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August 20, 2012

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Ah, but Iphigenia is not being sacrificed here. Akin has said he's staying in, despite the GOP pulling their financial support. And, from what I'm seeing, his opponent is *delighted* that he's planning to stay in the race, and avidly waiting to see what he'll say next.

No one ever expects the Scottish Inquisition.

It's about time we had a debate in this country, at the highest level of elective politics, about "legitimate" rape.

After all, even the laugh track that accompanies all things American had petered out to the occasional chuckle and some bored throat-clearing, with the sounds of chairs scrapping as folks got up to leave and vomit.

Everyone knows that "legitimate" rape is raising the highest marginal tax rate 4.5 percentage points.

At least that's what they think over at Redrape, commandeered by Rapist Raperson, born of rape, where one guy in comments told critics of Akin to pipe down (for God sakes, gentleman, stop talking about rape, don't you know this is the gangbang room?) because they're trying to elect rapists over there, which is the mission of the site, so help them God.

Meanwhile, Greenland's ice is melting over the whole of that country, causing the ice to darken, thus enabling more heat absorption.

The Mississippi River is so dry that shipping has nearly halted and saltwater is moving inland from the Gulf at an alarming rate and New Orleans may now run out of water after the surfeit of recent times.

Meanwhile Mr Akin and Rush Limbaugh live on to finger f*ck the country well into the future.

All of those bullets meeting flesh lately and its always the wrong effing victims.

Fiddler, nice to see you. You are right about Akin kicking and screaming, but it's just that I can't believe all those Republicans are asking Akin to quit because they feel that gosh darn it, they have had enough of these anti-women folks in their midst. Calling for Akin to withdraw really underlines how it's not the issues the Republican party are interested in, it's that they don't want anything getting in the way of taking back the White House, because abortion in the case of rape is as mainstream as it gets and Akin's making text from subtext really highlights Ryan's affinities to that position.

And anudda ting.

Priests are not employees of the Vatican:

http://news.yahoo.com/vatican-win-judge-says-priests-arent-employees-212058131.html

Let's review:

Corporations are people.

Money is speech.

Rape is legitimate.

Churches are tax-exempt.

People are rapists.

Employees are rapists.

Employees are not employees, except when being fired by churches and corporations, who are people with money, but not employees or rapists, but if they were employees or rapists with money, which they are, they could hire a good attorney to prove that they aren't employees, rapists, or for that matter, people.

Alter boys are volunteers.

The poor are parasites and they shall not want.

The rich are creators. They want, they want.

That is your gun and it is for fun.

Words to live by.

Also, the recently late Phyllis Diller buried her laundry in the back yard and her sister had been in more motel rooms than the Gideon Bible and your run-of-the-mill, freshman Republican.

She was so old her back went more than did.

She's passed on, but her latest facelift has been given another six months to live.

The biology is absurd, (Ok, not absurd, given that something like that happens in SOME species, just wrong.) but I think everybody understands what is meant by "legitimate rape": "Rape" which actually IS rape, rather than just consensual sex that gets called rape after the fact for one reason or another.

Why the heck is he catching hell over THAT?

Ah, Brett
He apologised, didn't you hear? He meant to say forcible rape - so apparently if your rapist doesn't beat you up it wasn't 'ligitimate' rape.

I think yods means that it wasn't rape rape.

Why the heck is he catching hell over THAT?

because, he exposed two things about the pro-life movement:

1) their ignorance of basic biology
2) he exposed a little sleight of hand they want to pull: if pro-lifers can say that women don't get pregnant over rape rape, then they can say they will allow abortions in cases of rape rape, since anyone who gets pregnant after a rape obviously wasn't rape raped.

they're playing word games based in ignorance.

Why the heck is he catching hell over THAT?

Because he is an ass. That is why.

SATSQ.

This.

There is something about Brett's comment that reminds me of a Joan Rivers joke.

It's not this one ---

"A man can sleep around, no questions asked. But if a woman makes 19 or 20 mistakes, she's a tramp."

---- but if she was here, she'd nail it.

Apparently, Akin will travel to Vatican City to advise the Pope regarding all of the things priests are legitimately NOT.

So, Todd Aiken, Jerry Sandusky and an independent contractor Priest in a canoe up a creek without a paddle are in bed with an alter boy.

The alter boy asks "Would you call this legitimate?"

The other three pipe up simultaneously: "No, we'd call it a shower."

Case dismissed.



With an "altAr" boy.

He worked with Ryan on the House bill that was intended to make all abortions and many forms of birth control illegal--the bill in which a bunch of scientifically illiterate Republican pols decided to legislate that life begins with conception and the fertilized egg has all the rights of a human.

From the point of view of the Republican party there is nothing wrong with what Akin meant. The problem is that by being so open and blunt he is risking a winnable election so the R party leaders want him to be replaced by someone wh is just as much of an extremist but a better con artist.

As for exactly what is wrong with Ryan's statement: he thinks tht women can't get pregnant if the the intercourse isn't wanted. That's scientifically wrong. He should know better.

So, Ayn Rand's husband walks in on his wife screwing Nathaniel Branden from behind with a strap-on replica of the Chrysler Building.

Her husband asks: "What would you call this?"

Ayn, the sweetie, says: "Objectivism! But Aristotle, who was not an employee, would call it Rationalism."

::waves back at liberal japonicus::

There's also the fact that Akin is grabbing screen time and news hole space for something that is off message when the GOP powers that be would rather have control of the message and aim it firmly at their convention (which is within a few days, right?) I have the sense that the flurry within the GOP is far more "sit down and shut up, Todd, you're out of order" than "we disagree with you".

So Joseph walks in on God slipping it to the Virgin Mary while Todd ("Death", in Palinesque German) Akin, the famous Scotsman, holds her down, the better to slip it to her, and Joseph asks: "Oy, what's all this?"

Fill in the punchline.

You have to feel the pain of the Romney campaign. They were doing relatively well at keeping the discussion in their race focused on the economy. OK, more on the tax part of economics than they might prefer, but still on economics. Now here's Akin not only looking like he will manage to lose a win-able Senate race**, but getting people looking at Ryan's historical position on abortion (to protect the life of the mother only). Culture wars, not the economy.

Of course, so far they have had no problem ignoring complete changes of position by their candidates. But they would really, really rather not have the discussion distracting from their message. But now it looks like it will be a significant feature, if probably not the dominant one, of the campaign.

** It occurs to me to wonder, can anybody think of a case in the last decade or three where the Democrats insisted on nominating a Senate candidate (from multiple serious choices in the primary) who turned a win-able race into a loss? I can think of a couple of cases from the Republicans last time around (Nevada and Delaware), but my memory isn't coming up with one on the other side.

can anybody think of a case in the last decade or three where the Democrats insisted on nominating a Senate candidate (from multiple serious choices in the primary) who turned a win-able race into a loss?

Martha Coakley.

She lost Teddy freaking Kennedy's Senate seat.

In Massachusetts.

Less than six months after Kennedy passed.

To a state senator and former GQ pinup boy.

I got nothing against Coakley personally, she's been a good AG as far as I can tell, but she was a crap candidate for Senate.

You can always count on Steve King, elected Republican, to bring his family into it.

http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/08/steve-king-statutory-rape.php

She lost Teddy freaking Kennedy's Senate seat.

And Scott Brown leads last I checked, which I'll chalk up to the advantages of incumbency. It was a supreme fnck up by Coakley and the Dems, that may haunt them for a quarter century or more.

Thanks, russell, that one had slipped my mind. Although I wonder, did she lose because she was a lousy candidate? Or lose because she was too far out in left field? I confess I was thinking more of the latter kind of shooting-your-party-in-the-foot situation.

did she lose because she was a lousy candidate? Or lose because she was too far out in left field?

lousy candidate, didn't take brown seriously, never got her campaign into anything like high gear.

And Scott Brown leads last I checked, which I'll chalk up to the advantages of incumbency.

I'd say Brown has a very good chance of winning.

Incumbency is part of it, but IMO the much larger part of it is that he's a native with a regular guy vibe, while Warren is seen by many folks as a snotty outsider.

Plus, he is sufficiently moderate that he can pass as a Massachusetts Republican, which is to say, a guy who provides balance to the semi-criminal, or at least highly insular and often self-serving, MA Democratic machine.

But mostly, he's a regular guy.

MA is a heavily Democratic state, but that should not be mistaken for liberal.

Our national discourse finally finds an incidence of legitimate rape:

http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/08/bryan-fischer-compares-todd-akin-to-a-rape-victim-video.php?ref=fpnewsfeed

Now, let's move on to voluntary, but deserving manslaughter.

What's it called when tens of thousands of republicans commit voluntary suicide in Tampa?

A national day of liberation?

What's it called when tens of thousands of republicans commit voluntary suicide in Tampa?

Legitimate suicide.* Usually, the body shuts down entirely, cognitive thinking ceases, enabling the passage of the GOP platform.

*If death results, then those committing teh suicide must have actually enjoyed it, and convicting them of self-murder is therefore just. Killing them is obviously an unalloyed moral good.

can anybody think of a case in the last decade or three where the Democrats insisted on nominating a Senate candidate (from multiple serious choices in the primary) who turned a win-able race into a loss?

It is with no little chagrin that we put forward the name Ned Lamont and slip quietly back into the shadows.

Apparently Akin is now going with the Bellmore gambit, wherein what he REALLY meant was that some women claim rape when they weren't really raped, all so they can get an abortion.

I know a number of folks who, plain and simple, think life - full fledged human life - begins at conception. In general they hold this view on religious or metaphysical grounds, rather than scientific or medical ones.

Those folks are generally opposed to abortion, period, which makes sense and is consistent if you start from the point of view they are starting from.

I don't have a problem with people like that.

The folks that I find repellent are the folks like Akin. It's not enough for him to say, "I think life begins at conception, so I'm against abortion, full stop". He has to make sh*t up about strange female hormonal emanations, and tell us all that women who were impregnated by rape were really not raped at all, they're just liars.

The man wants to a US Senator. And he may get his wish.

I find that puzzling.

Every day, there's some other part of this country that I lose interest in ever setting foot in.

"I know a number of folks who, plain and simple, think life - full fledged human life - begins at conception. In general they hold this view on religious or metaphysical grounds, rather than scientific or medical ones.

Those folks are generally opposed to abortion, period, which makes sense and is consistent if you start from the point of view they are starting from.

I don't have a problem with people like that"

I don't have a problem with that either. Actually I see it as a logical perspective.

My issue is with the people who, based on their attitude toward abortion (whatever that may be), decide to proclaim themselves as being "pro-life" and then are willing to to do none of the hard work or make any of the persola sacrifices or suffer any of the inconveniences themselves that come with living in a way that shows real respect for any life other than their own.

Examples of this hypocrisy and moral degeneracy are rampant amongst Republican voters who claim to be prolife and vote for the Repubican party on that basis. Just one example is the issue of funding for Medicaid, particlularly when combied with teh Repulbican party's determination to cut taxes even more for the 2% and corporation.

I have no respect whatsover for the moral values of a person who wants to deprive elderly and disabled people of medical services espcially while bootlicking the more powerful people in the nation.
PRo-life, my ass.

Every day, there's some other part of this country that I lose interest in ever setting foot in.

Hey Russell, if you quit going places because someone has a bizarre notion, you'll have to become a recluse.

Politics attracts idiots. Akin's an idiot. Some years back, a guy named Clayton Williams ran for governor here in Texas. He was beating Ann Richards until he said, "When rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it." That was at least a decade back, probably further (too lazy to Google this morning) and in Red Texas it was enough to cost him the election. So, you get this kind of thing. Akin is clearly stupid and has an enormous ego. He had a clear chance to bail and get a little change back from his dollar, but now he insists on having a public referendum on his intelligence. Let him have it. The hyperventilation on both sides is getting a bit old and it's only been two days.

can anybody think of a case in the last decade or three where the Democrats insisted on nominating a Senate candidate (from multiple serious choices in the primary) who turned a win-able race into a loss?

At the risk of replying to myself, I can think of one case nobody has mentioned yet -- albeit not in a Senate race. In 1972, beating Nixon was entirely possible. But the Democrats went to the left with McGovern, and he lost 49 states.

In 1972, beating Nixon was entirely possible. But the Democrats went to the left with McGovern, and he lost 49 states.

Is there some kind of metric that we can use to show how far to the left of the modern GOP Nixon was on most issues back then? Heck, he was probably to the left of Obama on certain things.

Still a total douche bag that bequeathed us Cheney and Rumsfeld, of course.

In 1972, beating Nixon was entirely possible. But the Democrats went to the left with McGovern, and he lost 49 states.

Citation needed. In particular, I'd like to see a cite to a political scientist who writes that (1) beating Nixon would have entirely possible and (2) that a candidate to McGovern's right would have made it easier.

It was Nixon who, I think, said you go right to win the nomination, and run towards the center to win the election. I'm not sure if the Akin situation demonstrates the truth of that or shows us how fncked up our politics have become.

Hey Russell, if you quit going places because someone has a bizarre notion, you'll have to become a recluse.

Yeah, that's true McK. And I'd miss a lot of beautiful stuff, and beautiful people, in the process.

Thanks for talking me down off the ledge.

And I'd miss a lot of beautiful stuff, and beautiful people, in the process.

They have that sh1t in Canada. (...I kid!)

[sarcasm]
The guy is confused about the qualifiers.
'legal rape' is husband on unwilling wife (although Phyllis Schlafly denies that it is rape at all) and 'legitimate rape' is used on lesbians to cure them of their wicked ways. What Akin means is 'forcible rape' (aka rape rape) i.e. male penetrative sexual violence against a honorable* female not married to the perpetrator in combination with active resistance of said female. Lack of penetration or lack of female resistance (or if the girl is a slut) means that it is by definition never 'real' rape.

*this of course excludes most foreigners and all illegals.
[/sarcasm]

Thanks for talking me down off the ledge.

You weren't on the ledge. You were just slack-jawed with amazement that Akin is actually a senatorial candidate. I find it even more depressing than you since he and I are, in a very general sense, on the same side of the fence.

Old joke: If you moved the Iowa-Missouri border 30 miles north the IQ of both states would increase.

You were just slack-jawed with amazement that Akin is actually a senatorial candidate.

McTex, why do you find this surprising? I mean, how does Akin differ from the median Republican party official? Ryan has higher ratings than Akin from pro-life groups and he supports a personhood amendment to the constitution that would ban IVF, some birth control, and all abortion except when needed to immediately save the mother's life. Romney backed a similar proposal in 2008. And the party platform includes that as a plank. When the Presidential candidate, the VP candidate, and the party platform all agree on X, then X is the party's mainstream.

I guess I don't see what's special about a standard Republican running for Senate and Akin seems like a standard Republican. So what am I missing?

So what am I missing?

Obviously, "in a very general sense" does not mean what you think it means.

So what am I missing?

I doubt if either of us has enough of an understanding of what a 'median Republican party official' believes or doesn't believe to opine authoritatively. But, that wasn't my point. Akin said two things. First, there was the 'legitimate rape' thing, which was bad enough, and then there was the 'legitimate rape doesn't produce pregnancy because the body rejects (or whatever the idiot said)'. I am paraphrasing Akin, not quoting.

Anyway, it is a surprise to me that someone stupid enough to not only believe that, but to say it, is a viable candidate for the US Senate. I am well used to ideologues mouthing moderate platitudes. That is what I expect. But Akin not only didn't have the correct, conservative answer handy (rape, incest, threat to the mother's life, each case is different, I'm just telling you where I stand), after stepping in it in a most monumental fashion, he f'ing won't bow out.

Akin reminds me of a friend's description of his homeowner's association members: three kinds: stupid, mean and stupid-mean. Akin is stupid and ego-maniacal.

This, from Gary's facebook, is interesting, but as Gary notes, he has no idea if it was photoshopped or not. In keeping with the theme of the post, I'm not really sure if I'm hoping it was or it wasn't...

I doubt if either of us has enough of an understanding of what a 'median Republican party official' believes or doesn't believe to opine authoritatively.

Err...why not? If the Presidential and VP nominee believe X and if X is in the party platform, how can you argue that X isn't respected by the median party official?

First, there was the 'legitimate rape' thing,

But every Republican in congress voted to redefine rape as forcible rape. So on that score, Akin is a standard Republican. He's just like every single other Republican in Congress.

then there was the 'legitimate rape doesn't produce pregnancy because the body rejects

Sure, that's very dumb, but I haven't seen any Republicans disagree with him. I mean, Romney hasn't said "women's bodies reject rape sperm? that's wrong". Instead we get vague platitudes about how Akin should go away, but Republicans aren't actually disagreeing with him on this point because a good chunk of the Republican base believes this.

I guess I don't see why Akin is special. As you pointed out, he said two different things. But one of them is universally accepted amongst Republicans in Congress and the other one is widely enough accepted that no high ranking Republican will dare contradict it.

Now, if you think that Republicans in general are stupid or mean or both, I can get that. But I don't see how you can condemn Akin while not condemning most Republican party officials.

I don't see how you can condemn Akin while not condemning most Republican party officials.

I would say that most Republican Party officials either only pay lip service to the kind of idiocy Akin said aloud, or at least have the brains to not say it in public. While Akin was exceptionally (politically) stupid, on top of being mean-spirited and ignorant. So you can condemn Akin for political stupidity combined with biological ignornace ande a mean spirit. Whereas most Republican Party officials are either more knowledgeable (even if they don't feel that they can say so aloud), or at least have the basic political smarts to know when to keep their mouths shut. In short, condemn the combination....

And Scott Brown leads last I checked, which I'll chalk up to the advantages of incumbency. It was a supreme fnck up by Coakley and the Dems, that may haunt them for a quarter century or more.

Yes. And while I agree with Russell that Coakley is a good AG, I simply cannot forgive her for losing to Brown. A Senate seat that should be firmly Democratic was simply thrown away by Coakley's refusal to campaign seriously.

Given the narrow margin in the Senate, and the value of retaining the majority, Coakley's negligence is unforgiveable, and IMO did major damage to the country.

Anyway, it is a surprise to me that someone stupid enough to not only believe that, but to say it, is a viable candidate for the US Senate.

But McKinney, if he had used the word "forcible" instead, would that not comport entirely with a "correct (insert 2nd Amendment comma here)conservative answer"? And, in any event, doesn't the use of either word bespeak a mind swayed by notions that can only be described as an ill-logic of astoundingly monumental proportions (trying to be polite here)?

Politically, wingers are pushing the bounds of the debate by explicitly undermining the "rape and incest" exception which constitutes the bipartisan (yes, read the polls, please) consensus. Like good marxists, they are "heightening the contradictions". This may not end well for them, but hey, they claim (at times) to be "radicals".

Is the GOP trying to thread the needle here? Remember Hogan's dictum, "Only God can hit a one iron". 'Nuff said.

I haven't seen any Republicans disagree with him

really?


“I have an entirely different view. What he said is entirely without merit and he should correct it.”
Mitt Romney


"As I said yesterday, Todd Akin's comments were offensive and wrong and he should very seriously consider what course would be in the best interest of our country"
Mitt Romney

Sure, that's very dumb, but I haven't seen any Republicans disagree with him. I mean, Romney hasn't said "women's bodies reject rape sperm? that's wrong".

Perhaps you haven't been looking very hard. When I want a sense of what socially conservative Republican types are thinking, I go to Michelle Malkin. She wrote about Akin on 8/20 and 8/22. Draw your own conclusions, but it didn't appear that she was buying into any of his BS.

But McKinney, if he had used the word "forcible" instead, would that not comport entirely with a "correct (insert 2nd Amendment comma here)conservative answer"?

I'm going to shift the burden of proof here: show me leading Republican thinkers who parse the word rape in the context of abortion, suggesting there are degrees of rape and that some qualify for abortion and others don't (I'll spot you Rush Limbaugh, but if conservatives have to be saddled with every stupidity that falls out of his mouth, then turn about being fairplay, I will impute every stupidity from Keith Olbermann back to liberals and Democrats). You get there by mindreading, of which there is plenty of that going on here.

Let me turn the tables a bit further: do Dems believe that every business in America was built by the federal gov't and that the private sector is doing just fine? If so, why don't we hear that more on the campaign trail? Do you think Dems should do a campaign spot built on Biden's insights? How many of those do you hear repeated? Can I impute everything Biden says to you or as mainstream Democrat thinking?

Here's a quote by Barbara Boxer, an actual Democrat Senator:

“Where’s the outrage by Mitt Romney?” Boxer asked, “There is a sickness out there in the Republican Party, and I’m not kidding. Maybe they don’t like their moms or their first wives; I don’t know what it is.”

Imagine a world where every Democrat candidate was pressed by the media to defend this comment over at two week news cycle.

I haven't seen any Republicans disagree with him

really?

So, which part of Akin's statement was Romney rejecting? The bit about legitimate/forcible rape or the wrong-biology bit?

Romney gave an ambiguous statement. The religious base can pretend that he was critiquing Akin's legitimate language (would've been OK if he'd used forced!) while leaving the biology bit alone. The non-religious base can pretend that he was critiquing the biology but was happy with the legitimate bit. And the media can pretend he criticized both. Which is why you'll never hear Romney specifically criticize either part of Akin's statements.

Oh, it could easily be defended. After all it's the Repubican party that has tried to define life as beginning at conception both at the state level and at the federal level, thus degraing the woman to off less importance than a couple of cells. And when that concpet was being debated (with Ryan and Akin) in the House there was actual discussion about whether or not an exemption should be made to save the mother's life! The final bill did have that exemptioin but not one for incest or rape. Show me an equivalent bill, backed at the state and federal levels that is that disrespectful of some group of Americans.

There's more of course. Behid the attempt to define life as beginning at conception is the effort to spread misinformation about late term failed pregnancies (redefined as parital birth abortion) in an effort, which if successful would kill women, since those kinds of pregnancies will very frequently result it he death of the mother. And there's the subject of this thread: the attempt to define rape victims as lying sluts.

But there's another issue and that's your refusal to face up to how extremist the Republican party has become. It takes a huge amount of willlful ignorance to do that. At this point it really isn't responsible behavior.

I do inhome care for diabled people. When I go to work I look at my clients and wonder which one will die for lackof health care if Ryan and Romney succeed in their budget agenda. ANd I make no apologies whatso ever for blaming the people who make excuses and minimize and refuse the connect the dots to justify to themselves the irresponsible act of supporting the Republican party.

MckT:

I'm pretty much in agreement with you regarding the general characteristics of politicians.

But, you don't have to impute Biden's or any other Democrats' stupid rhetoric to innocent by-standing liberals because there is an entire Republican Party machine and media dedicated 24 hours a day to that job.

Further, Democrats/liberals tend to turn puce and start to stutter at the mouth farts of Biden or Olbermann, etc. and it occurs to me that Olbermann at the very least can't seem to keep a job in the liberal media and it seems to me that a lot of people on what passes for the Left jump into the nearest foxhole and shout "Incoming!" when Biden shows up these days, whereas there is an entire phalanx of global warming sources by word of mouth on the Right who can churn out any sort of crapola and have their contracts extended with a kick upstairs into the higher tax brackets, which really pisses them off.

I'm not going to hold Michelle Malkin against you, but someone at some point is going to get the blame for that toxic harridan, whose hormones would happily relax and accept Akin into what passes for the Republican mainstream these days if she didn't also possess a politically calculating reptilian brain stem.

Am I mind reading? Sure, but it's not difficult with Malkin and ilk considering the small number of brain cells that require scanning for content.

In more general terms, I disagree with you about the accidental nature of Akin running for one of the highest offices in the land.

Hey, it's not liberals over the past 30 years who have catapulted the word "elitist" into the same national vocabulary where labels like "child molester", baby killer", "Maoist", and RINO etc etc reside.

The Republican Party has an entire executive recruiting machine that consists of purging RINOs and the first step in that rigorous recruitment process is to make a trip down to the crazy farm (we're not interested in these run-of-the-mill drooling cases here in the dormitory; could you show us the specimens you've been keeping under lock-down for special occasions) and find the most fundamentally off-the-meds, crazed egotistical, mean-assed, sadistic jagoff whackaloons of any old creed and color and then put the formidable fund-raising power of the Republican Party fully behind them.

Then 28% of the Republican base look at these hopeless anti-elitist romantics and croon, "Golly, finally I can vote for someone just like me."

Sorry, you don't get any more incoherently nutzoid than running a guy who plans to craft national policy based on Ayn Rand AND Thomas Aquinas.

Really? Whaddaya get when you cross-fertilize Daffy Duck and Alexander Hamilton?

And don't say Andrew Jackson.

I'm not a big fan of Barbara Boxer, but the remark you reference in your most recent comment is illuminating in that of course these whackjobs love their mothers and their first wives (who may be the same person) because if the latter were raped or their lives were in danger because of a difficult pregnancy off they would go for an abortion (oh, NOW it's called a medical procedure) on the down-low without skipping a Santorum beat at the demonstration down at the local Planned Parenthood.

I'm not going to hold you responsible for this either, but I've got to ask, what the hell is going on down there? Why is one of the most productive crazy farm located in Texas, and I'm not talking about the tax increase this guy wants, though you might find THAT the craziest part?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/22/tom-head-texas-obama_n_1822003.html

;) check your email.

But there's another issue and that's your refusal to face up to how extremist the Republican party has become. It takes a huge amount of willlful ignorance to do that. At this point it really isn't responsible behavior.

Laura, has there ever been a time when Republicans were not extremist? And Democrats the soul of reason? Probably not, so it's difficult to have this conversation. In your view, there is no principled opposition to elective abortion, or if there is, it is so highly nuanced that very few opponents actually hold that view and the vast majority are nothing more than woman-hating control freaks who know nothing of science or medicine and who, just for good measure, care only about lowering the top one percent's marginal rate.

When I go to work I look at my clients and wonder which one will die for lackof health care if Ryan and Romney succeed in their budget agenda. ANd I make no apologies whatso ever for blaming the people who make excuses and minimize and refuse the connect the dots to justify to themselves the irresponsible act of supporting the Republican party.

Two points here. First, eventually, there will be cuts, regardless of who wins in November. Obama has 700 billion. That's a cut. Second, you may very well be the final authority on right-thinking vs irresponsible citizenship. You are probably very tolerant as well.

So, which part of Akin's statement was Romney rejecting?

sounds like he's rejecting all of it.

"I have an entirely different view. What he said is entirely without merit "

"His comments about rape were deeply offensive and I can't defend what he said I can't defend him,"
-- Romney

i'm really not up for defending Mitt Romney, but he is trying to throw this guy under the bus as fast as he can; seems like he deserves credit for that, at least.

Let me turn the tables a bit further: do Dems believe that every business in America was built by the federal gov't and that the private sector is doing just fine?

I believe that every business in America relies on the institutions and infrastructure the federal government has either put in place or facilitated. I believe that corporate profits are historically high and that the stock market has rebounded nicely from its recent low point. I believe that job losses have been greater in the public sector than the private sector.

All that aside, are you seriously trying to put forth a false equivalence between the president's remarks you're alluding to and Akin's? If so, I think you're demonstrating something you'd rather not if your goal is to defend Republicans.

show me leading Republican thinkers who parse the word rape in the context of abortion, suggesting there are degrees of rape and that some qualify for abortion and others don't...

Well, Romney had some very warm words for Dr. Willke, who came up with the theory that real rape victims don't get pregnant. (And, as Laura noted, Ryan co-sponsored with Akin. The bill that would have outlawed abortion -- without, as they wrote it, any exception for rape.)

A politician can accept support from someone who he disagrees with. I get that. But embracing them, and talking about all the great things that they have done on an issue amounts, in my mind, to also embracing their arguments on the subject. Maybe not all of them, if they have made several different ones -- but Willke only made one major one: that real rape victims don't get pregnant.

So to me it seems like Romney is accepting parsing rape the same way Akin was. (Or at least willing to accept that approach for the sake of getting elected.)

I believe that job losses have been greater in the public sector than the private sector.

indeed.

my new favorite graph.

Am I mind reading? Sure, but it's not difficult with Malkin and ilk considering the small number of brain cells that require scanning for content.

Count, is there any conservative voice that you are ok with?


I'm not going to hold you responsible for this either, but I've got to ask, what the hell is going on down there?

Yeah, I saw that too. No doubt, we have our share of loons. The headline of today's Houston Chronicle is: Democratic DA candidate fights party to stay on ballot. It may be a fine point as to whether the District Attorney in a county of 4 million plus is a bigger piece of cheese than a County Judge in Lubbock County who typically can't hear cases involving more than 100K, but I'll grant you that the judge is a nut.

All that aside, are you seriously trying to put forth a false equivalence between the president's remarks you're alluding to and Akin's?

Who, in the Republican camp, is defending Akin? Akin won a contested primary in Missouri. Obama is president. He makes statements that are, at a minimum, subject to explanation. Akin makes a statement that is, almost universally, denounced. Dems are assiduously imputing Akin to every Republican. It's one thing to rub someone's nose in their own mistake, it's another to rub it in someone else's.

seems like he deserves credit for that, at least.

Seems that way to me as well. But, it's not happening.

Reminds me of Kimmel's joke at the correspondent's dinner

What is the difference between Rush Limbaugh and Bill Maher?

Democrats know Maher is an asshole.

Well, Romney had some very warm words for Dr. Willke, who came up with the theory that real rape victims don't get pregnant.

How many national Democrat leaders have criticized Al Sharpton? Or Michael Moore? Or, Harry Reid? The business of kissing fanny to keep the base in line is disgusting. Pretending it's worse when it's the other side doing is hypocrisy.

Except Akin is just the latest in a long line of high-profile GOP idiots. Do you remember the clown car of a Republican primary? It was like seeing into an alternate universe, where the Onion was the NY Times.

But I'll give Romney credit for what is an unequivocal condemnation of Akin's nuttery, whether it's purely a political move or otherwise.

Missed this:

and it seems to me that a lot of people on what passes for the Left jump into the nearest foxhole and shout "Incoming!" when Biden shows up these days

And yet, he's the Vice President of the United States.

Except Akin is just the latest in a long line of high-profile GOP idiots. Do you remember the clown car of a Republican primary?

I disagree only in that Akin is high profile because of his stupidity. He was below the radar prior to opening his mouth. I do not disagree that the Republican field was pretty awful, with the two from Texas being among the worst, not that the competition for that high honor wasn't stiff.

And yet, he's the Vice President of the United States.

Should he be impeached for foot-in-mouth? "these days" means something, I think.

And, honestly, all of the people you mentioned as being the equivalents of Akin (or whatever GOP darling) simply aren't, Mck. They may demagogue, exaggerate, maybe even purposely lie or have somewhat nutty notions, but they don't touch the likes of Akin (or Palin or Bachmann or Perry or Cane or Limbaugh or Malkin). It's not even close.

The embrace of scientific and factual ignorace and willingness to play on racial, national and gender prejudices is stunningly more prevalent among Republicans and conservatives in this country.

There are times when I'm not open to seriously considering the other side on a given issue, and this is one of them. You might as well try to tell me I'm a radioactive, flying turtle from the Crab Nebula as that the above is not the case.

And, honestly, all of the people you mentioned as being the equivalents of Akin (or whatever GOP darling) simply aren't, Mck.

Here's why we won't resolve anything: in what universe is Akin a GOP darling? Further, 'equivalence' is subjective and a matter of degree.

The embrace of scientific and factual ignorace and willingness to play on racial, national and gender prejudices is stunningly more prevalent among Republicans and conservatives in this country.

This could be a whole new thread. We could both cherry pick our evidence and go after it for days. There is a sizable element on the broad right that is anti-gay. There is a similar element within the African-American community. There is a smaller element on the right that is racist. There is a different kind of racism on the left. As for overt appeals to skin color, Sharpton et al win that one walking away, IMO.

McTx: has there ever been a time when Republicans were not extremist?

I was going to suggest the 1860s but....

in what universe is Akin a GOP darling?

He doesn't need to be for that grammatical construction to work. (Think along the lines of: "It's faster than your horse (or whatever car you might drive)."] And I was being a bit of a smart ass, besides. Think of it as a term of art.

Is there any non-governmental liberalish person comparable to Rush Limbaugh? At all? If we need objective measures, how about someone with 50% of Rush's radio audience (in whatever medium).

McT: How many national Democrat leaders have criticized Al Sharpton? Or Michael Moore?

A more relevant question might be: How many national Democratic leaders are embracing either one, and going on about they are doing great work and are an example to us all?

As I say, politicians accept support from lots of people, many of whom they may not agree with inwhole or in part. Nothing wrong with that. But that is a far cry from embracing someone as an icon of right thinking on an issue. Which is what Romney has done with Dr. Willke.

Sorry, you don't get any more incoherently nutzoid than running a guy who plans to craft national policy based on Ayn Rand AND Thomas Aquinas.

I have to say that I HATE Thomas Aquinas. Even if one ignores his extreme misogyny (he considered women as not just inferior but as literally defective and the result of rotten sperm) as common among his peers at the time, he was he guy who came up with the detailed ideology justifying and demanding campaigns of physical extermination of dissenters and his work/ds have been used as justification for this up to very recently (and will, I assume, be used again should the opportunity arise). For me he is the embodiment of ideology before/above humanity.
----

The impression I get about the GOP reaction to Akin is: "Does this idiot not get that he is not supposed to say that in public? Now we have to denounce him and risk that the base will take our outrage for genuine and not just pure tactics."
----

As for 'when was the GOP not extremist?'. Once (less than a century ago) the GOP cultivated just one branch of extremism, the economic one. But then they took on all the extremisms the Dems dropped over time. For a long time the party managed to keep them more or less separate (racist<>theocrat<>social darwinist). But now they have seriously begun to fuse forming a critical mass that will at best destroy the party and at worst take the country with it. And if you ask me, it begins to resemble less a traditional fascist party but a 'new type party' (a term used in Europe by communist leadership to describe the Stalinist transfomation of the old-style commie parties).

McK, The R party used to have quite a few people in it who were not extremists. Rmoney's dad, for one. Hatfield of Oregon. Non-extremists can't get past the primaries these days.

I nver said or implied that there could be no principled oppostion to abortion. In fact I belive a said on a recent thread that I could understand the logic of an individual who, believing that life begins with conception, would choose not to have an abortion. But that's a personal choice based o an idividual's religous outlook. The Republican party is trying to impose that religous outlook on all women. I order to justify themsleves there is a ppatern of resortig to aruguments that demonize or margialize women, such as Akin's remarks or the claim that late term failed pregnancies are really abortions. It's a combination of arrogance and bad science with a big does of blame-the-woman.

Re: the mentio that Obama wants to cut 700 billion form somethiing ( I assume the federeal budget) as if it is the equivalento of Ryan and Romney's intent to gut the funding for Medicaid and turn Medicare into a voucher system is a ratioalization for dodgig the issue.

I am I an authority o right ad wrong? Well I have enough of a moral compass to know that backing a party that would gut Medicaid and ruin Medicare while giving a tax break to multimillionaires is wrong.

And no, I do not feel like tolerating that kind of wrongness.

To the Republican party, "You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

The penny just dropped. That 700 billion is a reference to the lie Rmoney's been spreading, the one that's been debucked a gazillion times. Of course the reason Romney has been spreading that lie is so that people will do just what McK did--use it to justify voting for the team tht would ruin Medicare and Medicaid.

Nope. No decency in the Republican party.

And another thing!

I'm dead serious. You all who are cosidering voting for Romeny/Ryan, which one of my clients do you want to kill?

The Affordable Care Act saved 700 billion over a number of years mostly by promoting efficiency and limiting fraud. There was nothig taken from client services. In fact recepients got a bonus: the doughnut hole got filled. R & R are flat out lying.

R and R want to change Medeicare so that elderly people o fixed incomes would have to pay more about 6,000 a year more in out of pocket medical expenses. They want to gut Medicaid funding and through the responsiblity on the states who cannot afford it. Both want to privatize SS.

So which one of my clients do you want to kill?

These are not real names obviously:

Betty. Paralyzed from the waist down. Mildly mentally retarded. Prone to pressure sores which get infected to a spectacular degree; she's got recurrent out breaks of oone of those flesh eating bacteria. SUpport : SSI, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps. Lives alone. Only living relative her 89 year old mother, also o public assistance. Recives visting nurse services and inhome care

Belinda. Rhuematoid artritis. Wheel chair bound. Can't move fingers or lift anything heavier than a pound. Supports her elementary aged grandchildren. SSi Medicare, Medicaid, AFDC Food stamps. No car.

Lucille. Lives on sixhunndred dollars a month in SS plus Medicaid. Lots of teeth problems but Medicaid will only pay to pull her teeth, not cover dentures. Lives in the aprtment of a friend, sleeping on the couch. Has car but can't pay for repairs to make it driveable.

ALice. Lives in a cabin she built herself twenty years ago. Wood stove. No electricity or running water. Used to garden but can't lift anything any more. Frequently falls. Accidentally set herslef on fire once but didn;t notice until the burn was very serious because has little nerve sensation in her legs. No car.

Of course it is irresponsible to rationalize support for Romeny and Ryan. WHy the hell should I be tolerant of someone who thinks these people who already live on the edge should suffer so Romney, Rya and other rich Rublican politicians can give themsleves another tax break?

I'm going to shift the burden of proof here: show me leading Republican thinkers who parse the word rape in the context of abortion

Oh, please. What is this whole thing about "forcible rape"? Why do people like Paul Ryan try to put such actual language in federal legislation? And after all this dishonest parsing, why do they not stand up forthrightly and defend this crap? Where is the touted "intellectual honesty"? Where is the "tough choice"?

Is that not enough "parsing" for you? "Shift the burden of proof?" Indeed. You have got to be kidding.

You know what they say on the course, "Don't lick your balls. Wash them."

What is this whole thing about "forcible rape"? Why do people like Paul Ryan try to put such actual language in federal legislation?

Bobby, a smart golfer sizes up the shot and doesn't hurry the swing. When you swing too fast, the result is predictably bad. You seem to be under the hurried impression that the notion of 'forcible rape' is unique to woman-hating religious fanatics. Try googling 'forcible rape'. Or, for a fair summation of the issue, try this link: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/07/us/politics/federal-crime-statistics-to-expand-rape-definition.html.

Here's a quote from the foregoing link (an NYT article):

the Obama administration on Friday, will replace a narrower definition of “forcible rape” with one that includes, among other things, forcible oral or anal penetration.

Akin used the term 'legitimate rape', which I suppose is subject to interpretation, but my take at the time was he meant 'genuine' as opposes to 'after the fact excuse making'. Regardless, it was stupid.

You and other high-minded partisans have rushed to impute Akin to every Republican and every pro-lifer, conflating 'forcible' with 'legitimate'. Like I said, google 'forcible rape', read the NYT article and you will see that it is a widely used term of art. Even the Obama administration uses it.

As for the balls comment, I normally wait until I've won the round to do my end zone dance.

The Affordable Care Act saved 700 billion over a number of years mostly by promoting efficiency and limiting fraud.

Really? By promoting efficiency and limiting fraud? Thanks for clearing that up.

Thank you. YOu could also check any of the main fact checkers. Heck even the corporate media has been confronting Romeny surrogates about that lie. BTW the lie about welfare has also been debunked, not that people looking for a rationalization to justify their irresposible decision to vote for the extremist party will care.

As for the "question" of Republican extremisim: the whole party has decided to undo the New Deal. That's exttremist. They have decided to do this because some stupid little philosophy ( or the prospct of more momney for themslevs ) is more important than the effect that undoing Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security will have on real people. That's immoral. To achieve their goal lyig has become a staple of Republican political discourse for the last thirty years. That's extremist and immoral. Since lying and appeals to the worst of human nature wo't win an aelection when the Repubican agenda is visible, they have to suppress the vote whic is why every state with a Republican majority ahs passed voter supporession laws. That's extermism justified by a lie.

YOu haven't answered my question: which one of my clients shuld suffer reduced health care and diminished income so that Romeny and Ryan can get a tax cut.

"which one of my clients shuld suffer reduced health care and diminished income so that Romeny and Ryan can get a tax cut."

Sorry Laura but there is no indication any of your patients would be negatively impacted by any proposal on the table.

Not so sure about that CCDG. Ezra Klein points out that

In fact, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that more than six of every 10 dollars Ryan cuts from the federal budget is coming from programs for the poor.

Take Medicaid. Ryan cuts nearly $1.4 trillion from Medicaid over the next 10 years. That’s a 34 percent cut to the program’s expected spending over the next decade. Those cuts, unlike the cuts to Medicare, are specific, and they begin immediately. Estimates from the Urban Institute suggest that if those cuts are made, about 30 million people could lose their health insurance.

Oh, and Ryan repeals the Affordable Care Act. That’s where some of his Medicaid cuts come from, but that also knocks out all the subsidies for lower-income Americans to get health insurance. So that’s another 15 million people without health insurance. So under Ryan’s budget, about 45 million people would lose health insurance they otherwise would’ve gotten.

Ryan’s budget cuts $134 billion from food stamps, which is enough to kick 8-10 million people off the program.

He also notes that

It’s important to remember that Romney’s budget is much, much more aggressive than Ryan’s. It’s less specific, so it gets less attention. But it’s much more aggressive. Ryan’s got about $5.3 trillion in cuts. Romney’s looking for $7 trillion. And he’s not keeping Ryan and Obama’s Medicare savings. And he’s increasing spending on defense by much more than Ryan does. So to pay for that defense spending and make up the Medicare cuts, he needs about $1.5 trillion more in cuts from the non-Medicare, non-defense side of the budget than Ryan has.

To make Romney’s numbers add up, you have to assume that by the end of his presidency, Romney will have cut every federal program that’s not Medicare, Social Security or defense spending by 57 percent.

the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities estimates

What is the basis for this estimate? More to the point, does someone have a budget that maintains the status quo and addresses the deficit?

Sorry, there was a link in there, but I just clipped it out. It is here at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the CBPP has been recommended and cited by folks who I trust a lot.

Also, in answer to your question, here is the CBPP on Obama's budget, which supports it and also has this which details the shortcomings.

More to the point, does someone have a budget that maintains the status quo and addresses the deficit?

There is no such thing as a status quo when it comes to government expenditures or revenues. They're always changing and budgets are subject to the whims of the economy. Budget deficits exist now, so even if you could maintain a status quo, it would include budget deficits, which makes the question self-contradictory.

All of that aside, the very question has buried within it the premise that addressing the deficit is a higher priority than something or other (not sure what). I think we need to spend a lot more money, even if we can't offset it with tax increases short term.

We need to rebuild the foundations of our society, which will bear fruit in the future. That's the only way to reduce deficits in the long run, at least not without turning the United States into a pradoxically wealthy (for a while, anyway) Third World country. And if I were going to cut anything, it wouldn't be in the areas that do the most damage to the worst off among us.

If you think Ryan or Romney has a plan that will do anything long-term for the good of this county, that doesn't simply extend this unsustainable Golden Age for the rentier class, I'd like to see it.

My personal preamble: I don't put much stock in anyone's budget, because both sides make bizarre assumptions in order to get the numbers to work. The most common form of hocus pocus is to assume a near constant growth rate of 3-4%, maybe more. Without the growth rate, revenues plummet and the numbers all go south.

Here's what the CBPP wrote:

"The President’s budget would, if enacted, make significant progress in reducing deficits, although policymakers would have to take further steps, especially for future decades. Under its economic assumptions, it would achieve what most budget analysts, and all recent bipartisan commissions or panels, have identified as the crucial fiscal goal for the decade ahead — stabilizing the debt so that it no longer rises faster than the economy."

So, you have the fudge factor of having to accept the Obama administration's 'assumptions.' I am fairly certain I read the other day that one of the administration's assumptions was either a 3 or a 4% growth rate. Well, that's not happening and so there goes everything that flows from that one caveat. Further, I believe this budget was the one that went down 97-0 in the Senate. Pretty much a nonstarter.

I am a fiscal conservative and very concerned about the size and expense of government. So, I'm picking the douche bag who says he's going to cut spending. What are my expectations? More of the same sh*t.

I feel bad for people who depend on the gov't. Some (Laura's patients) are clearly within the class that should be cared for, but many are not, or at least are sufficiently well equipped to get by under their own horsepower.

The reason I feel bad is because the ride is going to come to an end, in my lifetime, and I'm 58. Because well over half of gov't spending is transfer payments, the payees are going to take a hit. It's unavoidable.

We need to rebuild the foundations of our society, which will bear fruit in the future.

Not to be argumentative, this is not going to happen in the way you intend. Nor is there any evidence in the history of any country that doing what you intend will reduce deficits. Look at Europe. Look at us.

Nor is there any evidence in the history of any country that doing what you intend will reduce deficits. Look at Europe. Look at us.

We did do something like it at certain points and it worked rather well. But I'm not wont to argue that it is going to happen the way I intend, because I don't think anyone has the political will to do the things I would like to see done in the first place.

What I can tell you is that not doing those things won't work. You can try to cut spending all you like, passing the most draconianly austere budgets you like. That will result in one of two things - 1) the deficit will continue to grow, but without worthwhile investment being part of it and in a willy-nilly fashion as a passive response to the resulting poor economic conditions, or 2) you hold the line on spending despite the poor economic conditions, resulting in a downward spiral of mass homelessness, starvation, disease and crime - hardcore depression.

There's spending and there's spending. You can blow your money on gum and candy (bad) or you can investing in things that have value and can create further value (good). Or you can be cheap and let everything rot (bad).

whatever else we do, we must continue to spend 1.3 million dollars per minute on "defense". and we definitely must not call it government welfare. because that's socialism. and that's bad.

When you swing too fast, the result is predictably bad.

Er, Tex....as they say, "Not so fast." Please go back to the record of your beloved GOP 112th Congress and look up HR3, supported by Aiken, Ryan, and 148 other like minded misogynistic GOP congresscritters. Explain also to the peanut gallery here why Ryan refuses to discuss this word in the context of a bill he supports.

It strikes me that you expect an undue amount of your shorter putts to be conceded. That is definitely not an internet tradition.

Please go back to the record of your beloved GOP 112th Congress and look up HR3, supported by Aiken, Ryan, and 148 other like minded misogynistic GOP congresscritters. Explain also to the peanut gallery here why Ryan refuses to discuss this word in the context of a bill he supports.

I'll be happy to look at it, but I don't have time (not jacking you around, I really am jammed) or the ability to readily track down what you are referring to.

It strikes me that you expect an undue amount of your shorter putts to be conceded.

When have I ever asked for mercy?

Tex,

Please consider and answer the following:

1.) If economic growth in anemic, how does "reducing the deficit" make it grow faster?
2.) If the private sector insists on not providing opportunities for people to work, why can't the government buy their labor and put it to good use?
3.) Explain how running up huge deficits is ok for senseless destructive wars but not for funding other, and equally vital, social needs?
4.) Explain to me how Social Security and Medicare are, as you take convoluted pains to infer, "unfunded" despite the proof I see right before my eyes every time I review my pay stub.
5.) How is it that social investment in infrastructure is economically inferior to private investment?
6.) How do we as a society recover unused labor time?
7.) How can public debt be a "burden" when the holders of that debt are either us or our government? (If you have some Treasury bills laying around that are simply too burdensome, I will gladly take them off your hands.)
8.) Why do you golf at a course that is next to a football field?

"Deficits don't matter."

-Dick (war criminal at large) Cheney

"Sorry Laura but there is no indication any of your patients would be negatively impacted by any proposal on the table."

Oh come on. Turning Medicare into a voucher system would mean that those lower fixed income folks who get Medicare would have to spend their meager incomes on medical bills now covered. That's a serious hit for someone currently living from paycheck to paycheck. Federal cuts in Medicaid will have devastating impacts on people because the state cannot make up the difference. Why not? Because of Republican attacks on state sources.

While the effect of these cuts on the poor would be literally life threatening, the efect on the middle class or lower middle class retired person would be to reduce their disposible income toward the poverty level.

Thanks, Republicans.

Besides if Repubicans were serious about balancing he budget they wouldn't have created the deficit in the first place, or they wouldn't be pushing for more tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest people now. It's obvious that Repubican politicians only use the deficti as a political ploy for pushing their real agenda which is to restore the age of the Robber Barons.

This is not seventy five years ago when a great many of the elderly faced rather grim futures. Today, the elderly is the wealthiest demographic. The relatively poor young adults may begin to baulk at have increasing larger portions of their income taken to prop up universal Social Security and Medicare coverage for the senior citizen living on the streets to Bill Gates. Take care of those who need it. Let the rest take care of themselves.

It would be unwise of them to baulk. The younger people coming up are going to need Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security very badly when they reach the right age because many of them will never have the income to save significantly for their old age. They are the one who stand to lose the most.

1.) If economic growth in anemic, how does "reducing the deficit" make it grow faster?

An economist could do a better job of this, but at least one factor in slowing an economy is the amount of GDP taken up by debt service and other gov't spending. Money left in the economy gets spent. Taking it out of the economy to repay past debts or service ongoing debt accomplishes nothing.

2.) If the private sector insists on not providing opportunities for people to work, why can't the government buy their labor and put it to good use?

"Insists"? "Why can't gov't buy . . .?" Buy with what to do what and for how long? And to what good use? GM? Soylandra? Look at California for an example of gov't putting people's money to good use.


3.) Explain how running up huge deficits is ok for senseless destructive wars but not for funding other, and equally vital, social needs?

Who advocates running a deficit for a senseless war? Let's assume a particular war is justified--why is that different from social needs? A war is a one time expense. When it's over, the spending goes away. A 'vital social need' never seems to resolve and the spending becomes structural, permanent.

4.) Explain to me how Social Security and Medicare are, as you take convoluted pains to infer, "unfunded" despite the proof I see right before my eyes every time I review my pay stub.

"Unfunded . . . convoluted"? Show me. It is consensus economics that both will go broke if the status quo maintains.

What they take out of your pay stub covers far less than your share of the outgo, i.e. collectively we all pay in, but we'd have to pay in a ton more to make it solvent into perpetuity. Put differently, you can pay half your rent or house payment and you'll find out pretty quickly that that isn't enough to make your landlord or lender happy.

5.) How is it that social investment in infrastructure is economically inferior to private investment?

Depends on the infrastructure, I suppose. We need roads and schools, but once they're built, other than maintenance, there isn't much to be done except drive on them or attend them. The money to build public infrastructure has to come from somewhere, which is why you need a much larger private sector than you do a public one.

6.) How do we as a society recover unused labor time?

You mean, like getting back the time I am spending responding to your questions? ;-) Actually, I have no idea what you are getting at.

7.) How can public debt be a "burden" when the holders of that debt are either us or our government? (If you have some Treasury bills laying around that are simply too burdensome, I will gladly take them off your hands.)

See answer to No. 1 above. See Greece, Ireland, Spain and Portugal. You have to service and eventually retire debt. If you borrowed 100K ten years ago and spent it doing whatever, and were still servicing that debt, what benefit would you be currently deriving? It would depend if the 100K was spent on something that continues to produce income, I suppose. But gov't debt doesn't produce current gov't income. It produces gov't outgo.

The better example would be if you borrowed 100K to take two years off from work. You'd have to pay the money back and would have nothing to show for it other than memories in the out years.

For decades, we've been borrowing to meet current needs, deferring and accumulating debt now in the trillions. Those who do not take this seriously cannot be expected to be to be taken seriously themselves.

8.) Why do you golf at a course that is next to a football field?

I don't, but that doesn't mean I can't spike the ball metaphorically when I vanquish my foes. :-)

An economist could do a better job of this, but at least one factor in slowing an economy is the amount of GDP taken up by debt service and other gov't spending. Money left in the economy gets spent. Taking it out of the economy to repay past debts or service ongoing debt accomplishes nothing.

An economist would probably say this is nonsensicle. How is the interest my kids are getting from the bonds they've gotten on their birthdays being taken out of the economy? The money doesn't just disappear, and even if it did, the government could recreate it with a few strokes on a keyboard.

The sort of thinking you're employing is common and problematic. Instead of thinking about what resources are being used and for what, you're thinking too much about dollars, as though there's this big pot of money the government and private sector are fighting over, and that if the government uses too much of it, there won't be enough left for everyone else.

Perhaps one day you will have a client who works for the federal government. You will find that you can spend the money that client pays you in whatever way you like, just like the money you might receive from a client who works for a private company.

And you're sorely mistaken about our national infrastructure. It needs lots of work, and there are bunch of people who need jobs. We are missing great opportunities every day to create incredible value because too many people think there's not enough money. And that's what's going to kill GDP for years to come if it doesn't change.

How is the interest my kids are getting from the bonds they've gotten on their birthdays being taken out of the economy?

When it goes to China? When it is taken out of my hands, rinsed through the fed, and returned less operating and overhead, to your kids?

Spain has really nice roads and lots of other nice stuff. Up until a couple of years ago, everyone was working.

When it goes to China?

Is that true? How? What use do the Chinese have for dollars, ultimately?

When it is taken out of my hands, rinsed through the fed, and returned less operating and overhead, to your kids?

Even if this made sense, how would it prove that the money was taken out of the economy?

Spain has really nice roads and lots of other nice stuff. Up until a couple of years ago, everyone was working.

Too bad they joined the EU and have to borrow in what essentially is a foreign currency at whatever rates the market will bear. Since we haven't done that, I don't see how it's relevant.

Here's the thing, Mck - I'd be fine with ending the needless borrowing and paying interest the federal government imposes on itself. They could simply spend what they spend, whether the spending outpaced revenue or not, and leave it at that. There's no need to borrow, at least not on a dollar-for-dollar basis with deficit spending. Even on some other more limited basis, the function of issuing interest-bearing financial instruments would not be to fund the government, but to satisfy some need of those buying said instruments.

For decades, we've been borrowing to meet current needs, deferring and accumulating debt now in the trillions. Those who do not take this seriously cannot be expected to be to be taken seriously themselves.

Perhaps if the Mitt Romney's of the world paid tax at the rate you and I likely do instead of at 13%, we wouldn't be in this position.

"Unfunded . . . convoluted"? Show me. It is consensus economics that both will go broke if the status quo maintains . . . collectively we all pay in, but we'd have to pay in a ton more to make it solvent into perpetuity.

Perhaps if the salary cap on payroll taxes wasn't so ludicrously low we wouldn't be in this position.

Most of the current defict was caused by the Repubulican party. Both Ryan's and Romney's budgets would increase the defcit over time. Republican politicians increase the deficit deliberately bcause that's how they justify going after programs to which they are philosophically opposed but are popular with voters, including many Repubican voters.

If deficts are your issue, why are you voting for the party that creates them on purpose?

RE: this stuff about how of course programs should be there for those who really need them. Tell that to a Republican. Medicaid is entirely a program for those who really need it and yet there it is in the line of fire of the Repubican party with Republican voters generating rationalizations to justify voting for the pols who will gut its funding. So, to you all who plan to vote R and think that programs should exist for those who really need it, which one of my clients do you want to kill so Romney and Ryan can get their tax cuts?


Most of the current defict was caused by the Repubulican party.

It'd be nice to see claims like this backed up with a link to something substantiating.

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Whatnot


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