Politics & Economics Open Thread

Talk about politics and the global/national economy to your heart’s content, as much as it takes to get it out of your system so the rest of the site can stick to real estate and housing.

For previous political/economic open threads, click here.

As of 09/07/2010, global economic comments that do not directly relate to Seattle-area real estate go only in threads designated for this specific subject.


About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

903 comments:

  1. 751

    By Blurtman @ 49:

    RE: David Losh @ 748 -Obama. Recall the absolute hate machine directed at President Clinton.

    And Bush, and others. It’s amazing anyone wants to be President. No wonder we so often get such lousy choices. Look at the Republican field this time. Only about 2 decent choices out of maybe a dozen.

  2. 752
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 751 – Herm Caine was an unappreciated gem. He turned his pizza sales pitch, 9-9-9 (9 toppings, 9 minutes, 9 dollars), into his platform pitch. Brilliant!

  3. 753
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 50 – But is it possible that the BS story had to do with covering up the CIA operation.

  4. 754
    Blurtman says:

    “This new claim raises two questions. The first: Why does Broadwell know more about what happened in Benghazi than Congress? (We all know why) The second: Are prison camps the 2008 Obama campaign promised to close, still open? If so, we can add that to the long list of broken promises from Obama’s first term as president.”

    CIA prisons occurring on Obama’s watch? Lions and tigers and bears, oh my.

    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2012/11/12/cia_holding_secret_prisoners_in_benghazi

    And where is that lovable drunk, Diane Sawyer, on reporting the real story? And those waxy faced CNN and Fox News(not really news) anchors?

  5. 755
    David Losh says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 749

    We are in different times. Republicans claimed through the Presidential campaign it was all about jobs. Instead this witch hunt has uncovered a sex scandal. It’s a great diversion, but hardly worth the time of Congress.

  6. 756
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 50

    It has absolutely nothing to do with the death of Americans.

    We should close this case, and let the CIA do it’s job, find the militants responsible, and kill them.

    What this has everything to do with is the House of Representatives elections in 2014.

    Actually it’s looking pretty bad for Reapublicans all the way around. If they could just muzzle Mitt, maybe they could gain some ground, but I think he’s a time bomb.

  7. 757
    Blurtman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 755RE: David Losh @ 755 – The Paula Kelley story is a poorly executed “Hey, look over here” side show. What appears to be more on target is the operation of a theoretically illegal CIA prison, its attack, and its operation being unmasked by the paramour of the CIA director, who probably was an inside intelligence agent designed to take out Petraeus if called upon to do so.

    Why is the existence of the CIA prison not being reported on the nightly news?

    Why is the leaking of its existence by the CIA director’s mistress not cited for the reason of the firing of Petraeus?

    How dumb are Americans?

  8. 758

    By Blurtman @ 53:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 50 – But is it possible that the BS story had to do with covering up the CIA operation.

    Yes, that is a real possibility. And the question then becomes was the Administration aware of that, or were they played by the CIA?

  9. 759

    By David Losh @ 56:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 50 – It has absolutely nothing to do with the death of Americans.

    We should close this case, and let the CIA do it’s job, find the militants responsible, and kill them. .

    So the government lying to the American people is okay as long as government spy agencies go out and kill people?

    Is that really the kind of a world do you want to live in?

    You’ve really said a lot of incredibly stupid things on this topic. It started with your blaming the Ambassador for his own murder. Now you want a government that is seemingly totally unaccountable and has unlimited power.

  10. 760

    By David Losh @ 56:

    What this has everything to do with is the House of Representatives elections in 2014.

    Actually it’s looking pretty bad for Reapublicans all the way around.

    Not sure how you see that. I haven’t seen stats, but my impression is that the Dems picked up very few seats this cycle. Typically the party that wins the presidency wins a lot of seats during the presidential election and loses a lot in the off year. If my impression is right about the seat pickup being slight, then it’s the Democrats which are in trouble.

    Also, at some point the Democrats are going to have to quit spending so much money, which will send the economy downward unless they change other policies, which they are unlikely to do. So if we in fact have a weak economy in 2014, the Democrats will be in real trouble.

  11. 761
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 758 – I am astounded that no USA news network, including that of horrible stress junkie Martha Raddatz, is reporting on the CIA prisons in Benghazi.

    There exists video of Paula Broadwell stating that there were CIA prisons in Benghazi.

    Doesn’t anyone find it odd that a CIA director having an affair is a reason for being fired?

    We are truly living in the Soviet Union, with government controlled “news” that basically consists of dancing monkey stories designed to entertain and amuse.

  12. 762

    Anyone else see the escalation of the Hamas mess being Israel taking out some Iranian nuclear facilities? I do because:

    1. That would be getting to the root of the problem (Hamas’ supplier and financier).

    2. Iran is not as well liked in the middle east as Palestinians, so there’d be less blow back from others in the region.

    3. In their view a military attack of Iran’s facilities is apparently going to have to happen as some point, so why not now?

    4. The build up of the ground forces is a good distraction.

  13. 763
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 762 – Who knows? I think the underyling issues need to be resolved and not ignored. The meddling of US and Euopean powers in the Middle East created this disaster.

  14. 764

    RE: Blurtman @ 63 – As did too much money! It’s not like Venezuela is in the middle east. ;-)

  15. 765
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 764 – No. But dicing and splicing up land by the UK, Russia, the USA and other victors, and the assignment of countries to diverse groups without consideration of historical land claims and blood feuds has contributed to this disaster. Add a sprinkling of the cold war, and alignment with the Soviet Union versus the USA, and a reverse diaspora of Europeans and Americans moving back to the Middle East, and there you go.

  16. 766

    RE: Blurtman @ 765 – I wasn’t disagreeing, but pointing out it wasn’t the only factor. If Alaska had a bit more oil, Palin could have become a real monster! ;-)

  17. 767
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 760:

    By David Losh @ 56:

    What this has everything to do with is the House of Representatives elections in 2014.

    Actually it’s looking pretty bad for Reapublicans all the way around.

    Not sure how you see that. I haven’t seen stats, but my impression is that the Dems picked up very few seats this cycle. Typically the party that wins the presidency wins a lot of seats during the presidential election and loses a lot in the off year. If my impression is right about the seat pickup being slight, then it’s the Democrats which are in trouble.

    why don’t you find out before posting?

    Repbublicans were heavily favored to take over the Senate before they got Akined.

  18. 768
    pfft says:

    America’s Grumpiest Senator is calming down.

    McCain Backs Away From Benghazi Conspiracies
    http://thinkprogress.org/security/2012/11/20/1225461/mccain-rice-benghazi-talking-points/

  19. 769

    By pfft @ 767:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 760:

    By David Losh @ 56:

    What this has everything to do with is the House of Representatives elections in 2014.

    Actually it’s looking pretty bad for Reapublicans all the way around.

    Not sure how you see that. I haven’t seen stats, but my impression is that the Dems picked up very few seats this cycle. Typically the party that wins the presidency wins a lot of seats during the presidential election and loses a lot in the off year. If my impression is right about the seat pickup being slight, then it’s the Democrats which are in trouble.

    why don’t you find out before posting?

    Repbublicans were heavily favored to take over the Senate before they got Akined.

    Yes, I know that. What I haven’t heard is what the Dems picked up versus what a winning party usually picks up. Since it’s not reported in an in your face kind of way, I’m assuming Obama had few coattails, but I haven’t been that interested.

  20. 770

    By pfft @ 68:

    America’s Grumpiest Senator is calming down.

    McCain Backs Away From Benghazi Conspiracies
    http://thinkprogress.org/security/2012/11/20/1225461/mccain-rice-benghazi-talking-points/

    That article doesn’t say what it says it says, or at least it doesn’t support what it says McCain said with a quote of McCain saying that.

  21. 771
    doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 769

    Well, the Democrats had over twice as many incumbents up for re-election as the Republicans. Meaning things looked *very* good for the Republicans to gain seats. The only conversation early on was whether they’d pick up enough to be the majority.

    Several things happened:
    -Obama’s approval rating went up to over 50% late in the game and the economy improved to an extent
    -Akin and Mourdock said dopey things
    -Warren just seemed to flat-out out-debated Brown who started with a pretty good lead
    -Romney got a bit toxic to the Republican brand

    So, whether you give credit to Obama or the Senate candidates, picking up two seats in the Senate rather than losing them was HUGE for the Democrats this year, just a monster win.

    Put it this way: Not a SINGLE of the 16 (well, 15 and one indie) incumbent Democrat lost. And the Dems won NINE out of eleven open seats (again, counting an Incumbent as a Democrat).

    I’m sorry, that’s a big, big victory. I’m not willing to say anything about 2014 when the economy is still uncertain, but to say the Republicans look strong coming out of this election is to deny reality.

  22. 772
    HappyRenter says:

    It’s funny that Obama and Romney met today for lunch and “The focus of their discussion was on America’s leadership in the world and the importance of maintaining that leadership position in the future”:

    http://nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/11/29/15543416-romney-meets-with-obama-at-white-house-lunch?lite

    Ironically, today most of the UN voted in favor of recognizing Palestine as an observer state, while the US was one of few to be against it.

  23. 773
    Blurtman says:

    Syrian “rebels” acquire surface-to-air missiles.

    http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=55828

    Brilliant! Mission accomplished, General Petraeus.

    And now when a US ariplane is downed, President Obama and Secretary of State Rice can tie the act of terrorism to Iran and it is Groundhog Day, The Sequel,

  24. 774

    RE: Blurtman @ 773 – Fast and Serious? :-D

  25. 775

    The King of Gridlock is at it again.

    http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/04/15675071-obama-no-fiscal-cliff-deal-without-higher-tax-rates-for-top-earners?lite

    Do you think the American voters wanted us to go off the “Fiscal Cliff?”

  26. 776
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 775

    The “Fiscal Cliff” is mostly marketing, and nothing that can’t be completely fixed as late as the end of January.

    Boehner cannot accept the end of what were sold as “temporary” tax cuts for the very wealthiest Americans. His “compromise” is that he can accept a tax increase that is shared by the upper-middle, and sometimes plain middle class instead. Who does this guy represent? Who does not get this transparent sham of making things “simpler” by making them more opaque?

  27. 777

    By whatsmyname @ 76:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 775 – The “Fiscal Cliff” is mostly marketing, and nothing that can’t be completely fixed as late as the end of January.

    Some people think the last round of brinkmanship damaged the economy. I would tend to agree. January is way too late. We’re already too late. People know that DC is totally dysfunctional and that the elections did nothing at all to change that. If things get better the next two years it will be despite of politicians in DC, not because of them.

  28. 778
    Doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 777

    Wouldn’t you argue the brinksmanship is that of the Republicans? Certainly in original debt limit crisis (which produced the fiscal cliff) and now they’re already talking about getting riled up for the next debt limit increase.

    I mean, whatever your thought on the debt and deficit, playing around with default should pretty much be off the table, right? Maybe you get a few things you want out of it and go forward, but you don’t seriously make noise about letting the country default, and how that could be a good thing.

    What’s the logic here? “We’re so scared of possible future default and possible future hyperinflation that we’ll force present, certain default and hyperinflation?” Holy cow.

    It’s the same logic that says “SS might possibly have to reduce benefits in 20 years, so instead let’s reduce benefits now (but not for baby boomers! *wink wink*)”

  29. 779

    RE: Doug @ 78 – I would argue both are at fault, but when you have a President that repeatedly insists on non-obtainable positions over and over and over, that’s a problem.

    It’s like I said a long time ago. You have a President and a Congress that do not get along, and a President that cannot negotiate. Congress was not going to change in the elections. The American people decided the other wasn’t going to change. Now we’ll likely have another four years of the last four years.

  30. 780
    Doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 779

    I don’t think that’s an accurate depiction of what happened. Boehner and Obama had seemed to have reached an agreement last time around, but Boehner was forced to nix it, when he realized that congress wouldn’t vote for anything with Obama’s name on it.

    “Obama offered to put Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid cuts on the table in exchange for a tax hike of roughly $100 billion per year over 10 years. Meanwhile, government spending would be cut by roughly three times that amount.”

    He came to the table conceding a lot to the House in 2011, and they nixed the deal and blasted him in the press. I still think that many of them would have let us default and burn in order to crush Obama.

    Now he starts with what HE wants (generally popular things) and the Republicans are responding with the same vague nonsense as the Romney tax plan. If they can’t express their views and wants because they are politically poisonous, that is not Obama’s problem.

    Republicans had Obama over the barrel in 2011. He wanted to play ball, but they wanted more, more, more. They wanted to ruin Obama. Now he’s negotiating from a position of strength. You’re surprised that he’s more hard-nosed? Republicans could have had everything they claim to want in 2011. They blew it.

  31. 781
    Doug says:

    Read this:

    http://swampland.time.com/2011/07/23/the-inside-story-of-obama-and-boehners-second-failed-grand-bargain/

    This is a picture of a President trying very, very hard to bring the Democrats and Republicans together in a grand bargain in 2011. This is not the person you are describing in your post, “a President that cannot negotiate.”

  32. 782
    David Losh says:

    RE: Doug @ 781

    The stated goal of the Republicans was to make Barrack Obama a one term President. There was no deal that Obama could have proposed that would have been acceptable.

    Like with Health Care we, the citizens, got a bastardized version of a budget that even I recognize as limited in scope.

    We need a complete budget over haul, along with the tax codes. Several Departments should be on the block including loop holes, and tax breaks for businesses, and individuals. The Department of Commerce comes to mind, and I have thought for years that Department should be open for review.

    The Defense budget is already being worked on for what that is worth, but it will stop some of the bleeding.

    Last, but not least is Health Care, MediCare, and MedicAid. All of Health Care needs to be compromised to get this bogus non profit health insurance racket working for health rather than granite entry ways to a hospital.

    There’s a deal in here, there is deficit reduction, but everything needs to go on the table.

    Republicans digging in on not taxing the wealthiest Americans a little more is the best indication of where the problem lies.

  33. 783

    RE: Doug @ 81 – Just from recollection, President Obama’s approach back for that issue was considerably different. Again from recollection, both sides offered things that they either couldn’t deliver or pulled off the table. But you’re right his approach was different than today.

  34. 784
    Blurtman says:

    Let the invasion of Syria begin. The US news media dutifully carry out the US government disinformation campaign.

    Welcome to the Soviet Union. Welcome to the occupation.

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/syria-loaded-chemical-weapons-bombs-awaiting-attack-order-010311575.html

  35. 785
    David Losh says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 784

    How is the loading of chemical weapons disinformation?

    Assad is done, and surrounded, even Russia sees it. So if there is movement of chemical weapons that is a cause for concern.

    Are you thinking we will send in an occupation force? I doubt that very, very much. We aren’t doing to good being watch dogs in that region any more.

  36. 786
    Blurtman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 785 – It is disinformation if it is not happening. Recall Saddam’s WMD’s. Exactly how were Sadaam’s WMD’s a threat to the USA anyway?

  37. 787
    Doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 783

    Doesn’t it then follow that Obama CAN negotiate, and in fact has negotiated in good faith in the past? Is it not reasonable that he not negotiate in the manner that failed in the past (i.e., being reasonable?)

    Why wouldn’t he try to force the Republicans to take ownership of the unpopular things that they have demanded, and are demanding?

    And if everyone’s so dang concerned about the deficit, (as you yourself have said you are in the past) well, the fiscal cliff will reduce it by a heaping ton. Obama’s plan reduces debt by about twice as much as the Republicans’ plan, by-the-by ($4t to $2t). Stimulus and all.

    Oh, and it’s Congress’s job to propose their plan, much more so than Obama. They floated repeal of Obamacare as part of a fiscal cliff deal. If anyone’s being unreasonable…

    At least Obama’s plan is specific. At least the fiscal cliff is specific. It’s a whole lot better than “we’ll raise $800b through unspecified loopholes and cut $600b from health care without specifics, and $600b amount of unspecified government programs.”

  38. 788
    David Losh says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 786

    We gave Saddam the weapons, in my opinion, and he did use them on the Kurds http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halabja_poison_gas_attack

    In the case of Assad he is an international problem, because, in my opinion, we don’t know where Assad got the weapons.

    So I think it’s a real threat in an end game; a negotiating point.

  39. 789

    RE: Doug @ 87 – Let’s accept everything you say as true.

    How is repeatedly saying that something the Republicans don’t want is non-negotiable in any way a useful negotiating tactic? Why is he so hung up on raising rates as opposed to raising revenues? Why not say: “I’m open to options, as long as they raise $X.”???

    Pissing off the other side is seldom a good negotiating tactic. What’s next, President Obama insulting the member of Congress’ wives and children?

    But again, he does seem to have more than one approach. A third approach was what he did with Obamacare, where he was totally hands off and willing to sign anything Congress put in front of him as long as it addressed health care.

  40. 790
    Blurtman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 788 – The news media doesn’t know. They didn’t see it.

    Are cluster bombs OK, then?

  41. 791
    whatsmyname says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 789:

    Kary/Doug, sorry to butt in, but I have to respond.

    How is repeatedly saying that something the Republicans don’t want is non-negotiable in any way a useful negotiating tactic?

    Is this not mirror image true of the House Majority leader’s actions? You could just substitute “Democrats” for “Republicans”. Why is this a one sided question?

    Why is he so hung up on raising rates as opposed to raising revenues? Why not say: “I’m open to options, as long as they raise $X.”???

    What about an option to push all taxes onto the middle class? Maybe we could sell the poor? Because how you gain the revenue addresses the party’s key values. Same as for John B, whose values are clearly to keep “temporary” taxes reductions for the top 0.01% at any cost.

    Pissing off the other side is seldom a good negotiating tactic. What’s next, President Obama insulting the member of Congress’ wives and children?

    Has he been more personal than an R party leadership that spouted for two years that they made ending his presidency their number one goal? Above the economy? Above everything else Americans may need? It’s Obama who should be pissed; Obama and, oh also, the Americans.

    A third approach was what he did with Obamacare, where he was totally hands off and willing to sign anything Congress put in front of him as long as it addressed health care.

    You didn’t hear this one during the election. It’s not Obamacare, it’s O’congresscare. I like it.

  42. 792

    By whatsmyname @ 91:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 789:

    Kary/Doug, sorry to butt in, but I have to respond.

    How is repeatedly saying that something the Republicans don’t want is non-negotiable in any way a useful negotiating tactic?

    Is this not mirror image true of the House Majority leader’s actions? You could just substitute “Democrats” for “Republicans”. Why is this a one sided question?

    Because President Obama controls completely what he will accept. That is not true of the other side, as was discovered during the debt ceiling negotiations. President Obama is asking for something that is not likely to happen, claiming it’s non-negotiable.

    What’s crazy is Santorum actually has the best solution, IMHO, but he’s such a nutcase no one else seems willing to back it.

  43. 793

    By whatsmyname @ 91:

    Why is he so hung up on raising rates as opposed to raising revenues? Why not say: “I’m open to options, as long as they raise $X.”???

    What about an option to push all taxes onto the middle class? Maybe we could sell the poor? Because how you gain the revenue addresses the party’s key values. Same as for John B, whose values are clearly to keep “temporary” taxes reductions for the top 0.01% at any cost.

    That’s not even worthy of a response. Why did you stop there? Why not propose killing the poor or a return to slavery?

    As noted, there are other options to raise revenue besides raising rates, and those can be tailored to some extent to hit the same group (although some in the group more than others, which is the whole point).

  44. 794

    RE: whatsmyname @ 91 – I’ve said before it’s ironic that it’s called Obamacare, because he had almost nothing to do with what was passed. He gave very little guidance on what he wanted and what he would accept/reject.

  45. 795
    whatsmyname says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 792:

    Because President Obama controls completely what he will accept. That is not true of the other side, as was discovered during the debt ceiling negotiations.

    Ah, then he does have room to push in negotiations.

    Obama is asking for something that is not likely to happen, claiming it’s non-negotiable.

    Ah, now he doesn’t again. Back to my point, John B “is asking for something that is not likely to happen, claiming it’s non-negotiable.” That’s what I call a pretty close parallel.

    crazy is Santorum actually has the best solution, IMHO, but he’s such a nutcase no one else seems willing to back it.

    He is so crazy that I have not read his solution. So I am not really endorsing it when I say that you may be right. But without knowing what it is, I must admit that you may be right.

  46. 796
    whatsmyname says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 93:

    That’s not even worthy of a response. Why did you stop there? Why not propose killing the poor or a return to slavery?

    I thought of those too. That is the point. Why would anyone box themselves into “just give me options to X” when that provides no protection from “Y” which may be the most ridiculous options your opponents can dream up – or maybe just ridiculous enough to be defended on some BS grounds

    As noted, there are other options to raise revenue besides raising rates, and those can be tailored to some extent to hit the same group (although some in the group more than others, which is the whole point).

    Or perhaps the point is to hit people in other groups? When someone opposes doing something the simple and easy to understand way, you need to take a closer look at what they really want to achieve. When they start getting slippery on exactly what their alternative will do, you have good reason to doubt their intentions. You know this is true.

  47. 797

    RE: whatsmyname @ 95 – Santorum’s solution is to raise taxes on high income W-2 earners, but not those earning money directly through their activities, or those receiving 1099 income. That would protect the small businesses that the Republicans seem to care about, and not deter other forms of investment which could create jobs.

    Not many people are going to quit a $250,000+ job because the tax rate goes up a few percent. Not many people are going to turn down a raise if they make over $250,000 because the tax rates go up a few percent. The only impact on employment would be the person making over $250,000 through wages would not be spending quite as much money.

  48. 798

    By whatsmyname @ 96:

    As noted, there are other options to raise revenue besides raising rates, and those can be tailored to some extent to hit the same group (although some in the group more than others, which is the whole point).

    Or perhaps the point is to hit people in other groups? When someone opposes doing something the simple and easy to understand way, you need to take a closer look at what they really want to achieve. When they start getting slippery on exactly what their alternative will do, you have good reason to doubt their intentions. You know this is true.

    That slippery slope would probably be liked a lot here. First, reduce or eliminate the mortgage interest deduction for those making over $250,000. Second, reduce or eliminate the mortgage interest deduction for others.

  49. 799
    David Losh says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 790

    You mean the United States as a terrorist organization, and I agree with that. The United States has run every frigging scam across the globe, culminating in bombing, and covert assasination.

  50. 800
    Blurtman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 799 – Sure. Just Google “white phosphorous Fallujah” to see how a real war criminal operates. But I also meant Israel, which used cluster bombs in the last Lebanon incursion. Gas bad. Unless it is white phosphorous. Cluster bombs good.

    I was watching an inane American citizen on the news say that she was able to go about her inane daily activities, probably shopping at Target, because of the troops defending our freedom. And you wonder why the average German citizen didn’t speak up about the death camps.

  51. 801
    David Losh says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 800

    I was going to leave Israel out of it, but yes they operate as terrorists.

    While in Europe one time there were two assasinations of Arabs while I was there. Israel was blamed, very matter of factly.

    On another trip I visited Israel, and yes, it is a military State, were I was detained twice, and asked for my papers. I was going back and forth into Palastine, one time I was given the wrong color scarf as a gift, and was detained, at gun point.

    All of that is to say we live in a brutal world outside of the security of the good ole US of A.

    There is no magic that will change that.

    What I like about Obama is that he has changed the course of our military to better reflect what we do, and how we do it.

    I have absolutely no doubt that our Ambassador in Benghazi was there to do deals in Libya that involve heavy weapons, and support. I have no doubt he was targeted for assasination, and that we will never hear the whole story.

    They did find the leader of the raid that killed him today, in Egypt. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/12/egypt-terror-leader-possibly-linked-to-benghazi-attack-arrested/

    That’s going to be the face of war from now on; terror, and reprisal, until a peace can be negotiated. That’s the part no one is getting.

    Chemical weapons are a threat to be taken out. Nuclear weapons won’t be tolerated. There is no limited nuclear engagement.

    So will Assad be found dead, or negotiate a way out of the country? I think those are the choices at this point.

  52. 802
    doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 92
    “President Obama is asking for something that is not likely to happen”

    You mean tax rates going up? Because that IS going to happen if they don’t strike a deal.

    Here’s what I don’t think you’re getting: Obama is negotiating from a position of strength on this issue. The American people want everything he is proposing. They want NONE of what the Republicans are proposing (insofar as they’re willing to be specific).

    Moreover, if we go over the fiscal cliff, tax rates go up, many things get cut, and the Dems can float popular bills, like to cut middle-class rates.

    What have the Republicans offered that is better than going off the fiscal cliff (and having the public blame them for it?) Estate tax? Cap gains? ANY specific deductions they would eliminate? All they’ve offered is some vague platitudes on taxes and severely weakening our entitlement programs.

  53. 803

    By doug @ 802:

    The American people want everything he is proposing.

    Most Americans are stupid. They want President Obama. ;-)

    Seriously, the people in many of the districts represented by the Tea Party types don’t want what President Obama wants. So why would those representatives go along with what he wants? Hardly a position of strength, especially if the Fiscal Cliff sends us back into recession.

  54. 804
    Doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 803

    It’s not just Obama supporters though: it’s a pretty big majority who want face rates raised on the rich, and oppose raising SS and Medicare ages.

    Around 70% of Americans will blame the republicans (and around 40% will blame Obama; there’s some overlap) if we go over the fiscal cliff.

  55. 805

    RE: Doug @ 804 – Who cares what most people want? That’s not their job in our form of government. In addition, most people won’t remember what they wanted in 2014.

    What Congress should do is what they think will work best moving the country forward. Creating jobs should be more important than any one particular method of raising more revenue.

  56. 806

    By Doug @ 804:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 803

    It’s not just Obama supporters though: it’s a pretty big majority who . . . oppose raising SS and Medicare ages.

    As to Social Security the solution there is simple. Raise the employee deduction (but not the employer tax) for SS taxes to be sufficient to provide for retirement at age 65, but allow people to opt out and pay a lower tax to retire at age 67.

    People have to realize that what they want costs money. They can’t have everything they want for free.

  57. 807
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 806 – SS can be means tested as well. And the contributions returned to those who are means tested out, or, an equivalent reduction in federal taxes where aplicable.

    Adding Spanish Fly to the water supply would help.

  58. 808
    doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 805

    I don’t think we should operate under mob rule, but it DOES have significance, and it DOES indicate why Obama has a strong negotiating hand, and the Republicans don’t.

    According to every study I’ve seen, what’s the best way to increase jobs, if that’s the number one priority? Infrastructure projects, middle class tax-cuts, food stamps.

    Ok, so let’s just pass some stimulus, and to heck with the debt. (since tax cuts for the top percentile don’t create jobs) Oh wait, that sounds more like Obama.

    RE: 806, I don’t think that should be necessary, as SS is self-funding, and it’s other government functions that eat away at it. But sure, that’s a real proposal. I haven’t heard the Republicans suggest anything like it. What they usually suggest is weakening Medicare or SS in a fundamental way, like lowering the inflation calculation, or raising the age for everyone. I truly think they fundamentally HATE entitlement programs, and want to slowly destroy them, not make them viable. That is what their rhetoric and actions suggest. I think they’re sore FDR ever put them in place.

  59. 809

    By Blurtman @ 807:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 806 – SS can be means tested as well. And the contributions returned to those who are means tested out, or, an equivalent reduction in federal taxes where aplicable.

    Adding Spanish Fly to the water supply would help.

    I would agree with not paying SS to those which significant income, but you cannot reduce their taxes because you don’t know what their income/wealth will be when they reach retirement. Some millionaires have invested all of their assets in a Ponzi scheme and then presumably needed SS.

  60. 810

    By doug @ 8:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 805 – I don’t think we should operate under mob rule, but it DOES have significance, and it DOES indicate why Obama has a strong negotiating hand, and the Republicans don’t.

    According to every study I’ve seen, what’s the best way to increase jobs, if that’s the number one priority? Infrastructure projects, middle class tax-cuts, food stamps.

    Stimulous probably wouldn’t be necessary at this point but for really lousy national economic policy, and it’s questionable at this point how much it really helps. We’ve built a lot of infrastructure.

    It’s totally inconsistent to say that middle class tax cuts help and then propose raising taxes on the rich. Taxes is taxes, and they have negative consequences. The Santorum proposal would reduce the impact on jobs.

    Rather than food stamps, which I don’t think anyone is proposing to cut (unless perhaps that’s part of the Fiscal Cliff too), I would have mentioned unemployment insurance. That is stimulative, but I’m beginning to wonder if it’s also having an impact on people accepting lower jobs. I think something needs to be done there, but I don’t have any proposals.

  61. 811

    By doug @ 8:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 805 – RE: 806, I don’t think that should be necessary, as SS is self-funding, and it’s other government functions that eat away at it. But sure, that’s a real proposal. I haven’t heard the Republicans suggest anything like it. What they usually suggest is weakening Medicare or SS in a fundamental way, like lowering the inflation calculation, or raising the age for everyone. I truly think they fundamentally HATE entitlement programs, and want to slowly destroy them, not make them viable. That is what their rhetoric and actions suggest. I think they’re sore FDR ever put them in place.

    I think maybe your partisan leanings are showing there. Neither SS nor Medicare is in great shape. Something should have been done to help SS over 10 years ago, and now it’s even more difficult because we didn’t act back then. It’s like trying to start saving for retirement at age 55 rather than age 25.

    The problem with both programs is when someone suggests something to fix the problem, rather than negotiate others start the scare tactics, like happened this election with Ryan’s Medicare proposal. Doing nothing is not a solution when the programs will crash as a result. And IMHO, cutting SS payroll taxes to provide stimulus isn’t a solution when the SS program was in trouble prior to the cuts.

  62. 812
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 809 – Yes, but an attempt should be made to return money to those who are means tested out. And this has come up previously, but use of the term “millionaire” should be precisely applied. One can have millions in assets, but not have income of a million per year. And one can have income of one million per year, but possibly not have millions in assets. I think SS means testing should be applied to income, for example, a retired person earning over $250,000 annually on investments, and not assets.

  63. 813
    Blurtman says:

    And the SS trust fund is an accounting entry, with the accumulated contributions having been invested in non-marketable US Treasuries. Why not allow the future surpluses to be diversified into other investments? Of course that removes what has been a significant source of revenue from being spent by the federal government, but what retirement fund invests solely in US Treasuries?

  64. 814
    David Losh says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 813

    Maybe they can invest in Mortgage Backed Securities.

  65. 815
    Blurtman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 814 – Triple A, good as gold, baybeeee!

  66. 816
    David Losh says:

    Seriously, Medicare, and Social Security won’t get fixed in three weeks.

    I agree the American people are going to want to see tax rate increases for the wealthy, but people are going to want to see real spending cuts.

    I think a deal is already on the table for the military, MediCare can maybe take cuts, but Social Security has the AARP, I don’t see a way to fight against that lobby.

    Bottom line is that raising the tax rate can get done, but both sides need to put every spending cut they can think of on the table so they can pick and choose a compromise.

  67. 817
    doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 10

    I’m going to have to Fisk this, sorry.

    “Stimulous probably wouldn’t be necessary at this point but for really lousy national economic policy,”

    Then why did you say jobs are the top priority over raising revenue?

    “and it’s questionable at this point how much it really helps.”

    Not if you pay attention to the CBO, Moody’s, just about every economist I’ve read in the past 5 years. Just because YOU don’t know doesn’t mean it’s questionable.

    “We’ve built a lot of infrastructure.”

    Really? The water and sewer systems on the east coast are still failing at a shocking rate, transmission lines are growing extremely old, and can’t meet today’s needs. I work in the utility biz. We’ve been neglecting infrastructure for 30 years (EDIT: that is to say the US, not my company)

    “It’s totally inconsistent to say that middle class tax cuts help and then propose raising taxes on the rich.”

    NO. Not according to Moody’s. Not according to the CBO. It’s actually pretty commonsense: when the economy is stagnated, the rich squirrel away their money in safe havens, while the middle-class and poor spend theirs, boosting the economy. Do tax cuts for the rich boost the economy? Sure, but by less than you put in. EVERY other expenditure, infrastructure, unemployment, payroll tax reduction, food stamps, boost the economy by more than tax cuts for the top quintile. This is something you’ve claimed many times, and I’ve always responded the same way.

    Links to studies: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/08/08/the-romney-campaign-says-stimulus-doesnt-work-here-are-the-studies-they-left-out/

    So, what gives, Kary? You’re not sure the stimulus worked? Look into that! If you’ve got the time to post about it, you’ve got the time to read up on it :-) It’s *fascinating* stuff – It’s why I decided to get an MBA.

    And I’m sorry, *my* partisan leanings are showing? It is to laugh:
    http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/TR/2009/lr6f8.html

    SS is solvent for 15 years under the worst-case projection. That means, MAYBE in 15 years we have to reduce benefits. That’s not even getting into the argument of why we should raise the retirement age rather than increase revenues, or just trim benefits by one or two percent. It’s pretty safe to say that raising retirement age by 2 years will really hurt both the elderly and the young that are counting on those people to retire and open jobs up.

  68. 818

    By doug @ 17:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 10

    I’m going to have to Fisk this, sorry.

    “Stimulous probably wouldnâ��t be necessary at this point but for really lousy national economic policy,”

    Then why did you say jobs are the top priority over raising revenue?

    Because unlike President Obama, I don’t think that government is the only way jobs are created. Stimulus should be temporary, and we’re now four years in. Free enterprise creates jobs long term, not government. Government should create conditions for job growth. Taxes (and threats of higher taxes) hinder job creation long term. Government debt hinders job creation long term.

    As for your infrastructure comment, the federal government should not be bailing out every failed state that has not been able to keep up with its basic needs because they’ve been spending money on other things. They need to prioritize, unlike what they’ve been doing the past two decades. Washington state and the cities in Washington are not exempt from that criticism.

  69. 819
    doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 818RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 818

    “Because unlike President Obama, I don’t think that government is the only way jobs are created.”

    Is that why private employment is way up, and government employment is down under Obama?
    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/09/government-employment/

    “Stimulus should be temporary, and we’re now four years in.”

    The stimulus ended in June 2011!

    “Taxes (and threats of higher taxes) hinder job creation long term.”

    Debatable. And that’s great news, since our taxes are so low now.

    “Government debt hinders job creation long term.”

    A) If so, we’re trying to reduce the debt
    B) Total U.S. debt (household and government) is growing much more slowly than it was during the Bush years.
    C) With no present stimulus (well, unless you want to call the payroll tax cut stimulus) Unemployment is dropping.

    Man, if you think there’s no negative repercussions towards the economy and unemployment when you raise the age of retirement by two years, you’re just absolutely nuts. It’ll certainly have a bigger effect than raising millionaires’ taxes by ~3%

  70. 820
    blurtman says:

    RE: doug @ 819 – Can you cite data that shows unemployment is dropping? Because the labor force participation rate is at an all time low.

  71. 821
    Doug says:

    RE: blurtman @ 820

    Just google ‘unemployment rate’.

    It’s a mixed bag, for sure, but it does stand to reason that the participation rate is dropping, the boomers are retiring.

  72. 822
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Doug @ 821 – The recent slight drop in the unemployment rate was due to a larger drop in the labor force participation rate. And even Fedsters have acknolwedged that maybe 40% of the drop in the LFPR overall is due to retiring boomers. The other 60% is due to a still lousy economy. And food stamp roles also at an all time high.

    My complaint is with folks and the media that tout movements in the UE rate, without also looking at the LFPR. A decreasing UE rate is not necessarily a good thing.

  73. 823

    By doug @ 19:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 818RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 818

    “Because unlike President Obama, I donâ��t think that government is the only way jobs are created.”

    Is that why private employment is way up, and government employment is down under Obama?
    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/09/government-employment/

    “Stimulus should be temporary, and weâ��re now four years in.”

    The stimulus ended in June 2011!

    “Taxes (and threats of higher taxes) hinder job creation long term.”

    Debatable. And that’s great news, since our taxes are so low now.

    The first is due to something you might have heard of–the Great Recession.

    As to your June 2011 comment, why are you still calling for more stimulus now? When will you think enough is enough? And how much debt will the US Government have at that point?

    Finally, it’s not debatable that taxes hinder employment. You can come up with “studies” that don’t account for all the variables that are different between two points in time, but there is absolutely no reason that higher taxes would help with employment.

  74. 824
    doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 823

    Good lord. I’m done here.

    Nothing but bad faith arguments, unsourced facts, and straw men. You argue in the most annoying manner I’ve ever encountered.

    Enjoy living in your bubble, and feel free to join us in the real world any day.

  75. 825

    LOL. None of my arguments are bad faith, but I can understand why they would upset you. Having your entire world view shattered as false probably is unsettling! ;-)

    You don’t think the poor economy that Obama has left us with has affected state government employment? That’s why government employment is down. The economy sucks and tax revenue sucks too!

    As to the stimulus, my position has always been that it should have been shorter in time to have a more intense effect. But here you are almost in 2013 calling for more infrastructure to be built with stimulus. It’s too late!

    And I’m sorry, but no one on earth has a legitimate theory as to how more taxes couldn’t possibly impact employment. At best they have studies comparing different points in time. Newsflash–the economy goes up and down with steady taxes. You can’t compare the taxes at one point with higher taxes and say that taxes didn’t have an impact. Only pfft does that!

    I think you’ve been falling for a few too many Democratic commercials.

  76. 826
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 825

    Nonsense.

    Your arguments are fabricated by your opinions, and your opinions only.

    You’re looking to stir a pot that doesn’t exist, for reasons of your own.

  77. 827

    RE: David Losh @ 26 – Yes, a lot of that is my opinion, particularly the second item. But . . .

    Do you deny that state government employment is down because they can’t pay the state employees because they are not bringing in enough tax revenue, and that they are not bringing in enough tax revenue because the economy sucks?

    Do you deny that taxes deters employment? If you deny that, why has President Obama been stealing from the SS fund by reducing SS payroll taxes for over a year? Why has President Obama stated at times in the past that the economy was too fragile to handle a tax increase? Everyone knows (except pfft) that taxes hinder the economy. You do, however, need some taxes to allow government to function. The trick is to have enough taxes, but not too much in taxes.

    In any case though, this discussion started with being about President Obama being too inflexible in his negotiations–insisting not only on increased tax revenue, but a particular method of getting there. Yesterday he apparently softened his tone, which I view as a good thing.

    You really need to quit saying “nonsense” when responding to my posts. You are the main purveyor of nonsense here.

  78. 828
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 827

    Insults never cut it.

    Obama is asking for a tax increase on those making more than $200K, and couples making $250K. Republicans claimed that would cost 700,000 jobs, and the CBO says 200,000 jobs may be lost, but that won’t kill the economy http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/09/us-usa-fiscal-cbo-idUSBRE8A71D020121109

    The discussion on this has been broad, and the tax increase on the wealthy is a bad sticking point for the Republicans. Most Americans want to see movement.

    It’s Congresses turn.

  79. 829

    RE: David Losh @ 828 – Oh, well I guess if it only costs 200,000 people their jobs, so that politicians can spend money on pet projects, that’s fine. /sarc

    Seriously, that’s your come back? That it will only cost 200,000 people their jobs? I don’t think anyone said it would push the economy into a total collapse.

    BTW, here’s another point for those who think tax policy doesn’t affect decision making. This is something that doesn’t even affect the company directly–$20 billion in dividends declared due to rising tax rates.

    http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Companies-avert-tax-boost-with-dividends-bonuses-4106415.php

  80. 830
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 829

    That’s right, a lot of money will be dumped by the end of the year, and we won’t be able to tax it. So, how is that harmful? How does that tail spin the economy?

    The point is Republicans have said there will be sever reprecussions from a tax hike on the wealthy, but it doesn’t look that way.

    The 200,000 jobs that might be lost, and that is a might, comes also at a loss of income to a company. So, you lose revenue to save on taxes.

    It’s a broad debate, but bottom line is Obama is negotiating, and Republicans aren’t.

  81. 831

    RE: David Losh @ 30 – Bottom line first–what started this discussion was President Obama not negotiating. I was complaining he was taking a hard line position. That apparently stopped.

    As to the dividends, I wasn’t saying it was harmful. I was showing how tax policy affects behavior. Some people try to claim that higher taxes won’t affect employment. Total nonsense. I agree it won’t be “severe,” but for those 200,000 people who do not have jobs it is severe.

    As to the second to last paragraph, about loss of revenue to save on taxes, you should try to think of it this way. At any point in time there are some number of projects being considered by investors, companies, business people. Let’s say on average, half them suck and won’t be done regardless of taxes, so that if there were no taxes, 50% of the projects would be started. With a tax rate of 30% maybe only 30% of those projects will be started. With a tax rate of 35% maybe 25% of those projects will be started. The reason for that? The expected net return drops as taxes rise. Higher taxes make the perceived return less, and that can lead to the perceived return not being sufficient to start on some projects. That leads to less employment.

  82. 832
    David Losh says:

    We are talking about businesses that already generate income. The theory is they will lay people off, or fire them so the owners can save that money on taxes. When you look at the numbers of people total that might be fired or laid off they are a small per cent to total income to the company.

    In other words the claim is companies will hold jobs hostage if they don’t get these tax breaks.

    I agree, businesses want governments to give them everything, they then complain about individuals on welfare.

    Obama sticking with the tax hikes let’s business know that the game is over.

    If you want to make money, with our low tax rates, the United States is the place to do that. Let’s stop rolling over every time business threatens our economy. It’s a partnership, and our government has done a lot to help business.

  83. 833
    Doug says:

    RE: David Losh @ 832

    Losh, just don’t feed the troll. Kary has nothing but his opinion to fall back on. Cite actual studies, (Moody’s, CBO, et al) and all he’ll do is fall back on his same nonsensical talking points. He’s never sourced ANYTHING. He’ll just keep moving the goal posts and arguing straw men.

    His points have all been addressed by the Moody’s study. Sure tax cuts for the rich are good for the economy. But they’re the LEAST good way to spend money. This is clearly, clearly addressed. Tax cuts for the rich put back less into the economy than they cost. Food stamps, payroll tax cuts, unemployment… they all put back MORE. But he’ll just keep arguing until he’s blue in the face that because tax cuts for the DO in fact return some money to the economy, that they’re an absolute good.

    He’ll just come back with his made, up, stupid, hypothetical figures.

    Kary: “Let’s say on average…..”
    No, let’s NOT say. Let’s read. Let’s link to studies from people who have put hard work into studying these things, rather than pulling random numbers out of our ass.

    Whenever Kary says “let’s say” you know that what follows is a bunch of conjecture, made up figures, simplistic folksy generalities and wild inaccuracies. And he thinks this is just blowing our minds and shifting all kinds of paradigms. Please.

    I mean, come one. This is a guy who doesn’t see anything wrong with raising the Medicare age by 2 years. That would be absolutely CRUSHING to the economy. The cost of two more years of COBRA alone is rough, and that’s if everything goes right, and if they have access to COBRA! How many seniors, and seniors’ children will go broke paying their medical bills for two more years?

  84. 834
    Doug says:

    Ok, just because I’m a glutton for punishment, here’s a study: .

    http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=3564

    This study says that raising the eligibility rating will cost citizens twice as much as it saves the government. It is wasteful, terrible policy. But it doesn’t fit into the simplistic framework of “Tax cuts GOOD! Government spending, BAD!” So, yeah. Waste of my time.

  85. 835

    By David Losh @ 832:

    We are talking about businesses that already generate income. The theory is they will lay people off, or fire them so the owners can save that money on taxes..

    It is not so limited. It also includes startups and businesses considering expansion. Layoffs would only be at marginal existing businesses. The uncertainty with startups and expansion are far greater, so the effect would be far greater.

    President Obama calling for tax increases the past two years or so has hurt the economy. He traded votes for jobs, and for him it worked. For many of those unemployed it was devastating.

  86. 836

    RE: Doug @ 33 – LOL. The Democratic party talking machine calls me a troll. Now that’s funny!

    All you know and think is Democratic party propaganda. At least I recognize both parties’ propaganda for what it is. And at least I’m able to think.

    But hey, let’s trot out Moody’s. They’re credible! /sarc

  87. 837

    By Doug @ 34:

    Ok, just because I’m a glutton for punishment, here’s a study: .

    http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=3564

    This study says that raising the eligibility rating will cost citizens twice as much as it saves the government. It is wasteful, terrible policy. But it doesn’t fit into the simplistic framework of “Tax cuts GOOD! Government spending, BAD!” So, yeah. Waste of my time.

    And you believe it, because it’s on the Internet! Classic!

    Please explain why overall costs would rise with that change. Clearly it would shift spending from the federal government to others, as occurred with Obamacare. But why would that other spending be higher? The article doesn’t seem to explain it.

    What I’m looking for is something like my explanation of how more insurance with Obamacare will lead to higher costs, because fewer people will care what health care services cost. Medicare may get some discount in providing for (or paying for) services, but not on the scale of that study would indicate. What would be the reason for any additional amount? Come on Democratic Party Propoganda Machine–explain it to us all so that we can share in your wisdom and ability to think. /sarc

  88. 838
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 835

    Start ups, and expansion is done with a business plan that would include the tax rate hikes, and ObamaCare.

    Businesses have had a free ride that is coming to a close. Our government, especially under Bush, has bent over backwards to accomodate business while it looked for off shore tax shelters, sent jobs out of the country, and made bad loans that we now guarantee.

    Obama is making a strong point, that I think is good. You don’t think so, but it is just a matter of opinion.

  89. 839
    David Losh says:

    Taken from a long news story about today’s Fed meeting:

    “Fear of higher taxes has yet to slow hiring. Employers added 146,000 jobs last month, the government said last week. That’s about the same as the average monthly gain of 150,000 in the past year.”

  90. 840
    David Losh says:

    RE: Doug @ 33

    You’re getting upset when there is no reason to be upset at all.

    Kary is an odd duck who likes to incite. There are no arguments, as you say, it’s all opinion.

    Now he is calling you the Democratic Party Propoganda Machine which indicates to me he is reciting the Republican Party lines.

    Relax, there have been many before you that just give up on Kary. Some, like myself, just stay to be insulted. It’s entertainment.

  91. 841

    By David Losh @ 39:

    Taken from a long news story about today’s Fed meeting:

    “Fear of higher taxes has yet to slow hiring. Employers added 146,000 jobs last month, the government said last week. That’s about the same as the average monthly gain of 150,000 in the past year.”

    What’s to say that if President Obama hadn’t been calling for tax increases for so long that we wouldn’t have had employment increases of about 250,000 a month for the past year? It would have been more, we just don’t know how much more.

    Even 250,000 wouldn’t be that great, but it wouldn’t be pathetic like it has been (with pathetic being anything under 200,000 a month).

  92. 842
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 841

    Once again you are expressing an opinion.

    You don’t know employment would increase.

  93. 843
    Doug says:

    RE: David Losh @ 840

    Oh, trust me, I’m doing fine. Life’s too short to get worked up about this stuff. :-)

    I do see that Kary has added ad hominem attacks to goalpost moving, deflection, and straw men. Truly formidable stuff.

  94. 844

    By David Losh @ 842:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 841

    Once again you are expressing an opinion.

    You don’t know employment would increase.

    We do know it would increase, just not by how much.

    Again look how decisions are being affected by the change in taxation on dividends. Taxes affect what people do. Even threats of tax changes affect what people do.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying I’m against any increase in taxes, like many/most Republicans and Tea Party types, and in fact have suggested ways to raise taxes. What I’m saying is raise taxes in ways that are the least likely to impact employment. President Obama doesn’t get that because he doesn’t understand the economy. He thinks jobs are created by government spending money.

  95. 845

    RE: Doug @ 43 – Hey, you’re the one that can’t back up what you say. I asked you to explain for us how that change in Medicare would increase overall spending by anywhere near the amount indicated. You can’t because you don’t understand what you’re talking about. You’re just a partisan hack repeating Democratic party talking points.

  96. 846
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 845RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 844

    None of us, and the President of the United States, understands what we are talking about, so why bother?

  97. 847
    whatsmyname says:

    Pfft, please come back. You won the bet after all. I know it is more difficult without Scotsman providing all that great raw material. But the transition can be made.

  98. 848
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 847

    If you’re out there Scotsman, I miss reading your stuff. You always provided lots of links and even if I disagreed, diversity of opinion, like diversity in a gene pool, is often a good thing for education and progress. If you don’t want the hassles, consider giving Ira a call and maybe the three of us can have lunch somewhere convenient for you like Issaquah. That’s a ways to go for Ira but you know those left wing types will do anything for a free lunch, and as cheap as I am, I’ll buy.

  99. 849
    Blurtman says:

    Can the USA kill women and children in foreign countries, propsose that violence is the solution, and not have this violence visit America’s shores?

  100. 850

    By Blurtman @ 849:

    Can the USA kill women and children in foreign countries, propsose that violence is the solution, and not have this violence visit America’s shores?

    Contrary to popular belief, some people are violent by nature. In 1995, Japan had a sarin gas attack, and at least in anti-gun crowds they’re known as not being violent.

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

  101. 851
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 850 – Perhaps so. But the ignorance and arrogant hypocrisy of the American populace is sometimes most exhibited during horrible events like this. Do Americans think the parents of the children in Fallujah killed by US weapons, perhaps even white phosphorous, reacted any differently than the parents in Connecticut?

  102. 852

    RE: Blurtman @ 851 – I would use Syria today as an example, and claim that most Americans don’t even follow what’s going on there.

  103. 853
    whatsmyname says:

    By Blurtman @ 849:

    Can the USA kill women and children in foreign countries, propsose that violence is the solution, and not have this violence visit America’s shores?

    Here is Mike Huckabee:
    “We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be surprised that schools would become places of carnage?”

    Sound familiar? Kind of a blame the victims hint at karma/god’s-will with just enough tangential culture linkage to pretend it’s rational criticism. This has nothing to do with either of your issues.

  104. 854
    Blurtman says:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 853 – No, it does not sound familiar. Nothing in my statement kind of blames the victims at all. You reject karma/god’s will as a cause. No one except you brought these up. But it is perhaps telling that these would occur to you. Try a rationale more rooted in psychology and/or sociology.

  105. 855
    Blurtman says:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 853 – But if you do want to reference memorable quotes, perhaps this one might work better:

    “Hate begets hate; violence begets violence.”

    ““The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral
    begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy, instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.”

  106. 856
    whatsmyname says:

    By Blurtman @ 854:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 853 – No, it does not sound familiar. Nothing in my statement kind of blames the victims at all. You reject karma/god’s will as a cause. No one except you brought these up.

    Then we are left only with the literal interpretation of your original rhetorical question: ( “Can the USA kill women and children in foreign countries, propsose that violence is the solution, and not have this violence visit America’s shores?”) – which is to say that this act was an informed political act based on or learned from our foreign policy. And to which I call bullsh*t.

    Huckabee’s quote is not memorable; it is just intellectually the same general argument as yours, but cast in different specifics. That’s why it should sound familiar.

  107. 857
    Blurtman says:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 856 – Many media psychologists have already rushed to posit a culture of violence as one cause. Certainly unecessary wars where high tech weaponry unleashed horrific violence, and the message that this was/is OK, and where there is no accountability for war crimes, sends some sort of message to some people.

    CSI type shows always end with the agents inflicting their will at the end of a gun. The message is – that is good, acceptable.

    You have already rejected karma, God’s will, and a political act. Even Obummer said there are too many of these incidents. Culture of violence, lack of accountability, weapons are the final answer messaging cannot be discounted.

  108. 858
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 857
    Horrific war and mass murder have a history as long as the human race.

    You almost make me forget that our dispute is not in attempting to define the reasons for the insane suffering that is happening now in Connecticut, but in the hijacking of that definition to serve a political meme.

    Take a step back to examine your original statement, and then your followup to Kary in post 851. I think that maybe you didn’t mean to go there, but what we see of you is what you say.

  109. 859
    Blurtman says:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 858 – I would not call my statements political, but statements acknowledging reality and questionig its ramifications. If I called out a political party, you might have a point there.

    Horrific war has always happened, yes. But in the absence of the the connectivity that we now have. And in recent modern times, horrific war and killing had been justified on moral grounds. Permission to kill for a higher motive. But in Iraq, permission to kill was granted with for no good reason. No apologies. No accountability.

    It would be interesting to look at past wars concocted by insane and incompetent rulers to see what effect the wars had on the war mongering country.

  110. 860
    David Losh says:

    I’ve always defended the Second Amendment, but today feel we need to address gun rights, and temper it with not every one should have access to a gun.

    I also think guns need to be secured, properly, so they can be less of a temptation, or accidental fatality.

  111. 861

    By David Losh @ 860:

    I’ve always defended the Second Amendment, but today feel we need to address gun rights, and temper it with not every one should have access to a gun.

    Given the fact that it was the victim’s (mother’s) guns, and there was no reason that she should not own guns, any talk of gun control related to this incident means absolute prohibition of owning guns. Prohibition of guns is a total fantasy, even absent the Second Amendment.

  112. 862

    I’m watching a biography on Truman this week. What’s interesting is how the American approach changed during WWII. This wasn’t part of the biography, because it wasn’t Truman, but when WWII started, the English were much more likely to bomb civilian targets, and the US rejected that approach.

    When the US gained the ability to reach Japan, civilian targets were okay, even prior to dropping the atomic bombs. And I think Dresden was a US action too, although I’d have to check on that.

  113. 863
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 862 – I am waiting for Obama to decry the amount of violence in the world, and simultaneoulsy announce a new round of drones strikes.

  114. 864

    RE: Blurtman @ 863 – Don’t be silly. They don’t announce rounds of drone strikes. They only announce a drone strike when they think someone important has been killed. /sarc

  115. 865
    Blurtman says:

    If you want to see what is wrong with Amerika, look no farther than the ads that accompany the political talk shows, brought to you by the corporate media and the politboro.

    Boeing touting that they develop drones that take out freedom fighters resisting a military occupation. Bravo.

  116. 866
    Blurtman says:

    Score 1 for Kary.

    If only they could perfect teleconferencing, Hillary would be able to tesitfy remotely. Perhaps one day. (/snark)

    Clinton Takes Responsibility for Security Failure in Libya

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/16/world/africa/clinton-takes-responsibility-for-libya-security-failure.html?_r=0

  117. 867

    This is actually more relevant, because it shows some of what they were covering up prior to the election.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/19/us/politics/inquiry-into-libya-attack-is-sharply-critical-of-state-department.html?_r=0

    But I guess it doesn’t stop you from becoming Time’s Man of the Year. President Obama can put that award right next to his Nobel Peace Prize.

  118. 868

    wow, these people are resigning their high level government jobs, apparently for no reason at all. /sarc

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/20/us/politics/3-state-dept-officials-resign-following-benghazi-report.html

  119. 869
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 868 – Wow indeed. In the George W. Bush adminsitration, these folks would have been promoted.

  120. 870
  121. 871

    You would think someone who will not have to run for office again would stop the political nonsense. No, President Obama, the Republicans are not refusing to go along with you because they don’t like you. They are refusing to go along with you because they think your ideas are incredibly stupid and will hurt job growth. They may be right, they may be wrong, but it’s not about you. Do you really believe the BS that comes out of your mouth?

  122. 872
    Doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 871

    Shoot, they can’t even get along with themselves! See Boehner’s failure to whip enough votes for Plan B, a purely face-saving measure.

    That is honestly one of the most embarassing press conferences I’ve ever watched. I just felt *bad* for Boehner. He’s completely lost control of the House, and his lame attempts to deflect onto the WH and Senate were incredibly transparent.

    Republicans are lucky they have gerrymandering to stack the House in their favor. If they didn’t, House Republicans would be out on their asses too. Democrats got more votes in House elections than Republicans.

    If they keep this up, though, their greedy gerrymandering may actually bite them back. These negotiations are reflecting *extremely* badly upon them, and a national turn of a couple percentage points could have dire effects on the makeup of the House. (Because they’ve gerrymandered as many narrowly Republican districts as possible).

    We’re going over the fiscal cliff. That’s a given now, if the House can’t even pass Plan B. And then the Senate will pass middle class tax cuts. We’ll see if the Republicans are willing to negotiate and get some of the stuff they want passed, or if they’ll just sit and pout until they get voted out in 2014.

  123. 873

    RE: Doug @ 872 – That they wouldn’t go for Plan B indicates that they think taxes are stupid and hurt employment. Why should they go for that just because one Republican thinks it’s okay? It was a political move to put pressure on the Democrats. The Republicans who wouldn’t vote for it put their beliefs ahead of politics.

    As to your gerrymandering argument, I think you have that bit biased. Both parties have been involved with gerrymandering. The reason the Democrats get more votes is you have districts in heavily urban areas where 80+ percent vote for the Democrat, no matter what. Look how King County swings most state-wide elections. Unless the Congressional districts get re-mapped so that over half the Washington districts are in King County, I think the Republicans will be fine.

    In any case, the Republicans will do fine in 2014 when it’s apparent that way too many people are still unemployed, because they elected someone in 2012 who doesn’t know squat about increasing employment. ;-)

  124. 874
    Doug says:

    You’re certainly right that both parties gerrymander. I meant ‘greedy’ not as a moral judgment, but in the sense that they really left some of the districts very close, where any shift in sentiment to the Democrats will lose them a lot of seats. They went for broke.

    The Republicans *may* do fine in 2014, but they’re going to have to actually work with the representatives that people elected. They’re certainly not looking good now. Obama’s approval is very high, and theirs is very low.

    In the end, we have taxes, revenue, and the deficit. If they’re unwilling to raise taxes even when you get multiple dollars of spending cuts in return, they’ve lost their right to complain about the deficit. And most of the spending cuts they’re proposing are horrifically bad for the economy.

  125. 875
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 873 – It seems that “hurting employment” has become the new “for the children” mantra by souless scumbags seeking to advance their agendas.

    Even that dog turd, Laney Breuer, is using this new mantra as an excuse to not jail criminals.

    Can’t wait till strong arm robbers start using it, too.

    “Don’t tase me, bro, it will only hurt employment.”

  126. 876
    Doug says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 875

    Everything’s relative, right? Sure, tax cuts for the richest Americans *could* slow the economy slightly (though I’ve yet to see a scholarly argument on the matter), but slow it more than raising the age of SS and Medicare? That’s crazy talk.

    I’m willing to bet that even after the fiscal cliff cuts and rate hikes happen, the top 1% will receive at least 80% of wage growth in this country. Let’s not foist the care of the elderly on their struggling children any more than we already do, just so the rich can continue to earn 93% of new income in the U.S.

    In the end, the rich don’t WANT lower employment. It reduces their leverage. They’re gleefully raising hours, lowering wages, even having people work for free, just because they can.

  127. 877
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Doug @ 876 – People get what they fight for. It has been reported, hopefully inaccurately, that Obama is putting SS cuts on the table. This makes absolutely no sense at all, if true. It is only the deadbeat government’s need to pay back borrowed money that is putting the bite on the annual budget. SS should be absolutely off the table, and they should re-instate the SS payroll tax suspension.

    But our leaders suck. And they do not listen to the voters. And they play off one crappy major party candidate, against another major party loser. You don’t want to vote for Murray because she said up yours, we are bailing out the banksters. Well, then, here is DIno Rossi. So fook you, and roll over is the message.

  128. 878
    Doug says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 877
    Yeah, you’re not wrong :-( I, like lots of other people, am too busy scrambling for my little piece of the pie to fight for better, more representative, political parties.

    Obama’s SS offer was ridiculous! Why would we EVER entertain raising the retirement age rather than just cutting benefits by 1-2% immediately? Not that I’m for that, but it’s a more honest, egalitarian, and less harmful solution. No one ever brings that up.

  129. 879
    Doug says:

    Man, get a load of the head of the NRA. What a complete joke.

    “Let’s have a national database of all people who have ever had a mental health issue!”

    And then what? Jail them? Shame them? Shun them in our communities? You’re sure as hell not for using that database to prevent them from PURCHASING GUNS. Nice small government, bro. Just like hiring an army of armed government agents to guard every school.

  130. 880

    By Blurtman @ 77:

    RE: Doug @ 876 – People get what they fight for. It has been reported, hopefully inaccurately, that Obama is putting SS cuts on the table. .

    I’ve heard that too, but in the right form it could be okay. Cutting/eliminating benefits for higher income or wealthy people. If it’s cuts to the COLA adjustments, that’s just stupid.

  131. 881

    RE: Doug @ 79 – Why do you think they wouldn’t use the database to prevent the purchase of guns? It’s already being done on that basis, but the database sucks for a number of reasons.

  132. 882
    Doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 881

    Because the NRA has always consistently opposed background checks. Heck, they oppose closing the gun show loophole.

  133. 883

    RE: Doug @ 82 – Wrong. That’s how they propose keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. What they oppose is waiting periods. They support “instacheck.”

    Prior to the federal law change, Washington had a waiting period, but it didn’t apply to those who had a valid license for concealed carry. After the federal law went into effect you could have a license to carry, show the gun dealer that you already owned 10 guns, but you couldn’t buy the 11th gun. Total nonsense imposed on the federal level to a state that already had decent laws.

    What they do oppose is the gun show rule, which has a valid and suspect component. Their position is suspect because it’s largely just catering to large donors. But it’s valid because what that’s really about is restricting the rights to transfer guns outside of licensed dealers. Personally I don’t have a problem with that, but they do. I think they see it as leading to registration, since I don’t know how else you would enforce such a law.

  134. 884

    Now this is ironic!

    While calling for more stupid gun laws, the host of Meet the Press seemingly violated a stupid gun law.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-police-investigating-incident-in-which-meet-the-press-host-displayed-ammunition-magazine/2012/12/26/918bbf26-4f51-11e2-835b-02f92c0daa43_story.html?tid=pm_local_pop

    I hope they prosecute him to the full extent of the law. That will undoubtedly prevent dozens of deaths. /sarc

  135. 885
    blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 884 – C’mon. That is absurd.

  136. 886
    blurtman says:

    Oh. /sarc. Got it. It might be entertaining of Gregory went postal and sprayed his guests. Perhaps shotting off George Will’s toupee.

  137. 887
  138. 888

    I guess investigating and/or prosecuting someone famous for a violation of a law is frivolous.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/27/david-gregory-wsj-greta-van-susteren_n_2369357.html?utm_hp_ref=media

    But if an “ordinary person” does that, it should be illegal? Apparently it’s supposed to work the same way as getting a gun permit in big east coast cities. If you’re “important,” you can get a permit. If not, you can’t.

  139. 889

    And on the topic of hypocrisy, Gregory pulled a Rosy O’Donnell, apparently thinking that protecting children with armed guards is only appropriate for the rich and famous.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/gregory-mocks-lapierre-proposing-armed-guards-sends-kids-high-security-school_691057.html

  140. 890
    blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 889 – Gregory has been reported to make $2 million a year for Press the Meat. His wife is a former Fannie Mae exec. Yet when he rolls his eyes in sympathy over stories of rising prices or flat wages, I know he feels the pain of the common man.

  141. 891

    I haven’t seen any coverage of this by NBC, either on their five o’clock news or NBCNews.com. Apparently they support the Fifth Amendment, but not the Second. ;-)

  142. 892

    Here’s some interesting material from the CBO on what the US economy will be like if we go off the fiscal cliff for good, and if we continue to kick the can down the road.

    http://www.cbo.gov/publication/43544

    That makes the fiscal cliff not seem so bad, particularly since people just recently voted for higher unemployment levels. ;-)

  143. 893

    In the news yesterday, Chicago has had about 500 murders this year, Seattle about 25. Chicago has about 2.6M people, Seattle about .6M. Chicago has very strict gun control, Seattle is prevented from enacting gun control legislation by the state

    Clearly the state legislature should allow Seattle to start passing gun control legislation so that we could increase our murder rate to something like 100 a year. /sarc

  144. 894
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 893:

    In the news yesterday, Chicago has had about 500 murders this year, Seattle about 25. Chicago has about 2.6M people, Seattle about .6M. Chicago has very strict gun control, Seattle is prevented from enacting gun control legislation by the state

    Clearly the state legislature should allow Seattle to start passing gun control legislation so that we could increase our murder rate to something like 100 a year. /sarc

    a lot of the guns are purchased where there are lax guns laws.

    we know for sure less guns=less murders.

  145. 895

    By pfft @ 94:

    we know for sure less guns=less murders.

    No, we don’t know that for sure. Your understanding of the real world continues to be pathetic.

  146. 896

    By pfft @ 94:

    a lot of the guns are purchased where there are lax guns laws..

    So I guess all the heroin and meth in this country are sold only in parts of the country where there are lenient drug laws, right?

  147. 897
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 895:

    By pfft @ 94:

    we know for sure less guns=less murders.

    No, we don’t know that for sure. Your understanding of the real world continues to be pathetic.

    right.

    http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/research/hicrc/firearms-research/guns-and-death/

    http://www.businessinsider.com/shooting-gun-laws-2012-12

  148. 898
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 96:

    By pfft @ 94:

    a lot of the guns are purchased where there are lax guns laws..

    So I guess all the heroin and meth in this country are sold only in parts of the country where there are lenient drug laws, right?

    the drug laws are basically all the same throughout the nation.

  149. 899
    Doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 873

    Here’s an excellent statistical analysis of gerrymandering. The conclusions? Republicans have gerrymandered to the point that states are just flat-out not represented correctly. Urban concentration is not pointed to as being the causative factor at play, partisan gerrymandering is.

    This would seem to be the kind of thing that your abhor, Kary.

    http://election.princeton.edu/2012/12/30/gerrymanders-part-1-busting-the-both-sides-do-it-myth/

  150. 900

    RE: pfft @ 97 – Your first link references four studies, all of which include the same researcher. There are biased studies on guns going both directions, and that link only points to ones going a certain way.

    As to the second link, it’s looking at gun deaths, so it’s not surprising there are more gun deaths where there are more guns. There are probably more car deaths where there are more cars and more cattle deaths where there are more cattle.

    The question though is whether you can avoid gun deaths by imposing gun control. The answer to that is clearly no based on the comparison of Seattle and Chicago and several other places. I’d also point out that it’s impossible to remove guns from society, both because of the Second Amendment and because they last for decades (more on that later).

  151. 901

    By pfft @ 98:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 96:

    By pfft @ 94:

    a lot of the guns are purchased where there are lax guns laws..

    So I guess all the heroin and meth in this country are sold only in parts of the country where there are lenient drug laws, right?

    the drug laws are basically all the same throughout the nation.

    Exactly. What does that tell you? Prohibition doesn’t work. You can buy and obtain things that are not legal to buy. It’s extremely naive to think otherwise, but pro-gun control people tend to be extremely naive.

    The connection is we can’t keep drugs out of this country, but drugs have a life of a few weeks once imported. Guns last for decades. Do you really think that by passing laws making guns illegal that guns in the hands of criminals will be reduced? How did that work for cocaine and heroin?

  152. 902

    By Doug @ 99:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 873

    Here’s an excellent statistical analysis of gerrymandering. The conclusions? Republicans have gerrymandered to the point that states are just flat-out not represented correctly. Urban concentration is not pointed to as being the causative factor at play, partisan gerrymandering is.

    This would seem to be the kind of thing that your abhor, Kary.

    http://election.princeton.edu/2012/12/30/gerrymanders-part-1-busting-the-both-sides-do-it-myth/

    I don’t understand how the author can make any of the claims made without having software that would allow him to redistrict. Without knowing where every voter lives, how could you determine the impact of any districting changes? Also, it assumes that a voter voting for a Democrat (Republican) would vote for different Democrat (Republican) in a different district. You would need to know what the propensity of partisan Democrats and Republicans is for each neighborhood.

    Also, I don’t really find his conclusions on the level of “structural” differences (effect of urban areas) to be all that compelling.

    But yes, I don’t like gerrymandering.

  153. 903

    David Gregory violates a gun law on TV and gets rewarded with an exclusive interview of President Obama. I wonder what laws George Stephanopoulos and Chris Wallace will violate next Sunday? Will George snort a line and Chris strip naked? I await Blurtman’s further suggestions.

    Funny though. Gregory had to bring up gun laws as a topic for action during the first year of the second term, but the some of the reporting is that President Obama will be making that a priority. Yes, it’s so important he simply forgot to mention it! /sarc

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