Top Leaderboard, Site wide
September 16, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Help us grow by sharing
and liking Truthdig:
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Newsletter

sign up to get updates






On the Run


Truthdig Bazaar
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

By Jeanette Winterson
$25.00

more items

 
Report

Obama and the Failure of the Deficit Hawks

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Feb 17, 2011

By E.J. Dionne, Jr.

For 30 years, conservative ideologues have played moderate deficit hawks for suckers.

You’d think this might endow those middle-of-the-road deficit-busters with a touch of humility. Fat chance. Instead, they stick with their self-righteous moralism, pretending to be bipartisan and beyond ideology. In fact, they make the problem they want to solve worse by continuing to empower the tax-cuts-in-every-season conservatives.

It’s thus satisfying to see President Obama ignore the willfully naive who are wailing over deficits. He knows that new revenues will have to play a big role in deficit reduction. He also knows that House Republicans are pretending we can cut our way out of this mess and would demagogue any general tax increases.

So he has proposed some serious spending cuts and some modest revenue increases to keep things stable as he embarks on a long struggle to move our dysfunctional budget politics to a better place. This annoys his deficit-obsessed critics. He should smile, let them rage, and go about his business.

Let’s look at history. When Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, he won big tax cuts coupled with big increases in military spending. The tax cuts and a severe recession tanked government revenues.

Advertisement

Square, Site wide
Unlike today’s conservatives, Reagan at least acknowledged mathematical reality and signed some tax increases. But these were insufficient, and it fell first to George H.W. Bush—the last truly fiscally responsible Republican—and then to Bill Clinton to restore budgetary sanity.

But the conservatives who dug the hole did nothing to get us out of it. On the contrary, they denounced the first President Bush for raising taxes, and every Republican voted against Clinton’s economic plan. For their bravery in supporting tax increases in 1993, Democrats lost control of Congress in 1994.

By the end of the Clinton years, we had a handsome surplus. In came the second President Bush who, with Republicans in Congress, declared the surplus too big. It was one problem they worked very hard to solve. Two tax cuts and two wars later, we were plunged into deficits—again. And the economic downturn that started on Bush 43’s watch made everything worse, cutting revenues and requiring more deficit spending to get the economy moving.

Where were the moderate deficit hawks in all this? They have a very bad habit. When conservatives blow up our fiscal position with their tax cuts, the deficit hawks are silent—or, at best, mumble a few words of mild reproach to have something on the record—and let the budget wreckage happen. Quite a few in their ranks (yes, including some Democrats) actually supported the Bush tax cuts.

But when it’s the progressives’ turn in power, the deficit hawks become ferocious. They denounce liberals if they do not move immediately to address the shortfall left by conservatives. Thus, conservatives get to govern as they wish. Liberals are labeled as irresponsible unless they abandon their own agenda and devote their every moment in power to cutting the deficit.

It’s a game for chumps. The conservatives play it brilliantly. The moderate deficit hawks give them cover every time.

How do we know our difficulties stem primarily from a shortage of revenue? Consider what would happen if we allowed all the tax cuts now scheduled to expire in 2012, including the ones enacted under Bush, to go away. That would produce nearly as much deficit reduction over the next decade—roughly $4 trillion—as all the maneuvers of the Bowles-Simpson commission put together.

And the work of the commission showed just how effective conservatives have been. By saying they will never, ever, ever raise taxes, conservatives intimidate moderates into making concession after concession.

In the end, the Senate conservatives on the commission—but not the House conservatives—supported some mild tax increases. But Bowles-Simpson proposed about twice as much in spending cuts as in revenue increases. You would think that moderates could at least hold out for a 50-50 split. But no, they’ll do anything to win over a few conservatives.

As a result, any conservative who supports even the smallest tax increase is hailed as courageous. Any liberal who proposes moderate spending cuts is condemned as a gutless coward unless he or she also supports slashing Social Security and Medicare. What’s “moderate” or “balanced” about this?

I hope Obama has the spine to keep calling the bluff of the deficit hawks until they get serious about changing the politics of deficit reduction. We can’t afford another 30 years of fiscal evasion.

E.J. Dionne’s e-mail address is ejdionne(at)washpost.com.
   
© 2011, Washington Post Writers Group


New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, February 26, 2011 at 3:11 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous, February 26 at 7:17 am,

$25,000. per year is poor. and there are a lot of working people
who make even less, like waitresses at small restaurants, Thrift Store workers and sales clerks. McDonald’s Managers earn only
$17,000/yr. and are on duty 24/7. Workers at McDonald’s make
way less than managers.

Wealthy Corporations have raised gasoline prices to over
$5.00/gal. in New York and it’s suppose to be that high in
Oklahoma by April.  Fuel prices will double.

I do not know what low income people are going to do.  There is
definitely a plan to snuff out or jail people with low incomes, as it
was reported that 7 out of 10 in Oklahoma are without auto
insurance and the news also reported that police will toe
uninsured cars, so apparently the jails are going to be filled, which
is tyrannical, and also unconstitutional to force people to have
auto insurance when they can’t afford it, but it has been being
done for a long time now, but no longer are people going to be
allowed to get away without having auto insurance.

Families are going to have to ban together, a socialist state will
have to develop for survival.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 26, 2011 at 2:17 am Link to this comment

You have obviously made more of a science of it, MarthaA, than
I have.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, February 26, 2011 at 1:43 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous, February 23 at 8:29 pm,

$25,000. may have come from an exhausted
conservative Census Bureau manipulating a
middling income for the nation, as conservatives
just totally skipped out on the 10% CEO pay and
Capital Gains of Millionaires and Billionaires, as
$25,000. per year is neither a mean or median
income figure. 

Millionaire CEO’s:  $87,493,565/yr. -
$15,527,343/yr.
http://www.aflcio.org/corporatewatch/paywatch/ceou/top100.cfm
College Professors:  $121,850/yr.
http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos066.htm#earnings

The airline pilot that landed the plane on the
Potomac said before Congress that he only
earned $17,000./year and he would not have
lied to Congress.  I know lots of people earning
less than $20,000. per year but yet no mention
of less than $20,000/year for their Census
Report: 

50% earn $20,000/year [What is the number of
people earning $20,000/yr. of the total
population?]

38% earn $40,000 -$60,000/year [What is the
number of people earning $40,000. and
$60,000./yr. of the total population?]

16.8% earn $110,000/year to higher
[$87,493,565 + Capital Gains on Billionaires is
even higher.] [What is the number of people
earning $110,000/year of the total population?]
[How many of the total population earn 1Million
$‘s, 2 Million, 3 Million on up to $87,493,565
Million/year?]
_______

104.8 percent is too much. Anything over 100%
is above and beyond the whole and inaccurate.

For an average it would be necessary to know
how many in each income range from the bottom
to the top, the top being $87,493,565. and even
higher Capital Gains on Billionaires.

These figures do not give any kind of accurate
figure no matter how exhaustively the accounting
was done, none of it is accurate any more than
these figures:

70% earn $17,000. - $39,999. the Common
Population
20% earn $40,000. - $199,999. the Corporate
Middle Class
10% earn $200,000.- $87,493,565. and higher
Capital Gains for the Corporate Elite Capitalist
Class

50% would be the middle on a mean average
which would be an inaccurate dilution of the
statistical results of earnings by the high 70%
Majority Population and the same would be true
for the median average of statistical results of
earnings.  A more accurate evaluation of
earnings would be accomplished by separation
of the three classes and cultures and
determining mean and median averages for each
class and cultural division.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 24, 2011 at 12:24 am Link to this comment

I have only one word, ThomasG.  Okay.

Report this
ThomasG's avatar

By ThomasG, February 23, 2011 at 11:10 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, February 23 at 6:38 pm,

It all gets down to the vivacity of the impulse, as David
Hume says, and from my perspective; like terms, with regard to
standards of certainty.

When the vivacity of the impulse, that is benefit as a
standard of certainty is more like a dream than like the
impact of a sledge hammer for 7 out of 10 people that are the
American Populace, and more like the impact of a sledge hammer
than a dream that imparts pain and pleasure for 3 out of 10
people that are the American Aristocracy and the American Middle
Class; it becomes necessary in the minds of the 7 out of 10 people
of the American Populace that the vivacity of the impulse
for the American Populace be more like the vivacity of the
impulse
of a sledge hammer, and less like the vivacity of
the impulse
of a dream; this is a problem of like terms
that cannot be solved by parsing the complexity of unlike
terms
by way of tropes.

With regard to conscious inertia and physical inertia, neither are
exclusive, the sleeper is a product solely of physical inertia, and
the awakened is a product of the sum of both physical and
conscious inertia.

The vivacity of the impulse for conscious inertia is
admittedly a weaker impulse than physical inertia, but physical
inertia is constantly rearranged by conscious inertia, and we call
that rearrangement of physical inertia, progress.

I do not mean to be critical with regard to certainty, but from my
perspective, I think that all three classes and cultures, the
American Populace, the American Aristocracy, and the American
Middle Class should share the same standard of certainty
with regard to benefit.

If the American Populace is consigned by the American Aristocracy
and the American Middle Class to the standard of certainty
of a dream, then the American Aristocracy and the American Middle
Class should also share the same dream as a standard of
certainty
; all three classes and cultures should share the same
standard of certainty——it is unacceptable for the
American Populace as a class and culture to accept a dream as a
standard of certainty, when the same standard of
certainty
is not shared in like terms by the American
Aristocracy and the American Middle Class.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 23, 2011 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment

Martha I do not jest in the least, I have not invented the middling
income of the nation.  These figures come from the US Census
Bureau.  Ridiculous as it might seem, the numbers are what was
calculated through exhaustive research.  I suggest you look up this
information yourself to see where the bottom and top numbers come
from. 

I have no worries about such negligible differentiation.  I have just as
much a problem with fractions as I do with rounded off percentages
with respect to what you are talking about.

So would 7/10 be a better signification of the aggregate of the
Common Population, class and culture are extraneous and unneeded to
describe the group?  I don’t think so.  All numbers representing such
class distinctions are approximations and are not dogmatically set.  I
don’t mind using approximations as they are convenient as a tool and
helpful to visualize the breadth of problems affecting a large number of
people.  As long as we are clear what the language represents I think
possibly communication can be possible. 

It also seems academic that the majority of a population is always the
common population, yes in any society.  Now we are getting to the U.S. 
And I don’t disagree that there has developed a wealthy class, which
you call Elite Capitalists who originally inhabited the general population. 
This ‘class’ probably gained its members from a number of sources
such as inheritance.  I completely agree that this large group called the
Majority of the Common Population, the 70% if you insist, can only gain
representation is to become as agitated as the Egyptians to force a
change.  I have already said as much without specifying the people as a
Majority Common Population.

What I disagree with is creating a third party that will only go to lose
elections and affect the two parties one of which will win. I have
exhaustively spoken on this view elsewhere and it is not my intention
to rehash it here unless we have to.  I choose the one most liberal not
the one completely devoid of liberal values and will do anything to
destroy them.  I will work within the Democratic party to effect exactly
that condition of which you and ThomasG speak.  I believe that is the
most propitious path to take.  If you get anything near to having such a
favored position, I will certainly be interested.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 23, 2011 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment

ThomasG - Albert, I call him Albert because he and my father had
the same birthday, and both are heoes in my life.  It is true, he
spoke about the certainty several things, but the one that pops
up in my mind at this moment, “Whether it is science, religion, art,
or philosophy, any method of perceiving reality can at best be an
approximation.  If it works most, that is, some of the time, great. 
But it is still just an approximation.”  Yes I think it is true that
absolute certainty can only exist in a fool’s mind.  The ironic
question arises then, can we be absolutely certain of that?  It is
akin to Socrates’ answer when asked what he knows, that the only
thing he knows is that he knows nothing.

Apparently the 70% Majority Common Population is not a truism but a
device, a talking point.  It does not and cannot exist in any absolute
way?  I would not suggest nor have I ever suggested that there is any
absolute in anything.  See I believe Albert. 

Regarding your notion that absolute certainty can be expressed even to
any degree is fallacious to begin with thereby tainting anything that
follows.  So with that in mind, whatever you might mean natural
physical inertia is obscure, of worldly existence or any other kind of
existence.  Is there any other kind of existence than worldly?  How
would you know with any certainty?  Or certainty of what you even
think consciousness is?

Let’s say that it is given that inertia is the resistance of any physical
object to a change in its state of motion, or rest.  Necessarily included
in its resistance is the idea of momentum or velocity, a scalar quantity,
it is its speed.  The law says that our object will continue moving at its
current speed until some force causes either its speed or direction to
change.  But if our object is one that is not in motion, that is, its speed
is equal to zero, it will remain without motion until some force causes it
to move.  So we have here natural physical inertia and conscious inertia
two terms you have distinguished as in opposition of the physical and
the mental, and that you are using metaphorically.  I do not favor
absolute certainty in the least and am surprised you have taken
umbrage with a view I do not have.  At any rate, if you want to discuss
relative certainty, even that is vague as the term an only mean a
collective of certainties that have equal validity. 

As far as the history of the 70% Majority may show that it has been a
relatively constant ratio (which equivocates to a degree by generalizing
the concept constant) is itself a contrivance as there is no such
historical fact documented anywhere nor for the centuries you have
more or less theorized.

It really seems a moot distinction how long. What I see as a figure of
speech, a trope I think you like to call it, has its existence as an apt
reference.  The point is it represents a large proportion of the
population.  And not worth quibbling about.  Yes of course we all
anchor ourselves in the certainty of our time relative to the dynamics of
our own culture. If you wish to hypothesize that until the beliefs of
mankind will not change until it gets deflected from the course it is
currently on, where can one argue?  It seems academic.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, February 20, 2011 at 10:34 pm Link to this comment

ocjim, February 21 at 1:49 am,

It is not the Middle Class that’s being thrown under the bus, it is the 70% Majority Common Population as many were led to believe they were the Middle Class, when they never were; the real middle class deserted the common populace and it is difficult for many of the common populace to accept that they aren’t the Middle Class, but they aren’t, they are the 70% Majority Common Populace that actually has more power than the Middle Class if they will become aware of their power and accept it, so that change for the better can be made to happen.

Report this

By ocjim, February 20, 2011 at 8:49 pm Link to this comment

Obama’s budget director, Jacob Lew, said in The New York Times: “The budget is not just a collection of numbers, but an expression of our values and aspirations.”

Actually Obama’s values have already been revealed: pro-Wall Street, flowery rhetoric for doing what’s right, willingness to throw the middle class under the train, a rubbery backbone and a proclivity to seriously listen to the heartless,ridiculous and totally political Republicans.

Report this
ThomasG's avatar

By ThomasG, February 20, 2011 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, February 20 at 9:29 pm,

Would you argue certainty in a relative cosmos?  As you are no doubt aware E=MC2 represents relative certainty, rather than absolute certainty, and absolute certainty can only exist in the mind of a fool.

The 70% Majority Common Population, is a ratio that has been relatively constant over hundreds of years and based upon that relative constancy is most likely to remain constant in time to come.

If you want to dispute relative certainty in favor of absolute certainty, please cite your proof of absolute certainty.

To the degree that absolute certainty can be expressed, it is expressed by the consciousness of natural physical inertia of worldly existence and refuted as certainty by conscious inertia of the mind, the former that is the inertia of natural law and the latter that is the inertia of human consciousness.

By way of physical inertia, Stone Age man was certain with regard to the certainty of the Stone Age and by way of conscious inertia stone gave way to bronze, then iron and steel and led the world to where it is today, and even now there is still no absolute certainty that change will not transform all that we know as certain.

Therefore, we all anchor ourselves in the relative certainty of our time, until that certainty is transformed by conscious inertia into whatever relative certainty emerges from the consciousness of man.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, February 20, 2011 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, February 20 at 9:29 pm,

Surely you jest if you or anyone else thinks $25,000. is a middle income of the nation.  Zero being the bottom, to find either a mean or a median average there has to be a top income.  What is the top income?  Figuring must be done from the top for an accurate figure of where the middle lies, not from the bottom.  How could everyone always forget about the top?

Would 7/10th be better to signify the amount of the Common Population’s Class and Culture in the United States, with 1/5th of the population being the Corporate Middle Class and Culture that manage and supervise for the 1/10th of the population that is the Corporate Elite Capitalist Class and Culture?  Maybe fractions will keep you from worrying about any variation, because the MAJORITY of the population is always the common population in any society, but here in the United States there is a NEW CLASS of toadies to the Elite Capitalists that came from the Common Population, but are no longer a part of the common population, just as the Elite Capitalists at one time came from the Common Population—now there is a Duopoly Ruling Class, and neither are concerned about the 70% Majority Common Population, therefore the 70% Majority Common Population must become concerned about themselves and do the Egypt thing for class and culture representation.

There is no middling of the common population.  All the Common Population is one class and culture.  Middling divides and makes easy to be conquered.  Why would you want a middling? —Especially after what is happening in Wisconsin.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, February 20, 2011 at 5:38 pm Link to this comment

By Tim Rutten
February 19, 2011
LA.Times


The nonpartisan Pew Research Center for the People & the Press has released a fascinating poll that finds that people on the West Coast are far more likely to regard their states’ budget crises as “very serious” and are increasingly open to solving them through a combination of spending cuts and tax increases.

The study also finds that public regard for organized labor generally is at a (minuscule) historic low and that discontent with public sector pensions and benefits is rising. In fact, when Pew asked respondents to rank their budget reduction preferences, the “pension plans of government employees” topped the list by 16 percentage points ahead of cutting funding for colleges and universities and road and transportation expenditures, which tied for second, 10 percentage points ahead of cuts in healthcare.

-

Since 2006, when the left arm of united States took control of government coffers, the voting segment of America has rapidly turned against the liberal agenda toward central control and the abuses of government and Wall Street.  Hence the Tea Party.

20% Liberal (8% Progressive)
40% Moderate
40% Conservative

Not one piece of major legislation, proposed or passed, since 2006 has enjoyed the support of the Majority.  Not even one.

If some of you far-left liberal and progressive thinkers desire a different direction and agenda for America, you must face facts.  You are far, in fact extremely far, from the majority.  Adjust your rhetoric and plans accordingly.

One cannot incessantly call everyone else stupid and evil and not pay a heavy price in and at the polls. - In other words, ThomarthaG, Shenon, and ITW, you got severely spanked last November.  Learn from that.

-

On the lighter and more surreal side of things; you people lend support to this Moon-Bat ThomarthaG.  This individual actually takes the time to use two profiles and, in truly odd fashion, argues with him/her self…..LOL

I’m sure there’s a lesson there also. wink

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 20, 2011 at 4:29 pm Link to this comment

MarthaA - Relative truth inherently has a logical self-destructive
problem and descends into a linguistic dilemma, that to be
consistent, it cannot be said that a truth, i.e., 70% is absolutely
true for everyone that is only relatively true.  For if it is only
relatively true, then its allegedly relative truth may be true for
some, false for some or all for others.  In other words, it refutes
itself.  Because number is involved, the 70% proposal appears to
have some substantial gravity in terms of truth, but we know that
no one has taken a survey of all Americans to see that they indeed
fall within the bounds of that which is the question of the survey.
In this case, that 70% represents the majority of a common population. 
Good that you have already defined common as that has been
dispensed with.  But the designation 70% is a vernacular way of defining
the economical middling class.  There are a number of theories, so it
would be good to know which one you are using. 

The US Census of 2005 Economic Survey gives data on income.  The
Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, a non-partisan and non-profit
organization reports that the middle class income is between $25,000
and $100,000 per annum.  But if the National Opinion Research Center
data is sought, the breakdown is 50% - earn between $20,000 and 38%
earn $40,000 and $60,000 and 16.8% earning over $110,000.  I do
appreciate your theory, I’m sure you know that, but when numbers are
used in an absolute way I rather balk since in this country, the range is
fluid depending upon whose data is being used.  I am not sure how
important this distinction is but it is my view that distinctions are
important if a particular problem is needing to be solved.  The problem
can easily be seen in the chart of academic models in the Wikipedia
entry on social class in the US where three collectors of class data are
shown to have differing numbers.  That is why I would prefer to see
70% as figurative rather than absolute.

Be that as it may, and at bottom, the point is the unassailable
imbalance of wherewithal between those in the upper income wealthy
segment in comparison with those in the middle and below classes. 
Quibbling over exact ratio is time wasting but clarity is not. 

Because of my observations over the years I’ve been an adult and a
registered voter, and a watcher of politics, I agree that Conservatives
and the Right do like to erroneously declare in their propaganda and
sophistry that the poor is a class, and a culture.  Perhaps not so wrong
in terms of class since income determines that group. But to say it is a
culture implies an intentional choice of a particular set of interests and
that a category of experiences can only be had within that economic
strata is imbecilic.  It is total bull shit.  You are correct that the poor as
a descriptive term of those whose income is so low as to not meet
adequate standards of quality life, is caused.  But it is a fluid class and
one can flow in or out of it depending on life vicissitudes.

Scott Walker has a fixed mentality and is stuck in a world view that
cannot see people as people but as numbers to satisfy his conservative
plan.  The tragedy is that he is also fixed on permanently mutilating the
rights of people to collective bargaining, a democratic right and the
only tool the repressed has to deal with those in power. 

I certainly hope the beleaguered people of Wisconsin stand fast and
strong for that right not to be destroyed by a Right-Wing agenda’s
dogged plan to break their backs.  Unions everywhere ought to observe
what is happening and instigate their own protests letting the ordinary
people of the Middle East to be their paradigm in terms of courage.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, February 20, 2011 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, February 20 at 5:28 pm,

70% of the population of the United States is the Common Population and is the MAJORITY population of the United States.

The 70% Majority Common Population is a ratio that has born itself out over the generations and is relative truth.  The Corporate Middle Class will not allow the mean, vile, and vulgar Common Population into their 20% fiefdom, which is also relative truth, as is the 10% Corporate Elite Capitalists relative truth, of course there can be a variance, but not by much. 

The Conservatives and the Right want to make the affairs of our nation a personal matter, but common in the affairs of a nation’s Common Population is not a personal matter and should never be taken in any way personally or with a personal outlook, but strictly as in common with the rest of the 70% Majority Common Population that are not provided with an economic cushion by our government, but have to work for what they receive, if they can find a job.

The Common Population are the members of the population that’s livelihood is controlled by taking away their work in one way or another by the other two classes and cultures through legislation and law.

Understanding one is a member of the common population is the 1st Step in improving the situation for the 70% Majority Common Populace as a class and culture.  It is not a disgrace or a shame to be a member of the common population, the common population is the public at large who have the need for work to survive in common, and it includes the unemployed, the old, the infirmed and the young who have worked and will work for survival in one way or another and must be protected by a civilized society.

Conservatives and the Right like to declare in their propaganda and sophistry that the poor are a class and culture, but there can be nothing farther from the truth, as all members of society that are without jobs at one time or another are members of the poor and the poor increases and decreases based on the economy and how the economy is used by a civilized society.  When laws are changed to cut jobs and/or payment for jobs, the poor are caused, which is what the Wisconsin protest against the Right-Wing policies of Republican Governor Scott Walker is all about:  http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/protesters-ready-for-another-846367.html

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, February 20, 2011 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, - “What is so bizarre is the bigot calling those who are the least bigoted bigots!”

-

Excellent point!  Not one soul has ever seen me write or speak a bigoted word.  Thank you for pointing it out so clearly.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 20, 2011 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment

What is so bizarre is the bigot calling those who are the least
bigoted bigots!  Where is Leefeller?  He loves to talk about bigots. 
Sheesh always attending to real life and the ditty and tequila!

Yeah, surveys are libel to be skewed and polls, can’t trust them. 
But they are a starting point for those too lazy to do their own polls
or they are unable because of the magnitude of the problem.  Sure
a sampling might indicate a trend but it wouldn’t be representative
unless it is known from what group the sampling was taken and if
it really was broad enough in numbers.  Still, they are a point from
which to start discussion and debate.  It could help in reducing
ranting and/or shouting and holding on for deal life to one’s own
beliefs, if an open mind exists. 

So lets see, there is the often-criticized-by-the-NYT Rasmussen
Reports, while the Harris Polls usually have different numbers.  Who to
believe?  Who to believe?  We surely can’t believe any CPAC poll?  Well I
believe that a great number of voters believe Congress can always make
things worse because the Democrat politicians don’t stand up to
Congressional Republican devotees to wealth and corporate power
enough.  But I don’t have any numbers to back me up!  But still I
believe, the Democrats ought to stiffen up their spine collectively then
just see how those polls will change, radically!  But that is just because
I am a partisan and cranky that the Republicans get to poop in the
sandbox.

MarthaA – I like your fleshed out definition of common.  An excellent
illumination.  I can’t find anything wrong with it!  May I use it as I might
find it timely to do so?  I agree that the “common” public (population in
your language) is fast becoming aware of how they are being exploited. 
They do need prompted more though.  The electronic media can easily
facilitate that!  And it is cheaper than the profuse and expensive TV
ads the conservatives keep flooding that venue with their appeal to
the ignorant.  Seems to me the progressives ought to counteract them
with ads of their own huckstering their reasons for the social programs
and what ought to be cut from the US budget.

The only thing that gives me discomfort is that number 70%.  Shall
we just say that it has become just a figure of speech that means
more than a great number of the population?  Or do you think that
is too obvious?  Absolutes like a fixed number defies truth! It makes
arguments unbelievable But made clear it is a metaphor, I can accept
that!

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, February 20, 2011 at 11:11 am Link to this comment

Last post belongs to another discussion (“Wikileaks Springs a Leak.”)  I don’t know how it wound up here.

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, February 20, 2011 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

Ozark Michael—the little gem you discovered is very interesting, but it could be a hoax or a satire.  The idea of automating sock-puppetry has been around for quite a while.  It’s generally thought that anyone with the resources could build a considerable system of sock-puppets, and the U.S. government certainly has the resources.

However, automation may not be necessary.  Back in the days of one war or another, I recall encountering alleged servicemen on the web sites of local newspapers (and before that, in their letters-to-the-editor columns) supporting this or that military adventure and citing this or that exciting personal experience with the noble American forces, dastardly enemy, hapless victims, etc.  It was not hard to determine that the unit and personal names were often dubious or fictitious.  Indeed, in the early days of search engines it was possible to observe the same letter popping up in dozens of different publications signed by different persons.  I wondered then if the business had not already been automated.  However, I later came across the testimony of someone who said he had been assigned to do such work.  It made perfect sense.  Where there is an abundance of cheap labor automation may be unnecessary.

You’re quite right in saying that such things are illegal.  However, as you may have noticed, the authorities often believe that they own the law and are therefore above it.  It is like the policeman who routinely runs red lights even when he is off duty, something you may have observed yourself.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, February 20, 2011 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

ITW,

Not for several generations, if ever, will 70% of Americans desire anything akin to what you wish.

I say again.  Thank God there are so few of you bigots in the entire United States.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, February 20, 2011 at 10:39 am Link to this comment

Die Hard Wannabee is back spouting the irrational and totally false Re-thuglican line.

The GOP prevented the President doing ANYTHING they didn’t approve by using the Senate filibuster.

Then, when as is predictable, by going along with the GOP’s ideas, and they fail, they blame Obama:
“How DARE he implement our avowed policies! It must be HIS fault they fail!”

My beef with Obama is that he didn’t veto their shit and didn’t get Reid to use every trick available to break their minority stranglehold on what 70-75% of the nation wants.

But the Die Hard Wannabe is here to spout the lies as yet another troll sent to disrupt TD.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, February 20, 2011 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

EXTREME ThomarthaG,

You are single individual adding to the minuscule minority within the United States.  Barring some unforeseen EXTREME event in contemporary American politics your EXTREME agenda, if ever realized, will not be seen for several generations.

Thank God there are so few of you.

Report this

By call me roy, February 19, 2011 at 10:18 pm Link to this comment

Nothing the Obama administration has tried to get the economy back on track has done what they promised. The only positive out of all of this seems to be that the big banks are profitable again and are back to paying their executives enormous bonuses. The question of ownership — whether the banks are owned by the government or whether the government is owned by the banks — is open for debate after all the wheeling and dealing done by Democrats in Congress and the administration in getting their “financial reform” package passed.
These are failures that are statistically quantifiable. But even with the evidence of incompetence and catastrophe, including anemic economic growth, high unemployment, massive uncertainty, and the growing possibility of the United States falling back into recession, we should calculate the failure of President Obama on a much more fundamental level.
President Obama has failed to inspire the American people. He has failed to ignite the native optimism that is part of our patrimony, and which is vital to America regaining its self-confidence in order to overcome this economic inertia and start the engine of democracy rolling forward.
You don’t have to be an expert economist to understand how this singular failure by the president is holding us back. Everyone from corporations, to small businesses, to ordinary folk are holding onto their money and playing it safe. Businesses aren’t hiring because not even the government knows how new laws like national health care and financial reform, as well as new regulations from every department of government, are going to affect their bottom line.
For someone who got elected largely because of his supposed golden tongue, the president’s efforts to lift up the American people and instill the kind of optimism and confidence that just might overcome the uncertainty caused by his policies have been dismally lacking in inspiration. He lectures rather than lifts up. His rhetoric fails to connect because it has distanced itself from reality. Few are buying what he’s selling.

Report this

By call me roy, February 19, 2011 at 10:14 pm Link to this comment

How Barry Hussein got in office
Voters were not “thinking.” They were feeling. They allowed themselves to be swept up in a cult of celebrity that combined pop culture shallowness with romantic political mythic themes from JFK and RFK days and beyond. They fainted and got leg thrills. They felt virtuous, enlightened and redeemed. They were so very proud of themselves. They allowed the propaganda machine disguised as news media to herd them like sheep and manipulate them like the gullible children they were. And they voted for a construct.
Before he moved to the US Senate did Barry Hussein Soetoro ever even nominally supervise more than three people? Did he really even supervise his Senate office? He was constantly late and accomplished nothing.
For two hundred years, if we survive, people will look back on the 2008 election and ask “What in hell were they thinking?” Of course the courses will largely be taught by people like Barry. There will be one difference, the books will be written by some academics, even if minor league Assistant Professors, who did have to actually do some research and write something to get their jobs. Grant Bill Ayers this much; he at least has the paper credentials for the job he held.
By grace of his pal Bill Ayers, Obama’s only pre-Presidential executive experience was gained when he was anointed as Chairman of the Annenberg Challenge. From that lofty perch Obama doled out a total of $160,000,000, ostensibly to improve Chicago schools, but largely targeted towards leftist ‘community organizer’ groups. Those megabucks did nothing for academic performance, but certainly beefed up the politics of those activist organizations. So perhaps he did supervise a few check-writers and secretaries.
You wanted change? You got it

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, February 19, 2011 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, February 18 at 10:50 pm,

GRYM is a Conservative Right-Wing cuckold obfuscating for the Conservatives and the Republicans.

The masses of the public at large, the Common Population, are becoming aware of their power as the American Common Populace, which denotes no insignificance whatsoever individually, only their class and culture that needs to be realized in the United States, because as individuals there is no way to have equality with the two other classes and cultures, the Corporate Middle Class and Culture that will never shrink to less than 20% or be more than 20% of the total population and the Corporate Elite Capitalist Class and Culture that is at the most only 10% of the entire population.

Here are some definitions of common that should make it abundantly clear who of the population are the 70% Majority Common Population that are not being represented politically in the United States:

common:

1.  belonging equally to each or all of a group: The airwaves of the United States belong in common with the entire population of the United States. 2. of all; from all; by all; to all; general: common knowledge, 3. united, joined: Science and medicine form a common front against ignorance and disease. 4. belonging to the community at large;public: He sowed a slander in the common ear.  A commoncouncil. The common population of Egypt and Wisconsin USA are outraged at the government’s attempting to remove the workers common benefit.

common carrier:  A person or business conveying goods or people for pay, offering the service to the public generally, the common population.

common council: the lawmaking group of a city, town, etc.

commoner:  one of the public; a person who is not a nobleman. 

common land:  land that is used and enjoyed by the public and is not restricted to private ownership.

common law: 1. law based on custom and usage, but confirmed by the decisions of judges, as distinct from statute law2. the law of all countries whose legal systems derive from English law, as distinct from civil or canon law.  3. law based on the decisions of judges in actual cases; case law.

common market:  an association of countries for promoting free trade among its members by eliminating tariffs, duties, and similar restrictions, with a common tariff for external commerce.

common wealth1. the group of people who make up a nation; citizens of a state.  2. a democratic state; republic.  3.  any one of the states of the United States.  4. a number of people united for a common interest.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 18, 2011 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment

ThomasG-MarthaA - While we may not always agree on the details
we usually agree on the larger picture.  I am one who is glad you
are still around.  The First Amendment is the law and GRYM and
others like him would like to shipwreck that. 

MarthaA has the right attitude about the protesting teachers and
unions in Wisconsin.  There is magic in numbers.  Egypt found that
out.  Just ask Mubarak.  Volya Naroda!

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, February 18, 2011 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment

ThomasG-MarthaA-EXTREME

On January 11 at 3:40 pm, on another thread, I asked if you were still with us.  You never did respond.

I sincerely believed it possible that the day Jared Lee Loughner was arrested was the last day this forum would see your posts.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, February 18, 2011 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

Only a few not showing up for work, doesn’t matter much, but if the 70% Majority Common Population would unite and in unison not show up for work for a couple or three days, it would give the Conservatives and the Right a taste of the power of the people, as the Conservatives and the Right have been systematically destroying the Left since 1980.  It doesn’t seem like trying to scare the common people with not having a job should have as much effect, since the Common Population not having living wage jobs is the exact systematic and consistent intention of the Conservatives and Republican Movement and exactly what will happen if an Egypt Type show of united power of the people is not made.

As with Mubarek, the following link in information about the United States Congress’ intention to shut down a free and open internet for control of the common populace, as the internet is the common populace’s only means of being informed:  http://act2.freepress.net/sign/resolution_of_disapproval/?akid=2310.9207661.dZ2MsB&rd=1&t=1 

It didn’t work for Mubarak and it won’t work for the U.S. Congress either, but that doesn’t mean they won’t try.

It is time for the 70% Majority Common Populace to unify, not as Democrats or Republicans, but as a common populace that needs political representation for their class and culture, the 219 Million members of the United States of America’s Common Populace in need of a NEW political party(s) in all the Congresses of the United States, both Federal, State and Local, so they can be at the table involved in the making and enforcing of legislated law and order as equals, instead of as children at the kiddy table of no choice.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, February 18, 2011 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment

Only a few not showing up for work, doesn’t matter much, but if the 70% Majority Common Population would unite and in unison not show up for work for a couple or three days, it would give the Conservatives and the Right a taste of the power of the people, as the Conservatives and the Right have been systematically destroying the Left since 1980.  It doesn’t seem like trying to scare the common people with not having a job should have as much effect, since the Common Population not having living wage jobs is the exact systematic and consistent intention of the Conservatives and Republican Movement and exactly what will happen if an Egypt Type show of united power of the people is not made.

It is plain in the following link that the United States Congress has every intention of shutting off the internet, which is the common populace’s only means of being informed:  http://act2.freepress.net/sign/resolution_of_disapproval/?akid=2310.9207661.dZ2MsB&rd=1&t=1 

Mubarak tried shutting off the internet, but it didn’t work well for him and Congress should keep that in mind.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, February 18, 2011 at 2:30 pm Link to this comment

Only a few not showing up for work, doesn’t matter much, but if the 70% Majority Common Population would unite and in unison not show up for work for a couple or three days, it would give the Conservatives and the Right a taste of the power of the people, as the Conservatives and the Right have been systematically destroying the Left since 1980.  It doesn’t seem like trying to scare the common people with not having a job should have as much effect, since the Common Population not having living wage jobs is the exact systematic and consistent intention of the Conservatives and Republican Movement and exactly what will happen if an Egypt Type show of united power of the people is not made.

As with Mubarek, the following link in information about the United States Congress’ intention to shut down a free and open internet for control of the common populace, as the internet is the common populace’s only means of being informed:  http://act2.freepress.net/sign/resolution_of_disapproval/?akid=2310.9207661.dZ2MsB&rd=1&t=1 

It didn’t work for Mubarak and it won’t work for the U.S. Congress either, but that doesn’t mean they won’t try. 

It is time for the 70% Majority Common Populace to unify, not as Democrats or Republicans, but as a common populace that needs political representation for their class and culture, the 219 Million members of the United States of America’s Common Populace in need of a NEW political party(s) in all the Congresses of the United States, both Federal, State and Local, so they can be at the table involved in the making and enforcing of legislated law and order as equals, instead of as children at the kiddy table of no choice.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, February 18, 2011 at 9:59 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

First: Taking on an attitude which puts you in the column of being right, and “They” are evil, will never bring people to your cause(s).  In the long-run you will always lose.

-

Teachers not showing up for work in Wisconsin will not aid in their cause.  The working public will increasingly become angry and turn against teachers as this walk-out costs millions of working people money and lost work time.  The public in general will also feel no sense of compassion for those currently paying zero for health-care and, while some public service employees receive up to a whopping 93% of their pay upon retirement.

State budgets all across the nation are such that if public service employees fail to bend, by accepting cuts in benefits (particularly health-care and pensions), many will lose their jobs permanently.

On the opposite side of the ledger, the Governor of Wisconsin over-reached by attempting to limit collective bargaining.  As horribly corrupt as unions are today, collective bargaining is nothing but a positive for labor.

-

FYI: It’s important to note that, according to the Federal Election Commission, the National Education Association has contributed $32,021,910 to political campaigns since the early 1990’s. 93% of those $Millions of dollars went directly into the coffers and pockets of democratic party members.

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 18, 2011 at 7:59 am Link to this comment

Joe Scarborough said this morning that the teachers of Wisconsin
were crazy to stay out of work today.  That having a job is more
important at this time.  It is consistent with his mini-minded
Republican views.  It is his kind of partisanship that has sent
this liberal a ways more to the Left.  He obviously does not think
ordinary people have any power.  That they should take all the
crap a government wants to shovel at them.  The people of
Wisconsin are planning an even bigger show of solidarity today
and more so this weekend. They are courageous and should find a
way to impeach the morally deficient Republican governor.  At least
to kick the schlemiel out of office next election.  Ed Schultz, an MSNBC
colleague of Scarborough does not think the teachers nor the union
card holders are crazy, nor does Rachel Maddow who gave an
outstanding editorial last evening about the only power people do
have, to unite.  So there you go.  The ordinary people of America
ought to send whatever support they can to the people of Wisconsin. 

Progressives unite.  Volya Naroda, The Power of the People!

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, February 18, 2011 at 3:06 am Link to this comment

It is imperative that the Common Population in the United States get the Egypt Syndrome and quit being pushed around by the Democratic Party and the Republican Party Duopoly Ruling Class that represent their own classes and cultures, and the Common Population is left to represent themselves as individuals without any class and culture, when the Common Population Class and Culture is the overwhelming majority population, 219 Million, while the Democratic Party’s Corporate Middle Class has 62 Million members and the Republican Party’s Corporate Aristocratic Capitalist Class has 31 Million members, both powerless minority political entities when the American Common Populace become aware.  When the American Common Populace become aware they will understand that ignoring their class and culture is political suicide, because ——— One individual thread is easily broken, but two isn’t as easy to break, three, four and five get harder, and when the whole class and culture comes together it is impossible to break a whole class and culture united for political representation of that class and culture, the American Common Populace, and no longer separated as individuals trying to get into a Middle Class Dream, but demanding political representation for their class and culture as a whole.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, February 18, 2011 at 3:00 am Link to this comment

It is imperative that the Common Population in the United States get the Egypt Syndrome and quit being pushed around by the Democratic Party and the Republican Party Duopoly Ruling Class that represent their own classes and cultures, and the Common Population is left to represent themselves as individuals without any class and culture, when the Common Population Class and Culture is the overwhelming majority population, 219 Million, while the Democratic Party’s Corporate Middle Class has 62 Million members and the Republican Party’s Corporate Aristocratic Capitalist Class has 31 Million members, both powerless minority political entities when the American Common Populace become aware.  When the American Common Populace become aware they will understand that ignoring their class and culture is political suicide, because ——— One individual thread is easily broken, but two isn’t as easy to break, three, four and five get harder, and when the whole class and culture comes together it is impossible to break a whole class and culture united for political representation of that class and culture, the American Common Populace, and no longer separated as individuals trying to get into a Middle Class Dream.

Report this
morongobill's avatar

By morongobill, February 17, 2011 at 5:46 pm Link to this comment

http://blackagendareport.com/content/obamaland-where-right-meets-center-right

Read this commentary. They cut zero slack for Obama.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, February 17, 2011 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment

Panetta hints Bush Administration had it right.

WASHINGTON—If the U.S. captured Osama bin Laden or other senior al Qaeda leaders, they would be probably be imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, CIA Director Leon Panetta said in his first public acknowledgment that the controversial U.S. military prison in Cuba might be used to hold future detainees.

Bin Laden and al-Qaeda No. 2 leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, both of whom are believed to be hiding in Pakistan, would likely be moved quickly to the U.S. airbase at Bagram, Afghanistan, for questioning and eventually moved, “probably to Guantanamo,” Panetta told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday.

After Panetta’s comments, other administration officials rushed to reaffirm that Obama is still committed to closing the prison, a campaign promise that has been blocked by his own party in Congress.

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, February 17, 2011 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, February 17 at 12:40 pm:

The answer is simple: Cut defense spending. ...

That means terminating the wars and the empire—a fundamental change in the posture of the American state.  Certainly a worthy if partial goal, but one that will be resisted most fiercely.

Let’s see if the united progressives go for it.

Report this

By Louis Proyect, February 17, 2011 at 10:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

He should smile, let them rage, and go about his business.

—-

Don’t you mean Goldman-Sachs’s business?

Report this

By Dennis, February 17, 2011 at 10:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ya think Obama wants to raise taxes? On who? It sure looks like more of the same. Giveaway to the rich and screw the rest.
Recently
We cut food stamps to pay/go a jobs program
We froze federal workers pay and ? before negotiating UE ext.
We continued the Bush tax cuts and raised taxes on people earning less than 20,000, before Repubs got the house.
We proposed ending the mortgage exemption at the same time we proposed reducing the corporate tax rate.
We cut or froze LIHAP in winter while energy prices are never coming down before seeing anything from the repubs.
We cut Community Action programs before seeing anything from the Repubs.
We cut SS’s ability to process claims and appeals before seeing anything from the repubs.
We increased the Defense budget by 5% and are told that will mean 78 billion in cuts over 10 yrs.

Deficit = income - spending.
We just gave away the farm on the income side.
We refuse to address medicaire and defense on the spending side.
We keep calling SS an entitlement when it is not.

WE are f*&ckd;

Report this
RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, February 17, 2011 at 9:41 am Link to this comment

Bring all non-essential military personnel back - that would be most of them. Also take inventory of all Pentagon resources with a view to eliminate ‘waste’ (the Reps favorite word, sort of like ‘junk’ bonds). That should make quite a dent.
I want somebody to explain to me, in any case, how reducing the deficit, government spending is supposed to stimulate the economy, especially considering the reason we still have an economy to speak of is that government bailed out the criminal financial institutions. Unfortunately the corrective regulations have not been put in place.
Out of control capitalism is the problem that’s what needs to be reduced.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, February 17, 2011 at 7:40 am Link to this comment

The answer is simple: Cut defense spending.  The House just killed a useless, duplicate F-35 engine development program with bi-partisan Teaparty and Democratic support.

Speaker Boehner, with total hypocrisy, tried to save it as the money for it is being spent, naturally, in his home state of Ohio.

Nobody in Congress cares if a program is good or bad, necessary or wasteful, as long as it’s not cut in HIS or HER state/district.  Since the Rethugs have brilliantly managed to get much of the defense spending in their states, naturally, like Boehner, they don’t want it touched.

Amazingly, the Teaparty gang are still determined to cut spending, even in defense.

Shouldn’t the President and the Dim leaders in Congress be building on that?  After all, except for China, our defense budgets is bigger than the top 14 nations TOGETHER.

Report this

By Allan, February 17, 2011 at 4:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Beneficial info and excellent design you got here! I want to thank you for sharing your ideas and putting the time into the stuff you publish! Great work!

Report this
Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 17, 2011 at 4:02 am Link to this comment

Posting this on a few forum sites, I’ve just signed up with Russ
Feingold’s newly regenerated Progressives United.com group whose
intention is to go against Corporate America and government reform.
Listening to him on Rachel Maddow, I’ve become a groupie of a sort.
And will work, as I’ve frequently said, to change the Democratic Party
from within and as an active protester of the current state of politics.
I informed the Democratic Party of my action and would hope the
powers that be in the Party take it to heart and understand that the
Will of the People will prevail.  Feingold is a Democrat and he believes
this new intraparty movement will ignite the greater Party to get with
the program to start standing strong and grab back the country the
Republicans are trying to swipe away from us.  The new movement has
had so many thousands already sign up in just one day of declaration
that the new website is clogged! But not before I did!  And I believe it
will become nationally infectious.  This is grassroots activism and it will
work because it is the only way the people have to “take care of their
business” needing only a rational and articulate known leader to get the
ball rolling.  Irrational as it may be, my main political object, as I have
often expressed, is to defeat the Republicans in ways I think would be
effective to overwhelmingly rout their self-serving policies and disgusting
view of the American people.
https://services.myngp.com/ngponlineservices/EmailSignup.aspx?X=HZh75IFMyTM=

Background article at:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/16/russ-feingold-progressives-united-
corporate-influence_n_816693.html

If unable to link to either of these, copy/paste the address in browser.

Report this
 
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.

Like Truthdig on Facebook