Good News about … Lots of Things

Do you know AIDS is not nearly as bad as estimated? Did you hear that unemployment is only 4.5% and job numbers are being revised upwards? Who knew that the air we breathe is getting cleaner all the time? The good news is that the bad news isn’t true. So why don’t we learn?

A lot of people and groups make money or get a lot of power off bad news. AIDS is a good example. The linked radio program tells of the recent "good news" that indicated that AIDS in Ethiopia was not even half as bad as feared, instead of celebration among activitists there was consternation, disbelief, even anger. They can feel the grant stream drying up. The same is true for lots of problems. A crisis means jobs for activists. Good news threatens to derail the gravy train.

The same goes for good economic news. Democrats used to say that it was the economy, stupid. When they said that back in 1992, unemployment stalled at more than 7%. Now that it has been so low for so long that 4.5% - essentially full employment - bothers them. Their complaint makes no sense. As the WSJ writes, "the U.S. economy seems to be enjoying a Goldilocks moment - not too hot, not too cold - after a few quarters of subpar growth and a few flickers of uncomfortably high inflation that conjured images of the 1970s." But Dems manage to make people feel bad anyway. It helps win votes. Good news threatens to clog their political machine, so they just spin it away.

Being too optimistic is silly, but being too pessimistic is just as dumb - maybe worse because it paralyzes those so afflicted. To hear some people talk, race relations have not improved since the 1950s, the environment is just as bad as when President Nixon created the EPA, & the economy is in the doldrums as in 1982 or maybe even the depression. Some things have gotten worse; most things are getting better.

Posted by Jack at July 6, 2007 10:03 PM
Comments
Comment #225127

Jack, the good news is billions of dollars went into curtailing the AIDS epidemic. The Good News is the 4.5% unemployment figure means only about 6.75 million Americans seeking work can’t find it and is not rising, if that’s good news to you. The good news job numbers are increasing ONLY in the service and government employment sectors, if you call that good news since service jobs tend to be lower pay and government job growth means bigger government payrolls at taxpayer expense. The good news about air quality is that corporations and fleet owners can finally see a profit in going Green, thanks to Al Gore’s publicity.

So, yeah, if that is good news for you, it works for me. But, I believe we can do a whole helluva lot better than to write articles about a paltry 4 items of modest good news and leaving out the plethora of bad news. But, that’s just me. I don’t like sand in my eyes and ears as many Ostriches do.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 7, 2007 12:09 AM
Comment #225128

Right on Jack.

And why does this work?
Because people need to hear how someone is going to make things better.
Even the most fortunate among us want things better - want more.
The majority of people are followers.
Most people like to believe they are making decisions - even if the only one they make is for someone else to lead them.

Posted by: Dawn at July 7, 2007 12:15 AM
Comment #225133

David

All life is comparison, tradeoff and priorities.

4.5% unemployment is great. It does not get much lower than that. Some people will always be seeking work and some won’t find it. That is how things will always be. If you are not happy with this employment situation, it is unlikely you CAN be happy with any real world situation.

As for firms going green, I do not credit Al Gore. I have been green for many years, as have many others. In the long run, being green can be sustained only if it is profitable. As we develop better methods, we get cleaner technologies. This process has been going on a long time. On my forest land, which was owned for many years by Union Camp corporation , I have beech, maple and oak trees near the streams that are more than 100 years old and soils that have not been disturbed for decades. Obviously, these “capitalist owners” did not cut them for profit even back in the bad old days before our stiff regulations and before Al Gore was even born. Wise use.

I could write about more things getting better, but when we include human health, the natural environment and the economy, we have covered most of the important things. Maybe besides those things …

Posted by: Jack at July 7, 2007 12:42 AM
Comment #225136

Why is most of the optimism over on this side? We need Rosevelt back again.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at July 7, 2007 1:28 AM
Comment #225146

well David,

My last post on this blog seems to fit with exactly what jack is talking about here. so it may be more fitting to discuss it here.
Previous post-By Jack on Money

In essence David, Whay jack and I are saying is that the cup is over half full, you say it is over half empty. I ask you this? in what society has there ever been “full employment” again a comparison to the current world and to the history of the world shows that under %5 unemployment is Phenomenal. Just how much more do you want.

You Say:
“But, I believe we can do a whole helluva lot better than to write articles about a paltry 4 items of modest good news and leaving out the plethora of bad news.”

I say just the opposite. This country, our battles abroad, our systemof justice and many other subjects to be debated have problems but are full of good news.


Posted by: scottie1321 at July 7, 2007 3:16 AM
Comment #225147

But then again a far left social agenda doesn’t work if the things are not as broken as you say they are. Well you brought up Al Gore. Why did he have to ignore facts, overstate the “opinion of scientist” to prove his quagmire of global warming we have gotten ourselve into?

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 7, 2007 3:21 AM
Comment #225148

I should have said on unemployment:

How much more do you want and by what left social system can you use as an example for us to get to 0% unemployment. And if you can, will such a major revision be worth 4.5%?

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 7, 2007 3:25 AM
Comment #225152

BLAST FROM THE PAST:

Some good news from the 90’s:

The bi-partisan 1996 welfare reform law.

The far left fought it veraciously.

BUT IT WORKED!

4.7 million Americans moved from welfare dependency to self-sufficiency within three years of enactment, and the number of welfare cases declined by 54%.

Look it UP!

Stay away from the political sites and sites that collect facts and make conclusions. You can come to your own conclusions.

The facts are out there.

Find them!

Then discuss YOUR conclusions. You will find you will be wrong less that way. And we all know that each of us have a percentage of wrong conclusions we hold onto.

We just don’t know which ones.

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 7, 2007 4:19 AM
Comment #225153

Jack,

“Being too optimistic is silly, but being too pessimistic is just as dumb - maybe worse because it paralyzes those so afflicted.”

Thank you,
I am using this quote on the white board in my restaurant tomorrow. If you don’t mind. I will give you credit!

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 7, 2007 4:29 AM
Comment #225155

And to the other DAVID, (sorry David Remer)

I think you will will find the far left “generally pessimistic” about “the system”.

I would optimistically say “the system” has problems and mistakes. ALL “the system“‘s do.

But “We the people of the United States of America”

have

formed a more perfect union,
established justice,
insured domestic tranquility,
provided for the common defense,
promoted the general welfare,
and secured the blessings of liberty(thats the freedom we live under) to ourselves and our posterity.

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 7, 2007 4:54 AM
Comment #225161

Jack,

It’s not just the left — people all over the political spectrum seem really ticked off these days. And people are really pissed at the government, every part of it.

I must confess… I am a bit puzzled. I just hope these feelings lead people to positive action instead of cynicism.

Posted by: Woody Mena at July 7, 2007 9:26 AM
Comment #225162

Woody,


Where are all these “pissed off people?

I own a local Restaurant. I don’t seem to be seeing all these “pissed off people”

“I talk to a new batch of a pretty good “spectrum” of people all day.

Now, live in the blogesphere, and you will find lots of “pissed off people.”

Then to all the people who are “pissed off at the government, “every part of it”.

The far left are always “pissed off” at the system. Right now they seem to be just at pissed at the Dems as they are the Reps.

So to the rest I say again. LOOK IT UP.

Look through past blogs. Decide for your selves who are the optimists and who are the pessimists.

Decide for yourselves which “conclusions” rely on overly exagerated bad news.

Again I have to post Jacks Quote:

“Being too optimistic is silly, but being too pessimistic is just as dumb - maybe worse because it paralyzes those so afflicted. ”


Posted by: scottie1321 at July 7, 2007 11:32 AM
Comment #225166

Jack
You forgot your usual record levels of home ownership.oops,I forgot. That is changeing to record levels of home forclosures.Reason? Pay rates have not kept up with prices.

Good news about AIDS. We should not forget it is a serious and dangerious problem.”fear the grant system drying up..” That is like blamming Moore for the healthcare problems or bemoaning all the money spent on addressing Y2K when after all nothing happened.

Posted by: BillS at July 7, 2007 12:12 PM
Comment #225170

BillS-

Actually, the “record” number of foreclosures can be attributed to two main factors: an uneducated class of home buyers and a mortgage industry that took advantage of the members.

When some, if not most, people go to buy a house, especially for the first time, the only figure they are looking at is the monthly payment. They don’t look at the interest rate or APR or realize that they have signed up for an Adjustable Rate Mortgage. Everything is fine until the rate goes up. Then the low payment goes up and they find they cannot afford them. If, in the beginning, they had realized that their 5.2% mortgage might go to 8% or higher, and asked the lender what the payments would be at the higher figure, they might have made a wiser choice in buying.

lenders, for the most part, push ARM’s because it puts more sales on the books for the realtors and the lender. When foreclosure happens, as it often does, there is a surplus of inventory and prices go down and the cycle starts all over again.

Posted by: John Back at July 7, 2007 12:41 PM
Comment #225172


P.S.- Most of the foreclosures are coming in the subprime area, that’s folks who were in the bottom tier of creditworthiness and re paying a premium to start with, even with an ARM.

Also, on topic, Jack is right on target about the “activists” hating good news. A large number of them make a very good living off scaring people or convincing them that someone else is to blame for their problems. If the problems ever get better, someone might have to actually work for a living.

Posted by: John Back at July 7, 2007 12:46 PM
Comment #225174

Life is rosy. As recently reported, nearly half the people want to impeach the president and more than half want to impeach the vice president. I would think that demonstrates optimism, not pessimism.

Posted by: Gerrold at July 7, 2007 1:13 PM
Comment #225175

Scottie,

I am going by the polls. Bush as a 26% approval rating. Congress has a 27% approval rating. Over 2/3 of the country is dissatisfied with the way things are going.

You can’t pin these kind of numbers on the “far left”.

Posted by: Woody Mena at July 7, 2007 1:15 PM
Comment #225177

Thats just my point Woody,

Those poll numbers do not reflect the amount of Americans who “all of a sudden” are on the same page as the far left. But the far left sure likes to act like it. When you ask the questions: “Should we dismantle the military? Should we remove all troops from Iraq tomorrow?” the numbers change drastically. In fact look at the poll numbers about using force in Iran. I think you loose your 2/3.

Thank you John for explaining the concept of foreclosures. It is a far left tactic to take one problem and blame it on their talking point rather than look for the real facts.

When 10 people buy a house there will always be a % who foreclose. When you boost that number to 100 people buying a house the percentage stays the same but the number of foreclosures raises dramatically. Just as the number of people who don’t foreclose also raises drastically.

Just another example of not understanding that no matter what the subject, there are always problems.

If we doubled the number of school teachers, we will get more “bad apples”. Do we not encourage the hiring of new teachers so we don’t hire more molesters?

Do we discourage home ownership because it will naturally raise foreclosures?

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 7, 2007 2:16 PM
Comment #225180

Scottie,

I’m confused. I didn’t say that most people agree with the far left. I suppose that would be impossible by definition. Nor did I say anything about Iraq. You are really going off on your own tangent here.

Posted by: Woody Mena at July 7, 2007 2:28 PM
Comment #225181

Scottie

Use whatever of mine you find useful.

BillS

It is all about priorities. AIDS is a serious problem. But it is not as serious a problem as we thought AND perhaps it is true that our earlier attention to it mitigated the effects. This leads me to my second point. Sometimes we actually solve or significantly improve problems. This is what happened in race relations, environment, economy and human health. Yet many people like to pretend there has been no progress.

Woody

It is not only the far left. We have whole pessimism industries of activists in our modern world. Nobody under the age of 30 or 35 even remembers a bad economy. Nobody under the age of 60 remembers a time when we had really serious problems with infectious diseases. Nobody alive today remembers when the U.S. was not a dominant power. Things have been getting better for so long that many people have come to think the good times are “normal”.

Activists tell us how bad things are so that they can rake in the big bucks. Some of them, lacking experience with real hard times, believe what they say. But they know they really have not much to fear and their goal is just to create fear itself.

Re the poll numbers on politicians - that is an example of political overreach. We expect too much from politicians and they promise too much. We need LESS government or maybe a government that can do what it promises.

Posted by: Jack at July 7, 2007 2:28 PM
Comment #225184

woody,

I did not say you did! But the far left mantra shows that belief as a whole. I bring up Iraq as another example of :

“If we talk about all the mistakes, and never point out the good, we can call it a failure.”

Not including that anything we do includes mistakes. From raising children to war, from being a President to being a blogger.

Adrienne,

What if I took the last 8 years of your life, wrote down all your mistakes, and then presented them to your employer and said you should be fired? Would you walk away or defend your self with all the correct things that you have done over that 8 years.

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 7, 2007 2:44 PM
Comment #225185

Jack,

I’m well under 60, and I seem to remember something called AIDS…

Posted by: Woody Mena at July 7, 2007 2:49 PM
Comment #225187

Way to Go!

Success happens! Let’s rejoice in our successes.

The other option is to go looking for failures. As Abe Lincoln said, “If you look for the worst in people and expect to find it, you surely will.”

Posted by: Don at July 7, 2007 2:51 PM
Comment #225190

Jack
Pretty much saying that activist for addressing problems have a vested interest in perpetuating that problem is deeply cynical.Really.do anti-abortion activist have a desire to protect abortion? Is the healthcare crises Michael Moore’s fault any more than climate change is Gore’s fault? When a problem has improved there is valid reason to be concerned that funding to finish the job will be curtailed.


John Back

One can dance around the problem with statements about “sub-prime”,poor credit practices,uneducated buyers etc. This is all true as far as they go but the underlieing problem is pay scales have not kept up with prices. Had they there would not be a problem.

Posted by: BillS at July 7, 2007 3:01 PM
Comment #225191

Woody

AIDS is a serious problem, but nothing like the epidemics we used to suffer just a few generations ago. In additon, I am talking about America. I know the problem is much more serious in Africa, but what is the % of Americans infected with AIDS? It took 20 years for the number of Americans with AIDS to reach one million in a country of 300 million. This is a serious problem, but we used to face diphtheria, typhus or polio. The great flu of 1918 killed at least 20 million and mabye 100 million worldwide in only about a year. No, we do not have personal memories of such things and I am glad we do not.

Posted by: Jack at July 7, 2007 3:14 PM
Comment #225195


BillS-

Do the math. A mortgage payment at 5.5% versus a mortgage payment at 8%. See how much of a pay hike one would have to get to cover the difference. Use a house valued at $70,000, not a huge house today, with 20% down over 30 years. I think you will find that the increase would be well beyond the rate of inflation.

BTW, In 1968, I could have bought a brand new 3 BR 2 BA frame home on a half acre lot for less than $12,000. My payment would have been less than $110 per month. Check your local paper and find out what the same house would cost today. Also in 1968, I was earning $125 a week. If the pay scale had done as you suggest, I would be making well over $1,000 per week now. Believe I’m not, and I’m not going broke, in fact, I’m saving for retirement. I’m also paying off my $40,000 dollar mortgage. I have a fixed rate 6% mortgage that will never go up. When we bought, we were offered 5.2% ARM, guaranteed for 2 years. Today, it would be over 7%.

Posted by: John Back at July 7, 2007 3:25 PM
Comment #225196

BillS

Activists sometimes substantially solve the problems they are fighting, but they do not want to give up. Moore is an entertainer, not an activist, BTW. I am not saying that activists want to keep the problem, but they often refuse to recognize that the problem is no longer as serious.

Things have gotten much better. For some of this improvement we can thank activists. Activists have done good thigs, but a civil rights activist who does not recognize the vast progress since the 1950s is a liar. The environmentalist who does not see the improvements in our water, air, forests and wildlife is blind and anybody who doesn’t understand the fantastic improvements in our economic security since the 1970s has a very poor memory.

Re payscales - median pay adjusted for inflation is about what it was in 1998 - in other words it is near the all time high. If someone is in trouble because his income has not kept up with the two very best years in American history, but is still better than all the other 229 years, he has more trouble than a sub-prime loan.

I agree that credit was pushed too far and given to people who were not credit worthy. The option is to not extend credit to ALL the poor risks. In that case, fewer people would lose their homes, but even fewer would have them in the first place.

Posted by: Jack at July 7, 2007 3:25 PM
Comment #225198

Jack and Scottie, give me an unlimited credit card like the government has, and I too can create appearances of wealth and rosy financial picture. UNTIL the bills come in. Even if we halt deficit spending by 2012, we will be well on our way to 10 Trillion in national debt, and well over 2 billion a day in interest payments, half of which will be going to foreign investors overseas. Then comes the entitlement crisis which will create millions of poor people by cutting them, or by increasing taxes to fund them.

Service jobs are largely low paying. Government jobs don’t create export products unless you are talking about the military. And these are the only two sectors showing bulk of the job growth. Which means increased jobs statistics mean bigger government and more poor workers. You do realize some of these statistics are shored up by the illegal immigration workers, as well. Should we continue growing jobs with illegal immigrants, or play the word game and just give them a card and call them legal?

The fact is our nation is borrowing from our children in enormous ways to try to make our current economic and financial picture look better. Borrowing enormously from the future to make today feel good is no prescription for a healthy nation over time. And its not just government debt, personal debt has also been climbing significantly, again, borrowing from the future to make today feel good. Our annual trade deficit is now 3/4 of a trillion dollars and has been steadily increasing for decades.

Now these are MACRO trends that cannot be compensated for in measuring the glass half empty or full with current job stats, unemployment figures, etc. Financial health includes not only an income statement, but a balance sheet as well. The accountant who certifies an entity healthy on the basis of the income statement alone would lose their license in damn hurry.

Financial and economic health must be viewed BOTH in the present and future of anticipated and obligated costs and revenues. And that picture is pretty damn bleak according Greenspan and Bernanke if dramatic action is not taken NOW.

So, forgive me for ignoring your lay prognoses in lieu of the present and last Fed Res. Chiefs, whom I have far more confidence in when it comes to examining America’s economic picture over time, which is the only picture that counts.

Pay close attention to that trade deficit. A fine example of its import comes from communities who have studied the prospect of Wal-Mart moving into their small community. Their results show 97% of dollars spent at local mom and pop stores recirculates in their community’s economy, keeping it sound. However, if Wal-Mart moves in, only about 44% of every dollar spent recirculates in their community and the other 56% of each dollar leaves their community not to return, going to Wal-Mart investors, headquarters, and operations located outside their community.

This is precisely what is happening with our trade deficit. 3/4 of a trillion dollars is leaving America’s economy each year and not returning. That is 3/4 of trillion a year not creating jobs, paying workers, creating profits for entrepreneurs, and not generating taxes to aid with our deficits and interest on the debt.

Monthly snapshot stats utterly and completely fail to reveal any kind of meaningful picture of America’s financial and economic strength over time. Even quarterly and semi-annual reports are fairly meaningless when looking at the next 25 years of revenues and obligations and interest payments and export of U.S. dollars overseas.

Yes, there is good news. My dog did not die today. That is good news. But, it is meaningless with regard to the economic and financial crises looming ahead of us, beginning in just 10 years when SS surpluses dry up.

And Scottie, you can shove your leftist rhetoric directly at the REPUBLICANS in the WHITE HOUSE Administration who are producing the numbers I quoted above. My stats come from conservative Ph.D’s appointed by a Republican president. BTW, where are your stats?

Never mind. I don’t want to ask too much of a person’s prejudged label comments; and ruin those comment’s easy and lazy way to argue without even an attempt at rational and empirically defended debate. Still, even a small amount of research and referenced facts would go along way to enhance your comment’s labels and their appearance of even a modicum of credibility.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 7, 2007 3:30 PM
Comment #225206

David

I agree that the entitlement crisis is a serious problem that should have been addressed when President Bush brought the subject up in 2005. We should address today BECAUSE we are enjoying good times now.

This indicates one of the big ways the perception of bad news creates real problems. Attempts to address a real problem that will occur in the future were to a large extent derailed by the BS that times are hard now and we have to address current problems first.

BTW - SS will go bust. We will have to raise retirement ages and more people will rely on personal savings and personal accounts. Every day we delay recognizing this will cause more suffering. The Dems have done the country a great disservice. Why don’t we use a carbon tax to offset some of this?

Re illegal aliens - I am against illegal immigration. The presence of cheap labor creates demand for cheap labor. But the fact that we create too many jobs in the U.S. that illegal aliens can easily find work indicates the strength, not the weakness of the U.S. economy. Illegal aliens or immigrants in general, do not pour into poor places.

Re trade deficit - we consume too much. We can consume less. I advocate that. We need to drive up the cost of imported products. The weakening dollar will do that.

Re pessimism in general - I recall when I was in HS. I read lots of books like Population Bomb, Limits of Growth or a Moment in the Sun. They predicted the collapse of our way of life within decades. They were wildly wrong. In the 1970s, Jimmy Carter and his friends told me that I would have to get used to having less, that our best days were behind us. They were wildly wrong. My generation has done very well in comparison to those before us. In the 1980s, I read books about the coming collapse of our economy. We were warned about global winter. Interestingly, when I got my first really good job, an older guy told me that SS would be bankrupt by the time I could collect and that I would never get any. His prediction may come to pass. The others were BS. In the 1990s I heard that acid rain would kill all my beloved forests and make the lakes lifeless. In the early 1990s, we had the S&L crisis. We were told that it was the hangover from the 1980s and things would not improve. In fact, home prices declined in about 1987 and did not recover for ten years, but we survived and prospered.

So in general, I would like to feel bad and fearful, but I really cannot. We have met so many challenges that seemed insurmountable and we have overcome them. The world is much better than we could have hoped for in 1970, 1980 or 1990, not to mention 1900. We were a little too optimistic in 2000, but things are much better than any of us had reason to believe would be the case in October 2001.

Success requires an accurate assessment of pluses and minuses. A too pessimistic outlook is as inappropriate as a too optimistic one. We have really come a long way in my lifetime. That we have challenges is no surprise. That we will overcome them is a near certainty. That is what we do.

Posted by: Jack at July 7, 2007 5:16 PM
Comment #225207

David Remer:

“And Scottie, you can shove your leftist rhetoric directly at the REPUBLICANS in the WHITE HOUSE Administration who are producing the numbers I quoted above….

Never mind. I don’t want to ask too much of a person’s prejudged label comments; and ruin those comment’s easy and lazy way to argue without even an attempt at rational and empirically defended debate. Still, even a small amount of research and referenced facts would go along way to enhance your comment’s labels and their appearance of even a modicum of credibility. “


You are above this David! That is not debate! but does sound like a pessimistic attitude to me! you will NEVER find me writing in reference to your thoughts and posts in that way. It would only point out to all that I didn’t know what else to say!


You keep bringing up new issues instead of staying on the ones previously stated. I again will cover the conclusions you state in your previous post.

I hate the deficit and debt too. But that stems over time from way back. Has nothing to do with pessimism. The good news is most Americans are at a higher percentage of debt than the country as a whole. I am in debt $100,000 on a business that takes in about $120,000 a year!

Take the deficit, and compare it to the Cash received by the US Government and find a percentage. I think you will find that the average American carries a higher percentage of debt on one credit card!

Let’s take our time squashing waste rather than using a bipartisan deficit to throw rocks at one party.

People always start at low level jobs and work up over time. there always have to be low paing, low skilled , entry level positions for people to start at. Work ethic, responsibility and skill provide the upward means.

As far as walmart, I own a mom and pop business. The lower end has more money to buy my pizza because they receive their goods ad a great price.
If you make your argument only supplying half the figures you might land in a wrong conclusion.

Look it up!

So the point remains the same David,

You will continue to exaggerate the problems so you can have government fix them. Jack and I will continue to look at things logically. Fix what we can with common sense

There are problems in any system. If you feel the need to point out how “bad” a system is, the last one you need to attack is ours.

We are truly blessed


Posted by: scottie1321 at July 7, 2007 5:34 PM
Comment #225209

Many good points, David Remer.

Scottie, while you made a comment to me, I hadn’t even posted a single comment to this thread until now.

You wrote:

Adrienne,

What if I took the last 8 years of your life, wrote down all your mistakes, and then presented them to your employer and said you should be fired? Would you walk away or defend your self with all the correct things that you have done over that 8 years.

Well, I don’t have an employer. I’m my own boss. But if I did, and because you don’t even know me, I’d likely be forced to tell them that clearly this showed that you were leaning well off your rocker…
:^/

Posted by: Adrienne at July 7, 2007 5:56 PM
Comment #225212

Adrienne-

Your response tells me that you got! But Ill change the illustration just for you.

“What if YOU took the last 8 years of your life, wrote down all your mistakes, and then presented them to the most important person in your life!Would you walk away or defend your self with all the correct things that you have done over that 8 years.

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 7, 2007 6:15 PM
Comment #225213

And would that list of mistakes make you look an bad person? Leave out all the many positives and it would!

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 7, 2007 6:16 PM
Comment #225222

Scottie:
“What if YOU took the last 8 years of your life, wrote down all your mistakes, and then presented them to the most important person in your life!Would you walk away or defend your self with all the correct things that you have done over that 8 years.”

The most important person in my life would be my husband, and I don’t hide my mistakes from him. Since we already share our mistakes with each other, my doing that would probably make him ask me if I was feeling okay.
I don’t need to defend myself to Himself. He appreciates me for being exactly who I am, the good and the bad. And I feel the same way about him. :^)

Posted by: Adrienne at July 7, 2007 6:33 PM
Comment #225224

Adrienne

You get it!

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 7, 2007 6:38 PM
Comment #225226

I don’t need to defend myself to Himself. He appreciates me for being exactly who I am, the good and the bad. And I feel the same way about him.


Exactly my point. He loves you! Mistakes and all.

But you see that is the point of this post! You guys like to count mistakes. You like to exaggerate problems and leave out the good. We Don’t HATE GW Bush for the same reason your husband does not hate you!

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 7, 2007 6:41 PM
Comment #225232


“You guys like to count mistakes.”

Yes we do, because if mistakes made at the government level aren’t counted and accounted for they tend to be repeated. Take Iraq for instance — obviously nothing was learned from Vietnam. Expensive mistakes we all end up having to pay for in one way or another.
Your party is likely to pay by losing the next election, and the entire country will be paying for many years to come. Both in lost and broken lives, and due to the insanely high cost of this utter failure of a war.

“You like to exaggerate problems and leave out the good.”

No, that’s what your side of the aisle likes to claim in order to disparage us. Meanwhile a great many of you insist on looking at everything your party does through rose colored glasses — and then expect to be taken seriously. I for one find it very silly.

“We Don’t HATE GW Bush for the same reason your husband does not hate you!”

I see absolutely no reason to compare an intimate personal relationship with government leadership.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 7, 2007 7:32 PM
Comment #225239

Scottie said: “But you see that is the point of this post! You guys like to count mistakes.”

You are neither correct nor logical, Scottie. The purpose of pointing out government’s trials and mistakes and challenges is to take that first step to solving them.

Do you really believe I bring up the national debt to make America look bad? How preposterous can you get Scottie? I bring it up because our GOVERNMENT CAUSED the problem, and the GOVERNMENT must solve the very problem it created.

Your completely logical statement that one brings up government’s problems so government can solve them, is one you appear NOT to agree with. Hmmm…. Try imbuing comments with a lot more logic and rational thinking as opposed to illogical and unsupported opinion. May help to bring some like minded folks and agreement to your comments.

Illegal immigration. A government created problem requiring a government solution. Trade deficit, a government sponsored problem (free trade agreements with those with competitive advantage), requiring a government solution. Entitlement crisis, definitely a government created problem requiring a government solution. So, yes, I bring these problems up in the hopes the people will force government to solve them. The question is, why don’t you think government should solve them? If you are waiting on God or the tooth fairy, best hunker down for a very long wait.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 7, 2007 8:09 PM
Comment #225240

Adrienne,

I see absolutely no reason to compare an intimate personal relationship with government leadership.

I know that. But that same illustration can be used for a close intimate relationship, a parent child relationship, a church to leadership, an employee to an employer or visa versa.

The point is not to ignore mistakes and hold accountability. We are all for that.

Just look at past blogs. You would think no Republican ever did anything good by the way the far left talks. We are evil, those who believe in god are Stupid, (we will let history bear that one out too!) We just are ignorant. Thats why the far left does not like a “you decide attitude”


Posted by: scottie1321 at July 7, 2007 8:13 PM
Comment #225242

Again David it is not counting mistakes, It is over exagerating the mistakes and denying the good as you do at the beginning of this post. I quote:


“So, yeah, if that is good news for you, it works for me. But, I believe we can do a whole helluva lot better than to write articles about a paltry 4 items of modest good news and leaving out the plethora of bad news.”


Which brings us back to the beginning doesn’t it?

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 7, 2007 8:18 PM
Comment #225250

Just as a matter of personal policy I have decided not to let the” BTW SS will go bust myth go unchallenged.” I would refer all to the AARP position. Some small changes like raising the taxable cap etc. should insure solvency through the boomer bubble. The quite conservative SS actuaries predict solvency through 2042 with no changes. Us boomers will be dropping dead by then.The federal government has NEVER defaulted on their bonds and is not likely to start. SS demise is predicted gleefully by those opposed to it on idealogical grounds and those who hope to steal it by some sort of privatization scheme.I should really be encouraging Reps to keep dissing it as that is their fastest route to perdition.

Posted by: BillS at July 7, 2007 10:25 PM
Comment #225256

BillS

We can obviously raise taxes high enough to fund SS at the growing level if that is what we want to do. I personally do not think it is a moral choice to excessively tax the young to transfer their money to the old. We should instead take steps today that will help us (because WE will be the recipients) take care of ourselves better so that we can let our kids keep more of the money they earn.

Yes, our generation can be selfish and rip off - sorry tax - the younger ones while we play golf in Arizona. Or we can save and invest now - and help the poor do the same to build their wealth - and work a few more years. Which is the right thing to do?

Posted by: Jack at July 7, 2007 10:56 PM
Comment #225270

Why should my generation pay more in taxes to support a generation that failed to plan adequately for their retirement? I will move towards the middle on this by stating that longevity of life has improved, however, as someone that works in the brokerage industry, I see it daily, hourly, poor planning and lack of discipline lead to working longer and wanting to ensure SS is does not disapear. For a generation that proclaim (and can point towards) social changes they made, they have not done well at preparing for their social well being. Or perhaps they are not getting old and I just missed that part.

And the point of this article, I tend to believe that the Right represents optimism, if at times is too simplistic to be optimistic that normally means someone with way too much time on their hands is complicating the issue.

Posted by: Honest at July 8, 2007 12:41 AM
Comment #225285

Jack-
The thing you’re missing is that it’s not the Democrats making people feel as if their circumstances are bad, it’s their circumstances.

One of the reasons the Republicans are on the outs with the American people, is that they’ve lost touch with what their average situation is. They assume that big numbers and overall economic growth mean that the rising tides float all boats. They themselves, though, have encouraged policies that prevent this, or which favor the rich disproportionately.

They see no problem in the volatility in the employment market that modern workers have to endure. They see no problem with crippling debt burdens, and with laws like the recent Bankruptcy “Reform” Bill, they do what they can to cut people off from the ability to recover. They shift debt and risk burdens from corporations and government to the consumer. Then they allow healthcare to become a poorly policed maze of Bureaucratic debt generation.

The situation is what’s prompting people to doubt your rosy forecasts. Experience, given time, trumps rhetoric, trumps optimistic appraisals when they are incorrect.

We Democrats do not and cannot control everything about how people percieve your party. A lot of what reputation either party gets owes to its behavior in power, and who it sides with when everything is said and done. In this way, Republicans are responsible fore much of their current troubles, and it will take a long time for folks to heal from and forget their policies.

Unless Republicans do some radical reconsideration of their party’s direction and allegiances, they will spend a great deal of time in the wilderness.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 8, 2007 8:38 AM
Comment #225288
SS will go bust. We will have to raise retirement ages and more people will rely on personal savings and personal accounts. Every day we delay recognizing this will cause more suffering. The Dems have done the country a great disservice.

Ok, let’s get you on the record. In 2005, the Republicans controlled the White House and both houses of Congress. They had a 55 seat majority in the Senate. And yet you blame the Democrats for the fact that no SS bill passed?

You can probably see what I am getting at. Objectively, the Democrats are in a much weaker position now than the Republicans were in 2005.

Posted by: Woody Mena at July 8, 2007 9:26 AM
Comment #225289

Stephen

I am not making rosy forecasts; I am looking at rosy history. Things have been very good for a whole generation.

Maybe people need to think about their point of comparision if they find 4.5 unemployement terrible, when they cannot see that their air is cleaner, forests are growing, when the biggest problem for the poor is obesity.

Posted by: Jack at July 8, 2007 9:27 AM
Comment #225296

“Who knew that the air we breathe is getting cleaner all the time?”

Jack, I wonder who you are attempting to give credit to when you wrote this?
Maybe you’ll find this interesting:

Whitman, then head of the EPA, was on vacation with her family in Colorado when her cellphone rang. The vice president was on the line, and he was clearly irked.

Why was the agency dragging its feet on easing pollution rules for aging power and oil refinery plants?, Cheney wanted to know. An industry that had contributed heavily to the Bush-Cheney campaign was clamoring for change, and the vice president told Whitman that she “hadn’t moved it fast enough,” she recalled.

Whitman protested, warning Cheney that the administration had to proceed cautiously. It was August 2001, just seven months into the first term. We need to “document this according to the books,” she said she told him, “so we don’t look like we are ramrodding something through. Because it’s going to court.”

But the vice president’s main concern was getting it done fast, she said, and “doing it in a way that didn’t hamper industry.”

At issue was a provision of the Clean Air Act known as the New Source Review, which requires older plants that belch millions of tons of smog and soot each year to install modern pollution controls when they are refurbished in a way that increases emissions.

Industry officials complained to the White House that even when they had merely performed routine maintenance and repairs, the Clinton administration hit them with violations and multimillion-dollar lawsuits. Cheney’s energy task force ordered the EPA to reconsider the rule.

Whitman had already gone several rounds with the vice president over the issue.

She and Cheney first got to know each other in one of the Nixon administration’s anti-poverty agencies, working under Donald H. Rumsfeld. When Cheney offered her the job in the Bush administration, the former New Jersey governor marveled at how far both had come. But as with Treasury Secretary Paul H. O’Neill, another longtime friend who owed his Cabinet post to Cheney, Whitman’s differences with the vice president would lead to her departure.

Sitting through Cheney’s task force meetings, Whitman had been stunned by what she viewed as an unquestioned belief that EPA’s regulations were primarily to blame for keeping companies from building new power plants. “I was upset, mad, offended that there seemed to be so much head-nodding around the table,” she said.

Whitman said she had to fight “tooth and nail” to prevent Cheney’s task force from handing over the job of reforming the New Source Review to the Energy Department, a battle she said she won only after appealing to White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. This was an environmental issue with major implications for air quality and health, she believed, and it shouldn’t be driven by a task force primarily concerned with increasing production.

Whitman agreed that the exception for routine maintenance and repair needed to be clarified, but not in a way that undercut the ongoing Clinton-era lawsuits — many of which had merit, she said.

Cheney listened to her arguments, and as usual didn’t say much. Whitman said she also met with the president to “explain my concerns” and to offer an alternative.

She wanted to work a political trade with industry — eliminating the New Source Review in return for support of Bush’s 2002 “Clear Skies” initiative, which outlined a market-based approach to reducing emissions over time. But Clear Skies went nowhere. “There was never any follow-up,” Whitman said, and moreover, there was no reason for industry to embrace even a modest pollution control initiative when the vice president was pushing to change the rules for nothing.

She decided to go back to Bush one last time. It was a crapshoot — the EPA administrator had already been rolled by Cheney when the president reversed himself on a campaign promise to limit carbon dioxide emissions linked to global warming — so she came armed with a political argument.

Whitman said she plunked down two sets of folders filled with news clips. This one, she said, pointing to a stack about 2-1/2 inches thick, contained articles, mostly negative, about the administration’s controversial proposal to suspend tough new standards governing arsenic in drinking water. And this one, she said as she pointed to a pile four or five times as thick, are the articles about the rules on aging power plants and refineries — and the administration hadn’t even done anything yet.

“If you think arsenic was bad,” she recalled telling Bush, “look at what has already been written about this.”

But Whitman left the meeting with the feeling that “the decision had already been made.” Cheney had a clear mandate from the president on all things energy-related, she said, and while she could take her case directly to Bush, “you leave and the vice president’s still there. So together, they would then shape policy.”

What happened next was “a perfect example” of that, she said.

The EPA sent rule revisions to White House officials. The read-back was that they weren’t happy and “wanted something that would be more pro-industry,” she said.

The end result, which she said was written at the direction of the White House and announced in August 2003, vastly broadened the definition of routine maintenance. It allowed some of the nation’s dirtiest plants to make major modifications without installing costly new pollution controls.

By that time, Whitman had already announced her resignation, saying she wanted to spend more time with her family. But the real reason, she said, was the new rule.

“I just couldn’t sign it,” she said. “The president has a right to have an administrator who could defend it, and I just couldn’t.”

A federal appeals court has since found that the rule change violated the Clean Air Act. In their ruling, the judges said that the administration had redefined the law in a way that could be valid “only in a Humpty-Dumpty world.”

Link to the full article.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 8, 2007 11:06 AM
Comment #225299

Jack
You made SD point for him. The biggest problem for the poor is that they are poor.

Jack and Honest
SS is the greatest anti poverty program of all time. As you well know we have already planned ahead and have been paying extra into it for 20 some odd years.Certainly it is a good idea to save and invest for retirement. That is exactly what we have done. Attempting to sieze the moral high ground by claimming the federal government should default on its bonds is absurd.
There are more options to pay off the bonds than taxing young people. A carbon tax is a good one. Increasing the taxable cieling is another. Increasing the top rates to historical levels is another. Cutting a profligate MIC is another.What is not an option is default.Any party that tries to will no longer exist as a political power.

Posted by: BillS at July 8, 2007 11:21 AM
Comment #225300

BillS, well said.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 8, 2007 11:26 AM
Comment #225304

So tax me somewhere else, end result will still be the same, my generation will pay money somewhere, to ensure SS is funded.

My Father always jokes with me about my first week of work during each month, and how it goes to pay for his retirement. Trying to make levity of the situation, it is funny from that point of view. However, it continues to be frustrating to listen to the spin on this. Whether I like it or not, I will pay more as a business, as an individual as a family, to support a large group of Americans that defined the last 40 years. It is frustrating.

Posted by: Honestq at July 8, 2007 1:24 PM
Comment #225307

Honestq

SS is not just a pension. It is a generational compact.I do not know your fathers exact circumstances but he will likely at some point rely at least in part on SS payments to make ends meet. The alternative to this for many is ageing parents being a burden on their children. Certainly this is a burden that many of us would be happy to bear but I for one am grateful for the help with my 83 yo mother. There are other difficulties in careing for the aged. SS helps.SS payments are based on what people work for. They are allowed a sense of worth because of it.
Another thing that SS does is serve as the national widows and orphans fund as well as a disability safety net. I hope you and your family never need these features but if you do they are there. To purchase a private annuity that provided these kind of benefits would cost a great deal.
Again,your father earned his SS and if you and your generation are careful to protect the progam it will be there for you also.Do not let the masters of fear politics tell you any different.

Posted by: BillS at July 8, 2007 1:53 PM
Comment #225312

Jack
There. Some more good news.

Posted by: BillS at July 8, 2007 2:12 PM
Comment #225338

Jack, why are you ignoring my post?

Posted by: Adrienne at July 8, 2007 8:28 PM
Comment #225341

Hey Jack, This just in:

By ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 59 minutes ago

BAGHDAD - Prominent Shiite and Sunni politicians called on Iraqi civilians to take up arms to defend themselves after a weekend of violence that claimed more than 220 lives, including 60 who died Sunday in a surge of bombings and shootings around Baghdad.

Things are so much better than they seem I could just pee! It is now time for the willfully ignorant to shut their collective mouths. Have you not gotten the point that everything that spews forth from for your unpatriotic mouths looks, smells and, dare I say it, is utter bullshit. We are now, officially, weary of you.

Posted by: Scott at July 8, 2007 8:42 PM
Comment #225346

Scott-
And why are we getting these weekends of 220 people getting killed, if what we say reflects the southwardly dropped former contents of a northbound steer? Why is the surge even necessary? If your side’s predictions were so good, the war would be long over.

I believe in this country, but that doesn’t mean I attach infallibility to it. America is not a false God to be worshipped, but a worth enterprise that sometimes needs to set mistakes right. If this president were right, what the naysayers and dissenters said would be largely irrelevant. Only for those pessimistic enough about this country’s character does the honest voicing of opinions, concerns, and yes, even doomsaying present a danger to this country’s endeavors when it’s affairs are in order.

We could have won this war, if Bush hadn’t floundered his way into his own personal dreamworld on this matter.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 8, 2007 9:07 PM
Comment #225347

Adrienne

I come and go and so sometimes I do not look at all the entries.

We had some of these talks before. You do not have to give Bush credit. I think presidents get too much credit for lots of things. I prefer to credit the American market system (which includes rule of law, reasonalbe regulation and the market mechanism).

In any case, just about everything we measure is cleaner than it was 10 years ago and much better than it was in 1970. If you dislike Bush, you can argue that he failed to do anything to make it better, but you cannot argue that the situation has become worse.

Some good things have happened on Bush’s watch. The regulation of off road engines and mercury are big good changes.

The power plant repairs you mention are debatable. I do not support the Cheney position on this, but sometimes you can create the wrong incentives with strict regulation. A firm might run a bad plant into the ground, making much more pollution, if the cost of repairs is driven up.

Re asenic, that is just a red herring. Clinton enacted that regulation practically the last day of his eight year term. He did not feel it necessary to do it sooner. Bush put a hold on all last minute regulations. When this one passed a few months later, it was enacted. I am sure that Bush will enact a few things on the last days of his term. Let’s see if the next president lives up to them. It is easy to enact regulations you need not enforce.

re environment, I am willing to push even harder. I think we need more nukes and we need a stiff carbon tax.

Posted by: Jack at July 8, 2007 9:21 PM
Comment #225351

Jack:
“If you dislike Bush,”

That’s too mild a term for my feelings regarding Bush/Cheney — as you well know. Loathe is a lot more accurate.

“you can argue that he failed to do anything to make it better, but you cannot argue that the situation has become worse.”

No, instead I can argue with complete certainty, that had the court not intervened, and given them their way in being able to roll back the clock and pollute at levels not seen in years on behalf of their biggest campaign contributers, things could have been quite a bit worse than they are at present. And I’ll give half a nod to Whitman for not being totally morally bankrupt, though it obviously would have been better had she remained in her job as an outspoken opposer of what they were trying to do for as long as she possibly could, rather than feel she needed leave because she believed the president had a right to have an administrator who could defend the indefensible.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 8, 2007 10:22 PM
Comment #225352

Stephen, I would truly love to have a dialogue - actually, I take that back - I no longer want to have a dialogue, but I cannot remotely figure out what you are trying to say -

“If your side’s predictions were so good, the war would be long over.”

Are you daft? What does that mean? - Are you practicing the right wing tactic of making up things out of whole cloth - then, repeating them over & over? What was it my side predicted?

“We could have won this war, if Bush hadn’t floundered his way into his own personal dreamworld on this matter.”

We could never have won this war - why? It was never officially a “war.” It is not a war. We gave war powers to a President and all he had to do was claim that all of his actions were part of “the greater war on terror.”

This is an occupation: nothing more.

It is now time - officially - for the right - to stop.

Posted by: Scott at July 8, 2007 10:37 PM
Comment #225367

Scott-
Actually, I think we have each other confused. I’m on the Blue Column. I thought you were this other guy, Scottie. My apologies.

Truth of the matter is, though, the war would be long over if it had gone at any point like the Bush administration said it would.

We could have won this war. It wasn’t impossible, it was just very difficult, and we needed to have been prepared for what we were going to face.

As for what he had to demonstrate, it was something more than just that it be a part of the larger war on terror. WMDs were written into it.

Trouble is, the Right’s thinking politically, not systematically about how it deals with the war.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 9, 2007 1:17 AM
Comment #225371

Steven,

The war would have never started if all nations would have taken a firm tough stance based on what they all believed. Saddam would have moved to Greece and the possibility of Iraq becoming a Weapons Store would have been squashed.

The fact that everyone was divided on how “harsh” to tell Saddam he had to quit made things difficult. Just like raising children. You have to be on the same page!

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 9, 2007 4:58 AM
Comment #225427

Andy,

It is a carbon offset company.

here is some more info on carbon offsets:

Companies and individuals rushing to go green have been spending millions on “carbon credit” projects that yield few if any environmental benefits.

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 9, 2007 2:20 PM
Comment #225538

scottie-
They would have been just as wrong. We simply would have been wrong with company. Not much of an improvement. No, we should have had the imagination to figure out how to contain him post sanctions, post-inspection regime. Suspicions without evidence to back them are a poor basis for decision making. We should follow our instincts, but keep our falliblity in mind and be open to what the evidence might have to say about our beliefs.

As for the carbon offsets? It’s good to find out things like this. The concept can work if it’s properly managed, but only if it is. I think its in the interests of those going green to police well just what is going into the credits.

Of course, you meant to say that the idea itself is bad. Well, sometimes conservatives like yourself have a bad habit of looking at an enterprise when it’s not working solidly and saying that the way its working at the moment was just inevitable. However, if the carbon offsets are managed well enough, and money is not simply thrown at nominal offsets, it could have a positive effect.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 9, 2007 10:27 PM
Comment #225672

Stephen,

“Of course, you meant to say that the idea itself is bad”

Your conclusion is so wrong.

I would love it to work and think it would be a great Idea. Thats not my problem. My problem is that the far left has been using it like it was the greatest thing on earth to combat any hypocracy involved with people telling the little man to make his environmental foot print smaller while they are making footprints equal to thousands of individuals. And it is yet to work. It is a red herring. Now if some on the far left would just admit that, we would have no argument. I would buy carbon offsets.

I thinks what you said about Iraq was tried and tried for years. It too would have worked if everyone had been on the same page.

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 10, 2007 3:03 PM
Comment #225696

scottie-
A guy who lives in an immense mansions going to use more energy to heat and cool it. That’s just thermodynamics. He pays for windpower, installs solar panels on the roof, and probably does any number of other things we haven’t heard about.

I tell you what. Invent a time machine, bring the technology to jet and drive cross country with out the use of fossile fuels back with you. Then we can talk about hypocrisy.

Let these people who are roasting Gore bring out their light bills, see what efficiency they have for their size house. Let’s see what they’re doing, since they see fit to sit in judgment of Gore. If these people aren’t cutting emissions themselves, then the only reason they care is because they support the people who Gore’s efforts would send the way of the buggy-whip makers.

The whole point about this BS is to spread doubt about a course of action that really is in our best interest, whether you take it from a foreign policy direction of ending oil dependency, or from a environmental policy of heading off future warming.

My opinion? Let’s start worrying about our own actions, and start going green out of our own interests. If we succeed in making these technologies economical, it could allow us to grow the energy market without causing further climate change for our troubles. We have to divorce economic expansion from upticks in the rate of carbon emissions.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 10, 2007 5:27 PM
Comment #225729

You said nothing about the far left using carbon offsets like they are the magic key when they aren’t working. I have no problem with Al Gore using what he uses. I have a problem with him claiming carbon offsets as he does, especially, as close as he is to those companies, since he has obviously known they aren’t currently working. If GW were doing the same thing you guys would crucify him!

I don’t have a problem when Al Gore pushes political solutions. I do have a problem when he specifically asks the American public to buy smaller cars. He just might not be the one to suggest that solution.

Posted by: scottie1321 at July 10, 2007 10:57 PM
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