October 23, 2008

"The R.N.C. cleverly used the party committee's money to avoid the liability that would have occurred if campaigns funds were used."

Said campaign finance expert Kenneth Gross about that $150,ooo the Republican National Committee spent on clothes and accessories for Sarah Palin.
Had the purchases been made by the McCain campaign, it would be a conversion of campaign money into personal use, which is prohibited. The same rule does not apply to money from party committees.
Yes, diabolically devious of them -- wasn't it? -- to follow the law.

Yesterday, I cleverly drove 25 miles an hour in a 25 mph zone.

***

That's tucked down at the bottom of the NYT article by Patrick Healy and Michael Luo. Let's pick over the rest of it:
... Republicans expressed fear that weeks of tailoring Ms. Palin as an average “hockey mom” would fray amid revelations that the Republican Party outfitted her with expensive clothing from high-end stores.
"Tailoring" and "fray" ... a cute use of sewing and fabric metaphor.

Healy and Luo note that she needed the clothes and needed someone to accomplish the shopping for her, as she was suddenly thrown into constant campaigning in widely variable climates.
Yet Republicans expressed consternation publicly and privately...
Can you quote any?
[O]n “The View” ... Joy Behar, a co-host, noted the McCain campaign’s outreach to blue-collar workers — like an Ohio plumber who recently chided Senator Barack Obama over taxes — after another co-host, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, defended the expenditures....
Behar, not a Republican, but a Democrat and a comedian, surely had a comic opportunity and took it. More about her joke in a minute.
“It looks like nobody with a political antenna was working on this,” said Ed Rollins, a Republican political consultant who ran President Ronald Reagan’s re-election campaign in 1984. “It just undercuts Palin’s whole image as a hockey mom, a ‘one-of-us’ kind of candidate.”
Oh, yes, Ed Rollins, last seen advising Mike Huckabee and making the insightful comment: "To me, hitting somebody, knocking somebody down, is a great feeling. Firing out a negative ad just feels amazing... What I have to do is make sure that my anger with a guy like Romney, whose teeth I want to knock out, doesn't get in the way of my thought process." I'll bet he wasn't the first guy Healy and Luo phoned up to get an Republican mouthing the quote they wanted.

And that's the only on-the-record, negative Republican quote.

***

Now, back to that Joy Behar joke: "I don’t think Joe the Plumber wears Manolo Blahniks." Note how spectacularly Behar fails to get Joe the Plumber's way of thinking.

Joe was not yet successful, but had a dream of buying his own business, and he thought the incentive structure should remain place. He didn't want those making $250,000 to be subjected to confiscatory tax rates.

You may think that Joe the Plumber -- and the "I am Joe the Plumber" types -- are foolish not to express antipathy toward those who are economically successful, but they do not. As they put it they want to get rich too. They look at rich people -- or so they say -- and think -- not: that bastard doesn't know how I struggle -- but: I want to get there too.

In this light, Joe the Plumber wouldn't look at Palin's nice clothes and seethe with jealousy. He would think: I'm inspired to work harder so I can get some great clothes too.

***

Now, 2 things:

1. Palin was given the clothes. She didn't earn the money to buy them. So maybe she's not Joe's model of success. Joe doesn't want a handout. He wants to earn it and not have the government take it away. But Palin attained the level of success that made other people want (and, really, need) to give her these things, which is earning them.

2. Behar was also trying to be funny with the image of a man wearing fancy women's shoes, but Manolo Blahnik does make men's shoes:



Yes, slingbacks and open toes. Blue suede shoes. Deal with it. Need to go more conservative?



I can see Joe in those! The "What Not to Wear" guy, Clinton Kelly -- that repressive bastard -- says those shoes say "Hey look what I have on that you don't have the balls to wear." I say: have the balls.

ADDED: This newer "I Am Joe the Plumber" makes the point even better than the one I linked to, above:

85 comments:

mcg said...

$150,000 in reusable clothes is a much better value than $150,000 in one-time-use set design for a convention nomination acceptance speech.

kengoodsmith said...

Contrast this bru-ha-ha with the press treatment of Michelle Obama and her clothing choices-- I've seen numerous bits gushing about her fashion sense and the Chicago designer she favors. I've not heard a single comment that she should be shopping "off the rack." The press treatment of this woman is getting absurd.

Henry said...
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Henry said...
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peter hoh said...

I don't begrudge her the clothes. Part of campaigning is to look the part, and women face a different standard than men in this regard. I just reserve the right to make fun of those who flogged the lobster story while maintaining that Palin's wardrobe was modest.

Bob R said...

It will be interesting to see how this plays. Always remember - the poor know more about the rich than the rich know about the poor. The poor know that the people on TV don't get their clothes off the rack at Target. The sticker shock may get them. It did me. And I'm well aware that very few politicians appear in public without $3-5K on his or her back. As Ann says, it's not the same for a man. Five $2K grey suits, three pairs of $1500 shoes, $20K for shirts, ties and socks and you look like a million bucks.

CarmelaMotto said...

Ann - this is why I like and read your blog. You are reasonable.

MCG - excellent point.

What are all of the comedians - John Stewart and the like - going to do if Obama becomes President? Will there be a use for the Stewarts?

Simon said...

kengoodsmith said...
"The press treatment of this woman is getting absurd"

That sentence has five superfluous words - "treatment," "of," "this," "woman," and above all, "getting."

MadisonMan said...

That blue shoe looks hideous. But the green one: Great! They both still look like bowling shoes to me, though. High-class bowling shoes, but bowling shoes.

I look forward to the coming change of subject re: the Presidential race. This focus on clothing is silly. For example: can either candidate tell me how they will pay for all the coming IOUs?

AprilApple said...

Obama spent 21,000,000 on polling.

Do you want Obama and his democrats in congress to tax you up the @$$? I guess America wants it, bad.

150,000 is piddle money. and if Sarah didn't look good - then the Joy Beher slobs of the world would mock her for looking like Walmart.

Freder Frederson said...

Five $2K grey suits, three pairs of $1500 shoes, $20K for shirts, ties and socks and you look like a million bucks.

Are you joking? How disconnected from the common people are you? Nobody needs to spend $2K for a suit or $1500 for a pair of shoes. WTF. Ever heard of Bostonians or Florsheims? Or an off the rack suit at Dillards or Macy's (or, gasp, The Men's Wearhouse). That is the kind of shoes and suits real Americans who work real jobs wear.

My God, Step 'n Style, a store just down the street from me here in New Orleans, is advertising two suits for $150.

Awesome said...

"You may think that Joe the Plumber -- and the "I am Joe the Plumber" types -- are foolish not to express antipathy toward those who are economically successful, but they do not. As they put it they want to get rich too. They look at rich people -- or so they say -- and think -- not: that bastard doesn't know how I struggle -- but: I want to get there too."

Can someone please explain this to the clueless, Thomas Frankish media? What don't they get about it?

MadisonMan said...

Yesterday, I cleverly drove 25 miles an hour in a 25 mph zone.

This sentence, following up the one preceding it, makes me chuckle.

MadisonMan said...

Step 'n Style, a store just down the street from me here in New Orleans, is advertising two suits for $150.

I doubt those suits would last on the campaign trail, or that they would look good after the initial wearing. And if they don't look good, what good are they to a politician? There are many people who consider how a person looks -- maybe not directly, but indirectly via a gut feeling -- when they mull over voting. Will they vote for the schlub in an ill-fitting suit? Recent history says no.

Freder Frederson said...

The press treatment of this woman is getting absurd.

Oh, and no one ever made a big deal of Edwards' $400 haircut.

Richard Fagin said...

You may think that Joe the Plumber -- and the "I am Joe the Plumber" types -- are foolish not to express antipathy toward those who are economically successful, but they do not. As they put it they want to get rich too. They look at rich people -- or so they say -- and think -- not: that bastard doesn't know how I struggle -- but: I want to get there too.

That, in a nutshell, is the thesis of the book "What's the Matter With Kansas." Its author, Thomas Frank, believes that Joe the Plumber should have antipathy for the economically successful and goes through some intellectual contortions to explain why Joe isn't so disposed. Must be that clinging to guns and religion thing, says Mr. Frank. The typical reporter is of the same mindset as Mr. Frank. Their antagonism toward Gov. Palin is based in part on perceived hyprocrisy; one who doesn't envy the rich and successful has no business taking advantage of any freebies. Clarence Thomas isn't allowed to criticize affirmative action; he benefitted from it, dammit!

The words used by reporters are carefully chosen to make criticism of a flawed system seem immoral, particularly by those who properly and lawfully take advantage of the system as it is.

Original George said...

Chrysler, Ford, GM, Circuit City, Linens 'n' Things, Yahoo, Ann Taylor, Disney, Macy's, Home Depot, Starbucks, Foot Locker, 84 Lumber, Zales, Penney's, Office Depot, Lowe's, Pep Boys, Lane Bryant, Wilsons,Liz Claiborne, Eddie Bauer, Talbots, J. Jill, Gap, Wickes, Levitz, CompUSA, Sprint, Sharper Image, Bombay Co., CitiGroup, KB Toys, Lehman, Ethan Allen, Dillards, Motorla, Delphi, Verizon, Lechters, Dell, HP, Gateway, ShopKo, Cnet, Barnes & Noble, Motley Fool, Etoys, Applied Materials, Wachovia, WestPoint Stevens, Toshiba, International Paper, Hasbro. Ebay, McClatchy, LA Times, Countrywide, IndyMac...and so forth

Either closing stores, laying off people, or going out of business or all three.

3,631 toy factories in China shuttered in 2008, with thousands more to close in 2009.

When people stop buying toys for children, that tells you how bad things are.

What's this about Palin's clothes?

Bissage said...

What’s in the box?

(1) Sarah Palin.

(2) Joe the Plumber.

(3) Flogged lobster.

Some assembly required.

Freder Frederson said...

I doubt those suits would last on the campaign trail, or that they would look good after the initial wearing. And if they don't look good, what good are they to a politician?

I am course not suggesting that politicians shop at Step 'n Style, but rather I was making the point that anyone can look perfectly respectable for a hell of a lot less than $5000 ($2K for a suit, $1500 for shoes, and another $1500 for tie, belt and socks). A nice suit at Macy's or Dillards is less than $1000 (a lot less). Classic dress shoes that will last for a very long time can still be had for less than $200. There is no reason on God's green earth that anyone should pay more than $100 for a tie (and personally I think that is ridiculous). Throw in socks and a belt, and you still have spent about what BobR claims one should be spending on shoes alone.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Palin was given the clothes. She didn't earn the money to buy them

The Dallas Cowboys are given their uniforms and equipment too. They don't go out and buy those things. They are part of thier job.

The clothing that Palin was outfitted in is basically her uniform, work clothes, her interview suits. She is interviewing for the job of VP and needs to look the part.

Oxbay said...
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Kirk Parker said...

Exploiting the dreaded 25mph loophole again, Ann? And you--a law professor!

Some people just have no shame...

Oxbay said...

I'm pissed off that someone, presumably in the McCain campaign, leaked this. Isn't it enough that the media elites have created a firestorm of hate towards Palin and all things Palin? Now some pissant campaign operative currying favor with some reporter throws another ember on the fire.

Larry said...

Well said.

I missed the uproar about the $140,000 columns (I've been asking about that for a while--I'm glad to see that Treacher thought of it).

IANAL, but it seems to me that the clothes belong to to the RNC, since they bought them. (Like the bags full of unused American Flags belonged to the DNC until they threw them in the garbage (wonder what they cost?).

Which means the RNC can give them to charity who will, I'll bet, be able to auction them off for a lot more than $150K

Simon said...

Richard, the thing that always sticks with me about Tom Franks' book is that his thesis is essentially this: liberal economic policies are best for working class voters, and the only rational basis for a vote is economic self interest, but working class voters don't vote for liberals because of 'values' issues, therefore working class voters are stupid, should get over the social issues, and should vote Democrat. It doesn't seem to occur to him that values are a rational thing to base a vote on, that economic self interest is not even remotely the only rational basis for voting, or that perhaps electoral strategy would dictate that it's the democrats who ought to close the gap, not the voters, since it's the former that's courting the latter. Franks' book was kind of like giving the the greasy pig of a guy who's eyeing up a clearly uninterested woman from across the bar the following pickup line: "look, if you want me so bad, you're going to have to come over here and buy me a beer."

J said...

"Manolo Blahnik does make men's shoes"

I'd be curious what percentage ofthe population has any idea who "Manolo Blahnik" is.

Too many jims said...

Oxbay said...
I'm pissed off that someone, presumably in the McCain campaign, leaked this.


If by "this" you mean the fact that $150,000 was spent on clothes for Gov. Palin and her family, it was not leaked. Campaigns and political committees have to submit detailed reports on expenditures. The revelation came out because (i)a news organization assigned a low level person to review the filings, (2)McCain's campaign (or the RNC) realized it was going to come out so they pointed it out to a journalist, or (3)Obama's campaign realized it and pointed it out to a journalist. At the end of the day, if you don't like the timing or how the story came out, blame the McCain campaign or the RNC, they had control over how the issue was framed.

AJ Lynch said...

CarmelaMotto said:

"What are all of the comedians - John Stewart and the like - going to do if Obama becomes President? Will there be a use for the Stewarts?"

Very good point you made.

Freder:
I agree with you . It is crazy for a man to spend $1,500 for a pair of shoes!!

I could afford that and even if I wore shoes everyday, I still would rather give the money to charity (not ACORN though heh)and stick with my Thom McAnn's.

MadisonMan said...

I'm pissed off that someone, presumably in the McCain campaign, leaked this.

I believe it was a traditional filing, required by law, that contained the information. It wasn't "leaked".

I am in favor of anything that lets the public know how political parties spend money.

Oxbay said...

Never mind.

LarsPorsena said...

Still going on about Palin's wardrobe. Tsk tsk.
You can go to Obama's website and contribute via credit card in the name of "Good Will" to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars. Million of $$$ have come into BO's campaign via this loophole (Fake Name, valid credit card)
thus violating the personal limit. But, back to Sarah' shoes..............

integrity said...

J said...
"Manolo Blahnik does make men's shoes"

I'd be curious what percentage ofthe population has any idea who "Manolo Blahnik" is.



Very, very small. Only "Sex & The City" fans and pretentious urbane aholes like me. And I did not know they made men's shoes. They are very ugly men's shoes, look like clown shoes.

Bart DePalma said...

Political campaigns are show business. How does this differ from buying wardrobe for a TV host to make him or her more attractive to the audience?

I tended to poo poo claims that these incessant attacks against Sarah Palin by the coastal elite punditry were sexism rather than the usual elite reaction to her fly over country Reaganism, but this latest piffle is so catty that I may have to reconsider my opinion.

Salamandyr said...

I wonder how much Palin's wardrobe expenses differ from, say, Katie Couric or Barbara Walter's, to pick two women who must consistently be in the public eye.

How much did Hillary Clinton's custom designed pant suits run, or Nancy Pelosi's tailored jackets and pearls?

Fair or not, women in the public eye have to look good, and that kind of good costs a lot of money, and time. The kind of money and time a person of modest means and overbearing job schedule doesn't have...so if the GOP wanted her, they pretty much had to step up.

Let's face it, the complaint about John Edward's haircut was because he's a man (not to mention it was a lousy cut). If John had been Jane no one would have cared.

Marcia said...

I think the fact that she needed a wardrobe makeover for the campaign shows she is a regular person.

It's sort of like saying Cinderella wasn't really an abused stepdaughter/slave, simply because the fairy godmother gave her a fancy dress and a coach-and-four to go to the ball.

Joe M. said...

Joe the Plumber wouldn't look at Palin's nice clothes and seethe with jealousy

Envy, not jealousy. One is jealous of one's own wife, but envious that another has a prettier one.

Bob R said...

Freder- I wasn't saying that anyone should spend $5K per outfit. My entire wardrobe probably goes for less that $3K. I was just quoting basic prices for custom made clothing. There is a big difference between the way custom stuff fits and off the rack. If your job involves the possibility of having any random square inch of your body blown up on a 52" HDTV those differences are easy to see. That Macy's suit that looks so nice in the mirror in the morning looks bunchy and crumpled when you are reaching across the rope line The custom suit conforms to your body no matter what position you are in.

It's not necessary for most professions (and would be seen as an affectation in mine) but there is a visable difference between custom made stuff and off the rack.

Bissage said...

I have a dream that my four little candidates will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the cut of their clothes, but by the content of their character.

ElcubanitoKC said...
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Joe M. said...

And if Joe the Plumber is envious of Palin's wardrobe, what does that say? Does he want to break free?

ElcubanitoKC said...

Marcia said...
I think the fact that she needed a wardrobe makeover for the campaign shows she is a regular person.

It's sort of like saying Cinderella wasn't really an abused stepdaughter/slave, simply because the fairy godmother gave her a fancy dress and a coach-and-four to go to the ball.

9:59 AM


Great analogy!

AJ Lynch said...

This kerfluffle reminds me. Once I watching CNN for some reason and the guest mockingly asked Anderson Cooper if he wore expensive designer suits. She threw out a well-known brand like Bill Blass or something.

Cooper played dumb and he acted as if he did not know what she was talking about and as if he had never heard of the designer.

ElcubanitoKC said...

CORRECTION:
Didn't Sandra Bernhard call Sarah Palin's glasses "cheap plastic piece of sh!t..."? Can't win with these people!

How did I make that mistake? Not enough coffee...

Pogo said...

The cultural divide between the elites and the flyover states has never been more stark.

Palin is being mocked as one of the lumpenproletariat, not "one of us", i.e. not a part of the nomenklatura, those elite few in the media and Washington.

We pitiable proles should not dare hope to improve our situation, to try to supercede our betters. To prevent that they will spread any wealth you may generate to themselves and the nonproductive. Preventing the accumulation of capital cements their positions as elites, even as it mires the proles in a dead end economy.

Once you recognize socialism as a form of nihilism, you can see why its proponents repeatedly choose a method that is doomed to failure ...they choose it precisely because it is doomed. Merely another death cult, not unlike modern Islam.

CarmelaMotto said...

That's right Lars. Obama is getting donations from "Dick Hertz" and "Al Kahalik," but that's not important.

rcocean said...

$1,500 for a good suit, I understand - but why $1500 for 3 pairs of shoes? Who the hell looks at men's shoes? And a belt is a belt.

Question for CPAs - Does Palin have to pay tax on the $150,000 of clothing. Isn't it a gift unless she gives it back?

Simon said...

Should we be surprised that Kenneth Gross, of Skadden Arps, chose to characterize the RNC's compliance with the law as some kind of trickery?

Simon said...

RCocean - they aren't her clothes, so they can't be income. She's just using them; the article notes that they'll be donated to charity after the campaign.

CarmelaMotto said...

Salymandr - what made Edwards so easy to mock with the haircut was that hilarious video of him primping that $400 cut with a hairdresser popping in and our of frame with hairspray.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AE847UXu3Q

mcg said...

Indeed. And if we got that kind of inside footage of Sarah Palin primping I think it would , well, be received considerably more, um, warmly. :) There's a double standard I can believe in.

MadisonMan said...

they aren't her clothes, so they can't be income.

Well, I don't know about IRS laws -- but if someone clothed you for a year, and then you gave the clothes back, that seems like a taxable benefit to me since you're not having to pay for the clothes you are wearing. So not income per se, but since when did the IRS stop at taxing stuff that was only income? :)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If she keeps them she would be taxed at some level. But since the clothes are not hers and are being loaned to her she has no tax obligation.

When the RNC gives them to charity and they are auctioned off...again no taxes. I don't think the RNC gets a charitable tax deduction, however.

Again. Think of the clothing as a uniform that was provided. Just like the Chicago Bears or something. They use the clothing and are not taxed either.

Oxbay said...
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holdfast said...

integrity said...

"Very, very small. Only "Sex & The City" fans and pretentious urbane aholes like me. And I did not know they made men's shoes. They are very ugly men's shoes, look like clown shoes."

For the first time I agree with everything integrity said - they are very ugly shoes and he is an ahole.

MadisonMan said...

Wow, the IRS missing out on a taxing opportunity! Who would have thought it!

Pogo said...

If you drive a car- I’ll tax the street;
If you try to sit - I’ll tax your seat;
If you get too cold - I’ll tax the heat;
If you take a walk - I'll tax your feet.

Taxman!

rcocean said...

Simon and DBQ thanks for the response.

Sir Archy said...

To Professor Althouse.

Dear Madam,

As the Ghost of a Gentleman, dead these 260 Years and more, you may imagine the Nonsense I had seen scribbl'd in News-Papers; yet, I have seldom seen Drivel fitter to wrap Fish than the Piece you quote from The New-York Times.

The worst is the Misapprehension, nay, Incomprehension on the part of the Wretches who scribble such Things, of the Motives & Ambitions of such Tradesmen as Joe the Plumber, newly famous, and so in Fear of his Property and Livelihood from the Attentions of Swarms of Officials, appoint'd in this Age to harass and eat out the Substance of any who would rise above his Station.

In my Day, those who told Lies in News-Papers commonly dwelt in Garrets, and wrote only with a Mind to escape Grub-Street. To this end, they may have flatter'd their Betters, but seldom count'd themselves amongst them. In the modern World, these Scribblers imagine themselves as Persons of Quality, having adopt'd such fine Attitudes as that of noblesse oblige, but with Money & Property not their own. Writers in News-Papers are usually paid only enough to be count'd amongst the middling Classes, yet their Educations have besott'd them with absurd Notions of being at once Noblemen and Levelers.

The Maxims of a Commercial Nation imply the continual Rotation of Wealth; and that a Man may mend his Situation by his Efforts. (I hardly need say I include in this the more ambitious Sort of Woman.) Whilst a certain Order may be necessary in Society, a slavish Adherence to the rigid Forms of Rank and Wealth remain contrary to the Genius of a Nation founded upon the Principles of British Liberty.

Nothing could have been more common in my Day, Madam, that a Tradesman at quitting Time coming from behind his Counter to put on a foppish Bag-Wig, a Silken Waistcoat and Silver Buckles on his Shoes for an Evening on the Town. If he posses'd a Watch to draw from his Pocket with much Shew, the Illusion of his being a Gentleman would have been perfectly creat'd, had he not open'd his Mouth. Yet, with Money enough, and, what is more Important, with a Modicum of Learning & Reason, who's to say he had not become a Gentleman? We may think profitably on Molière's M. Jourdan in this regard.

To close this Letter on a related Matter tangl'd with the French, I heard Mr. Frank, the famous Congressman, yesterday say that too many People had become unaccountably rich, and that 'twas necessary to recover the Money to the Government. Such Sentiments are fitter to M. Colbert, Finance Minster to the late French King, Lewis the XIVth, than to the Servant of a Republic whose foundational Spirit was that all should have an equal Chance to get Riches. The French Monarch, yet justified in his own Mind by feudal Ways, may have thought he possess'd de jure all the Wealth & Property in his Country, only letting it out on Condition of Obligation. In this, as we have learnt, he was much mistaken, and so bankrupt'd his Realm.

The Wealth of a Nation, such as the United States, is creat'd and possess'd by the People, who may grudgingly give a portion to the Government for the Maintenance of Order and the Publick Good; but, in no Wise is the money the Government's in the first Instance, to be recall'd at the Pleasure of a King.

Praying that You and all your Audience may be allow'd the Opportunity to grow unaccountably Rich, and that no one may recall your Wealth, I am,

Madam,

Your humble & obt. Servant,

Sir Archy

former law student said...

While I don't feel antipathy for the rich, I just do not understand why so many people of ordinary means identify so completely with those who earn 50 times what they do.

As they put it they want to get rich too. They look at rich people -- or so they say -- and think -- not: that bastard doesn't know how I struggle -- but: I want to get there too.

But getting rich will severely limit one's chance of eternal Paradise. This might be ok for non-Christians, but most McCain followers claim to be Christian.

Matthew 19:21
Jesus saith to [a young man]: If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. 22 And when the young man had heard this word, he went away sad: for he had great possessions. 23 Then Jesus said to his disciples: Amen, I say to you, that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say to you: It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

I have to argue against those shoes being 'mens' shoes.

Redwings and Tony Lamas are MENS shoes; a green suede piece of footwear not so much.

BJM said...

This is just more media deflection to allow Obama to run out the clock without answering questions.

Pastor_Jeff said...

Last year, I cleverly used the dependent child tax credit to avoid the liability that would have occurred if I'd simply sent less money to the IRS.

ElcubanitoKC said...

former law student said...
While I don't feel antipathy for the rich, I just do not understand why so many people of ordinary means identify so completely with those who earn 50 times what they do.

[...]
11:51 AM


This is a simple explanation: We want to be them. This is something that most left-wing ideologues have missed for the past 90 years: the poor don't want the rich to be poor. The poor want to be just as rich.

Funny that you quote Scripture, FLS.

integrity said...

holdfast said...
integrity said...

"Very, very small. Only "Sex & The City" fans and pretentious urbane aholes like me. And I did not know they made men's shoes. They are very ugly men's shoes, look like clown shoes."

For the first time I agree with everything integrity said - they are very ugly shoes and he is an ahole.



It's one thing for me to call me an ahole, it's another thing for you Holddick to call me an ahole.

May you have a portfolio full of worthless stocks, preferably 100% Lehman. There are a lot of great bargains out there, buy today. And if you use all of your cash on hand you will make it all back really quickly. Do it, invest all your cash today. Don't wait, time is of the essence. Just leave yourself a couple of hundred dollars, you'll be fine.

ElcubanitoKC said...

And by the way, was Jesus referring to the rich or to the usurers in this passage?

And do you forget charity? How would charity be possible if people didn't have someting to share. Remember Jesus told us to share, not to give it all.

William said...

The eye of the needle was the name of a gate in the walls of Jerusalem. It was so called because it was a very narrow gate. In order to pass through it, it was necessary for the camel to be unburdened of its baggage. A rich man can enter the kingdom of heaven but not with his possessions.... I am sure that many asses passed through the eye of the needle without any intermediate unburdening.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

While I don't feel antipathy for the rich, I just do not understand why so many people of ordinary means identify so completely with those who earn 50 times what they do.

FLS: I think there is a world of difference in attitudes between envy and dislike of the ultra wealthy, like the CEOs who have caused this current financial meltdown and identification with successful and wealthy business entrepreneurs.

In the first case people get the sense that the exorbitant salaries and perks are not really deserved and that they are getting those at the expense of other people. This strikes people as unfair.

In the case of people like Joe the Plumber. They identify with the successful and wealthy because they feel/sense that they have earned their success through hard work and smart business moves. Joe and people like him want to have some of that success and want to feel that they too can work their way into being wealthy.

Joe the Plumber wants to be able to buy his bosses company and become a successful and hopefully wealthy boss and business man himself. When the government tries to wage class warfare on Joe's boss he sees it as being waged upon himself, as well, because Joe wants to be the boss someday too. If the government is planning to take away the success and hard work of Joe's boss in order to "spread the wealth" around Joe realizes that this is bad for his future dreams. Punishing Joe's boss is also punishing Joe and taking away his future hopes.

Even the ultra wealthy like Gates and Buffett are looked upon as role models and not as the enemy. Gates and Buffet both earned their success and wealth. They worked hard and worked smart and deserve their wealth. The fact that they are very charitable minded and are "spreading the wealth" of their own accord is also admired.

Spreading the wealth voluntarily instead of being robbed by the government.

People have an innate sense of what is fair and what is right. Working hard and becoming a success, it is fair to be able to keep that success. Working hard and having someone take your success to give to others who didn't and wouldn't work is not fair.

Sigivald said...

To echo Richard Fagin in the words I was going to use anyway:

Are the clueless Left ever going to understand that class envy and class warfare rhetoric are their pets, not those of Everyman?

Maybe it's more "everyman" in Europe; that's the impression I get from sources both Left and Right... but we're talking American politics here, and the American Dream is not class envy, but self-betterment, as Ann describes.

blake said...

It's political Pygamalion.

But they introduced her before they could turn her Alaskan accent into a Katherine Hepburn-style NE patrician.

Shanna said...

While I don't feel antipathy for the rich, I just do not understand why so many people of ordinary means identify so completely with those who earn 50 times what they do.


Most of the people the democrats consider to be "rich" don't make 50 times what they make. They may make 2 or 3 times, or maybe 5 times what you make.

Plus, I'll echo what others have said, it amazes me that so many of them can not understand people who do not have the kind of class envy that makes you want others to suffer. I may want to make more money, but I don't begrudge my boss any of his salary. I just want to get up to that level.

And, alot of people who don't make a lot of money notice these obnoxious progressive tax rates every time they get a bonus, or overtime.

former law student said...

The eye of the needle was the name of a gate in the walls of Jerusalem.

Nope. Here's a good explanation:

First of all, the "devotional" teaching that Jesus was using the word "needle" to represent a small opening in the city wall to enter the city once the gates were closed for the night, is not backed by historical documentation. These small openings in the walls of the city were not built until the 4th Century AD.
...
In Matthew 19:24 the word for "eye" is TRUPAYMA, which means hole, porthole, eye of a needle from TRUPAO, to bore a hole. The word for "needle" is RhAPHIS, which means a sewing needle. So in this text, Jesus was referring to an actual hole in a sewing needle


http://www.bteministries.org/node/160

so many of them can not understand people who do not have the kind of class envy that makes you want others to suffer.

Are those five percent of Americans who earn the most really suffering? How much better do they feel now than they did during the Clinton administration?

Joe and people like him want to have some of that success and want to feel that they too can work their way into being wealthy.

I guess it's like playing the lottery. You gladly pay more taxes now figuring you have a one-in-20 shot of making more than $250K at some point.

blake said...

Oh, and Michelle Malkin did criticize the RNC for this.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I guess it's like playing the lottery. You gladly pay more taxes now figuring you have a one-in-20 shot of making more than $250K at some point.

No. You still don't get it. It isn't about paying more taxes. People expect to pay taxes and in return receive government services like: infrastructure, FAA, military etc.

What they resent is paying more taxes and involuntarily having that money directly given to some one else who doesn't even pay taxes. Taking the hard earned dollars from my pocket and gifting it to someone else who isn't working as much or as hard, is patently unfair.

It is pure socialism and people resent it. Even those who aren't in the top tax brackets can see that it is a bad idea.

Socialism squashes the incentive to do better, to make more. Why should I bust my butt to only have it taken away from me and given to the schmoo down the street who spends his time watching television and drinking beer? The economy slows down because there is no reason to do more than just enough to get by.

Pogo said...

Socialism is nihilism enforced by political policy.

It is intended to squash initiative. It means to level all humans, eventually to nothingness.

former law student said...

Taking the hard earned dollars from my pocket and gifting it to someone else who isn't working as much or as hard, is patently unfair.

Yeah, those Cadillac-drivin' welfare queens bum me out too. What they spend on straightening their hair and dyeing it pink must exceed my food budget for an entire month.

Nichevo said...

fls,


so many of them can not understand people who do not have the kind of class envy that makes you want others to suffer.

Are those five percent of Americans who earn the most really suffering? How much better do they feel now than they did during the Clinton administration?

Joe and people like him want to have some of that success and want to feel that they too can work their way into being wealthy.

I guess it's like playing the lottery. You gladly pay more taxes now figuring you have a one-in-20 shot of making more than $250K at some point.
2:28 PM


Let's try this.

Before my current exciting life in green technology (ask me more! ;>), I was an IT guy in the Internet space. Webmaster, engineer, architect, manager, with an infrastructure focus - the plumbing. Like a plumber, I had a six figure income, and for a consulting gig with a Swiss bank, even formed an S corp.

The point is, I am looking to spend $300-$500 tops on a suit. Now I want an $800-$1200 suit for that money, but in any case I can certainly tell the difference (Paul Stuart has some nice stuff!) between a decent suit and a rag. Or maybe I'm wearing rags, but nobody I know has mentioned it to me.

Even $800 seems high, the $2000 Hugo Boss suits the guy talked about seem no better than mine. I had a nice Redaeli once, mmm...that might have been the $500 one...stolen, grr...but in any case, a fellow today was just talking to me about a $10K ice-cream suit he had bespoke at, I believe, Rag & Bone in New York. For a gadget! For an outfit you'll wear what, three times a year?

You certainly need to pay for value, they last longer, feel better, look better, better cloth. For me it's all about the feel, I could just as easily pick out the suit I want with my eyes closed (runs in the family I think). The best suit is the one with the best "hand," I think is the word. I can certainly pick out the most expensive jacket in a rack by feel, I've been doing that since I was about six.

In any case - it would be nice to have one's horizons opened; to see and feel what you get for that money. Just like it would be nice to have a checkride in a Lamborghini, to see what you're missing. Maybe that will be part of the VR experience they provide in Obama's remake of Soylent Green ;>

But I digress. The finer things in life are a good thing. In and of themselves. Even a better pen or a better pipe cutter is a thing of joy.

And this pertains to acts as well as things...what I mean is, what I was thinking of when I started this comment was:

I was coming home from midtown working one of these jobs years ago. I think I was wearing an olive double-breasted Adolfo that really suited me. Another markdown at Syms, or maybe it's one that I got at Austin-Burke in Miami - I love that place because they have the real tropical-weight fabrics, and I always run hot, but they had nice stuff at good prices - I probably paid about $300, gee, ten, fifteen years ago?

Black wingtips, (nice ones I can't find the style anymore, they are beat to hell, I finally got Florsheims with wack squarish tips which I dislike personally but which are actually nice enough; probably $80-120, I had spent on those shoes. They were actually OK thru two resolings, but are just a bit small on me now, and don't owe me anything), suspenders which I love, some sort of OTC socks, whatever - my whole works did not exceed a grand that day including my Coach wallet and my Hide Inside attache case.

I sat coming home from work and watched a man sit down across from me. His haircut that day probably cost more than my wardrobe, his shirt probably cost more than my wardrobe, his cufflinks probably, his shoes certainly, definitely his tan. A real piece of work. Not a big guy, just probably a piece of the food chain a few layers up from me and directly in finance rather than in financial IT - a broker or trader probably.

Anyway, it was summer and I almost certainly had my jacket off, this was before prevalent AC in the subways. He had no jacket that I remember; it would have cost more than my car of course.

Now we're getting to the point. He was also shutting down for the day - we exchanged a looked and smiled at each other - he was unfastening his shirt cuffs and rolling up his sleeves just as I had.

But not just as I had. He rolled up three times, then folded the cuff in half upon itself, then twisted back the cuff behind the elbow. In this way they somehow looked more elegant and seemed more secure and less binding. I resolved to follow his example henceforth.

I guess you would want to take his shoes or his suit or his wallet? Because he shouldn't have those things, right? Possessions that expensive shouldn't be sold because nobody you approve of could afford to buy them, only Trumpian scum puppies. If there were no rich people to drive up the prices, you could get shoes like that for $20 bucks! Right? Hate him, eh?

I couldn't imagine wanting anything from that guy. I do remember wanting to look like him, thinking that he must have an interesting life, wondering what he worries about, because EVERYBODY has problems, don't fool yourself.

If you think it's all about the money it is - for you.

Some people just want to be bigger fleas. Or maybe it is smaller fleas?

Nichevo said...

Oh, no, I would have liked the secret of his success. I should have gone up and said hi, maybe he would have hired me.

blake said...

Dude, even if they're driving a Hyundai and living on Ho-Hos, it's still not a wise policy.

Setting aside "fairness", which to the Democrats means, "Look, that guy has tons of stuff, and that guy has nothing: That's not FAIR!" and to the Republicans means, "Look, I worked hard for my stuff and they're taking it from me to give it some guy who's not working at all: That's not FAIR!", there's the question of workability.

Multiple generations of welfare receivers should not be possible. The state educates them, gives them money, gives them "affordable housing". If they still can't succeed with all this, maybe the problem is the state.

Any calculation of workability also has to take into account the bad actors. Not just the Cadillac welfare queens, but the Alinsky types who seek to destroy the system by using it against itself.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Yeah, those Cadillac-drivin' welfare queens bum me out too. What they spend on straightening their hair and dyeing it pink must exceed my food budget for an entire month.

Now you understand (although I know you still don't fucking get it)

True story. Many years ago I worked at a bank and started out as a teller. My gross wages for a month were about $1100. GROSS!!!

Deduct taxes, health insurance share of cost, gasoline to get to work, child care for the hours until I got home, and the clothing I needed to wear to look good. Deduct rent and utilities, I was lucky to have any money left over for food or clothing for my daughter.

I stood on my feet for 8 hours a day. My car was an old clunker that was barely able to make it back and forth.

On Welfare Payday....the girls in their new cars with all the kids in the back would pull up to the drive up and cash checks that were more than I was grossing in a month. They were also collecting food stamps to the tune of $300 to 400 a month. I was lucky to be able to have enough left over for milk. No child care problems for them. In fact the more kids they had the better the "payday". Free medical care too.

How easy would it have been to give up and become a welfare queen myself? Really easy. But that was not how I was raised. Instead I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and made a success of myself.

Do you wonder why I resent the fucking hell out of being taxed to death so that the welfare queens can have some of my money in the name of fairness? No..... you probably don't and never will.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

cash checks that were more than I was grossing

Change that to: more than I was netting

Michael said...

Interviewer: To clarify, so you support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants?

Palin: I do because I understand why people would want to be in America. To seek the safety and prosperity, the opportunities, the health that is here. It is so important that yes, people follow the rules so that people can be treated equally and fairly in this country.

Synova said...

Ha! Maybe the McCain campaign reads Ace of Spades and actually listened when I commented on that first "Joe the Plumber" ad that is was horrible, terrible, repulsive... bad bad bad.

I watched it and *I* wanted to grab the people by the shoulders and shake them and yell at them, "It's free money you twit!"

Because it entirely missed the point that what Joe wanted was to move UP. It wasn't claiming membership in an economic class, it was an expression of the desire to do better, get *ahead*. And that's missing in the first ad.

knowitall said...

The clothing is not what is going to decide anything, so the mainstream media should find something else to talk about. They didn't succeed with her being under investigation, now they're going after her shopping. What about the Wall Street shoppers that the liberals urged us to bailout?

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