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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

D.C. clown show may not stop for Christmas

What fools they are, and what fools we are for electing them.

Comments (26)

I'm actually getting quite fond of those two, because they give me flashbacks to the Nineties. I keep expecting Cantor to OD on Jolt cola, pull his shirt over his head, and start screaming "I am the Great Cornholio! Are you threatening me?", before Boehner smacks him and tells him "shut up, buttmunch, before I kick your ass. Huh huh huh huh."

They should give us all a little break, and go home. No reason to feel pressured by a manufactured, "poison pill" type problem. In fact, we'd better get used to it. There will be more, and worse.

Voters here, take note: our elected Republican representatives are promising to toss the world's economy in the toilet unless their Democratic colleagues agree to make ruthless and unneeded changes, like raising the eligibility age for Medicare, imposing gratuitous suffering, both physical and economic, for no purpose whatsoever.

Allan - don't fall for the charade.
The fall is in motion.
All that's left is pointing blame for the landing.

"our elected Republican representatives are promising to toss the world's economy in the toilet"

Yes, you're right, one party that controls one half of Congress will throw the entire world economy in the toilet. A bit histrionic don't you think?

Perhaps they should be a single-party state like OR where we've managed to do such agreat job at funding schools and providing basic human services like keeping the mentally ill off the streets. Meanwhile we have many dollars to throw at the favored son developers.

So we should give Mr Obama exactly what he wants, a tax rise on the rich, who meanwhile will take advantage of all the loopholes (like his friend Warrn Buffet's NetJets fighting a $600M or so tax bill) that their buddies, D and R alike, have constructed in Congress for them.

In addition, Mr Obama can avoid cutting $0.01 of spending by trotting out that killing the rich will solve all our problems.

Plus Congress can keep running up the deficit $1T at shot, allow Mr Bernanke to keep throwing more money at banks with easy credit and Joe Average will not have $0.01 extra in his pockets.

Yeah, you're right its those Rs that are responsible for the world economy falling apart.

Perhaps instead of hunting for witches in Salem, you should find a solution to the real problems extant.

Steve you are regurgitating a ton of propaganda. Not saying you are entirely wrong though.

Steve speaks the truth -- the real propaganda is claiming that tax the rich is going to make any difference in addressing the US fiscal crisis. In Allen's world nobody suffers from assuming $16 trillion, or before you know it, $20 trillion in debt. That's fanciful. My 5th and 7th graders have already figured out that the adults are screwing them. Too bad they don't get a vote.

Could we have a little perspective here? $16 trillion in debt with $3 trillion in annual revenue is analogous to a household with a $30K income and $160K owing on their mortgage. Not optimal, but nowhere near the catastrophe that the deficit scolds make it out to be. Cut military spending in half, repeal the Reagan tax cuts and you've pretty much solved the problem.

"$16 trillion in debt with $3 trillion in annual revenue is analogous to a household with a $30K income and $160K owing on their mortgage."

It would be if you were actually paying down the debt instead of increasing it every year.

Hopefully you can understand where that course of action goes. Besides most banks would never loan you more than 3x income.

"a ton of propaganda."

Great, tell me where I'm a ton wrong.

We spend so much time as I stated above, creating false dilemmas like if we don't tax the rich we'll never fix the problem or as above hunting for witches in olde Salem to blame for our problems (whether they are R or D witches), it just gets ridiculous.

My gut is that any extra tax the rich will get burned up in increased spending in about 2 months. Meanwhile you'll have guys like Buffett or Immelt making large donations to convince Obama that they aren't really that rich.

Steve - What? Which bank are you talking about? Ha! ;-)

The household income analogy breaks down because the government can increase revenue when needed.

Make no mistake, the revenue has to come in, and the only ones currently increasing their share are the top earners. Everyone else is sliding. So it's a no brainer who to fleece.

The party is just about over, now it's time to pay up. And those that benefited from old system are going to have to contribute more. Who else can?

As far as addressing 'the crisis', taxing the rich is a big step forward in addressing the systemic issues. The horribly undemocratic income disparity is one of the problems in our system, and this disparity leads to meltdowns like that of 2008 (and 1929) due to the concentration of not only wealth but also of political power. That level of wealth concentration subverts the political system, so the government starts working for the big moneyed interests, so there's nothing to stop the big investors from going off the rails.

The wealth concentration corrupts so completely that an entire political party is willing to send the country into financial hardship in order to protect against a modest tax hike on a very few Americans.

To-long-didn't-read: Gov needs money? Fish where the fish are.

Steve - Never said you were a ton wrong, or wrong at all. Read 2nd sentence of that comment.

I just watched like 30 seconds of FOX propaganda today and heard everything you said, save for the bits about Oregon.

You aren't wrong on any particular point, but you are beating the holy hell about of a bunch of staw men.

A regular reading of the Wall Street Journal has given me a good education on the debt crisis. It is real and will overwhelm any attempt we make to control it if not dealt with now. A predicted recession will add fuel to the fire, regardless of Bernanke's promise to keep interest rates near zero for the next few years. That might help my business, but I have been preparing for higher interest rates nonetheless. This could be a quick or less quick disaster, but not addressing entitlement spending is foolhardy, irresponsible, and unAmerican. Anything that Congress does that leaves the US a weaker, less competitive and a less powerful debtor nation threatens the freedoms of future generations.

At this point in the game, you have to wonder if this hasn't been Obama's endgame all along. Not sure if all the Dems are in agreement with this nation-busting tactic (it won't be just the rich that will get hurt if Obama gets his way), but actions speak louder than words. All of Washington Should get real about making the hard cuts that everyone knows need cutting whether they admit it or not. Just grow up.

Nolo, isn't the Wall Street Journal now owned by the FOX boys, and thus lost all credibility? I don't read it, so that's a real question. A leading question, sure, but real.

Also Nolo what about military spending, which is on paper as big as entitlements, and bigger if you look at the hidden spending (it's not that hidden).

Why do I always have to hear about entitlement reform over and over and over ad naseum like it's some sort of huge boogey man. We've known for DECADES that we were going to have to spend more on this, people are getting old man. You can't reform that. Get rid of the income cap on SS tax and that stuff is solvent for as long as you want.

Is the solution to toss the old fogeys out on their butts? To not care for the elderly? Screw that. If you don't have enough money for the old people then you need to raise taxes.

So these are the 3 ways we can deal with the budget gap and avoid the fiscal cliff. I learned these from the news, and have embellished (a tiny bit).

1. Cut the military, lose our empire, and be conquered by a few thousand terrorists.

2. Let old people and retards die of exposure.

3. Raise taxes on those who can afford it and watch the job creators forsake their homeland and move to, like, Barbados, all while the entire planet goes hurtling into the sun killing everyone (but Pro-lifers are saved).

Hmmm...tough decision.

Jo - I am not particularly PC, but politeness is still in my vocabulary. "Retards" is not. I could say that having an adult child with an autistic spectrum disorder makes me more sensitive to this sort of thing, but that isn't it. I cringe and invariably speak up even when the name calling doesn't hit home. That said ...

Framing the budget issue with a black and white mindset only distracts one from looking at the real problems and getting to real solutions. There are a number of ways Medicaid, Medicare and Soc. Sec. Can be reformed for savings now and more in the future. No one has to be thrown out into the streets and no one has to die because of it. But I expect people will holler all the same. We can't go on avoiding the elephant in the room and tip toe around the unpleasant things in life.

As for the WSJ - it is not owned by Fox. It was purchased by Rupert Murdock who also owns Fox and other media outlets. There are no editorial overlaps between the two entities. Pick up a copy sometime and you will be impressed with the caliber of experts who write articles for the paper, the largest paper in the US by circulation.

"staw men"

So the issue is all about someone being an R or D and not about what they are doing to this country?

I'd say the whole witch hunt aspect of the latest travails in Congress with Mr Obama is the straw man.

Meanwhile they are taking the same old kick the can down the road approach and won't address substantive issues.

"The household income analogy breaks down because the government can increase revenue when needed."

I think a more accurate statement is that they can increase debt when needed. This seems to be about the only thing both sides agree on in DC and is far easier.

To continue the house loan metaphor, this would be like buying a house in 2007 and then taking on 2nd and 3rd mortgages. Even if you increased your revenue by taking on 2nd and 3rd jobs, eventually it cataches up with you.

Republicans are being ridiculous with holding the line on "OMG NO TAX INCREASE!"

Democrats are being ridiculous with holding the line on "OMG WE MUST TAX THE TOP BRACKET MORE!"

If both sides have absolute stances, you'll never find a compromise. And guess what? We're the ones that lose. Not the politicians.

Saying this is a Republican problem is ridiculous. Saying this is a Democrat problem is equally ridiculous. It's just a problem. It needs solving, and we have a Congress that is incapable of rising to the challenge.

It's just a problem.

That's just it. It's not. It's a fake problem. The problem is jobs.

Steve, I stand by the allocation of blame to the Republicans. The "fiscal cliff" is a manufactured problem that resulted from Republicans' unprecedented and unjustified refusal to raise the debt ceiling last year. The strategy is obvious: to maneuver democrats into taking the lead in cutting benefits for the old, the sick and the poor, which is the Republicans' and Tea Party's primary goal. The Tom Sawyer ruse worked once; there will be hell to pay if it works again.

"The "fiscal cliff" is a manufactured problem that resulted from Republicans' unprecedented and unjustified refusal to raise the debt ceiling last year"

I believe this fiscal cliff was the results of a bi-partisan committee (last time I looked that meant both Ds and Rs) to come up with some budget cuts. That ran out of gas in Nov 11, so we have the automatic cuts aka sequestration.

Manufactured, maybe, but saying it is the Rs fault exclusively when you have President that's devolved to talking points on how to kill the rich and a Senate and House that goes on witch hunts on a regular basis is not accurate.

I think there's enough blame to go around for inaction. Of course, I guess we could go to a one-party system like OR or the first two years of Obama's term.)

On the surface, $1.2T or so over 10 years is not that much, but I haven't seen one Congress person mention a spending cut.

If it makes you happy, $500B of that cut is supposed to happen to defense, the sacred cow of the Rs.

Great stuff here in the thread this time. Like that BIG 'galactic alignment' (mostly bogosity) timed for 12/21 is already sprouting ... a spire of sagacity (i.e., wise words)

What Jo said. Nolo, listen on Jo. Steve, thanks for playing our game.

Yeah, the WSJ is more disreputable now, the last couple of years. It was developing its fascist inner self (Mussolini def'n 'fascism' - 1-party politics (rule) made of the merger of gov't and business) before Murdochian assimilation. Now it's awful. Citing WSJ is self-demeaning.
Here's a list of Wall Street Journal FOX-falsiness, updated daily (Copy'n'Paste):

Instead, maybe quote the persons, individuals who made the WSJ good reputation when it had it. For instance the WSJ Associate Editor 'back then' was Paul Craig Roberts, Dr., and today he has a blog:
That old-time financial sensibility, now in a new package, (blog wrap). Check it. BTW, by self-paced learning he is exactly 180 opposing today's Gov't and just-say-NO Economy. E.g., (1) he's still bedrock Conservative, today's G&E is Fascist; (he hasn't changed, 'they' have), or (2) by self-paced learning and study, he perfectly KNOWS Nine-Eleven Op was an 'inside job' -- Bush/Cheney staged explosives and blew up the Twin Towers, Bush/Cheney mass-murdered 3000 people in broad daylight on TV in front of our eyes. Obama says "mega-dittoes that!, it shows and keeps The People powerless to do anything about it," (the G & the E). Paul Craig Roberts KNOWS it and says it on his blog, so delicate sensibilities upset by truth: be forewarned.

Onto a second point about the whole Wash.D.C. enchilada being corrupt, D and R alike, the Rich 1% (some D.C.-elected, the rest lobbying, every one from Buffett to McAfee; verified 2011 data: 150,000,000 US tax-filers, 10,000 in bracket above $250,000), versus all of us who happen to only occupy the land ... of 50 states. We the little people. Washington DC persons not only are kabuki, meaningless gesticulating, actually blocking improvements (jobs, housing, education, nutrition, medical care) in USA, but furthermore 'they' hate 'us pesky little people' and 'they' deliberately, actively mean to hurt us.
So on this 2nd point is this concise bit o' info:

6. "Control of thought is more important for governments that are free and popular than for despotic and military states. The logic is straightforward: a despotic state can control its domestic enemies by force, but as the state loses this weapon, other devices are required to prevent the ignorant masses from interfering with public affairs, which are none of their business… the public are to be observers, not participants, consumers of ideology as well as products." ~ From article "Force and Opinion" in Z Magazine

10 Brilliant Quotes by Noam Chomsky on How Media Really Operates in America, AlterNet / By Laura Gottesdiener, December 6, 2012

At the tipping point of Truth flooding consciousness deciding to act politically active, there is solid sensibility in the bloodless non-violent steps for 50 states to each and all secede from USA, defrock Wash.D.C. powerless ejecting the whole enchilada of 'them' from Americans' residence, and then states re-grouping together in locally specialized regions forming new Nations, (maybe Seven Nations like the Iroquois Peoples showed us how), autonomous with each region convening its own capitol, President, Congress, Judiciary ... and Wash.D.C. becomes vapor, gone, like the 20th century. That! federal government ain't working for us -- people there deliberately not working -- so pitch it/'them' in the dustbin of bygones. And (because) we can. The USConstitution allows states to Opt Out.

This week, David Cay Johnstone said these actual words aloud on TV and didn't get censored: "The military spends more money than all the [collected] taxes combined." So, no: 'taxing the rich' won't solve The Problem totally. Nothing saves the cliff fall except not digging the debt hole so deep that we're falling into: Quit military spending. Cutting it in half isn't even enough. But watch these days and see Wash.D.C. persons can't even cut 10%. See: Deliberately hurting us, point above. 'National security' spending is the opposite of improving national security.

And last point, kinda on-topic, my favorite fact of surreptitious sedition, treason, in Congress, when 'leaders' sent Members home for Christmas recess assured that no legislation would be taken up, and then stay-behind 'leaders' double-crossed the body politick by fast-tracking the measure to institute the Federal Reserve, racing up to midnight Dec. 22, 1913. Next year marks a century of Monarch Money rule.
If the clown show does stop for Christmas, make sure to count that 'they' all get out of the car.

In my view, it's not really a distinct "CLIFF".

I'd say it's more like a slick glacier with an increasingly steep fall line... maybe a crevasse of unknown depth somwhere ahead... we've been roped together & sliding on our butts and accelerating for years.

"I don't have the ice said YOU had the ice axe !"

"We were BOTH supposed to carry ice axes!"

"The USConstitution allows states to Opt Out."

If I'm not mistaken, this was last attempted along about 1861. How'd that go?

You may be the only person who has ever heralded Paul Craig Roberts and Noam Chomsky in a single piece.

Your Media Matters daily WSJ update is a bit sparse and focuses largely on opinion content. The WSJ has always been "to the right" editorially and for many years was known to have the most left-leaning news writers. I think still one can get a fine education on How America Really Works by reading it, as dull as financial and business news may seem to most of us who are not investors and who are probably "played" rather than players.

As to military spending, I heard a woman who is a fellow at the Hoover Institution on NPR a couple of weeks ago talk about how US military spending is more than half of the military spending of the entire globe, and how unnecessary that is. I wish I could remember her name or the name of the particular program. The bottom line I do recall.

Let the Bush Tax Cuts expire!

Anyone who listens to Noam Chomsky.... Wouldn't get how jobs are created and where the entitlements the gov likes to hand out come from. Private businesses. Anything that stifles or puts a damper on business creation and entrepreneurship is deadly to our long term economic future.

Bleed the rich if you like. What's Plan B when that money is gone? Do you think people will keep producing at the same rate without the same returns? Diminishing returns = diminishing output. Until recently, America has had the highest productivity per capita of any country and the strongest economy. With the current vilification of corporations and rich people and the flattening of world economics, people are living in a dream world if they think killing the goose will mean we can still go on collecting golden eggs.

But sometimes I fear there is a segment of the population that just wants to bring down the upper class so that we are all equal, regardless of what that means to our standard of living. It may not equal the European standard that everyone seems to envy - that was so yesterday. Capitalism and personal economic incentives mean innovations and a higher standard of living. Take those away and what do you have left but some form of socialism. It may be appealing on a theoretical level, but each in generation, in some country, it has proven
to be unworkable.

It's not the Bush tax cuts that are killing us, it's the entitlements that will soon consume all of our discretionary spending, even if the gov. taxes more and grows the debt at a slower rate (as proposed by Obama). What will you do then? Where will those jobs come from? All those rich people? Or everyone else who dares to start a business and take on expensive new employer obligations? Not a pretty picture. So, as the economy is thrown into a new decline and interest rates and inflation climb, just don't blame it on Republicans and a few measly billion tax dollars. Or maybe we'll get a miracle and Obamanomics will work.

Could we have a little perspective here? $16 trillion in debt with $3 trillion in annual revenue is analogous to a household with a $30K income and $160K owing on their mortgage.

Well, if that's the analogy you want to go with, then it's appropriate to characterize the federal government as having taken out a reverse mortgage.


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Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 113
At this date last year: 155
Total run in 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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