Patterico's Pontifications

4/30/2009

Day 101: We’ve Only Just Begun

Filed under: General — Karl @ 7:33 am

[Posted by Karl]

“The overture has finished and now it truly begins,” an Obama adviser told ABCNews, referring to the healthcare, energy, and automaker debates to come.

Megan McArdle notes just how fantastical the math is behind Obama’s agenda:

So far, Obama’s only proposal for dealing with the funding shortage is a tax increase on high earners, leaving “95% of working families” untouched. But the math doesn’t work. In 2006, the latest year for which data are available, the top 5% of families took home a whopping 36% of national taxable income, and paid 20% of that, or around $600 billion, in Federal income tax. But even before the president’s ambitious health care plan emerges from the Congressional policy grinder, the CBO estimates that his budget plans to spend an additional $400 billion each year. He’s not going to get there with a small, or even a large, tax increase on high earners. For one thing, the share of national income collected by the top 5% has undoubtedly dropped sharply since 2006, because their incomes tend to depend more on capital and business income, and on bonuses, all of which have fallen off. (That’s why tax revenues fell off so steeply in 2001.) And work by economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez suggests that the deeper the crisis, the longer and deeper the hit to top incomes: the lessening of the gap between rich and poor during the fifties and sixties may in fact have been largely attributable to the deleterious effects of the Great Depression and World War II.

***

Now, however, the bill for Obama’s central proposals is about to come due. Unless Obama thinks he can borrow something like a trillion dollars a year indefinitely, he is going to have to ask Americans to make sacrifices to pay for the goodies.

And the taxes needed to pay for the new programs are not the only costs he will ask us to bear. Like most as yet unimplemented programs theoretically designed to make the world a better place, a cap-and-trade regime for reducing carbon emissions polls well. But when Americans actually have to start paying more for gas, electricity, and heating oil, they will not be so enthusiastic — especially if their budgets are still shrinking. And if health care is not to carry a shocking price tag, it will have to achieve some sort of savings through rationing: drug makers simply don’t make enough in profits to foot the entire bill through lower pharmaceutical prices. Richard Epstein has argued convincingly that ClintonCare foundered because most American voters have health insurance they are satisfied with. In theory, they support a government health care program–but when they are confronted by the details of how their health care will change, that support evaporates.

Byron York asks:

Will Obama’s health care proposal, which will probably involve the government rationing medical treatment, make him more popular? Unlikely. Will his environmental proposal, which will result in higher energy prices for millions of Americans, make him more popular? Unlikely. Will his education proposal, crafted to safeguard the teachers’ unions’ interests, make him more popular? Unlikely. If Obama goes forward — “boldly,” as his supporters like to say — his popularity will suffer.

GOP strategists are looking carefully at the first months of Ronald Reagan’s presidency. In April 1981, Reagan’s job approval rating stood at 67 percent, with 19 percent disapproval. Like Obama, Reagan’s personal approval rating out-polled his policies. A year later, in April 1982, Reagan’s approval rating had dropped to 45 percent, with 46 percent disapproval.

At the beginning of his term, Reagan could legitimately blame Jimmy Carter for the mess in Washington. But at some point, the problem became Reagan’s, and when unemployment began to rise during Reagan’s watch, the GOP paid a political price. In the 1982 mid-term elections, the president’s party lost 26 seats in the House.

Today, the key for Obama, as it was for Reagan, is unemployment. The talking heads in Washington say unemployment is a “lagging indicator” of economic improvement. Maybe so, but the rest of the country doesn’t see it that way. “It may be a lagging indicator to economists, but to Americans out there, it’s a front-and-center indicator,” one plugged-in GOP pollster told me. If unemployment doesn’t improve by the end of this year, Obama’s popularity will drop.

Economists surveyed by USA Today increasingly say the outlook on unemployment is not good:

The unemployment rate will peak at 9.8%, according to their median forecast, up a full percentage point from the prior survey in January. Twenty-one economists predict the unemployment rate will top out at 10% or higher, according to the survey of 51 economists by USA TODAY April 16-22.

Economists also predict the jobless rate will rise for a longer time. Two-thirds say it won’t stop rising until 2010 or later, vs. 51% in January.

When that survey was completed, the conensus forecast was that the US economy shrank at annual pace of five percent; the latest estimate is now six percent.  As the unemployment trend may be more politically salient than the rate, delays in economic recovery and re-employment cannot look good to Democrats facing re-election in 2010.

–Karl

138 Responses to “Day 101: We’ve Only Just Begun”

  1. But He is The One (PBUH). How dare you criticize his decisions! He is the epitome of “Hope and Change”™. He is our Salvation. He is the only one who can save the nation and any comments or actions to the contrary are tantamount to hate speech. Opponents are irrelevant and anyone who dares to oppose Him are to be publicly eviscerated and destroyed.

    Horatio (55069c)

  2. See the thing is McArdle knew all this, and yet still voted for the One, what does that say about her judgement.

    narciso (4e0dda)

  3. You’re thinking like him. “His popularity would suffer”? To hell with his popularity, what about the suffering Americans will endure under this empty suit?

    mojo (8096f2)

  4. Obama spent more money in his first 100 days than Bush did in his first 4 years. Not a peep from the media.

    Stan Switek (9716a0)

  5. Comment by Horatio — 4/30/2009 @ 7:39 am
    Seriously? :)

    The Emperor7 (1b037c)

  6. Obama may well have a shot at health care changes right now, because while most workers are happy with their health plans, many have been staring into the abyss of losing their plans with their job.

    They may be willing to accept the “security” of a government-backed plan. This window will evaporate shortly after the recession, so Obama needs to move soon (or prolong the downturn).

    Of course, one does not need to accept Obama’s proposals in order to improve health care. The insurance companies have put forward a reform plan of their own.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  7. Sacrifice?

    Bwaaaaa, neither Baby Boomers nor their kids are capable. Hang nail knocks them out for weeks.

    2 generations of narcissistic jello who will blow into the wind the second their lives get tough.

    Worst part is they have infected all of us with the entitlement mentality.

    HeavenSent (637168)

  8. As a note, the minute Obama puts this national plan in, I am dumping my 25 employees right into the public system.

    They voted for him so they can eat his stew.

    HeavenSent (637168)

  9. national (health) plan … public (health) system

    HeavenSent (637168)

  10. I was heartened to see an AP story (Fact Checks) that even MSNBC picked up (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30486758/)

    Perhaps I should not be so cynical about the media??? Perhaps others are beginning to see the real Obama (and Federalism)???

    Corwin (ea9428)

  11. Bush’s fault. Look ahead.
    .
    I’m still waiting for that bailout to come my way.

    cboldt (3d73dd)

  12. Perhaps I should not be so cynical about the media???

    Self-interest may be kicking in. The market demand for Obama stenographers is glutted; there’s a dearth of actual skepticism and real reporting. For the first time in many years, media are being forced to actually prove their value. And there’s not much value in regurgitating Obama’s press releases.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., (4566ae)

  13. Brother Bradley, I think you are optimistic about the media’s trying to prove their value. They have watched their credibility fall for years and haven’t done anything about it, I’m thinking a few bankrupt papers won’t change that.

    GM Roper (85dcd7)

  14. watched their credibility fall for years and haven’t done anything about it
    .
    Their credibility is outstanding to their acolytes and echo chamber. I don’t see any way for the media hacks to salvage credibility with anybody but their fellow Democrats.

    cboldt (3d73dd)

  15. GM Roper,
    Call it media Darwinism. The stenographers will lose their jobs, except for some in the advocacy press. The surviving reporters will have to do things of real value to attract an audience. This is free-market economics at work.

    Click here for my take on one example of such stenography.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., (4566ae)

  16. Especially since Pelosi wants to bail out failing papers. They want to keep their propaganda arm intact…

    jodetoad (b147dc)

  17. “They have watched their credibility fall for years and haven’t done anything about it, I’m thinking a few bankrupt papers won’t change that.”

    I’m willing to venture numbers like the ones at the link below will force some change, if just to keep up with Fox News:

    http://www.ihatethemedia.com/fox-news-beats-cnn-and-msnbc-combined

    Brad S (9f6740)

  18. Comment by Horatio — 4/30/2009 @ 7:39 am
    Seriously?

    Only if you believe Winfrey, Garafolo, Olbermann, Matthews, Rich, ad nauseum…

    Horatio (55069c)

  19. This is free-market economics at work.

    My favorite scribe…I move that we drop the word ‘free’ from that appellation. In my estimation, there are no free markets in existence currently. That is, no markets that are not nudged, kludged, and smudged by direct intrusion and indirect manipulations from non-market participants, i.e., government agencies or sponsored entities whether acting in public view or anonymity. I believe the term ‘market economics’ would adequately suffice for the purposes of discussion, or in thread realities…arguments.

    allan (b5e874)

  20. Speaking of market economics, Biden on NBC this morning told people that he wouldn’t advise his own family to fly or take public transportation. Way to go, Joe. Here comes more economic recovery!

    carlitos (23eb68)

  21. carlitos, Joe Biden will end up being the dumbest Vice President in the history of this nation.

    SPQR (72771e)

  22. allan,
    Point taken. Let me amend by saying the legacy media are now being dragged kicking and screaming in the direction of a freer market.

    While government intervention can’t be ignored, the media oligopoly is being broken up by the power of the Internet. The MSM for the first time faces unlimited competition because the barriers to entry are so low. That’s what I was getting at.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., (4566ae)

  23. I suspect that “academics and historians” will disagree, but you are right 😉

    carlitos (23eb68)

  24. about Biden, that is

    carlitos (23eb68)

  25. carlitos, probably the same “academics and historians” who still argue that Ward Churchill is not a fraud.

    SPQR (72771e)

  26. #22:carlitos, Joe Biden will end up being the dumbest Vice President in the history of this nation.

    well, it’s only fair, since he’s in office at the same time as he dumbest President ever.

    redc1c4 (5a992b)

  27. If Obama is not interested in running the automotive industry, why was his administration trying to force GM and Chrysler’s creditors to get a fraction of what they would be entitled to in a bankruptcy and forcing them to give the union more than it was entitled to under the law?

    SPQR (72771e)

  28. Oh, he’s not interested in running the auto industry, he’s going to leave that to his best bud Ron Gettelfinger.
    Anyway, they need new places to park Dem Hacks, now that the spotlight is on FM2.

    AD - RtR/OS! (633e3f)

  29. This is way too long, my apologies, but the link would be equally cumbersome. My only excuse is that this might be an interesting read for the members of the Patterico Economic Historical Society. Do note toward the end, FDR’s shenanigans with a bothersome critic which may remind one or two of some similar recent events. These backward and forward looking words are to be credited to today’s 5 Minute Forecast…

    “…While pundits compare Obama’s ambitions to those of FDR, Doug French at the Mises Institute finds a more apt comparison with the original New Dealer John Law – the fraudster behind the Mississippi Bubble that wreaked havoc and hyperinflation on France in the early 18th century.

    “We can now throw Obama in with the other inflationist New Dealers, and with a compliant Treasury and Federal Reserve and their expanding monetary tools at the ready, he can do more damage than even John Law.”

    French quotes John T. Flynn, the investigative journalist turned fierce FDR critic: “‘As a New Dealer, [Law] was not greatly different in one respect from the apostles of the mercantilist schools – the Colberts, the Roosevelts, the Daladiers, the Hitlers and Mussolinis and, indeed, the Pericles – who sought to create income and work by state-fostered public works and who labored to check the flow of gold away from their borders,’ writes Flynn, who goes on to point out that Law’s use of a bank to create money out of nowhere to pay for government programs was imitated by Roosevelt, Hitler and Mussolini.”

    “‘Law is the precursor of the inflationist redeemers,’ Flynn explains. ‘Like all the inflationist salvations, his career was short.’”

    “Initially in 1932,” explains our in-house historian Byron King, “Flynn supported Franklin Roosevelt as a candidate for president, and in FDR’s early days in office. But by the mid-1930s Flynn detected a dangerous sense of narcissism and megalomania within FDR and became one of the harshest critics of the New Deal.”

    “Flynn’s hostility to FDR almost destroyed Flynn’s reputation as a journalist. In July 1939, in response to an article in the Yale Review, FDR used White House stationary to write a confidential letter to the editor in which he called Flynn ‘a destructive, rather than a constructive, force.” In an early form of an “enemies list,” FDR requested that the Yale Review not publish future articles by Flynn. And the Yale Review complied.“

    allan (b5e874)

  30. Biden on NBC this morning told people that he wouldn’t advise his own family to fly or take public transportation

    The MSM pilloried Quale for every misstep (and most, deservedly so), but their continued covering for bloviating Joe will only go so far at this point. I was thinking of that statement while I boarded the Red Line to go into downtown Chicago – what an idiot, while the CDC is trying desperately to keep this from becoming a panic due to the hysterical press, Biden throws all of them under Bammy’s bus.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  31. Disgusting how the UAW was handed 55% of Chrysler in exchange for nothing.

    The very people to blame for the bankruptcy ended up with the company.

    HeavenSent (637168)

  32. Some in Biden’s family may soon lose the power to take any trips, if this smelly hedge fund scandal is as bad as it looks.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., (4566ae)

  33. #8- Sacrifice?

    Bwaaaaa, neither Baby Boomers nor their kids are capable. Hang nail knocks them out for weeks.

    2 generations of narcissistic jello who will blow into the wind the second their lives get tough.

    Worst part is they have infected all of us with the entitlement mentality.

    30 years of Reaganomics will do that.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  34. Haw haw haw this is one of the best lines I have read here.

    “They voted for him so they can eat his stew.”

    cboldt #12 Yes indeed.

    “going to have to ask Americans to make sacrifices to pay for the goodies.”

    And the fact that the Prez. Obama admin. and Congress is going to have to ask for those sacrifices because of the goodies that they have already handed out to a bunch of well connected gamblers who make more in a month than most of us make in our lifetimes will make that ‘Bama stew bitter indeed.

    Now lessee, where did I put my clingin’ gun and Bible….?

    EdWood (c2268a)

  35. GOP strategists are looking carefully at the first months of Ronald Reagan’s presidency. In April 1981, Reagan’s job approval rating stood at 67 percent, with 19 percent disapproval. Like Obama, Reagan’s personal approval rating out-polled his policies. A year later, in April 1982, Reagan’s approval rating had dropped to 45 percent, with 46 percent disapproval.

    York seems to have omitted the fact that Reagan was shot and recovering from the attempt on his life in the same period which evokes a natural sympathy in human beings, even for Reagan, which skews the numbers. And unlike Obama, Reagan was well known with decades on the movie screen, repeatedly aired reinforcing his image carefully honed in Hollywood, on television and in California politics. Conservatives seem incapable of accepting their time has past, the era of conservative government is over and a new era has dawned. Conservatives are on the wrong side of history.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  36. Byron York appears mystifyingly unable to nail down any named, on-the-record source.

    “a top Republican aide in the Senate…”

    “GOP strategists are…”

    “…one plugged-in GOP pollster told me.”

    “I’m told Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell…”

    “I asked the Republican pollster to outline a scenario in which Obama’s popularity might fall to earth. ‘He continues to govern from a one-party perspective, and the economic measures he has put in place do not move the unemployment numbers,’ the pollster said.”

    A “plugged in” operative would suffer NOTHING attaching his/her name to that safe-as-milk boilerplate.

    A week earlier, York’s piece was even more apocryphal.

    I don’t see the point of this kind of story and this kind of sourcing. He gets almost nothing when he grants anonymity.

    steve (73277e)

  37. York seems to have omitted the fact that Reagan was shot and recovering from the attempt on his life in the same period which evokes a natural sympathy in human beings, even for Reagan, which skews the numbers.

    Reagan was already polling in the mid-60’s through March, 1981. He was shot on April 5.

    link to gallup article

    Reagan came into office on a fairly high note, with initial job approval ratings as high as 60% by mid-March 1981. Then, on March 30, Reagan was shot on the streets of Washington by John Hinckley Jr., and the resulting concern and sympathy helped lift his ratings to 68% by May.

    carlitos (23eb68)

  38. York seems to have omitted the fact that Reagan was shot and recovering from the attempt on his life in the same period which evokes a natural sympathy in human beings, even for Reagan, which skews the numbers.

    Reagan was already polling in the 60% range through March, 1981. He was shot on April 5.

    link to gallup article

    Reagan came into office on a fairly high note, with initial job approval ratings as high as 60% by mid-March 1981. Then, on March 30, Reagan was shot on the streets of Washington by John Hinckley Jr., and the resulting concern and sympathy helped lift his ratings to 68% by May.

    carlitos (23eb68)

  39. Duh. March, 30 not April 5. Bad cut / paste on my part.

    carlitos (23eb68)

  40. Wow, that was weird. Fancy new macbook trackpad seems to be able to post comments while keeping the entire page intact, and me still editing my work.

    I was home sick from school the day Reagan was shot, and happened to see all of the live news coverage. Horrible.

    carlitos (23eb68)

  41. And as a presidential candidate and president-elect, he backed the twilight Bush-era stimulus plan that made the deficit deeper, all before he took over and promoted spending plans that have made it much deeper still.

    We can confidently write or say that Obama is responsible for three-fourths of the deficit.

    Michael Ejercito (7c44bf)

  42. The media hated Reagan and passed along any Democratic spin as news. They smeared him every way possible including outright fabrication. Compare that to the embarrassingly fawning worship they show Obama. I wonder how Obama would do with real professional journalists?

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  43. The media hated Reagan and passed along any Democratic spin as news.

    Or so the revisionist narrative goes.

    It was a gushfest.

    steve (73277e)

  44. Duh, steve, that was a brain-dead statement. How do you reconcile the “teflon president” moniker he got if there was nothing thrown at him for which he needed the teflon? Or how do you account for the “clown” derisions of his name?

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  45. Let some reporter shout questions at Obama like Sam Donaldson did at Reagan and see what happens to him.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  46. #43- The media hated Reagan and passed along any Democratic spin as news. Uh, Reagan was president of SAG; made his living for decades in the media in radio, films and TV. The ‘Great Communicator’ mastered the media quite well, so any spin you detected was right wing spin from rotor wash as Ronnie ducked questions boarding helicopters.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  47. The press’s hatred for Reagan was more passionate and personal than for Nixon. Reagan’s policies worked and people loved him for it. He restored pride to America and the left hated him for it. There was no greater sin.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  48. Let me guess, ACRAP, you were one of the men dressed in blue, saluting him as he climbed aboard Marine One, right?

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  49. No, no, no, John, he was the helicopter itself, the source of the great empty wind.

    SPQR (72771e)

  50. #41- Yes, it was. ABC News had announced Brady was dead and had to retract. I’ll never forget Frank Reynolds angry retort, ‘Let’s get it right’ on air. The video of the entire incident remains chilling. I was at work and paying taxes to keep your school open. The aftermath of that only enhanced his standing in the polls. And Reagan’s personality helped a lot as well.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  51. You paid local property taxes on the South Side of Chicago? I figured you were in Libya or someplace exotic, working on rockets.

    Seriously, yes the coverage was very chilling. It was only the second really big political event I remember paying close attention to, the other being Nixon resigning, again with me home watching, but that was in the summer as I recall.

    carlitos (23eb68)

  52. Dogcrap is going to be tired for his night shift rent a cop gig tonight.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  53. steve and ASPCA have what is medically known as Liberal Amnesia regarding Reagan’s media coverage. It’s a common afflication of the left.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  54. #53- The Reagan coverage was good and yes, the Nixon resignation in August, 1974 was more sullen, though. Watergate seems compressed today but during the period it dragged on for almost two years with spasms of news erupting along with the war like the Saturday Night Massacre, which the networks covered, the resignation/firing of Erlichman and Halderman and the Watergate hearings that summer on PBS years before CSPAN existed.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  55. DCSCA, your comments are becoming more incoherent.

    SPQR (72771e)

  56. The Great Communicator was a tall-in-the-saddle media darling before Iran-Contra – staring down the evil empire while skillfully delegating authority. Any gaffes were more than offset by Peggy Noonan prose and Michael Deaver backdrops.

    steve (8f62f8)

  57. #53- You should have seen the coverage for the Kennedy assassination. Primitive by today’s standards but quite engrossing if you see any tapes of it today and in b/w in November only added to the starkness of it all. Really was the overlap moment as print gave way to electronic journalism. But the reporters were all chiefly print trained so the coverage was more literate for television, even then.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  58. #58,
    If you remember that then your perceptions are warped. He was portrayed as a washed up actor pretending to be a leader and statesman. They dragged out the Bedtime for Bonzo movies and accused him of wanting to start WW3. This was from the start, long before Iran/Contra.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  59. #58- And Noonan cut her journalism teeth as a street reporter for liberal, big bad, CBS News in New York. She was filing reports around town the night Lennon was shot in 1980.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  60. Liberals and the media were all worried about Reagan’s tough talk. “You can’t be saying that! You’re gonna get the Soviets mad! And they’ll do something!” The Soviets did something, alright. They fell apart.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  61. His “staring down the evil empire” was portrayed by the Democrat left as provoking the Soviets. They cried that the Soviets might get mad and start an arms race if we didn’t appease them. Reagan said, Let them. It was trying to match our defense spending on an economy that was one fifth as large that broke their back. In the Carter years they were matching our cut down defense budget dollar for dollar, running about 20% of their budget. No country can sustain that level of defense spending but they knew it was their best chance to catch us with Carter in office.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  62. #58- Reagan’s own biographer says he was pretty much detached during the second term and the staff were aware of it. They’d even planned a checkout meeting when Howard Baker replaced Don Regan as Chief Of Staff because they were so concerned about Reagan’s loss of interest in affairs of state.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  63. Comment by daleyrocks — 4/30/2009 @ 3:37 pm

    Why do you insult “rent a cops” like that?

    AD - RtR/OS! (633e3f)

  64. Hello Everybody. What did I miss? :)

    The Emperor7 (0c8c2c)

  65. #62- Fell apart and survived, psycho. No doubt Gorby whispered over Reagan’s coffin during the burial ceremonies he attended, “You see, we will bury you, after all.”

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  66. A couple of days go by, and nothing changes with the Troll Of The Month. Recall that my last observation was that this troll’s “one note sonata” was variations on, “Ha, ha, conservatives aren’t popular right now.”

    And so what do I see when I peek in today?

    “Conservatives seem incapable of accepting their time has past …”

    Is this in any way constructive debate?

    Get. Rid.

    Mitch (890cbf)

  67. The people of the former satellite states might be surprised to learn the Soviet Union still exists.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  68. #22- spork, have you checked with Dan Quayle, GOP VP to George Bush, on the correct spelling of ‘potato’ lately? Or perhaps you have after all.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  69. Hey, ACRAP, have you checked with the education expert who gave Quayle that cue card with the “correct” spelling of “potatoe” to find out why the education expert did that?

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  70. Actually, as you should well know, V-P Quayle gave the “correct” answer to the question, since he read it off of the card prepared by the classroom teacher; and, in spelling-bee rules, the card is the authority.
    And, isn’t “potatoe” an alternate spelling in the King’s English?

    AD - RtR/OS! (633e3f)

  71. So we’ve gone from Obama’s PR problems on his 101st day to Dan’s spelling. What makes me think DCSCA doesn’t want to defend Obama’s policies or lack of credibility?

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  72. Could it be that it is because DuckCrap is dummerer than a sack of andrews?

    AD - RtR/OS! (633e3f)

  73. Maybe not much. :(

    The Emperor7 (1b037c)

  74. #72- Apologists for Quayle. The gift that keeps on giving. GOP to 15% by November, 2009. News says McCain and cronies are gathering together conservatives to plan ‘the future’ for the GOP. McCain…. the future… good grief. No doubt they’ll order in Tombstone pizza.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  75. Actually, it is quite easy being an Apologist for Quayle; since, on most subjects, he was correct (as was his actions during the spelling-bee), and you are such a loon!

    AD - RtR/OS! (633e3f)

  76. You are on fire, DCSCA! Take a break. :)

    The Emperor7 (1b037c)

  77. DCSCA is so enthralled with Obama, surely he can’t wait for any new taxes that come his way. And he will say thank you, thank you, thank you and cheerfully pay. Oh, to be a good citizen like Disco.

    PatAZ (9d1bb3)

  78. I recall TV coverage several years ago that showed Ronald Reagan holding a young boy in his arms, both of them attending an anti-tax rally in Chicago, and both yelling out “fascist, fascist!!”

    That was so rude of Reagan (not to mention the young child)!

    Mark (411533)

  79. Mark, I have that video footage of Reagan and the boy, on BetaMax, sandwiched in between “Confessions of a Window Watcher” and “Emmanuelle 2.” I think it’s in storage.

    carlitos (23eb68)

  80. carlitos – I think Emmanuelle 2 had the sandwich scene, IYKWIMAITTYD.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  81. #80- Funny, I recall Reagan stealing lines from Spencer Tracy’s ‘State Of The Union,’ too. But then it’s Reagan’s war record escaping the Nazis and dashing across Europe through Culver City in a ‘desperate journey’ with Errol Flynn that’s most endearing.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  82. The brakes will be put to some of this insane statism by Dems looking at obliteration in 2010. Maybe. Republicans now outpoll Dems in the “generic polls.” Not sure that has happened in my lifetime…

    Peg C. (48175e)

  83. How can anyone be surprised that an anti-business, tax and spend administration with complete control of both houses of congress would prolong and deepen this recession. Government spending is out of control and will remain so at least until the 2010 elections. Obama wants to double energy prices, regulate political speech, nationalize health care, auto production, banking and insurance.

    Americans who still hope that Obama can make positive changes are becoming increasingly skeptical. On tax day, I attended a Tea Party in Hoover AL which the liberal Birmingham News reported had “hundreds” of protesters. Odd, all 7,000 parking spaces there were full. Obama said he was unaware of the Tea Parties. So was King George III.

    Americans still have 250,000,000 firearms and gun makers and ammunition producers are unable to keep up with growing demand. Reloading supplies – bullets, powder and primers – are also in short supply.

    Wednesday, a friend and I drove to the Civilian Marksmanship Program facility in Anniston AL were they sell refurbished M1 Garand rifles (see ODCMP.com). The place was packed with middle aged white men buying multiple weapons. My friend bought a Garand and we each bought ammo cans containing 192 rounds of M2 30 caliber ball. As we waited for our FBI background checks, customer conversations inevitably included Obama.

    Frankly, I’m concerned that Obama and his handlers are not listening to their critics.

    arch (c1d07f)

  84. “Odd, all 7,000 parking spaces there were full.”

    On a weekday? That’s amazing!

    imdw (e36369)

  85. arch, when you are discussing “Civilian Marksmanship Programs” in ALABAMA, you might not want to mention that you were discussing our newly-elected black President. Perhaps you could clarify your thoughts, eh?

    Here is something to ponder on that subject. Perhaps DCSCA could explain all of the positive Reagan vibe included therein.

    carlitos (eeffbc)

  86. The Hoover Tea Party was held at 7:30 to 9:30 PM at Veteran’s Park, a large recreation area adjacent to Spain Park High School and Jefferson County Community College. The Veteran’s lot (1,000 spaces), SPHS (5,000 spaces) and JCC (1,000 spots) were all full. Nothing else was going on to fill these lots, so at least 7,000 vehicle drivers attended this demonstration.

    The drive from my house to Spain Park usually takes 15 to 20 minutes; that evening it took 1:45!

    When we arrived, people were arriving as others left some jumping over a creek climbing up a steep hillside path. Had there been someone counting heads, the number would have been well over 10,000 orderly, family-oriented people holding home made signs expressing concern over how we are going to pay for all this new government spending.

    Of course, no local media covered the event.

    arch (c1d07f)

  87. Carlitos:

    The conversations centered around Obama’s policies with respect to the US Constitution, the first and second amendments, our national security and his ruinous march to socialism. No one mentioned his race or his big ears either.

    BTW, there is no need to spell out Alabama in upper case. There is another CMP in Camp Perry, Ohio. I would expect the conversations there would be of similar content. If you are implying that Alabama is racist place, I would disagree. The republicans run this state and do not tolerate it. The most racist place I ever lived was Buffalo New York, run by democrats, where I lived from from 1987 to 2006.

    arch (c1d07f)

  88. OK, but you really didn’t answer the question Carlitos put to you – we need a clarification on your earlier statement, something didn’t sound kosher in your juxtaposition of tea party rallies and rifle marksmanship.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  89. Never mind, Arch – you beat me to it. Thanks for the clarification. You must realize that anyone critizing the POTUS these days is immediately branded a racist and harbors fantasies of assassination – it’s one of the top 10 tips that the Dems use to shut down debate.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  90. The left called the tea parties “racist.”

    As you waited for your FBI background checks for a marksmanship class in Alabama, y’all were discussing Obama.

    I hear your point regarding Northern, Democrat-run cities being full of racists. I live in one of those myself. Just asking you to consider how those words might appear to some.

    carlitos (eeffbc)

  91. Carlitos forgot to add that a failed bank here was one of worst offenders of “blue line” lending practices. The main founder of that bank? Penny Pritzker, head of the Obama fundraising operations, and one of the largest contributors.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  92. Dmac:

    Early on the morning of April 19th, 1775, a group of 39 American colonists armed themselves on the Green at Lexington, MA. While the British regiment was several mile away, the church bells began to toll. John Hancock and Samuel Adams who were the targets of these British soldiers rode escaped on horseback.

    When the soldiers arrived, their commander ordered the colonists to disperse. When they did not, he had a platoon fire a warning volley and then fired into the American lines, killing three, one of whom died on his own front porch.

    In Concord, Minutemen crossed the North Bridge moving stores of cannon, powder, small arms and ammunition out of the armory into surrounding farms. When the British marched onto the bridge, they met armed colonists who stopped them and forced them to retreat to Charleston.

    The men who wrote our constitution lived through the revolution because America had armed citizens willing to stand up to government tyranny. If the founding fathers were able to look at our government’s lack of respect for life, liberty or property, they would be in line at the CMP with us.

    arch (c1d07f)

  93. Carlitos:

    Y’all! It’s you all, thank you very much. I’m from here.

    arch (c1d07f)

  94. Up here it’s “you guys,” depending on whether someone’s dad grew up on the Southeast side, in which case it’s youse guys.

    carlitos (eeffbc)

  95. arch,
    We’ve been hit with a slew of Mobys who express similar sentiments, to discredit opposition to Obama as the work of potentially violent right-wing extremists. I hope you’re not one of them.

    Your comparison with the American colonists is also historically invalid. We elect our own leaders, while the colonists had no vote in Parliament.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  96. Brother Fikes:

    I am the son of a WWII infantry officer who landed on Omaha Beach, was wounded in the hedgerow fighting, wounded again on day one of the Ardennes Offensive and killed in action as his unit approached the Luddendorf Bridge. My step father was a career naval officer who fought in the Pacific – a SeaBee who landed with the marines.

    I am a retired USAF officer who had combat assignments in Thailand, South Vietnam and El Salvador. 37 years ago this week, my F4E was shot down over North Vietnam by an SA-2 – the same missile system that downed John McCain. I qualified as Expert with the M1 Garand and the Colt Model 1911 as a midshipman at the US Naval Academy and I still own several of both.

    As for the colonists, they dissolved their union with British by force of arms (with a lot of French help). The framers were at the time operating under a confederation of states which needed to be improved but they distrusted a strong central government. That is the reason they included the Bill of Rights – to restrict federal power and preclude tyranny. Since the Constitution set up the election process you describe, why did the framers include the right to keep and bear arms?

    In 1860, we had a war over the election issue and the Union won. Winners write the rules, but the framers believed in a more perfect union which included the right to opt out.

    Patriot and warrior, yes. A right wing radical, I am not.

    arch (c1d07f)

  97. arch,
    I respect your family history, and I most certainly support the Second Amendment. If it’s dissolved by fiat, so can all of our other liberties.

    However, the juxtaposition of the CMP and opposition to Obama could be easily distorted by unfriendly left-wing trolls. I’m just sayin’.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., (5de461)

  98. Brother Bradley,
    I must respectfully disagree with you I think. This is a political site created by a lawyer so the main concerns tend to be with first amendment type issues and of course when ever one is concerned about encroachment on first amendment issues, Obama’s name can’t help but come up. At gun stores or gun related websites the second amendment is a primary concern and Obama’s name again comes up. This is no more related to threats against him than comments here are suggesting silencing his voice. In both cases the concern is over his attack on our constitution and the discussion is about political action.

    The only way to stop trolls from mischaracterizing the comments is to keep entirely silent, in which case they have already won. The comments in question were carefully stated and no reasonable interpretation could make them a call for violence. There is a real and pervasive fear of this administration, the congress more than the President I think< in any gathering or forum dealing with our rights and the future of the Republic. I feel that arch summed this up well in the whole and the parts of his comments.

    Respects.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  99. The last four times I have waited for a background check to go through I have heard reference to the Democrats and what they have done or are doing but in no case was anything improper said. The folks running these stores are patriots and would have kicked out anyone even hinting at something irresponsible or illegal. They have seen enough of that kind of illegal action from the left and want no part of it.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  100. #94- The men who wrote our constitution lived through the revolution because America had armed citizens willing to stand up to government tyranny.

    They also wrote the Articles of Confederation, first. They werent perfect. A well regulated militia in 18th Century made sense but how many minutemen had cannon at the ready in their barns? Not unlike nutbags storing caches of ammo and assult rifles today. Squirrel rifles at the ready in the 18th century was the norm. So was using leeches in medicine and legalized knocking shoppes. In an age when it took three months to cross the Atlantic and there was no Piggly Wiggly on the corner, having a flintlock at the ready to kill dinner made sense. Less so, today.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  101. DCSCA, in the revolutionary era, cannon were parked in the commons or other artillery park in reach of all.

    As for “assault rifles” such are not actually available to civilians unless one complies with the 1934 NFA act, registered them before 1986 and paid a $200 transfer tax. Civilian semi-auto versions of military rifles are in fact owned by millions of people – not “nutbags”, a term best seen as your continued practice of projection.

    SPQR (72771e)

  102. Machinist,
    Okay, I understand your point, and I am glad to have it spelled out in detail, for the benefit of anyone who reads the distortions spread by our resident trolls.

    The Bill of Rights-Respecting Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., (5de461)

  103. In an age when it took three months to cross the Atlantic and there was no Piggly Wiggly on the corner, having a flintlock at the ready to kill dinner made sense. Less so, today.

    “I feel like it” is justification enough for owning an assault rifle.

    Michael Ejercito (7c44bf)

  104. The Second Amendment had absolutely zero to do with hunting. It had everything to do with preventing a tyrannical government.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  105. I believe that both Lexington and Concord had armories which were in fact the targets of the British troops. It was when these troops tried to take these weapons that the militias took the field after years of trying to negotiate with the British government.

    The militias were not just a group of farmers with hunting rifles. They were required to sign up and report for training and drill in military maneuvers. This was not to shoot dinner but to make them more effective as soldiers. If you read the founders writings it is clear they very much intended the second amendment as a check on overreaching government.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  106. Just to follow-up arch’s experience at CMP:
    It is being reported that in the month of December ’08, the U.S. consumer purchased 1.5-Billion rounds of ammunition!
    And, as fast as this stuff is coming of the assembly-lines and into retail stores, it is going out the front doors apace.
    As Yamamoto said: “…a rifle behind every blade of grass…”

    AD - RtR/OS! (f774a9)

  107. Up through the time of Napoleon the main killer on the battlefields was artillery, accounting for well over half the casualties. The lion’s share of the remainder was edged weapons, mainly the bayonet. Small arms fire came in third. This was true until the adoption of the rifled musket and minie ball just before the Civil war. The 12 pounders opened up at 3 or 4 hundred yards. The troops fired a few volleys as they closed at less then a hundred yard and then fought with bayonets. Rifles were very limited in firepower and couldn’t take a bayonet so any community that could would have muskets in the armory for the militia, along with whatever field guns they could get.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  108. “If cowardly and dishonorable men sometimes shoot unarmed men with army pistols or guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary and gallows, and not by a general deprivation of a constitutional privilege.”

    —Arkansas Supreme Court, 1878

    SPQR (72771e)

  109. SPQR,
    Clearly you are wrong. The Swiss armed their citizens with military rifles and ammo and look at the crime and anarchy that resulted…..oh…wait.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  110. Machinist, that crime and anarchy will only result if they succeed in disarming their citizen-militia members…vote soon to follow.

    AD - RtR/OS! (f774a9)

  111. I understand they are working on that. The results may not be nice.

    It sure is funny how the lion’s share of the criminals in this country hang out in the cities with the strictest gun controls. I wonder what the attraction is?

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  112. Exactly, Machinist, and yet even the Swiss people are having to defend that long tradition of militia holding their own issued arms at home from attacks despite the fact that it has such a long history of success. Rationality has nothing to do with it as usual.

    SPQR (72771e)

  113. The people who defend a country have the same problem as middle managers. I’ve had owners complain to me because my department managers seemed to have little do as their departments seemed to run so smoothly and efficiently all by themselves. With people so well trained and motivated, why did we need managers. I kid you not, this was common. They liked the managers that were always hustling and putting out fires as they were clearly earning their money. The owners were surprised when I told them I was planning to retrain or fire those managers.

    Sigh.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  114. We tend to treat our leaders, soldiers, and police the same way. Why do we need them when things are so peaceful?

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  115. “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive.”

    —Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution (Philadelphia 1787).

    arch (c1d07f)

  116. But then, that was before America became a flock of sheep. Obama’s civilian defense force, equal to the military, is perhaps the single most frightening thing I have ever heard an American politician propose.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  117. Obama’s civilian defense force…
    visible targets of oppression.

    “…He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance…”

    AD - RtR/OS! (f774a9)

  118. I forgot to mention that DCSCA’s #70 shows that DCSCA still continues to repeat long discredited attacks on Republicans. Incompetent, incoherent – that’s our DCSCA.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  119. #119

    targets of oppression

    I think I would regard them as instruments of oppression.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  120. #103- How convenient. So easy for the British Army to cart them off as well. Grandpa Spork helped park parking planes in clusters at Hickham Field in ’41, no doubt. Or perhaps he installed screen windows in submarines.

    For a well regulated militia these days, eat bran flakes, spork.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  121. Well, at least we know what DCSCA thinks of the Constitution now. Pick and choose, as if it’s a freedom buffet.

    Ag80 (b19e67)

  122. The Obama administration is moving toward reviving the military commission system for prosecuting Guantánamo detainees, which was a target of critics during the Bush administration, including Mr. Obama himself.

    Was Bush right or is Obama possessed ?

    Neo (46a1a2)

  123. Leftists like DCSCA that know nothing about firearms should stop telling the rest of us what to do with them.

    We don’t go into his house and tell him how to use the government to steal from others, nor tell him how to properly build up a reservoir of envy for those that have more financial success, creativity, and initiative. After all, that’s not our realm of expertise.

    DCSCA telling us about firearms is like Mao and Stalin telling us how to prevent national famines. He should stick with what he knows.

    Another Chris (a3bb8f)

  124. Another Chris – You don’t want to cross swords with DCSCA on this. Trust me. He’ll bore you to death.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  125. Comment by Machinist — 5/1/2009 @ 5:20 pm

    One man’s “instrument’, is another’s “target”!

    AD - RtR/OS! (f774a9)

  126. “…He should stick with what he knows.”
    Comment by Another Chris — 5/1/2009 @ 10:12 pm

    If he did that, he would never post anything.
    Oh Happy Days!

    AD - RtR/OS! (f774a9)

  127. AD, I’m missing something. You feel the civilian defense force would be oppressed? By who? They would be a tool of those in power.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  128. No, I feel that the “Civilian Defense Force” would be the “New Brown Shirts” (oppressors = targets, OK?),
    and should be shot on sight should be resisted with all lawful means…

    “…He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance…”

    AD - RtR/OS! (f774a9)

  129. Sorry to be dense. I agree. I would bet money if they take an oath it will NOT be to the constitution. More likely to Obama or the party. I never liked the Americorp thugs but this is much worse, “equal to the military”. From Brownshirts to Waffen SS?

    A bit over the top but the more I see the less I like it.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  130. When people join the military they swear the same oath that does the President. If my memory serves me it was, “I solemnly swear to preserve and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

    Should an official order the military to disarm the citizens, I doubt they would comply.

    arch (c1d07f)

  131. Arch,
    I was referring to whatever oath the civilian defense force Obama wants will take. There is historical precedent for a force loyal to the leader rather than the country to do things the professional army would not do. The army would fight for and take a city, then move on. The political troops would then move in and exterminate the undesirables. This takes people with no moral compass and fanatical zeal for the leader. Anyone who the leader does not like is not human and can be killed without remorse or compunction, men, women, or children. Regular troops balk at this but political troops have not done so.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  132. The role of brownshirt thugs has already been filled by Americorp and ACORN. What role is a “defense force” “equal to the military” supposed to serve? This implies equipment, training, and organization far beyond law enforcement agencies. Who are these “troops” intended to fight?

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  133. There were plenty of soldiers and military equipment at Waco and if ever there was an unconstitutional and illegal act by a government agency, that was it. I agree that most officers would respect their oath but I thought there has been an effort to replace the older officers with younger, more “politically educated” officers who are less sensitive to such issues since the Clinton administration because too many officers, about 70%, said they would refuse just such an order to go door to door. The Dems were not happy with this result.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  134. This is what I remember from that time. I can not verify or support this now.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  135. Wasn’t General Wesley Clark was the division commander at Ft Bliss?

    arch (c1d07f)

  136. I read that but I have not seen it confirmed. I would not be surprised. He is a perfect example of an unprincipled political officer that is a danger to freedom. In my opinion.

    Machinist (c5fc28)


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