Democrats & Liberals Archives

Hollywood Stevie Says Don't Try To Make Pies Into Cakes.

Well, somebody recently quoted a line of mine in their lede, so this is my chance to show turnabout is fair play, at least in this case:

Comment #320856 Remember, SD has expertise in the film industry and knows how to make a pie look like a cake.
Posted by: tom humes at March 30, 2011 04:45 PM

Funny he should mention that.

The challenge, often enough, in advertising, is to make real food look more real, more itself, more our idealization of what it's supposed to be. So the deception is often more subtle, yet more subversive than people would actually think.

Your well done burger on television is actually rare. The perfect buns and fries are chosen from a cast of thousands. The lettuce is pinned on, and the extra sesame seeds are glued on.

If you find yourself looking on that model with envy, their perfect proportions and everything, the secret is in the application of Adobe.

No, not the mud, the Photoshop.

In fact, we're talking some pretty serious revision, and it has its consequences.

My experience with audiovisual matters has only deepened my appreciation for one of my professor's rules: folks always work on partial information.

People are affected by video, media, and messages on a basic level, often enough. People should be more aware of the extent to which they are sold candidates and messages based not on rational appeals, but on aesthetic manipulations.

My experience of all that has been, though, that only some of the information, the partial information people get, is under your control. It's much more of a problem and a headache to BS people than most people realize, especially in a world where countervailing information can leak around the edges of your defenses. For politicians trained in the age of Reagan, who are used to the one-way authoritative flow of the news media, the new media probably inspires fits of paranoia and migraines galore.

That is, if you're trying to manipulate everything by the media. At best you'll confuse people, which may be good enough for some, but confusion, in the long run, isn't compelling but deadening.

The best model, in my approach, is to do your job, make sure things go right, and then decide how you will sell your decision to people. If you don't sell your position, good policy can be made unpopular by its detractors. The realm of communications cannot be ignored. However, at the same time, we really shouldn't be centering every policy decision on how it plays out in the media, for three reasons.

The first reason is that logic can never be entirely self-consistent, and media messages, when they become the dominant concern, can often bring people to become consistent to the message, rather than to anything else in the real world. Being right in the real world counts more than being right in your communications.

The second reason, really, is that you cannot control all information. A bad policy gives it off like the Fukushima reactor gives off Caesium and Iodine The evidence of what you actually do remains in the real world, and in these times, gets found out and distributed pretty quickly.

The third reason is a moral one, or at least touches on the moral image a person provides. If you are willing to say anything and send any message in order to stay on top in politics, you more or less are the functional equivalent of a psychopath. Even if you aren't, if all people get from you is one self-serving lie after another, they'll indulge what I think is the natural horror that people have of folks who endlessly mislead others and misrepresent themselves.

I think people, when it comes down to it, expect better from their leaders, but accept humanity from them. Those who try to strain and spin in an effort to appear superhuman in their virtue tend to fail, tend to be unpersuasive, sometimes even appear cut off from reality. Ultimately, it's a communicative bargain with the devil that ends as most such bargains end. Even if the image is just as manufactured as any other, folks want their pies to be named as pies, and their cakes as cakes, and those who show respect and honor to the boundaries of what is right and wrong, correct and incorrect do better than those who try to maintain false fronts indefinitely.

Of course, this is politics, and sometimes the steps of the dance dictate the movement, rather than what is rational and what is good. This is to be expected, because the arts of communication often involve a bit of artifice, which makes its own demands on people's behavior.

But what we really want to be is in control of both the dance of communication, and most importantly, what you're communicating about. Good politicians have to break free of what some would suggest is the message they must push, and remember that they're there to affect realities that are not so easily changed by the generous application of BS.

I may have mentioned this before, but I once rotoscoped somebody out of a shot. I could only do this because the camera was still and there was a period of time where the bankground was clear. The background of the past was matted in over the background (and the intruder in the shot) of the present.

Unfortunately, you can't rewind the tape on the Gulf Coast, and rotoscope out the oil. You can't blue-screen in the newly employed when your tax policy doesn't live up to its hype on job creation. You can computer generate false wealth, but as soon as people figure out it's BS, the illusion will fall apart.

If you don't understand the real limits of how your policies are working, or how much influence your communications can really have, you may end up pushing both past their real usefulness. Illusion may sell things well in the short term, but only reality can sustain the political strength of a party and the policy strength of a nation's government. Where policy and communication don't ground themselves in substance, they only set the scene for the failure and downfall of those who depend upon them.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at March 31, 2011 12:27 PM
Comments
Comment #320904

Congratulation Tom, you made the big time.

Posted by: 1776 at March 31, 2011 2:09 PM
Comment #320907

I much prefer sports analogies to Mr. Daugherty’s film magic.

Our national quarterback continues to get “sacked” as his offensive line lacks any training and dedication, being more interested in salary caps, union organizing and cheerleaders. His play calling results in pass interceptions and fumbles due to inexperience and failure to study the game plan being too otherwise occupied with planning his next vacation.

The quarterback came to the game with some experience carrying water for the players and did such a good job was promoted as he followed orders well. Once, very popular with the fans for his ability to talk a good game, he has since been booed regularly when he shows up for a game. His attempt to make the game more fair, and less dangerous, by outlawing tackling and shortening the field to 50 yards appears to be the final straw that turned the crowd against him.

Sports gossip and betting has him being traded to a Canadian start-up team owned by George Soros. All agree, that never has such a no-talent player gone so far and fallen so fast.

It is rumored that he will be counting on his once touted ability to gain a job with the Chicago Sanitary Service.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 31, 2011 2:43 PM
Comment #320910

Royal Flush-
And thus you demonstrate for everybody the danger of analogy by narrative: anybody can write anything they want.

Ayn Rand can write books where rape is love, where the folks who think they’re the hot stuff of the scientific and engineering community can “go Galt” and folks will actually miss them, rather than compete to fill their spots.

Tom Clancy can write books where extralegal powers don’t get abused, and the development of such groups doesn’t end in scandal.

Roland Emmerich can write films in which Climate changes overnight, along with whatever that continental drift things was in 2012.

Steven Spielberg can write a movie where although the seers can nail you for a murder before you commit it, you still have a choice, rather than write one where no choice truly exists.

Joel Surnow can write a television show where torture provides reliable information, despite what many studies and much personal experience has demonstrated in reality- that torture can get people to admit anything, whether or not true.

Brilliance is no guard against it. You can be smart, and just have the ability to dream up a more elaborate and convincing way to be wrong.

And you, can come up with a clumsy story that portrays Obama as a bumbling moron.

The human imagination can take us in any direction we want to go, regardless of what’s really true.

After all, what were the Republicans telling themselves during the Bush Administration? They were saying, perpetually, that we were turning the corner on Iraq. They were saying that these tax cuts, or more tax cuts would turn around the economy. They were saying that Afghanistan was taken care of, that the Taliban and al-Qaeda weren’t a problem anymore.

But while the refusal to test such claims against results liberated their propaganda, their asses remained firmly planted in trouble because of what their policies actually did.

I don’t care what your party is. I don’t even care if Barack Obama is your name. The results of policies send their own message.

Right now the Republicans are killing literally hundreds of thousands of jobs across the nation. They talk about them being the jobs of government workers, and get condescending about the actual value of those workers, but the fact remains that the direct results of the policies that Republicans have pushed so far is putting Americans out of work.

And that is all the Republicans really have their name to. You will be paid less, received fewer benefits, have less job security, will see your city services and the quality of your city’s appearance and prosperity decline.

So, in other words, the tale that can be told, as opposed to Republicans kicking lazy people out of their cushy jobs and balancing budgets (unlikely given all the tax cuts they give out), is that the Republican are essentially precipitating a broad-based decline of America’s prosperity, of its communities.

From that perspective, Obama’s politics not only make better fiscal sense, they make better electoral sense. His policy improved the country’s conditions when it was in crisis. Yours is dumping it back into crisis, or doing your damnedest to drop it back at the same time.

Of course, I could be wrong- reality will test my story as it does yours. But I am willing to adjust the narrative I dream of in my head to fit the facts, while you will continue to deny that anything could ever go wrong from a Republican policy, even as plenty does.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 31, 2011 4:38 PM
Comment #320912

Mr. Daugherty wrote; “And that is all the Republicans really have their name to. You will be paid less, received fewer benefits, have less job security, will see your city services and the quality of your city’s appearance and prosperity decline.”

Goodness, did you conjure that up while awake? You forgot to mention that granny will be starving in the street and our children will huddled in classrooms bulging with hundreds of students with no free lunch program. The bread-lines will return and (Oh horror) the poor will have to give up their cell phones, hi-speed Internet connections, plasma TV’s and nites out at the Bingo Parlor.

Please tell us all when, Mr. Daugherty, the federal government became responsible for 1) our pay, 2) our job security, 3) our city services, 4) our city’s appearance and 5) our prosperity?

OH WAIT…I know. When the libs and dems ushered in the age of “Interest Group Liberalism” and socialism lite. $14.4 trillion dollars later and we still must borrow more to satisfy this Leninist dream of our dem and lib politicians.

The libs and dems hang their dreams on ever increasing lines of credit and printing money to continue purchasing votes from those they have made government wards. What a bunch of sorry bastards.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 31, 2011 4:55 PM
Comment #320913

By the way, I like your new name…Hollywood Stevie. Are you pals yet with Charlie Sheen? I believe he could teach you a lot about life in the fast lane, good manners, and getting along well with others. And, be sure to pal up with Sean Penn, a peace loving commie that Hollywood just loves.

By the way, how is your hero, Peace Prize winning oobama, doing to end the two Bush wars as promised before starting a new one? Does anyone remember all the heated anti-war rhetoric coming from Mr. “Golden Throat” when he was running for office and how different he sounds now. “Change we can believe in!” Ya…sure. More war, more spending, more pain. He sure can spread it around.

Was Edgar Bergen doing his voice then…or now. We all know he is just someones dummy.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 31, 2011 5:10 PM
Comment #320914

Would Mr. Daugherty care to comment on this draconian cut in government waste?

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has named Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) Porker of the Month for his absurd belief that a federally-funded Cowboy Poetry Festival in Elko, Nevada (pop. 17,000) constitutes essential government spending. The festival receives a portion of its budget from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), whose $146 million budget was defunded under H.R. 1, the Full-Year Continuing Resolution for fiscal year 2011, that Sen. Reid helped defeat in the Senate. During a floor speech on March 8, 2011, Sen. Reid described the proposed termination as “mean-spirited,” stating that were it not for NEH’s federal money, the Cowboy Poetry Festival and “the tens of thousands of people who come there every year, would not exist.” In response, Western Folklife Center Executive Director Charlie Seemann commented that NEH funds just 7 percent of the festival and that he and his fellow cowboys “could certainly continue if we lose that funding.” For undervaluing the individual, entrepreneurial spirit that makes America great and believing that federal taxpayers should pay for everything, even those programs that can stand on their own, CAGW names Senate Majority Leader Reid the March Porker of the Month. Read more about the Porker of the Month.

http://www.cagw.org/

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 31, 2011 5:26 PM
Comment #320915


Yea, it’s a real shame Obama doesn’t have the experience that Bush had. Bush’s experience proved he was a looser but he was elected anyhow. The independents should have known better.

We have a Republican in Congress that thinks the revolution began in New Hampshire.

One that wants to know if Obama is going to attack Africa after he attacks Libya.

And, one that thinks Obama is going to kill our army off in Libya so he can declare martial law and unleash his private army of health care providers on the unsuspecting citizens.

Each one of these Republicans, without a doubt, is presidential material. They are truly representative of the Republican Party.

Posted by: jlw at March 31, 2011 5:51 PM
Comment #320916

Royal Flush-
Whatever you say, the only real legislative bills concerning jobs that your people have signed, are bills that kill jobs.

Your theory might be that the economic effects from this will break some sort of block towards the economy improving, but the basice problem of our economy is not an excess of certain jobs, but a lack of them. Like I say, the calculus of your legislation will have to overcome the arithmetic of your cuts. You’re prepared, from the Governors and Legislators up to the GOP controlled house to kill millions of jobs.

Where are those millions going to get made back. What will make up for the loss in customers? What will make up for the loss in contracts, and all that other stuff. You may decry it as interest group politics (laughable considering your party’s devotion to its special interests) but it still contributes, and its absence still hurts.

Your narrative cannot forever struggle against the facts and remain credible, and if your policies hurt things even more, it won’t be Obama that takes the blame. People will remember that he engaged in emergency spending to save the economy.

They’ll remember that the Republicans paid off their friends and screwed everybody else.

At least, that’s one story that can get told. But ultimately, the story that does get told will depend on whether Republicans have any real progress to show for their efforts.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 31, 2011 5:53 PM
Comment #320918

Mr. Daugherty writes; “You’re prepared, from the Governors and Legislators up to the GOP controlled house to kill millions of jobs.”

Hogwash…more conjuring by Hollywood Stevie. You of course have the facts to back up that comment. OH WAIT…can’t be a fact if the outcome lies in the future. Kind of like MMGW…all fluff filled with…perhaps, maybe, we expect and according to computer models.

You comment indicates that “millions of jobs” depend on the US raising its credit card limit, and if we don’t get an increase, we will be bankrupt.

Let’s examine that premise. The full faith and credit of the US will default without a credit limit increase. Unless we get more credit to spend more our credit will be ruined. How absurd. What ruins credit is the inability to manage it in a sensible fashion and having more than one can afford to pay back.

If it all hangs on more credit we are already doomed.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 31, 2011 6:37 PM
Comment #320919

RF

Is the new show going to be called “No Men and 4 Boys”?

Somewhere the money has to be real, not those zeroes that the government just loves to add on and make it appear that everything is coming up roses. Well those thorns among the roses are about to get sharpened up and just cut the heck out of the dreamers.

I’m going down to my investment company and the bank and tell them to just add 3 zeroes on the end of all of my accounts and voila, look at how my wealth took off. Just 3 keystrokes per account. Now I can go buy a new Ferrari for myself. My wife prefers Mercedes but that ok, I can handle that too. And when big Al is up there in his plane he can look out about 5 miles away and see me in my new jet, just crankin’ out those carbon credits. Life the fast lane just got terrific. And all I did was a government maneuver of adding 3 zeroes to all my financial records.

Posted by: tom humes at March 31, 2011 6:52 PM
Comment #320921

Perhaps Hollywood Stevie could produce us a short film blamming the 100% rise in gas prices on Bush.

“Gasoline up 100% under Obama

Feeling pain at the pump? Gas prices have doubled since Mr. Obama took office. According to the GasBuddy gasoline price tracking web site, the price of a gallon of regular gas was around $1.79 when Mr. Obama took office. Today the national average is $3.58. The lowest average price in the continental United States is $3.31 in Tulsa Oklahoma, the highest is $4.14 in Santa Barbara, CA. Four-dollar-a-gallon gas has arrived on average throughout California, and a number of other states are headed in that direction.

Consumer price index (CPI) figures from February show an unadjusted 12 month gasoline inflation rate of 19.2%, but in the last month alone prices jumped 6.8%, probably because of oil price increases due to instabilities in the Middle East. If the trend continues, gas prices would double again within a year. 100% gasoline price inflation is nothing to brag about, but imagine Mr. Obama going into the 2012 election having to explain why gas costs $7.00 a gallon. I’m sure the White House would spin it as one of their “Green” initiatives.”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/watercooler/2011/mar/30/gas-prices-double-under-obama/


Seriously, how do you think the pro-union blue collar workers will vote in 2012, when they are working all day to put gas in their car, just so they can drive to work? I wonder if Mr. Daugherty believes union workers are so stupid as to believe there is no oil under the ground?

On a lighter and happier note; the Ohio legislator has passed a great bill and will be signed by Kasich.

Here’s a real good one:

“Shah: GOP budget would kill 70,000 children”

http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/03/31/shah_gop_budget_would_kill_70000_children

Fear mongering…

Posted by: 1776 at March 31, 2011 8:34 PM
Comment #320923

Royal Flush-
This Debt Ceiling thing is a perfect illustration of how the stories we tell ourselves can undermine our good judgment.

What you fail to take into account is this isn’t merely some person going into bankruptcy, it is the world’s biggest holder of debt. Your action would take one of the safest investments in the world, the American Treasury bond, and make it nearly worthless overnight. With that, would go the value of the dollar.

If you can think of a scenario where such collapses of full faith and credit are a good thing, then your imagination is better than mine. It would make the consequences of the Lehman Brothers collapse look like a bounced check at a grocery store.

Tell me something else: after you’re done killing all the state and federal jobs you’re planning on killing, after you cut all the contracts and services, what next? Where is the growth supposed to come from? Magic supply side fairy dust? Who’s supposed to buy the goods and services that will get this economy out of the hole if you put more people out on the streets? Are you going to warp them in from a parallel universe?

At some point, a person has to realize that politics, with it’s conventions of creating solutions, is not sufficient to fully flesh out the right or wrong of what can or should be done. Unfortunately, Republicans seem to think nowadays that all answers to solving the problems of the world rest within their platform.

tom humes-
Sorry. Money isn’t real, and has never been real. It’s always been symbolic. Using a real material for the symbol, while reassuring, means that your economy depends on the supply of that real material. If it’s gold, you don’t necessarily mine it fast enough to create real growth in the money supply, so you’re stuck with big periods of negative capital expansion in the economy.

Or, as we call them, Depressions. Essentially times when we idle real workers and real capital for the sake of a symbolic reduction in absolute wealth. After the last one, we decided we would make trade in the dollar more of a factor in what it was worth, setting up systems of exchange.

The dollar is worth what it’s worth because people agree to exchange that much for it. It’s a market operation, no less unreal than any estimation of price or value you might do if your money was based on gold.

1776-
Let’s explain gas prices. There are two parts to what made gas more expensive: Speculation, and consumption.

The speculators bought up whole bunches of futures contracts, making the oil more scarce on the market, and therefore more expensive. When the 2008 crisis hit, oil prices went down in part because of the selling off of such futures by financial operations that needed the cash.

But also, consumption went down. The worldwide economic recession reduced the use of fuel, put a hitch in the giddyup of the Asian economies, not to mention ours.

So, prices went back down to around a dollar. They rebounded quickly from that, but it was a steep decline.

Now, the traders are back speculating (and your people, in fact, are fighting to keep them able to do so) so prices are rising.

And, of course, the Asian Economies are back in growth, and so is our economy, so people are trading, traveling, and whatever all over again. People in Asia are buying cars, burning gas, and making oil more scarce once again.

That explains the large increase in price, proportionally.

As for the fear-mongering? The fellow offered facts as to why the decision could be so deadly. The ball is in your court to disprove his claims, not just disparage them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 31, 2011 10:26 PM
Comment #320924

Well Mr.Daugherty, good luck explaining that one to the voters in Nov. 2012, if their paying $5+ a gal for gas.

Posted by: 1776 at March 31, 2011 10:47 PM
Comment #320926

1776-
Would Republicans be explaining anything less in 2012, given the facts?

See, none of the supplies you would have us put on tap would be brought online for years, so you wouldn’t see prices dip there.

Consumption remains high. By the time you get the supply on line, China and India will be gobbling up more oil, and so will we.

So what will Republicans say, the same thing they said after 2005? That increased exploration would drive off higher prices at the pump? Didn’t work.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 1, 2011 12:36 AM
Comment #320927

SD

Must be a CZAR. Can’t Zee Any Reality

Posted by: tom humes at April 1, 2011 2:33 AM
Comment #320930

1776,
Okay, gas prices have doubled under Obama. The DOW is up 50%+ under Obama. That’s a pretty good deal for most capitalists. I can see that non-free market socialists (such as yourself?) might not be too happy though.

Posted by: Schwamp at April 1, 2011 8:03 AM
Comment #320937

Mr. Daugherty wrote; “Your action would take one of the safest investments in the world, the American Treasury bond, and make it nearly worthless overnight. With that, would go the value of the dollar.”

Hollywood Stevie apparently didn’t understand what I wrote. Intentionally, I suspect, so he could write a response to a statement that suited him better.

I believe congress should approve a budget that keeps vital services and entitlements going, not fund increases for any programs, and defund programs that merely satisfy “Interest Group Liberalism” to pander for votes. And, there should be substantial reductions to our military spending. That, along with a sufficient increase in the borrowing limit, will keep government open, but not obese. We need government that is lean and responsive to those who pay the bills.

He also wrote; ” The speculators bought up whole bunches of futures contracts, making the oil more scarce on the market, and therefore more expensive. When the 2008 crisis hit, oil prices went down in part because of the selling off of such futures by financial operations that needed the cash.”

Clearly, Mr. Daugherty does not have an understanding of the commodities market. Purchasing futures contracts on commodities does not make the commodity more scarce and selling futures contracts does not make the commodity more plentiful. How in the hell would that work?

Financial operations do not normally sell futures because they are cash strapped. It could be the case, but that would be rare.

I believe that some changes in the rules for futures trading should be seriously considered by congress. I traded commodities for years on my own and have a good understanding how that market works.


Posted by: Royal Flush at April 1, 2011 2:33 PM
Comment #320938

57% Okay With Government Shutdown If It Leads to Deeper Budget Cuts

“A majority of voters are fine with a partial shutdown of the federal government if that’s what it takes to get deeper cuts in federal government spending.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 57% of Likely U.S. Voters think making deeper spending cuts in the federal budget for 2011 is more important than avoiding a partial government shutdown. Thirty-one percent (31%) disagree and say avoiding a shutdown is more important. Twelve percent (12%) are not sure.

This shows little change from late February when 58% of voters said it was better to have a partial government shutdown than to keep spending at current levels.”

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/march_2011/57_okay_with_government_shutdown_if_it_leads_to_deeper_budget_cuts

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 1, 2011 2:38 PM
Comment #320943
Stephen Daugherty wrote:What you fail to take into account is this isn’t merely some person going into bankruptcy, it is the world’s biggest holder of debt. Your action would take one of the safest investments in the world, the American Treasury bond, and make it nearly worthless overnight. With that, would go the value of the dollar.
Safest ?!?

Here’s a question:

    Where will the money come from for the tens of trillions being spent and borrowed when that money does not already exist? Much of it is being created out of thin air (as debt) at a ratio of 9-to-1, which is why 90%-to-95% of all money in existence in the U.S. exists as debt.

Here’s the answer to that question above.
They have no good choices left.
They will attempt to print more money out of thin air, resulting in high inflation, and quite possibly, hyperinflation, which will debauch the currency.

Another choice is to default on tens of trillions of debt, which will also debauch the currency and the economy. That will happen anyway, essentially, via hyperinflation.

The last choice (which is V E R Y unlikely and also possibly too late to matter) is for the severely bloated, wasteful, FOR-SALE, and corrupt federal government to stop the rampant creation of new money out of thin air, stop the rampant wasteful spending, and downsize the severely bloated federal government. The chances of that are essentially ZERO, since it is quite possibly too late.

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, repeatedly rewarding the duopoly, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with 90% re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 1, 2011 4:49 PM
Comment #320948

Royal Flush-
No, I did understand what you wrote, and it’s ****ing wrong.

Don’t you get that? If you say, no more borrowing above this limit, and you’re at that limit, than that means that any ability to borrow further ends. But that means that all the stuff you’re getting on a deficit now has to be paid for by tax dollars which are already spoken for.

It’s choice between being a deadbeat to your current obligations, or being one to your creditors.

This is why Republican policies have so easily increased the deficit and the debt by so much: Republicans use politics, not numbers to measure their spending and taxation. They expected the calculus of the complex secondary effects to save them from the arithmetic of it, and it didn’t happen.

I know why you keep on pushing this Interest Group Liberalism thing. But the thing about it is, most of our new debt and our runaway spending came from your interest group Conservatism. You pandered to your Club For Growth people, an created an unneeded, ill timed set of tax cuts. You pandered to your Neocons and got us into an ill-advised second campaign in Asia when we weren’t done with the first. You pandered to your New World Order Paranoids, and threw the legacy of twenty years of respected Republican results in international matters into the trash.

Republicans do little else but pander to their interest groups these days.

Democrats have their interest groups to satisfy, but they’re willing, sometimes too willing to cross them in order to appeal to independents and moderate Republicans.

As for Oil prices? It’s not just futures, it’s market manipulation of supply that’s driving cost.

We could outlaw such manipulations, but that would be government and you consider that evil.

On “partial government shutdown”, what the **** is a partial government shutdown? To me, it sounds like a way to euphemize the concept of a government shutdown. Now, you could say that they’re being honest, and perhaps they are technically, but if you think it out, there’s another angle to this. More on that later.

If you say just plain government shut down, the numbers for a shutdown of even a few days are 59-36 against. Make that a few weeks, and the numbers are 73-24 against. And you know who gets the blame? 46 to 37, in the Republicans favor, so to speak.

As for spending reductions, you might get them on the generality of it, but try the specifics. That’s the issue with talking about folk’s opinion of a partial government shutdown. What part is being shut down?

The distinction on both budget cuts and temporary shutdowns is not an unimportant factor, if you consider that there are government programs people actually like.

Unemployment, which Republicans have gone after? Overwhelmingly against cuts.

Social Security and Medicare? Overwhelmingly against cuts.

Education, which Republicans love to go after? Overwhelmingly against cuts.

Medicaid, which Republicans have targeted or considered abolishing altogether? Same story.

And of course, nobody likes folks screwing around with Vets Benefits.

What does this tell us?

It tells us there’s a reason that journalists and lawyers ask people follow-up questions. Folks often think things through in a rather non-comprehensive fashion, not really filling out everything, or exploring their attitudes completely. This is human nature, really. A lot of people synchronize what they say with other people, when pushed, but even so, retain many beliefs and preferences that conflict with that.

Which is to say that in every voters, hidden fault lines exist.

The question is, if Republicans push hard enough on these things, do people’s opinions shift against them. If it turns out that all the things they don’t like when it comes to cuts, are the things Republicans bring in to be cut in their budget, is it completely possible that folks might not have such a welcoming opinion about such politicians?

Ah, there’s the rub. Already, we’ve seen many of the conservatives who shoved their agenda down the throats of states they won narrowly seeing strong drops in their approval ratings. Rick Scott, Walker, Kasich, Le Page, and even Christie have lost ground, since they actually brought out their plans. The Republicans, eager to show people what wonderful fiscal conservatives they are, seem to have leaped into a pitfall.

Which is not to say people want out of control spending increases. But if somebody where to start projects which, in a cost-conscious way, helped create more jobs and growth, I don’t think people would necessarily disagree with that.

Dan-
Is inflation currently a problem? Are people currently fleeing treasury bonds? Does your feeling and that of others justify precipitating a worldwide credit crisis that hasn’t precipitated itself?

I know the politicians are bad, but this generalized BS doesn’t do much to help motivate anybody to fire the right people. It’s one thing to talk about the firing of all those politicians. I’m more interested in achieving their replacement, and making sure somebody better gets in. You got your replacement in 2010. But what came of it? Worse policy. Feckless legislators more loyal to politics and party than their responsibilities. In politics, people often fail to consider the balance of quality between two different candidates, and the ultimate uselessness of not making a choice.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 1, 2011 6:40 PM
Comment #320953

On “partial government shutdown”, what the **** is a partial government shutdown?

Read your screed and only this one caught my attention…sorry, but the rest was just retread comments. Before writing further, study the meaning and perhaps you will eventually get it.

I printed off the rest and will place it in my bathroom to use for something.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 1, 2011 8:07 PM
Comment #320954

“1776-

Let’s explain gas prices. There are two parts to what made gas more expensive: Speculation, and consumption.

The speculators bought up whole bunches of futures contracts, making the oil more scarce on the market, and therefore more expensive…

Now, the traders are back speculating (and your people, in fact, are fighting to keep them able to do so) so prices are rising”

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 31, 2011 10:26 PM

I don’t believe I have ever heard so much double talk…

I want to approach this very slow and see if I understand what Mr. Daugherty is saying.

The 2 parts of what is causing fuel prices to increase: Speculation and consumption. So far I agree with you.

Speculators bought up futures, yes. Making oil scarcer on the market; do you mean there is less oil? How do you come to this conclusion? Do you have facts to prove there is less oil being produced, or did you just pull this one out of your anal cavity? But we haven’t even reached the best part yet.

Let me ask you a question Mr. Daugherty, and if you would, try to answer it in as few words as possible. My eyes have a tendency to glaze over when I read some of your stuff. If I understand you correctly, you are saying the actual production of oil has no effect on the price. You are saying the speculators are driving up the cost of oil and they are doing it simply because the production of oil could be threatened. I believe this is what you are saying. What would happen to the speculators if the president of the United States said, “we are opening up oil drilling in Alaska, the Gulf, Shale, East coast and West coast”? Don’t get hung up on how long it will take to drill wells that produce. I want to know if obama’s words to drill would have any effect on the oil speculators. Take your time; take your liberal hat off and just think logically…

Posted by: 1776 at April 1, 2011 8:26 PM
Comment #320955

I printed off the rest and will place it in my bathroom to use for something.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 1, 2011 08:07 PM

hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

To use some of Prince Daugherty’s essays in the bathroom would mean…huh…a real royal flush…

Posted by: 1776 at April 1, 2011 8:32 PM
Comment #320956

Royal Flush-
What part of a Government shutdown are people actually willing to tolerate?

Will most news organizations report such a shutdown as partial, or will they simply call it a shutdown?

Your poll is useless, because it doesn’t anticipate those questions. You think it’s a stupid question, but it’s really a critical one, and your neglect only shows what poor political survival skills the average Republican has nowadays.

You need to know what people’s limits on these policies will be, because there will be a cost for crossing some lines that your party will be sorry to pay.

1776-
It doesn’t matter if there’s less oil objectively, so much as there being less oil free to be supplied to them.

Take the oil in Oklahoma. That pipeline from Canada we’re talking about it will make it easier for imported Canadian oil to come directly down to the Gulf-Coast refineries. That, of course, floods the market with product that otherwise comes more slowly into the local supply than the Oklahoma oil.

Well, what are the folks in Oklahoma going to do with their oil?

Store it. Not deal it out. Same thing OPEC does. They keep oil prices high by limiting production.

As for your answer?

What would happen if Obama said tomorrow, we’re opening it all up?

It’s simple. There’s a word you need to know: contango. It means paying more for a futures contract than the oil’s going to be worth when it comes due.

If we open up the production in all those fields? Well, simply put, the folks up there are going to make sure that what’s actually supplied to the customers is scarce enough that prices remain the same. They’ll put it in tanks, they’ll move it around in Tankers, they’ll get some of their friends to churn the speculative waters. They’ll do whatever they can to make more on the oil they buy with futures contracts than they paid for it.

If that sounds like a screwy way to do things, you’re right. But that’s what kind of policies you actually supported, by electing your friendly Republican Representatives.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 1, 2011 9:16 PM
Comment #320957

Mr. Daugherty, I read your link and I know what “contango” means. Why can’t you just answer yes or no and just give a reason. Do you think everyone out here in flyover territory is stupid and it’s up to you to give us a history/economy lesson? When I ask for a simple answer, I am referring to a yes or no.

So the question is, do we have an example in history of a president announcing the opening up of drilling, and what part did it play in the futures of oil? Oh, by the way, I think you are full of caca.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/165893/bush-says-drill-drill-drill-mdash-and-oil-drops-9/larry-kudlow

“In a dramatic move yesterday President Bush removed the executive-branch moratorium on offshore drilling. Today, at a news conference, Bush repeated his new position, and slammed the Democratic Congress for not removing the congressional moratorium on the Outer Continental Shelf and elsewhere. Crude-oil futures for August delivery plunged $9.26, or 6.3 percent, almost immediately as Bush was speaking, bringing the barrel price down to $136.

Now isn’t this interesting?

Democrats keep saying that it will take 10 years or longer to produce oil from the offshore areas. And they say that oil prices won’t decline for at least that long. And they, along with Obama and McCain, bash so-called oil speculators. And today we had a real-world example as to why they are wrong. All of them. Reid, Pelosi, Obama, McCain — all of them.

Traders took a look at a feisty and aggressive George Bush and started selling the market well before a single new drop of oil has been lifted. What does this tell us? Well, if Congress moves to seal the deal, oil prices will probably keep on falling. That’s the way traders work. They discount the future. Psychology and expectations can turn on a dime.”

Why yes Mr. Daugherty, we did face this situation before and while the demoncrats were blocking the drilling of oil (nothing ever changes), Bush lifted the ban and guess what, the speculators began to sell and the price of oil came down. It wasn’t an increase or decrease oil production; it was the threat of the production that dropped the prices.

I will sit patiently and wait for Mr. Daugherty to write pages and pages of rebuttal explaining why my facts are false and his opinion is right.

Posted by: 1776 at April 1, 2011 10:40 PM
Comment #320958

1776, Just googled Venezuela’s price on Gas, and got the 5 lowest prices per gallon U.S.. #1 Venezuela $0.12, #2 Nigeria $0.38 #3 Egypt $0.65 #4 Kuwait $0.78 and S.A. $0.91. Now me personely I wouldn’t mind paying the same as S.A. If Venezuela can keep their prices as low as they do, I would venture to think that we here in the U.S can do the same.

Posted by: KAP at April 1, 2011 11:13 PM
Comment #320960

If that printed page that goes in your bathroom ends up being used by you and the name of a well known person here on WB gets wiped on your arce and your wife sees it, you may have some splainin to do about the autograph you collected of a liberal and the only place it is found is on your arce.

Posted by: tom humes at April 1, 2011 11:47 PM
Comment #320961


Sure we can keep the price down to the Venezuelan price if we go socialist.

How about that, I guess we can have lower prices. The Dakotas are in the middle of a oil boom and the price is only $3.39.

If the price is that cheap in those countries compared to the price here, what does that tell you?

That transportation costs increase the price by a multiplier of 10?

How come gas produced from gulf oil or other wells in America isn’t $0.369 instead of $3.69? That is American oil.

Posted by: jlw at April 1, 2011 11:57 PM
Comment #320962


Here we are, in this crisis of need, and the government is refusing to allow the industry to drill baby drill.

And yet, two thirds of the oil leases issued to drill for oil in the Gulf of Mexico and half of on sure leases are not being utilized. Why? Because this is not about drilling for oil. It is about destroying government regulations, environmental rules, work place safety, etc. It is about destroying governments ability to interfere in business.

So the promise being supported by the right is lower gas prices in return for third world standards.

Posted by: jlw at April 2, 2011 12:13 AM
Comment #320963

jlw, Transportation cost at a multiplier of 10, that would tell me to use the most of our own resources instead of importing it from a place halfway around the world. From what I googled, it said that we import twice or three times as much as we produce domesticaly and out of what we produce domesticaly we export some of that, which don’t make to much sence. If we have the oil here why not drill for it and use it here and if we have some left export that. I’d be happy to see gas prices fall to $2.00 per gallon most people could live with that.

Posted by: KAP at April 2, 2011 12:16 AM
Comment #320964


He can just wipe his arse on your face and no one will notice. If you want to play Jr. High expect Jr. High response.

Posted by: jlw at April 2, 2011 12:20 AM
Comment #320965

jlw, some of the rules and regs are so restrictive and to costly to act on those leases, but our president is willing enough to pay some other country to off shore drill so they can sell to us. IMO we have the technology to drill here and to do it safely without being so restrictive.

Posted by: KAP at April 2, 2011 12:37 AM
Comment #320966

Your right KAP, the left loves to talk about the leases the oil companies already have, but things are not that simple.

The foreign countries with the cheap gas are like Canada with cheap drugs: somebody is paying full price, and that somebody is the taxpayers.

Once again we have all the little terriers coming to the aid of their mentor. Defend SD is the word of the day….but no one answered the question posed to SD.

Posted by: 1776 at April 2, 2011 12:51 AM
Comment #320968

1776-
I think you’re afraid of being shown up. I write for adults who can process more than just twitter-sized fragments of text, and bumper sticker complexity of political thought. If that’s too much for you, sorry, but that’s competition in the marketplace of ideas.

No, I didn’t say production had no effect on price. I just said that what traders are doing, what OPEC is doing, is manipulating the market to counteract that change in price, and they’ll do that to avoid paying more for the oil than it’s going to be worth at the later date.

So, they’re not going to allow that much supply to get out there, so that oil prices fall. They’ll find ways to reduce consumer access to that oil, and they’ll charge what the market can bear, not what the objective supply justifies. That’s what current selective forces within the economy will lead them to chose to do. If such BS maneuvers are outlawed, the market will react more rationally, but until then, increases in supply will not matter.

Of course, what complicates that is that the price you can get for oil changes the amount of a supply that is economical to recover. So, we’ll see oil prices fluctuate around a point of equilibrium, where the affordability of drilling at current price meets the justified price of the product according to current supply.

KAP-
The reason we don’t rely on domestic oil anymore is that we haven’t the reserves to meet demand. Those other countries have much less demand for oil, and much oil in the proven reserves.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 2, 2011 1:02 AM
Comment #320969


Kap, do you have any idea of the environmental regulations that are posed on oil companies by other countries. Most modern countries have regulations comparable to ours or they are working on them. The primary exceptions are countries headed by dictators or countries that have state owned oil companies. Many South American countries, have state owned companies and several Administrations have had success in persuading those countries into lifting sanctions against private investments and ownership. The Obama Administration is continuing this effort.

There is nowhere that capital can go to escape regulation. It eventually shows up everywhere. The Chinese and the Indian governments are writing new regulations and strengthening others almost daily. Regulation is a product of popular demand, not government whim.

Government regulation also comes with government incentives and protections. Remove the regulations, the incentives and the protections and companies would not drill in sensitive areas if they were held totally liable for damages. If the wishes of our Founding Fathers that the principle owners of corporations personal fortunes were liable for damages, no corporations would touch that oil under the Gulf.

We don’t have to offer the Brazilians incentives, the Chinese will be more than willing to do business with them.

Why would Stephen need to be defended from the attacks of intellectual midgets? No one offered a credible rebuttal to Stephen either.

Posted by: jlw at April 2, 2011 1:38 AM
Comment #320974

Thanks jlw for defending Stephen once again. But Mr. Daugherty did not answer the question. Four paragraphs of the same old liberal rhetoric. I guess if we don’t like the results of Bush lifting a drilling ban, then we just ignore it.

Posted by: 1776 at April 2, 2011 10:01 AM
Comment #320975

Stephen and jlw, BULLS__T

Posted by: KAP at April 2, 2011 10:17 AM
Comment #320979


Kap, if you want to believe that other countries aren’t regulating the industry and that the price of gas will be $0.12 per gal. if we just have unlimited unregulated drilling then believe it.

1776, the American consumers are paying to subsidize the Canadian drug prices and that of other countries with socialized medicine. The American consumer plus the American taxpayer are subsidizing third world prices.

So, while drugs are still sold for a profit in Canada and other countries, we are the ones that provide the bulk of the profits for the drug industry.

While their governments negotiate, ours capitulates.

Taxpayer subsidized drug profits are a big part of the Bush Prescription Drug Act.

Posted by: jlw at April 2, 2011 1:30 PM
Comment #320980

jlw, I know other countries have regulations but they don’t have a bunch of tree huggers whinning and crying about the environment. I believe we need to protect the environment but regulating business out of business is not the answer. Drilling here at home would create jobs and good paying ones at that, building new refineries to handle the demand. As I said we have the technology to drill here and be SAFE at the same time. Stephen there is enough oil here, get your nose out of the Huff post and kos and the other liberal BS you read and you might learn something.

Posted by: KAP at April 2, 2011 1:56 PM
Comment #320981


Some Canadians drive across the U.S. border to buy their gasoline because it is cheaper here. Many people in Southern Ohio drive across the border to buy their cigarettes in Kentucky for the same reason, but I don’t think the cigarettes are $0.12 per pack in Kentucky. Kentucky grows a lot of tobacco so I guess they could sell them for $0.12 plus $0.06 tax per pack, but they don’t.

It is whatever the market will bear isn’t it fellas? In a country so dependent on oil, the price that is born by the captive consumer is going to be high no matter the source of the oil.

But we haven’t invested in alternatives because gasoline is cheap, right?

The price we pay for gas is a subsidized by taxpayers price and the taxpayers are paid back in part by the taxes placed on the consumer. Rather than rebuild and repair our aging infrastructure we use the revenue to subsidize the corporations.

What we need is for conservatives to provide examples of a free market economy so we can compare the results. Instead we get accusations and proclamations. What, no examples?

Posted by: jlw at April 2, 2011 2:28 PM
Comment #320983

That’s the way traders work. They discount the future. Psychology and expectations can turn on a dime.”

Correct. If I own an oil refinery but not the oil that I refine I have to buy my raw product somewhere, at some price, and at some known period of time. I am not a speculator, but rather, a consumer of the product. My goal is to purchase my raw material at the best price I can find, with a guaranteed delivery date. My goals are entirely different than those who speculate on commodity contacts. I wish to use the product, they wish to speculate on earning money on the product. Both are necessary for the market to work. Remove either, and it fails.

And, I need to ensure a constant flow of my raw product to keep my plant operating. So, I purchase oil futures to ensure that I will have the raw product at a known price exactly when I require it.

If the price of my raw product has fallen from my contract price when I take delivery of my contract then I have paid a premium but still have the product to stay in business at a know cost.

If the price of my raw product has risen from my contract price when I take delivery, then I have earned a premium and make a greater profit and still have the product to stay in business at a known cost.

Oil is no different in the way it is traded than any other commodity such as gold, corn, currency, whatever.

If I grow corn I am at the mercy of the weather, fuel prices, fertilizer prices, labor prices, and such. Oil producers face unknowns as well. The commodities market is a way for producers to remove some risk from their product. That there are willing buyers and sellers of commodity contracts makes the entire market work.

If oil producers only sold contracts to oil refineries there would be much less competition for their product and price fixing could occur. With millions of traders buying and selling commodity futures it makes for much competition and eliminates price fixing by the producers or users.

As a corn farmer, Lets assume I wish to earn $6/bushel. I offer a contract on the commodities market to sell my future corn crop at that price. Someone believes that’s a good price. It could be a breakfast cereal maker, corn syrup producer, or whatever. When delivery time comes if the actual price of corn is at $5 per bushel they have paid a premium to ensure they have the raw corn at a predetermined price that still allows them to make a profit.
The manufacturer that purchased a corn contract at $5 per bushel will make even more profit or can sell at a reduced price.

When delivery time comes if the actual price of corn is at $7 per bushel they have earned a premium and still ensured that they will have the raw corn they need at a predetermined price and make an even greater profit or can sell their finished product for less.

Meanwhile, the farmer, earned his desired $6 per bushel. If everyone had a great year and grew lots of corn but waited longer to sell it they might have to settle for $5 per bushel, not the $6 that our farmer paid. And, conversely, if draught hits or energy cost rise beyond this farmers expectations, he is stuck selling his corn at the predetermined price of $6 per bushel while those who waited might be getting $8 per bushel.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 2, 2011 2:47 PM
Comment #320986

Correction; “Meanwhile, the farmer, earned his desired $6 per bushel. If everyone had a great year and grew lots of corn but waited longer to sell it they might have to settle for $5 per bushel, not the $6 that our farmer paid earned.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 2, 2011 3:10 PM
Comment #320987

Excellent article found in the Wall Street Journal.

“If you want to understand better why so many states—from New York to Wisconsin to California—are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, consider this depressing statistic: Today in America there are nearly twice as many people working for the government (22.5 million) than in all of manufacturing (11.5 million). This is an almost exact reversal of the situation in 1960, when there were 15 million workers in manufacturing and 8.7 million collecting a paycheck from the government.

It gets worse. More Americans work for the government than work in construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining and utilities combined. We have moved decisively from a nation of makers to a nation of takers. Nearly half of the $2.2 trillion cost of state and local governments is the $1 trillion-a-year tab for pay and benefits of state and local employees. Is it any wonder that so many states and cities cannot pay their bills?”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704050204576219073867182108.html

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 2, 2011 3:29 PM
Comment #320988

jlw, Some Canadians drive across the border to buy gas, I agree it is cheaper here, so is buying a Hamburger, a motel room and a bottle of Pepsi. So what’s your point? Kentucky is an example of what I’m saying, Cigarettes are cheaper there because they don’t have to import Tobacco, they grow their own. We drill our own oil here it will reduse the cost.

Posted by: KAP at April 2, 2011 3:30 PM
Comment #320991

Royal, the bad thing on government employees is that they produce nothing. They are slugs on society. But, the left believes they are creating employment when the government hires more people. I would be curious to know the percentage of minorities that are hired by government. These jobs are a form of redistribution of wealth, the continued goal of the left.

Posted by: 1776 at April 2, 2011 5:09 PM
Comment #320992

1776,

the bad thing on government employees is that they produce nothing. They are slugs on society.

Please quite making such hyperbolic blanket statements. There are indeed some government employees that produce valuable services and others who are indeed drains on our society. We need to be discerning when it comes to deciding which ones we target for elimination and which ones we choose to keep.

KAP,

We drill our own oil here it will reduse the cost.

No it won’t. The oil we drill for here costs the same or even more than the oil we import. The only way for prices to go down is for the government to increase the current subsidies for fossil fuels or for society to decrease its demand for fossil fuels through conservation/finding alternative energy sources.

Posted by: Warped Reality at April 2, 2011 5:42 PM
Comment #320993

quite —> quit

Posted by: Warped Reality at April 2, 2011 5:43 PM
Comment #320995

W.R, Read #320528 for prices in countries that drill for oil.

Posted by: KAP at April 2, 2011 5:49 PM
Comment #320996

KAP, those prices are due to the fact their governments subsidize gas prices even more than our government does.

Posted by: Warped Reality at April 2, 2011 5:59 PM
Comment #320997

See here for what I’m talking about.

Posted by: Warped Reality at April 2, 2011 6:04 PM
Comment #320998

When new oil is found, or proven fields are opened, it sends a signal to the world that more oil is in the future. Markets react and prices usually come down.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 2, 2011 6:27 PM
Comment #320999

If the US cut, or eliminated the subsidy on corn for fuel, the world price of corn for food, and other food crops, would drop.

It is not always reality that drives markets, but the perception of reality.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 2, 2011 6:30 PM
Comment #321000
When new oil is found, or proven fields are opened, it sends a signal to the world that more oil is in the future. Markets react and prices usually come down.
This is only true if the costs of exploiting this new source of oil is competitive with already existing sources. Often, the extraction costs of domestic oil sources is higher than extraction costs abroad, also there are also the externalized costs of oil extraction, which are eliminated from today’s prices by the government subsidies, but cannot be ignored.

You are also right regarding subsidies for corn ethanol. Too bad Iowa has to always be the first state to hold a presidential caucus.

Posted by: Warped Reality at April 2, 2011 6:34 PM
Comment #321001

1776-
The main question is, how much of a discount. If oil is trading at 136 dollars a barrel, a 9 dollar drop is approximately 6 or 7 percent (think about it in terms of 136 being One and a third.)

Even if that one event directly affected gas prices, that is, created a percent for percent difference, you’d get a discount of between 18-24 and 21-28 cents on a gallon of gas, if the price is somewhere between 3 and 4 dollars.

Helpful, maybe. saves you a couple bucks on a big fill-up. (think ten gallons, 2.80 at best) That’s simply the mathematics of it. If Obama did something similar, gas prices would still be a hassle.

I think it helps when somebody gets all excited about something like this to look at things with a critical eye. Politics can make mountains out of molehills, and vice versa.

The question also becomes whether or not your oil price translates to a change in the cost of gas, because the supply chain along those lines, with the refining of the fuel, the transport and sale of it carry with it its own costs.

I don’t give yes or no answers because they rarely tell people useful things, and I blog to tell people useful things.

KAP-

No ****.

When I talk about things, I talk about them in terms of the science. I go to scientific publications to get much of my information. I rely on that information to form my political opinion, not the other way around.

Where do you get your information?

I mean, you said, we can drill here safely. But what was that blowout in the Gulf, other than a strong indication that we barely even have the technology to get something like that under control? That’s not safe. I’m not saying we can’t figure it out, or that we should just abandon oil drilling, but I would say that we shouldn’t rush in where Angels fear to tread. It’s become such that taking things like that easy is a mark of a communist or a socialist.

I’m not wearing my political hat when I say I don’t think such carelessness is warranted.

I think we have become technologically advanced enough as a species to cause ourselves our own catastrophic disasters. Look at that situation in Japan. These are natural forces we’re dealing with, manipulating, that are incredibly difficult to control under the wrong circumstances.

But finally, let me address the issue of the domestic drilling. We don’t have the proven reserves, at the rate we consume it. Don’t you think that domestic oil companies would drill here, if they could, to reduce transportation costs, if they could just get the oil here?

The key is sustaining relatively low prices and critical levels of supply into the future. The question would be, at the rate we burn oil, would that even work with us?

I believe, like that framer Benjamin Franklin did, that a stitch in time saves nine. I would rather us make the transition to other fuels, and the culture and infrastructure that sustains them while we have an energy source to keep our economy rolling smoothly. I would rather not wait until absolute necessity compels our action.

Royal Flush-
I know how futures and other such derivatives operate. But do you really expect me to believe that nobody abuses the system or that everybody invests in or speculates simply for the sake of another business?

Of course, if you’re a vertically integrated oil business that drill the product as well as buys it, there’s quite a lot you can do with the system to elevate the prices that consumers pay. That, in fact, has been implicated, among other things, in the food shortages that are driving the business out there.

As for the editorial?

Population in 1960: 179,323,175
Population in 2010: 308,745,538

Ratio of population in 1960 to 2010: 1.72

or, America’s population is 172% of what it was in 1960.

Government workers in 1960: 8.7 million
Government workers in 2010: 11.5 Million.

Ratio of Government workers between times: 1.32.

Or, Government workers have only 132% of their numbers in 1960.

Let’s try a percent of government workers to population,accordingly.

1960: 4.9% of the population.
2010: 3.7% of the population.

A decline of 1.2%.

Ah, the power of narrative. Rushing ahead forward to a conclusion, a powerful, emotional conclusion, that the government is stealing the workers from the companies, the folks who would otherwise make things.

Except that’s not the case. The Private sector is getting those people. They’re just not making things anymore. Either their jobs got shipped overseas, or automated. Either way, the decisions that caused this were not government decisions, but the decisions of the executives and the management in those corporations.

But then, blaming the Private sector for this would not help you lead a charge against public sector work, now would it?

This is where that narrative about Tax cuts comes into play. One of the things that Republican governors and legislators are doing is setting their tax rates lower. I mean, we’re dealing with budget problems, why make them worse? Much of the deficits we’re speaking about in the states come in part from the large tax cuts.

But another part is this economic downturn. I don’t think you quite grasp that the current fiscal situation isn’t normal. The economy is under performing by about 900 Billion dollars from what it could.

Of course, we could very easily set a goal of creating the new technologies the world is after here, creating green jobs and other businesses that would help make things better, help get us out of this downturn.

But that would be government, and government to you is evil. The main evil. Never mind that speculative frenzy on Wall Street. That’s neither here nor there, is it?

If you want to blindly pursue government as the problem, that’s your mistake. But it’s not going to improve the economy, and it’s not the reason that the middle class is in such a position as it is.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 2, 2011 6:38 PM
Comment #321003

Royal Flush,

The explosion of the commodity markets over the past year is not explainable simply by supply and demand. The Saudis have repeatedly said that oil supplies are sufficient to meet demand and that the run up in oil prices is due to financial speculation. That should come as no surprise since the Federal Reserve has explicitly said that its policies (Quantitative Easing II) are designed to inflate assets including the equities and commodity markets by creating incentives for investors to move money from treasuries to riskier markets. The Fed is hoping that a resulting “wealth effect” will spur credit expansion. Have you not been surprised by the strong performance of the stock and commodity markets during a period of tepid economic growth and high unemployment?

Posted by: Rich at April 2, 2011 6:54 PM
Comment #321004

Mr. Daugherty writes; “If you want to blindly pursue government as the problem, that’s your mistake.”

No, that’s the nation’s problem. Too much government, too much spending, too much regulation.

The federal government (regardless of where the primary fault lies) has incurred over $14 trillion in debt, and will not see a balanced budget in the foreseeable future which adds to the deficit.

And you have the temerity to say government isn’t the problem?

One can blame the “people” the “corporations” the “lobbyists” or whatever, but it all boils down to government doing too much of the wrong things.

In its attempt to mollify every special interest, it has run up the national credit card to its limit, over and over again. You maintain in your comments that unless the credit limit is increased we will have to close government down.

That philosophy is simply crazy. We have spent too much, but spending more will make us solvent? In what universe has that worked?

Smaller government means less money to throw at special interests which are mostly behind the problem to begin with.

There is a limit to the national debt we can sustain. We are approaching that limit. Now is the time to cut government, not expand it.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 2, 2011 7:02 PM
Comment #321005

Warped Reality said:

“Please quite making such hyperbolic blanket statements. There are indeed some government employees that produce valuable services and others who are indeed drains on our society. We need to be discerning when it comes to deciding which ones we target for elimination and which ones we choose to keep.”

I am supposed to stop making statements because you tell me to, not. I am interested in your view of the “others who are indeed drains on our society”. Care to elaborate. My experience with socialist liberals is, there is no government welfare job that is not needed. Let me state again and expand, Federal and State employees are slugs on society. We can start with the president, senators, and congressmen; they suck tax dollars out of our wallets and what do we get in return? We get intrusion in our lives, we get higher taxes, and we get more government employees. Just think how much better we would be if our Fed politicians were like Texas politicians; just meet for a few days each year and take care of business. Instead, we have a bunch of corrupt slugs, meeting in te dead of night and passing laws that infringe on our rights.

Mr. Daugherty said:

“1776-
The main question is, how much of a discount. If oil is trading at 136 dollars a barrel, a 9 dollar drop is approximately 6 or 7 percent (think about it in terms of 136 being One and a third.)
Even if that one event directly affected gas prices, that is, created a percent for percent difference, you’d get a discount of between 18-24 and 21-28 cents on a gallon of gas, if the price is somewhere between 3 and 4 dollars.
Helpful, maybe. saves you a couple bucks on a big fill-up. (think ten gallons, 2.80 at best) That’s simply the mathematics of it. If Obama did something similar, gas prices would still be a hassle.
I think it helps when somebody gets all excited about something like this to look at things with a critical eye. Politics can make mountains out of molehills, and vice versa.
The question also becomes whether or not your oil price translates to a change in the cost of gas, because the supply chain along those lines, with the refining of the fuel, the transport and sale of it carry with it its own costs.”

And then he said:

“As for the editorial?
Population in 1960: 179,323,175
Population in 2010: 308,745,538
Ratio of population in 1960 to 2010: 1.72
or, America’s population is 172% of what it was in 1960.
Government workers in 1960: 8.7 million
Government workers in 2010: 11.5 Million.
Ratio of Government workers between times: 1.32.
Or, Government workers have only 132% of their numbers in 1960.
Let’s try a percent of government workers to population,accordingly.
1960: 4.9% of the population.
2010: 3.7% of the population.
A decline of 1.2%.”

Is you purpose to just talk for the sake of talking? I hit the nail on the head when I said, “If you can’t dazzle them with your brilliance, you will baffle them with your bullshit”.

“I don’t give yes or no answers because they rarely tell people useful things, and I blog to tell people useful things.”

You give answers to hear yourself talk. You give nothing useful. How can someone who is a flaming liberal socialist, and would defend demoncraps with his last breath, say with a straight face, “I blog to tell people useful things”.

hahahahahahahehehehehehahahaha

If you ever want to stop writing for the kos and WB, you might try the Comedy Channel. I think you have what it takes to make it big.

Posted by: 1776 at April 2, 2011 7:10 PM
Comment #321006

“The Saudis have repeatedly said that oil supplies are sufficient to meet demand and that the run up in oil prices is due to financial speculation.”

Unlike you, I don’t believe anything the Saudis say. Above, I have written that markets move on the perception of reality, not reality itself.

It is obvious to me that you have never studied or been involved in commodity trading. Millions and billions can be made overnight and lost just as easily. The problem lies not in the market, but in government intervention that bails out the losers.

Reasonable Government agency regulation of markets is necessary to enforce the rules. If the rules are wrong, change them.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 2, 2011 7:13 PM
Comment #321008

You are absolutely correct Royal. I provided a link above, of which the liberal’s conveniently missed; in 2008, when Bush lifted the ban on drilling, the mere threat of drilling caused the price of oil to drop. The liberals have been saying for so many years that the oil companies are screwing the people; they actually believe the oil companies set the price. They are caught between a rock and a hard place; they hate fossil fuel so much, and they believe in this fantasy that America can survive on sun beams and hot air. And the sad thing is, as things continue to get worse, they never actually see the problem. They believe it is the fault of the republicans in the House, or it is Bush’s fault. It could never be their fault.

Posted by: 1776 at April 2, 2011 7:46 PM
Comment #321009
My experience with socialist liberals is, there is no government welfare job that is not needed.

Socialist liberal is an oxymoron. I’m a liberal, not a socialist; and I will definitely tell you there are plenty of government jobs out there that are not needed. The hitch is that there are also plenty of government employees that certainly are needed. Without government employees you have political anarchy, which only leads to further debasement of individual liberty.

We can start with the president, senators, and congressmen; they suck tax dollars out of our wallets and what do we get in return?
We get the rule of law in return. Without these people, there’s nothing stopping you from violating the natural rights endowed by my Creator upon people like me. And I thought I only read these sort of proposals on satire sites.
I am interested in your view of the “others who are indeed drains on our society”.

Examples abound, how else do you think we got ourselves in $14 of debt? Look at government programs subsidizing the aviation industry, the automotive industry, the agricultural industry, the military-industrial complex, the fossil fuel industry and others. We can probably do OK without HUD and the DOL apart from OSHA and the BLS. We can probably OK without most of the DoD or DoEd. There are also probably good pieces of the DoC that we can do without apart from NOAA, NIST and the census.

Posted by: Warped Reality at April 2, 2011 8:08 PM
Comment #321010

You got it 1776. The dems and libs are in the blame game. If something works they take the credit. If it doesn’t, blame others. This bunch in the whitehouse and congress make Bush look like a miser.

Today, the federal government has their fingers into nearly every economic and social action. The poor continue to get poorer, education is failing, jobs have moved overseas, Medicare and Medicaid are deep in red ink, Social Security is facing a funding problem on the horizon, we are in three military actions (at least), we have hardly any one left in the world who places any trust in our word, we refuse to use all the natural resources we have and instead sprinkle fairy dust on new technology hoping it will be available when we need it.

We have a rooster at the head of government who crows constantly about change yet offers the same old, tired, unworkable solutions. Meanwhile, the people have spoken and sent new folks to congress who pledged to stop this reckless spending and undo some of the useless government programs being funded. Now, many of these newly elected congress persons just fall in line behind a party leadership with no vision, no goals, no guts, and no balls.

Frankly, I am sick of the entire bunch.

And…the politicians rather than solve the obvious, merely point fingers at each other while continuing to do the same bloody things that got us into this mess.

Then, along comes Mr. liberal…and attempts to lay all the blame on one party or philosophy while saying we have to borrow or print more money to keep this crap rolling.

My God, I can’t wait for the day that brain transplants are available for some of them. I fear their mental disorder is beyond curing.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 2, 2011 8:10 PM
Comment #321011

I missed your later comment:

You are absolutely correct Royal. I provided a link above, of which the liberal’s conveniently missed; in 2008, when Bush lifted the ban on drilling, the mere threat of drilling caused the price of oil to drop.

No surprise here, the threat of increased government subsidies means the price of oil drops, but subsidies aren’t a good answer in a capitalist society like ours. I didn’t start participating in this conversation until well after you posted that link, so I’m sorry I missed it earlier. Anyway I’ve read it now, and as I already said, it isn’t surprising that a proposal to increase government subsidies would lead to a decrease in price of crude.

fantasy that America can survive on sun beams and hot air.

Every hour, the sun radiates more energy onto the earth than the entire human population uses in one whole year.
The only thing limiting us from exploiting solar energy is our lack of necessary infrastructure. Removing subsidies for fossil fuels will put solar on even ground and let private interests to invest in what they think is the best source of energy, whether it is solar, wind, nuclear, natural gas, clean coal or something else. Investors may even choose to spend additional money on oil or conventional coal, but it would probably be an unwise choice given the high costs of those energy sources.

Posted by: Warped Reality at April 2, 2011 8:19 PM
Comment #321012

Royal Flush,

It is obvious to me that you have not been following the commodity markets over the past year nor have you been following the actions of the Federal Reserve.

I am curious as to your statement “Unlike you, I don’t believe anything the Saudis say. Above, I have written that markets move on the perception of reality, not reality itself.” Isn’t that exactly what the Saudis are saying about the oil market? They are saying that the reality of the market is that there is no actual imbalance between supply and demand (reality) and that speculative perception of an imbalance is causing a run up in oil prices.

Posted by: Rich at April 2, 2011 8:36 PM
Comment #321013

Stephen, I do know how to google to get info and the things I read prove you wrong. Yes there would be domestic drilling if drilling companies weren’t regulated to death and if it were a little easier to get permits. There is oil here in the U.S. far more then what your liberal media is telling you.
W.R. Getting those alternatives you are talking about is going to take time. Once they are proven and avalible in great quantities then we can get off fossil fuels. That IMO will be when your grandchildren are sitting on your lap.

Posted by: KAP at April 2, 2011 8:57 PM
Comment #321014
they are proven and avalible in great quantities then we can get off fossil fuels.

They already are proven and available in great quantities. Unfortunately, over a century’s worth of infrastructure has been invested in the fossil fuel economy and almost nothing has been invested in the renewable fuel economy. A sudden shift in energy sources is not possible without a great deal of pain and suffering, which is why we must lay the foundations today if we want the grandchildren sitting in my lap to live in a post-carbon world. Unfortunately, the market as it is currently set up is unable to price the costs associated with continued unabated fossil fuel exploitation because those costs are assumed to be subsidized by the government. If we continue to let the government subsidize those costs, the market will be unprepared when the shit hits the fan and we will have to switch to alternatives very quickly and in a very painful process.

Posted by: Warped Reality at April 2, 2011 9:17 PM
Comment #321016

“Yes there would be domestic drilling if drilling companies weren’t regulated to death.”

KAP,

If there was one thing that the BP blowout proved, it is that the drilling companies are not “regulated to death.”

Posted by: Rich at April 2, 2011 9:31 PM
Comment #321017

No Rich that just proved there are crooked inspectors.

Posted by: KAP at April 2, 2011 9:58 PM
Comment #321018

Royal Flush-

No, that’s the nation’s problem. Too much government, too much spending, too much regulation.

Ouch, RF. Stop hitting me with all this original thinking of yours. I mean, I wasn’t expecting you to come up with that explanation. You’ve blown my mind. No, really.

The federal government (regardless of where the primary fault lies) has incurred over $14 trillion in debt, and will not see a balanced budget in the foreseeable future which adds to the deficit.

So, the magic budget stork just dropped this deficit in our laps?

And you have the temerity to say government isn’t the problem?

Yes. Because the world is more complicated than your politics.

You maintain in your comments that unless the credit limit is increased we will have to close government down.

No, no, it’s worse than that. Saying we will not increase the debt limit means we blow the full faith and credit that people have in our debt instruments, and in turn, undermine our currency.

The Treasury issues bonds that are backed by the ironclad promise that the Government will pay back its creditors. The inability to pay our current legal obligations won’t wash either. That’s how a government gets its credit rating knocked down. US Treasuries become junk bonds. Everybody who invested in them will be holding less money than they started out with, by a wide margin.

That’s your brilliant idea for avoiding the debasement of our dollar through inflation. We’ll debase it by making the US default on its obligations. Brilliant!

1776-
If the numbers are too much for you, let me boil it down, since that seems to be the limits of your attention span.

There are fewer government workers per citizen than there were in 1960. How that means that they’ve taken up the excess from manufacturing is beyond me.

I also demonstrated that at best, you’re saving around a quarter a gallon on gas. I save about half that much through the promotion some gas stations have with my local grocery store.

But NO! Because I’m a Liberal, we have to discount straightforward math! It doesn’t matter if your idea isn’t supported by the facts, does it?

There has been a decline in the percent of people employed by the government compared to the population’s growth. Fewer people, not more, are becoming officials, compared to other fields.

I blog to tell people useful things. And that includes when your people use bad logic, and ****ty facts to support their conclusions. This is such a case.

And really, if you are so eager to laugh this off, to laugh off the fact that government hasn’t grown in relation to the population at large, as you keep trying to scare people into believing, then I don’t think you deserve ANY of the credibility you seek.

I got into blogging like this because I felt people were being deprived of the facts. Wars were being started on false evidence. Strategies and practices were being continued in that war, despite their obvious failures. Republicans were hiding behind the soldiers like human shields for their exposed political asses, which they were working so hard to cover.

People like you pushed BS stories while the deficits skyrocketed, while the wars degenerated, and while the economy ground to a halt, and then fell off a cliff.

So pardon the hell out of me if I try to beat your misinformation and Bull**** rhetoric dead with the facts. Laugh, but my facts are pretty plain. In fact, they are the same facts, aside from census results, that your article uses. I used that man’s same numbers to demonstrate a dramatically different conclusion: that government workers hadn’t grown as a sector of the economy, they had shrunk.

And I think the math holds up. So what do you have to say for yourself? What argument can you actually put in there that legitimately changes the meaning of those facts?

You seem to be the one trying to dazzle people with BS. You rely on it to the exclusion of the facts. I have you cold on that, but being a liberal, you can’t concede a damn thing to me, can you? You can’t let the liberal have any victories, because if you do, God help you, it will all go to hell.

Well, for people like me, the country’s already gone to hell at the hands of misinformed and misinforming, stubborn ideologues like yourself.

You folks had your chance to lead, and blew it beyond the ability of most folks like me to imagine. I never thought people could govern so irresponsibility, so incompetently. Surely, I thought, somebody would tell these people their policy was ****! I thought in the early days of Iraq that somebody would say, we got to nip this insurgency thing in the bud!

Surely, they wouldn’t let a war get so out of control. Or an economy. Or a situation in a disaster.

Surely. But they did. And worse yet, people like you not only came to apologize for this, but demand that they be allowed to keep doing this.

No more of that, not without resistance from people like me. No more continuing screwups just so you don’t have to admit your failings.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 2, 2011 10:11 PM
Comment #321022

SD

You certainly are a self made man who worships his creator.

Liberals always sound like the champs of a cow patty party. Plop! Plop! Fizz! Fizz! Oh how happy this BS is.

The typical mind of a liberal is expansive. This is easy to prove because they want everything in the power cycle to grow even bigger. Power. Debt. Size. Control. Taxes. Money. Deficit. Distortion. All these things and more are the mark of those on the left what ever extent to the left they are. This is shown by the pennings on this blog as well as the left writings throughout. With that liberal mind set goes the departure of freedoms. That is shown by the laws enacted and the constitutional provisions that are attacked and dismantled bit by bit. Where in the history of this country has the left brought freedom and prosperity? And don’t go with that republican democrat thing. There has always been the left active in the republican party and much more so in the democratic party. So much so that most of the legislation and policy of our federal government for decades has been leftist controlled. Fortunately from time to time there has been someone who would stand up and blow the trumpet alongside the watchman on the wall. That is what has kept our country from going into the toilet while someone standing by to flush it. It is also unfortunately true that that same mind set is in the bathroom again. Leftists need a mind bath.

Posted by: tom humes at April 2, 2011 10:54 PM
Comment #321023

TH,

You don’t know diddly squat about liberalism. Liberalism was founded in the age of enlightenment when philosophers such as John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Voltaire discredited the notion of a monarch’s divine right to rule. Americans in the late 18th century seized the ideas of these men and founded a nation based upon individual liberties endowed by natural law, which began our nation’s liberal history. Conservatives have generally opposed liberals, originally they supported the divine right of monarchs, but when that stopped working out they reformulated the old divine right concept, but now they affix it to our monied aristocracy.

You can see which ideology favors liberty when you look at the controversial social issues of the day. One ideology favors giving people control over what goes on inside their own bodies. One ideology fights to insure that the coercive power of government is not used to promote one religion over another. One ideology fights to insure people are treated the same by their government regardless of sexual orientation.

You would be hard pressed to fine liberals in the Democratic party before 1896, liberals of the 19th century were more often than not Republicans, Whigs and Federalists. The Democratic party began as a right-libertarian party, grew increasingly conservative during the buildup to the civil war, gained a liberal faction in the progressive era and shed its conservatives after LBJ. It wasn’t until William Howard Taft that conservatives began finding a home in the Republican party.

Posted by: Warped Reality at April 2, 2011 11:27 PM
Comment #321024

WR

I am talking about today not yesterday. That is why I paired liberals and leftists together.

Maybe I should clarify for those whose mind has expanded beyong their ears. Totalitarians. That is democrats, leftists, liberals, progressives, socialists, and much more along that same vein.

Todays conservatives are not what once was. Todays conservatives are quite often old liberals. Words change their meaning as people continue to hijack those words. I try not to live in the past. I once could consider my self a gay person. That is before the word got hijacked for someones own narciscistic desires.

Posted by: tom humes at April 3, 2011 12:11 AM
Comment #321025
Todays conservatives are quite often old liberals

If conservatives are the descendants of liberals from yesteryear they do a very poor job showing it. Conservatives are the source of most of totalitarian ideas I’ve seen proposed recently. From the Patriot Act, to Constitutional Amendments prohibiting flag desecration, to restrictions on what goes on inside one’s own body, totalitarianism thrives on the Right, like it has for centuries.

I agree that words change with time, conservatives used to believe in the divine right of kings, but nowadays that doesn’t fly anymore so they’ve had to reinvent themselves. Today’s conservatives champion the divine right of Robber Baron rule. Today, corporate interests rule by manipulating our markets and corrupting our political government with campaign contributions. So I see that the minority class that conservatives wish to elevate is slightly different, but the result is the same.

I’m not claiming that progressive politics or socialism is the ideological descendants of liberalism either. Both socialists and progressives do a poor job of respecting our Constitution as well; the myriad of “spread the wealth” welfare programs attests to that. When the founders instructed the government to “promote the general welfare” they were talking about equalizing opportunities, not equalizing outcomes.

This is why I’m a liberal, not a socialist or a progressive. I can be considered a leftist though. After all, when the National Assembly sat down in Paris, the Royalists sat on the right and their opponents sat on the left.

BTW, I am with you regarding the word gay. Although it acquired a secondary definition regarding sexual immorality centuries ago, it’s primary definition has fallen into disuse recently, which is disheartening. I don’t usually call homosexuals gay for this very reason.

Posted by: Warped Reality at April 3, 2011 1:27 AM
Comment #321026

KAP-
If the things that prove me wrong exist, bring them up to me and everybody else here. Yes, I will put them to the test. Yes, I will try to find exceptions. Then you can find the facts that support them, or the mistakes that undermine that support. If you’re too afraid to present that evidence, thinking it might be easily shot down, or arbitrarily so, then you’ve locked yourself into a situation where you can easily end up defending the indefensible.

Proven reserves are what we know, with 90% certainty, is actually there. Since oil is stuck beneath thousands of feet of rock, most of the time, that’s getting pretty good. The stuff you may have seen, particularly the stuff from Sen. Inhofe, does not assume so likely of oil reserves. Instead, it assumes, and I’m pretty much saying what the report says, reserves that we need to drill for in order to prove that they are there.

That doesn’t sound like stuff we know is there with a 90% likelihood.

We go off of proven reserves because then we’re not making our plans based on oil we might not find. The Inhofe Report relies, basically, on the best case scenario for oil.

You may be willing to put your faith in an indefinite future of petroleum, but I’m not. I believe that we should plan as if our proven reserves are what we have left. Now what happens if it turns out that Inhofe was right?

Well, if he is, and we’ve still done all that we did, then we’re still better off than if we failed to conserve, failed to build green technology, especially in light of Global Climate Change.

But if you’re wrong, and we do things your way, the net negatives are colossal. We get the economic weight of climate change, aggravated by current emissions accelerated or maintained into the future. We pay the price of inefficiency. We continued to depend more and more on foreign oil, owing to the plain fact that we cannot sustain ourselves on what we have.

We use about 6.6 billion barrels of oil a year. If we are extraordinarily lucky, ANWR’s oil fields contain maybe two years and change of oil. That’s the 5% certainty level.

The mean is 10 Billion barrels. The prove reserves, at 5.7 Billion, won’t even last a year.

This is the problem with the Republican narrative here: the facts basically tell us that we have 19 Billion in proven reserves- the stuff we absolutely know, to the degree it’s possible, is there. Do the math: our proven reserves become used up, at a rate of 6.6 billion Barrels of oil, in less than three years.

So, we import, and we will import as long as we have a need for oil.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to have to buy time that way. I don’t want to have to depend on such a fickle, heavily polluting resource for my nation’s economic future. All this hype about “drill baby drill” is more or less somebody pushing the interests of the people who make more money if we exploit more oil resources.

It’s that simple. It’s not a conspiracy theory, it’s just plain dumb greed. Perhaps they believe AGW is real, perhaps they don’t. But they’re in the business they are in, and they’ll serve themselves.

What we need is to put ourselves in a position where our energy sources don’t go away, where we’re not watching the meter drop. If we let that happen, we put ourselves in a position where our economic interests diminish with world reserves, where the sheer, cold march of numbers becomes a sword dangling over the head of our economy.

I think we will have to make the decision, sooner or later. My opinion is, if we are forced to do it by circumstances, if we let the blind corrections of the market do it, then we will find ourselves a lot poorer for it, as the prices of our limited fuel go up, and the cost of doing business, of transporting people and products goes up with it. Energy is, in the final analysis, the ability to do work. I want America to experience as little reduction in that ability to do work as is possible. In fact, I want us to be able to do even more work than before, because we’ve required greater efficiency and conservation from ourselves.

I’m not interested in socialism. The jackasses who claim that are just hopped up on their own rhetoric. But what I am is a Capitalist who is not interested in seeing the system depend on the misery and suffering of its workers, and who is not interested in having an argument with Mother Nature about what will work, what can be sustained, what is healthy, in both economic and medical terms, for us to do.

But I promise you something: socialism is most interesting to people who have nothing left to lose from capitalism. If you create a big underclass of people, if you put the population under increasingly high economic, and natural resource pressures, people are going to doubt the wisdom of letting the markets and the capitalists control themselves. They’re going to get sick of paying the price for their social superior’s mistakes.

If you want to oppose socialism, if you want to stave it off, you need policies that make it less attractive, policies that create better functioning societies, which invite less disaster, and which share the wealth more equitably.

The burden of any energy crisis, any economic crisis will fall heaviest on the folks who have the least resources to deal with it. Create enough of these people, and you have a revolution on your hands.

Conservatives, in short, cannot create their ideal society without ****ing off enough people to create a socialist backlash. Without liberals to take some of the heat off of business, and some of the burden off the lower economic classes, Conservatives get overwhelmed, as they did in many countries in Europe.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 3, 2011 9:38 AM
Comment #321029

Typical liberal ploy, disregard what someone has written to respond to what wasn’t written. Here’s a prime example.

“That’s your brilliant idea for avoiding the debasement of our dollar through inflation. We’ll debase it by making the US default on its obligations. Brilliant.”

In his predawn stupor, this writer conjured up an answer he really liked to a solution that wasn’t posed.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 3, 2011 11:52 AM
Comment #321030

I read in today’s NY times that the house republicans will be releasing their 2012 budget plans even before 2011 is funded. The article stated that the 2012 budget proposal would include fixes in our largest entitlement programs.

I find it interesting that the crowing rooster in the White House, with all his talk of change, can’t find the “spine of steel”, as reference by joebiden, to even hint at changes he would make to the big three entitlement programs.

But, wimpy politicians are like that. Finger in the air (along with nose) to find the most “popular” stance. Never mind that this nation is drowning in debt, the rooster just keeps crowing and posturing in his empty suit. I believe another vacation for the rooster and his family is in order. A year and one-half vacation in the land of his birth should be just about right.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 3, 2011 2:55 PM
Comment #321031

Stephen, Google “untapped oil reserves in the U.S.” Some articles say we have 2 Trillion barrels of oil underfoot. Some say we have the largest untapped reserves in the world. Now if this is all true, what are we doing importing oil? We can go on and on saying who is telling the truth and get no where. But if this is true and we are doing nothing to retrieve this oil then I pity all the politicians in D.C. come election time.

Posted by: KAP at April 3, 2011 2:58 PM
Comment #321032


Madison felt a Bill of Rights was unnecessary, but he relented in the name of compromise and penned one based on the Virginia Bill of Rights written by George Mason in 1776.


“Madison viewed the Bill of Rights as “the most dramatic single gesture of conciliation that could be offered the remaining opponents of the government.” Those “opponents” included prominent statesmen such as Virginia’s George Mason and Richard Henry Lee as well as artisans, small traders and backcountry farmers who expressed profound egalitarianism. These “poor and middling” folk were skeptical that even the “best men” were capable of subordinating self-interest to the good of the Republic. Said one semi-literate Main democrat: ” I never wish to be in the power of any Sett of Men let them be never so good, but hope to be left in the hands of my country.” He and other anti-Federalists argued that no country could be founded on the premise that it’s leaders would possess an extraordinary degree of civic virtue. All people were prone to corruption. No one could be trusted. Therefore, a Bill of Rights was necessary to protect the liberties of all against the encroachment of a few. The Bill of Rights provided no rights or legal protection to African Americans.”—- AMERICA—A NARRATIVE HISTORY— George Brown Tindall, David Emory Shi.

Just as the 14Th Amendment was corrupted by the courts to declare corporate personhood, The Bill of Rights is being corrupted to promote the right of the few to determine the course for the many.

Posted by: jlw at April 3, 2011 3:41 PM
Comment #321034

“Now if this is all true, what are we doing importing oil?”

KAP,

Well, just maybe because it is cheaper. We may have huge untapped oil resources. Unfortunately, it is very costly to extract and to refine. The easy pickings are just about played out.

Posted by: Rich at April 3, 2011 4:51 PM
Comment #321035

Royal Flush-
Whoa, you didn’t know about the connection between deficits, inflation, and interest rates? What the hell are you being taught?

Maybe it’s you who needs a year and a half vacation.

Oh, and by the way, the reason why Obama is waiting to present his reforms, is that your side will, as usual, scare the living **** out of people, making it easier to sell his more moderate reforms. I mean, I’ve already quoted the numbers on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Not cutting those programs is by far the more popular move.

Obama’s going to let you do his work for him, like any smart politician does.

I read in today’s NY times that the house republicans will be releasing their 2012 budget plans even before 2011 is funded. The article stated that the 2012 budget proposal would include fixes in our largest entitlement programs.

Leave it to the GOP in Washington to get ahead of itself.

I don’t think you even realize how behind the curve the GOP is on what issues are popular. Cuts for entitlements are not popular. I know you think you can get it going anyways, but don’t kid yourself. Politicians shouldn’t always have their finger in the wind, but sure as **** should be listening to their constituents.

KAP-
If they’re quoting 2 trillion, they’re including oil shales. But if they’re including oil shales, that means think, high sulfur Kerogen, which literally has to be baked out of the rock. It’s hard as hell to extract, expensive, and even more of a pollution hazard than regular oil extraction.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 3, 2011 5:11 PM
Comment #321037

Stephen Daugherty wrote;

“I mean, I’ve already quoted the numbers on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Not cutting those programs is by far the more popular move.”

Typical liberal hide-your-head-in-the-sand thinking. Give the folks what they want but can’t afford. Hmmm…reminds me of ancient Rome in the last hundred years or so.

Tell me SD, how will you explain to these good folks that the country is bankrupt? That will really be popular. OH…WAIT, I know, you can blame it on Bush II.

SD also wrote; “Obama’s going to let you do his work for him, like any smart SPINELESS, LAZY, FAT ASSED politician does.”

Really? Only a mentally disordered mind could flat out state that presidents shouldn’t act first AND WORK at improving our economic and fiscal house. Why do we even need the comb-less Rooster? Hell, even a cheap Rooster can crow.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 3, 2011 5:54 PM
Comment #321039


The Republicans 2012 fiscal plan calls for huge cuts in social spending with implementation being phased in over time. They hope to gain support for it by exempting those 55 and older. IMO, those of us that are 55 and older are most responsible for our mess, but we are being offered a free ride out of here, including more tax cuts.

I would prefer a special baby boomer pay off the debt tax, including a 50% reduction in future cost of living allowances for recipients of government pensions and programs.

We revised welfare to require work. This requires jobs and jobs are becoming more scarce in an age worker replacement technology and globalization.

IMO, the trend towards a service economy will include a large increase in domestic servants as ours moves more in the direction of former imperial economies.

Posted by: jlw at April 3, 2011 6:39 PM
Comment #321043

Royal Flush-
Bankrupt is not merely in debt, it’s in debt and unable to pay. If you get your way, that might happen, but short of it, there is away forward. After all, we recovered from a much greater debt to GDP ratio. It’s not pleasant, but it has been done, and by a country that was less wealthy than what we have now.

Typical liberal hide-your-head-in-the-sand thinking. Give the folks what they want but can’t afford. Hmmm…reminds me of ancient Rome in the last hundred years or so.

Rome’s problem is that it had to constantly stay at war in order to maintain its territories. Rome’s problem is that it gutted it’s economy feeding its war machine, debased its currency and overly taxed its people to keep the conquest going. Finally, they decided to outsource their security, whereupon their outsourced mercenaries turned on them.

We could make superficial comparisons all day.

But here’s my position on the entitlements: reform them so they are sustainable and deliver the benefits they need to deliver. Compromises may be in order, but not with ideas so foolish as giving over control of Medicare finances, which have very low overhead, to the very folks who have failed to control cost overruns over the last few decades.

You don’t look at whether a system is private to determine whether it’s efficient, you look at what it spends for what you get. Today’s healthcare industry provides less benefit for more cost. That’s good for the guys getting rich at the top of the companies, but it doesn’t exactly serve our public health or fiscal needs, though.

As for your remarks about Obama?

I pity those in politics who have nothing left but hatred and contempt, who can argue no other way but to belittle and contradict without logical consideration of the matters at hand.

I have survived the last seven years on this site because I base my arguments on beliefs rather than attacks, ideas rather than anxieties and fears.

I think Obama’s doing it right. He can’t really pass his own ideas through Congress. He’s not going to rely on a Congress where one chamber is more or less poisoned against him politically.

Republicans, though, are going to play into his hands by pitting themselves against the majority of the American people. Sure it will be bracing and exciting for the base, but at the cost of being a disaster, politically. Even at the height of his popularity, Social Security reform was a third-rail for Bush.

As for working on the economy. I’m under the impression that this was what your party’s been failing to do the entire time they’ve been in the majority, this year. They’re more interested in performing useless stunts that won’t actually generate the changes their constituents want, rather than creating the policies that, however impure politically speaking, create the biggest coalitions of supporters for their candidates that are possible.

So, in the end, they’re destined to please nobody. They can’t create the law they need to create to hold their base, and they certainly will end up alienating millions of Americans by going after entitlements people actually believe in.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 4, 2011 12:48 AM
Comment #321044

Royal Flush,

The major debt problem for a nation that issues its own currency and whose debt is denominated in that currency is inflation not bankruptcy.

It would be helpful if conservatives concerned about the recent spike in US debt and deficit spending address the actual causes of those increases, i.e., a collapsed private sector debt bubble resulting in the necessity for socialization of the loses in order to save the capital markets, decreased government revenue, increased unemployment insurance payouts, economic stimulus measures, a large demand-output gap, jobless recovery, etc…The conservative meme that the deficits are a product of liberal/socialist government programs ignores the elephant in the room.

The long term debt issues related to the entitlements certainly deserve attention. However, without first addressing the structural problems in our economy, there cannot be any reasonable solutions short of dramatic reductions in benefits. Further, the vast majority of the entitlement problems are rooted in run away inflation in the health care delivery system. Turning a blind eye to health cost inflation is to ignore the very factor that is causing the entitlement problem in the first place. Saying no to Obama’s health care reform is not sufficient. It is time for conservatives step forward with alternatives.

For the American public, it is the economy, jobs and health cost control and access that are the issues. It is time for conservatives to put up or shut up on those issues.

Posted by: Rich at April 4, 2011 8:30 AM
Comment #321045

Rich

“It would be helpful if conservatives concerned about the recent spike in US debt and deficit spending address the actual causes of those increases,…”

You are talking about recent events. The causes are once again big government. Big government has grown far too large, even to the point of destruction.

Here are a couple of real causes. The Fed. What are called entitlements. Reckless and irresponsible spending. And there are more. I said a couple, you get one extra. These things have been around for decades. They have grown worse and dangerously closse to the ruin of the country. When people continue to send lawyers to legislate the result will be as we have seen. When we continue to vote in people who have no concept of what their job responsibliit is but only enrich themselves, they have voted for a tyrant and they got what they voted for.

People need to wake up and understand where the country is heading and act upon it. All the controversies abounding in government today is the grown of power and unconstitutional legislation. Until the people get educated in what the real purpose of government is, nothing will change.

Posted by: tom humes at April 4, 2011 12:12 PM
Comment #321046

Stephen Daugherty (SD) wrote;

“I think Obama’s doing it right. He can’t really pass his own ideas through Congress.”

OH PLEASE…don’t we call the health care legislation “Obama Care”? He has his signature on many bills that contained his ideas. The new congress makeup has made him impotent…it that what you’re saying. If so, why do we even need him. An automatic signature machine will do just fine and it doesn’t take a vacation every other week.

I would amend the quote from you above to read…”I think Obama’s doing it right. He has no ideas that he is willing to verbalize publicly so he is silent and invisible on the big issues.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 4, 2011 12:58 PM
Comment #321047

9/11 Suspects will face a Military Tribunal rather than a civilian federal court in New York.

WOW…now that is “change we can believe in”. Congratulation to AG Eric Holder for his ability to change his mind and all those who held his feet to the fire to obtain this change of venue.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 4, 2011 1:34 PM
Comment #321048

tom humes-
Too many people now use the words “unconstitutional” where they would once have said something like “wrong.” When you elevate every disagreement into a constitutional crisis, every opinion becomes an absolute stand on your opinion that you can’t back down from.

The real cause is that some don’t use math when they deal with budget issues, which is the real way to actually balance a budget. Instead, they just play the politics of it, and hope for magic secondary effects to make up for the obvious arithmetic shortfall that comes from their plans.

The ideology of the Republicans and the right wing doesn’t really allow for the kind of skepticism on the fiscal positives of tax cuts necessary to make the hard-nosed, politically incorrect decisions necessary to address budget challenges for real.

Royal Flush-
In his first year in office, Obama spent less time on vacation than Either Bush or Reagan. I’d very much like to see whether you can back your claim with info on actual days on vacation, rather than confidently peddled stories like you’re apt to rush in.

As for Medicare reform in Congress? I don’t think it’s cowardly at all. If you want to go for a Charge of the Light Brigade right straight into the guns of America’s love of Medicare and Medicaid, be my guest. One thing I appreciate about Obama is that he’s gotten a lot of legislation through, gotten things passed rather than simply doing little real, and then moaning about the results.

His best bet is to get a better Congress in place. Republicans are helping by doing a WWI style charge into the machine-gun nests of public opinion. Why should Obama distract the public by offering his proposal, and giving the Republicans something to scaremonger over. When your enemy is doing his best to destroy himself, Sun Tzu would tell you to stand aside and let him.

As for the Military Tribunals? Well, what do you expect when you tortured them? If he put them through a civilian court, the torture would get evidence disqualified. You can ride “That’s not change you can believe in” into town like the tired cliche it is, but the truth is, I want a president who is more concerned about doing things right than contradicting a predecessor, or fulfilling a campaign promise.

I want somebody who cares about doing things right, not just pushing the politics with a false consistency.

I wish it were otherwise, though. I wish they had been interrogated in such a way that they could be pushed through the system without all that nonsense. We need to reduce these people to the level of common criminals, because that’s all the prestige they deserve.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 4, 2011 2:11 PM
Comment #321049

Stephen Daugherty (SD) wrote; “Why should Obama distract the public by offering his proposal, and giving the Republicans something to scaremonger over.”

AH…let’s try this…Because he is the president! But then, a real president would be leading and he’s not. He is a frightened little Rooster when it comes to tackling the big issues, hiding out in the White House or on vacation while others who care about this country are willing to put their political capital on the line.

SD wrote regarding the 9/11 suspects; “I want a president who is more concerned about doing things right than contradicting a predecessor, or fulfilling a campaign promise.”

Obama couldn’t stand the heat and public opinion against his desire for a civilian court. obama, like SD wanted to…,”reduce these people to the level of common criminals…”

Americans understand the difference between common criminals and murdering terrorists even if SD and obama don’t.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 4, 2011 2:43 PM
Comment #321050

Sorry I haven’t been able to comment. I’ve been out of touch for several days while driving across the country. But I am now back home and settled in.

I will have to read the posts in more detail, but judging from a quick scan, I see things haven’t changed in my absense. The left is still spouting the same old stuff.

But, I will admit, there has been a lot going on; Re/obama now having military trials at GITMO. I wonder how many WB lefties were supporting civil trials 2 years ago? Looks like your messiah let you down again. I guess Bush wasn’t so wrong after all.

More coming…

Posted by: 1776 at April 4, 2011 2:52 PM
Comment #321051

Well, I read through the liberal posts and found nothing worth commenting about.

Royal, I like the new term for Mr. Daugherty, LSD, hmm, it has a ring to it.

How about this one:

“Investigators for the House Energy and Commerce Committee have discovered that a little-known provision in the national health care law has allowed the federal government to pay nearly $2 billion to unions, state public employee systems, and big corporations to subsidize health coverage costs for early retirees. At the current rate of payment, the $5 billion appropriated for the program could be exhausted well before it is set to expire.The discovery came on the eve of an oversight hearing focused on the workings of an obscure agency known as CCIO — the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight. CCIO,…”

Aren’t the democrats the ones who HATE big corporations? Can’t wait to hear LSD spin this one.

Posted by: 1776 at April 4, 2011 3:35 PM
Comment #321052

Royal Flush-
Let’s start with your… er… creativity.

What’s the ****ing point? Do you notice how little time I spend coming up with things to call people? It’s entertainment for people who already agree with the person calling the names, and childish to anybody who doesn’t have that stake in the political game.

You call Obama a Frightened Little Rooster, right?

Well, what has he done in the last two years. Well, he’s gotten combat troops out of Iraq, bucked the wishes of many in his party and surged in Afghanistan. He got the New START Treaty Ratified. He’s turned around world opinion on America. One indicator of it his how He’s struck against Muammar Qadaffi in Libya. I mean, five years ago, would you have imagined the international community signing off on a military action involving the US?

On the economic front, his administration had passed the Recovery act, saved an entire Domestic industry, and undertaken a major change in energy policy.

He successfully passed and implemented many of the first steps in healthcare reform, being the first American president to pass such a bill, outdoing even Bill Clinton.

He passed a repeal of DADT, and his Justice Department has foregone the further defense in court of DOMA. Even Bill Clinton was unable to confront those gay rights issues.

Not confronted the issues? Bull****! He confronts them every day, often with the mental runts of the Washington GOP dragging along behind him like two year olds with their arms around their parent’s leg.

Obama is a pragmatist, which means, unlike the soon to be ex governors or one-term governors of the GOP in the Midwest, he lets the other side overextend themselves, then counterpunches them.

He knows he wouldn’t get his proposals past the Republicans. So, he’ll put on a good show of alternatives, but will let Republicans scare the living hell out of everybody, so that whatever difficulties are involved in his plan will be taken on thankfully by people wishing to avoid the Republican’s truly death-panelish Medicare Reform.

It’s not cowardice to let your enemy destroy themselves and then win by picking up the pieces afterwards. If Obama wants to avoid a big battle like that he had over Healthcare, that kind of extended, politically exhausting controversy, he can let the Republicans, over the next year or two, go down in flames over their policy, and then come up with his plan, his ideas and get them passed in the political aftermath, with either a weakened Republican House, or a new Democratic Majority.

Think of this scenario as revenge for the Republican’s BS about healthcare. I mean, your people provided no alternative for the better part of that year, created no real alternative bill, even to get it voted down. But you were able to safely sit on the sidelines, stall, and make political hay about HCR, scaring people about things like….

(snorts in laughter)

Cuts to medicare!

(laughs maniacally)

While we absorbed the political damage of being for an imperfect bill.

Well, you got an atrocious proposal, and I don’t think I’m going to mind seeing it go down in flames.

As for the military courts? Well, Obama didn’t have much of a choice, did here.

1776-
Let me get this straight: Obama buys votes… from a constituency that’s already his?

Nah, try again. And next time pick a subject that doesn’t come up on every damn Republican site at the same time.

The point of healthcare reform was to make sure that everybody had coverage. Now some parts of the budget might need to be adjusted, but your charge that he’s buying votes is more easily explained by the likelier explanation that the bill is doing its job.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 4, 2011 4:38 PM
Comment #321053


Every piece of legislation that Obama signed is Obama’s legislation. The only thing we can assume is that he approved the legislation because he has a veto.

We needed and wanted a president that would stand up to corporate blackmail and DEMAND that Congress change the course of the country. He didn’t even make the attempt and that is why a majority think he doesn’t deserve to be reelected.

The only question is, how much more are he and the Democrats willing to compromise for corpocracy.

Compromise with Republicans when Republicans won’t even come to the table, yea, it’s Obamacare. Pass a Republican health care bill then get their heads handed to them by the Republicans.

That is one thing you can say about Republicans, they sure know how to compromise. Get the Democrats to capitulate. Of course the corporate dollars sure do help.

Posted by: jlw at April 4, 2011 5:38 PM
Comment #321054

SD

I found something to agree with you on!! The so-called health care legislation is doing what it is supposed to do!! It is buying power!! It is giving his cohorts more cash to by more votes with!!

Got a meeting to go to, otherwise I would symantically dismantel your last post. But it really isn’t needed, most people see through it.

Welcome back home 1776.

Posted by: t at April 4, 2011 6:11 PM
Comment #321055

Many thanks to SD for his comments on what he perceives are obama’s accomplishments. 2012 may well prove that some of these are merely anchors around his neck when it comes time for the voters to have their say.

I am in the middle of doing my income taxes so I may not be writing much for a little while. I try to pay as little as possible so I have some left for my favorite charities rather that pay too much for the government Interest Group Liberalism charities.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 4, 2011 6:12 PM
Comment #321057

“Americans understand the difference between common criminals and murdering terrorists even if LSD and obama don’t.”

Royal Flush,

I presume that you mean that military commissions would be the appropriate means of trying these cases. I also presume that you believe that military commissions would be more effective in delivering justice.

However, the facts argue against military Commissions. Under the Bush administration, military tribunals were totally ineffective and found by the US Supreme Court to be unconstitutional. This has required a revision in the military commission legislation in 2006 and 2009. How many terrorists have been convicted by military tribunals since 9/11? The answer is only three and two of those are now free. The one convicted that is serving a life sentence didn’t even put up a defense and pled guilty.

In contrast, federal criminal courts have successfully convicted hundreds of persons charged with terrorist acts. It has been done professionally and without controversy.

If you want the best prosecutors and judges administering the trials of the 9/11 related terrorists, then why wouldn’t you want the A team on the cases? Federal prosecutors, judges, marshalls, etc. are highly experienced in high profile cases and are working within a constitutionally tested system. They are clearly the best we have as a nation to manage and prosecute the cases.

The restrictions that Congress placed on criminal trials in US District Courts for Guantanamo detainees make the whole discussion moot. Quite frankly, it is a shame.

Posted by: Rich at April 4, 2011 7:38 PM
Comment #321058

“You are talking about recent events. The causes are once again big government. Big government has grown far too large, even to the point of destruction.”

Tom Humes,

Well, what are you talking about? I thought that you were concerned with the current deficits and debt? Big government didn’t cause the collapse of the private financial markets. They did it to themselves. Now, you can ignore the problems in the private sector if you like and blame “big government” for the drastic rise in the deficit. However, that simply doesn’t square with an honest assessment of what really happened. You can blame “big government” for the unemployment situation. But that wouldn’t really be honest would it?

In my opinion, blaming “big government” for any all problems within our society is a huge mistake. Globalization and the loss of manufacturing jobs is not a result of “big government.” It is an international wage arbitrage phenomena. Health care inflation which is multiple factors greater than baseline inflation threatens Medicare and Medicaide. It is not “big government” entitlements per se that are the cause of the long term entitlement problems. It is problems common to both the public and private sectors. If you can’t fund Medicare in the future, how do you think that private employers are going to continue funding group employer based insurance?

Both liberals and conservatives need to approach these problems with some degree of honesty.


Posted by: Rich at April 4, 2011 8:02 PM
Comment #321059

Mr Holder said he was fully confident in the military commission system.

“Prosecutors from both the Departments of Defence and Justice have been working together since the beginning of this matter, and I have full faith and confidence in the military commission system to appropriately handle this case as it proceeds.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 4, 2011 8:06 PM
Comment #321060

Royal Flush,

What he [Holder] also said was that Congress tied his hands. He clearly thought that US District Federal Courts would be the more appropriate system to try the cases.

I don’t understand the reluctance of some conservatives to use our federal system of seasoned prosecutors and judges for terrorists. It is not some namby pamby bastion of liberal apologists, after all. There is a long history of effective prosecutions. It is a system that effectively tries, convicts and puts people behind secure bars for very long times or executes them if appropriate (Twin Towers bombers (1994), Timothy McVeigh, Unibomber). How about Noreiga? He was tried and convicted in a Federal District Court without controversy. For some reason, we have now become enamored with military commissions which have an abysmal practical and appellate track record. What’s up with that?

Posted by: Rich at April 4, 2011 8:23 PM
Comment #321061

Rich

You are stuck on talking points and random numbers. Nothing to respond to when you are in a rut and use random numbers.

Posted by: tom humes at April 4, 2011 9:34 PM
Comment #321062

t-
The money subsidizes healthcare coverage. The bill’s purpose was to extend healthcare coverage to as many people as possible. Inconsistency? If it’s purpose is to get votes, it seems to be doing it by doing what the bill is supposed to do: keep more people insured on health coverage.

If you care to systematically (or semantically, I can’t tell which with your spelling) dismantle my last post, why not? Even a child, even a moron can say “You’re wrong.” and leave it at that. What distinguishes you from them?

I can claim a person’s wrong based on my intuition, but my best, most powerful argument will always be one that takes them down on the facts, if that is indeed possible. Fortunately, today’s Republicans are sloppier than yesterday’s, when they were used to confronting skeptics instead of preaching to believers.

Royal Flush-
You know, if you’re not careful, you might end up confusing things a little. I mean, LSD does does stand for something else, and most people aren’t familiar with your version of what it stands for.

Which is another reason why I don’t pull the kind of cute stunts you do in arguments, because it effectively becomes a personal jargon outsiders might not be able to penetrate.

That’s one reason I don’t use the word “corpocracy”, for example. Clarity is more important than venting emotions with loaded words.

But what I listed, and what you neglect to acknowledge is that all of those issues were contentious and controversial, and if they weren’t, your people did your best to introduce strife in that direction.

I’ve already done my taxes. I did them online, and did them pretty easy.

Rich-
They want to scapegoat a government that inhibits their freedom to behave like they did in the first two or three decades of the 20th Century. Whatever they can blame on it, whether it has to do with it or not, they’ll blame on it just to build up the bad feelings against government.

Everybody-
Here’s what I believe: to imagine all the things we need to imagine to think out how things work in the real world, our brains have to go beyond what we would, on just what we knew, imagine to be true. We’re built to try and intuit the next step.

And we’re often wrong. The guard against that is the willingness to check your facts and your logic. But in politics, its often advantageous for some to inspire their followers to get carried away with themselves.

The warning I give to people here is that we don’t always know when our fellow Americans are on our side on a matter. Even if we’re right, we need to know what the state of mind of our fellow citizens is before we start putting weight on whatever support they have for us on an issue. We need to know and understand when our powers of persuasion are need, or when we need to convince people of something else, something more modest when we first make our tries.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 4, 2011 9:44 PM
Comment #321063

tom humes-
That’s becoming an all too common response: a claim that we are wrong, and then an explanation of why that claim doesn’t have to be proved, or why folks like you can’t be bothered.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 4, 2011 9:46 PM
Comment #321064

SD

How many times do we have to prove you wrong. It does get old. Same old same old. Change a word here and there and call it new. Your facts are not facts, they are opinions or someone else’s. Huge difference.

Posted by: tom humes at April 4, 2011 11:32 PM
Comment #321065


The term “big government’ is a conservative propaganda tool.

Rich, I think is is quit honest to point out government collusion.

The government deregulated the financial sector, giving them the rope to hang themselves, and then commuting the sentence at taxpayers expense.

Why wouldn’t the government be blamed for the huge government deficits and debt? Government policies created that debt.

Unemployment, government policies helped create it.

Runaway inflation in health care, government policies and government mismanagement enhanced it.

The government did produce policies and incentives that helped the private sector take advantage of “the international wage arbitrage phenomena.”

Where the dishonesty comes in is conservatives refusing to admit that the Republican agenda and philosophy that created the government collusion belongs to them.

The conservatives deserve a special award for their where the good people, the betters.

Where the dishonesty comes in is liberals unwilling to admit that their politicians sold out to the corporate/Republican agenda for the money and the perks.

Government of by and for the corporations and their investors.

Then there is the waste, fraud, and abuse; the cronyism and the mismanagement. How long have the people endured this from their governments, big and small? This kind of behavior by government condemns both political parties and those who blindly support them without demanding that this behavior be corrected. There is no defence for this kind of behavior, never has been.

The highest award for dishonesty goes to the partisans and those unwilling to participate in the election process.

It is sad to think that democracy can no longer produce better results than George Louis and the Aristocrats.

Bring on the inflation, the corpocracy marches on. The money flows, a billion for Obama and a few billion for all the corpocracy candidates.

Posted by: jlw at April 5, 2011 1:21 AM
Comment #321066

Thank you T.

Let me start with LSD’s comment to “everybody”: “Here’s what I believe:”

Well LSD, here’s what I believe: I believe you are no more that a water boy for obama. It wouldn’t matter what your beloved obama did, you would still carry water for him.

There is a large list of things he promised the left he would do and did an about face on everything. Any normal person would be furious and feel betrayed, but there is a part of the left who will support him, no matter what he does, because he is a socialist liberal.

http://obamaflipflops.com/flipflops/list

http://conservativeamerican.org/obama-administration-scandals-list/page-27-1301-1350/

Of course the latest is having military trials for the terrorists at GITMO. It is interesting that he announces a change in the trials the same day he announces running for a second term. I wonder if there is a connection? Hmmm.

LSD said:

“1776-
Let me get this straight: Obama buys votes… from a constituency that’s already his?”

Read the link again; obama was buying support for his flawed HC but it was from the corporations, not the union employees. The point was, for a bunch of hypocritical leftist who constantly mouth against corporations, it appears obama and his writers of the bill already had $2 billion hidden in the obamacare bill FOR corporations.

Then LSD goes on to say:

“Now some parts of the budget might need to be adjusted, but your charge that he’s buying votes is more easily explained by the likelier explanation that the bill is doing its job.”

How about we just scrap the whole bill and start again; since obama has given waivers to all of his supporters?

Here is a real good point made by LSD as a continued water boy for obama:

“As for the Military Tribunals? Well, what do you expect when you tortured them? If he put them through a civilian court, the torture would get evidence disqualified. You can ride “That’s not change you can believe in” into town like the tired cliche it is, but the truth is, I want a president who is more concerned about doing things right than contradicting a predecessor, or fulfilling a campaign promise.”

Wasn’t the goal of the left to expose Bush and the evil Republicans, and of course the evil military personnel who tortured and killed innocent civilians, for the evil people that they are?

LSD said in #223396, 4 years ago:

“And what the hell does the brutality of the enemy do to justify what was done in Abu Ghraib? Better question: do we want to justify their practices by ours? We are supposed to live up to a higher standard, and that is a strength for us.

As for continue to bring up this standard, let me remind you that we’re still finding out about new secret prisons, and that Gitmo still operates, with torture-lite procedures still continued, with folks held without trial, with Conservatives still fighting to keep open this black mark on our country’s reputation in the name of protecting America.

Only it doesn’t. It gives ammunition to our enemies, so they can dehumanize the millions of people who would never consider torturing another human being. It gives ammunition to our enemies who want to present us as barbarians to be defied, criminals to be distrusted.

If we were just some two-bit dictatorship, this stuff wouldn’t matter, but what we are America, so it does.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 18, 2007 02:39 PM”


Now you have the nerve to say a flip-flop obama is trying to protect Bush, the Republicans, and the military.

“WASHINGTON, May 12 (UPI) — Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney says he will not “roll over” while the Obama administration accuses the Bush administration of “committing torture.”
In an interview Tuesday with Fox News Channel, Cheney reiterated his charge that President Barack Obama’s administration is “dismantling” the national security policies that kept the United States safe after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
“I don’t think we should just roll over when the new administration … accuses us of committing torture, which we did not, or somehow violating the law, which we did not,” Cheney said. “I think you need to stand up and respond to that, and that’s what I’ve done.”


Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2009/05/12/Cheney-defends-Bush-anti-terror-policies/UPI-36011242173364/#ixzz1Ie8jEwth

This is a clear flip-flop by obama and the main water boy.

Then after that stupid statement, LSD goes on to say:

“I want somebody who cares about doing things right, not just pushing the politics with a false consistency.”

The only thing obama cares about is re-election and public opinion. He is motivated by polls. His latest flip-flop on the terrorists is a perfect example; he knows he has the left in his hip pocket, but he had to have military trials in order to gain the Independents who are fleeing from him.

As for your list of obama accomplishments; hysterical laughter…….

Jlw said:

“Every piece of legislation that Obama signed is Obama’s legislation. The only thing we can assume is that he approved the legislation because he has a veto.
We needed and wanted a president that would stand up to corporate blackmail and DEMAND that Congress change the course of the country. He didn’t even make the attempt and that is why a majority think he doesn’t deserve to be reelected.
The only question is, how much more are he and the Democrats willing to compromise for corpocracy.”

I think jlw needs to read the link about the $2 billion hidden in obamacare as a payoff to corporations. By the way jlw, have you noticed the huge salaries and bonuses paid out to Fannie and Freddie execs, or to the banking execs; you remember, the ones ostracized by the obama admin?

Posted by: 1776 at April 5, 2011 7:42 AM
Comment #321070

“I think jlw needs to read the link about the $2 billion hidden in obamacare as a payoff to corporations.”

I thought that was jlw’s very point.

Posted by: Rich at April 5, 2011 8:05 AM
Comment #321071

1776-
He’s a centrist liberal, and most people you think would support him for being a socialist liberal don’t identify him as such. But then everybody who dissents from the extreme views of your side gets slammed as being a leftist socialist, or if they’re Republican, a RINO. There’s no give in your policies, no room for people to avoid carrying water for mistakes and misconceptions if your people are wrong.

The Healthcare bill has plenty of money appropriated to help subsidize and give tax breaks to small business for providing healthcare coverage. This isn’t money just given out for general purpose use. The Businesses have to use that money to give healthcare to people. Now, if you want to look at somewhere where corporations are just being given money, look at your party’s subsidies under the Medicare Advantage plan. That’s just corporate welfare there.

More later, I have to go somewhere.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 5, 2011 8:57 AM
Comment #321072

Obama has never done anything that would suggest he is a centrist. You spread this lie in order to try to hang on to the independent vote.

Sorry LSD, I call a spade a spade and I don’t hide behind “is is” tricks with words. If the purpose of obama was to give tax breaks to small business, why the waivers? Sorry LSD, the money went to major corporations, not small bussiness:

“Where is the money going? According to the new report, the biggest single recipient of an early-retiree bailout is the United Auto Workers, which has so far received $206,798,086. Other big recipients include AT&T, which received $140,022,949, and Verizon, which received $91,702,538. General Electric, in the news recently for not paying any U.S. taxes last year, received $36,607,818. General Motors, recipient of a massive government bailout, received $19,002,669.

The program also paid large sums of money to state governments. The Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio received $70,557,764; the Teacher Retirement System of Texas received $68,074,118; the California Public Employees Retirement System, or CalPERS, received $57,834,267; the Georgia Department of Community Health received $57,936,127; and the state of New York received $47,869,044. Other states received lesser but still substantial sums.

But payments to individual states were dwarfed by the payout to the auto workers union, which received more than the states of New York, California, and Texas combined. Other unions also received government funds, including the United Food and Commercial Workers, the United Mine Workers, and the Teamsters.

Republican investigators count the early-retiree program among those that would never have become law had Democrats allowed more scrutiny of Obamacare at the time it was pushed through the House and Senate. Since then, Republicans have kept an eye on the program but were not able to pry any information out of the administration until after the GOP won control of the House last November. Now, finally, they are learning what’s going on.”

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2011/03/uncovered-new-2-billion-bailout-obamacare#ixzz1IekKDOLk

Posted by: 1776 at April 5, 2011 9:47 AM
Comment #321074

“Where is the money going?”
The recipient of all this money is the health insurance companies that provide the insurance coverage 17. Sorry to burst the conspiracy theory bubble but do you actually believe the money goes into the unions pockets?


“Republican investigators count the early-retiree program among those that would never have become law had Democrats allowed more scrutiny of Obamacare at the time it was pushed through the House and Senate.”

What nonsense this bill was debated and dragged on for months. Why accept such feeble excuses from those that didn’t bother to have their staff read the bill.

Where were these “republican investigators” when the repubs passed the Medicare bill in ‘03 without paying for it? This is just another “non-scandal scandal” dreamed up by movement leaders to keep the followers in a tizzy, seems it worked on 17.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 5, 2011 10:24 AM
Comment #321075

Don’t be silly j2t2, no one was able to investigate what was in the HC bill before it passed. Remember, it was a crisis and had to be passed sight unseen. Perhaps you can remember this statement by the then Speaker of the House:

Nancy Pelosi on Health Care: “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”

We are still seeing between 50% and 60% of voters wanting to repeal obamacare, depending on what polls you look at. In any case it is unpopular and the more we find out, the more unpopular it becomes. Just 5 months ago the american people told the politiians what they think about obamacare. And the left is still in denial.

Posted by: 1776 at April 5, 2011 10:37 AM
Comment #321076

1776

SD had to leave to get more water.

“The recipient of all this money is the health insurance companies that provide the insurance coverage 17. Sorry to burst the conspiracy theory bubble but do you actually believe the money goes into the unions pockets?”

I heard the Obama Admin say that the some money was going to unions. You didn’t hear that? Large businesses also got waivers and they were Obama supporters. How many small businesses got waives? And how many waivers went to non-supporters? There are a whole lot of people in this admin that should be joining Bernie only at a facility where that can’t play golf.

The left on this blog refuses to acknowledge that they could conceive of doing wrong. So when the liberal in chief says that 1776 is not budging, my question is what do you budge from? When congress, particularly the left, cannot find enough money to cut from the budget but can spend 228 billion in one month there is something terribley wrong with their premise. The left complains about the cowboy poet contest in danger of losing funding. How laughable is that for one of the kings of spending. There are other sick jokes to follow that one. We need to cut trillions of spending from the national scam of spending. Of course the left will say some small figure and ask where else. What got added to federal spending in the last decade that put us where we are? Take a look at that and eliminate that increase just for starters.

Posted by: tom humes at April 5, 2011 11:32 AM
Comment #321080

1776-
Your need to push a story blinds you to an important distinction. These companies are given these subsidies in exchange for using the money to insure early retirees.

Your side, however, gave subsidies to insurance companies administering Medicare Advantage plans, without even tying the subsidies to being used to provide benefits. It was just free money. That’s a payoff.

Important point? Whether they get to keep the money. If they don’t get to keep the money, all it buys is healthcare for workers retiring early. It doesn’t stay in corporate pockets.

Maybe I should make this simple enough for you to understand: if Obama is trying to buy the people off, wouldn’t it make more sense for him to let them keep the money?

Wasn’t the goal of the left to expose Bush and the evil Republicans, and of course the evil military personnel who tortured and killed innocent civilians, for the evil people that they are?

My goal was to get policy in place that wasn’t losing us wars, that wasn’t supporting torture. Yes, I would prefer the prison at Gitmo closed. No, Obama can’t do that, or hold trials in the United States without getting blocked by Congress, in no small part due to Republican Fearmongering.

I’m not going to knock him for dealing with an impossible political situation like this in this way. I’m going to knock the Democrats and Republicans, including Chuck Schumer in this case, who let fear, anxiety, and terror rule them, rather than the courage that is their birthright as Americans.

As it is, though, Obama’s outlawed the enhanced interrogation procedures, reformed the military tribunal process he’s going have to use. He’s stopped the attempts by the Bush Administration to claim that the Executive branch, under unitary executive theory, has the right to run counterterrorism any way he wants it under his authority as CINC.

So, Obama’s served much of the purpose I sought him out to serve.

As for the huge bonuses paid out to the folks in the financial sector, Bush threatened a veto of any bill that put strings on the funds being given out.

Oh, I’m sorry, is that blaming Bush? Oh, I’m sorry. It’s just that it’s something he actually did.

Those people are getting big bonuses because that’s the culture you’ve encouraged, and done your best to keep us from stopping. You’ve spent decades undoing investor and consumer protections, decades liberating the financial sector from the burden of regulation, and now you’re shocked, shocked to see gambling and payoffs going on on Wall Street.

Give me a break.

Obama has never done anything that would suggest he is a centrist.

Give me an even bigger break here. He pushed Romneycare as his healthcare reform. He forced the two failing Car companies through structured bankruptcy rather than nationalize them, with union members and workers taking considerable hits.

His foreign policy could easily have been anti-war. Instead he maintained Bush’s plans and surged in Afghanistan. He pushed a deficit reduction commission, even though it was fairly unpopular on the left, and let a number of prominent deficit hawks from the right on it.

You might not consider that all centrist, but then your view of the politicals center is very skewed to the right.

As is your reporting. What do you call a payment that requires the money to be used, paid to somebody else? Not a payoff.

As for Pelosi’s statement? Well, is granny dead yet? She inartfully said this: once the bill was passed, people would understand the bill for what it was, not what your people had hyped it to be.

You cite 60% numbers on repealing healthcare. Fair enough, they exist. You fail to acknowledge numbers on most of the key policies that indicate they don’t want those to go. About the only think that’s consistently unpopular is the mandate. But who would like that anyways?

Your people succeeded in putting a Dark cloud over HCR, but this time you didn’t succeed in blocking it. Over time, people are going to realize that nothing particularly malevolent happened, and that it was all a figment of fevered imaginations like yours.

Let me tell you something else, too: your people are going to bust their heads wide open on Medicare and Medicaid. The polling is unequivocal on that count: a vast supermajority of Americans support that. Even at the height of his power and popularity, Bush’s attempt to undermine social security blew up in his face, and the next election was a wave against his party.

Your party, in its overreach, is providing one rallying point after another for Democrats. We welcome the opportunity to confront you, and take the initiative back from you.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 5, 2011 12:48 PM
Comment #321081

1776-
If somebody’s paid something, with the requirement they give the money to somebody else, that’s not a payoff. You have to keep the money for that to be the case.

What did Pelosi mean? It’s simple: in the next three or four years, Granny isn’t going to die at the hands of a Death Panel, people are going to see their same doctors, and more people will be covered under insurance.

All your bull**** will simply get swept away by the natural consequences of policy.

I voted for Obama not because I thought he could deliver on everything, but because I knew he was politically creative enough to deliver on a lot. And he has.

There have been some disappointments, but Gitmo is more of a disappointment, as far as I’m concerned, in the general atmosphere of political cowardice concerning terrorism. Cowardice folks like you contribute to with your superhuman estimation of the criminals those terrorists really are.

You think it’s terrible to change your mind, or compromise on a position. I think it’s worse to pursue false consistency in order to avoid political repercussions, especially when that consistency helps carve the bad policy in stone.

Obama ended torture and enhanced interrogation techniques on his watch. He has reformed the Military tribunals. I want him to do better, but I’m still glad that the overall effect has been positive.

As for carrying water for him?

I didn’t sign any loyalty oath to this President. I like him, so I defend him, but I do want him to do better.

I just don’t waste my time on really heavy criticism of those I don’t particularly think merit it. I focus my anger on those who are really screwing things up first.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 5, 2011 1:22 PM
Comment #321086

SD

What torture did Obama eliminate? Please document with something other than a Soros based resource.

Posted by: tom humes at April 5, 2011 2:20 PM
Comment #321087

SD said:

“My goal was to get policy in place that wasn’t losing us wars, that wasn’t supporting torture. Yes, I would prefer the prison at Gitmo closed. No, Obama can’t do that, or hold trials in the United States without getting blocked by Congress, in no small part due to Republican Fearmongering.”

Good Lord Stephen; where do you get this crap? We are in 3 wars now. Your messiah just put us in the 3rd. You slammed Bush for standing on the deck of a carrier, that had a sign dealing with victory; yet you get on here and say obama pulled troops out of Iraq, yet we are still there… You had a chance to close GITMO, you controlled the legislative and executive branch for 2 years, and did you forget that. Are you going to tell us again about the filibuster that prevented obama from trying terrorists in NY, or moving them to a prison in IL? A prison that was to be purchased at Dick Durbin’s request and obama’s support. What an ass… You want to hear about fearmongering; how about the Dems who are hitting the media, as a result of Paul Ryan’s proposed budget, and using the same old 30 year old lies; old people lose Medicare and SS, schools close and children starve, the sky is falling. SD, you are a real jewel…

The rest of your stuff is talking points.

You voted for Obama because he was a socialist, if you voted for him because of his creativity and ability to get things done, then you must surely be disappointed. He is in way over his head, and he is about to lose it…

Posted by: 1776 at April 5, 2011 2:33 PM
Comment #321088

Here’s a good one SD; if this had happened under Bush’s presidency, it would be the talk of the MSM for months, and yet I haven’t heard anything on the news about this. If Bush was at fault for war crimes and torture, shouldn’t obama be held responsible for this:

“Rolling Stone publishes photos of US war crimes in Afghanistan
By Naomi Spencer
29 March 2011

Rolling Stone magazine has published a detailed report and images that document war crimes in Afghanistan committed by the so-called Army “kill team” in 2010. The exposé, “The Kill Team,” written by Mark Boal and published online March 27, includes 18 gruesome photographs and two videos taken by soldiers who took part in patrols in Kandahar province.

The images, which are far more graphic than the three published by the German magazine Der Spiegel last week, are part of a collection of some 4,000 photographs that the US military has sought to suppress for fear of a popular backlash—both domestically and in Afghanistan—against the war. Rolling Stone obtained more than 150 of the images.

In several photos, soldiers are shown grinning over the corpses of unarmed civilians. Images also show the hand of a victim whose finger had been removed as a memento by soldiers, a soldier hoisting up a severed head with a stick, badly mutilated body parts, and propped-up corpses bound together with signs hung on them in front of military vehicles.

Both the volume and content of the images reveal that the murder of innocent civilians in Kandahar was commonplace, widely known about, and celebrated. The evidence also suggests that the number of sport killings exceeded the four for which 12 members of the 5th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Division have been charged. Moreover, some of the images may document war crimes carried out by other brigades.

Primary responsibility for these crimes rests with the Obama administration, which is overseeing the occupation of Afghanistan, grotesquely titled “Operation Enduring Freedom,” and its escalation across the border into Pakistan. In the past year, military forces have carried out drone attacks and bloody night raids that have reaped a civilian death toll in the thousands.”

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/mar2011/kill-m29.shtml

Posted by: 1776 at April 5, 2011 2:41 PM
Comment #321090

Since SD’s article is about film making, maybe he would like this short film of his messiah, titled:

“Obama: “Inexcusable” Not To Take Care Of Last Year’s Business”

“It would be inexcusable for us to not be able to take care of last year’s business — keep in mind we are dealing with a budget that could have gotten done three months ago, could have gotten done two months ago. Could have gotten done last month,” President Obama said Tuesday in the WH briefing room.”

This rooster is a joke: what about if the dems had passed the 2011 budget last year when they were in control?

Posted by: 1776 at April 5, 2011 2:55 PM
Comment #321091

Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget has overwhelmed the democrats and liberal talking heads. They are really going to sound stupid trying to attack everything in this one.

Posted by: 1776 at April 5, 2011 3:05 PM
Comment #321093

RF and 1776, you need to knock it off. We don’t tolerate name-calling here. I’m tired of editing your comments. If you keep it up, I will ban you both.

If you cannot have a civil debate with Stephen without resorting to name-calling, innuendos, and code-word acronyms then you are not welcome here. Please go bother some other community with your antics.

Thanks.

Posted by: WatchBlog Publisher at April 5, 2011 3:43 PM
Comment #321094
“I heard the Obama Admin say that the some money was going to unions. You didn’t hear that? Large businesses also got waivers and they were Obama supporters.”

Of course you did Tom because you choose to hear only that. It serves your movement leaders well that you only listen to their biased reporting. That is why your comments lack factual information.

“How many small businesses got waives?”

How many applied for them and were rejected Tom? The fact is the money we are talking about is for the insurance coverage for employees retiring from the union/company. The insurance company ended up with the money not the unions. Sorry to disappoint you with this non-conspiracy conspiracy.

” And how many waivers went to non-supporters?”

Are we confusing waivers with insurance Tom?

“Don’t be silly j2t2, no one was able to investigate what was in the HC bill before it passed.”

Yet the teabaggers and conservatives were able to tell us it included death panels and so much more. If they didn’t investigate it how could they have known what wasn’t in the bill? Here is a time line of the bill that turned out to be Romneycare. 11 months doesn’t seem like a crisis to me.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/02/22/usa-healthcare-idUSN2220141920100222

“Remember, it was a crisis and had to be passed sight unseen. Perhaps you can remember this statement by the then Speaker of the House:Nancy Pelosi on Health Care: “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.””

Sure 17 with all the misinformation half truths and outright lies perpetrated by the teabaggers it would need to become law so people could see what it was not what they were told it was by those trying to defeat it.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 5, 2011 3:53 PM
Comment #321095

tom humes-
He explicitly banned the use of enhanced interrogationt techniques. The executive order is on public record. I guess that’s separate enough from Soros, but I can never tell with paranoid schizophrenic conspiracy theories what’s pure enough of the corrupting influence.

1776-
First, the story’s less than a week old. Second, this has sadly become par for the course for our two wars, so it’s not that attention grabbing anymore.

As for Gitmo, what crap?

Your people were out there scaring people about trials in the US. Fact.

Second, my Messiah got us into a third war? I don’t think Jesus Christ has come back just yet, so that’s not possible.

Seriously, though, we’re not even flying combat missions over Libya anymore, and the other two wars were ones your people started early in the last decade.

As for LSD? Sir, I’ve never used LSD or abused any drug. I was straight-laced and conservative enough as a kid that I actually took “Just Say No” at face value. I don’t even drink alcohol, drink coffee, or smoke! You couldn’t have picked a worse person to associate with drug abuse. You’re right you don’t know.

I’m not really that much of a leftist, but you have to broad brush everybody who defies your stereotypes of what right-thinking Americans should have as views, so your ditto-head attacks can have something to hit.

Royal Flush-
As my name is Stephen Daugherty, SD is sufficient. SRD if you want to include the middle name. Your addition is just a silly attempt at bad drug humor, which is ironic since I’m what the kids call a straight-edge, and have been since I was a kid.

Is there a point to telling you this? You seem intent on rewriting everybody’s identity to fit your narrowed, stereotype-heave vision of what we’re supposed to be like.

****, man, I tell you folks all the time what I really think. I tell it to you in endless paragraphs. Yet you feel it necessary to tell me what I really think, to inform me of what my real intentions are.

Or maybe the idea is to “reveal” me for what you think I am. God, what annoying stuff.

My biggest fear when I log on isn’t that I’m going to be one-upped on the facts. My greatest concern is that I will lose my will to keep on battling the BS. Despite all the grey hairs it must have given me to bathe in all that corrosive negativity every day, I believe it’s right to do so, because such things, in my opinion must be opposed.

I have lasted several years on this site because in the end, my primary concern has always been the issues, and that concern is sincere. I don’t need to psychologically destroy people, take away their voices or institutions. Keep your talking-points generating think-tanks, your talk-radio pundits. Keep them, because my generation comes into this planning to compete, not let your side have this country to itself. Destroy the unions, and we’ll rebuild them. Smash our institutions, and we’ll remake them, make them stronger to boot.

I have learned to endure, over the last decade and a half as a Democrat. I’ve learned to maintain my views and my sanity in the face of the hostility of this Republican Party. In fact, I’ve learn to become more outspoken, the harder the GOP knocks me and my own down. I’m not the most leftward liberal you will meet. In fact, I’m quite the centrist, when it comes down to it. But my dedication to being that kind of liberal hasn’t been undone by all the BS that’s been thrown my way over the last few years.

The irony is, if you had been more interested in being the party that held the center in America, your party would have held on to power far longer. Instead, your people have tried, and are going to keep trying to rule everything from the far right. That will be your undoing. There are not enough people who are as dedicated to your party as you are to give you your wins. You’ve woken up those who once thought there might be an accommodation, a point of compromise, that there is no true middle ground that your people will allow with anybody else.

Sooner or later, my people will win, because of that.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 5, 2011 4:13 PM
Comment #321098

Watchblog Publisher; this is a two way street. RF and I are being reprimanded for “name-calling, innuendos, and code-word acronyms”. I do not know about RF, but I am a supporting member of the tea party movement, as are several conservatives on WB. There are some on here who insist on calling us teabaggers which is also an innuendo pertaining to sexual deviancy. I am sure all of us conservatives would like to see you put a stop to the use of this term.

All you need to do is look at comment #321094. j2t2 used the term twice. Thank you for your ever watchful eyes, seeking fairness and harmony on WB.

Posted by: 1776 at April 5, 2011 5:00 PM
Comment #321100
There are some on here who insist on calling us teabaggers which is also an innuendo pertaining to sexual deviancy. I am sure all of us conservatives would like to see you put a stop to the use of this term.

I agree; name calling serves no purpose here at WB. If you see people doing this, you should email the manager.

Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget has overwhelmed the democrats and liberal talking heads. They are really going to sound stupid trying to attack everything in this one.

Personally, I actually kind of like it. I’m glad to see Paul Ryan endorse replacing Medicare with a plan similar to the PPACA. I guess this means he was mistaken in opposing the PPACA in the first place.

Posted by: Warped Reality at April 5, 2011 5:32 PM
Comment #321101

SD

What torture did Obama eliminate? Please document with something other than a Soros based resource.

Posted by: tom humes at April 5, 2011 02:20 PM


Comment #321095
tom humes-
He explicitly banned the use of enhanced interrogationt techniques. The executive order is on public record. I guess that’s separate enough from Soros, but I can never tell with paranoid schizophrenic conspiracy theories what’s pure enough of the corrupting influence.

Typical liberal response. So How can I get an answer to the question I posed? Let’s try this. Exactly what tortures were we doing that Obama’s EO banned? Did that make it easier?

Posted by: tom humes at April 5, 2011 5:40 PM
Comment #321102

TH, Waterboarding is no longer practiced.

1776,

what about if the dems had passed the 2011 budget last year when they were in control?

Don’t you remember the lame duck session last December? Reid tried to pass the Omnibus, but the GOP stopped him.

Posted by: Warped Reality at April 5, 2011 5:47 PM
Comment #321105

“The recipient of all this money is the health insurance companies that provide the insurance coverage 17. Sorry to burst the conspiracy theory bubble but do you actually believe the money goes into the unions pockets?”

I heard the Obama Admin say that the some money was going to unions. You didn’t hear that? Large businesses also got waivers and they were Obama supporters. How many small businesses got waives? And how many waivers went to non-supporters? There are a whole lot of people in this admin that should be joining Bernie only at a facility where that can’t play golf.

The left on this blog refuses to acknowledge that they could conceive of doing wrong. So when the liberal in chief says that 1776 is not budging, my question is what do you budge from? When congress, particularly the left, cannot find enough money to cut from the budget but can spend 228 billion in one month there is something terribley wrong with their premise. The left complains about the cowboy poet contest in danger of losing funding. How laughable is that for one of the kings of spending. There are other sick jokes to follow that one. We need to cut trillions of spending from the national scam of spending. Of course the left will say some small figure and ask where else. What got added to federal spending in the last decade that put us where we are? Take a look at that and eliminate that increase just for starters.

Posted by: tom humes at April 5, 2011 6:08 PM
Comment #321106

1776-
If you’ll remember, the Tea Party took on that name themselves, before being advised of its meaning by rather gleeful liberals.

Tom humes-
The kinds of treatments considered enhanced interrogation are also well-documented.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 5, 2011 6:12 PM
Comment #321108

Watchblog Publisher.

Read your message and will comply. Thank you for monitoring this blog as I know it must not be an easy job. Politics is a contentious subject especially for those who have deep political philosophies.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 5, 2011 6:28 PM
Comment #321114
There are some on here who insist on calling us teabaggers which is also an innuendo pertaining to sexual deviancy.

There is a distinct difference between a collective slur and a slur that is pointed directly at an individual. The rules we have set up here prohibit the latter but not necessarily the former. PERSONAL ATTACKS ARE NOT ALLOWED.

Calling a group of people “Lying Sucking Democrats” is perfectly acceptable as you are not targeting a single person or individual. Calling Stephen Daugherty a “Liberal Slimy Democrat” and then constantly referring back to the acronym LSD is absolutely not acceptable.

I hope you can see the difference.

Posted by: WatchBlog Publisher at April 5, 2011 8:26 PM
Comment #321121
Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- Is inflation currently a problem?
Yes. The official March-2011 inflation is reported at 2.11%.

But it is actually much higher; more like 9.7%, based on formulas before they were fudged to make inflation look less severe.
Even by the federal government’s own fudged data (via fudging of formulas in year 1983 and 1998), a 2001 U.S. Dollar is now only worth 77 cents (or less).
A 1950 U.S. Dollar is worth only about 10 cents.
What part of that do you not understand?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: Are people currently fleeing treasury bonds?
Yes. many people have, because they were losing money.

Several bond funds that are mostly U.S. Treasuries are losing money for the first time in 10+ years:

Yield as of: 3mos _ 1yr _ 3yr _ 5yr _ 10yr _ Lifetime
Government Inflation-Protected Bond Fund:start=07/01/2003
02/28/2011 -0.71 _ 8.44 _ 4.96 _ 6.53 _ 7.48 _ N/A
01/31/2011 -3.73 _ 6.68 _ 4.99 _ 6.33 _ 7.58 _ N/A
12/31/2010 -1.05 _ 8.64 _ 6.57 _ 6.37 _ 7.85 _ N/A
Core Bond Fund;start=01/01/2005
02/28/2011 -0.47 _ 6.22 _ 6.33 _ 6.67 _ 6.07 _ 7.11
01/31/2011 -0.88 _ 6.35 _ 6.62 _ 6.66 _ 6.17 _ 7.12
12/31/2010 -0.71 _ 7.55 _ 7.16 _ 6.57 _ 6.27 _ 7.14
Intermediate Bond Fund;start=01/01/2002
02/28/2011 -1.19 _ 6.04 _ 6.73 _ 7.17 _ N/A _ N/A
01/31/2011 -2.37 _ 6.08 _ 6.66 _ 7.17 _ N/A _ N/A
12/31/2010 -1.83 _ 8.04 _ 7.74 _ 7.20 _ N/A _ N/A

U.S. Bond purchases by China have declined for several months since late 2010. China’s holdings are keenly watched as a sharp turn away from U.S. bonds by their biggest foreign buyer could send U.S. debt costs much higher. Also, overall foreigners made less net purchases of U.S. long term debt since January, 2011 (significantly lower than expected by analysts).

Stephen Daugherty wrote: Does your feeling and that of others justify precipitating a worldwide credit crisis that hasn’t precipitated itself?
It is precipitating by itself.

That’s what happens when ever any nation tried to borrow, money-print, and spend their way to prosperity.
It always fails.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: I know the politicians are bad, but this generalized BS doesn’t do much to help motivate anybody to fire the right people.
Right. But only non-Democrat politicians, eh?

And since when did hard facts become “generalized BS” ?

Re-election rates fell from 87% in 2008 to 77% in 2010, and may continue to decline as the painful consequences of corrupt government continue the decline of the economy and nation.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s one thing to talk about the firing of all those politicians.
Right. But only non-Democrat politicians, eh?
Stephen Daugherty wrote: I’m more interested in achieving their replacement, and making sure somebody better gets in.
Right. But only non-Democrat politicians, eh?

HHMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmm … didn’t we already try that too?

So, how is letting dumb and dumber run the country into the ground working out?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: You got your replacement in 2010.
Nonsense. What is this “You” crap?

What makes you think I like this federal government since the 2010 elections any more than the previous elections?
Where do you get these inaccurate assumptions?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: But what came of it? Worse policy.
And you think that is mostly the fault of only non-Democrats?

The fact is, it is the fault of the majority of all American voters.
Especially with such high re-election rates for Congress, despite dismal 11%-to-18% approval ratings for Congress.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: Feckless legislators more loyal to politics and party than their responsibilities.
Right. Just like some brain-washed, blindly-partisan voters who would rather wallow in the partisan warfare, while pretending to be above it all, eh?
Stephen Daugherty wrote: In politics, people often fail to consider the balance of quality between two different candidates, and the ultimate uselessness of not making a choice.
Right. And some people seem to think doing the same thing over and over, and especting a different result is logical, eh?

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, repeatedly rewarding the duopoly, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with 90% re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 5, 2011 9:59 PM
Comment #321153

Dan-
First, let’s consider something for a moment: the treasury bonds in question are short-term bonds, and if you look at the shortest term bonds for the Treasuries, they’re always money losers. The economy is recovering, and because of that, people are not going to park their money in short term treasuries, rather than invest in more lucrative stuff.

Second, China’s decision to purchase less bonds make sense if the economy is recovering, for the same reason: Treasuries are safe, but not necessarily high yield investments.

As for the crisis precipitating itself, we’re talking about two different degrees of difficulty here. If Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling, we’re talking a collapse worse than the one that followed Lehman Brothers, with our own currency devalued as a consequence.

Compare that to increasing inflation, if those unofficial shadow statistics are being followed. We can handle price increases, not the collapse of our entire financial system.

Concerning my use of second person pronouns? I will use them in my conversations here with you because they are a convenient substitute for mentioning your name every other paragraph. At least that was how I was taught to use them.

As for the 2010 elections? I think its a textbook example of why your principle doesn’t hold true.

So long as any side views the defeats through a Partisan lens, they will be able to rationalize it as meaning something that favors their politics. Just look on the blogs. The Liberal Democrats, when defeated, said “This means the Democrats in Congress should have been more liberal.” The Third Way Centrists, when defeated, said, “This means that Democrats should have been more like the Republicans.” The Republicans, when defeated, told themselves, “This means we should have doubled down on Conservatism!” The Tea Partiers, when defeated, said and will say that the problem was “Republicans aren’t committed enough to conservativism!”

Politics by reaction doesn’t get you anywhere. You need to make clear to politicians what’s wanted and what’s unwanted. You need to stand up for your interests. Content free reactions and anti-incumbency won’t get anywhere, because it’s too blunt a bludgeon to bring insight to the politicians of what exactly is bringing people dissatisfaction.

People need to become better involved, better informed, and look better after their interest. They don’t need to be following some political panacea, or other.

I’ve seen people try not being involved, try throwing stones at both parties. People are making the choice of not making a choice, thinking its easier if they don’t. Truth is, it’s always a choice, and its a choice that doesn’t get easier. Right now, we’re on the verge of a Government Shutdown, on the verge of seeing a debt ceiling fail to be raised.

One thing I know for sure: no Democrat would put our economy in that kind of danger. Does it make sense to not stick with one set of decision makers if, at the very least, the mistakes of one side are less catastrophic than the other other?

It’s not the kind of choice that idealists like to make, but then the world doesn’t always give us that kind of choice. We should fight to get the best choices presented before us, but then we should have the guts to take ownership of our decisions, and pick the best candidates, even if they’re just the least worst. Anything else just lets things get worse, or get worse faster.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 6, 2011 3:25 PM
Comment #321162

“Right now, we’re on the verge of a Government Shutdown, on the verge of seeing a debt ceiling fail to be raised.

One thing I know for sure: no Democrat would put our economy in that kind of danger.” posted by sd

If no Democrat would cause a government shutdown, why then, are they not willing to compromise on the small and reasonable cuts proposed by the Republicans?


Posted by: Royal Flush at April 6, 2011 5:21 PM
Comment #321164

Royal Flush-
Actually, they are willing to compromise, though the effects of the cuts will be drastic. Unfortunately, Speaker Boehner reneged on that compromise, in response to pressure from Tea Partiers who want no compromise whatsoever.

See, that’s your problem. If Republicans are Elephants, Tea Partiers are White Elephants. They got you the majority, but at the price of robbing your delegation of much of its flexibility, and arguably enough, control of the Senate.

A guy on Bill Maher’s show, I don’t remember who, quipped “If the Republican Party moves further to the Right, how will we know?”

The joke is, really, that Republicans nowadays are so far to the right it’s hard to imagine how much more extreme they can get. And they don’t want common ground with us. I’m sure you support that, but I’ve got one question to ask you: How the hell does such a far right majority in one chamber get everything it wants out of a Senate and a White House where the occupants are facing re-election by a skeptical Democratic party next year?

See, they don’t have to give you anything you want, and since it’s pretty easily demonstrable that it’s only the Republicans and the far right who wish to have this controversy, who are partisan enough to excuse this failure of fiscal responsibility and the ability to compromise on the Congress’s part, the blame is going to flow towards your people.

In material science, hardness doesn’t always translate into strength. Glass and diamond are very hard materials. But hit each the right way, and they break rather than bend.

Your Tea Party delegation is truly hardline in its politics. It’s rigid, and uncompromising. And that unwillingness to compromises is going meet its match, get tested by a situation where most like, compromise is what’s going to produce victory.

Something’s going to have to give. Either the Tea Partiers drop their uncompromising tendencies, and stomach something less than they want, admitting the limits of their strength to take things to the hard right, or the main delegation makes a deal with the Democrats to get the votes necessary to pass a budget, thereby snapping off the Tea Party and provoking a self-destructive political civil war.

Obama’s got something he can hold over you, and that’s the economy. He can righteously rage against policies that would kill jobs, say he’s not going to compromise on the backs of working Americans, Seniors, and the poor.

People care a lot about the deficits, but they care a lot more about the economy. Obama can play off Republicans to look like the responsible, conciliatory party in the negotiations, while Republicans again and again try to force their will, and force even worst cuts than your people are currently asking for.

Obama’s voters can accept some compromise, can give a little. Yours cannot, or at least cannot as long as they’re trying to kid themselves that they’ll get everything they want.

Your people want to believe that if it weren’t for the misfortunes of the middle of the last decade, you would have had a perfect economy. Hell, Your budget Guru Ryan, in order to sell his Medicare overhaul is positing in the future that unemployment will reach 2.8%!

Your people are still not facing the limits of your politics, and the limits of that politics’ practical success.

That refusal to acknowledge your limits, and the limits of people’s patience will be the GOP’s downfall.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 6, 2011 8:39 PM
Comment #321168

The fact is, it is most likely too late to fix this nation’s debt nightmare (among these other numerous problems and abuses), because Congress would have to cut spending by Trillion$ per year to merely stop the debt from growing any larger (which is growing be several billions per day!).

The chances of sufficient fiscal responsibility now and for several years in the future, required to avoid economic disaster, are now extremely unlikely.

Do the math for yourself, if you don’t believe it.
Simply ask yourself a simple question, and you may then be able to comprehend the severity and probabilities.
QUESTION: Where is the money going to come from to merely pay the interest on the $14.5 Trillion federal national debt and the total $57 Trillion nation-wide debt, when that money does not yet exist?

Of course, you can’t answer that question, because nobody can provide any credible answer.

Unfortunately, the only options left are all bad.
Since the federal government and Federal Reserve are very unlikely to default on debt, they will almost certainly choose to create many tens of trillions more out of thin air.
Either way, the end result will still be very bad, and the currency will still be debauched.

Since it is very unlikely that the dysfuncational Congress will stop the irresponsible borrowing, money-printing, and spending, the U.S. is most likely headed for hyper-inflation, or default, or worse. That will most likely be followed by several years that will be worse than the 1st Great Depression.

It doesn’t matter what some blindly partisan voters think THEIR party is going to do, because it is most likely too late to avoid the painful consequences of decades of fiscal and moral bankruptcy.

Many economic factors are already worse today than they were in the 1st Great Depression.

The total amount of annual interest on the $14.5 Trillion federal national debt, and the annual deficits are many hundreds of billions per year, and dozens of times more than the measely $30-to-$60 Billion currently being proposed in federal spending cuts.

So, the debt pyramid is most likely doomed to collapse sometime this decade, because the debt pyramid is most likely untenable; especially since Congress is dysfunctional.

It does not take a rocket scientist to see where this is headed. The time to do something about this was many years ago, and it is most likely too late now.

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, repeatedly rewarding the duopoly, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with 90% re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 6, 2011 10:32 PM
Comment #321170

Dan-
Thank you for more cheeriness and optimism.

We’ve come back from worse levels of debt. The issue is being willing to pay off that debt. That’s what’s turning this into a crisis: the political order has become too calcified, people too resistant to the tax levels necessary to turn things around.

But is this really the time to try and solve that problem? No, because the problem’s being confounded, made worse by an economic problem that makes it more difficult to deal with the austerity end of the equation.

People just got to realize that the consequences of mismanaged leadership are going to be harsh, and that clinging to the failed models of small government won’t help things any.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 6, 2011 11:07 PM
Comment #321182

Some folks refuse to leave their dream world where this country can continue to spend lavishly beyond the revenue needed to support it.

Their answer is always…always…always, more taxes. In times of plenty they always justify spending more. In times of famine, they always justify spending more. No rainy day fund necessary, for them the sun always shines.

For these folks, the goose just isn’t laying the golden eggs fast enough. They wish to grab the golden eggs even before they are hatched. And, they forget who is producing the eggs. Just a clue, it isn’t government.

d.a.n. is correct, it most likely can’t and won’t continue. There is a possible way out yet, but not probable. We have conditioned a large part of our population to depend upon government for their very existence. Being poor in the US is living richly in most parts of the world. Politicians prey upon those willing to sell their vote for crumbs from the government table.

Tax individuals and business too harshly to increase government revenue and they find a way to avoid and evade those taxes. I am reminded of New York City and their excessive tax on tobacco. They wanted more income from tobacco and increased the tax on it to the point that revenue from that source decreased. More taxes, even less revenue. Tobacco users found a less expensive way to get tobacco bypassing the tax man.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 7, 2011 12:04 PM
Comment #321232
Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- Thank you for more cheeriness and optimism.
Don’t blame me for reality.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: But is this really the time to try and solve that problem? No, because the problem’s being confounded, made worse by an economic problem that makes it more difficult to deal with the austerity end of the equation.

Stephen Daugherty, What part of “broke” and “untenable debt” do you not understand?

But you are right about one thing.
Now is not “the time to try and solve that [i.e. massive debt] problem?”

The time to try to solve that problem was 10+ years ago.

Now it is most likely too late, because Congress doesn’t get it, too many voters don’t get it, and Congress and the Federal Reserve will choose the route of hyperinflation before they default on the massive debt, which will essentially only postpone the inevitable a little longer.

The probability of hyperinflation or something worse is now very close to 100%.

    “There is no means of avoiding a final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as a result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.” - Ludwig Von Mises

Obviously, some people (too many) think the way out of this massive debt crisis is more of the same; more spending, borrowing, and printing money out of thin air. Dozens of nations have already tried that, and ALL of them failed.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: We’ve come back from worse levels of debt.
FALSE!

The U.S. debt per-capita today has NEVER been worse, EVER (except perhaps during the American Civil War).

  • As of DEC-2010, the federal National Debt per-capita is $45,161, which is 2.02 times larger than the previous record-high (which was $21,348 in year 1945 in 2010 dollars, after World War II).
  • As of DEC-2010, the federal National Debt per-capita is $45,161, which is 8.23 times larger than the it was near the end of the Great Depression (which was $5,481 in year 1941 in 2010 dollars).
Stephen Daugherty wrote: The issue is being willing to pay off that debt.
The answer to that question should now already be obvious.

Thanks, Royal Flush.

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, repeatedly rewarding the duopoly, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with 90% re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 8, 2011 9:45 AM
Comment #321236


Add all the evidence from the past 14 years and it becomes obvious that this crisis was planned and orchestrated. The purpose has become obvious with the presentation of the Republican budget.

The people of Iceland are going to the polls tomorrow to decide whether they should repay the British and the Netherlands who bailed out their citizens who invested in the failed Icelandic bank.

The bill could amount to as much as 6,000 per person and if the people refuse to refund the investors the world financial system will rate the countries debt as junk and charge them exorbitant interest rates. Socialism of by and for wealth?

The people of Iceland didn’t control that bank nor did they entice foreign investors to invest in it, but, they do get to vote on whether or not to pay the bailout.

Posted by: jlw at April 8, 2011 11:46 AM
Comment #321278

Royal Flush-
Well, the commies over at Goldman Sachs disagree with you. They think what you’re trying to do right now, whether you succeed, or whether you shutdown the government, will harm the economy.

Harm the economy, harm the revenues. The greater the cuts, the greater the harm.

You say we’re bankrupt. I say we’re still the world’s strongest economy, which does plenty of business with the world. I say our Treasury bonds are still selling at low interest rates, a market signal that few think that investing in our economy, in our currency is too risky to do except at a higher premium. If we were going bankrupt, financiers would be asking for more money in return for their investment in us.

If we’re not going bankrupt, there’s no use in defaulting, however heavy the debt load is. It’d be an unforced error. It wouldn’t absolve us of the debt, either, just make it to where we have to repay it with an economy where the dollar has collapsed, and revenues have gone with them.

You’re trying to provoke a panic here, stampeded people toward cutting liberal government programs. That’s why you keep on insisting on going after penny-ante liberal programs, rather than propose real reforms.

Trouble is, you’ve picked the wrong time to be tight-fisted. The Republicans chose to be profligate in their spending in a time where the economy didn’t need it, and now they’re tight-fisted in a time where it does need it.

We should have been paying down the debt while we had the prosperity to do it. If we got it into our head to fight a war or create a drug benefit, we should have balanced what we spent with what we paid.

The Republicans made the deliberate decision not to do that. You can’t slip, trip, and accidentally enact several discrete policies which folks could tell you would increase the deficit.

Now, with such a looming debt, the Republicans perversely want to scare people about the deficit spending they were trying to reassure people about, trying to rationalize when their asses were the ones in the stew-pot.

Part of that looming debt there, comes from the fact that people are on unemployment, or out of the work force, rather than paying taxes.

The longer we remain below full employment, or something close to it, the longer we deal with the associated shortfall in revenues.

Therefore, the question of what the Republicans plan to do about unemployment isn’t merely a debate you’re having with liberals, it’s a long term problem that will need a solution, if you don’t want to have to deal with the fiscal consequences.

You claim that your cuts, all around, will help stimulate the economy. Well, cuts like yours didn’t work during the Great Depression, and Tax Cuts didn’t reverse that either, nor the early-eighties recession, nor the economic doldrums of the Bush Decade. The biggest tax cuts in history, and what did we get out of it? a Net loss in jobs for the first time since Hoover.

Fixing this economy is a must for anybody looking to fix the fiscal situation. Fixing the economy takes away the adverse fiscal effects of high unemployment. Fixing the economy makes it to where private business is strong enough to take up the slack in the government’s economic activity.

That part is crucial. If private enterprise doesn’t come to the rescue, the fiscal and economic problems both get worse together. If you can’t replace that activity, don’t reduce it.

We need to stop treating this in the emotional terms of rhetoric.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 8, 2011 8:54 PM
Comment #321361

To all of you conservatives here:

I agree with you 100%! Private organizations and individuals SHOULD be the ones to help the poor and aged. The problem is, they cannot offer guarantees. Organizations come and go and private individuals are subject to their own needs first. Peoples’ circumstances change in their lives.

You simply cannot gamble with peoples’ lives like that. They need to make sure they are not subject to the comings and goings of private philanthropy.

Posted by: CC at April 10, 2011 8:42 AM
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