Sunday, December 05, 2010

GOP to USA: DROP DEAD

I'm now having one of those "HUH?" moments that have occurred with more and more frequency in the last ten years. What should be happening at this point is a showing of unified national outrage. Instead it would seem that most of us could hardly care less. And the anger that is being expressed by the Tea party types is being directed in the wrong direction and for the wrong reasons. They actually believe that Barack Obama is some kind of left wing extremist when, in reality, he's as tepid a right-of-center moderate as we've had since Bill Clinton.

The policies of low taxation for the obscenely wealthy that have played so huge a part in our current economic catastrophe will be allowed to continue. The Republicans have made it abundantly clear that they plan to hold the government hostage unless the Bush tax cuts, scheduled to expire on the last day of this month, are allowed to be continued indefinitely. That means "forever". It also means a loss of four trillion dollars in revenue over the next decade; a lousy deal any way you dice it or slice it. The president of the United States, far from being the Progressive warrior his base was praying for when we sent him to the White House two years ago, appears hellbent on caving into their demands. As Theodore Roosevelt once privately said of President McKinley, "He has all the backbone of a chocolate eclair".

I never thought I would live to hear myself even think this, but the Democrats probably should have nominated Hilary Clinton two years ago. President Obama has let us down in every way imaginable. There is still a part of me that wants to believe that he
still has a few cards up his sleeve and that he is within days of delivering an unexpected political counter-punch. Maybe. I really hope that's the case, but that hope is dwindling by the day. I know in his heart he is a good guy but his leadership style leaves much to be desired. Seriously, if this is the sort of change I'm expected to believe in, you can keep it.

FOR THE RECORD:
I still thank Heaven every day that John McCain is not at this moment sleeping in the White House. I am beside myself with joy that Fascist Barbie is not a seventy-four-year-old heartbeat away from the presidency. If you were thinking for a minute that I'm
sorry that Obama won on Election Day 2008 - think again. As disappointed as I may be in the current administration, a McCain/Palin White House would have been the apocalypse. Now let's move on, shall we?

Barack Obama, like Bill Clinton before him, is yet another stark reminder why I left the Democratic party nearly thirteen years ago. The fact that they're not half as bad as the Republicans doesn't make their very existence any easier to justify. It's getting clearer by the day that they don't really have our interests at heart. The overwhelming majority of the American people - unlike the small percentage of us perceptive enough to have seen the light - have their stakes tied up with either one of the two major political parties. They cannot see (or refuse to see) that both the Republicans and the Democrats are morally unfit to govern this country any longer. Unfortunately, as long as so many of us refuse to acknowledge this simple and undeniable truth, our slide into the abyss will only continue.

"And the dance band on the Titanic
Played 'Nearer My God To Thee'
The iceberg's on the starboard bough
Won't you dance with me?"

-Harry Chapin

And at this joyous time of the year, the GOP has delivered a holiday message to the people who are now suffering under the worse economic conditions since the 1930s, conditions that were largely brought on by them:

FUCK YOU, AMERICA!

They cannot bring themselves to relieve the burden of the unemployed at the risk of angering the handful of plutocrats they act as handmaidens for. They can't admit to themselves that the Bush tax cuts never made any feasible economic sense; that the policy of continuing a tax break for a class of people who already had more money than they knew what to do with was (to put it mildly) destructive to the interests of the vanishing middle class. And yet they continue on this destructive course. Why? What the hell is the matter with these people? If they seem just a tad crazy to you, it should be noted that they're crazy like a FOX News.

Make no mistake about it: Their ultimate goal is to bankrupt the nation to the point where mathematics will force for us to obliterate the social safety nets that have cushioned many an economic blow for regular working Americans for decades - Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance. They want to see these programs obliterated. That's been their dream for nearly eight decades. And if the president of the United States refuses to stand up to these hideous bastards and bitches, their dream will be coming true a lot sooner than you might think. What needs to be understood is that the collapse of September 2008 was merely a harbinger of things to come.

WAIT! IT GETS WORSE!

They can't even bring themselves to provide for the care of the brave men and woman who responded to the disaster at the World Trade center nearly ten years ago - many of whom are sick and dying as a result of the noxious fumes they were forced to inhale into their lungs in the weeks that followed. Their reasoning? The nation simply can't afford it. And yet they can afford tax breaks for billionaires. Isn't life beautiful?

There's a part of me that finds it difficult - no, I find it impossible - to feel any degree of genuine sympathy for a lot of the people who will be affected by what is now transpiring. Most of them stupidly voted for the right wing in the last several election cycles. As far as I'm concerned they are going to get exactly what they deserve - screw 'em. It's the poor kids that I am saving my compassion for, not their idiotic parents. We've got to face the fact that this generation of children will be the first generation in American history whose opportunities and lifestyles will be far inferior to those that their moms and dads enjoyed. This generation of so-called "grownups" have left a debt so astronomical that our great grandchildren - who will never even know our names - will still be paying it off generations from now. What will they think of us? Fortunately we won't be around to have to look them in the eye.

Welcome to the United States of China. Enjoy your stay!

The nightmare that we are now experiencing at our southern border is nothing compared to the one Canada will be feeling within a decade. It will be a phenomenon never seen before: American refugees. Whoa! What a concept! In ten years this country won't be worth the paper that the maps of it are printed on. All because we in this generation refused to recognize our priorities. And here is the nasty little reality that no one has dared to mention. The damage that we've done to ourselves is more-than-likely insurmountable. Isn't that a sweet thought? The years between 1981 and 2011 will be remembered as the period when the United States committed a long and slow suicide. The damage is now complete. Get used to living in a country in ruins.

Wasn't the Reagan Revolution a blast?

Tom Degan
tomdegan@frontiernet.net

SUGGESTED READING:

Spanking The Donkey
by Matt Taibbi

A Fascinating and extremely funny look at the campaign of 2004 by the best political writer out there today. I am in the process of reading it for the second time. It's a great book!

48 Comments:

At 8:14 PM, Blogger Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

I actually had been one to also say 'they wanted to believe' about Obama during the campaign days -

I wish the voters would remember this 'chicken crap' each November but sadly shorten attention span syndrome sucks their brains of any logic and justice -

(I was for Richardson BTW)

 
At 10:31 PM, Anonymous Nelson said...

Does the President play pick up basketball games a lot? You know he got his lower lip split by an elbow. People have to be going at it seriously and sheesh, I've played similar and I'd be saying "This is the President of the United States here", makes you wonder.

------

Reid and Pelosi have had similar status and power over the past two years, don't forget them.

Hillary and Bill, yes, would probably have been more pragmatic and would know better how to grease the wheels of government and legislation.

But people didn't want that, they wanted this fantastic sounding recovery.

I know Ed Schultz talked about how there were 350 of these kinds of talk show hosts in the land that had nothing good to say about Barack.

 
At 7:34 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

Two points: First hypocracy and second economics.

Hypocracy: The dems say one thing and do another with regard to taxation. Kennedy have trusts in the Fiji islands so the US cant get their hand on their money. Gates and Buffet have set up trust so that the government gets virutally nothing when they go. I could go on and on.

The question you should all try to answer, if your goal is the common good and not simply jealousy. What economic equation results in the larget GDP and/or in the largest amount of tax collections.

If you seized everyone's wealth, who was worth more that lets say $10 million, gave it to the government to manage and dish out. Do you think the population down the road would be better or worse off.

Even if incorrectly applied, some economic logic to support your assertions would be welcome.

Obama without a teleprompter is nothing more than a cocky school boy. He is a puppet.

 
At 12:38 PM, Blogger killing Mother said...

Ever notice how the most idealistic of presidential candidates turn into the most haggard and ineffectual of Presidents. Carter and Obama both come to mind. Each man, I believe, is a man of intelligence and integrity, but when they get the worst job in the world, they realize they actually have no power at all. The corporate sponsors call all the shots, and hands tied, all the idealists can do is try and minimise the damage caused by the elite agenda.

In this respect, it doesn't matter whether Dems or Republicans are in power apart from the issues the power elite really don't care about like abortion and gay marriage. They let us get all wrapped up in the "moral" arguments while they quietly go about the business of taking all the world for themselves.

I disagree Hillary would have been better. She would have been exactly the same but would have conveyed to the public, unlike Obama, that it was all her idea just like Bill did when he bowed down to the corporate rulers of the world.

 
At 1:11 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

"The Republicans have made it abundantly clear that they plan to hold the government hostage unless the Bush tax cuts, scheduled to expire on the last day of this month, are allowed to be continued indefinitely."
To be fair, they plan to hold the government hostage no matter what happens.
The iceberg's on the starboard bough
Why was there a tree on the Titanic?!
"Why? What the hell is the matter with these people?"
1. It enrichens their masters.
2. It hands the Democrats (who can't argue well even when they're on the right side of a situation) another failure, demoralizing those that voted for them.
"Their reasoning? The nation simply can't afford it."
Balderdash! If those lazy First Responders wanted their asses covered, they should've been multi-national corporations!
Welcome to the United States of China. Enjoy your stay!
Hardly. Things are getting better in China.

boltok "The question you should all try to answer, if your goal is the common good and not simply jealousy. What economic equation results in the larget GDP and/or in the largest amount of tax collections."
First, that's not the goal. The goal is the best economy, from which tax comes.
Second, the GOP solution is the same solution they have to everything: tax cuts and deregulation (while saying they're for Small Government, when they're really for a government that's small enough that it can't stand as a counterweight to the power of corporations, but big enough to punish Unpopular Minorities). That's the same solution that, since the 80's, has helped those on top reap the benefits while decimating everybody else (most of whom, at best, are where they were when Supply Side Economics first came in to vogue).

"If you seized everyone's wealth, who was worth more that lets say $10 million, gave it to the government to manage and dish out. Do you think the population down the road would be better or worse off."
/me looks around. Who's advocating that?
I want a rational tax policy that doesn't screw over the least of us so that those on the top will have more to put in the bank.

"Obama without a teleprompter is nothing more than a cocky school boy."
Obama without a teleprompter is a better speaker than most people are with one (notice, too, how many of the "Obama teleprompter" spreaders, while giving press conferences, read their anti-Obama screed off a teleprompter). There's a reason why most of the anti-intellectual Right politicians (that is to say, most of them) with a teleprompter are no better than they are without them; all they need to do is string together talkingpoints and dogwhistles to their "Base" (making a coherent narrative is unnecessary when all they have to do is say "Fear! Blame! Resent!"). Heck, you put more thought into things here than they do.

"He is a puppet."
He's not what either side thought he was. At least the Left's disappointment is fact-based.

 
At 1:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey we tried the American lifestyle, apparently it's not working. Too many try to cheat, try to bullshit, try to make deals that aren't beneficial for everyone, and well eventually your going to get a lot of people fighting for themselves because everyone up top is screwing them over.

Maybe screwing over is harsh phrase, but everyone else is looking out for their own. And the guys on the bottom aren't going to support people looking out for their own while they get screwed.

Bring the system down as far as I'm concerned it only promote incompitence and lies.

 
At 3:45 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

I, for one, would like for someone to explain to me why the GOP is so obsessed with and opposed to Social Security. This is NOT a fucking government handout. From the day I earned my first paycheck some 55 years ago, I have paid into SS every year of my life. This is not a government freebie; they are simply returning the money that I gave to them and allowed them to play with. Same for medicare; I paid into that fund from the very first day of it's inception.

And seeing the hit my IRA took four years ago, don't tell me that I should be investing my SS funds in an alternate market.

 
At 4:28 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Charles, the establishment's opposition to Social Security ( not just the GOP's ) is just one more example of the one-sided social adhesion contract we are all forced to accept. The establishment wants a one way street where citizens are used for the benefit of the establishment but the establishment is not expected to provide any benefits to WE THE PEOPLE. It should be obvious by now that both parties are only interested in stealing or converting the wealth into the hands of their robber baron friends. Our so called leaders are sociopaths at best, psychopaths at worst and have no concept of ethics or social justice. These assholes would tax the polluted air we breathe if they could figure out how. I learned the establishment was not to be trusted when I was eleven years old....why so many Amerikans buy into such an oppressive, bullshit system is a mystery to me. Gullible, brainwashed people we have in this country.....don't you folks know the first lie you were told is that you are not lied to ?? Then it's down the garden path from there !! So Charles, just because they took your money for the past 55 years doesn't mean they plan on giving it back as per the " agreement ". They have wars to fund and friends that count on a huge military budget for their wealth.

 
At 4:33 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

MO
We havent heard from you since the Oregon Christmas Tree bombing scare. Glad your back, I was concerned.

No one on here has the slight clue about anything econonic. Just caveman mentaility.

You have money.
Give government money.
You do not deserve your money. You have no right to the product of your effort.
Government owns your assets.
Government owns your services.
Government spend money.
Government spend all money.
The no more money.

You people are a bunch of fools.

 
At 4:34 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

charles moore "I, for one, would like for someone to explain to me why the GOP is so obsessed with and opposed to Social Security..."
1. Other parts of the government have been borrowing from it to cover their own shortfalls (partly as a way of hiding how bad deficits were), and they don't want to pay it back.
2. The State has two obligations: punishing Unpopular Minorities and making foreigners explode. Neither of those involve making sure that the elderly have at least a baseline income.
3a. The Government can't do anything right. That's why Medicare is more expensive than Private Sector solutions, and Social Security provides a lower rate of return than Private Investment on Wall Street. That the Private Sector primarily covers the poor by ignoring them and most of the gains on Wall Street get eaten as commissions (while all of the losses get eaten by the investors, or "marks" as they're known in the industry) should, nay, must, be ignored as they fail to motivate the Common People to vote to screw themselves over.
3b. Where Government can't work, and where the Private Sector won't work, Personal Charity does work. That's why nobody went hungry or homeless during the so-called "Great Depression".
4. They've forgotten the issues and failures that lead to the New Deal in the first place (alternately, they haven't forgotten, but don't care. After all, it's not them that will be eating cat food).

"And seeing the hit my IRA took four years ago, don't tell me that I should be investing my SS funds in an alternate market."
Exactly. Just imagine how much poorer you'd be if they hadn't lost all your money for you! The Free Market works!

 
At 5:05 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

Jug Ears polling behind Bush. Go W!

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46019.html

 
At 5:12 PM, Anonymous Bad Ass Biker said...

So Boltok, oh Enlightened One, you said:

"You have money.
Give government money.
You do not deserve your money. You have no right to the product of your effort.
Government owns your assets.
Government owns your services.
Government spend money.
Government spend all money.
The no more money.

You people are a bunch of fools."

What do you see as the answer?

 
At 5:23 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

A serious recommendation.

I think the very best book that anyone can read who is new to economics and would like to get a good general understanding:

Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell.

It is worth every cent. The government distorts every market in the USA tremendously. People don't understand its deleterious affects.

Again, give that book a read. It is written so it is easily understood by all (i.e., no math adn arbitrary graphs). I cant do it justice.

 
At 7:19 PM, Blogger Saul Alinsky said...

Tom,

I offered Hillary Rodham a job after her outstanding Wellesley College thesis on my community organizing methods.

Hillary would have been a better President for our cause to destroy capitalism. Obama has sold out to the big corporations and cannot function without his teleprompter.

 
At 11:58 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

boltok "We havent heard from you since the Oregon Christmas Tree bombing scare."
Scare? Only the Rightwing. "Ooo, the FBI caught a guy, after helping him build a bomb that wouldn't work, making sure that the public was never in danger! Be afraid!" If McCain was in charge, your cry would be "See? He's Keeping us Safe®!"

"No one on here has the slight clue about anything econonic. Just caveman mentaility."
And your plan is...?

"You people are a bunch of fools."
No. That's you. Keep punching at the wind. Eventually you might actually hit the liberal that lives in your imagination.

 
At 12:07 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

"You have money...The no more money."
No. It's:
"We have bills to pay. Bills for things that you, the American People like. Deficit spending is mandatory in recessions. The avalanche of tax cuts and deregulation over the last three decades has disproportionately benefited the already wealthy, while the bubble economy it has created (in combination with the hollowing out of the manufacturing sector) has harmed everybody else. Economic recession, two unfunded wars, unfunded Medicare D and the Bush-era temporary tax cuts have further put us in the red."
"While the too-small stimulus helped to blunt the effects of the recession, another round is politically impossible. We can't abandon Iraq, whom we put in harms way, and Afghanistan will return to failed state status if we leave before our job is done (meaning that, inevitably, we would have to return). Medicare D (and Medicare in general) is too popular to cut and we face too much opposition to try to rewrite it, making bringing in cost controls to cut the spiralling price of medical care impossible. The Bush era tax cuts did not create the jobs that the American people were promised. Indeed, they are the least effective form of stimulus, particularly when given to those on top of the economic ladder, who bank it rather than spend it. Now the GOP is holding the feet of the average American to the fire, saying that if the tax cuts across the board are not continued they will bring the machine of government to a grinding halt, no matter the price to the people of this Great ation, while insisting that the deficit must be eliminated, by gutting programs like 'Mumble mumble' and 'Mumble'."
"We simply cannnot afford to allow this. The country cannot be allowed to burn while those least harmed by the recession profit the most; far disproportionately to the rest of the people. Those on the bottom of the ladder have lost all hope of a better life for their children. Those in the middle have watched the value of their only home evaporate, while at the same time seeing their retirement nest egg shrink by as much as 40%. We can save our future, but we cannot expect those who've already been forced to sacrifice everything to shoulder the burden. This is not Class Warfare. Class Warfare is what we already have, where a thirty year avalanche of tax cuts and deregulation, with steadily increasing deficit spending (even in boom times), have ensured that those on top enjoy all the profits of Capitalism, while everybody else's pockets are picked to Socialize the losses. That is not Capitalism. That is Corporatism. That is not '...of, by, and for The People'. That is '...of Some People, by Some People, for Some People'. That is not Democracy. That is Plutocracy."

 
At 12:09 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

"The Republican's Plan for the future guarantees that a majority of Americans, many of whom have watched their jobs move overshore (while the very corporations that did so have received subsidies to help pay for throwing you out of work), many more have watched their medical insurance rates skyrocket for less and less coverage with more and more fineprint only to have their insurance company drop them when, say, the breadwinner of the family was struck with cancer. They also plan to save money by cutting off aid to the unemployed. The GOP is telling the ten percent of Americans who've lost their jobs (more like twenty, if those have have stopped looking are counted) to 'Get a job'. They are telling ten million or more people (people just like you) to all get one of the three million available jobs. That math simply does not work, and it is callous and cruel to expect those that have been thrown out of work to suffer because the Republicans are no good at math. Worse, the GOP wants to gut the social programs that help protect the least of us from homelessness and starvation. Worst of all, they're willing to do this...to sacrifice both you and your family...to ensure that those on top both keep everything they've got and get yours, too. Forcing the have nones to sacrifice while the haves celebrate record profits is, and I can't state this loudly enough, nothing less than Class Warfare."
"The Tea Partier's Plan is to cut any program that they don't personally use, especially if it helps those below them; people who are struggling even harder than they are, people who are not just struggling to maintain their lifestyle, but to simply keep a roof over their head and food in their belly. In addition they want to ban earmarks (except, it must be mentioned for earmarks that benefit them), which will have virtually no effect on the budget as, for example, a million dollar earmark tacked on to a ten million dollar bill does not result in an eleven million dollar bill, but instead the same ten million with only nine million left for whatever the bill was meant to be spent on in the first place.
During this recession, we cannot move the ledger in to the black without greatly prolonging our misery. Not deficit spending during a recession is even more foolish than deficit spending during an economic boom. However, we can shorten it by not extending the temporary tax cuts for those who don't need them. In addition, we can chip away at government spending with no harm to the America People, by cutting Defense programs that even the Pentagon does not want, by cutting handouts to corporations that are already profitable, and by preventing corporations that continue to profit by moving your jobs offshore from receiving any help from the government for doing so."
"This country has survived far worse. Together, we can get through this."

 
At 12:18 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

And that is why the Dems are at such a rhetorical disadvantage versus the GOP. Actual statements, actual plans, require paragraphs instead of soundbites.
"The GOP does not work for you. We do. Help us help you." is about as terse as I can go.
Now, if only we could get more than a smattering of genuinely liberal Democratic brawlers who have the spine and the balls to get the message out, to stay on message, to fight, to put the GOP on the defensive, to call the GOP on their b.s., to keep the GOP on the defensive, and to actually carry out the message as more than just something to be said during an election.
I can dream, can't I? Sure, the only certainty is that I face disappointment, but the only way to avoid disappointment is to never believe in anything, to never commit to anything, even if that thing is the right thing. We've already got plenty of people like that. They're in the House and Senate.

 
At 7:04 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

MO
Were you in solitary confinement. Such an explosion of expression. I think I will reiterate my recommendation. Go hit the public library, take out Basic Economics by Sowell, and tell me if anything in that book makes sense.

BTW: I now think Obama is a Republican, a Repbulican plant in the Democratic party. Those devious Republicans.

The evidence is building.
The obvious:
He loves foreign wars.
He loves wall street.
He loves flying in a private jet.
He likes playing golf.
He hates black people, he throws black politicians under the bus at every opportunity.
HE IS A TAX CUTTER.
HIS POLL NUMBERS NOW = BUSH

AND

If the Republicans spent a trillion dollars trying to destroy the Democratic party, they couldnt accomplish what he has done in 18 months.

I had him all wrong.

GO O!

 
At 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conspiratorial as it may seem, I can't believe this is an accident. Does anyone here believe the U.S.A. is being destroyed intentionally?

Dan

 
At 10:19 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Boltok "Such an explosion of expression."
Not really. It only appears to be a lot because of the half-column thing.

"Such an explosion of expression. I think I will reiterate my recommendation. Go hit the public library, take out Basic Economics by Sowell, and tell me if anything in that book makes sense."
I realize that it's the Genetic Fallacy, but I have a hard time believing that anyone who writes for Worldnetdaily can even approach rationality (picking randomly, I ended up rereading one he did on the Horrors of Socialized Medicine).

"BTW: I now think Obama is a Republican, a Repbulican plant in the Democratic party. Those devious Republicans."
In the 70s, he'd would've been Ford. A little before that, he'd have been Nixon.

"HIS POLL NUMBERS NOW = BUSH"
I know, right?! It's, like, almost as though someone trying to dig out of a hole that took twenty years to dig into while fighting both the entirety of the other Party and the corporatists in his own Party (including, to some degree, himselft) won't be praised for not being an absolute monarch in what turns out to be a democracy.

"If the Republicans spent a trillion dollars trying to destroy the Democratic party, they couldnt accomplish what he has done in 18 months."
To be fair, they set up the pins, he just proved incapable of knocking them down (and when he does they get spun as "Death Panels" or "using a nuclear bomb to swat an ant" and such). And it should be noted that the backers of the GOP spent a pretty penny poisoning the well on every issue Obama's brought forward.

Anonymous Dan"Conspiratorial as it may seem, I can't believe this is an accident. Does anyone here believe the U.S.A. is being destroyed intentionally?"
Intentionally? Well, the GOP would rather the nation burn than give Obama any wins (to the point that they're willing to obstruct START II!), but that destruction is only a path to the goal of getting back in power. And Wall Street intentionally strip-mines the economy (tech bubble, mortgage bubble and futures bubble, just to name three in the last since the 90's), but that destruction is only a path to the goal of commissions and bonuses.

 
At 10:32 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

Sowell is a Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

Broaden your horizons, take a risk, read the book.

 
At 2:34 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Really? Try this. Notice the spin? Notice the generally bad-faith argumentation? Notice that he's forgotten anything good about the thing he's disagreeing with and anything bad about his prefered solution?
Senior fellow or no, he's clearly a partisan ideologue.
In any event, reading a review, he's countering a system for which nobody here is arguing. We aren't big "S" Socialists. Nobody is for Central Planning for sneaker production. We're small "s", soft socialists. You are, too. Perhaps not for healthcare, but that's because Americans focus on the failures of socialized healthcare (and it's not particularly good at "lifestyle changing" medicine, like hip replacement surgery, where waiting lines tend to linger, vice emergency medicine, like heart surgery or cancer treatment) while papering over the failures of their current system (waiting in line for a new hip joint is far preferable to never being able to get one due to money or lack of coverage, getting "last year's" cancer treatment is better than getting dropped by your insurance company once you start billing for treatment, and sharing a room after heart surgery is worlds ahead of sharing a morgue after not getting it). And the "Death Panels" of socialized medicine (where cheaper but still effective procedures are chosen over state-of-the-art or unproven tech/medicine) are better than the "Death Panels" of the American system (where your insurance agent's bonus or, indeed, his job, hinge on how many procedures he rejects, whether they're covered or not).
America's problem isn't the bogeyman of Socialism; it's the already-in-control threat of Corporatism. It's not pinkos; it's Goldman Sachs. It's not the voluntary Collectivisation (to a degree) of the Farmer's Market; it's Monsanto. It's not socializing the profits; it's socializing the losses.
The problem isn't the State owning Capital. It's Capital owning the State.

 
At 4:52 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

MO
If you don't want to read the book don't. I offered it as a suggestion because the majority if not all the commenters on this blog are ignorant of economics, and I am not trying to be demeaning.


Argue after you read it or dont argue against it at all. Readers Digest versions will only take you so far.

 
At 6:00 PM, Anonymous Gadfly said...

Butt-tok, you said: "I offered it as a suggestion because the majority if not all the commenters on this blog are ignorant of economics, and I am not trying to be demeaning"

Maybe not demeaning, but you are certainly an arrogant, ignorant asshole. And what makes you such an authority on economics?

 
At 6:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gadfly,

Boltok is correct about Thomas Sowell. Mr. Sowell is an expert on Economics and is able to write and argue his points extremely well. If Paul Krugman ever grew balls to debate Thomas Sowell about economics, Mr. Sowell would rip him a new ahole. Mr. Sowell clearly understands and writes about how the Government repeatedly distorts the market with programs that intend to do good, but the unintended consequences these Government programs cause are disastrous.

Since Mr. Sowell is a conservative African-American, Thomas Degan will not acknowledge him since he is not toeing the line with the Democratic party as all good negroes are supposed to. Thomas Degan no doubt puts Thomas Sowell in the same category as Clarence Thomas (i.e. House Nigg**).

 
At 6:40 PM, Anonymous gadfly said...

Anonymous, so Butt-hole or whoever has read a book. That does not answer the question. By what authority does he assume that the majority if not all the commenters on this blog are ignorant of economics?

 
At 7:42 PM, Blogger Kevin Swanwick said...

With the exit of Tom Degan from the ranks of Obama supporters, I officially declare that our president has lost the support of the American Left. So it goes...

 
At 10:53 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

The fact that Thomas Sowell has appeared on Glenn Beck more than once, not to mention him being a sometimes guest on The Rush Limbaugh Show, speaks volumes to me. It seems one is judged by the company one keeps. But I must say I totally agree with a portion of what he said to Mr. Beck during an interview last year (May 27, 2009): "We're not a socialist country, because the socialists believe in government ownership in the means of production, but the fascists believe that the government should have private ownership and the politicians should tell people how to run the businesses. So that's the route we seem to be going."

Mr. Sowell's correct about the fascist statement, but with one exception: Instead of his claim that the politicians tell business how to run things, it's more like the opposite -- big business tells our politicians how to run government.

As a commenter in Texas made on an article I read about Sowell: "Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, and Clarence Thomas are all friends, and they are three of the most useless people on the planet."

 
At 10:56 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

gadfly -

"By what authority does he assume that the majority if not all the commenters on this blog are ignorant of economics?"

The first clue might be when folks like you make juvenile plays on words with his user name.

 
At 12:17 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Thomas Sowell was on Glen Beck? (/me checks interweb) Holy crap! On the origin of the Mortgage Crisis, "You can really go back to the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977... He goes on to hit all of the tropes (he does mention Wall Street. Once). Classy.

 
At 4:26 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Oh yeah, Mr. Sowell's a real dandy alright. In a fairly recent piece picked-up by Fox News Radio, he makes an incredible statement that still befuddles me -- especially given his formal level of education.

"With vastly expanded powers of government available at the discretion of politicians and bureaucrats, private individuals and organizations can be forced into accepting the imposition of powers that were never granted to the government by the Constitution."

I have this question for Mr. Sowell, which I'm hoping one of this blog's readers would care to answer: Where in the Constitution does it indicate that "organizations" are deemed the same constitutional rights as proclaimed and reserved for people?

 
At 6:38 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

JG, like my comment to MO, give a book a chance.

Gadfly, I don't share detailed personal information on the net. I will say that I have had economic/statistics research jobs early in my career. Whatever arrogance I may have is tempered by the fact that I am keenly aware of what I dont know. People on this blog not only dont know the answers, but they dont even have the correct set of questions.

 
At 10:27 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Since we’re on the topic of presidential disasters averted…

It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for first-generation ethanol," Al Gore told a gathering of clean energy financiers in Greece this week. The benefits of ethanol are "trivial," he added, but "It's hard once such a program is put in place to deal with the lobbies that keep it going."

"One of the reasons I made that mistake is that I paid particular attention to the farmers in my home state of Tennessee, and I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for President."

Wow, I’m impressed with the almost honesty coming from one of the biggest shams of an individual there is. He still isn’t telling the truth quite yet, though. He knows that the benefits aren’t merely trivial – they’re non-existent. In fact, the environmental damage done by oil and gas industry pales in comparison to that of modern farming practices. The ethanol subsidy is financially and environmentally a HUGE policy mistake – all driven by the Iowa primary – with fault lying on both sides of the aisle.

 
At 12:11 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

Harley,
That JACKASS Gore is probably front running a wikileak.

 
At 3:53 PM, Anonymous Minnie Mouse said...

Harley:

"The first clue might be when folks like you make juvenile plays on words with his user name."

But it's okay for Boltok to call people jackasses and Jug Ears?

 
At 4:57 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

MM
Given that this blog condones using the N word to describe a certain supreme court justice, I take a few freedeoms myself. I dont see our president in racial terms, just like to joke about the parabolic nature of the antennae attached to the sides of his head. Gore is a jackass.

I don't mind Forrest Gump analogies, he was a good conservative.

 
At 4:32 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Boltok said, "I don't mind Forrest Gump analogies, he was a good conservative."

"Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative."
---John Stuart Mill (20 May 1806 – 8 May 1873), British philosopher and civil servant

 
At 7:17 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

JG
Forrest was a self sufficient, industrious, altruistic and responsbile individual. Forrest didn't go looking for handouts because of any perceived self limitation or lack of birth right. These concepts are foreign to liberals.

 
At 1:42 PM, Blogger finefroghair said...

thanks tom for another endearing rant You must be doing something right because the troll count seems to be growing larger and well what is a blog without trolls. Speaking of trolls you got some really cute ones here lurking about and a lonely smart one. Imagine a smart troll ruminating on the complexities of economics lecturing and posturing, puffing and beating it's chest Tax Cuts, Tax Cuts, Tax Cuts!!!
Having a troll discuss the virtues of sound economic policy is like getting buddhist lessons from Hannibal Lechter.

 
At 2:05 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Boltok, Forrest Gump was a fictional character from a fictional piece of literature. Not unlike most conservatives, your distortion of reality and apparent inability to differentiate between what's real and what is not is the primary reason we find ourselves in such economic and political dire straits.

 
At 3:24 AM, Blogger Pangolin said...

Hey there; nice rant on the OP. Couldn't agree more. I do have to say the troll situation on the comments is a bit out of hand.

Some idiot is promoting Thomas Sowell(WTF?) as some sort of "brilliant economist" as if any economist could find reality with a map.

Peak Oil and Climate Change are about to render the rest of the fictions that pass for modern economics moot. Ask the Pakistanis, the Russians or the Australians. Wander over to the Oil Drum and look at the posts on the latest IEA report.

For the last few days the Titanic is floating the GOP and their DLC Democratic buttboys will celebrate the salvation of the wealthy from the rest of us. They better hope to hell America's young people don't decide to emulate their British or French cohorts.

When the youth of America stop blaming themselves and start blaming the geezers all bets are off.

 
At 4:23 AM, Anonymous rashid1891 said...

Even if incorrectly applied, some economic logic to support your assertions would be welcome.

Obama without a teleprompter is nothing more than a cocky school boy. He is a puppet.

 
At 10:22 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

JG
If dems didn't place enormous weight on fiction there would not be a Democrat Party.

 
At 5:07 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

boltok, at worst that's a tu quoque.

 
At 9:53 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

MO
Don't make me learn you a few things about tu quoques again.

 
At 12:30 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

boltok, you do know that the GOP is well beyond the Dems in the reality-denial sector, right?

 
At 9:53 AM, Anonymous AS said...

I agree that I am thankful that McCain is not in the WH. But, I approach Obama with equal disdain. Unfortunately, until America realizes that there are more candidates than those form the 2 major parties, we will continue our cycle of poor leadership.

AS
http://starkravingmanager.com/

 

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