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Making Government Smaller Through Proper Regulation: A Liberal Point of View

I Screwed Up, So You Pay Up!

I Screwed Up, So You Pay Up!

Remember when Grover Norquist said he wanted to shrink government so small that it could be drowned in a bathtub? And conservatives cheered, sneering at big-government liberals who want to steal money out of the pockets of the honest American businessman and give it to welfare queens so they can drive their Cadillacs and feed their 900 children?

After eight years of Norquist’s Party running Washington, how’s that working out for us?

The Bush administration seized control of the nation’s two largest mortgage finance companies on Sunday, seeking to shrink drastically their outsize influence on Wall Street and on Capitol Hill while at the same time counting on them to pull the nation out of its worst housing crisis in decades.

The bailout plan for the companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a seismic event in a year of repeated financial crises followed by aggressive federal intervention, places the companies in a government conservatorship, much like a bankruptcy reorganization. The plan also replaces the management of the companies.

Whhhhhaaaaaaattttt? Isn’t this the mighty hand of Uncle Sam, reaching out to, gasp, REGULATE these corporations? But-but-but, I thought we had a free market here! I mean, since those companies were managed poorly and cannot meet their obligations, obviously they should fail. You snooze, you lose, greed is good, shit happens, right, Ronnie Raygun/Bush Part Deux?

[Treasury Secretary] Paulson said Sunday that it was important to rescue the mortgage giants because a failure of either company would cause turmoil in financial markets in the United States and around the world.

“This turmoil would directly and negatively impact household wealth: from family budgets, to home values, to savings for college and retirement,” he said. “A failure would affect the ability of Americans to get home loans, auto loans and other consumer credit and business finance. And a failure would be harmful to economic growth and job creation.”

Uh-HUH. In other words, the institutions were allowed to get too big to fail, and the American people will have to pay the price of corporate mismanagement once again. Call me crazy, but I don’t think that’s shrinking government at all.

The article continues in a very interesting way. It quickly moves to defend free-market ideologues by saying they had cautioned against the backing of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae by the federal government. Ha, ha, they were right! Just let the corporations do exactly what they want and let the chips fall where they may! Yet this argument is utterly ridiculous, considering that Bear Stearns, which also received a huge government bailout, was not officially backed by the federal government. And notice that at no time do these wise and prudent economic geniuses condemn the practices that actually got these lenders into trouble in the first place.

Thanks to the awesome government-shrinking philosophy of the Bushies, yet ANOTHER government program is being proposed to prop up these companies:

In addition, the Treasury Department will create a so-called Secured Lending Credit Facility, a backup source of borrowing for the companies in the event that they cannot borrow enough money on the open market to finance their main business of buying mortgages and reselling them as pools of mortgage-backed securities.

I would like to propose a radical idea: When you regulate corporations properly, government actually gets smaller. Here are two reasons why:

  • Fewer monopolies. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae hold or guarantee more than half of the country’s mortgages. If we had kept the Sherman Anti-Trust Act active (it was used to break up AT&T in 1982), this monopoly would never have occurred. Thus, companies like Freddie, Fannie, Bear Stearns and Morgan Stanley would never have gotten “too big to fail.” And you and I wouldn’t be forced to aid and abet them in their malfeasance.
  • Better financial practices. The “bursting of a bubble.” Sounds so inevitable and passive, doesn’t it? Yet the housing bubble did not have to burst in such a destructive manner. The main reason for the far-reaching consequences of the plunge in housing prices is deregulation. Financial institutions were not always allowed to invest in mortgage-backed securities. Mortgage lenders were not always allowed to make loans of $800,000 to people making $50,000 a year, nor were they allowed to charge any interest rate they desired and put in clauses so convoluted that only a real estate attorney could possibly understand them. The regulations preventing these abusive practices were loosened in 1999, when Bill Clinton was a lame duck and the Republicans controlled Congress. And Republican Phil Gramm was a chief architect of this brilliant plan.

As a liberal, you might think I would be for “big government.” Not at all. I’m for focused government.

  • I want my government protecting me from rapacious corporations, not protecting rapacious corporations from me. So, the FISA “Compromise” should never have been passed. AT&T and other telecoms knew exactly what they were doing when they agreed to spy on Americans illegally. They broke the law and if I want to sue them for it, I should be able to.
  • I want the government to deregulate my private life, and regulate my public life. Hello, Government? Stay out of my fucking uterus and my emails. Get a warrant if you think I’m a criminal and have the ability to prove it. Thank you. Meanwhile, please put real criminals in jail, no matter what the color of their collars. Yes, Dick, George, Condi and Rummy, you committed war crimes. You deserve leg irons and orange jumpsuits.
  • I want the government to be responsible to the bottom 90%, not the top 10%. Look, does Lee Raymond (ex-chairman of Exxon-Mobile) really need another chin? Make the corporations start paying their damn taxes. Make the oil companies pay the back rent on their leases. And for God’s sake, why is Warren Buffett paying less tax than his secretary?

These are the main issues that made me a Hillary Clinton supporter, and I believe that a lot of Americans, no matter what they call themselves, would concur.

This election has taught me that we voters must stop demonizing each other and work together to get our country back, no matter who wins in November. We are never going to agree on everything, but I believe we can agree on the important things.

And that’s what makes me a liberal, and a PUMA Democrat.

275 Responses

  1. If Obama was an actual leader…if he had any actual policy plans…he would be all over this. Can you imagine what Hillary would have done with this story?

  2. CDO – I know!!!! She would have said “Democrats good for economy, Republicans bad.” And America would have said, “She’s right!” and elected her in a landslide.

    [[bangs head against wall]]

  3. Ironically, that’s what the evil Bill Clinton did — he made government smaller and more effective.

    Upon taking office, Bush promptly reversed both trends.

    Katrina showed us what a wonderful idea that was.

  4. Plural – the thing is, when you deregulate to such a massive extent, you end up replacing government with corporations.

    That’s called fascism in my book.

  5. Your right about Fannie and Freddie, but the corruption of these two agencies goes back 20+ years and crosses party lines. The republicans under Bush opened the tap on the taxpayers money and the R congress drank its full and then some. Much profiteering spilled over to the Dems. This year the Dem leaders (Not clinton dems) hoped to take control of the tap for themselves.

    Just look at what Pelosi did as her first actions on becoming speaker. she shored up her entitlement to the speaker perks that the R was taking. We need Hillary back.

  6. OMG, thank God for this site! I just went wading in the Obama cesspool and tried to talk reasonably about issues. I need to stop doing that.

  7. NH – I agree! Hence the line at the end about being a PUMA Democrat.

  8. Aw, PUMA Democrat. I like that.

  9. Good post, Madamab–as usual.
    I’m getting bad flashback to the Savings and Loan bail out, only this time there’s no President Clinton to get in there and mop up GOP mess.
    My husband says I’m all Clinton, all the time, but that’s because Bill and Hillary are the best of the very few, real Democratic politicians left.

  10. Thanks NH!

    SweetSue, I know, me too. Who is going to clean up Bush’s mess? Sadly, both Obama and McCain are raring to continue Bush’s tax cuts. Aaaaaack!

  11. It’s not the bailouts I mind as much as the fact that the people responsible for the mess always get away scot-free with their ill-gotten gains.

    Let’s see a few of them left penniless, with maybe a 2-5 year stay at Club-Fed too.

  12. wow. great post. sometimes I think we really do live in the upside down universe. Oh, and wasn’t graham the one that told us all we were just whiners about the economy, or something like that?

  13. I looked up Fannie Mae this morning and found it was a New Deal agency that was privatized in 1968 in order to take it off the federal books and balance the budget.

  14. Myiq – The CEO’s of Freddie and Fannie are getting kicked to the curb, but not right away, and of course, will get golden parachutes as a reward for their horrific mismanagement.

    Don’t it just drive ya crazy?!

  15. The next 12 generations will be paying for the corruption and bad management of both the rep and dems.
    The dem congress is the most weak willed candy assed wimps in history.
    The rep were so busy worrying about people’ bedrooms they let wall street rule.
    what a mess that with good leaders could have been avoided.

    COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS, AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  16. Gary – Yes, indeed.

  17. I don’t think we should ever argue about size of government. You said the important aspect it explicitly: you want government to be responsible.

    Conservative and liberal alike were appalled by the poor response to Katrina. They don’t like oil companies making excessive profits with fuels that pollute the environment. In other words they don’t think the government is being responsible. The big/small dichotomy is a very well poll tested frame that the GOP has used for decades. It will be hard to win that. But everyone wants a responsible government.

  18. I think there are two thinks I would like changed.

    1) if a persons sole souce of income is cap gains/diviedends etc no wages, then they should not pay 15% cap gain rate.

    2)we shoud eliminate any and all tax credits for taking jobs out of this country. They can do it, but they shouldn’t get a tax credit.

  19. gqmartinez – I agree, and I’m actually not arguing the frame, I’m attempting to shift it.

    I do think government should be smaller, a la Bill Clinton. However, deregulation makes it bigger, not smaller. That’s what I’m trying to say.

    🙂

  20. at 2:22

    they’ll get golden parachutes when what they deserve is golden showers (ha! my bad).

  21. sorry to go off topic, but this part of that caucus blog really got to me:

    But if the Obama-Biden ticket becomes flummoxed by the historic nature of Governor Palin’s addition as a woman to the G.O.P. ticket — by someone who may attract independent women voters and some Democratic women voters who supported Senator Clinton but can’t find a way to back Senator Obama — who better than Senator Clinton to tackle the “18 million cracks in the glass ceiling” that both tickets are now vying for?

    can somebody tell me how they are BOTH vying for it when the Dem ticket doesn’t have a woman on it. and oh, the bit about everyone wanting to see a “cat fight”…don’t get me started….

  22. NH – I agree with #2, for sure.

    I want rich people and corporations to pay more taxes. I think it’s ludicrous and criminal the way the tax burden has been shifted onto the middle and lower classes.

  23. whoops guess that was on the last thread…the link to that piece is here:

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/08/clinton-palin-duels-not-so-fast/?hp

  24. at 2:28

    #2 was part of Hillary’s plan.

  25. who better than Senator Clinton to tackle the “18 million cracks in the glass ceiling” that both tickets are now vying for?

    Oh spare me. If he wanted her to win this election for him, he should have put her on the ticket. She has plenty to do for the Senate and for the state of New York, thank you very much.

  26. Madamab,

    One of my posts went into the spam filter because it had a really long link in it. I wanted to send you the link to an aol story in which someone cut and pasted one of your plays without attribution and people seem to think that the person who posted it is the author. If you check the spam filter, you can find the link.

  27. I was a flight attendent back in the day when they deregulated the airlines. They were going to run so much more efficiently, tickets would be so much more cheaper, blah, blah, blah…………… We all see how that worked out.

    Also, a little known fact to most people. Back in the day of regulation, you had service to small towns. Now, you still have service to SOME some small towns and the outrageous cost of those flights that are required by the government are passed to the airline sevicing them.

  28. angelasmith re “golden showers” – LOL!

    👿

    Gary – There is a huge pathology in the way the Obamabots insist on seeing Hillary as the Mommy of the Democratic Party.

  29. Every time you read about contaminated food, toxic medicine, etc. then thank Ronnie..he really got that ball rolling. Tearing down positive social change, especially those policies of the “National Destroyer” FDR, has been a prime goal of the GOP for 60 years. GWB destroyed the “New Deal” reforms that tried to prevent the financial abuses that resulted in the Great Depression…That worked well..our economy is going over the cliff and won’t hit bottom for at least two to three years.

  30. About 2 1/2 years ago a man in his sixties came into my store with his wife. He started talking about politics. He votes Democratic, and stated, “Both Democrats and Republicans are corrupt, but at the end of the day I have more money in my pocket when a Democrat is in office.”.

    He was obviously a rascist, because he used racist epithets to describe Obama. He believed Obama would win the nomination, and this was before he had even announced he was running.

    This is the gut instinct perception that Senator McCain is fighting in this campaign. The fact that most middle class small town voters fundamentally believe that any Democratic president leaves the average person with more money in their pockets after they scr*w them over.

    Is it true? I think that Obama is such an unknown quantity that this assumption would be incorrect. I think they have imitated all things bad about the Bush administration, and that an Obama administration would be just like Bush.

  31. Hillary is the mommy of the Democratic Party. She needs to step up and slap down that brat and send him to time out.

    Punishment, Retribution and Reform 2008

  32. Maria – I don’t see your comment in the spam filter! That really worries me. Can you re-post and format the link properly?

    This is where the name of the link goes

    Without the spaces.

  33. Ah Jesus Freaking Christ. I really hate WordPress because of that.

    Let me see if I can find it.

  34. I’ve noticed the “mommy” problem, from both sides.

    Hillary is the mommy who is supposed to fix everything, and never do anything we wouldn’t disagree with.

  35. You’re exactly right, SHV. You know, sometimes government is the solution.
    My sister advises buying canned goods and mattress stuffing.
    That is to say stuffing your mattress with whatever cash you have left.
    It sounded like I was suggesting that we buy goose feathers. Of course that might be the proper response to the Obama campaign.
    “Goose Feathers, I say!”

  36. This is completely off-topic but is a total testament to the Power of the PUMA bond.

    Earlier I talked about wanting to see Hillary when she comes to Houston but not being able to afford it. A whole bunch of PUMAs who’ve never met me and don’t know me from anywhere but a blog got together and mass called this lady on my behalf. They were nice enough to work to pull some funds together so that me and ma can see Hillary up close. That’s a bond and I’m so proud to be a part of a movement like that. Since I know I have friends everywhere, I have to give thanks everywhere. To Camillions, Conflucians, and PUMAs all around.

    *kisses hugs and eternal gratitude*

  37. Republicans went overboard to cut back social programs in part because of well publicized abuse. Or what was seen as abuse. Anyone who looks objectively at the 70s knows there were well publicized cases of young healthy women in their early 20s having 4+ kids and grandma would adopt 1 or two. All to get child welfare. I’m just saying Reagan was a reaction to that. It wasn’t a great way to live, but folks were doing it and folks were pissed off. I know, I know but we had polar opposites at that time.

  38. Regency – that is AWESOME!!!

    Can you imagine Obots doing something like that?

    Maria Garcia – Can you put your post about the play on my blog?

    Oooh, Nuance!

  39. Here’s the
    link

    Hope this works. My html coding is rusty.

  40. NH – That’s the 1% Doctrine.

    If 1% of a government program doesn’t work, trash the entire thing.

    Raygun started it, and Bush took it to a ridiculous degree.

    Where liberals went wrong was to pretend that the 1% didn’t exist, instead of arguing “nothing is perfect, so we should fix it instead of destroying it.”

  41. REGENCY THAT ROCKS I hope you get to meet her !!!

  42. SHV, I think that Raygun bears the lions share of blame, but Carter bears a little, too. Carter, by his well-meaning but bloated mismanagement, created the environment and backlash whereby Ronnie could arise. That meme that Democrats are for big government was not made up entirely out of whole cloth, just shamelessly embellished into more than it was.

    This is one of the reasons that I have been so saddened over the years that the Dem party has not freaking worked hard to ENSHRINE Bill Clinton in the popular mind as the cultural definition of a Democrat. If they had, we could fight that meme a lot easier. Bill GOT IT. And they have never given him his due, not even his own party, from the time he left office.

    It is not about big government vs. small, and sometimes I DO think more govt is the enemy, because it is not an answer in and of itself, as has been amply demonstrated on both sides of the aisle. Hillary had the ability to take that fight to the masses without raising spectres of “tax and spend”. Obama? He always sounds like he is alternately playing right into that old stereotype of wasteful liberals, then rushing in a panic to endorse Reaganomics. He is like a race car that keeps over-correcting on the turns.

    FOCUSED government is what we need. I think I will use that word from now on, madamab.

  43. madamab, you are right, but republicans played it very well and the Dems didn’t. Reagan was a reaction by people who thought they were getting ripped off by the social programs.

  44. Thank you, Maria! I corrected the poster at the Political Machine blog. You rock!!!!

  45. I disagree with removing the cap gains tax. By doing that, what you are saying is a trust funder who never works a day in their lives never has to pay taxes while the working folk who work two jobs (8-16 hrs/week) have to subsidize the cops, clean water, etc. for the ones who don’t have to work. That is fundamentally unjust–working to provides services for those who do not work.

  46. Glad to be of service. It’s just a total coincidence that I found that article but as I was reading the comments I thought, hey that sounds familiar…….

  47. SweetSue, on September 8th, 2008 at 2:16 pm Said:
    Good post, Madamab–as usual.
    I’m getting bad flashback to the Savings and Loan bail out, only this time there’s no President Clinton to get in there and mop up GOP mess.

    I was thinking of the good old Savings and Loan bail out this morning . This Fannie bailout and the others they have planned will make that look like a petty cash
    robbery to pay the pizza delivery guy . Bush’s price for even thinking of leaving ….every possibly borrowed billion stolen for the top 1%

  48. wmcb, I agree, which is why an Obama administration where he plans to spend like a drunkun sailor (as bad as Bush) would destroy the Dem brand for decades.

  49. Frankly both Dem’s and Rep’s have gotten rich on these huge mistakes that are then paid for by the taxpayer while they continue to be able to send their kids to college and maintan over a million dollar homes. Here in Illinois we pay lower state income taxes but the highest sales tax in the land: 10-11% in several counties. I’m not sure what we get for it. I drove through our poorest neighborhoods into the city and in the several years that they have been under Obama’s watch things have gotten worse. 5 years ago I saw some new buildings go up and some cleaning being done. Now the new buildings (brick and mortar) which were slated for low income housing or mixed housing are boarded up. Murders of children have sky-rocketed and senseless killings are the norm in Chicago.

    Chicago spends 10K per high school student, whereas where I live we spend 8.8K yet out SAT/ACT scores are much higher (only 2 points under the much vaunted New Trier Schools for the ACT) in spite of overcrowding (3 kids to a locker at my daughters HS) etc. So where, in this Democrat run state, does the money go? It lines the pockets of politicians, some of whom write books while being paid by the taxpayers, instead of making change they are currently promising.

    Madamab, you are right, but Obama is not the solution, nor the democratic party (or any party). Just spend some time here in Illinois and you’ll see what I mean. Corrupt politics, excessive patronage, nepotism without equal (who said taxpayers have to fund an entire family’s jobs gotten through the patronage system. Emil Jones is just the most recent example. Since the Chicago machine isn’t doing such a great job here, I don’t think it will do a better job in the Oval office.

    After looking at Obama’s plans and researching him, and then witnessing the many flip flops of late I cannot trust that the man and the Dem led chambers will not ultimately break the taxpayers backs.

    I work for a financial data firm, and we’ve all discussed how the greed of a few has now been handed to the many to pay for so that our economy doesn’t blow up. Both parties are responsible for this.

    I’m willing to take a chance on McCain and Palin as they have actually made reforms, some against their party’s line. Maybe its time for some common sense. Hillary had it. But we can’t have Hillary.

    Palin approached the issues in Alaska with some common sense while being pretty fair at the same time.

    I don’t see Roe vs. Wade being an issue in the next 4 years but I do see our economy being an issue. I’m not ready to sign onto a 850 Trillion dollar package (over several years but still very high) on top of the 7% GDP already going out of the US which will be managed and decided upon by the President. Suze Orman asked an audience member why she felt bad when her relatives expected her to share the wealth just because she was single. I have so much, the lady said. How much debt do you have? 6,800 dollars the lady said. What makes you think you have so much when you have a debt? Well I have 10K in savings. What interest do you pay? The upshot was that before giving her money away she should pay her debts.

    We need to get that same grip with our national situation. We need someone pragmatic with common sense. Clinton had that pragmatism because of the way he grew up, lower middle class with a working single mom. From what I can see Obama won’t be providing us with that.

  50. NH – I completely agree. Here’s what I always say:

    If you want to know how to frame a problem, ask a conservative.

    If you want to know how to solve a problem, ask a liberal.

    (notice: I didn’t use party definitions there.)

  51. Regency
    check your email when you have a chance, K?

  52. I don’t know anyone who is saying we should remove the cap gains tax.

  53. Where liberals went wrong was to pretend that the 1% didn’t exist, instead of arguing “nothing is perfect, so we should fix it instead of destroying it.”

    Bingo. And in some cases and with some programs it was more like 10 or 20%, but still. In some instances the Dems, instead of being logical, admitting there were problems, and discussing how to fix them, took a tack of calling out all of those who opposed waste as uncompassionate uncaring bastards.

    MOST Americans want some social support system. MOST Americans also hate free rides and waste. By lumping those who had concerns in with the uber-conservatives who really ARE selfish bastards, the Dems made enemies of those they could have won over – driving them right into the camp of the selfish bastards.

  54. madamab, the link to where they posted your play is here:

    http://news.aol.com/political-machine/2008/09/08/obama-bill-clinton-to-do-lunch/2#comments

    scroll through the comments and you’ll see it

  55. Catarina, check yours when you get a chance, kay?

  56. Capitalism for the profits, socialism for the losses – what’s mine is mine, what’s yours is also mine – crony capitalism

  57. What’s mine is mine and what’s your is negotiable.

  58. WMCB –

    MOST Americans want some social support system. MOST Americans also hate free rides and waste. By lumping those who had concerns in with the uber-conservatives who really ARE selfish bastards, the Dems made enemies of those they could have won over – driving them right into the camp of the selfish bastards.

    Yup. I’ve done the very same thing many times. This election has made me realize that the concerns of conservatives can be quite genuine, and grounded in reality. Admitting that would go a long way towards creating a sensible center, I think. 🙂

    And they say an old PUMA can’t learn new tricks! 🙂

  59. Thanks, gary. I found it and responded to the poster.

  60. The GOP was at it’s best when it acted as a check on Democratic excess.

    Not every idea we had was good, and even when it was the execution was often faulty.

    Reagan really tried to cut taxes and government spending. He succeeded on the taxes, but quickly discovered that every spending program has a constituency.

    So he replaced “tax and spend” with “borrow and spend”

  61. Tax and spend works, as a general rule. Borrow and spend doesn’t.

    These are the kinds of issues we should be talking about in this election! Instead, we have American Idol-type commentary and massive misogyny.

    It’s so frustrating and counter-productive.

  62. Molly Ivins had a response for believers in deregulation.

    She said get rid of all stop signs, traffic lights, speed limits and other laws to regulate motorists. How well do you think that would work?

  63. Borrow and spend would be okay for a crisis, or to finance long-term investments on infrastructure (just like buying a house, only bigger) but it doesn’t work for everyday stuff.

  64. Speaking of taxes, you did see yesterday’s story that Obama is now…shifting his positing on Bush’s tax cuts? He said if the economy is bad (it is) he will delay repealing Bush’s tax cuts. So there’s one more issue on which he’s step-in-step with McCain.

  65. I posted at aol discussion the proper credit for madamab too – that poster was getting compliments for being a good writer and never once did he decline the credit!

  66. madamab,

    As a conservative Republican, I am 95% with you on this post! Nicely said.

    gqmartinez, re the capital gains tax: Removing the capital gains tax allows investors (the owners of the capital) to move the capital to better investments without penalty. It also allows elderly people to sell their homes and businesses without a penalty. For the “trust funders,” they will still pay taxes on their dividends and the corporations will still pay income taxes on their profits. Capital gains taxes penalize the efficient use of capital. Removing this penalty will remove the major barrier to efficient investing in this country–and will mostly help the middle class, not the rich.

    The economically optimal approach is to tax consumption, not income.

  67. madamab, I have found that on many issues where conservatives are wrong, they do have REASONS for being wrong. And those reasons need to be addressed honestly.

    Case in point: the arguments over sex ed in schools. What I have found out, in my conversations with some conservatives, is that they have an innate distrust of government interference in their private lives that is not much different from MY distrust of the same. The difference is, their distrust is focused on one area, such as their children, and mine is focused on things like privacy and choice and the bedroom.

    Some of these people are FIERCELY protective of their children, and the idea of some elitist govt wonk deciding what they will be taught in terms of sexuality fills them with horror. They see it as intrusive, and a huge invasion of their rights as parents. It is not much different than the horror I myself feel at the idea of the govt listening to my phone calls.

    The solution to this is not to slap them with teen-pregnancy statistics, just as it doesn’t work for me when I am told the FISA bill makes me more “safe”, so therefore the intrusion is justified. And it certainly does not help when liberals run around saying that “those people” are ignorant rednecks too stupid to care about not getting pregnant or HIV. Dumb fucks want to pop out babies like peanuts and sit around in their Wal-mart clothes drooling.

    You are going to have to first and foremost speak of them and their concerns with RESPECT. You are going to have to acknowledge that they as parents are feeling violated in what to them is a very personal area, and figure out how to get what you want by reassuring them, not calling them stupid hicks.

    You will never get people to listen and maybe come around to reason, if you don’t respect them, and if they don’t TRUST you to take their concerns seriously, rather than dismissing them.

  68. EOF – Thank you!

    DYB – I know. What a (*&!)#$$(*&!

  69. Taxing consumption doesn’t work. It’s regressive. A larger percentage of poor folks income would be going towards their living expenses. Paris Hilton should not be paying the same amount of tax as the person who works at a Burger King. No way, no how.

  70. Dave – You make my point excellently. We are not 100% in agreement, but if we were both in the Senate together, we could get a lot accomplished!

    WMCB – This is the area in which Hillary excels, and which gains her nothing but scorn from the ObamaBlogBoyz who mistakenly say she is “triangulating.”

    You are going to have to first and foremost speak of them and their concerns with RESPECT. You are going to have to acknowledge that they as parents are feeling violated in what to them is a very personal area, and figure out how to get what you want by reassuring them, not calling them stupid hicks.

    Elitists of both parties do nothing but dismiss the concerns of the “other side.” I used to be the same way, thinking that the “other side” was just too stupid for words. (Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.) Now the elitism within my own party has awakened me to my own.

    Maybe there is a silver lining to this horrible election cycle after all…the rejection of elitism by voters is a very good thing, and could lead to a true people’s revolution.

    PUMA POWER!!!

  71. WMCB, so true.

    A couple of years ago, I found out that my kids’ school had brought in Ann Simonton, a rape victim and former Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, to teach my kids that men are evil animals who cannot control their violent sexual instincts–which are constantly fed by an endless stream of pornography. Huh?

    Meanwhile, the school has dropped the dress code so we’ve got boys looking like Snoop Dogg and girls looking like 12 year-old streetwalkers “freaking” at the school dances. And teachers lecturing the kids about the evils caused by their parents’ hard work, er, selfish pursuit of wealth for the purpose of paying the mortgage and buying groceries. Enough is enough!

  72. This is the area in which Hillary excels, and which gains her nothing but scorn from the ObamaBlogBoyz who mistakenly say she is “triangulating.”

    Yep. Hillary never for one second gives up her Democratic ideals, or her vision for a better society. But she is wise enough to know that you will NEVER get there by lecturing the voters, or by fiat.

  73. Dave – And I thought it was just me who was shocked at what boys and girls are wearing these days. I just don’t appreciate seeing kids’ underwear on the street, be they girls (with the low-riding jeans) or boys (the boxers with the pants down around the ankles).

    Underwear means “under the clothes,” kids.

  74. Re consumption tax: Exempt groceries (not alcohol and tobacco). Exempt rent up to $1000/month. Exempt fees paid for public transportation, solar panels, etc.

    Savings = Income – Consumption

    Promote income, promote savings, tax consumption.

  75. It’s all the fault of no regulation on the newly securitized mortgage market.

    ***********Credit Derivatives.*******************

  76. Where can one still get a Hillary bumper sticker?

    Sadly mine, which stayed untouched in the Republican neighborhood in which I live, was ripped and keyed through today while I was inside my daughters college getting some paperwork done.

  77. This whole Mommy shit spooks the hell out of me. Why are people so insistent on seeing Mommy as the source of all that is both good and evil? She is the awesome and terrifying force of the universe, and she is the devil incarnate.

    Christ! She’s your damned mom. That’s where it begins and ends. You onyl see her as the awe-inspiring force behind the universe if you see YOURSELF AS THE UNIVERSE. You’re not. Get the hell over yourself if you do.

    Jesus, I just do not GET this. Is this some sort of fundamental Freudian psychodrama to the human species that I missed out on or something? Does anyone else see their mom as just sort of … mom, or is it just me?

  78. I love all these ideas. It’s amazing what we can come up with when a forum is presented.

    Personally, I think that the necessities of life should be made affordable by the government. That means health care, a place to live, education, food and energy. When a person is unable to afford those necessities, he/she cannot fully contribute to society and realize his/her potential.

    For example, I would like to see the cost of housing be tied, somehow, to the average income in the area. One of the reasons people went for those sub-prime mortgages is because the average income in America for a family of four is $50,000. Try getting a decent house or apartment on that salary in the Northeast corridor. The average 3-bedroom house anywhere near New York City will cost you $500,000.

  79. A lot of people don’t realize that the stock exchange has not been trading mortgage back securites for very long. With any new instrument there are bound to be things to iron out, but the Bush administration never wanted to tackle these things. THere was absolutely no regulation on credit derivatives

  80. …still can’t find the KOS diary Gary talked about with the “vote right not white” stuff.
    but here is a different one:
    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/9/8/133841/3210/755/591133
    …saying don’t be an evil PUMA (in the last paragraph, hee hee), get with the program, sign up for the daily talking points for writing your diaries,do not think for yourselves, if the diaries don’t conform to the talking points program, you will be thrown under the bus…
    It’s what I expected of Obamabots, but nice to see it in writing.

  81. backed

  82. Sorry for being off topic, but I felt angry and sad that people have to stoop to this – for me the sticker is a symbol, and I’d like to replace it.

  83. Janis – You’re a girl. You get that you’re just a girl.

    For some men, Teh V*gin* is perpetually terrifying.

  84. nijma, here it is. what I quoted was from a comment, but the post itself is pretty inflammatory and cultish too.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/9/7/154846/6842/716/590179

  85. Dave your tax plan seems almost as complicated as the one we already have. A three bedroom apartment in California is also well over $1000 btw so while $1000 may seem like a huge exemption in certain areas it wouldn’t be enough.

    I do agree with promoting savings but where you have difficulty is when the Cost of Living exceeds any advances in wages because many conservatives believe raising wages starts the apocolypse.

  86. whoops, forgot the strike….use the link fast nijma, I’m going to delete it in about 2 minutes!

  87. Dave, that whole thing with that model was an abject lesson in How Not To Win For Losing for girls — you have to dress like a streetwalker or else you aren’t stylish, but you’ll get raped for it! But you still have to dress that way — but lock your doors, wear a chastity belt, and watch your drink at all times!

    BTW, if you go up to a guy’s apartment after a date, you get what’s coming to you, you slut, and if you don’t then you’re a manhater who is personally responsible for that Poor Nice Guy’s self-esteem …

    It’s insane. The whole damned thing is insane.

  88. Janis – It was also Exhibit A as to why conservatives think we’re whackjobs. In what universe is that an appropriate viewpoint to present in schools?

  89. OMG Nijma, they are INSANE this is the third time i’ve said this today, but Kos is no longer just crazy it is SCARY AS HELL.

  90. Janis, I agree. I don’t get the mommy thing. I find it very creepy, and surprising. I expected misogyny, but not mommy issues.

  91. You’ve become an embarrassment to our side, the loose lips that sink ships, the willful spreaders of panic and despair, mere props and morale boosters for the real enemies that have been winding you up…

    I’m sorry but that sounds really nazi to me. since when are fellow americans “enemies” KOS is turning into a hatesite worthy of the KKK or any other hategroup…really scary

  92. madamab, I’ve only seen one up close once, and I was too young to remember much about it.

    Do you think it bolis down to fear of the unknown?

  93. When the revolution arrives my only hope is that I recognize it.

  94. The heroes and heroines are the ones that are putting their hands over your mouths to protect the larger flock from your panicked instability

    jesus christ, who wrote this, Joseph Stalin???? so we will have forced censorship to maintain ideological purity???? WHAT THE FUCK is going on over there??????????

  95. Janis, women aren’t the only ones that need to watch their drink. I got slipped a mickey once in DC. Woke up in the F’ers apartment. I tell everyone never to let anyone buy you a drink in a bar unless the bartender hands it to you.

  96. “Promote income, promote savings, tax consumption.”

    Although I agree that consumption based tax could be implemented in a way that is fair I don’t spend time thinking about it. It’s NEVER going to happen, politicians of both parties would lose too much.

  97. Mawm,

    That is true. In fact academic and industry expert opinions vary on the reliability of the calculations designed to “price” derivatives, including credit derivatives. In doing research for a company intending to enter this field, I found that there is no true consensus and although most firms use a variation of the Black-Scholes model, it is thought by many to be not exact.

    It’s not just the model that has issues though, its the foundation that is built for these derivatives. With credit derivatives related to the mortgage market the foundation was not solid as it was made up of many, many mortgages which were very, very risky.

    Banks and other institutions now use several available derivatives pricing platforms, but until derivatives are regulated
    there will still be issues with thes houses of cards. Buffett called them a WMD.

    However Wall Street hates regulation because it dampens returns. Thus it will find another vehicle to make quick money on for a few at the cost of many.

  98. Mawm – LOL! Yes, I do…but it’s funny that straight men seem to be falling victim to it more than gay men!!! 🙂

    Gary and nimja – WOW. I’m so glad I stay away from that place. Honestly, who do these people think they are?!

    I expect them all to break out into a chorus of “Tomorrow Belongs To Me” momentarily!

  99. Bill Clinton and Robert Rubin did the right thing on the economy. Obama was slamming Bill on the economy during the primaries.

    It’s one area where Clinton thinks he never got the credit he deserved.

  100. Good read here:

    In Judging Obama, Question His Judgment

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,418821,00.html

  101. We need social services. I hate the whole line of “I don’t want to pay for those lazy $%(*$@”. If we don;t have a social net in this country. People who do have jobs and earn a living will suffer too because the “ugliness” of the poor will also spill into their lives.

    Uninsured people drive up the cost of Health care. Everyone should be insured even if the middle and upper class have to pony up for the poor. It will make the total cost less in the long run and the net effect of having a more healthy population will enhance other areas of American life too.

  102. ITA about men watching their drinks … it’s jsut the juxtaposition that’s given to girls about how you have to look fuckable but just not BE fucked. That paradox drives us almost literally out of our minds from the minute we get breasts. Get them hot, but make sure they don’t do anything — it’s your responsibility to both make them horny, and to NOT make them horny enough to do anything about it, because you’re guilty of doing what we told you to do if anything “happens.”

    BTW, you are under no circumstances allowed to get horny yourself.

    Like I said … nuts. They would not have brought that speaker into the school if she hadn’t been a model.

  103. The eBay website shows how low we have sunk and how much we are willing to tolerate this trash. Rush Limbaugh brought out howls of rage when he made fun Michael J. Fox. Now those same voices, who decried that hate filled garbage, seek to find humor through a handicapped child. And the commentators are no better for the most part.

    Many of Obama supporters are people we would not want in our own homes. They are truly vile and disgusting. One seriously questions what goes on inside the heads of people who engage in this type of disparagement. On second thought I don’t need an answer. The item alone speaks for itself. Sick.

  104. State of disbelief

    No, I have been involved with market data for a long time, primarily stock market data and prices. It took me a while to understand the complexities of the derivative market and I still find it very complex.

    However, I did work in an actuarial firm calculating morbidity, mortality etc, in the days when computers were not super-speed (learned programming on cards and tape) to put myself through college. My mom was raising three of us alone in the 60’s and 70’s when divorced women were anathema and women (even with an MBA) were paid peanuts.

  105. Thanks for this article. I agree.

  106. Mawm –

    We need social services. I hate the whole line of “I don’t want to pay for those lazy $%(*$@”. If we don;t have a social net in this country. People who do have jobs and earn a living will suffer too because the “ugliness” of the poor will also spill into their lives.

    I hate it too. But, we do have a responsibility to make sure that we administer social programs well and keep them as fraud-free as possible.

    I think we need to admit that you can’t have a high standard of living without paying for it. Raygun told us we could, but he was lying. Econ 101: There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Time to face up to that fact and learn from our European brothers and sisters.

  107. Thanks, Republican Woman! 🙂

  108. SOD – LOL!!

  109. sod, I read that and chuckled.

    But the article says it’s been done before, to no ill effect — as far as we know, that is. 😉

  110. I’m ready to be thrust out there. Start my own planet and be fully in charge. Oh, and I promise to count all the votes this time. My revolution has just started!

  111. I wanna live on Planet Pat!

  112. Pat, do not ignore the disenfranchised voters of Pluto.

  113. WMCB – LOLOLOLOLOL

  114. state, maybe all the black holes in the universe were caused by civilizations that were stupid enough to start making giant colliders.

    madamab- That is what I was inartfully trying to say. We need to realize that everyone is connected.

    However, I think some of the Europeans ideas are wrong too. France, for example, has a great standard of living for the unemployed, but at the same time, their strict firing laws make employers hesitate to hire since it is so hard to get rid of the employee later. The huge tax burden makes investment less attractive, and as a result they have really high unemployment. The french are also pretty racist by and large and most of the jobs go to the native French and not the minorities. You might have seen the rioting in the French suburbs a few years back. I lived in Paris for almost two years, and there was such a dramatic change when one went from the city to the burbs. People there will not starve, but they don’t have a lot of options as far as employment which is not good either.

  115. The Obamanation: Mouths covered. Dissent silenced. Loyalty oaths. Purges. Lies. Defamation. Censorship.

    Obama’s rabid young supporters remind me of Putin’s rabid young supporters.

    They remind me of Idi Amin’s rabid young supporters.

    They remind me of Chairman Mao’s rabid young supporters.

    They do not remind me of the young people of the 1960’s Civil Rights movement.

    They do not remind me of the young people of a shining Prague Spring.

    They do not remind me of the young man who stood in front of a tank in Tiannenmen Square.

    They do not remind me of America. Or Americans.

    And yet I know they are.

    It’s frightening.

  116. Oh, and I am taking Ed with me. He will be less inclined to “escape”.

  117. MadamB

    What I wouldn’t give for an honest politician! Instead of saying “listen folks, if I cut taxes then we can’t maintain bridges or pay for poor kids to have health care is that what you want?” They keep up with the sham that goods and services come from some fairytale place. It drives me crazy. The new buzz word for my liberal brethern here in VA is “fees” because evidently taxes are taboo(Cripes I am tired of ceding language and keeping up with linguistics). It’s almost enough to bang ones head against a desk.

  118. Hey lookingforintegrity, there’s also a bunch of Hillary 2012 stuff on Cafepress…just in case you wanted to get started early 😉

    Earlier I talked about wanting to see Hillary when she comes to Houston but not being able to afford it. A whole bunch of PUMAs who’ve never met me and don’t know me from anywhere but a blog got together and mass called this lady on my behalf. They were nice enough to work to pull some funds together so that me and ma can see Hillary up close.

    Awesomeness. Someone let me know if I can kick in a few shekels. I’m maxed out to Hillary but maybe I can squeak another $20 in there somewhere 🙂

  119. You are not fooling me, Pat, with this being all about the people. You just want to get your zero-gravity kink on with that Ed.

  120. OT – I just got this letter from VoteVets.org. Looks like some malicious POS’s are leaking the details of Track Palin’s deployment in Iraq.

    Dear VoteVets.org Supporter,

    One the most disturbing developments we at VoteVets.org have seen this week are media outlets reporting details regarding the deployment of Track Palin to Iraq, Governor Sarah Palin’s son. In a number of outlets, the details of when and where Track will be in Iraq have been reported. This isn’t just a violation of Operational Security (OPSEC), it puts the lives of every troop around him in danger.

    It’s time for the Department of Defense to investigate who is leaking these details to the media. And, we need you to co-sign our letter to the Pentagon to get an investigation underway.

    CO-SIGN OUR LETTER DEMANDING AN INVESTIGATION HERE

    Can you believe these fucking lunatics? I’ll bet a million bucks the people who are doing this are Obamabots.

  121. Janis, you are my hero. You’re writing is inspiring and you are a quantum physicist, exactly what I want to be when I grow up.

  122. Growing up is overrated. I’ve come to realize that it amounts to paying the bills before they turn the lights off and very little else.

    And in waiting for all the shit you liked but couldn’t afford as a kid to come back in style so you can indulge yourself.

    And eating ice cream for breakfast on Saturdays.

    Come to think of it, there’s a few things to recommend …

  123. Mawn

    Also the sad thing is that a good portion of the poor aren’t lazy- they just work crappy jobs that don’t keep up with the cost of living. 2 out of 5 people going to food banks work fulltime hours. It’s a freakin disgrace.

  124. WMCB: I’ll admit it; I am shameless.

  125. eh madameb it’s probably 50/50 that it’s on Obama. The right can be shameless if they think they can exploit something.

  126. Meanwhile it’s harder and harder to get student loans to keep up with the insane tuition inflation rate. So the population continues to dumb down. It’s tragic.

  127. CWaltz –

    What I wouldn’t give for an honest politician! Instead of saying “listen folks, if I cut taxes then we can’t maintain bridges or pay for poor kids to have health care is that what you want?” They keep up with the sham that goods and services come from some fairytale place.

    If they told the truth, I think Americans would be a lot more willing to pay taxes. We have been sold this pack of lies, that economics are too difficult for us to understand. The purpose of these lies is to prevent people from thinking logically about the government, so that the corporations can continue their mission of transferring all our money into their pockets.

    It’s not hard to understand the basics at all, IMHO.

    The job of the government is to spend our money to benefit society, as stated in the Preamble to the Constitution. If the government borrows that money instead of getting it from us, it starts to go into debt, often to very unsavory governments and corporations. Far better to have a fair tax-and-spend system, and let the people dictate how the money is spent, than to have a borrow-and-spend system that allows the corporations and unfriendly governments like China and Saudia Arabia to dictate foreign and domestic policy.

  128. I agree with mawm. Janis, you rock. The only problem is you make me lazy. I don’t feel I need to post as much or try as hard, because you kick ass and take names so well.

    Thanks, and I mean that.

    Magda

  129. Eleanor A, feel free to hit me up on PayPal. I just got an account today and I’ve already got a kindly donation from a friend from right here. I’m so grateful.

  130. I bent over backwards to avoid student loans. So far I’ve succeeded and I seem to have enough scholarships currently not to need them but it was a chore. There’s only so much money out there.

  131. Meanwhile Obama is trying to challenge Palin’s claim that she rejected The Bridge To Nowhere. But of course she did reject it:

    Obama IS The Bridge to Nowhere

  132. Magda: I’d like him to CROSS the Bridge to Nowhere.

  133. CWaltz – What’s sad is that there’s any question at all. You used to know Rove by his tactics. Now you can’t tell if it’s Rove or his less-talented disciple, AxelRove.

  134. I say here, here reg

    Let’s help him get there

  135. Regency – My niece did the same thing. I believe she applied for 16 different scholarships, and is attending a state school to keep the costs down. She got several of the scholarships, but will still need help from her mom to get through all four years.

  136. Eleanor A: Maybe it is just as well. Since what we have seen coming out of the Obamabots, the educations they are receiving a far below the mark. Particularly in the areas of civility and commonsense. If this is an example of the best and the brightest that is being churned out, I will stick with the guy who can fix my car any day.

    The only “A” I can see they deserve is in the level of vulgarity and how many times they can insert the F word into every comment. Is this now part of the SAT’s?

  137. Off topi, but something every American should see!

    VERY POWERFUL VIDEO FROM A US SOLDIER

    Please have a look at it and spread the word!

    Dear Mr. Obama

    God Speed Soldier!!

    McCain-Palin ‘08
    Hillary ‘12

  138. You’ve got to love the Bush Administration NEVER back down:

    White House press secretary Dana Perino said the Bush administration didn’t want to bail out the government-sponsored enterprises, but had no choice. She said the takeover could have been prevented if Congress had acted on the administration’s recommendations for changing the system.

    “It is exactly the kind of event we warned about and tried to prevent over the years,” she said. “Remember that we have highlighted the systemic risk posed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac because of the very large role they play in housing markets and because of their business practices.”

    She said that the White House has asked Congress “for years” to establish a strong independent regulator to oversee the institutions.

  139. SHOUT OUT to Katiebird and/or RD or ANY other confluential people who got da power:

    Can you please add a link for our friend NewHampster’s new blog http://www.partizane.com
    He’s one of the coolest feminists around.

    He’s all flexible and stuff, too:

    “My party no longer needs me, or have I grown beyond? This site (www.partizane.com) is neither for or against, but I am quite anti-Obama. I and I hope that becomes we, will tolerate any civil discussion. If you are Pro-Obama you are welcome as long as you respect my right to my opinions. If you are Pro-McCain you are welcome as long as you respect my right to my opinions.

    The Mission of Partizane.com is to fight for the middle. Fight for the right to disagree. Disrespect of others is the only thing not tolerated here. Civil discourse is the order of the day.”

  140. Sorry, had to take a timeout to feed the Capitalist Beast…

    No, I don’t believe in taxing the poor. If you want to reduce the taxes on the poor, get rid of all the state lotteries. Have you ever seen anyone who made more than $40,000/year play the lottery? Me either. This is the biggest hoax ever perpetrated.

    I believe in free markets. If they are truly free, they work. Take healthcare, for example. If we relieved doctors of the burden of $500,000 per year (or more) in malpractice insurance premiums through tort reform and promoted the formation of local health clinics as an alternative to the monopoly which is your local emergency room, the price of a doctor’s visit would go down. Save the emergency room for real emergencies. Make insurance portable, put the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions in a “risk pool” (as is currently done with high-risk drivers), mandate that everyone carry health insurance (just as we mandate that they pay social security and Medicare taxes) by forcing them to show proof of insurance or pay for a plan through payroll taxes. Force the carriers to take on their portion of the risk pool. Increase the supply of doctors and nurses through tuition subsidies and scholarships. Break up insurance monopolies and provider monopolies. Increase the penalties for insurance fraud. Offer R&D tax credits to drug companies in exchange for licensing second sources for new drugs.

    But, whatever you do, don’t put a government bureaucracy in charge of administering the system. We already have that with Medicare and the SSA. If you have had any dealings with them you know what I’m talking about.

  141. …and never take responsibility. Now where have I seen that recently????

  142. Obama is a joke.

    Come early November, his positions will be exactly the same as McCain’s on issues, and he’ll be saying “Vote for me. Our positions are the same,” once again making it about personality and not programs and plans.

  143. Um, IronMan, I don’t think you’re going to find a whole lot of fans of the Iraq invasion here.

    I personally think it was a huge mistake. That video shows a very brave soldier, but he is wrong. We have displaced millions of Iraqis, killed hundreds of thousands of people, and for what? Eventually, a new dictator will arise, but one with friendlier attitudes towards the US than Saddam.

    I doubt the Iraqi people think that this hellacious, endless war was worth that sacrifice.

    Many of the soldiers naturally think they are there for a noble reason, but sadly, it’s not true. It’s oil and power, and they are being used and abused by the Bushies.

  144. Magdalena, Mawm, and anyone else: there is a reason that hypergraphia is actually a recognized psychological variation for some of us … o_O

    I CAN QUIT ANYTIME I WANT TO!

    Thank gawd I have a job that requires me to write or else I’d be freaking disabled by it.

  145. No, free markets absolutely do not work when administering health care. Remember, the free market is something that in reality, does not exist. It’s a fairy tale told by the superrich to trick you into giving them all your money. It’s like a giant casino where you think you can beat the house. You can’t.

    The only thing deregulation does is put the deregulated entity into the hands of large corporations.

    However, the government is not perfect either. The best solutions are a combination of private and public administration, like the system they use in France.

    Gary – LOL!

    “It is exactly the kind of event we warned about and tried to prevent over the years,” she said. “Remember that we have highlighted the systemic risk posed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac because of the very large role they play in housing markets and because of their business practices.”

    Yes, and their solution was to privatize it entirely. Of course, they still would have bailed it out when it failed. LOLOLOLOL

    I will be so glad to see the back of these lying Bushies.

  146. Meanwhile, I’ve been reading numerous posts by “feminists” bashing the GOP for suddenly embracing working women, deciding that women can be mothers and lead a country too, and defending Sarah Palin’s right to be be taken seriously.

    Great job, “feminists.” Keep on criticizing people for what you wanted them to do all along. Let’s see how that works out for you.

    Magda
    Feminist for McCain/Palin
    Feminist Who Supports the Achievements of Women, Regardless of Party
    Feminist Who Honors All Those Republican Women Who Were Going to Vote for Hillary
    Feminist For Hillary
    Free Feminist
    Feminist for America

  147. I concur with madamab. Because of “Daddy issues”, President Dumb Dumb thrust us into a “war” with so many far reaching consequences that it will take an entire century to fix it. The economic mess we are now wallowing in is a direct result of this folly and the cost to both countries is beyond astronomical.

    We were battered with the old theme of “Saddam was a bad guy. The world is better off without him.” This no longer resonates. The more the truth emerges, the less likely we would have found ourselves threatened by Iraq. He was contained. There was no imminent “mushroom cloud”.

    We stuck our hand in a beehive and now we need to extricate that hand with the minimum of stings on the way out. God bless whoever has to oversee this mess in January since it will not be easy.

  148. Madamab, I definitely understand the economics behind paying for something with my taxes adn getting something in return, and I don’t think people need to have it explained to them. People know that if they want a good educational system, they need to pay taxes.

    They simply do not trust the government to spend the money on what it says it will — you pay your money for schools or healthcare or whatever, and it goes into buying a $900 socket wrench set for the DoD. That’s what people fear — they know how the system is supposed to work, but they also know that it won’t happen like that.

    I feel the same way. I’d GLADLY pay more taxes to get a good social safety net, but first convince me that it won’t be squandered and stolen.

  149. Magdelan, why is Obama running against Palin? Is he an idiot? That is exactly what the Republicans want him to do. If he runs against Palin, he just looks small in comparison to McCain. Biden is supposed to go after Palin, and McCain.

  150. Pat, if elected, I am sure Obama will try to clean up Iraq in between personal appearances on his World Wide Love Me, Love America Tour.

  151. CNN online front-page article. Listen up, Obama: survivors are not whiners and don’t paint themselves as victims:

    Gonzales explains what makes these survivors special in “Deep Survival,” a book that dissects the psychological and spiritual transformation that takes place within people who survive against all odds.
    Most of these survivors share the same traits, Gonzales says.

    “These are people who tend to have a view of the world that does not paint them as a victim,” he says. “They’re not whiners who are always complaining about the bad things that are happening to them and expecting to get rescued.”

    Gonzales says at least 75 percent of people caught in a catastrophe either freeze or simply wander in a daze.
    “The first thing people do when something bad happens is to be in denial,” Gonzales says. “People who make good survivors tend to get through that phase quickly. They accept the evidence of their senses.”

  152. Madamab: I think they have to convince themselves they are their for a noble reason. If they didn’t many of them could not live with some of the things they have seen or done.

  153. shit there not their

  154. Janis – I agree with you that people think the government is corrupt. (It certainly is NOW!) But, I also think that a lot of people believed Reagan when he told them they could buy now and pay never. And, there is a magical belief in “free markets” which is quite pervasive.

    Mawm – Where the H*ll is Joe Biden? Seriously. What is he doing? He is supposed to be the attack dog. Is he afraid of the Sarah-cuda?

  155. TheRealKim – I agree completely, and I think it’s incredibly cynical to use a soldier like that.

  156. I just came across a photo of Henry Kissinger hugging and being hugged in return by Sarah. It sent shivers down my spine. Letting this old goat anywhere near the next administration would be sinful. Hasn’t he done enough damage?

  157. Magdalena: And those styrofoam pillars are good to go!

  158. mawm: You and I both know the guy hates being upstaged by a woman. He just can’t help himself. He ceases to think straight.

    If Obama is elected, our enemies in the “axis of evil” should perhaps (although this is unlikely) put forward female prime ministers, because it would absolutely addle the poor man. He’ll be brushing his hand off all over himself and wondering why it’s not working.

    Poor Obama. He doesn’t even realize that we don’t care about The Bridge to Nowhere, that the rest of us are trying to build a Bridge to Somewhere.

    But keep slapping yourself silly, Barack. it’s fun to watch.

  159. madamab,

    The fact is we are in Iraq now. As Hillary pointed out, Obama gave a speech in 2002. Since then, he has been AWOL in his duties as a US Senator on the issues of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    While I appreciate your comments and respect your opinion, I happen to think the US Soldier in that video is correct.

    The FACT is we are in Iraq and Afghanistan and yet, more military personnel and their families support John McCain instead of Obama for POTUS. They believe McCain is more qualified to be Commander-In-Chief. They are correct. McCain is.

    They trust John McCain and know there is a mutual respect for each other. They do not trust Obama.
    Many feel Obama does not respect them or their mission or their sacrifices.

  160. Dave, what is wrong with medicare? Seems to work a whole lot better than HMOs. I wish I could get medicare. I have fought insurance companies every time I got sick and put in a claim.

  161. The free market also only works for things that run a profit — a discrete, quantifiable profit.

    Like education, healthcare is only ever in the red. You can say that there is an indirect, time-lagged benefit to the customers to have been served, but you cannot illustrate a direct, quarterly connection.

    A for-profit corporation can point immediately to its quarterly balance sheets and to those of its customers to say, “We sold widget X to our customer for this amount, we made Y profit (not they, WE), and they also made Z profit.”

    A school, for example, can say, “We sold X amount of schooling to this 10-year old. That student … thirty years down the line … may benefit. By how much? We don’t know. A dollar figure? Sorry, can’t provide it. How much profit did we make? None whatsoever.” Schools, like healthcare, are not free-market mechanisms, and you can’t treat them that way. Some things must be permitted to run at a loss in order to make the entire society run at a profit.

    A biological metaphor is best for this: the brain, for example, runs at a loss. Metabolically, it’s a pig. 20% of your ingested calories are used to keep it running, and it’s nowhere near 20% of your body mass. But without it, nothing else runs. Imagine what sort of organism would result if your body doled OUT its calories to the body systems that created the most of those calories: your brain would get like one-half molecule of sugar a week. There is a reason you have a digestive system and a circulatory system that funnels it into itself and then doles it back out. That’s what taxes are meant for.

  162. IronMan – But that is not what the soldier is saying. He is claiming that the invasion was not a mistake and that the Iraqis want us there. That is simply not true, yet, I don’t fault him for feeling that way.

    I agree that we are there now, and I do think Obama is much less credible than McCain on Iraq.

    So on that point, we agree.

    Must go, everyone. Have a great evening…

  163. Biden is in hiding because he can’t stand next to or be compared with Palin. This is the Democrats’ dilemma at the moment: He looks so boring. He looks nothing like “change.” And they know it. So I actually understand the strategy.

    But as mawm points out, Obama going after Palin puts his campaign in an even weaker position. It makes McCain look smart as hell, lofty, presidential, and already at work while Barky frets over the potential second-in-command.

    Folks, I don’t know how this is all going to turn out, but I must say I am really enjoying the spectacle. Obama is flailing, and McCain, indeed, doesn’t even HAVE to lift his arms above his shoulders.

  164. #
    Mawm, on September 8th, 2008 at 5:29 pm Said:

    Dave, what is wrong with medicare? Seems to work a whole lot better than HMOs. I wish I could get medicare. I have fought insurance companies every time I got sick and put in a claim.

    I have 6 more months before I can get on medicare and I can’t wait. People who like the current system most like likely haven’t had a serious illness or have some other form of Govt insurance. Now if you have an insurance claim, you also need to hire a lawyer. My last hospital bill was $35k and the ins co paid $1.9k and the one prior to that was $17k and ins paid $543.00. And I have good health insurance!!!

  165. It’s not a magical belief in free markets. Free markets work when they are truly free. What you are describing is not a free market. That’s what we have anti-trust laws for (when they are enforced, of course). Medical care goods and services are not immune from the law of supply and demand. Lower barriers to the supply of providers, increase competition and prices will drop. Look at what has happened to the price of any medical procedure that is NOT covered by Medicare or insurance–for example cosmetic surgery. The price has gone down!

  166. I read that the Fannie/Freddie stockholders are being hung out to dry. Their stock will be worthless, ala Enron. Who are these stockholders? I suspect a bunch of them are pension plans or retirees who invested in what they thought was a quasi-government backed business. If you’ve invested your 401(k) in a mutual fund, you may have a very unpleasant surprise coming. This is going to be worse than Enron and Worldcom combined.

  167. The basic problem is that politicians see their role in terms of a “career”. They will sacrifice anything, family, integrity, their vote, in order to maintain that status. Entrenched in that position, saturated by the mindset, they bargain, deal, and compromise principle to hold that “career” for a lifetime if possible.

    When crediting any of those long termers with the years they have served, you have got to believe they are more beholden to something other than the constituent. I used to look down on term limits since I viewed it as a violation of freedom of speech. But lately, watching those like Byrd and Kennedy suffering from bouts of ageism and health concerns, combined with those like Biden with almost 40yrs in congress, you have to wonder if term limits after all is such a bad thing. New blood is shut out and the hacks keep getting fatter each year at the pubic trough.

    I have yet to see Kerry or Kennedy make any recent trips to my end of the state in years. They do not listen to the voters.

  168. Wonderful discussion today. Really great. Wouldn’t it be worthwhile if we could have a site where R and D could share ideas to solve problems taking and respecting each others ideas. The site would be moderated with all hateful garbage being deleted. Good ideas that draw consensus would go out on the blogoshere and could be proposed to our elected leaders. If we agree, then Congress might act accordingly.

  169. Madamab, that’s very true — people really do almost invoke the “free market” as a sort of law of gravity that just makes wonderful things happen in the universe of its own accord.

    It’s very libertarian; their belief seems to be that their economic mechanism is so self-evident that it doesn’t even have to exist.

  170. Medicare has its flaws, but is essentially a very good system. Medicaid sucks. Private insurance sucks most of all. The bureaucracy of the private insurances is TEN times worse than dealing with Medicare. Many more headaches and hoops to jump through than Medicare EVER has.

    *Thus sayeth ME, the nurse and long-time office manager, billing person, etc of her hubby’s medical practice.

  171. They also believe that whomever they choose to handle their investment is honest. Oh well.

  172. James Carville on CNN Situation Room just now. Let’s sjust say he was NOT a very good advocate for Barack Obama. He was a bit rude, not really making much sense, and wanting to change the subject of Obama’s ONE BILLION DOLLAR earmark/porkbarrel project scandal.

  173. Dave, on September 8th, 2008 at 5:38 pm Said: ”

    That works on a global scale..there are great deals on medical care in Mexico and India and more people are using those options.

  174. “I think she has tremendous potential, but she in no way shape or form is ready to be president of the United States,” said Rendell, who knows Palin through the National Governors Association. “And that’s something we’ve got to get across to the American people.”

    Carol?, Pat?

  175. Uh, Eddy, darlin’, that’s why she’s not running for President.

  176. “WMCB, on September 8th, 2008 at 5:42 pm Said: ”

    That is a fact that is not usually mentioned. The insurance companies work just as hard to screw the doctors as they do to screw the patients. The longer they delay payment by asking for endless documentation and justifications, they are raking in investment income on the money that they haven’t paid out.

  177. I forgot you were also part of the equation Regency, my apologies.

  178. Private insurance is shit — it insures nothing. That’s the problem — we are ALL uninsured. You pay your premiums and think you have a net, and they just arbitrarilty decide, “Sorry, not gonna pay. OUR doctors told us not to — the hell with what yours said.” I’ve had conversations with doctors and dentists where you can see smoke coming out of their nostrils over how much they HATE these companies, no matter how much asskissing the AMA engages in. Individual doctors would chase down the CEOs of the big insurances companies with pitchforks if they could. These people have egos the size of Montana; they do NOT handle being second-guessed by a desk pilot very well.

  179. I’ve got a Master’s in precisely the sort of math that it takes to create one of those things — IT WILL BE FINE. *sigh*

    Next we’ll be hearing about how mercury fillings cause global warming.

  180. has anyone seen the …I can’t think of a adjective bad enough to describe it…offer on E-bay for Trig Palin on the Internet. this is why, obama can not win the election. any one whose followers will do that kind of stuff, you don’t want near the oval office.

    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/31188_DUmmies_Hit_Bottom_Dig

  181. Upstate, oh that was a purely platonic “darlin'”. I’ve got my hands full with Bill, Hill, Cindy and co.

  182. Upstate, Regency: Sorry, but he is back in Texas these days. But Piper is sure to be pissed off. Had he stayed here I could have reined him in.

  183. Fred at 4:07 – they are animals -that is really the lowest yet.

  184. That Carol, I knew it.

    OK, I give up…the experience O/P debate looses me, mini, mini, miney mo….

  185. OH HELL I am a nurse and i had to FIGHT the insurance company I had at the time to get a walking boot covered when I broke my foot !

  186. Upstate: That’s a faux debate. The Dems seem to be swinging at low-hanging fruit here. Why are they all running against Sarah Palin unless they’re trying to wound her for 2012.

  187. Shocker, I say, Shocker!

    Hardball guest just played the race card!

    Guiliani’s reference to Community Organizer is “wink wink, by the way he is black”.

    These people are sick.

    And please don’t refer to a 6 year old as pis*ed off.

  188. Did any of you see Obama’s ad in which he compares his community organizing efforts to Susan B. Anthony, MLK, and Caesar Chavez?

  189. Just found out that this is how it goes.

    Eeny, meeny, miny, mo.

    sorry, I am just an ignorant man….

  190. Janis, the economic mechanism does exist. But there is a reason that Adam Smith called it “the invisible hand.” No government bureacrats or laws are involved.

    Re Medicare v.s. private insurance I wholeheartedly agree. The main problems with Medicare are 1) massive fraud with no oversight (to the tune of tens of billions of dollars annually) and 2) stupid formulae for computing the payments. Where I live, Santa Cruz CA, we are classified as a “rural” area–which we were in 1965. So that means that doctors get 20% less for the same service than they get in San Jose twenty miles away. Consequence? Few doctors in Santa Cruz, they mostly don’t take Medicare patients, one hospital monopoly (there is a second hospital that only does maternity and elective procedures) and very high costs.

    Private insurance is equally screwed up. Most of their costs are due to the incredible cat-and-mouse game they play with the hospital’s accounting departments. The bills are padded, then whittled down, then contested again, then whittled down again until finally there is some agreement about what the poor patient gets stuck with. The hospital charges $8 for an aspirin, the insurance company increases the premiums or the deductibles or both, etc. etc. Give me a second hospital that competes with the first. Stop the insurance price fixing.

    The whole system is broken and everyone knows it. On this we can all agree!

  191. Every single claim I ever put in that was over $1000, I had to fight over. I HATE insurance companies. We need a new system, and I believe only Clinton can give us the right one. No one had a plan as good as hers.

  192. Regency, that may be but I find it silly.

    She may not be all that ready now (neither is O as of now). Was Bill Clinton much better prepared back when…?

    In 2012, if she is to sucdeed Mc she would be more qualified than any other candidate, unless they are VPs themselves.

    Silly.

  193. I knew Cesar Chavez (not really but know of him) and O is no Cesar Chavez.

  194. Oh Hardballs is beyond the pale ..wait is that Sexist… to say hardballs??

  195. ben, the man’s ego is boundless. MLK, Anthony, and Chavez all had a specific GOAL toward which they organized.

    Obama has yet to tell us WHAT the goal or result of his “organizing” was.

    Plus, Barky PISSES ME OFF with his MLK crap when it is convenient for him. Yet the man stood up there and accepted the nomination on the anniversary of that historic speech and never once even mentioned MLK’s name. Not once.

    His fucking ego is so big, he can’t even bear to share a stage with MARTIN. He is scum.

  196. Going for supper now. Will be back. Be good, please.

  197. Dave, the difference is that people on medicare get paid. When you have HMO, you know you are going to have to go to battle. There is a heavy pschological burden on people with HMO. Like Janis said, if you have never had to put in a claim you may be under the mistaken impression that you are covered, however, they will just deny you when it comes time. After you have gone through this a couple times, you know you aren’t really covered at all. It is an illusion.

  198. Barry is fighting Sarah because she is sucking all the attention away from him. She is the “next best thing.” She is getting the attention. He is also jealous that she can stand up for the top of her ticket in ways that Biden can’t do for him.

  199. The problem I have with “single payer” is that there is no competition on the insurance side. If there were, then the providers would state which insurance they would accept and which they would not. Consumers would figure out which companies were the bad ones. Right now, they are all bad because there is no incentive for them to be otherwise.

  200. Upstate: Bill had 12 years of Executive Experience running AR with a term of Attorney General under his belt. And he still had a learning curve when he went into the White House. What the hell is Barack stepping up to the plate with?

  201. “The Bush administration seized control”

    Those are words to send a chill up your spine. Why would anyone believe the Bush administration could control anything better?

    Mountain Sage

  202. Hardballs is not “sexist” when you are talking about Mr. Tingling!

  203. Dave, one of the problems with providers refusing to accept bad insurance is that they can’t always do that, often because insurance is tied to employment.

    In our case, two of the biggest employers in our area went with an insurance that was HORRIBLE, just horrible. You literally could not treat a patient for anything but a cold unless you spent an hour on the phone with 4 different people (and on hold 3 times), to justify every single medical decision, every medicine, every test. I’m not talking weird or risky or uncommon procedures here – I am talking STANDARD by-the-book medical treatments and practice.

    Believe me, we would have loved to have said “screw you, we are not accepting that plan anymore.” But over HALF of our patients had it. We would have lost half our income if we refused to take it.

  204. For your amusement, here is the list of diagnostic criteria for Narcissistic Personality disorder from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM):

    Diagnostic Criteria

    A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

    1. has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
    2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
    3. believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
    4. requires excessive admiration
    5. has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
    6. is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
    7. lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
    8. is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
    9. shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

    Remind you of anyone?

  205. If you all want to see a horrible picture of Andrea Mitchell go to Megan McCain’s blog. She had to put it on there for a reason.

  206. “#
    Dave, on September 8th, 2008 at 6:03 pm Said:”

    Dave..Have you ever had any recent large medical bills and dealt with the ins co’s? The best one is that the hospital where the service that you need is provided but is “out of network” so the the ins co says, too bad we aren’t paying. “Well then what do you want me to do?” That is not our problem they say. It’s called practicing medicine by economic extortion.

  207. Admin,
    Can we please have a cleanup on the Olbermann is scared post ? There is a troll running loose there
    Thanks

  208. Runa – it’s probably KO.

  209. Sure does Dave, have you seen bostonboomer’s post here on Confluence on that very topic?

  210. ABC News/Washington Post poll shows a 20 point shift from Obama to McCain among white women voters.

    Woooooooot!

  211. Some sick mind has put up Palin’s son Trig on e-bay.

  212. “WMCB, on September 8th, 2008 at 6:14 pm Said:

    Dave, one of the problems with providers refusing to accept bad insurance is that they can’t always do that, often because insurance is tied to employment.”

    Especially if you are the only MD in the area providing the service. Most doctors just suck it up.

  213. wow Obama (bullwinkle) is really losing his grip on the voters WMBC that was the nicest news all day-

    fuzzybeargville

  214. I have been invited to a ‘special evening,’ sponsored by Pelosi and Reid in honor of HRC – a fundraiser to retire her debt. Tix start at $500.

    It’s funny – hard to tell whether they are helping her, or actually holding on to her skirts as the worm turns.

  215. Mawm, yes I agree that the problems with Medicare and private insurance are different, as I said.

    WMCB, I know this sounds harsh but these problems get solved by the marketplace. Your provider business goes elsewhere or the big company changes providers. The fact that you caved means they won.

    Anyway, this is a debate that can (and has) gone on for years and I don’t want steer this blog away from its real goal.

  216. SHV, yes in fact I went through treatment for a malignant skin cancer two years ago. I had all the problems that have been cited, believe me.

  217. Obama to come out for making the bush tax cuts perminant (sic) is that true it appears Obama is trying to channel bush!

    fuzzybeargville

  218. it’s probably KO.

    Ha ha ha – true – sounds as deranged as KO for sure

  219. The Marketplace is never going to solve the insurance problems in healthcare-

    If we hade a market based system for providing public utilities-electric water or gas to end users- about 40% of america would not have indoor plumbing 1/3 who currently have natural gas service would not have it. And 25% of the homes in america would not have electricity-in rural areas the number of homes w/out electricity could be as high as 80% in some areas.

    Healthcare should be run like munciipal utilities a requlated single provider not based on the profit principle. The emphasis should be on providing the service to all who would benefit.

    fuzzybeargville

  220. fuzzy, Obama keeps veering between big-spender savior and pure Reaganomics, in sheer panic.

    I liken it to a race car driver who keeps over-correcting on the curves. He’s gonna crash.

  221. watching abc news. abc/wapo poll, Mccain takes lead among women voters!!!

  222. The marketplace has never solved the problem of lifesaving HIV/AIDS drug distribution. I doubt a free market would ever provide universal healthcare.

    fuzzybeargville

  223. WMCB, on September 8th, 2008 at 6:18 pm Said:

    Excellent news!

    But we have still got a lot of work to do. You know Obama will try ANYTHING now that America is on to his BS lies and supporting McCain-Palin.

    US Transportation Department better close off all bridges in the US. The Obamabots are about to jump off!

    🙂

  224. Florida Federation of Women have issued a decree to boycott Oprah and have cancelled their magazine subscriptions.

    Just in case anyone is watching!

    I love it. Now BO’s camp has said it will be a tight race. What happened to that 58 state Landslide? (Oh yeah, that was what was going to have happen if she had been the candidate.)

  225. The problem in trying to game Obama’s comming crace car crash is it just going to be hime or is he going to take out everyone else around him two!

    fuzzybeargville

  226. Fredster,

    That is indeed music to my ears!

    Obama has lost his rhythm. The thrill is gone!

    America is standing up!

    McCain-Palin ’08
    Hillary ’12

  227. The problem with the “public utility” model–as you can see with public utilities–is that there is no innovation.

  228. Dave, when you say that it’s harsh but these problems get solved, you are pretty much saying, “I know it’s harsdh for people to die, but this is how these problems are corrected.” You are … well, sort of positing that the solving of “problems” just require that a few people die, like you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs or something. When illness and unneeded death IS the problem you can hardly say that a few unfortunate deaths are needed to solve it.

  229. Janis, that is not what I am saying. What I am saying is that if the healthcare provider cannot get adequate compensation it will move to where it can–and so will the patients.

  230. Why is there no innovation in public utilities? And in a world where the “market” demands continuous consumer idssatisfaction in order to continue raking in money (and entrenched legacy technology providing the most massive inertia you can imagine), how in God’s name can you say that the free market drives innovation?

    Sorry, I need to drop out of this. This is ridiculous. It’s like arguing how many elephants were on the ark with a creationist.

  231. Dave, I think that when ti comes to issues of life and health, “letting the market work” won’t work.

    Would you like to see police protection privatized? In your own city? Some things are too important to just leave ti to the profit-motive.

    And BTW, I love capitalism. Love it. Mighty engine it is, the source of so much innovation and growth. I just think that life and death is outside its realm.

  232. “It’s like arguing how many elephants were on the ark with a creationist.”

    Two, obviously. 😉

  233. Last comment for me on health ins. In the 60’s and 70’s with the introduction of Medicare and Medicade, the debate was “Do Americans have a Right to medical care..and that was hotly debated with Republicans basically saying no. If one accepts the premise that health care is a “right” then it is remove from the “winner- looser” situation that is insurance. The ins.co’s rake off 20-30% of the health care dollar for “overhead and profit”.

  234. Trig is now here also. Piper and I have so much in common. I showed her how I did Nancy’s hair, and she is once again “slicking down Trig’s hair”.

    Eddy is loving it.

  235. Twenty point shift in women from Obama to McCain?

    PUMA POWER

    PUMA HAKA

  236. Yes, okay, I’ll back off too and give you your website back!

  237. I neglected to mention I painted my toenails bright orange this week.

    While doing some serious whitewater rafting on the Colorado River.

    I kid you not.

    This cat ain’t afraid of the tide.

  238. Dave,

    You’re faith in the market despite overwhelming evidence of their limitations is quite herculean. I applaud you. The best “public utility” model is funding for basic science. There is no way a company could sustain the losses needed for true innovation. In fact, much of the big cost saving and life saving discoveries were from basic science funded publicly. These investments have paid for themselves many times over in treatment costs (e.g. Measles, mumps, polio, etc.). There has been plenty of innovation in the field of science despite not having much of a “profit incentive”.

    But again, I applaud your herculean effort to praise the markets that have failed over and over again. And it is quite funny that conservatives still cite a work hundreds of years old (Adam Smith) despite recent advances in economic theory. I guess that’s what conservative means: use really old stuff despite new evidence to the contrary.

  239. Magdalena, I have a pedicure scheduled this week. I think that I, too shall go bright orange. When asked why in god’s name i did that, I will have a chance to tell. 🙂

  240. I love that we are respectfully discussing these issues. This is what I had hoped to accomplish with this post. So Dave, this is really not OT.

    What we really have to decide is whether expecting social services to be subject to the whims of profit and loss is best for the economy and the country.

    It seems clear to me that the government should administer the common good. Health care, in most countries, is recognized as part of the common good. A right, not a privilege. Why should an insurance corporation get to decide how much my health is worth? And why should I pay them tens of thousands of dollars, only to be told that my [fill in the blank] procedure is not covered? It’s a complete and total scam.

    Capitalism is a fine economic system, but you cannot successfully substitute it for government. That leads to the merger of corporations and state, otherwise known as fascism.

  241. The bloom is off the rose in Washington state and apparently it’s dragging down poor Christine Gregoire (we all remember when she came out for Obama right before her state’s caucus fraud).

    http://www.king5.com/news/specials/politics/stories/NW_090808POB_presidential_poll_SW.5803cb3b.html

  242. Just wanted to say that I saw TWO vehicles today

    with LARGE

    P U M A

    letters on the rear windows.

    And they had Hillary stickers as well!

    Tried to snap a picture, but they were moving too fast.

    HEHE

    Kinda’ like the PUMA movement!!

    It is gaining momentum and moving so fast, Obama just can’t catch up!!

    WOOT!!

    PUMA rocks!

  243. gqmartinez,

    I completely agree that the government should fund basic research that is either too expensive or too risky for private industry. That is why we have the Internet–descended from the ARPANet. But many–in fact most–true innovation comes from the private sector and always has. The Internet took off when it was opened up to the private sector and deregulated.

    Markets have not “failed over and over again.” Just because the law of supply and demand was formulated a long time ago does not render it obsolete. Newton’s Laws of Motion still work pretty well and they’ve been around awhile.

    Okay, I’m really done now…

  244. McCain has led Obama in each of the three individual nights’ data comprising today’s three-day rolling average, but the real question is whether he can sustain the lead as voter excitement around the convention fades. Since 1964, the first election year for which Gallup could reliably measure convention bounces, there have been only two examples in which one candidate consistently trailed until the time of his party’s convention, but took the lead after and never relinquished it. Those occurred in 1988 for the elder George Bush and 1992 for Bill Clinton.

  245. Ben – yes, this could be just the Palin bounce.

    We will have to see how things go in the next few weeks!

    PUMA POWER!!!

  246. Obama’s “call” for change is going unanswered.

    Those polling numbers released today from ABC/Washington Post showing a 20 point swing in support (among white women voters) toward McCain-Palin from Barack “Keep Women on the Sidelines” Obama has got to have the Obama campaign sprinting for the Imodium AD tonight.

    (sorry for the visual) 🙂

    Get ready. You know the race card is coming from Obama. He never fails to pull it from the bottom of the deck.

  247. Aww guys, Chelsea’s going back to school. She’s enrolling in Columbia University to major in Public Health Policy. Guess Mama had an influence on her girl.

  248. Regency – Chelsea is awesome. I hope I see her at Columbia when I’m up in that area…:-)

  249. Madamab: Why do you get to be all the cool placse. You know Big Dawg’s gonna be haunting that campus to make sure nobody tries getting close to his little girl. I’m telling you she’s had the same boyfriend for 5 years because he’s the only one Bill hasn’t scared off yet.

  250. “#
    Regency, on September 8th, 2008 at 7:09 pm Said:

    Aww guys, Chelsea’s going back to school. She’s enrolling in Columbia University to major in Public Health Policy. Guess Mama had an influence on her girl.”

    Interesting…As a child, she wanted to be a doctor and entered Stanford as a Chem/pre-med major. Changed to history them MS from Oxford in International relations…Sounds like she “got bit” by the politics bug..buffing up her resume.

  251. SHV: Hers has already far surpassed Barack’s.

  252. Hey, Chelsea has been campaigning for 19 months just like Obama, and according to him, campaigning COUNTS toward elected office experience.

  253. Chelsea 2020?
    coolo!

  254. Sigh, what a relief. So I am not a troll after all, madamab? 😉

    I think you have hit on the two basic philosophical arguments that define the debate.

    The first is whether healthcare is a right or not. I don’t think nose jobs are a right, but if you say citizens have a right to life then I think you have a point that a decent society should do its best to take care of its members. 50% of all healthcare expenses are incurred in the last year of life. Are we really getting our money’s worth? At some point, as with the abortion debate, some compromises need to be made.

    The second point is whether social services “should be subject to the whims of profit and loss.” On this score, my belief is that anything that increases competition between providers and lowers their costs will ultimately reduce the patients’ costs. A government-run socialized system will (as with education, and yes, the police department) result in rationing, increased costs due to the government’s lavish employment benefits and loss of freedom of choice for patients. Furthermore, it will stifle innovation in treatments and modernization of facilities. As an example, look at the number of MRI machines per capita in Canada compared to the USA.

    As a cancer survivor and small business owner, I am unable to escape my current insurance company because no one will underwrite a policy for a guy who has had cancer. That’s why there needs to be a risk pool. Anyone who has had a serious illness or happens to be old is in the same boat. If they are insured under a company policy they can’t change jobs. If they get laid off, they are screwed. I agree that all this needs to change. Even a drunk driver can get auto insurance. He’s just going to pay through the nose for it!

  255. WCMB–go for the orange toenails! I love mine.

  256. OT
    I just got an e-mail from markos moulitsas for me to join in on wednesday while he tries to sell me his book.
    I may have gone to his website once but I do not go there now.
    I do not even remember ever going there but how else would he get my e-mail.
    He must be desparate to sell his book.
    He will not like my answer. Don’t think he will contract me again.

    COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS . BUBBAS. AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  257. ben carlson, on September 8th, 2008 at 6:15 pm Said:

    If you all want to see a horrible picture of Andrea Mitchell go to Megan McCain’s blog. She had to put it on there for a reason.

    OMG! She’s married to Alan Greenspan and works on tv but she can’t go to a spa for a mini-facial and microdermabrasion? And I thought she had gotten botox but when you look at her face close-up it’s pretty bad. I don’t know if she has had any work done but they just did a horrible, horrible job. Wow.

  258. Ben – when were the VP candidates announced in prior years? I think the issue is McCain didn’t announce Palin till practically the first day of the GOP convention…and she’ll prove to be a game changer.

    Barky within four points in Washington State?! Holy toledo!!

  259. The mau-mauing post referenced above at Kos has been linked at DU. Yep, the whip’s getting cracked pretty hard. They’re not even bothering to hide their belief that all votes not for Obama are racially motivated.

  260. As for polls, remember that most of America hasn’t really met Obama yet.
    The Republicans have quite a bit of information to share but don’t need
    to do it so early now that Palin is getting them free publicity.

    How about a video tour of Obama’s district with stopovers at Rezko
    properties?

  261. Completely random compliment to RD: honestly, this blog is so great. Thank you and your moderators for not scolding. Another blog I generally love has descended into scolding. Scolding makes me nuts, especially when there’s the suggestion (or heck, the outright assertion) that the blogger is so much cleverer than the unwashed masses. Ick.

  262. NEW POST UP!

  263. Am I being sent to spam? 😦

  264. Hey, is Dave still around? C’mon back, Dave, we like ya, we just get all fired up over healthcare.

  265. WMCB, still here. Am multiplexing between three computers at the moment.

    SophieL, that was hilarious!

  266. I think we have plenty to say about Andrea Mitchell without attacking her physical appearance. Really folks. If we are going to criticize the Obots for it, I don’t think we should stoop to that kind of discorse. my 2 cents

  267. oops discourse.

  268. NH: You are so right. We have seen enough of this trash over the last few months to be more sensitive in our criticism. Attack the policy or the position, but physical attributes are something none of us has any control over.

  269. Hey, we need to get Janis back too. I think I sent her running for her David Daniels records and smelling salts. Sorry about that.

    Janis, come back! We’re ready for another missile like that urine-soaked matress thing yesterday…

  270. madamab – My father is a vietnam vet and retired after 24 years in the army. I have served although fortunately there was no war during my time. I’d like to offer a different perspective on that video.

    To me, the soldiers point is not if the war was a mistake or not. Or that people shouldn’t have an opinion on that. I think everyone knows that Bush would not make the same decisions if he had a time machine. However, it is incredibly insulting for a commander in chief or someone who wants to be to tell soldiers that what they are doing is a mistake. They are the ones losing their legs, arms, lives. They don’t want to hear their commander or commander wanna be tell them Oops!

    From the time Obama announced he wanted to be their commander he should have followed McCain’s lead. John McCain has been critical of the decisions of Bush but not once has he told the soldiers that they are sacrificing for nothing by calling it a mistake. This is something Obama just doesn’t get.

  271. Also, Obama is such a fool with his recent revelation that he wanted jion the military but since there was no war he didn’t see the point. What a fool.

  272. Regency: where IS your email addy? Not seeing it on your LJ. 🙂

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