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.

315 comments:

  1. 1
    whatsmyname says:

    After months of wrestling at the brink, the tax cutting GOP ensured no tax increase for coupon clippers making $400,000.

    Of course, they were all in for tax increases on the working stiff starting at $1.

    Now, that’s integrity.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  2. 2

    RE: whatsmyname @ 1 – You have your choice. End the payroll tax holiday, or end Social Security. We need more revenue for Social Security (or means testing), not less revenue. The payroll tax holiday should have ended long ago.

    Too many in this country are willing to sell off the future just for a marginally better today.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  3. 3
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 2 – The Trust Fund should exchange its “special Treasuries” for marketable Treasuries. In times of cash flow negativity, it could then sell the Treasuries on the open market, and payments would then not be held hostage by a bickering congress It is amazing that oponents of SS will lump it together with other “entitlements” which are in dire straits, and lobby to extend the elegibility date, or reduce payments.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  4. 4

    RE: Blurtman @ 3 – SS might not be in as bad of shape as some other programs, but the time to fix it was 10 years ago, not ten years from now. The longer you wait, the worse the fix will be.

    That said, I opposed the chained CPI idea, or whatever it’s called. Reducing payments to people who need them is not a good alternative to eliminating payments to people who don’t need them (means testing).

    Interesting how there’s widespread support for higher taxes for the rich, but little support for eliminating government payments to many of those same people.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  5. 5
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 4 – If you paid into the system, why should your benefits be reduced or eliminated because of your wealth? To be consistent with income tax increases on the wealthy, perhaps they should increase SS payroll taxes on the wealthy.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  6. 6

    RE: Blurtman @ 5 – Social security is not a retirement account. It’s really an insurance policy against being destitute. A few bad moves and even the richest people can become insolvent.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  7. 7

    RE: Blurtman @ 5
    I remeber when Nelson Rockefeller turned 65, and held a press conference to display his first social security check. He was worth a gazillion dollars, and stated that he’s paid into the system and was going to make sure he benfitted from it. I’m sure you remember Rocky. After he died, I saw a poster of his wife Happy in the anarchist pizzeria in the U district, with the caption ” Rocky’s dead and I’m Happy.” Means testing I’m not so sure about, but why haven’t they raised the cap? Right now, if you make up to 105,000 per year, a certain percentage gets taken out for social security payroll tax. If you make over 105,000, no additional taxes get taken out. Why not? Wouldn’t that add billions in revenue to stabilize social security? Why would anybody be against that? Don’t answer that. I know: Because they’re idiots.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  8. 8

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 7 – Your wish is granted!

    It’s now $110,100. I only looked because I thought it was now much higher.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  9. 9
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 6 – If you are referring to my sizeable Zynga investment, the pending divorce is a high enough price already, worse than the same and ridicule from my polo club chums.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  10. 10

    RE: Blurtman @ 9 – I was thinking more of Madoff type situations.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  11. 11
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 2 – Social Security and Medicare are the two things Republicans care more about than the no new taxes pledge?

    Dude, there’s some bad acid going around.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  12. 12

    RE: whatsmyname @ 11 – I don’t think allowing President Obama’s tax holiday to expire was ever part of the no new tax pledge. If I recall correctly, most of them opposed the last extension of that program.

    But are you trying to suggest that Republicans don’t find Social Security and Medicare important?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  13. 13
    Doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 4

    Anything’s better than raising the retirement age to 67, IMO. People are already putting off retirement for a long time, really hurting the early-20’s folks. Do we really want to encourage that more?

    I DO think some Republicans have an obsession with weakening SS and Medicare. See, for example, Lindsey Graham saying that we MUST raise the age of retirement in order for him to raise the debt ceiling, avoiding default. (which is NUTS).

    He’s not suggesting that this might be a good path. Or that we should do this or find alternate cuts, or that there are other ways to increase solvency. He’s flat-out saying he will crash the economy if we don’t raise the age of retirement.

    This is COMPLETELY immoral. It’s saying: “hey, we know the boomers bankrupted social security, but you’re going to pay for their retirement in full, Gen Xers, and then work off the debt into your late 60’s or 70’s. They’ve got the votes, so suck it up.”

    “If you’re lucky, enjoy your cash-balance pension, if the execs at your company don’t raid it top pay themselves first.”

    It is the worst possible example of kicking the can down the road. It’s totally reprehensible, and the GOP should be laughed out of the room any time they want to talk about ‘personal responsibility’.

    (and yeah, at 32 year of age I have a horse in this race)

    Here’s hoping the boomers don’t get what they want for ONCE.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  14. 14
    whatsmyname says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 12:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 11 – I don’t think allowing President Obama’s tax holiday to expire was ever part of the no new tax pledge. If I recall correctly, most of them opposed the last extension of that program.

    My point, exactly. The Republicans loudly exclaim “No new taxes” as a core principle when the conversation is about ending the “temporary” Bush income tax holiday for the wealthy. But they take the opposite tack where workingman’s tax holiday is concerned. Some principle.

    are you trying to suggest that Republicans don’t find Social Security and Medicare important?

    If you mean that they find these programs “important” to cut, then yes the party platform and fiscal cliff negotiations show they are “important”in that way, but that is really the opposite of what you are implying with the word “important”.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  15. 15
    whatsmyname says:

    By Doug @ 13:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 4

    It’s saying: “hey, we know the boomers bankrupted social security, but you’re going to pay for their retirement in full, Gen Xers, and then work off the debt into your late 60’s or 70’s. They’ve got the votes, so suck it up.”

    It is hard to see how the boomers bankrupted social security by actually paying into it for the past 25 to 45 years with not that many getting anything out. The majority of boomers are still paying into it, and the younger half of the boomers are already scheduled to work into their late 60’s. You are whining about getting the same deal you resent them for getting. Stop it.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  16. 16
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Doug @ 13 – But the SS trust fund has a $2,7 trillion surplus, so the boomers could not have bankrupted SS. So that cannot be what Graham is saying.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  17. 17

    What’s bankrupting the SS system is people living longer than they did when SS was created, and a large surge of such people coming into the time of their lives where they receive payments. You have to do something about that. It’s either raise the retirement age, reduce payments or raise SS taxes. This shouldn’t be turned into a partisan issue, claiming that Republicans are trying to destroy SS by saving it. Total nonsense by partisan Democrats.

    This is exactly like insurance, where people think it’s free money and you can just pay more and more out without any consequences. You have four choices, and have to pick at least one: 1. Raise the retirement age; 2. Reduce the amount of payments; 3. Raise SS taxes; and/or 4. Let SS collapse. Doing nothing, the Democrats’ plan, is really choice # 4.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  18. 18

    They say in business, President Obama doesn’t pick the winners and losers–he picks the losers. Yet another example.

    http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2020057828_apuslincolntonfurnitureclosed.html

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  19. 19

    By Doug @ 13:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 4 – Anything’s better than raising the retirement age to 67, IMO. People are already putting off retirement for a long time, really hurting the early-20’s folks. Do we really want to encourage that more?

    BTW, since any changes that have been proposed on retirement age or benefits would not kick in for people over 55, this change would not occur for at least 10 years, and not affect people currently in their twenties.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  20. 20
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 17 – 5.) Encourage older people to smoke 6.) put aphrodisiacs in the water supply

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  21. 21

    RE: Blurtman @ 20 – On that topic, I was watching the Nova on Iceland’s volcanoes (sp?). You probably remember the 2010 eruption which disrupted flights. Apparently in about 1781 they had an eruption from a different volcano that was so significant it caused deaths in Europe and affected their crops. There’s a third volcano which could have even worse impact, because it tends to erupt for far longer, and it is overdue (of course).

    So if that sucker goes off, it could solve our Social Security and Medicare problems by killing off the older/sicker members of our society with sulfuric acid. As an added benefit, temperatures could drop by 2 degrees centigrade, reducing concerns about global warming. The downside is that we’d apparently have to stop burning coal and driving during the event to keep matters from becoming even worse. But hey, we could all still retire at age 65!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  22. 22
    Blurtman says:

    What he said (sound of large spliff being inhaled….)

    “Although the veneer of theoretical mumbo jumbo and obfuscatory mathematical jargon which surrounds the field of economics is formidably thick, it is still, at best, a social science. The elaborately complex models used by the Fed are, at their core, nothing more than exercises in curve fitting based on historical data. Such an approach is fine for things like Newtonian motion at non-quantum levels and non-relativistic velocities. However, when dealing with non-linear dynamic systems, such as national or global economies, such modeling is guaranteed to fail, not gradually but catastrophically, at some point in time.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2013-01-05/bernankes-legacy-problem

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  23. 23
    doug says:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 15

    I’m sure you’d be ‘whining’ too if you were told that despite not being the cause of the problem, you would be retiring two years later. That’s not to mention the echo effect of people having to support their parents, people retiring later so no good jobs open up.

    Look, I’m not saying boomers are personally irresponsible, but their pensions, government and private, designed by their peers and politicians are what are stressing the system (which isn’t in as bad shape as many would lead us to believe). My point is, if one party continually espouses personal responsibility, shouldn’t they be called out for kicking the can down the road as blatantly and irresponsibly as I’ve ever seen. It doesn’t solve ANY of the existing problems. Men and women in their 20’s and 30’s *already* get defined-contribution instead of defined-payout pensions.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  24. 24
    doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 19

    Yeah, isn’t that the aboslute freakin’ worst? “hey we got this problem since so many people are retiring”. “Yeah, let’s make their broke kids pay for it.”

    Brilliant!

    If these problems are so dire that Lindsey Graham will crash the entire economy for it, they should dang well deal with them now.

    Of course the truth of the matter is, the problem is not that dire. The Republican Congress just hates entitlement programs, and wants to weaken them absolutely as much as possible: by raising the age.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  25. 25

    RE: doug @ 24 – I would argue that Democrats hate entitlement programs, as evidenced by their attempt to destroy them by pretending everything is just fine and dandy.

    Social security did not fund this year due to the tax holiday, and you think everything is fine?

    But in any case, why should people retire with government benefits in 2025 at the same age that they retired in 1940? Back then the average life expectancy was only about 65. If you made that your guide, the current retirement age would be over 75. As life expectancy increases, it greatly stresses the SS system.

    This is not a question of when people are allowed to retire. They can retire at any age. The issue is when they can start collecting money from the government on what is supposed to be a safety net program.

    Again though, to be clear, of the solutions my favorite is means testing.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  26. 26
    whatsmyname says:

    By doug @ 23:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 15

    I’m sure you’d be ‘whining’ too if you were told that despite not being the cause of the problem, you would be retiring two years later. That’s not to mention the echo effect of people having to support their parents, people retiring later so no good jobs open up.

    Under SSI rules, people born in 1960 do retire two years later than those born in 1938, despite being no more the cause of the problem than you are. The exposure to echo effects also parallels your own. It is the same experience.

    Men and women in their 20’s and 30’s *already* get defined-contribution instead of defined-payout pensions.

    So do most people in their 40’s and 50’s. It’s not a bad thing if you have had the experience of going into a company that went broke, and was purchased by someone else. I had the such an opportunity, working with people in their 50’s and early 60’s who had 30 and more years with the company. They had a job, but their pensions were gone. Imagine the situation for retirees who were already out of the workforce.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  27. 27
    whatsmyname says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 25:

    RE: doug @ 24 – I would argue that Democrats hate entitlement programs, as evidenced by their attempt to destroy them by pretending everything is just fine and dandy.

    Social security did not fund this year due to the tax holiday, and you think everything is fine?

    Not true. Payroll taxes did not cover the entire payout, but payroll taxes plus interest earned exceeded the entire payout, leaving a larger net balance at the end of the year. Medicare and Disability were negative, but the OASI surplus covered that and then some.

    http://www.ssa.gov/oact/trsum/index.html

    Democrats are neither pretending everything is fine, nor holding the economy hostage to retaining the SSI tax holiday. But it is worth noting that existing OASI assets would cover over 4 years OASI payments at the current payout level without counting a single dollar of SSI tax revenue during that time. Prudence requires a plan and action, but urgency is many magnitudes less than most issues the government deals with. FWIW I agree with your basic analysis of the choices we have to fix this.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  28. 28

    By whatsmyname @ 27:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 25:
    RE: doug @ 24 – I would argue that Democrats hate entitlement programs, as evidenced by their attempt to destroy them by pretending everything is just fine and dandy.

    Social security did not fund this year due to the tax holiday, and you think everything is fine?

    Not true. Payroll taxes did not cover the entire payout, but payroll taxes plus interest earned exceeded the entire payout, leaving a larger net balance at the end of the year. .

    I would say “not true” is not true. But in any case, that’s a minor distinction and one without a difference when we’re still facing increasing numbers of people who will be drawing on SS. I’m at or near the end of the baby boom and I’m still about 10 years away from 65. We need to be socking money away, not just getting by.

    I am comforted that the tax holiday ended. That will increase SS contributions by something around 15-20%, which is good.

    But it’s not entirely about SS funding. The deficit is also problematic. Too much debt and the government will have problems paying out the benefits. To make an imperfect analogy, it would be like if you saved $1,000,000 for retirement, but accumulated $2,000,000 in non-secured debt prior to retirement. Your retirement wouldn’t be that great. (The analogy is imperfect because in that scenario your retirement funds would be exempt from creditors.)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  29. 29
    Blurtman says:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 27 – Great link. Interest payments, while a real liability to the USG, are an accounting entry, likely represented as additional special Treasuries. Also, the Fed’s ZIRP policy and suppression of Treasury yields is not helping the trust fund. And less people working and working on the books means less payroll taxes. So I believe that as outflows exceed inflows, the difference has to be paid by additonal “real” borrowing, that is, the issuance of additonal US Treasuries. But on balance, the trust fund is still growing.

    So WTF is Lindsey Graham and other wingnuts complaining about?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  30. 30

    Meet the Press was actually pretty good today. The most partisan part of it was probably Gregory’s swallowing everything President Obama says hook line and sinker. The guests and panel were really pretty good. And not a single person on the show was expressing Doug’s position that everything is just find and dandy! Particularly on entitlements. Most everyone said or seemed to agree that we haven’t even done half of what we need to do, which the following might demonstrate.

    There was a transition piece about 20 minutes in, where they compared the federal budget to a family budget. If you look at the federal budget from the point of view of a family making $24,000 a year they would:

    1. Be spending $38,000 a year.
    2. Adding $14,000 to an existing credit card debt of $164,000.

    But on the positive side, the debt ceiling agreement of 2011 cut that $178,000 debt by a whopping $385.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  31. 31
    whatsmyname says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 28:

    I would say “not true” is not true. But in any case, that’s a minor distinction and one without a difference when we’re still facing increasing numbers of people who will be drawing on SS. I’m at or near the end of the baby boom and I’m still about 10 years away from 65. We need to be socking money away, not just getting by.

    No. It really is “not true”, unless your assumption is that the trust fund and the interest earned on the trust fund is money not to be returned to the people. In that case your version of social security is a simple fraud. I will agree that increasing contributions at some point is a good idea, but the urgency is overblown. If we had this kind of urgency about the much, much sooner to be experienced effects of the general budget morass, we could have 1965 tax rates tomorrow.

    it’s not entirely about SS funding. The deficit is also problematic. Too much debt and the government will have problems paying out the benefits. To make an imperfect analogy, it would be like if you saved $1,000,000 for retirement, but accumulated $2,000,000 in non-secured debt prior to retirement.

    See previous paragraph about fraud. The correct analogy here is that you have saved $1MM for retirement, but the fellow holding it for you has accumulated $2MM in debt. He can pay you, but he’d rather pay his other bondholders, his arms dealers, and let his wealthy revenue sources off the hook. That’s not poverty; that’s bad faith.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  32. 32

    RE: whatsmyname @ 31 – If funds were not paid into an account equal to the outflow, it did not fund. If it earned interest equal to or greater than the difference, it did not operate at a loss.

    As to your fraud claims, you’re getting into Pegasus territory there. It would only be fraud if they intended not to pay at the time the contributions were taken. Inability to pay, by itself, it not fraud.

    As to reality, if the government continues to incur more and more debt, it will eventually collapse, or the currency will collapse. The promise of social security will be lost, having little or nothing to do with the actual program, or how it is funded. Democrats want to pretend its not a problem, because government payouts equal votes and votes keep Democrats in office. But sooner or later, we’ll look like Greece unless something changes. And if there’s one thing partisan Democrats are not in favor of, it’s any change to government spending, unless of course it’s an increase in government spending.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  33. 33
    whatsmyname says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 32:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 31 – If funds were not paid into an account equal to the outflow, it did not fund. If it earned interest equal to or greater than the difference, it did not operate at a loss.

    Relying on the “interest paid is only an accounting entry”? The interest you are paid at the bank is only an accounting entry – until you go to retrieve it. The same is true for social security. SSI receipts and current interest were adequate to cover payouts. All payouts were made – which is another and more common definition of the term funded.

    to your fraud claims, you’re getting into Pegasus territory there. It would only be fraud if they intended not to pay at the time the contributions were taken. Inability to pay, by itself, it not fraud.

    There is no inability to pay. They are taking contributions today. I specifically said that there is only a fraud here if one plans not to recognize the interest (and contributions) as obligations to those who paid in- as has been represented.

    to reality, if the government continues to incur more and more debt, it will eventually collapse, or the currency will collapse. The promise of social security will be lost, having little or nothing to do with the actual program, or how it is funded. Democrats want to pretend its not a problem, because government payouts equal votes and votes keep Democrats in office. But sooner or later, we’ll look like Greece unless something changes. And if there’s one thing partisan Democrats are not in favor of, it’s any change to government spending, unless of course it’s an increase in government spending.

    In reality, if you continue to drive farther and farther, you will run out of gas. Any assumption taken to extreme, and without context or measurement will produce a dramatic result. That is not an argument; that is claptrap.

    You keep repeating that “Democrats want to pretend it’s not a problem”. That is a falsehood, as has already been pointed out to you.

    As to your last sentence, are that you are now claiming that partisan Democrats will only support changes to, say, government military spending if they are increases?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  34. 34
    Blurtman says:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 33 – I think you have to look a little deeper. And I am no accountant. But if the USG calculates interest payments on the special Treasuries in the trust fund, how is that interest paid? Keep in mind that surpluses are apparently re-invested in special Treasuries, that is, borrowed and spent by the USG. In times of cash flow negativity, where does the money come from to pay the remaining outflows not covered by inflows? The trust fund surplus, which has been borrowed and spent. So when the trust fund cashes in some special Treasuries, where does that money come from? A USG that is deficit spending. Money is fungible, and so the money comes from more debt.

    Yes, your banking account is merely a digital record. The money that banks really do not have are merely digital records. People will kill other people for these digital credits. People are awared digital credits not based upon productive work. In analog days, bank robbers would physically rob banks, removing hard copy credits. Now, they merely control the issuing of digital credits.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  35. 35
    Doug says:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 33

    “As to your last sentence, are that you are now claiming that partisan Democrats will only support changes to, say, government military spending if they are increases?”

    Also Medicare Part D, which is *extremely* costly.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  36. 36
    Doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 30

    A) Meet the Press isn’t exactly in-depth stuff, macroeconomy or budget-wise. Heck, it’s not even that in-depth policy-wise. More of a horse-race show. Did they ever bring up that citizens, private corporations and state and local governments have been deleveraging over the past 4 years? That DOES matter.

    B) Medicare certainly is in serious trouble and needs actions, and I don’t think I’ve ever said otherwise. :-) Conflating Medicare with SS isn’t particularly helpful. It’s a cost of health-care issue, not an entitlement issue. That’s a pretty standard

    C) I don’t think things are fine and dandy, really. Unemployment still is pretty high. We’re quite a ways from Greece, however. Threatening to default on our debt would be so, so much worse than anything else we could do.

    D) There are also programs I think we should cut. We SHOULD be looking at ways to fix Medicare and cut costs that would have relatively little effect on the economy. I think we should be looking at reducing the long-term unemployment benefits. I’m fine with the payroll tax cut expiring, as well as the Bush tax cuts for those over $400k.

    E) Comparing the U.S. debt to household debt is foolish. You need a picture of the overall health of the country.

    In the end, I simply find it heinous that Republicans are willing to play chicken with the debt ceiling again. It’s madness, plain and simple.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  37. 37
    ChrisM says:

    Elizabeth Warren’s wikipedia page is getting her Cherokee background removed:

    http://networkedblogs.com/GOkPE

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  38. 38

    RE: Doug @ 36 – I would agree Meet the Press isn’t typically very good. This last weekend was an exception.

    I’m not buying your distinction on SS/Medicare. Yes there are different issues, and yes Medicare is more critical time-wise. But if the government has to switch in 10 years from borrowing over $1T a year to paying out over $1T a year, things are going to have to change dramatically for that to happen. With the current level of borrowing for just funding the government, both programs are in trouble, practically no matter how they’re funded.

    As to the debt ceiling, getting back to Meet the Press you’ll probably be upset to learn that Newt G. agrees with you! He thinks there are two other funding events for the government that can be used in the near term that don’t impact default. Presumably whatever they’ve been doing in lieu of actually passing budgets.

    Unfortunately, Meet the Press was the only show I had the time to watch. I wanted to watch more to see if anyone else thinks the negotiating position changed. The Ds had the Rs over a barrel on the tax issue, because everyone was at risk. Now the R’s seemingly have the power, because they can force cost cutting without pissing off too many people–assuming they don’t use the debt ceiling as a “hostage.”

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  39. 39
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 38 – The only scenario where SS would be in trouble is one where outflows continue to outpace inflows. That is where the USG has to borrow to fund the gap. Now the USG owes the trust fund $2.7 trillion, backed by the full faith and credit of the USG. If the USG regards borrowing to fund the gap as a sacrifical lamb, and refuses to pay, i.e., a default scenario, then SS begins to suffer. But keep in mind as it is designed, it is self funding. And can be adjusted by raising contributions if the gap is too large.

    I am unaware of any projections by the CBO or others, where the gap in 10 years is projected to be $1 trillion. What not just deal in the world of reasonableness?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  40. 40
    Doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 38

    I could actually kind of like Gingrich if he weren’t so nasty in his personal attacks. He’s smart, but fickle and erratic. Kind of a smart loudmouth BSer… like the Republican Biden.

    I think the Republicans could actually get a lot done in a responsible manner this Congress if they had the wherewithal to pore through the budget looking for cuts. They need a scalpel, not an ax.

    It would be a political gain, too. End Medicare Part D. Streamline the process for bidding on government jobs, and beef up accountability. Wind down long-term unemployment, but replace with work programs to get needed work done. Simplify regulations, but fund the auditors and investigators, so that good actors are rewarded and bad actors are punished, not the other way around. Fix obvious errors like the USPS pension funding requirement. Change federal pensions from defined-benefits to defined-contribution. Address the problem of our horrendously expensive higher education system. (for example: how about beginning a program of three-year bachelor degrees that cut out extraneous classes?)

    In essence, get to WORK. The tax rate fight should be over now. No more trying to repeal Obamacare, it ain’t gonna happen. Work on ideas to fix government, not drown it in a bathtub. And do NOT hold the debt limit hostage.

    You do all this, and you begin to look like the adult in the room. You begin to get stuff done. I don’t think there’s many in the GOP who have the chops to DO this anymore, though. They want their bills in soundbites, and they want every policy disagreement to be the Democrats’ Waterloo. They’re seemingly just pretty bad at crafting legislation that contains the slightest bit of nuance.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  41. 41
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 34 – Yes. You have your facts right. Now, let’s take a look at what it means.

    The special treasuries in the “trust fund” is a debt that the USG has accumulated. If the government were to fund $100 of its social security payouts by redeeming some of those securities, it would reduce that existing obligation by an equal amount.

    Yes, money is fungible, so you could say that in a deficit budget situation, this would require $100 of debt to be issued somewhere else. Keeping in mind that this is no less true of any $100 that the government spends, there is a significant difference here. In this instance you are extinguishing a debt with the debt you raise. In other words, you have not increased the amount of the obligation, merely changed obligees. Does this matter if the first obligation is real to you?

    That $2.7T represents 4 years payout. That is a pretty big cushion as self funding programs go. I really have to wonder about the assumptions behind the projections of exhaustion. If we commit ourselves to never dipping into that cushion, but rather to increase it each year, we have effectively captured that $2.7T forever – with no intent to pay it back, and one could reasonably inference with no intention to pay back future surpluses either. This is a nice stealth tax on working stiffs. Er, I mean way to save the program.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  42. 42

    RE: Doug @ 40 – I would agree with almost all of that, except the part about possibly liking Newt. I find him very hard to like.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  43. 43

    Any thoughts on the nomination of Hagel? Odd President Obama would pick that fight over fighting for Susan Rice. Rice at least would have more democratic support, so presumably be an easier fight. Just really seems like an odd thing to want to get in a fight over.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  44. 44
    Blurtman says:

    Graham has noticed the drone buzzing his home.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  45. 45

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 43
    I think the fight over Hagel isn’t going to go down to Democratic or Republican lines. Republicans will vote no because he was an outspoken Iraq war opponent and that he’s an Obama nominee. A lot of Republicans would vote no if Obama nominated George Washington or Dwight Eisenhower as Secretary of Defense. Some Democrats will vote no because Hagel made an anti gay slur years, which he know claims to regret. And members of both parties will vote no based on his purported anti Israel bias. Which is absolute BS. Israel may be an ally, but we are under no obligation to blindly support every single thing that the Israeli government wants. And if we ever criticize them for anything, we’re labeled anti Israel or anti Jewish. Everybody knows that AIPAC is a powerful lobby in DC. They represent the interests of the current government of Israel, which is quite different from the interests of previous governments of Israel. Hagel publicly denounced them. Rightfully so. The US should be influencing Israel, who we support with billions of dollars every year. It shouldn’t be the other way around. But maybe Obama knows something. Maybe he’s counted the votes and figures Hagel will win. I hope so. The guy’s smart, qualified, and independent.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  46. 46

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 45 – Thanks for answering. I still just have to wonder if there’s really no other less controversial alternative he could make. You’re right a lot of Republicans would vote against anybody, but there has to be someone that all Democrats would vote for!

    Also, with the biggest issue coming up possibly being Iran, I just don’t see he sends the right message. It’s almost taking military action off the table, which would make military action more likely to be necessary (or alternatively, Iran getting a bomb to be more of a certainty).

    And again, if he was willing to do this fight, why not fight for Rice? Maybe he really didn’t like her that much????

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  47. 47
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 46 – “Also, with the biggest issue coming up possibly being Iran…”

    I hear they have WMD’s. Let’s git ‘em!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  48. 48

    RE: Blurtman @ 47 – Good idea! I think Hagel would support that action, and then after it was done, oppose it. ;-)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  49. 49

    Oh, nevermind. President Obama has been wrongly accused on both Hagel and the lack of women in his cabinet. This is who he is going to nominate!

    http://ia.media-imdb.com/images/M/MV5BNTM0NDEwMjA1MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzQxMDI3Mg@@._V1._SX214_CR0,0,214,314_.jpg

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  50. 50
    Blurtman says:

    This is a disturbing story for unintended reasons. 9% of New York’s population is Jewish. And not all Jews are rabidly pro-Israel.

    Is the author impying that Schumer is a representative of more than the state of New York?

    Hagel to Meet Schumer to Discuss Policy Issues

    WASHINGTON — In what could be a crucial moment in the Obama administration’s efforts to advance the nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense, he will meet this week with Senator Charles E. Schumer, the most influential Jewish member of the Senate, who is expected to press Mr. Hagel on issues concerning Iran and Israel.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/14/us/politics/schumer-to-meet-with-hagel-over-policy-issues.html?_r=0

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  51. 51

    A new reason gun control legislation will not work that is based on science and technology, not human behavior.

    http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/145664-3d-printed-30-round-ar-magazine-brings-us-ever-closer-to-a-fully-3d-printed-gun

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  52. 52
    ChrisM says:

    Are corporations persons?

    http://www.commondreams.org/further/2013/01/07-4

    “When Jonathan Frieman got stopped and ticketed – $478 worth – by a California cop for driving alone in a designated carpool lane, he happily argued that he wasn’t alone: He had his imaginary friend, his corporation papers, with him.”

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  53. 53

    RE: ChrisM @ 52 – The anti-First Amendment people, such as President Obama, frame the issue as whether corporations are people. That is not the issue. The issue is whether First Amendment protections apply to corporations. The answer to that question is clearly yes under almost every Supreme Court decision ever issued.

    When you look at the issue properly, that carpool argument is totally absurd, even ignoring all the other arguments you could make to argue it’s absurd (like the car pool statute mean human beings).

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  54. 54

    I see Norm Stamper is calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment. Ironic that the police chief who proved people need to have a right to defend themselves, because they cannot depend on the police, would call for the end of the right of self defense.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  55. 55
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 53 – Making a case against Obama would take tremendous resources, with a low probability of success. As you know, there is no law in the USA for some.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  56. 56

    This ad would be a lot more effective if they noted that they’re not just talking about the Secret Service. It also has Gregory in the ad, and he sends his kids to the same school, taking advantage of the same very high security.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  57. 57
    Doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 56

    That ad’s going to backfire in a big way. The NRA are really not doing themselves any favors.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  58. 58

    RE: Doug @ 57 – I would have aimed it at Gregory, and that way you could point out the guards, mention there’s also SS protection, and mention that he’s a criminal that was not prosecuted under existing gun laws.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  59. 59
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 58 – As you have supported, there are laws and then there are laws. You are one of the biggest proponents of a two-tiered justice system on this board. Prosecuting Gregory would take too many resources, and the outcome would be in doubt anyway. How does that sound?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  60. 60
    Doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 58

    You really think that prosecuting/crying hypocrisy on David Gregory displaying an unloaded extended clip is going to get people to forget Newtown, and all the other mass shootings of the past few years? I mean, sure, it might be hypocritical, up for debate. Pointing out a single instance of hypocrisy doesn’t invalidate an entire argument. He’s not even a politician, and it’s not even a good attack. While the AG might not recognize intent in a case like this, the average person sure as hell does. And that’s who this ad is trying to sway, right?

    Also, they sure jumped the gun. It looks like Obama wasn’t being hypocritical at all. I agree with him fully: each school should make the decision as to whether they should have armed guards on the premises. Furthermore, they should golly well be police officers, trained to deal with schools, not armed teachers and yahoos off the street.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  61. 61

    RE: Doug @ 60 – The point is they don’t prosecute the laws on the books that are there today. Break the law and you get an exclusive interview with President Obama.

    99.9999% of the people with clips of the type to be banned are aren’t any more likely to do anything bad with them than Gregory. And the remaining people will still be able to get them. It’s a pointless law that is being proposed that just fills a political agenda rather than actually protecting anyone.

    And again, in any case, the two largest mass killings in US history didn’t involve guns. You’re not going to stop mass killing with gun control.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  62. 62
    Doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 61

    No one’s saying all mass killings will stop if guns controls are tightened.

    Gun proponents always point to the Japan anthrax killing as some kind of significant point. What’s more illuminating is the murder rates of countries vs the number of guns circulating in the populace.

    It’s pretty defeatist to say that there’s so many dang guns around that we might as well just give up before we start. In my opinion it’s more important to get rid of the gunshow loophole than banning extended magazines.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  63. 63

    RE: Doug @ 62 – It depends on how they get rid of the gun show loophole. If that’s registration, it’s a no go.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  64. 64
    Doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 63

    I don’t really give a good godgolly how they do it. It needs to be closed. We prevent people from buying cold medicine, but we can’t prevent criminals from buying an anti-material rifle or semi-auto at a gun show? We register people to vote, and prevent felons from voting. Same should go for guns.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  65. 65
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Doug @ 64 – Why can’t I own a missile launcher?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  66. 66

    RE: Doug @ 64 – Have you somehow not noticed the war on drugs, and how despite a lot of effort there are still drugs available everywhere?

    If your method of reducing gun violence is to reduce the supply, it’s going to fail. All you do is interfere with legitimate transactions. But if your really want to hit on that, how about prosecuting those felons who get rejected first trying to buy a gun through normal channels? My understanding is that seldom if ever happens. Sort of like how Gregory didn’t get prosecuted. What gun control advocates want is laws that restrict what people can do, but they don’t care at all if those laws then get enforced. That’s too difficult.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  67. 67
    Doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 66

    i don’t think it’s analogous. People don’t get addicted to guns.

    The ATF *does* arrest many, many people who both buy and sell guns illegally.

    I’ve yet to see why closing the gun show loophole and the online loophole is such a burden on law-abiding citizens.

    I think we can agree that the chief way to reduce violent crime is overall societal change, largely outside the scope of politics. Indeed, violent crime rates and murder rates are at near record lows in the US, and it’s not driven by any domestic policy.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  68. 68

    By Doug @ 67:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 66 – i don’t think it’s analogous. People don’t get addicted to guns.

    I’ve yet to see why closing the gun show loophole and the online loophole is such a burden on law-abiding citizens. .

    I agree it’s not analogous. Drugs need to be replenished on practically a weekly basis, where the supply of guns lasts for decades. That shows how futile it is to try to control supply.

    As to the burden, I said it would be okay as long as it didn’t involve registration, and I’ll add that it is part of the Instacheck system.

    You need to understand that at one point the Seattle Stupid Council had a stated goal of making Seattle a gun free zone apparently so that we can have murder rates on par with Chicago. Registration is the first step toward confiscation.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  69. 69
    Doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 68

    “You need to understand that at one point the Seattle Stupid Council had a stated goal of making Seattle a gun free zone apparently so that we can have murder rates on par with Chicago.”

    Why do I ‘need to understand’ this? Why are you bringing up things that are not part of Obama’s plan? Is it because you actually agree with some of it?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  70. 70

    RE: Doug @ 69 – It pertained to the registration will eventually lead to confiscation comment.

    The “gun show loophole” isn’t really about gun shows. It’s about sales between private citizens. One way to enforce a law which requires background checks between private citizens is to require registration of guns. Of course, that would have kept the killer in Newtown from stealing his mother’s guns. /sarc

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  71. 71
    Doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 70

    I’m not buying into that slippery slope argument re: confiscation.

    Gun sales between private citizens probably _should_ be restricted. Otherwise why bother even having a law that felons can’t possess guns? There’s lots of things that can’t be sold indiscriminately.

    “Of course, that would have kept the killer in Newtown from stealing his mother’s guns. /sarc”

    It might be applicable to Aurora. Not to mention, I still fail to see how it’s infringing upon law-abiding citizens. Want a gun? You gotta wait a few days. Most gun deaths aren’t shooting sprees.

    The increased provisions for mental health goes more towards Newtown than the gun show law. Closing the gun show loophole is just common sense.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  72. 72

    RE: Doug @ 71 – When the City of Seattle converted the police from revolvers to Glocks, the Seattle Stupid Council didn’t want the officers to have their old guns. The police department wanted to give the officers a choice, in part because the officers are required to carry when off duty, and their existing gun was something familiar that they had an existing method for of concealed carry. The City of Seattle destroyed them instead, rather than sell them. But no, there’s no reason to think that such politicians would try to confiscate guns.

    Earlier, state law required guns lost or confiscated to be auctioned. The City of Seattle acted knowingly in violation of state law and refused to sell them. But no, there’s no reason to think that such politicians would try to confiscate guns.

    Most recently, the prior mayor of Seattle tried to illegally prevent guns from being carried in city parks, even though the state Attorney General issued an opinion that the city could not do that. The Supreme Court eventually agreed with the AG. But no, there’s no reason to think that such politicians would try to confiscate guns.

    And finally, again the stated policy of the Seattle Stupid Council at one point was to make Seattle a gun free zone. But no, there’s no reason to think that such politicans would try to confiscate guns. They probably just thought they would evaporate when a law was passed!

    Anti-gun politicians will go to any length to impose adverse conditions on gun owners, even if such conditions will do nothing to stop what they are worried about.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  73. 73
    Doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 72

    So you basically have no problem with the law as written.

    Your opposition is mostly based on implications, and inferences from attempted political actions from back in the 90’s. I would side with you on the cases you’ve stated, FWIW.

    Nickels was stupid to try to override state law, and he should have known it.

    None of this has any relevance to Obama’s guns plan, except that it’s given you a general distrust of government. That’s probably healthy, but sometimes you have to take things one at a time. i don’t see the problem with anything he’s proposing.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  74. 74

    By Doug @ 73:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 72 – So you basically have no problem with the law as written.

    Not sure which law you’re talking about. Existing Washington state and federal law? By and large no, although some of it is ineffective and some of it is unfortunately under-enforced. Obama’s proposal? I haven’t fully analyzed it, but much of what I have seen is ineffective.

    I wouldn’t be opposed to some type of a law that required gun shows, defined in a way to cover people actually coming together, to have access to the Instacheck system, but I don’t know who would pay for that, or how the organizers would possibly control it. Somehow I’m not remembering reports of many mass killings where the guns were bought at true gun shows.

    What we need are some proposals that will work, rather than feel good legislation for the anti-gun crowd. Remember when that bus fell off the Aurora bridge onto some apartments, and a few people died. That was caused by a guy with a gun. After that some Congressman proposed legislation that would make it illegal to bring a gun on a bus. I don’t know how stupid some politician would be to actually believe that one additional law would have helped that situation. I doubt he is that stupid, he just wanted to propose anti-gun legislation as a feel good measure.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  75. 75

    The press is apparently only just just discovering that gun control is not a Democrat vs. Republican issue. Most members of the press though are rabidly anti-gun, so they don’t understand the issues involved.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  76. 76

    All I can say about this Obama effort is wow! For this he doesn’t even get to be called President Obama by me.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/01/18/videos-of-children-reading-letters-on-gun-violence/

    Yes, we should develop our nation’s policies based on the thoughts of elementary school children.

    On the other hand, their ideas probably cannot be much worse or more ineffective than the ideas thought up by VP Biden. ;-)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  77. 77
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 76 – Ha! he’s just kidding around. If Obama really wanted gun control, he would use a simple three step approach:
    1) He would personally make an impassioned speech in front of the House of Representatives about the need for protecting the 2nd amendment.
    2) All the video letters would be about the right to have a gun, and all would be read by 17-18 year old African-American males.
    3) Wait for the Republicans in Congress to outlaw guns completely.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  78. 78

    RE: whatsmyname @ 77 – So are you saying that President Obama is trying to strengthen the First Amendment by attempting to restrict Free Speech and Freedom of Religion? Very cleaver! That strategy though has quite a cost for some when it comes to the Fifth.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/09/30/anwar-al-awlaki-and-why-president-barack-obama-is-right-to-kill-u-s-citizens.html

    (BTW, read the last paragraph of that article.)

    I guess it worked with Obamacare and the 10th Amendment. Very seldom are there decisions restricting the power of the federal government based on that amendment, but we managed to get one.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  79. 79
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 76 – I am trying to find the videos of limbless and disfigured Iraqi and Afghani kids, reading letters on bomb and missile violence.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  80. 80
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 78 – My comment wasn’t really about Obama. I’m glad you noticed the Obamacare parallel, though.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  81. 81

    Apparently Gregory isn’t going to be charged with having an illegal magazine, even though another citizen of DC was charged for having two unloaded 22 magazines which came with his Glock (I wasn’t aware Glock made 22s).

    But the reason I’m posting is Gregory clearly has no integrity as a journalist. Today on Meet the Press he was critical of the NRA ad about the Obama children, and even showed an edited clip, but failed to initially mention that he was a target of the ad that he was criticizing (and yes, the editing of the ad edited him out).

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  82. 82
    Scotsman says:

    The rise, fall, and rebirth of Sweden. What many U.S. leftists hold up as a utopia is now much more conservative than many know. For example, school vouchers and free choice of competitive schools for all. That would never pass in the U.S.:

    http://predicthistunpredictpast.blogspot.com/2013/01/normal-0-false-false-false-en-us-x-none.html

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  83. 83
  84. 84
    David Losh says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 82

    I woke up this morning thinking the exact same thing about the United States.

    In one of the debates Mitt Romney said Obama had invested government money in the company Solyndra. That stuck with me because Mitt was right there was no reason to invest those government dollars just to watch China come in and dump solar panels into the market. While I admire the technology Solyndra brought to the industry there must have been a way for solar panels to compete without massive government expenditure.

    Like Sweden we have a government that ran amock with spending. We’ve spent money we don’t have on thousands of things including Solyndra.

    What we need to do, here, in this country, is start moving some of our government jobs to private sector jobs. Energy is just one of those industries we prop up when we have more than enough incentive to have energy stand on it’s own two feet.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  85. 85
    Doug says:

    RE: David Losh @ 84

    As someone who works in the energy industry, I agree that green energy is being pushed before it’s ready for the spotlight. While we should be using government funds for research of alternative fuels, pushing the adoption of it by law is simply inefficient.

    Look at our home state, where hydroelectricity has been excluded from the list of renewable energy sources, simply because some environmentalists will never like it. Never mind that I’ve been to these facilities, and they spend more time taking care of fish, and ferrying them up and downstream than they do on generating energy.

    News flash: you’ll NEVER make the environmentalists happy, As soon as wind generators (ineffecient, unreliable wind generators) are put up, they’re complaining about the hundred or so birds that die in wind farms. Solar power realistically cannot make up a significant portion of our energy mix at this point in time.

    This is where the privatization of government functions bevomes worrisome. Do we need to be developing new energy sources, and perfecting the harvesting of existing energy sources? Absolutely. And when there’s no market for it, it’s a real and valuable function of government to use funds to spur that research along. Our government’s research has long been a boon for this country, whether libertarians like it or not.

    The exact wrong way to go about it is to use government funds and restrictive regulations to pay existing private companies to use existing crappy tech in an effort to spur their research. Those companies are trying to make a buck using existing tech, not invest money into researching ways to make renewables financially viable.

    In these cases, the profit motive is working against what we want to achieve: making renewables good enough that they can compete somewhat with older, dirtier energy technology.

    It’s like libertarians and environmentalists got together and came up with the worst possible solution.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  86. 86
    David Losh says:

    RE: Doug @ 85

    Energy is just one industry that came to mind, and I do agree about the fish, fish ladders, fisheries, trucking fish up stream, and all the things we go through for the fishing industry. Let’s face it, fish are an industry that has been pretty much depleted. Now we have genetically modified salmon, from fish farms for God sake.

    I’ll disagree a bit about energy because that is an industry that can generate clean resources, but the cost is just too high. I think if we let oil stand on it’s own, and rededicated reasearch dollars to personal solar, and wind that we could get some traction on energy.

    We spend way too much on big projects like wind farms, rather than personal energy resources that can pay for themselves.

    Solar panels are my most striking example of a personal resource, but there are many others.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  87. 87
    Doug says:

    RE: David Losh @ 86

    Personal solar panels usually only pay for themselves with hefty rebates from the government, or private utilities. It’s hard to get data on personal turbines, but they seem to have a very long repayment period.

    Do you have any data that personal wind turbines are better than wind farms? That seems incorrect, and I would bet dollars to donuts that wind farms have a lower cost/kWh than personal turbines. There’s an economy of scale there, where you can locate all your turbines in the windiest areas. And I’m pretty sure that solar research in general is going to be applicable to personal installations and large farm installations (as long as we’re talking photovoltaic, and not solar collector)

    Personal green generation is a great idea, and can help efficiency, but even if widespread, we *still* need a backbone of steady energy. Even the PNW, with its abundant backbone of hydro, needs fossil fuels to be able to meet demand.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  88. 88
    whatsmyname says:

    By Scotsman @ 82:

    The rise, fall, and rebirth of Sweden. What many U.S. leftists hold up as a utopia is now much more conservative than many know. For example, school vouchers and free choice of competitive schools for all. That would never pass in the U.S.:

    http://predicthistunpredictpast.blogspot.com/2013/01/normal-0-false-false-false-en-us-x-none.html

    Yes, we already saw “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  89. 89

    Did anyone else see the irony in a Clinton testifying that they didn’t understand why someone would be concerned about what was said after the Bengazi (sp?) attack?

    Four Americans are dead! What does it matter that the Administration possibly lied shortly prior to an election? That’s irrelevant. /sarc

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  90. 90
    Doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 89

    She quite clearly stated that they gave the best info they had at the time, and information’s still coming out. If they had sat on it, they would have been accused of not responding quickly enough. Gollied if you do, gollied if you don’t.

    ‘Jumping the gun’ isn’t really an offense worth holding months, and months, and months of investigative hearings. I literally don’t know a single person who is concerned about this. Not one.

    And neither, frankly is ‘lying’, not that I think that’s what happened. If lying were worth investigating, we’d have years of material just from Paul Ryan’s convention speech.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  91. 91
    David Losh says:

    RE: Doug @ 90

    Not to mention Mitt Romney jumped the gun with a press conference about the event that added more pressure, and confusion about a statement from the White House. Romney’s mistake maybe even more at the center of the White House responses, but Romney was never challenged, until he lost the debate in October.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/richard-adams-blog/2012/sep/12/romney-obama-libya-strategy

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  92. 92
    Doug says:

    RE: David Losh @ 91

    Very true. Romney said the White House was sympathizing with terrorists on the very day of the attacks.

    Have we heard anyone other than politicians challenging how things went down? Every interview I’ve heard with someone in the intelligence community or high-ranking military said that events such as these are very confused and muddled in the immediate aftermath. Sometimes we *never* know exactly what occurred.

    “Four Americans are dead!” has always been the shrill default response to this, but is this an issue because four Americans are dead, or because in Republican fever dreams, this is their path to impeachment? How many Americans have died in the middle east since we went invaded Iraq? I’ve never thought it was worth it, but the USA made the decision that it was worth American lives over 10 years ago.

    I don’t think we really have a right to be offended by such things any more. If we’re going to say that we are, we should discuss whether we should be there at ALL, not spinning our gears wasting time and money over a timeline of confused military intelligence.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  93. 93

    RE: Doug @ 90 – So she lied again yesterday, and that makes the prior lies okay? Help me understand how a Clinton thinks. ;-)

    Seriously, her getting upset about the death of Americans to deflect answering the question about the information given out is total BS. I wonder how many times she had to rehearse that? More times than: “I did not have violent love with that woman!”????

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  94. 94
    Doug says:

    “So she lied again yesterday, and that makes the prior lies okay? ”

    She lied how?

    And if they did lie (rather than having confused intelligence of an attack that had just happened halfway around the world with conflicting stories coming from the embassies themselves, and the terrorists attempting to deceive and hide their motives), well it’s not ok. It’s also not worth months of hearings in the Senate, who could be fixing their own broken rules. Still, Occam’s razor would suggest to me that this is a case of a confusing situation, not willful deception.

    Politicians lie, or screw up, or genuinely misremember details about things all. the. time. About matters of life or death, even!

    Remember all the claims that ‘no one could have known’ the levees would fail in New Orleans? Bush said it. Greenspan said it.

    Every one knew the levees would fail in a strong hurricane. I lived in New Orleans up until just before Katrina, and everyone knew. there were articles about it in the papers, in Popular Mechanics.

    Was Bush lying to make himself look good? Was he misled? Maybe, maybe not.

    Over 450 people died in Katrina for ever American who died in Benghazi. Moreover, we could have done MUCH more to prevent the tragedy of Katrina than the tragedy of Benghazi.

    There was an investigation of Katrina. the difference was that it made recommendations on how to prevent further disasters. I don’t even know what the Benghazi investigation is trying to drive at, other than yelling at White House officials and desperately trying to catch people in contradictions.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  95. 95

    RE: Doug @ 94 – They didn’t give out the best information they had at the time.

    But in any case, creating another diversion to try to avoid questions about whether you created a diversion in releasing a false report is not acceptable. And pointing to the obvious, that four Americans died, is merely creating a diversion rather than answering the question.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  96. 96

    By Doug @ 94:

    I don’t even know what the Benghazi investigation is trying to drive at, other than yelling at White House officials and desperately trying to catch people in contradictions.

    Well first and foremost it’s aim is to make sure that we don’t have another historic failure as occurred on the Obama Administration watch. Having an ambassador killed is rather rare.

    Secondary is to determine if the Administration purposefully lied to the American people, and if so, why.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  97. 97

    That pesky Constitution, once again getting in President Obama’s way.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/26/business/court-rejects-recess-appointments-to-labor-board.html?_r=0

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  98. 98
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 96 – Yes, let’s hope he doesn’t decide to fabricate a rationale to invade a country in the Middle East. And then laugh about it later.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  99. 99

    Here’s another politician with no respect for the Constitution (assuming you consider the Bill of Rights part of the Constitution) and no respect for the state Constitution or state law.

    http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Councilman-walks-out-of-meeting–188298651.html

    He also apparently isn’t too bright if it never occurred to him that people in front of him might be legally carrying weapons. I love the nativity and ignorance of some anti-gun types. /sarc

    On the plus side it sounds like others in that city’s government are at least trying to make their illegal ordinance legal.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  100. 100

    Since we’re stuck on 99 here . . ..

    The employment data news today actually was surprisingly good, both for January and the end of the year revisions. Now we’re only losing jobs to population growth as a rather small number.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  101. 101
    uwp says:

    Big Government Obama, at it again!

    Total Government Employment, 1980-2013

    (Thousands) *

    December 1980 ( 16,373)
    December 1988 ( 17,736)
    December 1992 ( 18,878)
    December 2000 ( 20,804)
    December 2007 ( 22,376)
    December 2008 ( 22,556) (High)
    December 2009 ( 22,480)
    December 2010 ( 22,267)
    December 2011 ( 21,950)
    December 2012 ( 21,873)

    January 2013 ( 21,864)

    Clinton ( 1,926) Total government jobs created
    Bush ( 1,752) Total government jobs created
    Obama (- 692) Total government jobs lost

    This would be even more striking if you looked at it as a % of population.

    (More depressing data: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/01/our-incredible-shrinking-government/)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  102. 102

    RE: uwp @ 101 – The link doesn’t match the topic. Is that federal government employment or all government employment?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  103. 103
    uwp says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 102
    Link matches general topic: “Huge Government Kenyan Socialist Obama Only Exists in Conservative Minds (and Progressive’s Dreams).”

    Data is from BLS. All government employment. (http://www.bls.gov/webapps/legacy/cesbtab1.htm)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  104. 104

    RE: uwp @ 103 – If it includes state and local employment, that is not controlled by President Obama, not directly anyway. But if you want to give President Obama credit for a horrible economy which forced state and local governments to cut employment, go right ahead. ;-)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  105. 105
    Doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 104

    Some would call that getting local governments under control, as they’ve cut their deficits too!

    Since it was so near and dear to your heart, Kary, what are your thoughts on Obama’s announced contraception plan? And does it change your opinion that he’s a Bill-of-Rights-stomping monster? ;-)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  106. 106

    By Doug @ 105:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 104

    Some would call that getting local governments under control, as they’ve cut their deficits too!

    Since it was so near and dear to your heart, Kary, what are your thoughts on Obama’s announced contraception plan? And does it change your opinion that he’s a Bill-of-Rights-stomping monster? ;-)

    Most state governments don’t have the option of running deficits.

    As to the contraception change, I can only assume that President Obama has only so much effort he can spend attacking the Bill of Rights. Now that he’s also taking on the Second Amendment he has to cut back on his efforts against the First Amendment. ;-)

    Seriously, after reading it I’m not really sure he’s cut back much at all.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  107. 107
    Doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 106

    Well, they run deficits that the federal government fills… But yeah, I could have put that more elegantly.

    I don’t really see how much more he could give on the contraception issue. Using federal funds to cover women so that religious organizations don’t have to cover them seems like a very reasonable compromise. It’s also one he didn’t really have to offer! The Catholics seem happy with the news so far… but it was recently announced.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  108. 108

    RE: Doug @ 107 – I haven’t seen it specified where the funds will come from. But yes a separate policy that would cover these things would be better because that way it’s not connected to the objecting employer. And it makes a lot more sense than President Obama’s original “compromise” which just forced the insurers to pay for it for free. There the religious organizations were still buying the policy that would provide the coverage, but have to somehow just accept as fact that they weren’t being charged for that as part of their premiums.

    Switching away from the religious issues, this policy still is suspect because it is going to screw women without insurance. (No pun intended). The price of contraceptives will rise because of the coverage, and while that probably won’t be that significant for most types of contraception, it wouldn’t surprise me that some will go up a lot if they need to be used in special situations.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  109. 109
    Doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 108

    Well, if you’re taking the tact that the increased demand will increase the cost of contraceptives, that, by definition, means that more people that need contraceptives are getting them. So that sounds like an overall win!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  110. 110

    RE: Doug @ 9 – Are you maybe equating getting set with getting contraceptives? ;-)

    Yes it is an increased demand thing, but focuses more on cost. When you through insurance into medicine, things get absurd because you have a lot of customers who don’t care at all what things cost. The example I’ve used in the past is Prilosec, where the OTC stuff costs about 1/10 of the prescription version, even though they are identical. Also, over the years the cost of Nasonex has skyrocketed, which I assume means it’s become covered by more and more insurance plans.

    It’s the main reason I don’t like Obamacare. When it comes to healthcare costs, Obamacare is like throwing gasoline on a fire, because it’s more insurance and insurance is largely what is driving up costs.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  111. 111

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 110 – Should have read: getting violent love. . . .

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  112. 112
    ricklind says:

    Here’s an interesting site someone shared with me. Interesting concepts about debt and inflationary pressures.

    http://www.peakprosperity.com/crashcourse

    Fel Temp Reparatio

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  113. 113
  114. 114
    David Losh says:

    RE: ricklind @ 112

    This link was posted about a year ago, and I watched the 45 minute version, but the guy, by that time, was wrong in his thinking.

    He’s not an economist.

    He missed the mark on peak energy, and in fact the global economy continues to contract without a collapse, so far.

    That leaves deplete resources which is a direct result of over population.

    What he is not saying is that governments, globally, will have to step up efforts to control the economy with more distribution of resources. That isn’t going to sit well with our capitalist ideals.

    Redistribution of wealth baby, that’s you Carpe Diem.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  115. 115
    ricklind says:

    By David Losh @ 114:

    RE: ricklind @ 112

    This link was posted about a year ago, and I watched the 45 minute version, but the guy, by that time, was wrong in his thinking.

    He’s not an economist.

    He missed the mark on peak energy, and in fact the global economy continues to contract without a collapse, so far.

    That leaves deplete resources which is a direct result of over population.

    What he is not saying is that governments, globally, will have to step up efforts to control the economy with more distribution of resources. That isn’t going to sit well with our capitalist ideals.

    Redistribution of wealth baby, that’s you Carpe Diem.

    I wish this site would allow comments within quotes. The Tim, can you fix that?

    Re: Overpopulation is a problem: Too True

    Re: Peak energy and global contraction: I think global contraction is about the best we will see for our lifetimes. The exact timing of peak energy is not as important as the fact of it. May we globally contract rather than fall off a cliff. I would likewise be totally fine with some mysterious new technology which would make this discussion irrelevant.

    Re: Redistribution of wealth: While I think that will possibly happen, most past experiences with this have been disruptive for decades to come. I think a rapid redistribution in our life would be similarly so. I also have zero faith in our current leaders or most privileged class to make the changes. We are seeing a wider and wider gulf between haves and have nots, with a shrinking middle class.

    Best,

    Rick

    Fel Temp Reparatio

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  116. 116
    David Losh says:

    RE: ricklind @ 115

    I agree about the quotes, and there is a plug in for that. I’ll ask another blogger what the plug in is.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  117. 117

    By ricklind @ 15:

    I wish this site would allow comments within quotes. The Tim, can you fix that?

    Like this? Not that hard.

    Re: Overpopulation is a problem: Too True

    Re: Peak energy and global contraction: [Or you could comment like this.]I think global contraction is about the best we will see for our lifetimes.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  118. 118
    David Losh says:

    RE: David Losh @ 116RE: ricklind @ 115

    I got the reply “it’s just some javascript I hacked together. Should all be visible if
    you “view source” but there’s no documentation and it probably won’t
    just work with plain WordPress without modification.”

    So there isn’t an easier plugin for WordPress from what I can see.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  119. 119
    David Losh says:

    I was only kidding about redistribution of wealth, it was a play on the distribution of resources.

    Governments can Nationalize resources, the way they would banking. They have done it before, and can do it again.

    I think full employment is impossible, especially on a global scale. We are in the middle of a globalized work force, but there are also more desperate situations brewing everywhere.

    As the global economy contracts the resources, like food, and shelter will need to become more accessable. We have a mobile global society. Refugees are everywhere.

    Some common sense solutions will have to be found before some group, or groups of terrorists do more damage. I just don’t think we can, or any one can, beat the world into submission. There are just too many people.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  120. 120

    Here’s the Obama Administration’s analysis of why the 4th and 5th Amendment no longer prevent the President from ordering the killing of American citizens.

    http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/msnbc/sections/news/020413_DOJ_White_Paper.pdf

    I haven’t made it through the whole thing yet.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  121. 121
  122. 122
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 121 – We get deeper and deeper into this nightmare. Why not a satellite based laser that can incinerate anyone on Obama’s orders? And if they mistakenly kill your son or daughter, they can blame it on faulty intelligence and all is forgiven.

    “Attorney General Eric Holder, in a talk at Northwestern University Law School in March, endorsed the constitutionality of targeted killings of Americans provided that the government determines such an individual poses “an imminent threat of violent attack.”

    But the memo obtained by NBC News refers to a broader definition of imminence and specifically says the government is not required to have “clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future.”

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  123. 123
    David Losh says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 122

    I don’t think you understand the outrage of the global community over our shock, and awe in Iraq. It culminated in the killing of Saddam’s sons, who were then put on display as dead corpses.

    Saddam died well, on television.

    We are in a different war setting than we were in Viet Nam.

    Should we kill the American terrorist, sure. There is no doubt in my mind we need to kill a whole bunch of really bad people. They kill us, we kill them. It’s war.

    I think Americans are really pampered. This outrage over the children is about 2000 years to late. How many children are killed each year in refugee camps, or by war lords, or militants, or urban firefights caused because some American is overseas finding an outlet for his, or her own beliefs?

    We are giving the President the ability to attack, like Clinton could have done with Osama bin Laden. It’s about time we moved ahead with targeted military actions rather than putting boots on the ground.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  124. 124

    RE: Blurtman @ 22 – If only it were possible to have special forces enter a country and try to snatch the person away. Of course, that is just pure fantasy, so we have to kill Americans on the President’s order. /sarc

    http://www.salon.com/2013/02/04/amusement_park_planned_for_osama_bin_ladens_hideout_partner/singleton/

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  125. 125

    RE: David Losh @ 23 – You’re missing the point. Ordering the death of an American citizen is totally different than the other items you’re mentioning.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  126. 126
    Blurtman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 123 – Oh, I bet I can understand the international outrage over shock and awe.

    And if the king does it, it cannot be wrong, because he is king.

    One small detail is the law of the land.

    One practical detail is the inacuracy of intelligence. Worse, the tendency to twist inteligence.

    Lastly, the flimsy definition of terrorism.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  127. 127

    On the economic front, ethanol is finally getting some focus. We’ll see what Congress and President Obama do.

    http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Ethanol-mandate-target-of-repeal-effort-4254449.php

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  128. 128
    David Losh says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 126

    Sorry man, but terrorism is real.

    There is no law in terrorism. Once you start putting your values on terror you’ve lost.

    I personally think Obama has done the right things.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  129. 129

    By David Losh @ 128:

    There is no law in terrorism. Once you start putting your values on terror you’ve lost..

    Once again you have things bass ackwards. Once your values have sunk to those of the terrorists, the terrorists have won. In this particular case, they’ve destroyed our 4th and 5th Amendment rights.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  130. 130
    Blurtman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 128 – I am sure you have a wardrobe full of brown shirts.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  131. 131
    David Losh says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 130

    Brown shirts were boots on the ground kind of guys, and gals.

    I recognize that we live in a brutal world, and if we don’t kill this American, more Americans will be recruited, because we can’t touch them.

    That’s ridiculous.

    “The unclassified memo says it is legal for the government to kill U.S. citizens abroad if it believes they are senior al-Qaida leaders continually engaged in operations aimed at killing Americans, even if there is no evidence of a specific imminent attack.”

    I agree.

    The minute we stop our pursuit of terrorists, because one of them is an American that’s when it all turns against us.

    We should find him, and kill him. We should have done it a long time ago.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  132. 132

    RE: David Losh @ 31 – Your blind support of anything President Obama does is troubling. President Obama thinks he has the power to kill American citizens with the stroke of his pen. Currently he limits that power to American citizens outside the borders of the United States. Perhaps that’s to encourage more tourist activity within the country, because doing that you don’t risk being killed! But given this president’s outright hatred for anything in the Bill of Rights, I really have to wonder how long he’ll maintain that limitation, or what additional parts of the Bill of Rights he’ll start attacking.

    The man is extremely dangerous because he’s on a huge power trip. The worst power trip of any president since Nixon.

    BTW, I will say I don’t go as far as Blurtman on this issue, where he’s seemingly totally against the use of drones. I don’t have trouble with using drones to kill non-American terrorists, although doing so in situations where civilians are at risk, or in countries where we don’t have troops, that’s problematic. Non-American terrorists outside the US have no protections under the Bill of Rights. I would also note that these issues existed back in the Bush administration, but not to the same extent.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  133. 133
    Blurtman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 131 – I sleep easily knowing that someone like George W. Bush could be making that call.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  134. 134
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 132 – Define ‘terrorist.”

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  135. 135

    By Blurtman @ 134:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 132 – Define ‘terrorist.”

    That has to be simple, right? After all, we’ve now killed AQ’s #2 about 10 times in the past 20 months.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  136. 136
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 132

    Your delusional if you think this is Obama talking.

    This is a military request that most Presidents have ignored.

    Israel routinely assassinates people.

    Clinton was asked if the military could kill Osama Bib Laden. Clinton hestitated, for hours, and the moment passed. In hindsight that was probably a lost opportunity.

    The military has been asking for targeted warfare since Viet Nam.

    What is so hard to get about this? What we did in Iraq was illegal, what we did in Afganistan was illegal, what we do in South America is illegal, but killing an American terrorist is where you draw the line.

    We need to kill the guy, and move on, it shouldn’t be a discussion. We need to hunt down and kill the people who attacked the embassy in Benghazi, that really shouldn’t be a discussion.

    It seems to me that all of this bleeding heart Republican concern is absurd.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  137. 137

    I don’t know if this is conservatives being stupid, or liberals being stupid.

    http://www.komonews.com/news/local/State-lawmakers-weigh-nonparental-visitation-190099171.html

    How can anyone possibly think that the state should control which family members have access to a parent’s child?

    What’s bizarre about this is I think over half the states have passed such legislation. Sickening abuse of government power.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  138. 138
    David Losh says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 33

    OK, you have a point there. I’ll give that more thought.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  139. 139

    By David Losh @ 36:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 132 – Israel routinely assassinates people.

    Clinton was asked if the military could kill Osama Bib Laden. Clinton hestitated, for hours, and the moment passed. In hindsight that was probably a lost opportunity. .

    None of that has squat to do with the Bill of Rights. Israel is not restricted by the Bill of Rights. Killing OBL in a foreign country is not restricted by the Bill of Rights.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  140. 140
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 135 – If you speak out against the USA and exhort listeners to attack the USA, are you a terrorist, and can Obama kill you?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  141. 141

    By Blurtman @ 140:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 135 – If you speak out against the USA and exhort listeners to attack the USA, are you a terrorist, and can Obama kill you?

    I’ll respond the same way I responded to David. If this hypothetical person is not a US citizen, and not on US soil, then the Bill of Rights is not implicated.

    For that hypothetical I’d focus more on the country. If that person is in Afghanistan, where we have an active military involvement, I’d see minimal problem with such an attack. And I’ll go so far as to say that Pakistan is probably okay too, because we probably have Pakistani government permission for those attacks. But does anyone think that President Obama would order such a drone strike in Russia or China? There’s more than just the Bill of Rights as an issue, but that’s what I’ve been focusing on.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  142. 142
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 141 – If this person is a US citizen?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  143. 143

    By Blurtman @ 142:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 141 – If this person is a US citizen?

    If he is a US Citizen, I think the answer is clearly no. Due process is required, and I haven’t seen a single aspect of the Administration’s procedures which is designed to comply with due process. I’d have to do some research, but I think they may even have more protections in place to wiretap a communication between someone in the US and a suspected terrorist than they have in place to kill a US citizen.

    I would add that I’m not sure there is anything they could do to comply with the Due Process clause that is short of a public trial before an Article III judge.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  144. 144
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 143 – But this did not happen with Anwar al-Aulaqi.

    And what about free speech?

    And does speaking out against the USA also legally result in a death sentence for your children?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  145. 145

    RE: Blurtman @ 144 – I know that did not happen.

    And yes, Free Speech rights are implicated too, and although Free Speech is not an unlimited right, I have a hard time envisioning speech that would be so bad that the government could kill a citizen without a trial.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  146. 146
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 145 – Do you think saying “Kill the bankers!” is protected? I mean, if the financial system is so fragile, might that speech be regarded as terro……………………[Sound of large explosion.]

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  147. 147
    David Losh says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 133

    OK, I gave it some thought and the Bill of Rights argument is ridiculous.

    It’s called Treason: “The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason.”

    “The United States Code at 18 U.S.C. § 2381 states “whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.”

    Congress can, and should set a punishment of death to a terrorist asking others to kill Americans.

    As to who holds that kind of power it is a very slippery slope. You’re right, I would never want a nimrod like Bush having that type of power, but I do think Congress should clarify the issue, and set some standards.

    Drones better, boots bad.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  148. 148

    By David Losh @ 147:

    RE: Blurtman @ 133

    OK, I gave it some thought and the Bill of Rights argument is ridiculous. .

    Perhaps before you make claims that an argument is ridiculous you should perhaps do a bit more research and realize: (1) That we have a system of government that has three branches with different powers; and (2) That there typically is a right to a jury trial in front of an Article III judge. You might also want to research this incident, where the government mistakenly thought it had the power to execute citizens without a trial.

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

    Do you have any idea what “Due Process” means? I can tell you what it doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean the President of the United States sitting in the Oval Office and ordering the death of an American citizen because they have ties to terrorist organizations. Even the Administration claims something more than that is required.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  149. 149
    David Losh says:

    Yeah, consent of Congress, but we need to kill him.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  150. 150

    By David Losh @ 149:

    Yeah, consent of Congress, but we need to kill him.

    Wrong again!

    I think you may be thinking of the power to wage war.

    Congress and the President cannot join together and order an American citizen to be executed.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  151. 151
    David Losh says:

    It’s called Treason: “The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason.”

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  152. 152
    Blurtman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 151 – Dear Congress, Please declare fraudulent CDO’s to be an act of treason and Kill The Bankers!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  153. 153

    By David Losh @ 151:

    It�s called Treason: �The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason.�

    That’s the punishment. That doesn’t mean the Due Process clause doesn’t require a trial.

    They can also declare the punishment for dealing drugs to be prison or death. That doesn’t mean people accused of that can just be killed without a trial.

    The only trial powers that come to mind that are not part of the Judicial Branch would be the power of the Senate to try an impeachment case.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  154. 154
    David Losh says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 152

    Absolutely bankers, and the international banking system are enemies of the State.

    That’s different from what is going on with terrorists.

    It isn’t really a discussion , or a matter of due process, we need to kill this guy.

    This is war.

    As long as we continue to show weakness we will be under constant attack.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  155. 155
    Doug says:

    Constant attack?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  156. 156
    Doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 153

    Yeah, I think you’re right on the mark there. Not sure why the Supreme Court isn’t deciding this at this moment.

    Question: not on a legal level but on a moral level, why are people so upset with targeted strikes, but barely lift an eyebrow when the U.S. bombs the hell out of cities?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  157. 157
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Doug @ 156 – It has been asked why Obama would not make similar remarks about the thousands of children killed in Iraq by US airpower when he remarked about the Newtown tragedy. But it should be obvious. Borrowing from the Israeli calculus, 1 ‘Merican equals 100 thousand Iraqis. And Imperial Rome makes no errors.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  158. 158
    David Losh says:

    RE: Doug @ 155

    Terrorism doesn’t stop. We are under constant attack, and that is what the White House, and military keep saying.

    Just because we don’t have a bombing every day in the United States doesn’t mean one isn’t planned, and in process.

    Napalm, and agent orange were wrong in Viet Nam the same as invading Kuwait was, or Iraq, or Afghanistan.

    Where was the Republican outrage then?

    Kill some terrorist, in a targeted attack, and that is something to investigate.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  159. 159

    RE: David Losh @ 58 – I don’t know if you’re having a hard time focusing, or what. This isn’t about fighting terrorism generally, or what is allowed or not allowed during war, or whether getting into a war was a good idea or not. This is about whether the President of the United States has the unilateral power to order the execution of a US citizen, and if so, under what circumstances.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  160. 160

    By Doug @ 56:

    Question: not on a legal level but on a moral level, why are people so upset with targeted strikes, but barely lift an eyebrow when the U.S. bombs the hell out of cities?

    I think there are two separate things going on there.

    1. War is more acceptable somehow. Killing another person is not generally acceptable, but when exceptions are mentioned, soldiers killing another soldier is usually one of the first mentioned.

    2. War is getting more “civilized.” We used to drop hundreds of bombs to hit one target, and those off target bombs would likely kill or injure a lot of people. During WWII we even had bombing runs designed to destroy entire cities. That wouldn’t be acceptable now. So war is moving in the “right” direction.

    This in contrast is something possibly entirely new, and if so, something moving in the wrong direction. Name one other example of a US President carrying out the execution of a US citizen without any court involvement. I can’t think of a single example, but maybe there is one.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  161. 161
  162. 162
    David Losh says:

    “In a way that Bush did not, Obama has sought congressional approval of laws that he then uses as the basis of many of the counterterrorism policies he has carried over from his Republican predecessor.”

    From the same article:

    “A newly surfaced Justice Department memo from 2012 outlined the Obama administration’s decision to kill al-Qaida suspects without evidence that specific and imminent plots were being planned against the United States. At Thursday’s hearing, Brennan defended the missile strikes by the drones, saying they are used only against people who are considered active threats to the U.S. — and never as retribution for earlier attacks.”

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  163. 163
    Blurtman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 162 – “Slam dunk, he’s an active threat. Slam dunk.”

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  164. 164
    David Losh says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 163

    Not a slam dunk, and that’s why the memo is in Congress.

    We do need to shift the focus of the war on terror to active threats, you are right about that. Attacks after the fact are fruitless.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  165. 165
    Blurtman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 164 – What would be chilling is the new head of the CIA expressing absolute confidence in killing a US citizen, or any other target, perhaps using the words “slam dunk,” and being as tragically wrong as George Tenet.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  166. 166
    David Losh says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 165

    There’s no question you raise excellent points about giving our government power to kill who they think are a threat.

    War has changed. I think that what every one glosses over is the fact, the absolute fact that a guy with $500K and a group of other guys killed 3000 Americans, on American soil, in New York city, and slammed a plane into the Pentagon.

    Now the Republicans plan was to bomb Iraq back into the stone age, but we got our ass handed to us as we left there. We went into Afganistan and the only victory we had was killing one guy, Osama bin Laden.

    There is no way to win a war with our WWII mind set. We need to progress.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  167. 167
    ricklind says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 145:

    RE: Blurtman @ 144 – I know that did not happen.

    And yes, Free Speech rights are implicated too, and although Free Speech is not an unlimited right, I have a hard time envisioning speech that would be so bad that the government could kill a citizen without a trial.

    I agree, but we have had some pretty severe legislation about what constituted sedition.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedition_Act_of_1918

    Fel Temp Reparatio

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  168. 168
    ricklind says:

    By Blurtman @ 52:

    RE: David Losh @ 151 – Dear Congress, Please declare fraudulent CDO’s to be an act of treason and Kill The Bankers!

    This is an interesting piece about banking and money laundering.
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/outrageous-hsbc-settlement-proves-the-drug-war-is-a-joke-20121213

    Selective enforcement is nothing new but this is amazing in a not good way. To tie this laundering of millions to billions to terrorism, please see Title III of the Patriot Act:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriot_Act#Title_III:_Anti-money-laundering_to_prevent_terrorism

    If corporations are people, and they launder money to support terrorism, does that mean we’ll be seeing drones take out banks?

    Reparatio Republicae

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  169. 169

    RE: ricklind @ 167 – Correct me if I’m wrong, but nothing there involved punishment without trial, let alone execution without trial.

    Interesting though that even back in the early 20th Century you couldn’t count on the press to be on the right side of an issue, or even cover it impartially. I’ve been shocked recently about the coverage of the topic of corporate speech, but apparently the press has a long history of being on the wrong side of things.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  170. 170

    So far I’ve watched Meet the Press and Fox News Sunday. Interestingly, I see the world returning to normal. It’s the Democrats (e.g. Feinstein) that are actually trying to support the Bill of Rights, even with a sitting President in office. The Republicans are against having a special court set up to deal with some of these issues, because they somehow equate killing American citizens in foreign countries to be part of the President’s war powers. They might have been right–if the Bill of Rights hadn’t been enacted at the same time as the Constitution.

    Anyway, good to finally see Democrats being in support of greater rights under the Bill of Rights. If only we had a President that knew something about the Constitution. /sarc

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  171. 171

    I finally watched This Week w/ George S. (thank you KOMO for delaying that to 4:00 p.m.), and was a bit shocked that the only mention of drones killing American citizens was in one of the Sunday Funny clips–part of Conan’s monologue if I remember right.

    What they did say, which sort of connects up with that, is that the press has really been ignoring the drone strikes. The two Colbert clips I posted above are probably more coverage of drones than what’s been given on the broadcast networks.

    And connecting up to that, Colbert joked that by killing suspects rather than taking them to Gitmo, President Obama doesn’t have to worry about Habeas Corpus because after a drone strike you usually can’t even find the corpus. In questioning Brennan, one of the Senators made the claim that the Obama Administration has only captured one high level AQ operative in the past four years.

    Finally, I would also note that of the three Sunday news shows, only one mentioned the word “impeachment” and that was in the context of claiming that if President Bush had used drones as much as President Obama has been, that some would be screaming for his impeachment. Apparently killing an American citizen without any Due Process doesn’t give rise to the same concerns, even by those opposed to the drone strikes.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  172. 172
    ricklind says:

    I am researching an historical and economic question.
    Can anyone identify a time where the net effect of a government pumping money into the economy did NOT result in inflation. Serious question. Thank You.

    Inflation followed:
    Greek Athens and Peloponnesian war currency.
    Roman currency “reforms” of Marcus Aurelius
    Reforms of Diocletian
    Reforms of Constantine
    Retreat by Roosevelt from Bretton Woods gold standard, nationalized gold.
    Nixon’s further retreat from gold.

    We are in the middle of Quantative Easing round IV (QE4) and while the market goes “up,” reportedly the inflation level is low. This low inflation conclusion runs counter to every historical precedent I have studied. I have eliminated outliers such as the Weimar Republic, Argentina, and Zimbabwe’s experiences with hyperinflation.

    Am I missing something here?

    Thank You.

    Fel Temp Reparatio?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  173. 173

    RE: ricklind @ 72 – Good question. What about Japan? Just a guess.

    In the past I’ve said inflation is the way out of the national debt problem. If that was the plan, it would have made more sense to do that before the Fed loaded up on long term mortgage debt.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  174. 174
    David Losh says:

    RE: ricklind @ 172

    Of course they were looking for inflation, and you’re right by all historical standards it should have happened.

    There was a guy named Michael Surkan who used to comment here who warned about that all the stimulus would only cause deflation. I don’t understand the mechanics of it.

    Other bloggers call varies government stimulus a currency war, which I don’t buy into.

    What I know is that we have global unemployment and shifting populations. People are looking for work anywhere, and everywhere. People are settling for lower wages, less benefits, or even pay cuts to keep jobs.

    Printing money has created speculation which generates profits without productivity. There is nothing in there that can get us to inflation. For sure building more housing units isn’t going to stimulate the economy.

    So, it looks to me we will need a new economy, one different from historical norms.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  175. 175
    Blurtman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 174 – Aside from the possibility of massaged and bogus metrics, there has been proposed the idea of a creeping or perhaps stagnant velocity of moolah slowing inflation. This belief has been suggested by certain sects of the Moolah faith. Moolah! Moolah, Moolah!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  176. 176
    Doug says:

    RE: David Losh @ 174

    It seems to me like free trade has been too successful:

    Companies become too efficient at producing goods, cutting off whole countries from whole sectors of production. With such efficiency, not many people need be employed, creating a global labor glut that forces people to work for poverty wages. The massive profits of these hyper-effecient companies are only dsitributed to a handful of people, who generally don’t use enough of the profits for investment, simply squireling it away. That money squireled away in tax havens is money lost to the global economy.

    In the meantime, people spend less and less, recycling more goods second-hand, pirating or forgoing entertainment, putting off or forgoing vacations, weddings, big-item purchases.

    Distribution of income and the raiding of the middle class, plus the ironic lack of competition that the lack of trade barriers creates are the root causes bringing down the global economy. I don’t think we can fix things without addressing this.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  177. 177
    Doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 71

    Here’s the thing, Kary. I don’t think the media is covering drone strikes because the American people don’t care. I don’t know anyone personally who gives a rat’s behind about it. (I should stress that I DO care about it.)

    Once a good chunk of the populace said we’re fine with invading a country under false pretenses, we’re fine with torturing people, we’re fine with dropping bombs willy-nilly, we’re fine with warrentless searches and wire-taps, a lot of people turned the corner. They don’t care about your bill of rights, they don’t care about the constitution. They don’t even really know what’s IN them. Those documents look quaint, idealistic and trite after we’ve accepted “we’re going to torture people, we just won’t call it torture.”

    We said it was fine for Federal agents to kick in doors on American soil without a warrant or identifying themselves and shoot any people (or dogs) who resist. That’s almost indistinguishable from allowing the assassination of U.S. citizens, IMO.

    After 12 years of jingoism and the insulting premise that if you don’t support torture, aggressive wars, and the killing of civilians, you don’t support our soldiers… are we surprised that the American public doesn’t care about drones?

    Bush won. He painted the peaceniks as anti-American, had the press sniveling about which politician had the most/biggest/most garish American flags and flag pins. Bush signed a package of laws removing Americans’ constitutional rights and called it ‘Patriot’ic. He expanded executive privilege, and anyone who warned of the consequences was dismissed as naive, anti-American, a traitor.

    “Give me liberty or give me death” became “You really don’t have any civil liberties if you’re dead.”

    Obama just ran with the ball he was given. I hate him for it. But Bush and his jingoism made it impossible to run as an anti-war, anti-military-expansion presidential candidate.

    Maybe in 2016 we’ll get a president who’s willing to dismantle the Patriot Act and restore our civil liberties. It’s kind of up to us as the American people to demand that. I haven’t really seen the will for that out of ourselves, and it makes me very sad indeed.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  178. 178

    RE: Doug @ 177 – I would agree with most of that post. I seem to recall surveys where if you ask people questions that pertain to the Bill of Rights, that they are against those rights. So yes, people don’t care.

    As to your last paragraph, I think the saying that applies is power corrupts. President Obama is on a huge power trip, and you’re right, President Bush paved the way for him. And the American people don’t care.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  179. 179

    RE: Doug @ 76 – I think one huge factor that is affecting the world economy and causing huge changes is the increased capabilities of transportation. Things can be made anywhere right now, as the 787 (sort of) proves. Add to that improved communications, and things can be done anywhere now. Both those things put the US worker under incredible pressure. We have to rely on better education after having not properly funding education for decades.

    As an example of the transportation issue, back when I was in high school I worked produce at Safeway. Fruits and vegetables were much more seasonal back then. Now they ship them in from all over the place.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  180. 180
    Doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 178

    I agree. Obama could have had his DOJ prosecute the patriot act, or let it expire, and he could have made closing Gitmo a priority. All his explanations for these things are half-hearted at best. Sometimes he doesn’t even deign to give a proper explanation.

    I wrote it off as playing politics in his first term. He doesn’t even have that (horrible) excuse now. Either he’s in love with the power, or he’s trying to establish his legacy or… I don’t know what else.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  181. 181
    Doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 79

    Yeah, we have to completely overhaul our education system. We need kids to be educated to their strengths and interests from high school on. Contract bachelors’ degrees to average 3 years, focusing on the actual degree.

    Absolutely, positively, drop the wretched “no child left behind” program.

    Of the classes I took for my engineering degree, about half of them mattered. And very few of the ones that didn’t matter were actually enriching. I already like reading poetry, and if I have a desire to do so, I can do it on my own time and discuss it with peers for virtually free. So many classes were filler. Why do I need to learn C++ to be a power engineer? Or biology (i.e. rote memorization of compounds) and chemistry? Why would a computer science major need to study circuit theory? This is in a top-30’s engineering program at the time.

    Padding. Costly padding that hampers our middle class with debt, and delays the entry of our workers into the marketplace.

    We don’t need more classes, we need better classes that are catered to peoples’ skills. Beyond language and mathematics, teaching the fundamentals should be DONE by the time you reach the 9th grade. Don’t like history? Great. take something you’re good at. Knowing about the whiskey rebellion is going to have about zero impact on your life.

    I can’t tell you how freeing it was to go to school for my MBA. “You mean I only have to take BUSINESS classes for my BUSINESS degree? How novel!”

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  182. 182
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Doug @ 177 – Weak on defense is a might weapon. Obama is taking every opportunity to seem anything but. Pragmatism. His brand.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  183. 183

    By Blurtman @ 182:

    RE: Doug @ 177 – Obama is taking every opportunity to seem anything but..

    1. Hagel. Weakest nominee I can remember. I’d expect Hagel to be President Ron Paul’s nominee.
    2. Syria. President Obama went against his advisers (inc. Clinton) on arming the rebels. (For the record, that’s a decision I could probably agree with.)
    3. Libya. “Leading from behind” and the murder of our ambassador.

    Pragmatic, maybe, but I wouldn’t consider him strong on defense.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  184. 184
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 183 – 2. and 3. have nothing to do with defense of the USA.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  185. 185
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 83 – What you mean to be arguing is that Obama is weak on aggression.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  186. 186
    pfft says:

    By ricklind @ 172:

    I am researching an historical and economic question.
    Can anyone identify a time where the net effect of a government pumping money into the economy did NOT result in inflation. Serious question. Thank You.

    Inflation followed:
    Greek Athens and Peloponnesian war currency.
    Roman currency “reforms” of Marcus Aurelius
    Reforms of Diocletian
    Reforms of Constantine
    Retreat by Roosevelt from Bretton Woods gold standard, nationalized gold.
    Nixon’s further retreat from gold.

    We are in the middle of Quantative Easing round IV (QE4) and while the market goes “up,” reportedly the inflation level is low. This low inflation conclusion runs counter to every historical precedent I have studied. I have eliminated outliers such as the Weimar Republic, Argentina, and Zimbabwe’s experiences with hyperinflation.

    Am I missing something here?

    Thank You.

    Fel Temp Reparatio?

    we are in a liquidity trap.

    next.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  187. 187
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 75:

    RE: David Losh @ 174 – Aside from the possibility of massaged and bogus metrics

    there isn’t any possibilty. the inflation stats are all backed up by sources like MIT’s Billion Prices Project.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  188. 188
    pfft says:

    By Doug @ 80:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 178

    I agree. Obama could have had his DOJ prosecute the patriot act, or let it expire, and he could have made closing Gitmo a priority. All his explanations for these things are half-hearted at best. Sometimes he doesn’t even deign to give a proper explanation.

    I wrote it off as playing politics in his first term. He doesn’t even have that (horrible) excuse now. Either he’s in love with the power, or he’s trying to establish his legacy or… I don’t know what else.

    Congress blocked the closing of Gitmo.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  189. 189
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 83:

    By Blurtman @ 182:
    RE: Doug @ 177 – Obama is taking every opportunity to seem anything but..

    1. Hagel. Weakest nominee I can remember. I’d expect Hagel to be President Ron Paul’s nominee.
    2. Syria. President Obama went against his advisers (inc. Clinton) on arming the rebels. (For the record, that’s a decision I could probably agree with.)
    3. Libya. “Leading from behind” and the murder of our ambassador.

    Pragmatic, maybe, but I wouldn’t consider him strong on defense.

    wow. couldn’t be more wrong except about Benghazi.

    A Vietnam vet who was awarded the purple heart twice and served in Committee assignments for foreign policy and intelligence. we can certainly talk about whether he made the correct decisions in government but not whether he has experience for the job.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  190. 190
    pfft says:

    to those who think that obama is hurting business. why is the stock market higher than it’s ever been for ANY president?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  191. 191

    By pfft @ 89:

    A Vietnam vet who was awarded the purple heart twice . . . we can certainly talk about whether he made the correct decisions in government but not whether he has experience for the job.

    I don’t see how that is relevant experience at all for the job.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  192. 192

    By pfft @ 90:

    to those who think that obama is hurting business. why is the stock market higher than it’s ever been for ANY president?

    Artificially low interest rates.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  193. 193
    Doug says:

    RE: pfft @ 188

    That’s not even close to the full picture. In my view he did not make it a high priority, signing executive orders, then letting them lapse without a fight. This is something Obama could have pushed much harder for.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  194. 194
    Doug says:

    RE: pfft @ 90

    I’m not arguing that Obama has been bad for business, but stock market prices are not a particularly good indicator of economic health. The 99% are still flatlining.

    Inflation-adjusted GDP per capita is probably the best.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  195. 195
    David Losh says:

    RE: Doug @ 193

    No he couldn’t, he had, and has much tougher fights.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  196. 196
    David Losh says:

    RE: Doug @ 94

    The Republican response always fails to point out the parts of the State of the Union that conflict with reality.

    We have massive corporate profits, and very high executive pay in corporations. At the same time corporations don’t hire.

    We talk about jobs that the President, and Congress can provide, but the private sector sits on the sidelines.

    It’s extremely significant that Republicans want more oil rights, more research, and less regulation. Republicans continually ask for more from the government then complain about the size of government.

    There is more than enough money sloshing around in the private sector, but the private sector keeps coming back to the government to blame them for the private sectors inability to make money.

    It makes no sense.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  197. 197

    By Doug @ 193:

    RE: pfft @ 188

    That’s not even close to the full picture. In my view he did not make it a high priority, signing executive orders, then letting them lapse without a fight. This is something Obama could have pushed much harder for.

    I don’t think President Obama was in Congress long enough to know how to get things through Congress. It’s somewhat ironic that Senate Democrats are more responsible for the passage of Obamacare and its provisions than President Obama.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  198. 198
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 192:

    By pfft @ 90:
    to those who think that obama is hurting business. why is the stock market higher than it’s ever been for ANY president?

    Artificially low interest rates.

    wait I thought that Obama was bad for business. Remember Vegas!

    rates are right where they should be for a liquidity trap situation.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  199. 199
    pfft says:

    By Doug @ 94:

    RE: pfft @ 90

    I’m not arguing that Obama has been bad for business, but stock market prices are not a particularly good indicator of economic health.

    were you saying that when the market was tanking? it’s not a perfect indicator but it is a good one.

    Greece’s market is in the tank and so is their stock market.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  200. 200
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 97:

    By Doug @ 193:
    RE: pfft @ 188

    That’s not even close to the full picture. In my view he did not make it a high priority, signing executive orders, then letting them lapse without a fight. This is something Obama could have pushed much harder for.

    I don’t think President Obama was in Congress long enough to know how to get things through Congress. It’s somewhat ironic that Senate Democrats are more responsible for the passage of Obamacare and its provisions than President Obama.

    do you know that Obama is no longer a Senator?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  201. 201

    By pfft @ 200:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 97:
    By Doug @ 193:
    RE: pfft @ 188

    That’s not even close to the full picture. In my view he did not make it a high priority, signing executive orders, then letting them lapse without a fight. This is something Obama could have pushed much harder for.

    I don’t think President Obama was in Congress long enough to know how to get things through Congress. It’s somewhat ironic that Senate Democrats are more responsible for the passage of Obamacare and its provisions than President Obama.

    do you know that Obama is no longer a Senator?

    do you know that you are functionally illiterate?

    Nothing I said there would indicate I thought President Obama was still a senator.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  202. 202

    Blurtman is going to love this one.

    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/13/16952708-panetta-announces-medal-for-drone-pilots?lite

    I know the military has awards for bravery. This wouldn’t be that. And they have awards for being injured. This isn’t that. What is the basis for this award?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  203. 203
    ricklind says:

    By pfft @ 100:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 97:
    By Doug @ 193:
    RE: pfft @ 188

    That’s not even close to the full picture. In my view he did not make it a high priority, signing executive orders, then letting them lapse without a fight. This is something Obama could have pushed much harder for.

    I don’t think President Obama was in Congress long enough to know how to get things through Congress. It’s somewhat ironic that Senate Democrats are more responsible for the passage of Obamacare and its provisions than President Obama.

    do you know that Obama is no longer a Senator?

    pfft,
    Do you follow sports? Other than political sports? I’m a Seahawks fan myself, but also follow the Eagles, now that Chip Kelly is coach. I think the spread offense is here to stay, whether you have a running QB or not.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  204. 204
    ricklind says:

    By pfft @ 100:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 97:
    By Doug @ 193:
    RE: pfft @ 188

    That’s not even close to the full picture. In my view he did not make it a high priority, signing executive orders, then letting them lapse without a fight. This is something Obama could have pushed much harder for.

    I don’t think President Obama was in Congress long enough to know how to get things through Congress. It’s somewhat ironic that Senate Democrats are more responsible for the passage of Obamacare and its provisions than President Obama.

    do you know that Obama is no longer a Senator?

    pfft,

    If you read through Dougie Baby’s post carefully, I think you may challenge an idea or two of what you know.
    It reminds me of a bumper sticker, “Don’t believe everything you think.” It took me awhile to figure this out.

    Please do not believe everything you have been told to believe. You have an independent mind.

    Thank You.

    Oh, “Fel Temp Reparatio, ” I almost forgot.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  205. 205
    Blurtman says:

    Clearly the stock market has recovered due to the prior work of George W. Bush, which has laid the groundwork for this “economic recovery.”

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  206. 206
    David Losh says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 202

    Amen Brother to that!

    We aren’t getting any of the regulation we need against these crooks, which I thought was the name of the game. We get some tax increases, but no talk about reworking the tax code.

    Obama is sounding good, but isn’t working to fix the problems that caused a global economic collapse.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  207. 207

    RE: David Losh @ 206 – He also isn’t doing much to create jobs that doesn’t involve the government spending money to create jobs.

    The two exceptions are: (1) Making tax returns easier to prepare–which will undoubtedly create billions and billions of new jobs; and (2) Reducing the corporate tax rate and making other changes to make this country more attractive.

    There actually is room for compromise there, because Republicans want to reduce loopholes to reduce rates. They could get together with President Obama and eliminate loopholes to cut corporate rates. Will that happen? I doubt it.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  208. 208

    By Blurtman @ 205:

    Clearly the stock market has recovered due to the prior work of George W. Bush, which has laid the groundwork for this “economic recovery.”

    LOL.

    I think people in general give Presidents way too much credit and too much blame. The economy is cyclical, and we know about as much about controlling it as people knew about navigation when they thought the world was flat.

    That said, a President can have some marginal impacts both positive and negative. In President Obama’s case I would say he’s mainly negative, Bush was neutral and Clinton was slightly positive (but again gets way too much credit for what happened during his term).

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  209. 209

    Interesting suggestions on what to do with North Korea.

    http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/14/seven-ways-to-get-serious-with-north-korea/

    Apparently no evidence of radioactivity again after this test. With the smaller tests I’d always wondered whether they really just set off large amounts of conventional explosives. I’m still wondering that with this larger test.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  210. 210
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 201:

    By pfft @ 200:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 97:
    By Doug @ 193:
    RE: pfft @ 188

    That’s not even close to the full picture. In my view he did not make it a high priority, signing executive orders, then letting them lapse without a fight. This is something Obama could have pushed much harder for.

    I don’t think President Obama was in Congress long enough to know how to get things through Congress. It’s somewhat ironic that Senate Democrats are more responsible for the passage of Obamacare and its provisions than President Obama.

    do you know that Obama is no longer a Senator?

    do you know that you are functionally illiterate?

    Nothing I said there would indicate I thought President Obama was still a senator.

    great so you know that he’s not a Senator. So why did you make your comment?

    also how do you know this information? source please.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  211. 211
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 5:

    Clearly the stock market has recovered due to the prior work of George W. Bush, which has laid the groundwork for this “economic recovery.”

    somewhat. he did have tarp and start to save the auto industry.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  212. 212
    pfft says:

    By David Losh @ 6:

    RE: Blurtman @ 202

    Amen Brother to that!

    We aren’t getting any of the regulation we need against these crooks, which I thought was the name of the game. We get some tax increases, but no talk about reworking the tax code.

    Obama is sounding good, but isn’t working to fix the problems that caused a global economic collapse.

    I would say that we aren’t getting enough of what we need to solve the problem. Obama did pass the CFBwhatever.

    “no talk about reworking the tax code.”

    that’s not going to add much to economic growth.

    “Obama is sounding good, but isn’t working to fix the problems that caused a global economic collapse.”

    the GOP has decided they are going to oppose everything Obama does so you have to take that into account.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  213. 213
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 7:

    RE: David Losh @ 206 – He also isn’t doing much to create jobs that doesn’t involve the government spending money to create jobs.

    The two exceptions are: (1) Making tax returns easier to prepare–which will undoubtedly create billions and billions of new jobs; and (2) Reducing the corporate tax rate and making other changes to make this country more attractive.

    There actually is room for compromise there, because Republicans want to reduce loopholes to reduce rates. They could get together with President Obama and eliminate loopholes to cut corporate rates. Will that happen? I doubt it.

    reducing corporate tax rates will do almost nothing to create jobs. I dont know where you’ve been but corporations are doing just fine. We already had corporate tax rates lowered and it didn’t do anything.

    this is a demand story.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  214. 214
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 8:

    By Blurtman @ 205:
    That said, a President can have some marginal impacts both positive and negative. In President Obama’s case I would say he’s mainly negative, Bush was neutral and Clinton was slightly positive (but again gets way too much credit for what happened during his term).

    I love your analysis. Bush had 8 years and he rode the economy into the ground but Obama is negative? The guy who came in and cleaned up Bush’s mess? From what I’ve read your arguments that Obama has hurt the economy are just silly. You cite some speech he gave in 2009 and tax rhetoric. Laughable analysis. You said Clinton was positive yet he raised taxes. You say Obama is hurting the economy simply by mentioning he might raise taxes. So I guess thinking about raising taxes is worse than actually raising them?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  215. 215
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 211 – Quite right. And Iraq and Afghanistan were stimulative endeavours.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  216. 216
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 8 – If only the average American realized that no one was really in control. It is just a bunch of role playing, and confusing correlation with cause.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  217. 217
    Blurtman says:

    “If you’re seen as a turncoat or an apostate or a traitor, then that’s bound to have an effect on the mood of the proceedings.”

    No, this is not a quote from the NRA about Ira.

    Small minded, vicious little boobs.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-hagel-confirmation-20130215,0,764640.story

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  218. 218
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 215:

    RE: pfft @ 211 – Quite right. And Iraq and Afghanistan were stimulative endeavours.

    any spending is. not really sure what that’s about. sort of out of left field.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  219. 219
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 16:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 8 – If only the average American realized that no one was really in control. It is just a bunch of role playing, and confusing correlation with cause.

    actually no, we know generally what the affect policy has on the economy.

    for example we’ve know since the 30’s that you don’t cut spending in a downturn. we know that raising taxes on the rich barely hurts the economy. same with capital gains taxes.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  220. 220
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 17:

    “If you’re seen as a turncoat or an apostate or a traitor, then that’s bound to have an effect on the mood of the proceedings.”

    No, this is not a quote from the NRA about Ira.

    Small minded, vicious little boobs.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-hagel-confirmation-20130215,0,764640.story

    country first!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  221. 221

    This guy is entirely inconsistent. He should only oppose legal marijuana if the joint is too big! ;-)

    http://www.cbs12.com/template/inews_wire/wires.national/3fea7c9e-www.cbs12.com.shtml

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  222. 222

    These cameras wouldn’t leave disarmed citizens vulnerable enough for the Seattle City Council. ;-)

    http://www.seattlepi.com/local/komo/article/City-leaders-raising-questions-about-Seattle-4280826.php

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  223. 223

    By pfft @ 10:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 201:
    By pfft @ 200:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 97:
    By Doug @ 193:
    RE: pfft @ 188

    That’s not even close to the full picture. In my view he did not make it a high priority, signing executive orders, then letting them lapse without a fight. This is something Obama could have pushed much harder for.

    I don’t think President Obama was in Congress long enough to know how to get things through Congress. It’s somewhat ironic that Senate Democrats are more responsible for the passage of Obamacare and its provisions than President Obama.

    do you know that Obama is no longer a Senator?

    do you know that you are functionally illiterate?

    Nothing I said there would indicate I thought President Obama was still a senator.

    great so you know that he’s not a Senator. So why did you make your comment?

    also how do you know this information? source please.

    You really are pathetic. How do you look yourself in the mirror?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  224. 224

    By pfft @ 13:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 7:
    RE: David Losh @ 206 – He also isn’t doing much to create jobs that doesn’t involve the government spending money to create jobs.

    The two exceptions are: (1) Making tax returns easier to prepare–which will undoubtedly create billions and billions of new jobs; and (2) Reducing the corporate tax rate and making other changes to make this country more attractive.

    There actually is room for compromise there, because Republicans want to reduce loopholes to reduce rates. They could get together with President Obama and eliminate loopholes to cut corporate rates. Will that happen? I doubt it.

    reducing corporate tax rates will do almost nothing to create jobs. I dont know where you’ve been but corporations are doing just fine. We already had corporate tax rates lowered and it didn’t do anything.

    this is a demand story.

    You really are pathetically stupid. Are you going to deny that different wage levels in different countries or states affect where companies hire? Why would taxes be any different?

    Not to mention that income taxes paid in other countries are generally a credit on US corporate taxes.

    You really missed the entire point President Obama was making, and are arguing against his position, because you’re too stupid to realize what the issues are or what you’re saying.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  225. 225

    RE: pfft @ 14 – Again, you totally missed my point, but in that post you were too stupid to even get the quotes in the right format. Pathetic troll.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  226. 226

    By Blurtman @ 16:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 8 – If only the average American realized that no one was really in control. It is just a bunch of role playing, and confusing correlation with cause.

    People like to think they are in control. We also like to think that we are smarter than those who lived 100 years ago. We may know more things, but we don’t learn from our mistakes. In a way we’re living out many of the same things that our ancestors lived out after the Great Depression, having not learned the lessons from then.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  227. 227

    By pfft @ 19:

    By Blurtman @ 16:
    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 8 – If only the average American realized that no one was really in control. It is just a bunch of role playing, and confusing correlation with cause.

    actually no, we know generally what the affect policy has on the economy.

    for example we’ve know since the 30’s that you don’t cut spending in a downturn. we know that raising taxes on the rich barely hurts the economy. same with capital gains taxes.

    LOL. You claim two falsehoods as being things we know.

    I guess we should correct the terminology here and point out that what you know may not be correct.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  228. 228

    By Blurtman @ 15:

    RE: pfft @ 211 – Quite right. And Iraq and Afghanistan were stimulative endeavours.

    Pfft is so ignorant of economics he probably thinks a dollar spent by government in one way is the same as a dollar spent in any other way.

    Dollars spent on war are probably the least stimulative of any dollars because you take assets and blow them up or otherwise have them destroyed in other countries. You get a little bit of a multiplier effect from those here who build the items, and even less from family members of soldiers who are here buying food, etc., but overall it’s the least beneficial spending for the economy that you could possibly do.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  229. 229
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 219 – So “knowing” in the field of economics and perhaps social policy is not quite the same as “knowing” in the scientific or engineering world. (And even that is not absolute.) There are too many confounding variables, and no lab.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  230. 230
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 28 – It is in the same ballpark as cash for clunkers. You are destroying and depleting things that will be replaced, making moolah for the war tools industry, the contractor industry, and the moneybagging leaches like Halliburton, etc.

    There is also a national objectives policy benefit – you scramble the crap out of the sociopolitical infrastructure of the resources rich patsy, and gain access in the resulting tumult.

    What, you kill innocent people in the process? Hey, you are either with us or against us, pal. And thank you troops for protecting our access to other countries’ natural resoruces, i.e., defending our freedom.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  231. 231
    Doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 97

    That’s…. not ironic at all. It’s appropriate. The legislature crafts bills.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  232. 232
    Doug says:

    RE: pfft @ 99

    Yeah, I WAS saying that when the stock market was tanking. The stock market is whimsical and corrupt, subject to being goosed and mass hysteria.

    If GDP is a better measure of economic health, and GDP per capita even better, why not use those numbers? They are widely available.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  233. 233

    By Doug @ 31:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 97

    That’s…. not ironic at all. It’s appropriate. The legislature crafts bills.

    In the future it would be useful if you would quote what I said when it’s from a prior page.

    My point was the poorly named Affordable Healthcare Act is called Obamacare even though President Obama was very hands off when the bill was being worked through Congress. He just wanted a bill passed, and gave very little guidance as to what the bill should look like or what he would accept. So it’s called Obamacare even though he didn’t have much to do with its provisions. That’s what I find ironic. It probably should be called Snowecare, or be named after some other politician in Congress.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  234. 234

    By Doug @ 32:

    RE: pfft @ 99

    Yeah, I WAS saying that when the stock market was tanking. The stock market is whimsical and corrupt, subject to being goosed and mass hysteria.

    If GDP is a better measure of economic health, and GDP per capita even better, why not use those numbers? They are widely available.

    Because those numbers don’t fit with pfft’s view of the world.

    http://money.cnn.com/2013/01/30/news/economy/gdp-report/

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  235. 235
    Doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 24

    Corporate profits are at RECORD highs. http://money.cnn.com/2012/12/03/news/economy/record-corporate-profits/index.html

    pfft is entirely correct. This is a demand issue. As the wealth concentrates in the upper echelons globally, demand has been reduced. People are making do with less, recycling more. Citizen debt is still way too high. As there’s a demand shortage and low interest and inflation, the wealthy are simply letting their investments idle. Corporations are simply hoarding cash.

    Like I said earlier, global production has become too efficient. There’s no need to hire more people. 7% unemployment lets companies underpay all their workers, skilled, unskilled, blue-collar, white-collar. Most companies could produce more today if there was a demand for the product, but there isn’t.

    This is the end result of all our free-trade agreements: all the world’s products are made by people making slave wages, and next it’s the white-collar jobs. Look at the growth of developing countries vs. developed countries.

    We knew it would happen. Pretending it’s because of high corporate taxes is ridiculous. Corporations are cash-rich. Making them more so won’t make a lick of difference. You’re absolutely wrong.

    Oh, and when the Republicans actually come out with a plan to cut corporate tax loopholes, give me a call. it’s all been mealy-mouthed nonsense so far.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  236. 236

    By Doug @ 235:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 24

    Corporate profits are at RECORD highs. http://money.cnn.com/2012/12/03/news/economy/record-corporate-profits/index.html

    pfft is entirely correct. This is a demand issue.

    I’m not disagreeing with what you said, or that there’s a demand problem, but the topic is whether lower tax rates and other tax reform will help with our employment situation.

    Getting jobs to stay here (or come back) is dependent on a lot of factors, and the taxes paid is one of the main factors, the other two being the cost of labor and quality of the workforce. The US generally loses on the cost of labor and generally wins on the quality of the workforce. So what we need is to have the taxation of business activity in this country be more attractive to help retain jobs and get some new jobs.

    But hey, it’s not terribly often I agree with President Obama on economic matters. So one of us should perhaps reassess our positions. Maybe that should be me, but it very well should be you. ;-)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  237. 237

    RE: Doug @ 235 – BTW, you also should remember I’ve been supporting getting rid of the credit for corporations paying foreign income taxes. We’re basically subsidizing the income taxes of foreign countries, and our high rates allow those foreign countries to set high rates without consequence.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  238. 238
    Doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 236

    No I don’t disagree. If we actually had a serious bill for eliminating loopholes and lowering the overall rate for business taxes, I’d be very much for it. Companies like GE who hire armies of lawyers to skirt tax law should not have a competitive advantage over smaller, or more ethical, businesses. There’s no way companies that enjoy billions in profits should be able to walk away tax free (and often with rebates!) year after year.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  239. 239

    By Doug @ 38:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 236 – No I don’t disagree. If we actually had a serious bill for eliminating loopholes and lowering the overall rate for business taxes, I’d be very much for it. Companies like GE who hire armies of lawyers to skirt tax law should not have a competitive advantage over smaller, or more ethical, businesses.

    But just imagine how many lawyers you’d put out of work. And then they’d layoff their housekeepers, gardeners and poolboys. If you eliminated the estate tax too, we’d probably go into a deep recession. ;-)

    BTW, I don’t consider minimizing taxes to be unethical, as opposed to evading taxes.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  240. 240
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 223:

    By pfft @ 10:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 201:
    By pfft @ 200:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 97:
    By Doug @ 193:
    RE: pfft @ 188

    That’s not even close to the full picture. In my view he did not make it a high priority, signing executive orders, then letting them lapse without a fight. This is something Obama could have pushed much harder for.

    I don’t think President Obama was in Congress long enough to know how to get things through Congress. It’s somewhat ironic that Senate Democrats are more responsible for the passage of Obamacare and its provisions than President Obama.

    do you know that Obama is no longer a Senator?

    do you know that you are functionally illiterate?

    Nothing I said there would indicate I thought President Obama was still a senator.

    great so you know that he’s not a Senator. So why did you make your comment?

    also how do you know this information? source please.

    You really are pathetic. How do you look yourself in the mirror?

    how do you know Senate Democrats are most responsible? simple question. do you know how much work Nancy Pelosi did?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  241. 241
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 24:

    By pfft @ 13:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 7:
    RE: David Losh @ 206 – He also isn’t doing much to create jobs that doesn’t involve the government spending money to create jobs.

    The two exceptions are: (1) Making tax returns easier to prepare–which will undoubtedly create billions and billions of new jobs; and (2) Reducing the corporate tax rate and making other changes to make this country more attractive.

    There actually is room for compromise there, because Republicans want to reduce loopholes to reduce rates. They could get together with President Obama and eliminate loopholes to cut corporate rates. Will that happen? I doubt it.

    reducing corporate tax rates will do almost nothing to create jobs. I dont know where you’ve been but corporations are doing just fine. We already had corporate tax rates lowered and it didn’t do anything.

    this is a demand story.

    You really are pathetically stupid. Are you going to deny that different wage levels in different countries or states affect where companies hire? Why would taxes be any different?

    Not to mention that income taxes paid in other countries are generally a credit on US corporate taxes.

    You really missed the entire point President Obama was making, and are arguing against his position, because you’re too stupid to realize what the issues are or what you’re saying.

    tax rates are at their lowest as a % of GDP in 40 years. next! corporate tax rates don’t really matter. do you remember the bush years? closing loopholes is more about fairness than anything else. it won’t have an impact on the economy.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  242. 242
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 29:

    RE: pfft @ 219 – So “knowing” in the field of economics and perhaps social policy is not quite the same as “knowing” in the scientific or engineering world. (And even that is not absolute.) There are too many confounding variables, and no lab.

    no you are wrong. there are many studies showing the stimulative affects of government spending during a liquidity trap.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  243. 243
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 28:

    By Blurtman @ 15:
    RE: pfft @ 211 – Quite right. And Iraq and Afghanistan were stimulative endeavours.

    Pfft is so ignorant of economics he probably thinks a dollar spent by government in one way is the same as a dollar spent in any other way.

    Dollars spent on war are probably the least stimulative of any dollars because you take assets and blow them up or otherwise have them destroyed in other countries. You get a little bit of a multiplier effect from those here who build the items, and even less from family members of soldiers who are here buying food, etc., but overall it’s the least beneficial spending for the economy that you could possibly do.

    how about some sources?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  244. 244
    pfft says:

    By Doug @ 32:

    RE: pfft @ 99

    Yeah, I WAS saying that when the stock market was tanking. The stock market is whimsical and corrupt, subject to being goosed and mass hysteria.

    If GDP is a better measure of economic health, and GDP per capita even better, why not use those numbers? They are widely available.

    I use them all. btw GDP per capita isn’t the best either!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  245. 245
    pfft says:

    Why do I always ask for sources? Because just because something sounds good doesn’t make it factual. Raising the min. wage will hurt the economy right? NO!

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/16/minimum-wage-economics/#postComment

    Raising taxes will destroy the economy right? NO! remember the 90s?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  246. 246
    David Losh says:

    It’s time for Obama to sit down with Republicans, and hammer out some tax codes, and cut spending.

    It seems the devaluing of our currency was our goal, and now it’s time to be at the forefront of global economic strength.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  247. 247

    RE: pfft @ 41 – When I want economic advice from a moron I’ll ask you for it.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  248. 248

    By pfft @ 42:

    By Blurtman @ 29:
    RE: pfft @ 219 – So “knowing” in the field of economics and perhaps social policy is not quite the same as “knowing” in the scientific or engineering world. (And even that is not absolute.) There are too many confounding variables, and no lab.

    no you are wrong. there are many studies showing the stimulative affects of government spending during a liquidity trap.

    Are you so stupid that you can’t read? Blurtman said that there are too many variables. That there are studies which claim to find things doesn’t change the fact that Blurtman is right.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  249. 249

    By pfft @ 43:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 28:
    By Blurtman @ 15:
    RE: pfft @ 211 – Quite right. And Iraq and Afghanistan were stimulative endeavours.

    Pfft is so ignorant of economics he probably thinks a dollar spent by government in one way is the same as a dollar spent in any other way.

    Dollars spent on war are probably the least stimulative of any dollars because you take assets and blow them up or otherwise have them destroyed in other countries. You get a little bit of a multiplier effect from those here who build the items, and even less from family members of soldiers who are here buying food, etc., but overall it’s the least beneficial spending for the economy that you could possibly do.

    how about some sources?

    How about just thinking?

    Government money spent on highways produces economic benefit for years. Government money spent on bomb that explodes in Afghanistan, not so much.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  250. 250
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 247:

    RE: pfft @ 41 – When I want economic advice from a moron I’ll ask you for it.

    what is funny is that I am pretty nice to you and try to post as many sources and be as thoughtful as possible on the internet. whenever I question you you only respond by calling names. do you have nothing to back up your opinions?

    I can be a jerk too you know?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  251. 251
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 48:

    By pfft @ 42:
    By Blurtman @ 29:
    RE: pfft @ 219 – So “knowing” in the field of economics and perhaps social policy is not quite the same as “knowing” in the scientific or engineering world. (And even that is not absolute.) There are too many confounding variables, and no lab.

    no you are wrong. there are many studies showing the stimulative affects of government spending during a liquidity trap.

    Are you so stupid that you can’t read? Blurtman said that there are too many variables. That there are studies which claim to find things doesn’t change the fact that Blurtman is right.

    prove there are too many variables. there aren’t too many variables. there are just people who don’t like what economics research says.

    how do we know there are too many variables? research?

    we know that stimulus works. We have the ongoing euro crisis. while europe was in the process of enacting stimulus many economists warned this would crush the economy. it did. the economics research was right. it is also something that was known 70 YEARS AGO.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  252. 252

    By pfft @ 50:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 247:
    RE: pfft @ 41 – When I want economic advice from a moron I’ll ask you for it.

    what is funny is that I am pretty nice to you and try to post as many sources and be as thoughtful as possible on the internet. whenever I question you you only respond by calling names. do you have nothing to back up your opinions?

    I can be a jerk too you know?

    It was only two days ago you were calling people here morons.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  253. 253

    By pfft @ 51:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 48:
    By pfft @ 42:
    By Blurtman @ 29:
    RE: pfft @ 219 – So “knowing” in the field of economics and perhaps social policy is not quite the same as “knowing” in the scientific or engineering world. (And even that is not absolute.) There are too many confounding variables, and no lab.

    no you are wrong. there are many studies showing the stimulative affects of government spending during a liquidity trap.

    Are you so stupid that you can’t read? Blurtman said that there are too many variables. That there are studies which claim to find things doesn’t change the fact that Blurtman is right.

    prove there are too many variables. there aren’t too many variables. there are just people who don’t like what economics research says.

    how do we know there are too many variables? research?.

    Back in 2009 President Obama said that unemployment would not exceed 8% with the stimulus. Here’s your link:

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/oct/11/paul-ryan/ryan-obama-promised-unemployment-would-not-exceed-/

    That was based presumably on a study of some type (either that or it was a bald face lie to get billions of dollars spent). You claim it’s because he “didn’t know how bad things were.” Accepting your explanation, his study couldn’t even determine what the current state of economy was or where it was headed. That’s because there are too many variables. Just something a politician says can affect things. Gore complained about what Bush was saying shortly after his defeat, claiming that wouldn’t help the economy. That’s a variable. How could a study possibly track all the things said by politicians over any period of time, and then determine their impact on the economy?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  254. 254

    Rand Paul is claiming that President Obama has refused to rule out the use of drones to kill citizens still located in the United States. He also argued that the citizen (the father) killed was well known and could have been tried in absentia for treason and then killed if convicted and given the death penalty. That would have then allowed President Obama to order his execution. Finally, he argued there was no evidence at all that the 16 year old son had done anything wrong, but he too was executed.

    Lindsey Graham repeated the Republican nonsense that being able to order the execution of US citizens abroad is part of the President’s war powers. That’s great. The Republicans think the President can just declare something that is criminal to be a war and then start killing people. Pathetic.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  255. 255

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 254 – That should have read “has not refused to rule out the use of drones . . ..”

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  256. 256

    McGinn is proving to be just another nutcase Seattle mayor. I think it’s a prerequisite to be elected to the position.

    http://www.king5.com/video/featured-videos/Hundreds-rally-in-Seattle-against-proposed-coal-train-191619051.html

    On this coal train, he’s against it because it will disrupt traffic in Seattle. I can see why he wouldn’t care about jobs outside of Seattle, but I don’t see how he could possibly think he could interfere with interstate commerce.

    He also wants to have the pension boards divest their investments in fossil fuels. That is nothing short of moronic. It will not impact in any way the use of fossil fuels, but it very well could cost those pension funds a lot of money.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  257. 257
    Blurtman says:

    Economics and sociology are not sciences. Anyone who has read about the learned gentlemen postulating theories of humors or vapors to explain obeservable phenomena before the scientific method came on the scene will recognize the same type of likely pleasurable (in a masturbatory way) conjecture in the excerpt from the economics blog below. It’s really a bunck of poppycock, which occassionally coalesces around a consensus that becomes dogma that may be not work and will be ultimately thown out. Or that can be twisted to suit one’s agenda e.g., Laffer. Not science.

    http://econlog.econlib.org/

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  258. 258

    RE: Blurtman @ 257 – I’d never heard the theory that there is more of a multiplier effect to government spending during a recession. As I mentioned, some types of spending have less of a multiplier effect (e.g. military), and some more (e.g. food stamps, unemployment benefits, etc.).

    Some of those with more occur in greater amounts during a recession, but if anything I would think that there would be more of a multiplier when things are good. During good times people would be more likely to spend whatever money they get in from any source.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  259. 259

    Killing American citizens with drones gets a pass from the press, but don’t mess with the press if President Obama is going to be with Tiger!

    http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/18/17004589-obamas-secret-round-with-tiger-woods-prompts-press-complaint?lite

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  260. 260

    In the weekend thread there was some discussion of Iraq, WMD and the Bush administration. Since that thread is old and it’s really political, I’ll post here.

    The issue is coming up again because we’re at an anniversary.

    http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/02/16/how-the-bush-administration-sold-the-iraq-war/

    Warning–not a credible source, so you need to read carefully.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  261. 261
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 253:

    By pfft @ 51:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 48:
    By pfft @ 42:
    By Blurtman @ 29:
    RE: pfft @ 219 – So “knowing” in the field of economics and perhaps social policy is not quite the same as “knowing” in the scientific or engineering world. (And even that is not absolute.) There are too many confounding variables, and no lab.

    no you are wrong. there are many studies showing the stimulative affects of government spending during a liquidity trap.

    Are you so stupid that you can’t read? Blurtman said that there are too many variables. That there are studies which claim to find things doesn’t change the fact that Blurtman is right.

    prove there are too many variables. there aren’t too many variables. there are just people who don’t like what economics research says.

    how do we know there are too many variables? research?.

    Back in 2009 President Obama said that unemployment would not exceed 8% with the stimulus. Here’s your link:

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/oct/11/paul-ryan/ryan-obama-promised-unemployment-would-not-exceed-/

    That was based presumably on a study of some type (either that or it was a bald face lie to get billions of dollars spent). You claim it’s because he “didn’t know how bad things were.” Accepting your explanation, his study couldn’t even determine what the current state of economy was or where it was headed. That’s because there are too many variables. Just something a politician says can affect things. Gore complained about what Bush was saying shortly after his defeat, claiming that wouldn’t help the economy. That’s a variable. How could a study possibly track all the things said by politicians over any period of time, and then determine their impact on the economy?

    ok. by the way their next estimate was spot on.

    “Back in 2009 President Obama said that unemployment would not exceed 8% with the stimulus.”

    the economy was worse than expected in a quarter that hadn’t even happened yet so of course they’d be off. any fool could tell you that. we know from numerous studies what the fiscal multiplier.

    we have proof of what I’m talking about. proven in real time and before it even happened!

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/11/the-imf-and-the-gop/

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  262. 262
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 52:

    By pfft @ 50:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 247:
    RE: pfft @ 41 – When I want economic advice from a moron I’ll ask you for it.

    what is funny is that I am pretty nice to you and try to post as many sources and be as thoughtful as possible on the internet. whenever I question you you only respond by calling names. do you have nothing to back up your opinions?

    I can be a jerk too you know?

    rarely you moron.

    It was only two days ago you were calling people here morons.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  263. 263
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 57:

    Economics and sociology are not sciences. Anyone who has read about the learned gentlemen postulating theories of humors or vapors to explain obeservable phenomena before the scientific method came on the scene will recognize the same type of likely pleasurable (in a masturbatory way) conjecture in the excerpt from the economics blog below. It’s really a bunck of poppycock, which occassionally coalesces around a consensus that becomes dogma that may be not work and will be ultimately thown out. Or that can be twisted to suit one’s agenda e.g., Laffer. Not science.

    http://econlog.econlib.org/

    WRONG! we’ve know that stimulus helps since the 30s. Plus there is the proof we have in Europe. there is tons of economic research that is good.

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/11/the-imf-and-the-gop/

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  264. 264
    pfft says:

    nobody talks about the prediction that was right.

    https://twitter.com/Austan_Goolsbee/status/254203862771171328

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  265. 265
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 263 – So economists have discovered that spending money can buy things. Brilliant!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  266. 266
    Scotsman says:

    RE: pfft @ 263

    Given what you and Kruggy suggest I expect we’ll be seeing this economy take off any day now. Europe too! If we can only get the minimum wage up everybody will benefit. But I really think $20/hr is much more reasonable than the $9/hr proposed. If something works, take it to the limit!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  267. 267
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 266:

    RE: pfft @ 263

    Given what you and Kruggy suggest I expect we’ll be seeing this economy take off any day now. Europe too! If we can only get the minimum wage up everybody will benefit. But I really think $20/hr is much more reasonable than the $9/hr proposed. If something works, take it to the limit!

    even with your time off you are still the worst here.

    “Given what you and Kruggy suggest I expect we’ll be seeing this economy take off any day now. Europe too!”

    really? Is there some large stimulus program I missed?

    “But I really think $20/hr is much more reasonable than the $9/hr proposed. If something works, take it to the limit!”

    pretty much!

    A minimum wage hike will not hurt the economy.

    Studies: Increasing The Minimum Wage During Times Of High Unemployment Doesn’t Hurt Job Growth
    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/06/20/503112/studies-increasing-the-minimum-wage-during-times-of-high-unemployment-doesnt-hurt-job-growth/

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  268. 268
    pfft says:

    oh karrrryyyyy.

    Big health insurance rate hikes are plummeting
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/02/22/big-health-insurance-rate-hikes-are-plummeting/

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  269. 269
    pfft says:

    Just for Kary not only only did I throw insults I also posted facts instead of not answering questions and only throwing insults.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  270. 270
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 269 – Bravo! I will enorse you to your Move On employers, but there is still room for improvement.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  271. 271
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 270:

    RE: pfft @ 269 – Bravo! I will enorse you to your Move On employers, but there is still room for improvement.

    not exactly following you…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  272. 272
    pfft says:

    this isn’t good.

    Obama Is Desperately Trying To Find A Way To Approve The Keystone Pipeline

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/obama-keystone-pipeline-approval-2013-2#ixzz2MA3VxWUy

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  273. 273
    pfft says:

    By pfft @ 268:

    oh karrrryyyyy.

    Big health insurance rate hikes are plummeting
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/02/22/big-health-insurance-rate-hikes-are-plummeting/

    kary you just going to let this sit out there?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  274. 274
    pfft says:

    kary how long are you going to ignore the above? you are very quick to tell me how Obamacare is going to wreak our healthcare system. now it’s crickets?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  275. 275
    Haybaler says:

    ‘If federal, state and local governments were adding their long-term combined average of 20,000 to 25,000 jobs a month, February’s total job gains would have been around 260,000.’

    From this mornings’ commentary about released jobless numbers.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  276. 276
    pfft says:

    By Haybaler @ 275:

    ‘If federal, state and local governments were adding their long-term combined average of 20,000 to 25,000 jobs a month, February’s total job gains would have been around 260,000.’

    From this mornings’ commentary about released jobless numbers.

    we are deep in the hole. we need to add 350,000 jobs a month.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  277. 277
    ricklind says:

    Blurty,
    This is for you. Enjoy.

    Fel Temp Reparatio

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  278. 278
    Blurtman says:

    RE: ricklind @ 277 – Who’s on first? Excellent, and like most good humor, so true.

    The modern banking and central banking system is bogus, obviously. The incredible distortions of today’s economic dilemna have shown that to be so more than ever. It is a grand game of naked emperor. But this is so out of the realm of the average person’s everyday experience, that it continues to operate by the very same ship of fools.

    In times like these, I usually revert to the wisdom of the movies, in particular They Live and Zardoz, a particularly unappreciated sci fi movie. In Zardoz, a future race of evolved beings existed in a biosphere, outside of which labored a less advanced race, who grew the food for the evolved folks, and provided other functions. The evolved race citizens were punished for straying from the rules of their central governing body by being aged. Everyone lived forever, but if you rebelled too much, you might live forever as a 70 year old. Everyone was bored ultimately into comas. Anyway, a few evolved rebels engineered a superior revolutionary from the laborers, who crashed the ebiosphere with his gang of marauders, firing flint lock weapons at the biosphere residents, who welcomed them, and begged them to kill them to put them out of their misery. Sean Connery as the agent of death.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  279. 279
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 278:

    RE: ricklind @ 277 – Who’s on first? Excellent, and like most good humor, so true.

    The modern banking and central banking system is bogus, obviously.

    both are better than the systems we used to have. There are only small fixes we need. We need to return Glass-Steagall and we need the Fed to take underwriting standards seriously. We also need higher capital requirements. The Fed and banking systems are fine otherwise. Don’t believe me? Recessions are both shorter and shallower with the Fed in control. For all of the system’s faults right now our current financial crisis was not anywhere near the Great Depression or other similar events in the 1800s.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  280. 280
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 279 – Right about Glass-Steagall. Thanks, Bill Clinton. But the very make up of the Fed is flawed. Jamie Dimon, for example, should be serving jail time and not be serving on the board of the NY Fed. The current set up creates a terrible conflict of interest, benefitting the TBTF’s, and resulting in lax regulation.

    From Wiki, and consistent with the Fed’s own website: “Each federal reserve bank is also responsible for the regulation of the commercial banks within its own particular district.”

    But Tim Geithner claimed in his confirmation hearing that he did not see his role as President of the NY Fed to be that of a regulator.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  281. 281
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 280:

    RE: pfft @ 279 – Right about Glass-Steagall. Thanks, Bill Clinton. But the very make up of the Fed is flawed. Jamie Dimon, for example, should be serving jail time and not be serving on the board of the NY Fed. The current set up creates a terrible conflict of interest, benefitting the TBTF’s, and resulting in lax regulation.

    From Wiki, and consistent with the Fed’s own website: “Each federal reserve bank is also responsible for the regulation of the commercial banks within its own particular district.”

    But Tim Geithner claimed in his confirmation hearing that he did not see his role as President of the NY Fed to be that of a regulator.

    I can’t disagree.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  282. 282
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 281 – My concern is that the average American is getting the drift, possibly because of the internet, and the scope, cause and downstream effect of the recent recession. When you jail little people for comparatively trival offenses, you better apply the full extent of the law to institutions and folks whose transgressions are logrithmically more serious. If folks realize that there is no law, it changes society in a very bad way.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  283. 283
    ChrisM says:

    Astonishing WSJ sentence: “A tax on depositors—6.75% on deposits up to €100,000, and 9.9% above that level—was the only way out for the bloc’s finance ministers after Germany, the euro zone’s biggest economy, and the International Monetary Fund insisted that financial aid to Cyprus should be limited to €10 billion.”

    Interesting – that was the *only* way out? How about shutting down the banks & sending people to jail?

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/cyprus-rescue-risks-backlash-000300230.html

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  284. 284
    whatsmyname says:

    I used up my 5 comments on the March 19 thread, but this is too rich to leave behind:

    Top@34:

    “Sale tax is voluntary – People is aware of it before they conduct a transaction. They have a choice no to participate or use a different venue (legally or illegally) to complete the transaction to minimize the tax burden.

    Depositor tax is non-voluntary and only target a specific group – There is no service performed or transaction taking place. It is only happening because there are money sitting in the accounts.”

    Exactly backwards: In a modern economy, people must conduct transactions. Keeping your money in the bank, however, is completely discretionary. Put a deposit tax in place and people will be aware of it before they leaves their deposits in the bank.

    Transactions are a convenient taxation point, but there is no reason they should be the only taxation point. BTW, real estate taxes only target a specific group, and are directed at non-transactions – so there are two ways in which you contradict your own rationale.

    a nutshell, sale tax is like you are giving Uncle Sam a cut on every transactions you made. Deposit tax is like Uncle Sam pointing a gun at your head asking you to hand over your wallet.

    A very poor analogy which is intellectually no different than saying “a deposit tax is like you are giving Uncle Sam a cut on every deposit you keep, but a sales tax is like Uncle Sam pointing a gun at your head and asking you to hand over your wallet.”

    for property tax, I am sure you can buy/build a house on a piece of land with no services like water, sewer, electricity, gas, school, police, fireman, phone, and infrastructure to reduce it to the bare minimum.

    Since we are already violating your no tax on non-transactions rule, for symmetry I will suggest you could forego the security and convenience of the banking system, and reduce your deposit tax to a bare minimum by keeping your cash in other countries’ banks and under your mattress.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  285. 285
    pfft says:

    By ChrisM @ 283:

    Astonishing WSJ sentence: “A tax on depositorsâ��6.75% on deposits up to â�¬100,000, and 9.9% above that levelâ��was the only way out for the bloc’s finance ministers after Germany, the euro zone’s biggest economy, and the International Monetary Fund insisted that financial aid to Cyprus should be limited to â�¬10 billion.”

    Interesting – that was the *only* way out? How about shutting down the banks & sending people to jail?

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/cyprus-rescue-risks-backlash-000300230.html

    they are shutting down banks. don’t know if they are going to send people to jail.

    how do you want them to raise money?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  286. 286
    Grow Up says:

    “My concern is that the average American is getting the drift, possibly because of the internet, and the scope, cause and downstream effect of the recent recession. When you jail little people for comparatively trival offenses, you better apply the full extent of the law to institutions and folks whose transgressions are logrithmically more serious. If folks realize that there is no law, it changes society in a very bad way.”

    The average American is more concerned about who’s going to win Dancing with the Stars. Nothing really is going to change for a long time. Much of the country is filled with know nothing, emotional, religious idiots. The influence they’re putting out right now has destroyed the political process in the country. Thus, despite single digit approval ratings for Congress, they’ll all mostly get re-elected.

    You can thank the patsy Tea Baggers for electing politicians who aren’t rational. There’s a reason why the lack of regulation in the US almost tanked the global economy and almost nothing has been changed. The Republicans won’t allow for any real reform because the party has been taken over by idiots.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  287. 287
    Blurtman says:

    Krugman Bozo!

    As Krugman is so invested in his pet economic theories that have gained him a great degree of fame, he cannot even fathom the possibility that the private sector will not be able to pick up the slack in the economy. Amazing!

    “…if the U.S. government had actually been able and willing to do what textbook macroeconomics says it should have done — namely, make a big enough push for job creation to offset the effects of the financial crunch and the housing bust, postponing fiscal austerity and tax increases until the private sector was ready to take up the slack…”

    http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/krugman-overboard-says-economic-policy-horrifying-failure-134638756.html

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  288. 288
    Blurtman says:

    Certainly, citizen, you can choose from any soda you want, as long as it is Coke or Pepsi.

    You say tomayto:

    “At the same time, both President Bush and Vice President Cheney in public statements speculated about the possibility of a link between the anthrax attacks and Al Qaeda. The Guardian reported in early October that American scientists had implicated Iraq as the source of the anthrax, and the next day the Wall St. Journal editorialized that Al Qaeda perpetrated the mailings, with Iraq the source of the anthrax. A few days later, John McCain suggested on the Late Show with David Letterman that the anthrax may have come from Iraq, and the next week ABC News did a series of reports stating that three or four (depending on the report) sources had identified bentonite as an ingredient in the anthrax preparations, implicating Iraq.”

    I say tomotto:

    “Congressman Rush Holt, whose district in New Jersey includes a mailbox from which anthrax letters are believed to have been mailed, called for an investigation of the anthrax attacks by Congress or by an independent commission he proposed in a bill entitled the Anthrax Attacks Investigation Act (H.R. 1248) Other members of Congress have also called for an independent investigation.

    An official of the U.S. administration said in March 2010 that President Barack Obama probably would veto legislation authorizing the next budget for U.S. intelligence agencies if it called for a new investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks, as such an investigation “would undermine public confidence” in an FBI probe. In a letter to congressional leaders, Peter Orszag, the director of the Office of Management and Budget at the time, wrote that an investigation would be “duplicative”, and expressed concern about the appearance and precedent involved when Congress commissions an agency Inspector General to replicate a criminal investigation, but did not list the anthrax investigation as an issue that was serious enough to advise the President to veto the entire bill.”

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  289. 289
    Blurtman says:

    Nobel Peace Prize. :>[

    Introducing the Naming the Dead project

    This project records the names of people reportedly killed by CIA drone strikes in Pakistan.

    “Missiles launched from these high-tech, unmanned aircraft have hit homes, cars, schools, shops and gatherings. At least 2,500 people have been killed, according to data already collected by the Bureau as part of our wider Covert Drone War research.

    But according to credible media reports analyzed by the Bureau, the dead also include at least 400 civilians. Some were unlucky enough to be nearby when militants were attacked. Others were killed alongside their husbands or fathers, who were believed to be militants. Still others were mistaken for terrorists by drone operators sitting thousands of miles away.”

    http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/namingthedead/the-dead/?lang=en

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  290. 290

    Last week I was listening to the “Steppenwolf Live” album from 1970, which despite the name has some studio pieces mixed in. Great album, IMHO, but I was struck by how part of the lyrics to Monster could have been written today, and might even be more true today–the noose is only tighter! Modern updates in brackets.

    After giving a brief history of the United States the song goes on to say:

    The spirit was freedom and justice
    And its keepers seemed generous and kind
    Its leaders were supposed to serve the country
    But now they won’t pay it no mind
    Cause the people grew fat and got lazy
    Now their vote is a meaningless joke
    They babble about law and order
    But it’s all just an echo of what they’ve been told

    Yeah, there’s a monster on the loose
    It’s got our heads into the noose
    And it just sits there watchin’ [listening]

    The cities have turned into jungles
    And corruption is stranglin’ the land
    The police force [NSA] is watching the people
    And the people just can’t understand
    We don’t know how to mind our own business
    ‘Cause the whole world’s got to be just like us
    Now we are fighting a war over there
    No matter who’s the winner we can’t pay the cost

    ‘Cause there’s a monster on the loose
    It’s got our heads into the noose
    And it just sits there watchin’ [listening]

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  291. 291
    Blurtman says:

    I actually owned that album as a young pre-teen back in the day. Come to think of it, weren’t you that guy handing out that super Owsley at the ’77 Dead show in Englishtown? I still see trails from that stuff.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  292. 292

    RE: Blurtman @ 291 – I probably had it on 8-Track! I’m not sure if I own it now on CD or just MP3.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  293. 293
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 290

    What’s curious is that at the time the reference was probably from the left toward the right, in opposition to Nixon, etc. And now the same lyrics ring true again, but from the right toward the left/fascist state. And while each generation thinks they are living in the worst of times. experiencing new problems with unrivaled intensity, this time it may be true.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  294. 294

    RE: Scotsman @ 293 – Interesting observation, but I’m not so sure the NSA is a left and right issue. High ranking Republicans and Democrats don’t seem to mind the NSA if they are on the right committee. They don’t see anything wrong with trampling peoples’ rights if they are the ones overseeing the trampling of the rights. Also, at the point in time Monster was written, a Republican had only been president for less than a year. So even then it wasn’t clearly left and right when it came to those in power (as opposed to the voters).

    As to the broader population, that’s probably correct.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  295. 295
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 294

    At this point it’s definitely devolved into a battle between the political elites and the rest of us. Washington DC is about as out of touch with the mainstream as they could be. With obamacare blowing up there may be a reckoning on the horizon but I won’t hold my breath. Government really does very little well, at least as compared to the private sector. And yet they think they have all the answers. What they have is borrowed money to spread around to constituent groups without a logical long range plan that truly lifts all boats in a rising tide of prosperity.

    I didn’t read all of the posts before yours so if NSA was the focus I missed it. I was just taken with how much our perceptions of right/wrong or good/evil seem to change over time.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  296. 296
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 294

    At this point it’s definitely devolved into a battle between the political elites and the rest of us. Washington DC is about as out of touch with the mainstream as they could be. With obamacare blowing up there may be a reckoning on the horizon but I won’t hold my breath. Government really does very little well, at least as compared to the private sector. And yet they think they have all the answers. What they have is borrowed money to spread around to constituent groups without a logical long range plan that truly lifts all boats in a rising tide of prosperity.

    I didn’t read all of the posts before yours so if NSA was the focus I missed it. I was just taken with how much our perceptions of right/wrong or good/evil seem to change over time.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  297. 297

    RE: Scotsman @ 295 – I would agree.

    As to NSA, I also don’t know that there was any discussion before. The activities of the NSA are, however, entirely consistent with the past discussions of the attack on the Bill of Rights. The only hope for the Bill of Rights is the Supreme Court, because Congress is part of the problem.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  298. 298
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 202 – Well said, Kary. What are we rewarding with this medal? Blind obedience to the state. Kill these people because we said so. Chilling, indeed.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  299. 299

    RE: Blurtman @ 298 – Nine months to respond? When they go to hit your location the bomb won’t be delivered by drone, it will be by turtle! ;-)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  300. 300
  301. 301

    By Scotsman @ 300:

    A solution?

    http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/01/watch-john-stossel-ron-paul-matt-welch-p

    Of course it’s a solution, because it’s largely an alternative to the Republican/Democrat mess we’re in.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  302. 302

    The wife was watching a Barbara Walters special on her presidential interviews. My first memory of JFK was his being shot, so I’m going to exclude him and Eisenhower, but watching that show made me realize that during my entire lifetime there has not been a president that I’ve liked by the time their term was over.

    Nixon was good at some things, but he was clearly dishonest (and a bit paranoid).
    Ford was incompetent, and in any case pardoning Nixon didn’t get him past his first 30 days for my approval.
    Carter was good at some things, but his administration was filled with corrupt cronies from Georgia, and bottom line was Carter was weak.
    Reagan did some good things, but he was an idiot.
    Bush I should never have been elected. I have nothing good to say about him.
    Clinton looked promising, but his gun control nonsense and lying ruined him. And like Carter, he too was weak.
    Bush II was only elected because the Democrats made the mistake of nominating Gore, and he filled his administration the first term with his dad’s incompetent cronies.
    I had hopes for Obama but he turned out to be perhaps the most divisive politician possible with no respect at all for the Constitution. Because of the latter I consider him to be the most dangerous of all the bad presidents during my lifetime.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  303. 303

    As noted above in the prior post, not a big fan of any of our recent presidents. But I must say I do find it odd how Bush II was labeled as being a “liar” for being wrong about WMD in Iraq, where President Obama has not been caught up in three clear lies without the term hardly ever being thrown out there.

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/12/05/president-obama-acknowledges-having-lived-with-his-uncle/mz67SRGIExGAZJuOQsl1JI/story.html

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  304. 304
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 303 – So a Johns Hopkins epidemiologist concluded in a Lancet publication that 100,000 mostly women and children were murdered by allied airpower during the invasion of the last Iraq war. Not counting the hell created for millions of Iraqi’s afterwards. Due a lies about WMD’s.

    I cannot find a comparable effect that is truly to the level of war crimes as a result of Obama’s lies. That could be a reason for the difference. Plus, Bush was too stupid to pull off his many lies, and it was insulting to the intelligence of the American public that he thought he could.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  305. 305

    RE: Blurtman @ 304 – News flash. For it to be a lie the claim has to be known to be wrong. Even Russia thought Iraq had WMD, because they tried to make it look like they did. Absent knowledge it’s just being wrong.

    Democrats tend to have very poor language skills. The more recent one is outrage over the Republican Tweet: “Today we remember Rosa Parks’ bold stand and her role in ending racism.” That is not a claim that racism has ended. That would be: “Today we remember Rosa Parks’ bold stand and her role to end racism.”

    But if you want to compare Bush and Obama, only Obama has purposefully assassinated an American citizen without any due process of law. He’s probably the only President who has ever done that, which is ironic since Obama claims to be such a Constitutional expert.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  306. 306
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 305 – And only Bush laughed about killing Americans: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCTfEf6Rrmw

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  307. 307

    By Blurtman @ 306:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 305 – And only Bush laughed about killing Americans: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCTfEf6Rrmw

    If you want to keep making comparisons, Democrats weren’t even trying to come up with a solution to the Iraq war, while American soldiers died. But now, they are critical of Republicans not coming up with a solution for our health care situation.

    And on the language issue, do I need to tell you what “Mission Accomplished” means? Another example of Democrats not understanding simple English.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  308. 308

    RE: Blurtman @ 306 – BTW, to be clear, I’m not trying to defend Bush as much as compare him to President Obama. Neither had great respect for the Constitution, but President Obama has really gone much further.

    Also attempted to be conveyed is disrespect for the political parties. I think the country would be better off without the parties. They lead to lazy voters and politicians who don’t truly represent their constituents.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  309. 309
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 308RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 308 – I am not a Democrat nor a liberal. I am a member of the Law and Order party. Our leading platform is death to bankers.

    And yes, Hillary was rabidly pro-war. You might think after dodging sniper fire in Sarajevo, she might be more concerned about violence, but after she took out that Soviet tank, I guess she now enjoys it.

    And heart throb Maria Cantwell was strongly opposed to the Iraq war, as was i believe Senator tennis sneaker mom.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  310. 310

    NSA record gathering ruled unconstitutional. Not terribly surprising that someone not a politician and not in charge of overseeing such acts would think these actions violate the Bill of Rights.

    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/12/16/21925625-federal-judge-says-nsa-program-appears-to-violate-constitution?lite

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  311. 311

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 308:

    RE: Blurtman @ 306 – BTW, to be clear, I’m not trying to defend Bush as much as compare him to President Obama. Neither had great respect for the Constitution, but President Obama has really gone much further.

    Also attempted to be conveyed is disrespect for the political parties. I think the country would be better off without the parties. They lead to lazy voters and politicians who don’t truly represent their constituents.

    I agree. Republicans and Democrats serve to get re-elected, and to please their benefactors.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  312. 312

    Not good when the White House has to both defend the claim that Biden is almost always wrong on foreign policy (the reason he was selected as a VP candidate) and also argue that President Obama is “enthusiastic” about war.

    http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Robert-Gates-criticism-hit-by-White-House-5125898.php

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  313. 313
    Erik says:

    I will be at Juanita pub for the game. Come down and I will buy you a drink. Anybody. It will be me and some wild and crazy medical students. They will even diagnose you at half time if needed.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  314. 314
    Erik says:

    I will be at Juanita pub for the game. Come down and I will buy you a drink. Anybody. It will be me and some wild and crazy medical students. They will even diagnose you at half time if needed.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  315. 315

    The inability of Obama to negotiate his way out of a paper bag has some upsides, at least if you don’t like our troops in foreign countries. No troops left in Iraq, and soon maybe no troops left in Afghanistan.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/02/25/obama-warns-karzai-bsa/5808959/

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

Leave a Reply

Use your email address to sign up with Gravatar for a custom avatar.
Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Please read the rules before posting a comment.