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.

316 comments:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

  5. 255

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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/

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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/

  12. 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.

  13. 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/

  14. 264
    pfft says:

    nobody talks about the prediction that was right.

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

  15. 265
    Blurtman says:

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

  16. 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!

  17. 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/

  18. 268
  19. 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.

  20. 270
    Blurtman says:

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

  21. 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…

  22. 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

  23. 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?

  24. 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?

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 277
    ricklind says:

    Blurty,
    This is for you. Enjoy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vnuAh3esdpE#!

    Fel Temp Reparatio

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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

  34. 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.

  35. 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?

  36. 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.

  37. 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

  38. 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.”

  39. 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

  40. 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]

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

  49. 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! ;-)

  50. 300
  51. 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.

  52. 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.

  53. 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

  54. 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.

  55. 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.

  56. 306
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 305 – And only Bush laughed about killing Americans: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCTfEf6Rrmw

  57. 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.

  58. 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.

  59. 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.

  60. 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

  61. 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.

  62. 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

  63. 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.

  64. 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.

  65. 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/

  66. 316
    DrRick says:

    Here are a couple of good articles on economics and politics, coming up on the election that is only 17 months away!
    First is Bill Moyer of Moyer’s and Co, that firebrand of sedition on Fast Track Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement. Good read.

    “Then there should come a draft document for all to see, to be laid before the people’s representatives in Congress assembled. If and when a majority of them ratifies the agreement, it can go to the president for signature. This is how democracy should work.

    Yet it’s the precise opposite of how this agreement has come to be. We are being asked to believe that the administration can argue with a straight face for a deal conceived in secrecy, drafted largely by corporate mercenaries, kept from public and congressional view except with burdensome restrictions, then presented to Congress for a vote up or down, neither debate nor amendment allowed. It’s an absolute parody of the process described in the Constitution. ”
    http://billmoyers.com/2015/06/15/fast-track-derails-democracy/

    Next up is Matt “Giant Squid” Taibbi with a piece on Hillary Clinton and Democratic strategy to get her elected. The leaked plan is to tilt left ala Warren and Sanders. I like the photo op on one of the links with Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman-Sachs fame. Pieces of work.

    “Liberals are critical of modern high finance because it leads to unchecked abuses of corporate power. True conservatives are against it because the current financial system is a perverted form of capitalism that discourages competition in favor of state-supported pseudo-monopolies, putting taxpayers on the hook to bail out loser companies.”

    Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/in-classic-clintonian-fashion-dems-insult-their-own-voters-20150609#ixzz3dBT7vgnT
    Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/in-classic-clintonian-fashion-dems-insult-their-own-voters-20150609

    Lots of great links in both.

    Fel Temp Reparatio

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