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CYMBALTA FOR SALE

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What's noxious is that the Republicans got their way in forcing a manufactured crisis and in watching the whole political and chattering class play along with them.   That we are even talking about social spending cuts when economic growth appears to be brink on a double dip recession is nothing short of obscene.  That Democrats have capitulated to Republicans by expunging the word "taxes" from the political lexicon and replacing it with the obscure term of "revenue" is equally obscene, buy CYMBALTA without a prescription. Purchase CYMBALTA online, That ANY cuts whatsoever, needed or not, order CYMBALTA from United States pharmacy, Taking CYMBALTA, all fall on the lower income and tax categories while the wealthy continue to have a chuckle is nothing short of revolting.

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Doom and Gloom, CYMBALTA FOR SALE. Where can i find CYMBALTA online, This horrid side show goes right into the record books as one of the most stunning displays to date of an entire political system rotten and corrupt and unresponsive to the core.

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I wouldn't exactly look at the Republicans in this case, CYMBALTA FOR SALE. CYMBALTA samples, More fitting is to take a dump on them.  A truly lunatical fringe grouped together in the Tea Party first took the rest of their feckless party hostage and then went on to hold the entire country as captive.  John Boehner could have stopped this cold, but then again he probably would have lost his job.  So he willingly joined his captors in highjacking the government and using the GOP hold on the House as a cudgel to beat up Obama and everybody else in sight.  I am not convinced he had any more room for political maneuver than Obama did, CYMBALTA images.

This is a morally bankrupt party that holds no concerns whatsoever except for serving the wealthiest one percent of the country (and, yes, opposing abortion clinics).  That's about it as far as I can tell. And I think Michelle Bachmann would be the nominee that best embodies the current soul of the GOP.

A special  dose of onus must be reserved for the MSM which, in my view, has performed as miserably during this crisis as any time in recent history including during its squalid performance during the run up to the war in Iraq.  The simple fact is that the media never reported the underlying story i.e. CYMBALTA FOR SALE, that this was a stick-up by the Republican Party which purposely confused two separate issues. This story was consistently reported as some sort of tennis match between the two parties with detailed descriptions of every lob, serve and spin of the ball. Nice color. No substance.  I come out of this episode with the firm desire that more networks and newspapers close down as we will be missing nothing when they do.

A few words about the American people:  They are certainly the hapless victims in this horror show.  But, heaven knows, they are an easy mark.  Try and raise the retirement age by 2 years or cut medical services by 3% in France or Italy and all I have to say is, stand back!  Many have tried and many have died. Within hours this is a general strike with 5 million citizens in the streets, CYMBALTA FOR SALE.

I have read of NO popular mobilizations to defend our own social welfare programs in these last few months.

Use them or lose them.

We are all losing something this week. Maybe not as much as some feared -- or in perverse ways hoped for.  But we're most definitely on the slippery slope.

 

 .

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130 Responses to “CYMBALTA FOR SALE”

  1. GM Roper Says:

    Spoken like a true progressive Marc. This whole thing could have been avoided if 50 years ago we had decided to spend only what we took in. Talk about manufactured crisis.

    Stimulus money in the NEW baseline… for what? The old stimulus didn’t work, neither will a new one.

    The villains in this story are the Progressives that want to keep spending other people’s money, the Conservatives addicted to Pork and the congress and president without enough guts to say enough.

    Oh, and corporate fat cats? GE anybody?

  2. aftermath Says:

    Ah, perfect: the comments begin with an opening salvo (read: flatulence) from a perfect representative of the deluded/asinine right-wingers who’ve marched the U.S. economy directly to the brink of disaster, and now forward into both a double-dip recession and further eradication of the middle class.

    Why perfect? Because the mouth-breathing KPFK-esque dullards and “wine cellar left”, who’ve spent the past several days fighting such important and crucial battles with reg, Cappadonna, our fair host, and other members of the traitorous corporate center-left, can be slapped upside their thick heads with a reminder of the fucking facts: millions and millions of voters are GM Roper. And unless you spend 24 hours a day in, say, a Santa Monica coffee shop, they live next door to you, and work in your office, and are probably your family members. How many of their minds have you changed?

    Of course, it’s certainly much easier for Pablo to sip his wine and play important imaginary battles of the proletariat in his mind (while blissfully humming Eugène Pottier songs), or Sergio to return from his LAUSD teaching job and jack off to Che documentaries, or Anna to, uh, whatever the fuck she does, than to actually attempt to change the minds of the GM Ropers of the world.

    No, it’s much easier to blame folks who actually get their hands dirty and do something, like reg, Cap, and Marc. And, yes, Obama.

    Wake up. Wake the fuck up.

  3. reg Says:

    “50 years ago we had decided to spend only what we took in. Talk about manufactured crisis. ”

    You’re one of the biggest hypocrites on the planet. How about if morons like Reagan decided it made sense to take in what we were committed to spending unless and until our spending habits had changed.

    Roper – you don’t have an honest bone in your body. The GOP owns the deficits. A third-grader who looks at the history of the Reagan and Bush (both) presidencies can see that the tax cut dogma drove deficits. If creeps such as yourself had even one ball, you’d have put spending cuts BEFORE tax cuts. But the political opportunism, hyocrisy and outright deceit of the contemporary GOP – telling voters that “tax cuts pay for themselves” and going with the little shit who attacked the SURPLUS in 2000 – proves you’re nothing but some combination of fool and hypocrite. People like you are just subversives, out to undermine the government at all costs. You don’t have a “fiscal conservative” bone in your body. Cutting revenues BEFORE you cut spending is profligacy of the worst sort.

    Go back to the slime pool you crawled out of…

    Also “the stimulus didn’t work” is nothing but a lie. It helped – in major ways. Not enough, but for you to claim “it didn’t work” as though not having it would have made the country better off proves you don’t know a thing about economics and your politics are those of the TeaTard KnowNothings. “Stimulus for what?” For major infrastructure spending – which we need badly, along with the jobs it would create – and which would be relatively cheap to borrow for, given that the “bond vigilantes” still will take Treasuries at very, very low rates.

    I don’t know why I respond to your sorry ass. You’re a toxic troll posing as some sort of genteel critic. On your blog it’s clear just what a sewer you preside over – Pam Geller, Obama-as-Communist, et. al.

  4. reg Says:

    Incidentally, GMR you idiot – 50 years ago the debt was declining as % of GDP. We were fine fiscally. Reagan turned that around and Bush2 made it much worse.

    Deal with reality of STFU!

  5. reg Says:

    “or” not “of”

    Jeezus this preening creep just bugs the hell out of me.

  6. reg Says:

    Here’s what Communists think about, first, the issue of major infrastructure spending, paid for with (currently very low-interest) Treasury bonds, and, second, the economic impact of this “Deal” with the TeaTard devils:

    ” Speaking exclusively with The Wall Street Journal, Barton Biggs, managing partner at multibillion dollar hedge fund Traxis Partners, painted a bleak outlook for the developed world with only huge government intervention likely to improve things.

    “Mr. Biggs, former chief global strategist for U.S. investment banking powerhouse Morgan Stanley, demanded the U.S. government temporarily return to ideas used in the Great Depression as a way to get the country back to higher growth.

    “ ‘What the U.S. really needs is a massive infrastructure program … similar to the WPA back in the 1930s,’ he says.

    “The plan would be to employ some of the many unemployed people, jump start the economy, as well as help catch up with Asia, which is building state-of-the-art infrastructure from new mechanized port facilities to high-speed trains.

    “He suggested financing such building through the sale of U.S. Treasuries. ” (WSJ)

    “Last week brought the disconcerting news that the economy grew no faster than the population during the first six months of the year, in part because of spending cuts by state and local governments. Now the federal government is cutting, too.

    “ ‘Unemployment will be higher than it would have been otherwise,’ Mohamed El-Erian, chief executive of the bond investment firm Pimco, said Sunday on ABC. ‘Growth will be lower than it would be otherwise. And inequality will be worse than it would be otherwise.’

    “He added, ‘We have a very weak economy, so withdrawing more spending at this stage will make it even weaker.’ ”

    Perhaps Roper could put pictures of Pimco’s El-Erian and hedge-funder Biggs on his blog dressed in Commissar’s costumes…

  7. reg Says:

    That second clip is from today’s NYT.

  8. reg Says:

    More Communist Comment on the austerity fetish:

    Goldman Sachs: “A review of the spending and tax data at the federal, state, and local level suggests that a significant part of the weakness in economic activity in 2011 so far is due to fiscal retrenchment.” (GS “research note” via Jared Bernstein’s blog.)

  9. Cappadonna Says:

    Marc, why glum? Read the fine print of the deal — Obama got exactly what he wanted, a clean debt bill and dog and pony show for the GOP tea party goofs to chase their own tails for next few months. By forcing cuts on Medicare providers (which actually affects me, but that’s telling a little too much) and not beneficiaries as well as the defense contractors – Obama just forced Boehner to make a serious deal about deficits or automatically slit your own throats in terms of lobbyists’ coffers.

    But, I can see the glum feeling – Obama is a deal maker not a firebrand.

    As for GM Roper, why do entertain fools like this? A guy who actually can’t pull out a calculator to realize half our debt came from President Smirk That’s right, Bush the Lesser ran up most of the tab that the GOP Tea Bag twits are bitching about now. You can’t fight 1/5 of the 10/20 Corridor on lay-away, give millions to big pharma, cut taxes for billionaires and not expect to have gaping holes in the national budget.

    But no, the budget is the beige man’s fault.

  10. lib hating psycho Says:

    yo, aftermath,

    what are you raggin’ on me for? i havent even posted on this thread…til this minute.

    and just what is it you think the others are doing to “change” people’s minds that those of us you tarred with some cyber brush as being slackers?

    you dont even know who the fuck we are or what we do.

    and btw foot in mouth man…those you cite as being your heros for change are the ones who dismiss the Ropers whilst those of us you malign are the ones who take the Ropers of this country at their word and realize they are the ones (along with themselves as being their own worst enemy to change just because of this smug attitude) that are trouble.

    and i dont know what you do in your everyday conversations and encounters but i consistently engage people over casual offhand Fox fueled news bite remarks they make…ask the woman who made an off the cuff remark to me while shopping in our local drug store. She left the store trying to get rid of the hand that punched the ballot for Rick Scott.

  11. Rob Grocholski Says:

    Yo, Aftermath. Seriously. Really think you’re changing or motivating anyone by calling people out like that and screaming “Wake the F#@$ up”?

    It would be sufficient to say that all of us to saner side of the crazy Tea Baggers have to be much more efficient with our efforts & organizing and all that. We all need to reacquaint ourselves with Saul Alinsky. But let’s hold off on the circular firing squad for a while, eh?

  12. Rob Grocholski Says:

    “The villains in this story are the Progressives…”

    This is so intellectually dishonest. I’m embarrassed for you Mr. Roper, since you apparently haven’t got a clue.

  13. reg Says:

    Cappadonna – I’m glum because IMHO Obama didn’t lay on the line what this “debate” was about and that it was the wrong debate to be having. Putting Medicare and Social Security into this mix was a major mistake IMHO. I still consider myself a supporter of the President, but I also think that the best thing I can do to help (and it’s infinitesimal compared to what he shoulders) is to be up front when I think he’s wrong and to push for the values and policies that I think best would represent the Democrat’s admittedly crazy-quilt coalition. I’m even willing to do the work of saving the “market uber alles” guys from themselves. I’m actually not “anti-capitalist” – just anti-”capitalism-defining-every-social-relationship-and-social-interaction”, or more to the point anti-”capitalism defining the parameters of our politics.”

    I’m disappointed by the way this “debate” went down. There were a few moments when the President used his “bully pulpit” well. But I think there was too much temporizing and the idea of “compromise” seems to have taken precedence over the articulation of good policy. That said, this “Satan Sandwich” wasn’t as catastrophic over the long-term as I feared. And there’s a chance that the TeaTards could be twisted into a position where the Bush tax cuts die their much-deserved death in their entirety the next time that’s “on the table.” I pray for two things – one that Obama uses the end of this phony, entirely Manufactured-by-Morons (in service of the purely venal) “crisis” to “pivot” to talking about jobs, jobs, jobs and puts the TeaTard GOP on the hot seat, even if he can’t pass bills. And second, that he lets the goddam Bush tax cuts that created most of this monster die across the board. Even folks making in the $100,00 range can pay a little more. Then, when we get a Dem majority, we need to create several additional rate categories to catch the revenue of the plutocrats who have hijacked most of the increase in national wealth since Reagan’s Morning in America Miracle of huge deficits, de-regulation on steroids, accelerated increases in income inequality and “tax cuts” – along with Ayn Rand’s Gospel of Self – enshrined over The Sermon on the Mount by phony “conservatives” who don’t want to conserve anything other than their ties to the upper end of the economic elite.

  14. Dan O Says:

    Yeah, you know Cap, and others who are saying this isn’t so bad. By making such comments you are buying into the whole vile thesis of this debt “crisis.” Manufactured nonsense pushed by illiterates and zealots.

    Not so bad? Just the beginning of the truly awful consequences to come: http://money.cnn.com/2011/08/01/news/economy/debt_ceiling_students/index.htm

    If this is “exactly what he wanted” then he wants the wring things.

  15. aftermath Says:

    @Grocholski:

    You’re right, because the nihilistic, solipsistic, and ineffectual round-and-round of Johnny/Anna/Pablo/whoever vs. reg is nothing like a “circular firing squad”, is it? In their tiny worlds divorced from reality, reg represents the compromised “center”. Meanwhile, fools like Roper refer to Obama as a socialist.

    A socialist.

    Think about that. It should make anyone’s jaw drop even after the 1000th time you hear it. Obama, who is in many ways politically to the right not just of Clinton but even Nixon, is called a socialist by these folks. This is the moral perversity and political dishonesty that needs to be engaged and countered.

    I stand by everything I said.

  16. reg Says:

    “vs. reg”

    I think these characters “vs.” is bigger than my “contributions.” Although, I’m flattered…

    I’ll also admit, in deference to the other commenters here, that I don’t have a very refined “tolerance” gene and tend to polarize. It’s why I go to church…need some help with that.

  17. Cappadonna Says:

    Dan O, actually I’m not saying that the Debt Ceiling ‘crisis’ wasn’t bull. I’m saying that Boehner and his Tea Party minions created this nonsense and got hung out to dry by their own schemes.

  18. qdpsteve Says:

    “Tend” to polarize? Geez, ya think Reg? Roper posts one damn missive and you’re weapons-grade apoplectic. Ever stop to think that maybe GM enjoys watching the froth form by your mouth?

    In the meantime, God bless Michael Ramirez. (Though I’ll admit I wouldn’t mind seeing John Boehner as Lindsay Lohan thrown in there…)

  19. Hester Says:

    “Any cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid should be taken off the table,” the Congressional Progressive Caucus wrote in a letter to the president. “These cuts would hurt households and damage the country’s economic recovery as well.”

    “But most of the outrage assumes — incorrectly — that any cuts would necessarily be aimed directly at Medicare patients. History suggests otherwise.”

    “Because Medicare is such a huge budget target, “we’ve had a series of cuts, year after year, decade after decade,” says Joe Antos, a health economist with the conservative American Enterprise Institute.”

    “How big a target is Medicare exactly? This year the Congressional Budget Office figures the program for the elderly and disabled will spend $562.8 billion.”

    “Even with all the cuts to Medicare over the years, Antos says, “We’ve hardly ever directly touched beneficiaries.”

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/07/25/138614501/history-shows-medicare-can-be-cut-while-sparing-beneficiaries?ft=1&f=103537970

  20. reg Says:

    qdp – Roper’s “one damn missive” was beyond stupid. He’s “weapons grade” stupid. Sorry, but deal with the info and POV before you engage in your own launch.

    “I stand by everything I said.”

    Roper is a piece of shit…on a good day. And your cartoon is totally idiotic. Do you really believe this silly crap ? Explain that shit in…uh…like words… or Grow up!

  21. Rob Grocholski Says:

    Aftermath — in reading through the previous few threads, reg & Cap usually had much better positions and arguments. I agree. But tone, man. Yeah, a lot of us are guilty to some degree of not being better organizers or activists or what have you. It goes without saying that there’s a collective stink all of us have to bare because the Tea Baggers got the Speaker’s Gavel last November. Simply think though that the folks you call out ought to have a chance to chime into the discussion before they get criticized. Just saying.

  22. reg Says:

    Hester – and Medicare has exactly “What?” to do with this debt ceiling technicality?

    Do you really want to engage the needed discussion of systemic reform of our out-of-control health care spending as either “We need to cut Medicare” – when Medicare has a better cost control record than the rest of the system – or in the absurd context of this insane tantrum by idiots?

    I don’t get it…

  23. qdpsteve Says:

    ;-)

  24. Rob Grocholski Says:

    reg

    There is a pretty solid reason for the ‘left’ to talk about Medicare, no? I’m thinking of the prescription drug benefit that was added during GWB’s tenure. What would be wrong with trying to push for reforms where the government could use its size to negotiate for less expensive meds?

  25. Hester Says:

    I just do not buy that nonsense about Social Security and Medicare being the “untouchables”. Cuts that will directly impact the beneficiaries… proceed with caution. But cuts or changes that will improve the management and cost effectiveness…absolutely!
    The three things in American politics guaranteed to bring out the most ridiculous hyperbole from all sides:
    Aid to Israel, Social Security, Medicare.

  26. Hester Says:

    reg said: “Hester – and Medicare has exactly “What?” to do with this debt ceiling technicality?”

    Nothing. I agree. But we are dealing with what the discussion is, not what we think it should be.

  27. Hester Says:

    Dan O: Actually, these cuts make sense in these times. The savings will go to the Pell Grants, which are more important, IMO.
    My students will not have art, music, or technology teachers this year because of budget cuts!

    “The idea is that the money saved by the student loan cuts would help pay to keep Pell Grants, which so far are maintained at a maximum grant of $5,500 a year for some 8 million poor students.”

    “Of the $22 billion saved, $17 billion will go to fund Pell Grants, which only leaves that program $1.3 billion short, said student aid groups. That’s why most groups can live with the cuts to graduate student loans.”

  28. reg Says:

    Rob – as I noted in the previous thread in response to Cappadonna, I’m all for talking about cutting health care costs. But posing it as a problem of “Medicare”, when Medicare is more cost-effective than private insurance, tends to play into bogus assumptions. Remember that the CBO scored “Ryancare” – which ended Medicare in favor of vouchers for private insurance – as costing more in aggregate to provide equivalent health care for seniors. It would actually increase, according to the CBO, the total cost of health care for seniors at equivalent levels – and significantly. This is why I think putting Medicare cuts of any kind “on the table” in this context is stupid. And – so far as I can tell – Obama is the one who included it in “what the discussion is”, not the GOP. Which was stunning. Maybe I’m misinformed, but that’s the best I can discern in Obama’s “Grand Bargain” negotiations with Boehner. Political malpractice IMHO.

    Also, when Bush attempted to begin the privatization of Social Security – which diversion of funds to the stock markets would have actually INCREASED the projected “insolvency” and when Ryan proposes privatizing Medicare, at a huge cost to the economy as well as out-of-pocket to fixed-income seniors, there is no such thing as “ridiculous hyperbole from all sides.” I’ll defend Social Security and Medicare from any and all benefits cuts and ONLY talk about raising the wage ceiling on SS taxes or systemic reform of the health care system that can make Medicare more solvent and affordable over time, along with all insurance coverage. If that’s “ridiculous hyperbole” I’m proud of it.

  29. Dan O Says:

    Dan O: Actually, these cuts make sense in these times. The savings will go to the Pell Grants, which are more important, IMO.
    My students will not have art, music, or technology teachers this year because of budget cuts!

    Utter nonsense. There are no choices to be made here. This is passing the burden of paying for social goods on to the poor and middle class. The fact that people are actually suggesting that this makes sense because it saves pell grants is evidence that they’ve been duped by the phony narrative of debt scarcity pushed by the Republicans, the media, and Obama, all, sadly it seems, in nearly equal measure.

    In a recession you invest in productivity and jobs. You don’t create phony choices between grad school loans and pell grants. Since a recession destroy revenue in the state budgets, the only recourse is to the debt spending that the federal government can engage in, but the states cannot. This self-imposed IMF austerity plan is precisely the wrong thing to do. It’s the Herbert Hoover plan for economic recovery.

    Any supposed “jobs pivot” is going to cost money, but the debt narrative has already been signed off on by all the players. Come talk to me in a year when unemployment is still 9% or higher, exactly where it will be, and tell me any of this was a good idea, or minuscule in the scope of the larger budget.

    We just bought ourselves another 24 months of economic misery and some of us are running around trying to put lipstick on it, like it was some sort of cunning victory or secret Tea Bag defeat.

    The only hope is that there is a rout of the Republicans in 2012 and all this stupid shit can be repealed. But don’t hold your breath because the filibuster will prevent that. i’m afraid we’re stuck with this “victory.”

  30. Sergio Says:

    I love your new chickenshit handle, “aftermath”. You must be very upset that your investment portfolio went awry.

    Despite your paid gig for him, Obama is a shithead corporate sellout

    Now on to what Marc says:

    But we’re most definitely on the slippery slope.

    Bring it on!

  31. Dan O Says:

    Jobs. Shit. Our fearless leader couldn’t even get an unemployment benefits extension in exchange for this “historic” deal. Jobs my ass.

  32. reg Says:

    Lawrence O’Donnell fails to mince words -

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/43980489#43980489

  33. Brad in SoCal Says:

    Glad you’re back, Marc.

    Also glad this particular episode of “Washington Follies” is over. None of the characters is likeable and the “Let’s screw the little people” storyline is definitely done to death.

    The deal does suck, but I disagree with those who want the Progressive Caucus to help sink the deal, though. Let the Prez and the R’s own this one.

    Now, who wants to run against Obama in the primaries? Or as an independent in the fall? Meanwhile, how do we build a movement to end the empire, rebuild America, protect the environment, and restore progressive taxation?

    “Without a vision, the people perish.”

  34. Johnny Holmes Says:

    You’re right, because the nihilistic, solipsistic, and ineffectual round-and-round of Johnny/Anna/Pablo/whoever vs. reg is nothing like a “circular firing squad”, is it? In their tiny worlds divorced from reality, reg represents the compromised “center”.

    Now I can celebrate!! I’ve been officially thrown into the Anna/Pablo-dont forget Sergio cabal …lol–as we do battle with the evil reg!!

    I so love when politics here is personalized to soap opera dimensions.

    Ok ok, I admit to being a Obama hammering one tune piano. Time for a new tack. Since 90% of us really want 90% of the same things where do we go from here? We take action? What action? Or do we just wait until society achieves critical mass and ride the train? Your thoughts?

    Do any of my fellow progressives here have friends and family who are right wingers? I do. I’ve tried engaging them, reasoning with them. It’s not easy. The best predictor of one’s political orientation is the political orientation of their family. So we’re dealing with the reptilian brain here. And I don’t say that to be demeaning, it’s just very very hard to overcome deep set beliefs.

    A young man I know says he’s a Republican because Republicans are winners. What do you do with that? What do you think?

  35. GM Roper Says:

    My my, make a comment -> watch reg foam at the mouth and get a few others to do the same. reg, I see your parents sill let you around a computer. I wonder why?

    Look folks, the debt is everybody’s problem. When Clinton left office, the debt was about 5.7 Trillion then came 9/11 and the sub-prime fiasco brought about by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Had those two items not happened we might, I say might have a different world today. Then Bush went in to Iraq (and remember the Dems were all for it at first) and admittedly he mishandled that war. Obama hasn’t done any better. Going into Afghanistan was a no-brainer but Obama hasn’t exactly covered himself in glory either.

    When Bush left office, the debt had monstrously climbed to 10.7 trillion an increase of 5 trillion dollars. A HUGE increase, and that is one of the reasons I said Republicans were also responsible for the debt crisis.

    In not quite three years, Obama has raised the debt to 14.5 Trillion and it is growing at hundreds of thousands of dollars per minute. What Bush did in 8 years, Obama has managed to do in less than 3 years. Put that in your pipe reg and smoke it.

    Unfunded liabilities equal an amount of some 114.5 trillion dollars. Folks we are talking serious money here. Take a real look at the graphic attached at this paragraph. Then think about what my grandson, your grand kids and maybe our great grand kids are going to be burdened with.

    Baseline budgeting is also part of the problem, this raising of the debt ceiling in exchange for miniscule cuts in future spending and damn little, if any, off the baseline is plain old stupid, dishonest and totally disingenuous (so I would guess that reg loves it). Mickey Kaus has a lot to say about that.

    In January 2013 the so called Bush tax cuts expire (actually it then becomes the Obama Tax increase) and all are going to get clobbered. Now, I don’t mind if those making an AGI of say 100,000 or more get hit, they can afford it, but I am on limited Social Security and I’m going to get clobbered. So are you, and your friends, and the labor folk, and the professionals, and the teachers and the two income families etc. The tax increase will bring in (initially) some 3 to 5 trillion dollars but that number will decrease as the rich and pseudo-rich find ways to shelter that income.

    Our tax system is unsustainable, even IRS doesn’t know all there is to know. I talked to an IRS agent yesterday about filing a 941 form for myself in private practice and she said a lot, mostly helpful, but she didn’t have all the answers (by the way, most IRS folk I’ve come in contact with are very nice people tasked with a very difficult job and a confusing set of tax rules and regulations.)

    So those of you that have responded with cussing and foul language are mere children in the world of discourse; unable to grasp what an opponent is saying and thereby denigrating your opponent because you lack the skills to argue cogently. Well, I feel sorry for you, maybe some day you will grow up and act like an adult.
    (though, In reg’s case I doubt it.)

    Cheers.
    GM

  36. GM Roper Says:

    That AGI should read 1,000,000.

  37. GM Roper Says:

    Let me quote from the “Unfunded liabilities” link above:

    When the U.S government speaks about a 1.7 trillion deficit – this is the volumes of cash the U.S. Government borrowed in 2010 to run itself.
    Keep in mind it is double stacked pallets of $100 million dollars each, full of $100 dollar bills. You are going to need a lot of trucks to freight this around.

    If you spent $1 million a day since Jesus was born, you would have not spent $1 trillion by now…but ~$700 billion- same amount the banks got during bailout.

  38. GM Roper Says:

    Cappadonna:

    “As for GM Roper, why do entertain fools like this? A guy who actually can’t pull out a calculator to realize half our debt came from President Smirk That’s right, Bush the Lesser ran up most of the tab that the GOP Tea Bag twits are bitching about now.”

    Gosh, I do love this stuff so.

    Cap, take another calculator, preferably one that has a battery in it and understand that of the near 15 trillion dollars, 5.7 trillion was on the books before Bush. Bush jumped it to 10.7 damn near doubling it. But you forgot to add in the Obama deficit spending which has increased it to just under 15 trillion. Now, I would suggest that the 5 trillion Bush ran up is only about 1/3 of the national debt, with Obama responsible for nearly 1/3 also.

    Who needs to learn to operate a calculator?

  39. Rob Grocholski Says:

    What a load crap.

    Roper wants to swoon in here and lecture everyone with his ‘reasonable-sounding’ discourse after the tea bagger lunatics have just put a gun to everyone’s head. Where was this concern about deficits when GBW was in office? Boehner & McConnell voted for all that shit Bush tacked on the national credit card. Now he thinks he’s the ‘adult.’ Utterly laughable.

  40. reg Says:

    “the sub-prime fiasco brought about by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

    More proof of your ignorance. The financial meltdown wasn’t caused by Fannie and Freddie. This is a rightwing talking point that has been totally debunked. F&F couldn’t even buy into the junk mortgage market by law until 2005, and were pushed in by HUD because that end had grown so large, driven purely by private markets who had found a way to sell garbage, packaged like chopped meat and AAA-rated by S&P and Moodys. And F&F’s record on loan defaults are STILL not as bad as the private banks. This is pure BS – indicating that your reading level is at “echo-chamber” level.

    And, of course, the bulk of the “Obama deficit” is a combination of hangover from stupid things Bush did – like invade Iraq so that the Iranians could gain political hegemony over time, as they are doing – and the meltdown that took place before he went into office. Most of the current deficit is due to the meltdown – loss of revenue – and the Bush tax cuts.

    You are an ignorant man. And, of course, you are lying about the cost of the bank bailout. It is costing nothing close to $700 billion. But you toss that number in as though it’s a piece of the deficit.

    And if the tax code – even taken back to the Clinton era – is “unsustainable”, why were we able to do better during the Clinton years. That was the only period of fiscal responsibility we’ve had – and it was combined with very good job growth.

    You deal in misdirection, phony numbers that aren’t related to anything other than implication, and vague generalities and bromides that can’t be backed up with any actual evidence. A teenager who knows a bit about economic history could see through your shallow “offering.”

    And of course, you didn’t answer the fundamental question I asked about the GOP strategy that puts tax cuts BEFORE whatever spending cuts they desire – because of pure political cowardice…or more likely the dishonesty of Norquist’s “Starve the Beast” strategy to “drown government” by creating huge deficits.

    Epic fail of a response – full of crap like “F&F caused the mortgage meltdown.” And what is the timeline for “unfunded liabilities.” Does that matter – that we know the context, baseline and content of a statistical projection – or are we better off looking at some graphic designed for grade school? And why doesn’t that silly “history” article you link to deal with debt as % of GDP, rather than nominal debt. Because that’s the only number that matters. That article didn’t even note whether it was using inflation-adjusted numbers. One of the flakiest bits of “scholarship” I’ve seen. And those two questions are so basic it’s beyond belief you even submitted that as “serious.” Here is what you need to know about the history of debt and deficits:

    http://zfacts.com/p/1195.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_debt_by_U.S._presidential_terms

    Roper’s “it’s everybody’s fault” is BS. Tax cut dogmas worsened our debt greatly. But he makes an argument about how hard it is to understand tax forms. Misdirection – either Roper is remarkably stupid, or he thinks he’s good at double-talk and misdirection. BAsically he doesn’t want to deal with basic facts about when “unsustainable” debt trends started and why GOPers push for tax cuts BEFORE they’ve achieved the spending cuts they claim to desire. That’s basic. The opposite of “fiscal conservatism.”

    This idiot can make whatever remarks he wants about “acting like an adult” – but he’s too much of a coward to do what adults do which is address substantive questions regarding the political choices people like him have made, and to make an adult argument that is based on something other than out-of-context assertions. W Bush attacked the Surplus as a problem. And when he took the country to war he failed to back down on any tax cuts to pay for it – even if they were triggered a few years after 9/11 to compensate for “business confidence.” Moral cowardice and fiscal profligacy. But Roper was “all in.” Clinton’s tax codes didn’t hurt the economy at all. Bush’s tax cuts didn’t “pay for themselves.” That enormous “unfunded liabilities” timeline could be conjured in 2000, based primarily on the explosion in health care costs (having nothing do with Medicare as a form of insurance, but costs in our overall system) and the fact that growing income inequality since Reagan has pushed ever larger shares of increase in wealth over the Social Security tax cap. But rather than see the potential of annual surpluses – “if present trends continue,” which they rarely do – as an opportunity to keep our fiscal house in order and maybe grow a “rainy day fund” to deal with the costs of recessions in revenue and safety net support, he cut taxes. And, of course, produced one of the worst job creation records ever at the same time. But idiots like Roper would sell you the “tax cuts pay for themselves” patent medicine from “gurus” like Larry Kudlow.

    Sorry for rambling, but there is so much junk in Roper’s post – and it’s so lacking in a coherent argument tied to anything anyone with a grain of economic knowledge would consider as authentic data or structured analyisis – that a response to it that is “elegant” or “focused” is difficult. It’s reflective of just how shabby his own attempt to grapple with substantive issues happens to be.

  41. reg Says:

    “unable to grasp what an opponent is saying”

    Yeah, that’s me – while GMR’s response went right to directly answering the issues I raised.

    LOL.

    This is why all this guy really deserves is the rude response and putting evidence or issues on the table is a waste of time. For the guy who puts up cartoons of the President dressed in one of Stalin’s generals’ uniforms or who plays footsie with Anders Breiviks’ blog fave, Pam Geller, to talk about being “adult” is beyond laughable. More like pathetic. The desperation to sound “cogent” just oozes out of his silly confabulations of nonsense.

  42. Brad in SoCal Says:

    I wish economics were more like baseball, as millions of folks manage to juggle lots of arcane numbers pretty knowledgeably in that arena, but really have no concept of how government fiscal and monetary policy actually work. It’s also pretty easy to lie using statistics, as the previous posters have demonstrated (though I am not equating their arguments!).

    Here’s my take: the national debt is really a symptom, not a cause. It went down in the Clinton era because the economy was relatively healthy, and it’s going up now because the economy is in the tank. The politicians can fiddle with it here and there, but unless the economy improves, it doesn’t really matter.

    Of course, who buys Treasury notes anyway (and state-issued bonds)? Yes, that’s right, the rich benefit either way. Meanwhile, we get the sideshow as political entertainment. Back to baseball–now about that designated hitter…

  43. reg Says:

    Brad – clearly economic growth is the key to fiscal balance. But it’s not even arguable that Bush’s tax cuts – to attack a POTENTIAL, UNREALIZED surplus, and yes, that was an explicit rationale – didn’t put us in much deeper waters. The statistical trends I posted can’t be explained soley as the policies of a single President – they are embedded in our politics and choices and subject to dynamics of the global economy, etc. – but I don’t think it’s dishonest to argue that on the basis of what we’ve seen empirically from Reagan through Clinton and Bush that arguments about the lower tax rates being determinative of economic growth – which is how they have consistently been sold – or as some sort of “conservative” measure, rather than profligacy that primarily benefits the economic elite – is bullshit. I don’t pretend to explain everything with the data I posted – except that we’re being sold an absurdly dishonest and, at best, over-simplified tale of the benefits of tax cuts that doesn’t hold water. Not even a little bit. And as for Obama’s deficits, it’s so obviously related to a pile of crap he’s trying to dig out of that was there when he took the oath of office that to even use “Obama” as an adjective for the word “deficits” obscures more than it could even pretend to explain. There is no parallel since FDR for just how bad of a situation a President has been handed.

  44. Dan O Says:

    GM,

    *Any* talk about deficits and debt that fails to put these numbers in the context of the existing economic conditions, the percentage of GDP, the prospects for growth, and the purpose of the spending is borderline dishonest.

    Trotting out images like the stacks of pallets of planets of money make the situation look dire, but without context they are utterly meaningless.

    There is a lot of debt right now. Much of it was added to by Bush Jr. and a big bump happened due to the stimulus. But given current interest rates, it’s a meaningless number more or less. And you treat all debt as if it was exactly the same. Distinctions are important here. A billion dollars for research at the NIH is not the same as a billion dollars to fly drones over Somalia, or give tax breaks to yacht owners.

  45. reg Says:

    Also, because economic growth is the foundation of both general prosperity and government solvency, I referred to the importance of debt as % of GDP as the relevant number, not some aggregate figure or a picture of a pile of dollar bills(!)

    Just as $5000 in credit card debt means vastly different things to someone earning $25,000 annually vs. someone earning $100,000 annyally, it’s the % of GDP number that matters (a figure which was going down from a war-induced 100% for every President until Reagan, started to decline again under Clinton because of both better growth and more responsible tax rates, then went up precipitously under Bush for the obvious reasons of unfunded wars, tax cuts and unfunded increases in Medicare, which advantaged Big Pharma and excluding any price negotiations on top of no pay-as-you-go plan for the legislation.

  46. GM Roper Says:

    I think I’ll ignore the foamers here… Dan, you bring up some good points. Yes, there are distinctions to be made, and I understand the differences in a billion for NIH, for drones and for tax relief for yacht owners, but again, the total is a daunting figure and we honestly need to figure a way out. That is not borderline dishonest, that is fact.

    Regardless of what the GDP is, currently the forces in play will hurt the GDP as we see with increasing joblessness, low investment and massive government spending at all levels. Many, many states are starting to grasp the fact that you cannot tax yourself into prosperity and that spending is the problem (at least from my perspective).

    I’ve been accused of lots of things in this and other threads, but most of them are from the foamers and not reasonable participants.

    If, as reg says, the economic growth is the foundation of general prosperity and government solvency, why is it that states and municipal governments are having to cut back so drastically? Overspending perhaps, beyond what the tax base of it’s members can manage? A very public outcry has occurred (also called the TEA Party) precisely because of this. Are all these millions of people that wrong?

    As regards to tax cuts, each time they have been passed (Kennedy, Reagan, Bush) deposits to the federal treasury has INCREASED which is also a measure of increased wealth, the more money people make, the higher the tax receipts. But in this economy, running up debt as has been happening makes no sense.

    Charts and figures don’t lie, but liars make up figures and charts and those are often used (by both sides in this argument) to mask reality. The reality is that we are spending way to much compared to what the economy can support (GDP notwithstanding) and much of it for dubious reasons with no proof that the spending will help anything.

    Lets tax the millionaires and billionaires at 100% and MAKE them pay their fair share… doesn’t matter if they already pay 1/3 of the taxes paid. Lets give more money to those that don’t pay anything (50% of the “taxpayers”) because after all, they are the little guy.

    I’m rambling, but then listening to the foamers causes that.

    Dan, what do you suggest is the solution to the burgeoning debt? To the spending and to the lack of fiscal policy by the current occupant of the White House? Just curious sir. Just curious. Do you see it as a problem and if not, why not.

    GM

  47. Cappadonna Says:

    Reg – I agreed that Obama could have used the ‘bully pulpit’ more. But ultimately, the bully pulpit only works when the parishioners in the church (in this case, Congress) ‘come to Jesus’ and pass the collection plate. The people are distracted, how many people actually knew that the government is required to pay its debt by Constitutional law? Or that the debt ceiling was put in place in 1917 to pay for WWI? The problem is the Congress is filled with crazy people and the populace is too stupid to care. Obama’s pulpit in this case was as effective as a New England Unitarian preaching tolerance to the Southern Baptist Convention.

  48. reg Says:

    Ah – once again deliberately ignores the question of how it’s “conservative” to propose cutting taxes BEFORE any spending cuts have actually been enacted. The giant question mark for any right-wing yammerer who claims the mantle of “fiscal conservatism” in the age of Norquist and post our experience under both Reagan and Bush. (He makes the tired claim that tax cuts pay for themselves – when of course there is no such evidence.)

    Another big lie from Roper – “those that don’t pay anything (50% of the “taxpayers”) Total nonsense. That means, of course, that payroll taxes etc. are not “anything.” Which would be news to most folks. The percentage of taxes that upper income people pay is about the same as their percentage of national income. Income inequality has increased so dramatically since Reagan that, of course, the people who have most of the wealth pay a large share of the taxes. Only the very lowest quintiles of earners pay a % of the tax burden that is somewhat less than their share of income – which is as it should be. Their dollars are harder earned and can’t stretch as far as the rest. But even given that, they hardly “pay nothing.”

    The top 1%, as example, take a bit over 20% of national income and pay around 21% of taxes. The lowest 20% of earners make about 3.5% of total national income and pay 2% of federal, state and local taxes. One example of how Roper is incapable of putting any assertion in context or connecting it to actual data.

    http://www.ctj.org/pdf/taxday2011.pdf

  49. reg Says:

    Google “tax cuts pay for themselves” if you want another laugh at this clown….

  50. GM Roper Says:

    Ahhh, another foamer response. I really don’t want to waste my time answering yahoo questions from a dishonest individual.

  51. Dan O Says:

    and the populace is too stupid to care.

    Sorry Cap, but this sentiment is exactly what’s wrong with the progressive/left in this country.

    The whole point of the bully pulpit is to persuade people. In many ways it’s the primary power of the president, and Obama, with his massively superior skills as a speaker has squandered many useful chances to make this power work for him in the causes he cares about. The fact that he doesn’t do so perhaps means that therse are not his causes.

    The nihilism and haughtiness expressed in the notion that the people are too stupid is pretty unbecoming of a man who is supposed to be for the people.

  52. GM Roper Says:

    From the Paper of Record “Unexpectedly slow growth.”

    Unexpected according to Paul Krugman? reg? Cappadonna? any of the other foamers here?

  53. GM Roper Says:

    Cappadonna:

    how many people actually knew that the government is required to pay its debt by Constitutional law?

    Gosh, I would hope NONE… the 14th Amendment states in Section 4:

    “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.”

    No one was questioning the validity of the debt, the question is how to pay the debt. Too, this section was added to the 14 to specifically rule out the United States (or any of the various states within the United States) from assuming or paying for any of the debt accrued by the Confederates or slave holders or. The Remainder of Section 4:

    “But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.”

    Show me, if you will Cappadonna, Where any part of the current debt was accrued in suppressing any states insurrection or reimbursing slaveholders?

  54. GM Roper Says:

    Al Gore talking to Keith Olberman:

    “[I] think this should be a wake-up call for all Americans, Keith — that our system of government, itself, is in real trouble,” Gore said. “We have been making, as a country, a whole series of really bad decisions, and we became the greatest country in the world, as we still like to describe our country, by making better decisions than practically any other country in history because we had a high-quality debate among ourselves.”

    “We put the facts on the table and tried to find the best evidence of what was true and what was not, and then apply the rule of reason and try to get good policies,” Gore added. “It didn’t always work perfectly, but it worked a whole lot better than it is working now.

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/08/02/al-gore-our-system-of-government-itself-is-in-real-trouble/#ixzz1TtuGVzGp

    Gosh, first the paper of record and now Saint Gore of the failed election.

  55. GM Roper Says:

    OMG… I’ve become a serial poster like reg.

    quick, the anti blather pill. :D

  56. GM Roper Says:

    reg: “That means, of course, that payroll taxes etc. are not “anything.”

    As Pooh might say: “Oh bother”

    Payroll taxes (the portion that goes to income tax) is largely nothing more than Uncle Sam borrowing the money from low income folk at zero interest which they get back in the form of rebates or return. The social security and medicare money they pay goes into the general fund as a “Loan” for which the treasury issues “bonds” (or some similar mechanism which I don’t recall at the moment) to pay for their later Social Security and Medicare payments (providing they live that long of course.)

    Here’s an idea, how about we eliminate payroll withholding (the tax part) and everybody write a check to the treasury each month for their current estimated taxes? What do you suppose the outcry about too high taxes would be then? Just a thought!

    (I guess I need a new prescription for the anti-blather pill – this one seems to be out-of-date) :D

  57. Ahmed Says:

    “The nihilism and haughtiness expressed in the notion that the people are too stupid is pretty unbecoming of a man who is supposed to be for the people.”

    Toss me in with the wine sippers and Che documentary wankers off to on this one. Note as well that Obama’s bizarre version of Lincoln that never manages to include the fucking Civil War, not even in relation to the Emancipation Proclamation; Lincoln’s penchant for compromise was only with members of his own party; the Dems, after all, were at war against him.

    What we have is a politics of helplessness whereby ever obstacle in front of Obama is simply deemed too great, liberal outrage is reserved for Bachmann even when the agenda of the far right is forwarded by a sitting president. Reallythough-is Obama weak kneed or is this the result that he wanted? He’s going to position himself as the “reasonable” alternative to extremists, the man who can compromise where they can’t, etc. His partisan selling point will be his bipartisanship, unlike the other guys, who are just rigid ideologues. He’ll have to do this subtly, so he doesn’t sound too partisan.

  58. MiddleMan Says:

    Elections have little consequences. The President and Congress both got off easy under the circumstances.

    That big hungry elephant-in-the-room was hardly harmed. His diet of 1.2 trillion pounds of hay a year, paid for with voters credit cards, is guaranteed for another ten……technically speaking.

    Fickle of-two-minds voters will once again vote for change in 2012. History shows it won’t make any difference. One party gives them their “entitlements”, the other will give them their “tax breaks”. They will continue to get the government they ask for.

  59. Cappadonna Says:

    GM Roper, you obviously think you’re smarter than who you really are. By quoting 14th Amendment in its entirety, you proved our point. The debt of the US must be paid, except in the case of an armed rebellion (a provision that REALLY pissed off the South).

    But, the GOP was willing to default or (through right wing twisty-logic) force the government to start Cat Food Commissions to decide whether or not to pay Medicare beneficiaries or soldiers -thus cutting government spending by default. (Pretty stupid logic, as your interest rates skyrocket. But American Conservatives and logic aren’t good friends.)

    Now back to the 14th Amendment, because there wasn’t insurrection or discrediting of the united states government (Uncle Sam wasn’t the victim of identity fraud when Congress signed off on the Mideast Wars and useless tax cuts), the debt, by law would be paid.

    So, if there was no deal met (this one kicks the can down the road and creates silly commissions to distract from the issue, BTW.), Obama, the Executor of the Constitution would be within his rights to raise the debt ceiling and dare the GOP to raise a stink.

    They wouldn’t, because they’d have no legal grounds for it and their Wall Street backers would ring their necks if they tried.

    Dan O Says:
    Sorry Cap, but this sentiment is exactly what’s wrong with the progressive/left in this country.

    The whole point of the bully pulpit is to persuade people. In many ways it’s the primary power of the president, and Obama, with his massively superior skills as a speaker has squandered many useful chances to make this power work for him in the causes he cares about. The fact that he doesn’t do so perhaps means that therse are not his causes.

    The problem is that you think “the people” care at this point. A few good speeches from Obama isn’t going to change 30 years of Reaganomics & 15 years of Fox News brainwashing.

    Also, just because I stand up for people, doesn’t mean I don’t realize that people do and believe rather stupid things. Hell, I love my 25 y.o. kid brother and still think he’s lazy and makes ass-backwards decisions. And I tell him he’s a lazy ass fool.

    This nation put these slimeball know-nothings in office in ’10 because they thought Obama was going to turn Grandpa into Soylent Green and send our children to Maddrasas. We’re also a nation where a hoochie like Kim Kardashian can become a famous TV star and pitch woman doing home made porn. Again, we as a nation, are vapid fools.

    I honestly believe that the common man can rise up and make changes. I just have the knowledge and experience to know its gonna take a long time, a lot longer than 1 term in office.

  60. GM Roper Says:

    Cap: “GM Roper, you obviously think you’re smarter than who you really are. By quoting 14th Amendment in its entirety, you proved our point. The debt of the US must be paid, except in the case of an armed rebellion (a provision that REALLY pissed off the South). ”

    Cap, your comment implied (if not actually said) that the constitution required payment of the debt. You ar wrong. That myth is from the 14th amendment where some progressives were hoping Obama would invoke and raise the debt ceiling. Even Obama said that was a non-starter. If I’m wrong, please be specific and show me, in the U.S. Constitution, where it says the US must pay it’s debt. As far as I know, the debt hasn’t been paid in a long time, as opposed to paying intrest on the debt which is a different thing entirely.

    Good try bumpkin, but no cigar.

  61. GM Roper Says:

    Oh, and Cap, I didn’t quote the “entire” 14th Amendment, I quoted Section 4. I would guess that a program of remedial reading would help you considerably. After all, you are the one that thought the 14th “required” payment of the national debt.

    Who knows, reading the Constitution just might change your mind about a few things… nah, who am I kidding?

  62. GM Roper Says:

    Where IS that anti-blather pill? Sigh! :D

  63. Cappadonna Says:

    GM Roper, Its the Law, WE HAVE TO PAY THE DEBT!! That’s the point of the debt ceiling, its the government literally saying how much money they will pay towards the debt, interest and principle.

    You quoted the damn law, dumb ass. That’s what “will be recognized” means. It was make sure the nitwits like you didn’t try to foot the bill because you didn’t agree with that the last guy did. (i.e. making the Southern Dixiecrats couldn’t pull any stunts in avoiding paying for the Civil War debt because they got creamed.)

    The out that you sited would be if Texas or Alaska actually tried to secede from the US, failed and wanted Obama to pick up the tab.

    Also, in what scenario is it a good idea to default on a loan, particularly for the world’s largest economy? If we default on our loans lenders, we go broke and so does the planet. End of discussion.

    Sorry, Roper, but when your constitutional knowledge comes from someone other than Michelle Bachmann and Glenn Beck, come back and talk to the adults.

  64. Cappadonna Says:

    Ah, I must be really stressed at work today. Why else responding to some right wing goober like GMR, who obviously doesn’t know the first damn thing about politics, the Constitution or economics?

  65. Ahmed Says:

    “Where IS that anti-blather pill? Sigh!”

    When you find it can you pass the putative pill to your hero, a women who you frequently applaud and link to, Pam Geller. The same Geller who has now responded to the Utoya massacre by condemned the victims for being race mixers, non pure Norwegians, elitist anti Semites and Hitler youth. This is the women that Roper rallies around whenever he propounds his serially demented Islamization of America rants. A women who calls for backdated ideas of racial purity and describes a camp for kids connected to Norways social democratic government “Utoya Island is a Communist/Socialist campground, and they clearly had a pro-Islamic agenda.”

    Ropers embrace of paranoid neo fascist ideology, his frenzied Islamphobic fears of impending takeover demonstrate a enfeebled brain so gripped by paranoia that it prevents him from seeing the world (and human beings) around him in real, contradictory and vivid complexity. He shut off thinking long ago. Sorry man, there’s no light there.

  66. reg Says:

    “GM Roper Says:
    August 2nd, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Ahhh, another foamer response. I really don’t want to waste my time answering yahoo questions from a dishonest individual.”

    Because, of course, you can’t…

    Epic fail!

  67. reg Says:

    Shorter Roper – “Payroll taxes aren’t taxes because they’re used for stuff…”

    What an idiot.

  68. reg Says:

    Incidentally Rope-de-dope – it would be useful if you picked one thing I wrote in response to your spew that was “dishonest.”

    One motherfucking thing, you clown! How about it?

  69. reg Says:

    I guess if payroll taxes aren’t “taxes” then Medicare and Social Security aren’t “government spending.”

    Could we send this guy to some junior college somewhere, so he could catch up with people who aren’t – at the least – proud of their ignorance?

  70. reg Says:

    “As far as I know, the debt hasn’t been paid in a long time, as opposed to paying intrest on the debt which is a different thing entirely.”

    Jesus Christ, you’re an idiot. Why are the “bond vigilantes” still buying Treasury issue at incredibly low interest rates if the government doesn’t pay it’s debts. Do you understand how loaned money is structured? Or why investors buy bonds? And, yes, until Reagan the US government was paying DOWN the national debt as % of GDP – which is the only number that matters. The curve was pretty sharp and steep through Carter. Then…something happened…

    And if you’re some kind of “fiscal conservative” why did you support the Bush2 plan of attack against the projected surplus – which was, when he enacted tax cuts, supposed to be able to pay most of the debt off. Even with 9/11, we would be in beter fiscal straits if we’d followed the Clinton tax code. No one in their right mind can argue that Clinton’s tax code stifled growth and investment. You “conservatives” aren’t conservative – nor do you care about deficits. It’s all about tax cuts (uber alles) and subverting the US government through Norquist’s perverse “deficit bomb.” Grover Norquist – a pasty little fuck who has the moral integrity of Ayn Rand – rules the GOP’s world. It’s a disease.

  71. reg Says:

    Ahmed – thanks for the reminder that Roper is a big fan of overt fascists who have no qualms about “blaming victims” of terrorism – even slandering children who have been murdered by a lunatic in thrall of her virulent Islamophobia.

  72. Cappadonna Says:

    I think we all can agree that talking to GM Roper is about as productive as discussions with a rutabaga. I take that back, its offense to rutabagas.

  73. qdpsteve Says:

    Somehow somewhere we have GOT to organize a live meetup between Reg and GMR. It would be epic. GM could wear a spittle shield, and Reg could whack GM’s head repeatedly with a rubber keyboard. YouTube, here we come!!! ;-)

  74. 4th Time Around (22) Says:

    Again, weather or not Marc Cooper wants to dwell on it, a central fact of these sad days is that Obama has been a disaster. The Clinton supporters (and this is not to suggest Clinton would have done a better job, circumstances leave no valid case for that) who were called racist for pointing out his lack of experience and general rise through some very lucky circumstance have been proven right.

    Marc Cooper is left a hypocrite for applying one relentlessly unforgiving standard to Clinton’s presidency (he intentionally lost the house to further his own political career or some such balderdash) and a “let’s change the subject” standard to Obama’s. Remember everything that went wrong in 90s, according to Marc, was all based on Clinton’s lack of leadership. Oh brother.

    In fact, those progressives who endlessly chided Clinton’s White House for the supposed obsession with polls-you need to be asked- what the HELL is Obama basing his decisions on? When he caved on raising taxes on the richest Americans, he was IGNORING the polls. I wonder if you like that better?

    A year or so back Reg (and to be fair, some other lefties) were transfixed by Thomas Ricks’s absurd book, “The Gamble” an weird mash note to General Petraeus that
    (to Reg) somehow contained a thoughtful and nuanced argument for continuing in Afghanistan.

    Except it contained nothing of the kind! Ricks, though he wrote a decent book about the Iraqi disaster, is basically a Pentagon rah-rah boy who repays access in the manner Marc Cooper is talking about here. And how’s Afghanistan working out for you Reg?

    Which brings us to the one bright spot in all this: the Defense cuts that Oberman thinks won’t really happen but what does he know? In the mists of this madness, a baby step back to sanity?

  75. Sergio Says:

    Obama the corporate shill loves the militarists and their fascism.

    They make him feel tough.

  76. reg Says:

    4th – the title of Ricks book says it all. Of course, how will withdrawal “work out for you.” No good options. I think I underestimated what Petraeus could potentially accomplish in Iraq – his dealings with the Sunni warlords were a smart prelude to US withdrawal – and, because I did believe that I was “wrong” about giving Petraeus a last shot before we withdrew from Iraq, was open to giving him a shot at Afghanistan, where simply handing the country over to the Taliban is not optimal, however sanguine you might be about that. No good options. None. I’m not at all embarrassed by the choices I made.

  77. Brad in SoCal Says:

    To give 4th Time his due, as it turns out, Obama has not turned out to be what many of us hoped for. More fool us. Hillary probably wouldn’t have been any better, and the question is, what now?

    Who will step forward to challenge him in the primaries and/or the general election? And given that he is clearly a spokesman for the status quo, not for serious change, what do we do to build a movement for serious change?

  78. Dan O Says:

    Yeah, Obama has not turned out as many of us hoped, but 4th time trots out the insipidly stupid “experience” line first laid out by the Republicans, or, er, was that Hilary? Not at all surprised to see a Clintonoid use Republican arguments against whatever opponent is in his way.

    Either Obama is a right-leaning corporate Dem, or he refuses to drop his naif-like belief in compromise and bi-partisanship.

    But, he’s no less experienced than a fair number of other presidents, and you’re just drinking from the trough of resentment and bitterness by trying to get that experience dog to bark as an explanation for your displeasure at Obama.

  79. Johnny Holmes Says:

    Yes Brad, what now? There’s no white knight who’s going to defeat Obama in the primary and ride that lightening to the presidency. I’m not voting for him but a lot of other people will. It’s the moderate Republican Obama vs. the mental patients in 2012. I know, a pretty sucky choice.

    The American people just need to decide what they want and vote accordingly. Until that happens nothing will change. I do however think after the failure of the Kerry campaign and the disaster of the Obama presidency, Democrats won’t be so keen on voting for someone they deem “electable” over a true progressive.

    The bottom line is no amount of organizing, or speech making, or phoning your senator will make a damn bit of difference until the average Joe comes to the understanding that kissing the collective butt of the wealthy isn’t going to make their lives any better.

  80. 4th Time Around Says:

    It is of course Dan O who is the childish fool here; and putting down Obama’s mind bogglingly inept performance to inexperience is of course deeply generous. It should be born in mind the next time somebody in the Senate for a few months wants to go to the White House. He has been outplayed by the worst and the stupidest. As the right licks it’s lips and now knows the sky’s the limit- I guess dopes like Dano can take solace in Obama’s exemplary personal life. It’s so not Clintonoid! What a fucking child.

  81. Ahmed Says:

    4th gets a lot of (deserved) slack with much of it owing to his particular obsessions around Marc and the 1990′s Clinton betrayers. But, to be honest, the point here contains some validity. Those progressives for Obama who projected all sorts of hopes onto him- I’m thinking of Katrina and Tom H more so than the so called hard headed left neo libs- have some explaining to do. And before me sits a collection edited by Hithchens and Caldwell containing an essay by Marc called “The Death of Liberal Outrage”. He documents how liberal value and policy plank was jettisoned time after time to the absolute silence of liberal orgs like NOW and the unions. True then. Sadly true now.

  82. reg Says:

    I’m not going to argue that Obama has come close to doing all of the right things politically. Or that he doesn’t have a weird penchant for appearing to make “compromise” his goal, rather than a necessary process while holding out a greater goal.

    But I would like to know what anyone thinks could have been maximally achieved by a President with Dennis Kucinich’s laundry list and LBJ’s years of wheeliing and dealing in the Senate given that Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman were essential votes to do…anything and the GOP has pretty much turned into a gang hell-bent on destruction. I could probably make a somewhat hopeful stab at a few things that might have been achieved, but I don’t see the main problem as Obama. I think that’s politically naive, almost beyond belief. I’d like to think that Obama could use his bully pulpit or some “arm twisting” to better effect, but I’m don’t see any actual proof that would do more than make me feel better about him. Which isn’t the point. And, in fact, Obama has already achieved more legislatively than Clinton.

    For so-called progressives (why do I hate that word? It’s a crappy word, linked historically to elitist reform movements, poor Henry Wallace and his CP-oriented stalwarts and the hare-brained notion that “progress” has some inherent connection to social democratic values) to dream that the Presidency can ever be their holy grail is bizarre. The reality is IMHO that Bill Clinton, Hillary, John Kerry and Obama would all sign off on 90% of what Bernie Sanders might propose as the next phase of American social reform if the balance of political forces brought a congress to power that would pass his agenda. Again, I’m not defending everything Clinton and Obama have done by a long shot – most particularly Clinton, who was a much more enthusiastic enabler of bad policy than Obama has been. But when I see Larry Summers himself promoting sensible economic policy as soon as he LEAVES the White House – which he has done in the most recent interviews I’ve seen – I have to assume that the problem is the White House and the political terrain that almost literally surrounds it and the system that it’s imagined to sit “atop” rather than this particular group of folks who have made their way there. A lot of additional damage can be done from the Oval Office – as we’ve painfully seen – but real and deep reform without radically different forces controlling Congress – and an assenting Supreme Court – is not going to happen.

  83. reg Says:

    “Democrats won’t be so keen on voting for someone they deem ‘electable’ over a true progressive”

    Johnny – the best I can say about that is “take that teddy bear to bed with you” because Democrats are going to vote for people who can get elected – not Dennis Kucinich or whoever I imagine you think is a “true progressive” – mostly because people who are “electable” make the choice to becoe “electable” in the context of political calculations that seem wrong-headed and are easily lampooned when they are totally transparent, but which aren’t totally divorced from some unpleasant realities. And to talk about the “disaster of the Obama presidency” is beyond bizarre IMHO. I don’t understand the planet folks who make that judgement are broadcasting from. I say that seriously and not just as snark. Totally don’t get it. I guess I’m not a “true progressive.” Again, probably just a very large difference in perspective and not meant simply in sarcasm.

  84. reg Says:

    Ahmed – “Lincoln’s penchant for compromise was only with members of his own party”

    In fact, until this bizarre hostage drama which is unprecedented in “debt ceiling” legislation, that’s what Obama’s compromises have all been about through ’09 and ’10. Getting policy through his own admittedly crappy coalition. As if the generic “corporate Democrats” like Schumer aren’t bad enough (and even that sleaze seems “good” in comparison to some), the totally rotten opportunist Ben Nelson – and Lieberman – played out their own little hostage drama. And Obama couldn’t even get his appointments through the Senate with 60 supposedly of his own party – because even that’s not enough if the opposition is as nihilistic and hell-bent on destruction as their strategy as the current GOP crowd is.

  85. MiddleMan Says:

    We can be thankful our ideological battles are still being fought with words, not bullets.

    This could change if democracy does not get its hot-headed ideologues under control, and we slide into bankruptcy from lenders unwilling to feed the absolute capitalists unwillingness to tax and the absolute socialists unwillingness to deal with dependency.

    The world watched as our democracy dealt with our debt to them. They saw the ideologues win again; no taxes for the right and no believable spending control from the left….they could see Greece from Washington.

  86. reg Says:

    There’s a big problem in Washington with “absolute socialists.” Every insightful observer from the Absolute Muddle can see this.

  87. MiddleMan Says:

    Reg@3:28AM -”The reality is IMHO that Bill Clinton, Hillary, John Kerry and Obama would all sign off on 90% of what Bernie Sanders might propose as the next phase of American social reform if the balance of political forces brought a congress to power that would pass his agenda.”

    OK, that should be “absolute democratic socialists”. How’s that working out for them in europe?

  88. reg Says:

    You are an idiot. There is no “absolute socialism” in Europe. Europe’s economic system is fully capitalist. Most European countries have progams of social insurance and regulations to allow the fully capitalist systems of economic production to not destroy society and themselves, because capitalists can’t make rational decisions beyond their limited profit motives. This is pretty elementary. Grow up. Learn a little about real life. And don’t pretend that utter stupidity is the “Middle.”

    As for how that’s working out for the Europeans, why don’t you get off of your intellectually lazy ass and check out how much the OED countries spend on their socialized or closely regulated health insurance systems. They provide health care that is rated by any objective standard better than ours overall, at much less cost. So that socialism or semi-socialism in the arena of health insurance (nothing absolute, since in all countries except England private insurance is part of the mix) is working out quite well and makes their economies far more sustainable than ours, where health care costs eat up 16% of GDP.

    Your comments are infantile, ill-informed, lazy and little more than “Roper-Lite”, posing as some sort of Sober Centrism. You are an embarrassment even to the “Mush of Muddled Middle” promoted by our in-bred media’s Tom Friedmans and David Broders.

    Ridiculous and shallow – come back with something that’s not so easily punctured.

  89. reg Says:

    Sarah Palin – back when she had a real job – has governed more as an “absolute socialist” than Barack Obama, overseeing the biggest socialist scheme in the United States of public ownership of productive resources, with a redistribution of wealth – extracted solely through state ownership – based on nothing more than state residency. And apparently that’s working out quite well for Alaskans, who pay no state taxes plus get a check in the mail that’s probably larger than a lot of them pay in federal taxes.

    And of course, as Palin admits she did ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/08/palin-crossed-border-for_n_490080.html ) I’m sure at least some of those Alaskans skip over the border to Canada for “socialist” health care.

  90. Listener Says:

    Speaking of “dependency”….

    emptywheel and Meteor Blades on the increase in the use of food stamps.

    emptywheel observes that – using the available numbers – 37% of Alabama’s population is on food stamps. Part of that is due to the tornadoes that state suffered which prompted a program of rapid turn around on food stamp applications.

    But it will be interesting to see what happens to these numbers in subsequent months. Will these numbers return to “normal,” reflecting an appropriate and short term response to a disaster (even if it is one Alabama’s legislators all refuse to pay for)? Or are we seeing a poor state come to rely on the government for bare necessities once it becomes easy to apply? - Marcy Wheeler

  91. reg Says:

    Alabama – like Alaska – is one of those “red states” that receives far more $$ from the Federal government than they pay in federal taxes. For Alabama it was over $11,000 per capita in 2009. But they keep sending “conservatives” like Dick Shelby to Washington who, I’m sure, will put an end to this embarrassing largess at their first opportunity. It must be painful for the good conservatives of Alabama to see their state sucking up all of that money. Just like Palin must have hated overseeing the giant socialist oil projects in Alaska and pushing the corporations to pay her “absolutely socialist” state more $$ for extraction rights.

  92. Cappadonna Says:

    Alabama – like Alaska – is one of those “red states” that receives far more $$ from the Federal government than they pay in federal taxes.

    That’s the thing reg that bugs me, these red state goobers are all but dependent on the federal taxes of California, the tri-state area and New England (i.e. LIBERALS) for their very existence. Without those blue states carrying the economic load – the red states would look more like war torn Yugoslavia than they do now.

    Like the stimulus package, these GOP/Tea Party goons will raise a big stink until its their turn to fork over some of those “Evil Big Government” funds.

    Ultimately, I think NOTHING will change. That’s right – nothing. This is all a dog and pony show, unless you REALLY think the GOP congress is going to cut SS and Medicare in a freaking election year after scaring people for a year about “Your Government Hands off My Medicare”.

  93. "lib hating psycho" Says:

    http://www.FreeRepublic.com
    reg wants to know what planet some of us are from…you might want to ask that of our host, reggie, for he, too, was once a ‘brother from another planet’

    {cheers to Ahmed for unearthing this gem}

    its worth annoying everyone to print it here in full as this issue of outrage has been the battleground of just about every thread– read this and weep you sniveling sheep:

    The Death of Liberal Outrage

    Wall Street Journal
    December 23

    December 23, 1998
    The Death of Liberal Outrage

    By Patrick H. Caddell, who served as a pollster and strategist in the presidential campaigns of George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, Gary Hart and Walter Mondale; and Marc Cooper, a contributing editor of The Nation.

    Democrats in Congress have a point when they accuse President Clinton’s critics of politicizing the law. Republicans cross the limits of credibility when they inflate the seriousness of Mr. Clinton’s transgressions into the equivalent of Watergate or Iran-contra. But we expect our Republican adversaries to act that way. What discourages us more has been the behavior of our friends, Mr. Clinton’s defenders on the left.

    We can only hope that when they stood vigil for Mr. Clinton last week on Capitol Hill, led by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, they said a prayer for Rickey Ray Rector. For Rector’s story symbolizes how liberals have sheared off their principles in order to squeeze into that little black box that is Mr. Clinton’s moral universe.

    In early 1992, as then-Gov. Clinton struggled to salvage his presidential candidacy in the face of the Gennifer Flowers scandal, convicted murderer Rector sat on Arkansas’s death row. When his time came for execution, Mr. Clinton flew home from New Hampshire just in time to deny Rector a stay of execution. Rector, an African-American, had turned his gun on himself after killing a police officer at his mother’s house. He blew his brains out, but he survived–condemned to function with the mind of a five-year-old. As he was put on his feet to walk to the death chamber, and with no trace of irony, Rector asked his guards to say hello to Gov. Clinton, whom he had just seen on television, and to save Rector his slice of pecan pie, which he planned to eat when he returned.

    It mattered not to Gov. Clinton that the law prohibited the execution of someone not competent to understand his crime or his punishment. Rector’s life was an insignificant price for candidate Clinton to pay to demonstrate his tough “New Democrat” credentials. In the days following the execution, as Mr. Clinton campaigned in the South, he proudly pointed to his willingness to enforce the death penalty.

    Where were the liberals? No Hollywood celebrities–no Rob Reiner, no Barbra Streisand–lobbied to spare Rector’s life. There were no NYU emergency speak-outs organized by Sean Wilentz and Arthur Schlesinger Jr. on Rector’s behalf. No panels of Ivy League law professors with Alan Dershowitz screaming for due process. Rep. Maxine Waters was too wrapped up co-chairing Mr. Clinton’s California campaign to invoke her–and Rector’s–”slave ancestors” in a cry for justice as she would six years later on the House floor on behalf of her president. The blatantly pro-Clinton reporters who covered the 1992 campaign–Sidney Blumenthal, Eleanor Clift, Strobe Talbott, Joe Klein–barely found time to hiccup over the outrageous execution of Rickey Ray Rector.

    A year later when Marshall Frady in The New Yorker wrote a chilling deconstruction of Clinton’s political decision to execute Rector, one of us asked a number of Clinton supporters if they believed Mr. Clinton would have executed Rector if he had not been campaigning for president. To a person, their answer was a sheepish no. But they had chosen to remain silent. Such complicity, they argued, was for the greater good–the greater good of finally having a Democrat in the White House. Bill Clinton might not exactly be a new FDR but he was, after all, “electable.”

    In the past six years, liberals have continued their defense of the Clinton presidency, paying a staggering price: unconditional surrender of their ideals.

    Where was the Democratic outrage when in the first months of the Clinton administration 83 men, women and children were immolated by federal agents at Waco? The same Democrats now bleating about the violation of Mr. Clinton’s rights were eerily silent when, as the 1996 re-election campaign was beginning, the president signed the Effective Death Penalty Act–a dastardly law that quashes nearly all legal appeals from death row.

    Democrats denounce the violation of the president’s right to privacy. But they have nothing to say when his administration proposes to legalize “roving” wiretaps. They are equally mum on the immigration bill signed by Mr. Clinton that virtually abolished due process and this year alone has resulted in more than 30,000 summary deportations, in many cases of long-term legal residents. And when Mr. Clinton signed the 1996 welfare bill, which requires unwed mothers to name their children’s fathers on pain of prosecution, it was left to Jesse Jackson to snuff out the moral fires. When liberals pondered their options of protest at the 1996 Democratic Convention, Mr. Jackson loudly barked the stray dissenters back into the fold.

    Likewise, in the current Monicagate fiasco, mainstream feminist organizations have shredded two decades of hard-earned gains in sexual harassment law. True, Paula Jones’s case was exploited by Clinton haters. But that’s no excuse for the White House to attack her as “trailer trash” or for Mr. Clinton, as a defendant in a sexual harassment case, to lie under oath. Since when is it the task of liberal feminists to intentionally confuse this repugnant act of perjury with what they disingenuously call “just lying about sex”?

    But the most disturbing consequence of the surrender to Clinton has been the self-strangulation of the Democratic peace constituency. In August Mr. Clinton ordered missile attacks in Afghanistan and Sudan within days of his disastrous speech about Monicagate. When credible news reports surfaced that the plant demolished by U.S. rockets in the Sudan was a benign pharmaceuticals factory, former President Carter courageously called for an investigation. But Democratic officeholders ignored Mr. Carter’s call.

    The refusal to speak out on the possible Sudan deception led us directly to last week’s tragedy of Operation Desert Fox. As the missiles exploded in Iraq, Democrats cheered. House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt and Minority Whip David Bonior–both of whom voted against the 1991 Gulf War and argued for the right to publicly challenge the wisdom of George Bush’s decision–this time pontificated shamelessly about threats to national security. The low point came when Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D., R.I.) on the House floor resurrected–nearly word for word– the scurrilous language LBJ White House’s used in 1966 when it questioned the patriotism of his uncle, Robert F. Kennedy, who had begun to speak out against the Vietnam War. Rep. Kennedy even suggested that Congress should ask the CIA for permission to go ahead with the impeachment debate.

    As last week came to close, American liberals staged a bizarre televised pageant of moral suicide. On one channel you could view a third wave of a suspiciously timed American air attack rain down on Baghdad, cruise missiles exploding at a million dollars a pop. On another channel, at the same moment, there were the Rev. Mr. Jackson and the cream of liberalism rallying on the Capitol steps, joining hands and intoning “We Shall Overcome”–praying not for the victims of our ordnance, but for the prevaricating president who signed their death warrant.

    The Iraqi people pay their own special price for Monicagate. But we all suffer the collateral damage of this crisis. For their partisan zeal, their failure to distinguish between adultery and crimes of the state, and their bulldozer congressional tactics, the Republicans earned last month’s electoral defeat and are now saddled with a couple of high-profile corpses named Gingrich and Livingston. But Democrats and liberals, with their loftier ideals, have fallen further. Many Congressional Democrats privately scorn Mr. Clinton, for his policies and his behavior, with an intensity that rivals the open hatred of GOP Rep. Bob Barr. But for narrow partisan political ends, they are willing to hollow out their consciences and close ranks.

    We don’t think the Senate should remove Mr. Clinton from office for the crimes the Republicans have charged him with. But if he is eventually hoisted on his own petard of the politicization of the rule of law, our sorrow for him will be tempered with the knowledge that–unlike Rickey Ray Rector, whose ghost now hunches anxiously over our shoulders–Bill Clinton will physically survive his political sacrifice. The last supper of his presidency is being paid for with the bankrupting of the liberal moral treasury. Unlike Rector, Mr. Clinton will be able to enjoy his dessert. His historical disgrace, however, will be his just deserts.

  94. "lib hating psycho" Says:

    and an apology is due to Pablo from you know who you are who wrote rather elegantly about the issue of morality.

    adieu, you swine

  95. "lib hating psycho" Says:

    how is it up there on your petard with hillary, reggie?

  96. Randy Paul Says:

    Hoist by your own petard literally means to be blown up by one’s own bomb.

    I don’t know of anyone who sits on bombs; at least not vountarily.

  97. reg Says:

    lib hating psycho – thanks for posting a screed from that great tribune of liberalism, FOX News’ Patrick Caddell. I look forward to your offering up something from Juan Williams on the disaster of the Obama Presidency.

  98. reg Says:

    Also, “lib hating psycho” – you prove once again with your “Hillary” comment that you quite literally can’t read or comprehend plain English. At least if you’re going to send your spittle my way, have it be about something that I actually said and not an ironic comment that you appear not to have been able to understand, even when I explained a second time.

  99. reg Says:

    Also, Pablo wrote some straight up lies about the Cenk stink. Even Ugyur couldn’t back up the charge Pablo invoked when directly asked. So, in fact, an apology is due to me from that preening little prick for claiming that I slandered him. I merely referred to the facts of an interview with the guy he claimed had been muzzled by the White House and the Democratic Party. That’s, at best, an assertion without even a shred of evidence. “Lie” will suffice.

  100. reg Says:

    I guess, given the fact that I bring on the most vile crap from both the crazies of the “left” and of the “right” in these threads, I must be that Golden Mean “Man in the Middle” whose “balance” and “BothSidesism” is clear evidence of inherent virtue. (Or maybe I’m just “mean.” Frankly, I hate the very notion of Centrism as Ideology.)

  101. Rob Grocholski Says:

    @ “aftermath”
    Alright. You were right. I was wrong.
    The tea baggers are destroying the nation and we got some folks who insist on replaying all the worst internal fights. Clinton or Obama? It’s a settled question. Time to move on.
    The only thing that matters right now — for the sake of class survival– is evicting every last one of the baggers and ripping the speaker’s gavel out of Boehner’s hands. A real movement committed to doing at least that much would almost certainly knock out some of those ‘red’ senators as well. A welcomed start.

  102. reg Says:

    Didn’t see that Cooper co-wrote that Caddell thing. Caddell is a disgusting little prick who hates liberals and regularly pillories the Democratic Party on purely reactionary grounds for his FOX paymasters, despite whatever “credentials” he might assert. Frankly I didn’t read it because I am so beyond caring about that sordid episode – as were most folks even then when it was being ginned up as grounds for impeachment. Recycling this stuff at this point in time – because…uh…why?…truly does earn one the “lib hating psycho” nom. Frankly, mostly just by virtue of the “psycho” bit. I can’t believe anyone is grinding their teeth – and acting triumphalist – in posting such irrelevant shit.

  103. reg Says:

    I also have to say, with all due respect to Marc, that the Wall Street Journal pedigree of that editorial doesn’t enhance it’s credibility. The Journal was a purveyor of the most dishonest, partisan garbage being used to undermine a Democratic President by, literally, any means necessary during the Clinton years. As it is now.

  104. Marc Cooper Says:

    Please, Reg, I co-wrote the piece!

    Wonder if I can sue lib hating psycho for copyright violation?

    What I read in this thread is a bunch of temper tantrums. There seems to be no recognition that there is NOT a progressive majority in the country and there isn’t even a centrist voting majority in the U.S. Congress. None of the fulminating here seems to confront the mathematical issue.

    American politicians will improve and disappoint a lot less when American POLTICS improves.

    For the moment, y’all sound like disgruntled hotel guests arguing over which room service waiter is more officious. Better to get off your arse and cook your own food,

    Obama can sell-out, betray, etc because the political math encourages him and allows him. There really are swing, centrist voters in this country who can and will decide electoral outcomes. The great dilemma is whether they should be pandered to or whether they should be mobilized on a different, populist agenda. I obviously prefer the latter. How you do that, I don’t claim to know. I can observe that folks like Kucinich fail to do so and are not viable.

    So psycho, rail, rail, rail against the indifferent night.

    4th time, you remain a punch line. Hope ur comfy living in Big Bill’s bowels. Or is it Hillary’s?

    I have spent life arguing that neither party represents us very well and that there is often and substantially little difference between them. To argue, however, that there is no real-life difference between Barack Obama in a second term and Tea-Party-backed conservative (now it’s looking like Rick Perry!) is to be just plain fucking stupid.

    Voting for this or that candidate for President takes one minute out of one day of the year. What counts is what you do the rest of the time. To vote is not to endorse or support, it is to make a choice among candidates for the most part forced upon you. You do it and you move on.

    I love the talk about “primarying” Obama. Cool. Who’s the candidate? What percentage of Democratic votes will he get? (I predict that NO MATTER who it is it would not be more than 20% on the outside). What would the end result of that process be? would Democrats come out stronger or weaker to fight in the general? Do you care?

  105. Marc Cooper Says:

    Reg, I agree with you regarding the WSJ. And I did at the time. It was an available venue that had opportunistic reasons and I saw it as a necessary oppty. I would have preferred to see that piece in The Nation but they didnt have the cojones to publish it. Sad.

  106. reg Says:

    Marc – all I saw was the Caddell tag and the first lines of his long “resume.” Haven’t actually read the piece because it’s such ancient history and I can’t for the life of me figure out why “LibHatingPsycho” thinks it’s relevant at this juncture – other than her mis-reading a satirical comment I made about “Hillary would be more progressive than Obama” which I assumed made the ironic intent clear by the end of it. Although, “in fairness”, I skim most of this stuff – for obvious reasons. I’m sure your intent was decent enough, but I just don’t see the point in any current context – nor do I think would most folks – when Average Joe would LOVE to return to the bliss (mixed with more than a dollop of ignorance) of the “shameful” Clinton years.

  107. reg Says:

    “American politicians will improve and disappoint a lot less when American POLITICS improves”

    I’m as desperate for a savior as the next guy, but put about a dozen exclamation points on that one. There’s a lot of dirty work to be done over a frustratingly long horizon – I don’t relish it and I basically hate politics, but it’s on us.

  108. reg Says:

    “(now it’s looking like Rick Perry!)”

    Reach for the single malt…

  109. reg Says:

    I will say this – because it was my main beef with Nader. I have absolutely no objection to some guy like Kucinich “primarying” Obama. Bernie Sanders – probably in a moment of frustration – suggested that the Dem primaries might be an opportunity to at least articulate an alternative agenda. This isn’t like ’80 when Ted Kennedy’s primary challenge to Carter actually wounded him. It would be more like a forum in which the President is challenged to defend his vision and values against someone on his left flank. I doubt I would pull the lever for such a person, but I don’t see how it could possibly be unhealthy in a “Democratic” Party. If there were some “Big Dog” challenger who could actually wound Obama in the general – rather than simply serve as a “gadfly” to bring a more coherent liberal agenda into play – I might make a different pragmatic calculus. But it’s not something to get hysterical about – as some timid libs apparently do – and it could actually help improve the spectrum of debate. I would have loved to have Nader in the 2000 Dem primaries debating with Gore and Bradley (who I supported.)

  110. reg Says:

    If I could buy – as a pol once proclaimed “This country needs!” – a good cigar for five cents, I might agree with the notion that there’s “not a dimes worth of difference” between the parties. Can’t. Not even close.

  111. Marc Cooper Says:

    Here’s where the mistake is made about the two parties, Reg. There are obvious and striking differences between them. That is undeniable except by the truly retarded. That doesnt mean that either one actually is what it claims to be.

    One is truly the lesser of two evils. I have argued in the past and will probably do so again that, in certain, circumstances it is better to side with an unrealistic alternative, or perhaps even a spoiler, as the evil incurred in doing so is LESS than the evil represented by the lesser choice. It’s sort the of the lesser of THREE evils theory.

    If one subscribes to it at all, and I do, it must be used judiciously and thoughtfully as you risk enabling a greater evil.

    I think the period we are living in makes this choice crystal clear. Barack Obama is a great disappointment on many fronts to most liberals and progressives. He is also one of the most progressive presidents we have had (among the top 3) and that tells you more about our presidential pool than it does about Obama.

    What stands ready to replace him is something really really grotesque: A truly debased GOP which HAS AS ITS ONLY INTEREST defense of the rich. Democrats, at least for opportunistic electoral reasons, have to mitigate their own shilling for the wealthy with defense of other more popular interests.

    I like to use the South African example as a model. In the days of apartheid the right wing National Party held sway. The opposition Democratic Party was an all- white centrist (at best group) that opposed apartheid but was also part of the establishment (more British than Afrikaaner). They were both part of the system and in some ways the DP was even complicit with apartheid. But to say there was NO difference between the two and it didnt matter which one was in power was to deny all concrete reality.

    So as I said, someone who says it matters not if we have Obama or Romney/Perry/Bachmann really is a friggin fool.

    Just like it was a NICE IDEA to have Obama use the 14th amendment until, that is, his decree would have been overturned 5-4 by the Supremes and the House would have impeached him.

    In terms of primarying or third partying Obama, I’m all for it. If you can show me an endgame. I dont see the candidate, and I dont see the play.

    I will also stand on my earlier assertion: 2 million Americans marching down Broadway peacefully demanding no cuts in social security will be a lot more effective than a blog post by Jane Hamsher or 20 speeches by Rep. Kucinich.

  112. lib hating psycho Says:

    doo dah

    http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/08/united-states-of-austerity

  113. lib hating psycho Says:

    so reg now is playing another ‘lib hating psycho card’ by calling the Caudell outl…and then despite my introducing the post by making it clear Marc was a co author which you [reg] conveniently ignore and then you start screeching like the banshee you are because Marc and another guy write a passionate piece about the lack of moral courage.

    and marc…why would even insinuate that i somehow have infringed on your copyright???????? its stated right at the top you are one of the authors and the whole point of posting it is because you ARE one of the authors.

    and btw i thought it a righteous, beautiful riff.

    reg you just reveal yourself to be crazier and crazier.

    in a nut: your problem is you cannot connect the dots. very strange. you have absolutely no ability to see the big picture. its weird. and you can’t understand how one thing refers to another.

    whew. did that hamper your writing any kind of academic papers?

  114. Marc Cooper Says:

    And therefore?

  115. reg Says:

    “did that hamper your writing any kind of academic papers?”

    Haven’t written an academic paper in my life!

    My assumption is that you have some sort of higher education, which raises all sorts of questions that are probably better left unasked.

    Marc – I don’t believe “primarying Obama” is a political imperative, as apparently Jane Hamsher and some do, but I also have to say that it doesn’t send me to the fainting couch if some earnest liberal does it in order to bring some light to a more coherent agenda. No endgame.

    And the TeaTards proved – even allowing for the astroturf aspects of their movement – that it doesn’t even take two million to make a dent. I think that liberals need to work at least twice as hard to get anything close to the media attention that the crazies generate for their efforts, but some “populist” protest from the left is long overdue. (I’ve gotten involved in the local “Rebuild the Dream” movement – has yet to prove itself, but it’s the most promising attempt at a liberal coalition at the base that I’ve seen in the last two years. “Rebuild” is using the MoveOn infrastructure – coupled with the unions and usual suspects – but attempting to get people together with beyond their LCD screens.)

  116. Ahmed Says:

    ps Vijay on why the necessity of a primary challenge.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/prashad08022011.html

  117. Ahmed Says:

    “I like to use the South African example as a model. In the days of apartheid the right wing National Party held sway. The opposition Democratic Party was an all- white centrist (at best group) that opposed apartheid but was also part of the establishment (more British than Afrikaaner). They were both part of the system and in some ways the DP was even complicit with apartheid. But to say there was NO difference between the two and it didnt matter which one was in power was to deny all concrete reality.”

    The ANC along with the broader liberation movement, which by the 1960′s included Black Consciousness movements of the ilk that attracted the late Steve Biko, always called on white allies to boycott the sham electoral process that the DP was involved in. Until the very end the ANC’s rallying cry was one man, one vote (yes-we’d call that male normative language). Their target was the eradication of apartheid in its totality-that’s what distinguished them from white liberal parties like the DP. In essence Mandela adopted a perspective towards the DP that Marc scorns as airy idealism. Just saying.

  118. reg Says:

    Any “progressive” who puts primarying Obama as the focus – or as “essential” – for working into 2012 and beyond is crazy. Among other things, it alienates the most reliable segment of the lib/Dem coalition if it’s the basis of “progressive” outreach. And it perpetuates the “progressive” delusion of making politics “President-centric.”

    Counterpunch is comprised of a bunch of half-wits. Vijay’s essay is mostly just blather. There’s no political acuity evident. Not even a little. I don’t think some articulate gadfly using the primaries as a bully pulpit would necessarily be a bad thing and might be useful in the context of seeping discussion of a more liberal agenda into the mainstream media, but it’s not the “imperative” on which to build counter-forces in the Democratic coalition. Mostly a sideshow. To the degree that it actually diverts from more cohesive coalition building and outreach over issues at the grassroots – or becomes divisive over what amounts to political theater at best – it’s a bad idea.

  119. Dan O Says:

    I admit to throwing a temper tantrum a bit. I’m dealing with the emotional gap between what I thought we were getting and what we got. Yeah, I drank the kool-aid, and I’m a pretty clear-eyed customer when it comes to politics. I don’t harbor a lot of utopian illusions or messianic dreams.

    So I’m disappointed, and more than a little pissed.

    As for progressive or liberal majorities, well I think most Americans polled come down on what are essentially liberal positions, for the most part, with some exceptions. They want the tax code to be fair. They don’t want to leave the poor to fend for themselves. They want clean air, water and food, and think the government should serve that role, and so on and so on. But you’re right, Marc, there is no mass mobilization over any of this stuff, and the Republicans have learned they can push it farther and farther without consequence, and the Dems are either bought off, or in other cases, too scared and weak to do anything about it.

    If anything should this recession should bring out the masses, but it has largely not affected educated professionals, like the people who comment here–it’s a working class recession, hell, my company just had its best month of revenue ever in July–and so 9 or 10 or 15% unemployment sounds bad, but it’s not actually affecting any people most of us know. There is no actual leadership on jobs and the economy right now. I’m not sure why there aren’t mass protests about this. Still enough credit to live on? No intellectual leadership? We all think we’re millionaires in waiting? Too many copies of Atlas Shrugged floating around?

    And where do this movement come from I’d like to know. There is a lot of finger pointing about how much inconsequential talk there is around here (and Marc just did it with the Hamsher swipe), but how does this start? And it’s always lobbed out with the suggestion of shame over the lack of will and virtue displayed by me or reg or whoever isn’t out on the ramparts. But tell me where this happens? There are hundreds of well-meaning organizations, Feingold’s, Wellstone’s, Moveon, the SPLC, Jobs With Justice, Working America, National Housing Institute, …. I could go on for an hour listing these things.

    All these calls for a movement to take back our politics leave out the how. Do we start yet another organization?

    It strikes me that one practical strategy right now with the stranglehold that money has on our politics is to take a page from Ralph Reed and the Christian Coalition. Take highly specific issues and attempt to make changes at the local and state level with a view to having those bubble up in several years. Gerrymandered districts is unsexy but it is a hugely important reason why our politics look the way they do. State-by-state organizing around reforming this could have big impact. Specific and narrow national issues might be tackeld as well, like reform of the filibuster.

    If we were able to treat these as structural issues that reduced fairness and balance in the way politics works, a number of changes might be achieved that could seriously redue how deranged our system has become.

  120. Marc Cooper Says:

    Ahmed, with all due respect you are completely full of shit. I do not scorn Mandela and the ANC’s actiion. Indeed, that is EXACTLY my greater point. The ANC had a real constituency (80% of the country) and it was able to mobilize it to force the collapse of the apartheid regime. That is exactly what should have been done and what was done. I fully supported that startegy and took some big risks to write about it.

    That is the sort of movement, in American terms, that we are lacking.

    All I was saying, (listen carefully) was that during the apartheid regime, change would have been accelerated, the ANC would have come to power sooner and apartheid would have been abolished sooner if the DP and not the NP held power. That seems rather obvious doesn’t it??????? Of course Mandela was right to call for a boycott of the electoral sham. But it remains absurd to say that the NP and the DP were the same. The ANC worked all the time with the DP. Not officially but in real life concrete terms… that’s because politics in S Afrrica wasnt the parlor game it is here or on Counterpunch!

    In order for that scenario to have even taken place (The DP in majority government) it would have meant there was an anti-apartheid consensus among whites because, dude, that would have been the only way the DP would have held power.

    You are too smart to have misunderstood what I said, so I must conclude you consciously twisted my post to suggest that I was suggesting that voting for the DP was a better alternative than supporting the ANC. Triple bullshit, pal. I was saying, merely, that the DP represented a MUCH more liberal and accomodationist current than the NP and it contributed ( a few grains of sand) to the anti-apartheid movement, I was in So Africa during martial law in 1984 and the work done by the DP liberals was quite important in providing some open space for anti apartheid activists in the public and human rights spheres.

    Please notice that we are talking about an historical situation that had THREE major alternatives: A white apartheid party that held state power, a white anti-apartheid party that held a minority opposition position within an unjust system, and a mass revolutionary movement that had the support of 4/5 of the population.

    Could u explain to me wtf that has in common with the situation in the U.S.? I was only saying that the U.S. DP and the S.A DP had a lot in common (unfortunately). What’s missing in the equation here is the analog to the ANC. Unless you think that is Dennis Kucinich.

    I think you should be man enough to admit that you have consciously distorted what I said. I also personally resent it as I risked my personal security to sneak into S Africa in an unauthorized manner in the middle of martial law in order to report on the situation there. So save me the friggin lectures on the ANC. I interviewed their leadership in underground conditions with armed guards watching over us. I believe you were in grade school, if not diapers, at the time.

    I’m a bit pissed at you right now. What a disingenuous posting. Just saying… my arse.

    I’m grateful, however, that you read Counterpunch so the rest of us don’t have to. If I want to read anti global warming screeds or anti semites like Paul Craig I can tune into FreeRepublic.

  121. Ahmed Says:

    Paul Craig is creepy but one Patrick Cockburn article is worth more than the thousands of repetitive same sounding earnest call to arms from Katrina VH who always writes in a way that’s meant to appeal to the White Houses better angels. There’s good stuff at Counterpunch just as there is at The Nation and, yes, in spite of its editors fixations, The New Republic. Don’t be all black and whitish man.

    Your objection is overheated. If only America had as deep seated mass movements as, say, France, forget, for now, Apartheid era South Africa. I wasn’t coding you an apologist for Apartheid. My point though was simple. The DP often served as a vessel through which “good” whites demonstrated their humanity but its limits were always clear. As the struggle heated up the SACP and ANC attracted support across class and race. Radical whites, like Ronnie Kasrils wife, often came through the DP and were won over to the liberation movement. As the mass movement grew the DP ultimately became increasingly irrelevant.

  122. Marc Cooper Says:

    I will accept that as a timid apology. Well, it would be hard for me to all black and whitish if I worked for The Nation for 15 years! I just find Counterpunch to be as predictable and useless as The Watchtower of the Jehova Witnesses.

    I am not going to tell the story again, as you’ve heard it before… but I wish I had the videotape of my then-16 year old daughter in 2000 threatening to punch out both Alex and Patrick when they were acting as sodden bullies. What a couple of cowards. Patrick is, of course, the more gifted of the two. Up close and personal they are indistinquishbly rather rotten types.

    Paul Craig is “creepy,” eh? No kidding. Who empowers and publishes him? And why do u think that is?

  123. MiddleMan Says:

    I repeat. If our democracy, that is us, cannot control the hot-heads, the dividers, the uncompromising angry extremists among us, our now 100% Debt to GDP ratio will not be repaired in time to prevent another depression.

    Call them out. Identify them. Marginalize them.

  124. reg Says:

    Ahmed -Just can’t read Counterpunch, although I do like what I’ve seen elsewhere of the Patrick end of the Cockburns. Counterpunch strikes me as about one wing-nut short of a Truther site. I find the Nation useful but definitely predictable. I pay almost zero attention to KVH as pundit – she’s a drone, but I credit her as an editor in keeping the project afloat. And I think Chris Hayes – currently the most public media face of The Nation – is terrific and am very glad his mother lets him out of the house to cover politics. (Very old guy snark – whenever my wife watches CH fill in for Rachel she admits to an urge to go to the kitchen and get him a glass of milk and a cookie, because he really does look like the smartest kid in 7th grade.)

  125. reg Says:

    Muddle Man – the debt is not what’s threatening a double-dip into deeper recession. It’s the lack of demand. Cutting spending is exactly the wrong “solution” at this point because you don’t understand the problem. The deficits arent’ causing unemployment. Unemployment is causing bigger deficits. Corporations are sitting on cash, the economic elite have had a full “recovery.” They won’t invest without more consumer demand and that means getting people back to work and be able to spend money. Government spending is essential in breaking the cycle. We need to borrow some of this incredibly cheap money and invest in needed infrastructure – an excellent investment to spur short and mid-term growth and modernize our economy for future growth. That commitment to SPENDING MORE MONEY would do more to reduce future deficits than any hare-brained austerity scheme. The way we got out of a deficit-to-GDP ratio that was this large in the past was not by cutting spending- in fact we invested heavily in infrastructure in the wake of the huge post-war deficits. We also built an economy with lots of good-paying jobs for the working class. Austerity, tax cuts, spending cuts and growing income inequality is the extremism that endangers our Republic. Mitch McConnell has openly admitted to his strategic complicity with overt economic terrorism within his party: “I think some of our members may have thought the default issue was a hostage you might take a chance at shooting. Most of us didn’t think that. What we did learn is this — it’s a hostage that’s worth ransoming.” There weren’t “two sides” in this one. A gang of insane thugs threatened to blow up the US economy if they didn’t get what they wanted. They used a legislative technicality. I repeat. Insane. Thugs.

  126. jim hitchcock Says:

    Chris Hayes with a milk ‘stache. That’s a funny image.

  127. reg Says:

    A true “middle man” is very worried about…jobs:

    “The issues pressing the United States today are much more about jobs and a growth deficit than an excessive budget deficit… On the current policy path, it would be surprising if growth were rapid enough to reduce unemployment even to 8.5 percent by the end of 2012. A substantial withdrawal of fiscal stimulus will occur when the payroll tax cuts expire at the end of the year. With growth at less than 1 percent in the first half of this year, the economy is effectively at a stall… The indicators suggest that the economy has at least a 1-in-3 chance of falling back into recession if nothing new is done to raise demand and spur growth.”

    That’s perrenial target-of-liberals-ire Larry Summer talking about our real problems, not a manufactured crisis by morons whose primary goal, as Mitch McConnell has also admitted, is to destroy the Obama presidency – and, as they’ve proven, at any cost. Summers may be one of the biggest jerks in the world, but he’s a reliable corporate centrist who – out of DC as a free agent – is essentially on the same policy page as the “reformed neo-liberal” technocrat Krugman (a decent, thoughtful and fundamentally moderate professor who because of the insanity of American politics is currently touted as “leftist” by dummies in the media and, of course, the sleazy FOXoid Right.)

  128. Rob Grocholski Says:

    “Corporations are sitting on cash, the economic elite have had a full “recovery.” They won’t invest without more consumer demand and that means getting people back to work and be able to spend money.”

    Amen. US corporations are currently holding $2 trillion and counting. Not unlike agri-business banking off fallow fields (multiplied by a factor of billions…). Begs the question of what kind of capitalists do we have ‘running the show?’ Starting to look a lot more like hoarding, IMHO. Makes one think there ought to be a little uprising of folks in tri-corner hats ransacking the East Indies Tea Company… oh, wait a minute….

    http://www.businessinsider.com/cash-cushions-list-of-companies-backed-by-massive-cash-holdings-2011-7

  129. 4th Time Around (22) Says:

    “Oh yes, and Paul Krugman is vermin, but some of us knew that….” -Marc Cooper, campaigning for Obama in the primary in his role as a “journalist.”

    Mr. Cooper, I notice I’m not the “punch line” in any of your jokes… though your utter inability to answer my points and the schoolyard level of your insults tells us that an inability to construct a joke is the least of your problems. Temper tantrums? well, O.K., maybe Obama (my candidate of choice too, by the way, from early on) is hanging in there. But you certainly were the temper tantrum king circa 90 to 98, even in matters where you later reversed yourself like Bosnia. Hitchens has written that it was somehow O.K. to be more reckless in those days, and maybe you feel the same way. But your insults are those of a weakling, a two face, one who has performed with an utter lack of honor and intellectual decency.

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