West voters is illuminating. I think better reasons might be the 2nd Amendment and the recent Supreme Court ruling that protects all voters from such a policy, but you at least you acknowledge that issues like this are politically motivated and have nothing to do with the welfare or security of the American people. I’m sure you are right.

Illuminating? You know, I am not at all ashamed to say that my party has the good sense to be moderated by other’s opinions, that it can do something else than merely push ahead blindly ignoring all dissent. I did not acknowlege, though any apathy towards the welfare or security of the American people. That was your own rather, well, liberal interpretation of my words.

Personally, I want a gun law that actually does some good in making sure the public is actually safe, and I’m more than willing to say that having one’s weapons and being trained to use them is one part of good policy along those lines.

But you see, the NRA has become less interested in crafting sensible gun control legislation, and more interested in catering to the paranoia of gun-owners. So we won’t see moderate legislation. We’ll see legislation either by those who recklessly disregard the public’s safety, or don’t have the technical understanding of firearms and firearms safety to write stuff that fits their intentions.

This effect of surrounding folks on their side with fear and feeding them BS has isolated many on the right from the mainstream, and hindered their ability to relate to people, who, in the final analysis, aren’t terribly different from them.

I mourn this, and part of my anger is the waste of an opportunity, once more, for the GOP to lay down the arms of the culture war and return to the reality-based community. We want Republicans, who, even as they disagree with us, we can talk with, bargain with. We’re sick of those folks who just can’t compromise anything with anyone, even when events discredit their theories, and new ideas are called for.

dbs-
Is it possible for such a law to be badly written?

Just because a cause is righteous, doesn’t make the legislation correct. We have to be sharper than that and not let fuzzy sentimentality guide the pens that write the law that non-fuzzy, non-sentimental judges and lawyers will interpret.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 9, 2009 10:02 PM
Comment #279937

If there should be an army to be made use of as the engine of despotism, what need of the militia? If there should be no army, whither would the militia, irritated by being called upon to undertake a distant and hopeless expedition, for the purpose of riveting the chains of slavery upon a part of their countrymen, direct their course, but to the seat of the tyrants, who had meditated so foolish as well as so wicked a project, to crush them in their imagined intrenchments of power, and to make them an example of the just vengeance of an abused and incensed people? Is this the way in which usurpers stride to dominion over a numerous and enlightened nation? Do they begin by exciting the detestation of the very instruments of their intended usurpations? Do they usually commence their career by wanton and disgustful acts of power, calculated to answer no end, but to draw upon themselves universal hatred and execration? Are suppositions of this sort the sober admonitions of discerning patriots to a discerning people? Or are they the inflammatory ravings of incendiaries or distempered enthusiasts? If we were even to suppose the national rulers actuated by the most ungovernable ambition, it is impossible to believe that they would employ such preposterous means to accomplish their designs.

Federalist Paper 29 Alexander Hamilton

Posted by: Cube at April 10, 2009 1:06 AM
Comment #279938

And nobody feels that carrying a RIFLE in the back seat of a vehicle for self protection is a little bit of “over-kill”? No pun intended……

Posted by: jane doe at April 10, 2009 1:34 AM
Comment #279939

Jane Doe,
Why I can understand why most city slickers might think having a rifle in the back window is a little bit overkill even though I can point out many times where that type of armorant would have been nice to have on site. I do believe that those citizens who live far enough away from the civilized world carry them not to humt man, but to keep other creatures from eating them.

Care to be broke down in an area known for bear without that rifle?

Posted by: Henry Sclatman at April 10, 2009 2:11 AM
Comment #279940

BHO is not particularly anti-gun. With holder we are likely to see more enforcment.Even the NRA supports better law enforcement of existing laws and the recent spat of sociopathic shootings doesn’t help.

dbs
The Democratic Party is not monolithic about gun control. There is a substantial segment that supports gun ownership and the second amendment. includes at least 40 congress people last I looked, some out of belief and some out of political common sense. There is much to be lost politically and little to be gained. More gun laws are not the answer,better enforcement may help some. Nobody wants guns in the hands of psycopaths or criminals. Window dressing like the Brady Bill were just stupid as we both know.

This liberal has owned guns in the past. I had to get rid of them because I am a guest in a forign country that does not allow forigners to own guns. (Some deal with the muggers lobby,I suppose LOL) I have always thought the left should be armed to the teeth. We’d get messed with a lot less.

gergle

The guns in civilian hands are not likely to win against the US military in a conventional battle. However if it ever came down to it,they would be of help in a protacted guerilla war, quite possibly long enough for segments of the military to revolt. This is a very grim scenareo but one we have seen time and again in other countries. The Iraqis ,for example,nearly fought the greatest army in the world to a standstill with small arms and inginuity.

Democrats

There is a great devide between peoples needs in more rural ares then in urban areas. mountain I’ve spent a good deal of time living on ranches myself. A gun behind the seat gets used to put stock down,kill predators, put meat on the table etc. No big deal if you see someone with a rifle. If you see someone with a rifle in downtown Manhatten or San Fransisco its a different story. They are probably going to shoot the ex-wife’s attorney or some such. Another diference is a lot of Americans that live in places where the police are simply too far away to be of help in an emergency. In cities we can expect a response in minutes. In the country it can be hours. Basically the police come to fill out the paperwork after the crime has happened. These differences shape attitudes.There are also those that sincerely believe in the individuals right to bear arms,hmmm, perhaps because THAT IS WHAT THE CONSTITUION SAYS. The murder rate in the cities is alarmming and its not getting better. That being said, this is one Democrat that believes the best way to reduce crime is not to weaken the Second Amendment but to shape a better society. The best crime detterent known is a good job with decent pay and a future. People often turn to crime out of desperation. To reduce crime we need to reduce desperation. That means creating a better safety net. That means a quality universal health care delivery system that also provides mental health and drug treatment services. That means raising the minumum wage and leveling out the badly tilted playing field for organized labor. That means taking a new approach to the failed “War on Drugs” that legalizes the less harmful drugs like pot and focuses on treatment and education instead of throwing people away in expensive prisons. That means access to guality colleges for every American that make the grade.That means getting rid of trade policies that reward companies for moving overseas. There is a difference between globalization and a race toward the bottom for working people. We can’t do all this without the support of Americans that live in rural areas as well as urbanites. I know there are lots of you that believe the solution to the alarming murder rate is to ban guns. That won’t work. For one thing there are just to many guns out there. A press for more laws? The Columbine shooters broke an estimated 22 gun laws before they even got to the school. Would it have made a difference if they had broken 25 laws,or 37. I doubt it. A bunch more laws is not the answer. It does not work with drugs and it will not work with guns. There is no point in wasting the political capital needed for such an exercise when we need that capital to actually solve the societal problems that lead to crime.

Posted by: bills at April 10, 2009 2:18 AM
Comment #279942

bills,

Hmmm, well let’s see if something happened in a contemporaneous time that was some sort of revolution or guerrilla warfare….oh yeah,the whiskey rebellion. It seems they even attempted to raid an armory, but were no match for an armed militia, and the symbolism of Washington marching on them.

It didn’t work out well for the South either.

If guerrilla warfare were to break out, all weapons would be de facto illegal, the second amendment would have no force, and weapons would likely be smuggled from outside US borders. The notion that a shotgun or pistol is a defense against tyranny is absurd. It is education and free speech that are tyranny’s enemy. It was after the second amendment that a standing army was seen as necessary in defending US interests. The frontier still made self defense an important issue. An organized military, and the loss of the frontier made the second amendment moot for all practical purposes.

The US had no standing army in 1787. A militia was raised in times of need for defense against foreign and domestic threats. This is what the second amendment refers to.

While I think civil people should be allowed the use of small arms to defend themselves, and the fact that there still is a tradition of hunting in rural areas, the second amendment is a sorely abused clause, that has no virtual relevance except in the mind of a rabid few. There has been an effective campaign of rhetoric surrounding a romantic view of America, but it is simply rhetoric.

Iraqis were disarmed, but stashed weapons and raided US stashes. It had nothing to do with an Iraqi second amendment. Small arms included rocket launchers and other explosives. Some were likely smuggled in. This occurs in every area of turmoil. In fact, American armories are one of the world’s largest suppliers of arms. Ask Calderon.

Posted by: gergle at April 10, 2009 6:03 AM
Comment #279943

Rhinehold,

The guy at least sort of looks like a Musketeer!

I carry a machete in my truck tool box. I’ve been told if I carry it in the cab, I could be charged with carrying a concealed weapon, or something similar.

Jane Doe,

Texas is a bit different. People carry rifles on racks in the back window of pick ups here. It’s sort of de riguer…like cowboy boots and hats. I grew up in Ohio, and had two neighbors that wore cowboy boots.One a Texan, the other a truck driver from Tennessee. I thought they were corny.

Now I own both. I still don’t chew tobacco or own any guns, though.

The only law is that it can’t be loaded and the shells must be in a separate compartment, I believe.

Posted by: gergle at April 10, 2009 6:17 AM
Comment #279944

gergle
This matters. Whether or not you believe the 2nd makes sense or not is besides a very large point and that point is that there are enough Americans out there that do believe the 2nd matters, enough to swing elections. There is no great societal benefit to passing strict, confiscatory gun laws. The laws would be unenforceable for starters and arose enough people to rebel on one level or another that the party that passed such laws would lose all influence.The Republicans know this and are putting all they can into nurturing this fear.This happened before.Whether to own guns or not is a personal decision and does not constitutionally belong in the realm of national or local government. There are obvious exceptions. Felons and psycopaths are prevented from legal gun ownership. Fully automatic weapons,sawed off shotguns and the like have been illegal since the thirties . The Bill of Rights is not a suicide pact. Other than that ,it is no more the business of government than procreative decisions for example. We are finely on a path to creating a better, more just and prosperous society. Why would we want to step off that path and stir up a hornets nest?Law abiding,responsible citizens of the US have a right to bear arms,period. Let it go at that and lets get to fixing the real problems.

Posted by: bills at April 10, 2009 7:51 AM
Comment #279949

bills,

Well, excepting that I didn’t aver for confiscatory gun laws,

1. It is the business of government to control dangerous things. We control Marijuana, although it isn’t dangerous by any sane definition. Do you fear it more than a gun?

2. Procreation at the point of starvation of masses of people does become the government’s business.

Like I said, I don’t think the status quo is about to change anytime soon, nor should it, but claiming government has no role is simply not true.

I do not believe there is an inalienable right to own a gun. I don’t think the 2nd amendment was written with today’s society in mind. I think in the absence of guns, people will arm themselves with swords, sticks and rocks. The technology isn’t that complex, outlawing them will simply push it underground. I just think all the fear mongering about the second amendment is nonsense.

Posted by: gergle at April 10, 2009 10:43 AM
Comment #279950

“”I do believe that those citizens who live far enough away from the civilized world carry them not to humt man, but to keep other creatures from eating them.

Care to be broke down in an area known for bear without that rifle?”” Said Henry, I’m not a hunter but I skeet shoot if i was broke down and was looking down the nose of a Big black bear or Cougar the last thing i would want is a Rifle with a scope on it, There for long distance shooting I’d take a 12 gauge pump shotgun with magnum loads of 3in 000 buckshot or 3in slugs more or likely the animal will be within 15-45 ft from you.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 10, 2009 10:45 AM
Comment #279952

Stephen I remember that song i was about 11-12 They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-haaa!
Remember when you ran away
And I got on my knees
And begged you not to leave
Because I’d go berserk?
Well…

You left me anyhow
And then the days got worse and worse
And now you see I’ve gone
Completely out of my mind
And…

They’re coming to take me away, HA HA
They’re coming to take me away, HO HO HEE HEE HA HA
To the funny farm
Where life is beautiful all the time
And I’ll be happy to see
Those nice, young men
In their clean, white coats
And they’re coming to take me away, Ha-haaa!

You thought it was a joke
And so you laughed
You laughed when I had said
That losing you would make me flip my lid
Right…

You know you laughed, I heard you laugh
You laughed, you laughed and laughed
And then you left
But now you know I’m utterly mad!
And…

They’re coming to take me away, HA HA
They’re coming to take me away, HO HO HEE HEE HA HA
To the happy home
With trees and flowers and chirping birds
And basket weavers who sit and smile
And twiddle their thumbs and toes
And they’re coming to take me away, Ha-haaa!

I cooked your food
I cleaned your house
And this is how you pay me back
For all my kind, unselfish loving deeds?!!
Hah…

Well you just wait
They’ll find you yet
And when they do they’ll
Put you in the ASPCA, you mangy mutt!
And…

They’re coming to take me away, HA HA
They’re coming to take me away, HO HO HEE HEE HA HA
To the funny farm
Where life is beautiful all the time
And I’ll be happy to see
Those nice, young men
In their clean, white coats
And they’re coming to take me away, Ha-haaa!

To the happy home
With trees and flowers and chirping birds
And basket weavers who sit and smile
And twiddle their thumbs and toes
And they’re coming to take me away, Ha-haaa!

To the funny farm
Where life is beautiful all the time
And I’ll be happy to see
Those nice, young men
In their clean, white coats
And they’re coming to take me away, Ha-haaa!
Sorry I had to do it !

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 10, 2009 11:06 AM
Comment #279960

Rodney Brown-
Your knowledge of pop culture warms my heart.

I’ve been watching the other side get all fearful and paranoid about this, and I just got to the point where I just felt that folks had stepped over the line of rational concern.

The idea seems to have become “we’ll stampede our constituents to show how powerful we still are, and we’ll show those liberals.”

I think the Republicans are failing to consider what they’re stirring up with the base.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 10, 2009 12:26 PM
Comment #279966

Henry, I get what you’re saying…..being half “Arky”, I know what creepy, crawly things the woods can harbor. Rodney, I tend to agree with you more as far as what would make more sense in “that” kind of encounter.
I don’t oppose guns…I have them…have used them for hunting birds and critters on all fours. I have a .38 that goes with me just about any time I go more than a few miles from home.
But when someone enters a freeway in midtown suburbia somewhere, with a loaded rifle in the back seat, chances are the outcome isn’t going to be good. Remember all the overpass shootings?
My guns are registered and that doesn’t bother me at all.

Posted by: jane doe at April 10, 2009 2:37 PM
Comment #279976

janedoe

“I have a .38 that goes with me just about any time I go more than a few miles from home.”


so you belive in concealed carry. glad to hear it. unfortunately barrak obama doesn’t. and would take that right away from you.


http://www.ontheissues.org/domestic/Barack_Obama_Gun_Control.htm

“Concealed carry OK for retired police officers
Obama voted for a bill in the Illinois senate that allowed retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed weapons. If there was any issue on which Obama rarely deviated, it was gun control. He was the most strident candidate when it came to enforcin and expanding gun control laws. So this vote jumped out as inconsistent.
When I queried him about the vote, he said, “I didn’t find that [vote] surprising. I am consistently on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry. This was a narrow exception in an exceptional circumstance where a retired police officer might find himself vulnerable as a consequence of the work he has previously done—and had been trained extensively in the proper use of firearms.“”

“It wasn’t until a few weeks later that another theory came forward about the uncharacteristic vote. Obama was battling with his GOP opponent to win the endorsement of the Fraternal Order of Police.”

“Source: From Promise to Power, by David Mendell, p.250-251 Aug 14, 2007”

“But when someone enters a freeway in midtown suburbia somewhere, with a loaded rifle in the back seat,”

granted this is IMO a bit unusual, it appears though that he was fired on first, and retaliated, however common sense would have dictated attempting to get a lic.# an repoting it to the police. i’m not going lie to you though, it doesn’t bother me a bit that he killed one of them, as long as he didn’t initiate the incident.

“My guns are registered and that doesn’t bother me at all.”

doesn’t help you either. nor does it serve any purpose other than allowing the gov’t know you posses it, should they ever decide you shouldn’t have it. there are plenty of people, including politicians, that think handguns should be banned, and will do so should the political opportunity present itself.


Posted by: dbs at April 10, 2009 5:07 PM
Comment #279984

Chicago Tribune, July 25 2008, from their database:
“Wilmette may be the first, but it’s unlikely to be the last Chicago suburb to repeal its handgun ban in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision last month to declare a similar measure unconstitutional…Wilmette village officials believe the North Shore town escaped a lawsuit because it immediately suspended enforcement of its ban after last month’s Supreme Court ruling…It won’t be easy, officials said, to adopt a substitute measure while the lawsuits against the other communities are pending…”This certainly is not a battle we can win in Wilmette,” said Trustee Lali Watt, echoing the sentiment of many suburban officials who acknowledge that, unlike Chicago, their towns lack the financial resources to take on the NRA…
In Wilmette, the village’s seven trustees voted unanimously Tuesday night to repeal the ban. Officials said alternate regulations for gun ownership would be studied while the court cases play out…”It’s going to take time to see how the courts interpret the [Supreme Court] decision in terms of what the new limitations are, and what local governments can and cannot do,” said Tim Frenzer, Wilmette’s corporation counsel…In its 5-4 opinion striking down the gun ban of Washington, D.C., the Supreme Court left municipalities some wiggle room, declaring gun control measures permissible when they include restrictions that do not unduly infringe on gun ownership…The court has not specifically determined the 2nd Amendment applies to states and municipalities, as it has with other provisions in the Bill of Rights…Wilmette, which adopted its handgun ban in 1989, had not enforced the ordinance since 2004, when the Illinois General Assembly adopted legislation to bar the village from applying it against residents using handguns to protect their property. State lawmakers took the unusual measure after Wilmette police ticketed a local man who shot an intruder in his home in December 2003. Cook County prosecutors refused to prosecute homeowner Hale DeMar , who was assessed a $750 fine by the village. Village President Chris Canning said police had issued fewer than a dozen handgun violation tickets in nearly two decades. “Ultimately, it was more symbolic” than anything else, he said.

Wilmette is the home of Homer’s Ice Cream , Loyola Academy and Regina Dominican High School.

Posted by: ohrealy at April 10, 2009 8:43 PM
Comment #279990

Well dbs, I didn’t say anything about concealed carrying….if it’s laying on the seat, it isn’t concealed. But, I do qualify to carry concealed through peace officer status.

Posted by: jane doe at April 10, 2009 10:14 PM
Comment #279991

gergle
Again. Whether you believe the 2nd says what it says is politically irrelevent. The Supreme court believes it as do a whole lot of Americans. There is no point in pursuing gan bans etc. All they do is stir up opposition. They do not save lives and in some circumstances ,cost lives.NYC has banned hand guns since the 30s. That explains the low murder rate there,right? The NRA has a point. Gun laws only effect law abiding people by definition. If we really want to reduce crime and prepare the country for a globalized future we need to improve the social net and gun control has the potential to weaken and delay the effort.

Posted by: bills at April 10, 2009 10:23 PM
Comment #279993

jane doe

don’t know to many people who drive around with a gun laying on the seat, doesn’t to seem to smart. someones liable to get the wrong idea. i assumed you were reffering to ccw. where i live anyone who isn’t a felon, and passes the background check can get one. thus far it’s not a problem. it’s criminals carrying guns that bothers me, and they don’t bother to get permits, because, well they’re criminals. i like the idea of the good guys having guns too. unfortunately our current president doesn’t. for me and many others thats a problem. thats one of my biggest beefs with him and, the extreme left wing of the democrat party. just one of the many reasons i left california after 46 years.

Posted by: dbs at April 10, 2009 11:04 PM
Comment #279994

bills

what? something else we agree on? wow. i’m glad to hear it. now if we can just the folks in DC to stop the gun control nonsense.

Posted by: dbs at April 10, 2009 11:10 PM
Comment #279996

dbs, I’m actually not arguing this whole-heartedly, because I do believe in having guns. But we need some control. I worked long enough in law enforcement and am completely familiar with the DROS forms…what their intent is and the need to have certain information they provide. And yes, the CCW permits..are not that easy to get here any more. California releases the permits by county, through the Sheriff’s Offices. They are elected, so just depends on which way the political winds are blowing.
Worked too long in enforcement to go without some real effort to keep guns out of the hands of people who want to do harm and hurt others.

Posted by: jane doe at April 11, 2009 12:14 AM
Comment #279999

dbs

And I am not the only Dem that believes that. There really is no great reason to expect a big gun control push from BHO or congress at this point.There is an attempt by right wing propagandist to stir up fear as a means of creating a general opposition to needed reforms. There are a lot of single issue voters around the gun issue. Don’t fall for it. If your guns in the pawnshop it doesn’t do you much good either.

Posted by: bills at April 11, 2009 2:30 AM
Comment #280000

Dbs,
Why I would have voted against any bill that does not properly define self-defense, I do believe that President Obama takes his stance against guns in about the same way that you do. For why should a criminal be allowed to carry a weapon, but the average law abbiding America is told no by Society as a Whole?

No, like breaking down in bear country I do believe if more Americans had a rifle within arms reach that the criminals would be outgunned anytime they went to break the law. And why that is not seen as PC these days, I do believe that if the Government and/or Society really cares about the killings and terror caused by the criminals having better weapons than the local police than they would make it almost impossible for a person to buy and store the bullets while letting them keep their guns. For have you ever tried to go bang bang and watch a four legged critter fall down?

So, why the right attempts to paint President Obama as the man who is going to take their guns. Would you care to explain to me why the Conservative Movement and the NRA want to obstruct Law Enforcement from being able to take the weapons out of the hands of criminals?

Because go to a gun show or store and tell them you want to purchase 100 AK47s with ammunition, but be warned it may set off alarms. Yet, with all the guns crossing the border to arm the Cartels I would like to see the sales slips that show the weapons were purchased one at a time. For according to some that would take away your rights to own guns would it not?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at April 11, 2009 3:27 AM
Comment #280003

gain, the only people effected would be law abiding Americans.

Posted by: bills at April 11, 2009 7:10 AM
Comment #280004

jane doe

as far as i know, the main reason for the 4472 is for the purpose of running the sale through nics. the forms are required to be kept for one year and can then be destroyed. once someone is cleared there is no good reason for keeping that information unless the gov’t at some later point wants the ability to confiscate that weapon.

your absolutely right about the ccw process in california, it’s discretionary. the problem is getting a permit is all but impossible. i lived in orange county one of the easier places to obtain one but it still wasn’t akin to shall issue which IMO should be the law. just try and get one in LA county won’t happen in a million years.

i don’t want guns ending up in the hands of criminals either. the problem is most laws do nothing but make it hard for the law abbiding to obtain them. most criminals don’t go to the local gun store and fill out a 4472.

Posted by: dbs at April 11, 2009 7:36 AM
Comment #280005

henry

i appreciate that you support the right of law abbiding people to posses weapons. the problem is that registration laws, and gun laws in general only affect those obtaining guns legally.

as far as the cartels getting guns from the US that has been overblown, and used by AG holder to try and reinstate the clinton gun ban. the truth is most of the AK47s possesed by the cartels are chinese made sold in south america, and transported into mexico. the others have been obtained from those who have deserted from the mexican army. we sell them M16s. none of the select fire weapons possesed buy the drug cartels can be purchased by you, and i here with out a class 3 firearms license, you can’t just walk into a store and purchase one. the national firearms act of 1934 made it illegal to posses, or tranfer an automatic weapon without a treasury tax stamp. since then other laws have been added to the books, and it is virtually impossible to by an automatic weapon in the US, and anyhting manufactured before i believe 1968 is covered by the nfa, and as of @ 1968 the treasury dept no longer issues those permits, the old ones are grandfathered.

Posted by: dbs at April 11, 2009 7:57 AM
Comment #280016

The NRA pushes for laws that would, in effect, encourage the formulation of citizen armies. Those armies, likely funded by rich white dudes, could arm with virtually any and all types of arms.

If the NRA would stick to the second it would not set off so many alarms and there would likely be less enthusiasm in the anti-gun group.

That being said, the right is blowing Obama’s stance on private gun ownership way the hell out of kelter. It’s merely a political strawman dreamed up by Republican scarecrows.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 11, 2009 11:24 AM
Comment #280022

Crooks, Thieves, Liars, and Tramps. The following is an excerpt from the NY Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/11/business/economy/11bank.html?_r=1&th&emc=th

“Douglas Leech, the founder and chief executive of Centra Bank, a small West Virginia bank that participated in the capital assistance program but returned the money after the government imposed new conditions, said he complained strongly about the Treasury Department’s decision to demand repayment of the warrants. That effectively raised the interest rate he paid on a $15 million loan to an annual rate of about 60 percent, he said.

“What they did is wrong and fundamentally un-American,” he said. “Even though the government told us to take this money to increase our lending, the extra charge meant we had less money to lend. It was the equivalent of a penalty for early withdrawal.”

Posted by: Jim M at April 11, 2009 12:57 PM
Comment #280024

dbs-
Laws are made to be broken. If a criminal is found with an illegal or stolen weapon, you can put the criminal away for that, perhaps even easier than you can for the stuff they actually did. Making it harder for criminals to get legal weaponry can make it easier for criminals to be sent away for carrying that weapon, even if no other charge sticks.

Jim M-
I’m sorry, but isn’t that a little off topic?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 11, 2009 1:55 PM
Comment #280025

M. Daugherty…you’re correct. I thought I was posting on the Republican and Conservative site under “The Transformative Path”. It must be my new lens implants recently installed. I have good and bad eye days.

Posted by: Jim M at April 11, 2009 2:10 PM
Comment #280039

I spent a good deal of time doing political organizing in California in with the Carpenter’s Union. Most,but not all, of the candidates we sought support for were Democrats as they generally take more worker friendly positions. We were dealing mostly with people in the building trades. We came across people all the time that would vote against their own best interest solely based on the percieved threat to their private gun ownership. There were times when they would support encumbents that routinely voted for measures that if passed would have cost them and their families thousands of dollars a year,for example efforts to eliminate prevailing rate and overtime regulations. It made no sense, but niether does trying to force severe gun restrictions that would have no real beneficial effect on crime rates and only make it make it more difficult to pass the kind of reforms that would. We need those voters,whether you agree with them or not.

Posted by: bills at April 12, 2009 1:29 AM
Comment #280043

Dbs,
Why I respect a Citizens Right to own and know how to properly use that weapon for gathering food or Self-Defense of their family. I do believe that short of everyone having their own micro robotic army, the better question the Hunters and True Militia Men need to answer is what will the next step in Home Armorant look like. For with weapons that can shot 100’s of rounds faster than any gunpowered bullet I wonder if any set of laws can meet the Guaranteed Civil and Constitutional Rights of “We the People’ and the need for Government and Society to keep such powerful tools of destruction out of the hands of the Phantom Enemy within and outside our borders?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at April 12, 2009 9:57 AM
Comment #280056

The 2nd amendment is outdated and the pro-gun folks always quote it as the end all of their rights to own weapons, the founding fathers never imagined in their wildest dreams that anyone from a crack dealer to a Ohio farmer could buy Mac-10s or assault rifles or RPGs. They had muskets and later on pistols, all of which fired one shot and from distance you’d be lucky to hit anything.

They were also wary of a foreign army landing on our shores, or a powerful central government enforcing it’s will on the people through force of the military. What people forget is that the military are your neighbors, friends, family, etc. Ergo, especially in America, Johnny from NYC, or Anthony from Memphis would never play enforcer of a goverment he wouldn’t have in his own town, but it’s true in many other countries as well.

Obama went to Turkey last week right? Using Turkey as an example, and that nation has a less than stellar use of it’s military at that, but it’s, manpower-wise, the 3rd or 4th most numerous in the world. Yet since that country’s independence it’s kept Turkey a secular society, and mostly democratic, as it promised to do at it’s inception. Reading that military’s history, one of the chief goals it has succeeded in is keeping Islam and religion, and any authority other than democratic authority, whether by coup or martial law, away from controlling the country.

The United States military also holds this promise, to protect their neighbors from external forces as well, and I doubt that if push comes to shove, none of the men and women in the armed forces would ever willingly and knowingly betray the trust of the people to whoever is in power.

Iraq was a hiccup though.

Posted by: Jon at April 12, 2009 6:27 PM
Comment #280057

“The NRA pushes for laws that would, in effect, encourage the formulation of citizen armies.”

really?????… what laws would those be?

” Those armies, likely funded by rich white dudes, could arm with virtually any and all types of arms.”

now who’s using the strawman? sorry but your guy is anti gun. he says one thing, but his record tells another story. call it whatever you want, but those of us who value our rights will continue holding him accountable for his actions, and calling him on his baldfaced lies.

BTW “Those armies, likely funded by rich white dudes,”

talk about paranoid dillusions.

” the right is blowing Obama’s stance on private gun ownership way the hell out of kelter. It’s merely a political strawman dreamed up by Republican scarecrows.”

his anti gun credentials are there for all to see. the fact you choose to ignore them is your business. claiming a strawman argument when one doesn’t exist, doesn’t change the truth.

Posted by: dbs at April 12, 2009 6:32 PM
Comment #280059

jon

“The 2nd amendment is outdated”

then try and have it repealed, and see how far you get.

“the pro-gun folks always quote it as the end all of their rights to own weapons, the founding fathers never imagined in their wildest dreams that anyone from a crack dealer to a Ohio farmer could buy Mac-10s or assault rifles or RPGs.”

so in your mind there’s no difference between a crack dealer, and a farmer? interesting. BTW where can you get an RPG? i mean legally. they never imagined we’d fly to the moon or drive automobiles either. BTW you can’t legally buy an assault rifle without a class 3 firearms permit. the M-16 is an assault rifle, the AR-15 is not, because it lacks one key feature an auto, or burst position on the selector. with out that feature it is a gas operated semi auto rifle, just like any semi auto hunting rifle. both operate in exactly the same fashion.


“They had muskets and later on pistols, all of which fired one shot and from distance you’d be lucky to hit anything.”

you’re right they’de have loved to had better weapons.

one other thing, you say the 2nd amend. is outdated. what will you say when someone comes along and says the 1st amend. is outdated, or how about the 5th? after all gov’t is our good friend and only has our best interest in mind, right? even when it’s run by republicans. LOL!!!!

Posted by: dbs at April 12, 2009 6:54 PM
Comment #280063

“They had muskets and later on pistols, all of which fired one shot and from distance you’d be lucky to hit anything.” You’d be surprised what a crack shot Could do with a long rifle !”“The longrifle is said by modern experts to have a range of 80 to 100 yards. This figure is meant for the normal or novice user. A trained, experienced shooter who knows how to take variables into account such as (gunpowder) load, windage, drop, etc. can easily extend the medium range of the long rifle to 400-500 yards. In 1778 at the siege of Boonesborough, Kentucky, one of the officers of the combined British/Shawnee assault force was hiding behind a tree. He stuck his head out from behind the tree and was instantly killed by a ball to the forehead fired by none other than the legendary Daniel Boone, who was known for always firing the same fixed measure load of blackpowder in his rifle. This shot was later confirmed by witnesses on both sides and the distance measured at 250 yards. Hitting a target so precisely at that range would probably make the Kentucky Rifle comparable in total effective (long) range with the British Baker rifle at 700 to 800 yards.”“” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_rifle

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 12, 2009 9:06 PM
Comment #280064

dbs-

I said the 2nd amendment was outdated, not that it needed to be repealed.

I doubt anyone here would argue that you shouldn’t be able to buy guns in America. But what kind of guns?

You can’t legally buy assault rifles, true, but apparently they’re being bought and sold on the streets in Detroit, Philadelphia, Houston and LA because the police confiscate weapons caches weekly and trace the guns back to dealers and shows around the country.

I used the musket and early pistols as examples, a citizen with a musket or long rifle couldn’t walk into a room or crowd of people and drop 10-20 people in 5 seconds. But they could defend themselves and their home with it very effectively.

I understand the right to have arms, it’s a founding principle of America, YOU have to understand why any firearm that can fire 500+/rpm
cannot be allowed to be sold without weeks and months of background checks if at all.

And if those types of regulations were in place anyway, why do dealers and scumbags here get away with spraying a house with weapons that were clearly only designed to spray a house with bullets in order to kill anyone inside.

I know how great the 2nd amendment as is looks in rural PA, or Utah, but in West Philadelphia, and LA, right now, it sucks.

Posted by: Jon at April 12, 2009 10:51 PM
Comment #280067

Jon, that’s what a lot of people aren’t willing to acknowledge or accept…it is literally called “overkill”. I can’t imagine anyone who needs and can justify the need, to possess weaponry with that kind of killing power. They are not meant for hunting anything other than two-legged animals. They are meant to kill many, and quickly, and are not associated with any sport.
The wingnuts just go bats**t crazy when they think “we” are trying to take away a Constitutional right, which we most assuredly are not.
It called reasonableness, or rationality, something which most of them can not even conceive.

Posted by: jane doe at April 12, 2009 11:17 PM
Comment #280073

Jane Doe,
Being a bad aim I need all the help that I can get hitting the target and though the Government and Society restrict me from having the weapon I really want. I am amazed that I can still purchase and own as many single shot 20mm gernade guns as I want.

Dbs,
Why I would agree that most gun laws in America are out dated, I do believe that your fear with President Obamas’ Personal Opinion in unjustice. For why should the average American have to worry about the next person who gets mad and decides to abuse their guaranteed civil and constitutional rights of owning a gun. Should not reasonable Adults be able to express their concerns without being labeled Anti-Gun?

Yes, it would be nice to see NRA and the Gun Manufactures make today’s weapons as outdated as the black powder rifles of our ancestors. However, I do believe that the Founding Fathers having foreseen the problem intentionally kept “Bullets” as part of Commerce and not the Right of the Individual for Self-Defense.

Jon,
Why the U.S. Military is a different beast, the National Gaurd being under control of the Governors is more what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they wrote the 2nd Amendment. For from invasion abroad to local gangs to Nature, herself the need to defend Ones’ Family than as well as now has to do more with “Being a Man of Freedom” than hunting or tracling down two legged critters.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at April 13, 2009 1:48 AM
Comment #280075

dbs-
One thing to keep in mind is that liberals are back in control, so eventually some kind of gun control will come about.

But do liberals really want to crack down on this?

I don’t think so. But that can change. What the NRA has been successful in doing is being too successful, building an image for gun rights folks which makes them seem out of control. It’s not merely the liberals painting of Republicans as gun nuts. The right willingly goes out and makes provocative comments in provocative situations that make them seem like they’d be in favor of guns if militias were going around door to door shooting people with machine guns.

That “cold, dead hands” rhetoric was especially unhelpful in the wake of Columbine. why not stick a sign on your backs: “out of control!”.

The NRA needs to get back, in its rhetoric and its claims, to the land of the reasonable. Otherwise, people will move to check gun rights, perhaps excessively, when the next terrible shooting happens.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 13, 2009 7:48 AM
Comment #280077

Jon

“You can’t legally buy assault rifles, true, but apparently they’re being bought and sold on the streets in Detroit, Philadelphia, Houston and LA because the police confiscate weapons caches weekly and trace the guns back to dealers and shows around the country.”

they can only be legally sold to the military, and law inforcment through and FFL. possesion of an automatic weapon without the a federal license carries a 10 year prison term. i don’t know what gun shows you’re going to, but i haven’t seen them at any of the gun shows i’ve been to, and i’ve been to many. if they are being sold on thew streets they are being smuggled in illegaly, and there are already laws on the books that cover them.

criminals don’t buy guns through legal channels, so laws that affect law abidding citizens have no effect on criminals. the purchasing of automatic weapons on the street would be concrete proof of this. any gun purchased through a dealer goes through NICS. i know i’ve sat there while the check was run on me. if there is anything questionable the sale is denied, or put opn hold until the discrepency is settled.

henry

“I am amazed that I can still purchase and own as many single shot 20mm gernade guns as I want.”

where would that be? i don’t know of anywhere you can by a grenade launcher, or grenades to fire from it. as far as i know this is illegal. i think that falls under the heading of a destructive device. the same law that prevents you from walking into a store and purchasing C-4, or dynamite. if you have proof of this i’de like to see it.


“Why the U.S. Military is a different beast, the National Gaurd being under control of the Governors is more what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they wrote the 2nd Amendment.”

no it wasn’t henry. the intention was for all citizens to be armed, in order to be a deterent to gov’t ever inslaving it’s citizenry.

“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.-Thomas Jefferson”

jane doe

“I can’t imagine anyone who needs and can justify the need, to possess weaponry with that kind of killing power. They are not meant for hunting anything other than two-legged animals. They are meant to kill many, and quickly, and are not associated with any sport.”

the 2nd amendment isn’t about hunting. never has been, never will be. remember you may one day need these weapons to protect yourself against republican tyranny ;-)


Posted by: dbs at April 13, 2009 10:38 AM
Comment #280078

stephen

your arrogance is amazing. we’re in charge so you better watch it or we’ll really restrict your rights. is that it in a nutshell? the next time republicans are runnig things ( and it will happen ) will you then have the same attitude? remember when democrats were losing election after election and everyone thought they were through as a major party? kinda like what your’re saying now. be careful it may come back and bite you in the ass.

the gun control card is just the ticket to make it happen, and the blue dogs know it, that’s why they’re are pushing back against the liberal leadership on gun control.

Posted by: dbs at April 13, 2009 10:51 AM
Comment #280079

dbs, your comment above: “your arrogance is amazing.” is in violation of WB’s rules. If you find the comment arrogant, say the comment appears arrogant to you. Do not however critique the messenger by assigning arrogance or other derogatory qualities to another WB participant.

Critique the message, NOT the messenger. Failure again to observe this rule may result in suspension of comment privileges.

Posted by: WatchBlog Manager at April 13, 2009 11:05 AM
Comment #280081

dbs-
No, that’s not it in a nutshell.

In the old days when most people lived in the country, and most people weren’t dragging around Gatling guns behind their horse, the pressures for gun control were comparatively low.

Those days are over. Society is mostly urban and suburban. When and if crime goes up, when and if we see a terrible incident, regardless of who’s in charge, the pressure on lawmakers to put restrictions on how people get guns and what guns they can get will rise.

The days when Republicans could stonewall this are over. You’ve got to consider what gameplan might be proper for these times.

This plan of essentially stoking up a panic will most likely backfire, by increasing the fervor and ranks of just the kind of organizations that give gun owners and advocates a bad name, and take actions that get people afraid.

You folks need to be reassuring, not scary. Support sensible gun control. Return to being about responsible gun ownership, less about unlimited Second Amendment rights.

Hell, the First Amendment isn’t unlimited itself. It doesn’t give you the right to wake the neighbors with a rock song at three in the morning. It doesn’t give you the right to distribute Child Pornography, or betray secrets to a foreign nation. It doesn’t give you the right to shout fire in a theatre that’s not burning. It doesn’t allow you to write up somebody else’s work as your own. It doesn’t allow you to write up somebody else’s personal story without consulting them. It doesn’t allow you to badmouth a private figure’s reputation without evidence to support your defamation.

These are a few well known exceptions to the first Amendment: Copyright, States Secrets, Trademark, Privacy, Defamation, Obscenity; Time, Place, and Manner.

If the First Amendment can have such structured exceptions, then we can talk about the Second Amendment, phrased much less absolutely, having exceptions.

The Supreme Court itself has said that gun rights are not absolute. So if you want gun laws to be sensible, practical, and advantageous to the law abiding citizens, working with others is a better idea than this antagonistic attitude that the right has assumed on gun rights.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 13, 2009 11:37 AM
Comment #280082

watchblog manager

i appologize to you and mr daugherty. i will make an exta effort to avoid this in the future.

Posted by: dbs at April 13, 2009 11:47 AM
Comment #280083

I remember Watching a Dennis Miller episode in around the mid 1990s when the Republicans took control of the congress he had Michael Douglas on his show and a Tombstone that said something to the effect that Liberalism was dead like 1933-1995.. A case for a Representative Democracy It can come back around again if they choose Unwisely. Re The Long rifle it Did the Job Back then quite effectively Not so today but i agree i don’t see the logic and reasoning for a 100-shot Thompson. in the hands of John and Jane doe no pun intended jane doe, I remember the NRA when i was little this was about 1969 -1970 we lived in a rural area and they ran courses through the sheriffs dept on gun safety and it was a all day seminar we took tests and fired a shotgun at clay pigeons and fired a hand gun i think it was a .38 special at a target and if you didn’t pass the written and field test no certificate IE you had to go back.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 13, 2009 12:30 PM
Comment #280088

stephen

true you cannot yell fire in a crowded building, inciting a riot is illegal, but can you talk, or carry on a conversation in that same building? true selling CHILD pornography is illegal, but can you sell pornagraphy on the internet?

both of these examples are examples of laws that punish the abuse of these rights. they do not limit them, or take them away because someone MIGHT abuse them. in order for them to be taken away they must FIRST be abused.

the same can be said of firearms. is it not illegal to fire a gun inside most city limits? is it not illegal to use a gun to commit robbery?

what is the common link here? these are punishments for the abuse of these freedoms. these freedoms should not be infringed unless they are abused, and then the individual who abused them should be punished not the entire population as a whole.

there are already laws on the books that punish the abuse of the 2nd amendment. we do not need to limit or take that freedom away from those who have not abused it, only those who have. if you want level harsher punishment on criminals feel free to do so, and i will support your efforts 100%, but i will not stand for the infringements on mine, when i have done nothing to abuse them.

Posted by: dbs at April 13, 2009 1:08 PM
Comment #280089

Tea anyone?

Posted by: jb at April 13, 2009 1:10 PM
Comment #280096

Stephen-

Why not bash Republicans and gun control at the same time? Because this issue is less of a left/right and more of an urban/suburban. When you speak of the NRA you are talking about a lot of good Democratic members in both House and Senate.

Here’s a copy of Ross’ letter to the AG. Note the Districts served by the signees:

Ross’ Letter to Holder

I do have a question for you. You say you are for sensible and effective gun control legislation. Would you support the return of the reinstatement of the Brady Bill in its previosly passed version?

Posted by: George at April 13, 2009 3:57 PM
Comment #280101

george

thanks for the link. i’ve contacted them for member info.

Posted by: dbs at April 13, 2009 5:04 PM
Comment #280103

What is sensible? That is the question.

Expecting sensibility from political activists who discovered privacy right in the Bill of Rights and based on that justify murder of unborn children is as reassuring as putting terrorist in charge of an airport security.

There are restrictions which exist to curb the public hazard fire arms may present. There are laws regulation possession and distribution of these weapons. Those who break those laws forgo a right to legally own a fire arm for life! I say, that is a pretty good punishment.

What we don’t need is more “sensible” laws. For example, in California, to buy an AR-15 with a pistol grip it has to have a fixed magazine and has to be loaded from the top, may not have a muzzle flash suppressor or collapsible stock. Sounds good right? Explain to me how does a fixed magazine prevent me from killing people? If I wanted to kill people I could do it with a shotgun. To be hones, a shotgun, if you remove the plug (which is required in CA so you can’t load more than 3 shots) is much better weapon for killing than an AR-15. The reason for that law was that 2 numskulls in LA robbed a bank with AK47s and extended magazines and clothed in heavy body armor. Extended load magazines are illegal, have been illegal for a long time, but those numskulls were able to buy them anyhow. So, a crime committed with the illegal weapons warranted the new regulation. This added cost to the gun and ultimately that is the idea, make guns so expensive that no one can buy them. Second stupid law restricts mounting of muzzle flash suppressors. Third is the sound suppressor law. I think our law makers have been watching too much Hollywood and not enough real life. A suppressor is more of a safety thing than a “silencer”. It reduces trauma caused by a discharge sound in enclosed environments. It doesn’t silence the shot, it reduces the sound and makes a gun more stable for shooting which increases safety. Another stupid law was to restrict sales of .50 caliber guns in California. So, guess what, you can buy exactly same weapon with a small difference instead of .50 caliber, new guns are .416 caliber. So what gives? Pretty much the same bullet, better accuracy and faster. How many people did you guys hear getting killed by .50 BMG rounds in CA? This is called self soothing.

If you want this idiots to determine what is sensible and what is not, I say no way!!! Nancy Pelosi is as sensible as that new puppy the First Family got over the weekend. If you want to see what is to come after the 4 years of Liberal rule of the Congress and the White House, come visit us in California. In San Francisco after dining at the wonderful restaurant you will have 1% mental health tax assessed to your meal. I think that is a good measure of “sensible” what you think? We have the best weather, longest coastline, everything your heart desires and we are loosing businesses and population because of sensible policies we have enacted. My wife wants to move to Idaho where lot of our friends have moved. I guess it’s turning into a new refuge for California exiles. I know of 8 companies that moved to Boise that I used to do business with. Things aren’t looking too good for sensible liberals and California.

I am biding my time. Property values are tanking so my retirement plan is very sound - invest in the real estate!!! Houses that used to be $750-800k now sell for $300-350. And the ones that used to sell for $1.2-1.5mill now are selling at $800k-1mil. This is the Peoples Republic of California. Next will be the United Socialistic States of America. I can’t wait till you guys have to pay the “mental health tax”.

Posted by: Crusader at April 13, 2009 5:38 PM
Comment #280104

dbs-
Well, here you hit upon some of the crucial points that I would make. I think you might find more people willing to consider gun rights advocates reasonable if this is what they focused on.

But I don’t think this panic about what Obama’s going to do about gun rights is all that reasonable. I think politicians and pundits are pushing these buttons in hopes of stampeding and dividing folks, inspiring more unreasoning division between Obama, his supporters, and those on the Right.

In the process, though, they’re also pushing another kind of ideological panic among those who are not so reasonable as the average Republican or Conservative, and once again, as the GOP did with Militias in the 90’s, the politicians and pundits are playing with fire.

I hope you support telling those people that Patriotism is not merely a love of a surveyed off chunk of cold earth, but the ideals of reason and accountability that the framers made central to our government, and which some, in their zeal to set things right as they see it, unthinkingly betray.

George-
I would have to review the validity and soundness of the claims made.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 13, 2009 6:08 PM
Comment #280106

Dbs,
On the 20mm, I got the information from a federal atf officer back in the 90’s when I was looking into finding out if I could lrgally purchase a 20 mm gatling gun. Now, if that law still stands after President Bush and the Republicans sweep the gun laws after 9/11 I can’t say. However, if you care to look up “Special Weapons Permits for Collectors” on the ATF website feel free. For me, I need to stay away from such activities for now.

And for Thomas Jefferson remarks on the 2nd Admendment, go look at the other comments at the time about the issue. For why last resort may keep the Authority of Government & Society in checkmate. I do believe that you will be amazed at how the conversation today refelcts the same concerns that the Founding Fathers of America had when they debated the issue.

For knowing the importance that the Minute Men played in the defense of the communities during the revolution and their ability to protect the citizens I often what the Children of the 70’s would do if they had to face the same problem today? Would they choice to attempt to disarm their citizens or would they have enough Faith in Human Nature and the Common Sense of Man to allow Individuals to bear arms. Since the alternative is to have tryanny from both sides of Mans’ Government and Society rule in the Inherent Best Interest of the Elite.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at April 13, 2009 8:01 PM
Comment #280108

“”Houses that used to be $750-800k now sell for $300-350. And the ones that used to sell for $1.2-1.5mill now are selling at $800k-1mil.”” In california it depends on the area but you’re not to far off most of them are repos and until they sell them off and while the economy is bad in california BTW It’s a nation itself that’s going to be the prices and they will recover some but not like that madness three years ago.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 13, 2009 8:38 PM
Comment #280109

henry

“I was looking into finding out if I could lrgally purchase a 20 mm gatling gun.”

are you talking about a 20mm vulcan rotary cannon? what the hell would you do with that. they mount those on aircraft like the A-10. jeez henry if you mounted it on a pickup it would flip the damn thing over if you tried to fire it.

Posted by: dbs at April 13, 2009 8:51 PM
Comment #280112

O.k. Stephen, here is the final study findings as updated in 2004:

NIJ Assessment of the Assault Weapons Ban

I’ll even link you the Brady Campain’s “talking points” on how to spin the report.


Should it be renewed, the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at
best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement. AWs were rarely used in
gun crimes even before the ban. LCMs are involved in a more substantial share
of gun crimes, but it is not clear how often the outcomes of gun attacks depend on
the ability of offenders to fire more than ten shots (the current magazine capacity
limit) without reloading.

And the reason Large Capacity Magazines (LCM’s) were used in more crimes is that the guns that came stock with LCMs were/are dirt common including the Glock, Beretta 92, Browning Hi-Powers, S&W semis, Ruger P’s, and many 1911 double stack variants. Using the LCM stats is the only way to get any meaningful crime numbers and percentages out of the banned items. When you consider that 25 million “banned” LCMs were still available for sale in 1995 (a year after the ban) plus another 4.7m were imported from 96-2000 you see that the “ban” was never a ban.

If the goal was to reduce the supply of AWs and LCMs, and the supply of AW’s and LCM’s was never reduced but was increased during the 10 years, then how can the legislation be considered sensible or effective?

Posted by: George at April 13, 2009 9:05 PM
Comment #280113

How about the A-10 warthog dbs it sat around in europe for almost twenty years before desert storm that outdated and old slow bird sure did the job if they were lucky they could hear it coming and run!

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 13, 2009 9:15 PM
Comment #280115

dbs-

Glad to help and safe shooting.

And just so I’m not considered a wing nut road block to sensible gun control, here is my suggestion: support Conceald Weapons Permits in your State.

Although I seldom conceal carry, I have happily submitted to a complete background check, fingerprinting, and qualification training provided by my local Sheriff’s office. I’ve submitted to all of these requirements because I received a benefit: the ability to conceal carry when I want and the ability to buy firearms without any further background check.

Also, prior to Clinton you could have a “kitchen table FFL” to ship and receive firearms from other dealers. Those took background checks to obtain as well. If the Federal Government allowed CWP holders to ship and receive interstate commerce, even more would sign up for them just to be able to buy guns off of the net.

There, law abbiding gun owners lining up to be checked and fingerprinted. And since my State requires me to pay a fee for the investigation ($50) it doesn’t cost the governement a dime. Won’t stop the criminals, but what law ever does?

Posted by: George at April 13, 2009 9:21 PM
Comment #280119

Footnoteon the A-10 safety is Big it’s strong”” “”Recent proof of the durability of the A-10 was shown when then-Captain Kim Campbell, USAF, flying a ground support mission over Baghdad during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, suffered extensive flak damage to her A-10. Enemy fire damaged one of the A-10’s engines and crippled its hydraulic system, forcing the back-up mechanical system to operate the aircraft’s stabilizer and flight controls. Despite this, Campbell managed to fly it for an hour and landed it safely at the air base in manual reversion mode.”“”

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 13, 2009 9:31 PM
Comment #280125

rodney

you’re right. it wasn’t pretty but it sure got the job done. kinda like having a beatup old pickup everyone makes fun of, until they need it to move.

Posted by: dbs at April 13, 2009 10:17 PM
Comment #280128

george

i’ve only been here about 6 months, but at some point i plan to apply. i also plan to continue to support of the “ca. rifle & pistol assoc.” they’ve got thier work cut out for them trying to hold off the onslaught of asinine gun control laws that seem to come up every year in ca. i can’t turn my back on the folks from my former home state, just wouldn’t be right. hell i spent most of my life there.

Posted by: dbs at April 13, 2009 10:25 PM
Comment #280133

Dbs,
Like I said I’m a bad aim; however, it was a Special Hand-held Weapon designed in the 60’s and quickly outlawed by the World for being to much of a WMD. Neat gun from a collector’s point of view, but IMHO a good rabbit gun.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at April 13, 2009 11:37 PM
Comment #280135

Henry,good god man you talking about his this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M61_Vulcan For rabbits LOL jeez the rabbits would disintegrate Poof !

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 14, 2009 1:06 AM
Comment #280137

Rodney,
Same round, but it was a hand-held anti-material weapon desigmed for urban warfare. What gave it the name gatling was it carried 8 rounds in a revoler like rig. Reports have it that it did a great job clearing huts.

As far as the Rabbit, I’ll beat Bugs that he don’t get away from me.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at April 14, 2009 3:32 AM
Comment #280144

henry

a 20mm is bigger than a 50bmg. good rabbit gun? jeeezuuus henry!

Posted by: dbs at April 14, 2009 8:21 AM
Comment #280173

Henry, A 7mm rem mag rifle BTW no lightweight uses a 175 grain at 2860 fps = 3,180 foot lbs of energy enough to knock down anything in the lower 48 with power to spare , your 20mm goes 3450 ft per second and uses a 100 gram whatever that’s over 40,000 some foot lbs of energy!

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 14, 2009 3:45 PM
Comment #280177

You guys be carefull. All this talk about guns might get you on the Departament of the Homland Security’s right-wing extreamist watch list.

I wonder if Obama will make us ware a sign so people know who is the right wing extreamist and who is just a right winger.

Posted by: Crusader at April 14, 2009 4:40 PM
Comment #280184

Like I said I’m a bad aim, but it does go to point out just why Government and Society needs to have the Authority to limit the types of weapons and ammunition available on the market.

Crusader,
Why not a Right Winger or an Extremist I’m sure the Dept. of Homeland Security already has me on a list. However, I doubt if it was President Obama who insisted that I be watched.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at April 14, 2009 8:50 PM
Comment #280193

Crusader I’m about as middle of the road as it gets and those tests say i’m 2 notches to the left. ;)

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 14, 2009 11:10 PM
Comment #280195

Crusader-
Before 9/11, the worst terrorist attack on American soil was committed by right-wing extremists from the “Patriot” movement. There’s a powderkeg sensibility among many of the people in the militia movements, and Oklahoma City gave people reason to take that threat seriously.

It doesn’t help that there’s this great hostility towards the government, which the rest of us elected of our own free will. It also doesn’t help that the Right flirts with these kinds of groups in its political passions.

Just recently, the Republicans tried to elect Vice President a Woman whose husband was a confirmed member of the Alaska Independence Party, a secessionist part of the Patriot Movement whose founder was murdered in a plastic explosives deal gone wrong.

The real question is, what do you want the face of gun ownership to be? If you take the “cold, dead hands” approach, the face of the gun rights interests will be those kinds of people, who want to maintain their rights because they’re plotting the violent overthrow of a government most people accept as legitimate.

If the Gun rights people inspire a stampede among gun nuts, they might just precipitate incidence that send the public stampeding towards the gun control advocates. You need a more robust approach, one where the low-grade anxiety about the motives and methods of the Gun Rights folks isn’t reinforced with the angry, bitter (yes, bitter) and paranoid rhetoric customary to the NRA and others as of late.

You need to take an approach where the main idea is to calm and reassure people, to work off of plainly, calmly stated principles, to pledge yourself to a milder, healthier discourse.

If the Right Wing fails to deal with the rest of America as if they are neighbors and friends, which often enough they are, they will see themselves marginalized in politics. They are trying, at this point, to build a popular revolt against the new liberalism, at a time when the majority of Americans have tired of the constraints Republicans and conservative have put on government and Americans, and not put on themselves and others when it counted.

George-
I read through some of the text in that report. It doesn’t seem to present your clear cut case against Assault weapons bans. Admittedly, though the evidence is mixed. But I’ll tell what’s making this worse: a culture where fear is the problem and guns are presented as the solution.

We’re getting too reliant on force as our means of preventing breaches of the peace. Force, when applied, must be surgical, or it causes unrest to accompany that which already exists.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 15, 2009 12:20 AM
Comment #280198

I’ve always wondered what an America that had been taken over by the Bark Shooters would be like. My speculation about it is wide and varied, and the speculating would be fun…except…it ain’t fun at all.

The only real benefit of the Second, in this modern age, is to the holier-than-thou anarchists of the far right. But, can you imagine the consequences to the country, if it was run by the Covenant Sword and the Arm of the Lord, the Posse Comitatus, the KKK or their ilk?

What would the Constitution look like if the Bark Shooters won? They may soon have all the weapons they need to accomplish the job…??? The NRA will eventually see to that.

Viva la Revolution…!!!

(:(

Posted by: Marysdude at April 15, 2009 2:07 AM
Comment #280201

PS:

Ooops! I forgot to mention the Tea Baggies…an America without taxes…hmmm…what a bunch of merry souls the Tea Baggies are.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 15, 2009 4:57 AM
Comment #280205

You meant the tea-baggers, right?

Sheesh. Folks on the right should do a google search on their new names before they push them out there. Folks on the left have laughed themselves silly over that one.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 15, 2009 8:34 AM
Comment #280206

Stephen,

I think they call themselves the Tea Party-ers…but, I don’t think they party much. You can call them the Tea Baggers if you want, but I maintain my ‘Tea Baggies’ is more appropriate…and closer to the real thing.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 15, 2009 8:48 AM
Comment #280207

stephen

the far left can disregard the eveidence that george has presented showing many democrats oppose gun control. as i’ve pointed out before many of those elected to former republican seats, are more consevative. if they are ram rodded by the far left leadership, and sign on to new gun control measures those seats will once again be lost to republicans. you may believe that democrats will be permanently, and forever in control, but remember the republicans believed the same thing. your majority can and will come to an abrupt end if you don’t pay attention, and continue to push to hard to the left. 2010 will be a disaster if reid, and pelosi disregard the concerns coming from the people of this country, and the more conservative members of thier party.

one other thing that will be a disaster for democrats will be to push for amnesty for illegals, and abandonment of the work place enforcement. the people have spoken on this one and the dem. leadership still continues to ignore them. remember what happened last time they tried this. remember the outrage.

Posted by: dbs at April 15, 2009 8:56 AM
Comment #280208

“I think they call themselves the Tea Party-ers…but, I don’t think they party much. You can call them the Tea Baggers if you want, but I maintain my ‘Tea Baggies’ is more appropriate…and closer to the real thing.”

you’re right, imagine that, people protesting the waste of thier tax money by corrupt politicians. boy what a bunch of losers. LOL!!!!!!! i just love how the left tries to make light of those who protest against thier tax and spend policies. it would be funny, if it wasn’t so lame.

Posted by: dbs at April 15, 2009 9:02 AM
Comment #280209

Stephen-

If that report, and the direct quote that I took from it above, does not convince you that the Assault Weapons Ban was never “sensible and effective”, then my only conclusion can be, as it was from the beginning, that you are just playing politics here.

Forgive me for not playing.

Posted by: George at April 15, 2009 9:04 AM
Comment #280210

George,

Playing politics with an assault weapon??? Hmmm…sounds like the NRA…

Posted by: Marysdude at April 15, 2009 9:18 AM
Comment #280211

The Tea Cuppers are after cutting taxes alright, but before you heroify them, perhaps you should find out what they are for…

In 1980, as “Gilded Age Taxation,” a study by the Institute for America’s Future shows, the richest 1% of Americans captured fully 7.7% of the nation’s after-tax income. The middle sixty percent captured about 50.9%. By 2006, the latest CBO figures show the opulent 1% — making an average $1.3 million — captured a staggering 16.3% of the nation’s income after all that tax code redistribution. While the middle sixty percent garnered only 44.1%. If class war is being waged, the rich are on the march.

Read the rest here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-l-borosage/taxing-matters_b_186962.html

Posted by: Marysdude at April 15, 2009 9:22 AM
Comment #280212

“captured a staggering 16.3% of the nation’s income after all that tax code redistribution. While the middle sixty percent garnered only 44.1%. If class war is being waged, the rich are on the march.”

income belongs to the individual who earns it. it does not belong to the NATION. it is not comunity property. want a bigger peice? go out and work for it.
BTW the huffington post is not exactly an objective source. i give it about as much credence as you would give news max. keep that in mind when quoting a source.

Posted by: dbs at April 15, 2009 10:11 AM
Comment #280213

stephen

“Sheesh. Folks on the right should do a google search on their new names before they push them out there. Folks on the left have laughed themselves silly over that one.”

you’re right stephen. we have a little store down the road that sells tea, and goes by the same name. i laugh everytime i drive by. that being said there is a populist movement that is pissed about the wasting of tax money, and it is bigger than you think. obama will not be able to push through all his objectives this time around without a severe backlash. the projected tax revenue thus far is looking worse than expected, and pushing his 3.6 trill. budget is likely to meet fierce resistance, from both sides.

Posted by: dbs at April 15, 2009 10:35 AM
Comment #280214

George-
Playing politics?

I said the evidence is mixed. It is, isn’t it? An inconclusive grab bag that both sides can pull arguments from? Were I playing politics in any real sense, I would be making an absolutist argument one way or another.

Really, levelling a charge of playing politics here is like levelling a charge of playing soccer at those who kick around a leather ball with hexagonal patches around a field without using their hands.

Okay, so I’m taking a political position, and am defending it: that we need moderate gun control, and that assault weapons bans may not be entirely without sense. Instead of pointing out the blindingly obvious, that I’m taking a position because of my political beliefs, why not discuss the issue at hand.

Obviously you’re anti-gun control. I could just as soon accuse you of playing politics, but the right response from most of the politically unaligned or independent would be to yawn and scroll down to the next bit of partisan bickering. They’ve heard our arguments before.

So let me be plain: some gun control is needed. But it should be put together with the help and the cooperations of those who know guns, know how criminals use them, and know how we can get in the way of both their legal and illegal methods of laying hold of them.

Instead of having this be an operatically fought over wedge issue, we should have it as a public policy debate that hits at the substance of a very real, very important issue.

For those who want to protect the Second Amendment rights of citizens, this will enable them to cast their movement in a responsible light, distance it from those who simply relish firepower for its own sake. For those who want to protect citizens from gun violence, there is of course an advantage in bringing the know-how of gun enthusiast to bear in enacting sensible regulation.

For everybody involved, there’s an advantage to having the issue center on the real world effects of gun control legislation, rather than on panicked emotional appeals from the extremes of both sides.

dbs-
Do me a favor: before you tap fingers to keyboard, research my actual positions, my actual statements. I believe that the Left’s hold on power can be as fragile as the Right’s has been.

Can be. Not is. You’re presupposing that your outrage will be America’s outrage, if Democrats don’t do what Republicans and conservatives want them to do. I’d say take a moment to step back and see the evidence against your argument.

Democrats have won two elections in a row. This is not a permanent, everlasting victory; no triumph in a functioning democracy can or should be such. But it does signal an inflection point for America’s sentiments. Despite what some Conservatives have convinced themselves of, this is not some temporary shift. It’s a permanent shift of the playing field. Now, if Democrats play their hand wrong, it could be a shift at their expense as well, but we haven’t really come to that point yet.

I think the GOP is too used to believe that its outrage is America’s outrage, and that moronic “silent majority” BS doesn’t help, since they can allege an unprovable well of support despite what provable measures fail to prove.

Democrats have no reason to be complacent, but we do have reason to be embolden. Americans seem to like the Congress that passes liberal legislation better than the ones that passed Conservative legislation or was filibustered into inactivity.

As for the lameness of the situation surrounding the tea party folks?

Let me sum up the lameness: the Tea Parties are an astroturfed grass roots movement, a product of a Republican establishment think-tank led by Dick Armey; They are the product of a populist revolt championed by Wall Street traders and bankers, a contradiction in terms; They are protesting tax rates lower than Reagans, even after their increase, whose effect will currently be limited to the top five percent; They are protesting pork spending from a stimulus bill which had no earmarks, whose projects have so far come in underbudget; They are protesting a stimulus bill which gave most Americans tax breaks; the whole perception of porkiness has been based on multiple claims of government waste which were either debunked with simple research on the issues at hand, or depended on fault assumptions on the part of the people making their claims.

In short, these people are being had. They are being lead to protest programs that work, tax policies that more than likely favor them, and government spending that’s actually being done responsibly.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 15, 2009 10:42 AM
Comment #280215

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090415/ap_on_go_pr_wh/obama;_ylt=Aucu52kJsv0ZxFypTiD_KCtg.3QA;_ylu=X3oDMTI4NzRxdTJuBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMDkwNDE1L29iYW1hBGNwb3MDNQRwb3MDNQRzZWMDeW5fdG9wX3N0b3JpZXMEc2xrA29iYW1hdG9zcGVhaw— I’m glad he’s going to provide some relief for the working class that’s the backbone of america the consumers the wall* mart shoppers and car buyers sending there kids to college making mortgage payments buying houses. ect ect ect ect.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 15, 2009 10:42 AM
Comment #280216

Make sure that link doesn’t hit anyone.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 15, 2009 10:44 AM
Comment #280217

stephen

my understanding is that acorn will be holding rallies today supporting the administrations tax policies. my guess would be to counter the tea parties. seems they recieve a lot of gov’t funding, and are supported by the left. would you then agree that this is more astro turf.

BTW you’re IMO over reaching in your assumptions as to why democrats have won two elections, and thier political capital is not as abundant as you believe. i think i’ve said this before. gun control is not part of that political capital, and will come back to haunt the democrats should they continue to persue it. look at the list.

can the democrats afford to lose many or possibly ALL of these seats. they need to listen to these members. not doing so will be thier demise.


“Again, we would actively oppose any effort to reinstate the 1994 ban, or to pass any similar law. We urge you to abandon this initiative and to focus instead on effective law enforcement strategies to enforce our current laws against violent criminals and drug traffickers.”

Sincerely,

1. Mike Ross (D-AR)
2. Tim Holden (D-PA)
3. Jerry Costello (D-IL)
4. Jim Matheson (D-UT)
5. Sanford Bishop (D-GA)
6. John Dingell (D-MI)
7. Marion Berry (D-AR)
8. Nick Rahall (D-WV)
9. Gene Green (D-TX)
10. Chet Edwards (D-TX)
11. Ciro Rodriguez (D-TX)
12. Gene Taylor (D-MS)
13. Bart Stupak (D-MI)
14. Collin Peterson (D-MN)
15. Harry Teague (D-NM)
16. John Tanner (D-TN)
17. Allen Boyd (D-FL)
18. Dennis Cardoza (D-CA)
19. Eric Massa (D-NY)
20. Steve Kagen, M.D. (D-WI)
21. Betsy Markey (D-CO)
22. Paul Hodes (D-NH)
23. Ron Kind (D-WI)
24. Peter Welch (D-VT)
25. Leonard Boswell (D-IA)
26. Tim Ryan (D-OH)
27. Walt Minnick (D-ID)
28. John Boccieri (D-OH)
29. Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
30. Tom Perriello (D-VA)
31. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND)
32. Ben Chandler (D-KY)
33. Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
34. Debbie Halvorson (D-IL)
35. Travis Childers (D-MS)
36. Tim Walz (D-MN)
37. Peter DeFazio (D-OR)
38. Solomon Ortiz (D-TX)
39. Paul Kanjorski (D-PA)
40. Rick Boucher (D-VA)
41. Mike McIntyre (D-NC)
42. John Murtha (D-PA)
43. Bart Gordon (D-TN)
44. Zach Space (D-OH)
45. Alan Mollohan (D-WV)
46. Lincoln Davis (D-TN)
47. Artur Davis (D-AL)
48. Charlie Melancon (D-LA)
49. John Barrow (D-GA)
50. Christopher Carney (D-PA)
51. Dan Boren (D-OK)
52. Parker Griffith (D-AL)
53. Charlie Wilson (D-OH)
54. Heath Shuler (D-NC)
55. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD)
56. Jim Marshall (D-GA)
57. Jason Altmire (D-PA)
58. Larry Kissell (D-NC)
59. John Salazar (D-CO)
60. Brad Ellsworth (D-IN)
61. Frank Kratovil (D-MD)
62. Glenn Nye (D-VA)
63. Bobby Bright (D-AL)
64. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ)
65. Joe Baca (D-CA)


Posted by: dbs at April 15, 2009 11:15 AM
Comment #280218

dbs-
The tendency of some to argue by mirror image can get annoying, and this is not an exception here.

To Astro Turf is to pretend that your group is a spontaneous creation of grassroots activism when its not. If ACORN is openly organizing protests, that’s not astroturfing, because they’re not trying to convince you that this was the sudden result of collective consensus on the part of a few commited activists.

Meanwhile, the impetus for the Tea Parties begins with a number of conservative and right-wing organizations, already established, who did their best to conceal their involvement.

It is that deceptiveness that makes something astroturf, where people are not given the opportunity to know who’s paying the bills, or who’s setting the thing up.

ACORN’s not hiding their involvement, nor organizing things to fund a group on the down-low.

As for government funding? I imagine they get some. But in the past, your people have overestimated it. The Republican Congress members peddled a claim that ACORN was getting 4 billion dollars. Turned out they weren’t even interested in the program, which was arguably very stimulative in that it was designed to keep home prices in high foreclosure neighborhoods from being dragged down by derelict houses.

If I’m overestimating Obama’s capital, why does he remain popular and well supported, even as he openly pushes a liberal agenda? What are we supposed to measure political capital by here, Republican claims about America’s center-right disposition that surveys of political opinion contradict consistently nowadays?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 15, 2009 11:40 AM
Comment #280221

stephen

“The tendency of some to argue by mirror image can get annoying, and this is not an exception here.”

i certainly beg your pardon sir.

you know what else is annoying when evidence that supports that obamas popularity is declining ( such as was posted by rhinehold ) is ignored because someone wish’s it not to be so. i might add that the proof of gun control not being part of the dems political capital is there for all to see,by the shear # of disenting voices in thier own party.

go ahead with the arrogant belief that the dems political capital is what ever they choose it to be. personally i prefer gridlock in gov’t, and thats exactly what we’ll have when the misreading of thier mandate costs them seats in the next election cycle.


Posted by: dbs at April 15, 2009 12:16 PM
Comment #280225
government spending that’s actually being done responsibly.

?

I have to remember to not read this blog during my lunch hour, I nearly lost my lunch. :(

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 15, 2009 12:47 PM
Comment #280226

dbs-
Gallup Tracking Poll had him at 69% at his most popular. He’s never dropped lower than ten points from that mark, and currently resides at 62% approval.

Where do you find this precipitous crash in his job ratings? His popularity has declined slightly from incredibly popular, to merely very popular. It’s not really gone anywhere from there, despite the blistering best efforts of the right to take him down every rung they can.

Rhinehold can post evidence of a small drop in popularity, but why do I have to grant him a collapse in support for Obama when one doesn’t exist? Obama’s done everything he said he would do in the election, and still has more than sixty percent approval in many polls. At worst, he polls in the high fifties.

His performance on the economy polls high, despite the fact that he’s pushing one of the most liberal economic policies since Carter. If the Reagan Revolution were still in full swing, Obama would be dropping below fifty, on this and other issues.

That’s not happening.
A Pew Research poll asked the confidence people had in Washington leaders on the economy. 32% said they had a great deal of confidence, and 38% said they had a fair amount of confidence in Barack Obama’s economic leadership.

That means, despite everything he’s said, seven out of ten people have more trust in Obama’s leadership on the matter than not. The Democratic Leaders in Congress enjoy a 17-38 split along those lines: 55% register more confidence than uncertainy in their leadership.

The Republicans, who have made their objections clear? measured along those lines, they have a 7-31 split, which means they are ten points worse on high confidence and and several points down on the moderate confidence numbers. Worse yet, they “enjoy” a rating of 33% moderate and 24% extreme lack of confidence in their leadership. That’s 57% of Americans who express some sort of low confidence in the GOP’s leadership on the economy.

Keep in mind: this poll is recent. 54% believe Obama’s explained his position well. The Republicans score 59% in the other direction for their explanation of their opposition. A full two thirds are optimistic about Obama’s economic plans. They’re even 54% optimistic that it will help to reduce the deficit! And that’s with 59% backing more spending.

Good heavens, dbs. Folks aren’t even on the fence on economic policy, after months worth of tea parties and Republicans running around in circles.

And as for guns?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 15, 2009 12:53 PM
Comment #280227

Dear Stephen,

I think the saying is “beware of Greeks carrying gifts!”

The fact that you and others think it is somehow ok to “define” what is my constitutional right is worrisome to say the least. The founding fathers thought this right to be important enough to put not under the “implied” rights such as 9th amendment, but dedicate a whole separate amendment to define it. Yet some supposed do gooders want to make sure that my right is “allowed” with-in a framework of a “sensible” laws. My question is WHY?

If we are making constitutional amendments, let’s stick to the constitutional process and not mess with some back door political games. If “the rest of America” is for this, you shouldn’t have a problem getting the super majority to agree to the gun control. Be my guest.

If you would like to compare me to some nut job who blow innocent people up, than I am sure you wouldn’t have a problem if I compared you to those ATF agents who killed innocent 13-year old Sammy Weaver, Vicki Weaver, Kevin Harris and Randy Weaver. What will this name calling get us?

Now, if you ask me, government massacring 4 of its citizens without a due process is far more troubling than an isolated incident of a nut job blowing up a federal building. I hear the liberal’s often quote the words spoken by an English jurist William Blackstone “Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer”. Yet somehow these words only apply to one side and not the other.

As a conservative I am guilty until I prove myself to be “acceptable” to the libs. If you think that reports released by the Department of the Homeland Security is a fair one, I don’t see how we can have any further discussions. I wonder if ACLU will come out against this report because it violates one of the principles of our jurisprudence - presumption of innocence.

Today, I am going to the tea party and guess what, I will be wearing a Star of David on my jacket, that way local law enforcement shouldn’t have a hard time keeping an eye on me because as of yesterday I have realized that I am a responsible gun owner who served this great country in Afghanistan, who is “stockpiling” guns and ammo, who is against killing of an innocent child and who is against illegal immigration. This makes me a right wing extremist. My wife will ware the similar star because she is a “single issue voter” and opposes killing of innocent unborn children. And my son’s will ware the stars as well because they are guilty by default for being raised in my wife’s and my household.

Posted by: Crusader at April 15, 2009 12:56 PM
Comment #280228

Rhinehold-
That’s what Obama said at least. I actually heard an NPR report about the discount rates the contractors are charging to get the business.

But oh well, lose your lunch at the thought of government making better use of its money if you care to.

dbs-
On the subject of guns, Americans favor some gun control measures by huge majorities, are split on others, and generally oppose outright bans.

I think the question of the political consequences of gun control legislation is primarily a local and parochial matter, and will effect the Democrats mostly at the margins of the party if they do something.

There’s no great push for gun control, but that could change easily if the crazy doesn’t tone itself down among those who oppose gun control. Very few people support the liberalization, so to speak, of gun ownership.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 15, 2009 1:05 PM
Comment #280231

Crusader-
Mister, I am a full proponent of the first Amendment, an advocate for the liberalization of content on TV, with the inclusion of ratings to allow parents to monitor and exclude content.

But I nonetheless recognize certain limitations on the first amendment as legitimate, because the right cannot exist in a vacuum.

The firepower of today’s weapons puts the weapons of colonial times to shame. Six shots a minute was good. Now six shots in a couple seconds is fully possible with a modern assault weapon.

I don’t believe this invalidates the second amendment. It just means we have to use our good judgment to preserve that right by sensible limitations.

As far as the Weavers go? Only two of those people were killed.

In addition to one federal agent.

Call it a siege. That’s proper. Call it excessive force on law enforcement’s part. I’ll back that.

But calling it a massacre? No. I call it a complicated situation made worse by both side’s belligerence to one another.

You downplay the worst terrorist attack on American soil prior to the 9/11 attacks. Let me repeat that: you downplay the worst terrorist attack on American soil prior to the 9/11 attacks. If this is what a lone nut is capable of, then what are the rest of these people, arming for the apocalypse and ranting against the Zionist Occupation Government, or advocating for Secession from the US capable of?

Our constitution compels our government to protect America from its enemies, both foreign and domestic. If the government ignored a source of threats that once before proved to be so lethal, wouldn’t it be remiss? They did it for the Left, why not the Right?

As for that Report?

Well here’s the thing: you seem a smart enough person, but you failed to realize that two of the people involved in that Ruby Ridge incident were still alive. Hell, Randy Weavers shown up in the media a few times since then.

Now you offer up the presumption of innocence. Well, tell me then: has anybody actually charged you with a crime and convicted you on the spot?

NO. They’ve just issued a report that says that folks on the extreme right are getting a bit rowdier, and might be recruiting amongst veterans like yourself.

For my part, I can’t figure out why the Right’s going the way its going. The Republicans take over completely, and Democrats like myself take to the internet to inform and opine. Rather than advocate violent overthrow, we advocate peaceful transition of power. And we got it.

If you folks would calm down for a second, you would realize that playing the longer game, ingratiating yourselves back into the good graces of the rest of the country would be the better plan. Instead, you’re complaining about higher taxes when most Americans will see lower taxes this year. You’re complaining about poor oversight and government waste after six years of nonexistant oversight from the Republicans with Bush. You’re complaining about spending after Bush broke the bank, and the GOP repeatedly raised the credit limit to enable his raising of the debt.

Where’s the oxygen in the room for this movement?

I highly doubt people will be as interested in you as you would like them to be. I would worry, though, about how some of the Tea-Party folks would regard Star of David patches. There are folks from the militia movements there, and some of them believe in funny little things like the Zionist Occupation Government. Good luck explaining to those types why we should be defending Israel. The infamous Turner Diaries depict the violent overthrow of the American government, capped off with the deliberate and complete nuking of Israel by the triumphant forces.

Now do you understand why we get nervous about these people?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 15, 2009 2:02 PM
Comment #280233

Oh, well, if Obama said it, it must be the case. How silly of me to think that borrowing trillions of dollars was responsible.

BTW, I noticed in his speech the other night he blamed Bush for the problems we have now because of his increasing the debt, just minutes after saying that we need to fix our economic woes by … increasing the debt.

And no one called him on it.

It’s like I am living in bizzaro world…

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 15, 2009 2:07 PM
Comment #280234

A bit of perspective on why it’s not so wise for the folks on the Right to get outraged about this:

Now, given this, are liberal media figures, pundits, bloggers, and talk-show hosts likely to throw a complete fit? It seems unlikely, for one simple reason: I don’t think DHS is referring to liberal media figures, pundits, bloggers, and talk-show hosts.

It’s what struck me as so strange yesterday. When DHS raised concerns about radical right-wing extremists who might commit acts of violence, Limbaugh, Hannity, Dobbs, Malkin, and others immediately thought, “Wait, maybe they’re talking about us!”

With DHS also concerned about “left-wing extremists,” it seems mainstream liberals aren’t especially concerned about being lumped in with a violent fringe.

So I pose this question to conservatives: aren’t you protesting just a bit much? You aren’t right-wing extremists, right? You aren’t advocating the violent overthrow of the rightfully elected government, right?

We don’t have any reason to be concerned about your intentions, unless there’s something about those intentions we don’t know about. Is there?

If you don’t care to be associated with nuttiness, feel free to disown it at your earliest convenience, and embrace greater moderation, or at least the peaceful advocation of whatever radical ideas you think are good for the country.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 15, 2009 2:10 PM
Comment #280236

Stephen,

While I am not concerned about the DHS documents, I find them humorous and typical for this administration, it is interesting to note that I fall into several of the categories mentioned, being a former military individual with a desire to see state’s rights reinstated as constitutionally proscribed. Apparently those are triggers…

There is a difference between being a right wing extremist and being labelled as one… The underlying push as I see it is similar to what you have been attempting to do for a while, lump anyone who disagrees with the current administration into the same ‘crazy’ stewpot and dismiss their concerns as radical, nutjob or irrelevant.

And no, I will not be ‘embracing moderation’. BTW, it should be noted that by becoming a member of the Libertarian Party, we have to take an oath of non-violence. I wonder if any exceptions in that little document were included for us?

Finally, it is laughable that the Libertarian party are considered ‘right wing’ when we are socially liberal (more so than most democrats) and expouse the ideals that were labelled as liberal before the progressives, statists and socialists took over the Democratic party a few shortish decades ago. The only think the Libertarian party has in common with the right is that we both still believe in a capitalist market, which many on the left are attempting to tear down piece by piece.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 15, 2009 2:25 PM
Comment #280237

BTW, I will most likely post this on my site proudly…

http://reason.com/terroristquiz/?u=d5266e73dc6a5d87d0657367ed7464e8

Because it’s FUNNY! Well, I have to laugh at least, while I still can…

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 15, 2009 2:29 PM
Comment #280238

Rhinehold-
By “no-one called him on it”, you do mean nobody you’ve listened to, right?

There are plenty of people who spoke with concern about the matter, ranging all over the ideological spectrum. But plenty more acknowledge that there’s a difference between Bush’s situation and Obama’s.

Such as this. Bush lead a growing economy, where the deficit spending posed an inflationary problem. Now, the opposite problem looms, And it is a problem.

The problem is, there’s not enough demand, and reducing the government’s demand for things in a deflationary economy is not helpful. The last thing the government needs to do at this point is cut back. That has to wait until we’re out of the deflationary slump.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 15, 2009 2:34 PM
Comment #280239

Stephen,

I’m confused… Bush lead a growing economy… So, the fact that he inherited a deficit and then had to get the economy through 9/11, the standstill that occurred immediately after, the loss of several airlines, etc…

Yeah, he had a freakin’ walk in the park compared to the manufactured crisis we have now that could have been mostly averted by changing some accounting rules 9 months ago. What was I thinking?

Of COURSE people are cutting back, they’ve been scared to death by our ‘leaders’ for the past year so that an election could be won. People are cutting up credit cards and getting rid of their debt and THANK god for that. We will be healthier for it, individually, except for the enormous debt we will have to pay in taxation to give China a bunch of money so that we can keep some unions happy…

But, tell me Stephen, can’t we just keep going at the old rate? You say we can’t ‘cut back’, and if I were to agree with you (which I don’t), did we have to step on the gas with a lead foot?

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 15, 2009 2:43 PM
Comment #280240

rhinehold

UHHH..OHHH.

http://www.reason.com/terroristquiz/?u=85afaab5f3b6a638269e33d12da2fedf

Posted by: dbs at April 15, 2009 2:49 PM
Comment #280241

Rhinehold-
You haven’t happened to have read them, have you?

It’s some basic “duh” stuff. Nothing much you probably haven’t heard from elsewhere. The key is, that for some reason, the Glen Becks and Rush Limbaughs of the world think it’s about them.

Why is that?

There are two alternatives: either the Republicans are fishing for sympathy, exploiting a legitimate memo about extremist activity to make themselves look like victims, or the leaders really are trying to play towards people sympathetic to these cause as their base.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 15, 2009 2:58 PM
Comment #280242

Rhinehold-
He inherited a deficit? Not if you take Bush’s own numbers seriously. Remember, he used the Trust-Fund, too. But I guess this is another annoying example of argument by mirror. At the very least, if we’re going to insist on leaving the trust fund money out, Clinton left Bush a deficit that was manageable.

Nothing of the kind can be said for Bush. War, Bailouts, tax cuts aimed at the upper class, entitlements expansion- the growth of deficit spending under Bush was undeniable, and any equivalence of the kind you’re suggesting just doesn’t fit the evidence.

9/11 wasn’t what killed the economy. Enron and the like did. 9/11 was just a bump in the road, economically speaking. It didn’t damage lending, it didn’t really impact GDP on a sustained basis, and employment remained pretty much full. People just invested less after they saw so much wealth in the market simply disappear.

Same is happening this time, only it’s much worse.

Companies with healthy bottom lines are finding themselves in bankruptcy, because they’re being denied the lines of credit that allow them to meet payroll and maintain inventory. When people don’t get paid and goods don’t get bought on this account, the effects are real.

Why are you having such a hard time accepting the fact that this isn’t simply some political conspiracy here, that the problem is real?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 15, 2009 3:12 PM
Comment #280243

So, what you are saying is we shouldn’t have a republic and we should have a direct democracy right? I want you to understand the full weight of that question.

James Madison wrote :”AMONG the numerous advantages promised by a well constructed Union, none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction…
By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community…
The inference to which we are brought is, that the causes of faction cannot be removed, and that relief is only to be sought in the means of controlling its effects…
When a majority is included in a faction, the form of popular government, on the other hand, enables it to sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest both the public good and the rights of other citizens. To secure the public good and private rights against the danger of such a faction, and at the same time to preserve the spirit and the form of popular government, is then the great object to which our inquiries are directed…
A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking… however small the republic may be, the representatives must be raised to a certain number, in order to guard against the cabals of a few; and that, however large it may be, they must be limited to a certain number, in order to guard against the confusion of a multitude.
In the extent and proper structure of the Union, therefore, we behold a republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government. And according to the degree of pleasure and pride we feel in being republicans, ought to be our zeal in cherishing the spirit and supporting the character of Federalists.” Federalist X

Now, let’s translate it for those who choose to ignore the wisdom of our founding fathers. The Union was created to guard against the tendency of the federal government to usurp the power and a representative republic guards against the passions of the majority which might adversely impact the rights of the citizens.

So, those who keep posting the “poll” results in support of the crazy policies of the President, read the fricking constitution and the thoughts that went behind that document. We are not a direct democracy. We are a representative republic. We are also a federation of 50 states. The US Constitution doesn’t give the right to the population of California to dictate what Texans should do and vice versa. The 10th amendment guarantees that all is retained which has not been surrendered. Which means that Federal government can not and must not extend its influence beyond what constitution allows it to do. So, those who argue that popular opinion is on the side of Obama can’t deny that popular opinion isn’t always correct. Examples are many! That is the reason why the founding fathers put the safeguards in the US Constitution.

Posted by: Crusader at April 15, 2009 3:22 PM
Comment #280244

Stephen-

O.k., first of all I’m not anti-gun control at all. Like I said, I’ve submitted to a background check, fingerprinting, and training. What I am against is laws that impact legal gun owners like me yet have no statistical impact on criminals. The Assault Weapons Ban was one of them, and I provided the final report of its impact, not the NRA’s conclusions but those of academia (Penn). You can say that it’s a mixed report all you want, if the goal is to reduce gun violence then the quote above is all you need to take from it: -Should it be renewed, the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement. And that’s stretching the truth!

If you are supporting other “sensible and effective” gun legislation that’s one thing. But if you are supporting the reinstatement of the Brady Assault Weapons Ban, then you are just going along for a political ride with your party courtesy of an advocacy group that believes guns have no place in our society.

Take a look at this article , the three responses, and then the closing rebuttal. Kate’s argument is a lot like mine towards your position; that is only ostensibly with crime and is more about something else (in our case politics). Prove me wrong Stephen. Reject the Assault Weapons Ban and lets both support “sensible and effective” gun control measures aimed not at law abiding citizens but at criminals. Support shall issue concealed carry laws and I will support greater restrictions on private party transfers (the real problem anyway).

Until then don’t be surprised at my cynical view of your intentions here.

Posted by: George at April 15, 2009 3:29 PM
Comment #280245
He inherited a deficit?

Yes

Not if you take Bush’s own numbers seriously.

Who said I did?

Remember, he used the Trust-Fund, too.

Yup, he was wrong as well.

But I guess this is another annoying example of argument by mirror.

Not really, both were bad, Clinton left office in the middle of a recession (almost, a squeaker of a 4th quarter increase prevented the technical recession from being called) and watched as the .com bubble that helped him lower the deficit burst and took away any argument to a surplus that they could have had.

At the very least, if we’re going to insist on leaving the trust fund money out, Clinton left Bush a deficit that was manageable.

Yea, and a recession.

Nothing of the kind can be said for Bush. War, Bailouts, tax cuts aimed at the upper class, entitlements expansion- the growth of deficit spending under Bush was undeniable, and any equivalence of the kind you’re suggesting just doesn’t fit the evidence.

Who is denying it?

9/11 wasn’t what killed the economy.

Huh? The economy was at a near standstill for months after 9/11. It came back into improvement by 2004. Enron was a gnat of a fly’s butt…

Companies with healthy bottom lines are finding themselves in bankruptcy, because they’re being denied the lines of credit that allow them to meet payroll and maintain inventory. When people don’t get paid and goods don’t get bought on this account, the effects are real.

Those aren’t healthy bottom lines, Stephen, if you need ongoing loans to make payroll.

Why are you having such a hard time accepting the fact that this isn’t simply some political conspiracy here, that the problem is real?

I never said the problem wasn’t real, but why can’t you accept the fact that had the recommendations to lighten up on mark-to-market rules been enacted last September, not last month, we would have had a much lesser recession and been on the road to recovery much sooner than now? The fact that once it was done the market started to rebound and banks found themselves able to lend more money bears this out.

Why aren’t those that refused to heed the warnings of the economists who demanded this occur being held accountable for the depth and breadth of what should have been an isolated issue?

BTW, how much of our borrowed tax money did the administration spend to keep GM from going into bankruptcy just to say a couple of months later that they should do just that? Do we get that money back? Is that ‘responsible spending’ of our borrowed money?

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 15, 2009 3:35 PM
Comment #280246

I forgot to add HA HA HA….. they are trying to take our guns away

Posted by: George at April 15, 2009 3:37 PM
Comment #280252

Crusader-

So, what you are saying is we shouldn’t have a republic and we should have a direct democracy right? I want you to understand the full weight of that question.

I don’t need to answer this question here. Just go through my hundreds of posts: I practically worship checks and balances. When America wants gridlock, it gets it!

It doesn’t want gridlock. I cite the polls so I’m not just pulling sentiments out of my ear. This not merely a “poll”. This is a well respected public opinion outlet. Similar results have come from well regarded polling outlets. It’s not somebody monkeying with the numbers.

We Democrats appealed to Americans to help us move our agenda forward. We could have been rebuffed, and we may still be if things go wrong. But for the time being, the consensus is with us.

That is what you face. I don’t blame you that you’re not giving up, but then again, people like me didn’t give up throughout the Clinton and Bush years, and it took twelve years to regain the majority, and two presidential elections to beat Bush’s wing of his party, despite all their failures. You’re expecting people to just spring back, lash back and for everything to return to normal. I’d say its unrealistic to expect that. It never happened for my people.

Rhinehold-
It’s disingenuous to compare what Clinton left Bush to what Bush left Obama. At worst Clinton gave Bush about 32 billion in leftover deficits.

Compare that to the hundreds of billions of dollars that Bush left Obama, and the weakness of that argument becomes readily apparent.

As for the Economy, the dot-com bubble and Enron collapse were the cause of most of those problems. While 9/11 did cause serious damage to the markets, the stock markets don’t necessarily square with the rest of the economy in terms of economic problems. The 1987 crash, for example, left the rest of the economy mostly intact.

You’ve got to help out here, because there is something mystifying me: True, the dot-com bust tooke the air out of the economy at the end of the decade, but up to that point, it was year after year of solid growth. did all that growth just not happen, that historic ten year period? In the meantime, Bush’s economy was always reeling from one disaster to another. If it wasn’t an energy crisis, it was a corporate finance fiasco. If it wasn’t that, it was a natural disaster that the Bush administration drug its feet on.

Why does the Democrat not get credit for stable management of the country and the economy?

As for the bottom lines of companies with lines of credit, I think you badly misunderstand here how today’s economy has been engineered, thanks to your successfully applied free market principles. Credit was a common way of floating the costs of running businesses. Good business that hit their sales targets and profit targets used it on a regular basis. It wasn’t being blown on hats.

Their crime, if we could call it that, was adapting their business model to an age of easily available credit. And for this crime, the crime of following the will of the market, these people, most of whom were spot on paying back what they owed, are being denied the credit necessary to continue operations.

It’s interesting that you pivot on this mark-to-market point, because pushing people off that standard actually lets people claim any value on an asset that they think reasonable. It’s not necessarily any better than mark to market, as bad as it is. It does, however, let banks redefine their toxic assets. The question is, does it redefine them properly, or is this just going to become another mess of accounting fantasy?

As for GM, it seems like you folks can’t be pleased. Would you prefer a precipitous collapse at the start, or an endless bailout on the other side? We’re trying our best to make a practical government work, instead of basing all our decision on ideologicial talking points.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 15, 2009 4:30 PM
Comment #280265
It’s disingenuous to compare what Clinton left Bush to what Bush left Obama.

Only if you are trying to defend similar actions by a guy you like and a guy you don’t like. I didn’t vote for either one and have no skin in the game, so yeah, I can say that increasing the debt every year in office is a bad thing. I give credit to Clinton and the Republican congress for trying to do a good job, but they had very favorable conditions in their favor as well. But it doesn’t alter the fact that the economy was failing in 2001 when Bush took office. In fact, that was one of the main reasons he won election.

At worst Clinton gave Bush about 32 billion in leftover deficits.

Wow, that’s almost like making a profit! What was the debt then btw?

Compare that to the hundreds of billions of dollars that Bush left Obama, and the weakness of that argument becomes readily apparent.

Let’s see, my argument is that Bush had to deal with a deficit and a failing economy, followed very quickly by a very large manmade disaster that could have crippled the US (there was that talk at the time, remember?) It doesn’t excuse the fact that he ran up a debt worse than any Democrat before him, but that was just because he got elected before Obama…

I don’t see how my ‘argument’ falls flat in any way. Unless you think I am somehow defending Bush’s spending policies? In which case you’re barking up the wrong tree…

As for the Economy, the dot-com bubble and Enron collapse were the cause of most of those problems. While 9/11 did cause serious damage to the markets, the stock markets don’t necessarily square with the rest of the economy in terms of economic problems. The 1987 crash, for example, left the rest of the economy mostly intact.

Enron left most of the economy intact as well. I find it interesting that you would list Enron’s collapse above 9/11 in the damage done to the economy… Perhaps I was just sleeping during the early part of the decade, watching all of the jobs dry up and hiring freeze for nearly four years, especially in the tech industry where I worked.

You’ve got to help out here, because there is something mystifying me: True, the dot-com bust tooke the air out of the economy at the end of the decade, but up to that point, it was year after year of solid growth. did all that growth just not happen, that historic ten year period?

Yes, it happened, though it wasn’t 10 years. Remember, we were in a recession in 1992 when Clinton took office. At best it was a 6 year window of solid good economic times that Clinton and the Republican congress, who together did a pretty good job of trying to control out of control spending, that assisted in that effort, but it is illogical and not factual to assert that the federal government, especially before the era of Obama, had much to do with the economy at all.

In the meantime, Bush’s economy was always reeling from one disaster to another. If it wasn’t an energy crisis, it was a corporate finance fiasco. If it wasn’t that, it was a natural disaster that the Bush administration drug its feet on.

Yup, he fought a lot of things, some being his fault and some not, to try to keep a failing economy on its feet. Is that a negative or a positive? In that he spent like a democrat, it was bad. Downturns in the economy are necessary from time to time, a lesson our current President doesn’t seem to get.

Why does the Democrat not get credit for stable management of the country and the economy?

Who says he didn’t? At least, in what he did, by no monkeying with a booming economy negatively, he did a great job. It helped that the Republican congress was there to block outrageous spending and help keep the deficit down. No huge tax increases, cutting the huge increases in most programs so that the increases were reasonable. Real reform on welfare was able to get done, etc.

As for the bottom lines of companies with lines of credit, I think you badly misunderstand here how today’s economy has been engineered, thanks to your successfully applied free market principles.

So tell me, what part of ‘free market principles’ includes government engineering of cheap credit? Because that’s not free market principles, that’s very much statist policies. And I think you misunderstand what free market means… If for some reason you don’t think that government regulation is necessary to ensure a market stays free, then you are mistaking free market principles with anarchist principles. I know that there are a lot of anarco-capitalists that might want you to BELIEVE that that is what a free market it, but they are as wrong as you are in that case…

Credit was a common way of floating the costs of running businesses. Good business that hit their sales targets and profit targets used it on a regular basis. It wasn’t being blown on hats.

No, GOOD BUSINESSES put 18 months of operating capital into liquid assets so that they could continue their business during rough patches. Losing profit to paying short term credit rates instead of earning more profits on your profits is NOT good business, despite the fact that it may have been the latest trend.

Unfortunately, we aren’t letting those businesses that don’t understand that bit of truth to fail and their market share be taken over by those that do understand it because we are still trying to monkey with keeping an economy going that needs to go through a downturn. Congratulations, you are making sure that these people never learn…

Their crime, if we could call it that, was adapting their business model to an age of easily available credit.

And why was the credit easily available? Why because the FED made it so. We, as americans, can’t stand bad times so much that we will kick out any politician that doesn’t engineer pretend good times for as long as they can.

It’s interesting that you pivot on this mark-to-market point, because pushing people off that standard actually lets people claim any value on an asset that they think reasonable. It’s not necessarily any better than mark to market, as bad as it is. It does, however, let banks redefine their toxic assets. The question is, does it redefine them properly, or is this just going to become another mess of accounting fantasy?

No, it is a temporary reversal of worse accounting principles to less worse until something better can be thought of. As the chairman of the FDIC in the 80s said that of the S&L crisis LAST YEAR, if these same accounting rules had been in place then, the US would have gone bankrupt.

The problem is, these toxic assets aren’t worth 0. They have a value. That value most likely isn’t what they were bought as, but to have billions of dollars instantly wiped off of books of banks will prevent them from being able to lend. Instead of loaning the banks taxpayer money, we should have, and finally have, allowed them to mark them with SOME value so that they can start making loans again. That is why the economy is getting back on its feet and should have been done 6 months ago. The only ones supporting that idea were voted out of office, neat huh? Yeah, Buffett disagreed with him, but we know how well HE did last year, don’t we?

As for GM, it seems like you folks can’t be pleased. Would you prefer a precipitous collapse at the start, or an endless bailout on the other side? We’re trying our best to make a practical government work, instead of basing all our decision on ideologicial talking points.

‘You folks’? I’m trying to figure out who you are talking about when you say ‘you folks’ to me, Stephen. It gets old and just backs up my previous point…

As for GM, it should have been allowed to fail decades ago! Keeping afloat a company that is not running its business well only ensures that they keep running it badly. The government is as much to blame for the shape the company is currently in as GM is for that reason. And the real rub is that billions of taxpayer money is now lost and we are going to end up with the exact same result we would have had if we hadn’t spent that money.

And trust me, I was against the bailout last year, I was against TARP and I am against the insane spending we are seeing this year (most of it hasn’t happened yet) because it was not needed, if we had just backed off on our ‘Get Enron’ accounting mistakes…

As for ‘practicality’ vs ‘ideology’, please. There is nothing BUT ideology being played out here by the left. They are pushing their ideology through while they can under the guise of ‘getting our economy going again’ all the while knowing that it wasn’t and still isn’t ‘necessary’. In fact, most of the spending approved in the ‘emergency spending bill’ earlier this year (violating Obama’s own rules about not signing bills that haven’t had a chance to be read by the people for 5 days) hasn’t been spent yet and won’t be for at least a year and most likely two or three. RESPONSIBLE leadership would have waited to add that into the budget or later and determine if it was still needed. But we don’t get that, we get ideology over ideology because when politics is involved there is not such other thing.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 15, 2009 10:40 PM
Comment #280281

Rhinehold-
Look, there are orders of magnitude of difference between the economic issues Bush inherited and those Obama in turn received from him. You keep ignoring that for the sake of making the rhetorical parallel. Such efforts at equivocation fail in one important way: they neglect the fact that Bush came into office with an economy that was still quite strong, and left with it weaker than at any time since the Great Depression.

Most of the debt you accuse Obama of running up is actually debt he ran up, or caused to occur through his policies. If you screen out the costs of the two wars we’re fighting (which Bush did not acknowledge in the budget but Obama has), and the costs of the bailouts, then Obama’s new spending increases, aside from the Stimulus Package, are actually quite low.

I’ll respond to the rest later.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 16, 2009 8:41 AM
Comment #280284
and left with it weaker than at any time since the Great Depression.

BULL. The economy, no matter how much you want it to be true, is not at the weakest moment since the Great Depression. Demagoguery just makes you look like you are making political, not real, points. 1979 - 1982 was much worse than what we are seeing now, it’s just a shame that so many are too young to realize the nonsense that they is being heaved down their throats…

Most of the debt you accuse Obama of running up is actually debt he ran up, or caused to occur through his policies.

Again, BULL. MOST of the debt that Obama is running up is to enact his political views and ideology. He has that right, he won election, but it is not to ‘counter the mess that Bush made’ because he is doing the exact same things that Bush did to put our economy where it is now, deficit spending, only on a greater scale.

As some economists put it recently about the stimulus package:

Borrowing money to raise government spending will work, I suppose. But the cost to future generations is enormous. I am amazed by the hypocrisy of both sides. John McCain calls the stimulus “intergenerational theft.” Well, he’s right, but he came late to this wisdom. The Republicans have been just pouring out new deficit spending since 2002.

And then Obama says he doesn’t want to do tired old ideas and failed economics. But he is doing exactly what the Republicans did: huge deficit-financed spending on largely useless or irrelevant programs designed to reward political friends. The only thing that’s different is the identity of the “friends.”

Some of the spending may increase measured GDP slightly for 2009. But the price is increased inflationary pressures in 2010 and the squandering of the birthright of our children for decades.

The creation of new bureaucratic and regulatory structures, restrictions on creation of liquidity. The genius of the American system, for all its flaws, has been that we can mobilize lots of liquidity quickly. Silicon Valley exists because you could sit down, make a pitch, and get $10 million that afternoon.

If we start governing finance like we govern universities, or city councils, we are going to lose that. Having committees, and a bunch of forms to sign off on, and stamps…Hernando de Soto wrote about systems like this. They strangle business, investment, and growth.

Even if you accept the theory of the stimulus, the package is not well-structured. A good stimulus package should be designed to move money out the door rapidly, then stop. This program is designed to move money out the door slowly and keep going. Moreover, the vast size of the package is going to add big costs in the not-so-distant future which have barely been discussed.
The biggest problem is that it destroys savings by using them on projects that the majority did not think were reasonable a year ago. We take capital that would have been available to companies and poorer countries and use it to create a stimulus that will have its largest impact after the economy has already turned the corner—so that it will contribute to another round of boom and bust.

The fact that the economy is already starting to recover, with almost none of this package being in effect long enough to do much (most spending that is slated to start ‘immediately’ didn’t take effect until April 1). If the economy was soooo bad, why was it turning around in less than 6 months? I’m sorry Stephen, but the rhetoric doesn’t match the facts.

If you screen out the costs of the two wars we’re fighting (which Bush did not acknowledge in the budget but Obama has), and the costs of the bailouts, then Obama’s new spending increases, aside from the Stimulus Package, are actually quite low.

So, aside from all of the money that is going to be spent over the next few years by the Obama administration that was not necessary and will be coming way too late to ‘help stimulate the economy’ but wrapped up in a ‘stimulus package’ that simply spends money that should have been a budget, and the increased spending on the war in Afghanistan and the spending on the war in Iraq, well, we are hardly spending much more money than Bush did, which was TOO MUCH.

Great defense of the plan there Stephen. Look guys, we aren’t taking ALL of your future income, just be glad we are letting you keep any. Well, for now at least…

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 16, 2009 9:02 AM
Comment #280285

I love it, ignore a few trillion dollars, it’s irrelevant, aside from that we aren’t spending too much more money than Bush, who we said for years was spending way too much money and putting us into debt. But now it’s ok! Because … well, we have these people we need to pay back politically and our ideology we want to put into place and haven’t been able to for over a decade.

That’s the real issue, Stephen. That is what is really going on here. Pragmatic my BUTT.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 16, 2009 9:06 AM
Comment #280288

BTW, I love the difference in opinion on deficit spending from the Stephen of 2009 (with Obama in charge) and 2006 (with bush in charge).

What the White House is boasting about is the actual deficit for this year coming in lower than its previously inflated projections. But, the deficit is still a record deficit. Its kind of a son storming out of the house saying he is going to destroy the family car, and returning home and saying Dad, Mom, the good news is, when I ran the car into the tree, I didn’t total it. A few thousand bucks will fix it up just fine.

The fiscal record of this administration and Congress over the last 5 years has been so abyssmal, that the only way to get good news out of it at election time was to inflate how bad the deficits were going to be, so that it was all but guaranteed that the deficit would be lower than what was projected months before the election. What they don’t say is, it is still a record deficit. The White House’s OMB inflating of the deficit projection is seen by comparing the White House’s projection of deficits (OMB) to Congress’s (CBO) which tends to be more accurate. At the beginning of this year, the (CBO) Congressional Budget Office projected a $371 billion deficit, and the White House (OMB) Office of Management and Budget projected $423 billion. This is like the student warning his parents he is going to flunk this semester after his counselor has told him that his grades will be all and C’s and D’s. Won’t his parents love him for salvaging the semester?

Now most Americans, when they hear the deficit has come down, will think, ‘Good, Congress and the President are finally controlling spending.’ But, they would be wrong. Spending is still setting new records. The deficit came down due to increased revenues. But what did it cost to generate these increased revenues of a couple hundred billion? 2.4 Trillion dollars in lost revenue from the President’s tax cuts from 2001 to 2006, according to the Citizens for Tax Justice. (PDF) CTJ reports:

The fact is, John Q after doubling his debt will be very near bankruptcy, when you add in all of the other annual costs of living from food and fuel to insurance, medical costs, and taxes. This analogy is actually very accurate as to what is happening to our long-term economic situation. Because in 2014, just 8 years away, our government, on top of already having doubled its national debt, will be adding significant more debt to American tax payers or impoverishing them through spending cuts.

The economic train wreck ahead, beginning in 2014, is Medicare and Social Security. There will be no more Social Security surpluses to make our deficits appear smaller than they really are. And Medicare costs will rise as long as overall, medical cost inflation continues; and there is no end in sight on that front, with dramatic increases in medical care demand taking place with the retirement of the baby boom generation.

And there will be only three ways to deal with the baby boomers retiring in 2014. One is to dramatically increase taxes on workers, another is to cut their benefits and let millions do without medical care or live impoverished which will only increase their need for medical care, and the last is to do a combination of both. That is where the real fiscal irresponsibility of the President and Congress comes in. You see, this year, neither is taking any action to save for tomorrow’s need. Quite the opposite, they are spending as if there is no tomorrow. And that kind of reckless fiscal irresponsibility will literally mean there will be no tomorrow for millions of American senior citizens beginning in 2014 and running out to 2065 when the baby boomers are finally all gone.

http://www.watchblog.com/thirdparty/archives/003952.html

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 16, 2009 9:16 AM
Comment #280290

Oh, and Stephen, are you saying that the Democrats who wrote the budget laws and passed them on to Bush to sign are not on the hook for how our tax laws and spending have been dictated for the past 2 years leading up to this ‘economic meltdown’?

I’m just curious how that works…

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 16, 2009 9:24 AM
Comment #280291

Another economist when asked if ‘doing nothing’ was an option

Doing nothing is not an option—anymore. Because first President Bush, and now President Obama, have engaged in a completely irresponsible fear campaign. “We must do something, or you should cower in helpless fear, behind locked doors, in darkened rooms!” Presidents should not use this kind of fear as a weapon to pass their pet projects. Roosevelt, for all his flaws, got it right: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Well, not quite right: It turns out we need to fear fear itself, and also President Obama.

The sensible thing to do at this point would be to make an offer, at 40 cents on the dollar, for the “toxic” assets, both the collateralized debt obligations packaged by Freddie and Fannie, and also the credit default swap “insurance” derivatives sold by AIG (and some other firms, but mostly AIG). Since AIG wrote so many “naked” credit default swaps, even for people who don’t own the underlying, or “insured,” asset, they are going to keep hemorrhaging until someone puts a floor on the value of the assets.

So a one-time, take-it-or-leave-it offer. One big reason that credit markets are frozen is the uncertainty created by Treasury indecision and vagueness. Asset owners are holding out for a better price, and they are trying to negotiate through the Senate, not the Treasury. Obama needs to lead here and say: “Take this partial buyout, or hang on to the asset at your peril. There is no better deal coming tomorrow.”

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 16, 2009 9:36 AM
Comment #280292

And finally, the words of MEP Hannan that could be directed to President Obama:

Prime Minister, you cannot carry on for ever squeezing the productive bit of the economy in order to fund an unprecedented engorgement of the unproductive bit. You cannot spend your way out of recession or borrow your way out of debt.
Posted by: Rhinehold at April 16, 2009 9:39 AM
Comment #280319

Totally unfeeling and totally uncaring…dust bowl, farmers and laborers riding the rails in huge migrations, killing each other over food or other essentials, dying of malnourishment…not thinking of the ramifications of a deep depression is what happens when folks think in small terms.

A capitalist economist says he thinks we should stand by and watch as the economy crumbles around us, then wait until it heals itself. Another so-called economist says he thinks the seriousness of the current situation has been exaggerated for some nefarious political scheme, and contributed to by both political parties…how cynical can you get, while still living in the world with the people who would end up in dire situations while waiting for the economy to self correct?

I can’t remember who it was…perhaps d.a.n.? who estimated the toxic paper to be upward of 60 trillion dollars world wide. Will someone please tell me how that can be considered part of a self-correcting economy?

Posted by: Marysdude at April 16, 2009 2:00 PM
Comment #280320

You really need to see the Elizabeth Warren interview by Jon Stewart…at least Part 2 of that interview, Part 1 is non-productive, but not so Part 2:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/16/elizabeth-warren-makes-jo_n_187635.html

Posted by: Marysdude at April 16, 2009 2:17 PM
Comment #280321
Totally unfeeling and totally uncaring…dust bowl, farmers and laborers riding the rails in huge migrations, killing each other over food or other essentials, dying of malnourishment…not thinking of the ramifications of a deep depression is what happens when folks think in small terms.

A) Where aren’t in a ‘deep depression’ or anything of the like. 1982 was much worse than what we see today. Chicken-littleness isn’t ‘feeling or uncaring’, rational thought is.

B) During the ‘dust bowl’ when people where ‘killing each other over food’, FDR was destroying thousands and thousands of crops so that the farmers could make a good price per bushel. He also put many black sharecroppers out of work. THERE’s your caring and compassion.

You might want to take a second to check your hyperbole at the door before flinging insulting accusations at others…

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 16, 2009 2:25 PM
Comment #280324

BTW, Marysdude, I can play the game too!

How unfeeling and uncaring, making our lives a little bit easier so that our children and grandchildren can be born and work off a debt that they had no part of because we don’t want to go without our cable tv, internet connections, air conditioning, multiple cars, fast food, cell phones, GPS units, movie tickets, travertine tile, etc, etc…

Please, what a **&$!$# joke.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 16, 2009 2:31 PM
Comment #280335

Rhinehold-
Mister, the statistics are out there to demonstrate the weakness. We’re losing over six hundred thousand jobs a month every month. Consumer prices are being pulled down heavily all over the place in a way they haven’t been for half a century.

1979-1982. You do know, don’t you, that we’ve already matched their unemployment numbers?

But it’s all got to be lie, doesn’t it, meant to force big government down your throats? It can’t be the ideas that failed, it’s got to be a conspiracy, or a failure in the the execution of the plans. The dominoes didn’t fall like you wanted, so lets just set them all up again and try once more!

I was born in 1979, by the way. In my time, I have watched the Bond Market crash over junk bonds, The S+L Crisis result from crappy regulation, the steady deterioration of healthcare, with my mother’s career as an administrative assistant in a major hospital giving her a unique view, and myself one, too. I’ve seen the Enron debacle, the collapse of God knows how many bubbles, and now the current collapse, where Republicans are ignoring some of the worst deflationary indicators in decades so they can once again go out and fight the monster of inflation.

If you’re going to call BULL on me, give me some damn evidence. I’ve seen the way this debate typically operates. The joke is that people think the Market self-polices. It doesn’t, no more than the rest of society does. Your economic ideas simply don’t work. I’ve seen more than enough counterevidence to conclude that the market only self-polices effectively when the are laws on the books and enforcers on the beat who catch enough cheaters and make enough examples of them to put the fear of God into them. Otherwise, people become very relaxed about pulling off all the kinds of scams and risky leverage schemes you hear about. When you catch your son smoking dope and stealing cars, the answer to getting him back in line isn’t taking him on a nice relaxing vacation.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 16, 2009 5:46 PM
Comment #280341

“I never said the problem wasn’t real, but why can’t you accept the fact that had the recommendations to lighten up on mark-to-market rules been enacted last September, not last month, we would have had a much lesser recession and been on the road to recovery much sooner than now?”

Rhinehold isn’t mark to market rules a double edge sword in that at the first opportunity those that use this accounting method will then be able to Enron the public once again?

“The fact that the economy is already starting to recover, with almost none of this package being in effect long enough to do much (most spending that is slated to start ‘immediately’ didn’t take effect until April 1). If the economy was soooo bad, why was it turning around in less than 6 months?”

Sort of like the first 100 days of the FDR administration, Rhinehold, The fact that something was being done rather than the Hoover/Mellon approach has helped us to have at least found what many believe to be the bottom. However just yesterday we heard the “good” news that only 610,000 jobs went away last month. That really doesn’t lead one to believe that things are turning around in any speedy manner does it? Over 6 million on unemployment doesn’t suggest it is turning around just coming to a bottom. When jobs are being added to the economy then we can say it is turning around IMHO.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 16, 2009 7:56 PM
Comment #280351

1982 - Unemployment was 9.7%
1983 - Unemployment was 9.6%
2009 - Unemployment is 8.5%

hmmmm

It helps when you are using actual numbers, not what you wish or think it is… We are not as bad off as we were in 1982 (remember, the problem then was mostly in manufacturing, very deep issues) and this is a credit crush that is much easier to get over.

Oh, and seriously j2t2? It’s getting better just because we hired Obama? What a stupid argument to make…

Rhinehold isn’t mark to market rules a double edge sword in that at the first opportunity those that use this accounting method will then be able to Enron the public once again?

I stated ‘temporarily until a better replacement could be found’. Neither practice is good, but what was in place was strangling credit. You would rather make things worse to keep those rules in place? Rather spend more of our grandchildren’s money so that those rules don’t get relaxed temporarily?

Well, they have been relaxed and we are seeing the result. It’s a shame that democrats like Frank and Obama wouldn’t hear of looking into it during the election, we could have avoided much of what we have seen the past few months.

Oh well.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 16, 2009 9:48 PM
Comment #280355

Rhinehold-
Take a closer look.
In 1982, 10.8 was the worst it got, but the year started at 8.6 in January. 1983 would then ramp that 10% around down to 8.5 by November, and 8.3 by the end of December of that year.

Actual numbers. And the fact is, the unemployment numbers will likely get as bad as ‘82-83. And you will also find another fact: for another 25 years, unemployment never got as high as it is now.

I think you’re wrong on the credit crunch. It’s still ongoing, and until we hear of the loans actually going out, it will continue. Even afterwards, we still have to recover the lost capacity, restart economic growth. It’s one thing to be optimistic, but I think you’re jumping the gun.

The truth of the matter on accounting is that until people understand risk, and take risk prudently, we still have a problem here. The system that just failed us, failed us because the measures of intelligent policy in the market place became skewed by profit motives unbound by considerations of institutional stability or long-term economic health.

If we fail to establish accounting rules which maintain a mapping of fundamentals to numbers, then we have a crapshoot on Wall Street, a Casino, not a market. A market works best when people know the value of what they buy and sell. The very point of many of the tricks and runarounds on Wall Street was to cripple that judgment deliberately to make money.

It is good financial judgment we need back on Wall Street, but we can’t merely wish for it. We must make any other alternative on the part of the companies more difficult and problematic, even if we can’t forbid each and every act of deception.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 16, 2009 10:33 PM
Comment #280364

Stephen,

You said, “If the Gun rights people inspire a stampede among gun nuts, they might just precipitate incidence that send the public stampeding towards the gun control advocates. You need a more robust approach, one where the low-grade anxiety about the motives and methods of the Gun Rights folks isn’t reinforced with the angry, bitter (yes, bitter) and paranoid rhetoric customary to the NRA and others as of late.

I don’t disagree with this statement because I’m a conservative not a radical, but this advice seems to invite the Republicans to use the exact same “triangulation” that you have cited as one of Clinton’s worst faults, or am I missing something here?

Btw, I did read the post that you cited from HSA:

Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.

What would have been the reaction if the bolded part above was replaced with the following, “dedicated to a single issue, such as the environment, or international trade” was published by the Bush Whitehouse?

While I don’t disagree with the overall premise of the paper, this one footnote moved the definition of an extremist from something that everyone could agree on to something that large portions of the population do not. This insertion appears to be an attempt to paint Republican voters as radical in the same way that Republicans have been trying for years to do with their “hippie-radical” statements. Remember the enviro-terrorists that were spiking trees to hurt the lumberjacks? The Republicans got a lot of mileage out of that. This smacks of playing politics with a very important issue.

While I think radicals of any ilk are dangerous and should be accounted for, I also believe that it is important that we need to be careful in our definition of such terms. Because much like the very good arguments made on this site that our presence in Iraq increased terrorism, calling out such characteristics in declassified documents as portenders to radicalism might very well become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Posted by: Rob at April 17, 2009 12:09 AM
Comment #280372

“It helps when you are using actual numbers, not what you wish or think it is…”

But I did Rhinehold “Over 6 million on unemployment doesn’t suggest it is turning around just coming to a bottom.”

“Oh, and seriously j2t2? It’s getting better just because we hired Obama? What a stupid argument to make…”

No not because we hired Obama but because Obama did something about it. You can play it off as minor but it was much more serious than you suggest. Are you suggesting things are great so soon after the rules for mark to market were relaxed… seriously…. Has anyone had time to actually change their accounting methods?

Posted by: j2t2 at April 17, 2009 2:04 AM
Comment #280380

Rob-
I’m not saying triangulation is the key. Clinton might have actually done better if he was a better spokesman for liberalism. It did, though take some of the wind out of conservative sails, so there’s political sense to it. Republican might want to go the Theodore Roosevelt Progressive direction, if following the liberals is too distasteful.

What I am saying is that conservatism, to regain the ability to appeal to greater majorities, must present a friendlier face, and rely on policies that have solid, substantive practicality to them.

Republicans have gotten too complacent in the public arena with being able to make fun of Liberals, with being able to accuse them of being haters of their own country, with being able to rely on the old saw of the left being a fifth column. What the Republicans did during this past decade was overuse and overstretch that rhetoric, while their own policies failed. The policy failure was especially critical, because it indicated to Americans that behind all that bluster, the GOP politicians were all talk, and it turned proclamations of the Liberal’s weakness and wickedness into attempts to distract from their own awful policy.

It strained the electorate as well. In one direction, they pulled their core towards every greater fringiness. In the other, it pulled independents and moderate Republicans away from attacks which took collateral casualties among their ranks; that is, those people began to believe the things about the war, Bush’s behavior, and the failure of the economic and fiscal policy that liberals did, and that liberals were excoriated for. That meant they recieved the rough edge of the right’s tongue, a pleasant experience that distanced them further from their old peers.

Triangulation, to my mind, is less important than dropping the hostility and paranoia that have become standard in GOP politics. I mean, if you can’t reason with somebody, and their politics more or less encapsulates the destruction of your own, what compromise is possible? Democrats like myself and Obama believed that the shock of the second loss in the row would shock Republicans into admitting defeat and letting go of this God-forsaken stupid culture war which nobody really won, but we were disappointed.

Rob, you asked what the response would be if a similar sentence occured in an report made by the Bush Adminstration. And the truth is, such a report has been made, and Democrats for the most part just yawned.

We accept that there is a bitter minority of our leftward culture which essentially doesn’t work or play well with others. We accept that there is a such thing as people who take environmental concerns (like ecoterrorists) and economic concerns (like those people who start riots at G20 summits) who take single issues or broader ideology too far.

The questions you should ask yourself is why people would identify so strongly with those who take what would be opinions they are entitled to, like racism, strange religious beliefs, and dislike of the federal government, and take the extra step of committing or planning extralegal violence and activity in the service of those beliefs.

If you leave off the partisan lenses, you can see the that the report is clearly about those who use their beliefs to justify illegal, violent behavior, just as previous reports by both the Bush and Obama WH’s examined the situation surrounding Left-Wing fanatics.

One of two things is happening with the Right here. Either the pundits and politicians were looking for a fight to pick and used this report to do it, or some of these people representing your political side actually have sympathies with those folks, and are hostile towards it because they feel it marks them out personally.

Personally, I believe there’s no good that can come out of dealing with this report in a politically correct way. One of the reasons the 9/11 attacks weren’t stopped was that officials were too concerned about political correctness to do perfectly legitimate investigations of the people in question. While its sometimes a fine political edge to walk, we can’t let a concern about the PR value of a certain action get in the way of the functional carrying out of the agency’s duties.

The Republicans aren’t doing this country favors by politicizing this report. We must remember that the scenario outlined in the report has happened before, and it was the worst terroris attack in our history, right up to the point that 9/11 occured.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 17, 2009 11:23 AM
Comment #280395
A) Where aren’t in a ‘deep depression’ or anything of the like. 1982 was much worse than what we see today. Chicken-littleness isn’t ‘feeling or uncaring’, rational thought is.

B) During the ‘dust bowl’ when people where ‘killing each other over food’, FDR was destroying thousands and thousands of crops so that the farmers could make a good price per bushel. He also put many black sharecroppers out of work. THERE’s your caring and compassion.

You might want to take a second to check your hyperbole at the door before flinging insulting accusations at others…


Posted by: Rhinehold at April 16, 2009 02:25 PM

Rhinehold,

1982 was severe enough, and I will not belittle the seriousness of the recession, but 1982 was mostly a US problem. What we were/are going into right now has as much to do with the world at large as it does with us. No matter how we handle things, if we do not include a response to the deepening problems of nations around the world, we fail and sink into that depression you poo-poo so easily. And, you poo-poo the job losses that are already occurring, as though folks will be able to go back to work soon and there will be fewer layoffs. Frankly, I’d like to see some of that, but all indicators are, we’ll see unemployment go over 10% soon. Poo-poo all you want…this ain’t no damned joke. When lack of ‘rational thought’ is used as a put down, perhaps it would be better if rational thought was used by the putter downer?

I have not fact checked your diatribe (hyperbole?) on FDR stopping farming, but even if true, perhaps he had a reason other than ‘to allow farmers to get a good price’? What you say only makes sense if the desire is to heal an ailing economy, which would uplift all…as in the rising tide lifts all boats.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 17, 2009 2:03 PM
Comment #280401

Marysdude:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agricultural_Adjustment_Act

You might also be interested to know that FDR was the first person to tax the middle class. He also put a lot of black workers out of work.

the New Deal threw African Americans out of work, raised the price of food during the depths of the Depression, and granted monopoly bargaining powers to racist unions. In short, Powell writes, “Black people were among the major victims of the New Deal.” Such a conclusion doesn’t merely reveal FDR’s often indifferent attitude toward minorities — in passing wartime travel restrictions and internment rules on Italian Americans, for instance, he derided them as “a bunch of opera singers” — it suggests that a thorough, fact-based re-evaluation of FDR’s mythic status as a champion of the underdog is long overdue.

McMahon, an associate professor of political science at the State University of New York, Fredonia, attempts a bold rehabilitation of our 32nd president. While FDR is often credited with ameliorating the effects of the Great Depression — if not actually saving capitalism, as the self-described conservative publishing magnate Conrad Black recently suggested in his hagiographic Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom — critics continue to denounce his failure to secure the civil rights of African Americans.

In fact, there are a lot of things that I think you would find disturbing if you wanted to actually look at the reality and facts, and not deal on emotion, rhetoric and demagoguery.

But, both you and Stephen have still proven me right, we are NOT seeing the worst economy since the Great Depression. Will it turn into that? Maybe, maybe not. I doubt it, as do many other experts, including the IMF. But what I object to most are the blatantly emotive accusations of ‘selfishness’ and ‘uncaring’ as if a) they are valid (they are not) and b) they should be all that matters (they should not). We should not made decisions based on emotion and as FDR rightfully said, all we have to fear is fear itself.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 17, 2009 3:22 PM
Comment #280425

Rhinehold-
Interesting that you use the emotional appeal of a politically incorrect FDR to undermine his generally positive image on helping this country recover from the Great Depression.

I can believe that some of his policies had bad, unintended side effects, for I am not beholden to FDR’s policies being perfect. His “fear itself” speech was about his willingness to try anything, and much of what he did didn’t work, or didn’t pass constitutional muster.

I can believe that he had a negative view of minorities and immigrant groups; after all, he was a white, old money Democrat of the thirties, a WASP elite of his day.

I can believe that much has changed in American society since then, and that our view of minorities and ethnic groups have changed, and that projecting that view back into the thirties and forties is kind of unfair.

But of course, it is useful to make liberals like me feel uneasy! But that’s all it’s useful for.

I don’t see where you’ve proven that we’re not in deep $#!+. You haven’t demonstrated that price pressures are back on their way up, instead of down. You haven’t demonstrated that lending is unfreezing, or that we’ve hit bottom yet on unemployment. The business failures continue. The foreclosures continue.

So, I got to ask the question: what justifies your vague sentiment that this economic crisis isn’t that bad? When’s the last time unemployment was this bad? Well, it turns out that my unemployment numbers were right. They just didn’t stop their on their way down or up in either of those years. You contradicted me on the matter, but failed to look at the monthly figures, which were what I was refering to.

When’s the last time deflationary pressures were this high? They haven’t been so for the last half century or more. News talks about fifty year highs on this thing, and we have one of the worst drops in aggregate demand since the Great Depression. The drop in GDP has also been the greatest drop in quarter since the early eighties, and with businesses failing, it’s an open question as to whether we’ve found the floor with this.

Obama’s policies are helping to put the breaks on this downward slide, this contraction of the economy, but folks like you are trying to get them to focus on inflationary problems. Now where’s the data to indicate that price pressures are heading the other way? There are none. Still, you insist on pushing those kinds of policies.

Now, obviously, we Democrats feel fiercely about this, but it’s not the unreasoning fear that paralyzes. That seems to be the right’s job at this point, yelling about socialism and American becoming like France, and recommending that we just curl up in financial ball and wait for it to be all over. Let the banks fail, let the credit markets remain frozen, let the jobs be lost. Throw in some tax cuts for the rich, of course, because that worked terribly well under Hoover, before he made the opposite mistake.

But lets not have the proper, respectful fear of the figures we see coming down the pipes, you say. Let’s not acknowledge the problem and let our concern motivate us to do something about it before its too late. Let not kickstart the economy so we’re not having to pick up the pieces for the next decade with stagnant growth.

Republicans keep on going on (Yes, I’m aware you’re not one, but there aren’t so many libertarians on TV) about the tax burden we’re going to pass on to our children (a matter they took FULL consideration of when passing Bush’s budgets), but fail to register that if we don’t handle the economic situation, then we give our kids both the tax burden, which is already in the pipe, and a total lack of economic growth, which means they’ll have less means of paying it off.

But of course, why shouldn’t I let them play this game of argumentiam ad misericordiam? Oh, pity the poor children who will have to pay for our debts with a growing, prosperous economy that we had the guts and the intelligence to prepare for them, instead of using their plight as an excuse to get more tax cuts (which constitutes much of the debt they’ll be paying back, by the way).

The truth about people is that they have both rational and irrational tendencies, and they aren’t necessarily separate. A person without fear, who cannot be scared by anything they see coming down the pike is also a person who cannot be responsible, for a fear of failure and a fear of the consequences of failed duties, and a fear of disapproval are all healthy in moderate amounts.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 17, 2009 6:53 PM
Comment #280435

stephen

you said this was the worst economic downturn since the great depression. rhinehold provided you with the facts. according to the #s it isn’t. you then ask how do you know it won’t be? ie how do you know it won’t get worse? well i would then ask how do you know it will? answer: you don’t. you made the statement he disproved it. none of us have a crystal ball, so what the future holds we don’t know yet.

i once made a statement about the use of bailout money going to some rat, mouse or to something to that effect. you pointed out that it was not the whole truth. i looked deeper,and you were right, and i admitted it. so why not just admit you were wrong we all are at one time or another.

Posted by: dbs at April 17, 2009 8:43 PM
Comment #280443

Rhinehold how quick you are to blame FDR for the black sharecroppers problem. If you will review this Agricultural Adjustment Act you will not find the part where the large farmer is directed at the point of a gun to not allow the sharecropper to grow crops. Why not put the blame where it belongs, on the large farmers that chose to do this? FDR was trying to bring bushel prices up to the level they are profitable for the farmer to grow. The price of crops were down by 60% at this time Rhinehold the intent of the AAA was good and it worked to bring prices to a sustainable level.

I agree that this mini depression is not in all aspects the worst since the great depression and I am also thankful for that. Prompt action is the difference. Had we had McCain and more of the same, after 3 years of trust the market perhaps we would be in another great depression, who knows. Fortunately Obama had the cajones to move fast to prevent the further deterioration of the economy.


Posted by: j2t2 at April 17, 2009 9:55 PM
Comment #280452

The party of Lincoln freed the slaves. The Democratic party was at that time, in the position of the Republican party today, i.e., of the South, with all those ramifications, and far more conservative than progressive. We’ve switched places in the scheme of things. We are now the party of inclusion, and you (I know you claim to not be a Republican) are now the party of exclusion. Please don’t run too deep into FDR’s segregationist or racist policies, as it was pretty much a given. Please remember the party that followed FDR yesterday, elected a candidate of mixed race today…oh, what a breath of fresh air.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 17, 2009 11:20 PM
Comment #280456

PS:

And, the party that elected Lincoln, can’t stand the thoughts of having a black President…who’d a thunk it?

Posted by: Marysdude at April 18, 2009 12:00 AM
Comment #280462

“PS:

And, the party that elected Lincoln, can’t stand the thoughts of having a black President…who’d a thunk it?”

thats just bunk—-its the southern democrats who are the ones who are racist…and have been since the civil rights movement…where you think robert byrd came from….and mary….look at the map of who hillary wone and who obama won…your argument is faulty….

just like this new peice of news makes another faulty argument…

ICE is expanding in much of Antarctica, contrary to the widespread public belief that global warming is melting the continental ice cap.

link text

Posted by: scottie at April 18, 2009 4:10 AM
Comment #280463

Scottie, the linked article states:

“Extensive melting of Antarctic ice sheets would be required to raise sea levels substantially, and ice is melting in parts of west Antarctica. The destabilisation of the Wilkins ice shelf generated international headlines this month.

However, the picture is very different in east Antarctica, which includes the territory claimed by Australia. “

This immediately begs the question of whether the current prevailing winds are now moving from West to East. If that is the case, then, 1) the climate there may be changing, and 2) this would account for the warmer winds melting the Western Ice, cooling as it crosses the Continent, and cooling the Eastern side.

If that is the case, then, the next question is, how long with these prevailing winds continue this direction from West to East?

It is a mistake to confuse one or a few years of weather pattern as static into the future. Decades of data must be established before weather trends and patterns can be established. The Ice in the Northern Hemisphere is melting very rapidly. Ships at the right time of year can now navigate across the North Pole without being blocked by ice. That was not the case 75 years ago when the arctic was locked in ice year round.

You are right about many in the South still harboring racial bigotry, Democrats and Republicans alike. It is palpable in Texas amongst Republicans toward the Hispanics. Some mistake me for a good ole’ boy and confess their bigotry against those ‘beaners and wetbacks’.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 18, 2009 5:42 AM
Comment #280464

Marysdude, your last comment labels all Republicans with the same brush. Is that not a form of bigotry, in and of itself?

I know some Republicans in my area who show no signs of being bigots at all. One of them is a social worker helping large numbers of Hispanics and some African American families as well as Caucasion, and she speaks well of the people she works with.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 18, 2009 5:58 AM
Comment #280475

“PS:

And, the party that elected Lincoln, can’t stand the thoughts of having a black President…who’d a thunk it?”

gonna play the race card huh?

Posted by: dbs at April 18, 2009 8:59 AM
Comment #280485

David…

It is a mistake to confuse one or a few years of weather pattern as static into the future.

Exactly….

While the global warming crowd are playing the sky is falling….

The other planets are also warming during the current trend…boy…are we causing solar system warming?…the earth has warmed and cooled since the beginning of time…many scientist are feeling we may be entering another cooling trend…all goes to the argument I have made so many times before..if you follow Al Gore’s the sky is falling theory and react to it…you will not find the proper solution. Lets concentrate on cleaning the air in the big cities. That is the real emergency at hand.


But back to Mary’s comment…the far lefts new weapon (actually an old one but they pulled it out in full force this time) is to label the opposition as racist. There are idiots everywhere…I have more friends in this world than most..I have owned two bars…lived abroad..and in the us lived in 4 states..and I am well traveled and very friendly…the real racists I have found are those on the far left that hate anyones opinion that is any where right of center left….Mary showed us a great example of that.This blog is full of examples of that…

Posted by: scottie at April 18, 2009 12:36 PM
Comment #280486

DRR and others,

I made the statement that the party that elected Lincoln could not abide the election of a black President. In no way did I label all Republicans as racist, and will state unequivocally that all of any group is not even possible, but the group itself can. I am a member of the VFW and the American Legion, both of which are strongly in the ‘right’ corner, but I and many of my compatriots are just as strongly left of the group. I would not withdraw my membership in either of those groups just because I feel differently about certain things, because I agree with more than I disagree, and staying is the only way I can temper some of the ‘conservative’ agenda of both.

The Republican party has come out in very strong ways to block the success of a new black President. Some of that blockage is political and some is philosophical, but the strength of the assault likely means a more profound cause.

I read a letter to the editor this morning wherein a man asked if he was considered a ‘right wing-nut just because he carried a sign about term limits to one of the ‘tea party’ demonstrations. The answer to the question is no, he is not considered a wing-nut because he carried the sign…but, if he lays down with dogs, perhaps he should not be surprised if he wakes up with fleas???

All Republicans are not racist, some are fiscal conservatives, some are social conservatives, but the party as a whole shows some trends and tendencies that are telling.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 18, 2009 1:58 PM
Comment #280496

Scottie, yes, we need to clean up urban air. One reason is because of the known chemistry of the greenhouse effect resulting from high CO2 content in the atmosphere, which is now scientifically correlated in Ice Cores with global warming periods.

We don’t know, as you allude, how much human’s CO2 emissions are contributing to global climate change, or whether global warming will be the inevitable long term result. Probability models say it is likely. But causation is not yet possible.

Still, if there is the potential of global warming of several degrees, which the geologic and ice core records demonstrate can alter climate significantly, it is logical to mitigate human’s contributions to such a warming trend, without creating as much havoc amongst human societies as our contribution to global warming may create.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 18, 2009 4:28 PM
Comment #280497

Marysdude, when you say: “I made the statement that the party that elected Lincoln could not abide the election of a black President.”, do you not recognize that the Party of Lincoln includes all persons who support and vote for that party? Your words can logically be interpreted that way. Not that this is how you meant them to be interpreted. By your response, that is not the case.

Perhaps adding the word, ‘many’ would have insured the appropriate interpretation, such as:

“Many in the Party of Lincoln could not abide the election of a black President.”

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 18, 2009 4:33 PM
Comment #280499

“The Republican party has come out in very strong ways to block the success of a new black President.”

it is his liberal political views that republicans have problem with. i personaly don’t give a rats arse what color he is. trying to use his color as a weapon against those who disagree with his politics is opportunist at the very least.

Posted by: dbs at April 18, 2009 5:30 PM
Comment #280505

Opportunist…obstructionist…I wonder how many words we can use against each other.

DRR,

Perhaps I could have used many in the party instead of the party, but the many speak for the party, so, to me, the point is moot.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 18, 2009 6:02 PM
Comment #280510

dbs-
I said we matched unemployment numbers in those years, and I rebutted his point by bringing out monthly figures included in those years. Those monthly figures illustrated that at the beginning of the earlier year and the end of the later year, we had reached such numbers.

Numbers, that if you check at the link I provided show us reaching those levels at no other time since. Current unemployment numbers have shown a consistent increase in claims every month of at least 600,000 people off work.

Rhinehold has failed to demonstrate that jobless claims will stop rising any time soon. We could indeed replicate or even exceed those jobless claims. We could rebound earlier, of course, but I’ll tell you something else: employment tends to be a lagging indicator, something improves mostly after a recession ends, not before. Folks aren’t lending; the facts demonstrate that. Deflationary pressures are at a high not seen for decades. And the banks remain more screwed than they’ve been at any time for fifty years or more.

What’s our reason for conjecturing a recovery at this point? Until we see substantial improvements, there really isn’t a good reason to minimize the problems we’ve got, to be optimistic purely on principle. He’s saying its not the worst economic problem since the great depression, but he’s being selective both in the time and in the subject of the criteria he’s using to make that statement. The problem isn’t one particular thing hitting us, it’s multiple things hitting us all at once.

We’ve had economic problems in the the past, but there have been bright spots. The worst Stock Market crashes since the great Depression didn’t necessarily see a drop in GDP. Drops in GDP have occured without doing much damage to the stocks. The jobless claims have come in hot and heavy with huge interest rates and high inflation, but with our finance and credit systems working.

Our current situation and that of the Great Depression resemble each other in the respect that both represent overall economic clusterflubs. The failures are compounding each other, and most economists agree that we’ve got what’s essentially amounting to a deflationary crisis on the horizon.

People aren’t investing or spending, which undermines business, which in turn undermines employment, which undermines business by depriving people of paychecks.

Until we get our asses out of that situation, the kind of fiscal austerity the right is trying to force is extraordinarily premature, in no small part because such spending cuts, if done with no changes to the tax code, would take money out of an already capital-starved economy. And if you did drop taxes, you wouldn’t really be handling the fiscal situation well anyways.

The first priority is to get ourselves out of the rut, to fix the credit system and stimulate the economy so the deflationary feedback cycle doesn’t get the chance to establish itself. Get the private sector back to doing business. Then we can balance our books elsewhere, having better revenue to pay down our debts and prevent new ones with.

Scott-
We’re having ice formations in Antarctica that are remnants from the last ice age collapsing. These ice shelfs have been there for tens of thousands of years, and they’ve been the cork in the champaigne bottle. Coupled with considerable degradation of sea ice over the Arctic, and much faster than expected loss of ice sheet mass in Greenland, the glib declarations of cancelled global warming are premature.

Satellite passes over the Antarctic have shown significant portions of the ice sheet melting and reforming, not a good sign where the ice is supposed to be staying relatively put.

As for the Solar system warming? There are a few problem with your claim. First and foremost is that we have have not very much of an understanding of what drives climate on these alien worlds. I mean, we’re just beginning to send probes to figure out Mars’ climate, and we have to deal with the fact that Mars’ rotational dynamics and year (and therefore its seasons and daily cycles) are much different from ours.

And then you get to Pluto, which is a rather remote object in our solar system to begin with, which comes across as a blur on the Hubble Telescope, and which we’re only now sending a probe to get a close look at.

Now stop and think for a moment the lengths we’re having to go in order to understand climate here.

The second problem is that if your assertions were correct, and these all related to solar irradiance, we would see an actual increase in that irradiance. We have not. We’ve seen temperatures on Pluto rising despite its retreat from the sun. Even if irradiance were going up, it would go down for Pluto, naturally, as the Dwarf Planet ventured further out from the sun.

We’ve seen temperature profiles out of the measurements on Earth that don’t indicate that the warming is coming from a greater influx of solar radiation. Yet, the climate continues to warm.

We have to ask, if this is all just Chicken Little, where’s the proof things are changing for some other reason? Where’s the science that justifies this claim? CO2 could be completely wrong, but the evidence can and has discounted many of the alternatives to that claim. As it is, the results have reinforced the validity of greenhouse gas climate forcings.

Too often, those talking of climate change skepticism operate with an M.O. of realing off what are more or less talking point quibbles. If the weather doesn’t get invariably hotter than normal all the time, they’ll declare global warming a hoax because of that. If ice builds up anywhere, they’ll declare an end to Global Warming.

The trouble is, a lot of people are using standard issue public relations argumentation to deal with scientific issues, arguments and words designed to have impact on people without necessarily being solidly based on much more than the aesthetically pleasing story.

Part of the whole reason we have scientific disciplines is to separate the wheat of good explanations for why the world works as it does from the chaff of explanations that are merely pleasing to our mental predispositions. There are plenty of stories that sound right, which aren’t, and our main means of determining the difference lies in the examination of the real world evidence.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 18, 2009 6:40 PM
Comment #280520

Marysdude, may be moot as you understood what you said, but, what you said OBVIOUSLY, by the replies you got, did not clearly communicate your intent.

Anyway, we all understand what you meant now, with a few billion extra electrons changing hands. Thanks. :-)

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 18, 2009 8:24 PM
Comment #280523

“Opportunist…obstructionist…I wonder how many words we can use against each other.”

i guess i should’ve expected this grade school response. oh well :-/

Posted by: dbs at April 18, 2009 8:41 PM
Comment #280526

Strange how the childish determine the childish to be childish, again and again, ad nauseam…

Posted by: Marysdude at April 18, 2009 10:40 PM
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