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August 11, 2012

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I'm just delighted. Ryan on the ticket will force Rmoney and Ryan to talk about policy--if if it is to lie over and over and claim that they don't support their own policies.

Also...Ryan doesn't look to me like the kind of guy anyoe would want to have a beer with. He looks disdainful and weaselly to me.

My guess is they picked him because Romney knows a lot of conservatives still don't trust him, and he needs the party unified behind him going into the general election.

The question of whether he gives Democrats ammunition is irrelevant, as the whole "Romney killed my wife!" line demonstrates this fall's attack ads aren't even going to be loosely based on reality. Short of Romney picking Jesse Jackson as his VP and then shooting himself in the head, we already know the line Obama is going to take: Romney/whoever is a racist/sexist/homophobe/killer. Facts won't have any influence on the predetermined narrative.

The only ray of light is the recent revelation that it IS possible for the party line to be so outrageously dishonest for some in the MSM to rebel.

These two Nate Silver blog posts, (here and here) on VP picks in general and Ryan's effect on the polls in particular, are good

And this Farley post at LGM has three links about Ryan's Foreign Policy.

Short of Romney picking Jesse Jackson as his VP and then shooting himself in the head, we already know the line Obama is going to take

one will, of course, note that Obama didn't put out any ad that implies that Romney is a killer.

but, yes, let's cry about the lack of accuracy.

Ryan was a great choice, for the DC media. they adore him.

cleek, as I'm sure you know, the facts don't matter.

Did you ever think we'd be living in the post-truth age? It still bothers me, but I guess I'm just a hopeless idealist.

Obama wo't have to take any of those lines, Brett. All he has to do is play clips of Ryan and Rmoney talking. In fact the ad he got out on Ryan (it's a UTube ad right now) is almost entirely Ryan and Rmoney talking supplimented with their voting record.

"Rmoney"... is that a typo? It fits.

Maybe it should be "Rmoney and rAyn" ?

No, it's actually not a typo. It's not original with me, either. There's a photo making the Facebook rounds of the Rmoney family at a campaign stop. Each member is holding up a sign with one letter of the family name--and they have their name misspelled as "Rmoney".

Looking it up, the pic is photoshopped.

This is a red-meaty post with a bunch of links to various views of Ryan, I recommend the Pierce and Ryan Lizza ones as well as this observation by Maddow on the main peg of the post, that there are a bunch of nuns who are opposing Ryan's budget proposals.

Don’t mess with nuns. It’s not a warning. It’s not advice. It’s not a threat. It’s fact that I have learned from personal experience. Ask anybody in my family, if you mess with nuns, you will lose every time. You will always regret messing with nuns.

this fall's attack ads aren't even going to be loosely based on reality.

Brett, you are no doubt mostly correct, since attack ads seem to be that way routinely. But I wonder: are there a significant number of voters (and in a close election "a significant number" can be a pretty small one) who will ignore most of the attack ads. But who will actually pay attention if an ad is based on reality -- say one which features Romney noting that under Ryan's budget plan, he would pay no taxes at all.

I'll concede that the number of such voters, even among independents, may not be huge. But in a close race, do you really want to kiss off anybody you didn't have to? Because that's what it appears to me that Romney has done.

Maybe the Romney campaign thinks that Ryan will turn out enough other voters to outweigh that loss. And I suppose that they oculd be right. But the only folks I can really see Ryan helping with are already so driven to get rid of Obama that I can't see them staying home for anything short of Romney formally endorsing gay marriage and abortion on demand.

Romney killed my wife is going to morph into Paul Ryan killed everyone that ever died in his district. Plus all of the animals.

The only ray of light is the recent revelation that it IS possible for the party line to be so outrageously dishonest for some in the MSM to rebel.

This is another of those great examples of "the liberal media" in which Brett simultaneously trips over his own shoelaces and falls face first into a pie, since instead of an ad produced by a super-PAC which ostensibly does not coordinate with the campaign, the ad that SHOULD have done so is the ad actually produced BY THE ROMNEY CAMPAIGN which flat out lies about the waivers being granted to states concerning welfare-to-work programs, claiming that Obama wants to take your hard earned money and send it to worthless layabouts for doing nothing.

Your liberal media at work.

we already know the line Obama is going to take: Romney/whoever is a racist/sexist/homophobe/killer.

Right, they'll switch from the extremely effective talk about what a disaster Romney's economic plans would be for nearly everyone in this country, and how his prior experience is mostly worthless when not negative, and instead do this stupid thing you just said. That will definitely happen.

I think tristero has it right here--

link

I vaguely recall the Carter people feeling relieved that Reagan got the nomination in 1980. Reagan was genial, but had so many wild far-right positions they were happy to run against him. That worked out well. And those far-right positions became mainstream.

I vaguely recall the Carter people feeling relieved that Reagan got the nomination in 1980.

Yes, but Carter also had the hostage rescue blow up in his face, had a convention challenge by Ted Kennedy, and 3rd party candidate John Anderson took maybe 7% of the vote. Certainly, Reagan's perceived weaknesses encouraged liberals to try and oust Carter, which led to a fracturing of the vote. The same thing could happen now when some folks, feeling empowered by the continuing train wreck of the Republican campaign (and the fact that they are going to Ryan is both a hail Mary pass and a sloppy brownnose to both the Tea Party and the Norquist faction) make arguments that there are no substantial differences between Romney and Obama or indeed between Repubs and Dems.

And I think that far right positions that became mainstream did so because Reagan was the perfect vessel to slide them into the mainstream. And when his hands off management blew up with Iran Contra, the Republicans brought in Howard Baker to clean up the mess, which tends to smooth over the memories of people. I don't think that there is anyone on the bench to clean up the mess of this pair.

Donald, I also agree that people can't be complacent. The propaganda machine is in full force. I rarely watch the Sunday morning shows, but I've watched some of them this morning. The false equivalencies are rampant, lj, not necessarily by the left so far, but by the usual suspects on TV. Fortunately, there are a few articulate voices telling the truth. I just hope they're able to make their case above the noise.

Oh, yes, Romney is only http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll/>ahead 46-44, he's really imploding.

I take it you've been following the polls that http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/08/02/Poll-Farce-Pew-Boosts-Obama?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter>over-sample Democrats? Yeah, Obama would probably be sitting pretty if Democratic turnout was going to exceed Republican by a considerably greater margin than any election in living history.

LOL Rasmussen and Breitbart. I mean, really.

Nothing to say about that outright lie of a Romney ad, then?

Brett, you are the first to use the word 'implode'. Do you think that the Ryan choice was the choice of a campaign that is strong and confident, versus Portman or Rubio, either of which would have had an impact in the electoral college count (Portman/Ohio=18, Rubio/Florida=29, vs Ryan/Wisconsin=10)? If so, why?

Ryan's amusing con(di)version recently from his public worship of Ayn Rand's eliminationist "philosophy" regarding the Parasites, to his touching embrace of Saint Thomas Aquinas is a monstrous incoherence so mighty as to throw historians of the Third Reich at least momentarily off their head-scratching regarding Hitler's deep empathy and kindness to dogs while murdering the Jews and the other Others, including NINOs (Nazis in name only).

I don't believe though that Ryan is forcing his employees at gunpoint (isn't that what it's f*cking called now when someone in government issues a directive?) to read the Summa Theologiae, though maybe the Latin stayed his hand, unlike the prose of a third-rate Commissar in Stalin's Soviet Union that runs ceaselessly all over the polis like the contents of a backed-up sewer from Rand's sexy brain.

That THIS point of view, along with the absorption of the Republican Party into the John Birch Society, now is ascendant in this country will not stand:

"Shortly after Atlas Shrugged was published in 1957, Mr. Greenspan wrote a letter to The New York Times to counter a critic’s comment that “the book was written out of hate.” Mr. Greenspan wrote: "Atlas Shrugged is a celebration of life and happiness. Justice is unrelenting. Creative individuals and undeviating purpose and rationality achieve joy and fulfillment. Parasites who persistently avoid either purpose or reason perish as they should."

From A Tiny Revolution via Digby. Mr. Greenspan, aka Alan, he of the near ending of finance.

"killed everyone in his district", indeed.

Course, Ryan does like those earmarks for his district, thus serving as murderer and savior simultaneously for his beloved hometown of groveling parasites.

That and the fact that Mr. Galt is only here today because his parasite bug mother sucked the pap nipple of Social Security Survivor benefits, and then of course Mr Galt has never held a "real" (isn't that the adjective we f*cking" use now to describe the activities of the few non-parasites who have survived Barack O'Lenin, the Commie murderer and fifth Beatle) job in the so-called private sector, choosing instead the thieving ways of public service including stealing my rmoney to pay for his filthy, parasitical children's visits to the doctor and the Cheesecake Factory.

Christopher Hayes, who tears a new one for EVERY special person in this country regardless of political persuasion in his "Twilight of The Elites", relates the story of the fat man, Roger Ailes, sitting at his usual reserved prime table at Michael's, THE tony New York City restaurant, and regaling and whining to whomever can fit at the table, as every protein and carbohydrate source within a five-mile radius finds itself absorbed into his Jabba The Hut gob and down his sub-human, alien, reptilian gullet, how HE and his ilk are the put-upon victims in this brutal "thing" called a country HE and his ilk are very close to putting the finishing touches on.

He reminds me of the grossly projectile vomiting fat vermin in Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life", who orders 50 of everything on the menu, whines about the inadequacy of everything on the menu, consumes everything on the menu he just ordered and critiqued, and then vomits everything all over the diners sitting twenty feet away.

How does vermin Nixonian filth like that get to the top, considering that they are so top-heavy?

Probably because Republican assassins are better shots than Democratic assassins, having been trained by the NRA.

I hope "victim" is a prophecy. For the lot of them.


I can think of only a few reasons why a candidate picks someone for a running mate:

1) He's a lock to win, and wants the best guy to take over if something happens to him.
This is, let us face it, extremely rare. The only cases in my lifetiem which might, might, fall into it are Reagan in 1980 and Johnson in 1964. And I don't really think either of them are all that solid.

2) He's got a preceived hole in his resume that he is trying to cover. Obama in 2008, Bush in 2000, etc.

3) He needs the votes that the VP candidate will bring in.
Usually this would be the 1-2% an someone might add who (as Governor or Senator) has won statewide elections in his home (swing) state. Or, occasionally (I'm thinking of Ferraro here), it's a try for a whole demographic nationwide.

So where does the Ryan pick fit?

1) Nobody who's paying attention thinks Romeny is a lock to win. Even people who are convinced he will win admit that it will be a near thing. So scratch the first one.

2) If there is a hole in Romney's resume, I would say that it is far more in foreign policy than in domestic finance. And Ryan's preceived strength is financial and domestic policy, not foreign affairs. (But perhaps someone here sees it differently.)

3) So, what votes would Ryan bring in? I don't really see Wisconsin as a swing state that will turn the election. (Not to mention that Ryan hasn't won state-wide elections there) And I can only see two possible nationwide demographics that might be at issue:

First, there may be some people on the right who are so distrustful of Romney that they would rather stay home and let Obama win that vote for him. Ryan might convince them to show up and vote.

But are there any conservative voters who like Ryan, but are not intent enough of beating Obama that they wouldn't turn out anyway? It's a big country, so there are probably a few of anything. But I just can't see this as a big demographic. Microscopic would be more like it.

Which leaves, second, moderate/independent voters who incline to Obama more than Romney, but who a VP might convince to vote for the Republican ticket. I could see someone more moderate than Romney has been this year possibly accomplishing that. But Ryan? Really?

That only works if you believe that the reason a Republican would not win is thru not being conservative enough. Which, apparently, is where the Romney campaign is coming from. Unless someone has another reason to pick Ryan that I've overlooked.

If you buy into the reason in that last paragraph, all I can say is that your observations of politics have been rather different from mine over the years. The only example that would even be close is if you think that GHW Bush, had he won the nomination instead of Reagan, would somehow have lost to Carter.

the whole "Romney killed my wife!" line demonstrates this fall's attack ads aren't even going to be loosely based on reality.

Live by the super-pac, die by the super-pac.

Yeah, that First Amendment freedom is SOOO much more murderous than the Second Amendment exercised in movie theaters and mosques.

Brett's second link goes to a piece by John Nolte: a guy who thinks a Skittles ad is clear evidence that Hollywood is pushing a pro-bestiality agenda.

" The same thing could happen now when some folks, feeling empowered by the continuing train wreck of the Republican campaign (and the fact that they are going to Ryan is both a hail Mary pass and a sloppy brownnose to both the Tea Party and the Norquist faction) make arguments that there are no substantial differences between Romney and Obama or indeed between Repubs and Dems."

What we really need to see are polls, but as someone who is a fan of Greenwald and other Obama bashers I still doubt that there are enough people to my left who are so disgusted that they will vote 3rd party in large numbers. Nader 2000 was probably the high point in vote getting from my demographic, so to speak. There might be enough to make a difference in a swing state, of course. But swing states, by definition, are open to influence by all sorts of factors.

I think for now the most worrisome source of false equivalencies is, (and here for once I agree with sapient) comes from the Very Serious People in the center.

And speaking of Glenn, he's got a Ryan-bashing piece up today--

the rights brittle heroes

Cleek, by "beastiality" and "Skittles", Nolte means Treyvon Martin.

By normal behavior in our culture, he means George Zimmerman.

And since the walrus was Paul, I don't see why smooching with the cute Beatle's animal totem is so repulsive to a Ted Nugent fan like Nolte.

"LOL Rasmussen and Breitbart. I mean, really."

You know, it's that flat refusal to confront anything coming from a source you don't like that has trapped so much of the left in an echo chamber. Your dislike of Rasmussen and Breitbart doesn't do anything to change the percentages of Democrats and Republicans showing up to vote, vs the percentage being polled by various pollsters. Polls that wildly over-sample Democrats might provide you with entertaining reading, but are they a good basis upon which to make plans?

Here's another source Phil doesn't like who differs with Rasmussen and Brietbart:

http://www.redstate.com/erick/2012/08/11/not-enough/

Rmoney quote, regarding the trend:

"I am still not worried, but I am getting concerned. This election is trending away from Romney as the economy deteriorates and more Americans believe the economy is getting worse. That should be a red flag for the GOP."

Great, now I'm quoting Foghorn Leghorn Erickson to counter Tasmanian Devil Rasmussen and Yosemite Sam Breitbart.

and yes, LOL Brietbart at the very least. His silence in death is so much more articulate and suitable than his noise in life.

I think the choice of Ryan serves to firm up the base. He should appeal to Catholics and libertarians as well as the religious right. The corporate media babblers really like Ryan, so that will score a number of uninformed voters.

That business about how the Dems were happy to run against Reagan is a myth, just as the current headline on Raw Story about the joy of the dems over the Ryan choice is pure corporate media myth building.

There's little point in arguing the merits of one national horserace poll over another; in 2004 and 2008, sites that aggregated state polls to get estimates of electoral-vote counts, like RealClearPolitics, electoral-vote.com, 538, and (especially) Sam Wang's election.princeton.edu all did pretty well. Wang tripped up in 2004 by skewing his final result with an arbitrary assumption that undecideds would break heavily for Kerry, but his unaltered poll aggregation was spot-on with a narrow win for Bush, and he never made that mistake again.

Anyway, these sites all currently show Obama ahead in the electoral count by a significant margin, and that's where the race has been ever since the campaign started, with the only exception being a short period just after Romney clinched the Republican nomination.

The race could change. Romney will probably get a temporary convention bounce, as usually happens. But to insist that Romney's actually ahead you would have to posit that state-level polling by the vast majority of sources has a new, pervasive systematic bias that wasn't there in 2008 or 2004.

Anything to say about that Romney ad, Brett?

"He should appeal to Catholics and libertarians..."
For libertarians, only to the degree someone worse could have been picked. Given his voting record, there's very little for libertarians to like about Ryan.

Well, he's not bad on the 2nd amendment. But, yes, looking over his positions on the issues, the best I could say was, "Could have been worse."

I read just a few days ago (it might even have been a link* from one thread here) that there is something paradoxical about Ryan. A lot of people, when told about the details of the Ryan budget, simply do not believe that any member of the US Congress (hoewever despised the institution is) would seriously come up with something 'that evil'. Those people then conclude that it must be a Dem propaganda lie/smear and consequently think higher of Mr.Ryan because he is the 'victim' of said perceived lie.
---
I think Mitt should pray to lose. Should he win, he will have to constantly check his back because there will be a constant risk of getting stabbed in order to get the 'real deal' on the throne.
[No, I do not think Ryan will personally murder Mitt but I think there will be many on the fringe that will consider that option]

*I think it was on vagabondscholar quoting some other author

Yeah, never cross those libertarian nuns.

"A lot of people, when told about the details of the Ryan budget, simply do not believe that any member of the US Congress (hoewever despised the institution is) would seriously come up with something 'that evil'. "

A lot of people don't think borrowing slightly less from the Chinese on the credit of future generations to fund entitlement programs is "evil".

Hartmut,
I had exactly that same thought. But I have been careful not to post it anywhere -- why give some nut ideas?

Obviously the Romney campaign either didn't think of it, or decided that the level of risk was worth it.

Entitlement programs? What? The DOD is chopped liver? You might also notice it is totally "unfunded" now and into the infinite future.

Just thought I would clue you in on that.

The Chinese, on the other hand, are working feverishly to keep their currency low (thus, they buy treasuries) in order to promote exports. We get real stuff. They get a "product" that can be created anytime in infinite amounts at the click of a computer mouse. Tell, how smart that is.

The Chinese government, IMO, views US treasury purchases as part of their munitions budget, for future economic war. While our need of them as a creditor has warped our foreign policy.

But, again, despite the priorities of the Ryan budget, (Not my own, I'd drastically cut the offense department's budget.) it betrays an interesting view of evil, to so label such a feeble effort in the direction of merely reducing deficits.

But it's not a new observation that liberals have a rather Manichaean view of the world, with their political opponents cast in the role of EVIL.

But it's not a new observation [by me on this board despite ample evidence to the contrary] that liberals have a rather Manichaean view of the world, with their political opponents cast in the role of EVIL.

There, fixed that for you.

liberals have a rather Manichaean view of the world, with their political opponents cast in the role of EVIL.

Since I have observed conservatives doing exactly the samething, that would suggest either
a) moderates (as opponents of both) are evil, or
b) moderates (not being the demons of either) are the only good guys.
I rather prefer the latter conclusion....

While our need of them as a creditor has warped our foreign policy.

We do not "need" them as a creditor in any sense.

So I'll see your manichaenism and raise you one apolcalypse.


Right at the top of the page ...

"This is the Voice of Moderation. I wouldn't go so far as to say we've actually SEIZED the radio station . . . "

(just a little reminder)

Brett, do you really believe Paul Ryan's budget plan is not a sham? It includes the ultimate "magic asterisk," purporting to raise a huge sum by "closing loopholes" (unspecified).

So I'll see your manichaenism and raise you one apolcalypse.

That's alpolkalypse: where we're all ushered into the afterlife, with musical score by Al Yankovic.

I hadn't thought of this.

The reality is that Ryan is now every Republicans’ running mate whether they like it or not, forcing GOP candidates who would just as soon run from the debate over senior citizen entitlements to embrace the third rail of American politics like never before.

One GOP insider lamented that party leaders “have spent the last year” trying to take Medicare off the political front burner, but the Ryan pick “puts it all back out there now.”

"One GOP insider lamented that party leaders “have spent the last year” trying to take Medicare off the political front burner, but the Ryan pick “puts it all back out there now.”"

Yup, that's a positive. The party leaders, you must understand, have no goals beyond holding power, and exploiting it for personal gain. As long as they get their way, the party is utterly worthless as a vehicle for actually accomplishing anything.

And that's the case for all values of "party".

'A lot of people don't think borrowing slightly less from the Chinese on the credit of future generations to fund entitlement programs is "evil".'

A lot of Americans don't think taxing themselves slightly more on the current account of present generations to fund entitlement programs is "evil".

Oddly, a lot of Chinese wonder what the hell we're doing too.

We're being yanked into the afterlife with a musical score by Usher.

"But it's not a new observation that liberals have a rather Manichaean view of the world, with their political opponents cast in the role of EVIL."

Is that you, Groucho? Paint and paste. It's worth it, Brett.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5lU52aWTJo

But, if not, remember this dialogue between the Cary Grant and Shirley Temple characters in "The Bachelor and The Bobby-Soxer"?

Richard Nugent: Hey, you remind me of a man.
Susan Turner: What man?
Richard Nugent: Man with the power.
Susan Turner: What power?
Richard Nugent: Power of hoodoo.
Susan Turner: Hoodoo?
Richard Nugent: You do.
Susan Turner: Do what?
Richard Nugent: Remind me of a man...

I speak in tongues.

I have to actually agree with the basics of Brett's 07:04 AM post but I would expand it to the absolute majority of congressbeings (federal and state) and the percentage of those 'in for the actual job' is further diminished by an inreasing number of zealots (there is of course a large overlap since many of the zealots are also personally corrupt).

Off topic, I too now get the impression that captcha is mindreading. My post yesterday about a potential murder od Mitt had 'INRI' and the one preceding this had 'those gangecy' which looks like those gangsters' to me ;-)

For the Mark Brothers, I'll cut and paste anytime...

"That business about how the Dems were happy to run against Reagan is a myth, "

I've read that, but you don't show it was a "myth" by finding that some Democrats realized that Reagan had to be taken seriously. I remember at the time that the Carter people thought they could beat Reagan by pointing out his extremism and his ignorance. Why wouldn't they have thought so? Reagan was extreme and Reagan was ignorant. Unfortunately he was also had that sunny disposition which seems to matter to some voters, or at least the press says it does.

"a) moderates (as opponents of both) are evil, or
b) moderates (not being the demons of either) are the only good guys.
I rather prefer the latter conclusion...."

Depends on what you mean by moderate. A lot of self-described centrists have insisted on treating the Dick Cheneys and the Paul Ryans with respect. I don't know if I'd call that "evil", but it's not helpful.

It's a little unfair, given the date (October 20, 2001), but moderates are usually praised for their bipartisanship and this story below illustrates the flaws in that kind of thinking. VIrtually every bipartisan statement made by these Democrats seems remarkably foolish now (and should have then).

link

That's alpolkalypse: where we're all ushered into the afterlife, with musical score by Al Yankovic.

Now THIS is an eschatology I can support.

Donald, while I agree that what you describe is a problem, quoting an article that came out a month after 9/11 (with quotes presumably gathered earlier) seems more than "a little" unfair.

There's a YOutube out of Ryan speaking to a group at a town meeting session. He blames the defict on entitlements, lying, of course. Then a seventy one year old man int he audience begins to shout that he paid into his unemployment and social security and medicare. Guards knock the man to the ground and drag him away while Ryna jokes that he hopes he has taken his blood pressure pills. The creeps in the audience laugh.

No, not evil at all!

I've seen a couple of posts on other blogs suggesting that picking Ryan will ensure that the subject of Romney's taxes stays active. Now if Romney is just waiting to pick his moment to reveal several more years' tax returns, picking Ryan and keeping the topic alive may be something that helps with setting up the Democrats for a takedown.

But I seem to remember a quote from Romney, while criticizing the Ryan budget, saying that under Ryan's plan he, Romney, would pay no taxes. If that memory is correct, it could be a PR nightmare. And if there is a video of Romney saying that, it is a gift beyond compare to the Obama campaign.

And if there is a video of Romney saying that, it is a gift beyond compare to the Obama campaign.

and here's that gift.

Romney said 'I'd pay no taxes' line during one of the Republican debates, so video is certainly available. I'm not sure how politically useful it is though; we have his 2010 tax returns and they already show that almost all of Romney income that year was investment income that would be taxed at 0% if Ryan's policies were implemented (the exception was $300K in speaking fees).

Laura, that video is here, the part you talk about is at around 3:05.

VIrtually every bipartisan statement made by these Democrats seems remarkably foolish now (and should have then).

Would you say this is a position that both sides should take, never give the other side any credit whatsoever?

Would you say this is a position that both sides should take, never give the other side any credit whatsoever?

I'm not Donald, but I don't think there's any conflict here. You can say that sometimes Republicans behave correctly or ethically while still believing that all the centrist statements in the piece Donald cited were proved wrong by later events. I mean, I think all those statements are dumb but I also think George Bush did some good things worth praising.

A little unfair, LJ, but not that unfair. That idiocy didn't fade away after a month--it's why some centrist Democrats supported the Iraq War. It's why the opposition was tarnished as a bunch of dirty fracking hippies. But I suppose it was only the DFH's who were suspicious of Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Saint Colin Powell at the time.

"Would you say this is a position that both sides should take, never give the other side any credit whatsoever"

Not quite. I think people who are bipartisan and unified in taking stupid positions should unify under one party label, so the rest of us could make fun of them without feeling like there are party loyalties standing in the way.

There is such a thing as sensible bipartisanship, but it's a very rare thing these days. Ideologically there was much more overlap between the two parties if you go back a few decades, so bipartisanship wasn't necessarily synonymous back then with centrist or conservative Democrats giving Republicans most of what they want.

Remember Mark Hatfield? An evangelical Christian Republican senator who was pro-life and anti-death penalty and in favor of civil rights for gays? A mixture that is a little hard to imagine nowadays.

Well, the people quoted in that article are not ones I think about (James P. Moran, Norm Dicks). Also note that on the second page, Daschle and Rahm Emmanuel, pushback on the notion of Gore not being as good as Bush.

"A lot of Americans don't think taxing themselves slightly more on the current account of present generations to fund entitlement programs is "evil"."

I hear this BS line over and over from liberals. You know what? You don't need a law to tax yourself slightly more. Just cut the IRS a bigger check at the end of the year. IIRC, there's even a line on the form to do that.

This isn't about Democrats supporting taxing themselves slightly more. It's about taxing other people quite a bit more than slightly more. In fact, given the extent to which the budget is out of ballance, hellishly more.

so bipartisanship wasn't necessarily synonymous back then with centrist or conservative Democrats giving Republicans most of what they want.

"bipartisanship" is a dirty word to partisans of all stripes. if you take them at their word, the GOP base feels that their party leadership is too cozy with the Dems, and too willing to compromise with them.

and, partisans of all stripes scoff at the notion that the other side has anything to complain about, since they obviously get their way 100% of the time.

I know it is a pipe dream, but I long for the idea where figuring out the right thing to do is considered a higher political value than worrying about whether or not it is 'your' side or 'the other side' voting for it. I'm sick to death of hearing "that sounds like a good idea but I can't back it because the other side supports it".

Partisans of all stripes are very damaging to the country. The fact that Republican partisans are currently more damaging doesn't change the statement.

Pretty sure that "themselves" referred to "Americans," which makes Brett's reading . . . interesting, for someone who just recently accused others of Manicheanism.

Taxation is a designated power, btw, so.

""bipartisanship" is a dirty word to partisans of all stripes. "

Whatever. I was thinking of specific issues, like many Democrats lining up with Republicans in a bipartisan decision to invade Iraq, or where Simpson Bowles is considered bipartisan and therefore "good" because it's bipartisan, or would be if the Republicans didn't think that getting 100 percent of what they want is their own definition of bipartisan.

"Partisans of all stripes are very damaging to the country"

People with stupid policies that are enacted are very damaging to the country. Whether they are partisan or bipartisan is a morally neutral quality, though the word "bipartisan" has picked up this aura of moral virtue it doesn't necessarily deserve.

LJ, they push back by claiming that Gore would have been at least as hawkish as Bush. Emmanuel was for the Iraq War--he wasn't in Congress in time to vote for it, but he was for it--

link

So his praise isn't something I'd be pointing to.

Daschle said Bush was rushing to war in March 2003, so his record is more mixed (he voted for the authorization to use force in October 2002).

Partisans of all stripes are very damaging to the country.

Please fill us in on the "bi-partisan" solution that should have been adopted in 1860 and saved the day.

Or today's abortion debate.

We are rapidly reaching the McKinley/Hoover Mendoza Line where we have to decide, as a country, whether the future is to include a modicum of widely shared justice, humanity, ecological sanity, and possibly some prosperity or we just turn it all over to a select few of the rich and their bootlickers to have as a playground for their pathological self-interest.

For those of you reaching for your partisanship eliminators, I include a substantial number of the current Dem leadership in the bootlicker camp.

You know what? You don't need a law to tax yourself slightly more.

Terrific. Let's just have a law (no, law is a dirty word. Let's call it a social compact. No, wait, that would involve cooperation and possibly infringe on somebody's individual liberty....For simplicity, let us just continue.)....that everybody can just volunteer how much in taxes to pay. Talk about easy!

Shorter response: BB's Bullsh*t statement is so absurd the refutation writes itself.

the word "bipartisan" has picked up this aura of moral virtue it doesn't necessarily deserve

no, it doesn't deserve any kind of superior moral aura. but i suspect a lot of the media gets excited about instances of true bipartisanship because they are so rare these days.

Tax warm piss and bullets:

http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/13/justice/texas-am-shooting/index.html

Raise the tax on chalk outlines, funeral homes, burial plots, and coffins too, so Americans aren't so incented to leap into them en masse every, what is it now, every week and a half, though I wouldn't set your watches by it.

You could place a user tax on every utterance by NRA and Gun Owners of America flak too which, given the frequency with which they have to step to the microphone, adjust their crotches, and defend the increasing ratio of bullets to oxygen in the air we breathe, we'd have the deficit paid off by Christmas.

Come to think, the EPA needs to look into bullet pollution. I took a deep breath the other day and practically choked on the ammo.

I do believe there is a correlation between the amount of horsesh*t particulate kicked into the air in certain environs and bullet pollution.

Does OBWI have a check your concealed forearms at the door policy in comment sections, because there's a tenseness in the room and I noticed the piano player quietly stopped playing and made scarce-like?

roll up your sleeves and conceal those firearms, boys.

Speaking of relevant CAPCHAs, which lj remarked on somewhere recently, my last one's first word was istinke.

What, has Brett now captured the CAPCHA?

Like Pepe Le'peu, I remain oblivious to my parfume.

What?

"Terrific. Let's just have a law (no, law is a dirty word. Let's call it a social compact. No, wait, that would involve cooperation and possibly infringe on somebody's individual liberty....For simplicity, let us just continue.)....that everybody can just volunteer how much in taxes to pay. Talk about easy!"

That riff was positively weird. Is that what comes up when you free-associate on "cooperation"? Infringing people's liberty? What's the first thing that comes to mind when the word "war" is mentioned? Peace?

My point here was simply that, what with 'progressive' taxation, it's mostly a case of people volunteering to raise somebody else's taxes. Which isn't, strictly speaking, "voluntary". Or noble. It's just sponging off somebody else, and pretending you're civic minded.

Kind of the whole point of progressive taxation, isn't it? To separate the cost of government from the benefit, so that people will vote for crap you'd never convince them was worth it if they actually had to pay for it themselves.

No, it's to prevent the entrenchment of generational aristocracies so we don't have to wheel out the guillotines every few generations.

Also, we don't tax people, we tax incomes. Anyone who wants to pay less is free to make less. That's why all those CEOs are rushing to lower their incomes when anticipating the horrible, terrible, no good, very bad prospect of the 4% higher tax rates that prevailed in 1996.

"This isn't about Democrats supporting taxing themselves slightly more. It's about taxing other people quite a bit more than slightly more. In fact, given the extent to which the budget is out of ballance, hellishly more"

Taxes on the top 2% are at an historic low right now. Raising them would not be hellish. In fact ending the Bush tax cuts wouldn't make a noticable difference if the life of many of the two percenters. They would still have an abundance of money.

Also, given that the 2% trend to be Repubicans, it is only fair that they get a taz increase. After all it was their party that created most of the budget deficet.Why shouldn't they pay to clean up their party's mess?


Also, we don't tax people, we tax incomes.

Actually, we tax people's incomes, and corporations'.

Anyone who wants to pay less is free to make less.

Theoretically true. In practice, if the high wage earners dialed it back considerably, you'd have no tax base.

That's why all those CEOs are rushing to lower their incomes when anticipating the horrible, terrible, no good, very bad prospect of the 4% higher tax rates that prevailed in 1996.

Yes, all those CEO's who, with their spouses, have a combined income of 250K or more.

"No, it's to prevent the entrenchment of generational aristocracies so we don't have to wheel out the guillotines every few generations."

I see, so you're asserting that progressive taxation has resulted in a diminishment of income inequality?

Look at this from another perspective: The wealthy, under progressive taxation, are a convenience to the government. They provide many fewer targets for taxation, against whom much greater scrutiny can be applied. If 50 million people participate in a black market, there's not much the government can do. If 5 billionaires do, they're easy marks for the government.

Similarly with economic concentration in business, and regulation. The government finds big business easier to regulate, fewer control points.

Government is encouraging economic concentration. Income inequality, the dominance of mega-corps over small businesses. It is doing this because the fewer entities it has to deal with, the easier a time it has.

Just try collecting a kickback from 200 small businesses. Just try it. They don't, individually, have the discretionary funds to give your wife a $300k a year no work job, that they can abolish once she doesn't need it anymore. To give a random example.

For that kind of convenience you need economic concentration. THAT is why income inequality keeps getting worse and worse. Because it's useful to government.

And progressive taxation makes it more useful.

Theoretically true. In practice, if the high wage earners dialed it back considerably, you'd have no tax base.

Yes, we'll, we've had four years of Randian supermen threatening to go Galt, and not a single one has done it, so. In any case, it's simply the reciprocal of Brett's oft-refuted "If you want to pay higher taxes just send a check." Or are only conservatives allowed to use that formulation?

Yes, all those CEO's who, with their spouses, have a combined income of 250K or more.

And?

Perhaps Dan Hicks was referring to Galtian supermen when he asked "How can I miss you when you won't go away?"

Or are only conservatives allowed to use that formulation?

Actually, I missed the limited target you were addressing. Carry on.

And?

Your statement suggests it's only mega rich CEO's who will be taxed. That's not even remotely the case. If you want intellectually honest debate . . .

That's not at all what I meant to suggest, McK; I was merely referring to a subset of the whole. Yes, a return to the Pre-Bush top rate would affect all income over $250k. Likewise, retaining the under-$250k rates will benefit those same people up to the $250,001st dollar of income.

Until Brett figures out who does and doesn't pay, for example, FICA; and until he explains in excruciating mathematical detail how flat or regressive taxation is supposed to deter generational accumulation of wealth, I'm not going to engage him further. As King Arthur once said, "What a silly person."

LJ, they push back by claiming that Gore would have been at least as hawkish as Bush.

So it isn't bipartisanship that is the problem, it is that the majority of politicians disagree with what you want. This is not to say that your point of view is wrong, but bitching about bipartisanship when what really bothers you is the position they hold seems a bit passive aggressive.

The numbers, please:

http://taxfoundation.org/article/us-federal-individual-income-tax-rates-history-1913-2011-nominal-and-inflation-adjusted-brackets/

Great table. Scroll all the way back to 1913. Let's take, oh, 1954, when, I believe Eisenhower, not quite three years into the Communist takeover of the United States, was President.

Numbers adjusted for inflation for easy comparison to today.

24 tax brackets from 20% at the low to 91% at the high.

The 20% bracket encompassed all those making from $0 to $16,682 in today's dollars.

91% bracket for everyone above $1,668,250.

The 34% bracket then, comparable to the HIGHEST marginal bracket today, was for those earning $66,730 to $83,412.

The 38% bracket then, comparable to the 39.5% bracket everyone is having coronaries over today, started at the $83,412 and went to $100,095.

Then up from there.

All economic indicators were far superior to our current mess today, from employment to GDP to the number of dogs in every pot, to the deficit, to the quality of the witchhunts.

John Boehner has wept under Klieg lights for those halcyon days.

The only unhappy semi-person was Bonzo the Chimpanzee. He was laid off because his co-star and love-interest Ronald Reagan was a lazy good-for-nothing whining get of a bonobo and up and quit, which sent evolutionists back to the drawing boards to redraw the family tree.

The rest of the monkeys paid their taxes and the folks in the 38% bracket I don't believe, if I remember correctly, were stocking heavy firepower to overthrow the oppressive government.

There may have been a guy named Shrover Cleaverquist, who was sending a pledge around which stipulated the tax bracket should NEVER, ever rise above 91%, but folks laughed at him and ordered another Sazerac because times was good.

A short time later, his habit of wearing his pleated plaid shorts high on his waist led to genital enstranglement and gangrene of the crotch and he died a slow, excruciating death.

Cleaverquist's widow married Sammy Davis Junior, which was about the time John Boehner began to have second thoughts about the Fabulous 1950's.

If lj could lift that link to full linkiness so folks could ignore it more conveniently, I'd be happy happy.


"Yes, we'll, we've had four years of Randian supermen threatening to go Galt, and not a single one has done it, so."

Really? Have you considered that the economic slump we're in consists exactly of people going Galt? Not in the dramatic fashion of a Rand novel, of course, but in the sense of hunkering down and refusing to take risks. Going Galt in place.

Speaking of Galt, here's when it all started to go bad:

http://www.cracked.com/video_18426_ayn-rand-5Bplaceholder5D.html

Hey, Brett, look at the tax rates in 1954 in the my 7:30 link and consider how quickly the economy grew, probably because the John Galts of the time shut up in place and liked it.

The Ayn Rand Institute is in Irvine California, and the Atlas Society is in Washington D.C..

Jimmy Wales, a Gatian, and founder of Wikipedia, is all over the United States.

None of them has chucked it in for Galt's Gulch and judging by the For Hire tabs at their websites, the 35% high marginal rate hasn't put the kibosh on job creation.

You'd think they'd stay in bed in the morning.

Kind of the whole point of progressive taxation, isn't it? To separate the cost of government from the benefit, so that people will vote for crap you'd never convince them was worth it if they actually had to pay for it themselves.

I hear this BS line over and over from conservatives.

Here is the point of a progressive tax regime:

The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. A tax upon house-rents, therefore, would in general fall heaviest upon the rich; and in this sort of inequality there would not, perhaps, be anything very unreasonable. It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.

To rephrase in terms of more modern economic concepts, a progressive tax regime reflects the relative marginal utility of the dollar taxed, rather than its absolute value.

Thanks for asking.

Partisans of all stripes are very damaging to the country.

I no longer agree with this, and am more than pleased to call myself a partisan.

The Republican doctrine du jour is that we all are, or ought to be, self-reliant individuals, competing for our piece of the pie, be it large or small, according to our talents and inclinations, and that the purpose of government is no more or less than to facilitate that process.

I think that's utter horseshit. I think, as a doctrine, that it has bugger-all to do with the founding principles of the nation, and I think it's nothing more than a thin intellectual justification for self-serving greed and callousness.

I'm a partisan. Romney, Ryan, Brett, McKinney, and any number of other folks are on one side, and I'm on the other. I don't see that I have a whole lot in common with them, so I don't see the basis for finding a middle ground.

They'll prevail, or folks like me will, and it'll play out however it plays out.

Not my choice, I'm just living in a world I did not make.

But no, I'm not interested in bi-partisanship. Sometimes it's useful, right now it's not.

Have you considered that the economic slump we're in consists exactly of people going Galt?

About 2.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in July, little different from a year earlier. These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.

Among the marginally attached, there were 821,000 discouraged workers in June, little different from a year earlier. Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them.

Depending on how you count, somewhere between 821,000 and 2.5 million people have gone Galt. They've packed it in and are presumably living in Mom's basement, or are couch-surfing among their friends, or are doing odd jobs under the table, or are living in their cars, or whatever.

Somewhere between 821,000 and 2.5 million people who have just given the f**k up.

That is a tragedy.

Some guy who's sitting on his money because it's just not sufficiently renumerative for him to "take a risk" is a guy I just don't give a crap about. Just between you and me.

Never f*ck with a nun named Russell.

What the nun said.

I'd add that the Galtean SuperHeroes are doing fine.

One reason the small businesspeople are holding back is because the folks Russell brings to our attention can't purchase the former's good and services because the Galtean Supermen like Mitt Rmoney deep-sixed their jobs.

Yes, the small businesspeople will cite Obamacare as well.

They could have had universal insurance, had they not been Death Paneled and then corporations and owners would (be relieved of healthcare duties and returned the money they spend on employee's healthcare insurance to the employees in the form of higher pay and pensions and to shareholders in the form of dividends and capital gains distributions) have gone to Disneyland via Barbados, the money never to be seen again.

Generalization, for effect.

Ah, hell, it's all true.

"This is not to say that your point of view is wrong, but bitching about bipartisanship when what really bothers you is the position they hold seems a bit passive aggressive."

Your own way of criticizing people "seems" a bit passive aggressive, LJ. I've always thought that about your approach. You don't argue against my point, so you start going meta and use that pseudo-objective term "seems" and go into psychoanalysis.

It should be obvious what I think is wrong with "bipartisanship" is that it is presented as a virtue in itself when it clearly isn't. There is often a mainstream consensus in favor of some really stupid policies, but people often talk as though bipartisanship is in itself a goal we should be striving for. The partisan/bipartisan axis is orthogonal to the good policy/bad policy axis. Not opposite, just orthogonal. The bipartisan support for the Iraq War, arguably the most catastrophic decision made by our political class in the past twenty years is a good illustration of what I meant and I'm just delighted to have your permission to think that the Iraq War was a mistake, because it means I can use it in the way that I did. Please keep me informed of all other circumstances where I can use a not terribly controversial notion (such as the one that going into Iraq for no good reason and causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people is a bad idea) to illustrate a point I might want to make about the silly notion that bipartisan decision = good decision.


In case I need to spell it out, there are also bipartisan decisions that are good ones. As Turb said, even Bush did some good things--increasing funding to fight AIDS in Africa, for instance and while I haven't looked it up, I would guess he had bipartisan support.

If you want intellectually honest debate . . .

one would actually provide a calculation of how much more a person would pay in income tax on an income that went from $250k to, say, $275k, and then make the case as to how much economic havoc results.

The ball is in your court. Keep your eye on it and swing easy.

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Whatnot


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