Patterico's Pontifications

8/9/2011

Obama ’12: Man Without a Plan

Filed under: General — Karl @ 4:00 am



[Posted by Karl]

Chuck Todd’s summary of Pres. Obama’s speech on the S&P downgrade: “You get the sense, WH knew they had to say something given the news of the weekend but he didn’t have much NEW to say.”

No kidding. Indeed, by sticking with his insistence on only “modest” adjustments to entitlement programs, Pres. Obama likely contributed to yesterday’s market selloff. Obama is the Man Without a Plan to defuse the debt bomb.

It’s even worse than that. As presidential flack Jay Carney recently admitted: “The White House does not create jobs.” Moreover, based on Carney’s non-answers to ABC’s Jake Tapper, the Obama administration has little idea of how to help the private sector create them. Obama is also the Man Without a Plan on the economy.

At TNR, John Judis frets:

In a column in The Washington Post, Ezra Klein said the “right question” to ask about the economy was, “Where will the recovery come from?” He responded that “no one has an answer,” but also asserted that the recovery “won’t come from the United States.” Financial Times columnist Gillian Tett said pretty much the same thing on PBS’s News Hour. “They’re out of ammo,” Tett said of the federal government. “I mean, they have already used all the fiscal measures they could in the last two or three years. And they’re pretty much back to where they can go, as far as they can go in terms of the monetary policy measures.”

Judis, lefty that he is, recommends the “fiscal equivalent of war.” Similarly, David Frum, seemingly having taken Paul Krugman as his economic guru, declares that conservatives do not have much economic blame to hang on Obama, because he really has not done anything.

From a policy perspective, the Keynesian crowd is mistaken. The stimulus failed. Krugman has been wrong about economic policy under Herbert Hoover, wrong about economic policy under FDR, wrong about the economy under the Carter and Reagan administrations, and wrong about the global economy more recently. Over the past decade, particularly after the bursting of the tech bubble, Keynesians advocated the same easy money, big-spending policies all across Europe, to the same wretched results. (Indeed, Krugman half-joked, in accord with Keynesian analysis, that what the economy needed was a housing bubble. How did that work out?) Since then, Krugman has been wrong about the fiscal consolidation in Europe, ignoring the success of the Baltic states. Krugman has been wrong about the UK and ignores Switzerland, which had prudent fiscal policy throughout the economic crisis. Krugman has been wrong about Ireland.

Moreover, Frum’s analysis of Obama’s economic record verges on the bizarre. For example, Frum writes:

Obama’s only tax increases – those contained in the Affordable Care Act – do not go into effect until 2014. Personal income tax rates and corporate tax rates are no higher today than they have been for the past decade. The payroll tax has actually been cut by 2 points. Total federal tax collections have dropped by 4 points of GDP since 2007, from 18+% to 14+%, the lowest rate since the Truman administration.

If so minded, you could describe Barack Obama as the biggest tax cutter in American history.

As a percent of national income, the Kennedy tax cuts and Reagan tax cuts were much larger than the G.W. Bush tax cuts Obama extended (although Obama did not want to extend them and still wants them to expire). Current tax collections are low because the supposed Obama recovery is the worst in post-war history (more here).

Frum also claims:

We have not seen a major surge in federal regulation, at least by the usual rough metrics: the page count of the Federal Register has risen by less than 5% since George W. Bush’s last year in office.

In reality, quality matters as much as quantity:

Over the first two years of his term, the federal government issued 132 economically significant regulations (defined as having impacts of $100 million or more per year). That averages out to 66 major regulations per year, which is dramatically higher than the averages issued by President Clinton (47 per year) or President Bush (48 per year). President Obama’s upcoming Regulatory Agenda, released just last month, does not presage a slow-down in activity. There are 183 more regulations underway now than last year at this time, representing a 5 percent increase in activity. The regulatory road ahead looks even more ambitious when one focuses on the largest regulations. The Agenda reveals a 20 percent increase in economically significant regulations, or 40 more regulations with impacts of over $100 million under development now than at this time last year.

Back to Frum:

Energy prices have surged, but that’s hardly a response to administration policies. Conservatives complain about restrictions on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, but on a planet that produces 63 million barrels of oil per day, a few thousand more or less from the Gulf will not much budge the price of oil. Rising oil prices are a story about Chinese and Indian consumption and Middle Eastern political instability, not about US drilling or lack thereof.

Of course, energy policy goes well beyond the Gulf. Obama’s energy policies will cause our electricity bills to skyrocket. Frum also ignores natural gas. Frum further ignores drilling in locations like the ANWR. But even limited to the Gulf, a report from energy consultancy IHS-CERA suggests returning oil and gas activity to the pace that it was on before the BP oil spill would result in the creation of 230,000 new jobs in 2012 and add $44 billion to the U.S. economy. That’s because, contra Frum, the deepwater Gulf can produce something like 150 million barrels per year of oil, which is a bit more than a few thousand.

Back to Frum:

Conservatives complain about excess government spending. Fine. But isn’t the evil of excess government spending supposed to be inflation rather than recession? And where’s the inflation?

Can Frum have missed two massive rounds of quantitative easing? Really? The dollar was explicitly inflated to combat a feared deflationary spiral. Other countries, like China, have also been inflating their money supplies. But government (or quasi-government, in the case of the Fed) policy tends to be a blunt tool, difficult to calibrate. As a result, there has been massive inflation, right under our noses. And it’s not just in food and energy; it’s showing up in so-called core inflation as well. Incidentally, economists like Kenneth Rogoff (perhaps the world’s foremost authority on financial crises) will tell you even more inflation will ultimately be necessary to rationalize the economy. Thus, “the cruelest tax” gets imposed on savers for the benefit of debtors, much as Main Street got forced to bail out Wall Street.

Frum’s strongest point is on Obama’s deferred taxes, but I don’t see Obama running on “Higher taxes are coming” any more than I see him running on “Obama has done nothing” or “The White House doesn’t create jobs.”

–Karl

96 Responses to “Obama ’12: Man Without a Plan”

  1. maybe Jefh’s campaign slogan will be:
    Stay Stuck On Stupid.
    Obama 2012

    that certainly seems to cover it, and would play to his base.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  2. Clearly, Barack Obama has always had only three objectives; (1) flagrantly abuse his authority to vindictively redistribute wealth (and power) from white people to people of color (and for his own self-aggrandizement, also), and [not] to fulfill the duties and the responsbilities of POTUS, and (2) to live like royalty at the expense of the rest of us, the objectives of any common, ordinary street hustler, and (3) to run those scams for as long as he can get away with them, improvising and coming up with more scams as he continues to be successful at duping the American people.

    That fraud had no intentions of fulfilling the duties of POTUS. He misled a lot of people. If 52% of the electorate had wanted what he is doing, they would have elected Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton 20 years ago.

    He has been described as an “idealogue”, and it has been said that he is trying to get reparations for descendents of slaves.

    He is [not] an idealoque, and reparations aren’t his aim. He is a common, ordinary thief, liar and con artist, also known as a street hustler, and he is running scams here to steal [huge] amounts of money, not just for his “brothas” and “sistas”, but for himself and his con artist wife, also.

    Some liberals are too naive to see it. But most liberals are so immoral, crazy and stupid that they think that it is cool that, with the help of the Black Caucus and their liberal white sycophants in Congress, that street hustler is ripping off WASPs on a massive scale. Hell, they’re so sleazy that they’ll cut off their noses to spite their faces just to help that con artist. Their kind have always admired con artists, even when they’re the victims of con artists themselves.

    Are we going to go into debt, so that they can steal our money? This whole situation is crazy. Americans are braindead. But hey, that’s all just my opinion. That’s my rant for today. 🙂

    Summit, NJ (75c9eb)

  3. Dana Milbank in the Washington Post: The most powerful man on Earth? Note the question mark as another rube goes on to rip Obama a new one.

    A familiar air of indecision preceded President Obama’s pep talk to the nation.

    The first draft of his schedule for Monday contained no plans to comment on the downgrading of the U.S. credit rating by Standard & Poor’s. Then the White House announced that he would speak at 1 p.m. A second update changed that to 1:30. At 1:52, Obama walked into the State Dining Room to read his statement. Judging from the market reaction, he should have stuck with his original instinct.

    A few comments of my own. I saw part of the speech on TV and if this was a pep talk, it should have been given by someone else. The suit was there and so was the teleprompter, the only thing missing was a human being. This was a talk given by someone who was going through the motions, who would rather be having a root canal without anesthetic. Who ran from the lectern as soon as he stopped talking. And from the other side of the camera, it was painful to watch; and somewhat scary. You knew that when Obama’s reaction to the financial crisis is extending unemployment benefits you were looking at a man who’s intellectually bankrupt; who is so clueless that we would be better off with no President … then we could move ahead.

    It’s now obvious that Obama is an obstacle, a wall against which good ideas go to die. He’s the guy who rips the life-preserver out of the hands of the drowning man. It’s his way or the highway even if the heavens fall.

    The man is genuinely scary.

    Back to Milbank who still doesn’t get what the rest of us understood in 2008.

    That is the enduring mystery of Obama’s presidency. He delivered his statement on the economy beneath a portrait of Abraham Lincoln, but that was as close as he came to forceful leadership. He looked grim and swallowed hard and frequently as he mixed fatalism (“markets will rise and fall”) with vague, patriotic exhortations (“this is the United States of America”).

    “There will always be economic factors that we can’t control,” Obama said. Maybe. But it would be nice if the president gave it a try.

    Dana, you have seen the best that he had to give. It’s all there is to HopeN’Change. Obama’s actions in office are only a mystery to those who sold the nation this package of damaged goods, this incredible narcissist who thought that being President was living in a nice house with servants and your own air force presiding over endless parties with your own coterie of Hollywood celebrities. Obama may very well be the nation’s first black blond joke.

    Moneyrunner (8f100c)

  4. I liked where he called for increased investments in a speech that should have been about actual spending cuts, and how he got the message from the markets. Instead, it appears that his message is I ONE and blaming God, markets, Euro socialisms, and bitter clinger teabaggerz is the message he plans to deliver. That was a poorly read and delivered campaign stump speech. I was most certainly no leadership in the face of a crisis. Not by a long shot.

    JD (85b089)

  5. It was most certainly not leadership …

    JD (b98cae)

  6. Summit’s a member of the IRA (Ignorant Racist Assholes)

    Obama is the right man for the job, now more than ever but he needs to take long-delayed measures to stop the fifth column. He has been tolerant of them way too much long; now has come the time to make them feel the whip.

    ProudLiberal (0692b1)

  7. Yesterday, to paraphrase them, both Chris Matthews and prominant Pennsylvania Democratic Party Leader and former governor, Ed Rendell, said in noticeable exasperation, frustration and disgust that clearly Barack Obama is not showing any leadership or an ability to put forward a plan or to even deal with these issues rationally, a nice way of saying, presumably, that Obama is in way, way over his head and that he is not up to the task of being POTUS.

    They’re beginning to get it, folks. Only Spartacus is too squirrely to get it.

    Summit, NJ (75c9eb)

  8. Well, if Summit is an IRA, I think our newest troll is a VLPB. You can guess what the letters mean.

    Simon Jester (51bacd)

  9. Karl, this is just an excellent post. Thank you.

    …and commenter #6 is a blunt reminder of how important 2012 is. It’s no laughing matter that this is the quality of follower Obama draws.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  10. #6 – Calling me a racist isn’t a valid argument. It just shows that, in your frustration, you were too flummoxed to come up with a rational argument.

    Care to try again? C’mon, take your best shot?

    I can’t wait for your snappy reply. 🙂

    Summit, NJ (75c9eb)

  11. Proudliberal is anything but. He is a sad name-calling hohophobe, lashing out because boy wonder has demonstrated to all how small of a person he is, all while demonstarting his putulance, arrogance, and showcasing his complete lack of leadership. And for that, angrysecproggie screams racism.

    JD (85b089)

  12. Something tells me, JD, that Proudliberal loves him some HoHos. Don’t you think?

    Simon Jester (51bacd)

  13. Obama is the right man for the job, now more than ever but he needs to take long-delayed measures to stop the fifth column. He has been tolerant of them way too much long; now has come the time to make them feel the whip.

    Comment by ProudLiberal — 8/9/2011 @ 5:34 am

    What measures, pray tell, does Obama and the Gov’t need to take to stop American citizens from voicing their opinion?

    Monkeytoe (5234ab)

  14. I can’t wait for your snappy reply.

    Comment by Summit, NJ — 8/9/2011 @ 5:58 am

    C’mon, obviously anyone who opposes Obama or contests his policies IS a racist. What other possible reason could there be for it?

    Monkeytoe (5234ab)

  15. !stsicaR

    ColonelDyslexicHaiku (d1f5ff)

  16. (“this is the United States of America”) – said the man who had to be shamed into wearing a flag pin during the campaign and does not believe in American exceptionalism.

    Meh.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  17. Due respect Summit but the Narcissist-in-Chief is not in over his head. I won’t repeat my previous comments at another post, but in sum Rush Limbaugh, Pete Wehner (worked for Bush 41, 43, & Reagan – not a crazed Tea Party extremist like me) and now Congressman Dan Burton are saying out loud what is obvious to some of us – he & his handlers are orchestrating these events. It is not accident, or clumsiness, or cluelessness, or inexperience, or naivete.

    Rep Burton: “It is a cardinal mistake in any competition, be it sports or politics – and politics is a competition of ideas – to underestimate your opponent. All too often, underestimating your opponent leads to disaster. I believe that America, especially America’s political class, is vastly underestimating President Obama; and if we continue to do so, it will be a disaster for America. Specifically, I am worried about the growing political story line that the Obama administration is “failing” because they are just inexperienced and the president is simply “in over his head.”

    Mr. Obama knows precisely what he is doing: He is changing America into his vision of a European-style socialist utopia where the government controls every aspect of our lives. Consider the facts, since taking office, Mr. Obama has taken control of the student loan industry, the health care industry, the banking and financial sectors, and he orchestrated the bankruptcy and reorganization of two-thirds of the American automotive industry, leaving his political allies in the labor movement in effective control of the companies and allowing the administration to dictate the industry’s direction.”

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/aug/8/the-danger-of-underestimating-obama/

    BTW I just read Burton’s comments this morning. Funny how I have thought & commented exactly the same things.

    Some of you mention voting in 2012 – that is the absolute bare minimum you can do. Send Rep Burton’s column to your legislators. It will soon be too late to fight back.

    Miranda (4104db)

  18. “Obama is the right man for the job…”

    What’s the job?

    Janitor?

    Dave Surls (40a36b)

  19. “Man Without a Plan”

    Funny thing about men without brains…

    Dave Surls (40a36b)

  20. Miranda – I buy into the Euro-style weenietopia theory, but not deliberately leaving the economy in tatters because it threatens his reelection. He needs more time to complete his transformation strategy.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  21. Miranda, “never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”.

    felipe (2ec14c)

  22. ____________________________________________

    Proudliberal is anything but.

    Because he (or she) comes off in such a clumsy and foolish way, it’s possible he’s actually doing a parody of a liberal, if not ultra-liberal.

    “never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”.

    But keep in mind that Obama sat in Jeremiah Wright’s church for almost 20 years, listening to endless speeches of America bashing, of “Goddamn America” sentiment, and other forms of lunacy. Did Obama wince? Did Obama shudder? Did Obama pull back? Did Obama ditch the place? No, he instead made Wright a close adviser, right up until the bitter end.

    Mark (411533)

  23. That is certainly his intention, Miranda, but he’s more like the Sorcerer’s apprentice, or

    ian cormac (81c5c2)

  24. Go stick your head back in the sand Sarah oh I mean felipe. Put your fingers in your ears … “nah nah nah nah nah … I can’t hear you”.

    You’re not just dismissing my ideas – you’re dismissing Limbaugh, Wehner, & Burton – a conservative U.S. Congressman.

    Use Occam’s Razor to the question of why Obama has made the many decisions which have resulted in high unemployment, massive gvt spending, new programs, tens of thousands of new gvt regulations, moratoria on oil drilling, yanking permits on coal mines, after they’ve already been issued, on & on & on …. does it really make sense that someone elected President of the U.S. is so incredibly stupid as to make mistake after mistake after mistake? Cash for clunkers, peace talks with the Taliban, refusal of the DOJ to investigate civil rights violations if they don’t involve “minorities”, etc. No – it makes no sense.

    The simplest explanation is so repugnant that most people can’t stomach it – that Obama & his backers are deliberately wrecking the economy – that they care nothing for human life – that they are racist to the core – that they will engage in massive voter fraud to win the election, or if necessary, institute martial law.

    Miranda (4104db)

  25. Daley & Ian – I think they underestimated the power of the Tea Party movement and how their Big Government policies would galvanize independents too to question massive new spending. I’d think they’d wait til 2013 to start stomping heads, but maybe they have some uncontrollable elements in their midst who want to accelerate the program.

    The Cloward & Piven strategy – overburden the economy by massive spending on “welfare” programs, resulting in economic collapse & chaos, thus “requiring” a socialist gvt – is indeed being employed by Sunstein, Jarrett, et al.

    Interestingly, Obama very likely attended Piven’s lectures at some Socialist Workers’ Conference in NYC 2 yrs running. Cloward & Piven both taught at Columbia where Obama was a student (Piven later at CUNY). That’s not paranoid conspiracy theory – it’s just fact. Also fact – Cloward & Piven pictured standing behind Bill Clinton when he signed the Motor Voter Act, to make voter registration much easier for people too lazy to get to a Board of Elections office.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/11/clowardpiven_government.html

    Excellent article, btw, by Simpson, published Nov. ’09.

    Miranda (4104db)

  26. i thought the full moon was next week?

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  27. “…now has come the time to make them feel the whip.”–A Dembot

    Old habits die hard for members of the Slaveowner Party.

    Dave Surls (b2ed4c)

  28. #26 – LOL

    Summit, NJ (75c9eb)

  29. Miranda, I agree with you. At least a large number of folks in the Obama administration are pursuing Cloward Piven. They are not as worried about the consequences of their spending because they think it could lead to a more intrusive and powerful government. Gotta break some eggs.

    But may I suggest you ease up a little on other conservatives. Felipe is right to see a lot of incompetence and confusion. I think this administration is a combination of young and egotistical people who think they know everything, a few idealistic socialists who manipulate confusion, and the rest are corrupt and interested in #1.

    The whole thing is a mess. They hope we’re so agitated fighting eachother that they can slip by through the next election. Their astroturf plans likely will require tons of right on right attacks.

    Let’s not get a head start on that. If you think Obama is a sinister genius, bent on ruining this country, and Felipe thinks Obama is an imbecile whose policies are ruining this country, we should just focus on how to stop him.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  30. It’s a shame that the inflation of the past 40 years never seems to be acknowledged. The 2011 dollar is worth 10 cents of a 1969 dollar, if that. I guess you have to be my age to realize it. I bought a nice house in South Pasadena in 1969 for $35,000. Twenty years later it was for sale (unfortunately not by me) for $595,000. In 1968, I bought a new Mustang convertible for $3050. I have watched all these things go up in price and people seem not to realize that the price isn’t going up really, the dollar is going down. After Obama, I wonder if my retirement income will be wiped out.

    Mike K (4c76c8)

  31. I remember posting a comment on a thread a few months back in utter frustration with yet another blanket kneepad performance by the media in front of the sun king.

    Despite their political leanings don’t they, too, have children and grandchildren they love whose futures and long term standard of living they constantly worry about, I asked (a paraphrase). Don’t they see their home values falling, friends and colleagues losing work and staying unemployed? Have they not noticed the fear and creeping malaise in our nation and does that not scare them, too? Don’t any of them have parents who taught them some basics of economics and history even if the schools they attended did not-and is some of this long buried knowledge in their heads not ever going to seep to the surface? Do they not see that things are spiraling out of control, that the administration is floundering and our nation is obviously at risk?

    It is my sense that in the past couple of months the scales are indeed starting to fall from the eyes of many in the so called influential media. It has absolutely become possible, perhaps fashionable to criticize the president and point out where he is clearly found wanting. “What is his plan?” is being asked by more and more regular citizens, reporters and others whom we might never have suspected (Scheiffer, Wynn). The president’s poll numbers are crashing. It ain’t a lot, it ain’t enough, but it’s a start. A sea change is occurring this summer of 2011. Take time to notice it. And for god’s sake, Republicans–seize the damn moment and nominate someone competent and electable who can articulate a recovery plan and sell it to independents and even to disaffected liberals.

    elissa (d5de3d)

  32. ^ excellent comment Elissa.

    There should be more urgency, but one essential component is a party that rises to the occasion.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  33. Miranda – I ageed with the third paragraph of your comment #17. The problem I see with your Obama conspiracy is that too many of the things he’s tried are out of the standard liberal playbook, not necessarily a Cloward/Piven anarchist cookbook. The standard liberal playbook is bigger government and does not work.

    He’s surrounded by the biggest collection of academics and bureaucrats of any Administration in memory rather than people who have any real world experience. Obama’s goals for the weenietopia you describe are tempered by people with real reputations to protect, although a number of them have already left the administration.

    So yes, I believe Obama has fundamentally bad transformational goals for this country, a number of which he has implemented, his green goals are another aspect of this, but what has happened is a combination of his misguided goals and sheer stupidity. If that conflicts with what Limbaugh, Burton and others are saying, I’ve got no problem with that. I did not realize they were considered omnipotent, even though people on the left accuse us of thinking Limbaugh is, I usually deny it.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  34. #31

    If they were smart, they wouldn’t be socialists.

    Dave Surls (b2ed4c)

  35. And for god’s sake, Republicans–seize the damn moment and nominate someone competent and electable who can articulate a recovery plan and sell it to independents and even to disaffected liberals.

    Ain’t gonna happen, you watch.

    It will be same tired old shiboleths designed to motivate as many low information voters as possible to vote against their actual interests. Anything but policy, articulating actual Republican policies on job creation, economic recovery, taxation, protecting the environment, entitlement reform etc. etc. would lead to fewer Republicans being elected, not more. Not to worry, I’m sure pastor Perry or the Mormon will be light enough on specifics when the time comes, to run Obama very close.

    Spartacvs (4576a2)

  36. So, are you really that silly Hax person? Honestly? How do you look at yourself in the mirror? How pathetic.

    Simon Jester (51bacd)

  37. The problem I see with your Obama conspiracy is that too many of the things he’s tried are out of the standard liberal playbook, not necessarily a Cloward/Piven anarchist cookbook. The standard liberal playbook is bigger government and does not work.

    Cloward Piven is too clever by half.

    “Let’s do what we’re already wanting to do, and pretend the disastrous consequences are actually our expert designs for a new utopia!”

    It makes them feel better about themselves. Instead of stealing from our kids, they are taking down The Man. Of course, they are The Man, but let’s not get bogged down.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  38. I meant to do that
    I’ll have it be known
    I did it on purpose
    for plans of my own.
    Since you’re just a human
    and I am a cat,
    I thought I ought to mention that
    I meant to do that.

    — Echo’s Children

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  39. ==designed to motivate as many low information voters as possible to vote against their actual interests==

    There is perhaps no phrase in the leftist playbook that is more blatantly offensive to people in general (regardless of party) than that one. The hubris, the audacity, the gall of someone suggesting they know more about an individual and that individual voter’s self interest than the actual voter himself does, is the height of arrogance. It’s not persuasive or a useful argument, spurty. But I suppose it makes you feel all devilish and maybe a little sexy to post it.

    elissa (1e558a)

  40. Spvrty – I hope the Democrats run Obama in 2012.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  41. Elissa, it amuses me a lot to hear democrats act like more entitlements now, with no reform or sustainability for those programs, is somehow a low info voter’s best interest.

    Maybe those low info voters who vote for reform might just be voting for a better entitlement system.

    It goes beyond that. Maybe ‘low info’ voters want to emulate policies that lead to more jobs, instead of Obamacare.

    I think the hard lefty who whines about the low info voter thinks they are too proud for charity and want to pull that away from all poor folks. Something like that. They ignore that this charity is actually a disaster for the very people Spartacus would like to command.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  42. Low information voter = “keep your thieving govt. hands off my Medicare.

    Any low income person receiving Medicare benefits or who might expect to qualify for benefits one day, who votes for the party that would happily institute the Paul Ryan plan to ‘save’ Medicare, is by definition a low information voter voting against their own real self interest. Ditto for any plan to ‘save’ SS. I daresay that would include a whole lot of grassroots support for the teabagger charade.

    Spartacvs (4576a2)

  43. Spartacvs, since the Democrats already voted to cut $500 billion from Medicare, then that low income voter ought to vote against Democrats by your usual vacuous reasoning.

    Or were you confused again, showed your incompetence and meant “Medicaid” ?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  44. Daley – appreciate the comments. I don’t consider Limbaugh et al omnipotent – just pointed out their opinions to show that my own is by no means some isolated grandiose conspiracy theory.

    Ok, now I’ll be a contrarian once again.

    “Big government doesn’t work”. Okey dokey, I’ll go watch some Real Housewives garbage & munch on a Taco Bell gordita chimichanga. No worries.

    Well, tell that to the millions who died under Stalinist big government USSR – the gulags, the collectivist farms, the starved Ukrainians, etc. You can say big government is always a disaster, but that doesn’t preclude evil people from instituting it & perpetuating it. Many, many people died under big government. Many people, including Christians, are persecuted under the massive Chinese government bureaucracy today. I don’t want a high casualty list here in the U.S. before it dawns on the Leftists that big government doesn’t work.

    Evil is a real problem – and so many are anesthetized to it. It didn’t take watching Beck to make me think back to Nazi Germany. How did the Nazis become so powerful? Germany was a highly literate & cultured society. Etc etc – I don’t care to go into all of that – if you see the parallels, you understand.

    To Elissa’s point re self-interest ….. Do people act in their own self-interest? Sure. But if you’re part of the vast entitlement class – you & your family receive food stamps, get access to special housing programs, get free cell phones, your children get grants for college, on & on & on – and you don’t have to pay taxes – what interest do you have in voting for fairness? You don’t. A society cannot sustain a vast entitlement class whose benefits are paid for by a minority of the population, and whose votes are essentially “bought”.

    And to another of Elissa’s points – re the media, and where is their self-interest – well, evil trumps common sense. There. I said it. Again, Nazi Germany – the intelligentsia, the artists, the actors, the smart set – many of them were infatuated with fascism & the Nazis. And the Church (Lutheran & RC) – most of the pastors/priests turned a blind eye and/or were silent in the face of Nazi ideology replacing Christianity. Not all – but most.

    Just thinking while I type here … but what bothers me about this Obama situation is the factor of evil. Look at the riots in London – what “sense” does that make? Those thugs & morons are burning their own neighborhoods. Not exactly in their own self-interest.

    btw, re “felipe” – s/he had left some snarky comments on another thread so I was retaliating. Didn’t happen in a vacuum. I’ll try to be good now.

    Miranda (4104db)

  45. I think Felipe’s a great commenter.

    Miranda, relax.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  46. A society cannot sustain a vast entitlement class whose benefits are paid for by a minority of the population, and whose votes are essentially “bought”.

    Neither can a society sustain a minority entitlement class “bought” with tax cuts at the expense of the majority.

    Spartacvs (4576a2)

  47. Spartacvs, since that didn’t happen, we needn’t worry.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  48. Neither can a society sustain a minority entitlement class “bought” with tax cuts at the expense of the majority.

    Comment by Spartacvs

    This is an amazing fantasy.

    Since this ‘entitlement minority class’ you’re talking about are people who pay the lion’s share anyway, it’s amazing you would say anything they get to keep is ‘at the expense’ of the majority.

    You are specifically demanding communism.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  49. Dustin, a better question is why a person who has been banned from a website plays endless games to continue to post insults, exaggerations, and falsehoods. Sounds psychiatric, doesn’t it?

    “Sparticvs,” are you or are you not that jerk Hax? Own it or deny it.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  50. Dustin, there you go again. Engaging with commenters, tossing out nuggets of praise, then jabbing them …. why, isn’t that curious? Funny how people respond to cheap flattery by an anon commenter whose comments are 95% reconstituted from others’ comments.

    News flash – your good cop/bad cop – triangulation routine doesn’t work with me.

    BTW, I only comment here as “Miranda”. I have no alter egos, as some do, and I’m sure Patterico could attest to that (by checking my IP address I assume). And I don’t use a proxy. And I don’t have a blog where I describe myself as a “liberal progressive” while pretending to be a right-wing Obama critic elsewhere. Just sayin’.

    Another thought – why do some apparently assume that socks exist only to antagonize & aggravate & attack? Why not have socks that echo others’ thoughts & opinions, and exist to gently prod & get info? It is the perfect good cop/bad cop routine.

    Again, just sayin’. If it doesn’t apply to you, then you shouldn’t be offended.

    Miranda (4104db)

  51. Taxes on the rich go only one way with people like Spartac…………………our way.

    Miranda is getting all hot and bothered for some reason.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  52. Dustin, a better question is why a person who has been banned from a website plays endless games to continue to post insults, exaggerations, and falsehoods. Sounds psychiatric, doesn’t it?

    “Sparticvs,” are you or are you not that jerk Hax? Own it or deny it.

    Comment by Simon Jester — 8/9/2011 @ 11:45 am

    He can’t own it.

    I don’t know why I’m bothering with him. His claim that tax cuts come at the expense of the majority are just so repellent. I’m sure that was the intention.

    50% of Americans pay essentially no income tax, and the top 5% pay nearly 60%.

    Even that isn’t enough for Spart.

    BTW, I only comment here as “Miranda”. I have no alter egos, as some do, and I’m sure Patterico could attest to that (by checking my IP address I assume). And I don’t use a proxy. And I don’t have a blog where I describe myself as a “liberal progressive” while pretending to be a right-wing Obama critic elsewhere. Just sayin’.

    Has anyone attacked you on this basis?

    Another thought – why do some apparently assume that socks exist only to antagonize & aggravate & attack?

    It is clear that Spartacus, imdw (that pervert trash who couldn’t win an argument against a sandwich), and many others do indeed exist primarily to antagonize.

    I have never seen anyone assume socks only exist to antagonize. The most famous sock of them all was the Ellison series of Glenn Greenwald socks, who existed to support Greenwald’s arguments.

    Engaging with commenters, tossing out nuggets of praise, then jabbing them …. why, isn’t that curious?

    Yeah, I was trying to be friendly to you because you come across as conservative, but unstable and picking fights. I would rather you just get alone with folks like Felipe instead of trying to find that 1% of disagreement while accusing folks of all sorts of stuff.

    If I recall, you started attacking me the day after Lee Stranahan told his radio audience he had some dark secret about me. He doesn’t. He made that up to provoke me. I don’t really care to go back into that, but I’m 100% sincere in what I say here. I do try to get along with people, even you, up to a point.

    All I asked you to do is relax, while noting I see nothing bad about Felipe. That you interpret this as an attack is stupid, frankly.

    I don’t know what your deal is. You have added a lot more acrimony than anything else. Why is it you seem hell bent on attacking folks?

    You can dish it out, but you can’t take it. Why are you so weak? Relax, Miranda.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  53. And if you were a lefty trying to pretend to be an hysterical conservative, what would you say?

    Obama is trying to murder the SEALs and actually destroy the country!

    That’s a convenient strawman to burn down. Obama is not Satanic, he’s just a very poor leader with a conflicted staff with some radicals and cronies.

    But I do not assume the worst of Miranda. There’s no reason to. Unlike her, I’m not bothering to speculate on whether someone is a sock or a moby just because I disagree with them. It is strange that the person acting like a moby is also accusing people of being one, but again, I don’t need to speculate on it.

    Miranda very well could be a dummy who is falling prey to an effort for conservatives not to trust anybody and just fight all the time about petty stuff. All I want is for folks to relax. If the evidence is more clear someone is a troll (like with Spartacus) that’s a totally different matter.

    Am I not being clear? I’d rather not fight with Miranda, and she doesn’t seem to understand that.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  54. Dustin –

    50% of Americans pay essentially no income tax

    Because they don’t earn enough to be taxed, but they sure pay lots of other taxes.

    SP

    The empty podium

    that’s as good a moniker for Pawlenty as I’ve seen.

    Spartacvs (4576a2)

  55. You are kind of like a scurrying little gerbil with your nuggets of hate you poop on different threads, aren’t you? Sparticvs, why won’t you answer those questions about your banning and your falsifying different personas to post here?

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  56. Spartacvs, they don’t earn enough to pay income tax because the Bush tax cuts altered the brackets to exclude them you dishonest little POS.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  57. Because they don’t earn enough to be taxed, but they sure pay lots of other taxes.

    What makes you say that?

    Just your assertion that we should soak the rich and give their money to a huge number of people who ‘don’t earn enough’.

    You’re right that they pay other taxes. Especially the Obama tax, AKA inflation. Every time you fill up your smart car, 50% of the gasoline price is the Obama tax. Every time a mother buys bread for her kids, she gets hit with the Obama tax.

    So good point. Indeed Obama has raised taxes more on the poorest Americans, when you look at it this way, while using class warfare to pretend his policies only screw 5% of Americans.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  58. “It will be same tired old shiboleths designed to motivate as many low information voters as possible to vote against their actual interests.”

    Dem followers are, of course, interested in getting bigger welfare checks.

    And, that’s pretty much all they’re interested in.

    Wave a dollar bill under their noses, and they’ll vote for pretty much anybody. Even Obambi. Hell, even Roosevelt, for Chrissake.

    Dave Surls (77782f)

  59. Oh Nooooo!

    Latest Gallup daily tracking poll: Obama loses three points overnight, economic confidence plunges to 2-year low. That was some inspirational speech.

    elissa (1e558a)

  60. Spuvrty of course is just angry that Democrats in Congress did not work harder to ruin the economy.

    Lisa Jackson – You go grrrl!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  61. Dem followers are, of course, interested in getting bigger welfare checks.

    Yet more code speak from Dave the racist.

    Let your hate out racist Dave.

    Spartacvs (2d9449)

  62. #17 – Miranda

    What did you say there that invalidates the thrust of my assertions? Think about it.

    BTW, in my opinion, you are giving Obama too much credit by portraying him a clever idealogue intent on installing socialism.

    He is nothing more than a common thief, a street hustler, a con artist, whose purposes are to use his power to viciously and vindictively steal money from white people and to give much of it to people of color who are his supporters and and his enablers and his protectors, while also stealing a big bundle of money for himself, and while living like royalty at our expense, also, which is what street hustlers like he, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson do. In fact, he is strret hustler Al Sharpton, but with a better haircut and without all of the fat …, just an ordinary con artist and a thief, not the clever politician that you make him out to be. You are entitled to your opinions, though.

    Summit, NJ (75c9eb)

  63. White people get welfare checks…..silly me i’m racist for pointing that out.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  64. Summit @63

    vindictively steal money from white people and to give much of it to people of color who are his supporters and and his enablers and his protectors

    Another racist is heard from. Anybody here got a white pride membership? t-shirt?

    Spartacvs (2d9449)

  65. “Anybody here got a white pride membership? t-shirt?”

    Spvrty – Why, is yours in the wash or did the Jooooos steal it?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  66. Usually racism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. It is the first refuge for clowns like sporty/twoofnjustice/Hax

    JD (318f81)

  67. #65 – LOL, not a valid argument, goofy.

    Stymied as to what would be a valid argument, are you?

    You are sooo lame and so out of your depth om this blog.

    Now, if I was inclined to play devil’s advocate here, I could help you out and present a clever argument to my assertion, one which I was prepared to counter. But you have nothing. You’re shooting with blanks. Like Obama, you’re a shallow, empty suit, too.

    Summit, NJ (75c9eb)

  68. The problem for republicans is what would have McCain done in like circumstances? Did McCain have more of a clue economically than Obama? Would he have supported the Hobbits? Or would he have split the republican party? Only Nixon could go to China, and only Obama could have united republicans. True irony.

    eaglewingz08 (74f660)

  69. “Yet more code speak from Dave the racist.”

    Yeah, I’ll translate:

    Dickheads (like you) vote Democrat ’cause they steal from me, and then flip losers (like you)welfare checks.

    That’s reason numero uno that lefty folks vote Dem.

    That, and Dems tolerate stuff like killing babies as a means of birth control, which lefties love.

    Being able to kill babies is important too, but not quite as important as getting food stamps and stuff.

    IMO, of course.

    Dave Surls (77782f)

  70. I, personally, have been so unaffected by the terrible economy that I haven’t been paying close attention.

    But I’ve begun to notice recently the terrible effect that it has been having on other people, and I was interested to learn from a few businessmen recently that government intrusions have adversely affected their businesses significantly in recent years.

    Perhaps the msm isn’t addressing that dilemma, because, like me, those intrusions by the government don’t affect them either, Is our own government destroying the economy?

    Summit, NJ (75c9eb)

  71. Mark@22:

    But keep in mind that Obama sat in Jeremiah Wright’s church for almost 20 years, listening to endless speeches of America bashing, of “Goddamn America” sentiment, and other forms of lunacy. Did Obama wince? Did Obama shudder? Did Obama pull back? Did Obama ditch the place? No, he instead made Wright a close adviser, right up until the bitter end.

    Very true, Mark. You ask a lot of the same questions as I except one; Why did Obama sit there? I have no answer. I posit that you and I have similar suspicions. I try to put myself in his shoes (no small feat, but certainly worth trying) and view the world from that perspective. But I don’t see myself remaining seated for 20 years.

    felipe (2ec14c)

  72. Spartac is an idiot he called Patterico a racist and is calling anyone who speaks the truth about the left a racist.

    How long before he calls for the execution of us?

    DohBiden (d54602)

  73. My goodness, Miranda, that is some chip on your shoulder. Did you think my comment was aimed at you personally? Spewing invective may sooth your sensibilities, but it is not effective debate. Mark, in stark contrast, has brought something to the table without the need for personal attack. Mark is able to persuade me with the value of his ideas. To quote a movie:

    “You are passionate, Mozart, but you do not persuade.”

    felipe (2ec14c)

  74. Miranda is a thin-skinned harpy.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  75. #29 Dustin:

    Their astroturf plans likely will require tons of right on right attacks.

    Let’s not get a head start on that. If you think Obama is a sinister genius, bent on ruining this country, and Felipe thinks Obama is an imbecile whose policies are ruining this country, we should just focus on how to stop him.

    Amen, Dustin!

    felipe (2ec14c)

  76. btw, re “felipe” – s/he had left some snarky comments on another thread so I was retaliating. Didn’t happen in a vacuum. I’ll try to be good now.

    Comment by Miranda — 8/9/2011 @ 11:30 am

    Thank you for that explaination, Miranda. I was not sure what was going on. You and I are on the same team. I offer you my apology for the distress I caused you.

    felipe (2ec14c)

  77. Again, just sayin’. If it doesn’t apply to you, then you shouldn’t be offended. -Miranda

    Wow, just, wow. To think I offered that one an apology.

    Dustin, It may be, and I could be wrong, that Miranda thinks I am your sock! “Triangulating” Sheesh!

    felipe (2ec14c)

  78. Miranda is Yelverton’s wife.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  79. I think Miranda is totally sincere, but I think she should relax and take people at face value.

    It’s true that if you do that you will occasionally give too much credit to a trouble maker, but it’s better this way because you don’t wind up being rude to someone who honestly just has a different POV than you.

    And things are just less acrimonious.

    I think I know the origin of Miranda’s distrust of me, and unfortunately there is little I can do to prove that’s incorrect because the case against me was never made beyond the innuendo stage.

    But really, who cares? If you disagree with my points, attack the points.

    There is already enough legitimate suspicion and paranoia, and we should be ready for tons more of it going into 2012. The best way forward is to just do our best to step over the mess and talk about ideas/candidates/policies. I also think that discussion is much more interesting than a constant dramatic series of personal attacks.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  80. You Tube video of the loser who probably gives Spartacvs lessons on what is “racist”…

    Here the racist term? “Black hole”.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  81. Cynthis McKinney is back in the news again, presumably as an emissary for Obama and for the Congressional Black Caucus to frighten cowardly liberals into reelecting that disaster, Obama. She is a real piece of work.

    The revisionist history and other outrageous lies which she has told while she has been on her Iranian-sponsored speaking tour in Middle Eastern countries are a new low, even for that crazy POS. She is one [very] sick freak, imo.

    Summit, NJ (75c9eb)

  82. #81 – It has been my observation that, with the exception of one wisecrack on the sock puppets’ thread last week, most of the people here are very careful to not say anything of an even marginally racist nature which might embarrass Patterico or put him in an awkward position with petty, nasty and vicious liberals who are looking for any excuse to call people here racists. Ditzy is just grasping at straws, and he knows it. He has nothing. He continues to shoot with blanks. That makes him more vicious than any racist.

    Summit, NJ (75c9eb)

  83. Summit at 5:26 pm –

    I hope you’re right. I WANT to be wrong.

    Miranda (4104db)

  84. “felipe” is a frippery of a flouncing hussy.

    Miranda (4104db)

  85. Why do I think there is more to Dustin than meets the eye?

    Because he never called Lee Stranahan (at least back when the controversy I will describe started – I’ve never seen any indication from Lee that he has ever spoken to Dustin). Back when “razor419” called in to Lee’s show, and was practically hyperventilating, he was so furious because he claimed Lee “lied” to Patriot etc, Dustin vigorously defended Razor, and kept posting comments saying “Lee lied” over & over & over again. This was all before the public falling out between Patterico & Lee.

    Lee would find Dustin’s posts, then post a reply, asking Dustin repeatedly to call him. He even left his phone # in the comments. But Dustin never called. If you’ve spoken to Lee since then, Dustin, please do correct my account here.

    When I’ve e-mailed Patterico & Lee, I’ve always included my phone #. They can call me any time.

    Plus, the cide weys blog sounds just like Dustin. And I’d bet that he comments more than anybody else at this site.

    And he constantly praises other commenters. He named me over & over again, trying to get me to engage with him, but I wouldn’t respond. When I finally did – bam – he gets obsessed.

    Just curious.

    Miranda (4104db)

  86. Your a thin skinned paranoid harlot.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  87. Puddles

    Summit, NJ (75c9eb)

  88. Why Dustin won’t call Lee:

    Not sure why I’m responding to Lee on this anyway. He admits he’s willing to lie to get to the story or poke someone into exposing themselves (he did in his radio program).

    That makes sense to me.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  89. DRJ @ 2:13 pm

    Yet, he did keep responding & engaging with Lee. See comments 50, 52, 69, 70, 84 and the following 85 (your comment was 21):

    Hey Dustin — here’s my phone number — 505 306 9678. Be a man and dial it.

    Comment by Lee Stranahan — 6/23/2011 @ 12:59 pm

    Now jump to 168 – where D starts posting again. And see Lee’s response at 172:

    Hey Dustin — have you asked Razor419 what they think? I don’t know what they’d say.

    Also — be a man. 505 306 9678.

    Comment by Lee Stranahan — 6/24/2011 @ 6:05 am

    Then 176, where D ridicules Lee .. then D says at 178:

    “I’m not sitting around, phone in hand, shaking at whatever Lee is talking about. I’ll keep making my point right here.”

    Then I called out D re Lee’s demand that D call him at 187. D responds rather disingenuously IMO at 188.

    Lee at 189:
    I’m done. Dustin won’t contact me. Nuff said.

    Comment by Lee Stranahan — 6/24/2011 @ 11:57 am

    See also 191.

    But for this agitation, would Patterico & Lee have had a falling out? Obviously other events occurred as well – this wasn’t the cause of the disagreement.

    Now I am NOT a diehard Stranahan fan – I think his writing & reporting have been sloppy & he’s been too quick to draw certain conclusions.

    But he’s certainly not one of the “bad guys”. Who’s been squirrelly about contacting Patterico & Lee by phone? I’m not going to answer that one – just a question to ponder.

    Miranda (4104db)

  90. I love it when you talk dirty like that, Biden, you BFD, you!

    MWAH!

    Miranda (4104db)

  91. Miranda – Why was Lee afraid to address Dustin in public since he smeared him in public? Lee admitted he lied to obtain information on his blogtalk radio show and was pissed off at Dustin pointing it out. His response was to publicly smear Dustin and then demand that Dustin talk to him in private? Sure honey, that’s a great response.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  92. I’ve never seen any indication from Lee that he has ever spoken to Dustin

    That’s because I didn’t call him.

    I have however spoken to Patterico on the phone, Miranda. I trust Patterico because I’ve followed him over the course of several tense interactions and seen how he tells the truth.

    I am not going to comment on my opinion of Lee right now because I do not want to put him on the defensive when I think he’s being responsible with the seriousness of this story. I’m not implying anything… I just don’t feel comfortable with that.

    He said what he had to say in his defense, and I said what I had to say in criticizing him, and there’s nothing else to say about it.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  93. Daley, seriously! For one thing, how was Lee “afraid” to address D in public? He did, over & over again by his comments at various threads in response to D.

    What do you think detectives do when they have a suspect in an interrogation room? They’re under no obligation to be 100% Boy Scout honest. Am I absolutely comfortable w/ what Lee did – no. But I don’t think that makes him evil incarnate either.

    Plus that’s not the point. When there have been so many socks up to nefarious purposes, it’s suspicious when someone refuses to make a phone call in order to allay fears that that person is a nasty sock.

    So now D says in 93 that he’s spoken to Patterico on the phone – but not Lee. Fine. I assume Patterico could confirm that.

    Just interesting.

    Miranda (4104db)

  94. Miranda–
    It’s hard to tell if you have a story to tell (or maybe a theory) about Weinergate that you’re trying to hint at–or if your recent posts here`about Dustin are some sort of deflection. I don’t mean this at all as bombthrowing, and maybe it’s just me, but I’m genuinely confused. I’m having a really hard time understanding your POV or figuring out where you’re coming from about all this.

    elissa (7e8c9c)

  95. Thanks Daleyrocks and DRJ. I appreciate it, though I know you only said what you honestly believe, and it wasn’t a favor to me.

    What do you think detectives do when they have a suspect in an interrogation room? They’re under no obligation to be 100% Boy Scout honest.

    But you are saying I’m under an obligation to enter the interrogation room. Of someone I frankly am not comfortable with. As people seek out more details on me in hopes they can give me and my family the beandog experience (not to suggest Lee is in league with them).

    I decline.

    You also seem to want to instigate a new fight between myself and Lee.

    I decline.

    There are bigger issues than my ego and old disputes no one here really cares about right now.

    For some reason, the past couple of days have re-intensified against those seeking answers. Which is all I am doing. I think I’ve been more than fair to Miranda. Because I’ve had plenty of paranoid moments myself, I am not assuming the worst of her, but I do resent her attitude and lack of fairness.

    Miranda, if you do have a theory about Weinergate, do Elissa and myself a favor and clearly lay it out. Make sure you note the evidence for your claims.

    Dustin (b7410e)


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