Open thread: April 9, 2010 Dan Crawford | April 9, 2010 4:48 pm Comments (23) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
Prediction: Finding the replacement for Justice Stevens and confirming him/her will suck the oxygen out of the entire MSM and blogosphere until complete. Baring a San Andreas 10.0 quake.
That was easy!
Islam will change
Just wanted to say to all the ABers I enjoyed reading all your posts and comments over these years. I’ll be taking a hiatus due to a change in circumstances, hopefully for the better. Cactus, coberly, bruce, kharris, 2lugs, cursed and all the others: I enjoyed the debates we had. Cactus and rdan, thanks for posting my essays. Buff, Movie Guy and Corev: you better keep these guys honest.
Ya’ll take care.
Just watching the doings at the Klan Rally in New Orleans.
I found the Gnut’s (Gingrich) slip most interesting since I have held a theory about the Politics of the last 30 years.
The Plantation Capitalist so hated Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, that they became the Dixiecrats. Until, as Gnut aptly pointed out, LBJ ushered through the Civil Rights act of 1964, at which time the racsists began a defection, beginning with Wrongald Rayguns, back to the republicans.
With a brief dalliance with Bill Clinton, a centrist Republican Plantation Capitalist, the turn was complete with GWBush ( remember Barbara’s infamous “most of these people never had it so good” comment). David Duke, the last Grand Wizard I am aware of, was(is) a Republican operative for GW?
This is pig ignorance in action. Sarah Palin from Alaska, the state with the biggest mouth on the Federal tit followed by Idaho, Wyoming, and now Florida, (social security and medicare are primary revenue sources). This is historical and, hysterical.
Have a fruitful and good hiatus sammy.
Hope you’re not away too long. You’ve made many important contributions at Angry Bear.
All the best,
The idea that Chris Dodd is offering a Senate bill on financial industry regulation on his way out, is beyond ludicrous.
This man, from Connecticut is not representing the American people. He is representaing Connecticut, home to the worst of Aristocracy Capitalists this country has seen, the Tories of 1770. They have never gone away.
I am amazed at the adhesion of ancient ideals in our American heritage, and the visous employment of aggrandizement of the people of Connecticut on American society.
Wakey, wakey, eggs and bakey.
Stupak, the first of many ?safe? Dem seats to retire? He claimed he would have won if he tried, but recent polls showed him 35+ down.
If your circumstances needed improving, then I hope they will. Good Luck
If this country gives the reoublicans another shot, we are dumber than we look. They are promising they won’t repeat what they did, and didn’t do, when they were in power from 1994 until 2009.
Thankfully they won’t have the likes of Brad DeLong, the lost boy, to hide behind.
I am looking for someone other than Barack O’Bama (BO). Someone more incendiary than BO . The US is in a crisis of our own making; the artificial Aristocracy vs the everyman.
Hey you stupid, uneducated assholes, everything is going to shit. Pay no attention to GW’s tax cuts for the top 0.1 % of crapheads that caused this mess, there is no way out except to slash programs for the less-than wealthy the sick, the immigrants, the poor etc.
Surplus population, Bah ! Humbug.
See Ya around , Sammy. Good luck!
Here’s a gem:
“To John Adams
Monticello, October 28, 1813
I agree with you that there is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents. Formerly, bodily powers gave place among the aristoi [aristocrats]. But since the invention of gunpowder has armed the weak as well as the strong with missile death, bodily strength, like beauty, good humor, politeness, and other accomplishments, has become but an auxiliary ground for distinction. There is also an artificial aristocracy, founded on wealth and birth, without either virtue or talents; for with these it would belong to the first class. The natural aristocracy I consider as the most precious gift of nature, for the instruction, the trusts, and government of society. And indeed, it would have been inconsistent in creation to have formed man for the social state, and not to have provided virtue and wisdom enough to manage the concerns of the society. May we not even say, that that form of government is the best, which provides the most effectually for a pure selection of these natural aristoi into the offices of government? The artificial aristocracy is a mischievous ingredient in government, and provision should be made to prevent its ascendency.?I think the best remedy is exactly that provided by all our constitutions, to leave to the citizens the free election and separation of the aristoi from the pseudo-aristoi [pseudoaristocrats], of the wheat from the chaff. In general they will elect the really good and wise. In some instances, wealth may corrupt, and birth blind them, but not in sufficient degree to endanger the society.
?At the first session of our legislature after the Declaration of Independence, we passed a law abolishing entails [limitations on the inheritance of property to a specified succession of heirs]. And this was followed by one abolishing the privilege of primogeniture [the eldest child?s exclusive right of inheritance], and dividing the lands of intestates equally among all their children, or other representatives. These laws, drawn by myself, laid the ax to the foot of pseudoaristocracy. And had another which I prepared been adopted by the legislature, our work would have been complete. It was a bill for the more general diffusion of learning. This proposed to divide every county into wards of five or six miles square, like your townships; to establish in each ward a free school for reading, writing, and common arithmetic; to provide for the annual selection of the best subjects from these schools, who might receive, at the public expense, a higher degree of education at a district school; and from these district schools to select a certain number of the most promising subjects, to be completed at a university, where all the useful sciences should be taught. Worth and genius would thus have been sought out from every condition of life, and completely prepared by education for defeating the competition of wealth and birth for public trusts?.
More importantly in deciding what we should be about:
With respect to aristocracy, we should further consider, that before the establishment of the American States, nothing was known to history but the man of the old world, crowded within limits either small or overcharged, and steeped in the vices which that situation generates. A government adapted to such men would be one thing, but a very different one, that for the man of these States. Here every one may have land to labor for himself, if he chooses; or, preferring the exercise of any other industry, may exact for it such compensation as not only to afford a comfortable subsistence, but wherewith to provide for a cessation from labor in old age. Every one, by his property, or by his satisfactory situation, is interested in the support of law and order. And such men may safely and advantageously reserve to themselves a wholesome control over their public affairs, and a degree of freedom, which, in the hands of the canaille [the masses] of the cities of Europe, would be instantly perverted to the demolition and destruction of everything public and private. The history of the last twenty-five years of France, and of the last forty years in America, nay of its last two hundred years, proves the truth of both parts of this observation.
But even in Europe a change has sensibly taken place in the mind of man. Science had liberated the ideas of those who read and reflect, and the American example had kindled feelings of right in the people. An insurrection has consequently begun, of science, talents, and courage, against rank and birth, which have fallen into contempt. It has failed in its first effort, because the mobs of the cities, the instrument used for its accomplishment, debased by ignorance, poverty, and vice, could not be restrained to rational action. But the world will recover from the panic of this first catastrophe. Science is progressive, and talents and enterprise on the alert. Resort may be had to the people of the country, a more governable power from their principles and subordination; and rank, and birth, and tinsel-aristocracy will finally shrink into insignificance, even there. This, however, we have no right to meddle with. It suffices for us, if the moral and physical condition of our own citizens qualifies them to select the able and good for the direction of their government, with a recurrence of elections at such short periods as will enable them to displace an unfaithful servant, before the mischief he meditates may be irremediable.
?A constitution has been acquired, which, though neither of us thinks perfect, yet both consider as competent to render our fellow citizens the happiest and the securest on whom the sun has ever shone. If we do not think exactly alike as to its imperfections, it matters little to our country, which, after devoting to it long lives of disinterested labor, we have delivered over to our successors in life, who will be able to take care of it and of themselves.
WINSTON…Man’s best friend
“‘A little patience,’ Jefferson wrote, ‘and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolved, and the people recovering their true sight, restoring their government to its true principles. It is true, that in the meantime, we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war, and long oppressions of enormous public debt. … If the game runs sometimes against us at home, we must have patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost. For this is a game where principles are the stake.'”
Best of luck. Stay healthy, I hope your not headed to the middle-east. And come back soon.
What is the reference for that quote? Is Jefferson referring to the Revolutionary War, or something later?
Vice President Jefferson wrote this letter to John Taylor during John Adams Presidency and you can find this citation near the bottom of the lettter here: http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=2491 It was written two weeks before the Alien and Sedition Act of 1798. Jefferson refers to being saddled and ridden hard by Connecticut and Massachusetts as Sandi does. It basically accuses Adams of ceasing more power than the constitution allows.
There is a pretty good explanation of it here: http://www.albionmonitor.com/0411a/reignofwitches.html and here http://harpers.org/archive/2007/07/hbc-90000441
hope it’s good news. i felt i was just about to convert you.
I think those old guys did pretty good on the whole, but I think history is suggesting that even Nature’s noblemen aren’t smart enough to manage the affairs of a complex state.
Maybe I’m just an old grouch. After all things aren’t so bad they couldn’t be worse.
Paul Krugman wrote a very good piece last week. Note the closer.
Learning From Greece
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: April 8, 2010
The debt crisis in Greece is approaching the point of no return. As prospects for a rescue plan seem to be fading, largely thanks to German obduracy, nervous investors have driven interest rates on Greek government bonds sky-high, sharply raising the country’s borrowing costs. This will push Greece even deeper into debt, further undermining confidence. At this point it’s hard to see how the nation can escape from this death spiral into default.
It’s a terrible story, and clearly an object lesson for the rest of us. But an object lesson in what, exactly?
Yes, Greece is paying the price for past fiscal irresponsibility. Yet that’s by no means the
whole story. The Greek tragedy also illustrates the extreme danger posed by a deflationary monetary policy. And that’s a lesson one hopes American policy makers will take to heart.
The key thing to understand about Greece’s predicament is that it’s not just a matter of excessive debt. Greece’s public debt, at 113 percent of G.D.P., is indeed high, but other countries have dealt with similar levels of debt without crisis. For example, in 1946, the United States, having just emerged from World War II, had federal debt equal to 122 percent of G.D.P. Yet investors were relaxed, and rightly so: Over the next decade the ratio of U.S. debt to G.D.P. was cut nearly in half, easing any concerns people might have had about our ability to pay what we owed. And debt as a percentage of G.D.P. continued to fall in the decades that followed, hitting a low of 33 percent in 1981.
So how did the U.S. government manage to pay off its wartime debt? Actually, it didn’t. At the end of 1946, the federal government owed $271 billion; by the end of 1956 that figure had risen slightly, to $274 billion. The ratio of debt to G.D.P. fell not because debt went down, but because G.D.P. went up, roughly doubling in dollar terms over the course of a decade. The rise in G.D.P. in dollar terms was almost equally the result of economic growth and inflation, with both real G.D.P. and the overall level of prices rising about 40 percent from 1946 to 1956.
Unfortunately, Greece can’t expect a similar performance. Why? Because of the euro.
Until recently, being a member of the euro zone seemed like a good thing for Greece, bringing with it cheap loans and large inflows of capital. But those capital inflows also led to inflation — and when the music stopped, Greece found itself with costs and prices way out of line with Europe’s big economies. Over time, Greek prices will have to come back down. And that means that unlike postwar America, which inflated away part of its debt, Greece will see its debt burden worsened by deflation.
That’s not all. Deflation is a painful process, which invariably takes a toll on growth and employment. So Greece won’t grow its way out of debt. On the contrary, it will have to deal with its debt in the face of an economy that’s stagnant at best.
So the only way Greece could tame its debt problem would be with savage spending cuts and tax increases, measures that would themselves worsen the unemployment rate. No wonder, then, that bond markets are losing confidence, and pushing the situation to the brink.
What can be done? The hope was that other European countries would strike a deal, guaranteeing Greek debt in return for a commitment to harsh fiscal austerity. That might have worked. But without German support, such a deal won’t happen.
Greece could alleviate some of its problems by leaving the euro, and devaluing. But it’s hard to see how […]
Well, the Senate fight continues…
The Senators need to resolve their supporting funding issues and get this done ASAP.
Battle resumes over unemployment benefits, deficit
A smoldering battle over restoring unemployment benefits immediately reignited Monday as the Senate returned to session after a two-week recess.
Senators in both parties again cast blame on each other for allowing federally financed benefits averaging $335 a week to lapse for hundreds of thousands of people who have been out of work for more than six months.
At issue is unemployment compensation for more than 400,000 people whose benefits lapsed but who would have been eligible to reapply for additional weeks of benefits if the program’s authority had not ended on April 5. More than 5 million people continue to receive the extended benefits, but 200,000 people a week stand to lose them if the impasse continues.
Several other programs have also lapsed, including federal flood insurance, higher Medicare payment rates for doctors and generous health insurance subsidies for people who’ve lost their jobs.
In practice, the expiration of the programs means that the newly jobless aren’t eligible to sign up for health insurance subsidies but that people currently covered under the so-called COBRA law retain the benefit. People living in flood plains can’t sign up for flood insurance, while the Medicare program has delayed payments to doctors rather than impose a 21 percent cut.
Republicans blocked the temporary measure last month, saying it should have correlating spending cuts so as to not increase the deficit. But 21 Republicans had voted for an earlier temporary measure covering March after Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., initially blocked it single-handedly and caused a public relations disaster for the party.
Now, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., is leading the charge against the measure, which would add $9 billion to the deficit.
“My goal is to get it paid for,” Coburn said.
“I don’t think that one could contend that somewhere in the federal budget we can’t find $9.5 billion over the course of the year which could be used to pay for these benefits,” said GOP Whip Jon Kyl of Arizona.
But Democrats countered that extended unemployment benefits have always been financed through the deficit and that providing them to jobless people running short on cash is a good way to boost the economy.
“Unemployment extensions have always been considered emergency spending, and there’s a reason for that,” said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. “Unemployment insurance is a form of stimulus, but offsetting the extension of this program would negate the stimulative impact. It would be robbing Peter to pay Paul.”
Republicans countered that they had reached a tentative agreement with Senate Democrats last month to finance a portion of the temporary benefits but that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., squashed the […]