January 27, 2009

After Obama said that congressional Republicans shouldn't listen to Rush Limbaugh, Rush Limbaugh responded.

From the transcript of yesterday's show:
[T]he Great Unifier's plan, is to isolate... elected Republicans from their voters and supporters. He wants to make the argument about me. He wants to marginalize me. He wants me to be thought of as such an extremist that no mainstream Republican would ever associate with me....

He needs Republicans for cover only on his stimulus package. You gotta understand, folks, he does not need Republican votes. Maybe one or two in the Senate is all he needs and he doesn't need a single Republican in the House to get this done. Now, his definition of bipartisanship is when a bunch of Republicans cave on their own principles and agree with him and give him what he wants. That's magical, that's marvelous, why, that's bipartisanship....

I don't think he's afraid of [me]. He's the president of the United States. This is a political play to marginalize me so that Republicans are afraid to associate with my ideas or any of us. He wants conservatism, mainstream conservatism to be thought of the way you and I think of communism. He wants it thought of as the most foreign, the most offensive, the most extreme manner of belief possible. There are no elected Republicans who are espousing conservatism today, so he's gotta find somebody who is. I happen to be the most prominent voice, but there are many others, so he focuses on me. This is a Saul Alinsky radical rule number 13: Pick the target, me, isolate it, polarize it.... This is a purposeful effort to get rid of conservatism as a mainstream way of thinking forever in this country, make no mistake about it.
Well put — although, if you look at the whole transcript, he took forever to really nail this point.

Among many liberals I have come into contact with over the years, the very idea of conservativism is ugly and poisonous. Now, many conservatives take the same attitude about liberalism, and they've been pretty successful in getting the general public to think that way too. In general public discourse, liberal politicians shirk the "liberal" label. Remember this:



So I can certainly understand liberals wanting to make the word "conservatism" into something conservatives would run away from like that. And I can believe that Barack Obama would like to make that happen and sees a focused attack on Limbaugh as an effective technique.

149 comments:

downtownlad said...

Conservatives have caused two great Depressions in the last 80 years. It's really irrelevant what Obama says. Conservatives have discredited themselves all on their own.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Among many liberals I have come into contact with over the years, the very idea of conservativism is ugly and poisonous. Now, many conservatives take the same attitude about liberalism, and they've been pretty successful in getting the general public to think that way too.

And yet, the public voted for a president who was criticized for being too liberal, and they voted to have a liberally controlled congress. If that's success on the part of conservatives, I'd hate to see what failure is! Democrats might hide from the liberal label, but the voters sure do like their policies.

Rush might be conservative, but he comes off as more of a circus act than a serious person. And the average moderate, non-ideological person (the majority of American voters) doesn't take him seriously. Rush was marginalized long before Obama took him on the other day.

PatCA said...

"Among many liberals I have come into contact with over the years, the very idea of conservativism is ugly and poisonous."

Yes, and I think party politics has contributed to his sad state of affairs. Reps and Dems both use social issues to distract and enrage voters so that they can spend their way to permanent power.

Who has run as an economic conservative, or even explained what it means? The dearth of education put forth by the Republicans on these issues is not an accident.

Salamandyr said...

Downtownlad, conservatism isn't even 80 years old. So, try again.

fcai said...

Don't use any facts, that will just confuse the little liberal fellow. There, there, DTL - it's all ok - the scary conservatives are whatever you want them to be...

Diamondhead said...

Conservatives have caused two great Depressions in the last 80 years.

Sounds like you've been thinking about this a lot.

TosaGuy said...

Dems did not run on liberalism in the last two elections...they ran against a single person--GWB. Moderate/conservative dems beat moderate/liberal republicans in swing districts--running on a platform of balancing budgets and promising to NOT be liberal in the culture wars. Obama ran on (bogus) middle class tax cuts and against GWB.

When liberals run on their true beliefs ala Walter Mondale, we all know what happens.

TMink said...

"He wants conservatism, mainstream conservatism to be thought of the way you and I think of communism."

You are correct sir!

That is one of the reasons Rush makes the big bucks.

Trey

Defenseman Emeritus said...

"And yet, the public voted for a president who was criticized for being too liberal, and they voted to have a liberally controlled congress."

The only place Obama was criticized for being too liberal was on right-wing blogs. No mainstream media outlet ever criticized him about anything.

"If that's success on the part of conservatives, I'd hate to see what failure is! Democrats might hide from the liberal label, but the voters sure do like their policies."

And from 2000 - 2006, the voters voted for a Republican Congress and a Republican president. What we're seeing now is purely cyclical. Don't make the mistake of giving the Democrats too much credit for having desirable policies, unless you were also saying that voters were enamored of conservative policies circa 2002 or so.

dbp said...

Doesn't it seem a little un-presidential for the POTUS to be singling-out a commenter for criticism? I think so.

Besides, every liberal I know has: A) Never listened to Rush. B) Thinks he is the devil incarnate. All the while Limbaugh has promoted what can best be described as mainstream consurvative thinking.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Democrats might hide from the liberal label, but the voters sure do like their policies.

Zach

when you grow up some more and actually have some real world experience beyond mom and dad's basement, you find that politics are cyclical. Conservatism took over big in the 1990s and now liberals are doing it at the end of this decade. Give it 5-10 years and conservatism will be back.

Think of it as fashion.

Will said...

Downtownload, I mean downtownlad... please read a little history before commenting upon history.

Hoover should never have signed the Smoot-Hawley tariff bill, which prolonged the depression. But conservatives caused it? Not even close.

I guess by saying "two great depressions" you're trying to make some point about our current situation, but the LEI's aren't as bad right now as they were even in 1982.

Dark Eden said...

"Well put — although, if you look at the whole transcript, he took forever to really nail this point."

This is Rush. He meanders. Its part of his charm. He has three hours a day to fill after all.

John said...

Most liberals live in bubbles. They don't know any conservatives. They fear and dispise anyone who isn't like them and almost never read anything about or written by the other side. Conservatives in contrast get liberal dogma shoved their throat in school and university and have daily interaction with liberals and the liberal leaning media. As a result, liberals tend to see conservatives as some kind of inhuman bogieman full of fundies and gun nuts and people who live in Birmingham and eat at Olive Garden.

TosaGuy said...

Rush has been playing the public relations and political games far longer than Obama and with the greatest level of success that can be found in his profession.

Obama has never directly tangled with someone who will actually fight back.

Should be fun.

Bissage said...

There is some jarring (yet strangely topical) mention of Barack Obama in the Wikipedia article on Saul Alinsky , the very same article “nominated to be checked for its neutrality.”

Coincidence?

Hmmmmmm . . .

** strokes chin **

traditionalguy said...

"Conservative" defined as a collection of ideas has not held together well of late. The very success of the Pax-Americana's world trade system encouraged under the 1st Bush and 2nd Bush administrations has left many digruntled people in its wake. The Adam Smith school of free markets has worked too well.The Americans who still have jobs are afloat in a sea of people who have lost jobs to poor foreign workers who work for food. Meanwhile the old social conservative issues, like keeping gays suppressed, have lost their ability to excite anyone. The National Defense conervatives are also passe today since the threats seems to be over with, while the defeated Arabs are in a truce mode. Heck, even Putin can see how divided we have become and wants another crack at us. Who can lead conservatives at a time like this? I believe a younger voice than ElRushbo is needed to re-energise us. Once the conservative-house reunites itself around a strong leader, then Obama's magic carpet ride will be over.

Bissage said...

THERMITE!1!1!!!!

Paul Zrimsek said...

Does this make Rush a nattering nabob of negativism?

Rambino said...

I disagree.

I took that comment entirely different. I took Obama to mean that Limbaugh represents the confrontational partisanship that Obama is trying to avoid.

I took Obama to say that he will listen to ideas brought forth honestly, but that thinking of the Democrats and GOP as separate teams is not constructive.

And, frankly, I couldn't agree more - Limbaugh is vitriol. Several congressional leaders have shown that you can be a conservative voice without being a partisan hack. They are the example that should be followed, not the "us vs. them" mentality espoused by Messrs. Limbaugh, Hannity, et al.

Jason (the commenter) said...

People can hate Limbaugh all they want, but Obama just gave him street credit. For the next four years Limbaugh will say "the government doesn't want you to hear what I have to say." And he will have the transcript to prove it.

Presidents in the past have mentioned his name and it has never ended well for them. Limbaugh is like an idiological saint who has the power to convert people. And even if he's not converting he can make people question or worse, laugh. Humor is a power Obama does not have and there's nothing he can do against it.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I took Obama to say that he will listen to ideas brought forth honestly, but that thinking of the Democrats and GOP as separate teams is not constructive.

"I won" was just a slip of the tongue then?

Pogo said...

The current government is the same trough, different pigs.

Nothing the Democrats do now can abort the inexorable slide into Depression. At present, they are merely lining the pockets of the businesses that failed. The rest of us are screwed.

It's just begun; we're one year into it. It is likely to last 10-15 years. It's going to get very ugly. Hyperinflation. No safety net. Shortages. Mass unemployment. Violence.

What Obama does or doesn't do won't make a goddamned bit of difference. Who he expects to blame don't make no never mind either.

Living beyond your means always ends badly. We have met the enemy, and he is us.

former law student said...

Better to single out a commenter like Limbaugh than someone who can actually deliver votes, like Boehner, if you want to criticize Republican ideas.

his definition of bipartisanship is when a bunch of Republicans cave on their own principles and agree with him and give him what he wants. That's magical, that's marvelous, why, that's bipartisanship....

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan: in this present crisis, tax cuts are not the solution to our problem; tax cuts helped cause our problems.

After hearing what Boehner had to say on Sunday, I'm convinced Republicans would prescribe cigarettes to lung cancer patients.

Rich B said...

"Humor is a power Obama does not have and there's nothing he can do against it."

Amen. I noticed that he didn't look too happy at the Geithner swearing-in ceremony - probably pissed that he only got 60 votes. Those little Republican twerps didn't lay down when they were supposed to. What's a little tax evasion when the sky is falling?

John said...

"To paraphrase Ronald Reagan: in this present crisis, tax cuts are not the solution to our problem; tax cuts helped cause our problems."

Our problem is that the government is not taking enough money from the productive and giving it to the unproductive? So the sollution is to borrow trillions of dollars to spend on make work infrastructure programs and birth control and outright theft of the treasury that will ruin or credit rating and leave the country with no choice in a few years but to either have massive austerity or massive inflation? Are you really that stupid or just trying to be funny?

Zachary Paul Sire said...

when you grow up some more and actually have some real world experience beyond mom and dad's basement, you find that politics are cyclical.

Nothing in my comment suggests that politics isn't cyclical. I'm talking about what's going on right now, which is obviously a tough time for conservatives who want to win elections. And, if you you knew anything about my "real world experience" you might reconsider using that tired old tactic.

Bruce Hayden said...

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan: in this present crisis, tax cuts are not the solution to our problem; tax cuts helped cause our problems.

In your wet dreams.

Harsh Pencil said...

"After hearing what Boehner had to say on Sunday, I'm convinced Republicans would prescribe cigarettes to lung cancer patients."

And why not give cigarettes to lung cancer patients?
They're going to die anyway, and you would deprive them of that last little pleasure so that you can wave your finger tut tut tut at them.

Liberals really are, deep down, totalitarians. Everyone is free to do whatever they want to, as long as the liberal agrees with it.

Henry said...

To paraphrase former law student:

"in this present crisis, debt is not the solution to our problem; debt helped cause our problems."

In his inauguration address Obama stated that his standard for government was not its size but whether or not it worked:

Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end.

When Obama makes good on the "no" answer, then he can call himself bipartisan.

In the meantime, I wonder how much pork, debt, and corporate welfare the spending package can entail until liberals start to question it. Is there a limit?

former law student said...

Our problem is that the government is not taking enough money from the productive and giving it to the unproductive?

Interesting spin.

Part of our problem is that W. fought two wars on credit. The analogy would be me buying a Bentley and charging it to my grandchildren.

Cutting taxes on high earners did nothing to help our economy, which is just one step away from freefall.

LonewackoDotCom said...

The problem isn't just from BHO. From this: John Weaver, a former senior aide to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), said that Republicans must be careful not to allow their Democratic rivals to paint them all with the brush of Limbaugh. "The Democrats and the far left will do all they can to grab electoral turf," said Weaver. "And one sure way to do it is take some of the most controversial voices on the extreme right -- like Limbaugh and [Alaska Gov. Sarah] Palin -- and try to insist they speak for all members of the center/right movement."

Regarding it not being presidential for BHO to single out Rush, at least it's better than what he did during the campaign. In May 2008, BHO came close to accusing RL of inciting violence, and he did so in order to help illegal activity.

Then, in September, a BHO ad outrageously lied about two RL quotes. Even the NYT and JoeKlein eventually spoke out against that ad.

former law student said...

And why not give cigarettes to lung cancer patients?

I said "prescribe."

As if cigarette smoking was part of a rational treatment plan.

Diamondhead said...

"To paraphrase Ronald Reagan: in this present crisis, tax cuts are not the solution to our problem; tax cuts helped cause our problems."

Care to explain how?

SteveR said...

I'm not going to be surprised if Rush turns out to be correct. While we can get hung up on labels, the bottom line is Republicans who work with Democrats to get democratic ideas done, offer nothing different. Look how well that worked for McCain.

This notion that Obama, Pelosi, Reid, et al will listen to and seriously consider reasonable Republican ideas not only ignores reality but does not take into account one very important element: Rahm Emanuel. He's not going to let that happen. No freakin' way.

BTW, never knew Hoover was a conservative and when was the second depression?

Bruce Hayden said...

Cutting taxes on high earners did nothing to help our economy, which is just one step away from freefall.

You seem to have a problem with understanding cause and effect. Let me give you a hint - when were the Bush tax cuts? How many years ago?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Nothing in my comment suggests that politics isn't cyclical. I'm talking about what's going on right now, which is obviously a tough time for conservatives who want to win elections.

Your comment implied people preferred liberal policies. Talk to me in 2010 and lets see.

And, if you you knew anything about my "real world experience" you might reconsider using that tired old tactic.

While past peformance isn't indicative of future results, based upon your current commentary on politics, I'll stand by that statement.

Diamondhead said...

"The Democrats and the far left will do all they can to grab electoral turf," said Weaver. "And one sure way to do it is take some of the most controversial voices on the extreme right -- like Limbaugh and [Alaska Gov. Sarah] Palin -- and try to insist they speak for all members of the center/right movement."

If the "center/right movement" consists of a bunch of morons trying to get invitations to NY and DC cocktail parties, then no, getting painted with the same brush as "extremists" Limbaugh and Palin would not be good for the "center/right movement."

TMink said...

"I took Obama to mean that Limbaugh represents the confrontational partisanship that Obama is trying to avoid."

I listened to former senator Rick Santorum talk about "working" with Obama in the Senate. He described Obama as arrogant and disrespectful, showing up 45 minutes late for a meeting with other Senators then telling the Repoblicans that there would be no meeting because Obama did not need their votes.

I wonder if what happened was Obama lied and you believed him.

Trey

former law student said...

You seem to have a problem with understanding cause and effect.

Please connect the dots for me.

Hoosier Daddy said...

After hearing what Boehner had to say on Sunday, I'm convinced Republicans would prescribe cigarettes to lung cancer patients

You should hope they do. How else to pay for SCHIPP?

Yeah those nasty tax cuts were bad. Spending was fine though.

Bruce Hayden said...

Part of our problem is that W. fought two wars on credit. The analogy would be me buying a Bentley and charging it to my grandchildren.

To be technical, it was one war with two fronts.

Nevertheless, at least in Iraq there is a light rapidly approaching as we near the end of the tunnel.

In any case, this seems to be a silly argument from someone who appears to be backing the President and the Democrats in Congress in their economic plan.

At least in the example of the War on Terror that you seem to think was such a waste of money, one could argue that the money was being spent on protecting us. But what is the argument for mortgaging our grandchildren for all the goodies in the currently proposed "stimulus" bill?

I think one of the more humorous aspects of that is that there is apparently money in the bill for Planned Parenthood and other abortion services, and, thus, these groups are being bribed to abort more future taxpayers who would be the ones to pay off the money borrowed to abort themselves.

Bruce Hayden said...

Please connect the dots for me.

Ok, let me ask the question again, when were the Bush tax cuts?

chuck b. said...

"There are no elected Republicans who are espousing conservatism today, so he's gotta find somebody who is."

Well, there are no elected Democrats espousing truly liberal values either. Or are there? Who's to say. Were Bill and Hillary true liberals? Rush has certainly wanted you to think so since 1992. He picked his target, fixed it, isolated it, polarized it... Is that supposed to be a leftist radical's strategy? It's all a big show.

I do hope the conservative pendulum swings back strong. The pendulum must be kept in good working order.

former law student said...

tax cuts are not the solution to our problem; tax cuts helped cause our problems."

Care to explain how?


In a nutshell, the government cut its income, then spent a lot of money it didn't have on a war that wasn't necessary. Now that we need a whole bunch of money to bail out the bankers who, unsupervised, got themselves in trouble because Phil Gramm didn't want to regulate credit default swaps (COMMODITIES FUTURES MODERNIZATION ACT OF 2000), the cupboard is bare and our credit line is insufficient.

former law student said...

when were the Bush tax cuts?

Now, right now. They started soon after W. took office, and they persist to this day.

Hoosier Daddy said...

In a nutshell, the government cut its income, then spent a lot of money it didn't have on a war that wasn't necessary.

Never mind that Obama's 'stimulus' package is costing more than the Iraq war now going on 6 years old.

Oh I'll grant you the administration spent money but singling out Iraq as one of the main causes doesn't pass the laugh test.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I took Obama to mean that Limbaugh represents the confrontational partisanship that Obama is trying to avoid.

It seems to me that Obama singling out one person, Rush Limbaugh, is pretty confrontational in and of itself. I would say it is an instance of the pot calling the kettle black if it wouldn't cause all the libs on this forum to squeal racism. :-D

What next? An enemies list? Black listing and destroying people's careers because they are conservative?

PJ said...

I agree with him, but what could conservatism possibly mean after this bailout? If you're going to forcibly take people's money in such huge amounts to give to the financial system so they can lend it back at interest, then people are naturally going to want a share of the profits of that system and the businesses it helped stay afloat.

former law student said...

Spending was fine though.

Apparently for Bush fans, it was:

From a Slate article in 2004:
Under Bush, overall discretionary spending (i.e., with defense spending included) has increased every single year. It's now 31 percent higher than it was when Bush arrived.

http://www.slate.com/id/2095237/

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Nothing the Democrats do now can abort the inexorable slide into Depression. At present, they are merely lining the pockets of the businesses that failed. The rest of us are screwed.

It's just begun; we're one year into it. It is likely to last 10-15 years. It's going to get very ugly. Hyperinflation. No safety net. Shortages. Mass unemployment. Violence.


Agreed.

Henry said...

But former law student, what do you believe?

Do you want more spending and more taxes? Do you want less spending and more taxes? Do you want less spending and less taxes? Do you want more spending and less taxes?

You seem attached to Obama's view of things. He wants more spending and less taxes. Is this what you want?

And if you do want more spending and less taxes, are you happy with the type of spending and tax cuts being proposed? Do you like the President's ideas or David Obey's?

What do you believe?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

From a Slate article in 2004:
Under Bush, overall discretionary spending (i.e., with defense spending included) has increased every single year. It's now 31 percent higher than it was when Bush arrived.


FLS: This is why Cnservatives did not like or approve of Bush. You need to make an effort to be able to distinguish between Republican and Conservative.

Not all Republicans are Conservatives and not all Conservatives are Republicans. Think back to your college logic course.

TosaGuy said...

Obama hasn't told FLS what to believe yet.

DKWalser said...

"Spending was fine though."

Apparently for Bush fans, it was:


Not many on the right were fans of Bush's "big government conservatism". Speaking only for myself, I thought he got the major thrust on the war right (with lots of things wrong on the implementation). On just about everything else, I disagreed with Bush. He spent too much and he used government power too often to try and "improve" private decision making. My only quibble with Obama is that he's likely to spend even more than Bush, regulate more, interfere more with private decision making, and get the major thrust on defending our country wrong. Other than that, I'm sure he'll be a great improvement.

Larry J said...

"To paraphrase Ronald Reagan: in this present crisis, tax cuts are not the solution to our problem; tax cuts helped cause our problems."

Tax rates were cut and revenues increased. The crux of the problem is that spending increased even faster. This is a long standing problem caused by both sides. Living beyond our means is a problem both for individuals and now for the government. Much of the so-called stimulus package is pork spending that will do little or nothing to improve the economy at the expense of an additional trillion dollars of debt.

Simon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simon said...

Zachary Paul Sire said...
"And yet, the public voted for a president who was criticized for being too liberal, and they voted to have a liberally controlled congress."

Nope. The people don't vote on who controls Congress. The people of each district voted, and as it happened, the people of a majority of the districts preferred Democratic (not necessarily liberal, but liberal enough) candidates. As to their voting in a President - they voted in the last season of American Idol, and in greater numbers than they voted for Obama, at that. Sometimes smart people make mistakes.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

So we finally get to the crux of the problem. If Bush's spending is the root cause of the current recession, the only obvious cure is to triple what he spent, right? That should fix everything, right?

Sloanasaurus said...

Conservatives have caused two great Depressions in the last 80 years. It's really irrelevant what Obama says. Conservatives have discredited themselves all on their own.

Wow! Well, liberals have caused two world wars, a cold war, and a wasted war in Vietnam in the last 80 years. Ill take the depressions over the wars as its better to be unemployed for a short time than dead.

Bruce Hayden said...

In a nutshell, the government cut its income, then spent a lot of money it didn't have on a war that wasn't necessary. Now that we need a whole bunch of money to bail out the bankers who, unsupervised, got themselves in trouble because Phil Gramm didn't want to regulate credit default swaps (COMMODITIES FUTURES MODERNIZATION ACT OF 2000), the cupboard is bare and our credit line is insufficient.

Note how he carefully ignored the Community Reinvestment Act and how it was utilized to pressure banks to loan to those who couldn't afford their loans, that Fannie and Freddie (most of whose top management were Clinton retreads) expediting this subprime lending, and that both Bush (43) and many Republicans were trying to police this as early as 2004, and being thwarted by the Democrats, notably Dodd, Frank, and Rangle.

So, somehow it would have magically all been been ok if credit default swaps had had more regulation, but the banks lending under pressure to borrowers who couldn't afford their loans, and that lending being expedited by Freddie and Fannie, wouldn't have had any effect.

I also find it humorous that you think spending money on a war to protect us from terrorists was unnecessary, but spending it on all the sorts of things found in the "stimulus" bill is a good use for the money.

Oh, and tax cuts dc not necessarily translate into revenue (not "income" since it isn't earned, but is rather confiscated) cuts to the government. And, indeed, the revenue to the government went UP, not down after the tax cuts. You are engaging in what is termed "static analysis", the sort of simplistic analysis that was discredited some 25 years ago.

You may be able to argue that government revenue may have been higher over the period of the War on Terror if the taxes had not been cut. You would probably lose. But you cannot any more argue with a straight face and any credibility that the amount of revenue "loss" can be computed by multiplying the tax cuts by the revenue base, because it is well established that tax cuts CAN affect GDP.

Chip Ahoy said...

Yes, this insight being discussed is true. And as you are echoing Rush Limbaugh with a sympathetic resounding and not ridiculing like you're supposed to, that marks you as conservative too, not just astutely cynical. Do you hear, Apostate? Now, get with the program. We have progressive purity to concern ourselves and all impurities will find themselves first ridiculed and eventually culled. This is what makes you laughable to the risible likes of Media Matters.

Diamondhead said...

[quote]In a nutshell, the government cut its income, then spent a lot of money it didn't have on a war that wasn't necessary. Now that we need a whole bunch of money to bail out the bankers who, unsupervised, got themselves in trouble because Phil Gramm didn't want to regulate credit default swaps (COMMODITIES FUTURES MODERNIZATION ACT OF 2000), the cupboard is bare and our credit line is insufficient.[/quote]

This is like crashing your car because you drove drunk and then blaming the crash on buying the car. One has nothing to do with the other. The spending is a problem but you cannot really connect it to the current recession. And the lack of regulation over the credit default swap market, while also a problem, also shares only part of the blame for the current crisis. Blaming the Bush tax cuts for the current mess is just a lazy formulation for demagogues who'd like to take power. Or wanted to, I guess.

ricpic said...

So according to Althouse liberals and conservatives are just mirror images of each other. Liberals say bad things about conservatives and conservatives say bad things about liberals and it all balances out.

The hitch in that argument is that conservatives are passionate about preserving liberty, which means that if and when conservatives are in the ascendant liberals are perfectly free to go on arguing their case. Liberals on the other hand are passionate about bringing heaven to earth, which means that conservatives, who oppose The Plan in the interest of preserving liberty, must be silenced, obliterated, crushed.

So it's not quite as balanced as Madame Cruel Neutrality makes it out to be.

garage mahal said...

Note how he carefully ignored the Community Reinvestment Act and how it was utilized to pressure banks to loan to those who couldn't afford their loans...

I bet you can't provide one link to one instance the CRA pressuring one bank.

John Stodder said...

It's a lot easier for Democrats to argue that anyone who hates Rush Limbaugh or George W. Bush should vote for the stimulus package than to actually defend the package for what it is. Because that can't be done. What the Democrats fear is that Boehner actually has the high road in this debate. I mean, wow, we've just come out of a period where the word "earmarks" became political poison, and we're about to pass a stimulus bill that, from what I can tell, could be renamed the Omnibus Earmark and Pet Project Bill of 2009. If a Congressman want it, by definition that's stimulus. That's how Pelosi countered Stephanapolous on the issue of family planning money being included in the bill. She made some garden variety argument for it and then tied that garden variety argument to the need to not question her because economic stimulus was of surpassing importance.

I think Obama is actually making a strategic error in trying to demonize the bill's opponents as merely fans of Rush Limbaugh. The old cliche, "never get into an argument with anyone who buys ink by the barrel" applies here as well. As popular as Obama is right now, he doesn't have 15 hours a week of unchallenged airtime to make his case. In the short run, he might win a fight with Limbaugh, but in the long run, if Obama personalizes the fight, Limbaugh will crush him -- despite the fact that few liberals listen to him (or admit to it anyway). Like the media in general, Limbaugh is not accountable for anything, while Obama as president will be held accountable for everything that happens on his watch. Obama will give Limbaugh new material on an almost daily basis that can be used against him, while Obama has already played his card.

The sad thing is, Obama probably knows that Pelosi and Reid have utterly corrupted his stimulus package, and that therefore it won't work. He should be hoping Limbaugh is able to somehow get the public to demand it be scaled back and focused on real stimulus programs, but of course he's not experienced enough yet to engineer something like that.

dannyboy said...

It's just begun; we're one year into it. It is likely to last 10-15 years. It's going to get very ugly. Hyperinflation. No safety net. Shortages. Mass unemployment. Violence.

Testify my brother. We’re talking real wrath of God type stuff. Fire and brimstone from the heavens, forty years of darkness, rivers and seas boiling, the dead arising from the grave, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!

Big Mike said...

@formerlawstudent, if you had only stayed awake in your Calculus AB classes you'd be aware of Rolle's theorem. If a continuously differentiable function is equal at two points, then it has an extreme point somewhere between those two points (I'm paraphrasing, and I'm already nervous that I've simplified its description too much.)

Although Rolle was a 17th century mathematician it was not until late in the 20th when his theorem was famously applied to taxation rates by Arthur Laffer (Laffer himself doubts he was first, but he certainly popularized the concept.) At a tax rate of zero the government collects zero dollars and at some higher rate (if not 100% then certainly at 101%) the government also collects zero dollars because no sane individual would work for wages if they paid as much or more in taxes as what they earned.

Applying Rolle's theorem, there is some optimal tax rate. Where is it? Because if our current tax rates are already to the right of that maximum then Obama can raise rates all he wants but he will take in progressively less tax revenue. If we're to the left of the maximum then Obama can do better by raising rates, and McCain would have done worse by cutting taxes. So where are we? I note that George Bush did better raising tax revenue from the "wealthy" using a lower tax rate than Bill Clinton did. So that suggests to me that George W Bush was on or about the maximum.

That's a long answer to your short question, but taxation is not a trivial topic.

Pogo said...

"...Obama probably knows that Pelosi and Reid have utterly corrupted his stimulus package, and that therefore it won't work."

Whether corrupted or uncorrupted, it cannot work. Simply ain't possible. What's their theory, that I'm broke, so that I'm going to stimulate the economy into working again by printing dollar bills?

WTF?
What is the diagnosis here anyway? An insufficient number of devalued dollars?

Nope.
We spent more than we were earning, for 25 years. All the corruption does is move the chips around in a poker game that's already bust.

The real answer is: Big pain now, or big pain a little later and for a lot longer.

The metaphor is not jump-starting a car. The more correct metaphor is hacking back a plant that has overgrown it's roots. You can only hope the damned thing lives. Adding water or grafting on new branches is totally wrong.



"We’re talking real wrath of God type stuff."
Hardly. Read about the Great Depression sometime. It all happened then, too. I'm glad you can still laugh about it; I just applied for concealed carry myself. There have been riots already in Iceland. Iceland.

But 'it can't happen here', right?

ricpic said...

The sad thing is, Obama probably knows that Pelosi and Reid have utterly corrupted his stimulus package, and that therefore it won't work.

Yes. As the Germans used to say: If Hitler only knew.

Except, in this case, the expression would have to be somewhat modified: Hitler probably knows that his evil underlings have undercut the implementation of his marvelous plans for the German people.

dannyboy said...

Hardly. Read about the Great Depression sometime. It all happened then, too. I'm glad you can still laugh about it;

Just trying to apply some levity. Although it woudn't hurt to probably stock up on Scotch.

I just applied for concealed carry myself. There have been riots already in Iceland. Iceland.

I'd go full bore and get yourself a Benelli 12 guage autoloader like I have. Lightweight, inertia loading and can cut a bad person in two at 15 feet. Ok so it makes a mess but personal safety over cleanliness you know.

Iceland eh? Are you sure it wasn't Bjork having a shitfit?

Original Mike said...

tax cuts are not the solution to our problem; tax cuts helped cause our problems.

Another graduate of the Laura D'Angelo Tyson Correspondence School of Economics.

Bruce Hayden said...

"I mean, wow, we've just come out of a period where the word "earmarks" became political poison, and we're about to pass a stimulus bill that, from what I can tell, could be renamed the Omnibus Earmark and Pet Project Bill of 2009."

The Heritage Foundation is calling it The Pelosi-Reid-Obama Debt Plan.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Note how he carefully ignored the Community Reinvestment Act and how it was utilized to pressure banks to loan to those who couldn't afford their loans..."

I bet you can't provide one link to one instance the CRA pressuring one bank.

Oh Christ!!! Do we have to go through this every time? You must have the brain capacity of a slug.

Here

The Clinton administration's get-tough regulatory regime mattered so crucially because bank deregulation had set off a wave of mega-mergers, including the acquisition of the Bank of America by NationsBank, BankBoston by Fleet Financial, and Bankers Trust by Deutsche Bank. Regulatory approval of such mergers depended, in part, on positive CRA ratings. "To avoid the possibility of a denied or delayed application," advises the NCRC in its deadpan tone, "lending institutions have an incentive to make formal agreements with community organizations." By intervening—even just threatening to intervene—in the CRA review process, left-wing nonprofit groups have been able to gain control over eye-popping pools of bank capital, which they in turn parcel out to individual low-income mortgage seekers. A radical group called ACORN Housing has a $760 million commitment from the Bank of New York; the Boston-based Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America has a $3-billion agreement with the Bank of America; a coalition of groups headed by New Jersey Citizen Action has a five-year, $13-billion agreement with First Union Corporation. Similar deals operate in almost every major U.S. city. Observes Tom Callahan, executive director of the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance, which has $220 million in bank mortgage money to parcel out, "CRA is the backbone of everything we do."

HERE

Congress enacted the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) in 1977 after years of grassroots pressure to encourage banks to help meet the credit needs of the communities in which they are chartered. Previously, individuals and businesses in low-income areas were often denied credit because of the perceived high-risk nature of such loans.

Under the CRA, federal bank regulators evaluate most banks every two years on their community reinvestment performance. If a bank's CRA record is poor, its request to open a new branch or expand through mergers and acquisitions can be denied. Community groups can make written comments on a bank's performance at any time and have the comments put into the bank's CRA file so that regulators consider them as part of the evaluation


And not to mention my own experiences in the early 80s as a commercial lender.

Mere existence of the CRA was to PRESSURE banks into making loans that they would not otherwise have made.

If the banks wanted to expand, merge, or grow they needed to have their quota of CRA (crap loans) otherwise they would be prevented from growing their business. I would submit that that is PRESSURE or more to the point EXTORTION.

Shanna said...

I think it's absurd how politicians like Obama go out and attack some guy who has a radio show. It's pathetic and silly.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I bet you can't provide one link to one instance the CRA pressuring one bank.

Oh Christ!!! Do we have to go through this every time? You must have the brain capacity of a slug.


Ok garage, don't worry, I got your back on this one.

Ok Ms. Smarty Horde: I bet you can't provide 1,165,614,512 links to show the CRA pressuring one bank.

Pogo said...

Bjork having a shitfit
Heh. She'll have a hard time selling that swan dress for dollars or even krona now, I'll bet.

An autoloader?
Are you anticipating zombies?

Bruce Hayden said...

It's a lot easier for Democrats to argue that anyone who hates Rush Limbaugh or George W. Bush should vote for the stimulus package than to actually defend the package for what it is. Because that can't be done. What the Democrats fear is that Boehner actually has the high road in this debate.

That is the danger - but the real danger isn't going to be for another 22 months to those voting for the bill. By then, maybe, just maybe, the voters will have forgotten why we aren't coming out of the recession as quickly as we usually do, and that the almost trillion dollar "stimulus" bill constitutes more of the problem than the solution.

I frankly don't think that President Obama is handling this that well. He should be bending over backwards trying to get Republican support, and, thus, cover for his "stimulus" package. If played well, the Republicans in Congress could be backed into a corner fairly easily - they have stated what they need in the bill to get their support. The Democrats could give them that, and still get 90% of what they want in the bill, and the Republicans would have a hard time voting against the bill.

But it doesn't look like the Democrats are going to flex enough to satisfy the minimal conditions that the Republicans gave them for their support, and thus are likely to get full credit, or more likely, blame, for the "stimulus" bill.

My suggestion is that President Obama is pushing the Republicans together, and not splitting them apart right now, and that this will come back to haunt him in 2-4 years. They will be able to portray themselves as an alternative to the profligate ways of the Democratic majority, and will reclaim most of those House seats they lost in 2006 and 2008.

John Stodder said...

I don't think tax cuts or even congressional overspending had anything to do with this recession. Go ahead, oppose tax cuts, oppose the profligacy of the Bush years, but they were a sideshow.

The real issue is that the prudent, ethical culture that used to characterize the investment banking arena died sometime in the 1980s, and was replaced by a culture of piracy. The creeps we put into those pin-striped suits and sent up the elevators each morning to manage the global financial system decided on the basis of nothing more than their gold-plated educations and that their mothers loved them that they were entitled to make more money than God. And they let the system go to hell, to the point where now the public would prefer the banking system be run by Washington lobbyists and their puppets in congress.

I know, partisan Democrats want to say this story only began after Bush took office in 2001, but I see it as a much longer story, starting in the 80s and picking up steam in the 90s, and becoming so entrenched by the 2000s that few realized how far our financial culture had strayed from the rightful path until this meltdown began.

Rich B said...

Garage-

I pay my taxes every year even though no one pressures me. I realize that failure to pay will eventually lead to imprisonment.

If you read the CRA description, you see that banks get audited and "The CRA requires that each insured depository institution's record in helping meet the credit needs of its entire community be evaluated periodically. That record is taken into account in considering an institution's application for deposit facilities, including mergers and acquisitions. "

I believe that Aron Nimzovich said that the threat is greater than its execution.

dannyboy said...

An autoloader?
Are you anticipating zombies?


I believe in being prepared for all contingencies.

I also don't rule out alien invasion. And I'm not talking about those from Mexico either. Hotrods of the gods. Government's been covering that shit up for years.

dannyboy said...

Well, it's a well known fact, that there's a secret society of the five wealthiest people in the world, known as The Pentavirate, who run everything in the world, including the newspapers, and meet tri-annually at a secret country mansion in Colorado, known as The Meadows. They are the Queen, The Vatican, The Gettys, The Rothschilds, and Colonel Sanders before he went tits up.

Oh, I hated the Colonel with is wee *beady* eyes, and that smug look on his face.

Beth said...

Now, many conservatives take the same attitude about liberalism, and they've been pretty successful in getting the general public to think that way too.

In fact, Rush is one of those conservatives. Good God.

Obama's comment to me said quite a lot about the political process and very little about Rush: you can't get any real work done listening to the demogogues and playing to the entertainment aspect of American politics.

But the massive ego (common with drug addicts, of course) of Rush turns this into "it's about me." And then he quotes an Alinsky tactic on which he's based his whole career.

Bruce Hayden said...

I liked this comment from Jim B:

What’s the old saying about getting into fights with a guy who buys ink by the barrel? Rush Limbaugh is the 21st century equivalent with barrels full of digital ink especially when you add in the 20 million listeners and the conservative bloggers and lesser known radio hosts who amplify his message.

For all of Obama’s supposed intelligence, he’s deep into Kosland picking a fight that he simply cannot win. Rush doesn’t have to compromise. He doesn’t have to govern. He can dissect every move, every statement, every twitch Obama has without a single person to answer to. Obama’s success or failure is going to be driven by his popularity rankings, and by elevating his chief critic to being worthy of direct response by the President he has ensured that the downward slide of his popularity ratings have just begun.

By the end of the year, Obama may well be into the mid-to-low 30’s approval range. Picking the fight with Rush is going to galvanize that 46% that didn’t vote for him against him which will drop his popularity to a max of 54% - already 11% from his latest poll numbers. Obama rode a wave of dissatisfaction with the current partisan sniping into office. Showing that he never had any intention of either rising above it or putting an end to it will cost him a great deal of good will with the non-affiliated voters.

That leaves the Democratic party die-hards who will support him no matter what…That means a 30-35% approval rating, and that’s not a recipe for getting things done….


I am not sure if I totally buy into his analysis, but do think that the analogy of Rush with someone who can essentially buy ink by the barrel is accurate.

garage mahal said...

DBQ
Yes I remember well. At the time you asserted there were STIFF FINES! levied on banks, but could not cite a single example. You go on to assert the CRA could deny banks from expansion if they didn't meet quotas, but still cannot cite a single example of that happening. So, basically you still only have winger talking points that can't be verified.

former law student said...

And, indeed, the revenue to the government went UP, not down after the tax cuts.

If I find a penny in the street my revenue has gone up, but I still can't afford a Bentley. Read TAX CUTS: MYTHS AND REALITIES:

Congressional Budget Office data show that the tax cuts have been the single largest contributor to the reemergence of substantial budget deficits in recent years. Legislation enacted since 2001 added about $3.0 trillion to deficits between 2001 and 2007, with nearly half of this deterioration in the budget due to the tax cuts (about a third was due to increases in security spending, and about a sixth to increases in domestic spending).

http://www.cbpp.org/9-27-06tax.htm

I know, partisan Democrats want to say this story only began after Bush took office in 2001, but I see it as a much longer story, starting in the 80s and picking up steam in the 90s, and becoming so entrenched by the 2000s

To be precise, the credit default swap was developed at J.P. Morgan in 1995. Greed is eternal, of course.

"Note how he carefully ignored the Community Reinvestment Act and how it was utilized to pressure banks to loan to those who couldn't afford their loans..."

Then why did non-banks, like Countrywide Financial, make 3/4 of the subprime loans? What was their motivation?

you think spending money on a war to protect us from terrorists was unnecessary

A strange way to describe invading Iraq, when al-Qaeda was made up of Saudi Arabians who went to hide in Afghanistan.

Do you want more spending and more taxes? Do you want less spending and more taxes? Do you want less spending and less taxes? Do you want more spending and less taxes?

To continue the car analogy, Bush forgot to check the oil, and he didn't notice the master brake cylinder leaked. Now the engine's seized, and the car slid into the ditch. We have to get it towed, but we have no way to pay for the wrecker. What to do?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Well done garage. You showed her. When she responded with links showing how the CRA pressured banks you retorted with an adriot moving of the goalposts by then referring to stiff fines and denying expansion.

I stand in awe, a mere padwan in the presence of a master.

Big Mike said...

An autoloader is nice. It only has two shots, but a 19th century coach gun is also effective at the kind of ranges home defense allows.

@Dannyboy, what do you think about a 20 gauge autoloader as a home defense weapon for the woman of the house? I'm going to train my wife to point it in the direction of a male intruder's crotch.

Hoosier Daddy said...

A strange way to describe invading Iraq, when al-Qaeda was made up of Saudi Arabians who went to hide in Afghanistan.

Indeed. I always wondered why we invaded North Africa after Pearl Harbor.

Freder Frederson said...

Mere existence of the CRA was to PRESSURE banks into making loans that they would not otherwise have made.

And do tell DBQ, what is the performance history of loans made under the CRA? Are they more likely to default than traditional loans? Do you have any data to back up your assertion that the CRA is the root of the current crisis? What percentage of the bad loans currently held in MBSs were made under the CRA?

Synova said...

Ok Ms. Smarty Horde: I bet you can't provide 1,165,614,512 links to show the CRA pressuring one bank.

Heh.

What's wanted, actually, is one link to one instance of one bank *resisting* the pressure, fighting it, complaining and making a stink.

That doesn't seem to have happened. Apparently "if you don't make these loans you can't operate here" is effective pressure.

ricpic said...

Having invented the extra crispy formula the Colonel deserves to run the world.

LarsPorsena said...

"Then why did non-banks, like Countrywide Financial, make 3/4 of the subprime loans? What was their motivation?"

The best person to answer this question is Senator Dodd (D) Countrywide.

fcai said...

Drug addict? Did someone say drug addict? How about our chain-smoking president, late of the crack pipe and bong? He fits the same criteria, right?

Sloanasaurus said...

Last year my dad gave me some money for my birthday. Under the liberal ideology and logic, I can refer to that as a tax cut - in that my dad's money was morally mine, he just hadn't had the political will to give it to me yet.

Michael said...

I finally broke off relations with an old friend of mine, an embittered lefty academic (stuck in the rounds of adjunct professor gigs that seem to be their fate these days, but drawing the wrong conclusions about letting the state run your life, if you ask me). I got tired of hearing that anyone to the right of Noam Chomsky was evil, not wrongheaded, not misguided, EEEEEVIL. (Ah, the subtlety and nuance of the left.)

Never mind that it is I, the "conservative" (a considerable misnomer, but certainly to HIS right), who serves on the board of a local charitable organization, works hard to raise my own kids right, drives a Prius, supports local and organic farming, and once put him up in my house for a year, while he seems to devote most of his discretionary income to porn and weed. Nope, I'm eeeevil and he's fighting the Man.

Enough with such dimbulbs.

Michael said...

Oh, and anyone who thinks this is a great depression is an utter fool. It's not even as bad as the early 80s, let alone the early 70s. Believe me, as someone who lived through both of the above, there's a BIG difference between "an economy that's in the shitter and can't even find the way out" and "everybody's kinda spooked and there have been a few layoffs." 1971 was Bulgaria, right now is hardly even Alabama.

hdhouse said...

no matter how you slice it, if you get on the same bus carrying rush limbaugh you have rocks in your head.

conservative a dirty word? after all this time trying to make "liberal" the dirty word...

did rush give a tinker's damn if the democrats were part of the discourse? hell no but now that his little pile of 65+WMgunslingers are in the marginal fringe, its all inclusion..

at core, Rush is a lying sonofabitch who simply makes it up. those who follow do so at their own risk and certainly with no brains.

MJ said...

So let me get this straight: Obama spends 20 years listening to Jeremiah Wright spew racist and anti-American rhetoric, and now he asserts that others need to stop listening to Limbaugh because he's divisive? How far left do you have to be for this to make sense?

Stupid mistake, and revealing. He's lucky it's early (and he has a compliant press) and this will be forgotten by most. I suspect it will come back later, though.

MadisonMan said...

Obama has never directly tangled with someone who will actually fight back.

Were you asleep or just comatose during the Democratic Primary against the Clinton political machine? (You were lucky if you were, and I guess that explains your ridiculous statement).

Henry said...

Former law student wrote: To continue the car analogy, Bush forgot to check the oil, and he didn't notice the master brake cylinder leaked. Now the engine's seized, and the car slid into the ditch. We have to get it towed, but we have no way to pay for the wrecker. What to do?

How about we borrow money and buy our own tow truck?

I'm still curious. What would you do? Is there any proactive idea that you, yourself, are willing to champion?

Bush gave us feckless spending and broad-based tax cuts. Obama promises lots more spending and narrow tax cuts. Obey just cuts the crap about tax cuts and goes for tons of spending.

Which way of racking up debt do you like best? And why?

Will said...

at core, Rush is a lying sonofabitch who simply makes it up.

Gosh, wipe that spittle off your chin, hdhouse... very unbecoming.

Oh yeah, Rush and 20 million daily listeners on 600 radio stations are real fringe group... no influence whatsoever.

Idiot.

Crimso said...

I distinctly recall Bush telling lefties not to listen to Ayers or Wright. NOT.

Someone close to Obama needs to take him aside and point out to him that being President is not simply an extension of running for President. Such an undignified blunder will win him points with the semi-literates that follow the likes of Olbermann and Kos, but is unlikely to appeal to the other 90% of the population. Some of which he'll need in 2010, much less 2012.

Crimso said...

"Were you asleep or just comatose during the Democratic Primary against the Clinton political machine?"

I wasn't, but the MSM sure were.

AJ Lynch said...

The next time Rush gets on a bus will be the first time.

Revenant said...

I find it funny when left-wingers call themselves "progressives", given the morally reprehensible nature of the first bunch to carry that name.

Revenant said...

But the massive ego (common with drug addicts, of course)

That explains our cokehead President's snippy little "I won" comeback, I guess. :)

Kirk Parker said...

Big Mike,

"I'm going to train my wife to point it in the direction of a male intruder's crotch."

Oh, please. Center of mass, stop the threat, QED. Leave the theatrics to Hollywood.

Pogo said...

"Oh, and anyone who thinks this is a great depression is an utter fool."

No, this isn't a depression.

So what? It wasn't the 'Depression' in 1930 either.

Hell, we ain't even hit the end of the beginning of this particular clusterf*ck.

former law student said...

I find it funny when left-wingers call themselves "progressives", given the morally reprehensible nature of the first bunch to carry that name.

You have a problem with Teddy Roosevelt? Fighting Bob LaFollette? Bob, who grew up within a short distance of Madison, did leave the Republican Party when he realized they had left their ideals and had become a tool for corporate interests, according to wikip. This was over a century ago, so you can see this has been happening a long time.

blake said...

We have met the enemy, and he is us.

Pogo paraphrases himself.

Dogwood said...

Garage,

Here is a column from a University of Texas economics professor explaining how various acts of Congress helped lead to the current problems.

And a snippet:

The shift began in 1989, when Congress amended the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act to force banks to collect racial data on mortgage applicants. By 1991, critics were using that data to paint lenders as racist by showing that minority applicants were approved at far lower rates. Banks were "Shamed By Publicity," as one 1993 New York Times headline put it.

In fact, they found a racial disparity only by ignoring relevant data on applicants' ability to make mortgage payments - such as their assets and credit history.

But the political pressure was intense - with few in politics or media eager to speak the truth. And then, in 1992, came a study from four researchers at the Boston Fed, which seemed to bear out the critics' contentions.

That study was, in fact, based on quite flawed data - but the authors' political, media and academic protectors stifled most serious criticism, smearing the reputation of one whistleblower and allowing the Boston authors to avoid answering serious academic challenges (mine included) to their work. Other studies with different conclusions were ignored.

The very next year, the Boston Fed announced new requirements for banks - rules that have now turned out to be monumentally catastrophic: Adopt "relaxed lending standards" or risk being labeled as racists, and face serious penalties under the federal Community Reinvestment Act.

Jason (the commenter) said...

TosaGuy: Obama has never directly tangled with someone who will actually fight back.

MadinsonMan: Were you asleep or just comatose during the Democratic Primary against the Clinton political machine?

If Clinton had released the Jeremiah Wright tapes before Kansas, we would never have heard of Obama.

deb said...

Hardly. Read about the Great Depression sometime. It all happened then, too. I'm glad you can still laugh about it; I just applied for concealed carry myself. There have been riots already in Iceland. Iceland.

But 'it can't happen here', right?


I've noticed more ads, PSAs, etc., concerning things like emergency plans, evacuations (there's a questionnaire on a local county website asking questions about what you would do in the event of an evacuation), a huge ad in the local grocery store parking lot for http://www.ready.gov/ - is this happening anywhere else or do I live in an unusually paranoid community?

I've resisted but I think I need that carry permit my husband's been nagging me to get. :-(

Michael H said...

"Oh, and anyone who thinks this is a great depression is an utter fool."

Really?

Congratulations are in order. As of tomorrow, I will have been unemployed for exactly one year.

I am a 60 year old male, well-educated, solid resume. I last managed a division of a large residential construction company. Our business volume dropped nearly 80%; most of us (other than the owners) were laid off. The owners remain, but have taken deep cuts in their compensation, and no doubt have equally deep worries about losing their life's assets.

Their are very, very few jobs available in any field of work for which I am professionally qualified, and those jobs aren't being doled out to 60 year olds.

So I plan on celebrating later this week by starting a new job, driving a school bus at $12.53 per hour. That's down quite a bit from the upper $90s I last earned.

So you may believe that I am, as you deemed it an 'utter fool'. But I assure you that I am not. Nor are the hundreds of thousands of others who have lost their jobs, be they bankers or barristas.

Having lived through the Jimmy Carter economy, my wife and I lived conservatively. We saved, invested, limited our use of debt. So thus far, we are okay. But next year at this time? God only knows, especially with an all-too-likely high inflation rate eroding what remains of our assets.

Be awfully careful about that 'fool' nonsense. Things out there are not as good as you wish to believe.

Revenant said...

You have a problem with Teddy Roosevelt?

Why yes, actually.

But I particularly have a problem with domestic paramilitary organizations, forced sterilization of social undesirables, and government-mandated racial discrimination, all of which progressives were enthusiastic proponents of.

[Bob LaFollette left] the Republican Party when he realized they had left their ideals and had become a tool for corporate interests, according to wikip. This was over a century ago, so you can see this has been happening a long time.

Why yes, progressives and socialists HAVE been claiming that the Republican Party was a tool of corporate interests for over a century. Given that progressives and socialists rely on irrational fear of capitalism and free markets it is hardly surprising that they would still be stoking those fears well over half a century after socialism and progressivism had been completely discredited.

hdhouse said...

Will said...
at core, Rush is a lying sonofabitch who simply makes it up. Oh yeah, Rush and 20 million daily listeners on 600 radio stations are real fringe group... no influence whatsoever.

Idiot."

Ahhh Will..the question for the ages is 'is it the bigger idiot who follows the true idiot'.

Rush is smart. He has his dittoheads. I guess we just have to be happy that in a country of 320+ million there are fewer idiots following the idiot that one would think...20mil, give or take...

the fact remains that rush is a lying sonofabitch who just makes it up.

Pogo said...

Pogo paraphrases himself.

In college, I had a professor who handed out articles for class that he had written where he footnoted himself. He even quoted himself once.

Revenant said...

I am a 60 year old male, well-educated, solid resume. I last managed a division of a large residential construction company.

The inability of a 60 year old construction company executive to find work in the middle of a steep downturn in the housing market does not even BEGIN to provide evidence that we're in a depression.

Eight years ago, the dot com bubble burst. I knew web designers and IT people who were out of work for over a year. Were we in a depression in 2000? Or was it just that a particular industry populated by a lot of highly specialized and highly-paid professionals had experienced a steep decline?

We might indeed be in (or entering) a depression. I wouldn't be the slightest bit surprised if we were. But your experience provides no evidence of it.

Simon said...

former law student said...
"[Rev said he finds it funny when left-wingers call themselves 'progressives', given the morally reprehensible nature of the first bunch to carry that name.] You have a problem with Teddy Roosevelt? Fighting Bob LaFollette?"

With the exception of antitrust, I'm trying to think of something that the progressive movement gave us that was enduring, and neither inevitable nor a horrible mistake. While I realize that the era closed with the Nineteenth Amendment (file under afore-mentioned inevitable), I tend to associate progressives with populism, prohibition, the expansion of federal regulation (e.g. the Hepburn Act, and worst of all, the Seventeenth Amendment. (Two that I hadn't thought of are suggested by a quick review of LaFollette's WP entry: "non-partisan elections" and open primaries.)

Revenant said...

I guess we just have to be happy that in a country of 320+ million there are fewer idiots following the idiot that one would think...20mil, give or take...

There are 13 million people in Obama's little fanclub. Does this mean that only four percent of Americans are, um, "smart" enough to support Obama? :)

Kev said...

Our problem is that the government is not taking enough money from the productive and giving it to the unproductive? So the sollution is to borrow trillions of dollars to spend on make work infrastructure programs and birth control and outright theft of the treasury that will ruin or credit rating and leave the country with no choice in a few years but to either have massive austerity or massive inflation? Are you really that stupid or just trying to be funny?

I'm glad to hear someone else talking about the productive class vs. the unproductive class, because I believe it gets to the root of our problem here.

I'll repeat something that I said on another thread a day or two ago: In this economic climate, we can't afford the government we have now, much less the one that Pelosi et al. want to foist upon us. It's time to grow the productive class, and that likely has to be done at the expense of the unproductive class, many of whom are found in government. (I realize that this wouldn't have to be a zero-sum game, save for the fact that unproductive class seems to hinder the productive class to such a great degree.)

If someone in the unproductive class wants to work to make him/herself productive (that sounds less snarky than "get a real job"), that should be encouraged. Otherwise, it's time to let go of some people on the federal payroll. The "company" isn't doing so well at the moment, so the "CEO" and the "board" need to make some tough decisions.

100,000 unemployed skilled people like Michael H? A tragedy. 100,000 unemployed bureaucrats? A good start.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

We might indeed be in (or entering) a depression. I wouldn't be the slightest bit surprised if we were. But your experience provides no evidence of it.

In reality, no one knows for sure. As Pogo pointed out in 1930 we didn't know we were in a deep depression. That label was retroactive. The economic cycle or business flucuations consist of several conditions that can occur in cycles or in sequences We generally go from expansion, peak, contraction, trough and then expansion again in varying time frames for the phases. There are leading indicators and lagging indicators. When the government throws a monkey wrench into the process as it has since the 70's with CRA (don't bother spinning garage, I won't respond because you are an idiot), CAFE standards and other meddling in free enterprise that cripples business and the natural flow of the economy, it only makes things worse.

The point is that we don't know where the bottom of the market may be, nor the top of the market. We don't know we are in a recession until it is almost over.

We maybe (I think so) headed for a very long and prolonged recession and possibly a depression. All the signs are there including the absolute idiots that we have in Congress who are doing their very best to line their own pockets, pad their earmarks and entitlements and kowtow to special interests.

I don't have a concealed carry permit but I plan to get one. I have a very large and very well stocked pump house full of food, ammo, supplies and to make Dannyboy happy.... a goodly supply of scotch, wine, brandy, whisky, vodka and rum :-) When the shit hits the fan, I will be nowhere near the cities where the really bad things are going to happen.

What I do see is the rise of socialism and totalitariansm on the part of the left. Obama, putting Rush on his enemies list which you can bet will be expanding to other prominent conservative voice. Black listing. Black balling. Shutting down communication. Governmental control of private industry. Protectionism and a revisal of Smoot-Hawley and everyother thing that turned a bad recession into the Great Depression.

There is nothing we "little" people can do but buckle up because it is going to be a very very bumpy ride.

Revenant said...

I don't have a concealed carry permit but I plan to get one.

Sadly I live in California. You can't get a concealed carry permit unless you're a politician, a celebrity, or the bodyguard of a politician or celebrity. I count myself lucky that I'm able to own a gun at all.

There is nothing we "little" people can do but buckle up because it is going to be a very very bumpy ride.

Ayup.

This is one reason why I really just can't bring myself to be outraged about Obama and Pelosi. On the one hand, we're probably screwed no matter what they do. On the other hand, they will likely make things worse -- but the reason they will be able to make things worse is that the average American is an ignorant twit about things like economics and cause-and-effect. The average American things the government can fix the economy and expects to be told as much. I see the likes of Obama as an effect, rather than a cause, of our underlying national problem.

Michael H said...

Rev said: We might indeed be in (or entering) a depression. I wouldn't be the slightest bit surprised if we were. But your experience provides no evidence of it.

Really?

An entire industry and all of the sub-industries it drive have ground to a halt, as have many others, and you cannot believe that a depression has started?

Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of jobs lost in banking, manufacturing, technology, service industries.

Just because it hasn't touched you doesn't mean it isn't happening.

The GDP figures during the last depression were:

1. 1930 -8.6%
2. 1931 -6.4%
3. 1932 -13%
4. 1933 -1.3%.

During the Depression, unemployment was 25% and wages (for those who still had jobs) fell 42%. Total U.S. economic output fell from $103 to $55 billion and world trade plummeted 65% as measured in dollars.

According to Dept of Commerce data, real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States -- decreased at an annual rate of 0.5 percent in the third quarter of 2008. Figures for the fourth quarter of 2008 haven't been released.

We are at the beginning of a depression. My former ndustry, housing, is the canary in the mine.

Michael H said...

Circling back to Rush Limbaugh, I believe he has correctly posited that the Democrat's strategy is to make the economy worse in order that they can convince Americans that the only solution is a far larger European socialist style government, complete with all the restrictions on liberty, commerce and creativity such a government requires.

How remarkable is it that the government, the American government, would hope to limit and restrict the freely spoken opinions of an American citizen. Perhaps if Rush were a terrorist using a cell phone the Obama/Pelosi administration would be more respectful of his rights of free speech.

blake said...

Pogo-- You do know to what I am referring, though, yes?

I've quoted myself on occasion (in books), too. It feels...weird.

blake said...

Michael_H,

What Rev said was not that he couldn't believe there was a depression going on (the exact opposite in fact) but that your personal experience is not evidence of a "depression". It's not, unless you want to use Reagan's definition. (When your neighbor loses his job, it's a recession, but when you lose yours, it's a depression.)

I was in tech in the '90s, and took a huge pay cut when the bubble burst, and was out of work for months. Not quite a year. And I was far from 60. (In tech, anyone's lucky to get a job at 60, I think.)

Hard times for one industry does not equal evidence of scope. I think that's the only point here.

Michael H said...

Blake said: What Rev said was not that he couldn't believe there was a depression going on (the exact opposite in fact) but that your personal experience is not evidence of a "depression".

Right, which is why I added the information regarding the decline in GDP, which is the standard definition of a recession.

My experience is indicative of a larger problem - the collapse of an industry and the net deflation in prices that accompany the collapse.

The dot com bubble is not analogous to the current downturn in banking, housing, manufacturing, etc. The dot com bubble did not negatively impact other sectors of the economy. the balance of the economy was in fact, quite strong, compared with the current overall weakness today.

Rev's personal experience is not evidence of the lack of a depression.

Pogo said...

Pogo-- You do know to what I am referring, though, yes?

But of course!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Sadly I live in California.

I live in Calif too. I believe that you get the permit from the County Sheriff or Police Dept. It isn't a big deal.

I agree, the average American doesn't know jack about anything....thank you public unionized education system.

The dot com bubble is not analogous to the current downturn in banking, housing, manufacturing, etc. The dot com bubble did not negatively impact other sectors of the economy. the balance of the economy was in fact, quite strong, compared with the current overall weakness today.

This is very true. The collapse of not just one inflated sector but of several key sectors of the economy all at one time is extremely troubling. I have been a financial advisor since 1990 and a loan officer since the early 80's. Never have I seen such a complete and total collapse of sectors. No "safe" sectors to move clients to. Nowhere to run to.

TitusBiosurgicalNeeds said...

Hi everyone,

I am super thanks for asking.

I feel bad about all of the people losing their jobs. Over 70,000 jobs yesterday is a lot of people out of work.

I worked on Silican Alley in the late 90's and made ridiculous money but that stopped.

I then got a job in Biotechnology and have stayed put. I cut my salary in half at the time but have had security and have now regained my salary that I was making on high tech.

There are jobs out there. My employer currently has over 500 open positions. The positions are in the life sciences. We are actuallly having a difficult time finding qualified people but the positions are very specific and the hiring managers are very picky.

Many of the Wall Street layoffs went to smaller boutique shops where they aren't making the big dollars but have two year contracts of employment. Many of my friends work on Wall Street and lost jobs but immediately got other jobs at smaller firms and with less pay.

I consider myself very fortunate. I am not shopping anymore because I am scared shitless but my company is doing well. We just forecast the staffing numbers and we are adding 850 positions this year. The jobs are high paying as well but the requirements are specific and incredibly technical.

Health Care overall is still doing pretty well. Everyone always needs Health Care.

Based off what I have read we are looking at this lasting another two years. 2009 is going to be a horrible year for layoffs. Unemployment will be above 10% throughout the country. Michigan, SC and Rhode Island is already above 10% and Indiana is close. What bright state is Wyoming who's unemployment is only 3.4%.

Go West Young Man.

TitusBiosurgicalNeeds said...

Antoher company that is doing well is Mcdonalds.

They are opening over 1000 stores this year.

BJM said...

Was Obama's Limbaugh remark simply a diversionary tactic to gin up partisan bickering while this sort of insane bullshit is quietly incorporated into the so-called stimulus bill?

What else don't we know? The MSM should be sued for dereliction of duty.

We're going to regret this bill. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for a very long time.

Michael said...

Rush: The God of Gods...here.

Michael said...

BJM- Got an alternative?

Didn't think so.

Revenant said...

I live in Calif too. I believe that you get the permit from the County Sheriff or Police Dept. It isn't a big deal.

California is a "may issue" state. The decision to grant or deny a permit is entirely up to the local sheriff or police chief, and he doesn't have to justify his decision.

It may be that in your county the sheriff is reasonably honest about issuing permits. This is not the case in San Diego or, as I understand it, LA or San Francisco. Here in San Diego you need to be either politically connected or rich and famous. Otherwise you're shit out of luck.

Land of the free, my ass.

Revenant said...

My experience is indicative of a larger problem - the collapse of an industry and the net deflation in prices that accompany the collapse.

No, your experience is the result of being employed in an industry that experienced a bubble. It is entirely normal. In all honesty even if the economy were otherwise healthy you'd still probably be unemployable in that industry for many years -- possible forever, given your age.

Revenant said...

The dot com bubble did not negatively impact other sectors of the economy. the balance of the economy was in fact, quite strong, compared with the current overall weakness today.

Well, no, actually. In hindsight the economy was already in a speculative bubble. What growth there was was largely driven by rapid accumulation of debt.

What you mean to say is that when the dot com bubble burst, the people you worked with didn't lose their jobs. :)

Revenant said...

Got an alternative?

Cut the corporate income tax to zero for the next year. Cut the payroll tax in half for the next year.

Presto. Exactly $780 billion in stimulus in the form of a one-page bill that could be written, passed, and signed tomorrow.

Of course, then the money stays in Americans' pockets to be spent as THEY see fit. The government doesn't get to give it to the people who donated to their campaigns or use it to buy votes for the 2010 election. Ergo it will never happen.

Michael H said...

Rev - I agree re the tax cuts; disagree re everything else.

Michael H said...

DBQ - Gold?

hdhouse said...

Revenant said...
"There are 13 million people in Obama's little fanclub. Does this mean that only four percent of Americans are, um, "smart" enough to support Obama? :)"

Ahh Rev finds fools gold yet once again. Mr. Obama has about 60 million in his fan club. they voted for him. the real question then would be how many votes would Rush get? Certainly the pharmaceutical vote!

The fact remains that Rush is a lying sonofabitch who makes things up. If that is your cup of tea, by all means drink it.

Bruce Hayden said...

The fact remains that Rush is a lying sonofabitch who makes things up. If that is your cup of tea, by all means drink it.

Oh, we are talking about lying sonofabitches now. Maybe we should start counting the campaign promises broken by President Obama, and there, maybe the one to be bipartisan and the one that he would not support a bill that didn't get most of its "stimulus" up front in the first year or so. Maybe also the ones on Gitmo, torture, and pulling out of Iraq.

You are guaranteed to lose on this one, simply because Rush doesn't need to lie, because he isn't and hasn't been running for office. President Obama did run for office, did win the highest office in the land, and in order to do so had to convince the left that he was adequately anti-war, while convincing the center that he was actually responsible. And he keeps facing the same dilemma of having to pacify both his leftist and centrist constituencies.

Revenant said...

Ahh Rev finds fools gold yet once again. Mr. Obama has about 60 million in his fan club

Only 20% of America? Sounds fringey. :)

But in any case those are the people who voted for him once, not the people who listen to him regularly. That number is the 13 million in his little fan club. If you want to talk about the number of people who have listened to Rush at some point and liked what they heard, well, that number's a heck of a lot larger than 20 million.

fred said...

timeline: Obama visited and dined with some leading conservative writers--Rush is not a writer nor was he invited. He got his back up and made fun of Obama for ignoring him. Obama then asked people not to pay much attention to Rush...Obama is smart enough to know that those who listen on radio can not be won over to any position the president and congress might bring up. If you dine with a guy, it is tough to write nasty things about him! Clever.
Rush is a circus sideshow, and if you like that sort of thing, then he is all yours and bless you. I think Obama should not even have dignified that buffoon by mentioning him. If you are a conservative, and bright, you can find much better minds to read.

Revenant said...

If you dine with a guy, it is tough to write nasty things about him! Clever.

This has an interesting implication, namely that you should discount the opinions of anyone who's had dinner at the White House. :)

hdhouse said...

did i mention that rush is a lying sonofabitch who just makes things up?

must have.

Revenant said...

did i mention that rush is a lying sonofabitch who just makes things up? must have.

Well its a tired left-wing cliche, so odds are you've said it at LEAST once. :)