RESPONSE TO SOME READER COMMENTS

Certain comments have been directed to the recent recession and the recovery from it as overseen by Obama.It’s deemed a failure of leadership that unemployment levels are still disturbingly high.

Well see what you think after you read this article. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-15/sorry-u-s-recoveries-really-aren-t-different.html

In it economists Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff discuss their view that actually this recovery is ahead of schedule in terms of recovery from a systemic financial crisis based on the history of those events in the U.S. And that recession differs very much in kind and severity compared to the other recessions we have endured since World War II.

In such cases a full recovery has not been attained until after about ten years. So please look at the data they present and the arguments they make and please be aware that a large part of this stems from the material in a book they had published in 2009, long before a fair evaluation of Obama’s efforts could be made.

Also, in terms of leadership and whether or not it has been effective, I believe in this case … or in any case involving a change of administrations…one must consider the alternative. That is what if John McCain had been elected.

My opinion is this in regards to the deficits accrued under Obama which, of course, have meant a much higher national debt. I do not find any justification for claiming that our deficits would have been lower or our debt less if McCain had been elected.

The source(s) of that debt lie in a few distinct categories.

  • The Bush tax cuts
  • The Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • The economic downturn
  • TARP
  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
  • The Stimulus

Debt

I would assert that had McCain been President there would have been no move to end the Bush cuts. I also am greatly doubtful that there would have been much, if any cutbacks in Afghanistan nor any announced date for our witrhdrawal from combat, currently scheduled for next year.

Too, many members of McCain’s own party assailed Obama for adhering to the agreement, negotiated by Bush, to leave Iraq. I don’t think it’s far-fetched that McCain would have at least attempted to arrange with Iraq to keep a larger force there.

Both these military actions would have resulted in greater cost= greater debt.

TARP, Freddie and Fannie and the already existent recession could have been reversed by neither Obama nor McCain.

So please explain to me just how our debt would be any less save for Obama’s lack of leadership.After all, even that budget genius Paul Ryan has not submitted any budget that ends deficits for at least ten and up to thirty some years.

Entitlement reform is a popular cry. I have already presented my complaint about the proposed chained CPI. But the problem is taht by seeking to reform Social Security in any manner is a matter of seeking out the wrong target for deficit reduction. SS does not and has never been the cause of any deficit. The Trust Fund has always been sufficient to pay out benefits with no contributions from general revenue and is projected to remain that way for another twenty years.

Admittedly some tweaking will be necessary to maintain that condition beyond 2033 but there are simple ways available to address this factor that do not entail cutting benefits or the growth in benefits or raising the age.

I hate the term entitlements anyways because it has become a perjorative term. It is actually quite accurate in that, under the programs established by the government, when one meets the defined standards of qualification, one is “entitled” to receive the legislated benefit. That can be SS, Medicare, Military retirement, farm subsidies, deductions of mortgage interest from income to lower taxes, etc.

But let us say for the sake of this exercise that we limit the discussion to what are popularly called entitlements that our representatives seek to change. What would you do to save money and what would the impact be on the beneficiaries and the country as a whole?

To date the main proposal to deal with SS is the Chained CPI which I have written about in the context of its potential affect on me personally. And I have been scorned for that. And the derision has come from the very same people who argued like hell that the rich should not face a slightly higher marginal tax rate on their top dollar that was equal to the rate they were paying in 1999 when they were thriving (and still are thriving). And that tax rate would have had insignificant deleterious effect on those people and the number of these taxpayers facing slightly higher rates is substantially lower than the number of seniors facing negative consequences with a Chained CPI.

You should be ashamed of yourselves.

(Unedited version—revisions or editing may be added with appropriate notation of same)

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Comments

  • anonymous  On April 11, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    Ten years? I wonder if Reagan would have gotten 10 years.

    Given that we never had a ‘sysremic’ financial crisis other than the Great Depression gives you a pretty small sample size esp. since deposits weren’t insured. In addition, the generally accepted wisdom is that the New Deal extended the Depression by several years.

    There is a commenter on this blog that always likes to state that since we don’t know the alternative, how can you know it is better (or worse)

    Here is what I know. Apparently, according to O’s own economic advisors, doing nothing would have resulted in a better outcome

    http://www.economics21.org/blog/revisiting-unemployment-predictions

    • Little_Minx  On April 11, 2013 at 2:12 PM

      Just imagine how much longer the Depression would’ve lasted under Hoover’s “prosperity is just around the corner” do-nothing policies — since the Depression increasingly worsened during his last 3½ years in office — rather than under the New Deal.

      • anonymous  On April 11, 2013 at 2:29 PM

        The urate was 19% in 1938. Yes, where would we have been without the New Deal? You don’t think a Repub pres would have been able to pull in an 18.9%? And let’s not forget, there were certainly discouraged workers back then that aren’t counted in the official rate. So the real urate in 1938 would have been about 30%. Thank God for the New Deal.

        Without WWII, FDR would have gone down as the worst prez in history. O is a really close second and moving up on the rail.

        And please don’t tell me that the reason the urate went up again in the late 30s was that they stopped spending. This is why expansionary fiscal policy is ineffective – it is not sustainable.

        Same argument is being made today. If you bring that argument to its natural conclusion, it would mean that the best outcome would be achieved if the govt confiscated all income and redistributed according to what tit believes is the ‘fairest’ outcome. I could have sworn this has been tried before. I wonder what happened in that country.

        • Little_Minx  On April 11, 2013 at 3:55 PM

          What would the unemployment rate have been in 1938 without the New Deal? Likely higher.

        • umoc193  On April 11, 2013 at 4:17 PM

          U rate during Depression peaked at 24.75 in ’33, dropped to 14.18 in ’37, then spiked back top 18.91 in ’38 after FDR DECREASED fed spending in ’37. After that mistake was corrected it went down to 9.66 in ’41.

          You say don’t tell you that but since it is the truth it is kind of hard to ignore.

          Your tiny-brained hero Reagan spent his way out of the ’82 recession. Federal spending increased about 75% in his 8 years. Federal spending has increased under Obama less than 20%.

          • Devildog  On April 11, 2013 at 4:23 PM

            Well UMOC, maybe a tiny brain works better than a fat head? Who knows-maybe you can come up with a “factual” link that disproves that.

          • anonymous  On April 11, 2013 at 4:45 PM

            So are you saying it was the 2nd round of domestic spending that spurred the economy and not WWII that put 12M 20 year old men to work?

            The recovery was sustained after the war because a more conservative congress cut taxes and shot down Truman’s attempt to pass another New (Raw) Deal

    • umoc193  On April 11, 2013 at 3:56 PM

      Anon

      The recent recession was the FIFTH systemic financial crisis in US history and second in degree only to the Great Depression.

      The only fraud is you which fact has been drawn to your intention previously elsewhere.

      • anonymous  On April 11, 2013 at 4:35 PM

        You were around in the late 70s. What was the inflation rate? 20%. Interest rates were 20%. These were the rates for everybody.

        What percentage of the population was directly affected by the financial market crisis – 5%, 10%. Assistance, through TARP, to those directly affected was designed to alleviate the affects of the crisis.

        The policy implemented by O to spur economic growth – the stimulus – was a failure. There were other policies that would have actually worked. Real economic growth, high paying jobs which would have increased tax revenue without raising taxes and reduced the deficit in the 3rd or 4th year. Your argument that the deficit would have been the same under McCain is specious. You have no evidence of this. Policies that would have led to real growth would have diminished the size of the deficit. Now we have to raise more taxes to decrease the deficit which will only stunt growth for the rest of the decade. You were sort of right about one thing – the recession will last 10 years – thanks to O’s policies.

  • anonymous  On April 11, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    I will make you a deal. Under Reagan, the urate decreased to 6% with a labor force participation rate of 65.7% in 8/87, 6 and a half years after he took office.

    If the urate is 6% with a labor force participation rate above 64% by 8/15, I will admit that O’s policies were as effective as Reagan’s policies. If they aren’t at these levels, then you will write a post in which you admit that you are a fraud (which, of course, you are).

    • Little_Minx  On April 11, 2013 at 2:17 PM

      There are fallacious assumptions in this argument which make a significant difference between the (un)employment situation under Reagan and now. E.g.:
      a) It presumes that the US job market is the same as it was 30 years ago, which it must assuredly is not; and,
      b) It presumes that the demographics of our nation are the same as they were 30 years ago, which they’re not.

      In any event, under no relevant circumstances is UMOC a fraud.

      • Little_Minx  On April 11, 2013 at 2:19 PM

        “..which it most assuredly is not…”

        • anonymous  On April 11, 2013 at 2:33 PM

          You guys like to say how great the New Deal was. Was the economy the same back then as it is today?

          • anonymous  On April 11, 2013 at 2:35 PM

            Liberals have a BS answer for everything. Demographics? Really?? OMG

            • Little_Minx  On April 11, 2013 at 3:56 PM

              Proclaiming an answer you dislike as “BS” is unacceptable rhetoric.

              • anonymous  On April 11, 2013 at 4:21 PM

                Show me the evidence that shows that demographics is the reason O isn’t replicating the 80s recovery or even coming close for that matter.

                • Little_Minx  On April 11, 2013 at 4:46 PM

                  Show me the evidence that it’s not. Do you deny that US demographics have significantly changed in the past 30 years, or that the distribution of various types of jobs has changed?

                  • anonymous  On April 11, 2013 at 7:24 PM

                    ‘Show me the evidence that it’s not.’ This is liberal thought. I can say anything I want and you have to prove it isn’t true. Nothin’ like low info. voters.

                    • Little_Minx  On April 11, 2013 at 8:20 PM

                      Do you deny that US demographics have significantly changed in the past 30 years, or that the distribution of various types of jobs has changed?

                • umoc193  On April 14, 2013 at 4:56 AM

                  “Show me the evidence that shows that demographics is the reason O isn’t replicating the 80s recovery or even coming close for that matter.”

                  What demographics? The article I linked to, since obviously you failed to read it or did not comprehend if you did read it, gave analysis why the recent recession bore no relationship to the other post-war recessions the country has had. And the book the authors of the article wrote that really explored this was published in 2009, prior to ANY judgment of Obama’s effectiveness in pursuing a recovery.

  • Devildog  On April 11, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    UMOC, thanks for the link, which is dispositive of the issue (not really).

    I got just a little further than this in the article:

    “Why is our interpretation of the data ” so different” (my emphasis) than those of these (distinguished-my word) commentators? Is the U.S. different? Part of the confusion may be attributed to…”.

    I’m not smart enough to judge the economic debate between distinguished economists-but I’m glad for you that you are. You are an amazing person-you can read the minds of people you don’t even know, as well.

    • anonymous  On April 11, 2013 at 4:58 PM

      I just thought of something. If Reagan was such a Keyesian as you seem to be claiming with your ‘facts’ (increased the deficit 75%, raised taxes 11 times), why do you revile him so much.

      And please, just for old times sake, tell me that Reagan would have been too moderate to belong to the Republican party today.

      The fact is that Tip O’neill, the last of the New DEal big spenders was the reason domestic spending increased as much as it did in the 80s. The policies that led to real SUSTAINED growth for 25 years were tax cuts, tax reform and deregulation.

      Also, your 75% figure includes military spending that helped, you know, end the cold war which is, BTW, another major reason for the 25 years of growth. RIP Maggie Thatcher – Ron couldn’t have done it without you.

      • Devildog  On April 11, 2013 at 8:45 PM

        Anonymous, I forgive you for mistakenly responding to me rather than to UMOC.

        • anonymous  On April 11, 2013 at 9:27 PM

          DD – my bad. I wanted to post at the bottom of the thread and I am sure I hit reply on your post instead.

          • Devildog  On April 11, 2013 at 10:12 PM

            No problems, Anonymous.

      • Devildog  On April 11, 2013 at 11:10 PM

        Anonymous makes some good points in his 4/11, 4:58p post.

        Among them is why is Reagan so reviled by the left if he’s a moderate who would not be welcomed in today’s Republican Party and produced Keynesian deficits and tax increases. Could it be because he was a White male.

        Back to leadership. Reagan had to deal with a Democratic Congress yet produced the type of RESULTS that presidential historians of left and right (probably there are more historians on the left though I have no facts to support that belief) have moved him ever-nearer to the top of greatest past presidents.

        That’s leadership!

        • umoc193  On April 14, 2013 at 5:21 AM

          No, the question is not why Reagan is so reviled by the left, but why he is so worshiped by the right when many of his actions in office would be met with utter derision if attempted by him today. He would not get the support he received from his own party in raising taxes or increasing spending.

          Of course if that Reagan’s policies would still get a warm reception today from Republicans then that merely demonstrates that the “principles” so often stated by the uber conservatives are poppycock. (Of course there is so much other evidence of that anyways.)

          Now to the nonsense about the Depression and FDR. There is no argument that the war gave the last great impetus to ending the Depression. But the success of FDR’s efforts in moving in that direction in the first place is also undeniable. He came into office with the Depression already 3 1/2 years old and being suffered on a world wide basis, not just in the U.S. Save for the one blip in 1938, unemployment steadily decreased from around 25% at its peak to under 10% by the end of 1941.

          And, of course, the post-war recovery was tremendous…the greatest period of growth in our history bringing the rise of the middle class and accelerating the move away from income inequality that had already been occurring and which was reversed only when Reagan ruled and which continues unabated today.

          Remarkably all this was accomplished with STRONG unions, HIGH taxes, and GOVERNMENT spending. The minimum wage more closely kept up with inflation which it no longer does.

          I’ve previously presented the evidence of all this from historical fact…not fantastical fiction…in my blog and other forums such as ROW and Rob Rogers.

          You who persist in denying these facts have NO credibility. NONE.

          • Devildog  On April 14, 2013 at 10:42 AM

            NO CREDIBILITY! NONE! You da man. “there you go again”.

            No, my question is not why Reagan is loved by the right but, rather, why is he so reviled by the left and why, apparently, has (so) many historians of the left view him with some favor.

            My observation was about leadership, which you failed to address (as well as bringing down the evil empire-which the left told us we had to learn to live with). Reagan had to deal with a Democratic Congress during his entire two terms. Oh, I forgot, O’Neill was the difference while Boehner is a …and the reason Boehner is Speaker is…

            • umoc193  On April 14, 2013 at 12:21 PM

              Well if you want to cite the makeup of Congress when reagan was President I suggest you take a memory pill to remind yourself that the United States Senate is half of Congress and was controlled by Republicans during the first six years of his tenure.

              Obama did have a majority in both houses his first two years but there was not a filibuster proof majority in the Senate and the filibuster has become the main way for the Republicans to stymie any actions in that body far in excess of its historical use.

              For Reagan to be deemed a good leader he needed to be able to persuade the Dems controlling the House to agree with him and, to their credit I suppose, they found ways to do so even if it meant compromise on some issues.

              On the other hand since Obama took office Republicans in both houses have done nothing to cooperate or compromise, at least not without playing brinksmanship games and with certain elements saying their main purpose was to prevent Obama’s re-election, not try to achieve some of their party’s goals by offering compromise where appropriate.

              As for the Affordable Care Act passing without Republican support, I guess I also have to remind you that many parts of it were first offered as amendments by Republicans, the individual mandate was a Republican idea, and yet the GOP still rejected the law only to bitch about it ad nauseum.

              That’s NOT lack of leadership on Obama’s part. That is pure and simple obstructionism on the part of the opposition.

              Of course you don’t see it that way.

              Oh, you seem to choose who you like based on their affinity with the U.S. military rather than their own individual qualities regardless of military service. So I guess you just LOVE Lee Harvey Oswald, ex-marine.

              • Devildog  On April 14, 2013 at 3:03 PM

                Well UMOC, I guess one side’s lack of leadership is another’s side’s obstructionism. Stop crying, baby. It’s results that count. And you didn’t answer why Reagan is so highly rated by historians of all stripes.

                Something wrong with” factoring in” military service and respect for the military in judging an individual?

                And, by the way, I know you don’t give a shit but there is no such thing as an ex-Marine. Former Marine was the proper term but by recent order of the Commandant, the proper term is Just Marine.

                And, for your info, Oswald is not a Marine because he received an UNDESIRABLE DISCHARGE.

                • umoc193  On April 15, 2013 at 8:14 PM

                  DD

                  You can consider yourself a lifetime marine all you want. That does not change the reality that you are no longer one. No shame either way, just fact.

                  BTW, I also kind of look with disfavor on calling Presidents, Senators, Governors or Mayors by those titles when they no longer hold ,those jobs. I’m not too big a fan either of calling a Dr. (MD) by that honorific when he’s not examining my prostate.

                  • Devildog  On April 15, 2013 at 8:51 PM

                    UMOC, you wouldn’t understand. Period!

          • anonymous  On April 14, 2013 at 4:57 PM

            The truth is the New Deal extended the recession by several years and the recovery was sustained after the war because a more conservative congress cut taxes and shot down Truman’s attempt to pass another New (Raw) Deal.

            I guess to say it one more time but your affled mind still won’t understand – you spend a lot of money, there will be some level of SHORT-RUN economic growth. The New Deal and O’s stimulus proved this to be true.

            For SUSTAINED economic growth, one needs tax cuts, tax reform and deregulation. The reason we could have unions after WWII was because we had no competition from the rest of the world. The fact is we would have had higher economic growth without them as proved by the unprecedented growth that occurred for 25 years because of Reagan’s and CLINTON’S conservative economic policies.

            • anonymous  On April 14, 2013 at 4:58 PM

              *addled not affled but if one could have an affled mind, it would be UMOC

  • Little_Minx  On April 11, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    How has Social Security caused any increase in the national debt? Oh wait, it hasn’t.

    • anonymous  On April 11, 2013 at 9:31 PM

      Ask that question again in 2017. In 2033, SS benefits will have to be cut by 25% to stay solvent. Sort of makes that $4/month that UMOC is pathetically whining about losing kind of ridiculous. No?

  • anonymous  On April 11, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    Minx

    Just because demographics has changed doesn’t mean it has affected the recovery. Show me the study that indicates this.. If anything, we have a more educated labor force which is another reason for the failure of the stimulus. College educated people don’t much like taking $7/hour jobs that the stimulus has created.

    Moderator Note: There is no ‘reply’ button on Minx post at April 11, 2013 at 8:20 PM

  • Little_Minx  On April 12, 2013 at 1:19 AM

    Off-topic, especially for Tourist (see #1 and #10 in particular):
    “10 purr-fect vacations for cat lovers”:
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/10/travel/cat-lover-vacations

  • anonymous  On April 14, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    UMOC often skips over my Clinton comments all the while crediting Clinton with the 90s growth (probably a primary reason for the Dem ‘advantage’ in higher job growth and lower urate) so I will ask this – what polices did Clinton support that led to the 90s growth?

    My position is it was his support of financial market deregulation along with signing off on 2 GOP policies – welfare reform and NAFTA – that were the primary reasons for the 90s growth. I mean Clinton once said this

    Going back to Reagan and his spending for a moment Since the Great Depression, the answer to every recession was to spend. Carter was doing this. What was never encountered before was the stagflation of the 70s. So while it was Reagan’s conservative policies that led to the long-term growth, the idea of spending less was a RADICAL idea esp. to the New Deal Dems still in office.

    By the time Clinton took office, limiting govt spending was much more accepted as the youtube quote indicates.

    In fact, it was Bush’s reckless spending that led to the Tea Party. While I think history will treat Bush more favorably (esp. for his foreign policy which O has continued), it was his spending that has conservatives returning to their traditional beliefs of limited government. This is why Romney lost – he wasn’t a true conservative. The idea that the GOP should move left is ridiculous. Liberals are doing a good job of being liberal, who would vote for a ‘liberal’ conservative?

  • anonymous  On April 14, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    One last thing about Bubba. While he has, in general, been a good Dem (his convention speech probably was the icing on the cake of O’s victory), he has criticized O lately on the gun control issue

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/01/20/Bill-Clinton-To-Democrats-Your-Gun-Control-Push-Is-Bringing-Back-The-Tea-Party

    Whiel I didn’t really like Bubba, in my worst nightmare, I never had to worry about him ‘transforming’ the country. How far left of Clinton is the current Dem party? Esp. O. Who exactly are the radicals?

  • anonymous  On April 14, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    One last thing about Reagan and tax cuts – he decreased the personal income tax rate by 29% in his 1st year and by another 44% in his 7th year. He cut the cap gains tax by a third in his 2nd year (I believe, maybe his 1st). He. along with the Congress (bipartisan – HELLO OBAMA), reformed taxes which broadened the base and lowered taxes – this was the most important policy in regards to what occurred through 2008

    Did he raise taxes along the way? Yes, but the only tax that he raised that a conservative would hate was when he increased the cap gains tax late in his 2nd term AFTER the recovery.

    O is RAISING personal income taxes during what lefties are calling a ‘recovery’. He wants to increase taxes AGAIN for some insignificant decrease in growth of SS benefits.

    • umoc193  On April 15, 2013 at 1:11 AM

      Just what personal income tax has Obama raised? The answer is none. The top marginal rate was allowed to return to the 39.6% it had been under Clinton, but the threshhold income for that bracket was rasied considerably. Remember ALL the Bush tax cuts were scheduled to expire at the end of 2010 but were extended for two years. NO taxes have been raised on earned income.

    • umoc193  On April 15, 2013 at 8:34 PM

      “One last thing about Reagan and tax cuts – he decreased the personal income tax rate by 29% in his 1st year and by another 44% in his 7th year. He cut the cap gains tax by a third in his 2nd year (I believe, maybe his 1st). He. along with the Congress (bipartisan – HELLO OBAMA), reformed taxes which broadened the base and lowered taxes – this was the most important policy in regards to what occurred through 2008”

      Look, Troll, produce some facts to back this up. You cannot.

      For those who might want to check out assertions of tax cuts or tax hikes this link will provide a complete history of the U.S. income tax with rates and income brackets by year.
      http://taxfoundation.org/sites/taxfoundation.org/files/docs/fed_rates_history_nominal_1913_2013_0.pdf

      Ypu can see how much of what anon. claims is bunk.

      Oh yes, and BIPARTISAN means BOTH parties are working with each other which most assuredly does not include Republicans during Obama’s tenure.

      • Devildog  On April 15, 2013 at 9:03 PM

        UMOC, you can go on again and again that Republicans won’t work with Obama and I’ll respond each time that Obama won’t work with Republicans and either can’t or won’t lead!

        • anonymous  On April 16, 2013 at 12:35 AM

          Bi-partisan? Liberals will be bi-partisan if the GOP agrees to what they want.

          Chained CPI for another 1.6T in taxes? Dream on. It is DOA. It is not even worth presenting a budget. It is a joke.

          You want a budget deal? Let’s discuss raising the retirement age. Means testing benefits. I don’t understand why liberals have any issues with means testing. These are retired rich people. Why is their money any more sacrosanct than it is for working rich people?

          But O doesn’t want a bi-partisan budget. He wants to spend, spend, spend and increase taxes.

          He will not be allowed to do more damage to this country.

          • Tourist  On April 16, 2013 at 6:41 AM

            Anonymous, you: “He will not be allowed to do more damage to this country.”

            You will not be allowed to come up with yet another clever name, return and continue to disparage, undercut and subvert every hope and effort on behalf of this country by the people on both sides who care about it because “O,” “Barry,” “the Savior,” displeases you in some superficial, unspecified way.

            You: “If a recession is avoided, O can take the credit. The only hope is [events] will limit growth and the urate increases anyway.”

            “Growth” is our nation. “Urate” is our people. You are a disgrace to both.

            You know what’s next, right?

            I love it when a plan comes together.

            • anonymous  On April 16, 2013 at 11:02 AM

              ‘displeases you in some superficial, unspecified way’

              To you, not to me and 50% of this country

              • anonymous  On April 16, 2013 at 11:15 AM

                And if you think I am the problem, I suggest you look at the US congress and NOT necessarily the GOP. After all, who is stopping gun control laws? Why it is the lunatic Harry Reid. He knows Dems will lose the senate if they pass what the fruitnuts on the left want.

                Let’s look at immigration reform. First, O is a spectator. Second, if you think the GOP will agree to any reform that doesn’t restrict illegals from crossing the border, you are crazy. This likely means no deal.

                And didn’t 79 senators, in a non-binding vote, vote against the medical device tax? How are those state exchages coming along? (For old times sake ) Barrycare is going down.

      • anonymous  On April 15, 2013 at 9:22 PM

        Let’s see if I am able to do basic math. The formula for percent change is

        % change = (X1-X0)/X0*100

        top rate 1981 – 70%
        top rate 1982 – 50%

        so using the simple percent change formula, we have

        % change
        (1981-1982) = (50-70)/70*100 = -20/70*100 = -.2886*100 = -29% (rounding)

        The decrease from 50% to 28% occurred in 2 steps

        top rate 1986 – 50%
        top rate 1987 – 38.5%

        % change
        (1986-1987) = (38.5-50)/50*100 = -11.5/50*100 = -.23*100 = -23%

        top rate 1987 – 38.5%
        top rate 1988 – 28%

        % change
        (1987-1988) = (28-38.5)/38.5*100 = -10.5/38.5*100 = -.27*100 = -27%

        The overall decrease from 1986 to 1988 is

        % change
        (1986-1988) = (28-50)/50*100 = -22/50*100 = -.44*100 = -44%

        I hope this simple math exercise helps in your understanding UMOC

        BTW, O raised taxes 4.6/35*100 = 13%

  • Tourist  On April 15, 2013 at 2:17 AM

    UMOC, everything you say to Anonymous, he knows. It doesn’t matter to him. He said it himself recently. He’s here trolling you.

    I acknowledged that I did not recognize him from our previous meeting spot. I’m seeing how hard it must have been for him to hold it in. You have hundreds of thousands of readers and I suspect very few know the history.

    He arrived at that blog announcing truths such as, “Any liberal position is incorrect by definition and should not need further explanation.” He repeated those endlessly, implying credentials he hesitated to discuss because “it would sound like I was bragging.”

    Any information contradicting something he said was answered with: “That proves my point.” Particularly when it was him contradicting himself.

    “To say that Clinton had anything to do with the economy of the ’90s is so beyond ridiculous, I don’t even know where to begin.” So he didn’t.

    My conversations with him often ended along these lines: “I would ask what that meant, but you would say opportunity costs. I would ask what that meant, but you would say liberals don’t understand the real world. I would ask what that meant, but you would say Keynesian policies never work. I would ask what that meant, but you would say liberals think everything is free. I would ask what that meant, but you would say liberalism is a failed philosophy. I would ask what that meant, but you would say opportunity costs.”

    “Opportunity costs” was one of his favorites. He never once used it correctly.

    I asked him where some of his numbers came from and he told me “free speech.” He could say anything he wanted if it made “Barry” look bad.

    Him: “The only two graphs that matter are urate and GDP Growth Rate.” Me: “Why’s that?” Him: “Obvious.” Me: “You don’t actually know, do you?”

    “I use simple terms for a reason. I figure I have to in an attempt to get liberals to understand.”

    Using simple terms on the topic of Michael Moore’s putting his money where his mouth is – affirmatively hiring Iraq and Afghanistan veterans at the movie theater he owns in Michigan, and letting military personnel in free every day – he said: “I mean, Moore is evil incarnate. He is the worst public person in the world. I mean Ozone Al may have pulled even by selling his craptastic network to Al Jazeera but Moore is the anti-Christ – a hypocritical, lying piece of shit that I wouldn’t spit on if his hair was on fire.”

    Such was his discourse – not so much “lying piece of shit” as vandalizing conversations for the sake of it. It was not a spirited exchange of views. It was malice. Because he could and because that is what he is. I referred to it here a few days ago as “pissing on the pizza.”

    You, UMOC, rebutted him tirelessly, with obviously diminishing patience. Anonymous, whining like a liberal, tried to get the administrators to expel you and to admonish me. I guess I hadn’t done as well.

    He was the dominant presence (sorry, comrade) and he drove the liberals crazy because we were speaking into a void. A couple of better conservatives faded away. (Devildog, if you’re listening, for like the fourth time, this is what I meant when I said they could have used you.) But he had fans. “Give ‘em hell!” from those who themselves rarely contributed more than “Obama’s vacations” and “teleprompters.” One wrote: “I’m tempted to cover [Anonymous’s] unemployment . . . just so I can continue to watch him school you libs here day in and day out.”

    One of the more thoughtful, even-tempered, level-headed individuals in the community began referring to him as the dingleberry. I had not known the term.

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/dingleberry

    • Devildog  On April 15, 2013 at 10:07 AM

      Tourist, did a lot of what you wrote happen before I “found” UMOC or is there a different site for a lot of these communications to which you refer? Hundreds of thousands of people on this site? Where are they? I thought there were only five or six. That’s all that ever write in-maybe only three or four.

      • umoc193  On April 15, 2013 at 8:39 PM

        DD

        There are far more readers of this blog than commnters. I cannot change that. I believe I’ve made everyone welcome. Tourist misspoke when he put the number of readers in the hundreds of thousands but I have had thousands of readers, though not necessarily every day or for each post. I also have regular readers in other countries who follow me as I follow several other Word Press blogs.

        But that’s quibbling. Respond to what is written and do not speculate on the quantity of invisible readers who do not choose to file comments. It’s really pointless.

        • Devildog  On April 16, 2013 at 12:40 AM

          Hey all you thousands of readers around the world, let’s hear from you. UMOC, you write that Tourist misspoke. How do you know he wasn’t lying?

    • anonymous  On April 15, 2013 at 11:18 AM

      That’s the Toury I know

      Everything I say is correct. I am trolling UMOC because he, like you, is an intellectual fraud.

      Clinton – I overstated my argument. I initially said that he had nothing to do with 90s growth. I said the next day that his deregulation (which O has overturned) contributed to 90s growth. I also said he signed off on 2 GOP policies -welfare reform and NAFTA. If I haven’t emphasized Bubba it is because I didn’t like him.

      I used opportunity cost correctly every time. What do you think I mean when I say that future growth will decrease forever because the government inherently overvalues the resources it uses. I have not used the term oppor. costs here because the message gets lost in those words.

      ——-Him: “The only two graphs that matter are urate and GDP Growth Rate.” Me: “Why’s that?” Him: “Obvious.” Me: “You don’t actually know, do you?”

      It is obvious, Growth rate indicates the overall health of the economy. Urate indicates how many are unemployed. All govt policies intended to help the economy go at these two metrics.

      Michael Moore is evil incarnate – a hypocritical piece of garbage.

      UMOC has never proven me wrong on any issue we have ever discussed. Neither have you for that matter.

      I acknowledged that I was wrong in my first statement on Clinton. I am waiting to read the first time UMOC says he is wrong. I am guessing he is so far up O’s ass, he would not be able to see that he has no idea as to how the world actually works.

      Hundreds of thousands????????? Talk about delusional. I am guessing 10 maybe 15 people read ode to intellectual insanity that UMOC thinks is in any way insightful or adds to the conversation. I can go to any liberal blog and find the same BS rhetoric. These blogs are where liberals go to justify their incoherent beliefs.

      Progressivism is a failure whose last chapters are currently being written. O’s reelection will only quicken its death. It is only a matter of time.

      • anonymous  On April 15, 2013 at 11:32 AM

        I will be happy to go back to using opportunity costs. I will give an example. The Fed’s increasing the money supply will lead to inflation – has to happen at some point. Inflation devalues the currency. It is like a tax on everybody’s bank account – lowering the value of people’s financial assets. This decreases their purchasing power. Hence, this is another oipportunity cost of O’s failed policies.

        Using resources for failed investment always has opportunity costs. Those resources are not being used in their most highly valued use. The opportunity cost is the lost output that resuults from this. Instead of the govt spending a trillion, it should provide incentives to the private sector to use those resources more efficiently. I think you know what those incentives are but just in case – tax cuts, tax reform, deregualtion.

        Is there some spending the govt can do that would be beneficial to the overall economy – sure. Infrastructure is a good example – shovel ready projects… oh, wait.

        • anonymous  On April 15, 2013 at 11:40 AM

          One last thing Toury. I have seen that rant on Roger’s blog. Did you save it just in case I followed you to this crappy blog?

          Devildog – No you can’t see this interaction. Roger’s deleted the comment section from his PG cartoon blog when they went to Facebook.

          • Devildog  On April 15, 2013 at 3:34 PM

            Never went to Roger’s blog-his cartoons were too much to take.

      • umoc193  On April 15, 2013 at 8:44 PM

        Anon.

        To yours of 11:18 a.m. today I can only respond that you gave me a long, hearty laugh. You live so far outside the realm of reality that I wonder at times about your competence. Does your legal guardian know you are a troll? Better keep it under wraps or you’ll be heading for involuntary commitment.

        • anonymous  On April 15, 2013 at 9:03 PM

          Thx UMOC for that insightful response

    • umoc193  On April 15, 2013 at 8:08 PM

      Tourist

      re: yours of this morning at 2:17 am.

      We all know that non-anonymous is a troll. The only reason I choose to respond to any of his nonsense is that there are readers who may not add their own comments but are not familiar with the troll from the other forums. I’ve found myself repeating myself so often that it gets very tiresome. It does not affect him because he made it extremely clear that facts and the truth mean nothing to him.

      The very things he attacks me for, which have no basis in reality, are the very things he himself does and there is ample evidence that is real.

      Devil Dog

      I enjoy your participation here though we so often disagree. But please, for your own intellectual integrity, merely echo the blatherings of Anonymous.

      Do not worry anyone. No one is even close to being expelled from here. I guess when one writes a blog that expresses strong points of view, a certain amount of pure bullshit wii appear in aneffort to tear the blogger down without an iota of logic or rational argument supporting it. So be it. I’m a big boy.

      Not that trolls are warmly welcomed but I’m going to reserve my venom in this space for far more worthy targets. I’m an old man, after all.

      • Devildog  On April 15, 2013 at 9:07 PM

        I’ve been accused in the past of being a troll. So explain to me why Anonymous is a troll. Please.

        • Tourist  On April 15, 2013 at 10:26 PM

          Devildog, “hundreds of thousands of readers not knowing the history” meant you. This is what I was concerned about – that you would see it as the usual sporting partisanship. It is not. I don’t care about the word “troll.” It’s about redeeming value.

          Anonymous joined the Rogers blog last year in the summer, using the name “Living in Reality” (LIR). Below is my final comment before Christmas, in full. Below that is a sampling of his at the start of the New Year. That part is roughly chopped but I’ll stand by its being fair. It’s not the details – although allow me to note that when he’d say “LOL” or the like to something, that’s usually all he’d say.

          ===

          I’ll be here, around, but will be standing down for the holidays – plans and commitments and [a] little tired of some it. I want to say this before I pause.

          LIR, your “how did you know about the animals?” was very funny, tactically shrewd and pretty quick. It took me a while to come up with “Google.” When you wrote, “OMG. Didn’t u think it was a funny joke?” I was truly sympathetic. The truth: It probably would have been from almost anybody else. From you, it was just as likely that you meant it.

          You get no breaks or benefit of the doubt, not because of your political or economic positions, but because you participate in a manner that disrespects the people here, the forum, and far more than that. You are a vandal in these conversations. The animosity you engender is not rhetorical. I cannot imagine you enjoy hearing it either. It does not have to be that way.

          I hope the season is a good one for you, and enjoyable and comfortable for your mother. Merry Christmas!

          Merry Christmas, everybody!

          ===

          Oh Toury, my friend, I have missed your long-winded and pointless comments. I so do love to laugh however. So on that level I am glad to see you back posting in the new year . . . .

          Only someone who has lost touch with reality would make a claim like this

          How else do u respond to this other than LOL

          Once again – LOL

          Toury – your comments are priceless, truly priceless

          And here I thought the fun on this blog had ended. Your comments above had the effect of mixing a speedball with about 300 micrograms of LSD

          ===

          Devildog, I’m only doing as much of this as I think I have to. Got a lotta love between us. Let’s hang on to what we’ve got.

  • anonymous  On April 15, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    Just for you Toury. Here is a post from the liberal website Economist’s View which discusses the possible opportunity costs which may result from the stimulus. They conclude that since many resources are idle, the oppor. costs would be low. It was posted in 1/2009 9before the implementation of the stimulus.

    http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2009/01/the-stimulus-and-public-goods.html

    My simple but very tru argument is that the authors are wrong. This could be seen simply by looking at a chart produced by O’s own economists.

    http://www.economics21.org/blog/revisiting-unemployment-predictions

    This chart indicates that doing nothing (which I think would mean there are NO opportunity costs) would have produced a better result than the stimulus

    And I know UMOC – the recession was deeper than they realized and only if we spent another trillion, everything would be PERFECT

  • Devildog  On April 15, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    Death penalty??? Assuming no psychiatric issue and eye witness and forensic evidence, confession, prior warning by suspect, etc. “Just” a moral issue. Oh, yeah, suspect over 18.

    By the way, I’m not prejudging anything. Just questioning you anti-death penalty people. You who are much greater moral being than am I.

    • umoc193  On April 15, 2013 at 8:47 PM

      There is one…and only one…purpose that the death penalty serves and that is revenge.

      • Devildog  On April 15, 2013 at 8:59 PM

        Maybe so UMOC but what is wrong with an eye for several eyes. What moral standard do you go by-certainly not that it’s up to God to give life and take life. So why can’t/shouldn’t society impose its moral values and approve of revenge? What’s so inherently immoral about revenge.

  • Tourist  On April 15, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    There is a parallel between the death penalty and blog management. At the time of the Poplawski trial in Pittsburgh, our P-G word-wizard wrote: “I oppose the death penalty in principle (although I will allow that Richard Poplawski is a walking argument for it).”

    I suspect that is an internal debate many of us have had.

    Over the years our little blog community has seen a handful of clearly disturbed individuals, consumed with hate and rage. Comments could be vile. No one liked it. But when that itself was the topic, I don’t specifically recall anyone wanting to kick them out. I’m sure someone must have, but the “votes” were always overwhelmingly “stay.” (It was reported to us that one had been banned. A few more disappeared. Family newspaper n’at.)

    If you support the criminal death penalty, there was nothing to say – certainly there was nothing to say in support of Poplawski. If you oppose the criminal death penalty for whatever reasons – mine include error, irreversibility and highly selective and discriminatory application – then you oppose it.

    The tricky part: Death seemed right in that one. My dilemma in those cases is that I’m still not sure which punishment is worse.

    Flip it around, though, I said at the time. Instead of “Should Poplawski be executed?” ask, “Why shouldn’t he be?” The objections – error, discrimination, etc. – seemed entirely inapplicable. Revenge it may be, but, as Devildog asks, what’s the argument against that?

    One: The state’s taking of life is wrong.

    Why would it be wrong? I’m more for “It demeans us” than “morality.”

    The following is something I had written earlier.

    ===

    A child murders. Michael Vick doesn’t. Sirhan Sirhan alters history. Victims, families and the Pope forgive. The state throws away the key.

    Are second chances given or earned? Why, for some, is it “neither”?

    Evil intent? Murphy’s Law? Case-by-case or mandatory sentencing?

    If the killer on death row for ten years is a different person, is that when the punishment fits the crime?

    Deterrence, rehabilitation, punishment, revenge.

    What do we want? Do we even know?

    • Devildog  On April 16, 2013 at 1:05 AM

      Tourist, “we” is society made up of a lot of “i’s”. I know in some, maybe just a few, cases of what I want-and that is the death penalty. Some people deserve it (and I’ll let society determine who they are).

      If you hang your hat on it demeans us, then I assume that if you assume for the sake of argument that all the variables such as mentioned in your post are answered to your satisfaction, you would still be against the death penalty because it demeans us. What the hell does that mean?

      • Tourist  On April 16, 2013 at 2:01 AM

        Devildog, fair question. First, please recall that when I supported droning bad guys but opposed wedding parties, you insisted on knowing, overall, if I would continue current policy or not. I said “not.” Same with the death penalty. In some cases I’d be fine. With the selective application and mistakes? Not so much. Put them together, overall? No.

        When I say the death penalty demeans us, I mean in two respects. One is what I just said – the selective application; the bogus prosecutions; the erroneous results – the inconsistency. It demeans us to be so ad hoc with something so important.

        The other is literal. I do not see the dignity in the state’s bringing to bear the full force of it’s power and authority to kill an individual. The murdering individual did exactly the same thing. We lower ourselves to his level, ceremoniously, on purpose, and we don’t have to.

        I already said that in particular cases that does not bother me too much. I’m not the one here who announces grand rules for all situations. I’m the one who tries to work though the inconsistencies.

        Treason might be something else.

        • Devildog  On April 16, 2013 at 2:27 AM

          Mistakes in droning and the death penalty-shit happens. Tighten procedures in their application to produce results and mistakes acceptable to society. To you and others, perhaps zero tolerance. To most, there are acceptable deviations from zero. “Overall, no” seems contradictory to working through inconsistencies.

          What’s this about treason? Don’t understand what you are saying.

          Looking forward to reading your response when I get up in the morning. By the way these late night-mid day conversations will come to an end Wed. When I return to the ‘Burgh from the left coast

          • Tourist  On April 16, 2013 at 7:57 AM

            Devildog, good morning! I wouldn’t want to disappoint you – or maybe I will.

            To your previous two, let me try again. The world is currently organized as sovereign nations. Sovereign nations have a recognized right to protect themselves as they see fit, and sovereign nations have the power to punish within their territories – both subject to my personal approval, because this is America in the 21st century and to hell with democracy and those other people, majority or not; if I don’t like it my mission is prevent it, so there!

            This would be drones and the death penalty. We can and we can. Why not and why not? That’s me. Are we disagreeing yet?

            You: “Mistakes in droning and the death penalty – shit happens.”

            Alas, yes. I get it. Still in agreement. Except . . . .

            Too many wedding parties. Too much inconsistency. More harm than good. Thus, I say, and this is what I mean by, “Overall, no.”

            I could be won back more easily on drones. Enemies seeking to do us harm are real. They are not within our control. How to deal with them is difficult. I’m easy.

            Alleged killers, convicted killers are totally within our control. What’s our excuse for administering them so badly?

            You say you are “results oriented.”

            You: “Some people deserve it (and I’ll let society determine who they are) . . . . Tighten procedures in their application to produce results and mistakes acceptable to society. To you and others, perhaps zero tolerance. To most, there are acceptable deviations from zero.”

            Correct me if I’m wrong. It sounds like you will leave the details to society but that the result you want is for us to at least be executing somebody from time to time.

            Have a safe trip!

            • Devildog  On April 16, 2013 at 3:46 PM

              Execute the most deserving-from time to time. Improve droning procedures but collateral damage occurs in the fog of war-always has, always will. Nothing “immoral” about droning and death penalty. No reason to eliminate both. You have power use it-Wisely, of course.

              Thanks for your wishes.

  • Tourist  On April 16, 2013 at 12:20 AM

    UMOC, since I had to give an email address to comment here, I assume you can contact me. If you don’t mind, would you please let me know how to contact you. Thanks!

    Friends, the timing is a coincidence. This has nothing even remotely to do with current antagonisms. It’s new and personal.

    • Little_Minx  On April 16, 2013 at 11:33 AM

      Hi, Tourist! How’s the Boston Marathon bombing being reported and perceived there?

      Allegedly the two bombs — no additional undetonated ones were found, notwithstanding preliminary reports to the contrary — were not particularly sophisticated in their construction, which could eliminate Al Qaeda as a possible suspect. NPR reported this AM that authorities are now leaning ever-so-slightly toward the possibility of its having been an act of domestic terrorism. After all, yesterday was a) Massachusetts’ Patriots Day (state holiday commemorating the Battles of Lexington and Concord, inter alia), b) Income Tax Day — and this week marks the anniversaries of c) the Branch Davidian cult raid in Waco, d) the Murrah courthouse bombing in OKC, and the mass murders at d) Columbine HS and e) Virginia Tech. Plus, f) this year’s Boston Marathon was dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Sandy Hook school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. (Oh, and let’s not forget that g) Boston is where the original tax-protest Tea Party was thrown).

      • Little_Minx  On April 16, 2013 at 11:38 AM

        P.S. For excellent local (i.e., Boston) new coverage of the event online, see:
        http://www.boston.com

        • anonymous  On April 16, 2013 at 12:03 PM

          Oh Minxy. Do you know they are talking to a Saudi national? He is a person of interest. What do you think – Al Queda terrorists go to a Bombs Are Us Boutique and have their bombs specially made to look sophisticated?

          • Little_Minx  On April 16, 2013 at 1:07 PM

            You’re hoping it’s the Saudi national, aren’t you? Can’t risk something that doesn’t comport with your anti-Obama agenda, can you?

            • anonymous  On April 16, 2013 at 2:45 PM

              You’re hoping it’s a tea partier. Oh, liberals

              Even if it’s al Queda, I am sure liberals will figure out a way to blame it on Bush. Hell, a couple of Dem congressmen are already blaming the sequester which I find odd since the sequester was O’s idea.

              • umoc193  On April 16, 2013 at 2:55 PM

                Anonymouse (no typo)

                Somehow your comments directed to Minx showed up in triplicate which made them triply repulsive and I trashed, rather than approved them since they were there for me to moderate.

                You know, if you actually said something new occasionally you might draw some real interest and respect. But it’s the same old repetitious shit you are so well-known for and which obviously is procured by you from the Trolls R Us company.

                • anonymous  On April 16, 2013 at 2:58 PM

                  When I posted one of the comments, I didn’t see it the first two times. I checked (did a word search) but I still didn’t see it.

                  Don’t know what to tell you

                • anonymous  On April 16, 2013 at 4:17 PM

                  I misunderstood what u are saying. You wanted to delete my Bombs Are Us Boutique comment completely. I thought it was pretty funny.

                  Now I understand why it didn’t post under one of my accounts. I am pretty sure it has been read though

              • umoc193  On April 16, 2013 at 2:57 PM

                Tea baggers claim that TEA stands for “taxed enough already”. I have learned that it really represents “Terribly Egregious Asininity”.

                • Devildog  On April 16, 2013 at 3:33 PM

                  Just going on a hunch. Al Qaeda couldn’t care less, or probably doesn’t even know, about taxes and “patriots” and both of those might mean something to domestic terrorists. I, generally, don’t believe in either coincidences or slippery slopes.

                  UMOC, this tea party talk is bull shit. Also, your last post is what you accuse Anonymous of-and I’m not taking sides in this food fight.

        • anonymous  On April 16, 2013 at 12:46 PM

          Latest – Bomb looks like those used on the Pakistani and Afghani borders

          • Little_Minx  On April 16, 2013 at 1:13 PM

            Source?

            • anonymous  On April 16, 2013 at 1:28 PM

              http://www.debka.com/article/22901/

              • Little_Minx  On April 16, 2013 at 2:15 PM

                These guys? Yeah, real objective.
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debka.com

                DEBKAfile (Hebrew: תיק דבקה‎) is a Jerusalem-based, English and Hebrew language, Israeli, open-source, military intelligence website with commentary and analyses on terrorism, intelligence, security, and military and political affairs in the Middle East. The word “Debka” refers to an Arab folk dance.

                The site started in the summer of 2000, and is operated from the Jerusalem home of journalists Giora Shamis and Diane Shalem. It has been awarded Forbes’ Best of the Web award. Forbes identifies the best part of the website as being its archives, but decries the fact that “most of the information is attributed to unidentified sources.”

                Wired.com’s Noah Shachtman wrote in 2001 that the site “clearly reports with a point of view; the site is unabashedly in the hawkish camp of Israeli politics,” adding that Debka had partnered with the right-wing news site WorldNetDaily for a weekly subscription product. Yediot Achronot investigative reporter Ronen Bergman states that the site relies on information from sources with an agenda, such as neo-conservative elements of the US Republican Party, “whose worldview is that the situation is bad and is only going to get worse,” and that Israeli intelligence officials do not consider even 10 percent of the site’s content to be reliable. Cornell Law professor Michael C. Dorf calls Debka his “favorite alarmist Israeli website trading in rumors.”

                The site’s operators, in contrast, state that 80 percent of what Debka reports turns out to be true, and point to its year 2000 prediction that al-Qaeda would again strike the World Trade Center, and that it had warned well before the 2006 war in Lebanon that Hezbollah had amassed 12,000 Katyusha rockets pointed at northern Israel.

  • anonymous  On April 16, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    Tourist: Such was his discourse

    Tourist: You are a disgrace

  • anonymous  On April 16, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    Let’s think about how irrational it would be for a tea partier to do this (not to say it isn’t possible).

    The tea party wants to return the US to what it used to be, whatever that means to them. As far as I know, they can do this in two ways – by force or at the ballot box.

    Is it ireasonable to think that the tea partiers can do something al queda couldn’t do? Do extremists have the firpower to take America by force? I think I know what the answer to this question is.

    The other way is to get people to vote them into office. And you are suggesting blowing up Americans will accomplish this?

  • Little_Minx  On April 16, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Both CBS News’ Bob Orr and NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” are reporting that bombs were far less sophisticated than Al Qaeda’s modus operandi. (As opposed to Debka.com and “fair and balanced” Fox News).

    • anonymous  On April 16, 2013 at 2:59 PM

      I guess we will see. I have a pretty good feeling about what the truth is

    • anonymous  On April 16, 2013 at 3:01 PM

      So you are saying CBS and NPR are independent? LOL

      And they didn’t say anything about tea partiers, YOU DID

      • Little_Minx  On April 16, 2013 at 3:27 PM

        In my post at 11:33 AM, I merely noted that the original Tea Party occurred in Boston. I didn’t say anything about modern-day Tea-Partiers, you did. Don’t put words in my mouth.

        • anonymous  On April 16, 2013 at 4:13 PM

          I am sure you didn’t mean to imply anything

          Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha

    • Devildog  On April 16, 2013 at 3:02 PM

      Am I allowed to give an opinion without providing facts. My guess is domestic terrorists-having nothing to do with the tea party. IMO, that it happened on tax day and Patriots day is not a coincidence.

      • anonymous  On April 16, 2013 at 3:08 PM

        I don’t know Devildog. Given that Fox is seen as biased (even though untrue), I can’t imagine them putting this out there without some degree of confidence that radical Islamists were behind it.

        • Little_Minx  On April 16, 2013 at 3:31 PM

          “…Fox is seen as biased (even though untrue)…”
          Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha 😉

          “…I can’t imagine them putting this out there without some degree of confidence that radical Islamists were behind it.”
          A real poverty of imagination there.

      • Little_Minx  On April 16, 2013 at 3:35 PM

        Devildog, you make an excellent distinction here: It’s entirely plausible that whoever did the Boston Marathon bombings could well not be connected to any group, but just be acting independently.

        • Little_Minx  On April 16, 2013 at 3:38 PM

          Furthermore, the reported crudeness of the devices would be consistent with such a scenario.

        • Devildog  On April 16, 2013 at 3:38 PM

          Thank you minx but your comment seems to imply a possibility that the tea party could have been involved. What an absurd thought!

          • Little_Minx  On April 16, 2013 at 3:57 PM

            What I meant to suggest was the possibility that folks whose views reside far beyond the extremes of the Tea Party — cf. folks who felt betrayed by the IRA’s involvement in the Good Friday accord — exploited yesterday’s date and place. Not that they’re Tea-Partiers, just that their views could be extreme distortions of the Tea Party’s.

            • Devildog  On April 16, 2013 at 4:05 PM

              “Extreme distortions”, no. Nothing to do with the tea party. For example, wanting to do away with the income tax goes beyond extreme distortion. If it’s some domestic terrorist, it’s unfair to mention the tea party in the same breath. That would be an extreme distortion.

              • Little_Minx  On April 16, 2013 at 4:26 PM

                Would you likewise say that a violent eco-terrorist should not be mentioned in the same breath as the non-violent pro-ecology movement? Ditto for any of a number of other movements where a few fringe wingnuts move out of the non-violent mainstream?

                • Devildog  On April 16, 2013 at 4:59 PM

                  No way. All you lefties (i forgot what Tourist told me was the lefty equivalent of wingnut) are responsible for left-wing extremists such as the remnants of te Weather Underground.

                  Try not to ask me such ridiculous questions.

                  • Little_Minx  On April 16, 2013 at 5:19 PM

                    So liberals are responsible for the violent actions of left wingnuts, but conservatives are not responsible for the violent actions of right wingnuts? Yeah, right, that’s logical…

                • anonymous  On April 16, 2013 at 5:23 PM

                  Please!!! What a joke. To lefties, anything to the right of the most conservative Dem is no different than the most extreme right wingers. John McCain, an American hero, was called a racist for correctly calling out Susan Rice.

                  • Little_Minx  On April 16, 2013 at 5:30 PM

                    Please!!! What a joke. To righties, anything to the left of the most liberal Rep is no different than the most extreme left wingers.

                    While McCain’s years as a POW are undisputed, that doesn’t mean that he’s never been wrong in the subsequent 40 or so years.

                    • anonymous  On April 16, 2013 at 5:37 PM

                      But he wasn’t wrong

                    • Devildog  On April 16, 2013 at 5:38 PM

                      Wow! Is it me or is it you. I’ll bet anything that Tourist could tell I was being facetious.-you people who couldn’t tell are just like my wife (of almost 50 years) who says she can’t tell when I am being factious. Must be me then!

                    • anonymous  On April 16, 2013 at 5:40 PM

                      And there was no basis for calling him a racist. This is what liberals do – race bait

  • Little_Minx  On April 16, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    Smiley-faces can help to demark facetiousness.

    😉 🙂

    • Devildog  On April 16, 2013 at 5:57 PM

      Minx, some things are (or should be) self-evident. Besides which, I don’t know how to do smiley faces. In retrospect, can you not see it now?

    • Little_Minx  On April 16, 2013 at 6:00 PM

      Mrs. Devildog sounds as though she must have the patience of a saint 😉

      • Devildog  On April 16, 2013 at 6:34 PM

        That’s what everyone says, minx. But it is almost 50 years.

  • anonymous  On April 16, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    Hey, lefties may get to blame Bush yet. It appears Homeland Security issued a memo in 2004 that warned against pressure cooker bombs.

  • anonymous  On April 16, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    BTW Minxy

    The memo says the bomb-making technique is commonly taught in Afghan terrorist training camps – and had already led to bombing casualties. And the source is CBS

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57579890/homeland-security-warned-about-pressure-cooker-bombs-in-2004/

  • Tourist  On April 16, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    A fact of life on the internet is that 99% of comments are meaningless and 99% of the good ones get overlooked. I fear Anonymous’s at April 16, 2013 at 12:01 PM may have slid by an otherwise careful reader or two, and, because I’m a liberal with empathy, I feel his presumed pain. I don’t like the comment. He got me with it. But his point deserves an airing so that I, and others, might learn from my mistake. He wrote in full:

    “Tourist: Such was his discourse”
    “Tourist: You are a disgrace”

    Those were two quotes from me. His point, artfully made through simple juxtaposition, if perhaps a shade too subtly, was that I criticized his “discourse” and then discoursed (?) – Minx, a little help, please – in the same way. He was right.

    “If a recession is avoided, O can take the credit. The only hope is [events] will limit growth and the urate increases anyway,” he had said.

    I interpreted that, and still do, to mean he cares less about the country’s economic recovery than about disparaging the president. “’Growth’ is our nation. ‘Urate’ is our people,” I pointed out.

    The problem was that I called him a disgrace. I actually said, “You are a disgrace to both,” meaning “nation” and “people,” but that’s no excuse. It was the nature of my discourse, after I had written disapprovingly of his.

    In that case the topic was Michael Moore’s tangible, affirmative assistance to veterans through a business he owns. Anonymous there had said: “I mean, Moore is evil incarnate. He is the worst public person in the world. I mean Ozone Al may have pulled even by selling his craptastic network to Al Jazeera but Moore is the anti-Christ – a hypocritical, lying piece of shit that I wouldn’t spit on if his hair was on fire.”

    That episode is typical of Anonymous’s contributions to these discussions, but when I called him a disgrace for hoping for limited American economic growth and higher American unemployment, I was, as a matter of discourse, doing exactly the same thing.

    I thank him for pointing this out. I appreciate the opportunity to revisit the situation and reflect. I shall do better.

    ===

    People, yes, Devildog was being facetious.

    • Devildog  On April 16, 2013 at 8:45 PM

      Tourist, are you kidding. A long post of apology because you used discourse similar to that which you criticized Anonymous of using. If we all did that, the blog would consist of hardly anything else. Are you trying to play Mr. Nice guy again. But maybe you are Mr. nice guy without having to play it. Do you whip yourself (literally) after you criticize Anonymous?

      Re Anonymous and Michael Moore, is not slight poetic license acceptable on this blog?

      Tourist, you are sooooo astute, especially compared to certain others here. Thanks for being my filter to the (other) lefties.

      • Tourist  On April 16, 2013 at 9:35 PM

        Devildog, am I kidding? As George Patton said, or maybe just Scott: “It’s not important for them to know. It’s only important for me to know.” That said, sometimes I don’t. It’s confusing for me here.

        Is poetic license acceptable? I hope so! It’s a way of making a point, preferably relevant. In the Moore case, what was the relevant point? To Moore’s tangible support for veterans – cattle, not hat – the answer is that he’s the worst public person in the world (and the rest)? Okay, poetic it was, but what relevant point did it make? Or did it merely bust up the discussion?

        My point – the “dingleberry” point – is that that’s all there is.

        You’re right, seriously, in not viewing everyone the same. Not everyone who speaks deserves your full attention.

        • Devildog  On April 16, 2013 at 11:01 PM

          Tourist, you’re a man of

          The Moore point-he’s scum. A phony. “Cattle”- a pr ploy. A liar (gross exaggeration at the least), a left-wing extremist (what did you say the term is) and someone who in my opinion attacks industries without regard for the truth. And, in addition, a fat slob (slob being the operative word).

          And save your breath about asking me for examples. Not the way I usually respond(I think) but he’s scum.

          • Tourist  On April 16, 2013 at 11:05 PM

            Man of . . . mystery, maybe?

            I don’t care what you think of Moore. It had nothing to do with Moore.

            • Devildog  On April 16, 2013 at 11:17 PM

              To conscience then I must add inscrutability.

            • Devildog  On April 16, 2013 at 11:19 PM

              Whatever! it gave me an opportunity to vent against a fat slob I despise.

  • Tourist  On April 16, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    It was asked above: “The other way is to get people to vote them into office. And you are suggesting blowing up Americans will accomplish this?”

    “Vote” and “Americans” are too specific. It’s about the blowing up. When corner pubs explode too often, when subways get bombed or gassed at random, when these things go on and the authorities seem unable to do anything about them, governments lose the support of the populace. They make concessions (release political prisoners, for example), tighten security, infringe liberties, and sometimes do not themselves survive. This, and rallying the like-minded, is the theory and aim of the tactic of terrorism.

    • Devildog  On April 16, 2013 at 9:29 PM

      Tourist, I believe you are talking about Great Britain and the IRA re bombings forcing changes. Any other examples? You might say Israel but I don’t agree. Russia, no. Spain, no.

      • Tourist  On April 16, 2013 at 9:47 PM

        Examples? The Tokyo sarin attacks, for one. That group had also acquired a Russian military helicopter. They were going to take over Japan with it when the people rose up on their side. Probably also the cases you dispute — Russia, Spain; I don’t know. I did not say they succeed often. I was talking about the thinking behind it.

        • Devildog  On April 16, 2013 at 11:04 PM

          What happened to the word conscience that I thought i wrote after man of?

          • Tourist  On April 16, 2013 at 11:09 PM

            UMOC obviously deleted it.

            • Devildog  On April 16, 2013 at 11:12 PM

              UMOC, how could you? And I wasn’t being facetious.

  • Tourist  On April 16, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    The meaning of terrorism has been a topic here and elsewhere before. If I may:

    One: Shooting up a McDonalds in the process of robbing it is not terrorism.

    Two: Shooting up a school for reasons really known only to the shooter is not terrorism, and add to this various manners of “going postal” at the workplace.

    FOUR: Terrorizing the populace to pressure authority and achieve a political objective is terrorism.

    Maybe there is a “three”: grievance against the government; revenge against the government; making a statement – without purpose beyond that. I’m thinking Oklahoma City on this one.

    In any case, we need to distinguish – understand – in order to respond effectively.

    • Tourist  On April 16, 2013 at 10:27 PM

      Wasn’t clear: “Three” would be terrorism.

      • umoc193  On April 16, 2013 at 11:00 PM

        I posted this on my FB wall this afternoon and I think it should apply here as well.

        “Can the media and everyone else cease speculating on who is responsible for the Boston bombing? The FBI, ATF, Boston Police and I’m sure other more than competent agencies are investigating and such investigations can be a tedious process.

        All any speculation will accomplish is to inflame sentiment against the parties… preseumed to have done this criminal act.

        Remember after the Atlantic Olympics bombing a man named Richard Jewell was publicly deemed a “person of interest” and was hounded beyond belief, though never charged. It then turned out that one Eric Rudolph was the guilty party but it took more nearly two years after the bombing, plus several more bombings, for him to be charged and another five years until he was arrested.

        Be patient.”

        I’ve had my own thoughts on who might be responsible but they’re as worthless as everynody else’s at this time.

        • Devildog  On April 16, 2013 at 11:09 PM

          UMOC, you’re right about the media but you can wait for the facts but I’ll continue to speculate when I want based on my knowledge of how the world operates. If wrong, gomenasai. If correct, I’ll take a bow. No harm, no foul. Why do you want to take the fun out of it. I’ve thought for some time that you need to lighten up.

          • umoc193  On April 17, 2013 at 4:59 PM

            “UMOC, you’re right about the media but you can wait for the facts but I’ll continue to speculate when I want based on my knowledge of how the world operates. If wrong, gomenasai. If correct, I’ll take a bow. No harm, no foul. Why do you want to take the fun out of it. I’ve thought for some time that you need to lighten up.”

            Not trying to take the “fun” out of speculation, just trying to forestall any venom that arises when folks project the opposite of their own political views on the presumed perpetrator(s). Since the vast majority of this speculation will prove to be ludicrous and unfounded in the end, no useful purpose will be served.

            I know it is human nature to speculate like this on many topics. But in this case I fear hate will foment and some find idiots will find justification for harming injured parties they fantasize have connections to the real criminals.

            • Little_Minx  On April 17, 2013 at 5:06 PM

              “[W]hen folks project the opposite of their own political views on the presumed perpetrator(s)” it’s called setting up a straw man 🙂

              • Devildog  On April 17, 2013 at 7:37 PM

                And then, minx, you’re noted for setting up straw people.

            • Devildog  On April 17, 2013 at 7:07 PM

              Yeah, it might have happened once or twice by a lunatic but not from speculating on your blog-at least I think not.

  • anonymous  On April 16, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    There is a 6 part series on the National Geographic network called ‘The 80s: The Decade That Made Us’. It shows how transformational the 80s were and how it forms the basis for what happened over the next 25 years in the US and the rest of the world.

    I was 12 years old at the beginning of the 80s and growing up during that decade was a blessing. It demonstrated the benefits of the principles on which this country was founded – freedom, individualism and, yes, capitalism.

    I have a pretty good feeling that liberals will not get the same warm feelings that I got while viewing it. There was nothing like the Reagan Revolution.

    • Tourist  On April 17, 2013 at 12:34 AM

      Anonymous, I wasn’t aware of the series. I just a read a few things. Everything suggests it’s worth seeing – then, presumably, thinking about.

      If you were 12 at the start, the decade was your formative years. It’s natural that you relate. But “blessing” and “nothing like the Reagan Revolution”? “Nothing like,” okay. But what can you judge it against? Wanna talk about Apollo? Let me tell you, the ‘60’s were groovy!

      “. . . shows how transformational the 80s were and how it forms the basis for what happened over the next 25 years . . . .”

      Yes, most times are bases for things that come next – a line of progression. As for the focus in any particular time: Pendulums swing like an Eng(a)land do.

      Your line that strikes me is: “demonstrated the benefits of the principles on which this country was founded – freedom, individualism and, yes, capitalism.” “Yes, capitalism,” as if capitalism’s benefits are disputed? By whom?

      Devildog, one of the articles I just looked at says the “Back to the Future” movies are heavily featured at the start.

      • Devildog  On April 17, 2013 at 12:52 AM

        Tourist, once again I am too stupid to understand what you are talking about. Back to the Future movies heavily featured at the start. And that means?

        • Tourist  On April 17, 2013 at 12:57 AM

          Dog, my friend, we talked about those movies. You didn’t know them. I thought you’d like them. You left unconvinced. They apparently are featured in this ’80’s series. The coincidence let me point you to them again. That’s all. It’s for your own good.

          Fly carefully!

          • Devildog  On April 17, 2013 at 1:03 AM

            Thanks and thanks.

            • anonymous  On April 17, 2013 at 1:38 AM

              The series discusses how much Reagan liked Back to the Future for its portrayal of 50s family values – he mentioned it in a State of the Union address – and Rambo. There is audio of Reagan before he is about to make an important speech about the state of relations with the USSR. He was just talking to the person he was in the room with and the recorder was on. He talks about how he watched Rambo the night before and how he wanted to channel that attitude during his speech.

              Reagan was a cowboy at heart.

      • anonymous  On April 17, 2013 at 1:28 AM

        What do I know about the 60s? Well, I can read a history book

        The 60s was a very important decade. That decade ended the Civil War.

        The 80s ushered in the future and what we are starting to see with how much of O’s agenda that is being rejected, the vision that Reagan had for this country is still very much alive. Reports of its death in November of 2012 were greatly exaggerated.

        Pendulums do swing but something tells me this exceptional country will survive the next 4 years.

        Tourist: “Yes, capitalism,” as if capitalism’s benefits are disputed? By whom?

        This is a joke, right? There was a reason ‘Tear Down This Wall’ reverberated throughout Eastern Europe. What did the West have that Eastern Europe didn’t? Why were guards needed on the East German side but not the West German side? If people were happy in that bastion of socialism that was East Germany, why did they risk their lives by attempting to leave it.

        BTW, while I know a lot about what the series discusses, the part where it discusses how it was Reagan’s decision to include that statement in his speech was really interesting. He overruled the State Dept and his own advisors. Reagan sensed it was time to put the hammer down and he was right.

        This country needs another Reagan.

        • Tourist  On April 17, 2013 at 1:47 AM

          “This is a joke, right? There was a reason ‘Tear Down This Wall’ reverberated . . . .”

          Anonymous, I misunderstood you. I said: “as if capitalism’s benefits are disputed? By whom?” I was in the present tense. Certainly the Soviet block disputed the benefits of capitalism. I took your “yes, capitalism” to be directed at today’s liberals – as if we dispute them.

          I’m glad that’s not what you meant. Thank you.

    • umoc193  On April 17, 2013 at 5:04 PM

      No the ’80’s were symbolic of the hedonism and greed (“Wall Street”) and saw the reversal of diminishing income inequality that had been the American hallmark for years as we built a huge, prosperous middle class post war with great contributions from unions and with much higher tax rates which still allowed for the accumulation of wealth.

      The 80’s sucked.

      • anonymous  On April 17, 2013 at 5:26 PM

        God, I am glad I don’t live in your world.

        • Tourist  On April 17, 2013 at 6:16 PM

          I would ask what that meant, but . . . .

      • anonymous  On April 17, 2013 at 5:37 PM

        Something tells me the rest of the world feels much much the same way I do – ask East Germans how they feel about the 80s

      • Devildog  On April 17, 2013 at 6:58 PM

        “sucked”, is that a fact? I’m not impressed with comments that start off with”no”, rather than IMHO.

  • anonymous  On April 17, 2013 at 2:04 AM

    Yes Tourist, I was speaking in both generalities but also specifics about capitalism. Eastern Europe failed because of its economic policies. They wouldn’t need guards at the Berlin Wall if this wasn’t true.

    But what the 80s showed was that capitalism works and the closer we get to the capitalistic ideals found in conservatism, the better this country will be.

  • Tourist  On April 17, 2013 at 3:25 AM

    Anonymous,

    You: “But what the 80s showed was that capitalism works and the closer we get to the capitalistic ideals found in conservatism, the better this country will be.”

    Not to belabor it, but no one is disputing that capitalism “works.” Capitalism, free enterprise, the market . . . . What’s not to love? You, though, demand purity – the party line.

    You have written: “Remember, for an economic philosophy to work, it must work in its purist form. So if some is good, more must be better.”

    You have also said: “pure capitalism would be Darwinian.”

    Today you say: “the closer, the better.”

    That’s how Nature does it. “Darwinian.” Survival of the fittest. Predators and prey.

    Devildog is wrong. We do not think you are evil people. We think you are too limited. You aim too low. You lack faith and imagination.

    “The feeling here is one of awe. There’s a sense that we have arrived at one of those defining moments in history. Is this the end of an era? Is this the final moment in man’s failed attempt to reach the stars? Or is this the beginning of something new, at last a chance . . . to define ourselves with a slightly naïve but inspired sense that we are unlimited beings, that we can do anything?”

    The animals never built a better jungle. Liberals know that we can.

    “We choose to go to the Moon.”

  • toadsly  On April 17, 2013 at 7:24 AM

    My non sequitur comment: I learned much during the 80s that I used in the 70s?

    • Tourist  On April 17, 2013 at 7:27 AM

      I was so much older then. I’m younger than that now.

      • toadsly  On April 17, 2013 at 7:34 AM

        I agree! Being older brings youth.

        • Tourist  On April 17, 2013 at 7:38 AM

          The middies will never get it.

    • anonymous  On April 17, 2013 at 12:04 PM

      toadsly, there is a ‘right’ way to do capitalism and a ‘left’ way to do capitalism, as we are currently seeing with O’s presidency

      • toadsly  On April 17, 2013 at 12:27 PM

        There used to be a “both” way.

        • anonymous  On April 17, 2013 at 12:52 PM

          So you agree with me about O’s presidency?

          • toadsly  On April 17, 2013 at 1:16 PM

            Let’s agree to disagree.

  • Tourist  On April 17, 2013 at 7:54 AM

    Toadsly, let’s pin it down:

    My guard stood hard when abstract threats
    Too noble to neglect
    Deceived me into thinking
    I had something to protect.

    Good and bad, I defined these terms
    Quite clear, no doubt, somehow.

    But I was so much older then.
    I’m younger than that now.

    • toadsly  On April 17, 2013 at 9:06 AM

      Ole’!

    • umoc193  On April 17, 2013 at 5:10 PM

      “My Back Pages”

      Crimson flames tied through my ears
      Rollin’ high and mighty traps
      Pounced with fire on flaming roads
      Using ideas as my maps
      “We’ll meet on edges, soon,” said I
      Proud ‘neath heated brow
      Ah, but I was so much older then
      I’m younger than that now.

      Half-cracked prejudice leaped forth
      “Rip down all hate,” I screamed
      Lies that life is black and white
      Spoke from my skull, I dreamed
      Romantic facts of musketeers
      Foundationed deep, somehow
      Ah, but I was so much older then
      I’m younger than that now.

      Girls’ faces formed the forward path
      From phony jealousy
      To memorizing politics
      Of ancient history
      Flung down by corpse evangelists
      Unthought of, thought, somehow
      Ah, but I was so much older then
      I’m younger than that now.

      A self-ordained professor’s tongue
      Too serious to fool
      Spouted out that liberty
      Is just equality in school
      “Equality,” I spoke the word
      As if a wedding vow
      Ah, but I was so much older then
      I’m younger than that now.

      In a soldier’s stance, I aimed my hand
      At the mongrel dogs who teach
      Fearing not that I’d become my enemy
      In the instant that I preach
      My existence led by confusion boats
      Mutiny from stern to bow
      Ah, but I was so much older then
      I’m younger than that now.

      Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats
      Too noble to neglect
      Deceived me into thinking
      I had something to protect
      Good and bad, I define these terms
      Quite clear, no doubt, somehow
      Ah, but I was so much older then
      I’m younger than that now.

  • Little_Minx  On April 17, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    “How out of touch is today’s GOP?”:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/04/16/how-out-of-touch-is-todays-gop

    “…To wit: It finds that only 23 percent of Americans — that would be fewer than one in four — believe the Republican Party is “in touch with the concerns of most people in the United States today,” while 70 percent believe that it is “out of touch.” Among independents, those numbers are 23-70. Among moderates they’re 20-75. By contrast, Americans say by 51-46 that Obama is in touch. Among moderates that’s 56-42 (he fares worse among independents, 44-53, though far better than Republicans). At the same time, the poll finds the public siding with Obama and Democrats on many major issues surveyed. Americans disapprove of the sequester cuts, 57-35 — cuts that Republicans are describing as a “victory” for them. Americans support a path to legality for illegal immigrants by 64-32…”

    My favorite (LOL!) reader comment comes from a chatter who’s obviously irony-impaired WRT the nanny-state matter:

    “The GOP is not out of touch with the American people. The American people is [sic] out of touch with the GOP…”

    • Devildog  On April 17, 2013 at 2:05 PM

      With those numbers, the only explanation for such a relatively close election is racism. Right, minx.

      • Little_Minx  On April 17, 2013 at 2:14 PM

        Don’t put words in my mouth. Au contraire, this poll may well indicate that the GOP’s numbers have declined since Election Day in November 2012 — perhaps due to Congressional Republicans’ intervening obstructions and (in-)actions.

        • anonymous  On April 17, 2013 at 3:55 PM

          I don’t really put too much in those poll numbers. Most polls show that 40% identify as conservative, 20% liberal and 35% moderate; now it is likely that a large percentage of moderates are actually liberal but don’t like to be identified as such because the the word’s negative connotation – but it is highly likely that if forced to choose conservative or liberal, conservative would have the edge.

          If this is true and the Dem party is becoming dominant – that’s fine. What you are seeing is that conservatives are not going to be a party to the negative consequences of these choices.

          • Little_Minx  On April 17, 2013 at 4:24 PM

            1. “…now it is likely that a large percentage of moderates are actually liberal but don’t like to be identified as such because the the word’s negative connotation…”

            2. “…but it is highly likely that if forced to choose conservative or liberal, conservative would have the edge.”

            These statements are contradictory. Which way is it?

            Also, your not “really put too much in those poll numbers” is likely indicative more than anything else of denial.

            • Little_Minx  On April 17, 2013 at 4:25 PM

              …unless of course you’re accusing moderates of lying.

              • Anonymous  On April 17, 2013 at 4:40 PM

                conservatives – 40
                liberals – 20
                moderates – 35

                if 11 of the 35 choose conservative, then conservatives would have the edge even though more than 2/3rds of the moderates identified themselves as liberals when forced to choose.

                Denial? Why are background checks going down? Let’s see what happens in the 2014 mid-terms.

                • Little_Minx  On April 17, 2013 at 4:58 PM

                  What’s your source for your claim that “40% identify as conservative, 20% liberal and 35% moderate”?

                    • Little_Minx  On April 17, 2013 at 5:35 PM

                      That was dated Jan. 12, 2012 — 15 months ago. My point is that views have changed just since the November 2012 election.

                    • anonymous  On April 17, 2013 at 5:38 PM

                      Thx, but the historical data would indicate that that you would be wrong

                    • Little_Minx  On April 17, 2013 at 5:41 PM

                      I’m talking about recent changes, not comparative history.

                    • anonymous  On April 17, 2013 at 5:43 PM

                      So you are saying a 20 year trend changed in one year? I am sorry but, even if true which I doubt it is, I need more than one data point.

                      But feel free to live in fantasyland

            • Devildog  On April 17, 2013 at 7:40 PM

              And minx, if you put too much into any poll numbers, especially at this time of the cycle, you’re not too intelligent.

              • Little_Minx  On April 17, 2013 at 9:56 PM

                Occam’s Razor:

                Maybe people self-identify as “moderate” in the same way that a huge percentage of the US population self-identifies as “middle class,” even if their income is in way too low or high to qualify as “middle class.” Thus, tbe the REAL explanation could simply be that many self-identifying moderates are actually liberals who, despite having been intimidated by conservatives into not using that particular L-word, approve of President Obama’s policies!

  • Little_Minx  On April 17, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    Returning to UMOC’s initial comments on this page, “Austerity? Oops” by Alexandra Petri:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost/wp/2013/04/17/austerity-oops

    It is possible, however unlikely, that the Reinhart-Rogoff 2010 Harvard study on debt and growth — which is often cited to support fiscal austerity — contains a calculation error that undermines its case against a causal link between high debt and low growth.

    As Catherine Rampell wrote at the New York Times:

    But now, Thomas Herndon, Michael Ash and Robert Pollin of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in trying to replicate the Reinhart-Rogoff results, are challenging the conclusions for a different reason. They say they found some simple miscalculations or data exclusions that sharply altered the ultimate results. According to their rerunning of the figures, “the average real G.D.P. growth rate for countries carrying a public debt-to-G.D.P. ratio of over 90 percent is actually 2.2 percent, not –0.1 percent,” they write. In other words, heavy debts were not associated with the malaise that Professors Reinhart and Rogoff — and much of the world’s economic elite — thought that they were.

    This doesn’t completely destroy the case, it just complicates the argument. But still, it’s a little jarring.

    “Now you tell us this? Now?” Greece is bawling, somewhere.

    What other widespread ideas are based on small miscalculations? We expect this with the scientific studies announcing that You Should Drink More Wine Than Ever If You Want To Be Immortal, only to be followed a few weeks later by the inevitable correction that Drinking Any More Than A Teaspoon Of Wine Daily Will Destroy You And Everyone You Love. But economics? Next someone will tell us that trickle-down is a myth popularized by a confused Ronald Reagan, and that there is no Invisible Hand. Er. We will dig up the original draft of the Bill of Rights and discover that the Second Amendment is for bearing arms in “well-regulated militias,” not just kicking firearms around the home willy-nilly.

    But there’s precedent for giant ripples from small mistakes.

    Remember when we lost that Mars orbiter for failing to convert to metric? Well, replace “Mars orbiter” with “possibly, large swaths of the world economy.” Remember when Columbus was convinced that Ptolemy had the correct numbers for the circumference of the globe, leading him to go dashing off in three ships and bump into the Americas, then insist that he had made it all the way around the world to India, in spite of what the inhabitants had to say about it? You’re off by a few digits, or several orders of magnitude, and suddenly you’ve sailed halfway around the world and bumped into Hispaniola before you can be stopped.

    The whole thing reminds me of the Wicked Bible, which accidentally omitted a “Not” from one of the Ten Commandments, totally changing its meaning. (“Thou shalt commit adultery.” “Okay!”)

    Details, details, as they say.

    • anonymous  On April 17, 2013 at 5:32 PM

      The only problem with this is that the European countries are not practicing austerity – they are spending as much as ever, if not more. What they are doing is increasing taxes and this is why Europe is not recovering from the recession.

      http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2012/05/how-savage-has-european-austerity-been.html

      Will this teach you to stop listening to the crackpot Krugman? Aaaah, not likely.

      • Little_Minx  On April 17, 2013 at 5:38 PM

        Actually, embattled European countries like Greece, Spain and Portugal have been practicing austerity. The problem with that is that it’s causing those nations’ economies to shrink, rather than grow.

        • anonymous  On April 17, 2013 at 5:42 PM

          Really? Every liberal points out how austerity isn’t working in the UK – UK has increased spending every one of the last 5 years. Every European country is spending more than they did in 2007 – doesn’t sound too much like austerity to me.

          • Little_Minx  On April 17, 2013 at 5:48 PM

            More in absolute Euros, or more proportionately?

            Supper beckons, so you’ll have to talk to yourself now.

            • anonymous  On April 17, 2013 at 5:55 PM

              proportionately to what?

              Austere would indicate less spent. More was spent. Was there a decrease in the growth of spending? Maybe. If true, is this austere? I guess in liberalworld, the answer to that question is yes.

              • Tourist  On April 17, 2013 at 6:14 PM

                Not in liberalworld. In the dictionary.

                • anonymous  On April 17, 2013 at 6:37 PM

                  From wiki

                  In economics, austerity describes policies used by governments to reduce budget deficits during adverse economic conditions. These policies can include SPENDING CUTS, tax increases, or a mixture of the two

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austerity

                  • Tourist  On April 17, 2013 at 6:47 PM

                    “These policies can include SPENDING CUTS, tax increases, or a mixture of the two.”

                    “Can” – please look it up.

                    “Or” – please look it up.

                    Tax increases?

                    You at April 17, 2013 at 5:32 PM: “The only problem with this is that the European countries are not practicing austerity . . . What they are doing is increasing taxes . . . .”

                    • anaonymous  On April 17, 2013 at 7:26 PM

                      First, if we are talking about spending, it would be SPENDING CUTS. This is the lie the crackpot Krugman is dispensing – that European countries, including the UK, are spending less. This is not true

                      Second, increasing taxes is austere. OK. Are you saying Obama is being austere? But wait, according to liberals, austerity doesn’t work.

                      Now I am confused

                    • Little_Minx  On April 18, 2013 at 8:50 AM

                      Heard on NPR this AM that Reinhart and Rogoff have now conceded the mathematical errors in their work. However, they’re still in denial that their errors are significant — but their credibility has taken a huge hit.

                    • Devildog  On April 18, 2013 at 8:56 AM

                      Oh, yeah, in denial, too.

        • Devildog  On April 17, 2013 at 7:01 PM

          Practicing austerity minx? Facts please!

          • Little_Minx  On April 18, 2013 at 8:53 AM

            Austerity, you say? How about cutting government jobs, cutting work-hours for employees, cutting pay, increasing taxes?

            • Devildog  On April 18, 2013 at 11:06 AM

              So Obama (and the Fed.)are imposing austerity rather than stimulus? Really? Tax increases as austerity-already discussed-not in usual and customary use of that term. Are you saying Obama raised taxes on more than the rich. Feds cut jobs or eliminated vacancies and count that as job cuts-I know that game. Obama cut workweek and pay for Federal employees-where and when.

              No austerity here at all or elsewhere to any real extent. Only the threat/promise/requirement in future.

    • Devildog  On April 17, 2013 at 6:56 PM

      And social “science” studies in general?

    • Little_Minx  On April 18, 2013 at 4:42 PM

      Here’s the relevant portion of the transcript of this AM’s report on NPR re UMass student Thomas Herndon’s discovery of pertinent errors in Reinhart and Rogoff’s study.:
      http://www.npr.org/2013/04/18/177721491/despite-flaws-harvard-economists-stand-by-research

      …(Reporter Jim) ZARROLI: Herndon and his colleagues at UMass discovered that Rogoff and Rinehart [sic] made certain spreadsheet errors and left out data in a way that skewed the final results. The revised numbers suggests that economic growth still drops off as debt levels rise, but not as much as Rogoff and Rinehart said.

      HERNDON: That’s a pretty large change, and it really takes away a lot of the, I think, the urgency of their claim…

      (Needless to say, R&R are in CYA mode)

      • Devildog  On April 18, 2013 at 4:56 PM

        A “pretty large change” doesn’t negate the”essential findings”. Be careful until the results of the revised numbers come out.

        I need some advice. I was watching news of the Boston bombing with my 12 year old granddaughter and asked her whether she was for the death penalty and explained what that was. She said yes we should kill the murderer but only after we made him suffer for a long time. So, should I give her some guidance and, if yes, what should it be. A chip off the old block even if I hadn’t seen her for almost 5 months.

        • Little_Minx  On April 18, 2013 at 5:03 PM

          Could you ask her if she believes in the Constitution and Bill of Rights? Then you could direct her to the 8th Amendment as starting point for a discussion:

          Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eighth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

          • Devildog  On April 18, 2013 at 5:19 PM

            So, I should tell her that capital punishment is not necessarily cruel and unusual punishment under the 8th Amendment?

            • Little_Minx  On April 18, 2013 at 5:23 PM

              Why not have her read the Wikipedia page, then discuss the history of punitive torture and capital punishment? Then she’ll realize that “only after we made him suffer for a long time” would be unconstitutional. Re the death penalty, discuss court decisions and reasoning.

              • Devildog  On April 18, 2013 at 5:36 PM

                I’ll wait on that until she’s in law school. In the meantime, she can listen to Rush and watch Hannity(o’reilly is a little too much of a moderate).

                • Little_Minx  On April 18, 2013 at 5:53 PM

                  Old geezer alert: Back in the day we read and discussed the entire Constitution and Amendments in 8th grad Civics class in junior high. Also back then, children weren’t “red-shirted” WRT starting school, so most of us were still 12 when we began 8th grade. So if your granddaughter’s smart enough to be law school material, she’s old enough to be reading the Wikipedia page re the 8th Amendment now. I doubt someone who doesn’t read voraciously re the Constitution from an early age would be law school material.

                  • Little_Minx  On April 18, 2013 at 5:55 PM

                    Logging off for suppertime. So talk among yourselves…

                  • Little_Minx  On April 19, 2013 at 1:43 AM

                    In tribute to Devildog’s avowed predilection for facetiousness, and with apologies to Jonathan Swift, herewith:

                    A Modest Proposal

                    Clearly much of the US Constitution and Amendments is out of sync with Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Coulter, Scalia, Thomas, the ghost of Bork, et al., so isn’t it about time to repeal most of it? After all, Palin was surely correct when she told a schoolboy in fall 2008 that the VP’s duties included making legislation, right?

                    So let’s assemble these great benighted minds into a Constitutional Convention that’ll do away with at minimum most of the Amendments, because after all there’ve even been surveys showing that a lot of Americans oppose the 1st and 5th Amendments, inter alii — and Rand Paul questioned the propriety of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (before getting his head handed to him and having to back-pedal in the service of expediency, sorry for the mixed metaphor), even though many thought he’d been afflicted at minimum with a severe case of orthopedontia when he said that:
                    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/04/10/rand-paul-ive-never-wavered-in-support-for-civil-rights-act
                    They could also restructure the Supreme Court so that instead of the Senate having the power of advise and consent on nominees for Justice, Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Coulter, Scalia, Thomas et al. could decide who gets on the SCOTUS, as well as who should be removed. Oh, the options are endless…

                    • anonymous  On April 19, 2013 at 2:54 AM

                      We have a winner. Minx comment at 1:43A wins the most incoherent post in the history of blog comments.

                    • Devildog  On April 19, 2013 at 9:49 AM

                      Yeah, baby! Now you’re talking.

              • Devildog  On April 18, 2013 at 5:38 PM

                And don’t report me to Child Services

          • anonymous  On April 18, 2013 at 5:41 PM

            Does the Constitution protect an individual if he commits an act of war against the US?

        • umoc193  On April 19, 2013 at 1:02 AM

          Why don’t you have your granddaughter read my blog entry “Death Kills” which explains fully how the death penalty is wrong and demonstrates that it is not a deterrent, is far costlier than imprisonment, and all the other rationalizations for it are false? That leaves only revenge and if your granddaughter has had a christian upbringing she should know that revenge is wrong.

          Also ask her why she wants to kill.

          • Tourist  On April 19, 2013 at 1:33 AM

            Or we could not drop the anvil on her just yet. Obviously, she’s aware and seeking, and they always understand more than we think they do, but twelve? She growing, in every sense. She needs guidance. She needs help. She needs support. “Read my blog”? “Cruel and unusual punishment”?

            • Devildog  On April 19, 2013 at 9:52 AM

              C’mon, Tourist, be nice(r) to our host.

            • umoc193  On April 19, 2013 at 10:54 PM

              Tourist

              re: yours at 1:33 a.m. A little harsh isn’t that? I recommended my blog entry as a quick reference onthe death penalty because it gives not only my views but links to a number of other sources on the topic, including a site that advocates for capital punishment.

              I’m all in favor of the girl forming her own opinions but being around DD she’s unlikely to be exposed to anti-death penalty arguments.

              • Devildog  On April 19, 2013 at 11:04 PM

                I’ll refer her to your blog in a few years. Anyway, my guess is that she’ll be overloaded with your viewpoint over the coming years as long as she is in one school or another.

          • Devildog  On April 19, 2013 at 10:22 AM

            “wants” to kill. “Christian upbringing”. The Pope has spoken once again-in matters of faith. Tourist had it right and, of course, UMOC and minx got too revved up.

  • Tourist  On April 17, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    Anonymous,

    Me at April 17, 2013 at 3:25 AM:

    (Quote)

    . . . no one is disputing that capitalism “works.” Capitalism, free enterprise, the market . . . . What’s not to love? You, though, demand purity – the party line. You have written: “Remember, for an economic philosophy to work, it must work in its purist form. So if some is good, more must be better.” You have also said: “pure capitalism would be Darwinian.” Today you say: “the closer, the better.”

    That’s how Nature does it. “Darwinian.” Survival of the fittest. Predators and prey.

    (Unquote)

    You at April 17, 2013 at 12:04 PM:

    “there is a ‘right’ way to do capitalism and a ‘left’ way to do capitalism, . . . .”

    ===

    Is that it?

    Are we back to: “Any liberal position is incorrect by definition and should not need further explanation”?

    You never say anything.

    • anonymous  On April 17, 2013 at 6:40 PM

      The explanation is that the New Deal extended the Great Depression by several years, Keynesian economics is the reason western European social democracies are falling apart and that O’s stimulus is a failure

      The issue isn’t whether there is an explanation, the issue is whether you accept it

      You can’t fix stupid

      • Tourist  On April 17, 2013 at 6:53 PM

        Q.E.D.

        • anaonymous  On April 17, 2013 at 7:14 PM

          QED? So you are saying that I am proving your point?

          Well, I think this means that you are proving my point.

  • Tourist  On April 17, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    On getting it wrong:

    http://editors.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2013/04/relive_it_2.php?ref=fpblg

    http://www.salon.com/2013/04/17/marco_rubio_is_giving_away_free_phones_too/

    The first of those is a video and is, well, funny, but not. The second is a short article that speaks for itself. Should be something there for everyone. Enjoy!

  • Tourist  On April 17, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    Now I’m sure two links triggers “moderation.”

  • Tourist  On April 17, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    To Anonymous at 7:26 PM (no more “Reply” links):

    You’re flailing. This began with you saying European austerity was “austerity” only in liberalworld. Then you presented a definition of austerity that covers European policies, having in fact already described them that way yourself.

    This is without even getting to “reducing the growth” of spending, which can be quite austere.

    One difference between UMOC and me is that he thinks he can get you to admit you don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m content with people seeing.

    • anaonymous  On April 17, 2013 at 8:38 PM

      What? I think you may need to re-read my posts.

      Tourist: You’re flailing. This began with you saying European austerity was “austerity” only in liberalworld. Then you presented a definition of austerity that covers European policies, having in fact already described them that way yourself.

      -Of course, none of this is true

      Tourist: This is without even getting to “reducing the growth” of spending, which can be quite austere.

      -Only in liberalworld. The definition of austerity is clear. It is a CUT in spending

      I will say it like I said it on Roger’s blog, Toury may believe that he caught me making illogical statements but that in no way means that I am

      In fact, his own comments prove otherwise

      • anaonymous  On April 17, 2013 at 9:10 PM

        I see where Toury think he got me but in reality he didn’t. Here is why

        Most people and all liberals look at austerity from the spending side. To be consistent, liberals have to believe that austerity means some type of limit on spending (I would say spending cut but in liberalworld, a decrease in the growth of spending would suffice). The reason that liberals have to look at the spending side is that O raised taxes and raising taxes is austere. And since austerity doesn’t work, liberals would have to accept that O’s policies don’t work.

        So yes while raising taxes is austere, the liberal position that austerity doesn’t work limits liberals to only consider the spending side.

        BTW, conservatives would agree that any austerity that occurs through raising taxes doesn’t work.

        This is why O’s increases in taxes limits economic growth and the reason why O’s policies are a failure. Well, at least one of the reasons why.

        • umoc193  On April 17, 2013 at 9:42 PM

          To the lies of anon at 9:10 p.m.

          Obama has not raised people’s taxes and you know it.

          LIAR LIAR LIAR LIAR LIAR

          • anonymous  On April 17, 2013 at 9:46 PM

            OMG. And I am the one that is flailing?

      • umoc193  On April 17, 2013 at 9:43 PM

        “What? I think you may need to re-read my posts.”

        Oh my god NO. It is excruciatingly painful to read them the first time. Spare us!

    • umoc193  On April 17, 2013 at 9:40 PM

      “One difference between UMOC and me is that he thinks he can get you to admit you don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m content with people seeing.”

      Tourist,

      No, that ship sailed lonnnnnnnnnnnnng ago. The only reason I call out LIR (or is that LIAR?) is so other readers do not blindly accept his blather as being true, accurate, or even in the ballpark…or even in Yellowstone Park for that matter.

      Since he has openly admitted that facts and the truth mean nothing to him, I know full well that any presentation of same will be summarily rejected by him. Recall in an earlier post I advised him to maintain silence lest everyone see his lack of credibility. Sort of like the old adage that it’s better to keep one’s mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

      • anonymous  On April 17, 2013 at 9:44 PM

        Just because you say that I lie doesn’t matter. You have no proof. You just say it to shut me up. This is what all liberals do when confronted with the facts. Read below for my comments on how O responded to today’s senate vote on background checks. O wants those Dems that voted against it to be voted out of office. Dismissed them as being beholden to the NRA when the truth is they are beholden to their constituency.

  • Tourist  On April 17, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    The words of the day are probably: “Willfully lied.”

    Next we will hear that every one of them willfully lies every time they open their mouths.

    That will be answered with, no, not every time, and you guys do it, too.

    Someone will present a count of lies.

    Someone else will say it’s the quality that matters.

    U – S – A ! . . . U – S – A !

  • Tourist  On April 17, 2013 at 9:24 PM

    Anonymous, very slowly:

    Me: “This began with you saying European austerity was “austerity” only in liberalworld.”

    That was this (you): “Was there a decrease in the growth of spending? Maybe. If true, is this austere? I guess in liberalworld, the answer to that question is yes.”

    Me: “Then you presented a definition of austerity that covers European policies, . . .”

    That was this (you; capitalization mine): “From wiki: In economics, austerity . . . CAN INCLUDE spending cuts, tax increases, OR a mixture of the two.”

    Me: “. . . having in fact already described them that way yourself.”

    That was this (you): “. . . European countries are not practicing austerity . . . What they are doing is increasing taxes . . . .

    You now: Of course, none of this is true.

    “None” is an exaggeration, by about 100%.

    You now: “The definition of austerity is clear. It is a CUT in spending.”

    Please see your wiki definition above.

    You now: “I will say it like I said it on Roger’s blog, Toury may believe that he caught me making illogical statements but that in no way means that I am.”

    That’s true – I mean that you’ve said it before. I remember: “Once again, I think u guys may be reaching a little bit. I am still pitching that perfect game . . . . You guys think u got one over on me. But it is clear that Toury doeasn’t understand what an ad hominem attack is . . . . I don’t think I ever feel persecuted – esp. by the dimwit lefties on this blog . . . . Call me hypocritical, criminal, disloyal, loathsome – as I said above, I could care leass what u guys think of me. Doesn’t change the fact that u guys have never proven me wrong.”

    You now: “In fact, his [Tourist’s] own comments prove otherwise.”

    Which part?

    • anaonymous  On April 17, 2013 at 9:35 PM

      Read my next comment on that subject.

  • anaonymous  On April 17, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    Moving on to another topic, let’s discuss today’s gun control vote. Specifically, let’s discuss O’s response to the vote.

    All I can say is the more O doesn’t get his way, the worse he looks. And the worse he looks, the more people see how much of a fraud he is.

    He totally stabbed a handful of senate Dems in the back. Basically saying, he wanted them to be voted out of office.

    If I am one of these Dem senators, would I ask O to campaign for me? These Dem senators can kiss their senatorial career goodbye.

    And given that these Dem senators are moderate Dems in red states and that O stabbed them in the back, the next Dem nominee will have to be more liberal. And the chances that a liberal Dem will win in a red state?

    And to think, on 1/20/13, I was in despair. O winning may be the best thing that ever could have happened for the future of this country.

  • Tourist  On April 17, 2013 at 9:37 PM

    “Moving on to another topic” . . . priceless.

    • anonymous  On April 17, 2013 at 9:39 PM

      ????? I already to your long and twisted attempt to show some incosistency. To me, there is no point in discussing it further

    • anonymous  On April 17, 2013 at 9:41 PM

      *already (responded at 9:10P)

      • Tourist  On April 17, 2013 at 10:42 PM

        Ah. Now here’s another area where we differ. I don’t consider “none of this is true” when it was all true, and shown, to be a matter of “consistency.”

        • Little_Minx  On April 17, 2013 at 11:16 PM

          Oh Tourist, Tourist! Hasn’t Anonymous managed yet to bully you into accepting his authoritarian stance — the Gospel according to Anonymous — in which all he has to do is unilaterally declare something untrue (or stupid, or…) without adequate (if any) evidence, and he expects us to accept his decree unchallenged? If he were living in reality, he’d know that’s not how the real world works.

  • anonymous  On April 17, 2013 at 9:55 PM

    Devidog – I am starting to think you are on to something when you say it is a domestic terrorist in the Eric Rudolph. Ted Kaczynski mode. That is, no radical Islam or tea party ties.

    I ain’t ruling out anything but at this point, this what I would put my money on. We shall see

    • Little_Minx  On April 17, 2013 at 9:58 PM

      Don’t forget Timothy McVeigh. Or the white racist old man who shot up the Holocaust Museum in DC.

      • Devildog  On April 18, 2013 at 1:33 AM

        Anonymous, I didn’t mention Eric or Ted. Minx, your mention of McVeigh and the racist White guy is pathetic but par for the course for you. a and Tourist, just got back to the ‘Burgh after a long flight, it’s after 1 a.m., but I’m too hyped to go to sleep, these 100 or so comments are too much for me to comprehend and I don’t want to get involved but I have one comment to make and it’s just my personal feeling.

        Sometimes, these is a difference between a dictionary definition and how a word is commonly used and understood. I think we all know about D.C. Speak and the dictionary. A cut in funding does not mean an actual cut (usually) but rather, a cut in the rate of growth. Similarly, austerity could mean a cut in actual spending or a cut in the rate of growth. Or, apparently, according to a dictionary, it could mean an increase in taxes. So one party could mean it one way and another party a different way. I can see how an increase in taxes can impose austerity. But the first thing I would think of is a decrease in actual gov’t spending or in entitlements, not tax increases.

        ‘Nuff said, good night.

        • Little_Minx  On April 18, 2013 at 7:50 AM

          See what Devildog did there? When confronted with a totally apt point that goes against his right-wing agenda, he thinks he can neutralize it by name-calling “(pathetic”) and hoping that no one will challenge his authority. Well, I see through your ruse and challenge it.

          Actually, mentioning the bombing of the Murrah courthouse in OKC and the shooting at the Holocaust Museum are precisely on-point WRT domestic terrorism, as both were Americans attacking American locations fpr what they (misguidedly) believed to be patriotic American reasons (McVeigh to honor the Branch Davidians’ defiance of Federal law, the old neo-Nazi to oppose acknowledgment of and respect for victims of the Holocaust).

          • Devildog  On April 18, 2013 at 8:33 AM

            See what Devildog did? See Jane run. What’s pathetic is all I get from you is tea party, White man, racist, etc. Boring!

            • Little_Minx  On April 18, 2013 at 8:43 AM

              We see through you. Totally.

              • Devildog  On April 18, 2013 at 8:54 AM

                And other than evil, White, racist, troll pig, what is it you see-I’m sure there’s more than that.

        • anonymous  On April 18, 2013 at 2:04 PM

          You are right DD, you didn’t mention Rudolph or Kazynski – my bad. I will be honest, this is getting really scary – I hope the fertilizer plant explosion isn’t terrorism but anniversary of Waco and it’s proximity to Waco?????

  • Devildog  On April 18, 2013 at 2:51 AM

    Something I wrote bothered me and I had trouble falling asleep. A tax increase is a form of austerity for the people because they have less money to spend but perhaps not in its common usage with regard to the government. In its common and customary usage to me at least, it is a cut in government spending that might adversely affect the people, as in a reduction in entitlements or elimination of programs. So while a tax increase and a cut in an entitlement program could adversely affect the people and be considered “austerity” programs because it affects their purchasing power, it is how it was intended by the writer not necessarily how it was defined in a dictionary.

    • Anonymous  On April 18, 2013 at 1:30 PM

      Devildog – European social democracies are supposedly implementing austerity measures to reduce their budget deficits. The idea is that, as the article posted by Minx questions, huge budget deficits limit growth. UK, Italy, Spain and Greece are the prime examples of what the crackpot Krugman and his ilk (BTW, I hate the word ilk) claim to be countries implementing austerity measures.

      The question is are we talking about actual spending cuts or do decreases in the growth of spending count? It is a nuanced question and ultimately it may be country specific. Greece may be an example where spending needed to be cut – Germany is requiring Greece to do this as a condition of their bailout. Even with this, Greece is spending more than it did in 2007 – an amount that got them into trouble in the first place. Is that austerity? I think to Tourist and UMOC. since they have decreased spending from their zenith in 2010, the answer is yes. However, Greece and Spain still have serious budget issues and Germany is still paying the price. Liberals can claim austerity isn’t working but what hasn’t worked for 60 years is the high tax, high spend Keynesian policies implemented by these countries and is actually the reason for their problems.

      The UK has only decreased the growth of spending – spending continues to increase til this day but at a slower rate. UK is the poster child for the failure of austerity in the crackpot Krugman’s mind. The fact is that the UK is not being austere. It is spending more and more every year.

      What is holding these countries back is the increase in taxes – this is what is puzzling to me. Increasing taxes is anti-growth. Tax increases affect the whole economy. A decrease in the growth of spending means the White House tours get shutdown (although this is a complete PR move that totally backfired on O). Spending has minimal positive or negative affects on economic growth – as we are seeing with the stimulus. This is the reason spending should be cut

      The austerity the world is practicing, including the US, is tax increases. Until this changes, growth will be stagnant.

  • Tourist  On April 18, 2013 at 4:43 AM

    Devildog, glad you made it safely. I’m sure there are beverages that could help you sleep. Then enjoy your family and make sure your grandkids get you to the next level with your iBeast. You need to know how to write in a word-processing program, SAVE IT, copy and paste from and to it, and maybe how to take part via UMOC’s website itself, rather than email – or at least see that and decide which way you prefer.

    ===

    I understand what you’re saying about austerity. I know what you mean. I know what Anonymous wants. I’m not above taking cheap shots based on definitions, but not too often, and not this time. The only definition in play was his. My point – the final one – was not political or economic. It was that he said it was untrue that he had said things he’d said – a string of things, set of three, right there on the page – words.

    But it wasn’t even that!

    “None of this is true” is just one of his standard ways of denying reality. Facts contradict him, so he declares that they “prove my point.” Policies and programs that have worked and are working “never work.” Or he talks in circles: Explain A. “B.” Explain B. “C.” Explain C. “A.” Or he LOL’s. Or he just insults the person.

    He never says anything! What does it mean?

    There’s nothing new here. Early at the Rogers blog he denied categorically that food stamps stimulate. I responded: “With food stamps you can buy peanut butter . . . . Purchasing with them, as opposed to not purchasing, stimulates. The merchant earns more money on crackers and peanut butter than on crackers alone. That allows the merchant to buy Christmas presents. Sell enough peanut butter and the merchant might even hire a stock clerk. This is without factoring in the nutritional value of peanut butter.”

    That led to this from him: “As Tourist proves – when u have nothing u make what he believes are funny retorts but are really just a cute way of being an a-hole.”

    Then him again: “ I want to apologize for my last comment. I confused being an a-hole with just beig completely ignorant.”

    Then me, on “when u have nothing”: “What I have nothing of is regard for anything you’ve said so far, but hope springs eternal. I suspect if I could not get someone to take me even remotely seriously, I’d be frustrated, too. Apology accepted.”

    ===

    Devildog, a lot of basic conservative concerns are understandable in my mind. Don’t expect me to agree with many or adopt them as my own, but they deserve answers and I’ll work with the people who have them in an effort to work something out. UMOC professes his commitment to facts and truth and we all recognize that what he really wants is to grind every last conservative into the pavement. Even if I say I am being facetious, he’s going to answer this – just watch. Suffice it to say this is a highly partisan blog. I can see how it could look like that’s all that is going on with me toward Anonymous. It isn’t. That’s all I can say.

    • Devildog  On April 18, 2013 at 8:29 AM

      Thanks, Tourist. First I have to find out what iBeast is and what writing in a word processing system means-and what taking part in the website rather than email means. Do I need a computer rather than just my iPad? Will I make it easier just for me or for readers also.

      For other reasons maybe, I’m not too impressed with an other poster (you can guess which one) who comes at it from the other side. What would this website be without Anonymous-just bloviating by UMOC and me having the White man’s burden. Do “we all” recognize UMOC for what you say about him? Or even more than you and me.

      “Why can’t we all get along”. I don’t really mean that. Not in my DNA. But I can choose with whom to get along.

      • Tourist  On April 18, 2013 at 8:54 AM

        Dog, before I sign off for the evening . . . “iBeast.” How many iThingies do you have? I meant the iPad. No computer necessary. What “word processing” and the rest mean is what grandkids are for. Easier for you, I think/hope, but for you to decide. Later!

      • umoc193  On April 18, 2013 at 1:15 PM

        “Do “we all” recognize UMOC for what you say about him? Or even more than you and me.”

        I know for a fact there are varied opinions about UMOC, even by UMOC himself. I just laugh off any personal attacks here. I’ve been far more critical of myself through the years than any of you could ever begin to express…and I have the shrink bills to prove it.

    • anonymous  On April 18, 2013 at 2:20 PM

      What policies worked? The New Deal? O’s stimulus?

      The most widely accepted study asserts that the New Deal extended the Great Depression by 7 years.

      O’s stimulus has led to 3M low paying jobs that have no multiplier effects and are the reason we had 0.4% GDP growth in 2013Q1. O’s policies (disability, food stamps, 2 years of unemployment benefits) have made it more attractive to leave the labor force. If the labor force participation rate was the same as it was when O took office, the urate would be 11%

      The economies of the western European social democracies are falling apart because of 60 years of tax and spend.

      You don’t want to accept these as evidence of failure of progressivism, OK. Your choice.

      I think the rest of the country is starting to realize it – sequester, the unpopularity of O’care which will be repeeled the the GOP House and senate in 2015, the stagnant economy that will not change any time soon.

      Progressivism is a failure whose last chapters are currently being written. It is only a matter of time

  • Devildog  On April 18, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    Fertilizer plant explosion near Waco yesterday that killed and injured people. Hmmm. Don’t believe in coincidences. Further evidence-domestic terrorism!

  • anonymous  On April 18, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    Devildog – the idea with austerity is that the current budget deficits are limiting growth. As a result, there must be a decrease in the deficit. This happens through either spending cuts (decreases in the growth of spending?) or increases in taxes.

    The countries that liberals would claim are actually cutting spending are Greece and Spain. However, they are spending more than they did in 2007. What they were spending in 2007 is what got them in trouble in the first place. Are they being austere? Yes but that is mainly because they have increased taxes. It is this little publicized fact that is the real reason for the limited growth in these countries.

    UK, the liberal poster child for the failure of austerity, has only decreased the increase in spending. To me, that is not austere at all. Spending more is not austere.

    The fact is, as I pointed out to Tourist on Roger’s blog, is that govt spending has little effect on growth either way – increasing it or decreasing it. The stimulus created those great supermarket jobs that Tourist is claiming are somehow worth the trillion dollars in spending. These jobs are low paying and have no multiplier effects. This, along with O’ increase in taxes (UMOC), regulation and O’care, is why we have the stagnant economy we have today.

    Food stamps do not work.

    The reason our economy is stagnant and the world economy is stagnant is the anti-growth high revenue policies that are being implemented. They have created what the worst prez in history (worse than than O and FDR) called a malaise.

    The failure of O’s policies (gun control, immigration, O’care – it will be repealed) have restored my faith in the people of this country. After the election, I admit I was scared – what are we doing?

    One final note: If the background check legislation passed, it would’ve been alright. It wouldn’t have stopped the next Newtown but it might have a minmal benefit – it may prevent a few nuts from getting the weapons they want. However, it’s failure has bigger implications – O couldn’t get all the members of his own party to vote for it. This reveals how extreme O is – flipping his lid makes him look like a small, petty man. He is looking that way a lot lately.

    • anonymous  On April 18, 2013 at 2:24 PM

      *it may prevent a few nuts from LEGALLY getting the weapons they want

  • Little_Minx  On April 19, 2013 at 1:53 AM

    With any luck, she’ll be in 8th grade in the fall and have to take a year’s worth of Civics, where she’ll get an age-appropriate survey of the Constitution and its Amendments.

    • Little_Minx  On April 19, 2013 at 1:55 AM

      Uh, she = Devildog’s 12-year-old granddaughter with the questions re the appropriate punishment for the Boston Marathon bomber(s).

    • Devildog  On April 19, 2013 at 9:44 AM

      I better check who’s teaching what in the classroom-in all civic matters.

  • Devildog  On April 19, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    Is it too early for me to say gomenasai for my ” no harm, no foul.

  • anonymous  On April 19, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    Hey Minx, how is that right wing, tea party angle working out for you?

  • Tourist  On April 19, 2013 at 9:38 PM

    “Tourist had it right and, of course, UMOC and minx got too revved up.” (Devildog)

    I like that because it says “revved up,” not “wrong.” Wrong we can never agree to being. Revved up – well, that’s just our passion and enthusiasm.

    The only thing I did differently re Devildog’s granddaughter was read his question.

    I don’t like the word “sides.” I use it often for convenience. That’s why I also try to say things like, “A lot of basic conservative concerns are understandable in my mind.” We are too damn kneejerk – both sides. We are determined to misunderstand each other. We make that easy for each other. We are primed and pumped and looking for something to seize on and use. Don’t let them breathe. Just win, baby.

    Show of hands, please: Who is against personal responsibility? Who is against lower taxes?

    I prefer as much freedom and as little government as possible, and acknowledge needs only government can meet. Product safety, clean water and clean air decrease shareholder value.

    Show of hands, please: Who wants the market to provide the most efficient “growth” solution for the health and safety of their grandchildren?

    Apart from “pure form of capitalism” extremists – “More!” – what are we disagreeing on? I know we have differences. I’m still not sure where they are.

    • anonymous  On April 19, 2013 at 11:13 PM

      -Show of hands, please: Who is against personal responsibility?

      Answer: Against? No one. With that said, self-reliance is antithetical to the success of liberalism. If everyone was self-reliant, why would we ‘need’ these social engineering programs that are counter-productive,

      -Who is against lower taxes?

      Answer: Which party just raised taxes during a recession and wants to raise then again?

      -I prefer as much freedom and as little government as possible

      Really? So you oppose the stimulus, O’care, O’s draconian regulations and the unprecedented increases in the welfare state and the debt under O?

    • anonymous  On April 19, 2013 at 11:18 PM

      -Show of hands, please: Who wants the market to provide the most efficient “growth” solution for the health and safety of their grandchildren?

      I know you can’t see me, but I have my hand raised as high as possible. What will hurt the health and safety of our grandchildren is the restriction on economic growth which occurs as a result of draconian regulations promoted by extreme lefties like O (note: I didn’t say regulations, I said draconian regulations).

      • umoc193  On April 20, 2013 at 6:29 PM

        “Show of hands, please: Who wants the market to provide the most efficient “growth” solution for the health and safety of their grandchildren?”

        Well, guess what? The market has control over a large part of that health and safety, especially the health, and is failing miserably, utterly miserably. Because the market, your precious market, neglects MILLIONS of our citizens in its quest for the almighty fucking dollar.

        It is the lack of regulations, that allows this to happen. It makes no fucking sense.

        Of course, neither do you. Ever.

        • Devildog  On April 20, 2013 at 6:43 PM

          Fuckin’ brilliant!

  • Tourist  On April 20, 2013 at 4:52 AM

    Anonymous,

    You: “. . . self-reliance is antithetical to the success of liberalism. If everyone was self-reliant, why would we ‘need’ these social engineering programs that are counter-productive?”

    Good health is antithetical to the success of professional medicine. If everyone was healthy, why would we need these healthcare programs” . . . pausing here. We wouldn’t. If everyone were self-reliant? The same. No help needed? Perfect!

    But “counterproductive”? Providing that which is not there? Good health? Survival? Sounds very productive.

    Is a “slower” (for the sake of argument) “recovery” (undefined) ever justified if fewer people come out of it dead?

    When I worked the graveyard shift on an assembly line (not a summer job), I ate lunch (3 a.m.) with two fellow card-carrying sheet metal workers. I was younger. Both had been there twenty or so years. They had houses, nice families, kids in high school, one had a motorboat – salt of the earth types. On the line, they did good work. I was tutoring one of them in fractions. He was studying arithmetic, hoping to qualify for something. I forget what. He didn’t get it. Third try.

    I suspect collective bargaining had something to do with the wages both were hired at, before my time, and that without the union, whatever those wages were, they’d have still been making them.

    Yes, if everyone were self-reliant the two would have negotiated salaries for themselves and the multinational corporation would have been off the hook and the shareholders would have gained and the two would not have had their houses or be paying their income and property taxes, or shopping much, but their children would have been working, too, instead of going to school, which might have compensated. I’m open to being convinced. Born in the U.S.A.!

    Your next point, I think, was about draconian regulations, extreme lefties like O, and unprecedented increases in dumpster fires (sorry, Dog), and I don’t actually understand that one.

    • Devildog  On April 20, 2013 at 9:05 AM

      Tourist, how/why did I get into your 4:52 post?

      • Tourist  On April 20, 2013 at 7:34 PM

        Devildog, “dumpster fires.” It’s from the Rogers blog and I’m sure well recognized, but not, presumably, by you. It do not mean to write to exclude you. Thus, sorry that I did. Don’t worry about it. It doesn’t mean anything.

    • anonymous  On April 20, 2013 at 11:50 AM

      Tourist: Good health is antithetical to the success of professional medicine. If everyone was healthy, why would we need these healthcare programs” . . . pausing here. We wouldn’t. If everyone were self-reliant? The same. No help needed? Perfect!

      False comparison. While less likely, people who live the healthiest lifestyle get sick every day. There is no reason an able bodied should be forever dependent on govt programs – in fact, substitute them for being self-reliant. This is a choice on their part. Healthy people who get sick don’t have a choice to not get sick.

      The question isn’t whether assistance should not be provided as a safety net but the problem with welfare is it perpetuates cycles of dependency – a way of life that limits people’s economic growth and for the lack of a better word, they become deadweight to the larger society.

      Slow recovery???? 0% GDP growth, urate would be 11% if labor force participation was the same as it was 4 years ago. This lafor force participation decrease results from O’s polices that have made it more attractive to not work. Two years of unemployment benefits, food stamps with virtually no work requirement, the ease of getting disability – put this together with a stimulus that ‘created’ 3M low paying unattractive jobs and suddenly people don’t mind not working (would you rather work 40 hours for 400 or do nothing for 350). This economy has been damaged by O’s policies forever. The deficits and huge limits growth. The trillion dollar deficits will continue for the foreseeable future. If the correct were implemented 5 years ago, there would be real economic growth and shrinking deficits.

      More regulations are costly. They limit economic growth. Just ask Clinton

      Unions, unions, unions. That is why you guys hate Reagan – he broke the unions. Unions cause companies to fail more often than anything else that causes companies to fail. They also limit employment within a company. If a company has a union and I am not in it, I can’t be employed by that company. Less unions mean more jobs, not less. If we had the same amount of unions we did 30 years ago, the urate would be more than double what it is now – esp. when you consider how the size of the labor force has increased due to women entry.

    • anonymous  On April 20, 2013 at 12:53 PM

      Tourist, there are stark differences between left and right. To aconservative, O’s vision of the future of this country is truly scary. O’care is a train wreck, current gun control proposals will not stop the next Newtown and will never be passed (Norman compared gun rights to the Salen witch trials and slavery – ridiculous), immigration without border control will not happen and abortion in the last trimester has to go.

      These are conservative mainstream positions that will not change. O promised a lot of things and it appears that no matter how much rhetoric he uses, he isn’t getting much changed because while people can be fooled by style in this day and age of media packaging, his policies are ineffective and unpopular. This includes O’care, gun control and esp. important, his economic policies

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