March 16, 2011

2 perspectives on the placidity/passivity of Obama.

You could be mean about it, like White House Dossier:
The Middle East is afire with rebellion, Japan is imploding from an earthquake, and the battle of the budget is on in the United States, but none of this seems to be deterring President Obama from a heavy schedule of childish distractions. The newly installed tandem of White House Chief of Staff William Daley and Senior Adviser David Plouffe were supposed to impart a new sense of discipline and purpose to the White House. Instead, they are permitting him to showcase himself as a poorly focused leader who has his priorities backward.

This morning, as Japan’s nuclear crisis enters a potentially catastrophic phase, we are told that Obama is videotaping his NCAA tournament picks and that we’ll be able to tune into ESPN Wednesday to find out who he likes. Saturday, he made his 61st outing to the golf course as president, and got back to the White House with just enough time for a quick shower before heading out to party with Washington’s elite journalists at the annual Gridiron Dinner.
Or you could go upbeat, like Politico:
A dizzying succession of major world events is bombarding a president who insists on controlling his own time, emotions and political message. With Japan’s nuclear crisis teetering on the verge of catastrophe, with Libya and Bahrain in violent turmoil, and with financial markets crashing in response, President Barack Obama has been adamantly sticking to his own political and policy playbook.

That has meant muscling past the red-siren headlines to hammer away at the jobs-and-education message that will be the centerpiece of his 2012 campaign, the kind of discipline that is a hallmark of his new senior adviser, David Plouffe. And it also meant refusing to scrap a five-day trip to Latin America on Friday that will take him to sun-dappled Rio de Janeiro, among other places, rather than staying home to focus on the increasingly disastrous international news confronting his crisis-weary White House....
Let me muscle past that adulation and hammer one point: The simple facts speak for themselves. It doesn't matter what emotion these second-rate writers lather into their reporting. We can see that Obama is disinclined to take positions or actions with respect to the core responsibilities of the presidency.

186 comments:

Expat(ish) said...

I remember how I felt during Clinton's term about having voted for the guy. He was the best choice, but it still stung.

I guess a lot of Obama voters feel the same way.

-XC

Rich B said...

It seems that there is no one on the bridge of the USS Ship of State. He's out golfing or controlling his emotions (or making his NCAA picks). Blatant malpractice by the MSFM during the 2008 elections.

Joaquin said...

It's "present" all over again.

PaulV said...

Empty suit. Another Carter is our best scenario. But world is more dangerous now it seems.

E.M. Davis said...

Obama is bland?

You need an "Obama sucks" tag.

Marilee said...

"Crisis weary"??? Doesn't every president have to deal with them?
Was Bush given that kind of pass duting his first term....no.

Richard Dolan said...

"We can see that Obama is disinclined to take positions or actions with respect to the core responsibilities of the presidency."

Yes. Even his admirers in the press (David Brooks, e.g.) and Senate Dems (at least the vulnerable ones like Manchin and McCaskill) are coming around to that conclusion. Brooks' bizarre column on O's "Ike phase," concluding with the claim that "passivity" is now the problem, is matched by the willingess of the Senate Dems to point out O's refusal to address the budget, deficit or foreign policy problems that continue to mount.

As always with O, it pays to watch what he does, not what he says. And what he is doing is mostly nothing on all fronts. As Glenn R would say, is that the hope or the change?

AJ Lynch said...

Let's just agree Obama is not good at deciding what is and what is not a presidential priority.

I have never see a worse economy than this one yet he is diddling away on education.

If Obama had any balls, he'd get on TV for 1 minute and challenge the parents of the failing kids to get their act together asap. And he'd stop blaming our well funded public school system that can't educate bad kids when the kids have bad parents.

YoungHegelian said...

I think Obama had one arrow in his quiver, and that was ObamaCare. Even that he fobbed off on Reid and Pelosi.

It'll be interesting for later historians to figure out just who ran the country day to day from the passage of Obamacare to 1/19/2013, just like they pieced together who ran the country when Nixon went bonkers from the stress of impeachment.

realwest said...

I know this is off-topic but think it would be interesting for Prof. Althouse and you all to go to http://legalinsurrection.blogspot.com/2011/03/protesters-destroy-recall-petitions.html
To read about how Union Thugs tore up recall petitions in Madison while the police stood around and did nothing.

Bzod said...

I know it is well-tread ground, but it is absolutely maddening that ANY of this comes as a surprise. He was not, is not, and never has been up for the job of Presidency. Simple. Period.

rick said...

At one time I thought Politico might turn out to be a decent political website. But alas, it's just another Huffpo without the sideshow.

BTW, anyone watched Hardball lately? I am embarrassed for Matthews. Isn't there anyone at MSNBC/NBC with the cojones to tell Matthews he is coming unglued on nationwide TV?

PogoПОССУМ said...

"A beleaguered President Obama has told aides it would be so much easier to be the president of China, The New York Times reports.


PRAVDA sometimes tells truth!

Easier is to say the least. Also is more the fun to rule like the Stalin and the Mao.

At least for Stalin and Mao.

Fun is not for the кулакс kulaks. For them is the work of the Glorious and Endless Revolution!

Conservative Libertine said...

Playing golf is the presidents idea of changing his image with the business community. Having never been involved in a capitalist venture he truly believes that all they do is play golf.

sonicfrog said...

I am really seeing a valid comparison to Herbert Hoover. Like Obama, the perception he gave off was that of disinterest. Granted, Hoover did it as part of a public relations gambit to try and show the country "see, things are not as bad as they are saying". Of course, they were worse. I assume Obama wants to be seen as the steady hand.

Problem is, to be seen as a steady hand, you have to use that hand to move something. The only thing he's moved, is a health care bill nobody likes, and even in that he was surprisingly hands off.

jerryofva said...

PaulV:

Please don't insult Jimmy Carter that way. Carter ran a business, served in the military and was Governor. His biggest problem was his naivite coupled to his micromanaging style of leadership. Love him or hate him his was hardly the incompetant that the current occupant of the White House is.

Leland said...

Well, it depends on how you define the core responsibilities. To the Democratic Party, the POTUS, who is also a member of thr party, is the primary fundraiser for your re-election efforts. He's responsible for getting the funds for the next big election, and that seems to be what he is focused on with laser like precision. Sure, opponents will want him to ignore this major responsibility, but he's no fool. Japan and Libya will be footnotes come November 2012.

murgatroyd666 said...

I got two e-mails yesterday with something I saw here about a week ago:

Pres--ent Obama: He's only "present," and he doesn't have ID!

traditionalguy said...

The leadership can be good leadership or bad leadership...what it cannot be is absent ledership that blocks out another from exercising the head's function. Muslim Obama has beheaded the USA. Any enemy of the USA would first seek to take out the head, and then seek to eliminate our oil supply to make the USA into a peaceful conquered place. So Obama does deserve his Nobel Prize after all.

Drew said...

Aren't you glad we have a president who takes a strong, steadfast and true position on vacations to Rio de Janeiro?

rick said...

John Podhoretz column today... "Obama the Invisible".

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/obama_the_invisible_Ass40MBstf15MAr9DYAORK

wdnelson93 said...

"We can see..."

Well. Some of us can see. For the rest, I'm just praying that the eyes of the blind will be opened in time for 2012.

I would link some of these articles to friends and family, but it's pretty pointless. Obama is their savior and Michael Moore is his prophet. Facts and reason are drowned out by the proverbial chanting.

former law student said...

Obama doesn't play enough golf to be a successful President. Compare Ike all during the threat of imminent nuclear holocaust:

Golf Digest
April 2008

Dwight David Eisenhower got in his share of golf, and then some. A study of the 34th president's daily itinerary during his eight years in office from 1953-'61 turns up a staggering 1,000-plus days of golf, including almost 800 rounds everywhere from Augusta National to Cypress Point to Turnberry and beyond.

Not that playing 100 rounds a year was a bad thing. But no president before or since played so avidly, and we're now in an age where there's intense pressure on politicians to avoid being perceived as slackers


Read More http://www.golfdigest.com
/golf-tours-news/2008-04
/ike#ixzz1Gm1sJY4J

rick said...

@wdnelson93 I have the same problem.

Pogo said...

fls: Squirrel !!!

murgatroyd666 said...

Why do people assume that Obama isn't doing exactly what he intended to do once in office?

"Things have to get worse before they can get better!"

But with a definition of "better" that someone like Bill Ayers would use.

Quayle said...

And not taking hard stands has probably served him very well in his lefty liberal environment, where his breathless adulators have pushed him up and rushed him forward as "the solution to all our problems, and the answer to all our prayers."

Why should he change now? He's come so far with the tactic.

former law student said...

John Podhoretz column today... "Obama the Invisible".

Weren't you the ones complaining that you couldn't turn on the TV without seeing Obama?

Is there something the US could be doing that it's not? Remember we're stony broke and our military has no gas in the tank.

SteveR said...

I had a bad feeling for a long time about this guy and it only got worse as time went on.

When the momentum took over in Spring 2008 (while the Republicans were doing their best to offer no real alternative), it was like millions of Americans decided to get into a pyramid scheme with the future.

sykes.1 said...

The best analogy to Obama is the Duke of Windsor playing golf in Bermuda while Europe was consumed by WWII.

Windsor's antisemitism and enchantment with fascism applies, too

chuckR said...

Obama is bland?

You need an "Obama sucks" tag.


Ha! That's the SSID broadcast of my wireless router at home. You betcha I got both encryption and MAC addr blocking implemented too.

wv - grocys - you get these at the grocy store...

MayBee said...

Education is the last thing the president should be managing. Is there anybody who thinks he has some special knowledge about how to make things better?

The one piece of education reform experience he had prior to election was the failed Chicago Annenberg Challenge. The results of that were so dire he actually hid that from his resume when he was candidate.

Between this and the bullying conference, Obama seems to want to be Principal-in-Chief. Maybe he feels like it's small enough that he can control it, where the budget, the Middle East, and empathy for the Japanese people are beyond his comfort zone.

If you can't do your job, do someone else's. I guess.

Paddy O said...

"How Obama Lost Me" by Ann Althouse.

Tibore said...

"Let me muscle past that adulation and hammer one point: The simple facts speak for themselves. It doesn't matter what emotion these second-rate writers lather into their reporting. We can see that Obama is disinclined to take positions or actions with respect to the core responsibilities of the presidency."

Yeah, no joke. At least Carter eventually sent in the military. It ended up being a disaster, but at least he did it.

Boy, what a low point this is: When the Carter's failures are something you hope he improves to. :(

former law student said...

The one piece of education reform experience he had prior to election was the failed Chicago Annenberg Challenge. The results of that were so dire he actually hid that from his resume when he was candidate.

I don't know what MayBee is nattering on about. The projects were funded, they were executed, the results analyzed, and the report written. The bottom line: none of the educational alternatives that were tried worked any better than the standard public school education. As Chairman of the Board of Directors, Obama helped monitor the process and reviewed progress.

There's no indication that money was improperly spent or any fraud occurred, right?

Christopher said...

"We can see that Obama is disinclined to take positions or actions with respect to the core responsibilities of the presidency."

Well, to be fair, Althouse, haven't we all had to take two or three years to get settled down in our very first job? Give the poor kid a little more time.

Oh, and it's Bush's fault.

Oh, fls - I know you were trying for snark, but why don't you put yourself some knowledge and read David Nichols' "Eisenhower 1956." Even in the middle of the Suez crisis Ike could play 18 holes and still accomplish more in a day than Little Black Jesus could in a week.

Alex said...

Guys - if Obama wants to play hooky that's a GOOD thing for America. The less time he spends trying to enact his radical Fabian socialist agenda, the better. FLS - are you WITH ME BROTHER????

Michael K said...

I am really seeing a valid comparison to Herbert Hoover. Like Obama, the perception he gave off was that of disinterest.

Hoover was a Progressive and an activist. He was just doing the wrong things, like Roosevelt who followed. At least Roosevelt was positive although it did no good.

For kids who think Eisenhower did nothing but play golf, he was totally different in private and totally in control. His stroke occurred in a rage when he was called into the Oval Office for some trivial matter. The difference was that he could run the country and play golf 100 times a year.

Obama can do neither.

rhhardin said...

There's a lot of foot-dragging on saying what was obvious in 1987. The man is a moron.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MayBee said...

There's no indication that money was improperly spent or any fraud occurred, right?

I said it was failed, and that he kept it off his resume- didn't mention it- when he was running for president. That's all true.

His one experience with school reform spent a lot of money with poor results. There is nothing in his history to make us think he has any expertise in this area, in fact his history shows us the opposite.
Why should we think he can reform the country's schools now?

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

With Harry and Nancy no longer calling the shots it seems like the county is on auto-pilot.

Meanwhile, Obama focuses on his cowbell lessons in preparation for the upcoming campaign!

Almost Ali said...

Who says Affirmative Action isn't the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Who says you can't lead a liberal to a mud-hole and make'em drink.

Who says that turning the greatest country in the history of the world over to a jive turkey wasn't the greatest display of evolutionary genius.

Happy Shaka Zulu, Mr Murphy.

WineSlob said...

Obama's Resolve and Rigidity
Now Droops as He Flops in Flaccidity
His Voice Once So Shrill
For Peace and Good Will
Now Sags Like his Trumped-up Turgidity.

Paul said...

The only question remaining at this point is whether what we're witnessing is the result of incompetence or malevolence.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
garage mahal said...

Why won't Obama concentrate on the real threats this country faces. Like NPR, Planned Parenthood, and Creeping Sharia. You know, like the Adults are.

Alex said...

garage - stop sucking my balls.

The Drill SGT said...

I'll offer up some faint phrase from david Brooks, (another Obama Voter):

Today, most Americans seem to think their country is seriously off course. They may have less tolerance for a president who leads cautiously from the back.

from a Vet's point of view you can't use more damning words about a leader other than, "cowered in the corner..."

Quaestor said...

MERRICK:
Captain! We're in danger! This ship's got to manoeuvre!

(Obama fiddles with his NCAA bracket choices)

MERRICK: Captain!

(Obama selects a nine iron, notices smudge on the carbon-fibre shaft, which he deftly removes with a moisten finger)

MERRICK: Captain! If we stay on this course we're going to sink!

OBAMA: Shut up, you racist, union-busting teabagger. (Fetches two large ball bearings from his coat pocket; he juggles them in his hand thoughtlessly)

pbAndj said...

Hilarious.

BHO is horrible because he isn't plugging the damn nuclear holes in Japan. Instead he played golf and went to the Gridiron on Saturday. And, he committed the crime of filling out brackets.

Surely cons would not have been disappointed w/ McCain. He'd be very busy "fixing" the world.

Carol_Herman said...

Carter lost because Reagan stepped up to the plate. (The elites wanted the elder Bush, remember?)

Again, you win, lose, or draw, based on the candidate selected. If Jeb Bush is selected in 2012, forget about it.

Where will the voters split? Among the Independents!

So far, with the wonderful wins in State Houses across America in 2010, the republicans have come forward. And, actually look capable of leadership.

What's really the best improvement, are all the newcomer candidates who are appealing not just to Tea Party People, but Independents, as well.

Who will carry the ball against Obama will make all the difference. Again, McCain wouldn't stand a chance.

Mark Hepfinger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rick said...

@FLS "Weren't you the ones complaining that you couldn't turn on the TV without seeing Obama?"

You are missing the point entirely. The country is looking for leadership, not face time.

Carol_Herman said...

The only reason I can think Obama wouldn't run, again, is that he is mentally ill. And, this would be what explains his inability to grasp onto any decision.

How would the democraps deal with Obama, if he is, behind closed doors, certifiable?

Quayle said...

"hammer away at the jobs-and-education message"

that would be the message that we need to resurrect the jobs his economic policies and health-care bill are killing,

and we need to improve our teaching, but don't touch that teachers union.

Wow, this guy is brillient.

Paul said...

"You are missing the point entirely. The country is looking for leadership, not face time."

No he's doing what he and his fellow travelers always do. Obfuscate.

lasckbounce said...

Zero knows his limitations --- so he stands on the sidelines or when action appears to be required or the appearance of action needs to be evidenced-- he'll kick the can down the road. Someone observed --Elections have con...blah, blah, baa, baa.... Maybe critical damage won't be sustained in the next two years...maybe

Pogo said...

...with luck he will spend the rest of his one term drunk on expensive champagne, smoking menthol cigarettes

Maybe then he'll turn into General/President Grant!

Awesome!
Except for Atlanta, I suppose.

Pastafarian said...

You're right, Mark. As Khaddafy's forces close in on the last of the rebels and get ready to massacre them, ensuring another decade or two of anti-American, antisemitic despotism in Libya, I'm just so grateful that we have bold heroes like you and President Obama to have the strength to muscle past the temptation to defend things like American interests abroad, or univeral human rights.

You're the wind beneath my fucking wings, Mark.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Those folks at Politico need to brush up on their sycophancy. While trying to obscure the truth, they accidentally let it slip out:

That has meant muscling past the red-siren headlines to hammer away at the jobs-and-education message that will be the centerpiece of his 2012 campaign, the kind of discipline that is a hallmark of his new senior adviser, David Plouffe.

Or to summarize: "He's too busy running for reelection to do his job."

Pastafarian said...

That's interesting. I see Mark erased his comment as I typed my response.

Your courage knows no bounds.

sonicfrog said...

Hoover was a Progressive and an activist. He was just doing the wrong things, like Roosevelt who followed.

I agree, but accounts and criticisms at the time reflect that he was seen as unaccounted for, isolated,as the economic crisis got worse. It wasn't true, he was very active behind the scenes, but purposefully put on a "business as usual" front, hoping the public would act the same way, which would lead us back to a healthier economy. It was much the same train of thought when GW encouraged people to spend and go about our normal business right after the 9/11 attacks.

At least Roosevelt was positive although it did no good.

You can't say Roosevelt did "no good". When you have 1/4 of the workforce completely unemployed, and you create jobs for a third of them.... that's not a bad thing. You have to put it in context. It's the difference between a father being able to bring some food home and providing shelter for his family, and having the family live in shantytowns.... That's something! Roosevelt was basically throwing stuff against the wall hoping it would have an effect. Some of it didn't, but some of it did.

Roosevelt's tax increases, raising the top rates from 25 to 63%, did hamper the recovery... Except that wasn't Roosevelt - that was Hoover. We can argue about taxes during that time, but the simple fact is that, even without the tax increases, the economy was in free-fall. The tax increase didn't help, but it didn't make much difference either in the short term. Too many of the wealthy and semi wealthy had lost everything in the crash of 29, and there simply wasn't any surplus capital in the private sector to invest and start growing business. And those that did have the capital were not moving it in that direction because it was not a good investment.

On Presidents going on vacation. This is a silly gripe. Presidents NEVER really go on vacation while they are in office. They are always connected to the job. It's like being a father. If you go on business trip that lasts, say two weeks, that does not mean yo have stopped being a father for those two weeks. You call home. You get updates. You still make decisions about the family. Though you are someplace else... you are still a father.

chickelit said...

PogoПОССУМ is much much better at America's Politico's gig here on Althouse!

Michael said...

FLS: "Is there something the US could be doing that it's not? Remember we're stony broke and our military has no gas in the tank."

1. Bomb all military runways in Libya.
2. Declare a 5 year tax holiday for any new factory built in the U.S.
3. Resume drilling
4. Sponsor a budget that was not a joke
There are a few hundred more but these four would be something that the U.S. could do.

Quaestor said...

Carol Herman wrote: The only reason I can think Obama wouldn't run, again, is that he is mentally ill. And, this would be what explains his inability to grasp onto any decision.

The clitter-clatter of Old Yellow Stain's ball bearing pierces the silence of the courtoom.

Matt said...

I see the stupid idiots Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck have completely fucked up views about the Japanese quake. Unfortunately the narrow minds of some conservatives get revealed to us every once in a while.

Clairvius Narcisse said...

how many jobs has boner created as he shuffles between golf courses and fund raisers?

mrs whatsit said...

It's not necessarily that there's anything more that Obama could or should be doing about Japan, or Libya, or whatever. (I leave out the budget mess, because clearly there's more he could and should be doing there.) It's his complete failure to understand that he needs to behave AS IF he is in charge, AS IF he is taking whatever actions are appropriate, and AS IF he cares, in order to maintain the nation's confidence in him as a leader. Clinton had this down, of course, to the point that his husky voice and teary eyes became a national joke. The first Bush got it, too, though with typical clumsiness (remember "Message: I care"?) And love him or hate him, I don't think anybody doubted that the second Bush cared, after watching his performance with the megaphone on the rubble at Ground Zero.

But Obama doesn't even seem to realize that leadership requires caring and effort on the part of leaders -- or at least the perception of caring and effort. Americans truly don't grudge their Presidents time on the golf course, or clearing brush or riding or napping at Camp David or whatever relaxation they might need from one of the hardest jobs in the world. But what we do grudge is the apparent choice to play golf, pick brackets and have fun in Rio INSTEAD of trying to do the job. Right or wrong, that is the perception this partying, bored, feckless, weirdly detached President has created.

It's so strange; this could be so easily changed. It's an ongoing mystery to me how Obama and his advisers -- no matter how inexperienced and green they were when he took office -- could still fail so completely to grasp the importance of the emotional aspect of leadership after more than two years on the job.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pbAndj said...

"2. Declare a 5 year tax holiday for any new factory built in the U.S."

Yes, disadvantage the stronger companies who've already made these investments. Now, they can pay taxes so that their weaker competitors (who couldn't financially justify an expansion, sans gov give-away) can clean their clocks.

Free market?

Cog said...

Obama hasn’t grown in the presidency. He’s doesn’t like being the decider with all the grief it brings. In his experience, the only firm position that worked out well for him was when he opposed the Iraq invasion to a Hyde Park crowd. That proved useful during the Dem primaries. But then he found his anti-surge positions didn’t work out for him and only reluctantly did he admit he was wrong about that. At this point, whenever possible, Obama tries not be held accountable by not taking positions of unfolding events.

PaulV said...

Jerry, I said Carter would be best scenario. BTW Carter's peanut farm was helped by corporate welfare. We survived Carter, Obama, maybe not.

Clairvius Narcisse said...

sixty grit,
so how many jobs, exactly, would that be?
btw, racism looks good on you.

DADvocate said...

Going throught the day with blinders on, ignoring the pieces falling around you is not more of a virtue than Chicken Little crying, "The sky is falling!" You need to adjust your game plan to the realities of the world, not ignore them.

traditionalguy said...

Obama is a substitute for a President with the clothes supplied by the willing media but no actual function except to make the office of President of the USA into an empty void that is only apparently occupied at all. He will travel and do little Presidential shows while the actions needed in the current crisis are under another 2 years of moratorium.

Quaestor said...

pbandj wrote: Free market?

At least as free as Chrysler bankruptcy deal -- stockholders get 10 cents on the dollar while a politically favored constituency without an actual dollar stake in the corporation gets 80 cents.

David said...

Amen, Althouse.

Evidence:

1.Turning over health care reform leadership to Congress, with the resultant incoherent disaster.
2. No leadership on deficit and entitlement reform.
3. No energy policy beyond promotion of marginal sources like solar and wind.
4. Total failure of his goal to "regain" respect for America internationally.
5. Dithering on Libya. "Khadaffi must go, but we won't help you get rid of him."
6. Tax reform? What's that?
7. No private personal communication with nearly half his cabinet members in nearly two years.
8. No leadership on Afghanistan. Does he actually believe in the effort, or just feel trapped by it?.
9. No evidence that he is thinking seriously about the future role of US military in the world.
10. Bland and sporadic efforts on the genuine educational crisis we have nationwide at the grade and high school levels.
11. Haiti? Did something happen there recently?
12. The emotional range of a catatonic zebra.

sonicfrog said...

It's his complete failure to understand that he needs to behave AS IF he is in charge, AS IF he is taking whatever actions are appropriate, and AS IF he cares, in order to maintain the nation's confidence in him as a leader.

BINGO!!!!

And remember, when Obama had that press conference where he let Clinton take over.... Man... The difference was striking!!!!! Some of you may not have like the guy... But HELL, there was a guy who could captivate an audience, who looked like he could lead! It does make a difference.

PaulV said...

fls, only an idiot would call Ike a slacker.
How much does it pain you that Obama is incomoetent?

pbAndj said...

"stockholders get 10 cents on the dollar while a politically favored constituency without an actual dollar stake in the corporation gets 80 cents."

This statement needs to go back into the rewrite shop.

There is no such thing as 80 cents on zero dollars.

And, "shareholders" getting ten cents on the dollar for a bankrupt company would be awesome, this is even a decent deal for the bond holders.

Fred4Pres said...

The United States is becoming more and more irrelevant.

I do not expect us to stick our noses into everything, but if these rebels are better than Qadaffi we should support them (agreed with a light hand, but not just ignore it all). And Japan is a major ally and our unequivical support is warranted.

blake said...

Baghdad Bob Lives!

wv: berga

(fast food for muslim women)

David said...

Sonicfrog:

Half truths are pretty much the same as lies.

Hoover did sign a bill increasing the top marginal income tax rate to 63%. That was a bipartisan effort, and a bad mistake.

Roosevelt later used his ironclad control of Congress to raise the top marginal rate to 79%. He could have fixed the Hoover mistake if he wanted, but instead he compounded it.

rick said...

@Matt "I see the stupid idiots Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck have completely fucked up views about the Japanese quake. Unfortunately the narrow minds of some conservatives get revealed to us every once in a while."

Nice diversion Matt. Your point regarding the subject at hand?

BTW Matt, if you are looking for a good read on the Japanese quake/ nuke problem, read Holman Jenkins @ the WSJ this morning. (Matt that's the Wall Street Journal.)

Pastafarian said...

Matt said, "I see the stupid idiots..."

Those are some great points, Matt. They give me a whole new perspective on Obama's inaction. I just never put two and two together, to realize how it was all caused by Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.

Quaestor said...

There is no such thing as 80 cents on zero dollars

pbandj nails it and inadvertently sinks his own ship.

That's how the UAW got a 40% share of the reorganized Chrysler, thanks to Obama's concept of capitalism.

Pastafarian said...

Clairvius said: "...boner..."

And that's really all you need to read, to know what he wrote. "Boner" is the new "Chimpy McHitlerburton."

pbAndj said...

"Nice diversion Matt. Your point regarding the subject at hand? "

Actually, Rush was rambling on and on about this exact topic, using these exact examples on yesterday's show. So, Althouse's regurgitating the originator shouldn't mean that comments can't mention the original source.

Clairvius Narcisse said...

there is no "a" in boner!

Pastafarian said...

pb&j said: "...gov give-away....Free market?"

Because, to all free-market capitalists like pb&j, a tax holiday is a government give-away; because all capital actually belongs to the state, and anything that the state beneficently decides that we worker-bees can keep is a "give-away".

Pastafarian said...

You know, Clairvius N...; that's just a whole hell of a lot of letters there.

Let's abbreviate that to CuNt.

ricpic said...

Do any of us know what Obama's czars are up to? Since we don't and since every last one of them is a fanatical leftist rest assured that there is nothing placid or passive about those behind the placid front man, only we don't have a clue about the DETAILS of the destruction being wrought. But it's being wrought. Every day.

Pastafarian said...

By the way, CuNt, the guy you're reducing to "Boner" grew up in rural Ohio in a family of 11, started working at the age of 8, was the only member of his family to attend college, and ran a small manufacturing business.

Compare that background to those of most of the credentialed teat-suckers of the ruling class, CuNt, before you use a 5th grade mockery of a common German name.

dbp said...

It goes against every fiber of his being, but the president needs to pull himself together and make a phone call to Defense Secretary Gates. "Bob, provide air support to the rebels in Libya. Make it happen now!"

Two minutes of the president's time and years from now there would be a statue of Obama in Tripoli.

pbAndj said...

quaestor,

How was my ship sunk?

You could show a little grace and acknowledge that I was correct to point out the multiple errors in your statement.

Anyway, don't you love how the unions were almost totally locked out of the Board of Chrysler? Sure they have an ownership stake, but they barely have any power over company decisions. It's an acknowledgement that unions shouldn't be close to management (although Germany does seem to do ok w/ some union participation at the Board level, but I'm digressing). I'd expect a clever con to make some sort of comparison to the WI mess.



Pasta,

Selective tax breaks are give-aways. Some are selected to win, others, not so much. They are the gov picking winners and losers, rather than market forces.

Pastafarian said...

dbp, I think that move would have to have occurred about 2 weeks ago. It would be a day late and a dollar short at this point.

Which means it's probably being considered as we speak by President Feckless.

vbspurs said...

When I read the first article last night, the full impact of Obama's odd passivity hit me like a Sherman tank.

I will confess that until the Egypt crisis, I thought that Barack Obama didn't have the stomach for being "leader of the Free World", but his passivity could be explained as a political philosophy -- no more than that.

See, strategically, he was just seeking to de-emphasise the role of US President because world progressives have long wanted America to become like Britain, not the leading power, but merely one of many important nations.

So Obama took to world stage with his bowing routine, apologising for our faults, as well as maintaining we had the same domestic problems many nations had, so who are we to ask anyone to change.

Then came the Egypt crisis.

And worse, the Libyan crisis.

I don't think he's passive anymore, or that he's doing it to downplay the importance of the US.

No. It's not that he's a ineffective president. He's incompetent.

I'm actually quite frightened for the world.

Phil 3:14 said...

Weren't you the ones complaining that you couldn't turn on the TV without seeing Obama?
Agreed and that's part of the present situation I appreciate (less cowbell).
This really isn't surprising given his past history. In the Senate he did little legislating and a lot of campaigning. His key strength has always been his ability to attract positive attention and become a symbol of our "hopes and dreams".

I'm happy with the status. If pushed to "do something" he will revert to his core liberal beliefs.

So we have primarily a legislative government. And given the split government that's good.

(PS hammer away at the jobs-and-education message
Could someone clue me into what that message is? Win The Future?)

Joe said...

"Bob, provide air support to the rebels in Libya. Make it happen now!"

Meaning,

"Bob, have a bunch of Americans die so one set of assholes can replace another set."

vbspurs said...

President Feckless.

Nnn-mmm, Pastafarian...far be it for me to tell you what to say, but using terms which are traditionally tied to the black race, turn an opinion into a racist viewpoint.

Can you imagine if someone had called Condoleeza Rice, "Secretary Uppity"?

dbp said...

Pastafarian, you are right; two weeks ago would have been infinitely better. Gadahafi's forces will never be able to move on Benghazi with our air cover and they won't be able to stand-up to the rebel forces if we bomb anything that gets in their way.

Better late than too late. I don't think it is too late yet.

Pastafarian said...

pb&j: "They are the gov picking winners and losers, rather than market forces."

You mean like the bailout of GM? Or do you mean the 1000+ exemptions given to donors and allies to skirt around Obamacare? Or huge government incentives handed out to purchase specific uncompetitive products, like the Volt?

(I'm still waiting for someone to show me where the power to provide exemptions to law comes from.)

A tax holiday for new companies isn't based on whether the company contributed to the Democrat party, it's based on the date that they're incorporated. There's nothing untoward in that, no perversion of market forces. It's just based on the recognition that it's a difficult environment right now to start a new company, for some odd reason (probably Bush's fault). I didn't suggest this holiday, though -- I'd go further.

So I guess you and I are in complete agreement, then: They should eliminate the corporate income tax entirely, not just for a select few companies.

vbspurs said...

The bit quoted from the first article was not the worst part. This was:

Saturday, he made his 61st outing to the golf course as president, and got back to the White House with just enough time for a quick shower before heading out to party with Washington’s elite journalists at the annual Gridiron Dinner.

With various urgencies swirling about him, Saturday’s weekly videotaped presidential address focusing on “Women’s History Month” seemed bizarrely out of touch.

Obama Friday took time out to honor the 2009-10 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks. Thursday was a White House conference on bullying – not a bad idea perhaps, but not quite Leader of the Free World stuff either.

Obama appeared a little sleepy as he weighed in against the bullies, perhaps because he’d spent the night before partying with lawmakers as they took in a Chicago Bulls vs. Charlotte Bobcats game.


Golf, schmoozing with media, basketball games, NCAA picks.

Not independently every other week, which is fine, but one after the other, bang-bang-bang.

Think of it as JFK being interviewed by Sander Vanocur during the Cuban Missile Crisis to pick his brain about who'll take the homerun title, Mantle or Maris.

Come on.

Pastafarian said...

vbspurs, you're going to have to point me to some specific reference, where the word "feckless" has been used as a racist codeword.

I've never heard or read it used in that way, that I recall. And its roots have nothing to do with race.

sonicfrog said...

Sonicfrog:

Half truths are pretty much the same as lies.

Hoover did sign a bill increasing the top marginal income tax rate to 63%. That was a bipartisan effort, and a bad mistake.



Hoovers tax hike didn't make much difference because there was not much capital available to grow business anyway. If instead, at that exact moment in time he would have brought the high income tax rate to zero, it wouldn't have made a bit of a difference. Once the depression train starts down that track, it has to reach its natural conclusion. It would have been too late. Even if he would have acted sooner, I doubt it would have made a difference. To much wealth had evaporated on Oct 29.

Roosevelt later used his ironclad control of Congress to raise the top marginal rate to 79%. He could have fixed the Hoover mistake if he wanted, but instead he compounded it.

OK... That was in 1936... And what happened to the economy in 1936???? It continued to grow. You can argue that it might have grown more rapidly, and that is valid, but it didn't "kill" economic growth. Remember that even with that tax rate, there were still ways for the wealthy to get around it. Just like in the 50's and 60's, which had a top rate of 91% there were loopholes in the tax system; ways to get around it. And those with the means to do so, did.

PS. Remember, the 50's was one of the most dynamic economic periods the US has even seen. What was the high end tax rate during that whole period?

PPS. I'm not arguing for higher taxes. I'm simply showing that, all things being equal, they don't make as much of a difference as is often portrayed. BUT, it depends on the circumstances.

dbp said...

The rebels might be as bad as Gadahafi, but they could hardly be worse. If we help them, they are more likely to appreciate it than if we continue in the not-lift-a-finger mode.

Also, how many Americans will die in the next Pan Am Flight 103?

Pastafarian said...

Maybe you were thinking of the quote about "The damage done to U.S. prestige by the feckless, buffoonish George W. Bush..." by that noted racist Camille Paglia.

Please, enlighten me. We don't have many words left that are still PC to use, and I hate to lose yet another based on bad information.

Lucius said...

It would be gratifying to see Obama at least once get some kind of recognition wringed out of him the way Carter did after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan.

Of course the fact that Carter was unfeignedly "shocked" by Soviet conduct is itself an appaling comment on his Presidency.

And Carter has done plenty of sucking-up to dictatorial regimes since to make amends for his moment of doubt.

But it would we great to see a moment of sobriety in Obama. Not the fake-sober glazed-over passivity of his usual manner, but some kind of actual human response to events. Some flicker of momentary urgency.

Michael said...

pbandj: The new factory would be new. In other words there would be no factory in the place where the new factory was built. And no people going to the place where there was no factory. And no taxes being paid by the people who did not go to the factory that was not there. Upon completion the workers would pay taxes to the government. Taxes that otherwise not have gone to the government because before the factory was there the factory workers did not work. The company would have a five year, not a permanent, tax holiday. That is why they would think of building the factory on that vacant lot instead of a vacant lot in, say, Oaxaca. It would not be in Wisconsin in any event because of the potential for whining crybabies but otherwise it would represent new jobs for Americans at no cost to the government. Would that tax break be unfair to competitors who already have an operation in place? At the margin yes, but only at the margin. Tax breaks, by the way, are how auto manufacturers were attracted to South Carolina and Tennessee and Alabama. Workers there are happily building cars and the governments are collecting tax revenues from workers.

cubanbob said...

We have a Peter principle President. I suppose we should be grateful for his incompetence. imagine what the results would be if he were competent with his ideology. God help us. Perhaps we did dodge a bullet.

Clairvius Narcisse said...

dear pastafarian,
let's just abbreviate that to pansy.
boner's background doesn't amount to a hill of beans. judge the man by his current actions. he claimed his number one priority would be to create jobs. i see zero evidence that he is fulfilling this promise. i see a great deal of evidence that he is still playing plenty of golf and attending fundraisers.

Quaestor said...

pbanj:

No factual errors have been pointed out by you. The UAW did receive a dis-proportionally large share of Chrysler's residue assets (shall we say an obscenely large?)

Your ship is indeed sunk, or a better metaphor is you're hoist with your own petard, specifically your "free market" snark against Michael's proposal for a corporate tax holiday for start-ups. Obama is no stranger to crony capitalism, in fact his sweetheart deal vis-à-vis Chrysler amounted to a gift to a reliable Democrat client -- the UAW bought 40% of Chrysler with a low-interest loan financed with taxpayer bucks. (Somehow I doubt the taxpayers will ever get repaid) Ergo glug... glug... goes pbandj's snark.

People who live in glass houses...

vbspurs said...

Why should Obama be more active, anyway, when he doesn't need to defend himself? He counts on others to do so.

Like Ian Buruma of all people, who calls his Egypt and Libyan handling "valourous discretion".

Or many other journalists, cartoonists and pundits who call him an Overthinker.

Wow, really, an overthinker? Good God.

Just how much will it take to force his defenders to acknowledge he's in over his head?

vbspurs said...

Cubanbob wrote:

We have a Peter principle President. I suppose we should be grateful for his incompetence. imagine what the results would be if he were competent with his ideology. God help us. Perhaps we did dodge a bullet.

That is what all of us Obama critics have hugged to our hearts since mid-2009.

Today I agree, but I am starting to believe incompetence is no good second prize for malfeasance.

vbspurs said...

I have been predicting this for two years now, amongst many others, but if Barack Obama doesn't seek a second-term or quits abruptly during any of his terms, I wouldn't at all be surprised.

Pastafarian said...

CuNt, I suspect that Boehner knows that the government doesn't create jobs.

It can impede their creation; or it can get-the-fuck out of the way and allow productive members of society to create them.

And that key just below the apostrophe? It doesn't say "Shit" on it, like you thought it did; it says "Shift". Maybe you thought if you pressed that key, it would redirect your browser to scat videos. (Come to think of it, maybe you actually have repurposed it to that end, and that's why you're unable to use it.)

I didn't think you'd be impressed with the history of a self-made man. But what impresses someone like you, CuNt, is of very little concern to me.

vbspurs said...

Pasta, don't worry, I am not going to follow you correcting you about the terms you use. We go way back. I get you. :)

sonicfrog said...

Someone mentioned a five year corporate tax holiday?

Nope... Do away with corporate taxes altogether.

vbspurs said...

Sonicfrog wrote:

And remember, when Obama had that press conference where he let Clinton take over.... Man... The difference was striking!!!!! Some of you may not have like the guy... But HELL, there was a guy who could captivate an audience, who looked like he could lead! It does make a difference.

Once we all got our breath back at the sight, including the Press Corps, there wasn't a person in America who didn't say to himself, what a difference.

It's Charlie Daniels handing the fiddle to the novice saying, "That's how you do it, son".

vbspurs said...

Is Wineslob the new Sir Archy? Mighty good poem, there. :)

wv: tendernet (where wallflowers find love)

Quaestor said...

And now he's off to Rio!

At least it won't be during Carnival, that would be rubbing it in.

Maybe Malia will get kidnapped. Could be interesting.

Pastafarian said...

vbspurs, if I do use a term that's offensive, let me know. I'm not trying to offend anyone; at least not like that.

I just don't think feckless qualifies. Maybe some racist, at some point, called blacks feckless. (I've never even seen one such reference, but let's assume that there is one). But that doesn't mean we can no longer use this word. These same racists have also called blacks lazy; does that mean we can't point out how lazy Obama has been, out golfing and such?

Hell, Obama is barely black to begin with. He's as much white as he is black. And even the black part of his personal history isn't what we would associate with African American culture: He's not a descendant of slaves, he didn't grow up in racism, his father was a rich African and he went to private schools and was a Harvard legacy.

Condi Rice was an African American. Obama is a pretender.

pbAndj said...

Pasta,

I can't say it should be eliminated, because there's already a huge deficit. BTW, are cons still big fans of Ireland's business friendly tax system? How about Russia's? It wasn't long ago that the Kudlow/Forbes crowd was all over those two.

But, the loopholes and specific give-aways should be eliminated so that all companies pay the same rate, which should be a lower rate. That is, move to a flatter, net-revenue neutral system at a lower rate.

Of course, this is easier said than done. For example if you take away the breaks specifically for pharma, then you're attacked for being against life saving this or that. Take away breaks for oil, and you're attacked for potentially higher costs for poor people heating their homes. And so on.

I'd also take away the popular deductions for individuals, e.g. mortgage interest and employer funded health care costs.

But, now I sound like a delusional TPer who has no concept of political realities. This stuff is never going to happen.



Michael,

I have first hand experience w/ a very successful large scale manufacturing company (w/ many plants) in this country. It is a big deal when some less stable company gets this sort of a special deal after a better company has already made strategic investments based on the expectation of a level playing field. That is we want to take out our take over our weaker competitors, this is how real, long lasting jobs are created. Let businesses sort out who wins, and who loses.

Also, I'd hope that con legislators could get over their aversion to wordy legislature. I can see many ways to game the scenario you laid out. You'd hope that actually legislation would have all sorts of road blocks to limit overly broad interpretations, and clever accounting. But, I doubt it.


quaestor,

It takes a small person to deny their undeniable errors.

Clairvius Narcisse said...

pansy,
http://tinyurl.com/5tqh7rp
you seem to know a lot about scat, boner's words and promises, not so much

Quaestor said...

And how much of the money we don't have will be spent on the Brazil trip? Shall we start a pool?

The WH press corp flunkies are styling this as a much needed state visit to the most powerful, and heretofore sadly ignored, economy in Latin America. The usual obfuscation, if it's a state visit why not fly to Brazilia? Why not? Because it's boring.

wv: bughi - what you get from eating a lot of raw ants.

Quaestor said...

pbandj:

You're looking extremely tiny lately. Got a problem in the fact department?

Quaestor said...

pbandj:

Did you vote for Obama? Do you regret it? Yes or no.

Trooper York said...

Leave our President alone. He can't do anything because he can't figure out who are the real enemies of our country. Once he figures out who hates us the most he will support them like he always doses.

Give the man a break

Plus it is hard for him to choose a side when both sides are Muslims.

It's like picking sides on Yankees intra-squad spring training game.

vbspurs said...

Quaestor wrote:

The WH press corp flunkies are styling this as a much needed state visit to the most powerful, and heretofore sadly ignored, economy in Latin America. The usual obfuscation, if it's a state visit why not fly to Brazilia? Why not? Because it's boring.

Very boring. Also, the Googie architecture makes Brazil's new lady president, popularly called by her first name only (Dilma), look fatter.

Joe said...

dbp,

History is replete with examples of countries saying of rebel movements "they can't be worse" only to find out that they are. (The Taliban being a recent example. Iran being another.) I'd say this is the much more common scenario.

This is but one reason to stay out of Libya's civil war. There are many others. Having said that, Obama could at least articulate those.

PaulV said...

Sonicfrog, those 1936 tax increases caused a recession in the Depression in 1937 when they took effece leading to the loss of almost 100 democrat seats in House. Luckily for FDR starting in 1938 sale of war materials to England and France facing war threat in Europe led to economic recovery in US. Without Hitler FDR would not have run in 1940 because he would have been so unpopular. Did FDR refudiate those tax cuts in 1939 or not?

Skyler said...

So, Ann. Are you regretting your vote for B. Hussein yet?

pbAndj said...

Q,

I voted for him. I gave him money. And, I have not regretted my vote for one second since I cast it.

BTW, in the 2000 primary I went even further for McCain. In that primary I voted for, gave money to, and physically campaigned for McCain. I still think I backed the right guy in 2000. I don't think he would have been able to stop 9-11 (but I do think he would have been more vigilant re Muslim terrorists pre-9-11, even so it's unlikely to have mattered). But, I do think McCain may have been better at war making than W was. Of course, this could be a problem too. He may be war making all over the place. We'll never know.

Quaestor said...

Also, the Googie architecture makes Brazil's new lady president, popularly called by her first name only (Dilma), look fatter.

Does this new Chamber of Deputies office building make my ass look big?

Leo Ladenson said...

I wish Colin Powell had been the first black president. I don't agree with him on a lot, but I assume he would have been competent. (I have also heard racist rednecks say they would have voted for him--not least because he was a "general officer" and Vietnam vet.)

His election would also have put the black vote much more up for grabs. The Zero's election guarantees the black-Democrat alliance for the next 50 years.

pbAndj said...

And, I almost forgot, I still have my McCain yard sign. I never got a BHO one.

Steve Koch said...

Voting present is what O has always done and always will do. O is the Chauncy Gardiner of presidents.

OTOH, O ought to golf as much as he wants. He isn't doing any harm when he is golfing (addition by subtraction) and the stress of being prez has to be soul destroying (so reducing stress by golfing is useful).

Chip Ahoy said...

You can talk about Obama all you want, I for one am fine not to have his overt leadership on everything of significance happening in the world.

vbspurs,

I think the term "shiftless" would be more self-incriminating in the way you describe than "feckless."

Quaestor said...

I voted for him. I gave him money. And, I have not regretted my vote for one second since I cast it.

It takes a small person to deny their undeniable errors.


pbandj is shrinking... shrinking... shrinking...

But there's an upside. Now the rest of him is being to match his dick.

Quaestor said...

correction: beginning to match his dick

PaulV said...

Clairvius Narcisse suffers from Boner envy because his love is Barack H. Bush. The economy started coming back when people realized that Rs would win House, but Barack W. Bush is standing in the way of needed reforms to crony capitalism.

sonicfrog said...

Sonicfrog, those 1936 tax increases caused a recession in the Depression in 1937

I KNEW someone would say that. Of course, if you're a Keynesian, you point to Roosevelt's and Congresses attempt to tackle the deficit as the cause of the 1938 recession.

As usual, when you read the details of the period... There was so much going on at the time - the Fed tightening money supply in late 36, huge auto union strikes in 36 / 37, market uncertainty, economic instability in Europe... You get the picture.

Like the current situation we are in today, if you take the economic philosophical blinders off and stop push a favorite POV, you will find there were many factors that contributed to the economic roller-coaster that was the Great Depression.

PaulV said...

sonicfrog, are you saying that FDR's attacks on corporations was as responsible for the 1937 becessionin a depression as his tax increases?
We know that Obama adopted Hoover's failed policies of tax increases and pro labor in 2009

Michael said...

PB&J: If the difference between success and failure of a business is the competition's tax rate I would say we are in deep shit. I am in favor of eliminating the corporate tax altogether, and if we want to "create" jobs we will have to be obliging to businesses that have options in terms of where those jobs can be stationed. If you were involved in large scale manufacturing then you would know that a five year tax holiday is not such a big deal inasmuch as it is unlikely that there would be much taxable income given the in-place tax incentives reflected in depreciation allowances, capital cost write offs and the like.

Quaestor said...

History's Famous Undeniable Error Paradigms:

(1) Julius Caesar: Rome needs a king without a crown. Just ask my friend Brutus.

(2) Mary Todd Lincoln: Hurry dear, or we'll be late for the play.

(3) Sophie, Duchess of Hohenburg: But Franz, Sarajevo is such a nice town.

(4) Richard M. Nixon: I'm not a crook.

(5) pbandj: I voted for him. I gave him money. And, I have not regretted my vote for one second since I cast it.

E.M. Davis said...

Would that tax break be unfair to competitors who already have an operation in place?

And they could get crazy and expand or add a second operation!

Personally, I do not favor using tax policy to try to influence behavior, individual or corporate. I prefer the tax code to be cruelly neutral.

However, we need to generate employment in some fashion.

sonicfrog said...

sonicfrog, are you saying that FDR's attacks on corporations was as responsible for the 1937 becessionin a depression as his tax increases?

You seem to think I'm a Roosevelt worshiper. I'm not. But I'm also not a Roosevelt hater either. Economics is more complex than either of those camps wants to paint it. Fall into either one, and you're bound to miss details that contribute to economic trends. That narrow focus is why both Larry Kudlow, a supply-side, and Jim Kramer, more of a Keynesian guy, both missed the signs and severity of the economic collapse of 2008.

mrs whatsit said...

I also used "feckless" in reference to the President and have never understood it to have a racial connotation -- and I grew up below the Mason-Dixon line, at a time when racist references were commonplace and at least somewhat socially acceptable. However, I would be glad to know if others have reason to think differently -- there's no need to hand ammunition to those who look for excuses to play the race card whenever Obama is criticized.

The WV for this comment, on the other hand, is "lameless." Now THAT sounds racist to me!

Quaestor said...

E. M. Davis wrote: Personally, I do not favor using tax policy to try to influence behavior, individual or corporate. I prefer the tax code to be cruelly neutral

Well said. But politics being what it is ruthless neutrality is beyond what is practically possible. (If men were angels no government would be needed...) Therefore tax policy should maximize investment and expansion. The time has come for the return of real 19th century style laissez-faire capitalism. There's nothing like it to maximize growth. Things eventually will get out of hand, just as the Keynesian-Obamaian interventionist state has gotten well out of hand to our gross misfortune, and when it does we'll fix it. But for now, capital must be unshackled, or we and our descendants will be shackled to a darker and poorer future.

wv: primette -- the gatefold model in PlayApe magazine

Clairvius Narcisse said...

paulv, you are not correct sir. i am not a fan of obama's. he didn't get my vote in 2008 and he won't get it in 2012.
i understand the mentality of commenters on here that believe you must be a libtard if you don't agree with something posted here, but that really detracts from having an intelligent discussion on any given topic. many posters here are a pleasure to read because they state their position in a clear manner and often cite sources of information to bolster their claims. unfortunately, many would rather just attack any that they perceive as "other".

virgil xenophon said...

ricpic up-thread has hit on a key point. It is not so much Obama (or any other leftist "progressive") as bad as he is, but the faceless ideological bureaucratic zelots--the "true believers"--which are swept into every level of every agency when leftists come to power. These political appointees not only do untold damage out of the public purview, they remain behind; converted to almost impossible-to-dislodge civil servants for decades thereafter constantly accreting over time like geological superimposed layers to form an almost impenetrable layer of leftist bureaucratic misiama--the Nomenklutura--which exercise regulatory control of our lives pretty much independently of Republican Presidents. Worse, GOP regulatory appointees--unlike the leftist Nomenklutura--mostly have other lives and usually depart with Republican administrations,
leaving the field to the neo/crypto regulatory Stalinists.

Obama will eventually depart...the leftist Nomenklutura is forever...which explains why government policies continue to ratchet leftward no matter who is in power..

Quaestor said...

I must agree with mrs. whatsit and disagree with Chip Ahoy. Feckless is the better adjective for Mr. Obama. Shiftless, apart from it's (weak) racial connotations, is not accurate. It means inert, which Mr. Obama is demonstrably not, just look at his 2010 travel expenses. Someone that peripatetic can't credibly called shiftless.

pbAndj said...

"it is unlikely that there would be much taxable income"

So, then why do it?

Every such gov adventure in the private sector seems like a justifiable idea on it's own. But, after a while you end up with the mess we currently have. If we can't even say NO to adding more complexity, how can we possible expect to reform the absurd tax code we already have.

You need to stop digging before you can reform.

But, it is true that, in my experience, businesses that can spin off hundreds of millions of dollars of income for it's family owners can still minimize their tax burden in the ways you mentioned, as well as others. For example, setting up all sorts of interrelated corporations that sell back and forth--all done solely for tax minimization reasons. And, it's not fair for one company to go through all of this BS, when the weaker company next door can completely avoid it. Let him/her fail or sell! The better company will eagerly fill the void w/ better processes, better products, and more stable employment.


P.S.
If we really get in the weeds, newer manufacturing facilities tend to do a lot more w/ a lot fewer employees. This is good for productivity, so the owners (more dough) and the buyers of products (cheaper stuff) do quite well, but saying this is a big job grower is not true. In my experience, the big motivation (beyond a growing book of business) for capital upgrades is to increase automation, i.e. to limit workers.

And, btw, most of these sophisticated machines come from europe. But, some are coming from Asia, even China. How will the purchase of this equipment be handled in you tax scheme? Is it only construction, land acquisition, and property taxes that will have a five year tax break? Are there federal construction, land acquisition, and property taxes? Or are you suggesting that all output from this new facility will be free of federal taxes? What if a company puts up a building and moves in everything from an older building, do there taxes go away for five years? What if they pack their new building w/ new equipment from oversees, such that they can increase production while they cut jobs in half (or more)? That would be great for the equipment manufacturers. Not to mention the Asian steel manufacturers, who may supply the material for the building. So, our gov finances its increased deficits (resulting from special tax give-aways) w/ foreign countries buying T-paper.

We get debt, job eliminating automation, and a distorted market that disadvantages our strongest companies. Foreign countries get jobs.


P.P.S.

You seem to be more personally familiar w/ successful folks in America than many.

You must realize that the super rich (w/o any hint of malice, and w/o illegally avoiding taxes due) have piled up a lot of dough in Switzerland, and the like.

And, these folks will not think twice before offshoring jobs, if that will make them more money. Of course, dealing w/ Chinese manufacturers definitely involves a learning curve.

Cons who think we need to keep lowering standards to compete w/ quasi-slave labor in China are...RIGHT! But, I'm not sure that cons who are lower on the economic spectrum really understand what this means for them, personally.

Quaestor said...

pbandj wrote: You must realize that the super rich (w/o any hint of malice, and w/o illegally avoiding taxes due) have piled up a lot of dough in Switzerland, and the like.

You must realize that this whole Swiss bank accounts of the (gasp!)Super-Rich is a canard. It was long-in-the-tooth when it was a staple of Wobblie pamphleteers. It is decidedly yellow with age now.

PaulV said...

Clairvius Narcisse, How do you explain your mindless attack on SOH Boehner except for boner envy.
When u=you made a mindless slur I counterattacked in kind. Why do you complain?
Sonicfrog, do you agree that Obama has actually prolonged and deepened recession and if not, why?
Crony capitalism and favors to favored supporters is never wise. Uncertainty on taxes, regulations and other costs of doing business has consequences.

former law student said...

1.Turning over health care reform leadership to Congress, with the resultant incoherent disaster.

Compare to the unmitigated disaster when Ma and Pa Clinton took the leadership role. Results are far more important than process. ("It's magnificent, but it's not war." -- Marshal Bousquet observing the Charge of the Light Brigade)

2. No leadership on deficit and entitlement reform.

He tried to raise taxes on high income earners -- other than bringing health care costs under control, that's the only way to reduce the deficit

3. No energy policy beyond promotion of marginal sources like solar and wind.

His build-more-nukes plan has kind of stalled right now. Why don't oil companies start drilling on the lands they have already leased?

4. Total failure of his goal to "regain" respect for America internationally.

Bullshit. Having a banty rooster like W. in charge did not impress any country.

5. Dithering on Libya. "Khadaffi must go, but we won't help you get rid of him."

With what? Further, even if we had military force to spare, is the "Great Satan's" help really good for the cause of freedom in Libya?

6. Tax reform? What's that?
I'll spell it out for you:
D-E-F-i-C-I-T

7. No private personal communication with nearly half his cabinet members in nearly two years.

Is that what they tell you when you curl up together at night?

8. No leadership on Afghanistan. Does he actually believe in the effort, or just feel trapped by it?.

The US has a strategy that we're currently executing.

9. No evidence that he is thinking seriously about the future role of US military in the world.

It has to shrink because we can no longer afford to be the world's policeman. Is this the right time to bring the subject up?

10. Bland and sporadic efforts on the genuine educational crisis we have nationwide at the grade and high school levels.

He's not W. redux.

11. Haiti? Did something happen there recently?

Send in the Marines!

12. The emotional range of a catatonic zebra.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Quaestor said...

The only delusions worth having are the unshakable kind, eh fls?

wv: itarrhed - the title of Barack Obama's first autobiography, written by the noted child prodigy when he was only two years old.

former law student said...

I wish Colin Powell had been the first black president. I don't agree with him on a lot, but I assume he would have been competent.

Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld torpedoed any possibility when they fed Powell bullshit about Iraq to repeat. Powell gave them complete loyalty, which they betrayed.

pbAndj said...

Quaester,

There's nothing sinister about it. It's a great way to avoid the dollar's decline in value. And, it's completely legal.

My point is that I don't think folks who don't count their annual income in millions really understand what they'd end up doing if they had that much money. It's absurd to assume that any gov tax policy will close the cost of business gap between us and others, e.g. the Chinese. We should be able to consider the possibility that additionally advantaging the ultra-rich (relative to normal people) may not be the cure-all our economy needs.

When gov policies do funnel more money to the ultra-top earners, it is silly to think that this money is going to "trickle down" in America. On this point I'm not only talking about anecdotal experiences. Since Reagan we've seen the ultra-rich consume around eighty percent of our nation's growth in wealth. No trickle down.

Issob Morocco said...

Community Organizing is not about decision making and leadership, it is about agitating, riling up the masses, then disappearing until the alledged oppressor, nee victim, is willing to surrender then the C.O. rides the media wave back to glory.

This guy is worse than Jimmy Carter and Martin Van Buren rolled into one.

Quaestor said...

I'm sorry if I implied "sinister." The (oh, horrors!) super-rich are not stupid. Stupid and super-rich don't go together. If their capital is fleeing our shores it's not bound for Zurich, that's only for emergency cash. In Switzerland you get anonymity and 1 point. The smart money is headed for Singapore and it's denominated in yuan.

former law student said...

Community Organizing is not about decision making and leadership,

True

it is about agitating, riling up the masses, then disappearing until the alledged oppressor, nee victim, is willing to surrender then the C.O. rides the media wave back to glory.

False. Glory is for politicians. The community must set its own goals and provide its own leaders. The community organizer helps identify and coach potential leaders, and helps the community figure out what it wants and needs.

To illuminate the difference: There are schools, streets, and a state holiday named after Cesar Chavez. Nothing is named after community organizer Fred Ross.

Trooper York said...

"This guy is worse than Jimmy Carter and Martin Van Buren rolled into one."

Martin Van Buren was a great president. The "Little Magician" played Congress like a fiddle and did a lot for his home state of New York.

And he mangaged to overcome the burden of being Aaron Burr's illigitmate son.

Quaestor said...

To illuminate the difference: There are schools, streets, and a state holiday named after Cesar Chavez. Nothing is named after community organizer Fred Ross.

Huh? This proves nothing about cv entry known colloquially as "community organizer." It mean that Chavez was better at self-promotion than Fred Ross, but even that's a stretch.

wv: anstidem - the type that caused McClellan to loose the Battle of Sharpsburg

Hoosier Daddy said...

PS. Remember, the 50's was one of the most dynamic economic periods the US has even seen. What was the high end tax rate during that whole period?

Excellent point. Perhaps what we need is a horrifically destructive world war that destroys the industrial capacity of our rivals and allies after which we go back to being the major supplier of durable goods for the next 30-40 years.

Quaestor said...

Yeah, mine was fall of typos too. Call me Little Mac.

Michael said...

fls:
1. "Results are far more important than process." Complete rout in following election.
2."He tried to raise taxes on high income earners -- other than bringing health care costs under control, that's the only way to reduce the deficit"
Stimulate growth and tax collections will go up. Raising tax rates does not translate into higher collections.
3. I don't believe he has/had a "build more nukes" plan, perhaps a build more nukes speech but those are not the same things. If you lease a plot and determine that the costs of drilling outweigh the rewards due to less than thrilling deposits you do not drill even though you pay on the lease.
4. Having a "banty rooster" like GWB caused Ghadaffi to surrender his nuclear program. Had he not done so our Hamlet of a President would have been under more pressure than he is now.
5. You may recall that Ghadaffi is a coward and GWB sent him to cover at least once. Numerous inexpensive solutions to taking a side are/were available.
6. I have no idea what you mean by this comment other than your wrong headed belief that raising taxes raises money.
7. Check this out for yourself. It is common knowledge in DC that our leader keeps to himself.
8. Strategy inherited from the banty rooster.
9. "It" does not have to shrink unless we are willing to learn chinese
10. GWB did not lower expectations in the classroom. Anticipate that NCLB will be "fixed" by our current leader by lowering the bar. Double win: the teachers do better and the children do too!!
11. Haiti should have gotten the Libya treatment.
I laugh out loud at your invoking Kipling in support of Obama. Really a nice touch and supportive of the idea that you understand neither Obama nor Kipling.

E.M. Davis said...

PS. Remember, the 50's was one of the most dynamic economic periods the US has even seen. What was the high end tax rate during that whole period?

Excellent point. Perhaps what we need is a horrifically destructive world war that destroys the industrial capacity of our rivals and allies after which we go back to being the major supplier of durable goods for the next 30-40 years.


BOOM. Roasted.

sonicfrog said...

Excellent point. Perhaps what we need is a horrifically destructive world war that destroys the industrial capacity of our rivals and allies after which we go back to being the major supplier of durable goods for the next 30-40 years.

Except now, with the way the govt lackeys prefer things, we would simply decrease our capacity to make things more equal. It's what climate scientists say they want anyway!

sonicfrog said...

BOOM. Roasted?????

No. Not really. If you followed my next comment you would see that I said that economics was more complicated than any one factor. If those high taxes were such a huge drain, there still would not have been the capital available to invest in those ventures...

The amazing recovery was a produce of several factors. The most important was pent up demand, coupled with pent up saving of the middle class that occurred during the war. We did indeed become the supplier to the world, but you seem to be unaware of the massive amount of aid that was given to the crippled countries of Europe and to japan, which came directly from our govt, via those high taxes. Then, that money came right back to the United States to buy the goods and products that helped economic growth.

To summarize - Government Stimulus.

Again, I'm not arguing FOR govt stimulus, or higher taxes... but just pointing out that it's more complicated than just cutting taxes, or raising taxes, or govt stimulus, or any other single thing various factions want to fixate on.

Michael said...

"Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld torpedoed any possibility when they fed Powell bullshit about Iraq to repeat. Powell gave them complete loyalty, which they betrayed."

Bush, the dumbest human to be born, tricked the whole world!! Bush lied and people died. Cheney/Halliburton. Rumsfeld.

Got it. Ah, the sweet smell of the old days wafting back into the oh so shitty real world of now.

Belkys said...

Look how the y sse Obma at valencia, Spain. second photo:
http://www.noticias24.com/actualidad/noticia/220635/la-imagen-chavez-representado-en-la-falla-almirante-cardaso-conde-altea-en-espana/

pumping-irony said...

It appears that the presidency is too big a job, even for someone as "gifted" as Obama. So here's a solution: we let Obama continue to handle all the important duties like golf and basketball and hire someone to handle the piddling stuff for him like making decisions and leading the country.

andinista said...

ohmigosh, sonicfrog compares Obama to Hoover.

Really, look up Hoover's bio. Hoover makes BarryO look like a mental midget. Hoover had a lifetime of real accomplishments in both industry and government. Before the Depression, Hoover was one of the most admired and respected men in the country, because he got things done. Hoover vigorously fought the Depression. FDR ran as "like Hoover, but better", then proceeded to do the opposite.

Fen said...

DHOTUS

Diversity Hire Of The United States.

Obama was hired because of his skin color. He was never qualified for the position. His incompetence shouldn't suprise anyone.

Gob Bluth said...

The problem, as I argue below, is that the President isn't offering the very thing he was supposed to provide: hope. In many respects, he inherited a number of unfortunate circumstances, and I think most Americans would forgive him for "where we are." The problem is that he doesn't inspire confidence in "where we're going," and that's partly a function of the mistakes he made with the initial stimulus and how it was constructed.

http://talkingpolicy.blogspot.com/2011/03/hope-is-last-thing-this-administration.html

TmjUtah said...

I second the notion that Obama rates no comparison to Hoover.

But on topic:

Who is surprised by this sudden realization that the State Senator that voted present who became United States Senator (briefly) and voted present would do anything else but be... present?

He's done his job. It's arugula, champagne, and golf from here on out.

Holder will continue to deconstruct the DOJ. Geitner ditto at Treasury. And Joe Biden will stop being noticed even by SNL.

As one of my favorite movie characters once said - "Game OVER!".

Hell, they don't even bother to give their press secretary talking points any more.

Rubes.

andinista said...

"Obama is disinclined to take positions or actions with respect to the core responsibilities of the presidency" says our hostess, I think (if I parsed it correctly) speaking her mind.

One cannot imagine the same sentence ever being written of John McCain. And yet, being disinclined to do your sworn duty is/was a decisively-valuable part of that "first class temperament" (per Buckley) that swayed so many. Some of us knew it then of him. Better late than never, we hope.

Did you really vote for a President who is inclined to shirk his responsibilities? Really?

madawaskan said...

Belkys

Obama as Snow White!

Ha! The Hugo Chavez is funny too.

Thank you for the link.

J said...

Someone of Obama's stature cannot be contained in one narrative. He needs multiple, complementary narratives to create a full and nuanced picture, and that is what you find here. Sort of like the Gospels. Except it's "Obama according to WHD" and "Obama according to Politico." Politico offers the added bonus built-in hagiography.

You can't really blame Obama for his passivity, anyway. I mean, with Japan appealing to the US for aid, the UN proving impotent in Libya, Unions getting the shaft in Wisconsin, and social programs proving unable to create jobs, he is utterly shell-shocked. His entire worldview is imploding. It's like when the mom in "Good-bye, Lenin!" goes wandering off into the streets, except Obama has nobody to pull him back into his sheltered world and fabricate a plausible narrative about the things he's seen.

Loggerhead said...

Dear fls,

How many times a day do you masturbate to that Sheppard Fairy poster in your bedroom?

Nevermind. It's obviously too much.

tom swift said...

Hmmm.

It looks like there's a developing consensus that Obama isn't even voting "present".

Is it possible to vote "absent"? Like, say, some Wisconsin legislators.

sonicfrog said...

About Hoover. Perhaps I wasn't as clear as I should be. I wasn't comparing Obama to Hoover the man, but to his years as President. Hoover was seen as completely ineffective... You know... Hoovertowns, Hoover Blankets (newspapers used as blankets) and Hoover-flags (pockets turned inside out... That was what I was comparing. By the end of his administration, Hoover was reviled, was seen as incapable of handling the economic situation. Sound familiar?

FDR ran as "like Hoover, but better", then proceeded to do the opposite.

Andinista - source that please. You seem to have no idea that FDR actually took many of Hoovers economic ideas and policies, and turned them up to eleven. Please research all the specific policies enacted by Hoover, Look up the Federal Farm Board (regulate and stabilize ag), the Reconstruction Finance Corp to save the credit of the nation, and created both the President's Emergency Committee on Employment and the President's Organization on Unemployment Relief. If they weren't created by Hoover, you would swear they sound like something that FDR would have created. Hoover also believe in piublic works projects. There is a reason the Hoover Dam is named the Hoover Dam and not the Roosevelt Dam. Really, the only line Hoover didn't, wouldn't cross, was giving direct handouts to citizens through government programs.

After you've read more of the details of Hoovers actions taken during the beginning of the Great Depression through his loss to FDR, and I'm not talking about a politically biased hit piece, I'm talking about just straight facts, please try and argue that these actions by Hoover are not mirrored by the Obama stimulus packages, bail-outs, and the appointment of the various Czars to try and figure out what to do.

PS. In 1930, Hoover cut the tax rates to encourage business. Granted, it wasn't a huge tax cut, but since tax rates in the day were somewhere around 12% for corporations, and 1 to 3% for individuals, there wasn't much room to go lower. The cuts had no effect. I'm not saying tax cuts are bad, just saying they are not the magic bullet some portray them to be.

Jeff H said...

"Passivity"? How 'bout "pissivity"? We've got a piss-ant in the White House, and every thug and America-hater in the world knows it.

vbspurs said...

I think, after reflection, that the arguments of Pastafarian and others about the term "feckless" not being seen as racist (WRT to Obama), have swayed my opinion.

The word shiftless is more properly the connotation associated with anti-black racism.

So Pasta is right to use it, and I am sorry to have muddied the waters.

Cheers,
Victoria